Monday, November 29, 2010

Working in the 21st Century

Working in the 21st Century.

WorkingLife is full of wonders, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid; and the same will be said for people working in the 21st century. Unless you are planning on having some sort of Military, Policing, or health care profession, you should expect to change jobs at least three or four times in your career. I know a guy that was just laid off after 26 years a company. He had just finished with a huge event (which ended up being a big success), and when the event was done he was told that the company was changing and he was not to be apart of the changes. Which had me thinking of how long I've been at jobs for (Being in website development my situation is a little different then his but overall it amounts to the same). The longest I've been at a company has been 5 years and that was a part-time position I took after school. I have never been at a company for longer then 3 years at a time (I have had freelance clients for more then 10 years); and I know this to be true for most people I've talked to where the average range is three to seven years. The time of staying at a job for over ten or more years are gone (there are some rare exceptions); for several reasons, they can range from the need for restructuring to the need for "new ideas" (By that I mean bring in someone younger and cheaper). There is also the thinking by personnel there are greener pastures going somewhere else; or they are feeling under utilized or appreciated. Lots of companies these days are disregarding their most valuable resources the people they hire to do the work. With increasing pressure to improve "the bottom line" and performance, they are neglecting the companies long term viability. Don't get me wrong sometimes these changes need to be made but I find that in most situations; the reasons it is done is purely a financial one. With these points in mind it makes keeping and finding new "opportunities" more important and essential.

There are at least three social networks you should be a member of if your not.

1. - LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is not as popular as twitter or facebook but services a completely different purpose which is extremely useful. Think of it as facebook pro. It is a way of connecting with co-workers, contractors, people you have worked with; without allowing them to see those embarrassing "Facebook Pictures" from the weekend.

2. - Twitter

Twitter is extremely powerful. It's openness is what allows you connect with people in your community and those with similar interest. This can lead to huge networking or employment opportunities. Many companies are tieing their twitter accoutns to linkedIn and are actively promoting open positions. This is also a great tool for finding out what people really think and if they will fit into your companies culture and if the company is a good fit for you.

3. - Facebook

More of a closed personalized social networking application this is still a tool that should not be ignored. You never know when a close friend or family member know of an opportunity but are unaware of your current employment status. You never know who knows of an opportunity and you should not limit yourself in any way.

Keeping and managing a good online reputation is difficult. The best advice I can give is the following. Having an online reputation is very important in today's world especially for web developers and it is easy to put your foot in your mouth. That being said I find this is the best way I've found managing my online reputation.

1) Let people know where you stand, if your open, transparent, honest and true to your beliefs you don't have anything to worry about. You are who you are, some will criticize you; some will agree with you.

2) Put yourself out there but be mindful and respectful of others, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

3) Know the line between your opinion and the companies. Most companies don't let or like employees going on twitter, facebook or linked in because they are worried about their image and for good reason. If your representing a company on social networks be clear when your representing the company and when your representing yourself. I find it's best to have your own personal social networking account and the companies social networking account. Keep them separate; it creates a clear division between you and the company.

If the average person will be going through at least four different "career" jobs before retiring, having a good network, is going to be extremely helpful. What does that say for how the future of employment will be in the future?

Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Windows Phone 7 and SD Cards What You NEED to Know

Windows Phone 7 and SD Cards

For those of you interested in upgrading any kind of SD card you get with your Windows Phone 7, you better do it when you purchase the phone. Documentation obtained from 3rd party manufactures such as Samsung which indicates that Windows Phone 7 uses the SD card for memory, and makes the card unusable by other devices such as your computer even if you attempt to format it.

Hey if you don't believe me check the original documentation.

Product :Total:Phones & Fax Machines:US Mobile Phones:AT&T 12-11-2010

How to guides

AT&T : Does Windows Phone support microSD card for Memory Expansion?

Windows Phone 7 and microSD Cards

Users are strongly encouraged to review this section carefully before inserting the right type of microSD card into Focus, a Windows Phone 7 device.

Windows Phone 7 does not support freely swapping microSD Cards in and out.

