Speak My Language

Posted Posted by Leah Rice in , , Comments 0 comments

Have you ever wanted to change your computer's language but weren't sure how to do that? Are you going overseas, or are currently overseas, and would like to keep your language skills up to date? Are you studying another language and would like some extra practice? These scenarios may or may not apply to you, however, in this short tutorial, I am going to show you just how you can transform your Mac or Windows 10 computer into a global experience.

Windows 10

Let's get started on changing the language settings on your Windows 10 computer. In the search box, type out "Region and Language Settings". Pressing enter on the result will pull up the below window. Under the Languages heading, click on the bar that says "Add a Language". 

Windows gives you several dialects and regions to choose from for each language. For example, if you choose Spanish, you can choose versions from Latin America, Cuba, or Spain. After choosing your preferred language, Windows will actually need to download the language pack and install it before you can use it. Back in the Region & Language section, you will see that your language pack has loaded and is available. Click on its icon, and then click the "Options" button to download the language pack. 

You should be able to click the "Download" button at this point. This button is at the very top of the window under "Language Options." There are several other options, such as spell-checking, handwriting, speech, and keyboards that you have the option of downloading as well, but for this tutorial we will only focus on the language pack. 

When finished, your computer will send you back to the Region & Languages section where your newly downloaded language pack is ready to be installed. Click on the language heading again to click on the "Set As Default" button. If you hover over the language heading once more, Windows will let you know that your language change will take place after your next sign-in. To fully complete the process, you will need to log out and sign back in or restart your computer. 

Apple Mac

Setting up a new primary language on a Mac is fairly straightforward, but it does require you to restart your device at the end of the settings change. To begin, navigate to Systems Preferences by clicking on the Apple menu icon at the top of your home screen. 

Language and Region is represented by the blue flag icon in the first row. Click that to get to the following screen. If your preferred language is not showing up in the list box, then you'll need to add it to the list by pressing the + icon in the bottom left corner. A new window will open that lists all of the different languages you can add. 

After you have selected your additional language from the list, click the "Add" button to advance to this next screen. In the list box, locate your new language and drag it to the top of the list so that it displays as a Primary Language.

Once you click the red exit button in the top left-hand corner, your Mac will throw you a small popup window that will allow you the choice of finalizing your language settings. Like I mentioned previously, you will actually need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. You can do this by clicking "Restart Now" and then wait to watch your Mac boot up in whole new language!

Windows 10 source found at: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/windows-10-settings-menu-the-time-language-tab/ 

* Other features such as language keyboard may be required for full language experience.

Eyes in the Skies

Posted Posted by Robert Welch in , , Comments 0 comments

We’ve all wondered, at one point or another, what the world around us looks like from the sky. Thanks to today’s technologically advanced designs, we can see as the birds do. No, I’m not talking about seeing through a bird-eye lens, even though that’s now possible. I’m talking quadcopters. Specifically, the Inspire 1 Pro by DJI.
This feature- packed quad is a ready-to-fly package, so you don’t have to worry about long set ups. This beauty is very intelligent, knowing exactly where it took off from and where the controller is thanks to astounding GPS capabilities. You don’t have to worry about losing it either, due to its Return Home feature, which uses auto-pilot to return to the Home Point (which can either be the launch point or the Dynamic Home Point by the controller). Not only this, but the Inspire 1 is capable of automatic takeoff and landing, which helps prevent damage. Other safety measures include an altitude rooftop, which prevents the Inspire 1 from climbing higher than the propellers can stabilize, and Vision Positioning, which uses a bottom-facing camera as well as sonic waves to aid in stable flight without GPS or even when flying indoors.

The Inspire 1 Pro also boasts a Zenmuse X5 camera, which is a professional-grade camera capable of shooting 12 Megapixel still photographs as well as 4k video at 24, 25, and 30 frames per second, and 1080p video at 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60 frames per second. The camera is mounted to the Inspire 1 Pro with a three-axis stabilization gimbal that compensates for every minor move in flight in order to produce smooth video footage and streaming. Yes, you read that right, I said streaming. Thanks to DJI’s Lightbridge technology, users can link an iPad or tablet to the controller and see the view through a spectacular lens, over a mile away. If you think it would be neat to control the camera once the Inspire 1 Pro is in the air, but are too afraid of your flying skills (or lack thereof), DJI also has a dual-controller version. Both controllers have the same video feed, but one is designated to control the Zenmuse X5 camera, while the other controls the quad.

