2009/06/23

NEW NET Issues List for 23 Jun 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 23 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. Opera Unite, Makes Every Computer a Server http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/opera_reinvents_the_web_with_unite_makes_every_com.php “…Opera Unite, "turns any computer into both a client and a server, allowing it to interact with and serve content to other computers directly across the Web, without the need for third-party servers." Opera Unite aims to make hosting and sharing data as simple as navigating around the Internet. It purports to give users greater control of their data while still allowing for easy sharing of files and information between all web-enabled devices. The Unite services are based on open web standards to permit developers to design cutting-edge applications with ease. Opera even claims that creating a full-service application will now be as easy as coding a web page…”

2. Schools out, but Hong Kong teachers stay online http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090619/tc_afp/healthfluhongkongeducationtechnology The closure of dozens of Hong Kong schools to try to halt the spread of swine flu has kept thousands of children at home, but new technology has meant they can no longer escape their teachers…many schools in the southern Chinese city have implemented online instruction programmes so students can keep up with the curriculum from home…Pupils there are even offered physical education classes through printable handouts illustrating step-by-step guides to playing select games, although the government has discouraged children meeting up outside school…”

3. US broadband usage rises sharply http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8105726.stm Some 63% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home, according to the Pew Internet Project. The results surprised researchers, showing a 15% increase from a year earlier. Net services seem to have escaped the recession with Americans more willing to cut back on mobile phone usage or cable TV than broadband…”

4. FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j6DZ0gpsCSwquntzof4FR4yfqYXwD98V7B880 “…Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services…What some fail to realize, though, is that such reviews can be tainted: Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post…the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. How good is Microsoft's free antivirus software? http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=1067 “…Microsoft Security Essentials…will enter public beta testing next week. If you have a licensed copy of Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or above), Windows Vista, or Windows 7, you’ll be able to download and install the software at no additional charge. No subscription is required for ongoing definition updates, either…The public beta will be limited to 75,000 downloads…Microsoft Security Essentials requires validation, which means it won’t be available to anyone using a pirated copy of Windows. But it won’t require registration or personal information of any kind. In an interview last week, Theresa Burch, director of product management for Microsoft Security Essentials, confirmed that decision in no uncertain terms: “We collect no information from you at all,” she told me. No Windows Live ID, nothing. You agree to the EULA, validate, download, and you’re done… The cleanup process is designed to get rid of the immediate thread and then to immediately run a more detailed scan. As Packer explained, “Malware travels in packs, so we look for other stuff when we detect a problem…Microsoft’s technology scored second in the accuracy ratings, behind AVIRA but ahead of AVG, Symantec, McAfee, and a dozen other products. And on the crucial measure of delivering the fewest false positives, Microsoft stood far ahead of the pack, delivering the fewest false positives of any program tested…” [ http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10268040-83.html ]

6. Microsoft Security Essentials Beta Now Available http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218100915 Microsoft on Tuesday released a beta version of Microsoft Security Essentials, the company's new free consumer security software. Formerly known as "Morro," Microsoft Security Essentials is essentially the anti-malware component of Microsoft's subscription security service, Windows Live OneCare, without the utility applications and the $50 annual fee…”

7. Canada seeks easier police access to internet records http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tories-seek-to-widen-police-access-to-online-communications/article1187507/ Police will have sweeping new powers to collect information about Canadian Internet users without a warrant, and activate tracking devices in their cellphones and cars under legislation proposed by the Conservative government yesterday and criticized by privacy advocates as excessive…”

8. Want to Work for the City of Bozeman, MT? Hand Over Your Social Network Logins and Passwords http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/want_to_work_for_the_city_of_bozeman_mt_hand_over_passwords_login_info.php “…The city of Bozeman, Montana, however, is taking this to a new level by actually asking prospective employees to disclose not just that they have profiles on Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Google, and YouTube, but by also asking for the usernames and passwords for these profiles…”

9. City stops asking for Internet passwords http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/articles/2009/06/20/news/10cityapology.txt The city of Bozeman has stopped asking job applicants for their log-in information to online groups and social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace…News of the hiring practice this week was picked up by media outlets and bloggers around the world, triggering an outpouring of e-mails and phone calls to the city…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Ready to Swap your Laptop for a Smartphone? http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/166981/ready_to_swap_your_laptop_for_a_smartphone.html “…As smartphones grow in functionality (the iPhone 3G S and iPhone 3.0), you might be able to forego the laptop in favor of a smartphone. Imagine the freedom that comes with a computer on your hip, not strapped to your back…"Smartphones are still content consumption devices, not content creation ones," says Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. "Every knowledge worker has to do content creation, so you've got to have a desktop or a laptop to do it…”

11. Bigger Than The New iPhone http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/18/apple-iphone-os-technology-personal-3g.html “…the iPhone OS 3.0 software update Apple released for the iPhone and iPod Touch this week--not the launch of the iPhone 3G S Friday--could be the most important technology event of the year…Basically when we look at the iPhone we don't see a mobile phone, we see a computing platform," says Shervin Pishevar, chief executive of Social Gaming Network (SGN). For example, SGN's game "Agency Wars" allows players to compete by tapping away at the iPhone or while logged onto Facebook on their computer. They will even be able to use the iPhone's GPS capability to perform real-world missions and leave virtual booby traps for other players. Plenty of other smart phones have the GPS hardware to make that happen. Apple's software. however, allows developers to weave those capabilities into applications that knit virtual and real-world geographies together. Now add the ability to turn the iPhone into a kind of skeleton key for all kinds of other devices. Apple will now let developers turn the iPhone into a control panel for practically any piece of electronics you can plug it into…”

12. 5 Reasons Android Is Changing The Smartphone Game http://www.crn.com/mobile/218100828;jsessionid=UO02VSZNFG0V0QSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN T-Mobile this week unveiled its second Google Android-powered smartphone, the T-Mobile myTouch 3G. The new offering has a 3.5-inch touch screen along with a 3.5-megapixel camera and a preinstalled 4-GB microSD memory card. The myTouch, the successor to the T-Mobile G1, is one of a number of new or upcoming smartphones to take advantage of Google's Android platform. Here are five reasons why Android is changing the face of the smartphone market…”

Open Source

13. The First Ever Entirely Volunteer Run Open Source Conference is a Huge Success http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_first_ever_entirely_volunteer_run_open_source_conference_is_a_huge_success.php “…When the open source convention OSCON decided to move from Portland, Oregon to San Jose last year, the open source citizens of Portland set about developing their own "conference for developers working with open source technologies and for people interested in learning the open source way". And since Portland is a hub of the open source community, an army of volunteers and organizers were able to put together its own three day conference called Open Source Bridge. With its focus on open source citizenship, its innovative track structure for sessions, an all-night hacker lounge and peer-produced conference software, Open Source Bridge was not only a success, but plans are already underway for next year's conference…”

14. Easy Video Chat with Skype 2.0 in Ubuntu 9.04 http://spiceminesofkessel.com/2009/06/18/video-chat-skype-ubuntu/ “…I needed a web camera that was fully supported in Ubuntu…The camera I purchased is a Logitech QuickCam Chat. This camera carried a $20 USD price tag (it’s $13.99 on Newegg.com at the time of this writing)…I picked up a Logitech ClearChat Stereo headset with microphone for about $18 USD ($16.99 on Newegg.com at the time of this writing). That’s all the hardware I needed for this job…Skype has the best web camera support and ease of use in Linux. Skype also has another benefit: it’s free. Installing Skype is also quite easy. You simply go to Skype.com and download the Ubuntu package and double-click the file to install it via GDebi Package Installer. This is the easy way to install Skype and I recommend this method for those of you who are not comfortable using the command line. However, an alternative installation is better in the long run. Adding a repository for Skype makes it easier to upgrade to future releases…”

15. Open-source Academic Publishing http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9158 “…Krause, a professor of English at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., will talk about the trend toward open-source academic publishing…"It seems inevitable to me that most textbooks are going to be available in some electronic form," says Krause, whose talk is titled "Fast, Free, and On the 'Net: The Story of a Self-Published Textbook." The trend raises thorny questions, including how authors will be compensated for their time and how open-source publications will be regarded in the academic tenure process…”

16. Using Ubuntu as your sole operating system in academia http://edtechdev.blogspot.com/2009/06/using-ubuntu-as-your-sole-operating.html “…I've been using Ubuntu Linux as my sole operating system for two years now, ever since before I became a professor. The switch was completely painless as I had already been using the same software on Windows and the Mac for years (such as OpenOffice, Firefox, VLC, Pidgin, Netbeans, Eclipse, JEdit, Inkscape, Gimp, etc.). I wrote about making the switch to Linux gradually over 6 years ago, and I dual-booted to Windows and Linux for a long time, but Windows was still my primary OS until 2 years ago…”

17. New Intel/Nokia partnership a huge win for mobile Linux http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/06/new-intelnokia-partnership-a-huge-win-for-mobile-linux.ars Intel and Nokia are joining forces in an effort to reshape the boundaries of mobile computing. The two companies announced plans on Tuesday to collaborate on software and hardware through a new long-term strategic relationship. Advancing the open source Linux operating system and encouraging industry-wide participation in mobile Linux development is one of the pillars of the deal…Intel's Linux-based Moblin platform is positioned to become one of the most prominent on Atom-based netbook devices and it has attracted strong support from a large number of popular Linux distributors. Nokia's Linux-based Maemo platform, which powers the company's Internet Tablet devices, is a mature and highly-polished solution for handheld ARM devices…”

18. 64 Studio Has Speed and Elegance http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/6782/1/ “…64 Studio is a highly-regarded Debian- and Ubuntu-compatible multimedia-creation distribution. It's rock-solid stable and usable out of the box, without any special tweaks…”

SkyNet

19. Google Maps: What’s Here? http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/19/google-maps-finally-gives-me-the-feature-ive-wanted-from-day-1-whats-here/ “…when I look at an online map and see outlines of buildings, I get a little frustrated. I want to be able to click somewhere, and find out exactly what’s there. And with a new feature in Google Maps, you can do just that. If you right-click somewhere on the map, it will bring up a menu with a bunch of options. The new last option allows you to select “What’s here?” And if Google knows — which it does for a lot of places — it will pop up information about what is actually at the location…”

20. Google grabs 1 million phone numbers for Google Voice http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/061809-google-voice.html Google last month reserved 1 million phone numbers with Level 3, signaling that it may finally be ready to roll out its long-anticipated Google Voice service. The free service, announced in March, lets users unify their phone numbers, allowing them to have a single number through Google Voice that rings a call through to all their phones…” [http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/06/19/google-voice-to-offer-phone-and-messaging-services/ ]

21. Google's data sync tool breaks Windows tools http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10266978-2.html Google is working on an update to its Google App Sync software, the latest version of which breaks Microsoft's Windows Desktop Search along with several plug-ins found in Outlook…While the plug-ins may not be as important to some users, the crux of the problem is that Google's add-on disables Windows Desktop Search, and some other third-party search tools. It's not doing this maliciously though; Google says it does it to keep them from endlessly attempting to index the sync files the special software creates. Getting those programs to stop doing that will take cooperation from the companies that make them (including Microsoft), which Google says it's working on…”

22. Google Adds Persian Translation Tool Amid Iran’s Political Unrest http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1708349/google_adds_persian_translation_tool_amid_irans_political_unrest/index.html Google Inc has created a tool that converts blogs, news and text messages from English to Persian, in an attempt to "improve access to information" among the chaos and media restrictions after Iran's dubious election. The change shows the growing part the Internet is playing in politics and in the world…”

General Technology

23. Iceland's Geothermal Bailout http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2009-06/icelands-power-down-below “…Fridleifsson and his crew of geologists, engineers and roughnecks are attempting the Manhattan Project of geothermal energy. The two-mile-deep hole they've drilled into Krafla, an active volcanic crater, is twice as deep as any geothermal well in the world. It's the keystone in an effort to extract "supercritical" water, stuff so hot and under so much pressure that it exists somewhere between liquid and steam. If they can tame this fluid — if it doesn't blow up their drill or dissolve the well's steel lining — and turn it into electricity, it could yield a tenfold increase in the amount of power Iceland can wrest from the land…”

24. Rumble Robot Arduino Hack http://www.dinofab.com/rumblebot.html Want to build your own Rumblebot? Great! Let's get started. First, find a Rumble Robot on eBay, a thrift store or a yard sale. You can get them for $5 - $20 each. You will also need an Arduino micro controller, a Parallax PING sensor, an LED, a micro switch and a 100 ohm resistor. You can buy an Arduino for about $30 from many suppliers…The Parallax PING sensor is an ultrasonic device that can sense distance…”

25. What is Tegra and why does it matter? http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/06/19/we-ask-what-is-tegra-and-why-does-it-matter/ “…Tegra is a mobile internet device platform that runs Windows Embedded CE, and devices will sell from carriers for as low as $99 USD. Tegra is an entire computer-on-a-chip, which includes 8 separate processors, including: a GPU, two video processors, and audio processor, two ARM core processor and more. This processor enables a low-cost, always-on, always-connected HD mobile Internet device (MID) that can go days between battery charges…”

26. Robot Voice Modulator http://www.instructables.com/id/Robot-Voice-Modulator/ This is a simple to build device that converts your own human voice into a superior robot voice. It also includes a number of sweet features like an audio-in jack so that you can plug in all of your favorite instruments, microphones and music players, a vibrato mode and awesome pitch shifting buttons. It can be shifted two whole octaves in either direction. This provides for endless hours of fun…”

27. Windows 7 Release Candidate downloads will end August 15th http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/springboard/archive/2009/06/23/windows-7-release-candidate-downloads-will-end-august-15th.aspx Still on the Windows 7 Beta,? You need to move to the RC and fast. Starting July 1st, the Beta will start to reboot every 2 hrs and expire Aug 1st. Want to download the RC? The RC download program closes August 15. After that, you won’t be able to get the download, but you can still install the RC and get a key if you need one…”

Leisure & Entertainment

28. Dungeons & Dragons Files Suits For Illegal Posting Of Handbooks http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1708333/dungeons__dragons_files_suits_for_illegal_posting_of_handbooks/index.html “…Lawyers from the Hasbro subsidiary Wizards of the Coast LLC say the company is seeking unspecified damages in three separate copyright infringement lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleging that over 2,600 copies of “Player’s Handbook 2” were downloaded from the website Scribd.com while another 4,200 copiers were viewed online without authorization. With a retail value of about $40 a pop, the defendants could potentially be looking at hefty fines if the suits end up going before a court…”

29. Getting Computers Into the Song Groove http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22894/ “…researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), are using machine learning, in combination with a Facebook game, to classify music based on automated analysis of the songs. Gert Lanckriet, an assistant professor at UCSD, who is working on the project, says that the automated approach taken by his group's music search and recommendation engine means that it could analyze huge quantities of songs, potentially giving users recommendations from a much larger library of music…”

Economy and Technology

30. Steve Ballmer Is Making A Bad $10 Billion Bet http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-steve-ballmer-has-gone-bonkers-2009-6 Steve Ballmer says he is willing to invest 5%-10% of Microsoft's operating income over the next five years on search…So, is Steve making a smart $5.5-$11 billion bet?... Bing was not a new company. Bing had been in business for about 15 years, during which time it had lost a cumulative $8 billion. But Bing had a new product--a search engine--and this product, unlike all of Bing's previous products, was going to be a huge success…Search just isn't strategic to Microsoft, no matter how obsessed Steve Ballmer is with beating Google. Microsoft can't do everything--no company can--and winning the search war is not critical to Microsoft's long-term survival. Protecting its operating system and office suite monopoly is critical, however, and that business is also under attack…”

31. Steve Jobs Had Liver Transplant http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12653039 “…Apple CEO Steve Jobs received a liver transplant about two months ago, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Friday night…The newspaper reported that some company directors knew that Jobs, 54, who was also treated for pancreatic cancer in 2004, had the surgery, which took place in Tennessee…William Hawkins, a doctor specializing in pancreatic and gastrointestinal surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, told the Journal that the type of slow-growing pancreatic tumor Jobs had will commonly metastasize in another organ during a patient's lifetime, and that the organ is usually the liver…”

32. YouTube Not Just A Massive Money Pit http://news.yahoo.com/s/ibd/20090617/bs_ibd_ibd/20090617tech01 “…Google is building a Trojan-horse business model that protects their long term interests against telecom, cable operators and content owners that is as good as anything I've ever seen," he said. The RampRate report, "YouTube: Google's Phantom Loss Leader," aims to reverse the perception that online video distribution is a money-losing business…many online video firms have closed shop over the last year. But he argues that online video viewing will continue to mushroom…Google, which declined to comment for this story, has strategic reasons for letting people think YouTube loses money, Greenberg says. For one, it deflects a legal feeding frenzy among copyright lawyers looking to grab a share of the profit…Google's approach to YouTube is similar to what Apple (NasdaqGS:AAPL - News) did with its iTunes music service, said Alex Veytsel, a RampRate analyst and co-author of the report. Apple downplayed the profitability of iTunes, getting music producers to reluctantly agree to its 99-cent-per-song price. "For years there was this perception that Apple was losing money hand over fist with iTunes," said Veytsel. "That kept a lot of negotiators in check…”

33. Whose Yahoo? http://online.barrons.com/article/SB124534330266928155.html “…After her two predecessors failed in recent years to counter Google 's conquest of Yahoo! 's once-dominant position in Internet search, or to win over investors, new CEO Bartz brings strong software-engineering and management skills to the job…Citicorp analyst Mark Mahaney, who upgraded his rating of Yahoo! to Buy last week, thinks the shares are worth 21 each, versus 15.61 now…Among Bartz's primary objectives are cleaning up the redundant legacy software codes inside Yahoo! that stymie innovation and prevent nimble execution of new products and services across the Website…Yahoo! uses more than 30 software base codes in its front page alone, making it more complicated than necessary to engineer features like social-networking elements that keep Yahoo! users glued to the site…Other changes in technology should help Bartz with one of her pet projects: making it easier for advertisers to buy ads from Yahoo! using its Website, a task she says is now far too difficult. The CEO is also very aware that Yahoo! Mail, the largest free e-mail site in the U.S. and a key driver of traffic, needs to be improved right away…organic traffic growth is driven by innovation. Already, there are signs of better cooperation. Mint.com, a personal-finance management site, recently launched a module on the Yahoo! Website that took only five weeks to conceive and install. "They were great to deal with," Mint.com CEO Aaron Patzer says…”

34. Seattle’s New High-Tech Hub http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/travel/21surfacing.html Of all the neighborhoods that lie along Seattle’s Lake Union, the industrial district known as South Lake Union seems to have languished the longest…But that’s changing, thanks in part to the Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen…Instead of letting the area lie fallow, his company, Vulcan, ultimately amassed 60 acres in a private push to convert South Lake Union into a biotech and residential hub…Five years later, the vision of a new South Lake Union is finally taking shape — from a drive-by no-man’s-land to a high-tech community dotted with gleaming office towers, cafes, a new farmers’ market and a lakefront park. Much of the progress can be gleaned from the growing directory of companies moving to South Lake Union (www.discoverslu.com). Amazon.com is developing an 11-building campus…Tommy Bahama moved into a new six-story headquarters in 2005. And a cluster of biotech and medical research centers, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, are already up and running. This being Seattle, the swell of new professionals can be spotted in the neighborhood’s many coffee shops…”

35. Alice.com Is Your Housekeeper And Personal Shopper Rolled Into One http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/22/alicecom-is-your-housekeeper-and-personal-shopper-rolled-into-one-easy-to-use-site/ “…The basic idea behind Alice.com, which raised $4.3 million in funding last fall, is that the site is an open platform for consumer packaged goods manufacturers, like Procter & Gamble, to sell directly to consumers instead of going through retail channels like Target or Wal-Mart. On the consumer side, Alice.com lets users create a profile of their household (how many people, kids etc.) and then the site will keep track of items and reminds users with emails when they are running low and need to reorder. Each shipment is bundled together in a single ‘Alice’ box, delivered directly to the consumer’s door, with no shipping costs attached…” [http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jun2009/db20090622_048199.htm ]

Civilian Aerospace

36. A 'Flying Launch Pad' Cruises New Mexico Skies http://www.space.com/news/090620-white-knight-flight.html “…The flying launch pad, WhiteKnightTwo, made three low level flyovers here today at the Las Cruces International Airport – a continuation of celebrations for the groundbreaking of nearby Spaceport America. WhiteKnightTwo is undergoing an extensive program of test flights, including long duration jaunts from its California home base at Mojave Air and Space Port…” [http://www.space.com/news/090618-spaceport-america.html http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/06/19/328596/actuator-forces-whiteknight-two-diversion-from-spaceport.html ]

37. The 5-year-old space age http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/06/19/1971623.aspx Five years after the private-sector space age began, rocketeers are taking circuitous routes to turn their spaceship dreams into reality. And the pioneers of the age say that's just as it should be…The 5-year-old space age I'm talking about dates back to June 21, 2004, when the SpaceShipOne rocket plane became the first privately developed craft to carry a civilian astronaut into outer space…some observers thought regular folks would be going on day trips to outer space within just a year or two. Indian-American millionaire Chirinjeev Kathuria, who helped extend the life of Russia's Mir space station in 2000 and now serves as chairman of the PlanetSpace rocket venture, certainly thought so. "When the industry started out, I think everyone - including ourselves - were naive in saying we could do this in 12 months or 24 months," Kathuria acknowledged. "I think everyone's becoming more realistic. That's why no one is saying, 'OK, we're going to do it this year or next year' anymore…The most realistic time frame for suborbital space tourism seems to have come from aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan, who famously designed SpaceShipOne on a restaurant napkin and is now leading the development effort for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo at Scaled Composites in Mojave, Calif. "We at Scaled are very aware and proud of what we did five years ago," Rutan told me in an e-mail this week. "Memory fails me of what I was predicting would happen, so I did a Google search and came up with a podcast that had a prediction." Rutan pointed to a speech he gave at the Academy of Achievement in 2004, 10 days before SpaceShipOne's first sally into space. "At the end of the pitch I predicted that the public would be able to buy tickets for a spaceflight 'about 10 to 12 years from now…”

38. 105-Day Simulated Mars Mission To Be Complete July 14 http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMJTC0P0WF_index_0.html On 14 July, a crew of six will leave their Mars mission simulator and see the Sun once again. The crew, which includes a French pilot and a German engineer selected by ESA, will have completed 105 days of confinement and numerous scientific experiment runs inside the isolation facility at the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) in Moscow. Their simulated mission will help understand the psychological and medical aspects of long-duration spaceflight…This initial 105-day study is the precursor to a complete simulation of a fully-fledged mission to Mars and back due to start in early 2010. That exercise will see another six-member crew sealed in the same chamber to experience a complete 520-day Mars mission…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

39. The End of Moore's Law in Five Years? http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/The-End-of-Moores-Law-in-Five-Years-48287682.html “…Moore's Law is going to run out of money before it runs out of technology. If true, this would be bad news indeed for the IT-industrial complex, since semiconductor components (CPUs, GPUs, memory devices, etc.) depend on Moore's Law for their roadmaps, and many businesses directly or indirectly count on the ensuing technological advancements to drive revenue growth and worker productivity…Moore's Law curve is running counter to the escalating costs of semiconductor manufacturing, which are rising exponentially as process technology shrinks…Globalfoundries, is constructing a 32nm fab in New York with a budget of $4.2 billion, and Intel has already committed $7 billion to upgrade its fabs to produce 32nm chips. You have to sell a lot of chips to recoup those kinds of costs…To a certain extent, this is already occurring in the high performance computing sector. Moore's Law is already too slow to keep up with the performance demand of HPC users, and the difference is being made up by aggregating more chips together and attaching accelerators like GPUs, Cell processors and FPGAs…”

40. NVIDIA Releases OpenCL Drivers for XP and Linux http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-Releases-OpenCL-Drivers-for-XP-and-Linux-48258812.html NVIDIA Corporation has released the world's first OpenCL 1.0 conformant drivers for Windows XP and Linux. These drivers are now available to all NVIDIA GPU Computing registered developers. NVIDIA's OpenCL 1.0 conformant drivers support all GPUs based on the CUDA parallel computing architecture…”

41. Allinea to Enhance DDT Debugging Tool http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Allinea-to-Enhance-DDT-Debugging-Tool-Through-CEA-Collaboration-48256332.html “…Allinea's Distributed Debugging Tool (DDT) for next generation hybrid and "many-core" computer systems…Allinea and CEA will focus their collaboration on two primary projects. The first project is to enhance DDT to be able to debug hybrid GPGPU (general purpose computing on graphics processing units) systems, that transfer most of the intensive computational tasks from standard CPU servers to powerful multicore, parallel-processing graphics boards to make processing much faster and cost-efficient…”

42. TOP500 List Announced in Hamburg http://www.hpcwire.com/specialfeatures/isc09/offthewire/TOP500-List-Announced-in-Hamburg-48861302.html “…Holding onto the No. 1 spot with 1.105 petaflop/s (quadrillions of floating point operations per second) is the Roadrunner system at DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) which was built by IBM and in June 2008 became the first system ever to break the petaflop/s Linpack barrier. It still is one of the most energy efficient systems on the TOP500…Another notable system is the Chinese-built Dawning 5000A at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center at No 15. It is the largest system which can be operated with the Windows HPC 2008 operating system. The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems with 291 of the 500 systems (unchanged from 291). The European share (145 systems -- down from 151) is settling down after having risen for some time, but is still substantially larger than the Asian share (49 systems -- up from 47)…” [http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10270334-76.html ]

43. AccelerEyes Updates Jacket MATLAB http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/AccelerEyes-Updates-Jacket-MATLAB-48738797.html AccelerEyes is pleased to announce the release of Jacket v1.1 -- the GPU engine for MATLAB. Jacket enables standard MATLAB code to run on NVIDIA GPUs…”


*****

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