Show of 5-19-2007

  • Email Questions
  • Question about star formation from the Tech Talk forum. "Is it possible that extremely large supernovas could create elements beyond uranium? If so could they be detected as far away as we are? Are any elements beyond uranium stable enough to last reasonably long?
    • The details of the star burning process depend on the core mass
    • The star is fueled by burning (through nuclear fusion) H, He, C, O, Ne, Si.
    • It burns out when it the core is converted to Fe since further fusion is not possible.
    • The core then collapses reaching very high temperatures.
    • The Fe photo-disintegrates into alpha particles, and then even the alpha particles disintegrate at such high temperatures to become protons.
    • The collapse of the core squeezes together protons and electrons to form neutrons and the material reaches near-nuclear densities forming a "neutron star."
    • There exist several physical processes which can transfer the gravitational energy from core collapse to the envelope, thereby leading to the forceful ejection of the outer envelope causing a "supernova explosion".
    • Heavier elements synthesized by these stars would have been dispersed in the interstellar medium by supernova explosions
    • The elements could be detected by their spectral emission during the final collapse and explosion. The radioactive elements will quickly decay.
  • Come on, Doc. Loving the show, but still looking for an RSS feed (podcast). You guys teach technology, right? ;-), My Best, James Messick
    • We have now created the Tech Talk Podcast Feed
    • We have also listed the feed with iTunes and many other directories
    • We have a page devoted to the Tech Talk podcast at www.stratford.edu
    • The feed uses RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
  • Excellent job, and it works. I may be the first subscriber (at least outside of Falls Church). Thanks, and I’ll continue to sing the praises of your show. My Best, James Messick.
  • What is Podcasting?
    • Podcasting is the syndication of sound and video files over the Internet.
    • It was invented in 2001 became popular in late 2004.
    • This technique has been used to deliver content to iPod MP3 players.
    • The term comes from the combination of the words iPod and Broadcasting.
    • It is now applied to distribution of all types of file for all types of players or viewers.
    • The podcast feed is a file located on a web server which lists the names and locations of files ready for distribution.
    • The Tech Talk Radio podcast feed uses the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) format.
      The Tech Talk feed address is:http://www.stratford.edu/rss/techtalkradio.xml
    • This feed is read by your RSS reader.
  • History of Podcasting
    • Really Simple Syndication (RSS) dates back to Netscape around 1999.
    • When Netscape folded Dave Winer took over the standard.
    • He eventually gave the rights to Harvard University Law School. The standard has been stable since in 2003.
    • Adam Curry, an MTV host, and Dave Winer share the credits for podcasting
    • Adam Curry persuaded Dave Winer to add the enclosure tag to RSS 2.0 in 2001.
    • The enclosure tag is used to carry the information for the multi-media file.
    • Adam then created a popular podcast to syndicate his radio show.
    • He then released an Applescript hack for the iPod as open source that led to the first standalone podcasting client.
    • That client was known as iPodder.
    • Adam Curry did not do any programming on iPodder
    • iPodder is now known as Juice to avoid iPod trademark problems.
    • Available for Win, Linux, and Mac.
  • How can the feed file be read
  • Competing Podcast Feed Standards
    • RSS versus ATOM
    • RSS does not conform to strict XML namespace rules
    • Does not have an active development community because the standard is “owned’ by a law school.
    • ATOM was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT) and was endorsed by Google.
    • However most feeds were RSS because it was easy to use.
    • When Microsoft supported RSS with Internet Explorer, ATOM was doomed.
    • The end user sees no difference between the two….a feed is a feed.
  • What is a Meta-language?
    • HTML is Hypertext Meta-Language
    • RSS is a meta-language (a subset of XML)
    • It is a language that describes a language
    • Comments or specifications are contained in tags that surround the text.
    • The tags can contain syntax or formatting information.
      • HTML tags contain formatting information
      • XML (Extensible Markup Language) tag contain both formatting or syntax.
  • What are the Dominant Meta-languages
    • The Standard Generalized Markup Language (ISO 8879:1986) is historically the dominant (meta-) markup language.
    • The Extensible Markup Language is a profile or restricted subset of SGML as a meta-language. XML is used to define application-specific XML vocabularies, or XML markup languages. RSS is a subset of XML.
    • Whereas SGML and XML 1.0 use a special-syntax notation to formally define markup language grammars known as Document Type Definitions (DTDs).
    • The Extensible Stylesheet Language is a language for expressing ‘style'(sheets).
    • XLink (XML Linking Language) supplies basic facilities for defining links between resources.
      Various query languages have been proposed and implemented for querying XML documents.
    • W3C’s Cascading Style Sheets provide a simple mechanism for adding style (e.g., fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents.
    • Scalable Vector Graphics is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML. Other graphics formats can be used in XML documents, of course.
  • Web ite Creates Podcast of Wikipedia Articles on the Fly
    • Web Site: Pediaphon
    • I created a Podcast of the Stratford University Entry
    • Here it is: stratford_university.mp3
    • This is very useful for the visually impaired to "hear" Wikipedia articles.
  • Military Limits Access to YouTube and Other Web Sites
    • Soldiers are upset over the Pentagon’s decision this week to ban access to YouTube, MySpace and other social networking web sites.
    • The decision, abruptly made this week, cuts off troops’ access to such sites as YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Pandora, MTV, 1.fm, live365 and Photobucket.
    • Pentagon officials cited limited bandwidth and security concerns as reasons for the

