Show of 9-22-2007

  • Email and Forum
    • I was listening to your program on 9/15/07 and there was talk about SPAM. You got my attention when someone said that Verizon allows 40 known deliverers of SPAM through their firewall. I have had FiOS from Verizon for over a year.  I get about 20-30 SPAM emails daily. This is burdensome and very unpleasant. What can I do about this? I have complained to Verizon and nothing has changed. Thanks. Peggy Lucero, Bethesda , MD
      • Tech Talk Answers: I was not talking about firewall penetration, but rather about hosting spammers. Verizon hosts 46 spammers according to http://Spamhaus.org .
    • Dear Tech Talk, I could not find Flight Simulator on Google Earth. I downloaded the program about a year ago. I tried both Ctrl-A and Ctrl-Alt-A. Neither worked. What am I doing wrong. Signed, Frustrated Pilot
      • Tech Talk Answers: Download the latest version of Google Earth
  • Profiles in IT: Douglas Engelbart
    • He is best known for inventing the computer mouse and the graphical user interface.
    • Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart was born January 30, 1925 in Oregon .
    • Engelbart received a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 1948, a B.Eng. from UC Berkeley in 1952, and a Ph.D. in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1955.
    • He stayed on at Berkeley as an acting assistant professor but a year later he left to work for Stanford Research Institute.
    • Engelbart was influenced by the principle of linguistic relativity which says that language controls the sophistication of the thoughts that can be expressed.
      • Engelbart reasoned that the state of technology controls our ability to manipulate information and our ability to develop new technologies.
      • His philosophy is summarized in Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, which was published in 1962.
    • He founded the Augmentation Laboratory at Stanford Research Institute.
    • He and his team developed computer-interface elements such as bit-mapped screens, groupware, hypertext and precursors to the graphical user interface.
    • In 1970 he received a patent for an "X-Y position indicator for a display system".
    • He never received any royalties for his ?mouse? invention. Some years later he learned that SRI licensed the mouse to Apple for $40,000.
    • His version of windows was not patentable at that time.
    • In 1968, a 90-minute, staged public demonstration of a networked computer system was held at the Augmentation Research Center — the first public appearance of the mouse, windows, hypermedia with object linking and addressing, and video teleconferencing. He called the system the On Line System (NLS).
    • In 1969, ARC became the second node in the new ARPANET.
    • Several of Engelbart’s best researchers became alienated from him and left his organization for Xerox PARC due to differing views of the future of computing.
    • Engelbart saw the future in timeshare (client/server) computing, which younger programmers rejected in favor of the personal computer.
    • Engelbart continued to direct SRI’s Augmentation Research Center until 1978 when the lab was closed down for lack of funding.
    • NLS then became the principal line of business in Tymshare’s Office Automation Division under the name Augment.
    • In 1984, Tymshare was acquired by McDonnell Douglas Corporation, which terminated Engelbart’s laboratory in 1989.
    • In December 1995, he was the first recipient of the Yuri Rubinsky Memorial Award.
    • In 1997 he was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize of $500,000, the world’s largest single prize for invention and innovation, and the Turing Award.
    • Currently he is the director of his own company, the Bootstrap Institute, which he founded in 1988, devoted to refining the concept of Collective IQ and development of what he calls Open Hyper-Document Systems (OHS).
    • Bootstrap is housed rent-free courtesy of the Logitech Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of computer mice.
  • GSM Mobile phone technology turns 20
    • The technology behind the mobile phone is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
    • On 7 September 1987, 15 phone firms signed an agreement to build mobile networks based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications.
    • GSM Facts
      • China has 445 million GSM customers
      • There are 2.5 billion GSM connections worldwide
      • 64% of mobile users are in emerging markets
      • About seven billion text messages are sent every day
    • Figures from the GSM Association show it took 12 years for the first billion mobile connections to be made but only 30 months for the figure to reach two billion.
      • In the future, high-speed networks would be ubiquitous adding the intelligence of mobiles to anything and everything.
      • The technology will be in the fabric of your clothing, your shoes, in appliances, in your car.
      • The ubiquity of mobile technology could revolutionize healthcare and see people wearing monitors that gather and transmit information about vital signs.
  • Steam Punk
    • Make modern technology look vintage?.like Jules Verne
    • Retro-futurism: antique computers, 8-bit game art, classic cases for modern gear, anything to make new technology look classic.
    • Steam Punk Idol: Jake von Slatt
    • His website: http://steampunkworkshop.com/
    • Converted a typewriter to a computer keyboard.
    • Laptop with a windup key for a switch
  • Consumer Technologies Create Headaches for IT Departments
    • 6 Instant messaging software
      • Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, Skype, or Google Talk
      • 20% of business users or more are now running it at work.
      • Most of the IM clients send data unencrypted.
      • There’s also the issue of IM file transfers that can introduce files that have not been scanned by antivirus software.
    • 5 Personal smartphones
      • Now that BlackBerry phones, Palm Treos, and Windows-based phones are priced as low as $200.
      • Users who don’t have a company smartphone are just buying their own.
      • They forward their business e-mail to their personal smartphones, which opens up privacy, regulatory, and security issues.
    • 4 BitTorrent and P2P
      • Transferring big files is very difficult for most users.
        • E-mail policies usually restrict it.
        • FTP is too slow and often too difficult to configure (and sometimes even blocked by firewalls).
        • IM clients are clunky and often fail at file transfers (usually blocked by firewalls).
      • That’s why some users will turn to P2P programs such as BitTorrent, because they are much more effective.
      • Unfortunately, these programs can also have a lot baggage since they are regularly used for hosting and transferring illegal music and video files.
    • 3 Web mail with GB of storage
      • Another method that users often employ to transfer large company files is with a consumer e-mail account, such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail, which all have much larger storage capacity and allow larger file attachments than most corporate mail accounts.
      • These systems far less secure than corporate mail servers.
    • 2 Rogue wireless access points
      • It’s a wireless world in home networking now.
      • Users who see how easy it is to connect a router to their DSL or cable modem and roam the house wonder why they can’t just do the same thing when they take their laptop from their cubicle to the conference room.
      • If the company doesn’t offer wireless LAN access in their office, many of them just get sub-$100 wireless access points, plug into their Ethernet jack at work, and start roaming the building.
    • 1 USB flash drives
      • Portable storage is nothing new.
      • Today, with 4-GB USB flash drives costing $40 or less (and flash drives as large as 64 GB now on the market), users can copy all of their My Documents files to a flash drive and walk out the door with them.
      • Or a user could copy a huge chunk of a file server and walk out with it on an unencrypted USB drive.
  • The Rogallo Wing
    • The modern non-rigid kite started as a vision of Dr. Francis Rogallo, an aeronautical engineer of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)
    • Francis Melvin Rogallo earned one of the first Aeronautical Engineering degrees issued by a United States educational system, from Stanford University , in 1935.
    • He had always been an avid kiteflyer and he believed he could develop a kite with the stability and shape of a parachute, but with the lift of an airplane wing.
    • His early work was done privately in his own home with the invaluable assistance from his wife and life long partner, Gertrude.
    • Before the end of 1948, Rogallo had succeeded in producing the first fully successful flexible-wing kite called the ?Flexi-Kite’.
    • A patent was applied for in 1948 and granted in 1951. As an acknowledgement of his wife’s enormous contribution to the project, Francis put the patent in his wife’s name. Gertrude holds the patent on the ?Flexi-Kite?.
    • Gertrude cut and sewed the fabric into the required dimensions, often using household items like the kitchen curtains. Together they built larger and larger sails, and did endless hours of testing on the Outer banks of North Carolina .
    • Dr. Rogallo’s most significant contribution was in the development of the famous delta wing.
    • While this makes Rogallo the father of modern hang gliding as it is known today; for kite fliers, the importance of the delta is profound.
    • Dual line Sport kiting is what it is today because of the delta swept wing design.
    • It is also very possible that the ease and lack of frustration that accompanies the flying of a single-line delta kite has significantly increased the ranks of the AKA and kite clubs everywhere.
  • Website of the Week: National Security Agency
    • Web Address: http://www.nsa.gov/
    • Great historical pages about the history of cryptography
    • Go to the kids page to find CryptoKids
    • Page includes Codes and Ciphers, Games and Activities, and Student Resources
  • Students’ ?Evolving’ Use of Technology
    • Educause Center for Applied Research. surveyed 27,864 students at 103 campuses.
    • Overview of Findings
      • 60.9% believe that technology improves learning.
      • 98.4% own a computer.
      • 73.7% own laptops
      • 50% of the of laptop owners don’t bring them.
      • 25% take their laptop to class at least once a week.
      • 18 hours a week is spent on the Internet, with males are more likely to spend more extreme amounts of time online.
      • 12% own smartphones.
      • 80.3% belong to a social networking site like Facebook.
      • 46.1% watch streaming video on the net from sites like YouTube
      • 83.1 percent one have a handheld video and music player like iPod.
    • How IT Affects Learning
      • 59% preferred a ?moderate rather than extensive use of IT in courses.?
      • ?IT is not a good substitute for good teaching. Good teachers are good with or without IT and students learn a great deal from them. Poor teachers are poor with or without IT and students learn little from them.?
      • Seventy percent of the students polled said information technology helps them do research, a finding that is not surprising in light of the continuing popularity of Google and Wikipedia among undergraduates .
      • Some face-to-face interaction is still preferred.
      • Students preferred to e-mail or come in themselves to talk with the teacher, rather than text messaging or IMing.
      • Engineering and business students use more technology, especially for spreadsheets and graphics editing