Show of 04-23-2016

Tech Talk

April 23, 2016

Email and Forum Questions
  • Email from Alice Lane: Doctor Shurtz, Did you see the screenshots I attached? Like to know if my screenshots come through!?! or not. I am on an iMAC not a MS OS. Please advise how to get rid of the copy in the trashcan and NOT the TOR App that IS working on my iMAC? Thanks. Alice, a long time listener.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Alice I did make a mistake. I gave you the directions for a PC instead of a Mac. First, try holding the Shift-Option or Option key as you choose Empty Trash from the Finder menu. If that does not work, you will need to unlock the file. Select the file you are trying to delete, and then choose Get Info from the File menu. If the Locked box is checked, deselect it, and then try deleting the file again. There are some terminal commands that you can use. But that can be dangerous. Remember the operator who deleted all of the files on his computer from last week. I hope the unlock trick works for you.
  • Email from Ron in Tysons Corner: Dear Dr. Shurtz and Jim. As a long-time fan, I have followed your suggestions to other listeners many, many times with excellent results. But now I have a question of my own: How can I synchronize files and folders instantly and automatically between two computers? I work with two PCs — one running on 64-bit Windows 7 Professional and the other upgraded to 64-bit Windows 10 Professional.  Both are connected to my home Wi-Fi network.  I use the two machines for different purposes, but there are several spreadsheets, Word documents, and folders common to both computers. It’s time-consuming and inefficient, and I’m not always sure whether or not I synced a particular file. Is there any way to do this synchronization automatically so that any saved changes I make to a file on one computer instantly show up in the same file on the other machine? Thanks, and keep up the great work.  Love your show. Ron in Tysons Corner.
  • Tech Talk Responds: We can use OneDrive to sync the libraries between multiple computers with much ease. Simply associate a library folder with a folder on OneDrive. That way when you open OneDrive on another computer, the files will be there. Furthermore, if you associate the other computer libraries with OneDrive as well, any file that you save in one library on one computer will also appear on the other computer in the corresponding folder.
  • If OneDrive isn’t yet installed, download it from this link. When the installation is complete, and upon first launch, you’ll be asked to log in with your Microsoft account to continue. You will need a Microsoft account.
  • We must now create the proper folders in the OneDrive folder and then link them through Windows. Create folders in OneDrive called Documents, Music, Videos, and Pictures, just like the default Windows folders. Right-click the Documents folder in Libraries and choose Properties. Open-the-properties-of-the-documents-folder. Select Include a folder from this properties window and then select the OneDrive Documents folder. Associate the default save location for documents to be the OneDrive folder. This is done by choosing the folder you just selected and then clicking Set save location.
  • Understand that the current files in the library folders will not sync to the other computer. Only new files added after the folder association will appear as synced items.
  • It’s one sort of benefit to sync one folder between two or more computers. But when we sync the actual library folders that we use on a daily basis, you’ll find it’s like you’re on one computer even if you use two. Just be sure to save your files in these library folders if you want them to sync.
  • I have been using Box Sync to synchronize computers. Box is similar to Dropbox. I simply save my file to the Box Sync folder and it is automatically synced to all other devices. We use this technique for my 10X CEO group.
  • Email from Kirk in Fairfax: I am only able to download the first 25 minutes of this episode (6 MB).  Is this a problem with iTunes, or your end? I tried to download this episode from your site to my MP3 player, but can only listen live.  Can you explain how to download the podcast directly from your site? A faithful listener for more than ten years. Kirk in Fairfax
  • Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for listening. I will have Andrew recreate the file. It should be uploaded by this Monday. We occasionally have this problem and have not figured out why.
  • Email from June in Fairfax: Dear Doc and Jim. I have an iPhone and frequently use group text messages to communicate with my family. However, some of my relatives are very talkative.  Is there a way that I can mute the notifications for this group text? It has become very annoying. June in  Fairfax
  • Tech Talk Responds: To mute a group or any text message on your iPhone, First tap open iMessage and choose the message you want to mute. Then, tap the “Details” link in the top-right corner. Turn on the Do Not Disturb option. You can still read the thread; you just won’t get notifications for it. You can also click, Leave the Conversation. All members will be notified that you left and you won’t get any additional texts.
