2009/08/25

NEW NET Issues List for 25 Aug 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 25 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. Stress tests rain on Amazon's cloud http://www.itnews.com.au/News/153451,stress-tests-rain-on-amazons-cloud.aspx “…Stress tests conducted by Sydney-based researchers have revealed that the infrastructure-on-demand services offered by Amazon, Google and Microsoft suffer from regular performance and availability issues…researchers also found that the three platforms delivered wildly variable performance results as Amazon, Google and Microsoft trialled, added and dropped new features. Response times on the service also varied by a factor of twenty depending on the time of day the services were accessed…the study revealed which of the three cloud infrastructures were suited to particular applications. "Using Google AppEngine, none of your data processing tasks can last any longer than thirty seconds, or it throws an exception back at you," she said. "This is very consistent with the Google business model - they want to enable simple web applications to thrive on the Internet. AppEngine is there to enable the rapid development of simple web applications that don't include intense compute at the back end." Amazon's EC2, by contrast, provided "base cloud computing support" with value-added services supplied by third parties. Microsoft, Liu said, has the enterprise and the ISV firmly in its sights with the Azure platform…all three services lack the monitoring tools large organisations require to check on whether the platform is meeting service level agreements…”

2. Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/study-finds-that-online-education-beats-the-classroom/ “…A recent 93-page report on online education, conducted by SRI International for the Department of Education, has a starchy academic title, but a most intriguing conclusion: “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction…”

3. Encyclopedia of Life grows http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20090823/wr_nm/us_encylopedia_life An online encyclopedia aiming to describe every type of animal and plant on the planet has reached 170,000 entries and is helping research into aging, climate change and even the spread of insect pests. The "Encyclopedia of Life" (http://www.eol.org), a project likely to cost $100 million launched in 2007, says it wants to describe all the 1.8 million known species from apples to zebras within a decade. "We're picking up speed," James Edwards, EOL Executive Director based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, said Sunday of the 170,000 entries with content in a common format vetted by experts. A year ago, it had 30,000 entries…”

4. Top 10 Most Exciting Web Apps or Services http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/top_10_most_exciting_web_apps.php “…We've chosen the 10 in two batches. Firstly, the services that got the most number of mentions. As expected, these are well known apps that millions of people are using (or will use when it's launched, in the case of Google Wave). We didn't want this to be purely a popularity contest though, so we've also selected 5 lesser known web apps or services. Those apps all got multiple mentions and in our estimation they're each worthy of being labeled 'exciting.'…Top 5 Apps: 1. Twitter…2. Gmail…3. Google Reader…4. Google Wave…5. Facebook…6. Spotify…7. Dropbox…8. Seesmic…9. Wolfram|Alpha…10. Pubsubhubbub…”

5. More Employers Use Facebook To Vet New Hires Than LinkedIn http://paidcontent.org/article/419-more-employers-scanning-facebook-for-new-hires-than-linkedin/ “…Facebook may be the stickiest social network here in the U.S.—but LinkedIn is thought to be the default network for a “professional” profile and job history. So why are more employers using Facebook to do background checks on potential new hires than LinkedIn? Almost 30 percent of hiring managers said they were using Facebook to research new hires, according to new survey data from CareerBuilder—edging out the 26 percent that said they were using LinkedIn…”

6. Yahoo Demos Search and Mail upgrades http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/yahoo-demos-tech-upgrades-despite-looming-microsoft-takeover/ “…Yahoo’s core products will receive some major updates in the coming months, including an enhancement to the company’s search engine that introduces context-sensitive filtering to search results…Yahoo Mail — which remains the most popular webmail app despite the innovations by Google’s Gmail — and Yahoo Messenger are also getting some updates…Larry Cornett searched for “How to make sushi.” This brought up a list of relevant sites labeled “Show results from” on the left side of the page. Each site in the list specializes in how-to content. He clicked on the eHow entry in the list, which filtered the results down to that particular site. He clicked on the YouTube entry in the filter list, which brought up a series of how-to videos…Yahoo’s new people-search tools are more powerful than anything the company has previously offered. Cornett typed in a person’s name, which brought up a Yahoo profile, LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile and their recent tweets from Twitter…”

