Tech Talk Radio
June 10, 2017
Best of Tech Talk Edition
- Segments replayed from previous shows
Email and Forum Questions
- Email from Doug in Baton Rouge: Dear Dr. Shurtz and Jim (Hey, to Mr. Big Voice also), I have a problem. I use one or another Bluetooth wireless headset occasionally during TV watching (see specs listed below). One of my Bluetooth headsets (Travelocity) works fine when connected to the Mee Wireless Audio Transmitter for TV’s and other audio devices. The other Bluetooth headset (Everlast), when connected to the Mee, has a split second latency that makes the TV sound out-of-sync with the visual spoken word. Just listening to audible music with either unit through the Mee does not matter about the latency, as long as there is no visual involved. What is going on with the headset with the delayed audio when used with TV watching? How can I avoid making a Bluetooth mistake and what should I look for in these kinds of sound/visual wireless connected Bluetooth devices? Have you done a Profiles In I.T. on Konrad Zuse yet? He was a 1937 Berliner that assembled his creation called the Z1, his “experimental-made-computer”. As usual, your podcasts have been so informative, full of great information and entertaining! You do it so effortless and natural. –Thanks, Doug / Baton Rouge, LA
- Tech Talk Responds: Bluetooth does have a latency problem. Not all headsets are created equally. Some headsets have latency as high as 266 ms, which is quite noticeable. However, one user found that his Bose Bluetooth wireless headset (expensive) had no latency. The Everlast is a inexpensive headset with a latency problem. It may also not be using the Bluetooth 4.0 spec.
- Latency on TV viewing is a common problem that is even acknowledged on the Mee support page. Some modern TVs and receivers also have an audio delay option in their settings menu, which should be set to 0 to minimize lag. Usually they have audio delayed because video processing takes longer. My advice is to always get headsets that can be returned and then check them out to see if they have a latency problem. I did do Konrad Zuse in 2008, but he bears repeating. Good suggestion.
- Email from Jean: Its me again-Jean. Wonderful to have someone who can answer my questions. Saved me a lot of money on buying an OLED TV. Thanks. Just heard about how a pineapple (weird name) can pick up information. Wanted to know t if it could pick up information if you have a VPN address. Scary product! Jean
- Tech Talk Responds: The WiFi Pineapple NANO and TETRA are rogue access points. They can be deployed for WiFi man-in-the-middle attacks. At the core of the WiFi Pineapple is PineAP, an advanced suite of wireless penetration testing tools for reconnaissance, man-in-the-middle, tracking, logging and reporting. There are also sniffers that can grab unencrypted passwords and user names at the public Wi-Fi network, like AirSnort or Wireshark. I always use a VPN (ExpressVPN, $99 per year). If you don’t have a VPN, always make certain to use HTTPS for login, if it is supported by the site (Gmail, Facebook, etc.). If you want to play with some of the hacking tools, you can download and install Kali Linux. You will need to create a virtual client for the installation. The good news is that you will be learning both Linux and hacking at the same time. A good career move.
- Email from Doug in Kilmarkock: I recently purchased a Visio TV with a sound bar. The TV has an HDMI port called HDMI ARC. I connected my sound bar using the fiber optic connection, but the user manual recommends HDMI ARC. Please clarify this for me. Thanks. Doug in Kilmarmock, VA.
- Tech Talk Responds: HDMI ACR is no ordinary HDMI port. HDMI ARC can greatly simplify your audio cabling needs and setup if you know where to look for it and how to implement it. Historically, an AV receiver was the heart of the home media experience, and everything connected through it. Many newer HDTVs, with smart features built in, can serve as the hub. Without a receiver handling the audio in a central location, how do you get the sound from the HDTV to the auxiliary speakers, like your soundbar? You could rely on the 30 year old optical cable standard, but fortunately there is a newer and better standard. Since HDMI 1.4, HDMI has supported a specification known as HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) that offers two-way communication. In theory, using this feature should be as simple as plugging in an HDMI cable. Even though HDMI ARC has been around since 2008, the way manufacturers have implemented varies. Some manufacturer’s only label their HDMI ARC ports as “ARC”, some don’t even label them at all. Vizio actually puts both “Audio Out” and “ARC” on there, giving consumers a chance to figure out what’s going on. In the case of this Sony sound bar, the ARC port is labeled “TV (ARC)” and “HDMI Out”.
- On more observation. In the race to create ever slimmer HDTVs, there’s a seldom discussed sacrifice being made: sound quality. Your TV’s built-in speakers are probably terrible, but if you want to fix their anemic sound, adding a sound bar is an easy, inexpensive, and space-saving way to do so. Doug already figured this out.
- Email from Mai in Vietnam: Dear Doc and Jim. I am meeting someone at a rock festival. It is very hard to get the location right. Is there any way that I can temporarily share my location with someone so they can easily find me? Love the podcast. Mai in Vietnam
- Tech Talk Responds: Google Maps can help you both out. This relatively new feature shows your location right on your friend’s map—and his on yours—even if you’re both moving around. And if you’ve got Google Maps open, it’s easy to start sharing your location, assuming the person you want to share locations with is also a Google Maps user.
- You know that blue dot that shows you where you are? Tap that blue dot and you’ll see a few options, including sharing your location. You can choose how long to share your location—the default is one hour. Once you decide how long to share your location, you can then choose specific contacts to share your location with using the “Select People” button. You can scroll through your contacts and choose someone to share with. The list will be populated with Google users in your contacts list. If the person you want to share your location with is not on the list, you can also send a link via SMS or any messaging app. The person you share your location with will get a notification. When they click through, they will see your location on their map.
- The other user will also have the option to share their location with you, making it much easier for you to find each other. Location updates do not come in real time, but frequently enough to give you an idea of how close you are to each other.
- Email from Jim in Kansas: Dear Tech Talk. I just bought a new Windows 10 laptop and it is loaded with bloatware. I would like to install a clean version without the bloat. What is the easiest way to do this? Jim in Kansas
- Tech Talk Responds: Resetting your PC will reset it to the way you got it from the factory–which includes all the software the manufacturer originally installed on your PC. From annoying bloatware to useful software drivers.
- To get rid of the bloatware for a clean, fresh-from-Microsoft Windows 10 system, you previously had to download Windows 10 installation media, create a USB drive or DVD, and then reinstall Windows 10 yourself.
- Windows’ new “Fresh Start” feature makes this process much simpler, allowing normal PC users to completely reinstall Windows in a few clicks. Just follow the instructions to quickly and easily reinstall Windows 10 on a new PC.
- The downside is that you’ll lose all the manufacturer-installed software on your PC (bloatware, drivers, and software). Drivers and software can probably be downloaded from your PC manufacturer’s website. Make sure you get any necessary license keys or registrations before you do this. They can’t be downloaded.
- If you don’t see the Fresh Start application, you haven’t upgraded to the Creators Update yet.
Profiles in IT: Dr. Martin Cooper (Original air date: 10-20-2007)
- Martin Cooper was born December 26, 1926 in Chicago.
- He is considered the father of the cell phone.
- He received his degree in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1950 and received his master’s degree from the same institution in 1957.
- After four years in the navy serving on destroyers and a submarine, he worked for a year at a telecommunications company.
- Hired by Motorola in 1954, he worked on developing portable products, including the first portable handheld police radios, made for the Chicago police department in 1967.
- He then led Motorola’s cellular research. He was eventually promoted to Corporate Director of Research and Development for Motorola.
- Cooper is the inventor named on US patent 3,906,166, Radio telephone system.
- Cooper is considered the inventor of the first portable handset and the first person to make a call on a portable cell phone on April 3, 1973 in New York. That first call, placed to his rival Joel Engel, Bell Labs’ head of research.
- The brick-like phone weighed 30 ounces (1.87 pounds). The phone was 10 inches high, 3 inches deep and an inch-and-a-half wide. The commercially available model was 2.5 pounds, 10 inches x 5inches x 1.75 inches, 35 minute talk time, and 10 hour charge time.
