2009/11/10

NEW NET Issues List for 10 Nov 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 10 November 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs at The Wooden Nickel, 217 E. College Avenue, Appleton, Wisconsin (downtown Appleton), http://www.woodennickelsportsbar.com. Good food and beverages. Bring your laptop -- free wifi. The owner of the Nickel, Tony, said Tuesday evenings are relatively quiet and that he'll turn off the speakers in the raised area near the front door to make it easier for NEW NET people to hear each other.

The ‘net

10 Nov 09 1. OU considers use of cloud computing http://www.kable.co.uk/open-university-cloud-computing-microsoft-google-03oct09 “…OU…will shortly be taking a decision about whether to deploy Google Apps or Microsoft Live@edu...not only will the OU be able to outsource email services for its 229,000 students, as well as its staff, taking away the maintenance burden from the university, but it will also be able to use the large document storage facilities offered by cloud computing systems. "In the longer term I can see more and more functionality accruing to cloud-based services," said Sclater. "We are watching very closely and having conversations with Microsoft and Google as we make our decision about which of those systems to go for…”

10 Nov 09 2. Virtual Goods Start Bringing Real Paydays http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/07/technology/internet/07virtual.html “…Silicon Valley may have discovered the perfect business: charging real money for products that do not exist. These so-called virtual goods, like a $1 illustration of a Champagne bottle on Facebook or the $2.50 Halloween costume in the online game Sorority Life, are no more than a collection of pixels on a Web page. But it is quickly becoming commonplace for people to spend a few dollars on them to get ahead in an online game or to give a friend a gift on a social network. Analysts estimate that virtual goods could bring in a billion dollars in the United States and around $5 billion worldwide this year — all for things that, aside from perhaps a few hours of work by an artist and a programmer, cost nothing to produce…” [ http://www.fakesteve.net/2009/11/why-mainstream-media-is-dying.html http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/31/scamville-the-social-gaming-ecosystem-of-hell/ http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/07/horrible-things-slink-back-into-zynga/ ]

10 Nov 09 3. A new Bing maps interface http://www.liveside.net/bingblog/archive/2009/11/09/hey-a-new-bing-maps-interface.aspx “…The navigation bars look to be simplified, and “Get Directions” is featured prominently on the www.bing.com/maps page...after the Welcome page, are Directions, “My Places” (this was called Collections, and yes your collections are still accessible), Share, Print, and Traffic. Here’s a closer look at My Places: Under “Explore”, user contributions can be sorted on (left to right in the icons): Items with pictures, Items with 3d Buildings, Items with MapCruncher Layers, and Items with Photosynths…”

10 Nov 09 4. Microsoft Bing Gives WiFi Users Free Search http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=117007 “…Microsoft's Bing and JiWire will announce Monday an advertising campaign, along with the results, that lets consumers gain free WiFi Internet access at participating hot spots in exchange for one search on the engine. Supported by JiWire's mobile advertising network, which reaches about 20 million unique consumers monthly, Bing's nationwide campaign runs across WiFi hotspots in airports and hotels…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

10 Nov 09 5. U.S/International Copyright Treaty Leaked, Trouble Ahead for ISPs & Users http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/copyright_treaty_leaked_trouble_for_isps_and_in.php According to once-secret, now-leaked sections of the new, plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, global Internet users and ISPs might be in for a world of hurt in the near future. A U.S.-drafted chapter on Internet use would require ISPs to police user-generated content, to cut off Internet access for copyright violators, and to remove content that is accused of copyright violation without any proof of actual violation. The chapter also completely prohibits DRM workarounds, even for archiving or retrieving one's own work…Only 42 specific persons - such as representatives of Google, Intel, Verizon, Time Warner, Sony, News Corp, eBay, the MPAA, and the RIAA - were given access to the document under nondisclosure agreements: a corporate cabal hand-selected to help review the text of the final agreement. The politicians involved in creating the document are also heavily funded by entertainment, media, and IP corporations such as Sony, Time Warner, News Corp, and Disney…Internet users around the world are headed for a new regime of IP enforcement - a culture of invasive searches, minimal privacy, guilt until innocence is proven, and measures that would kill our normative behaviors of file-sharing, free software, media downloading, creative remixing, and even certain civil liberties…This all spells a huge boon to the established entertainment industry and a huge burder for ISPs…”

10 Nov 09 6. Windows 7 vulnerable to 8 out of 10 viruses http://www.sophos.com/blogs/chetw/g/2009/11/03/windows-7-vulnerable-8-10-viruses/ “…we settled in at SophosLabs and loaded a full release copy of Windows 7 on a clean machine. We configured it to follow the system defaults for User Account Control (UAC) and did not load any anti-virus software. We grabbed the next 10 unique samples that arrived in the SophosLabs feed to see how well the newer, more secure version of Windows and UAC held up. Unfortunately, despite Microsoft's claims, Windows 7 disappointed just like earlier versions of Windows. The good news is that, of the freshest 10 samples that arrived, 2 would not operate correctly under Windows 7. User Account Control did block one sample; however, its failure to block anything else just reinforces my warning prior to the Windows 7 launch that UAC's default configuration is not effective at protecting a PC from modern malware. Lesson learned? You still need to run anti-virus on Windows 7…”

10 Nov 09 7. Plumber vs. Programmer: who owns your businesses name and phone number? http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/11/plumber_vs_programmer_a_face_off_over_an_online_directory.html “…For more than 30 years, Evan Conklin has practiced plumbing in the Seattle area fixing broken water heaters, leaky faucets and malfunctioning toilets…But there's been at least one constant in Conklin's ever-changing profession: his phone number. That was until last Friday when Conklin stumbled upon HelpHive, a Seattle online directory of local service providers. Conklin couldn't believe what he saw. His business listing on HelpHive included a phone number, but it wasn't the one he'd used for the past 30 years. It was a new number generated and controlled by HelpHive, a proxy number of sorts that the Internet upstart had set up to track calls it was passing on to the plumber. Conklin was appalled with the idea that a third-party Web site could create a new phone number for his business, thinking that it was simply a way to get between him and his customer and to eventually start charging him for leads…”

10 Nov 09 8. 16 antivirus programs compared — none 'very good' http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/archives/2009/11/16_antivirus_programs_compared_none_very_good_1.html “…AV-Comparatives looked at 16 different security packages. The products were tested to see how well they detected threats and then removed them. The results are not what I'd call heartening. None of the products were rated "Very Good" based on AV-Comparatives' scale. The best any of them could muster was "Good", and only three products fell into that category for both detection and removal: eScan Anti-Virus 10.0, Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 and Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus 2010…”

10 Nov 09 9. MS COFEE leaks all over the Internet http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/11/06/siren-gif-microsoft-cofee-law-enforcement-tool-leaks-all-over-the-internet/ “…Microsoft COFEE, the law enforcement tool that mystified so many of us (including Gizmodo~! and Ars Technica~!), is now available to download. If only there were a “bay” of some sort where, I don’t know, pirates hang out…COFEE is 100 percent useless to you. Given that, what makes COFEE so mysterious, so special? The sole reason is because it’s never been available before (unless, of course, you’re a law enforcement official)…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10 Nov 09 10. Verizon Launches Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nf/20091105/tc_nf/69906 “…Laptop-toting road warriors who don't want to commit to a long-term mobile broadband data plan might be interested in a new offering from Verizon Wireless…Despite the potential cost savings for less-frequent mobile broadband users, the service may not prove as popular as prepaid mobile phone plans because the costs are high and the data limits are relatively low compared to contracts. Customers can purchase a traditional mobile broadband plan from Verizon for $30 a month with 5GB of data if they are willing to sign a contract…Verizon's prices aren't as competitive as other carriers. Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go prepaid service relies on the same modem on Sprint's 3G network. Virgin Mobile charges $10 for 100MB of data transfers over a 10-day period, $20 for 250MB over a 30-day period…”

10 Nov 09 11. Starbucks Makes It Easier, Different to Get Free Wi-Fi http://wifinetnews.com/archives/2009/11/starbucks_makes_it_easier_different_to_get_free_wi-fi.html “…Under the current system, Starbucks has two tracks: a free card that stores value for purchases, and a membership card, that can optionally hold a dollar charge. The plain stored-value card exists mostly for convenience and usage tracking by Starbucks, but includes a few extras, one of which is the daily dose of Wi-Fi. To earn that benefit for 30 days, you either make a purchase with the card or add value (min. $5)…Starbucks is merging the two programs into one that will have no fees and no discount, but which offers a free drink on your birthday as well as a free drink for every 15 transactions after your first 30 transactions…After five transactions, you're boosted into the Green Level--green being Starbucks' corporate color--and you qualify for the daily Wi-Fi allotment with no further purchases…the FAQ says that you remain active at the green level for two years following your last transaction…”

10 Nov 09 12. The iPhone is the worst phone in the world http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/0,39029453,49303754,00.htm?s_cid=96 “…The iPhone may be the greatest handheld surfing device ever to rock the mobile Web, and a fabulous media player to boot…But as an actual call-making phone, it's rubbish…Call quality on the iPhone is pathetic, and it's mostly because of the tiny speaker. It has to be aligned with your ear canal with the accuracy of a laser-guided ninja doing cataract surgery…The microphone is similarly craptastic, letting in all and sundry sounds to pollute your important calls…the worst of the iPhone's problems is its ability to sit there stealthily and ignore incoming calls…Battery life is the first casualty of smart-phone development, as the power of 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi and heavy-duty processing sucks the power out of over-miniaturised cells. But the iPhone was the first to really flaunt its slim body while you watched the bars drop almost in front of your eyes…If the iPhone is inaudible, unconnected, on fire and out of battery, why is the thing so popular? The fact is, although the iPhone is the worst phone in the world, it's the best handheld computer there is. Web browsing is a revelation, it's a fantastic music- and movie-playing iPod, and it's easy as pie to install thousands of apps that do everything from editing your photos to tuning your guitar. And unlike its competitors, its responsive touchscreen and crystal-clear user interface make tapping away on the iPhone a real pleasure…Just don't try to actually make a phone call on one.”

10 Nov 09 13. iPhone Superguide comes to the App Store... eventually http://www.macworld.com/article/143677/2009/11/iphone_superguide_iphone.html ; Top-Grossing iPhone Apps http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=25971 ; GetJar: The unknown app store leader http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10392095-94.html ; iPhone Users Sue Gaming Company For Harvesting Cell Numbers http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=116920 [Because smartphones and smartphone app providers have the ability to gather data about app downloading and use, and because there are thousands or hundreds of thousands of apps, should apps, app stores or smartphone providers gather and publish data to show which apps are most likely to be worth installing on your phone?]

10 Nov 09 14. Motorola's Droid review: It's the best phone on Verizon http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/11/droid-review.html “…Motorola's Droid is the best Google phone on the market…Droid is the best phone on Verizon…The Droid hardware is a technical feat. It has a 5-megapixel camera with a flash that doesn't perform exceptionally well but still pretty great for a phone. The speaker is pleasantly loud. The touch-screen screen is gorgeous -- larger than the iPhone's with way more pixels per inch…After spending plenty of time with the iPhone and MyTouch, we realized just how much we don't miss physical keyboards…Android has really come a long way in a year. The software keyboard is smarter, the included apps more sophisticated and the subtleties of switching between programs more natural. But for as far as Google's operating system has come, it remains several steps behind Apple's iPhone in many respects…”

10 Nov 09 15. The Droid fails AS A PRODUCT when compared to Palm Pre and iPhone http://scobleizer.com/2009/11/08/droid-palm-pre-iphone-product-comparison/ “…They are right that Android is an interesting phone because it has interesting technology that goes further than the iPhone. What is better about the Droid? 1. It has a FAR better screen…2. Verizon is amazing. It didn’t drop on the usual dead zone on my route home…3. The call quality is noticeably better…4. There are some apps that are dramatically better…5. There are some features that are better on Android…6. It has a physical keyboard…7. Developers say they like the Android platform better and find that they are able to push apps to customers faster than on iPhone…8. Integration with Google’s apps (calendar, mail, etc) is better and deeper into the phone than on iPhone…if you read all of these you might be already headed out the door to buy the Droid. Here is why you might not want to head out the door yet…”

10 Nov 09 16. Droid Battery Life Requires New Charging Habits http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/181684/droid_battery_life_requires_new_charging_habits.html “…at least one other iPhone comparison that bears noticing, though…poor battery life could be an Achilles heel for the Droid invasion like the bacteria that took down the alien invasion force in War of the Worlds. Mobile phone manufacturers like to talk about battery life in terms of talk time vs. standby time...but smartphones are doing stuff even while they're just sitting there. Clearly we need a new way of considering battery life. PC World senior editor Robert Strohmeyer…charged it up until the Droid displayed a full charge, then set off for a busy day of work--new Droid in hand. He was surprised, and perhaps a little disappointed, when the Droid battery ran out of juice before he got home…If you're used to having a mobile phone instead of a mobile computing platform like the Droid, it may seem alarming that the device can't survive the day without a charge. The Droid battery life is not unusual, though, for smartphones and is really just indicative of the need to change charging habits to keep up with the needs of the device…”

10 Nov 09 17. Best Buy: $249 notebook this holiday season http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/11/10/best-buy-to-sell-a-249-notebook-this-holiday-season/ “…Best Buy has you covered with a $249 Acer laptop…an Intel Celeron 900 CPU, 2GB of memory, and a 160GB hard drive. Chances are the screen will be around 15-inches too and it will have the standard assortment of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DVD optical drive, webcam, and a 6-cell battery life…”

Open Source

10 Nov 09 18. Linux for grandma & grandpa http://blogs.computerworld.com/15040/linux_for_grandma_grandpa “…I can't spend all my time answering my mother-in-law's questions and worrying about what malware she might stumble over. So, I put desktop Linux on her laptop — and ever since then I've had a lot fewer late night calls. What's that? Linux is much too complicated and techie for someone who might have trouble navigating Outlook Express?...If your older relatives are like mine, they use the desktop for e-mail and the Internet, and that's about it. Firefox, with GMail for e-mail, looks and works the same on both Linux and Windows…you may want to add a few programs to their desktop to give them all full multimedia functionality, like Adobe Flash for Flash media, and VLC Media Player to play DVDs… with Windows, you must constantly be patching and re-patching it to keep it even halfway safe. If your older relatives are like mine, they're more likely to click on a Hallmark malware e-card than they are to OK an upgrade. With Linux, it's helpful if they can keep it up-to-date on their own, but it doesn't really matter if they don't. Not only is Linux simply more secure than Windows, the simple fact is that 99.9999% of all attacks are aimed at Windows…”

10 Nov 09 19. Virtualbox for solving a common small business problem http://blog.eracc.com/2009/11/05/gnulinux-virtualbox-for-solving-a-common-small-business-problem/ “…No one will use Linux until (insert application name here) runs natively on Linux…this is almost pure hyperbole…This article demonstrates one solution…most accountants that support small businesses only know QuickBooks. To be able to use these accountants the small business owner must use QuickBooks…Adding to this problem is many small businesses are very small businesses and may only need one computer for the entire business. This one computer must be used for web browsing and e-mail reading. Both of which are major inroads for malware on Microsoft systems. Yet the PC is also used for the accounting of the small business. Accounting data has a great deal of information that may be useful to criminals. However, malware is rife on Microsoft based systems making problematic any accounting data’s safety on a single multi-use Microsoft PC…I have just such a client that faced this same dilemma…he needed to use QuickBooks at the business so his long-time accountant could “do her thing” as she is one of the QuickBooks accountants I mention above. This computer at the business also had to handle e-mail and web browsing safely. This gentleman did not want to risk his accounting data on a Microsoft based PC that was multi-tasked with e-mail and web browsing. Yet he had to have all of those on his one office computer…I had explained to him we could solve his problem by running a real Microsoft OS in a virtual machine on Linux…”

10 Nov 09 20. TonidoPlug: Your Personal Cloud Server in a Plug http://maketecheasier.com/tonidoplug-your-personal-cloud-server-in-a-plug/2009/11/02#more-8105 “…Putting all your stuffs and confidential data on the cloud may seems like a good idea as it allows you to access to them anytime, anywhere. However, it can become a totally bad decision when the security of the cloud server is compromised or the third party providers wind up their services and all your data gone down with them…Tonido is a free software that turns your desktop into a personal server and allows you to access and share your files, media, calendar and apps from everywhere. Be it Windows, Mac or Linux, you simply install the software and have your own personal cloud server up and running in no time…if all your important data resides on your external backup drive and you wish to have your own cloud server running at all times without having to turn on your computer everytime, then TonidoPlug is the one for you. TonidoPlug is the hardware version of Tonido. It is a tiny, low power, low cost home server and NAS device powered by Tonido software. It comes with its own RAM and CPU (and preinstalled with Ubuntu). All you need to do is to plug it into the power socket and there you are, a server ready at your beckoning. It integrates nicely with all the features found in the Tonido software and allows you to access your files, music, pictures from anywhere…”

SkyNet

10 Nov 09 21. Is Google Dinging Music Search Results With Promo Songs? http://gigaom.com/2009/11/03/is-google-dinging-music-search-results-with-promo-songs/ “…Google’s new enhanced music search results will feature promotional songs from record labels, opening the door for Google to treat music search as a paid-content opportunity rather than just the shortest path to a song…The inclusion of promo material treads uncomfortably close to the line between neutral search and sponsored content. Rather than simply delivering an artist’s most popular songs in response to a query, Google is allowing someone else to hand-pick at least some of the songs that appear in its results — a small but real betrayal of user trust…by allowing a music vendor or a record label to choose what comes up first in a music search, Google is actually allowing promotional material to intrude on its putatively neutral results…”

10 Nov 09 22. Google Dashboard: Find Out What Google Knows About You http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/11/05/google-dashboard-find-out-what-google-knows-about-you/ If you’re concerned that Google is starting to know a bit too much about you, you might be interested to find out that Google has released Google Dashboard, a window onto the data that Google stores about your accounts. All you need to do is go to www.google.com/dashboard and log in to your account. You’ll be presented with a list of all of the Google services that you use, and the data that is stored in them…”

10 Nov 09 23. Best Buy Will Help You Go Google Mobile http://www.pcworld.com/article/181592/best_buy_will_help_you_go_google_mobile.html “…Best Buy…partnering with Google to help install the Google Mobile app on new phones. Google likenes [sic] the partnership plan to the kind of conversation you might have with a friend. You've got a new phone, and your friend wants to tell you all about the benefits of Google's Mobile app. At Best Buy, you'll get a live demonstration of everything Google Mobile offers, and Best Buy staff will even help get the app running on your phone if you like. The app and the service are free. The benefits to Google are clear: More people will use Google on their phones, but what is Best Buy's getting out of this? Is it monetary compensation, or just the feeling that Best Buy's retail stores aren't irrelevant in the digital age?…”

10 Nov 09 24. Google Wave vs Twitter at conferences http://blog.freshnetworks.com/2009/11/google-wave-vs-twitter-at-conferences/ “…Twitter has quickly become the must-have channel for conference back-chat. Reading what other people tweet during a speech provides an extra dimension as you get a sense of what the audience is thinking…watch out Twitter. Google Wave is going to take this digitally-enabled conference back-channel a step further. At the recent Ecomm conference delegates were provided with Google Wave accounts. What resulted was a fantastic showcase of collaboration and crowd-sourcing…”

10 Nov 09 25. Google's holiday gift: Free WiFi in 47 airports http://www.geek.com/articles/news/google-offers-free-wi-fi-across-47-airports-from-today-20091110/ Google is giving travellers an early Christmas present this year by rolling out free Wi-Fi access at 47 airports across the U.S. The free service is available from today and forms both a promotional tool for Google’s services and a way of raising money for charity…The offer forms an extension of the free in-flight Wi-Fi Google has already announced for Virgin America flights which also starts today and runs until January 15th (as will the airport Wi-Fi offer)…”

10 Nov 09 26. Gizmo5 Reportedly Acquired by Google http://www.pcworld.com/article/181791/googles_purchase_of_skype_rival_gizmo5_could_benefit_you.html “…Rumors have it that the acquisition-happy search giant has acquired Gizmo5, a Skype-like VoIP startup…The VoIP startup's technology provides Google with a PSTN link, or a means of enabling inbound and outbound calls to convention landline and cell phones. By integrating Gizmo5's tech with Google Voice, a clever call-management app that provides one number for all of your phones, and the Google Talk voice/chat client, a powerful phone service is born. "If you put all of this stuff together, you have something a lot more powerful than Skype," Abramson says. "Google has just gotten to where Skype wants to go a little faster, assuming the deal is done…”

10 Nov 09 27. New handbook for Google http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/brierdudley/2010231374_brier09.html “…the essential guide for Droid owners — and anyone else moving their life onto Google technology platforms — is a 384-pager written by The New Yorker media writer Ken Auletta. "Googled: The End of the World as We Know It" is a definitive, semiauthorized history of the enigmatic company and analysis of its upcoming challenges. The book is also a candid look at tensions within the Googleplex — between its idealism and commercial ambitions, iconoclastic founders and maturing company management challenges — and its overarching drive to play an ever bigger role in people's lives. Most striking of all, for people familiar with Microsoft's history, is how much Google resembles its nemesis in Redmond. Both have quirky and confrontational founders, dogged by accusations they poached breakout products, so fervent that they miss growing concerns about their fantastic success…”

10 Nov 09 28. Google looks to dominate smartphone advertising with AdMob acquisition http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_google_bought_admob.php Google announced this morning that it has acquired 3-year old mobile display ad serving platform AdMob for $750 million, half the price it paid for YouTube in 2006. Why did Google make this move?...First, AdMob is a very strong company in a sector (mobile advertising) that everyone expects to become much more important in the future. Second, this is a chance to make a big move towards monetizing on Apple's iPhone platform while making sure that no one else does something similar to Android in the future…”

General Technology

10 Nov 09 29. Isabella Products and AT&T launch two-way sharing digital photo frames http://venturebeat.com/2009/11/05/isabella-products-and-att-launch-two-way-sharing-digital-photo-frames/ Isabella Products is announcing Vizit, a two-way interactive digital photo frame that will share photos via AT&T’s wireless network. Most web-connected digital photo frames can display pictures via flash memory cards or receive them over the Internet. Concord, Mass.-based Isabella has made one that uses AT&T’s wireless data network to both share and receive photos…Vizit has an easy-to-use interface, real-time photo sharing, a touchscreen display, and remote photo management. The latter lets you manage photos when you log into VizitMe.com…With Vizit, you can take pictures of your kid on a camera phone in San Francisco and share them with grandparents across the country.…”

10 Nov 09 30. Parallels launches latest software to blend Mac and Windows apps http://venturebeat.com/2009/11/04/parallels-launches-latest-software-to-blend-mac-and-windows-apps/ Parallels…is launching its Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac today. The software enables an Apple Mac computer to run Windows applications…Not only can you switch screens from the Mac OS to Windows, you can also use Windows applications alongside Mac apps. This convenience is why Parallels Desktop has more than two million users who run Windows…side by side with the Mac OS X…it should make companies like Microsoft nervous because it minimizes the importance of any given operating system…This new Desktop 5 for Mac software is compatible with Windows 7 applications…”

10 Nov 09 31. Multi-button OpenOfficeMouse http://www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/openofficemouse-crams-practically-a-million-buttons-onto-the-back-of-a-rodent-2009117/ “…How many mouse buttons do you really need? If you’re an Apple user, you only need one. A PC owner might get by with a two button mouse, but three buttons are better, since that opens up the easy possibility of tab and new file opening…Logitech sells numerous mice with thumb buttons, triggering email, volume, digital audio player track control and more…Are you the top cleric in your World of Warcraft guild? There’s rodents with a dozen buttons or more for the binding of all your healing spells…The new OpenOfficeMouse developed by WarMouse in partnership with the OpenOffice.org community doesn’t just put a dozen buttons on the face of the mouse: it crams eighteen in there, each with double-click functionality…”

10 Nov 09 32. Augmented Reality in the Future Of Business http://testfunda.com/examprep/mba-resource/current-affairs/article/augmented-reality-in-the-future-of-business.htm?assetid=13505466-1668-4c9b-8c77-bcb3711ef345 “…The number of technological gadgets and applications that have made themselves at home in our lives is mind-boggling. The latest generation of tools to do so is the range of “augmented Reality” devices and applications…Augmented reality is any perceived reality to which elements of technology give an additional perspective…Some of the aspects that it will affect in the future include…when you hold up your phone to a building to view the image, the device will let out a stream of information on the same, without you having to search for it…walking through a doorway would trigger access to the person’s medical records, allowing the doctor to see medical history without having to go through a lengthy procedure of question and answer…BMW has recently done a conceptual design where instructions for repair are flashed onto the glasses of a mechanic and he follows the given instructions…”

10 Nov 09 33. Seven perfectly legal ways to get Windows 7 cheap (or even free) http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=1533 “…Windows 7…ranges from $120 for a Home Premium upgrade to $320 for a fully licensed copy of Windows 7 Ultimate…Most people have much better options available, if you know where to look…My goal in this post is to point you to deals that customers legitimately qualify for…”

10 Nov 09 34. The future of interface design http://www.uxbooth.com/blog/the-future-of-interface-design/ “…The future of how we interact with computers is exciting to say the least. What once seemed like nonsense outside of Hollywood and Science Fiction is now starting to find it’s way into reality, and some of the technology is a bit overwhelming. Have a taste of what the future of interface design has to offer…Heads Up Displays…Gesture-based Interfaces…Spatial Motion Interfaces…Augmented Reality…”

10 Nov 09 35. Children’s toy inspires a cheap, easy production method for high-tech diagnostic chips http://www.technologyreview.com/TR35/Profile.aspx?Cand=T&TRID=764 “…Michelle Khine arrived at the University of California­'s brand-new Merced campus eager to establish her first lab. She was experimenting with tiny liquid-filled channels in hopes of devising chip-based diagnostic tests, a discipline called microfluidics. The trouble was, the specialized equipment that she previously used to make microfluidic chips cost more than $100,000--money that wasn't immediately available…Khine remembered her favorite childhood toy: Shrinky Dinks, large sheets of thin plastic that can be colored with paint or ink and then shrunk in a hot oven…she whipped up a channel design in AutoCAD, printed it out on Shrinky Dink material using a laser printer, and stuck the result in a toaster oven…She pulled the PDMS away from the Shrinky Dink mold, and voilà: a finished microfluidic device that cost less than a fast-food meal…when she published a short paper about her technique, she was floored by the response she got from scientists all over the world…”

10 Nov 09 36. Cough into your mobile phone for instant diagnosis http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6530704/Cough-into-your-mobile-phone-for-instant-diagnosis.html “…Your mobile phone may soon be able to diagnose respiratory illnesses in seconds when you cough into it. Software being developed by American and Australian scientists will hopefully allow patients simply to cough into their phone, and it will tell them whether they have cold, flu, pneumonia or other respiratory diseases. Whether a cough is dry or wet, or “productive” or “non-productive” (referring to the presence of mucus on the lungs), can give a doctor information about what is causing that cough, for example whether it is caused by a bacterial or a viral infection…”

10 Nov 09 37. Apple's Mini DisplayPort officially adopted by VESA http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/11/10/apples_mini_displayport_officially_adopted_by_vesa.html “…DisplayPort 1.2 is a new standard VESA is finalizing that will double the technology's bandwidth capabilities to 21.6GB/s. It is said to support multiple monitors via a single connector, 3D displays, and higher resolutions, refresh rates and color depths. The Mini DisplayPort is a small form factor connector invented by Apple to fully support the VESA DisplayPort protocol. Unlike the Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI connectors common on previous generation Apple products, the port is capable of driving resolutions up to 2560x1600, which is commonly used on 30-inch displays…Mini DisplayPort is much smaller than DVI (Digital Video Interface) or VGA connectors and enables full function display output on ultrathin notebooks and netbooks…”

Leisure & Entertainment

10 Nov 09 38. The Beatles on iTunes: Don’t Hold Your Breath http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20091105/tc_pcworld/thebeatlesonitunesdontholdyourbreath Wondering why there's so much hubbub over The Beatles selling all their albums on a USB drive? Because deep down inside, everyone's hoping that someday, the Beatles' catalog will come to Apple's iTunes (and maybe Amazon, too). From what I see, though, this is just wishful thinking, and if anything, we're further from an Apple-Beatles agreement than ever…”

10 Nov 09 39. Technology helps, but digital photography is still an art http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110603828.html “…as art lovers take in the hundreds of images mounted around town at FotoWeek D.C., most of them will probably look a fair amount like photos always have. The technology used to produce them, however, will almost certainly be new. They will have been shot and printed digitally…Twenty-five years ago, as a budding computer geek, he got his hands on what he thinks was the first Macintosh computer in the District -- bought, Adamson says, in the vacuum-cleaner section of Hecht's department store…a decade later, when Adamson became one of the first people in the country to make digital art prints, he didn't think the technology would ever be within the means of amateurs. His first digital printer, built around the complex Iris technology, cost him $150,000…Now that printers can cost a thousand times less than they used to, and any hobbyist can turn out an impressive image, I asked Adamson about the ubiquity of digital photography, its virtues and pitfalls…”

10 Nov 09 40. TEDx bite off more than they could chew? http://www.examiner.com/x-28238-Baltimore-Social-Media-Examiner~y2009m11d4-TEDx-bite-off-more-than-they-could-chew “…Starting tomorrow, the largest technology convention ever to see Baltimore City will commence at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). With the help of over 100 volunteers, TEDx (acronym for technology, entertainment and design) MidAtlantic will attract over 500 Baltimoreans and 20 A-, B-, and C-list speakers from around Baltimore and the nation…According to the TEDxMidatlantic website, TED conferences bring together the world’s leading thinkers and doers for a series of discussions, presentations and performances. The conference is meant to celebrate the convergence of Technology, Entertainment, and Design…”

10 Nov 09 41. The EXAMINE'd Life: Keeping Interactive Fiction Alive http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/05/the-examined-life-ke.html “…As with my earlier column on the new vanguard and returning classic franchises that are keeping point and click adventures alive a decade or more past their prime, there's one other genre that all but the hardest-of-the-core and its tight-knit community itself seem to have forgotten: the text adventure…it's a genre that certainly is flourishing deep in the underground at places like The IFDB, the IFWiki, the yearly IFComp(etition)…”

Economy and Technology

10 Nov 09 42. Skype Founders Settle With eBay http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/06/confirmed-skype-founders-settle-with-ebay-and-others-get-14-stake-in-skype-not-10/ “…eBay has just announced that it has reached a settlement with the founders of Skype, clearing the way for the sale of the Internet communication company to a consortium formed by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board…The original Skype founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, are now back in the game. The Scandinavian businessmen are getting 14 percent of Skype back for rights to the Global Index P2P technology their company Joltid controls (which is key to the Skype software)…”

10 Nov 09 43. Cisco's EMC Venture: Better Than a Buyout? http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2009/tc2009113_873211.htm “…Cisco used the event to unveil a joint venture with EMC (EMC) and a lineup of data center products in conjunction with EMC and VMware (VMW). Together, the companies will sell what they're billing as the building blocks of data centers, massive storehouses of computing power. Known as "Vblocks," the products include networking equipment from Cisco, computer storage gear from EMC, and VMware virtualization software, which is designed to boost the efficiency of servers, the computers that run Web sites and corporate networks…an alliance with EMC and VMware could help Cisco, one of techdom's most acquisitive companies, grab a larger share of customers' computing budgets without the cost and scrutiny of buying VMware outright…The deal "is a substitute for a formal merger between Cisco and EMC," he says. It "will serve as a foundation for what potentially could have been accomplished through a merger, without a lot of red tape." VMware, 82% owned by EMC, remains a coveted prize for a number of tech companies…”

10 Nov 09 44. Mint’s Aaron Patzer: “We Will End-Of-Life Quicken Online” In Six to Nine Months http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/03/mints-aaron-patzer-we-will-end-of-life-quicken-online-in-six-to-nine-months/ “…Intuit closed on its previously announced $170 million acquisition of personal budgeting site Mint, making Mint founder and CEO Aaron Patzer the new vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Personal Finance Group. He is now in charge of not only Mint.com, but also all of Quicken’s online and desktop products…“Over the next 6 to 9 months,” he says, “we will end-of-life Quicken Online and their customer’s data will be migrated over to Mint.” Just a few months ago, the Quicken Online team was questioning Mint’s success. Now, Patzer is their new boss…What I want to do is to take your stock transactions and everything you’ve tagged in Mint as a medical expense or business expense and push that over to see if you should itemize deductions. If we pull in your 1099s and deductions, we have done half your taxes for you. We could reduce the time it takes you to do your taxes to 20 minutes or less…”

10 Nov 09 45. Nvidia Frustrated by Underestimated Demand http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2355496,00.asp “…Although Nvidia reported higher revenue and profits both sequentially and compared to the same quarter a year ago, chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang expressed frustration that the company couldn't do better…GPU sales increased sequentially by 25 percent to $465 million, according to Nvidia; desktop sales were up by 19 percent, while the mobile business climbed by 41 percent. Nvidia's professional business, based on its Tesla series of GPUs, climbed by 11 percent to $129.6 million, while its Tegra-driven consumer business increased by 22 percent to $61.2 million…If there was an underlying theme of the call, however, it was lost opportunities. Huang said Nvidia underestimated demand for its graphics chips, and as a result was supply-constrained for the entire quarter…” http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10391929-92.html “…Nvidia is already working with device makers who will use its Tegra chip in these designs next year. "I think that's going to be the next big form factor," he said. "More and more people that use the iPhone would like to have a bigger iPhone. And the fact that 4g is coming--20 megabits per second. What can't you do. I think this (market) space is about to go nuts…I really think we're on the cusp of our second personal computer revolution…”

10 Nov 09 46. Electronic Arts: $391 million loss, 1,500 job cuts http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_13748372 “…Electronic Arts, the world's second-largest video game maker, said Monday that it will slash its work force by 17 percent, or 1,500 jobs, and reported its 11th straight quarterly loss…the company struggles to right itself after missing the video game industry's shift from expensive game consoles like the Xbox 360 to casual games on Web sites like Facebook. It was also slow to create games for the wildly successful Nintendo Wii…”

Civilian Aerospace

10 Nov 09 47. Laser-powered space lift fails to work http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/6504242/Laser-powered-space-lift-fails-to-work.html “…A laser-powered robot failed to complete its climb up a long cable dangling from a helicopter on Wednesday in a $2 million (£1.2 million) attempt to test the real-life potential of the science fiction concept of lifts in space…The contest required the machines to climb 2,953 feet up a cable slung beneath a helicopter hovering nearly a mile high…Space Pirates team was first off the ground…Its climber, a flat machine several feet square, initially failed to respond to laser power…On the second try it began moving and then stopped…the laser could not stay locked on the machine. It failed to climb all the way up before the laser had to be shut off to protect satellites…other teams scheduled to compete later on Wednesday were the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team, known as USST, and LaserMotive of Seattle…”

10 Nov 09 48. Space Elevators Climbing Towards Reality http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/11/elevator-to-the-top-space-elevators-climbing-towards-reality/ “…The Space Elevator Games seeks to award prizes that are funded by NASA…for the development of technologies needed to build a Space Elevator…Yesterday, the group LaserMotive, successfully ran a climber up 1 kilometer of test cable at an average rate of just over 2 meters per second, qualifying for the 2nd place prize of $900,000. The craft is powered by a stationary laser beaming the power to operate to the climber. There are two other teams competing, The Kansas City Space Pirates and The University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team, and there is still a first prize of $1.1 million out there for climbing the kilometer at an average rate of 5 meters per second. These are the kind of early developments that could lead to a revolution in space travel as well as spark the imagination of the next generation…”

10 Nov 09 49. Space Hotel Takes Reservations for 2012 Opening http://www.space.com/news/091104-space-hotel.html “…Spacefarers can book a three-night stay at the Galactic Suite Space Resort for $4.4 million, the Barcelona-based company planning the hotel has said. So far 43 paying guests have already reserved a spot, while more than 200 have expressed interest…critics have questioned whether the hotel can really be ready so soon, and whether the company has enough money to see the plan through. Claramunt said an anonymous billionaire has fronted the company $3 billion to finance the project…”

10 Nov 09 50. Virgin Galactic: new satellite design http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/11/04/334386/virgin-galactic-considers-new-satellite-design.html Virgin Galactic's proposed LauncherOne rocket may orbit a new mini satellite designed specifically for the launch vehicle to increase the payload's useful mass for power, propulsion or instruments…A previous Virgin Galactic study concluded an all-composite two-stage rocket, air launched by the WhiteKnight Two carrier aircraft, could orbit a 200kg (440lb) satellite…Virgin Galactic's target launch price is $2 million and the spaceline's president Will Whitehorn told the International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon that the service could be operating a year after his suborbital tourism was up and running…”

10 Nov 09 51. SpaceX Picks Launch Date for New Rocket's Debut http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/091102-spacex-falcon9-launchdate.html Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has requested a Feb. 2 launch date for the maiden flight of its new Falcon 9 rocket, according to a recent launch range forecast issued by the U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

10 Nov 09 52. Getting GPUs on the grid http://www.isgtw.org/?pid=1002127 “…Meet “Magic,” a supercomputing cluster based at the University of Buffalo’s CyberInfrastructure Laboratory (CI Lab). On the surface, Magic is like any other cluster of Dell nodes. “But then attached to each Dell node is an nVidia node, and each of these nVidia nodes have roughly 1000 graphical processing units,” said Russ Miller, the principal investigator for CI Lab. “Those GPUs are the same as the graphical processing unit in many laptops and desktops.” That’s the charm of these chips: because they are mass-manufactured for use in your average, run-of-the-mill computer, they are an extremely inexpensive way of boosting computational power. That boost comes at a price, however. “These roughly 1000 processors on each nVidia node are programmed in a synchronous process, basically bringing us back to programming methods of the 1960s,” said Miller. The parallel programs modern supercomputers run are already quite difficult to write…”

10 Nov 09 53. PRACE Stream Computing Workshop To Be Held in Stockholm http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/PRACE-Stream-Computing-Workshop-To-Be-Held-in-Stockholm-69308417.html The Stockholm Stream Computing Center, in association with PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, will arrange a workshop on stream computing, Dec. 7–10, 2009, in Stockholm, Sweden at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The workshop will offer an introduction to OpenCL and stream/GPU programming. It will consist of lectures and hands-on experiences in using OpenCL on state-of-the-art stream processors…”


*****

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