Show of 04-08-2017

Tech Talk

April 8, 2017


Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Doug in Baton Rouge:Dear DR. SHURTZ and JIM RUSS (with greetings to MR. BIG VOICE as well). Thanks for making the weekly Tech Talk podcast so interesting and entertaining! It is educational and a very intelligent show. Thank goodness that the website (Tech Talk) is so easy to navigate; it is one of the best around.
  • I was in one of our local computer shops last week getting a repair part for my laptop. While I was there, I asked for a cost of an extra memory stick for my computer. The salesman warned me about the problems of adding memory cards. He stated that since my laptop was about two years old that I should only add memory cards that are from the same year /production batch. He informed me that my existing computers memory stick and motherboard was two years old. That adding a new secondary memory stick of years apart or different productions runs could possibly cause parity errors. He went on to say that even installing the same manufacturers brand (Kingston), as the existing two year-old-memory, would not prevent the parity likelihood. Such as crashes, program lock-ups, program errors codes, etc. that would manifest itself unpredictable and randomly. His recommendation was to only install memory cards from the same manufacturer and from the same year and production runs, if possible. I will need to remove my current 4-Gb memory card and purchase an 8-Gb memory card (expensive). What is your wisdom, opinion and recommendation on this revelation? Thanks, Doug / Baton Rouge, LA
  • Tech Talk Responds: One of the most cost-effective upgrades to make your computer run faster is to simply add more RAM. It sounds like you have 4GB of RAM and would like to upgrade to 8GB. The hardest part is finding the correct memory for your system. Memory supplier Crucial offers handy tools to help you select the right memory. You can download a system scanner and let it find the upgrades available or simply choose your system from the Crucial Advisor tool. Link to site:
  • Memory should be added in pairs. That is because your system alternated between the memory slots and expects matching performance. If your laptop has two memory banks, and one of them is taken up by a 4GB chip, get a matching 4GB chip for the other, empty slot.
  • Email from Mike from Maryland:Hello Mr. Big Voice, At the CES 2017 show, Sony revealed a new technology. Their new television has a portion of the sound that comes through their TV screen. For example, I think as the actor walks from one side of the TV screen to the other side, if the actor is talking, that part of the TV screen projects that sound. I think this technology could be interesting. But to realize and enjoy this sound feature, I think that the TV screen would have to be a larger screen and the TV viewer would have to sit closer to the TV. Could you ask your two employees (Richard & Jim ) if this sound technology has any real potential or is this new technology going to go nowhere like 3-D did.
  • Whenever I hear Mrs. Mama Big Voice on the radio, her voice is irresistible. I would like to ask her out on a date, but I am hesitant because I am afraid that I might accidently be stepping on Jim’s turf. Please advise. Mike from Maryland
  • Tech Talk Responds: Taking advantage of the OLED’s backlight-less structure, Sony developed a new Acoustic Surface sound technology. The entire screen resonates with sound emanating directly from the screen itself. So audio from your movies and TV shows will sound like it’s coming directly from the display itself.
  • But will it sound good? Sony claims this approach “produces a wide sound and image synchronization from all angles, even off to the sides.” The idea isn’t altogether new, and similar implementations have sounded… less than great. But if you’re buying a TV this nice, odds are you’ve got or at least plan to get a sound system that does the picture half justice.
  • Email from Carl Tyler:Dear Dr. Shurtz: Sometime in the future I was thinking about switching from an iPhone to a Google Pixel. How big a hassle will it be and what can I expect to transfer from my iPhone to the other phone, for example music, podcasts, apps, etc.? Have you ever featured the Chinese software engineer, programmer, and former Executive Vice President at Microsoft Qi Lu? If you have not I think he would be a good candidate. Thanks for the great podcast you, Jim and Andrew produce each week. P. S. Is Mr. Big Voice’s mother any relation to Howard’s mom on the “Big Bang Theory”? They sound an awful lot alike. Carl Tyler
  • Tech Talk Resounds: You can copy data from your iPhone to the Pixel phone. You will have to plug the two phones together using the Quick Switch Adaptor. The just click on Copy the Data on your new Pixel. Make certain both devices are charged.
  • You can copy these from an iPhone during setup:
    • Texts and iMessages
    • Photos and videos
    • Music
    • Contacts
    • Calendars
  • Many free apps on iPhone have Android versions. When available, you can automatically get the Android versions from the Google Play Store.
  • What will not transfer
  • Music with iTunes Digital Rights Management protection will not transfer. Affected music was usually bought before April 2009.
  • Photos where an original isn’t stored on your iPhone. With the Optimize Storage setting on, original photos are in iCloud, not on your iPhone.
  • Files and documents stored in iCloud
  • Device settings, like wallpaper and Wi-Fi passwords

Profiles in IT: Sam DiVita and Richard Sturzebecher

  • Sam DiVita was the inspiration behind the idea to use fused silica for Fiber Optics.
  • Sam was Manager of Material Research at the US Army Signal Corps Laboratory at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.
  • In 1958, he was asked to develop a replacement for copper cable and wire.
  • Sam thought glass fiber and light signals might work, but the engineers who worked for Sam told him a glass fiber would break!
  • In September 1959, Sam DiVita talked to 2nd Lt. Richard Sturzebecher. Richard had melted 3 triaxial glass systems, using SiO2, for his 1958 senior thesis at Alfred University under Dr. Harold Simpson, Professor of Glass Technology.
  • Richard knew that ultra pure SiO2 was very transparent and that Corning Glass made high purity SiO2 powder, by oxidizing pure SiCl4 into SiO2.
  • In 1961 and 1962, the idea of using high purity SiO2 for a glass fiber to transmit light was made public information in a bid solicitation to all research laboratories.
  • Sam awarded the contract to the Corning Glass Works in Corning, New York in 1962. Federal funding for glass fiber optics at Corning was about $1,000,000 between 1963 and 1970.
  • In 1966 Kao and Hockham proposed optical fibres at STC Laboratories (STL), Harlow, when they showed that the losses of 1000 db/km in existing glass (compared to 5-10 db/km in coaxial cable) was due to contaminants, which could potentially be removed.
  • In 1970, Corning Labs designed and produced Optical Waveguide Fibers made of fused silica, through which at least 1% of light remained intact after traveling one kilometer (20 db/km)
  • The Corning team was comprised of Robert Maurer (Ph.D. MIT, 1951), Donald Keck (Ph.D. Michigan State University, 1967), and Peter Schultz (Ph.D. Rutgers University, 1967) was awarded the patent (Patent #3,711,262).
  • On 22 April, 1977, General Telephone and Electronics sent the first live telephone traffic through fiber optics, at 6 Mbit/s, in Long Beach, California.
  • In 1980, the First generation fiber-optic communication system operated at a wavelength of 0.8 µm and used GaAs semiconductor lasers. This first generation system operated at a bit rate of 45 Mbit/s with repeater spacing of 10 km.
  • The first transatlantic telephone cable to use optical fiber was TAT-8, based on Desurvire optimized laser amplification technology. It went into operation in 1988.
  • The Second-generation of fiber-optic communication was developed for commercial use in the early 1980s, operated at 1.3 µm, and used InGaAsP semiconductor lasers and had bit rates of up to 1.7 Gb/s with repeater spacing up to 50 km.
  • Third-generation fiber-optic systems operated at 1.55 µm and had loss of about 0.2 dB/km and use single-mode and low dispersion fiber. 3rd generation systems to operate commercially at 2.5 Gbit/s with repeater spacing in excess of 100 km.
  • Fourth-generation of fiber-optic communication systems use optical amplification to reduce the need for repeaters and wavelength-division multiplexing to increase fiber capacity. Bit-rates of up to 14 Tbit/s have been reached over a single 160 km line using optical amplifiers.
  • The rest is history. Sam worked at Fort Monmouth until 87.

Website of the Week: Wikileaks

  • Web address:
  • Wikileaks is a website that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive corporate and government documents, while taking measures to preserve the anonymity and traceability of its contributors. The interface is identical to Wikipedia.
  • Within one year of its December 2006 launch, its database had grown to more than 1.2 million documents.
  • Running on modified MediaWiki software, Wikileaks is hosted by PRQ, an internet service provider in Sweden.
  • Its primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
  • February 29, 2008, a California District Court judge on Friday lifted a previous permanent injunction that he had issued two weeks ago to disable the controversial whistleblower Web site.
  • The domain was reactivated today as a result of the decision.