Show of 12-05-2020

Tech Talk December 5, 2020

Email and Forum Questions

  • Kara in Washington: Dear Tech Talk. I created a Facebook page for a friend. I am now ready to move on. I would like to hand over control of the Facebook page to him. How to transfer control of a Facebook page to another person. How can I transfer Facebook admin rights to some else? Kara in Washington, DC.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Transferring control and ownership of a Facebook page to another Facebook user is quite easy to do. Here’s how:
    • Ask the Facebook user you’re transferring control of the page to to “Like” the page.
    • Log into the Facebook account that you use to manage the page.
    • Note: This account must have Administrator privileges.
    • With the page displayed on the screen, click the Settings link at the top-right of the page.
    • Click Page Roles over in the left-hand column.
    • Type the name of the user you want to transfer control of the page to into the box below Assign a New Page Role.
    • Click the arrow beside the word Editor, and then select Admin from the drop-down box.
    • Click the Add button.
  • The new “owner” of the page should now be able to administer the page by adding posts, uploading photos and videos and making any necessary changes to the Settings and Info pages. You can remove yourself as an admin (simply change your role to anything besides Admin) if you want or need to. If you no longer need or desire to have any association with the page you can also “Unlike” the page in order to sever that last tie between yourself and the page.
  • Email from Alex from Richmond: Dear Doc and Jim. I replaced my laptop hard drive with a solid state drive. I am happing with its speed. My laptop boots up fasters and program load quickly. I’m absolutely blown away by how much faster the laptop boots up and how much faster my programs load. I have read that SSDs do not get fragmented. It that true? Alex from Richmond, VA
  • Tech Talk Responds: Your SSD will become fragmented over time due to the way Windows saves files to a mass storage device. The good news is, unlike a fragmented hard drive, a fragmented SSD does not slow your computer down.
  • With traditional hard drives, the platters have to spin around and the “read” heads have to move in and out multiple times in order to find all the pieces of a fragmented file. All of this physical motion slows your PC down while Windows tracks down and pieces together the scattered parts of the files and loads them into RAM. That’s why hard drives need to be defragged on occasion.
  • But unlike hard drives, SSDs have no moving parts. The data is read directly from the drive’s non-volatile memory cells into RAM, and that process is just as fast for a fragmented file as it is for a contiguous file. Therefore, no defragging is required.
  • Email from Jim in Bowie: Dear Tech Talk. I have two programs that are needed for my digital ham radio setup. I keep them running at all times to ensure that my station is on the air. However, occasionally my Windows 10 system, installed an update and reboots. That brings down my station and forces me to load the application again. I have to load the one program before I can load the second. The first program takes up to a minute to initialize. Is there a way to load both programs in sequence automatically? Jim in Bowie in Bowie, MD
  • Tech Talk Responds: You can add these programs to the start menu. They will start in the order that they are added. However, there will not be much delay as Windows moves through the list. You will have to add the second application to the start list with a delayed start. Fortunately, this is all easily done. To add an app to run automatically at startup in Windows 10
    • Select the Start button and scroll to find the app you want to run at startup.
    • Right-click the app, select More, and then select Open file location. This opens the location where the shortcut to the app is saved.
    • With the file location open, press the Windows logo key + R, type shell:startup, then select OK. This opens the Startup folder.
    • Copy and paste the shortcut to the app from the file location to the Startup folder.
  • There used to be a great program for this called WinPatrol, but in October 2020 it is no longer available. It had not been updated since 2017. Now the easiest way to implement a delayed start is using a batch script. The batch script is opened by the start up menu. All programs are loaded by the batch script. You can introduce delays in the batch script to delay program load.
  • You must add the batch file to the Start Up folder. Open your Windows Startup folder by going to Start > All Programs, right-click on the Startup folder and selecting Open. When the listing of programs appear, create a new text file named “StartupOrder.bat”.
  • Edit the StartupOrder.bat file in Notepad to add the delay time and applications you want to launch. For this task, we will need the use of two batch commands: TIMEOUT and START.
    • TIMEOUT /T seconds-to-wait
    • START “” “C:PathToApplication.exe”
  • Here is the sample batch script, which would implement several startup delays.
    • @ECHO OFF
    • TIMEOUT /T 10
    • START “” “C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14OUTLOOK.EXE”
    • TIMEOUT /T 20
    • START “” “C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14WINWORD.EXE”
    • START “” “C:Program Files (x86)CitrixGoToMeeting457g2mstart.exe”
    • TIMEOUT /T 20
    • START “” “C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice14EXCEL.EXE”
  • Using only two commands (START and TIMEOUT), you can create your batch file. Good luck.
  • Email from Bob in Maryland: Dear Doc, Jim, and the lurking Mr. BigVoice. I notice that OLED screens, and something called a mini-LED screen are rumored to be coming to the iPad Pro next year. What is the difference? Will the mini-LED screens offer the same quality as the OLED screens? And what are the micro-LED screens? Mini-LED is a new technology that aims to give the same clarity and chromatic pop of an OLED at a lesser cost. I want to express my appreciation to Jim for his efforts on the “best-of” shows, which are still interesting enough that I love to listen to them, even though I might have heard parts of them before. Love the show. Your faithful listener. Bob in Maryland
  • Tech Talk Responds: We cannot see traditional LCD and OLED TV technologies going anywhere anytime soon, but there are new, next-generation display solutions. One of them is Mini-LED, another is MicroLED.
  • Despite being similar in name, they are actually markedly different – vastly different technologically. While Mini-LED is being pitched as an affordable OLED rival for the here and now, MicroLED is a very intricate, highly expensive proposition promising to, one day, be the gold standard of TV.
  • Mini-LED essentially advances traditional LCD tech in an effort to deliver a wider contrast ratio and deeper blacks. The LEDs on a Mini-LED’s backlight are much, much smaller than those used on a traditional LCD TV’s, and therefore there are a great deal more of them. Theoretically, mini-LEDs can produce pictures with better contrast.
  • MicroLED technology, meanwhile, is more similar to OLED than LCD in that it is also a self-emissive technology. Instead of using organic light emitting diodes they use tiny, non-organic LEDs – three (red, green and blue) per pixel. The fact they’re not organic means they should have a long lifespan. Each pixel requiring three LEDs does. The displays are difficulte to produce and are expensive.
  • Mini-LED is a much less intricate technology than MicroLED, then, and can be seen as a transitional technology between traditional LCD and MicroLED – as an affordable alternative to OLED.

