2010/05/04

NEW NET Issues List for 04 May 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we'reupstairs 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.

Tonight's meeting will likely include a spirited discussion of the cool and double-edged technologies described in Daniel Suarez's "Daemon" and "Freedom" as well as "Little Brother" from Cory Doctorow and similar novels.

The ‘net

1. Oregon Schools To Use Google Apps--And Why Microsoft Should Worry http://www.pcworld.com/article/195183/oregon_schools_to_use_google_appsand_why_microsoft_should_worry.html The Oregon Department of Education today will begin offering Google Apps to all public school districts in the state. The move will save the cash-strapped Oregon schools $1.5 million per year…Google Apps Education Edition is a cloud-based suite of apps. It includes Gmail and Google Docs, the latter of which offers real-time user collaboration for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. The school-oriented suite also includes calendaring, messaging, and video-hosting tools…While there are real advantages to the suite's Web-based, collaborative tools, there are potential drawbacks too, including power outages and server failures that could make teacher and student data inaccessible…The growth in adoption of Google Docs should worry Microsoft. Google's momentum could indirectly threaten some of Microsoft's Office 2010 upgrade revenue by providing buyers some negotiating leverage…Google continues to enhance its productivity apps, while Microsoft adds online and collaborative tools to Office 2010, including a scaled-down Web version…”

2. NJ Principal Asks Parents To Ban Social Networking http://wcbstv.com/technology/facebook.social.networking.2.1662565.html A controversial proposal has students horrified at a Bergen County middle school on Wednesday. The principal is asking parents to join a voluntary ban on social networking. Eighth grader Ali Feinberg told CBS 2 she uses her iPhone to check her Facebook account "a lot" and some of her friends said the same…Anthony Orsini, the principal at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, sent out an e-mail Wednesday morning asking parents to help him get all of his students off social networks and keep careful track of their text messages. "Please do the following: sit down with your child (and they are just children still) and tell them that they are not allowed to be a member of any social networking site. Today!…”

3. The Age Of Facebook http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/25/the-age-of-facebook/ Two years ago…the key question I asked…was, “Will Facebook Have their Google moment?” I was referring to Google’s ability to pair awesome search in the late nineties with, later, an amazing business model – a bidding system for text ads…Facebook is profitable and probably is running at a billion dollar plus revenue run rate today. They have 400 million users and 500 million people visit the site each month. Only Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have more monthly visitors than Facebook. And only Google has more page views…investor Ron Conway spoke about the explosive growth of Facebook. “They are the universe,” he said. I asked him if we are in the Age of Facebook. His answer was yes. Ron has been investing in startups for thirty years and he has seen the rise and fall of many companies…Last week Facebook unveiled a variety of new developer tools, and new consumer applications are set to be launched in the near future…Facebook is taking over our identity and we are going along with that happily. It will take a new technology paradigm to disrupt what Facebook is doing…Someday…new technology will rise and allow other companies to threaten Facebook. But until then there is little to stop them…”

4. Clustrix Builds the Webscale Holy Grail: A Database That Scales http://gigaom.com/2010/05/03/clustrix-builds-the-webscale-holy-grail-a-database-that-scales/ Clustrix…launched today with the claim that it’s built a transaction database with MySQL-like functionality and reliability that can scale to billions of entries. Clustrix plans to sell its appliance…to web firms that don’t want to take on the complicated task of sharding their data (replicating it across multiple databases), or moving to less robust database options like Cassandra or a key value store such as what’s provided by Twitter…the goal is to use its appliance to solve a growing problem for companies managing large amounts of data, such as big travel, e-commerce and social websites. As the web grows more social, companies are trying to keep track of more pieces of data about users and their relationships to other users. This creates complicated and large databases that can slow down access to user information, and thus the end user experience. We’ve written about myriad attempts to solve these data scalability problems, attempts that have spawned appliance startups and whole branches of code designed to help sites scale their data, from Hadoop to Cassandra to Twitter’s Gizzard…”

5. Goodbye petabytes, hello zettabytes http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/may/03/humanity-digital-output-zettabyte “…The explosion of social networking, online video services and digital photography, plus the continued popularity of mobile phones, email and web browsing, coupled with the growing desire of corporations and governments to know and store ever more data about everyone has created an unprecedented amount of digital information and introduced a new word to the nerd lexicon: a zettabyte. Research published today estimates that the so-called digital universe grew by 62% last year to 800,000 petabytes - a petabyte is a million gigabytes – or 0.8 zettabytes. That is the equivalent of all the information that could be stored on 75bn Apple iPads…By way of stark contrast between the output of present day humanity and its pre-digital predecessor, experts estimate that all human language used since the dawn of time would take up about 5,000 petabytes if stored in digital form, which is less than 1% of the digital content created since someone first switched on a computer.This year, the planet's digital content will blast through the zettabyte barrier to reach 1.2 ZB…”

6. Microsoft's browser share dips below 60 percent http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20004031-56.html Microsoft's browser market share continued to fall in April…IE's share of the market in April was 59.95, down from 60.65 percent in March…Google's Chrome grabbed the lion's share of that, increasing to 6.73 percent from 6.13 percent, while Firefox also gained nearly a tenth of a percentage point, to finish April with 24.59 percent…In May 2008, Microsoft had 75.94 percent of the market, while Firefox had 18.3 percent and Google's Chrome wasn't even out yet. Even a year ago, Microsoft's market share was nearly 8 percentage points higher…” [Chrome again beats Firefox in browser gain race]

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Believe In Privacy http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/04/report-facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-doesnt-believe-in-privacy/ Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to have been outed as not caring one whit about your privacy — a jarring admission, considering how much of our personal data Facebook owns, not to mention its plans to become the web’s central repository for our preferences and predilections…“Off record chat w/ Facebook employee,” begins Bilton’s fateful tweet. “Me: How does Zuck feel about privacy? Response: [laughter] He doesn’t believe in it.” Ouch. Zuckerberg’s apparent disregard for your privacy is probably not reason enough to delete your Facebook account. But we wouldn’t recommend posting anything there that you wouldn’t want marketers, legal authorities, governments (or your mother) to see, especially as Facebook continues to push more and more of users’ information public and even into the hands of other companies, leaving the onus on users to figure out its Rubik’s Cube-esque privacy controls…”

8. Install microchips in illegal immigrants, GOP candidate says http://iowaindependent.com/32926/install-microchips-in-illegal-immigrants-gop-candidate-says Instead of building a border fence to help stem illegal immigration, the U.S. government should implant microchips into immigrants before deportation, much like what is done with pets, Pat Bertroche, an Urbandale physician and one of seven Republicans running in the 3rd District Congressional primary, said Monday… “I think we should catch ’em, we should document ’em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going,” said Pat Bertroche, an Urbandale physician. “I actually support microchipping them. I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I microchip an illegal? “That’s not a popular thing to say, but it’s a lot cheaper than building a fence they can tunnel under,” Bertroche said…”

9. S.F. Admin Guilty of Hijacking City Passwords http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/28/BA4V1D5Q22.DTL A former San Francisco network engineer was convicted of felony computer tampering…Terry Childs, 45, of Pittsburg, was found guilty of a felony charge of denying computer access…making him eligible for a maximum state prison sentence of five years…Judge Teri Jackson is expected to impose a sentence under which Childs would serve a few additional months at most, after she gives him credit for the nearly two years he has spent in county jail since being arrested in July 2008…The jury deliberated for several days before a lone holdout against conviction was removed from the panel, for reasons that were not disclosed. After an alternate was put in that juror's place, the panel started over and reached a decision in a matter of hours…"We had a lot of sympathy for him," said juror Jason Chilton, who is a network engineer. "He was put in a position he should not have been put in. "Management did everything they possibly could wrong," Chilton said. "There was ineffective management, ineffective communication. I think that if they put the city on trial, they would be guilty, too."…Prosecutor Conrad del Rosario told jurors that when the prospect of layoffs arose in spring 2008, Childs told a co-worker, "They can't screw with me. I've got the keys to the kingdom."…Childs initially refused to hand over the passwords because his bosses were asking him to do so over an unsecure phone line, Shikman said. "All they had to do was ask him (for the passwords) in a secure and professional way, consistent with policy and standards…”

10. Congress May Finally Be Allowed To Use Skype To Talk To Constituents http://techdirt.com/articles/20100427/2343519206.shtml Ah, Congress. It's really amazing how the folks in charge of regulating the technology industry basically aren't allowed to use it. Two years ago, we wrote about concerns among some in Congress, that using YouTube violated House rules. Later that year, a slightly misguided flare-up occurred when folks realized that the rules also forbade the use of Twitter…Eventually these things got sorted out, but basically, it appears that Congressional reps can't use certain new technologies without first getting those technologies approved. The latest on the list? Skype. Despite having been around much longer than either YouTube or Twitter, apparently Skype is not on the approved list. There's now a push for Skype to be allowed, so that Congressional reps can chat with constituents using the communications tool. The whole thing seems ridiculous. Did Congress also have to get approval before Representatives were allowed to use the telephone?…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

11. T-Mobile Drops 5GB Cap, Ushers in a New Mobile Broadband Future http://gigaom.com/2010/04/27/t-mobile-drops-5gb-cap-ushers-in-a-new-mobile-broadband-future/ T-Mobile has announced that it will pull the 5 gigabyte-per-month cap on its mobile broadband service, part of an effort to push its HSPA+ network, which can deliver data speeds of up to 21 Mbps down. So is real competition coming to the wireless industry, or is this the end of flat-rate mobile broadband? I think it’s both. T-Mobile has changed its mobile data pricing plan to cut overage charges for customers of its 200 MB plan in half, and remove them entirely for customers who pay $59.99 per month (or $49.99 per month without a contract) for the 5 GB plan…Clearwire, Sprint and the cable companies are already selling WiMAX, which can deliver up to 6 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up, and Verizon is prepping for the launch of its LTE service during the fourth quarter of this year. AT&T will follow with LTE in 2011…as far as T-Mobile’s lifting of its 5 GB-per-month cap, there’s a catch: go past that limit, and download speeds will slow…”

