2009/09/01

NEW NET Issues List for 01 Sep 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 01 September 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. Facebook Exodus http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/magazine/30FOB-medium-t.html “…Facebook, the online social grid, could not command loyalty forever. If you ask around, as I did, you’ll find quitters. One person shut down her account because she disliked how nosy it made her. Another thought the scene had turned desperate. A third feared stalkers. A fourth believed his privacy was compromised…The exodus is not evident from the site’s overall numbers. According to comScore, Facebook attracted 87.7 million unique visitors in the United States in July. But while people are still joining Facebook and compulsively visiting the site, a small but noticeable group are fleeing…someone told her she was too old for Facebook, her teenage stepson seemed to be losing his life to it and she found the whole site crawling with mercenaries trying to sell books and movies…Is Facebook doomed to someday become an online ghost town, run by zombie users who never update their pages and packs of marketers picking at the corpses of social circles they once hoped to exploit…”

2. As Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090830/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_internet_at40 “…Goofy videos weren't on the minds of Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA when they began tests 40 years ago on what would become the Internet. Neither was social networking, for that matter, nor were most of the other easy-to-use applications that have drawn more than a billion people online…There's still plenty of room for innovation today, yet the openness fostering it may be eroding. While the Internet is more widely available and faster than ever, artificial barriers threaten to constrict its growth…”

3. How you can self-destruct your messages http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6796485.ece “…Every e-mail you send is stored on not only your computer but also the recipient’s machine; your internet service provider (ISP) will have one too, as will the many servers that have handled your message in its travels across cyberspace…It’s this Big Brother vision that has inspired researchers in Seattle to create the world’s first self-destructing e-mails. Vanish, a free program developed by Roxana Geambasu and Professor Hank Levy of The University of Washington, puts an expiry date on digital messages. Eight hours after being sent, Vanish e-mails become unreadable — even to the person who wrote them…Personal e-mails, perhaps containing bank or credit card details, can also linger online for years…”

4. 'Death sites’ spring up to take care of your digital estate http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article6814282.ece “…what happens to your web presence when you die? The average internet user, with online banking facilities, Facebook and Twitter profiles, internet-based photos, blogs and e-mail accounts can receive help managing their “posthumous online footprint”. The new sites promise to store safely data such as e-mail account passwords, online banking codes and “goodbye videos” to be released to nominated friends or relatives in the event of a death…”

5. Opera launches turbocharged Opera 10 web browser http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9137367/Opera_launches_turbocharged_Opera_10 “…Opera Software released Opera 10 today, a major update to its desktop browser featuring built-in page compression and a revamped tab bar that automatically shows thumbnails of open pages. The free browser can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux…Opera Turbo, the name for the browser's on-the-fly compression engine, can speed up slow connections…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. First WEP, Now WPA Encryption Falls http://www.internetnews.com/mobility/article.php/3836556/First+WEP+Now+WPA+Encryption+Falls.htm “…Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP (define) protocol is easily broken…to be secure, wireless networks should use the more powerful protocol called Wi-Fi Protected Access, or WPA. Now security experts say they've proven that WPA can be breached just as easily. A pair of researchers in Japan said that they developed a way to break WPA encryption in about one minute -- and will show how at a conference there next month…”

7. Burglars Using Social Networks to Target People http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Midmarket/Burglars-Using-Social-Networks-to-Target-People-Report-Says-410597/ Users of social networking sites are giving away vital information about themselves and their whereabouts that is being used by professional burglars to establish a list of targets. So found a survey sponsored by British insurance firm Legal & General…The report, "The Digital Criminal," found that 38 percent of users of sites such as Facebook and Twitter have posted status updates detailing their holiday plans and a third of people have posted status updates saying that they are away for the weekend…”

8. DHS Laptop Border Crossing Rules http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/27/AR2009082704065.html “…Under the policy begun by Bush and now continued by Obama, the government can open your laptop and read your medical records, financial records, e-mails, work product and personal correspondence -- all without any suspicion of illegal activity…” [http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/08/new-dhs-laptop-search-policy-crap-sandwich-fancier-bread.ars ]

9. Digiprotect Admits It Shares Files Just To Find People To Demand Settlement Money From http://techdirt.com/articles/20090831/0250256053.shtml “…The company even admits that the numbers it demands from people, and the numbers used in lawsuits have nothing to do with actual damages, but are entirely about what they think is mostly likely to get them paid. That sounds an awful lot like the what most people call extortion…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Sharp to Launch Ultramobile Device With Arm Chip http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090829/tc_pcworld/sharptolaunchultramobiledevicewitharmchip Sharp Electronics this week introduced a netbook-like mobile device with a 5-inch touch screen that is designed to run Internet-based applications…The PC-Z1 runs the Ubuntu flavor of the Linux OS, which can start up in as little as three seconds, the company said. Its software includes the Firefox browser to access online applications and Adobe Flash to play YouTube videos. The device also includes applications for users to create documents and spreadsheets…The device has a 68-key keyboard for data input. It weighs about 409 grams (0.9 pounds) and offers a 10-hour battery life…”

11. Double-screen laptop to arrive by end of 2009? http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/148027 “…gScreen…with two full-size 15.4-inch screens that slide out to sit side by side…the laptop can be used in either single- or double-screen mode, will feature the usual complement of laptop features and specs, and has a target price of under $3,000…”

12. Motorola Confirms It Will Launch Android Devices at Mobilize 09 http://gigaom.com/2009/08/26/exclusive-motorola-confirms-it-will-launch-android-devices-at-moblize/ “…on Sept. 10, the date of our Mobilize 09 mobile Internet conference…Motorola’s co-CEO Sanjay Jha will launch the company’s Android portfolio during his keynote speech at our event…”

13. Microsoft Embraces Windows Mobile 6.5's Blandness http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10322007-56.html “…Microsoft…said on Tuesday that the first phones running Windows Mobile 6.5 will launch worldwide on October 6 and will include phones running on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless…”

14. Verizon's New, Ridiculous Wireless Data Prices http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Verizons-New-Ridiculous-Wireless-Data-Prices-104235 “The Boy Genius Report has snagged an interesting internal memo…Verizon's introducing some new, restrictive pricing options for those users who buy phones that are slightly less robust than traditional smartphones…Customers who snatch up an Enhanced Multimedia Phone will be required to chose a data plan of $9.99 for 25MB or $19.99 for 75MB…$9.99 for 25MB or $19.99 for 75MB sounds like rather painful non-bargains, aimed at lighter data users who don't want to pay the fairly standard $60 monthly for 5GB worth of usage…Does that sound like a good deal to anyone? Welcome to Verizon's open platform future, where you're going to have slightly more device and application freedom, but you're going to pay an arm and a leg for it…”

Open Source

15. How to run a linux based home web server http://stevehanov.ca/blog/index.php?id=73 There are plenty of places you can go if you just want to put up some static web pages for free, or very low cost. But costs go up very quickly if you need to do any more than that, or if you get spikes in traffic. Sometimes you need complete control over the server, and don't want to pay $20 to $40 a month for a VPS. In this article, I'll describe step by step how to set up a home web server using Ubuntu, capable of handling modest spikes in traffic…”

16. Pidgin 2.6.1: The best Linux IM client gets better http://blogs.computerworld.com/14591/pidgin_2_6_1_the_best_linux_im_client_gets_better “…IM (Instant Messaging) clients have become invisible. We use them all the time to 'talk' with co-workers, chat with friends, and 'text' with family members on their phone. I do, anyway, because my IM client, Pidgin, works with almost every IM client in creation, and it makes chatting with anyone, anywhere, mindlessly simple…”

17. Europeans collaborate on an open-source robot, the iCub http://www.thisisbrandx.com/2009/08/europeans-collaborate-on-an-opensource-robot-the-icub.html “…The iCub was developed as an open-source humanoid robot by researchers and professors at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. The goal of the $12-million, 60-month project, funded by the European Commission, was to foster community research while advancing knowledge in human psychology and cognitive neuroscience…”

18. How do we build Maemo devices? http://jaaksi.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-do-we-build-maemo-devices.html “…I want to say a few words about how we build the Maemo devices. We do it as a part of the community in upstream projects, maemo.org projects, and internal hardware and software development, finalizing, and releasing…”

SkyNet

19. Google adds translation to Docs http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-10319423-248.html “…Google continues to move language translation into more and more of its products. On Thursday, it became a feature of Google Docs, letting anyone do an on-the-spot translation into one of 42 languages. The new feature, tucked away in a settings menu, has the smarts to automatically detect in which language the original document is written. It then opens the translated version in a new window, allowing you to compare and contrast the two side by side, more easily checking whether the translation has bungled any words or phrasing…”

20. Google's EPUB Embrace Challenges Kindle http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3836656 “…By adding support for EPUB downloads, Google hopes to make these books more accessible as new e-readers, smartphones, netbooks and other portable devices with small screens that don't readily render image-based PDF versions of the books already scanned by the search giant. "EPUB is a lightweight text-based digital book format that allows the text to automatically conform (or "reflow") to these smaller screens. And because EPUB is a free, open standard supported by a growing ecosystem of digital reading devices, works you download from Google Books as EPUBs won't be tied to or locked into a particular device. We'll also continue to make available these books in the popular PDF format so you can see images of the pages just as they appear in the printed book…” [http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2009/08/download-over-million-public-domain.html ]

21. Sony Sides With Google in ‘Library of Future’ Settlement http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/sony-google-book/ “…Sony has sided with Google over a controversial, proposed copyright lawsuit settlement that lets Google build out the library and bookstore of the future. That pits Sony and Google against Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon, all of which have allied in opposition to the settlement…”

22. Sony to Bundle Google Chrome Browser with Vaio Computers http://news.digitaltrends.com/news-article/20752/sony-to-bundle-google-chrome-browser-with-vaio-computers “…Electronic giant Sony and Google have apparently worked out a deal that will see Sony Corporation pre-installing the Google Chrome Web browser across its Vaio computer line. As part of the deal, Sony will also set the Vaio's default search engine to Google…”

23. Gmail Down, Again http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/09/gmail-down-again/ “…Gmail is down Tuesday afternoon, in an outage affecting both free and paying users. The outage began sometime around 1 p.m. Pacific time, and ended at approximately 2:25…The outage came just as Google has launched a rare advertising campaign that attempts to persuade companies to ditch Microsoft applications such as Outlook and Word for Google’s hosted Apps for Your Domain, which includes Gmail as its centerpiece…”

General Technology

24. Holographic GPU renders at near real-time speeds http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/08/holographic-gpu-renders-at-near-real-time-speeds.ars “…look at how a real hologram is made. Take the light from a laser, divide it into two beams. Shine one beam onto the object you want a hologram of, and from there let it hit a slide of photographic paper. The other beam goes directly onto the photographic paper. As a result, the photographic paper records the interference between the two beams rather than an image of the object…To project the image, the process is reversed. Half the laser light is reflected off the interference pattern, and then recombined with the a beam that has not been modified. The combined beam is then projected towards the viewer using a lens system. Viewers perceive the 3D object rather than the interference pattern…”

25. At Singularity University, tech is seen as savior http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090829/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_singularity_university “…the first commencement at Singularity University, a school that is backed by Google, operates on NASA's Silicon Valley…Starting in June, students spent three weeks attending lectures by faculty members and visiting luminaries such as Vint Cerf — one of the founding fathers of the Internet — to get a basic grounding in fields ranging from networks and computing systems to artificial intelligence and robotics. After that, they chose one of four subjects to study more closely for three weeks. For the privilege, the 40 members of the initial class paid $25,000 apiece…Despite the cost, there were 1,200 applicants…”

26. Butanol Research Continues; Bright Hope for Future of Biofuel http://www.dailytech.com/Butanol+Research+Continues+Bright+Hope+for+Future+of+Biofuel/article16118.htm “…Butanol is able to produce more energy than ethanol and other biofuels, which makes it a popular topic for research…Current scientific standards allow bacteria to produce 15 grams of butanol for every liter in the tank, then the tank is simply too toxic for bacteria growth. However, OSU researchers created a new mutant strain of bacteria that is able to produce up to 30 grams of butanol per liter. Butanol is an important biofuel, as it can be blended easily with gasoline, used in internal combustion engines without expensive, difficult modifications, and can be distributed with pipelines in use today…”

27. Understanding and Choosing the Best SSD http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3631 “…The SSD Anthology I wrote back in March was read over 2 million times…It's a daunting…task to write what I view as the third part in this trilogy of articles…DRAM is very fast. Writes happen in nanoseconds as do CPU clock cycles, those two get along very well. The problem with DRAM is that it's volatile storage…Magnetic storage, on the other hand, is not very fast…The only reason we put up with mechanical storage (HDDs) is because they are cheap, store tons of data and are non-volatile…NAND flash gives us the best of both worlds. They are effectively non-volatile (flash cells can lose their charge but after about a decade) and relatively fast…A year ago the market was full of worthless SSDs being sold at a premium. Today, we have two real contenders for the throne: Intel and Indilinx…”

28. Microsoft: Windows 7 can offer better battery life http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10323148-56.html “…users can expect newer systems running Windows 7 to offer 10 percent to 20 percent better battery improvement when watching a DVD…Microsoft and Intel declined to say just how much overall battery life improvement Windows 7 might offer as compared to Vista, saying there are too many factors that can influence such results…the most encouraging thing for Microsoft is the fact that Intel itself is willing to use Windows 7 within its own corporate walls. The chipmaker has been an XP-only shop throughout Vista's life…”

