Sun, 30 November 2008
The Mid-Pacific Information and Communications Technologies (MPICT) Center is a recently funded National Science Foundation (NSF) – Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Regional Center hosted by City College of San Francisco (CCSF). MPICT's mission is to coordinate, promote and improve the quality and availability of ICT education in a region consisting of Northern California, Northern Nevada, Southern Oregon, Hawaii and the Pacific Territories. Current Regional Partners include: Ohlone College , Santa Rosa Junior College , Cabrillo College and Foothill College.
We've had a great relationship with Pierre, James and CCSF and were fortunate to get them on camera to talk about MPICT at the 2008 SAME-TEC Conference.
MPICT is off to a great start under the leadership and direction of Pierre and James. Contact them for more information at www.mpict.org
Sun, 9 November 2008
German graduate students Erik Tews and Martin Beck have discovered an exploitable hole in WPA, a popular wireless encryption protocol. This week, Tews will present a paper on the topic at the PacSec conference in Tokyo. In this podcast Mike Qaissaunee and I discuss wireless network security and this newly discovered WPA hole.
Here's a list of questions asked during the podcast:
Where is the information for this podcast coming from?
Why is this important?
So, we've now got a security issue with WPA encryption! Before we get to WPA - can you give us a little background on wireless encryption?
So, the first attempt was WEP. Most devices still support it - why should we not use it?
So, that's not good. What did the IEEE do?
What else did the 802.11i group do - what was the second solution?
So, let me make sure I understand. Older wireless devices can be updated to support WPA which includes TKIP. Now, I've heard of WPA2 - what is that?
So, the new products support both but old products only support WPA. I think I've got it! What did Tews and Beck actually crack?
So the problem is with old devices that only support WPA and TKIP and not WPA and AES?
What is the problem with TKIP?Now, didn't WEP use checksums this way?
The ars technica piece mentioned short packets are ideal - especially ARP broadcasts. Why?
Let me see if I understand, an attacker sniffs a packet, makes minor
modifications to affect the checksum, and checks the results by sending
the packet back to the access point.
So it is not something we should be worried about?
What can we do to protect our networks?
Can you describe rekeying?
Now, I've heard of this - you need to be careful. You don't want to enable rapid rekeying unless ALL of your clients support IEEE 802.1x and an authentication method (e.g. EAP-TLS) that supports key distribution.
So, let's get to the point here - WPA really is not broken?
Listen to get the answers!
Sun, 2 November 2008
On Oct 1, 2008 Nart Villeneuve and the Information Warfare Monitor released an interesting joint report titled BREACHING TRUST: An analysis of surveillance and security practices on China’s TOM-Skype platform. Villeneuve is CTO of psiphon inc and the psiphon research fellow at the Citizen Lab, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto. In this podcast we discuss the report, confidentiality and security issues with TOM-Skype, the Chinese version of Skype
Mike: Gordon, Can you tell us a little more about this report?
The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada focusing on advanced research and development at the intersection of digital media and world civic politics. The author, Nart Villeneuve's research focuses on International Internet censorship and the evasion tactics used to bypass Internet filtering systems.
How about some background on Skype in China?
How about some details from the report?
You said these are publically accessible servers - can others besides the Chinese access these servers?
Can you review the major findings from the report?
What kinds of questions has the report raised?
How does the report say the sensorship actually works?
How about some detail on those servers?
The report claims it may be possbile to map users social networks using the logged information. Can you explain?
How has Skype responded?
Tue, 7 October 2008
Bio-Link is an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center for Biotechnology that originated in late 1998 with a grant from the National Science Foundation. The Center is located on the campus of City College of San Francisco with office space at the University of California, San Francisco. Regional Bio-Link Centers across the country are located in Seattle, WA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Madison, WI; Graham, NC; and Portsmouth, NH.
At the SAME-TEC conference
this past July, I had the opportunity to interview Bio-Link Director Dr
Elaine Johnson. In the interview Elaine discusses the work the Bio-Link
Center and Regional Centers are doing to bring students the knowledge and skills essential to the field
as well as the ability to continue with more advanced education in
math, science and engineering.
undergraduate background is in Microbiology so I've always had an
interest in biotechnology and related fields. If you are faculty and
considering starting a biotechnology program or maybe a student
thinking about a biotechnology career, you will find her interview very
Wed, 17 September 2008
Earlier this month I wrote about how the National Center for Telecommunications Technologies
(NCTT, focusing on information and communications technologies) collaborated with sister NSF Advanced Technology Education Centers of Excellence Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC, focusing on semi-conductor, automated manufacturing and electronics) and OP-TEC (focusing on optics and photonics) to sponsor the SAME-TEC 2008 Conference in Austin, Texas.
