The Reality of Virtual Reality

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless”
~Jean-Jacques Rosseau [1]

        That statement is wrong, and the proof is right in front of you. The act of using a computer or smartphone to read this blog post demonstrates the extent of which technology has permeated everyday life. The world is evolving, changing, and growing; every new invention and innovation further blurs the fine line between science fiction and science fact. Previously inaccessible, the realm of imagination is now more tangible than ever with reality shedding its limits and metamorphosing into a world of endless possibilities. However, out of all the technological wonders conceived by the Digital Age, one soars above the rest when it pertains to the paradoxical fusing of imagination and reality.

        Virtual reality (VR) is quite the oxymoron. When it pertains to lenses and mirrors, “virtual” describes rays of light that appear to cross paths but do not physically intersect. VR is much the same; it is a reality that appears to exist, but it does not actually exist. It is a peculiar concept, one that doesn’t seem like it would ever leave the drawing board.

Why bother pouring real time and effort into technology that only creates something fake?

        Yet despite the backwards logic of the idea, VR technology has skyrocketed in the past decade. Many of the major tech companies have funneled millions of dollars into VR development:

        However, even though the term “Virtual Reality” is little over 30 years old, its history stretches back hundreds of years to the times of old panoramic paintings; artwork so large and wide, it seemed to transport the viewer into whatever scene it was depicting. You can find more information on VR’s intriguing history here.

A panoramic painting of the Battery at Borodino (1812) by Franz Roubaud

        Despite VR’s prominence in the minds of wealthy investors and visionaries in the past centuries, the general public were forced into spectator positions: VR technology was simply too expensive, not immersive enough, and therefore not popular. [2] That all changed with the introduction of a new industry: Video games.

        From its modest birthplace at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the growth of video games in the past few decades has been nothing less than exponential. [3] You would be hard-pressed to find a person who has not heard of Mario, Zelda, or Pikachu. In these video games, players were given fantasy worlds, immersive stories, and new adventures, however, we were only peering through the window, waiting on the welcome mat in front of the door between us and the virtual world of video games.

Then came the key.

        In March of 2013, Palmer Luckey released the DK1 (Development Kit 1), the first purchasable VR headset from his company: OculusVR. This was big. Never before had a virtual reality headset so evenly balanced quality and cost, allowing the general public to have access to VR, making virtual reality a reality. Even though this prototype was not without faults, its impact was felt around the globe, sparking a revolution in the gaming industry and reviving VR’s popularity.

        Nowadays, there are various other VR headsets and related companies (VIVE and PlayStation to name a few). The amount of VR-interactive games has increased a hundredfold, encompassing everything from Minecraft to Resident Evil to even a Rick and Morty simulator (I’m not kidding). Even Pokémon GO incorporated augmented reality (AR) concepts, although its initial popularity was rather short-lived.

        Despite its growing prominence in the gaming industry, VR’s presence in society and culture is not restricted to pixelated recreations of Pickle Rick. New York bestseller Ready Player One revolves around a global MMORPG-esque VR game where players can explore a universe of virtual worlds. Ender Wiggin utilizes VR simulations when fighting the Buggers in Ender’s Game. And who could forget about The Matrix trilogy which introduces a dystopian society where sentient machines have trapped humans in a simulated reality. 

Wade Watts enters the OASIS through a set of haptic gloves and a visor

        But as far as we know, we only have one reality. In that sense, VR seems like a fruitless endeavor to achieve the impossible. However, isn’t achieving the impossible what humanity does best? Sending a man to the moon, curing Polio, building the Great Pyramids, our lives are spent chasing dreams, striving to turn the impossible to possible, imagination to fact, virtual reality to reality. Only time will tell what the future holds in store because we have only just begun to tap into the potential of VR, something truly boundless.

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How to Use MuseScore

Step-by-Step Directions for Creating Music on MuseScore

Michael Stum

Do you like listening to music or perhaps even making your own?  MuseScore is an application that allows you to make your own music and listen to it to see how it sounds.  Using MuseScore will help you practice your musical skills, and it is a fun way to spend your time.  Let’s get started!

Step 1

Open MuseScore by going to the terminal and typing in MuseScore.

