2010/01/12

NEW NET Issues List for 12 Jan 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 12 January 2010, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel, 3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA near Ballard Road and Highway 41. Cambria Suites has free wifi and has an assortment of food and beverages.

The ‘net

1. Despite Risks, Internet Creeps Onto Car Dashboards http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/technology/07distracted.html To the dismay of safety advocates already worried about driver distraction, automakers and high-tech companies have found a new place to put sophisticated Internet-connected computers: the front seat…companies are demonstrating the breadth of their ambitions, like 10-inch screens above the gearshift showing high-definition videos, 3-D maps and Web pages…While built-in navigation features were once costly options, the new systems are likely to be standard equipment in a wide range of cars before long. They prevent drivers from watching video and using some other functions while the car is moving, but they can still pull up content as varied as restaurant reviews and the covers of music albums with the tap of a finger. Safety advocates say the companies behind these technologies are tone-deaf to mounting research showing the risks of distracted driving…“This is irresponsible at best and pernicious at worst,” Nicholas A. Ashford, a professor of technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said of the new efforts to marry cars and computers. “Unfortunately and sadly, it is a continuation of the pursuit of profit over safety…”

2. Fizwoz Offers Outlet for Mobile Photogs http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100110/tc_pcworld/fizwozoffersoutletformobilephotogs “…Fizwoz, an online marketplace for citizen journalists who want to sell their work to the highest bidder -- many of them major media companies…Buyers pay via PayPal and Fizwoz staff reports that purchase prices range from a few dollars to thousands, and that most sales are for a few hundred bucks…"The assignment desk feature also allows media companies to request types of content, and state a range of pay." "Fizzers" must download a mobile application and register to get started. Fizwoz is available in the iPhone App Store and will soon be in Ovi, Nokia's mobile marketplace…”

3. Samsung to launch app store that lets you tweet from your TV http://digital.venturebeat.com/2010/01/06/samsung-apps/ “…So instead of searching for apps on your phone, you could scroll through Samsung Apps on your TV using your remote control, then choose a Twitter app, download it, and send a tweet from your television. Later on, you can access the same app from your Samsung phone. Or you could start watching an online streaming movie via Netflix on your TV, then pick up watching wherever you left off on your phone…”

4. McDonald's Free Wi-Fi http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/184939/mcdonalds_free_wifi_a_nobrainer_winwin.html McDonald's announced that it is going to provide free Wi-Fi access starting in January 2010 at 11,000 McDonald's locations across the nation. It's about time…I am sure there were a plethora of smaller, local establishments providing free Wi-Fi, but when you're driving 70mph down the highway those businesses are hard to locate. I needed a familiar and accessible chain…I used my handy dandy GPS to seek out Panera Bread locations. Panera Bread was one of the first to provide free Wi-Fi. They were not nearly as plentiful as the Starbucks and McDonald's establishments, but they were out there. It is those Panera Bread locations that got my money for coffee, snacks, and the occasional meal. It was a fair quid pro quo exchange. I certainly wasn't going to stop in to Panera to check my e-mail, and then drive across the street to frequent Starbucks…” [ more free wifi chains http://www.pcworld.com/article/185208/free_wifi_guide_for_holiday_travelers.html and www.brueggers.com ]

5. Social science meets computer science at Yahoo http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/01/10/BUQP1BEDSM.DTL “…after Carol Bartz took over as chief executive of Yahoo Inc. early last year, she met with Prabhakar Raghavan for an overview of the Sunnyvale Web giant's research division…Bartz turned to him and asked: "Where are your psychologists?...Raghavan was stunned the newly installed CEO had so quickly gotten to a question he'd been asking for years. His answer was they didn't have enough…In the last year, Yahoo Labs has bolstered its ranks of social scientists, adding highly credentialed cognitive psychologists, economists and ethnographers…The recruitment effort reflects a growing realization at Yahoo…that computer science alone can't answer all the questions of the modern Web business. As the novelty of the Internet gives way, Yahoo and other 21st century media businesses are discovering they must understand what motivates humans to click and stick on certain features, ads and applications - and dismiss others out of hand…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Facebook's Zuckerberg Says The Age of Privacy is Over http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebooks_zuckerberg_says_the_age_of_privacy_is_ov.php Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a live audience yesterday that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December…This is a radical change from the way that Zuckerberg pounded on the importance of user privacy for years. That your information would only be visible to the people you accept as friends was fundamental to the DNA of the social network that hundreds of millions of people have joined over these past few years. Privacy control, he told me less than 2 years ago, is "the vector around which Facebook operates…This major reversal, backed-up by superficial explanations, makes me wonder if Facebook's changing philosophies about privacy are just convenient stories to tell while the company shifts its strategy…First the company kept user data siloed inside its site alone, saying that a high degree of user privacy would make users comfortable enough to share more information with a smaller number of trusted people. Now that it has 350 million people signed up and connected to their friends and family in a way they never have been before - now Facebook decides that the initial, privacy-centric, contract with users is out of date. That users actually want to share openly, with the world at large, and incidentally…that it's time for increased pageviews and advertising revenue, too …”

7. Your own personal black box http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/personal-tech/gadgets/your-own-personal-black-box/article1417654/ “…the uCorder from IRES Technology, a cheap – just $89.99 for the base model – wearable camcorder that users either clip to their clothing or hang around their necks via a lanyard…it's not much bigger or weightier than a portly USB key, making it easy to forget that you're wearing it. And with up to 2 GB of internal flash memory and a Micro SD memory slot that accommodates cards up to 8 GB in size, it can record seven hours of your life at a time…AVI files it captures have a resolution of 640-by-480 pixels and muddy monaural sound, putting them about on par with what you might capture with a phone. And since it's attached to your body, any movement results in frenzied-looking shots akin to what you might see taken by running reporters in a war zone…I've now spent hours reviewing mundane footage of my life, simply revisiting the places I went and the conversations I had…If a person had access to a complete recording of his life, what percentage of the time would he spend living it versus reviewing it?…”

8. The Low-down on Low-level Rootkits http://blogs.pcmag.com/securitywatch/2010/01/where_are_rootkits_at_these_da.php “…7% of all malware infections are by rootkits, according to research by Microsoft…A rootkit is a special form of malware that installs itself at a very low level of the system, below the operating system in some ways, in order to fool the operating system. It intercepts operating system calls in order to hide itself from users and anti-malware tools. Finding them is tough. These are the top rootkit families…”

9. Your Passwords Aren't As Secure As You Think; Here's How to Fix That http://lifehacker.com/5445101/your-passwords-arent-as-secure-as-you-think-heres-how-to-fix-that If you allow applications to save your passwords, anyone with physical access to your PC can decode them unless you're properly encrypting them—and chances are pretty good you're not. Let's walk through the right and wrong ways to store your passwords…Once that person has access to your files, they can recover your passwords with free tools easily—you can recover passwords in a few clicks from Outlook, Instant Messenger, Wi-Fi, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or any number of other applications. All it takes is a quick Google search to find even more cracking utilities…The best answer, of course, is to not allow your IM client to store your passwords at all—but if you must store them, you should at least use the built-in Windows encryption, if not a full-blown TrueCrypt setup. Either option would be better than the pseudo-protection most other applications provide. The only truly secure way to store your passwords is to use a password manager to securely track your passwords, combined with a a great master password to protect the rest of your saved passwords…You've got a number of great password managers to choose from, like reader favorite Keepass, a cross-platform tool which has many plugins that help you master your passwords…If you want to use Firefox to save the passwords for all your web accounts, you should make sure to enable a Firefox Master Password by heading into Tools –> Options –> Security and checking the box for Use a master password…Firefox will store all of your passwords with nearly unbreakable AES encryption—providing you use a password with more than 8 alpha-numeric characters and at least one capitalized letter…Rather than deal with password managers or whether or not to save your passwords, you could simply create a separate, encrypted TrueCrypt drive, and use portable versions of your applications to keep everything totally secure. If you're even more paranoid, you can use TrueCrypt to encrypt the entire hard drive…”

10. Credit union warns of phony banking Android app http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/security-bytes/credit-union-warns-of-phony-android-app/ “…a Beaverton, Oregon credit union is warning its customers about a rogue Android application that attempts to set up online access to bank accounts. The Android App has been removed from the Android marketplace…Called Droid09, the application didn’t target a specific financial institution…the app was designed to appear as a shell of a typical mobile banking app, but after a person configures their account information, it then tries to gain access to the victim’s financial information. Smartphones running more powerful processors are now capable of handling ever more sophisticated applications. Apple, Research In Motion, Palm and now Google closely monitor the applications they make available to smartphone users. All four smartphone OS makers have a strict application approval process…There’s no word on how the app made it through Google’s approval process, making it into the marketplace for Android OS phones…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

11. Lenovo Calls New Smartphone Central to Mobile Strategy http://www.pcworld.com/article/186127/lenovo_calls_new_smartphone_central_to_mobile_strategy.html Lenovo announced a smartphone…that executives said would be at the center of expanding the company's mobile strategy worldwide…It is Lenovo's first smartphone since the Chinese company reacquired its mobile business company from a group of private investors for US$200 million in November…the Ophone is already available in China, but the new smartphone…has a 3.7-inch screen that can display images at an 800-by-400-pixel resolution…”

12. Twin Screens in eDGe Netbook, E-Reader Combo http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/hands-on-with-entourage-netbook-e-reader-combo/ “…With two screens that fold together like a book, the eDGe promises to be an electronic book reader and a netbook at the same time so users can switch from reading on the black-and-white E Ink screen to the adjacent LCD screen to send e-mails, browse and watch videos…“Consumers can get everything they want in one device now,” says Doug Atkinson, vice president of marketing…It’s a nifty idea that enTourage seems to have pulled off well. At 3 pounds, the device feels surprisingly lightweight and is well-engineered. Under the hood, it runs Google’s Android operating system. The enTourage eDGe has an ARM processor, 4 GB storage, an SD card slot, 3-megapixel camera and two USB ports. The left half of the eDGe has a 9.7-inch e-paper display that can display books in the PDF and EPUB formats. At first glance, it looks similar to the large-screen Kindle DX but offers more features…The 10.1-inch LCD touchscreen can play video or browse the internet. It comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and offers optional access to 3G networks…”

13. Palm On the Right Path With Pre Plus, Pixi Plus http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-06/palm-s-biggest-investor-stays-on-marathon-course-correct-.html Palm Inc.’s biggest shareholder, Elevation Partners LP, plans to hang on to its stake, saying the maker of the Pre can challenge Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in the smartphone market…Verizon, the top U.S. mobile-phone service, will sell Palm’s Pre and Pixi models starting this month…AT&T Inc., the second-biggest U.S. wireless carrier, said it too would be adding two phones from Palm, in the first half…”

14. No, Your First Impression Isn’t Wrong: Android ISN’T As Nice As The iPhone http://daggle.com/impression-wrong-android-nice-iphone-1607 “…Tried Android and feel it doesn’t measure up to the iPhone? TechCrunch would have you think it’s just because you didn’t try it long enough. It’s not the phone, you see. It’s you. And that’s bull…when the iPhone came out, I thought it was a joke. I had a phone that was faster than what the iPhone first offered, had a flash and a pull-out keyboard, which I thought was super important. I mocked the iPhone…When the 3G version of the iPhone finally came out, I bought one for my wife, fully expecting I’d continue using Windows Mobile and mocking iPhone users…my Windows Mobile phone could still do all the iPhone could plus doubled as a modem…after literally an hour or less of playing with my wife’s iPhone, I knew my Windows Mobile days were over. Any time I might save with a physical keyboard was totally wasted on the number of menus I had to go through to do anything on the Windows Mobile phone compared to the iPhone…I soon learned that I didn’t need an physical keyboard. In fact, the last time I tried one was when I tested the Android T-Mobile G1. I hated not being able to do on-screen typing…I was a long-time Windows (Mobile) user. I was sat in front of Mac (iPhone) for…an hour. I complained about nothing. I knew what to do very fast. So why shouldn’t that be the case for me going from the iPhone to Android? Jason also wrote: A week or so later, it clicked. When I want an option that isn’t already visible, I hit the dedicated ‘Menu’ button just beneath the screen…I didn’t need a week for the iPhone to “click” with me. It clicked almost immediately…Michael Arrington…asked what was the killer app for the iPhone and for Android…I thought the killer app of the iPhone was the user interface… the iPhone did not invent the smartphone. The iPhone, when it emerged, was well behind many smartphones in terms of its capabilities. The App Store? Please. Windows Mobile had plenty of “apps for that.” The problem with Windows Mobile apps was that you had to hunt them down. They weren’t organized in a nice, vetted location…the iPhone blew people away — and to me, it did so because it made a pocket computer that’s also a phone intuitive to use, just as Palm did for PDAs. Android’s not as intuitive. I’m sorry. I wish it were, if only because I tend to dislike Apple so much because of its closed, controlling nature that I’d like a different phone to use. But right now, I wouldn’t abandon my iPhone for Android. For me, Android remains like some type of weird evolution of Windows Mobile, where you have to constantly go to menu options to get stuff done whereas the iPhone presents what you need when you need it…I rarely struggle trying to understand how to use my iPhone apps even though they might not have some dedicated buttons in all the “same” places. I think that’s in part because I’m usually only shown buttons I actually need…On the iPhone, I push one button down in the lower right, and boom, I’m writing email. On Android, I have to push the menu button at the very bottom. After I do that, then I have to push a second button to start writing…for me, having to push twice to do something doesn’t make the phone twice as good. It makes it twice as annoying…As for browsing, which is one of the most important things I do on my iPhone, there’s no contest. Without multi-touch, without the ability to pinch and zoom in or flick and zoom out, the Android just feels clunky…”[ http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/09/android-iphone-switch/ http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/nexus_one_and_android_21_the_rww_review.php ]

15. Pocket Heat app uses iPhone CPU to warm hands http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-10432676-233.html “…Pocket Heat…available for $1.99…turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a portable heater by maxing out your iPhone CPU's processing power. You can adjust the heat level by using an onscreen slider…We would test this app, but frankly, we're afraid to…App Store…comments range from IceCold's, "What joke, doesn't get warm!!!!!!" to Adam_13's statement "Decent but kills battery…”

16. Audience A1026 chip delivers Nexus One’s call quality http://mobile.venturebeat.com/2010/01/08/the-magical-chip-that-delivers-nexus-ones-call-quality/ Those who’ve tested a Nexus One phone have raved about the phone’s ability to isolate a human voice from the racket of the big city…Leave the apps alone and try making a voice call with it. You won’t believe it…go to Audience’s demo page and play the A/B test clips of calls before and after real-time processing by the A1026. It’s amazing how the chip can bring out a human voice, and remove the nagging digital-network echoes that plague conference calls…the company said in an email, “Audience’s third generation voice processor is based on the intelligence of the human hearing system and offers a single, mixed-signal system-on-chip solution that integrates with two microphones in a mobile phone to uniquely identify the primary voice in conversation and eliminate surrounding noise. It also automatically adjusts voice volume and equalization during calls…”

17. What Blackberry Is For Outlook/Exchange, Android Is For Google Apps http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/01/what-blackberry-is-for-outlookexchange-android-is-for-google-apps.html “…I've spent the past year migrating from Outlook/Exchange to Google's Apps. I've done it gradually, in fits and starts, as our firm is still on Exchange. But I just could not get Outlook or any other Exchange client to scale to the size of mailbox I operate. And so I had to move to a more scaleable solution. That solution was Gmail and now that I've been on Gmail for almost a year, I am so happy. Most people and companies move to Gmail for different reasons, mainly cost. But regardless of why this shift is happening, it's a very important one to pay attention to. Because it leads to other changes…Blackberry is the perfect phone for someone with an Exchange setup. The Blackberry Enterprise Server for Exchange is a great product. If you run that alongside your Exchange server, setting up a Blackberry to be a full blown Exchange client with mail, calendar, and contact sync is a breeze. That's how we've been doing it at the venture firms I've helped manage…if you are on the Google App suite, turning on an Android phone is even simpler. You simply login to the phone with your Google credentials and you are done. And the native Google apps on Android are extremely well done…Blackberry is attached at the hip to Exchange. As Microsoft loses share to Google in the enterprise…Blackberry will lose share to Android as well…”

18. Motorola Introduces New Android Phone, the Backflip http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/motorola-introduces-backflip/ Motorola launched its third Android smartphone, an attractive, compact device with some surprising hardware innovations and a user interface that aggregates social networking feeds, email and contacts…Backflip has a 3.1-inch touchscreen, a QWERTY physical keyboard that opens up in an unexpected way, a touch sensitive navigation panel on the back and a nifty mode that allows it to be postioned on the table top to act like an alarm clock…”

19. RIM Reveals 'BlackBerry Presenter' for PowerPoint http://www.pcworld.com/article/186084/rim_reveals_blackberry_presenter_for_powerpoint.html/ “…RIM took the wraps of its latest BlackBerry accessory: The BlackBerry Presenter. The product is a 3.4 inch x 2.4 inch box-shaped gadget that connects to a projector or other display and wirelessly transfers PowerPoint presentations stored on your BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth…”

20. Why the Microsoft-HP Tablet Is a Big Disappointment http://www.pcworld.com/article/186172/why_the_microsofthp_tablet_is_a_big_disappointment.html Apple must be patting themselves on the back, as the Hewlett-Packard (HP) tablet unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday night failed to wow those expecting a true competitor to the mythical Apple tablet…What Ballmer unveiled was "something that's almost as portable as a phone and that's as powerful as a PC running Windows 7." The HP tablet is a basically a color e-reader running Amazon Kindle software, with few other details besides a sub-$500 price point and an estimated arrival on the market by mid-2010…”

21. 12 hour battery life in a high-end laptop? Asus says yes http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/01/asus-laptop-makes-intel-nvidia-gpus-work-together.ars “…An ASUS laptop quietly on display at CES packed two GPUs, a high-end NVIDIA GeForce 310, and a humble Intel GMA... and intelligently switched, second-by-second, between them. The UL80JT can also re-clock its Intel Core i7 CPU on a second-by-second basis. The result of all this micromanagement: miraculous 12-hour battery life in a high-end laptop…”

Open Source

22. OpenStreetMap Attracts 200,000 Volunteers http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100106/tc_pcworld/openstreetmapattracts200000volunteers “…OpenStreetMap, has amassed over 200,000 contributors since its inception…The project has attracted over 100,000 users since last March alone, noted founder Steve Coast. He predicts that, given this rate of growth, the contributor base will reach a million by this August…There was lots of open source and free software that you could use with GPS [data], but you couldn't do very much with it because the data was expensive, propriety or badly licensed," he said. "I thought if I could use a GPS [device] to build a map of my area, and others could do it, then we could build a map of the world, with people just mapping their little pieces…”

23. Moblin Linux on x86 smartphone: Intel's small step forward http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/01/moblin-linux-on-x86-smartphone-intels-small-step-forward.ars “…Intel CEO Paul Otellini revealed the LG GW990, a Moorestown-powered smartphone that runs Intel's Linux-based Moblin operating system…When Intel lifted the curtain on Moorestown last year, the company contended that it would finally make it possible to bring the x86 architecture to smartphones. The claim seemed somewhat fantastical, but now Intel and LG could potentially deliver on that promise…”

24. YouTube Videos with Linux: Part 2 http://www.linux.com/news/software/applications/272031-youtube-videos-with-linux-part-2 “…it's time to do a little editing and add elements that give the video a professional look. In this article we'll discuss basic video editing using kdenlive, transitions between scene elements, adding text and audio, ending up with rendering the finished video and uploading to YouTube…”

25. OpenShot Video Editor v 1.0 http://www.openshotvideo.com/2010/01/openshot-10-has-arrived.html “…an open-source, non-linear video editor for Linux…OpenShot Video Editor 1.0 has just been released…”

SkyNet

26. Micropayments and world domination but they don’t call it Gdrive yet http://venturebeat.com/2010/01/12/google-docs-upload/ “…2010 will be the year of Google Docs, as new features in the online word processor make it a viable alternative to Microsoft Office. Here’s the first new feature of the new year — the ability to upload any file into Google Docs. Basically, this transforms Google Docs into a file storage system. Actually, I already store a lot of my files through Google services. Most of them are online as Google Docs-format documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. I’ve also found that it’s convenient to store many of my non-Google Docs files as attachments in Gmail…Now you can use Docs to store and share files in any format, such as a Microsoft Word document or a PDF. Files can be up to 250 megabytes in size, and you get up to 1 gigabyte total storage for free…If you need additional storage, pricing starts at $17 per year for 5 gigabytes, which can be used across Google Docs, Gmail, and Picasa…” [ http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/01/upload-and-store-your-files-in-cloud.html ]

27. 'Google Energy' subsidiary considers clean power http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10427993-54.html Google took a step toward entering the energy business with the creation of a subsidiary called Google Energy and a request with a federal agency to buy and sell electricity on the wholesale market…Rather than represent a shift beyond Google's core search business, though, the moves are meant to give Google flexibility in pursuing its corporate goal of carbon neutrality…Google.org has funded technology start-ups in solar, enhanced geothermal, and wind. It also developed PowerMeter, a Web-based home electricity monitoring application offered primarily through utilities…Google employees are active in exploring the intersection of IT and energy, such as ways to use a network of electric car batteries to stabilize grid frequency. Google also created a partnership with General Electric to lobby for policies to promote clean energy…”

28. Google Loves Apple’s Quattro Deal http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20100106/google-loves-apples-quattro-deal/ “…The search giant lead a public cheer for Apple, which just bought mobile ad network Quattro. Google’s logic here is straightforward: If other big companies are buying mobile ad networks, then Washington can’t possibly be upset with us for buying AdMob…Google is also cheering on other mobile ad network mergers and acquisitions that have yet to happen but that the industry now expects, especially from rival Microsoft…”

29. Smartphone users over the moon for Google planetarium program http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/lifestyles/fitness/s_661500.html Smartphone applications can help locate the nearest pizza joint, track overnight mail and pass the time with downloadable video games. But impress the ladies? "You would not believe the number of people who have told us Google Sky Map has made for a great date night," said Dominic Widdows, a software engineer at Google's office on the Carnegie Mellon University campus in Oakland…Sky Map displays astronomical entities such as planets, constellations and galaxies that exist in the direction the smartphone is pointed. Up toward the heavens, down through the other side of the Earth, straight beyond the horizon -- the app creates an actual, real-time map of universal space. Sky Map came online in May, recently surpassed 1 million downloads and has users all over the world…”

30. Google News Pulls AP’s Content, Contract Up For Renewal http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-10432698-265.html Google has stopped adding news stories provided by the Associated Press into Google News…although you can still read AP stories through Google News if the story was picked up by one of the AP's partners…The AP has been perhaps the highest-profile organization leading the fight against Google and Google News, time and time again accusing the search company of ripping off its content without fair compensation for news producers…”

General Technology

31. Children of Cyberspace http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/weekinreview/10stone.html My 2-year-old daughter surprised me recently with two words: “Daddy’s book.” She was holding my Kindle electronic reader…She has identified the Kindle as a substitute for words printed on physical pages. I own the device and am still not completely sold on the idea. My daughter’s worldview and life will be shaped in very deliberate ways by technologies like the Kindle…She’ll know nothing other than a world with digital books, Skype video chats with faraway relatives, and toddler-friendly video games on the iPhone. She’ll see the world a lot differently from her parents… My friend’s 3-year-old, for example, has become so accustomed to her father’s multitouch iPhone screen that she approaches laptops by swiping her fingers across the screen, expecting a reaction…after my 4-year-old niece received the very hot Zhou-Zhou pet hamster for Christmas, I pointed out that the toy was essentially a robot, with some basic obstacle avoidance skills. She replied matter-of-factly: “It’s not a robot. It’s a pet…” [Huge untapped market / brand extension for Amazon – a Kindle for Kids; add ‘grandparent mode’ with a webcam and ability for grandparents to remotely pay for the kids new books, then watch whilst kids read and enjoy the books]

32. Airnergy WiFi power system http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/09/airnergy-wifi-power-system-gives-rca-a-reason-to-exist-video/ “…RCA…Airnergy power system…harvests energy from WiFi signals. Shipping this summer, the pocketable dongle picks up WiFi signals from the air and manages to charge an internal battery through some magic inside. You don't have to connect to a network, you just have to be in a place that has signal, and it will automatically charge up…they're planning on building the tech into actual cellphone batteries, so you would theoretically never need to plug in again…”

33. ZOMM’s Wireless Leash for Phones Doubles as Personal Alarm http://jkontherun.com/2010/01/06/zomms-wireless-leash-for-phones-doubles-as-personal-alarm/ “…the ZOMM solves a potentially common problem — losing your phone…I constantly see people walking away from their handset…The tiny device connects to your feature-phone or smartphone by Bluetooth and you keep it on your person. ZOMM fits on a key chain or can clip to a pocket, belt or anything else you’re wearing. When you walk away from your phone — or if your phone “walks” away from you — ZOMM lets you know…Built-in the small device is a microphone and speaker, so you can use ZOMM to actually take a call…ZOMM also acts like a personal alarm system. Press the center button for 10 seconds and an audible alarm sounds, alerting everyone around you that there’s an issue. Or it simply tells them that you wondered what would happen if you held the button for 10 seconds. Even better is if you hold the button longer. ZOMM will actually initiate an emergency call on your phone which, if your phone supports it, can provide authorities with your location…”

34. USB 3.0 arrives in HP laptop: Yes, it's fast http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10428132-64.html “…USB 3.0 is now available to consumers on laptops from HP and Asus, among others. USB is also more power efficient than 2.0. "This uses one-third of the power it would take on USB 2.0…cards that go into a laptop's ExpressCard slot are available…HP is now offering an Envy 15 laptop model with USB 3.0 connectors, and Acer was showing a raft of laptops on the CES show floor with the new standard…”

35. DIY Touchscreen Analysis http://labs.moto.com/diy-touchscreen-analysis/ “…MOTO has years of experience developing products that use capacitive touch, and we’ve had the opportunity to test many of the latest devices. Our conclusion: All touchscreens are not created not equal…touchscreens require seamless integration between hardware components, software algorithms, and user-interface design. If a manufacturer cuts corners or flubs any of the critical elements, the user’s experience with a touchscreen product is likely to suffer…MOTO has also developed a simple technique anyone can use to evaluate the resolution and accuracy of a touchscreen device. All you need is a basic drawing program (download one if necessary), a steady hand, and a few straight lines drawn very slowly on the screen. This video shows what happened when we recently took several touchscreen systems out for a test drive…”

Leisure & Entertainment

36. 10 favorite Time Wasters from 2009 http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/01/01/10-favorite-time-wasters-from-2009-to-kick-off-your-2010-gaming/ “…Over the past twelve months we've shown you plenty of great tools to improve your productivity. We like to keep things in balance, though…there's no better way to kick off the new year than with a big ol' helping of button-mashing, bad guy-blasting, puzzle-solving fun. Without further ado, it's time to take the jump and enjoy ten of our favorite Time Wasters from 2009…”

37. Microsoft confirms fall 2010 launch date for Project Natal http://games.venturebeat.com/2010/01/06/microsoft-confirms-fall-2010-launch-date-for-project-natal/ Microsoft confirmed today that it plans to ship Project Natal, a new add-on for the Xbox 360 where you can control a game with your own body motions rather than a controller, in the fall of 2010…Lots of companies are working on Natal-based games…With Natal, players will be able to control a game with body movements, since a webcam atop a TV can capture the movements and translate them into controls for the Xbox 360. Natal will be able to recognize faces of players, receive images of objects scanned into it via the webcam, and discern the different voices of players in the room…”