  • Email from Alicia in Alexandria: Dear Doc and Jim. I am secretary at company and all the developers us the .Net Framework for their projects. What is .NET framework? Love the show. Alicia in Alexandria.
  • Tech Talk Responds: The average person that browses the web or installs software on their computer will probably only run into the .NET name when installing specific software that requires .NET to be installed or to be updated. For programmers, on the other hand, .NET is there to make developing software easier. 
  • The idea is that Microsoft package up solutions for common tasks like accessing databases or creating network connections that almost all programs will use. This allows the programmers to get a jump start on their software by being able to easily use these solutions and spend more time on their specific features.
  • Email from Ron in Tulsa: Dear Tech Talk. My laptop has very poor Wi-Fi reception. Is it possible to use USB wireless adapter with my laptop to increase my range. Love the show. Ron in Tulsa.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Yes you can use a USB wireless adapter with a laptop that has wireless already built in. Some of the reasons you might do this would be that your internal wireless isn’t working anymore or maybe you need to connect to two networks at the same time. Sometimes you have to install a driver first and other times you can just connect the USB wireless adapter and it will just work I bought the Alpha Long Range Wireless Adaptor with a 20db antenna. This adaptors is a 1000MW radio and has a very long range. The assembly cost be about $35 and it is very sensitive. Without the system, I could detect only three networks. With the setup, I could detect fifteen networks in my neighborhood.
Profiles in IT: Danae Ringelmann
  • Danae Ringelmann is best known as co-founder of the fundraising website, Indiegogo, and the inventor of the crowdfunding concept.
  • Danae Ringelmann was born in 1978 in San Francisco. 
  • She supported her parent’s office and relocation. Her parents ran a very ethical business. They could not get financing and struggled. They were her inspiration. 
  • In 2000, she received a BA in Humanities from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar. She was on the varsity rowing team and team captain her last year. Then she headed for Wall Street.
  • In 2000, she was hired by JP Morgan in New York. She worked first as a Corporate Finance Analyst and then as Private Banking Analyst
  • She saw first-hand how did difficult it was for the small guy to obtain financing.
  • Ringelmann was originally inspired to work with independent filmmakers and theater producers after a filmmaker 50 years her senior asked her to fund his film.
  • In the wake of 9/11, Danae co-produced a concert reading of Incident at Vichy, an Arthur Miller play addressing the politically charged topic of racial profiling. She struggled to get the project funded and felt there must be a better way.
  • In 2004, she was hired an Equity Research Analyst by Cowen & Co in San Francisco, CA. She wrote research on 20 publicly traded entertainment stocks.
  • That same year, she volunteered for the Wall Street Wizards in Oakland, CA. She instructed at risk high-school to inspire them to start their own business.
  • Then in 2006 left finance to change finance. She went to business school to start a business that would democratize funding. He was finally seeking her calling.
  • She enrolled in the Social Entrepreneurship MBA program at UC Berkeley and received an MBA in 2008. There she met Eric Schell and Slava Rubin, who had had similar experiences with fundraising.
  • Ringelmann, Schell, and Rubin developed their concept in 2007 under the name Project Keiyaku. Indiegogo officially launched at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Its initial focus was on raising money for films, but the mission soon grew.
  • Indiegogo is the equal opportunity platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project, creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. 
  • She invented the idea of crowdfunding. Most in Silicon Valley thought she was crazy.
  • In June 2010, MTV New Media partnered with Indiegogo to develop new content. 
  • In September 2011, the company raised a $1.5 million Series Seed financing round.
  • In February 2012, President Barack Obama’s Startup America partnered with Indiegogo to offer crowdfunding to entrepreneurs in the U.S.
  • In 2012, she raised a $15 million in Series A and in 2014 another $40M in Series B.
  • She served as COO until 2013 and is now Chief Development Officer.
  • Danae was listed as a Young Global Leader in 2016 by the World Economic Forum, one of Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40.
Hacked Bangladesh Bank Did Not Have Firewall
  • Bangladesh’s central bank was vulnerable to hackers because it did not have a firewall and used second-hand, $10 switches to network computers connected to the SWIFT global payment network
  • The shortcomings made it easier for hackers to break into the Bangladesh Bank system earlier this year and attempt to siphon off nearly $1 billion using the bank’s SWIFT credentials.
  • The lack of sophisticated switches made it is difficult for investigators to figure out what the hackers did and where they might have been based.
