Relying On Technology

When I arrived at work this morning, I tried to open Outlook only to have it pop up and tell me it couldn’t open. A long, rambling error message spouted on and on about the fact that Outlook couldn’t open because it couldn’t communicate with the Exchange server. First of all, I’m lost as to why Outlook can’t even open when it’s unable to communicate with the server. How does that stop Outlook from working altogether? Regardless, I couldn’t access the Exchange server through the Webmail interface, either, as the entire server was down.

Weak Article From Wired

I was checking out my Yahoo! homepage this evening when I came across a “news” story with a title that interested me. I clicked on it, and came to an article on Wired called “Five Gadgets That Were Killed by the Cellphone.” I was very interested to see what gadgets would be on the list.

Unfortunately, however, the author took a lot of liberty with the term “killed.” Three of the gadgets on his list are far from dead. One of them never really had much of a market share to begin with, and the last was more integrated with cellphones than killed by them.

The comments to the article do my feelings quite a bit of justice, but I thought I’d break things down from my perspective, anyway.

FTP vs. SFTP

It’s recently come to my attention that FTP (file transfer protocol) can cause some serious security concerns when developing and maintaining a Web site. Apparently, when files are uploaded or downloaded via FTP, all ASCII files are transferred as plain text. Therefore, anyone trying to spy on you through your FTP connection can easily see the content of any files you upload (including all of your passwords, etc. that you might have embedded in your files). Apparently, even the username and password you use to login to your FTP server are sent as plain text, making it rather easy for someone to pick those up while spying on you, as well.