Show of 6-28-2008

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Sally: What about digital TV converter boxes. What are the differences and when do I need one? I listen every Saturday morning. Sally
    • Tech Talk Answers: Broadcast TV will transition to all digital on February 17, 2009. Any analog TVs which are receiving signal over the air will no longer work without a converter box. The digital stream is frequency 2 or 3 channels (the main channel with weather channels)
    • If you have Cable or Satellite TV, your provider is handling the conversion.
    • Converter boxes cost from $47 to $70.
    • Each family can qualify for two $40 converter box coupons by applying online
    • Go to: https://www.dtv2009.gov/
    • Differences between boxes relate to convenience of remote control and the presence of a smart antenna interface. The most expensive one has an S-video output.
    • Smart antennas will tune for the different channels automatically and will allow you to receive a weaker signal without adjusting the antenna. You will have to purchase it separately and it will only work if the converter box has a smart antenna interface.
    • This interface was standardized by the Consumer Electronics Association, and is known as CEA-909A, ?Antenna Control Interface.
    • Converter box comparison chart
    • Email from Loren: Dr Ray Kurzweil Might be a good idea to showcase this man in an upcoming show. I’d enjoy that. Thanks, Lauren
    • Tech Talk Responds: Good idea Lauren. He has been a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments.
  • Profiles in IT: Anders Hejlsberg
    • He developed of Turbo Pascal for Borland.
    • He was principal architect of C# and of the .Net Framework for Microsoft.
    • Hejlsberg was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 1980.
    • He learned ALGOL (short for ALGOrithmic Language) language in high school.
    • He studied engineering at the Technical University of Denmark but did not graduate.
    • While at the university in 1980 he began writing programs for the Nascom microcomputer, including a Pascal compiler.
    • It was initially marketed as the Blue Label Pascal compiler for Nascom-2.
    • He soon rewrote it for CP/M and MS-DOS, marketing it first as Compas Pascal and later as PolyPascal.
    • Later the product was licensed to Borland, and integrated into an IDE to become the Turbo Pascal system.
    • Anders and his partners ran a computer store in Copenhagen and marketed accounting systems. Their company, PolyData was the distributor for Microsoft products in Denmark which put them at odds with Borland.
    • In Borland’s hands, Turbo Pascal became the most commercially successful Pascal compiler ever.
    • Hejlsberg remained with PolyData until the company came under financial stress, at which time, in 1989 he moved to California and became Chief Engineer at Borland.
    • There he remained until 1996. During this time he developed Turbo Pascal further, and eventually he became the chief architect for the team which produced the replacement for Turbo Pascal, Delphi.
    • In 1996, Hejlsberg left Borland and joined archrival Microsoft.
    • One of his first achievements was the J++ programming language and the Windows Foundation Classes; he also became a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and Technical Fellow.
    • Since 2000, he has been the lead architect of the team developing the C# programming language.
    • He received the 2001 Dr. Dobb’s Excellence in Programming Award for his work on Turbo Pascal, Delphi, C# and the Microsoft .NET Framework.
    • Anders Hejlsberg is currently a Technical Fellow in the Microsoft’s Developer Division.
    • Video featuring Anders is available on the web
    • Anders speaks about elegance, taste and simplicity in writing software.
    • Applying simplicity to problem avoids wild ideas that compound complexity. Taste is being able to evaluate various approaches and selecting one that is most elegant and cleanest.
    • While still single was drove a sports car. After the kids were born, he bought a minivan. So he is just like the rest of us.
  • Career College Association Meeting Update
    • Keynote: Nicholas M. Donofrio, IBM, Executive Vice President, Innovation and Technology
      • Human Capital is more important than Intellectual Property
      • Evolution of business
        • International (centralized in US, shipping everywhere)
        • Multinational (branches worldwide, located where we sell)
        • Global (locations based on availability of human capital)
        • Globalization means that business must follow human capital
      • Lesson learned from IBM is to follow the value.
