Show of 2-16-2008

  • Email and Forum
    • Email form Al: Dear Dr. Shurtz. I have a wireless network with three computers, two desktops and a laptop. I have one printer and would like to share it. How can I do this easily. Thanks. Al
    • Tech Talk Answers: Several options are available. Attach to one computer an enable print sharing. Attach to wireless access router with USB print server. If your printer has an internal print server with an Ethernet output, simply attach printer to an Ethernet port on the wireless access router. If you want to attach a printer that is not near the wireless router, purchase a wireless print server and connect to the network directly.
    • Email from Arnie: TechTalk, Is the Skype connection discontinued at Techtalk? I called the station for the quiz question this morning and feedback indicated that no one was at the other end to receive the call. Arnie McKechnie
    • Tech Talk Answers: Skype is still functional. You just need to add Tech Talk Radio to your contact list. You will need to press 2 to be transferred to the studio. I just checked it again this week. Try to call again this week to test the connection.
    • Email from Susan: Dear Dr. Shurtz. I would like to make my own ring tones rather than pay 99 cents for each one. How can I do that? Susan.
    • Tech Talk Answers: Susan you will need an MP3 music file to edit. Then you can import the file into an audio editor and select a 30 second segment with a fade at the end. I like to use the open source audio editor, Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/). You will also need to download the MP3 encoder called LAME (http://lame.sourceforge.net/).
  • Profiles in IT: Leonard Kleinrock
    • Leonard Kleinrock was born June 13, 1934 in New York.
    • According to Kleinrock’s website, It all began at the age of 6, Leonard Kleinrock was reading a Superman comic at his apartment in Manhattan, when, in the centerfold, he found plans for building a crystal radio. Kleinrock built the crystal radio and was totally hooked when "free" music came through the earphones.- no batteries, no power, all free! An engineer was born.
    • He went to the Bronx High School of Science.
    • He received a BSEE from City College of New York in 1957. He attended the evening session while working full time as an electronics technician/engineer
    • He won a full graduate fellowship to attend the MIT in Electrical Engineering.
    • He received his Pd.D. from MIT in 1963. His thesis studied packet switched data networks, a novel idea that launched a technology that led to the Internet.
    • He joined the faculty in UCLA in 1963 and published his research in 1964 in an MIT book entitled "Communication Nets".
    • In the mid-1960’s, ARPA became interested in networks.
    • He played a key role in preparing a functional specification for the ARPANET – a data network that would use "packet switching".
    • The specification for the ARPANET was prepared in 1968, and in January 1969, a Cambridge-based computer company, Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) won the contract to design, implement and deploy the ARPANET.
    • Due to Kleinrock’s fundamental role in establishing data networking technology over the preceding decade, ARPA decided that UCLA, under Kleinrock’s leadership, would become the first node to join the ARPANET.
    • This meant that the first switch (known as an Interface Message Processor – IMP) would be installed at UCLA. It arrived on Labor Day weekend in 1969. Bits began moving between the UCLA computer and the IMP that same day. The first message was "l-o" and then the network crashed before the "g" could be sent.
    • By the next day they had messages moving between the machines. Thus was born the Arpanet and the community which has now become the Internet.
    • A month later the second node was added (at Stanford Research Institute) and the first Host-to-Host message ever to be sent on the Internet was launched from UCLA.
    • By December 1969, four sites were connected (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah) and UCLA was already conducting a series of extensive tests to debug the network.
    • The rest is history. The Arpanet evolved into the Internet using the protocol developed by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn known at TCP/IP.
    • From a comic book to cyberspace; an interesting journey indeed!
    • Kleinrock is founder and chairman of Nomadix. Nomadix is focused on providing solutions for the public access market to create multi-use, multi-revenue networks that require Zero Configuration for end user access. 
    • An interview with Kleinrock in which he explains the advantage of packet switching over circuit switching is given in the link below. This 2006 interview is 30 minutes.
