NEW NET Issues List for 02 Jun 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 02 June 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. Bing vs. Google vs. Yahoo: Feature Smackdown http://www.pcworld.com/printable/article/id,165749/printable.html “…In the arena of world-class search, can Bing bring the hurt to Google and Yahoo? Microsoft's newest search engine comes packed with search tools such as an Explorer Pane for refining searches, Quick Previews for sneaking a peek at a site before visiting it, and Sentiment Extraction for making sense of product reviews…How do these services stack up against each other? Bing targets four categories of search: shopping, local, travel, and health. In a highly subjective comparison, I tested Bing, Google, and Yahoo in these areas and in others…” [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124364504325068315.html http://www.discoverbing.com/mobile/411/ ]

2. Wireframing and Prototyping Web Sites http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/05/29/flairbuilder-wireframing-and-prototyping-web-sites/ The practice of wireframing is common to most web production professionals. Oddly, there’s no clear market leader or category-defining product in this space; even solutions such as Adobe’s Creative Suite lack dedicated wireframing or rapid prototyping tools. There are, however, a number of useful smaller options. Late last year, Mike Gunderloy evaluated the popular Balsamiq Mockups and its deliberately sketchy wireframes. I recently discovered FlairBuilder, another up-and-coming wireframing tool which, like Balsamiq, is based on the Adobe AIR platform. While lacking Balsamiq’s cutesy, sketchy style, FlairBuilder has a number of interesting features useful for wireframing…”

3. Prepare For The Facebook Vanity URL Landrush http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/31/prepare-for-the-facebook-vanity-url-landrush/ “…Facebook will soon be allowing all users to claim a vanity URL pointing to their regular profile page, we’ve heard from a reliable source. The announcement should come sometime later this week. Afterwards, at a certain date and time, the landrush will begin. Users will be able to grab a vanity URL of their choice…”

4. How Important are Avatars? http://bokardo.com/archives/how-important-are-avatars/ We’re all familiar with them, but just how powerful are avatars, those digital representations of self? Several recent blog posts reminded me they’re probably more powerful than we realize…Brad Feld describes his decision to switch back to a normal photo avatar after changing to a cartoon avatar for a while, deciding that real photos were better…I’m happier when I see Amy’s picture pop up on my phone…I made a decision several years ago to use the same avatar everywhere, for everything. It’s a picture of me that looks mostly how I look, and seems to work well as a first introduction to my face. I have had many people come up to me and recognize me at conferences and events simply because they recognize me from this photo…The mere presence of others dramatically changes our behavior…Showing avatars of people gets us further along this spectrum, and we act differently as a result…”

5. NextStop, Twitter for Activities http://www.readwriteweb.com/readwritestart/2009/06/nextstop-twitter-for-activities.php “…Nextstop launched this morning to help thrill seekers, tourists and foodies find the concise recommendations they need to plan their daily excursions. At first glance, Nextstop may appear like an amalgamation of crowd-sourced review site Yelp, Yahoo's event site Upcoming and travel listing site Dopplr; however, the site has two major differences - recommendations are positive and can only contain a maximum of 160 characters…”

6. 10% of Twitter users do 90% of the tweeting http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/50591/study-top-10-of-twitter-users-do-90-of-the-tweeting/ “…the median number of "lifetime tweets" for a given Twitter user is … well, just one, while about half of all Twitters update their feeds barely once every 74 days…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Japanese university uses iPhone to keep tab of students http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10252222-1.html “…550 students and staff members in the School of Social Informatics at Tokyo-based university Aoyama Gakuin received the iPhone 3G for free earlier this month as part of their study materials…The gadget will work as a study tool for students, but as it also comes with GPS, which the university plans to use to check student attendance. Truancy is a big problem in Japan, where regular attendance is an important factor in determining a student's grade. Students often fake attendance by getting classmates to answer roll calls…”

8. Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/05/microsoft_update_quietly_insta.html A routine security update for a Microsoft Windows component installed on tens of millions of computers has quietly installed an extra add-on for an untold number of users surfing the Web with Mozilla's Firefox Web browser…Apparently, the .NET update automatically installs its own Firefox add-on that is difficult -- if not dangerous -- to remove, once installed. Annoyances.org, which lists various aspects of Windows that are, well, annoying, says "this update adds to Firefox one of the most dangerous vulnerabilities present in all versions of Internet Explorer: the ability for Web sites to easily and quietly install software on your PC."…Big deal, you say? I can just uninstall the add-on via Firefox's handy Add-ons interface, right? Not so fast. The trouble is, Microsoft has disabled the "uninstall" button on the extension…”

9. Contractors Vie for Plum Work, Hacking for U.S. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/us/31cyber.html “…The government’s urgent push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts…Nearly all of the largest military companies — including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon — have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies…They have been buying smaller firms, financing academic research and running advertisements for “cyberninjas” at a time when other industries are shedding workers…At a Raytheon facility here south of the Kennedy Space Center, a hub of innovation in an earlier era, rock music blares and empty cans of Mountain Dew pile up as engineers create tools to protect the Pentagon’s computers and crack into the networks of countries that could become adversaries. Prizes like cappuccino machines and stacks of cash spur them on, and a gong heralds each major breakthrough…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Google Ion (HTC Magic) http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/google-ion-htc-magic/4505-6452_7-33665904.html “…the Google Ion made the rounds at the Google I/O Conference. Essentially a Magic with slight cosmetic tweaks, the Google Ion shares most of the G1's features and adds the Android 1.5 "cupcake" update. The Ion won't be released into the wild as a mass market device, but we decided to give it a shakedown anyway…Rest assured that the Ion is an attractive smartphone with a load of features and an intuitive interface. Sleek where the G1 was clunky, the Ion improves immeasurably on its G1 predecessor. In all seriousness, it should have been the original Android device. We still have a few complaints, and some users may miss a physical keyboard, but the result is a powerful handset that can rival the iPhone on many fronts…” [http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/05/18-to-20-android-phones-to-land-by-the-end-of-2009.ars ]

11. HTC Killed The Physical Keyboard http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/30/htc-killed-the-physical-keyboard-smart-move/ “…the hardware that HTC has built this time around is much, much better. First of all, the thing just looks a lot nicer. It’s fairly sleek, almost iPhone-like, compared to the G1, which looked like a dull black plastic brick with a protruding chin at the bottom. The Ion is smaller, it’s thinner, the camera is nicer, the buttons are nicer…Most importantly though, it’s much more usable as a device. And we can thank one thing for that, as well as for much of its much improved design: The removal of the physical keyboard…”

12. 'Android' Eee PC: The un-Intel Netbook http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10253474-64.html “…Eee PC Netbook based on a Qualcomm processor that runs Google's Android operating system looks promising as an alternative to the millions of Netbooks out there tethered to Intel Atom processors and Microsoft Windows. Asus was showing a Netbook at the Computex conference in Taipei running the Android OS on top of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor…”

13. Toshiba Announces mini NB205 netbook http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=5074 “…Toshiba today announced their first consumer-oriented netbook in the United States, the Toshiba mini NB205. Like the many compact, lightweight companion PCs already on the market, the mini NB205 makes it easy to stay connected and productive while on the go. With a design features a nearly full-sized keyboard and touchpad, promises nine hours of battery life…The Toshiba mini NB205 features a 10.1-inch diagonal widescreen LED display, a full QWERTY raised-tile keyboard and a "laptop-sized" touchpad…”

14. NVIDIA Tegra http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10252757-64.html “…At the giant Computex conference starting Tuesday in Taiwan, Nvidia will be showing hardware running on its Tegra processor and Windows CE, the version of Windows used most prominently to date in business-use handheld computers. And, down the road, Nvidia has high hopes for devices based on Google's Android. Tegra is a system-on-a-chip that integrates a processor based on a design from U.K.-based ARM and Nvidia's GeForce graphics silicon, among other functions. The goal is to bring robust PC-like graphics to small devices such as Netbooks and handheld devices…” [ http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2009/06/02/nvidia-s-tegra-cpu-has-a-mighty-battery-lif/1 ]

15. Intel, AMD shoot for ultra-light laptop market, not netbooks http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347999,00.asp “…Intel has resuscitated the Pentium brand as its mainstream performance brand for the mobile segment, in a bid to carve out a higher-performance "ultrathin notebook" segment sitting just above netbooks…Intel's new products, plus announcements by AMD and Qualcomm, may point to an early trend at Computex: try to protect the strong unit sales that netbooks have enjoyed, while slowly ushering consumers up to more expensive, higher-margin segments where both chip vendors and OEMs alike can make a bit more money. AMD, for its part, has said that it will avoid the netbook category altogether, pushing for a more complete notebook experience…In an odd twist of branding, too, both AMD and Intel are using processor brands that had nearly expired. AMD's Athlon brand received a facelift with the Athlon II…”

Open Source

16. Free Open Source Resources http://ostatic.com/blog/free-open-source-resources-some-of-our-popular-collections#buzz In the mood for picking up skills with some new open source apps and extensions? Here are five popular collections we've done on free applications, books, tutorials, and more: 7 Free Resources for Eye-Popping Graphics and Animation…6 Ways to Get Much More Out of GIMP…OStatic's Firefox Superguide…Over 35 Free, Essential Open Source Resources and Apps…8 Free, Open Source Tools for a Better Digital Music Experience…”

17. Ubuntu Server: Lean, mean, cloud-making machine http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/305452/ubuntu_server_lean_mean_cloud-making_machine?fp=16&fpid=1 “…Ubuntu Server is a fast, free, no-frills Linux distribution that fills a niche between utilitarian Debian and the GUI-driven and, some would argue, over-featured Novell SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux…Ubuntu Server doesn't have a GUI. Instead, at installation, users have the choice of adding services, such as DNS, LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP), mail, OpenSSH, PostgreSQL database, print services, SAMBA and/or TomCat Java services. Users can also configure the server as a svelte virtual machine or manually install server applications and utilities…”


18. Google Wave - interwebs idealism in real-time http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/30/google_waviness/ “…When Lars Rasmussen first floated the idea, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wasn't impressed. "He came to me and he said 'This may sound kinda crazy, but we're going to reinvent communication and we just need a bunch of engineers to go of to Australia for a while and we'll get back to you after a couple of years,'" Brin remembers. "It was not a very compelling proposal." But Brin greenlighted the project anyway. After Google acquired their Where 2 Tech startup in 2004, Lars Rasmussen and his brother Jens had spearheaded the Google Maps project, and in an extreme case of Google's much-lauded commitment to creative freedom, Brin gave the pair just what they asked for…The result - after two years of development - is Google Wave, the new-age communication and collaboration tool the company unveiled on Thursday to a standing ovation from hundreds of gathered developers. Still under construction - and available only to the developers who attended Google I/O - Google Wave is a browser-based app that crossbreeds email with IM and document sharing, allowing you to respond to email-like messages with IM-like chatter - and vice versa. And inside and among these cascading discussion threads - aka "waves" - you can drag-and-drop photos, videos, maps, documents, and more. Wave promotes a kind of "real-time interaction" that's closer to real-time than most. When you send an IM, each character appears on your buddy's screen as you're typing…”

19. Google to wade into e-book market http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/06/01/google-ebook-market897.html Google will enter the e-book market by the end of the year, a move that will allow users to purchase and read publications online even if they don't own a dedicated reading device like Amazon's Kindle or the Sony Reader…This approach stands in contrast to that used by Amazon, one of the other major players in the e-book market, which requires would-be readers to own a Kindle…Significantly, Google would allow publishers to set the price of the book, also in contrast to Amazon's model. Readers would not be able to download the books — they will either have to be online or cache the publications. Amazon sells books on the Kindle at its own prices, which are often well below the prices established by publishers…” [ http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10253199-93.html ]

20. Google Local Lures Small Businesses With Their Own Web Dashboard http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/01/google-local-lures-small-businesses-with-their-own-web-dashboard/ Google wants more small businesses to claim their listing profiles on Google Local (which is basically listings that pop up in Google Maps and local search results). To entice them, starting tomorrow it will give local businesses in the real world with physical addresses a free dashboard akin to what Websites get for free with Google Analytics (see screenshot above). Except that it will show stats such as how many times their business comes up as a search result, how often people click through, as well as how many times people generate driving directions to their business son Google Maps and where those people come from…”

General Technology

21. Intel, IBM discuss 8-core 'Nehalem' server chip http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10249366-64.html “…Intel's Nehalem-EX processor, in production later this year and expected to be shipping in high-end server systems by early 2010, will feature up to eight cores inside a single chip that supports 16 threads…IBM, which participated in the conference, discussed a server currently under development that uses 64 Nehalem-EX cores (eight processors) and can handle 128 threads…Nehalem-EX will also double the memory capacity with up to 16 memory slots per processor socket…”

22. Boston-Power Swings Into Electric-Vehicle Batteries http://earth2tech.com/2009/05/31/boston-power-swings-into-electric-vehicle-batteries/ With all the attention on electric vehicles these days, laptop battery manufacturers are rushing to get in on the action. The latest is Massachusetts-based Boston-Power, which on Monday unveiled a new battery, called Swing, for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The company hasn’t released any details about Swing, other than to say that it will deliver “industry-leading capabilities” in areas such as energy density, lifespan, safety, cost savings and environmental sustainability. (CEO Christina Lampe-Onnerud told us in January that the company was working on a transportation battery.)…Boston-Power also Monday announced plans to build a 455,000-square foot lithium-ion battery factory in Auburn, Mass…If Boston-Power receives the DOE funding, it plans to have the Massachusetts factory up and running in full-scale production in about three years after it begins work on the project…As part of the stimulus package, the DOE is offering $2.4 billion in grants for advanced batteries…”

23. Livermore Labs: world’s largest laser http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/30/MNUF17QS35.DTL “…In theory, the facility's 192 lasers - made of nearly 60 miles of mirrors and fiber optics, crystals and light amplifiers - will fire as one to pulverize a fleck of hydrogen fuel smaller than a match head. Compressed and heated to temperatures hotter than those of the core of a star, the hydrogen atoms will fuse into helium, releasing bursts of thermonuclear energy…getting to the cusp of ignition (defined as the successful achievement of fusion) had taken some 7,000 workers and 3,000 contractors a dozen years, their labors creating a precision colossus of millions of parts and 60,000 points of control, 30 times as many as on the space shuttle…In February, NIF fired its 192 beams into its target chamber for the first time, and it now has the world's most powerful laser, as well as the largest optical instrument ever built. But raising its energies still further to the point of ignition could take a year or more of experimentation and might, officials concede, prove daunting and perhaps impossible…Just operating it, officials grant, will cost $140 million a year…”

24. Understanding Engineers: Feasibility http://fishbowl.pastiche.org/2007/07/17/understanding_engineers_feasibility/ “…here's a quick lexicon of what computer programmers generally mean when they're talking about how hard some problem is…To a programmer, a problem is trivial if there is a clear solution, and the only thing that needs to be done is to implement it…there is no necessary relation between a task being trivial, and how long it takes…A problem is unfeasible if enough of the solution is known to determine that you don't have the resources to solve it…When an engineer says something is "non-trivial," it's the equivalent of an airline pilot calmly telling you that you might encounter "just a bit of turbulence" as he flies you into a cat 5 hurricane…Hard problems are a class of non-trivial problem2 where some of the unknowns, some of the problems the engineer would have to find a way to overcome, are known to be difficult to find solutions to…”

25. How to Save Your Keyboard After a Spill http://smarterware.org/1792/how-to-save-your-keyboard-after-a-spill As I was finishing up work last night, I accidentally knocked a half-full glass of Diet Coke over and got some in my keyboard. Argh! I shook it out and went on my way, but then this morning 7’s and 8’s were mysteriously inserting themselves into words, and the spacebar was only working intermittently. A spill doesn’t necessarily mean keyboard death, but resuscitation can take some elbow grease…”

26. Windows Networking: Top 10 Free Downloads http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/netsys/article.php/3820321/Windows-Networking-Top-10-Free-Downloads.htm “…These 10 utilities may not change your life, but they’re all helpful with a particular aspect of networking and none of them will cost you a dime. (Unless otherwise noted, the utilities listed here are Windows-only…CrossLoop…Gladinet…Hamachi…InSSIDer…” [ http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/map-online-services-as-a-network-drive-with-gladinet-windows/ ]

27. Windows 7 Will Ship Oct. 22 http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/165965/windows_7_will_ship_oct_22.html “…Microsoft will ship Windows 7 to customers worldwide on Oct. 22…the company will offer an upgrade service called the Windows Upgrade Option to current Windows users…Windows 7 is the follow up to Windows Vista, which overall has been a disappointment for Microsoft and not very popular with business users or consumers…”

Leisure & Entertainment

28. Xbox camera controller & Beatles Rock Band http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2009/06/e3-microsoft-live-blog/ “…camera controller for Xbox 360 promises 3-D motion recognition that will turn your entire body into a game controller. Code-named Project Natal, the camera controller will sit beneath your television set and be capable of translating every movement of your body into a game control, Microsoft said Monday as it unveiled the system during its press briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo…Microsoft…already has captured hard-core gamers with its consoles and is now looking to attract a wider audience by cranking out casual games and turning the Xbox 360 into an entertainment hub…The company also says Project Natal can pull off facial recognition, making the controller capable of determining who is playing a given game… Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr appear onstage to mug and make humorous jokes about videogames…” [http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/143593/beatles-rock-band-to-support-three-singers-at-once/ ]

29. Xbox Gains Facebook and Twitter Integration http://www.pcworld.com/article/165874/xbox_gains_facebook_and_twitter_integration.html “…The Xbox Twitter-Facebook integration, revealed at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, will bring the two services into the Xbox Live online gaming service. In addition to the service's multiplayer functionality, you'll be able to send and receive status updates with the social networks straight from your Xbox console…An upcoming version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour, for example, will allow you to send screenshots and score updates directly into your Facebook stream via the Facebook Connect interface…”

30. Hulu Labs debuts with desktop app http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10251658-12.html Blurring the line between computer and TV just a tad more, video-streaming site Hulu puts its content front and center with a new desktop app for Windows and Mac. Introduced via Hulu's new Labs testing bed, Hulu Desktop is one of four new apps in Labs. The other three include a Video Panel designer for customizing the look of Hulu embeds, a recommendations list, and original air date-based browsing--but Hulu Desktop is the only one available for download…”

31. After 25 years, Tetris has sold 125 million copies http://venturebeat.com/2009/06/01/after-25-years-tetris-has-sold-125-million-copies/ “…Tetris…has sold more than 125 million copies — an astounding average of 5 million per year. Now the two men who are responsible for turning it into a worldwide phenomenon are trying to take it to even higher sales through online tournaments and matches…Available in more than 50 countries, it is a rare game that transcends culture or language. Alexey Pajitnov began working on the game in June, 1984, while working at the then-Soviet-run Dorodnicyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science in Moscow. He worked on artificial intelligence problems such as getting computers to recognize speech…Pajitnov said in an interview that he was inspired by a Russian paper game where you put words together on shapes that fit together. He created a program that helped move around blocks on a computer. But instead of making the paper game, he became “charmed” with the idea of doing a real-time, or live action game, where you fit the blocks together under a time deadline. Pajitnov completed the game and shared it with his colleagues. They became addicted to it, and they passed it around for free…”

32. The Sims 3 Launches Simultaneously for Mac, PC, IPhone http://www.pcworld.com/article/165937/ Electronic Arts (EA) on Tuesday announced the simultaneous worldwide release of The Sims 3 for Mac and Windows. A version developed to run on the iPhone and iPod touch is also available…The new game features unprecedented customization capabilities -- you can create a Sim that's more realistic than ever, with dozens of unique personality traits. You can also extensively customize the interior and exterior of your Sims' homes. And unlike past games, you don't have to micromanage basic aspects of your Sims' lives, like using the toilet and bathing…”

Economy and Technology

33. E-Books Are Hot, So Why Did E-Ink Sell for So Little? http://gigaom.com/2009/06/01/e-books-are-hot-so-why-did-e-ink-sell-for-so-little/ Prime View International, a Taiwanese company that makes an e-readers display part, said today it would purchase E-Ink, a company that provides the digital ink technology in the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, for $215 million…there’s no question the market is growing, with research firm In-Stat noting today that e-readers will grow from almost 1 million shipments in 2008 to 30 million by 2013. PVI quotes data from DisplaySearch noting that the total e-paper market will be $3 billion by 2013, which will be used in e-readers as well as e-textbooks. However, despite optimism about the growth rate for both e-paper and e-ink, the investors who funneled $150 million in Cambridge, Mass.-based E-Ink since its spinout from MIT 12 years ago, don’t seem to have generated a great return on their exit, given the sale price…”

34. Microsoft buys biosoftware from Merck http://blog.internetnews.com/dneedle/2009/06/microsofts-life-sciences-push.html The software giant announced it’s acquired certain assets of Rosetta Biosoftware, a business unit of Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of drug giant Merck & Co. This news follows Microsoft’s April launch of its Amalga Life Science software system designed to help organizations across the life sciences spectrum accelerate research and discovery efforts by automating the management and analysis of massive, heterogeneous research data…Our researchers face an overwhelming challenge to collect, analyze, interpret and share complex data from a wide range of diseases and experiments,” said Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., president and director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and 2001 Nobel Laureate in a statement. “We look forward to exploring the potential of Amalga Life Sciences to help us understand this data in a rich and efficient way and ultimately help us meet our vision of enabling personalized medicine…Microsoft’s other big health-related effort is Health Vault, its system designed to help consumers gain online access and portability to their medical records.…”

35. EMC bids $1.8 billion for deduplication company http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/06/01/emc-tops-netapp-bid-for-data-domain/ “…EMC Corporation (EMC) today offered to acquire deduplication specialist Data Domain (DDUP) for $30 a share in cash, topping last week’s $25 a share takeover offer from NetApp (NTAP). EMC’s all-cash offer values the deal at $1.8 billion…The deal highlights the growing importance of deduplication, which saves space on storage devices by eliminating duplicate copies of the same file or data…Data Domain systems identify redundant files and data as they are being stored, creating a storage footprint that can be 10 to 30 times smaller than the original dataset…”

36. Cisco Joins The Dow http://seekingalpha.com/article/140709-the-changes-to-the-dow-goodbye-gm-and-citi-hello-cisco-and-travelers “…General Motors Corp. and Citigroup Inc. (C), crippled by the first global recession since World War II, were removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average and replaced by Cisco Systems Inc. and Travelers Cos. GM, which filed for bankruptcy protection today, and Citigroup, the recipient of $45 billion in taxpayer aid, became the first companies since American International Group Inc. in September to leave the 30-stock average. Their shares have lost more than 90 percent since the start of 2007. By replacing GM with Cisco, Dow Jones & Co. has removed automakers from the best-known benchmark for U.S. stocks, saying in an e-mailed statement that computers are as central to the economy as cars were in the previous century…”

Civilian Aerospace

37. 2009 Space Elevator Games http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=28316 NASA's Centennial Challenges Program, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, and the Spaceward Foundation are announcing that the 2009 Power-Beaming Challenge, part of Spaceward's Space Elevator Games, will be held at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at the Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert on July 14, 2009…The Space Elevator is a revolutionary space transportation system based on a tether that extends from the surface of the Earth upwards to a counterweight located well beyond geosynchronous orbit and kept taut due to the rotation of the Earth. Electric vehicles, called climbers, ascend the ribbon using solar power and power transferred from the ground using a laser beam…” [http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=28274 ]

38. 'Space Camp on Steroids' Trains Space Tourists http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090602-astro-training.html A company offering a training regimen for would-be space tourists that the proprietor describes as "Space Camp on steroids" opened for business May 1 at the Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in Tampa Bay, Fla. Aurora Aerospace offers enhanced gravity and microgravity aircraft flights and other astronaut training services for paying customers, who would then be prepared for more expensive suborbital or even orbital flights. About a dozen clients have sampled the services to date, although none has signed up for the full training regimen…The complete program includes an aerobatic ride in an L-39 trainer, a two-seat aircraft built in the Czech Republic that is the same type of aircraft used by Russian cosmonauts in their training. The aircraft performs various aerobatic and high G-force maneuvers, according to Aurora's Web site…”

39. Virgin Galactic Completes First-Phase Rocket Tests http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/090528-spaceshiptwo-test.html “…The space tourism firm Virgin Galactic has successfully test-fired the rocket motor designed to boost a passenger spaceliner on suborbital joy rides into space. The hybrid rocket motor would launch Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft into suborbital space at speeds of over 2,500 mph (4,000 kph) to send ticket-carrying passengers soaring to heights of 65 miles (110 km) above the Earth…”

40. SpaceX delays launch http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20090530/BUSINESS/905300311/1006/NEWS01/SpaceX+delays+launch SpaceX's planned summer demonstration launch of the first Falcon 9 rocket has been delayed to the fall. A combination of technical work and lack of documentation for the Air Force, which manages safety on the Eastern Range, created the delay. The launch has been scheduled for July and now will occur no sooner than October…Before the Falcon 9's maiden flight, SpaceX must test the engines further, integrate them on the rocket and return the components to Cape Canaveral…Col. Scott Henderson with the 45th Launch Group said SpaceX has not yet presented a plan documenting the Falcon 9's self-destruct capability, which is needed before a launch can be OK'd…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

41. ATI Stream Technology Cuts Video Transcoding Time in Half http://www.dailytech.com/ATI+Stream+Technology+Cuts+Video+Transcoding+Time+in+Half/article15264c.htm “…ATI, the graphics division of AMD, has been working to spread its Stream GPGPU technology, which helps speed up applications by exploiting the parallel nature of its GPU products. Since ATI is a part of AMD, Stream has been designed to work with the CPU, instead of exclusively offloading all work onto the GPU. Signal processing, financial analysis, and protein modeling are just some of the fields that Stream can help. Video transcoding is one of the most CPU intensive tasks, especially when converting high definition video. ATI has been working on this problem for a while, and has released its ATI Video Converter which can use Stream technology…”

42. NVIDIA, Supermicro Give Birth to CPU-GPU Server http://www.hpcwire.com/features/NVIDIA-Supermicro-Give-Birth-to-CPU-GPU-Server-46665282.html “…Until now, the only practical way for customers to get GPU-accelerated clusters was to combine NVIDIA's own S1070 Tesla servers with x86 CPU servers from a traditional system vendor. Before May, the onus was on the users to configure the Tesla and x86 boxes themselves. But on May 4, NVIDIA launched its pre-configured cluster program, which brought in OEM partners to construct these mixed-processor clusters, allowing customers to purchase pre-built GPU-accelerated systems. Now NVIDIA has taken its next step in GPU computing with the introduction of a new Tesla card, the M1060, that is designed to fit neatly inside CPU servers…”

43. NVIDIA to Host Inaugural GPU Technology Conference http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-to-Host-Inaugural-GPU-Technology-Conference-46093832.html NVIDIA Corporation, inventor of the graphics processing unit (GPU), today announced that its inaugural GPU Technology Conference will take place Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2009. The event will focus on how developers, engineers, and researchers are using the GPU to solve the world's most important computing challenges. The conference will encompass three simultaneous events -- the Emerging Companies Summit, the GPU Developer Summit, and the NVIDIA Research Summit…”

44. What's Your Programming Team Look Like? http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Whats-Your-Programming-Team-Look-Like-46114042.html All sorts of interesting software used to be created by individuals and small teams…But today, game development requires a team of programmers and many other specialized talents, including artists, musicians and lawyers to license the most popular characters. HPC is no different. Developing code often requires substantial effort. Even relatively small applications benefit from experts in areas that are rarely mastered by a single individual…What team makeup of people is needed to develop this code?…”



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