Show of 3-5-2011

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Ron: Dear Dr. Shurtz: In case you missed the New York Times article a couple of weeks ago, you may appreciate the Escoffier references on the second page, along with the tasty slide show. By the way, much as I enjoy your information-packed weekly broadcast, I wish you would correct the promo that begins with "According to the US Bureau of Labor."  The what?  As far as I know, no such entity has existed by that name since 1913, when President Taft signed the bill establishing the cabinet-level US Department of Labor on his last day in office. The actual identity of your source is probably the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment data unit of the USDL. Cheers, Ron Krieger.
    • Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for the email and the Escoffier reference. We will let our marketing department know about the sourcing discrepancy.
    • Email from Howard: Dear Tech Talk. I was checking my router’s configuration noticed that I have dozens of port forwarding entries marked Teredo? Has a virus or spybot put these there? What should I do? Thanks, Howard.
    • Tech Talk Responds: These entries are fine. In computer networking, Teredo is a transition technology that allows mutual access between IPv6 hosts and those hosts on the IPv4 Internet which have no direct native connection to an IPv6 network. Compared to other similar protocols its distinguishing feature is that it is able to perform its function even from behind network address translation (NAT) devices such as home routers. The Teredo protocol is a platform independent tunneling protocol designed to provide IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) connectivity by encapsulating IPv6 packets within IPv4 User Datagram Protocol (UDP) giving datagrams that can be routed through NAT devices and on the IPv4 Internet.Other Teredo nodes elsewhere called Teredo relays that have access to the IPv6 network then receive the packets and route them on.Teredo is intended to be a temporary measure: in the long term, all IPv6 hosts should use native IPv6 connectivity. Teredo should therefore be disabled when IPv6 connectivity becomes available.
    • Email from Seema: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I use Skype and I don’t want my family to see my chat history. How can I delete it? I love your show. You and Jim Russ do a good job. Seema
    • Tech Talk Responds: You can delete all of your Skype history by going to Tools/Options/Privacy. You should see a button called Clear History. This will clear all chat, phone, and download history from Skype. There is a drop down menu that can be used to disable all history in the future, so you don’t have to worry about being discovered.
    • Email from Angelica: Dear Tech Talk, I would like to control what my children can see on the Internet. What are my options? I am using Windows Vista at home. Thanks, Angelica.
    • Tech Talk Respond: You have three options that you might consider.
      • First, you can configure your home Router (or Firewall) for Parental controls. This will allow you block certain sites and even to create allowed times. You can even block Internet access for a particular computer.
      • Second, you can configure filtering within the browser. If you are using IE, go to Tools/Internet Options. Select the Content Tab. In the Content Advisor section, select Enable. You can password protect this selection. You can choose content filters or simply block specific websites. They can, of course, just download another browser and do what they want.
      • Third, you can block particular sites using the hosts file in your Windows operating system. Using notepad, open Windowssystem32driversetchosts. On the bottom line of the file (underneath 127.0.0.1 local host), type :127.0.0.1 www.blocksite.com. Save the file with any extension. Do not use http:// in front of the web address. This will block the site of any browser.
  • Profiles in IT: Leila Chirayath Janah
    • Leila Chirayath Janah is the founder of Samasource, a business that connects people living in poverty to microwork or small, computer-based tasks that that build skills and generate income.
    • She was born in 1983 in Buffalo, NY to parents who had emigrated from India.
    • She grew up in Los Angeles had heard many stories about poverty in India.
    • At the age of 16, she won a college scholarship from a local tobacco company.
    • She was able to convince its executives to let her use the money to spend six months teaching in Ghana. She wanted to learn more about poverty in the developing world.
    • Janah taught 60 rural high school students, who shared three textbooks.
    • She wondered how a country so rich in human capital could be so poor.
    • She graduating from Harvard in 2004 with a degree in African culture.
    • She led the Harvard International Development Group and published a paper on the Rwandan genocide.
    • Along with Professors Thomas Pogge and Aidan Hollis, she founded Incentives for Global Health and helped produce a plan for incentivizing the development of new drugs for neglected diseases.
    • She worked briefly at the World Bank doing research and later at Katzenbach Partners as an outsourcing consultant.
    • She realized that she could get work to developing countries via outsourcing.
    • In 2009 she founded Samasource, a non-profit corporation. “Sama" means "equal" in Sanskrit.
    • The organization’s mission is to bring micro-work – as opposed to micro-credit – to women, youth, and refugees living in poverty around the world.
    • Janah describes Samasource as a marriage between Silicon Valley technology and poor people that creates a compelling value proposition for customers who send work assignments to the firm.
    • Micro-work is defined as small digital tasks that can be performed on inexpensive computers and smart phones from anywhere by anyone.
    • Janah says employing the world’s poor this way is feasible because of several trends, including the rise in global literacy and a growing access to technology.
    • Janah believes that the lack of work in the developing world represents the biggest threat to global stability. Youth without hope are exploited by the terrorists.
    • Funding her new company has been difficult. She stayed with friends for six months.
    • Two years ago her project was selected for the Facebook Fund Incubator Program.
    • Facebook connected her with many technologists who helped develop the platform and locate 80K in angel financing.
    • She then received grants from the Rockefeller and Templeton Foundations.
