Show of 12-15-2007

  • Tech Talk Guests
    • Dr. James Flaggert
      • Dean of the School of Graduate Studies
      • Stratford University
    • Deepak Reddy Jammula
      • Stratford University Graduate Student
      • Degree Program: Software Engineering MS
      • Graduation Date: December 2007
      • Project: Meta Search Engines.
      • Undergraduate: Electrical and Electronics Engineering
    • Divya Dubbaka
      • Stratford University Graduate Student
      • Degree Program: Software Engineering MS
      • Graduation Date: December 2007
      • Project: e-Banking Implementation
      • Undergraduate degree: Electronics and Instrumentation
  • Email and Forum
    • Email from Amy: Dear Tech Talk My computer has become very slow and ads pop up all the time. My computer also locks up all the time. What can I do about it? Amy
    • Tech Talk Answers: Amy, you have been infected with spyware. You probably got when downloading some ?free? software or entering a contest. You can scan and eliminate spyware by go. The ones that I like at Ad-Aware from Lavasoft, Sypbot Search and Destroy, and Microsoft Defender.
    • Email from Jennifer: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I have heard that you can buy software at lower prices for students. However, I can’t find any such offers at the big computer stores. Where do I find these deals? Jennifer
    • Tech Talk Answers: Jennifer, you are talking about academic software. If you are a student, faculty, or staff of a college, you qualify for academic pricing for software. You can find many online companies that offer academic software. Just google ?academic software.? I use JouneyEd.com quite often for my purchases. You get full versions at the upgrade price. It is a real deal. All you need is a student or staff ID or letter from the college. Send your documentation via fax.
  • Profiles in IT: William Shockley
    • Sixty years ago scientists at Bell Labs scientists built the world’s first transistor and nothing has been the same since.
    • The team was led by William Shockley. The three individuals credited with the invention of the transistor were: William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain
    • William Shockley was raised in Palo Alto. He did his undergraduate work at the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) in Pasadena and went on for his Ph.D. in physics at M.I.T. Specializing in quantum physics, he went to work for Bell Labs.
    • The transistor was successfully demonstrated on December 16, 1947 at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Sixty years ago.
      • Shockley had been working on the theory of such a device for more than ten years.
      • While he could work out the theory successfully but after eight years of trying he could not build a working model.
      • Bardeen and Brattain were called in to handle the engineering and development, which they did in the relatively short time of two years.
      • Shockley, as their supervisor, shared in the glory. What Bardeen and Brattain had created was the "point-contact" transistor.
      • The early radios had signal detectors which consisted of a fine wire, called a cat’s whisker, impinging upon a galena (lead sulfide) crystal.
      • Bardeen and Brattain used germanium instead of galena in that first transistor. They also used the equivalent of cat’s whiskers, but two rather than one.
    • Shockley subsequently designed a new type of transistor called the "bipolar" transistor which was superior to the point- contact type and replaced it.
    • Thus the transistor was, in large part, Shockley’s creation.
    • The name transistor coined by John R. Pierce. It was formed by combining the words ?transconductance? and ?varistor.?
    • Texas Instruments started commercial production of junction transistors for portable radios in 1954. Sony produced the first transistor television.
    • In 1956 Shockley returned to Palo Alto to founded his own company. He brought talented engineers and scientists to his company but he was a very difficult person to work with and seemed to have bizaar notion of how to manage an enterprise.
      • For one thing, he insisted upon posting of the salaries of all the employees.
      • Ultimately the top staff joined together in leaving the company. They wanted to continue to work together in another company and Steven Fairchild of Fairchild Camera was induced to create Fairchild Semiconductor for the group.
    • In 1958 and 1959, Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce at Fairchild Camera, invented integrated.
    • In 1968, Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore left Fairchild Semiconductor to create their own company, Intel. Intel developed the first CPU in a chip in 1971 with 2,300 transistors.
  • Website of the Week: What’s that File?
    • Website address: WhatIsThatFile.com
    • WhatIsThatFile.com allows you to identify unknown files on a computer.
    • This tool is great for looking up files that you suspect might be possible viruses, trojans, or malware.
  • Time Measurements
    • Why is a minute divided into 60 seconds, an hour into 60 minutes, yet there are only 24 hours in a day?
    • Why 24 hours?
      • As early as 1500 B.C., the Egyptians had developed an advanced sundial. A T-shaped bar placed in the ground, this instrument to divided the interval between sunrise and sunset into 12 parts.
      • Egyptian astronomers used the movement of stars to measure the night, based ultimately on a set of 24 stars, 12 of which marked the passage of the night.
      • The clepsydra, or water clock, was also used to record time during the night, and was perhaps the most accurate timekeeping device of the ancient world.
      • Once both the light and dark hours were divided into 12 parts, the concept of a 24-hour day was in place. The hours were not fixed because the length of the day changed throughout the year.
      • Hours of fixed length became commonplace only after mechanical clocks first appeared in Europe during the 14th century.
    • Why 60 minutes?
      • The Babylonians made astronomical calculations in the sexagesimal (base 60) system they inherited from the Sumerians, who developed it around 2000 B.C.
      • Although it is no longer used for general computation, the sexagesimal system is still used to measure angles, geographic coordinates and time.