Many commercially available retail microSD cards are not approved for use in Windows Phone 7. Use of unapproved cards may cause performance degradation or device instability including unexpected reset and loss of user data. A microSD card class is not an indication of meeting Windows Phone 7 requirements. Approved cards can be obtained from the manufacturer or Mobile Operator.

Once inserted and properly formatted, the memory card becomes an inseparable part of the phone.

A microSD card inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device and integrated into the device's file system is intended to be a permanent modification to the device. Once a microSD card has been integrated into a Windows Phone 7 device's file system, it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on. This includes an inability to format the microSD card for use in these devices. Improper use (including inserting or removing) of microSD cards on Windows Phone 7 devices may result in one or more of the following:

  • System error while powering on the device that prevents the Windows Phone 7 operating system from loading. Note that emergency dialing will function properly.
  • Inaccurate reporting of available storage.
  • Loss of access to or removal of installed applications.
  • Loss of access to or removal of user data/media stored on the microSD card.
  • Loss of access to or removal of user data or media stored internally within the Windows Phone 7 device.
  • Overall file system performance degradation.
  • Device lockup or reset.

Inserting or Removing the Memory Card

To insert or remove a microSD card, you have to reset your phone by using a procedure called a hard reset.

Warning!: A hard reset resets your phone to its factory default settings and wipes all data (pictures, video, contacts, music, and so on) from your phone. Make sure your data is saved to your PC. For more information, refer to “Sync with PC”.

Inserting a microSD Card into a Windows Phone 7

Simply inserting a microSD card into a Windows Phone 7 device and restarting the device will result in the card being ignored by the phone. To insert a microSD card into your phone, follow these instructions carefully.

  1. If the microSD card contains any data, make sure you back up the contents before inserting it into your Windows Phone 7. The microSD card will be reformatted to be part of the Windows Phone 7 file system and all data will be lost.
  2. Press and hold the Power key to power off the phone, if necessary, and open the battery cover.
  3. Insert the microSD card into the SD slot located on device. For more information, refer to “Installing the Memory Card”.
  4. Power up the device by pressing the Camera key , Volume down key , and Power key .

    Note: If the download mode screen displays, go back to step 1 and try again.

When the device vibrates, release the Power key, but continue pressing the Camera and Volume down keys. Once the device displays the Are you sure you want to format? screen, release the Camera and Volume down keys.

  • Press the Window key to Format the device.

    Note: Formatting erases all erases all user data stored on the device and on the microSD card.

  • Press the Window key again to confirm that you want to format the device.

    Warning!: Do not remove the battery while formatting your phone. Wait until the device switches on and displays the Home screen.

    1. After formatting is complete, the Start-up Wizard screen is displayed.

    2. After start-up is complete, from the Home screen, tap > Settings > system > about to verify that available memory has been updated.


    Permanently Remove a microSD Card from a Windows Phone 7

    To permanently remove a microSD card from a Windows Phone 7 device, follow these instructions:

    1. Press and hold the Power key to power off the phone, if necessary, and open the battery cover.
    2. Remove the microSD card from the SD slot located on device.
    3. Note: Once removed, this microSD card is not readable or writable on other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on.

    4. Power up the device by pressing the Camera key, Volume down key, and Power key. When the device vibrates, release the Power key, but continue pressing the Camera and Volume down keys. Once the device displays the Are you sure you want to format? screen, release the Camera and Volume down keys (see Step 4 above).
    5. Press the Window key to Format the device.
    6. Note: Formatting erases all user data stored on the device.

    7. Press the Window key again to confirm that you want to format the device.
    8. After formatting is complete, the Start-up Wizard screen is displayed.
    9. After start-up is complete, from the Home screen, tap > Settings > system > about to verify that available memory has been updated.

    For more information on the SGH-i917 Focus, please click the banner below.

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Canada - The Big Brother Country.

    Privacy in Canada, you may as well forget it.  This month the government has tabled three new bills C-50, C-51 and C-52 which have huge implications on your privacy rights in Canada.  This is being brought to you by the guys who don't like the gun registry; instead they will tell you that you can have your gun so long as we can snoop on every part of your digital life.  What the hell am I talking about?  Here is what's going on.

