Show of 11-01-2014

Tech Talk

November 1, 2014

Email and Forum Questions
  • Email from Alice in Wonderland: Dear Dr. Shurtz. Check out this article which says that the US has the most expensive internet in the world. The reason is lack of competition caused by regulatory policy. Not nice to learn this! What can a consumer do to bring about lower rates?? Thanks,  Alice buried in internet bills in Wonderland
  • Tech Talk Responds: Alice, this is a real problem is the US. The tradition started with cable monopolies. When they became ISPs, it continued. I think the FCC is going to regulate broadband and will force ISP to lease their “pipes” to competitors. This has been done for the telephone industry for years and has created more competition in the industry and VoIP broke it wide open.
  • Email form Mary Wilson: Dr. Shurtz, I took up with my US contact at OOMA the continued inconsistent and sometime really poor voice quality with my OOMA service and mentioned the info you spoke about last from the OOMA customer forum. I don’t have many options. Do you have a suggestion of what I ought to consider changing to? I don’t really want to move to Comcast as I had them before FIOS.  Mary in Bethesda
  • Tech Talk Responds: I think that FIOS is your best option. I still think that it is a quality of service issue. According the OOMA blog. if you have seen a sudden degradation lately in the call quality on your Ooma device, please run a line quality test on the following servers:
    • (hosted in our data center Santa Clara, CA)
    • (make sure you select the San Francisco, CA server before running the test)
  • You must enable Java in your browser to enable the latency, jitter and packet loss measurements which will affect the quality of your calls more so than the pure speed of your connection. Post your latency, jitter and packet loss measurements for both servers along with a trace route output to and the approximate time you ran your test. To do a trace route, open the command screen (cmd) and enter “tracert”
  • Link to blog:
  • Email form Led by Brain: Dear Dr. Shurtz. Just listened on 10/25/14 and again a great show. I especially liked the CSS explanation and applaud your mission to improve your listener’s understanding and appreciation of IT matters large and small. I use Apple Mail for email and have multiple email accounts (Gmail, Verizon, and Hotmail) set up in MAIL. I don’t know why Junk mail that I’ve already received and erased from the JUNK folder is able to come again to me. For example, today I’m getting junk mail with dates back to 1/13/14. And, at the bottom of the Left side of mail activity there is a ‘gas gage’ kind of display that states my incoming mail is 648450 messages! So again I am getting messages (junk and non-junk) multiple times. Evidently there is something about the setting I need to change and welcome your help. Thank You Led by Brain.
  • Tech Talk Responds: You Apple mail “remembers” which emails it has downloaded. If in re-initialize a connection, it will download all of the email again. This happened to me on my laptop onetime using Windows Live Mail and it was a drag. As for junk mail, I use the junk mail filters on each of the email accounts separately, so I don’t actually download much junk mail to my laptop.
  • Email from Carl Tyler: Dear Dr. Shurtz: Could you do a profile of Jay Adelson, founder of Equinix? I recently read a book entitled “Tubes: Journey to the Center of the Internet” by Andrew Blum and Adelson was credited with pioneering data storage and data storage centers. I thought Mr. Adelson might be of interest to your audience. Thank you to you and Jim for producing such a fine podcast. I never miss an episode. Thanks, Carl Tyler
  • Tech Talk Responds: Great suggestion. I really like his underlying passion for the Internet and how it can change the world. His Boston University convocation speech was very inspiring.
  • Email from Lynn in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim. I log onto Wi-Fi whenever I travel I travel and am confused about its safety. If the Wi-Fi has a login page, does it mean that it is secure? Love the show and so does my family, Lynn in Ohio
  • Tech Talk Responds: If you connect without a password to an open Wi-Fi hotspot and can see anything at all, then it’s not a secure connection. Many hotels and airports and other places with an open Wi-Fi hotspot display a page that I need to login to before I can connect to the internet. Does that login mean that it’s a secure connection? Absolutely not. The connection is not encrypted.
  • The reason for the logon page is either to bill you or to deal with liability issues. Take a close read of the words on that login page. Chances are, all you’re doing is agreeing to the terms of service. The wording and specifics will vary, of course, but in general by clicking on “I Agree”, or whatever the button may say, you are stating that you: No porn, nothing illegal, no streaming, etc.
  • So I use my own encryption: a VPN. I have installed ExpressVPN on my iPhone, my laptop, and my iPad. My Wi-Fi is always encrypted. It cost me around $80 per year for the subscription.
Profiles in IT: Jay Steven Adelson
  • Jay Adelson is a serial entrepreneur, including Opsmatic, Equinix, Revision3, and Digg. 
  • Jay Adelson was born September 7, 1970 in Detroit, MI and lived in Southfield, MI.
  • He attended Cranbrook Kingswood School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan until 1988.
  • He graduated from Boston University, where he studied Film and Broadcasting along with a concentration in Computer Science, in 1992.
  • After a period of time and world travel, Adelson moved to San Francisco, California in 1993, to pursue a career in Internet infrastructure and entrepreneurism, instead of film production.
  • His passion was bringing information to the masses to create a better world. He believes the traditional Definition of Qualifications and Success is BS. You must follow your passion.
  • He was passionate about enabling new forms of communication between people. Tiananmen Square protest was his inspiration. Email was used to organize by Peking U students.
  • In 1993, Adelson joined Netcom, one of the first global ISPs, as an Installation Coordinator, and shortly moved-up to Director of Network Operations. 
  • In late 1996, Adelson worked for DEC’s Network System Laboratory to build and operate the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX). Hired by Albert M. Avery IV, Adelson worked to build a datacenter and services suited for scaling the core of Internet traffic. 
  • In June 1998, Adelson and Avery left DEC and founded Equinix, Inc. Adelson served as Founder and CTO, responsible for the invention, design and construction of Equinix’s datacenters and Internet Exchange Points, leading to several patents.
  • The founders believed that existing data centers would not be sufficient to support the rapid growth of the internet and saw the opportunity to deploy data centers on larger scale.
  • Adelson also assisted in the raising of capital including private equity rounds, a high-yield new entrant bond deal, and an IPO in August 2000.
  • After his experiences at Equinix and stresses associated with his work with government on cybersecurity following 9/11, Adelson moved to Pawling, New York in June 2004.
  • Jay Adelson and Kevin Rose, along with co-founding team that included Ron Gorodetsky, Dan Huard, Keith Harrison and David Prager, founded Revision3 in April 2005.
  • Revision3 is a SF-based multi-channel internet television network that creates, produces and distributes web television shows. The name refers to the revisioning of video programming. 
  • Adelson remained CEO and Chairman of Revision3 for two and a half years, raising two rounds of capital. In May 2012, Revision3 was bought by Discovery Communications.
  • Adelson and Kevin Rose met while Rose was producing The Screen Savers in 2003. 
  • On December 5, 2004 Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetsky and Jay Adelson start Digg with a $6,000 investment from then 27-year-old Rose. Adelson became CEO in 2005.
  • Adelson left Digg in April, 2010 over disagreement with Rose and the Board about Digg.
  • Adelson commuted from New York to San Francisco to found and operate Revision3 and Digg, eventually moving back to Mill Valley, California in the summer of 2009.
  • Elements of these experiences are documented in Sarah Lacy’s book, Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good, where a chapter on Adelson, titled “Fuck the Sweatervests.”
  • In early 2013, Adelson co-founded Opsmatic with Mikhail Panchenko and Jim Stoneham. Featured by Time as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.
  • Link to his BU convocation speech:
Americans Pay More for Internet Access
  • Downloading a high-definition movie takes about seven seconds in Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Bucharest and Paris, and people pay as little as $30 a month.
  • In Los Angeles, New York and Washington, downloading the same movie takes 1.4 minutes for people with the fastest Internet available, and they pay $300 a month.
  • This was revealed in The Cost of Connectivity, a report published by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.
  • The reason the US lags many countries in both speed and affordability has nothing to do with technology. It is the lack of competition in the broadband industry.
 City  Monthly Cost 
 London  $24 
 Seoul  $28
 Paris  $31
 Tokyo  $34 
 Copenhagen  $36
 Prague  $39
 Kansas City  $41
 Toronto  $41
 Berlin  $42
 Dublin  $47
 Lafayette, La.  $50
 Washington, D.C.  $52
 Hong Kong  $52
 Los Angeles  $54
 Chattanooga, Teen.  $54
 New York City  $55
 San Francisco  $58
 Bristol, Va.  $60
 Mexico City  $110

