2010/06/01

NEW NET Issues List for 01 Jun 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 01 June 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: plasmaron, quasiparticle

(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. Google Ranks ‘Facebook’ As The Most Visited Website On The Web http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Web-Services-Web-20-and-SOA/Facebook-Crushing-All-Comers-With-540M-Unique-Visitors-Google-Says-637535/ “…Facebook.com is the leading Website in the world with 540 million unique users, reaching 35.2 percent of the total Internet population through April. The social network racked up 570 billion page views, according to Google's new DoubleClick Ad Planner 1000 list. Yahoo.com, which boasts 600 million users, was not far behind Facebook with 490 million unique visitors, good for a 31.8 percent reach…Google's new DoubleClick Ad Planner 1000 list…tracks the top 1,000 global Websites ranked by unique users and includes stats on each site…Google, angling for impartiality, did not include any of its properties in the study…Microsoft, the company notorious for losing billions with its online services business, actually grabs more traffic combined than any Website in the world…Microsoft's Live.com grabbed 370 million unique…Wikipedia.com was next with 310 million uniques…”

2. California close to being the first state to legalize online poker http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech/Can-Online-Gambling-Save-California-95117609.html “…You thought marijuana was a cash crop? Well, here comes online gambling to shake things up…Supporters of Internet gambling claim it could bring in as much as $42 billion across the country…If this kind of action becomes legal, look for Silicon Valley to get a boost, too. Software companies like the Bay Area's own CyberArts are watching the politicians closely…Despite the obvious and oft-heard arguments against online gambling (addictive, time-wasting, gateway to the real thing)…it is generally easier to pass something like this in a recession…”

3. The Doctor Will See You Now. Please Log On. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/business/30telemed.html “…Charlie Martin felt a sharp pain in his lower back. But he couldn’t jump into his car and rush to the doctor’s office…Mr. Martin…was working on an oil rig in the South China Sea…He could, though, get in touch with a doctor thousands of miles away…Using an electronic stethoscope that a paramedic on the rig held in place…an emergency medicine physician in Houston, listened to Mr. Martin’s heart. “The extreme pain strongly suggested a kidney stone…A urinalysis on the rig confirmed the diagnosis, and Mr. Martin flew to his home in Mississippi for treatment. Mr. Martin, 32, is now back at work on the same rig…NuPhysicia, a start-up company they spun out from the University of Texas…specializes in face-to-face telemedicine, connecting doctors and patients by two-way video. Spurred by health care trends and technological advances, telemedicine is growing into a mainstream industry…”

4. Anatomy of a Wiki-hoax http://ken-jennings.com/blog/?p=1889 “…I introduced you to the Wikipedia article (now yanked) on Orange Julius namesake Julius Freed, which is full of all kinds of crazy trivia, like the fact that he invented a shower stall for pigeons. I was mostly interested in the article because (a) it had sat unchanged on Wikipedia for five years, and (b) it all seemed transparently phony to the trained eye…Dairy Queen, which now owns Orange Julius, inadvertently used the hoax material as the basis for a 2007 ad campaign…Joe Cassara, the operations manager at a Miami public radio station…outed himself to me as the hoaxer via email…he decided to hoax Wikipedia with a very specific purpose in mind: to demonstrate to broadcast colleagues that the site wasn’t completely reliable…Cassara did convincingly demonstrate how easy it is to create false information out of the wholecloth, keep it on Wikipedia for five years, and have the fake stuff officially endorsed by the entry’s corporate subject! How many hundreds (thousands?) of other articles like this are sitting out in the Wiki-ether right now…”

5. Experiments in delinkification http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2010/05/experiments_in.php “…Steve Gillmor, the long-time technology writer and blogger, went on a crusade against the hyperlink. He stopped putting links into his posts and other online writings…the whole effort struck me as quixotic and silly…My view has changed…Links are wonderful conveniences…But they're also distractions. Sometimes, they're big distractions - we click on a link, then another, then another, and pretty soon we've forgotten what we'd started out to do or to read. Other times, they're tiny distractions, little textual gnats buzzing around your head. Even if you don't click on a link, your eyes notice it, and your frontal cortex has to fire up a bunch of neurons to decide whether to click or not. You may not notice the little extra cognitive load placed on your brain, but it's there and it matters. People who read hypertext comprehend and learn less, studies show, than those who read the same material in printed form. The more links in a piece of writing, the bigger the hit on comprehension…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/links_in_text.php ]