29. Rework a UPS with Massive Capacity http://www.instructables.com/id/Rework-a-UPS-with-Massive-Capacity/ “…Those UPS devices you buy for your computer usually have a gel-cell battery that lasts for a few years. Less if your power goes out a lot. When you replace them, you pay a bundle, even if it's a standard cell. This short Instructable will demonstrate how to rework an older UPS for more capacity with cheaper battery power…”

30. Western Digital shipping high-speed 2TB hard drive http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10322886-1.html After releasing relatively low-performance 2TB hard drives a few months ago, Western Digital announced Tuesday that it's now shipping high-performance versions of these top-capacity drives. The new drives are the WD Caviar Black and the WD RE4…These two new hard drives are based on WD's 500GB-per-platter technology. They both combine 7200rpm spin speed, 64MB cache, dual-stage actuator technology, SATA 2 (3Gb/s) interface, and an integrated dual processor…”

Leisure & Entertainment

31. Hulu Has More Viewers Than Time Warner Cable http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hulu-has-more-watchers-than-time-warner-cable-2009-8 “…Hulu's reach as a video platform keeps growing, now reaching more video viewers than the second biggest U.S. cable company. In July, some 38 million people watched a video on Hulu…Comcast has approximately 62 million viewers, while Time Warner Cable has 34 million…”

32. Game Trends: Expect to Log On http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090829/tc_pcworld/gametrendsexpecttologon “…the focus of games has been moving from video games to arcade games and further towar ds online games. Currently, the online game market is growing steadily with an increasing number of users due to higher provision rates of broadband, enhanced console network functions, diversification of online game genres and an expansion of casual MMORPG…revenue from online game globally was US$7 billion in 2007…in 2008 it increased 29%…”

33. SanDisk Sansa Clip+ http://reviews.cnet.com/mp3-players/sandisk-sansa-clip-4gb/4505-6490_7-33770002.html “…Clip+ is available in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB options for $39.99, $49.99, and $69.99…a built-in mic for voice recording and an FM tuner with an autoscan mode and 40 preset slots…a MicroSD card slot, which is capable of accepting SDHC cards, currently available at up to 16GB…this player is capable of providing great sound quality--if you swap out the included cheapo earbuds for something decent, that is. We used the Shure SE310s for the majority of testing…”

34. Nintendo makes Wii's Web-browsing Internet Channel free (again) http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10322948-1.html “…Nintendo Wii owners who wanted to browse the Web from their consoles have previously been forced to purchase the Wii Internet Channel application from the Wii Shop Channel for 500 Wii Points (that's $5.00 to the rest of us). Nintendo has now made the app free for all Wii users, saying, "Effective immediately, people who want to browse the Internet using their Wii consoles will be able to do so at no added cost…”

Economy and Technology

35. eBay sells 65% of Skype for $1.9bn http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/sep/01/ebay-sells-skype-stake “…eBay has sold a 65% stake in Skype to an investment consortium that includes the founder of Netscape, in a deal that values the internet telephony group at $2.75bn (£1.9bn)…the company has decided to pocket $1.9bn in cash and retain a 35% stake in the business…there are also doubts that the online auctioneer even owns the underlying technology that powers the service. The company is currently locked in a legal battle in the UK courts with Joltid, a company owned by Skype's original founders, which claims it actually has the rights to the technology…”

36. Zipcar - The best new idea in business http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/26/news/companies/zipcar_car_rentals.fortune/ “…what started as a counterculture movement in places like Cambridge and Portland, Ore., has gone mainstream. You can now find Zipcars in most major U.S. cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and New York, and in college towns like Ann Arbor and Chapel Hill, as well as in Britain. Zipcar's annual revenues are $130 million, and the company is growing about 30% a year. Griffith says that Zipcar will turn a profit for the first time in the third quarter of this year, and he hopes to take the company public next year. For drivers who already share movies via Netflix and stream music rather than buying CDs, the idea of sharing a car is the natural extension of a hip, financially smart, and environmentally conscious urban lifestyle…drivers who give up their cars and switch to Zipcar say they save an average of $600 per month…”

