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Things I Would Like To Happen Soon

For all those who believe in speaking ideas into existence and prayer in the universe will return to a person.  I simply want to write a lis...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Career and Life Goals

The topic of goals is difficult for me to really discuss.  As of thirty-two years of age, I am still looking for an entry level opportunity to start my professional vocation.  My so-called career has seen many more low points than high ones.  The trials and tribulations are so numerous I do not know if I can recall any achievements.  So it is fair to say that part of life has not gone so well so far.  Working is one of the rare components of life that features a very intricate duality where you need experience to prove you are employable but that does not give information about how the first door is ever opened.  My history will show that I have not been the model employee at any stop but should that really derail any potential in considering my next position?  The obvious answer to the question is yes but when will that ever be adjusted in the land of second chances?  I am not sure if I need the perfect fit or if I just might not be cut out for a traditional nine to five occupation.  Maybe with the added aspect of maturity, completion of my first degree and a great start towards my second one will create a better leg for me to stand on.  With a bit of luck, ample separation from my past failures can initiate a proverbial bankruptcy for career antiquity and allow a new beginning with a clean slate. 
My life goals are somewhat different.  After explaining parts of my past, I simply want to go in the polar opposite direction in almost every way.  I feel if I only make the right and best choices I have available to me from this moment forth then that alone can provide enough motivation to commit to the path of rectitude.  That would be the short term goal to make the correct decision whenever the chance presents itself to do so.  The long term goal which can be manufactured from that would be to be a great human being in whatever context that can be said.  It would be lofty to be mentioned in the same breath as some of those in the pantheon of the immaculate examples of humanity for which many others should aspire to.  Though there are few, I do not want to create a list of names because I may not name them all but everyone reading this has an idea of what that would mean to them. They may even know who they would like to include on it.  I am not there yet but I just want to begin the process of what it would take to get there.  Some of the indispensable characteristics are having a durable will, natural sense of morality, compassion for others and incredible intellect.  My first step is to simply work to gain those and see where that can lead me to.  But to expatiate those components sans serviceable recourse might not please the indulging plenary audience.  Receiving respect and recognition from others who values those as talents would be the symbolic reward that I would be honored to have.  Then the accolades garnered from that audience can generate the superstar personage and income which that sort of acclaim brings.  And if that bourne can be completed by means of pure intention with more smiles than tears along the way, it would be the ultimate aim for me.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sleep is The Cousin of Rest

                I have suffered from insomnia for a majority of my life since beginning college.  Actually it might have really started in the latter portions of high school.  I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.  In high school, it began by going to bed later than before.  When I had a set bedtime of 10pm, I would go to my room and lay down.  After some time I would always eventually drift off to sleep and wake up in the morning.  Then I really got into video games, sports and late night television which I wanted to stay up for.  So my bedtime went from 10pm to the early parts of the am.  That may not have been clinically diagnosed as insomnia as much as it was my own negligence to get ample rest though.  College really changed me as my body created the instance of waking up in the middle of the night.  So it did not matter what time I went to bed, I would eventually wake up with it still being dark outside and have to wait to fall asleep again.  My first plan of action for this was to not have classes too early.  Since my spring semester freshman year, I was attempting to avoid classes before 10am.  That's policy of mine to this day by the way.  If I were to wake up at 4am after going to sleep at midnight then I could still try staying in bed till 8am before getting ready for the day.  Even if I went to bed at 2am, it would allow for eight hours for complete rest.  When I encountered more problems, I began correcting them by taking medication like melatonin and diphenhydramine.  Melatonin is a supplement that helps with dozing off with the absence of light.  It occurs naturally in the body but you can purchase the supplement when you are having difficulty.  Diphenhydramine is a chemical antihistamine that seems a bit stronger than melatonin.  As an antihistamine it provides some assistance with colds and motion sickness as well.  With diphenhydramine, I was assured to be snoozing within the hour of taking it when I first started.  Like many drugs, I needed to raise the dosage as I adapted to its effect.  I found it was best to stop taking the drug and then begin again at very low doses sporadically would provide the best long-term effect for me personally.  Small differences in my diet has also helped with this issue.  Eating the right amount of food is a valuable key.  Proper servings ensure that I do not have too much energy during the course of the day and I can manage to wind down when it is time to at night.  Exercise and regulating your blood sugar can enable similar results as well. 
                The results of not getting a full night’s rest seriously affected the levels of concentration and irritability for me.  I could not focus in class or at work and may try to recoup some of that time while there.  Falling asleep in class had really hurt my grades as well as showing respect for my professors and classmates.  It was a bigger problem to me than anyone else would mention.  But I did not have to be told it was a negative.  And if I did not get proper rest it affected how I interacted with people during the rest of the day.  Both of these are personal social problems that came into play from this type of disorder.  I still practice the suggestions discussed in the first paragraph now.  Sleep is a very important aspect to my life and many others.  Adequate rest is essential to productivity and efficiency of how we perform.  It was once said by Thomas Dekker that “sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together”.  With that being said, go get yourself some rest and thank you for reading.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Stop Cyber Bullying

Addressing cyber bullying can help the next generation in a number of ways.  Cyber bullying, like all other forms of bullying, is about picking on someone for their worst character flaw and exacerbating it.  Bring more attention to it and make it something that more people can mock and laugh at.  The immense negativity leads to depression, anger and resentment.  Bullying does not enable sympathy only humiliation of the victim and entertainment for the perpetrator.  Unlike in person, you cannot always report cyber bullying to get assistance.  Though the strong individuals can deal with this in a healthy manner on their own, some of us need help to handle to the day to day stresses that we face.  Some of the repercussions of bullying are scary and can be dangerous.  We have seen the extreme results of bullying lead to loss of human lives.  Deaths of the ones harmed, those that caused it and even innocent bystanders who were present at the time it took place or at the point of retaliation.  In no one’s view can you compare suicide to mass murder except for the person who decides that line can be crossed.  Since the results are not always to toughen up and learn from experience we should try to discompose these activities prior to the troubling outcome.  But it has to be halted with honesty for the modification.  The conduct is a known problem and done with insensitive intent.  We cannot just tell people we are all equal and we are all the same for people to accept it is wrong.  It is true in a humane sense but when gender, economics, academics, race and status are incorporated into the conversation the separation is clear and present.  We have to teach each other about the importance of having respect for our differences and why they exist.  Even stereotypes are continued because it was once observed and apply to a similar group of people at a later time.  Try building self-esteem not from a defensive position but to be secure in the company of others who seemingly have more or are better off.  Also show the historical lesson that perceptible inconsistencies do not have to be the major dividing rod for our society to become segmented.  How you treat people and interact with others is as important in the long run as luxury items.  There is a lot to do to change bullying behavior.  Silence and tolerance are congenial and can be the primary option to at least start before any additional actions are taken.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Recipient's Gift

The loyalty displayed for penmanship
Categorized my verbalization as an apprenticeship
The slippery slope contesting the young calf
Makes me oppugn whose back they really have
Verboseness refined
Devises crisp lines
The pain remains
To stain the same
Placing blame and shame
Without the mention of a name
Introspection claims the fame
As curiosity's window pane
Keeps me in a state of naivete
Breathe ingenuity
See the reader has full access to the quotes
Yet I do not know the emotions they invoke
The mind's blind eye is always creative
Leaving the leftover senses chelated
Importance debated
Negligence underestimated
Anticipation of reciprocation
Is the emanation of relation
Producing two-way conversation
Both lip and pen
Form words to spend
To begin again
And end again

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Report on Encryption Algorithms

Data encryption is one of the main components to computer security and communication.  Encrypting information is the process of changing the message, image or file to another form to protect it from an unplanned user.  Once the data is received, the intended recipient can then revert the documents to its original form by means of decryption.  This is mainly done to avoid the damage that could be caused by the loss of confidentiality or integrity while the information is being sent back and forth.  Decryption simply reverses the process of encryption so I will focus the topic to one aspect of this form of securing information.  There are two major categories for encryption methods, symmetrical and asymmetrical [1].  Symmetrical encryption provides a public key which is shared for both parties.  Some symmetrical algorithms would be DES and blowfish.  For symmetrical though the algorithm is public and well known, the best are still very difficult to have an effective attack against.  Since its policy is fixed, many of them eventually are worn down and begin to get cracked.  As the attacks become successful, the encryption strategy starts to phase out and get replaced by a newer one which has yet to meet strenuous testing.  Asymmetrical allows for shared key as well as two private keys.  One for the sender and another for the recipient.  Examples of asymmetrical algorithms would be RSA and digital signature.
During this semester we have learned about many different algorithms to protect transmissions against attackers.  Some were stressless to comprehend like the Caesar Cipher.  Caesar Cipher takes messages written in plaintext and shifts each character clockwise by three.  Therefore A turns to D, B becomes E so on and so forth.  The formula for the algorithm can be expressed as c = E(3, p) = (p + 3) mod (26) where p is the plaintext and c is the cipher result.  This is one of the simpler examples that if you knew it were being used then you could attack and recover both the plaintext and ciphertext.  We also learned about the extensive and complicated advanced encryption standard.  AES creates a thorough course of bit manipulation and transformation from four specific implementations of addRoundKey, subBytes, shiftRows and mixColumns [2].  AES breaks the data into 2 character hexadecimal numbers or 8 digit binary numbers to produce a 4 by 4 matrix.  AES involves mathematical operations and resorting of the different matrix cells.  The first round involves key expansion which produces numerous keys to be used throughout the rest of the process.  Addroundkey is the next process in the first round but the last in every other iteration.  Addroundkey process creates a new string of data with a key generated from the expansion method.  Then comes the subBytes.  In subBytes, the complete matrix is changed.  Some research can provide a value to swap using S-box transformation for the values contained in each spot of matrix.  ShiftRows follows subBytes and moves each rows to the right by the numbers of indexes of the row it is located in.  MixColumns then performs the two mathematic operations of multiplication of the each column element of the encrypted text with the each rows element of a fixed matrix for this procedure.  The product of each result is xor to assigned one value to the cell.  An illustration of this is provided below [2]. 

This has developed into a widespread industry standard for its results and reliable security.  These two are just some of the examples of this genre.  More recent references have discussed both alternative methods and further analysis into the idea of encryption.  I will write about a few that I have found interesting. 
                A hybrid method was proposed by the authors Prakash Kuppuswamy and Saeed Q. Y. Al-Khalidi [3].  They suggest a system where user A first obtains a key from user B.  Then creates a new key and encrypts the message with the new key.  The new key is then encrypted using the shared key.  The new key and message are sent to user B.  User B then decrypts new key with their own private key and decrypts the message with the result.  The image below may help with my explanation of the process [3].

The concept of having a message encrypted and decrypted with different algorithms which produces the appropriate text is intriguing.  The encryption method is geared towards mathematics like many algorithms.  The key is generated by selecting a number as n and the inverse of it in the finite field of 37 as key 1.  Then a negative random number is chosen as n1 and its inverse as key 2 [3].  There is a value assigned to each character from A to Z and 0 to 9.  That value is then multiplied by a random number and modulus of 37 is applied to return to the field.  The cipher text is created as the plaintext character times both keys and then the modulus of that amount.  So to refer back to this being a hybrid, the public key is knowing the modulus factor of 37 is a core component to this algorithm.  The private keys are the random selected numbers to define the key matrix.  It is not completely clear to me the process and the solution to this algorithm but I think it is a very interesting one to think of and invent. 
                There is also the topic of a polybit shuffling encryption that was introduced by author Harinandan Tunga [4].  This algorithm is similar to playfair cipher that we learned about this semester.  In the playfair cipher, there is a 5 by 5 matrix created for alphabet characters.  Though there are 26 letters in the alphabet, I and J are combined in a cell to make it work.  For any given keyword, it is placed in the matrix first.  The remainder is then filled with the unused letters in sequential order.  The ciphertext is then created by where the letters are found based on their arrangement in the matrix.  For the polybit algorithm, there are two numbers chosen n and m.  These two are comprised to produce s as mn and c as log2s [4].  The following is a brief excerpt directly from the article, “for example, if we choose N = 4 and M = 4 i.e. a 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 matrix then S = 4^4 = (2^2)^4 = 2^8, therefore C = 8 bit = 1 byte. If we choose N = 4 and M = 8 i.e. an 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 matrix then S = 8^4 = (2^3)^4 = 2^12, therefore C = 12 bit. If we choose N = 5 and M = 4 i.e. a 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 matrix then S = 4^5 = (2^2)^5 = 2^10, therefore C = 10 bit” [4].  Once the matrix is created, there is a process of diagonal swapping to reorganize the numbers shown in the image below [4]. 

Files are divided into a number of “chunks”.  The chunks then have transformations performed on each group using a linear algorithm.  The more transformations that are performed adds additional keys and padding which may inadvertently add confusion.  As new rows are created a new value is assigned.  I have not gotten a full grasp of the logic of its encryption but I feel the algorithm is worth looking into.
                The last algorithm is being proposed by a group of contributors and is being compared RSA and PSR by them [5].  The algorithm is mainly based on a three part format of positioning, substitution and randomization.  It begins from the source file and a key level.  A valid encryption string is then retrieved from the database and the file is then encrypted based on that.  A key is then generated from the length of the file.  The partially encrypted data then becomes 64 bytes.  The file then starts the substitution phase on the basis of a character shift by the user.  The final step is to rearrange the data using a randomized pattern.  A complete flow chart is shown below [5].

