Show of 4-12-2008

  • Email and Forum
    • Email from Andrew: Dear Doc. I need help. I would like to rename all my digital pictures. They currently have the name assigned by the digital camera. I would like to rename all the family pictures, for instance, to familypicnic1, familypicnic2, etc. Is there an easy way to do this? I am using Windows XP. Andrew
    • Tech Talk Answers: You can do a batch rename in both Windows XP and Windows Vista. Highlight the files to be named. Right click the mouse. Select rename. The first item will be selected. Choose for instance FamilyPicnic as the name. All the highlighted files will be renamed as: FamilyPicnic, FamilyPicnic (1), FamilyPicnic (2), FamilyPicnic (3), etc. If you want the first one to have the same format, then select FamilyPicnic (1) as the first name.
  • Profiles in IT: Mark Shuttleworth
    • Founder of Thawte and of the Ubuntu Project, an popular Linux distribution with both desktop and enterprise server editions.
    • Mark Richard Shuttleworth was born on Sept 18, 1973 in Welkom, South Africa.
    • His passion for technology first showed up as a love of computer games.
    • He received a BS in Finance and Info. Systems from the Univ. of Cape Town in 1995
    • In 1995, Mark founded Thawte, as an Internet consulting business.
      • The company specialized in digital certificates and Internet security.
      • Thawte became the first company to produce a full-security encrypted e-commerce web server that was commercially available outside the US.
      • Thawte developed a public key infrastructure as the basis for all encrypted and authenticated Internet transactions.
      • Thawte was one of the first companies to be recognized by both Netscape and Microsoft as a trusted third party for web site certification.
      • He sold it to VeriSign in 1999, earning about 575 million US dollars.
    • In September 2000, Shuttleworth formed HBD Venture Capital (http://www.hbd.com/), a business incubator and venture capital provider.
      • The name is a reference to the phrase ?Here Be Dragons?, which legend has it was used to describe uncharted territory on early maps.
      • He has his own private jet, owned through his HBD Venture Capital company.
    • He currently lives in London and holds dual citizenship of South Africa and UK.
    • Open Software Initiative
      • In the 1990s, he participated as a developer of Debian, a Linux distribution
      • In March 2004 he formed Canonical Ltd. (http://www.canonical.com/), for the promotion and commercial support of free software projects.
      • In 2001 he formed the Shuttleworth Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to innovation in the field of education.
      • The organization is based upon the belief that education is the key to unlocking the creative and intellectual potential inherent.
      • It funds educational and open source software projects in South Africa.
      • In early 2004 he started the Ubuntu project.
        • Ubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Debian.
        • Ubuntu is a philosophy focused on people’s allegiances and relations with each other. Word origin: Bantu languages of Southern Africa.
        • In 2005 he founded the Ubuntu Foundation and made an initial investment of 10 million dollars from his company, Canonical Ltd.
      • In October 2006, Mark Shuttleworth became the first patron of KDE, the highest level of sponsorship available.
    • Space Flight Notoriety
      • Shuttleworth gained worldwide fame on 25 April 2002 as a spaceflight participant aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-34 mission, paying approximately US$ 20 million.
      • He spent eight days participating in science experiments on the International Space Station.
      • Shuttleworth had to undergo one year of training and preparation, including seven months spent in Star City, Russia.
  • Intel Announces New Classmate PCs
  • Web Address: http://www.classmatepc.com/
    • Intel’s new Classmate PCs will be available April 2008 or between $300 and $500.
    • It reflects the company’s growing efforts to sell computers equipped with its own chips to schools in developing countries, a battleground for technology companies because of the millions of people there just coming online.
    • It is in direct competition with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization, which announced that its PC would house an AMD chip and use Linux.
      • OLPC says it has sold hundreds of thousands of its $188 machines.
      • Intel recently pulled out from OLPC’s board of directors.
      • Intel claimed it couldn’t continue cooperating with OLPC when founder Nicholas Negroponte demanded Intel stop selling Classmates overseas.
    • Classmate PC’s support peer-to-peer networking for teacher-student interaction.
    • Classmate PCs also are part of Intel’s push to generate interest in a new class of mobile devices the company is calling "netbooks."
    • Operating system can either be Linux or Windows XP.
    • Intel announced the availability of both 7-inch and 9-inch screens, a 30 gigabyte hard disk drive and an integrated Web camera. Some models use flash memory instead of hard drives (2 GB or 4 GB)
    • Intel executives also rolled out five new processors under the "Atom" brand name. The chips are designed for pocket-size Internet devices. The chips come in speeds up to 1.86 gigahertz while using less than 3 watts of power.
