Show of 09-05-2020

Tech Talk September 5, 2020

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email Phil from Chantilly: Dear Tech Talk. I have been a listener for over ten years and greatly appreciate the valuable information that is provided each week. Have you ever considered doing a Profile in IT of Dr. Richard Shurtz?  I believe your listeners would be very interested in hearing about Dr. Shurtz’s background and why and how Stratford University came to be.  Thanks so much for your great program. My question:  is there an easy way to backup my iPhone to OneDrive instead of iCloud? Phil from Chantilly VA
  • Tech Talk Responds: I will think about Profile idea. There is no option for an iPhone to backup to OneDrive; iCloud or a computer using iTunes are the only choices for backing up an iOS device. You can save files (e.g., from Microsoft Word app) to OneDrive. If you choose to back up to your iTunes computer, you can then back up the iTunes subdirectory to OneDrive. It is not very convenient, but it is a workaround.
  • Email from Bob in Maryland: Dear Doc, Jim, and the extraordinary Mr. BigVoice. Last week’s show was fantastic, as always. I am glad to see that Mr. BigVoice is finally paying more attention to Jim, our true “broadcast professional”. I stumbled across an article, The Most Hilarious Code Comments Ever, which reminded me some more about the offbeat humor that programmers and IT people have. I have attached it below, with a handful of my favorites. All the best! Bob in Maryland
  • Tech Talk Responds: That was a fun article read. Comments in code can be a real revelation. My favorite is:
    • # To understand recursion, see the bottom of this file
    • At the bottom of the file:
    • # To understand recursion, see the top of this file.
  • BTW, I have included a few other articles that Bob in Maryland forwarded to me.
  • Email from Arnie in Colorado Springs: Hi Dr. Shurtz. This article dovetails with your discussion on Tech Talk 8/15/20. I have seen some other articles about AI as well. It has a given that real privacy is nonexistent, and your AI piece really nails it. Anyway, just some feedback on your AI post. Arnie, Colorado Springs, CO.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Great article. It talks about the fact that Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a multi-year contract with Aptima Inc. and its partner Arizona State University to develop a new generation of artificial intelligence that works with, learns from and interacts with humans. Different from current commercial systems, the program — Adaptive Distributed Allocation of Probabilistic Tasks (ADAPT) — will assist commanders with decision-making by quickly crunching data in fast-changing battlespaces and improving cooperation between human and AI agents.
  • ADAPT will take a significant step forward in human-AI collaboration so warfighters and intelligent technology can reason and work together to make better, faster decisions than either could do on their own. AI systems will augment human operators. This is a real long term trend.
  • Email from Jacob in Annapolis: Dear Tech Talk. Sometimes when I am surfing the web, I want to search for something in a particular website and they do not have a search box. Is there some way that I can search the site quickly without a search box? Love the show. Jacob in Alexandria
  • Tech Talk Responds: Built-in search tools on most websites often do a horrible job at helping you find the exact content you’re looking for. What’s more, most site search tools won’t suggest posts/pages from the site that are closely related to, but slightly different from the actual search term.
  • Google excels in situations like those, and that’s why I almost always use Google instead of a website’s native search tool. Searching any website using the Google search engine is very easy. Here’s how:
    • Visit www.google.com.
    • Type your search query into the search box, followed site:example.com.
    • For example, if you want to search the Stratford University Tech Talk site, you would enter: Steve Jobs site:techtalk.stratford.edu
  • Google’s search capabilities are so advanced that many webmasters have replaced their sites’ built-in search boxes with a third-party site-search tool provided by Google.
  • Email from Allen in Manhattan: Dear Tech Talk. I have purchased a new SSD and would like to clone the existing hard drive. The new drive is 2TB and the old drive is one TB. I would like to ensure that I can use all 2TB in the new drive. What is an easy way to do this? Allen in Manhattan, KS
  • Tech Talk Responds: The Unitek USB 3.0 to Mini Dual Bay Hard Drive Docking Station literally makes the process of cloning a hard drive or SSD onto a target drive as simple as pushing a button! This device is $34.99 on Amazon.
    • With the docking station/duplicator powered off and disconnected from your computer, insert the source drive (the drive you wish to copy) into slot 1 and the target drive into slot 2.
    • Press the Clone button to start the cloning process.
  • The time it takes to clone a drive will depend on how much data is stored on the source drive. It could take anywhere from just a few minutes to several hours. The target drive MUST be the same size as the source drive or larger. This device makes adding extra hard drives to your computer very easy when used as a docking station.
  • Email from Alicia in Baltimore: Dear Doc and Jim. My daughter lost her phone and she had to wait till she got paid before she could buy a new phone, so I let her borrow mine for a couple of days. After she bought herself a new phone she gave mine back to me. I just discovered that she added her own Google account to my phone. How can I remove my daughter’s Google account from my phone? I can’t figure it out and she won’t be back to help me for another two weeks! Alicia in Baltimore MD.
  • Tech Talk Responds: It is easy to remove a second Google account from an Android phone. Just follow the steps below:
    • Tap the Settings icon (it looks like a “gear” or “cog“).
    • Scroll down and tap Accounts. You should now see your daughter’s account listed along with your own.
    • Tap on your daughter’s account.
    • Tap Remove Account and follow the prompts as they appear.
  • That’s all there is to it. Your daughter’s Google account should no longer be attached to your phone.
  • Email from Grover in Kilmarnock: Dear Tech Talk. My wife has accepted an offer from her employer to work remote from home. She will be setting up her office in a small detached guest cottage that’s just a few feet from our house. Our cable modem and router are in our living room. Since the cottage is separate from our living space we do not have the ability to just run a long enough Ethernet cable and phone cable from the router to that space. There is no Wi-Fi signal in the cottage. What are my options? Grover in Kilmarnock, VA
  • Tech Talk Responds: If the electricity in the cottage provided by the same electrical circuit breaker panel that serves your home, you could use a Powerline Wi-Fi Extender to piggyback off your home’s Internet connection. The advantage of using a powerline Wi-Fi extender instead of a simple powerline networking adapter is it will provide both wired and wireless connectivity in the external guest space. You can get a Netgear PowerLine 1000 Mbps WiFi, Gigabit Port (PLW1010-100NAS) for $89.99 from Amazon.
  • However, if the cottage is served by its own electrical panel, you will have no choice but to have a second Internet connection installed in the cottage.
  • Email from Peter in Richmond: Dear Doc and Jim. I am going on camping trip and want to use my cell phone for pictures. However, I will not have electricity for charging my phone. What are mare cheapest options? Love the show. Peter in Richmond, VA.
  • Tech Talk Responds: You have a few options:
  • USB Power Bank: I use the LanLuck Portable Charger (25,800 mAh). It is $25.95 on Amazon. BTW: the iPhone 11 battery is around 3,100 mAh.
  • Solar Panel: The Nekteck 21 Watt Portable Solar Panel can charge a 10,000 mAh power bank in two days. It is $55.99 on Amazon.
  • Combo: The Tranmix Solar Charger 25000 mAh Portable Power Bank with 4 solar panels has it all. It is $39.99 on Amazon. I have not tried this one, but it looks intriguing.

Profiles in IT: Jacobus Cornelis Haartsen

  • Jacobus Cornelis Haartsen is a Dutch electrical engineer best known as the father of Bluetooth communication.
  • Jaap Haartsen was born 13 February 1963, in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • In 1986, he received an MSEE with honors from Delft University of Technology.
  • He worked briefly for Siemens in The Hague and Philips in Eindhoven.
  • In 1990, he received a PhD in EE from Delft University of Technology with honors.
  • His thesis dealt with programmable filters in silicon surface acoustic wave devices.
  • In 1991, he was hired by Ericsson, working in Raleigh-Durham, NC. In 1993 he was transferred to the Ericsson Mobile Terminal Division in Lund, Sweden.
  • He was tasked with finding solutions for short-range (3m to 4m) radio connections to enrich mobile phone functionality. Cost and power were driving factors.
  • Because the frequency band was shared, he decided to use frequency hopping. He already had a working solution in 2.45 GHz using frequency hopping communication.
  • Bluetooth devices change frequencies within the designated band, hopping around on 79 frequencies 1,600 times each second.
  • While Dr. Haarsten was working initially alone, a team was quickly built. In 1995, he was joined by Sven Mattisson. The team eventually grew to 30 people.
  • The name in the initial development phases was MC (Multi-Communicator) Link.
  • By 1997, the team had a workable solution and Ericson realized that it needed to collaborate with other firms to ensure adoption.
  • In 1998, a Special Interest Group (SIG) was formed by five founding members: Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, Toshiba and IBM. Intel was selected as the lead.
  • Jim Kardach, representing Intel, suggested the name Bluetooth. Harold Bluetooth was a 10th century Danish king who united Denmark. The logo too consists of a Viking inscription, called the bind rune, that brings together the king’s initials.
  • The Bluetooth SIG has formed a patent pool for Bluetooth, defined the standard, provided licenses to manufacturers and examined devices for compliance.
  • Five patents, filed by Dr. Haartsen can be considered fundamental for the Bluetooth standard. In total, Dr. Haarsten has filed more than 200 patents. The SIG patent pool was essential for the early success of the technology.
  • In 1999, Bluetooth 1.0 was released. In 2000, the first mobile phones with Bluetooth appeared, as did first PC cards and prototype mice, keyboards and USB dongles.
  • In 2001, the first Bluetooth-enabled printers, laptops, and car kits were introduced.
  • In 2011, the SIG had 15,000 member firms. Bluetooth V4.0 was released.
  • In 2010, he became CTO of Tonalite in the Netherlands, a company which creates wearable wireless products. Tonalite was acquired by Plantronics in 2012.
  • He was hired by Plantronics as Senior Expert, Wireless Systems.
  • In 2015, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Observations from the Bunker

