Can we really trust IT?


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Message 1363916 - Posted: 3 May 2013, 12:31:41 UTC

Now here's some excellent initiative that should send them to the top of their class:


Alaska phishing pupils take over classroom computers

A group of pupils at a middle school in Alaska took control of their classroom computers after phishing for administrator privileges.

They asked teachers at Schoenbar Middle School, for 12 to 13-year-olds, to enter admin names and passwords to accept a false software update...

The pupils used those details to access and control classmates' PCs...




What that really shows is just how fatally flawed is our present system of username/passwords and being foisted with external updates... And yet...

Ready to get 0wned?...


IT is what we make it...
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Message 1363928 - Posted: 3 May 2013, 13:00:29 UTC

There's a good lesson don't let the kids at your computer ....lol

Smart little buggers
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Message 1363987 - Posted: 3 May 2013, 15:39:03 UTC - in response to Message 1363916.

Now here's some excellent initiative that should send them to the top of their class:


Alaska phishing pupils take over classroom computers

A group of pupils at a middle school in Alaska took control of their classroom computers after phishing for administrator privileges.

They asked teachers at Schoenbar Middle School, for 12 to 13-year-olds, to enter admin names and passwords to accept a false software update...

The pupils used those details to access and control classmates' PCs...




What that really shows is just how fatally flawed is our present system of username/passwords and being foisted with external updates... And yet...

Ready to get 0wned?...


IT is what we make it...
Martin


Or how stupid the teachers were.
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Message 1364154 - Posted: 3 May 2013, 22:18:02 UTC - in response to Message 1363987.

Or how stupid the teachers were.

And there is quite a problem...

There are certainly some very good and very dedicated teachers.

And then again, there are many that are teachers simply because they cannot do anything else...


We really do need to get a lot more serious about education... For all our futures. The RasPi is one unofficial initiative that has literally exploded into existence due to gaping inadequacies elsewhere in IT education for example...


IT is what we make it...
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Message 1364326 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 8:24:10 UTC

due to gaping inadequacies elsewhere in IT education for example...

We went all though this a year ago Martin. Some educationalists are saying the we should be teaching computer science in schools, but that is not what the employers want. Colleges scrapped the ECDL because the government took away the funding and replaced it with "Train to Gain" which was a disaster. Employers want people who can use MS Office on Monday morning to at least L2, without needing in house training, that is what the ECDL gave them. What is the point of people leaving school or college with an HNC/D in computer studies, when they cant get a job? Being able to program in Java is all very clever but it doesn't pay the bills if you cant use a simple spreadsheet!

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Message 1364347 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 10:12:48 UTC - in response to Message 1364326.

due to gaping inadequacies elsewhere in IT education for example...

We went all though this a year ago Martin. Some educationalists are saying the we should be teaching computer science in schools, but that is not what the employers want. Colleges scrapped the ECDL because the government took away the funding and replaced it with "Train to Gain" which was a disaster. Employers want people who can use MS Office on Monday morning to at least L2, without needing in house training, that is what the ECDL gave them. What is the point of people leaving school or college with an HNC/D in computer studies, when they cant get a job? Being able to program in Java is all very clever but it doesn't pay the bills if you cant use a simple spreadsheet!


What was actually needed when the employers said they wanted wanted MS Office users and not programmers was for all students from day one being taught how to use a computer and essential programs and a separate Computer Science subject.

And from experience I would say that a lot of those that teach MS Office do not have enough knowledge to teach it. My neighbour "teaches" word processing, she doesn't she teaches typing on a computer.

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Message 1364352 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 10:45:26 UTC

What was actually needed when the employers said they wanted wanted MS Office users and not programmers was for all students from day one being taught how to use a computer and essential programs and a separate Computer Science subject.

Correct.

And from experience I would say that a lot of those that teach MS Office do not have enough knowledge to teach it. My neighbour "teaches" word processing, she doesn't she teaches typing on a computer.

I taught ECDL for 8 years, both at L2 and the advanced stuff at L3, which I had passed myself. I also have a Microsoft Word Expert certificate. In official paid FE positions, you can't teach what you haven't passed yourself with paperwork to prove it, nor can you either without a teachers qualification. I have a Diploma in Teaching IT.

It sounds like to me that all your neighbour does is just instruct in basic keyboard skills and that's it. If people want to pay her money for that then I've no sympathy for them. I hope she doesn't advertise publicly else she ought to be reported to trading Standards.

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Message 1364373 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 13:01:12 UTC - in response to Message 1364326.
Last modified: 4 May 2013, 13:23:11 UTC

... due to gaping inadequacies elsewhere in IT education for example...

We went all though this a year ago Martin.

And our government last year seems to have acknowledged "ICT" teaching isn't working well enough... A problem of the 'technology' aspect being lost and the 'communication/computers' aspect being completely lost due to no specialist teachers with no specialist focus on such a fundamental skill?

But what has happened since?


