Friday, December 6, 2019

Explore Task 12/6/19

Yesterday I did research on how virtual reality actually works and uses data to perform the desired task. I also started to research some data/privacy concerns that are involved with virtual reality. Today I plan on continuing this research and also starting my rough draft for my written responses.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Explore Task 12/5/19

Yesterday I started by identifying the purpose of my computational innovation. I then started to gather sources about my topic and decided to read through all of them. I used these sources to get a better understanding of my topic. I also picked out a beneficial and harmful effect from one of the sources. Today I plan on continuing my research on how virtual reality works and what computing is being done. (via input, processing, and output)

Monday, December 2, 2019

Submarine Cables

1. Is it true that sharks biting the cables is a problem?

Sharks have bitten the cables before, but they are not seen as a major threat. The majority of of the damage to the cables is from human activity.

2. Cables can break just by wearing out - but what are some other things that cause them to break?

Most cables are broken due to human activity such as fishing vessels and ships dragging their anchors on the sea floor. Earthquakes have also been known to cause damage to the cables. Direct sabotage and shark bites are extremely rare.

3. Who uses submarine cables?

These cables are being used by anybody who is using the internet, including me. The cables are also used by telecom carriers, mobile operators, governments, and content providers.

4. How thick is a cable?

The cables are typically as wide as a garden hose. The fibers within the cables are no thicker than human hair.

5. How does fiber-optic technology work with the cables?

Lasers on one end of the cable fire at very high rates of speed  down the thin glass fibers to receptors at the other end of the cable. The glass fibers are wrapped in plastic and sometimes steel for protection.

6. What did you find most interesting about the cables?

I was surprised by the sheer number of submarine cables that exist and are in operation. There are approximately 378 cables in service around the world and they all add up to measure about 1.2 million kilometers. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

IP Blog Post

What is a protocol?A protocol is a set of rules for transmitting data between devices and computers. There must be a predetermined agreement between computers entailing how the information will be sent and received.
  What is an Internet Protocol (IP) address?An IP address is a numerical label that is assigned to every device connected to a network. 

How is it organized hierarchically?The system of hierarchy is based on the bits in the address. The first numbers are usually the country/network. The second set of numbers represents the region. The third set is for the sub-network and finally the last is for the device. 

How many bits are in an IPv4 address?There are 32 bits in an IPv4 address.

How many IPv4 addresses does that mean there are?  The number is a little over 4 billion addresses. You can find it by multiplying 2 to the 32nd power. (2^32). 

What is the difference between IPv6 and IPv4.  An IPv6 address is composed of 128 bits while an IPv4 address only has 32. IPv6 addresses are alphanumerical and the bits are separated by a colon. IPv4 addresses are only numerical and the bits are separated by periods. 

Why do we need IPv6?Due to the increase of devices being added to the internet, IPv4 addresses were running out. They created IPv6 addresses in order to accommodate for all of the new devices and provided better routing and security. 

What is an IP packet?

An IP packet is a unit that carries data using internet protocols. The packet only contains part of the message body and it is sent to its destination. 

What is the difference between an IP address and an IP Packet?

An IP address is nothing but a numerical label that is assigned to each device connected to the internet. It identifies a network interface and addresses the location. An IP packet is used to carry data and transfer it to its destination. 

What is the purpose of the Domain Name System (DNS)?The domain name system maps the name people use to locate a website to the IP address that a computer uses to locate a website. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Blown to Bits

Koan 2: Perfection is Normal

Humans tend to make errors and mistakes, but computers work differently. Computers are able to send and receive exact copies of whatever is being sent or received. But computers and networks occasionally crash which stops all activity. This means that digital copies are only perfect if they have the possibility to be sent out. Networks don't just move bits from one place to another. They check to see if anything has been damaged and they try to correct them before they are received. This means that the chance of an error happening is extremely low.

I think that this is definitely a positive effect of computers. It takes out the possibility of human error, especially when it comes to means of communication.

Koan 4: Processing is Power

The speed of a computer is determined by the amount of operations it can perform within a second. Computers in the 1940's could perform five operations per second, but computers now can perform about a trillion. For a few decades the increase in speed was exponential, this is known as "Moore's Law". Since 2001, the speed of processors have not increased but computers can still perform faster by using multiple processors. The rapid increase of processing power also allows new inventions to move out of labs and become consumer goods (robot vacuums, self-driving cars, etc.). The future also holds more possibilities using faster and more powerful processing for various tasks.

I found this koan interesting because I wonder about what technology will be like in the future decades. How advanced will it be? How fast will computers be? What operations will we be able to do that we can't do now? These are questions that can only be answered over time. But it is safe to say that technology will continue to grow and processing will become more powerful.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Marconi Station

This is a part of the gallery that explains what Moore's Law is and how it will affect our technology in the future. It explains that the number of transistors doubles every two years which results in faster,cheaper, and better devices. 

This is an exhibit that reveals the 16 individual components that can be found inside of our smartphones. I found this interesting because it is really amazing to see how far technology has come, to the point that all of this can fit within our pocket. 

This is an info graphic that explains what Ship AIS (Automatic Identification System) is and how it works. I found this interesting because it uses the latest wireless technology in order to enhance safety at sea and track any ships that have AIS on board. 

This is a wireless communication station that would be found on ships and monitored by a person on the ship 24/7. They were able to send and receive messages from other ships and stations on the shore. 

This is a model of a four-rotor Enigma machine. The Nazi's used the Enigma machine to send encoded messages to the Navy and high command. Alan Turing and his team developed their own machine in order to break the code. They then used an intercepted, like the one above, in order to decode any message. 

This is a part of the exhibit that explained why Morse Code was invented and how it was used. Morse code was used in order to send messages through wireless telegraph systems. It consisted of electrical pulses that came out in dots and dashes that corresponded to a different letter or number. 

What I learned:

  1. I learned that the transistor as the basis for modern technology and computers.
  2. About 700 people were saved from the wreck of the Titanic thanks to distress signals sent by the ship's wireless telegraph.
  3. Some Enigma messages were intercepted in Chatham by the Navy and sent to D.C. to be decoded.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Coding for Aviation - Coding in the Wild

I chose this topic because I've always been interested in aviation and things involving flight. I wanted to know more about how coding and computer science is used in aviation. Computer science is used in aviation, in this particular case, they are building a system that will use machine learning and computer vision to read in and process thousands of documents a day. The system automatically scans all of the data off of the documents and stores it in a database. Customers hire this startup company to save themselves countless man hours currently spent combing through paperwork. The tools and languages that these people use are C#, JavaScript, HTML, and SQL.