Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Digging Out!


First off, I hope everyone had a very nice Christmas with their families and that everyone got what they wanted. Secondly, how about all this snow? Unbelievable if you ask me! It would have been much nicer if we had a white Christmas but a day after is close enough for me! We actually got lucky that the storm came when it did because as a Christmas present, my brother went out and bought our family a brand new snow blower. We had one, but it started to become a hassle year after year, which having to replace things or having problems getting it started, so it was time to start new. Totally a great present and helped clear us out. It took us probably about 2 and a half hours to dig out yesterday between moving all the cars, cleaning them off, and then with the snow blowing, it was pretty crazy.

I actually was pretty lucky because on Saturday, my boyfriend and I and his family, all ventured into the city to see the tree and then to see the Christmas Spectacular Show. We were getting nervous because we were thinking what if we get stuck in the city or whatever. Well it turns out, we got into the city a little early, so we walked a few blocks to the tree, then to Radio City to see the show, then we were back on the bus by 11, just as the snow was starting to pick up. I made it home safely, and then made the best of being snowed in for the 2 days.

So now we begin counting down the days until the new year is officially here. Of course it had to end with a big storm! Who knows what else could be coming! All I know, is that I'm glad that this happened this past weekend and not New Years weekend! That would have been horrible! As the new year approaches, we now are ready to kick off a new year at Berkeley! This winter quarter is my senior year, which is totally scary if you ask me! I'm nervous but excited all at once. I actually logged on blackboard yesterday to check out my new classes, and they were finally up. I promised myself I wouldn't log on, but it's just hard when I'm so use to logging on everyday for my classes. It's suppose to be vacation Lyndsay! I know, I know! LOL

Well, I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday and I hope you were able to safely dig yourselves out and stayed off the roads if you didn't absolutely need to go anywhere! Enjoy the rest of your break and go have some fun in the snow!!

AND....Here are some photos from the storm, my Christmas tree, and my dogs who were my little reindeer's this year!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grades are in and break has officially started!


That's right, we finally wrapped up the Fall Quarter and it's now time to enjoy the upcoming holidays. I hope everyone received the grades they hoped they were going to, and that you all had a very successful Fall Quarter!

These next two weeks give us the opportunity to rest up, refresh ourselves, and start the new year on a clean slab. It's hard to believe that my Winter Quarter, is the start of my Senior year in college...SCARY! I actually already started looking into where I want to intern before graduating. I feel like I should prepare myself now, so I don't have to worry about doing it last minute and overwhelming myself with internship applications and the whole nine yards!

What are everyone's plans for their break? Hopefully going away to see family, or going home, or if you are already home, just staying there and enjoying the holidays in the comfort of your own home. That's what I'll be doing! Nice and toasty! Hoping for a white Christmas though, but not sure if that will happen.

As we wind down on 2010, it's time to think of a resolution and some new goals you hope to accomplish in the new year! It could be to improve your grades, it could be to lose weight, or it simply could be something to better yourself and those around you. Whatever it is, it's a new year and time to free yourself of all those past troubles from 2010. There is always room for improvement so take advantage of it!

I want to wish everyone at Berkeley, my friends and family, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rainy End to The Weekend!

Well the weekend has come and gone, as it always has to unfortunately! The real bummer is the fact that it's now a dreary, rainy day! That puts a damper on things!

So just think, it's officially week 12, which means, LAST WEEK UNTIL BREAK! WOO HOO! Many of you may have finished up last week, which is great, but there are still a few of you who have those last finals to take before you can officially grasp the joy of a much needed break! As I get closer and closer to graduating, these quarters just fly on by. Everyone keeps telling me, hold on to school for as long as you can, and I think I'm starting to agree! Pretty soon I'll be out working my butt off but I am totally ready for the challenge!


Since finals are here, I like to always share a few tips to preparing yourself and things you should do before a final exam. The best thing to do is RELAX! If you work yourself too hard or try to cram in all the studying you can, there is a better chance you will have too much going on and have a brain block. One thing at a time, and take as many breaks as you need. PACE YOURSELF! Another thing is don't stay up till all hours of the night trying to study, study, study, because lack of sleep will have an impact on your test taking ability. It's either be wide awake for the exam, or half asleep, hanging over the exam. Not only will you dread having to sit through the exam, but your answers will come out not making any sense, and the professor will look at it, not even bother trying to figure out what you mean, and move on.