7. Facebook Declares War On Spam Developers http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/08/facebook-declares-war-on-spam-developers/ Facebook is getting aggressive with a few developers who have been abusing the platform. Today the company alerted us to a “substantial” policy enforcement against the developers behind My Calendar, one of the largest Facebook applications. MyCalendar has been temporarily disabled and hundreds of other applications have been permanently shut down. According to Facebook, the developers have been engaging in misleading and spammy tactics in order to get more users rather than building valuable experiences…”

8. A Crowd-Sourced Navigation Service http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/05/waze-crowdsource-gps-technology-internet-noam-bardin.html Help Noam Bardin build mapping data able to rival those of Navteq and Tele Atlas, and he'll help you drive like a local. That is, if he can get enough people to take him up on his offer…Bardin is the chief executive of Waze, an Israeli start-up with a clever plan for remaking mapping…Bardin sees crowdsourcing as the missing piece in the navigation puzzle. While services such as Tele Atlas collect information from many sources, including users, Waze has put crowd-sourcing at the center of his effort to build maps…allows it to tip off users to traffic jams, road construction and other obstacles…The problem: Waze will have to reach critical mass to become truly useful. In Israel, that happened fast. Since the service's launch in January, Bardin says the company has grabbed 150,000 users in a country with just 7.4 million people…”

9. JaJah Jump-starts Enterprise Voice with Microsoft http://www.eweek.com/c/a/VOIP-and-Telephony/JahJah-Jumpstarts-Enterprise-Voice-With-Microsoft-592379/ “…IP telephony provider JaJah Aug. 25 scored a nice coup when Microsoft agreed to use its software to let business customers make voice calls over the Internet from computers and landlines…Thousands of small to midsize technology businesses use JaJah's cloud phone platform to enable calls. "It's Like Skype, but without the headsets, downloads, software or hardware," Healy explained…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

10. Could Google be tricked into talking to botnets? http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136973/Could_Google_be_tricked_into_talking_to_botnets_ Cybercriminals could start to take advantage of the popularity of search engines like Google as vehicles for relaying malicious code to botnets every time a particular keyword is searched for…If the botnet starts using Google for special keywords and finds the code and executes, you can start using Google as the transmission of the code or instructions to these botnets…”

11. Online class helps security pros sharpen their skills http://tech.yahoo.com/news/infoworld/20090821/tc_infoworld/88419 “…InfoWorld is offering a free, 20-lesson "Security Boot Camp" online class. The class is conducted via e-mail, with students getting one assignment each workday that connects the theory of best security practices with the hands-on reality of implementing such advice…The classes begin on Sept. 21…”

12. Microsoft Reaches out at China Hacker Conference http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090819/tc_pcworld/microsoftreachesoutatchinahackerconference Microsoft shared the stage with Chinese security researchers at a Beijing hacker conference on Wednesday, aiming to build ties in a country that produces a growing number of threats to Microsoft products…Microsoft has worked to build contacts with security researchers worldwide, but the language barrier and low attendance by Chinese experts at overseas conferences make the country's security circles harder to access…”

13. Cheating the App Store: PR firm has interns post positive reviews for clients http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2009/08/22/cheating-the-app-store-pr-firm-has-interns-post-positive-reviews-for-clients/ “…one PR firm has discovered a dynamite strategy: throw ethics out the window. Reverb Communications…hires a team of interns to trawl iTunes and other community forums posing as real users, and has them write positive reviews for their client’s applications…they don’t always follow the rules, and they have been stupid enough to tell that to prospective clients…Here’s a quote from the doc: Reverb employs a small team of interns who are focused on managing online message boards, writing influential game reviews, and keeping a gauge on the online communities…Reverb will use these interns on Developer Y products to post game reviews (written by Reverb staff members) ensuring the majority of the reviews will have the key messaging and talking points developed by the Reverb PR/marketing team…”

14. Apple adds malware blocker in Snow Leopard http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=4104 “…Apple has quietly added a new Snow Leopard feature to scan software downloads for malware, a no-brainer move that coincides with a noticeable spike in malicious files embedded in pirated copies of Mac-specific software…Apple is not using the open-source ClamAV engine to handle these scans so it’s likely the company has entered into an agreement with a commercial anti-virus company…”

