2008/09/30

NEW NET, 30 Sept 2008

We'll be meeting from 7 - 9 PM in the upstairs of Tom's Drive In on Westhill Blvd (by Woodman's) tonight, September 30, for the weekly NEW NET meeting.

It appears Blogger or Microsoft has changed the way it works because I'm not able to compose my weekly NEW NET list in MS Word then copy and paste it into Blogger. Very annoying. This issues started a week or two ago, and I haven't researched it on the web to see if it's a common problem or if I just messed something up on my laptop or my Blogger account. Hope to get it resolved soon. Already wasted several hours trying to make it work right...to no avail thus far...if you see anything below, it's my best attempt...

The ‘net

  1. Sprint takes wireless service to the max in Baltimore http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2008-09-28-wimax-launch_N.htm “…Sprint will launch wireless WiMax services in Baltimore, marking the beginning of what could become a new era in mobile broadband…The mobile data network — which will be marketed under the Xohm…is designed to cater to the needs of laptop and home broadband users, not cellphone users. Prices will start at $10 for a day pass, good for 24 hours of unlimited usage. Monthly service starts at $35… Sprint is promising 2 to 4 megabits per second…”
  2. Flowgram, the web presentation and blogging app http://tinyurl.com/3oets7 (Ars technica) “…Flowgram elicits thoughts of snazzy office presentations and a boss-pleasing quarterly performance meeting gone well, but its social media sharing and embedding options are far more interesting…”
  3. Workers spend 25% of work time goofing around online http://tinyurl.com/53r5xy (Ars technica) “…Employees tend to spend work time browsing eBay auctions, using online dating or social networking sites, chatting over IM, and more, and they do it for just over a quarter of the time they spend at work…”
  4. Facts & Fiction of Bandwidth Caps http://gigaom.com/2008/09/30/gigaom-white-paper-the-facts-fiction-of-bandwidth-caps/ “…Beginning on Wednesday, Comcast, the largest broadband service provider in the U.S., is going to start capping the total amount of data you can transfer using their broadband connection — to 250GB per month. With this move, the cable company will become the symbol of a new Internet era, one that is both monitored and metered. It is an era that threatens to limit innovation and to a large extent, the possibilities for new startups…It is a clear and present danger to the way we use the Internet in this country. …”
  5. Local search Zvents raises $24M http://venturebeat.com/2008/09/30/zvents-moving-its-events-search-to-mobile-raises-24m/ “…Zvents, a San Mateo, Calif. company that has been building an events-based search engine for several years, must be on the right track: It just raised $24 million from a set of investors including Nokia Growth Partners, AT&T and NAVTEQ. What makes Zvents a bit different from other events sites…is that it’s not an events calendar or social networking site. Instead, the company is working on an advanced search engine that’s optimized just for looking through time-based listings. That type of search, developed for the Internet, is also turning out to fit well with the mobile industry…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. ISPs agree not to snoop on subscribers as much http://gigaom.com/2008/09/25/isps-tell-congress-they-dont-need-privacy-laws/ “…Already, the ISPs testifying before the committee, which included AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon, pushed the idea of self-regulation by the ISPs when it comes to online privacy. If the testimony from the AT&T executive doesn’t scare the heck out of anyone thinking their data isn’t tracked online, you’re clearly not listening…”
  2. Kaspersky: Worry About Trojans, Mobile Phone Worms http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20080924/tc_zd/232397 “…Kaspersky divides active malware threats into two main groups, TrojWare and VirWare. VirWare refers to viruses, worms, and any malicious software that can propagate independently. TrojWare includes backdoors, rootkits, Trojans, and any malicious software that only propagates if it can trick a user into launching it. The average consumer may fear viruses more, but 92 percent of threats observed by Kaspersky fall in the TrojWare category…”
