2009/11/24

NEW NET Issues List for 24 Nov 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 24 November 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. The Future of Salesforce.com? Twitter, Facebook and the Social Web http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2009/11/routing-twitter-and-facebook-t.php Salesforce.com is offering the capability to integrate Facebook and Twitter into its sales and customer support offerings, another sign the company is making a full-shift to the social web. How deep is this move? On stage this morning at Dreamforce, Mark Benioff called Facebook and Twitter a "phenomena," going on to say that the integration of the social web is the biggest development for the company in the past ten years…Twitter integration: In Sales Cloud 2, users may Twitter stream into Salesforce so sales people can engage in conversations with people and add that information into the sales funnel. In Service Cloud 2, customer support may follow Twitter and respond to people with real-time customer support…”

2. Techmeme's Gabe Rivera makes news aggregation profitable http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/11/techmeme.html “…technology news aggregator Techmeme is raking in profits…aggregators put all of the Web's big headlines of the moment onto one page…For tech news, Techmeme, with its smart computer algorithm for culling interesting links, is at the top. A space once dominated by sites like Slashdot and Digg, Techmeme is now the undisputed top influence for the Bay Area tech elite…Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera is not trying to build a trendy, cutting-edge site with its own comment system and social media share features…Techmeme became even more newspaper-like last year when Rivera hired his first editor. Fans groaned at the idea of trusting a human to select news in a fair and balanced way. But the site is doing just fine…However, Rivera's algorithm is still the backbone. It's the secret sauce that allows small, no-name blogs to reach the top of the pile every once in a blue moon. It does so based on a formula that takes into account who's linking to a page and how influential those sources are…rather than code in small tweaks to the system in order to fix mistakes, as he had been doing for years, Rivera went with the human touch. He realized that "the most cost-effective thing would be to hire an editor,"…”

3. Microsoft Launches Pivot, A Radically New Visualization of Online Objects http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/microsoft_launches_pivot_a_radically_new_visualiza.php “…Pivot is a fun, powerful discovery tool, built on Seadragon and powered by Silverlight, that runs in Vista or Windows 7 with IE8…In short, datasets are organized as collections. Results can be as granular or as big-picture as the user desires, and correlations and patterns are easy to see and examine through powerful but simple visualizations…think about riffling through decks of Magic: The Gathering cards, zooming in for larger-than-life detail of the card's artwork and then zooming out to see how each was related or linked to others in the set. This probably reminds you - as it did us - a lot of Wikipedia. But imagine Wikipedia as an infinitely scannable, shuffleable, expandable, retractable, linked, and yet still detachable deck of digital cards; and then you have an inkling of how Pivot looks and feels…”

4. Brizzly Opens To All http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/20/brizzly-opens/ “…For those who have not had the opportunity to try Brizzly yet, it’s a web app that serves as a way to interact with both Twitter and now Facebook. It has advantages over Twitter’s regular website because it shows pictures and videos inline…While Twitter is busy rolling out its service into other languages, Brizzly is translating it to anyone who wants it thanks to Google Translate. Translating a tweet is as simple as clicking a button…” [http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/11/brizzly.html ]

5. Asana: separating the wheat from the chaff http://gigaom.com/2009/11/24/asana/ Asana, a year-old stealthy startup co-founded by two Facebook alumni, Justin Rosenstein and Dustin Moskovitz, said today it’s raised $9 million in a Series A round led by Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. While intentionally vague about how the Asana software will work, the two are very clear as to what they want it to do: help people collaborate and better manage their time in an office (and eventually home) environment, where there are a lot of tasks and too much information coming at workers. Put another way, they want it to enable everyone on a team to read each other’s minds and act accordingly…”

6. Glide Launches the First Portable Web OS: Transforming the Web Into Your Personal Hard Drive http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/glide-launches-the-first-portable-web-os-for-the-google-chrome-explorer-firefox-and-safari-browsers-transforming-the-web-into-your-personal-hard-drive-70268152.html “…next generation of…Glide OS on December 7…a portable and transparent web operating system and application suite that effectively wraps desktop functionality around web content from any online location. The Glide OS and application suite component can be added directly to your Google Chrome, Explorer, Firefox and Safari web browser. There is no need to purchase a specific hardware device or use a specific browser. Glide layers a sophisticated file management system and powerful collaboration and productivity application suite on top of leading search and social networking services that facilitates instant collaboration with web content…”

7. Yahoo’s Search Box Gets Smarter http://searchengineland.com/yahoos-search-box-gets-smarter-30428 “…Search Assist service…makes the Yahoo search box a lot smarter…the main innovation here is the inclusion of content and information right inside the Search Assist dropdown. For example, do a search for a company’s stock symbol, and Yahoo will show real-time stock prices and a couple related links before you even execute the search. Yahoo says similar features are available for queries related to sports, travel, and movies…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Symantec's 'Unlucky 13' Security Trends for 2010 http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3849371 “…In 2007, Gartner said that more than 3.6 million people lost more than $3.2 billion to malicious phishing scams…Symantec says the following 13 security issues will be most relevant in 2010: 1) Antivirus is not enough…2) Social engineering as the primary attack vector…3) Rogue security software vendors escalate their efforts…4) Social networking third-party apps will fraud targets…5) Windows 7 will come in the crosshairs of attackers…6) Fast Flux botnets will increase…7) URL-shortening services become the phisher's best friend…8) Mac and Mobile Malware Will Increase…9) Spammers breaking more rules…10) As spammers adapt, volume will continue to fluctuate…11) Specialized malware on the rise…12) CAPTCHA technology will improve…13) Instant messaging spam will surge…”

9. Microsoft denies it built 'backdoor' in Windows 7 http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9141182/Microsoft_denies_it_built_backdoor_in_Windows_7 Microsoft today denied that it has built a backdoor into Windows 7, a concern that surfaced yesterday after a senior National Security Agency (NSA) official testified before Congress that the agency had worked on the operating system…Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's information assurance director, told the Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security that the agency had partnered with the developer during the creation of Windows 7 "to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide."…the executive director of the Electronics Privacy Information Center (EPIC), questioned the wisdom of letting the NSA participate in OS development. "The key problem is that NSA has a dual mission, COMPUSEC, computer security, now called cyber security, and SIGINT, signals intelligence, in other words surveillance…Today's categorical denial by Microsoft was accompanied by further explanation of exactly how the NSA participated in the making of Windows 7. "The work being discussed here is purely in conjunction with our Security Compliance Management Toolkit," said the spokeswoman…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Consumer Mobile Applications for 2012 http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1230413 “…Gartner, Inc. has identified the top 10 consumer mobile applications for 2012…based on their impact on consumers and industry players, considering revenue, loyalty, business model, consumer value and estimated market penetration…No. 1: Money Transfer…No. 2: Location-Based Services…No. 3: Mobile Search…No. 4: Mobile Browsing…No. 5: Mobile Health Monitoring…No. 6: Mobile Payment…No. 7: Near Field Communication Services…No. 8: Mobile Advertising…No. 9: Mobile Instant Messaging…No. 10: Mobile Music…”

11. Palm Pixi, Pre Get Dirt-Cheap at Amazon http://www.pcworld.com/article/182528/palm_pixi_pre_get_dirt_cheap_at_amazon.html “…Palm Pixi…now costs $25 through Amazon…Amazon has also slashed the Pre's price to $80…You don't have to mail in a rebate, or in the case of Wal-Mart's Pre offer, prove that you've paid the first four months of your bill on time (not that you wouldn't), and if you buy between now and November 23, Sprint will waive the $36 activation fee…”

12. Amazon Boosts Kindle Features: Battery Life, PDFs http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10404507-1.html “…facing heavy competition from Barnes & Noble's upcoming Nook e-book reader, Amazon has announced that it has improved the Kindle's battery life when the wireless connection is turned on and will now be offering native PDF support for its e-book reader. Both the battery-life boost and native PDF support will be available to owners of new Kindles and some older models via a firmware upgrade…Amazon says the Kindle now has battery life of up to seven days with wireless turned on compared with four days previously…”

Open Source

13. External Linux Monitor Adventures http://www.linux.com/news/hardware/peripherals/237262-external-linux-monitor-adventures “…People inevitably wait until the last minute to hook up the equipment only to find out that something doesn't work as expected or worse, the screens are messed up with no obvious way back. People have blamed proprietary vendors, like Nvidia, for the aggravation. Open Source developers are working to address those topics. I take a pragmatic approach and try to work with what I have. Yes, I use the Nvidia drivers with Xubuntu. Yes, I've had to reload the drivers occasionally when I upgrade my system. Such is the world, but I can tell you that my graphics are absolutely phenomenal. Today I'll discuss using external monitors with a high-performance Xubuntu based Asus notebook and a scrappy little eeeBuntu Netbook. I'll cover the basics and add in a few tips and tricks…”

14. Polygon Modeling of a Handgun using Blender 3D http://www.packtpub.com/polygon-modeling-a-handgun-using-blender-3d-2.49-1 This article…guides you through the first steps of the modeling by using concept drawings to create a base model in Blender. The base model is very important to add details and upgrade the first flat surfaces into something more complex. This article tells us how to set up and configure a background image, and how to model and transform a mesh by using the background image as a guide…”

SkyNet

15. The Google Phone May Be Data Only, VoIP Device http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/18/the-google-phone-may-be-data-only-voip-driven-device/ “…Yesterday we wrote about the soon to launch Google Phone, a Google branded Android phone that we believe will hit the market in early 2010…there may be another way Google will argue that they aren’t “competing with customers” by launching their own device – technically, it may not be a phone. The Google Phone may be a data only, VoIP driven device. And Google may be lining up at least AT&T to provide those data services for the Google Phone, says one person we spoke with today. Users could still make calls just like a normal phone, of course. The calls would just be over the data service instead. In fact, this is the exact vision Google proposed back in 2007 when they were bidding on the FCC auctions for the 700MHz spectrum…Our source says AT&T is already bidding for the business, and may be willing to sell data to Google, with certain conditions, for $20/month…”

16. The Googlephone: Google gears up for attack on mobile-phone market http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/personal_tech/article6924233.ece “…Google is gearing up for an all-out assault on the mobile-phone market that will include a new, Google-branded handset and the first comprehensive Google phone service with unlimited free calls…The Googlephone promises to be one of the most advanced smartphones, with a large touchscreen display and a processor almost twice as fast as the one powering Apple’s iPhone 3GS. It will probably be the first phone to run a new version of Google’s Android software, codenamed Flan…”

17. Google's Chrome OS Stands to Make Waves http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/182711/googles_chrome_os_stands_to_make_waves.html “…While Google's Chrome OS--shown off at a Google media shindig on Thursday--is still a year away from its actual release, it's still worth talking about now…I have to admit a certain amount of excitement about Chrome OS if for no other reason than the change it brings to a long stagnant market--it's a viable third-party candidate…these days most people fire up their computers to get on the Web, so why not eliminate all the cruft between them and that experience? In theory, it's a great idea: out with the old and in with the new. As Google's introductory presentation took great pains to repeat, in Chrome OS the browser is the operating system. Your "applications" are the Web apps that you're already using: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, YouTube--even Microsoft's Web version of Office 2010, as Google executive Sundar Pichai showed off. All your data is stored in the cloud, meaning it's accessible wherever you go. (Apps can store data on your computer for use when you're offline, but they must specifically be designed to take advantage of the feature.)...As a tech-savvy computer user who frequently deals with less-confident users--hi, mom and dad!--I can see Chrome OS's appeal. For one thing, just eliminating the step of launching a Web browser will probably save time and headaches as in avoiding having to distinguish between Web sites and files and programs on the computer itself. For another, users are already accustomed to managing their data via applications like iPhoto and iTunes instead of via the filesystem, so off-shoring that one step further isn't going to add a lot of confusion. And heck, while Chrome OS doesn't entirely get rid of the need for data backups, considering that most people already don't back up their data it doesn't really make the situation any worse…the tree of computing liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of old technology. Apple started the dance that led to…technologies like USB and Wi-Fi…Chrome OS is likewise hastening to off old technologies. Conventional hard drives are not supported, for example, just solid-state storage…”

18. YouTube introduces automatic captions for the disabled http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/techchron/detail?&entry_id=52017 Google Inc. announced today that it is using speech recognition technology to create automatic captions for certain videos on YouTube, helping the deaf and hearing impaired to access a rapidly growing form of online content…employing the same technology that allows it to transcribe voice messages into text on its Google Voice call forwarding service. In this case, the text is embedded within the video like standard captions…the company said that under ideal circumstances, the technology gets four out of every five words correct, enough to provide a good sense of what's being said…My hope is that some day, every video everywhere will be captioned…”

19. Google Builds Out A National Real Estate Search Engine http://searchengineland.com/google-builds-out-a-national-real-estate-search-engine-30232 “…While the National Association of REALTORS® is planning to launch its own national property database sometime next year, Google seems to have just stolen the NAR’s thunder. How? By rolling out individual “place pages” for every property that’s listed in Google Maps…The real estate listing place pages include property information, photos, map placement, Street View imagery and functionality, nearby public transit details, and even AdWords ads. Google has added links for “Directions” and “Search nearby,” as well as a “Send” link that opens an outgoing email with the place page link embedded inside. The property details in the example above are sourced from two separate Prudential Real Estate web sites, and from NWSource.com, which is the Seattle Times’ web site. It’s all presented just as you’d see on any standard MLS web site, though it lacks some of the deep information (such as square footage of individual rooms) available in a typical MLS listing…the real estate place pages may also include things like videos and inspection times…”

20. New Google News for mobile http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/11/new-google-news-for-mobile.html “…a completely new Google News offering for iPhone, Android, and Palm Pre users. (We already offer a mobile-optimized version of Google News for other phones, such as Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and S60…Our new homepage displays more stories, sources, and images while keeping a familiar look and feel. Also, you can now reach your favorite sections, discover new ones, find articles and play videos in fewer clicks…”

21. Google’s News Experiments http://searchengineland.com/googles-news-experiments-and-read-state-issue-30242 “…Google has no ultimate solution for the future of news online. It does have a vision of a super personalized news product that tracks someone’s “read state” and keeps them constantly informed with updates. But to turn that vision into reality, it’s conducting a variety of experiments. Some will succeed; some won’t. The experiments aren’t meant to compete with publishers…Google’s not a content play and has no “Hulu for journalism” pretensions. Google’s a technology company, he says, one with tech that it hopes news publishers can tap into…Think Wikipedia, written by journalists…”

22. Ubuntu's Canonical and Google partner to create Chrome http://blogs.computerworld.com/15127/ubuntus_canonical_and_google_partner_to_create_chrome “…Canonical's Ubuntu developers have been working with Google's Chrome team since before Google announced its netbook operating system plan in July 2009. The company decided to go public with its involvement after Google announced today that they were open-sourcing the Chrome operating system…Canonical is contributing engineering to Google under contract…This does not mean that Canonical is focusing on Chrome OS in place of Ubuntu. Kenyon wrote: "On the consumer side, people will ask about the positioning of Chrome OS and Ubuntu. While the two operating systems share some core components, Google Chrome OS will provide a very different experience to Ubuntu. Ubuntu will continue to be a general purpose OS running both web and native applications such as OpenOffice and will not require specialized hardware…Any open-source developer, however, can now access the code and documentation at the newly opened Chromium OS site…” [http://ostatic.com/blog/crazy-google-kids-at-it-again-with-chrome-os#buzz ]

23. Google Adds Offline Attachment Access to Gmail http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2356305,00.asp Google on Tuesday added the ability to view Gmail attachments while offline…Built on Google's Gear's platform, the feature downloads a cache of your mail to your PC. When you're logged on the Web, it syncs the cache with the Gmail servers. To enable on your account, visit the Labs tab in Gmail, select "enable" next to Offline Gmail, and save. After your browser reloads, click the "offline" link near your username to start the offline set-up process and download Gears if you don't already have it…”

24. The Google-TiVo Deal: What It Means For You http://www.pcworld.com/article/183054/the_googletivo_deal_what_it_means_for_you.html Google and TiVo are teaming up for a new deal that'll put your clicking habits into the hands of advertisers…The Google-TiVo ad data deal, announced on Tuesday, is described as an "audience research agreement." In simple terms, TiVo will share anonymous viewing trends collected from its base of subscribers with Google. Google will use that data to help its advertisers understand who they're reaching -- and who they aren't -- when buying television ads through the company's AdWords TV Ads system…”

General Technology

25. MS Office 2010 beta goes public http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-10400648-75.html “…the beta of Office 2010 is now publicly available from the company's Web site and from CNET Download.com…Microsoft has posted an article noting that Office Mobile 2010 is also in beta and available for Windows Mobile 6.5 phones via the Windows Mobile Marketplace. The public beta also includes the ability for businesses to start testing the browser-based Office Web Apps within their enterprises…The consumer version of the Web apps, however, remains in technology preview in Windows Live. There's no specific timeframe for when the Office Web Apps will hit Windows Live. Office 2010 is due out in final form in the first half of next year.”

26. IBM makes supercomputer significantly smarter than cat http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/11/ibm-makes-supercomputer-significantly-smarter-than-cat.ars “…IBM…massively parallel cortical simulator, C2, now has the ability to simulate a brain with about 4.5 percent the cerebral cortex capacity of a human brain, and significantly more brain capacity than a cat…The simulator, which runs on the Dawn Blue Gene /P supercomputer with 147,456 CPUs and 144TB of main memory, simulates the activity of 1.617 billion neurons connected in a network of 8.87 trillion synapses…this is a virtual mammalian brain (or at least part of one) inside a computer, and the simulation is good enough that the team is already starting to bump up against some of the philosophical issues raised about such models by cognitive scientists…”

27. Osmotic Power From Seawater: First Prototype Out, More to Come http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/power-from-seawater-first-prototype-out-more-to-come/ “…a state-owned power plant in Norway…opened up a prototype power plant that produces power from seawater, but more are likely on the way. The power plant – which relies on a concept called osmotic pressure gradients – will produce 2 to 4 kilowatts and cost about $8 million. Commercial versions that can produce megawatts might come on line in 2015…it is gaining traction among researchers and desalination companies because generating power from osmotic pressure gradients is really an extension of reverse osmosis desalination…”

28. Siri raises $15.5M more for virtual personal assistant http://venturebeat.com/2009/11/24/siri-raises-15-5m-more-for-virtual-personal-assistant/ “…San Jose startup Siri, who’s product aims to be a virtual personal assistant (VPA), has just raised $15.5 million in round two funding…Siri leverages speech-to-text technology and artificial intelligence to allow users to “just say what they want to do.” The VPA then takes over and does the rest. Siri explains: “You can discover things to do over the weekend, get tickets to the movies, or call a cab when you’re out on the town. You don’t have to search through a bunch of web pages, following links and hunting down facts. Siri does all the work giving you the information you need at your fingertips…”

29. When less is more: the basics of physicalization http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/11/basics-of-physicalization.ars “…The word "physicalization" is ten months old. This January, Rackable Systems launched a strange line of servers which defied all the conventional wisdom of server design by disaggregating larger servers into many smaller ones based on consumer parts, and in the process lowering power and performance density. Ars, among others, expressed skepticism over the strange design decisions, but launches from other major vendors suggest that, for some market segments, the server space is taking a turn in a novel new direction…”

Leisure & Entertainment

30. Filmed concerts come to iTunes in Live Nation deal http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091124/media_nm/us_livenation Apple iTunes on Tuesday began featuring downloads of live concerts by about 20 artists who are promoted by Live Nation. iTunes will have a section featuring the concerts of singers and bands ranging from Jesse McCartney to Ziggy Marley, when the service begins, the companies said in a statement. They expect hundreds of more shows in the coming months. Prices will start at about $7.99…”

31. Ubisoft steps up videogame fitness with virtual coach http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091122/ennew_afp/lifestyleusithealthinternetvideogamesubisoft “…French videogame powerhouse Ubisoft will have a virtual fitness coach whipping Wii users into shape starting Tuesday. "Your Shape" ramps up the healthy videogame genre with a custom camera that puts people on-screen and under the scrutiny of an animated coach devoted to making workouts go strong…Ubisoft cameras plug into Nintendo Wii videogame consoles so people can see themselves work out and an animated version of Playboy-model-turned-actress Jenny McCarthy can be a coach, leading routines and encouraging proper form. Each copy of the videogame will be packaged with a camera and carry a price tag of 70 dollars…”

Economy and Technology

32. Tech Guru Will Head Gov't Incubator, Digitize Democracy http://www.observer.com/2009/media/dash-dc-tech-guru-will-head-govt-incubator-digitize-democracy “…Anil Dash; the co-founder and “chief evangelist” for Six Apart, the company that creates the most popular blogging software in the world…In August, he wrote a post titled “The Most Interesting New Tech Startup of 2009.” According to Mr. Dash, it was the executive branch of the federal government of the United States…Mr. Dash wondered: Could WhiteHouse.gov be the next iPhone? Could developers get just as giddy over coding software to serve their country as they are over creating an app for the Apple store?...Soon after he wrote his post, Mr. Dash received emails and calls from those “digital natives” in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, asking him if he’d like to help. They eventually approached him with an opportunity to lead a new Washington, D.C., incubator called Expert Labs. He got the job in early October…” [http://expertlabs.org/about.html ]

33. eBay Completes Skype Sale At $2.75 Billion Valuation http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/19/ebay-skype-sale/ eBay has just announced that it has completed the sale of Skype, valuing the company at $2.75 billion. The investor consortium who is the buying party and will control an approximately 70 percent stake is a group led by Silver Lake Partners and includes Joltid (i.e. the company founded by Skype’s original founders) and “certain affiliated parties”…eBay received approximately $1.9 billion in cash and a note from the buyer in the principal amount of $125 million. The company also retained an approximately 30 percent equity investment in Skype…”

34. American Express Acquires Revolution Money: Challenges PayPal http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/american_express_acquires_revolution_money_challenges_paypal.php American Express just announced that it plans to acquire Revolution Money for $300 million…The company offers a number of services, including a payment and ATM card that offers discounts at participating retailers and the Revolution Money Exchange, which enables online person-to-person money transactions. It seems reasonable to assume that American Express made this acquisition to get a foothold in the online e-payment market and to challenge eBay's PayPal…the Revolution Money card, which, even though widely accepted, hasn't exactly become a household name yet…currently accepted at about 650,000 stores in the US, including Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods…we still haven't met anybody who owns a Revolution Money card.”

35. Best Buy adds $197 HP laptop to Black Friday lineup http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=9711 Best Buy on Tuesday announced that it will bolster its Black Friday deals with a $197 HP laptop. Available in-store beginning Friday, Nov. 27, the HP laptop features an Intel Celeron 900 processor, 2GB memory and a 160GB hard drive…”

Civilian Aerospace

36. Jeff Bezos' Secretive Rocket Program Picks Science Projects http://www.space.com/news/091123-blue-origin-bezos-rocket.html “…In hush-hush surroundings, the Bezos Blue Origin business plan has been resolute in developing its New Shepard, a vertical takeoff and landing rocket. The plan: To develop a craft that can routinely fly multiple astronauts into suborbital space at competitive prices. Flight tests of an Origin-class suborbital craft have been staged at a Bezos-bankrolled private launch site in Texas. That much is known ... and beyond that, little is known in any great detail. But now there's news…”

37. Jordin Kare on His Laser-Powered Lifestyle, Space Elevators http://thesunbreak.com/2009/11/21/jordin-kare-on-his-laser-powered-lifestyle-space-elevators-and-the-almighty-joystick “…"freelance rocket scientist" Jordin Kare…moved up from the Bay to consult on a commercial satellite project at Boeing. Now he's associated with Bellevue's Intellectual Ventures, though it's his side project, LaserMotive, that brought him to my attention…He's unprepossessing at first glance, clad for Seattle's cold and rain, unruly gray hair longer on the sides and back, and slightly reserved…This is just proof that you can't tell by looking at someone that he's devoted his professional life to laser propulsion; Kare has been a leader in his field pretty much since he got into it as a post-grad in 1986…”

38. ICEHOTEL to witness world premier of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=108284 “…the world premier of SpaceShipTwo, the space vehicle developed by Scaled Composites to take private passengers to space. This exclusive event, hosted by Virgin Founder and Chairman Sir Richard Branson and world renowned aircraft designer Burt Rutan, will take place in Mojave, CA on December 7, 2009…”

39. A good old-fashioned space rush http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1512/1 There’s a tremendous opportunity in space right now, a rare alignment of technology and interests that only comes once every couple of generations. What’s missing is something to push it over the edge and get it flying, to pique people’s and industry’s interests in such a way that it takes off and is sustainable…We need a truly compelling reason to make the leap into space and stay there, one that resonates with Americans and all peoples of the world at a visceral level. One that grabs a businessperson’s imagination, and that loosens the purse strings of investors…I can come up with only one thing that does all this: A good old-fashioned land rush…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

40. Radeon HD 5970 http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3679 “…Today AMD is launching the 5970, their dual-GPU card that finishes building out AMD’s technical domination of the high-end market. With it AMD delivers the absolute victory over NVIDIA’s GTX 295…Stream Processors: 2x1600…The card comes equipped with 2GB of GDDR5, which is split between the two GPUs…It’s hands down the fastest single card on the market…It’s so fast that it’s wasted on a single monitor…”

41. Australian supercomputer uses a GPU cluster http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1563044/supercomputer-gpu-cluster THE AUSSIE Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has just knocked together a supercomputer that's based around a cluster of graphics processing units…The CSIRO machine has 28 Dual Xeon E5462 Compute Nodes for a total of 1024 2.8GHz compute cores. It has 500GB of SATA hard disk storage and DDR InfiniBand interconnects. The system also has 64 Tesla S1070 modules which means 256 GPUs with a total of 61,440 streaming processor cores. It can manage 200+ TeraFLOPS…”

42. End of the line for IBM's Cell http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/11/end-of-the-line-for-ibms-cell.ars “…IBM's VP of Deep Computing, David Turek, confirmed that the Cell processor has reached the end of the line…heterogeneous multiprocessors, of which Cell was the first mass-market example of, are here to stay, so insofar as IBM continues to produce such chips, Cell's basic concepts and ideas will live on in the company's product line…”


*****

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