Innovations – LeandroDonofrio.com http://www.leandrodonofrio.com Read it, believe it, run with it. Tue, 30 May 2017 15:35:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Another immediate extension installation – Tab Mix Plus http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/another-immediate-extension-installation-tab-mix-plus/ http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/another-immediate-extension-installation-tab-mix-plus/#respond Sun, 20 Mar 2016 23:07:18 +0000 http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/?p=92 Okay, okay, before you say, wait a minute- there’s no reason to install a tab extension on Firefox. It can do everything right out of the box, and all of those are way too bulky and they mess up my other extensions.

I say, “Nay.” This beauty adds features that are simply not available in the default Firefox setup. There are some things it can take care of that are a short tweak away in your about:config page, but there are many, many options it adds. I only use a few, but the few I use are indispensable.

My favorite thing that I love to do is inadvertently close tabs. Well, let me re-state that. I inadvertently close tabs from time to time, and I cry if I can’t remember where I was or if I am unable …

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Okay, okay, before you say, wait a minute- there’s no reason to install a tab extension on Firefox. It can do everything right out of the box, and all of those are way too bulky and they mess up my other extensions.

I say, “Nay.” This beauty adds features that are simply not available in the default Firefox setup. There are some things it can take care of that are a short tweak away in your about:config page, but there are many, many options it adds. I only use a few, but the few I use are indispensable.

My favorite thing that I love to do is inadvertently close tabs. Well, let me re-state that. I inadvertently close tabs from time to time, and I cry if I can’t remember where I was or if I am unable …

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Desktop Videoconferencing: Once Huge, Now Skype’d Away http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/desktop-videoconferencing-once-huge-now-skyped-away/ http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/desktop-videoconferencing-once-huge-now-skyped-away/#comments Sun, 28 Feb 2016 17:54:20 +0000 http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/?p=37 dskvNetwork managers, fearful that videoconferencing would consume excessive amounts of network bandwidth, have relegated this function to specialized-room systems with ISDN connections. But now, thanks to faster networks and the new H.323 videoconferencing interoperability standard, videoconferencing is coming to the desktop.

Although desktop ISDN systems have been available for a while, IS managers have been reluctant to spend money to bring in additional ISDN lines. But things are changing: LANs are much faster, and LAN switching systems allow administrators to segment traffic, isolating videoconferencing data so that it has less impact on the network.

In addition, the international videoconferencing standard H.323, which recently became available, is designed for use over packet networks such as LANs and the Internet. With H.323, packet-based backbones, such as the Internet or a private corporate intranet, can accommodate videoconferencing, eliminating the need for a specialized …

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dskvNetwork managers, fearful that videoconferencing would consume excessive amounts of network bandwidth, have relegated this function to specialized-room systems with ISDN connections. But now, thanks to faster networks and the new H.323 videoconferencing interoperability standard, videoconferencing is coming to the desktop.

Although desktop ISDN systems have been available for a while, IS managers have been reluctant to spend money to bring in additional ISDN lines. But things are changing: LANs are much faster, and LAN switching systems allow administrators to segment traffic, isolating videoconferencing data so that it has less impact on the network.

In addition, the international videoconferencing standard H.323, which recently became available, is designed for use over packet networks such as LANs and the Internet. With H.323, packet-based backbones, such as the Internet or a private corporate intranet, can accommodate videoconferencing, eliminating the need for a specialized ISDN network.

H.323’s architecture also allows network managers to control the impact of videoconferencing on corporate LANs. These gatekeeper functions include limiting the number of users and the amount of bandwidth an H.323 conference can consume.

“We’re at the beginning of a fundamental change in the business of how working together happens,” said Bob Castle, president of VideoServer Inc., a Lexington, Mass., provider of multipoint conferencing systems.

H.323 rolls out

H.323-based conferencing systems already have begun rolling out to the consumer market, and Microsoft Corp. plans to bundle the standard into future releases of Windows 95 and Windows NT. Microsoft also is distributing a free H.323-compatible collaboration tool called NetMeeting. Most of the current H.323 tools are slated for use on the Internet, where H.323 will be useful because it’s designed to accommodate bandwidth as low as 28.8K bps.

H.323 will be implemented in a variety of ways, with differing levels of performance. Software-based systems, where audio and video compression and decompression are performed by the PC microprocessor, will have relatively slow frame rates and small video screen sizes. For example, Microsoft’s NetMeeting displays up to 10 fps (frames per second) and a small video screen size known as QCIF (Quarter Common Intermediate Format), which has half the resolution of the full CIF. QCIF is 176 by 144 pixels; the higher-quality full CIF is 352 by 288 pixels.

Specialized videoconferencing add-on hardware is required for larger screen sizes. “Hardware accelerators will help make desktop video with H.323 more attractive,” said Walt Jones, vice president of R&D at VideoServer. “NetMeeting is a good product, but the size of the video it displays is discouraging. A third party could add an adapter card that would use the great NetMeeting interface but increase the frame rate.”

Such specialized hardware likely will be found in corporate-oriented H.323 systems that are slated to roll out during the next year. For example, PictureTel Corp. plans to introduce an H.323-compatible version of its LiveLAN videoconferencing system next month.

PictureTel officials claim the H.323 system will rival the company’s ISDN-based systems for picture quality, delivering a full CIF screen at 15 fps. According to Peter Mahoney, director of marketing at PictureTel, the company’s system will allow users to adjust the quality of the conference by choosing their transmission speeds (ranging from 64K bps to 384K bps). Generally, the higher the bandwidth, the better the quality of video.

PictureTel and other videoconferencing vendors expect corporations and other H.323 users to begin pilot testing the technology this year before rolling out larger implementations next year.

Conferencing evolves

Such evolutionary growth is necessary because all of the tools needed for corporate use of H.323 are not yet in place. Current H.323-compatible products, including NetMeeting and Intel Corp.’s ProShare, can handle only single, point-to-point conferences. For multipoint conferencing, products must connect to an MCU (multipoint control unit), which links several conference participants. MCU vendors, such as Videoserver and RADVision Ltd., now are developing H.323-compatible systems.

Because of the hurdles still remaining (and their investment in existing equipment), many organizations likely will have both an ISDN-based system, which uses the H.320 videoconferencing standard, and new H.323 systems.

MCU manufacturers are currently working on ways to link the two systems, which use different addressing schemes: H.320 systems use telephone numbers, and H.323 uses IP addresses. “We’ll try to adopt a standard authentication and naming service, but this is an area where services still have to be invented,” said VideoServer’s Jones, noting that H.323 also must be made to work with existing addressing services such as Domain Naming System and directories using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

In addition, gatekeeper functions will need to be enhanced to work with new Internet mechanisms for reserving bandwidth. These mechanisms, such as the Resource Reservation Protocol, are designed to reserve bandwidth for multimedia applications. The two standards will need to work together in order to avoid access problems.

Videoconferencing systems with dedicated hardware can send larger images by tapping the Full Common Intermediate Format (left). Software-based H.323 systems transmit small images using the Quarter Common Intermediate Format (right).

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Airlines Took Too Long To Give Power To Passengers http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/airlines-took-too-long-to-give-power-to-passengers/ http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/airlines-took-too-long-to-give-power-to-passengers/#respond Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:38:37 +0000 http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/?p=12 altslWith vendors of notebook PCs unable to deliver systems with enough battery life for long flights, airlines are getting set to launch a system that provides power to passengers in their seats.

The new power distribution system, which will be rolled out in airline fleets later this year, will tap power from generators in a plane’s engines and distribute 15 volts of DC power to outlets located in seat armrests. This should be a boon to travelers with notebook PCs who would like to make flying time more productive.

However, the initial deployment will only be in first-class and business-class seats on aircraft making international and long-range flights, and those who want to use the outlets will need to buy a special power adapter for their notebooks.

For the airlines, safety is the primary consideration, so the system is …

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altslWith vendors of notebook PCs unable to deliver systems with enough battery life for long flights, airlines are getting set to launch a system that provides power to passengers in their seats.

The new power distribution system, which will be rolled out in airline fleets later this year, will tap power from generators in a plane’s engines and distribute 15 volts of DC power to outlets located in seat armrests. This should be a boon to travelers with notebook PCs who would like to make flying time more productive.

However, the initial deployment will only be in first-class and business-class seats on aircraft making international and long-range flights, and those who want to use the outlets will need to buy a special power adapter for their notebooks.

For the airlines, safety is the primary consideration, so the system is …

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Keep On Pushin’ http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/keep-on-pushin/ http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/keep-on-pushin/#respond Fri, 15 Jan 2016 06:16:58 +0000 http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/?p=20 gpfiGregg Petch’s first implementation of push technology was a real pushover. As CIO of the Metropolitan Regional Information System, one of the nation’s largest multiple listing services for the real estate industry, he needed a simple application to send IS updates to the help desk. Petch figured he’d need about two weeks to install and work out any kinks in Lanacom Inc.’s Headliner product. Surprisingly, the rollout took just two days.

Now, the head of IT is tackling a more formidable challenge–tying together BackWeb Technologies Inc.’s push technology with an Oracle Corp. Web server and a custom browser to deliver real estate information to MRIS’ 30,000 member agents. Among Petch’s many tasks: using Visual Basic to write custom SQL statements to an Oracle database from BackWeb’s search engine. You’ll forgive Petch if he begs off providing an exact …

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gpfiGregg Petch’s first implementation of push technology was a real pushover. As CIO of the Metropolitan Regional Information System, one of the nation’s largest multiple listing services for the real estate industry, he needed a simple application to send IS updates to the help desk. Petch figured he’d need about two weeks to install and work out any kinks in Lanacom Inc.’s Headliner product. Surprisingly, the rollout took just two days.

Now, the head of IT is tackling a more formidable challenge–tying together BackWeb Technologies Inc.’s push technology with an Oracle Corp. Web server and a custom browser to deliver real estate information to MRIS’ 30,000 member agents. Among Petch’s many tasks: using Visual Basic to write custom SQL statements to an Oracle database from BackWeb’s search engine. You’ll forgive Petch if he begs off providing an exact …

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Encryption Law Is A Tough Area http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/encryption-law-is-a-tough-area/ http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/encryption-law-is-a-tough-area/#respond Fri, 01 Jan 2016 06:40:01 +0000 http://www.leandrodonofrio.com/?p=25 Peter Browne is a casualty in the encryption wars.

entecFor the past year, Browne, senior vice president of information security for First Union Corp., has been unable to move aggressively on plans to implement an ambitious brokerage application on the bank’s Internet site. Why? Because, despite a red-hot battle between the White House on one side and encryption vendors and many Congress members on another, current law prohibits U.S. companies from “exporting” any product containing strong encryption. This means it would be illegal for $103 billion First Union, the nation’s sixth largest bank, to use strong (greater than 40-bit) encryption to encode financial transactions originating with customers outside the United States.

“Strong encryption technology is absolutely critical for all the product and system plans we have,” says Browne, in Charlotte, N.C. “These restrictions have hampered us from expanding our higher-risk …

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Peter Browne is a casualty in the encryption wars.

entecFor the past year, Browne, senior vice president of information security for First Union Corp., has been unable to move aggressively on plans to implement an ambitious brokerage application on the bank’s Internet site. Why? Because, despite a red-hot battle between the White House on one side and encryption vendors and many Congress members on another, current law prohibits U.S. companies from “exporting” any product containing strong encryption. This means it would be illegal for $103 billion First Union, the nation’s sixth largest bank, to use strong (greater than 40-bit) encryption to encode financial transactions originating with customers outside the United States.

“Strong encryption technology is absolutely critical for all the product and system plans we have,” says Browne, in Charlotte, N.C. “These restrictions have hampered us from expanding our higher-risk …

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