    • She now has more than 600 micro-workers and 18 companies providing work.
    • Leila is a recipient of the Rainer Arnhold and TEDIndia Fellowships, and serves on the San Francisco board of the Social Enterprise Institute.
    • Samasource website: http://www.samasource.com/
    • Her personal website: http://leilajanah.com/
    • Her Social Edge blog: http://www.socialedge.org/blogs/samasourcing
    • Her twitter account: http://twitter.com/leila_c
  • Tech Moment from History: First Webcam
    • The Trojan room coffee pot was the inspiration for the world’s first webcam.
    • The coffee pot was located in the Trojan Room, within the old Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge.
    • The webcam was created to help people working in other parts of the building avoid pointless trips to the coffee room by providing a live picture of the state of the coffee pot.
    • The camera was installed on a local network in 1991 using a video capture card on an Acorn Archimedes.
    • Employing the X Window System protocol, Quentin Stafford-Fraser wrote the client software and Paul Jardetzky wrote the server
    • When web-browsers gained the ability to display images in March 1993, it was clear this would be an easier way to make the picture available.
    • The camera was connected to the Internet in November 1993 by Daniel Gordon and Martyn Johnson.
    • It therefore became visible to all Internet users and grew into a popular landmark of the early web.
    • At 0954 UTC on 22 August 2001 the camera was finally switched off and the pot (actually the fourth or fifth seen on-line) was auctioned on eBay for around $5450 to Spiegel Online.
  • iPad 2 is Official
    • The iPad 2 is 33 percent thinner than its predecessor and a little lighter.
    • iPad 2 features a 1GHz dual-core A5 chip.
    • It includes Apple’s iOS 4.3
    • It has two cameras, both on the front and rear.
      • 720p video recording at 30fpsfrom the rear-facing camera, which also has 5x digital zoom
      • The front-facing imager will record at VGA resolution at 30fps.
    • The new CPU twice as fast, with graphics performance up to nine times better than on the original iPad.
    • Same 1024 x 768 resolution and IPS LCD screen technology as on the original iPad.
    • Power requirements have been kept the same so battery life is unaltered (10 hours).
    • The new tablet will come with an HDMI output capable of 1080p using a USB $39 USB dongle.
    • Enlarged speaker grille on the back.
    • There’s a new cover for the device, a magnetic flap that protects the front and automatically wakes and puts the device to sleep based on whether it’s open or closed.
    • Pricing is the same: starting at $499 for a 16GB WiFi-only iPad 2, up to $829 for a WiFi + 3G with 64GB of storage.
    • It will be available on both AT&T and Verizon and start shipping March 11.
  • Apple Thinks Ecosystem, Not Just Tablet
    • What’s the key to Apple being able to bring out a $500 tablet.
    • First, the combination of Apple’s 300+ retail stores and its online Apple Store means that the company sells a huge chunk of its iPads directly to its customers.
    • Second, designing in-house means Apple doesn’t have to pay licensing fees to third parties to use their intellectual property. For instance, the A4 chip inside the iPad is based on technology developed and owned by Apple (not Intel, AMD or Nvidia). The operating system is Apple’s own, not something licensed from Microsoft or Google.
    • Third, Apple takes a cut of each sale made through each of its digital storefronts: the App Store, iBooks and iTunes music and video.
    • Selling iPad to a consumer isn’t the last contact the company expects to have with the user. To Apple, the iPad isn’t a tablet, it’s a logical, progressive extension of existing ecosystems.
    • This is a very different approach to the one taken by many of the tablet manufacturers.
    • Now you know how Apple can sell an $800 tablet for only $500.
    • Profitable app/media ecosystems are key to keeping tablet prices low.
    • Apple once again managed to blindsided the competition.
  • Libya Block Internet Access
    • Check Google Transparency Report
    • Web address: www.google.com/transparency
    • Select Libya on the drop down menu.
    • Traffic dropped to nothing at 12:30 PM on March 3
    • It is still null this morning.
    • Unlike the last time Libya went offline and the process used to shut down the connectivity in Egypt (where Internet service providers simply shut down their servers) someone has come up with a more technologically advanced way of taking the country offline this time.
    • According to Rensys the routes in Libya are still up, but there is no data packet traffic on the still open routes as the traffic is “blackholed” right before it enters the Libyan netspace.
    • All of the Libyan-hosted government websites were unreachable.
    • This shutdown came ahead of planned protests in Tripoli calling for the ousting of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
    • Department of Commerce Seeks Input on IANA
    • The US Government has released a Notice of Inquiry on the IANA functions.
  • IANA is the Internet Assigned Number Authority
    • It can be found on the NITA website: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/
    • NTIA is the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
    • The US government is hoping to get responses from the US and elsewhere with concrete suggestions for improvement of the way the IANA function is handled.
    • IANA is tasked with managing the naming functions on the Internet and distributed IP address to various countries. They control the Internet through these assignments.
    • Are there improvements that should be made to the IANA functions contract to better address the needs of users of the IANA functions?
    • How can the process be made more transparent?
    • Should additional security considerations or enhancements be included in the requirements in the IANA functions contract?
    • The Internet Society is crafting a response. You can give input there (isoc.org) or you can give input directly to the NOI.
    • This is Internet governance in action.
    • IANA website: www.iana.org