Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: Steven McConnell Case Finding a Lost iPhone Numerical Weather Prediction Saginaw County Michigan Tracks snow removal trucks with GPS technology Chicago using technology to remove snow, avoid blowing budget Muslim inventions that shaped the World
Email from Arnie: Dear Doctor Shurtz, Do you have any comment about the following article and the administrations plans? How will these changes affect average Internet users? Thanks, Arnie McKechnie Davidsonville, MD
Bradley A. Blakeman, who was a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-2004, teaches public policy and politics and international affairs at Georgetown University.
Just this past spring, within months of Obama’s taking office, his administration, through the Department of Commerce, agreed to relinquish some control over IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) and their governance. The Obama administration has agreed to give greater representation to foreign companies and countries on IANA.
The Obama administration’s actions will set in motion a slow and complete takeover of the Internet by the United Nations or some other equally U.S.-hostile and unfriendly international body. And once it is gone, it will be gone forever.
Tech Talk Responds: Internet governance involves both DNS and IP address. IANA hands numbers. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names) handles the top level domains on the Internet. Things are not out of control, but we must acknowledge the worldwide need for additional IP address and non-English domain names.
Email from Mike: Hi Guys , Here’s one I’m sure all your listeners would like you to comment on – namely how does the new Nexus One compare to the iPhone in terms of security & enterprise integration? Thanks Mike
Tech Talk Responds: The Nexus One has many of the security features that we’ve come to expect. These include:
VPN: Nexus One fully support IPSEC VPN. It supports certificate authentication as well. The certificate store on the phone is kept encrypted for added security. The VPN client supports 3DES and AES crypto.
Wireless Security: Google’s phone supports all of the wireless security features found on your typical laptop client. WPA and WPA2 support with or without certificates is supported. The wireless radio supports 802.11n.
Application sandboxing: An application’s process is a secure sandbox. It can’t disrupt other applications, except by explicitly declaring the permissions it needs for additional capabilities not provided by the basic sandbox.
Corporate enforcement of security settings: Another critical, but missing, enterprise security feature is the ability for companies to enforce phone security settings (screen lock password strength, screen lock timeout, data encryption and remote wipe are most common) on any device that is issued by them or uses one of their services. Nexus One must add this in a subsequent release in order to be taken seriously in the corporate phone space.
Application Signing: Nexus one does require all applications to be signed using certificates in order to run. However, it enforces no requirements that a trusted Certificate authority sign the certificates. Most android applications use self-signed certificates, which are practically worthless. Apple iPhone requires application signing and it issues and revokes the certificates making it a powerful security feature.
Hardware Data Encryption: This is another major security feature that is missing from Nexus One. Enterprises are requiring that any smart phone that hold company data must be encrypted. iPhone and blackberry are examples of phones that do support this necessary feature. Without encryption, any data you store on your phone is retrievable by whoever possesses the phone.
Remote wipe: This feature does not appear anywhere in the Nexus One user guide posted on google.com so I have to assume it is not supported either. Without both encryption and remote data erase features Google will be hard pressed to convince enterprise customers to adopt this phone.
Operating system: The Android operating system is in its infancy and like any new piece of software is likely to be full of security bugs. Bottom line is it’s a mixed bag, less secure in the short term but able to become more secure faster than a close OS can.
All in all the Google Nexus One Phone is ready for primetime as a purely consumer smart phone. For now, I don’t expect to see any corporations handing out the Nexus One to their employees.
Profiles in IT: Steven McConnell Case
Stephen McConnell Case is best knows as the co-founder and former CEO and Chairman of American Online (AOL).
Steve Case was born August 21, 1958 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Case graduated from Punahou School in 1976.
He graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1980 with a degree in political science.
For the next two years he worked as an assistant brands manager Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1982 he joined Pizza Hut Inc. in Wichita, Kansas, serving as manager of new pizza marketing.
In January 1983, he was hired as a marketing consultant for Control Video Corp.
The company was marketing a service called Gameline for the Atari 2600 video game console that allowed users to download games via a phone line and modem.
Later that year, the company nearly went bankrupt.
Frank Caufield, one of the investors, brought in Jim Kimsey as a manufacturing consultant and hired Case as a full-time marketing employee.
In 1985, Case helped found Quantum Computer Services, an online services company, from the remnants of Control Video.
Jim Kimsey became CEO of the newly renamed Quantum Computer Services and promoted Case to vice president of marketing.
In 1987, Kimsey promoted Case again to executive vice president. Kimsey groomed Case to become chairman and CEO when Kimsey retired, and the transition formally took place in 1991 (CEO) and 1995 (chairman).
As part of the changes that gave birth to Quantum, Case changed the company’s strategy, creating an online service called Quantum Link (Q-Link for short) for the Commodore 64 in 1985 with programmer (and AOL co-founder) Marc Seriff.
In 1988, Quantum began offering the AppleLink online service for Apple and PC-Link for IBM compatible computers.
In 1991 he changed the company name to America Online and merged the Apple and PC services under the AOL name.
The new service reached 1 million subscribers by 1994.
After a decade of quick growth, AOL merged with media giant Time Warner.
The $164 billion merger was completed in January 2000 but quickly ran into trouble as part of the dot-com recession, compounded by accounting scandals.
Case announced his resignation as chairman in January 2003, although remained on the company’s board of directors for almost three more years.
Case still defends the merger saying that it was the correct vision, but that the implementation was poorly executed. True merging never occurred.
Case resigned from the Time-Warner board of directors in October 2005.
He founded Revolution LLC (www.revolution.com) in April 2005.
Revolution is a holding company which focuses on multiple consumer market sectors, including Health, Financial Services, Resorts, Living and Digital.
He is chairman of the Case Foundation, which he and his wife Jean created in 1997.
Case accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Finding a Lost iPhone
Track your iPhone via MobileMe
Apple has announced a new service called Find My iPhone that will allow iPhone owners to remotely locate their lost or stolen iPhones using the iPhone’s GPS. The service will be available as part of Apple’s MobileMe online subscription service.
The Find My iPhone feature will require a subscription to Apple’s MobileMe service, which cost $99 per year.
iPhone anti-theft solution – iLocalis
iLocalis lets you track your iPhone device location and also remote control it!
It is considered as the best theft-tracking and remote control utility for Apple iPhone…..but Apple won’t allow the app on iTunes.
iLocalis needs a jailbroken iPhone with Cydia installed and supports all firmware versions on iPhone 3G and 3GS. It is $20/year.
If your iPhone is stolen you can log into the site and check out where it’s at. Extra features built into iLocalis allow you to send text messages or make calls on your iPhone when you don’t even have it with you.
If you iPhone is stolen log in and send yourself a text message. If the thief changed the sim card you’ll have their phone number!
GPS tracking for iPhone with Mobile Spy 3.0
Mobile Spy version 3.0 spy software for Apple iPhone from Retina-X studios allows users to track GPS locations, SMS messages and calls.
Mobile Spy allows users to monitor their handsets in real time and runs in the background behind all other applications.
The Mobile Spy version 3.0 software is compatible with all iPhone models and is priced at $99.97 (1-year subscription).
Find and Recover your Stolen iPhone with iHound
This free security program alerts you when your iphone is connected to another individual’s computer. It will also track down the location of where your device is being used.
The second method can be very useful when the stolen iPhone is switched off and later gets connected to a computer for changing software or formatting the memory card.
Can be download from the App Store for $2.99.
Recover your Lost/Stolen iPhone with Navizon app
Navizon is a hybrid positioning system combining GPS, Wi-Fi and Cellular triangulation techniques. It calculates the geographic location of a wireless device by analyzing the signals from nearby Wi-Fi access points and cellular towers and comparing it against a database of known data points.
A new option called Locate-by-SMS allows you to locate your lost iPhone by just sending an SMS text message to it.
Numerical Weather Prediction
Numerical weather prediction uses current weather conditions as input into mathematical models of the atmosphere to predict the weather.
Although the first efforts to accomplish this were done in the 1920s, it wasn’t until the advent of the computer and computer simulation that it was feasible to do in real-time.
A number of forecast models, both global and regional in scale, are run to help create forecasts for nations worldwide.
Use of model ensemble forecasts helps to define the forecast uncertainty and extend weather forecasting farther into the future than would otherwise be possible.
The atmosphere is a fluid. The basic idea of numerical weather prediction is to sample the state of the fluid at a given time and use the equations of fluid dynamics and thermodynamics to estimate the state of the fluid at some time in the future.
British mathematician Lewis Fry Richardson first proposed numerical weather prediction in 1922. Richardson attempted to perform a numerical forecast but it was not successful.
The first successful numerical prediction was performed in 1950 by a team composed of the American meteorologists Jule Charney, Philip Thompson, Larry Gates, and Norwegian meteorologist Ragnar Fjörtoft and applied mathematician John von Neumann, using the ENIAC digital computer.
They used a simplified form of atmospheric dynamics based on the barotropic vorticity equation. This simplification greatly reduced demands on computer time and memory, so that the computations could be performed on the relatively primitive computers available at the time.
