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…”


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…”



NEW NET Issues List for 20 Oct 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 20 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. Atlanta to start giant 'mapathon' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8305924.stm “…Atlanta, the capital of the US state of Georgia will soon be the world's most digitally mapped city, according to organisers of a massive "mapathon". OpenStreetMap, or OSM, is behind the effort…We aim to map everything from bike paths to emergency phones and police precincts…With OpenStreetMap, it's basically plug and play. We want you to take that data for free and use it how you see fit…When you have a lot of bright minds like we have here, give them a new toy like OpenStreetMap and they will come up with new applications and winning innovations around that information…he thought Atlanta would be able to lay claim to the title of the most digitally mapped city by the new year. "We understand the symbolism of achieving that aim and the currency it gives us as we try to persuade companies to set up here…”

2. Rio youth use GPS phones to put favelas on map http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20091017/tc_afp/lifestylebrazilsocialtechnologyinternet “…Rio's favelas are home to a third of the city's population, but are almost invisible on maps -- a situation five young women are trying to change with the help of GPS and the Internet. Rafaela Goncalves da Silva, 21, has lived in the Santa Marta favela, a poor and dangerous slum that was recently the target of a police pacification operation, since she was two years old…She is also among the five women recruited by youth organization Rede Jovem to use GPS-equipped cellphones to map and log the streets of Rio's favelas…Some of the streets being mapped do not have an official name. "I just ask the older residents what they call, the community calls the street," she said, tapping in one such name -- Paciencia Street -- into her cellphone…”

3. For online bargains, working together yields deals http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20091016/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_online_group_discounts “…Groupon, whose name combines "group" and "coupon," offers daily deals on products and services, such as tailored shirts, meals at restaurants and paintball games. There is a catch: A certain number of people in a given city must sign up for the deal to go through. So far, Groupon is succeeding where others have failed. In less than a year, its group-buying business has turned a profit and is expected to be available in more than two dozen cities by the end of the year…”

4. 100 Mbps by 2015 in Finland http://www.intomobile.com/2009/10/14/finland-becomes-the-first-country-to-make-broadband-a-legal-right.html “…Starting next July, every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection, says the Ministry of Transport and Communications…The government had already decided to make a 100 Mb broadband connection a legal right by the end of 2015…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. Kasperksy calls for end to net anonymity http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10376569-83.html “…The co-founder and CEO of Kaspersky Lab…elaborated on the security strategy of rival Microsoft, as well as how cybercrime should be combated…Everyone should and must have an identification, or Internet passport. The Internet was designed not for public use, but for American scientists and the U.S. military. That was just a limited group of people--hundreds, or maybe thousands. Then it was introduced to the public and it was wrong…to introduce it in the same way…I'd like to change the design of the Internet by introducing regulation--Internet passports, Internet police and international agreement--about following Internet standards. And if some countries don't agree with or don't pay attention to the agreement, just cut them off…”

6. Microsoft exposes Firefox users to drive-by malware downloads http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=4614 “…Remember that Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant add-on that Microsoft sneaked into Firefox without explicit permission from end users?...that add-on has a serious code execution vulnerability that exposes Firefox users to the “browse and you’re owned” attacks that are typically used in drive-by malware downloads…Microsoft’s security folks are actually recommending that Firefox users uninstall the buggy add-on: For Firefox users with .NET Framework 3.5 installed, you may use “Tools”-> “Add-ons” -> “Plugins”, select “Windows Presentation Foundation”, and click “Disable”…” [http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/article08-600 ]

7. Evil Maid goes after TrueCrypt http://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.com/2009/10/evil-maid-goes-after-truecrypt.html “…we implemented the Evil Maid Attack against TrueCrypt system disk encryption in a form of a small bootable USB stick image that allows to perform the attack in an easy “plug-and-play” way. The whole infection process takes about 1 minute, and it’s well suited to be used by hotel maidsThe scenario we consider is when somebody left an encrypted laptop e.g. in a hotel room. Let’s assume the laptop uses full disk encryption like e.g. this provided by TrueCrypt or PGP Whole Disk Encryption. Many people believe, including some well known security experts, that it is advisable to fully power down your laptop when you use full disk encryption in order to prevent attacks via FireWire/PCMCIA or ”Coldboot” attacks…this is where our Evil Maid stick comes into play. All the attacker needs to do is to sneak into the user’s hotel room and boot the laptop from the Evil Maid USB Stick. After some 1-2 minutes, the target laptop’s gets infected with Evil Maid Sniffer that will record the disk encryption passphrase when the user enters it next time…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

