Summer Job

April 10, 2008

Did anyone secure a job for the summer? I am having a difficult time finding a job in my filed most of the jobs advertised for restaurants and bars (server\bartender). It is frustrating and makes me wonder if any of you (classmates) experiencing\experienced the same problem. Companies expect us to have experience so how if they do not hire us now?

This course was fun and one of few that required the use of technology (Web 2.0)

Thanks Dave and it was nice meeting you all!


Final Post!

April 6, 2008

Well guys, it’s been a fun course, but I’m afraid that this will probably be my last post. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve kinda become depressed when I read my RSS feed and realize that I don’t have to post on anything I read.

Therefore…… I’ve decided to make my own personal blog (woot, my first link!).  I’ll probably never write on it (like Dave), but I think it’s good to have one anyway. Here’s the link if anyone is interested, but it’s mostly just personal stuff, as apposed to being interesting like what we’ve talked about in class.

It’s been a good class and I hope everyone continues using what we’ve learned.


David McKenna

Bad Branding Strategies

April 1, 2008

I figured I would write one last post on Seth as his blog really makes good points that relate to Business. His blog on dumb branding strategies really made a lot of sense when reading it. There are many companies that have bad branding strategies such as Computer World, and Party Land. Names such as those do not make me feel like I am missing out on anything if I don’t stop into those stores. For example Computer World really seems like a plain store name. This name does not make me feel like like is a great store to stop into.

The picture below is of many successful brand names.

I know personally when I hear bad brand names I do not want to enter the store. Names with that extra catchy word or phrase really can make you want to enter the store. Future Shop might have a simple brand name, but it makes me think that everything in the store is up to date, and new ideas of the future. Or Captain Sub makes me think they are the best at making subs. I came across an article on Google dealing with the image that a good brand name does in the mind of the consumer. In this article it says that a lot of companies are fighting for mind share. A good brand name sets confidence in the mind of the consumer. If you are use to buying General Electric products and and have always had success with them. Than you are more than likely to continue buying GE products in the futurue. It sets a standard of expectations as well. An example of this would be when I buy Sony products I always think I am getting the best of the best. As well good branding makes you spend more money. I would rather spend the extra $50 dollars and get a really good pair of jeans. It gives me the confidence that those jeans will last longer, and be strong. Recognition is key in being competitive with the competition. Recognition can either be positive or negative. When I go traveling I have come to expect that when I go to Subway, I will get a good quality sub at every Subway location. Loyalty is a key factor in any business throughout the world. I am loyal to Honda, as most of the vehicles that they create are gas friendly, and most importantly reliable.

A few examples of other catchy brand names that have created strong recognition are:

  1. Starbucks
  2. Tim Hortons
  3. Best Buy

I think it is necessary to have a good brand name in order to gain more customers, and get loyalty.

Mitchell Watts

Goodbye TorrentSpy

March 30, 2008


TorrentSpy has been shut down permanently by it’s own owner. A note on the home page of TorrentSpy’s Web site said it is shutting down “not due to any court order or agreement,” but because of a team decision.

TorrentSpy has spent the past two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars “defending the rights of our users and ourselves” in a legal climate that was “hostile” to torrent files, according to the note, which is attributed to the TorrentSpy team.

In 2006, the largest Hollywood film studios accused TorrentSpy in a lawsuit of encouraging movie piracy. A federal judge ordered the company last June to provide the studios with user information found in its computer RAM.

TorrentSpy was a search engine that helped visitors find torrent files on the Web. Torrent files are often music or movie files stored in an easily shared file format. The search engine came under legal fire from the entertainment industry, which in general does not want licensed content to be distributed free.

In December, the judge in the case found that TorrentSpy operators intentionally destroyed evidence in the case, making it impossible for the Motion Picture Association of America to get a fair trial. They had earlier been fined $30,000 for violations of discovery orders and were warned of severe sanctions if they continued to ignore the orders. The site lost its case because the court ruled it had tampered with evidence.

Goodbye TorrentSpy!!

MacBook Air hacked!!

March 30, 2008

MacBook Air

A team of security researchers has won $10,000 for hacking a MacBook Air in two minutes using an undisclosed Safari vulnerability.

IDG News Service is camped out at CanSecWest in lovely Vancouver, Canada, and has chronicled the exploits  of Charlie Miller, Jake Honoroff, and Mark Daniel of Independent Security Evaluators during the Pwn to Own contest sponsored by TippingPoint. The contest includes three laptops, running the most up to date and patched installations of MacOS X Leopard, Windows Vista, and Ubuntu Linux:

  • VAIO VGN-TZ37CN running Ubuntu 7.10
  • Fujitsu U810 running Vista Ultimate SP1
  • MacBook Air running OSX 10.5.2

The main purpose of this contest is to responsibly unearth new vulnerabilities within these systems so that the affected vendor(s) can address them.The team was able to gain control of a MacBook Air on the second day of the hacking competition, which pitted the Air against Windows Vista and Ubuntu machines.

No one was able to execute code on any of the systems on Wednesday, the first day of the contest, when hacks were limited to over-the-network techniques on the operating systems themselves. But on the second day, the rules changed to allow attacks delivered by tricking someone to visit a maliciously crafted Web site, or open an e-mail. Hackers were also allowed to target “default installed client-side applications,” such as browsers.

The team had attack code already set up on a Web site, and was able to gain access to the MacBook Air and retrieve a file after judges were “tricked” into visiting the site. According to the TippingPoint DVLabs blog, a newly discovered vulnerability in Safari was used to gain control of the Air.

The contest rules stipulated that winners immediately sign a nondisclosure agreement relating to their technique, so that the vulnerability could be disclosed to the vendor, and TippingPoint said Apple has been informed of the vulnerability.

Last year’s contest was won by exploiting a QuickTime vulnerability, which was patched by Apple in less than two weeks. As of the time I posted this, no one had gained control of the Vista or Ubuntu machines, but I’ll update later as the results come in over the rest of the afternoon.

In the past week I have noticed there were a few newspaper articles and blog posts on Wikipedia.



Wikipedia is a free multilingual, open content encyclopedia project operated by the non-profit, Wikimedia Foundation. The site has been established since 2001, and is the fastest growing and most popular general reference work available on the internet.  It ranks number 7 on the top sites in Canada. 

Wikipedia has over 10 million articles posted in 253 different languages.  Just the other day, in a post by Mike ArringtonWikipedia had reached its 10 millionth article.

All of the articles posted on Wikipedia have been written interactively by volunteers from all around the world. The site can be edited by anyone, with an exception of a few pages, and that poses a problem.  

Dave Winer wrote a post on how random people think they have authority to write on Wikipedia, this is a problem because it creates invalid information and readers become wrongly informed. Just imagine how many people do it considering, we did it once as a class demonstration.


It has about 10-15 people who are actually paid employees of the company and they edit and monitor recently added content. Wikipedia wished to expand their staff to about 25 people by 2010. 

In an article found on the Globe and Mail website it stated that some people who contribute monetary donations to wikipedia thought that the organization is being reckless with the donations it receives, while others thought they should be spending more of the funds. Wikipedia needs the funds to keep their site up and running. This is why they seek out people who would like to donate to the site. Wikipedia is a site that needs to think of the long run because, according to most it is here to stay. Looking for donations is crucial for the sites operations. The donations keep the site in working order and pay the few employees on the payroll.  Alfred P. Sloan is donating three, 1 million dollar installments over the next 3 years. With his donation, he hopes that Wikipedia can become more financially stable in the years to come.

The sad thing is though, if wikipedia didn’t focus on donations they would have to go to the alternative of advertising on the wikipedia site. I don’t know about anybody else but I do not want to see any ads on the site. Ads just create clutter and confusion in my opinion. Hopefully Wikipedia will continue to look to its contributers for financial support, or we will soon be seeing ads on the wikipedia page.



Well I’ve been putting this post off as long as possible since I have already posted about free a few times throughout this course and really I’ve said all I really wanted to say. But when reading over Wired‘s post about Free I did read one line that sparked a slight bit of interest in my mind. That line was this

They’re not selling papers and magazines to readers, they’re selling readers to advertisers.

In this line it really puts another spin on free and why it’s worth it. The paper and content in a newspaper or magazine cost virtually nothing per copy to create and distribute. Any costs that they do incur though are covered by the advertising within their magazine. Naturally you can charge more if your magazine is read (or at least purchased) by more customers, so if the company is really not making the money from magazine or newspaper sales then why not charge next to nothing or nothing for that matter in order to reach more people. If your content is as good as the one dollar paper but you’re giving your information away then you will most likely pick up more readers than the other newspaper. If you are reaching more people then naturally a company should obtain more value from advertising with you, over the other dollar newspaper. If the company obtains more value then you can charge more for the service and start to make the revenue back that you lost when you started to give the papers away.

This theory works great on paper but there would be a delicate balance on if you would obtain enough advertising revenue from giving away your papers to make it worth it, but it is possible. Especially now with Electronic copies now reducing the cost of production and distribution to basically zero.

To See What else I think about FREE re-read these posts

Giving Stuff Away Increases Sales

How to Make Money in a Free World