2009/04/21

NEW NET Issues List for 21 Apr 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 21 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. 15M hits later, YouTube Symphony live debut http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090416/ap_on_en_mu/youtube_symphony “…Part publicity stunt by its producers, part vanity trip by its participants, part opportunity to attract a younger crowd to classical music, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra gathered 93 musicians from more than 30 countries. Ranging in age from 15 to 55, the players included a surgeon-violinist and a professional poker player-cellist. The roster was selected by voters from among the 15 million viewers of http://www.YouTube.com/Symphony since the project was announced four months ago…Despite the short preparation time, they played like a finely tuned instrument…"It was a very talented group of individuals," Diaz said in an interview. "Every rehearsal, it's just gotten better and better, and they've gotten this sense of group rhythm, which is a fundamental part of it all. ... To do that in 48 hours is amazing." The Internet generation of performers attracted a youthful crowd that had no reason to feel shy. The staid decorum was suspended for the three-hour concert, which featured 15 short pieces. Thomas sat on the podium at one point, watching pianist Yuja Wang fly through the "Flight of the Bumble Bee." In another departure from tradition, the audience was encouraged to bring video cameras. One of the many high points was the world premiere of Tan Dun's 4 1/2 minute "Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica."…”

2. Web IM In Hotmail http://www.liveside.net/main/archive/2009/04/21/web-im-in-hotmail.aspx Web IM is coming to Hotmail. It became available to users in France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the UK last month and starting today it will roll out to Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the USA…now, even if you are on a computer without Windows Live Messenger installed you can IM your buddies…”

3. Mayo Clinic, Microsoft deepen health record ties http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10223981-56.html “…The Mayo Clinic on Tuesday said it will build a personal health record service based on Microsoft's HealthVault technology…Mayo Clinic Health Manager, will initially focus on general pediatric and adult health issues, immunization records, pregnancy, and asthma. In the coming months, the clinic will add tools to help manage chronic conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure…People don't need to be a patient of the clinic to use the new tool, Microsoft said. Microsoft's HealthVault is designed to allow people to store many different kinds of health records, including digital information from its partners, data from in-home medical devices, as well as information entered directly by the patient…”

4. Time Warner Cable shelves bandwidth usage billing http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090417/tc_afp/usittelecominternettimewarnercable “…Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable television operator in the country, conducted the initial test of consumption based billing with subscribers in one US city and had plans to extend it to additional cities. The test of billing subscribers for actual broadband usage by the gigabyte instead of charging a flat monthly fee met with protests from members of the public and the US Congress, including New York Senator Charles Schumer…Time Warner Cable said it is working to make "measurement tools available as quickly as possible…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. FBI Spyware Has Been Snaring Extortionists and Hackers for Years http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/04/fbi-spyware-pro.html A sophisticated FBI-produced spyware program has played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in federal investigations into extortion plots, terrorist threats and hacker attacks in cases stretching back at least seven years, newly declassified documents show. As first reported by Wired.com, the software, called a "computer and internet protocol address verifier," or CIPAV, is designed to infiltrate a target's computer and gather a wide range of information, which it secretly sends to an FBI server in eastern Virginia…”

6. Stealthy Rootkit Slides Further Under the Radar http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090415/tc_pcworld/stealthyrootkitslidesfurtherundertheradar “…The malicious software is a new variant of Mebroot, a program known as a "rootkit" for the stealthy way it hides deep in the Windows operating system, said Jacques Erasmus, director of research for the security company Prevx…Mebroot inserts program hooks into various functions of the kernel, or the operating system's core code. Once Mebroot has taken hold, the malware then makes it appear that the MBR hasn't been tampered with. "When something is trying to scan the MBR, it displays a perfectly good-looking MBR to any security software…each time the computer is booted, Mebroot injects itself into a Windows process in memory, such as svc.host…”

7. Microsoft gives Interpol free COFEE http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/04/microsoft-gives-interpol-free-cofee.ars “…Microsoft will provide its Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) tool free of charge to Interpol's participating 187 countries to aid global law enforcement in fighting cybercrime. Microsoft's COFEE application uses common digital forensics tools to help officers at the scene of a crime gather volatile evidence of live computer activity that would otherwise be lost in a traditional offline forensic analysis…”

8. Wanted: Computer hackers...to help government http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090418/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_cyber_security “…General Dynamics Information Technology put out an ad last month on behalf of the Homeland Security Department seeking someone who could "think like the bad guy." Applicants, it said, must understand hackers' tools and tactics and be able to analyze Internet traffic and identify vulnerabilities in the federal systems…Short said the $60 million, four-year contract with US-CERT uses the ethical hackers to analyze threats to the government's computer systems and develop ways to reduce vulnerabilities…”

9. The Great Brazilian Sat-Hack Crackdown http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2009/04/fleetcom “…Brazilian Federal Police swooped in on 39 suspects in six states in the largest crackdown to date on a growing problem here: illegal hijacking of U.S. military satellite transponders. "This had been happening for more than five years," says Celso Campos, of the Brazilian Federal Police. "Since the communication channel was open, not encrypted, lots of people used it to talk to each other." The practice is so entrenched, and the knowledge and tools so widely available, few believe the campaign to stamp it out will be quick or easy. Much of this country's geography is remote, and beyond the reach of cellphone coverage, making American satellites an ideal, if illegal, communications option…”

10. Researcher Offers Tool to Hide Malware in .Net http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090417/tc_pcworld/researcherofferstooltohidemalwareinnet “…The tool, called .Net-Sploit 1.0, allows for modification of .Net...Net-Sploit allows a hacker to modify the .Net framework on targeted machines, inserting rootkit-style malicious software in a place untouched by security software and where few security people would think to look….Net-Sploit automates some of the arduous coding tasks necessary to corrupt the framework, speeding up development of an attack. For example, it can help pull a relevant DLL (dynamic link library) from the framework and deploy the malicious DLL…The Microsoft Security Response Center was notified of the issue in September 2008. The company's position is that since an attacker would already have to have control over a PC, there is not a vulnerability in .Net. It doesn't appear that Microsoft has any plans to issue a near-term fix…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

11. Windows Mobile 6.5 To Launch In May http://www.crn.com/mobile/216900090;jsessionid=E0YMQYMWPUEL0QSNDLPCKH0CJUNN2JVN “…Microsoft is ready to show the ins and outs of the mobile platform with an official launch. According to a blog post on Microsoft's Windows Mobile blog, Tech Ed 2009 will feature a "kickoff presentation" for Windows Mobile on Monday, May 11…Windows Mobile 6.5 is a stopgap to deliver more functionality and features to Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional as Microsoft readies Windows Mobile 7.0 for release sometime in 2010…”

12. Cash prize to design secure phone http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8008241.stm The Design Council is offering £400,000 for designers to develop new ways of securing mobile phone handsets…Applicants have until 22 May to submit their applications, with the finalists announced on 29 June…The Design Council said the challenge for designers could be broken down into three areas: * How to make a mobile harder or less desirable to steal, * How to make personal data more secure, * How to make online and mobile transactions more secure…”

13. Harnessing a Global Mobile Payments Market http://www.technewsworld.com/story/m-commerce/66855.html?wlc=1240347508 The global economy is changing. For many consumers, the credit card crunch is crumbling their ability to buy things online. In many countries outside the U.S., consumers do not have credit cards but rely instead on smart cards to swipe transactions directly through their banks…An estimated 75 percent of all online users around the globe lack credit cards -- but 4 billion online users have a mobile phone. For Paymo CEO Paul McGuire, that statistic sparked a light-bulb moment that illuminated a business plan he is hoping will revolutionize e-commerce payments…Subscribers worldwide can pay their bills and buy from a growing list of merchants by sending a text message through their mobile phones…”

Open Source

14. The GPL, Your CMS Project and You http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-cms/open-source-the-gpl-your-cms-project-and-you-004329.php “…One of the biggest issues around the GPL in the Content Management Systems community is around modules, extensions, add-ons or whatever you want to call the external pieces that third parties might build to extend a particular CMS's capabilities. This topic is so thorny to discuss because the intersection of license and copyright issues for code extensions makes it nearly impossible for a lawyer to make general statements on the matter…You can see how the different interpretations of this issue play out within the various open source CMS projects. Joomla! has decided that all extensions listed in its own resources will have to be licensed with the GPL. Drupal is the same. Plone is discussing allowing exceptions on a case by case basis and even then will specify which alternative license can be used for those exceptions they approve…”

15. Foxit Software Releases Foxit Reader 1.0 for Desktop Linux http://www.prlog.org/10221243-foxit-software-releases-foxit-reader-10-for-desktop-linux.html “…Foxit Software today is announcing the official Linux version of Foxit Reader 1.0, a freely downloadable PDF viewing application. With this release, it now supports the ability to reliably view and print PDF files across all major operating systems in the enterprise…”

