Show of 04-05-2014

Tech Talk

April 5, 2014

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email form Lauren: Dear Doc Shurtz. I am still trying to learn SaleForce and am trying to figure out time zones. What happens when a user flies across country? How does he keep his calendar correct in SalesForce? Does he change the SalesForce record or the laptop? Thanks, Lauren
  • Tech Talk Responds: I will talk about this because time zones can become an issue when travelling. I am confronted with this every time I travel to India. To answer the question, you must understand where the calendar is maintained. In this case the calendar is maintained in central servers. Simply changing the time zone in his laptop will not correct the SalesForce calendar. He must change update his user record in SalesForce to keep his calendar correct. Changing the time zone in his laptop will shift his Outlook calendar to the proper time zone, but will not affect the SaleForce record.
  • Email form Wayne Mitchell: Dear Tech Talk, I’ve read that Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP as of Tuesday, April 8, 2014. It’s currently installed on both my laptop and desktop PC’S. What are the expected dangers and consequences of continuing to use them after April 8th and what, if any, actions should I take? Wayne Mitchell in Silver Spring, Md.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Your machine will be vulnerable if it is connected to the Internet. There is a very large installed base on XP machines, so hackers are ready to exploit them. On a network but not the internet is difficult. And donít forget that networking is not the only way your XP machine could become infected. Transferring data back and forth via USB sticks is another possible way.
  • And of course, removing internet connectivity from the XP box means any anti-malware tools on the Windows XP machine will not be able to keep themselves up to date: they wonít be able to update their database of malware definitions.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials (for XP) will continue to be updated for at least another year, and other anti-malware tools perhaps even longer than that. Given the risk of secondhand infection anyway, you still want that anti-malware tool updated.
  • Keep your XP machine connected to the internet; turn on the firewall, make sure your anti-malware tools are updating themselves regularly, and then use that machine for as little as possible. The single biggest thing you can do to reduce the exposure.
  • Email from Jake: Dear Tech Talk I recently got an iPhone 5S and upgraded the iOS to iOS7.1. Now my Bluetooth audio does not work in my car. I have a Lexus. What can I do? Love the show, Jake
  • Tech Talk Responds: I have checked the blogs. There are a number of car audio systems that donít work with the latest update. Apple says that the automobile manufacturers must update their software and that this is not an Apple problem. As it turns out, Lexus has released an update, but you will have to the dealer to get it. Not all manufacturers even have an update yet. In† the interim, you can connect charge you phone use the USB port in the compartment between the seats. The USB is connected to the audio system and will play your music without Bluetooth.
  • Email form Lynn in Cleveland: Dear Doc and Jim. I spend a lot of time in my backyard tending the animals. I donít have ready power for my cell phone and have trouble keeping it charged. I have the same problem when I am at the beach or hiking. Can I keep my phone charged with any type of portable charger? Love the show and so does my family. Lynn in Cleveland
  • Tech Talk Responds: You must have a large backyard and spend a lot of time outdoors. This is a great question. I have been using a 12W solar charger for my iPhone and iPad. I love it. It takes at least a 10W charger for an iPad and a 7W charger for an iPhone. My iPhone will fully charge in less than 2 hours in full sunlight. I am user the Solar12 Folding Solar Charger. It is manufactured by StrongVolt. It folds to a small size for easy portability and opens to expose three solar panels. The unit cost around $60 and is available on Amazon.
  • Email from Beth: Dear Tech Talk. Can I delete what my anti-malware program puts into its quarantine? Thanks, Beth
  • Tech Talk Responds: Anti-malware scanners identify files on your computer that may be infected with malware. If they find one, they move it to a safe area (quarantine), often renaming them in the process so that they donít get accidentally run.
  • There are two problems that the quarantining process solves. One, you might actually still need that infected file. Or two, the anti-malware tool could be wrong. Anti-malware tools typically donít know how to fix individual files that way since it typically requires specialized knowledge of the file itself. †The quarantine should be reviewed. If there is nothing you want to keep, clear the quarantine.
  • Email from June in Burke: Dear Jim and Doc. I have lost the password to my Windows Administrator account. How do I get it back? Love the show, June
  • Tech Talk Responds: Resetting your Windows account password is easy, as long as you have access to the machine. You must boot from either a CD or USB drive.
  • First, download and burn to CD the Offline NT Password and Registry Editor. This is actually a highly customized version of Linux thatís designed to do exactly what the name implies: allow you to examine and edit the password information and registry of a Windows machine. (A USB version is available as well.)
  • Here is the link: http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/
  • Boot your problematic machine from that CD that you just burned. Select the Windows installation you want to reset. Select: Edit user data and passwords. Select the Administrator. Select: Clear the password. Quit the program. Remove the CD and reboot.† You now only have to create a new Administrative Password.

Profiles in IT: Brendan Eich

  • Brendan Eich was creator of JavaScript and co-founder of the Mozilla Corporation
  • Brendan Eich was born in 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Brendan Eich received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science at Santa Clara University. He received his master’s degree in 1986 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Eich started his career at Silicon Graphics, working for seven years on operating system and network code.
  • He then worked for three years at MicroUnity Systems writing microkernel and DSP code, and doing the first MIPS R4000 port of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection).
  • Eich was recruited to Netscape in April 1995, when it had just 120 employees.
  • At Netscape, Eich has created a programming language called JavaScript.
  • Mr. Eich did the initial design work on JavaScript in little more than a week in June 1995, as part of a project code-named Mocha — for sweetened Java.
  • The scripting language itself was originally called LiveScript, but with Sun Microsystem’s blessing, it was changed to JavaScript
  • With JavaScript, Web builders can more easily put some basic interactive features into their sites, like validating credit card information on line.
  • JavaScript was first included in Netscape Navigator 2.0.
  • Eich maintained JavaScript through Navigator 4.0 and international standardization.
  • He continued to oversee the development of SpiderMonkey, the specific implementation of JavaScript in Navigator, until 2011.
  • While coding at Netscape, he used to snack on Sour Gummy Worms candy.
  • Eich helped found the Mozilla Project in early 1998 and served as chief architect.
  • The Mozilla project was created in 1998 with the release of the Netscape browser suite source code. Mozilla 1.0, the first major version, was released in 2002.
  • When AOL shut down the Netscape browser unit in July 2003, Eich helped create the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization.
  • Firefox 1.0 was released in 2004. In less than a year, Firefox had been downloaded over 100 million times. By 2008, Firefox reached 20% worldwide market share.
  • In August 2005, after serving as Lead Technologist and as a member of the Board of the Mozilla Foundation, Brendan became CTO of the Mozilla Corporation.
  • In 2008 Eich had donated $1,000 to CA Proposition 8, against gay marriage.
  • When he was appointed CEO on March 24, 2014, his position created a firestorm. he
  • On April 3, 2014, Eich stepped down as CEO in response to the protests.
  • It is a sad day for the open web movement. Brendan Eich has supported open source web standards. Mozilla now does not have a CEO or CTO.
  • An era has past. Mozilla Firefox is the least secure of the major browsers. Google Chrome is now carrying the standard. We wish Brendan Eich the best.

Mozilla May Not Be Relevant Anymore

  • 20 Years Ago
    • Mozilla and Firefox came from era when Microsoft was King.
    • We feared that MS would dominate and the WWW might not use open standards.
    • We needed an alternative browser (Netscape, then Firefox met the need).
    • Mozilla.org was an important player for nurture Netscapeís open source code.
  • Now
    • WWW standards are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
    • We have multiple browsers (IE, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Firefox)
    • All standards created my Mozilla have been transferred to W3C.
    • Firefox code is old and not secure, not competitive with Chrome or IE
    • Mozilla.org should fold its tent and retire

World Backup Day

  • March 31 was Word Backup Day
  • Motto: Don’t be an April Fool. Be prepared. Back up your files on March 31st.
  • But why should you backup?
    • 30% of people have never backed up
    • 113 phones lost or stolen every minute
    • 29% of disasters are caused by accident
    • 1 in 10 computers infected with viruses each month
  • Backup methods
    • Backup to USB Drive ($60 for 1TB)
    • Backup Online (Carbonite is $60/year)
  • Take the World Backup Day Pledge: ďI solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.Ē

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

  • April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day in the United States.
  • American soldiers in World War II were said to have invented the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They did so simply by combining those three items in their rations.
  • After the soldiers returned home after the war, peanut butter and jelly sales supposedly soared.
  • Here are some facts about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and the peanut from the National Peanut Board:
    • The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he/she graduates high school.
    • 10 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be made from the amount of peanuts consumed by Americans in a year.
    • Grand Saline, TX holds the title for the worldís largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Weighing in at 1,342 pounds, this PBJ sandwich is the reigning champ since September 7, 2002.
    • Americans spend about $800 million a year on peanut butter.
  • Tech Talk loves Crunchy Peanut Butter

5-year-old Hacks Xbox Live Security

  • Kristoffer Von Hassel managed to log in to his father’s Xbox Live account.
  • When the password log-in screen appeared, Kristoffer simply hit the space button a few times and hit enter.
  • Robert Davies noticed his son playing games he supposedly couldn’t access.
  • Davies, who works in computer security, says he reported the issue to Microsoft, which fixed the bug and recently listed Kristoffer on its website as a “security researcher.”
  • It’s not the Kristoffer’s first triumph. At a year old, he bypassed a cellphone toddler lock by holding down the “home” button.

US Secretly Created Cuban Twitter

  • In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final together a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government.
  • McSpedon and his team of high-tech contractors had come in from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Washington and Denver. Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans.
  • To hide the network from the Cuban government, they would set up a system of front companies using a Cayman Islands bank account, and recruit executives who would not be told of the company’s ties to the U.S. government.
  • This was a program paid for and run by the U.S. Agency for International Development, best known for overseeing billions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid.
  • According to documents obtained by The Associated Press and multiple interviews with people involved in the project, the plan was to develop a bare-bones “Cuban Twitter,” using cellphone text messaging to evade Cuba’s strict control of information and its stranglehold restrictions over the Internet.
  • In a play on Twitter, it was called ZunZuneo ó slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet.
  • Documents show the U.S. government planned to build a subscriber base through “non-controversial content”: news messages on soccer, music and hurricane updates.
  • Later when the network reached a critical mass of subscribers, perhaps hundreds of thousands, operators would introduce political content aimed at inspiring Cubans to organize “smart mobs” ó mass gatherings called at a moment’s notice that might trigger a Cuban Spring.
  • At its peak, the project drew in more than 40,000 Cubans to share news and exchange opinions.
  • Its subscribers were never aware it was created by the U.S. government, or that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes.
  • The program’s legality is unclear: U.S. law requires that any covert action by a federal agency must have a presidential authorization and that Congress should be notified.
  • The administration also initially said Thursday that it had disclosed the program to Congress