MuseScore Application Icon

Step 2

Click on create new score.

click on this to create a new score

Step 3

Put the title of the song you want to make, such as Boulevard of Broken Dreams and add the name of the maker of the song you want, or your own name if making your own.

add the title of your song

Step 4

Choose your template such as Treble Clef.

Choose your template

Step 5

Add key signature and tempo (speed) you want the song to be.

Key signature and tempo

Step 6

Add time signature.

Choose your time signature

Step 7

Add whatever instrument(s) you want.

This is where you choose your instrument

Step 8

Look up the song you want, or make your own.

Click on the serch bar at the top of the screen and search your song

Step 9

Click on the Rest (small rectangle in center of bars).

Step 10

Press a number from 3-7 (will mainly use) 3=sixteenth notes, 4=eighth notes, 5=quarter notes, 6=half note, 7=whole note.

this is a sixteenth note rest and a sixteenth note   3

This is an eighth note rest and an eighth note   4

this is a quarter note rest and a quarter note  5

this is a half note rest and a half note   6

this is a whole note rest and a whole note   7

Step 11

Press a letter from A-G and move it up or down til it’s on the line or space you want it.

these are the different notes

Step 12

Add accidentals where you need them (flats are half a step lower and look like a b, sharps are half a step higher and look like #, if you added a key signature and need a regular note like G, you make the note half a step lower or higher, depending on whether the note is flat or sharp and it will add a symbol that looks like an h but has a square where the curve is for an h, and adds another line on the right side but going down from the bottom.

add your accidentals

Step 13

Repeat step 9 until you finish the song.

Step 14

Add dynamics (how loud you want the song at certain points).

add your dynamics

Step 15

Add crescendos (gradually gets louder) and decrescendos (gradually gets quieter) if you want.

add crescendos (top right) and decrescendos (bottom left)

Step 16

Listen to the song and see if it is any good.

press play to listen to the song

Step 17

Make adjustments if it doesn’t sound quite right.


Now that you know how MuseScore works, you should give it a try!  Check out

for some examples to help you out!  Have fun!

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Why Students Should Explore Minecraft

By Michael Stum
Student Help Desk Apprentice 

Are you a creative person who likes to play video games? Have you ever sat in school daydreaming about escaping into another dimension where you can create and explore? When you log on for the first time, you will enter a world that is randomly chosen for you. In this world, you build a life and learn to use survival skills. Minecraft allows you to do just that and get better at it.

Minecraft helps people be creative in so many ways.  After you have been playing the game for a long time, you eventually get better at building more complex structures. Some of the structures you can build are a house, a mansion, and S.T.A.R. Labs from The Flash.  S.T.A.R. Labs are the laboratory that The Flash and his friends use as their hideout.  The S.T.A.R. stands for Scientific and Technological Advanced Research.  Even though you can create these buildings, the map is already built for you, which makes it easier.

One of my favorite features in Minecraft is building structures and accessories such as furniture and weapons. You can also add mods, which are add ons that make the game more fun. One of my favorite mods is Speedster Heroes, which adds suits and powers from The Flash.  You can also add resource packs that change the way things look.  For example, the Item Bound resource pack changes the way tools and weapons look after you use the anvil to change the name of whatever you’re using. This changes the device to look like what you named it; for example, if you use the anvil on a sword and name it Excalibur, it changes the sword to look like one.  When it is night time, zombies spawn that try to kill you along with some other dangerous creatures. There are also two portals that transport you to different dimensions. One is the Nether Portal which takes you to the Nether, and the other is the End Portal which takes you to The End.

Minecraft helps students learn creative thinking because you have to plan how the space is laid out before you start building. It also helps with problem solving because if you get in a situation and you are having a hard time with something, you can just improvise. It even helps students with not giving up because the game is so long, that you might just want to quit, but yet the game is so fun, you just can’t.

Minecraft  is great to download on school laptops because it helps students be creative during and after school. It is good for giving students a break after school because you can go on multiplayer servers and play a bunch of different minigames like Bed Wars on Hypixel, which is my personal favorite. It also helps students with computer programming because if you are stuck in the game, you can put commands in like /gamemode 1.  This is a creative mode, so you can skip the entire game if you wanted to just to kill the Ender Dragon.

Do these features and benefits sound good to you? If you ever get bored, maybe you should give Minecraft a try. It might be the perfect game to unleash your creativity!