- Cooper later revealed that watching Captain Kirk talking in his communicator on the TV-show Star Trek inspired him to research the mobile phone.
- Cooper’s Law is the semantically incorrect name used for his observation that the number of radio frequency conversations which can be concurrently conducted in a given area has doubled every 30 months since Marconi’s spark gap transmitter, over 100 years ago.
- Cooper believes the next big advancement in the wireless industry will be ubiquitous, wide-area, high-speed access to the Internet.
- To that end, he is currently serving as chairman and chief executive of privately held San Jose, California-based ArrayComm, which developed a technology which uses smart antennas to increase spectral efficiency and network throughput.
- Quote from Martin Cooper:?I’m rich beyond all imagination in satisfaction and in happiness and in self-fulfillment. But not necessarily in dollars and cents.?
New Twitter Application: Fast Food Truck (Original air date: 5-16-2009)
- 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 (Original air date: 6-9-2007)
- 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
Scientists Turn Tequila into Diamonds
- A team of Mexican scientists found that the heated vapor from 80-proof (40% alcohol) tequila blanco, when deposited on a silicon or stainless steel substrate, can form diamond films.
- The key to the surprising discovery is tequila’s ratio of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, which lies within the “diamond growth region.”
- Originally, the scientists were experimenting with creating diamonds from organic solutions such as acetone, ethanol, and methanol.
- They found that diluting ethanol in water resulted in high quality diamond films. The scientists then noticed that the ideal compound of 40 percent ethanol and 60 percent water was similar to the proportion used in tequila.
- The scientists duplicated the results using cheap white tequila. The results were the same as with the ethanol and water compound. The final diamond film was hard and heat-resistant.
- These films could be used to make ties coatings for cutting tools, high-power semiconductors, radiation detectors and optical-electronic devices.
- Scientists are continuing to test different tequilas´ abilities to produce diamonds.
Viral Video Week: A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything (original air date: 3/6/10)
- This video carries the viewer from the creation of the universe to man leaving Earth to explore that universe.
- Along the way, the flipbook-style animation retells evolution, the rise of civilizations, and the theory of relativity.
- It was made by 17 year-old Jamie Bell from the UK.
- Jamie drew and filmed the project for art class.
- It 2100 pages contained in about 50 jotter books.
- He worked on it on-and-off for about three weeks.
- The YouTube clip has attracted more than 1 million viewers.
- Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNYZH9kuaYM
Website of the Week: Wolfram|Alpha (Original air date: 5-22-10)
- Web address:http://www.wolframalpha.com/
- Wolfram|Alpha’s long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone.
- They seek to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.
- Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.
- Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people—spanning all professions and education levels.
- As of now, Wolfram|Alpha contains 10+ trillion pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains.
- Built with Mathematica—which is itself the result of more than 20 years of development at Wolfram Research.
- Wolfram|Alpha’s core code base now exceeds 5 million lines of symbolic Mathematica code.
Dumb Idea of the Week: Mobile Phone Fragrance (Original air date: 4-12-2008)
- NTT Communications (NTT Com) announced on April 7th that it will conduct a pilot test of its new Mobile Fragrance Communication service.
- Fragrance Communication is now used by companies and individuals to enhance indoor environments with pleasing fragrances.
- The device will be able to combine ringtones or music with fragrances.
- You will have a playlist and a scent list.
- Associating a scent with a particular ringtone could be fun
- The pilot test will run from April 10 to 20.
- The new mobile version offers the convenience of using mobile communication to download Fragrance Playlists, or files of recipes for specific fragrances together with visual and audio content.
- The Fragrance Playlists are downloaded from the "i-mode" mobile website of sister company NTT DoCoMo.
- In the pilot test, a total of 20 male and female monitors will each receive a free Mobile Fragrance Communication kit containing a mobile phone and fragrance device.
- Five of the monitors will also be given Service Gateway modules which an remotely emit fragrances at home.