Show of 1-19-2008

  • Email and Forum
    • Email from Chuck: I recall you saying something about IE thinks Gmail is a virus or something. Within the last week or so I have been having MUCH trouble accessing my Gmail inbox while I have been accessing the internet. My Gmail inbox will not load up most of the time, I am getting a icon in IE for Phishing Filer at the bottom of my blank inbox panel. What can I do to fix this on and off problem or should I keep using my Outlet Express vs. Gmail? Thank you, Chuck Hurst
    • Tech Talk Answers: I also had trouble logging onto Gmail for about one day last week. It was apparently a server problem. Google chat groups recommended clearing the cache and trying again. Nothing worked. The next day everything was up and running. I still use multiple email clients both Gmail, Outlook Express, and Outlook.
  • Profiles in IT: John von Neumann
    • Von Neumann was born in Budapest , Hungary , in 1903. Von Neumann was the oldest of 3 children of a banker.
    • John von Neumann was known for his contributions to the fields of mathematical logic, quantum mechanics, economics, game theory, strategic thinking, and computer architecture.
    • Dr. von Neumann was also a pioneer of modern computing, devising the computer infrastructure that is now known as the "von Neumann Architecture."
    • At 6, he could divide two 8-digit numbers in his head; by 8 he had mastered calculus; by 12 he was at the graduate level in mathematics.
    • . In 1925, he received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and in 1926, he completed his doctoral degree in mathematics at the University of Budapest .
    • In 1930 he joined the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. He became one of the 6 full-time people in the School of Mathematics (Einstein was one of the others).
    • His first book, published in 1932, was on quantum mechanics.
    • He became a US citizen in 1937, and during the Second World War distinguished himself with his work in weapons development.
    • During and after the war, he became one of the best applied mathematicians. When some of the best engineers in the world were at Los Alamos trying to decide how to bring the atomic fuel together quickly enough to create an explosion the (A bomb), he refined the technique for the implosion of plutonium by developing the "implosion lens" that would correctly compress plutonium.
    • His work is said to have accelerated the development of the hydrogen bomb.
    • In 1955 he was named a Commissioner of the Atomic Energy Commission, a position he held up to his death from cancer in 1957.
    • During the last part of the war he became involved with the development of computing machines. It was his idea to store the program (the sequence of instructions) in the machine as simply another kind of electronic data. Until then, in order to reprogram a computer a person had to physically rewire it.
    • Computers which perform their operations sequentially are called "von Neumann machines" as opposed to those perform several operations using "parallel processing."
    • The four properties that characterize the von Neumann architecture.
      • Instructions and data are distinguished only implicitly through usage.
      • Memory is a single memory, sequentially addressed
      • Memory is one-dimensional
      • Meaning of the data is not stored with it
    • After the war, in 1945, von Neumann drafted a report and machine description that would lead to the construction of the EDVAC, or Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer.
    • As director of the Electronic Computer Project at Princeton ‘s Institute for Advanced Study (1945-1955), he developed MANIAC (mathematical analyzer, numerical integrator and computer), which at the time was the fastest computer of its kind. MANIAC was run on thousands of vacuum tubes.
    • He was appointed Atomic Energy Commission in 1955 and died of cancer in 1957.
  • Website of the Week: TED
    • Web Address: http://www.ted.com
    • Inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers
    • TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.
    • It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.
    • The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).
    • This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free.
    • Almost 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.
    • Topics include technology, entertainment, design, business, science, culture, arts, and global issues. Lessons learned, predictions, and challenges are high lighted. All talks are thought provoking.
  • Top 5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Albert "Bad Boy" Einstein
    • Source: http://www.esoupblog.com
    • It seems like every field planet has a resident "bad boy". It doesn’t matter if the occupation is figure skating or physics, there is always someone who doesn’t quite fit in.
    • Albert Einstein was the "bad boy" of the science world. He was an outsider in his younger years, a misunderstood genius who couldn’t even get an academic job, much less a doctorate in his field of expertise.
    • Here are some Einstein-isms that have particular meaning for the technology entrepreneurs of today.
      • Imagination is more important than knowledge. So true, it’s one thing to know the technical aspects of how to do something, but when you work in a creative field, imagination trumps knowledge every single time.
      • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. When you’re creating something out of the blue, it’s going to take lots-o-tweaking before you get it just right, and you have to get comfortable with not knowing the end result. Sometimes ideas take off and become extremely profitable. Other times they just flop.
      • Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds. I think that when you look at opposition in the right light, it can be a major motivator. You want to show them your vision, show them that you know what you’re doing. The trick is to turn negativity into positive momentum.
      • The only real valuable thing is intuition. You need to develop a "gut feel" that will help you detect if a person, idea or situation is healthy for you. Those who have the best intuition have the greatest success.
      • We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Einstein’s creativity was heavily influenced by a thinking technique he called "thought experiments", which was actually just plain old fashioned daydreaming.. This just goes to show that imagination, play, and a willingness to try new things is the key to being a visionary.
  • Google Talk Real-time Translator
    • Last month, Google released a number of language translation bots.
    • For those not familiar with chat bots, a (ro)bot is a piece of software that acts as a chat contact and provides some fun or useful functionality.
    • For English to Simplified Chinese, just add en2zh@bot.talk.google.com as a friend in Google Talk.
    • They’re named using two-letter language abbreviations as "[from language]2[to language]@bot.talk.google.com.
    • There are 24 bots currently available: ar2en, de2en, de2fr, el2en, en2ar, en2de, en2el, en2es, en2fr, en2it, en2ja, en2ko, en2nl, en2ru, en2zh, es2en, fr2de, fr2en, it2en, ja2en, ko2en, nl2en, ru2en, zh2en.
    • The Google Talk service uses an open protocol called XMPP, and it’s easy to find client libraries and code samples that will give you a flying start to implement your own bots.
  • Food Science of Taste
    • The receptors for taste, called taste buds, are situated chiefly in the tongue, but they are also located in the roof of the mouth and near the pharynx.
    • Our taste buds, on the other hand, detect just five basic flavor sensations: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and savory. It is also known that some tongues have a higher degree of sensitivity to flavors and textures than others.
    • Savory is also called "umami" from taste receptors sensitive to amino acids.
    • Generally, the taste buds close to the tip of the tongue are sensitive to sweet tastes, whereas those in the back of the tongue are sensitive to bitter tastes.
    • The taste buds on top and on the side of the tongue are sensitive to salty and sour tastes.
    • At the base of each taste bud there is a nerve that sends the sensations to the brain.
    • The sense of taste functions in coordination with the sense of smell.
    • The number of taste buds varies substantially from individual to individual, but greater numbers increase sensitivity.
    • Women, in general, have a greater number of taste buds than men.
    • As in the case of color blindness, some people are insensitive to some tastes.
    • Memory, experience, and expectations play an enormous part in how individuals react to aromas and flavors, and may even be determinative.
    • Why we notice some flavors and aromas but not others, and why we enjoy some but not others, results from the interplay of visual cues, genetic endowments, physical.
    • Taste tests you can try at home.