2009/10/06

NEW NET Issues List for 06 Oct 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the WEDNESDAY, 06 October 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel, 3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. IBM Aims at Google, Microsoft With New Webmail http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173003/ibm_aims_at_google_microsoft_with_new_webmail.html IBM has launched LotusLive iNotes, an on-demand e-mail, calendaring and contact management system meant to compete with the likes of Gmail and Microsoft Exchange…Pricing starts at US$3 per user per month, undercutting Google Apps Premier Edition, which costs $50 per user per year. IBM is aiming the software at large enterprises that want to migrate an on-premise e-mail system to SaaS (software as a service)…”

2. Xobni now featuring Twitter! http://www.xobni.com/blog/2009/09/30/xobni-now-featuring-twitter/ “…Twitter is now integrated with Xobni. When you click on an Outlook email message from a contact, that contact’s Xobni profile will now contain their recent tweets. You can reply, retweet, follow, view that contact’s Twitter profile, or even post a new tweet. This feature will be a powerful addition to the existing integrations we have with Facebook, LinkedIn, Hoover’s, Skype, and Yahoo! Mail…”

3. Automated attacks push malware on Facebook http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10365340-245.html Facebook on Thursday fended off an attack in which multiple identical profiles were created to spread malware…each included a link to what was represented as a home video but which instead displayed a fake antivirus alert when clicked. The scams are designed to trick people into paying for software they don't need, to get credit card information from victims for identity fraud purposes, and often to install spyware on the computer. "Clearly, the Data Snatchers have found a way to automate the creation of Facebook accounts, which means they've found a way to bypass the Facebook Captcha…”

4. Ask.com starts coupon search site http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/ask-deals/ “…Ask.com is launching a new specialty search engine Tuesday that indexes the net’s top bargain-hunting sites…Ask Deals, which hunts down coupons and sales, takes its place besides Ask’s more conventional tabs for news, video and image searches…Ask says its crawler has already identified more than a million deals, and it constantly drops and adds deals as it looks for new ones at sites ranging from Amazon.com to user-submitted message boards for deals, like Slickdeals.net…”

5. Apple Gets A Mapmaker. Where Does That Leave Google? http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/30/apple-gets-a-mapmaker-where-does-that-leave-google/ “…Apple has very quietly bought an online mapping company…It could well signal yet another rift in the relationship between Google and Apple…such a purchase could potentially allow Apple to move away from its dependency on Google Maps, which it uses on the iPhone…much has been made about Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice app…they also rejected…Google’s Latitude app, forcing Google to make a browser-based version. The reason Apple gave for not approving it was that it would confuse users with the built-in Maps application on the iPhone — the one that runs, yes Google Maps. And Google actually helped Apple build the entire Maps application, aside from just letting them use their mapping data. So this whole episode has been bizarre, to say the least…”

6. Adding Health Advice to Online Medical Records http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/technology/06bosworth.html “…a start-up company led by Adam Bosworth, former head of the Google Health team, plans to become the newest entrant to the online consumer health business…surveys show that a majority of adults in America routinely scour the Internet for health information. Doctors joke that the standard second opinion of diagnosis and treatment has become a patient’s Google search, with the results printed out and brought to the doctor’s office…the Web is still mainly a vast trove of generalized health information. The ideal, health experts say, would be to combine personal data with health information to deliver tailored health plans for individuals. That is what Mr. Bosworth and his San Francisco-based company, Keas (pronounced KEE-ahs) Inc., mean to do…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Spooks want govt to block Skype http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/india/Spooks-want-govt-to-block-Skype/articleshow/5082066.cms Intelligence agencies have asked the government to consider blocking Skype as operators of the popular global VoIP…engine are refusing to share the encryption code that prevents Indian investigators from intercepting conversations of suspected terrorists…The urgency to track Skype calls stems from the fact that terrorists -- as the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai showed -- are increasingly using VoIP services. The shift to VoIP has been prompted by the growing ability of intelligence agencies to intercept mobile and other calls…”

8. Obama bans "texting while driving" for 4.5M govt workers http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/10/texting-and-driving-bans-reach-new-heights-with-obama-order.ars “…as of Thursday, all government employees are banned from texting while driving whenever they are on the job, driving a federal vehicle, or using a government-supplied cell phone. The executive order affects nearly 4.5 million employees across the US…”

9. Informed P2P User Act to clamp down on filesharing software http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/10/informed-p2p-user-act-to-clamp-down-on-filesharing-software.ars “…"Informed P2P User Act"…does two simple things. First, it requires P2P software vendors to provide "clear and conspicuous" notice about the files being shared by the software and then obtain user consent for sharing them. Second, it prohibits P2P programs from being exceptionally sneaky; surreptitious installs are forbidden, and the software cannot prevent users from removing it…simply tries make sure that people know what they're sharing, and that they know what software is installed on their machines…”

10. Microsoft Blocks Hacked Hotmail Accounts http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=220301340 Microsoft…blocking all access to thousands of Hotmail e-mail accounts that were compromised as a result of massive Internet phishing scam. "Several thousand Windows Live Hotmail customers' credentials were exposed on a third-party site," as a result of the scam, Microsoft officials conceded…we are taking measures to block access to all of the accounts that were exposed and have resources in place to help those users reclaim their accounts…” [ http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/10000-passwords/ ] [Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and Others Also Hit by Phishing Attack http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/gmail_yahoo_aol_and_others_also_hit_by_phishing_attack.php ]

11. FBI Investigated Coder for Liberating Paywalled Court Records http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/swartz-fbi/ “…When 22-year-old programmer Aaron Swartz decided last fall to help an open-government activist amass a public and free copy of millions of federal court records, he did not expect he’d end up with an FBI agent trying to stake out his house. But that’s what happened, as Swartz found out this week when he got his FBI file through a Freedom of Information Act request. A partially-redacted FBI report shows the feds mounted a serious investigation of Swartz for helping put public documents onto the public web…the U.S. court system told the feds he’d pilfered approximately 18 million pages of documents worth $1.5 million dollars…The Great Court Records Caper began last year when the judiciary and the Government Printing Office experimented with giving away free access to PACER at 17 select libraries around the country. Swartz decided to use the trial to grab as many of the public court records as he could and, perversely, release them to the public. He visited one of the libraries — the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals library in Chicago — and installed a small PERL script he’d written. The code cycled sequentially through case numbers, requesting a new document from PACER every three seconds. In this manner, Swartz got nearly 20 million pages of court documents…The script ran for a couple of weeks — from September 4 to 22, until the court system’s IT department realized something was wrong…None of the records, of course, were private or sealed…”

12. Transparency and financial liability coming to blog reviews http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/10/more-transparency-coming-to-blog-reviews-under-new-ftc-rules.ars “…the Federal Trade Commission for the first time, as the agency has finalized new rules governing bloggers and the products they write about. "Consumer-generated media" outlets (e.g., bloggers) will now have to disclose if they are being compensated by a manufacturer, advertiser, or service provider when they review an item. So if a blogger gets a laptop from a manufacturer to review and gets to keep it, he or she will have to make that fact public. The new guidelines don't tell bloggers how they need to make the disclosure, but they do lay out the penalties: up to $11,000 per violation with the possibility of injunctions to boot. The FTC could also order that consumers be reimbursed in cases where a relationship between blogger and advertiser isn't disclosed and they suffer financial harm because of it…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. New Apps Superimpose Wikipedia Over Your iPhone Camera View of the World http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/two_apps_now_superimpose_wikipedia_over_your_iphon.php “…What is that mountain you're driving past? Just point your iPhone at it and you can read its Wikipedia entry. Science fiction? Not anymore. Two new apps for viewing Wikipedia entries about physical locations you look at through your iPhone camera are now available…Wikitude and Cyclopedia are the names of the apps and both require the new iPhone 3GS…because the 3GS is the first iPhone with an internal compass…”

14. Nero goes from disc burning to Motorola Cliq with MobileSync http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/09/nero-goes-from-disc-burning-to-motorola-cliq-with-mobilesync.ars “…As new details emerge about the Cliq, one of the facts that has been revealed is that the device's desktop syncing program is based on relatively new software from Nero called MobileSync…It aims to provide an end-to-end solution for managing multimedia, calendar, and contact information on devices in a way that is seamless, standards-based, and platform-neutral…Nero is probably best known for its CD-burning software, so the company's jump into mobile syncing software intrigues me on several levels…Companies like Nero will have to adapt and find new markets as optical media eventually fades into relative obscurity…There are definitely a lot of new technical challenges that are introduced by the modern portable media devices that are displacing older optical technology. Consumers need easier and more intuitive ways to get their content onto portable devices and reencode it into compatible formats…this is an aspect of mobile computing that Apple has nailed. One of the factors that has contributed significantly to Apple's success in the mobile device space is the seamlessness of their content management ecosystem, with iTunes and MobileMe…”

15. Verizon to sell 2 Google phones this year http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/10/verizon-android-phones/ “…Verizon announced that it will have two Android based phones in the “coming weeks.” It hasn’t said which Android phones will be on its network but there are two likely candidates: Motorola Sholes and the HTC Hero.…”

16. Windows Mobile 6.5, WinMobileMarketplace and Win MyPhone launch http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10368174-94.html “…as Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.5 phones hit the market, two of its mobile services are officially launching. Brand new to 6.5 phones are Windows Marketplace for Mobile--an application storefront like that found on iPhone, BlackBerry, and every other major mobile OS--and a Web-based backup and sharing service called My Phone…There's also a self-service return policy that gives you a full refund from unwanted apps within a 24-hour period…limited to one refund per month to avoid abusing the system…If you're not planning to pick up a Windows 6.5 phone yet, Marketplace should also be available to download to 6.0 and 6.1 phones before the end of 2009…My Phone backup and media sharing service is well known from its public beta. Through its online dashboard, you can access and manage contacts, calendar, texts, and photos and videos (no e-mail or apps). At launch, you'll be able to post photos to Windows Live, Flickr, Facebook, and MySpace…Starting Tuesday and for 60 days until the end of November, Microsoft is offering a free, limited use trial of My Phone's commercial capabilities. As in the beta, My Phone limits you to 200MB in media storage…”

17. HTC launches HD2 WinMobile 6.5 smartphone http://www.gearlog.com/2009/10/htc_launches_stunning_hd2_smar.php “…the HD2, a Windows Mobile 6.5-powered smartphone that's just 0.4-inches thick. That's despite its enormous 4.3-inch, 480-by-800-pixel capacitive touch display and next-generation 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile CPU…display is almost an inch bigger than the iPhone's 3.5-inch…HTC HD2 will be the first Windows Mobile smartphone to feature multi-touch…The device includes a 5-megapixel camera…”

18. IP Camera turns your iPhone into a security cam http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-10367994-248.html “…A new app called IP Camera…takes a photo from your iPhone's camera every 12 to 15 seconds, then posts it to a local Web page that can be accessed from other computers on the same network. All that's needed for setup is to make sure your phone is on Wi-Fi, then to jot down the special local HTTP address it gives you. It will keep running until you quit the application manually or get a phone call… the iPod universal dock and iPhone 3G dock are both angled in such a way that makes it incredibly easy to perch your phone on a bookshelf or on top of a coworker's cube and get a great view. They'll never suspect you're watching their every move…”

19. Ion-powered HP Mini 311 Test Results http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/hp-mini-311.aspx When is a netbook not a netbook? PC makers have been looking to expand the definition of these systems by outfitting them with larger screens and bigger batteries, but one constant has remained: a low-powered processor that limits their use to surfing the Web, checking e-mail, editing documents, and watching standard-def video. Then along comes Nvidia’s Ion, a graphics processor that will allow netbook users to go from merely consuming media to creating it. The HP Mini 311 ($399) is the first Ion-based netbook to hit the U.S. market, and we’re impressed by its ability to deliver high-def video playback, better gameplay, and faster video editing. Even better, you get the long endurance we’ve come to expect from this category…”

Open Source

20. Systems Integrator Dials Skype for Asterisk http://www.thevarguy.com/2009/10/01/systems-integrator-dials-skype-for-asterisk/ “…Foehn Ltd., a UK-based systems integrator, has completed its first ever Skype for Asterisk enterprise deployment…Plenty of small and midsize businesses quietly depend on Skype for instant messaging and low cost (or free) voice communications….Asterisk — the open source IP PBX — has gained critical mass as both a hosted and on-premise phone solution…Digium announced a Skype for Asterisk software module that “enables businesses to take advantage of low-cost calling to landlines and mobile phones, and free calling to registered Skype users…”

21. JayCut video editor for netbooks http://moblinzone.com/blog/580/37/Mini-review_JayCut_video_editor_for_netbooks “…Swedish start-up JayCut began offering video editing software to netbook OS integrators using Moblin technology…I found the thought of editing video on a netbook so improbable, I had to check it out myself. Surprisingly, it actually works. As well as your network connection works…JayCut for netbooks seems intended mainly for travelers, who could use it to post slick, polished travel videos from the road…”

22. Celestia 3D Space Simulation Software For Linux http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/celestia-astronomy-linux-program.html “…Celestia is a real-time visual space simulation astronomy program. It is a cross platform, open source software and released under the GNU General Public License. NASA and ESA have used Celestia in their educational and for interfacing to trajectory analysis software. It allows users to travel through an extensive universe, modeled after reality, at any speed, in any direction and at any time in history. Celestia displays and interacts with objects ranging in scale from artificial satellites to entire galaxies in three dimensions using OpenGL. It is a perfect software for astronomer, educator, student, and teacher for astronomy purpose…”

23. Improve Your Battery Life With PowerTOP http://maketecheasier.com/improve-your-battery-life-with-powertop/2009/10/01 “…I love…Linux, but when it comes to maximizing battery life performance, there is very little to desire. On the frontend, you might be running very few applications, but unknown to you, there are actually plenty of applications running in the backend that are quietly draining away your battery. Compiz, workspace, dock are few such examples. As a result, a battery that used to last 3 hours can only last for 2 hours (or less) now…PowerTOP is an application that allows you to view information about programs that are misbehaving while your computer is idle. With this information, you can then make changes and optimize your computer to squeeze more juice out of your laptop battery…”

24. Install MS office2007 on ubuntu using PlayOnLinux http://www.unixmen.com/linux-tutorials/421-install-ms-office2007-on-ubuntu-using-playonlinux PlayOnLinux is a piece of sofware which allows you to easily install and use numerous games and softwares designed to run with Microsoft®'s Windows®. In this tutorial i will show you how to install MS office 2007 student using Playonlinux on ubuntu jaunty jackalope, the installation has been tested also on a ubuntu 9.10 karmic koala beta…”

SkyNet

25. Google SketchUp Delights the Mind http://www.pcworld.com/article/173009/article.html “…SketchUp was originally designed for architects, but is so easy to use that first-grade students can play with it. Whoever designed SketchUp understands how the human mind works because within a few minutes of my using SketchUp I started giggling with delight. I don't have much talent at drawing, but one of the first things I designed in SketchUp was a simple 3D art museum. Here is how I came to design that museum…you might be wondering, “What is the best way of getting into Google SketchUp without buying any books?" First, I'd browse through some of the excellent SketchUp screencasts on YouTube. I love showing people this YouTube video on how to create a chair using SketchUp…Then I would search YouTube for any of the SketchUp videos made by Aida Chopra, Google's chief evangelist for SketchUp. Aidan is the author of Google SketchUp for Dummies. He is an outstanding explainer…”

26. Google urges Web adoption of vector graphics http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10365636-264.html “…Google…is hosting the SVG Open 2009 conference that begins Friday to dig into a standard called Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)…With growing support from browser makers, an appetite for vector graphics among Web programmers, and new work under way to make SVG a routine part of the Web, the technology has its best chance in years at becoming mainstream. New Web programming standards are hard to nurture…First they're ignored, then they're hyped, then they're written off for dead, then they start getting real work done," Neuberg said. Bitmap images…don't scale gracefully to different sizes…Vector graphics describe imagery mathematically with lines, curves, shapes, and color values rather than the grid of colored pixels used by bitmapped file formats such as JPEG or GIF widely used on the Web today…”

27. Google Pushes Push Gmail To iPhone And Windows Mobile http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2009/09/google_pushes_p.html “…Google finally upgraded Google Sync to include push Gmail services on the iPhone and Windows Mobile devices…This means Gmail will be delivered instantly rather than pulled at 15, 30, or 60-minute intervals. I rely on Gmail day in and day out for most of my business communications. One of my long-standing complaints with the iPhone and Gmail is that push email hasn't been supported…”

28. Ribbit injects voice into Google Wave release http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/09/29/ribbit-injects-voice-into-google-wave-release/ Ribbit, one of the earliest web-based telephone services (acquired last year by British telecom giant BT), plans to ride Google Wave’s coattails — announcing the integration of several gadgets allowing voice calls, phone conferencing, text messaging and voicemail transcription into the search engine’s new, much-hyped communication platform. These services, available in the limited beta release going live tomorrow, are meant to introduce voice as a major pillar of net communications, along with email, social networks and instant messaging. Google’s Wave ties all of these modes (and groups of people) together into a single interface…”

29. Google lands energy device partner http://green.venturebeat.com/2009/10/05/google-lands-energy-device-partner-doesnt-have-to-wait-for-smart-meters/ “…One of the biggest hurdles standing between Google and wide adoption of its home energy management system PowerMeter — a service that makes your electricity consumption and pricing data available on the web — is that it depended on the broad roll out of smart meters…today, Google announced a new partnership with Energy Inc…Now homeowners and businesses that want to use PowerMeter to keep tabs on how much energy they are using won’t have to wait for their local utilities to install smart meters…they can buy one of Energy Inc.’s monitoring devices called the TED 5000…for $200. This monitor makes the data you want available via any internet browser and any computer, all for free after initial purchase…”

General Technology

30. Nissan Develops Fish-Inspired "Anti-Collision" Robotic Cars http://wot.motortrend.com/6590904/technology/nissan-develops-fish-inspired-anti-collision-biomimetic-robotic-cars/index.html “…Nissan…Eporo concept cars…were developed to act in much the same way bumblebees and schools of fish travel smoothly and without collision in their respective environments…In Eporo, we recreated the behavior of a school of fish…By sharing the surrounding information received within the group via communication, the group of Eporoscan travel safely, changing its shape as needed…” [D-space hacking anyone?]

31. Stabilizing the electric grid with megawatt-scale storage http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/09/the-doe-makes-its-case-for-on-grid-energy-storage.ars “…On-grid storage is frequently pitched as a way to smooth over the swings in renewable power that accompany changing weather, like a drop in sunlight or increase in the wind…the US, which only has storage capacity for a bit more than two percent of its generating capacity, badly lags Europe and Japan, where the figures are 10 percent and 15 percent respectively. It's no surprise, he said, that the systems overseas are far more stable than the one in the states…Most of the power outages we face in the US don't actually last very long…Even a brief outage, however, can wreak havoc with an industrial process…the hours of downtime afterwards are estimated to cost the industry a total of nearly $80 billion dollars annually. Spending a small fraction of that on adding grid storage could radically reduce those expenses…”

32. PhotoSketch: better than sliced bread, Photoshop http://blogs.zdnet.com/weblife/?p=965 This is quite possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever seen a computer do. What if you could draw some stick figures on a screen and somehow magically create a beautiful image montage? Well, it’s possible. A group of students in China have created PhotoSketch, a project that does exactly what I just described: it takes a rough, hand-drawn sketch, scours the web for photos that match, and runs them through an algorithm, stitching it all together. Watch this video presentation, you will not regret it…”

Leisure & Entertainment

33. Publishers collaborate to build magazine equivalent of Hulu http://www.fakesteve.net/2009/10/time-inc-wants-to-take-us-on.html “…the idea is, a bunch of magazine publishers will get together and form their own digital distribution company, the way the TV networks did with Hulu…It won't work. For one thing, the project began as a way to "put the digital genie back in the bottle."…The new product can’t simply be a digital version of the magazines they’re already printing: That’s already available on the Web, and consumers have shown almost no interest in paying for it, and advertisers haven’t fully embraced it either…what it comes down to, really, is which seems sexier to the average consumer: a gleaming new Apple tablet that's overflowing with a sense of childlike wonder, or Time magazine…”

34. Virtual composer makes beautiful music http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/09/virtual-composer-makes-beautiful-musicand-stirs-controversy.ars “…When most of us think about a machine composing musical pieces, we think of primitive songs coming out of a HAL 9000 that could be suitable for a child's toy, but nothing that music lovers would actually enjoy. That's because most of us haven't heard of Emily Howell. No, that's not a person—it's the name of a computer program written by University of California, Santa Cruz professor David Cope that, after nearly three decades of work, is about to release, uh, "her" first CDCope described Emily's style to be similar to modern composers, a "sort of an amalgam of all styles" and very contemporary. But what makes Emily interesting isn't just that; it's the fact that she can take audible feedback—musically or verbally—from an audience in order to modify her compositions…”

35. Fan-restored KOTOR II content creates refined, expanded game http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/10/after-four-years-volunteers-restore-missing-kotor-ii-data.ars “…It started a few years ago when someone discovered some missing content in the PC version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords. They took it upon themselves to to go into the game's files and restore some of the data on their own. Then, someone else encountered a serious bug in the same title and started using the first person's work to fix the problem. From then on, it was like the snowball that gradually turned into an avalanche. The result was a large-scale project that was aimed at bringing as much missing content as possible back to the game. After years of development, the cut content has been finally restored and the most of the bugs have been fixed, thanks to a project known as known as the "Restored Content Mod." The mod, revealed in The Deadly Stream forum, is in open beta, which means that players can now experience as complete a Jedi adventure as possible…”

Economy and Technology

36. How Microsoft Will Lift Us Out Of the IT-Spending Dumps http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/10/03/how-microsoft-will-lift-us-out-of-the-economic-it-spending-dumps/ “…a number of IT guys I know are genuinely excited about installing Windows 7 in their shops, guys for whom Vista didn’t even register. We’re about see an IT renaissance, and it will be driven by Microsoft. Remember: Apple may change the way we think, but Microsoft changes the way we spend…There are three forces at work here. First, there is the IT shop. They haven’t upgraded their machines since XP. XP was, at best, 2001 technology…IT departments are going to be upgrading en masse, causing a surge in PC sales and sales of attendant products like drives, memory, and monitors. Second, consumers are just about done with netbooks…Netbook advocates cite cloud storage and a lightweight OS, but when Internet Explorer takes forty seconds to load GMail because you’re running a single core Atom, you’re going to have upset customers…The netbook will remain but it won’t be anybody’s every day computer. Finally, it’s time for an gamer upgrade. The holidays are upon us, there are no new consoles to buy, and a new cohort of PC gamers is appearing…Windows 7 will give them that slight perceived boost…”

37. Why Tech Mergers May End Up Hurting the Web http://gigaom.com/2009/10/03/why-tech-mergers-may-end-up-hurting-the-web/ “…Xerox is paying $6.4 billion for a piece of the cloud, Adobe is hooking up with Omniture and Intuit with Mint, and that may just be the start. As Om pointed out, this is good news for startups and entrepreneurs, especially those with money tied up in late-stage investments that aren’t likely to go public soon. But is a wave of mergers necessarily a good thing?...Microsoft is sitting on $49 billion in cash; Google, $24 billion…When your biggest competitor takes you over, it blunts the competitive spirit that can drive innovations…”

Civilian Aerospace

38. What’s ahead for the X PRIZE http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/10/02/2088311.aspx “…The field of competitors is continuing to expand for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, the richest reincarnation of the original X Prize. Just in the past month, a Russian team named Selenokhod ("Moonwalker") and a German team known as the c-base Open Moon Group have thrown their hats in the ring. There are now 21 teams vying to be the first to put a privately developed rover on the moon…Over the past few weeks, the X Prize Foundation has been posting a series of blog items commemorating the five-year anniversary of SpaceShipOne's victory. The bloggers have included space pilot Brian Binnie, space millionaire Anousheh Ansari, Virgin Galactic's Will Whitehorn, Romanian rocketeer Dumitru Popescu ... and Peter Diamandis, the guy who started it all as the X Prize's co-founder. Earlier this week, Diamandis took time out from a whirlwind tour of Abu Dhabi and Europe to answer a few questions I posed about the past, present and future of the X Prize. Here's the full Q&A…”

39. Guy Laliberte Arrives at ISS http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/091002-exp21-docking-wrap.html “…Canadian space tourist Guy Laliberte…a billionaire acrobat who founded the world-famous Cirque du Soleil circus troupe, paid about $35 million to the Russian Federal Space Agency for his 12-day space jaunt…Upon arrival at the International Space Station (ISS), crews aboard both the Soyuz and the station began working to seal the link between their vehicles…Laliberte is devoting his space journey to campaigning for water conservation issues. He founded the non-profit ONE DROP foundation to advocate for the cause, and plans a massive space performance for Oct. 9 to spread the word about the importance of global access to clean water…”

40. BonNovA: 4th Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Competitor http://thelaunchpad.xprize.org/2009/10/welcome-bon-nova-4th-northrop-grumman.html “…The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge continues to heat up, with a FOURTH competitor now officially entered in the race for the remaining purses. Team BonNovA, stationed in Mojave, CA, will be flying their Lauryad I & II vehicles on October 26-27, 2009 at Cantil, CA…Masten Space Systems will fly again next Wednesday and Thursday (October 7-8)…”

41. 5th Anniversary of Ansari X-PRIZE award http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1480/1 Yesterday…the fifth anniversary of the flight of SpaceShipOne that won the $10-million Ansari X PRIZE…If you told someone who had witnessed SpaceShipOne’s prize-winning flight…that there wouldn’t be another such flight over the next five years, the response surely would have been something along the lines of disbelief…Alan Walton, a “daredevil” venture capitalist who plunked down $200,000 nearly five years ago to be one of Virgin Galactic’s “Founders”, or first 100 customers…plans to ask the company for his money back if there’s no “fixed launch date” by next April, when he turns 74…The real question to ask now, though, is not why things have taken so long, but rather how much longer things will take. Will we see commercial suborbital human spaceflight return in one year? Two? Five?…”

42. Next-Generation Suborbital Spaceflight: A Research Bonanza http://www.spacenews.com/commentaries/next-generation-suborbital-spaceflight-research-bonanza-100-kilometers.html “…in late-2009, the research community is very much “in 1946” regarding the powerful opportunities that next-generation suborbital vehicles like Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, Blue Origin’s New Shepard, XCOR’s Lynx and others offer for research, education and public outreach (EPO) activities in space. Yet in less than two years, one or two suborbital spacelines are expected to be operating commercially. In four years, there may well be five or six such spacelines, and daily, if not more frequent, flights may be common. Though primarily perceived as space tourist vehicles, the potential of suborbital flight services for Research and Education Mission (REM) applications is likely to make them at least as widely used in the coming decade for REM applications as for the tourist market…”

43. Space Adventures ready to send 2 tourists at a time to ISS http://en.rian.ru/russia/20091002/156327887.html “…Each Soyuz will carry two tourists and a professional astronaut. One of the tourists will have to pass a year-and-a-half training course as a flight engineer…He added that Space Adventures would pay for the construction of the spaceship, the launch services and the salary of a Russian cosmonaut as crew commander. The official also said the company already had a number of candidates who were willing to pay for trips into space…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

44. Fermi: NVIDIA nextgen GPU computing architecture http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2353608,00.asp Nvidia launched its second-generation GPU computing architecture…code-named "Fermi". Oak Ridge National Laboratory will design a supercomputer based on the Fermi…Fermi will serve as next generation of CUDA, a programming architecture Nvidia developed in 2006 in conjunction with the GeForce GeForce 8800 architecture…The GT200, announced in 2008, added dual-precision floating point technology, which the GeForce 8800 lacked…the Fermi adds additional features that those apps should be able to take advantage of: C++ programming, error-correction code (ECC), and what Nvidia calls Parallel DataCache, an optimized cache hierarchy to speed up raytracing and physics calculations through a configurable shared L1 memory and unified L2 cache. A GigaThread Engine allows different kernels of the same application to concurrently execute, improving performance further. The memory address space has been expanded from 4 Gbytes to a full terabyte, accessed via six 64-bit interfaces to external DRAM. Nvidia said that Fermi would include 512 cores supporting IEEE 754-2008 floating point accuracy, a step up from the dual-precision FP used by the GT200 architecture. Double-precision floating-point math can be performed up to eight times faster than existing GPUs…”

45. Please Don't Call The Workstation a Personal Supercomputer http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/Oh-Yeah-The-Workstation-is-Sexy-Again-63191817.html “…from the late 1980s throughout the 1990s, technical workstations were the stunningly sexy starlets of the computing world…by the turn of the century, the megawatt spotlight on the glamorous technical workstation was fading…By the mid 2000s, technical workstations were considered over-the-hill, and not coincidentally, SGI and Sun had lost their bombshell appeal…Another decade later, the technical workstation is largely forgotten -- a fascination from a bygone era still celebrated in the memories of experienced UNIX-heads sprouting long gray hair, as they shake their heads at the times we live in and reminisce about the good old days…Then SGI suddenly emerged from its post-merger hangover to launch the SGI Octane III, a product clearly engineered -- and named -- to make us remember what the company was once capable of…I attended NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose…they were broadcasting in real time in breathtaking 3D HD stereo was only a baseline jumping-off point for showing off their newest tricks, from photo-realistic ray tracing to an eye-popping augmented reality demo that looked more like magic than technology…The only blemish on an otherwise awesome launch is that NVIDIA still seems to misunderstand where its HPC opportunities are…”

46. Winners of CUDA Superhero Challenge http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/topcoder-and-nvidia-announce-winners-of-cuda-superhero-challenge-at-nvidia-gpu-technology-conference-63121422.html NVIDIA Corporation and TopCoder, Inc., today announced the winners of the first CUDA Superhero Challenge…First place prize went to Micha Riser, of Zurich, Switzerland who earned a $2,500 prize for his winning solution…"I started exploring CUDA only in the second week of the contest. I had heard of it before but never got the chance to try it out myself," said Riser, a software engineer at carrara engineering GmbH, Switzerland. "The contest was very fun, and I learned much about the CUDA framework and the computation power of the NVIDIA graphic cards…This first Challenge in the series of contests ran Sept. 14th through Sept. 25th, and centered on image processing using GPU accelerated connected component labeling (CCL). One of the most common processing steps in applications such as real time object recognition, machine vision and many others, CCL is a simple but computationally intensive process…2nd Place Hou Qiming, Tangshan Province, China…3rd Place Sergey Ilin, Omsk, Russian Federation…4th Place Jaco Cronje, Rietvalleirand, South Africa…5th Place Noriyuki Futatsugi , Tokyo, Japan…”

47. Adobe and Nvidia bring GPU computing to the masses http://blogs.zdnet.com/computers/?p=944&tag=nl.e539 Adobe and Nvidia announced that the next version of the Flash player will take advantage of Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) to improve online video. Adobe Flash Player 10.1, which will be in beta by the end of this year, will be designed to get a boost from Nvidia’s GeForce, Ion and Tegra chips. Netbooks and nettops based on the Ion platform will benefit from Flash 10.1, since online video is an area where Intel’s Atom platform currently falls short…Smartphones using Nvidia’s Tegra will also get the GPU acceleration. The benefits for smartphones are pretty clear–they don’t even support Flash today. But what do laptops and Ion-based netbooks, which run Windows and Flash and can play 720p video, get out of it? Using the GPU to handle video playback should reduce the load on the CPU, and ensure smooth HD video playback, even on budget laptops and netbooks that struggle with those intensive tasks…”

48. PGI CUDA Fortran Compiler Beta http://www.ddj.com/hpc-high-performance-computing/220300282 Lets programmers code NVIDIA CUDA GPUs in Fortran…it is the first Fortran compiler compatible with NVIDIA CUDA-enabled graphics processing units…HPC is still dominated by Fortran, a programming language particularly well suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. Fortran is widely used in applications such as weather modeling, computational fluid dynamics, and seismic processing…”

49. Supercomputer Commissioned To Visualize Larger Data Sets http://redmondmag.com/articles/2009/10/01/supercomputer-visualize-larger-data-sets.aspx “…the Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin to run a supercomputer system that will carry out large-scale scientific visualization and data analysis for U.S. researchers and educators…In terms of hardware, the system will be comprised of 256 Dell R610 and R710 servers. Each server will have two 2.53 GHz Intel Xeon 5500 quad-core processors, giving the system a total of 2,048 processor cores. In addition, the system will also have at its computational disposal 128 Nvidia Quadroplex 2200 S4 cards, with each card holding four Quadro FX 5800 GPUs with 122,880 Cuda processor cores…”


*****

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