When to Visit South Padre Island

South Padre Island pic

South Padre Island
Image: travel.usnews.com/

Mason Bird is a dedicated undergraduate student majoring in cybersecurity. Outside of his studies, Mason Bird spends his time enjoying a wide range of hobbies, including reading, painting, and traveling. One of his favorite places to travel is South Padre Island, Texas, where he enjoys relaxing with extended family.

By far, the busiest and often most expensive time of year to visit South Padre Island is between March and May. Temperatures during these months typically range from the mid-60s to the 80s, and the island is a popular spot for spring breakers during this time. Since many spring breakers try fitting as many people into one hotel room as possible, most accommodations raise their prices to turn a profit.

In May, the college crowds die down, but prices may still be high. In summer, prices drop as temperatures rise. Average summer temperatures are in the high 80s, and hurricane season starts between June and August. Although the weather might not be ideal, the cheaper prices may be more appealing to some.

Some of the most preferred times for a relaxing visit are during winter and fall. Between September and November, temperatures drop into the mid-80s, and most spring and summer visitors have left. However, hurricane season still continues, and September, in particular, sees a high amount of rainfall.

In winter, the temperature drops to the mid-50s and 60s for most days. Although swimming is not usually an option between December and February, South Padre Island welcomes many northern Texans looking to get away for the winter. Many hotels offer discounted prices during these more relaxing months.

Advertisements
Posted in Mason Bird, Travel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Writing Systems That Remain a Mystery

Cretan Hieroglyphs pic

Cretan Hieroglyphs
Image: ancientscripts.com

A cybersecurity major, Mason Bird has demonstrated a strong commitment to learning, and was welcomed into the National Honor Society while in high school. He enjoys learning about a wide range of subjects outside of the focus of his formal education. Mason Bird considers himself a life-long learner of history and maintains a particular interest in topics such as antiquity and literature.

There are a number of ancient writing systems that cryptographers and scientists have successfully translated. However, there remain some writing systems that continue to baffle professionals. Here are just a few that remain a mystery.

Cretan hieroglyphs – Found on the Phaistos Disc, Cretan hieroglyphs date back to around 2000 BCE. They have been linked to Linear A and B, two systems that were discovered in 1893 but have not yet been deciphered. Many believe that the Cretan hieroglyphs developed into Linear A, but since both systems have scientists stumped, it remains a theory.

Olmec – Dating back to the first millennium BCE, the Cascajal Block contains the only known example of a writing system connected to the Olmec Empire. With 62 glyphs, most of which appear to have no organization or similarities to other ancient writings, the block is confusing to most scientists, and they contest its authenticity.

Rongorongo – First discovered in the 1860s on Easter Island, Rongorongo is written on wooden tablets that have largely been destroyed over the years. The script is written in an odd way; it is supposed to be read from left to right, and then the tablet is turned 180 degrees for the next line. Scientists have asked island natives the Rapa Nui about the text, but they claim no one knows what the inscriptions mean anymore.

Posted in Academics, Mason Bird | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ransomware-as-a-Service – Emerging Cybersecurity Threat

Currently pursuing university studies, Mason Bird is working toward a degree in cyber security. Mason Bird has a strong interest in the fast-evolving nature of online threats to security, which impact everything from banking to the industrial-military complex. As identified in a recent research report by an IT security firm, Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) has emerged as a potent threat that is led by the advanced Cerber infrastructure.

Infecting approximately 150,000 users globally each month, Cerber spearheads eight new campaigns on a daily basis. These enable cybercriminals to employ data-encrypting malware that requires a significant payment before encrypted files are freed up. The money from payments is not easy to trace, as it occurs through bitcoin currency and specialized bitcoin wallets. These provide a mixing service that makes transactions very difficult to identify individually.

This IT security firm has identified the threat as originating from the block of former Soviet states and has published a no-cost Cerber decryption tool that enables encrypted files to be freed up without RaaS payment.

Posted in Cybersecurity | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Becoming a Cyber Security Major

CyberSecurity Major pic

CyberSecurity Major
Image: usnews.com

Throughout his educational career, Mason Bird has shown dedication to both academics and athletics. In high school, Mason Bird regularly made the honor roll and was named Conference Player of the Year in soccer. He now studies cyber security in college.

Students interested preparing for a career in in cyber operations or cyber security should consider if their interests and abilities match the requirements of the profession. For instance, cyber security majors should enjoy working with computers and information technology and have above-average skills in mathematics and science. People selecting this field as their major should expect to receive a strong foundation in handling security and fixing problems with computers, servers, routers, and other computer equipment.

In addition, students learn about the ethics and legalities of cyber operations. No prior computer programming experience is required to study the field, but students who think systematically and who have strong technical skills will demonstrate the greatest success in this major.

Posted in Academics, Cybersecurity, Mason Bird | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Griffin III: Career Highlights

Mason Bird

M Bird

Mason Bird is a sports enthusiast who counts Robert Griffin III, LeBron James, and Peyton Manning among his favorite professional athletes. He also enjoys following the Washington Redskins and the Miami Heat, among others. In his own life, Mason Bird has enjoyed playing soccer.

Robert Griffin III is currently a quarterback for the Washington Redskins. Though only 24 years old, Griffin has already achieved many successes and earned many accolades throughout his football career. He played for Baylor University and played in 42 games with 40 starts. He was the first in the school’s history to win the 77th Heisman Memorial Trophy, and he also won the Davey O’Brien Award, the Walter Camp Award, and the Chic Harley Award.

Griffin’s professional career began when the Redskins drafted him in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2012. He started 15 regular season games in 2012 and helped the team gain its first division title since 1999. He has also broken most Redskin rookie passing records and every team record for rushing by a quarterback. In 2014, he entered the season having started 28 games and one postseason game in his previous NFL seasons. He also earned the AP Rookie of the Year honor, the first Redskin to do so.

Posted in Mason Bird, Sports | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment