2010/05/18

NEW NET Issues List for 18 May 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 18 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.

This Week’s New Tech Terms: micro-tablet, telepresence robot

(If you see a tech term new to you, please send it to me for inclusion on this list and discussion at the NEW NET meeting.)

The ‘net

1. Network Effect: Diaspora, The Open Facebook Alternative, Soars Past $100,000 on Kickstarter http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/12/diaspora-open-facebook-project/ Whenever a service rises to popularity, an “open” alternative is usually close behind…the rate at which Diaspora*, the open project hoping to be the new Facebook, is gaining funding is getting too big to ignore…New York Times profiled the NY-based project yesterday, noting that the team of four NYU students gave themselves 39 days to raise $10,000 through the online fundrasing site, Kickstarter…they shot past that goal in a mere 12 days. As of yesterday afternoon, they were at $23,676 in funding. Today, just one day later, that total stands at an amazing $58,315…even more impressive about Diaspora’s fundraising is that it’s all being done through micro-funding on Kickstarter…some 1,625 people have donated the $58,000. The minimum pledge is $1, but so far, the most amount of people have pledged $25 (638 pledges), with $5 coming in second place (334 pledges). Over 100 people have given over $50, and 5 people have even given over $1,000 (with 2 of those giving over $2,000)… Update: As of this morning (5/13), the project how now passed $100,000 in funding with over 2,500 backers…”

2. Transparency: Has Facebook’s Active User Growth Dropped 25% to 50%? http://searchengineland.com/has-facebooks-active-user-growth-dropped-42036 “…Are a significant number of people cancelling their Facebook accounts because of privacy concerns? The easy answer would be for Facebook to publish cancellation stats…I asked Facebook if it would provide month-by-month figures for those deleting their accounts, along with user growth figures. Instead, I was provided this: We don’t release the specific data you’re looking for. I can say that since our recent developer conference, Facebook has grown by more than 10 million active users…lately Facebook has been reporting that it gains between 20 to 25 million active users per month. But since F8, Facebook looks likely to only gain 13-15 million active users per month. At worst…that’s a 48% decline — a drop of about half…Another reason for the drop could be that fewer people are now signing up…I sent the calculations I’ve done above to Facebook…The 10 million figure is a rough approximation, which was a conservative, ro und number based on a conservative, round time frame. The figures you’ve deduced from our user growth announcements on the Facebook blog are too inaccurate to use for any semblance of statistical analysis. This is because the user number milestones we announce publicly do not always correspond to the exact date we reach these milestones…I can’t say I found the response reassuring. The 10 million figure was accurate enough when handed out the first time, but when I question it, it transforms magically into a “rough approximation.” If it’s that bad, then when I ask a follow up on the figure, provide a more accurate one…”

3. How Much Web Video Is iPad-Ready? http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/13/web-video-ipad/ “…I wanted to find out exactly how much video out there on the Web is already encoded in the iPad-friendly H.264 format. Encoding.com provided me with some data showing that 66 percent of the videos it encoded in the first quarter of 2010 were in H.264, up from 31 percent the year before…I asked another video search engine, blinkx, which has an even bigger index than MeFeedia, for an estimate of how much H.264 video is on the Web. Their answer: “around 67 percent.”…Blinkx estimates that as much as 85 percent to 90 percent of the Web videos it is currently processing are in the H.264 format…Going forward, practically all videos on the Web will be encoded in the H.264 format, which means they don’t need an Flash player to play them. Websites still need to change over to HTML5 players or otherwise tag the videos to make them playable on iPads, and that is a transition which will still take some time…”

4. Skype Gets Group Video Chat http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/skype_gets_group_video_chat.php Skype…announced today…a new group chat feature that will allow up to five people to video chat with each other at once…available for preview in a trial of the new version of Skype… the company warns that users should "be aware that group video calling is currently in 'beta' - this means that there might be a few rough edges, and that it might not work perfectly every time."…we immediately remembered the free video group chat service Tiny Chat. Tiny Chat allows more control over chat rooms and up to 400 participants with 12 live audio video streams per room. The new Skype feature, on the other hand, will support up to five video streams…To get the new Skype group video chat running, simply follow the company's directions…The feature is currently only available for PC…” [http://blogs.skype.com/garage/2010/05/skype_50_beta_1_for_windows.html ]

5. Hotmail: Microsoft’s latest webmail takes aim at Gmail’s top features http://venturebeat.com/2010/05/17/hotmail-gmail/ “…a massively overhauled Hotmail…Hotmail Wave 4 in Microsoft jargon…will go into a public beta test this summer. Hotmail Wave 4 adds several features that have until now been unique to Google’s Gmail, and in some cases pushes them further…Hotmail Wave 4 adds Bing-like inline viewing of multimedia links — Flickr, Hulu, YouTube, etc — in messages. It’s the most compelling reason yet to install Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, a competitor to Adobe Flash and the HTML5 open standard…Hotmail claims nearly 400 million worldwide users. Globally it’s the most-used email service, but in America it’s second place to Yahoo and being closed in on by Gmail, a fast-growing No. 3 competitor since its late launch in 2004…Gmail, from the start, has grouped messages into threaded conversations instead of displaying them in chronological order. Hotmail adds this powerful feature as an option…Hotmail allows 50 megabyte attachments, twice Gmail’s size limit. Hotmail allows an insane 10 gigabytes of attachments per message, 400 times Gmail’s limit. That’s 200 50-meg files attached to one message. Think: Photo albums. Hotmail uses Windows Live SkyDrive to store email attachments…You can view and edit Microsoft Office attachments almost as if you were using Office…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/microsoft_announces_new_version_of_hotmail.php ]

6. Here comes 4chan 2.0 http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-20005066-2.html When I write about imageboard Web site 4chan, I always worry that a reader unfamiliar with the site will check it out. Please don't. It's unbelievably offensive, unacceptable, and one of most creative things on the Internet. It's also one of the most influential sites when it comes to Web culture…the point is that the Web underground becomes the mainstream, and 4chan, particularly the "random" board known as /b/, is the home base of that underground. But some 4chan users are saying 4chan is looking stale. It's known that the founder of 4chan, Christopher Poole, better known as "moot," is working on something new. He's raised $625,000 for the new venture, which is likely going to live at canv.as…”

7. Can Social Networks Be Generated Automatically? http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/25326/?a=f When Google launched Buzz, a microblogging social network, several months ago, the company boasted that the network had been generated automatically, by algorithms that could connect users to each other based on communications…many users balked at having what they perceived as mischaracterized social connections, forcing the company to frantically backpedal…This incident notwithstanding, many companies are increasingly interested in automatically determining users' social ties through e-mail and social network communications. For example, IBM's Lotus division offers a product called Atlas that constructs social data from corporate communications, and Microsoft has investigated using such data to automatically prioritize the e-mails that workers receive…"You don't get to directly observe relationships, you get to observe communication events," says Jake Hofman, a researcher in Yahoo Research's social dynamics group, who was involved with the work. Algorithms will infer dramatically different social network structures based on different interpretations of these communications events…”

8. New webcams bring Skype to your TV http://blogs.skype.com/en/2010/05/new_webcams_bring_skype_to_your_tv.html “…we told you that we’d be bringing Skype to your living room – today, the final piece of the puzzle is in place…Brand new cameras for Panasonic and Samsung HDTVs let you make great quality video (and voice) calls from the comfort of your sofa…The Panasonic camera…supports HD video at up to 1280x720 pixels at 22 frames per second. The Samsung camera…sends high quality video at up to 1600x1200 pixels at 30 frames per second. To get Skype on your TV, you’ll need an Internet-connected TV with Skype built in, one of these special webcams, and a broadband Internet connection. Supported Samsung HDTVs are all ready to go, and the Skype software is now available on Panasonic HDTVs in the US…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

9. The Media Attacks On Facebook And Mark Zuckerberg Are Getting Out Of Hand http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/13/the-media-attacks-on-facebook-and-mark-zuckerberg-are-getting-out-of-hand/ “…it’s just another example of an online mob getting out of control. I’m embarrassed to see people I respect stopping one step short of calling for physical violence against Zuckerberg…The Facebook privacy issue is a reasonable thing to debate…But what Mark Zuckerberg said or didn’t say six years ago isn’t relevant to anything. It isn’t an indication of his character, or how he views privacy today…Who here hasn’t said something stupid when they were 19?...Facebook is trying to invent, on the fly, an entirely new way or organizing the Internet. 500 million people a month visit the site. They can’t do anything at all without angering some portion of them…These uproars have been happening since we first started covering Facebook in 2005. At first it was college students enraged that high school students were being let in. Then they were enraged that everyone else was let in…In ten years, or less, Facebook will have found its way for the long term. Change will come much more slowly then. And frankly it’ll be boring…”

10. Facebook and “radical transparency” (a rant) http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2010/05/14/facebook-and-radical-transparency-a-rant.html “…I’ve watched as conversations about privacy went from being the topic of the tech elite to a conversation that’s pervasive…My SXSW used a bunch of different case studies but folks focused on two: Google and Facebook. After my talk, I received numerous emails from folks at Google, including the PM in charge of Buzz. The tenor was consistent, effectively: “…we’re trying to fix it, please help us.” What startled me was the radio silence from Facebook…Facebook has been struggling to explain its privacy-related decisions for the last month while simultaneously dealing with frightening security issues…The NYTimes is doing an amazing job keeping up with the story, as is TechCrunch, Mashable, and InsideFacebook. The short version… People are cranky. Facebook thinks that it’s just weirdo tech elites like me who are pissed off. They’re standing firm and trying to justify why what they’re doing is good for everyone…Meanwhile, security problems mean that even more content has been exposed, including email addresses, IP addresses (your location), and full chat logs…What I find most fascinating in all of the discussions of transparency is the lack of transparency by Facebook itself. Sure, it would be nice to see executives use the same privacy settings that they determine are the acceptable defaults…But that’s not the kind of transparency I mean. I mean transparency in interface design…I was talking with a teenage girl about her privacy settings and noticed that she had made lots of content available to friends-of-friends. I asked her if she made her content available to her mother. She responded with, “of course not!” I had noticed that she had listed her aunt as a friend of hers and so I surfed with her to her aunt’s page and pointed out that her mother was a friend of her aunt, thus a friend-of-a-friend. She was horrified. It had never dawned on her that her mother might be included in that grouping…I find that people’s mental model of who can see what doesn’t match up with reality…If Facebook wanted radical transparency, they could communicate to users every single person and entity who can see their content. They could notify then when the content is accessed by a partner. They could show them who all is included in “friends-of-friends” (or at least a number of people). They hide behind lists because people’s abstractions allow them to share more…The battle that is underway is not a battle over the future of privacy and publicity. It’s a battle over choice and informed consent. It’s unfolding because people are being duped, tricked, coerced, and confused into doing things where they don’t understand the consequences. Facebook keeps saying that it gives users choices, but that is completely unfair. It gives users the illusion of choice and hides the details away from them “for their own good.”…Slowly disintegrating the social context without choice isn’t consent; it’s trickery…Zuckerberg and gang may think that they know what’s best for society, for individuals, but I violently disagree. I think that they know what’s best for the privileged class. And I’m terrified of the consequences that these moves are having for those who don’t live in a lap of luxury…”

11. Car hackers can kill brakes, engine, lock you in your car and more http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-05-14/car-hackers-can-kill-brakes-engine-and-more.html “…security researchers say that by connecting to a standard diagnostic computer port included in late-model cars, they were able to do some nasty things, such as turning off the brakes, changing the speedometer reading, blasting hot air or music on the radio, and locking passengers in the car…at a decommissioned airfield in Blaine Washington, they hacked into a test car's electronic braking system and prevented a test driver from braking a moving car -- no matter how hard he pressed on the brakes. In other tests, they were able to kill the engine, falsify the speedometer reading, and automatically lock the car's brakes unevenly, a maneuver that could destabilize the car traveling high speeds. They ran their test by plugging a laptop into the car's diagnostic system and then controlling that computer wirelessly, from a laptop in a vehicle riding next to the car. The point of the research isn't to scare a nation of drivers, already made nervous by stories of software glitches, faulty brakes and massive automotive recalls. It's to warn the car industry that it needs to keep security in mind as it develops more sophisticated automotive computer systems. "We think this is an industry issue…”

12. How your Web browser rats you out online http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/05/how-your-web-browser-rats-you-out-online.ars “…you do all the right things to keep from being tracked around the Web…Doesn't matter—your browser is giving you away…The browser's "user-agent string" is visible to websites…So are "HTTP ACCEPT" headers…it's simple to infer whether cookies are being blocked. In browsers with Javascript running, it's easy for websites to discover screen resolution, a list of all browser plugins, and the user's timezone…it's possible to grab a complete list of system fonts. Taken together, these bits of data produce a unique "fingerprint"…even the privacy conscious have made themselves simple to track. Of the 470,161 browsers that participated in EFF's Panopticlick project, 83.6 percent had an "instantaneously unique fingerprint." Browsers with Flash or Java installed could be uniquely identified 94.2 percent of the time. When one considers that "privacy conscious users" were over-represented in Panopticlick, these are surprising numbers…the attempt to go stealthy could paradoxically make one more unique…many kinds of measures designed to make a device harder to fingerprint are themselves distinctive unless a lot of other people also take them…fingerprints can be used to bake new cookies for users who have deleted theirs…making tweaks to one's browser in the hope of altering a fingerprint was largely futile—algorithms could correctly decipher most fingerprint changes over time. Does anyone really use "browser fingerprints" to track online surfers? Probably, but it's hard to know. Such tracking leaves no traces on the user machine…the companies that traffic in such practices aren't known for trumpeting them loudly…we did speak to one firm that already uses JavaScript to gather biometric markers like typing cadence during password entry—input the same password in a different typing rhythm and the system can detect another user. According to EFF, "There are several companies that sell products which purport to fingerprint web browsers…”

13. Facebook Privacy: secrets unveiled with Openbook http://www.pcworld.com/article/196410/facebook_privacy_secrets_unveiled.html “…Thanks to a couple of handy new tools, you can now check out exactly what Facebook is telling the world about you -- and about everyone else. First up is Openbook, a project created by three computer geeks from San Francisco. Openbook lets you search through Facebook's publicly available user data to find out what everyone is saying. You enter a search term -- Openbook suggests loaded phrases like "cheated test," "don't tell anyone," and "lost virginity," but you can enter anything you want -- and the site displays pages of relevant Facebook status updates from recent hours… You can see what Facebook shares with the world about you by using this free tool at zesty.ca; just input your Facebook user ID or account number (found by looking at the URL for your Facebook profile page), then click through the fields to see what's actually public. The tool won't take into account info that could be shared by applications or Facebook's "instant personalization" feature, but it's a start. After that, get ready to dig. This daunting chart breaks down all of the categories of settings you'll need to review (hint: be sure to clear out a couple hours of your afternoon). This story provides a slightly less overwhelming summary of the main settings you should revisit. And this one goes through some additional steps you'll want to take to address the aforementioned new "instant personalization" options…”

14. Hosting With GoDaddy? Might Want To Rethink That Decision. http://smackdown.blogsblogsblogs.com/2010/05/13/hosting-with-godaddy-might-want-to-rethink-that-decision/ One of the services I offer people is cleaning their Wordpress installations of hacks and infections, mostly for those who might not have the time or technical expertise to follow my hacked Wordpress cleaning guide…when something happens that increases the number of people getting hacked…I get an increase in the number of people requesting help cleaning things up. This month it started happening with a large number of GoDaddy customers…GoDaddy was definitely aware of the issue…GoDaddy keeps insisting that the problem is due to outdated Wordpress installations, and that staying up to date and site security is the responsibility of the customer, not of GoDaddy…The problem is that after doing some very thorough clean up jobs…I had clients still getting re-hacked…I…logged into the client’s account, and…saw that about 30 minutes before a brand new, non-Wordpress, oddly named php file had been dropped into my client’s site. I downloaded the file and looked at it. I suddenly realized that this was the source file for all of the hacks that were happening…GoDaddy didn’t seem to care. I called and explained to the woman I spoke with…that matching up that file to the logs could yield some potentially valuable information…She came back and informed me that she didn’t have permission to look at those logs…Again, she put me on hold. This time she came back and told me that they were uninterested in escalating it…She very kindly informed me that the issue was that the client was running an older version of Wordpress…I went and looked, and made sure that he was indeed still running the 2.9.2 version…I told her that. She told me that no, she was looking at what the hosting control panel said, and that he was running version 2.6…GoDaddy was claiming that this wave of Wordpress hacks was due to clients not upgrading without even bothering to really look at the clients sites. The hosting control panel can only report what was installed via the hosting control panel itself…apparently the entire GoDaddy technical support team is ignorant of this fact…Something, probably a hosting configuration, is allowing GoDaddy customers to have their sites hacked, and it isn’t file permissions, insecure passwords, or out of date software. Not being willing to even look when a developer calls to tell you that they found something is completely unacceptable. My suggestion to all GoDaddy hosting customers: bail now, before something happens to your site…”

15. LimeWire loses RIAA lawsuit http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20004982-261.html “…U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood granted summary judgment in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which filed a copyright lawsuit against LimeWire in 2006…"It is obviously a fairly fatal decision for them,"…With an injunction, the RIAA can force LimeWire to cease file-sharing operations…While Wood's decision won't come close to killing online piracy--there's still BitTorrent and plenty of other ways to share files--she likely has scuttled a peer-to-peer service used by nearly 60 percent of the people who download songs…The other side of the LimeWire ruling is that it could thwart the development of technologies that one day might provide legitimate benefits to media companies…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

16. Data Consumption Surpasses Voice Calling by U.S. Cell Users http://www.fastcompany.com/1647502/cell-phones-data-phone-calls-vanilla-mobile-internet-smartphones-browsing-apps There's a subtle, but potentially hugely important, change happening in cell phone use in the U.S.: For 2009 figures, the amount of digital data sent over cell phone networks surpasses voice traffic for the first time…quoting Dan Hesse--Sprint's CEO--on the matter: "Originally talking was the only cellphone application ... But now it's less than half of the traffic on mobile networks."…the average number of voice minutes per U.S. user has fallen for the last two years, and that the average time taken for local calls was just 1.81 minutes in 2009, versus 2.27 in 2008…I've recently switched to a pay-as-you-go solution for calls, as it's more economic…the minority devices on the grid (the smartphones) are consuming the majority of over the air traffic…when next-gen 4G networks start to take off properly, cell phone use will be almost exclusively about data consumption, and voice calls will remain as a needed but deprecated service…” [http://gigaom.com/2010/05/14/as-data-overtakes-voice-mobile-costs-rise/ “…Bandwidth use of voice and data activities

Activity Bandwidth Throughput/hour MB/hour Voice multiple

Voice 9 kbps 31.64 Mbps 3.96 1

Medium-quality music stream 128 kbps 450 Mbps 56.25 14

Browsing 1024 kbps 3600 Mbps 450 114

Streaming video 2048 kbps 7200 Mbps 900 228

There’s only so much wireless bandwidth to go around and when consumers are partaking in activities that use 228 times more of that bandwidth than a voice call, limited carrier infrastructure simply can’t handle the overall demand…the pricing model isn’t equipped for truly unlimited use. Using…$60 mobile broadband plan that includes 5 GB of data throughput a month, the cost per hour of activity…equate to customers paying for 1.2 cents per megabyte of usage, so that hour of video streaming costs $10.55 an hour…”

17. With a Kindle Hiring Spree, Amazon Gears Up for Battle With Apple http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/with-a-kindle-hiring-spree-amazon-gears-up-for-battle-with-apple/ Since Apple announced its plans for the iPad, Amazon has shared few details about how it would respond to the competition for its Kindle…Lab 126, the division of Amazon responsible for building the Kindle, has been on a hiring binge, with dozens of new job listings on its Web site…Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, even referred to the Kindle while announcing the iPad iBookstore, saying: “Now Amazon’s done a great job of pioneering this functionality with the Kindle. And we’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a bit further.” After the iPad announcement, I debated with my colleague Brad Stone whether the iPad would kill the Kindle. I argued that the Kindle could never compete with the iPad’s user interface or hardware design. Brad said that the Kindle was here to stay, that it was a device “for book lovers, and the iPad is not.”…a few days later, we reported that Amazon had purchased Touchco, a start-up based in New York that specialized in a new touch-screen technology, which signaled that the company was going to stay the course with the Kindle…”

18. Will Verizon's Gooblet Be a Droiblet or a Chroblet? http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Will-Verizons-Gooblet-Be-a-Droiblet-or-a-Chroblet-70002.html When it became clear that the iPad was seriously going to take off, some very important people at some very large companies made a decision: You are going to buy a tablet computer whether you like it or not. It doesn't have to be an iPad. Might be Windows, Android, webOS, or something not even invented yet, but you'll have one…Now that the iPad has some powerful sales numbers behind it, companies that also want in on the tablet frenzy are being a little more revealing about their plans. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam just told The Wall Street Journal that his company is getting ready to offer a tablet, and its partner will be none other than Google…that means it's probably well under way. That got a lot of people thinking we're going to see an Android tablet -- a "droiblet," perhaps. I Googled that a couple days ago, and I think I just invented a word…Chris Hazelton at the 451 Group has a different idea about what this Google tablet could be -- he's thinking Chrome OS. So it might be a "Chroblet" (that's a new one too). Using Chrome OS rather than Android would make a Google tablet behave more like a full-fledged PC…rather than a smartphone OS pumped up to a larger screen. It might also make the tablet compatible with a wider variety of peripherals via USB. These are just two ways that would differentiate a Google tablet, or Gooblet, from an iPad, because imitating success is one thing, but you've also got to make yourself stand out somehow…”

