Twitter Prank

Twitter users were hit yesterday with tweets and sometimes offending pop-ups that originated from exploiting a programming flaw.  Twitter defines this as a prank rather than an attack or a hack.  They also have assured Twitter members that no personal account information was compromised.  But this does raise the point of what defines a malicious attack, prank or just a mistake. In the 1960′s, Cap’n Crunch cereal put thousands of toy whistles in their boxes.  Children all over delighted in the whistle design, color and sound. There are many reports of children excitedly calling friends and grandparents to tell them about the wonderful whistle.  But when they would blow the whistle into the phone, they would get disconnected.  The connection between the whistle and the phone disconnect was discovered and exploited. The whistle emitted a precise 2600 Hertz tone, the same frequency … [Read more...]

Microsoft Office 2010: The best new features in PowerPoint

For anyone that has ever presented to a group, you know it is essential to be well prepared and have the right props.  For many, PowerPoint is the prop of choice. Creating your presentation in PowerPoint allows you to gather all your thoughts and ideas in one tool.  You have many slide choices and can move, cut, paste and organize to create a coherent flow of information without leaving the program.  Adding graphics, diagrams, video and sound is easier than ever. With just a little time investment, PowerPoint will make you look like a presentation guru! When creating the perfect presentation, be sure not make your slides too busy or add too much glitz.  If you want to use sound and video, make sure to add at a place in your presentation where it will complement your message.  Video can be a great introduction or it can be used to clarify your points.  Don’t use sound or video in … [Read more...]

Microsoft Office 2010: The best new features in Access

If you have never used a relational database because you felt it was just too complicated, give a look at Access.  Access 2010 has simplified database functions and added ready-to-go templates to get you started. Information stored in spreadsheets and documents can be easier to understand and less time consuming to manage in a relational database model.  Not only can you save time, but you can make your data more meaningful and perform more meaningful analysis.  And if you are using a product that uses Access to store your data, you will be able to better understand the tables, reports and relationships. Fast, easy database creation Ready-to-go Templates - Use the available templates to create a marketing list or sales pipeline without being a database expert.  The templates are designed to give you the structure you need to get started and let you expand as you become more … [Read more...]

A Non-Technical Post: My Tomato Garden

Usually, I write about computer and engineering topics but today it’s all about my tomato garden. I’m not a great gardener, but I have good luck with tomatoes. For years, Early Girl, Big Boy, Beefsteak and Parks Whoppers (my favorite) have given us tomato sandwiches, tomato pies and ratatouille.  It’s not just a tomato garden but has eggplant, maybe some squash and cucumbers. Even though Georgia has been droughty for several years, my tomatoes have been well watered and have flourished. We like big tomatoes where one slice gives you the perfect sandwich and cucumbers fresh off the vine. Over the years, the tomatoes have become tastier and tastier.  We don’t buy those tasteless, hot house grown tomatoes and even at a restaurant the tomatoes are disappointing. My husband is from South Georgia and insists that you have to put your tomatoes in on Good Friday for the best crop.  This … [Read more...]

Microsoft Office 2010: The best new features in Excel

Excel is arguably the most under-utilized Microsoft Office product when it comes to advanced features.  Ask people what features they most like in Excel and they usually describe the spreadsheet and graphing tools.  But that is just a very small part of the capabilities built into Excel.  From tools for statistical, engineering and financial functions, to pivot tables, to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming, you can use Excel for simple to complex data analysis and display with easy to read graphs and charts. If you haven’t used the advanced tools in Excel, start by trying the new features to get the most from your software investment. Analyze your data to discover patterns or trends, then display with graphs and charts that illuminate the best course of action.  With a little practice, you will improve your ability to study large data sets and make the most informed … [Read more...]