Sep 21, 2009

Sep - 07 2009 | By

Additional notes: 

Editor's comments are delimited with < >

<When I update a Zentech page, I post a tweet at twitter.com/ddhart
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You can also search for the tag #Zentech> 

Paul uses the site theregister.com as one source of topics for discussion on this broadcast. He also gets ideas from those who post on his Facebook account

Paul likes some music by Jonsi & Alex. It's background music to a video called "Moments". See the above link

There is very graphic British public service announcement about what happens when you use a cell phone while driving. See the above link.

Glenn got a Sony stereo with Bluetooth and microphone that connects to his cell phone.

Paul played an amusing audio from a Youtube video ad for Norton Anti-virus. The link to it is above.

The disclaimer: views & opinions are those of the show's hosts only.

Glenn mentioned that Norton Anti-virus could slow your computer down. Paul added that the anti-virus part itself is not a particular problem, it's the rest of the stuff that comes with it.

Paul said there is a 5 to 10% failure rate for any anti-virus program. That's often because the viruses are updated so fast that the anti-virus programs have trouble keeping up. <Here's a couple of links from previous shows about viruses>
Anatomy of interactive Worms & Viruses (AKAL BotNEts)
The Economic Returns for a Virus or Worm Infection on your PC!

A different strategy, called white listing, is to allow only approved programs to run on your computer. Some anti-virus companies have experimented with this. The problem is that the anti-virus companies have to keep track of what white listed programs are updated.

It's the 50th anniversary of the COBOL programming language. Its feature is the use of common words rather than more arcane symbols for its program statements. It's still being used, especially in the business world. See the above link.

Paul asks, what's the highest point on this planet. It's not Mount Everest whose height is measured relative to the local mean sea level. The highest point is Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador. That's because the Earth bulges at the equator <which adds to its total distance from the center of the earth>.

Glenn say be careful before installing the version 3.1 update into your iPhone, you may not be able to jailbreak it afterward. But people are working on this problem. Paul said it's more of an issue with the 3G phone than the 2G. <See Mikail's comments further down>

Glenn said there is a program on Cydia <see below for more info> that will back up your iPhone data (including the jailbeak apps) so you can restore it after you upgrade the operating system.

Paul found a FireFox addon called "About-Me" (link above) to keep statistics on your browsing habits.

Mikail called to say there is a jailbreak program that currently runs on the Mac only and works with the 2G & 3G iPhones but not the 3GS.

He said he's heard negative stories about the 3.1 upgrade (not the jailbreaking) concerning shorter battery life and slower app loading. But he's not experienced this himself.

Mikail said the backup program Glenn mentioned above is APTbackup.

The Mac program to do the jailbreaking can be found from these sites:
blog.iphone-dev.org
iphonehacks.com

Paul said he's seen an interview with Bill Gates that illustrates he's the first to use the licensing model for software sales. For much current software, you don't own it — you license it.

Along the same topic of licensing control, there is an article about how Apple is exerting more control over its products. It's called "Catching Apple's Signature Server" by Jay Freeman at Cydia.

Paul is enjoying a review copy of a book about Larry Page & Serge Brin founders of Google. "Inside Larry's & Sege's Brain" by Richard L. Brandt from the publisher Portfolio.

Mikail said PG&E has a program called SmartAC.
Call them at 866-908-4916.
or visit their web site at www.pge.com/smartac.
or pge-smartac.com
They replace your thermostat with a satellite connected wi-fi unit that can be controlled thru an iPhone or laptop via the web. Additionally, PG&E would have the right to throttle back usage to reduce demand. Mikail said there is a way to conditionally opt out after you enter the program.

Paul was reminded of a proposal, which was not implemented, to put a logging device <like a black box> in cars. The device would have also limited your speed when it passed special roadside transmitters.

Mikail asked why Mac and Linux machines don't suffer from the virus issues that plague the PCs.
Paul said it's because there is a separation of roles of the administrator, user functions and the application functions in the case of the Mac & Linux. Mac's OS is based on the Berkeley System Distribution (BSD) of Unix.

Paul asked Glenn about a site, he thought was mentioned before, that compares cell phones. Glenn couldn't recall if he ever said that. <Maybe not what Paul asked about, but for now try these sites:
http://www.phonescoop.com/
http://www.mobiledia.com/
http://www.phonedog.com/>

<With respect to PG&E reducing customer energy usage…>
 Paul mentioned that during courses he took in environment studies, he learned that the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) found that it would cost them less to subsidize people by providing low energy light bulbs than it would to build more power plant to sell more energy.

Paul has found Facebook useful to stay in touch with his family, many of who are in Spain.
Though Glenn signed up on facebook, he didn't find it useful for him.
Glenn asked what the differences are between Myspace & Facebook. He thinks Myspace requires membership to view member pages but Facebook does not.
Be careful what you reveal about yourself on the web. Once it's out there, it's nearly impossible to take it back.

Glenn reminded people to back up their data regularly. <Here are links to 2 previous shows with links to backup software:
May 18, 2009
Jan 26, 2009>

John called. He has laptop and its screen is showing a checkerboard pattern. He was told the graphics adapter had gone bad and wants to know how hard it is to replace it.
– Check your warranty (or extended warranty). If it's in effect, of course, you wouldn't have to do it yourself.
– Check with the manufacturer for recalls.
– It's almost impossible to fix a video adapter on a laptop because it's integrated into the motherboard.
– Try an external monitor to see if the problem persists, as it may be a monitor problem.
– See if it's cheaper to just buy another laptop rather than fixing the current one.

Bonnie called and asked how to turnoff the superfluous features on Facebook because she has a slow connection.
– Try "Optimize Facebook", or something with a similar name.
– Use lite.facebook.com <the better solution>

On a related note, Paul knows someone with dialup who's having trouble using Yahoo because of all the graphics & such being sent.
– Glenn suggested using m.yahoo.com. It's a light version designed for mobile users.

Ellen called to say she also has a Facebook account and likes it for maintaining contact with a childhood friend and people in the local community.
Paul suggested setting up a separate email account to be used only with Facebook.

Building on the suggestion to use m.yahoo.com, Paul said that to speed up Google's email, use the link at the bottom of your email page <I think it's the one that says "Basic HTML">. However, Glenn thinks that means you'll lose a lot of features.

Jessica called to get the link to the British video mentioned earlier. See the link above

Mary called. She has a desktop computer that makes a noise.
  – It's likely coming from the power supply fan or possibly the CPU fan.
– The program Speedfan reports on the stats of your computer like the temperature & fan RPM..