Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: William Hewlitt and David Packard The HP Way Google versus Yahoo Mission Ten things Google has Found to be True GPS Systems Used to Contest Speeding Ticket EULA: End Users Licensing Agreement What makes the unique sound of a Stradivarius violin? Lawmakers Assail Digital TV Effort Food Science: Why Bread Goes Stale
Email from John: Dear Tech Talk, How does clear card work? I have heard about this service at Dulles and Reagan airports. John
Tech Talk Answers: Clear Cards clears you through DHS. Then they identify you using biometrics. They have a separate line at the airport to speed check-in. You can order the card from the Clear Card website: http://www.flyclear.com/
Profiles in IT: William Hewlitt and David Packard
Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded Silicon Valley in Hewlett’s garage. A coin toss made the company Hewlett-Packard instead of Packard.
The company’s first "plant" was a garage in Palo Alto with initial capital of $538.
Hewlett’s first product was an innovative audio oscillator based on the newly developed principle of negative feedback. The Walt Disney Company purchased eight of the first ones for $71.50 each, for use in the 1940 film Fantasia.
David Packard was born Sept. 7, 1912, in Pueblo, Colo. He attended Stanford University and received a BA 1934 and a MSEE in 1939.
Packard’s interest in electricity and science attracted him to the field of radio engineering. The son of a lawyer, Packard was lured to Stanford, in part, by a textbook on radio engineering written by Terman, a professor at Stanford.
Packard played football at Stanford and in 1958 was selected for SI’s Silver Anniversary All-America team.
From 1936 to 1938, Packard was an engineer with GE in Schenectady, N.Y.
In 1938, he returned to Palo Alto and the following year formed HP.
Packard served as a partner in the company from its founding in 1939 until it was incorporated in 1947. In 1947, he became president, a post he held until 1964, when he was elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
Packard left the company in 1969 to become U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense in the first Nixon administration. When he returned to California in 1971, he was re-elected chairman of the board of HP.
Packard was been president and chairman of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation since it began in 1964.
William Redington Hewlett
William Redington Hewlett was born 20 May 1913 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his father served on the faculty of the university’s medical school.
Bill was admitted to Stanford in 1930 and received his BSEE in 1934.
Hewlett studied under and was been mentored by Frederick Terman, who was to a great degree responsible for the development of Silicon Valley.
Hewlett received MSEE from MIT in 1936 and returned to Stanford.
Hewlett and his fellow student and close friend David Packard, with Terman’s encouragement, formed the Hewlett-Packard Company in 1939.
He set up William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 1966. The foundation now ranks as one of the nation’s largest.
Hewlett and Packard oversaw the company with enviable management, technological, and scientific skills. They also managed the company with a new set of operating principles and with an intensely personal style that came to redefine much of American corporate life and culture, e.g., profit-sharing, employee stock ownership, flexible work hours, and health insurance. What came to be known as the "HP way."
The HP Way
"…an egalitarian, decentralized system that came to be known as ‘the HP Way.’ The essence of the idea, radical at the time, was that employees’ brainpower was the company’s most important resource.
"…one of the first all-company profit-sharing plans… gave shares to all employees… among the first to offer tuition assistance, flex time, and job sharing… Today, the behavior of the two founders remains a benchmark for business…"
We have trust and respect for individuals.
We approach each situation with the belief that people want to do a good job and will do so, given the proper tools and support. We attract highly capable, diverse, innovative people and recognize their efforts and contributions to the company. HP people contribute enthusiastically and share in the success that they make possible.
We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution.
Our customers expect HP products and services to be of the highest quality and to provide lasting value. To achieve this, all HP people, especially managers, must be leaders who generate enthusiasm and respond with extra effort to meet customer needs. Techniques and management practices which are effective today may be outdated in the future. For us to remain at the forefront in all our activities, people should always be looking for new and better ways to do their work.
We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity.
We expect HP people to be open and honest in their dealings to earn the trust and loyalty of others. People at every level are expected to adhere to the highest standards of business ethics and must understand that anything less is unacceptable. As a practical matter, ethical conduct cannot be assured by written HP policies and codes; it must be an integral part of the organization, a deeply ingrained tradition that is passed from one generation of employees to another.
We achieve our common objectives through teamwork.
We recognize that it is only through effective cooperation within and among organizations that we can achieve our goals. Our commitment is to work as a worldwide team to fulfill the expectations of our customers, shareholders and others who depend upon us. The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people.
We encourage flexibility and innovation.
We create an inclusive work environment which supports the diversity of our people and stimulates innovation. We strive for overall objectives which are clearly stated and agreed upon, and allow people flexibility in working toward goals in ways that they help determine are best for the organization. HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change.
Google versus Yahoo Mission
Comparison of Yahoo’s mission statement with that of Google’s:
Yahoo! : To connect people to their passions, communities, and the world’s knowledge.
Google : To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Yahoo’s mission clearly differentiates its path from Google’s with Yahoo’s emphasis on the user life experience and emotions, with the terms connect, people, passions, communities.
