Show of 06-11-2016

Tech Talk Radio

June 11, 2016

 

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Arnie in Colorado Springs:Hi Dr. Shurtz, You have VPN, so you may escape the constant flood of marketing ads one receives by browsing or shopping on the Net. Just the same, have you ever used Ghostery? I installed it on my laptop several weeks ago, and it really reduced the tracking marketing companies follow on ads hawking their wares as a result of my browsing & shopping. You always make Tech Talk so interesting. Really enjoy the show and learn a lot. Arnie, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Tech Talk Responds: Ghostery is an ad blocking program. I have been using Purity and Blockr. However, Ghostery has gotten very good reviews. Lifehacker, one of my favorites sites, rates it as a solid privacy tool. Ghostery is owned by Evidon, a company that collects and provides data to advertising companies. It has a feature called GhostRank that you can check to “support” them. The problem is, Ghostery blocks sites from gathering personal information on you—but Ghostrank will take note the ads you encounter and which ones you block, and sends that information back to advertisers so they can better formulate their ads to avoid being blocked. The data is anonymous, and Ghostery still does everything it promises to do to protect your privacy. Lifehacker and Mashable recommend that you avoid Ghostrank.
  • Email from Alice in Wonderland:Dear Dr. Shurtz, I live in a three level SFH and have Verizon FiOS as my IP service. I have an iMac is on main floor and the apple TV is in the basement. Today, nearly show I selected would not load. All I got was the spinning icon on the screen. I rebooted the power to the apple TV. This didn’t fix the issue. What are my options? Thanks. Alice, anxious to return to WonDerLand
  • Tech Talk Responds: Alice, it sounds like an Internet connection issue. You need to reboot your Wi-Fi router and when the Internet is down. Simply rebooting the Apple TV won’t do it. My router has both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz bands. I have given them different names so that I can choose which one to use. The 5.8 GHz band has substantially more bandwidth. I connect my Apple TV using the 5.8 GHz band and never an buffering problems with my FIOS connection.
  • Email from Ford in Bowie, Maryland:Dear Tech Talk. I have a boatload of baby pictures and no place to store them. I have been sending them as attachments using a few free email accounts. I was wondering how long I will be able to keep those accounts open. I would hate to lose my pictures. I use Yahoo Mail, Gmail, and Hotmail for my picture storage. Love the show. Ford in Bowie in Maryland. 
  • Tech Talk Responds: First of all Ford, you are going to have to get a better way to store your photos, either in an external hard drive or the cloud. Using free email accounts for secure storage is lunacy. At least it is better that using Facebook, which only save a low resolution version of your photo. But if you insist, you must make certain to log onto the account at least twice a year to keep it from going inactive. Here are the facts.
  • Yahoo Mail: If you rarely use your account, it will go into an inactive state and then be deleted. You can prevent this by signing in to your account using any device at least once every 12 months. It is a good practice to log into your account twice a year. Yahoo will recycle email addresses.
  • Gmail: Google reserves the right to delete the data in your account after 9 months of inactivity. In practice, Google does not delete accounts or data, but that could change in the future. It is a good idea to log into your account twice a year. Google says it will not recycle usernames, according to its terms of service. Users can never sign up for a Gmail account previously held by another person, even if that account has been deleted for years.
  • Hotmail: After 270 days (about 8 and a half months) without access, a Windows Live Hotmail account becomes inactive. This means all messages stored in the account are deleted and no new mail is accepted. After 360 days (five days short of a typical year) of inactivity, a Windows Live Hotmail account is permanently deleted. If you don’t use your Windows Live ID (which is your Windows Live Hotmail email address) for 365 days (about a year), it, too, can be permanently deleted. Somebody else can take your Windows Live Hotmail address!
  • Email from Chau in Indiana:Dear Doc and Jim. I keep getting message pops up on my computer, warning me that malware has been detected. What should I do? Love the show. Chau in Indiana.
  • Tech Talk Responds: That message is probably completely fake. It is counting on you to trust that it’s legitimate, and then click on it to take further action. And that “further action” could actually install malware, or worse. They want you to trust them.
  • Other examples that malicious activity that needs your trust.
    • You’ve probably received email – important-looking email – that indicates there’s a package on its way to you, and the details are in an attached file.
    • Perhaps your online email provider has detected a problem with your account, and you need to check something by clicking on a link.
    • I’ve even received email from Paypal indicating that access to my account had been “limited” because of suspicious activity. I needed to log in to provide additional information – once again, using the provided link.1
    • You get a phone call from someone who says they work for Microsoft, and they’ve detected problems with your computer.  Then they offer to fix it, if you’ll just go to a site and type in a few numbers that they recite to you.
  • Abusing your trust in this manner is currently one of the most effective ways to distribute malware. Be a skeptic always. Question everything.

