2009/08/18

NEW NET Issues List for 18 Aug 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 18 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. Start-up helps teachers learn their lesson http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10303253-93.html “…Although not the first or the only Web site that hooks teachers up with friends and new curriculum, BetterLesson takes a different approach…Most new teachers, for example, start at square one, testing what works and what doesn't, and often feel like it's difficult to sustain re-developing content year after year…After two years of working in a high needs school for Teach for America, BetterLesson founder and CEO Alex Grodd felt a certain frustration at having to reinvent the wheel with each lesson plan. He thought getting a job at a high-achieving charter school, Roxbury Preparatory, would be better. But it wasn't…Grodd joined forces with Osborn, another teacher, and a techie; they brainstormed and came up with BetterLesson. They've spent the last year doing research, outreach, and coding to get the site ready for private beta…Part of what can help teachers stay teaching is to give them a strong network and support system that assists them to creating robust lesson plans tailored specifically to the needs of their kids, she says. This is where social networking comes into play…”

2. E-mails from public overload House Web site http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090813/ap_on_go_co/us_congress_web_sites “…people flooded members of Congress on Thursday with so many e-mails that they overloaded the House's primary Web site. Technical support issued a warning to congressional staff that the site — http://www.house.gov — may be slow or unresponsive because of the large volume of e-mail being sent to members…”

3. Firefox extension liberates US court docs from paywall http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/08/recap-firefox-extension-builds-crowdsourced-pacer-mirror.ars “…A new Firefox extension created by the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton aims to tear down the federal judiciary's PACER paywall. It uploads legal documents to a freely accessible mirror that is hosted by the Internet Archive…”

4. Facebook privacy: a guide http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/08/meshing-social-networking-and-privacy-on-facebook.ars “…Many users are aware that Facebook has numerous privacy controls, for example, but even the most experienced Facebook users often don't know just how much they can control who sees what. For instance, did you know that you can specify exactly who can see your status updates, down to different groups of friends (not just "friends" versus "everyone")? What about controlling which groups of people can even find you in a Facebook search to begin with?...if you have been wondering how you can be socially available on Facebook while still keeping your privacy under control, this guide is for you…”

5. iPhone passes Canon Rebel XTi as most popular camera on Flickr http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/08/iphone-flickr.html “…Here's a tidbit that's sure to irk Flickr's elitist photographers: The iPhone has just topped Canon's high-performance Digital Rebel XTi as the most popular camera on Yahoo's popular image-sharing site…The newest iPhone 3GS added much-improved photo-taking quality, with features such as video, auto-focus and white balance. Still, its lack of a zoom lens and a flash put it at a major technical disadvantage compared to dedicated point-and-shooters like the 10- to 12-megapixel Canon Rebels…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. U.S. Court Rules Consumers Never Have the Right to Copy DVD Movies http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10308493-93.html “…Hollywood has racked up another major legal victory over DVD-copying devices the studios charge are illegal. Kaleidescape, which had won a rare court victory over the film industry two years ago, saw a California appeals court overturn the ruling on Wednesday. The decision comes a day after a federal court placed a preliminary injunction on the sale of RealDVD. Both Kaleidescape and RealDVD enable users to make digital copies of movies and store them to a hard drive…” [http://www.dailytech.com/US+Court+Rules+Consumers+Never+Have+the+Right+to+Copy+DVD+Movies/article15969.htm ]

7. China Will Not Enforce Green Dam http://www.pcworld.com/article/170129/ “…China will "definitely not" require the program, called Green Dam, to be packaged with all consumer PCs, said Li Yizhong, China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology…China's government will go ahead with installation of Green Dam on computers in public schools, Internet cafes and other public places, Li said. It is also working to address flaws in the program and would not rule out introducing a better filter…”

8. Password management eases with Net storage http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090812/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_digital_life_tech_test_password_managers “…We all use some dumb passwords that are too easy to guess. Worse, we use the same ones for lots of Web sites. So if one site gets compromised, or an employee there is dishonest, someone could start trying out that password on other sites where you have accounts, like Amazon or PayPal, and you've got trouble…The rescue comes from password-management programs. A couple of them have recently taken a big step forward in ease of use, by storing your login information online so that you can access them from multiple computers. Online storage does raise some questions about security, but it also makes these little-known programs worth another look. I've used one called Roboform for more than four years…”

9. What is a Botnet anyway? http://www.itworld.com/security/74656/what-botnet-anyway “…a really smart, computer-savvy friend of mine recently asked me, "What is a botnet anyway?" Whoops! Clearly, it's time for me to do some explaining. Botnets are networks of Windows PC, which have been taken over by malware programs. While it's theoretically possible that a Mac or a Linux desktop PC could get a botnet malware bug, in practice, their better security makes them harder targets for botnet creators so they avoid them. Your computer typically gets infected by botnet malware by a virus or worm. You get these by opening up an infected attachment or by visiting an infected Web site…Once in place the worm will install a botnet client. This program, in turn, will call home to its controller to let him or her know that another zombie PC has been signed up for duty. You, however, may not notice anything is wrong at all. At most, you may notice that every now and again that your PC is a little slow at times in working on the net, but that will be all. Heck, you may not even see that. Botnet software, to avoid being detected, isn't active all the time and modern botnet programs will wait until you're not working on your PC to start up their mischief… Once your computer has been made a zombie, it can used for any number of things…the zombie will be used to spread more copies of itself, send spam, and launch DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks on businesses and other Internet sites. Millions of Windows PCs are already working in botnets. What the botnet will end up doing depends on what the botnet master wants it to do. That may not, however, be its creator. You see, botnets often aren't controlled by their makers these days. Instead, they rent them out, just like any other service, to professional spammers, malcontents and thieves…”

10. Dear iPhone Users: Your Apps are Spying on You http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/dear_iphone_users_your_apps_are_spying_on_you.php “…Recently, Palm came under fire when programmer Joey Hess discovered the Pre's smartphone OS was sending users' GPS locations back to Palm on a daily basis. Although this information was disclosed in the company's privacy policy, the majority of the phone's owners were unaware…If you think you aren't affected by these types of troubles because you don't own a Pre, think again. Multiple iPhone applications - yes, even the ones approved by Apple - are also busy tracking your personal data and "phoning home."...As far as we know right now, Apple itself is not performing any user tracking via its pre-installed applications. However that doesn't mean that you're not being tracked by someone, somewhere. There are a number of applications available now in the iTunes App Store which track your user data, including things like location, your iPhone's unique ID, the phone's model, whether it's "jailbroken," and possibly even your gender, birth month and year, and whether the application is Facebook-enabled…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

11. College Textbooks Hit iPhone, iPod Touch http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090812/tc_pcworld/collegetextbookshitiphoneipodtouch “…College students could soon be able to ditch their backpacks and put their textbooks into their shirt pockets thanks to a new program that will let them read their books using iPhones or iPod Touch devices. CourseSmart of San Mateo, California, already makes more than 7000 college textbooks from 12 publishers available to its subscribers online via their computers, but now the company has added "eTextbooks for the iPhone,"…There are a couple drawbacks -- you have to be connected to the Internet to view the books you can access with your CourseSmart subscription on your iPhone or iPod Touch, and the first version of the new app doesn't allow users to add notes in the margins…”

12. Smartphone Attacks Coming http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090812/tc_pcworld/androidsecuritychiefmobilephoneattackscoming “…The smartphone OS will become a major security target," said Android Security Leader Rich Cannings, speaking at the Usenix Security Symposium. Attackers can already hit millions of victims with a smartphone attack, and soon that number will be even larger. "Personally I think this will become an epiphany to malware authors," he said. Microsoft's Windows operating system is the prime target of criminal attacks today, and hackers have generally steered clear of mobile devices. Security experts say that this is because mobile phones haven't traditionally stored a lot of sensitive data, and because there are so many different devices to attack, it's hard to create a single virus that can infect a large number of users. That may be changing as more and more people start using iPhones, BlackBerries, and -- Google hopes -- Android-based phones such as the Samsung I7500…”

13. Panasonic, NEC unveil 9 LiMo Linux phones http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090811/tc_nm/us_linux_mobile “…Panasonic Corp and NEC Corp unveiled nine new cellphone models on Tuesday that run the open-source LiMo operating system, wireless Linux group LiMo said…The market for software platforms on cellphones is led by Nokia's Symbian operating system, but it has lost much ground over the last year to Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd…Linux has had little success with cellphones so far, but its role is increasing with the LiMo platform and Google is using Linux for its Android platform…”

14. Sony to Embrace ePub Open E-Book Standard http://www.pcworld.com/article/170153/sony_to_embrace_open_ebook_standard.html Sony is expected to announce today that its line of e-readers will support the open ePub standard by the end of the year, according to The New York Times. EPub is a common file format for digital books being developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Producing books under one standard would make it easier for you to transfer your e-book collection across a variety of devices, and virtually guarantee you wouldn't be locked out of your e-book collection if support for your hardware ever disappears…”

15. Nokia's Linux strategy broadens with upcoming Maemo 5 device http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/08/nokias-linux-strategy-broadens-with-upcoming-maemo-5-device.ars “…A Nokia product codenamed RX-51 recently cleared FCC approval and has now appeared in leaked photos that made their way onto the Internet; it appears to be the long-awaited Maemo 5 product. The source code of Maemo 5 provided some early clues about the RX-51 last year. Maemo fans have been poring through it and documenting various technical details that provide insight into the hardware. The new pictures also seem to indicate that the device is a phone, and not just a Web tablet like its predecessors. This would be a major step forward for Maemo and could reflect a more Linux-centric mobile strategy for Nokia…”

16. Smartphone wars - BlackBerry's plan to win http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/12/technology/blackberry_research_in_motion.fortune/ “…Research in Motion co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have surprisingly little in common…Individually, Balsillie and Lazaridis may not be the equal of a certain black-mock-turtleneck-and-jeans-wearing consumer-product-design genius in Cupertino, Calif., who just happens to be their biggest rival. But together the pair is pretty darn formidable. Do two collaborative Canadians match up to one Steve Jobs? For the moment, at least, they're more than holding their own. Despite the incredible success of Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion (RIMM) retains a dominant position in the ultra-fast-growing smartphone business -- the combo phone/e-mail device category that Balsillie and Lazaridis essentially created…”

Open Source

17. Open-source hardware heralds greater creativity http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/12/open-source-hardware-projects “…in the last few years, open-source hardware projects have risen in popularity, including the open-source electronics platform Arduino. Open-source hardware has a long history that predates computers with the amateur radio community; and personal computing in Silicon Valley rose out of the hardware hackers of the Homebrew Computer Club. At its heart, Arduino is a programmable microcontroller, which was developed in Italy in 2005…Arduino is often described as a physical computing platform because you can use sensors to measure motion, light or temperature, and to flash LEDs or lights, sound buzzers or run motors. Arduino also has communications extensions that add Bluetooth, Ethernet or wireless-mesh networking capabilities, and can be triggered by events on the web or via web APIs…all kinds of people are using the platform, including hobbyists and engineers but also artists and designers – people who don't have a technical background…”

18. Robots to get their own operating system http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327206.300-robots-to-get-their-own-operating-system.html “…THE UBot whizzes around a carpeted conference room on its Segway-like wheels, holding aloft a yellow balloon. It hands the balloon to a three-fingered robotic arm named WAM, which gingerly accepts the gift…this happy meeting of robotic beings hides a serious problem: while the robots might be collaborating, those making them are not. Each robot is individually manufactured to meet a specific need and more than likely built in isolation…without a common OS, sharing code is nearly impossible…roboticists are starting to make some headway. The Robot Operating System or ROS is an open-source set of programs meant to serve as a common platform for a wide range of robotics research. It is being developed and used by teams at Stanford University in California, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Technical University of Munich, Germany…”

19. Avant Window Navigator: OS X-like dock on Linux desktop http://www.ghacks.net/2009/08/12/avant-window-navigator-os-x-dock-on-linux-desktop/ “…A lot of people really enjoy the OS X doc. For many it is just the cool look and feel of this 3D-like launcher that actually brings them to OS X. Now if you’ve used a recent release of GNOME you can probably see how the GNOME team have tried, in some ways, to bring a bit of OS X to the Linux desktop. Now there is a dock application called Avant Window Navigator, that finishes the process…”