  • I met with Elijah Cumming a couple of years ago on Capitol Hill.
  • He believed that education was the key to Baltimore future. He had great hopes for youth of Baltimore.
  • Elijah died October 17, 2019 at age 68. He was taken away too soon.
  • Cummings was born on January 18, 1951, in Baltimore. His parents were sharecroppers.
  • Cummings graduated with honors from the Baltimore City College high school in 1969. He then attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. Cummings graduated from law school at the University of Maryland in 1976.
  • He practiced law for 19 years before being elected to the State House in 1996 and the US Congress a few years later.
  • We originally has a five minute photo op meeting scheduled. It turned into a two hour meeting as we talked about Baltimore and his hope for the youth of Baltimore.
  • We talk about the five things that I believe education should provide youth: A Growth Mindset, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking Skills, Mindful Leadership, Happiness.
  • Even though we were on opposite sides of the aisle, there was no daylight between us. We pondered how our experience would be helpful for Congress.
  • He believed in non-violent protest, in the spirit of Martin Luther King, who walked in the shoes of Mahatma Gandhi from India.

Technology of the Week: Green Light for Fishing

  • Scientific research shows that all members of this food chain have eyes sensitive to the colors blue and green. This probably evolved because the water absorbs longer wavelengths.
  • Fish and some members of their food chain have color receptors in their eyes optimized for the light of their “space”. Eyes that can see a single space color can detect changes in light intensity.
  • It has been known for a long time that a light attracts fish, shrimp and insects at night. Based on the biology of visual receptors, the light should be blue or green.
  • The light first attracts microorganisms, which attract bait fish, which attract predator fish.
  • This light works very effectives after it has been one for a couple of hours.
  • I ordered the Extra Bright Single Dock Light System from UnderWaterFish.com or $499.00
  • It is a 250W submersible arc-lamp. It burns hot enough to keep barnicles from forming on the light fixture itself.
  • My grandkids are happy and are catching 14 inch fish every nights (striped bass, puppy drum, perch, and speckled trout)

Idea of the Week: AI Improves Eye Contact during Video Calls

  • Bob From Maryland Alerted me to this article
  • Microsoft’s Surface Pro X hybrid has received a new AI-powered feature which should help those currently working from home due to Covid-19.
  • Eye Contact uses artificial intelligence routines – in combination with the Pro X’s ARM processor – to adjust your gaze and make it seem like you’re making direct eye contact (hence the name) with the person (or people) on the other end of the video call.
  • It should make those video calls feel much more natural, which is always good – and might be particularly useful for something like an interview or sales call which is happening remotely.
  • The Eye Contact feature arrives with the latest firmware for the Surface Pro X which is now rolling out, and the function was previously in testing back in July.
  • It should work with all video call apps, not just Microsoft’s own Teams and Skype, but also the likes of Zoom.
  • There are a couple of caveats, including that the Surface device can’t be in landscape mode while running the feature, and it does use some battery power, all of which Microsoft made clear when it first announced Eye Contact for testing.