My Geeky Christmas Gift Tag Decoder Challenge

Just like every other kid on earth, my brother and I would always try to find ways to peak at (or into) our Christmas presents before the big day.  One year, my dad wised up and instead of putting names on the tags, he numbered them and had some memorized formula to resolve it to its recipient.  Well Dad, thanks for the idea.  I’ve been doing it for years and it works great.  But this year, I decided to mix it up a little and make it into a “challenge” for my own boys. I never did figure out my dad’s formulas, but I suspect it didn’t differ to much from those that I’ve used over the years.   My formulas are usually very simple, and always resolve to either an even or odd number (the kids have figured this out).  Each year I change it up, so they cannot figure …keep reading …

Earning my GWEB Certification – SANS2013 and Test Prep

This past spring I attended the SANS2013 Conference at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, to sit for their DEV522 class; Defending Web Applications Security Essentials.  This class is meant to prepare the student for the GIAC Certified Web Application Defender (GWEB) Certification exam. SANS2013 This was the second SANS event that I’ve attended.  The first was SEC401, to prepare for my GSEC certification.  I was so impressed with the training and the event, I knew that I would be back.

“Naked Ed is Uncircumcised” and other Wisdom Gained from our Adult Getaway to Gainesville

In my ever growing collection of quotes and sayings that I try to memorize, the following always sticks out as one of my favorites; “True friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s being separated and nothing changes”.  This weekend showed, yet again how true this is. Jennifer and I try to do at least one “adult only” getaway per year with friends.  One year it was a cruise, this year it was a weekend trip to Gainesville.  Included in the planned activities were drinking, relaxing, eating, tubing, and kayaking.  We were successful, with all but the relaxing part.  We never sat still, but we had a blast.

Week Full of Whitewater–Our 1 Week Vacation in Murphy, North Carolina

Normally each summer, we try to take a two week vacation to somewhere new and exciting.  But with Jennifer’s new job, we had to limit ourselves to only one week; so we hit up the old faithful Smokey Mountains for a week crammed full of whitewater.  This is also our first family vacation without Trevor.  He decided to stay home and earn a little more money toward a new car.

Sprint FemtoCell Airave – My Philosophical Issue

A couple of weeks ago, my wife called up Sprint to complain about our phones dropping calls inside of our house. Their solution, is to provide us a free Femtocell device, which they call the Airave. A femtocell is a small, low-power cellular base station, typically designed for use in a home or small business. It utilizes your broadband connection allowing Sprint to extend service coverage for a limited number of devices. While I applaud Sprint for taking the initiative to "help" us, I have a fundamental issue with the concept of this device. I pay Sprint X dollars to provide me a service, namely mobile phone service. Now with this Femtocell device, I am required to foot the bill for the overhead and bandwidth for Sprint to provide the service I already pay them for. WHAT? The only party in this situation with a net gain is Sprint. They …keep reading …