Show of 7-23-2011

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from John: Dear Tech Talk, I feel like I’m being tracked. I see the same ad all over the place. The thing is that my wife doesn’t; she sees normal ads on the same pages that I see this same ad. What’s going on? Thanks, John
    • Tech Talk Responds: Advertisers try to give you adds that are relevant to your interests. The ads might be relevant to the page you are looking at or the Gmail content. This is how Google AdSense works. Google selects the ads for each site. Some advertising networks use tracking cookies that track which sites you have visited and then deliver ads based on that history. They are not tracking you personally, but check the cookie each time they deliver another ad. They may also deliver adds based on which keywords you use when searching, this is similar to AdSense. Advertisers pay for ad placement for particular keywords.
    • Email from Alice: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I am getting a lot of email bounces to messages I’ve never sent. Does this mean my computer is infected with one of those "bots"? Thanks Alice.
    • Tech Talk Responds: It is unlikely that you machine is infected. Most likely one of your contacts machines is infected and they harvested your email address from an email or from the contacts. Then they use your email as the return address and you receive the bounced emails. They will change to another fake return address in a while and this will go away. This is one reason that I always use BCC: when sending an email to a long list of address. It hides the email addresses from these bots.
    • Email from Peter: Dear Tech Talk, I just got a new Wi-Fi router. How do I keep myself safe from my neighbors getting on my network? Thanks Peter.
    • Tech Talk Responds: First change the password of your router. It is preset with a password that anyone can look up on the web. Second enable encryption. You can choose WEP, WPA, or WPA2. WEP is the least secure and WPA2 is the most secure. WEP stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy. WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access. If you want to take the last step, you can enable MAC address filtering. Then you will have to explicitly give permission for each MAC address attached to the network. This is a hassle if you have guest coming over who need to use you Wi-Fi. You don’t need to touch DHCP which automatically assigns internal IP addresses you your router. You can also set you system to now broadcast you
  • Profiles in IT: James Chu
    • James Chu is founder and CEO of Viewsonic Corporation
    • James Chu was born October 23, 1957 the small town of Pintong in Taiwan.
    • Chu was the fifth of six children, with three older brothers and a younger sister.
    • He did not do well in school and scored poorly on University exams.
    • Facing the prospect of being drafted, Chu joined the army paratroopers in 1977.
    • In 1979, he left the military Chu was hired by Duplo to sell mimeographs copiers.
    • During his month and a half at Duplo, Chu began studying for the university exam.
    • Each evening he would begin at five and study until seven or eight the next morning.
    • He did well on the exam and was admitted into Tong Hai University in Physics.
    • He did not do well in school and dropped out in the third year.
    • While in school he supported himself selling dictionaries and English language tapes.
    • He met his future wife, Lily Huang Lee, a night school student.
    • In 1983 he got a job with a struggling company Behavior Tech & Computer, BTC.
    • The owner went with Chu’s recommendation to price their keyboards at the high end.
    • At that time BTC was 3 1/2 years old. Chu was its 12th employee.
    • By August of 1984 Chu was attracting so many orders that for the next three years BTC’s plant could only fill half the orders.
    • Lily graduated from college in June of 1985. Chu asked her to join him in Taipei.
    • In 1986 he moved alone to Fremont to open BTC USA.
    • BTC USA was successful beyond expectations, selling $1.1 million in its third month.
    • Even though Chu invested $60K into BTC, the BTC owner wanted to get rid of Chu.
    • He never gave Chu a stock certificate for the 3% of BTC stock that Chu had bought.
    • In July 1987 Chu moved to Los Angeles and opened Keypoint Technology Corporation in Santa Fe Springs. In its first month Chu sold $1 million.
    • Chu committed to take everything Keytronics produced for the next six months.
    • In 1989, he moved to the monitor market, seeking to take NEC’s market share.
    • He provided the specs to Seiko and he sold a monitor with each one of his keyboards.
    • Chu decided to sell the monitors under a new brand he would create, ViewSonic.
    • Chu settled on the trio of Australian finches as the ViewSonic trademark.
    • Using the profits from initial sales, he created more proprietary monitor designs.
    • ViewSonic has entered the market for Macintosh-compatible monitors and gotten more than its share of recognition from the trade press.
    • Chu officially changed the company name from Keypoint to ViewSonic.
    • In the mid-1990s, ViewSonic rose to become one of the top-rated makers of computer CRT monitors, alongside Sony, NEC, MAG Innovision, and Panasonic.
    • ViewSonic soon displaced the rest of these companies to emerge as the largest display manufacturer from America/Japan at the turn of the millennium.
    • In 2000, ViewSonic acquired the Nokia Display Products’ branded business.
    • On July 2, 2007, the company filed with the SEC to raise up to $143.8M in an IPO on NASDAQ. The request was withdrawn on March 5, 2008 because of low demand.
    • The company has approximately $1.2 billion in worldwide sales annually.
    • Website: www.viewsonic.com
  • Video Streaming Options for Home Theater
    • Many new devices can connect to the Internet to stream movie services from Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster on Demand, CinemaNow, HuluPlus, Netflix, and Vudu.
    • Internet-connected players can also access free content from sites such as YouTube videos, photo-sharing sites such as Picasa and Flickr, Internet radio stations such as Pandora, eBay, and other sites.
    • Many devices have full browsers that allow you to surf anywhere on the Web, just as you do with your computer or smart phone.
    • You don’t need to buy a new TV to get this option.
    • The latest Blu-Ray players and game consoles include a Wi-Fi (or wired) Internet connection and built in browsers.
    • A streaming enabled Blu-Ray DVD player will cost less than $200.
  • BlackBerry PlayBook Gets FIPS Certification
    • The Blackberry PlayBook is the only tablet that has been given FIPS certification by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). FIPS stands for Federal Information Processing Standard.
    • FIPS certification is required for devices to be used by the federal government.
    • This clears the PlayBook for use by government agencies.
    • PlayBook still lags the iPad and Android-based tablets in basic functionality.
    • In order to solve the application shortage problem, RIM has developed an Android Application Player for the PlayBook. This emulator will allow the PlayBook to run Android applications.
  • Cloud computing to drive global job creation
    • The growth of cloud computing is expected to create 2.4 million jobs in the next four years in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to Cloudtweaks.com.
    • The prediction comes from a report released by IT company EMC and a United Kingdom think tank.
    • In India alone, the cloud market is expected to increase from $400 million today to $4.5 billion by 2015, reports Indo Asian News Service.
    • That growth could translate into 100,000 new jobs in India, according to a survey of CIOs in that country.
    • Cloud computing will reshape the Indian IT market by generating new opportunities for vendors and driving changes in traditional IT offerings.
    • For cloud adoption to grow, people are going to need human resources.
    • How the cloud will impact U.S. job creation is unclear now. Although the manufacturing sector of the technology industry continues to lose jobs, jobs in software services are growing.
  • Google Is Changing How We Think
    • Last week scientists at Columbia University published a report showing that our dependency on Google for information has changed how we think.
    • The study involved a series of experiments that tested how much people rely on readily-available information in lieu of committing it to memory.
    • Students were better at remembering where information is stored than the info itself.
    • Even though they couldn’t recall the facts, they recalled very well the specific computer folders into which the facts had been saved.
  • MP3 Download Judgement Reduced
    • Last year, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay $62,500 for each of the 24 songs she was accused of uploading illegally to the Web.
    • This week U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis that sum was lowered to $2,250 per song.
    • The total damages award she is required to pay now has fallen from $1.5 million to $54,000.
    • The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) accused Thomas-Rasset of copyright infringement in 2006 in a suit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota and the case has gone back and forth ever since.
    • Thomas-Rasset refused to settle the copyright complaint brought against her by the RIAA, the trade group representing the four major music labels.
    • The judge wrote in his opinion, “The court is loath to interfere with the jury’s damages decision. However, the Constitution and justice compel the Court to act."
    • In Davis’ decision, he makes it clear that he supports the jury’s decision that Thomas-Rasset is liable for copyright infringement but did not agree with the damages.
    • RIAA should drop further action in this case.
  • SANS List of 20 Best Jobs in Information Security
    • #1 Information Security Crime Investigator/Forensics Expert
    • #2 System, Network, and/or Web Penetration Tester
    • #3 Forensic Analyst
    • #4 Incident Responder
    • #5 Security Architect
    • #6 Malware Analyst
    • #7 Network Security Engineer
    • #8 Security Analyst
    • #9 Computer Crime Investigator
    • #10 CISO/ISO or Director of Security
    • #11 Application Penetration Tester
    • #12 Security Operations Center Analyst
    • #13 Prosecutor Specializing in Information Security Crime
    • #14 Technical Director and Deputy CISO
    • #15 Intrusion Analyst
    • #16 Vulnerability Researcher/ Exploit Developer
    • #17 Security Auditor
    • #18 Security-savvy Software Developer
    • #19 Security Maven in an Application Developer Organization
    • #20 Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Analyst/Manager
  • Pet Peeve of the Week: Email Hijacking
    • You send an email to someone about topic X.
    • It has the topic in the Subject line.
    • A few days later that same person send you an email about Topic Y
    • But they just reply to your email so that the Subject line is Re: Topic X
    • The two are threaded together in your email client (Outlook or Google)
    • Hard to locate the second email because it is buried in the thread.
  • Website of the Week: CIO.gov
    • The official website for the U.S. CIO
    • The U.S. CIO position was established within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide leadership and oversight for IT spending throughout the Federal Government.
    • In addition, each Federal agency has its own CIO, as established by the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996.
    • Vivek Kundra was named U.S. CIO by President Obama on March 5, 2009.
    • Kundra plays a key role in ensuring that the Federal Government is operating, in President Obama’s words, “in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible.” Kundra works closely with the chief technology and performance officers.
    • Kundra directs IT policy, strategic planning of Federal IT investments, and oversight of Federal technology spending. He establishes and oversees enterprise architecture to ensure system interoperability and information-sharing, and maintains information security and privacy across the Federal Government.
    • Kundra’s priorities include openness and transparency, lowering costs, cybersecurity, participatory democracy, and innovation.
    • The website outlines priorities, reforms, innovations. It includes progress in the IT reform project. It is an excellent way to understand where the Federal government is moving with respect to IT.
    • Web address: www.cio.gov