Show of 5-9-2009

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Letter from Marshia: Dear Tech Talk. I am building a new home. How should I wire it for technology? Marshia
    • Tech Talk Answers: This is the best time to plan a wiring diagram. You need to consider your options: network and Internet, phone, TV distribution, audio distribution, home automation, security
    • First thing to do is to work out how many phone and network outlets you will need. I recommend two wall plates in most rooms, with two RJ45 network outlets and one RJ45 phone outlet on each.
    • Cable wall plates to your wiring center with Category 6 (Cat6) or better cable to ensure that you have future compatibility with Gigabit Ethernet (GigE). You might replace one of the RJ45 connectors with a coax (coaxial cable) connector if you intend to have cable or satellite television in the room. Use an Ethernet switch with integrated firewall in hour wiring center.
    • Terminate the incoming phone lines at one end of the phone patch panel. Patch from this socket to the desired outgoing connections to rooms.
    • Finally, the home server. This could be a standard computer (without monitor) remotely controlled across the network, or a dedicated NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. Either way, one or two Terabytes of capacity will get you started and cover you for a few years.
  • New Woodbridge Campus Update
    • Open House was held be May 5th.
      • Grand Open Speakers
      • State Delegate David Bulova and State Senator Linda Puller.
      • Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors.
      • Bulova read letter from Governor Tim Kaine.
    • Building features
      • 43,000 square feet on three floors
      • Space plan with long vistas, high ceilings, proper light levels
    • Building is Green
      • Hydronic HVAC
      • Smart lighting
      • On-demand air delivery based CO2 sensors.
      • Energy extraction from expelled air
      • On-demand hoods in kitchens
      • Variable speed motors (liquid loops and hoods)
    • Programs offered are: Culinary Arts, Health Science, Computer Information Systems, Business Administration, Accounting, Software Engineering, Information Systems, MBA.
  • Profiles in IT: Shigeru Miyamoto
    • Shigeru Miyamoto is a world-renowned game designer and has been called the father of modern video games and the Walt Disney of electronic gaming.
    • Miyamoto has been the creative mastermind behind Nintendo for the past thirty years.
    • He is responsible for Donkey Kong, Mario and The Legend of Zelda and most recently Wii.
    • Miyamoto was born November 16, 1952 in Sonebe , Japan , which is near Kyoto .
    • His father was school teacher. Miyamoto is the second child.
    • Growing up, Miyamoto wanted to make something that would astonish the world.
    • He considered being a puppeteer or painter, and later made toys his creative outlet.
    • In 1970, he enrolled in the Kanazawa College of Art and graduated five years later ? though he later remarked that his studies often took a backseat to drawing.
    • He studied industrial design and only attended class about half the time.
    • When he finally did graduate, Miyamoto did not want a regular 9 to 5 job.
    • Miyamoto had his father contact an old friend who ran a toy company. The friends name was Hiroshi Yamauchi. The company was Nintendo.
    • Employed by Nintendo as an artist in 1977.
    • He did not work on an electronic game until 1980 when he was given the task of working on one of their first coin-operated arcade games.
    • The resulting title was Radar Scope, which was not successful in the US .
    • Miyamoto later reused the game’s hardware and modified it into Donkey Kong, which was a huge success as well as a turning point in video game history.
    • The game’s lead character, Mario (then called Jumpman), became Nintendo’s mascot.
    • Miyamoto works with around four hundred people on a dozen or so projects at a time.
    • He was the driving force behind Wii, a device which revolutionized video games.
    • In the West, Mr. Miyamoto would have started his own company a long time ago.
    • Despite being royalty at Nintendo and a cult figure, he almost comes across as just another loyal employee.
    • He wants to build the Nintendo brand much as Disney built the Disney brand.
    • Miyamoto’s full title is senior managing director and general manager of Nintendo’s entertainment analysis and development division.
    • He has a wife and two school-age children at home near Kyoto .
    • In his spare time, Miyamoto plays the guitar and banjo.
    • At the Game Developers Choice Awards, on March 7, 2007, Shigeru Miyamoto received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
    • Shigeru Miyamoto was chosen as one of the 100 TIME Magazine’s 2007 Most Influential People of the Year. He topped the list in 2008.
    • Nintendo has become one of the most valuable companies in Japan .
    • With a net worth of around $8 billion, Nintendo’s former chairman, Hiroshi Yamauchi, is now the richest man in Japan , according to Forbes magazine.
    • Nintendo does not disclose Mr. Miyamoto’s compensation, but it appears that he has not joined the ranks of the superrich.
  • Spam is Down, Zombies on the Rise
    • Hackers appear to be beefing up armies of "zombie" computers to recover from a major hit scored in the battle against spam email.
    • A McAfee report said that during the first three months of this year, nearly 12 million new computers were added to the ranks of machines infected with "malware" that lets cybercriminals use them to spew spam.
    • The ominous news came with word that the amount of spam dropped 20 percent during the same period, evidently as a result of the elimination of a "McColo" spam-generating operation late last year.
    • The rate of spam email dropped from an average 153 billion daily last year to 100 billion a day in March.
    • The bad guys are attempting to recover from last November’s takedown of a central spam-hosting ISP by rebuilding their army.
