Show of 5-12-2007

  • Email Questions
  • I have to buy a new computer this year. Should I get a laptop or a desktop? What is the difference in price and performance?
    • 2007 is the year of the laptop.
    • Laptop sales will exceed desktop sales for the first time.
    • Prices have dropped as displays and electronics have dropped in price.
    • Battery life and improved as processors become more power efficient.
    • Wi-Fi connectivity has cut the network wiring tether.
    • This year I would opt for a laptop because of the portability
    • Major Manufacturers: Dell (US), Gateway (US), Compaq/HP (US), Toshiba (J) , Lenovo/IBM (C), Sony (J), Acer (T)
    • Processors
      • Intel Core Duo is a very efficient dual-core
      • AMD Turion X2 dual core mobile technology (to save)
    • Get at least 1 GByte of RAM
    • Don’t forget about refurbished laptops from manufactures. You could save 30%.
  • I deleted the family vacation photos from my digital camera by mistake. What can I do?
    • If you delete the photos from your camera by mistake, you can recover the deleted files using low cost utilities
      • The data is not deleted.
      • Only the files names are deleted
      • Sometimes only the first letter of the file name is deleted.
    • Don’t take anymore pictures because you may overwrite deleted files
    • Two file recovery programs that have gotten good reviews are:
    • One final note: backup your digital pictures
      • Two copies are needed somewhere
      • Backup to second hard drive
      • Backup to CD
      • Keep extra CD in safe place
  • Massive Star Explodes – So What?
    • SN 2006gy was an extremely energetic supernova
    • Definition of supernova.
      • The explosion caused when a massive star, at least 8 times the Sun’s mass, dies (exhausts its fuel) and collapses.
      • If the original star is less than 20 solar masses, the supernova will leave behind a neutron star.
      • Heavier stars will collapse into black holes.
      • Supernova explosions are among the most energetic events in the Universe, and they forge the heavy elements such as carbon, oxygen, and silicon.
    • Discovered around September 18, 2006 by R. Quimby and P. Mondol
    • Studied by several teams of astronomers using facilities that included the Chandra, Lick, and Keck Observatories.
    • Chandra Website: chandra.harvard.edu/
    • On May 7, 2007, NASA and several of the astronomers announced the first detailed analyses of the supernova, describing it as the "brightest stellar explosion ever recorded".
      • The "SN 2006gy" explosion occurred in a galaxy 240 million light-years away, called NGC 1260
      • 100 times more energetic than typical supernovas
      • It was detected in September 2006 using ground-based telescopes and NASA’s Chandra X-ray space observatory.
      • It brightened slowly for 70 days, and at its peak emitted more than 50 billion Suns worth of light-shining 10 times brighter than its host galaxy-before dimming
      • Could be the first evidence of a new type of supernova fueled by an antimatter engine, exploding rather than collapsing into a black hole.
  • Big Bang 101 and Star Formation
    • Big Bang – 13.7 Billion Years Ago
    • Three minutes after the big bang, the temperature has reached 109 K, protons and neutrons combine to form what will become the nuclei of elements
    • 375,000 years after big bang, the temperature has reached 3000K, hydrogen forms.
    • 100,000 Million years after big bang, first stars formations begin
    • After 1 billion years, the temperature is 20 K and galaxies and stars have begun to form via gravitational contraction.
    • Our Sun was formed 8.9 billion years after big bang. It is 4.8 billion years old and will live another 5.2 billion years
    • Stars are fueled by nuclear fusion
      • Fusion Sequence: H, He, C, O, N, Ne, Si, Fe
      • They either collapse into a black hole or explode
    • Burn durations for star with 20 solar masses. The final S/Si conversion is to Iron (Fe).
      • Hydrogen burn (37 Million K) – 8.1 million years
      • Helium burn (188 Million K) – 1.2 million years
      • Carbon burn (870 Million K) – 976 years
      • Neon burn (1,570 Million K) – 0.6 years
      • Oxygen burn (1,980 Million K) – 1.25 years
      • Sulfur/Silicon burn (3,340 Million K)—11.5 days
    • These early stars died explosively as supernovae they produced the first spray of heavy elements.
    • Birth of galaxies, by binding the stars and gas together to create these cosmic ecosystems, was crucial to the buildup of heavy elements to a level where planets and life were possible.
    • Every atom in our body was formed in star somewhere
    • A great website (origins.jpl.nasa.gov/index1.html)
  • Supreme Court Weighs in on Patent Law
    • Monday, May 07, 2007, Page 11
    • Two rulings in the last week set new standards for challenges to patents
    • Many hope to curb "patent trolls" whose existence is based on royalty payments.
    • Revenues in the United States for patent licenses were about $15 billion in 1990; eight years later they had soared to more than $100 billion.
    • IBM alone took in well over $1 billion from licensing last year and received a record 2,756 new patents.
    • In one key ruling, the nine US justices tossed out a patent for an adjustable accelerator pedal for motorists as "obvious."
      • The case involved a suit by auto parts makers KSR International against Teleflex, which developed a system that combines sensor technology with a mechanism to automatically set the height of vehicle control pedals for drivers of different sizes.
      • By ruling the patent as "obvious" the justices held that a company cannot hold a valid patent for a device that anyone could have invented, such as a wheel or door.
    • In a separate case the same day, the high court ruled that AT&T could not collect damages from Microsoft for patented software sold in other countries.
    • The decision could also benefit Internet telephony firm Vonage Holdings, which risks being shut down in a patent dispute with Verizon Communications.
    • Legal opinions vary. It depends who payroll you are on.
      • Some feel the ruling is going too far and is watering down the patent system.
      • While others feel is has not gone far enough.
