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…”


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…”



NEW NET Issues List for 17 Nov 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 17 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. AT&T webmail outage http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/25250/ “…AT&T Inc. rolled out a cloud computing platform that positions itself to take on Amazon.com's cloud computing services, but the telecommunication giant's webmail services for att.net and bellsouth.net suffered outages on the same day…it is "working closely with Sun to use the Sun Cloud Open Cloud Platform…In an event believed to be unrelated to the cloud computing launch, AT&T Internet users were experiencing technical difficulties with the company's webmail on both att.net and bellsouth.net for most of Monday morning…AT&T users were reported to be able to continue accessing their e-mail through AT&T-Yahoo's webpage…”

2. Internet to speak Arabic: Egypt http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20091115/tc_afp/internetgovernanceforumegypt The agency in charge of assigning domain names today began accepting applications for domain names written in non-Latin languages, and Egypt…became the first to apply for a domain name in Arabic…Egypt has applied for an Arabic Internet domain name with a suffix equating in the ASCII character set to "masr," meaning Egypt in the Arabic language…”

3. YouTube Direct service to link citizen reporters and news organizations http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/nov/16/digital-media-youtube-direct-local-news “…YouTube Direct…allows news and media organisations to request, review, and rebroadcast clips directly from YouTube users…People around the world are taking up cameras and covering news in ways big and small - from documenting global events, to filming local town halls in neighborhoods. YouTube Direct empowers news and media organisations to easily connect with these citizen reporters, and use the power of our platform to cover the news better than ever before." The new service was beta-tested by the Huffington Post and will be used by National Public Radio and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others…”

4. Xobni for Outlook releases free preview of Salesforce extension http://www.xobni.com/blog/2009/11/17/xobni-for-outlook-releases-free-preview-of-salesforce-extension-now-available-to-everyone/ “…Last week we mentioned that our Enterprise customers were going to get access to our Salesforce Extension, and this week the offering gets even more exciting. We’re offering a free preview of our Salesforce Extension to all of our users…”

5. TinyChat Takes on Stickam and Ustream With New Service and API http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/tinychat_takes_on_stickam_and_ustream.php “…TinyChat has established itself as a highly popular video chat service. Today, the company launched a new product, TinyChat.tv, which competes directly with established companies like Ustream and Stickam…”

6. Google’s Sample Chrome Extensions Are Working http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/16/google-chrome-extensions-sample/ “…Google looks to be on the verge of unleashing Chrome extension support in a major way. Not only does the home tab page on the new builds of Chromium (and the dev builds of Chrome) feature not-yet-turned-on links to what looks to be an extensions gallery, but there are plenty of references (and pictures) in the Chromium boards as to what Google is planning with extension support…both the Google Mail Checker and (Chromium) BuildBot Monitor are up and running in a new build of Chromium…”

7. Seven Tools to Map Your Company or Life History http://www.readwriteweb.com/readwritestart/2009/11/seven-tools-to-map-your-compan.php “…Instead of locking away your memoirs in a journal or using a family tree to display shared connections, a map is one way you can preserve your history while leaving the door open for others to contribute. Below are seven tools to help you get started…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Online gangs cash in on swine flu http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nm/20091116/wr_nm/us_flu_antivirals_gangs Criminal gangs are making millions of dollars out of the H1N1 flu pandemic by selling fake flu drugs over the internet, a web security firm said on Monday…Sophos said many of the gangs behind the sites were based in Russia and the top five countries buying fake Tamiflu and other medicines on the internet were the United States, Germany, Britain, Canada and France. Sophos spokesman Graham Cluley said a "worrying trend" toward stockpiling Tamiflu had already been seen in Britain -- Europe's worst-hit country in the H1N1 pandemic so far…”