SAME-TEC has a long history, starting in 1994 with the vision of David Hata at Portland Community College and continuing to grow and evolve under the leadership and direction of Mike Lesiecki and his team at MATEC. This year the conference had over 350 attendees.
At the conference we did a number of video interviews and John Reynolds, our multimedia specialist, has been hard at work editing them. We've now got another one posted - an interview with David Hata - the Godfather of SAME-TEC. David discusses the original grant he wrote to the National Science Foundation to launch SAME-TEC and the evolution of the conference.
Fri, 12 September 2008
The OP-TEC Advanced Technological Education Center was launched in August 2006 with funding from the National Science Foundation.
Under the direction of Dan Hull, the Center engages a consortium of
two-year colleges, high schools, universities, national laboratories,
industry partners, and professional societies. The participating
entities have committed to join forces in creating a
secondary-to-postsecondary “pipeline” of highly qualified and strongly
motivated students and empowering community colleges to meet the urgent
need for technicians in optics and photonics.
The project has four goals:
OP-TEC is establishing a national infrastructure for developing and supporting widely disseminated educational programs in cutting-edge, high-demand technologies that require photonics. That infrastructure encompasses both the secondary and postsecondary levels and will involve collaboration between educators and industry personnel.
Dan and his team are doing excellent work. In July I had the chance to interview him (on his birthday!) at the SAME-TEC 2008 Conference in Austin, TX.
You can get more information on the OP-TEC National Center located in Waco, TX here.
Fri, 12 September 2008
This is a series of interviews Dan Greenwood, Brookdale Community College's Instructional Designer, recorded with Mike. This is part of Dan's Project Emit (Engaging Methods in Teaching) podcast. You can find Dan's podcast at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/pages/613.asp
Here are descriptions for the interviews, which we've combined as one podcast.
Associate Professor Michael Qaissaunee of the Engineering and Technology Department shares some of his innovative ideas on using video in courses. In Part 1 of this interview topic, Mike explains how both students and faculty can become involved in creating videos to improve learning.Links mentioned in the podcast:
In the second part of our Video conversation, Mike shares some excellent examples of using video. We also discuss the use of video hosting services and Mike provides some ideas on how you can get started creating your own video content.
Our conversation continues with Professor Qaissaunee explaining what viral videos are and the concept of viral PowerPoints and how they can be used with online course materials.
Tue, 2 September 2008
Bunker Hill Community College Professor Paula Velluto has received National Science Foundation funding to create a model computer forensics program.
The project is a regional collaboration of Middlesex Community College, Bristol Community College, Bunker Hill Community College, Northern Essex Community College and the University of Massachusetts Boston to meet the regional need of law enforcement for trained computer forensics (CF) technicians. The programs uniquely combine the disciplines of Information Technology and Criminal Justice and are tailored to the needs of each institution.
The CFATE NSF project focuses on achieving three goals:
To create computer forensics programs that align with law enforcement, public safety, private industry and homeland security needs to ensure consistent, current and flexible training. CFATE works with local/regional law enforcement agencies and industries to determine the needed skill set. Faculty workshops are being conducted to facilitate integration of CJ and IT into courses and expedite curriculum development on a consortium wide basis. CF experts work with the colleges to ensure that materials are rich in real world content. UMass Boston is developing baccalaureate programs that accept community college graduates and provide them with career pathways. In addition, CFATE is developing stand-alone courses and programs for IT professionals and CJ practitioners.
To offer regional professional development opportunities for educators to develop expertise needed for teaching these programs. In addition to workshops on CJ and IT integration, extensive workshops on CF and the use of state-of-the-art software are being offered. Curriculum development workshops emphasize learner-centered pedagogy that give students needed skills. CF experts work individually with faculty and mentor them as they deliver CF courses.
To expand the capacity in the region to attract students from diverse backgrounds to CF programs at each institution and support them in gaining employment in related positions. CFATE is creating recruitment materials such as CDs, brochures, and interactive websites to reach local schools and local and regional community organizations. This is combined with targeted personal outreach to schools and organizations.
