Best of Tech Talk Edition Email and Forum Questions Profiles in IT: Drew Houston IE9 Looks Like Chrome Google Chooses Kansas City for New Gigabit Fiber Network Smartphone Stored Data Reveals Much Website of the Week: Singularityhub Book of the Week: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Georgian retiree devastated after 'cutting Internet'
Email from Jim in Bowie: Dear Tech Talk. Thanks for the advice on the short battery life of the HTC Thunderbolt. It’s clear the Apple iPhone 4 is a better option – but what about the Motorola Droid X? I’ve read a lot of positive things about the Motorola Droid X that seem to put it about on par, or even better then for some things, with the Apple iPhone 4. What’s your take on the Apple iPhone 4 for my wife? However, she is not a techie like me.. Thanks, Jim in Bowie.
I think that your wife would like the iPhone more. It is very intuitive to use. It produces better pictures and has better music playback. She may even be able to transfer her iPod library. iPhone has better battery life.
You would like the Droid because it is open source, has Google navigation, and is more configurable. It is an excellent phone for techies. Your wife would not appreciate its advantages.
The iPhone supports video chat with other iPhones using a front facing video camera. This is useful if you has contacts with iPhones. It requires wi-fi. These phones only support CDMA. Dual mode CDMA/GSM phones should be out in the next six months. The iPhone4 radio supports dual band but there is no antenna or SIM slot. Clearly the next iPhone will have it. I don’t think it is worth waiting, but you should know.
Email from Margaret: Dr. Richard Shurtz, I am experiencing a lag in the arrival of my emails at work and discussed this with the IT support team there. I told them I am experiencing a lag in receiving email meeting invitations in Outlook. Another employee I work directly with receives these same mailings about ½ hr before I do. I asked if "there is something that can be done about this, please let me know. If not, would like to know too. Thanks, Margaret.
Tech Talk Responds: I can’t tell whether they are slow to enter your inbox or slow to show up on your client. I assume that it is a client problem. You could have a POP3 client, a web-based client, or an Outlook client.Your client is only synchronized periodically with the server. You will net see a new email until the synchronization occurs. You could be check every 5 minutes or every 30 minutes. You can force a synchronization by
Email from Led by Brain: Dear Dr. R. Shurtz, I own a Sony walkman that is a combo AM/FM radio/analog TV player that I use while riding my bike. Radio still works but now that TV has gone digital that part doesn’t work. Closest thing I can find that could replace this old Sony walkman is the Philips Portable Digital HDTV with FM Tuner for $94.72. Philips said it won’t work when I move around on my bike. The existing digital TV standard won’t work when the TV is moving. There is a mobile TV standard in development, but it isn’t out yet. Do you have any information on the mobile HDTV standard. Thanks, Led by Brain.
Tech Talk Responds: I think you are talking about a new standard to connect HDTV to mobile devices like cell phones. This is simply a combination of USB and HDMI standards. It does not address digital TV reception to a moving device. The issue will be antenna placement and directionality. The digital TV does not degrade slowly. It simply stop when S/N is too low. I don’t thing that moving should affect repection, if you can maintain sufficient S/N.
Email from Robert Tyler: Dear Dr. Shurtz: Late last year I upgraded my computer, which came with Windows Vista 64 bit, to Windows 7 64 bit with a clean install. I used the Windows 7 Upgrade disc. If I ever have to replace my hard drive can I use the Windows 7 Upgrade to put Windows 7 on this new hard drive?
My wife has a laptop running Windows 7 64 bit. Could she use this Windows 7 Upgrade to put Windows 7 on her computer if she ever had to replace her hard drive? Her computer came with recovery discs. Could she use these if she couldn’t use my Windows 7 Upgrade? Thank you for such an educational, informative and entertaining show. The quality of the podcast you and Jim Russ produce is remarkable. I look forward to it each week. Robert Tyler
Tech Talk Responds: Some have reported that the Upgrade disk will do a full install on a clean hard disk. If is does not work there are several workarounds that will make this possible. You can install Vista first and then do a clean install from the upgrade disk. Installing on a second computer would have an activation problem because this would be a second copy of the OS.
