Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CCC CollegeBuys: Discounted ICT Products and Services Offers

Dear Colleagues,

School will soon be back in session and access to essential technology tools is integral to the success of our California Community College (CCC) students, faculty, and staff. The Foundation for California Community Colleges and CollegeBuys want to make sure our students are prepared and equipped with the necessary tools to succeed in the classroom and the workplace.

CCC students, faculty, and staff are eligible for several offers on educational software and hardware, through CollegeBuys, that will help make their semester a success, including:

  • Microsoft Office is available as a digital download for $39.99. This price, made available by CollegeBuys, is the lowest offer anywhere for our students and is exclusive to California Community Colleges (nearly 80% savings) 
  • Adobe® apps. Students at eligible colleges can access all of the Adobe® Creative Cloud Apps for just $169.99 per year (available students at eligible colleges). Users can access essential software tools previously available in the Adobe® Creative Suites, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more (over 30% savings) 
  • Mobile Citizen: Students can get high-speed internet access for only $15 a month. The CLEAR Desk Modem and CLEAR Mobile Hotspot are available for $49.99. 
To find out if coverage is available in your area, visit Please share the attached the Adobe® Creative Cloud Apps and Back to School fliers with your students, and peers. You can forward via email, and print several out so that they can be aware of the discounted software tools available to them.

To learn more about CollegeBuys, visit

If you have any questions or feedback about the offerings, please email


Monday, August 18, 2014

RHT: Python Jobs Are Gaining Ground

by Robert Half Technology
August 18, 2014

Python skills can increase base compensation by up to 8 percent for some IT jobs.
No, it’s not a snake. Python is a powerful, open source programming language that enables developers to build high-performing, elegant web applications quickly.
Python plays well with others and is easy to learn, whether you’re a first-time programmer or experienced with other languages. “Python is growing in popularity because it’s simple and straightforward,” says John Asdell, branch manager, Robert Half Technology, San Diego, Calif.
Responsibilities vary in Python jobs
Python developers typically work to create programs and applications that use the Python programming language. In general, these professionals are expected to:
  • Write code using the syntax and scripting available in Python
  • Run testing on that code to find errors, document them and then fix them
  • Write firmware rather than software applications
Other duties are based on the nature of the specific position. Here are just two possible scenarios where a Python developer’s skills could be applied:
  • A video game is using Python for scripted events that dictate how the game world responds to players’ actions. The Python developer might be called on to help create the user interface (UI).
  • A social networking site might have a Python developer write code that will handle how clients connect to and communicate with servers on a network, or alter the way a website’s UI is displayed.
What skills do you need for Python jobs?
Python developers almost always need to have a background in computer science and programming, says Asdell. He also recommends that aspiring Python developers look beyond the classroom to make themselves more marketable.

“Find ways to learn more,” Asdell says. “There are many opportunities to get involved in open source projects, create your own website, or even help a business, nonprofit or school club execute on one of their development projects.”

Why work as a Python developer?
Python reports that companies such as Google, Yahoo!, Disney, Nokia and IBM are all using its programming language. Asdell says that Python jobs are likely to be even more in demand in the years to come. Why? It seems more budding developers are leaning toward Python instead of focusing on more traditional programming languages such as Java. For example, more Netflix programmers are choosing Python over Java to power certain aspects of Netflix’s video-streaming service.

Python can be the ideal stepping stone into the world of programming says Asdell. “It’s the primary language being taught in computer science departments at every major university,” Asdell says. “So, access to learning is easy.”

He adds that a working knowledge of Python is a solid programmer job skill to have because its methodologies can be used in a broad range of applications.

Python skills can increase base compensation by up to 8 percent for some IT jobs. For more information, check out the Robert Half Technology 2014 Salary Guide.

— Robert Half Technology

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Visit our website at

The Internet Is Officially More Popular Than Cable in the U.S.

08.15.14 | 4:40 PM |

Photo: Getty
You can’t call them “cable companies” anymore.

For the first time, the number of broadband subscribers with the major U.S. cable companies exceeded the number of cable subscribers, the Leichtman Research Group reported today. Among other things, these figures suggest the industry is now misnamed. Evidently these are broadband companies that offer cable on the side.