38. Bright idea: Klipsch LightSpeakers http://ces.cnet.com/8301-31045_1-10425843-269.html Klipsch has come up with an intriguing concept: Marry a wireless speaker with a LED light bulb…The LightSpeaker comes with a dimmable LED bulb and fits 5- and 6-inch recessed light fixtures with a standard Edison socket…the speaker uses a 20-watt high-performance, low-distortion digital amplifier to deliver energy efficient sound…you have to connect a special transmitter to a music source, such as a laptop, iPod or CD player. That transmitter, which uses 2.4Ghz wireless technology, then wirelessly sends the sound to up to eight LightSpeakers, "equaling stereo sound in multiple rooms." Klipsch says you can connect two music sources to the transmitter, as well as establish two separate listening zones. The transmitter or remote will control the sources, zones, lighting levels and volume…”

39. Hands On With Tivit: Free TV for the iPhone http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357715,00.asp I am watching TV, on my iPhone, right now. Without an Internet connection of any kind. I'm doing it with a Valups Tivit, an attractive little green box that serves as an external TV tuner for the iPhone. It works with BlackBerrys and PCs, too, and will soon work with Android phones…”

40. Sharp QuadPixel Technology Promises Better HDTV Color http://www.pcworld.com/article/186103/sharp_quadpixel_technology_promises_better_hdtv_color.html Sharp announced a new line of Aquos HDTVs, the LE Series, that will add a yellow subpixel to the normal red, green and blue (RGB) colors used in TV pixels. Sharp says the addition of that yellow color will allow new Sharp TV’s to produce more natural, more accurate images than any other TV. A typical RGB screen can display millions of colors, but the new Sharp display can handle trillions of colors. Sharp says it expects the new “RGBY” color scheme, which Sharp calls “QuadPixel technology, to become the standard for the whole HDTV industry…”

41. Wireless Display (WiDi): The Hottest Sleeper Technology http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2357919,00.asp Intel embeds software technology into its WiFi chips, so you can display everything on your laptop to an HDTV, wirelessly…Wireless Display technology (or WiDi)…could very well be the hottest sleeper technology of the year. Wisair, a company that offers an array of wireless USB products, is already shipping devices that can wirelessly extend your laptop to an external display. It uses Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology in a receiver (with HDMI and VGA), connected to an HDTV…Instead of Wireless USB, which Wisair uses in its products, Intel took an Advanced-N 6200 Wireless card (802.11n)—a WiFi chip that works in all Intel laptops with Core technology—and programmed some extra software on top of it. This WiFi connection is based on Intel's My WiFi, which creates a Personal Area Connection (PAN) between the Intel Integrated Graphics chipset and wireless chip, similar to how Bluetooth technology works…”

Economy and Technology

42. Cisco Video Thrust Telegraphs Bandwidth-Bandit Strategy http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/client/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222200638 “…Cisco CEO John Chambers' plan to support live consumer videoconferencing is a smart stealth move to driving bandwidth demands, and capturing the resulting uptick in networking sales…the consumer part of its strategy…seemingly centered on videoconferencing (aka telepresence) and live video, is actually a smart and stealthy way of driving bandwidth usage. The upshot is that Cisco will sell not just video tech , but also seed the necessity for more more networking equipment…”

43. Hyperlocal sites becoming major M&A targets http://www.thedeal.com/dealscape/2010/01/hyperlocal_sites_becoming_majo.php “…Web sites that report news and deliver other content at the neighborhood, or "hyperlocal," level, are bursting with life, with many of them becoming sought-after targets by big media and big tech companies…hyperlocal startups continued to get funded. In December, Outside.in Inc., which pulls together neighborhood blogs and other local content, announced it had closed a $7 million Series B round of funding…one of the most competitive early-stage fundings the VC industry saw all last year was that of FourSquare Labs Inc., which encourages people to share their whereabouts from local restaurants and businesses via their mobile phones…”

44. Aggregate shifting to ad analytics http://digital.venturebeat.com/2010/01/06/aggregate-continues-shift-from-e-commerce-recs-to-display-ad-analytics-with-new-9m/ Aggregate Knowledge, developer of a platform that analyzes the performance of online display ads in real time and allows marketers to easily tweak their content to better target certain audiences, has brought in $9 million in a third round of venture funding…the company employs algorithms based on machine-learning to parse massive volumes of data about what people are looking for and buying online. This allows it to give both brands and web publishers the insights they need to better tailor their campaigns…”

45. How Jajah, a little phone company, sold for $207M while everyone else got killed http://demo.venturebeat.com/2010/01/07/how-jajah-a-little-phone-company-sold-for-207m-while-everyone-else-got-killed/ “…Spanish phone giant Telefonica said it had acquired Internet phone company Jajah for $207 million in cash. That’s an excellent return for Silicon Valley-based Jajah, considering its investors put in only $33 million and it launched a little more than four years before…I asked how the Mountain View, Calif. company managed to succeed…Trevor Healy…the company’s chief executive, lists five main factors in the company’s success: * Jajah was able to partner visionary co-founders…with a more experienced management team…* The company didn’t follow fads. It built for the long term…* The company kept users at the center of everything it did…Employees made all calls with Jajah. * The company hired great engineers…* Platforms win, not point applications…Jajah worked hard to build a phone platform that allowed things like Jajah Direct (mobile phone calls to a local number…easy translation services, click-calling from widgets within web pages…and even calls from Twitter…”

46. Can the Skiff save the magazine industry? http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/01/09/can-the-skiff-save-the-magazine-industry/ “…I doubt seriously you or I will ever add a Skiff device to our arsenals this year or any year. Here’s why. Skiff isn’t in this game to make hardware. They’re in it to save their industry from imminent demise. Magazines, as they exist now, are expensive artifacts of an industrial process that has been refined over the past century. They are eye-catching pieces of typographic art and they contain some of the best writing of any generation in a package that appears on a monthly basis…here’s where Skiff comes in – there is no perceived value in print magazines anymore. They are expensive to produce and circulation is falling drastically, resulting in a panic in the industry. The solution? Subsidized ereaders and reading services that will keep the subscription model from failing…Think of the Skiff, then, as something like a Roku box for magazines. The Skiff isn’t even supposed to be for books. The software is focused on the representation of magazines in their native format, complete with all of the design frou-frou publishers love…The Skiff is a device designed to make nervous publishers less nervous…Think of the Skiff as Hulu…”

47. Successful business models in different computing sectors http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/01/11/microsoft_frets_googles_nexus_one_will_suffer_zunes_failure.html “…Consumer products benefit from tight integration to a greater degree than PCs, where Microsoft has successfully ruled the roost as the world's dominant PC operating system provider…The more different competitors Apple faces in smartphones, the better it fares. One major reason why Apple lost its pioneering position in graphical desktop PCs to Microsoft in the 90s was related to the company's efforts to stamp out rivals in "look and feel" lawsuits during the late 80s that shut down windowing products from HP and GEM, leaving Microsoft free rein to consolidate a competitive-free monopoly juggernaut around its own Windows product…” [ interesting business model chart comparing open source vs licensed vs closed proprietary operating systems in different computing device sectors]

Civilian Aerospace

48. New Commercial Rocket Passes Final Engine Test http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/spacex-rocket-test-100107.html “…A brand-new Falcon 9 rocket envisioned to launch commercial cargo ships to the International Space Station has passed its final engine test, clearing the way for its maiden flight in the next few months. Built by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., the Falcon 9 rocket is a two-stage booster designed to launch the company's Dragon spacecraft to orbit. It is the lynchpin rocket behind SpaceX's plan to launch cargo ships to the space station under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA…”

49. Crater on Earth Helps Scientists Plan Moon Mission http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/100107-am-moon-exploration-crater.html “…a group of researchers working in the Canadian Arctic…recently published a study in the journal Planetary and Space Science about the lessons they have learned while performing field science in an impact crater – and how these lessons could be used to provide guidelines for humans working on the lunar surface. The Haughton impact structure is located on Devon Island in Canada's Nunavut Territory. Haughton is the only crater known on Earth that lies in the polar desert. Its frigid, high arctic environment has made it a hot destination for space scientists wanting to try out the latest fashions in spacesuit design and exploration technology…Haughton is also the location of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station, where crews simulate living and working in a model Martian habitat…Future explorers will also spend far more time on the moon. NASA hopes to achieve regular missions of 180 days in length. This means that future lunar explorers have the potential to perform much more complicated and detailed science investigations…locations like the Haughton impact structure are essential practice sites for expanding our knowledge of how surface exploration will best be conducted by astronauts on moon [sic]…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

50. Dell-GPU Clusters Will Blow Your Mind http://www.genomeweb.com/blog/dell-gpu-clusters-will-blow-your-mind “…Kohlmeyer and his team are using two Dell clusters at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to model surfactants, molecules commonly used in household cleaning products but which also have the potential to control drug delivery in the body. The Temple group has been using two Dell clusters, named Abe and Lincoln, to test a relatively new open-source molecular dynamics simulation software called HOOMD-blue, written expressly for use on GPUs. "The outcome is quite spectacular ... With two GPUs we can run a single simulation as fast as on 128 CPUs of a Cray XT3…”

51. Some Thoughts on the Decade Ahead http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/Some-Thoughts-on-the-Decade-Ahead-80957117.html “…innovation is still being driven by specific discontinuities: the memory wall, the stalling of processor clock speed, power consumption, mechanical limitations on hard drive performance, and system complexity, among others. In response we're seeing the rise of multi/manycore CPUs, GPGPU computing, flash memory storage and cloud computing. All of these technologies stand to play a big role in HPC…I think the one most likely to make the biggest impact in HPC over the next couple of years is GPU computing. Thanks mainly to the efforts of NVIDIA and its CUDA architecture development, general purpose GPU computing is the fastest moving HPC technology today and has the steepest adoption trajectory…”


*****

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