Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Hacker Among Us

Three Hundred Seventy First Post: A Hacker Among Us

Well at Constructor’s Corner we have a lot of lurkers. Which is a good thing. At least some are seeing the site. I always wanted people to take interest in the message board. It seemed that messages were few and far between. The site had potential. It just need some participation.

Well you may have noticed that the message board is down. Apparently someone did take interest in the message board. On September 23, I noticed that someone had hacked the message board. It had been previously closed to only members because someone was sending junk, spam links.

Well it may not seem like a step forward for Constructor’s Corner, but it is. Someone has seen my site. That person is tech savvy. So maybe although they hack the board, they are creative and can appreciate some of the ideas that Constructor’s Corner presents. Secondly, it alerts me that I have to consider computer security as a factor when managing my web sites. Updates, privileges, and joining the website are all important when considering security.

Of course I have a recommendation for the hacker. Use your talents productively. Constructor’s Corner is all about ideas and sharing knowledge. I do not want any spam or other garbage on my site. There are better hacks out there to be made. There are better things to do with your hacking ability.

So until Constructor’s Corner only has white hat hackers... May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Golden Book of Trig Treasures

Three Hundred Seventieth Post: Golden Book of Trig Treasures

Ok so it is once again to start school. I have read in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Sunday that more and more classes are being taken earlier. The article said that this is especially true of the math and sciences and also reading among Kindergarten children. The article said this is great preparation for colleges. In fact the article continued, colleges actually look for AP and college credits. There was one draw back in the opinion of one expert that the students were having extra work at an earlier and faster rate and weren’t retaining the information.

Monday’s followup quoted a teacher saying that some things cannot be measured, and some of the things that are measured aren’t important. All that the new seems to report is that America is behind in education. What is my humble opinion? I think that most schools are just fine. I think back to my English, math, science, social science, art and humanities they adequately prepared me for college.

However there was one thing that colleges have that Elementary and Secondary schools don’t. That is a desire to learn with motivated, maybe even competitive students.

But is this why education is failing. This newspaper article came out September 1st. And I wasn’t happy with the way this essay was going. I believe that for the most part education is not failing. It is just be measured wrong. I’ll explain with a story.

Right now I am going to produce a small math journal that I will print at Kinko’s or Staples. However this is not the first math book I have made. Back in 1995 I was busy constructing a book in my math class called “The Golden Book of Trig Treasures.” The book was modest made of folded sheets of 8.5" by 11" paper. But knowing you can’t judge a book by its cover, this book would hold all the important information that was learned throughout the semester. It was a reference summing up the material. So much information that it couldn’t be crammed in a study session a night before the test.

But being like the majority (not all) the students in the class I did not know the true value of this book. Now I think of it as privileged knowledge similar to a book of magical spells in medieval times. A book that would be kept secret and could open doors to other worlds. Something that may even determine who rules the World.

The tragedy of the class is how few students respected the power of the Trig Treasures book. In fact it was important as the medieval spell book. Knowledge is power and education builds that power. What the student rights in the book is going to influence their education and therefore their life.

But there is something else to note about this Trig class. Kids (students) will complain when material is too easy but when challenged they are over concerned with their grade.

This brings up a little information my guidance counselor gave me. The advice is simple and common sense, but few believe it. He told me that it would be better to take a hard course and get a C and maybe even a high D and learn something than to waste time in a study hall. And he is right. But that isn’t the popular choice among students especially those who are used to getting higher grades.

Well that is all for now, but I may revisit the subject in future posts. But until then... May the Creative Force be with You