NEW NET Issues List for 15 Sep 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 15 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. SA pigeon 'faster than broadband' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8248056.stm “…A Durban IT company pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country's biggest web firm, Telkom. Winston the pigeon took two hours to carry the data 60 miles - in the same time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data…”

2. 50 Best Websites 2009 http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1918031,00.html [check out this list of websites for ones which might be useful to you]

3. Zoho an alternative to Oracle? http://blogs.zoho.com/general/why-competition-matters-oracle-edition “…Alaska Air Group renegotiated lower fees with every one of its software suppliers—except Oracle. "They won't budge on pricing, and we're totally locked in…That story summarizes why the market needs competition and why it is in the customers' interest to encourage new suppliers…The barrier today is in the minds of large enterprises. They are not really locked in - if only they would look at alternatives with an open mind…The reality is that much of what enterprises consider to be mission-critical systems today can be done a lot cheaper, perhaps 80% cheaper than what today's suppliers are charging. We run a world-class data center at Zoho, with entirely commodity components. Our reliability, performance and up time can easily compete with what the best of enterprise IT systems offer, at a cost that is just a fraction of what large enterprises spend…”

4. Fake Amazon Reviewer http://blogs.wsj.com/wallet/2009/07/09/delonghis-strange-brew-tracking-down-fake-amazon-raves/ “…Taylor found that “T. Carpenter” was indeed a gadget aficionado, having written 12 reviews. All for DeLonghi products, and all raves rated with 5 stars. He did a Google search and found that a Tara Carpenter was employed as a communications manager with the company…The company issued the following response…We find no false statements in any of the reviews posted by T. Carpenter. Our employees are passionate about the products we make and sell and this is a quality we are quite proud of in all our associates…Amazon user reviews are a powerful tool for shoppers…The thought that some would masquerade as objective users is upsetting to Taylor…it’s up to shoppers to take any star rating or comment with a grain of salt…”

5. A Virtual Revolution Is Brewing for Colleges http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/11/AR2009091104312.html Students starting school this year may be part of the last generation for which "going to college" means packing up, getting a dorm room and listening to tenured professors. Undergraduate education is on the verge of a radical reordering. Colleges, like newspapers, will be torn apart by new ways of sharing information enabled by the Internet. The business model that sustained private U.S. colleges cannot survive…This doesn't just mean a different way of learning: The funding of academic research, the culture of the academy and the institution of tenure are all threatened. Both newspapers and universities have traditionally relied on selling hard-to-come-by information…”

6. Bing Visual Search: another way for MS to make you use Silverlight… http://news.cnet.com/8301-19882_3-10351491-250.html “…The new feature shows…Silverlight-powered fly-in thumbnail images for only 50 specific search results (it will be expanded in the future)…The Visual Search feature showcases the real value of having a search engine that blends structured data into its results. Google has structured data, too. (Try searching for the title of a movie that's currently playing in theaters). But Bing pushes it further. In travel, sports, and product reviews, for example, Bing is extremely aggressive in displaying structured data. Bing also has Powerset technology (it acquired the company in 2008) for analyzing Wikipedia content. But as with Wolfram Alpha, Bing's visual and textual filters don't work for the offbeat and weird, for a query that's not phrased just right to be picked up by the structured query engine, or for what people might consider ordinary little searches…”

7. Gist personal relationship manager wants to own the nexus of email, search, and social networks http://www.xconomy.com/seattle/2009/09/15/gist-opens-to-the-public-wants-to-own-the-nexus-of-e-mail-search-and-social-networks/ “…Gist…is announcing today that its software, which has been in private beta trials for the past year, is now available to the general public. Gist bills itself as an online service that helps people manage their personal and professional relationships more efficiently. The basic idea is to provide a Web dashboard that finds your contacts from your e-mail inbox and social networks (Outlook, Gmail, Twitter, Salesforce.com), and keeps you up to date about these contacts—even ranking their importance—through online information from blogs, articles, tweets, and updates on Facebook and LinkedIn. So, before your next business meeting, instead of having to Google around or search on Twitter to get up to speed on notable developments, Gist will surface any recent activity involving your contact…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/personal_relationship_manager_gist_launches_to_public.php ]

8. GamesThatGive launches free web games that benefit charities http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/15/gamesthatgive-launches-free-web-games-that-benefit-charities/ GamesThatGive has figured out a guilt-free way to justify playing video games. The more you play games on its free ad-based site, the more money it donates to charities…GamesThatGive is donating 70 percent of its proceeds it gets from ads to charity…You can pick which charity will receive your donation…I can picture the conversation now: “I can’t wash the dishes, Mom. I’m busy making a donation.” It’s a cool way to help out nonprofits…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

9. New iPod Nano? You Might Risk Arrest In Massachusetts http://techdirt.com/articles/20090910/1917236160.shtml “…a story about a guy who was arrested in a dispute-gone-wrong with a car repair shop…the guy was charged with both "unlawful wiretapping and possessing a device for wiretapping."…the guy had a simple Olympus digital voice recorder in his pocket, which was on during his argument with the repair shop. And Massachusetts is one of twelve states with a law that forbids taping conversations without the approval of everyone involved…Digital voice recorders are quite common. Plus, many mobile phones and even cameras include similar things…now with the new iPods including that, does it mean it's illegal to carry one in Massachusetts (or those eleven other states) without first announcing it and getting permission?…”

10. Google ordered to ID authors of emails to York University http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=1985798 “…In January, the school announced its hiring of Martin Singer as its inaugural dean of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies…The announcement called Prof. Singer a "renowned scholar of Chinese history" and quoted the president as saying: "York University is fortunate to have attracted such a strong scholar and administrator."…an email in the name of a group called York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University was sent using a Google Gmail account to members of the York community challenging the statements regarding Prof. Singer's scholarly output. "Lying about scholarly credentials is the gravest offence," the email said before calling for the president's resignation and a new search for a dean. York obtained a court order in May compelling Google to turn over Internet Protocol addresses associated with the Gmail account…David Noble, an outspoken professor at York, was listed in the email as a contact person. In an interview yesterday, he denounced York's legal moves as "a fishing expedition" that was unnecessary since the allegations raised were shown to be correct by statements from both the president and the new dean. "I think they are trying to create a chill among faculty…”

11. Race is On to Patch Critical Windows Flaw http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090910/tc_pcworld/raceisontopatchcriticalwindowsflaw Security experts are concerned about the potential impact of a new security hole affecting the Windows operating system. The potential exists to create a worm that would allow an attacker to take complete control of vulnerable systems without any user interaction--a jackpot for malware developers…the clock is ticking and the race is on. Malware developers have a window of opportunity to take advantage of this vulnerability and develop a Conficker-like worm able to spread and infect systems without any user intervention. The fact that this vulnerability is limited to Windows Vista (and Windows 7 RC) desktops means that only about 30 percent of the Windows desktops are potential targets…”

12. Anatomy of a Malware Ad on NYTimes.com http://troy.yort.com/anatomy-of-a-malware-ad-on-nytimes-com On Saturday evening, Avast displayed a malware warning as I loaded a nytimes.com article. After some digging, here’s the malware I found…a 300×250 iframe was inlining this URL: tradenton.com slash ?id=21610438…tradenton.com serves a 15-line HTML snipped containing this JavaScript…Requesting that action_URL on sex-and-the-city.cn actually serves a HTTP 302 Redirect to protection-check07.com slash 1/?sess=%3DGQx3jzwMi02MyZpcD0yMDguNzUuNTcuMTIxJnRpbWU9MTI1NjgwMI0MaQ%3DN. And we hit pay dirt. It’s a fake page for a non-existent antivirus app, which is actually malware…this page displays this JS alert…Then resizes the browser window into a full-screen application-style, as if it had become a virus scanner…” [http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/what-to-do-if-you-saw-an-antivirus-pop-up-ad/ ]

13. Net Vulnerabilities: They're Not Where You Think They Are http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/09/massive_study_o_1.html “…the biggest risk facing most systems is unpatched vulnerabilities in applications and that applications, not operating systems, have become the primary target of attack…flaws in applications go unpatched for much longer than OS holes. “On average,” the report concludes, “major organizations take at least twice as long to patch client-side vulnerabilities as they take to patch operating system vulnerabilities. In other words, the highest priority risk is getting less attention than the lower priority risk.”…The second priority…Web server-side applications are the target of more than 60% of all Internet attacks and that “Web application vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting flaws in open source as well as custom-built applications account for more than 80% of the vulnerabilities being discovered…most Web site owners fail to scan effectively for the common flaw…The combination of these two modes of attack is particularly deadly. Server vulnerabilities let attackers compromise Web sites and these hostile Web pages are then used to exploit application flaws that are used to compromise desktops and laptops…”

14. Trojan Hides Its Brain in Google Groups http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090911/tc_pcworld/trojanhidesitsbrainingooglegroups “…Virus writers keep getting sneakier. In an effort to evade detection, they've begun hiding their command and control instructions in legitimate Web 2.0 sites such as Google Groups and Twitter…security vendor Symantec spotted a Trojan horse program that's been programmed to visit a private Google Groups newsgroup, called escape2sun, where it can download encrypted instructions or even software updates…Today most criminals communicate with the machines they've hacked via IRC (Internet Relay Chat) servers, or by placing commands on obscure, hard-to-find Web sites. As system administrators are getting better at spotting and blocking these communications, the bad guys are "trying to hide these command and control messages inside legitimate traffic, so the presence of the traffic in and of itself doesn't raise a red flag…A system administrator can block access to IRC pretty easily, but blocking Twitter or Google is another matter altogether…”