  3. Microsoft, Washington state sue over 'scareware' http://news.yahoo.com/s/cnet/20080929/tc_cnet/8301100931005356583 “…Microsoft and…Washington state said on Monday they have filed a handful of lawsuits over pop-up ads that scare consumers into paying for software that supposedly fixes critical errors on a PC.…”
  4. Sandbox security versus the evil Web http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20080930/tc_infoworld/111070 “…Criminal malware lurks on legitimate and illegitimate Web sites alike, looking to steal your money one way or the other….One of the results has been a class of anti-malware software that I call sandbox protection products. These items encapsulate Internet browsers (and e-mail programs and sometimes any other program you can run) within a virtual, emulated cocoon designed to keep malware from reaching and modifying the underlying host computer…”
  5. Scam sites vanish after owners' names, addresses posted http://tinyurl.com/3mqoyd (Ars technica) “…A pair of alleged scammers who made millions from unsuspecting Internet users have been outed, resulting in the disappearance of all their scam sites…In addition to their personal contact info, the site has posted the official "office" address in Malta, numerous photos of both Jake and Matt, photos and addresses of their girlfriends, and Jake's car in Canada (complete with license plate)…As for where the brothers (and their girlfriends?) have disappeared to, nobody seems to know. But one thing's for sure: anger enough people on the Internet and they will apparently fight back…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. The Cell Phone Wars http://slate.com/id/2200914 “…Watching Google and Apple carve out space in the mobile business, one can hardly avoid thinking that history is repeating itself. In the 1970s and '80s, Apple created the first great personal computers. But because Apple closed its platform, it was IBM, Dell, HP, and especially Microsoft that reaped the benefits of Apple's innovations. The Mac's operating system ran only on Mac computers; Windows ran on lots of lots of different companies' hardware.…”
  2. The State of Location-Based Social Networking On The iPhone http://tinyurl.com/4rsorr (TechCrunch) “…there are six major location-based social networks available for the iPhone…All of them tell you how far away other members are from you, with most focused on helping you find your friends but some designed primarily for discovering strangers…”
  3. Motorola Building Up 350-Person Android Team http://tinyurl.com/3u5q72 (TechCrunch) “…Motorola already has 50 people on its Android team and is growing that to 350…this same source has also seen people from Nokia and Verizon at a recent Android developer conference…”
  4. T-Mobile's 1GB data limit on Android G1 dropped http://tinyurl.com/4rczcx (Ars technica) “…T-Mobile has decided to ditch the cap it had placed on the data and bandwidth usage of T-Mobile G1 users…T-Mobile reiterated…the right to temporarily reduce data throughput for a small fraction of our customers who have excessive or disproportionate usage that interferes with our network performance or our ability to provide quality service to all of our customers."…1GB for an entire month on a mobile device that can't be tethered to your computer is, in fact, probably pretty reasonable…we asked the iPhone users here at the Ars Orbiting HQ to look at their data use for the last six months…not a single person had downloaded more than 200MB in a month, ever—and even that was pretty high compared to the average, which hovered just below 100MB…”
  5. The State of iPhone Satisfaction http://technologizer.com/2008/09/30/iphone-satisfaction/ “…we fielded an in-depth survey on life with the iPhone. Over 2150 users of both the iPhone 3G and the original model took the time to participate…The vast majority of respondents love their iPhones. Ninety-one percent said they were totally or very satisfied with them. Seventy-eight percent rate it as an excellent or good value, counting the cost of wireless service…Almost everybody has installed Software Update 2.1, and it gets good marks for improving the phone…Freezes and crashes, slow Internet access, and poor coverage were the problems that most respondents said they’d encountered with their iPhones. And just about everybody has encountered problems. Cut and paste was the most-desired missing iPhone feature–and almost nobody who took the survey cares that the iPhone doens’t have a physical keyboard…”

Open Source

  1. Save a Web page for later with Read It Later extension http://www.linux.com/feature/148198 “…At first sight, the Read It Later (RIL) extension looks redundant -- after all, you can use Firefox's own bookmarking functionality to save Web pages for later reading. But dig deeper, and you'll discover that it offers enough nifty features to make it a must-have tool for most users…”
  2. VLC goes to nine point two http://www.linux.com/feature/148944 “…I only know about 5% of what VLC can do. Everyone knows it's a dependable, free, cross-platform media player. But read through the release notes for the latest version, 0.9.2, and you will see a dizzying array of server, network streaming, and conversion functions…”
  3. Italian LUG turns Pakistani school into educational model http://www.linux.com/feature/148311 “…The students of a missionary school in Pakistan, from first graders to graduates, have become enthusiastic Edubuntu users thanks to the cooperation between their administrator and an Italian LUG…In Pakistan, he explained, the word "English" isn't used only to specify a nationality or language…"English" may also be used to mean "superlative, of such a high quality that only the elites can afford it." He says most students in developing countries see computers only on TV, billboards, or magazine pictures…When parents coming from distant villages to pick up their children find them sitting in front of a computer, Amato says, "They're amazed and sometimes whisper to themselves, 'This really is an English School!'"…”

SkyNet

  1. Google end run around wireless carriers http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/25/googles-end-run-around-the-wireless-carriers/ “…In a recently published patent, Google describes a vision for an open wireless world, one in which mobile devices (and smartphones in particular) are no longer married to particular cellular service providers.…”
  2. 'Google Moderator' tool takes on lecture-hall chaos http://tinyurl.com/546wk6 (Ars technica) “…The simple idea behind Moderator is to offer a public forum in which users can submit questions that they believe should be asked during a specific meeting or event. Other users can then vote on whether they like each question and agree on which should be asked, thereby using the power of crowdsourcing to decide what the most important issues are for the audience…”
  3. Project 10100Google crowdsources human betterment http://tinyurl.com/3mzajy (Ars technica) “…their 10th birthday…celebration involves elements of a contest, charitable grants, and the sort of open-ended brilliance that the MacArthur "genius" grants are supposed to recognize, all with a pretty big goal in mind: nothing less than identifying ideas that are easy to implement, scale well, and improve the human condition…”

General Technology

  1. 10 future shocks for the next 10 years http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20080923/tc_infoworld/112391 “…Shock No. 1: Triumph of the cloud…Shock No. 2: Cyborg chic…Shock No. 3: Everything works…Shock No. 4: Nothing escapes you…”
  2. 10 amazingly alternative operating systems http://tinyurl.com/423sqa (Pingdom) “…AmigaOS 4.1, Haiku, et al…Even if none of these operating systems ever were to “make it” and become mainstream… the passion behind them is real, and many have the potential to introduce new and fresh ideas…It’s quite possible that concepts introduced by a niche OS will later be adopted by a larger player on the OS market…”
  3. Nextfest: Toyota shows off 36 mph chair http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39502/113/ “…Toyota has been working on single-person-vehicles for several years and the most recent idea is the i-swing. It is basically a futuristic arm chair powered by an electric motor that will accelerate the 3-wheel vehicle to a speed of 36 mph…”
  4. Pretec announces 100 GB CF card http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39443/135/ “…Pretec, a maker of flash memory cards for devices like digital cameras…is showing off its new 64 GB and 100 GB…CF cards with access speeds of up to 35 MB/s…”
  5. SanDisk's microSD card hits 16GB http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10053696-1.html “…SanDisk announced its new microSD high-capacity (microSDHC) card that offers up to 16GB in storage space…microSD cards are by far the smallest in size among consumer storage devices--about the size of your little finger's nail…it's also the most popular media for smartphones and PDAs, and it is becoming more popular thanks to its tiny size…”
  6. Hands on with some surprising $80 night vision goggles http://tinyurl.com/5xhh3v (Ars technica) “…The goggles are technically a toy and aimed for children, but I found it easy to adjust the straps to fit my larger noggin…Unlike more expensive sets, this doesn't amplify light as much as it simply picks up on infrared light…Despite the issues with the eye cover and the heavy strain on normal batteries, this is a very high-quality toy…”
  7. AMD says new 'Shanghai' chip is ready http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10054038-64.html “…AMD said Monday it is set to roll out its next-generation "Shanghai" chip…"We had some mis-starts in getting Barcelona to market and wanted to bring as much velocity to Shanghai as possible…Shanghai--a quad-core product targeted at servers--will be AMD's first 45-nanometer processor…”

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. New Nintendo DS Model Adds Camera, Music Playback http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/09/nikkei-new-nint.html “…Nintendo is preparing to announce a new version of the Nintendo DS…one that adds… a camera and music playback…And there might be more to this new model…larger screens…able to transfer data from the Wii or an SD card…”
  2. New Dylan album to stream on NPR for 1 week http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080926/ap_en_mu/music_bob_dylan_stream “…Bob Dylan's new album shall be released one week early as a free online stream on National Public Radio's Web site…”
  3. LiquidTV: PC version of TiVo http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/09/29/nero-announces-liquidtv-pc-based-version-of-tivo/ “…Nero and TiVo are launching a new application called LiquidTV. Basically, LiquidTV is TiVo. But instead of running on a set top box, the software runs on a Windows PC…”
  4. Apple has threatened to shutter iTunes http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/30/technology/itunesthreat.fortune/ “…The Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, D.C. is expected to rule Thursday on a request by the National Music Publishers' Association to increase royalty rates paid to its members on songs purchased from online music stores like iTunes…from 9 cents to 15 cents a track…last year, iTunes vice president Eddy Cue said Apple might close its download store rather than raise its 99 cents a song price or absorb the higher royalty costs…”

Economy and Technology

  1. Apple stock plunging, Google stock diving, Yahoo stock melting http://tinyurl.com/3kdk7a (VentureBeat) “…Apple, Google and Yahoo are all down significantly…Apple…is currently down over 16 percent, in the $107-per-share range. It had dipped as low as $106.88 this morning. How large has Apple’s stock fall been? While back in December of 2007 the stock was above the $200-a-share mark, as recently as mid-August it was right around $180-a-share…Morgan Stanley’s target for Apple went from $178 to $115…While Google’s 8 percent drop may look relatively tame this morning compared to Apple’s 16 percent one, the stock has fallen below the $400-a-share mark for the the first time since mid-2006. The stock opened the day at $420-a-share, but found itself as low as $395 this morning…In November of 2007, it hit its all-time high of $747.24…Recent Internet punching bag Yahoo, meanwhile, may only be faring better than Apple and Google because its stock price was so much lower to begin with…”
  2. Transmeta puts itself, LongRun technology up for sale http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39470/118/ “…Transmeta has put up the For Sale sign…Transmeta currently has a market capitalization of $164 million…The company announced its power-efficient Crusoe processor in early 2000, but never got real traction in the micro-processor market – partly because it lacked the necessary credibility and partly because it was out-marketed by Intel and AMD…”
  3. Try These Innovative Marketing Techniques http://tinyurl.com/3uvg8h (Forbes) “…"In times like this, people think the first thing to do is to cut back on marketing to save money," says guerrilla-marketing expert Jay Conrad Levinson…Levinson's contrarian philosophy: Double marketing outlays in tough times, to perhaps 8% of projected gross sales from a more typical 4%. Better yet, get more out of your current marketing budget by exploiting technology…says David Meerman Scott, viral-marketing strategist and author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR. "The Web allows you to tell your story directly"…”