While this is all very impressive and tempting, the price tag is not exactly college friendly, coming in at $4499 for the Inspire 1 Pro, $2899 for the Inspire 1 with single remote, and $3399 for the Inspire 1 with dual remotes. I suppose this could be motivation to persevere and finish your degree. By then, who knows what will be available!

Organize Your Life With Evernote

Posted Posted by Emily Strandvold in Comments 0 comments

There are many programs out there that give you cloud storage (and several great blogs already written about them) and many ways to take notes, but Evernote is a combination of both of these great things. Evernote can be accessed anywhere you have a computer/tablet/phone and internet and it can help you organize in more ways than you may think....

1. Take class notes- This one is pretty obvious, but Evernote can be used as a storage for all of your notes from all of your classes. It allows all your notes to be together and easily accessible.

2. Scan handouts- Instead of misplacing or lugging around all your handouts, you can scan them and put them directly into Evernote so that they are right next to all your other notes.

3. Scan textbooks- To cut down on weight, you can also scan important pages from your textbook into Evernote and then have needed information for studying anywhere without having to bring the whole textbook.

4. Keep things separate- While all your notes can be in one place, you can still divide things up by creating notebooks. So you can make one notebook per class and maybe even for other aspects of your life.

5. Format PDFs- If any of your professors give you a PDF to read and you want to highlight it, you can drag it into Evernote and gain that capability,

6. Record lectures- Evernote accepts a lot of different types of files and this includes sound files. So you can put recordings of professor's lessons in your notebooks. Just remember to ask your professor before you start recording them.

7. Clip webpages- Evernote's Web Clipper lets you take pictures of webpages. This can help keep track of sources while compiling research for projects.

8. Share notes- You can generate a link to share notes or even full notebooks with others.

9. Access to a variety of apps- There are many add ons to Evernote, including things like Eidetic that help you memorize things faster.

10. Easily searchable- Since your notes are now digitized terms can be searched for. This can make study guides a lot easier to fill out.

So if you are worried about mid-terms coming up in a few weeks, maybe you should try Evernote or a similar program to become more organized and put your best foot forward.

How Secure is Your Password?!

Posted Posted by Drew Locke in Comments 0 comments

We all have passwords for almost everything we do on the internet or off: facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, bank accounts, video games, school portals, canvas, pipeline, and the list goes on and on. But how secure are our passwords? or should I say password? It is true that most of us use the same password for everything, but who can blame us when they are so hard to remember?
 The truth is there is a lot of misconception when it comes to what is and is not a secure password. When I think of a secure password I think of obscure symbols mixed with random capital letter. In reality that doesn't make your password strong. Here are some factors that actually affect the security of your password.
  • One of the biggest factors in cracking a password is how long it is. It becomes exponentially harder to break a long password than it is a short password.
  • Avoid names, places, dictionary phrases. Often times hackers use English dictionaries to scan for specific words. 
  • Mix it up. Don't use words that belong together. Try using random words that aren't usually associated with each other.
You can check the security of your password at this address here.https://howsecureismypassword.net/ When I tried a random password such as: $@fTa@ ---- It cracked this in 22 seconds

But when I entered in four random words like: pony torch finger nose----- It will crack this in 18 quintillian years

Four Methods to Create a Secure Password You'll Actually Remember

What if I told you I could make tuition cheaper...

Posted Posted by Mack Peters in Comments 0 comments

Ok guys, I apologize. I gave one of those Huffington Post, super misleading tag lines that draws people in, only to show them that they have been mislead into watching an ad for cat food. Although, that's not to say that the content following this won't somehow effect our Harding financial struggles (don't act like you don't have any).

I want you to imagine a world without power lines. A world where, while you're writing that last crucial sentence in your essay, or coding that final line in your semester-ending, 99% of your grade project, when a tree falls onto a power line connecting campus to the main grid, you won't lose your paper. You won't lose your program. In fact, you probably won't even know the tree fell over. Or when campus completely freezes over, and classes are cancelled because Arkansas' only ice truck flipped over AGAIN, you won't have to have that worry in the back of your head about losing power to Netflix, your game systems, or even just the lights in the washroom (I'm from Canada and I will continue to say washroom as I please).

