Show of 07-09-2016

Tech Talk

July 9, 2016

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Mike in Maryland: I just want to express my appreciation for the amazing and fascinating show you put together every week. From time to time I listen to the other computer technology radio shows and web podcasts. Some are local, and some are national. Some are on public radio and some are on commercial radio. I have listened to them for decades, since I am a long time computer enthusiast, having got on the Internet or at least its primitive incarnation in 1975 (and I was a Prodigy user in the early 80s, etc). I have to say that your show is far better and more interesting than any of the others, by a long shot. So I guess I am just an avid fan.
  • I do have a small question. I was watching the U.S. Olympics Trials, and as I was watching the women running athletes racing. I noticed that the women running athletes looked like they were wearing some type of compression running shorts. What is the science studies in compressing that area of the human body that might enhance athletic performance? PS When Mr. Big Voice wants to change his voice to a higher tone or pitch, does he wear very, very tight compression shorts to enhance his performance? Love your podcasts! Mike from Maryland.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Mike, thanks for your positive feedback. This show is a labor of love and we both enjoy make technology interesting.
  • The paper, published in the journal Sports Medicine, looked at 30 existing studies on compression gear and running performance and recovery across a variety of distances. The authors concluded that while compression garments had no significant impact on speed, there was an impact on endurance, and some serious post-run benefits too.
  • They found small positive effects on the ‘time to exhaustion’, running economy, clearance of blood lactate, and markers of muscle damage and inflammation. It helps to improve the amount of blood that’s flowing back to the heart from the legs while you’re running, which can improve cardio output. Compression gear also helps to keep all of your muscles and tissues snug and stabilized so they aren’t bouncing around as much, which in turn causes delayed onset muscle soreness.
  • Studies have shown that the placebo effect can also be a powerful force when it comes to compression gear. This may be the biggest factor. If a runner believes it makes him better, it does.
  • Email from Trusted PA: Dear Dr Shurtz, I have a 30 page PDF document where several pages are turned the wrong way. But some of the pages are in the right position for reading sequentially. Is there a way to rotate an individual page instead of invoking the rotate feature and having the entire 30 pages rotate in one direction? Thanks, Trusted PA
  • Tech Talk Responds: There are a number of free pdf converters. Some are limited in the file size. You might try: This one lets rotate the document page-by-page. However, it is all the pages or none of the pages. If you want to rotate just one page, I would suggest that you do that after the conversion, manually.
  • Email from Lynn in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim. I am having problems in my basement again. When we have a party, everyone has trouble getting cell phone reception in the basement. A number of my friends have new iPhones and have told me that they would normally use Wi-Fi calling. However, Wi-Fi calling is not working at my house, even though I have a very strong Wi-Fi signal in the basement. In particular, I have an iPhone6S, with Verizon. I have never seen Wi-Fi calling on my phone. Can you explain it and tell how to activate it? Thanks. Lynn in Ohio
  • Tech Talk Responds: Wi-Fi calling is a very nice feature. Whenever you are in a Wi-Fi network, your phone will send a message to your carrier indicating that you are located in the Wi-Fi network. Incoming calls and outgoing calls will automatically be router through your Wi-Fi as Voice over IP calls. You can get good reception even if your cellular signal is low or non-existent. This is a great feature for your basement. However, beware they still charge cellular rates for the call. Don’t use it overseas as a substitute for VoIP apps (Skype, Viber, WhatsApp)
  • I use Wi-Fi calling at my house and my Verizon router was automatically configured to support this feature (by opening up the needed ports in the Firewall). It is very convenient when I am in my basement with very poor cellular connectivity. On my recent trip to California, I paid for Internet access with my cell phone and miraculously Wi-Fi calling was permitted. I made and received a phone call to test it. One person called my number (not knowing where I was) and the phone rang on the plane as though I was on the ground. Fortunately, the passenger beside me was wearing headphones and didn’t care that I had a call. However, when I was visiting relatives in Kansas last weekend, Wi-Fi calling would not work with their Wi-Fi. They had a local Wi-Fi provider using DSL. The system was configured to block the ports that were necessary to set up a Wi-Fi call.
  • Wi-Fi calling is a recent feature on iPhone6 and iPhone6s. It has been supported on Android phones for a while. In both cases, you need to activate Wi-Fi calling on your device since it is a privacy issue. On the iPhone, go to settings. Scroll down and click on Phone. Then click on Wi-Fi calling. Enable this feature and update your emergency address information. Since this is an LTE feature, you may have to enable this service with your carrier. It is a free service. On the Android, search for Wi-Fi calling to get the specific way to activate it. It is different with each Android flavor.
  • In order to get Wi-Fi calling to work within your home network, you need to open up the following ports in your Firewall.
    • Ports 500 and 4500, UDP (User Datagram Protocol) – These ports are used for the Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2 (IKE). IKE is a component of IPsec used for performing mutual authentication and establishing and maintaining Security Associations (SAs). IKE normally listens and sends on UDP port 500, though IKE messages may also be received on UDP port 4500 with a slightly different format.
    • Ports 5060 and 5061, both on TCP and UDP – These ports are associated with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). In particular, port 5060 is assigned to clear text SIP, and port 5061 is assigned to encrypted SIP. The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol for Internet multimedia conferencing and communications, such as Voice over IP (VoIP).
  • Lynn, hopefully, you won’t have to configure your ports and your Wi-Fi calling will work once you activate on your phone. If you need to configure your ports, you will have to log into your Wi-Fi router and go to the advanced section of the configuration. Good luck.

