Show of 4-2-2011

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Forum Discussion from Max Min: In regards to David Byrd’s question, just have him look at, what today is called Home Theater Receivers. There are a lot of choices and prices have come down since he most likely looked at them. He can get a 5.1 system that will handle from 2 – 5 speakers, from $200 on up.
    • Brands like Onkyo, Sony, Yamaha, & Denon are all good ones, and carried by Amazon, Best Buy & GH Gregg. Hope this helps David Byrd, have always enjoyed his work!
    • Tech Talk Responds: We have many home theater options. First is the TV. You will want a flat panel LCD. Consider 3D if you don’t mind the glasses. Bose has an integrated sound system (VideoWave) with audio phased arrays to give real directionality with no external speakers. Make certain that you have enough inputs and outputs for your components. Get Internet access with your Blu-ray DVD, Receiver, or Television. That will give you Netflix streaming movies, a real cost effective solution to content.
    • Email from Robert Tyler: Dear Dr. Shurtz: A little while ago I read about a computer cookie called a flash cookie or Local Shared Object, LSO for short.  The article stated that these LSO are used by web sites to collect information on how people navigate those websites even if people think they have taken steps to stop data collection.
    •  It also said that more than half of the internet’s top websites use LSO’s to track and store information about their users. It also stated they cannot be deleted by just clearing your cookies in your browser. Could you explain LSO’s and how they work?  How can I clear out these LSO’s which are stored on my computer?  Is there some extension or add-on I can use to prevent these from being stored on my computer? Thank you for a great show. I look forward to it every week. You and Jim Russ are a great team. Loyal listener, Robert Tyler
    • Tech Talk Responds: Local Shared Objects (LSO), commonly called flash cookies, are collections of cookie-like data stored as a file on a user’s computer. LSOs are used by all versions of Adobe Flash Player and Version 6 and above of Macromedia’s now-obsolete Flash MX Player.With the default settings, Adobe Flash Player does not seek the user’s permission to store LSO files on the hard disk. LSOs contain cookie-like data stored by individual web sites or domains. The current version of Flash does not allow 3rd party LSOs to be shared across domains.More than half of the internet’s top websites use LSOs to track users and store information about them. Several services even use LSOs as surreptitious data storage to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, a policy called "re-spawning." So, even if a user gets rid of a website’s tracking cookie that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as "backup." In the US, at least five class-action lawsuits have accused media companies of surreptitiously using Flash cookies.
    • Local Shared Objects are not temporary files. Users can only opt-out of Local Shared Objects globally by using the Global Storage Settings panel of the online Settings Manager at Adobe’s website. Users can also opt-out of them on a per-site basis by right-clicking the Flash player and selecting ‘Settings’. You can also clear your LSO cashe from this panel.
  • Profiles in IT: Pradeep Sindhu
    • Pradeep Sindhu is the co-founder and CTO of Juniper Networks Inc. Sindhu is considered a visionary in the field of high performance and networked computing
    • Pradeep Sindhu was born September 4, 1953 in Mumbai, India
    • His dad was in the army. He attended Mount St. Mary’s High School in Delhi.
    • In 1974 Sindhu received a BTech in EE (1974) from IIT in Kanpur.
    • He received a scholarship to the University of Hawaii and entered the MS program.
    • He worked on the power controller for the Aloha Net packet-switched network.
    • He received an MS in EE in 1976 from the University of Hawaii
    • He joined the PhD program at Carnegie Mellon in 1976 with a focus on high-performance multiprocessors and operating systems.
    • He received my PhD in distributed reliable operating systems in 1982.
    • He moved to the Xerox PARC in 1984 to continue his work on high-performance computing. They were planning 100-MIPS workstation called Dragon.
    • Sindhu worked on design tools for very-large-scale integration (VLSI) of integrated circuits and high-speed interconnects for shared memory multiprocessors.
    • They transferred this technology to Sun, leading to the SS1000 and SC2000.
    • After having been at PARC for 12 years and never getting any ideas to market, he decided to leave in 1996. He took off a couple of months to think.
    • He felt there was opportunity in WAN. Netscape had just released its browser. This meant that bandwidth would keep exploding. High speed routers were needed.
    • He found that Cisco, Bay Networks, and 3 Com all built routers by programming an embedded computer system to move packets.
    • The technology being used to build these things was five to six years behind the technology that he had just finished working on.
    • From September to November 1995, he worked on a design with a programmed control plane and a data plane to move packets in silicon.