15. 80% of Web users running unpatched versions of Flash/Acrobat http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=4097 “…79.5% of the 2.5 million users of their Rapport security service run a vulnerable version of Adobe Flash, with 83.5% also running a vulnerable version of Acrobat. The company has also criticized Adobe by insisting that their update mechanism “does not meet the requirements of a system that is used by 99% of users on the Internet and is highly targeted by criminals“, but is praising the update mechanism of Google’s Chrome and Firefox, whose silent updates close the window of opportunity for malicious attackers…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

16. AT&T to Require Data Plans for Smartphones http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/08/att_to_require.html “…on Sept. 6, AT&T will require all new smartphone users to subscribe to the carrier’s wireless data plans…Today, some of AT&T’s smartphone customers can chose not to buy a data plan, or they can subscribe to MEdia Net, a cheaper service that offers wireless e-mail and news access for as little as $2 per Megabyte. Currently, AT&T’s data plans range from $5 to $60 a month…The carrier spends a lot of money on subsidizing handsets so consumers get them at a lower price; and those subsidies may not pay off when expensive, feature-rich smartphones are not being used for data services, as intended. The move…is likely to be copied by other U.S. carriers…”

17. Nokia Unveils Netbook, Beats Apple to the Punch http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/08/nokia_unveils_n.html “…Nokia unveiled its first netbook. Called the Nokia Booklet 3G, the long-rumored device features a 10-inch screen, weighs 2.75 pounds, runs Windows, and can connect to Wi-Fi as well as to cellular wireless networks. This may be a move by Nokia to grab initiative from rival Apple. In the past several years, the iPhone maker has managed to grab significant share in the lucrative, fast-growing market for smartphones away from Nokia. Apple is also rumored to be developing a tablet netbook. With this announcement, Nokia may be trying to beat Apple to the punch. Netbooks should help fuel Nokia’s growth, which has slowed down in recent months…Many netbooks are sold through traditional Nokia customers, carriers, and, thus, represent a natural extension of the company’s business. In Europe, wireless service providers account for more than 25% of all netbooks sold…”

18. Smartphones drive language learning innovation http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090823/tc_afp/hongkongchinatechnologyeducationlanguage The boom in "smartphones", led by Apple's iPhone, has inspired language learning tools that would have been inconceivable just months ago -- and a Hong Kong firm is leading the charge…The ability to combine audio, video, text and data files with an Internet connection to a central website has helped create a much-improved language learning device, says entrepreneur Chris Lonsdale. "The technology allows you to have all the elements in one place and gives you new insights (into how you can learn languages)," said Lonsdale, whose app is a six-month course for Chinese people to learn English…”

19. The Real Truth about Apple and Google and Arrington http://www.techcrunchit.com/2009/08/22/the-real-truth-about-apple-and-google-and-arrington/ “…Mike’s mission to bring Google Voice to the iPhone is presented as a move to the free open Google voice device hoedown…Arrington, Google, and Apple are locked in a conspiracy to oust the real villain of the era, the Dumb Pipe…the true reality of what’s going on…Apple is conspiring with Google to force the FCC to “force” Apple to, regrettably, open the door to VoIP and the Universal Inbox…” [http://www.informationweek.com/news/personal_tech/iphone/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=219401091 ]

20. Mac or a Netbook? Students Chose the Latter http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090820/tc_pcworld/macoranetbookstudentschosethelatter A majority of college-bound students gearing up for school will not consider buying a Mac laptop, a study reveals. Instead, students are gravitating toward affordable netbooks from a variety of manufacturers, according to Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, that conducted the study…Macs are at the bottom of student wish lists this year. While 49 percent of students will buy full-sized Windows laptops, 34 percent will purchase netbooks. Bringing up the rear is Mac with only 17 percent of students saying they intend to buy one…”

21. World’s 1st Real Smartbook Review: Lanyu LY-EB01 http://www.shanzai.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=138%3Aworlds-1st-real-smartbook-review&catid=12%3Asmartbook-reviews&Itemid=1 “…We paid just…US$98…for the Lanyu eBook! Smartbooks are typically going to be based on ARM architecture SOCs. That will likely mean a Windows CE or Google Android operating system and attendant applications…I was impressed by the build quality of the device. At that price I was expecting something a lot flimsier but it actually feels quite sturdy…The 800X600 screen of the eBook itself while small actually is quite bright and doesn’t “feel” too small for moving around through the different applications…if you’re buying a smartbook as a replacement for a netbook I think you’ll be a little let down by the Internet experience the device provides. You can’t change the screen resolution and a lot of sites won’t fit within the boundries of the screen meaning you have to use the scroll bars (bottom and right of the screen) to view around a site. A quick visit to youtube.com is the best way to really see the limitations of the IE browser running on Win CE 5.0. In fact Youtube gives you a warning that they will be phasing out support for your browser when you arrive…[from Part 2: Win CE as an OS feels pretty much like Win 98 with a hangover]…”

Open Source

22. 3 Gimp Plugins For Photographers http://www.linuxloop.com/2009/08/21/3-gimp-plugins-for-photographers/ “…almost everyone performs at least a few edits on their photos. For simple thing, programs like F-Spot or Google’s Picasa may be enough, but you may also need something more. That’s where Gimp does an excellent job, offering more tools for editing your photos. As with many applications, though, Gimp’s most powerful features come from plugins that let you do more than you could with Gimp alone. Here are three excellent Gimp plugins for photographers…”

23. Character Head Modeling in Blender: Part 2 http://www.packtpub.com/article/character-head-modeling-in-blender-part2 “…In this tutorial, we are going to look at how to model a character head in Blender. Along with basic modeling tools we will also focus heavily on good topology and how to create a clean mesh that will deform well during animation…”

24. Boot Linux on the Beagle Board http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-beagle-board/index.html The Beagle Board is a pocket-sized reference board (see Figure 1) containing a Texas Instruments OMAP3530 system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor (ARM Cortex A-8 core) running at up to 600MHz…I picked the Beagle Board because it is an inexpensive platform for learning how Linux and small systems work. It is a reasonable alternative for hobbyists designing projects for themselves…”

25. 'Open source science allows others to get involved' http://www.osor.eu/news/es-open-source-science-allows-others-to-get-involved “…According to professor Eduardo Ros Vidal, making the software available as open source is the only way to make such a project a success. "Other teams must get involved in the development, using it for their projects and experiments. It takes an international research community to develop a high complexity tool. A single group cannot address the many topics involved." The open source licence allows scientists to make all kinds of changes to the code, he says, in order to fit the software to their model, or to carry out very specific experiments…”

SkyNet

26. Gmail Allows Mail and Contact Imports for Older Accounts http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/08/20/gmail-allows-mail-and-contact-imports-for-older-accounts/ “…the folks at Google have added an important update to Gmail: mail and contact import features for everyone. Somewhat annoyingly, these features were previously available for newly-created Gmail accounts, but were not available for the many of us who have had Gmail accounts for some time…To import email from another account into your Gmail account, just go to the “Settings” link that is on the upper right of your Gmail account, and click it. Once you’ve done that, hit the “Accounts and Import” tab, as seen in the screenshot above. You can import from Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, or other webmail or POP3 accounts via a wizard…”

27. Tech giants unite against Google Books http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8200624.stm Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo will sign up to the Open Book Alliance being spearheaded by the Internet Archive. They oppose a legal settlement that could make Google the main source for many online works. "Google is trying to monopolise the library system," the Internet Archive's founder Brewster Kahle told BBC News. "If this deal goes ahead, they're making a real shot at being 'the' library and the only library…”

28. So Much For Google The ISP, Huh? http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/So-Much-For-Google-The-ISP-Huh-104019 “…Back in 2007 Google's acquisition of dark fiber, building of data centers and hiring of networking experts like Vint Cerf (co-creator of the TCP/IP protocol) led some to think the company wanted to be an ISP. In reality, they just wanted a more efficient and less expensive transit network for services, user storage and ads. However, their involvement with the White Space Coalition and experiments with Wi-Fi help feed the unlikely theory…It's been three years since Google built their Wi-Fi network in their hometown of Mountain View California, at the time using 380 Tropos Wi-Fi nodes placed on utility poles around the city. The service began by offering users downstream speeds up to 1Mbps (roughly) and upstream speeds ranging from 144kbps to 986kbps. Tropos this week offered an update on the network, noting that it has reached 19,000 users…”

