Show of 5-12-2012

Best of Tech Talk Edition

  • Segments taken from previous shows

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Bethesda listener: Dear Dr. Richard Shurtz, I am looking for a therapist. I found this website where you can do a zipcode search and it displays the therapists in that zip code as a text file. What is the quickest way I can create one email that is addressed it to each of them and write them about their hours, rates, etc.? Doing a cut of the email addresses and pasting the email addresses into the TO: field didn’t work out after the first line got full. Thanks, Bethesda listener
  • Tech Talk Responds: First of all, when you send to a list of people, put all of their addresses in the BCC: field. That way the email list is hidden from all recipients and not available to spam bots. You can put your own address in the TO: field. You can place an unlimited number of email addresses separated by semicolons in that field. Do no put any of the other name or address information that was in the text file. When the file fills up, keep entering addresses. It will just scroll over to make room.
  • Email from Peggy: Dr. Richard Shurtz, I needed to find any WORD document that had: Invoic (meaning either invoice or invoices or invoicing or invoiced) anywhere in the document in a certain folder on my work pc. One of the documents (that another employee was very familiar with) in the folder was NOT located. Why was that document not found? Now I’ve lost all faith in the Search feature in Explore. Peggy
  • Tech Talk Responds: You can select which folders are searched, file type, date created, etc. It may exclude temp folders. Using dates can help locate a file faster too. Search for creation date instead of just file name.
  • Email from Ken: Dear Tech Talk. Please check out Vonage mobile to use in countries that you do not have a SIM card for. I just found out about this yesterday. Even if you do not have a Vonage account, you can use a free app on your smart phone to route calls through Vonage, and I think the cost is less than you paid using the SIM card from India.
  • Please spell the names of the people you talk about, especially in “Profiles in IT.” During the show I searched for ‘Wiam Lee,’ which, of course, is not the right spelling for Håkon Wium Lie.
  • Please have somebody check your email during the show and notify you if something is relevant to what you are currently talking about. A lot of people probably would volunteer to do it without pay. Thanks, Ken.
  • Tech Talk Responds: VoIP phones are a good option if you have Internet access. I did not have Internet access in Costa Rica. If I would have had such access, I would have used Skype on my computer. Any VoIP phone appliance can be taken on travel. If I would take my Ooma device and attach to the Internet in Costa Rica, my Virginia would be active. This is common done by snowbirds who live in Florida for six months out of the year. Good suggestion about spelling the names, especially when they are hard to pronounce.
  • Email from KH (Received during the show last week): About the typewriter company: You have not discussed this yet. If you see this message, you can correct your story. After the news story came out last week about the last typewriter factory closing, it was corrected. The company is not the last one making typewriters. (I called during the show today to tell you this, but nobody answered. KH
  • Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for the information. You are right the story was updated the next day. That was the last typewriter company in India not in the world. Swintec, in Moonachie, NJ, is still selling typewriters. They buy form manufacturers in China, Japan, and Indonesia. Their primary market is among the defense agencies, courts and government offices. They have contracts with correctional facilities in 43 states to supply clear typewriters for inmates so they can’t hide contraband inside them.
  • Email from Alicia: Dear Tech Talk. I know the importance of strong passwords for online access to bank accounts, PayPal, email, etc, but what about the Windows login password? If there’s no concern about someone with physical access to the computer’s keyboard gaining unwanted access, is it still advised to use a complex password? How does a complex Windows password prevent a remote hacker from accessing my PC? Thanks, Alicia
  • Tech Talk Responds: If someone has physical access to your computer, the password can always be bypassed or reset using well known techniques. You simply need to be able to boot using the CD. You can open another operating system or execute a password reset program. So a strong password in this case, actually does not make much difference.
  • On the other hand, if you computer is configured to accept remote access (using Windows Remote Desktop), then password strength is essential. Since your computer can be accessed directly over the Internet, hackers can and will try to gain access to your machine using a common protocol or technology. You should turning off remote access for administrative login accounts or any account that doesn’t need it.
  • A safer way may be to use a VPN to access your computer. But then your VPN password needs to be strong.

Profiles in IT: Janie and Victor Tsao

  • Janie and Victor Tsao co-founded Linksys, a company which produces home networking devices including wireless routers.
  • Victor Tsao was born in 1948 and Janie in 1951, both in Taiwan.
  • Victor earned BS in computer science and Jamie earned a BA degree from the University of Tamkang in Taiwan. They met and married in college.
  • They immigrated to the US in 1968 after completing their undergraduate degrees.
  • Victor earned MS in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1980 and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
  • Victor worked in a number of IT related jobs with Santa Fe International, TRW, Kraft, and Montgomery Ward.
  • From 1985 to 1991, he was Director of MIS Strategic Systems Dev. for Taco Bell.
  • Janie was a systems analyst for TRW and a systems manager for Carter Hawley Hale.
  • In 1988, Janie and Victor decided DEW International, in their garage in Irvine, CA.
  • Since Victor kept his job with Taco Bell. Janie quit her job to launch the company.
  • The new company mated American vendors with Taiwanese manufacturers.
  • One manufacturer proposed a way to connect multiple computers to multiple printers.
  • They renamed the company Linksys and began marketing the product.
  • Victor quit his job in 1991 and within two years Linksys had moved twice, eventually to a 2,000-square-foot office and selling 8,000 Multishares per month
  • Victor served as CEO and President and managed operations and finances, while Janie handled sales in her job as vice president of business development.
  • In these early years, the Tsaos invested $7,000 in Linksys, the only capital the company required until it tapped a bank loan for the one and only time, in 2001.
  • Linksys slowly expanded from printer-to-PC connectors to PC-to-PC Ethernet hubs, cards, and cords. By 1994, home networking revenue had reached $6.5 million.
  • Victor worked 100 hours a week, with occasional naps on the office floor.
  • Victor drew no salary until the mid-’90s. The couple and their two boys got by on Janie’s Linksys salary of $2,000 a month.
  • When MS moved from Win3.1 to Win95, home networking exploded.
  • Janie expanded to retail stores like Fry’s Electronics Best Buy.
  • Revenue doubled to $21.5M in 1996, $32.1M in 1997 and $65.6M in 1998.
  • With broadband, consumers wanted to link multiple computers to the Internet.
  • Victor ordered a $199 four-port router with an easily configured firewall.
  • Revenue went from $107.6 million to $206.5 million.
  • They were named Ernst and Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in 1999.
  • In Jan 2001, Linksys launched Wi-Fi (802.11b) wireless routers and computer cards.
  • Linksys revenue and market share jumped to $346.7 million and 34.2%, respectively.
  • In Dec 2002, Linksys launched its 802.11g products using draft standards, beating its competitors by three months. It sold 300,000 units in the first two months.
  • Cisco contacted the Tsaos in fall 2002 and a deal was announced in March 2003.
  • Cisco agreed to pay $500M in stock for the company. Linksys had 305 employees.
  • As part of the deal, the Tsaos agreed to stay on for two years and Cisco agreed to let the company remain a standalone unit.

Netflix Largest Source of Internet Traffic In North America

  • Netflix video streaming is now the single largest source of peak downstream Internet traffic in the U.S., according to a new report by Sandvine.
  • The streaming video service now accounts for 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic, up from 21 percent last fall.
  • That puts Netflix above HTTP websites (18 percent), BitTorrent (11 percent), and YouTube (10 percent) as a source of downstream traffic during peak times in North America.
  • BitTorrent still accounts for half of all upstream traffic.
  • Rreal-time entertainment (which includes both video and music streaming) accounted for 49 percent of downstream traffic in March, 2011, versus 19 percent for P2P file sharing, and 17 percent for Web browsing.
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings points out, bandwidth to the home keeps increasing along with demand—he expects a gigabit to the home to be commonplace within ten years.
  • He also points out in the video to the home is cached on the edge of the network rather than going through the backbone.

Playboy Putting 57 years Online

  • The web-based subscription service, is optimized for the iPad, gives users the opportunity to read, search and explore every issue of Playboy magazine ever published.
  • With more than 130,000 pages in total, the iPlayboy will house every pictorial, interview, centerfold, investigative reporting piece, story, advertisement and image that ever appeared in Playboy, ranging from the current issue all the way back to the inaugural 1953 issue.
  • In June, the site will also feature exclusive videos and content recommendations from a panel of individuals in the areas of art, design, fashion, media and technology to be collectively known as the Playboy Commission.
  • The subscription to iPlayboy is $8 a month or $60 per year.
  • Last November Playboy release a hard drive with all issues archived. This is the next step in going digital.
  • Playboy bypassed Apple’s strict app guidelines. Users don’t download an app. They go directly to which is formatted for iPad.

Marvell chip designed to improve LED light quality

  • Semiconductor company Marvell announced a chip geared at improving the light from LED bulbs and connecting them to a network.
  • The 8801 chip is small–about the size of a penny–and will be about the same price as existing LED lighting electronics.
  • The chip can control the current and temperature of two types of LED light sources. So a fixture or bulb maker could use the chip and driver to use LEDs with two different colors, such as white and red, to improve color rendering.
  • The Marvell component will also make LED dimming more precise and allow a lighting company to embed a wireless chip in the bulb.
  • With a Wi-Fi radio, lights can be controlled from a central point or set on a schedule. Last week, Google demonstrated a networked LED bulb controlled by its Android@Home software due for release by the end of the year.

Amazon e-books now outselling print books

  • Amazon announced Thursday that its customers now buy more e-books for its Kindle device than all print books — hardcover and paperback — combined.
  • Amazon introduced the Kindle e-reader in November 2007. By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, and six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on, the online retailer said.
  • Of course, these stats only represent sales of books on, the only place consumers can buy e-books for the Kindle.
  • When sales of books from other websites and brick-and-mortar stores are factored in, e-books still represent a small minority of all titles purchased, although some analysts predict they could reach 20% within a year or two.
  • Consumers wanting to read books electronically can now choose from many competing devices, including Sony’s Reader, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and a variety of touchscreen tablets, including Apple’s iPad.