9 Tech Firms Receive Perfect Scores In EFF Ranking Concerning Data Protection From The Government


Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox were each awarded perfect scores in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) yearly scoring of major tech companies’ practices when it comes to protecting user data from government eyes. The six companies posted various improvements in the year interval regarding their work to defend user privacy. Twitter and Sonic.net repeated their perfect 2013 scores this year.

The six categories that the companies were ranked on when it comes to protecting user data from the government are as follows: Requires a warrant for content; Tells users about government data requests; Publishes transparency reports; Publishes law enforcement guidelines; Fights for users’ privacy rights in courts; Fights for users’ privacy rights in Congress.

For each category a company meets the mark in the EFF’s eyes, they are awarded a star. Companies can therefore be awarded up to 6 stars per year.

Apple picked up 5 new stars from 2013 to 2014, as…

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Teaching Trident Tech College Students how to work on VoIP phone system


Every Saturday morning the Student Chapter of AITP (Association of IT Professionals) meet to discuss what is going on in tech this week.  The topics can vary quite a bit.  It just so happened that I got an emergency call for a Client late Friday night (6pm) about a phone system that had decided it was time for the entire shop to go home early.  I had planned the site visit with the Client and asked them if I could bring along a couple Students from the local Trident Technical College which they gladly agreed.  In an effort to help Students understand how to work with Clients I had a couple of helpers.

The call when well, the Students Travis (on left) and Chuck (on right) were delighted that the owner (Ms. True – center) graciously accepted their presence on the Service call.  AT&T was dispatched shortly after we reviewed the situation, one of the VoIP (Voice over IP) routers had failed even though there was a dial tone at the phone handset the systems digital connection was not getting past the faulty router.  Great learning lessons, wonderful Client experience training and everyone gained from the short call.

Getting involved in the community, pay it forward.  Helping the AITP Student Chapter & TTC Students learn what really happens when we go onsite to help resolve a complex system issue.  Client management is the same whether there is software or hardware problems.  Software components are just logical repair/replacements.

Calls for support can be broke down into a few basic steps:

  1. Set Client expectations
  2. Identify what is wrong
  3. Find the faulty component (what is or is not working)
  4. Isolate & Resolve or Replace faulty component




Glad to be a part of the Local AITP Professional and Student Chapters.

Posted to WordPress for your enlightenment. Enjoy your day today. http://www.rogerswanson.com

Google X Built A Fully Self-Driving Car From Scratch, Sans Steering Wheel And Pedals

How cool is that a self driving car? Wow, hope it does not cause any accidents?


Google’s experimental Google X division has been working on self-driving cars for a while, but it’s created the prototype for a brand new version that looks nothing like the retrofitted version.

“We took a look from the ground up of what a self-driving car would look like,” Brin said at the CODE Conference tonight, after showing a demo video.

What does a built-from-the-ground-up self-driving car look like? Well, you start by taking away all the things that allow you to actually drive the thing — you take away the steering wheel and pedals that give a driver control.

Brin said the company has not had any crashes so far, but the company has also been testing it in pretty safe conditions. But for Google, the self-driving car is part of a bigger vision for re-envisioning the transportation environment.

“What I’m excited about is how we could change transportation today,” Brin…

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Been busy with personal life and classes at TheIronYard.

Happy belated Memorial Day.  I don’t always looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend.  I am reminded of close comrades who have gone ahead personally giving the cost of their life for the Freedoms of others.  Some Americans do not fully appreciate the Freedom we have come to know in these fine United States of America.  My hat is off to the people (ladies and men) who have made a personal commitment to Our Freedom.  Whatever small or large price that you have paid in time, effort, money, Patriotism…you are Thanked and Appreciated by me.  ARMY, NAVY, MARINE, AIRCORP, COASTGAURD you are each and everyone of you awesome in your own way.  THANKS!


I have been sort of “falling off the writing wagon” – but no fear, I plan to get back on this blog and continue my story of how thing went during my training at TheIronYard.  I even have some new time management tools to help.  I have enjoyed using Harvest for the past two weeks, reasonably easy to use, setup is simple and easy to modify activities, as well as billing categories.  

Here is what Eric Dodds has to say: 

Track time, expenses and get paid

We’ll keep this pretty simple: use HarvestFreckle or LessTimeSpent. You can do almost everything financial you need to do as a freelancer with one (or more) of these apps. A few features some of these tools have that will make your life easier:

  • Really slick desktop and mobile apps that you can use to keep track of the hours you work
  • Tools to track all of your business-related expenses
  • Generate invoices that you can send to clients digitally
  • Accept payment (generally via PayPal or Stripe, but we recommend Stripe)

Nick our instructor artfully took us down the path of reality with a discussion on Projects Estimating, and developing web planning wireframes.  “Ok, guys remember you are Junior Programmers and not worth….” 

We went over estimating our work, the project time, setting Client expectations, stuff you can’t bill for, stuff the Client should be paying for, the stuff the Client should not be paying for, plus several nuances – inny and outy type things you should and should not do.  Great lecture, Nick has a sound business mind.  It was a pleasure to hear how he thinks a projects through.  “This is what the IronYard is all about” was all I could think.

Image Nick  Image Calvin

It has been a pleasure, really more like an honor – to watch Nick and Calvin in action on the platform.  Professional in every way with a jab of humor to keep the topics light.  We are learning more everyday, so much information it is almost surreal.  The IronYard Support Staff folks are hard at work in the background.  We can certainly feel their active presence.  Staff members who are not teaching our daily classes like Eric Dodds who has a world of information in his freelancer information write-up, check it out.

Another good point to look at is what a veteran developer says is the right thing to do, full article here from Joshua Blankenship.

“There’s nothing magic about 15 hours; it’s just what made sense for the lifestyle we want to live in this season. We’ve all got 168 hours in a week. If I’m at the office ~45hrs a week, getting 8 hours of sleep every night and doing 15 hours of client work each week, that gives me 52 hours to spend with my family or by myself. Any more work and the cost/benefit ratio dips into unhealthy and unhappy for me and mine.” – Joshua Blankenship

I am really looking forward to what Eric has to say.  We have had a great line up of speakers so I am really glad to hear from Eric. Especially glad to hear from Eric on what experience has taught him in how to manage Client expectations and being sure projects go smoothly.  Well, I have got to keep this blog short – I have got homework, to attend to.  Plus I am being stalked by these iron yard folks…ha, left that little nugget in there for you folks…take care 😉


 Brian (foreground) and Kevin (background)

“cramming more nuggets of knowledge into our brains”

Be good to people you care about, tomorrow is just a promise.

Roger Swanson, Twitter: @roger_swanson, http://www.cneworks.com


What It’s Sunday already!?! Wow time is flying…Classes continue at The Iron Yard


Wow, this past week has gone by so fast – I was shocked it is Sunday already.

What a great day to start off a New week, so Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s out there.  Us sons and daughters stand in awe of all the BS you put up with when we were kids…seriously folks.  Hat’s off to my Mom, GrandMa’s & GreatGrandMa’s of past we love you all too.

So just how is it going over here at the IronYard? Topics flying by like jet planes, just a quick touch and go because if you will look to the right we have those big ol’ hills to cross over.  Yep we are moving through topics like an airboat in the swamp.  My brain is stretched, but somehow we start another week and continue pushing through what our veteran Instructo Con “Nick” tells us we “got to know”.

This past week we were given a task “Student Homework Tracker” to check our cumulative skill sets, from building the scaffolding of the planned project, applying the Twitter Bootstrap tools, customizing our pages and then getting JavaScript running…yeah I would say we are a bit busy this week.  Challenges all around to keep us thinking and learning to do tasks that programmers do…like – what the crap?  I was watching tv on a short break from studies and boom here comes the commercial and I thought of the “total waste of the next two minutes of my life”…but wait, there is this car that you can find in a parking lot.  But Wait!! Can I make a set point in a mobile device or reference it have a start point and then when I am ready to go back to my car the magic may begin.  So point my phone…hope the internet and google as well as the sun in the right quadrant of time…then get a pointer to go back to my car…using google maps and walking directions….hay – I think that is do able?!!

So thinking like a programmer or maybe just reading as many books, articles, “RTFG’in” every freaking thing about what the heck does this error mean…yep then I suppose the process is working.  🙂 – Aaahhhhh I starting to think programmer…yikes.

Note from Nick’s lectures:

Design for “Fat Models, Skinny Controllers”, Remember: “Business Logic goes in the Model”

Gems for this week:

Hey Thanks goes out to all The Iron Yard Staff members

Having a great place where careers and lives are being changed before our very eyes!

Be good to your Mom today, thanks to all the Moms out there and have a wonderful new week.

Here is a Steve Jobs thought: Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow truly know what you want to become. Everything else is secondary. -Steve Jobs

BBQ at The Iron Yard

BBQ at The Iron Yard Charleston

New Week – New Beginning…go own it!

Everyone had a chance to blow off some steam this week with a BBQ at The Iron Yard on this past Friday. Thanks to the folks at The Iron Yard, Sally did a great job finding the BBQ, getting a the grub lined up.  Nick and Jake were out rocking at the grill with everyone having a good time and relaxing a bit.  Here is the video – built in on MAC iMovie…not bad 😉 took a 20 minutes…

Roger Swanson – Charleston, SC – Twitter: @roger_swanson