Some educationalists are saying the we should be teaching computer science in schools, but that is not what the employers want. ... Employers want people who can use MS Office on Monday morning...

That's what Microsoft Marketing has brainwashed and bamboozled everyone into with massive marketing schemes and 'cheap deals' for schools and students to forever blind them for life into the Microsoft Marketing religion. Apple has had some success with that also.

What is actually wanted and what is really needed is for people to be educated so that they can use ANY office application and ANY "IT" from the get-go on Monday morning.

That is, you need to teach the underlying principles and demonstrate those principles on multiple software packages rather than blindly creating pre-programmed monkeys who are lost if a menu item is a slightly different name or is in a slightly different place. There should be no problem for anyone to use for the first time Monday morning at a new employer ANY of:

    # Calligra Suite
    # Apache OpenOffice (formerly known as OpenOffice.org)
    # LibreOffice
    # Hancom Office Suite & ThinkFree Office
    # Kingsoft Office
    # SoftMaker Office
    # Ability Office
    # Breadbox Office
    # EasyOffice
    # EIOffice (Evermore Integrated Office)
    # Framework
    # Gobe Productive
    # Ichitaro JUST Suite 2008
    # IBM Lotus SmartSuite — For Windows 9x, NT, 2000 and XP only
    # Microsoft Office
    # Microsoft Works
    # WordPerfect Office
    # Breadbox Office
    # Corel WordPerfect for DOS
    # NeoOffice
    # iWork
    # MarinerPak
    # Microsoft Office for Mac
    # Microsoft Works
    # AUIS
    # Siag Office
    # Interleaf
    # Aster*x
    # Documents To Go
    # Google Docs
    # Kingsoft Office
    # Picsel Smart Office
    # Polaris Office
    # QuickOffice, QuickOffice HD Pro
    # SoftMaker Office
    # ThinkFree Office Mobile
    # Kingsoft Office Suite
    # ContactOffice
    # Google Docs
    # Windows Live Office
    # Zoho Office Suite
    # Feng Office
    # Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware
    # ShareOffice
    # Simdesk
    # ThinkFree Office
    # AppleWorks
    # IBM Lotus Symphony
    # IBM Works
    # Island Office
    # Jambo OpenOffice
    # Lotus Symphony
    # Lotus Jazz
    # Open Access
    # Q&A
    # StarOffice



See: Wikipedia - List of office suites

The underlying principles should be taught of what are and how they work of "GUI", "WYSIWIG", different views of the same data, underlying concepts such as files, filesystems and hierarchy, versions, temporary workspaces, clipboard, editor layers and different views, and so on...

Then, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE SOFTWARE IS CALLED, anyone can use any software for whatever features it offers.

We really do need to get away from the "It's not Microsoft XP SP2 so I don't know what to do" zombies.


Being able to program in Java is all very clever but it doesn't pay the bills if you cant use a simple spreadsheet!

Hopefully, if you're aware of programming, you'll already be fully aware of what a spreadsheet is, what sort of things it can do, and knock up in a few minutes to reformat a ".csv" file to do whatever business cleverness is required without suffering the turgid mess that is Microsoft "VBA"...


Note: You need to be aware of some programming concepts just merely to format these postings on this forum...


We've been ridiculously stifled for far far too long whereby it is supposedly illegal(!) to program a bought computer (nasty hacking eh?) or at the very least, the software to do any programming is overly expensive and discouraged. Note how certain vendors are now maneuvering for 'consumers' not now even being allowed to own their own bought hardware to do with as they please... (All under the guise of supposed 'IP rights'...)


Wheee... Is that why the Raspberry Pi has literally exploded into existence to wipe the corporate silliness out of our homes and schools?...


IT is what the people make it...
Martin
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Message 1364376 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 13:13:37 UTC - in response to Message 1364347.

What was actually needed when the employers said they wanted wanted MS Office users and not programmers was for all students from day one being taught how to use a computer and essential programs and a separate Computer Science subject.

Agreed. Teach the principles so that any tool of a certain type can be used.


And from experience I would say that a lot of those that teach MS Office do not have enough knowledge to teach it. My neighbour "teaches" word processing, she doesn't she teaches typing on a computer.

Unfortunately (cunningly?), part of the Marketing Myth is that a certain manufacturer's software is 'so simple and easy to use' that no training should be needed.

Fantastic... No training costs for the bosses.

The painful cost is that everyone forever inefficiently bumbles along lost and unsure and unhappy with IT...


IT is what we make it...
Martin

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Message 1364527 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 19:49:09 UTC

That is, you need to teach the underlying principles and demonstrate those principles on multiple software packages rather than blindly creating pre-programmed monkeys who are lost if a menu item is a slightly different name or is in a slightly different place.

Hold on there Martin. I am just going to have to challenge you on that one. A few years ago, a self important nonentity of a Manager took it upon himself to unilaterally decide to upgrade our College From Office 2003 to 2007 over the Summer recess without any warning. As you will know that was a sea change with the new ribbon menus.

