2009/07/14

NEW NET Issues List for 14 Jul 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the WEDNESDAY, 14 July 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel, 3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. Use Social Networks Effectively http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/07/09/use-social-networks-effectively/ “…Social networks can be a great addition to our marketing toolboxes. Since I started actively using social networks (only a year and a half ago!), I’ve reconnected with old friends, and have gotten quite of bit of business that can be directly attributed to connections that were facilitated through these networks. But social networks can also be great time-wasters, too. However, If you focus on the marketing aspects of the networks, the time spent using them can consist of, as Meryl says, “zero-guilt activities.” Here are some tips for using social networks as effective marketing tools…”

2. Everything You Need To Know About Microsoft’s Silverlight 3 http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/10/the-complete-guide-to-microsofts-silverlight-3/ “…Microsoft is holding the official launch of Silverlight 3, which is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering media experiences and interactive applications for the Web. The first version was launched in 2007 and the second version was launched in September of 2008…”

3. Office 2010 with free Web versions http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135433/Microsoft_girds_Office_2010_with_free_Web_versions Choosing to risk cannibalizing its own sales rather than let competitors such as Google Inc. eat away at them, Microsoft Corp. will give consumers and corporate users free access to the upcoming Web version of Microsoft Office. Microsoft announced Monday that its Office Web service will be available to members of its free Windows Live online service, of which there are about 400 million active users worldwide today…A beta for the remaining Office 2010 products, including Office Web, will begin by the end of the year… Office Web will only offer lightweight versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint that lack many features…even if consumers and small businesses move en masse to Office Web, that won't be so bad, since the revenue per customer wasn't that high. Many were using older versions of Office or simply pirating the software…”

4. Clinton, US State Department, Firefox http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/july/125949.htm “…Can you please let the staff use an alternative web browser called Firefox?...I just moved to the State Department from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and was surprised that State doesn’t use this browser. It was approved for the entire intelligence community, so I don’t understand why State can’t use it. It’s a much safer program. Thank you. SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, apparently, there’s a lot of support for this suggestion. (Laughter.) I don’t know the answer. Pat, do you know the answer? (Laughter.) UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: The answer is at the moment, it’s an expense question. We can -- QUESTION: It’s free. (Laughter.) UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Nothing is free. (Laughter.) It’s a question of the resources to manage multiple systems. It is something we’re looking at. And thanks to the Secretary, there is a significant increase in the 2010 budget request that’s pending for what is called the Capital Investment Fund, by which we fund our information technology operations. With the Secretary’s continuing pushing, we’re hoping to get that increase in the Capital Investment Fund. And with those additional resources, we will be able to add multiple programs to it. Yes, you’re correct; it’s free, but it has to be administered, the patches have to be loaded. It may seem small, but when you’re running a worldwide operation and trying to push, as the Secretary rightly said, out FOBs and other devices, you’re caught in the terrible bind of triage of trying to get the most out that you can, but knowing you can’t do everything at once. SECRETARY CLINTON: So we will try to move toward that. When the White House was putting together the stimulus package, we were able to get money that would be spent in the United States, which was the priority, for IT and upgrading our system and expanding its reach. And this is a very high priority for me, and we will continue to push the envelope on it. I mean, Pat is right that everything does come with some cost, but we will be looking to try to see if we can extend it as quickly as possible…And it reminded me of what I occasionally sometimes do, which I call shopping in my closet, which means opening doors and seeing what I actually already have, which I really suggest to everybody, because it’s quite enlightening. (Laughter.) And so when you go to the store and you buy, let’s say, peanut butter and you don’t realize you’ve got two jars already at the back of the shelf – I mean, that sounds simplistic, but help us save money on stuff that we shouldn’t be wasting money on, and give us the chance to manage our resources to do more things like Firefox, okay?…”

5. Fonolo aiming to kill customer service phone menus http://deals.venturebeat.com/2009/07/13/fonolo-aiming-to-kill-customer-service-phone-menus-launches-enterprise-version/ “…Fonolo, a Canadian company that wants to end the frustration of dialing customer service numbers…lets people get around annoying phone trees by mapping them with a bot. Fonolo then shows a user all of their possible choices on its Web site. The user clicks through the tree, picks their final destination, and then enters in their own phone number. Fonolo calls them back, connecting them with their ultimate choice…”

6. Welcome to IT Dashboard – The Blog! http://it.usaspending.gov/?q=content/blog “…the“IT Dashboard” is a new, one-stop clearinghouse of information that allows anyone with a web browser to track federal IT initiatives and hold the government accountable for progress and results. A part of USASpending.gov, the dashboard allows you to see what IT projects are working and on-schedule (and which are not), offer alternative approaches, and provide direct feedback to the chief information officers at federal agencies – in effect, keeping tabs on the people who are responsible for taxpayer dollars for technology…we can’t simply make this an exercise in federal agency reporting. That is why we started this blog. We want to hear from you about what works and what doesn’t with the site. Is there a more innovative approach that an investment should consider? Does the contract data look incorrect to you?...This is a site to serve you, and to do that, we need to hear from you…”

7. How One 19-Year Old Is Shaking Up Online Media http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/breaking_news_online_how_one_19-year_old_is_shakin.php Michael van Poppel used to be like a lot of young people, trawling the internet for interesting news about the world. Just like many others have considered doing, he created a place where he could post the most interesting news he finds, as fast as he can. Today he's one of the most-watched movers and shakers in online news media - and he's not yet twenty years old…”

8. A Radical New Router http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/computing/networks/a-radical-new-router/0 “…The small computers that directed the data traffic—I called them Interface Message Processors, or IMPs—evolved into today’s routers, and for a long time they’ve kept up with the Net’s phenomenal growth. Until now…Internet traffic is rapidly expanding and also becoming more varied and complex. In particular, we’re seeing an explosion in voice and video applications. Millions regularly use Skype to place calls and go to YouTube to share videos…Unlike e-mail and static Web pages, which can handle network hiccups, voice and video deteriorate under transmission delays as short as a few milliseconds. And therein lies the problem with traditional IP packet routers: They can’t guarantee that a YouTube clip will stream smoothly to a user’s computer. They treat the video packets as loose data entities when they ought to treat them as flows…my colleagues and I at Anagran, a start-up I founded in Sunnyvale, Calif., set out to reinvent the router. We focused on a simple yet powerful idea: If a router can identify the first packet in a flow, it can just prescreen the remaining packets and bypass the routing and queuing stages. This approach would boost throughput, reduce packet loss and delays, allow new capabilities like fairness controls…”

9. Young workers push employers for wider Web access http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090712/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_blocked_office_internet Ryan Tracy thought he'd entered the Dark Ages when he graduated college and arrived in the working world. His employer blocked access to Facebook, Gmail and other popular Internet sites. He had no wireless access for his laptop and often ran to a nearby cafe on work time so he could use its Wi-Fi connection to send large files. Sure, the barriers did what his employer intended: They stopped him and his colleagues from using work time to goof around online. But Tracy says the rules also got in the way of legitimate work he needed to do as a scientific analyst for a health care services company…He was sure there had to be a better way. It's a common complaint from young people who join the work force with the expectation that their bosses will embrace technology as much as they do. Then some discover that sites they're supposed to be researching for work are blocked. Or they can't take a little down time to read a news story online or check their personal e-mail or social networking accounts. In some cases, they end up using their own Internet-enabled smart phones to get to blocked sites, either for work or fun…”

10. Bing Says Unique Users Up; Compete Says Barely Any Gain In Searches http://searchengineland.com/at-one-month-bing-says-unique-users-up-compete-says-barely-any-gain-in-searches-22309 “…look closely at the May to June 2009 change. Bing was up — barely — from 6.2% to 6.5%, a tiny 0.3% gain. Did that hurt Google? Nope. Google rose from 73.3% to 73.9%, a 0.6% gain. Down were Yahoo and Ask, both losing 0.4% in share. AOL was unchanged (and barely registers at 0.8%). So Bing hurt Yahoo and Ask? Hard to say…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

