Show of 9-22-2012

Best of Tech Talk Edition

  • Segments taken from previous shows.

Email and Forum Questions

  • Facebook Comments by Cathie Skoog: At the end of the show you were discussing passwords with mobile voicemail (VM). I have Verizon service but since getting my iPhone I have never been prompted for a password when accessing VM; always prompted with previous phone. Went to iPhone settings and nothing to turn on; only change VM password. Would you pls address this? In the meantime I will check it out further (play with phone).
  • Tech Talk Responds: You phone is storing and sending the VM password. If you use another phone, the password will. You might want to change your VM password. I believe that the Verizon default password is the last four digits of your phone number. No too secure. They assume that you will change it.
  • Facebook Comment by Cathie Skoog: Years ago it was critical that VM was password protected because a person getting into your VM account could dial out and you could be charged for the calls. I thought that hole was closed up years ago. So, if I get non-sensitive VM messages, why would I care if my VM account is password protected?
  • Tech Talk Responds: If you don’t mind someone listening to and deleting your voicemails or changing or greeting, then there is not reason to worry about it. Don’t forget if they have access to your VM, they can also set the password so you can’t get it.
  • Email from Alex: I have been listening to the news about to VM hacking, what about taking over online accounts, like with your healthcare provider or phone provider. Thanks, Alex
  • Tech Talk Responds: This is also a great problem. Many times people don’t even do the initial setup of their accounts. Sometimes it can be very easy to set up the account without much information. This was also done by some news organization so they could see which numbers were being called. With Verizon you need the billing zip code and the last four digits of the social security number. Some online accounts require even less.
  • Email from Alice: I have heard so much about Facebook privacy. How can I make certain that I am still protected? Thanks, Alice
  • Tech Talk Responds: Facebook privacy is a continuing program. Facebook keeps changing the rules as they open their database in order to monetize it. The biggest leak of information is caused by applications which you have given the rights to share your information. To check on your privacy setting, go to Accounts in the upper right corner and select Privacy Preferences. There are three areas: Connecting on Facebook (what visitors can see on your page): Sharing on Facebook (what data you are sharing); Apps and Websites (apps you have given permission to access your data, instant personalization of websites, public search). Keep your settings restricted, but don’t post anything on Facebook you would not want the world to know.
  • Question from Cameron: I am a student at NVCC Woodbridge campus. I would like to know about transferring to this university. Do they accept courses already taken in different universities? Is there a way I can send transcripts so I can find out how many courses will be accepted? Thank you for your time, Cameron
  • Tech Talk responds: You can send an email to admissions@stratford.edu. They can perform a transfer credit analysis. Stratford accepts credits from accredited institutions. Whether the credits apply to a degree depend on how well the degrees match.
  • Email from Jim: Dear Tech Talk. My daughter is going away to college and needs a laptop. What are your suggestions? Thanks, Jim
  • Tech Talk Responds: You daughter will be carrying this around the campus and to class. The larger the screen, the heavier the unit and the shorter the battery life. I would recommend getting a screen 15 inches or smaller. Get a large hard drive (at least 500 MB) to accommodate all the other activities she will have (downloaded movies and music). Invest in a larger battery to increase the time between charges so she won’t be tethered to a wall socket. Buy an automatic backup service like Carbonite or Mozy. If her laptop is lost or stolen just before finals, she can get another and restore her work immediately. Laptop theft is the biggest problem at colleges. Finally, make certain to purchase the software at academic pricing (a full version is typically the cost of an upgrade). She will need a student ID to qualify.

