Show of 1-7-2012

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Margaret: Dear Dr. Richard Shurtz, I own the Logitech Sqeezebox Internet Radio. When it works, I really like it, but, it is having issues. There are times when it simply looses connection/signal. I don’t know how to troubleshoot this–is it the radio or is it my Mbps upload/download speed through my Verizon FiOS service? I did several speed tests a few days back and my speed is really low…4.0 download and 1.73 upload. Do I have a defective radio, or, do I need to hand over more $ to Verizon and get a speed upgrade?
  • How do I know if that will improve the radio performance? I only use internet w/ Verizon–no tv & no phone (never will get either of these through Verizon and wish there was another way to get internet besides Verizon in my area…). Thanks, Margaret, a regular listener in Bethesda
  • Tech Talk Responds: You have enough bandwidth for listening to audio. I could be that your bandwidth drops during peak times, as I experience. There is not guaranteed bandwidth with FIOS. Just a maximum allowed speed. Sometimes I have to reboot my wireless router and reconnect to re-establish the Internet connection. The Squeezebox has gotten excellent reviews, except for some comments about difficulty with the interface.
  • Email from Lauren: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I’d like to recommend you showcase: Christopher Soghoian, there is an article on him in Wired, Dec ’11 issue. He finds security flaws and privacy issues and makes a stink about them. Hopefully you will find him worth showcasing.
  • On another note, I went to your TechTalk website on Tuesday, Dec 27 to get the link to send you an email. But, you all have revised your website and I got this message when I clicked on the ’email the show’ link: Firefox doesn’t know how to open this address because the protocol (email to) isn’t associated with any program.
  • I am using my work notebook to write you and to visit your website. I contacted our firm’s help desk — expecting them to resolve this, but, no such luck. Best, Lauren, Bethesda
  • Tech Talk Responds: Christopher Soghoian is a good suggestion. He is local and would be a good candidate for a future show.
  • We fixed the error on the website. It should have been mail to; instead of email to: Thanks for the feedback.
  • Email from Robert Tyler: Dear Dr. Shurtz: Just thought you would like to know that I keep getting this warning message when I try to download the Tech Talk
    podcast from ITunes: The URL”http//www.stratford.edu/mp3/techtalk111911.mp3″ cannot be found on the server. I’m not having any problems with the other podcasts I
    listen to.
  • On another topic, could Tech Talk do a profile of Mark Russinovich in the “Profiles in IT” portion of your radio show? I recently read book he wrote entitled “Zero Day” and it was great. I understand he also works for Microsoft. I think he would be a good subject. Thank you. Robert Tyler
  • Tech Talk Responds: We will feature Mark on today’s show. Thanks for the suggestions.
  • The original podcast file had an error in the MP3 address for the November 19, 2011 show. Your original email prompted me to check and fix it. I have since fixed the podcast. You need to reload the podcast to get the corrected file. If for some reason this does not work, you can always get the file directly using the link: http://www.stratford.edu/mp3/techtalk111911.mp3. Thanks for listening to Tech Talk.
  • Email from Arnie: Hi Dr. Shurtz, I’ve found several secure web sites to store passwords and related password managing sites:
  • My questions are: How secure are such sites themselves? (Some are cloud sites) Which ones pass your screening? Are any of these used by Stratford staff?
  • If one buys an encrypted flash drive to store their passwords, does the computer used to enter passwords on the flash drive keep the passwords somewhere in memory where someone could access them? If so, this seems to defeat using this method of storing passwords securely.
  • Finally, what is “etoken” and how does it work to protect sites? Does Stratford use eTokens?
  • Sorry no physics questions this time. Hope these questions aren’t too lengthy for the program. Merry Christmas & love Techtalk, Arnie McKechnie, Davidsonville, MD
  • Tech Talk Responds: So many questions. Let’s give a few quick ansnwers.
  • First, I would not store my critical passwords on the cloud. I would use a password encryption program on my computer. KeePass (free) or Roboform ($29) are my top choices. If you are a Mac user, try 1Password ($39 desktop, $15 mobile). As for cloud storage, www.lastpass.com has gotten great reviews ($1/month). However, that is not my preference.
  • As for an encrypted thumb drive. This gives you even more security. Once the passwords are stored, they are not retained in your computer memory after roboot. They could be temporarily stored in memory cache. You can get a good encruptions drive for around $60.
  • An eToken is a device that plugs into a USB port on your computer. It is designed to hold a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) security certificate, which is an electronic certificate that uniquely identifies individuals to computers. A rough analogy would be that an eToken is part of an electronic Identification Card that is completed or enabled when you enter your password. The eToken is about the size of a house key and can be kept on your key ring. We don’t use eTokens at Stratford for remote access.
  • Email from Santa’s Girlfriend: Merry Christmas to Dr. Richard Shurtz and all those who make TT come together and educate and inform the listeners!! I have a job that my place of work is my home office. Neither the employer nor the client I am assigned to has space for our small team in their brick/mortar locations.
  • The reason I’m contacting You is this laptop I’ve been given goes into the Control/Alt/Delete mode when I’m not typing for 15 minutes.
  • I contacted the firm’s help desk and was told this is “Firm Policy” and can’t be changed. I do like my job and the company but this policy is a waste of my time having to relogin multiple times during my workday…Are you aware of any workaround to this– I realize I am likely dreaming… Of course, it is not worth loosing my job over so perhaps I just am stuck w/ this…Happy New Year, Santa’s Girlfriend
  • Tech Talk Responds: You system administrator has implemented a very good security practice. You might be using your computer in a more public area and login out automatically would be important if it were stolen. Be glad that he gave you 15 minutes. There is not work around for this security configuration.
  • Email from Margaret: Dr. Richard Shurtz, I continue to have issues with this appl. On an earlier TT show you mentioned a website/resource that is the Best Place to learn all the features/functions of WLM. I went back and read through a couple of months of postings of answers you gave on the air and couldn’t find t hat answer.
    • How do I research/do a ‘word’ search for a topic from any/all of your prior shows?
    • Please repeat the source to learn all about managing my WLM , 2009 version, running on Windows XP.
  • My Biggest problem is deleting old emails and I wish there was a way to set to to AUTOMATICALLY delete any email in any of my 9 email inboxes when it is over 4 months old, but don’t want it to delete ANYthing I’ve saved in a personal folder on the Left side of the screen. Thanks, Big TechTalk/Dr Shurtz admirer, Margaret
  • Tech Talk Responds: The internal search for Tech Talk content does not work now with the new website. I will get that function added to the new site.
  • You can search a particular site using the follow search words: “windows live mail site:Stratford.edu” This will search only the Stratford site for the listing. It did work this morning. However, all of the link are from the old website and don’t work. I will get this search function operating this month.
  • As for windows live mail, I don’t know a way to automatically delete emails after 4 months. I can’t find that as a configuration option. You can get help on WLM from this website: http://windowslivehelp.com/