Friends, our generation is one of fumes. Smoke from factories, cars, trains, it's pretty standard to see in our lives. We are dependent on burning fossil fuels in order to accomplish many day to day tasks, oftentimes with no alternative. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no hippie. I believe that industrialization has done WONDERS for humankind. But I am someone who believes in human progress, in spreading across the world and taking care of it as God intended for us to do. I just feel like what you'll see in a picture below, has gone on for far too long. We are capable of so much more, humanity. We are capable of finding different, more efficient ways of getting what we need in order to survive.

Does anyone remember in Man of Steel, when Superman flies through the terraforming machine and starts coughing like an 80 year old coal worker? That's what this makes me think of. Ew.

Well, don't you worry your pretty little heads about doing any of the thinking on how to get to the next step. Our pal, Elon Musk--you know, the guy who wants to send people to Mars and had a hand in designing the coolest electric car on the market--has taken care of that for us.

Here's the man himself, unveiling his creation

That box in the middle there, that is the Tesla Powerwall. The Powerwall is designed to work in conjunction with solar panels in order to harness the power of the sun, and place it in one convenient location (and he did it in a much better way than Doctor Octopus tried to do). The Powerwall, literally designed to just hang on the wall in your house, was released with a 10 kWh option originally. Your more electricity-conservative family (let's go based on a two bedroom, two bathroom house with two parents and three children) will use roughly 60 kWh a day during more mild times of the year, with the number growing in the winter and shrinking in the summer (depending on your lifestyle). I know, right off the bat you're thinking "that's just barely 1/6th of my average power usage, I'm still going to have to be on the grid!" But now, let's not jump to conclusions so quickly! These Powerwalls can stack onto each other (although I feel like stack is the wrong term to use, because they basically just slide in next to one another), with up to 9 being "stackable". This means you'll have 90 kWh of juice at your fingertips, waiting to fuel your every electrical need.

As I'm sure we can all assume, however, Harding is not going to run on 90 kWh of power. That might be enough to power the Science building before 8 am (I swear, everything is always on in there!) if we're lucky. So, right now, this is seeming like a gigantic waste of your time.

But wait, there's more!

Guys, let me tell you right now, this would make one heck of a scary Transformer.

This thing is big enough for a person to live inside, I know, but guys, this is it right here. This is the PowerPack. These things, on their own, can store up to 100 kWh. This big buffoon, sitting in your basement, could easily power your whole house for the day, possible two, on a single charge. What's more, they're infinitely stackable. Yes, if we took every seat out of the Benson and replaced it with a PowerPack, we could probably power all of Searcy solely off of these giants. Imagine, no power lines at all in Searcy. If every building had a solar panel on the roof, a place that 90% of the time is just sitting collecting heat and being enjoyed by the birds, and had one of these sitting in the basement, a place where spiders cook up their next master plan to scare you out of your bed in the middle of the night, you could bid farewell to the electric company.

In the keynote introducing these objects (which I'll post at the end so Elon can explain everything I just explained but with infinitely more confidence), Mr.Musk cites a couple of pretty astonishing numbers. 10,000 of these could power the entirety of Boulder, Colorado. 160 million PowerPacks could take the entire United States off grid. With 900 million PowerPacks, the entire world could primarily be run off of solar, stored energy. So, those fumes I posted earlier, there would be significantly less, if not none at all. Those long drives through Kansas where there is literally flat for what is seemingly hundreds of miles, would no longer have the eyesore of a trail of power lines trying guiding you to the next town. And Harding, well who knows, maybe the extra money they could make could be for putting a third floor on the GAC (we could put an ice rink in there!), or for ADDING parking instead of taking it away, or...dare I say...REDUCE OUR TUITION?!

Folks, I'm no expert. I've known about the Powerwall for a while, but haven't really looked into the nitty-gritty details. Who knows, it could entirely be a dud. But Australia has officially started adopting the Powerwall, and Tesla is going to be shipping to them fairly soon. And, frankly, this is the first commercial iteration of the wall. Imagine the other possibilities. A battery shift of this magnitude could be huge. Electric cars that have solar panels on their roofs, that store the energy into the battery as you drive during the day and can last all throughout the night, laptops that charge while you're sitting outside at high noon (insert The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme song here), or schools that can put money towards even faster internet, a cafeteria that serves filet mignon and creme brulee on the daily, or moving walkways to help us get to and fro classes. Or even imagine an engineering service project, where the engineering students get to go to a town without power and literally give them light.

Oh one more thing, the picture below shows how much surface area of solar panels the United States needs to go totally off grid.

Ya, that blue square there. That's America on Solar. But wait...

You probably can't see it, but there's a single pixel in that blue square that's red. Let's zoom in...

Oh hey, there IS a red pixel in that blue square!

That red pixel represents America being Solar and Battery powered.

Solar power can be an awesome tool, but I admit I don't know the in's and out's. I'm just excited about never having to worry about a moose getting it's antlers caught in power lines ever again (Yes, this actually happens).

Here's the keynote, let Elon explain it to you and decide for yourself.

Never Walk Home Alone

Posted Posted by Jenna Hayes in Comments 0 comments

One of the most common demands I receive from my mother is the infamous, "Text me when you get there". During this time of my life where I'm far away from home (as many of us are), living on my own, and travelling from place to place, friends and family are frequently requesting that I text them when I get to or from where I'm going.

It's a good request, and I often ask the same thing of those I love. To be honest though, that initial request is usually met by a rolling of the eyes and a "sure, sure whatever". With that attitude, I consequently usually never take the time to text or call anyone to declare my safe arrival (which makes the mother quite upset).

As college students just like myself, I'm sure most of yall can relate to this situation. It's the first time in our lives where we're truly on our own; away from home and without the supervision and direct authority of our parents. Safety is a real concern for us, but often we take it too lightly. What is a good practical solution? Well, two weeks ago an app was released that makes sure we never travel alone again.

The app is called Companion. How exactly does it work? Well, it allows friends, family, or whomever you allow to track your journeys around the world.Whether you're walking back to your dorm late at night, making a quick trip to Walmart, or travelling home for the summer, your designated "companions" can make sure you get there safely.

More specifically, the app uses built in sensors to detect movement that might suggest trouble. For example, if the user starts running or their headphones come out, the app will ask that the user confirms that they are OK. If the user fails to confirm, a messenge will be sent to the companion who then has the option to call the police. At the same time, a siren type noise will be emitted from the users phone. Another useful feature are the messaging buttons. For example, if the user was walking home alone one night and detected suspicious activity around, they could select "I feel nervous" which would prompt the companion to check in and keep watch. Once the user reaches their destination, an alert would be sent confirming their safety.

This app was originally designed for college students as a way to combat campus crime. Even here on Harding's campus, crime and susceptibility are a very prevalent danger that we need to be conscious of. This app could help. It takes the "text me when you make it" to a more practical and useful application. This quickly growing app is not limited to campuses, however. Companion has also been used for study abroad programs, children of all ages, and even as a way to keep track of senior citizens. In the past week alone, Companion has logged over 500,000 new users, including myself.

I've recommended a lot of apps in my day, but this one even more so. Stay safe, get Companion.

How Your Account Got Hacked

Posted Posted by Adam Lantz in Comments 0 comments

An overview of common password theft techniques

My password is “lantzolot2016”. That should get you into just about everything except my bank account. I figured that should be a little more secure, so that password is “L4ntz0l0t”.

As ridiculous as it sounds, many people today make it just that easy for attackers to gain access to their accounts. And it doesn’t always take a super genius to do it either.

Here’s 5 ways your account got hacked:

And if you do nothing else with this post, at least read the Closing Tips.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is by far one of the most effective ways of obtaining a password. As humans, we have a certain inclination to trust, and social engineering exploits that.

Here are a few examples of how it works:

  • You’ve just met someone and have a short conversation about where you’re from, your family, your pets, etc. Nothing about the conversation strikes you as being particularly different. What you might have missed, though, is some of the things you let slip. Many times, we create accounts and set up recovery questions for them without given much thought to how accessible the answers to those questions may be. Recovery questions like “What’s the name of your first pet?” or “What’s the first car you owned?” are really come up quite frequently in conversation, even with strangers.
  • Another social engineering technique comes into play when an account has already been compromised. With access to a Twitter, Facebook, or email account, a hacker has the perfect mask. Sure you may be careful around strangers, and you’d never divulge any sensitive information to them, but how about a friend? Let’s say you got a Facebook message from someone close to you asking to borrow your Netflix account. Many people would happily oblige.
  • Another approach to social engineering is exploiting the human nature of curiosity. So many people are willing to blindly click a link if they think what’s on the other end will be interesting or amusing. Don’t take the bait! This is closely tied to phishing, which we'll cover next.