I've know Paula for many years and have always been so impressed with her technical knowledge, experience, vision and (especially) the way she works with her students. Paula is one of the best and last month I had the opportunity to interview her at the SAME-TEC 2008 Conference in Austin, TX.
You can get more information on the CFATE rogram at Bunker Hill Community College here. The project website at CFATE.ORG will also be up shortly.
Mon, 25 August 2008
In this Video Podcast. MATEC Executive Director Michael Lesiecki discusses the past, current and future of the SAME-TEC Conference in Austin, Texas. You can get more information on SAME-TEC and MATEC at www.same-tec.org
More Info on SAME-TEC
SAME-TEC is a unique event that provides national networking and collaboration between education and industry partners, to promote the viability of our high tech industries, through the development of a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Conference participants are given an up-close look at the ever-advancing tools, training demands, and recent developments in emerging and converging technology fields.
With this year's conference theme, we call attention to how different technologies are seamlessly converging into new all-encompassing technologies. High tech gadgets such as the Apple iPhone force us to fine-tune our focus as we endeavor to bring new technologies to our students and future employees. At SAME-TEC, faculty connect with each other to share practices, knowledge, and new approaches to help students succeed. Industry members connect with educators to ultimately help ensure students emerge into the workforce with the
knowledge and skills desired by themselves and employers. Exhibitors will connect with existing and potential clients to help determine current and future needs. SAME-TEC provides the venue for learning about seamless technologies and the forum for creating seamless connections.
Who Attends SAME-TEC?
Sun, 15 June 2008
Intro: The Moving Picture Experts Group or MPEG, is a working group of ISO/IEC charged with the development of video and audio encoding standards. In this podcast we look at the MPEG standards and video delivery systems.
Mike: Gordon, what sources are we referring to here?
Wikipedia and white paper from the MPEG Industry Forum at www.m4if.org/public/documents/vault/m4-out-20027.pdf. we've also got a couple of diagrams from the Verizon website.
Mike: What's the history of MPEG?
Mike: Are these open standards?
Mike: What's the history? Can you tell us about MPEG-1?
Mike: How about MPEG-2?
Mike: We don't hear much about MPEG-3 - what's up with that?
Mike: Let's talk about MPEG-4 now.
Mike: What are some of the advantages of MPEG-4?
Mike: Let's switch gears and talk about carried video delivery systems - specifically the telcos and cable companies. How is this technology used?
It's different for broadcast and video on demand (VOD) content. Let's discuss broadcast systems and look at how Verizon (as an example) is setup.
Two National Super Head Ends (SHE) - one in Tampa and the other in Bloomington, IL:
- Diversely located
- Satellites collect video feeds
- Video is converted to digital MPEG-2 and packaged in a 10-GigE payload
- SHE servers “pitch” data to the Video Hub Office (VHO)
- Three OC-192 SONET (long haul) rings that drop and continue GigE to VHOs
Mike: What is OC-192?
Mike: OK, these video hub offices are distributed over Verizon's footprint - what happens when they get the video?
Video Hub Office (VHO) ex. Burlington MA Combines:
- National Channels
- VOD Servers “catch” data from the SHE servers
- Off-Air, program guide, public, education, and government (PEG) channels, and local ads are injected
- Encrypts all content
- Content sent over several 1-GigE links to local Video Serving Offices (VSO, ex. CO) over SONET (medium haul)
- VSO then sends it to the OLT and then to the PON network for delivery to customer.
Mike: Broadcast is still done using traditional RF modulation methods - correct?
Yes - that will change - rumor has it Verizon will be trialing IP Broadcasting this summer in Pennsylvania - just a rumor!
Mike: Now - Video on Demand (VOD) does things a little differently - correct?
Yes - VOD delivers IP content to the customer - it is not in RF format:
- Content is requested by user via the IP network (private subnet)
- Content is then streamed from the video pumps to the Video Distribution Routers (VDR) in the VHO (ex. Burlington)
- VDR then sends 10-GigE links to a Video Aggregation Router (VAR)
- The Video Aggregation Router (VAR) then sends it to the Gateway Router (GWR) in the VSO (ex. CO)
- GWR then sends it to the OLT and then to the PON network
Mike: So - Verizon is combining Voice, Video and Data services on the same fiber?
Yes - Here's another nice diagram from the Verizon website: