Show of 08-09-2014

Tech Talk

August 9, 2014

Email and Forum Questions
  • Email form Ralph in Reston: Dear Tech Talk. Can I run more than one anti-malware program or firewall? For example, I run ZoneAlarm; does that mean I should I turn off Windows firewall? Love the show. Ralph in Reston
  • Tech Talk Responds: As a general rule of thumb, you need only one of each of the following: Anti-virus, Anti-Spyware, and Firewall.
  • Most anti-virus programs operate in two modes: Scan and Monitor. There’s nothing at all wrong with periodically running anti-virus scans with more than one anti-virus program. The key here is that it’s just a scan. On have one program performing real-time monitoring. . Make certain that you update the database on a regular basis.
  • Anti-spyware tools operate much like anti-virus tools, and that typically means the same two modes: Scan and Monitor. The same advice applies. Scan with as many as you want, but only use one for real-time monitoring. Make certain that you update the  database on a regular basis.
  • Firewalls a fall into roughly two categories: hardware and software. Your router is functioning as a hardware firewall. You will also have a software firewall on your computer. Use only one software firewall. Do not cascade the Windows Firewall and ZoneAlarm. If you use ZoneAlarm, turn off the Windows firewall.
  • Email from Zelalem in Fairfax: Dear Tech Talk, I burned DBAN to a CD and then rebooted my Windows 8 machine with the CD inserted in the drive. To my surprise, it just booted right back into Windows. How do I get the computer to boot up from the CD? Thanks, Zelalem in Fairfax
  • Tech Talk Responds: This is actually a pretty common problem. Your computer’s BIOS needs to be instructed to check for a bootable CD or DVD before it tries to load whatever is on the hard drive. Right now, your computer is configured to either ignore the CD/DVD at boot time or check the hard disk first. 
  • You have a newer machine running UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), you may have to turn off Secure Boot first. Secure Boot keeps you from changing the boot order without a password. Secure Boot, when enabled, prevents this from being possible. It can prevent changes in the boot order, and it can restrict booting to only “official” boot images. Windows 8 is the first version of Windows that can take advantage of UEFI and Secure Boot. That means that if your Windows 8 system has UEFI and has Secure Boot turned on, then it’s very possible that in order to boot from something other than the hard disk you’ll need to turn Secure Boot off first.
  • Like the BIOS before it, UEFI also controls the boot order – which devices the computer will look to boot from first. 
  • Look for the settings to ensure that the USB or CD/DVD drive is earlier in the sequence than the hard disk, so that the system will boot from your recovery drive before booting from the internal hard drive.
  • Email from John in Michigan: Dear Doc and Jim. I am trying to recover data form some old floppy drives. My laptop does have these drives. What are my options? Thank, John in Michigan
  • Tech Talk Responds: If your data is on 3.5 inch floppies, you are in luck. You can order these floppy drives with a USB connection of around $20 from Amazon. Unfortunately, if you disks are 5.25 inch floppies, the situation is not so easy. There are not such drives with a USB output. You can order a use drive for around $60. You will then have to order a controller for the drive, which is another $60 and there is no guarantee that it will work on your floppies. Compatibility is a real issue. Make certain that the controller support the specific drive you bought. Early standards were not uniformly adopted. It may be easier to get a old computer in the back of the closet with a 5.25 inch floppy.
Profiles in IT: Babak Amir Parviz
  • Babak Amir Parviz was born in Tehran, Iran in 1973.
  • In 1994, he received BS in Mathematics and EE from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. After graduation, he moved to the United States.
  • In 1996, he earned a BA in English Literature from University of Washington.
  • He’s particularly interested in late 19th- and early 20th-century American writers. 
  • The liberal arts showed him that there are different ways of thinking about issues.
  • In 1997, he earned an MSEE from University of Michigan.
  • In 1998, he earned an MS in Physics from University of Michigan.
  • In 1999, he earned a PhD in EE and Physics from the University of Michigan.
  • From 2000 to 2001 he was with Nanovation Technologies as a designer and product manager for photonic devices.
  • From 2001 to 2003 he was a postdoctoral fellow in chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University working on self-assembly, biomedical devices.
  • In 2003, he accepted a faculty position with the University of Washington in Seattle.
  • He has been an assistant professor (2003-2008), an associate professor (2008-2012), and an affiliate professor (2012-present) in the Electrical Engineering Department.
  • He initially worked on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).  He developed a technique where silicon components self-assembled into circuits on plastic substrates. 
