Show of 10-2-2010

  •  Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Peggy: Dr. Richard Shurtz, Eric Schmidt, Chairman/CEO of Google recently said that Google’s Chrome browser is coming to my TV.
    • But, I just bought a new Sony Bravia TV in Jan. 2009. I hope that I am not going to need another TV have Internet available on my TV. I also own a Sharp Aquos Flat-Panel LCD. Can you please advise if either of these will be able to get Chrome/Internet access. I don’t subscribe to Verizon FiOS TV ( or any TV subscription). I do have FiOS Internet. Thanks, your show keeps me technically enabled. Thanks Peggy
    • Tech Talk Responds: Chrome TV is free plug-in to watch online TV direct from your browser. With more than 3,000 TV channels from all over the world, this is a convenient to watch TV on your computer. All the channels you in one small icon on the browser. No registration needed.
    • Google TV is an open platform for TV-related devices that brings together the best of TV and the best of the web to deliver the premier entertainment experience for the living room. It is built on Android and runs the Google Chrome web browser.
    • Web developers can start taking advantage of the big TV screen as soon as products hit shelves this fall. In the future, the Google TV platform will allow developers to navigate TV content. Android developers will not only have access to most of the Android APIs currently available but also to Google TV-specific API extensions that tap into the power of TV. We will have more details later this year.
    • Google TV devices will go on sale in fall 2010. Google TV is only available pre-installed on Sony TVs and blu-ray players, as well as Logitech companion boxes. Google is hoping to open source the code for the Google TV project next year.
    • Question form Mary: Dear Tech Talk, I recently married and need to change the name on my computer – not just the name of the computer – where do I go to change it? I am using Windows. Thanks, Mary
    • Tech Talk Responds: Changing the Computer Name. Right click on Computer or My Computer, on your desktop or Start menu, and click on Properties. Click on Advanced system settings. In the resulting dialog click on the Computer Name tab. Click on the Change… button. Enter your new computer name, and press OK. The change may not take effect until your next reboot.
    • Changing Your Login Account Name. In Control Panel, click on User Accounts. Click on Change your account name. Enter a new name and press Change Name to change it.
    • Not everything is changed. The subdirectory name in the Users subdirectory is not changed. This folder contains My Documents, my start menu, desktop and all my other account-specific information. Even if you change your login name to something completely different, that folder name will not change.
    • The only way I know of to change this name is to create a new account with the new name, move whatever data and settings you might want to preserve from one account to the other, and then delete the old account. The other option is to reinstall Windows from scratch and use the new name from the start. I recommend that you leave the folder name alone.
  • Profiles in IT: Carol Ann Bartz
    • Carol Ann Bartz is the President and CEO of Yahoo.. She was previously Chairman, President, and CEO at Autodesk.
    • Bartz was born August 29, 1948 in Winona, Minnesota.
    • Her mother died when she was eight years old.
    • For the next four years, Bartz cared for her younger brother, Jim. Each day, she would drop him off at the babysitters on her way to elementary school.
    • At age 12, she and her brother were rescued by their grandmother, who raised them  on a dairy farm near Alma, Wisconsin.
    • During high school Bartz was made homecoming queen and was a majorette.
    • She was one of only two girls in her school to take physics and advanced math.
    • While in high school, she worked as a bank teller.
    • She received a BS in computer science from the University of Wisconsin in 1971.
    • While in college, she supported herself as a cocktail waitress.
    • Bartz joined 3M in 1972 as the only woman professional in a division of 300 men.
    • She left after her request to transfer to the headquarters was denied because women don’t do these jobs.
    • She then moved to Digital Equipment where she was promoted to sales manager.
    • From 1983 to 1992, she served in a number of positions at Sun Microsystems, including as VP of Worldwide Field Operations and as an executive officer.
    • In 1992, at age 43, Bartz took the position of CEO for Autodesk, Inc., a computer-aided software design company with average earnings of $300 million.
    • During her 14-year reign as CEO, she turned Autodesk into a software giant earning more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue in 2008
    • According to Forbes, Bartz "transformed Autodesk from an aimless maker of PC software into a leader of computer-aided design software, targeting architects and builders."
    • She is credited with instituting and promoting Autodesk’s "3F" or "fail fast-forward" concept — the idea of molding a company to risk failure in some missions, but to be resilient and move on quickly when failure occurs.
    • On January 13, 2009, Bartz was named CEO of Yahoo!, succeeding co-founder Jerry Yang.
    • In May 2009, Reuters reported that she had already "worked through an impressive checklist" at her new company, "upending the organizational structure, replacing executives and cutting costs including 675 jobs, or 5 percent of the workforce."
    • She has forged search, social media, and content partnerships.
      • Microsoft Bing to compete with Google search.
      • Zynga and Facebook to compete in the social networking space.
      • Zillow in real estate, Healthline in health, Zynga in games, Match.com in personals and Monster in jobs that should enhance content.
    • At her one year mark at Yahoo in January 2010, Bartz gave herself a "B-" grade.
    • Bartz is a survivor of a 1992 bout with breast cancer.
    • She is married to Bill Marr, a former executive at Digital Equipment Corporation and Sun Microsystems.