15. Da Vinci Code Fans Targeted By Real International Conspiracy http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/09/dan-brown/ “…NBC’s Today show kicked off a week-long promotion for Brown’s Da Vinci sequel by airing the first of a series of clues to the thriller’s plot, in the form of a tour of a real-life biological research facility nicknamed the “Death Star”…Host Matt Lauer challenged viewers to identify the research site and its location, and thereby acquire vital information about the novel…But on Wednesday morning the top Google search result for “death star research” — the logical query — would bring you no closer to unraveling the Lost Symbol mystery. Instead, it produced a malicious website that uses pop-ups, mouse-trapping and a well-executed fake virus scan to trick you into installing a Windows executable that will screw up your computer pretty badly. The software is a scareware product called Smart Virus Eliminator that pesters you with false virus reports and urges you to pay anywhere from $59 to $79 for a “registered” version of the program. The code does other bad things as well, and is a well-known scam linked to an Eastern European cybercrime group…They stay glued to the news — they’re quick,” says Sean-Paul Correll, a threat researcher at Panda Security…“This gang is basically the biggest cybercrime organization on the internet right now.”…Searches on the California wildfires, Ted Kennedy’s death or Hurricane Danny, among others, have all turned up high or top-ranking scam pages delivering the same slick extortion code. Keeping up with the trends mean the attackers are rapidly setting up or reconfiguring networks of thousands of web pages that all link to one another — and the scam sites — using the hot keywords of the moment, thus gaming Google’s page rank algorithm…the rogue business is making as much as $34 million a month through the tactic…”

16. Windows 7's XP Mode Cripples Malware http://www.dailytech.com/Windows+7s+XP+Mode+Cripples+Malware+Gives+Attackers+Headaches/article16240.htm “…Windows 7 is shaping up to be much more secure than its predecessors…the largest public test of a commercial operating system to date…has earned the company both praise and scorn, but overall it's indicative of progress when it comes to security…some of Microsoft's best security features in Windows 7 are almost unintentional…Windows 7's security is thanks in part to the OS patching routes to inject malicious code into the memory…Additionally, Windows 7's XP Mode is likely to cause more headaches for attackers…With the OS now using hardware virtualization, attempts to gain the privileges necessary to launch the special hardware virtualization support needed by the rootkit tends to crash the OS or provide the user with warnings…Many malware programs will also be crippled by XP-Mode…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

17. Palm Pixi http://gizmodo.com/5355112/palm-pixi-hands-on-the-smaller-pre-with-a-better-keyboard-and-no-wi%20fi “…Palm Pixi is just what you'd get when you ask your engineers to take the Pre, keep as much stuff as possible, but make it smaller. It's a keyboarded candybar…It still runs webOS, still has a keyboard, still only for Sprint (for now) and can pretty much do everything the bigger Pre can do. There's no Wi-Fi, but GPS and the accelerometer are still there…”

18. Apple's iPod Evolution Could Mark End of Dedicated Devices http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Apples-iPod-Evolution-Could-Mark-End-of-Dedicated-Devices-611289/ “…as Apple's Sept. 9 event in San Francisco demonstrated, the era in which a consumer buys a piece of equipment that serves one function could very well be coming to an end. For a while after the 2001 debut of the first-generation iPod—a device whose form factor, while distinctive, seems positively clunky when compared with its descendants the iPod Nano and iPod Touch—Apple's digital media players did one thing: played music. Then Apple began to layer additional functionality into the devices. There was video and games and—with the release of the iPod Touch—the chance to download apps from the App Store. Now, the new iPod Nano, which the company rolled out during the Sept. 9 event, is capable of taking video…Steve Jobs reiterated Apple’s product strategy with regard to multi-functionality. "I'm sure there will always be dedicated devices," Jobs said, "and they may have a few advantages in doing just one thing. But I think the general-purpose devices will win the day. Because I think people just probably aren’t willing to pay for a dedicated device…”

19. Asustek Eee Keyboard coming http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=B809A059-1A64-67EA-E4BDECAADC4D2649 “…the Eee Keyboard, will hit markets in Europe and North America starting in October…The Eee Keyboard is a standard-sized computer keyboard with a built-in computer and 5-inch touchscreen on the right-hand side of the board. The device is designed to connect via wires or wirelessly to any device with a display screen, such as monitor, an LCD TV or a digital projector…The company envisions people carrying the Eee Keyboard around the house and using it to access the Internet or play games on their LCD TV or as a wireless keyboard at their computer desk. The Eee Keyboard carries a host of wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0 and Ultra Wideband HDMI (UWB high definition multimedia interface), in addition to ports for a number of connections, including USB 2.0, a VGA port, HDMI ports, and connections for headphones and microphones…”

20. How the Cliq May Make Handset Makers Uncomfortable http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/12/how-the-cliq-may-make-users-and-handset-makers-uncomfortable/ The Motorola Cliq is a provocative telephone…most people who pick it up will look at its ever-changing, multi-layered home screen, and drop it quickly, alienated and confused. But a significant number of people — the ones whose lives are now set to the pulsing beat of updates coming from Facebook, Twitter and their texting buddies — will say this is a phone that understands them more than any they’ve seen before…Motorola is saying that it is going to make its phones stand out, not by the hardware…or by its software…but through an Internet-based service…A modern smartphone is a tool that interacts with the world…But I’m not sure that even Motorola has confronted the full implications of the idea that the most value is provided through a service, rather than through a device. The company promises a few dozen phones over the next year and half, optimized for different groups of customers. The company won’t say what segments it has planned, but you can imagine business e-mail phones, photography phones, car navigation phones, music and video phones, game phones, and so on…”

Open Source

21. Microsoft founds, funds a new open-source foundation http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=3888 A new, non-profit open-source foundation — one dedicated to increasing the participation of commercial-source vendors in the open-source world — is being unveiled on September 10. Microsoft is providing the initial funding and is a founding member of the new group, known as the CodePlex Foundation…The group is pitching itself being complementary to other open-source foundations, rather than a rival…CodePlex.com launched in June of 2006 out of a need for a project hosting site that operated in a way that other forges didn’t – with features and structures that appealed to commercial software developers…”

22. Get the Most Out of Your Multicore Processor http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/tutorials/6840/1/ “…When you have four processor cores, does that mean everything runs four times faster? Or is everything still running on the first CPU and ignoring the others? How do you find out, and how do you make the best use of that shiny new multi-core processor?…”

23. Lubuntu: Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee http://www.linux-mag.com/cache/7520/1.html “…We have the official and non-official *buntus - Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu (sort of), Gobuntu (R.I.P), Mythbuntu, Eeebuntu, Fluxbuntu and Xubuntu. Not to mention Ubuntu Server Edition, Ubuntu MID Edition, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Ubuntu JeOS, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu this and Ubuntu that. It’s enough “buntu” to drive you mad and now we have Lubuntu. It’s Ubuntu with yet another desktop environment, LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), which is in-turn based on Openbox…”

24. Get Connected to the Internet Quickly http://practicallynetworked.com/howto/instant_on_operating_systems.htm “…You just sat down in a coffee shop with a few minutes to spare before your next appointment, which makes it a good opportunity to jump online and check e-mail or take care of other business…From a cold start, it can easily be five minutes or more before Windows loads, you've logged in and have network connectivity, and the system has settled down enough for you to start using it…An alternate way to minimize the time it takes to get your system online is to use a lightweight operating system that emphasizes connectivity and is designed for quick start up (and shut down)…If you'd like to put an instant-on OS on an existing notebook, you have a couple of options. One option is Presto, a version of Xandros Linux…Presto sets up your system to dual-boot with Windows…Another instant-on option is HyperSpace (also Linux-based) from Phoenix Technologies…There are a handful of systems that even come with instant-on environments pre-installed…”


25. Google Launches Internet Stat Center http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_launches_internet_stat_center.php “…Google has launched a new resource called "Google Internet Stats" which brings together industry facts and insights from across five different industries. Using a number of third party vendors as sources, the stats tool parses through online data to reveal Twitter-sized snippets and factoids…The collection of statistics is broken down into five main areas of focus: Technology, Macro Economic Trends, Media Landscape, Media Consumption, and Consumer Trends. Within each topic are subcategories…”

26. Google moves toward micropayments for newspapers http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10349375-93.html “…Google's plans are detailed in a document the company sent to the Newspaper Association for America…"While currently in the early planning stages, micropayments will be a payment vehicle available to both Google and non-Google properties within the next year…The idea is to allow viable payments of a penny to several dollars by aggregating purchases across merchants and over time. Google will mitigate the risk of non-payment by assigning credit limits based on past purchasing behavior and having credit card instruments on file for those with higher credit limits…”

27. Play Google Voice messages in Gmail http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/new-in-labs-play-google-voice-messages.html “…For those of you who already use Google Voice, you're probably used to receiving voicemail notifications via email. A couple of minutes after someone leaves a voicemail on your Google Voice number, you'll receive an email showing who called, an automated transcript of the voicemail, and a link to play the message. You can click the link to listen to the message right from your computer. Previously, clicking "Play message" opened a new page in your browser, but starting today, you can play voicemails right in Gmail. Just turn on the Google Voice player from the Gmail Labs tab under Settings and whenever you get a voicemail notification, the player will appear right below the message itself…”