8. Verizon Droid http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/18/verizon-droid-is-the-real-deal/ Verizon and Motorola finally lifted the curtain on their new Droid Android phone yesterday. Make no mistake, this is Android’s flagship product…it will be available very soon, possibly as early as the end of this month…The phone is a three-way effort between Motorola, Verizon and Google. It looks a lot like the iPhone, and may even be as thin or thinner than the iPhone 3GS. It also has two key advantages over the iPhone – a slide out physical keyboard, and use of the Verizon network…the Droid is rumored to be powered by the TI OMAP3430, the same core that the iPhone and Palm Pre use, and which significantly outperforms Qualcomm 528MHz ARM11 based Android phones that exist today…Droid will also be running v.2.0 of Android, with a significantly upgraded user interface…According to people who’ve handled the device, the Droid is the most sophisticated mobile device to hit the market to date from a hardware standpoint…” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPYM-XTqcec ]

9. Droid, the phone that finally lets me cancel my iPhone http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/10/19/droid-the-phone-that-finally-lets-me-cancel-my-iphone-heres-why/ “…The iPhone won’t go away. It’s got way too much traction, especially with that generation of users…for whom the iPhone was an introduction to the “smartphone.” For them, the iPhone was an awesome upgrade to the iPod. It was a phone that also let you carry iTunes…For this generation, the iPhone is pretty cool, even though it is hopelessly clunky for the rest of us wanting to use it for critical tasks…for me, and millions of others, the Droid is still likely to be the answer if the reports about it are accurate (I haven’t seen the phone, but I’ve talked with someone who has worked directly with it)…Droid is going to be better than previous Android phones for several reasons. The earlier phones running on carrier T-Mobile, called G1, myTouch and most recently, the Cliq, lacked in three key areas: Hardware, user interface, and network power…”

10. Wal-Mart Partners to Provide Cell-Phone Service http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2354209,00.asp Walmart is teaming up with prepaid carrier TracFone to offer Straight Talk, a no-contract wireless service. Users can choose between a $45 per month plan that offers unlimited calls, texts, and mobile Web access, or a $30 per month plan that provides 1,000 minutes, 1000 texts, and 30MB of mobile Web access…The service is available nationwide…”

11. Acer Debuts Liquid Android Smartphone, New Netbook http://www.pcworld.com/article/173628/acer_debuts_liquid_android_smartphone_new_netbook.html Acer…announced two of its most highly anticipated products with Google's Android mobile operating system on board, the Liquid smartphone and an Aspire One netbook…its Aspire One with Android netbook…will run both Android and Microsoft Windows, and users will be able to switch between the two simply by clicking to switch OS…”

12. Plastic Logic unveils Que eBook reader http://venturebeat.com/2009/10/18/plastic-logic-unveils-its-que-ebook-reader-for-business-people/ “…The Que proReader is billed as an essential tool for busy professionals…a novel all-plastic design…because Plastic Logic has figured out how to manufacture a display that uses plastic electronics. It’s lightweight and is durable enough to withstand bending…The screen is 8.5 inches by 11 inches, and is less than a third of an inch thick. It’s pretty much like a pad of paper. It has wireless networking, a touch-screen interface…The battery can last for days. It can download books via Wi-Fi wireless networking and AT&T’s 3G data/phone network. The Que store, where users can buy books, is powered by Barnes & Noble…”

13. $259, dual-screen Barnes & Noble Nook reader http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/10/20/the-259-dual-screen-barnes-noble-nook-reader-gets-official/ The Barnes & Noble Nook reader is here…for $259 and sport dual touchscreens along with wireless courtesy of WiFi and AT&T 3G wireless. Battery life isn’t too shabby either with a reported 10 day life off of an 3.5 hour charge…2GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, MP3 player, micro USB plug, 3.5MM jack and…dual screens with an Vizplex e-ink display up top and a 3.5-inch color LCD touchscreen on the bottom – but it’s the software that’s killer. The device will allow users to share books for 14 days at a time and it’s not just limited to other Nooks. The books can be read on cellphones and computers too…”

14. Netbooks Are The New Razor Scooter http://www.manyniches.com/developers/netbooks-are-the-new-razor-scooter/ “…2010 will see the rapid and inexorable decline of the popularity of the Netbook. I have been using a Netbook for more than 6 months, and using it with Windows 7. I finally gave up on my Lenovo S10 with 2GB of RAM…Netbooks will suffer the same fate as the Razor scooter…Razor first came on the hipster scene, it was back in the late 90s…Everyone, it seemed, had one of these things, and yet no one, it seemed, was actually riding them…just as quickly as they appeared, they largely disappeared from that scene. Sure, you still see them around, and they are certainly for sale, but there’s no flash there. The cool factor was gone once the lack of utility settled in. The same fate awaits the netbook. Let’s start with the issues…”

Open Source

15. Green Building's Open-Source Push http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2009/tc20091015_927728.htm “…the Energy Dept.'s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched this week an update of their plug-in for SketchUp, Google's open-source 3D building modeling tool. With a growing list of features, the latest version of the free OpenStudio plug-in will enable architects to create more detailed simulations of their designs' energy efficiency, and marks another step in the effort to make advanced green building design tools widely available at low or no cost…”

16. Home Automation with Linux http://www.linux.com/news/hardware/peripherals/135780-home-automation-with-linux “…Underlying any home automation system is the communication standard with which messages are relayed between components. The home automation industry has several…The oldest standards tended to use powerline signal transmission, but newer systems use RF exclusively or a combination of both. X10 is easily the most widely-known standard; it is an open standard using powerline transmission. Although it has a maximum signal rate of just 20 bits per second, the low cost of components makes it popular, particular for newcomers to the field. X10 was created in 1975, but a newer standard called INSTEON exists that is backwards compatible with it…Unlike X10, however, the INSTEON specification is patent-protected and available only from its creator, Smarthome Technology. C-Bus, Bus SCS, HomePNA, and Z-Wave are other standards growing in popularity, but which are controlled by either a single company or a trade group. In contrast, the LonWorks and KNX standards have been approved by the ISO, IEC, ANSI, or other standards bodies, and can be implemented without paying royalties…In addition to these home automation-focused standards, there are several other protocols that are often used to integrate devices into smart home systems, including the ZigBee wireless communication protocol and (increasingly) USB and Bluetooth…”

17. sensL Launch Open-Source PET Program http://www.photonicsonline.com/article.mvc/sensL-Launch-Open-Source-PET-Program-In-0001 “…This openPET program is the first of its kind in the Medical Imaging sector and is a concept jointly developed by researchers of sensL and LBNL…OpenPET is designed so that it is compatible with a wide variety of detectors and will be freely available to researchers and organisations within the Medical Imaging field. The openPET group believes this will speed the development of new Medical Imaging systems in the detection of cancer, Alzheimer's, and cardiac disease…We also envision an openPET user community that shares open-source software for data acquisition, calibration, etc., which will allow users to go from concept to working camera in record time…To date, open source has not been used in Medical Imaging. We believe it provides the fastest and most effective way to introduce our silicon photomultiplier technology to the market…”


18. Bugs hit Google Docs after upgrade http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139350/Bugs_hit_Google_Docs_after_recent_upgrade “…Google Docs…reports of performance issues due to software bugs following the recent updates. Users are having difficulties with file uploading, exportation, and printing from inside of Google Docs…Google Docs, built from the purchased Writely, and now challenged for its life by Google Wave, has had a long storied history of buggy code, 500 errors and the like. However, in recent months the stability of the Docs ecosystem has improved…”

19. New in Labs: Google Docs previews http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-in-labs-google-docs-previews.html “…I receive a ton of emails with links to documents that my co-workers and friends share with me…Opening these links in another tab or window is kind of annoying, plus it can be tough to keep the context of the email in mind while viewing the document. Starting today, you can preview the contents of a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation right in your Gmail inbox…”

20. Google plans Google Editions online book store next year http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gr_qJI9KI8h7PBC-AEeknD3ezkegD9BBHAT80 Google Inc. is launching a new online service for booksellers next year called Google Editions…the price per book would be set by their publishers and would start with between 400,000 to 600,000 books in the first half of 2010…The books bought from Google, and its partners, would be accessible on any gadget that has a Web browser…”

21. Google Analytics Now More Powerful, Flexible And Intelligent http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/10/google-analytics-now-more-powerful.html “…we're announcing a new set of Google Analytics features…Some add more power to existing capabilities. Others provide new flexibility to further customize and adapt Google Analytics according to the needs of your enterprise. Finally, we'll introduce Analytics Intelligence…”

General Technology

22. iMovie update reveals new Apple video format http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10374263-37.html “…Dubbed iFrame, the new video format is based on industry standard technologies like H.264 video and AAC audio. As expected with H.264, iFrame produces much smaller file sizes than traditional video formats, while maintaining its high-quality video. Of course, the smaller file size increases import speed and helps with editing video files…two cameras were introduced earlier Tuesday and default to shooting video in the new format. iFrame shoots at 960x540. The cameras can also record in high-definition 1080p (1920x1080), as well as high-speed video formats for slow-motion playback…”

23. Wi-Fi Direct: Wi-Fi Is About to Get a Whole Lot Easier http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2009/tc20091013_683659.htm “…Going Wi-Fi is about to get a lot easier. For many consumers, setting up an in-home Wi-Fi connection point is something of a hassle. Before you can enjoy the convenience of logging onto the Web without cables and wires, you need to hook up some gear and create your own "hotspot”…that's set to change come mid-2010, when a tech upgrade will make it easier for users of consumer electronics to exchange files between electronic gadgets. On Oct. 14, the Wi-Fi Alliance…will release technology that effectively turns gadgets into mini access points, able to create wireless connections with other Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets or broadband modems within a radius of about 300 feet…The new technology, called Wi-Fi Direct, will be built directly into consumer electronics and automatically scan the vicinity for existing hotspots and the gamut of Wi-Fi equipped devices, including phones, computers, TVs, and gaming consoles. Owners of most existing Wi-Fi-enabled devices will be able to upgrade to Wi-Fi Direct with a simple software download…”

24. Origin 1TB external drive with hardware encryption http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/10/16/origin.adds.750gb.1tb.external.drives/ Origin Storage…1TB and 750GB…drives feature AES hardware encryption and a six- to 18-digit PIN password. The drives have an LCD keypad for password input…The virtual keypad on the LCD has random number placement to help prevent onlookers to see the password as it's being entered, and the drives have a brute force attack detection system that will wipe the contents clean before the case is physically opened…”

25. Morphing Blob Robot http://www.physorg.com/news174831238.html “…the blob bot has stretchy silicone skin, which is composed of multiple cellular compartments that each contain a "jammable slurry." When some of these cells are unjammed, and an actuator in the center of the robot is inflated, the robot inflates in the areas of the unjammed cells. By controlling which cells are unjammed, the researchers can change the shape of the robot and make it roll in a specific direction. The new robot is being funded by DARPA, which gave iRobot $3.3 million to work on the chembot last year. The goal is to build a robot that can squeeze through tiny openings smaller than its own dimensions…”

26. Why Woz is hot on solid state storage http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/print/9139300/Q_A_Why_Apple_s_co_founder_is_hot_on_solid_state_storage “…I had just agreed to have lunch in Los Gatos, [Calif.] with some of the engineers. I'd met a couple of really bright Ph.ds like [Fusion-io chief technology officer] David Flynn…He'd worked a very long time with a low budget at home, sort of the way we'd done it at Apple and he had gotten far enough to have developed some very good working models…I started asking questions like, how would it compare to this, or how would it compare to that technology?...The answers came back very knowledgeable and very much in line with my thinking about how you should design good products. They completed their financing round, which I had nothing to do with, and then they offered me a position in the company and I accepted. It's the first time I accepted a position in a company that I didn't create myself since 1972…”

27. Micron boosts NAND flash endurance six-fold http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9139483/Micron_boosts_NAND_flash_endurance_six_fold “…Micron said that by using its 34-nanometer lithography technology to increase density, it has also been able to increase write performance -- or the number of writes/erase cycles that can be sustained over the flash memory's life -- six-fold on its MLC product and three-fold on the SLC flash memory. The six-fold performance increase translates into 30,000 write cycles on Micron's new MLC Enterprise NAND -- and 300,000 write cycles on its SLC NAND flash. Normally, MLC NAND can sustain an average of 5,000 write/erase cycles, with a maximum of 10,000 write/erase cycles…”

28. Gyrowheel could revolutionise how children learn to ride bikes http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6364781/Gyrowheel-could-revolutionise-how-children-learn-to-ride-bikes.html “…Rather than clinging to the back of the bicycle as the child wobbles along, parents can simply stand back and watch them pedal off on their own. The technology uses a gyroscope in the front wheel to make it extremely stable. It has three stability settings - high, medium and low. As the rider's skills improve, the stability setting can be adjusted…When turned on, Gyrowheel's inner disk spins up. It then senses unbalanced riding and re-centres the bike underneath the rider's weight as it starts to wobble, whether riding straight or turning…”

29. Crystalsol Is Getting Ready To Revolutionize Solar Energy http://www.arcticstartup.com/2009/10/16/crystalsol-is-getting-ready-to-revolutionize-solar-energy/ “…the production of conventional photovoltaic panels isn’t without environmental impacts, and it also uses rare metals which are increasingly difficult to source. Crystalsol, established in 2008 as a spin-off of the Tallinn University of Technology, is developing a product which gets rid of these negatives. The company’s key innovation is the use of tiny semiconductor crystals made of copper, zinc, tin and sulfo-selenide, CZTS for short, where each crystal works as a tiny solar cell. This technology is the combination of decades of research for the Russian military and Philips semiconductor know-how dating back to the 1960s…The modules are produced roll-to-roll – think paper manufacturing – which eliminates the scale-up issues that thin film producers usually face. Once production is up and running, which should be by mid 2011, Crystalsol forecasts production costs below €0.50 per watt…”

30. Sony Hologram Display Will Blow Your Mind http://www.pspworld.com/sony-psp/accessories/sony-hologram-display-will-blow-your-mind-011890.php “…On October 22, Sony will reveal a prototype display in Tokyo that comes surprisingly close to emulating the holographic images found in science fiction visions of the future…A circular device that stands about 30 cm tall and the width of a music CD, the prototype can display images in full 3D, viewable from all sides. We don't yet know how this wizardry works, but we speculate that some combination of flexible OLED technology and mirrors are responsible for the effect. Right now the prototype can display images only in the relatively fuzzy resolution of 128X96 pixels, giving images a ghostly and translucent effect…”

31. Billion-year ultra-dense memory chip developed http://blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=1571&tag=col1;post-1571#more-1571 “…researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley, have created a digital electromechanical memory device that consists of a crystalline iron nanoparticle shuttle approximately 1/50,000th the width of a human hair enclosed within the hollow of a multiwalled carbon nanotube…we’ve created a memory device that features both ultra-high density and ultra-long lifetimes…The shuttle memory has application for archival storage, with information density as high as 10E12 bits/in2, and thermodynamic stability in excess of one billion years…the Domesday Book, the great survey of England commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086 and written on vellum, has survived over 900 years, while the 1986 BBC Domesday Project, a multimedia survey marking the 900th anniversary of the original Book, required migration from the original high-density laserdiscs within two decades because of media failure.” Zettl thinks the technology could be on the market within the next two years…”

32. Magic Mouse, iMacs, Mac minis lead Tuesday Apple update bomb http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/10/magic-mouse-imacs-mac-minis-lead-tuesday-apple-update-bomb.ars “…Apple dropped a hardware update bomb Tuesday morning with a brand-new desktop mouse, new iMacs, new low-end MacBooks, and a new Mac mini…Named the "Apple Magic Mouse"…the Mighty Mouse replacement has no buttons at all and sports a "seamless multi-touch surface." According to Apple, the multitouch surface covers the entire surface of the device, enabling users to scroll in any direction or swipe through webpages just by moving their fingers across the top…Apple reassures us that Magic Mouse "won't confuse a scroll with a swipe," presumably because of the magical chip embedded inside. Apple is trying to replicate the multitouch functionality of the trackpad on a mouse…Apple's venerable all-in-one desktop was also updated with the addition of a 27-inch model and a bump on the lower end to 21.5-inches. The new iMacs now sport 16x9 aspect ratios on LED-backlit screens, at resolutions of 1920x1080 (1080p) and 2560x1440, respectively. What's most interesting about the new 27-inch iMac is that they have Mini DisplayPort-in; this means that users will be able to connect external sources to the iMac's display, such as a DVD player or other computers, essentially allowing them to use the iMac as a TV or external monitor for a notebook…”

Leisure & Entertainment

33. nVidia Tegra wins contract for next-gen Nintendo DS http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/10/13/nvidia-tegra-wins-contract-for-next-gen-nintendo-ds.aspx “…CEO of nVidia…expects to see Tegra capturing 50% of nVidia's revenue within the next couple of years…the company managed to sway not just Microsoft with the Zune HD multimedia player…but also…Nintendo is going to use Tegra System-on-Chip processor for the successor of DS/DSi handheld console…Now, the billion dollar question is: if Nintendo chose nVidia for the handheld console, does that mean nVidia may have an entrance into the lucrative Wii business?…”

34. The song decoders http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/magazine/18Pandora-t.html “…the story of a company that has hired a bunch of “musicologists,” who sit at computers and listen to songs, one at a time, rating them element by element…The company, an Internet radio service called Pandora, is convinced that by pouring this information through a computer into an algorithm, it can guide you, the listener, to music that you like…Some elements that these musicologists (who, really, are musicians with day jobs) codify are technical, like beats per minute, or the presence of parallel octaves or block chords. Someone taking apart Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” documents the prevalence of harmony, chordal patterning, swung 16ths and the like. But their analysis goes beyond such objectively observable metrics…”

35. Eigenharp Alpha, Pico demo http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/16/eigenharp-alpha-pico-demo-and-mind-blowing-concert-hands-on/ “…John Lambert, Founder and Chairman of Eigenlabs, managed to sneak out of his busy schedule to give us the lowdown on the Eigenharps. It all started in his Devon barn about eight years ago and over time the Alpha was groomed into a 132-key beast, followed by the recently-developed, self-explanatory Pico. The defining character of both Eigenharps lies in their "completely new sensor technology" consisting of pressure sensitive keys, that can do dual-axis vibrato (not dissimilar to string instruments), accompanied by strip controllers for applying filters or pitch bend, or anything at all depending on how you configure them…”

Economy and Technology

36. An Open Letter To Derek Powazek On The Value Of SEO http://searchengineland.com/an-open-letter-to-derek-powazek-on-the-value-of-seo-27680 “…why SEO is indeed a legitimate form of marketing and those who provide the service are not all “scammers” who are out to “con” you…the “you just build it; you just put it out there” approach to search engines, sadly, doesn’t always cut it. Let me be clear. I totally agree with your core advice. Build a site for visitors. Have great content. These are the keys to success, not just with SEO but with anything you want to do. In fact, we just had an article on our site here reinforcing this…To succeed in attracting that audience, she should have a great site and great content — agreed. But does she have individual listings? Then she probably needs to kick them out into Google Base, in order to fully be listed in Google. Does your mythical web developer deal with Google Base much? And where’s her web site now? Is she running it off Blogger? Using her own domain? These have impacts on how both the search engines may see her as well as how she’s perceived. Does she have a blog in addition to a main site? That has an impact. Has she considered some unusual, creative ways to create content around real estate in her area, perhaps some catchy link bait, which may pull in the links she needs to rank better (which, by the way, is a recommended Google practice). Does she have a local office? If so, has she claimed her listing in Google Local? If so, has she updated her title to reflect that perhaps she has “newport beach homes for sale?” This is all SEO…”

37. The Answer Factory: Fast, Disposable, Hugely Profitable http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_demandmedia/all/1 “…Thousands of other filmmakers and writers around the country are operating with the same loose standards, racing to produce the 4,000 videos and articles that Demand Media publishes every day. The company’s ambitions are so enormous as to be almost surreal: to predict any question anyone might ask and generate an answer that will show up at the top of Google’s search results…They shoot slapdash instructional videos with titles like “How To Draw a Greek Helmet” and “Dog Whistle Training Techniques.” They write guides about lunch meat safety and nonprofit administration….It starts with an algorithm. The algorithm is fed inputs from three sources: Search terms (popular terms from more than 100 sources comprising 2 billion searches a day), the ad market (a snapshot of which keywords are sought after and how much they are fetching), and the competition (what’s online already and where a term ranks in search results)…Pieces are not dreamed up by trained editors nor commissioned based on submitted questions. Instead they are assigned by an algorithm, which mines nearly a terabyte of search data, Internet traffic patterns, and keyword rates to determine what users want to know and how much advertisers will pay to appear next to the answers…fueled by the world’s unceasing desire to know how to grow avocado trees from pits or how to throw an Atlanta Braves-themed birthday party. It is a database of human needs, and if you haven’t stumbled on a Demand video or article yet, you soon will. By next summer, according to founder and CEO Richard Rosenblatt, Demand will be publishing 1 million items a month…what Demand has realized is that the Internet gets only half of the simplest economic formula right: It has the supply part down but ignores demand…”

38. Shazam’s business model http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/shazams-newest-fan-is-kleiner-perkins/ “…Shazam has abolished the nagging question about which song is playing. Its cellphone application lets people simply hold the phone toward the source of the music to identify it…Shazam’s app has been downloaded 10 million times on the iPhone and has 50 million users across all platforms, including BlackBerry and Android phones. It already helps people discover new music and results in more purchases from the iTunes Store than any other company…It will also move into other types of media, like video, and partner with media companies and artists, he said. For example, Shazam will likely start selling items like band tickets and merchandise from within the application…Shazam is a model for how businesses can be successful with iPhone applications, he said, because it began with something simple and started expanding once it got popular. Shazam is already cash-flow positive, he said, with a variety of revenue streams…” [http://www.midomi.com/ ]

39. Teen virtual world Meez sees profit http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10378322-36.html Meez, a start-up that expanded last year from an avatar creation service into a full-out virtual world for teens, is touting some good news: it's been profitable since April…Meez has about 13 million registered users, 3 million unique hits per month, and only 20 full-time employees plus about 10 contractors. Where's the money coming from? Premium subscriptions, ads on the free version of the site, and virtual goods bought and sold with its internal "Coinz" currency--which includes a mobile virtual-gift deal with Verizon…”

Civilian Aerospace

40. The moon belongs to no one – yet http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427306.000-the-moon-belongs-to-no-one--yet.html LAST week, NASA bombed the moon. Or rather, it crashed its Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite into the moon's south pole in a bid to discover reserves of water and other resources…The race back to the moon has been prompted by the realisation that exploiting it may now be within reach. And it poses the question: who gets to use the moon's recoverable resources, such as oxygen or water?...the Lunar Treaty drafted by the United Nations in the 1990s has still not been signed by the space powers. Since this leaves the moon unprotected by law - the ultimate terra nullius - we may now see a scramble for territory…”

41. Virgin Galactic and the future of space tourism http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=t-minus-18-months-and-counting-virg-2009-10-15 “…Branson…predicts, his company is a scant 18 months from the first commercial near-orbit flight…the company hopes to become a private launcher of commercial satellites, putting some of the burgeoning number of orbiting machines into space for a fraction of the going rate. Though the tourist trips toward space will start suborbital, the ambitions for the business's future are at least solar system-scale: NASA astronaut training, a potential partnership with Bigelow Aerospace for inflatable hotels in space and even potentially the development of a two-person craft to tour the moon…”

42. Commercial Spaceflight http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204574475091646686368.html “…The following is by astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Ken Bowersox, Jake Garn, Robert Gibson, Hank Hartsfield, John Herrington, Byron Lichtenberg, John Lounge, Rick Searfoss, Norman Thagard, Kathryn Thornton, Jim Voss and Charles Walker: we know that exploring space is a worthwhile and challenging endeavor…Public-private partnerships can leverage the agility and efficiency of the commercial sector while maintaining access to the skilled workers, technologies and facilities only available in the government…While it's completely appropriate for NASA to continue developing systems and the new technologies necessary to take crews farther out into our solar system, we believe that the commercial sector is fully capable of safely handling the critical task of low-Earth-orbit human transportation…”

43. $500,000 treasure dug up in lunar soil http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18001-500000-treasure-dug-up-in-lunar-soil.html “…It was NASA's third Regolith Excavation Challenge but the first in which any team's machine performed well enough to claim the bounty. A robot built by students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, picked up and deposited more than 440 kilograms of material to win…The Worcester bot used a half-metre-wide digging belt and bright blue lights to navigate in the clouds of dust it kicked up, winning its inventors the $500,000 and recognition from NASA officials…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

44. The Return of the Vector Processor http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7575 “…the Nvidia Fermi architecture…is going to be a game changer…My previous opinion of GP-GPU computing was certainly positive and I could see it changing the HPC game in some corners. Users were reporting fantastic speed-ups in some areas, new users could experiment with existing video cards, and the larger video market was going to keep the cost down. There were, however, some fundamental issues expressed by many of the more traditional HPC users. Until they were resolved, I assumed these issues would limit just how far GPU computing could go in the HPC world. Based on the Fermi technical material I have read, Nvidia has been listening and many of these issues have been addressed head-on… one way to look at GPU computing is the return of the vector or array processor to HPC…”

45. GPU Computing shows superior efficiency in Australian Outback http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/10/12/gpu-computing-shows-superior-efficiency-in-australian-outback.aspx “…MWA [Murchinson Widefield Array] is promising to be all what conventional installations such as afore mentioned VLA or the upcoming Chinese FAST cannot even dream of achieving. By installing hundreds or even thousands of small antennas in a grid organization, MWA is a highly-efficient design [without moving parts] that can cover up to 20 degrees of sky above us. This almost seven-fold increase in what Radio Telescopes can achieve opens a whole new world for scientists…The prototype installation is consisted out of 32 antenna clusters with each cluster formed out of 16 small antennas. The goal is to span 512 clusters over one square kilometer…the location isn't exactly reachable with a conventional power grid, thus a diesel-powered generator is being used. The generator creates limited supply of electricity, resulting in a very stingy budget for computing. The unfortunate part is the fact that array in its current shape needs 20 TFLOPS of computing power, with an overall power budget of just 20kW…Given that you would need around 200 CPUs for the job, as 200 Xeon 5500 CPUs at 3.2 GHz…Overall estimate in CPU-based setup was in excess of 55,000 Watts [55kW]…In around 1kW of power, scientists managed to squeeze 4.5TFLOPS [dual GTX 295 card], meaning "only" 5.5kW is needed for 20TFLOPS. With upcoming Fermi-based cards, Australians expect to build a 20TFLOPS setup using only3.3kW…”

46. Colfax Unveils First Eight Tesla GPU Server http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Colfax-Server-Features-Eight-NVIDIA-Tesla-GPUs-64090602.html “…The Colfax CXT8000 supports up to 8 CPU cores and 1920 GPU cores with nearly 8 teraflops of peak single precision GPU performance in a single 4U system…in a small footprint, is much faster, and more energy-efficient than a CPU-only driven cluster…Basic 8 GPU configuration starts at $16,000…”