Show of 11-14-2015

Tech Talk

November 14, 2015

Email and Forum Questions
  • Email from Deborah from Baltimore: Dear Doc and Jim. I have Windows 10 on my laptop at him. I would like to share photos and MP3s across all my devices. I tried to install Apple iTunes and iCloud. I get an error message that says it cannot install Apple applications on this OS. What can be done? Love the show. Deborah from Baltimore
  • Tech Talk Responds: Apple has created Windows applications for both iTunes and iCloud. I have them installed on my Windows 10 computer. You apparently downloaded the applications written for the Mac and not for Windows. If you try and install a Mac application on a Windows computer, you will receive the error message that an Apple application cannot be installed on a Windows machine. Delete those apps. Go back to the download site and download the correct version of iTunes and iCloud.
  • Email from Annet from West Virginia: Dear Tech Talk. How can I increase my bars on my cell phone? I need to boost my cell phone reception at home and sometimes in the car. Thanks. Annet-Patrice Van York in West Virginia
  • Tech Talk Responds: After years of research low cell phone coverage, the FCC approved the use of cell phone signal boosters to extend the range of cell networks. Cell phone signal boosters (also known as cell phone repeaters) are designed to amplify a weak outside signal and bypass any obstructions to provide a strong inside signal to an area that was originally lacking. The system works by mounting an outside antenna in a location that currently has signal, which is typically on the roof. The signal is passed from the outside antenna, by a cable to a signal amplifier inside the building. Once the signal is amplified, it is then sent to an inside antenna, where it is broadcast out to the area which needs better reception. The system also works in reverse, with the signal from your phone being amplified and broadcast back to the tower, ensuring strong, two-way communication. 
  • Cell phone signal boosters only amplify specific frequencies of radio waves, which pertain to specific carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.) and networks on those carriers (2G, 3G, or 4G LTE). Most North American carriers (except for T-Mobile and Nextel) use the same frequencies for 2G and 3G networks (which handle voice calls and 3G data), so the same signal amplifier can be used to amplify all of those carriers at the same time. The 4G LTE networks (which currently only handle fast data, no voice) on each carrier use different frequencies, so if you want to boost 4G LTE, then you’ll need an amplifier that is specifically designed for that carrier.
  • You’ll want to use an omnidirectional (Omni) outside antenna, which can send and receive from all directions at once. If you only need to support one carrier, then you can use a stronger Yagi directional antenna, which you can aim at the closest cell tower. The last piece of information that will determine which type of signal booster you need is the size of the area that needs to be covered in boosted signal, as well as the layout of the area. The combination of outside signal strength and the size of the area to be covered will determine how strong of an amplifier you’ll need.
  • There are also vehicle signal boosters for cars, trucks, RVs and even boats. While the principles are the same, the outside signal strength and coverage area come less into play, as those are constantly changing as the vehicle moves. Rather, the choice really depends on which carriers and networks you need to support.
  • Email from Alice: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I’d like to suggest that you please consider showcasing LinkedIn in an upcoming program. Recently accessed Recruiter Corporate via a trial. This plan is the full access to their 380 million global profiles.  LinkedIn candidate participation is very high and has apparently been growing at a healthy clip. I am unaware of any competitor that has the brand recognition. It has a free profile and three levels of connections on a fee-basis. I would be grateful if you showcase/review of LinkedIn helps shed insight on how this tool actually works on the back end and any other technical understanding you can bring forth that can enable my usage to be more fully effective and understood. Looking so forward to this. I do love your program and listen weekly. Also, what can be done about embellishment of profiles? I have seen far too much of that, even from my own company. Alice
  • Tech Talk Responds: LinkedIn has the free basic account, plus four premium paid accounts. The paid plans relate to your ability to search and contact others in the LinkedIn. The broader your reach and the better the search tools, the more expensive the plan. They have Premium account options for job seekers, sales and talent professionals, as well as the general professional who wants to get more out of LinkedIn. The premium accounts are designed for: Job Seeker ($29 per month), Sales Navigator ($59 through $129 per month), Recruiter ($119 through $899 per month), and Business Plus ($59 through $99 per month). Accuracy is a problem. The best way to judge accuracy is by reading the recommendations. They are usually not faked because they are traceable. Our recruiters use LinkedIn extensively. We get many inquires through LinkedIn.
