Show of 10-29-2011

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email form Eleanor: Dear Tech Talk. I am new to this digital photography. What are “RAW” and “JPEG”? What’s the difference? What do they do? When do you use them? Where do you find them? Love the show. Thanks, Eleanor
    • RAW format captures the raw, unprocessed data from your digital camera. And by raw and unprocessed, I mean the data captured by the photo sensors in your particular model of camera. Different camera use different sensors which capture light and color in different ways. The RAW format records that data in as close to its original form as possible. RAW format is not typically compressed.
    • JPEG, or often just jpg (still pronounced "jay-peg"), is a standard file format that contains an encoded and compressed image. JPEG itself stands for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the specification for this standard format. JPEG is what’s called a "lossy" format. It uses the characteristics of the human eye, as well as the characteristics of photographs to actually remove some clarity from the image in order to achieve its compression.
    • For example, a RAW image format might save information that captures the camera’s exposure setting at the time that the photo was taken. Additional RAW data within the image than might allow you to (within limits) actually manipulate the effective exposure as it’s processed.
    • If you’re a casual photographer, JPEG’s probably just fine. The pictures that you take can be immediately shared with anyone and viewed anywhere without any additional work on your part.
    • On the other hand, if you’re a photo buff planning to tweak your photos in programs like Photoshop, or if you just want to archive the highest possible quality image, then raw might be the appropriate choice.
    • Unless your camera can save in both RAW and JPEG at the same time (some do), that you’ll need to process your RAW files into JPEGs in order to share them with others. That, in turn, will require software that understands the RAW format used by your camera.
    • Email from Mary Ann: Dear Tech Talk, I just got an iPhone 4S and am confused about backing up my phone to iTunes. Should I back up to my iTunes on my computer or use iCloud? Also what is PhotoStream? I am confused by all of this new technology? My husband won’t help me with these things. Thanks, Mary Ann
    • Tech Talk Responds: iCloud is a free backup service offered by Apple. You get 5GB of free storage for your devices. You can attach multiple device to iCloud and share pictures between them using PhotoStream. You will still have to connect to iTunes to backup and store up your purchased applications. You can use you same iTunes account name and password for iCloud. Once you select iCloud backup, you will not be able to back up to your computer. iCloud requires iOS5 on your iPhone and iTunes 10.5.
    • Email from Alley: Dear Tech Talk, I have a friend in New Jersey who sends me a prayer list for friends to pray for. I have not received any in two weeks. I called her and she has been sending them every day. Why haven’t I received any? What is the problem? I am using Gmail. Thanks, Alley
    • Tech Talk Responds: Usually missing email is being mistakenly labeled and disposed of as spam. While a prayer list might not sound like spam to you, especially because you appear to want it, there may be other characteristics of the email that cause it to be treated as such. When a filter evaluates a message as spam, it may also place weight on words and phrases that are common to spam, like free. There are literally thousands of such phrases that may come into play, and which ones (if any) that might be used in the determination will vary dramatically based on your email provider.
    • Google uses the wisdom of the crowd. If too many people get this email every day and click the "This is spam" button in their email program, then they could be preventing you from getting the email you want.
    • About the only thing that you can do is find the message in your email provider’s spam folder. If there is a spam folder, and if the message is there, absolutely mark it as "This is NOT spam", or whatever your provider uses for that determination.
    • You might also consider letting the sender know that there’s an issue. Because so much of spam detection is about the sender and the messages being sent, you might not be the only person missing them.
  • Profiles in IT: Christopher (moot) Poole
    • Christopher Poole, aka moot, is an American internet entrepreneur from NYC noted for founding the websites 4chan and Canvas.
    • Christopher Poole was born in 1988 in New York City. 
    • Poole started 4chan on September 29, 2003 out of his home in New York City. He was 15 at the time.
    • He started 4chan (www.4chan.org) anonymously, under the pseudonym moot (always written with lower case).
