Internet helping people through quarantine

Due to the Coronavirus, creating a pandemic across the world many schools and universities have cancelled in person classes and converted to online classes for the remainder of the spring semester. Most are concerned they will not get the full learning experience and are also worried they will not be able to fully learn the material though online classes. In addition this virus is spreading rapidly and it is highly encouraged to STAY HOME and avoid going in public at all cost. It is also encouraged to social distance which is to stay a good six feet away from people. This has all caused people to have to switch and use technology more often to be able to stay in contact with people and to just stay entertained. In the article “From Netflix Party to Zoom: The internet apps getting us through quarantine” it talks about new innovations designed to help people during the pandemic. In the article Aja Romano states “Group virtual movie nights have always been a thing, but now they are vital forms of social activity. Among the wide array of apps being used to organize and assemble group movie nights, two tentpoles seem to have emerged: Discord and Netflix Party.” Netflix Party is used to be able to watch tv or movies with people but vitally and Discord is a way players can chat while playing video games. This leads us to Zoom, which is basically like a huge Group FaceTime with Teachers use now to be able to teach their class. They have the ability to still use a form of clicker questions, mute student or have them unmuted so they are still able to participate, see them through the web cam to see them engaging with the material , and many other functions. Thanks to these apps people are able to coupe a little better during this whole pandemic.

The Value of Trade Secrets

The article that I found interesting this week was one I came across on the Wall Street Journal called “Former Google Engineer Charged with Trade-Secret Theft Reaches Deal with U.S.”. This article was written on March 19, 2020 and discussed the recent decision for the Anthony Levandowski case after it was brought into light that the engineer was stealing Google’s trade secrets. Levandowski was charged back in August of 2019 with 33 counts of trade-secret theft from one of Google’s projects known as “Project Chauffeur.” This project focused on the development of self-driving autonomous cars. Originally in 2017, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, sued Uber over claims that Anthony Levandowski stole over 14,000 files before his departure from the company and was then ordered by the judge to be investigated further for charges of theft of trade secrets, leading to the case today. It was recently determined that he will plead guilty to one count of trade theft and the other 32 counts would be dropped.

I found this article interesting because the research on autonomous cars has grown vastly throughout recent years and extremely more competitive based on valuable advances within the industry. It’s crazy to think how valuable knowledge alone is and how often it can result in even harsher penalty. It makes me wonder how often the threat of trade secrets occurs within multi-billion dollar companies and their projects.  


More People Needing Internet Access Causing Concerns Among Technology Experts

Over the past month, the coronavirus has caused world wide scrambling and terror. It has changed every singles persons life in some way and right now, we are sure when it is all going to be over. While stuck in quarantine I have been thinking about the affects and impacts it is going to have on the internet and its capacity. Since the government has issued that people need to be social distancing, many companies are having their employees work from home. While some employees may be happy about this, it is going to have a huge strain on services such as Zoom, Netflix, and all of our internet providers. Netflix has recently released a statement about its worries that their servers may go down because of the mass usage of the service. Also, the employees along with students are all using Zoom and I am sure Microsoft is worried about this. There has been millions more people needing to use Zoom and I am sure that they were not prepared for this big of an increase in usage of Zoom.

The lack of preparedness for the mass increases in usage of all of these services could have a negative impact on our lives, as if the coronavirus was not enough already. There are so many other impacts that coronavirus is going to have on society, other than people just getting sick. I believe it is something we all need to keep in mind and all work together in order for us to get through this the best way we can.


“Nth Room” Case – Sexual slavery conducted over the internet

The room N incident refers to a large-scale online transmission and sales of sexual crime video incidents in Telegram that happened in Korea. The victims included a large number of pre-adults, with at least 10,000 perpetrators. They forced these young females to film very extreme and cruel porn content using their own devices. If they ever stop or refuse to do so, the perpetrators threatened them by screenshot their friend lists on SNS and saying that they will send all the photos to their parents. In this case, all the chat room are set online with strong security, people who are interested in the content have to pay at least $150 (via cryptocurrency) to become a member, because of the Telegram’s strict security system, it is more difficult to investigate.