 

Profiles in IT: William Hewlitt and David Packard

  • Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded Silicon Valley in Hewlett’s garage. A coin toss made the company Hewlett-Packard instead of Packard.
  • The company’s first "plant" was a garage in Palo Alto with initial capital of $538.
  • Hewlett’s first product was an innovative audio oscillator based on the newly developed principle of negative feedback. The Walt Disney Company purchased eight of the first ones for $71.50 each, for use in the 1940 film Fantasia.
  • David Packard
    • David Packard was born Sept. 7, 1912, in Pueblo, Colo. He attended Stanford University and received a BA 1934 and a MSEE in 1939.
    • Packard’s interest in electricity and science attracted him to the field of radio engineering. The son of a lawyer, Packard was lured to Stanford, in part, by a textbook on radio engineering written by Terman, a professor at Stanford.
    • Packard played football at Stanford and in 1958 was selected for SI’s Silver Anniversary All-America team.
    • From 1936 to 1938, Packard was an engineer with GE in Schenectady, N.Y.
    • In 1938, he returned to Palo Alto and the following year formed HP.
    • Packard served as a partner in the company from its founding in 1939 until it was incorporated in 1947. In 1947, he became president, a post he held until 1964, when he was elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
    • Packard left the company in 1969 to become U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense in the first Nixon administration. When he returned to California in 1971, he was re-elected chairman of the board of HP.
    • Packard was been president and chairman of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation since it began in 1964.
  • William Redington Hewlett
    • William Redington Hewlett was born 20 May 1913 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his father served on the faculty of the university’s medical school.
    • Bill was admitted to Stanford in 1930 and received his BSEE in 1934.
    • Hewlett studied under and was been mentored by Frederick Terman, who was to a great degree responsible for the development of Silicon Valley.
    • Hewlett received MSEE from MIT in 1936 and returned to Stanford.
    • Hewlett and his fellow student and close friend David Packard, with Terman’s encouragement, formed the Hewlett-Packard Company in 1939.
    • He set up William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 1966. The foundation now ranks as one of the nation’s largest.
  • Hewlett and Packard oversaw the company with enviable management, technological, and scientific skills. They also managed the company with a new set of operating principles and with an intensely personal style that came to redefine much of American corporate life and culture, e.g., profit-sharing, employee stock ownership, flexible work hours, and health insurance. What came to be known as the "HP way."

The HP Way

  • "…an egalitarian, decentralized system that came to be known as ‘the HP Way.’ The essence of the idea, radical at the time, was that employees’ brainpower was the company’s most important resource.
  • "…one of the first all-company profit-sharing plans… gave shares to all employees… among the first to offer tuition assistance, flex time, and job sharing… Today, the behavior of the two founders remains a benchmark for business…"
  • We have trust and respect for individuals.
    • We approach each situation with the belief that people want to do a good job and will do so, given the proper tools and support. We attract highly capable, diverse, innovative people and recognize their efforts and contributions to the company. HP people contribute enthusiastically and share in the success that they make possible.
  • We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution.
    • Our customers expect HP products and services to be of the highest quality and to provide lasting value. To achieve this, all HP people, especially managers, must be leaders who generate enthusiasm and respond with extra effort to meet customer needs. Techniques and management practices which are effective today may be outdated in the future. For us to remain at the forefront in all our activities, people should always be looking for new and better ways to do their work.
  • We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity.
    • We expect HP people to be open and honest in their dealings to earn the trust and loyalty of others. People at every level are expected to adhere to the highest standards of business ethics and must understand that anything less is unacceptable. As a practical matter, ethical conduct cannot be assured by written HP policies and codes; it must be an integral part of the organization, a deeply ingrained tradition that is passed from one generation of employees to another.
  • We achieve our common objectives through teamwork.
    • We recognize that it is only through effective cooperation within and among organizations that we can achieve our goals. Our commitment is to work as a worldwide team to fulfill the expectations of our customers, shareholders and others who depend upon us. The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people.
  • We encourage flexibility and innovation.
    • We create an inclusive work environment which supports the diversity of our people and stimulates innovation. We strive for overall objectives which are clearly stated and agreed upon, and allow people flexibility in working toward goals in ways that they help determine are best for the organization. HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change.

