Facebook post by Kenneth C. Hutchison: Wikipedia says that LISP stands for List Processing….rather than List Programming.
Tech Talk Responds: You are right. Thanks for the correction. I told Jim from Bowie that it stood for List Programming. I stand corrected.
Facebook post by James Messick: If you haven’t done a profile on Robert Taylor, founder of Xerox Parc, I think that would be a good one.
Tech Talk Responds: Great suggestions. We will do him this week.
Email from Fair and Good: Dr. Richard Shurtz. I use Windows Live Mail for about eight different email accts (mostly verizon email accounts and one hotmail acct)…I mainly am in the Quick View, having them all dump into one inbox. I am getting the error: "An unknown error has occurred" When I try and delete a group of emails. I have done this successfully in the past but recently it will not let me do this! Has anyone else had this error? Thanks. Bethesda female regular listener
Tech Talk Responds: Several users have reported this problem. Posts on the Windows Live forum go back to 2009. Solutions usually include upgrading to the latest version of Windows Live. They also include upgrading to latest version of FoxFire if that is your browser…or installing the latest service pack to Vista. Other solutions included going offline and then resetting the counters. Go to http://windowslivehelp.com/ for more information.
Email from Led By Brain: Dr. Richard Shurtz. I’ve been doing research on the purchase of my next pc. A smart, computer savvy friend recommends these brands: Acer. HP, Asus, Toshiba (satellite). I’m either going to buy at Amazon or Newegg. I go to Amazon and find: Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks Laptop Computers, Tablets, Chromebooks, Netbooks, Ultrabooks. I have no appreciation of how to compare these types of PCs..
I want about 500+ GB of hard drive and about 4 GB of RAM. I want a 17" screen.. I have no need to be traveling with the pc though I have been using a laptop for many years. Weight is not an issue at all. I don’t do games and don’t store pics. Mainly — I use MS office, do email and use it as my bookkeeper/ bill payer. I have upgraded to MS office 2010 on machine I’m replacing so wondering how I’ll get this software onto new pc when it arrives? I don’t seem to have a CD of MS Office on my bookshelf so I suppose I bought the download version….Thanks, Fan of Dr Shurtz et al.
Email from James Messick: Apparently the Tech Talk website is having trouble serving up some of the old shows. Clicking on the link for the mp3 files for any shows earlier than May 18, 2002 just returns the browser to the top level of stratford.edu. Friend of the show James Messick.
Tech Talk Responds: James, I checked the files that they go back to January 2002. The shows prior to that date are missing. They were dropped when we transferred to the new website because those files were RealAudio. I didn’t realize they were missing. I will convert them to MP3 and post them within the next couple of months when we launch out new website using the SiteCore CMS.
Email from Robert Tyler: Dear Dr. Shurtz: I have been reading about hacker groups attacking companies, websites and in some cases country’s internet systems via DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks. My question is not about DDoS attacks but rather what IT departments have to do to strengthen their systems against these attacks so a DDoS attack doesn’t bring down their website or their company’s computer system? Thank you again for the great podcast you and your team produce each week. I’ve learned so much over the past few years. I hope you realize (and I know you do) what a quality podcast it is. Robert Tyler
Tech Talk Responds: DDOS attacks are difficult to handle. The short answer is monitor response time so that you know if something is happening, over provision your servers, ask upstream providers to configure routers to incoming data stream (limit certain packet types, verify IP address), use IP Anycast to distribute the load.
IP Anycast is an Internet standard that enables the global mirroring of critical resources. When DNS networks use Anycast, identical name servers advertise the same IP address from multiple, strategically distributed locations. This can also help during DDoS attacks, by spreading the unwanted load between multiple sites based on network topography. Depending on the distribution of sources used in the attack, this can mean that the effects of the DDoS are felt by users in certain geographic areas but not others.
Email from Snake Eyes: Dear Dr. Richard Shurtz, I have had Verizon FiOS for Internet only for many years and before that Verizon DSL–over 11 years for both combined. I am not clear still on how they bill residential customers. Meaning, all along they have been billing me via my American express bill and the entry is very brief with no meaningful information.
Now, I’m getting monthly paper bills. their bill doesn’t show the billing period nor does it show the service level I’m receiving. How can they send out such lame bills? Isn’t the state regulatory commission for communication services paying any attention to the way Verizon bills?? Aren’t there some Minimum requirements when sending out bills for Internet Service? The FiOS service is reliable, but, I’d rather have two root canals that have to call either their tech support line OR their billing department. Thanks, Fan of Dr Shurtz!
Tech Talk Responds: I would set up an online account with Verizon. Go to Verizon.com and create an account. You will have to have the account number on your bill. Your online portal (my.verizon) will include full billing information, as well as, service levels. You should even be able to change your service levels online using this account.
Profiles in IT: Robert William Taylor
Robert William Taylor is an Internet pioneer, founder of Xerox PARC, founder of DEC Systems Research Center, and director ARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office.
Robert W. Taylor was born in Dallas, Texas in 1932.
His adoptive father was a Methodist minister and the family spent an itinerant childhood, moving from parish to parish.
He started at Southern Methodist University at 16, served in the Navy during the Korean War, and went back to school at the University of Texas under the GI Bill.
He BS in experimental psychology, with minors in math, philosophy, English and religion.
Taylor taught math and coached basketball at a co-ed prep school in Florida.
Taylor took engineering jobs with aircraft companies at better salaries. After working for Martin Marietta, he was invited to join to NASA in 1961 after submitting a research proposal for a flight-control simulation display.
Taylor worked for NASA in Washington, DC while the Kennedy administration was backing scientific projects such as the Apollo program for a manned moon landing.
In late 1962 Taylor met J.C.R. Licklider, who was heading the new Information Processing Techniques Office of the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense.
Licklider had done his graduate work in psychoacoustics as Taylor, and wrote an article in 1960 envisioning new ways to use computers.
In 1965 Taylor moved from NASA to ARPA. Hired by J.C.R Licklider, Taylor hoped to build a computer network to connect the ARPA-sponsored projects together.
At the time, he had a different terminal to communicate with each project.
In 1968 Licklider and Taylor published a paper, The Computer as a Communication Device, which laid out the future of what the Internet would eventually become
In 1969, Taylor worked at the University of Utah on computer graphics.
In 1970 Taylor was hired by Xerox to manage the Palo Alto Research.
Technologies developed at PARC between 1970 and 1983 focused on reaching beyond ARPAnet to develop what has become the Internet, and the systems that support today’s personal computers. They included: personal computers, Ethernet, Internet, laser printer, graphical user interface, WYSIWYG.
In 1983, Taylor was hired by Ken Olsen of Digital Equipment Corporation, and formed the Systems Research Center in Palo Alto.
And at the Digital Equipment Corporation’s new research center in Palo Alto, he oversaw development of electronic books, modern work stations, and the precursor to the Java programming language.
In 1999, Taylor received a National Medal of Technology and Innovation. "For visionary leadership in the development of modern computing technology, including computer networks, the personal computer and the graphical user interface."
Taylor retired in 1996 and lives in Woodside, California. He has two large poodles, Max and LaraHe reads, listens to music, cooks, grows tomatoes. While he sometimes plays computer games, he has no cell phone, copier, FAX or scanner.
Pump Failure May Be Cyber Attack
Federal officials confirmed they are investigating Friday whether a cyber attack may have been responsible for the failure of a water pump at a public water district in Illinois last week.
Such an attack would be noteworthy because, while cyber attacks on businesses are commonplace, attacks that penetrate industrial control systems and intentionally destroy equipment are virtually unknown in the United States.
The report says water district workers noted "glitches" in the systems for about two months.
On Nov. 8, a water district employee noticed problems with the industrial control systems, and a computer repair company checked logs and determined that the computer had been hacked.
The cyber attacker hacked into the water utility using passwords stolen from a control system vendor and that he had stolen other user names and passwords.
A DHS spokesman said the cause of the water pump failure is unknown. The DHS and FBI are "gathering facts,"
DHS said the water system was located in Springfield, Illinois.
Images posted online suggest that hackers may have gained unauthorized access to computers controlling a second water treatment facility, a claim that raises additional concerns about of the security of the US’s critical infrastructure.
They show the computer interface which is used to monitor and control the Water and Sewer Department for the City of South Houston, Texas.
They were posted by someone calling himself pr0f to counter comments that there was no “credible corroborated data” indicating critical infrastructure was at risk.
You should aim for 155 degrees [Fahrenheit] in the breast and no more than 160 degrees, or else it will come out too dry.
On the other hand, in the dark meat, you want a temperature of 180 degrees and above in the leg.
Harold McGee says that when the leg meat is under 180 degrees, it is unpleasantly chewy and has a metallic taste to it.
Plus, breast meat cooks faster than leg meat, which means the white meat is done well before the dark meat ever reaches the right temperature.
Use a meat thermometer.
Make sure the bird is fully thawed McGee recommends thawing in the refrigerator or in a cold water bath.
Don’t stuff the turkey. This may seem very untraditional, but McGee says that by the time the stuffing reaches a safe temperature to eat, the meat will be overdone.
Cover the breasts with ice packs, while the rest of the bird comes up to room temperature.
The turkey should not sit out for more than three hours. At this point, McGee says, "the breast will be 40 degrees, and the rest of the bird about 60 degrees."
Put the bird in the oven and cook as normal
Remember to check the meat temperature often McGee recommends that the breast meat reach between 155 and 160 degrees, and the dark meat around 180 degrees.
Icing the turkey breasts works, McGee says, because the leg meat gets a head start in cooking
Some chefs put tin foil over the breast for part of the cooking time. Other cook the turkey breast side down.
GPS System at Risk
The Fifth annual Stanford University symposium on Position, Navigation and Time was held this week.
Professor Brad Parkinson, father of GPS, warned to threats to the effectiveness of GPS systems.
The enemies threatening the future of the GPS are many:
Next-generation mobile broadband services angling for a piece of the electromagnetic spectrum relied on by GPS;
Cheap GPS jammers flooding the highways, thanks to consumers worried about invasive police and employer surveillance;
Cosmic events, like solar storms;
Mobile Broadband. Lightsquared, which has been endorsed by the Obama administration, is offering cable-like bandwidth to mobile customers across the country through next generation wireless service known as LTE.
It would sit in the spectrum that runs the GPS system, which is by design low-power and thus easily subject to interference.
The potential for conflict has spawned a high staked debate between Lightsquared and the GPS community, and led to a battery of tests.
Lightsquared unveiled a set of test results and declared major progress in addressing interference concerns.
Critics challenged those conclusions, arguing that the tests indicate Lightsquared will drown out GPS at low levels.
Furthermore, he said, Lightsquared is looking to increase the strength of its signal, from 1.5 kW to 15 kW and no tests have yet been conducted at those higher levels.
Consumer Jammers. Drivers are buying these illegal devices in response to privacy concerns over GPS tracking.
The courts have permitted law enforcement to place GPS trackers on cars without a warrant. Consumers are responding by buying jammers.
GPS jammers are sold online for around $50.
The jammers have already been linked to a GPS failure at Newark International Airport thanks to a passing driver with a GPS jamming system installed in his vehicle.
Sun Spots. Major solar activity increases the effects of interference in the ionosphere, degrading GPS signals, particularly in equatorial regions. There are signal processing solutions to this signal degradation.
Politics of Spectrum
The deficit super committee and congressional technology committees searching for new money are considering "incentive auctions" of the TV band spectrum.
Versions of these plans that focus on simply selling as much spectrum as possible would threaten the future of wireless innovation in the U.S.
Open wireless models, like Wi-Fi, are becoming the basic infrastructure for wireless communications, while exclusively licensed services, like cellular, are becoming the (still critical) backup and supplement.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission, under both Democratic and Republican leadership, has opened up some new spectrum to unlicensed use, including TV white spaces.
Over 90 percent of tablet data is carried over Wi-Fi. For iPhones, the number is about 50 percent, and Android smart phones are catching up.
It makes sense: only about a third of our usage is "on the move," much of that in settings covered by hotspots.
The trend is even clearer in other fields. Eighty percent of wireless health care is delivered over a open wireless technologies—Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, RFID.
Mobile payment systems like Mastercard’s PayPass, ExxonMobil’s SpeedPass, or EZ Pass, run on open wireless.
Inventory management systems mostly use RFID. Other, yet-to-be-invented wireless technologies could be under threat if the super committee successfully pushes its idea to sell the unlicensed spectrum that those technologies would use.
The differences between European and North American smart grid meter communications markets help us understand the role that policy plays.
Wireless smart electricity meter communications systems are vastly more prevalent in the U.S. than in Europe.
Most smart grid communications systems in North America use 900 megahertz unlicensed spectrum. They can do that because, in 1985, the FCC took a chance on industrial, scientific, and medical "junk bands," and deregulated a contiguous band (from 902 to 928 megahertz).
That allowed anyone to deploy equipment and networks if they could build systems robust enough to live with the fact that anyone else could also deploy there.
Short-sighted search for auction, limited understanding of the next switch, and lobbying are pushing legislators to auction more spectrum to exclusive licensed use, and makes them resistant to expanding the deregulation of wireless communications systems on the Wi-Fi and 900 megahertz model.
Future open wireless is one area where the U.S. has an early mover advantage because of regulatory innovations from the 1980s and 1990s. We should not retreat from that position now that we can already see the next switch.