Show of 11-6-2010

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Greg: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I have been a regular listener for 2 years now. I found your podcasts via iTunes pod search. A few weeks ago my wife and I took a trip to my father’s cabin in beautiful Southwestern Colorado. I currently reside in the Dallas / Ft Worth area and the drive is 11 hours one way. I thought "what a perfect opportunity for a tech-talk vacation" while I was driving. I plugged in my iPhone to my auxiliary port and away we went. I can honesty say that the trip seemed to go by very quickly while listening to my back issues and getting caught up on my tech-talk pod casts. Although I cannot same the same for my wife, she gets strange looks on her face when we asks me to explain certain concepts in technology. Her reply is simply "Kaplok", that is her use of a Klingon word meaning "I Don’t Understand." Keep up the good work with the show and tell Jim I said "hello."………..Greg W.
    • Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for the feedback. Great story.
    • Email from Bethesda Fan: Dr. Richard Shurtz, I hope that you know of a tech solution to this situation. These ‘safe’ speed cameras are springing up All Over MD!!!! and I’ve been told More Are Coming!!!I’m sick and tired of getting these citations in the mail. I have gotten three so far.The last one was from a portable camera that is now located about 1 mile from my home.I need a device that alerts me to coming up upon these so that I slow down to the exact speed limit and avoid these citations arriving in my mailbox. Your help is Most Appreciated. Bethesda Fan.
    • Tech Talk Responds: Speed cameras use radar, laser, or time of travel comparisons to operate. They record your license plate with a flash camera. You can get laser or radar detectors, but they are illegal in most states. You can get a spray for the license plate that will glare when flashed to make the number unreadable (Photoblocker).
    • Another approach which is completely legal is to use a GPS device. GPS Angel is a warning device based on database on known locations). This database can be found at www.stopbigbrothermd.org. This site also shows how much revenue is the government is raking in using these cameras.
    • The device must be calibrated daily. Some have gotten out of their tickets by asking for the calibration data which had not been taken over the weekend.
  • Profiles in IT: Brendan Eich
    • Brendan Eich is the computer programmer who created the JavaScript language.
    • Brendan Eich was born in 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    • He received his bachelor’s degree in math and computer science from Santa Clara University and his master’s degree in 1986 from the University of Illinois.
    • Eich started his career at Silicon Graphics, working for seven years on operating system and network code.
    • He then worked for three years at MicroUnity Systems Engineering writing microkernel and DSP code
    • Eich was recruited to Netscape in April 1995, when the company had just 120 employees.
    • At Netscape, Eich has created a programming language called Javascript.
    • Mr. Eich did the initial design work on Javascript in little more than a week in June 1995, as part of a project code-named Mocha — for sweetened Java.
    • The scripting language itself was originally called Livescript, but with Sun Microsystem’s blessing, it was changed to Javascript
    • With Javascript, Web builders can more easily put some basic interactive features into their sites, like validating credit card information on line.
    • The scripting language can also be used to filter data and thus cut down on the number of electronic trips back and forth over the Internet to gather information, performing on-line chores quickly and reducing the waiting time that annoys users.
    • Features written in Javascript were first included in Netscape’s browser last January, for Navigator 2.0.
    • For Netscape, Javascript was a weapon in its struggle against Microsoft, a reason Web developers might choose Netscape’s technology over Microsoft’s.
    • To try to keep pace, Microsoft has developed its answer to JavaScript, a scripting language called Jscript.
    • Brendan maintained the JavaScript engine through Navigator 4.0 and helped carry it through international standardization.
    • While coding at Netscape late into the night, he used to snack on multicolored Sour Gummy Worms candy.
    • Eich helped found the Mozilla Project in early 1998 and served as chief architect.
    • The Mozilla project was created in 1998 with the release of the Netscape browser suite source code that was intended to harness the creative power of thousands of programmers.
    • After several years of development, Mozilla 1.0, the first major version, was released in 2002.
    • When AOL shut down the Netscape browser unit in July 2003.
    • In 2003, Eich helped create the Mozilla Foundation, an independent non-profit organization supported by individual donors and a variety of companies.
    • Firefox 1.0 was released in 2004. In less than a year, Firefox had been downloaded over 100 million times. By 2008, Firefox reached 20% worldwide market share.
    • In August 2005, after serving as Lead Technologist and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mozilla Foundation, Brendan became CTO of the newly founded Mozilla Corporation.
  • New Web Service of the Week: Qwiki.com
    • Web address: www.qwiki.com
    • Now in Beta testing. I just got my new account this week.
    • Qwiki’s goal is to improve the way people experience information.
    • Qwiki is working to deliver information in via storytelling instead of search.
    • Their goal is to turn information into an experience.
    • They believe that just because data is stored by machines, doesn’t mean that it cannot be presented in a more inviting fashion.
    • A quiki is a mult-media presentation about a subject. With all of the data drawn via computer algorithms from the web.
