Tech Talk July 25, 2020
Best of Tech Talk Edition
- Segments taken from previous shows.
Email and Forum Questions
- Email from Susan in Alexandria:Â Good morning Dr. Shurtz. How about Tony Brooker, a contemporary and colleague of Alan Turing? Perhaps foremost among his many contributions to computer science, he developed Autocode, the first commercially available high-level programming language. Autocode would allow â€œanyoneâ€ to program the computer â€“ not just the engineers who understood the right-to-left binary coding required to program the machine. Happy New Year to you, Jim, Andrew, Kevin and Mr. Big Voice! Susan in Alexandria
- Tech Talk Responds: Thanks for the suggestion. I will use in a later show. Thanks for listening.
- Email from June in Burke:Â Dear Doc and Jim. My iPhone has died on me. The battery needs to be replaced. I need to get my text messages at work. Is there a way to get iMessages on my Windows 10 computer? This is critical. Help. June in Burke
- Tech Talk Responds: Apple does not want to share their iMessage app with other companies. So your options are slim. I tried an iOS emulator, iPadium, because some said it could execute iMessage. They were wrong. I did not even offer the chance to install the app. In the end, your only options is to install a virtual machine on your Windows computer and then install the MacOS within that virtual machine. You can create a virtual machine using either Oracle VirtualBox Manager (VirtualBox) or VMware Workstation Player (VMware Player). You also need a copy of macOS, too. Once you have the MacOS installed, you simply have to log into your iCloud account and phone number to get iMessages.
- Email from Scotty in Ft. Lauderdale:Â Dear Doc and Jim. I have an iPhone 11, but have never installed antivirus software. Is it required? Or am I OK as is. Scotty in Ft. Lauderdale. FL
- Tech Talk Responds: The short answer is no, you donâ€™t need to install an antivirus app on your iPhone. Itâ€™s because iOS (your iPhoneâ€™s operating system) forces the apps running on the device to run in a way that isolates them from the operating system itself. That makes it extremely difficult for a malicious app to take control of your phone. The risk of an iPhone catching a virus is so small that it makes little sense to run an antivirus app on one. However, if you ever decide to â€œjailbreakâ€ your iPhone, iPad or other iOS-based Apple device the built-in protections that lock down your device and protect it from viruses will be rendered ineffective.
- Email from Drew in Alexandria:Â Dear Tech Talk. I love to surf the web with the Chrome Browser. Sometimes I will close a tab by mistake and canâ€™t get the web page back again. It is a way to undo closing the browser tab. It would make life so much easier. Love the show. Drew in Alexandria
- Tech Talk Responds: You can reopen a browser tag. All you have to do is press the Ctrl+Shift+T key combination to reopen the last tab that was closed. Press Ctrl+Shift+T again and itâ€™ll reopen the tab that was closed before that one. By the way, this method of restoring closed tabs works in all the major web browsers, not just Chrome.
- There are a few more shortcuts that work with all the most popular browsers:
- Ctrl+Shift+Del â€“ Quickly delete the cookies that have been stored by the browser.
- Ctr+ (The Ctrl key and the + key) â€“ Zoom the page in and make text larger.
- Ctr- (The Ctrl key and the â€“ key) â€“ Zoom the page out and make text smaller.
- Ctrl+F5 â€“ Force the browser to fetch a fresh copy of the current web page.
- Virginia in Fairfax, VA:Â Dear Tech Talk. I forgot my Wi-Fi password. My Windows 10 computer logs on the network automatically, but now I have second computer and need to connect it to the router. Is there a way to discover the password stored in my first computer. Enjoy the show. Virginia in Fairfax, VA
- Tech Talk Responds: Itâ€™s very easy to forget your Wi-Fi password if your devices store it and log you into the network automatically. Luckily, thatâ€™s very easy to do as long as your Windows Windows 10 PC is currently logged into the network. Hereâ€™s how:
- Press the Windows+S key combination to open a â€œSearchâ€ box.
- Type the word control into the search box and select Control Panel from the drop-down menu.
- Click Network and Internet.
- Click Network and Sharing Center.
- In the â€œView your active networksâ€ section, click on the name of the active wireless network connection over in the right-hand pane. A box labeled â€œWi-Fi Statusâ€ should pop up.
- Click Wireless Properties.
- Select the Security tab.
- Click the box labeled â€œShow charactersâ€ and the password for your wireless network will appear in the â€œNetwork security keyâ€ field.
- Thatâ€™s all there is to it. Now that youâ€™ve retrieved your Wi-Fi password, either memorize it or write it down and store it in a lock box or some other secure place so youâ€™ll have it on hand the next time you need it (and you almost certainly will need it again in the future).
- Email from Alice in Alexandria:Â Dear Doc and Jim. Help! My taskbarâ€™s on the right side of my screen. How do I move the taskbar back to the bottom where it belongs? I can hardly use mu computer. Alice in Alexandria
- Tech Talk Responds: A lot of people donâ€™t realize it, but the taskbar can be placed on any edge of your screen: left, right, top or bottom. In fact, if you have multiple monitors, it can be placed on any edge of any display. Occasionally, usually through an accidental mouse action, the taskbar can get moved to somewhere other than where we want it. It is easy to move back to the bottom.
- Right click on an unused area of the taskbar.
- Make sure that â€œLock the taskbarâ€ is UNchecked.
- Left click and hold in that unused area of the taskbar.
- Drag the taskbar to the side of the screen you want it.
- Release the mouse.
- Right click in an unused area of the taskbar, and make sure that â€œLock the taskbarâ€ is checked.
- Email from Erich in Springfield:Â Dear Tech Talk. I have a number of ring devices in my house (doorbell and cameras). I am worried because I have heard that many of these devices have been hacked and people can view the cameras remotely. What can I do to protect my familyâ€™s privacy? Erich in Springfield
- Tech Talk Responds: Ringâ€™s central servers were not hacked. Most accounts were hacked because users used the same password everywhere and hackers got simply used it on their Ring account. In other words, poor password management was the culprit.
- Whether you changed your Ring accountâ€™s password or not, you should enable two-factor authentication. The extra security is enough to stop most bad actors from getting into your account. The only pre-requisite to enabling two-factor authentication is having a phone number associated with your Ring account. One should already be there, but the setup process goes over adding a phone number if it isnâ€™t already in place. Two-factor authentication settings can be found in the â€œExtra Securityâ€ section.
- Click the â€œTurn Onâ€ link to enable the feature.
- Authenticate that youâ€™re the owner of the account by re-entering your email address and password. Click the â€œContinueâ€ button to proceed.
- Enter the phone number that you want to use for two-factor authentication using SMS.
- Once you have double-checked that you entered the correct number, click the blue â€œContinueâ€ button at the bottom of the page.
- After a couple of seconds, you should receive a text message from Ring. Enter the six-digit verification code into your web browser and then click the â€œVerifyâ€ button.
Profiles in IT: Alessandro Volta
- Alessandro Volta was an Italian physicist, who best known as the inventor of the electric battery and the discoverer of methane.
- Volta was born in Como, Italy, on 18 February 1745. In 1794,
- In 1774, he became a professor of physics at the Royal School in Como.
- A year later, he improved the electrophorus, a device that produced static electricity.
- In the years between 1776 and 1778, Volta studied the chemistry of gases. He methane after reading a paper by Benjamin Franklin on flammable air.
- In November 1776, he found methane at Lake Maggiore, and by 1778 he managed to isolate methane. He ignited of methane by an electric spark in a closed vessel.
- Volta also studied what we now call electrical capacitance, developing means to study both voltage and charge. This is called Voltaâ€™s Law of Capacitance.
- In 1779 he became a professor of experimental physics at the University of Pavia.
- In 1780, Luigi Galvani had shown that the legs of frogs hanging on iron or brass hooks would twitch when touched with a probe of some other type of metal.
