2009/09/08

NEW NET Issues List for 08 Sep 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 08 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. Webinars on Web meeting startup Dimdim http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/02/web-meeting-startup-dimdim-goes-big-with-dimdim-webinar/ “…Dimdim, the startup taking on established web meeting providers with its low cost, open source meeting service, said today that it’s adding a service for webinars, big online events that could end up being quite lucrative for both the event host and Dimdim. The Boston, Mass., company will allow customers to host online events with up to 1,000 attendees. Dimdim chief executive DD Ganguly has said the company is “democratizing” web meetings by making them available to customers who can’t afford traditional services like Cisco’s WebEx…”

2. Cloud computing: Not every cloud has a silver lining http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/sep/02/cory-doctorow-cloud-computing “…The tech press is full of people who want to tell you how completely awesome life is going to be when everything moves to "the cloud" – that is, when all your important storage, processing and other needs are handled by vast, professionally managed data-centres. Here's something you won't see mentioned, though: the main attraction of the cloud to investors and entrepreneurs is the idea of making money from you, on a recurring, perpetual basis, for something you currently get for a flat rate or for free…for the average punter, cloud computing is – to say the least – oversold. Network access remains slower, more expensive, and less reliable than hard drives and CPUs…That's how I use Amazon's S3 cloud storage: not as an unreliable and slow hard drive, but as a store for encrypted backups of my critical files, which are written to S3 using the JungleDisk tool. This is cheaper and better than anything I could do for myself by way of offsite secure backup...”

3. Big cable to FCC: don't define broadband by its actual speed http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2009/09/big-cable-to-fcc-dont-define-broadband-by-its-actual-speed.ars “…Cable companies don't want the FCC to define broadband based on the actual performance of their networks. AT&T wants the definition restricted to a "minimal set of applications" that doesn't explicitly mention video or audio. Others want a definition based on what it can deliver…the message from big cable is clear. The last thing it wants is a standard that defines ISP service by real-time performance…”

4. Three Screen Report: TV, Internet, and Mobile http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/three-screen-report-media-consumption-and-multi-tasking-continue-to-increase/ “…30% of homes in the U.S. have DVR devices…Certain age groups also view online video more than others do – Adults 18-24 watch more than 5 hrs each month vs. Adults 65+ watching just over 1 hr of online video…Short form video (such as YouTube clips) still makes up the lion’s share of online video viewing – 83% in May 09…Younger demographics aren’t using the Internet as much as older demographics, yet the growth rate of kids 2-11 online clearly outpaces the overall Internet penetration….Mobile video viewing continues its upward trend, with over 15 million Americans reporting watching mobile video in Q2 2009. This is an increase of 70% versus last year…”

5. 1&1 Goes ‘Unlimited’ With Hosting Bandwidth http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/09/03/11-goes-unlimited-with-hosting-bandwidth/ “…One of the world’s top web hosts is offering “all you can eat” bandwidth on all of its plans. 1&1 Internet has removed the data transfer quotas on its shared hosting plans, the company said this week, retiring one of the oldest metrics in the hosting industry…Yahoo introduced un unlimited plan in early 2008. In February Go Daddy also introduced an unlimited web hosting plan…The unlimited hosting accounts offered by Yahoo and Go Daddy were premium plans priced at $11.95 to $14.99 a month. 1&1 Internet has gone one better. The huge host, which is based in Germany but has large operations in the UK and America, has lifted transfer quotas an all of its accounts…”

6. College for $99 a Month http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/feature/college_for_99_a_month.php “…she had been forced to settle for less money than coworkers with similar jobs who had bachelor’s degrees. So when she was laid off from a human resources position at a Chicago-area hospital in January, she knew the time had come to finally get her own credential. Doing that wasn’t going to be easy, because four-year degrees typically require two luxuries Solvig didn’t have: years of time out of the workforce, and a great deal of money. Luckily for Solvig, there were new options available…a company called StraighterLine was offering online courses in subjects like accounting, statistics, and math…one thing about StraighterLine stood out: it offered as many courses as she wanted for a flat rate of $99 a month. “It sounds like a scam,” Solvig thought…Solvig threw herself into the work, studying up to eighteen hours a day. And contrary to expectations, the courses turned out to be just what she was looking for…Online study groups were available where she could collaborate with other students via listserv and instant messaging…she was assigned a course adviser who was available by e-mail. And if Solvig got stuck and needed help, real live tutors were available at any time, day or night…Once a course was finished, Solvig could move on to the next one, without paying more. In less than two months, she had finished four complete courses, for less than $200 total. The same courses would have cost her over $2,700 at Northeastern Illinois, $4,200 at Kaplan University, $6,300 at the University of Phoenix, and roughly the gross domestic product of a small Central American nation at an elite private university…”

7. Are Dictionaries Becoming Obsolete? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125209509231187233.html “…Do we still need dictionaries in the age of Google?...These days, however, Google is our database of meaning. Want to know how to spell assiduous? Type it incorrectly and Google will reply, in its kind-hearted way: "Did you mean: assiduous"?...Google then spits out a bunch of links to Web definitions for assiduous…click on the Google "News" tab – and you will be directed to a page of links where the word assiduous appears in news stories. Presto, sample sentences and usage examples…Few dictionaries – other than the vaunted Oxford English Dictionary – provide enough usage examples…Online, the situation is no better. Most free dictionary sites contain the same crammed definitions and lack of example sentences as their print cousins. Online definitions are also usually from older, out-of-print dictionaries – and thus are often outdated…It's time for a new model for dictionaries. After all, we are all professional writers in this era of texting, blogging and tweeting. We need a dictionary that is as dynamic as our use of the language…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. "Anonymized" data really isn't—and here's why not http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/09/your-secrets-live-online-in-databases-of-ruin.ars The Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission had a bright idea back in the mid-1990s—it decided to release "anonymized" data on state employees that showed every single hospital visit…a graduate student in computer science saw a chance to make a point about the limits of anonymization. Latanya Sweeney requested a copy of the data and went to work on her "reidentification" quest. It didn't prove difficult…William Weld, then Governor of Massachusetts, assured the public that GIC had protected patient privacy by deleting identifiers…Sweeney started hunting for the Governor’s hospital records in the GIC data. She knew that Governor Weld resided in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a city of 54,000 residents and seven ZIP codes. For twenty dollars, she purchased the complete voter rolls from the city of Cambridge, a database containing, among other things, the name, address, ZIP code, birth date, and sex of every voter. By combining this data with the GIC records, Sweeney found Governor Weld with ease. Only six people in Cambridge shared his birth date, only three of them men, and of them, only he lived in his ZIP code. In a theatrical flourish, Dr. Sweeney sent the Governor’s health records (which included diagnoses and prescriptions) to his office…it was only an early mile marker in Sweeney's career; in 2000, she showed that 87 percent of all Americans could be uniquely identified using only three bits of information: ZIP code, birthdate, and sex…”

9. Remove viruses from an infected PC, and keep them from coming back http://news.cnet.com/8301-13880_3-10323259-68.html “…a five-year-old machine that runs Windows XP and is used primarily by my daughter and teenage grandson for instant messaging, e-mail, social networking, and downloading audio and video files. Since I rarely use the system, I didn't notice that its antivirus subscription had expired…I started the troublesome machine and attempted to open the Microsoft Update site to make sure its copy of XP was up-to-date. But the malware had managed to disable several Windows services intermittently, including Services.msc, so Internet Explorer would shut down repeatedly. At this point, I was seriously considering a hard-disk reformat and XP reinstall…I decided to try one more time to salvage the existing setup. I'm very glad I did, because it turns out there were lots of vacation and holiday images and videos on the machine that hadn't been backed up. First, I installed a free copy of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware antivirus program…I knew all attempts to alter the user behavior that led to the infections would be futile, so instead, I instructed my daughter and grandson to run Malwarebyte's scanner each time they start the system and just before each shutdown…”

