Email from James: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I believe it was Meg WHITMAN who ran eBay, not Meg Ryan. Keep up the great work. Thanks. James Messick, Kernersville, NC, AlmostLiveRadio.com
Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for the correction.
Email from Lauren: Dear Dr. Shurtz, Appreciate your discussion on VoIP on the March 20th program. I hope you can shed some further light on OOMA.
In June 2009 I purchased a Ooma Hub at Amazon and never could get a dial tone. Device just never registered w/ OOMA. I returned it to Amazon.
When I had the HUB here and contacted Ooma for help with the installation process, their support told me they needed to be on the phone w/me to ‘get it to work’. That is not an option for me since I don’t have a cell phone and only have my Vonage phone line that I could not use once I’d begun steps to set up the Ooma Hub. I’ve been reconsidering trying this again, as I want to get rid of my monthly Vonage phone bills. I live in Bethesda MD. I have Verizon Fios. Thanks, Lauren
Tech Talk Responds: Ooma has a new improved option, the Ooma Telo. This replaces the old Hub and Scout. I just ordered and installed the Telo without a hitch. I have Verizon Fios and was up and running in about fifteen minutes. I got the Premier Service ($119 per year with porting and an extra line included). . Getting the fax to work was my biggest problem. The key to good voice quality is adequate bandwidth, particularly upstream bandwidth. Quality of Service adjustments is essential if you have high bandwidth users (gamers or MP3 down loaders). They want the unit installed between the router and cable modem so Ooma does QoS…not possible with the integrated unit from Verizon. Port settings on Verizon router are important.
Overall, I am very satisfied. If you don’t need porting or a second phone line, you don’t need Premier….so the ongoing cost will only be $12 per year for telco taxes.
Profiles in IT: Frances Elizabeth Allen
Frances Elizabeth Allen is an American computer scientist and pioneer in the fields of optimizing compilers and computer parallelization.
She follows in the footsteps of Grace Hopper, who wrote the first compiler.
She was born in 1932 and grew up on a small farm in upstate New York.
She graduated from The New York State College for Teachers with a BS degree in mathematics in 1954, trained as a high school mathematics teacher.
She taught high school for two years and went back to school for a Masters.
She earned an MS degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1957 and began teaching school again in Peru, New York.
Deeply in debt, she joined IBM on July 15, 1957 and planned to stay only until her school loans were paid, but ended up staying for her entire 45-year career.
Starting as a programmer at IBM Research in July 1957, her first assignment was to teach the research scientists FORTRAN, which IBM had announced 3 months earlier.
As a member of IBM’s Stretch-Harvest project in the late 1950s early 1960’s, she was one of three designers assigned to the compiler.
Stretch (IBM 7030) was delivered to Los Alamos in 1961 and was at the time considered a failure.
As the language liaison with a project customer, the National Security Agency, she helped design and build Alpha, a very high-level code breaking language.
From 1962 through 1968, she worked on an experimental compiler for IBM’s Advanced Computing System (ACS).
Allen designed and built the machine-independent, language-independent optimizing component of the compiler.
Allen’s seminal paper on Program Optimization first published in April, 1966, described a new framework for implementing program analysis and optimization and described a powerful set of new algorithms.
By partitioning and formalizing the problem space as it did, the work also provided a context for thinking about better solutions.
Allen’s later technical leadership on automatic parallelization projects such as the PTRAN (Parallel Translator) had significant influence on the science and technologies used in parallel systems.
Her technical work and her advocacy for women has been widely recognized.
Allen became the first female IBM Fellow in 1989.
Allen is a fellow of the IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM),
In 1997, Allen was inducted into the WITI Hall of Fame.
She retired from IBM in 2002 and won the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award that year from the Association for Women in Computing.
In 2006 Allen was recognized for her work in high performance computing when she became the first woman to receive A.M. Turing Award.
Allen’s passions are climbing mountains and studying environmental issues.
She’s a member of the American Alpine Club and the Alpine Club of Canada, participating in exploratory expeditions to the Arctic and the Chinese/Tibet border.
Feature of the Week: Jhai Foundation
In 1966, Lee Thorn’s assignment was to load bombs onto planes bound for Laos, a small country west of Vietnam. Countless civilians died in the bombing.
Thorn was tormented by those deaths.
He suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
He did begin healing until he went back to Laos in 1998.
He was welcomed and forgiven and found a way to help the people there.
He wanted to help those who were isolated and poor in the remote regions.
He founded the Jhai Foundation to provide this.
Jhai is a Thai word meaning harmony among people.
Since 1998, his Jhai Foundation has helped Laotians secure medical supplies, build schools, and establish coffee farms and other businesses.
The Jhai PC project has been one of his most successful ventures.
Everyone in Laos wanted better communication, computers, and the Internet.
He requires that a local entrepreneur must come up with a business plan that will employ villagers, maintain the computers, and pay for Internet access and electricity.
Jhai participates in the process, providing business training and support along with classes on how teachers can integrate the computers into local school curricula.
For instance, consider the small Hmong village of Phonsavad in Laos, three hours upriver from the nearest road.
The Jhai PC portal changed village life.
Built to withstand monsoon rains and extreme temperatures and linked to the Web by satellite, the tough computer brings villagers weather reports, current prices for their rice crops and weavings, and contact with relatives living abroad.
Villagers pay to use Skype at the computer centers to talk to their relatives.
It comes with a communications suite that both literate and illiterate villagers can use.
The computer costs about $200 and is powered by a car battery, which is charged by a generator powered by pedaling a stationary bike.
He has also provided computers to 14 schools in Laos, each with a plan to be self supporting.
He is now working on a way to provide medical assistance remote sensors (like a stethoscope) to connect doctors and patients via videoconference and the Internet.
The sale of what is claimed to be the most valuable domain on the Internet, sex.com, has been halted after a creditor forced the company owning it into bankruptcy.
Three companies, apparently under the control of one individual, filed a simultaneous bankruptcy petition against current owners, Escom LLC, citing total debts of just under $10.1 million.
Under Chapter 11 law, a judge will now have to decide the fate of the Escom’s assets, including the sex.com domain.
The domain had been due to be auctioned in New York on March 18, with bidders required to prove they had at least $1 million to enter the fray.
Michael Mann, chairman of the three companies that filed the petition was reported by Domain Name Wire to have been planning the action all along.
There is something about sex.com that refuses to die.
Sex.com, the domain’s early Internet career was engulfed by a dispute between rightful owner, Gary Kremen, and would-be nemesis, Stephen Cohen, accused of stealing it from him in extraordinary circumstances.
Returned to Kremen after a lengthy legal battle, Escom LLC paid him $14 million for it in 2006, the second most money ever paid for an Internet domain.
The domain will be sold on at some stage, but probably not for months at least.