#300 Big Celebration, HBGary, Technical Training

300th show celebration with a plethora of recordings from NosillaCastaways from across the globe including Katie Floyd, Victor Cajiao, the nicest guy in the world Barry Fulk, Kirschen, the G-Men Gaz and Guy, George from Tulsa, David from Japan, Michelle, Chris Eschweiler, Paul from Switzerland, Mr. Gadget Bruce Barr, Lola from nowhere in particular, Dr. Robert Carter, Greg from Blue Mango, the MacCraic Lads Dave and Justin, Allister Jenks from New Zealand, Rose from Hobart, Knightwise from Belgium, Bart and Steve from home. In Dumb Question Corner, Ken Wolf’s friend Professor Albert asks what the tilde is and what it’s for. We welcome new sponsor Smile from smilesoftware.com. In Security Lite we’ll hear the story of Anonymous vs. HBGary and how they didn’t follow basic security practices you already know! In Chit Chat Across the Pond Elaine Giles of macbites.co.uk joins us to talk about the evolution of technical training over the years.

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Today is Sunday February 20th, 2011 and this is show number 300! woohoo! It’s finally here! When I first started this show, for probably the first couple of years I felt pretty much on my own. It required my energy to keep the ball rolling, every week coming up with new ideas. Nowadays I feel like the NosillaCastaways have made it into a life form. People send in fantastic reviews, they write in questions that I really enjoy answering, they suggest products for me to review, they do Chit Chat Across the Pond with me so I don’t have to think up stuff to talk about for the second half of the show.

The NosillaCastaways in the live chat are so dear, they entertain each other, they care about each other, they debate a wide variety of topics, and sometimes lean over and listen to me jabber. I also never realized what a big part of the show Steve would become. He started by just supporting me, buying me gadgets and making sure I had the time to get the show done, but now his work creating videos, doing recordings, and supporting the NosillaCastaways in the live chat makes him a huge part of the show too.

I also never take for granted the international family we have here, from Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, England, Ireland, Belgium…and that’s just to name a few. It seems like the NosillaCast has grown into something none of us could have ever predicted. I thank all of you for your support in creating the show and bringing such joy to me.

Now I swear to you I wrote that introduction before I heard the following recording from Steve, and he hadn’t read my intro before he did his recording. The similarities are practically spooky!

=========insert Steve==========

We have a great show this week filled with well wishers and weirdos who sent in audio recordings to commemorate the occasion. I think we should start with a couple of the well wishers right now (we’ll save the weirdos for later!

=======insert Katie=====
=======insert Victor 1===
=======insert Victor 2===
thanks Katie & Victor, both of you have been such great friends over the years. To the audience – if you ever wonder who I go to for tech help – Katie and Victor are at the top of the list!
=======insert Barry======
Barry is the nicest guy in the world, he drives everyone around at Blogworld and Macworld, I’m telling you, nicest guy in the world.

gfxCardStatus Part 3

I want to make a quick update here – last week Jane did a review of gfxCardStatus and I said I was really excited about it, but that it freaked me out when the screen flashed blue when it switched graphics cards. I wanted to give you one last comment – evidently that was some weird effect from being connected to my external monitor, all the times I’ve plugged or unplugged power I just get a simple little growl notification that the graphics card has been swapped from integrated from discrete. One last time, you can find gfxCardStatus at codykrieger.com

Speaking of Kirschen…
=======insert Kirschen=======
Yay! thanks Kirschen!

Dumb Question Corner

Ken Wolf sent in a dumb question from his pal Professor Albert, that is, well, rather unusual…
================insert Albert==========

(For those reading, Albert asks what the tilde is and what it’s for)
Well Professor, I’m delighted that you enjoy the show so much, your, um, exuberance, is very endearing. how could I not answer your question?

The tilde is the little squiggly line above the tab key on the left side on a Mac keyboard (~).

In computing, specifically in Unix-like operating systems, it’s a short way of saying your home directory. So if I want you to look in your home directory’s library folder, I would tell you to look in:
~/Library

I would use the tilde because I don’t know the name of your home folder. for all I know, your home directory could be called it could be ken, kenwolf,profal, or even dancingbunnies. So if I’m writing instructions to you I’d have a hard time describing it to you so using that tilde is efficient and clear.