  • Computer World Interview
    • Stratford is one of the leading Universities in the OPT and OPT STEM arena.
    • Computer world was doing a story on the 20th Anniversary of the HIB Visa.
    • We shared our observations about international students and their impact on the US and global economy.
    • International students are the key to maintaining our global edge in innovation, growth, and prosperity. Forcing these grads home is not good for the future.
  • Book of the Week: Cooking for Geeks
    • Real science, great hacks, good food.
    • Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter (Publisher O’Reilly)
      • Think like a Hacker
      • Initialize the Kitchen
      • Your Inputs: Flavors and Ingredients
      • Your Variables: Time and Temperature
      • Air: The Baker’s Key Variable
    • Fun with Hardwaree
    • One Example Lesson
    • Baking Soda: Bicarbonate which needs acids to form CO2. Used when the ingredients are acidic
    • Baking Powder: Baking soda plus acid. Self-contained for CO2 generation. Used when the ingredients are not acidic.
  • Politics In The Social Media Age
    • Three examples of a wired politician
    • Name/Party: Sean Duffy/Republican.
      • About: Former cast member of MTV’s The Real World and district attorney; competitive lumberjack.
      • Race: Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.
      • Website: www.duffyforcongress.com
      • Facebook: More than 7,000 People "like" him.
      • Twitter: More than 11,000 Followers.
      • YouTube video you should see: Get America Rolling.
    • Name/Party: Christine O’Donnell/Republican.
      • About: Former president of the Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth, a nonprofit that promoted chastity among young people.
      • Race: U.S. Senate in Delaware.
      • Website: www.christine2010.com
      • Facebook: More than 27,000 people "like" her.
      • Twitter: More than 10,000 followers.
      • YouTube video you should see: Chris Coons is … Rubber Stamp Man.
    • Name/Party: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand/Democrat.
      • About: Incumbent senator, filling the seat of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
      • Race: U.S. Senate in New York.
      • Website: www.kirstengillibrand.com
      • Facebook: More than 22,000 people "like" her.
      • Twitter: More than 6,000 followers.
      • YouTube video you should see: Kirsten Gillibrand: Made in America.
  • Social Media and Election Reporting
    • Traditional Media
      • The Washington Post – Anyone who was on Twitter over the past few days will have noticed the #Elections promoted trend on their homepage. The Washington Post purchased this trend, making it the first news organization to do so on Twitter.
      • The New York Times – The New York Times created maps and charts that monitored yesterday’s elections that are viewable on the iPad. They also created a Twitter visualization that tracks election talk on the social network.
      • The Wall Street Journal – The Journal did 6 hours of live coverage of the election last night, available online as well as on the iPad.
      • Pollsters – The stats that come out of elections has a new challenger: sentiment analysis. Using real-time data gathered from cell phones and the internet, this is a new, and still un-perfected, way to measure the nation’s feelings towards an election.
    • Social Media
      • Twitter – Twitter itself took an active role in this election. While not covering news, the social network did encourage voters to report their experience at the polling booth using hashtags #votereport and #NYCvotes for those in New York. Twitter users could also post the #ivoted hashtag to encourage their followers to vote.
      • Foursquare – Foursquare took the same angle as Twitter, and used the power of social to get people to vote. It offered an “I Voted” badge to anyone who checked in at a polling booth yesterday, and created a real-time map showing who voted and where.
      • Facebook – Facebook posted to the wall of everyone over 18+ , urging them to vote. It provided a polling location finder.
      • The variety of ways that Twitter was used to monitor voters and the voting process makes it the social network of choice for politics. Users can choose to follow a number of hashtags. Twitter is also useful for sentiment analysis, the pulse of the nation, in real-time. And finally, Twitter Places could be a viable source for mapping voter turnout at the polls.
    • Foursquare did some pretty interesting things with mapping voter turnout, but it needs to grow its userbase in order for the visualization to track more closely to the actual turnout.
    • In the upcoming 2012 presidential election, it will be interesting to see what social media experiments from this election season are upgraded, modified, and implemented.
  • Social Media and the Courtroom
    • Florida has officially banned jurors from tweeting.
    • New jury instructions adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida, which judges will pass along to jurors, instruct them not to discuss the case through electronic communication, such as a blog, Twitter, e-mail, text message, or any other means.
    • An Ohio man convicted of drunk driving unsuccessfully tried to get a new trial after a juror blogged about the case.
    • A New Hampshire juror was caught calling criminal defendants "riff-raff."
    • A judge removed a juror after she reportedly posted on Facebook: "Gonna be fun to tell the defendant they’re guilty."
    • And a Georgia federal judge banned even spectators from sending live updates through Twitter from the courtroom.
    • Until the jury hase reached a verdict, jurors must not talk about the case in person or through the telephone, writing, or electronic communication, such as a blog, Twitter, e-mail, text message, or any other means. D
    • Jurors cannot discuss the case or ask for advice by any means at all, including posting information on an Internet website, chat room or blog.