        • Engineering or technology alone is not the value
        • Application of technology to real problems creates value
        • We will not out engineer China or India
        • Business must follow value.
        • Ubiquitous computing is creating value opportunities
      • America simply will not prosper in the years ahead without a large, vibrant, contributing, innovating community of diverse technical talent.
      • For much of the past century, the US was the world’s innovation engine.
      • No longer. The spotlight is on China, India, Brazil, Russia, Finland, Israel and South Korea.
        • South Korea today graduates as many engineers as the United States, with just one-sixth of our population.
        • China produced 600,000 engineering graduates in 2005 ? eight times more than we graduated here in the United States.
        • India graduates five times as many engineers as we do.
      • The continuing advancement of information technology is a key factor in the innovation equation, but technology alone is not enough to drive real productivity in the 21st century. Technology for technology’s sake is history.
      • The true measure of innovation is the ability to convert technology into products, services and solutions that transform institutions, that deliver new and lasting value that enrich the quality of life for everyone.
      • Sustaining the status quo in the United States is just not enough to maintain America’s leadership in the 21st century. That’s because the nature of innovation is changing dramatically.
      • Innovation is happening at a faster pace and in a more open, global environment. It’s becoming much more multidisciplinary and technologically complex.
      • To get there, we must fully optimize and mobilize our society for innovation.
      • We must transform how we educate our workforce if we wish to compete.
    • Keynote: Newt Gingrich, Conservative Political Visionary, and Thought-Leader
      • Next 25 years we will generate 7X as much science as last 25 years
      • We can compete with China and India if we embrace innovation.
      • We cannot try to preserve yesterday’s successful approaches
      • Are we prepared to keep up?
      • We must educate our human capital quickly
        • Like a GI bill, but for everyone
        • Human Capital Investment Act
      • Our educational system is not moving fast enough to do it.
        • Ubiquitous connectivity will transform education
        • Education should be continuous (life-long learning is the key)
        • We need metrics to evaluate effectiveness and level the playing field
  • ICANN and IANA Hacked
    • The official domains of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority were hijacked earlier today, by the NetDevilz Turkish hacking group which also hijacked Photobucket’s domain on the 18th of June.
    • This is pretty scary considering who and what these two companies do for business. This is evidence that no one is secured or safe 100% utilizing the internet. This can even happen to our government or other official organizations.
    • ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers. These include domain names, as well as the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources.
    • NetDevilz left the following message on all of the domains: You think that you control the domains but you don’t! Everybody knows wrong. We control the domains including ICANN! Don’t you believe us? haha (Lovable Turkish hackers group)
  • Cybersquatting Involves Inserting Another’s Trademark into a Domain Name
    • There are two primary options if a third party has registered a domain name with your trademark, business name or personal name.
      • ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) — ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Naming and Numbering. The first option is to file a complaint with ICANN under its arbitration procedures and request that the domain be transferred to you. When a domain is registered, the individual or business registering the domain submits to mandatory arbitration in the event of a future dispute. ICANN arbitrations are substantially cheaper than federal litigation. Another advantage of ICANN arbitrations is that results can be obtained more quickly than in litigation (sometimes in 60 days). Link: http://www.icann.org/udrp/
      • Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) The federal ACPA is a second option for trademark owners. Under the ACPA, trademark owners can seek not only transfer of the disputed domain, but also monetary damages.
    • No Federal Trademark, But Still a Victim? If you feel that someone has registered a domain (containing, say, your business or product name) and is competing against you unfairly, you may be able to assert your "common law trademark rights," even though you have not registered a trademark with the federal government. Common law trademarks have been the basis for both ICANN arbitration complaints and complaints under the federal ACPA.
  • Website of the Week: Linux Online
    • Web Address: http://www.linux.org/
    • Available Courses
      • Getting Started with Linux – Beginner’s Course
      • Intermediate Level Linux Course
      • Advanced Linux Course
  • Shortage of Night Vision Goggles
    • The war in Iraq is creating a major shortage of night vision goggles for civilian pilots who fly medical helicopters in the U.S.