It turns out you can actually use the tilde in the terminal as part of commands to mean your home directory name. So let’s say you’re buried down in:
dancingbunnies/Library/Preferences
you could navigate back up to your home directory by using the cd (change directory) command thusly:
cd ~

so as a way of describing someone’s home directory or actually navigating to your home directory, we use the ~ key. make sense Professor? and I’m flattered at all your praise…

Ok, it’s time for some weirdos (like Professor Al was normal?) so let’s dig in:
=======insert gmen========
Thanks guys, you rock! and I hope Kelly and Eric are proud, I think they would have been my biggest supporters. it’s very sweet of you to remember their influence on the show.

George’s weird video

George from Tulsa is a real dear, and he’s been such a great friend to the show in so many ways. I never know what we’re going to get when he sends something along, and this week it’s no different. This week he sent a video he created you can watch on podfeet.com, and the audio for me to play right here. And yes, he does fall into the weirdo pile. He needs no more introduction, let’s give a listen:

Using a Screen Reader? click here

Isn’t this a better place to meet than the Brimstone Bar?
No question. Nothing in hell burns as bright as the corporate soul.
Have you figured out what to do about that Pod foot Woman?
We have a plan, but it isn’t so easy to explain.
Get started. Master wants me to start a plague in India.
Remember when we thought she would just Pod Fade?
But she’s about to do Episode 300!
I had all her recorded episodes run through the Comparative Relationship Analytic Profiler.
Crap ? What did it tell you?
Most of her motto phrase proved 100 per cent truthful. It is a technolgy geek podcast with a MacIntosh bias. But there’s not much “ever so slight” about that MacIntosh bias. About the only good things she says about the Master’s operating system is that she loves Excel Pivot Tables and prefers how she can move and resize onscreen windows.
One of the Master’s better inventions, pivot tables. Those, and Power Point.
Oh, she loathes Power Point. Her love of Pivot Tables just adds a veneer of credibility to her obvious Mac bias.
Too bad about Power Point. The Master says more human time and energy has been wasted by Power Point than even by Angry Birds and Windows reboots combined.
You know the Master uses Pivot Tables.
But strapping poor souls to pivot tables then rotating them 90 degrees is a different kind of torture than using Excel.
True, so bloody true.
So tell me about that plan you mentioned..
Righto. It’s already working. Remember that sinner we offered another chance upstairs if he would work for us at Apple?
You mean the guy who invented the “blue screen of death?”
One and the same. He’s embedded at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, and making great progress.
What’s he done?
For one thing, he invented the Application store, and Apple is now erratically reviewing applications for both its computers and mobile devices, driving developers nuts. Then it charges developers thirty per cent when an Application is admitted into the APP store. — Just last week, he used that model to demand thirty per cent from any content played on Apple devices, even if the content is purchased at other stores, like Amazon or Sony.
Ah. Arrogance and greed. So how’s that going to help us with the Sheridan woman?
She’s only important as long as people believe in Apple. W As arrogance and greed destroy Apple, she will be neutralized.
Excellent! Anyting else on the agenda?
Yes, just one thing. We’ve had a setback at Google.
How could that be, we had them in the bag.
Things change. Remember those guys who invented the Don’t Be Evil Motto? They are back. We’ll need a new plan there.
The Master will NOT be pleased.
I know, but he’s just sewn up Nokia, so he’s in as good a mood as I’ve seen him since the Inquisition.
I guess it is time to face the music.

=======================
Well George, that was different. Definitely different. Thanks for the entertainment!

Let’s clean our palette with a contribution from Japan – David Bogdan sent in a very short message…in Japanese, so listen closely:
===insert David Japan====
I don’t know what you said, David but it sure sounded cool!

=====insert Michelle and then ChrisE and Paul======
Thanks Michelle and Chris and Paul – I love all the different renditions!

Now to prove that my bias is only EVER so slight…
========insert Bruce=========
I love that we have friends from all technologies – I wish I knew more Linux, it’s fun to dabble but I’m just not good at it yet.

Text Expander

I’d like to welcome a new sponsor to the show – Smile from smilesoftware.com! It will be really easy to do ads for these guys because I’m ADDICTED to TextExpander. But wait! what problem does it solve? Do you write anything repetitively? Do you sign your name to emails? Do you write the name of your company? Do you give people your email address or phone number? do you answer the same question over and over again? do you start emails with the same introduction every time? Well quit wasting time typing all that stuff out and use TextExpander instead. All you do is assign a snippet of text to expand into the full phrase. Over the coming weeks I’ll give you examples that might help you realize how much time you could save using TextExpander. Heck, I even have a snippet for writing TextExpander! I type t e ; and it expands automatically and makes a fun little sound. You can find TextExpander at smilesoftware.com and for the next month if you use the coupon code NOSILLACAST211 you’ll get 20% off the purchase price of most of the fine products from Smile. This coupon is only good till March 15th, 2011 so get while the price is good!

