Show of 1-12-2008

  • Email and Forum
    • From the Forum: What site provides the rating for anti-virus software?
      • Tech Talk Answers: We covered this during the September 1, 2007 show. Our favorite anti-virus comparison site is Anti-virus Compatives.
      • Web Address: http://www.av-comparatives.org/
    • From the Forum: What news sites do you use for Tech Talk?
    • Email from Peggy: Dear Dr Shurtz, I got a copy of the report JP Morgan’s Nothing But Net. Can you tell me what is the best investment vehicle for an individual investor to get into to participate in this expected healthy return for 2008? I realize you are not a financial advisor, just hoping you would share with me the investment firm or name of the Mutual Fund you are using to participate in the IT/Internet ‘rewards.
      • Tech Talk Answers: Thanks for listening. I can’t really help with this request. Tech stocks are hard to predict. The one theme in JP Morgan’s report was Internet stock that can cash in on the growing advertising and e-commerce markets. They have solid cash flows and are not speculative ideas with real income potential. This gives me so good ideas for future shows. I will try to identify emerging technologies and companies that are worth watching.
  • Profiles in IT: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz
    • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz developed binary arithmetic. The root is from the Latin word binarius which literally meant "two by two."
    • He was born in 1746 and died in 1716.
      • He contributed to law, history, theology, politics, engineering, geology, physics, and perhaps most importantly, philosophy, mathematics and logic.
      • The Leibniz began to teach himself Latin at the age of 8, and Greek a few years later.
      • His study of logic and intellectual quest for order continued throughout his life.
    • At the age of 20 he published Dissertation on the Art of Combinatorics in which he sought a a universal symbolic language and reduce all debate to calculation.
    • During this time in Paris, he became acquainted with several of the leading philosophers, read the unpublished manuscripts of Blaise Pascal and Rene Descartes.
    • He met Christiaan Huygens from whom he learned mathematics. He then laid the foundation of calculus, which become his philosophical legacy. The invention of the differential and integral calculus is part of his search for a universal language. A dispute with Issac Newton over the invention of calculus scandalized his life.
    • In 1703 he published An Explanation of Binary Arithmetic Using only the Characters 0 and 1. He was still seeking a universal symbolic language.
      • Of binary numeration, he writes it permits new discoveries [in] . . . arithmetic . . . in geometry, because when the numbers are reduced to the simplest principles, like 0 and 1, a wonderful order appears everywhere.
      • With base 2 numeration, Leibniz witnessed the confluence of several intellectual ideas of his world view, not just the characteristica generalis, but also theological and mystical ideas of order, harmony and creation, with 0 denoting nothing and 1 denoting God.
    • His 1703 paper contains the application of binary numbers to the ancient Chinese text of Yijing (I-Ching or Book of Changes).
      • This he thought, might be the origin of a universal symbolic language.
      • The ancient Chinese lineations or 64 hexagrams of Yijing consist of six lines atop one another, each of which is either solid or broken, forming a total of 64 possibilities. A grouping of three such lines is called a trigram.
      • A solid line can be viewed as one and a broken line as zero.
      • Leibniz cites an application to weighing masses. Suppose that a two-pan balance is used for weighing stones. Leibniz claims that all stones of integral weight between 1 and 15 inclusive can be weighed with just four standard weights.
    • Leibniz’ designed stepped wheel calculator was built for decimal numbers. He gave some thought over the years to another machine which would incorporate his beloved binary system using on/off principles.
    • 125 years later, a binary logic system based on true and false conditionals was developed in mid-19th century by George Boole
    • John von Neumann pressed for the use of binary arithmetic in 1946 in the ENIAC computer and the rest is history.
  • International Consumer Electronics Show
    • January 7-10, Las Vegas, NV
    • Web Address: http://www.cesweb.org/
    • Conference focused on: Audio, digital imaging, emerging technology, gaming, high performance audio and home theater, home networking, in-vehicle technology, and wireless.
    • Auto technology was a spotlighted ? car-to-car communication, GPS, onboard computer, video sensors to eliminate blind spots, auto-braking feedback.
    • Emerging technologies included robotics, biometrics, voice recognition devices, disposable technology, new audio media, nanotechnologies, and flexible computing devices.
  • Gates Give CES Keynote and Acknowledges the Cloud
    • Gates lauded how computers and the internet have become ubiquitous and predicted the coming ten years would deliver even greater technology changes.
    • He noted that there are more than a billion personal computers in use in the world and more than 40 per cent of people on the planet have mobile telephones.
    • The next decade will be more focused on connecting people.
    • Gates admitted that the market was moving away from Microsoft’s core money-maker, packaged software that people install on their own machines.
    • He said that applications will run on the internet, in the cloud as we say, and use the best of software services.
    • Gates said high-definition video experiences would be everywhere, from televisions to wall projections and even built into desks or tables.
    • People will roam in increasingly in three-dimensional virtual worlds, tending to business, shopping and other aspects of daily life.
    • The consumer will take getting data for granted.
