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Nerdy Network

May 8, 2016


In case you missed last week's blog, here's a link to that: Foodie Hacking Nerdy. Today I woke up at 10:15 A.M. with clear insight. I knew what I was going to wear the day prior and what kind of day I had coming. If you read Saturday's blog post, you already knew where my headspace was. After practicing my morning hygienic routine. I entered my bedroom with Beyoncé's "Sorry" on repeat, I in full fledge no fucks given mode. For May, the weather is pretty crappy. I'm hoping the weather hits around 90 for my birthday . . . okay, realistically 70 degrees. 70 degrees is my final offer. But the way this dreaded Noah's Arc weather is looking like, it could be an extended winter and no one is looking forward to that. I got short shorts I'm finna wear to keep it real with y'all. But anywho . . . after putting on my clothes the only major decision was if I should wear thong sandals or boots. If boots combat, thigh high cognac colored wedges, thigh high black flat heel, or my beloved purple furry boots. Decisions, decisions, decisions. I selected the purple ones since my attire was purple and I had this bomb purple ombre lipstick thing going on. 


Inside the train station I waited for my Ashmont train to pull up and this time, it was on Vie Time because within minutes of finding a spot on the platform the train doors opened for exiting passengers as well as boarding passengers. The train ride to Ashmont was fairly smooth. Of course, once you pass through Park Street, Downtown, and South Station the majority of the passengers air out leaving the train well ventilated not to mention blank. Off the train and standing for the Trolley, I prided myself on the good call on wearing underpants under by acid wash high waisted jeans. The cold weather mixed with high humidity was going to turn my Bantu knot out into chunky knot outs, if lucky they'll still have so curl definition. Yeah, I started off talking about keeping warm and ended with hair, I think it's a girl thing, but back to the weather. The weather forecast said low 60s, my vision said low 50s, my actual body in real time felt mid 50s with a breeze. So in cases like these, I like to be armed with two pairs of pants. In less than 10 minutes the Trolley pulled up, leaving me geeked not because I thought I was going to be late like all the other times, but because I wouldn't have to stand in the wet weather. In fifteen minutes or so we arrived at Mattapan Station. 


Dodging oncoming traffic in the maze of a cross path, I cross River Street to walk up Cummings Highway. On the street of my IT class, I see a student there chilling on the porch. Instantly I understood no one is inside and the only thing that I thought of was, How does my hair look? I greeted the student there. She reciprocated and we drummed up small chit chat regarding the class and how we felt about it. I basically said I like the class and that it's very informative, however, what we learn in class is just a drop in the bucket compared to the book. The book is the meat and potatoes and we have to remember over 900 pages of information to then be able to pull this information out from out heads to take the test. Fifteen minutes later the Professor's wife, he and their daughter arrive at the establishment in their truck. The wife steps out the car and opens the door to let their daughter out. She jumps out with a pretty sundress. Her youthfulness reminds me of my little sister Linnie. Full of excitement and wonder. The Professor's wife, daughter, student and I all greeted each other. The Professor's wife opens the door of the house as all of us follow behind her. Inside to my left, I notice a young man sitting in front of a computer in the hallway. He somewhat looks like the little girl and I assumed that his parents are the Professor and his wife.


Inside the classroom, I take my ritualistic seat. Since day one I sat in the same chair. I'm a creature of habit. When I "claim" something I'm good. The Professor begins turning on the classroom functions as well as his wife aiding him in setting up the classroom. The news was turned on and guess the topic of discussion. Clean water? No. Free education and a one-time debt elimination for entrepreneurs in the making? No. Grant money to educate the public on the effects of sexual abuse and preventative measures to decrease molestation in the Black community? No. El Chapo. Yes, the El Chapo who escaped prison in Mexico and was offering millions to whoever wanted to put him up to evade going back to prison all the while risking your own freedom. I think it's called aiding a fugitive. The same El Chapo these trap rappers speak of but can't find words to speak up against White Supremacy. The same El Chapo who was able to set an interview with the actor Sean Penn. You know, the one who went to Haiti after the earthquake and tried to chin check Wyclef or better yet, Madonnas ex who beat, raped, and held her hostage (allegedly of course). Well, the dilemma was El Chapo's planned transfer to a prison closer to the U.S. border and people are nervous about it. As much fucks I could have given, yet I didn't. An ex-big time drug pusher who has connections with the underworld, politics, and celebs is being treated like a pseudo-criminal. What's new? 


The students poured in one by one until 1:00 came. This week we discussed networking further. The Professor emphasize the importance of securing data and not allowing people to hack your system. Many people don't understand how hacking works. Not only can hackers virtually attack your system, but if all else fails including schemes, they'll just break into your home and steal the computer. The Professor made the example of the Pentagon being hacked into a few years back, They bragged about how well their system was, yet they were hacked and their preventative measure was off the shelves of Walmart. Can you say, hold this L? The Professor directed our attention to countries who hack like Canada and China. China will use their students as spies to get access to data bases. Canada and China are supposedly competing for who can hack into the U.S. medical data base to be the ones who discover new medical advances like a pill that's supposed to make you live forever young or a medical professional who has a great treatment for cancer but decided to not release his medication because cancer research and the standard treatment racks in so much money. He also piqued our interest when describing the epidemic of White boys addicted to opiates. The majority of cases plaguing the state are from the South Shore. Of course those folks get treatment while the Black folks get criminal records. The Professor continues with whoever creates a treatment for their addiction will be rich and there's someone working on it. That's why other countries are trying so hard to hack the U.S. He even turned down an offer to have foreign Chinese kids work for him, his reasoning was he has local kids that could work for him why get kids from other another country? 


The first segment of class we installed a UTP cable to secure an internet connection from the router to the modem to the switch and then to our individual computers. We were given instructions to follow and some of us needed to hear the instructions up to five times because . . . hard headed? When we all were connected we accessed the command prompt. We typed cmd into the search bar and clicked the command application. It opened up a small black screen with letters. We were instructed to type ipconfig then ipconfig/all. That's where we learned the IP address number and how it chances every time we restart the computer due to the Professor's handy work of masking his IP address with NAT. With ping (space) a website name you can find the IP address of any website. If you want to go directly to the website, just copy and paste the IP address in the web browser and the website will pull up. All websites have an IP address but the lettering masks it. With tracert (space) and a website, we were able to see how many hops a data goes through before reaching its destination. In some cases, it times out. If the data is very sensitive you can put a timer on it and after the a certain amount of time the data self-destructions so to speak to afford being hacked. 


After unplugging the UTP cable and rolling it back to what it looked like prior to our usage of them we listened to the Professor talk about Network security, refreshing our minds as to the tricks people use to steal data like spies and using the animalistic human needs like a pretty young woman to an old IT man. The Professor cracks a joke and says, "You have to say, look, man, you ugly." "You don't look good." "Why she . . . and we interrupted him with laughter because of his bluntness. If you could only use one word to describe the Professor it would be real. He smiles and chuckles too and explains is statement. He informs us that if someone really wants your information they'll send a pretty woman your way. They'll even set her up to entice you into marriage. The Professor exposes security breaches in people's system all the time. There was a business person who claimed it would take hackers their lifetime to hack his system, the professor was able to do it within minutes. He uses the example of having two computers and his protective security system. When it comes to personal data like credit card information, it's stored on his server so it doesn't go anywhere and it's in a safe location. He doesn't keep material like that in the IT facility nor does he allow it to be stored in an unsecured server or allow it to be accessed through WiFi. WiFi carries packets, IP addresses, and port addresses in the air and anyone with a phone can wait outside with a packet sniffer and gain all your persona information. At specific companies it is imperative that employees change their passwords frequently, like every 24 hours frequently. If they fail to do so there will be consequences and the company has to enforce them if they don't want a breach of security. Depending on what company you work at, and what you do, people will bribe you. As an IT professional, you should always keep your employment a mystery especially if you work for the government or a big corporation. The Professor shares with us a story of Julia Roberts getting paid $75,000 dollars to appear at a party for less than two hours. As an IT professional, we could be make $50 an hour but $75,000 in less than a day is something to want to achieve. He also shares with us Target's hacking fiasco awhile back. Hackers were able to hack the system and steal many people's information due to Target sleeping on risks. Now if you're an IT person and you put Target as your past place of employment you won't get a call back.


He informs us for that reason he uses strictly cash at Target. He's amazed that people still use their credit card with Target after that breach of security. He derails into Chipotle, mainly how people still eat at Chipotle after the food poisoning. We concurred that we understood his point of view. A student confesses that there's always lines at Chipotle. One student added that there's a chemical compound in the food is used as an additive to hook people to the food. I then remembered that Holloween deal they were giving to people. Half off a burrito if you showed up in a custom. I showed up with my face beat and that was about it. The line was damn near out the restaurant. When I got home to devour my burrito I automatically tasted how salty the burrito was. Like they said fuck the ingredients let me just pour this whole Morton Salt in this bitch. I swear I thought I was going to get hypertension. I'm Black put I didn't nor do I now want stereotypical Black diseases, especially those that can be avoided by good eating practices. No ma'am. 


Back to Nerdy Network though, the Professor ended his portion of class by showing us the importance of securing our network as IT professionals with not only software but by being hyper-vigilant. All eyes were on him when he was giving his presentation. You could hear a needle drop . . . okay, maybe not a needle but it was silent, oddly silent for our robust classroom. Closing his powerpoint he reminds us there's a meeting regarding graduation and how it will be set up. He slips in that there will be food. The foodie in me was here for it, but how the weather was looking like and how I was feeling, inside fuck the world especially niggas, outside everything is all good. I wasn't finna spend any more time anywhere that I didn't have preset plans for. To get us while we were sitting, he tells us that his wife will be teaching us something that day too. I knew it probably had to do with something in PowerPoint. I'm not a pro at it but I can throw together a few slides, put some sentences on them and add a picture or two. She reminds us that she didn't get all of last week's homework. Thanks to my head first mentality, right as I got home I sent her the assignment because if I didn't do it then I would forget about it later. She lets the class know of the assignments that she did get which was all but three. The Professor's wife hands us a sheet of paper with instructions on them. She confirms what I already knew, yes another powerpoint presentation. I wasn't bugged about it because I like utilizing what I already know. She tells us we can choose from the three topics. I chose hero/role model. And who else would I type about other than J.Cole? Okay, my first choice was the Haitian Revolution but that was too broad like a dissertation and like Sweet Brown said, "Ain't nobody got time for that."


I condensed J.Cole into seven slides answering her six questions. At the end of my presentation, I chose a purple theme and downloaded a recent picture of my beau. Side note, why do people have issues when a Black man gets locs, particularly free forming locs like he owes you an explanation for his hair? A Black person doesn't owe anyone a damn thing when it concerns their business and what's on their body. This notion of Blacks need to get permission before living their lives or approval from anyone needs to die with antebellum. He's free ya know . . . Since I was eager to get gone I finished relatively fast compared to my classmates. To connect back to the internet we had to go on the opposite end of our computer screen where the back of the case was showing to connect the internet cable into the rj45 port then return back to our seat to send the powerpoint via email to the Professor's wife. Quick, fast, and a hurry I attached my J.Cole presentation to her while cc-ing myself. I hit the send button and alerted her to the soon to be new email. She tells me she received it and she questioned if my website was to sell my book. I'm not sure if last week's assignment I included my website but regardless I answered, "Yes" with a smile. Anytime MEMOIRS OF A FORGOTTEN CHILD is spoken I smile. The first and only baby I have given birth to that didn't require penetration, cankles, and breast milk.


Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be Loved. ✌

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