Show of 11-2-13

Best of Tech Talk Edition

Replaying segments from previous shows.

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Arnie McKechnie: Hi Dr. Shurtz, You comment about education in last Saturday’s Tech Talk was right on. I think Einstein said it a little differently:† “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” A friend of ours who has children 12, 7 & 4 told me that spelling, grammar and cursive writing are no longer taught at their schools in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Seems the feeling is that Word with spell-check & grammar check will take care of spelling and grammar, and cursive is out because of computers as well (until the kid is old enough to write and sign a check). I hope that is not the same sediment at Stratford University.
  • As a suggestion, Ray Dolby, who died recently, would be an interesting person to spotlight on Tech Talk. He changed the way we listen to music. My question for Tech Talk this week would be: does it really make a difference if one has a HDMI 2.0 cable versus a 1.2 or earlier model cable? Fortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be a change in the connection.† Really enjoy your show.† Arnie McKechnie, Davidsonville, MD
  • Tech Talk Responds: Each new version of HDMI has a faster data rate to support hirer resolution. The main problem with any cable system is attenuation at higher frequencies. If the cable is short (less than 5 meters) and uses the same connection, an older cable will work. The newer standards have defined some new connector configurations, which are smaller, for automotive and mobile devices.
  • Email from Robert Taylor in Amarillo; Hi Doc! I havenít written in a while but I still thoroughly enjoy your show. I am glad to see you are still on the radio, you have taught me a lot over the last several years.† Thanks!† I see David Byrd is still drinking the Apple Kool-Aid and while I still love my Windows phone I can no longer take the battery out.† It is a Nokia Lumia 928 and it is a fantastic phone, Jim Russ should try one out before he is forever doomed to use an IPhone.†
  • I do have a question; I am getting my mother an android Galaxy Note 3 due to the larger screen size.† She has several things on her calendar that she would like to see and sync on her Galaxy Note 3 when it is gets it.† She has Windows 7 on her desktop computer with outlook 2003.† Is there a way to sync the two calendars?† I sync mine from work but we use Microsoft exchange which she will not have access too.† From doing some research on the internet I think it is possible, but I canít quite figure it out.† She does have a Microsoft Live account and an email account from outlook.com.
  • PS: Thanks for any information and keep the information rolling! Chief Robert Taylor from the Amarillo Texas Police Department
  • Tech Talk Responds: First, you’ll need to install Google Calendar Sync, which automatically syncs your Outlook calendar entries with your Google Calendar account. This software allows you to sync calendar entries either one-way (from Outlook to Google or vice versa) or both ways (any changes made in either program will be reflected in both applications). On your Samsung Galaxy S III, go to Settings > Accounts & Sync > Add account > Google, then enter your details. When it’s done, make sure that you check the “Sync calendar” option.
  • Email from Kevin in Alexandria: Dear Doc and Jim, I have a router which connects to both my desktop PC and several wireless devices: a tablet, a laptop, and so forth. Whenever I turn on the desktop, my laptops, and my tablets, the internet almost stops working. When the laptop and the tablet are on alone, the Internet runs fine. How do I fix this? Thanks, Kevin
  • Tech Talk Responds: This sounds like your desktop computer is simply hogging all of your internet bandwidth. There are several reasons why this could be happening. The desktop computer may be trying to upload or download something (probably a very large file or maybe several things). My sonís did this when he was downloading music using peer-to-peer software like Kazaa, BitTorrent, or Limewire. In doing so, itís taking up all of the available internet speed that your ISP is giving you.
  • This could be temporary. For example, if the desktop is downloading updates, then the speed should return to normal after the download is complete.
  • It could also be malware. Malicious software on that desktop could be trying to upload and download constantly to the exclusion of everything else.
  • I would check the process monitor on your Windows 7 machine to see what is going on. You can download Process Monitor from Microsoft. It is part of the SysInternals suite of tools.
  • Email from Feroze in Fredericksburg: Dear Tech Talk, I have a Nikon digital SLR camera and would like to get right memory card. The slow ones are very cheap. The fastest are quite expensive. How do I make the correct choice? Thanks, Feroze in Fredericksburg
  • Tech Talk Responds: All memory cards have both size and speed specifications. The faster the card the more expensive. Memory prices are dropping fast and both speed and size grow each year. There are four common speed classes.
    • Class 2 (2 MB/s for SD video)
    • Class 4 (MB/s for some video, stills
    • Class 6 (6 MB/s for HD video, HD stills)
    • Class 10 (10 MB/s 1080p HD video, burst shooting mode)
    • UHS 1 (50 MB/s for real-time broadcasts and large HD video files)
  • The speed you need depends on your applications. Since both Class 2 and 4 are very cheap. I would never buy a Class 2. Given the falling prices and the fact that your camera supports HD video and burst mode, I would only get a Class 10 memory card.
  • Email from Amber from Fairfax: Dear Tech Talk, I am confused about all of the browsers that are available. What is the difference and what do you recommend? Thanks, Amber from Fairfax
  • Tech Talk Responds: Actually, I have five browsers on my computer (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari). I look at the Stratford website with all of them to check for problems. Chrome by Google has gotten the best reviews in terms of speed and security.†A close second in Firefox. In recent years, Microsoft has made great strides with IE. It is now third in terms on speed and security. Opera is next and Safari is last because of speed.
  • IE has over 50% of the installed base. Firefox and Chrome have around 16%. Safari is fourth is around 12%. IE market share is holding. Look for this to shift the move to mobile continues with Android and Apple dominating.

Profiles in IT: Ray Milton Dolby (suggested by Arnie)

  • Ray Milton Dolby invented the Dolby noise reduction system and co-invented video tape recording while at Ampex. He was the founder of Dolby Laboratories.
  • an American engineer and inventor of the noise reduction system known as Dolby
  • Ray Milton Dolby was born January 18, 1933 in Portland, Oregon.
  • He was raised in San Francisco and graduated from Sequoia High School in 1951.
  • As a teenager, he held part-time and summer jobs at Ampex in Redwood City, working with their first audio tape recorder.
  • While at San Jose State College and later at Stanford University (interrupted by two years of Army service), he worked on early prototypes of video tape recorder technologies.
  • As a non-degree-holding “consultant”, Dolby played a key role in the effort that led Ampex to unveil their prototype Quadruplex videotape recorder in April 1956.
  • In 1957, Dolby received his BSEE from Stanford. University.
  • He won a Marshall Scholarship to the PhD program at the University of Cambridge.
  • He received his PhD in Physics from Pembroke College in 1961.
  • After Cambridge, Dolby acted as a technical advisor to the UN in India, until 1965.
  • While at Cambridge, he noticed the hissing noise on audio tapes. The problem continued to nag him while in India. The solution came to him at his home in Punjab.
  • He was sitting at my desk making some calculations on distortions generated by some conventional noise-reduction systems. Suddenly he realized that these problems would disappear if he separated the high levels of the signal from the low levels.
  • He returned to England and founded Dolby Laboratories in London in 1965.
  • In that same year, he officially invented the Dolby Sound System, a form of electronic filter, although his first U.S. patent was not filed until 1969.
  • Prior to Dolby’s invention solved the problem on background noise. Hiss was particularly noticeable during instrumental solos, quiet or silent passages.
  • The filter was first used by Decca Records in the UK. The first film with Dolby sound was A Clockwork Orange (1971).
  • The Dolby Laboratories grew to be an industry leader in audio technology, cutting background hiss in tape recordings and later bringing out “surround sound”.
  • Dolby moved to San Francisco in 1976 and in 1989 was awarded an Oscar.
  • He also received a Grammy award in 1995 and Emmy awards in 1989 and 2005.
  • Dolby was a Fellow and past president of the Audio Engineering Society.
  • Dolby died of leukemia on September 12, 2013, at his home in SF at the age of 80.
  • He was a member of the Forbes 400 with an estimated net worth of US$2.9 billion in 2008 although as of September 2012 it was estimated to have declined to $2.4 billion.

David Burd Guest Appearance

  • David stops by to talk about the iPhone 5c and 5s.

Profiles in IT: Amar Gopal Bose

  • Amar Gopal Bose was founder and chairman of Bose Corporation, a company known for innovative audio products. Boseís research in psychoacoustics, or sound perception, revolutionized the speaker industry.
  • Bose was born November 2, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was an Indian freedom revolutionary fled Calcutta in the 1920s.
  • During the World War II years, he hired school friends as co-workers in a small home business repairing model trains and home radios to supplement his family’s income.
  • After graduating from Abington Senior High School in Abington, Pennsylvania, Bose enrolled at MIT, graduating with a BSEE in 1951.
  • Bose spent a year in Eindhoven, Netherlands, in the research labs at NV Philips Electronics; and a year as a Fulbright research student in New Delhi, India.
  • He completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1956, writing a thesis on non-linear systems.
  • Following graduation, Bose became an Assistant Professor at MIT.
  • Bose bought a high-end stereo speaker system in 1956 and he was disappointed with their ability to reproduce the realism of a live performance.
  • His research on acoustics led him to invent a stereo loudspeaker that would reproduce, in a domestic setting, the dominantly reflected sound field that characterizes the listening space of the audience in a concert hall.
  • His focus on psychoacoustics became a hallmark of his company’s audio products.
  • For initial capital to fund his company in 1964, Bose turned to angel investors, including his MIT thesis advisor and professor, Dr. Y. W. Lee.
  • Bose was awarded significant patents in two fields that continue to be important to the Bose Corporation.
  • These patents were in the area of loud speaker design and non-linear, two-state modulated, Class-D, power processing.
  • The company Bose founded now employs more than 9,000 people worldwide and produces products for home, car, and professional audio.
  • Bose never took his company public because he wanted to pursue risky long-term research. Bose has been called the Apple for acoustic devices.
  • In addition to running his company, Bose remained a professor at MIT until 2001.
  • In 2007 he was listed in Forbes 400 as the 271st richest man in the world, with a net worth of $1.8 billion.
  • In 2009, he was no longer on the billionaire list, and returned to the list in 2011, with a net worth of $1.0 billion.
  • In 2011, Bose donated a majority of the company’s non-voting shares to MIT on the condition that the shares never be sold.
  • Bose died on July 12, 2013 at the age of 83 in Wayland, Massachusetts.