Google has taken a different approach of connecting its users to Google search as its core, rather than to each other, like a network operates; hence Google’s success in search.
Yahoo! : Providing knowledge obtained via personal experience, association, awareness and understanding. (Answers, Del.icio.us, Flickr, Inclusion)
Google : Providing information obtained via investigation, study, data, measurement and numerical quantities. (PageRank, Algortihm, Link Measurement, Profiling)
Two very different directions from these two companies: Man versus Machine
Ten things Google has Found to be True
Focus on the user and all else will follow.
The interface is clear and simple.
Pages load instantly.
Placement in search results is never sold to anyone.
Advertising on the site must offer relevant content and not be a distraction.
It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
Fast is better than slow.
Democracy on the web works.
You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
You can make money without doing evil.
There’s always more information out there.
The need for information crosses all borders.
You can be serious without a suit.
Great just isn’t good enough.
GPS Systems Used to Contest Speeding Ticket
According to a press release issued by Rocky Mountain Tracking, an 18-year old man, Shaun Malone, was able to successfully contest a speeding ticket in court using the data from a GPS device installed in his car.
The device was installed in Malone’s car by his parents.
While the police clocked him going 62-mph, the GPS’s data in fact showed him driving at the 45-mph speed limit.
Malone was found innocent of speeding.
EULA: End Users Licensing Agreement
EULA stands for End User Licensing Agreement. This is the agreement through which the software is licensed to the software user.
Typical items in the EULA
Installation and Use. Microsoft grants you the right to install and use copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT on your computer running a validly licensed copy of the operating system for which the SOFTWARE PRODUCT was designed.
Backup Copies. You may also make copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT as may be necessary for backup and archival purposes.
Prohibition on Reverse Engineering, Decompilation, and Disassembly. You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation.
No Rental. You may not rent, lease, or lend the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
No Warranties. Microsoft expressly disclaims any warranty for the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
Limitation of Liability. In no event shall Microsoft be liable for any damages rising out of authorized users use of or inability to use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.
Termination. Without prejudice to any other rights, Microsoft may terminate this EULA if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this EULA. In such event, you must destroy all copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT in your possession.
What makes the unique sound of a Stradivarius violin?
The wood, of course. Using x-ray images taken from multiple different angles, radiologist Berend Stoel of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands proved that the spruce and maple wood used in five violins made either by Antonio Stradivari or Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù had fewer variations in their density than that in seven contemporary violins.
The density of the wood determines how a violin resonates with sound, which may explain why Stradivarius and Guarnerius violins are coveted by musicians worldwide and fetch prices of several million dollars.
It may also allow modern instrument makers to finally match the perfection of past masters.
Lawmakers Assail Digital TV Effort
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency within the Commerce Department, is in charge of a $1.5 billion program to distribute $40 coupons to help consumers pay for the converter boxes they will need to continue watching on analog TVs. The boxes typically cost $50 to $80.
Last year, the NTIA awarded IBM a $120 million contract to perform administrative duties for the program, including taking coupon orders and mailing them to consumers.
But IBM’s contract does not include enough funds to process and mail the recycled coupons to consumers, according to a letter sent to the NTIA yesterday by Democratic Reps. John D. Dingell (Mich.), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, and Edward J. Markey (Mass.), chairman that committee’s telecommunications and Internet panel.
The coupons expire after 90 days. Unredeemed coupons are supposed to be redistributed to other households.
IBM’s contract calls for the distribution of 33.5 million coupons, according to the contract’s requirements found on NTIA’s Web site. The contract does not account for the costs associated with recycling unredeemed coupons but does cover administrative expenses.
Although demand for coupons has been high, redemption rates have been low. About 60 percent of the coupons were not redeemed within 90 days, meaning those funds are to be used for additional coupons. But according to the letter sent to the NTIA, the current contract with IBM does not include administrative funds to process and mail additional coupons.
Nearly 20 million coupons have been requested, and about 5.5 million have been redeemed, the NTIA said. Some consumers have said they feel limited by the 90-day expiration because it does not give them time to shop around for a converter box, and some models are not yet available in retail stores.
The number of requests for converter-box coupons is expected to increase as the transition date draws closer. The coupon program is divided into two phases. Until March 31, all households may request up to two coupons until the initial $990 million allocated for the program has been exhausted. The NTIA may then request an additional $510 million already authorized by Congress. During this period, coupons will be available only to households that rely on over-the-air broadcasting as their sole source of television programming.
Food Science: Why Bread Goes Stale
Flour is made of small starch granules in which the molecules are highly ordered in small crystals.
These crystals are formed as the starch molecules are synthesized in the growing plant.
When the starch is cooked, the crystals are melted and destroyed.
The starch molecules need to associate with water in order to crystallize again.
As the starch crystals form and absorb free water, the bread becomes firmer.
This process is viewed as staling.
We can slow the rate of crystallization by adding fats that tend to prevent the water molecules from being absorbed by the starch granules.
The reason that French bread stales quickly is because they use no fat.
Lack of fat is also responsible for the distinctive flavor