New Twitter Application: Fast Food Truck

  • Twitter recently became the communiqué of choice for the almost popular Kogi BBQ trucks, a taco vendor in LA.
  • Kogi uses Twitter to alert customers of its location.
  • The trend is spreading to other wheel meals as more food are using the social networking site to draw customers.
  • While it’s not clear which truck Tweeted first, the Kogi folks have shown themselves to be the most effective at turning tweets into effective marketing.
  • “Kogi special at the trucks and the Alibi! Grilled asparagus with Yellow Nectarines and Sesame Seeds!” read one recent Kogi Tweet.
  • Since Kogi’s launch in November, hungry herds of have been following the pair of white trucks that rove the city selling tacos, burritos and other gourmet tidbits steeped in traditional Korean flavors.
  • In short order, the Kogi name has become recognizable to foodies around the country.
  • No small accomplishment for a pair of taco trucks all due to Twitter.
  • And she thinks the success of food truck Tweets likely will inspire a broader use of Twitter across the food world.
  • “Chefs will be Tweeting from the farmers market about the mushrooms they just picked up and will be part of their mushroom pasta that evening,” she says.

The Grilling Calculator – For Nerds Who Barbecue

  • Web site: http://charcoalbob.com/
  • Click on Cookout Calculator Tab
  • Enter all meats to be cooked (Type, cut, thickness, degree on doneness)
  • Create cookout timeline
  • Print timeline and put by grill

 

Book of the Week: Cooking for Geeks

  • Real science, great hacks, good food.
  • Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter (Publisher O’Reilly)
    • Think like a Hacker
    • Initialize the Kitchen
    • Your Inputs: Flavors and Ingredients
    • Your Variables: Time and Temperature
    • Air: The Baker’s Key Variable
  • Fun with Hardwaree
  • One Example Lesson
  • Baking Soda: Bicarbonate which needs acids to form CO2. Used when the ingredients are acidic
  • Baking Powder: Baking soda plus acid. Self-contained for CO2 generation. Used when the ingredients are not acidic.

 

Flight Controlled Move toward GPS Guidance Systems

  • The System We Have Now is Antiquated
    • Radar plane detection and tracking
    • Planes have no knowledge of other nearby aircraft
    • Currently, a plane is guided to its destination via a series of radar handoff’s.
    • With today’s radar, it can take up to 36 seconds to get an accurate read on a plane’s position and a longer time for an aircraft flying 500 mph.
    • So safety buffers err on the conservative side: The minimum distance between planes is 5 miles horizontally and about 3 miles on landing and approach.
  • NextGen is designed to change all that by providing air traffic controllers and pilots with much more accurate and detailed real-time information
    • Instead of radar, the new system relies on ADS-B, or automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast.
    • An aircraft equipped with ADS-B receives GPS signals via an on-board receiver to determine its position in the sky.
    • That information, plus data on the plane’s identity, position, speed and intended flight path, is broadcast to other aircraft and ground stations within 150 miles. For the first time, both pilots and controllers will see the same real-time displays of air traffic.
    • Planes will be able to fly closer without jeopardizing safety, so more flights can be scheduled, easing congestion.
    • This procedure is known as self-separation.
  • Several airlines aren’t waiting for government action
    • Cargo carrier UPS Airlines has already equipped nearly 300 of its planes and its main airport hub in Louisville , Ky. , with ADS-B technology.
    • By shortening flight times and using more efficient approach paths, UPS expects to save about 800,000 gallons of fuel annually.
    • Next year, Southwest will install a similar system.
    • Southwest is forecasting big fuel savings when it re-equips its fleet of 520 737s next year

How Does GPS Work?

  • The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a world-wide radio-navigation system formed from a constellation of 24 satellites and their ground stations.
  • GPS receivers use these man-made stars as reference points to calculate positions accurately to an accuracy of meters using unclassified data.
  • GPS Satellites
    • Name: NAVSTAR
    • Manufacturers: Rockwell International
    • Orbit: 12 hours, 55 degrees to the equatorial plane
    • Ground stations in: Hawaii , Ascension Islands , Diego Garcia, Kwajalein, and Colorado Springs
  • Three satellites are needed for triangulation, but the receiver must have an atomic clock
  • Four satellites provide the time information and allow for cheap receivers.