  • In 2007, he received the MIT Tech Review 35 Award for his work on MEMS. 
  • In partnership with Microsoft Research, he designed electronic contact lenses with glucose sensor, capable of monitoring blood sugar levels wirelessly, to help type I diabetes patients track their blood sugar.
  • At University of Washington, his team created a contact lens that served as a cell phone display. It included a solar cell, Wi-Fi connection, LED display, electronics.
  • He was with Google from 2010 to 2014 where he was a Google Distinguished Engineer and then Director at Google [x].
  • He is the creator of Google Glass. He founded, built, and led the Google Glass program from 2010 till 2013. This was a natural extension of his bionic eye work.
  • He is also the co-founder of the Smart Contact Lens program at Google. 
  • The device contains a tiny computer with a “superzoom” feature that can magnify objects allowing users to “see”. A built-in camera detects images while a microchip then analyses the data to inform the wearer of approaching objects. The lens will ultimately be able to detect faces and link to a mobile phone. 
  • In 2014, he left Google and accepted a position as VP at Amazon. He expected to help Amazon move into the wearable space. Parviz can be expected to expand on the company’s efforts around optics, which are already a prominent part of the new Fire Phone, which uses multiple front-facing cameras.
  • He still gets home to Iran about once a year to visit his parents.
David Burd Surprise Visit: Google Glass
  • Google Glass in in the house
  • Google Glass etiquette. Don’t be Glasshole
  • David creating his first Glass video and uploading to YouTube
  • YouTube link:
Google Glass Revealed
  • Google Glass is a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It was developed by Google with the mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer.
  • Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format.
  • Wearers communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands.
  • Google started selling Google Glass in the USA on April 15, 2014 for a limited period of time for $1500, before it later became officially available to the general public on May 15, 2014 for the same price. 
  • Adjustable nose pads and durable frame fits any face.  Extra nose pads in two sizes.
  • High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.
  • Camera (Photos – 5 MP, Videos – 720p)
  • Audio (Bone Conduction Transducer)
  • Connectivity (Wi-Fi – 802.11b/g, Bluetooth)
  • Storage (12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB total)
  • Battery (One day of typical use. Not my experience)
  • Charger (Micro USB cable and charger)
  • Mobile compatibility (MyGlass App for Andoid and iPhone)
  • Glass can be used as a Bluetooth headset with any Bluetooth compatible phone.
Google Glass thief unknowingly live streams his day
  • A man who stole a pair of Google Glass and unknowingly broadcasted his day.
  • A Google Glass Explorer was hanging out at the park with his smart glasses when someone came up and excitedly asked if he could try them on. 
  • The device’s owner, Mike Geller, apparently exercising his faith in humanity, agreed. The man who asked to try them on promptly ran away with them.
  • What the thief didn’t know was that Geller had been live streaming video using LiveLens, something that continued after the man took off with his Glass. 
  • As a result, he proceeded to broadcast his day for everyone to see, which included things like having a beer and hitting up a rave.
  • He has edited the thief’s day into a short video with snippets 
  • Link:
App of the Week: Shazam
  • Shazam is a mobile app that recognizes music and TV around you. 
  • Shazam connects more than 450 million people.
  • It took Shazam 10 years to reach 1 billion tags, 10 months to reach 2 billion, 3 months to go from 10 to 12 billion.
  • It is available in the Apple and Android stores. It supports Mac, iPhone, and Glass! 
  • I have been using it and it even recognizes TV shows. It is very accurate, giving both the name of the song and the artist.
Device of the Week: Navdy
  • Navdy gives your car an iPhone-linked HUD
  • The Navdy HUD makes the navigation map appear as though the display (driven by your iPhone or Android phone) is floating two meters away over the road ahead.
  • Navdy can draw power and data from your car’s diagnostic (OBD-II) port, which lets Navdy display speed and distance-to-empty while opening up the possibility of future features to analyze and manage driving and performance data. 
  • Navdy’s pre-order cost of US$299 (versus a regular retail price of $499 when it ships in early 2015). 
  • The Navdy unit, which will connect to the dash via a combined silicon friction mount and a magnetic interlock, will support navigation apps like Google Maps and music apps like the built-in iTunes app, Pandora, Spotify and more.
  • Dictating messages or directions can be done with Siri natively, but Navdy adds a noise-cancelling mic directly in front of the driver’s mouth to improve recognition performance. 
  • Gestures can accept or turn down an incoming call, change music tracks and more via left/right swipes and a thumbs-up. Navdy talks to your phone via Bluetooth.
  • Website: