NEW NET Issues List for 11 Aug 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 11 August 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. After the boom, is Wikipedia heading for bust? http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17554-after-the-boom-is-wikipedia-heading-for-bust.html Wikipedia has rapidly become one of the most used reference sources in the world, but a new study shows that the website's explosive growth is tailing off and also suggests the community-created encyclopaedia has become less welcoming to new contributors…the changes could compromise the encyclopaedia's quality in the long term…”

2. New Flickr Search http://blog.flickr.net/en/2009/08/04/new-flickr-search/ “…we’re pleased to announce a redesign of our search results page…Note the new “View” controls at the top of the page, these allow you to display the results in different sizes and formats. Both small and medium views have an ‘i’ icon on every thumbnail — click it to see more detailed information about a particular photo…On the right side of the page…you’ll see links to the groups, photographers, tag clusters and places that are most closely related what you’re looking for…we’re exposing simple summary information on the page as you refine your search. For example, try looking for Creative Commons licensed videos of dogs made after 1st January 2009…”

3. Flickr Loses a Few Thousand More Pictures http://valleywag.gawker.com/5330108/flickr-loses-a-few-thousand-more-pictures-with-no-recourse A Flickr user is complaining loudly that the photo service allowed 3,000+ of his photos to be deleted by a hacker with no warning. Now they're supposedly gone, forever. When will Flickr start making backups?...If the struggling internet company wants to retain its paying Flickr customers, and compete with photo-saturated Facebook, it should be more careful with customer data. And Flickr users, of course, should emphatically back up their stuff...”

4. Facebook Acquires FriendFeed http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/10/facebook-acquires-friendfeed/ Facebook has acquired FriendFeed, we’ve learned. We’re gathering details now. At this point details on the acquisition are still very sparse, but it’s clearly a good match. Over the last year or so, Facebook has “borrowed” quite a few of features that FriendFeed popularized, including the ‘Like’ feature and an emphasis on real-time news updates…”

5. Computer 'agents' take to the web http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8185896.stm Software "agents" that automatically negotiate on behalf of shoppers and sellers are about to be set free on the web for the first time. The "Negotiation Ninjas", as they are known, will be trialled on a shopping website called Aroxo…For Professor Jennings, this application of his research marks a return to a more traditional retail model. "Fixed pricing is a relatively recent phenomenon," he said. "Throughout history most transactions have been negotiated. Only in the last 100 years have we gone for fixed pricing.”

6. Microsoft Doubles Cashback Incentives for Bing Search http://news.softpedia.com/news/Bing-Cashback-Incentives-to-Double-Starting-with-August-10-117722.shtml “…Microsoft is gearing up to raise the cash incentives it offers online shoppers via Bing cashback during the back-to-school season. The Redmond company noted that, come August 10, 2009, customers that would use Bing in order to search for and then buy select back-to-school items would be able to enjoy as much as double the normal cashback. Via Bing Shopping, Microsoft is ready to pay anywhere from 10% to 25% out of the price of each product bought through its search engine that comes from vendors that participate in Bing cashback promotions…”

7. King Of The Apple Geeks http://www.businessinsider.com/king-of-the-apple-geeks-2009-8 John Gruber's Daring Fireball is the homepage for Mac nerds. Even top Apple (AAPL) brass tune in regularly. And it's a real business, too, now in its fourth year as Gruber's full-time gig…the most important response came from Apple headquarters…In his e-mail, Schiller explained why Gruber's assertion was off-base -- Apple had not, actually, censored anything -- and that the developers had actually removed the bad words themselves. But he also wrote to Gruber about baseball: "Schiller, a Red Sox fan," Gruber writes, "ended with a postscript to let me know he’s looking forward to the Red Sox-Yankees series that starts tonight in New York." It's that kind of rapport with developers, Mac fans, and Apple employees -- Gruber is arguably the best-sourced Apple writer in the business -- that's helped turn Daring Fireball from a hobby into a real business…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Twitter Continues to Battle DDoS Attack http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/169897/twitter_continues_to_battle_ddos_attack.html “…More than two days after experiencing a complete outage as a result of a distribute denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, Twitter and other social networking sites such as Facebook are still battling a surge in traffic related to the attack. Twitter has taken some steps to mitigate the spike in traffic and ensure that the site is not knocked offline again, but some of those steps are having an impact on third-party tools that link to Twitter through API's…Evidence gathered thus far from Twitter and other sites targeted by the DDoS attacks seems to suggest that the attack is actually a politically motivated attack aimed at silencing a Georgian activist. The victim, known by the online handle Cyxymu, uses blogs and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to express views related to the tensions between Russia and Georgia…To defend itself against the ongoing DDoS attack, Twitter has implemented various defensive actions, some of which are blocking third-party Twitter applications from being able to connect with Twitter API's. The mitigating steps are also affecting the ability of many users to post to their Twitter accounts via SMS (short message service) text messages…” [ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/08/07/urnidgns852573C4006938800025760B00631EAC.DTL ]