11. Wireless Cybercriminals Target Clueless Vacationers http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,531380,00.html “…The newest trend in Internet fraud is "vacation hacking,"…Vacationers on their way to fun in the sun, or already there, think they're using designated Wi-Fi access points. But instead, they're signing on to fraudulent networks and hand-delivering everything on their laptops to the crooks. "More and more people are traveling with Wi-Fi devices like smartphones and laptops," says Marian Merritt, Internet safety advocate at the computer-security giant Symantec. "Airports and airlines and hotels are responding. They're setting up free Wi-Fi networks to lure in customers. Now they're luring in hackers as well." In 2008, Silicon Valley-based AirTight Networks, a wireless security company, sent a team of "white-hat" hackers — good guys who try to thwart "black hat" hackers — around the world on an international airport study. They checked the Wi-Fi networks at 27 airports — 20 in the U.S., five in Asia and two in Europe…everywhere they looked, they found fake Wi-Fi hot spots set up by hackers phishing for suckers — and there were plenty of suckers to be had…77 percent of the networks they surveyed were actually private, peer-to-peer networks, meaning they weren't official hotspots. Instead, they were running off someone else's computer…”

12. Glitch in antivirus software troubles PC users http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090710/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_antivirus_false_positive “…Antivirus software cuts two ways. It's great at blocking known viruses, but it can sometimes misfire, mistakenly flagging clean files as malicious…Lee Jay Mandell, a 60-year-old retired computer consultant and patent attorney from the Los Angeles area, said the problem popped up on his computer Wednesday night. He knew something was wrong because he recognized the types of files that were being quarantined were parts of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system…"I'm back, but it took me about six hours to get back," he said Friday. Every antivirus company deals with false positives, and it's an embarrassment for companies whose job is to protect people's machines from sabotage…The antivirus software spots files it believes are malicious and starts plucking them out. The results can range from annoyance to outright meltdown of the machine if critical files are targeted. Last week some people using McAfee Inc.'s antivirus software said their computers crashed because of a false positive…”

13. Online attack hits US government Web sites http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135274/Online_attack_hits_US_government_Web_sites “…A botnet comprised of about 50,000 infected computers has been waging a war against U.S. government Web sites and causing headaches for businesses in the U.S. and South Korea…The attack, while powerful, is not particularly sophisticated and appears to be more of a nuisance than a threat to security. It uses a variety of well-known distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks…The botnet code behind the attack does not use typical antivirus evasion techniques and does not appear to have been written by a professional malware writer…It is also unusual to see relatively low-profile government Web sites being hit. "Who goes around targeting a site like the FAA or the U.S. Treasury? It's not something that most people would think to attack…These are very basic attacks and stuff we've seen for a very long time…It's embarrassing that these sites have been hit for four or five days and they're still being affected. Think of the money that eBay and Amazon would lose in four to five days of this…”

14. Microsoft ActiveX vulnerabilities http://www.betanews.com/article/Office-Web-Components-vulnerability-flaps-in-the-breeze/1247515418 Tomorrow, Microsoft has a Patch Tuesday collection slated to include a fix for a hole known to Microsoft and outside security researchers for nearly a year and a half. Today, Redmond's got another, newly revealed, major flaw to contend with. The vulnerability in Office Web Components' ActiveX implementation, versions 10 and 11, is currently known to be under attack, according to a post by Fermin J. Serna of Microsoft Security Response Center's Engineering team. If a user running Internet Explorer goes to a malicious Web site that hosts the exploit, the attacker could gain whatever rights the user has (translation: owned) and execute malicious code in the usual fashion…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

15. 7 Reasons Nokia Phones Get No Love in U.S. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/07/nokia-phones/ “…Nokia is the worldwide king of cellphones. But don’t tell that to U.S. customers. Nokia’s market share in the United States is on the decline, down to 8 percent last year, from 15 percent two years ago. “Nokia missed a number of handset trends in the last few years — thin phones, clamshells, touchscreen devices, applications… A weak brand…Lack of focus on CDMA handsets…Poor execution…Lack of carrier relationships…Unusual design…Symbian…An insignifcant app store…”

16. Amazon Launches Online Store for Mobile Phones http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nf/20090710/tc_nf/67667 “…Amazon on Thursday rolled out AmazonWireless.com, a beta Web site that offers cell phones, service plans, comparison shopping features, easy rebate redemption, and free two-day shipping on AT&T and Verizon Wireless phones…”

17. Nuance Acquires Jott http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090714005664&newsLang=en “…Nuance Communications, Inc...has expanded its Mobile Division voice services portfolio with the acquisition of Jott. Jott is the innovator behind the popular Jott Assistant, the simple and easy-to-use service that enables users to create notes, set reminders and appointments, send email and text messages, and post to their favorite web services – all by voice, from any device…”

Open Source

18. 9 of the Best Free Linux System Monitoring Tools http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20090709183715280/SystemMonitoring.html Computer monitoring systems are used to gather data for the purpose of real-time incident notification, performance analysis, and system health verification…These types of systems gather data relating to CPU, memory, network, disk utilization, response time of network services, and much more. To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 9 Linux system monitoring tools…”

19. The Open-PC Project Announced at GCDS 09 http://www.kdenews.org/2009/07/11/open-pc-project-announced-gcds-09 During the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit Frank Karlitschek announced the open-pc initiative. The aim of this ambitious project is to cooperatively design a Free Software based computer by and for the community…The project was initiated in response to the lack of quality in the Free Software-based hardware solutions currently on the market…”

SkyNet

20. Google Drops A Nuclear Bomb On Microsoft: Google Chrome OS http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/07/google-drops-a-nuclear-bomb-on-microsoft-and-its-made-of-chrome/ “…In the second half of 2010, Google plans to launch the Google Chrome OS, an operating system designed from the ground up to run the Chrome web browser on netbooks. “It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be,” Google writes tonight on its blog…the software architecture will basically be the current Chrome browser running inside “a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.” So in other words, it basically is the web as an OS…So why release this new OS instead of using Android?...a key difference they don’t mention is the ability to run on the x86 architecture. Android cannot do that…But Chrome OS will be all about the web apps. And no doubt HTML 5 is going to be a huge part of all of this. A lot of people are still wary about running web apps for when their computer isn’t connected to the web. But HTML 5 has the potential to change that, as you’ll be able to work in the browser even when not connected, and upload when you are again. We’re starting to see more clearly why Google’s Vic Gundotra was pushing HTML 5 so hard at Google I/O this year. Sure, part of it was about things like Google Wave, but Google Wave is just one of many new-style apps in this new Chrome OS universe…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/security_guru_calls_chrome_oss_security_claims_idiotic.php http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/07/making_an_opera.html http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/2009/07/lets-all-take-deep-breath-and-get-some.html

21. Google's Chrome Operating System: We've Got It All Wrong http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/07/googles_chrome.html “…most of the coverage of Google’s announcement of its Chrome operating system missed the real point. Most people seem to assume that the Chrome operating system is intended to replace Windows on personal computers, and that it will be a failure if it doesn’t…It’s an easy story to pit Google against Microsoft, partly because there’s some truth to the increasing tension between the two tech titans. But they’re each representative of a bigger battle going on, one that would happen regardless: the inexorable migration of computing…from the desktop and laptop to the Internet. Essentially, Google is attempting to create an operating system tuned to the needs of the Post-PC Age…That age has not arrived yet, and it may not arrive completely for a long time, but the trend is apparent: People increasingly are doing more and more of their work online, for which they don’t need or want the cost and performance overhead of a traditional PC operating system…”

22. Google's Marissa Mayer on the importance of real-time search http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jul/08/google-search-marissa-mayer “…Don't let Marissa Mayer worry you, but she would like your camera, phone and surroundings to tell Google a bit more about you and the world around you – and do it more often. As vice-president of "search product and user experience" at the search giant, she thinks we've only just got started on search – and that sensors, such as those built into those objects you may own, are the way forward…The first stage of search involved text on web pages; the second stage, which we're in now, does involve humans, who are helping identify images and adding context to web pages, which makes the web appear knowledgeable…there's a potential third form of search, she explains, which uses the sensors built into devices around us. "I think that some of the smartphones are doing a lot of the work for us: by having cameras they already have eyes; by having GPS they know where they are; by having things like accelerometers they know how you're holding them…”

23. "To-Go" Version of Google's Chrome Browser http://www.pcworld.com/article/168329/a_togo_version_of_googles_chrome_browser.html “…An excellent source for portable applications is portableapps.com where John T. Haller and his team take normally installed Windows applications and package them in a portable format. They don't, however, offer a portable version of Google's Chrome web browser. It turns out that a German software company, SRWare, does. They call their version Iron and it offers a host of advantages over Google's version. The big thing that SRWare stresses is privacy. Iron protects your privacy in seven ways that Chrome that does not…In addition, installing Iron (it's available both in a normally installed version as well as a portable version) does not install Google Updater, a program that seems to run constantly in the background…”

24. Don’t Be Evil: Why Googlers should read Anil Dash’s post http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/taking-google-feedback/ “…One of Google’s core values is “Don’t be evil.”…We still use “don’t be evil” as a guiding principle inside Google, but I’ve noticed fewer and fewer people outside Google mentioning the phrase. That raises the worrying possibility that people are starting to think of Google as just another big company. “Don’t be evil” sets an incredibly high bar for Google’s conduct…Take for example the recent letter asking that Google offer HTTPS more broadly. Gmail already offers an “always use HTTPS” option, which is more than other large email providers, but the letter was sent to Google because people expect more from Google. If people stop expecting more from Google, it’s more likely that the company will go off track…”

25. Google Calendar tests out new features in Labs http://deals.venturebeat.com/2009/07/14/google-calendar-tests-out-new-features-in-labs/ “…Google Calendar Labs is starting out with six features that users can add: Next Meeting, which shows how much time is left before your next meeting; Free or Busy to see show who is currently in meetings; World Clock for tracking different timezones; Background Image; Attach a Google Doc; and Jump to Date. As with Gmail Labs, we can expect more features to come — and not just from Google itself, since the company is releasing an application programming interface (API) that will allow external developers to build their own Calendar applications…”

26. Help customers find their way with new Google Maps gadget http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/07/help-customers-find-their-way-with-new.html “…I was puzzled by the directions offered by their website - I wasn't whether I was approaching from the North, South, East or West or where the major highways were. What I needed were step-by-step directions from my exact starting point to the hotel that I could easily print and go. With the new directions gadget from Google Maps, any business can offer just that…”

27. Find Creative Commons images with Image Search http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/find-creative-commons-images-with-image.html “…Today, we're launching a feature on Image Search to help you find images that you can use for free, while respecting the wishes of artists and creators. This feature allows you to restrict your Image Search results to images that have been tagged with licenses like Creative Commons, making it easier to discover images from across the web that you can share, use and even modify. Your search will also include works that have been tagged with other licenses, like GNU Free Documentation license, or are in the public domain…”

General Technology

28. Zooming In To Catch The Bad Guys http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630153406.htm It's a frequent scene in television crime dramas: Clever police technicians zoom in on a security camera video to read a license plate or capture the face of a hold-up artist. But in real life, enhancing this low-quality video to focus in on important clues hasn't been an easy task…The new invention enhances the resolution of raw video images from security cameras, military binoculars, and standard personal-use video cameras, improving the quality at which the images were originally recorded or transmitted…A major challenge in video analysis is that images of objects become distorted over long distances due to variations in the air that can affect our sight and the "sight" of a camera. In the language of optical science, this is known as a "turbulent atmosphere."…The TAU team exploited the fact that most parts of a video scene remain still. While there are moving objects such as people, animals or vehicles, a major part of the video ― the background –– does not move at all. Using specially designed algorithms, the team built a software application that lets cameras and video analysis equipment stabilize images, allowing objects that are really moving to be distinguished from chaotic atmospheric changes…”

29. A fabric with vision http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/flexible-0708.html “…Imagine a soldier's uniform made of a special fabric that allows him to look in all directions and identify threats that are to his side or even behind him. In work that could turn such science fiction into reality, MIT researchers have developed light-detecting fibers that, when weaved into a web, act as a flexible camera. Fabric composed of these fibers could be joined to a computer that could provide information on a small display screen attached to a visor, providing the soldier greater awareness of his surroundings…"This is the first time that anybody has demonstrated that a single plane of fibers, or 'fabric,' can collect images just like a camera but without a lens…”