28. Google Chrome Goes 3.0 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/chrome_goes_30_gets_themes_improved_omnibox.php “…Chrome 3 isn't just more stable than previous versions but also considerably faster…The new stable version will also feature Chrome's new Safari-like New Tab page, an improved Omnibox and better HTML5 capabilities, as well as support for Chrome themes…”

29. The People’s Republic of Google http://www.cringely.com/2009/09/the-peoples-republic-of-google/ “…Google isn’t organized like any tech company I’ve ever worked in, that’s for sure. Peer review seems to be at the heart of nearly everything. Yes, there are executives doing whatever it is that executives do up in the Eric/Larry/Sergeysphere, but down where the bits meet the bus most decisions seem to be reached through a combination of peer review-driven concensus…all code there is peer reviewed TO DEATH. The result is absolutely the cleanest code in the digital world…And the code had better be clean, because at Google developers outnumber testers by 50-to-1…At Google I am told developers bid for what they want to do with their time. If there’s a big job to be done people commit to parts of it. And the parts nobody commits to do? They don’t get done. Really. So when we wonder exactly how a JotSpot, which I really liked, turns into a Google Sites, which I really don’t like…comes from people changing what they want to change. There is no marketing input. Effectively, there is no marketing. I am not making this up…”

30. Google Helps Users Jump Ship to Rival Web Services http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/171827/google_helps_users_jump_ship_to_rival_web_services.html “…Google is making it as easy as possible for people to migrate away from its services -- including Google Docs, Gmail and Blogger…It's hard to get people to trust a company enough to hand over all their personal data, whether it be e-mail, photos, or blogs said Brian Fitzpatrick, Google's engineering manager in charge of a two-year-old project jokingly dubbed the Data Liberation Front…The Front, a team of Google engineers based in Chicago, have focused on exactly that. Over the past two years they have been simplifying the process of exporting, as well as importing, people's data from and to Google's applications…”

31. Make Google Search Real-Time With This URL Hack http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/make_google_search_real-time_with_this_url_hack.php Google web search results can be limited by timeframe using the "search options" link on every page…Startup search engine Omgili's CEO Ran Geva wrote on his company blog today that time-limited search results pages include a parameter called QDR - perhaps standing for Query Date Range. You can change the number following the letters qdr and change the timeframe for your search. By default when you click on "search options" and limit a search to the last day, the qdr appears as "d." Change that to "n" and you'll be limited to results from the last minute, to "n10" and you'll see results discovered in the last 10 minutes…”

32. 11 useful Windows apps that tie in to your GMail account http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/08/28/11-useful-windows-apps-that-tie-in-to-your-gmail-account/ “…Love your GMail account but want to do more with it? If you're a Windows user, there are plenty of great (and free) apps that take advantage of your massive inbox in the cloud…GBridge sets up a Hamachi-like VPN…GMail Drive…GMail Backup…”

33. Google's Fast Flip is for publishers http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/sep/15/digital-media-newspapers “…the reviews of Google's Fast Flip experiment – which lets you browse sequentially through news as if flicking through a magazine – have been quite measured. No wonder, after the heated debate that publishers initiated about the death of quality journalism on the internet…Google focusing on quality journalism isn't enough to save the world's broadsheets. But it is good for Google's imageWhen you finish flipping through a whole newspaper, you have the good feeling, as if you have accomplished something. You feel informed. Did you ever have that feeling at the end of a session clicking through a news portal?...Fast Flip is actually not about giving you a fast overview about all the news; it confronts you with less news. It is about reduction in a world where information overload is an everyday problem…At this point the experiment researches only 39 news sources - and the only UK one is the BBC…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_fast_flip_the_best_google_could_do_to_save_the_news.php]

General Technology

34. Western Digital introduces smarter, more intuitive backup drives http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/10/western-digital-introduces-smarter-more-intuitive-backup-drives/ Try as they might, the hard drive companies just can’t convince consumers to backup their precious computer data. Only about 14 percent of consumers use an external hard drive, according to hard disk maker Western Digital. That’s why the company is introducing backup drives today with smarter software on them that makes it simple to do a backup. This is part of a consistent theme these days: innovation makes things simpler to do, not more complex…WD used to have a bunch of different software utilities that did this. Now the single WD SmartWare program does it all…”

35. Can you see time? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8248589.stm Imagine if you could see time laid out in front of you, or surrounding your body. And you could physically point to specific dates in space. Important dates might stand out - birthdays, anniversaries. And you could scan a visible timeline - to check if you were available - whenever you made plans. No actual diary necessary. According to Julia Simner, a psychologist from the University of Edinburgh, there is a reasonable chance you can…”

36. SanDisk Launches Speedy Extreme Pro CompactFlash Card http://www.pcworld.com/article/171903/sandisk_launches_speedy_extreme_pro_compactflash_card.html “…Not all flash memory cards are created alike…the new SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash Card…in 16GB to 64GB…can achieve up to 90 megabytes per second read/write performance in a digital SLR that supports UDMA (mode 6)…If you have a newer digital SLR that supports the fast UDMA (mode 6) interface…a card like the SanDisk Extreme Pro can be well worth its high price…” [16GB has MSRP of $300 while the 64GB is $800]

37. 822.11n now official http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090911/tc_pcworld/superfastwifistandardnofficialconsumerfaq “…802.11n, is now official paving the way for faster, more reliable, and more efficient wireless networks. That means improvements to streaming of HD content, better performance for applications running on a Wi-Fi network such as VoIP, and longer laptop batter life given 802.11n chips use less power…Theoretically, 802.11n can reach speeds of 600 Mbps, and even that assumes you're using wireless n's maximum four spatial streams. For now, the Wi-Fi alliance will be testing products with three streams, putting the maximum at 450 Mbps. By comparison, the old 802.11b/g standard reached 64 Mbps…”

38. Hotshot: FIRST Tech Challenge http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS70336+12-Sep-2009+BW20090912 “…The FIRST Tech Challenge is an intermediate robotics competition designed for 14 to 18 year-old high-school students, where teams of up to ten students work alongside mentors, applying real-world math and science concepts to solve the annual challenge…This year, the Hotshot! robotic game allows for a variety of mechanical solutions for scoring; but favors shooting mechanisms over lifting mechanisms - that mirrors the kind of real-world trade-offs engineers face every day. We have deliberately developed a game with a multi-tiered scoring target and multiple strategies of play to underscore the design trade-offs that the teams must make when building their robots…”

Leisure & Entertainment

39. Rhapsody Lands on the iPhone http://www.pcworld.com/article/171728/rhapsody_lands_on_the_iphone.html “…The admission of the Rhapsody app to the App Store follows the high-profile approval of the Spotify for iPhone app, an unlimited streaming music service available only in select European countries. When Apple approved Spotify, it was one of the first times the company had approved an app that offered features that could be said to duplicate those already offered on the phone. Rhapsody's service is similar to Spotify, as it offers U.S. users a hosted music catalog of 8 million tracks to listen to on-demand on their iPhone or iPod touch…Rhapsody for iPhone does not have the capability to store songs or playlists for offline listening, so your music ends where your Internet connection does (say while on a flight). In comparison, Spotify for iPhone can store up to 3,000 songs locally, for you to enjoy whenever…”

40. Listening to Radio on the Web? That’s So Last Year http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/listening-to-radio-on-the-web-thats-so-last-year/ “…Pandora, which runs a popular streaming radio Web site, on Wednesday released its application for phones running Google’s Android software. It’s available for download in the Android Market. Pandora is now available on the Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Palm Pre, and most of Pandora’s new listeners are listening on their phones — whether it’s while walking down the street or by plugging their phones into speakers in their cars or homes. Of the 65,000 people who register for a Pandora account each day, 45,000 do so on mobile phones, said Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder. Three-quarters of the new mobile listeners are new to Pandora, as opposed to long-time Web listeners downloading the mobile app. “I’m beginning to think that our future is going to be more mobile-centric than I had even thought, and sooner,” he said…”

41. Storytelling startup Massiverse set to launch its first cross-media tale http://games.venturebeat.com/2009/09/14/massiverse-bets-on-multiple-media-with-dragons-vs-robots/ “…Trying to tell a story…across multiple media is called Transmedia storytelling. And that’s what Massiverse is going for with its new Dragons Vs Robots…the New York-based company is launching the transmedia property about an epic battle between science and nature, between sci-fi and fantasy. It starts as both a free-to-play online battle game, where you can start for free but have to pay for upgrades, and a kids’ comic book in the Japanese manga tradition…A live action film is under way in collaboration with Jinks/Cohen Productions…the company also expects to produce novels, animated web videos, toys and more…”

42. iPod Touch: Steve Jobs is going after the game market http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/10/steve-jobs-is-going-after-the-game-market/ “…Apple chief executive Steve Jobs emphasized that Apple was going after the video game market, particularly with its iPod Touch gadget. That explains why there is no camera in the iPod Touch — a topic of much debate today, as Apple introduced a video camera in the iPod Nano but not the iPod Touch…Jobs said in the New York Times interview, “Originally, we weren’t exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine,” he said. “We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is it’s the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and that’s the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We don’t need to add new stuff. We need to get the price down where everyone can afford it…”

43. iPod Nano vs. Flip Mino: Game On http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090911/tc_pcworld/ipodnanovsflipminogameon “…PC World has released a head-to-head comparison of the iPod Nano's video function against other popular video-enabled devices. The comparison, of course, included the current darling and market leader in the camcorder world, the Pure Digital Flip Mino. When it comes to quality, the Nano just doesn't match up with the Mino…So the Nano loses out on picture quality, but, just like other devices created by Cupertino, this latest Apple gadget could still take a bite out of the competition. Here's why…”

44. Get BioShock (PC) and other games for $5 each http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-10352933-58.html Game-download service Direct2Drive is celebrating its 5-year anniversary by offering a large selection of games (all for PC) for $5 each. My top pick: BioShock…”

Economy and Technology

45. eBay’s grip on its market is going, going ... gone http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/sathnam_sanghera/article6823840.ece “…EBay still has a number of big problems…nowadays a significant proportion of eBay users seem to be scammers and villains. It’s the internet equivalent of shopping in East L.A. I ended up advertising a single old mobile phone three times before it finally sold, because on the first two occasions it attracted fraudulent bids from abroad. (I got charged for all three listings, of course, and, I tell you, it is true torment waiting for a response, let alone a refund, from eBay.) Bidding for items didn’t prove any less agonising than selling things…eBay has responded to the significant threat posed by all the scammers and phishers out there with half-baked security measures that serve only to infuriate users while doing little to deter the villains…most worrying, the management has not come to terms with eBay’s new status in the world…In the real, non-internet world, people have for decades preferred dealing with brand names that offer consistency and reliability…The second-hand market has only ever represented a tiny portion of total commerce, and a declining fascination with online auctions is surely just a sign that the internet world is back on a path to convergence with the real world…”

46. Intuit to buy Mint for $170 million http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/14/report-intuit-to-buy-mint-for-170-million/ “…Intuit, the company behind Quicken…is reportedly buying online personal finance site Mint for $170 million…Mint, which has raised more than $31 million in three rounds of financing and pulled in 1.4 million users, gets a nice exit while Intuit gets an innovative upstart and rival to its existing Quicken products. Mint, an online personal finance organizer, syncs all of your bank accounts and gives you analytics to look at your wealth and spending habits…”

47. KOMO Communities: Seattle hyperlocal http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2009/09/14/story7.html “…Fisher Communications, parent of KOMO-TV and radio, boosted its investment in “hyperlocal” news in August with the launch of 43 blogs for communities around the Seattle region…Fisher also plans to work with existing bloggers, and incorporate content contributed by its viewers and readers…We had the idea to work with Realtors because they drive around and they have cameras, and they do a lot of community work, obviously, with their jobs. The one rule that we have with them is that they can’t write about real estate…” [http://communities.komonews.com/ ]

48. Market Estimates for Top Ten Medical Device Technologies http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS169347+11-Sep-2009+BW20090911 “…The report provides in-depth market estimates and forecast for top ten medical device technologies as follows: * Diagnostic imaging (nuclear imaging, interventional radiology, capsule endoscopy and others) * Drug delivery (needle free injections, transdermal systems, inhalation system, infusion system) * Molecular diagnostics (biosensors, proteomics, nanotechnology, and others) * Mobility aid technologies * Minimal/non-invasive surgery (stents, bariatric surgery, medical robotics and others) * Micro-fluids and MEMS (Miniature medical pressure sensors, bio chips, protein chips) * Non-invasive monitoring (continuous blood glucose monitoring) * Biomaterials (bionic limbs, joint replacement, antimicrobial wound dressing and others) * Bio-implants (neurostimulation and others) * Tele-medicines…”

Civilian Aerospace

49. An Invasion Of Start-Ups From Outer Space http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2009/09/11/an-invasion-of-start-ups-from-outer-space/ “…Imagine a potential investor trying to keep a straight face when an entrepreneur says the market reach of their business spans…galaxies…We’re excited to bring two groups together – entrepreneurs in the space sector and seed and early-stage investors, angels, small venture capital firms, individuals and institutional investors,” said Paul Eckert, the summit’s executive coordinator and an international and commercial strategist for The Boeing Company. The event is organized by the Space Investment Summit Coalition, an international group of companies and nonprofit organizations that aim to educate entrepreneurs regarding how to attract seed and early-stage investment, while informing investors about space-related business opportunities…”

50. Armadillo lunar lander qualifies for prize http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/09/11/2064885.aspx Armadillo Aerospace qualified to win a million dollars of NASA's money today by accomplishing a rocket-powered round trip modeled after a moon landing. The team's remote-controlled Scorpius rocket (formerly known as the Super Mod) blasted off from its Texas launch pad, rose into the sky and floated over to set down on a mock moon landing pad. After refueling, Scorpius blasted off again for what one observer called a "perfect flight" back to the original launch pad. The judges confirmed that Armadillo satisfied all the contest requirements. Scorpius made pinpoint landings within a meter of each landing pad's center target, according to William Pomerantz…” [ http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/Armadillo/Home/News?news_id=367 http://www.dallasnews.com/video/dallasnews/hp/index.html?nvid=398008 ]