    • The United States unseated China as the country with the most "botnet-infected" computers, accounting for 18 percent of the world’s "zombie machines" as compared with China ‘s 13.4 percent, according to McAfee.
    • Australia "rocketed" to third place on the list with 6.3 percent of the world’s zombie computers after not even being it into the Top 10 list at the end of last year.
    • Despite the international nature of botnets, spammers seem to prefer sending the unwanted email from the United States .
    • Cybercriminals are also increasingly rigging legitimate websites to sneak viruses onto visitors’ computers.
    • Threat researchers reported discovering in March more than 800 new versions of a Koobface virus tailored to attack users of hot social-networking website Facebook.
    • Cybercrooks have "deeply compromised" computers at key Russian and Eastern European corporations and government agencies.
    • Spam levels are the lowest the world has seen in two years, but are expected to rise.
  • ISP McColo Shut Down After Security Report
    • A U.S. based Web hosting firm that security experts say was responsible for facilitating more than 75 percent of the junk e-mail blasted out each day globally was knocked offline last November.
    • McColo, a San Jose, Calif., based Web hosting service, was taken offline by its upstream ISP after a research report by several security vendors alleged McColo helped cybercriminals promote spam, online fraud and child pornography.
    • McColo had been tracked for years by Internet security researchers, who have suspected the ISP of hosting spam and Web sites of cybercriminals known as phishers.
    • McAfee, Trend Micro and Arbor Networks had detailed criminal practices of ISPs like McColo and their connection with spam and cybercrime.
    • ISPs can connect with each other to exchange Internet traffic in what is known as peering.
    • McColo was knocked offline when upstream ISP Hurricane Electric, Fremont , CA , disconnected from McColo, leaving it without a huge portion of its Internet traffic.
    • McColo hosted command and control servers for some of the world’s biggest botnets.
    • In one example, the report states that the Sinowal Trojan virus tracked by security company RSA was found to have originated from a McColo IP address.
  • Windows 7 Finally Released
    • Windows 7 operating system arrived on the main Microsoft.com late on Monday night. The software was slated to be made publicly available on Tuesday.
    • The release candidate version, officially build 7100, is expected to be the last major public test of the product before it is finalized.
    • The company will only officially confirm it plans to release Windows 7 before Windows Vista hits its third anniversary of broad availability in January.
    • However, the software maker is widely seen as aiming to finish it soon enough for it to be on PCs that ship during this year’s holiday shopping season.
    • The latest official update to what some are calling the largest shareware trial period ever introduces more than mere bug fixes as the operating system upgrades from beta to release candidate.
    • The Windows 7 release candidate does contain several major and minor changes, but the overall experience remains largely unchanged.
    • One of the biggest new features makes Windows Media Player useful.
    • You can now stream media files from one Windows 7 computer to another, across the Internet and out of network.
    • XP mode is a welcome addition. However, not all processors can support it, including many retail laptops.
  • What is in a Name?
    • Adobe — It came from name of the river Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of founder John Warnock.
    • Apache — It got its name because its founders got started by applying patches to code that was written for NCSA’s server. The result was ‘A Patchy’ server — thus, the name Apache.
    • Apple Computers — Derived from favorite fruit of founder Steve Jobs. He was three months late in filing a name for the business, and he threatened to call his company Apple Computers if the other colleagues didn’t suggest a better name by 5 o’clock.
    • CISCO — Its not an acronymn but the short for San Francisco .
    • Corel — Derived from the founder’s name Dr. Michael Cowpland. It stands for Cowpland Research Laboratory.
    • Google – It was originally named ‘Googol’, a word for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. After founders -Stanford grad students Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project toan angel investor, they received a cheque made out to ‘Google’!
    • Hotmail — Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in mail’ and finally settled for hotmail as it included the letters "html".
    • ORACLE — Larry Ellison and Bob Oats were working on a consulting project for the CIA. The code name for the project was called Oracle. The CIA saw this as the system to give answers to all questions.
    • SUN– Founded by 4 Stanford University buddies, SUN is the acronym for Stanford University Network.
  • Final Hubble Mission
    • Last month marked the 19th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, an orbiting observatory.
    • The telescope has proved remarkably resilient, enduring numerous glitches over the years?from a flawed primary mirror at deployment to a serious electronic failure this past September.
    • Each time, Hubble has held on until astronauts arrived to perform repairs, an operation that is about to take place for the final time by a shuttle crew.
    • On Monday space shuttle Atlantis is slated to lift off on the fifth and final servicing mission to Hubble.
    • Four mission specialists alternating in two-astronaut teams will attempt a total of five spacewalks from Atlantis to replace broken components, add new science instruments, and swap out the telescope’s six 125-pound (57-kilogram) batteries, original parts that have powered Hubble’s night-side operations for nearly two decades.
  • Beware of YouTube on Your Cell Phone
    • Data transfer can be expensive
    • You could have a bill of hundreds of dollars just because you watched a few YouTube video.
    • Get a data plan before you do too much web surfing.
    • Unlimited data usage may cost around $49 per month.
  • Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
    • Ernst and Young announced that Richard Shurtz was a finalist in this years event.
    • Many other great companies are represented.
    • Two interviews so far and a video taping to follow.
    • Winners will be announced June 18.