30. 100 Essential Skills for Geeks http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/07/100-basic-geek-skills-for-geeks/ “…I think it is a good sample of the skills required to be a true geek. I won’t pretend to have all the skills listed here. I even had to Google a few of them…Knowing where to look for the knowledge is as good as having it so give yourself points if you are certain that you could Google the knowledge necessary for a skill…”

31. Netbook sales to double to 33 million, laptops to stay flat at 129 million http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10285189-92.html “…Netbooks are projected to grab a 20 percent share of the worldwide market for 2009…Consumers are expected to scoop up almost 33 million Netbooks this year, marking a sales gain of close to 100 percent from last year's 16 million. But notebook sales are set to be flat this year, with 129 million units shipping, virtually the same as in 2008…This would make the first year ever that the notebook market showed no sales growth…While (Netbooks) have certainly created a new market, our research indicates that they are predominantly used as secondary PCs by consumers and are not replacing notebooks…”

32. eMachines launches all-in-one PC for $400 http://www.liliputing.com/2009/07/emachines-launches-ez1601-01-all-in-one-pc-for-400.html “…It’s got an 18.5 inch LCD display (sorry, no touchscreen), a DVD burner, and 5 USB ports. Otherwise, the spec list reads like your pretty typical netbook: 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, GMA 950 graphics, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, and Windows XP Home Edition. The eMachines EZ1601-01 has a list price of $399.99, but you can pick it up from Newegg for $379.99…”

Leisure & Entertainment

33. MechWarrior http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/100/1002275p1.html “…MechWarrior fans have been hoping, praying and anticipating a new game in the famed franchise ever since the last expansion pack for MechWarrior 4 was released in 2002. Now, seven years later, their prayers have been answered. IGN has the very first details about MechWarrior reboot that is currently in production at Smith and Tinker and Piranha games. Yes, that's right, reboot. Instead of this game becoming MechWarrior 5, the developers have decided to completely re-launch the entire franchise, calling this new title MechWarrior…” [http://www.vggen.com/news/news.php?id=10099 http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2009/07/09/new-mechwarrior-game-announced/ ]

34. Tough economic times and the growth of online game play http://www.techflash.com/Tough_economy_drives_more_online_game_play_50583712.html “…a new report from comScore indicates that online video game usage is on the rise in part because Americans are seeking cheaper forms of entertainment. The online game category attracted 87 million visitors in May, up 22 percent over the same period last year. Yahoo Games was the top destination site for online games with 19.4 million U.S. visitors…”

35. Who needs games when you've got bling http://www.linux-noob.com/review/bling/bling.html “…My eldest son is ten years old. He has been using computers in one way or another since he was 4…he never really got interested in Linux simply because of the lack of games (that interested him)…at the start of June, I set him a challenge to use nothing but Linux on his computer for a month…I chose the Fedora 11 game spin DVD as I was interested to see if it would captivate him long enough to get him genuinely interested in Linux…He liked it, and really got into a game called Lin City NG, and he also tried to compose some music using the Linux version of Fruity Loops, called LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio). Instead of doing what I expected (focusing on the games) he quickly started to google how to enable cool things like spinning cubes and docks. I've seen this stuff before but to see my own ten year old son get all excited about it was another matter. In fact, it WAS the reason that Linux was interesting to him. He wanted the wobbly windows, the fire burning on the screen, the rain drops, the spinning cube, that stuff, was cool. Bling, was in, and it went by the name of Compiz Fusion…”

36. Should radio have to pay royalties? Pandora, labels say yes http://government.zdnet.com/?p=5104 For 80 years, radio has not had to pay for the privilege of playing records over the air. In legal terms, it has not had to pay royalties for the “performance right.”…Web radio, satellite and all other technologies do have to pay performance royalties under the 1995 Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act. But radio was explicitly exempted from that law. Now that webcasters, led by Pandora, have cut a deal with SoundExchange for reasonable performance royalties, Pandora’s CEO Tim Westergren wants to level the playing field…”

Economy and Technology

37. GE, Tendril ink deal for better home energy management http://green.venturebeat.com/2009/07/08/ge-tendril-ink-deal-to-create-even-better-home-energy-management/ “…General Electric’s Consumer & Industrial division finalized a deal with home energy management startup Tendril today to improve broadband communication between demand response appliances in the home, smart meters and utilities. Ideally, the result of this tandem project will be a wide range of appliances that respond automatically to utility signals — programmable thermostats that shut off by themselves during peak hours, for example, or dishwashers that run only when electricity is cheapest…”

38. Pandora Tunes Into $35 Million http://www.pehub.com/44380/pandora-tunes-into-35-million/ Online radio network Pandora has raised $35 million in new VC funding…What’s particularly interesting here is that the new financing was signed while Pandora’s very existence was in jeopardy…All of that changed earlier this week, when Pandora and other webcasters reached a new agreement with the recording industry…”

Civilian Aerospace

39. NASA Selects 20 Innovation Fund Projects http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/jul/HQ_09-161_Innovation_Fund.html NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program, working with the Office of the Chief Engineer at NASA Headquarters, has selected 20 projects for the 2009 NASA Innovation Fund. The fund was established to advance work from NASA innovators on novel technologies and concepts that have the potential to revolutionize the way NASA performs its missions such as enabling new capabilities in space flight, science, aeronautics or exploration. Projects that also offer potential solutions to other national and global challenges are of particular interest…”

40. Grab your camera and nab that space station (or satellite) http://features.csmonitor.com/discoveries/2009/07/10/grab-your-camera-and-nab-that-space-station-or-satellite/ “…Others have snapped the ISS with more skill and agility. But, hey, it’s like catching (and releasing) your first fish, turning the key in your first car, or your first … you get the idea. Step 1, of course, is knowing if the station is coming soon to a night sky near you. For that, Twitter is a big help. Check out Twisst, an alert service set up by a couple of Dutch science reporters, one of whom also develops web sites…An alternative is to visit NASA’s Skywatch web page and use the tool in the left-hand column to select your country, state (for the US), and nearest city or town if yours isn’t listed…”

41. SpaceX competing with Alabama company for $150 million http://www.wacotrib.com/news/content/news/stories/2009/07/09/07092009wacSpaceX.html “…President Barack Obama wants to help private companies develop rockets that could haul people to the International Space Station. SpaceX believes it could fit the bill and wants a chunk of the money…U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby has hurled insults at SpaceX and demanded that at least $100 million of the stimulus money be diverted to Constellation, the troubled rocket program meant to replace the space shuttle when the shuttle retires after 2010…Some published reports say Shelby already has nailed down the $100 million he wants. Williams said earlier this week that is not the case, adding: “This is not a done deal. Senator Shelby does not control the U.S. Senate and certainly does not control the entire U.S. Congress…”

42. SpaceX scores a satellite success http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31907433/ns/technology_and_science-space/ A private spaceflight company launched a Malaysian satellite into orbit using a rocket of its own design late Monday, marking the firm's first successful commercial space shot…SpaceX, launched the small satellite atop its Falcon 1 rocket, a two-stage booster…It was the fifth Falcon 1 launch for SpaceX, but the first to haul a functional Earth-watching satellite into its intended orbit. The Falcon 1 rocket blasted off at about 11:35 p.m. ET from…Omelek Island in the Kwajalein Atoll, a launch site that sits about 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) southwest of Hawaii…After jettisoning its first stage as designed, the Falcon 1 booster reached a parking orbit and later restarted its rocket engine to deploy RazakSAT in an orbit that flies high above Earth's equator. "Second burn and satellite separation nominal," SpaceX officials said in an update. "Falcon 1 has successfully deployed RazakSAT into the correct orbit…”

43. Satellite Firm Raises $68 Million in Cash to Switch Rockets http://www.space.com/news/090713-busmon-spacex-customer.html Start-up broadband satellite operator Avanti Communications Group of London has raised some $68 million in cash from institutional investors and the British government to pay the additional costs it will incur in shifting the launch of its first satellite to an Ariane 5 or Soyuz rocket instead of a Falcon 9 vehicle operated by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX)…Avanti's Hylas Ka- and Ku-band broadband and high-definition television satellite, now under construction at Astrium Satellites of Europe and the Indian Space Research Organisation/Antrix of India, is scheduled to be ready for launch in mid-2010…Avanti's Hylas had been scheduled for launch in late 2009…It remains unclear when the satellite will be ready for launch…SpaceX is also behind schedule with its new Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which previously had been slated to make its debut in 2007…Avanti announced in February 2008 that it had secured a Falcon 9 insurance policy valued at 89 million British pounds covering the satellite's launch and its first year in orbit. SpaceX said at the time that the Avanti contract was valued at $150 million including the Hylas flight and three additional Avanti launches…In the company's July 1 statement to the London Stock Exchange, Avanti Chief Executive David Williams said the launch risk concerns of prospective customers forced Avanti to cancel Hylas' Falcon 9 launch…”

44. Cosmonauts emerge from Mars voyage simulator after 105 days http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article6709090.ece “…The men – four Russians, a Frenchman and a German -- smiled and waved as they climbed out of the hatch of their tubular "Mars rocket" in which they had spent 105 days locked harmoniously together, simulating the isolation of a flight to the Red Planet…"Mission successful," Commander Sergei Ryazansky snapped to his superiors from the Roskosmos, the Russian space agency. The experiment was jointly run with the European Space Agency to find out how people will react to the stress of the first missions to Mars, which are expected in about 20 years…”

45. NASA To Provide Education Funding For Museums And Planetariums http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/jul/HQ_09-158_Education_Funding.html “…NASA has announced a competitive funding opportunity for informal education that could result in the award of grants or cooperative agreements to several of the nation's science centers, museums and planetariums. Approximately $6 million is available for new awards. Proposals for the Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums are expected to use NASA resources to enhance informal education programs related to space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science or microgravity. Full proposals are due Sept. 10…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

46. NVIDIA Announces Keynote Speakers for GPU Technology Conference http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-Announces-Keynote-Speakers-for-GPU-Technology-Conference-50138327.html NVIDIA Corporation today announced that Richard Kerris, chief technology officer of Lucasfilm, and Hanspeter Pfister, computer science professor at Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will join NVIDIA CEO and Co-Founder Jen-Hsun Huang as keynote speakers at the inaugural GPU Technology Conference. Registration has now opened for the conference, which will focus on the latest breakthroughs developers, engineers and researchers are achieving through the use of the graphics processing unit (GPU). This event will be held at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2009…”

47. 800 TFLOP real-time ray tracing GPU unveiled http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/07/800-tflop-real-time-ray-tracing-gpu-unveiled-not-for-gamers.ars “…A Japanese company has announced a massive, 800 teraflop real-time ray tracing (RTRT) system that gangs together nine, 73-core chips into a single system that fits inside a desktop computer form factor. The new chip, which is being jointly developed with Toyota and Unisys, is aimed at the auto industry, where designers will use it to prototype body designs and paint combinations…”

48. Matrox Imaging Announces New HPC Platform http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Matrox-Imaging-Announces-New-HPC-Platform-50367287.html Today at the Robots, Vision and Motion Control show in Rosemont (Chicago, Ill.), Matrox Imaging is launching its new high-performance computing (HPC) platform for industrial imaging: Matrox Supersight e2…Applications such as semiconductor wafer and mask inspection, flat panel display (FPD) inspection, and CT scanning benefit from performance gains with Matrox Supersight e2 by leveraging multiple clusters of CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs…”

49. TeraGrid '09: Student Participation Soars http://www.hpcwire.com/features/TeraGrid-09-Student-Participation-Soars-50246857.html “…There was a new energy at this year's TeraGrid '09 conference thanks to an outstanding turnout for the student program. Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), more than 100 high school, undergraduate and graduate students were able to participate in the conference. Students attended presentations, keynotes, and panel discussions, presented their work in the poster session, and were invaluable behind-the-scenes volunteers. Many students were paired with mentors who shared their perspectives and insights to encourage the students' ongoing engagement in the cyberinfrastructure community…”


*****

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