Show of 01-11-2014

Tech Talk

January 11, 2014

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Alice in Wonderland: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I am looking for a new job. Ever since I put my resume on dice/monster, etc. I now get 150+ junk emails Daily!  I don’t know why someone hasn’t devised a way to rid our lives of junk mail. That individual would be The biggest hero of the century—more loved than the Beatles/Elvis and the Rolling Stones combined in my opinion. There is this one vendor, Duke Careers that email me every day and sometimes 2X a day!! I can’t even move them to my junk folder (using Apple’s mail application on an iMac) as they have done something unique that I can’t cancel or stop in any way that I‘ve tried. And all of this is before the recruiters show up, so many of whom are collecting resumes for proposals and send me bogus job descriptions for jobs they don’t even have! People likely stop looking for work after month of this, all this distraction and misguided effort. I am about to take my resume off these large job boards because of this abuse.  Thanks for a great program. Alice
  • Tech Talk Responds: You can block a particular sender address inside of your email program. I would add Duke Careers to the blacklist. This works unless they keep changing the originating domain. I think you should use some the principles in What Color are Your Parachute by Dick Bolles. It is a far more effective way to get employment. It includes information interviews.  I recommend this book for all of our graduates. The tradition resume mill is really set up to favor the employer and not the applicant.
  • I would also look at some of the job outsourcing sites like to pick up some work.
  • Email from Allen in Herndon: Dear Tech. What’s a browser cache? How do I clear it? Why would I want to? It doesn’t seem to bother me. Love the show. Allen in Herndon
  • Tech Talk Responds: Cache is actually used to store web pages and images locally. So that the next time to go to that webpage it will load faster, even if your computer connection is slow. This is developed in the days of the slow connection and is still used. If the particular elements don’t change often, this works perfectly.
  • The cache has a limit of how big it can get and you can usually configure how much space to set aside for it. Essentially, when the cache gets full, the items in it that haven’t been used in a while are discarded.
  • But the cache can be problematic if you are looking at an old version of a webpage from cache. Or your cache may be corrupted because of a partially downloaded web element. So whenever, you encounter a problem of concurrency or corruption. The first thing to do is to clear the cache. For Internet Explorer, click the Tools menu or click the gear icon in the upper right of the Internet Explorer window, then the Internet Options menu item. In the resulting dialog box, under Browsing History, click the Delete… button. In the resulting Delete Browsing History dialog, it’s the Temporary Internet files and website files item that specifically refers to the browser cache. You can select or deselect other items as you see fit. Once you’ve done so, click the Delete button: Delete Browsing History. Your browser cache is now empty.
  • By the way, the website owner by force a page reload with a particular metatag: <meta http-equiv=”expires” content=”0″>
  • Email from Doug in Richmond: Dear Tech Talk What is the best option for backing up my laptop. I had heard many things discussed. What is my cheapest option? Thanks, Doug
  • Tech Talk Responds: I tend to use a cloud backup for my laptop because it is so easy to maintain even when I am travelling. Files are backed up as I create them. Sometimes a little too fast…..because I can save to them while they are being backed up. But this is not the cheapest. I am paying around $59 a year for Carbonite. The cheapest is going to be an external hard drive. I just bought an external 1 T external hard drive with a USB 3.0 for only $62. This was branded Toshiba. It is powered by the USB port. This drive is very small so I could easily carry it with me. This could be a good option for you. Or you could get a file server for your home network and schedule automatic backup to it. Doing it yourself is always cheaper, just more work.
  • Email from Susan: Dear Doc and Jim. I have a 64GB flash drive and have stored all my pictures on it. It is very convenient but is it reliable? Love the show. Sue from Reston
  • Tech Talk Responds: Susan, USB flash drives are great for file transfer. However, they are easily corrupted or damaged I would never use them as my primary backup device. I would get an external USB hard drive for a more reliable backup. My USB thumb drives have been very reliable and I have never lost a file, but I have heard horror stories from others. So beware.
  • Email from Nathan: Dear Dr. Shurtz. I have a nine year old son who loves to build things. He just worked on a small project and would like to do more…like build a robot or a remote control vehicle. What do you suggest?
  • Tech Talk Responds: Nathan, I would suggest Lego Mindstorms EV3. You can build many projects and program the processor (called a brick). It is a great father/son activity. In fact, I just brought one for my nephews. Both are technically inclined and their dad is an engineer. I wanted them to do more than just learn video games. I want them to program video games and this is a great way to start. There is also a Mindstorms forum for sharing ideas and projects. Along with the kit which cost $349, I bought them a Mindstorms EV3 project book which got great reviews.