10. Virtual Detectives Stalk In-Game Spammers http://tech.yahoo.com/news/zd/20090904/tc_zd/243779 “…a new type of spam company is targeting the huge worlds of massively multiplayer online (MMO) videogames like Activision Blizzard's "World of Warcraft." In-game characters controlled by individuals working for spam companies infiltrate these virtual worlds and bombard players with unsolicited ads for the sale of in-game virtual items like swords and even playable characters…Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), which oversees MMO games like "EverQuest,"…has created the Norathian Underground Gnome Investigation Team or NUGIT, which refers to the fantasy world of Norath in "Everquest." This nine-member team focuses on in-game fraud, working like detectives as they police SOE's game world…SOE has closed 295,000 subscription accounts across its MMO games as a result of NUGIT's patrols…Companies hire players to log online and build up in-game characters and accrue virtual items and gold by performing mundane activities. These items are transported via "mules" to "runners," who sell these items to players for cash through third-party sites. Players looking to upgrade to better characters or access more powerful weapons can buy these items directly, saving themselves hours of playing the game to get these upgrades…”

11. Instant Messaging Speeds up Data Theft Danger http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090901/tc_pcworld/instantmessagingspeedsupdatatheftdanger “…the Zeus Trojan -- blamed for enabling countless online bank account heists -- now uses an instant messaging component that alerts hackers immediately when they've captured someone's authentication credentials. That can enable fast use of time-sensitive information, such as one-time passwords now often employed in online banking…Once on a PC, Zeus sends log-ins and passwords to a remote server, which the hacker must then access and sort through…several variants of Zeus have a Jabber instant messaging module…The hackers set up two Jabber accounts, one to send information and one to receive…”

12. Password Hackers Are Slippery To Collar http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/06/AR2009090602238.html “…When Elaine Cioni found out that her married boyfriend had other girlfriends, she became obsessed, federal prosecutors say. So she turned to YourHackerz.com. And for only $100, YourHackerz.com provided Cioni, then living in Northern Virginia, with the password to her boyfriend's AOL e-mail account, court records show. For another $100, she got her boyfriend's wife's e-mail password. And then the passwords of at least one other girlfriend and the boyfriend's two children…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. 5 Things RIM Needs to Fix in its BlackBerries http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/five-things-blackberries/ “…the venerable BlackBerry is untouchable when it comes to sales. Three of the top five best-selling smartphones in the first quarter of the year were BlackBerries…So why aren’t the devices better?...even though BlackBerries have been adding gee-whiz features like multimedia playback and touchscreens, the devices still seem like a mishmash of undercooked ideas. Here are five things RIM needs to fix if it wants to maintain its lead…”

14. Will Smart Phones Crush The Stand-Alone GPS Market? http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2009/09/01/will-smart-phones-crush-the-stand-alone-gps-market/ The days of the stand-alone portable navigation device market are numbered. By 2014, according to research firm iSuppli, the market for PNDs will be eclipsed by GPS-equipped smart phones. In 2009, the firm says, there will be 114 million PNDs in use, compared to 57.8 million smart phones. But by 2014, the numbers will flip: 305 million smart phones will be in use, versus 128 million PNDs…”

15. How the iPhone Is Driving a Wireless Bandwidth Boom http://gigaom.com/2009/09/02/how-the-iphone-is-driving-a-wireless-bandwidth-boom/ “…most of the mobile companies are using older-generation technologies — a handful of T-1 connections that pump 6-10 megabits per second of bandwidth capacity into cell towers that turn around and share it with tens of thousands of users. But the popularity of new 3G devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerry 3G has increased the use of data, putting the backend networks under strain. And from that perspective, today’s 3G networks are like glittering skyscrapers built on a foundation of matchsticks…the demand for wireless bandwidth capacity isn’t going to come down anytime soon. “You’ve got huge growth…the wireless carriers can’t keep up with capacity demand…”

16. My First Day as an Android Owner http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/my_first_day_as_an_android_owner.php “…I've been a happy iPhone user for about a year but I just bought an Android phone yesterday and I like it a lot. I decided to buy an HTC MyTouch on T-Mobile in order to use the Operating System. Here are my thoughts on it after my first 24 hours…if I had to choose between them right now...I might pick Android. Below are some thoughts about the hardware, the learning curve, the App Market and Augmented Reality apps in particular. I've also included one paragraph about the cost. Bottom line: Android is pretty cool and I'm really excited to have a phone that's more open than the iPhone…One of the best things about Android is its ability to do more than one thing at a time. Listening to Last.fm while checking my email? That's cool. More interesting than literal simultaneous use of multiple apps at once though is the system's ability to watch for new email, new tweets, completed downloads or other activity in the background and notify you while you're using other apps…”

17. Pulse: T-Mobile’s first pay-as-you-go Android smartphone http://uk.techcrunch.com/2009/09/03/t-mobile-introduces-first-pay-as-you-go-smartphone-dubbed-pulse/ “…the Pulse, the first pay-as-you-go Android…Available for £180 starting October exclusively on T-Mobile, it boasts a 3.5″ HVGA touchscreen display, the biggest yet on an Android handset, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a TeleNav-powered GPS…”

18. Is Toshiba Beating Apple to a Multimedia Tablet? http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kit-eaton/technomix/toshiba-beating-apple-multimedia-tablet “…The Toshiba JournE was just unveiled…It's a handheld mobile Internet device--exactly the kind of beasty Apple's supposedly working on. There's a 7-inch resistive touchscreen, which rules out multitouch although there's a stylus for fine touch control. There's Wi-Fi, a video-out capability, 1GB of in-built storage which is expandable via SD card, and it can hook up to external hard drives over USB. It runs Windows CE 6.0 Pro, and since it's designed for multimedia playback there's support for H.264, DivX and WMV media. You can even hit up YouTube vids, Facebook page, IM chats or your Flickr archive using it…the JournE is just a prototype…a genuine Toshiba Tablet device based on its design is due by the end of the year…”

19. More Smartphones Than Desktop PCs by 2011 http://www.pcworld.com/article/171380/ “…Smartphone sales will surpass worldwide PC sales by the end of 2011, says a report. The report, by RBC analyst Mike Abramsky, estimates that by that time shipments of both will be approaching 400 million a year…Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 286.1 million units in the second quarter of 2009, a 6.1 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2008, according to Gartner. However, smartphone sales surpassed 40 million units, a 27 percent increase from the same period last year…”

20. Prep school ditches library for e-readers http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2009/09/04/a_library_without_the_books/ “…Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with one exception. This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books, officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books…Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a “learning center,’’ though that is only one of the names in contention for the new space. In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine…to replace those old pulpy devices that have transmitted information since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s, they have spent $10,000 to buy 18 electronic readers made by Amazon.com and Sony…Those who don’t have access to the electronic readers will be expected to do their research and peruse many assigned texts on their computers…”

Open Source

21. Are You Ready for Open-Source Hardware? http://gigaom.com/2009/09/01/open-source-hardware/ “…Backblaze…is giving away the design of its storage cluster for anyone to use, modify and build upon. The design allows anyone to build large storage clusters -– from a few terabytes to over a petabyte. What’s so disruptive about this? What if I told you that you could build a petabyte-sized cluster for around $120,000? Now compare that to a couple of million dollars via a storage company like EMC Corp. or a server maker such as Sun Microsystems…if this works, companies like NetApp and EMC could be in trouble…Facebook’s VP of engineering, Jonathan Heiliger, lamented how the chip industry and hardware makers fail to address the needs of the big spenders: web companies. Facebook had to build its own mousetraps to met its specific needs. If your startup has open-source hardware designs that meet the needs of today’s web-based businesses, you can easily do an end run around the incumbents…if more companies start contributing their hardware designs in an open source manner, we can expect to see more innovation in the hardware business. So far, hardware innovation has been hampered by the high costs that go hand in hand with innovative products. A few more open-source hardware designs and we’ll soon see tinkering minds get to work…”

22. The shan zhai and open fabrication http://www.tigoe.net/blog/category/environment/295/ “…The S&B article cites three characteristics of shan zhai businesses: * They gain market share by moving rapidly, understanding and responding to local needs and tastes, and establishing and maintaining local manufacturing and distribution bases; * They make rapid and continual improvements; * They continually invest in future developments…they have established a culture of sharing information about the things they make through open BOMs (bills of materials) and other design materials, crediting each other with improvements. The community apparently self-polices this policy, and ostracizes those that violate it. There are some obvious parallels here to the open hardware community. Businesses like Spark Fun, Adafruit, Evil Mad Scientist, Arduino, Seeed Studio, and others thrive by taking existing tools and products, re-combining them and repackaging them in more usable ways. We borrow from each other and from others, we publish our files for public use, we improve upon each others’ work…”

23. Best of Open Source Software Awards 2009 http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source/best-open-source-software-awards-2009-628 “…There's a certain number of obviously great open source solutions (we settled on 36) that deserve a hall of fame, and though our annual Bossies selection regularly passed over most of these because of their sheer obviousness…Our second shortcut was to omit desktop productivity tools and focus strictly on enterprise software, application development tools, networking and network management software, and platforms and middleware…”

24. How an open source camera will change photography http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=4768 “…the Frankencamera…is based on a Nokia N95 smartphone, whose software is licensed by the open source Symbian Foundation, it can become a lot more…he has created software for the camera that does things no commercial camera can do, like extend its “dynamic range” so all distances are optimally lit, and enhance the resolution of videos with still images…It seems amazing that no camera company has yet sought to build an ecosystem based on software, but this is an area where open source really can innovate, since every application will be a new one…”

25. Open source group buys up Microsoft patents http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/43901/118/ “…Open Invention Network…plans to acquire 22 patents that Microsoft sold to Allied Security Trust (AST) earlier this year. AST aims to protect companies from patent trolls, by buying patents to protect its members from litigation, licensing the technology to them and then reselling the patents on the open market…The patents are believed to relate to Linux - at any rate, that's the way they were presented when Microsoft sold them to AST. They've been around the block a bit, having originally belonged to Silicon Graphics. Microsoft told the WSJ that the patents "weren't important"…”

SkyNet

26. Google News shines a Spotlight on “in-depth” journalism http://www.niemanlab.org/2009/09/google-news-shines-a-spotlight-on-in-depth-journalism/ Google News has quietly added a new section that steps back from the ever-quickening news cycle to highlight “in-depth pieces of lasting value.” It’s called Spotlight, and like the rest of Google News, the stories are selected by an undisclosed algorithm…the Spotlight shines on longer features that have bounced around blogs for a few days…”

27. Google Broadens Attack On Amazon Kindle, Partners With COOLERBOOKS http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/02/google-widens-attack-on-amazon-kindle-partners-with-coolerbooks/ “…Google is clearly moving fast in setting up partnerships with ebook reader manufacturers and store operators…First, the company teamed up with Sony, adding about 1 million public domain books to the technology giant’s eBook Store. Now Mountain View has sealed a deal with British Interead, bringing the same amount of ebooks to an online store outside the U.S. for the first time…Reading-based Interead is the company behind ebook store COOLERBOOKS. The company also manufactures COOL-ER eReaders, small, elegant ebook readers that kinda look like giant iPods and cost $249 in the United States. COOLERBOOKS.com accommodates 19 document formats, including EPUB and PDF, and MP3 for audio books, giving the ebookstore the broadest range of formats available on the web…”

28. Conducting Data-Rich Surveys Just Got Easier With Forms In Google Docs http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/03/conducting-data-rich-surveys-just-got-easier-with-forms-in-google-docs/ Last year, Google rolled out forms that link into Google Doc’s spreadsheets, providing elementary database-style form support for its online office suite. Forms basically let you add data to a spreadsheet without having to enter it directly into the spreadsheet itself, or even having to log in because you can add the data through a survey. Today, Google is upgrading its Forms tool in Google Docs, adding a number of new features. Forms is basically a way to conduct a survey, with responses added automatically to a spreadsheet…Forms aren’t the most popular Google app out there, but I’m sure to try them out the next time I post a survey on TechCrunch, instead of using SurveyMonkey or another survey application…”

29. Monopoly goes global with online Google Earth version http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/43902/98/ “…Hasbro has developed a free, web-based version of the game that ranges across the globe using Google Earth and Street View to turn the whole planet into a board. Hasbro describes Monopoly City Streets "a game of property empire building on an unimaginable scale in a bid to uncover the greatest property magnate the world has ever known." As in the traditional version, players can build on their properties - although in this version they can construct anything from cottages to skyscrapers, castles to schools. All this costs, of course, and players get to start out with $3 million, rather than the rather measly $200 they get in the classic board game…”

30. President of Google China Leaves http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125202547216085365.html “…Google Inc. announced that Kai-Fu Lee, president of Google Inc.'s China operations, is resigning from the company…Google said Mr. Lee is leaving to work on his own venture. "With a very strong leadership team in place, it seemed a very good moment for me to move to the next chapter in my career," Mr. Lee said in a statement…Google still trails Chinese search leader Baidu by a wide margin. In the second quarter of 2009, Google drew around 20% of Chinese Internet searches, compared with Baidu's 76%…”

General Technology

31. Scott Hanselman's 2009 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ScottHanselmans2009UltimateDeveloperAndPowerUsersToolListForWindows.aspx “…Everyone collects utilities, and most folks have a list of a few that they feel are indispensable. Here's mine. Each has a distinct purpose, and I probably touch each at least a few times a week…”

32. Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/augmented-reality-in-a-contact-lens/0 “…In the Terminator movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character sees the world with data superimposed on his visual field—virtual captions that enhance the cyborg’s scan of a scene. In stories by the science fiction author Vernor Vinge, characters rely on electronic contact lenses, rather than smartphones or brain implants, for seamless access to information that appears right before their eyes. These visions (if I may) might seem far-fetched, but a contact lens with simple built-in electronics is already within reach…”

33. CKEditor 3.0 is here! http://ckeditor.com/blog/CKEditor_3.0_is_here “…the first stable version of CKEditor 3.0, our next generation browser based WYSIWYG editor…CKEditor is a complete rewrite of our so loved FCKeditor, which got a bit old after six years of great success…if you were happy with FCKeditor, you'll be now amazed with CKEditor…”

34. Where is HackCo? http://cera.us/2009/09/02/where-is-hackco/ “…I am constantly asked by entrepreneurs who/what/where/how to find hackers or tech co-founders. They are a scarce resource, so here is a description of an idea for a developer community that functions as a company…A hacker community forms a company, HackCo…”

35. Intel Core i5 And Core i7: Intel’s Mainstream Magnum Opus http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5,2410.html “…With the divulging of its Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 branding, Intel quietly rang the death knell of its Core 2 family, which has been with us for more than three years now, gently massaging away memories of a day when the company ravenously chased after faster clocks…we’re most excited about the value of Core i5. The fact that it’s regularly able to smack around the current Core 2 flagship (QX9770) is just crazy…”

36. IBM's 8-core POWER7: twice the muscle, half the transistors http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/09/ibms-8-core-power7-twice-the-muscle-half-the-transistors.ars “…IBM's 8-core POWER7 crams an amazing amount of hardware into about half the space of the competition. Its secret is that its large shared cache is made of DRAM, and not the less-dense SRAM that processors normally use…IBM has produced a very impressive 32-thread monster of a chip with a ton of cache and plenty of memory bandwidth, and done so with half the transistors of the competition…”

37. DDR3, DDR2 could hit price parity soon http://techreport.com/discussions.x/17521 When Intel's Lynnfield processors roll out later this month, more folks will be forced to scrap their old memory and buy DDR3 if they wish to upgrade. There's just one problem: DDR3 is still more expensive than DDR2. Prices for 4GB DDR3 kits start at $63 on Newegg, while DDR2 kits with the same capacity can be had for as little as $49…DDR3 memory has gotten increasingly popular in notebooks, especially those based on Intel's Centrino 2 platform and 4-series chipsets. Low-cost desktops and netbooks are still sticking with the older memory type, however. Only when Intel launches Clarkdale either late this year or in early 2010 will low-end desktop CPUs start requiring DDR3. AMD's Socket AM3 Athlon II and Phenom II processors all support both memory types.”

Leisure & Entertainment

38. Pandora One 2.0 http://blog.pandora.com/pandora/archives/2009/09/pandora_one_get.html “…we've released version 2.0 of the Pandora One desktop app. You've been telling us that the desktop app is one of your favorite features of Pandora One…we've tried to keep the interface very simple while adding several of the most-requested features…”

39. OnLive Opens the Beta Program http://blog.onlive.com/2009/09/02/onlive-opens-the-beta-program/ “…let me tell you a little bit about OnLive Beta and how we are rolling it out. One of the key challenges that OnLive technology addresses is providing a high-quality, fast-response gaming experience over a wide range of situations: different speeds/locations/types of broadband services, a variety of different PC and Mac configurations, several kinds of input and display devices, etc. So, a major focus of OnLive Beta is to test as many of these different situations as we can. When you sign up for OnLive Beta, you tell us some general information about your ISP, your computer configuration and your location. We use this information to organize Beta testers into test groups so that our engineering team can focus at different times on testing different situations…”

40. Amazon offers Kindle Orwell novels or $30 http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-10345639-265.html “…Amazon has offered to redeliver copies of George Orwell novels that were mistakenly deleted from Kindle owners' libraries, or provide a gift certificate or check for $30…”

41. Microsoft to Drop All Zunes Except for HD Model http://www.pcworld.com/article/171348/microsoft_to_drop_all_zunes_except_for_hd_model.html “…Microsoft plans to drop all of its Zune models except for a new high-definition (HD) version…which will be available Sept. 15 and features a touch screen, HD radio, HD video-out capabilities and an Internet browser…”

42. Asus Eee-reader to open like a book http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10346194-1.html “…upcoming Asus Eee-book reader…The company is looking at two versions: budget and premium, a spokesman for Asus in the U.K. told the Times of London…at least one version of the reader, the higher-end one, would have a hinged spine, opening like a traditional book and closing into tablet form. This design would let users view the text of their book on one screen (turning its pages using the touch screen), while browsing a Web page on the other…”

Economy and Technology

43. Inside the X Prize http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-magazine/archive/2009/10/features/inside-the-x-prize.aspx?page=all “…In 1997, the total value of philanthropic prizes with purses of $100,000 or more was roughly $74 million. Today that number is $315 million. More than 60 of those prizes were launched after 2000 and now represent the bulk of the money on offer, some $250 million. And in the same years, prizes themselves have changed. Before the X Prize, most of the big awards (again, $100,000 or more) were for prior achievement - stuff like the Nobel Prize or the Man Booker Prize that recognise outstanding accomplishments in a certain field. Today, 78 per cent of the big prize money goes to inducement prizes such as the X Prize - prizes given to the person or team that first or best accomplishes a specific task…Teams spend more on their projects than the prize money, claims Diamandis, precisely because all X Prizes incorporate a back-end business model. The prize purse offsets costs to an extent, but the real value from the competition is the marketing platform. If the prize can create interest in the marketplace, it can drive demand…”

44. Kickstarter.com: mashup of peer-to-peer lending and micro-lending http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5834QZ20090904 “…Chris Waddell wants to climb Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair; George Del Barrio wants to make a film in Cambodia; Jeff Edwards wants to write a book about a science fiction writer: they want you to fund their dreams. A website called Kickstarter.com is making it possible for people like this to raise sums ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars to fund anything that captures the imagination of Internet users with a little money to spare…”

45. Garlinghouse: AOL Will Acquire or Partner With Startups http://gigaom.com/2009/09/07/to-revive-its-fortunes-aol-will-acquire-or-partner-with-startups/ “…Brad Garlinghouse, formerly a senior vice president at Yahoo, is joining AOL as its president of Internet and Mobile Communications, which includes AOL’s e-mail and instant messaging. He will be heading up AOL’s Silicon Valley operations in Mountain View and will be responsible for AOL Ventures in California. Garlinghouse pointed out that with the growing popularity of services such as Twitter and Facebook, the entire communications arena is ripe for disruption. AOL has an opportunity to capitalize on that disruption. The company is going to either partner with or acquire startups in order to make over its communications business…Garlinghouse used to run Yahoo’s communications-related business, which also includes IM and email…Garlinghouse told me that while he doesn’t have a playbook for fixing AOL, he believes interoperability is key. When I asked him if AOL IM could work with Skype, he said, “Making AIM interoperable with Facebook and Skype would be interesting…”

