Show of 2-5-2011

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Comment of Facebook from Ronald Glassford: Hello Tech Talk Radio. I listen to your podcast and enjoy the show very much. I am surprised but happy to be the first to post to your Facebook page. I would love to win a meal in your award winning dining room but being in Northern Ontario Canada the free meal would be very expensive for me. Since you are looking for discussion ideas I would love to hear your option of the Android OS and how it is developing. I held off on a iPad for Christmas this year because I wanted to see how other tablets would go.
    • Tech Talk Respond: Thanks for posting to Facebook. Great idea to talk about Android since Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) for tablets was just announced. Will get to that later in the show.
    • Email from Lauren: Dr. Richard Shurtz, Why is it when I go to YouTube and try and watch videos, many of them have significant pauses/stops during viewing. What is causing this? Is it something about my laptop or is this a YouTube site issue? Thanks, Lauren in Bethesda
    • Tech Talk Responds: Lauren, it is not your laptop or YouTube, it your Internet connection. You cannot download files at the rate that the video is streaming. So your systems buffers (stores data in advance), then plays until the buffer is empty, then buffers again. You can watch lower resolution videos or get a faster connection.
    • Email from Allen: Dear Tech Talk, should I include the "www" when linking to my web site? Allen
    • Tech Talk Responds: Most sites allow for both options. In the case of Stratford’s site, both http://stratford.edu and http://www.stratford.edu will work. The prefix dates back to the beginning when the same domain name would be directed to different servers and www would send it to the web server.
    • Email from Eileen: I am giving away my computer. How can I clean off all personal information and software before giving it away? Thanks, Eileen
    • Tech Talk Responds: Delete and uninstall as much as you can. Delete your data files and uninstall your programs.
      • For your data files, that means removing things from My Documents and wherever else you happen to keep data files.A good start for programs is to take a walk through the Add/Remove programs application in the Control Panel and just start uninstalling.
      • Remove All Login Users but Administrator
      • Clean up the disk. Run the built-in Disk Cleanup Utility or better yet use CCleaner (a free download).
      • Set your virtual memory to zero and delete the paging file
      • Turn off Hibernation, and remove the hibernation file.
      • Turn off System Restore.
      • Secure Erase the Empty Space using a tool like SDelete
    • The most secure way: erase the entire hard drive using secure erase and reinstall the OS.
  • Profiles in IT: Andrew Rubin
    • Andrew Rubin is the developer behind the Android OS for mobile devices.
    • Mr. Rubin grew up in Chappaqua, N.Y., the son of a psychologist who later founded his own direct-marketing firm, selling electronic gadgets which Rubin would try.
    • Andy Rubin attended Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, NY
    • He earned a BS in computer science from Utica College in New York.
    • After college he worked for Carl Zeiss, as a robot engineer and moved to Switzerland.
    • A chance encounter in the Cayman Islands brought him back to the US.
    • Walking on the beach there very early one morning in 1989, he Bill Caswell, sleeping on the beach. He had been evicted from his cottage after a fight with a girlfriend.
    • Rubin gave him a place to stay. Caswell offered him a job at Apple, which he accepted. He started Apple in 1989 as an engineer.
    • Rubin got into trouble with IT department after he reprogrammed the company’s internal phone system to make it appear as if calls were coming from the CEO.
    • In 1990, Apple spun off a unit that was exploring hand-held computing and communications devices into a separate entity called General Magic.
    • Rubin joined the new company two years later, where he thrived in total immersion.
    • He and several other engineers built loft beds above their cubicles so they could live at the office and work around the clock developing Magic Cap, an OS for handhelds.
    • It was ahead of its time. Just a handful of manufacturers and telecoms adopted it
    • When Magic Cap failed, Rubin joined Artemis Research, founded by Steve Perlman, which became WebTV and was eventually acquired by Microsoft.
    • Rubin left WebTV in 1999. He rented a retail store he called “the laboratory” in Palo Alto, populating it with robots, as a clubhouse for Rubin and his engineer friends.
    • They decided to make a device that cost less than $10 and allowed users to scan objects and perform an Internet lookup. No VCs were interested.
    • Then Rubin’s team, now called Danger Inc., added a radio receiver and transmitter. They pitched it as an Internet smartphone called the Sidekick. They got VC support.
    • In early 2002, Mr. Rubin gave a talk on the development of the Sidekick to an engineering class at Stanford. Larry Page and Sergey Brin attended the lecture. It was the first time they had met Mr. Rubin. Google was the default search engine.
    • In 2003, Rubin was ousted as CEO by the Board. Probably evil VC influence.
    • Using a domain name that he had owned for several years, Android.com, he started a new business and assembled a small team of engineers and product planners.
    • Their goal was to design a mobile hand-set open to any and all software designers.
    • Mr. Rubin spent all his savings on that project. He called his friend Mr. Perlman from Magic Cap and told him he was broke. Perlman ultimately lent him $100K.
    • This time, VC loved the idea. But Larry Page at Google found out about the company and within weeks, Google acquired Android for an undisclosed sum in 2005.
    • He is currently VP of Engineering at Google, where he is overseeing development of Android, an open-source operating system for smartphones.
    • Rubin says Google business model was a perfect match to Android. He probably would have failed selling the software.
    • His front door has a retinal scanner. If the scanner recognizes you, the door unlocks.
    • His doorbell is a robotic arm which grips a mallet and then strikes a large gong.
  • Honeycomb: The New Android 3.0
    • Google’s tablet-ready mobile OS Android 3.0, Honeycomb, has arrived.
    • It includes camera support, improved navigation, graphics and a new Android Market for apps.
    • Honeycomb will be all about tablets. Google said it is working to bring Honeycomb to smartphones as we speak.
    • The first device to offer Honeycomb, the Motorola Xoom, is scheduled to arrive in late February.
    • The Motorola Xoom features a 10.1-inch display at 1,280-by-800 resolution, dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage and SD card slot.
    • Onscreen widgets that let you quickly access data without launching an application. The Gmail and Calendar widgets are scrollable, letting you have a snapshot view of your mail or appointments.
    • You can quickly scroll your video or Google Books collections using Cover Flow-like widgets that show images.
    • Honeycomb tablet devices won’t have any physical buttons. Instead, navigation will be handled using software buttons located on a system bar at the bottom of the tablet.
    • The action bar is a customizable menu that applications can place at the top of the screen. It can include common tasks such as compose, star or delete for e-mail.
    • Google has created a new graphics engine for Honeycomb called RenderScript to allow for hardware acceleration for 2D and 3D graphics and improved animations.
    • Gmail video chat will be available Honeycomb, but will obviously require a Webcam built-in to the tablet. Google says it has also built image stabilization into video chat.
    • Honeycomb has password-protected full hard drive encryption, a move designed to appeal to enterprise users.
    • Google has finally released a browsable Web-based version of the Android Market that is accessible from any browser.
    • Android 3.0 will include a few tools from Chrome including tabbed browsing, bookmark sync and incognito mode.
  • Verizon iPhone is finally here
    • On the plus side: The Verizon iPhone 4 offers a hot-spot feature not available on AT&T’s device. Network performance was better in most regards.
    • On the minus side: The Verizon iPhone 4 lacks world roaming and the ability to access voice and data simultaneously. It supports only 3G networks.
    • First off, the Verizon iPhone 4 is nearly identical to its AT&T counterpart.
    • Verizon’s network offers discernable improvements over AT&T’s. The data speeds were faster most of the time, PC Mag had more success with placing calls in problem areas, and the calls connected faster.
    • Verizon will match AT&T’s pricing, which is $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB version.
    • You can get it only in black for now, though the elusive white model is due later this spring.
    • Verizon will offer a $30 unlimited data plan to start, but it likely to switch to tiered data plans in the near future.
    • It’s the same size and weight (4.5 inches tall by 2.3 inches wide by 0.37 inch deep; 4.8 ounces), it has nearly identical external features, and you’ll find that gorgeous Retina Display
    • To accommodate the CDMA antenna, the ringer mute switch on the left side has been moved slightly closer to the volume controls.
    • On the right side, the SIM card slot has vanished.
    • With the hotspot feature, you can establish the connection through and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a USB cable or up to five devices. The feature will cost an additional $20 per month.
    • For that price you’re limited to 2GB per month, after which you’ll pay $20 for each additional gigabyte.
    • You’ll get the 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, front-facing VGA camera, Bluetooth, digital compass, e-mail and messaging, iPod player, voice control, voice memo recorder, assisted GPS and Google Maps, Safari browser, access to apps and media through iTunes, and FaceTime over Wi-Fi.
    • The Verizon iPhone has the same camera features as the AT&T version.
  • Egypt Internet Ban: 5 Ways the Protesters Beat It
    • When the Egyptian shut down the Internet, enterprising methods were used to get online again. Egypt was restored the Internet by February 2.
    • Speak to Tweet
      • The most widely publicized effort against the Egyptian Internet ban is a Google, Twitter and SayNow collaboration called Speak to Tweet.
      • Anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voice mail on one of these international phone numbers and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt.
      • No Internet connection is required. People can also call specific phone numbers to listen to the tweets, or visit the @speak2tweet Twitter feed.
      • This service came online February 1st.
    • Dial-up
      • International numbers to connect through this seemingly outdated method of accessing the Internet are circulating throughout Egypt, thanks to Net activists such as We Re-Build and Telecomix.
      • The dial-up numbers allowed users to hop back on the Internet.
    • Social media dashboards
      • Vancouver, Canada-based tech company HootSuite, which offers a third-party social media dashboard application for posting on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, reported a sevenfold increase in Egyptian subscriptions during January.
    • VPNs and proxy servers
      • Virtual private networks and proxy servers, both of which provide secure remote access to external networks, are being set up to facilitate Internet use in Egypt.
    • Word of Mouth
      • The Egyptians are using old-fashioned word-of-mouth. They get on a motorbike or car and go to the next neighborhood and arrange things.
  • Vodafone network ‘hijacked’ by Egypt
    • Mobile phone firm Vodafone has accused the Egyptian authorities of using its network to send unattributed text messages supporting the government.
    • Vodafone was told to switch off services last week when protests against President Hosni Mubarak began.
    • But the authorities then ordered Vodafone to switch the network back on, in order to send messages under Egypt’s emergency laws, the firm said.
    • In a statement, Vodafone described the messages as unacceptable.
      • These messages are not scripted by any of the mobile network operators and we do not have the ability to respond to the authorities on their content.
    • The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says that the government clampdown on internet services may have cost the Egyptian economy as much as $18m (£11m) a day or $90m in total.
    • The impact of the communications block could be even greater, as it would be "much more difficult in the future to attract foreign companies and assure them that the networks will remain reliable", said the OECD in a statement.
  • IP v4 Has Run Address Space Exhausted
    • The five last blocks of IP addresses, each with 16.8 million addresses, were to be distributed on Thursday by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to regional registries around the world.
    • The regional groups distribute the addresses to Internet service providers and websites. The system now in use, called Internet Protocol version 4, has been around since the 1980s.
    • While experts have known for years that the numbers would one day be depleted, their end is pressuring websites and service providers to move more quickly on technology to create more numbers.
    • As the 4.3 billion version 4 numbers run out, service providers will give out IPv6 numbers, although only about 2 percent of websites now support it.
    • Those few sites are among the most-visited sites like Google and Facebook, AP said.
    • Several technologies "translate" version 4 addresses to version 6, but they haven’t been widely tested, which could lead to slow Web surfing.
    • Version 4 addresses have run out largely due to so many Internet-equipped phones being used around the world and more Internet use in Asia.
    • Two of the last seven version 4 blocks were given to the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre on Tuesday.
    • That triggered a rule that requires IANA to distribute the final five blocks, one to each of the regional Internet registries around the world.
    • Curran said that if everything goes as planned, Web users won’t notice any changes.