Profiles in IT: John David McAfee

  • John David McAfee is best known as the developer of the first commercial anti-virus program. This bore the McAfee brand-name for years, until it was bought by Intel.
  • McAfee was born in the United Kingdom on September 18, 1945 on a U.S. Army base, and raised in Salem, Virginia.
  • In 1967, he received a BS in mathematics in 1967 from Roanoke College.
  • In 1968, he was hired as a programmer by NASA’s Institute for Space Studies.
  • In 1970, he went to Univac as a software designer and later to Xerox as an operating system architect.
  • In 1978 he joined Computer Sciences Corporation as a software consultant. He worked for consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton from 1980-1982.
  • In the 1980s, while employed by Lockheed, McAfee received a copy of the Brain computer virus and began developing software to combat viruses.
  • In 1987 McAfee founded McAfee Associates, a computer anti-virus company.
  • In 1989, he quit Lockheed and began working full-time at McAfee Associates.
  • The company was incorporated in 1992. McAfee resigned from the company in 1994.
  • Network Associates was formed in 1997 as a merger of McAfee Associates and Network General. The Network Associates company name was retained for seven years, when it was renamed McAfee, Inc.
  • Two years after McAfee Associates went public, McAfee sold his remaining stake in the company. He was estimated at the time to be worth $100M.
  • In August 2010, Intel bought McAfee, maintaining the separate branding, until January 2014, when it announced that McAfee will be marketed as Intel Security.
  • Other business ventures that were founded by McAfee include Tribal Voice, which developed one of the first instant messaging programs, PowWow.
  • In August 2009, The New York Times reported that McAfee’s personal fortune had declined to $4 million from a peak of $100M, because of poor investment.
  • In 2013 he started, Future Tense Central, to produce a secure network device.
  • As of January 2016, McAfee is running an incubator called Future Tense Central.
  • In May 2016, McAfee was appointed CEO of MGT Capital Investments. The company announced that it will be renamed John McAfee Global Technologies.
  • McAfee has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction since high school.
  • McAfee identifies as a libertarian, advocating for the decriminalization of cannabis and an end to the War on Drugs. McAfee supports abolishing the TSA.
  • In 2016, he was a Libertarian candidate for President of the United States.
  • On November 12, 2012, Belize police started a search for McAfee as a “person of interest” in connection to the murder of a neighbor. McAfee said that he has always been afraid police would kill him and thus refused their routine questions.
  • The Official Blog of John McAfee:

AI of the Week: Robot Lawyer Fights Parking Tickets

  • The world’s first robot lawyer has saved drivers millions by helping overturn parking tickets.
  • An artificial intelligence chatbot has successfully challenged 160,000 traffic fines, resulting in savings of over $4 million.
  • The chatbot, dubbed ‘DoNotPay’, operates in both London and New York, and doesn’t cost users a single penny.
  • It was created by London-born Stanford student Joshua Browder, and has only been live for 21 months.
  • Over 250,000 cases have been taken by the chatbot so far, resulting in an impressive 64% success rate.
  • It works by working out whether an appeal is possible, asking users questions about whether there were visible parking signs or how big the parking space was, for example. The chatbot then uses this information to generate an appeal.
  • Browder created his chatbot after being slapped with 30 separate parking tickets around London.
  • The self-taught coder now plans to launch DoNotPay in a third city: Seattle, USA.
  • The DoNotPay chatbot doesn’t just appeal parking tickets, however. It can also work on compensation for delayed flights, and providing HIV legal support.
  • Link to bot:

Creator of the Hashtag: Chris Messina

  • Chris Messina, the former Google designer who first proposed that Twitter adopt the hashtag — or “pound” symbol, as it was called at the time.
  • Messina first proposed that Twitter users use a hashtag to create “groups” back in 2007.
  • He suggested it in a tweet. how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp?
  • Twitter rejected the idea. They told him that these things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.
  • Today, Twitter would be almost unusable without hot-linked hashtags.
  • Even Facebook has adopted the hashtag as a news feed sorting mechanism.
  • Messina chose to let the hashtag become a free device anyone can use and not a licensable product that he could have made money from.
  • He said that claiming a government-granted monopoly on the use of hashtags would have likely inhibited their adoption, which was the antithesis of what he was hoping for, which was broad-based adoption and support — across networks and mediums.
  • He had no interest in making money off hashtags. They are born of the Internet, and should be owned by no one. The value and satisfaction he derives from seeing his funny little hack used as widely as it is today is valuable enough.

How to see everything Google knows about you

  • In June 2015, Google created a hub called “My Account,” where users can easily view the information the company is collecting and change their settings.
  • And this week the company rolled out a new tool called “My Activity,” which shows you almost everything you do online related to your Google account.
  • Link to activity hub:
  • Here you’ll see all of the kinds of data Google is tracking.
    • Web and app activity
    • GPS Location
    • Audio and Voice requests.
    • YouTube searches and YouTube videos watched.
  • To control what they track, go to “My Account” and then, under the “Personal info & privacy” section, select “Manage your Google Activity.”
  • From there, select “Activity controls. Choose which activity you want to delete and stop tracking.

Google Has Turned on Its US-Japan Undersea Cable

  • After two years of building, the undersea cable Google built between the US and Japan is now live.
  • The $300 million high-speed network—unsubtly named FASTER—carries data at 60 terabits per second from Oregon to Chikura and Shima in Japan.
  • From Oregon, the cable connects to Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
  • Undersea cables aren’t a new idea and more and more tech companies are laying them down. Google’s project isn’t even the fastest one around.
  • Let’s hope their team learned from the mistakes of previous cables and reinforced this new one so that it doesn’t keep getting eaten by confused sharks.
  • Sharks are a persistent problem. The previous cable was cut four times by crocodile sharks. They found embedded teeth in the cable. Scientist theorize that they are attracted by electro-magnetic signals, or they are just curious.
  • The new cable has a tougher protective cover.

Joke of the Week: Space Probe Juno’s Name

  • The space probe now orbiting Jupiter has a name with a familiar ring: Juno.
  • In myth, Jupiter (Zeus for the Greeks) was king of the gods, and Juno/Hera was his queen.
  • Their marriage was a troubled one, mostly because of Jupiter’s rampant infidelity.
  • When a Renaissance astronomer named Simon Marius claimed that he had discovered that the planet Jupiter had four large moons (we’ve since found several more), he took Johannes Kepler’s suggestion to name them for four of the god’s most famous lovers: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
  • When NASA named their solar-powered spacecraft for Jupiter’s jealous wife, Juno, it could be seen as all in favor of this grand joke.
  • Jupiter would also drape himself in clouds to hide his extracurricular activities. So Juno, in return, would scour the heavens, hoping to catch that cheating Jupiter in the act.
  • By skimming the tops of the clouds, NASA is hoping Juno gets a better view of what’s really going on.