9. New malware getting harder to detect http://www.pcworld.com/article/169891/malware_is_evading_detection_researchers_say.html Many Windows Vista antivirus programs struggle to detect new and unusual malware…several well-known products fall in to the lower left hand quarter of the graph, including PC Tools' Anti-Virus, Fortinet's Forticlient, and CA's Internet Security Suite, all of which achieved detection levels below 50 percent on both axes when configured in their default mode. Even the best performers, including those from Kaspersky Lab, BitDefender, Sophos, Check Point and Microsoft, showed mixed performance…What constitutes a good result is simply a consistently high score relative to other products. The assumption is that no product can possibly detect 100 percent of new threats given their rapid mutation, huge volume, and variety of attack methods, including exploiting flaws in specific software products. As ever, anti-virus is not a barrier against all possible attacks but a percentages game.”

10. On Locational Privacy, and How to Avoid Losing it Forever http://www.eff.org/wp/locational-privacy “…Over the next decade, systems which create and store digital records of people's movements through public space will be woven inextricably into the fabric of everyday life…Unfortunately, these systems pose a dramatic threat to locational privacy. Locational privacy (also known as "location privacy") is the ability of an individual to move in public space with the expectation that under normal circumstances their location will not be systematically and secretly recorded for later use. The systems discusssed above have the potential to strip away locational privacy from individuals…”

11. You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/you-deleted-your-cookies-think-again/ “…More than half of the internet’s top websites use a little known capability of Adobe’s Flash plugin to track users and store information about them, but only four of them mention the so-called Flash Cookies in their privacy policies…Unlike traditional browser cookies, Flash cookies are relatively unknown to web users, and they are not controlled through the cookie privacy controls in a browser. That means even if a user thinks they have cleared their computer of tracking objects, they most likely have not…Several services even use the surreptitious data storage to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, which is called ‘re-spawning’ in homage to video games where zombies come back to life even after being “killed,” the report found. So even if a user gets rid of a website’s tracking cookie, that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as the “backup.”…”

12. Lawsuits Question After-Hours Demands of Email and Cellphones http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124986371466018299.html “…Should hourly workers be paid for time spent responding to work calls or emails while off the clock? The federal suits highlight the legal issues sparked by the proliferation of personal technology as well as the blurring of work and free time. Last month, three current and former employees sued T-Mobile USA Inc., claiming they were required to use company-issued smart phones to respond to work messages after hours without pay…a former CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. maintenance worker seeks pay for time spent after hours receiving and responding to messages on a work-issued cellphone…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. iPhone Claims 32 Percent of Handset Industry Operating Profits http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20090804/iphone-claims-32-percent-of-handset-industry-operating-profits/ “…Apple, though it is only the fifth-largest handset vendor, claimed nearly a third of handset industry profits in the first half of 2009…Our analysis indicates that Apple’s iPhone accounted for only 8% of handset industry revenues but 32% of industry operating profits in 1H09…”

14. BlackBerry Curve Was on Top in Q2 http://gigaom.com/2009/08/04/despite-iphones-success-blackberry-curve-was-on-top-in-q2/ “…RIM’s Blackberry Curve edged out the competition to take the top spot as the best-selling smartphone model in the U.S….Top-selling Smartphones in the U.S.: BlackBerry Curve, iPhone 3G S, BlackBerry Pearl, iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold, BlackBerry Storm, HTC T-Mobile G1, Palm Pre, HTC Touch Pro, HTC Touch Diamond…”

15. Goodbye iPod, hello iPhone http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/08/05/goodbye-ipod-hello-iphone/ “…the iPod, once Apple’s (AAPL) No. 1 source of revenue, fell into third place after the Mac (No. 1) and the iPhone (No. 2). Think of Apple’s business model — as Steve Jobs often does — as a three-legged stool: Mac, iPod, iPhone. As recently as 2006, the iPod leg accounted for 55.5% of Apple’s revenue. By last quarter, its share had shrunk to less than 18%…”

16. iPhone Call Recording: It Makes Too Much Sense Not to Do http://www.louisgray.com/live/2009/08/iphone-call-recording-it-makes-too-much.html “…The introduction of the Voice Memos capability on Apple's iPhone was a nice touch. Now, in theory, if I am out and about and don't want to type in a note, I can speak into the Voice Memo and save a short audio clip. The process is also good for recording short snippets of music, or even the babies babbling, if I want to save it as an MP3 file and send it somewhere…”

17. How I Learned To Quit The iPhone And Love Google Voice http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/09/how-i-learned-to-quit-the-iphone-and-love-google-voice/ “…Porting my phone number to Google Voice was a three day process, which I was pre-warned about. The mobile carriers in the U.S. have made the porting process between them fairly easy, and it occurs over a couple of hours. But they are in no hurry to help customers move their phone numbers to Google Voice, and so it took a few extra days. Also, I’m one of the first people to port their phone number to Google Voice, and there are always a few hiccups when you’re a guinea pig. A week ago I was an unhappy AT&T iPhone customer. I couldn’t get cell phone reception here at my house and so I was always missing important calls. Today I’m a happy Google Voice customer. My old mobile number, which all of my contacts already have, now rings simultaneously on my home Vonage phone and the TMobile myTouch 3G Android phone that I’ve started using…”

18. The Tragedy of the Coffee Shop http://www.coffeeandcode.org/2009/08/06/the-tragedy-of-the-coffee-shop/ “…Amid the economic downturn, there are fewer places in New York to plug in computers. As idle workers fill coffee-shop tables — nursing a single cup, if that, and surfing the Web for hours — and as shop owners struggle to stay in business, a decade-old love affair between coffee shops and laptop-wielding customers is fading. In some places, customers just get cold looks, but in a growing number of small coffee shops, firm restrictions on laptop use have been imposed and electric outlets have been locked…It may seem that cafe-as-workplace is a new phenomenon, but that’s not so. They’ve been places where customers have done work since their debut in the 1650s…Then, as now, they functioned as what sociologists like to call “Third Places”: places that are neither home (the “First Place”) nor work (the “Second Place”), but a place that functions a community gathering place where broader, and often more creative social interactions happen. Cafes, community centres, churches, pubs in the U.K., town squares, open-air basketball courts, the parking lots of 7-11s and hackerspaces like Toronto’s HacklabTO are all third places…”

19. Yellix syncs Facebook contacts and status updates with your mobile http://uk.techcrunch.com/2009/08/11/yellix-syncs-facebook-contacts-and-status-updates-with-your-mobile/ “…Yellix offers an interesting way of connecting your Facebook friends with your mobile device. By installing the free Facebook application onto your cell phone your Facebook friends are being matched with your cell contacts - in real time…the app runs on Android, RIM BlackBerry, Symbian or Windows Mobile platforms. When you get a call the app syncs with the Facebook app and immediately lets you see who is calling, their Facebook profile picture and the last status update of that person…”

20. Windows Mobile: time to hang up? http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2009/tc2009087_110164.htm “…Over the past two years, Microsoft's grasp on the market for mobile-phone operating systems has been slipping because it hasn't kept pace with the rate of developments in the smartphone market, such as touchscreens and a wide variety of compelling applications. As a result, Microsoft's share of the smartphone operating system market has become anemic, while those of Apple and Research in Motion have soared. Traditionally, Microsoft aimed Windows Mobile at corporations that wanted Windows as a standard across PCs and handhelds. But many companies have loosened those policies. Workers are now using the same smartphones for office and personal tasks—and they're not choosing Windows. I expect Microsoft to realize this and exit the mobile operating system market within the next two years. The company says it's still investing in the platform, however. "We are 100% committed to the Windows phones business…”

21. Meet the binman who blew Apple away http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6741565.ece “…My name is Rob Shoesmith and by day I'm a 28-year-old binman from Coventry. By night, I'm working like crazy to turn my killer iPhone application into the next big social networking phenomenon…the signs are very encouraging: as well as receiving excellent feedback from purchasers and industry experts, since its release on August 2, Problem Halved has shot up the Apple App Store charts, quickly reaching Number 2 in the Social Networking category. At the time of writing, it sits at number 5…So what exactly is Problem Halved? Well, it takes an old idea - the traditional problem page - and brings it up to date by tapping into the social networking phenomenon and User Generated Content. It works along the lines of the old saying, "A problem shared is a problem halved"…I ended up getting a job working on the streets of Coventry as a binman, and have now been doing that for four years. While the exercise is good and I enjoy the banter of working with my mates, you tend to have a lot of "thinking time", and it was while on my round one rainy day that I came up with the idea for Problem Halved…”

Open Source

22. Microsoft Acknowledges Linux Threat to Windows Client http://www.pcworld.com/article/169619/ “…Microsoft for the first time has named Linux distributors Red Hat and Canonical as competitors to its Windows client business in its annual filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The move is an acknowledgement of the first viable competition from Linux to Microsoft's Windows client business, due mainly to the use of Linux on netbooks, which are rising in prominence as alternatives to full-sized notebooks…”

23. Droplet [an Arduino based wireless device that can display arbitrary content (weather, news etc) at the touch of a button, via an XBee radio] http://rapplogic.blogspot.com/2009/08/droplet.html Several months ago I released XBeeArduinoService. Since then I have been working on the next version…In an attempt to not repeat myself, in this entry I'm only going to cover what's new, so you'll want to familiarize yourself with the previous version…Download the project software from Google Code…As before, you need to install two Arduino libraries. XBee-Arduino for XBee communication and LCD4x20 to display text on the LCD…I recently received a SheevaPlug. SheevaPlug is a low power ARM computer, about the size of a wall adapter, that runs Linux. My goal is to run the Droplet Java application on the SheevaPlug…”

24. 42 Hot Free Linux Games http://www.linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/2009081000935RVGMSW “…programmers of all ages enjoy playing games. When Linux was in its infancy, games were few and far between. Over the years, this imbalance has been addressed, and thousands of native Linux games are now available to download, the vast majority of which are released under freely distributable licenses…In the eyes of many computer users, Linux is perceived as largely functional, mostly restricted to running servers, office tasks and web browsing. However, there is a wide and ever growing range of native Linux games available, but given the range, it can be hard to identify which ones are worth a spin. We hope this article will unite gamers with some really exciting titles…”

25. Cube 2: Sauerbraten - Awesome First-Person Shooter for Linux http://tuxarena.blogspot.com/2009/08/first-person-shooter-games-for-linux-iv.html “…In this article I'll overview Cube 2: Sauerbraten, an open-source shooter running on Linux, which also provides a gaming engine for developing FPS games. Cube 2: Sauerbraten offers a very fast-paced action and a great feeling playing it, coming with several great modes, three player models, really great maps to choose from and different types of weapons…”


26. Marissa Mayer On iGoogle’s New “Social Gadgets” http://searchengineland.com/google-brings-community-to-igoogle-with-social-gadgets-23654 “…there are apparently 12 social gadgets, eight of which were created by third party developers. For example, there’s a chess gadget and other casual game gadgets — casual games have become huge on Facebook — that allow iGoogle users to play with one another. There’s photo sharing, featuring Picasa and Flickr, and a to-dos gadget, which allows you to share your list or created a combined list with others. In some cases, there will be Twitter-like activity streams (see “Timeline” below) that display updates to all participating users in real-time…”

27. Google’s buying On2's video tech http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10304118-93.html “…On2 Technologies'…planned $106.5 million transaction isn't going to make too much of a dent in Google's coffers, but the transaction comes during a hot debate about which future technologies will power Web video…On2 offers video compression technology that's used, among other notable places, in Adobe's Flash software and the Hulu video site….there really are only two reasons to do this: open-source the codec and throw a third wrench into the HTML 5 video tag standards debate, or bake it into existing technologies like YouTube--in hopes of getting that business to start making money--or mobile software. At the moment, my bet is on the YouTube-mobile option…”

28. The Web Way vs. The Wave Way http://dashes.com/anil/2009/08/what-works-the-web-way-vs-the-wave-way.html “…Google Wave is an impressive set of technologies, the kind of stunningly slick application that literally makes developers stand up and cheer…the big question is whether Wave will succeed as overall in becoming a popular standard for communications on the web, because Google has made an admirable investment in documenting the underlying platform and making it open enough for others to build on and extend. I think the answer is no, and the reason is because the Wave way is not compatible with the Web way…I hope that Wave succeeds, because I love to see ambition and innovation rewarded. But I think it's mostly likely that Wave's success will be in inspiring people to create similarly compelling experiences by adding incremental enhancements to their existing sites. That's how the web's always advanced in the past…”

29. Google Caffeine search engine reinvents SEO http://blogs.computerworld.com/14521/google_caffeine_reinvents_seo_microsoft_bing “…Google unveiled a major upgrade to their search engine today. Codenamed "Caffeine", the new search engine improves the index size, the speed of the queries and most importantly, changes the value of search engine rankings…when I did a search for things like "Online pharmacy", the new Google returned fewer results than the old one. This tells me that the new Google is smarter at finding fake websites and de-indexing them…Where it gets more interesting is the results. The new Google pulls significantly different results than the old Google. For what I was searching for (my name, people I knew, events, computer hardware) the results were significantly better. In fact, it looks like the search keywords have become much bigger a factor than before…”

30. Google sells radio assets http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/08/05/google-sells-radio-assets-in-latest-sign-of-failed-offline-ad-strategy/ “…Google has sold its Google Radio assets to a company called WideOrbit, in the latest sign of Google’s failed efforts to expand its ad empire beyond the Web. Google Radio…was one of the many offline initiatives that failed to see the traction Google had expected. In an ambitious plan led by former executive Tim Armstrong, Google had also tried to expand into TV and newspaper advertising; none these efforts have gone very well…”

31. Google Chrome OS http://www.technologyreview.com/web/23140/ “…From early in their company's history, Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wanted to develop a computer operating system and browser…They wanted to shrug off 20 years of accumulated software history (what the information technology industry calls the "legacy") by building an OS and browser from scratch…But despite the sublimity of their aspirations, Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, said no for six years…The question wasn't whether Google could afford it…But Schmidt, a 20-year veteran of the IT industry, wasn't keen on shouldering the considerable costs of creating and maintaining an OS and browser for no obvious return. Finally, two years ago, Schmidt said yes to the browser…”

General Technology

32. A Digital Future Where Textbooks Are History http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/education/09textbook.html “…Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web…In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this summer announced an initiative that would replace some high school science and math texts with free, “open source” digital versions…The initiative, the first such statewide effort, has attracted widespread attention, since California, together with Texas, dominates the nation’s textbook market…We’re still in a brick-and-mortar, 30-students-to-1-teacher paradigm,” Mr. Habermehl said, “but we need to get out of that framework to having 200 or 300 kids taking courses online, at night, 24/7, whenever they want.” “I don’t believe that charters and vouchers are the threat to schools in Orange County,” he said. “What’s a threat is the digital world — that someone’s going to put together brilliant $200 courses in French, in geometry by the best teachers in the world…”

33. Sixteen Reasons the Windows Vista Era Never Quite Happened http://technologizer.com/2009/08/10/sixteen-reasons-the-windows-vista-era-never-quite-happened/ “…millions of copies of Vista will be in use for years to come. But…it’s hard to make the case that the Vista age ever started. (Even today, two and a half years after Vista’s release, 63 percent of the people who visit Technologizer on a Windows PC do so on Windows XP, versus 27 percent who use Vista…Some say its bad rep is unfair. Others continue to trash it. But you’ll have trouble finding many people outside of Redmond city limits who’ll contend that Vista has been a hit. What happened? It wasn’t one issue that hobbled Vista, it was all kinds of mishaps, none of which would have have been a disaster if it had been the only thing wrong…”

34. 'Printed chips' could be boon for consumers http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_13009121 “…Kovio hopes to launch in a matter of weeks what is believed to be the world's first manufacturing plant for printed semiconductors. By using inkjet and other types of printers, the company plans to make radio frequency identification devices — so called RFID tags. Such tags traditionally contain microchips, but are so expensive now their use has been relatively limited. If Kovio succeeds in keeping the price of the devices low, according to its executives and others familiar with the company, it could herald a new era for consumers and the chip business…What Kovio, HP and a growing list of other companies are working on falls under the broad category of printed electronics, which includes such things as solar panels, disposable blood glucose sensors and gadgets for displaying various types of information…”

35. The Ten-Year Century http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203946904574300382022042424.html “…Changes that used to take generations—economic cycles, cultural shifts, mass migrations, changes in the structures of families and institutions—now unfurl in a span of years. Since 2000, we have experienced three economic bubbles (dot-com, real estate, and credit), three market crashes, a devastating terrorist attack, two wars and a global influenza pandemic…Call it the advent of “the 10-year century”: a fast shuffle that stacks events which once took place in the course of a lifetime compressed into the duration of a childhood…the extraordinary changes we have seen since the invention of the transistor in 1947—all of the way to broadband Internet, smart phones, iPods and supercomputers—are only a prelude to the emerging world of single-molecule silicon gates, nanotechnology and advanced bioinformatics…consider what may happen with faster computation speeds and global broadband wireless coverage, which means full access from anywhere on the planet, anytime…When felons with lousy credit histories can sign up for inflated mortgages in a matter of seconds over a computer; when nervous shareholders can panic over a fake blog and dump millions of shares online in a matter of minutes; and when an Internet rumor can provoke a virtual “run” on a bank, then bubbles and cascades and crashes become inevitable…Most importantly, trust will become the critical factor…”

Leisure & Entertainment

36. Sony unveils new e-book Readers http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10303031-1.html “…Sony's officially announced the two new models: the Reader Pocket Edition ($199) and Reader Touch Edition ($299), both of which will hit stores at the end of the month. The other big news is Sony is going to match Amazon's e-book pricing, making new releases and best seller titles $9.99 instead of $11.99. As for specs, here's what you're looking at…”

37. Top Hollywood studios bring films to Web http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090810/media_nm/us_epix “…It is a dash of Hulu and a sprinkle of YouTube, features a crystal clear picture, can rewind or fast-forward at lightning speed, and doesn't require a download of any special software…That comes thanks to the three parent companies of Epix: Viacom Inc's Paramount film studio, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and MGM. In putting together Epix, the companies hope to compete with Time Warner Inc's HBO and CBS Corp's Showtime in the premium movie channel business…In addition to the premium movie channel and a video-on-demand component, the venture is building epixHD.com, a website where the studios' vast collections of full-length movies and new original programing can be streamed by any subscriber…”

38. Tony Hawk: Ride rolling out Nov. 17 http://www.gamespot.com/news/6215019.html “…Activision announced today that Tony Hawk: Ride will be available in North America on November 17, with the British and German release following on November 20. Though Activision has yet to announce a price point for the peripheral-equipped Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii title, retailers have indicated Tony Hawk: Ride will sell for $120. Tony Hawk: Ride's most distinctive feature is, of course, the wireless full-sized skate deck that comes with the game. According to Activision, the board will use "a combination of accelerometers and motion sensors" and will require no other controller…”

39. The 10 best browser game websites http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/gadgets_and_gaming/article6787736.ece “…You can play hundreds of free online games that don’t require downloads or fancy software — just an internet browser and a few up-to-date plug-ins, notably Shockwave (get.adobe.com/shockwave ). They are mostly low-fi but that means they’re quick to load, and plenty, such as RuneScape, above, offer the opportunity to play against human opponents. These 10 websites bring together our favourites…”

Economy and Technology

40. Glory Days Long Gone for I.T.? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/business/09digi.html If Thomas M. Siebel can accurately see the future, computer science students with the entrepreneurial gene may want to look for a different major. And investors who think that information technology is a sector that will produce outsized returns should wake up. In Mr. Siebel’s view, I.T. is a mature industry that will grow no faster than the larger economy. He contends that its glory days are past — long past, having ended in 2000. I believe that Mr. Siebel may well be wrong. But his own illustrious career in I.T. makes his opinions a matter of uncommon interest…Mr. Siebel called attention to 20 sweet years, from 1980 to 2000, when, he said, worldwide I.T. spending grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 percent…Since 2000, however, that rate has averaged only 3 percent…In his view, far larger opportunities are to be found in businesses that address needs in food, water, health care and energy…Timothy Breshnahan, a Stanford economist, similarly does not accept Mr. Siebel’s contention that the decline in growth rates this decade, which encompasses two recessions, signals a permanent end to I.T.’s record of growing faster than the larger economy…”

41. Microsoft gets $530m in sale of ad agency Razorfish to Publicis http://www.techflash.com/microsoft/Microsoft_gets_530m_in_sale_of_ad_agency_Razorfish_to_Publicis_52832292.html “…Publicis Groupe this morning confirmed an agreement to buy Microsoft's Razorfish online advertising agency for $530 million, along with a five-year strategic alliance under which Publicis will buy display and search advertising from the Redmond company at "certain minimum guaranteed aggregate purchase levels." Razorfish was part of Microsoft's $6 billion deal for Seattle digital marketing company aQuantive in 2007. The agency, formerly known as Avenue A/Razorfish, was seen as an odd fit inside Microsoft…”

42. EBay, GM to start trial program to sell new cars http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090810/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_ebay_gm_car_sales “…General Motors' California dealers will let consumers haggle over the prices of new cars and trucks through the eBay online marketplace under a trial that begins Tuesday. About 225 of California's 250 GM dealers are set to take part in the program. They will be selling Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac vehicles on cobranded Web sites through eBay Inc.'s online auto marketplace, eBay Motors, until Sept. 8…”

43. The End of Driving: the Autonomobile http://www.core77.com/blog/featured_items/the_end_of_driving_mike_and_maaike_introduce_the_autonomobile_13908.asp “…today's car industry is brainwashed by its own car culture, with its obsession for speed, styling and fantasy. The car business has become one of repackaging, steering people's focus towards style and a narrow definition of performance, not on our true needs. Speed and "performance" have been the driving factors for car design, styling, and engineering for a century. Most cars on the road today can go 120 mph. Why? The reality is that cars are mostly used at moderate speeds and for sitting in traffic. It's time to look at performance in a new way…”

Civilian Aerospace

44. Spaceships get a (smaller) boost http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/08/05/2021065.aspx NASA plans to award $50 million in stimulus funds in November to support private-sector development of new spaceships capable of carrying crew members to the international space station. Details about the program, known as Commercial Crew Development or CCDev, came out on Tuesday via the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. CCDev follows up on the $500 million Commercial Orbital Transportation System program, or COTS, which backs the development of cargo-carrying capability by private-sector spacecraft. California-based SpaceX and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. are currently benefiting from that program and have been awarded $3.5 billion in contracts for space station deliveries…”