51. Dumitru Popescu Builds His Dream Rocket http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-diamandis/launching-commercial-spac_b_282424.html “…In 2000, I recruited a highly educated and skilled Aerospace team; started a small commercial space organization in a country where that is unprecedented; and dedicated all of my spare time and money to a contest I was sure we would not win. THAT is the power of incentivized competition. I first heard about the X PRIZE Foundation by pure coincidence. My wife and I were surfing the web in an internet cafe when my search for rocket engines unearthed the Ansari X PRIZE website, which would change my life forever. I learned about the competition to privately launch a rocket into sub-orbit. As someone with a lifelong passion for Aviation and Astronautics, as well as a degree from the Aerospace University in Bucharest, I have always wanted to build civilian rockets, but in Romania this sort of activity is limited to the military…my wife and I teamed up with University students to create ARCA, a private organization that would eventually build a rocket to compete for the Ansari X PRIZE. From the beginning, my colleagues were skeptical about whether or not we could make ARCA a serious organization, let alone be a serious contender in the X PRIZE competition…In the end, Burt and his team claimed the $10 Million Ansari X PRIZE. A lot of teams were disappointed as they found themselves suddenly left without a main objective. We at ARCA decided to keep moving forward…”

52. Take an Orbital Vacation on a Surplus Soviet Military Spacecraft http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-amp-space/article/2009-09/35-million-orbital-vacation-surplus-russian-military-spacecraft “…Excalibur…is asking $35 million for a weeklong stay aboard a Soviet-era military spacecraft…The Almaz spacecraft represent a 1970s throwback…the Almaz spacecraft may now fly again aboard a Russian Proton or Soyuz rocket, or possibly even the private U.S. Falcon 9 rocket…”

53. Spacecraft could surf gravitational tubes http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/6171848/Spacecraft-could-surf-gravitational-tubes-to-make-solar-travel-more-efficient.html “…twisting "tubes"…can be used to cut the cost of space travel. Each one acts like a gravitational version of the Gulf Stream, created from the complex interplay of forces between planets and moons…The pathways connect sites called Lagrangian points where gravitational forces balance out…The idea is there are low energy pathways winding between planets and moons that would slash the amount of fuel needed to explore the solar system…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

54. NVIDIA CUDA Drives Innovation in Broadcast and Film Production http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-CUDA-Drives-Innovation-in-Broadcast-and-Film-Production-58503217.html “…NVIDIA Corporation, the worldwide leader in visual computing, is making it possible for production houses to work faster and easier with the immense quantity of high-resolution data generated for HDTV, Blu-Ray and 4K digital cinema…The new solution harnesses the massively parallel processing capabilities of the NVIDIA Quadro graphics processing unit (GPU) to deliver high-resolution, real-time color grading and image processing, and was utilized on recent big screen blockbusters, such as "Star Trek" and "Terminator Salvation." "The performance benefits of CUDA-enabled GPUs are remarkable, offering processing power that's up to 20-times faster than our previous generation solution," said Gary Adams, da Vinci product manager…”

55. OpenCL Promises and Potential http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Compilers-and-More-OpenCL-Promises-and-Potential-58625442.html “…OpenCL is the first open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of modern processors found in personal computers, servers and handheld/embedded devices." That last comment leaves me rankled, since I'm personally deeply involved in OpenMP, another open, royalty-free standard for parallel programming of modern processors; perhaps there are enough adjectival phrases in the OpenCL statement to distinguish it. At the SC08 OpenCL Technical Briefing, Tim Mattson from Intel, who is also deeply involved in OpenMP language development, gushed about how we now finally have a portable parallel programming model, and predicted that half the people in the room would be using OpenCL by the next SC conference. I guess we'll see in just a couple of months…”

56. Researchers Find Cheaper Parallel Processing Using Xbox http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Researchers-Find-Cheaper-Parallel-Processing-Using-Xbox-59048557.html “…Dr Simon Scarle, a researcher in the University of Warwick's WMG Digital Laboratory, wished to model how electrical excitations in the heart moved around damaged cardiac cells in order to investigate or even predict cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal electrical activity in the heart which can lead to a heart attack). To conduct these simulations using traditional CPU based processing one would normally need to book time on a dedicated parallel processing computer or spend thousands on a parallel network of PCs. Dr Scarle however also had a background in the computer games industry as he had been a software engineer at the Warwickshire firm Rare Ltd, part of Microsoft Games Studios. His time there made him very aware of the parallel processing power of the graphical processing unit (GPU) of the Xbox 360, the popular computer games console played in many homes. He was convinced that this chip could, for a few hundred pounds, be employed to conduct much the same scientific modelling as several thousand pounds of parallel network PCs…”



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home