Home Op-Ed Opinion A twitch on the technical perception

A twitch on the technical perception

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Whether it be the story of young entrepreneur Larry Page or the popularity of all time Forbes’s headliner Bill Gates; the skyrocketing success of Mark Zuckerberg or the blooming happiness of Jack Dorsey; computer technology has played a great role in each one of these celebrities’ lives.

It is not unusual for any young mind to dream about the fantasy of these prosperous achievers. And it is not impossible either to achieve it, when one has an earnest endeavor. However, the truth is it takes a good bit of time for anyone to succeed. Rome is not built in a day. Every success story has countless hurdles, endless patience and enormous dedication put forth with persistent hard work.

The relocation of the Bhutanese in the very developed countries of the world has plausibly pushed them towards easy ways of achieving any type of dream. Even their existing financial scrutiny reveals that they do not need to compromise their lives with meager aims anymore. But the fundamental question lingering in and around everyone’s mind is if they have been truly heading towards this exuberant future.

In the past few years I have made keen observations on happenings surrounding the world of technology. How the technology could be a boon and a curse depending on its pursuit. I have been pondering over and again on the impact it could have on me and my community folks in short and long run. My worry gets more fuel when I find hundreds and thousands of dollars, earned by our innocent labor, get invested in the unnecessary purchases made on the online stores via internet. I always have had a great swain of the new technology. I strive to dig into the ins and outs of the latest technology but at the end of the day, I just throw myself out with the same frustration, “the one in my hand has gone obsolete”.

The other side of the story is far gut-wrenching. The social media was definitely not meant to spoil the people nor it was created to cause chaos in the life of any one. But, the abuse of these means has devastating impact in our lives.

People get up by logging into the facebook and the last thing they will remember before going to bed is to check the facebook status. A select few buy a new smart phones for hundreds of dollars just to get the facebook updates even when they are on the toilet pan. There are a lot of instances where one gets fired from the job for using this social media in excess. Parents can not control their child from using it. Even the law that forbids the child under 18 years of age from creating the social networking account is not in effect since they lie their age. A two years old boy has a facebook account and not sure if he speaks a word; but constantly updates his pictures in the wall and replies the comments of hundreds of friends and followers.

Social networking media are always good means for expressing oneself. They could be utilized properly to know whereabouts of friends and family irrespective of their geo-location. Raising awareness in some social cause and welfare is another best and the most important aspect of their kind. Nonetheless, with these few enumerated pros, there are hundreds of cons.

Parents are frustrated because their child does not have time to listen to their concerns. Students fail in their exams for they do not have sufficient time to devote for their studies. A couple gets divorce because someone posted some unbearable comments on the facebook wall. A girl is left with nothing except committing suicide since she is exposed by some unknown folks with the fake facebook account with some illicit pictures and private disclosures. Needless to mention, there are thousands of other instances which is just sparing no one nowhere.

Computer games on the other hand certainly count thousands of votes for this discussion. Children do not give a heed to show greetings to their elders since lifting hand from the playstation would significantly drop down their game scores. For them, this turns out to be one of the major contributing factors of distraction, and thus pushes them towards the losing end. Majority of the gaming software manufactures understand the behavior, likes and interests of the child. People relate the mushrooming of gun violence with the video games, and it does make a complete sense to me. The content in the game always leaves a child in the mood of killing and firing bullets to the opponent. This would not implant better and positive thoughts in the child, which down the road could very easily lead to the incidents like the Connecticut Massacre or the Colorado theater shooting in the yesteryears in the USA.

Equally, computer games are the biggest sources for computer viruses. Most of the freewares downloaded from some untrusted sites are always prone to virus attack.

Sometimes, I am taken aback when I listen to comments generated from the parents. “My six years old knows everything about computer”. Definitely, unlike the older generations, the present ones are far ahead due to accessibilities of modern technological opportunities. But, it does not mean they know everything. It may be wise on part of parents to keep their vigilance to what the children around you are doing, or what content they have been watching on the internet. Also, if they are really learning from the computer or they are just killing their valuable time.

What I have learnt in these few years seem worthy to mention here. I have a strong opinion that some of these tips could keep a lot of things under control.

Many of us may not know that we should not expose our social security numbers, phone numbers or any other private information in any of the social networking sites while creating a new account or while updating one’s profile information. Leaving these information on such sites would risk one’s life to the larger extent, since these pages are easily accessible by anyone who is not even in the friend circle.