    • The National Transportation Safety Board has encouraged the use of such equipment since 2006 to reduce the risk of deadly nighttime crashes during emergency medical flights.
    • The war in Iraq escalated and the goggles weren’t available." said Gary Sizemore, president of the National EMS Pilots Association and a pilot in Perry, Florida.
    • Sizemore estimated only 25 percent of the 800 or so emergency medical helicopters in the U.S. have the technology.
    • Night vision goggles take the tiny amount of light from the stars or the moon and amplify hundreds of times, enabling the pilot to see in the dark and avoid flying into mountains, wires or other obstructions.
    • The NTSB said the technology could have prevented 13 of 55 crashes of medical helicopters it analyzed in the 2006 report.
    • Since that study, five U.S. medical helicopters have crashed in the dark, killing 16 people, according to an NTSB database.
    • About 40 percent of its choppers have them, and the rest should be upgraded by the end of 2011, said vice president Mike Allen.
    • She said ITT has boosted its production capacity to try to meet demand for domestic users.
    • The goggles cost about $11,000 each. Most helicopters also require new lighting in the cockpit to reduce the glare for the pilot. Those modifications can cost $20,000 or more for each aircraft.
  • FBI Cracks Phishing Ring
    • Last month 38 people with links to global organized crime?mostly working out of Romania and the U.S., but also operating in Pakistan, Portugal, and Canada?were indicted by the FBI for phishing.
    • Phishing is a form of cyber crime where you get an e-mail that looks like it’s from your bank or another trusted institution but is really a way to con you into giving up personal information (PINs, social security numbers, credit card information, etc.).
    • Here’s how it generally worked:
    • Fraudsters working primarily out of Romania?known as the suppliers ?went phishing and obtained thousands of credit and debit card accounts and related personal information by sending out masses of spam.
    • These suppliers then sent their financial data to their partners in the U.S.?so-called cashiers?through Internet chat and e-mail messages.
    • By using some sophisticated but readily available software and technologies, the cashiers manufactured their own credit, debit, and gift cards encoded with the stolen information, giving them unfettered access to large amounts of money via ATMs and point-of-sale terminals.
    • Before these cards were used, cashiers directed runners to test the cards by checking balances or withdrawing small amounts of money from ATMs.
    • Then, these cashable cards were used on the most lucrative accounts.
    • To bring the scheme full circle, the cashiers wired a percentage of the illegal proceeds back to the suppliers.
    • The FBI worked with the Postal Service, IRS, Department of Justice, and various agencies in other countries.
  • Food Science: Soufflé Science
    • Word derivation
      • From French, from past participle of souffler, to puff up
      • From Old French soffler
      • From Latin suffl?re : sub-, sub- + fl?re, to blow
    • You can whip up a quick soufflé even if your cupboard is almost totally bare.
    • All you need is an egg or two, some sugar, fruit and a starch (in this case, cornstarch).
    • Soufflé Science
      • The base for any soufflé is a nice dense whipped egg white.
      • The whipped egg white is really just a huge collection of millions of bubbles suspended in a thin film of egg white.
      • When you bake your soufflés the heat of the oven causes the air to expand and so each tiny bubble becomes just a little bit bigger.
      • Because each bubble is now a little bit bigger they each take up a bit more space, and your soufflé starts to rise up out of its container.
      • The same heat that expands all the air bubbles, also coagulates the proteins in the egg white changing it from a raw liquid into a cooked solid.
      • The same thing that happens when you fry an egg in a frying pan.
      • Any soufflé will collapse slightly when it is removed from the oven and cools a bit.
      • Because the egg white has solidified and the air bubbles shrink when cold and expand when heated, you can make the soufflés ahead of time, chill them and then you can re-puff them almost all the way back up by heating them up again.