Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: David A. Ulevitch AT&T To Stop Unlimited Data Plan Pakistani court removes Facebook ban Wave Power to Drive Desalination Plant Intel's Mobile Market Share Problem Private rocket launch successful on maiden flight
Email from Tiffany: I just bought An Acer NetBook plus a Canon SX 20IS to use on vacation this summer. The software with the SX 20IS cannot be used on the NetBook due to the NetBook resolution of 1024 x 600. Canon needs 1024×768 resolutions. Is there a fix somewhere? Love the show. Especially Jim. Tiffany.
Tech Talk Asnwers: Use the camera, just don’t install the camera’s software. Connect your camera to your computer using the cable that comes with it (typically a USB cable). The memory card within many cameras may then simply appear to your computer as an additional drive.
Open Windows Explorer and you may find a new drive – perhaps "G:" or "E:" and on that you’ll likely find a folder "DCIM" which contains your pictures saved as jpg. Just copy these files to your hard drive. You may also just plug the camera memory card directly into your computer if it has a memory card reader.
Email from Anthony: Dear Tech Talk, I just updated/upgraded my computer this past February. New motherboard, cpu, ram, etc. I like to keep my software, utilities, anti-virus, and so on, up-to-date. Is it necessary to update the BIOS on the motherboard?
Tech Talk Answers: The BIOS (or Basic Input/Output System) is the software that’s "hardwired" into your computer. It’s the software that runs when you first turn on your machine, the software that does a little self-check at first, and then knows how to load other software like your operating system. The BIOS can also be used by the operating system to access hardware on your machine.
The BIOS rarely represents a vulnerability to your system. In fact, BIOS bugs, while they do happen, are typically infrequent and of low impact. If you computer is functioning properly, I would not upgrade the BIOS.
BIOS updates are kind of funny, since they’re actually updating the firmware on your motherboard. As such there’s a slight risk: if the update fails for some reason you may not be able to reboot your machine.
Email from Allison: Dear Dr. Shurtz. In all desktop PCs there is a battery – what is the purpose of this battery and how long does it last before it has to be replaced? Does the replacement of this battery affect the BIOS of the computer? I’ve had a PC for 6 years now and never replaced the battery.
Tech Talk Answers: Actually all PCs, desktop and laptop alike, have a battery like this, typically referred to as the "CMOS" battery.
"CMOS" stands for "Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor", the original technology that was originally used in some of the circuitry that the battery was used to power.
The purpose of the CMOS battery most often today is simply to allow your computer to remember what time it is. I think of it as a glorified watch battery. If the battery dies or is removed, then when your computer boots it will have forgotten the current date and time.
Typically the CMOS battery no longer affects whether or not BIOS settings are remembered. Most of those settings are kept in a type of dedicated flash memory, not unlike the kind that might be inside a USB flash drive. In the past, back when the battery was actually powering "CMOS RAM" to retain those settings removing the CMOS battery would cause your BIOS to lose not only the date and time, but also any customizations you might have made to the BIOS configuration.
On desktop PCs the battery is typically relatively easy to get at and replace. All you need do after removing power is open the case and look on the motherboard and it’s likely there.
Laptop users have a harder time. Not only are laptops typically not designed to be opened.
Profiles in IT: David A. Ulevitch
David A. Ulevitch is founder and current CEO of OpenDNS
Davidi Ulevitch was born December 5, 1981 in Del Mar, California
David A. Ulevitch (born December 5, 1981) is founder and current CEO of OpenDNS and founder of EveryDNS.
Before entering high school, he worked for ElectriCiti, a small regional ISP where he picked up his first tastes of system and network administration.
While a junior at Torrey Pines High School, David started working at MP3.com, starting as an intern and eventually working in the content development department.
Ulevitch enrolled in Washington University in St. Louis in 2000, majoring in Anthropology. He graduated in 2004..
During college, he worked in the university’s campus backbone group writing customized software to manage the university’s networks and routers.
In 2001, Ulevitch co-founded with David Weekly, the California Community Colocation Project, a non-profit that provided free, unencumbered Internet services to approximately 140 non-commercial entities.
In 2001, Ulevitch created EveryDNS to fill his need for web-based DNS management software.
EveryDNS grew from a personal project to a service with nearly 100,000 users worldwide within a few years.
He sold EveryDNS in 2009 to Dynamic Network Services for an undisclosed sum. At the time EveryDNS has 300,000 users.
In 2004 after graduation, David moved to San Francisco and continued to run
After effectively eliminating abuse from his network, David found the limitations of being constrained to EveryDNS’ niche of domain management frustrating
In 2005 Ulevitch raised $2.5 million to fund OpenDNS.com from Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners.
OpenDNS was launched in 2006 and has become the world’s largest and fastest-growing DNS service provider.
David started OpenDNS after identifying a need for a better performing, more secure DNS service than what was previously available to network administrators.
OpenDNS is used millions of people, including students and employees at tens of thousands of schools and businesses.
OpenDNS has 20 million consumer customers and have been profitable since 2007.
OpenDNS currently employs 25.
Ulevitch was selected by Business Week Magazine as one of the "Most Promising Entrepreneurs Under 30.
A longtime participant in the anti-phishing, anti-botnet and DNS communities, Ulevitch was honored by Shadowserver – the public group that works to eliminate Botnets – by being inducted into its Hall of Fame.
OpenDNS was selected by Lifehacker as the Best Content Filtering Tool.
Selected by Business Week as one of the 50 Best Tech Startups and by PC World as one of the best 100 Products of 2008.
