Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: Winifred Mitchell Baker DARPA Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) System Who Owns Commercial Open Source Lost Laptop Cost Companies Nearly $50,000 Judge in Pirate Bay trial may have been biased Pirate Bay Supporters Throw Street Party in Moscow Website of the Week: Tor Open Source Proxy Windows 7 to Have XP Mode
Email from John: Dear Tech Talk, What are the bumps at the end of computer cables? Thanks John.
Tech Talk Answers: You normally see these cylindrical "bumps" on the mouse, keyboard and monitor cables. You can also find them on power supply wires when a device (like a printer or scanner) uses an external transformer.
These "bumps" are called ferrite beads or sometimes ferrite chokes. Their goal is to reduce EMI (electromagnetic interference) and RFI (radio-frequency interference). A ferrite bead is simply a hollow bead or cylinder made of ferrite, a semi-magnetic substance.
Computers are fairly noisy devices and cables act as a long antenna. The ferrite bead chokes the RFI transmission. Instead of traveling down the cable and transmitting, the RFI signals are turn into heat in the ferrite bead.
Email from Linda: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I used to live in an area where I could pickup your radio show, otherwise I’d call in with my question…
I need to update my PC so I can get back online at my home. I have an older PC. My max memory is only 512MB. I currently have 119MB. I also need anti-virus & anti-spyware software. Is there any software manufacturer who packages both anti-virus & anti-spy?
Do you have a newsletter or a transcript of a show I can get a copy of that discusses these issues? Please email me back since I can’t listen to your program. Sincerely; Linda Hadden
Tech Talk Answers: The best home anti-virus is NOD32 by ESET (http://www.eset.com). I would recommend that you buy a used computer rather than upgrading. It would be cheaper. Also Linda you can listen to the show online using our podcast as soon as your PC is up and running.
Profiles in IT: Winifred Mitchell Baker
Winifred Mitchell Baker the driving force behind and Chairperson for the Mozilla Foundation, an organization responsible for the open source Mozilla Firefox browser.
Mozilla’s Firefox browser has become a rival of Microsoft’s market-leading Internet with 22.3% of the market in March 2009.
Mitchell Baker was born in 1957 in Oakland, CA.
Baker received Bachelors degree in Asian Studies from the UC Berkeley in 1979 and a JD from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1987.
From January 1990 until October 1993, she worked as a Corporate and Intellectual Property Associate at Fenwick & West LLP.
In November 1993, she was hired by Sun as Associate General Counsel.
In November 1994, Baker was hired as one of the first employees of the legal department of Netscape Communications Corporation.
She wrote both the Netscape Public License and the Mozilla Public License.
The name Mozilla came from a combination of Mosaic killer and Godzilla.
Mozilla takes the form of a green and purple cartoon lizard.
In February 1999, Baker became the General Manager (Chief Lizard Wrangler) of mozilla.org, the Netscape division that coordinated the Mozilla open source project.
In 2001, she was fired by AOL, which had recently purchased Netscape.
She continued to serve as the Chief Lizard Wrangler of mozilla.org as a volunteer.
In November 2002, Baker was employed by the Open Source Applications Foundation, helping to guide the group’s community relations.
Baker was instrumental in the creation of the Mozilla Foundation, an independent non-profit that was launched on July 15, 2003 when AOL shut down the Netscape.
She returned full-time to Mozilla in January 2005.
Baker became the President of the Mozilla Foundation and was appointed to Board.
When the Mozilla Corporation was launched as a taxable subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation on August 3, 2005, Baker was named the CEO of the new entity.
She joined the Mozilla Corporation’s Board of Directors and kept her seat on the Mozilla Foundation’s board, as well as her role as Chairperson.
In 2005, Time magazine included her in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world and.
On January 8, 2008, Baker, while retaining her role as Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation, stepped down as CEO of the Mozilla Corporation.
The reasons cited for this change was Mozilla’s rapid growth, which made it difficult for executives to continue to wear many hats.
In the future, Baker will focus on the vision and message of the Mozilla project, while leaving the nuts and bolts of running a corporation with the CEO.
Mitchell is married to Casey Dunnand has one son.
As a hobby, she is a skilled trapeze artist, "flying" two or three times a week.
She can also speak conversational Mandarin Chinese.
She is known for her unique hair style, with her hair cut in a bob on the right side of her head, and very short on the left. Her hair bears a resemblance to the Firefox logo.
Mitchell Baker won the 2009 Anita Borg Women of Vision Award in the Leadership.
This is a Web 2.0 application to help soldiers share information
TIGR is a multimedia reporting system for soldiers at the patrol level, allowing users to collect and share information to improve situational awareness.
TIGR was developed by DARPA. The system was first introduced to users during the pre-deployment training exercise at Fort Hood in the spring of 2006.
The system is currently in experimental use in Iraq.
With its geo-spatial user interface, TIGR enables collection and dissemination of fine-grained intelligence on people, places, and insurgent activity.
Being focused on users at Company level and below, TIGR complements existing reporting systems that focus on the needs of users at Battalion or Brigade level.
TIGR’s graphical, map-referenced user interface allows multimedia data such as voice recordings, digital photos, GPS tracks to be easily collected and searched.
The system also uses a data distribution architecture which minimize load on the tactical networks, while allowing multimedia data to be rapidly exchanged.
TIGR helps ground soldiers collect information on key infrastructure, landmarks and terrain. Photos of key locations can be captured into TIGR, geo-referenced, and displayed as map overlays.
Such data also serve as a navigation aid in the land where there are no street names or numbers.
Overlays of routes, critical infrastructure, tribal areas and ethnic maps, recent attacks and recent changes in the terrain are all used to enhance soldier knowledge.
TIGR is also used to capture and share information on human terrain. Meetings with religious leaders, encounters with local villagers or business owners can be recorded and shared in TIGR.
The data in TIGR are dynamic and easily updated. TIGR manages this dynamic tactical landscape using before/after photos and updated imagery to provide the most up-to-date views of the battlespace.
TIGR assists the unit rotation process. TIGR can be used to transfer the key historical and contextual information to the new unit rotating into the Area of Operation.
DARPA Program Manager: Dr. Mari Maeda
Who Owns Commercial Open Source
Case Study: MySQL
I think it’s important to distinguish between the open source community and open source companies. You can buy the latter, not the former.
Oracles purchase of Sun brings this into focus.
Michael Widenius, founder and original developer of MySQL, has written: I don’t think that anyone can own an open source project; the projects are defined by the de-facto project leaders and the developers that are working on the project. If the company loses the trust of these people, they can go away and fork the project and turn it the way they want to.
Widenius went on to say: Sun’s acquisition of MySQL did not go smoothly; most of the MySQL leaders (both commercial and project) have left Sun and the people who are left are sitting with their CV and ready to press send.
Oracle, not having the best possible reputation in the Open Source space, will have a hard time keeping the remaining MySQL people in the company or even working on the MySQL project.
Oracle will also have a hard time to ensure to the MySQL customers, community and users that it will keep MySQL "free and available for all".
This has major implications for MySQL, since it would leave the corporate side of the project hollowed out.
But as both Widenius emphasized that does not mean the end of the project itself.
Widenius is willing to get actively involved and to create an independent true Open Source entity for MySQL is even bigger than ever before.
He feels that the biggest threat to MySQL future is not Oracle, but that the MySQL talent at Sun will spread like the wind and go to a lot of different companies which will set the MySQL development and support back years.
Widenius’ plan is daring, because it seems to hold out the prospect of a MySQL fork set up independently of the copyright owners, and irrespective of their wishes.
Under the GNU GPL, that’s certainly possible, but I don’t think it’s ever been tried before, certainly not on this scale and with such an important project.
Hopefully the open source and commercial side can coexist peacefully as they have done with Linux (Fedora versus Red Hat for instance).
If this attempt to create a self-standing but quite separate version of MySQL succeeds, it could have major ramifications for all open source companies that think they own the project simply because they own the copyright of the code.
Lost Laptop Cost Companies Nearly $50,000
A typical lost or stolen laptop costs employers $49,246, mostly due to the value of the missing intellectual property or other sensitive data, according to an Intel-commissioned study.
Employees are carrying more information on their laptops than ever before.
With each lost laptop there is the risk that sensitive data about customers, employees and business operations will end up in the wrong hands.
The five-month study examined 138 laptop-loss cases suffered over a recent 12-month period by 29 organizations.
It said laptops frequently are lost or stolen at airports, conferences and in taxis, rental cars and hotels.
About 80 percent of the typical cost (around $39,000) was attributed to data breach expense, which can involve everything company information to data on individuals.
Companies then often incur major expenses to prevent others from misusing the data.
Lost intellectual property added nearly $5,000 more to the average cost.
The rest of the estimated expense was associated with such things as investigative costs, lost productivity and physically replacing the laptop.
Several years ago the FBI and the Computer Security Institute placed the average cost of a company’s laptop at $89,000.
Judge in Pirate Bay trial may have been biased
The Swedish judge who found four men guilty of promoting copyright infringement by running filesharing site The Pirate Bay may have been biased and a retrial may be ordered.
Tomas Norstroem, belongs to several copyright protection associations where film and record industry officials are also members.
On April 17, Stockholm’s district court sentenced Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstroem each to a year in jail and ordered them to pay damages of 3.56 million dollars to the movie and recording industry.
The four vowed to appeal the verdict.
Sunde’s defence lawyer, Peter Althin, said Thursday he would demand a retrial.
Norstroem is a member of the Swedish Copyright Association, as are Monique Wadsted, who represented the film and recording industry in the trial, and the head of the Swedish Anti-Piracy Agency, Henrik Ponten.
The judge also sits on the board of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Yet Norstroem insisted that he was not biased.
The Pirate Bay claims to have some 22 million users worldwide.
Pirate Bay Supporters Throw Street Party in Moscow
Support for The Pirate Bay doesn’t stop at the Swedish border, nor it is limited to blogs and forums.
A group of Russian Pirate Bay supporters will threw a street party at Pushkin Square in the center of Moscow, with the full approval of the Russian government.
A street party was held by BitTorrent fans in Pushkin Square and is symbolical of their support for The Pirate Bay Four.
A live performance from independent musicians Simon and Shlimmer.
Open Wi-Fi will also be provided at the party which means that no one has to miss out on the latest torrent releases.
In Russia all public demonstrations have to be approved by the government.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.
Tor protects the use by bouncing communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching a particular Internet connection from learning what sites are visited, and it prevents the sites from learning the user’s physical location.
Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world use Tor for a wide variety of reasons: journalists and bloggers, human rights workers, law enforcement officers, soldiers, corporations, citizens of repressive regimes, and just ordinary citizens.
Tor’s security improves as its user base grows and as more people volunteer to run relays.
Based in Dedham, MA, The Tor Project develops free and open-source software that provides online anonymity to the everyday Internet user.
Tor was born out of a collaboration with the U.S. Naval Research Lab starting in 2001, and it became an official U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2006.
The Tor Project now works with many individuals, NGOs, law enforcement agencies, and businesses globally to help them protect their anonymity online.
Tor is a project-funded organization with eight full-time staff.
Windows 7 to Have XP Mode
Microsoft is trying to make it easier to convert users of Windows XP
MS has been quietly building a "Windows XP mode" that uses virtualization to allow Windows 7 to easily run applications designed for Windows XP.
According to sources familiar with the product, the application compatibility mode is built on the Virtual PC technology that Microsoft acquired in 2003, when it bought the assets of Connectix.
By adding the compatibility mode, Microsoft is aiming to address one of the key shortcomings of Windows Vista: its compatibility issues with software designed for Windows XP and earlier versions of the operating system.
The technology has not been part of the beta version of Windows 7 or previously disclosed by Microsoft, but is expected to be released alongside the upcoming release candidate version.
The XP mode won’t come in the box with Windows 7, but will be made available as a free download for those who buy the professional, enterprise, or "ultimate" versions of Windows 7.
Yesterday, MS confirmed XP Mode in a blog posting.
Microsoft said it "will be soon releasing the beta of Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate.
Pirated Windows 7 copies are available on several BitTorrent feeds