Let’s hear from some more well wishers:
=====insert Lola========
Lola I think you really nailed the “EVER” part! Thanks so much for the well wishes!
=====insert Dr. Robert====
Thanks Robert – it’s so easy to be inclusive, seems almost like it would be harder to shut people out! I’ve gained so much from all of you guiding us sightlings along to understand your world and what amazing things you all accomplish. In an act of irony, you’ve opened our eyes.
=========insert Greg======
Poor Greg, he does try. Its’a good thing he’s a terrific programmer and marketer, if ScreenSteps depended on his audio recording talents we’d all be in trouble! He didn’t even get the name of my show right! Speaking of ScreenSteps…

ScreenSteps

Last week I talked about a cool new free service called ScreenSteps.me. The idea is that after you make a cool lesson for someone, you really might want a place to put it online so you could link to it in a message board or an email instead of someone having to download an attachment. Well Kirschen saw immediately how she could use that in her blog. She wrote a post over at freerangecoder.com where she described her discovery of how to enter the Apple command key into text. The instructions themselves would have cluttered up her clean blog look, so she put them on ScreenSteps.me and simply linked over to them. I put a link to Kirschen’s ScreenSteps.me page so you can see how good it looks. All Kirschen had to do to make that happen was to sign up for a free account, and then click the share button in ScreenSteps. If you’d like to give ScreenSteps a free 30 day trial, check it out over at ScreenSteps.com and don’t forget my coupon code NOSILLA for 25% off the purchase price of ScreenSteps Desktop Standard or Pro!

Now the next recording I was frightened to play, it’s from the Maccraic lads, David and Justin. They have been known to step over the line for a family friendly podcast, but I pre-screened this and I promise it’s safe!
=====insert Maccraic====
See? they behaved! And I didn’t know guys that you learned from Podcasting on Podcasting. Now I guess there are those who would blame me for what you guys do. I’ll have to think about that.

Show number 300 would not be complete without a recording from the First Officer of the NosillaCastaways.
===insert Rose====
I think Rose put it best, she explained what the community here is all about. It’s a warm fuzzy feeling you get by being a NosillaCastaway, and at the same time costs you a lot of money buying tech toys and traveling!

====insert jane====
====insert Allister===

And now for our second to last recording, this one is from Knightwise in Belgium. I must warn you that as he is wont to do, he goes off the rails in the middle, you’ll think he’s lost what little mind he had to start with, but trust me he brings it all together and it’s simply wonderful.

=======insert KW========

So now Honda Bob isn’t just locally known, isn’t just internationally known, isn’t just intergalactically known, he’s a super hero too!

I decided to save Bart for the very end:
=====insert Bart===========

As Steve said at the beginning of the show, I held my hand to my heart when I heard his voice on the recording, I miss him so much. I know, I talk to him from time to time, we’ve even done FaceTimes to goof around which is fantastic, but somehow hearing him on a recording really got to me. I’m glad he checked in, and I’m glad there’s a plan to get him to get him well, even though it’s taken way way way longer than we would have hoped.

Security Lite

Before we get to Chit Chat Across the Pond we HAVE to remember Security Lite this week! I was remiss last week but I’m back on my game. Adobe has been busy – two weeks ago they released updates for Reader and Acrobat for Windows, Macintosh and Unix. It closes vulnerabilities that would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code, cause a denial-of-service condition, operate with escalated privileges, or conduct cross-site scripting attacks. Yikes – that’s your quadfecta right there. As if that weren’t enough a few days later they updated Flash Player for Windows, Mac, Linux, and even Solaris for the same kind of exploit possibilities. So pretty much any kind of computer you’re running, update any Adobe software you’ve got! Ok, maybe not Photoshop, but everything else.

Real Networks is updating their Real Player for Windows again, interesting that they’re still working on that one. If for some reason you’re still using it, run the updates, and if not, uninstall it!

Oracle released a critical patch for Java SE with twenty one security fixes! The update is to for Windows, Solaris and Linux, but evidently not OSX. If Bart were here I’d ask him why it didn’t affect the Mac but for now I’ll just be ignorantly happy about it.

