Show of 2-28-2009

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Barbie: Dear Tech Talk, I just purchased a new laptop computer (4 GB RAM, 500 GB Hard drive, dual core Intel processor, Vista Home Edition). I want to install my copy of Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 2 (CS2), but it seems to be incompatible with Vista . What are my options? I don’t have the funds to buy CS4. Thanks. Barbie.
    • Tech Talk Responds: Dear Barbie. You are unfortunately a victim of Adobe. CS2 was released prior to Vista and Adobe has not and will not update it to support Vista . They came out with CS3 for Vista and just released CS4. You can install CS2 but it will have problems, particularly with drivers. Some users have reports that they have to run it in the Administrative Mode. To do this right click on the icon and choose Run in Administrative Mode from the menu.
    • A better solution is to set up your computer to run both Vista and XP. CS2 is fully compatible with Windows XP and you may own XP already. Your best option Dual Boot. Dual booting can be set up readily.
    • The dual boot procedure involves shrinking the active partition, formatting the empty space using NTFS, installing XP, fixing the MBR after XP install with Vista MBR, editing the boot.ini to include XP.
    • You can get the detailed procedure here: http://www.syschat.com/dual-boot-vista-xp-vista-already-1946.html
  • Profiles in IT: Paul Baron
    • Paul Baran visualized distributed networks and packet switching, which were central ideas in the development of the ARPANET and ultimately the Internet.
    • Paul Baran was born in Grodno , Poland April 26, 1926.
    • At the age of two immigrated to the United States with his parents who owned a grocery store. As a child, Baran delivered groceries in his little red wagon.
    • Baran received a BSEE from Drexel University in 1949.
    • He joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Co. as a technician on the Univac I.
    • In 1959 Baran received an MSEE from UCLA and joined the RAND Corporation.
    • At RAND he wrote a 13-volume set of reports defining in detail an all digital nationally distributed network for digital voice and data.
    • Baran’s research was motivated by the cold war demand for a survivable network which could survive a Soviet first strike.
    • Distributed networks
      • Baran suggested a a distributed network which would allow several hundred major communications stations to talk with one another after an enemy attack.
      • A distributed network would have no centralized switch. Each node would be connected to several of its neighboring nodes in a of lattice-like configuration.
      • Therefore, each node would have several possible routes to send data. If one route or neighboring node was destroyed, another path would be available.
    • Packet Switching
      • Baran’s idea was to divide messages into "message blocks."
      • Each block would be sent separately and rejoined into a whole when they were received at their destination.
      • Baran envisioned a network of unmanned nodes that would act as switches routing packets from one node to another to their final destinations.
      • The nodes would use a scheme he called "hot potato routing." This method is a rapid store-and-forward design.
      • A British man named Donald Davies independently devised a very similar system a few years later, but he called the message blocks "packets."
    • Several years later Larry Roberts was beginning work on the ARPANET to facilitate a network for communications between ARPA researchers.
    • Baran’s distributed network and packet-switching schemes were adopted, and Baran became an informal consultant for the ARPANET project.
    • In 1968, Baran left Rand to co-found the Institute for the Future, a not-for-profit research group specializing in long-range forecasting.
    • In 1972, he started a number of companies based on technologies he developed, including Cabledata Associates, Equatorial Communications, Telebit, and Stratacom.
    • In 1986, he co-founded Metricom and Ricochet wireless and in 1989, InterFax.
    • He co-founded Com21 in 1995 and co-founded GoBackTV in 2003.
    • He has authored over 150 papers and 40 patents.
    • He received IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 1990 for his work on packet switching and the Franklin Institute’s Bower Award and Prize in Science in 2001.
    • He is also credited with inventing the metal detector used in airports.
  • Website of the Week: Random Wallpapers
    • Web Address: http://www.randomwalls.com/
    • Free wide screen wallpapers for you computer
    • Striking selection of images for all tastes and ages.
  • Technology Funding Under Obama
    • President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget request includes many technology initiatives.
    • Energy Department fiscal 2010 funding totals $26.3 billion which will fund a range of clean energy research initiatives, including the "smart power grid" initiative.
    • The DOE science office will create Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which will focus on high-risk energy research.
    • NSF’s proposed budget increase to $7 billion in fiscal 2010 would help fund graduate research fellowships in science and engineering as well as "support for the education of technicians in the high-tech fields," according to budget documents. The spending plan would also fund "high-risk, high-reward" science and technology research.
    • The Commerce Department’s $13.8 billion budget request includes $70 million in new funding for a Technology Innovation Program and $125 million to revive the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
    • NASA’s fiscal 2010 budget request totaling $18.7 billion includes funding for manned and robotic space exploration as well as funds to complete the International Space Station.
  • McNealy Urges Federal Open Source
    • He tells White House it needs a CIO — and an open-source policy
    • Sun Microsystems Inc. Chairman Scott McNealy wants President Barack Obama’s administration to do what the U.K. , Denmark and other countries have done: encourage, as a matter of policy, open-source software adoption.
    • Although open-source platforms are widely used today in the federal government — particularly Linux and Sun’s own products, Solaris and Java — McNealy believes many government officials don’t understand it, fear it and even oppose it for ideological reasons.
    • They have already met with Obama administration officials to offer a paper on open source.
    • The fiscal year 2010 budget released today reaffirms plans to appoint "the nation’s first CTO to ensure that our Government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st Century.
    • The CTO will work with each of the federal agencies to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices."