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Save your files before you go!

Attention Seniors!

You may want to keep files after you leave Penn Manor. You can use a flash drive for files on your computer, but Google Drive is different. Be sure to transfer your files before they get removed from your Penn Manor Google Drive.

Follow the steps below.

Click this link and follow the instructions on the Google site

The process will compile your Google Drive, and attached accounts, such as the YouTube account tied to your student email, into a zip file which you can download. The process will take a few minutes, and you will receive an email in your student email when it’s ready.

Download the archive zip from the link in the email. This will download your entire drive as a .zip file on your desktop or where ever you choose to send your downloads.

You can now either open and uncompress the .zip file to your personal home computer, or upload on your personal Google account.

Have a Happy Life after High School!

If you have any questions, please contact us by sending in a ticket to the Student Help Desk or visiting room 200!


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The different types of hackers | Podcast

In this podcast, I talk more about the different kinds of hackers how they think why they do what they do and what their age group is.


Reference Images










Follow My twitter:

Edward Snowden:


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Podcast|Hacker Awards|Black Hat USA|Billion Dollar Hacker Gang|

This podcast has a main focal point of security and how it works what you can do to protect yourself and how the experts are doing. We can go and check on them together!


I will have artwork and a video for all podcast future and past presentations


BlackHat USA:

Hacker Gang:

Pawnie Awards:


Hacker Newspaper:

Hack Read:

Show Notes


Pwnie for Best Backdoor (new for 2016!)

Awarded to the researchers who introduced or discovered the most subtle, technically sophisticated, or impactful backdoor in widely used software, protocols, or algorithms.

  • Juniper ScreenOS: 哈哈哈哈哈哈 (CVE-2015-7755 & CVE-2015-7756)
  • Credit: Chinese Information Operations and Information Warfare Center
  • Although many vendors intentionally backdoor their products, because they hate their users, some companies have to rely on the cyber warfare divisions of global powers to do so. In late 2015, Juniper issued an advisory claiming that “unauthorised” code in the Netscreen operating system had been active for the last few years. Netscreen firewalls are externally exposed by their very nature and it wasn’t long before two sets of issues were uncovered. In a nod to grunge 90s, a SSH backdoor was added that allowed anyone (mostly China) to login to a Netscreen device over SSHusing a hardcoded backdoor. The security firms who published the details did so know that far too many sysadmins were stuck at their in-laws over the December holidays and looking for any excuse to spend some quality time in a dark room by themselves. The second issue was far more interesting. In an attempt to make all of the privacy crazies^W^W crypto activists feel better about themselves, the Dual_EC RNG constant hardcoded into the Netscreen firmware was changed from one mysterious constant to another. Juniper hasn’t clarified whether the first constant was a backdoor as well, but it is safe to assume that the entire Netscreen platform should be gently lowered into a volcano at this point. Eight months later, not much is publicly known about how these backdoors were added, or which Juniper developer has a storage unit full of Chinese tiger p**** wine as a result.


===== Quotes =====

===== Diagramas ======



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Open Source Defined

What is open source software? What’s so great about it? What is the history of open source software? These are all questions which I hope to answer in this article. I should start by defining open source software. The GNU project, a group that promotes open source software and made many of the system components behind the GNU/Linux operating system, defines open source or “free” software as being free as in “freedom” rather than free as in “free food.” There are four specific freedoms which GNU outlines. The freedom to run and use the program as you want; the freedom to copy and redistribute the program; the freedom to audit and change the source code; and the freedom to redistribute your edited version of the program.

So why are these freedoms important? What do they do for software? What’s so great about open source? I will address these questions next. The freedoms to access, change, and redistribute source code, the programs, and configurations of a piece of software have a significant effect on how software is developed. For one thing, the availability of a software’s source code expedites bug fixing, since users can search for them in the code, rather than just the developers, which is an example of how open source software is community driven. Savvy users can report bugs much better by having access to source code, since bug reports will be by nature, less detailed, if a user only has access to the software’s user environment. Thus, even if you don’t know how to program, you will still experience the benefit from the more effective bug fixing process of open source software. Another benefit of freely available source code is transparency; users can know the contents of their software. Thus, they can tell if a program is invading their privacy, for example. The ability for one to edit and redistribute the source code of a program further contributes to the community of open source software, discussed earlier. Finally, the freedom to run software as one pleases ensures that the user is in control of their software experience.