To add, purchasing stuffs from online store is not a bad idea at all unless you trust the credentials of the website on hand. Internet definitely is not a secure place to enter sensitive information like a credit card number. There are thousands of malicious softwares (malwares) automatically installed and stored in one’s computer while surfing some webpages knowingly or unknowingly. These malwares would easily sniff around your sensitive information leading you to bankruptcy.

Identity theft is another major issue in the internet world. There are thousands of terrorists who are constantly trying to get hold of someone’s identity to misuse it for some mass destruction. One could be the victim of such act if the credential are not secured and exposed to the untrusted internet sites. Hunting jobs via internet could risk your identity because most of the hiring companies need social security number and other personal information for verification. It is always wise on your part to verify the legitimacy of the webpage you are viewing. I have on numerous occasions received some scams from “www.bestbuy.youwin.com. It is fine to trust “www.bestbuy.com, as the technology giant but the former could be the scammers website which is trying to get your personal information.

A Windows user may secure the computer with some trusted antivirus programs, which would cost less than a hundred bucks. Truly, it brings you smile as it saves your several hundred dollars that you would spend incase your computer is infected with some viruses.

It is equally wise not to download all the tempting stuffs from internet. Surprisingly, all fairies are physically very weak. Most of the antiviruses come with some parental control system which commissions parents from blacklisting harmful contents in the internet.

Using a very secure password for bank account and any other accounts created online always gets rewarded. Be it a facebook, twitter or any other google accounts, simple passwords are very easy to hack. Secure password is the amalgamation of upper and lower case alphabets, numbers and some other characters like $#*! etc. This characters make the sniffers work a little bit difficult than the simple passwords like “abcde”. Changing your password frequently and not storing it in your wallets or purses or anywhere makes one secure.

Most of the smartphone applications relies on location and/or contact information. If one downloads any apps and if the app is asking for using contacts list and location information, we got to make sure we trust the app manufacturer. In a sense, you are giving it access to view your entire mobile device which contains sensitive information about you.

I personally prefer to use chrome or firefox as my internet browser. The never-ending confrontation amongst browsers always leave Internet explorer with the heap of issues. From my experience, I would recommend a regular update of the software you have in your system. The latest version always will have some bug fixes and the loopholes resolved.

Most importantly, it is always good to clear the cookies (extra piece of information stored in your computer by some website, which may contain your password) from your browser and pay especial attention when logging into any account. Leaving the “Remember my username/password” checkbox unchecked and always logging out of any account after you are done with it is very crucial to be safe. In this way, anyone visiting the same site after you left would not get into your account easily.

A skeptical thought on all occasions towards the progressing technology would undoubtedly isolate anyone from its ravishing charm. I would always join the venture and feel the thrill and give an unprecedented explication for what is good and what is not after using it. Try everything before it is too old. Happy surfing and good luck with new technological advancements.

[Mr. Dhakal is a Web Developer at Boxcar Press based in Syracuse, NY. The views expressed in this write up are solely of the writer who can be reached at [email protected]]

25 COMMENTS

  1. Nice to see our Bhutanese being able to run down their pen over this absolute information. It looks like writer has a good understanding over technical jargon, it would be best if the writer could throw lesser jargon and use appropriate words or phrase instead of (bankruptcy, terrorist, mushrooming of gun violence with the video games).

    Other than that great presentation. Hope to read your informative and resourceful write-up in simple language more focused over single issues.

    Bhutanese Hacker!

  2. Nice run! But what is your stand? To be or not to be! What should the readers in our community get from this reading? As you are a student of technology what is your advice to the top 2 quartiles of our community? For example: a) Go for it full swing, or, b) look before you tread? Very specific and helpful hints in “layman’s language” might help our community!
    Thanks for your contribution.

  3. A very well wrought piece on a pertinent issue. Thanks a lot to the writer for the investment of his energy and time in putting his expetise in writing to voluntarily educate/inform our community. Let’s remain hopeful that your venture does bring good returns and won’t go in vain.
    This would be a precious keepsake should it be offered to our folk who don’t have access to or illiterate of internet by their leaders in community gatherings that we organize in various places of the world. It’d be more beneficial to translate it into Nepali before presenting it to them who lack English literacy so that they can also be able to educate/inform their family/community members.

