Show of 10-8-2011

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Bob in MD: I never send fan mail to radio shows, but I have to tell you that Tech Talk is the best radio show about technology on the air. I love it and tell my friends to listen too! Bob in MD
    • Tech Talk Responds: Thanks Bob for the feedback.
    • Email from MD Listener: Dr. Richard Shurtz, I use Windows Live Mail and have have a Verizon FiOS account with seven subaccounts. I went to add a new subaccount recently and things got screwed up. I have tried to troubleshoot this and found a warning on the Broadband reports website that says there is an issue with IE8 and Verizon subaccounts.
    • Evidently, when trying to make any changes to a Verizon email account with IE8 causes one to loose data and even the entire email account. Verizon can’t reinstate the email account. I hope you can help with this. I’d also like to learn the Windows Live Mail account activation steps (or teach me how to figure this out for myself) please since No One at Verizon knows them! MD Listener.
    • Tech Talk Responds: I have checked and don’t see a solution with the lost subaccount yet. I did find the one reference to IE8. Have you tried looking for your subaccount with another browser?
    • As for Windows Live Mail, it is not actually another email account. It consolidates many email accounts into one client, allow you to organize conversations, and easily share photos. You can consolidate accounts from different companies like: Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail accounts. Microsoft has a great tutorial online at the following web address: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-mail.
    • Email from Jim: Dear Tech Talk, I was on a dating site and I someone I had met. She never answered. Now that she knows my email address, can anything bad happen? Like a virus or having my account cleaned out? I am using Gmail. Thanks, Jim.
    • Tech Talk Responds: Next time use a throw away account. Before sharing your real email address, create a new one at one of the free email services and give that email address to the person that you’re contacting but don’t quite trust. Once you trust them, you can give them your actual email account.
    • What is the danger of using your real email account? You could have given your email to a spammer. Worse yet, they could use your email address to look up more data if it is searchable on Google. Malware is less risk unless you open attachments.
    • Until you can build a sufficient level of objective trust, it’s best to avoid sharing your "real" email address and view everything with a healthy dose of skepticism.
    • Email from Robert: Dear Tech Talk, I am interested in technology and computers. I hope to start my career soon. Where I be focused on? Love the show. Robert.
    • Tech Talk Responds: First of all find what you love to do like Steve Jobs. Then go where the future will be. That means you have look at technology trends and be prepared for what will be in 5 to 10 years. Hardware is becoming invisible. Everything is being virtualized. Software is a service. We are moving toward data as a product. Hardware as a commodity. Data mining, information assurance, security, business process improvement. Check the standards. Read industry rags. Join user groups. Ask questions.
  • Profiles in IT: Steven Paul Jobs
    • Steven Paul Jobs was co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.
    • Steve Jobs was born February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, CA.
    • He was adopted by Paul Jobs and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, CA. Even though they had not attended college, they promised to send Steve to college.
    • Jobs attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, CA.
    • He frequented after-school lectures at Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, CA, and was later hired there, working with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee.
    • Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland,
    • Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes.
    • Jobs later said, "If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts."
    • In 1974, Jobs joined the Homebrew Computer Club with Wozniak in CA.
    • He took a job as a technician at Atari to save money for a trip to India.
    • Jobs traveled to India with a Reed College friend in search of spiritual enlightenment.
    • He came back a Buddhist with head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing.
    • In 1976, Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple, when Jobs managed to interest Wozniak in assembling a computer and selling it.
    • In 1983, Jobs hired John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple’s CEO.
    • The following year, Apple aired a Super Bowl television commercial titled "1984".
    • On January 24, 1984, Jobs introduced the Mac, based on Alto (Xerox PARC in 1973).
    • Sculley fired Jobs in 1985, with board support, amid falling computer sales.
    • Jobs founded NeXT Computer in 1985 with $7 million. Ross Perot invested more.
    • NeXT workstations were first released in 1990, priced at $9,999.
    • He then released the NeXTCube. NeXT ultimately sold only 50,000 computers
    • In 1993, NeXT transitioned to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP.
    • In 1996, NeXT. released WebObjects, for web application development.
    • In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $429 million. The deal was finalized in late 1996, bringing Jobs back to Apple. Jobs became interim CEO.
    •  He immediately ended the Mac cloning program and focused on innovation.
    • Sales increased with the introduction of the iMac and other new products.
    • With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company entered music distribution.
    • WebObjects was used to build and run the Apple Store, MobileMe services, and the iTunes Store. NeXTSTEP morphed in Mac OS X.
    • In 2007, Apple entered the cell phone business with the introduction of the iPhone.
    • In 1986, he The Graphics Group (renamed Pixar) from Lucas Films for $10M.
    • After years of unprofitability hardware, Pixar contracted with Disney to produce computer-animated features starting with Toy Story (1995).
    • On January 24, 2006, Disney purchased Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4B.
    • In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple and died October 5, 2011.
    • Jobs is listed on 338 US patents or patent applications.
    • Forbes estimated his net wealth at $8.3 billion in 2010. Wikipedia list $7B in today.
  • Impact of Steve Jobs
    • He made technology accessible allowing us to see its potential.
      • The artist, the communicator, the student all became better.
      • The computer was not the focus….the user was always.
    • He lobbied for the little guy against the establishment
      • Music lovers against record companies
      • Cell phone users against telcos
    • He was a creator, an artist, who used technology as his palette.
    • He was a perfectionist in design, in function, in manufacturing.
    • His vision was a personification of the 60s counter-culture.
    • He cared deeply about his customers, their experience.
    • He pursuer what he loved, following his passions, hoping that someday all of the dots would connect.
    • He lived every day as though it was his last.
    • We will miss Steve Jobs and hope that his creation Apple computer will continue to innovate and thrive.
  • Steve Jobs: Godfather of Fonts
    • Jobs attended and dropped out of Reed College.
    • The calligraphy classes Jobs took (and later audited after un-enrolling from the school) were largely responsible for the shift in computing typeface that the Mac has been responsible for.
    • “Calligraphy was about the most over-enrolled in class at Reed.
    • He was a freshman when he took the class, and that was most unusual, usually only juniors and seniors got in,” says former Reed calligraphy instructor Robert Palladino.
    • Palladino says Jobs didn’t necessarily stand out in class, that he was a “rather quiet type of person.
    •  “For a freshman drop out to be so well-regarded, they must have sensed he had an awful lot of talent. He was a dynamic person even when he was young.”
    • Jobs wanted Palladino’s insight on Greek letters, telling his former instructor he was working on computers in his parents’ garage.
    • “He introduced me to the mouse. I had never seen one before,” Palladino says.
    • Jobs brought font menus to the masses, introducing not just experts but average consumers to individually designed lettering.
    • The idea that the average person on the street might have a favorite font was a radical thing.
  • Computer Virus Infects Military Drone Control Center
    • A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones.
    • It logs every keystroke as they fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones.
    • The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas.
    • Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source.
    • The virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say.
    • Military network security specialists aren’t sure whether the virus and its so-called “keylogger” payload were introduced intentionally or by accident.
    • The specialists don’t know exactly how far the virus has spread. But they’re sure that the infection has hit both classified and unclassified machines at Creech.
    • That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger, and then transmitted over the public internet to someone outside the military chain of command.
    • Since President Obama assumed office, a fleet of approximately 30 CIA-directed drones have hit targets in Pakistan more than 230 times.
    • But despite their widespread use, the drone systems are known to have security flaws.
    • Many Reapers and Predators don’t encrypt the video they transmit to American troops on the ground.
    • In the summer of 2009, U.S. forces discovered “days and days and hours and hours” of the drone footage on the laptops of Iraqi insurgents. A $26 piece of software allowed the militants to capture the video.
    • The most U.S. drone missions are flown by Air Force pilots stationed at Creech, located in the Nevada desert.
    • A drone pilot and a sensor operator sit in their flight suits in front of a series of screens. In the pilot’s hand is the joystick, guiding the drone as it soars above Afghanistan, Iraq, or some other battlefield.
    • None of the remote cockpits are supposed to be connected to the public Internet.
    • They are supposed to be largely immune to viruses and other network security threats.
    • Predator and Reaper crews use removable hard drives to load map updates and transport mission videos from one computer to another.
    • The virus is believed to have spread through these removable drives. Drone units at other Air Force bases worldwide have now been ordered to stop their use.
  • Geek Girls Recognized on Ada Lovelace Day
    • October 7 was Ada Lovelace Day, a day for commemorating women’s contribution to science and technology, named after the woman who is widely credited as being the world’s first computer programmer.
    • Augusta Ada King, the Countess of Lovelace and daughter of Lord Byron, was an English writer who collaborated with British mathematician Charles Babbage on notes about his Analytical Engine – a steam-powered mechanical computer.
    • The engine was never built in Babbage’s or Lovelace’s lifetimes, but a project is now underway in the UK, headed by British programmer and blogger John Graham-Cumming, to build a working model.
    • Lovelace translated an article by Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea on the engine for Babbage, and added extensive notes on it, including an algorithm that many consider to be the first computer program – a method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numbers.
    • There is some debate about how much of her notes were her own work and how much was at Babbage’s direction, but she has nevertheless had a computer language named after her and had a medal from the British Computer society awarded in her name in 1998.
    • She was also played by Tilda Swinton in the 1997 film Conceiving Ada.
    • The idea of having a day named after Lovelace is more about recognizing women in math, science and technology than the lady herself, though.
    • The Twitterati has marked the day with shout-outs to women, such as this list of female tweeters involved in the tech, science, environment or health world, and the website findingada.com has been urging readers to tell their stories about women in the sciences who have inspired them.
  • Apple iPhone 4S: What in it?
    • iPhone 4S seems a bit disappointing. It not an iPhone 5.
    • All versions of the iPhone 4S are GSM/CDMA world phones, which is a big win for consumers
    • It does not support 4G capability, probably because of battery life.
    • Apple upgraded the phone’s camera from a 5-megapixel sensor to 8-megapixels
      • Apple says that the new iPhone’s 8-megapixel camera is built around a backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor.
      • A BSI sensor is designed such that small, light-blocking wires move to the back of the sensor, making the sensor’s surface a more efficient light-gathering source.
      • The iPhone 4S has a five-element lens that offers 30 percent more sharpness.
    • The iPhone 4S will use the same dual-core A5 chip as the iPad 2.
    • The iPhone 4S can shoot high-resolution video up to 1080p. It also features digital video stabilization–but unless it’s a radically different system than we’ve seen on other video devices, don’t expect miracles from digital-only stabilization.
    • Apple claims that data speeds for the iPhone 4S are double those for the iPhone 4.
      • 5.8 megabits per second for uploads
      • 14.4 mbps for downloads.
    • According to Apple, the iPhone 4S can intelligently switch between two antennas for even better call quality, as well as faster download speeds.
    • It has Siri Voice-Command Software. This interface has received great reviews.
  • Facebook is Bigger than Internet was in 2004
    • Two weeks ago, Facebook confirmed it had 800 million active users.
    • There were only 757 million people using the Internet worldwide in 2004, according to Internet World Stats.
    • The Facebook’s active user base is:
      • 38 percent of the entire current Internet population
      • 87 percent of the Internet population of Asia
      • 168 percent of the Internet population of Europe
      • 294 percent of the Internet population of North America
      • 370 percent of the Internet population of Latin America
      • 674 percent of the Internet population of Africa
      • 1,167 percent of the Internet population of the Middle East
      • 3,757 percent of the Internet population of Oceania / Australia
    • After Facebook passes 1 billion users, the next milestone will be eclipsing India, and then China.
    • If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest, by population.
  • Verizon FCC over Net Neutrality
    • Friday in Washington’s U.S. Court of Appeals contends the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority in setting its so-called "net neutrality" rules last year.
    • The regulations are scheduled to go into effect in two months. They prohibit Internet service providers from discriminating against or giving special treatment to particular online services or content.
    • That may seem like a good idea, but the FCC had a hard time coming up with a solution that pleases everyone.
    • Earlier this week, a media and Internet advocacy group sued to block the rules in a Boston federal court.
    • The group, Free Press, objects to a provision that gives cell phone companies some flexibility to manage traffic so their wireless systems aren’t overwhelmed.
    • Verizon Communications Inc. doesn’t think the FCC should be involved at all.
    • Verizon is concerned with the FCC’s assertion of broad authority to impose regulations on broadband networks and services and on the Internet itself.
    • Verizon contends this assertion of authority is inconsistent with the statute and will create uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.
    • Verizon filed a similar suit against the FCC’s regulations earlier this year, but it was thrown out after the court determined the complaint was premature.
    • Since then, the new rules were published in the Federal Register, giving Verizon a new opportunity to mount a challenge.