Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: Steven J. Sasson Luddites (Origin of the Word) Pentagon's IT Unit Seeks to Adopt Cloud Computing Lawmakers Probe Web Tracking China Surpasses US Number of Internet Users Service of the Week: Slydial CherryPal releases $249 cloud desktop computer Why Are PC Manufacturers so Afraid of the Asus Eee? IPv6 Update: Network Address Translation: Good, Bad and Ugly Anchor Charged with Hacking Colleague Emai Google Gmail Now Let's You Track Logins How Can You Hide Passwords for Keyloggers? Food Science: Rice
Email from Tony: Hello, I accidentally tuned into your show one Saturday morning, and I was delighted with the interesting program content. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch the latter portion of the program about China’s IPV6 rollout for the summer Olympics. Can you assist me in finding an archived version of that program broadcast? I am now a new fan. Best regards, Tony in Virginia
Tech Talk Answers: Tony, just go http://techtalkonline.com. Use the drop down menu to find the archived shows. You can also look at the podcast feed to see the shows for the just the past year. The show you want was broadcast on May 24, 2008.
Email from Ed: Rick, Glad to hear you have a Clear Card. Thought your show was very helpful. I started using mine in Albany last year (short lines)- but assume it will help at Dulles. Regard, Ed Meehan
Tech Talk Answers: Ed, thanks for the feedback.
Email from Jenny: Dear Tech Talk, I have so my devices in my living room: TV, DVD Player, Cable Box. I am tired of using three remotes. Can I replace all of these with one remote. Love the show, Jenny
Tech Talk Answers: Yes you can. You need a universal remote that can be programmed for your particular devices. I the Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote from Logitech. You program it via a USB connection. Easily done and Logitech has support. Retail price is $249.00. Street price is $129.00.
Profiles in IT: Steven J. Sasson
Steven J. Sasson is the inventor of the digital camera.
He was born in 1950 and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y.
He received BS in 1972 and MS in 1973 from Renssalear Polytechnic Institute in electrical engineering.
His invention began in 1975 with a very broad assignment from his supervisor at Eastman Kodak Company, Gareth A. Lloyd.
Could a camera be built using solid state electronics, solid state imagers, an electronic sensor known as a charge coupled device (CCD) that gathers optical information?
The conversation lasted 30 seconds.
Texas Instruments Inc. had designed an electronic camera in 1972 that was filmless but not digital, using instead analog electronics.
After a literature search on digital imaging came up virtually empty, Sasson drew on whatever was available,
Analog-to-digital converter adapted from Motorola Inc. components
Kodak movie-camera lens
CCD chips manufactured by Fairchild Semiconductor.
He set about constructing the digital circuitry from scratch, using oscilloscope measurements as a guide. There were no images to look at until the entire prototype was assembled.
The first image of a female lab technician was recorded in December 1975
The camera had the following specifications
Weighed 8 pounds and was the size of a toaster.
Black and white image
Resolution of .0l Mpixels (10,000 pixels)
Time to record image was 23 seconds
Recording medium was digital cassette tape
Television for image display
In 1978, Sasson and Lloyd were issued United States Patent 4,131,919 for their digital camera.
Unfortunately, Kodak did not move quickly enough because it was still trying to milk its lucrative film market.
Kodak it let its Japanese rivals drive the digital-camera market. Sony produced the first digital camera in 1981 (Mavica)
Kodak’s first consumer camera was launched in 1994 under the name of Apple Quick Take, which was introduced in association with Apple Computers.
Kodak began selling mass-market digital cameras in 2001.
Kodak took the lead in US digital camera sales in 2004 (surpassing Sony and Canon).
Kodak has amassed more than 1,000 digital-imaging patents. Today, almost all digital cameras rely on those patents.
Sasson now works to protect the intellectual capital of his employer, Eastman Kodak.
His prototype formed the root of historical arguments against Sony in an patent-infringement trial over Kodak’s digital-camera inventions from 1987 to 2003.
Luddites (Origin of the Word)
The original Luddites claimed to be led by one "King Ludd" (also known as "General Ludd" or "Captain Ludd") whose signature appears on a "workers’ manifesto" of the time.
King Ludd was based on the earlier Ned Ludd, who is believed to have destroyed two large stocking frames in the village of Anstey, Leicestershire in 1779.
The movement began in Nottingham in 1811 and spread rapidly throughout England in 1811 and 1812. Many wool and cotton mills were destroyed until the British government harshly suppressed the movement.
"Machine breaking" (industrial sabotage) was subsequently made a capital crime and
17 men were executed after an 1813 trial in York. The movement waned after these executions.
In recent years, the terms Luddism and Luddite or Neo-Luddism and Neo-Luddite have become synonymous with anyone who opposes the advance of technology due to the cultural and socioeconomic changes that are associated with it.
Pentagon’s IT Unit Seeks to Adopt Cloud Computing
The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency, which provides most of the systems used within the Department of Defense, has been reaching out to a wide range of companies in the belief that their IT approaches including the use of cloud computing technologies could help DISA better support the military’s warfighting men and women.
John Garing, a retired Air Force colonel who now is DISA’s CIO, said he and his staff have met with Google Inc., Amazon.com Inc., United Parcel Service of America Inc. and travel-reservation systems operator Sabre Holdings Corp. to talk about how the companies use technology. A pending trip to FedEx Corp. is scheduled for next week, he added.
Garing is convinced that cloud-based IT services will be the future of military data processing.
According to Garing, DISA has begun deploying a system that is similar architecturally to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) technology, a Web-based computing service that enables users to quickly scale up their processing capabilities.
DISA’s system, called the Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE), is scheduled to go into use at the start of the federal government’s next fiscal year in October.
Here’s an example of how RACE will work: A Marine platoon leader in the field, using a client device with Web support, will be able to dynamically access a wide range of information sources and meld together data.
That could include the location of battalion aid stations, nearby fuel and ammunition supplies, maps, information about available helicopter support whatever is needed to complete the platoon’s mission.
Underlying the data will be a common set of applications.
Garing’s approach as a result of his experience in the military and the private sector, coupled with an understanding that DISA must operate much like a business and produce an attractive offering of IT services at a competitive price.
Garing said he’s also interested in the processes that companies use to deploy technology, not just their technology itself.
In particular, he has made number of visits to Google, which follows a process that can move an idea for a new online service from the laboratory to beta-testing and then to real users in just a few months.
If the service gets a lot of hits from users, Google will flesh it out, Garing said; if it doesn’t draw much interest, the company will drop the project and minimize its investment.
DISA works with a variety of IT vendors; for instance, the agency will be using a blade system from Hewlett-Packard Co. as part of the cloud computing platform it’s developing.
Alfred Rivera, DISA’s director of computing services, said he expects cloud-based services to give a push to increased IT standardization in the military.
As DISA provides a standard suite of operating platforms as well as increased deployment speed and agility under the RACE initiative, other agencies within the military will want to use the technology, thus bringing standardization with it, Rivera said.
Lawmakers Probe Web Tracking
An Internet provider based in Kansas used a monitoring technology earlier this year to track sites visited by its users, apparently without directly notifying them, according to a congressional panel investigating the action.
Embarq, which serves 1.3 million Internet customers in 18 states, including Virginia, acknowledged that it used "deep packet inspection" technology provided by the Silicon Valley firm NebuAd to direct targeted advertising to users.
NebuAd is transforming the online advertising industry with the first consumer-centric behavioral targeting network.
Through our unique technology and ISP partnerships, NebuAd combines web-wide consumer visibility with micro-targeted ads delivered at the right time in the buying cycle. This network-level approach enables behavioral targeting to finally attain its true promise of a greater scale of impressions, and greater relevance to drive increased revenue per impression.
NebuAd is leading advertisers, publishers and ISPs to a new level of behavioral advertising effectiveness ? all while safeguarding consumer privacy.
Some lawmakers and others question whether such actions violate users’ rights to keep their Internet behavior to themselves.
The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet will take up the subject at a hearing today.
Surreptitiously tracking individual users’ Internet activity cuts to the heart of consumer privacy,
Embarq’s apparent use of this technology without directly notifying affected customers that their activity was being tracked, collected and analyzed raises serious privacy red flags.
Federal wiretap laws generally require consumers to consent to the collection and use of their communications. There has been ongoing debate over whether the technology’s use for behavioral targeting violates these laws.
Developed to speed the routing of Internet communications, deep packet inspection has evolved to include such uses as detecting viruses.