6. When Patients Meet Online, Are There Side Effects? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/business/30stream.html?partner=rss&emc=rss “…Could we cure diseases faster, or at least better control them, through crowd-sourcing? That is the premise behind social networking sites like CureTogether.com and PatientsLikeMe.com, which offer online communities for patients and collect members’ health data for research purposes…When patients share real-world data, collaboration on a global scale becomes possible,” the site says. “New treatments become possible.”…in a world where serious side effects often emerge only years after a new medication enters the market, such real-time information from real-world patients may also provide an early warning signal for drug safety problems…”

7. The FCC Wants to Know if Your ISP is Honest http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_fcc_wants_to_know_if_your_isp_is_honest.php According to a new survey commissioned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 80% of Internet users in the U.S. don't know the advertised speed of their home Internet connections (PDF). A quarter of respondents thought that they were always getting the advertised speed their ISPs promised them, even though they did now know what speeds to expect. In order to get reliable statistics about the actual speeds that consumers are getting from the ISPs, the FCC announced a new initiative today that will place broadband speed measurement devices in the homes of 10,000 volunteers. If you would like to be one of these volunteers (and you live in the U.S.), you can sign up here…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Senators call for end to anonymous, prepaid cell phones http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/05/senators-call-for-end-of-anonymous-prepaid-cell-phones.ars “…the FBI revealed that the suspected Times Square bomber had used an anonymous prepaid cell phone to purchase the Nissan Pathfinder and M-88 fireworks used in the bomb attempt…Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-TX) joined forces and announced a new bill that would require an ID at the point of sale…to help police thwart "terrorists, drug lords and gang members,"…[prepaid cell phones] were even used by hedge fund managers and Wall Street executives implicated in the largest insider trading bust in US history…We caught a break in catching the Times Square terrorist, but usually a prepaid cell phone is a dead end for law enforcement…”

9. New research reveals troubling security issues for iPhones http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/05/new-research-reveals-troubling-security-issues-for-iphones.ars “…sensitive corporate data may exist on any given employee's mobile device…all someone needs to get at that data is the latest version of Ubuntu…iPhone data forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski demonstrated last year that common hacking tools could remove the data protection features that Apple added with iPhone OS 3.x and the iPhone 3GS…even the remote wipe feature can be thwarted by removing a device's SIM card…standard hacking or jailbreaking tools aren't even needed to get at the data. The latest version of Ubuntu (10.04) will auto mount the flash storage in an iPhone, allowing access to all of the information contained within. Files can be accessed even if a pin code is set…”

10. "Hurt Locker" producer files suit against 5000 alleged pirates http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20006314-261.html “…Voltage Pictures, an independent production company, filed a copyright complaint on Monday against 5,000 John Does in federal court…next on the company's to-do list is to learn the names of the John and Jane Does from their Internet service providers…unless the court stops the people who pirate "The Hurt Locker," then Voltage will suffer "great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money."…the movie's producers did not ask for a specific figure but want those found to have pilfered the movie to pay actual or statutory damages and cover the costs that went into filing the suits…here we go again…”

11. Forensic audio analysis tool passively monitoring London for five years http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/06/01/science-brits-concoct-forensic-audio-analysis-tool-that-relies-on-power-lines/ “…it’s probably good to know about…in case you make a lot of clandestine audio recordings. British scientists have determined a way to authenticate audio recordings (or prove they’ve been tampered with), by matching infinitesimal variations in the sound that correspond to variations in the power grid…The technology, called electrical network frequency analysis (ENF) was made possible largely by the move to digital recording in video and audio devices…Digital recordings and their accurate timestamps allowed researchers to reliably detect in a given recording the tiny, tiny background noise created by the electrical grid; this pattern is then compared to a central pattern database, at which patterns from all over London are recorded and stored…they’ve been making recordings of the grid patterns every one and a half seconds for the last five years. I mean, it’s not like they were covertly installing microphones in everyone’s bedrooms or anything, but it’s a little creepy…”

12. Students Team Up with Industry for 'Intelligence Surveillance' Projects http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Students-Team-Up-with-Industry-for-Intelligence-Surveillance-Projects-94945004.html A team of Purdue University students has applied modeling and simulation tools normally used in military surveillance to develop a system that would use drones for detecting arson fires and tracking perpetrators in national forests…The projects focus on "intelligence surveillance reconnaissance," known as ISR, involving the coordination of various components such as drone aircraft, ground vehicles, insurgents, arsonists, military personnel and other elements…"You need to know what's out there, who's out there, and keep track of everything using unmanned aerial vehicles and other assets…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. Fring now taps your Android phone's front-facing camera for video chat http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/05/27/fring-video-calls-chat-android-app/ “…Fring…a single app to chat with your friends on multiple IM networks, and make voice calls…just released a new update for Android phones which enables video calling…Fring's blog post does state that you can use the app with single-camera phones -- you're just limited to half-duplex chats with copious phone-flipping involved…”

14. Anonymous Mobile Social Network Gets Venture Backing http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/blockchalk_lbs_funding.php BlockChalk, the anonymous location-based social networking service…is now a venture-backed startup…The company, which focuses on giving neighborhoods a forum to share information, plans to use its new funding to hire more engineers and expand its service aggressively…it allows users to post on local message boards without having to sign up for the service or reveal their location. Instead, discussions on BlockChalk are completely anonymous…The anonymity that is at the core of BlockChalk's feature set leaves the service open to abuse…it will be interesting to see if the service will stick to this approach or if BlockChalk will move to a more traditional model…BlockChalk wants to "help people connect with their neighbors and mobilize their local communities…”

15. Dell details Streak tablet http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/05/25/dell-details-mini-5-tablet-includes-google-voice/ “…Dell Streak…isn't being branded as a 'Smartphone' and may not be sold with voice options, even though it contains 3G hardware for data…The Dell Streak hits the sweet spot between traditional smartphones and larger-screen tablets," said Ron Garriques, president, Dell Communication Solutions Group…If we assume that O2 and whatever US carrier (probably AT&T) carry this device will only charge for data which, using the iPad as a precedent, would be about $30/month. But this device is small enough to fit in pockets and small purses so it can be used as a phone. Even if you have to buy a laptop data plan, it is still less expensive than a smartphone data+voice plan…Google's Voice product (which you can hear Dell endorsing below) will soon integrate Gizmo5 VoIP solutions to become a full featured VoIP phone. With optional 3G data plans from carriers, this becomes a full featured…smartphone…Skype doesn't make their application for Android, but other apps like Fring can be used to make Skype or SIP calls on Android devices. The Streak also has a front-facing camera which could be used to video chat as well. Google has been busy buying up companies that optimize voice and video over IP…Integrated Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation, street and satellite views…full screen browsing experience with a 5-inch capacitive multi-touch WVGA display…High resolution 5 MP camera, VGA front facing camera, removable battery, built-in Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth connectivity options…”

16. Eye Tracking for Mobile Control http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25369/?a=f It's hard sending a text message with arms full of groceries or while wearing winter gloves. Voice control is one alternative to using your fingers, but researchers are also working on other hands-free ways to control mobile devices…EyePhone, developed at Dartmouth College, tracks a person’s eye relative to a phone’s screen, letting users activate applications by blinking…During a learning phase, the system is trained to identify a person's eye at varying distances and under different lighting. A user must calibrate the system by taking a picture of the left or right eye both indoors and outdoors…A user must move the phone slightly so the icon is directly in front of her eye and then select an application by blinking…The phone app divides the camera frame into nine regions and looks for the eye in one of these regions…”