16. click2try Exhibits Virtual Open Source Apps http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-21-2009/0005009692&EDATE click2try (http://www.click2try.com), a community site that makes it easy to try and use Open Source software, today announced it will be demonstrating its click2try.com site featuring virtualized Open Source applications at LinuxFest Northwest 2009 (http://www.linuxfestnorthwest.org). click2try hosts a catalog of more than 40 Open Source applications that visitors can try for free, right from a browser, without downloading any software. The catalog provides resources for each application, including links to major application development sites, as well as links to documentation, tutorials, and reviews…”

17. MySQL 5.4 gets bigger anyway, encroaching on new parent Oracle's turf http://www.betanews.com/article/MySQL-54-gets-bigger-anyway-encroaching-on-new-parent-Oracles-turf/1240345051 “…When Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced his acquisition of Sun Microsystems yesterday morning, he didn't mention MySQL at all -- his company's principal competitor in the small systems database space. Maybe that was just for spite: It's no secret that Ellison wanted MySQL; he said so explicitly three years ago. It was one of the key missing elements in the top-to-bottom stack he's been looking for, a way to create a line-up of pre-configured systems with everything customers need…”

18. Linux fast-boot tech targets Windows users http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS6115531495.html “…A number of Windows-based laptops have shipped with minimalist Linux-based fast-boot environments for quick access to the Web and other essentials, but most are embedded in firmware and linked to specific chipsets or BIOS modifications (see farther below for a survey of some recent fast-boot systems). Presto, on the other hand, can be downloaded by consumers at $20 a pop, and installed on "almost" any Windows XP or Windows Vista computer…”

SkyNet

19. New Google tools: Similar Images and Google News Timeline http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8009400.stm “…Similar Images uses a picture rather than text to find other matching images. Timeline presents information already available in Google News but organised and displayed chronologically…Timeline…is the brainchild of Andy Hertzfeld, a key member of the original Apple Macintosh development team…”

20. New in Gmail Labs: "Suggested Recipients" http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/new_in_gmail_labs_suggested_recipients.php “…a new feature in Gmail Labs will now help you to ensure that you don't inadvertently forget a recipient you typically include in your group emails. After you activate it, this new feature, "Suggest more Recipients," kicks in after you add at least two recipients to your message. If you, for example, usually send out a message to your mom, dad, sister and brother together, Gmail will suggest that you add both your sister and brother to the list of recipients after you type in your mother's and father's address…”

21. Google profit up but revenue drops for first time http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090417/tc_afp/usitinternetearningscompanygoogle Google reported a 9.2 percent rise in quarterly net profit, but the Internet search giant said revenue declined for the first time ever in consecutive quarters. The Mountain View, California-based company reported a net profit for the first quarter of the year of 1.42 billion dollars compared with 1.31 billion dollars in the corresponding quarter last year. Revenue was 5.51 billion dollars for the first quarter, up six percent from the same quarter a year ago but down three percent compared with the fourth quarter of last year…”

22. Students for Google Summer of Code™ 2009 http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/04/announcing-accepted-students-for-google.html Students in 70 countries are now celebrating their acceptance in to the Google Summer of Code 2009 program! For our fifth year running the program, we've paired 1,000 students with mentors in more than 65 countries with more than 150 Free and Open Source software projects. Check out the program website for more details on each accepted student project…”

23. Dead Souls of the Google Booksearch Settlement http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/04/legally-speaking-the-dead-soul.html Google has scanned the texts of more than seven million books from major university research libraries for its Book Search initiative and processed the digitized copies to index their contents…In the fall of 2005, the Authors Guild, which then had about 8000 members, and five publishers sued Google for copyright infringement…This column argues that the proposed settlement of this lawsuit is a privately negotiated compulsory license primarily designed to monetize millions of orphan works. It will benefit Google and certain authors and publishers, but it is questionable whether the authors of most books in the corpus (the “dead souls” to which the title refers) would agree that the settling authors and publishers will truly represent their interests when setting terms for access to the Book Search corpus…”

General Technology

24. What if our tech is good enough? http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/what-if-our-tech-is-good-enough--589169 Perhaps Blu-ray is the canary in the coalmine…we find ourselves in an impossible position. In almost every sphere, the technology we have is so good that any improvements can only be incremental. The gap between the first digital cameras – which struggled to produce even grainy VGA images – and today's 10-megapixel models is immense, but once your megapixels hit double digits, any further improvement is hardly noticeable…”

25. Have we arrived in the post-Windows era? http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=16590 “…There are a lot of reasons for the failure of Windows Vista, but in retrospect the biggest reason was that the OS simply didn’t matter that much anymore. Most of the consumers who ended up with Vista simply got it because it came installed when they bought a new computer. The vast majority of them never chose Vista…It was the software equivalent of repainting a room and rearranging the furniture…I used it as my primary production machine at the office every day. I installed it on a high-powered 64-bit Hewlett-Packard desktop machine. I loaded all my apps on it. It worked fine. However, my conclusion on Windows 7 was, “So what?” There’s nothing in Windows 7 that matters. In fact, the computer operating system has never mattered less than it does today…It didn’t used to be this way. Installing a new operating system used to be like getting a whole new computer…”

26. Why Aneesh Chopra is a great choice for federal CTO http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/04/aneesh-chopra-great-federal-cto.html “…The Federal CTO will be an assistant to the President, as well as the Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He will work closely with Vivek Kundra, the recently-named Federal CIO, to develop and implement the President's ambitious technology agenda…I've been working for much of the past year to understand what many have been calling Government 2.0, and in that process, Chopra has been one of those who have taught me the most about how we can build a better government with the help of technology. He is an excellent choice as Federal CTO, for many reasons…”

Leisure & Entertainment

27. Wii MotionPlus for New Games Only http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090416/tc_pcworld/wiimotionplusfornewgamesonly “…Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus, a precision-remedy for its finicky Wii Remote, won't be backwards compatible, says the company…What will it work with? New games only, all custom-tailored, a fact that reportedly torqued off certain blindsided third-party developers last summer. Why no retroactive precision-motion love? The cynical view fingers upcoming sequels like Wii Sports Resort with its medley of frisbee, jet ski, and kendo sims. Nintendo wants you to buy new stuff, not discover the pleasures of revisiting the oldies wielding a superior control mechanism they probably could and should have shipped in the first place…”

28. Adobe Flash coming to your TV http://www.crn.com/software/216900126;jsessionid=J2DLGAFM043WKQSNDLPCKH0CJUNN2JVN “Adobe on Monday said it will bring an optimized version of its Flash video software to TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray DVD players by the end of 2009…The new version, called the Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home, is available immediately to OEMs…Adobe said about 98 percent of PCs have Flash installed, and according to Internet market research firm comScore, about 80 percent of videos viewed online worldwide use Adobe's Flash Player. Adobe said it sees home televisions as essentially the next frontier for Flash…The offering from Adobe doesn't work with TVs made by Sony or Samsung, whose Internet-connected TVs use Yahoo's rich media platform…”

Economy and Technology

29. Oracle, Entering Hardware Arena, Agrees to Buy Sun for $7.4 Billion http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aVWptwRiZl1w&refer=home “…Oracle Corp. agreed to buy Sun Microsystems Inc. for about $7.4 billion in cash, swooping in after the server maker’s talks to be acquired by International Business Machines Corp. failed…The takeover moves Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker, into the market for server and storage computers, pitting the company against IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison also gains Sun’s Java programming language and Solaris operating system, which work with its top-selling database program…It remains to be seen how Oracle runs a hardware company, especially one where its market share is declining…Oracle seeks to reach $50 billion in revenue by 2012. The Sun purchase is Oracle’s third-largest, ranking behind the $10.3 billion takeover of PeopleSoft Inc. in 2005 and the $8.5 billion purchase of BEA Systems Inc. last year. Oracle has spent almost $34.5 billion buying 52 companies since 2005…”

30. EBay plans Skype IPO next year http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=009131580 EBay plans to spin off Skype via an initial public offering (IPO) because the Internet telephony unit doesn't mesh with the company's two other businesses -- e-commerce and online payments. EBay announced on Tuesday that it expects to complete Skype's IPO in the first half of next year…”

31. Ford Bets the Fiesta on Social Networking http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/04/how-the-fiesta.html “…Ford is betting the success of the Fiesta subcompact on the blogs, tweets and Facebook updates of 100 people who will live with the cars and share their experiences online…Ford wants to generate buzz for the Fiesta, which will bring Europe's "small cars can be cool" ethos to America when it arrives next year. But rather than hand a bunch of them over to mainstream journalists, Ford broke with tradition by inviting dozens of 20-somethings to live with the car for six months and tell the world about it…the healthiest of the Big Three wants to generate buzz for the car among "millennials," those born between 1979 and 1996. Some 70 million millennials will be driving next year, and Ford is targeting the Fiesta squarely at them. A Microsoft study found 77 percent of millennials use a social networking site like Facebook or MySpace daily…Ford recently handed 100 Fiestas to 100 people selected from 4,000 applicants. These "agents" -- that's what Ford calls them -- get to use the cars for six months in exchange for completing monthly "missions" with different themes. They'll share their experiences through YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter accounts…”