NewSpace

46. Mitsubishi, IHI to Join $21 Bln Space Solar Project http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aJ529lsdk9HI “…Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp. will join a 2 trillion yen ($21 billion) Japanese project intending to build a giant solar-power generator in space within three decades and beam electricity to earth. A research group representing 16 companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., will spend four years developing technology to send electricity without cables in the form of microwaves…”

47. SpaceX Lands Orbcomm Launch Contract http://www.spacenews.com/launch/spacex-lands-orbcomm-launch-contract.html Satellite messaging service provider Orbcomm of Fort Lee, N.J., has selected Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) to launch 18 second-generation Orbcomm satellites…The launches, to be completed by 2014, will utilize SpaceX’s Falcon 1e rocket, an enhanced version of the company’s Falcon 1 rocket that recently launched Malaysia’s RazakSat into orbit…”

48. XCOR Reaches Significant Milestones on Lynx Engine Program http://www.xcor.com/press-releases/2009/09-09-02_XCOR_reaches_significant_milestones_in_lynx_engine_program.html “…XCOR Aerospace…reached several significant milestones in the 5K18 rocket engine test program. This is the engine that powers XCOR’s Lynx suborbital spacecraft…Like all of our rocket engines, this engine has demonstrated the ability to be stopped and re-started using our safe and reliable spark torch ignition system”, said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. “The basic cooling design has also been completed and the engine is able to run continuously at thermal equilibrium…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

49. Greening the HPC Data Center http://www.hpcwire.com/topic/systems/Mission-Possible-Greening-the-HPC-Data-Center-56360477.html The Cray XT5 Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is big in every respect…with its 182,000 processing cores, 362 terabytes of memory and a 10 petabyte file system…Jaguar consumes up to seven megawatts, enough to power a town or small city. About half the power is used to operate the system, the other half to cool it…as planned upgrades move these centers into the exascale range, potential spending on power goes off the chart…a small research cluster with 32 CPU servers valued at about $120,000 requires 21 kW of power for the servers alone. The annual cost for power and cooling runs almost $40,000 annually…Professors writing grants for additional HPC horsepower for their investigations are increasingly being asked by the university computing facilities to include power and cooling costs in their grant request. In the past, IT picked up the tab as an overhead expense…GPU computing provides a co-processing environment that mixes multi-core CPUs and many-core GPUs for optimized performance and energy efficiency…performance per watt means that IT managers can upgrade data center performance without expensive infrastructure modifications for power and cooling, and a big jump in energy bills…applications areas that can benefit from GPUs include: computational chemistry, fluid dynamics, digital content creation, financial market modeling, genomics, medical imaging, oil and gas exploration, and research and scientific computing…The Hess Corporation is a leading global independent energy company…Hess developers were able to port 2D seismic code to a NVIDIA 32-node GPU-based cluster to speed up their explorations. The cluster replaced 2,000 CPU servers, a 20 times saving in capital expense. Savings also extended to the system's power requirements, with server power requirements dropping from 1340 kWatts to 47 kWatts, a 28 times reduction…”

50. Hybridizing MPI applications with cores and GP-GPUs http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7503 “…How does one adapt an MPI code to a node with GP-GPUs? If you enable each MPI process with the ability to use a GP-GPU, then you need to make sure that the processes are balanced so that the GP-GPU resources (which can vary from cluster to cluster) are used effectively…Languages like Cuda and OpenCL do not address the cluster model…Threads (OpenMP or OpenCL/Cuda) on nodes, messages between nodes, that can solve the problem. The idea is simple in concept. If there is one process, then it can manage using the node resources, whether it be cores or GP-GPUs…”

51. VMD 1.8.7 release supports CUDA http://gpgpu.org/2009/08/31/vmd-1-8-7 VMD is a molecular visualization program for building, displaying, and analyzing large biomolecular systems using 3-D graphics and built-in scripting…Typical GPU acceleration factors for the algorithms in VMD are: electrostatics 22x to 44x, implicit ligand sampling 20x to 30x, molecular orbital calculation 100x to 120x.”


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