NEW NET Issues List for 02 Feb 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 02 February 2010, 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. And don't forget your booties, 'cause it's cold out there...

The ‘net

1. Facebook: technological lock-in? http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2612747120100127 “…Tech-savvy Ravasio, a 21-year-old UCLA student designing her undergraduate degree around the Internet's impact on society and communication, is irked by changes privately owned Facebook has made. But for now, she says, Facebook is keeping her allegiance because of a concept called "technological lock-in…I think Facebook is the most valuable Internet commodity in existence, more so than Google, because they are positioning themselves to be our online identity via Facebook connect," Ravasio said…they're poised to become your universal login," she said. "I would almost argue that Facebook is the new mobile phone. It's the new thing you need to keep in touch…Technological lock-in is the idea that the more a society adopts a certain technology, the more unlikely users are to switch. Its the reason why the QWERTY keyboard layout, devised for typewriters in the 1870s, is still the standard despite the development of several more logical configurations…In December, for example, Facebook recorded nearly 112 million unique visitors in the United States, compared to 57 million for MySpace and 20 million for Twitter…Users also spent much longer on Facebook, averaging 246.9 minutes in December, compared to 112.7 minutes on MySpace and 24.3 minutes on Twitter…At some point it becomes a critical mass," he said. "It becomes so strong that its difficult to unlock and I think Facebook has reached that point…”

2. Comcast sees end of IPv4 tunnel, beginning IPv6 trial http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/01/comcast-running-out-of-ipv4-addresses-beginning-ipv6-trial.ars Comcast is asking for volunteers to participate in its upcoming IPv6 trials. The cable ISP…is experiencing the IPv4 address scarcity first-hand…it has been able to get addresses for its customers—but not for those customers' cable modems and set-top-boxes…No problem, right? Just use private IPv4 addresses, such as the 10 network, which holds 16.8 million addresses. But with 25 million TV, 15 million ISP, and 6 million Comcast Digital Voice subscribers, 16.8 million private addresses isn't enough for a regular management system…Comcast needs IPv6 just to run its internal network effectively now…at some point in the future, Comcast will be unable to obtain additional addresses to connect new customers. So Comcast also needs to provide IPv6 service to its customers at some point and is looking for willing subjects to give it a try. Comcast plans four trials…The first two trials are scheduled for the second quarter of 2010, the other two for the third quarter…”

3. DNS protocol extension to boost Web performance http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20100128/tc_infoworld/111169 Google is amongst a group of DNS (Domain Name System) and content providers proposing an extension to the DNS protocol so that Internet requests are sent to servers in close proximity, thus boosting Internet performance…DNS can be used to load-balance traffic and send users to a nearby server, such as a user in New York looking up Google and the request being resolved to an IP address for a server in New York City. Authoritative nameservers, which have authority over DNS zones, look at the source IP address of the incoming request, which is the IP address of the DNS resolver. Sometimes, however, DNS resolvers serve many users over a wider area, and a lookup may return the IP address of a server several countries away. "Sending you to a nearby server improves speed, latency, and network utilization…Our proposed DNS protocol extension lets recursive DNS resolvers include part of your IP address in the request sent to authoritative nameservers…”

4. What Happens When You Unplug from Your Internet Addiction? http://the99percent.com/articles/6255/lab-rat-what-happens-when-you-unplug-from-your-internet-addiction “…I love the Internet more than anybody I know. I love that it keeps me connected, I love that it keeps me informed, and most of all, I love that it helps me blur the lines between business, pleasure, and complete mindlessness. Yet, after a veritable orgy of web browsing over the holiday break, I began to debate the pros and cons of unfettered access…I decided to take a two-week leap into digital darkness – limiting my internet, TV, and cell phone access to working hours. Here, I document the journey…Not surprisingly, it reads a bit like the journal of a recovering addict…DAY 1: Begrudging Compliance…I awoke in the morning slightly annoyed that I was unable to view those 43 pending emails that glowed red on my iPhone…While walking to the subway, I felt great about an undistracted opportunity to soak up the sights. I actually noticed things I had failed to see on the route I’d been walking for a year and a half…As the day wore on…pit of dread began to settle in my stomach…how could I possibly leave all of this work unfinished? The evening seemed to drag along in slow-mo…DAY 2: Depression & Defiance…I became quite frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t access my computer for simple, non-browsing reasons…Computers and the Internet are useful, important tools. This we know. I start to feel like my experiment has veered from an exercise in self-control into extreme Ludditism. …”