Civilian Aerospace

  1. Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 1 successful http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/080928-spacex-falcon1-fourthtest.html http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1222/1 “…Falcon 1 rocket successfully blasted into space late Sunday to become the first privately built liquid-fueled booster to reach orbit…the Falcon 1 rocket successfully reached its intended orbit that ranged from 310 to 434 miles (500-700 km).…” “…the Falcon 1 eluded the problems that jinxed the first three launches: no first-stage engine fire, no sloshing of fuel in the second stage, and no stage separation problems…Ten minutes later, the Falcon 1 second stage and its dummy payload were in orbit… SpaceX is moving on…with RazakSAT, a Malaysian remote sensing satellite scheduled for launch on a Falcon 1 early next year; the first Falcon 9 launch is now planned for the second quarter of 2009. “We look forward to doing a lot of Falcon 1 launches and a lot of Falcon 9 launches and continuously improving until the point where we’re the world’s leading provider of space launch,” Musk said…”
  2. Central Texas Rocket Engine Test http://www.temple-telegram.com/story/local/2008/09/28/52577 “…Space Exploration Technologies - called SpaceX - was simultaneously test firing nine of its American-made Merlin 1C rocket engines from a mock launch pad at its 300-acre test site in the McGregor Business Park…“Everything went beautifully. It was another successful Falcon 9 development accomplishment,”…Falcon 9 is the rocket SpaceX plans to send to the international space station in a few years…”
  3. Virgin Galactic mothership's first flight delayed to year's end http://tinyurl.com/5y8pek (FlightGlobal) “…The maiden flight of Virgin Galactic's Scaled Composites' designed WhiteKnightTwo mothership has been delayed, possibly to the end of the year…captive flight tests of the prototype suborbital ship, SpaceShipTwo (SS2)…expected in the first half of next year. "There have been various taxi trials [of WK2] outside the hangar already, but undertaken at night. The first flight trials will take place when we are ready and will definitely be this year and possibly within the next few weeks…”
  4. New images of spaceport unveiled http://tinyurl.com/3pb2t3 (Architect’s Journal) “…Foster + Partners has released new pictures of the world's first Spaceport in New Mexico, USA…Housing a spaceship hangar and an astronaut terminal control room, as well as visitor facilities, the low-lying building has been designed to blend into the desert landscape…”
  5. A New Paradigm for a New Vision of Space http://www.planetary.org/programs/projects/space_advocacy/20080926.html “…the ground is shifting beneath the space program in the United States and around the world, and we are entering an age of severe budgetary constraints…The solution, according to Friedman, is to internationalize space exploration by creating "a new paradigm of sharing…inspired by the idea of 'Wiki' -- open source contributions to create a product that is greater than any one source can make. "We suggest that openness can create a greater space program than can the traditional nationalist space agencies acting on their own."…”
  6. Charles Simonyi trains for second spaceflight http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26957212/ “…Charles Simonyi, a computer software executive who paid more than $20 million to fly to the International Space Station aboard a Russian-built Soyuz capsule in spring 2007, will train for a second Soyuz trip to the space station in spring 2009…the cost of such trips to the space station has risen to no less than $30 million due to inflation…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. Nvidia Chip Speeds Up Imaging for Industrial Use http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/technology/23nvidia.html “…Energy exploration firms, clothing designers, medical companies and financial services firms have also bought systems running on Nvidia chips. All of these companies share a common problem: they need hardware that can analyze a vast quantity of data and do it much faster than standard computers….some companies and research institutions are finding that graphics processors can handle other kinds of work 10 to 150 times faster than standard processors by breaking up large problems into smaller tasks and reassembling the results later…”
  2. NVIDIA and Adobe team up to kick start the GPGPU market http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=15600 “…Software developers are now seriously beginning to take advantage of the parallel processing capability once thought to be solely useful for computer graphics, and one of the first mainstream and widespread examples arrived yesterday in the form of Adobe's Creative Suite 4…”
  3. CyberLink brings GPU acceleration to PowerDirector http://tinyurl.com/4yb87a (CustomPC) “…Unlike the OpenGL-based GPU acceleration in Photoshop CS4, CyberLink has created its GPU features with Nvidia’s C-based CUDA language, which unfortunately means that owners of ATI cards aren’t going to get a look-in…”
  4. Quantum3D: obsolescence-proof GPU PCI Express mezzanine card http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2008/09/20/3661715.htm “…The product’s video- and graphics-processing capabilities with analog and HD-SDI video outputs enable three-dimensional graphics in cockpits and mission-critical applications in particular. Its upgradability means that, for the first time, safety-critical applications can be rapidly implemented without the fear of obsolescence as GPUs are quickly EOLed when new GPUs come to market…”

*****

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