Open Source

17. Dependency-based & Event-based init daemons http://www.netsplit.com/2010/05/27/dependency-based-event-based-init-daemons-and-launchd/ “…I’ve noticed some increased confusion around…what it means to be an event-based init daemon…Before Upstart came along, the state of the art of init daemon replacements were the dependency-based init daemons. The two most well-known at the time was the Service Management Facility (SMF) of Solaris, and initng on Linux…easiest way to understand how a dependency-based init daemon works is to look at another dependency-based system you’re probably more familiar with…When you want to install a package, for example the Apache Web Server, you tell the package manager to do that. The Apache package will list additional dependencies that it requires to be installed, and those in turn will list additional dependencies, and so on. The package manager will walk this dependency tree, eliminating those that you already have installed, and it will then flatten the remaining tree to get an order in which those remaining can be safely installed…you say that you want Apache installed, but you may get more than that installed to ensure that Apache works. A dependency-based init daemon works in fundamentally the same way…Booting a system with a dependency-based init daemon, however, is a little strange. They need to know the target set of services that must be running, otherwise they would start nothing. SMF simply started all services that were not in manual start mode, initng had the concept of goal services whose dependencies were those that should be running — and used these to define the runlevels…An event-based init daemon isn’t really a great leap from a dependency-based init daemon, it simply does everything backwards. A simplistic view says that instead of starting Apache’s dependencies because Apache is started, it starts Apache because its dependencies are now running. But it’s much more interesting than that, and much more flexible…A better description might be that services are started and stopped due to external influences on them. Those external influences can be anything, for example: hardware coming and going; changes in the time; and not least, other services…you can implement a dependency-based system with an event-based init daemon…”

18. The Courage to Screw Up: Why DIY Is Good for You http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-frauenfelder/home-diy-the-courage-to-s_b_589371.html “…They're as varied as the things they make: kites with cameras, homebrew biodiesel, treehouses with ziplines, cigar box guitars, remote-control lawnmowers, automatic cat-feeders, high-altitude water rockets, robotic blimps, worm composting systems, stylish plywood furniture, pinhole cameras, experimental surfboards, solar water heaters, portable drive-in movie projectors -- there's no limit to their aspirations. And while no two DIYers are alike, in general they're an upbeat and friendly group that shares a special trait: the courage to screw up. Being able to accept, even embrace, your mistakes is far from easy. In school, we learn that mistakes translate into bad grades. This unfortunate lesson gets burned into our brains…DIYers not only accept the inevitability of mistakes, they welcome them, because they know that mistakes are a source of inspiration and the most effective way to learn…I've spent time with my favorite "Alpha makers" to learn how they do what they do…I've begun raising chickens (in a coop I built myself), keeping bees (lured out of the attic of my new house and into a full-scale hive), and growing vegetables (where my lawn used to be). I've hacked my espresso maker for the perfect brew, built musical instruments for impromptu home concerts…Along the way, I've made an astronomical number of blunders. But the broken tools, barked knuckles, wasted materials, and countless trips to the hardware store have been a small price to pay for the fun and fulfillment my family and I have experienced. From my own DIY experiences and from researching the lives of other DIYers, I've discovered five benefits you gain from having the courage to screw up…”

19. Google declares Chrome stable for Mac, Linux http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-20005923-12.html “…a year after releasing the first rough developer's build of its Chrome browser for the Mac, Google announced stable versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux, and upgraded the stable release of the browser to version 5. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Chrome v5.0.375.55 includes support for extensions and themes, improved bookmark management and synchronization, browser preferences syncing, and the most recent stable updates to Chrome's…JavaScript engine, V8…”

SkyNet

20. Google Says It Generates $54 Billion for U.S. Economy http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-25/google-says-it-generates-54-billion-for-u-s-economy-update2-.html Google…generated $54 billion in U.S. economic activity in 2009 as businesses turned to online advertising amid the economic slowdown. The Internet company helped generate revenue for advertisers, website publishers and nonprofit organizations…it broke down its economic impact in all 50 U.S. states, with California getting the biggest benefit at $14.1 billion…Google, which reported $23.7 billion in revenue last year, is looking for more customers amid competition from rivals such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. The Internet’s share of overall advertising spending is forecast to rise to 17 percent in 2012 from 13 percent last year…”

21. YouTube Integrates Google Moderator http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/27/youtube-integrates-google-moderator/ “…there hasn’t been a particularly good way for YouTube video uploaders to ask their subscribers for opinions. Today, YouTube is launching a new feature that allows channel owners to poll their audience in a more structured manner: it has embedded a customized version of Google moderator, a tool that launched back in fall 2008. The tool allows your subscribers to vote responses up and down, and has been tweaked to allow for both text and video responses…The feature is pretty straightforward: you enter your question/topic, decide whether you want to allow both text and video responses, and decide how long the poll will run…a perfect feature for YouTube. Many of the site’s millions of users do actually have something interesting to say, but their voices can be lost among the myriad spammy (or just plain stupid) comments left by other users. This gives channel owners an easy way to engage with their audience, without having to sift through the cruft to find the good responses…”

22. Woman Follows Google Maps “Walking” Directions, Gets Hit, Sues http://searchengineland.com/woman-follows-google-maps-walking-directions-gets-hit-sues-43212 Is Google responsible for giving out bad directions through its Google Maps service? We’re about to find out. After Googling walking directions for a trip in Park City, Utah, Lauren Rosenberg claims she was led onto a busy highway, where she was struck by a vehicle. She’s now suing Google for damages…Rosenberg used Google Maps…via her Blackberry, to get directions…Google provided these, telling her as part of the route to walk for about 1/2 mile along…Deer Valley Drive…As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google’s careless, reckless, and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Laren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle…Google quite clearly warns…This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths…The Blackberry version of Google Maps might not have carried this warning…it seems embarrassing for Google to be routing people onto busy highways when they explicitly use the “walking” directions option…Bing does the same thing in its directions…Google’s making its best guess. That can be laughable to annoying…Google used to advise swimming across the Atlantic Ocean to get from the US to Britain, as a joke…When Google Maps rolled out its new bike directions feature in March, I found in my area, it made some wildly bad guesses. But are Google’s bad guesses also dangerous? I suspect a court is going to find that despite getting bad directions from Google (or a gas station attendant, a local person or any source), people are also expected to use common sense…”

23. Google’s answer to internal security: ban Windows, use Mac or Linux instead http://venturebeat.com/2010/05/31/googles-answer-to-internal-security-drop-windows-use-mac-or-linux-instead/ “…Google is…moving away from the Microsoft operating system…following the recent attacks on its Chinese operations…many workers have migrated from Windows, and new employees are being given the choice of Mac or Linux computers. “Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,” said one employee…When faced with an attack like this, most organizations would normally promote updating Windows computers away from older browsers, and remind employees about the importance of running Windows Update to keep their computer as secure as possible. Google has apparently taken that a step further by moving employees away from Windows altogether…”

24. Inconvenient truths about Google http://counternotions.com/2010/05/31/hypocrisy/ “…It’s simply exposing deliberate, pervasive and sustained hypocrisy. An example of a search and ad monopolist trying to misdirect public attention away from its own proprietary and opaque cashcows…let’s briefly consider…public statements by notable Googlers. Because in the Googleplex alternate reality: Google CEO Eric Schmidt, on CNBC never said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”…Google’s European competition counsel Julia Holtz never said: “If someone forced us to [disclose how our search advertising business works], it would destroy our product.”…Google SVP, Product Management Jonathan, Rosenberg, never said: “In many cases, most notably our search and ads products, opening up the code would not contribute to these goals and would actually hurt users. The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in…Google CEO Erich Schmidt, at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, never said: “Would you prefer someone else?…Is there a government that you would prefer to be in charge of this?...Google CEO Erich Schmidt never blamed users for the Google Buzz privacy fiasco : “I would say that we did not understand how to communicate Google Buzz and its privacy…There was a lot of confusion when it came out on Tuesday, and people thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true…Google never denied and, when caught red handed, never admitted to snooping WiFi data either. And so on.…”

General Technology

25. Researchers discover the plasmaron, a new quasiparticle http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/05/researchers-discover-the-plasmaron-a-new-quasiparticle.ars “…The new phenomenon, called a "plasmaron," was found in a sample of doped graphene, where it appeared courtesy of the material's unusual arrangement of electrons in its electron cloud…A quasiparticle is not a sort-of particle, as the name implies, but usually represents a combination of a bulk effect and a material. For example, an electron is only a particle, but an electron that blocks the attraction between another electron and a proton could act as a quasiparticle. A quasiparticle can also be purely effect, like plasmons, which are quantum packets of excitation in the electrons in a metal…”

26. FAA Awards $4.4 Billion For Air Traffic System http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/enterprise-architecture/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=225200456&subSection=News The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded $4.4 billion in contracts over 10 years to three firms to help deploy its next-generation air-traffic control system…NextGen is an ambitious plan to overhaul the stressed and outdated air traffic control system in the United States by 2025…to create a four-dimensional air traffic control system -- adding time to the aircraft's measures of latitude, longitude, and altitude…The current system is in 3-D, tracking planes according to a map of "roads in the sky," according to the FAA. Adding a time element to the system means pilots and air traffic controllers will not only know more precisely where an aircraft is, but also when a plane is meant to arrive at a given point…”

