2010/05/11

NEW NET Issues List for 11 May 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 11 May 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.

The ‘net

1. Web 3.0, The Movie http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/10/web-30-movie/ “…a new short film, Web 3.0, by Kate Ray, a Journalism/Psychology major at NYU. The 15-minute film (embedded below) is a pretty good general overview of the semantic web. That is, turning all of the data on the web into structured data so as to define relationships between it and derive meaning…”

2. Apple developing Flash replacement called ‘Gianduia’ http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20004509-37.html “…reports of a Flash alternative being developed by Apple begin to surface. The technology, called Gianduia, was introduced by Apple last summer at its World of WebObjects Developer Conference…Apple has apparently been using Gianduia in several of its retail support applications, including services such as the One to One program, the iPhone reservation system, and the Concierge program for Genius Bar and Personal Shopping reservation…Apple hasn't supported Flash in any of its mobile devices, from the latest iPad, going back to the original iPhone. In fact, in an open letter about the technology, CEO Steve Jobs called Flash "a closed system" and said "we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the Web should be open…”

3. Skype 'to offer adverts’ to keep service free http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/7706171/Skype-to-offer-adverts-to-keep-service-free.html “…Silverman, who says the company’s mission statement is to be “the fabric of real-time communication on the web”, has revealed that his team are looking into the possibility as an additional revenue stream. “It’s challenging to get right as the way people use is Skype is very personal but we think our users expect us to do it so we can continue to support free…Currently there are no third party adverts on the service. The service, six months on from the creation of its new board – which saw eBay sell 56pc of the company to Silverlake, an investor group…is ramping up its premium offerings to generate additional revenue streams…Its biggest revenues come from people using their Skype account to make audio-only calls to landlines or mobiles anywhere in the world on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. The new deals cut the minute rate by as much as 60 per cent down on Skype’s pay as you go rate in a bid to up its subscriber base, escalating its rivalry with the major telecommunication companies…”

4. Decentralize the web with Diaspora http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/196017994/diaspora-the-personally-controlled-do-it-all-distr “…Enter your Diaspora “seed,” a personal web server that stores all of your information and shares it with your friends. Diaspora knows how to securely share (using GPG) your pictures, videos, and more. When you have a Diaspora seed of your own, you own your social graph, you have access to your information however you want, whenever you want, and you have full control of your online identity. Once we have built a solid foundation, we will make Diaspora easy to extend to facilitate any type of communication, and the possibilities will be endless. For a little more detailed explanation, checkout this blog post…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/diaspora_project_building_the_anti-facebook.php ]

5. Zynga Gunning Up (And Lawyering Up) For War Against Facebook With Zynga Live http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/07/zynga-gunning-up-and-lawyering-up-for-war-against-facebook-with-zynga-live/ “…a much bigger concern now is Facebook’s force feeding of Facebook Credits as the only payment platform that Zynga and others can use. Facebook takes a massive feee – 30% – for Credits, and the big publishers like Zynga see it as little more than a protection racket…Facebook is trying to get Zynga to agree to a long term deal where Zynga remains primarily on the Facebook platform. During negotiations Facebook has taken some steps to punish Zynga, such as shutting off notifications for Farmville and other games, and Facebook has threatened, say multiple sources, to simply shut some of Zynga’s games down permanently. Zynga has already taken steps to distance itself from Facebook in the event of a breakup, such as launching Farmville at Farmville.com. And they have been extra aggressive about trying to get users’ email addresses so that they can communicate with them off of Facebook…”

6. Dealmap helps you find the best local deals http://venturebeat.com/2010/05/10/dealmap-helps-you-find-the-best-local-deals-for-you/ “…The Dealmap is today launching its web-based service to pull all the deals you might be interested in and all the related reviews and information you need into a central plotted map…Dealmap wants to organize and make this data accessible from almost anywhere, including your email, your browser, and soon your mobile phone…It also makes unique use of location, placing emphasis on the deals and coupons in your local area or in locations you frequent…When you enter your zipcode into the Dealmap site, it instantly populates your neighborhood with all of the bargains and deals available in the local area…For those interested in catching all available deals, the service is also tweeting them as they pop up for 20 different cities. Dealmap isn’t relying exclusively on retail and commercial partners to collect the deals displayed on the site. It’s using social media mechanics to crowd-source deals from its users. It’s even employing game techniques like status levels, badges and rewards to motivate users to contribute deals in their local areas. There are also leaderboards reflecting point totals for top submitters. Points can eventually be redeemed for gift certificate…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Cory Doctorow: Persistence Pays Parasites http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2010/05/cory-doctorow-persistence-pays-parasites/ “…All complex ecosystems have parasites.” She was talking about spam and malware (these days they’re often the same thing) and other undesirable critters on the net. It’s one of the smartest things anyone’s ever said to me about the net – and about the world. If there’s a niche, a parasite will fill it…I run an up-to-date version of a very robust flavor of GNU/Linux called Ubuntu, which has a single, easy-to-use interface for keeping all my apps patched with the latest fixes. My browser, Firefox, is far less prone to serious security vulnerabilities than dogs like Internet Explorer. I use good security technology: my hard-drive and backup are encrypted, I surf through Ipredator (a great and secure anonymizer based in Sweden), and I use GRC’s password generator to create new, strong passwords for every site I visit (I keep these passwords in a text file that is separately encrypted)…Here’s how I got fooled. On Monday, I unlocked my Nexus One phone, installing a new and more powerful version of the Android operating system…In the process of reinstallation, I deleted all my stored passwords from the phone…Tuesday, we were ten minutes late getting out of the house…hurried to our regular coffee shop to get take-outs…Because we were a little late arriving, the line was longer than usual…I stood in the line. Bored, I opened up my phone fired up my freshly reinstalled Twitter client and saw that I had a direct message from an old friend…The message read “Is this you????” and was followed by one of those ubiquitous shortened URLs…I opened the link with my phone and found that I’d been redirected to the Twitter login page, which was prompting me for my password. Seeing the page’s URL (truncated in the little phone-browser’s location bar as “http://twitter….”) and having grown accustomed to re-entering all my passwords since I’d reinstalled my phone’s OS the day before, I carefully tapped in my password…and then felt my stomach do a slow flip-flop as I saw the URL that my browser was contacting with the login info: http://twitter.scamsite.com (it wasn’t really scamsite, it was some other domain that had been hijacked by the phishers). And that’s when I realized that I’d been phished…”

8. Protect your privacy online and elsewhere http://news.cnet.com/8301-13880_3-20002433-68.html “…No matter what safety precautions Facebook and other social networks and Web sites take, eventually somebody's private data will become public, whether due to human error or a successful hack attack…your Web activities and the personal information you post to an online profile may be viewed by strangers, regardless of the account's security settings…take a few minutes to complete an ID theft risk assessment to help you find weak spots in your privacy defenses? The test's 11 categories include online shopping, PCs, and passwords, but they also cover your wallet, your garbage, and your (physical) mailbox. Particularly timely are the questions on protecting the personal information you share online…The free OpenDNS service maximizes your Web-filtering options and also displays statistics about your browsing…OpenDNS offers three built-in filter levels: the highest setting blocks everything from adult content to "time-wasters"; moderate's 13 blocked categories focus on adult sites and illegal activities; and the lowest built-in setting stymies four categories of adult-only sites. You can create your own filter by blocking sites in any of OpenDNS's 55 categories. Other tools let you determine whether a specific site is blocked, correct typos automatically, upload your own image, and customize the message that appears when a site is blocked ("Shouldn't you be doing your homework?…”

9. Facebook Glitch Brings New Privacy Worries http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/technology/internet/06facebook.html “…On Wednesday, users discovered a glitch that gave them access to supposedly private information in the accounts of their Facebook friends, like chat conversations…Facebook has become more scary than fun,” said Jeffrey P. Ament, 35, a government contractor who lives in Rockville, Md…he was so fed up with Facebook that he deleted his account this week after three years of using the service…Facebook has introduced changes that encourage users to make their photos and other information accessible to anyone on the Internet…most people signed up for Facebook with the understanding that their information would be available only to an approved circle of friends…they joined for the sake of friends and fun has started to feel too much like work…At this point, I have no idea how many times I’ve changed my settings,” said Lauren Snead, a 24-year-old student in Murfreesboro, Tenn. “I’ve done it so many times. I’m tired of logging in one day and seeing everything is different and trying to understand what it means.”…many users are not even aware of the privacy settings, Ms. Boyd said. A recent survey from Consumer Reports found that 23 percent of Facebook users either did not know the site offered privacy controls or chose not to use them…”

10. "How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?" http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_do_i_delete_my_facebook_account_a_fast_growing.php Facebook doesn't make it easy to delete your account, but a growing number of people appear to be turning to Google to find out how to do just that. Google Suggest, the drop-down box that offers suggested search query completions based on absolute and recent upticks of popularity, now guesses that if you start typing "How do I..." that you'd like to know how to quit Facebook. Note that deactivating your account, something that Facebook responds to in a pretty shocking way as well, is not the same as deleting it. Search maven Danny Sullivan noted the suggestion on Twitter this morning, but a growing number of industry watchers are talking about people deleting their Facebook accounts. Some, including at least two members of our own staff, have already done so

11. Windows 7 'compatibility Checker' Is a Trojan http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100510/tc_pcworld/windows7compatibilitycheckerisatrojan Scammers are infecting computers with a Trojan horse program disguised as software that determines whether PCs are compatible with Windows 7…because the scam is novel, it could end up infecting a lot of people, according to Catalin Cosoi, the head of BitDefender's Online Threats Lab. "This actually works because of the interest in Windows 7…The scammers steal their marketing text directly from Microsoft, which offers a legitimate Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor…"Find out if your PC can run Windows 7," the e-mails read…"This software scans your PC for potential issues with your hardware, devices, and installed programs, and recommends what to do before you upgrade."…Once a victim has installed the software, criminals can pretty much do whatever they want on the PC, Cosoi said. That could mean installing a keylogger to steal banking credentials or even gaining full access to the hacked system…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. What the iPad did to my family http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2010/05/what-ipads-did-to-my-family.html “…Last Sunday, I broke down and bought a non-3G iPad. I just was too damn curious. Walked into the Apple Store, played with it for 5 minutes, gave them my credit card, and walked out…Brought it home, set it up…I then went off to work for the week, and left it home. And that's when things got interesting…We have always had a lot of tech in the house…we've got a fleet of 6 PC desktops of various vintages and three Windows laptops…we've got an iMac and two MacBook Airs of different vintages…And then I brought home the iPad. My wife and kids summed it up in 30 seconds. "Oh no, Dad bought another toy". "Why do we need something else with a CPU in it?". "What does it replace?"…Within four hours, my wife was playing with the photo app, and sending pictures to people -- she'd be meaning to do so for a while. Tap, tap, tap. She was doing that from the back porch with a frosty adult beverage to complement the activity…That fun was followed by an extended Facebook session (she's a big fan, I don't use it). Tap, tap, tap. This was lying on the couch with a tennis match on. ..my 14 year old daughter (the artist in the family) started playing with an Autodesk illustrator app I had downloaded. Tap, tap, tap. "Dad, this is cool". Tap, tap, tap. "Look at this!" My email is now filling up with her drawings. My college daughter is home from school. Late that night, she grabbed it and ran up to her room. Tap, tap, tap. "Dad, I want one". "You do know, there's wi-fi everywhere on campus -- this would be perfect"…there was a new theme this week…"How do I print from this thing?" "Can we download some more games?". "Check out this cool video". Tap, tap, tap. All the PCs and laptops are basically not being used. All the Macs are not being used. All have been powered off…My wife asserted her rightful place in the hierarchy later that evening, and took it upstairs to the bedroom to relax while watching TV. Tap, tap, tap. Occasionally, she showed me something interesting she found online…I don't think I'll be buying any more desktops going forward. I don't think I'll even be buying any more laptops going forward. They've all been largely obsoleted (at least at my home) by a sleek $499 device that doesn't really have any right to be called a "computer"…”

13. Fujitsu to unveil improved color e-paper screen http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/05/07/fujitsu-to-unveil-improved-color-e-paper-screen/ “…they will be unveiling a new version of their color electronic paper display at the…Fujitsu Forum…The new screen is a supposed to be a third brighter and has a contrast ratio of 7:1, three times that of the previous model. These improvements are mostly due to the use of a new liquid crystal material with superior reflective characteristics. One of the problems with many e-paper displays is the slow screen write time compared to LCD screens, but Fujitsu’s display will use a newly developed driver control method that is expected to cut write time in half to 0.7 seconds…one of the key advantages of e-paper is that the displays only need energy to write the initial image onto the screen, after which the image will remain on display without requiring any additional power. This…is what allows e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle to operate for weeks without having to recharge…this method…puts limits on the speed at which images could be displayed on the screen…”

14. HTC's Droid Incredible the best Droid phone yet http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15032104 “…the Droid Incredible offers some significant improvements over the Nexus One…Double tapping the Incredible's home button allows you to see thumbnail views of each of the phone's seven home screens. Instead of having to swipe across the screen multiple times to get to the page you want, you can simply tap on its thumbnail and go to it directly…Unlike the Nexus One, which comes with a scant 512 megabytes of onboard storage space, the Incredible comes with a respectable 8 gigabytes. You can expand storage on both phones by plugging in a micro SD card into their storage slots. But 8 gigabytes should be more than enough room to store your Android applications and a decent number of songs or movies…Verizon says that you should get more than five hours of talk time out of it, which is two hours less than Google says you can get out of the Nexus One…While the number of Android applications has been growing quickly, it's still a fraction of the 200,000 now available for the iPhone…games in particular remain a huge advantage for Apple's device…while Verizon has very good coverage, its network has one notable flaw: It doesn't allow you to talk on the phone while you surf the Internet…”

15. Thoughts on Android Leaving the iPhone in Its Dust http://www.dailytech.com/Thoughts+on+Android+Leaving+the+iPhone+in+Its+Dust/article18340.htm “…RIM rests atop smartphone sales charts thanks to the fact that the smartphone population initially consisted almost exclusively of business users -- a group that still makes up a large portion of the total smartphone market. Apple's iPhone changed the market by delivering the first smartphone truly accessible for the masses…Apple's App Store, advertising blitz, and slick hardware won over the masses like never before. And they earned it a solid spot at number two…Then came Android. Google's OS didn't start off beautifully…slowly, Google began to catch up and pick up steam. It picked up multi-touch. Its hardware partners, particularly HTC, flooded hot new designs onto every major U.S. carrier…Apple still had one key advantage -- the App Store. Google's app count will soon hit 50k, but that pales in comparison to the 150,000 apps that the App Store has…Apple made some critical missteps. First, it banned Flash…Second, it practiced inconsistent policing the App Store. Sometimes it rejected apps only to later approve them, other times it approved them only to reject them…it's easy to see why Apple lost the coveted second place position to the army of Android handsets. How could its one handset on one (U.S.) carrier hope to keep up with a plethora of high end handsets backed by a multitude of carriers and a more open app marketplace?…” [http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/05/10/android-vs-the-iphone-the-battle-heats-up/ ]

Open Source

16. Unity, and Ubuntu Light http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/38 3 “…we took on the challenge of building a version of Ubuntu for the dual-boot, instant-on market. We wanted to be surfing the web in under 10 seconds, and give people a fantastic web experience…The fruit of that R&D is both a new desktop experience codebase, called Unity…The dual-boot, web-focused use case is sufficiently different from general-purpose desktop usage to warrant a fresh look at the way the desktop is configured…Instant-on products are generally used in a stateless fashion. These are “get me to the web asap” environments, with no need of heavy local file management. If there is content there, it would be best to think of it as “cloud like” and synchronize it with the local Windows environment, with cloud services and other devices…It’s not about how fast you appear to boot. It’s about how fast you actually deliver a working web browser and Internet connection…”

17. Businesses designing and selling open source hardware, making millions http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/05/million_dollar_baby_-_businesses_de.html “…at O'Reilly's foo camp east 2010 at Microsoft's NERD center (MIT campus) we presented "Million dollar baby - Businesses designing and selling open source hardware, making millions" at the Ignite hour. 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide - we tried to capture the excitement and great work from just a few of the dozens of open source hardware companies & resellers. Above, slides, photos & video (m4v)…”

18. Definitive guide to open source hardware projects http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/12/open_source_hardware_2009_-_the_def.html “…definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009…Each year we do a guide to all open source hardware and this year there are over 125 unique projects/kits in 19 categories, up from about 60 in 2008, more than doubling the projects out there! - it's incredible! Many are familiar with Arduino (shipping over 100,000 units, estimated) but there are many other projects just as exciting and filled with amazing communities - we think we've captured nearly all of them in this list. Some of these projects and kits are available from MAKE others from the makers themselves or other hardware manufacturers - but since it's open source hardware you can make any of these yourself, start a business, everything is available, that's the point. This year, I am asking for your help - the Open source hardware page on Wikipedia is missing more projects that it actually has total at the moment…”

19. OpenOffice in no-man’s land? http://www.zdnet.com/blog/education/openoffice-is-dead/3909 “…Google Apps…For educational institutions, it’s free and it works very well, both as a document collaboration solution and as an email/calendaring suite…I’ve been a big proponent of OpenOffice. Again, it’s free and provides a perfectly workable alternative to Office. It’s mature, stable, and works cross platform. And it’s free…But here’s the thing…For users who don’t need Office, it’s a rare occasion that Google Docs doesn’t suffice. And yet for those who need Office, it’s rare that they’re happy with OpenOffice. Where does that leave OO.org? Our district is fairly rural and there are still plenty of homes with only dial-up or without Internet access entirely. For these families, OpenOffice is a great choice since they rarely have access to academic pricing on Office and can’t get online to access Apps. As reasonable access to the Internet becomes ubiquitous, though, Google Docs or Office Web Apps…will meet the majority of student and teacher productivity needs…The majority of the time, the students and staff I support tend to make use of Google Docs. Same for me. On my Linux machines, it’s rare that I’ll fire up OpenOffice, despite it being a solid choice for desktop productivity. That’s what the Internet is for, right? Because in addition to Google Apps, there is Zoho and Office Web Apps, all of which work quite well. I just don’t see much of a place in mainstream education for OpenOffice anymore. Pre-loaded on laptops and netbooks in developing countries where Internet access is unreliable or non-existent? You bet…”

SkyNet

20. Google wants to look like Bing? http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-google-search-20100506,0,3376944,full.story “…one of the most sought-after addresses on the Web, is getting a major makeover. Google Inc.'s search results page…will have a new column on the left containing navigation tools to help users dig deeper for information…The latest move…is also seen as a way for Google to maintain its competitive advantage…Nearly all of Google's $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009 came from advertising…Google faces a formidable competitor in popular social networking website Facebook Inc…Danny Sullivan, editor of Searchengineland.com, said the new look helps Google catch up with Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com, each of which already has some version of a three-pane design featuring navigation, search results and advertising…For some searches, Google also will offer a link to its Wonder Wheel feature, a visual representation of related searches that used to take a few clicks to find…Sullivan called it the biggest redesign since May 2007…”

21. Google moves into online travel business http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2010-05-05-googletravel05_ST_N.htm?csp=obnetwork “…In March, Google added hotel links to its Maps application, listing hotels with room rates available to some users. Google also is reportedly in talks to pay $1 billion to acquire ITA Software, which develops fare-shopping software for online travel agencies, airlines and fare-search-only sites, such as Bing Travel and Kayak…Google's interest in fare information may have been triggered by Microsoft's acquisition of Farecast two years ago…Fridgen says about 60% of travel shoppers start travel planning with a search engine…Google could choose to display fares on its global map, allowing armchair travelers to browse through fares from their home city…It could also expand offerings in travel itinerary management, in which travelers can store all their reservations…”

22. Google and the future of O3D http://blog.chromium.org/2010/05/future-of-o3d.html We launched the O3D API about a year ago to start a discussion within the web community about establishing a new standard for 3D graphics on the web. Since then, we’ve also helped develop WebGL, a 3D graphics API based on OpenGL ES 2.0 that has gradually emerged as a standard…the O3D project is changing direction, evolving from its current plug-in implementation into a JavaScript library that runs on top of WebGL…we plan to stop developing O3D as a plug-in and focus on improving WebGL and O3D as a JavaScript library…In initial discussions we had about WebGL, we were concerned that JavaScript would be too slow to drive a low-level API like OpenGL and…cognizant of the lack of installed OpenGL drivers on many Windows machines, and that this could hamper WebGL’s adoption. Since then, JavaScript has become a lot faster…with the ANGLE project, we believe that Chromium will be able to run WebGL content on Windows computers without having to rely on installed OpenGL drivers…”

23. Google Apps Expanding as Google Preps for Microsoft Office 2010 http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Messaging-and-Collaboration/Google-Apps-Expanding-as-Google-Preps-for-Office-2010-490666/ “…Google May 6 said it will enable users to access Google Reader, Blogger and Picasa Web Albums from Google Apps in fall 2010…co-workers will be able to publish their organization's blog on Blogger, share project images with Picasa Web Albums, track industry news in Google Reader, advertise online with AdWords and much more, all without switching back and forth between multiple accounts…While Google plans to shuttle all Apps users to the new infrastructure this fall, customers will be able to make the switch this summer if they desire a head start…Microsoft May 12 will launch Office 2010, which in addition to refreshed versions of its on-premise programs sports Web-based editions of OneNote, Excel, Word and PowerPoint…With Microsoft providing a Web-based alternative to Google Docs, which itself was a Web-based alternative to Microsoft's on-premise Office, Google will have to battle the massive enterprise market share and cachet of the leading productivity and collaboration software provider in the world…”

24. Google rethinks its social strategy with search for new exec http://social.venturebeat.com/2010/05/10/google-head-of-social/ “…Google is…apparently hiring a new head of social…a new and very strategic position, as Google knows it is late on this front and is appropriately humble about it. In Google’s view, conceptually, there are two ways to tackle social, each impacting who may be successful in this senior post: 1) building an innovative offering specifically in this area; or 2) developing the capability and integrating social into Google’s existing portfolio.”…This is a particularly sensitive time for the company’s social strategy after Facebook unveiled its concept of an Open Graph last month, a map of all people relationships between each other and to the things they care about…With Facebook’s “like” button and and social plug-ins now strewn across tens of thousands of sites, it’s only a logical hop, skip and a jump to a distributed advertising network and competitor to AdSense…The closest thing Google has to a social guru may be vice president of product management Bradley Horowitz. It also recently hired Joseph Smarr away from Plaxo and open web advocate Chris Messina to help guide the company’s way…”

General Technology

25. Black Dwarf http://www.willudesign.com/BlackDwarfTop.html “…Most people will likely never fill the 500gb or 1tb drives that you'll find in your average store bought computer, and to some the very existence of a 2tb hard drive seems excessive. But for me, 2tb can barely hold one of my "case mod build video" projects. Add to that a considerable library of HD movies, music, and other data…This project is all about having storage space. I wanted a very low powered system running 24/7 and, like the stellar remnant from which it derives its name, for it to run cool and contain a mass completely unprecedented for its size. I'd say a 1.6ghz Intel Atom, 2gb of Ram, and over 16tb of storage in a case no bigger than a shoe box accomplishes this quite well. This is the Black Dwarf…” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEkqjS7QPTw ]

26. Bugs will give us free power while cleaning our sewage http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18872-bugs-will-give-us-free-power-while-cleaning-our-sewage.html “…In conventional sewage plants, micro-organisms digest solid waste in "activated sludge". They convert the organic matter into methane but leave liquid waste containing ammonium and phosphates…Existing treatment plants use a lot of energy to get rid of the ammonium. The process uses bacteria that convert ammonium into nitrate, and the bugs that do this need oxygen, which must be constantly supplied to the treatment tanks by electric pumps…This process consumes an average of 44 watt-hours per day for each person who adds waste to the sewage system. This can add up to megawatts in a big city…Gijs Kuenen…and colleagues are developing a technique that cuts out the energy-consuming processes. The key is a recently discovered type of bacteria that can munch ammonia without oxygen…The team calculates that, far from consuming energy, the process could generate 24 watt-hours per person per day. "This is about trying to make waste water treatment plants completely sustainable, in the sense that they could even produce energy, which is not the case in present treatment facilities…This month the team will begin building a pilot plant to demonstrate the technology at the Dokhaven waste water treatment plant in Rotterdam…anammox bacteria were discovered only 20 years ago and hold great promise for a new generation of sustainable waste water treatment plants. "The anammox story shows how fundamental discoveries by microbiologists can revolutionise waste water treatment…”

Leisure & Entertainment

27. 'Humble Indie Bundle' Charity Drive Approaches $700,000 http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28471/Humble_Indie_Bundle_Charity_Drive_Approaches_700000.php “…Contributions to the "Humble Indie Bundle" exploded over the past week, as contributions grew from about $40,000 on May 4 to around $700,000 Monday morning. The total number of contributions grew from about 5,300 to about 82,000, while the average contribution grew from $7.59 to $8.51. The "Humble Indie Bundle" initiative, which ends this week, allows consumers to pay what they want for a six-game indie bundle, with the option of giving all proceeds to charity. The idea is spearheaded by indie developer Wolfire Games…just over half of the contributors bought the Windows version of the game, with the rest split nearly evenly between Linux and Mac users. Windows contributors averaged $7.33 per contribution, Mac users $9.79 and Linux users $13.98…buyers can choose any amount of money to pay for the pack. They can then choose to donate to Penny Arcade's Child's Play charity toy drive, the non-profit digital rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation or the game developers…”

28. Nintendo President: Apple is the “enemy of the future” http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article7118570.ece Nintendo is preparing to unleash the full force of its development and marketing artillery against Apple after profits tumbled at the Japanese giant for the first time in six years…the Nintendo president…told his senior executives recently to regard the battle with Sony as a victory already won and to treat Apple, and its iPhone and iPad devices, as the “enemy of the future”…Sony and Microsoft are…making their own forays into family-oriented gaming and the iPhone has emerged as a formidable competitor for Nintendo in the handheld gaming arena once dominated by the DS console…Two years ago, the company claimed to have permanently altered the demographics of video games by raising the average age and the gender mix of gamers. Unfortunately, the very people it claimed to have converted — high-school girls and men aged between 30 and 40 — reported that they would rather have an iPhone than a DS…Despite selling over 10 million copies of the latest Mario title for the Wii console, the pipeline of new games has stopped delivering the sort of blockbusters that drove console sales to record levels in the first two years after its launch. Nintendo has also suffered from the financial crisis. Households around the world spent most of last year in full belt-tightening mode, and remain cautious about buying games…But the most striking decline was in sales of the consoles. Although both the Wii and DS have outsold their Sony and Microsoft counterparts, the lower technology of the Nintendo machines is starting to show. With far less processing power than either the PlayStation3 or Xbox 360, the Wii is suffering…”

29. Sweep Panorama: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 Review http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=4320&review=sony+cybershot+tx7 “…The TX7 is small and slim, measuring 3.9 x 2.4 x 0.7 inches and weighs 5.3 ounces, including the battery and memory stick. It features Sony's 1/2.4 inch, 10.2 megapixel EXMOR R CMOS sensor, designed for superior low light performance, and a very wide angle lens (25mm, 35mm equivalent) with 4x optical zoom…When the lens cover is up, the front of the TX7 is completely protected, though the large LCD at the rear remains vulnerable. To protect the LCD, it would be a good idea to purchase a slim camera case, even though that may make for a tighter fit in the pocket…The TX7 accepts both Sony memory sticks and SD/SDHC memory cards…TX7 allows the use of optical zoom while shooting movies. Movie files are limited to 29 minutes or 2GB. The TX7 also has some special shooting modes: sweep panorama, anti-motion blur, handheld twilight and backlight correction HDR. The sweep panorama mode is very easy and fun to use. Set the camera to sweep panorama mode, press the shutter, and slowly pan the camera horizontally (or vertically if you choose). You'll see on the screen how far you have to move the camera to create a full panorama shot. Once you've panned far enough, the camera records the image…”

30. Borders taking preorders on $150 Kobo eReader http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20004419-1.html “…Borders has announced that it's begun taking preorders for the Kobo, a $150 e-reader that ties into the upcoming Borders' e-book store…the Kobo, which has the same-size 6-inch e-ink display as the $259 Kindle and Nook, is something of a no-frills e-reader with no Wi-Fi or 3G wireless connectivity (and the screen has 8 levels of gray, not 16)…it does offer a Bluetooth connection for "wirelessly syncing with select smartphones and updating your reading list on the go." It comes with 1GB of internal memory, and there's an SD card expansion slot for adding more…”

Economy and Technology

31. The startup community: connecting the outliers http://tenzerolab.com/blog/is-the-startup-community-relying-too-much-on-fate-connecting-the-outliers/ We’re experiencing a new kind of innovation in startups, a revolution that’s already underway. The perfect storm of open source, low capital requirements, and democratized distribution is enabling a new class of entrepreneur, one that doesn’t have to ask permission to make things happen. That entrepreneur is, however, running into a new kind of problem, they can’t do it alone…Startup people are weird folk…the people who have the fire and the passion to create, to endure real uncertainty for the chance at changing the world, these people are statistical outliers. Compounding this fact, many successful startups are founded by people with pre-existing personal relationships…If startup founders are one in a hundred, then by pure random chance a pair of them will be one in 10,000. Ask most experienced entrepreneurs for startup advice and you will invariably be told that one of the most critical, if not the most critical factor affecting the eventual trajectory of a startup is the initial team, the first co-founders…I spent many years trying to convince friends and co-workers to take the startup leap with me. I thought it was a failure on my part to sell an idea, share the sheer joy in the process of creating something wholly new, or really explain the appeal of being master of your own destiny. What I came to realize is that there is something that sets startup entrepreneurs apart and it’s not a quality that’s easily imparted…I was unable to convince my circle of friends and co-workers and ended up starting out on my own…The key, I believe, is that we built a relationship before we became co-founders. We forged a sense of trust. I trusted his vision and experience and he trusted my ability to deliver technology…we were both able to determine that the other had the spark, a commitment to the company, evolving the idea, and creating something wholly new…As a community, we’re starting to become aware of the problem and there are many solutions being tested. Co-working spaces, founder match programs, and networking events specifically focused on co-founders, are all steps in the right direction. I think we need to go further though, hacking the startup process to build more potentially viable startup founding teams…”

32. Solving the "marketplace" business model http://blog.asmartbear.com/marketplace-business-model.html “…The hardest part of any business is the beginning, but this is especially true for marketplace companies because you have a classic chicken-egg problem…you also have what I call the double company problem: You're trying to build two companies at the same time, and both have to succeed or you're dead…These are distinct operations — different clients, different technology, different sales process — almost like two separate companies…Forget automation: Do everything manually…just because automation is the goal doesn't mean it's the way to start. The good thing about automation is it's efficient; the bad thing is you cannot learn because you're not involved in the process. And at the start, learning is where you should be spending most of your time!...Happy buyers before the network effect…at first your marketplace won't be large, so to get started you have to deliver value even though you're small…It's typically easier to solve the seller side of the equation than the buyer side…the value proposition to the sellers always boils down to "You'll make more money,"…With the right proposition there's little reason for them not to try you out…”

33. Market Plunge Baffles Wall Street http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704370704575228664083620340.html The stock market plunged Thursday in a harrowing five-minute selloff that appeared to be triggered by a breakdown of trading systems. After dropping nearly 1,000 points, the market rebounded but still closed down…leaving Wall Street struggling to figure out what happened…Multiple stocks, ranging from Accenture PLC to Boston Beer Co., momentarily lost nearly 100% of their value, changing hands for just one penny. Exchange-traded funds, which are index funds that trade like stocks on exchanges, were also temporarily vaporized. The $9.5 billion iShares Russell 1000 Value Index Fund went from $59 to around 8 cents in the blink of an eye…”

34. Intuit Acquires Healthcare Software Company Medfusion For $91 Million http://www.techcrunchit.com/2010/05/10/intuit-acquires-healthcare-software-company-medfusion-for-91-million/ “…Intuit has announced the acquisition of healthcare communications software company Medfusion…Intuit plans to integrate Medfusion into its Quicken Health solutions. Intuit says the acquisition will be used to further its presence in the healthcare sector, helping medical professionals communicate with patients online, access and manage personal health records, and of course, provide a better way for patients and professions track healthcare expenses. Medfusion is currently used by 30,000 healthcare providers and helps patients communicate with their providers to schedule appointments, pay bills, request prescription refills, complete medical forms, review lab results and clinical summaries, receive reminders and exchange secure messages for related care and administrative issues…”

35. Stealthy Paperless Billing Startup Doxo http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/10/doxo-bezos-mohr-davidow/ “…Even among people who otherwise embrace the digital lifestyle, and pay their bills electronically, many find it difficult to give up on the paper statement…meanwhile, businesses are stuck sending out paper bills every month which on average cost $10 per customer per year…Seattle startup Doxo is working on a way to increase the adoption of paperless billing…The founding team…comes from mobile payments platform QPass, which was sold to Amdocs in 2006 for $275 million…it is a single-sign on system where consumers will be able to manage and store all of their paperless records…a single place where all your most critical transactional records (bills, statements, explanation of benefits) will be stored on your behalf. And you can be notified any number of ways, via email, mobile apps, SMS, and so on. Shivers estimates that businesses spend $35 billion a year sending out these types of paper statements and bills…”

Civilian Aerospace

36. Space education center taking off at former Armory http://www.sheboyganpress.com/article/20100506/SHE0101/5060429/1973/SHE04/Mission-control--Space-education-center-taking-off-at-former-Armory “…11-year-old Squire Krajniak…may have been the only one to successfully pull it off Wednesday among the 100 or so elementary school students taking turns on a new shuttle simulator set up inside the former Sheboygan Armory…The simulator, which is built out of a mission control console used during the Apollo missions, is the highlight of a new exhibit at the Armory, where a local group is working to establish the Great Lakes Aerospace Science and Education Center…The organization has raised about $5 million so far, including the city's donation of the Armory, and needs about $11 million to complete the project, which includes a major renovation of the Armory…The group hired its first full-time education director last month to oversee the center's learning programs. Having a full-time paid staff member means the Armory's exhibits will now be open more than 10 weeks out of the year to school groups…”

37. Spaceport must keep its promises to its neighbors http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-opinion/ci_15042799 Rick Homans, interim head of the Spaceport Authority, may be correct when he said the spaceport isn't legally obligated to resolve water problems being experienced by landowners near the site under construction in southern Sierra County. But Homans was there from the start, and he knows that public assurances were given to the spaceport's neighbors that they would not be harmed by either construction or daily operations at the facility. Those assurances were made on behalf of both the spaceport and the state government that was backing it. "Both of them told us, multiple times, the spaceport will not affect our way of life…The "both of them" in this case referred to former spaceport head Steve Landeene and board member Gary Whitehead. At issue is the amount of water needed for spaceport construction. Pumping from the nearby Romero Well has depleted the aquifer being used by the spaceport's neighbors. Smith said she first began to notice shortages about a month ago, and two weeks ago the faucets went dry. Other neighbors, with deeper wells, have not yet run out of water, but have seen their supplied depleted…”

38. NASA Studies Find Omega-3 May Help Reduce Bone Loss http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nasa-studies-find-omega-3-may-help-reduce-bone-loss-93289209.html NASA-sponsored studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may play a role in mitigating bone breakdown that occurs during spaceflight and in osteoporosis…The solution could have significant implications for space travelers and those susceptible to bone loss on Earth…NASA studies bone density loss because it is one of the main effects of exposure to the weightlessness of space. Scientists hope to find ways to counteract the problem for astronauts on long-duration space voyages…scientists documented that adding a specific omega-3 fatty acid to cells would inhibit the activation of factors that lead to bone breakdown…”

39. Bigelow Marketing Inflatable Space Stations http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2010/05/06/11.xml&headline=Bigelow%20Marketing%20Inflatable%20Space%20Stations&channel=space “…Space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, 65, who made his fortune in Las Vegas real estate development, already has invested $180 million in the company and says he will commit up to $500 million to realize his dream of building commercial space habitats…Bigelow founded the company in 1999, and in 2004 acquired the license for the TransHab inflatable habitat technology from NASA. Bigelow’s first test craft, Genesis 1, was launched in 2006…Bigelow is developing two commercial habitats: the 180-cubic-meter Sundancer and the larger BA 330. The company intends to launch a Sundancer in 2014…a second Sundancer and a docking node bus will be deployed by 2015, followed by a 330…Bigelow sees his customers coming from two large buckets: the 50-60 nations that do not have the wherewithal to support an indigenous space program, and corporations…Prices will range from $200 million-$400 million, depending on the number of “seats” that are purchased. He is pitching Bigelow Aerospace’s space station as an “affordable alternative” to the International Space Station…an untapped market in companies that would use a space platform to perform materials work, undertake pharmaceutical research or conduct experiments in microgravity. “We think the corporate community is fairly substantial,” he says. Bigelow Aerospace is talking with several pharmaceutical companies and is also approaching agricultural business companies interested in developing new strains of seeds in microgravity. Bigelow also sees potential in companies that need microgravity to develop nanotube structures …”

40. 'Wet' Asteroid Could Be a Space Gas Station http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/asteroid-gas-station-100504.html “…an asteroid wrapped in a layer of water ice has revived the possibility that some space rocks would be great potential pit stops – as well as destinations – for manned or robotic exploration missions. If a space destination has water, that means astronauts traveling there could potentially use it for drinking and washing. But much more importantly, the water could be broken down into its component parts (hydrogen and oxygen) to make rocket fuel…"Water is the main component in how you make propellants," said Jerry Sanders, leader of in-situ resource utilization at NASA's Lunar Surface Systems Office…Researchers announced last week that they had found definitive proof of frozen water, along with organic compounds, coating the surface of the large asteroid 24 Themis in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Previously, scientists had believed that asteroids there were too close to the sun to harbor water without it evaporating away…”

41. Students launch rocket at Spaceport America http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_15019703 As the 20-foot, 1,100-pound rocket fired gracefully skyward against the backdrop of a New Mexico sunrise Tuesday, something struck a chord in the heart of 19-year-old Quang Tran. A Vietnam native who's studying computer science at New Mexico Highlands University, Tran and his classmates were among the roughly 100 college and high school students from around the state who had science projects aboard the rocket. Going into the launch, Tran said, he was excited but didn't realize how much the event would affect him…I just felt: 'This is so emotional I can't find any words to express it, and I think it's one of the best moments I've ever experienced," said Tran…The SL-4 rocket, made by the Colorado-based UP Aerospace, reached suborbital space -- about 73 miles up -- and fell to earth without many glitches…Though it reached suborbital space, UP Aerospace President Jerry Larson said the rocket didn't reach its goal of 80 miles. Still, "we exceeded space by 10 miles…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

42. Sony Nukes PS3 Supercomputing http://hothardware.com/Articles/Sony-Ban-Nukes-PS3-Supercomputers-Damages-Future-Game-Development/ “…a California PS3 owner, Anthony Ventura…filed a class action lawsuit against Sony, alleging that the company's decision to terminate the PS3's Linux support via firmware update constituted a false/deceptive marketing practice. While most PS3 owners never took advantage of the system's Linux capabilities, "Other OS" functionality is critical to the universities and institutions that have deployed PS3 clusters as high-performance compute farms. We talked with several project leads on the impact of Sony's decision, and what it means for low-cost supercomputing programs…”

43. AMAX Launches 1,920-Core 4U GPU Server http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/AMAX-Launches-1920-Core-4U-GPU-Server-92874059.html AMAX…delivers a new generation of GPU servers featuring up to eight NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. The ServMax Xn-4101G supports up to 12 CPU cores and 1,920 GPU cores with nearly 8 teraflops of parallel computing performance in a single 4U chassis…Fully certified to operate on the massively parallel CUDA GPU computing architecture, AMAX's latest ServMax Xn-4101G solution delivers performance equivalent to a CPU-only system at 1/20th the power consumption, 1/10th the cost, and up to 250x the performance. The ServMax Xn-4101G delivers a quantum leap in performance for applications such as life sciences, geosciences, engineering & sciences, molecular biology, medical diagnostics, electronic design automation (EDA), government and defense, visualization, financial modeling, and oil & gas…”

44. Multicore GPUs and NVIDIA Fermi http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/Dally-Disses-Multicore-93031539.html “…To continue scaling computer performance, it is essential that we build parallel machines using cores optimized for energy efficiency, not serial performance. Building a parallel computer by connecting two to 12 conventional CPUs optimized for serial performance, an approach often called multi-core, will not work…CPU power scaling, which enabled performance increases at a constant level of wattage, is over. The workaround is multiple cores, but since CPU cores are optimized for serial work, there is a built-in inefficiency when trying to mold highly-parallel codes around this architecture…To keep Moore's Law-type scaling viable for applications, Dally says that we need to build throughput computers made up of many simple cores. That just so happens to coincide with the GPU model, but other manycore processors from companies such as Tilera and Tensilica also fit this architecture…Companies like Intel and NVIDIA are betting the "3D Web" will be one of the big playgrounds for these highly parallel applications…The GPU maker's fab partner, TSMC, is having problems with yields for the new 40nm chips -- not too surprising considering Fermi sports around 3 billion transistors for the high-end parts…in September the company was talking about 512-core Fermis, but the first Tesla silicon will come in with just 448 cores (not quite twice the 240 cores of the previous 10-series). They've also throttled the clock frequency a bit to keep the heat manageable…the new Tesla chips suck plenty of power -- 225 watts TDP…But for that wattage, you get 515 gigaflops double precision and over a teraflop of single precision. EM Photonics benchmarked the new Fermi GPUs using DGETRF (a double precision LAPACK routine) and demonstrated a three-fold performance increase over the previous generation GPUs. In a real-world application, Artemis Capital Asset Management demonstrated a performance boost for certain financial analytics codes with the new Fermi GPUs…”


*****

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