Show of 10-04-2014

Tech Talk

October 4, 2014

Best of Tech Talk Edition
  • Segments replayed from previous shows
Email and Forum Questions
  • Email from LedbyBrain: Dear Doctor. I need a cure. I am beginning to believe my password management is inadequate. Please name the best pw management application and a few free ones that do a GOOD job.  A little overview in this topic is appreciated: Thanks! Led
  • Tech Talk Responds: Online merchants and other supposedly secure websites can’t be relied on to keep your personal information safe. Even sites using decent security practices may have been compromised by the Heartbleed bug discovered earlier this year. If you used that same password at other sites, you’re really in trouble. You need to use a different strong password on every site, and you should change each one often. Password managers can help with this process. 
  • PC Magazine recently reviewed password managers. They selected Last Pass 3.0LastPass 3.0 is more powerful and flexible than almost all of its competition; LastPass 3.0, LastPass 3.0 Premium ($12.00) for mobile support, Dashlane 3.
  • LastPass 3.0 imports passwords from over 30 of its competitors. If you’re starting from scratch, chances are good you’ve used your browser’s built-in password management feature. LastPass and Dashlane can import those passwords, delete them from the browser, and turn off the browser’s password management. 
  • All three support two-factor authentication, to ensure that someone does not access your passwords without authorization. You can use finger print or text message sent to a cell phone for the second factor.
  • Dashlane and LastPass actively detect and manage password change events, capturing credentials as you sign up for a new service. All three support remote login into your password file, so you can look up credentials even when using someone else’s computer. 
  • Dashlane and LastPass can also serve as form fillers for personal data. DashLane and LastPass offer to capture what you’ve entered if they see you filling a form manually. They can store various types of ID data such as passports and driver’s licenses. 
  • The free edition of LastPass has almost everything found in the premium; support for mobile devices is the big exception. You can use Dashlane for free on a single device; syncing requires the paid edition. LastPass Premium costs a dollar a month.
  • LastPass and Dashlane offer a security report listing all of your passwords and rating the strength of each. They also report on duplicates—passwords you’ve used on more than one site. And they make it easy to upgrade all your passwords to improve security. 
  • Email from Arnie in Crownsville, MD: Hi Dr. Shurtz. I would like to know how Pulse Point works. It is a free app for anyone knowing CPR and is especially good for those EMT, Firemen, Police Officers, and others who give assistance to those having heart attacks and strokes. How does one having the app get a signal of some kind to let them know someone is having a heart attack in a store, store next door, or nearby restaurant? How does it work? It has some great reviews and has saved lives. I just wonder how it works. 
  • BTW, here is another article about TOR and about the Godfather of Anonymity, David Chaum. If you haven’t reviewed his past on Tech Talk, he may be one you want to feature. Seems this anonymity thing isn’t going away. Thanks, Arnie Crownsville, MD
  • Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for the Profiles in IT suggestion. We will feature him in an upcoming show.
  • PulsePoint Respond is a location-aware phone application that empowers everyday citizens to provide life-saving assistance to victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Notifications are made simultaneously with the dispatch of paramedics to anyone within the area that is CPR-trained and has indicated their willingness and ability to assist during an SCA emergency. These notifications are only made if the victim is in a public place.  When notifications do occur they intend to target potential citizen rescuers that are within walking distance.