To be sure, the difference is minimal: 49,915,000 broadband subscribers versus 49,910,000 cable subscribers. But even assuming a huge overlap in those numbers from customers who have both, the primacy of broadband demonstrates a shift in consumer priorities. Nearly all the major cable companies added broadband subscribers over the past quarter, for a total of nearly 380,000 new signups. Cable subscribers don’t have to worry about TV as they know it going away any time soon. But cable is on its way to becoming secondary, the “nice to have” compared to the necessity of having broadband access.

Not Bad for Business
Such a transition might suit the “cable companies” just fine. I first saw these numbers pointed out by Peter Kafka at Recode, who wrote: “Some smart people suggest that the cable guys would not be unhappy if most of their business moved over to broadband instead of video, since there are much better margins—and almost no competition—for broadband.”

The better margins boil down to the fact that broadband is purely about access, while cable is about content. The crux of the cable side of the cable business is hatching deals with the makers of sports, news, and entertainment so there’s something to send through the box. And the costs can be steep. ESPN, the most pricey by far, tops $5 per subscriber per month.

With broadband, the cable companies don’t have to put anything through those pipes themselves. They just have to be the plumbers. They may not like the way Netflix and its more than 36 million U.S. subscribers are eating into their TV businesses. But Netflix and other streaming services are helping drive demand for broadband—a service cable operators can provide without having to serve up any content themselves at all.
TV’s Broad Future
What this means for the future of TV is still tough to predict. While these figures may suggest the inevitable transition to an internet-dominated future, nearly 50 million cable subscribers don’t appear ready to cut the cord just yet. Even with a plethora of on-demand options, people are still watching TV like they used to, which means a business model still based around ads and subscription fees. But that’s still a loss of millions of cable subscribers over the past half-decade, while the number of broadband subscribers has climbed at a much faster clip.

Meanwhile, traditional TV as a format already is being engulfed by the open-endedness of the internet. From mainstream streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video to niche sites like Funny or Die to YouTube celebrities—to name just some of the options that fall under entertainment—the kinds of moving pictures available and the ways to consume them have never been greater. Within this broader spectrum, cable as a concept could become just another niche, one channel among many as the insatiable internet swallows everything it encounters.

Cyber Intelligence Research Consortium

Cyber Intelligence Research Consortium

New Cyber Intelligence Research
For more than two years, the SEI Emerging Technology Center has conducted cyber intelligence research and development to empower government, industry, and academia to advance their cyber intelligence tradecraft and address systemic analytical challenges through open innovation.

What is Cyber Intelligence?
Cyber intelligence is the acquisition and analysis of information to identify, track, and predict cyber capabilities, intentions, and activities to offer courses of action that enhance decision making

Sound cyber intelligence practices can help organizations prevent or mitigate major security breaches. This is why the SEI's Emerging Technology Center has been conducting research on methodologies, processes, technology, and training to help organizations understand what it means to perform this work.

The Impact to Organizations
Cyber intelligence is important to all entities. While there has been much emphasis on tactical cyber intelligence to help understand the "on-the-network" cyber-attacks so frequently in the news, there has been little discussion about the discipline's strategic and operational levels to better understand the overall goals, objectives, and inter-relationships associated with these tactical attacks. As a result, key consumers such as C-level executives, executive managers, and other senior leaders are not getting the right type of cyber intelligence to efficiently and effectively inform their organizations' risk management programs.1

Educational Resources on Cyber Intelligence
White Paper- Cyber Intelligence Tradecraft Project: Summary of Key Findings

White Paper- CITP Training and Education

Webinar- A Grassroots Approach to Improved Cyber Intelligence

Blog- Assessing the State of the Practice of Cyber Intelligence

Podcast-The State of the Practice of Cyber Intelligence

What is the Cyber Intelligence Research Consortium?
In June 2014, the SEI launched the Cyber Intelligence Research Consortium, a member-funded collaboration of practitioners and decision makers from all economic sectors and business sizes. The Consortium aims to help organizations make better judgments and quicker decisions related to cyber intelligence.

"Recent highly publicized security breaches reinforce the importance of cyber intelligence for any organization, regardless of size and economic sector," said Jay McAllister, a senior analyst in the SEI's Emerging Technology Center and technical lead of the Consortium. "But many organizations are operating without a research-verified set of practices. The Consortium will help organizations determine how best to excel in this emerging discipline."