20. Ten top wireless connection tools for Linux http://resources.zdnet.co.uk/articles/comment/0,1000002985,39714325,00.htm “…I spend much of my time on wireless networks. The distribution of Linux and the hardware I am using will dictate which application I choose to connect to any given access point. Some of these tools are distribution-independent. Some are not. Some were created for a specific desktop, but will still work with other desktops. For many mobile Linux users, being able to use a wireless connection is just a matter of finding the right tool. Here are 10 tools that will help you connect your Linux machine to a wireless access point…”

SkyNet

21. Google Points At WebFinger. Your Gmail Address Could Soon Be Your ID. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/14/google-points-at-webfinger-your-gmail-address-could-soon-be-your-id/ “…WebFinger…an extension of something called the “finger protocol” that was used in the earlier days of the web to identify people by their email addresses. As the web expanded, the finger protocol faded out, but the idea of needing a unified way to identify yourself has not. That’s why you keep hearing about OpenID and the like all the time. But those standards, while open, have failed to latch on in a meaningful way with the public at large…everyone on the web knows is their email address. And they’re conditioned by services like Google and Facebook to use it as their identifier…The idea behind WebFinger is that you should be able to attach any information you choose to your email address. The excitement today is that a group of Googlers have apparently finally not only gotten Google’s support to pursue the project, but that they have started working the technical details…”

22. Google Reader lets you snoop on friends’ feeds, more easily share content http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/08/13/google-reader-lets-you-snoop-on-friends-feeds-more-easily-share-content/ Google Reader, a Google service that pulls content from all your favorite news sites and blog into one place, has announced two new features for receiving and sharing information that’ll make it far more social. The first lets you add friends’ feeds to Google Reader, provided those friends are using a Google Profile…Dedicated Google Reader users will also be happy to see added control over the “Mark as Read” option, which now lets you dismiss posts that are older than a day, week or two weeks…”

23. Gmail passes AOL for # 3 webmail provider http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/14/gmail-nudges-past-aol-email-in-the-us-to-take-no-3-spot/ “…Gmail is…now the third largest Web mail service in the U.S. In July, Gmail nudged past AOL Email with 37 million unique visitors compared to 36.4 million for AOL, according to comScore estimates…That puts Gmail within sight of the No. 2 player, Windows Live Hotmail, which has 47 million unique visitors. After that there is a wide gulf separating Yahoo Mail and its 106 million monthly unique visitors…”

General Technology

24. Getting Your Wireless Network Up to Speed http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/technology/personaltech/13basics.html “…The wireless home network that freed you from sitting in a single location to browse Web sites, download videos and make free phone calls may be getting balky. The videos pause, instant messaging apps mysteriously disconnect in midchat, and you can’t get a connection in the far corner bedroom any more. Part of the problem is undoubtedly the popularity of the Wi-Fi network. More devices are on the home network trying to use the same bandwidth to do more thingsfixes for dead zones and dropped connections are readily available, though all involve spending $100 or so for new equipment…”

25. The brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting http://slate.com/id/2224932 Seeking. You can't stop doing it. Sometimes it feels as if the basic drives for food, sex, and sleep have been overridden by a new need for endless nuggets of electronic information. We are so insatiably curious that we gather data even if it gets us in trouble. Google searches are becoming a cause of mistrials as jurors, after hearing testimony, ignore judges' instructions and go look up facts for themselves. We search for information we don't even care about. Nina Shen Rastogi confessed in Double X, "My boyfriend has threatened to break up with me if I keep whipping out my iPhone to look up random facts about celebrities when we're out to dinner." We reach the point that we wonder about our sanity. Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times said she became so obsessed with Twitter posts about the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest that she spent days "refreshing my search like a drugged monkey…It is an emotional state Panksepp tried many names for: curiosity, interest, foraging, anticipation, craving, expectancy. He finally settled on seeking…For humans, this desire to search is not just about fulfilling our physical needs. Panksepp says that humans can get just as excited about abstract rewards as tangible ones. He says that when we get thrilled about the world of ideas, about making intellectual connections, about divining meaning, it is the seeking circuits that are firing…Ever find yourself sitting down at the computer just for a second to find out what other movie you saw that actress in, only to look up and realize the search has led to an hour of Googling? Thank dopamine…”

26. Carnegie Mellon Releases Alice 3 Software http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Carnegie-Mellon-Releases-Innovative-Alice-3-Software-53141422.html “…Carnegie Mellon University today announced the beta release of Alice 3, the latest version of an innovative software environment designed to take something challenging -- learning about computer programming -- and make it as fun as creating an animated movie or a video game. This new version, which Carnegie Mellon makes available as a free download at www.alice.org, includes animated characters and scenes donated by Electronic Arts (EA) from its bestselling PC game, The Sims2. Like earlier Alice versions, Alice 3 allows novices to use a simple drag-and-drop interface to create 3D computer animations. But this latest version also includes an interface that allows advanced students to use a keyboard to create programs written in standard Java… Alice is the brainchild of the late Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon computer science professor who became famous for his life-affirming "Last Lecture," an Internet video phenomenon…The current version, Alice 2.2, has been downloaded millions of times. More than 15 percent of U.S. colleges and universities use Alice and an increasing number of middle and high schools are using the software to teach their students…"Alice has the potential to draw young people into computer science who otherwise would never consider it a possible career path…”

27. Maker’s schedule, manager’s schedule http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html “…There are two types of schedule, which I'll call the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule. The manager's schedule is for bosses. It's embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you're doing every hour. When you use time that way, it's merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you're done…But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started. When you're operating on the maker's schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That's no problem for someone on the manager's schedule. There's always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what…”

28. 3.4 GHz: AMD's Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3619 “…3.4GHz Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition…is also the highest clocked processor AMD has ever shipped; K8 topped out at 3.2GHz and the original Phenom never went beyond 2.6GHz. We're also back up to a 140W TDP…”

Leisure & Entertainment

29. While My Guitar Gently Beeps http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/magazine/16beatles-t.html “…Studio Two at Abbey Road in London has changed very little since 1969, when Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison recorded together for the last time…The odd recording session in March was one very small contribution to what Apple Corps — the company still controlled by McCartney, Starr and the widows of Lennon and Harrison — hopes will be the most deeply immersive way ever of experiencing the music and the mythology of the Beatles. The band that upended the cultural landscape of the 1960s is now hitching its legacy to the medium of a new generation: the video game. The sound effects Martin recorded are not anything most people who play the game will notice consciously. The Beatles: Rock Band, which is to be released on Sept. 9, involves playing ersatz instruments in time with the band’s original music. Between songs, players will hear the group warming up and bantering in the studio…”

30. iPod Touch Cutting Into Handheld Game Market http://theappleblog.com/2009/08/12/ipod-touch-cutting-into-handheld-game-market-top-analyst-says/ “…Nintendo DS and Sony PSP boast huge install bases of about 70 million and 35 million, respectively, and a robust game library featuring well-known, high-quality franchises; will they ever feel the competitive heat from Apple?...iPod Touch game sales are already cutting into the handheld market, particularly at the low end,” Pachter told me by email. “The iPod Touch’s market share will continue to grow, I suppose to around 10 percent to 15 percent of all handheld game sales.” Pachter sees the Touch as a more direct competitor to the DS and PSP lines, “as prices come down and parents begin to view it as a substitute” for those handhelds…For Pachter, the crucial challenge for the iPod Touch as a game platform is pricing. “The sticking point is whether we’ll see these games offered at $9.99 or at $29.99. If at the lower price, the developers/publishers would take a profit hit; if at the higher price, the popularity of the iPod Touch as a gaming device will suffer…”

31. "Avatar" trailer tickets to be available online http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090813/en_nm/us_avatar Free tickets will be distributed online starting Monday for special Imax presentations of a 16-minute trailer for the 3D sci-fi action movie "Avatar." The extended trailer of the 20th Century Fox film, featuring an on-camera intro by director James Cameron, hits 101 Imax venues in the U.S. and Canada on August 21 in a promotional push that was announced at the recent Comic-Con International confab in San Diego. On the same date, theaters worldwide will begin showing 2D and 3D "Avatar" trailers of more conventional length. Fans will be provided theater information and other "Avatar" tidbits via AvatarMovie.com. Visitors to the site also will see ticketing instructions and links to individual movie theaters…”

32. "To understand what recursion is you must first understand recursion" http://stackoverflow.com/questions/234075/what-is-your-best-programmer-joke

33. New Samsung camera has LCDs on front and back http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10308738-1.html If you thought putting a projector in the front of a pocket camera was genius, how do you feel about a second LCD? Samsung thinks the idea is so good its launching two new models with dual screens: the TL220 and TL225. The cameras share many of the same specs: 12.2-megapixel resolution, a wide-angle 27mm lens with a 4.6x zoom, dual image stabilization, 720p HD-quality video capture at 30 frames per second (H.264), and a 1.5-inch LCD in front. The TL220 features a 3-inch LCD on back, whereas the TL225 has a 3.5-inch screen. Also, both LCDs are touch screens with haptic feedback giving you a little vibration when you make a selection as well as a new Smart Gesture interface letting you do things like delete photos by drawing an X on the screen or rotate them with an O…I gave you a whole paragraph to consider why you'd need a small LCD at the front of a compact camera. Samsung has at least three good reasons for doing it. One, it's a great solution for self portraits, and combined with the company's Smile Shot, you don't even have to press the shutter release to snap photos of yourself--you just smile. Two, if you set the timer it'll show the last few seconds counting down before the shot's taken. Lastly, you'll be able to play animated clips to get the attention of children, and perhaps pets, while you try to take their picture…”

Economy and Technology

34. Canadian firm gets patent win over Microsoft Word http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/microsoft-ordered-to-stop-selling-word/article1249534/ “…A tiny Toronto firm that took on Microsoft Corp. has succeeded in winning an injunction against sales of the technology giant's flagship word-processing software. A U.S. judge, agreeing with an earlier jury verdict that Microsoft had willfully infringed a patent belonging to i4i LP, gave the software giant 60 days to comply with the injunction and awarded the Canadian company about $290-million (U.S.). The injunction bans U.S. sales of Word 2003, Word 2007 and future versions of the software that use i4i's technology without a licence. Microsoft said it would appeal…”

35. Can Anyone Actually Tap the $100 Billion Potential of Hyperlocal News? http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/138/get-me-rewrite-hyperlocals-lost.html “…Why is a media titan like The New York Times Co. -- already stretched thin by the challenges of a faltering business model -- dabbling in community news, traditionally the bottom of the journalistic food chain? Call it the Google Effect. The search giant's model, described by author John Battelle as "a billion dollars, one nickel at a time," is a perfect description of how media companies hope to take tiny sources of local revenue and roll them up into big money. Hyperlocal sites -- covering cities, towns, or just a neighborhood -- can deliver precision-targeted advertising to local and global businesses. As the once-exponential growth rate for most Internet advertising in the United States grinds to a halt, the online local-advertising market is projected to grow 5.4% in 2009 to $13.3 billion…”

36. Bing Shopping Grows 169% in June http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/bing_shopping_grows_169_in_june.php “…Bing Shopping, the comparison shopping tool that is part of Microsoft's new search engine, saw some impressive growth last month. According to Hitwise's Heather Dougherty, visits to Bing Shopping increased 169% last month and Bing is now the 4th most popular shopping comparison site in the US. Just last month, Bing was still in 8th place…”

37. Building a Media Empire Around I Can Has Cheezburger http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1916286-1,00.html “…Like the rest of the 20-odd websites Huh owns, FAIL Blog was added to his empire for no more specific reason, he says, than "Dude, I think it's funny." These spellbindingly inane blogs were built with the kind of user-generated content that has made Facebook and YouTube tremendously popular. But unlike these bigger sites, Huh's company has been in the black since its first quarter. Pet Holdings managed to haul in seven figures from advertising, licensing fees and merchandise sales during the first six months of this year…”

38. MSNBC.com acquires EveryBlock http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-tue_msnbcaug18,0,7843758.story “…MSNBC.com has acquired EveryBlock, a Chicago-based Web site that collects local news and public information on a block-by-block level for 15 cities…Adrian Holovaty, a Naperville native, founded EveryBlock in 2007 with funding through July from a two-year, $1.1 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation…EveryBlock amasses local news stories, as well as public information on crime, property and business licenses, and makes the data searchable by address, ZIP code and neighborhood. The site also aggregates reviews of local businesses from Yelp, photos from Flickr and Craigslist listings…”