I hardly imagine such crim happened in the real world, according to the research, the youngest victim among these females is 10. And the member count by the day this case is exposed is 260-thousand, which means one among one hundred Korean men paid to enjoy such cruel sexual slavery. On the other side, it makes me think of the dark side of the internet.

In nowadays, we enjoy the internet and depend on it very much, social media like telegram in Korea helps us to exchange information quickly and connect with each other. However, the privacy of these chat rooms. It is the anonymity mechanism of the network and the confidentiality of user privacy by social software that has contributed to the wide spread of such sex crimes on the Internet. For these 260,000 members, there is almost no evidence of cybercrime, so the probability of being caught by police is very low. I think it is very necessary to take measures to prevent such criminals from happening again.


Is zoom an effective tool for sustained online classes?

As the corona virus takes over our lives, businesses close down, and universities close down/transition to an online approach, we have to find alternate ways to get work done and live semi-normal lives. Penn State is accomplishing this by setting up online classes via an app called Zoom. This app allows people to join a meeting with their professors and students in their class in order to conduct an online class scenario, some professors even record these Zoom meetings and then post them to Canvas for people who can’t “go to class/Zoom meetings”. As we students transition to this different style of learning I often wonder if this style of learning will be effective or if it will lead to lazy students and a lack of retention of the material that we are given. The thought is a good one but I’m skeptical if this method will allow students to succeed. I feel like determined student might not have a problem after they adjust to the situation, but I think that this provides the opportunity for kids to slack off and possibly let their grades slip or worse yet, not learn their material. Not being on campus, I don’t feel as motivated or engaged as I usually do when I am on campus. How do you feel about this whole scenario? Do you feel that you will be able to keep your grades up throughout the rest of the semester? Do you feel that Zoom is a good tool to use in this case? Let me know what you think.

Celebs Help During Pandemic

In a time like this where the world is facing a global pandemic, many celebrities are trying to use their social media platforms to help. While some are using their platforms to preach the importance of social distancing, others are taking a more hands on approach.

For example, Brittany Spears recently took to Instagram to post a video encouraging her fans to DM her if they are having financial troubles due to the pandemic (which could be caused by job loss/inability to go out). She said whether they needed “food or even just diapers” they should reach out. She has been responding to DMs by pay-palling people money.

In addition to Brittany, other stars have been spreading positivity in these trying times. Donatella Versace and her daughter donated €200,000 to a hospital in Milan, where hospitals are under huge financial strain due to being over-run and not having enough resources to deal with the influx of people they are receiving. Also, the CEO of Delta, a major airline, has foregone his own salary to help prevent layoffs.

In trying times like these, it is good to remember that there is still lots of good in the world.



Netflix Watch Party

In an attempt to shine some positive light in a time filled with chaos and social and misinformation, I decided to write something about a development conducted by Google to encourage “social distancing” while still being able to interact with friends. Considering that going to the movies and hanging out with large groups of friends have temporarily come to an end, Google decided to pair with Netflix to allow people to stream movies and shows together and at the same time to stimulate watching movies together in person.

This free Google extension is called ‘Netflix Party’. This software allows for anyone in the invited ‘party’ to pause, play, rewind or do anything that a usual movie would do so that everyone in the ‘party’ is in the same time frame of the movie. One of the things that I thought of when I first heard of this is what’s the point of watching a movie together if you can’t talk (because how are you going to use the webcam audio and Netflix audio at the same time)? Well, this was clearly answered in the article. Netflix Party included a a side bar where everyone can type like a chat room and make comments on the movie or just talk in general. Since this program is so new, it hasn’t been answered what the max about of people that can join a party is. In order for this program to work and be successful, everyone that desires to be in the party must already have an existing Netflix account and then download the Google extension.

So, if you’re looking for way to be connected to your friends while you’re stuck at home this could be a great tool and way to interact. I also think it’s really cool how Google Netflix are developing this new software in a time when people need it the most. If you’re interested, the article attached contains all instructions on how to set it up. Stay safe!


Netflix Watch Party: How to Simultaneously Stream Movies with Your Friends Remotely,


Is social media skewing Corona-Virus data and information?

With all of the panic and drama aside from any natural disaster that would occur against an unprepared society, there has been an abundance of information streamed over media. Some of this information isn’t the most trustworthy in a time of distrust amongst us. Some information only serves to make a joke of the seriousness of events in modern times in the form of memes from social media and can easily be debunked as false.

The voice of media serves the people and genuinely wants to warn us of all of the dangers and how to avoid them, but a lot of data is skewed and sometimes even classified. China, despite those already reported, has been accused of withholding the actual amount of people infected with the virus than they have been telling us. Looking at data from John Hopkins we see that China is already the most infected with Italy trailing behind it but the actual number of cases is still unknown and could be thousands more than reported. A quote from claim that “Big tech companies are being confronted with the swift spread of online misinformation about the coronavirus—from dangerous health advice to racist conspiracies to scammy products” (Waddell). These conspiracies are refering to the Chinese using COVID-19 as a biochemical weapon or even something made in a lab.

Not only that, but with the recent lockdowns across the country, those with malicious intents are putting misinformation out of the internet and are even using this panic to phish for individuals stuck at home with their devices. There was a recent link with $100 gift cards to Starbucks, it looks nice and legitimate until you read the way the spelled “apoligized” which tipped me and a couple of friend off that maybe this isn’t a legitimate link.

So my question to you is, do you think that the media is blowing this out of proportion? Do you think the there are conspiracies that big tech companies claim to be? Do you trust everything on the internet that pertains to the disease?

“Corona Virus Map.” Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Johns Hopkins, 21 Mar. 2020,

Waddell, Kaveh. “Fight Against Coronavirus Misinformation Shows What Big Tech Can Do When It Really Tries.” Consumer Reports, 11 Mar. 2020,

IoT hacking

Before knowing anything about the IST major, what I imagined people in this major to be doing after graduating was becoming a hacker. Though I do know now that it is not the case, I still find this topic relevant to this class and also interesting. Where technology helps and assists humans with their daily lives, it is used for much more than this on a larger scale. New forms of crime now exist because of technology, and every single invention brings its own different goods and bads. Browsing the internet, I found an article about a new cyberweapon that can hack into IoT devices. 


Zak Hoffman writes this article by Forbes about how this hacking program ordered by the security service of Russia. IoT devices are said to be less secure than other forms of technology, and this is used to the program’s advantage. The issue here is actually much larger than it seems because the goal for this hacking program is not to spy on and gain information of IoT devices in factories, but rather to use this as a botnet to target much larger, such as major US and European internet platforms. Because of how technology has improved nowadays, the possibilities seem to be unlimited in both spectra. We can either choose to use technology for further development of the humankind, or for a crime like this.

50$ toilet paper roll?!

With the spread of the Coronavirus, we are facing many issues that are outside anywhere close to what we would normally expect. The fact that the Virus is killing tens of thousands of people is scary and the core of the issue, though this is rather obvious. What I want to get to is more of the external effect of the virus. On a big scale, the pandemic is causing economies to crash and businesses to file bankruptcy. Fewer and fewer people are willing to travel now and airports around the globe are empty. But the real issues are the ones that hurt and bother are peaceful daily lives. For some reason, people have concluded to going to the store and buying all the toilet paper they can possibly obtain. With this people are unable to buy toilet paper for a reasonable price. The reason such thing has occurred in the first place is due to the availability of information. People can obtain and share information freely, causing such an issue. Though the specific aspect that I want to go through today is how people have started to sell rolls of toilet paper for ridiculous prices online. 


Paige Cushman writes an article about how a man from Arkansas was selling half a roll of toilet paper for 50$. After hearing this you man not be surprised about others who are selling rolls for 10, 15 and 20 dollars. Toilet paper is a must-have an item on a daily basis, and I would say is an issue that should be taken much more seriously. Because all of this can be done behind a screen, it happens so often. Reading about this, I felt that it is times like now, that we must cooperate the most.