12. Layar Launches Its Augmented Reality Content Marketplace http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/layar_launches_its_augmented_reality_content_marketplace.php Dutch mobile augmented reality (AR) developers Layar announced today the launch of the world's first mobile marketplace for AR content, bringing a new model for the monetization of mobile AR to the Android and iPhone platforms…The Layar Reality Browser is accessible on the iPhone 3GS and eleven different Android devices, and has been downloaded over 1.6 million times…Using the phone's GPS, accelerometer and compass data, the application can place markers on the screen to show where various objects exist based on their locations in the real world…Some of the paid content layers launching with the platform include tour guides, home buying guides and augmented greeting creators. One layer, which sells for $1.95, displays recent criminal activity from SpotCrime.com in over 300 U.S. cities, and another provides an augmented park map for Disneyland and Disney World at a price of $3.45. One of the more unique layers available on the platform allows music fans to discover the actual geographic locations where some of the most famous album covers were photographed…”

13. Hewlett-Packard Will Acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-28/hewlett-packard-will-acquire-palm-for-1-2-billion-update2-.html Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s biggest personal-computer maker, agreed to acquire Palm Inc. for about $1.2 billion…The price of $5.70 a share represents a 23 percent premium over Palm’s closing price today…After Palm introduced the Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, the stock jumped 80 percent in two days to $5.96 and climbed as high as $17.46 in September…Palm Chief Executive Officer Jon Rubinstein said…“I’m still of the opinion that Palm could have continued on its own, but clearly with merging with H-P allows it to get to scale much, much, much faster.” Palm was founded in 1992 by Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky and was part of 3Com Corp. until 2000. Its current operating system, called WebOS, was built by Rubinstein, who previously led development of Apple’s best-selling iPod media player. Rubinstein was recruited to Palm by Fred Anderson, Apple’s former finance chief and a co-founder of lead Palm investor Elevation Partners…Today’s acquisition would reunite Palm with 3Com, which Hewlett-Packard purchased this month…” http://venturebeat.com/2010/04/28/bio-todd-bradley-hp-palm/ “…Todd Bradley, the executive vice president for Hewlett-Packard’s Personal Systems Group—which includes everything from PCs to mobile devices, workstations, personal storage solutions and Internet services—came to HP…a few months after he left a CEO position at a company then called PalmOne…Bradley had a four-year stint at Palm…He joined Palm after working as the executive vice president of global operations for Gateway…”

14. Developing Mobile Apps that Work at 70 MPH http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/apps_on_wheels_making_the_internet_work_at_70mph.php “…The latest trend in mobile apps…is apps for cars. One of the companies leading this trend in the U.S. is Ford, which just unveiled a number of apps that students at the University of Michigan created on top of Ford's platform…we got a chance to talk to K. Venkatesh Prasad, the group and technical leader of Ford's Infotronics Research and Advanced Engineering team…Apps that run in cars obviously have to overcome a number of issues - especially with regards to safety…Ford, together with Microsoft and Intel, teamed up with the University of Michigan and the university's professors and Ford's engineers taught a 12-week course entitled "Cloud Computing in the Commute." The students developed their apps using a Ford Fiesta with a built-in touch screen…these students created six different projects, ranging from a gesture-driven Waze-like app that allows drivers to alert others of traffic jams, accidents and police cars along the road, to a ride-sharing app that taps into Facebook and an app that automatically uploads your fuel economy data to a cloud server. Some of these apps use Ford's SYNC for voice recognition, while others use gestures that drivers can draw on the car's built-in screen. From these six app, Ford, Microsoft and Intel chose Caravan Track as the best app. Caravan Track allows clusters of vehicles traveling together to track each other during the drive - which sounds like a great application for anybody who has ever been on a road trip with more than one car. The app uses vehicle telemetry to track each vehicle, maps routes and sends alerts about stops and road conditions. The winning students will take a car that runs Caravan Track on a two-week road trip from Michigan to the Maker Fair in San Mateo on May 22…”

15. Apple Sells 1 Million iPads in 28 Days http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/195443/apple_sells_1_million_ipads_in_28_days.html It was exactly a month ago today that the iPad first found its way into customers' hands, and already Apple has blithely traipsed past the million sales mark. The auspicious 3G iPad was first sold on Friday, just 28 days after its introduction. The company previously sold 300,000 of the Wi-Fi-only iPads in its first day of availability, including pre-orders…the iPad, even more so than the iPhone, is a device in an unproven, entirely novel category, which makes the accomplishment all the more impressive…the iPad sales bring with it sales of additional products: iPad users have already downloaded more than 12 million applications and more than 1.5 million e-books from the iBookstore. And the number of iPad-specific apps continues to rise, with Apple's latest figure topping 5,000…”

16. Is Microsoft Prepping Patent Battle Against Google's Android? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363203,00.asp Microsoft may be on its way to earning a percentage of every Android handset sold, something even Google hasn't accomplished…For licensing its intellectual property to Nexus One maker HTC, Microsoft will receive an unspecified royalty, presumably on each Android handset that HTC sells…Microsoft claims Android violates its intellectual property, although it has yet to specify the patents involved…Apple makes the same claim and has already sued HTC and Nokia over iPhone patents, claiming the makers' smartphones violate its intellectual property. Nokia, for its part, has countersued Apple. It's worth noting that neither Apple nor Microsoft appear to be threatening Google directly…Apple…would prefer for Android to simply vanish. It has nothing to gain by not suing, if only to give smartphone manufacturers second thoughts about the Google OS…Given that Microsoft and HTC are BFFs, based on the Taiwan company's longtime support for Microsoft smartphones, it is possible the deal is actually cash neutral and no money changes hands…Still, as long as it keeps trying to popularize its Windows Phone OS, Microsoft would not want to anger anyone who might possibly build a Windows smartphone…”

17. LG Announces Iron Man 2-themed Smartphone http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=14310 LG is all set to release their first Android-powered mobile phone, the LG Ally, this month. The slide-out handheld is also popping up in a number Iron Man 2-related promotions…The LG Ally will sport a slide-out, full QWERTY keyboard plus a touchscreen…LG is also launching promotions on additional products, including an ”Augmented Reality enabled” Iron Man 2 comic book with the purchase of an LG Ally, LG Chocolate Touch or LG enV Touch…That’s topped off by specials on LED HDTVs and Blu-ray players, plus a sweepstakes to win an LG Ally with a year of free service, two tickets to the domestic premiere of a Marvel movie (Thor?), and a 55-inch class LG “Infinia” LED HDTV and LG Network Blu-ray Home Theater System…”

Open Source

18. Microsoft contributes to Joomla open-source project http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=6033 “…Microsoft has signed the contributor agreement for Joomla…Joomla is licensed under Version 2 or later of the GNU General Public License (GPL). According to the Joomla site, Joomla’s customers include MTV Networks Quizilla, IHOP, Harvard University and Citibank…some of Microsoft’s code is in the Joomla 1.6 trunk. About half the commentors on the Joomla site were upbeat about Microsoft’s involvement in Joomla, noting that the Redmondians have been sponsoring many PHP events, as of late. But the other half were skeptical of Microsoft’s interest and involvement in open-source…Microsoft has been working on its own open-source CMS platform, codenamed “Orchard.” Microsoft recently transferred responsibility for Orchard to the CodePlex Foundation, and a handful of Microsoft employees working on Orchard have been assigned full-time to the Foundation for three years. Microsoft also has its own paid CMS platform…”

19. How to build your own PVR for free http://www.techradar.com/news/video/recording/how-to-build-your-own-pvr-for-free-684599 Personal video recorders (PVRs) are usually quite expensive – and for good reason. This is the device you are entrusting your favourite entertainment to: shows like 24…What if your PVR runs out of space and is unable to record anything on the one night you're kept late at work and can't make it home to watch your team in the cup tie of the century? Even worse, what if your PVR's hard disk fails completely, losing that entire series you'd recorded and religiously avoided any spoilers of for the past three months, just so you could watch it all over a single weekend? The mental anguish…could all be avoided simply by building a robust PVR yourself with MythTV. Installing MythTV can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. You could install a plain vanilla Linux distro and then install and configure MythTV with a lot of nasty terminal and command-line work, but if you fancy going down the easy route, it's simple to install a Linux distro with MythTV built in to the installer…”

20. MythDora 12.23 Is Based on Fedora 12 http://news.softpedia.com/news/MythDora-12-23-Is-Based-on-Fedora-12-140088.shtml “…MythDora is aimed at DVR enthusiasts and bundles the popular open-source DVR software MythTV with the latest stable Fedora release. Apart from updating the two big components, Fedora 10 is replaced with Fedora 12 and MythTV 0.21 is replaced with MythTV 0.23 RC2, it also comes with an updated kernel, Linux kernel 2.6.32.11-99…Highlights of MythDora 12.23: IMDB-bulk-update 1.16…Gnome,KDE, LXDE, XFCE, and ratpoison desktops…NVIDIA drivers 195.xx, 173.xx and the older 96.xx…Mythdora setup runs automatically with firstboot…”