Civilian Aerospace

39. Space elevator chase yields Earthly rewards http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/13/smallbusiness/space_elevator.smb/ “…That afternoon he was supposed to be presenting to the attendees of the Conference on World Affairs, but at the moment, Laine was finding it hard to concentrate. "Two hours ago I lost a $3 million building," he declared to the room. "And now I don't have a place to live." It was the seventh time Laine had gone into foreclosure in just five years, all in pursuit of an entrepreneurial dream. Always before, he'd managed to raise the cash to buy his office building -- also his home and only source of income -- back at auction. This time, he was out of luck, as was the nine-employee company, LiftPort, that Laine financed almost entirely by leveraging his property. Laine still doesn't regret the obsession that led him to repeatedly default on his mortgage and gamble the $140,000 he received in rental income each year. "I could have retired at 35 with a lifetime income," he says. "Or I could build an elevator to space…This week's fifth annual Space Elevator Conference, sponsored by Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500), is bringing a host of academics, space enthusiasts and small business owners to Redmond, Wash., to discuss everything from the technology to the regulatory framework required to build a giant elevator to space…”

40. First Solar Sail Might Soon Fly http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090812-tw-solar-sail-new-mission.html “…the Planetary Society hopes to refit a NASA sail design and make a third U.S. attempt to fly the first solar sail in space. Never before has a vehicle successfully flown in space using a solar sail as its primary means of propulsion. But it hasn't been for a lack of trying. The California-based Planetary Society attempted to fly its Cosmos-1 solar sail in 2005, but it foundered because of a Russian rocket malfunction. Then NASA's NanoSail-D was lost in the third failed flight of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket in 2008…"In Cosmos-1 we had a more conventional spacecraft, but the technology has moved ahead now," said Louis Friedman, executive director of the Planetary Society in Pasadena, Calif. "You can actually get a higher performance sail with a lower mass spacecraft." NanoSail-D may provide the foundation design for that future, smaller spacecraft…”

41. Nevada Company Pitches 'Lite' Concept for NASA's New Spaceship http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090814-orion-lite.html “…Bigelow quietly unveiled the "Orion Lite" concept in a private briefing to former Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Norm Augustine and his White House-charted committee tasked in May with developing a range of options for an affordable and sustainable U.S. human spaceflight program. Bigelow's crew capsule design is modeled on the Orion vehicle that Lockheed Martin…is developing for NASA…Mike Gold, director of Bigelow's Washington office, said he believes a low Earth-orbit optimized version of Orion could be ready to launch atop a human-rated version of the Atlas 5 within three or four years…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

42. Students Develop Multicore Programming Skills http://www.hpcwire.com/industry/academia/Students-Develop-Multicore-Programming-Skills-52989882.html “…High-definition streaming video enables students to participate in the course, "Many-Core Programming for Science and Engineering Applications," from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan, the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), located on the west campus of The Ohio State University…Instructors Wen-mei Hwu, from the University of Illinois, and David B. Kirk, from the graphics-processor company NVIDIA, are teaching the course. The lessons provide students with hands-on experience in developing applications software for multi-core processors, such as general-purpose graphics processing units (GP-GPUs). Participating students have access to NCSA's 32-node cluster of GP-GPUs and are learning to use the software CUDA to write programs for the cluster…”

43. Tim Sweeney: GPGPU too costly to develop for games http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Sweeney-Epic-GPU-GPGPU,8461.html Epic Games' chief executive officer Tim Sweeney recently…saying that it is "dramatically" more expensive for developers to create software that relies on GPGPU (general purpose computing on graphics processing units) than those programs created for CPUs…it costs "X" amount of money to develop an efficient single-threaded algorithm for CPUs. To develop a multithreaded version, it will cost…a whopping ten times the amount for a current GPGPU version…Sweeney spent most of his speech preaching about the death of GPUs (graphics processing units)…This isn't the first time he predicted the technology's demise: he offered his predictions of doom last year in this interview. Basically, the days of DirectX and OpenGL are coming to a close “In the next generation we’ll write 100-percent of our rendering code in a real programming language--not DirectX, not OpenGL, but a language like C++ or CUDA," he aid last year. "A real programming language unconstrained by weird API restrictions…”


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