NEW NET Issues List for 03 Mar 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 03 March 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. Safari 4: 42x faster than IE 7, 3.5x faster than Firefox 3 http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/0,39029471,49301219,00.htm “…Apple's Safari 4 browser, released in beta today, is the fastest browser on the planet…We used the SunSpider suite of JavaScript tests to determine which browser was the quickest, and the Safari 4 beat every browser in terms of speed, on both a PC running Windows XP SP2, and a Mac running OS X 10.6 with all updates applied…Safari was a whopping 42 times faster than Internet Explorer 7, just over six times faster than Internet Explorer 8, 3.5 times faster than Firefox 3, and 1.2 times faster than Google Chrome…”

2. 15 online photo editors compared http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10170333-2.html “…which one is the best…depends on what you're trying to do…two of my personal recommendations are Picnik and Fotoflexer, both of which strike a good balance between serious editing tools and things that tweenagers would go ga-ga for, like zany fonts and heart stamps. You can use either set of tools without feeling like they're in your face. Another office favorite is Photoshop online…”

3. Top 10 worst internet outages http://www.vnunet.com/computing/analysis/2237272/ten-worst-internet-outages “…After Google's email service temporarily disappeared this week, we looked back to find the worst examples of web sites and internet services crashing - here's the top 10…Millions of internet users worldwide sit up and take notice when Google goes down. The latest outage on Tuesday 24 February lasted for more than two hours…The Public Record Office made the mistake of advertising its 1901 census website heavily in advance of its launch, thereby stoking unprecedented levels of interest in genealogy and UK ancestry around the world. Not only did the site promptly crash under the weight of an estimated 30 million visitors a day (it was designed to handle a daily influx of 1 million visitors), it was withdrawn five days after its official opening in January 2002 and stayed down for a further seven months. Snow trains today -- February 2009 saw many travel web sites flooded with additional visitors as hundreds of thousands of stranded workers struggled to find out if they could get to work. The Transport For London web site was briefly down, while the National Rail Enquiries web site ran at "reduced pace" as hits rose 800 per cent compared with a normal Monday, with more than 32,000 users visiting it every second…In December 2008, a severed fibre optic cable under the Mediterranean Sea broug ht severe disruption to countries in the Middle East for over two days, with up to 70 per cent of all internet traffic and telephone communications between Europe and Africa affected…The last big global Hotmail outage, reported to have also affected MSN messenger and other Microsoft Live services, happened this time last year (February 2008) and lasted for over two hours, with another big outage in 2006…”

4. New Features in Office Live + 5 Free GB of Storage http://tinyurl.com/ahemn6 (on10) “…Office Live Workspace Team has just introduced new features into the Office Live Workspace service – a free service which serves as sort of a “SharePoint-Lite” repository…you can (finally!) use folders and sub-folders within a workspace…another new feature – Cut/Copy/Paste. This replaces the old File/Move feature…the best upgrade of them all is the upgrade in storage capacity…5 GB of free storage…install the Office Live Update which includes the Office Live Add-in for Microsoft Office and the Microsoft Office Live Workspace Plug-In for Firefox along with some performance updates. This is an essential tool, in my opinion, as it helps bridge the gap between PC and cloud…”

5. 5 Great Instant Messenger Aggregators http://mashable.com/2009/02/28/instant-messenger-aggregators/ “…instant messaging…has become a very popular means of communicating on the Web…there is no shortage of IM protocols out there; these include ICQ, AIM, GTalk, Yahoo, and Facebook, to name a few. IM aggregators aim to solve the mess of having all these programs open at once…Depending on whether you’re on the web, Windows, Mac, or a mobile device, there are a number of aggregators from which to choose. To help you figure things out, here are five great instant messenger aggregators for multiple platforms…”

6. DeskAway is a Project Management Tool Your Boss Will Love http://mashable.com/2009/02/27/deskaway/ “…DeskAway is a subscription-based on-demand project collaboration service for small businesses & teams…Online project management is big business. The space includes big fish like Basecamp and flashier newbies like Collab, with a myriad of options in between. Most of these tools make it easier to manage tasks, share files, and track milestones…DeskAway…provides a convenient all-in-one online project management and collaboration environment…”

7. 10 Ning Networks to Help You Land Your Next Job http://mashable.com/2009/03/02/ning-job-networks/ “…We’re all in this economy together, so why not unite with people who have the same mission? 80% of jobs are filled through networking, so by signing up for social networks, filling out your profile and actively communicating with other people, you have a much better chance of securing a job during these tough economic times. After recently profiling the top 10 social sites for finding a job, we’ve decided to share 10 great job seeker destinations on Ning, a platform that allows anyone to easily create their own social network…”

8. Discover the Best Hotel Deals With DealBase http://mashable.com/2009/03/02/dealbase/ “…DealBase.com scours the Web for hotel deals and special offers and analyzes these deals to reveal good deals from bad…since DealBase doesn’t require hotels to pay for placement, users are likely to find the most comprehensive list of the best deals from across the Web…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

9. Netbooks offer hackers private data gateway http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090303/wr_nm/us_pc_notebook_security “…That low-cost netbook you're using could be a high-speed gateway into your life, bank accounts, passwords and other personal data…But their cheap cost could also carry a steep price tag due to lax security that makes them easier prey for viruses and hackers…their no frills nature, combined with low computing power and relative lack of sophistication among their users could combine to create the perfect storm for hackers and virus creators looking for easy targets, analysts say…"It's a Catch-22 situation," said Gartner analyst Lillian Tay. "If you're running too many security programs at the same time, it slows the computer down. Don't run any, and you are at risk…”

10. Driving License RFID http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090227/ap_on_hi_te/border_technology “…New technology at the nation's busiest border crossing can read chip-enabled travel documents up to 30 feet from an inspection booth, promising shorter waits but raising concerns about targeting by computer hackers…The chips already are contained in about 40,000 drivers licenses in two Canadian border states — 32,000 in Washington and 7,700 in New York. Arizona, Michigan and Vermont begin issuing the enhanced drivers licenses this year…Someone with a fairly low-tech device, using off-the-shelf technology from some place like RadioShack, can snag (your information) out of the air…”

11. Self-incrimination privilege won't protect password http://tinyurl.com/b5hv3v (ars technica) “…A federal district court in Vermont has ruled that the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination does not bar the government from requiring Sebastien Boucher…to decrypt his laptop hard drive. A lower court had previously quashed a subpoena compelling Boucher to enter his password, reasoning that this was tantamount to requiring a defendant to testify against himself…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. Keep your smartphone safe http://weblog.infoworld.com/mobile_pulse/archives/2009/02/keep_your_smart.html “…mobile viruses are on the rise…Half of all global manufacturers reported mobile malware infections, third-party application problems (such as the one that RIM patched earlier this month), and spam attacks…Security companies are working overtime to find solutions that will work on mobile handsets with limited memory size, battery life, and processing power…One such example is AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield…HotSpot Shield provides a private network that takes browser traffic, encrypts it, and sends it to VPN servers and onto the Web. HotSpot Shield only requires iPhone users to change the VPN settings on their phones. Nothing is loaded onto the handset, so HotSpot Shield is not competing for space alongside your apps. HotSpot Shield is free…”

13. Windows Mobile 6.5’s honeycomb menu: simple ingenuity http://tinyurl.com/azhpaz (IStartedSomething) “…the honeycomb from a usability perspective is superior than traditional square grids for a touch interface…the tip of human fingers is not squared, but in fact circle-shaped when depressed against a hard surface like a touchscreen…large circular hit areas makes it easier for users to touch the desired icons and avoid accidentally hitting nearby icons. A grid is the most efficient method to pack as many squares into an area as possible, but not for circles…One perspective to appreciate this figure is the fact for a grid to achieve the same item-area density, it would have to reduce the size of each item by 10%, thus also reducing its usability…”

14. Asus Eee Keyboard PC Should Arrive in May or June for $400-$600 http://tinyurl.com/btrhkq (Gizmodo) “…Asus's amazing-looking Eee Keyboard, which is a home theater PC stuffed inside a keyboard, complete with wireless HDMI and a secondary touchscreen, is dropping in May or June…”

Open Source

15. Microsoft suit over FAT patents could open OSS Pandora's Box http://tinyurl.com/bary29 (ars technica) Microsoft has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against navigation device maker TomTom…The lawsuit…is…the first time that Microsoft has directly targeted Linux with patent litigation…Microsoft…characterizes the lawsuit as a last resort option that Microsoft is pursuing after attempting to negotiate a private settlement with TomTom for over a year. Two of the patents in question are #5,579,517 and #5,758,352 which cover techniques for implementing a "common name space for long and short filenames." The patents basically cover a backwards compatibility hack that Microsoft implemented in its filesystem to preserve compatibility with the filename munging scheme that was used in MS-DOS where filenames were limited to 11 characters in length…Microsoft's FAT patents have been vigorously challenged in court, but were finally upheld in 2006…a Columbia University law professor…once described the FAT patents as a "proverbial Sword of Damocles hanging over the open source community" and warned that Microsoft could use them to do immense damage to the Linux platform. Indeed, Microsoft's filesystem format is used broadly on external storage devices such as camera memory cards…If Microsoft attempts to broadly enforce this patent against Linux users and vendors, the Open Invention Network (OIN) might decide to invoke the so-called "nuclear option" and retaliate with its own massive arsenal of software patents…”

16. Need a new tech job? Learn Linux http://blogs.computerworld.com/need_a_new_tech_job_learn_linux “…One ray of light in this misery economy though is that there are still some Linux jobs. So it is that the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to Linux's growth, has announced the Linux Foundation Training Program. According to the Foundation's press release, "It will kick off with courses taught at the Linux Foundation's Annual Collaboration Summit April 8 - 10, 2009 in San Francisco…We've received consistent feedback from companies worldwide that the rising number of Linux deployments is putting new demands on a talent pool that needs more Linux-related developers." I can believe that. On LinkedIn, the social network for business networking, I see a constant flow of Linux and open-source software job offerings…The Training Program first classes will be Essential Linux Device Driver Development Skills; Creating Applications for Linux; and Kernel Debugging and Performance. Students who register for these first Program offerings will get an automatic attendee pass for the Collaboration Summit…”

17. Xandros instant-on platform http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10184755-2.html “…Linux shop Xandros is launching the Presto "instant-on" platform for PCs and laptops at the Demo 09 conference…It has full access to files stored in the Windows partitions, full access to networking hardware, and there's an app store for programs that run in the platform. Also, unlike other quick-boot products, Xandros claims Presto doesn't require any hardware integration work…If you want to try Presto, it will be only $19.95 when it ships in April. The beta is free until then…”


18. Google Maps Adds User Photos http://searchengineland.com/google-maps-adds-user-photos-to-street-view-16703 Google has added geo-tagged Panoramio photos to StreetView images. According to the Google LatLong Blog it’s done automatically…Google has offered images on Maps for some time, but not directly integrated into StreetView like this…unknown to most people, Microsoft has this same capability too; and in many ways a much more interesting offering in the combination of Photosynth and Live Search Maps…”

19. Ads in Google News search results http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/ads-in-google-news-search-results.html “…introducing ads on Google News search-results pages in the US. What this means is that when you enter a query like iPhone or Kindle into the Google News search box, you'll see text ads alongside your News search results--similar to what you see on regular Google searches or Google Book Search…”

20. Flock Moving To Google Chrome http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/02/flock-ditching-firefox-moving-to-google-chrome/ “…Flock, a social-focused browser startup that has raised nearly $30 million in venture funding, has ceased building on top of the open source Firefox browser, say multiple sources. The next version of the Flock browser will be built on Google’s open source Chrome browser platform. The last version of Flock was released in October 2008…”

General Technology

21. Kindling a Revolution http://tinyurl.com/aeesfb (Xconomy) “…Russ Wilcox, co-founder and CEO of E Ink, the Cambridge, MA company behind the low-power, high-contrast “electronic paper”…I had a chance to meet with Wilcox on Tuesday…My first question was about whether any of E Ink’s founders thought it would take so much time, and so much money, to bring e-paper to the mass market…E Ink was launched in 1997, and has had to raise more than $150 million—mostly from big industry players like Intel, Motorola, Philips, Hearst Interactive Media, and Japan’s TOPPAN Printing—to transform e-paper from a drawing-board concept into a manufacturable product. Conceived at the MIT Media Lab, E Ink’s material consists of a layer of tiny fluid-filled microcapsules that contain positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles. Applying a voltage across the microcapsules pushes the white particles to the top and pulls the black particles to the bottom, forming white pixels that are clearly visible without the backlighting needed in traditional liquid-crystal displays. Applying the opposite voltage across the microcapsules creates black pixels. The material is “bistable,” meaning the particles stay in place after a voltage is applied…Wilcox says the company spent six years getting the technology to the point where Sony could use it in the world’s first e-paper-based e-book reader…”

22. Windows extends operating system lead http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2237564/windows-extends-market-share “…Microsoft's market share among operating systems accessing the web grew from 88.26 per cent in January to 89.37 per cent last month…Windows 7 usage statistics, meanwhile, showed strong peaks at the weekends…Apple is by far the most popular choice for mobile phone users when they go online. Another set of figures from Net Applications revealed the iPhone as the clear leader with 66.61 per cent mobile browsing market share. Java ME was in second place with 9.06 per cent, while Windows Mobile third with 6.91 per cent. Google's Android is fast catching up, however, having already captured 6.15 per cent since its launch…”

23. Always Innovating’s Touch Book sounds amazing http://tinyurl.com/db84dh (VentureBeat) “…The netbook made by Always Innovating and making its debut at the DEMO conference today, claims to offer 10 to 15 hours of battery life, weighs under 2 pounds and perhaps most importantly, starts at $299The biggest question mark has to be its Touch Book OS. Rather than run Windows XP or some variety of Linux as many current netbooks do, Always Innovating decided to develop its own. It claims to use a fully 3D interface, one that makes it so you don’t have to use a stylus to navigate its touchscreen, and rather can use your finger…”

24. Gates of Heaven http://www.style.com/vogue/feature/2009/02/gates-of-heaven/ “…Melinda French Gates may be the most ambitious woman on Earth; she certainly has some of the most profound ambitions. “We are trying to solve hunger in the world,” she says matter-of-factly when asked what she considers the principal goals of the world’s largest philanthropy…which, with assets currently hovering around $35 billion, is not only the world’s largest (by a long shot) but its most effective as well…Bill and Melinda Gates live with their three children (two daughters, aged twelve and six, and a nine-year-old son) in an enormous mansion on the shores of Lake Washington…They are both deeply protective of their children’s privacy but do as much as possible, given the need for a certain amount of security, to ensure that they grow up normally…There will be no bubble for them; these children will not turn out to be Paris Hilton.” Still, being a Microsoft child does carry unusual burdens. “There are very few things that are on the banned list in our household,” Gates tells me. “But iPods and iPhones are two things we don’t get for our kids.”…Still, Gates acknowledges the inevitable lure of forbidden fruit. “Every now and then I look at my friends and say, ‘Ooh, I wouldn’t mind having that iPhone…”

25. Apple revamps the iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro http://tinyurl.com/d5rmhe (VentureBeat) “…The iMac now comes in four versions: an entry-level 20-inch version and three 24-inch models. All of the 24-inch models now come with 4 gigabytes of RAM standard. There is a 24-inch version that is $1,499 for the first time, while the 20-inch version runs $1,199. The new Mac mini features a new backside with a bunch of USB ports and a Mini DisplayPort. Yes, those early leaked pictures were real despite those who were sure they were fake. Most significantly, the machines received new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, as expected. There are two models, with the entry level one still starting at $599…”

Leisure & Entertainment

26. Tap Tap Revenge 2 http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/02/tap-tap-revenge-2-lands-tonight/ “…The sequel to Tap Tap Revenge, the iPhone’s most popular game ever, is hitting the App Store tonight. The original version(iTunes link) of the game has been downloaded over six million times and spawned a number of spinoffs featuring licensed music from Weezer and Nine Inch Nails…Created by iPhone development house Tapulous, the TTR series is akin to a ‘Guitar Hero’ for the iPhone, asking users to tap their fingers on a flurry of scrolling blobs that are presented in time with the music (it’s fairly easy to get started, and very addictive)…”

27. RCTiger.com: Real-time web-based tank warfare http://tinyurl.com/aqj9ao (CrunchGear) “…RCTiger.com, a German website that lets you move little remote control tanks around a simulated battlefield. While I was quite skeptical at first, once I started the game I was taken aback at the fun I had running little Tiger tanks over miniature trees…RCTiger is entirely web-based and the cameras are quite quick and refresh instantly. Best of all you can run into other tanks and walls without suffering much damage and if you get off course a giant hand will pick you up and drag you back to the playing field…”

28. Jon Stewart explains Twitter (or tries to) http://venturebeat.com/2009/03/02/video-jon-stewart-explains-twitter-or-tries-to/ “…Earlier, we posted about Twitter chief executive Evan Williams explaining Twitter to Charlie Rose. Tonight brings perhaps a better Twitter video explanation, compliments of comedian Jon Stewart…Says Daily Show tech correspondent Samantha Bee, “It’s no wonder young people love it, according to reports about young people by middle-aged people…”

Economy and Technology

29. AMD divides itself in two http://venturebeat.com/2009/03/02/amd-divides-itself-in-two-hoping-to-gang-up-on-intel/ “…After a couple of years of preparation, Advanced Micro Devices is finally going to split itself in two today…Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD will retain 14,000 employees focused on the design and marketing of microprocessors. Meanwhile, the temporarily-named Foundry Co. will manufacture chips for AMD and will have 3,000 employees. While the two companies are separate, they will be intertwined. They will share a common major shareholder, the Abu Dhabi government…”

30. College degree and the real world of work http://blogs.zoho.com/general/college-degree-and-the-real-world-of-work “…I have learned that where someone went to college (or even if they didn't go to college) has absolutely no correlation to whether they will be a good entrepreneur or not…That is exactly what I found in my many years of running this company. This was such a strong observation that first we stopped caring about where someone went to college, then we stopped caring about whether someone even got a degree, and finally, we took the ultimate step, and started hiring kids right of high school, and train them ourselves. Each step seemed risky, even a bit radical, but in hindsight, it should have all been obvious…Entrepreneurs don't need degrees like lawyers and doctors do. They are credentialed by virtue of their track record. The first startup is hard but if they make that one work, they end up with something much better than a college degree…I would propose a version of the "release early" principle as regards to education: enter the real world early! There is no better teacher than real world experience. This works in software, it works in entrepreneurship…the way the cost of college education has inflated, thinking about alternatives is critically important…”

31. Guidelines: workday quality over quantity http://smarterware.org/669/simple-guidelines-for-workday-quality-over-quantity “…These common productivity edicts are worth repeating; recently I advised Harvard Business readers to use a daily three-item task list myself. I’ve been practicing this technique every weekday without fail for the last six weeks, and it’s served me well…”

Civilian Aerospace

32. WhiteKnightTwo to Make World Debut at Oshkosh http://www.airventure.org/news/2009/090224_wk2.html “…space launch vehicle Virgin Mothership (VMS) Eve will make its world public debut on July 27 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. The space launch vehicle will arrive as part of the opening-day air show. AirVenture attendees will have opportunities for up-close viewing of the vehicle on the ground each day until its departure flight as part of the Saturday, Aug. 1 air show…”

33. Help to define a lunar lander http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMBM4CDNRF_index_0.html “…ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight is inviting industrial, technology and scientific communities to provide inputs for experiments and payload elements for accommodation on its first lunar lander…This Cargo Lander would deliver items such as food, water, oxygen, fuel and equipment to the Moon, in order to enable astronauts to stay for extended periods. It could also be useful during the construction of a permanent human lunar base…”

34. Entrepreneurs on the Final Frontier http://blog.entrepreneur.com/2009/02/entrepreneurs-on-the-final-frontier.php “…Space exploration seems about as irrelevant as you can get when the global economic crisis is sinking industries left and right, but when speaking about the recession, President Obama often refers to the power of imagination and his belief that unflagging entrepreneurial spirit will offer a path to recovery and future prosperity. In my mind, the individuals involved in private space exploration are closer than anyone else to embodying that notion in its purest form…Most intriguing to me are the parallels to the commercial aviation industry, which really started to take off during the Great Depression, a time of unrivaled economic strife. Similar, too, are the passion and pioneering spirits of the first aviators, who, as Gedmark points out, were seen as "barnstormers" because they were doing something incredibly risky…”

35. Will spaceport lead to more business, jobs? http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_11818651 “…Momentum continues to build for Spaceport America. Construction at the commercial space flight facility is expected to start this year. So what does that mean for the business climate in southern New Mexico?..."We believe the contractors will be hiring people," he said. "Most will bring their own people, but they will be hiring some extra people and filling positions. There will be some opportunity, especially in the infrastructure areas, as a lot of construction takes place…Steve Landeene, executive director for the New Mexico Spaceport Authority,, said the model for the facility is to not just generate business through space launches. "It's really about bringing the industry here," he said. Landeene said a New Mexico State University study projected the spaceport could generate 2,250 jobs within the first five years…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

36. ATI Stream Update http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?cid=3&id=2821 “…the first demonstration of Stanford's Folding project on a GPU happened to use the ATI Radeon X1000…With such a bright start, ATI should be disappointed that its rival, NVIDIA has grabbed most of the subsequent headlines. Since CUDA made its debut, NVIDIA has been pushing its GPU computing initiative aggressively…ATI's response has been rather muted by comparison. We rarely hear about its stream computing initiatives besides the occasional update on Close to Metal and later, the all-in-one Stream SDK package…Many of the promising technologies that we saw a couple of years earlier have also not played out as planned. Perhaps it was the acquisition of ATI by AMD that put a kink in their plans but late last year, we finally saw something new from ATI regarding stream computing…”

37. Simulations of molecular motion on desktop computer http://news-service.stanford.edu/pr/2009/pr-molecmorel-021109.html “…Whether vibrating in place or taking part in protein folding to ensure cells function properly, molecules are never still. Simulating molecular motions provides researchers with information critical to designing vaccines and helps them decipher the bases of certain diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's…In the past, researchers needed either supercomputers or large computer clusters to run simulations. Or they had to be content to run only a tiny fraction of the process on their desktop computers. But a new open-source software package developed at Stanford University is making it possible to do complex simulations of molecular motion on desktop computers at much faster speeds than has been previously possible. "Simulations that used to take three years can now be completed in a few days," said Vijay Pande, an associate professor of chemistry at Stanford University and principal investigator of the Open Molecular Mechanics (OpenMM) project…The key to the accelerated simulations OpenMM makes possible is the advantage it takes of current graphics processors (GPUs), which cost just a few hundred dollars. At its core, OpenMM makes use of GPU acceleration…”

38. Mechdyne Selected to Design CAVE System http://tinyurl.com/d6j58f (HPCwire) Mechdyne Corporation today announced that it was selected to design and install a new CAVE immersive visualization system…to safely study the dynamics of construction worker movement at heights and suggest ways to reduce the risk of injury or death from falls…The new CAVE includes three vertical walls and an illuminated floor, with each 10 x 13 ft image surface illuminated by a 1450 x 1050 pixel Digital Projection Titan DLP projector. Mechdyne is also integrating an InterSense wireless tracking system for synchronization of stereo imagery, a Hewlett-Packard PC cluster with Nvidia Quadraplex graphics for image generation…”



Anonymous Suruchi said...

Nice post! I liked the post very much as you have gathered most of the tech news together. Thanks for the great job! Also the tool for project management mentioned here - DeskAway is very nice. Thanks for your updates.

11:54 PM  

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