2009/10/27

NEW NET Issues List for 27 Oct 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 27 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. Web set for non-Latin addresses http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5ifCD3i8ViFKxT3-mmxRr7mElKH5g “…The internet is set to undergo one of the biggest changes in its four-decade history with the expected approval this week of international domain names - or addresses - that can be written in non-Latin script…One of the key issues to be taken up by ICANN's board is whether to allow entire internet addresses to be in scripts that are not based on Latin letters. That could potentially open up the web to more people around the world as addresses could be in characters as diverse as Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Hindi and Cyrillic…He said he expects the board to grant approval on Friday…”

2. Mozilla’s Raindrop Wants to Solve Your Communication Woes http://www.webmonkey.com/blog/Mozilla_s_Raindrop_Wants_to_Solve_Your_Communication_Woes Mozilla Labs has debuted a new web-based tool for integrating all your online communications — such as e-mail, Twitter, Skype and Facebook — into a single browser window. It uses a series of intelligent filters to highlight what’s important to you, bringing the conversations with people or updates from services you care about the most to the top, and keeping the stuff that can wait out of sight until you’re ready to look at it. It’s called Raindrop, and it fetches all of your communications from different sources like mail servers, Twitter and RSS feeds...At the moment, Raindrop is a developer release, which means there’s no installer to download…”

3. Bing Is in Your Facebook, Indexing Your Status http://www.webmonkey.com/blog/Bing_Is_in_Your_Facebook__Indexing_Your_Status “…Facebook’s Twitter envy is showing again; the site recently announced a deal with Microsoft that will see public Facebook statuses indexed by a search engine for the first time. Although users sticking with Facebook’s default privacy settings won’t be affected, the move clearly shows Facebook moving beyond its closed, walled-garden beginnings…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

4. Homeland Security Director wants to hire a few good geeks http://thegovmonitor.com/world_news/united_states/homeland-security-director-on-securing-america-against-the-threat-of-cyber-attack-11694.html “…Earlier this month, we announced that DHS has been given expedited hiring authority to bring on up to 1,000 additional skilled cyber professionals…here is our message to those professionals and future-professionals: Not only does DHS want you, your nation needs you. We need our best and brightest, our finest computer scientists and engineers, mathematicians, and innovative thinkers…At DHS, you’ll work hard and you’ll be pushed because the stakes are high. And you will have an immediate opportunity to serve and to make a difference. Some of you will work to protect the nation in our National Protection and Programs Directorate, or NPPD. Others will join the Secret Service or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to help stop international financial criminals or sexual predators. All of you will have a chance to make a difference and to serve your nation. You’ll find a link on DHS.gov/Cyber where you can see the exciting positions that are already posted…”

5. Cyber Crooks Stole $40M From U.S. Small, Mid-Sized Firms http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/10/fbi_cyber_gangs_stole_40mi.html?wprss=securityfix “…Cyber criminals have stolen at least $40 million from small to mid-sized companies across America in a sophisticated but increasingly common form of online banking fraud, the FBI said…the perpetrators have stuck to the same basic tactics in each attack. They steal the victim's online banking credentials with the help of malicious software distributed through spam. The intruders then initiate a series of unauthorized bank transfers out of the company's online account in sub-$10,000 chunks to avoid banks' anti-money-laundering reporting requirements. From there, the funds are sent to so-called "money mules," willing or unwitting individuals recruited over the Internet through work-at-home job scams. When the mules pull the cash out of their accounts, they are instructed to wire it (minus a small commission) via services such as MoneyGram and Western Union, typically to organized criminal groups operating in countries like Moldova, Russia and Ukraine…”

6. Bredo botnet battles Zeus for control of PCs http://www.mxlogic.com/securitynews/viruses-worms/bredo-botnet-battles-zeus-for-control-of-pcs188.cfm “…A strain of Trojan malware identified as Bredo contains code that disables the Zeus/Zbot Trojan and moves files to prevent Zeus from reinstalling itself on reboot…The cybercriminals use networks of infected PCs - called botnets - to distribute malware and spam and for stealing user credentials, passwords and contact lists. The Zeus botnet has been spreading its malicious payload in spam emails that spoof messages form Microsoft Outlook, the IRS and companies' own IT departments. Users who click on a link in these messages can be infected by the Trojan upon visiting a malicious website.”

7. 40+ million tricked by 'scareware' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8313678.stm Symantec says more than 40 million people have fallen victim to the "scareware" scam in the past 12 months…Scareware sellers use pop-up adverts deliberately designed to look legitimate…If the user then clicks on the message they are directed towards another site where they can download the fake anti-virus software they supposedly need to clean up their computer - for a fee of up to £60…the apparent fix could have a double impact on victims. "Obviously, you're losing your own hard-earned cash up front, but at the back end of that, if you're transacting with these guys online you're offering them credit card details, debit card details and other personal information…The findings were revealed in a report written following Symantec analysis of data collected from July 2008 to June 2009. Symantec said 43 million people fell for such scams during that period…”

8. Banned USB Drives May Get Thumbs Up http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4342869 After being banned almost a year ago as bug-infested cyber threats, thumb drives may soon be allowed to plug back into U.S. Defense Department computers and networks. But not all thumb drives. And not for all computer users…Thumb drives were banned in November 2008 after thousands of military computers and networks became infected by worms, viruses and other malicious software…"Up until a year ago, we were using thumb drives all over the place," said Robert Carey, chief information officer of the U.S. Navy…The drives were ideal for moving information, Carey said. "You can easily buy a 10-gigabyte thumb drive and, wow, you can plug it in, download data and carry it around…”

9. Old Trick Threatens the Newest Weapons http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/science/27trojan.html Despite a six-year effort to build trusted computer chips for military systems, the Pentagon now manufactures in secure facilities run by American companies only about 2 percent of the more than $3.5 billion of integrated circuits bought annually for use in military gear. That shortfall is viewed with concern by current and former United States military and intelligence agency executives who argue that the menace of so-called Trojan horses hidden in equipment circuitry is among the most severe threats the nation faces in the event of a war in which communications and weaponry rely on computer technology…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Amazon stops selling Sprint-powered Kindle http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10381325-1.html Just weeks after announcing a new $279 international version of its Kindle e-book reader, Amazon has chopped $20 off its price and made that model its only Kindle offering for both the domestic U.S. and international markets. In the process, the company has eliminated the U.S. version of the device, which used Sprint as the carrier for the Kindle's built-in wireless capabilities…new Kindles will tap into AT&T's data network…the Kindle DX will continue to use Sprint's data network (no international version of the DX has been announced) and no Sprint-powered Kindle devices will have their wireless cut off. As for reports that the Web browser is not available in the international Kindle, they may not be completely accurate…Gadget Lab is reporting that you can get to the English version of Wikipedia, which leaves some hope that Amazon may open the browser to other sites…”

11. T-Mobile offers no-contract, no-subsidy Even More Plus rate plans http://www.mobileburn.com/news.jsp?Id=8102 “…Even More and Even More Plus…plans have options for unlimited voice minutes, messaging, and data…Even More Plus plans come with no monthly contract…with the Even More Plus plans, any phones purchased through T-Mobile will be sold at the full retail price, which often is in the $400 to $600 range…The more conventionally priced Even More plans charge more per month, but offer a subsidized price for phone purchases…Over the course of a 24 month contract, that's an extra $480 (24 x $20) that is paid for the $350 up front subsidy on the phone - a net loss of $130 to the customer…”

12. Windows Mobile worries mount http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139841/Windows_Mobile_worries_mount_as_competition_heats_up “…Windows Mobile…once set the bar for other device makers, including Palm Inc. and Nokia…But then came Apple Inc.'s iPhone in 2007, and steady progress from BlackBerry and the arrival of Android devices…Heading into 2010, the momentum [for Windows Mobile] has dissipated and there has been wide speculation that Microsoft might be ready to bail out on the mobile operating system market altogether…Windows Mobile has a long future for a specialized group of users who deploy the ruggedized devices made by companies such as Motorola, Intermec and Pison Teklogix. It took many years for makers of rugged devices used mainly by warehouse workers and service and delivery drivers to convert their customers from DOS systems to Windows Mobile, so transitioning them to another OS would take years…”

13. How Moms Use Their iPhones http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/iphone_moms_shopping_entertaining_kids.php “…mothers with iPhones regularly let their children use their phones, download games specifically for their children and often use their phones at grocery stores to compare prices and check their grocery lists. Not too long ago, mothers were still considered to be a hard group to reach through mobile applications…The iPhone's mainstream success has changed this, however, and iPhone moms have now become a desirable target demographic for marketers…96% of mothers with iPhones are involved in their family's purchasing decisions and 40% are the sole decision makers…”

Open Source

14. MakerBeam: An Open Source Building Kit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/701662757/makerbeam-an-open-source-building-kit MakerBeam is a toy and tool for the open source imagination. Build a fire-breathing robot dinosaur, a miniature CNC machine, a remote control car, whatever your overclocked brain can produce! Or build a castle, or that perfect enclosure to hold the circuitry for your custom electronics project. If you want to, scale it up! Scale by a factor of 2.5, 4, or 6, and your design can be rendered full-sized with easy, automatic conversion of parts. Not only a tool for adult geeks to make incredible fun stuff, it's also a fantastic way for children to do the same thing! If they're getting a little tired of Tinkertoys and are old enough for LEGO, they're ready for MakerBeam…”

15. Whitehouse.gov switch to Drupal http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/10/whitehouse-switch-drupal-opensource.html “…the White House announced via the Associated Press that whitehouse.gov is now running on Drupal, the open source content management system. That Drupal implementation is in turn running on a Red Hat Linux system with Apache, MySQL and the rest of the LAMP stack…While open source is already widespread throughout the government, its adoption by the White House will almost certainly give permission for much wider uptake…”

16. Cash-strapped Latvia mulls switching from Microsoft http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20091022/tc_afp/latviagovernmenteconomyitcrisis “…Latvia is mulling whether to replace brand name office software like Microsoft with an open source equivalent as a cost-cutting measure, a government spokeswoman told AFP Thursday…It's done with just one goal -- to save some money," she said. The resolution recently signed by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis is aimed at finding "an opportunity" -- financial and legal -- to switch the state "completely or in part" to using operating systems or software that "are not produced by the US Microsoft Corporation…”

SkyNet

17. Zoho Links Project Management Tool With Google Apps http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20091020/tc_pcworld/zoholinksprojectmanagementtoolwithgoogleapps Zoho has integrated its online project management tool, along with some other features, with Google's Apps…Zoho Projects for Google Apps will let people sign on using their log-in and password for Google Apps. The accounts on both services will then be merged…users can put their documents from Google Apps into Zoho Projects, which has a host of features such as assigning tasks to people, setting milestones and meetings, sharing documents and running forum discussions and wikis as well as online group chat sessions. Milestone, tasks and meetings can also be imported into Google's Calendar. The calendar can also be embedded into Google Sites, a tool to create simple Web pages…Users can manage one project with Zoho's Google integration for free…”

18. Google Music: OneBox http://gigaom.com/2009/10/21/google-to-add-full-song-streams-not-a-full-music-service/ “…Google will soon launch a search product dubbed “OneBox” that will better organize results around music artists and provide music streams from Lala.com, MySpace-owned iLike.com and other services — including full-song streams, according to one of my sources who’s seen it firsthand. That would make it a modest innovation in user search experience, but not a game-changer that will upset iTunes or compete in the mobile sphere as some early reports have speculated. So modest, in fact, that it sounds a lot like what Yahoo has been doing since last fall with RealNetworks’ Rhapsody…”

19. Google to Index Twitter & Enter Real-Time Search http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_indexes_twitter.php In the immediate wake of the announcement of Bing's indexing Twitter updates, Google has announced it will be doing the same. Taking the wind out of the sails of many a real-time search engine, Google's and Microsoft's announcements further put to rest a maelstrom of rumors swirling around the startup's possible acquisition and partnerships. Marissa Mayer wrote today on the official Google blog, "We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months…”

20. Evolving the look of Google Maps http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/10/evolving-look-of-google-maps.html Today the Google Maps team is rolling out a number of refinements to the look and feel of our maps, the biggest such changes since we first launched about 4.7 years ago. In that time we've been steadily adding details like walkways, address labels, bus stops, new country coverage, and improved satellite imagery, but the look of the map hasn't changed much. Today's changes are intended to keep the same information-rich map while making it easier to pick out the information that is most useful…”

21. Google adds batch-export feature to Docs http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39838925,00.htm “…Google said its Docs engineering team had created the feature working alongside the Data Liberation Front, a small team of engineers that the company set up to deal with import and export issues in Google's various online services. Users can now bundle multiple Google Docs in a choice of formats — including those for Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org and PDFs — then download them as a .zip file…” [http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/liberate-your-google-docs-with-convert.html ]

22. Google Voice with your existing number http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-voice-with-your-existing-number.html “…you now can get Google Voice with a Google number OR with your existing mobile phone number. If you choose to use Google Voice with your existing number, you won't get some features (like call screening and recording), but you'll still get many others -- including Google voicemail…”

General Technology

23. Head-mounted display review http://thomaskcarpenter.com/2009/10/21/ismar09-hmd-review/ “…I had the oppertunity to experience what Microvision, Vuzix and ORALab/EvoOpticks had to offer. I’ll try to relate their talks and my experiences with their products and let you know if any of them have achieved augmented vision…”

24. Will e-bikes be the new 'commuter cool'? http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/10/15/electric.bicycles/index.html “…the couple has cut 50 percent of their car-use since they started electric biking…there are other benefits. Keith Felch dropped 30 pounds and his blood pressure fell 10 points in the first six months he owned the bike…Electric bikes are still somewhat of a novelty in the United States, but…Chinese electric bikes number more than 100 million…In the United States, about 200,000 electric bicycles were sold last year…about twice the number sold in 2005…”

25. Toshiba Launches Methanol Fuel Cells in Japan http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2009_10/pr2201.htm “…Toshiba…today announced the launch of its first direct methanol fuel-cell product: Dynario™, an external power source that delivers power to mobile digital consumer products…The power consumption of mobile electronic devices, including mobile phones, has greatly increased with added functionality, including TV reception and Internet connectivity. As a result, battery exhaustion has become a major concern. Dynario™'s DMFC delivers almost instant refueling that untethers electrical equipment from AC adapters and power outlets. It runs on mix of methanol and ambient oxygen, and the chemical reaction between the two in the fuel cell produces electricity…”

26. Tilera debuts 100-core chip http://gigaom.com/2009/10/25/chip-startup-tilera-dreams-the-impossible-dream/ “…Today, the 5-year-old startup is expected to launch a 100-core version of its chip aimed at web-scale computing. Tilera scoffs at quad core machines. The company’s chips already are used by 75 customers, and come with 36, 64, and now 100 cores…Tilera’s chips only burn 33-50 watts instead of 130 watts that top-of-the-line Nehalem silicon can…Doud sees this opportunity and hopes that Tilera’s unique architecture can outperform efforts by other startups (and even big chip vendors) and get inside boxes made by large OEMs such as Dell and HP or smaller vendors using x86 chips in their cloud appliances. But it’s this architecture issue that’s Tilera’s biggest weak point…huge chunks of code aimed at enterprise and personal computing are written for Intel’s x86 architecture…Tilera has to offer tools to help programmers write for its chips without learning a new programming language. Doud says he thinks 10 percent of web-scale computing jobs don’t need to keep the old style of coding for x86 chips, and if Tilera can break in there, that would be enough for now. Tilera already sells its chips to telecommunications equipment companies and for those trying to do rapid video and voice transcoding…he is betting that the huge shift that’s come about as a result of web-scale and cloud computing is a good time to challenge the need to keep writing for x86 chips…”

27. Engineers create fingernail-size chip that holds 1TB http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139716/Engineers_create_fingernail_size_chip_that_holds_1TB_of_data “…Engineers have created a new fingernail-size chip that can hold 1 trillion bytes (a terabyte) of data…Working at the nanoscale, the engineers added metal nickel to magnesium oxide, a ceramic. The resulting material contained clusters of nickel atoms no bigger than 10 square nanometers -- a pinhead has a diameter of 1 million nanometers. The discovery represents a 90% size reduction compared with today's techniques…”

28. Microsoft Offers Windows 7 on USB Drives for Netbooks http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Windows/Microsoft-Offers-Windows-7-on-USB-Drives-for-Netbooks-225258/ “…the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool [WUDT] will take an ISO image and create a bootable USB device that can be used to install Windows 7…The WUDT can also create a Windows 7 installation DVD from the ISO file as well…in order to boot off of a USB device (or external DVD player), you will need to configure your BIOS to boot off of that device…”

29. Windows 7: A Whopper of an OS, with a Side of Fries http://www.pcworld.com/article/174176/windows_7_a_whopper_of_an_os_with_a_side_of_fries.html “…in Japan. For the next seven days, Burger King will be a selling a gigantic seven-layer Whopper, which is apparently a gargantuan five-inches thick…” [http://blogs.smugmug.com/don/2009/10/22/windows-7-party-with-seven-7x7-in-n-out-burgers/ ]

30. How to Install Windows 7 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2354687,00.asp “…The first thing to do is check whether your desktop or laptop PC is capable of running Windows 7…Officially, you need at least a 1-GHz CPU and 1GB RAM, but testers of the OS have successfully got it running on machines as out of date as a 266-MHz Pentium II with 96MB of RAM…There are lots of different editions of Windows 7, but only three you can buy: Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate…you have to do a clean installation—without the ability to carry your apps along—if you move from one level of Vista to another level of Windows 7…The exception is Windows 7 Ultimate, which will let you perform an in-place upgrade from any level of Vista—as long as you don't change whether you're using the 32- or 64-bit version. Don't forget to look into special pricing offers…The Student upgrade license is just $29.99…The rule of thumb is that if you have, or intend to install, more than 3GB of memory on your PC, you want 64-bit Windows…”

31. What Comes After Hard Drives? http://www.physorg.com/news175505861.html “…if HDDs continue to progress at their current pace, then in 2020 a two-disk, 2.5-inch disk drive will be capable of storing more than 14 TB and will cost about $40 (today, a typical 500 GB hard drive costs about $100). Although flash memories have also become popular - with advantages such as lower power consumption, faster read access time, and better mechanical reliability than HDDs - the cost per GB for flash memories is nearly 10 times that of HDDs. In addition, flash memory technology will reach technical limits that will prevent its continued scaling before 2020, keeping them from replacing HDDs…”

32. Xerox develops silver ink for wearable or throwaway electronics http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/10/26/xerox-developers-a-silver-ink-that-can-be-used-to-wearable-or-throwaway-electronics/ Xerox researchers have invented a kind of ink that can conduct electricity and be used to put electronic circuits on top of plastics, film, and textiles. That means in the coming years we’ll be able to wear or bend our electronics. You could even print out your electronic gadget on plastic sheets, as if you were printing a document…With plastics, you can unroll a sheet and then deposit electronic circuitry on top of it, building it up layer after layer. It helps to have conductive ink. That is, you need something that contains metal but that you can print with or spray on. The Xerox team created what they call a “silver bullet.” It’s a silver ink that melts at 140 degrees celsius. Normally, metals melt at 1,000 degrees or so. But plastic itself melts at 150 degrees. So an ink laid on top of plastic can’t melt at a higher temperature or it will melt the plastic…”

33. Four-screen Intel laptop http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10358419-1.html “…If two displays on a notebook…don't do the trick for you, Intel's about to up the ante with four. Yes, that's four--one primary LCD screen and three auxiliary OLED screens above the keyboard. The aim here is to allow the user to organize information the way he or she prefers it. Touted as the world's first multitouch, multiscreen concept solution, the prototype (code-named Tangent Bay) was unveiled at the Mobility Meetup…”

Leisure & Entertainment

34. "Assassin's Creed" films to premier on YouTube October 27 http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20091019/tc_afp/usfranceitinternetfilmvideogamesubisoft Ubisoft said Monday that a short film based on its blockbuster "Assassin's Creed" videogame will premier online at YouTube on October 27. The first "Assassin's Creed" animated short film created at the French videogame titan's Hybride Technologies studio in Canada will be featured on YouTube's home page for the first day…”

35. Google Prepares Music Search Service http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/google-preparing-music-service/ “…Google plans to launch a music service…rumored to be called “Google Music,” “Google Audio,” or “One Box,”…it will be announced next Wednesday, and that it will link out to two music services: Lala and iLike…”

36. E-books helping surge in library members http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6417660/E-books-helping-surge-in-library-members.html E-books are helping libraries attract a flurry of new members, as readers embrace digital novels…Only a handful of libraries have started to offer the service, but many in the library world are hopeful that the revolution in digital reading can help transform libraries' fortunes, and that the majority of libraries will soon offer downloads as a matter of course, alongside the latest Dan Brown paperback. Fiona Marriott, at Luton Libraries, said: "In recent weeks the number of ebook downloads has been increasing fast, and there are people emailing us from all over the country and even abroad asking if they can join as members online…”

37. Nintendo to launch new DSi handheld in Japan http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20091026/tc_nm/us_nintendo Nintendo Co plans to launch a new version of its DSi hand-held videogame player with a larger screen in Japan as early this year…Nintendo hopes the introduction of a large-screen version will kick-start demand for the DSi, whose monthly sales have slowed to a third of their peak levels following its launch…The existing version has a 3.25-inch screen, roughly the same size as Apple Inc's iPhone. The new version will have a screen larger than 4 inches…”

Economy and Technology

38. Yahoo 3Q profit soars http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20091020/ap_on_hi_te/us_earns_yahoo Yahoo Inc. may finally be pulling out of a three-year slump that cast aside two CEOs and spurred a cost-costing spree that laid off about 2,000 workers. The purge is the main reason Yahoo's third-quarter profit more than tripled from last year to soar past analysts' relatively low expectations for the troubled Internet company. But the results released Tuesday also showed Yahoo's revenue fell by at least 12 percent for the third consecutive quarter. The revenue rut means Yahoo still has a long way to go on its comeback trail…”

39. Microsoft starts selling PCs online http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10381031-56.html “…Microsoft has started selling computers and third-party software via its online store. It's part of a broader push to try to give Windows the kind of lift that Apple has gotten from its network of retail stores. Microsoft had said it would sell PCs at its brick-and-mortar stores, but it plans to open just two of those this year, including a Scottsdale, Ariz., location that opens later Thursday. Early on Thursday, though, Microsoft revamped its online store, which had been an outlet only for Microsoft products…”

40. Nokia lawsuit could cost Apple $1 billion says analysts http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsid=27548 “…Neil Mawston at Strategy Analytics told Reuters, Apple could have to pay Nokia anything between $200 million and $1 billion for patents used in 34 million iPhones shipped so far…According to Nokia, they've been telling Apple for months now that they owe them money for the patents they're using, and Apple has refused to pay them anything. From Nokia's point of view, they've tried the carrot and to be nice guys, and now it's time to bring out the stick…”

Civilian Aerospace

41. Economy, rule change ground X Prize plans http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_13641649 The X Prize Cup, an event aimed at spurring innovation in space technology, won't be held this year in southern New Mexico, as it has in recent years. A change in the official rules for its featured space technology competition and a lack of funding on the state's part are to blame for its absence…the Cup was held in Las Cruces in the fall of 2005 and 2006 before being moved to Alamogordo in 2007, when it lost title sponsor, Wirefly…The highlight of the X Prize Cup has been the $2 million Lunar Lander Challenge, which pits companies against one another to advance technology for landing on the moon…a Federal Aviation Administration rule change this year allows companies to fly their vehicles from their own backyards, getting rid of the need to travel to a single destination…the state wasn't able to sponsor the event financially this year because of the poor economy. He said early on, the state invested about $2 million in sponsorships for the event. Later, when it moved to Alamogordo, the level dropped to about $750,000. But even that isn't possible this year…”

42. Rocket testing resumes in Butte http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=11356965 “…The aerospace professionals at Space Propulsion Group say if you mix paraffin wax with liquid oxygen and even nitrous, oxide you have the makings of a scientific masterpiece. "It has good performance, but it is also environmentally friendly. It uses nothing more toxic than liquid oxygen, just like the oxygen in the air that happens to be liquefied and paraffin as a fuel," Terry Spath of Spath Engineering explained. Most common in the industry today are rockets that use solid fuels and rockets that use liquid fuels. When you bring the two together, you have a hybrid rocket engine. The aeronautics specialists at Space Propulsion Group, a company from Sunnyvale, California, are testing a rocket, which combines paraffin wax and liquid oxygen, creating a cost efficient, environmentally friendly, hybrid technology in Butte this week…”

43. America's space efforts converge http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/10/21/2105109.aspx Private-sector spaceflight is going public ... or is public-sector spaceflight going private? Space industry executives and space agency officials made clear at a conference today that "Old Space" and "New Space" are converging…"The way we do space business will change," Pat Hynes, director of the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, declared as she opened this week's International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, N.M. The biggest changes have to do with the blending of public and private initiatives…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

44. A Pervasive GPU Computing Strategy http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/A-Pervasive-GPU-Computing-Strategy-65667732.html “…A trio of announcements this week provides a rough outline of how the company intends to expand its GPU computing footprint. Cloud Computing Meets the GPU…NSF Puts GPU Super on Track…Georgia Tech announced that the NSF is pitching in $12 million over five years to fund a project for two GPU-equipped supercomputers under its Track 2 program…this is the first Track 2 award to go toward GPU-accelerated supers…Windows 7 Brings GPU Computing API…” [http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-10/giot-gtw102009.php ]

45. GPUs: the next frontier in film http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8300310.stm “…The GPU is a specialised graphics processor that creates lighting effects and transforms objects every time a 3D scene is redrawn…The advent of the GPU is really the next big frontier for us. We have seen hundreds of times improvements over the last few months. This is taking Moore's Law out the window…This is a big leap and the amount of data that can be crunched, analysed and documented can be done a lot faster on the GPU than the CPU. On certain simulations, we are talking a 100-200 times improvement…”

46. CUDA, Supercomputing for the Masses: Part 14 http://www.ddj.com/hpc-high-performance-computing/220601124 “…This installment focuses on debugging techniques and how CUDA-GDB can be used to effectively diagnose and debug CUDA code -- with an emphasis on how to speed the process when looking through large amounts of data as well as the thread syntax and semantic differences needed to debug kernels while they are running on the GPU…”

47. NVIDIA GPUs Empower Software Developers http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-GPUs-Empower-Software-Developers-65564117.html “…Windows 7…the ability it provides software developers to create powerful new digital media applications by harnessing the massive parallel processing power of NVIDIA GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs). Windows 7 gives developers this freedom through Microsoft's new DirectCompute application programming interface (API), which is being introduced as part of the Microsoft DirectX 11 API…DirectCompute will make it even easier for developers to create innovative applications that take advantage of the GPU's massively parallel processing power." NVIDIA has worked closely with Microsoft on the development, testing and validation of Microsoft DirectCompute…”


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