21. Wearable linux computer, makes you feel like cap'n crunch http://www.handlewithlinux.com/wearable-linux-computer “…Finally the Linux equivalent of the cap'n crunch secret decoder ring…The W200 can be quickly configured to access a remote host system through its integrated wired or wireless interfaces using either Linux or Windows CE operating systems. The device integrates the latest and most innovative power saving features such as a tilt and dead reckoning system which detects the position of the user's arm and sets the system to standby mode when the arm is hanging down beside the body. glaciercomputers promotes these devices for use in military, healthcare, security, maintenance, etc…A device like this makes a geeks heart beat faster…”

22. Moodle: The free learning platform http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Moodle-The-free-e-learning-platform-966609.html Moodle , the E-learning platform, is one of the most significant and successful projects in open source. Despite…hundreds of thousands of people being taught by courses written in Moodle, as a product it is not well known. E-learning comes in many forms…Programs such as Blackboard, Sakai, the German Ilias, Dokeos or Moodle are used to create training platforms for personnel and to provide computer courses for schools and universities. With well-known educational software, such as the previously mentioned vocabulary or math programs, teaching - imparting knowledge, is perhaps the only thing such learning management systems (LMS) have in common and their structure, methods and content can vary widely…With over 40,000 registered installations in more than 200 countries and an estimated 30 million users, Moodle is currently the most frequently used LMS…”

SkyNet

23. New Google Image Search for Android and iPhone http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-image-search-for-android-and-iphone.html When you do an image search, we find that it is typical that you will look through many pages of search results…we focused on making it easy to quickly see as many image thumbnails as possible: The thumbnails are square to maximize the number of images we can get on the screen at one time…You can swipe to see the next or previous page of results…We optimized for speed so that the images appear quickly when you browse…The black background emphasizes the image and the buttons fade after a few seconds…Easily browse through the images by swiping from picture to picture…”

24. Google Buys BumpTop: 3-D Multi-touch Tablet Interface on the Way? http://gigaom.com/2010/05/02/google-buys-bumptop-3-d-multi-touch-tablet-interface-on-the-way/ Is there a tablet in Google’s future with a three-dimensional, multi-touch user interface? It’s increasingly likely, given that the search giant has just acquired BumpTop, a startup whose unique software creates a 3-D environment where users can toss files and folders around as though they were playing cards, stack them in related piles and “hang” them on the virtual walls. If Google is working on an iPad-style tablet, as many believe that it is, a BumpTop-style interface would be dramatic departure from the typical 2-D app/icon approach…”

25. Google Ventures: time machine and $100M annual investment goal http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2010/05/03/daily14-Google-Ventures-unveils-100M-annual-investment-goal.html Google Ventures…is shooting for $100 million in investments each year, and its deal activity is likely to hit 30 or 40 investments a year. The website also disclosed a new investment in the Boston area — Recorded Future — which does web search focused on time and event information, offering “new ways to analyze the past, present and the predicted future,”…Google Ventures has disclosed 10 investments in the 13 months since it launched…Google Ventures…will seek financial profit from its investments and not filter companies based on their strategic importance to the parent company…”

26. Google Invests Nearly $40 Million Into Wind Farms To Promote Clean Energy http://thenextweb.com/google/2010/05/03/google-invest-nearly-40-million-into-wind-power/ “…Google…has invested 38.8 million dollars into wind power…in North Dakota, which is noted for its steady, strong winds that are well adapted for wind power harvesting. Google says that for clean energy to advance in the world, and especially in the United States three things are required: effective policy, innovative technology and smart capital. Google has both money and influence…Google’s goal with its investment is to “accelerate the deployment of the latest clean energy technology while providing attractive returns to Google.”…Google is using their philanthropic division and their bank account to help promote and build the future of clean energy. The wind farms themselves that Google has invested in include some 113 turbines that can power up to 55,000 houses…”

27. Google plans summer launch for digital book store http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20004089-265.html “…Google Editions will offer digital books for sale through its Web site in late June or July, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal quoting Google's Chris Palma, strategic partner development manager for Google Books. The move will open up a new distribution channel for digital book publishers and give Amazon and Apple a new competitor in the emerging digital book market. Google announced plans last year to offer public-domain books for free in the Epub format, and the report did not specify what format it will use for the first-run in-print books it sells through Google Editions…”

General Technology

28. The Oracle of Silicon Valley http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100501/the-oracle-of-silicon-valley.html “…Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco…is plodding through a press conference related to government transparency and technology…he concludes this 10-minute ramble with a grin and says, "I hope you'll get your sound bites from someone else." Cue Tim O'Reilly…the only person really capable of explaining why we are gathered here and also as the only person not dressed for the occasion. Gray hair wildly frizzed, he wears an old thermal under a cotton blazer and a pair of wrinkled gray trousers, looking the part of an eccentric professor rather than the CEO of a $100 million company…O'Reilly is worth listening to because he has been on top of nearly every important technology development of the past three decades…he is the guy who will tell you what smart people will be talking about five years from now…Today, the future is something O'Reilly is calling Gov 2.0. The city of San Francisco, at O'Reilly's urging, has begun allowing outside companies to tap into its data and create small software applications, or apps, for mobile phones…We've come to think about government as a kind of vending machine -- we put in our taxes and we get out services…But there are better things we can build than vending machines."… O'Reilly extracts an Apple iPhone from the front pocket of his blazer and holds it up…Apple…built this platform," he says. A platform, he notes, that has attracted some 150,000 apps, almost none of which were created by the computer company itself. He suggests that governments can do likewise, harnessing the entrepreneurial energies of a hundred thousand kids. And he has been trying to convince lawmakers, government contractors, and anybody else who will listen that Gov 2.0 isn't just the future of technology; it is also the future of democracy. "It's hard to make something as large as a government change," he says. "It's a little bit like building the transcontinental railroad…”

29. 'Smart dust' aims to monitor everything http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/05/03/smart.dust.sensors/ In the 1990s, a researcher named Kris Pister dreamed up a wild future in which people would sprinkle the Earth with countless tiny sensors, no larger than grains of rice. These "smart dust" particles, as he called them, would monitor everything, acting like electronic nerve endings for the planet. Fitted with computing power, sensing equipment, wireless radios and long battery life, the smart dust would make observations and relay mountains of real-time data about people, cities and the natural environment…The latest news comes from the computer and printing company Hewlett-Packard, which recently announced it's working on a project it calls the "Central Nervous System for the Earth."…the company plans to deploy a trillion sensors all over the planet. The wireless devices would check to see if ecosystems are healthy, detect earthquakes more rapidly, predict traffic patterns and monitor energy use…”

30. Sony atracTable to take on Microsoft Surface from June http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/32874/microsoft-surface-sony-atractable-fight Sony is about to take on the Microsoft Surface with a new offering of their own…The atracTable, first seen and demoed at Vision 2009 in Stuttgart last year, will be released at the beginning of June…The system has been developed between Sony ISS and Atracsys, a Swiss optical tracking company. The interface can analyse body movements and act on any gesture or change in position, including your body, arm, hand or finger. More intriguingly, Sony reckons that it's sensitive enough to work out a user's age, sex and "emotion" - recognising happiness, anger, surprise, sadness and neutrality. The device comprises two Sony ISS XCD-V60 cameras that build a 3D image…”

31. Volkswagen shows production-ready folding two wheel EV Bik.e http://www.gizmag.com/volkswagen-folding-bike-concept/14949/ The concept of “last few mile mobility” is one which we'll all grow accustomed to over the next decade as the world's cities become more congested and non-polluting micro mobility concepts begin to supplement other forms of transport. In the last year alone we've seen Toyota's Winglet, Honda's U3-X, Nissan's electric skis, and now Volkswagen has shown a micro mobility concept which it has dubbed the "Bik.e" – a folding electric bike with one of the most ingenious folding mechanisms we've seen. With a range of 20 kilometres (12.5 miles), the Bik.e has 20 inch wheels and folds to a footprint identical to that of a car spare tyre, enabling it to be stowed away easily. Whatsmore, the bik.e will definitely see production, and possibly even before the end of the year…The Bik.e could turn out to be as important to VW as the iPod has been to Apple…”

Leisure & Entertainment

32. Boy Scouts Offer New Merit Pin -- for Video Gaming http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/04/28/boy-scouts-new-video-game-award-sellout-say-critics/ A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous and kind — and completely addicted to Nintendo Wii. The Boy Scouts of America — a group founded on the principles of building character and improving physical fitness — have introduced a brand new award for academic achievement in video gaming…"It could be quite visionary and exciting or it could be a complete sellout," said Dr. Vic Strasburger…"The devil is in the details," said Strasburger, who argued that teaching kids media literacy would be extremely valuable…I don't see anything wrong with that as long as they're not playing first-person shooter games, violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content…Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts can earn their pins by spending an hour a day playing games, teaching others how to play better, and even researching the best price for games they'd like to buy…”

33. Wii Back in Black with New Sports Resort, MotionPlus Bundle http://www.pcworld.com/article/195442/wii_back_in_black_with_new_sports_resort_motionplus_bundle.html “…Firing a precision-control salvo at Sony and Microsoft's upcoming motion-sensing products, Nintendo says it'll upgrade its Wii sales pack to include the Wii MotionPlus snap-on and a copy of Wii Sports Resort, effective May 9. Those "upcoming motion-sensing products" would be Sony's 'Move' and Microsoft 'Natal'…The MotionPlus, which actually debuted back in June 2009, pairs a dual axis tuning fork gyroscope with the Wii Remote's inbuilt accelerometer, allowing for more precise motion capture. It's a godsend in games like Tiger Woods PGA 10, if, like me, you loathe the imprecision of every other Wii-based wood-and-iron swinger. The only downside, and it's a doozy, is that in nearly 12 months on the market, only a few games support the MotionPlus…A failure as developer support goes?…”

34. Set Up A Geeky Media Centre That Non-Geeks Can Use http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/04/set-up-a-geeky-media-centre-that-non-geeks-can-use/ “…My spouse…digs Hulu and appreciates free. So I set up a media centre that satisfies my geek cravings but is actually easy-to-use for non-nerds…For more than a year now, I’ve been messing with computers connected to TVs, trying to make it just as easy to watch last night’s shows on Hulu as it would be with a DVR. I wanted my wife to be just as enthused about this kind of Living-in-the-Future project, but until recently, none of what I’d set up could be called actually “easy to use”…My first attempt, an Apple TV patched to run Boxee…still very geeky to get around. So I set my sights on Windows Media Center, the software built into most versions of Windows Vista and 7, as my new starting point. Windows Media Center…is free, assuming you’ve got a copy of Windows, and offers a lot of features for both the geeky media nerd and casual viewer alike…How did I make my WMC media centre the kind of box that my wife can use to turn on, watch Glee, transfer pictures to for showing friends, then turn off? What follows are my setup tweaks and plug-in recommendations…”

35. Android TVs said to be code-named 'Dragonpoint' http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20003991-1.html “…Sony, Intel, Google, and Logitech are collaborating on a new breed of Bravia HDTVs powered by Intel Atom processors, Android's software operating system, and a QWERTY remote control…With the added number-crunching power, these panels could support far more complex games and PC-centric programs beyond the current TV apps used primarily for delivering Web content. Personally, I think this is a much better proposition than 3D utilizing active shutter glasses. We should have a better idea of Dragonpoint when it is unveiled at the Google I/O event in May…”

36. Daemon, Freedom, and Little Brother How to Skip the Trailers and FBI warning on any DVD http://videosift.com/video/How-to-Skip-the-Trailers-and-FBI-warning-on-any-DVD the official web site for the Tinmith project, demonstrating our research into mobile outdoor augmented reality http://www.tinmith.net/ R/C drone in a Winterwonderland http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b5b_1270999616

Economy and Technology

37. Apple to Buy Siri, Maker of Virtual Assistant App http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-28/apple-to-buy-siri-maker-of-virtual-assistant-app-update3-.html Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone and iPad, agreed to buy mobile-application developer Siri Inc…Siri makes a voice-recognition and search program it describes as a virtual personal assistant, and began offering it for the iPhone this year…Siri said its free iPhone app, which currently works only in the U.S., is based on technology developed over five years by SRI International and funded with a $150 million investment from DARPA -- the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Called the CALO Project, it was the largest artificial- intelligence project in U.S. history, according to Siri. CALO stands for Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes.”

38. Apple in antitrust crosshairs? http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=33940 The Feds are reportedly poking around on Apple’s requirement that software developers only use its—or neutral—programming tools. The New York Post reports that the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are pondering an antitrust inquiry into Apple’s Section 3.3.1 in its iPhone 4.0 software developer kit license agreement…Ever since Apple CEO Steve Jobs penned his Thoughts on Flash missive, which panned Adobe’s software, noted a bevy of problems like stability and security and outlined why the iPhone and iPad don’t support Flash, there has been a nagging question…Why?...Assuming the Post is correct, then Jobs’ Flash rant makes a lot more sense…His Flash rant outlines the reason Adobe’s software is limited—a few of those points are hard to argue—and lays out Apple’s rationale for section 3.3.1. In other words, Jobs is laying out the case for the Feds.”

39. Acer Profit Climbs 63% After Overtaking H-P in Laptop Market Share http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-29/acer-profit-climbs-after-overtaking-h-p-in-laptop-market-share.html Acer Inc., the world’s second- largest computer supplier, posted its strongest profit growth in nine quarters after it overtook Hewlett-Packard Co. to take top spot in the laptop market…First-quarter net income rose 63 percent to NT$3.29 billion ($105 million)…The computer vendor became the world’s largest notebook supplier with 19.4 percent share in the first quarter…”

Civilian Aerospace

40. What would it take to put a walking robot on the moon? http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18852-what-would-it-take-to-put-a-walking-robot-on-the-moon.html A humanoid robot could be walking on the moon…by 2015, according to a plan proposed by a group of Japanese companies. Experts say wheeled or many-legged robots would be easier to operate on the moon's uneven terrain, but backers of the proposal say a two-legged android would make a bigger splash in the public imagination…The group hopes that its robot, dubbed Maido-kun, could hitch a ride to the moon with a robotic mission set to be launched by the Japanese space agency JAXA in about five years…JAXA had previously opted against sending a bipedal robot to the moon because its footing would not be steady on the sandy lunar surface. But SOHLA president Hideo Sugimoto countered that a walking robot would be more inspiring than a wheeled rover…We decided on a human-like robot because it's more fascinating and stimulating for us," Sugimoto said…The project, estimated to cost about $10 million to develop, will not be a walk in the park. Designing a robot that can balance and move on two legs will be a major challenge…Human beings are relatively unstable, and when designing robots for unpredictable terrain, three legs are better than two…”

41. Falcon 9 inaugural flight pushed back http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100504/NEWS02/5040328/1007/Falcon+9+inaugural+flight+pushed+back The first flight of the Falcon 9 rocket is slipping back to May 23, but SpaceX is holding open an option to move the launch back up if the vehicle is ready and an opportunity opens. SpaceX had a "placeholder" launch date of May 11 on the schedule at the Air Force Eastern Range, which provides tracking and range safety services for all launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or NASA's Kennedy Space Center…a subcontractor still is striving to complete Air Force-required tests on parts of the rocket's flight termination system…”

42. Low-maintenance strawberry may be good crop to grow in space http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/100503MitchellStrawberrie.html Astronauts could one day tend their own crops on long space missions, and Purdue University researchers have found a healthy candidate to help satisfy a sweet tooth - a strawberry that requires little maintenance and energy…"What we're trying to do is grow our plants and minimize all of our inputs," Massa said. "We can grow these strawberries under shorter photoperiods than we thought and still get pretty much the same amount of yield."…"I was astounded that even with a day-neutral cultivar we were able to get basically the same amount of fruit with half the light," Mitchell said…the Seascape strawberry cultivar is a good candidate for a space crop because it meets several guidelines set by NASA. Strawberry plants are relatively small, meeting mass and volume restrictions…"We're trying to think of the whole system -- growing food, preparing it and getting rid of the waste," Massa said. "Strawberries are easy to prepare and there's little waste…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

43. Life After Moore's Law http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/29/moores-law-computing-processing-opinions-contributors-bill-dally.html For the past four decades explosive gains in computing power have contributed to unprecedented progress in innovation, productivity and human welfare. But that progress is now threatened by the unthinkable: an end to the gains in computing power. We have reached the limit of what is possible with one or more traditional, serial central processing units, or CPUs. It is past time for the computing industry--and everyone who relies on it for continued improvements in productivity, economic growth and social progress--to take the leap into parallel processing…computing--an industry that grew up with serial processing…now faces a serious choice between innovation and stagnation. The backdrop to this issue is a paper written by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel…Published 45 years ago this month, the paper predicted the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double each year (later revised to doubling every 18 months). This prediction laid the groundwork for another prediction: that doubling the number of transistors would also double the performance of CPUs every 18 months…it held true through the 1980s and '90s--fueling productivity growth throughout the economy, transforming manufacturing, services, and media industries, and enabling entirely new businesses such as e-commerce, social networking and mobile devices. Moore's paper also contained another prediction that has received far less attention over the years. He projected that the amount of energy consumed by each unit of computing would decrease as the number of transistors increased. This enabled computing performance to scale up while the electrical power consumed remained constant. This power scaling, in addition to transistor scaling, is needed to scale CPU performance. But in a development that's been largely overlooked, this power scaling has ended. And as a result, the CPU scaling predicted by Moore's Law is now dead. CPU performance no longer doubles every 18 months. And that poses a grave threat to the many industries that rely on the historic growth in computing performance…”

44. GPU-Powered AMBER 11 Unleashes Desktop Supercomputing for Bio-Scientists http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/GPU-Powered-AMBER-11-Unleashes-Desktop-Supercomputing-for-Bio-Scientists-92420889.html “…AMBER 11, the latest version of one of the most widely used applications for biochemists and others involved in molecular dynamics research, is optimized to run on NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs), which speed up the tool by up to 100-fold over a traditional CPU-based server. GPUs deliver performance from a desktop workstation that previously could only be achieved on a supercomputer, improving productivity as scientists no longer need to wait for time on a shared supercomputer or departmental cluster of servers. "The supercomputing resource we use is constantly over-subscribed, forcing us to wait a day or more to run a simulation, adding weeks to our research projects…AMBER 11 is designed to take advantage of NVIDIA Tesla 20-series GPUs, which utilize the massively parallel CUDA architecture for the specific needs of high performance computing applications. In early trials with the AMBER user community, Dr. Walker received over a dozen reports of speedups over 30-times on a range of bio-molecular simulations. "With GPUs, we can now do most of our work at the desktop and that changes everything. Any research department looking to invest in computing resources to run AMBER should start by equipping every researcher with GPU-enabled workstations…”

45. AMD Announces ATI Stream Software Development Kit v2.1 http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/AMD-Announces-ATI-Stream-Software-Development-Kit-v21-92678904.html AMD today announced the availability of the ATI Stream Software Development Kit (SDK) v2.1, the latest update of its ATI Stream SDK supporting OpenCL industry standard-based programming on AMD GPUs and x86 CPUs. ATI Stream SDK helps developers accelerate application performance by leveraging the CPU and GPU resources in a given system. This collaborative computing model will be enhanced in the upcoming AMD Fusion Family of accelerated processing units (APUs)…”


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