Finally, we have the history of open source software. Our story begins in 1983, with MIT graduate and open source software advocate Richard Stallman’s announcement of the GNU project. The stated goal of GNU was to create an operating system entirely comprised of free and open source software, using the older UNIX operating systems as a design model for what the end product should look like. (If you’re reading this article on a school computer, then you’re using a GNU based operating system). At the time, the concept of open source software had existed, but the market was dominated by proprietary, closed source software, and there were no open source operating systems. If one wanted to use a computer, they would be using closed source software, hence defining the goal of making an open source OS as an alternative. In 1991, Finnish computer science student Linus Torvalds created the Linux kernel, a part of an operating system that assigns memory to system processes. By 1992, Linux was licensed as open source software, and was later incorporated into GNU’s as the Kernel, adding the finishing piece to what we now know as GNU/Linux. In 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded by Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens. The group became a major industry advocate of open source software, and even coined the term, which replaced the previously used term, “free software.” It should be noted that this is a very brief overview of the history of open source software. The concept of developers sharing their knowledge and programs dates back to the early days of computing, and the complete history would be far too much to cover in this article.


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Podcast 017- Penn Manor 2016 STEM Summit

Recorded by Evan Gibson and Susan Black

Evan and Susan discuss the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Summit that occurred at Penn Manor on December 14 and 15

Susan was a part of the STEM Summit as a student volunteer, and she talks about different experiments that were shown, the adult volunteers and what the STEM Summit is.

Junior Achievement’s STEM Summit program

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DDoS Basics

A Denial of Service attack (DoS) is a form of cyber attack intended to overload, disrupt, and temporarily disable one’s network or server. These attacks are done to provoke others and to disrupt a service. The ease of carrying out a DoS attack by those with a minimal technological background and their consistent effectiveness makes these types of attacks very common.

DoS attacks are done when one uses their network in order to flood a targeted network with useless traffic with the intention of overloading it. Although one’s personal internet bandwidth may be enough to have an effect on a small server, it will usually not be powerful enough to have a significant effect on any decently large server system. To impact a larger system, a similar attack known as a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack will usually be done. A DDoS attack has the same intentions as a DoS, but has one substantial difference: Instead of using a single, personal network to attack another, the individual uses a “bot” network of many hijacked devices to attack the target network. A “compromised” home device is used as a “bot” or “zombie” to DDoS through the use of malware, and the owner of the device will usually be unaware that it is compromised. Depending on the number of devices involved, the effects of a DDoS can range from merely slowing down the targeted server, to overloading it to the point where the server does not have sufficient resources to process legitimate traffic. The result is that the server is forced offline.

A recent example of a successful and disruptive DDoS occurred on the 21st of October, 2016. The attack was one of the largest of its kind with traffic ranging from an average magnitude of 100 Gigabytes per second to 800 Gigabytes per second (and possibly peaking at around 1200 Gigabytes per second). The attack was made possible when hackers infected thousands of vulnerable, unprotected security cameras, DVRs, and unsecured internet routers. The devices were then used en masse to overload servers of Dyn. Dyn is a company that hosts some of the most popular internet websites, such as Netflix, Reddit, and Twitter. Because of this, they were the primary target for a group of currently unconfirmed hackers. Their servers had been slowed down or made completely inaccessible for legitimate users. If the compromised attacking devices had been protected with a basic layer of security, the magnitude of the attack could have been far less significant.

To protect yourself from a wide degree of cyber attacks several simple, easy, but effective actions can be taken. Firstly, avoid visiting suspicious websites or ones that are not trusted, especially from spam links, accounts, and messages. For example, if a site attempts to automatically download files to your computer, it may a sign the site is infected. Also, one should download files and programs from only trusted websites and publishers. Lastly, one should secure every owned device with a complex password, as devices left with default passwords are optimal targets for hackers. These simple actions significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber attack and reduce the chance of your device or network from being used as a puppet by someone else.

Written by Daniel Martinez

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Podcast 013 – Cellphone security and you

Recorded by Evan Gibson


Evan discusses cellphones and the steps you can take to protect yours.

Article discussing cellphone security:

Article providing 5 tips for protecting your cellular devices:

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