45. The big promise of small satellites http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2009-07/03/the-big-promise-of-small-satellites-.aspx “…Small satellites are already proving their worth in many different fields. The large, manned International Space Station struggles to find funding, but last month Nasa launched PharmaSat, an orbiting experimental laboratory for experiments with yeast, which weighs less than 5kg. The enormous Hubble space telescope may still be grabbing all the media attention, but the future may belong to arrays of small satellites which combine to form a far more powerful telescope. A constellation of several small coordinated satellites, for example, has just been set to work monitoring tropical forests in Indonesia. The satellites for the monitoring project were supplied by one of the leaders in the new small satellite revolution, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL)…SSTL's Principal Engineer, says the development of satellites parallels the computer revolution which put a PC on every desk…”

46. Microspace and human spaceflight http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1441/1 “…in a growing corner of the space industry there is a vibrant community doing very exciting work indeed. That industry is the small spacecraft industry; and at the annual AIAA/Utah State University Conference on Small Satellites this week, the achievements and potential of “smallsats”, as well as the design practices underlying their development, will be the topics of discussion…microspace philosophy is predicated on embracing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies; aggressive and early prototyping and testing; rapid development schedules; and focused objectives and lean engineering teams…Microspace fundamentally involves the design of space missions, satellites, and engineering teams that emphasize rapid, incremental advances in technology at relatively low cost…microspace philosophy is predicated on the notion that faster and cheaper missions result in more accomplishments in space…Another major benefit of the microspace approach is that spacecraft engineers gain experience in actually flying real spacecraft. They get to do it often, and learn to embrace new technologies. A small satellite engineer may see his or her work reach space annually, as opposed to every decade, if ever…The direct benefits and potential of small spacecraft…which included: Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Communications; Weather; Space Situational Awareness…ship traffic monitoring; astronomy; space environment experiments; remote sensing; store-and-forward messaging; technology demonstrations; and potential planetary exploration missions…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

47. Supercomputer Visuals Without Graphics Chips http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/23139/ “…Before specialized graphics-processing chips existed, pioneers in the field of visualization used multicore supercomputers to realize data in three dimensions. Today, however, the speed at which supercomputers can process data is rapidly outstripping the speed at which they can input and output that data. Graphics-processing clusters are becoming obsolete…computer scientists…have written software for Intrepid, an IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer, that bypasses the graphics-processing cluster entirely…Normally, visualization and post-processing of data generated by Intrepid, which, at 557 teraflops, is the world's seventh-fastest supercomputer, requires a separate graphics-processing unit known as Eureka…Built from NVIDIA Quadro Plex S4 GPUs (graphics-processing units), Eureka runs at 111 teraflops…The bigger we go, the more the problem is bounded by [input/output speeds]…The reason is simple: from one generation of supercomputer to the next, storage capacity and storage bandwidth aren't increasing as quickly as processing speed…”

48. Khronos' President talks OpenCL and more http://techreport.com/articles.x/17321 “…Consumers might not hear the Khronos name too often, but the organization is responsible for setting and updating a number of key standards: among them OpenGL, OpenGL ES, and most recently, OpenCL…Khronos completed the first version of OpenCL, and all major players in the graphics market—Intel, Nvidia, and AMD—ratified it. Once all of those companies release compliant drivers, developers will be able to write apps that tap into the parallel computing resources of any compliant GPU from any vendor. That's a pretty major departure from older GPU compute application programming interfaces (APIs) like C for CUDA and Brook+…we asked Mr. Trevett to update us on what's going on with OpenCL…”

49. Personal supercomputing anyone? http://resources.zdnet.co.uk/articles/comment/0,1000002985,39710087,00.htm “…the root of HPC — enabling a step-change in the time to solution, or in the size of problem that can be investigated…If HPC is really about a step-change in performance and, by re-engineering your software on the same hardware, you achieve a significant increase in capability or speed, then that is HPC. Yes, really. HPC is not just about the hardware…I often break this down as: HPC = high-performance computer + system software + application software + user skills…”

50. AMD does reverse GPGPU, announces OpenCL SDK for x86 http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/08/amd-announces-opencl-sdk-for-x86.ars AMD has announced the release of the first OpenCL SDK for x86 CPUs, and it will enable developers to target x86 processors with the kind of OpenCL code that's normally written for GPUs. In a way, this is a reverse of the normal "GPGPU" trend, in which programs that run on a CPU are modified to run in whole or in part on a GPU…”



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