Profiles in IT: Drew Houston
Drew Houston is co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, a privately held Internet company which provides cloud storage and synchronization services
Houston was born in 1983 in Massachusetts.
Houston graduated from Acton- Boxborough Regional High in Action, MA in 2001.
He enrolled in the MIT Computer Science program in 2001
In April 2004, he started Accolade, an online SAT prep company while a Junior.
Company was Ramen profitable, meaning that it generated enough income to pay his living expenses.
He took one year leave from school to work on Accolade.
He played guitar in the band, AngryFlannel, which played mostly a school events.
In 2006, Houston received a BS in Computer Science from MIT in 2006.
In January 2006, Drew landed a job with Bit9. He worked on Windows internals to support various applications. He quit in May 2007 to start Dropbox.
As an MIT student, Drew Houston was inspired to create Dropbox out of his frustrations with forgetting his USB drive.
He worked on multiple desktops and a laptop, and could never remember to keep his USB drive with me. His hard drive failed at home and he had no backup.
He found that existing storage services suffered problems with Internet latency, large files, bugs, or just made him think too much.
He began making something for himself, but then realized that it could benefit lots of people with the same problem.
He wrote the first lines of code for Dropbox while at a train station in Boston.
Houston co-founded Dropbox, Inc. in 2007 with fellow MIT student Arash Ferdowsi.
The Dropbox client enables users to drop any file into a designated folder that is then synced with Dropbox’s Internet service and to any other of the user’s computers and devices with the Dropbox client.
Dropbox focuses on synchronization and sharing. It supports revision history.
Shortly thereafter secured seed funding from Y Combinator. They provide $17K of seed money and help with the start-up process for around 6%
Dropbox officially launched at 2008’s TechCrunch50, an annual tech conference.
Dropbox raised a $7.25 million Series A round from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners,
Dropbox’s official domain name was actually "getdropbox.com" until October 2009, when they acquired, "dropbox.com", from a domain squatter.
In 2009 Dropbox hired Adam Gross, a former Salesforce veteran, as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales.
In January 2010 Dropbox had more than 4 million users.
Dropbox only uploads the pieces of the file that are changed when syncing.
Dropbox uses Amazon’s S3 storage system to store the files.
In the little free time he has, Drew can be found jamming on his guitar.
Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 9 this week.
Microsoft has copied the best features of Chrome: its flexibility and speed.
IE9 is a copy of Google’s Chrome browser, right down to its searchable address bar.
It is also fast and conformed to Web standards like Chrome.
For Internet Explorer users, IE9 is a big win. Finally MS is responding to pressure from the competition.
The browser emphasizes speed maximum browsing space above all else.
The first things you’ll notice when opening the revamped browser is how clean it looks. IE9 gives more screen space to the Web than its predecessor, due to its redesigned navigation, address, and tabs.
The entire navigation and tab system is in a single row of buttons. Gone are the days where navigation, address, tabs, and loading get their own rows.
All settings in IE9 are now located inside a single drop-down button. Want to print, zoom, access downloads or options? It’s all inside the settings drop-down. Bookmarking and favorites is all contained within a small star icon.
The loading bar at the bottom of IE is now gone as is the Search bar.
Tabs are also a lot smaller but they can’t be grouped like in Opera.
Pinning tabs: For those who visit Gmail, Facebook, or another site every day, this feature will be quite useful.
Mousing over windows in the taskbar: When you mouse over the IE9 icon on your taskbar, IE9 will let you instantly view a preview of every open tab.
In addition to new tabbing features, IE9 also has a revamped downloads section and an extension manager that tells you exactly how much speed you are giving up by installing that extra toolbar.
Notifications: IE9 puts notifications pop up on the bottom, not in a pop-up.
In speed tests, Chrome was still fastest with IE9 coming in a close second. Followed by Foxfire and Opera.
Google Chooses Kansas City for New Gigabit Fiber Network
Google has chosen Kansas City, Kansas for its new fiber optics project which will provide the city with gigabit connections speeds at retail prices.
Google wants to see what a network with 100 times our current levels of speed will create, and they’re using Kansas City, Kansas as their testing grounds.
The search engine giant recently announced that they had chosen the city as the host for its Google Fiber project, which will bring gigabit connections speeds to members of the city’s community at prices comparable to traditional highspeed internet.