    • Interview: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7473507062657146495
  • ICANN flips switch on IPv6 DNS root servers
    • Last week DNS zone was updated with IPv6 addresses for six of the 13 root servers.
    • Most root servers are "anycasted:" physical machines are placed in different locations, but share an address.
    • Requests are automatically routed to the closest server.
    • This change means that it’s now possible for an IPv6-only system to connect to another IPv6-only system without the need to do DNS lookups over IPv4.
    • Interestingly, the K root server is already getting more than 100 queries per second over IPv6, while the maximum IPv4 query rate is around 9,000 per second.
    • One percent of the queries over IPv6 doesn’t seem like much, but it does suggest that IPv6 uptake.
    • In practice, it is of course possible to completely ignore IPv6 in favor of IPv4.
    • The next big step for IPv6 is to become so ubiquitous that users will expect to be able to reach services over IPv6 as well as IPv4.
    • For a long time, IPv6 proponents assumed (or at least hoped this would happen) before we ran out of IPv4 addresses, but appears increasingly unlikely.
    • So it looks like in a few years we’ll have a situation where most of the Internet is still IPv4-only, but newcomers won’t be able to get IPv4 addresses to join the party.
  • DKIM Standard Verifies Email Address of Sender
    • Website: http://www.dkim.org/
    • The new standard is called DKIM, which stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail.
    • It allows an organization to cryptographically sign outgoing e-mail.
    • History of DKIM Development
    • The first version of DKIM synthesized and enhanced Yahoo!’s DomanKeys and Cisco’s Identified Internet Mail specifications.
    • It was the result of a year-long collaboration among numerous industry players, during 2005, to develop an open-standard e-mail authentication specification.
    • Participants included Alt-N Technologies, AOL, Brandenburg InternetWorking, Cisco, EarthLink, IBM, Microsoft, PGP Corporation, Sendmail, StrongMail Systems, Tumbleweed, VeriSign and Yahoo!. The team produced the initial specification and several implementations.
    • It then submitted the work to the IETF for further enhancement and formal standardization.
    • The IETF has now approved the revised specification as a Proposed Standard and published it as RFC 4871 (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4871.txt)
    • As much as 80% of e-mail from leading brands, banks and ISPs is spoofed, according to a report released in late January by the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance.
    • DKIM proponents say the standard is an important step in rebuilding consumer confidence in e-mail.
    • DKIM isn’t going to put an end to phishing, but it is going to make it harder.
    • It’s expected to be widely deployed this year, particularly in financial services and e-commerce firms. Early adopters include Bank of America, American Greetings and Cisco. Probably half of the Fortune 1000 will be DKIM signing in 2008.
  • Slower is Better with QWERTY….but Why?
    • Most people use the QWERTY keyboard layout. The name comes from the first six letters at the top left of your keyboard spell it out, QWERTY.
    • Well, did you know that this arrangement of letters, along with the other 20 on the traditional keyboard were arranged that way to make the job of typing more difficult?
    • The first commercially successful typewriter was developed by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1873.
    • Originally, the keys were arranged alphabetically. However, a problem soon arose. People became so adept at using the keyboard that the keys would stick or jam when struck in quick succession.
    • In order to overcome this problem Sholes decided to make the job of typing as slow as he possibly could.
    • His solution? He placed the most frequently used keys as far apart from each other as he could. His keyboard became known as the QWERTY keyboard.
    • This 127 year old system designed specifically for inefficiency is still in use.
    • In the 1930s, August Dvorak developed a better keyboard layout.
    • Dvorak’s keyboard put nine of the most used letters in the middle row of keys.
    • This allows the typist to write over 3,000 words without the fingers reaching.
    • In comparison, only about 50 words can be typed on a keyboard without reaching on QWERTYs middle or home row. Another advantage of the DVORAK keyboard is that the workload is much reduced.
    • In order to prove that it does August Dvorak retrained 14 Navy typists during World War Two. The result? After just one month their work productivity rate improved by an amazing 74 percent. Accuracy improved by 68 percent.
