Computer Science

The field of computer science is rapidly evolving to meet the changing demands of consumers and technology companies. Programmers are expected to be proficient in one or more programming languages to secure a job. Learning programming languages can be challenging and time-consuming, and there is no clear consensus on which languages should be included in an undergraduate curriculum; as such, it is only natural for a student to wonder which language(s) they should dedicate their time to learning.

For example, the PopularitY of Programming Language index– available on GitHub – tracks popularity based on the volume of Google searches on each language. Java is currently ranked #1 on the PYPL, with Python as #2. A variety of other languages, including PHP, Javascript, and variants of C, make up the rest of the top 10 spots on the list. Websites such as LinkedIn and eBay are primarily written in Java, whereas Sites like YouTube, Dropbox, and Reddit are structured around Python.  Additionally, the growing number of sites utilizing Python explains the sudden jump in Google searches on the language — PYPL shows an increase of 2.4% over the past year.

For students who are not well-versed in any programming languages, the best thing to do is start somewhere. Although the variety of programming languages can be overwhelming, many of the same principles and techniques are cross-applicable, such as the value placed on efficiency and the practice of consistently naming variables. After learning your first language, you will find the process of learning subsequent languages significantly easier, and you can be on your way to a dynamic and engaging career in computer science.

Submitted By: Max Dabek

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated – Maya Angelou

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Public Wi-Fi: Convenience over Security?

It is an undeniable fact internet access is an essential requirement for our society and has a direct impact on the level of productivity in our day-to-day operations. Whether we respond to email via a laptop at a café or checking grades on our smartphone, the availability of “free” (AKA open) Wi-Fi connections may seem like a great convenience.

However, consumers must be cautious when using open Wi-Fi networks as such a network can be a perfect platform for malicious hackers to steal your information and wreak havoc on your device. Many times, open Wi-Fi networks are generally unencrypted, allowing for anyone on the network to view your internet traffic with quite ease. Even with an encrypted network requesting a passphrase, users can still be susceptible to “man-in-the-middle” attacks. In this type of attack, the malicious hacker positions themselves between your device and the network in order to quite literally gain access to all of your traffic. One can imagine the potential damage if someone was, say, banking online. This is only one method of a myriad avenues of attacks but there are definitely ways a consumer can protect themselves:

  1. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service: many paid and free services do a solid job of protecting your traffic while on A public Wi-Fi network via an encrypted connection or “VPN tunnel.”
  2. Say no to sharing: some smartphone apps automatically transfer data in the background so be sure to have those setting turned off when using public Wi-Fi.
  3. Don’t access any accounts containing sensitive information (i.e. bank accounts) when connected to a public Wi-Fi network. Additionally, confirm the open Wi-Fi network you’re trying to connect to has the correct SSID / network name from the provider of the Wi-Fi. Many times, malicious hackers set up Wi-Fi networks to mimic “safe” networks in order to get your device in their hands.

Submitted By: DJ Derda

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning
– Brad Henry

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Loyola University Chicago’s Technology Resources

As we prepare for the upcoming academic year, one of the first things we do as students, faculty and staff includes checking into the technologies needed to successfully complete our jobs in the workplace and classroom. The prep ranges from tools used to complete academic research, professional services and/or personal tech savvy development. Take a look at the ITS’ website to learn more about technologies offered at Loyola and see how various software applications and/or services can help you.

Longevity means we have to evolve, that we have to change and be able to change – Wolfgang Puck

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App Extender’s

Do you get tired of writing lengthy emails or tracking lengthy conversation? Have you considered utilizing a text expansion application to shorten the time it takes to draft messages, memos, etc.? Essentially, you setup the app to recognize various key words as part of extended words, select a specific key on the keyboard and voila, the longer text appears. Checkout a options at the site below:

http://lifehacker.com/5844126/the-best-text-expansion-app-for-windows
luc.edu

Submitted By: Ariana Lewis

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

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LUC Self-Service Password Management

Great news! Loyola University Chicago now offers a self-service password management system. LUC faculty/staff/students and alumni with active University accounts can visit luc.edu/password in order to register for the site and self-manage their password 24/7.

Submitted By: Ariana Lewis

Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?
– Author Unknown

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Loyola University Chicago’s Exciting News! A New Password Self-Service System Arriving Soon!!!

In the coming weeks, we are launching Password Self-Service, a new system that will allow students, faculty, and staff on the University network to reset their own network passwords quickly and independently.

The tool will replace our existing Personal Account Manager (PAM) and eliminate the need to contact the ITS Help Desk when passwords are forgotten or accounts are locked. With Password Self-Service, users can set up a series of personalized challenge questions to be answered if a password or account issue arises. The text and alternate email address are other means to unlock or reset an account. You can choose to either use challenge questions, use text messaging, or use an alternate email account to proceed.