Profiles in IT: Tony Hsieh

  • Tony Hsieh (pronounce shay) is an Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist best known for creating Zappos, an online shoe retailer, and co-founding LinkExchange.
  • Tony Hsieh was born December 12, 1976, in Urbana, Illinois.
  • Hsieh’s family moved to California when he was five, where he grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • His parents want him to have good grades, play several instruments, and get a PhD.
  • He would play recordings of his practice sessions, so he could avoid practicing.
  • He had a number of failed business ventures in high school: selling earthworms, paperboy, writing and selling a newsletter, selling Christmas cards in the summer.
  • He still remembers the earthworms. His parents had purchased a $33.45 box of mud guaranteed to contain at least one hundred earthworms. The worms all died because he added raw eggs to the soil for nutrition.
  • He had one successful venture was selling custom buttons for $1 using an advertisement in the back of Boy’s Life. He made $100 per week, but hated making buttons. He gave the business to his brother and moved on.
  • He took a Pascal class in high school and had access to the dial up modem.
  • He and a group of friends would contact BBS’s all over the country. They connected to the school phone system and making unauthorized phone calls (946-sexy).
  • He enrolled in Harvard in 1991 and selected a schedule that gave him the maximum free time. He did not attend many classes his first year.
  • While at Harvard, he managed the Quincy House Grille selling pizza to the students in his dorm. His best customer Alfred Lin would later be Zappo’s CFO and COO.
  • Hsieh was a member of the Harvard team that won the 1993 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in Indianapolis, ranking first of 31 entrants.
  • He graduated from Harvard in 1995 with a degree in Computer Science
  • After college, Hsieh briefly worked for Oracle.
  • While at Oracle, he and a friend began a web design business. His first customer paid the $2,000 for a new website. He quit Oracle after only five months, but the web design business failed to get many additional customers and did not really go too far.
  • Tony then go the idea for Internet Link Exchange, a form of banner advertising for barter. This was good way to website without any marketing budged to get exposure.
  • It was an immediate success with nearly 50% of the websites contacted signing up.
  • Yahoo wanted to buy LinkExchange for $25M. He turned it down, but took $3M in VC from Sequoia Capital for at 20 percent stake.
  • By 1998, the site had over 400,000 members and 5 million ads rotated daily.
  • In November 1998, LinkExchange was sold to Microsoft for $265 million.
  • He did not like the atmosphere of the company. He stayed the required one year to secure a $40M option stock.
  • A group of ex-LinkExchanges formed Venture Frogs, an angel group. One of the twenty investments under consideration was ShoeSite.com
  • In 1999, they made an initial small investment in ShoeSite.com. They could not attract any VCs so they invested more themselves and changed the name to Zappos (based on zapotos the Spanish word for shoes).
  • In 2000, Hsieh left the VC and joined Zappos as CEO. Sales in 2000 were $1.6M.
  • Without a precedent to guide him, Hsieh learned how to make customers feel comfortable and secure with shopping online. Zappos offered free shipping and free returns, sometimes of several pairs.
  • Hsieh rethought Zappos structure and in 2013 it became for a time a holacracy without job titles, reflecting his belief in employees and their ability to self-organize.
  • Hsieh received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Northern California region in 2007.
  • Hsieh loved the game of poker and moved Zappos headquarters to Henderson, Nevada, and eventually to downtown Las Vegas.
  • By 2009, revenues had grown to $1B. Zappos was known a one the best employers.
  • On July 22, 2009, under pressure from the VCs, Zappos was sold to Amazon for approximately $1.2 billion. Tony made $214 million, not including money made through his former investment firm Venture Frogs.
  • In June 2010, Hsieh released Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, a book about his entrepreneurial endeavors.
  • In 2009 Hsieh organized a major re-development and revitalization project for downtown Las Vegas. Hsieh originally planned the Downtown Project as a place where Zappos employees could live and work, but the project grew to a vision where thousands of local tech and other entrepreneurs could live and work.
  • On August 24, 2020, Hsieh retired as the CEO of Zappos after 21 years at the helm.
  • After stepping down as CEO of Zappos in August 2020, Hsieh bought multiple properties in Park City, Utah, with a total market value around $56 million.
  • On November 27, 2020, Tony Hsieh died from injuries received in a house fire over the Thanksgiving weekend. Tony was only 46 with a net worth of $846M.