    These bills are so called "Law and Order Bills or Spy on Canadians Bills" more or less.  Here is the jist of the bills. The bills contain a 3 way approach when it comes to information disclosure, surveillance technology/methods and police powers.

    Part 1 mandates the disclosure of Internet provider customer information without court over site.  So no warrant required, if you look intimidating and have a fake badge you could potentially get a hold of personal information such as customer name, address, phone number, email address, Internet protocol address, and a series of device identification numbers (MAC Addresses). 

    While some of that information may seem harmless, it gives authorities the ability to link it with other data.  This is bad.  It could give authorities the power to create a detailed profile about an identifiable person.  The decision to require disclosure without any oversight (like a court order where you have to have a reasonable amount of cause or suspicion to get one) should raise a huge florescent RED Flag.

    Part 2 requires that ISP (Internet Service Providers like shaw, telus, rogers, bell) provide real time surveillance (spying).  I hope you don't like doing online banking, because they will get the keys to anything you do.  This is called a Man In The Middle Attack.  The worst part of this is RCMP Background checks are required if they take part in any kind of Data capture.  Which is good but IF THEY HAVE ACCESS TO THE EQUIPMENT THEY CAN DO IT ANYWAY!!! Until after the fact.  Love the idea of someone being able to get a hold of my personal information and passwords at my ISP building because the staff have access to the hardware that is required to be their by law.  How about then ALL ISPs have to do background checks on all staff that are hired!!!  This part here will also kill a lot of smaller ISP because the law requires a lot more commercialized hardware then what is typically required for being a ISP.

    Part 3 gives the police new powers such as the ability to get something called "transmission data warrants" that would grant real-time access to all the information generated during the creation, transmission or reception of a communication including the type, direction, time, duration, origin, destination or termination of the communication.

    Police could then obtain a "preservation order" to require ISPs to preserve subscriber information, including specific communication information, for 90 days.  Then having obtained and preserved the data, production orders can be used to require the disclosure of specified communications or transmission data. 

    This puts ISP's in a weird situation.  While they should actively work with law enforcement in collecting and disclosing the subscriber information, (only after due process with reasonable suspicion or cause) they could also be prohibited from disclosing the disclosures. Courts could restrict them from informing subscribers that they have been subject to surveillance and/or information disclosures.

    A few would argue that it is important to ensure that law enforcement has the necessary tools to address online crime issues.  Yet these changes would come at a huge financial and privacy cost. The excuse for this is that police can only gather limited evidence and that the current legal framework has impeded important police work.

    I would argue not all this is necessary.  I feel people should be required to get a warrant for the Data Transmissions first.  As for ISP's keeping track of "My Information" I don't think I'll be doing any kind of online banking in the future if this is what's going to happen.  It is going to be to easy for a person to get my information from the ISP's.  Not to mention all the security requirements I would want to prevent "unauthorized" use of the computer hardware that can do the Man In the Middle attacks. I know if I were a tech savvy crook, after this law were passed I would try get a job at an ISP.  You could access hundreds of thousands of people's personal information with no trouble.  Work a night shift, get a persons facebook username and password, online baking information.  If I were a crook, this is everything I would be hoping for and more.  The best part about this from the crooks point of view is I could write a program or virus compromise the ISP's systems and have all the traffic route though 50 billion servers. It's the perfect crime.

    <sarcasm>I'm so glad our politicians are here to protect us. They have indeed thought this through</sarcasm>

    So here are changes that should be made to the following 3 laws.  Part 1 needs to change where you need to get a court order to track data.  Data gathering should be limited to that account and should only be stored for the person who the court order is for.  NOT TRACKED FOR EVERYBODY AND KEPT FOR MONTHS!!!  Part 2 needs to be changed so Police have to provide a special server for doing the Man in the middle attack.  Police have their own IT personnel who are required to have background checks done, etc.  They should be providing a server to the ISP's but only when a warrant has been issued to track an account.  I feel better about police only having access to the server then the ISP staff who have what kind of background????  Part 3 is a no brainier.  Yes we need these warrants we have been saying that for years but the way this is setup is all screwed up and backwards.  WARRANT FIRST!!!! then you can do the rest of the stuff not the other way around.  Remember innocent before guilty?



    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    My letter about metered internet

    Dear Mr. Rathgeber and Mr. Clement,

    I am writing this to express my extreme displeasure about the current ruling by the CRTC to allow basically metered internet in Canada.  First off the CRTC is a regulator for television and radio, it has vested interest in seeing those formats continue and therefore is not in a position to make a ruling like this.  Also the costs for bandwidth from companies such as Telus, Rogers, Shaw and Bell is almost next to nothing, and are already gorging the consumer when it comes to "Internet Costs". 

    In many forward thinking countries Internet Access has been made a human rights (In case your out of touch you can read about it on Wikipedia).  Essentially if you want to kill all 21st century innovation you will allow this ruling to stand. If you need an expaination of why allowing this ruling to stand it will kill all Innovation in Canada here it is.  First off you will never see any kind of "Facebook" be created in Canada, the cost to host such a website on a home or small business server will be to expensive if it ever caught on and took off.  Small Print shops would no longer be able to afford to host FTP servers for clients to send them files.  A proper 10' x 5' popup display that you see at tradeshows usually are around 1 - 2 gigabytes in size.  So say you do 6 a week on top of other print files that are say on average of 300 - 500mb you will quickly use up your quota and get a huge bill from one of the four large ISPs. 

    Now that you can get services like Netflix, online gaming with games such as WOW, Starcraft II, etc, you are talking about homes that use huge amounts of bandwidth.  Not to mention people that use offsite backup companies such as carbonite. Here is what the current Bell Bandwidth Cap the Telus Caps and Shaw Caps are.  I implore you to over turn this ruling because it is the wrong ruling for Canada.  It is easy to see how someone can over their bandwidth cap, and what's waiting for us consumers who are unaware we are approaching or have surpassed our bandwidth limit?   A Huge Bill which has been billed per gigabyte as compared to being moved to the next tier of service.

    I urge you, stand up for Canadians, Innovation in the long run is more important then short term monetary gain.

    Trevor Tye

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

    Friday, November 05, 2010

    Credit card security and why it's a joke

    Can you breath and walk? Guess what you can get a credit card. That right even with the "Economic Collapse" you can still get a credit card pretty easily. Also guess what you can use a credit card for (besides buying stuff)... That right ID. With no identifiable features it is accepted as a form of personal identification. As Air Canada learned that's not such a good idea.

    It's time we started demanding better. Credit cards should be if not more secure then our Driver's license in my opinion. They should have all of if not more security features. One of the major things that are missing from credit cards is Photo ID on the card with your signature. I'm not stopping their, there should be the holographic and UV security features as well to help stop fraud otherwise anyone with an inkjet printer and a laminator could make driver's license. Most credit cards are issued by your local bank; where they can securely take your picture so it's not that big of an issue for the banks to implement this.

    Considering the cost of fraud I am really surprised this is not already implemented. It is a pain in the butt for the customer to start however I think they will appreciate the security. Especially considering the "Chip" method in most debit and credit cards is mostly a joke. The Chip Encryption was hacked in 2008. So like a debit card if someone is watching you they get your pin, then takes your wallet, can then have a free shopping spree since photo ID is not required to use your credit card. FYI if you haven't signed the back of your credit card; you are voiding your terms of service with your credit card company.

    In a time where you can find out anything about anyone from social networks such as Facebook, blippy, and foursquare; if we don't demand better security we won't get it. It is a small inconvience for a big piece of mind. These security features should go along way to help prevent fraud and they should also be used on debit cards. I don't know about you but if we had a secure ID process for credit cards especially for verifing who is using them, I would feel better about using them.

    For more blog posts and podcasts please visit

    Posted via email from The OptionKey Blog

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