  • iPad spends 20% of time in bed
    • Among the interesting stats turned up by a new study of iPad usage is that 20 per cent of users’ iPad time is spent in bed, according "iPad Owner Study." by the NPD Group.
    • 63 per cent of iPad owners are under 35 — significantly younger than owners of an Amazon Kindle or the study’s representative netbook.
    • A full 80 percent of early adopters identified themselves as "very satisfied" with their purchase, a figure that dropped to 65 per cent for those who waited.
    • Those early adopters currently use their iPads more than 18 hours per week.
    • Early adopters, like iPad owners … purchase products because they want them, not because they need them.
    • Among the early iPad adopters, 50 per cent owned Macs; among later buyers, that number dropped to 45 per cent.
    • The study also weighed in on the ongoing controversy over whether iPad sales are cannibalizing PC sales — NPD says the effect is minimal.
    • According to the report, only 13 percent of iPad owners surveyed bought an iPad instead of a PC, while 24 percent replaced a planned e-reader purchase with an iPad.
  • FBI uncovers cyber crime ring
    • The investigation started when the FBI noticed a pattern of suspicious bank transactions in Omaha
    • The FBI says it has cracked a major international cyber crime network after more than 90 suspected members of the ring were arrested in the US.
    • The suspects worked as so-called mules for fraudsters based in Eastern Europe who hacked into US computers to steal around $70m.
    • More people were detained in Ukraine and the UK, local police said.
    • The FBI said the arrests were part of "one of the largest cyber criminal cases we have ever investigated".
    • Most of those arrested in the US were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering, a US Attorney said.
    • They are suspected of acting as go-betweens or mules by providing bank accounts for an elaborate cyber crime scheme.
    • Hackers in Eastern Europe would use spam email to infect computers of small businesses and individuals in the US with a virus known as Zeus.
    • The unnamed hackers were then able to to access users’ online passwords and bank account details and used them to transfer money to the bank accounts provided by the go-betweens in the US.
    • The crime ring attempted to steal around $220m, the FBI added.
    • The arrests were the result of an international operation that kicked off in Omaha in May 2009 when FBI agents noticed a row of suspicious bank transactions.
    • Law enforcement agencies in the US, Ukraine, the Netherlands and the UK were also involved in the investigation.
    • Police in the UK arrested 19 people suspected members of the ring.
    • In Ukraine, police arrested five people suspected of directing the scheme, the FBI said.
  • Zeus (trojan horse)
    • Zeus (also known as Zbot, PRG, Wsnpoem, Gorhax and Kneber) is a Trojan horse that steals banking information by keystroke logging.
    • Zeus is spread mainly through drive-by downloads and phishing schemes.
    • First identified in July 2007 when it was used to steal information from the United States Department of Transportation, it became more widespread in March 2009.
    • In June 2009, security company Prevx discovered that Zeus had compromised over 74,000 FTP accounts on websites of such companies as the Bank of America, NASA, Monster, ABC, Oracle, Cisco, Amazon, and BusinessWeek.
    • Zeus’ current botnet is estimated to include millions of compromised computers (around 3.6 million in the United States).
    •  As of October 28, 2009 Zeus has sent out over 1.5 million phishing messages on Facebook.
    • It is still active in 2010. On July 14, 2010, security firm Trusteer filed a report which says that the credit cards of more than 15 unnamed US banks have been compromised.
  • Authenticated Phone Numbers for Craigslist Revisited
    • Craigslist required all phone numbers for services to be authenticated.
    • You must provide your phone number, they will call or text a five digit number. You must enter that number into Craigslist to authenticate your number.
    • The service is run by ReduceFraud.com
    • They will not authenticate portable numbers that are not tied to a particular address.
      • Many VoIP numbers are not authenticated.
      • No pre-paid cellular numbers are authenticated.
    • I checked my number which was ported from Verizon when I got VoIP. It was authenticated without a problem because it is part of the Verizon block.
    • Any numbers which are part of the Level3 block (as are most of the portable VoIP numbers) are not authenticated. There is no work around. This is necessary to prevent fraudsters from other countries to appear to be from the US.
  • Texting Laws Don’t Prevent Crashes
    • Texting bans for drivers don’t reduce crashes, according to a new study released today by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
    • The study found that texting bans are associated with a slight increase in the frequency of insurance claims filed under collision coverage.
    • Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all. In fact, crashes increased in 3 of the 4 states after bans were enacted.
    • It’s an indication that texting bans might even increase the risk of texting for drivers who continue to do so despite the laws.
    • Noncompliance is a likely reason texting bans aren’t reducing crashes.
    • The study suggests that better technologies might be one way to reduce accidents if drivers are going to text regardless of state laws.
    • The report cites research done at the University of Glasgow that found a sharp decrease in crash likelihood when participants switched from head-down to head-up displays.
    • This suggests that it might be more hazardous for a driver to text from a device that’s hidden from view on the lap or vehicle seat.
    • Wireless phone subscriptions numbered 286 million as of December 2009, up 47 percent from 194 million in June 2005.
    • Text messaging is increasing, too. It went up by about 60 percent in one year alone, from 1 trillion messages in 2008 to 1.6 trillion in 2009.