19. Visa announces their case that turns your iPhone into a credit card http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2010/05/17/visa-officially-announces-their-case-that-turns-your-iphone-into-a-credit-card-and-weve-got-pics/ “…two weeks ago, Visa announced that they’d partnered with a company called DeviceFidelity to build the iPhone case of our dreams: one that would allow us to use our iPhone as a credit card at any of the thousands of retailers who support no-swipe payments…however…around an hour after the press release went up, it got pulled. It has returned!...DeviceFidelity managed to stuff a near-field communications chip into a microSD card. Stuff said microSD card into a compatible phone, and bam – your phone can now act as a contactless credit card, with on-device software unlocking the card…The problem: none of the iPhones released thus far have a microSD slot…this new case plugs into the bottom of the iPhone via the dock connector. This connection provides power and an interface for the SD card…plug in the microSD card, download the payment app from the App Store — and bam, you’re buying stuff at PetCo like someone from the future and/or Japan…”

Open Source

20. Blender and Stephen Hawking http://www.blendernation.com/blender-and-stephen-hawking/ “…I directed one of the episodes of the new Discovery Series: Into The Universe with Stephen Hawking – mine was the episode on Time Travel. The series was heavily reliant on CGI, created by British graphics company Red Vision (using Maya, not Blender)…at the time I was teaching myself to use Blender in my spare time and so I started using it to create pre-vis, tests and concept graphics…I found the process incredibly helpful. It allowed me to block out sequences so that we had material we could edit with before any of the “official” CGI came through. It also allowed us to try out ideas without spending money…I were doing this again, I would build the use of Blender into the pipeline from the start. After working on this I went on to produce a history documentary where I did use Blender for the final graphics…You can see a trailer of the series…”

21. Weekend Project: Transition to IPv6 http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/308738-weekend-project-transition-to-ipv6 Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) has certainly served the world well over the past few decades, but that's no reason to cling to it until the bitter end. You can start using its replacement IPv6 on your Linux machines and home network today. If you haven't worked with IPv6 before, you might have only heard one fact about it: that its expand, 128-bit address space is so much larger than IPv4's 32-bit space that it will never need to be expanded again. The curmudgeons may mutter, "never say never" at that claim, but it is true that the last unreserved IPv4 address blocks are predicted to be used up by September of 2011, at which point ISPs and businesses will be forced to start using IPv6 in order to roll out new networks…”

22. Ubuntu flirts with Chrome instead of Firefox http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2010/05/ubuntu_netbook_edition_1010_might_ditch_firefox_for_chrome.html We have word that Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 might not feature Firefox as the browser of choice, and will instead offer Google's Chrome as the default Internet browser. This move will certainly raise eyebrows, considering that Firefox has long been the default web browser for Ubuntu for a long time…”

23. Mozilla CEO leaving to become VC http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-20004744-92.html “…John Lilly…CEO of Mozilla…is moving to Greylock Partners as a venture partner…Lilly became CEO of Mozilla in early 2008, after serving as its COO…Lilly will stay involved at Mozilla and will continue to serve on its board of directors…Mozilla…is best known for its Firefox browser…According to a recent survey, Firefox had a 24.6 percent share, well up from its 11 percent share in 2006…”

24. Free and Open Source 2D Animation Software for Linux http://www.junauza.com/2009/09/free-and-open-source-2d-animation.html After featuring some of the best Free and Open Source 3D animation software, it's time to take a look at some 2D computer graphics program for Linux users who are into creating two-dimensional models. These free 2D animation software is as capable as those that are commercially available so do take time to try them first before emptying your wallet. Here are a few Free and Open Source 2D animation software for Linux that you may like…”

25. An afternoon in Tiny Core http://insidesocal.com/click/2010/05/an-afternoon-in-tiny-core.html After slogging through Firefox in Ubuntu 10.04 for the morning, not the most satisfying experience on my 1.2 GHz Celeron system, I decided to run Tiny Core 2.11 in the afternoon…Compared to a "real" distribution like Ubuntu, Tiny Core has way fewer processes running on its much-more minimalist desktop…Sometimes dependencies are missing in Tiny Core apps…A little bit of geek experience seems to be enough to get by in Tiny Core…I haven't yet figured out my sound issues, meaning how to get Tiny Core's Linux environment to output sound to my USB Headphone Set sound module (given that my internal sound module is dead). I love running the system totally in RAM…One thing I can say about Tiny Core vs. my previous experience with Puppy and Damn Small Linux is that with TC it's a lot easier to build up exactly the system you want. I have more than a few "full-sized" apps in here — Firefox, OpenOffice. But I could be running just a Web browser and nothing more. Sometimes you need a lot of apps, sometimes one - it's nice to have that kind of flexibility without jumping through all sorts of hoops…”

SkyNet

26. Frederick, MD woman would like Google Gigabit http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15081831 A Maryland woman drove 3,156 miles to beg Google to give her city high-speed Internet…The last shareholder question of the afternoon came from Elaine Kessinger, who spent six days driving her 1989 jeep with an "I'm Feeling Lucky" license plate holder from her home in Frederick, Md, to entreat Google to choose her city to receive a free high-speed broadband network. "Everyone in my city thinks I'm crazy," Kessinger told Schmidt, "but please pick us.

27. Google agrees to $700 million kill fee on $750 million offer for AdMob? http://precursorblog.com/content/google-misled-investors-about-admob-antitrust-risk-google-agreed-23-times-normal-deal-kill-fee “…evidence suggests Google blatantly misled public investors about its own assessment of the antitrust risk involved in Google acquiring AdMob…from a Bloomberg/Business Week story: "Google CEO Eric Schmidt was so intent on buying AdMob that two people with knowledge of the deal say he agreed to pay a "kill fee" of around $700 million if the deal failed to close for some reason, such as an antitrust motion from the Justice Dept."…$700m is 93% of the $750m purchase price of AdMob -- an unheard of high deal kill fee. (This was the equivalent of a full payment guarantee for AdMob to not work with Apple, where Eric Schmidt just happened to be a Director until last August when the FTC forced him off.) Normal M&A deal kill fees, are 3% or 4%, not 93%…” [http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15081831 “…consumer advocate John Simpson…asked Schmidt whether Google had agreed to a reported $700 million "kill fee" if Google's $750 million acquisition of the mobile advertising company AdMob is rejected by government antitrust regulators. Schmidt neither confirmed or denied that number, but predicted the deal would be approved by the Federal Trade Commission, which is expected to rule in coming days. "We do not expect to pay any such fee," Schmidt said. "From our perspective, this is a highly competitive market.…”]

28. Nexus One business model didn’t work http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/nexus-one-changes-in-availability.html We launched Nexus One in January with two goals in mind: to introduce a beacon of innovation among Android handsets, and to make it quick and easy for people to buy an Android phone…as with every innovation, some parts worked better than others. While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not…it’s clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from…As we make Nexus One available in more countries we’ll follow the same model we’ve adopted in Europe, where we're working with partners to offer Nexus One to consumers through existing retail channels. We’ll shift to a similar model globally…Once we have increased the availability of Nexus One devices in stores, we'll stop selling handsets via the web store…Innovation requires constant iteration…”

29. Google Voice for students (.edu addresses) http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_voice_now_open_to_all_students.php “…Google Voice - the company's free VoIP telephony and voicemail transcription service - available to all students with a valid .edu email address…Google has gradually opened the service up to more users since its launch in May 2009…get an invite by going to google.com/voice/students. After signing up, you should get an invite within the next 24 hours…If you are not familiar with Google Voice, have a look at this series of videos that explains how to set Google Voice up and use it…”

30. Etacts: Xobni for Gmail http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2010/05/14/newly-seeded-etacts-seeking-holy-grail-of-the-unified-inbox/ “…Etacts Inc., is attempting to unify all these messages into one place, focusing on people who have to stay in touch with contacts for their jobs…Etacts, which completed the Y Combinator incubator program in March, has just closed a $700,000 seed round from prominent angels…Etacts’ Gmail plug-in organizes email, providing recent conversations with a contact and basic information about the sender through sites such as LinkedIn. Etacts also brings in messages from social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter…The twist is that Etacts overlays that information onto phone calls and SMS messages. Users give their AT&T log-in information to Etacts - it only works with AT&T right now - and Etacts pulls data on calls and text messages into people’s so-called unifying inbox…Etacts’ Web site has a dashboard that lists a user’s “most important” 20 or so contacts, measured by how many times and how often they have been in contact. The service also tells you how long it has been since you’ve contacted the person, with a feature to remind you to contact them every week, month, quarter or year. A reminder feature will send you a note if you haven’t received a response to your email, so you can resend your message. This action-oriented approach to email and messages is what differentiates Etacts from other services, said Hahn, one of its backers…With Etacts you can proactively manage and enhance the relationships you have, whether professional or personal…”

31. Google Buys GIPS to Challenge Skype in VOIP http://www.eweek.com/c/a/VOIP-and-Telephony/Google-Buys-GIPS-to-Challenge-Skype-in-VOIP-897883/ Google May 18 agreed to purchase Global IP Solutions (GIPS), which makes software for processing high-definition audio and video over the Web, for $68.2 million…GIPS's technology provides high quality, real-time audio and video over an IP network…VoiceEngine and VideoEngine tackles issues that challenge the integrity of real-time voice and video delivery over IP networks, including jitter, delay, lip synchronization, bandwidth optimization and fault tolerance. GIPs serves more than 800 endpoints, with Google, Yahoo, Nortel, Cisco WebEx and IBM Lotus among its top-tier customers. GIPS' rivals include Skype Cisco's Tandberg and Polycom…Google may have targeted GIPS' assets to build a VOIP platform to compete with Skype. Google late last year purchased Gizmo5…Armed with Google Voice, Gizmo5 and GIPS, Google certainly has the technology firepower to build a comprehensive voice and video communications engine. But Skype has a loyal user base of more than 400 million users…Perhaps Google's designs for these assets are not so grand. Google could simply use its existing assets to create applications for Android…”

32. GM, Google Join Forces to Add OnStar Features to Android Volt App http://green.venturebeat.com/2010/05/18/gm-teams-with-google-to-make-the-chevy-volt-an-android-car/ General Motors…is revealing today that it will integrate Google’s Android operating system into existing OnStar technology in its highly-anticipated plug-in Chevrolet Volt, due out this fall…Android will serve up several new features to the OnStar system: voice recognition generated turn-by-turn directions (delivered directly from Google maps); car location tracking from mobile phones (in case it is lost or stolen); and advanced emergency options…the Volt, which will already offer applications showing drivers how much battery power they have left and allowing them to allowing them to charge their cars remotely (when they’re plugged into a charging station) by simply pushing a button on their phones…it also looks like mobile software companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple will be duking it out to claim a piece of the automotive market. Just as General Motors has chosen Google, Ford has buddied up with Microsoft to give drivers voice-command controls over their GPS and entertainment systems…”

33. Google hiring 300 workers to pinpoint bugs in Google Maps http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2010/05/google_hiring_300_temp_workers_in_kirkland_to_pinpoint_bugs_in_google_maps.html Google is hiring an army of 300 temporary workers in Kirkland as part of a yearlong campaign to improve the accuracy of Google Maps…working with temp staffing agencies to find “computer geeks” familiar with geographic information systems and mapping software…The workers will be part of a one-year initiative to correct mistakes in Google Maps…Accuracy is no more a problem with Google Maps than with competing services, said Jim Friedland…But Friedland said it’s not surprising that Google would seek to improve Google Maps…“This map correction team sounds like Google is again investing in ways to widen the gap…”

General Technology

34. 'Rearm' trick extends Office 2010 free ride to 180 days http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9176804/_Rearm_trick_extends_Office_2010_free_ride_to_180_days Office 2010 can be used for up to 180 days without providing a product activation key, Microsoft confirmed today. Although Microsoft generally touts a 30-day time limit for users to activate their copies of the company's software, including Windows, a little-known command designed for corporate administrators can be used by anyone to "reset" the Office 2010 countdown up to five times…a short command, which is documented on its TechNet support site, resets the activation timer in Office 2010…Microsoft typically allows users to install and run Office or Windows for up to 30 days without requiring a product activation key…by running a file named "ospprearm.exe," users can reset the time-until-activation to 30 days. The file is located in the folder "%installdir%\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform," where ""%installdir%" is "C:" on most machines. The technique, dubbed "rearm" as a nod to the command used in Windows, can be used up to five times…”

35. Microsoft Office 2010 review http://download.cnet.com/Microsoft-Office-2010-RTM/3000-18483_4-11383105.html “…The Microsoft Office 2010 RTM is now available, and though it's not quite ready for prime time (official launch in June) most features are available across the entire suite…you can now customize the Ribbon with any feature you want, so that it has only the commands you need for your specific work…Microsoft says it received mixed reactions to the conversation view and decided to leave it off by default in the latest version, but it's easily accessible from the Ribbon. Another new feature lets you ignore entire threads in Outlook, including future e-mails on a subject, so you can eliminate noise and distractions in your workday. You can have your office voice mails delivered to your in-box, from which you can listen to voice mails and view a rough preview of what was said…PowerPoint now has options for editing video right within the program. You'll be able to trim video so your audience sees only the video content you want them to see. You also can add video effects, fades, and even create video triggers to launch animations during your presentation…Web-based components of the Office suite are still invite-only in the RTM version…Stripped-down Web browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote will become available to all at launch…Our experience with the Web versions has been somewhat less than ideal, with frequent glitches and problems saving documents…New coauthoring in Word, PowerPoint…will make collaboration much easier…Businesses will be required to use Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 or Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services…but private users will be able to access their work using Windows Live or their Facebook log-ins…Word and PowerPoint now have a syncing mechanism to avoid sudden changes while you're working on a project…We wonder how people will react to this specific change, since now the only way to have live coauthoring (without the need to sync up changes) will be through OneNote…One of our favorite improvements to Office 2010 is what Microsoft calls the Backstage view, accessed by clicking on the File tab…You'll find all of the usual document management features, like Open and Save, here as well, but you'll also get a nice layout of templates for new documents, several different ways to share your work…and print settings and page layouts all in one place…once you get used to using the Backstage view for all of your file management, we think you'll find it useful and efficient to have access to everything in one place. Microsoft Office 2010 will be released in June and it appears Microsoft has made extensive usability improvements…Like with any major upgrade, it may take time to get used to the layout of tools and new ways of doing things, but…many of the new features make working on projects across the suite much easier…Microsoft Office 2010 will be a worthy upgrade, but only for people who can justify the rather hefty price tag…”

36. New Inks Could Mean Cheaper OLED Screens http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25337/?a=f Organic light emitting diode, or OLED, displays seem to have it all: energy efficiency and a beautiful, crisp picture that refreshes rapidly. But it's difficult to make them on a large scale, so OLED televisions remain very expensive…DuPont says it can print a 50 inch-television in under two minutes, and testing of the displays shows their performance is reliable--the displays should last 15 years…OLEDs on the market today rely on an expensive, small-scale technique called shadow-mask evaporation to pattern the light-emitting organic molecules that make up the pixels in these displays. LG's 15-inch OLED television, the biggest on the market, is set to come out in the United States this year at a cost of $2,725…One of the most promising alternatives to shadow-mask deposition is printing, which is compatible with manufacturing large screens. But printing is difficult to do reliably…OLED displays are made up of 12 to 15 layers of materials. In each pixel the red, green, and blue light-emitting materials are positioned side by side and sandwiched between materials that bring electrical current in and out of the device and that allow light to leave it…DuPont's process is simple enough to compete on cost with LCDs…”

37. The telepresence robots are coming http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20005219-52.html It looks like a cross between a Segway and Wall-E, but a new "telepresence" robot being unveiled Tuesday is designed to help companies save money on travel and expensive teleconferencing technology…the $15,000 robot from Mountain View, Calif.-based Anybots, is designed for people in remote offices or locations who want a rich communications experience without having to use a complicated video conference system. QB…has both a video camera and a video screen embedded in its "head." It has wheels and can be moved around remotely by computer. It is designed to be able to steer its way clear of obstacles or people…the idea for QB came from new theories about interactions between people and robots…QB, which is slated for a fall release can stand a few feet tall, or be much shorter…using a QB lets a person have a persistent connection with co-workers, customers, or clients by placing the robot at a remote location and directing it to move around, say, a conference room during a meeting, broadcasting what's going on to the human controlling it from afar…”

38. Seagate confirms 3TB drive http://www.thinq.co.uk/news/2010/5/17/exclusive-seagate-confirms-3tb-drive/?full The ancient foundations of the PC’s three-decade legacy has once again reared its DOS-era head, revealing that many of today’s PCs are simply incapable of coping with hard drives that have a larger capacity than 2.1TB. The root of the problem is the original LBA (logical block addressing) standard, which can’t assign addresses to capacities in excess of 2.1TB. Originally set out by Microsoft and IBM as a part of the original DOS standard…the range of addresses is limited to capacities of 2.1TB…Seagate says that its own tests have shown that as little as 990MB of a 3TB drive could be available to you when using XP…There’s also a GUID partition table (GPT) that needs to be implemented,” explains Craig, “for the master boot record.” Current master boot record partitions are limited to 2.1TB, so a new GPT partition table would also need to be used to see beyond this…GPT was originally proposed as a part of Intel’s Extensible Firmware Interface [EFI]; a user-friendly setup system designed to replace the clunky ASCII-based BIOS…we now have a situation where many hard drive controllers, BIOSes, drivers and operating systems are all set with caps of 2.1TB, and this is going to take an industry-wide overhaul to overturn…I think about 80 percent of the infrastructure’s ready to support it…Seagate says that it’s planning to launch its first enterprise-level drives with more than 2.1GB of storage space at the end of this year.”

39. Researchers use modified inkjet printer to "print" new skin for burn victims http://www.walb.com/Global/story.asp?S=12491831 “…Researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine are working on…a new technology that can generate an exact copy of what the burn patient is missing…The concept is one where you use your typical desktop inkjet printer, but instead of using ink in the cartridge you use cells, you use a printer to keep printing the tissue one layer at a time," Dr. Anthony Atala…Dr. Atala and his team can position their device anywhere a burn patient needs new skin and bio-print the wound with new skin cells…"Wounds repaired using bioprinting healed three weeks faster," Binder said…By having technology such as these with the printing you're able to deliver quickly and efficiently skin to patients who need them," Dr. Atala said. Bioprinting is highly experimental -- and has only been tested in mice…”

Leisure & Entertainment

40. 10 Great Games On Google's Android http://www.stageselect.com/N4940-10-great-games-on-googles-android-.aspx “…an updated list of 10 games for the Google Android…some games, like Doom, are harder to find now than they were…The Android operating system has a ton of great games. Even better - it has several great FREE games. While Android hasn't yet attracted the attention of companies like Electronic Arts or Ubisoft, several game creators have released some incredible stuff for the Android platform. Today, let's have a look at some of the best FREE games on Google's Android platform…Raging Thunder Lite…Chapter 1 by Bendroid…SpeedForge 3D…”

41. AMD and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to Offer Game Technology Program http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-and-boys-girls-clubs-of-america-to-offer-game-technology-program-to-hundreds-of-youth-club-members-2010-05-17?reflink=MW_news_stmp “…the AMD Foundation has awarded a $115,000 grant to BGCA to implement Club Tech: Game Tech, a digital game development program, in four new Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. AMD also will provide $60,000 to install four technology centers in these same Clubs…AMD's signature education initiative, AMD Changing the Game…encourages teens to learn critical STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and become more globally conscious citizens by developing digital games with social content. By the end of 2012, AMD and the BGCA plan to implement the Club Tech: Game Tech program at 14 Clubs, located primarily in AMD site communities in the United States…Through BGCA's Club Tech initiative, and the Game Tech program in particular, the organization provides Club members the opportunity to experience the digital arts and enhance their technology skills in order to develop creative and marketable workforce skills…"Technology programming offers a unique opportunity to extend learning and encourages youth to be actively engaged in determining their successful futures. There are clear indications this occurred during our Game Tech pilots," said Judith J. Pickens, BGCA's senior vice president, Program & Youth Development Services. "It was only natural to seek to expand this gaming program to new Clubs, and we're grateful to AMD for helping us broaden this activity to reach more youth across the nation…”

42. Orchestrion http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20100517_In_his_Orchestrion__Pat_Metheny_has_40_instruments_at_his_fingertips.html#axzz0oDaeyo5a “…When master jazz guitarist/composer Pat Metheny takes to the crowded-with-equipment stage of the Keswick tomorrow night, he'll be steering his big-sounding show all alone, with the wave of hands over guitar strings and knobs, and the triggering of foot pedals. All to kick-start his MIDI-computers and bring to life an "Orchestrion" of 40 mechanically controlled instruments - hammered-on keyboards, vibraphones, bass- and guitarbots, tons of percussion and even a cabinet full of glass bottles blown with compressed air "for added warmth." This will accompany Metheny's very alive guitar work…"There's never been a concert like this," marveled the musician in a recent, late-night conversation. "It's really fun to watch and experience…"People don't really sense what's going on until they actually witness the Orchestrion show," Metheny noted. Even then, the seeing is almost disbelieving - watching, say, the subtle "swing" of robotically armed brushes on cymbals, or the dynamically varied attack of trigger fingers on a keyboard, made possible by the latest refinements in solenoid motor technology…To help grasp the obvious, LED lights pulse as the mechanisms play…”

43. Shazam shares big numbers: 75 million users http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/05/18/shazam-shares-big-numbers-75-million-users-over-1-billion-songs-identified/ Mobile music recognition and discovery startup Shazam this afternoon revealed that it has grown its user base from 50 million to 75 million members in the last six months…the company also says it has identified more than one billion songs to date. Shazam has now become a global phenomenon with a footprint in over 200 countries across six continents…the London-based company, which was founded way back in 2002, enables consumers to experience and share music with others across mobile devices and the Internet. Its service enables users to identify what song is playing, preview 30 second clips, buy the track, find local and international tour dates for the tagged artist and purchase tickets to the gigs. It also offers tight integration with social networking services, so people can share and recommend music. Shazam supports most of today’s platforms: Android, BlackBerry, BREW, iPhone, iPad, J2ME, Symbian and Windows Phone…”

44. MEMS Motion Sensing Meets Hollywood http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mems-motion-sensing-meets-hollywood-makers-of-iron-man-2-and-alice-in-wonderland-incorporate-technology-from-analog-devices-and-xsens-to-enhance-motion-picture-special-effects-2010-05-17 “…real-time motion capture technology…is being used for character animation in major motion pictures, including…box office hit "Iron Man 2." Incorporated in a lightweight body suit used to record physical movement, the technology is enabling real-time, interactive special effects environments and breakthrough workflows that are transforming the way filmmakers and production teams plan and create movies. Leading video game developers also have adopted the motion capture technology for use in computer-generated character development…The lightweight, lycra MVN suit is equipped with 17 motion trackers containing more than 80 high-performance ADI iMEMS(R) motion sensors and 17 ADI Blackfin(R) DSPs (digital signal processors)…The suit is enabling film production and pre-visualization(1) companies to bring their creative ideas to the big screen…by providing an easy-to use, cost-efficient system for full-body human motion capture. Unlike previous CGI (computer-generated imagery) techniques, the Xsens MVN suit…requires no external cameras, emitters, markers or special lighting. The wireless suit is also easily used in outdoor locations that require extensive freedom of movement -- from climbing and jumping to complex fight scenes…"We are seeing the next wave of adoption driven by the heightened awareness of MEMS motion sensor capabilities," said Mark Martin, vice president, MEMS and Sensor Group, Analog Devices. "The first wave was driven by auto safety systems in the 1990s; the second wave by consumer products in the 2000s…”

Economy and Technology

45. Groupon grabs German clone CityDeal to create European beachhead http://social.venturebeat.com/2010/05/16/groupon-citydeal/ Social buying site Groupon has acquired its biggest would-be competitor in Europe, CityDeal. The deal gives the fast-growing group deal service a presence across the pond, bringing the company’s total reach to 18 countries and 140 cities…Chicago-based Groupon also recently acquired San Francisco-based Mob.ly to gain itself a Silicon Valley presence. “Social” or “collective” buying is when a site such as Groupon is able to draw large numbers of consumers together to buy the same product so that they can get special pricing on that product. Several variations of the model exist, but overall, social shopping seems to be thriving…”

46. Yahoo's massive new headquarters http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yahoos-massive-new-headquarters-approved-2010-05-12 Yahoo Inc. won approval Tuesday night from local officials to build a massive, 3 million-square-foot office campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, an ambitious project envisioned in the midst of the company's ongoing turnaround effort…the proposed campus could accommodate some 12,000 employees, a significant portion of Yahoo's worldwide total of roughly 13,900 as of the end of December. Yahoo acquired the properties for the proposed Santa Clara campus as part of a $112 million purchase in 2006…"Yahoo wanted to locate in an area of high corporate visibility," as it consolidates facilities and employees…”

47. Samsung Plans Record Investments to Widen Lead in Chips, LCDs http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-17/samsung-plans-record-investments-to-widen-lead-in-chips-lcds.html Samsung Electronics Co. plans to outspend Intel Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and Sony Corp. combined to widen its lead as the world’s largest maker of memory chips and flat-panel displays. Capital expenditure will jump to 18 trillion won ($15.6 billion) this year from 8 trillion won in 2009, Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics said…Including research and development, spending will increase to 26 trillion won…The computer-memory chip industry posted net losses for 10 consecutive quarters before returning to a profit last year…Samsung had a 32.3 percent share of the global dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, market in the first quarter, compared with second-ranked Hynix’s 21.5 percent, according to Dramexchange Technology Inc., operator of Asia’s biggest spot market for semiconductors. Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc. had a 17.4 percent share, while Micron had 14.1 percent…”

48. Secretive speed traders in spotlight after crash http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grrw9sO-Qa9sG674656vk1cV1SWwD9FNCOUG0 “…More than a week after the Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 1,000 points, its biggest intraday drop ever, regulators are still sifting through buy and sell orders to figure out what sparked it. One big focus are orders placed by high-frequency traders, or HFTs…These quick-buck firms barely existed a few years ago but now account for two-thirds of all U.S. stock trading…all those TV pictures of the stately New York Stock Exchange building on the evening news are an illusion. The real action on Wall Street is far away in Kansas City, Mo., and in New Jersey, in towns like Carteret and Red Bank, where HFTs named Tradebot and Wolverine and Tradeworx ply their trade. High-frequency trading firms…use computers programmed with complex mathematical formulas to comb markets for securities priced too high or too low because traders haven't had to time to react to the latest data. The computers then buy or sell in a split second, locking in a profit…HFTs are constantly hunting for faster computers. They also locate themselves close to the big exchanges' data centers. That can cut their trade times by milliseconds…If Microsoft shares rise 5 percent but an index fund that includes it such as the SPDR S&P 500 lags by a fraction of second to adjust, his computers will automatically buy shares of SPDR S&P 500 at the lower price and then sell them again when they are fully valued…maybe Microsoft is trading in London at a penny less than it's trading at the same moment in New York. A high-frequency trader will buy shares in London and wait for them to rise…Narang boasts it takes only 15 millionth of a second for his computers to place a buy or sell order after detecting an opportunity…For decades an order to buy or sell a security went to a person in a trader's jacket standing on the floor of an exchange, often at the NYSE in Lower Manhattan…This system came under attack in the early 1980s from Nasdaq, a rival marketplace for stocks, which began using computers to make trades. The pitch was it could match buyers and sellers faster than humans, and for less money…One theory about the drop is that, unlike the NYSE, the new exchanges and trading networks catering to HFTs didn't apply any "circuit breakers." These are designed to halt trading momentarily during a freefall…In others words, without circuit breakers the computers went crazy. Another theory holds that it wasn't quick-fire trading by HFTs that made things worse but a lack of it. Some reportedly pulled back when stocks started dropping, removing liquidity when it was needed the most…”

Civilian Aerospace

49. Help explore and map the moon http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=your-chance-to-be-a-lunar-scientist-2010-05 Scientists are appealing to space fans to help identify features on the Moon - and even to discover the wreckage of long-lost spacecraft. A new web project called Moon Zoo asks them to check out photos of the lunar surface…They can then contribute to a count of craters across as much of the Moon as possible…images…showed the lunar landscape in remarkable detail, including features as small as 50cm (a foot and a half) across. Volunteers…pick out the larger craters in any one image and mark their size and anything unusual about them, such a boulders around the rim which can indicate the depth of the lunar soil, or regolith. They will also pick out other odd features including evidence of recent impacts and even debris from probes that crashed in the early years of the space age. Scientists from several UK universities and the USA are helping run Moon Zoo which is the latest "citizen science" challenge set up as part of the Zooniverse project led by Oxford scientist and co-presenter of the BBC's The Sky at Night Chris Lintot…” [http://www.moonzoo.org/how_to_take_part]

50. Teen Rocket Scientists Go For Launch in Huge Contest http://www.space.com/news/aspiring-rocket-scientists-competition-100514.html “…middle and high school students in Virginia will launch their own self-made rockets Saturday in a nation-wide competition – the largest such contest in the world. The final round of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) will be held May 15 at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va…The top 100 teams that will compete in this final round include squads from 30 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all qualifying from a pool of 669 teams and thousands of students…The contest was designed to spark student interest and enthusiasm in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in hopes of attracting young people into careers in the aerospace industry…"AIA represents all the major aerospace companies, and the average age of our workforce is over 50 and will soon be eligible to retire," Koehler told SPACE.com. "We're interested in getting students to study math and science and to consider aerospace. TARC is a way for us to do that."…prizes will also await teams with the best performances, including $60,000 in cash and scholarships that will be split between the top 10 finishers. NASA also invites top teams to participate in their Student Launch Initiative, which is an advanced rocketry program. AIA member companies, such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have also sponsored prizes, which include scholarship money and a trip to an international air show” [http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100515005026&newsLang=en “…The first and second place teams belong to the same rocket club, Penn Manor Rocket Club, and were mentored by Brian Osmolinski. Osmolinski, a physics teacher and director of the rocket club, helped mentor four teams to the national finals…”]

51. Space Propulsion Congress http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-05/ef-spc051410.php “…The 2010 Space Propulsion Congress brought together some 500 international experts in aerospace propulsion systems in the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastián…The 2010 Space Propulsion Congress was a meeting place for promoting national and international relations amongst members of the scientific community involved in space propulsion. One of the main objectives of the meeting was precisely to encourage and boost working together between the various enterprises…a number of flight experiments using electrically-driven motors for operation in space were presented, as well as missions such as the GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer) satellite from ESA and developments in HET (Hall Effect Thruster) type motors. Planetary exploration missions; space shuttles; chemical, solid and electrical systems for propulsion; and green propellants were also a focus of debate in the technical sessions…”

52. Dallas Rocketeers at Armadillo Aerospace Compete In The Race To Privatize The Final Frontier http://www.dallasobserver.com/2010-05-13/news/with-nasa-s-future-uncertain-a-team-of-dallas-rocketeers-competes-in-the-race-to-privatize-the-final-frontier/ “…On this rainy mid-September day in 2009, the men of Armadillo Aerospace, a private spaceflight company, have just completed the highest level of the X Prize Foundation's Lunar Lander Challenge, putting them in line for a million-dollar prize from NASA. So what if the moon rocks are fake? The thrill is real and so is the rocket they've built, a 10-foot monster named Scorpius that runs on liquid oxygen and ethanol in two stacked round tanks, balanced on four legs and topped by a box of electronics. Hours earlier, Scorpius had taken off from a launch pad in a field, landed on a simulated moonscape, refueled and flown back…The lunar challenge had kept the best of the country's spaceflight startups occupied for years, and now with this successful launch 40 miles east of Dallas, Armadillo has become the first to complete its second and final level…Nobody else had even made it to level one. The team's president, John Carmack, strolls out in a…typical Armadillo uniform: white team T-shirt, khaki cargo shorts and one hand around a Diet Coke, looking and sounding every bit the video game guru he is, the visionary behind games such as Doom and Quake…Three weeks later, the X Prize judges made the controversial choice to give Masten Space Systems an extra day to fly to the simulated moon and back, because its Xombie rocket had been damaged by fire on the first day and needed more time for repairs. Not only did they complete the flight, but their landings were 68 centimeters more accurate than Armadillo's. Carmack's group took home the $500,000 second prize. Armadillo co-founder Phil Eaton takes a…circumspect approach. "We have a goal to build an industry, and obviously that requires more than one company," he says…”

53. Chaotic space traffic needs rules, less secrecy: US general http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100513/pl_afp/usspacemilitaryindustry A top US general on Thursday called for international rules to control chaotic space traffic, warning satellites are increasingly at risk of collision. General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was no longer possible for the United States and other countries to keep vast numbers of orbiting satellites a secret. "We're going to have get to some level of regulation. Nobody wants to do that,"…he is daily faced with the question: "How many people are going to run into each other in space today if we don't cajole, plead with somebody to move out of the way in the next orbit cycle?...A collision last year between a Russian and US satellite underscored concerns over a lack of traffic controls in space and the growing amount of space debris…there are still no globally agreed rules for orbital tracks, as there are for flight paths for aircraft…he said the number of satellites was growing and there had to be a "shared understanding" among countries so "we can do business in a safe way out there." Cartwright…is taking part in the drafting of a new US military space strategy review…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

54. OSC Serves New Research Groups with Launch of 'Csuri' Advanced GPU Environment http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/OSC-Serves-New-Research-Groups-with-Launch-of-Csuri-Advanced-GPU-Environment-93593979.html “…OSC recently completed deployment of the "Csuri" Advanced GPU environment, increasing the Center's capabilities for advanced large-scale remote visualization and batch-rendering applications, as well as GPGPU applications…The high performance computing (HPC) community is aggressively exploring general-purpose GPU (GPGPU) computing by using them as "many-core processors" to solve scientific problems. Modern, commercially-available central processing units (CPUs) are multicore processors with 2, 4 or 8 independent processors on a single chip. Many-core processors, on the other hand, have hundreds or thousands of processors that are more tightly connected. "For the right kind of problems, GPGPU computing can provide revolutionary performance advantages," said David Hudak, Ph.D., program director of cyberinfrastructure and software development at OSC. "The Csuri platform is designed to support the development of both GPGPU and advanced visualization solutions…”

55. Air Force may suffer collateral damage from PS3 firmware update http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/05/how-removing-ps3-linux-hurts-the-air-force.ars When Sony issued a recent PlayStation 3 update removing the device's ability to install alternate operating systems like Linux, it did so to protect copyrighted content—but several research projects suffered collateral damage. The Air Force is one example. The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York picked up 336 PS3 systems in 2009 and built itself a 53 teraFLOP processing cluster. Once completed as a proof of concept, Air Force researchers then scaled up by a factor of six and went in search of 2,200 more consoles (later scaled back to 1,700). The $663,000 contract was awarded on January 6, 2010, to a small company called Fixstars that could provide 1,700 160GB PS3 systems to the government…building the entire cluster out of Xeons would cost "more than an order of magnitude greater than the PS3 technology." The team also looked into advanced GPGPUs but found that they worked best to "accelerate a subset of our algorithms, particularly the frontend processing and backend visualization, but lag the PS3 in the bulk of the calculations where processes need to intercommunicate and share memory beyond what is supported efficiently by the GPGPUs." The result was the 500 TeraFLOPS Heterogeneous Cluster powered by PS3s but connected to subcluster heads of dual-quad Xeons with multiple GPGPUs. The Air Force team ordered the hardware, spent days unboxing it and imaging each unit to run Linux, and then... Sony removed the Linux install option a couple months later. (One can only imagine what happened to those 2,000 PS3 controllers and other unneeded accessories…”

56. CHiL Announces New Voltage Regulator Controller Families for Graphics Processors http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/CHiL-Announces-New-Voltage-Regulator-Controller-Families-for-Graphics-Processors-93428319.html CHiL…Performance and Enthusiast GPU voltage regulator (VR) families…provide the highest performance, efficiency and density in the performance graphics card markets…Many innovative graphics card leaders from both the NVidia and ATI camps have proceeded with higher performance overclocking designs using our full product family. Taking advantage of CHiL's exceptional voltage regulation in critical overclocking situations has enabled some very aggressive designs…”

57. Microsoft launches new technical computing push http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20005162-56.html Microsoft…said a new team will focus on a number of key technical computing challenges such as shifting high-end computing to the cloud, making it easier to write parallel code and developing the new tools and software needed for data-intensive modeling tasks. The effort, which has been quietly coming together over the past 18 months, includes a team of about 500 dedicated staff along with several hundred more from other product teams at the company…key challenges…shifting the way software is written so that tasks can be carried out in parallel by multiple PCs, servers and processor cores simultaneously. "Today, computers are shipping with more processing power than ever, including multiple cores, but most modern software only uses a small amount of the available processing power," Muglia said. "Parallel programs are extremely difficult to write, test and trouble shoot…”


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