You have to go into finals with a good attitude. Thinking to yourself that this exam is going to kill your grade, or you don't know any of the information, will only make it worse on you. Go into the exam with a clear head, a sufficient amount of study time before hand, and just take the exam. Stressing and worrying doesn't help, it just makes it worse! And after all is said and done, let it go!


I hope everyone does well and finished off the quarter on a good note! Now we have the holidays to look forward to!! Enjoy your day and till next time.....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winding Down On The Fall Quarter!


That's right! We are almost there everyone! Just get through these 2 more days left in the week and get through all of next week and break will be within reach! It's important that as we wind down for the Fall Quarter, that you pay special attention to when your final exams will be and where you need to be on that day. The worst thing you could do is forget you have a final or show up on the wrong day! As we prepare for finals week, make sure you are mentally preparing yourselves by taking the extra time to catch up on some material you missed and take the time to study, study, study! Final exams count for a lot in some classes, so make sure you are ready to go!

As I am winding down in my Forensic science class, we have been with the fingerprinting process and it's been extremely cool! We just got done completing an assignment where we had to visit a website and actually conduct the fingerprinting process ourselves and then determine who the culprit was. Below I posted my answers to the questions on the discussion board this week. The objective of my discussion board this week was the read about computer forensics and the importance of the internet. We also were asked to find a crime that was planned, solved, or prevented online, which you guys should really check out because it is quite interesting (the link is listed below). Lastly, we were asked to reflect on identity theft. I figured this is something we are all at risk for so I wanted to share some information about that as well! Happy Reading!

Chapter 19 focused on computer forensics and the importance it plays in today's society. As we all have noticed, technology continues to advance, so there are more and more devices that allow us to access the internet. It has become a part of our everyday lives and more and more people are logging onto computers or the internet every day! "Consequently, computers have become increasingly important as sources of evidence in an ever-widening spectrum or criminal activities." (pg.472)

The internet has become pretty handy for investigators in the following areas. As for homicides, investigators can see if a method of murder was researched online, they could see if emails or instant messages occurred. They may also find a motive for spouse killing or murder for hire, as well as the ability to see if threats were communicated to the victim before a murder occurred. Another use is for arson investigators, who can view financial records on the computer to see if it may provide a motive in an arson-for-profit fire, which is a common occurrence. People choose not to think twice about the fact that it could be investigated and they could lose EVERYTHING all because they thought they could make money off of it. Another area is burglary, where investigators can actually determine if proceeds taken from the home are being sold online or through eBay and other online auction sites. Sexual predators can also be tracked online if they are caught messaging children or coming in contact with children for sexual reasons.

Computer forensics involves preservation, acquisition, extraction, analysis, and interpretation of computer data. Therefore, technology and the internet in particular, is a forensic scientist's FRIEND, not foe!

The pros of the internet as a tool in the forensic scientist's toolbox include the following:

-Able to see which websites were visited/browsed and the frequency of how many times they were viewed

-There are many devices out there capable of internet connection, so there are many options to view when looking at internet activity (cell phones, iPads, etc.)

-Investigators can use the internet to access fugitive files as well as fingerprints/DNA samples and alias's that people are known by

-Able to view email conversations and instant messaging conversations

-Access to IP addresses which route to where the contact came from (location) and can lead to the identifying of a person

-Investigators can access log files, volatile memory, and network traffic

-Investigators can track what software has been installed or downloaded

-Can search and analyze data quickly and efficiently

The cons of the internet as a tool in the forensic scientist's toolbox include the following:

-Criminal could make up an alias or a different name that is hard to track or link to that specific individual

-Legal standards- because data can easily be modified an analyst much be able to prove that the data is as is when it was found-needs to be fully documented and accounted for when presenting

-The cost to retrieve and analyze the data gathered from the internet could be expensive since those analyzing it may need a significant amount of time

-Lack of knowledge about technology and computer forensics can affect the way an analyst views the collection of data-need to be able to communicate it effectively.

Crime Planned Via Internet:

I wasn't too sure about a crime that had been solved, prevented or planned using the internet so I logged on and did a search. I came across an article from May 2004 about a boy who used the internet to plot his own murder. The article says that the final chat room exchange was "U want me 2 take him 2 Trafford centre and kill him in the middle of Trafford centre??" The response to that message was yes. It then goes on to say that less than 24 hours later, the 14 year old boy was in the hospital with serious stab wounds. What had actually happened was this boy persuaded one of his friends to stab him in order to pass a fictitious initiation test for the British secret services. The boy had made his friend believe that he was working with the secret service and was promising all these things. When detectives began investigating more, they came across just about 58,000 lines of text between the two boys. Detectives soon revealed that everything was planned out the day before to have this boy try to kill him.

