Some Fun Holiday Reading: Fall on the Interwebs

Here are some interesting links you might have missed that came across my Twitter feed the last few months.  I figured you might want some light reading for the holidays.  
  1. @edbott – Why Windows 10 isn’t version 6 anymore and why it will probably work. Nice explainer from @drpizza 
  2. @WIRED – A definitive ranking of the most important characters in the “Hunger Games” franchise 
  3. @99u – What your passwords say about you: 
  4. @stevenbjohnson – Terrific backstory from @StevenLevy on the origins of “information wants to be free” (entirely news to me): 
  5. @ruthm – Windows 10, OneDrive sync and the art of difficult conversations | ZDNet 
  6. @RangerStation – How a Deaf Couple Had Their Baby Officially Registered with a Sign Name via @sharethis 
  7. @BBCNewsMagazine – This intricate pop-up medical textbook is nearly 500 years old 
  8. @beckynagel – The world’s biggest chocolate-maker says we’re running out of chocolate 
  9. @afreshspace – Digital tools for remote workers…some of my faves on here! 
  10. @MichaelBender – Amazing video on creative experience on #SurfacePro3 with #adobe. 
  11. @HeikeRitter – Freaking awesome! Mobile Azure Manager for Windows Phone is NOW available! Manage your #Azure stuff “on the go” 
  12. @windowsserver – Want to understand Active Directory Federation Services at a deeper level? Then this blog post is for you! #MSPFE 
  13. @bbnetman – Number 1 Reason to Upgrade to PowerShell 4.0: Desired State Configuration – Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog 
  14.  @2600 – A fairly decent BBC piece on the hacker world


The Summer of 2014: In Tweets

September starts to mark the end of summer for me in my mind, even if the weather might not completely agree. So as students return to school, the leaves begin to turn and all the fall fashions start to make their way into the storefronts, I bring you some highlights from this summer on the Internet, via tweets.


Social / Culture

Science / Tech

  • @WIRED (Aug 12) – How isolation units contain the world’s deadliest diseases
  • @adfskitteh (Aug 3) – RT @danpi: How do we relate Cloud services to food?  Pizza as a Service of course! => Best. Cloud. Analogy. EVER.
  • @noblewb (Aug 1) – NASA tested an impossible space engine and it somehow worked  via @verge
  • @engadget (Jul 27) – Microsoft explains quantum computing in a way we can all understand  
  • @macsound (Jun 18) – Interesting video focusing on technical data from Challenger. I’ve learned heaps.
  • @melodybliss (Jun 17) – Building the Part of Facebook No One Ever Sees

Yesterday’s Tweets

Yes, these really are tweets from yesterday.  I found myself marking a lot more tweets as “favorites” for reading in the future so I figured I’d share them.

Good stuff you might have missed, because I almost did!

2013: In Tweets

It wouldn’t be the last day in 2013 without some kind of recap, now would it?  Sometimes I wonder about some of the things that pass me by in the fire hose of information on the Internet these days, so maybe you missed something here! (Some techy, some not!)

  • WIRED@WIRED – Jonathan Coulton explains how Glee ripped off his cover song — and why he’s not alone.



  • Ben Goodman@benontech – Boxes sealed with ATHEIST tape lost by USPS 10X more often than controls – This will make @samj ‘s head explode
  • Stephen Foskett@SFoskett – Good read: The truth about the TSA’s pointless knife fight


  • Leaping Woman@leapingwoman – Today my kid sister sent me the link to @zefrank’s chillout song. Her timing couldn’t have been better





  • In the Cloud@InTheCloudMSFT – IT Pros, trust me on this: it’s well worth your time to read this post about apps, dev tools, & how to lead.
  • Melody Bliss@melodybliss – Don’t text & drive – From One Second To The Next – Texting While Driving Documentary – Werner Herzog




  • WIRED@WIRED – Bye bye. These are tech sounds you’ll never hear again. #WIREDclassic
  • Bill Oakley@thatbilloakley – Describing today to someone from 1953: Every six seconds all your friends send you a telegram and a brand new LIFE magazine is thrown at you


Here’s to another year of sharing information!

Favorited Tweets from the Past!!!

I often use the “favorite” feature of Twitter as a quick way to bookmark links I want to read more closely or visit again.  It’s always interesting to see what I thought needed a second look.  Here are a few related to technology or science:

  • 5/9/13, @wired – Computer guts get an eerie makeover.
  • 4/17/13, @acardwell – Just saw this GE ad and wow – does GE not get that Agent Smith was the bad guy and that the matrix is a bad thing?
  • 4/17/13, @thurrott – Microsoft Account Gets Enhanced Security
  • 4/16/13, @wired – Microsoft wants to be more like Amazon. And Amazon wants to be more like Microsoft.
  • 4/11/13, ‏@expta – Individual Fix for Exchange Soft Delete Problem Proves Worth of Support Contracts  #MSExchange #IamMEC
  • 3/13/13, ‏@ExchServPro – Google Reader. You can (a) protest loudly, or (b) start moving your critical needs away from Google’s services. I’m going with (b) I think.
  • 11/17/12, ‏@mars_seven – Top 10 Active Directory Tasks Solved with PowerShell  via @zite
  • 8/30/12, ‏@rdfrs – “Bionic eye goes live in world first by Australian researchers” – Kate Hagan –
  • 8/12/12, ‏@anca – For @menslow: A child’s skull, before their milk teeth fall out. This is freakier than all the Alien films combined.
  • 8/19/11, ‏@afranq – How to Win at Rock, Paper, Scissors –

TechDays SF is May 2nd/3rd – Check out our speaker list on Twitter!

This year, I’m a co-chair for the PacITPro’s TechDays SF.  If you didn’t attend this event in 2012, you should take a close look at what we are offering this May.  The event is two days and we are offering multiple tracks with a variety of sessions on Windows Server, Client, Cloud and PowerShell all for the bargin price of $300. Please visit for more information or to register.

We are also using EventBoard Mobile for easy access to the most up to date information and schedule.  I recommend downloading that app for your Windows Phone, iPhone or Android.

Our speakers include some very well-known, knowledgable folks who’ve spoken at other popular conferences like TechMentor and TechEd. Most of them have Twitter handles – if you aren’t following these people yet, I’m sure you’ll find some interesting enough to add to your list.

  • @VirtualChrista – From  Microsoft, Christa Anderson will be presenting two sessions, “Delivering Applications with Remote Desktop Services in  Windows Server 2012” and “The User Configuration Cage Match”.
  • @scevans – Steve Evans will be presenting “IIS: Choose Your Own Adventure” and “Designing Hyper-V for the Real World”.
  • @nhawkins – Nick Hawkins will be co-presenting “Designing Hyper-V for the Real World” with @scevans.
  • @grouppolicyguy – Darren Mar-Elia will be breaking out of his Group Policy shell to bring you “!0 Tips for Success with Private Cloud”.
  • @gblock – Glenn Block will be lighting up the room with “Managing the Cloud from the Command Line”.
  • @alexandair – Joining us from Serbia, Aleksandar Nikolic will be presenting “Remote Management of Windows Server 2012 with  Windows PowerShell”.
  • @cacallahan – For those of you who support or dabble in SharePoint, CA Callahan will join us again to bring you two sessions on SharePoint 2013.
  • @ubergeekgirl – Our fearless leader of PacITPros in Southern California, Jessica DeVita will be part of the Women in Technology panel discussion.  Joining her will be @adfskitteh, @VirtualChrista and me, @jkc137. 
  • @KevinRemde – Also from Microsoft, Kevin Remde will bring us “Windows 8 Deployment” for those of you planning to move beyond Windows 7 and “Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V”.
  • @chrisavis – Often PacITPros’ host for our monthly meetings at Microsoft’s office, Chris Avis will be bringing us two session on Azure, including Azure IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
  • @mminasi – Mark Minasi, one of the household names for those of us reading technical books, will be presenting several sessions, so be sure to put one on your schedule: “Manage Server 2012 Like a Pro or, Better, Like an Evil Overlord!”, “Changes to Storage in Windows 2102: Storage Gets a Bit SANer”, “Understanding Dynamic Access Control: the File Share Recharged, Reimaged and Compliance-Enabled”.
  • @richardhicks – If you are looking for the latest in Remote Access, don’t miss Richard Hicks and his “Next Generation Remote Access with Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess” session.
  • @richcampbell – Richard Campbell will be presenting “People, Process, Tools – The Essence of DevOps” as well as host the Run As Radio: Women in Technology Panel
  • @adfskitteh – Part of the Idenity & Access Management team at Microsoft, Laura Hunter will be covering “Strong Authentication for BYOD” and “How Microsoft Has Adopted Office 365 and Azure”
  • @JeffHicks – Need more PowerShell? Choose from “Troubleshooting Active Directory with Windows PowerShell”, “10 PowerShell Mistakes, Trips and Traps and How to Avoid Them” and “File and Folder Provisioning with PowerShell and Windows Server 2012”.  Want more Hyper-V? Learn how to “Build a Windows 8 Hyper-V Lab”

We have a few other speakers in the works and are looking forward to putting on a great event, please join us – you won’t be disappointed!

Thoughts from She’s Geeky: Being “Present” Despite Technology

One of the great sessions I attended at She’s Geeky unConference was one on “Being Present” in what you are doing, even though smart phones, email and other technologies clamor for our attention multiple times a day.
I admit that my BlackBerry is never far from my side.  Work emails, personal emails, Twitter and even Facebook raise alerts on my phone on a pretty regular basis.  It’s often hard to ignore them, especially when I’m known for responding quickly.  Not only do I feel like I’m staying current with what’s going on in my life and helping those that need my attention, random alerts from the device are equivalent to the intermittent reward system that makes slot machines so popular and addictive.  
It’s true – each little beep and ding give us a shot of chemicals in the brain that keep us wanting more and clearly many of us keep going back for it.  It’s now the “norm” for smart phones to take their place on the restaurant table next to the salt and pepper shakers.
I know what did it for me – unlimited texting. Texting quickly became my preferred mode of communicating.  Quick and to the point when I needed that, but also a way to have long random conversations with friends over the course of the day.  I perceived it as a way to be LESS intrusive than a phone call.  The receiver of the message could respond when they had the time.  But really, it became the best way for me to NOT have to be fully engaged with the person I was communication with.  I could text at my leisure – meanwhile researching a project, organizing my desk, or completing other tasks that I wouldn’t be able to do if I was on a phone call.
Soon that “polite” nudge of text message became a driving force to steal my attention and I’ve let it. And it just opened the door for emails and tweets and other alerts.  I’m a slave to my smart phone.  You probably are too.  Don’t deny it.
So how do we break the chain?  Screen-free days where we put down the phones and iPads and walk away from the computer?  I don’t know if I can do that for 24 hours, honestly.  How about dialing down the notifications on your phone?  Or declaring a room or area of your home “phone free”? 
I’m going to try a few things: I’m starting out by turning off the sounds for Facebook alerts and all emails.  I will also put it on vibrate or silent when I go to bed at night.  And maybe when I’m home I’ll find one central place to put it, instead of moving it around as I move around.  And of course, I need to be more aware of when I’m denying someone who’s in front of me my full attention – the phone needs to stay off the dinner table at my house.
Do you have other suggestions for staying “present” while your devices beckon?  Leave a comment.

Redux of some “Favorite” Tweets

I’m a big fan of Twitter for keeping up with interesting tech news and information.  Since signing up in 2007, I’ve used Twitter to connect to a variety of people interested in a wide array of topics. As 2010 draws to a close, check out some of these tech tweets from the past year that caught my eye on my Twitter feed, either from those I follow directly or some of their retweets. The links might be worth another look!
If you are looking to follow me on Twitter, my handle is jkc137. Happy Tweeting!

October is National Cyber Security Month

Personally, I think every month should be a month people pay attention to security online, but regardless, here are some resources and blog posts to help you think about being more secure as you navigate the world online.

First, Microsoft has a whole site dedicated to online safety, don’t miss out on some tips for creating more secure passwords and using public computers.  There are even some great brochures and sheets you can print out and share at the office or with clients.

Also, check out this post by Microsoft’s Worldwide Chief Security Officer, Robert Halbheer, on “Is the online world more dangerous?” He provides a link to another great handout that addresses some myths regarding online safety.

Finally, one of the most common ways that people are exposed to online security risks is by clicking on spam.  Check out a short post on managing spam by another sysadmin that works in the trenches, The UberGeekGirl.

When it comes down to it, managing your security and safety online is not all that different from managing it everywhere else.  You already keep track of your keys and your wallet, you lock your car and your house when you leave, and you don’t leave your credit information around for people to grab.  Just do the same online – keep track of your passwords, don’t stay logged onto web services on public computers, don’t click on links that look suspicious in emails or on social networking sites and look to do business with online companies that use secure websites for transactions. 

Keep safe everyone, no matter where you are.

Data Aggregation – Don’t Panic, Just Be Aware

I received a warning from a family member via text message a few days ago, as well as saw several posts on Facebook alerting others to a new website that “has all your personal data” –

The advice was to go to their privacy section, enter my email address and request to be removed from the listing. According to what this family member told me about the removal process, you simply provided your email address, but only two listings could be removed with any single email address. My ears perked up a bit. Really? Interesting.

So I checked out the website with a little more of a critical eye. The site is a data aggregator, pulling data from various already public data sources – the white pages, home purchase records and the like, as well as your own public postings on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The site requires payment to get the detailed results, but the teaser items include address and phone number, an estimate of your age, marital status, race, education level, possibly a few photos, lifestyle interests and median home values/income in your neighborhood.

While somewhat creepy, none of this is a big shocker. My name, address and phone number are in the white pages. The median home value and income in my neighborhood are easily searchable on As for the more personal goodies, the site indicates that it gets a good portion of its information from public profiles on Facebook and MySpace.

The hype behind all the warnings and knee-jerk reactions to “remove your listing from the site” lead me to look around for other data aggregators and compare. If you are going to remove your name from one, don’t forget several others like:

All has some similar data, though they don’t all hit the social media space as hard as Spokeo does. All have an option to pay for more detailed information and many (especially when searching for people who are known to NOT be using social media) have incorrect data.

Ultimately, data is out there and aggregation sites will take advantage, however you really have to go to the source of the data to change what it available – rushing to knocking your name off one search site isn’t going to keep it from appearing on a new site next week. And personally, I’m not excited about providing my email address for “verification” so that can be collected up for some other unknown reason.

Like I’ve said before, it’s important to control and monitor what you put online. Google yourself. Check out some of the data available on these aggregation sites. Be critical of what you click and what you share. The Internet isn’t the safest place, but most places that are interesting have some level of risk.

Finally, don’t forget it’s also important to check your credit and lock your doors, because it’s not just the folks at who have the ability to figure out where you aren’t.