From an International Authority on Network and Internet Technologies

David Strom

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Top Stories by David Strom

iPhone Developer I had an opportunity to audit a computer science class this week at Washington University, a class that was teaching students how to write iPhone apps. It was their final presentation, and I got to see a dozen apps that were very impressive. As I was watching the kids present, I was thinking back to my college days and the similarities and differences about my education. Of course, back in my day real programmers wrote in Assembler, and maybe Fortran. None of this object-oriented stuff had even been invented. We also had punched cards, which is probably why I never became a programmer. In grad school, we had video terminals because PCs were still being tinkered around inside Silicon Valley garages. In the Wash U class, most of the students had their own Macbooks, some better than my own. Each was given an iPod touch to use during the semester and thi... (more)

Life on Mars

Are you as Mars-obsessed as I have been in the past week or so? Maybe I shouldn’t have started things off by watching the original Total Recall movie starring Arnold in all of his campy best. The current remake doesn’t even take place on Mars, which is truer to the original Philip K. Dick short story. And the more that I have been learning about the JPL rover Curiosity, the more I want to know. It is almost as if I once had a memory implant like the characters in the movie. Certainly, the successful landing of Curiosity is something for all geeks to celebrate. It is an amazing a... (more)

Cracking the CIA’s Kryptos

When I lived in Washington DC I used to take the bus that would stop at the CIA to an office elsewhere in Virginia. You couldn’t get off unless you worked there, which for some reason I found fascinating. It isn’t the sort of place that gives public tours, as you might imagine. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see the place. It took Dunin several years to finally get an invite to come to the campus and see the sculpture first-hand. By then some of the codes that are part of the sculpture had been solved. There are four codes that have been etched into the side of th... (more)

How to Extract Your Contacts from LinkedIn and Facebook

Facebook on Ulitzer If you have spent any time online using social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook, you know they can be difficult to grow your network and add contacts. But even harder is the ability to extract your contacts once you have built up a reasonably sized network. None of the social networks makes it very easy to get this information. Why would you want to do this? Several reasons. First is the peace of mind that you have control over your own data. Should you decide to leave the network, or should the network decided to leave you (either for cause or for lack of... (more)

Searching for Softphones

Remember when your office phone was a solidly built multi-line key system with push buttons for the different extensions? And you had a secretary who would answer all of your calls? It seems so quaint now, like something out of a Tracy/Hepburn movie like the “Desk Set.” (Which for those of you that haven’t seen it, features a plot about a room-sized computer that replaces human workers at the TV station. Amazingly, 50 years ago too.) The biggest change for office telephony these days is the separating of incoming and outgoing calling plans and how we will use computers instead of ... (more)