  • Massive Layoffs Hit The RIAA
    • RIAA has been making massive cuts to staff.
    • Major labels have cut support for RIAA showing some displeasure with its litigation.
    • RIAA has basically managed to run one of the dumbest, most self-defeating strategies over the last decade.
    • Rather than helping major record labels adjust to the changing market, it continually, repeatedly and publicly destroyed its own reputation and the reputation of the labels.
    • It was evident that the internet represented an opportunity to those who embraced it.
    • RIAA’s decision to fight progress and its own customers has been a complete disaster.
  • Facebook offers control to users
    • Facebook has responded to criticism over the way it handles user data by handing over control to its users.
    • Members of the social network will have comment and voting rights over the firm’s future policies regarding how the site is governed.
    • Users had complained that it appeared Facebook was claiming ownership of their data – even if they delete their accounts.
    • Under the new Facebook policy, users own their data and can remove it when they want
    • Under the changes, users will be able to first comment and then potentially vote on future changes to the governing documents.
    • Facebook will enact a vote on changes to its governance when more than 7,000 comments have been made by users on a topic.
    • Rogue application takes advantage of Facebook terms of service saga
    • Sophos is advising Facebook users to exercise extra caution following the discovery of a malicious third-party application that exploits the widespread interest over changes to the site’s terms of use.
    • This comes less than a week after another rogue third-party application called "Error Check System" sent messages to Facebook users claiming that there was a problem with their profiles, sending concerned users to malicious websites as they searched for information.
    • The application, named "F a c e b o o k — closing down!!!" sends messages to everyone in a Facebook user’s contact list, encouraging recipients to also add it – giving those behind the application access to victims’ profiles and personal info.
    • The bogus notification messages claim that a friend has reported the victim for violating Facebook’s terms of service.
    • Facebook has since removed the application, but there are reports that similar rogue applications with names such as "My account" and "Reported For Rule Breaking" are still circulating on the popular social networking site.
  • Adobe patches Flash hole
    • Adobe released a patch for a Flash player hole this week that could allow an attacker to remotely take control of a computer.
    • The vulnerability is critical for one for Adobe Flash Player 10.0.12.36 and earlier versions.
    • To exploit the vulnerability, a targeted user must load a malicious Shockwave Flash file.
    • Internet Explorer and Firefox plug-ins can be used to temporarily block and unblock Flash content.
    • While Adobe was releasing news about the Flash vulnerability, more information was surfacing about the hole in Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9. A patch is due March 11.
    • There were two critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader last year that resulted in remote code execution exploits.
  • Stimulus Funds for SSA Data Center
    • With $1 billion in funding, the agency is set to build a data center and develop software to reduce a huge backlog of disability claims.
    • The SSA is home to the largest repository of electronic health records in the world, and that volume will grow significantly in the next few years as baby boomers retire and e-health records are standardized.
    • But the agency’s nearly 30-year-old data center in Baltimore is running out of space.
    • Terabytes of new data come in daily and the SSA holds more than a petabyte of information on hard disks and tape backup, including earnings records of more than 200 million people and more extensive data on 56 million recipients of Social Security benefits.
    • The agency plans to spend $450 million to build a National Computer Center and another $300 million on hardware and software.
    • $500 million of the funds will come from the stimulus bill and the rest from the agency’s regular budget.
    • The facility, which will be located within 40 miles of the SSA’s Baltimore headquarters, is expected to be completed within five years.
  • Food Science: Wine Preservation
    • Wine that isn’t preserved properly will result in oxidation damage, which results when wine is exposed to air.
    • Oxidation damage degrades the wine by causing the aroma, flavor, and color to change, thus affecting the consumer’s ability to enjoy the wine properly.
    • In as little as 2-8 hours, oxidation can occur upon opening the bottle.
    • Wine preservation products are intended to reduce the amount of air that comes into contact with wine to prevent or slow down oxidation.
    • Rebottling $0. Instead of purchasing preservation systems, some people transfer the leftover wine into smaller bottles and then put a stopper in the
    • Marbles ~$1 or less. Instead of rebottling, some purchase marbles to fill up the unfinished bottle before putting a stopper in the bottle neck.
    • Spray ~$10. This system uses 100% non-toxic inert gas to remove oxygen from the opened bottle. A tube is inserted into the nozzle of the spray bottle. Each can has 120+ uses. This method is said to extend the life of the bottle for up to a week.
    • Vacuum Pump ~$15 – $40. Vacuum pumps are designed to pump out the air from an open bottle. They are portable and usually fit any size or type of wine bottle. This method is said to extend the life of the bottle for up to five days.
    • Argon Gas ~$70. Argon gas systems are designed to prevent the air from touching the wine. As soon as the bottle is opened, you inject the argon gas into the bottle with a nozzle and then insert the stopper. The stopper is specially designed so that you can pour directly through it into the glass. This method is said to extend the life of the bottle for days-weeks.
    • Inert Gas ~$110. This system is poplar amongst restaurants that serve wine by the glass. Insert gas is used to displace oxygen. A disposable inert gas tank connects to a serving spigot via a tube. The spigot is attached to the opened bottle.
  • New Woodbridge Campus Update
    • Located in Woodbridge near Potomac Mills Mall
    • Certificate of Occupancy Issued
    • 43,000 square feet on three floors
    • Culinary Arts, Health Science, Computer Information Systems, Business Administration, Accounting, Software Engineering, Information Systems, MBA
    • First classes at new campus will begin March 16th.