  4. Rohit jee, Nice and educative article! High tech applications are benificial in many ways if used them corectly however values of social media , its pros n corns should be understood corectly otherwise creats social chaos!

  5. This is a very good point made by Rohit. I think it is up to us, the readers, to decide whether to go with it or against it. The writer has clearly shown the pros and cons, whic was what he intended to do ( I guess).
    Just to add another point about the password – “Always turn off the Remember Me in this computer” option by going to the tools menu in your browser.
    Thanks

  6. I don’t want to dissuade you from writing articles in the future but for your edification, you put very many “very” in this article (pun intended) and have ended up grossly exaggerating some minor details. I also happen to notice that you wrote this article without conducting a research. That being said, let me point out a few technical things that you missed.

    You said this, “Equally, computer games are the biggest sources for computer viruses. Most of the freewares downloaded from some untrusted sites are always prone to virus attack.” uh oh, looks like someone got fooled in the internet to believe in such thing. Contrary to popular belief, video games do not bring computer virus. You are jumping in to that bandwagon of technically impaired people who think the converse of it. Basically, it happens when a naive user thinks the program they are downloading is what they want, but it’s not. However, it does happen every so often that people are trying to download games but they end up with crapware in their computer.

    In one of your paragraphs you said this, “People relate the mushrooming of gun violence with the video games, and it does make a complete sense to me. The content in the game always leaves a child in the mood of killing and firing bullets to the opponent. This would not implant better and positive thoughts in the child”. You know what? You are embarrassing yourself for saying this because you clearly have no idea about what you are talking about.

    “The content of the game always leaves a child in the mood of killing and firing bullets to the opponent”, duh! What would you expect from a shooting game? It’s just like any other game. Would you just stay there doing nothing after you are connected to the game server? Also, do you mean the player is trying to fire bullets at his opponent in the game or in real life?

    You didn’t get enough of the bashing did you, you continued saying this “which down the road could very easily lead to the incidents like the Connecticut Massacre or the Colorado theater shooting in the yesteryears in the USA.” According to an article in NPD, there are 211.5 million gamers in the United States, which is more than 67% of the total population. And out of that, a huge number of people do play First Person Shooters. So out of all those millions of people, one psycho goes out on a rampage and blame all the violent video games for that? By your logic, if I play Farmville in Facebook I will have a farm of my own?

    All FPS games that get released are for mature people, that’s why the jewel case conveniently says “Rated M for Mature”. If a young one gets his hands on such kind of video game, it’s completely their parents’ fault. People have been playing “Cowboys and Indians” for the longest time, when was the last time you saw a kid going on a shooting spree after being inspired by that? Don’t blame the video games, blame the parents who are responsible for raising kids.

    You also have a lot of other errors in your article but I don’t have that kind of time for you, make sure you are not giving false information to people in future about things you don’t even remotely how it works.

  7. Rohit,
    For me, this is a wonderful piece of research and presentation. People will point out your weakness only if you excel in whatever you do, and there are a few .
    Please come up with more IT based articles. We desperately need them, at least I do.
    Go on lad, you have a wonderful future

  8. @Identity
    Nullgeodesic is not yapping away. He has made excellent and relevant comments on the article and I don’t think he is trying to put Mr.Dhakal down. Mr. Rohit has done a good job but the content has become fuller with Nullgeodesic’s observations. Positive criticism is healthy for the enhancement of the content.

  9. Thanks @achamva for actually backing me up 🙂

    I don’t come to this “news” site often, but it’s only when someone points me to an article they found interesting I come here and look at it. This an opinion column and article like this do not belong here. This type of technical article need to be factual, not merely based on somebody’s beliefs and observations.

    Also, being a Computer Science student at a University, and working as a Web Developer / Programmer for that institution, I hope you believe in what I have to say. I am sorry to point out Dhakal’s another mistake but lies and false information just bug me and I can’t sleep.

    Cookies do not store users’ password! Well, if you are the kind of Web Developer that wants to watch the world burn, you could do that. But it in real life that rarely happens. If it makes you feel better let me tell you, websites like Facebook, Google, YouTube etc. NEVER store user password in cookies.

    Let me tell you why cookies are used.

