Welcome to Study Hall! The Internet can be a great resource as long as you know how to use it. Here you will find tips for effective web research to help you get the most out of the Internet.


Cyber Defender & Databank Supervisor

Because of her unquenchable thirst for knowledge, Maya started out as a librarian. While she loved her job, she wanted to do more to help protect people.

Since Cyber Villains such as Ms. Information and Elvirus can corrupt websites and the information on them, Maya teaches people to protect themselves by using caution when visiting websites and avoiding sites that are not trustworthy.

Favorite Quote:

Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime
- Chinese Proverb

Favorite Food:

Anything chocolate


Browsing bookstores, baking

December 16, 2010

Using The Web: Educational Web Sites

There are a TON of fantastic educational sites on the Internet these days. You know, like this one, for example! Here is a quick list of some of the other top sites for smart kids like you.

posted by Maya
topic: Using the Web

November 30, 2010

Cyber Terminology: Ping

Pinging is a term named after the sound a submarine makes when its sonar pulse bounces off something. In geek speak, it is when your computer calls out to another computer to see if it is active. If the other machine responds, the computer proceeds to send the rest of the information. It’s sort of like sending a text to someone to see if they’re busy before you call them to have a full conversation.

Unfortunately, cyber criminals have used this helpful program to cause big problems for a lot of people. By constantly pinging a server, called a “ping storm”, these hackers can cause massive disruptions. If this sounds familiar, it’s because ping storms are a form of Denial of Service attacks, which we’ve talked about before.

posted by Maya
topic: Cyber Terminology

October 28, 2010

Research Tip: Using the Web

There is a TON of information out there on the Internet. Unfortunately, not all of it is legitimate or accurate. So how do you separate the worthwhile from the worthless? Well, here are a few helpful hints that I use when doing online research.

Firstly, and most importantly, make sure the source of the information is trustworthy. If the Website is well-known or is part of a scholastic organization (like a school or a research institute), this makes it more likely that what they’re telling you is true. But be careful! Web sites that the public can edit, such as Yahoo! Answers or Wikipedia, have no control over what users post there. You should also check to see that the author cites their references so you know where the information came from. Sometimes I even find the best resources by going through the list of references on Wikipedia articles!

Secondly, once you found information that seems reliable, the best way to make sure that it is actually true is to find another source that says the same thing! For example, if two trustworthy sources say that Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, you can be reasonably sure that they’re telling the truth.

Just remember, cadets, the more carefully you do your research, the more confident you can be in your argument. More work early means less work later!

posted by Maya
topic: Research Tips

September 9, 2010

Using The Web: Homework Websites

Welcome back to school, cadets. I hope you all like homework, because that’s what you’re getting! Here’s a list of great websites that can help you figure out those tough homework questions:

Just remember, give it your best and don’t be afraid of tough questions! Nothing worth having is ever gained easily, and there’s nothing better than a good education!

posted by Maya
topic: Using the Web

September 8, 2010

Cyber Terminology: What is Vaporware?

Have you ever waited for a computer or video game to come out only to learn that the maker has pushed the release date back by months or years? I know I have! The term used to describe this kind of constant stalled release date is vaporware. Vaporware can also be used to describe software or hardware that was announced years before an actual release is planned. So why do they call it vaporware? Well, if I had to guess, it’s because the unavailable product (much like water vapor) is impossible to grab on to! Have you ever tried to grab fog? Trust me, it doesn’t work out. Though the term was originally used to describe computer products, it is being adopted to describe nearly every product that is delayed or announced years in advance.

As frustrating as vaporware is, it’s not always a bad thing. I mean, I’d rather have the developers take the time to perfect a product and miss their release dates if the product isn’t good enough to buy. Then again, I’d rather have the developer set more realistic goals for themselves in the first place!

posted by Maya
topic: Cyber Terminology

August 13, 2010

Cyber Terminology: What is K.E.R.M.I.T?

Ah, Kermit. I have fond, fond memories of that little file-transfer protocol. Imagine me in the 1980s, cuddled up to my computer and transferring files between completely different computers running completely different operating systems! Simply amazing.

Kermit was named after the famous Muppets frog. In order to avoid copyright infringement the makers of Kermit changed the name to K.E.R.M.I.T., which stood for KL10 Error-Free Reciprocal Microprocessor Interchange over TTY lines.

Throughout the 1980’s, Kermit was used for a wide variety of things, whether it was simply transferring documents from computer to computer or solving problems on the International Space Station. Not too shabby for some very old technology, eh?

posted by Maya
topic: Cyber Terminology

July 20, 2010

Cyber Terminology: What is a Bug?

We’ve all heard of computer bugs, but do you know the origin of the term? Well, good news! You’re about to. The popular myth about this term dates back 1947 when Grace Hopper found that a moth had caused a Harvard University computer to fail. She “debugged” the computer by removing the moth and, as a result, the machine began to function normally again. Though this story is fun, it’s not the real origin of the term. In fact, the term “bug” was also recorded in a 19th century electrical manual, which means it was used to describe technical problems during the 1800’s.

So where does the term “bug” actually come from? No one knows for sure. If you ask me, it’s probably something really simple. I mean, computer bugs are extremely annoying and many people find actual bugs to be pretty annoying, too! Think about it – computer bugs are to software what ants are to picnics – irritating!

posted by Maya
topic: Cyber Terminology