Show of 7-2-2011

  •  Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from John: Dear Tech Talk. What is the quickest method to turn off your computer or kill a download? The other day when I was surfing, I went to a "legitimate" web site and saw an instant notification of a virus: bars growing. As quick as I could, I clicked all the quit X corners and did a "normal" shutdown. Afterwards, I ran all my scanners in Safe Mode and nothing odd showed up. Thanks, John.
    • Tech Talk responds: The fastest way is to pull the network cable, if you have access to it. That’s what I generally recommend when possible. It’s fast and absolute.
    • One thing that you should not is to pull the power cord or otherwise force an immediate power-off of their machine. The problem is simply that if the computer happens to be writing to disk and the power goes out at exactly the wrong time, the disk could be damaged. It’s not frequent, but it is very possible.
    • Pulling the network plug is the best way to stop the download. You can physically pull the network cable or turn off the Wi-Fi on your laptop. If there is not visible cable or Wi-Fi connection, you can disable the network connection by right clicking on the connection icon. After turning off the network connection, you can restart your computer normally.
    • Email from Emily: Dear Dr. Shurtz. What are those +1 things that I have been seeing at the bottom of the page for many sites. What does it mean and what does it do? Thanks, Emily.
    • Tech Talk Responds: Those links are using Google’s “plus one” feature. This is Google’s version of the Like button on Facebook. The idea is that when you find a page that is particularly helpful, you’ll "+1 it", clicking either on the +1 widget on the page. This data is not used for page ranking yet. But is could be.
    • Email from John: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I enjoyed your discussion about the iPad2. I am taking some classes online. What apps do you recommend? Thanks, John
    • Tech Talk Responds: You didn’t tell me which LMS platform you school is using. If it is using Moodle, there is an App for connection with Moodle. It is called mTouch+ and costs $2.99. If you are using Blackboard, you can download Blackboard Mobile Learn. It is free, but must be enabled by your school. I am glad you do doing more than just games with your iPad2.
    • Email from Alice: Dear Tech Talk. I heard you talking about the iPad2 last weekend and you recommended Pandora for streaming music. I also love this application. However, the new data plan has a monthly limit. Is Pandora a significant factor if I listen to streaming music while driving? I am limited to 3.5 GB per month. Thanks Alice.
    • Tech Talk Responds: That is a very good observation. You can used Pandora as much as you want when Wi-Fi is connected. But when you are on 3G, you need to be mindful of your bandwidth usage.
    • Let’s do a calculation. Pandora is 64 kbps for free accounts, and 192 kbps for Pandora One users. 64 kbps is around 25MB per hour. At that rate you could listen to Pandora for 140 hours before exhausting you monthly bandwidth allocation. That is much better than streaming YouTube
  • Profiles in IT: Pehong Chen
    • Pehong Chen, an Internet pioneer who created the first e-commerce software, is founder and CEO of Broadvision. BroadVision is a provider of online commerce and business social networking solutions.
    • Pehong Chen was born in 1957 in Taiwan.
    • At age 7 he became an violinist. He later switched to guitar and joined a rock band.
    • He received a BS in computer science from National Taiwan University.
    • After graduation he served two years in the military.
    • Both he and his wife received fellowships to Indiana University at Bloomington, where they both masters degrees in computer science.
    • Chen then enrolled in the PhD program at UC Berkeley, graduating in 1988.
    • After completion of his PhD, Chen was hired by Olivetti to develop a computer teleconferencing systems. Intel still sells the system he developed as ProShare.
    • In 1989, he founded Gain Technology with $4,000.
    • He convinced Matsushita to fund a multimedia software system to enhance its computer business and received at a $15 million contract.
    • Matsushita still this product as Gain Momentum.
    • In 1992 Sybase bought Gain for $100 million and hired Chen as VP of multimedia.
    • In May 1993 he founded Broadvision. After 100-man-years of development, he released One-To-One, the world’s first e-commerce software.
    • Broadvision shares soared until the dot.com crash. Investors loved ecommerce until they lost confidence in the revenue potential of Internet companies.
    • Chen was forced to take his company through a 9-for-1 reverse stock split on July 24, 2002 just to return share prices above the $1 threshhold.
    • By that October 2002, Broadvision’s valuation had plummeted to a $37.7 million.
    • Broadvision had lost 99.87% of its valuation..
    • Pehong Chen stayed with Broadvision and cut costs. By the end of 2002 Broadvision had been reduced to 449 full-time employees.
    • The next quarter: Broadvision reported a $1.3M profit on $24.5M in revenues.
    • He proved that the company and its enterprise portal software were real.
    • Its client list had grown to 1,200, including 8 of America’s 30 largest companies, the State of California and the U.S. Air Force.
    • In 1993 he provided startup capital for Siebel Systems, a leader in front office automation that was acquired by Oracle in 2005.
    • Chen is also on the boards of Sina, China’s top portal, and UFIDA, China’s biggest software company which provides enterprise management software for the Chinese market.