5. Google Chrome steals usage share from IE/Firefox http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=7102 “…Net Applications’ data for January is out…Chrome: 5.20% (up from 4.64% in Dec ‘09)…IE: 62.18% (down from 62.69% in Dec ‘09)…Firefox: 24.41% (down from 24.61% in Dec ‘09)…top browser spot has also changed hands, now belonging to IE8, with 22.31%, beating IE6 (20.07%)…Windows 7 global usage share hit 10% on January 31st. Overall, Windows 7 ended January with a 7.51% usage share (leaping ahead from 5.71% for Dec ‘09)…Overall, Windows usage is down to 92.02% (from 92.21% in Dec ‘09…”

6. Reorder the Sections on Your LinkedIn Profile: Now You’re in Control http://blog.linkedin.com/2010/02/02/linkedin-profile-reordering/ Starting today, we bring you the ability to reorder the sections on your LinkedIn profile via drag-and-drop. This enhancement, one of the most highly-requested profile features from our users, gives you the ability to highlight the skills, expertise, and/or experiences that make you stand out… At LinkedIn we’d like to provide you with all the tools you need to build and maintain a profile that can showcase your unique professional value. Now you’re in complete control over your professional brand. Given below is a quick demo of how it works…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Firefox-based attack wreaks havoc on IRC users http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/30/firefox_interprotocol_attack/ “…hackers are exploiting a weakness in the Mozilla Firefox browser to wreak havoc on Freenode and other networks that cater to users of internet relay chat. Using a piece of javascript embedded into a web link, the hackers force users of the open-source browser to join IRC networks and flood channels with diatribes that include the same internet address. As IRC users with Firefox follow the link, their browsers are also forced to spam the channels…Huge numbers of users of the Freenode network ended up getting banned themselves because they would click the link and then they would join the network and flood the network…The malicious javascript exploits a feature that allows Firefox to send data over a variety of ports that aren't related to web browsing…”

8. Texas Bank Sues Customer Hit by $800,000 Cyber Heist http://www.krebsonsecurity.com/2010/01/texas-bank-sues-customer-hit-by-800000-cyber-heist/ A machine equipment company in Texas is tussling with its bank after organized crooks swiped more than $800,000 in a 48-hour cyber heist late last year. While many companies similarly victimized over the past year have sued their banks for having inadequate security protection, this case is unusual because the bank is preemptively suing the victim. Both the victim corporation – Plano based Hillary Machinery Inc. – and the bank, Lubbock based PlainsCapital, agree on this much: In early November, cyber thieves initiated a series of unauthorized wire transfers totaling $801,495 out of Hillary’s account, and PlainsCapital managed to retrieve roughly $600,000 of that money…Hillary is still investigating how the information was taken. Owen said the transfers appear to have been initiated from computers in Romania and Italy, among others, and sent to accounts in Ukraine, Russia and other Eastern European nations…The bank’s memo states that on Nov. 8, secure access code e-mails were sent to a Hillary e-mail address, but that the request came from a computer with an Internet address in Italy. The memo further states that the actual wire transfer requests were made from computers with Internet addresses in Romania…It’s pretty ridiculous that the bank is saying their security was reasonable,” Owens said. “The people who run this bank are from an area that still leaves their doors unlocked at night and their keys in the car. These security measures were probably very up to date 10 to 15 years ago, but they’re not in today’s age…”

9. 48% of 22 million scanned computers infected with malware http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=5365 “…APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report for Q3 of 2009...offers an interesting observation on desktop crimeware infections…the overall number of infected computers (page 10) used in the sample decreased compared to previous quarters, however, 48.35% of the 22,754,847 scanned computers remain infected with malware…despite that the crimeware/banking trojans infections slightly decreased from Q2, over a million and a half computers were infected…Malware sits inside a user’s browser and waits for the user to log into a bank. During login, the malware copies the user’s ID, password and OTP, sends them to the attacker and stops the browser from sending the login request to the bank’s website, telling the user that the service is “temporarily unavailable.” The fraudster immediately uses the user ID, password and OTP to log in and drain the user’s accounts…many online banks will then communicate back to the user’s browser the transaction details that need to be confirmed by the user with an OTP entry, but the malware will change the values seen by the user back to what the user originally entered…out-of-band authentication using voice telephony is circumvented by a simple technique whereby the fraudster asks the phone carrier to forward the legitimate user’s phone calls to the fraudster’s phone. The fraudster simply tells the carrier the original phone number is having difficulty and needs the calls forwarded…The American Bankers’ Association (ABA) issued a similar warning to small businesses, recommending the use of dedicated PC for their E-banking activities, one which is never used to read email or visit web sites…No matter which adaptive approach you’d consider (Time to ditch Windows for online banking and shopping; Live CDs), cybercriminals have clearly adapted to the currently implemented multi-factor authentication…”