37. Home is where the brain is http://www.sanfranmag.com/story/home-where-brain “…By 2005, more than half of all the engineers in Silicon Valley were foreign-born, and a full quarter of those were Indian. But times are changing…for the first time in American history, the immigrants are going back, by the tens of thousands. Some go by choice, as India's pull grows stronger by the day. Some—casual­ties of contracting payrolls and unforgiving visas—have no choice. To Delhi, to Bangalore, to Chennai trickles the lifeblood of innovation…For the first time, many Indian immigrants are asking a question their predecessors never would have: Why stay? Without green cards or citizenship, they’re discovering that the lives they’ve carved out for themselves and their families are subject to a jittery economy…We couldn’t have a more stupid national policy than we do,” Wadhwa adds. “These people don’t want to be competing with America. They want to be competing for America…When you grow up in India, you’re very constrained in the way you think” is how Nishant put it to me. “What has changed for me after coming here is that it’s more about your choice, what you want to do in your life…If Vidya Venkat ever leaves America, she’ll have to be dragged. She’s a 27-year-old Delhi native with a stylish bob and enough enthusiasm for three people. A green card seems impossibly far away, but she loves her job at Yahoo! and the South Bay’s easy living. It’s a rare commodity in India. “You’ll get paid a good amount when you go back,” Vidya says, “but you can’t stop the traffic jam from happening. You can’t stop the bureaucracy. These are things you have to deal with on a daily basis: water cuts, electricity shortages…”

38. Raytheon acquires BBN Technologies http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=23636 “… Raytheon said on Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Cambridge, Mass.-based BBN Technologies, known for having developed ARPANET, forerunner to the Internet, and e-mail…advanced networking, speech and language technologies, information technologies, sensor systems, and cybersecurity. Some of BBN’s notable developments in the field of computer networks include ARPANET, the first person-to-person network email sent (and first use of the “@” symbol), the first Internet protocol router, an early predecessor of voice over IP called “Voice Funnel”; and work on the development of TCP…the first time-sharing system, the LOGO programming language, the TOPS-20 (TENEX) operating system, the Colossal Cave Adventure game, the first link-state routing protocol and a series of mobile ad-hoc networks…”

Civilian Aerospace

39. 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge http://spacefellowship.com/2009/08/25/2009-northrop-grumman-lunar-lander-challenge-competition-winning-attempts-scheduled/ “…The X PRIZE Foundation announced today that three teams have registered to make attempts to win the $1.65 million still available in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The prize program is managed by the X PRIZE Foundation as part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program. The competition is designed to accelerate technological developments supporting the commercial creation of vertical take-off and landing rockets with enhanced safety and performance…”

40. Students reveal swanky space hotel concept http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32573524/ns/technology_and_science-space/ “…A robot concierge, a redesigned showerhead and a full-sensory exercise wall are just part of the Space Hotel Project created by master's degree students in a program hosted by Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art in the U.K. The concept could theoretically attach to the international space station…The new space hotel concept includes a rigid module similar to Europe's Columbus laboratory on the space station, as well as an inflatable sphere developed by Thales Alenia Space in Italy…the space hotel could be built tomorrow with today's existing structures and technologies…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

41. Programming GP-GPUs: Options and Answers http://www.hpccommunity.org/f55/programming-gp-gpus-options-answers-616/ “…the standard video card now can be used as a data parallel computer. The graphic chip-sets are now manufactured by two primary sources, NVidia and AMD/ATI. Both companies realize that an HPC market is developing around these devices. The chip-sets are "funded" by the mainstream video market and thus are a very cost effective tool for many HPC users. There are many reasons to get excited about this trend and there are some realities to consider as well. In this article, we are going to focus on what has plagued all forms of parallel computing since the beginning: parallel programming languages…”

42. Researchers report progress on parallel path http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=CH1F0PCZMZWKXQE1GHRSKHWATMY32JVN?articleID=219401095 “…Researchers at UC-Berkeley, University of Illinois and Stanford University have been at work for a little over a year with grants from Intel, Microsoft and a handful of other backers mainly from the PC industry. All three are forming ideas about the future of chips with dozens or hundreds of cores and coding prototype parallel software to harness them. All sides see the need to rewrite today's software stack, starting with performance-hungry applications then plugging in new languages and runtime environments and rewriting or scraping traditional operating systems. They are already beginning to develop and test early versions of their code…”

43. NVIDIA Announces CUDA Superhero Challenge http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-Announces-CUDA-Superhero-Challenge-55411872.html “…NVIDIA Corporation today announced that it will be working with TopCoder, a competitive software development community, on the CUDA Superhero Challenge, a series of contests for computer programmers who will harness the parallel processing power of the NVIDIA CUDA architecture to solve some of computing's biggest challenges. The first contest, which is open to all eligible developers, begins Sept. 14 and will conclude Sept. 25. $5,000 of prizes will be awarded to five contest winners, who will be announced at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference…”


*****

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