      • The Greek astronomer Eratosthenes (who lived circa 276 to 194 B.C.) used a sexagesimal system to divide a circle into 60 parts in order to devise an early geographic system of latitude, with the horizontal lines running through well-known places on the earth at the time.
      • A century later, Hipparchus normalized the lines of latitude, making them parallel and obedient to the earth’s geometry.
      • He also devised a system of longitude lines that encompassed 360 degrees and that ran north to south, from pole to pole.
      • Each degree was divided into 60 parts, each of which was again subdivided into 60 smaller parts.
      • The first division, partes minutae primae, or first minute, became known simply as the "minute." The second segmentation, partes minutae secundae, or "second minute," became known as the second.
      • Minutes and seconds, however, were not used for everyday timekeeping until many centuries later.
      • It was not practical for the general public to consider minutes until the first mechanical clocks that displayed minutes appeared near the end of the 16th century.
  • Dreamlab cracks the code to Microsoft’s wireless keyboards
    • Dreamlab’s Security center claims that it has developed simple technology that can "sniff out" the keystrokes typed on Microsoft´s Wireless Optical Desktop 1000 and 2000 keyboards.
    • At distances of up to 10 meters, Dreamlab´s technology can capture and decrypt keystrokes that may contain information such as user names, passwords, credit card numbers, and confidential messages.
    • With appropriate technical equipment, Dreamlab predicts that eavesdropping at even larger distances is possible.
    • Companies like Microsoft and Logitech use the 27 MHz radio band for communication between wireless keyboards and a computer.
    • Because Microsoft´s encryption technology uses only about 256 possible encryption keys, it did not take many tries for Dreamlab´s software to decode the data.
    • In this case, just a simple radio receiver, a soundcard, and suitable software were enough to break the cryptography codes and tap into the radio frequencies.
  • Food Science: Protein Coagulation
    • Protein bonding is the causes firmness and dryness when food is cooked
      • When protein is heated is uncoils, the unfolded proteins then begin to bond to each other
      • As the protein bonds, interstitial water is squeezed out and the food become firm and dry
      • Coagulation make the food firmer as the water is squeezed out
      • Application to egg and meat cookery
    • Chemical change is responsible for color change
      • Coagulation is not responsible for the color of beef to change from red to brown.
      • That is caused the pigment myoglobin which is also a protein.
      • From 140 to 160 F, it loses its ability to bind oxygen and the iron atom at this center gives up an electron, thereby forming a new, tan colored compound called hemichrome.
      • The meat changes from red to pink. By 175 F, the hemoglobin has accumulated enough to produce a light brown-gray shade.
  • The First Registered Domain Names
    • The DNS was created in 1984 and in 1985 top level domains were defined.
    • The first top level domains were COM, ORG, EDU, GOV, MIL and ccTLD.
    • CMU.EDU. PURDUE.EDU, RICE.EDU, UCLA.EDU were the first registered edu domain names. All were registered in April 1985.
    • The first .gov was CSS.GOV and was registered in June 1985.
    • The first .org was MITRE.ORG and was registered in July 1985.
    • The first .com which was registered on March 15 1985 and it was SYMBOLICS.COM which still happens to be up and running.
    • Now for the first 15 .com registered domains:
      • SYMBOLICS.COM — March 15 1985
      • BBN.COM — April 24 1985
      • THINK.COM — May 24 1985
      • MCC.COM — July 11 1985
      • DEC.COM — September 30 1985
      • NORTHROP.COM — November 7 1985
      • XEROX.COM — January 9 1986
      • SRI.COM — January 17 1986
      • HP.COM — March 3 1986
      • BELLCORE.COM — March 5 1986
      • IBM.COM — March 19 1986
      • SUN.COM — March 19 1986
      • INTEL.COM — March 25 1986
      • TI.COM — March 25 1986
      • ATT.COM — April 25 1986
  • Social Networks and Privacy
    • There is no such thing as a public and public virtual self anymore!
    • Be careful what you post! Your data once shared is never destroyed.
    • Before you post something to the web perhaps you should consider whether you really want a potential employer seeing those snaps from last weekend?!
    • Do you want your information and contact details sold to marketers?
    • You data is owned by the website and they can do what they want with the information. It never goes away.
    • Facebook lists all of your online purchases in your user profile for others to see as part of their new Beacon advertising program.
    • Consumer and privacy watchdogs say Facebook and other social networking sites have not been forthcoming enough about how much user information they harvest and what they do with it.
    • Unveiled last month as part of Facebook’s broader advertising strategy, Beacon is considered crucial to the company’s drive to capitalize on its soaring popularity and valuation.
    • Beacon sends messages telling Facebook users when their friends buy jewelry on Overstock.com or a movie ticket on Fandango.com.
    • The idea is that referrals from friends drive sales at partner sites and generate more ad revenue for Facebook, the No. 2 social networking site behind News Corp.’s MySpace.
    • Instead, some users complained that the system was too intrusive and even ruined Christmas surprises when they saw what gifts their friends and family were buying.
    • They said Facebook didn’t clearly explain how to prevent that information from being shared or give them the ability to opt out.
    • Facebook has revised it procedures and apologized to its users.