Show of 9-7-2013

Best of Tech Talk Edition

  • Replaying segments from previous shows.

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Mary in Bethesda: Dear Doc Shurtz,   I often find people on LinkedIn I’d like to be able to send an email to. I don’t have a paid for level of access to LinkedIn and therefore can’t send an ‘inmail’ to them.
  • I have learned over time that if you know where someone works (and on LinkedIn the current position is listed), you can go into google and search on for example, @intel.com
  • and often find someone’s email and then learn the ‘recipe’ of whether email is firstname.lastname, or whatever. What I am wondering is, hasn’t someone come up with a master list resource someone with this need of mine can go to and put in a company name and learn the firm’s email formula/recipe?
  • Your thoughts are appreciated. This show of yours is a treasure and you serve the listeners with a beneficial resource that I find of real value. I hope U and Jim have a great summer :  ). Mary, Bethesda
  • Tech Talk Responds:  Mary, this is a great idea. I could not find any such service. You can use LinkedIn Inmail for $10 a pop if you are not a member. I can give you some tips on locating the email address using the advanced search tools in Google.
  • If you know the person’s name, you can search for “First Last” email @domain. This will give you a list of all webpages that list the email address. Usually, the email is private and only located in documents (word, excel, etc.) You can search only in documents for the email address using the following search sequence. Here would be the search sequence for this specific search: “First Last” email @domain filetype:pdf  filetype:doc  filetype:xls filetype:ppt. Only use one file type at a time when doing the search!
  • Email from Tung in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim. My friend has been sending me small videos via text messages. I would love to be able to make my own movies and send to him via text message. These are private movies so I want to send them myself. How can I do this? We listen to the live stream each Saturday morning. Love the show. Tung in Ohio.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Tung, you cannot send a movie using text messages. You are simply attaching a picture to the text message. In your case the image is a specially formatting image. Rather than a simple JPG format, you are receiving images are formatted as GIF images.
  • GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. It is bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the web. GIF supports animation by displaying a series of images in fast succession.  If the GIF is formatted to loop the movie will continue indefinitely.
  • Photoshop can be used to make animated GIFs. You can create a series of images and Photoshop can format them as an animated GIF.  Photoshop will also open videos in MPEG, MP4, AVI, and MOV formats. When you open it, select Range to Import to get only a few select frames—the fewer the frames, the faster the animated GIF. It will import the frames as layers, which you’ll convert back to frames for the animated GIF file. You can even resize and crop the layers to produce a smaller the animation.
  • Picasion.com lets you create an animated GIF by uploading individual photos. They must all be resized to the same dimensions. You can also use your own Webcam to get an animation of yourself. With the Webcam option, you can set a speed from slower to faster and a size from Userpic (100 pixels wide) up to big (400 pixels wide), and let the site do the rest of the work.
  • Gifninja is another free option. If you’ve got a video file that’s smaller than 20MB, Gifninja will accept it as an upload and turn the first few frames into a very good animated GIF.
  • Email from Sophia in Alexandria: Dear Tech Talk, I keep have an advertising pop up on my computer and I can’t get rid of it. When I do a search, my browser keeps going to the same website for some type of prize. I am using Windows XP and IE9. What should I do? Thanks, Sophia in Alexandria
  • Tech Talk Responds: This sounds like a browser hijack. A browser hijack is a type of malware that infects your system. Once downloaded, it waits until you do an internet search; when it sees a page with search results, it updates the results with its own links to advertisements or other websites. No matter what you click on, you see what the malware wants to show you.
  • You definitely want to treat this as malware. My first suggestion would be to make sure you’re running up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware scans. It sounds like whatever tool that you’re using worked once before, but I would also consider running Malwarebytes, a free tool available for download at malwarebytes.org.
  • After you’ve taken the malware off of your computer, my first suggestion is to watch what you’re doing. The key to preventing problems like this is vigilance and good anti-malware software that’s up-to-date.
  • Email from Wije in Sri Lanka: Dear Tech Talk, I am in Colombo, Sri Lanka and listen to the podcast each week. My computer is locked up and I am told that in order to unlock it that I will have to pay $300. They are implying that I have done something wrong. What should I do? Love the show, Wije
  • Tech Talk Responds: You have been infected by ransom ware. We covered a type of ransom ware a couple of weeks ago. It was the FBI scam, where you were told that your computer was locked because you had visited child porn sites. You have a similar infection.
  • ‘Ransomware’ is a type of malware that attempts to extort money from a computer user by infecting and taking control of the victim’s machine, or the files or documents stored on it. Typically, the ransom ware will either ‘lock’ the computer to prevent normal usage, or encrypt the documents and files on it to prevent access to the saved data.
  • The ransom demand will then be displayed, usually either via a text file or as a webpage in the web browser. This type of malware leverages the victim’s surprise, embarrassment and/or fear to push them into paying the ransom demanded.
  • Ransomware may arrive as part of another malware’s payload, or may be delivered by an exploit kit such as Black hole, which exploits vulnerabilities on the affected computer to silently install and execute the malware.
  • Though earlier ransomware samples tended to be simple, blatant attempts at extortion, recent ones have been more subtle in design. In 2012, there were multiple instances of ‘police-themed’ ransomware that cunningly disguise their ransom demands as official-looking warning messages from a local law enforcement agency.
  • In most cases, F-Secure’s Easy Clean removal tool is able to remove the ransomeware, restoring normal access to the system. Many other removal tools are available from legitimate anti-virus vendors. Here is a link to one that I have used.
  • Email from Don: Dear Tech Talk, I would like to use Google drive on my PC and my iPhone. How does it work? Love the show. Thanks, Don
  • Tech Talk Responds: Google drive is an Internet based storage system, aka Cloud Storage. You will need to download the Google Drive app on the iPhone and create an account using your Gmail user name and password. Then you will need to go to the Google Drive webpage on your PC and click the download PC application. That applications will create a Google drive on your PC, after to login with your Gmail user name and password. Any document that you put into your Google drive folder will be synchronized with the drive on your cell phone. Any document can be opened using Goolgle docs. It is very easy to use and set up.

