2009/04/14

NEW NET Issues List for 14 Apr 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 14 Apr 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. Pocket Meeting: A $5 WebEx Killer? http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/pocket_meeting_a_5_webex_killer.php Sharing your screen with someone while chatting on the phone is one of those things that's much harder than it ought to be. We've tried a lot of different tools and none of them makes us very happy. The newest entrant into this field is Pocket Meeting…For a one-time fee of $5, you can get a URL that allows anyone to view your desktop in their browser with a Java Applet, something most people have, so no download should be required. That URL will work for 24 hours…We had about 20 people viewing a screen at one time and it worked well, though the company says the technology is best for serving up to 10 people…We've been using Yuuguu for screensharing with small groups, DimDim for larger groups. Neither of those is as lightweight and smooth as Pocket Meeting, but they are much more full-featured. In most cases, we'd choose smooth over features…”

2. Who Has The Most Photos Of Them All? http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/07/who-has-the-most-photos-of-them-all-hint-it-is-not-facebook/ Photo-sharing on the Web keeps getting more popular as people transfer more of their digital photos from their the black holes of their computer hard drives to social networks where their friends and family can actually see them. Although Facebook Photos has emerged as the largest photo-sharing service in terms of users and is one of the fastest-growing of any size, it is still not the largest by the sheer number of images that it stores. That honor, for the moment, goes to ImageShack, which currently hosts 20 billion images…Facebook holds 15 billion photos, according to a spokesperson there. But it should catch up by the end of the year. Facebook users are adding photos at a rate of 850 million photos a month, compared to 100 million photos a month by ImageShack users…After Facebook and ImageShack, the third largest image warehouse on the Web appears to be News Corp’s PhotoBucket, with 7.2 billion photos. And then Yahoo’s Flickr comes in at 3.4 billion, which also includes some videos. Interestingly, coming in right behind Flickr in the photo count is social network Multiply, with 3 billion images. Multiply’s photo-sharing options are one of its main strengths, which make sit attractive to its core demographic of families and moms (an area where Facebook is still struggling). Picasa is probably up there somewhere, but Google won’t get any more specific than “billions” of photos have been uploaded…”

3. Hotmail users suffer through outage http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10217293-2.html “…on the same day that Yahoo Mail wasn't available to a small fraction of its users, Hotmail had troubles with disappearing in-boxes. Here's the company statement: "On Thursday evening, there was a short-term service disruption which prevented Windows Live Hotmail customers worldwide from accessing their in-box for approximately two hours…”

4. This Messaging Fragmentation is Crazy http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/this_messaging_fragmentation_is_crazy.php “…Some people won't respond to email (or take a while to respond) but reply immediately when you contact them with Twitter direct messages. Other people do the same in Facebook or FriendFeed. And yet other people send messages that pile up in your LinkedIn inbox. Oh, and then I get the Skype pings. And Gmail chat requests. Oops, almost forgot FriendFeed. This is getting out of hand…these are too many messaging systems, and they are becoming a productivity drain…”

5. Prepare for Automatic Update distribution of IE8 http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2009/04/10/prepare-for-automatic-update-distribution-of-ie8.aspx “…Starting on or about the third week of April, users still running IE6 or IE7 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 will get will get a notification through Automatic Update about IE8. This rollout will start with a narrow audience and expand over time to the entire user base. On Windows XP and Server 2003, the update will be High-Priority. On Windows Vista and Server 2008 it will be Important. IE8 will not automatically install on machines. Users must opt-in to install IE8…”

6. Should Colleges Continue to Host Email for Their Students? http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/edu_emails_might_be_going_the_way_of_the_dodo.php In the earliest days of the Internet, getting an .edu email address and signing in to Pine for the first time was a rite of passage for many college freshmen. Now, however, virtually every new college student got an email address before even graduating from primary school. Because of this, a number of schools are now considering phasing out email hosting for their students altogether…20% of American colleges already outsource their email systems to commercial providers…Interestingly, while student email is often outsourced, faculty and staff email is generally hosted in-house because of concerns over confidentiality…”