    • After being turned down by 3 VC, Vinod Khosla funded the idea in December 1995.
    • Sindhu founded Juniper Networks along with Dennis Ferguson, and Bjorn Liencres in February 1996 in California.
    • Sindhu was instrumental in the architecture, design, and development of the Juniper M40 data router while running the company.
    • It took two years and three months to bring the router to market.
    • Their first $6 million order was to Cable & Wireless. UUNET was a very, very close second. The machine powered up in April or May of 1998. They shipped the first machine in August.
    • The benchmark had been set by Cisco but our machine opened a new category. A fully loaded M40 machine was around $1.5 million in full OC48 configuration.
    • In 1999 we had $100 million and 2000 was $400 million. In 2001 we did $900 million. Their customers were all carriers.
    • They had the upper end of the market and rival Cisco had the lower end.
    • Juniper went public on 25 June 1999. The price per share was US$34.00.
    • By the end of the first day as a publicly traded company, Juniper’s stock rose to $98.88, with a $4.9B market capitalization.
    • He was CEO for the first 9 months, just long enough to higher a replacement.
  • Google April Fool’s Jokes
    • Google April 1 continued its decade-plus-long tradition of April Fools’ Jokes.
    • Here are a few of this year’s lame jokes
      • They vowed to hire more Autocompleters for its search engine
      • Gmail Motion allows you to compose and reply to Gmail messages using your body. Gmail Motion uses your computer’s webcam and Google’s patented spatial-tracking technology to detect your movements and translate them into characters and commands
      • Google China is offering teleportation. Just don’t do search research. Actually visit the place.
      • Like Gmail Motion, Docs Motion lets users control Docs with gestures. Gesture recognition includes over 10,000 supported gestures and emotions.
      • With Voice-alyzer enabled, Google will prompt you to spell everyday words with your keypad before it connects your call via Google Voice. If the Voice-alyzer determines that you are not in a fit state to be having a conversation, it will prevent the call from connecting and send you a text message with contact info for three local cab companies instead. Presumably, this will prevent drunk dialing.
      • To help people improve their typing speed, Chromercise is a new exercise regimen that loosens hands and fingers while "simultaneously tightening and toning your fingers’ actual appearance."
      • YouTube is celebrating the top viral videos of 1911 to celebrate 100 years of the video-sharing service.
      • Google Body Browser showing the anatomical details of a human, the search engine had replaced it with a bovine object.
  • Microsoft Caves to Political Pressure
    • Microsoft has removed HTTPS from Hotmail for many US-embargoed or otherwise troubled countries. The current list of countries for which they no longer enable HTTPS is known to include Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
    • Journalists and others whose lives may be in danger due oppressive net monitoring in those countries may wish to use HTTPS everywhere and are also encouraged to migrate to non-Microsoft email providers, like Yahoo and Google.
  • Tip of the Week: Getting Rid of Headphone Cable Kinks
    • Tip from Kevin on Lifehacker Website
    • He accidentally let my ear buds go through the washer and dryer. They still functioned well, but the cords were all curved and bunched up.
    • To correct this wrapped the wires around a class of water and tapes them in place.
    • He poured in boiling water and let the glass cool to room temperature.
    • It worked perfectly, removing all the kinks from the headphones.
  • Cyber Attack Compromises Websites
    • Hundreds of thousands of websites appear to have been compromised by a massive cyber attack.
    • Those visiting the criminals’ webpage were told that their machines were infected with many different viruses.
    • The fake software is called the Windows Stability Center. It was installed on the websites after a successful SQL injection attack. This panel directed them a malicious website for further exploitation.
    • This succeeded because many servers keeping websites running do not filter the text being sent to them by web applications.
    • Swift action by security researchers has managed to get the sites offering the sham software shut down.
    • Security firm Websense has been tracking the attack since it started on 29 March. The initial count of compromised sites was 28,000 sites but this has grown to encompass many times this number as the attack has rolled on.
    • The fake security software warns about non-existent viruses on victims’ PCs
    • Early reports suggested that the attackers were hitting sites using Microsoft SQL Server 2003 and 2005 and it is thought that weaknesses in associated web application software are proving vulnerable.
    • Ongoing analysis of the attack reveals that the attackers managed to inject code to display links to 21 separate domains. The exact numbers of sites hit by the attack is hard to judge but a Google search for the attackers’ domains shows more than three million weblinks are displaying them.
    • Security experts say it is the most successful SQL injection attack ever seen.
    • Generally, the sites being hit are small businesses, community groups, sports teams and many other mid-tier organizations.
    • Currently the re-directs are not working because the sites peddling the bogus software have been shut down.
  • Apple Turned 35 on April 1st
    • Apple started on April 1st, 1976 in Steve Jobs’ garage in Cupertino California
    • The actual corporation we know today as Apple Inc., was officially incorporated back in 1977 as Apple Computer Inc.
    • With the creation of the Macintosh, iPod, iPad and iPhone, Apple has a market value of $321 Billion US.
    • While most of know the 2 Steves, Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak as the computer’s creators
    • The original company had a 3rd founder – Ron Wayne. Wayne gave back his 10% stake in Apple for $2300, less than 2 weeks after receiving it.
    • Wayne was concerned that should something go awry with Apple, creditors would go after him rather than the young and “assetless” Wozniak and Jobs.
    • Other reports peg the buyout at only $800. Regardless, had he kept those shares all this time, they would be worth 22 billion today.
    • Apple-1 — Their first computer – it really wasn’t as much of a computer as it was a computer kit, was the Apple 1. It was simply a circuit board with about 60 chips, designed and hand-built by Wozniak, with a 1Mhz processor, 4k of memory and a few video chips. That was it – no keyboard, no monitor, not even a case or a power supply. It sold for $666.66. There were only about 200 made.
    • The 82nd unit made was sold at an auction late last fall at Christie’s for the equivalent of $213,600 US.
  • Book of the Week: How Science Will Change Daily Life by 2100
    • By Michio Kaku, who co-founded a branch of string theory, admired both Albert Einstein and Flash Gordon.
    • And while some of his predictions seems far-fetched, he said to consider how our smartphones, laptops and space missions would have been viewed 100 years ago.
    • Internet in your eyeballs
      • When: The next 20 to 50 years
      • The internet will be in our contact lenses. You’ll blink and you’ll go online. When you talk to people, you’ll see their biographies printed out. When they speak to you in Chinese, subtitles will appear under their names.
    • Augmented and virtual reality
      • When: Next 20 to 50 years
      • This is ‘The Matrix. Tourists will love it because, if you walk in the streets of Rome, the Roman Empire will arise in your contact lens.
      • Overlaying images on the real world will have more practical applications,. Soldiers might wear special lenses that would help them see enemy locations superimposed over real-life scenes.
    • Shape shifting
      • When: Next 50 years
      • By 2050 nanotechnology will let us literally change the world around us. No, not with shape-shifting metallic people, but with objects we can rearrange with a few keystrokes.
      • By midcentury, programmable matter starts to open up. You’ll simply write a software program, and you can literally change a chair into a table.
      • The technology will involve tiny chips the size of a grain of sand.
      • They’ll have charges on them and be able to attach to each other in a programmable way, If you type in ‘chair,’ you get a chair. If you type in ‘table,’ you get a table."
    • Helpful robots (we hope)
      • Robot nurses, maids and butlers will be real in the next 100 years.
      • It’s debatable how smart they’re going to be, but they’ll mimic all sorts of human movements.
    • Bringing back extinct animals
      • When: Next 100 years
      • Advances in genetic research, combined with the accelerated discovery of new Ice Age fossils (due to global warming, scientists say) suggest that just because an animal is extinct now doesn’t mean it can’t be brought back.
      • "We’re in ‘Jurassic Park’ territory. If we go to the zoo in the future, we’ll have zoos for extinct animals.
      • Parks full of velociraptors and Tyrannosaurus rexes not enough for you? How about taking it a step further and bringing back cave men such as the
    • Much longer life spans
      • When: Next 100 years
      • Scientists are already working to identify the handful of genes that make humans and chimpanzees different. (For the record, scientists say we’re 98.5 percent the same.)
      • We are double the life span of a chimp. This means that among that handful of genes must be the genes responsible for extending a life span.
      • Combine that with cellular research that could let scientists regrow heart valves, bladders and other organs, and you’ve got the ticket to a long life.
      • Aging is not necessarily inevitable," Kaku said. "I think in the future we may age to age 30 and (then) cruise.
  • Website of the Week: Solar System Scope
    • Web Address: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/
    • Solar System Scope is an Interactive 3D Model of the Universe
    • SSS will illustrate you real-time celestial positions with planets and constellations moving over the night sky.
    • Great way to show the solar system to children.
    • They can manipulate the image and watch it turn.