    • Chen is currently a Vice Chairman of the Committee of 100, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving mutual understanding between United States and China through dialogue and cooperation.
    • Chen was dubbed "Master of the Universe" as one of the 25 most influential people in e-business by BusinessWeek,
    • Web Address: www.broadvision.com
  • Social Networking Goes Corporate
    • Companies have embraced social networking.
    • Advertising revenues are up because of the ability to target consumers.
    • Internal personnel handle Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts.
    • Some companies higher bloggers to get out the company message.
    • Consumers are connected and want information now, not just advertising.
    • Great opportunity for English majors — finally.
  • BlackBerries may now be obsolete
    • On June 17, BlackBerry’s stock price tumbled after the phone’s Canadian manufacturer, Research in Motion, announced layoffs following a poor quarter.
    • The company has failed to match the challenge from iPhone and Android.
    • The BlackBerry originally catered to business users, touting its ease of integration with existing in-house corporate computer systems.
    • Companies bought them up by the thousands. The phone, in fact, was made for company IT departments, not individual consumers, experts say, noting that they excelled early on at security and corporate integration.
    • That, in fact, is how the BlackBerry took off. They sold 25,000 phones to a General Motors rather than to 25,000 individuals.
    •  Individual consumers caught on quickly, however, becoming fans of its tactile keyboard.
    • Now the iPhone is on Verizon’s network, and Microsoft Exchange and other servers are as secure as BlackBerry’s was.
    • Employees have been pressuring companies to allow them to use their iPhones and their Androids and their other smartphones for business, instead of a company-issued BlackBerry.
    • Compared with the large colorful screens of the iPhone and all its features, the BlackBerry, whose App store is minimal and just isn’t as emotionally satisfying.
    • He noted that the ergonomics and aesthetics of the iPhone and the Android "make them far more easy to use, with every button or icon where you’d expect it to be."
    • While teenagers like BlackBerry’s BBM messaging application, the phone’s popularity among America’s business class made them openly suspect among some young iconoclasts — who couldn’t really afford them anyway.
    • "I used to openly ridicule my friends who had them," said Lance Uppercut, 24, of Wilkinsburg, Pa., who works at a hip used-clothing store.
    • Some aren’t ready to turn their back on the company yet, citing its favorable balance sheet, with more than $2 billion of cash and no debt. Plus, its operations generated nearly a billion dollars of cash last quarter alone — plenty to use for new R and D.
    • The company’s attempt at touch screen technology was a disaster. The BlackBerry Storm could not complete with the iPhone on any level.
  • Website of the Week: Verizon Data Usage Calculator
    • Link to Verizon Data Calculator
    • Here are Verizon’s estimates of typicall uses
      • Email (text only) = 10KB
      • Typical Web Page Lookup* = 1.5MB
      • Audio Streaming = 40MB/hr
      • Lo-Res Video Streaming = 200MB/hr
      • Hi-Res Video Streaming = 400MB/hr
      • Digital Photo download/upload (Hi-Res) = 1MB
    • People who use more than 2GB of data per month are typically people who stream a lot of music or video.
    • If you stream music for 1 hour a day every day of the month, you’ll use 2GB per month
    • If you watch 1 hour of high-resolution video every day, you will use over 10GB per month
    • 30 minutes of high-resolution video every day will take your usage to about 5GB per month.
    • 2 minutes of low-resolution video every day of the month will use 2GB per month.
    • My advice is to look at videos or Netflix only when you have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Social Media Day 2011
    • The second annual Social Media Day June 30th.
    • Thursday’s second annual Social Media Day celebration was a huge success throughout Thousands of people came together offline in their local communities to recognize the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time information, communicate from miles apart and have their voices be heard.
    • Participation in the event more than doubled since last year with more than 1,400 Meetups and nearly 11,000 attendees.
    • Seven cities and one U.S. state joined Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. in proclaiming the day official.
    • The state of Arizona and the cities of New York, Toronto, Dublin, Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada and San Jose and San Carlos, California officially marked June 30 as Social Media Day.
    • Social Media Day Meetups took place in 90 countries across six continents. Some of the most well-attended events occurred in places like Sao Paolo, Panama City, Toronto, Detroit and Santa Ana, California.
    • Nearly 43,000 tweets were sent with hashtag #smday, and 26,000 of those were on Thursday alone.
    • Many news stories focused on social media’s growth and how it has affected many of our lives.
  • Microsoft Enters the Cloud
    • Office 365 was formally released to the public this week.
    • Aimed at businesses rather than individuals, the service comprises Exchange Online (for email and calendars), SharePoint Online (for online collaboration), Lync Online (for text, audio and video messaging and conferencing), plus browser-based versions of Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint in addition to the traditional installed versions.
    • Priced between $2 and $27 per user per month, Microsoft is targeting enterprise customers, small businesses and the education market with Office 365.
    • Microsoft is promising updates to the service every 90 days
    • Office 365 is important because Microsoft needs to push back at an increasingly feature rich Google Apps product that has the potential to challenge MS Office.