Show of 01-02-2016

Tech Talk 

January 2, 2016

Best of Tech Talk Edition
  • Segments replayed from previous shows
Email and Forum Questions
  • Email from Fan in Bethesda: Dear Dr. Shurtz, Ever since I installed Apple’s new OS on my iMac my computer has slowed down and become unresponsive. It is driving me nuts. Should I uninstall this? I don’t even know how to do it. Thanks! Bethesda Fan of show
  • Tech Talk Responds: There are several reasons that cause your Mac is running slow.
  • Your hard drive is getting full. Nothing slows down a Mac more than having too much on your hard drive. If you can lighten the load on your Mac, you’re sure to see an increase in speed. The best option is to use a Mac cleanup tool, like CleanMyMac3. It cleans up your entire Mac, the easy stuff and the hard stuff. It knows what to clean and where to clean, and is incredibly safe to use2. Outdated OS X.
  • Broken Permissions. If for some reason your Mac is running slow after update, don’t panic. It could happen that disk permissions are broken. You can repair them with CleanMyMac3. Download the app and go to Maintenance tab, click “Repair Disk Permissions.”
  • Startup is slowing you down. When you start your Mac, a lot of things load up in the background. Not only do they slow down your startup, but they continue to do so the whole time you’re on your Mac. Give your Mac a clean start. Get a fast Mac startup by removing unnecessary apps. Go to your System Preferences > Users & Groups, and then click on your username. Now, click on Login Items, click on the name of an application you don’t need to launch during startup. Remove the application from the list.
  • Too much running in the background.  Activity Monitor will help out. Quitting an app that’s taking up a lot of processing power could make a huge difference in speeding up your slow Mac. Open up your Applications folder and then your Utilities folder. Here you’ll find the Activity Monitor, open it. Check out the list of apps and processes that happening on your Mac in real-time. Click on the Memory tab at the top, then the Memory filter at the top of the list; this sorts the programs by the amount of space they’re taking up on your Mac RAM. The higher the number, the more power they need. Stop an app from operating by clicking on the app in the list. Don’t remove anything you don’t know!
  • You’ve got old hardware. Your Mac may just be too old to fix. When your Mac hardware gets too old, your speed drops drastically and you can do little to fix it without taking some serious measures.
  • Email from Alice: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I listened on Sat, Nov 14 to the review you gave on LinkedIn.  Thanks so much for the education on this. There remains an issue I’m not clear about that I hope you can address. With all the various paid for subscriptions offered on LinkedIn now, my research on which one(s) include full access to any/all profiles, regardless of the default position of your 3rd degree of connectivity, has turned up one subscription:  Recruiter Corporate which is the most expensive subscription offered. Is there another option? Best, Alice
  • Tech Talk Responds: Full access is the most valuable thing that LinkedIn possesses and they must charge for it. You can get a free 30 day trial, but after that you’ll have to pay. You can also connect with individuals not in your network with InMail (a paid LinkedIn mail service). This may be cheaper depending on the number of InMails you send.
  • Email for Phuong in Australia: Dear Doc and Jim. I listen to your show on the podcast. My hard drive is about to fail and needs replaced. When I replace my hard drive, will I need to install a new operating system? Is there a way to clone my current hard drive completely including my operating system? What is the best way to save my existing files if I can’t salvage my entire hard drive? Are there software programs that can help me do this? Thanks. Love the show. Phuong in Australia.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Using backup software, create a full-image backup of your machine. Use an image backup tool like Macrium Reflect. After to have successfully imaged you hard drive, create the “rescue disk” or “emergency disk” for your backup software. Turn off your machine, unplug it, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacing the failing hard drive. After you put your machine back together again, reboot, using the emergency/rescue disk you created with your backup software. Now, use that software to restore your backup image to the new hard drive. When that’s done, you can remove the emergency disk and reboot, and you should be up and running as if nothing had happened, except you’ll be running from your replacement hard drive. 
  • It is common for replacement drives to be larger than the original. Most backup programs will restore the layout of the hard disk exactly as it was on the original drive. What that means is that there’s a chance all the extra space on the new drive will go unused. You can use Windows Disk Manager to create a new partition out of the unused space, which will appear as a new drive letter or you can use Windows Disk Manager to extend an existing partition (ideally your C: partition), making that partition larger. 
  • Email from Tung in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim. My son installed BitTorrent on the house computer. This program slowed my computer down so much that I could not get online. I found out that as it was downloading, it was also uploading with unlimited bandwidth. I could not find any information on what it was uploading. I dislike P2P because of past experience with them, virus, spyware and the feeling I am stealing from the programmer. This program was promptly uninstalled. Is there any legitimate use for P2P programs? Love the show. Tung in Ohio.
  • Tech Talk Responds: I had the same problem with my son. Peer-to-peer is a fantastic technology that is getting smeared with a bad reputation because of how some people choose to use it. There are many legitimate uses for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) programs like BitTorrent. Peer-to-peer shares the load when downloading programs. Many open source projects are downloaded using peer-to-peer. The fundamental concept is that once a computer downloads a file, it begins to share it with others who need it. There is no “master” distinction; all the computers are equal “peers”, and any that have a copy of the file can offer that file to any other computer looking for it. A peer may open connections to several other peers, each downloading separate parts of the file all at once. This typically makes much better use of bandwidth than a single straight download. The moment any part of the file has been downloaded, that part can be immediately shared with other peers who don’t have it yet.
  • The reason that peer-to-peer file sharing has a bad reputation is not because of the technology, but rather because of what is being shared: illegal copies of software, movies, music, and images. Many of the illegal file-sharing networks happen to use peer-to-peer technology.
  • Email from Benoit in New Jersey: Dear Tech Talk. I am frustrated with a couple of features on Waze. First, when the audio plays through the Bluetooth connection, the first few words are cut off and second whenever I move my phone, it activates the voice feature which is very annoying. What are the options? Benoit in New Jersey.
  • Tech Talk Responds: The Bluetooth connection is not kept open between uses and there is a delay when Waze sends a new message to your audio system. This may be fixed with the next Bluetooth update. In order to solve this problem, you have to keep the channel open. I do this my playing Pandora music with the iPhone. It is soothing and keeps the Bluetooth channel open for my Waze communication. As for the annoying voice feature. It is supposed to help provide feedback while driving (police locations, hazard locations. Etc.). You can turn it off by open Waze and going to settings (that is the Gear symbol in upper left). Scroll down to voice commands. Turn off the line that says Enable. You’re good to do.
  • Email from Beth: Dear Doc and Jim. I travel quite a bit between Florida and Virginia. I have a SunPass for Florida. What are the options for using it here in Virginia. Thanks. Enjoy the show. Beth from Virginia.
  • Tech Talk Responds: You are out of luck. Virginia is in the E-ZPass network, which includes fifteen states: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia. The other states have their own, a very inconvenient system for travelers. Most states have some type of license plate recognition and will bill you if you don’t have a pass. Some of them have severe penalties. In the case of Florida, it is just a simple toll charges with a small surcharge. You will have to get an E-ZPass or risk getting a stiff fine here in Virginia.
  • Email from Feroze in Fredericksburg: Dear Tech Talk. I have Nikon with multiple lenses and love taking pictures while on travel. However, frequently and only have my iPhone with me. Are there lenses that I can use on my iPhone to capture better pictures? The resolution of the camera is great, but the field of view is designed more for portraits than for great photography. I am only interested in quality lenses. Love the show. Feroze in Fredericksburg.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Some lenses attach directly to the iPhone; others work in conjunction with a custom case. iPro’s Lens System is an example of the latter—after you slide your iPhone into the two-piece sleeve-style case, you attach the lenses via a bayonet mount that is secured with an easy quarter-turn of the lens. iPro has a clever solution for carrying the lenses. Rather than storing them in some sort of case or bag, they screw together into a cylinder that you can hang around your neck. It also doubles as a handle that screw into the case, which you can use as a monopod to stabilize your photos. You can even mount the case on a real tripod.
  • The basic Trio kit ($279) comes with three lenses: a 2X telephoto, a super-wide angle, and a macro lens. You can also purchase additional lenses, such as a powerful 4x tele and a 165-degree wide angle. The lenses are made with Schneider Century optics. Link to company: http://www.iprolens.com/index.php
  • There are many cheaper options for removable iPhone lenses. I have just given you the professional version. For instance Photojojo gives you six lenses for $115, including Fisheye, Super Fisheye, Telephoto, Wide Angle, Macro and Polarizing lens. Each lens is crafted out of solid aluminum and outfitted with thick, high-clarity glass. Each set comes with an adhesive removable metal ring that fits any phone. Lenses clip on magnetically. 
  • Link to company: https://2.photojojo.com/awesomeness/cell-phone-lenses
  • Another low cost option for the Aukey’s 3 in 1 Clip-on Cell Phone Camera Lens Kit. 180 Degree Fisheye Lens/ Wide Angle Lens/ 10 X Marco Lens for iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, Samsung Galaxy, Windows, and Android Smartphones. List price is $39. Street price is as low as $16.
  • Link to Amazon sales page: http://www.amazon.com/Aukey-Fisheye-Samsung-Windows-Smartphones/dp/B014CXK9FQ
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.
Top 5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Albert “Bad Boy” Einstein
  • Source: http://www.esoupblog.com
  • It seems like every field planet has a resident “bad boy”. It doesn’t matter if the occupation is figure skating or physics, there is always someone who doesn’t quite fit in.
  • Albert Einstein was the “bad boy” of the science world. He was an outsider in his younger years, a misunderstood genius who couldn’t even get an academic job, much less a doctorate in his field of expertise.
  • Here are some Einstein-isms that have particular meaning for the technology entrepreneurs of today.
    • Imagination is more important than knowledge. So true, it’s one thing to know the technical aspects of how to do something, but when you work in a creative field, imagination trumps knowledge every single time.
    • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. When you’re creating something out of the blue, it’s going to take lots-o-tweaking before you get it just right, and you have to get comfortable with not knowing the end result. Sometimes ideas take off and become extremely profitable. Other times they just flop.
    • Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds. I think that when you look at opposition in the right light, it can be a major motivator. You want to show them your vision, show them that you know what you’re doing. The trick is to turn negativity into positive momentum.
    • DiThe only real valuable thing is intuition. You need to develop a “gut feel” that will help you detect if a person, idea or situation is healthy for you. Those who have the best intuition have the greatest success.
    • We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Einstein’s creativity was heavily influenced by a thinking technique he called “thought experiments”, which was actually just plain old fashioned daydreaming.. This just goes to show that imagination, play, and a willingness to try new things is the key to being a visionary.
Food Science: Champagne Bubbles
  • The bubble patterns evolve as the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide changes in the glass. They start out as strings of bubbles that rise in pairs, then gradually transition to bubbles in groups of threes, and finally settle down in a clockwork pattern of regularly spaced individual bubbles.
  • The researchers observed the carbon dioxide bubbles in a champagne glass as they rise from nucleation points on the glass wall. The nucleation points are small defects in the glass that trap tiny vibrating pockets of carbon dioxide. Dissolved gas in the champagne gradually collects in a vibrating bubble inside the defect, causing it to grow and soon expel gas from the defect, forming another bubble that sticks to the outside of the defect. That bubble, in turn, grows as more dissolved carbon dioxide collects inside it and it eventually breaks free of the defect to rise through the champagne. Then the process begins again with a new bubble expelled from the defect, forming rising strings of tiny bubbles.
How to celebrate New Year’s in every time zone
  • There is a very easy way to celebrate midnight on New Year’s Eve in every time zone over a 24 hour period: Grab a bottle of Champagne, a heavy down coat, and catch a flight to Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole.
  • As it turns out, orbiting a pole* is basically the only way to toast the New Year in every time zone. The further you get from a pole, the longer it takes to get from time zone to time zone, for the simple reason that the vertical lines that delineate time zones converge at the top and bottom of the world. 
  • Which raises an interesting question: Assuming one doesn’t live at the South Pole, how many time zones could you practically celebrate New Year’s in, if you had a fast enough car or plane? Is it possible to celebrate New Year’s with a drink in all 24 time zones and in a more temperate climate?
  • If you want to do it by car, the first question is pretty easy to answer. The most time zones you can hit is almost certainly three. At several points on the planet — such as where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan meet — three time zones converge on a single point. Drive around that point at midnight, and you can ring in 2015 three times. 
  • If you head to Central Russia, you have two hours to cover 1.5 miles from Sakha Republic to Krasnoyarsk Krai and hit three time zones.