The Need for Constant Improvement in Tech

Space Shuttle Improvement

It was early morning before the launch was to be made. Final checks were being made. The cumulation of years of work was going to be put compressed into a moment to get that shuttle into space.

But it was years of work. The teams responsible had built, and rebuilt. Tested, and retested. Discovered and rediscovered, until they had finally gotten it right.

They had invested in the work, prepared for the unknown, and had used all their moments to make the dream a reality.

Investing leads to Improvement

Investing is defined: To spend or devote for future advantage or benefit.

Investing simply means that in order to get something, you have to put something in. Usually effort, thought, or money. You have to be willing to give to get any improvement. Every farmer knows that if you want a crop, you have to plant a seed and water it and take care of it.

Funny then how some think they can get something for nothing.

I once read a book about space ships travelling into deep space. These vessels did not carry just one part for everything they needed. They had multiple oxygen recyclers, multiple engines, and multiple food generators. If one broke down, the backup would kick in. If the backup broke, the backup’s backup would kick in.

The ship’s designers and builders had put in the time and effort and money needed to prepare for the unforeseen disasters or problems that might happen on a long voyage in space. And they understood that if something happened, the crew may not be able to just “fix it”. So they “invested” ahead of time.

You could say investing leads to improvement, and improvement comes from investing.

So, take the time to learn about current trends. Get new methods and tools. Learn those skills you’ve been putting off. Reach out and see what you can improve.

And be sure you have good ways of learning. It was once said, “A man who teaches himself, has a fool for a teacher.” It matters who’s teaching you.

Prepare, Don’t Wait

Have you ever seen a new traffic light going in and wondered if it had taken someone getting hurt for those in charge to finally decide that it was needed.

It’s sad really.

Most people will wait until the avoidable problem actually becomes a problem, before they will actually do something about it. We see it in government, companies, cities, and families.

We can do better.

Instead of waiting for bad things to happen, an improvement would be to always be ready and prepared for them ahead of time. It can pay off in the long run. To be ready for a server to crash, or a firewall to break down. To get rid of “single points of failure”, for while it’s harder to do so, and it can take away some of the fun and drama, isn’t it just nicer to keep everything “just working.”

While these things don’t come easily, they are well worth the effort. It takes time and thought to think ahead, and to plan and prepare for both success and failure in various areas. But by doing so, our lives get a lot easier and better.

Everyday I’m getting things like these lines that show up in my blocked urls:

"GET /$wp-content$/plugins/wp-filemanager/incl/libfile.php?&path=../../&filename=wp-config.php&action=download HTTP/1.1" 406 86 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.10 Chromium/12.0.742.112 Chrome/12.0.742.112 Safari/534.30"
"GET /$wp-content$/themes/parallelus-mingle/framework/utilities/download/getfile.php?file=../../../../../../wp-config.php HTTP/1.1" 406 86 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/12.0.742.53 Safari/534.30"
"GET /$wp-content$/themes/parallelus-salutation/framework/utilities/download/getfile.php?file=../../../../../../wp-config.php HTTP/1.1" 406 86 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/534.24 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.10 Chromium/12.0.703.0 Chrome/12.0.703.0 Safari/534.24

Yes, those commands were trying to exploit certain plugins (which I don’t have) into allowing someone to break into my site(s). Luckily I have disabled direct access to plugin files on my sites, so even if they were here and they were vulnerable, the above wouldn’t have worked. But it’s always a good reason to do updates.

Instead they just got a 406 “Go Away” error.

It’s always better to fix the underlying cause, rather than just putting “band-aids” on it. But it’s also good to have contingency plans and extra layers of security and integrity to protect and keep things going even when this start breaking and crashing down.

(Ooo! and here’s one looking for that infamous Revolution Slider hack, just for kicks)

"GET /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=revslider_show_image&img=../wp-config.php HTTP/1.1" 406 50 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; (R1 1.5))"

What Delays, Destroys

And then there’s Microsoft complaining about Google not giving them enough time to fix a security vulnerability…. even though they 90 days, as in 3 whole months, to fix the issue. Three whole months for someone with bad intentions to figure it out and start using it against innocent people.

Seems they still haven’t gotten past their “just don’t worry, it will fix itself” approach. Didn’t work on that old picture exploit (that lasted over 6 months before getting patched)… and it still doesn’t work now. Ya, they could use some improvement.

The way to fix it is to fix it now. The way to improve it is to improve it now. I guess the age old saying “Live in the Now” applies to Technology too.

Well…. as long as we aren’t living for instant gratification. Living in the “Now” means doing what you can now, and planning to do what you can’t, later. But still focusing on the bigger picture, the important things.

I suppose it’s one of those “delicate balance” sort of things.