7. ‘Hyperlocal’ Web Sites Deliver News Without Newspapers http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/technology/start-ups/13hyperlocal.html “…Web start-up companies are creating so-called hyperlocal news sites that let people zoom in on what is happening closest to them, often without involving traditional journalists. The sites, like EveryBlock, Outside.in, Placeblogger and Patch, collect links to articles and blogs and often supplement them with data from local governments and other sources. They might let a visitor know about an arrest a block away, the sale of a home down the street and reviews of nearby restaurants…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Woman watches home invasion on webcam http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/04/10/webcam.home.invasion/ “…Jeanne Thomas was sitting at her desk at work when she decided to check the security camera that she installed in her home. The Thomas home had been burglarized before, so she installed a monitoring device where she can watch a live video feed…When Thomas decided to pull up the feed of her house Wednesday…There was someone inside her home…Thomas picked up the phone and called 911. "I'm watching my home on live monitor, and there is a black man in my house, and he is robbing it," she told the dispatcher. The woman on the other end of the call asked Thomas where she was, and Thomas replied, "I'm in Fort Lauderdale, at my work." Thomas' home is in Boynton Beach, Florida, more than 20 miles away…"This is unbelievable," she told the 911 dispatcher. "The cat is freaking out. The dogs are hiding." One of the burglars took a bag of shredded cheese from the refrigerator and could be seen on the video stuffing it in his mouth. None of them noticed the small camera that resembles an air freshener. "They walked right up to it and didn't know what it was… A few minutes after Thomas called 911, the video shows police officers entering the home…All four suspects were arrested…Thomas' husband thought she was nuts for spending $250 on the webcam system…”

9. Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123914805204099085.html “…The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid," said a senior intelligence official. "So have the Russians." The espionage appeared pervasive across the U.S. and doesn't target a particular company or region…Many of the intrusions were detected not by the companies in charge of the infrastructure but by U.S. intelligence agencies…Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, "If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on…”

10. Paul McCartney's website hacked to distribute malware http://www.scmagazineus.com/Paul-McCartneys-website-hacked-to-distribute-malware/article/130330/?DCMP=EMC-SCUS_Newswire The official website for former Beatle Paul McCartney was compromised to infect users through drive-by downloads. The site was attacked by the LuckySploit toolkit, according to web security firm ScanSafe, which discovered the hack. The toolkit was recently updated to include a set of HTML files that contain obfuscated and malicious JavaScript code, according to NoVirusThanks.org, a computer security website…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

11. Palm Pre May Launch in May http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/04/rumor-wrap-up-p.html “…We bring you a wrap up of all the Pre rumors of the day…a leaked Sprint planning document suggest the company may be moving towards a May 17 launch date…Another possible Pre launch date could be June 29, suggests Gizmodo…When Palm first introduced the Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas it also showed a wireless charger for the phone called Touchstone. The Touchstone allows Pre users to attach a magnetic back cover to their phone and then drop it on the Touchstone dock to charge it wirelessly…”

12. IPhone Skype May Be Tip of the Iceberg for Carriers http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090409/tc_pcworld/iphoneskypemaybetipoftheicebergforcarriers “…Though mobile operators say they want more open phone platforms and are moving toward packet-based 4G networks, they are stuck between a future of being "dumb pipes" like DSL or cable operators and a present in which the bulk of their revenue still comes from the sale of voice minutes. The arrival of Skype for the iPhone and BlackBerry platforms at last week's CTIA trade show brought the issue to a head…”

13. Space: The final frontier for cell phones? http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090409/ap_on_hi_te/tec_satellite_phones “…cell phone coverage could be getting an interesting option next year: ordinary-looking cell phones that connect to a satellite when there's no cell tower around. In June, a rocket is scheduled to lift the largest commercial satellite yet into space. In orbit 22,000 miles above the Earth, the satellite will unfurl an umbrella of gold mesh 60 feet across and aim it at the U.S. That gigantic antenna will let the satellite pick up signals from phones that are not much larger than regular cell phones. That satellite, from TerreStar Corp., is due to be followed by two similar, even larger ones from SkyTerra Communications Inc. next year. SkyTerra puts the cost of its satellites at $1.2 billion…SkyTerra and TerreStar say their new satellites, combined with advances in chip technology, can take "satphones" into the mainstream — devices you'd buy in an AT&T store…The first handsets for TerreStar's satellite would cost about $700…Both companies indicate that calling over a satellite will cost less than $1 per minute…”

Open Source

14. Zoneminder: Linux security camera solution http://www.zoneminder.com/home.html “…ZoneMinder the top Linux video camera security and surveillance solution. ZoneMinder is intended for use in single or multi-camera video security applications, including commercial or home CCTV, theft prevention and child, family member or home monitoring and other domestic care scenarios such as nanny cam installations. It supports capture, analysis, recording, and monitoring of video data coming from one or more video or network cameras attached to a Linux system…”

15. Can Google build open source communities http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=3953 “…There are three types of mobile source projects: 1. One-company projects. 2. Multiple-company projects. 3. Community projects, which may or may not have a commercial arm. Google has proven it has great open source developers. An open source project that is headed by Google will get the resources it needs to move forward, assuming Google feels that is in its interests. But to succeed Android can’t be that type of project. It has to run with a number of companies providing input and sharing the management. That does not seem to be happening. It seems to be entirely a Google shop…”

16. Dimdim Opens Up Web Conferencing to Open Source http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/CRM-News/Daily-News/Dimdim-Opens-Up-Web-Conferencing-to-Open-Source-53412.aspx “…Of the new features and functionality in the latest version, Chazin believes that there are three that stand out: * desktop sharing, which Chazin says is faster, secure, and easier now since there are no outside installations needed; * webinar widgets, providing one-click promotion and registration, are automatically created whenever a user schedules a meeting, and can be shared on any Web site via Facebook or Twitter; * registration report, in which users can now obtain a list of the name and time of everyone who registered for an event and whether they were invited or self-registered via a Dimdim webinar widget…”

SkyNet

17. Google Health faces its first test http://healthcare.zdnet.com/?p=2122 Google Health is facing its first big test following news it was pulling billing records into its Personal Health Records service, leading to false conclusions. Dave deBronkart blogged about transferring his Electronic Medical Record from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to his Google Health account, and his shock at finding it downloaded everything he’d ever had, and some things he never had. Before posting at e-Patients.Net, deBronkart left a comment with the blog of Ted Eytan, focused on important lessons like “garbage in, garbage out.” He blamed an early version of the Beth Israel software, PatientSite, for his troubles. This is not how headline writers treated the story. “Google service’s inaccuracies may hold wide lesson,” wrote the Boston Globe. “Google Health records reveal grossly inaccurate data,” wrote Information Week. Neither headline is completely true…” [http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/04/13/electronic_health_records_raise_doubt/ http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2009/04/google_health_r.html http://www.businessinsider.com/google-health-records-just-perpetuating-antiquated-technology-2009-4 ]

18. Agoraphobic mother leaves house after 20 years - because of Google Street View http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5149636/Agoraphobic-mother-leaves-house-after-20-years---because-of-Google-Street-View.html “…Sue Curtis, 40, has spent half her life inside her home and even had to marry her husband Alan in her sitting room in 2000. But within the last six weeks the mother-of-two has ventured onto the pavement outside her house in West Harton, South Shields, after finding advice on the internet. Her interest was sparked by Google Street View…”

19. Half of Microsoft employees use Google instead of MS search http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10217273-56.html “…At a company meeting about a year ago, one Microsoft worker recalls hearing that four-fifths of the company's search traffic was going to Google. Although he uses Live Search personally, the worker, who asked not to be named, said plenty of his co-workers still use Google. "We are still fighting that battle," the worker said. Among its full-time U.S. workers, Microsoft says that, for February, Live Search and Google had roughly equal share, at around 48 percent apiece, with little search traffic going to Yahoo or any of the other search players…”

General Technology

20. Science Fair Projects That Will Make You Feel Dumb http://www.sciencefairprojects411.com/articles/Science-Fair-Projects-That-Will-Make-You-Feel-Dumb.php “…some inspiration from past winners of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. These are not your basic tabletop volcanoes or series of potted sunflowers. Many sport titles that you'd expect to see gracing the pages of the most prestigious scientific journals, and some of them actually have. Others became inventions developed for use in the wider world while their inventors were still in high school. Each and every one of these projects won their teenage researchers big prizes and hefty scholarships…”

21. Massive Acer Launch Includes New Timeline Laptop Line http://tech.yahoo.com/news/zd/238994 “…Acer Aspire Timeline series is a completely new line, specifically designed for longer battery life – not with bulkier and heavier batteries, but with existing technology…each runs on an Intel Ultra Low Voltage processor, which is both powerful enough and extremely energy efficient. Every Timeline laptop will feature an LED widescreen and come standard with a solid state drive…Of the two netbooks that were launched at this event, the Acer Aspire One (11.6-inch) was arguably the most talked-about. For one, it's the first netbook that uses an 11.6-inch widescreen. Though it's not the biggest screen on a netbook (the Dell Mini Insipiron 12 has a 12-inch widescreen), the length of the system enabled the addition of a full size keyboard – a first on a netbook. A full size keyboard and a decent size screen are potential game changers in the netbook category…”

22. BumpTop gives Windows desktop a much-needed makeover http://venturebeat.com/2009/04/07/bumptop-gives-windows-desktop-a-much-needed-makeover/ Microsoft’s Windows desktop isn’t nearly as efficient at using space as a real desktop. That’s what Anand Agarawala concluded more than five years ago, when he began to study ways to create a better user interface for the screen that computer users stare at all day long…he’s launching BumpTop, a downloadable software program that overlays Microsoft’s various Windows operating systems…It turns your desktop into a kind of 3-D view, where you can stack icons or similar-looking files together. You can grab icons with your mouse — or, with Windows 7, your own fingers via a touch screen — and toss all of your photos or documents into a pile…”

23. Acer PC with Nvidia's 'Ion' http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10214096-64.html “…The Acer AspireRevo is the first Atom-based PC from a major PC supplier to use Nvidia's Ion graphics, a chipset that packs GeForce 9400M graphics, the same graphics used in the Apple 13-inch MacBook and MacBook Air. The AspireRevo's marquee external feature is the diminutive size: the desktop is comparable in size to a laptop (though slightly thicker, about the size of a typical hardcover book)…”

24. PG&E signs deal for solar power from satellites http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12134648 “…Under the plan, which PG&E hopes to have approved by the end of October, the utility would hire Solaren of Manhattan Beach to oversee the project, which is expected to deliver 200 megawatts of power to California by as early as 2016…The idea would be to have satellites in stationary or so-called geosynchronous orbits over the Earth use solar cells to convert the sun's energy to electricity. The satellite then would transmit that power as radio frequency energy to antennas in Fresno County…”

Leisure & Entertainment

25. RCTiger is now free http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/04/08/rctiger-is-now-free/ “…the folks at RCTiger have now made their service free. The service…is basically a fun game that lets multiple players compete in real-time using model tanks in a cute little wooded playing field…”

26. Will Wright to leave Electronic Arts http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10215501-56.html Will Wright, one of the best-known names in gaming, is leaving Electronic Arts to set up his own "electronic think tank." Wright will be the head of Stupid Fun Club, a venture aimed at developing concepts that can serve as the nexus for video games, movies, TV shows, toys, and other entertainment products…”

Economy and Technology

27. Skype Founders Might Buy Back Firm http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/cross_your_fingers_zennstrom_and_friis_might_buy_back_skype_from_ebay.php “…the founders of Skype, are trying to pile up enough cash from investors and their own bank accounts to buy the company back from eBay…Zennstrom and Friis sold Skype to eBay for roughly $3 billion in 2005 but no one was quite sure why. The remaining Skype team has done a fair job continuing to innovate inside the much slower moving eBay, but we've got our fingers crossed: a buy-back by the founders would likely put innovation in the driver's seat again at Skype…”

28. Apple Sued Over Touch-Screen Rights http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/technology/companies/09apple.html “…Elan Microelectronics has sued Apple Computer alleging infringement of two of its touch-screen patents…We couldn't find a common viewpoint with Apple, so we decided we had to take action,” he said, adding that the companies had been in licensing talks for about two years. The lawsuit alleges that Apple products including its MacBook computer, iPhone and iPod Touch use technology that infringes on two of Elan’s “multi-touch” patents…”

29. YouNoodle helps startups to connect http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/12/BU4U170GLL.DTL “…Called YouNoodle, named for the English expression "use your noodle," or think, the company is racing to expand what its founders believe is the world's largest database of startups and entrepreneurs from all over the world - 40,000 startups so far in a wide range of industries, with 3,000 being added from Jordan and Slovakia and other emerging startup hotspots every day. The information is free at YouNoodle.com. The goal is to take what is still a secretive process - thinking of an idea, checking to see who's doing it, shopping it to investors - and open it up so that people and funding can get connected, regardless of where they're located…”

Civilian Aerospace

30. Space Tourism: The competition http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/04/14/325012/space-tourism-the-competition.html A short summary of Virgin Galactic’s civilian space flight competitors.

31. Spaceport America offers job opportunities http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_12112414 “…Roberts said every imaginable industry could — and probably will — be involved in the construction of Spaceport America, which will be America's first in-land commercial facility for orbital flights around the earth…the first of 13 bid packages for the spaceport is expected to be publicly released in as soon as two weeks. Roberts added that all 13 bid packages should be released by June. "This is going to be a very fast-paced project," Roberts said. "Virgin Galactic, the major tenant, wants to be ready to launch by December 2010 so we've got to be ready for their first day…”

32. NASA to name new International Space Station node on Colbert Report tonight http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/apr/14/nasa-names-module-on-international-space-station “…They said it had all gone wrong for Nasa when nearly a quarter of a million people voted to name the Space Station's new node "Colbert"…But has it? Nasa officials received more than a million votes in total, and the contest to name the module has surely raised awareness of the orbiting outpost. Nasa put forward "Serenity" as its favoured choice of name, but it came in a distant second after being backed by only 40,000 votes…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

33. NVIDIA GPU Computing Tutorial Webinar Series http://gpgpu.org/2009/04/08/nvidia-gpu-computing-tutorial-webinar-series This series of free web seminars (”webinars”) starting April 15th 2009 will cover the basics of data-parallel computing on GPUs using NVIDIA’s CUDA architecture. Tutorials will be presented by the NVIDIA Developer Technology team and will cover many topics including C for CUDA, programming with the OpenCL API , using DirectX Compute and performance optimization techniques…”

34. eResearch South Australia CUDA Workshop http://gpgpu.org/2009/04/14/cuda-workshop-eresearch-south-australia This workshop, hosted by eResearch SA and to be presented by Mark Harris (NVIDIA) with Dragan Dimitrovici (Xenon Systems), aims to provide a detailed introduction to GPU computing with CUDA and NVIDIA GPUs such as the Tesla series of high-performance computing processors. The workshop will be held from 9:00-13:00 on Tuesday 28th April, in the Henry Ayers Room, Ayers House, 288 North Terrace, Adelaide…”

35. Molecular dynamics on NVIDIA GPUs with speed-ups up to two orders of magnitude http://gpgpu.org/2009/04/13/molecular-dynamics-on-nvidia-gpus-with-speed-ups-up-to-two-orders-of-magnitude “…With GPU technology it has become possible to run a microsecond-long trajectory for an all-atom molecular system in explicit water on a single workstation computer equipped with just 3 GPUs. This performance would have required over 100 CPU cores…”


*****

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