AT&T To Stop Unlimited Data Plan
AT&T will stop letting new customers sign up for its unlimited Internet data plan for smart phones and iPads and charge more for users who hog the most bandwidth.
AT&T hopes to ease congestion on its network, which has drawn complaints, particularly in big cities.
But the approach could confuse customers unfamiliar with how much data it takes to watch a YouTube video or fire up a favorite app.
Current subscribers will be able to keep their $30-per-month unlimited plans, even if they renew their contracts.
But starting Monday, new customers will have to choose one of two new data plans for all smart phones, including iPhones and BlackBerrys.
Subscribers who use little data – like those who may get dozens of e-mails a day but don’t watch much video – will pay slightly less every month than they do now, while heavy users will be dinged with higher bills.
One of the new AT&T plans will cost $25 per month and offer two gigabytes of data per month, which AT&T says will be enough for 98 percent of its smart phone customers. Additional gigabytes will cost $10 each.
A second plan will cost $15 per month for 200 megabytes of data, which AT&T says is enough for 65 percent of its smart phone customers. If they go over, they’ll pay another $15 for 200 more megabytes.
A gigabyte is enough for hundreds of e-mails and Web pages, but it’s quickly eaten up by Internet video and videoconferencing.
The 200 megabytes offered under the $15 plan is enough for more than 1,000 e-mails, hundreds of Web pages and about 20 minutes of streaming video, AT&T says.
Pakistani court removes Facebook ban
A court in Pakistan has ordered the authorities to restore the Facebook social networking site.
The court had ordered the blocking of the site after a petition was filed against a competition featuring caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Pakistan’s deputy attorney told the court on Monday that Facebook had withdrawn the competition.
The Facebook page in question contained caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and characters from other religions, including Hinduism and Christianity, as well as comments both critical and supportive of Islam.
Last week, Pakistan restored access to popular video sharing website YouTube only after blocking some pages for "sacrilegious content".
Correspondents say that the internet is uncensored in Pakistan but the government monitors content by routing all traffic through a central exchange.
Wave Power to Drive Desalination Plant
Independent Natural Resources, which makes the Seadog water pump, has received a permit for a wave power generation facility off the coast of Freeport, Texas.
The company says it’s the first to receive a "section 10 permit" from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to operate a wave generator in the U.S.
The facility, which the company hopes to put in the water by the end of the year, will be a platform with 18 wave pumps underneath it.
Each pump, which is about seven feet in diameter, will send water up through three water wheels connected to a generator. The electricity from the generator will be used to power a standard reverse osmosis desalination machine.
The platform will be about 150 feet by 75 feet in area and be 1 mile offshore to take advantage of swells. T
The pumps themselves will work 25 feet below the surface of the water and be able to generate about 60 kilowatts.
The electricity generated on board will be used to power the facility and desalinate 3,000 gallons of water a day for testing, although it’s capable of doing 20 times that, according to the company.
Intel’s Mobile Market Share Problem
But PCs are yesterday’s news.
Mobile Internet devices like smart phones and tablets are where all of the growth is but Intel hasn’t been able to gain much traction.
Where Intel has failed, a little-known British company called ARM has succeeded.
ARM is to mobile devices what Intel is to computers
The company develops and licenses the basic chip designs for practically all of the world’s cell phones, smart phones and Apple’s iPad.
Could a tiny British company that took in just less than $500 million in sales last year really be in a better position to take advantage of that forecasted growth than Intel, which had over $35 billion in revenue during the same period?
ARM, targeted a different, smaller market than Intel. By designing chips that use as little power as possible, ARM made its way into practically every cell phone on the market (about 20 billion mobile devices over the past 19 years, according to the company).
Unlike Intel, ARM doesn’t actually make chips, but licenses designs to 220 companies around the world, including giants like Qualcom, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Samsung and Apple.
Both companies were humming along until Apple introduced the iPhone in the summer of 2007. The iPhone was years ahead of any other phone on the market at the time, allowing users to carry a device in their pockets that performed PC tasks.
Because of its vast experience in the mobile sector, ARM won the contract to design the iPhone’s processor and has since appeared in a large number of smart phones.
Apple’s iPad also uses an ARM-licensed chip.
Next year, Intel plans to unveil a new "Atom" mobile device processor (code named "Moorestown"), which Intel thinks can outperform competitors and help it give ARM a run for its money.
First-generation Atom chips can be found in just about every netbook on the market.
This battle should be interesting.
Private rocket launch successful on maiden flight
A privately owned rocket successfully blasted off on its first flight, marking a significant milestone for the space industry in the race to develop commercial carriers.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off in mid-afternoon Friday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, reaching Earth orbit as planned nine minutes into the flight.
The two-stage rocket delivered the Dragon capsule, a mockup of the company’s spacecraft aimed to eventually facilitate human space travel, into orbit after a 9.5-minute trip.
The first and second stage of the white, 180-foot (55-meter) tall rocket separated successfully just three minutes and six seconds into the flight.
According to NASA, Space X’s accomplishment is an important milestone in the commercial transportation effort and puts the company a step closer to providing cargo services to the International Space Station.
Technical glitches initially delayed the launch, including an automatic computer override of the system that led SpaceX to abort its first attempt.
The launch represented a key test in developing commercial launchers capable of ferrying cargo and astronauts to the orbiting International Space Station (ISS).
Obama has proposed spending six billion dollars over five years to help the private sector develop reliable and affordable launchers to transport cargo and US astronauts to the International Space Station.
During the transition period, the United States will depend on Russian Soyuz rockets for access to the ISS — unless the private sector can propose viable launchers.