Showing posts with label TFiF. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TFiF. Show all posts

Friday, 10 May 2013

Thank Firebrand it's Friday - Fifth Edition


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Welcome to the fifth edition of TFiF (Thank Firebrand it's Friday). This week we look at cyber-warfare, the death of an internet giant and App creation for the web coding challenged. Let's get to it.

The death of an internet giant


Last week saw the quiet passing of an internet legend. After 16 years of dedicated service, Hotmail was finally put out to pasture by Microsoft to be replaced by the metro styled Outlook.


Source: Ryan Majeau
Final transition from Hotmail to Outlook saw the migration of more than 300 million live Email accounts, which equates to more than 150 petabytes of data (1 petabyte = 1000 terabytes). No doubt a majority of that data fell into 2 categories, social media notifications or Spam.

"Sir I have won lottery, need bank account to transfer my many millions, will give you 5%".....seems legit, here's my bank details and 4 digit pin code.



The real risk of cyber attacks

In recent years we have seen the rise of cyber crime and the increasing insurmountable danger in a world seemingly dominated by computers. Only last week Hackers compromised Twitter accounts from the Associated Press, causing Stock Markets to tank for following a false tweet claiming an attack on the White House.

Former Department of Homeland Security, Paul Rosenweig warns us that future attacks could result in far more severe consequences. Below are a few disturbing scenarios from his recent publication:


  • Industrial Control Systems could be hacked disrupting dams, oil refineries and the national grid. Think of the riots following the New York blackout, or when that dam collapsed and Superman had to race to save the town from the onrushing flood (ok the second happened in a movie, but you see my point).
Source: www.complex.com
  • Satellite based navigation systems could be manipulated affecting GPS data, planes provided with incorrect locational data, or you end up in a field instead of Tesco car park!
  • For those that have seen Fight Club a similar scenario could play out where London, Tokyo and New York Stock exchange data could be wiped out. Did anyone say sextuple dip recession?

A free Windows 8 App creator...


Enough of the doom and gloom, ever wanted to tap into the App market but lack the programming skills?

In steps the Zipapp web site, this free resource allows you to create your own app without ever having to write or learn a single line of code. The web based platform allows you to create a variety of static pages within the application, using feeds from Twitter/YouTube/Facebook and any compatible RSS feed.

So if you want to create a Windows 8 version of your Wordpress / Google blog and have an active Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, in quick time, Zippapp can help you achieve this.

Check out this 8 minute video, it really is simple.


So there we have it, another week of Thank Firebrand it's Friday in the bag. Join us next week for more news, reviews and hopefully whacky goings on.

About the Author:
Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy for Firebrand. Working in the Industry for 2 years, Edward has experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint 2007 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Edward writes for a variety of Blogs and Publications on all things Technology. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Thank Firebrand it's Friday - Fourth Edition


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Welcome to the fourth edition of TFiF (Thank Firebrand it's Friday). This week we talk Firebrand Babies, no tech related ridiculousness, this week is all about the Firebrand Family. Although, as tomorrow is Star Wars day I may just chuck in an awesome video at the end, "May the 4th be with you", as I won't be able to say it to you tomorrow. 


So let's get to it....



Firebrand Babies!



Friday 26th April was a momentous day for Firebrand, we were joined by 2 new miniature recruits. Please join me in congratulating Gary Fildes our Apprenticeship Instructor on the birth of his daughter Clementine and Tom McElroy our Apprenticeship Recruitment Manager on the birth of his daughter Skye Joy McElroy. We are delighted to have two new additions to the Firebrand Family.


To ensure the organisation and professionalism of the Apprenticeship department remained intact, it was agreed that both babies would arrive on the same day, outside contracted working hours of course.



The new Recruits



In the blue corner we have baby Clementine, weighing in at 6lb 12oz. Whilst over in the red corner we have baby Skye weighing in at 7lb 9oz.


Clementine Fildes
Skye Joy McElroy


A series of remarkable events....


Both births are remarkable in their own right, however it wasn't until Monday when Gary shared with us the series of events leading up to and after the birth of baby Clementine that we realised quite how special Gary's efforts were.

His exploits in juggling the birth of his first born child, whilst ensuring he was back in work on time to train the Apprentices optimises the dedication of our instructors to both their students and their families! 

Here is Gary's run down of a frankly remarkable and somewhat amusing series of events.

 “26th April 2013 - the run down

02:00 the action started happening at Wyboston Lakes
04:30 Massive contraction in Room 331.. When I politely told my wife to keep it down as there’s a guy next door who has a SQL Exam in the morning.
04:45 Run around the centre..writing instructions for the apprentices on the board
05:10 arrive at Hospital
06:12 Baby Clementine arrives with 6lb 12oz.

I’m back sorting out the apprentices now and will grab Mother and Child from hospital for fish and chip day at Wyboston.

Thanks for all the help, prezzies in the office and congrats.  Marketing guys..I wore the T-shirt all the way through.

Now that my friends is dedication! Here's the proof that they made it back for Fish & Chip day, I hope Gary changed his shirt...


Mr and Mrs Fildes with Baby Clementine
I'm also doubly delighted as a member of the Marketing department that not only do we have new additions to the Firebrand family, but also that in all likelihoods the first thing Clementine saw when she entered this World was the Firebrand Logo! (this is a joke, I'm not that crazy...)


May the 4th be with you...



Absolutely nothing to do with babies or technology, but seeing as it's Star Wars day tomorrow I thought I would share with you this awesome 60 second video summarising the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Which is quite fitting as we have two new hopes in the Firebrand Family (tenuous link?).





Happy Friday, hope you enjoyed this weeks instalment of TFiF. We're back next week with an amazing, undiscovered and FREE Windows 8 App creator. We'll also be taking a look at IBM wasting an inordinate amount of time and money on creating a miniature video at the molecular level, although I must admit it does look cool.  

About the Author:

Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy for Firebrand. Working in the Industry for 2 years, Edward has experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint 2007 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Edward writes for a variety of Blogs and Publications on all things Technology. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

Thank Firebrand it's Friday - Third Edition


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So we're now well an truly into the third week of TFiF (Thank Firebrand it's Friday). Last week we spoke about one way trips to Mars, your own personal Iron Man suit and lightsabers.... definitely a post for Fridays.

Hopefully this week will be more closely related to Enterprise Technology...

Oh my, it actually happened

This is what we call falling at the first hurdle people, there I was think I'd be talking about technology and certifications, then I spotted this beauty of a video. I joked last week about purchasing a life size Iron Man suit and wearing it to work, turns out someone actually went ahead and did exactly that. I really hope its a result of reading my article (it's not, I think).



I really enjoy the section around the 23 second mark where he does a little dance in the suit, Iron Man definitely should not dance.

Search Engine Hacking

Now this next video is not about the fun, in fact it may leave many of you deeply concerned about your own personal or business information available within Search Engines. So if you work in the world of information security and are responsible for your companies sensitive data, you really should take the time to watch this video from Stephen Chapman. In a very short time period Stephen highlights some very simple hacks you can implement within Google to find images of real life credit cards and scans of highly sensitive business material, take note.



Microsoft and Green Technology

I stumbled across Microsoft's 88 Acres website while researching Green Technology. This site gives the back story to how Microsoft went about creating their 88 Acre corporate campus and how they revolutionised the way they implemented energy efficiency gains and energy savings. Take some time to to visit 88 Acres and read up on how Microsoft invented their data driven software solution and how they are now helping building managers across the world deploy the solution.



Did you know that commercial buildings currently consume an estimated 40 percent of the worlds total energy? The software Microsoft are currently championing could vastly reduce the worlds carbon footprint whilst saving ££££ millions for companies worldwide. Working in Green Technology, maybe we have your attention now?

The Comic Keyboard...

I need a bit of ridiculous in my life, and this TFiF post is dangerously close to being sensible. Which is why I'm happy to introduce you to the comic book keyboard. Sick of managing Windows Server or typing presentations and security reports on a drab keyboard? You need the comic keyboard stickers from Etsy.

Source: Geekologie

Buy them now and brighten up your life by shouting "SHAZAM" every time you hit enter or "EXCELSIOR" every time you create a space.

That's it, except for the Killer Robots.

So there you have it; balance, 2 stupid and 2 sensible. Till next weeks instalment of TFiF, unless we are destroyed by Killer Robots. Thankfully there are smart people out there campaigning for a pre-emptive strike preventing the creation of Killer Robots.

About the Author:
Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy for Firebrand. Working in the Industry for 2 years, Edward has experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint 2007 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Edward writes for a variety of Blogs and Publications on all things Technology. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Thank Firebrand it's Friday - Second Edition


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Welcome to the second edition of TFiF (Thank Firebrand it's Friday). If you didn't catch our last TFiF post you missed out on the evolution of Lego, controlling you PC with a motion sensor and a full scale Lego Data Centre. It was a good day.

This week lets just get straight into the ridiculous stuff....

I am Iron Man

This week saw the UK premier of Iron Man 3, the latest in a long line of Marvel films. Whilst I'm sure the film will be great and the masses will be in awe; let's be honest, how could it ever compare to owning your very own life sized Iron Man suit.

"Darling, forget the the standard suit and tie for Monday, i'm heading to work in my Iron Man suit."

Of course if you actually own this suit you're probably single...

Image Source: Gizmodo
Forget Mark's & Spencers, forget Moss Bros, it's time for Marvel, and rocking in at roughly £5600 ($8500) it's cheaper than some custom Tailor made suits in the market, bargain.

Human settlement on Mars by 2023

If you've been keeping abreast on the latest news via the BBC, you may have spotted an article earlier this week concerning Mars One. The Dutch, Not-for-Profit organisation claim they have developed a 'realistic' plan to establish a settlement on Mars by 2023. Mars One claim the feat is possible and is built upon existing technologies presently available from proven suppliers (an all good space retailers no doubt).

Image Source: The Mars One

Planned technology includes the SpaceX Dragon capsule, the Mars Rover, and space suits akin to those worn by the Apollo astronauts. Mars One have subsequently announced the imminent opening of one-way applications for the trip to Mars. I wonder if I could volunteer a select few?

Let us know who you would send on a one-way ticket to Mars in the comments section below.

Technology you'll just never need

I stumbled across Ultrasabers the other day whilst working (honestly!). Their tag line..."are you in search of Custom Lightsabers, FX Lightsaber and Star Wars Lightsaber Conversions, or parts to Build Your Own Lightsaber?".  I wonder how many of you read this and thought, 'well what a coincidence, yes I am', more than a few I bet, I certainly did.


A large part of me thinks we could spend our time building technology for far greater cause. The Star Wars fan in me however, suggests I run round the garden swinging my Custom Lightsaber wildly whilst making whooshing noises and making my very own re-enactment of the final battle between Luke and Darth Vader. Well, that's Sunday sorted....

Till next TFiF

Well there you have it, three loosely related (completely non related) tech stories for a Friday afternoon. Next week I actually plan to tie some stories in to certification.

Unless you ask me not to.....get in touch and let me know your thoughts.


About the Author:
Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy for Firebrand. Working in the Industry for 2 years, Edward has experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint 2007 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Edward writes for a variety of Blogs and Publications on all things Technology. 

Friday, 5 April 2013

Thank Firebrand it's Friday - First Edition


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Welcome to the first edition of "Thank Firebrand it's Friday", TFiF for short (because in Tech we all love acronyms). We work hard here in the Firebrand Comms team to bring you all the latest news, reviews and updates on IT Certifications and Technology via the Firebrand Blog. The Blog was created with the defining principle of adding value to our community, and helping you the reader in your day job by giving you the knowledge you seek.

For those that follow Firebrand closely, you'll have hopefully spotted our 'how-to' guides floating about the web on technical publications, if not here are a few examples on TechNet, ServerWatch and TechRadar Pro.

But we've felt like something's missing, something a little less serious, informative yet fun, something that is perfect for a Friday afternoon, and so we (I) have created TFiF. As it's the first edition it will likely evolve as time progresses and we'd love your feedback on how to shape it. Today it's a bit of a hotch botch of fun things found around the web...

LEGO™ just got technical

Man I wish littleBits were around when I was a kid (I say this as if I haven't ordered a set), these guys have taken the concept of LEGO™ building blocks and completely revolutionised it for the 21st-Century. For the Trekkies amongst you, think Borg assimilation, they've effectively taken LEGO™, injected it with technology and in the process made the practice of learning about hardware design accessible to kids. Check out this two minute video and try not to purchase a set at the end.


Check out some of the products already created, the hardware is open-source so expect some rapid expansion from the 50 modules currently available, allowing far more complex products to be created. If you read my previous post on the growing skills gap in the UK technology sector, littleBits could be the educational solution sought to address the issue at grass-roots level, especially in the the hardware design sector.

Leap Motion will blow your mind

If you haven't seen the Leap Motion Controller yet, you need this in your life. Planning to ship May 14th, 2013 this product from software and hardware company Leap Motion is set to revolutionise the way we all interact with computers. If this takes off then it could effectively destroy the emerging touch screen market being driven through Microsoft in Windows 8. 




Time to make a LEGO™ Data Center

Ever wanted to see a Data Center made of LEGO™ ? Me neither, but now you can thanks to the efforts of Eduardo Tanaka and the fact that it's a Friday afternoon.


Well that's about it for today, I hope you've enjoyed the first instalment of TFiF, let's see where next week take us. And as I leave you; continuing along the Data Center theme, check out this shot from one of Google's Data Centers. You can see the full gallery here - Google Data Centers



About the Author:
Edward is a member of the Marketing team overseeing the Content Strategy for Firebrand. Working in the Industry for 2 years, Edward has experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint 2007 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Edward writes for a variety of Blogs and Publications on all things Technology.