Show of 9-20-2008

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Tom: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I’ve been reading about the format changes that will be taking place on WWWT. Will your program still be on?  If not, will you be doing a program and putting it on the website as an MP3 file? I always make it a point tlisten tyou on Saturday mornings. Thanks, Tom
    • Tech Talk Answers: We need your help. We are trying tdetermine whis listening on 1500 AM tTech Talk. If you are listening today, please send an email techtalk@stratford.edu. We are alsinterested in knowing what you think we should dgoing forward. Give us a call. Check the Tech Talk Home Page for updates (www.techtalkonline.com).
    • Email from Kirk: Dr. Shurtz ? Thanks for answering my GPS questions on the air. I have been on the road and missed the answer tmy first question, but I did catch your second answer this morning.  I’ll catch the earlier program on podcast later this week. BTW, I moved a little higher up on the Garmin line.  I got a Garmin Nuvi 770, which is on sale from Costco.com (not in stores) thru 9/14 for $400 (free shipping, but $20 additional sales tax is charged) I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the radistation transition doesn’t disrupt your programming. Kirk Randall, Fairfax
    • Thanks for the email: The podcast from last week should be posted later today. We had a small glitch with the recording systems last week.
    • Email from David: Dear Dr. Richard Shurtz,My name is David Kamminga and I am the owner of a Software and Web Development company out of Leesburg , VA (Applied Tactics Inc.). I am writing because I alshave a new IT technology group that I am the organizer for. We have over 200 members (all local tthe DC area). The purpose of this group is tkeep people informed of new technologies and tnetwork with other liked minded people. I enjoy your radishow, and I was wondering if you ever would consider an event(s) in which people can interact with you face-to-face (or listen tyou talk about upcoming new tech.)? I look forward thearing your response. Thank you for your time,David Kamminga
    • Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for the feedback. I check my schedule
    • Email from Beverly : Love the show. We listen every week!!!! Beverly
    • Tech Talk Respond: We always like positive emails from listeners.
  • Profiles in IT: Charles Simonyi
    • Charles Simonyi was head of Microsoft’s Application Software Group which oversaw the creation of the Microsoft Office Suite
    • Charles Simonyi was born on September 10, 1948 in Budapest , Hungary .
    • Before graduation from HS, he developed and sold a compiler tthe government.
    • He received a BS in Engineering and Mathematics for UC Berkeley in 1972.
    • He received his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford in 1977.
    • His dissertation defined on a software project management technique called "metaprogramming," which requires all programmers tcommunicate through the manager rather than directly.
    • Metaprogramming sought tdefeat Brook’s Law, which says that "adding manpower ta late software project makes it later".[
    • While still at Stanford, he was hired by Xerox PARC, where he worked with working alongside Alan Kay (pioneer in object-oriented programming and GUI design) and Robert Metcalfe (inventor of Ethernet).
    • He and Butler Lampson developed Bravo, the first WYSIWYG document preparation program.
    • In 1981, he applied directly tBill Gates for a job at Microsoft at Metcalf’s suggestion.
    • At Microsoft Simonyi oversaw the development of Word and Excel
    • He introduced the techniques of object-oriented programming, brought form Xerox.
    • He developed the Hungarian notation convention for naming variables thelp programmers produce better code, by placing the actual data type in the prefix.
    • In 2002, he left MS and co-founded Intentional Software, Inc.
    • The company uses intentional programming taccelerate innovation by integrating the business domain experts intthe software production process.
    • In this approach tsoftware, a programmer first builds a toolbox specific ta given problem domain (such as life insurance).
    • Domain experts, aided by the programmer, then describe the program’s intended behavior in a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)-like manner.
    • An automated system uses the program description and the toolbox tgenerate the final program. Successive changes are only done at the WYSIWYG level.
    • In 2004, Simonyi received the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for the industry-wide impact of his innovative work in information technology.
    • His estimated net worth is US$1 billion.
    • In 2007, he became the fifth space tourist and the second Hungarian in space.
    • Charles Simonyi is a licensed amateur radioperator with the call sign KE7KDP.
    • He contacted a number of schools using his amateur radiwhile aboard the ISS, including Cedar Point Elementary School in Bristow , VA.
    • As of February 2008 Simonyi had been dating Martha Stewart for 15 years. Martha referred thim as ?her boy friend.?
    • However, Charles Simonyi and Lisa Persdotter were engaged August 8, 2008 at St. Tropaz, leaving Martha out in the cold.
  • Sarah Palin’s Email Hacked
    • David Kernell, the son of Mike Kernell, a democratic state representative from Tennessee , broke intthe email account of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and posted some emails.
    • David Kernell is a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
    • The revelation follows a first-person account that was briefly posted tthe 4chan website by a user whwent by the name Rubico.
    • Bloggers quickly linked the user tan email address belonging tDavid Kernell, but until now, that connection had not been confirmed.
    • Rubicclaimed the actual intrusion intPalin’s account was a relatively easy matter.
    • It began after Rubicread news accounts claiming Palin used gov.palin@yahoo.com in her official capacity of governor of Alaska – which, if true, would skirt the state’s open government laws.
    • Rubicthen hacked Yahoo’s password recovery feature. Quote from his blog.
      • After the password recovery was reenabled, it took seriously 45 mins on wikipedia and google tfind the info, Birthday? 15 seconds on wikipedia, zip code? well she had always been from wasilla, and it only has 2 zip codes (thanks online postal service!)