    • Intel said its Classmate PCs will eventually use Atom processors.
  • Food Science: Herbs and Spices
    • What is the difference between a spice and an herb?
      • Spice is the ground up part of a plant. Spices are usually the dried flowers or fruits of tropical trees and shrubs. There are exceptions; ginger and turmeric are roots and cinnamon is the cambium or inner bark of a tree.
      • Herbs are the dried leaves of plants – usually annuals or perennials. So herbs are green. Herbs can either be freshly picked or dried and stored in airtight containers. Drying tends to mellow the flavor and is favored by some chefs.
    • What we detect when we smell herbs or spices is the essential oils they contain. It is the volatility of the oil that makes the spice fragrant. And it is that same volatility that causes it to lose flavor in storage.
      • When a spice is stored in big chunks it takes some time for the volatile oils to escape.
      • Think first of nutmeg – a nutmeg nut stored properly will be spicy for years. But when the spice is ground into tiny bits the essential oils come out quickly.
      • We keep them whole as long as possible to lock in the flavor.
      • Then we grind them to release the lovely flavor and fragrance just before eating.
    • Cilantro and Coriander
      • The plant Coriandrum sativum, the leaves are used as the herb cilantro while the seed is used as the spice coriander.
    • Nutmeg and Mace
      • In the case of nutmeg and mace, the two are separate parts of the fruit of a tree that grows in only a few places in the world. Nutmeg is the seed and mace is the reddish web that surrounds the seed.
    • Bay Leaf
      • Bay Leaves come from the sweet bay or laurel tree.
      • Ancient Greeks and Romans crowned victors with wreaths of laurel.
      • Bay Leaves, a staple in American kitchens, are used in soups, stews, meat and vegetable dishes. The leaves also flavor classic French dishes such as bouillabaisse and bouillon.
      • The term "baccalaureate," means laurel berry, and refers to the ancient practice of honoring scholars and poets with garlands from the bay laurel tree.
      • Romans felt the leaves protected them against thunder and the plague.
      • Later, Italians and the English thought Bay Leaves brought good luck and warded off evil.
    • Basil (Sweet)
      • Basil is a bright green, leafy plant, Ocimum basilicum, which is in the mint family.
      • Basil is widely used in Italian cuisine and is often paired with tomatoes.
      • Basil originated in India and Persia, and was both prized and despised by ancient peoples.
      • Though its name means, "be fragrant," Greeks hated it.
      • However, the Romans loved it and made it a symbol of love and fertility.
      • Hindus plant it in their homes to bring happiness to the family.
    • Saffron
      • Saffron is the stigma of Crocus sativus, a flowering plant in the crocus family.
      • Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, is costly because more than 225,000 stigmas must be hand picked to produce one pound.
      • Saffron is used in French bouillabaisse, Spanish paella, Milanese risotto, and many Middle Eastern dishes.
      • Ancient Greeks and Romans scattered Saffron to perfume public baths.
      • The 13th century Crusaders brought Saffron from Asia to Europe, where it was used as a dye and condiment.
      • In Asia, Saffron was a symbol of hospitality.
      • In India, people used Saffron to mark themselves as members of a wealthy caste.
  • Dumb Idea of the Week: Mobile Phone Fragrance
    • NTT Communications (NTT Com) announced on April 7th that it will conduct a pilot test of its new Mobile Fragrance Communication service.
    • Fragrance Communication is now used by companies and individuals to enhance indoor environments with pleasing fragrances.
    • The device will be able to combine ringtones or music with fragrances.
    • You will have a playlist and a scent list.
    • Associating a scent with a particular ringtone could be fun
    • The pilot test will run from April 10 to 20.
    • The new mobile version offers the convenience of using mobile communication to download Fragrance Playlists, or files of recipes for specific fragrances together with visual and audio content.
    • The Fragrance Playlists are downloaded from the "i-mode" mobile website of sister company NTT DoCoMo.
    • In the pilot test, a total of 20 male and female monitors will each receive a free Mobile Fragrance Communication kit containing a mobile phone and fragrance device.
    • Five of the monitors will also be given Service Gateway modules which an remotely emit fragrances at home.