Probably the most interesting security story this week was the attack by the group known as Anonymous against security firm HBGary. This is a story of intrigue, corporate espionage, sloppy security and some good lessons for all of us. The only thing it seems to be missing is a love story! So here’s what happened. HBGary is a security firm, who had supposedly conducted research on the group Anonymous, which is a loosely connected group of people who stand by waiting to attack people and companies their leaders deem worthy of attack. They’ve grown in notoriety in their efforts to attack any company that fights Wikileaks.

So here we have HBGary, a company whose business is security, going after Anonymous. They had planned to reveal their research at a security conference in San Francisco this week. Evidently Anonymous got wind of it, and decided to go on the attack, to try and break into the walls of HBGary. Now one would assume that a security firm would be impenetrable, right? Well, it turns out that HBGary committed every single mistake Bart has been trying to teach us!

How many times has Bart reminded us to update WordPress when the updates come out? There’s a reason for that – Content Management Systems like WordPress use databases, and databases can be vulnerable to a thing called SQL injection. If you use a big CMS like WordPress, it’s being tested and analyzed by massive numbers of people, and frequent security updates come out as a result. HBGary made a mistake here, and used a little known CMS, which wasn’t being updated and Anonymous was able to break in because of that.

The second mistake they made was not being aware of phishing attacks using social engineering. A member of Anonymous was actually able to convince someone over the phone to lower the defenses of their firewall by pretending to be someone internal to the company. This is the most insidious problem because you have to train all of your employees and remind them constantly of the dangers of social engineering.

And finally, once they got the firewalls down, they were able to uncover passwords, and the passwords they discovered were reused so they were able to dig deeper and deeper into more and more systems at HBGary. Needelss to say this didn’t turn out well for HBGary at all.

I hope I’m smarter and more vigilant than the people at HBGary because of years of listening to Bart tell us to update WordPress, use secure passwords (with tools like LastPass and OnePassword) and to be ever vigilant to human requests for information they shouldn’t be requesting. If you’d like to read more detail, I put a link in the shownotes to the article at The Register. Well for security that was pretty fun, but let’s really have fun and get into Chit Chat Across the Pond.

Chit Chat Across the Pond

Elaine Giles from macbites.co.uk joins us this week to talk about the evolution of technical training over the years.
A Career Born Out of Need
– Training was very technical and mostly formal before the era of a “PC” on every desktop
– Explosion of “PC” usage in the workplace created a demand for a bridge between the uber geeky techs and the end users
– The techs concentrated on system installs and maintenance but had very limited experience with end user software and people
– In those early days many courses were classroom based “Introduction to …” classes
– It wasn’t uncommon to have a roomful of trainees/delegates all of whom had never even touched a “PC” before
– Systems were often DOS based, possibly with Windows 3.1/3.11
– WordPerfect and Lotus 123 were probably the first applications to have mass marketed training courses developed for them
Types of Training
– Classroom
– One-to-one
– Floor Walking
– Consultancy
– Virtual
– eLearning
Evolving Landscape
– Upgrade Courses
– Conversion Courses
– Feature driven training v. Task based training
– Solution based training
Exponential Growth
– Y2K tipping point
– “Become a trainer in a week” bootcamps
– Delivery is a skill all on it’s own
– People management
– Analyzing requirements
– Flexible explanations
Training the Trainer
– Microsoft Certifications
– Technical
– End User
– Vendor Specific Networking Certifications
– IITT
Career Evolution
– A trainer needs a continuing self development schedule
– Infinitely flexible
The New Era
– Separation of skills
– Training Needs Analysis
– Instructional Design
– eLearning – OnDemand Learning
– Mobile Learning
– Social Training
– Virtual Training
The Future
– Increased expectations
– Workflow Based Solutions
– More social
– Less prescriptive
– Broader range of skills
– Hacking solutions
You can find more about Elaine at elainegiles.co.uk, macbites.co.uk, and slideiq.com.

That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsors for helping to pay the bills: ScreenSteps, Smile, and of course Honda Bob. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at allison@podfeet.com, follow me on twitter at twitter.com/podfeet. If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

4 thoughts on “#300 Big Celebration, HBGary, Technical Training

  1. […] Elaine on Nosillacast […]

  2. Chris (CalMiKy on Twitter) - February 23, 2011

    Just listened to #300 and congrats. I plan to be listening to the promised next 300 shows which will take you to November 20, 2016!

  3. podfeet - February 23, 2011

    ok, I’m holding you to it then, see you in 2016!

  4. JonnySchon - March 1, 2011

    Happy 300th show, looking forward to the next 300! Congratulations 🙂

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