The name ribbon was introduced by Microsoft in Microsoft Office 2007, although similar layouts of controls had existed in previous software from other vendors. The considerable redesign of the Office user interface caused a backlash and a rejection from some users of previous versions of Microsoft products, as well as from developers because of concerns about copyright and patents.

We had to spend hours and hours re-writing and printing all of our handouts that had screen dumps of the older version. And then teach the students the new version, which they hated. It was a total nightmare, and I wrote to the Principal complaining with a copy to the union. Of course nothing was done about it, although he did take early retirement a couple of years later. Damn good job too!

You also ought to know that the average user only uses probably 20% of the power of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Access. To do more than that you need to go on advanced training courses. Windows comes with an inbuilt word processor called Wordpad and that does what most people want anyway. Teaching the basic principles is fine, until you get Software companies run by Marketing Managers who insist on being new and different every 3 years in the mistaken belief that it is what the customers want, coupled with maverick educationalists, who should have been sacked immediately for incompetence.

Rant over, for the meantime ....

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Message 1364537 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 20:02:04 UTC

Well ranted Chris.
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Message 1364540 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 20:04:07 UTC

Thank you young Sir, it did touch a nerve!!

:-))

Message 1364543 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 20:13:52 UTC

Sacked FO IncOmpetence.

Dat Be Funny.

Bound For It.
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Message 1364562 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 20:33:53 UTC - in response to Message 1364527.

Teaching the basic principles is fine, until you get Software companies run by Marketing Managers who insist on being new and different every 3 years in the mistaken belief that it is what the customers want, coupled with maverick educationalists, who should have been sacked immediately for incompetence.

What marketing person ever gave a rats ass about what the customer wants. It is what management wants and that is a fatter profit. New model every year, just like cars. Incompatible parts, er files, to force upgrades. Damn well can't build something that doesn't break because you only sell it once it if doesn't break. If it breaks you can sell it a thousand times over. Profits, big fat profits.

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Message 1364564 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 20:35:53 UTC - in response to Message 1364562.

Profits, big fat profits.



Hence the Cloud......

.....what was known 20 years ago as online storage.
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Message 1364623 - Posted: 4 May 2013, 23:22:02 UTC

Sounds like your Employers should stop whinging and just train there staff with whatever software there using and stop expecting the gov to teach the students every dam program that's out there .
Here's a idea pass a rule /law telling the employer to spend at least 1% of there profits on training or they pay 2% more tax and then you won't here to much more whinging we did over here no more whinging from them now

Kids are much smarter than we give them credit . It was a 12yr old that broke into Pinegap here the U.S listening base in Alice springs used a el cheapo out dated Apple mac to get in then got all the way to sencetive files in the C.I.A system before they stoped him . You shore it's a good idea to teach them computer scince in high school ...........
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Message 1364731 - Posted: 5 May 2013, 10:24:51 UTC

Sounds like your Employers should stop whinging and just train there staff with whatever software there using and stop expecting the gov to teach the students every dam program that's out there .

Glen, 90% of companies in the UK have standardised on MSOffice because it is the most popular suite of programs, it has the power to do what they want, it is supported, and training is readily available everywhere. If a company has bespoke software designed for a specialised purpose, then of course a company would expect to have to provide training for it to new staff. The list of programs that Martin previously quoted that he seemed to think that ALL people should be able to cope with just like that, is just ludicrous, even I haven't heard of half of them.

Employers are fed up with school and college leavers who simply don't have the basics under their belt. They are not philanthropists or charities, they have a business to run, they want people that are employable from day one. They are not getting them because of head in the clouds educationalists who haven't got a clue about the real world out there in the marketplace. Only at Director level do managers have Secretaries that do all the work for them, typing pools, later word processing pools, went out in the 1980's. These days middle and junior managers, and everyone else is simply expected to be able to produce a normal business letter, compile a basic spreadsheet, or produce a simple graphics presentation.

Job interview for Junior Sales Manager

"I have an HND in Computer Science, I can program in Java and C++"

"Well bully for you son, can you give us a spreadsheet showing a forecast and a trendline of our future sales, and present that to the Board on the overhead projector next Friday?"

"Pardon?"

"Next candidate please"

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Message 1364738 - Posted: 5 May 2013, 10:51:53 UTC

For "next Friday" read "before lunch" - normally requested about 30minutes before lunch, and just before one's PC takes a nose dive due to the in-built stress detector tripping. The in-built stress detector being the one part of all PCs, printers and other IT hardware that works with absolute predictability...
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Message 1364749 - Posted: 5 May 2013, 11:48:05 UTC

Hehe +1, been there got the tee shirt :-)

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Message 1366863 - Posted: 11 May 2013, 20:00:57 UTC

2 interesting articles....

Android O/S on PC's?

"Boxed" software to disappear with in a decade?
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