Show of 10-30-2010

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Facebook Comment by Max Minn: Last month, you had a guest on, to talk about net neutrality. He raised some interesting aspects of the debate. So, I"d like to suggest more talk about net neutrality. Also, keep talking about the Google Tv developments It’d be kewl to see the cable oligopolies get some competition!
    • Oh, and what do you think about Google’s testing of Broadband networks? Will they become an ISP?
    • Tech Talk Answers: Google broadband. Google is planning to build, and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country. They will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. They will offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000, and potentially up to 500,000 people.
    • Their goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better, and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that we have in mind:
      • Next generation applications
      • New deployment techniques
      • Openness and choice
    • The purpose of this project is to experiment and learn. They do not intend to become an ISP….but rather to help ISPs to improve.
    • Net Neutrality. Net neutrality supports the idea that all traffic on the Internet should travel at the same speed. The FCC has proposed that all broadband service providers treat all Web traffic equally.
    • But the Republicans contend that this would eliminate the financial incentives for upgrading the networks and would impede innovation. The Democrats disagree.
    • The public interest groups fear that a Republican-dominated Congress could stall or weaken any new rules on net neutrality.
    • The new Congress has to sort out what to do about net neutrality because it’s left too much uncertainty in the market. The FCC wants to prevent Internet service providers from blocking Web applications or slowing the transmission of Web sites. It is unclear if those rules would apply to wireless networks and companies such as Verizon and Google, which want network carriers to be able to charge companies willing to pay for faster channels on their networks.
    • A federal appeals court decision last spring on a sanction against broadband provider Comcast put the FCC’s power to regulate broadband services in doubt.
    • The FCC is also trying another tactic to assert FCC oversight of broadband — reclassifying it as a telecom service, thereby making it subject to some of the stricter regulations applied to telephone companies. That plan has drawn fierce criticism from some of the nation’s largest broadband providers
    • The final outcome may depend on the ultimate White House strategy" on net neutrality.
    • Email from Alex: Dear Tech Talk, I stream a radio station all day. I use Internet Explorer 8. I have an E-Machine that is 1 year old. Everything works fine for about 8-9 hours, then without warning it stops streaming. Any idea what causes this? Thanks, Alex.
    • Tech Talk Responds: Memory leakage is the culprit and there is nothing you can do about, except make certain that you have the latest version of your media player.Your computer has a certain amount of memory in it. The amount of RAM you have installed, and the size of the paging file defines how much memory is available.
    • When a program runs, it requires memory, not only for the program instructions but for any data on which it might operate. Windows manages the memory in your system by handing it out to running programs as they request it, and then returning it to the pool of available memory when they’re done with it.
    • A memory leak happens when a program asks for memory repeatedly, but forgets to tell Windows it’s done with the memory. It asks for more and more memory to use for itself until there’s no more to be had.Media players are notorious for memory leaks. Lots of programs may well have memory leaks, but it’s immaterial because when the program exits Windows cleans up everything that they had asked for, whether they released it or not.
  • Profiles in IT: Eric Paul Allman
    • Eric Paul Allman developed sendmail while at US Berkeley. Sendmail is the most widely used Mail Transfer Agent (MTA), delivering over 70% of email today.
    • Eric Allman was born September 2, 195 in El Cerrito, California.
    • Allman knew from an early age that he wanted to work in computing, breaking into his high school’s mainframe and later using the UC Berkeley computing center for his computing needs.
    • In 1973, he entered UC Berkeley, just as the UNIX operating system began to become popular in academic circles.
    • He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from UC Berkeley in 1977 and 1980 respectively.
    • As the UNIX source code was available at Berkeley, the local hackers quickly made many extensions to the AT&T code.
    • The UNIX extension delivermail was transformed into sendmail in 1981.
    • As an MTA (Mail Transfer Agent), it was designed to deliver e-mail over the still relatively small ARPANET, which consisted of many smaller networks with vastly differing formats for e-mail headers.
    • Sendmail soon became an important part of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) and continues to be the most widely used MTA on Unix based systems today
    • Allman was an early contributor to Berkeley UNIX, authoring syslog, tset, the troff -me macros, and trek in addition to sendmail.
    • After graduation, Allman has contributed as a senior developer at the International Computer Science Institute to neural network systems design.
    • For several years, he has co-authored the "C Advisor" column for UNIX Review.
    • Prior to 1998, Allman served as CTO for Sift, Inc., now part of 24/7 Media, Inc.
    • In 1998, with $6M in VC funding, Allman founded Sendmail, Inc., to work on improving sendmail. Allman serves as the CTO.
    • The company’s website address is: www.sendmail.com
    • He continues to spearhead sendmail.org, the global team of volunteers that maintain and support the sendmail Open Source platform.
    • Allman is currently a leader of the movement to adopt an international standard for Sender Domain Authentication.
    • Allman co-authored the draft specification for DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and submitted it to the Internet Engineering Task Force
    • He was awarded the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in August.
    • 2009 he was recognized as a Distinguished Engineer by the Association for Computing Machinery.
    • He was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of USENIX Association and is currently a member of the ACM Queue Editorial Review Board.
    • Allman, who is openly gay, lives in Berkeley, California with his partner of more than 30 years, Marshall Kirk McKusick, a lead developer of BSD.
    • Well known quotes: There is some sort of perverse pleasure in knowing that it’s impossible to send a piece of hate mail through the Internet without its being touched by a gay program. That’s kind of funny
    • We did not anticipate the security needs. Authentication should just be built in."
  • Firesheep Captures Account Information
    • The free Firefox extension collects cookies that have been broadcast over an unprotected WiFi network without using SSL.
    • You turn it on, it collects cookies for Facebook, Twitter, and 24 other sites (by default).
    • Then, you can sidejack the account and gain access under the acquired identity.
    • You simply need the latest version of Firefox installed on your computer.
    • Download the add-on from codebutler.com.
    • Go to view/sidebar/firesheep.
    • Click the begin capturing button.
    • Anyone whose been to a Starbucks knows that a lot of people mindlessly refresh Facebook while sipping on their lattes.
    • No matter how many security measures we provide to the world, there will always be people who leave the door open.
    • The weakest link in security has been, and always will be, the user’s judgement.
    • The best way to protect yourself from session capture by Firesheep
      • Log into any secure accounts using public Wi-Fi while unencrypted (email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Online Banking, etc.)
      • Use an encrypted VPN link to a proxy server if you must log into a secure account.
      • Encrypted proxy services are available for around $30 per year.