2009/02/03

NEW NET Issues List for 03 Feb 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 03 February 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're at the Copper Rock North coffee shop, formerly known as Dunn Bros, 1835 E Edgewood Dr, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA, across the street to the west from Appleton North High School. They've got free wireless, so you can bring your laptops or other wifi devices to get online, and their food and drinks are delicious.

The ‘net

1. Hotmail does POP3 http://blogs.msdn.com/stevecla01/archive/2009/01/27/hotmail-now-does-pop3.aspx “…POP server: pop3.live.com (Port 995); POP SSL required? Yes; User name: Your Windows Live ID, for example yourname@hotmail.com; Password: The password you usually use to sign in to Hotmail or Windows Live; SMTP server: smtp.live.com (Port 25); Authentication required? Yes (this matches your POP username and password); TLS/SSL required? Yes…”

2. How Many Engineers Does It Take To Make Hotmail Work In Google Chrome? http://tinyurl.com/cubt6x (TechCrunch) “…I was reminded of an annoyance my partner had when I first installed Google Chrome because she was unable to use her Hotmail (short for the official name Windows Live Hotmail and not to be confused with Windows Live Mail) account properly using the new browser…with Microsoft’s latest upgrade of the Windows Live Mail service, things got really broken, causing users to be unable to write, reply to or forward e-mail messages. Evidently, these are essential functionalities that shouldn’t take a company of that size to fix within a day or two. So why doesn’t it still work after weeks and weeks of complaints…I’m confident Microsoft wants to make Windows Live Hotmail work for Google Chrome users, but my gripe is that they’re dreadfully slow to respond to complaints about a service that’s quite essential to their whole online strategy…”

3. Flatworld: Open Textbooks http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.com/2009/01/flatworld-new-kind-of-textbook.html “…Flatworld, a open textbook publishing company, has finally come out of private beta. Here's what makes it different…Our books are free online. We offer convenient, low-cost choices for students – softcovers for under $30, audio books and chapters, self-print options, and more…This isn't entirely new - for example, Rice University is doing something similar with its opencourseware…You can customize your book before you adopt it, or anytime afterward. Think of it as your book – you’re in control and you can modify what you want, when you want…Beginning Summer 09, you can add large chunks of information like a case study or an exercise set…”

4. I’m Attending MIT, Stanford & Harvard http://mattiasgeniar.be/2009/01/29/im-attending-mit-stanford-harvard/ “…Thanks to Academic Earth…you can follow (video) lectures given at universities like Stanford, MIT, Harvard & Yale…videos include all sort of subjects, such as Computer Science (/love), Mathematics, Engineering, … all explained by well-respected professors…”

5. Skype 4.0 for Windows http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10155181-2.html “…Skype 4.0 (download) became available for free on Tuesday to Windows users. The free desktop VoIP communicator is a worthy final version that brings some key enhancements with video and audio bandwidth, though it leaves behind some of the extra adornments of version 3.8, the last stable build…If 4.0 is new to you, however, the developments are more notable. Skype concentrates on video size, quality, and performance in this version. From version 3.8 to version 4.0, every design change has been made to draw video and IM to the forefront, and for the most part it works…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Fannie Mae Logic Bomb http://www.crn.com/security/213000165 “…The contracted Fannie Mae engineer indicted Tuesday by the Justice Department for allegedly planting a logic bomb represents the beginning of a trend of insider attacks responding to layoffs and job insecurity because of the weak economy, experts say. "To me, this is the tip of the iceberg," said Mandeep Khera, chief marketing officer of security company Cenzic…Federal investigators indicted Rajendrashinh Makwana, 35…for allegedly embedding malicious code known as a logic bomb in the mortgage lender's computer network, which was set to detonate on Jan. 31, 2009…the malware could have destroyed the entirety of the data on all 4,000 of the mortgage finance company's servers and shut down the company for a week, experts say…Khera said that 2009 will likely be a "big year" for insider threats and data breaches due to the weak economy that resulted in massive layoffs within the IT sector and other industries. Consequently, it would not be difficult for disgruntled or laid-off IT employees to infiltrate corporate networks and plant malicious code…After they leave, they can sell this information to hackers. There're a lot of things they can do," Khera said. "(The attacks) will continue, and I think we'll see a huge trend this year…”

7. Hacker war drives San Francisco cloning RFID passports http://tinyurl.com/ak67l4 (Engadget) “…Chris Paget just did you a service…Using a $250 Motorola RFID reader and antenna connected to his laptop, Chris recently drove around San Francisco reading RFID tags from passports, driver licenses, and other identity documents. In just 20 minutes, he found and cloned the passports of two very unaware US citizens…he's hoping to help get the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative -- a homeland security project -- scrapped…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

8. Apple vs. Palm: the in-depth analysis http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/28/apple-vs-palm-the-in-depth-analysis/ “…Apple and Palm kicked a lot of dirt at each other last week…we're going to do our best to identify the elements of the Pre and the iPhone that could potentially infringe Apple or Palm patents…If you're to believe the conventional wisdom, Apple has a death grip on multitouch patents…patent #7,479,949, entitled "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics" that you might have seen touted around the web as Apple's "key multitouch patent"…Patents become narrower in scope as they go through the approval process…it now only covers touch devices that have a very specific interface feature…in order for Apple to win a case against Palm based on this patent, it would have to show that the Pre has the same scrolling behavior. Which it very well might, as we saw at CES…we didn't find much of anything that would keep anyone from using multitouch gestures like pinch-to-zoom…there are so many other multitouch systems (including Microsoft Surface and Windows 7) out there using the gesture that we don't know if Apple could convince Uncle Sam to dole out a patent on the idea…looking at some of Palm's patents, we can pretty much say that Apple's got some 'splainin to do…people seem to have forgotten that Palm is a comeback story -- it's been in the game since 1992, and it's got a pretty hefty patent portfolio of its own. Take #7,268,775, entitled "Dynamic brightness range for portable computer displays based on ambient conditions," for example -- it covers automatically adjusting display brightness using an ambient light sensor while leaving a user-selected brightness setting alone. Yep, that's exactly how the iPhone does it…Or how about #7,007,239, "Method and apparatus for accessing a contacts database and telephone services"? Claim 10 is an almost exact description of the iPhone's phone app…we doubt this will all settle quietly in the night. More likely it's going to come down to whoever decides to blink first…we'd say the first shot's going to come from Cupertino…all we want is for both Apple and Palm to come to the table, hammer out a cross-licensing agreement…and get back to work on innovative, exciting technologies and devices…”

9. What’s Microsoft hiding in its Skybox in the cloud? http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1884 “…There have been a few leaks during the past year about Skybox, Skyline and Skymarket — Microsoft’s cloud-based service complements to mobile phones. Microsoft is set to take the wraps off these three services at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona in mid-February…Skybox, is a hub for user data and information — a place for storing and accessing photos, contact lists, calendar items and more on Microsoft datacenter servers. If you lose or switch your phone, all your data and contacts are saved in your Skybox. Skybox is based on the Mobicomp synchronization technologies that the Redmondians acquired when they purchased the Portuguese services company Mobicomp in the summer of 2008…By summer 2009, Microsoft is planning to field the 1.5 version of the Skybox service, sources said. The 1.5 release will come in two flavors, if Microsoft sticks to its current plan: a free Skybox standard service and a subscription-based Skybox premium service…Why you’d still need other existing Microsoft services like Live Mesh, SkyDrive and Live Sync — the service formerly called Windows Live FolderShare — in addition to Skyline is not clear to me. The whole idea behind Skybox 2.0 is to make your file and data sharing between your PCs, other devices and phones seamless. I thought that was the goal of Live Mesh, too…”

10. Motorola: Google Android better than Windows Mobile http://tinyurl.com/bgkrn3 (AlleyInsider) “…Motorola says. Android is "more competitive" than the current Windows Mobile 6, Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha said…He said Motorola could focus more on Windows Mobile 7 next year…Android still has some major hurdles to clear -- like getting top U.S. carriers AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) to agree to sell it -- but it's a much smoother consumer experience than today's Windows Mobile, which is a dog…”

11. Toshiba TG01 smartphone http://tinyurl.com/csk4oc (PalmAddict) “…Toshiba is about to change the game by entering the tough competition with a bang; by announcing TG01…4.1-inch touchscreen with WVGA resolution…Qualcomm Snapdragon processor…full Flash support…TG01 doesn't have accelerometer, but Toshiba puts in a new feature which the company calls it as "G-sensor" that allows you to tilt the phone around a central spot, can be used to answer and hang up phone calls by shaking the phone…”

Open Source

12. 10 predictions for open source in 2009 http://www.zdnetasia.com/techguide/opensource/0,39044899,62050494,00.htm “…The year holds a great deal of promise for the Linux OS and open source software--from an explosion in the mobile arena to widespread adoption of OpenOffice 3…I offer you this list of what I see in the year to come for the Linux operating system and open source software…”

13. VMware launches open source virtual desktop software http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=3414 VMWare has delivered a virtual client system under the Lesser GPL, VMWare View Open Client. Both the code and support are already available on GoogleCode…If this succeeds it could really be a game-changer. Imagine what the PC world would be like if enterprises are able to slow purchases regardless of head count. Imagine what Microsoft revenues might look like in that world.”

SkyNet

14. Gmail goes offline http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-41219-140.html “…After months of experimenting and anticipation, Google finally feels confident enough to release offline GMail feature into the wild…With offline mode, a local cache of messages in your Gmail account are downloaded to your computer. As long as you're connected to the Internet, that cache is synchronized with Gmail's servers. When you lose your connection, Gmail automatically switches to offline mode and uses the data stored on your computer's hard drive instead of the information sent across the network…Google even addressed cases when users are on unreliable or slow connection, citing example when "you're 'borrowing' your neighbor's wireless. In these instances users can choose "flaky connection mode," which is somewhere in between: It uses the local cache as if you were disconnected, but still synchronizes your mail with the server in the background…” [other relevant posts to read: http://jkontherun.com/2009/01/27/gmail-unplugs-from-the-cloud-with-offline-support/ http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/gmail_gets_offline_support.php]

15. Google M-Labs: Your Personal Traffic Cop http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/introducing-measurement-lab.html “…When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP, the application, your PC, or something else? It can be difficult for experts, let alone average Internet users, to address this sort of question today…Google, the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers are taking the wraps off of Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform that researchers can use to deploy Internet measurement tools…To start, three tools running on servers near Google's headquarters are available to help users attempt to diagnose common problems that might impair their broadband speed, as well as determine whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled by their ISPs…You can learn more at the M-Lab website.…” [also see http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/01/google-others-launch-m-lab-to-track-network-openness.ars]

16. Google Earth explores world's oceans http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_11610725 “…if you want to explore the world's oceans — from the bottom of Monterey Bay to Australia's Great Barrier Reef — you won't need a Scuba tank or submarine, only a home computer and Internet connection. Expanding its popular Google Earth software, Mountain View-based Google on Monday unveiled an aquatic component, Google Ocean that…combined satellite imagery, underwater photographs, video and scientific data to allow users to see 3-D images of the ocean floor, along with key features such as the location of ship wrecks and coral reefs…They also said it would be widely embraced by scientists, who are expected to embed massive amounts of data onto the maps…Google Earth 5.0 — also includes 20 massive data sets including photos and video of marine animals, the boundaries of the world's marine protected areas, dead zones, daily sea surface temperature changes and arctic sea ice…”

17. Google’s flub: Do we have a Web monoculture too? http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=12036 “…Google had a rough weekend and a human error caused the search giant to list the entire Web as malware for an hour or so…In security circles, monoculture is a key concept. Roughly speaking, whenever a technology–Windows for instance–is dominant it becomes a big target to attack…the Google incident “provides a harsh lesson on our total dependence on a single vendor/search provider.”…Without any diversification companies are at risk…Say Windows is attacked and effectively wiped out. The all-Windows shop is wiped out too. But if that company is 80 percent Windows, 15 percent open source and 5 percent Mac suddenly the prospects look better. If you take this argument to the Web the implications are clear. We should all diversify from our Google habit at least a little…”

18. What Would Google Do? http://www.newsweek.com/id/181829/page/1 “…the point isn't so much to worship Google, it is to face the confusing, counterintuitive, fundamental change going on in our world now and ask, "Who is succeeding in it, and why?" So, just as I try to look admiringly from a distance at Google, I include anecdotes and examples from Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and Craig Newmark at craigslist and Jeff Bezos at Amazon. There is a club of people who've figured out the Internet and succeeded at it…In terms of the process of the book, though, I hope it was Googlier [than most] in that I thought this book through on my blog. And the great thing about the blog is the people who help me there—readers who with amazing generosity will act as peer review and challenge my ideas, and push them and fill in gaps in my knowledge…we're going through more than a financial crisis, we're going through a fundamental change in the structure of the economy. Google is not the cause of that, but it is part and parcel of that…[C]ompanies… still need to grow to scale and critical mass, and the way that they can do that, watching Google's example, is by building platforms and networks…Apple is successful despite being pretty un-Google-y…part of what I define as being Google-y, or really more Internet-smart, is being transparent and open, so that you can be found on Google. There's an ethic behind this transparency that I've learned in the blog world. Should Apple have been more transparent about Steve Jobs's health? Yes, probably. But, health is an issue of privacy. So I don't know where I come down in the end…”

19. Is Google Apps Good Enough for the Enterprise? http://tinyurl.com/bmtzjy (ITBusinessEdge) “…what the heck is Google Apps? Is it a collection of slick tools that appeal to users, but fall a little short for rigorous enterprise use? Or is it an engaging set of services that not only enables, but encourages employees to collaborate in a variety of contexts? The answer is probably a little of both…Guy Creese notes that it isn’t clear whether Apps is intended primarily for collaboration, content management or communication. While it contains elements of all three, says Creese, none of its features are robust enough to make Apps a replacement for products typically used by enterprises…Yet the typical enterprise user cares more about ease of use than a long list of features, says Rishi Chandra, Google Apps product manager. “If you ask users the difference between an enterprise content management system, a collaboration system and a productivity suite, they probably wouldn’t care. They just want to be able to do their jobs better…Google’s consumer roots are a strength, says Chandra…Creese, however, sees them as a liability…Google’s “constant stream of innovation” yields frequent incremental updates…Creese points out it can also delay features if customers didn't ask for them initially. Also, he says, companies like to know which new features are in the pipeline…That may be true, says Chandra, but “when the tradeoff is being stuck with old technology, I think many companies will want to move to a more flexible platform…”

20. Google's new Ajax-powered search results breaks search keyword tracking http://tinyurl.com/c5uv8e (GetClicky) “…Google is currently testing search results delivered via "Ajax" from google.com itself. Big deal? Yes. This change breaks search/keyword tracking for every single analytics app in existence…the fact that Google is even considering doing this, with blatant disregard for the fact that they will be breaking every single analytics, stats, and log analyzer product on the planet, is just amazing…”

21. Google and Yahoo work together in Korea http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/02/133_38906.html Internet companies are competing to bring the real world to desktops, and usual suspects Daum (www.daum.net) and Naver (www.naver.com) have emerged once again as leaders of the pack. This has global giants Google (www.google.co.kr) and Yahoo (www.yahoo.co.kr) joining hands in Web maps and local search services as they can ill-afford to allow their Korean rivals to extend their virtual duopoly into the new market…”

General Technology

22. Will Intel let Jen-Hsun Huang spread graphics beyond PCs? http://tinyurl.com/ck3sod (VentureBeat) “…The Netbook is not a new category. It’s just a cheaper PC. It’s like when Compaq launched the $1,000 PC a decade ago. People said it was dysfunctional. The first one was, but the next version was a lot better. The $999 price never went back up. It just got cheaper and cheaper. With Netbooks, it’s clear the $399 PC is here. It will just get better and better. Q: Is there a place for a $250, full-keyboard device that uses ARM processors? A: I think there is, but I think the price is less than $199. It has a full keyboard, it’s thin and it runs for a long time on batteries. It has a one-watt microprocessor…Q: How long can this go on? You just keep making them cheaper and how can you make money on it? A: You’re going to get free PCs from your cable service. There is real innovation to be done here. I think the consumer would be really well served with a computer, a keyboard, a display and a battery life that last for two or three days…”

23. Netbooks hit right spot for schoolchildren http://tinyurl.com/d9gduj (Sydney Morning Herald) “…Sales of netbooks in Australia have exploded, with the mini low-cost computers now accounting for more than one in 10 laptop and desktop PCs sold…the growth has been driven in part by cash-strapped parents seeking to equip their children with simple, low-powered computers for doing homework before the new school year, which for state schools began today…parents have also been buying them for their children to take advantage of the Rudd Government's Education Tax Refund. This allows parents to claim up to $375 in education expenses for each primary school child and $750 for each secondary school child…Although netbooks are low-powered…the lack of grunt might be beneficial in a school context because an inability to play games, watch DVDs or even stream YouTube videos smoothly means children have no choice but to concentrate on work. The NSW Department of Education and Training is about to select a supplier of "learning devices" (laptops) that it plans to give to 200,000 secondary students…The price and specifications indicate the eventual design will resemble a ruggedised netbook…”

24. Couple welcomes home $155,000 cloned dog http://tinyurl.com/cjffzl (BostonHerald) “…Sir Lancelot Encore spent his first Florida night in the master bedroom…The 10-week-old golden Labrador retriever is a clone, created in South Korea by a California biotech firm from the DNA of the first Sir Lancelot…The original "Lancy" died, at age 11, in January 2008…when the chance came to duplicate Lancelot, there was no hesitation…"He was a human dog," said Ed, 79. "He read your emotions. He knew when to be with you and when to leave you alone…the Ottos had cryogenically banked DNA samples from their beloved Lancelot five years earlier…To create Lancelot Encore, Woo-suk took an egg from…"an indigenous Korean dog" resembling a bloodhound, replaced the egg’s innards with the late Lancelot’s DNA, then implanted the egg in a second Korean dog…It is unclear whether little Lancy’s temperament will resemble his predecessor’s…He expects the puppy to be "completely fertile," able to father pups of his own. He also should have a normal life span: 12 to 13 years. "After Dolly in 1996" - the world’s first cloned animal, a sheep - "concern was raised about life span because she died in middle age," Hawthorne said. "But she was put down because of a standard sheep disease. There was no indication she had aged prematurely." He does not expect the cost of dog cloning to fall much because "it’s so much trouble…” [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0216216/]

25. Cheap, super-efficient LED lights http://tinyurl.com/cqaddq (NewScientist) “…Incandescent tungsten-filament light bulbs face a global switch-off as governments push for energy efficient fluorescent lamps to become the standard. But the light could soon go out on those lamps too, now that UK materials scientists have discovered a cheaper way to produce LED bulbs, which are three times as efficient as fluorescent lamps…The cost of production has kept the LEDs far from homes and offices, however. Gallium nitride cannot be grown on silicon like other solid-state electronic components because it shrinks at twice the rate of silicon as it cools…Humphreys's team at the University of Cambridge has discovered a simple solution to the shrinkage problem…A 15-centimetre silicon wafer costs just $15 and can accommodate 150,000 LEDs making the cost per unit tiny. …”

26. Leading futurists, thinkers to launch Silicon Valley university http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10155303-52.html “…Starting this summer, some of the world's leading thinkers in exponentially growing technologies will be gathering annually at NASA Ames Research Center, in the heart of Silicon Valley, for 10 weeks of discussions on how to change the future…The gatherings will be part of what is known as Singularity University, a brand-new academic institution co-founded by inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, X Prize chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis, and former Yahoo Brickhouse head Salim Ismail…Singularity University is less a traditional university and more an institution that will feature intensive 10-week, 10-day, or 3-day programs examining a set of 10 technologies and disciplines, such as future studies and forecasting; biotechnology and bioinformatics; nanotechnology; AI, robotics, and cognitive computing; and finance and entrepreneurship…students will come from all over the world, and they hope the program results in the founding of new companies, the evolution of scientific and technological thinking, and the solidifying of professional and personal networks among the highly-accomplished students and faculty…If we do our job correctly…students "will meet, (discover their) common visions, and start companies together. They'll have a chance to match a nanotech expert from Russia with an AI expert from Silicon Valley and see what magic happens at the boundaries…The first phase…is a series of plenary lectures in which all students take the same coursework and learn together about each of the 10 disciplines…In the second phase, students will take deep dives into one of the 10 tracks, typically not one in which they already specialize, learning together in 10-person classes. And in the final phase, the entire student body will come together to work on a team project. "This is where the student body will focus as a group in taking on one of the world's grand challenges," said Diamandis, dealing "with global hunger, pandemics, climate change," or something similar…”

27. After chipmaker's collapse, memory prices rise http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10154742-64.html “…Prices for DRAM…the main memory in PCs, shot up as much as 26 percent…reports have attributed this to the bankruptcy of Germany-based chipmaker Qimonda, and seem to indicate that this will relieve some of the pressure on prices caused by oversupply. The price of certain DDR2 (Double Data Rate, second generation) memory chips rose as much as 28 percent Monday. Flash memory also rose, with 16-gigabit chips rising more than 5 percent…”

28. NVIDIA Ion computing platform http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/nvidia-ion-reference-pc.aspx “…Nvidia’s Ion platform, which pairs the company’s GeForce 9400 graphics processing unit with Intel’s 1.6-GHz Atom processor, looks to revolutionize the low-cost graphics market…Based on our tests of a small form factor desktop, Ion blows away Intel’s integrated chipset and graphics…Ion transforms low-cost Atom-powered systems into machines that offer five to ten times the gaming and video-transcoding performance over Intel’s integrated Atom GPU solution, according to Nvidia. This is achieved through the use of CUDA, Nvidia’s general-purpose parallel computing architecture that leverages the parallel computing engines in GPUs…”

Leisure & Entertainment

29. Why The iPhone Version 3 Will be a Games Platform http://tinyurl.com/cdveux (FastCompany) “…as far as big players in the games-writing world are concerned, the cost of developing for the iPhone is difficult to recuperate using the existing app pricing structure. Hence the pressure to create a $20 price bracket…Apple's shown a renewed interest in improving the graphics capabilities of its laptops…There's no reason to think they're not considering revving the graphics of the iPhone…There's also Apple's reluctance to allow gaming add-ons for existing devices…While Sony improved the PSP last year into the PSP-3000, it was more of a revamp than an upgrade…Nintendo's DS had a similar cosmetic tweak into the DSi, which added a camera and a browser, but it hardly came close to being a "DS2" upgrade…It would be remiss of Apple to not take advantage of the "upgrade gap" left by Sony and Nintendo, and introduce the iPhone 3.0 into the portable gaming market…”

30. A New Dimension to 3D http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090129/tc_pcworld/digitalgearanewdimensionto3d “…3D technology has also made its way to webcams, binoculars and video games, and attempts are under way to get rid of those dreaded glasses…The Minoru 3D webcam resembles a hammerhead shark's head, with a camera on either side of its sleek contour. The cameras join images together to provide a full "stereoscopic" 3D effect…Nvidia demonstrated 3D gaming with its GeForce 3D Vision kit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The kit includes sleek 3D glasses and an LCD monitor that provide a full-blown 3D PC gaming experience…Panasonic at CES introduced a 103-inch Plasma HDTV display that could show 3D Blu-ray movies in the future. The TV can display full high-definition images for the right and left eye…Alioscopy at CES showed 3D displays that require no glasses. Alioscopy's 3DHD autostereoscopic LCD display includes a lenticular lens that provides a 3D effect from different angles depending on a viewer's position...Distant images can be viewed and pictures taken in 3D with the 3D VuCam binoculars and camera from StereoVision Imaging…”

31. Free online computer games big in dismal economy http://tinyurl.com/ac9pcw (Yahoo) “…Not only have consumers turned to outlets such as gaming to take their minds off the economy, but as they curtail their discretionary gaming-related purchases they are turning to free alternatives." Yahoo! Games was the most popular website in the category with visits climbing 20 percent to 19.5 million year-over-year. Videogame giant Electronic Arts ranked second with visits rising 21 percent to 15.4 million. Disney Games was in third place with visits growing 13 percent to 13.4 million. "Casual games are providing a really good alternative source of entertainment that is fun and free for people in a tough economic environment…”

32. Amazon enters downloadable PC game industry http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-41301-98.html “…Amazon said through its video game blog that all titles downloaded through its online game store will cost between $7 and $10. The company is offering, for the next week, three free full-version titles for those who choose to take a moment to browse the selections. The 600+ game titles available for download, which will continue to grow overtime, can be tried out for a free 30-minute trial…”

33. Kindles: $1.2 Billion Business Next Year http://tinyurl.com/b7mvtx (AllThingsD) “…Citigroup analyst estimates that Amazon (AMZN) sold 500,000 devices last year. And…will become a $1.2 billion business by 2010…He derives the 500,000 number via a filing by Amazon partner Sprint (S), which handles the wireless service for the e-books. And he gets to the $1.2 billion number by assuming that Kindle adoption will be similar to that of Apple’s (AAPL) music player several years ago, and that Kindle owners will buy a digital book each month…Mahaney’s larger thesis, which is that Amazon is making great strides at anticipating and adapting to a future where most of its inventory is delivered digitally…The structural challenge facing Amazon is that approximately 50% of its revenue is generated from the sale of books, music, and videos–three product categories that are all in the process of being digitized…”

Economy and Technology

34. Meet Creator of 'Hero On The Hudson' Game http://www.cnbc.com/id/28947516 “…I tracked down the team who invented the free game "Hero on the Hudson" and it turns out the company is quite the prolific games developer. Not to mention how successful this particular title has become…The CEO is Andriy Sharanevych and his Orb Games Ltd. is headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine. He started the company back in 2006, with a team of games developers who sport a terrific pedigree…his mission is to "develop innovative games based upon our own concepts as well as upon other unique and interesting mass-market product lines in mind…What gave you the idea to base a game around this incredible event?...The event itself was absolutely shocking for the whole world...But shocking in a good way. We were watching a miracle…”

35. Nathan Myhrvold has Transmeta patents http://tinyurl.com/amkd3w (VentureBeat) “…Intellectual Ventures, the patent-licensing firm created by technologist Nathan Myhrvold, has purchased the patent portfolio of microprocessor maker Transmeta, according to an announcement yesterday…Intellectual Ventures has acquired a large collection of patents that has generated $1 billion in revenue for the company in the past year and $300 million in payments to individual inventors…”

36. Angels Flee From Tech Start-Ups http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/technology/start-ups/03angel.html “…like all investors, many angels suffered deep losses when the market plunged last fall. That has left them skittish, investing in fewer technology start-ups…For TwoSmartDogs, an Internet start-up in Los Angeles that was building an online hub for adult education classes, this sudden pullback was disastrous…When the founders approached current and new investors for more capital in September, they were met with silence. “There was real interest,” said Rose Ors, a founder of the company. “But the economic meltdown ended all conversation.” Unable to raise money, Ms. Ors and her partners decided to shut down the company and look for new jobs…Many professional angels…are still financing start-ups, if at a slower pace. They say the best opportunities come during downturns, as companies’ valuations fall significantly. The median valuation of start-ups seeking angel financing fell 25 percent, to $3 million, from the third to the fourth quarter of 2008, according to Angelsoft…Dan Martin, an angel investor based in San Francisco who made millions when his family sold its aerospace contracting business in 2003, has invested several hundred thousand dollars of that in a handful of start-ups…”

37. IBM Offers To Move Laid Off Workers To India http://tinyurl.com/dzxrbv (InformationWeek) “…Under a program called Project Match, IBM will help workers laid off from domestic sites obtain travel and visa assistance for countries in which Big Blue has openings. Mostly that's developing markets like India, China, and Brazil…IBM offers financial assistance to offset moving costs, provides immigration support, such as visa assistance, and other support to help ease the transition of an international move…workers will be paid according to prevailing norms in the countries to which they relocate. In many cases, that could be substantially less than what they earned in North America…”

Civilian Aerospace

38. Europe aims for 2015 SpaceShipTwo competitor http://tinyurl.com/dyumx2 (FlightGlobal) “…FAST20XX will design, develop and experimentally validate hybrid propulsion engines, other technologies and make a recommendation on safe air-launch separation from a carrier aircraft. The hybrid propulsion would be for the suborbital vehicle, which is based on the unmanned automatic glide-and-landing Phoenix test vehicle…The vehicle would have six passengers and one pilot. The hypersonic point-to-point transport system is the DLR space launcher systems analysis group's liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-propelled concept vehicle called SpaceLiner. It has two stages. The first is a large unmanned booster and the second a 50-passenger vehicle that piggies back on the first stage. The vertically launched Spaceliner would take less than 90min to fly a route from Europe to Australia. With a return flight once a day, DLR says the Spaceliner could be flown 150 times, with replacement engines needed every 25 flights. FAST20XX is the latest in a line of at least half a dozen commercial spaceflight-related projects…”

39. Investment banker seeks out of space experience http://www.wealth-bulletin.com/rich-life/rich-monitor/content/1053170375/ “…Xcor, a Mojave, California-based company, is planning to launch its rocket-powered spaceship Lynx in 2010, to carry a single passenger and a pilot 200,000 feet above the Earth at half the price of competitors. The $95,000 ticket is the cheapest available, offering a hefty saving on rival Virgin’s Galactic $200,000 voyage…Xcor already has 22 deposit paid passengers, of whom the first will be Danish investment banker Per Wimmer…”

40. “Rocket Man” Steve Bennett wants to make space tourism available to everyone http://tinyurl.com/bdw3fq (EuroNews) “…The square-jawed heroes of Thunderbirds and real-life astronauts of the Apollo programme were the inspirations for Steve Bennett, the Englishman building a new future for space tourism…” [4 minute video]

41. Student Teams Shooting for Team America Rocketry Challenge Final http://tinyurl.com/dkqgwp (PRNewswire) “…653 teams from 45 states and the District of Columbia have registered for the 2009 Team America Rocketry Challenge…The contest challenges 3- to 10-member teams to design and build model rockets by hand, then successfully launch them and return a raw-egg payload to the ground unbroken. This year's contest goals are an altitude of 750 feet and a flight time of 45 seconds. The rockets must transport one egg laid horizontally to mimic the position of an astronaut…The goal is to increase interest in science, math and engineering education among middle and high school students to ultimately steer them to careers in aerospace…”

42. What future for midair rocket launches? http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090203TDY04302.htm “…Although many countries have been trying to develop midair rocket-launching systems, little attention has so far been paid to the technology in Japan. Midair rocket launches using aircraft have a number of advantages over conventional launches--they do not need large-scale launch facilities and they offer increased flexibility in the timing and location of launches…the method also poses problems, including considerably higher maintenance and repair costs for the rocket-launching airplanes and limits to the size of satellites that can be launched…One reason for the surge in interest in midair rocket launches is that rapid advances in satellite technology have made it possible for tasks that earlier required large satellites to be undertaken by smaller ones…”

43. NASA To Offer Free Zero-Gravity Flights http://tinyurl.com/d9p8yc (InformationWeek) NASA will provide free flights to outside teams to test new technologies on flights that simulate the weightless conditions of space…it's seeking technologies that could be used to improve space vehicle capabilities and support future space exploration. NASA has offered testing opportunities to U.S. companies, individuals, academic or research institutions, and government agencies. The agency plans to choose at least 20 projects for the latest round of test flights…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

44. CUDA, Supercomputing for the Masses: Part 10 http://www.ddj.com/hpc-high-performance-computing/212903437 “…In this installment, I examine CUDPP, the "CUDA Data Parallel Primitives Library." CUDPP is a quickly maturing package that implements some not-so-obvious algorithms to efficiently use the GPU for basic data-parallel operations such as sorting, stream compaction, and even building data structures like trees and summed-area tables…Most of us have a tool kit of libraries and methods that we use to do some of our work for us. In a nutshell, these libraries provide primitives that we can use to quickly and efficiently perform some of our computational tasks…CUDPP uses the same ideas to provide a library of optimized "best in class" methods to perform primitive operations such as parallel-prefix-sum ("scan"), parallel sort (of numbers), parallel reduction and other methods that permit the efficient implementation of sparse matrix-vector multiply, and other operations…”

45. NVIDIA Names Stanford's Bill Dally Chief Scientist http://tinyurl.com/bmk4du (HPCwire) “…NVIDIA Corporation today announced that Bill Dally, the chairman of Stanford University's computer science department, will join the company as chief scientist and vice president of NVIDIA Research. The company also announced that longtime Chief Scientist David Kirk has been appointed "NVIDIA Fellow." "I am thrilled to welcome Bill to NVIDIA at such a pivotal time for our company," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO, NVIDIA. "His pioneering work in stream processors at Stanford greatly influenced the work we are doing at NVIDIA today…”

46. Need a supercomputer? Build it yourself http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/020209-supercomputer.html?page=1 “…Bruce Allen is perhaps the world's best do-it-yourselfer. When he needed a supercomputer to crunch the results of gravitational-wave research, he built one with his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee…The total cost was about $70,000 he got from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant was actually for eight high-end Sun workstations, but he spent it on the Linux cluster instead. "About a year later I was giving a scientific talk about this, and the two program managers from the NSF came up to me afterwards," he says. "I sort of shamefacedly apologized. I said, 'Well, I hope you're not angry that I went ahead and did this anyway.' "And they both laughed and said, 'Well, we're very, very happy. If it hadn't been successful, we wouldn't be saying that…”


*****

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home