10. CIA, PayPal under bizarre SSL assault http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/29/strange_ssl_web_attack/ The Central Intelligence Agency, PayPal, and hundreds of other organizations are under an unexplained assault that's bombarding their websites with millions of compute-intensive requests. The "massive" flood of requests is made over the websites' SSL, or secure-sockets layer, port, causing them to consume more resources than normal connections…The torrent started about a week ago and appears to be caused by recent changes made to a botnet known as Pushdo…Infected PCs appear to initiate the SSL connections, along with a bit of junk, disconnect and then repeat the cycle. They don't request any resources from the website or do anything else. "We find it hard to believe this much activity would be used to make the bots blend in with normal traffic, but at the same time it doesn't quite look like a DDoS either," Adair wrote. Security mavens aren't sure what targeted sites can do to thwart the attacks…”

11. Experts weigh in on Mac vs. PC security http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10444561-245.html “…Which is more secure, Mac or PC?...I use both…I decided to conduct an informal survey of a bunch of security experts and see what they had to say…I provide quotes from the 32 experts who participated in the survey…while both PC and Mac users perceive the Mac as being safer, Mac users are victims of cybercrime just as frequently as PC users…Mac users are just as vulnerable to Web-based attacks like phishing as PC users are, and Mac users who fall prey to phishing tend to lose more money on average than PC users do, the survey found. "Viruses are a diminishing percentage of what we're seeing…A lot of attacks have to do with social engineering and that kind of attack is platform agnostic." For my survey I asked security experts: Which is more secure for consumers--Mac or PC, and why? Here are their (mostly) unedited responses…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. Inside the iPad Lurks the 'Micro SIM' http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358489,00.asp “…A micro SIM, also known as a 3FF or "third form factor" SIM, is a smaller version of a SIM card that holds the same data, but is not physically compatible with larger SIM cards like the ones used by AT&T and T-Mobile…3FF SIMs were developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to fit into devices too small for a regular SIM. Where a regular SIM measures 15 millimeters x 25 mm, a 3FF SIM card measures 12mm x 15mm…Today's "regular" sim is actually the second SIM form factor, shrunken down from the SIM card's original credit-card size…T-Mobile will begin to deploy 3FF SIM cards in Lok8u's nu-m8 wristwatch-style personal locator devices later this year…”

13. iPad Data Demands Could Cripple AT&T 3G http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/188063/ipad_data_demands_could_cripple_atandt_3g.html “…The iPhone is designed to work with GSM cellular networks, as is the iPad. If Apple is interested in expanding iPhone distribution it needs to add CDMA functionality, design a separate CDMA-compatible version, or resign itself to doing business with only AT&T and T-Mobile…it is hard to imagine how AT&T will handle any additional influx in data demand on its already-faltering network…As Verizon's "There is a Map for That" marketing campaign has made painfully obvious, AT&T actually doesn't even provide 3G network coverage in the vast majority of the United States…Assuming the iPad is even marginally successful, the additional strain on the AT&T 3G network could cripple it completely. iPhone users have higher than average data demands, but the device is still, first and foremost, a phone. With the iPad, the primary function will be Web-surfing and data consumption--lots of it…”

14. Apple A4 SOC for iPad http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2010/1/27/apple-a4-soc-unveiled---its-an-arm-cpu-and-the-gpu!.aspx Apple today didn't introduce just a new product, but rather an entrance into the world of fabless semiconductors with their A4…Steve Jobs incorrectly addressed Apple A4 as a CPU. We're not sure was this to keep the mainstream press enthused, but A4 is not a CPU. Or we should say, it's not just a CPU…A4 is a System-on-a-Chip, or SOC, that integrates the main processor [ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore i.e. Multi-Processing Core, identical to ones used in nVidia Tegra and Qualcomm Snapdragon] with graphics silicon [ARM Mali 50-Series GPU], and other functions like the memory controller on one piece of silicon…the difference between the Samsung processor inside the iPhone 3Gs and A4 is the clockspeed and the core type. A4 runs at 1GHz while the chip on iPhone 3Gs works clocked to 0,6GHz. This is one of main reasons why iPad can deliver a lively interface compared to stale iPhone one.…”

15. iPad: an Apple for Mom http://danieltenner.com/posts/0015-ipad-an-apple-for-mom.html “…geeks and assorted Macheads constitute a relatively small percentage of the computer-using people around the world. The vast majority of the world is still using Windows PCs. And for them, an iPad may be exactly what they’ve been waiting for…most people don’t really need a proper computer at all…Many people spend all day working in front of a computer, and they simply don’t like the idea of coming home to yet another computer that looks just like the one they use at work…A better comparison is with the Nintendo Wii. While Sony and Microsoft competed in the cut-throat market of consoles for gamers, the Wii also created a new product category: consoles for everyone else…making a device that appeals to 95% of the population sells better than making one that appeals to only 5%...that’s exactly what Apple is doing: making a slick “uncomputer” that’s tailored to those people who don’t actually need a computer…”

16. The iPad And Chrome OS Netbooks Are On A Collision Course http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/29/ipad-chrome-os/ “…a device…in between a full laptop and a mobile phone…that’s squarely where Apple is positioning the iPad…they feel that they’ve created a $500 (for the baseline version) device that is superior to every netbook out there…Google has decided to target the market in between the laptop and the mobile phone as well. But whereas Apple is anti-netbook, Google is very pro-netbook — they just want to make them better…it remains to be seen if people who buy an iPad will do so instead of buying a netbook. At first, I’m not so sure that will be the case. But it stands to reason that eventually, this will happen…Google wants everyone to move towards doing everything on their apps in the cloud. Apple, as they made clear with their overly-long iWork for iPad demo on Wednesday, wants everyone to move towards using iPhone OS-based apps…Both Apple and Google are very popular with consumers, but their offerings are very different — while aiming for the same market…”

17. VoIP Over 3G Comes to the iPhone - And Maybe Even the iPad http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/voip_over_3g_comes_to_the_iphone_and_maybe_the_ipa.php “…Apple…quietly announced a major change to its iPhone policies yesterday: Apple now allows developers to use a 3G connection to make VoIP calls. The first application to make use of this is iCall (iTunes link), but chances are that Skype, Truphone and other VoIP providers are already working on updated iPhone apps…Until now, Apple's iPhone SDK prohibited developers from developing VoIP-enabled apps that used the carrier's 3G network. Developers who wanted to use VoIP in their apps had to restrict themselves to using this feature over WiFi connections only. This restriction was purely Apple's decision. AT&T had already lifted its own ban on VoIP apps over 3G last October…”

Open Source

18. Thunderbird 3.0 is better, but… http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100127/mozilla-thunderbird-review/ “…While many people these days are content to store and manage all their email using Web-based interfaces provided by Yahoo, Google and others, plenty of folks still want to use local programs…can Thunderbird 3…become the Firefox of email, the go-to choice for average users looking for an alternative to the big guys…Thunderbird 3 is a significant improvement over earlier versions of the product…But, in my view…it’s still clumsy in a few places…Mozilla has brought tabs, now standard in Web browsers, to Thunderbird…you can consult key emails when you need them without opening a welter of overlapping windows…Another cool feature is an attachment reminder. If you are writing a message and you include words like “attachment,” “attached,” or “enclosed,” Thunderbird will pop up a yellow warning at the bottom of the screen reminding you to attach a file…Thunderbird can’t be set to automatically show a CC or BCC line in a new email you’re composing. Every new address you add is set as a “To” address, and you must click on a drop-down menu to change it to CC or BCC—an extra step that becomes tedious quickly…unlike in Outlook or Apple Mail, you can only have a single signature for each account…the program’s preferences and settings, while improved, can still be too techie…”

19. Mozilla SeaMonkey Version 2.0.1 Internet Suite released http://www.examiner.com/x-23513-Baltimore-Computers-Examiner~y2010m1d11-Mozilla-SeaMonkey-Version-201Internet-Suite-released Mozilla has released an update to its comprehensive Internet Suite called SeaMonkey. SeaMonkey is an integrated web application suite composed of a web browser (Mozilla), an email reader, a news feed reader, an html editor, and an IRC chat client…”

20. Ubuntu's default search engine to change in deal with Yahoo http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/01/ubuntus-default-search-engine-to-change-in-deal-with-yahoo.ars “…the Firefox Web browser that is shipped in Ubuntu will be configured to use Yahoo as the default search engine…the new default will appear in the development version of the distribution "as soon as reasonably possible" and will be in place in time for Ubuntu 10.04, which is scheduled for release in April…Users will still be able to quickly change the default search service by clicking the search provider icon in Firefox and selecting the search service of their choice from the dropdown menu. In order to make it easier for users to switch completely, Canonical is customizing the browser so that switching your default search provider will also change your start page if you haven't already set one…Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform…Canonical currently gains a portion of the revenue from Google searches, so the change means that Yahoo offered a better deal…”

21. Video editing in Linux: a look at PiTiVi and Kdenlive http://arstechnica.com/open-source/guides/2010/01/video-editing-in-linux-a-look-at-pitivi-and-kdenlive.ars Video editing on Linux has long gotten a bad rap. A few years ago, the only real options for video editing were either deeply limited in features and polish, or incredibly complex to set up and use. While Linux still lacks a direct competitor to tools like Apple's iMovie or Final Cut Pro, the current crop of video editing tools are much more capable and easy to use. Two tools in particular stand out: PiTiVi and Kdenlive…”


22. Moving .PST files into Gmail: you can try this at home! http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2010/01/moving_pst_files_into_gmail.php “… get many years' worth of email stored in old Outlook .PST files into an online Gmail account. Main reason for change: wanting to have email archives searchable and available from any computer…They'd also be searchable and usable from mobile devices with Gmail apps…solution that's not right for me: Google offers its own "Google Email Uploader" (left) available for free download here. It sounds as if it exactly fills the bill: "It uploads email and contacts from desktop email programs (like Microsoft Outlook® ) into your Google Apps mailbox. It preserves information such as sent dates and sender/recipient data, as well as the folder structure used by email programs." Unfortunately, it doesn't work with normal, free Gmail accounts. It requires a different "Google Apps" account. These cost $50 per year (details here), and while that's hardly prohibitive, for the same money I could buy 200 GB of online storage from Google (see here). And this approach would defeat my purpose of concentrating my mail in one, main, existing Gmail account…” [For Macs, see http://blog.louisgray.com/2010/01/googles-mail-uploader-for-mac-taunts.html ]

23. Google phases out support for IE6 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8488751.stm Google has begun to phase out support for Internet Explorer 6, the browser identified as the weak link in a cyber attack on the search engine. The firm said from 1 March some of its services, such as Google Docs, would not work "properly" with the browser…Around 20% of web users still use the nine-year old browser…Firefox is now a close second to Internet Explorer (IE) in Europe, with 40% of the market compared to Microsoft's 45% share. In some markets, including Germany and Austria, Firefox has overtaken IE…”

24. Multi-Recipient SMS Comes to Google Voice http://lifehacker.com/5459982/multi+recipient-sms-comes-to-google-voice “…the Google Voice web interface now allows users to send text messages to multiple recipients. To send multi-recipient SMS, just click the SMS button, start typing in recipients in the Gmail-style auto-complete box, and send away…”

25. Google Labs Adds Search Icon To ‘Compose Mail’ Window In Gmail http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/31/google-labs-search-gmail/ “…Google has quietly added a new icon in the ‘Compose Mail’ window of its free webmail service Gmail, enabling users to run search queries from within the interface and insert results and URLs straight into drafted e-mails or open chat conversations…enabling the feature also adds an icon to the top toolbar in the ‘Compose Mail’ window…The icon opens up a search box at the bottom of your screen and lets you run a search like you would using the regular Google search interface. A small arrow opens up a limited menu where you can paste results, paste URL and send by e-mail…If you have a chat conversation open in Gmail, you’ll also get an extra option to send search results to your contact…”

26. Google Social Search http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/search-is-getting-more-social.html “…It's baby season here on our team — two of us just had little ones, and a third is on the way…we have lots of questions. So, what do we do? We search Google, of course! With Social Search, when we search for [baby sleep patterns], [swaddling] or [best cribs], not only do we get the usual websites with expert opinions, we also find relevant pages from our friends and contacts…if one of my friends has written a blog where he talks about a great baby shop he found in Mountain View, this might appear in my social results…my friend's blog is more relevant because I know and trust the author…we've been hard at work on new features. For example, we've added social to Google Images. Now when you're doing a search on Images, you may start seeing pictures from people in your social circle. These are pictures that your friends and other contacts have published publicly to the web on photo-sharing sites like Picasa Web Albums and Flickr…”

27. Starring stories in Google News http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/starring-stories-in-google-news.html “…we are giving users even more options for following stories. Users can mark a story cluster by clicking on the star next to it, like they can with messages in Gmail and items in Google Reader. When you star a story in Google News, it's one way to let us know that you're interested in that subject. When there are significant updates, we will alert you by putting the headline in bold so you can get more information. You can also follow your 20 most recent starred stories in the "Starred" section of Google News…”

28. 13 cool tips to make search in Google more effectively http://savedelete.com/google-search-tips.html “…1) Google can be your calculator…2) Unit Conversion…3) Currency Conversion…4) Search with keywords in a given sequence…5) Find local time of any city in the world…6) Synonym Search…7) Search based on File…8) Exclude specific word…9) Track Flight Status…10) Make Google your quick dictionary…11) Get the weather status of any city in the world…12) For Music Lovers…13) Numrange Operator…”

General Technology

29. Intel and Micron First to 25nm With New Flash Memory http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222600535 Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. have regained the process technology lead in NAND flash, by rolling out the first in a family of 25-nm devices. The first 25-nm NAND device is a multi-level-cell (MLC), 8-GB device, which is said to reduce IC count by 50 percent over previous products…SanDisk-Toshiba duo and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd…recently announced 32-nm and 30-nm products…Hynix Semiconductor Inc., has a 26-nm device waiting in the wings…The 25-nm device is made at IM Flash Technologies LLC, a joint NAND fab venture between Intel (Santa Clara) and Micron (Boise, Ida.)…In theory, today's 193-nm immersion scanners supposedly hit the wall around 35-nm. IM Flash has been able to devise 25-nm NAND chips with today's 193-nm immersion lithography, plus self-aligned double-patterning (SADP) techniques, observers speculated…IM Flash started production with a 50-nm process in 2006, followed by a 34-nm process in 2008…SSDs are among the applications for NAND flash. The 25-nm NAND device will also reduce the costs for MP3 players, MCPs for cell phones and other products, said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron's memory group. It could also enable new and low-cost tablet PCs…”

30. The Battle Over Rare Earth Metals http://www.ensec.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=228:the-battle-over-rare-earth-metals&catid=102:issuecontent&Itemid=355 “…These 15 consecutive lanthanide elements have, uniquely among all the elements in the periodic table, chemical properties so similar that they are difficult and expensive to separate from one another…individual physical properties of these materials put them in today’s top tier of the rarest and in many cases the most critical of metals for technological application. These metals are used to manufacture environmentally friendly products such as electric cars and in alternative power generating technologies such as wind turbines…dysprosium and terbium, are in especially short supply, mainly because they have emerged as the miracle ingredients of green energy products. Tiny quantities of dysprosium can make magnets in electric motors lighter by 90 percent, while terbium can help cut the electricity usage of lights by 80 percent…The main accessible concentrations of the rare earths are found in China, where more than 95% of rare earths are now produced. Over the last seven years, China has reduced the amount of rare earths available for export by some 40%...levels of pollution in the Bayanobo region of China where most of its and the world’s production of the rare earth metals takes place, are now so high that industry must be reformed…in order to clean up the damage from decades of mining and refining operations, China’s rare earth industry must slow or even stop temporarily its activities. This must be carried out in order to assess the environmental impact of past mining operations and then to plan strategies for mitigating future environmental damage…Chinese officials are openly concerned that the elements mined in the Bayanobo region are so valuable and important to China’s technological future that they must be conserved for future Chinese use…”

31. Flexible Sheets Capture Energy from Movement http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/24428/?a=f Researchers at Princeton University have created a flexible material that harvests record amounts of energy when stressed. The researchers say the material could be incorporated into the soles of shoes to power portable electronics, or even placed on a heart patient's lungs to recharge a pacemaker as he breathes. The energy-harvesting rubber sandwiches ribbons of a piezoelectric material called PZT between pieces of silicone. When mechanically stressed, a piezoelectric material generates a voltage that can be used to produce electrical current; a current can also be converted back into mechanical movement…The rubber material can harness 80 percent of the energy applied when it is flexed…”

32. Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything http://www.physorg.com/news184310039.html Spray-on liquid glass is transparent, non-toxic, and can protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections. The coating is also flexible and breathable…The liquid glass spray (technically termed “SiO2 ultra-thin layering”) consists of almost pure silicon dioxide (silica, the normal compound in glass) extracted from quartz sand…There are no additives, and the nano-scale glass coating bonds to the surface because of the quantum forces involved. According to the manufacturers, liquid glass has a long-lasting antibacterial effect…Liquid glass was invented in Turkey and the patent is held by Nanopool, a family-owned German company. Research on the product was carried out at the Saarbrücken Institute for New Materials…The liquid glass spray produces a water-resistant coating only around 100 nanometers (15-30 molecules) thick…The coating is environmentally harmless and non-toxic, and easy to clean using only water or a simple wipe with a damp cloth. It repels bacteria, water and dirt, and resists heat, UV light and even acids. UK project manager with Nanopool, Neil McClelland, said soon almost every product you purchase will be coated with liquid glass…A year-long trial of the spray in a Lancashire hospital also produced “very promising” results for a range of applications including coatings for equipment, medical implants, catheters, sutures and bandages…The liquid glass coating is breathable, which means it can be used on plants and seeds…In the home, spray-on glass would eliminate the need for scrubbing and make most cleaning products obsolete. Since it is available in both water-based and alcohol-based solutions, it can be used in the oven, in bathrooms, tiles, sinks, and almost every other surface in the home, and one spray is said to last a year. Liquid glass spray is perhaps the most important nanotechnology product to emerge to date. It will be available in DIY stores in Britain soon, with prices starting at around £5 ($8 US)…” [Scam or vaporware? Miracle product? First nano-disaster waiting to happen?]

33. Technology changing how we work, play, shop http://www.kansas.com/196/story/1160700.html “…Our avatars are coming. Those mobile and 3-D and interactive technologies being created around us are about to beam us into a new world, filled with workday holograms, avatars and stuff we called magic only a few years ago…that augmented reality that may soon envelop us, in a world where we’ll soon control images and data with hand gestures rather than keyboards…It's going to put helpful 3-D holograms all around us, and they respond when we talk to them…We'll walk through a world of augmented reality, where on vacation or on a business trip we'll walk past any building, hold up our mobile device, and know at a glance who is in there, what their phone numbers are, and what each person does. And then it'll show the nearest coffee shop, and the way to the subway…”

Leisure & Entertainment

34. The Apple-Amazon Ebook War Begins: Amazon Deletes Macmillan Books http://venturebeat.com/2010/01/29/macmillan-amazon-ipad/ Go to Amazon.com. Search for any publication by Macmillan, one of the world’s largest publishing firms. The Prince of Silicon Valley, perhaps, or Sarah’s Key. Or last year’s huge #1 bestseller The Gathering Storm. Gone, mysteriously gone. We found Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, but his new novel Makers and his popular debut, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, have been removed. Robert Jordan’s entire Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels is gone, except for 2005’s The Knife of Dreams. You get links to other sellers. But Amazon has stopped carrying themAmazon temporarily removed Macmillan titles as a result of an e-book pricing dispute…”

35. Mass Effect 2 a huge hit after just 4 days http://games.venturebeat.com/2010/01/29/ea-biowares-mass-effect-2-sci-fi-sequel-sells-more-than-2m-copies/ “…Mass Effect 2, a sci-fi game made by EA’s BioWare division, has sold more than 2 million units since it launched on Tuesday. The game has gotten 40 review scores that are perfect 100 out of 100 possible points, as tabulated by Metacritic, and it has an average review score of 96, making it the second-highest rated game of all time on the Xbox 360 game console. On launch day, the term “Mass Effect” was in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter and most searched on Google News…I’m in the midst of playing this game and it is one of the best I’ve played. I’ve put 18 hours into it so far and am still hours away from finishing the game. As soon as I’m done, I’ll post a review. But it’s clearly already the best BioWare game that I’ve played and it’s one of the most entertaining video game experiences I’ve had…”

36. Interstellar Marines: trite name, crowd-sourced budget http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/01/interstellar-marines-trite-name-crowd-sourced-budget.ars “…Interstellar Marines…first-person shooter…is something we're not used to: an Indie game with some major production values, one that's been a labor of love for its development team for quite some time…developer Zero Point Games has managed to accomplish this feat without the help of a publisher…Zero Point has taken a unique approach to funding the game's development: they're preselling it and using the cash from fans to continue the work. It's certainly a different funding method, but it isn't terribly surprising, since the developer seems dead-set on bucking as many stereotypes as possible by being a "AAA Indie" company…We have always wanted to establish a community for Interstellar Marines while developing the game…Zero Point Software has…[over 22,000] registered marines and the community is growing fast, now that people can actually play Bullseye, our first preview slice. We have high hopes and faith in this strategy of ours called AAA Indie…”

Economy and Technology

37. AT&T To Launch Yelp Competitor http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/26/att-yelp-advertising-technology-business-intelligence-buzz.html AT&T latched on early to the local search and advertising market, first with the Yellow Pages, then with an online version, YellowPages.com. These days, with everyone from Google to Yelp chasing the same business, AT&T is striking back with a new social recommendations site called buzz.com…AT&T came up with the idea for buzz.com about a year and a half ago…A user looking for a reliable moving company in Manhattan could simply poll his or her friends on the site. But since a more focused search will likely yield more useful recommendations, buzz.com will also be able to suggest experts for that particular topic based on user "favorites" and comments…Though buzz.com's local business focus prompts comparisons to local reviews site Yelp, it differs in a few key ways. On buzz.com, users won't be writing full-fledged reviews…there isn't a place for airing grievances. That should spare AT&T from the occasional furor--and lawsuits--that erupt over negative reviews on Yelp…many consumers like Yelp precisely because it's as full of negative reviews as positive ones…A group of about 500 AT&T employees is currently testing the site. In the next month or two, it will open up to users' friends and family members, then go public…”

38. Tesla’s Roadster To Exit In 2011 http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/01/teslas-roadster-to-exit-in-2011/ “…Buried deep inside the Securities and Exchange Commission paperwork Tesla filed ahead of its IPO is the announcement that production of the two-seater and its souped up Roadster Sport sibling (pictured) will stop next year, and a replacement won’t hit the road until 2013 at the earliest…We do not plan to sell our current generation Tesla Roadster after 2011 due to planned tooling changes at a supplier for the Tesla Roadster,” the company wrote in the filing.” The Roadster is built by Lotus, so presumably Tesla is talking about changes at the British automaker’s factory in Hethel, England…Tesla plans to replace the Roadster, but not “until at least one year after the launch of the Model S, which is not expected to be in production until 2012.” The company just closed a $465 million loan with the Department of Energy to finance construction of the Model S sedan…”

39. Going Virtual http://blog.inc.com/archives/2010/02/going_virtual.html Everyone knows the workforce is becoming more virtual. Free online technologies offered by the likes of Skype and Google have made it possible for start-ups to be launched by teams of people who live in different cities or, for that matter, on different continents. As for established businesses, a compelling argument can be made that, between high rents and long commutes, virtual work is more desirable, too…how does being a virtual workplace affect a company’s culture—and the quality and efficiency of its output? To find out, we’ve decided to conduct a little experiment…We, the members of the magazine’s editorial staff, are packing up our things, turning off the lights, and leaving our offices…The idea: If virtual companies are so good, why not give it a try ourselves? For the next month, anyway…Most of us will be working from home offices for the month of February. The rest will be scattered among hotels, co-working spaces, and the occasional laptop-friendly café. As the experiment progresses, we’ll be blogging about our experiences here on a regular basis. We also plan to post video interviews with experts and consultants who study virtual work. Then in the April issue of the magazine, we’ll publish a definitive piece on virtual work—a look at pros and cons of running a highly-dispersed team (namely, ours), plus, tips on how to work virtually that any start-up or small business can use…”

Civilian Aerospace

40. White House to Outsource Space Flight http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/01/27/white-house-outsource-space-flight/ “…according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, the forthcoming budget — which the president will announce in detail during tonight's State of the Union address — will include no funding for lunar landers, no moon bases, and no Constellation program at all…NASA intends to buy rides for its astronauts on Russian Soyuz vehicles until a new service — either commercial or government — materializes. The Russian government charges NASA $51 million for each seat on its Soyuz vehicles…private companies have been competing to build next-generation vehicles capable of transporting humans into space and to the International Space Station. Armadillo Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and others are vying to be the first commercial spacecraft…The budget will include funding for those private companies to develop capsules and rockets that can be used as space taxis, reports the Sentinel. These companies may take astronauts on fixed-price contracts to and from the International Space Station — a major change in the way the agency has done business for the past 50 years…”

41. SpaceX contracts for Israeli satellite launch on Falcon 9 http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100127007060&newsLang=en Space Exploration Technologies…and Space Communication Ltd…of Ramat-Gan Israel, operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, have signed an agreement for launch of a communication satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 as early as December 2012. Falcon 9 will insert the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO)…SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is a medium-to-heavy lift, two-stage launch vehicle capable of lifting approximately 11 tons to low Earth orbit (LEO) and in excess of 4.5 tons to GTO…”

42. America's 1st Commercial Spaceport Blooms in the Desert http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/commercial-spaceport-runway-100128.html “…New Mexico's Spaceport America is no longer the stuff of fancy graphics. The scene is now one of bulldozers and other heavy equipment. Loads of asphalt and concrete are being spread. The initial phase of building the rambling complex within remote desert scenery is quickening…A critical centerpiece of Spaceport America is putting in place a runway to space. Measuring 10,000 feet long by 200 feet wide…Virgin Galactic, the suborbital spaceline operator, is the anchor tenant for Spaceport America, also making use of a Terminal Hangar Facility projected to be complete by early 2011…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

43. CUDA, Supercomputing for the Masses: Part 15 http://www.ddj.com/architect/222600097 “…In this article, I discuss mixing CUDA and OpenGL by utilizing a PBO (Pixel Buffer Object) to create images with CUDA on a pixel-by-pixel basis and display them using OpenGL…The articles in this discussion on mixing CUDA with OpenGL cannot do more than provide a cursory introduction to OpenGL. Interested readers should look to the plethora of excellent books and tutorials that are readily available in bookstores and on the Internet. Here are a few that I have found to be useful: GPU Gems and NVIDIA OpenGL whitepapers. The OpenGL tutorials by Song Ho Ahn. The gamedev.net tutorials…”

44. NVIDIA, U of Illinois Release Textbook on Programming Massively Parallel Processors http://www.hpcwire.com/topic/developertools/NVIDIA-U-of-Illinois-Join-Forces-To-Release-Textbook-on-Programming-Massively-Parallel-Processors-82958107.html “…Programming Massively Parallel Processors: A Hands-on Approach, launches today, authored by Dr. David B. Kirk, NVIDIA Fellow and former chief scientist, and Dr. Wen-mei Hwu, who serves at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering…The textbook, which is 256 pages, is the first aimed at teaching advanced students and professionals the basic concepts of parallel programming and GPU architectures…GPUs have hundreds of cores capable of delivering transformative performance increases across a wide range of computational challenges. The rise of these multicore architectures has raised the need to teach advanced programmers a new and essential skill: how to program massively parallel processors…I look forward to seeing the transformation of computing as students are inspired and guided to master GPU computing by this book…”



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home