This encryption seems stable in my opinion.  This is something that I could try to use on my own.  The explanation was very clear and concise. 
In conclusion, there are many ways to encrypt and protect data.  I thank all the designers of the algorithms as contributors to this assignment.  I would also wish them the best and hope that their creations become successful.  The complexity of each algorithm is just as vital as the choice to use it over another.  Personally since I do not fully understand the reasoning behind each, the possibility of whether or not I can actually encipher or decipher data would determine which I use to implement.  But it was somewhat fun reading about this information.  Maybe one day I will be able to construct an algorithm myself and see if it would be useful for others.           
[1] "Encryption Algorithms.” Asymmetric Encryption Algorithms: Symmetric Encryption Algorithms. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.
[2] Pitchaiah, M., and Philemon Daniel. "Implementation of Advanced Encryption Standard Algorithm." International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research ISSN 2229-5518 3.3 (2012): 1-6. Web. 
[3] Kuppuswamy, Prakash, and Saeed Q. Y. Al-Khalidi. "Hybrid Encryption/decryption Technique Using New Public Key and Symmetric Key Algorithm." MIS Review 13.2 (2014): 1-13. Web.
[4] Tunga, Harinandan. "A New Polybit Shuffling Encryption and Decryption Algorithm Based on N Dimensional Encryption-Decryption Matrix." International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering 2.2 (2012): 143-49. Web.  
[5] Srinivararao, P., Lakshimipriya, P. V., Azad, P. C. S., Alekhya, T., Raghavendrarao, K. and Kishore, K. “A Technique for Data Encryption and Decryption.” International Journal of Future Generation Communication and Networking 7.2 (2014) 117-126 Web.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Traffic Safety Laws

                Driving is a very important aspect to the lives of many people in this world.  Whether it entails going to work, to meet a friend or starting a vacation, we choose to travel on the roadways often.  And each time it happens, we are essentially putting our lives at risk.  Accidents are hopefully a rare occurrence to any individual reading this but incidents transpire every day for the general public.  There might not be a determinable way to contrive a resolution because the causes that lead to automobile mishaps vary greatly.  There could be a tactic to decrease the probability however.  Placing additional emphasis on the phone and texting laws would help immensely.  There are already laws in place to deter these activities while driving but I feel there could be some additional measures to help curb this process. 
                Using the phone while behind the wheel is really an unnecessary distraction that can lead to serious problems.  If your phone rings, you may immediately take your eyes off the road.  Then in some cases, there will be a search and rescue mission just to find the phone before answering it.  All that takes place before the conversation even begins.  Texting may be even more dangerous as there is no hands free way to do it and it will definitely necessitate the extended use of at least one hand.  If at any moment you are using two hands to text while the vehicle is moving then that is the severe circumstance.  These are the reasons people can get injured when something goes wrong.  Each activity diverts attention from the main focus of being a responsible driver.  There are some people who will proclaim that they can do this effectively and still control the car safely.  Though that maybe true, I would still promote and support the law against it.  The number of times you are able to get away with it does not mean your chances are the same in the next attempt.  The law is commendable for the practice of protecting everyone even if it can inconvenience a few.           
Some practical measures can be implemented to ensure the advancement of this regulation.  Traffic cameras already used at intersections and high traffic areas can take pictures of drivers as they pass through.  If the driver is seen to be using a phone, a ticket is then sent to their residence similar to other uses of the traffic camera.  This would be a huge assistance in modifying this behavior.  I suppose another step would be for patrolling officers to be able to determine if a cell phone is in use by the driver.  If technology could be produced to determine if someone was talking on the phone while steering would be a logical stride for helping law enforcement.  Due to citizen’s rights, this will have to be done without actually being able to listen to active calls.  That is a fine line to cross but necessary for the fairness of both parties.  Cops could then register an active operating signal and pull someone over for the violation.  It could then be proven with the new technology and maybe even cooperation with the service provider therefore making the legality of the transaction inarguable.  The credibility of this application of the law will have to be sustainable without constant questioning of its validity to be approved.  I am not an expert at the moment but I think it is possible to complete.
To protect this law correctly can address some of the other more common laws too.  I feel the issue of the phone is an underlying concern which contributes to several other areas.  To remove the interfering hobby of cell phone usage, let’s drivers preclude some minor traffic violations.  Police officers giving citations for speeding, missed stop signs or lights and improper lane switching would most likely decrease without the element of active phone usage.   These laws are important to bring attention to as well but they could also be affected by other factors.  Putting the proper emphasis on safer driving is significant.  The ideas written here can help to turning in the right direction to bring everybody home in one piece.