Most everyone probably remembers the news that came out during the Christmas shopping season about the massive data breach at Target that resulted in the theft of credit card data of hundreds of thousands of people. This data breach resulted in renewed calls to do something to make credit cards and the information they contain more secure. This is a major, far reaching problem that potentially impacts everyone in the US and beyond but fortunately researchers in the Ohio State Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are on the case.
The major problem with credit cards in the United States is that the vast majority of them rely on magnetic strips to store the credit card data. While this is an easy means of storing and transmitting the data to the terminal at the checkout, all you have to do is swipe your card, it isn’t very secure as the data on the magnetic strip is static and unencrypted. All a thief needs is a means to get the data that the terminal reads in and they have everything they need to use your credit card.
The need to find a more secure means of storing data on a credit card has been known for a while and most of the rest of the world has taken steps in this direction by moving to a ‘chip and pin’ system. Instead of storing the credit card data on a magnetic strip, the data is stored on a silicon chip that is on the credit card. To make a purchase you insert the card into the terminal which reads the encrypted data that is stored on the chip, you then enter a pin number in the terminal’s key pad to authorize and complete the transaction. Because the ‘chip and pin’ system allows for the credit card data to be encrypted, even if thieves steal the information from the terminal, the information is useless to them unless they have the means to break the encryption which is a much more difficult and resource intensive task.
You’re either reading this from home on a “ice day”, or from work after having dug yourself out of yet another mid-week snow storm. Stupid freaking groundhog… At any rate, here’s today’s soundtrack… for reasons that will hopefully soon be evident.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (17-5, 4-5) travel to Iowa City for a Tuesday evening game versus the Iowa Hawkeyes (17-5, 6-3). Ohio State is coming off an exciting, down-to-the last shot win over Wisconsin 59-58, while Iowa dispatched Illinois 81-74. This is the return engagement where Ohio State will try to get the win that they missed the last time these teams played.
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The Ohio State Buckeyes (14-10, 4-4) trek to the challenging environment of The Kohl Center to square off against the Wisconsin Badgers (9-11, 2-6) a day after the men’s team made the same trip. The Buckeyes are coming off a blistering of Illinois 90-64 while the Badgers lost a close game to the Spartans 71-67.
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While our main focus here at tBBC is to cover Ohio State sports, we have also ventured outside of sports from time-to-time. During football season we had a weekly piece about that Ohio State University Marching Band and Ken regularly provides us with updates on the research going on at the James. Continuing with this branching out, I am starting a new series where each week I will choose a different department at OSU and highlight the exciting work that they are currently doing. I was inspired to do this because I have grown tired of hearing people talk about Ohio State as though it was just a jock school and that its academics aren’t that great. In reality OSU is a top university not only in the US but in the world. Thus I hope through this series to point out how Ohio State’s excellence extends beyond the playing field/court to the classrooms, labs, and to the world at large.
My day job is as a researcher in astronomy and I have previously written on tBBC about some cool, at least to me, astronomy things. Thus I figured it would be appropriate to start off this series with a look at the Department of Astronomy. Consisting of 26 faculty, 16 research staff members, and over two dozen graduates students, the OSU Department of Astronomy is a fairly large astronomy group with a wide range of research interests that cover everything from exoplanets to how stars are formed and their structure to how galaxies are formed to the evolution and formation of the universe.
Spring Training is less than three weeks away, everyone. And as baseball season approaches, so will the inevitable discussions on specific team names and whether or not they should be eventually changed.
The talk has been bubbling up for decades, but pressure has been increased lately – partially thanks to the lack of decorum emitted daily by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
Personally, I do not find the Indians, Braves and Chiefs to be offensive or racist. Redskins? I’m not even going to try and defend that one.
But I don’t get to be the one that decides what is offensive. As a white male, I am not qualified to determine what is deemed as racist towards the Native American population. But I do know that if the sports team in your region has an offensive ring to a specific cross-section of this country’s citizens, you’d better listen to their concerns.
That being said, I’d like to propose that the Cleveland Indians officially retire Chief Wahoo.
Making that call is no easy task – I grew up a rabid fan of the Tribe. I still have vivid memories of the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium, with a giant Chief Wahoo resting atop the stadium wall over Gate D. I’ve owned many ballcaps with his smiling face as the sole logo. I love the guy.
But he’s totally offensive. I can’t make an honest argument that doesn’t end with the realization that it’s a pretty bad caricature.
However, that’s where I’d draw the line. The Indians name itself must be kept the way it is, and not just because it doesn’t cross a threshold of taste.
In 1897, a young man by the name of Louis Sockalexis made his major league debut with the Cleveland Spiders pro baseball team. Birth records from that era were not very professional in that era – Sockalexis was listed as a caucasian man – but there is little doubt that he was baseball’s first Native American major league player. Like Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby, his time in major league baseball was marred by ugliness from fans. Racial slurs and mock war dances were a common sight.
Sockalexis didn’t handle the attacks well, and it affected his off-field life. As a result, he only played a total of 94 games in a three-year career.
He died in 1913, and the Cleveland franchise changed their name two years later to the Indians (they had gone through nearly a dozen names prior to the current one). The legend of why they went with the Indians name has changed multiple times, but the prevailing theories are that they were (1) following up on the successful Boston Braves name, and (2) selecting the name that the opposition often referred to the Spiders during Sockalexis’ time.
The Sockalexis era of Cleveland sports is only memorable in that he was the first Native American to play the sport, and the Indians name carries that legend with it.
Keep the name, Cleveland. But lose the Chief Wahoo logo.
Oh, and Dan Snyder? You’re a dumbass. Dump the Redskins name.
The Buckeyes (16-4, 3-4) hosted the Nittany Lions (10-10, 1-6) to try to move their winning ways to two in a row. This would be a challenge, since the Nittany Lions just took down Nebraska, the team that laid the wood to Buckeyes last week. Being the good hosts they tend to be, Ohio State and Penn State went to overtime before losing the game 71-70. A fumble-around effort by the Buckeyes at the buzzer had the expected outcome; we didn’t get the shot off. Thus ends OSU’s 18 game winning streak against PSU. Another subpar offensive night 38% and defensive night 48% allowed doomed the Buckeyes. The loss drops OSU to 16-5, 3-5, with their last two losses against Nebraska and Penn State. Ponder that for a bit.. Frankly, I don’t know what to say at this point, I welcome your thoughts..
Ohio State overcame early poor shooting 27% (2-11) through the 1st 8 minutes to end the half at 46% (13-28) shooting. Meanwhile, PSU was making 54% of their shots, so there was no opportunity to gain any separation on the Lions in the 1st half to have a lead 35-31.
Second half play was back and forth, with PSU tying the game a a little over a minute at 62 and kept it tied at end of regulation despite several OSU attempts as time expired. At the 7:45 mark in the half, Ohio State had an 11 point lead, 59-48. They gave up 11 points in less than 8 minutes.
Ohio State was led by LaQuinton Ross (16 pts, 7 rbs), Amir Williams (12 pts, 6 rbs) and Lenzelle Smith (15 pts, 3 rbs). Penn State was led by Brandon Taylor (19 pts, 4 rbs), D.J. Newbill, (25 pts, 8 rbs), Graham Woodward (11 pts, 1 rbs) and Tim Frazier (8 pts, 10 rbs.)
The Ohio State Buckeyes (13-10, 3-4), have dropped four consecutive games in the last two weeks. Next up are the Illinois Fighting Illini of Illinois (9-11, 2-5) on Thursday in Columbus. The Buckeyes are coming off a loss to Michigan State while just Illinois lost to Purdue.
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