29. Google Doubles Its Cartographers As Maps Continues To Go Wiki-Style http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/19/google-doubles-its-cartographers-as-maps-continues-to-go-wiki-style/ “…Google has smartly been using a service called Map Maker, which lets locals and people knowledgeable about the area edit it themselves. And this week, Google has added a couple important areas to the list: Mexico and Eastern Europe…even more impressive is the full list of countries that can now use Map Maker to improve local maps. And while Map Maker doesn’t work in places like the U.S. and other well mapped-out areas of the world, you can edit things on U.S. maps such as place locations. It seems clear that Google Maps is a wiki of sorts now, meaning the community is responsible for a lot of the data on it…Google still looks over this new country data, and then allows certain portions to “graduate” to actual Google Maps. But still, it’s a great idea to get more information in your system for free. I wonder how long it will be until Google lets users in the rest of the world in on the fun to edit roads and other features that are incorrect or not listed…”

30. Video chat from iGoogle http://googletalk.blogspot.com/2009/08/video-chat-from-igoogle.html “…I use iGoogle to chat with friends while I check the daily news, email co-workers, and even scan through cute kitty pics — you name it, iGoogle has it. Chatting is great for sharing quick thoughts, but sometimes I'd rather just talk to my friends face to face…We have had video chat in Gmail for a little while now, but the nice thing about video chat in iGoogle is that you can video chat with friends who don't have gmail accounts, all you need is a Google account…”

General Technology

31. I'm OK; The Bull Is Dead http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/print/93903/I_m_OK_The_Bull_Is_Dead “…the comment about the dead bull intrigued me. We didn't own a bull. Where was he? How did the bull die? And why was he telling me about it?...I was greatly impressed by Raj's succinct way of giving me the right information in the right detail without going into unnecessary explanations. In journalism, this is known as the inverted pyramid style, which begins with the conclusion, followed by the most important facts and, finally, the details. This contrasts with academic writing, which opens with a problem statement, elaborates on the background, discusses influencing factors and finally states the conclusions. When the academic approach is used to give project status reports, people who are still awake for the punch line are silently praying, "Please, God, kill me now." That's precisely why I start with the punch line…starting with the punch line can be disconcerting, but we have found that once they become accustomed to it, they truly enjoy the clarity of the message and the time saved in getting the point across…”

32. A Silicon Valley version of the county fair http://www.mercurynews.com/localnewsheadlines/ci_13180343?source=rss It's the Silicon Valley version of the county fair. Instead of pie-eating contests, there are text-messaging and mobile-phone photo competitions. "When I went to the county fair (as a child), it was 4-H Club and agriculture," said Darien Black, a 24-year-old San Francisco resident touring the Usable Futures Pavilion at the San Mateo County Fair on Friday afternoon. "Now it's about green technology and making people aware of their carbon footprint." The fair, though, isn't all about shiny gadgets. Just outside the pavilion is Wilbur, a 1,000-pound pig lounging on a bed of wood shavings. But in addition to goats, rabbits and cows, the updated fair includes electric vehicles, Lego robots and a solar-powered minicar derby…”

33. Multitasking Muddles Brains, Even When the Computer Is Off http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/multitasking/ Some people suspect that a multitasking lifestyle has changed how they think, leaving them easily distracted and unable to concentrate even when separated from computers and phones. Their uneasiness may be justified…a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…surveyed 262 students on their media consumption habits. The 19 students who multitasked the most and 22 who multitasked least then took two computer-based tests, each completed while concentrating only on the task at hand…In every test, students who spent less time simultaneously reading e-mail, surfing the web, talking on the phone and watching TV performed best…”

34. Parallels to make switching to the Mac easier, safe and painless http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/08/24/parallels-to-make-switching-to-the-mac-easier-safe-and-painless/ In the Windows vs. Mac war, we are at a crossroads. Apple is launching its Snow Leopard version of the Mac operating system on Friday at the low price of $29. Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system will launch in October with the primary aim of fixing the problems created by Windows Vista…Right now, about half of all Macs being sold are going to Windows users who have never owned a Mac before…The Parallels software also comes with two hours of tutorials that teach people how to use the Mac and help them understand the differences between the Mac and Windows. With Parallels, you can run Windows and Mac programs side-by-side…”

Leisure & Entertainment

35. Revamped Movie Maker debuts http://www.techflash.com/Revamped_Movie_Maker_debuts_53724832.html “…Microsoft this afternoon released the new Windows Live Movie Maker, an overhauled version of the movie-editing software that had long been included in the company's Windows operating system. The new application has been optimized for the upcoming Windows 7, but rather than being bundled with the operating system, it's being offered for free download as part of the Windows Live Essentials package. Among other features, the software offers the ability to publish directly to YouTube, and to import video from Flip and iPhone cameras. An AutoMovie feature promises to help people create videos in less than a minute with transitions, a title, captions and a soundtrack…One bummer for Windows XP holdouts: The new Movie Maker works on Windows Vista and Windows 7, but not earlier versions…”

36. The end of free lyrics? http://www.macworld.com/article/142389/2009/08/end_of_free_lyrics.html “…LyricWiki, a terrific resource for grabbing lyrics without the ads and dead-ends. Just type a song title, artist, or album into LyricWiki’s Search field and a list of Google hits appears on a subsequent page. Click an appropriate link and the lyrics appear without the advertising cruft…According to a post by LyricWiki’s creator, Sean Colombo, the major publishers demanded that programmatic access to LyricWiki’s collection of lyrics be shut off. Rather than face the wrath of those publishers, Colombo complied with the request…Apple has engaged with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music, and Universal Music Group to bundle interactive booklets with album downloads from the iTunes Store. Unlike the PDF digital booklets bundled with a few albums, these interactive booklets will be more broadly available and, along with lyrics, photos, and liner notes, include interactive elements…record companies are at work on a competing standard called CMX, which will offer the same sort of capabilities. If and when these initiatives kick in, how likely are the music publishers to give lyrics away when they’re one more reason to purchase the album rather than the single? Odds are, not very…”

37. Swine flu battle moves to cyberspace http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090819/tc_afp/healthflubritainnetherlandscomputergame The clock is ticking, people are dying and a flu virus is sweeping the globe -- that is the scenario of a new computer game designed to make people think about how to respond to the swine flu pandemic. In "The Great Flu", players must choose whether or not to stockpile anti-viral drugs and deploy research teams to new areas of outbreak as the number of infections and deaths rises and more countries are affected. Players face tough choices with limited funds -- and taking decisions such as closing major airports do not come cheap…If the money is well invested, the pandemic can be stopped…”

38. BurgerTime Deluxe released for Mac http://tech.yahoo.com/news/macworld/20090821/tc_macworld/burgertimedeluxereleasedformac “…BurgerTime Deluxe puts you in a fantasy world where chefs create delicious burgers by climbing up and down ladders and stomping across platforms to make burgers, buns and all the fixings collapse onto plates. You have to avoid Vinnie Vinegar’s henchmen — Mr. Hotdog, Mr. Egg, and other bad guys — along the way. You can put them in their place with a dash of pepper, however, and you can collect special powerups to freeze, cook, and salt them. BurgerTime Deluxe features Story Mode and Quick Mode. The game features more than 60 levels plus minigames…”

39. AT&T To Supply Wireless Access For New Sony E-Reader http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090825-711993.html “…AT&T Inc. on Tuesday said it will provide wireless access for a new electronic book reader by Sony Corp., reflecting the phone giant's goal of expanding the market for mobile devices. Earlier this summer, AT&T (T) said it would provide wireless access for a touch-screen e-reader under development by Plastic Logic, a Silicon Valley firm…Like Amazon, Sony doesn't plan to charge customers a recurring fee for wireless access. The feature is included in the price of the device…” [http://www.overdrive.com/aboutus/getArticle.aspx?newsArticleID=20090812 http://dbooks.wplc.info/1AC2477F-D02A-475B-8DA9-99DC91646E1A/10/319/en/Default.htm ]

Economy and Technology

40. Where Yahoo Leaves Google in the Dust http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/business/23digi.html “…Google’s domination in search has proved hard for it to match in some information domains. When serving financial news and information, for example, Yahoo draws 17.5 times the traffic of Google…Yahoo Finance, which has occupied the top spot in the category for 19 consecutive months, drew 21.7 million unique United States visitors in July; Google Finance drew only 1.2 million unique visitors, placing it 17th in comScore’s rankings for the category…”