  • Email from Mary, a Long Time Listener: Dear Dr. Shurtz, I am on a proposal team and was sent a link to shared documents by our partner. It actually came from MS but says that a person at the Partner firm is inviting you to his site. I get walked through 4-5 screens that are asking me if this is a personal or Work authorization for Office 365. I tell it it is a Work Authorized Office 365 acct. I enter my WIN live ID and I just never get to the end of the access. I get an error 401 banner across the top of the endgame screen. If you can educate me on how to resolve this I’d be so grateful. If U need to see the series of screenshots I’m presented with after I click on the MS invitation let me know. Thanks, Mary. A long time listener.
  • Tech Talk Responds: I cannot tell what the error was caused by. I would be mindful that such emails could be Phishing email trying to get your UserID and Password. Such emails frequently look official and have an embedded link that goes to a data gathering site. I never user an embedded link. I always put in my own link directly to make certain that I am not being phished.
  • Email from Mike in Maryland: Hello, It seems like today’s media players (like Roku) requires a credit card to set it up and be able to use it. There are thousands of people that do not have a credit card. Are there any media streaming boxes that do not require a credit card? What options do they have? I love your show! Mike from Maryland 
  • Tech Talk Responds: You don’t have many options here because the streaming services need revenue. You best option will be to use PayPal. You can set up PayPal to directly debit your bank account. Roku will accept a PayPal account. The others will too. The only streaming service I could find that did not require any payment information was Crackle. It embeds ads in the movies. I have not used it, but the reviews are not good. Movies are choppy, have lots of buffering delays, and the commercials are annoying. The only good thing is that no credit card needed.
  • Email from James Messick: Dear Tech Talk, I have ordered a new android phone and was wondering if it would be possible to move the SIM card from one phone to the other so that I could use the same number and data on both phones, but only one one phone at a time, of course. I am on AT&T. Both phones are unlocked. The first is a Nexus 4 and the second is a Moto G 3rd generation. Thanks, James Messick, Kernersville, NC
  • Tech Talk Responds: You can swap the SIM card between the two phones. They both use a micro-SIM, so the SIM are interchangeable. SIM portability is one of the greatest advantages of the GSM phone standard. BTW, SIM come in three sizes Regular SIM, Micro-SIM, and Nano-SIM. You can use a SIM cutter to make a larger one smaller, since the electronics and the pin structure are the same in all three.
Profiles in IT: Anousheh Ansari
  • Anousheh Ansari is an Iranian-American engineer and co-founder of Telecom Technologies and Prodea Systems. She was the first Muslim woman in space.
  • Anousheh Ansari was born September 12, 1966, in Mashhad, Iran. 
  • Anousheh Ansari was born in Mashhad, Iran and raised in Tehran, Iran.
  • Anousheh witnessed the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and moved to the US in 1984.
  • She received her BS in electrical engineering and computer science at George Mason University and an MS from  George Washington University.After graduation, Anousheh began work at MCI, where she met her future husband, Hamid Ansari. They married in 1991.
  • In 1993, she co-founded Telecom Technologies with her husband and brother-in-law.
  • The company, headquartered in Richardson, Texas, offered a line of products that allowed for integration between existing legacy telecom networks and application-centric, next-generation networks via software switch technology.
  • Telecom Technologies was acquired by Sonus Networks, Inc. in 2001 in a stock-for-stock transaction for 10.8 million shares of Sonus stock. Anousheh Ansari became a VP of Sonus and general manager of the INtelligentIP division.”
  • Ansari is a member of the X PRIZE Foundation’s Vision Circle. Her family made a multimillion-dollar contribution to the foundation on May 5, 2004, the anniversary of Alan Shepard’s spaceflight. The X PRIZE was renamed the Ansari X PRIZE.
  • In 2006, she co-founded Prodea Systems and is the CEO. The company offers unified delivery platform to connect the Internet of Things. The platform supports sensors, cameras, mobile devices, different operating systems, health devices, and more.
  • The Ansari family investment firm, also named Prodea, has announced a partnership with Space Adventures, Ltd. and the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA) to create a fleet of suborbital spaceflight vehicles for global commercial use.
  • Ansari served on the crew for the Soyuz flight to the International Space Station, through Space Adventures, Ltd. On September 18, 2006, Ansari became the fourth (and first female) space tourist. Previous space tourists have paid in excess of $20M. 
  • She hoped to inspire everyone, especially young people, women, and young girls in Middle Eastern countries, to not give up their dreams and to pursue them.
  • Anousheh Ansari’s official space flight patch, featuring both the flags of Iran and US.
  • Ansari has received multiple honors, including the George Mason University Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Southwest Region, and the Horatio Alger Award. 
  • While under her leadership, Telecom Technologies, Inc. earned recognition as one of Inc. magazine’s 500 fastest-growing companies.
Security in Monaco
  • The Monégasque government has been using a video surveillance system for 30 years to ensure peace and security throughout the state. In 2005, they converted from an analog system (with video tapes) to a digital system. The principality currently has 600 surveillance cameras covering its 2 square kilometer area. They have 400 policemen for 38,000 inhabitants. 
  • The digital system was developed by Dallmeier, a German firm. The system enables the transmission and recording of video and audio signals in broadcast quality via an Ethernet/IP network. Using the management software, the system can be very easily and intuitively controlled and administered. These are real-time streamers and recorders which transmit and record a total of 600 cameras (fixed cameras and gimbaled cameras) with redundant/mirrored storage. They are in operation 24/7. Hence, the entire city area is monitored by video surveillance around the clock and events can be investigated in detail.
  • The system records directly onto the memory integrated into each camera, as well as at a central data center. This ensures a maximum availability of recording data, even in the case of network problems and failures. The system has forensics certification, which means that swapped image sequences are accepted as evidence in court.
  • Three control centers are in operation. The main control center has a large monitor wall with a display surface covering seven square meters.
  • Monte Carlo recently added a license plate recognition system. A total of 15 detection systems were added on all streets leading into and out of state territory. Four cameras are connected to each system: two image recognitions cameras, one for each direction, and two overview cameras. The system can use interlinked cameras to follow the path of the vehicle involved. In addition, they receive an alert if the vehicle in question has been stolen or is suspicious. Face recognition is not currently in use, but will be added in the future. This would allow the police to track specific people as they walk around.
Device of the Week: Muse Headband
  • For the past week and a half, I’ve been testing a brain-sensing headband called Muse. Created by a Toronto-based company called InteraXon, the headband is outfitted with sensors to measure and track your brain activity, and works with an accompanying mobile app called Calm to train your mind to be more focused and calm.
  • There’s also a gamification element to the app that’s meant to motivate you. It’s sort of like a Fitbit for your brain.
  • I also like that the app keeps tabs on your data, so you can track my progress.
  • Muse is $300. Quite expensive. I am evaluating for use at Stratford to teach meditation using biofeedback.
  • Muse is based on electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which measures electrical activity in your brain. Typically, an EEG test requires attaching sensors to your head; the sensors are connected to a computer via wires. But there are no wires involved with Muse. In a similar way that heart monitors can measure your heartbeat, Muse says it can do so with brain activity.
  • The headband itself looks similar to those over-the-ear sport headphones, except the band goes in front, across your forehead. 
  • Muse connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and the free Calm app is available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices. I paired it with my iPhone, and the process was simple and quick. Muse’s rechargeable battery is estimated to last about five hours.
    • The first thing you need to do during each session is make sure that the headband can read your brain signals. 
    • Calm then asks you to do a quick exercise to calibrate the headband. This involves listing things based on the category given to you, such as shapes, bodies of water or famous places. 
    • On the app, you’ll see a beach landscape, and then you’ll be asked to close your eyes and count your breaths. Calm provides real-time feedback of your brain activity through audio cues.
    • You can do the exercise for as long as 20 minutes or as little as three minutes. Afterward, you’ll get a graphical breakdown of how long you were in an active, neutral or calm state.
  • The first time, I found myself concentrating too much on the sounds coming from the app.  (Why is it so windy? Are those crashing waves?), instead of my breathing
  • My first attempt I was calm for only 24% of the time with 2 birds. The last time I was calm for 84% of the time with 27 birds. So I am improving.