    • He was interested in obtaining a 4chan.net email address as 2chan began to rise in popularity with Western audiences.
    • At the urging of his friends, on October 1st, 2003 a basic image board system was set up and the 4chan we know was born.
    • The site has no memory. Discussions are not archived. Posting can be anonymous.
    • While the majority of 4chan is anonymous, some users use tripcodes or secure tripcodes to establish an identity.
    • Trip codes are hashes or double hashed of a phrase appended to the logon name.
    • The images and comments now appear under 44 topic headings ranging from fashion, sports and video games to weapons, the paranormal and ‘sexy beautiful women’ – the most popular by a long way is ‘Random’.
    • 4chan’s members, especially /b/tards, have been known to organize.
    • 4chan is one of the largest sources for memes and continues to grow in popularity.
    • 4chan is known as a Meme Factory (RickRolling, LOLcats, etc.). It also spanned Anonymous and has been called the Anus of the Internet.
    • Moot’s real-world identity, Christopher Poole, was revealed on July 9, 2008, in The Wall Street Journal.
    • The same day, Lev Grossman of Time published an interview describing moot’s influence as a non-visible administrator of 4chan.
    • In March 2009, Time place the moot persona on the 2009 Time 100 finalists list and opened it up to an Internet vote.
    • In April 2009, moot was voted the world’s most influential person of 2008 by an open Internet poll conducted by Time magazine.
    • 4chan’s interference with the vote seemed increasingly likely, when it was found that reading the first letter of the first 21 candidates in the poll spelled out a phrase containing two 4chan memes: "mARBLECAKE. ALSO, THE GAME."
    • Prior to the Wall Street Journal and Time interviews, moot deliberately kept his real identity separate from 4chan.
    • He told Grossman, "my personal private life is very separate from my Internet life … There’s a firewall in between."
    • In February 2009, The Washington Post reported that Poole had attended Virginia Commonwealth University for a few semesters before dropping out.
    • In 2010, Poole raised $625,000 to create a new online enterprise, Canvas.
    • The website (www.canv.as) opened on January 31, 2011, and features digitally modified images uploaded by users who self-identify using Facebook Connect.
    • At the TED conference, Poole said that he no longer lives with his mother.
  • Anonymous Group Springs Out of 4chan
    • Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a group, spread through the Internet, initiating active civil disobedience, while attempting to maintain anonymity.
    • Originating in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, the term refers to the concept of many online community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, chaotic, global brain.
    • In its early form, the concept has been adopted by a decentralized online community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal, and primarily focused on entertainment.
    • Beginning with 2008, the Anonymous collective has become increasingly associated with collaborative, international hacktivism, undertaking protests and other actions, often with the goal of promoting internet freedom and freedom of speech.
    • Actions credited to "Anonymous" are undertaken by unidentified individuals who apply the Anonymous label to themselves as attribution.
    • Although not necessarily tied to a single online entity, many websites are strongly associated with Anonymous, including 4chan.
    • After a series of controversial, widely-publicized protests and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by Anonymous in 2008, incidents linked to its cadre members have increased.
    • Anonamous has mounted attacks related to Scientology, 2009 Iranian election protest, Australian Internet censorship, Sony Corp over Playstation hacking, Wikeleaks support, and Arab Spring support,
    • Usual tactics include DDOS or revealing hacked information.
  • iPhone 4S battery drain
    • The Guardian reports that some iPhone 4S owners are being contacted by Apple after complaining about lower-than-expected battery performance.
    • Numerous users there are saying their phones are lasting just a few hours, even with minimal use, and with power-draining features disabled.
    • The iPhone 4S launched two weeks ago in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and several other countries, and is expanding to 22 additional countries this weekend.
    • It boasts an extra hour of 3G talk time compared with the iPhone 4, while coming in at 100 hours less of standby time.
    • The phone continues the trend set by previous iterations, sealing the battery inside to allow for better use of space. As a side effect, users can’t swap it out with another battery, as most other phones allow.