If you are interested in the full story here is the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2004/may/29/crime.uknews

Reflect on Identity Theft Response:

Identity theft incidents are on the rise because people aren't careful with the information they carry around with them. Information such as your social security card is a huge no-no, because once someone has access to that, it's almost like you should have just handed them your whole wallet because you social security card has access to your identity as a whole. After listening to Gail Cunningham, she stated that identity theft is a crime that simply won't go away. It's like as soon as we tackle or outsmart these identity stealers, they find another way around it and get us another way. It's a very vicious cycle we need to beat! She did offer some advice and that is to carry as little information as possible that could lead to stealing your identity. It can happen to anyone to carrying as little as possible is your best bet. Once someone has access to your credit card, they will make a small purchase before making larger purchases to make sure that your card # is accurate and that the card is still activated. Gail brought up another important point and that is that one should always mail from the post office such as bills, checks, etc., because crooks can actually steal these things from your mailbox and even watch or follow the mailman so that they can make the move on your mail that could contain personal information. Another thing is to never leave receipts in your car either because those could contain account or credit card #'s as well. It's important that you keep an eye on all your belongings that you carry and make sure you are never carrying too much information in which someone could turn around and use as their own.

I spent a lot of time going through all the information and chapters this week and I felt that the identity theft topic was great to present on my blog this week as well. Especially during the holidays, you have to be careful of who you are handing that credit card to. They could disappear with your card only to be scanning it for future fraudulent charges! The point is, BE CAREFUL with your information!

As we wind down on Week 11, I want to wish you all the best of luck on your final exams or projects! Also, stay warm because it's starting to get super cold!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy December!

My favorite month has finally arrived! Happy December and you know what that means, more Holiday fun is well on it's way!


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with their friends and family! I did end up going out on Black Friday. My boyfriend and I left at 12AM and got back home around 6AM. The mall wasn't as crazy as I expected it to be, but when we got by Walmart and Target, the lines were wrapped all over the place! It was NUTS! I did end up waiting outside Target and with waiting in line, running in the store to get what I wanted, I was out in just about 20 minutes. Don't ask me how, but I somehow maneuvered my way through everyone and accomplished my mission! And to top all of that off, I was sick as a dog! I have to say, I'm a trooper! LOL

Now that the craziness is over with that, it's time to focus on finishing up the rest of my Christmas shopping. By this point, I am usually done, but I am slacking a little bit. I just feel like everything is approaching so quickly and there just isn't enough time in the day for me to get everything done!

As for school, I have been doing pretty well. I am keeping up on everything and counting down the days until these next 2 weeks are finally complete! I am in such a need for a break. It's going to fly right on by, but hey, I'll take it while I can!

How is everyone else doing? At this point, it's just a matter of finishing what's left of the quarter and hanging in there!

Spread the word, on December 7th from 12PM-7PM, Berkeley College will be having a Virtual Open House. During the Virtual Open House, here are some of the following things you can look forward to learning about:

Learn how easy it is to apply.

Learn how you can earn a Bachelor's degree in 3 years or an Associate's degree in 18 months.

Find out about the many student activities and academic support services.

Learn about the many scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

Find out about housing opportunities available through Berkeley.

If you know someone who may have an interest in Berkeley College, pass this along so that they can start experiencing the Berkeley Advantage!

So this week in my Marketing Management class we were discussing the use of direct email for companies who are in the market to sell their products of services. The discussion topic focused around what type of product or service did we feel would be appropriate for direct email. Well, in general, it's pretty easy to say that every product or service could incorporate direct email, but what extent of the market would actually pay attention or take advantage of a direct email offer or message. I decided to focus on the Real Estate Services and the incorporation of direct email. I personally have seen this type of interaction because my mom is a real estate agent. I have seen her send out emails keeping her past clients and even newer clients updated about the trends in the market and sending out emails to keep them posted about interest rates for mortgages and all that fun stuff. I really feel that real estate agents benefit from direct email because when you are a prospective buyer or seller, you want someone who is on top of their game and who is interested in your well being. Now a days it's all about getting a good mortgage and finding a home that is both affordable now and in the future! Just a little side note to share...do any of you have any ideas of a product or service that could really benefit from direct email? Feel free to share!

I hope everyone enjoys the final day of the week and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!