The Consortium is an outgrowth of the SEI Cyber Intelligence Tradecraft Project, which sought to advance cyber intelligence capabilities by elaborating on best practices and prototyping solutions to shared challenges.

What Are the Member Benefits of the Consortium?
Organizations are joining the Cyber Intelligence Research Consortium to focus on improving the methodologies, processes, tools, and training that influence their cyber intelligence efforts. Members will address these topics by participating in a cyber threat baseline activity to identify their common challenges, interactive workshops to showcase relevant technologies, and a capture-the-flag exercise to hone their analytical skills. The Consortium also will produce how-to guides to help members successfully navigate key intelligence practices and technologies.

"One of the main benefits of joining the Cyber Intelligence Research Consortium," said McAllister, "is being able to contribute to and leverage best practices from different economic sectors. We believe the Consortium is uniquely positioned, because of its proximity to government, industry, and academia, to significantly influence the practice of cyber intelligence."

The Consortium's membership currently consists of practitioners and decision makers from multiple sectors, including government, energy, banking, defense contracting, and academia. New members may join at any time.

For details on joining the consortium please see:

1 INSA Cyber Intelligence Task Force White Paper

Geotech Center: Great Deal on Online GIS Courses!

What is the QGIS Academy?
The Academy is a series of five GIS courses, all based on the US Department of Labor Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), that represents the essential curriculum needed to teach entry-level GIS Technician education. The courses provide both the background theory of geospatial science as well as the hands-on application using the QGIS application software.

Illustration 1: US Department of Labor GTCM
What are the Courses?
The five courses were derived from a two year long effort, led by the GeoTech Center, in 2010 through 2012, that engaged 50 geospatial educators from US colleges and universities nationwide who reviewed the GTCM and selected a subset of specific knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). These KSAs were all ranked upon importance and sequenced into a coherent curriculum that includes these five GIS courses:

1. Introduction to Geospatial Technology

2. Spatial Analysis

3. Data Acquisition and Management

4. Cartography

5. Remote Sensing

Who Is the QGIS Academy?

The Academy is a consortium of colleges and universities who are deeply committed to bringing open source GIS education to students and educators throughout the US and beyond. The Academy is housed at Del Mar College (a SACS accredited college) and was created with funds from the US National Science Foundation and US Department of Labor through grants awarded to Del Mar College as the GeoTech Center (2008-2013) and the National Information, Security and Geospatial Technology Consortium (NISGTC). University faculty from Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, Green Mountain College, Central New Mexico College, and American River College contributed to the content of the courses as subject matter experts in building the theory and lab material.

Who Teaches the Courses?

The Academy hires the same experts who created the material to teach it. These include professors at major GIS colleges and universities as well as working professionals certified as GISPs. They are all respected and experienced educators and GIS professionals. Your instructor might include:
Kurt Menke
Nate Jennings
John Van Hoesen

How are the classes taught?

Each course contains a multimedia presentation of the geospatial theory covered in that course. The hands-on labs are performed on the students own computer using the free QGIS software and data provided in the course. A complete set of videos showing learners how to complete each task in the lab are provided and access directly from YouTube. Completed labs are uploaded to the course and reviewed by the instructor. Exams and quizzes are all completed online using the course site and graded automatically with results and feedback provided to the learner.

When are they offered?
The inaugural offering of the first QGIS course will begin September 2014. The planned release of each course will be offered on the following monthly schedule:

1. GST 101 Introduction to Geospatial Technology: 9/1/2014, 10/6/2014, 11/3/2014
2. GST 102 Spatial Analysis: 10/6/2014, 11/3/2014
3. GST 103 Data Acquisition: 11/2/2014
4. GST 104 Cartography: 11/3/2014
5. GST 105 Remote Sensing: 11/3/2014

How Much Do They Cost?
Each course is offered for $25 USD. They can be taken individually, as they are offered. The total tuition fee for the five courses would be $125 USD. Payment is by credit card only please.

How do I register if I AM A US CITIZEN?

1. Read the instructions:: OnlineRegistrationProcess.

2. To register go here directly.

How do I register if I am NON US CITIZEN?

1. Email us directly for the registration form: