The Life of Josh

Computer Engineer, Security Consultant, and Tech Nerd.



Interview about Google Glass

Tonight I did an interview about Google Glass as it relates to Firefighting and EMS;

I think it went well. I had the questions ahead of time and had my notes up on my screen but at the beginning of the video I was stupidly staring at my image in the bottom right corner of my screen which resulted in my eyes looking closed. I caught on and soon you see my eyes more. I think I did pretty well. There was one point I meant to make but somehow it didn’t get said. For Firefighter use of a variant of Google Glass I forgot to say that there needs to be a way to handle swiping. I was thinking if there was a switch you could move that with your gloved hand. Aside from that I think it went well…

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Nest Learning Thermostat

Everyone knows I am completely hooked on new technology. I think technology to me is like shoes to many women. I see something amazing and have to try it. My tech of the day is the Nest Learning Thermostat. Check out this video and then tell me you don’t want one; (If you tell me you don’t want one you are lying.) The story behind the company is interesting as well.

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NewsBlur Subscriptions to share

To help my IT friends at my job I’m leaving, I’m trying to share things that will help them. Below is a link to my NewsBlur subscriptions. I have A LOT of Mac stuff in here. The NewsBlur system costs $2/month ($3 if you are feeling it is worth it and have spare $). It is extremely worthwhile especially since the demise of Google Reader. There’s also an iPhone and iPad app you can use on the go. The stuff in the Engineering – Mac feeds will help someone do most of what I do.

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Empowering End Users. Reducing IT workload.

Users having the freedom to fully use their computers even in an Enterprise. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this topic. Long ago when I began working in corporate IT I was taught that users can’t be trusted. They can’t possibly know what is good for their computer, and we must approve everything they do. We must basically suck all the fun out of the thing they use for perhaps 90% of their day. It used to make sense to me because I was always mostly a Windows guy at work while at home I was mostly a Mac and Linux guy. Where I always would get bent out of shape was when we would take Windows shortcomings and imagine the Macs had the same shortcoming. I’ll explain what I mean. Some of our users need admin rights of their machines. Because Windows, prior to UAC in Vista, was completely unsafe to run as an admin we made folks create a secondary account for admin reasons on their machine. Somehow on the Macs the same rule was in place even though OS X effectively had a better version of UAC before UAC even existed.

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Common Problem Repair system (CPRs) for Mac/Windows

Where I work I’m in charge of Desktop Engineering. We have a responsibility for every laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc… device in the environment at a very high level. We create the base images that go on the computer systems, we package the software that goes out to them. There is a staff of Desktop Support folks who will implement thing my group creates, and they also provide the direct support to the users at the company. Those Desktop Support folks see a wide range of issues. When they don’t know how to fix something they escalate the issue to my group.

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Social Media updates and me

It’s been so long since I posted last. Life got kinda crazy this past year. Before 2005 everyone knew me as a pretty social person, and I would try out every social network there was from Friendster to Orkut to MySpace, well, you get the idea. I used to even run a BBS in recent history. I’m going to start cleaning up my accounts that live all over the place and get back in to knowing more about how everything works. Playing with Social Media, gadgets, reading news sites… those things made me good at my job, and I honestly have been slacking. So here and there I’ll update my blog as I clean up my accounts and if I stumble across new and cool things I will most definitely post about them.

For my first update I’m cleaning up my and my LinkedIn pages. AboutMe is sort of like a business card online. You put a little bit of information about you, and links to all of the Social Media sites you are on. LinkedIn is like FaceBook but for business contacts. It’s a good way to keep in contact with co-workers who have left, and not have them see your embarrassing FaceBook posts. 🙂

So welcome back to me and maybe I’ll post something interesting. For now it’s just me updating things.

SmoothWall the Opensource Firewall

Now that I have my Actiontec FiOS router acting as a double bridge I am able to put devices on public IP space since I have 13 static IPs from Verizon. The problem is that I don’t really want to hang much on public IP space with no protection. It sounds ironic that I went through all that effort to double bridge only to hide devices, but it really does make sense. 🙂

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Verizon Droid and Eris evaluation

So at work I got to play with a Verizon Droid and an Eris phone. The Droid runs Android 2.0 and the Eris has Android 1.6. I had hopes we could use ActiveSync on them to connect to our Exchange environment. Sadly it seems like because we have a password policy in Exchange for mobile devices, the phones won’t get mail. Seems like the Global Address list isn’t available no matter what. All I could get on the Android 2.0 phone (I didn’t bother with the Eris since it’s an older OS) was my calendar. I don’t know why Google did this so half-assed, but Palm did the same thing with the Pre. We couldn’t get the Pre going with ActiveSync either unless we turned off the password policy. I don’t know if that is still the case for the Pre’s WebOS.

Do people really deploy Smart Phone devices with no password policy? Is anyone that stupid?

So we’ll continue to be a Blackberry / iPhone shop, and these 2 phones go back to Verizon. I really loved the Droid’s display, camera and it was fast. I was not a fan of the weight, dimensions, and flat keyboard. It felt heavy and awkward to hold. The iPhone is still king for me as far as Smart Phones even if AT&T sucks ass for voice service.


Website is back

So for a while I have had a really crummy website on Google. I used to have a information filled website long ago. I got tired of running all the equipment at home and honestly once I was married I have never again had the free time to just screw around with operating systems as much as I used to. I had seen some Squarespace ads on some Podcasts I watch and since it seems like a powerful, but simple platform I thought I would give it a whirl again to have a useful site. I imported my blog from Blogger so all my stuff is here which is nice.

Two complaints about porting blogs to Squarespace;

  1. Pictures don’t actually import. Sure if you look at my blog entries you’ll see pictures, but if you look at the locations of the pictures you will see they are still stored at Google. I’ll have to see which pictures I care about and change that.
  2. Don’t try to import your Blogger blog using a GoogleApps email address. You’ll get an error every time. Just use a address that is associated with your GoogleApps email though and you will be fine.

Minor things really. It has been stupid simple to set this up. Once I get my content posted again like “A tale of 2 HALs” and other useful articles then I’ll try and dabble in editing the theme used for the site.

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