      • Pharmaceuticals are particularly worried.
  • You Decide. Here are Some Questionable Patents
    • Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com and their special invention:
      • The patented One Click® feature was invented by Bezos
      • U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411, "Method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network."
      • He won an injunction forcing his chief competitor, Barnesandnoble.com, to add deliberate complication to its ordering process.
    • A St. Louis patent broker is suing Yahoo over a "method of effecting commerce in a networked computer environment in a computerized system" — that is, shopping online.
    • Another company sued eBay based on a patent to the use a computer mouse to click and make an online purchase.
    • Priceline.com, has patented its Internet version of an ancient auction technique, the name-your-price "reverse" auction, and is suing Microsoft’s Expedia.com travel service.
    • Microsoft patented a well-known "style sheet" technology just as it was being adopted as standard by the World Wide Web Consortium.
    • Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry, was sued by NTP Inc, a US firm that had accused RIM of violating its patents in its mobile software. RIM eventually settled the case.
    • A California software company is suing eBay over database technology.
    • Two professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are suing the Ask Jeeves search site over two patents on handling questions in natural language.
    • A Boeing software engineer has patented a basic method of correcting the century in dates stored in databases and sent a threatening form letter to 700 of the nation’s largest corporations
    • Multi-Tech Systems is suing the three leading PC makers, Compaq, Dell and Gateway, over patents on transmitting voice and data.
    • Sightsound.com is suing at least one music retailer and demanding royalties from others over a patent on selling audio and video recordings online.
    • A technique for measuring a breast with a tape to determine bra size
      • U.S. Patent No. 5,965,809: No padding: "Method of bra size determination" (by direct measurement).
      • Issued: 1999. Inventor: Edward Pechter.
    • Executing a tennis stroke while wearing a kneepad (U.S. 5,993,366)
  • Bicycle Technology Advances
    • Early History
      • Running machine (1817)
      • Rear wheel drive bicycle (1843)
      • Pneumatic Tire (1845)
      • Pedal powered two wheeler (1866)
      • Chain-driven Safety Bicycle (1879)
      • Easy to use derailleur (1910)
    • Frames Design
      • Steel and Aluminum(1980)
      • Titanium and Carbon (1990)
      • Carbon is superior in cost, weight, and strength. Only disadvantage is durability.
    • Ceramic Ball Bearings (2000)
      • Rounder, long lasting, expensive ($150 to $250 per wheel)
    • Aerodynamic wheels (2005)
      • Carbon deep dish wheels ($1500 to $2000 per two wheel set)
      • www.zipp.com
    • Shifting system
      • 10-speed cassettes in rear wheel (2000)
      • Two chain rings would give 20 speeds (3 would give 30)
      • Break lever shift apparatus
    • Shoes and Pedals
      • Clipless pedals (shoes lock into pedal)
      • Quick release in a wreck
      • Pedals ($40 to $150), Shoes ($80 to $300)
    • Cost of typical bike for a competition
      • Entry level — Trek 1000, all aluminum frame, $700
      • Mid-level — Specialized Allez, aluminum/carbon frame , $900 to $1000
      • Upper level – Trek Madon series, carbon frame, $1,800 to $8,000
      • Richard’s Bike – Trek 5200, carbon frame, $2,400.
    • Best web sites to look at competition bikes
  • West Point Win Cyber Defense Exercise
    • U.S. Military Academy at West Point won the Cyber Defense Exercise for the third time.
    • They defeated teams from the nation’s four other service academies.
    • The exercise, held April 16-20, pitted student teams from West Point and the Air Force, Naval, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies against attackers from the National Security Agency and the Defense Department.
    • The exercise is the culmination of information assurance classes for cadets and midshipmen in computer science and electrical engineering departments. It is a learning experience as much as a test.
    • The exercise gives students a chance to practice what they have been learning during the first half of the year in classes on networking, security and electrical engineering.
    • Each academy had to build and maintain a virtual network that includes a Web server providing dynamic content from a back-end database, an e-mail server with public-key encryption, chat service, file sharing and a Domain Name System server for name resolution
    • Computers infected with malware that had to be included on the networks to represent the effects of uninformed users. Students had to clean these machines.
  • Gartner Recommends Chindia Strategy for IT Companies
    • To stay competitive in the global economy, it’s imperative that IT organizations implement a “Chindia” strategy
    • Gartner examined how China and India are altering the future of technology and innovation in the newly released book “IT and The East”, published by Harvard Business School Press.
    • The “Chindia” framework is offered as a means to examine how these two countries may soon re-assert their collective influence on the international stage.
    • “Today China and India are producing some of the world’s best-trained computer science and electrical engineering graduates
    • Far from being simply a source of cheap labor, both countries soon will be able to compete favorably for global business – as India’s IT services firms have done – not on price, but on competence and capability
    • The bilateral economy of China and India is in its infancy, but new momentum suggests a powerful relationship is building.
    • China-India – ‘Chindia’ – enterprises will have access to complementary skills and resources and, in turn, will have the potential to lead many global markets.
  • ICANN Reject XXX Top Level Domain
    • ICANN once again rejected the establishment of a .xxx top level domain (TLD).
    • The vote was 8-4 with a single abstention, that of CEO Paul Twomey.
    • ICANN is Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (www.icann.org)
    • If approved, porn sites would be www.sitename.xxx
    • The debate raged largely around the phony issue of whether a .xxx domain would put ICANN in the content regulation business, when rejecting the domain is itself a content regulation decision.
    • ICANN just concluded its annual meeting in Lisbon, Spain
    • Other issues discussed were IPV6 addressing, registrar accreditation, operating procedures for accountability