41. Foreigners Attending US Grad School is Way Down: Wake Up, Xenophobes http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/23/foreigners-attending-us-grad-schools-way-down-wake-up-xenophobes/ “…We’re already seeing the reverse brain drain as smart immigrants take their US educations and experience building companies and creating technology back to their home countries…U.S. grad school admissions for would-be international students plummeted this year, according to the Council of Graduate Schools—the first decline in five years. The decline was 3% on average, thanks to increases from China and the Middle East, but some countries saw double-digit declines in interest in a U.S. education. Applicants from India and South Korea fell 12% and 9% respectively—with students turning their sights on schools in Asia and Europe instead…”

42. Wind Turbine Blades Change Shape http://www.usnews.com/articles/science/environment/2009/08/24/powerful-ideas-wind-turbine-blades-change-shape.html “…Morphing blades made of advanced composite materials that can rapidly change their shape depending on the wind could help lead to advanced wind turbines that perform better and last longer…The United States is currently the world's largest generator of wind energy by total megawatts, and by 2030, the Department of Energy predicts that as much as one-fifth of the nation's power might come from wind…To help wind turbines advance further, scientists are looking into morphing blades, which can rapidly change their aerodynamic profile to best suit the prevailing wind conditions…”

43. Smith & Tinker raises $29 million to launch Nanovor web game and toy http://games.venturebeat.com/2009/08/24/smith-tinker-raises-29-million-to-launch-nanovor-web-game-and-toy/ “…Smith & Tinker disclosed today that it has raised $29 million to date for its line of interactive games and toys that combine both web and handheld gadget play for a generation of kids who have grown up with the Internet…Nanovor, as we wrote a couple of weeks ago with the launch of its online version, is a modern take on Pokemon-like creature battles. In the game, a boy and his scientist friend discover that silicon chips are infused with tiny nano-sized creatures dubbed Nanovors. They come to life inside computer hardware when electricity pulses through the chips. You can collect Nanovors, connect with your friends online, and fight multiplayer online battles on the PC. Come October, you will be able to buy a $49 handheld Nanoscope at stores such as Target, Best Buy, Toys ‘R Us and Amazon.com. With that custom-designed handheld, you can battle your friends and then upload the results online via a universal serial bus (USB) connection to your computer…”

Civilian Aerospace

44. NASA Opportunities Abound for Commercial Space Efforts http://www.space.com/news/090820-nasa-commercial-partnerships.html “…opportunities for commercial space firms are better than they have been in decades, according to government and industry officials. Not only do NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Deputy Administrator Lori Garver seem to be very supportive of commercial space ventures, but the challenging budgetary environment means space agency officials are searching for innovative ways to meet their goals…The foundation spotlighted the potential for partnerships between NASA and commercial spaceflight projects during the NewSpace 2009 conference in Mountain View, Calif., last month…”

45. GLXP Team White Label Space http://spacefellowship.com/2009/08/19/glxp-team-white-label-space-talk-to-the-space-fellowship/ “…White Label Space team’s formal creation was in December 2008 when they registered for the Google Lunar X PRIZE…The earliest meetings of the group that was to become the White Label Space team were in March 2008. Those meetings were held with the intent of forming a GLXP team, but soon it became clear to many of those involved that the White Label Space concept can be applied to many more challenges beyond the GLXP…”

46. NASA May Outsource to NewSpace Companies http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125089632848150593.html For the first time since the advent of manned space exploration, the U.S. appears ready to outsource to private companies everything from transporting astronauts to ferrying cargo into orbit. Proposals gaining momentum in Washington call for contractors to build and run competing systems under commercial contracts…Under this scenario, a new breed of contractors would take over many of NASA's current responsibilities, freeing the agency to pursue longer-term, more ambitious goals such as new rocket-propulsion technology and manned missions to Mars…”

47. Emma Morris wins free flight to space http://www.news.com.au/travel/story/0,28318,25951943-5014090,00.html “…Melbourne publicist Emma Morris has to tell Richard Branson whether she'll accept a free flight to space. The 27-year-old is the winner of a Virgin Blue competition and has a ticket to blast off in her name…Branson phoned her from his Caribbean idyll last week to ask her if she would "fancy going to space"? Morris must choose between a trip to space with Virgin Galactic; two Alfa Romeo Spider sports cars with petrol vouchers and cash; a $170,000 shopping spree; or a $150,000 holiday package…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