32. Massive Server Purchase Likely in Chinese Warcraft Deal http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090417/tc_pcworld/massiveserverpurchaselikelyinchinesewarcraftdeal “…Chinese online game firm NetEase.com will buy all-new servers to start operating World of Warcraft in China this year, potentially leaving masses of unused computing clusters in the hands of the current Chinese operator…NetEase will distribute and run the game in China for three years after current operator The9's license expires in June…World of Warcraft brought the firm over 90 percent of its revenue in 2006 and 2007…The9 owns an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 servers, and most are probably the high-performance blade servers that Blizzard requires for its online games…NetEase owns even more servers than The9 but will likely have to buy at least 1,000 new blade servers to take over World of Warcraft…”

Civilian Aerospace

33. SpaceX launch of Falcon 1 rocket postponed http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0904/19falcon1/ “…The next launch by the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket, originally scheduled for Monday evening, has been postponed while engineers examine the level of vibrations its Malaysian satellite payload will experience during ascent…Late Sunday night, SpaceX issued a press release announcing the delay. "While both the Falcon 1 vehicle and satellite passed all preliminary checkouts and are cleared for launch, a concern has been identified regarding the potential impact of predicted vehicle environments on the satellite. Based on these concerns, the SpaceX team is evaluating options to minimize this impact and ensure mission success…”

34. Small Company Plans Mini-Greenhouse for Lunar Lander http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7380649&page=1 “…a small group of entrepreneurs is already at work on what it hopes will be the first miniature greenhouse ever sent to the moon. The entrepreneurs (government help not refused but not needed, thank you) plan to grow mustard seeds -- ideal because the two weeks they take to bloom is the same length as a lunar day…"We've never grown a plant beyond low earth orbit," said Taber MacCallum, the founder, with his wife, Jane Poynter, of an Arizona firm called Paragon Space Development Corp. "We don't know how it will react to one-sixth gravity, or to cosmic rays…”

35. Ballutes Studied For Hypersonic Space Vehicles http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090421-technov-ballutes.html “…Global Aerospace has been given NASA funding to study the use of ballutes in planetary atmospheric entry and descent, aerodynamic orbital capture, and aerodynamic gravity assist. Ballutes (from BALLoon plus parachUTE) are basically large, inflatable devices that use atmospheric drag to decelerate spacecraft; they were invented by Goodyear Aerospace in 1958. The company is developing the Hypersonic Control Modeling and Simulation Tool (HyperCMST). It will be used to study the problem of controlling the trajectory of different hypersonic space vehicles as they maneuver close to planets and satellites with substantial atmospheres…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

36. GPUs vs. CPUs for EDA simulations http://www.eetindia.co.in/ART_8800569755_1800000_NT_f35ee8f2.HTM “…Simulation has always been about speed. A program that forecasts tomorrow's weather but takes 26 hours to complete is useless, but one that takes 26 minutes is invaluable. It's the same with EDA. If you can get simulation results faster than spinning a board or a chip, you add value. If you don't, you don't. There are basically three ways to make the simulation go faster: better algorithms, faster processor clocks and parallelism. As David A. Patterson, professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, says: "No one knows how to design a 15-GHz processor, so the other option is to retrain all the software developers" to program parallel machines…”

37. Computing revolution creating desktop supercomputers http://www.sciencewa.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2487&Itemid=587 “…The hardware used to produce graphics in computers may be the key to managing the massive amounts of processing power needed by future supercomputing efforts, such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). A project like the SKA needs massive amounts of processing power, with terabytes of data flowing into the central computing core every second…Chris Harris, PhD student at the Western Australian Supercomputer Program (WASP), at UWA, is completing his doctoral thesis on this topic. “My thesis investigated the use of GPUs in radio astronomy data processing…”

38. Nvidia jumps on OpenCL for GPUs train http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42079/140/ “…Nvidia today released its first OpenCL driver and software development kit (SDK) for GeForce GPUs and Tesla HPC cards. It is a critical move for Nvidia that is yet another sign that OpenCL is emerging as the common development platform for GPGPU acceleration in software…”

39. A Tool to Make More of Many Cores: Intel's Ct http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22517/?a=f “…later this year, Intel will release from its lab a research project called Ct ("C for Throughput") that will automatically make standard C and C++ compilers work with many-core processors, starting with Intel's first new graphics processor in many years, code-named Larrabee, which is scheduled to ship in early 2010…Unlike competing programming architectures such as nVidia's CUDA, which enable massive parallelism using large numbers of that company's graphics processors, Ct is backward compatible with the entire body of software written for Intel's long-running x86 architecture…”


*****

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