Profiles in IT: Martin “Marty” Cooper

  • Martin “Marty” Cooper is a pioneer in the wireless communications industry, and widely regarded as “father of the cell phone.”
  • Martin “Marty” Cooper was born December 26, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois
  • Cooper graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1950.
  • After graduating he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves where he served as a submarine officer during the Korean War.
  • In 1957 Cooper earned a Master’s in electrical engineering from IIT.
  • Cooper left his first job at Teledyne Corporation in Chicago in 1954 and joined Motorola,  as a senior development engineer in the mobile equipment group.
  • He developed many products including the first cellular-like portable handheld police radio system, produced for the Chicago police department in 1967.
  • By the early 1970s, Cooper headed up Motorola’s communications systems division.
  • He conceived of the first portable cellular phone in 1973. Cooper has stated his vision was inspired by Captain James T. Kirk using his Communicator on Star Trek.
  • Top management at Motorola was supportive of Cooper’s mobile phone concept; investing $100M between 1973 and 1993 before any revenues were realized.
  • Cooper assembled a team that designed and assembled a product that had never been built; a task they accomplished in less than 90 days.
  • That original handset, called the DynaTAC 8000x (DYNamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) weighed 2.5 pounds, measured 10 inches long and was dubbed “the brick.”
  • The phone had only 20 minutes of talk time before requiring a 10-hour recharge.
  • By 1983 and after four iterations, the handset was reduced to half its original weight. It ultimately sold for $4,000, which is equivalent to $9,400 in 2013.
  • On April 3, 1973 Cooper made the first handheld cellular phone call to his chief competitor Dr. Joel S. Engel, who was head of Bell Labs.
  • He also led the creation of trunked mobile radio, quartz crystals, oscillators, liquid crystal displays, piezo-electric components, and Motorola A.M. stereo technology.
  • Cooper ultimately became VP and Corporate Director of R&D at Motorola
  • He also fixed a flaw in quartz crystals used in Motorola’s radios which encouraged the Company to mass-produce the first crystals used in wrist watches.
  • In 1986 Cooper co-founded Cellular Payphone Inc. (CPPI), the parent company of GreatCall, Inc. – Innovator of the Jitterbug cell phone.
  • In 1992 Cooper co-founded Arraycomm a developer of software for smart antenna technologies used for both mobile telephones and long-range wireless .
  • He proposed Cooper’s Law, which states the wireless channel capacity doubles every 30 months, because of increased spectral efficiency.
  • When Cooper joined Motorola, he signed an agreement that all of this inventions would belong to Motorola. He was paid $1 for that agreement.

David Burd Visit

  • Follow up to David’s desire to build a fence and remote controlled gate at the Burd Compound

Fake Twitter Followers: A Dirty Marketing Secret

  • Large brands and stars are purchasing fake followers to puff up their social media presence.
  • To understand how one identifies the presence of fake followers, a little pattern study must happen.
  • In the case of someone who has purchased fake followers, the account generally sees a spike in user numbers followed by an equivalent drop in the number of followers about a month later.
  • According to the New York Times, two Italian security researchers, Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli, are naming a few of the larger buyers of such fake followers.
  • A list that includes brands like Pepsi, Mercedes-Benz and Louis Vuitton , politicians like Newt Gingrich, Representative Jared Polis and Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, and the rappers 50 Cent and Sean Combs, known as Diddy.
  • 1000 followers can reportedly be purchased for around $5, increasing the amount of followers on an account can become a relatively inexpensive way to improve one’s perceived visibility.
  • Burst campaigns, where a brand or star purchases large amounts of followers can easily be traced because they show sudden increases that tend to be out of step with traditional patterns.
  • In the report the New York Times cities, music artist Diddy saw sharp rises and falls in his account in June 2012, rap singer 50 cent saw similar swings this past January, and brands like Mercedes and Pepsi bounced up and down in atypical ways in October and November 2012.

The Ten Commandments of cell phone etiquette

  • Thou shalt not subject defenseless others to cell phone conversations.
  • Thou shalt not set thy ringer to play La Cucaracha every time thy phone rings.
  • Thou shalt turn thy cell phone off during public performances.
  • Thou shalt not wear more than two wireless devices on thy belt.
  • Thou shalt not dial while driving.
  • Thou shalt not wear thy earpiece when thou art not on thy phone.
  • Thou shalt not speak louder on thy cell phone than thou would on any other phone.
  • Thou shalt not grow too attached to thy cell phone. For obvious reasons, a dependency on constant communication is not healthy. At work, go nuts. At home, give it a rest.
  • Thou shalt not attempt to impress with thy cell phone.
  • Thou shalt not slam thy cell phone down on a restaurant table just in case it rings.