      • the second was somewhat harder, the question was ?where did you meet your spouse?? did some research, and apparently she had eloped with mister palin after college.
      • I found out later though more research that they met at high school, sI did variations of that, high, high school, eventually hit on ?Wasilla high? I promptly changed the password tpopcorn and took a cold shower?
    • Not really all that secure.
  • Lessons Learned from the Palin Hack
    • Password reset may be easily done if your challenge question is easily found through an Internet search.
    • Select your question carefully and make the answer not easily guessed even by an acquaintance.
    • If you online bank account is linked tthe compromised email account, you bank password can be reset using the hacked email account.
    • Other traditional methods include
      • Sniffing passwords from unsecured public wireless connections.
      • Keystroke logging Trojans delivered using email.
      • Phishing sites which trick the user intproviding details.
    • If you believe that you account has been compromised, change your password. You can alschange your user ID sthe hacker can attempt tbreak intyour account.
  • Dumb Idea of the Week: Doggie DNA Dababase
    • The Israeli city of Petah Tikva is seemingly fed up with all the doggie poop lying around on their streets.
    • Stheir solution is tset up a dog poop DNA database.
    • Tbuild this, all the dog owners of the city are being asked ttake their dog tthe local vet thave their dog’s mouth swabbed
    • Each dog will then have their DNA information entered intthe computer.
    • From that point on, whenever Rover or Tiddles does his or her poop business, the owner can pick it up and put it intone of the specially marked bins.
    • If they dthat, they will be instantly eligible for doggie prizes such as pet foot coupons and dog toys!
    • If on the other hand, they decide tleave it on the street, then the Israeli Poop Squad issue you with a hefty fine.
    • What a job: opening bags of dog poop and comparing them tDNA in a database.
  • Large Hadron Collider Suffers Down for Repairs
    • Within hours of its launch, the Large Hadron Collider malfunctioned.
    • A 30-ton transformer that cools part of the LHC broke on Sept. 11 after scientists sent a counter-clockwise beam around the 17-mile tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border, raising temperatures in the ring t4.5 Kelvin (-451.57 Fahrenheit).
    • The first, clockwise beam had been sent around the tunnel the day before, when the LHC was turned on.
    • The underground tunnel was flooded with liquid hydrogen.
    • The European Organization for Nuclear Research has replaced the transformer and cooled the underground ring back down tnear zeron the Kelvin scale, its optimal temperature for research, according tAP
    • The LHC is on course for the first collision experiment in a matter of weeks.
    • The LHC will study why particles have mass and look for dark matter as part of an effort tbetter understand the origins of the universe.
  • NASA to Explore Secret Layer of the Sun
    • Next April, for a total of 8 minutes, NASA astronomers are going tglimpse a secret layer of the sun.
    • Researchers call it the transition region.
      • It is a place in the sun’s atmosphere, about 5000 km above the stellar surface, where magnetic fields overwhelm the pressure of matter and seize control of the sun’s gases.
      • It’s where solar flares explode, where coronal mass ejections begin their journey tEarth, where the solar wind is mysteriously accelerated ta million mph.
      • It is, in short, the birthplace of space weather.
    • Early next year, NASA will launch an experimental telescope that can measure vector magnetic fields in the transition region.
    • The name of the telescope is SUMI, short for Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation.
    • It is currently scheduled for launch from White Sands, New Mexico , in April 2009.
    • SUMI works by means of "Zeeman splitting."
      • Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman discovered the effect in the 19th century.
      • When a glass tube filled with incandescent gas is dipped inta magnetic field, spectral lines emitted by the gas get split inttwslightly different colors?the stronger the field, the bigger the splitting.
    • By measuring the spectral gap, astronomers estimate the strength of the sunspot’s magnetic field. Furthermore, by measuring the polarization of the split line, astronomers can figure out the direction of the magnetic field.
    • Gas in the transition region doesn’t produce many strong spectral lines that we can see at visible wavelengths." It does, however, produce lines at UV wavelengths invisible from Earth’s surface. That’s why we have tdthe experiment in using from a high altitude.
    • NASA will use a sub-orbital launch. About 68 seconds intthe flight, payload doors will open, affording SUMI an 8 minute view of the UV sun.
  • Food Science: Sauces
    • Ancient sauces came from the Romans.
      • Heavily spiced juices thickened with bread
      • Recipes found in a book titled, Apicius, which is a collection of Roman recipes, compiled in the late 4th or early 5th century AD
      • Typical: pepper, fermented fish, spiced wine, rue, onion, pine nuts, bread.
    • By the 1400, spices were used more discriminately and flour was used for thickening.
    • When Catherine of Medici went t Paris tmarry Henri II of France , she brought her cooks whused the recipes of Pierre Francois de La Varenne.
    • French sauces were launched and within a century over 80 sauces were common.
    • The five French sauce families
      • Brown or Espagnole: brown stock, brown roux, tomatoes
      • Veloute: white stock, yellow roux
      • Bechamel: milk, white roux
      • Hollandaise: butter, eggs, lemon juice or vinegar
      • Mayonnaise: vegetable oil, eggs, vinegar or lemon juice
    • By 1902, Escoffier’s cookbook lists over 200 sauces, all derived from the basic mother sauces. He replaced Mayonnaise with TomatSauce as the fifth sauce.
    • French needed sauces more than the Italians because their meat was not very good.