Profiles in IT: Mark E. Russinovich

  • Mark Russinovich is a Technical Fellow in the Platform and Services Division at Microsoft. He was a cofounder of Winternals and Sysinternals.com before they were acquired by Microsoft in 2006.
  • Mark E. Russinovich was born in 1966 in Salamanca, Spain and was raised in Birmingham, AL, until he was 15, when he moved with his family to Pittsburgh, PA.
  • His father was a radiologist and his mother was a business administrator of his father’s radiology practice in Pittsburgh.
  • When Russinovich began taking an interest in programming at age 15, he bought himself his first computer, a TI99/4A.
  • About six months later his parents bought him an Apple II+ from his local high school when it upgraded the computer labs to Apple IIe’s.
  • In 1989, he earned his BS in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
  • In 1990, he received an MS in computer engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic.
  • In 1994, he received a PhD in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon Univ.
  • From September 1994 through February 1996 he was a research associate with the University of Oregon’s computer science department.
  • From February through September 1996 he was a developer with NuMega Technologies, working on performance monitoring software for Windows NT.
  • In 1996, he and Bryce Cogswell cofounded Winternals Software, where Russinovich served as Chief Software Architect, and the web site Sysinternals, where Russinovich wrote and published dozens of popular Windows administration and diagnostic utilities including Autoruns, Filemon, Regmon, Process Explorer, TCPView, and RootkitRevealer among many others.
  • From September 1996 through September 1997 he worked as a consulting associate at OSR Open Systems Resources, Inc., in Amherst, New Hampshire.
  • In 1996, Russinovich discovered that the alteration of two registry values in the Windows Registry of the Workstation edition of Windows NT 4 would allow the installation of Microsoft BackOffice products for Server use.
  • From September 1997 through March 2000, he was research staff member at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center.
  • In 2005, Russinovich discovered the Sony rootkit in Sony DRM products. Its function was to prevent users from copying their media. This discovery led to industry reform.
  • In 2006, Russinovich discovered a rootkit in a product of security software company Symantec. Symantec directly removed the rootkit.
  • In January 2006, Russinovich analyzed the Windows Metafile vulnerability in Windows and concluded that it was not a deliberate backdoor.
  • Russinovich joined Microsoft in 2006, when it acquired Winternals Software.
  • He is a regular contributor to TechNet Magazine and Windows IT Pro magazine.
  • He was co-author of Inside Windows 2000 (3rd edition).
  • Russinovich’s first novel Zero Day was published by Thomas Dunne Books on March 15, 2011.
  • His hobbies include: playing video games (first person shooters), biking, and writing.
  • Sysinternals suite: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb842062
  • Mark’s blog: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963890

