Show of 07-25-2015

Tech Talk

25 July 2015
Best of Tech Talk Edition
  • Segments replayed from previous shows
Email and Forum Questions
  • Email from Ms. NerdyPants in Bethesda: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I have to compare and combine multiple versions of a 100 page Federal government Draft proposal. There are SMEs working at the same time on this so we can’t wait ’til SME#1 is done before SME#2 starts their revisions/writing. These people have been assigned different sections to write. I know years back on a former writing job I had no one trusted the combine feature of WORD…I’m hoping it has been improved. Do you believe we can trust this to do an accurate Compare and Combine and not cause more grief than good? What about the track changes feature? Say one of the SME used it and the other didn’t? Or, both used it? How is that factored into the Compare and Combine results? Place I work at isn’t into buying SharePoint. Do you know of a CMS application that is cheap and good?  Most appreciate your thoughts. Thanks, Ms. NerdyPants
  • Tech Talk Responds: The combine function will be excellent for you. In word, just go to the Review tab and select Combine. In order to combine multiple documents, you will have to do several steps. Combine the first two and save to a new document. Then combine the new with the next file and save to a new document. Keep going until all documents are combined. All changes will be noted by author. All tracked changed will be maintained. This should make your job easier as your review all changes.
  • Email from Jim in the Studio: In the continuing quest to improve my WiFi situation, I skipped step one, shielding the existing Comcast tower and moved directly to step two. Based on your recommendation, I purchased the TP-Link AC 1900 Dual Band Router. You were right. It looks great and it was easy to set up. I currently have two devices connected to my new WiFi system; my iPad mini and my iPhone 5. On the iPad, I downloaded OOKLA Speed Test. I ran a series of tests through different servers. The first test in each series yielded very low download speeds; ranging between 4 and 8 mbps. All subsequent download speeds in each series were significantly faster; generally between 40 and 50 mbps, with a high of 62 mbps. Upload speeds were not much improved over the old system. They averaged between 11 and 12 mbps. I’m running the SpeedSmart app on my iPhone. Again I ran a series of tests on multiple occasions via various servers. Download speeds were impressive. Generally between 80 and 110 mbps. Upload speeds were consistently around 12 mbps. By the way, both apps were free. Overall, I’m pleased with how things are working. The guy slumped over the control board.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Good to hear. Now that you have external antennas, you can buy high gain antennas if you need them. Make certain to dual-band antennas. BTW, I use to check my speed, both on my laptop and my mobile phone. It does not require that I install a separate app.
  • Email from Lynn in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim. I have a laptop computer in the basement that I use for karaoke. I see this “Get Windows 10? icon on the lower right portion of the screen? Is it legitimate? What should I do? Would you recommend jumping right on this, or waiting a few months while others get the bugs out? Love the podcast every week. Lynn in Ohio
  • Tech Talk Responds: It looks like malware. It shows up without notice, promises you something for free. It is quite legitimate. Click on the icon and a window will come up with the Windows 10 offer. Read it carefully, and you’ll see that this simply reserves your copy of Windows 10 and authorizes it to be downloaded when Windows 10 is finally released, currently scheduled for the end of July. But you can upgrade to Windows 10 after it’s released for free without “reserving” it beforehand. 
  • It’s a three gigabyte download, so it’ll take some time. Once downloaded, you can install it. Once installed, you’re running Windows 10. For free.
  • However, I generally wait a couple of months after release, so that more of the bugs and issues have been identified and worked out.  So, I wouldn’t be in a rush. If you’re running Windows 7 or 8, and you’re content, I’d wait even longer. I would upgrade before the free offer is discontinued, which is a year away. As always, before upgrading make a complete system image backup.
  • Email from Jim on Lake Michigan: Dear Doc and Jim. We have a slow Internet connection here on Lake Michigan. Advertising makes is even slower. Some ads take ten seconds to load. Can I block these ads? What blocker do you recommend? Love the podcast. Jim on Lake Michigan.
  • Tech Talk Responds: I agree that ads are a problem. Advertisers just ported traditional ads to the Internet and didn’t worry about download speeds or data charges. Abusive ads should be blocked. However, ads that meet the fair ads standards should be allowed through. After all that is how websites get paid for their content.
  • I recommend AdBlock Plus. Adblock Plus is a free extension that allows you to – among other things – block annoying ads, disable tracking and block domains known to spread malware. It is vailable for all the major browsers.
  • It was created by Wladimir Palant in 2006 and is maintained by Eyeo.  Adblock Plus is an open source project. 
  • Adblock Plus doesn’t block anything until you “tell” it what to block by adding external filter lists. Filter lists are essentially an extensive set of rules that tell Adblock Plus which elements of a website to block. You can add any filter list you want. For example, block tracking or malware. You can also create your own filter lists. Almost all filters are open source, therefore many filter lists have been created by Internet users. Filter lists enabled by default include: An ad-blocking list selected based on your language (EasyList); The Acceptable Ads list. These are enabled to get you started. You can remove them or add others – it’s up to you. 
    • EasyList corresponds to your browser language and is aimed at disabling ads that are considered to be intrusive by our community of users.
    • The Acceptable Ads list displays ads that comply with the acceptable ads criteria agreed upon by our community of users.
  • Ad Block Plus is financed by donations from our users or payment from some larger entities that want to participate in the Acceptable Ads initiative.
  • Download link:
Profiles in IT: William Hewlitt and David Packard
  • Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded Silicon Valley in Hewlett’s garage. A coin toss made the company Hewlett-Packard instead of Packard.
  • The company’s first “plant” was a garage in Palo Alto with initial capital of $538.
  • Hewlett’s first product was an innovative audio oscillator based on the newly developed principle of negative feedback. The Walt Disney Company purchased eight of the first ones for $71.50 each, for use in the 1940 film Fantasia.
  • David Packard
    • David Packard was born Sept. 7, 1912, in Pueblo, Colo. He attended Stanford University and received a BA 1934 and a MSEE in 1939.
    • Packard’s interest in electricity and science attracted him to the field of radio engineering. The son of a lawyer, Packard was lured to Stanford, in part, by a textbook on radio engineering written by Terman, a professor at Stanford.
    • Packard played football at Stanford and in 1958 was selected for SI’s Silver Anniversary All-America team.
    • From 1936 to 1938, Packard was an engineer with GE in Schenectady, N.Y.
    • In 1938, he returned to Palo Alto and the following year formed HP.
    • Packard served as a partner in the company from its founding in 1939 until it was incorporated in 1947. In 1947, he became president, a post he held until 1964, when he was elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
    • Packard left the company in 1969 to become U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense in the first Nixon administration. When he returned to California in 1971, he was re-elected chairman of the board of HP.
    • Packard was been president and chairman of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation since it began in 1964.
  • William Redington Hewlett
    • William Redington Hewlett was born 20 May 1913 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his father served on the faculty of the university’s medical school.
    • Bill was admitted to Stanford in 1930 and received his BSEE in 1934.
    • Hewlett studied under and was been mentored by Frederick Terman, who was to a great degree responsible for the development of Silicon Valley.
    • Hewlett received MSEE from MIT in 1936 and returned to Stanford.
    • Hewlett and his fellow student and close friend David Packard, with Terman’s encouragement, formed the Hewlett-Packard Company in 1939.
    • He set up William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 1966. The foundation now ranks as one of the nation’s largest.
  • Hewlett and Packard oversaw the company with enviable management, technological, and scientific skills. They also managed the company with a new set of operating principles and with an intensely personal style that came to redefine much of American corporate life and culture, e.g., profit-sharing, employee stock ownership, flexible work hours, and health insurance. What came to be known as the “HP way.”
ISIS Command Post Bombed After Photo Posted
  • Air Force General Hawk Carlisle, head of US Air Combat Command, told a conference that analysts at the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group spotted a selfie snapped and posted online by an ISIS fighter standing outside a command-and-control building in the Mid East.
  • The airmen are combing through social media and they see some fighter standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about command and control capabilities for Da’esh. 
  • According to the general, the analysts worked out the position of the building based on the information posted online. 22 hours later the Air Force dropped three bombs on the building, destroying it.
Google to Report Driverless Car Accidents
  • Google will begin reporting incidents encountered by its driverless-car program on a dedicated website, the search company announced Friday.
  • A number of its fleet of self-driving cars had been involved in accidents during years of testing on the streets of Mountain View, Calif.
  • Google created a site to report on the driving record of its fleet. 
  • In addition to detailing any accidents (with human-driver details redacted), the site will give examples of how the cars, which by law are still accompanied by a Google driver, adapt to everyday traffic situations, and it will provide a forum for community feedback.
  • After nearly six years of testing and 1.8 million miles driven, the Google fleet has been involved in 13 accidents.
  • Google self-driving car project leader noted that all of the accidents were the fault of other drivers and not the overly cautious driverless cars. A number of the incidents involved motorists rear-ending the Google cars at stop lights.
  • Google’s chaperon drivers have noticed a range of distracted driving behavior over the years. They have spotted people reading books and even one playing a trumpet.”

Linux Foundation Offers Free Online Course

  • More than 20 years ago, Linus Torvalds started an open source revolution with a short email declaring he was doing a new project “just for fun.” 
  • Today, Linux powers 98% of the world’s super computers, most of the servers powering the Internet, the majority of financial trades worldwide and tens of millions of Android mobile phones and consumer devices.
  • The Linux Foundation is dedicated to expanding the role of Linux to other industries and markets.
  • The Linux Foundation is pleased partnered with edX to deliver an Introduction to Linux course to anyone.
  • The Linux Foundation courses can be audited free or students can choose to receive a verified certificate for $99. 
  • EdX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations. Online courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities can be taken here. 
  • Link to course:
The HP Way
  • “…an egalitarian, decentralized system that came to be known as ‘the HP Way.’ The essence of the idea, radical at the time, was that employees’ brainpower was the company’s most important resource.
  • “…one of the first all-company profit-sharing plans… gave shares to all employees… among the first to offer tuition assistance, flex time, and job sharing… Today, the behavior of the two founders remains a benchmark for business…”
  • We have trust and respect for individuals.
    • We approach each situation with the belief that people want to do a good job and will do so, given the proper tools and support. We attract highly capable, diverse, innovative people and recognize their efforts and contributions to the company. HP people contribute enthusiastically and share in the success that they make possible.
  • We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution.
    • Our customers expect HP products and services to be of the highest quality and to provide lasting value. To achieve this, all HP people, especially managers, must be leaders who generate enthusiasm and respond with extra effort to meet customer needs. Techniques and management practices which are effective today may be outdated in the future. For us to remain at the forefront in all our activities, people should always be looking for new and better ways to do their work.
  • We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity.
    • We expect HP people to be open and honest in their dealings to earn the trust and loyalty of others. People at every level are expected to adhere to the highest standards of business ethics and must understand that anything less is unacceptable. As a practical matter, ethical conduct cannot be assured by written HP policies and codes; it must be an integral part of the organization, a deeply ingrained tradition that is passed from one generation of employees to another.
  • We achieve our common objectives through teamwork.
    • We recognize that it is only through effective cooperation within and among organizations that we can achieve our goals. Our commitment is to work as a worldwide team to fulfill the expectations of our customers, shareholders and others who depend upon us. The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people.
  • We encourage flexibility and innovation.
    • We create an inclusive work environment which supports the diversity of our people and stimulates innovation. We strive for overall objectives which are clearly stated and agreed upon, and allow people flexibility in working toward goals in ways that they help determine are best for the organization. HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change.
Twitter Application: Fast Food Truck
  • Twitter recently became the communiqué of choice for the almost popular Kogi BBQ trucks, a taco vendor in LA.
  • Kogi uses Twitter to alert customers of its location.
  • The trend is spreading to other wheel meals as more food are using the social networking site to draw customers.
  • While it’s not clear which truck Tweeted first, the Kogi folks have shown themselves to be the most effective at turning tweets into effective marketing.
  • “Kogi special at the trucks and the Alibi! Grilled asparagus with Yellow Nectarines and Sesame Seeds!” read one recent Kogi Tweet.
  • Since Kogi’s launch in November, hungry herds of have been following the pair of white trucks that rove the city selling tacos, burritos and other gourmet tidbits steeped in traditional Korean flavors.
  • In short order, the Kogi name has become recognizable to foodies around the country.
  • No small accomplishment for a pair of taco trucks all due to Twitter.
  • And she thinks the success of food truck Tweets likely will inspire a broader use of Twitter across the food world.
  • “Chefs will be Tweeting from the farmers market about the mushrooms they just picked up and will be part of their mushroom pasta that evening,” she says.
The Grilling Calculator – For Nerds Who Barbecue
  • Web site:
  • Click on Cookout Calculator Tab
  • Enter all meats to be cooked (Type, cut, thickness, degree on doneness)
  • Create cookout timeline
  • Print timeline and put by grill