  • Seventy-five percent of homes have one option at most, according to the FCC — usually Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T or Verizon.
  • In many parts of Europe, the government tries to foster competition by requiring that the companies that own the pipes carrying broadband to people’s homes lease space in their pipes to rival companies.
  • The big Internet providers have little reason to upgrade their entire networks to fiber because there has so far been little pressure from competitors or regulators to do so.
  • In certain cities, the threat of new Internet providers has spurred the big, existing companies to increase the speeds and build up their own fiber networks.
Happy 10th Birthday, Ubuntu 
  • 20th October 2004, ten years ago today, Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) was released. 
  • It was created by a team of Debian developers together to work full time on a derivative distribution of Debian. 
  • The idea is to provide a high-quality regular release based on Debian unstable, ensuring that all patches are given back to Debian, and ensuring that the install disk of our distribution consists entirely of free software.
  • The original release was created over an eight month period, led by Mark Shuttleworth.
Happy 45th Birthday, Internet!
  • How do we define the invention of the internet? Did it start with the birth of the web? Did it start with the adoption of TCP/IP? You could make a case for either.
  • But one key moment in the creation of the internet cannot be denied: the first host-to-host connection of the ARPANET between UCLA and Stanford on October 29, 1969. At 10:30pm.
  • We actually have a document of this historical event: the IMP log which recorded that at 22:30 (10:30pm) the researchers at UCLA and their computer “talked to SRI, host to host.” IMP stands for Interface Message Processor.
  • The IMP log was what researchers used to document their progress as they built and connected the fundamental technologies that would shape our modern tech infrastructure.
  • The SRI is in reference to the computer at Stanford, an SDS 940. The team at UCLA was talking with that computer all the way from Los Angeles (about 350 miles to the south) with their SDS Sigma 7 computer. Two different computers talking together over a network host-to-host? It was like magic!
The FCC Online Video Proposal
  • The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wrote a blog post saying he was seeking to expand the definition of cable operator to include online video distributors.
  • The chairman, Tom Wheeler, suggested in the post that his proposal would allow consumers to soon be able to buy only those cable channels they want. That sort of unbundling has long been a goal of some consumer groups.
  • In his post, Mr. Wheeler said he would “ask the commission to start a rulemaking proceeding in which we would modernize our interpretation of the term ‘multichannel video programming distributor’ (M.V.P.D.) so that it is technology-neutral.” 
  • He also wrote: “The result of this technical adjustment will be to give M.V.P.D.s that use the Internet (or any other method of transmission) the same access to programming owned by cable operators and the same ability to negotiate to carry broadcast TV stations that Congress gave to satellite systems in order to ensure competitive video markets.”