Phishing is probably the most common form of attack currently. The idea is that the attacker tries to fool you into believing they are a legitimate organization.

Often times, malicious hackers will create websites with misspelled versions of, or really similar names to popular sites like facebook.com or youtube.com. The idea here is that they can make the page look almost identical to the true site, and even ask for the user to log in.

These attacks don’t just apply to phony websites either. You may receive emails, texts, or phone calls that try very hard to make you believe they are legitimate.

My tips for avoiding phishing attacks:

  • Always double check your address bar when visiting a new site, especially if it's asking for any information from you.
  • Always check the email address of the sender of an email that asks for any information. If you are suspicious of an email, you should search the sender online to see if any other people have reported issues with it.
  • Treat any unsolicited phone call as if it is illegitimate. Providing any personal information can be very dangerous.

For a little more information on phishing, read Sam Tripp's post on avoiding the trap here.

Massive Theft

This sort of attack is something that should truly frighten us. There have been a lot of incidents in recent years of large corporations failing to secure the passwords of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of users. Whether the attack came from someone who found a clever loophole in the system, someone who tricked someone in their IT department to give them access to sensitive information, or even a disgruntled employee, this is an enormous problem in our world today.

Here's what you need to know.

  • A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. What I mean by this is that not all organizations pay equal attention to security. Having many accounts that use the same password is like knocking over a row of dominoes. Once one falls, they all fall.
    • I know this can be a challenge to keep them all straight. I recommend picking a theme for your passwords to remember them better (for example: pirates. You could use create passwords like “Gangplank!23”, “land.lubbers.&”, or “shiver!me!timbers” ).
  • If a company announces a security breach, take them seriously. They’re probably losing a lot of business by saying they were hacked, so you know they’re not kidding around. Change ALL of your passwords. It’s a lot of work, but it’s essential.
  • Sometimes an organization may have been hacked and simply doesn’t know it. In this case, your password may be compromised and you have no way of realizing it. Because of this, I recommend that you occasionally change your passwords. At least every six months or a year.


Keylogging is a tried and true method of password theft. The idea is that the hacker uses malicious software/hardware to check what keys are being pressed on your keyboard.

Keyloggers come in 3 major flavors:

  • Malware: This is traditionally the most common. You managed to get a virus from some download or sketchy website and now everything you type is being monitored.
  • Browser-based keylogging: This technically falls under malware, but it's gaining a lot of usage and I think it deserves special attention. This is a type of keylogging software that specifically attaches to your internet browser as an addon, extension, or plug-in.
  • Hardware: This is significantly less common, but also highly effective. Some malicious hackers may have a USB device they could plug in that grabs keystrokes even without installing software. This is especially dangerous when using public computers where you aren't sure what all is plugged into the back.

My best tip for avoidance is regular virus scans (Try scheduling them to run at night while you're asleep! This way it won't slow you down during the day). Remember: password changes won't help you until the keylogging software/hardware has be removed; the attacker will see it!

Brute Force

Brute force attacks are another golden oldie. They're pretty simple and guaranteed to work. You just have to keep guessing until you get it.

With the modern standard of things locking you out after so many failed attemps, I hesitate to even mention this one. Still, it does have some usage today, especially if the hacker has a method of bypassing the lockout.

You should also be aware of a very similar attack known as a dictionary attack. This is a brute force that goes word by word through the dictionary trying to catch simple passwords. Keep your passwords complex.

Closing Tips

  • Pick a secure password.
  • Don't use the same password for any two accounts.
  • Don't use a really super similar password for any two accounts.
  • Change your passwords at least every 6 months to a year.
  • Be conscious of the information you're giving out.
  • Seek out the true identity of the person you're giving information to.
  • Don't write your password on a sticky note and attach it to your keyboard, it's not as clever as you think.