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What is IT and What Makes Me an Expert?



By Duane Thresher, B.S., M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D.

November 8, 2017

Since Information Technology (IT) is really communication-of-information technology, IT is mostly computer networking. (Cyber is a prefix meaning IT, so for example, IT security is also known as cybersecurity.) "Computer" includes supercomputers, servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, phones (landlines and cells), TV, etc. There has been a "convergence" and all of these devices now communicate — their most important function — over the same network, the Internet; see figure. Thus, being an IT expert means being a networking expert.

Networking, at its first, lowest, physical layer (hardware; e.g., cables, wireless), is mostly electrical engineering. At its last, highest, application layer (software; e.g., web programming), it is mostly computer science. However, at either end, extensive knowledge of the other end is necessary. Thus to be a networking expert, you need an education in both electrical engineering and computer science from an excellent university.

Among much other IT education — see my Credentials — I, Dr. Duane Thresher, who do all the technical work for Apscitu Inc., have a B.S. from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Ph.D. from Columbia University and NASA in supercomputing. A good IT education is the most important IT credential. I am a real IT expert, unlike most others dangerously proclaiming themselves as such and for which I created Stop IT Incompetence (motto: "IT's destroying US").

The word "Internet" is from "inter-network", i.e. a network connecting other networks, as shown by the figure. ("Cloud" originated as an icon so the too-numerous or unknown details of networks would not have to be shown. "In the cloud" just means somewhere else over the Internet.)

The Internet began in the late 1960's as ARPAnet, a group of interconnected military and other government computers in the United States. ARPA is the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, which created ARPAnet to ensure secure communications in the event of war. The Internet has thus always been and will always be a military tool.

I was a U.S. Air Force "brat" (military dependent), born on an Air Force nuclear missile (ICBM) base during the Cold War while my father, an Air Force officer, was manning a missile silo, and I was raised on Air Force bases throughout the U.S. and in Japan. I thus was concerned with security from an early age.

This secure communications network was and is ensured by having more than one route, i.e. cable, to each computer on the network so there is no single link that could be destroyed to sever communications. This arrangement creates a web. The U.S. electrical grid works on the same principle; I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

Multiple routes means routers are necessary. Routers are computers that route the data through the Internet, using IP addresses. Internet routers find the best route and route around any broken cables on the mentioned web/grid of cables.

Later, universities (particularly MIT) and other institutions, especially since they were (and still are) defense contractors, joined the ARPAnet. The single computers on the ARPAnet also became the networks of these organizations (enterprises) on the ARPAnet, which became the Internet in the early 1990's, primarily due to the popularity of the World Wide Web.

The cable backbone of the Internet grew out of the original AT&T phone system, from back when AT&T was a government-authorized monopoly so could more easily get rights-of-way for laying cables.

At first these cables were copper and carried only voice (analog). Later, they were fiber optic, which can carry much more data than copper, and also carried computer (digital) data, when modems were invented. Still later, TV (and radio), instead of being broadcast (analog), could be digitized and streamed over these cables. Hence the mentioned convergence.

Regarding routers and cables, besides my B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, I took four (one academic year) 4-credit (since they included extensive labs) college-level Cisco (the leading networking company) Certified Network Associate (CCNA) courses, and three fiber optic courses: Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT), Advanced Fiber Optic Technician (AFOT), Outside Plant Fiber Optic Technician (CFospT). I then worked as a network engineer at a Department of Defense facility, the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, and later installed cabled enterprise networks as Thresher Networks LLC, specializing in secure networks, particularly given my hacking expertise.

In the early 1980's, AT&T, a.k.a. Ma Bell, was broken up into Baby Bells, due to an early 1970's Department of Justice anti-trust lawsuit. The trust busting led to many new telecommunications companies, many tracing their origins to the Baby Bells, including the current AT&T. These companies ended up with the Internet backbone and became (and/or sell use of the cables to) Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon. I've had all of these as ISPs, and more, including satellite ISPs.

Given this telecommunications history, it should be no surprise where the cellular phone networks fit in — see the figure — and who owns them (although some cellular companies buy use of the cables). I have done research and work on cellular telephony, including its security.

You are familiar with home networks. Enterprise networks are larger and those of organizations, as mentioned: government, business, media, etc. Servers are computers at these enterprises that provide the enterprises' clients access to their websites over the Internet, i.e. the World Wide Web (prefix www; usually just the "Web"). These websites are mostly what people use and think of as the Internet.

I have extensive web programming expertise, starting with my B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and do all my own websites, including Apscitu, Apscitu Mail, Apscitu Law, and Stop IT Incompetence.

Servers also provide other IT services, like email (although this can also be done, much less securely, as a website). I have extensive email expertise, with which I created Apscitu Mail, which provides "Revolutionary ultra-secure custom email for VIPs".

Both networks and websites can be hacked — they are the two major hacking vectors — so require advanced IT security (I prefer "IT security" over "cybersecurity" since any word with cyber in it sounds like it came from bad science fiction, which it did). IT security isn't just about hacking though, it's also about (other) fraud, which is mostly done via IT these days.

All hackings (data breaches) are the result of IT incompetence; see my Stop IT Incompetence website. I have extensive IT security expertise. For example, many of my Credentials involved IT security, particularly Security Expertise from Hacking and Thresher Networks.

IT security, like the rest of IT, is intertwined with the law. Federally for example, hacking is covered by Title 18 (crimes) of U.S. Code, § 1030 (computer fraud) and other IT fraud by Title 18 of U.S. Code, § 1343 (wire fraud). However, the law is dangerously out of date regarding IT.

I have extensive law expertise, which is why I created Apscitu Law, whose motto is "Dragging the law into the IT Age".

Real experts, like myself, are passionate about their field, having specifically chosen it (not just being opportunists, like most incompetents), having years of excellent difficult education in it, and then having years of experience in it (meaningless without the education).

This passion includes being patriotic, when working in their field is for their country — and only for their country — like when working on infrastructure and other national security issues. I am an American citizen, born in the U.S., who grew up on U.S. Air Force bases, and Apscitu Inc., for which I, CEO and a real IT expert, do all the technical work, is a private U.S. corporation that doesn't have to answer to profit-over-quality, often foreign, shareholders.

This passion also includes being aggressive, willing to fight to do it right and for my clients, including in court and the rest of government (e.g. Congress, government agencies, etc.).

Apscitu Inc.'s motto is "Highest-grade ultra-secure custom IT services and consulting for select clients", where "select clients" means VIPs, Very Important Persons. VIPs include organizations, e.g. government, business (in law, a "corporation", from the Latin "combine in one body", is a person), media, etc. VIPs have the most to lose so need the best, the highest-grade.

Real experts, like myself, are perfectionistic in their attention to detail, since "the devil is in the details", which is particularly true for IT security. They thus only do custom work, particularly on-site work like for infrastructure. Such custom work is only feasible for VIPs. (IT services for the masses, always remotely over the Web, have poor security in order to make them easily work for everybody — most of whom have bad security habits that put everyone else at risk too — as well as because they are usually provided by IT incompetents.)

Now see Apscitu Inc.'s Services and Consulting webpage for what we do. Apscitu Inc. can do for you what no other company can. Then see Apscitu Inc.'s Secure Contact webpage to contact us about doing this.