Profiles in IT: Steven Maury Gibson

  • Steven Maury Gibson was bone born March 26, 1955, in Dayton, Ohio.
  • While attending High School, Gibson conceived, implemented, and taught two years of computer science electronics curriculum.
  • The courseware was then expanded throughout the San Mateo Union HS District.
  • At age 13, he was hired by Tecnica Education Corporation to design and implement enhancements to the company’s product line.
  • At 17, he was employed by Stanford University, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to assist grad graduate students with the implementation of their projects.
  • From age 17 to 20, he was VP, Systems Development, Advanced Information Design. His work led to the development of several new mass storage media packages.
  • He graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major (EE and CS) and a 4.0 average.
  • At 20, he became VP, Minicomputer Technology. He was the third employee.  In the two year, the company released five products, reaching $2M in sales.
  • At 22, he was hired as Director of Marketing, Educational Data Systems in Irvine.
  • At 23,  he founded Gibson & Garnish Advertising, which grew to service thirteen technology and computer industry accounts before being purchased.
  • At 24, he became Director of Engineering,  Hovik Corporation, Irvine, CA. He was involved with new product planning and design. Primarily medical technology.
  • For the next two years, he was an independent contractor working on a number of medical electronic devices related to cardiac monitoring.
  • From 26 to 28, he was President, Gibson Laboratories, Inc, where he developed and marketed a high-resolution light pen system pointing for Apple II. The company and rights to all products was sold to Atari Corporation.
  • From age 28 to 30, he was an independent consultant and contributing editors to PC Magazines. He specializing in the development of applications  for consumer electronics, robotics technology, medical electronics
  • In December, 1985 at age 30, he founder and President of Gibson Research Corporation. This would be his last position and one that he holds today.
  • Gibson Research is known for SpriRite, a hard disk low-level reformatting utility.
  • Steve is an advocate of assembly language programming, and prides himself on writing smaller applications mostly in Intel x86 assembly language, SpinRite.
  • He advocates of optimizing computer programs  to reduce the size of the executables.
  • In the 1990s, Gibson moved into the computer security field, developing and distributing the ShieldsUp! port-scanner, and the LeakTest firewall tester.
  • In 2000, Gibson created one of the first adware removal programs, OptOut.
  • SpinRite is the only paid commercial product sold by Gibson Research. Most of his work is offered free of charge.
  • Gibson co-hosts a computer security  podcast with Leo Laporte called Security Now!

Phantom 2 Vision Update: Week 3

  • I have been flying this drone for a couple of weeks now.
  • After having broken six propeller, I have purchases propeller guards.
  • I had on incident where I hit the neighbors tree around 80 feet up. The drone came crashing down to the frozen ground. The camera and battery separated from the body.
  • I got it repaired an authorized DJI dealer in Riverside, MD for only $93. The name of the company was IntelligentUAS. I highly recommend them.
  • I have taken aerial photos for two of our campuses so far, in Falls Church and Richmond.
  • This Phantom 2 Vision is a very elegantly designed device. Easy to fly and maintain.
  • In fact I just flew at the studio.

Phantom 2 Vision On Air Test Flight

Drone Image

Drone image 2

Drone image 3

Are Drones Practical for Delivery?

  • Amazon is betting it. So are FedEx and USP.
  • What about the FAA?
  • The FAA released a plan last month, outlining how it would establish regulations for non-military autonomous drone operations.
  • Bezos said FAA guidelines are expected in 2015, but the FAA’s planning document is full of varying timelines for different types of services.
  • It’s unclear which category Amazon’s drones would fall into.
  • The FAA did say it’s selecting six drone service sites by the end of the year to do testing and gather data for these guidelines, which would determine how to safely incorporate commercial drones into our airspace.
  • Only one commercial operator has been approved so far, and it’s located in the Arctic.
  • Amazon said it has not applied to be a part of these tests, but the company is in contact with the FAA to provide input during the process.
  • There will be other regulatory hoops to jump through, particularly with the public perception of what flying robots mean for privacy issues.
  • The Senate had already planned to hold a hearing specifically on Amazon’s new drones as a part of its efforts to review the general use of commercial drones.
  • It’s past hearings have focused on surveillance drones used by police and other government agencies.

Target Admits Data Theft is Larger

  • Target admitted the massive data breach it suffered during the Christmas shopping season was more than twice as large and far more serious than previously disclosed.
  • A  Jan. 10 press release  admits the number of customers affected by the second-largest corporate data breach in history had increased from 40 million to 70 million.
  • Data data stolen included emails, phone numbers, street addresses and other information absent from the stolen transactional data that netted thieves 40 million debit- and credit-card numbers and PINs.
  • The new revelation does represent a new breach, however, or at least the breach of an unrelated system during the period covered during the same attack, according to the few details Target has released.
  • Most analysts and news outlets have blamed the breach on either the security of Target’s Windows-based Point-of-Sale systems or the company’s failure to fulfill its security obligations under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
  • Most of the analysts cited by HackSurfer and other security sites focus on the possibility that the breach was accomplished using skimmers to steal track data as cards were swiped, that malware or direct penetration from outside gave thieves access to stored track data, or that the POS systems were compromised in other ways.
  • “Guest information” such as emails, phone numbers and street addresses isn’t stored with the track data, however, according to both PCI rules and Target’s admission that the theft of guest information was separate from the theft of track data.
  • That raises the number of compromised accounts to 110 million, not 70 million – 40 million cards and 70 million “guest” accounts from a separate system.
  • The new revelations also say nothing about Target’s own security or methods used by the attackers.
  • Target has still not revealed enough information to give any idea about who launched.