  • Users receive a push notification accompanied by a distinctive alert tone. The notification is followed by a map display showing the dispatched location of the emergency along with the precise location of the citizen rescuer – providing for easy navigation between the two. The map display also shows the exact location of the nearest AEDs. 
  • Pulse Point is available for both iPhone and Android. It is only useful if the local government has opted to use it. Licensing fee is 5K to 25K, depending on population. The program has been adopted by 500 cities in 17 states, as of September 2014.
  • Email from Lauren in Bethesda: Dear Dr. Shurtz, Big fan of your program and listen regularly. I have a challenge and need some insights. I am between jobs b/c I was laid off from my last business analyst position a few day ago.
  • I’ve been contacted by a recruiter asking if I am certified in Google Analytics. Regrettably I am not. She said she has a wonderful job and do have stuff the employer wants but the really want Google Analytics. I wanted to learn from you how much prep/studying you believe I’ll realistically need to pass the cert. exam? I have never used GA. I need a realistic game plan on mastering this and hope you can offer some assistance please on timeframe and on best learning method/resources. 
  • PS: I am also looking at getting a Google Adworks certification. Thanks, Lauren Bethesda
  • Tech Talk Responds: Start with the online resources. They seem to be pretty good. Link: I have also found a blog which outlines an a pathway to certification, which seems quite credible. Link:
  • Set up your own webpage and practice these concepts. It can be a very simple webpage, but practice on something real is quite important. If you have a friend with a website, you could practice on their site too. Good luck.
Profiles in IT: Vic Hayes
  • Vic Hayes is known as father of Wi-Fi
  • Popularly known as the Father of Wi-Fi, Vic Hayes is senior research fellow at Delft University of Technology in Delft , Netherlands .
  • The father of WiFi, Dutch engineer Vic Hayes, didn’t invent the technology but steered the sector away from a VHS-versus-Beta-style debacle.
  • In the early 1990s, Hayes corralled the many companies working on wireless-networking technology into an agreement on WiFi standards.
  • The term WiFi was created in 1999 by Interbrand, the consultancy that coined the name Prozac. They were hired by what is now known as the Wi-Fi Alliance. Other name finalists: Torchlight, Elevate.
  • From its inception in 1990 through 2000, Mr. Hayes chaired the IEEE standards workgroup that defined the IEEE 802.11 set of wireless networking standards, better known as Wi-Fi.
    • Mr. Hayes’ leadership is one of the reasons that low-cost, nearly ubiquitous wireless LAN connectivity exists today.
    • Mr. Hayes helped bring global recognition of the need for additional spectrum for wireless computer networks.
    • Through the Wi-Fi Alliance he mobilized the computer industry into regulatory activities, with the result that the World Radio Conference 2003 allocated an additional 455 MHz of radio spectrum in the 5 GHz area for wireless access devices.
    • The task of developing an IEEE standard around wireless technology was a diplomatic mission for Vic Hayes, the father of Wi-Fi.
  • Ironically, Agere dropped out of Wi-Fi because it could not compete on price with its competitors.
  • He was born July 31, 1941 in Indonesia (at that time Netherland’s Indies )
  • Received his BE degree in 1961 in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from HTS Amsterdam in 1961
  • He was a Radio and Radar Officer at the Dutch Royal Air Force in 1962.
  • 1963 to 1974 — Customer Engineer for Friden Holland (now Singer Business Machines).
  • 1974 to 2003 — Systems Engineer for NCR, Systems Laboratory, (the Netherlands ). This company later became AT&T, then Lucent Technologies, and finally Agere Systems.
  • He is currently Senior Research Fellow at Delft University of Technology.
David Burd Visit
  • Fun technology topics of the day.
  • Entertaining and sometimes informative

Fifteen most expensive domain names

  • Domain names still fetch a good price. Here are the top fifteen.
    • $35M in 2007 by HomeAway
    • $30.18M in 2012
    • $13M in 2010
    • $11M in 2001
    • $9.99M in 2008
    • $9.5M in 2007
    • $8.5M in 2010 by Facebook
    • On the market for $7.5M
    • On the market for $7.5M
    • $7M in 2004
    • $5.5M in 2010
    • $5.5M in 2003
    • $5.1M in 2009 by ToysRUS
    • $5M in 2000
    • $5M in 2007
Skull replaced with 3D-printed plastic copy
  • Doctors at the University Medical Center in Utrecht have saved a woman’s life – by carrying out the first skull transplant using plastic parts built in a 3D printer.
  • The unnamed 22-year-old patient was suffering from a rare condition that caused the inside of her skull to grow extra bone, which squeezed her brain.
  • The new skull was precisely created using 3D printing customized. This not only cosmetically very large benefits, but patients often have a better brain function seen compared to the old method.”
  • The surgeons worked with Australian 3D printing firm Anatomics, which used CT scans to determine the precise shape of the patient’s skull and then printed out a copy in acrylic, modified to remove the unwanted growth.
  • They took off most of her cranium, and then fitted the artificial replacement in a 23-hour operation.
Office for iPad
  • Better late than never. This move was possible because Ballmer is out.
  • The software is here four full years after the release of the first iPad, six months after Apple made its own productivity applications free to new iPad owner, and nearly one-and-a-half years since Microsoft released its very own tablet without a touch-optimized version of Office.
  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote occupy (in that order) the first four spots in the Top Chart for free applications in the iTunes Store.
  • Each of them successfully combines the designs of the main Office for Windows applications with elements that make them feel at home among other iPad applications.
  • Microsoft’s Ribbon is fully intact, for example, but this feels like a real touch-first interface, not the half-hearted stab at it we got in Office 2013. 
  • All of the applications—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the newly updated OneNote—all look and act consistent, and as with Google’s iOS applications, signing in to one of the Office apps with your Microsoft ID and password will sign you in to all of them.
  • Each application gives you fewer features than the full desktop versions of the applications, but more features than the Web-based versions. In Word, for example, you can easily change fonts and font sizes, margins, footnotes, alignment, and create numbered lists, and it’s pretty simple to create basic tables or insert pictures from your camera roll. Track Changes is here, and it works well.
  • Each application offers you a number of templates to use when creating documents.
  • While you have to sign in with a Microsoft account to view documents (and you need an Office 365 subscription associated with that account before you can edit anything), you can save documents directly to the iPad’s local storage instead of OneDrive if you want. An Office 365 subscription is $5/month. The apps themselves are free.
  • If you would prefer to have your changes synced to Microsoft’s cloud (or if you want to share and work together with multiple people on a single document) OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and Sharepoint URLs are all valid share targets.
  • The only major feature that users of the desktop applications will miss is the lack of printing support. These apps will print neither through Apple’s AirPrint, nor through a third-party solution like Google’s Cloud Print. If you still need to make a hard copy, syncing the document to OneDrive (or e-mailing it to yourself, that old chestnut) and then printing it from an actual desktop is your only recourse for now.
  • Microsoft spent a fair amount of time yesterday telling us that Office for iPad would preserve all the formatting from your desktop Office documents. While it seems like a no-brainer that two applications with the same name made by the same company would display the same files the same way, this hasn’t always been a given with Office
The Selfiest Cities in the World: TIME’s Ranking
  • Makati City, known as the financial center of the Philippines is the Selfie Capital of the World.
  • To investigate the geography of selfie-taking, TIME built a database of more than 400,000 Instagram photos tagged “selfie” that included geographic coordinates.  In total, they ranked 459 cities to determine the selfiest places on earth.
  • Here are the top 25 cities. I included that many be Washington DC is 25th on the list.
1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippine.s 258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
2. Manhattan, N.Y. 202. selfie-takers per 100,000 people
3. Miami, Fla. 155 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, Calif. 147 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.  141 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
6. Tel Aviv, Israel.  139 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
7. Manchester, England. 114 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
8. Milan, Italy. 108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
9. Cebu City, Philippines. 99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
10. George Town, Malaysia. 95 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
11. San Francisco, US: 91 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
12. Oslo, NO: 89 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
13. Boston, US: 88 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
14. Newark, US: 84 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
15. Honolulu, US: 82 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
16. Baguio, PH: 82 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
17. Paris, FR: 80 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
18. Denpasar, ID: 75 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
19. Leeds, GB: 72 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
20. Las Vegas, US: 72 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
21. Kuala Lumpur, MY: 72 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
22. Firenze, IT: 69 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
23. Copenhagen, DK: 69 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
24. Helsinki, FI: 69 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
25. Washington, D. C., US: 66 selfie-takers per 100,000 people
Who Made That Progress Bar?
  • At a 1985 conference on the nascent field of computer-human interactions, a graduate student named Brad A. Myers presented a paper on the importance of what he called “percent-done progress indicators.” “I had the sense that they were useful and important, and not used as much as they should have been,” Myers says today.
  • He’s now on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • He told his colleagues that progress bars made computer users less anxious and more efficient, and could even help them to “relax effectively” at work.
  • The problem is how the user feels about waiting. At the time, machines were often slow and unreliable, and users didn’t always know when their programs crashed. A “progress bar” might mitigate frustration.
  • To prove his point, Myers asked 48 fellow students to run searches on a computer database, with and without a progress bar for guidance.
  • He used a capsule that filled from left to right — like a giant thermometer from a charity drive, tipped on its side.
  • Then he had them rate their experience. Eighty-six percent said they liked the bars.
  • They have become ubiquitous.
Buttonless Apple mouse was created accidentally
  • Sometimes, the biggest innovations and most important discoveries come not as a result of a group of creative minds pitting their energies together in efforts to create a single product, but by pure chance.
  • That what happened when the Apple created the buttonless mouse.
  • Abraham Farag, the former Apple Senior Mechanical of Product Design, the events that led up to this design. It all started back in 1999.
  • They had made six of these great form models to show Steve. They were fully done, with all the parting lines cut in for buttons and different plastic parts, and all the colors just right.”
  • However, at the 11th hour, the engineers who worked on these proposed designed opted to add a new addition to the mix. There was just one problem: it wasn’t completely hashed out, and the team didn’t have time to outline where the buttons on that prototype would be.
  • Farag and the crew weren’t exactly proud of their creation. It looked like a grey blob. They were going to put that model into a box so people wouldn’t see it.”
  • Steve Jobs showed up to the meeting, and that’s where everything changed.
  • Steve looked at the lineup of potential forms and made straight for the unfinished one.
  • “That’s genius,” Jobs said. “We don’t want to have any buttons.”
  • Someone in the room chimed in with: “That’s right, Steve. No buttons at all.”
  • The rest is history.