Peterson spoke about the security implications of data storage systems and issues with encryption. He also adressed the challenges of digital forensics, a branch of forensic science encompassing the recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices, often in relation to computer crime.
“Everything we touch essentially produces data,” Peterson said. In other words, everything we click, whether we’re online shopping or looking at our online bank statements, produces data. Because there is so much of it, it’s challenging to protect.
In addition, financial data, medical records, things we’ve saved and things we’ve purchased are all valued differently, and protecting them is very important.
Peterson talked about cryptography as a way to protect our information. In the past 20 years, it has become one of the most popular ways to protect digital information. Cryptography is basically encrypting your information with a secret key. One of the biggest challenges with this method is making sure that your key is not guessable. Security falls apart if keys are guessable.
“I’m pessimistic in the short term, but optimistic in the long term,” Peterson said about solving data issues with cryptography.
Also, data deletion is an overlooked problem. You may think that simply deleting a file from your computer can be a great way to hide it if someone is looking for it. However, your computer only marks the file for deletion. So, not only is the file still accessible on your computer, the person looking for that file can tell you tried to delete it.
Another method people use to protect data is to try securely overwriting their data. In this method, existing data is overwritten with new data. This method can take a long time.
Peterson joked about personal data security awareness:
“I’m in the 4th stage currently,” Peterson joked.
On a serious note, Peterson said that two things need to happen for better security:
Many people do not know how to protect their information, or that they even have information to protect. Hopefully, once people are aware of it, they will do more to protect their data.
Learn more about Data Studio Presents.]]>
While Lonny did have a plan, he encouraged Karen and I to offer other ideas – which I think really revealed the collaborative aspects of appropriate technologies. Appropriate technologies require not just the collaboration of engineers and scientists, but also the community. In addition, in order for the technologies to be sustainable, scalable, and environmentally sound, solutions may involve:
….and so on!
The OSC taught me how to collaborate effectively, fit a lot of content into a small time slot (only one hour and a half hours!), and to work on a team where each person is specializing in a single aspect of the entire production – a lot like a theatrical performance.
One of the most valuable things I gained from the OSC is Lonny Grafman’s friendship. I appreciate Lonny’s authenticity. He was approachable, amicable, down-to-earth, and willing to engage with students, faculty, staff and community alike. I look forward to joining him in his future endeavors in appropriate technologies!
To those that may be interested in hosting an OSC, I suggest picking a guest speaker who you can see yourself becoming good friends with and collaborating with in the future!
Learn more about Nasim in an interview with Rachel Scott, communications and public programs student assistant.
Open Science Cafe student proposals are accepted in the fall. Learn more at Kennedy Library.]]>
Open Science Café is a competition for students to host a Cal Poly Science Cafe with the expert of their choice. This event was hosted by Nasim Delavari (MCRO ’15), who won one of two Open Science Café 2015 grants.
Appropriate technology is technology designed to be appropriate to its context. It is often developed using open source principles and emphasizes choice, people, scale and sustainability, among other considerations. It can be found in both developed and developing countries, built by local communities for local communities.
For example, Lonny talked about his experience in Las Malvinas in the Dominican Republic. First, the community determined one of their needs, the need for a new classroom. Then, they worked together to find a way to build that classroom using the resources that they had available to them.
“It starts with the chaos of the community building trust and projects,” Lonny said about the beginning stages of the process.
In this small community, plastic bottles were abundant. So, they came up with a way to build the classroom using plastic bottles as the main resource. And in about 6 weeks, Las Malvinas had a new classroom. For the full story, check out the Appropedia page!
To model the process, Lonny asked us what improvements could be made at Cal Poly. The audience had many suggestions:
Then, Lonny asked us to prioritize and narrow our list to five, which we did through nominal voting:
From here, we split into groups and brainstormed solutions for these issues, keeping in mind cost, sustainability and what materials/resources we have available.
I was in group 4, and we wanted to come up with a way for students to easily store heavy textbooks, laptops or whatever they need on campus. Our main solution was to use bike racks as foundations for lockers. We chose bike racks because they are all around campus and are used by a lot of students. Using existing materials, like water bottles, we could come up with a way to construct lockers to attach to the bike racks. Then, students could bring their own locks and store whatever they needed for their day.
At the end of brainstorming, each group had come up with innovative ways to solve their problem.
“I love this. In just 15 minutes we came up with great stuff,” Lonny said.
Something about Lonny’s talk stuck with me after the event: Often times, we either get caught up trying to solve big problems with even bigger solutions that really can’t happen, or decide that the problem is too big to solve. Instead, we can look at simplified solutions and use resources/materials we already have to actually solve the issue.]]>
Here’s what Blanche Brown, pictured above, says: “I think the civil rights movement was a big thing for me. I would be on the picket lines all the time. The first sit-in that was done, was actually started by me and a friend of mine.” – (Photo by Sky Bergman)
Everyone has a story to tell—a lifetime of firsthand tales which enrich, endear, and inspire. Lives Well Lived aims to enhance the power of stories to connect and inspire both the storyteller and the reader. You can be part of the project by sharing your web-based story or read some of the inspirational stories submitted by others. -from Lives Well Lived.
Sky contacted Catherine Trujillo, the library’s curator in Communications and Special Initiatives, to utilize the first floor community gallery to showcase her exhibit. It features photos of the subjects with their inspiring quotes, along with a digital clip from Sky’s upcoming documentary film of the same name, which will be released in the near future.
Viewers are encouraged to answer the question: what does it mean to live a life well lived?
“We are very excited to accommodate such an inspirational project,” Catherine said.
Preview some of the people featured in this project at Lives Well Lived.
Join us to celebrate this exhibit and meet Sky at an artists’ gathering on April 16 from 3-4pm. All are welcome!]]>
Cal Poly is the first CSU to become a member of CRL.
“This membership will provide our faculty and student researchers access to an extraordinary body of literature across disciplines, through both direct download and inter-library borrowing,” said Tim Strawn, Director of Information Resources.
For questions about CRL membership, contact Tim Strawn.]]>
The mouth is a weird place. Not quite inside and not quite out, not skin and not organ, but something in between: dark, wet, admitting access to an interior most people would rather not contemplate — where cancer starts, where the heart is broken, where the soul might just fail to show up.
I encouraged my patients to floss. It was hard to do some days. They should have flossed. Flossing prevents periodontal disease and can extend life up to seven years. It’s also time consuming and a general pain in the ass. That’s not the dentist talking. That’s the guy who comes home, four or five drinks in him, what a great evening, ha-has all around, and, the minute he takes up the floss, says to himself, What’s the point?
But not even Ferris could make a novel entirely about floss interesting (though I imagine he’d have a better shot than most authors). The plot device that keeps you turning pages here is one of stolen identity. Dr. O’Rourke is a ranter against social media, iPhone addiction, and the like, but suddenly one of his office staff notices that his practice has a website — then a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Annoying, but no real harm done — at least until these false identities of his are used in chat rooms to promote an obscure (fictional?) religion, which edges uncomfortably close to antisemitism. Suddenly he’s attached to his iPhone, following the controversies stirred up by the fictional Dr. O’Rourke, emailing “himself,” and defending himself to his staff, his Jewish ex-girlfriend, and her family, all of whom he’s convinced believe that he is secretly writing all the questionable material.
If it sounds like an existential crisis, it is, kind of. But it’s also very funny. I’ll admit that I bogged down a bit in the extended passages about the Amalekites (the religion, which apparently did exist in Old Testament times — though I imagine the belief system took a different form than the one described here). But the characters were engaging and memorable, if (especially in O’Rourke’s case) a little unhinged. As Ron Charles, book reviewer for The Washington Post puts it in his review, “You can rinse now. But you won’t get the taste of this harrowing story out of your mouth.”
author photo: Beowulf Sheehan]]>
Kathryn’s video, PolyProjects, is about a website that helps connect Cal Poly students, faculty and staff with different skills to work on different projects. She won two awards, Best Overall and President’s Pick, and $1,850 in total.
“My team and I really want to create this free service for Cal Poly, but we ran into some issues finding a back-end developer. We plan to use the money to get the website built and use the rest of the money to market the site,” Kathryn said.
She decided to create this video about PolyProjects because she is passionate about the website and sees a great need all around campus.
“This problem is present in every department, and with a simple way to link us together, we can reinforce the importance of collaboration and interdisciplinary projects, while creating amazing things,” she said.
Kathryn and her team plan on launching the website next quarter, so be on the lookout!
Ashlee Lam’s CoLab video is about an app (called CoLab) for finding the perfect team members to make your project idea become the next big thing. Her video won Best of Orfalea along with $750.
She entered the competition with JD Torres, Michelle Pan, and John Franzia who are always up for a challenge, Ashlee said. She used their collaborative efforts as the inspiration for the video.
“The four of us were lucky to have found each other, but we realized that in a school as big as Cal Poly, sometimes it’s really hard to find the different skills you need to complete your projects,” Ashlee said.
Ashlee and her team plan on continuing onto the next round of the competition by writing a one page business canvas plan for their app.
In Jenna Hoffman’s Fan Favorite winning video she asks for our passions and majors to cross paths in a campus wide senior project course. This class could simulate the real world by collaborating with students from every major and background.
Jenna’s personal experience with trying to find a senior project for next year lead her to this idea. She was disappointed that she couldn’t make a project of her own.
“My dream job is to work in the cosmetics industry, and I think it would be so incredible to work with other smart, qualified, dynamic Cal Poly students from other majors who are equally infatuated with cosmetics,” Jenna said.
Jenna also plans on moving to the next round.
“To be able to create a short, 60-second video that encompasses my hobby of videography, my business concentration in marketing, a prize money incentive, and my love for Cal Poly is an opportunity I find impossible to pass up,” she said.
Read about Rounds 2 and 3 of the Pitch Perfect Competition.]]>
The Hackathon took place on January 30 and 31. It’s an event where students of any major can spend 12 hours designing, implementing, coding and basically hacking away at any idea they might have for an app or website. Cory and Johnson’s six person team received $2,500 and four iPads as the grand prize for making their mental health app.
The team created Optimist, a mental health app that helps stressed students feel more relaxed. Cory and Johnson’s teammate Alyssa Wigant came up with the idea.
“Johnson and I came with our own ideas, but we knew [Alyssa] was on to something and ditched ours to join her group,” Cory said.
To make the app, Cory worked with the server and did some coding, and Johnson coded the master app.
As student assistants working at Kennedy Library, Cory and Johnson mainly work with fixing and updating the Mac computers in the library. They fix both hardware and software problems and also work on printers and other devices in the library. They help people over the phone or in person. Because they mainly work with Apple devices, it gave them a better understanding of the platform.
“I was also able to get my hands on more Apple devices, some of the most advanced ones. This is the main reason why we worked on iOS platform for the project,” Johnson said.
Johnson is a computer engineering major and wants to work as a software engineer when he graduates. Cory is also a computer engineering major, and plans on graduating in 2018 with 4+1 program.
This year’s competition theme focuses on how Kennedy Library can foster interdisciplinary collaboration at Cal Poly. Students developed innovative ideas about developing spaces, apps, programs and more.
Here’s what President Armstrong had to say about the videos:
I couldn’t be more impressed by and proud of each and every student who participated. I am particularly struck by the number of students who focused on wanting tools to help connect with other students across academic disciplines. I have no doubt their combined interest and energy can and will lead to some tangible ways to enhance collaboration. This is what Learn by Doing is all about… Please convey my sincere appreciation and pride to all the participants.
We are excited to announce the video winners of Round 1!
Best Overall $1,000 & President’s Pick $850: PolyProjects by Kathryn Cassidy
Best of Orfalea $750: CoLab by Ashlee Lam
Most Creative $700: Brilliant Minds by Sean Christensen AND Expand by David Quiray
Fan Fave $700: PolyPaths by Jenna Hoffman
Congratulations! You can watch all the videos on Cal Poly’s YouTube.
In this year’s expanded competition, all students who entered Round 1 are invited to enter Round 2. In that round, students will develop a one page business canvas for the idea they pitched in the video. One canvas is selected as a winner and awarded an additional $1,000. Students who complete Round 2 will also be considered for the SLO Hot House Accelerator Program. Deadline: April 20, 2015.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host an information session on how to write a one-page business canvas on Thursday, April 2 during UU Hour (11am-12pm) in the Entrepreneurship Ideation Lab (Bldg. 2 Rm. 206).
The student or team who submits the winning business canvas will work with library staff and faculty on developing their idea during summer quarter 2015 with a generous program budget. This may involve developing a prototype, collaborating with a vendor or otherwise finding creative ways to implement a new idea. They will also be considered for the SLO Hot House Accelerator Program.
Complete details: lib.calpoly.edu/pitch]]>
The records in the collection tell a story that begins in the early 1950s, when two sisters, Annabelle Warren and Alice Harris, opened the restaurant Sister’s Inn at 208 Higuera Street, adjacent to Paul’s Dry Cleaners & Laundry (see a current view here). Sister’s Inn was just a 2-minute walk up the street from Japantown. After WWII, African Americans settled in the area, and the neighborhood, specifically Brook Street (formerly Eto Street, named after the Eto family, who helped develop San Luis Obispo’s Japantown), became home not only to two African American churches but also to Annabelle Warren and Alice Harris and their families.
In San Luis Obispo City Directories, Sister’s Inn shows up continuously for over a decade, from 1954 to 1965. From the photos, a loving and fun atmosphere seems to surround the family-friendly restaurant that counted “Southern Fried Chicken” amongst its specialties.
In its eclectic nature, the collection also tells the story of several siblings, probably the grandchildren of Annabelle Warren and Alice Harris.
Newspaper clippings and photographs tell the stories of these probable grandchildren, three sisters–Alice, Rosa Lee, and Annazette Williams–during the late 1950s. Integral members of a nearly all-white community, the siblings attended local schools, including San Luis Obispo High School (for perspective, the landmark Brown v Board court case desegregated schools in 1954 and the Little Rock Integration Crisis was in 1957, both during the sisters’ teenage years). Older sister Alice was an award-winning twirler, leader-instructor and head majorette at San Luis Obispo High who would continue on to L.A. State College. Younger sister Rosa Lee was likewise a head majorette and also an usherette for class theater productions, and the youngest sister, Annazette, tied for head cheerleader and participated in the dramatic classes and fashion shows of her schools. Photos of a younger brother Ronnie also surface throughout the collection.
Later records in the collection include glamorous magazines and beauty shots. It appears that sometime in the 1960s, Annazette returned to her birth city of Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Playing unaccredited roles for several years, she worked throughout the late 1960s, ‘70s, and early ‘80s in roles in movies and TV series, becoming known for the movies The Toy with Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason, Truck Turner with Isaac Hayes, Bogard with Richard Lawson, and The Greatest with Muhammad Ali. Throughout this time, she would send photographs, signed with loving messages, to her family and friends back in San Luis Obispo, including one addressed to “MaMa and Grandpa Jim”–possibly the Alice Harris and James Bowers of Sister’s Inn (who would go on to later marry in 1962 and who were buried together at the Los Osos Valley Memorial Park).
Help us piece together San Luis Obispo’s past–if you have any information on Sister’s Inn, the Williams family, or other facts should know, please contact us at the Kennedy Library Special Collections and Archives.
(1) Learn more about San Luis Obispo’s Japantown in the 2013 City of San Luis Obispo Citywide Historic Context Statement (accessible at http://slocity.org/home/showdocument?id=4042). See a map of Japantown here: http://japantownatlas.com/map-sanluis.html]]>