    • DVORAK keyboards are readily available on most computers and typewriters, yet they remain unutilized.
  • Storm Worm Making Millions a Day
    • The people behind the Storm worm are making millions of dollars a day
    • In the past it had been assumed that web security attacks were essential ego driven.
    • But now attackers fell in three camps: profit, politics and prestige. The three Ps.
    • The Storm worm, which had been around about a year, had been a tremendous financial success because it created a botnet of compromised machines that could be used to launch profitable spam attacks.
    • Not only do the criminals get money simply for sending out the spam in much more quantity than could be sent by a single machine but they get a cut of any business done off the spam.
    • The weak point in this case was the end user who visits a compromised site or who falls for a trick of social engineering.
  • Happy Valentine’s Day From The Storm Worm
    • Be wary of online e-mail greetings on this day of romance, especially if they come from people you don’t know. They could be from the Storm Worm, which has been using Valentine’s Day as an excuse to try to attack your PC.
    • Both the FBI and SANS, a security research group, have issued warnings on Valentine-related spam generated by this worm. Subject lines have included "Sweetest Things Aren’t Things!" and "Valentine’s Day, The Love Train."
    • The e-mails Storm is sending are same as in last couple of waves with a subject designed to catch your attention and the body with a URL consisting of only an IP address (in other words, it should be easy to detect this with anti-spam tools).
    • Once a user visits the web site he is served with a nice web page (see above) and a link to download an executable, the same as with previous versions.
    • So is there anything new about this variant of Storm? Not really. The social engineering attack is the same as before. Actually, there are a lot of similarities with Storm’s Valentine’s attack last year (2007). The subjects are almost the same and the only difference is that last year Storm sent itself as an attachment.
    • Storm’s packing/obfuscation techniques are still up to the task. Only 4 anti-virus programs out of 32 on VirusTotal properly detected it with virtually no coverage amongst the most popular anti-virus programs.
    • Following the pattern we can expect Super Bowl being exploited soon as well.
  • Government Begins to Mail DTV Coupons for Converter Box
    • TV viewers who get their programming over an antenna and are not connected to cable or satellite will need a converter box when full-power broadcast stations begin transmitting digital-only signals in February 2009.
    • An estimated 13 million to 21 million U.S. households are in the analog-set set.
    • The National Telecommunications and Information Administration agency is overseeing the $1.5 billion coupon program to subsidize converter-box costs, estimated to run between $40 and $70.
    • More than 2.6 million households have requested nearly 5 million coupons since Jan. 1, the agency said.
    • The federal government said Friday it will begin mailing out $40 coupons next week to consumers to help pay for converter boxes that will save their analog sets from becoming obsolete.
    • Consumers have 90 days to use the coupons, which resemble plastic gift cards, or they expire.
    • Every household, regardless of whether it needs a box, is eligible to receive two
    • Consumers can apply online at http://www.dtv2009.gov or call the 24-hour hot line, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).
    • The program expires March 31, 2009.
  • Text Messaging Popular on Valentines Day
    • Over 120 million Valentine’s text messages were sent on Valentine’s day.
    • Britain’s Mobile Network 3 tallied the five best Valentine text and the five worst.
    • Top 5 Best Valentine’s Texts:
      • I may not be Fred Flintstone, but I sure can make your bed rock
      • If you were a burger at McDonald’s, you’d be a McGorgeous
      • You’re like a parking ticket, you’ve got fine written all over you
      • You might not be Miss Right, but how about being Miss Right Now?
      • What’s a nice girl like you doing in a dirty mind like mine?
    • Top 5 Valentine’s Text Turn Offs:
      • Words alone aren’t enough to describe how amazing you are
      • If I could rearrange the alphabet I’d put U and I together
      • Did it hurt when you fell down from heaven?
      • Is that a ladder in your tights or a stairway to heaven?
      • Is your name Gillette because you’re the best a man can get?
    • Although for the TRUE romantics among us, nothing can compete with a simple I Love You.