Profiles in IT: Anthony M. Fadell

  • Anthony M. Fadell is best known as the inventor of the Apple iPod.
  • Anthony M. Fadell was born in 1969 in Detroit.
  • Born in Detroit, he moved with his family throughout the country, attended eleven schools and as an eight-year old held his first job selling eggs.
  • Fadell graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.
  • He received a BS in Computer Engineering in 1991 from the University of Michigan.
  • While still at Michigan, he founded Constructive Instruments, which marketed multimedia composition software for children.
  • In 1992, he started working for Apple spinoff General Magic, starting as a diagnostics engineer and progressing to a systems architect for the Magic Cap PDA platform.
  • During his three-and-a-half years at General Magic, Fadell lost touch with his family, screwed up his personal relationships, gained 40 pounds and then lost 50.
  • In 1995 he was hired by Philips where he was co-founder, Chief Technology Officer, and Director of Engineering in the Mobile Computing Group.
  • As a condition for joining, he demanded that his team be allowed to operate like a startup. The Mobile Computing Group got its own building, with walls painted yellow and purple. There were open cubicles, free soda and fruit.
  • He calls himself a “studied engineer” and “self-proclaimed designer”. His passion is designing portable devices. He feels limited space forces more creative solutions.
  • During the 1990s, Fadell started his own company called Fuse. His vision was to become the Dell of the Consumer Electronics.
  • One of the devices he had in mind was a small hard disk-based music player.
  • Fuse failed to find a second round of funding and Fadell started exploring options.
  • He first approached RealNetworks in 2000 but left after only six weeks.
  • The second company he approached was Apple, where Jobs was very receptive.
  • He started doing work for Apple from February 2001 as a contractor.
  • In April 2001 he was hired by Apple to assemble and run its iPod & Special Projects group, where he oversaw the design and production of the iPod and iSight devices.
  • Tony Fadell partnered with a company called PortalPlayer who had been working on their own MP3 player to design the software for the new Apple player.
  • Within eight months, Tony Fadell’s team and PortalPlayer completed a prototype iPod and Apple polished the user interface adding the famous scroll wheel.
  • On October 23, 2001 Apple Computers announced the iPod, created under project codename Dulcimer. The iPod was formally released November 10, 2001.
  • Fadell was already kept out of the picture – even though he had developed the device from the very beginning, as head of a team of 35 designers and engineers.
  • Jobs was always the face of the iPod. Jobs was afraid that the competition could steal his best engineers. That’s why no one could interview Fadell
  • He was promoted to vice president of iPod engineering in 2004.
  • On March 31, 2006, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of the iPod Division.
  • As of April 2007, the iPod had sold over 100 million units worldwide. This unit, in combination with iTunes, restored Apple.
  • On November 4, 2008, Fadell stepped down as Senior Vice President but would remain as an adviser to CEO Steve Jobs.

Profiles in IT Twin Spin: Rob Glaser

  • Rob Glaser is founder and CEO of RealNetworks which produces RealAudio, RealVideo, and RealPlayer.
  • Rob Glaser was born January 16, 1962 in New York City.
  • His father had a printing company, sparking his interest in journalism and media.
  • Glaser’s mother was a psychiatric social worker who helped set up a center for disadvantaged children, instilling in him son a sense of social responsibility
  • While growing up, he loved to listen to the radio and to music.
  • His summer camp counselor was working at his college radio station. After the camp was over the counselor invited him over to the station.
  • That experience prompted him to start a radio station while still in high school.
  • Glaser attended Yale, earning a BA and MA in Economics and a BS in computer science.
  • At Yale University he set up his second radio station and became one of the editors of the Yale Daily News.
  • After Yale, in 1983, he joined Microsoft. He managed the MS Word team then went on to become VP of multimedia and consumer systems.
  • In 1993, he left Microsoft after having become a millionaire to start new ventures.
  • He felt that the Internet could be used to deliver a multimedia experience.
  • In 1995, he founded Progressive Networks. The original goal of the company was to provide a distribution channel for politically progressive content.
  • It evolved into a technology venture to leverage the Internet as an alternative distribution medium for audio broadcasts.
  • Progressive Networks became RealNetworks in September 1997.
  • RealNetworks went on to launch the first streaming video technology in 1997.
  • According to some accounts, by 2000, more than 85% of streaming content on the Internet was in the Real format.
  • Glaser, while Chief Executive of Real Networks, clashed repeatedly with Tony Fadell, Godfather of the iPhone and iPod, who then left the company after 5 weeks and went onto founding the products for Apple.
  • In August 2003, RealNetworks acquired Listen.com’s Rhapsody music service, and renamed it RealRhapsody. It offers streaming music downloads for a monthly fee.
  • Despite this success, problems arose because his business model depended upon the sale of servers. Microsoft and Apple were giving those products away.
  • As MS and Apple servers became more capable, Real’s server sales eroded.
  • Also a new open sound format, MP3, gradually replaced RealNetworks format.
  • On April 6, 2010, Rhapsody was spun off from RealNetworks.
  • Glaser was a leading backer of Al Gore’s Air America Radio, loaning at least $9.8 million according to its bankruptcy filing.
  • Since June 2010, Glaser has been a partner at global venture firm, Accel Partners, focusing on digital media technology, social media, and mobile service investments.
  • Glasers’s net worth was estimated to be $490M, as for 2010.

Retro iPod and iPhone discussion with David Burd

  • Originally Aired on September 8, 2007. Despite the ravings of David Burd, Dr. Shurtz was not an early fan of the iPhone, as we hear in this segment from the past.