Kansas City was only one of the over 1100 towns that applied for the Google Fiber program.
Not only will residents experience connections speeds that are hard to find outside of academia, they will be testing next generation of high speed internet applications.
Google Fiber isn’t a new technology, it’s a new level of access.
Instead of having a gigabit backbone with megabit nerve endings, your standard retail services in your home and office will have the full gigabit connection speeds.
With gigabits you could use HD Skype that will make objects in other rooms appear with crystal clarity. In other words, next generation telepresence.
Considering that the Kansas University Medical Center is one of the groups in Kansas City coordinating with Google, we can expect telemedicine to be one of the first applications.
With this level of gigabit access you could set up cameras at every intersection and let people see high definition footage of wherever they wanted to go.
The city’s Board of Commissioners still has to approve the project, though that’s probably just going to be a formality at this point.
Google is hoping to start preparing the fiber optic network this year, with Q1 2012 serving as the launch for its service.
Google chose Kansas City in large part because the city was willing to make an organized effort to attract and enable the fiber project.
Smartphone Stored Data Reveals Much
Police call you cell phone data a digital fingerprint.
With the right tools and physical access to your smartphone, anyone can tap into the private details of your life: texts, photos, tweets, Facebook ramblings, doctor’s appointments, and now the coordinates of your travels.
People are addicted to their cell phones, so this is the freshest and most valuable information available about someone."
Even before researchers this week disclosed that the location-tracking file had been found on the iPhone, investigators had been collecting data from the Apple smartphone.
Data from iPhones includes call logs, map search results from the device’s Google Maps app, graphics stored in the browsers’ cache, even logs of what’s been typed into the iPhone’s virtual keyboard.
Apple has ignored repeated requests for comment on the tracking file, even as members of Congress have started asking questions of Apple about why it’s tracking its phone users and what it’s doing with the information.
And privacy advocates warn that harvesting data from anyone’s phone without their permission is another step down an already troubling path.
In addition to the iPhone tracking file, it has been revealed that Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Android phones regularly transmit location data back to those two companies.
For years now, investigators have had a much better idea than the phones’ owners of what data they can legally harvest from consumers’ phones.
Investigators are using a forensic mining tool for $199 called iRecovery.
Some officers are asking for your cell and doing a real time scan of the data. My advice is to ask for a warrant before handing over your cell phone.
iPhone Tracking File RevealedIf you’re running iOS 4, your location-based data—latitude and longitude coordinates, coupled with timestamps—is stored on your phone in a file called "consolidated.db."
This file is automatically transferred to any machines with which you sync (and back up), and it’s probably flowing back to Apple in some form or another.
If you haven’t encrypted your backups, that data is unprotected.
There’s no confirmation that that data is leaving your custody and no evidence that Apple’s harvesting it towards nefarious ends.
More likely, it’s being used for two things: Apple’s reportedly tapping location information to build a database, which may actually be for your own good; and other apps, such as Maps, require geo-locational data to play.
To halt both in their tracks, you can disable Location Services.
Furthermore, the data is far from "precise." In fact, Apple’s data collection is both inconsistent and imprecise. Rather than using GPS, location information logged in consolidated.db is determined by triangulation via cell-phone towers, a notoriously loose method.
Update times run the gamut, left to the whims of cell-phone towers and phone activity.
Singularity Hub is a blog and news network covering the latest in robots, genetics, longevity, artificial intelligence, aging, stem cells, and more.
The singularity is the point in mankind’s future when we will transcend current intellectual and biological limitations and initiate an intelligence and information explosion beyond imagining.
According to the website: The impossible is becoming possible. The future that you thought would not come in your lifetime is coming sooner than you thought. Singularity Hub is here to tell you about it.
Based on the book: The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurweil.
Book of the Week: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire
Author: Simon Sinek
With a little discipline, anyone can learn to inspire.
START WITH WHY offers an unconventional perspective that explains WHY some people and organizations are more innovative, more profitable, command greater loyalties from customers and employees alike and, most importantly, are able to repeat their success over and over.
These are not the one hit wonders. These are the ones who change the course of industries or even society.
Why first, then How, then What
First you must why you are in business
Once you know Why, How will you bring your Why to life?