Later models used more complete equations for atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics.
Operational numerical weather prediction (i.e., routine predictions for practical use) began in 1955 under a joint project by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Weather Bureau.
Saginaw County Michigan Tracks snow removal trucks with GPS technology
Anywhere from 40 to 45 trucks make up the fleet of the Saginaw County Road Commission.
You can keep track of them online.
Global positioning software shows you where the trucks are heading and what they’re doing.
A color chart explains a yellow truck is one that is plowing and spreading salt, black is only salting, blue is only plowing, and red means the vehicle is off.
In days like these when the snow is coming down at a rapid rate, the technology helps determine the best plan for snow removal.
Chicago using technology to remove snow, avoid blowing budget
Chicago uses technology to track snow progress.
Sensors on the trucks will tell camera-monitoring supervisors how much salt is being spread, how many tons are still in the truck and whether the blade on a plow is up or down on the street clearing snow.
And by using safety cameras, the city will be able to track the movement of snow plows without putting nearly as many supervisors on the street.
Why the efficiency expert’s approach to snow removal?
The goal is to make the operations more efficient.
Muslim inventions that shaped the World
1001 Inventions" is now an exhibition at London’s Science Museum. The exhibition highlights the contributions of non-Western cultures — like the Muslim empire that once covered Spain and Portugal, Southern Italy and stretched as far as parts of China — to present day civilization.
There’s a hole in our knowledge, we leap frog from the Renaissance to the Greeks," professor Salim al-Hassani, Chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation
Here are the top Muslim inventions contained in this exhibition.
Surgery —Around the year 1,000, the celebrated doctor Al Zahrawi published a 1,500 page illustrated encyclopedia of surgery that was used in Europe as a medical reference for the next 500 years. Among his many inventions, Zahrawi discovered the use of dissolving cat gut to stitch wounds — beforehand a second surgery had to be performed to remove sutures. He also reportedly performed the first caesarean operation and created the first pair of forceps.
Coffee — Now the Western world’s drink du jour, coffee was first brewed in Yemen around the 9th century. In its earliest days, coffee helped Sufis stay up during late nights of devotion. Later brought to Cairo by a group of students, the coffee buzz soon caught on around the empire. By the 13th century it reached Turkey, but not until the 16th century did the beans start boiling in Europe, brought to Italy by a Venetian trader.
Flying machine — "Abbas ibn Firnas was the first person to make a real attempt to construct a flying machine and fly," said Hassani. In the 9th century he designed a winged apparatus, roughly resembling a bird costume. In his most famous trial near Cordoba in Spain, Firnas flew upward for a few moments, before falling to the ground and partially breaking his back. His designed would have been a inspiration for Leonardo di Vinci.
Algebra — The word algebra comes from the title of a Persian mathematician’s famous 9th century treatise "Kitab al-Jabr Wa l-Mugabala" which translates roughly as "The Book of Reasoning and Balancing." Built on the roots of Greek and Hindu systems, the new algebraic order was a unifying system for rational numbers, irrational numbers and geometrical magnitudes.
Optics — the year 1000 Ibn al-Haitham proved that humans see objects by light reflecting off of them and entering the eye, dismissing Euclid and Ptolemy’s theories that light was emitted from the eye itself. This great Muslim physicist also discovered the camera obscura phenomenon, which explains how the eye sees images upright due to the connection between the optic nerve and the brain.
Music — Muslim musicians have had a profound impact on Europe, dating back to Charlemagne tried to compete with the music of Baghdad and Cordoba, according to Hassani. Among many instruments that arrived in Europe through the Middle East are the lute and the rahab, an ancestor of the violin. Modern musical scales are also said to derive from the Arabic alphabet.
Toothbrush — According to Hassani, the Prophet Mohammed popularized the use of the first toothbrush in around 600. Using a twig from the Meswak tree, he cleaned his teeth and freshened his breath. Substances similar to Meswak are used in modern toothpaste.
The crank — Many of the basics of modern automatics were first put to use in the Muslim world, including the revolutionary crank-connecting rod system. By converting rotary motion to linear motion, the crank enables the lifting of heavy objects with relative ease. This technology, discovered by Al-Jazari in the 12th century, exploded across the globe, leading to everything from the bicycle to the internal combustion engine.
Hospitals — The first such medical center was the Ahmad ibn Tulun Hospital, founded in 872 in Cairo. Tulun hospital provided free care for anyone who needed it — a policy based on the Muslim tradition of caring for all who are sick.