9. Fake Verizon 'balance-checker' Is a Trojan http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20091114/tc_pcworld/fakeverizonbalancecheckerisatrojan Cyber-criminals have started preying on Verizon Wireless customers, sending out spam e-mail messages that say their accounts are over the limit and offering them a "balance checker" program to review their payments. The e-mail messages, which look like they come from Verizon Wireless, are fakes; the balance checker is actually a malicious Trojan horse program. "If you run the tool, obviously, your computer is toast…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Droid Becomes Fastest-Selling Android Phone to Date? http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/droid_becomes_fastest-selling_android_phone_to_date.php “…according to mobile analytics firm Flurry…the Droid is now the fastest-selling Android phone to date, beating the sales of the myTouch 3G by more than four times…the company estimated the first-week sales for the Droid handsets as compared with both the myTouch 3G and Apple's iPhone 3GS. Although the iPhone still outsold the Droid within its first week, Flurry notes that the iPhone simultaneously launched in 8 countries worldwide while the Droid only launched in the U.S.…”

11. Android Market Badly Needs A Desktop Presence http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/15/android-market-app-store/ I’ve spent the last week throughly enjoying my new Droid, and while I’ve come across some problems, most of my issues have simply been with the fact that Android does things differently than the iPhone…But there’s one big issue that needs far more than a UI tweak: Android Market…browsing the Market just isn’t as enjoyable as what Apple’s iTunes offers. If Android’s Market’s perception as a poor man’s App Store is going to change, this experience needs to improve…Using iTunes to download new applications isn’t just something people do when they need an app to accomplish a certain task. It’s something they do for fun. Clicking through various top apps exposes plenty of high quality games, apps from popular sites like Yelp, and even the occasional productivity tool. It’s all very fast too — you can easily download fifteen new apps in a single browsing session without breaking a sweat…”

12. Windows Mobile loses nearly a third of market share http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39877964,00.htm “…According to figures released by Gartner on Thursday, Microsoft's mobile operating system had 11 percent of the global smartphone market in Q3 2008. A year later, it had 7.9 percent of the market, while the iPhone's share had risen from 12.9 percent to 17.1 percent, and RIM's share had risen from 16 percent to 20.8 percent. Symbian's market share fell from 49.7 percent to 44.6 percent…”

13. Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsphone/archive/2009/11/16/windows-marketplace-for-windows-mobile-6-0-and-6-1.aspx “…Windows Marketplace for Mobile has today reached another major milestone by adding support for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 devices…Initially, Marketplace was available for the new Windows phones with Windows Mobile 6.5. Today, almost all people with phones running Windows Mobile 6.0 and above with a supporting data plan can now access Marketplace…”

Open Source

14. Microsoft's pseudo sudo patent doesn't really cover sudo http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/11/microsofts-psuedo-sudo-patent-doesnt-really-cover-sudo.ars Righteous indignation erupted on the Internet last week following reports that Microsoft had patented sudo, a traditional command-line tool that is widely used on Linux and some UNIX platforms for selective privilege escalation…we're not so sure that the Microsoft patent in question is as egregious as the critics claim. Granting a patent on the underlying concept of sudo to Microsoft over two decades after the tool was invented by open source developers would indeed be foolish, but that is not at all what happened. A look beyond the short summary of the patent filing and into the body of the patent's actual claims reveals that Microsoft's "invention" is really quite different from the sudo command-line tool. It might, however, cover some technologies that have more recently arrived on the Linux desktop…”

15. The Linux consultant: The Maytag repairman of the IT world http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/opensource/?p=1064 “…I was the lone Linux guy in the crowd…During the course of the day I pieced a few bits of conversation together and was able to finally draw a conclusion to that age old question “Why don’t more consultants roll out Linux?” The answer should have been obvious to me all along as I long had all of the information I needed. But after hearing what I heard from the collective mouths of an IT group with years of experience and a metro city’s worth of clients it became all too clear why Windows is always rolled out…the people I was with were all self-employed consultants who depend upon their client’s needed support for income. Needed support. That’s the key. My freelance clients…they rarely need me…”

16. First look at openSUSE 11.2 http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20091116#feature “…the new release of openSUSE…For this review I used my two usual systems, an HP Mini 110 netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SATA SSD storage) and my nearly 7-year old Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204 (1 GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB HDD). The Toshiba laptop barely meets the published minimum RAM requirement for openSUSE 11.2…I downloaded both live CDs and the network installation image for 32-bit systems and decided to try out all three…”


17. Google Latitude Gets Snoopier: Adds Location History and Alerts http://www.pcworld.com/article/181907/google_latitude_gets_snoopier_adds_location_history_and_alerts.html Just when you thought Google Latitude would no longer haunt your dreams, the service has been updated to make it a smidge creepier than before. Now Latitude tracks your location history and alerts you when your friends are nearby -- two add-ons that could make stalking that much easier! Location History is the creepiest of all, so thankfully this service is only for personal use and is not shared with Latitude friends…while it's currently private, the rise in popularity of location-based services such as Loopt, Stalqer and FourSquare may convince Google to later selectively publicize Location History to friends…”

18. Google Introduces 'Go' Programming Language http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/web_services/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=221601138 “…Google on Tuesday released a new open source programming language called Go that's optimized for applications designed for massive scalability and multi-processor systems…Go is the second programming language Google has released this year. In July, the company released Simple, a BASIC dialect for developing Android applications. Pike says Go's goal is to serve as a systems language, in the way that C++ or C does today…Go began in 2007 as a group 20% project -- Google allows its workers to spend 20% of their time pursuing projects outside of their job responsibilities. In addition to Pike, contributors include Google engineers Robert Griesemer, Ken Thompson, Ian Taylor, and Russ Cox…Existing languages haven't been optimized for multi-core processors or massive scaling. Pike says that Go was conceived as a language for the kinds of programs written by Google engineers…”

19. Google book settlement revised, criticized http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/11/google-offers-revised-book-settlement-but-critics-unappeased.ars “…Google filed a revised version of its book settlement with the New York court that is overseeing the case. The new version limits the settlement to works published in a handful of English-speaking countries, and contains significant concessions that appear to be direct responses to some of the criticisms of the deal…Perhaps the most significant change made to the deal is the limit to its scope. The EU as a whole…objected to several aspects of the settlement…Google offered to add European publishers and authors to the board that oversaw the handling of book content, but that was apparently not enough to satisfy the European publishing business; as a result, most of the EU has been dropped. The exception is the UK, which is being included along with Canada and Australia…”

20. Google's Secret Chrome Plan for Browser Domination http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20091113/tc_pcworld/googlessecretchromeplanforbrowserdomination “…Google has been piecing together a Frankenstein that will rise and forever change the Web. It's called Google Chrome. SPDY (pronounced "speedy"), a new application-layer protocol. SPDY is true to its name and is capable of revving Web download speeds up to 55 percent…SPDY improves upon -- but will not replace -- our beloved HTTP protocol. It overrides parts of HTTP such as connection management and data transfer formats to intensify speeds…”

21. Google Translate Now Talks and Translates in Real-time http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/new-look-for-google-translate.html “…we've launched three new features as well as a new look and feel for Google Translate — a service that helps people access information throughout the world by enabling them to automatically translate text and and web pages into their own language. Google Translate offers 51 languages, representing over 98% of Internet users today. * Translate instantly…* Read and write any language…* Text-to-speech…”

22. Google Sites Offers Templates; Claims It's Easier Than Sharepoint http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2009/11/google-sites-offers-templates.php Google Sites is getting an upgrade. Starting today, Google will provide templates that it claims makes it possible for users with no technical background to create web sites with a degree of functionality that includes page layouts, adding links for navigation and embedded gadgets. Templates are available for intranets, project sites, team sites, employee profile pages and other sites…”

General Technology

23. RFID Makes Slow And Steady Progress http://www.informationweek.com/news/mobility/RFID/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=221601551 “…RFID was expected to change retailing forever. That didn't happen. Then it was expected to make the pharmaceutical market safe from counterfeit drugs. That didn't happen either. Still, the tracking technology has grown into a $5-billion-a-year industry, and shows up in lots of places--passports, transportation passes, livestock, hospitals, and in some instances, retail and pharmaceuticals. Radio-frequency identification technology was a niche technology until 2003, when Wal-Mart ordered its suppliers to put electronic product codes on pallets and cases of goods going to its warehouses and stores. Wal-Mart hoped to use EPC tags, which store details about products and transmit them to inventory systems using RFID chips and readers, to create a more-efficient supply chain…only about 600 of Wal-Mart's 20,000 suppliers have joined the effort. Suppliers such as Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark are no longer the public advocates of RFID they once were. The technology is complex and costly to implement, requiring investments in the chips…readers, software, and new business processes…”

24. Qualcomm Snapdragon smartbooks http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/11/qualcomm-hopes-snapdragon-smartbooks-take-bite-out-of-atom.ars “…Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor is finally coming to little laptops. The chip company has confirmed that its speedy ARM offering has been adopted by Lenovo for a new product with a netbook form-factor. The device will be available from AT&T…Its Cortex-A8 core packs 1GHz of processing power, delivering an impressive balance of performance and energy efficiency. The chip is already being used in a handful of ultra high-end smartphones, including the HTC HD2 and Sony Ericsson's upcoming Xperia X10 Android handset…The Snapdragon-powered Lenovo system will be one of the first products in a new class of mobile devices that hardware makers are calling smartbooks—portable computers that look like netbooks but offer longer battery life thanks to low-energy ARM chips…”

25. AMD shakes up x86 CPU world with two new designs http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/11/amd-bobcat-bulldozer.ars “…AMD bucked that trend Wednesday by unveiling details of its newly revamped roadmap, its two brand-new processor architectures, and its plans for CPU/GPU integration…Bobcat: AMD's new mobile architecture…AMD's new-from-the-ground-up microarchitecture that's aimed at portables and SoCs. Bobcat will compete with Atom and with VIA's Nano, though it has much more in common with the latter than the former…Bulldozer: AMD's server architecture. AMD's newly announced high-end processor architecture is a significant departure from the architecture that powers the company's existing processor line. It represents the implementation of an idea that quite a few folks have tossed around, but no one has really made work yet…AMD has taken two out-of-order back-ends and made them share a single front-end and a single floating-point/SIMD unit…”

Leisure & Entertainment

26. Nintendo needs to differentiate its portable game devices from smartphones http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/11/11/nintendo_admits_dark_future_if_it_cant_differentiate_from_iphone.html “…Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, is reportedly an Apple fan who uses an iPhone and Mac laptop. He also denied that there is a rivalry between his company and Apple, noting that attempts to create one makes him "uncomfortable." But Iwata also allegedly sees the iPhone as enough of a threat that Nintendo must work to stand out from it and devices like it. "If we can't make clear why customers pay a lot of money to play games on Nintendo hardware and Nintendo software and differentiate ourselves from games on the mobile phone or iPhone, then our future is dark," he said…”

27. Growing Pains at Hulu http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/digital-downloads/broadband/e3i8f2c0287dc37ec6baf6209f20ced7140 Hulu is starting to show signs of why it’s not easy to run a joint venture between competitors…reports are bubbling up about an increasing level of discord between Hulu’s own ad sales staff and the staffs of each of the site’s broadcast partners: ABC, NBC and Fox…the already complicated arrangement is likely to become more so, particularly given the prospect that NBC Universal may be sold to Comcast—which already operates its own online video site (Fancast) and has a markedly different philosophy regarding just how free TV content should be on the Internet…”

28. New Super Mario Bros. Wii review: impressive, and then some http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2009/11/new-super-mario-bros-wii-review-impressive-and-then-some.ars “…New Super Mario Bros. Wii is one of those games that will leave you disappointed after the first level, slightly happy after the first world, and then you'll be stuck with a huge grin on your face after blasting through the game with three friends. This is a magical game, made even more impressive by how rote it may seem at first…One of the more impressive feats the game pulls off is offering level design that is perfectly fine to play with a single player, but also benefits from having multiple people on the screen at once…”

29. Nook e-reader on sale Nov. 30 in Barnes & Noble stores http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=FF103E62-1A64-6A71-CE42119D5A49D2F2 The Nook, a $259 e-reader from Barnes & Noble Inc., will hit the booksellers' stores on Nov. 30…The Nook is 7.7 inches by 4.9 inches and is a half inch thick. It weighs 11.2 ounces. The gray-scale E-ink display is 6 inches across diagonally, with a separate 3.5-inch color display below that can be used to search for book titles and for other purposes with its touchscreen keyboard. Barnes & Noble is comparing Nook to the Amazon.com Kindle 2, which is also $259. Kindle uses the Sprint Nextel Inc. wireless network for downloads of books, while Barnes & Noble will rely on AT&T and Wi-Fi. Most first releases and other popular books on both devices will sell for $9.95…”

Economy and Technology

30. Logitech Buys Videoconferencing Outfit LifeSize http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/11/logitech_buys_v.html PC peripherals maker Logitech International has done its largest ever acquisition, by purchasing videoconferencing system maker LifeSize Communications for $405 million…What’s most interesting is the potential for Logitech to accelerate the commoditization of videoconferencing. The company specializes in high-volume manufacturing of PC mice, keyboards and other gizmos; it’s video business is essentially webcams, which bring in roughly $250 million of the company’s $1.9 billion in annual sales, says Logitech president Gerald Quindlen. LifeSize, on the other hand, makes stand-alone gear that lets users launch a HD-quality videoconference with a few keystrokes. Quindlen says Logitech will be able to apply its economies of scale and other cost savings to “make video mainstream.” Says LifeSize CEO Craig Malloy, “the opportunity is drive price points to the point that it’s a no brainer for every office and conference room in the world…”

31. The Intel-AMD Settlement: $1.25 B http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2009/tc20091115_692400.htm “…The financial settlement was hammered out very late in more than a half-year of negotiations that culminated in a Nov. 12 announcement that Intel (INTC) would pay $1.25 billion to resolve long-standing antitrust allegations by AMD (AMD). Several people close to both sides gave BusinessWeek a play-by-play outline of the dramatic and sometimes tense talks dating to April 2009. Money—and who would pay it—proved the thorniest point. People on both sides say AMD wanted payment in exchange for dropping antitrust allegations, while Intel said it should be compensated for giving an AMD subsidiary access to its patents…”

32. 13 Electric Vehicle Players Join Forces to Sway U.S. Policy http://earth2tech.com/2009/11/16/13-electric-vehicle-players-join-forces-to-sway-u-s-policy/ “…Top executives from 13 companies including California utility Pacific Gas & Electric, Japanese automaker Nissan, smart grid startup GridPoint, battery maker A123Systems, battery giant Johnson Controls-Saft, and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, are joining forces this morning as the founding members of a new alliance called the Electrification Coalition with a shared vision for how to transition the vehicle fleet off of gasoline and onto the electric grid…The group certainly has some heavyweights, with a combined market cap of more than $100 billion, but hardly represents the entirety of the energy, utility, auto or energy storage industries — or even just the EV sector…With the stated mission to “promote government action to facilitate deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale,” the Electrification Coalition has released a 91-page policy paper this morning, advocating government action to boost the industry…”

33. Evernote, the startup that boosts your memory, raises $10 million http://venturebeat.com/2009/11/15/evernote-the-startup-that-boosts-your-memory-raises-10-million/ Evernote, which lets you record almost any type of data and recall it when you need it, just raised $10 million in a second round of venture-backed financing…The Mountain View-based startup says it now has nearly 2 million users on its desktop clients and apps for the iPhone and Blackberry. They use a “freemium” model with a paid version that allows larger monthly uploads and syncs your files. …” [ http://gigaom.com/2009/11/16/evernote-gets-10-million-in-new-funding/ http://webworkerdaily.com/2008/03/25/evernote-your-longterm-memory/ http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/07/10/collaborating-with-evernote/ ]

Civilian Aerospace

34. SpaceX Protests Award of Launch Contract to Orbital http://www.spacenews.com/civil/091113-spacex-protests-launch-contract.html Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has challenged a U.S. government launch services order placed with Orbital Sciences Corp., arguing that under U.S. federal law the contract should have been competitively awarded. On Sept. 14, the U.S. Air Force issued a task order to Dulles, Va.-based Orbital to launch NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft using surplus missile hardware, according to an Oct. 26 protest filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Orbital has been launching government satellites with rockets based on ballistic missile motors since 2000…”

35. DISCOVERY OF WATER ICE ON THE MOON RAISES STAKES FOR GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE http://www.xprize.org/media-center/press-release/nasas-landmark-discovery-of-water-ice-on-the-moon-raises-stakes-for-googl “…The confirmation of the presence of water ice on the surface of the Moon is a game-changing discovery for space exploration. The Moon, already a hotly pursued destination of space agencies and private companies from around the world, becomes even more desirable with today’s news. With ready supplies of ice, future robotic spacecraft or human astronaut crews could generate not only drinking water but also gaseous hydrogen and oxygen —excellent propellants that could be used for further space exploration beyond the Moon. The discovery also provides new support for a private race to return to the Moon. The Google Lunar X PRIZE, a $30 million incentive prize created and operated by the X PRIZE Foundation, challenges privately funded teams from around the globe to send robots to explore the lunar surface and return high resolution video and imagery back to the Earth. The prize program includes a Water Detection Bonus, which pays additional prize money to teams that use robots on the lunar surface to provide confirmation of the presence of water ice…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

36. AMD Tops Supercomputer Race, But Intel Powers Most http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/182225/two_rival_supercomputers_duke_it_out_for_top_spot.html “…A Cray supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has regained the title of the world's most powerful supercomputer, overtaking the installation that was ranked at the top in June, while China entered the Top 10 with a hybrid Intel-AMD system. Crary XT5 Jaguar Supercomputer The upgraded Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge, in Tennessee, now boasts a speed of 1.759 petaflops per second from its 224,162 cores, while the IBM Roadrunner system at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico slowed slightly to 1.042 petaflops per second after it was repartitioned…China's fastest supercomputer ever, the Tianhe-1 in the city of Tianjin, achieved 563 teraflops per second for the No. 5 ranking. It uses Intel Xeon processors with Advanced Micro Devices GPUs (graphics processing units) as accelerators. Each node of the 71,680-core system has two Xeons attached to two AMD GPUs, according to the compilers of the Top 500 list. Tianhe-1 was built by the National University of Defense Technology for the National SuperComputer Center and is intended to provide high-performance computing services in northeastern China. Applications will include petroleum exploration and aircraft design…Most of the Top 500 supercomputers -- 426 systems -- now use quad-core processors. Only 59 use dual-core chips, and just four systems are based on single-core architectures…Gigabit Ethernet is the internal interconnect technology in 259 installations, compared with 181 using InfiniBand …”

37. NVIDIA Unleashes Fermi GPU for HPC http://www.hpcwire.com/home/specialfeaturetopitem/NVIDIA-Unleashes-Fermi-GPU-for-HPC-70166447.html NVIDIA has announced the first Fermi GPU products here at the Supercomputing Conference (SC09) in Portland, Oregon, where thousands of attendees will get a chance to see the company's next-generation chip in action…The new architecture offers double-precision (DP) floating point performance north of 500 gigaflops per chip, systematic support for ECC memory, L1 and L2 caches, GDDR5 support, and a raft of new features to make the processor more programmer friendly, including C++ support. In short, Fermi is designed as a true computational GPU that is designed to offer a much wider application aperture for HPC, visual computing and data analytics than any previous graphics processor…”