    • A teardown of the iPhone 4S earlier this month by iFixit revealed that the battery in the 4S is slightly more powerful than the one in the iPhone 4.
    • Users get an extra .05 WHrs compared with the battery that was in the iPhone 4.
    • The big difference, of course, is that the iPhone 4S sports a dual-core A5 processor.
    • Apple has indicated that it could be caused by a corrupted iCloud contact issue which forces multiple resyncing attempts.
  • ARM Enters Server Market
    • Applied Micro Circuits (ARM) has released a new chip aimed at the server market.
    • ARM has traditionally focused on the low power consumption mobile device market.
    • However, cloud computer green initiatives are seeking low power options too.
    • Applied Micro Circuits’ new chip has multiple 3GHz cores based on the ARM 64-bit V8 architecture.
    • The new ARM V8 architecture also supports 32-bit.
    • The X-Gene demonstration platform included Ethernet MACs, PCI Express, and Serial ATA linked on an 80Gbps fabric.
    • Pushing ARM to a 64-bit architecture like the one used in Intel’s Xeon and AMD’s Opteron server chips means those x86 processors won’t have the advantage of wider single integer registers that can store more data in virtual memory than their ARM counterparts.
    • Computers with the new ARM chips would have access to those same memory advantages and could run 64-bit operating systems and applications.
    • The x86 architecture has come to dominate the data center in recent years as the industry-standard server model has taken over, while powerful RISC-based instruction set architectures like Sun’s SPARC and IBM’s POWER have waned in popularity.
    • At the same time, Intel and AMD have had almost no luck breaking into the market for small mobile devices that is dominated by cheap, low-power chips based on ARM.
    • But the new Applied Micro Circuits processor and other 32-bit and 64-bit ARM chips likely to come on its heels could signal a challenge to x86 from below by ARM chips now being scaled for uses far beyond that which the architecture has been thought capable.
  • High Tech Halloween
    • Carve a Pumpkin Online
      • Web address: www.star.me
      • Click on Carve a Pumpkin. You kids can design the face. Look at it with and without room lights. Candle inside pumpkin is always on. You can save and share your creation. All without a mess in the kitchen.
    • Geotracking
      • Trick or Tracker is an app for Android Smartphones. When installed on both a parent’s and teen’s smartphone, can keep the parent updated on the teen’s location.
      • The parent selects an interval of time — say, 15 minutes — and receives a text message as each interval passes with the kid’s location. Parents can also set up a geo-fence and get an alert if the phone leaves a defined perimeter. Cost: $4.99.
      • Google Latitude is a free app and service that allows users to sign up to receive the real-time locations of friends and family members. Each party has to approve sharing his or her location with the other, a process similar to friending on any other social network.
      • Google Latitude has apps for almost any platform, including Android, iOS, Windows phones and the BlackBerry.
      • A connection’s location can also be tracked on the Web, showing a map with a moving marker for the traveling child.
      • Find My Friends from Apple is compatible with devices running iOS 5 and works similarly to Google Latitude.
    • More Halloween apps
      • Plants vs. Zombies, is a great haunted distraction for this week. Players fight to keep zombies from coming inside their house. (If the zombies come inside they’ll eat your brains and it’ll be game over.). It sounds wacky, but it’s one of the smartest games out there, gradually building by adding new weapons as the gamer learns the ropes. Plants vs. Zombies is available on Android, iOS, Mac, PC and also online.
      • Make a Zombie is a free app for iOS devices. Users can choose between near-limitless options of hair, blood-spattered clothing, empty eyes and missing appendages and then download the image of the surprisingly cute cartoon zombie to their phone. It’s a great way to get a fresh Facebook photo for the holiday.
      • Fright Factory for the iPhone is a scary app for $1.99. The app’s scary stunt is hiding inside a series of optical illusions that asks the phone’s holder to stare intently at the screen. During the third illusion, a zombie pops up and screams, which is sure to spook anyone paying attention to the illusion.