Observations from the Bunker

  • Zappos 10 Core Values made a difference
  • At Zappos the 10 Core Values are more than just words, they are a way of life.
  • They know that companies with a strong culture and a higher purpose perform better in the end.
  • Each employee takes an Oath of Employment, which they use to not only highlight their values, but commit to them both as Zappos employees and as a business.
  • Here are the ten core values of Zappos, as inspired by Tony Hsieh
    1. Deliver WOW Through Service
    2. Embrace and Drive Change
    3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
    4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
    5. Pursue Growth and Learning
    6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
    7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
    8. Do More With Less
    9. Be Passionate and Determined
    10. Be Humble

Memory Lane: Internet in a Box

  • Internet in a Box (iBox) was one of the first commercially available Internet connection software packages available for sale to the public.
  • In 1994, O’Reilly & Associates created and produced the package, in collaboration with Spry, Inc. Spry, Inc. Spry, Inc. also started up a commercial Internet service provider (ISP) called InterServ.
  • The IBox software included the Winsock program and TCP/IP stack that were needed to connect a computer running Microsoft Windows to the Internet in 1994.
  • The IBox package also included a licensed copy of the NCSA Mosaic web browser called AIR Mosaic, AIR Mail (an email client), AIR News (an NNTP news client), AIR Telnet, AIR Gopher, and an FTP Network File Manager.
  • Combined with InterServ’s dial-up access, Internet in a Box provided a complete solution for members of the public to access the Internet, a network previously available almost exclusively to government and collegiate users.
  • The pioneering Internet book from O’Reilly, Ed Krol’s ‘Whole Internet User’s Guide and Catalog’ (US-1993) was included in the US product.

Most Downloaded iPhone App of 2020

  • The most downloaded free app of 2020 in the U.S. was ZOOM Cloud Meetings! Zoom did not even make it in the top 20 last year.
  • The second most downloaded app was TikTok.
  • The third was Disney Plus.
  • These were followed by: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Messenger, Gmail, Cash App.

Warning of the Week: Fake calls from Apple and Amazon

  • Scammers are calling people and using the names of two companies everyone knows, Apple and Amazon, to rip people off. Here’s what you need to know about these calls.
  • In one version of the scam, you get a call and a recorded message that says it’s Amazon. The message says there’s something wrong with your account. It could be a suspicious purchase, a lost package, or an order they can’t fulfill.
  • In another, you get a recorded message that says there’s been suspicious activity in your Apple iCloud account. In fact, they say your account may have been breached.
  • In both scenarios, the scammers say you can conveniently press 1 to speak with someone (how nice of them!). Or they give you a phone number to call. Don’t do either. It’s a scam. They’re trying to steal your personal information, like your account password or your credit card number.
  • If you get an unexpected call or message about a problem with any of your accounts, hang up.
    • Do not press 1 to speak with customer support
    • Do not call a phone number they gave you
    • Do not give out your personal information
  • If you think there may actually be a problem with one of your accounts, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real.