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Google Chrome Enhancement

Lately, there’s been an increase in the number of spam messages appearing in mailboxes and viruses spreading through the virtual world. To help keep your machine safe and personal information “personal” as you surf the web, Chrome browser users have additional security features thanks to Google. The company recently released a browser update warning people about potentially unsafe download prompts on a webpage. For more information, checkout:

http://mashable.com/2015/02/24/google-software-warning/

All virtue is summed up in dealing justly – Aristotle

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The Language of the Future

Everyone knows majoring in Computer Science is no easy task. Not only do you have to learn about the actual art of programming, but also new technology yet discovered and developed by programmers. Many people tend to overlook the idea that programmers, in some sense, are bilingual.

Now this may raise some questions. The fact is there are multiple programming languages. It is not often people realize the differences between them. Like different languages of the world, there are a variety of programming languages developers use. Of course there are the popular ones, Java, C/C++, Ruby and Python. Yet as years progress, more and more new languages will continue to come into existence, including the D programming language created by Walter Bright.

The D programming language is relatively unknown in the programming world, but when people like Andrei Alexandrescu started using it for apps like Facebook, we begin to see much promise. No one truly knows where the world is heading, but with continuing advancements, the learning curve for future Computer Science majors will continue to grow.

For more information, checkout Wired.com.

Submitted By:

Jesse Morales

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Technology in the Modern Market

As a marketing major at Loyola University, I have studied a decent amount about consumers and suppliers. With constant new inventions and ideas, the technology market is flooded with content. It then becomes the marketers job to ask themselves questions such as “What is our target market? Or “How do we advertise to bring in new consumers?”

When advertising for technology, you are trying to sell high-end products that require a deep thought process before buying. In order to succeed when marketing for technology, the marketer must correctly interpret data from many different spreadsheets to then determine their target audience. It only takes one wrong advertisement or sponsor, to tarnish a brands image permanently.

As shown throughout recent years, new technology advancements also make it easier for us marketers to do our job. It allows for more creativity with ads, such as billboards that show a screened image or a TV advertisement where you are entered to win a prize by downloading an app on your smartphone. These new forms of marketing allow for a bunch of new jobs in the marketing field since they need younger marketers who know how to target the younger generations better while also having a good understanding of the technology used to market.

Finally, marketing requires people to study the consumers and place them into certain groups which requires a bunch of data. Since there has been a huge breakthrough with storage devices and computers, marketers are now allowed to store massive amounts of data conveniently. For example, the creation of the 1st terabyte flash drive in 2012. The device allowed for a marketer to keep over a thousand of pages of data for their job on a drive smaller than your phone.

Ultimately, if things plan out as I see them in the future, I will hopefully work as a marketer for some sort of company involved with creating computer technology. Working for the Loyola Helpdesk is a huge benefit for this planned future since I now learn something new about technology every day. Learning about how to fix computer issues gives me the extra edge I will need when applying for a position with a technology company. As technology continues advancing so does marketing, which is why I am excited to combine my two passions into one field after graduation.

Submitted By:
Colin Doyle

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Cryptolocker Virus

Throughout the past nine months, a new type of ransomware virus has infected hundreds of thousands of computers. This malware virus is usually referred to as cryptolocker and it prevents you from accessing any of your computer files until you pay a certain amount of money to the criminals (usually $300).

The name the virus is Cryptolocker and has proven multiple times that it is extremely difficult to terminate. Altogether, this virus is online robbery and people need to be informed about it in order to take precautionary measures and to avoid funding those behind the ransomware virus. This ransomware was thought to be ended by the FBI this past May, but it now appears that it was only an obstacle for cryptolocker which has kidnapped the files of approximately 400,000 people. The cryptolocker hackers decided to initiate the virus though a botnet, which is a huge network of hacked computers.

In order for the FBI to stop the spread of the virus they partnered with foreign law enforcement and private security to destroy communication between the specific botnet and the victims’ computers. After a few months they seized Cryptolocker’s servers. However, all this accomplished was stopping the current virus delivery method and shortly after they changed the virus code and found a new botnet. Even after the victims pay the money demanded by Cryptolocker they cannot receive the keys to unlock their files since there is no way to communicate with Cryptolocker’s network. Therefore, the files are permanently deleted and the victim loses three hundred dollars for nothing. There are also many copycats that are appearing all around the world, but their infection numbers are much lower than Cryptolocker. In conclusion, this new type of malware is proving to a worldwide issue and is very difficult to trace. It is important that people affiliate themselves with the term ransomware since it appears that it is not going away anytime soon.

Submitted By:

Colin Doyle

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