- He thought this response was caused by â€˜animal electricityâ€™ from within the frog.
- Volta, while initially impressed with Galvaniâ€™s findings, came to believe that the electric current came from the two different types of metal.
- He experimented with stacks of layers of silver and zinc interspersed with layers of cloth or paper soaked in saltwater, and found that an electric current did in fact flow through a wire applied to both ends of the pile.
- At the anode, the electrode reacts with the electrolyte in a reaction that produces electrons. These electrons accumulate at the anode.At the cathode, another chemical reaction occurs simultaneously that enables that electrode to accept electrons.
- Each of these reactions has a particular standard potential. The difference in this standard potential is the voltage produced by the battery.
- The salty water was the electrolyte. An electrolyte can be a liquid, gel or a solid substance that allows the movement of charged ions.
- He described his findings to the Royal Society of London in 1800.
- Napoleon was fairly impressed! The volt was named after him.
- Actually batteries date back to 150 BC in Mesopotamia. The Parthian culture used a device known as the Baghdad battery, made of copper and iron electrodes with vinegar or citric acid. They were used primarily for religious ceremonies.
- In 1809 Volta became associated member of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands.In honor of his work, Volta was made a count by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1810.
- Volta retired in 1819 to his estate in Camnago in Como, Italy, now named â€œCamnago Voltaâ€ in his honor.
- He died there on 5 March 1827, just after his 82nd birthday. Voltaâ€™s remains were buried in Camnago Volta.
Teen Hack of the Week: Airpods for Secret Communication (Aired originally on 2/1/2020)
- A YouTube video showed a fun way kids are apparently communicating in class.
- It appears theyâ€™re swapping a single Apple AirPod of theirs for a single Apple AirPod of their friends.
- Next, they quietly type little messages using some text-to-speech app and their friends can listen to those messages while the teacher lectures.
- They can talk without moving their lips. Thereâ€™s nothing like technology that makes you feel very clever.
- It was Apple that first thought of the basic principle of AirPods sharing. The companyâ€™s 2017 Christmas ad showed two strangers splitting a pair of AirPods so that they could, oh, dance in the street.
- I suspect that once adults understand this technique, they will be using in their next long, boring meeting.
David Burd Drops In For A Visit
- Co-host Emeritus David Burd stops by to complain about the ever-expanding size of cellphones.
Product of the Week: ColorCoral Universal Keyboard Cleaning Gel (Aired originally on 1/25/2020)
- ColorCoral Keyboard Cleaning Gel is almost like adult slime.
- You can manipulate it into a ball with your hands, and then press it over your keyboard.
- Pull it off gently to remove all the dust and any crumbs that might be there. It is made of biodegradable materials, so itâ€™s not sticky and doesnâ€™t leave behind any residue.
- It is also fun to use! The pleasant lemon scent will leave your laptop smelling fresh, and itâ€™s a quick, easy way to clean your keyboard.
- If you donâ€™t like the gel, you can use compressed air to clean your keyboard.
- Falcon Dust-Off Electronics Compressed Gas Duster is a great compressed-gas spray that thoroughly cleans keyboards or any other hard-to-reach areas. Each blast is moisture-free, so it wonâ€™t make anything damp.
- Itâ€™s powerful enough to get rid of any dust or crumbs lurking around.
Food Science: Why is Fish White? (originally aired 7/12/2008)
- There are two types of protein myosin that be found in muscle
- Slow fibers
- Slow fibers burn fats to provide energy.
- These muscles need oxygen to operate.
- Slow fibers are suited for working continuously.
- Fast fibers
- Fast fibers burn glycogen and do not need oxygen.
- Fast fibers do not need myoglobin and are always white.
- Fast fibers can only operate in short bursts.
- Fibers are short and fall apart when cooked.
- Land animals need to support their own weight and hence must have slow fibers.
- Fish swim in busts and are supported by water and can be by with fast fibers.
- Sharks which must continuously are an exception.