48. Intel acquires two software firms http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10315534-64.html Intel has quietly snapped up…Cilk at the end of last month and then Rapidmind earlier this week…Rapidmind was founded five years ago as Serious Hack and grew out of work at the University of Waterloo. It boasts advanced technology for helping software developers with data parallel programming for multicore processors and accelerators…”

49. Conference Proceedings: HPG and SIGGRAPH 2009 http://gpgpu.org/2009/08/23/hpg-siggraph-2009 Ke-Sen Huang has assembled a web page with links to all papers presented at these two important conferences, High Performance Graphics (a synthesis of the Graphics Hardware and Interactive Ray Tracing conferences) and SIGGRAPH. Both conferences had quite a number of GPGPU-related publications…”

50. Ars Says MultiGPU Unlikely, we say Inevitable http://www.vizworld.com/2009/08/ars-says-multigpu-unlikely-we-say-inevitable/ “…Ars Technica finally found the JPR report on Multi-GPU from the beginning of this month, and smashed it as being pretty unlikely due to manufacturing constraints and consumer interest. Well, I disagree and in this feature I’ll lay out why I think that Multi-GPU penetration of 30% is not only likely, it’s inevitable…the landscape of computing is changing. More and more people are switching to netbooks as they realize that 99% of their computer usage is for nothing more than email and websurfing…We are in a situation where “computers” are being replaced by consumers with other simpler, faster, and more portable devices…The resulting market will then be dominated by people in desperate need of high-performance, people doing Animation & Rendering work, people in High Performance computing, and people that really need large memory and fast processors…”

51. Water cooled BFG GTX 285 H2OCWE http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/15163/1/ “…BFG Geforce GTX 285 1024 H2OCWE…famous for its 729MHz core clock, giving it the title of the fastest GTX 285 graphics card, the card is completely inaudible and up to 30 degrees Celsius cooler than reference, air-cooled cards. The GTX 285 H2OC’s copper block is BFG’s ThermoIntelligence design made in cooperation with Danger Den, and the card is single slot…lifetime warranty in the US and Canada and the 10 year warranty in the rest of the world…”

52. Sparse Matrix-Vector Multiplication on Throughput-Oriented Processors http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia_research_pub_013.html Sparse matrix-vector multiplication (SpMV) is of singular importance in sparse linear algebra. In contrast to the uniform regularity of dense linear algebra, sparse operations encounter a broad spectrum of matrices ranging from the regular to the highly irregular…The techniques we propose are efficient, successfully utilizing large percentages of peak bandwidth…averaging 16 GFLOP/s and 10 GFLOP/s in double precision for structured grid and unstructured mesh matrices, respectively, on a GeForce GTX 285. This is roughly 2.8 times the throughput previously achieved on Cell BE and more than 10 times that of a quad-core Intel Clovertown system.”

53. Weighty Matters http://www.cgw.com/Publications/CGW/2009/Volume-32-Issue-7-July-2009-/Weighty-Matters.aspx “…Director Michael bay's sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, stars nearly 60 CG robots…CG supervisor Chris Horvath designed a rigid-body dynamic engine that Cliff Ramshaw, in R&D, helped build in CUDA on Nvidia GPUs. By utilizing thousands of separate computation streams running at once, the engine could calculate the movement and collisions of thousands of objects through time…Rendering such complex robots as Bumblebee (top) and Optimus Prime (bottom), other CG objects, and simulation took 80 percent of ILM's rendering capacity. Including artists workstations, the studio can utilize 7700 core processors, the newest of which are dual processors and quad cores…If you looked at all the rendering we did for this film and tried to do it on one computer, a one-processor 2g PC, and you wanted to be done by the release date, June 24, 2009, you would have had to kick off the renders 16,000 years ago if you ran the computer 24 hours a day,” he says. “Every night, we were pushing years and years of rendering time. It was really insane. We have hallways and hallways and racks and racks of hundreds of these machines going all the time…”


*****

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