Online ad companies like Google can track users’ browsing behavior only on Web pages that host its ads.
In contrast, deep packet inspection technology installed in an Internet service provider’s network permits a window into potentially all of a consumer’s online activity, from Web surfing and search terms to any unencrypted Web communication.
NebuAd does not collect or keep a person’s name or other "personally identifiable information” but rather tracks the sites he visits, linking them to an encrypted,
China Surpasses US Number of Internet Users
China said the number of Internet users in the country reached about 253 million last month, putting it ahead of the United States as the world’s biggest Internet market.
The estimate, based on a national phone survey and released Thursday by the China Internet Network Information Center in Beijing.
The number of Internet users jumped more than 50 percent, or by about 90 million people, during the last year.
The new estimate represents only about 19 percent of China’s population.
By contrast, about 220 million Americans are online, or 70 percent of the population.
Political content on Web sites inside China is heavily censored, and foreign sites operating here have faced restrictions.
Online gaming, blogs, and social networking and entertainment sites are extremely popular among young people in China.
The survey found that nearly 70 percent of China’s Internet users were 30 or younger, and that in the first half of this year, high school students were, by far, the fastest-growing segment of new users.
The investment firm Morgan Stanley says online advertising in China is growing by 60 to 70 percent a year, and forecasts that by the end of this year, it could be a $1.7 billion market.
Service of the Week: Slydial
But a free new phone service called Slydial might make it easier to get through awkward moments without actually having to talk to anyone.
Slydial lets you connect directly with another person’s cell phone voice mail by bypassing the traditional ringing process that often results.
You are guaranteed that the other person will not pick up.
Users call (267) SLY-DIAL from either a cell phone or a landline, and are prompted to enter another person’s cell phone number.
The service is free.
You must listen to on ad before being connection to voicemail.
CherryPal releases $249 cloud desktop computer
The popularity of subnotebooks such as the Asus Eee PC has led to PC maker CherryPal to release a low-cost desktop computer called the CherryPal C100.
CherryPal has dubbed the C100 a ?cloud computer? with the majority of information is processed and stored on the web in an secure environment called CherryPalCloud.
The company claims the CherryPalCloud, which is automatically accessed at boot-up, removes many of the headaches typically associated with traditional personal computers, including application downloads, software upgrades and crashing operating systems.
They claim that CherryPalCloud will operate as fast than a traditional PC.
The cloud set up allows CherryPal to generate revenue through advertising, which will be rolled out later this year.
CherryPal’s operating system is based on a version of open source Debian/GNU Linux that has been highly customized; the browser is based on a version of open source Firefox and supports all major browser plug-ins including Adobe FlashAdobe Flash 9.
The user applications currently available are the Open Office, iTunes, a CherryPal-brand media player that supports all common file formats and a CherryPal-branded instant messenger that supports all common IM programs.
The current storage limit is initially set at 50 gigabytes, although CherryPal says the limit will likely be increased in the future.
CherryPal are also touting the unit as the most energy efficient desktop computer available due to the fact it has no moving parts, contains 80 percent fewer components and uses only two watts of power.
Here are the specifications
Power Architecture mobile GT processor
Integrated graphics and audio processing.
256MB of DDD2 and 4GB NAND SSD
Ports: Two USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet
VGA DB-15 display out jack and headphone stereo audio out.
5.8? x 4.2? wide case that weighs in at 10 ounces.
The CherryPal C100 is currently available for pre-orders in the US with a retail price of US$249 with shipping of orders to begin at the end of July.
Why Are PC Manufacturers so Afraid of the Asus Eee?
Laptop manufacturers fear a ?race to the bottom? (in terms of pricing) if consumers would go for ultra-cheap PCs.
?Good enough? is a danger for PC Makers
High-end laptops are not going away but $400 laptops like the Eee could put the other sub-$999 laptops in danger, and the volume is huge in this segment.
?Good enough? is the single scariest thing for all technology companies.
They maintain their average selling prices (ASP) by improving functionalities (speed, storage?).
Now, what if users’ needs do not evolve as quickly as the hardware? Average selling prices (ASP) would spiral down.
Software innovation is the key (web-based, open source)
To create more ?needs? for the masses, the industry has to create new compelling and mainstream applications (like a new, slow OS with exciting features?)