  • Memory Lane: Computer and Society
    • Time Magazine Cover Story for April 2, 1965
    • Time Archive Address: http://www.time.com/time/archive
    • Cover story: The Cybernated Generation
    • Notable quotes
      • In 1951 there were fewer than 100 computers in operation in the U.S.; today 22,500 computers stand in offices and factories, schools and laboratories.
      • Today some single companies use as many as 200 computers.
      • The most expensive single computer system in U.S. business is American Airlines’ $30.5 million SABRE.
      • IBM and the Seven Dwarfs." The dwarfs, small only by comparison with giant IBM: Sperry Rand, RCA, Control Data, General Electric, NCR, Burroughs, Honeywell.
      • A new breed of specialists has grown up to tend the machines. They are young, bright, well-paid (up to $30,000) and in short supply. With brand-new titles and responsibilities, they have formed themselves into a sort of solemn priesthood of the computer, purposely separated from ordinary laymen.
      • Men such as IBM Economist Joseph Froomkin feel that automation will eventually bring about a 20-hour work week, perhaps within a century, thus creating a mass leisure class.
      • One area made mercilessly vulnerable by the computer is that of U.S. business management. The computer has proved that many management decisions are routine and repetitive and can be handled nicely by a machine. Result: many of the middle management jobs of today will go to computers that can do just about everything but make a pass at a secretary.
  • Big Dog Military Backpacking Robot
    • Developed by Boston Dynamics under DARPA sponsorship
    • Website: http://www.bostondynamics.com/
    • Looks like creature out of Starwars and looks scary.
    • Its video is on the Boston Dynamics website and all over YouTube.
    • It is a quadruped robot that walks, runs, and climbs on rough terrain and carries heavy loads.
    • BigDog is powered by a gasoline engine that drives a hydraulic actuation system.
    • BigDog is the size of a large dog or small mule, measuring 1 meter long, 0.7 meters tall and 75 kg weight.
    • BigDog has an on-board computer that controls locomotion, servos the legs and handles a wide variety of sensors.
    • BigDog’s control system manages the dynamics of its behavior to keep it balanced.
    • Sensors for locomotion include joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load, a laser gyroscope, and a stereo vision system.
    • BigDog runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, and carries a 340 lb load.
  • DARPA celebrates 50th Anniversary
    • DARPA Website: http://www.darpa.mil
    • President Eisenhower created DARPA in 1958 in response to the surprise Russian launch of Sputnik, and his guidance was clear: find and quickly develop advanced technology for the Armed Forces so the United States would never again suffer a technological surprise by another nation.
    • In the beginning, DARPA concentrated on space projects and developed the Saturn V rocket?which enabled the United States to launch the Apollo missions to the moon?and the first surveillance satellites that gave U.S. presidents accurate intelligence information on Russian missile program activities.
    • DARPA began the information revolution by creating the ARPANET, which led to the Internet.
    • DARPA changed warfare by developing stealth aircraft, advanced precision munitions, and the Predator and Global Hawk unmanned air vehicles, both of which are used in Iraq and Afghanistan today.
    • DARPA’s mission has evolved. Today, DARPA’s mission is to prevent technological surprise for us and to create technological surprise for our adversaries
    • DARPA Overview and Mission: http://www.darpa.mil/body/mission.html
  • KeeLok Encryption Cracked
    • The team from Ruhr University says it is now relatively straightforward to clone the remote control devices that act as the electronic keys, which are used for cars and other keyless entry systems.
    • The scientists say they have cracked the KeeLoq security system which is made by US-based Microchip Technology (http://www.microchip.com/)
    • This cipher is used by many building access systems and by most car manufacturers, including Honda, Toyota, Volvo, and Volkwagen.
    • The hack requires about $3,000 worth of equipment. Once the unique master key for a particular model is available, it works universally.
    • The researchers said that the most effective attack was the so-called side-channel attack on car keys (or building keys), which can be cloned from a distance of several 100 meters.
    • Based on the research, an attacker can reveal the secret key for the remote control in under an hour, and the manufacturer key of the corresponding receivers in less than a day.
    • The scientists said the KeeLoq’s security relies on poor key management, in which every key is derived from a master that’s stored in the reading device.
    • Moreover, it uses a proprietary algorithm that had already been shown to generate cryptographically-weak output.
    • That algorithm was kept secret for most of the last 20 years but 18 months ago an entry on Wikipedia published it. The research team almost immediately spotted weaknesses. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KeeLoq)
    • Microchip officials have been quiet on the revelations, relying instead on a prepared statement which said: These theoretical attacks are not unique to the Keeloq system and could be applied to virtually any security system.