    Mission Could Seek Out Spock’s Home Planet

    • Science fiction may soon become science fact.
    • Astronomers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have recently concluded that the planet-finding mission, SIM PlanetQuest, would be able to detect an Earth-like planet around the star 40 Eridani.
    • This is a planet familiar to "Star Trek" fans as "Vulcan."
    • 40 Eridani, a triple-star system 16 light-years from Earth, includes a red-orange K dwarf star slightly smaller and cooler than our sun.
    • Vulcan is thought to orbit that dwarf star, called 40 Eridani A.
  • Internet Traffic Report
  • Distributed Denial of Service Attack in Estonia
    • After three weeks of coordinated cyber attacks on Estonian Web sites, NATO has reportedly sent an official to the country to help investigate.
    • About 1 million computers worldwide were reportedly used to conduct the denial-of-service attacks on Estonian government and corporate Web sites, swamping them with so much traffic they were forced to shut down. Traffic has finally begun to taper off this week.
    • The attacks began on April 27, the day the Baltic country removed a Soviet-era war memorial from Tallinn, its capital.
    • Russia has reacted bitterly to the removal, and many have speculated that Moscow was behind the attacks on Estonia.
    • The Estonian government has traced much of the attacking traffic to Russian computers, the government said, and has reportedly also found instructions in Russian on the Internet on how to carry out the attack.
    • The initial attacks IP numbers from the Russian governmental offices.
    • The Russian government has reportedly denied any involvement.
    • Many have begun to question whether a large-scale Internet attack of this type should be considered an act of war and, if so, what the appropriate response should be.
    • The fundamental problem is that there are literally millions of home PCs out there being used to conduct them. There’s really no end in sight on how to solve the problem.

    Beware of Web Sites With Malware

    • On average, 5,000 new malicious Web sites are created daily on the Internet, according to Sophos, an international network security company.
    • That number hit a peak of 8,000 new infections in one day in April.
    • In the past, malware programmers could count on e-mail attachments to deliver their electronic payload.
    • A year ago, one out of every 40 e-mails traveling through the Internet contained a virus. It is now is one in 300.
    • The malware writers, in order to increase their rate of success, have taken to putting URLs in their spam because you’re much more likely to click on a link to a Web site than you are to click on an attachment.
    • One out of every 10 sites on the Web is infected with "drive-by" malware — malware that automatically installs itself on a computer when it visits a site. The study was conducted by Google researchers.
    • Of some 4.5 million URLs analyzed by the researchers, about 450,000, or 10 percent, were engaging in drive-by downloads.