2009/10/13

NEW NET Issues List for 13 Oct 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 13 October 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 -- if there's a chain across the steps, ignore it and come on upstairs.

The ‘net

1. Swedish Company Looks to Unify Photos on the Web http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20091009/tc_pcworld/swedishcompanylookstounifyphotosontheweb A Swedish startup is edging closer to a Web-based service that provides a one-stop Web site where people can see their friends' photos, regardless of whether those friends use different photo-sharing sites or social networks. The company, Polar Rose, started out in 2004 specializing in facial-recognition technology. Polar Rose created a browser plug-in that popped up a small symbol when a browser opened a Web page containing a photo of a face…It was powerful technology, and it didn't sit well with people, even those who knew the photos they posted were public…Despite these photos being public and sharing it on Flickr and saying 'I'm OK with people viewing this,' people weren't comfortable being named," Nyholm said…Polar Rose changed its tack due to those concerns and began dealing only with "private" photos -- those on photo-sharing sites such as Flickr and Facebook where people must authenticate themselves and have more granular control over who can view the photos…”

2. Mindjet boosts online collaboration with Catalyst http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20091008/tc_afp/usitinternetbusinessmindjet “…Mindjet…Catalyst technology…"attacks a major problem" in business by helping turn online brainstorming sessions into real-world results…Catalyst sets out to mimic the way people work together in the same room to solve problems…Catalyst team members can simultaneously video-conference while modifying a shared document on an online "white board." Photos, paperwork, sketches and other digitized data can also be shared…Internet telephony and text messaging capabilities are also built in Catalyst…Mindjet adopted early on mind-mapping and information visualization techniques…"With Catalyst, I have a place I can work, see what others are doing and move from a great meeting into a great strategy,"…Catalyst is hosted online as a service at a cost of 25 dollars per month per worker involved in projects…”

3. From Twitter to MySpace, social networks are now run by women over 35 http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6868818.ece “…New figures show that female users now dominate social-networking sites, and those aged 35 and over are among the fastest-growing demographic for many social networks…over half of all social-networking users in the UK are women. But almost 59 per cent of females “consume the content” of these sites…Men may be signed up to social networks, but when it comes to being active on them — talking to other people, organising social engagements and generally taking an interest in other people’s lives — it is women who rule…”

4. Take care with the online Microsoft Office freebies http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article6850272.ece “…Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company, is making three of its most popular programs free to use online…to compete with Google’s rival software, the company has had little choice but to give away some of its crown jewels…One of the drawbacks is that they have been “hobbled”…they contained only a fraction of the hundreds of features found in the paid-for software…The other hurdle with this vision of so-called “cloud computing” — the idea of software that runs in the window of a web browser instead of on your own computer — is the requirement for a speedy broadband connection…Even on a fast connection, the Web App versions of Microsoft’s software are noticeably slower than their desktop equivalents…Where the Web Apps concept comes into its own is as a means of sharing documents with friends and colleagues. Because the documents are housed on a server, and you get 25GB of online storage space with the service, you simply have to specify who, if anyone, you want to be able to access each file…”

5. Why Email No Longer Rules… http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203803904574431151489408372.html Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over…a new generation of services is starting to take hold—services like Twitter and Facebook and countless others vying for a piece of the new world. And just as email did more than a decade ago, this shift promises to profoundly rewrite the way we communicate—in ways we can only begin to imagine. We all still use email, of course. But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet—logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts…while email continues to grow, other types of communication services are growing far faster…So, how will these new tools change the way we communicate? Let's start with the most obvious: They make our interactions that much faster…” [ http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kit-eaton/technomix/email-phenomenon-its-last-legs ]

6. Datacenter reliability: Microsoft & T-Mobile say “we probably lost all your Sidekick data” http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10372525-56.html The massive data failure at Microsoft's Danger subsidiary threatens to put a dark cloud over the company's broader "software plus services" strategy. A key tenet of that approach is that businesses and consumers can trust Microsoft to reliably store valuable data…Microsoft's Danger unit experienced a huge outage that left many T-Mobile Sidekick users without access to their calendar, address book, and other key data…the Sidekick keeps nearly all its data in the cloud as opposed to keeping the primary copy on the devices themselves…The Danger outage comes just a month before Microsoft is expected to launch its operating system in the cloud--Windows Azure…One of the characteristics of Azure is that programs written for it can be run only via Microsoft's data centers and not on a company's own servers…the Azure setup is entirely different from what Danger uses: the Sidekick uses an architecture Microsoft inherited rather than built…”

7. Air New Zealand / IBM datacenter crash http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/10/12/ibm-generator-failure-causes-airline-chaos/ A generator failure Sunday at an IBM data center in Auckland, New Zealand crippled key services for Air New Zealand…The data center outage crashed airport check-in systems, as well as on-line bookings and call center systems Sunday morning, affecting more than 10,000 passengers and throwing airports into disarray…IBM says service was restored to most clients within an hour, but local media reports say Air New Zealand’s ticketing kiosks were offline for up to six hours. Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe is not happy…I am struggling to recall a time where I have seen a supplier so slow to react to a catastrophic system failure such as this and so unwilling to accept responsibility and apologise to its client and its client’s customers…”

8. Researchers Advise Cyber Self Defense in the Cloud http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173467/researchers_advise_cyber_self_defense_in_the_cloud.html “…the best defense against data theft, malware and viruses in the cloud is self defense, researchers at the Hack In The Box (HITB) security conference said…The loss of personal data by Sidekick smartphone users over the weekend, including contacts, calendar entries, photographs and other personal information, serves as another example of the potential pitfalls of trusting the Cloud. Danger, the Microsoft subsidiary that stores Sidekick data, said a service disruption almost certainly means user data has been lost for good…”

9. Federal Trade Commission's Coming War on Bloggers http://valleywag.gawker.com/5377517/the-federal-trade-commissions-coming-war-on-bloggers The FTC is planning public hearings aimed at figuring out how to prop up dying newspapers…the FTC will be considering:…* "Proposals for changes in copyright law and doctrine, including the 'fair use' of news stories"…* "Proposals for greater public funding of public affairs news." The idea of a bailout for newspapers has been gaining momentum lately, and the FTC workshop shows that it's not going away any time soon…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

10. Comcast Employs New Botnet Alert System http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Comcast-Employs-New-Botnet-Alert-System-104891 “…According to Comcast, the company is going to start issuing alerts on subscriber PCs (see screenshot below) should the user be showing the telltale signs of botnet or spam relay infection. The alert can either be ignored by the customer, or they can click on a link that will take them to the Comcast security center…For those interested in how the alert system works, Comcast has stopped by our forums to discuss it in more detail and field any questions you might have…you have to wonder how many infected customers will avoid the alert, given it looks a lot like the kind of phishing solicitations they're repeatedly told not to click on by the family computer nerd…”

11. FTC Responds to Blogger Fears: "That $11,000 Fine is Not True" http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/jennifer-vilaga/slipstream/ftc-bloggers-its-not-medium-its-message-0 “…the Federal Trade Commission is trying to reign in freebie-grabbing bloggers and graft-happy social media users masquerading as unbiased critics…We asked a few other prominent bloggers what their biggest concerns were about the news, then we solicited responses to those concerns from Richard Cleland, assistant director, division of advertising practices at the FTC…Richard Cleland: “That $11,000 fine is not true. Worst-case scenario, someone receives a warning, refuses to comply, followed by a serious product defect; we would institute a proceeding with a cease-and-desist order and mandate compliance with the law. To the extent that I have seen and heard, people are not objecting to the disclosure requirements but to the fear of penalty if they inadvertently make a mistake. That’s the thing I don’t think people need to be concerned about. There’s no monetary penalty, in terms of the first violation, even in the worst case…”

12. Wife bans FBI head from online banking http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10370164-245.html “…FBI Director Robert Mueller was banned by his wife from doing online banking after he nearly fell for a phishing scam…He received an e-mail purporting to be from his bank that looked "perfectly legitimate" and which prompted him to verify some information. He started to follow the instructions but then realized that that "might not be such a good idea,"...He said he changed his passwords and tried to pass the incident off to his wife as a "teachable moment," but she was having none of it and told him…No more Internet banking for you…”

13. Contest aims to turn young hackers into cyber security ‘top guns’ http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6865432.ece “…Organisers of a series of online competitions are planning to emulate a US Government-backed scheme to encourage computer whiz-kids to work in internet security. The US Cyber Challenge was launched earlier this year to find 10,000 of America’s brightest young talents. A British version is being planned next year, with backing from the SANS Institute, a computer security training body. Entrants could be asked to play a series of virtual games where they have to extract passwords from a computer, capture websites…competitors have to analyse a hard drive to find evidence to convict criminals who have stolen guns; in another they have to defend a network from attacks…The initiative could become part of Britain’s newly launched national cyber security strategy…Lord West, the Security Minister, has said that Britain needs “youngsters who are deep into this stuff” to combat attacks…The winner of the first contest in the US Cyber Challenge was a 17-year-old student from Connecticut. Michael Coppola gained extra credit for breaking into the scoring system and awarding himself 10,000 points…”

14. New Ad-Aware offers behavioral detection http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10371489-12.html Lavasoft has updated its popular malware and spyware detection and removal tool Ad-Aware. Rather than a dramatic redo, version 8.1 builds on the improvements made in the previous version. The new version is faster, has better removal abilities, and introduces a behavioral detection engine…fans of the free version do not get all the features available in the paid upgrades…”

15. The Evolution Of Click Fraud: Massive Chinese Operation http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/08/the-evolution-of-click-fraud-massive-chinese-operation-dormring1-uncovered/ As long as advertisers pay for clicks, there will be click fraud. And the more people combat it, the more sophisticated the attacks become to get around the defenses that advertisers, search engines, and others put in place…Anchor Intelligence identified a click fraud ring being run out of China which involved 200,000 different IP addresses and racked up more than $3 million worth of fraudulent clicks across 2,000 advertisers in a two-week period. That money was never paid out…but who knows how long the ring was in operation before Anchor noticed. The operation was called DormRing1 because it was centered in dorms at technical universities in China such as the Shanghai Technology Institute… DormRing1..easily involved more than 1,000 people who set up more than 10,000 Websites to spread out the fraud…DormRing1 recruited student click fraud workers on Chinese social networks where and forums participants would post images of checks they were getting for their activities. One drummed up interest by talking about his plans to buy a car with the proceeds. Just like with any criminal organization, people at the lower rungs had to do a lot of grunt work to move up the ladder of trust and money…”

16. Telephone Company Is Arm of Government, Feds Admit http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/att-doj-foia/ The Department of Justice has finally admitted it in court papers: The nation’s telecom companies are an arm of the government — at least when it comes to secret spying…The Electronic Frontier Foundation wanted to see what role telecom lobbying of Justice Department played when the government began its year-long, and ultimately successful, push to win retroactive immunity for AT&T and others being sued for unlawfully spying on American citizens. The feds argued that the documents showing consultation over the controversial telecom immunity proposal weren’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act since they were protected as “intra-agency” records…”

17. What's replacing P2P, BitTorrent as pirate hangouts? http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139210/What_s_replacing_P2P_BitTorrent_as_pirate_hangouts_ “…Driven by increased crackdowns on BitTorrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, software pirates are fast-moving their warez to file-hosting Web sites. Sites such as RapidShare, Megaupload, and Hotfile let anonymous users upload large files such as cracked software for free…"It's incredibly easy to use. And what you get is essentially your own private FTP server,"…While sites such as RapidShare allow free downloads, they make their money by charging heavy downloaders for premium memberships…Trade in pirated digital goods, whether it is movies, music or e-books or software, is what drives the popularity and business model of firms like RapidShare…The site is already among the top twenty most popular in the world…Uploads and downloads to Rapidshare account for 5% of all Internet traffic globally…”

18. Bahama Botnet Stealing Traffic From Google http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20091008/tc_pcworld/clickforensicsbahamabotnetstealingtrafficfromgoogle The Bahama botnet, a sophisticated network of compromised computers that is wreaking click-fraud havoc among advertisers…Bahama botnet not only turns ordinary, legitimate PCs into click-fraud perpetrators that dilute the effectiveness of ad campaigns…In the case of Google.com, compromised machines take their users to a fake page hosted in Canada that looks just like the real Google page…a user who intended to run a legitimate search on Google ends up unknowingly involved in a click-fraud scam in which Google also loses Web traffic and ad revenue…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

19. Android to grab No. 2 spot by 2012 http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139026/Android_to_grab_No._2_spot_by_2012_says_Gartner While the Google-backed Android mobile operating system currently runs on less than 2% of all smartphones, Gartner Inc. predicts it will surge to 14% of the global smartphone market in 2012 -- ahead of the iPhone, as well as Windows Mobile and BlackBerry smartphones. In that year, Gartner forecasts Android will actually rank second globally, behind the Symbian OS, which is used in Nokia devices that are highly popular in Europe and many countries outside the U.S. Symbian now runs on about half of all smartphones, but will fall to 39% in 2012…Dulaney said that smartphone interfaces seem to have headed off in two divergent ways, with iPhone's heavy focus on applications compared to Windows Mobile's and Symbian's focus on smartphone tasks and communications. But Android, he said, "has blended a focus on applications and tasks pretty well." Android's interface allows a user to perform frequently needed tasks without going back to the top of the logic tree to switch between tasks, he said. Makers of Android "have done a good job of knowing how you work on a phone…”

20. The Google Android party has begun http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-12261_7-10370495-10356022.html “…Google Android phones are finally hitting the market en masse. In the past couple of months, nine devices using Google's mobile operating system have been announced…Starting next week, Sprint Nextel will introduce its first Android phone…Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless operator, will also be getting two new Google Android phones in the coming weeks…Even AT&T, the second largest wireless provider in the U.S. and the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone, is expected to have a Google Android phone soon…Device makers see Android as their biggest hope to compete against Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices in the smartphone market…”

21. A Chink In Android’s Armor http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/11/a-chink-in-androids-armor/ “…75 million phones running the Android operating system will be sold in 2012, says research firm Gartner…There’s just one problem…Each has different hardware, and different software, than the others…a number of high profile Android application developers…are extremely frustrated with Android right now. For the iPhone, they build once and maintain the code base. On Android, they built once for v.1.5, but are getting far less installs than the iPhone…they’re faced with a landslide of new handsets, some running v.1.6 and some courageous souls even running android v.2.0…There are whispers of backwards and forwards compatibility issues as well, making the problem even worse…”

22. Best Buy Announces MobileMe Competitor "mIQ" http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/best_buy_announces_mobileme_competitor_miq.php “…electronics retailer Best Buy announced a new mobile backup service called mIQ. Designed to compete with similar services like Apple's MobileMe or Microsoft's My Phone, mIQ offers up to 1 GB of storage space in the cloud for photos, video, contact and calendar information, SMS messages, and more. However, unlike its competitors, mIQ has a couple of distinct advantages: it's 100% free and anyone can sign up to use it…” [http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2009/10/four-different-ways-to-sync-your-cellphone-with-the-cloud.ars ]

23. Kindle price lowered to $259 http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/44219/97/ Amazon is lowering the price of the Kindle to $259, down from $299 and launching a new reader compatible with global wireless networks. Kindle with US & International Wireless will enable readers to download content wirelessly in over 100 countries and territories…”

24. Apple Isn’t Even Bothering To Lie Anymore http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/06/apple-isnt-even-bothering-to-lie-anymore/ “…Apple’s chief complaint against the Google Voice application was “The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls…”…the real reason Apple won’t let Google Voice through is that they are scared out of their mind that Android and Google Voice will eat their iPhone lunch over the long term…you’d think they’d at least be consistent and apply the same arguments to other third party apps. At least until this whole FCC thing blows over. But Skype’s calling app, which uses Wifi, is totally fine. And yesterday, the Vonage iPhone app, which seems to be just as much of an issue as Google Voice based on that quote at the top, got the green light, too…”

25. Apple iPhone "No Refunds" Policy http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173495/apple_no_refunds_policy_for_better_and_worse.html “…Apple's "no refunds" policy for iPhone App Store purchase is both not as bad--and worse--than it sounds…sometimes Apple itself is to blame for non-functional apps, but offers no help in those cases…every time Apple updates firmware, as in v3.0 upgrade, an app can be broken…I bought a language app for $25. Today it is not working properly because of the update and Apple would not refund my money. The developer says they sent an update but Apple has not approved it…”

26. LG’s Solar-Powered E-Book Reader http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/10/lgs-solar-powered-e-book-reader/ “…One of the big benefits of e-paper is that it sips electricity allowing devices to work for days rather than hours. LG’s foray into the e-book world extends this with a solar panel, helpfully placed on the front inside cover of the reader itself, and at just ten grams and less than a millimeter thick, it will be almost unnoticeable. If exposed to the sun for five hours, the TFT solar panel will give enough charge for a day of use. LG plans to up the efficiency and we can see a time when e-books will never need to be charged. Remember the first solar-powered calculators? They were a novelty which is now ubiquitous…”

Open Source

27. The Nokia N900 http://temporaryland.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/nokian900-not-just-an-itoy/ “…let me introduce to you the most amazing portable Linux computer ever to reach the consumer market…the N900 is a competitor in the smart phone market with the iPhone, Android devices, and the Palm Pre…some people who would have never been interested in an iPhone, or an Android device, or a Pre, are going to want this device, badly. At the same time, a lot of existing smart phone users are going to look at this and yawn…let me run you trough some of the facts that distinguish these devices to see why I think the N900 should be the right device for a lot of people…”

28. 5 Useful Tools to Access Linux Partition from Windows http://shibuvarkala.blogspot.com/2009/10/useful-tools-to-access-linux-partition.html “…If you currently have Windows OS running and you need some files for your work which you have stored on the Linux installation, you no longer have to shut down Windows and boot Linux…”

29. Linux Server Management: Five Tips http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/_featured/article.php/3843031/Linux-Server-Management-Five-Signs-Youre-Doing-I “…if you cannot tell a server (be it physical or virtual) to reinstall itself, then simply walk away knowing it will reload and return to full service, you are doing it wrong. Every network service, configuration file, and setting required for a server to function, absolutely must be automated and configured in your configuration management system…”

30. Play games installed on other computers with StreamMyGame http://www.unixmen.com/linux-tutorials/443-play-games-installed-on-other-computers-with-streamgames StreamMyGame Server enables PC games to be played remotely by converting the game’s video and audio into a Game Stream and sending it over a home network to a second computer where you can view and play the game with the free StreamMyGame Player. The second computer can be a PC, laptop, PS3 or Linux device. The game can be played on the second computer without any lag…”

SkyNet

31. Practically Perfect PDF, Courtesy of Google http://www.pcworld.com/article/173343/practically_perfect_pdf_courtesy_of_google.html “…This is very simple and very useful: Google is now using the Web-based PDF viewer that I've been enjoying in Gmail to make it easier to view PDFs that you happen upon on the Web. You know it's available when you see a PDF in Google Search results with a "Quick View" link. Click it, and you get a nice view of the PDF that retains formatting and doesn't require you to download the PDF (or even to have a PDF viewer installed on your computer)…”

32. Introducing Google Search Options for mobile http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/10/introducing-search-options-for-mobile.html Finding the exact information you need sometimes requires filtering and refining your search results. Earlier in the year, we launched a collection of tools called Search Options which enable you to easily and quickly do this from a computer. Today in the US, we are making Search Options available on Android/iPhone/Palm WebOS devices…”

33. Google's vision of the future of journalism http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/oct/07/google-josh-cohen-interview “…its other experiments with how to present journalistic output, most recently Spotlight…follows an algorithm focusing on filtering special-interest articles, opinion pieces, investigative journalism and other articles of "lasting value"…Fast Flip, which creates an ad-hoc magazine of screenshots of news organisations' webpages…Google has rolled out nine new search options. These are hidden in the left sidebar and allow users to filter their results by hour or date range, or to look only within blogs, or for reviews. This means that Google's search can now be filtered to show results indexed minutes or seconds ago – ideal for researching a story…”

34. What the GDrive Could Look Like http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/update_to_google_sites_shows_us_what_the_gdrive_could_look_like.php We have been hearing rumors about the Google Drive online storage service for years now. This mythical GDrive would give users the ability to easily store and access all of their files in the cloud. Lots of other services already offer this, of course, but few of them are at the center of our online lives as much as Google is. Yesterday, Google Sites, a service that lets users build their own websites without ever having to touch the HTML or CSS code, just launched an update to its unified 'insert' dialog. This dialog brings together all of your files from almost all of Google's services and looks a lot like we would imagine the GDrive to look like…”

35. Google Maps Ditches Tele Atlas http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_maps_ditches_teleatlas_in_favor_of_street_view_cars_crowdsourcing.php “…it now looks like Google is also ditching Tele Atlas as its data provider for Google Maps in the US in favor of a do-it-yourself approach. Google had been using data from Tele Atlas' maps since September 2008 after moving away from Navteq's data after Navteq was acquired by Nokia…The question, of course, is why Google plans to make its own maps now. For one, chances are that Google is currently paying Tele Atlas a lot of money for using its maps…if Google continues to make these maps easily available to developers without cumbersome licensing restrictions, it could bring radical change to the mapping business.”

36. Introducing Google Building Maker http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/introducing-google-building-maker.html “…Some of us here at Google spend almost all of our time thinking about one thing: How do we create a three-dimensional model of every built structure on Earth? How do we make sure it's accurate, that it stays current and that it's useful to everyone who might want to use it? One of the best ways to get a big project done — and done well — is to open it up to the world. As such, today we're announcing the launch of Google Building Maker, a fun and simple (and crazy addictive, it turns out) tool for creating buildings for Google Earth…You can use Google SketchUp (our free, general-purpose 3D modeling tool) to edit or otherwise modify anything you make with Building Maker…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_launches_building_maker.php ]

37. Google Squared Gets Some Much Needed Improvements http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_squared_gets_some_much_needed_improvements.php “…Google announced some updates to Squared that should make it more useful. Now, if you do a search on Squared, for example, the results will contain up to 120 facts - up from 30 in the initial release…Squared also now gives users the option to sort columns…”

38. Google Maps: Your world, your map http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/your-world-your-map.html “…as part of our ongoing commitment to provide the richest, most up-to-date maps possible, we continuously explore ways to integrate new information from users and authoritative partners into Google Maps. Two years ago, we began allowing you to move map markers to improve address precision; since early last year, you've been able to add locations; and over the past few years, we've been partnering directly with transit agencies to integrate their data…we've worked directly with a wide range of authoritative information sources to create a new base map dataset…we've been able to add a lot of new, detailed information to Google Maps - information that helps people better explore and get around the real world. For example, college students will be pleased to see maps of many campuses; and cyclists will now find many more trails and paths to explorewe've added a new tool to Google Maps that lets you communicate directly with Google about any updates that you think need to be made to our maps. You'll find this "Report a Problem" link on the bottom right of Google Maps…If you submit your email address, we'll even keep you posted on our progress…”

39. Schmidt: Google Has Not Yet Found The Evil Room http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/07/schmidt-we-have-not-yet-found-the-evil-room/ “…Google’s Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt held an informal press conference…touching upon pretty much everything under the Google sun. One issue that kept on coming up was Google’s growing power in general. Google touches so many parts of the Web and our lives that concerns are rising that Google will use its power and all the knowledge it collects about us inappropriately…Later on, he prefaced another discussion of the (hypothetical) evil room by saying, “There are many reasons why we will not be like Microsoft.” Maybe he thinks the evil room is on Microsoft’s campus…Neither Schmidt nor Brin addressed the question of whether or not Google uses data from its non-search products to improve search in this manner, but Schmidt rejected the idea that customers are locked in…”

40. Google’s Abandoned Library of 700 Million Titles http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/usenet/ “…the Google Books Settlement…would give the internet the largest and most comprehensive library in history, at the cost of granting Google a de facto monopoly. It’s hard to imagine any company better equipped to scan, catalog and index millions of books than Google. But a few geeks with long memories remember the last time Google assembled a giant library that promised to rescue orphaned content for future generations. And the tattered remnants of that online archive are a cautionary tale in what happens when Google simply loses interest. That library is Usenet…for decades Usenet was the paper of record for the online world, and its hundreds of millions of “newsgroup” postings chronicle everything from the birth of the web to the rise of Microsoft…Google rescued that history when it acquired the New York-based Deja.com, and with it a Usenet archive going back to 1995…Later that year, Google deepened its archive with millions of posts that had been saved on aging magtape by a veteran Unix guru named Marc Spencer. The combined archives gave Google a library of 700 million articles from 35,000 newsgroups, spanning two decades. Salon hailed the accomplishment in an article headlined “The geeks who saved Usenet.”…Flash forward nearly eight years, and visiting Google Groups is like touring ancient ruins. On the surface, it looks as clean and shiny as every other Google service, which makes its rotting interior all the more jarring — like visiting Disneyland and finding broken windows and graffiti on Main Street USA…”

General Technology

41. Windows 7 doesn't boot faster http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10370369-56.html Although Windows 7 has been praised for loading and shutting down faster than prior versions of Windows…the new operating system can take longer to get started than Windows Vista. Iolo Technlogies, which sells PC tune-up software, said its lab unit found that a brand-new machine running Windows 7 takes a minute and 34 seconds to become usable, as compared to a minute and 6 seconds for Windows Vista. Iolo notes that it measured not the time it takes for the desktop to appear--which can be as little as 40 seconds on a fresh installation of Windows 7--but rather the time it takes to become fully usable "with CPU cycles no longer significantly high and a true idle state achieved." The results are also fairly similar to what CNET found in its testing of the operating system…I have been using Windows 7 for months now and find myself rarely doing a full reboot and instead going in and out of sleep for days at a time--a process that moves particularly quickly. As is often the case with Windows, Iolo found that things only get worse over time. It found that a three-month-old machine can take up to a minute longer to boot, or 2 minutes and 34 seconds…”

42. Microsoft mulling 128-bit versions of Windows http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/10/microsoft-mulling-128-bit-versions-of-windows-8-windows-9.ars “…Robert Morgan is working to get IA-128 working backwards with full binary compatibility on the existing IA-64 instructions in the hardware simulation to work for Windows 8 and definitely Windows 9…This news is interesting because we always thought Windows 7 would be the last release that had 32-bit and 64-bit versions. This was brought on by the fact that Windows Server 2008 R2, the server version of Windows 7, was the first Windows Server release to be 64-bit only. The next client version of Windows should therefore follow suit, but apparently Microsoft is going to prepare it for 128-bit as well. We're not saying Windows 8 will definitely come in 64-bit and 128-bit flavors, but Microsoft is moving down that path, and at the very least, Windows 9 will…”

43. TDK plans 10-layer, 320GB optical disc http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/152428 “…TDK is hoping to give Blu-ray a generational kick in the pants with an upcoming format change, bumping that 50GB maximum capacity to a whopping 320GB…TDK is demonstrating the new discs this week at a Japanese trade show and says the disc is beyond prototype stage and is already reliable enough for commercial use…”

44. Data losses in Snow Leopard http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8304229.stm Users of the new Apple operating system Snow Leopard are experiencing massive data losses when logging into their machines under a guest account…Users have in some cases lost their entire main profile, including sites, pictures, videos and documents…Those who use backup services including the Mac's own Time Machine can restore their lost data, but it appears that for those who do not, the data is permanently lost…”

45. Microsoft wants multicore boost from Windows 7 http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10372095-264.html “…with chips getting more processing cores instead of more gigahertz, is your next computer going to actually run your software faster? Microsoft is one of the companies that feels the pressure to most acutely when it comes to putting those cores to work…Windows 7 can support…as many as 256 processor cores compared with 64 for its predecessor…But what does 256 or even 64 processors have to do with a PC with four or eight cores?…”

Leisure & Entertainment

46. Netflix boss says DVD has two years left http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/152659 “…Netflix CEO Reed Hastings'…said in an interview with The Motley Fool…that DVD will only be the "primary delivery format" at the company for the next two years, though he did add that it would stick around in some fashion for the next decade or two…Hastings didn't note what would supplant DVD as the company's major movie format, but considering that Blu-ray remains a niche product, with 10 percent penetration or lower among most consumers, he's probably talking about streaming…”

47. Are Single-Player Games like Dragon Age Doomed? http://www.pcworld.com/article/173396/are_singleplayer_games_like_dragon_age_doomed.html Is Bioware's Dragon Age the last of its kind? A solo-player game absent an integrated online component? Or is it actually the next step in what Spore designer Will Wright calls the "massively single player" experience? Dragon Age…heralds Bioware's return to fantasy role-playing, a "dark heroic fantasy" that lets you choose from six origin stories designed to change up your game in more than the usual cursory ways. It's out on November 17th. In the final part of our interview with the game's lead designer Mike Laidlaw, we talk about the "death" of single-player gaming…”

48. 21-year-old computer geek makes £1m with online game http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6264082/21-year-old-computer-geek-makes-1m-with-online-game.html Joe Chedburn, a self-confessed geek, was just 16 when he came up with the idea to write an online game focused on crime. Torn, which is text-based and has no graphics, grew quickly and now has around 41,000 active users with over 1.3 million account holders. Although the game is free to play users can pay £3 every month to receive extra points and status…"Some days I can spend all day working on the site and sometimes it runs on its own but I am looking to expand it." Joe briefly studied IT after leaving school but turned his back on education in order to concentrate on making improvements to his online game…”

Economy and Technology

49. How a Startup’s Pet Project Became Profitable http://gigaom.com/2009/10/09/clustershot-how-a-startups-pet-project-became-profitable/ When Canada’s Silverorange started developing ClusterShot, a web site through which people can upload and sell their photos online, in May of 2008, it was nothing more than a side project members of the 14-person web development firm worked on in the evenings and on weekends. Today the service consumes up to 25 percent of Silverorange’s development time and is profitable. ClusterShot earns revenue from selling annual Pro subscriptions, which cost $20 and provide users with their own personal photo store. So how did ClusterShot achieve profitability just eight months after it launched…”

50. The iPhone App Store Gold Rush May Be Running Low on Gold http://gizmodo.com/5375913/the-iphone-app-store-gold-rush-may-be-running-low-on-gold “…Newsweek claims…the App Store goldmine has dried out and some developers are barely getting by…I went from being envious of the supposed overnight millionaires to realizing that perhaps some or even most may not be all that well off after all…Newsweek interviewed a handful of those developers…and they're saying that the money's run out…perhaps the market for apps is maturing and as the number of competing programs increases, it's becoming much harder to develop and sell a runaway hit than in the past…”

51. Book Industry Prepares For New Business Models http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1767816/book_industry_prepares_for_new_business_models/index.html The world's book trade meets in Frankfurt, Germany next week as the industry stands on the cusp of a long-feared transformation for which many are unprepared. Electronic readers such as Amazon’s kindle, book-sized screens that grab and display text from the Internet, are set to enter the mass market with a huge surge in sales this holiday shopping season. The shift has book publishers facing declining revenues as sales of discs, papers and books are replaced by less costly or free digitally distributed content. The phenomenon is similar to what the music and newspaper industries have experienced in recent years…But some are welcoming the digital transition…”

52. Nvidia Puts Chipsets For Intel CPUs On Hold http://www.crn.com/hardware/220400042 Nvidia is postponing its development of chipsets for Intel's latest Nehalem-class processors pending the outcome of a legal dispute over the two companies' licensing agreement, Nvidia said Thursday. Intel's Core i7 and Core i5 desktop processors and the latest additions to its Xeon server/workstation lineup feature a new microarchitecture, code-named Nehalem -- Intel insists that Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia cannot build products for that class of processor under their 2004 patent-licensing agreement. Nvidia disputes the claim and alleged in a statement Thursday that Intel's "improper claims to customers" and "unfair business tactics" had made it effectively impossible" for the company to market chipsets for future Nehalem CPUs…”

Civilian Aerospace

53. A Xombie Qualifies for Lunar Lander Prize http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/10/07/2091980.aspx “…Masten Space Systems' Xombie rocket has prevailed in its second attempt to qualify for a $150,000 rocket prize from NASA…Xombie was built to go after the second prize in what's known as the Level 1 competition. (Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace won the $350,000 first prize last year.)…Armadillo Aerospace…qualified for the challenge's more ambitious $1 million Level 2 prize last month. Masten, Unreasonable Rocket and BonNova are going after Level 2 prizes as well. (Second prize is $500,000.)…if Masten and his team could maintain the kind of accuracy they achieved today during their upcoming Level 2 flight, "they'll beat Armadillo" for the million dollars. The best thing about today's outing was that it proved there's more than one prizeworthy competitor out there…”

54. A Private Space Shuttle http://www.newsweek.com/id/217018 In the early 1970s, Freeman Dyson wrote an essay comparing space travel to the colonization of the New World and the settlement of the American West. The subject was fanciful, but that didn't keep Dyson, an eminent physicist and writer for the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, from making a meticulous effort to quantify and compare the costs of these vastly different ventures. From letters of Gov. William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony, Dyson calculated that the Mayflower's voyage in 1620 from England to Massachusetts cost the average family about 7.5 years in wages. The westward trek of the Mormons in the 1840s cost each family about 2.5 years, according to records left behind by Brigham Young, the Mormon leader. Even a modest space voyage, Dyson calculated, would set the average family back 1,500 years in wages…What NASA needs most is money, lots of it. The shortfall may force NASA to open up its space-exploration program to commercial operators to a degree that's unprecedented in its history…It would sort of be the role FedEx plays with the U.S. Postal Service, which many people don't know is their biggest customer. Because FedEx is so efficient at moving packages, the Postal Service realizes it can just pay FedEx to move packages between cities…If Virgin and other commercial firms can deliver, Earth orbit will be far more accessible than it's ever been before. Although it would still be a stretch for all but the wealthiest people, costs could come down low enough to jump-start markets for tourism…”

55. NASA Selects High School Students for Inspire Education Program http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/oct/HQ_09-235_Edu_Inspire_Selections.html “…NASA has selected 1,732 high school students from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to participate in its Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research Experience, also known as Inspire…The selectees will participate in an online learning community in which students and parents have the opportunity to interact with their peers and NASA engineers and scientists…The INSPIRE project is part of NASA's education efforts to engaging and retaining students in disciplines critical to the agency's missions…”

56. Ion Engines for rockets http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/10/10/238033/the-new-ion-engines-cannae-take-nmore-cpn.htm “…Since 2005, the Ad Astra Rocket Company of Webster, Texas, has been working to perfect a type of engine it calls VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket). It uses radio waves to heat argon gas, turning it into a hot plasma – a state of matter in which electrons are no longer bound to atomic nuclei. Magnetic fields then squirt the superheated plasma out the back of the engine, producing thrust in the opposite direction. It shoots the propellant out at much higher velocity than conventional engines, resulting in far more acceleration per kilogram of fuel consumed…Ad Astra has signed an agreement with NASA to test a 200-kilowatt VASIMR engine on the ISS in 2013…A 10- to 20-megawatt class VASIMR engine could propel human missions to Mars in as little as 39 days, he says, compared to the six months or more required with conventional rockets…”

57. Cirque du Soleil founder returns to Earth http://news.cnet.com/8301-19514_3-10372546-239.html A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying commander Gennady Padalka, flight engineer Michael Barratt, and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté undocked from the International Space Station on Saturday…the Soyuz TMA-14's descent module settled to a jarring rocket-assisted touchdown…Sunday to close out a 50-minute descent from orbit…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

58. Central Role for the GPU in Supercomputing http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Bill-Dally-Sees-Central-Role-for-the-GPU-in-Supercomputing-63544202.html “…Dally is an architect and developer of parallel computing technology and holds over 50 patents in the field. While at Caltech, he designed the MOSSIM Simulation Engine and the Torus Routing chip. Later at MIT he developed two experimental parallel computer systems, the J-Machine and the M-Machine. His last 12 years have been spent at Stanford, where he helped develop the system architecture and networking technology found in most large parallel computers…HPCwire: Bill, what drew you to come work for NVIDIA? Bill Dally: That's a good question. In many ways, I sort of had the dream job: a professor at Stanford, with brilliant colleagues and students around, and interesting problems to work on. But over a series of conversations with Jen-Hsun, he convinced me that it was a compelling opportunity to come here and define, not just the future of GPUs, but the future of computing as a whole…”

59. Nvidia working on CUDA-based anti-virus http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2009/10/07/nvidia-working-on-cuda-based-anti-virus/1 “…Nvidia may have finally found the killer app that will bring the benefits of CUDA - its language for offloading highly parallel tasks on to the graphics processor - to the masses: CUDA-accelerated virus scanning…the company's general manager of CUDA Sanford Russell has confirmed that his group is working on offloading the grunt work of scanning for viruses on to the GPU - potentially offering a massive speed-up over traditional CPU-based scanners…”

60. ASUS P7P55 supercomputer mobo http://www.hardwarezone.com/news/view.php?id=14815&cid=4ASUS unveiled the ASUS P7P55 WS SuperComputer motherboard. Built around the Intel P55 Express chipset, it features the new LGA1156 socket for next-generation Intel Core i5 processors and DDR3-2133 (O.C.) memory for outstanding yet cost-effective performance. To enable multiple-GPU rendering, the motherboard supports both 3-way and 2-way graphics card configurations based on SLI or CrossFireX technology…The system leverages the NVIDIA CUDA parallel computing architecture for a massive performance boost from four graphic cards: three NVIDIA Tesla cards and one NVIDIA Quadro card. This generates four teraflops of computing power—250 times of a standard PC—from 960 parallel processing cores…”

61. NVIDIA Expands Supercomputing Presence http://www.morningstar.ca/globalhome/industry/news.asp?articleid=311248 “…GE Fanuc, a unit of General Electric, announced an agreement with Nvidia NVDA in which GE Fanuc will develop hardware for military and aerospace applications based on Nvidia's CUDA supercomputing processors…”


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