  • Cyber criminals broke into Bangladesh Bank’s system and in early February tried to make fraudulent transfers totaling $951 million from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. 
  • Most of the payments were blocked, but $81 million was routed to accounts in the Philippines and diverted to casinos there. Most of those funds remain missing.
  • Bangladesh police said earlier this week they had identified 20 foreigners involved in the robbery but they appear to be people who received some of the payments, rather than those who initially stole the money. 
  • The SWIFT room is roughly 12 feet by 8 feet, a window-less office located on the eight floor of the bank’s annex building in Dhaka. There are four servers and four monitors in the room. All transactions from the previous day are automatically printed on a printer in the room.The SWIFT facility should have been walled off from the rest of the network. That could have been done if the bank had used the more expensive, “managed” switches, which allow engineers to create separate networks.
  • Moreover, considering the importance of the room, the bank should have deployed staff to monitor activity round the clock, including weekends and holidays, he said. 
Favorite Hacker Method Killed by MS
  • Microsoft is effectively killing off the preferred exploit that cybercriminals have used for years to infect and take over people’s computers.
  • In an update to its Office 2016 suite, Microsoft is giving enterprise administrators the ability to block the running of macros in documents, which can be used to run legitimate tasks, but are also often used to connect to the internet and download malicious software.
  • Typically, hackers will send a “phishing” email with an Office attachment where they pose as someone inside a company, instructing the target to open the file. The file will often instruct the user to “enable macros” — and thus infect their computer — despite repeated warnings.
  • Previous versions of Office include a warning when opening documents that contain macros, but malware authors have become more resilient in their social engineering tactics, luring users to enable macros in good faith and ending up infected.
  • Now, the decision is being taken out of the user’s hands. If an administrator decides to block macros, users will get a warning message that macros are disabled for security reasons. About 91% of targeted attacks start with spear-phishing emails, and Microsoft’s own stats show that 98% of threats involving Office software use macros.
Big Idea: Three Technologies Will Define Our Future
  • Ray Kurzweil in his book, The Singularity Is Near, talks about the exponential rate of progress, especially in information technologies. 
  • But our brains tend to anticipate the future linearly instead of exponentially. So, the coming years will bring more powerful technologies sooner than we imagine. 
  • Kurzweil identifies genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR) as the three overlapping revolutions which will define our lives in the decades to come. 
    • The genetics revolution will allow us to reprogram our own biology.
    • The nanotechnology revolution will allow us to manipulate matter at the molecular and atomic scale. 
    • The robotics revolution will allow us to create a greater than human non-biological intelligence. 
  • Kurzweil wrote about these ideas in The Singularity Is Near over a decade ago. 
  • The Genetics Revolution: The Intersection of Information and Biology’ 
    • Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, enormous strides have been made in reading, writing and hacking our own DNA.
    • Now, we’re reprogramming the code of life from bacteria to beagles and soon, perhaps, in humans.
  • The Nanotechnology Revolution: ‘The Intersection of Information and the Physical World’ 
    • Kurzweil argues that no matter how successfully we fine tune our DNA-based biology, it will be no match for what we will be able to engineer by manipulating matter on the molecular and atomic level. 
    • Nanotech, Kurzweil says, will allow us to redesign and rebuild “molecule by molecule, our bodies and brains and the world in which we live.”
    • We are already seeing: Smart Contact Lenses, Tiny 3D Printed Batteries, Cancer-killing nanoparticles, DNA-based Computing
  • The Robotics Revolution: ‘Building  Strong Artificial Intelligence’ 
    • The AI revolution is the most profound transformation human civilization will experience in all of history. This is because this revolution is characterized by being able to replicate human intelligence.
    • Strong AI will be as versatile as a human when it comes to solving problems. 
    • Machines can pool resources in ways that humans cannot. Machines have exacting memories. Machines “can consistently perform at peak levels and can combine peak skills. Most of us use some form of narrow AI on a regular basis — like Siri and Google Now, and increasingly, Watson. 
  • Kurzweil calls genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics overlapping revolutions because we will continue to experience them simultaneously as each one of these technologies matures. 
  • The more we anticipate and debate these three powerful technological revolutions, the better we can guide their development toward outcomes that do more good than harm.
  • Checkout the website: http://singularityhub.com/