Many consumers are now using web-based applications and the speed of these programs is often limited by the web not by the PC.
The Asus Eee is -popular because it a light, small, and its performance is deemed ?good enough? by buyers.
IPv6 Update: Network Address Translation: Good, Bad and Ugly
NAT saved IPv4 by reducing the need for additional network addresses.
Now it is slowing the adoption of IPv6
Russ Housley, chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force, discusses this issue in an interview with Network World
IPv6 deployment is disappointing.
For the Internet to continue growing, the bigger address space offered by IPv6 is needed. The original designers of IPv6 expected every host and router to begin running both IPv4 and IPv6 several years ago. This strategy would have resulted in a gradual transition, with all hosts and routers being able to use IPv6 long before IPv4 address allocations became a problem. However, the economic incentives were not in place to encourage IPv6 implementation and deployment. As a result, we need the capability to translate between IPv4 and IPv6 until every host and router supports IPv6.
NAT is needed for the transition. Then is should go away
The desire is for these NAT devices to be needed only during the transition period. That transition will certainly not be quick, but when it is over, the need for NAT should go away.
IETF supports NAT for IPv6 transition
The engineers and computer scientists that make up the IETF wish that the original plan had come to pass. But, of course, it didn’t. Given the current situation, the IETF participants are seeking a pragmatic solution, and there is rough consensus that this is the best way forward.
What’s the timeframe for IETF to develop IPv6 NAT standards?
My view is that the IETF needs to have a specification ready for development and deployment in the next year or two.
Anchor Charged with Hacking Colleague Email
Former Philadelphia news anchor Larry Mendte on Monday was charged with hacking into the e-mail accounts of Alycia Lane, his co-anchor at CBS affiliate KYW-TV and reported rival, hundreds of times over the course of two years.
Mendte accessed Lane’s e-mail without authorization approximately 537 times, from KYW and from his home, according to the government.
A hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 22 at which Mendte is expected to enter a plea. He faces up to six months in prison if found guilty.
He either guessed her passwords, looked over her shoulder, or used a keystroke logger.
USB Keyloggers go between the keyboard and the computer and capture all keystrokes. Cost approximately $150.00. Other options are software based and can send keystroke data to another computer via the Internet.
Google Gmail Now Let’s You Track Logins
Google now lets you the which IP addresses have accessed your account.
Log into Gmail and go to bottom of page.
Look for line: Last account activity: 3 days ago at IP 18.104.22.168. Details
Click on Details to see entire IP address log, login time, and session duration.
How Can You Hide Passwords for Keyloggers?
Change focus to another part of screen and type random keystrokes.
Return to password field and then repeat process.
This will inject random strokes into the password sequence.
Food Science: Rice
There are many different varieties of rice. They differ in amounts of nutrition and, more importantly, the type of starch.
There are two types of starch in rice: amylose and amylopectin.
Amylose is a long, straight starch molecule that does not gelatinize during cooking (think of making gelatin), so rice which contains more of this starch tends to cook fluffy, with separate grains.
Long grain white rice has the most amylose and the least amylopectin, so it tends to be the fluffiest and least sticky.
Amylose also hardens more when cool, joining tightly together and forming crystals that melt when the rice is reheated.
Rice that is high in amylose has a lower Glycemic Index number.
Amylopectin is a highly branched molecule that makes the rice sticky when it’s released from the grain during cooking.
Medium grain rice has more amylopectin, making it a good candidate for risottos, salads and rice pudding, which are served cold.
And short grain rice has even more amylopectin and little to no amylose, so it’s used most often for Asian cooking, when you want grains to be sticky so they are easier to eat with chopsticks.
Then there’s glutinous rice, which is very sticky when cooked, with the highest amount of amylopectin and no amylose.
White rice has the hull and bran removed, diminishing its nutritional content. But in the U.S., rice is generally enriched, with nutrients like calcium, riboflavin, iron, and niacin added.
Brown rice has just the hull removed, so it has more fiber and nutrition.
Converted rice is boiled or steamed before it is processed, which forces some vitamins and minerals into the kernel from the bran. Converted rice is higher in nutrients than plain white rice.
When rice cooks, the heat and liquid start permeating the surface of the rice. The starch molecules inside the rice grains start breaking down and absorb water to form a gel. The type of starch in the rice determines whether it will be fluffy or sticky.