    • While the first digital decade was marked by the keyboard and the computer mouse, the new decade would be marked by "natural user interfaces" such as touch screens and gesture controls,? according to Gates.
    • Mr Gates has spoken 11 times at annual CES events. This will be his last as a full-time Microsoft employee.
  • Warner Backs Blue Ray
    • Warner Brothers had drop HD DVD support and will now Blu-ray discs exclusively.
    • The fight is a replay of the VHS versus Betamax battle of the 1980s.
    • This time, however, the Sony product appears to have prevailed.
      • With Warner on board, Blu-ray now has about 70 percent of the market locked up.
      • Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Lionsgate and, of course, Sony are all on Blu-ray’s team.
    • HD DVD, however, is not dead. Two major studios, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures, have deals in place to continue releasing their movies exclusively on HD DVD, as does DreamWorks Animation.
    • Consumers have been largely sitting on the sidelines, waiting to buy high-definition players until they see which will have the most titles available.
      • Retailers have been complaining about having to devote space to three kinds of DVDs. And the movie business has delayed tapping a lucrative new market worth billions. High-definition discs sell for a 25 percent premium.
    • HD DVD players have been much cheaper than Blu-ray machines, but Blu-ray discs have more storage space and more advanced protections against piracy. Both versions deliver sharp resolution.
    • Blu-ray players can now be purchased for under $300. HD DVD players cost around $100.
  • Selected Security/Hacking Tools & Utilities
  • These tools are free and a good way to improve your security skills
    • Nmap (Network Mapper)
      • A free open source utility for network exploration or security auditing.
      • It was designed to rapidly scan large networks, although it works fine against single hosts.
      • Nmap determines what hosts are available on the network, what services those hosts are offering, what operating systems they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics.
      • Download Nmap: http://insecure.org/nmap/
    • Nessus Remote Security Scanner
      • Recently went closed source, but is still essentially free.
      • Works with a client-server framework.
      • Nessus is the world’s most popular vulnerability scanner used in over 75,000 organizations world-wide.
      • Many of the world’s largest organizations are realizing significant cost savings by using Nessus to audit business-critical enterprise devices and applications.
      • Download Nessus: http://www.nessus.org/
    • John the Ripper
      • A fast password cracker, currently available for many flavors of Unix, DOS, Win32, BeOS, and OpenVMS.
      • Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords.
      • Download JTR: http://www.openwall.com/john/
    • Wireshark (formerly Ethereal)
      • A network protocol analyzer, or sniffer, that lets you capture and interactively browse the contents of network frames.
      • The goal of the project is to create a commercial-quality analyzer for Unix and to give Wireshark features that are missing from closed-source sniffers.
      • Works great on both Linux and Windows (with a GUI), easy to use and can reconstruct TCP/IP Streams!
      • Download wireshark: http://www.wireshark.org/
    • Eraser
      • An advanced security tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.
      • Works with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP and DOS. Eraser is free software and its source code is released under GNU General Public License.
      • Download Eraser: http://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/
    • NetStumbler
      • A decent wireless tool for Windows!
      • Not as powerful as it’s Linux counterparts, but it’s easy to use and has a nice interface, good for the basics of war-driving.
      • NetStumbler is a tool for Windows that allows you to detect Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) using 802.11b, 802.11a and 802.11g.
      • Download Netstumbler: http://www.netstumbler.com/
  • The Queen Plays Wii
    • Source: The People( http://People.co.uk)
    • The gadget-loving Queen has become HOOKED on Prince William’s new Nintendo Wii games console.
    • William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton bought him the gift for Christmas – but he now has to share it with his grandma.
    • A Palace source told The People:
    • "When she saw William playing a game after lunch at Sandringham she thought the Nintendo looked tremendous fun and begged to join in.
    • "She played a simple ten-pin bowling game and by all accounts was a natural.
    • "And although she is 81 the Queen’s hand-eye co-ordination was as good as somebody half her age."
    • She showed all the signs of becoming a Nintendo addict."
    • It’s not the first time the Queen has joined the hi-tech revolution.
    • In 2001 she got her first mobile phone and has regularly upgraded to one with the latest features.
    • Her Majesty set up her own email account years ago.
    • In 2005 she took delivery of an iPod that stores more than 100,000 tunes.
    • And last June she added a trendy BlackBerry to her technological armory – and made sure her senior staff were equipped with them too.
    • We now know the meaning of the Royal Wii.
  • Google Gmail Hack
    • The victim visits a page while being logged into GMail.
    • Upon execution, the page performs a multipart/form-data POST to one of the GMail interfaces and injects a filter into the victim’s filter list.
    • The attacker writes a filter, which simply looks for emails with attachments and forwards them to an email of their choice.
    • This filter will automatically transfer all emails matching the rule.
    • Keep in mind that future emails will be forwarded as well.
    • The attack will remain present for as long as the victim has the filter within their filter list, even if the initial vulnerability, which was the cause of the injection, is fixed by Google.
    • One Gmail user lost his domain name when his Gmail account was hacked.
    • Lesson to be learned: Log out email accounts before surfing.