IT salaries edge up back to 2008 levels

  • Average IT salaries edged up slightly in 2011 according to Janco’s 2012 IT Salary Survey, which will be released January 10.
  • Over the past year, the average IT salary has seen an increase of 0.81 percent to $78,299, putting overall compensation back at January 2008 levels.
  • According to Janco, the United States added 33,100 IT jobs since last January, while layoffs have tapered off.
  • IT pros at large companies earn $81,644 on average, up from $81,273. Those at midsize companies take home $74,435, up 1.19 percent from $73,934.
    • Network services supervisors, who got an average boost of 6.7 percent from $53,754 to $57,358
    • Programmers/analysts, who enjoyed an average total increase of 6.14 percent from $75,420 to $80,051
    • VPs of technical services, who saw their total pay increase by 5.36 percent from $141,531 to $149,118
    • LAN application support analysts, who reaped an average 5.13 percent salary increase from $60,075 to $63,159
  • Enterprises are moving IT and data center operations back in-house, which means greater demand for data center managers and supervisors for such departments as computer operations, Internet systems, capacity planning, network services, and production services
  • Some IT positions experienced a salary drop over the past year. Senior network specialist, operation analysts, OS production managers, technical services specialists all dropped around 5%.
  • Dmand for CIOs is also on the rise, particularly at midsize companies. The mean compensation for CIOs at large enterprises is now $176,659. At midsize companies, CIOs are earning $164,342 on average, an increase of 1.26 percent 

Product of the Week: Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad2

  • Wi-fi keyboard which also serves as a case
  • Manufactured by ZAGG, licensed by Logitech
  • Same price as the magnetic cover offered by Apple.
  • Brushed aluminum. Very study
  • Most used keyboard at the recent SACS accreditation conference.
  • List price: $99 (Street price: $76)

Most Frequent 2012 Tech Resolutions

  • As compiled by Tiger Direct
  1. Back up all your files
  2. Add Internet Streaming to your HDTV
  3. Upgrade your old WiFi Router
  4. Boost your WiFi signal with a WiFi Repeater
  5. Take Pictures Like a Pro
  6. Maximize your PC’s Performance with more memory!
  7. Get a faster laptop
  8. Get a big 27 monitor
  9. Get rid of the cables on the desk
  10. Get a Tablet

iPhone 4S data hogs

  • It’s well-known that iPhone owners use lots of cellular bandwidth, but it seems that the iPhone 4S has taken bandwidth consumption to new heights.
  • Owners of the iPhone 4S use twice as much data as iPhone 4 users and nearly three times as much data as iPhone 3G users, according to an Arieso report.
  • However, owners of the HTC Desire S upload more than three times as much data as their iPhone 3G counterparts, beating out iPhone 4S owners by a hair.
  • The survey was conducted in November 2011 using standard operations support systems, which network operators use for billing, customer support and network operations.
  • One million subscribers were surveyed in a European city and its suburbs. Each device was represented by more than 1,000 subscribers.
  • Consumers in the United States using iPhones used twice as much data as owners of other smartphones, Consumer Reports stated back in 2010.
  • Further, 12 percent of those iPhone users consume two to three times more than the others — 500 MB to 1GB per month, compared to 273 MB for other iUsers.
  • The top 1 percent of all data users are now responsible for half of the data downloaded, Arieso found.
  • Demand for mobile data, and hence bandwidth, will surge. Mobile data is expected to double each year.
  • “There will be a bandwidth crunch, and people may not be able to get connected as frequently as possible.
  • The spectrum crunch “is the biggest problem the wireless industry faces,” and “was behind the attempted AT&T  purchase of T-Mobile.
  • Carriers are building out their networks in an attempt to cope with the growing demand for bandwidth.
  • In the end, carriers will “use more aggressive tiering, throttling, and implement aggressive technology upgrade cycles to address this demand.