    The HTTP protocol is a stateless protocol, meaning, the server won’t have any idea about who the client is. The client requests data, and the server sends response depending on parameters like information availability, permission for client to retrieve the data and few other factors which are beyond the scope of this article. Anyway, to make HTTP a “stateful” protocol, cookies were introduced. Now, what cookies do is that they provide a way for the server to know about the client. For example, one way for the server to use cookies is for storing session information about a logged in user. In this specific log in example, the way a server might setup the session is as follows:

    1). The user logs in and the server creates a session for thee user.
    2). The server sends the session information to the client (browser).
    3). Browser stores the cookie as a plain text file in a special location in the computer.
    4). If the user closes the web browser window and goes to the same site again in future, the browser will send any cookies created by that site to the server.
    5). If the server got your cookie, it will know who you are (not as in you as a person but as a logged in user).

    Cookies can be stolen. But for that I need to have physical access to your computer. I can put the cookies in my computer and impersonate the user who I stole the cookies from. In all honesty, you don’t need to worry about cookies that much. If you need more information on cookies, there’s always Wikipedia and other sites that specialize in such things.

  10. I was yarning to make a comment on Mr Dhakal’s article; well, it is informative, good English but it seems that the article is deceiving the readers about the system how computer works. I guess Nullgeodesic made genuine and constructive comments by pinpointing the areas where there was a technical flaw, in his write up. If Mr. Dhakal’s feels that Nullgeodesic is making unnecessary comment about his article, we expect his counter arguments.
    Thanks

  11. My sincere thanks to all the audience and the viewers of BNS. Heartfelt gratitude to those who spared their priceless time reading this article and indited inappreciable comments.

    @Bhutanese Hacker: I would like to offer a standing ovation for your suggestions regarding the selection of words. The vocabs chosen are not issuing enough contentment even to me and sounded snappier. I would love to improve this sector.

    @achamva: I would always do a bit of research, before i tread to any route.

    @Yati Raj Ajnabee: Thanks for those pleasant words. I would definitely work towards translating this and writing more stuff in Nepali (i doubt, if i have enough nepali vocabularies in this regard).

    @Rp subba: I do acknowledge your words.

    @D P Mainali, @Identity: Thanks for joining my mission.

    @Dhruv: Yes browsers sometimes ease your task but compromises your privacy especially, when one is using a public computer.

    The following paragraph is dedicated to address Shyamber Sharma’s scepticism about the article.

    A big “Hi”, to Nullgeodesic. I do appreciate your technical caliber and hats off for your technical perception. I really felt great when i heard about the way you would program. And yes, you have adopted the “IT BEST PRACTICES” in your programming career, which would certainly reward you in the days ahead. The only thing that i would like to disagree is your approach towards my opinion.

    I do not wanna elaborate my logic for the first comment. It is purely my opinion, so you deserve not to marry with my thoughts, but still i should say “ONE PSYCHO SOMETIMES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONES LIFE OR THE ENTIRE WORLD AT LARGE”.

    Coming to the cookie point, yes, i did learn enough from your explanation, but still doubt if that made any sense to majority of my audience for this article. I cannot say if i am a type of person who would love to watch “THE WORLD BURN”, still, trust me, there are binder of programmer who do that stuff and you must backup your armour to battle those situation when you are coding the system. Browsers would never yell and purge those cookie if a programmer decides to include password in it. It all depends on the technical ability of the person writing the code.

    I would prefer to discuss these issues in a separate arena, lest, my audience may feel awkward towards more technical jargons.

    For those who wanna know if i am wrong, go through the following explanation, which is self explanatory as regards to cookie. The wikipedia article clearly and specifically says, “cookie CAN store passwords and forms you filled in, such as credit card number or your address” .

    If you want to go further deep, this should speak pellucid enough of what i was talking about.

    Anyways, thanks a ton to everyone.

  12. @Rohit Dhakal,

    It is a great move acknowledging and appreciating people who made comments on your article. What an awesome way to go! Help us to understand more about the world of Info. Tech. in future. Thank you!

    The problem for me with IT is that bye the time I think that I I have acquired a piece of equipment or a piece of knowledge, it is already obsolete.

  13. @Rohit Dhakal,

    It is a great move acknowledging and appreciating people who made comments on your article. What an awesome way to go! Help us to understand more about the world of Info. Tech. in future. Thank you!

    The problem for me with IT is that by the time I think that I I have acquired a piece of equipment or a piece of knowledge, it is already obsolete.