This is my first post to this blog. My name is Mark Gilbert, and I’m the new web developer at DragonSearch, and geek extraordinaire. I live and breathe code, technology, and technological advancements to present information via the web, through what everyone calls websites. Yes, I build them and I make them work. The purpose of my posts is to keep you informed about some of the latest happenings on the interwebs, as well as what has happened, and my personal take on the industry as a whole. I’ve been on the web since the mid 90’s, so I’ve had fair exposure to the internets through the dot com bubble, right through to today. Pop!
Firstly, I would like to let you know about an emerging technology called Wi-Fi Direct. Remember when Bluetooth was the big hype and rave? Well, this will replace it utilizing Wi-Fi signals that don’t require a Wi-Fi hub. Your devices will be able to create direct connections to each other much like how Bluetooth connections work but with a few added advantages, such as wider connection range, and the ability to group devices together. I believe that this is going to be the hot new thing, and you should expect this new buzz word to be around for, oh, let’s say the next five years or so, before the new next best thing comes out.
While we are on the subject of Wi-Fi, the twittersphere was taken by storm earlier this week with the announcement of a small utility called FireSheep. When loaded along with the required dependency software, this utility will run as a sidebar in your Firefox browser, and as users on your Wi-Fi network start to browse their favorite sites such as Twitter and Facebook, you can hijack their session and become them without having to log in. Now, before you go totally ballistic over the fact that another “script kiddy” has created another malicious tool, I would like you to pause a second and really look at the bigger picture here. Websites have gotten away with a single level of security for websites. That is to say, you have a username and password combination which, upon successful entry, lets you use the website according to the policies assigned to your username.
The reason this utility was created is to highlight the fact that the netwebs are a very insecure place in the hopes that, by shedding light on the problem, changes will be made to how security is implemented. The author states: “Websites have a responsibility to protect the people who depend on their services. They’ve been ignoring this responsibility for too long, and it’s time for everyone to demand a more secure web. My hope is that Firesheep will help the users win.” I certainly hope that the likes of Facebook a nd Twitter will take heed to how easy it is to implement this tool and make some severe changes for the better.
Appcelerator, creators of Titanium, have recently announced that eBay have invested nine million dollars in the company. Titanium is a 3rd party native application development tool that enables developers to create mobile applications which can then be published on different devices such as the Android and iPhone. It’s a multi-platform development application which allows developers to focus on developing rather than having to learn different programming languages for different deliveries. Now, up till a couple of months ago, there was a lot of ambiguity surrounding the terms and conditions for building applications to run on the iPhone. It was understood that 3rd party development tools could not be used when building iPhone apps. This changed through the announcement that 3rd party tools such as Titanium would be accepted development tools, and they wouldn’t go against any terms or contractual obligations. I think that it was through this clarification that Appcelerator was given the boost they needed to gain market share. They are going to be around for awhile, so be sure to become familiar with them.
Finally, best birthday wishes go out to ARPANET, the first implementation of the information super highway as we know it today. The very first transmission was sent over ARPANET on October 29, 1969, and was from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) to SRI (Stanford Research Institute). There were originally only four network nodes along with UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara), and the University of Utah. ARPANET was started by the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, now DARPA. Happy 41st Birthday!
Well, that’s all for today folks. Stay tuned for more technology happenings.