27. Forget the box: downloads dominate online software purchases http://arstechnica.com/software/news/2010/05/forget-the-box-downloads-dominate-online-software-purchases.ars “…nearly two-thirds of online software purchases in 2010 were digital downloads…The numbers were broken down into new purchases, software subscription renewals, and trial-to-paid conversions. Subscription renewals made up the largest chunk of online software purchases at 34 percent…new purchases and trial-to-paid conversions, now sitting at 23 percent and 8 percent of all online software purchases respectively…people don't seem to trust software merchants. Only five percent said they think the merchant would renew a subscription for them correctly, while 40 percent said they didn't renew because of unsolicited marketing (read: spam)…”

28. New Color Screen Combines Beauty, Readability http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25395/?a=f If you're looking to buy an e-reader, you can choose between a beautiful but battery-draining liquid crystal display (LCD), like the one in Apple's new iPad, or a slow-switching but easy to read black-and-white one, like the one in Amazon's Kindle…Qualcomm MEMS Technologies is demonstrating prototypes of a screen that meets somewhere between these extremes. It shows video in color, and under full sunlight, but without draining the battery. The display will be in products by the end of the year…Qualcomm's Mirasol display, which can play video in color, extends battery life by 51 percent relative to an LCD…”

29. The Coming Data Explosion http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_coming_data_explosion.php One of the key aspects of the emerging Internet of Things…is the massive amount of new data on the Web that will result…this is in addition to the burgeoning amount of user-generated content - which has increased 15-fold over the past few years, according to a presentation that Google VP Marissa Mayer made last August at Xerox PARC. Mayer said during her presentation that this "data explosion is bigger than Moore's law."…Parthasarathy Ranganathan - a Distinguished Technologist at HP Labs…compared the online data growth rate to Moore's Law. He told me that it's rising significantly faster than Moore's Law. HP CEO Mark Hurd put it this way in June 2009: "more data will be created in the next four years than in the history of the planet." In her presentation at PARC, intriguingly entitled "The Physics of Data," Mayer noted that there have been three big changes to Internet data in recent times…Speed (real-time data)…Scale ("unprecedented processing power")…Sensors ("new kinds of data"). Mayer went on to say that there were 5 exabytes of data online in 2002, which had risen to 281 exabytes in 2009…”

Leisure & Entertainment

30. Dedicated E-Reader Market Will Decline After 2014 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/study_market_for_dedicated_e-readers_will_peak_soo.php Dedicated e-readers like Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook are coming under increasing pressure from mobile phones and tablet devices like the iPad. According to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media, sales of e-readers with broadband connections will peak in 2014, as users decide to opt for multi-purpose devices like the iPad…e-paper displays don't need backlighting and consume far less power than tablets that use back-lighted displays…The question…is if users will really flock to low-end e-readers or if they will opt for more expensive multi-purpose devices like the iPad instead…universities have experimented with the Kindle as a textbook reader, and it's quickly becoming clear that today's e-readers aren't ready for this market, as students ask for a more flexible devices that are more akin to tablet computers than a dedicated e-readers…”

31. New Web Services Put Music in the Cloud http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2010/tc20100527_110995.htm Peter Horowitz used to be a customer that record companies were glad to have stick around. The 64-year-old New Yorker used to buy 15 to 20 CDs a year from Amazon.com…Not anymore. In January, Horowitz signed up for MOG, an online streaming music service that launched last December and costs $5 a month for access to nearly 8 million songs. Horowitz says he hasn't bought a single CD since…The startup is among a new generation of online digital music services trying to challenge Apple's (AAPL) iTunes and put a deeper dent in CD sales…These new "cloud" music services…store songs on remote servers and stream them to users' PCs, TVs, set-top boxes, or smartphones…Once people try this, they are going to stop downloading," says Martin Olausson, a director at Strategy Analytics…”

32. What should Ballmer do with Zune? http://news.cnet.com/8301-13526_3-20006344-27.html After spending the last few years focusing on building a credible search engine and fixing Windows, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is now turning his eye, Sauron-like, toward Microsoft's consumer products…Ballmer's first priority will be reversing Microsoft's market-share slide in mobile-phone platforms and coming up with an answer to the iPad and other portable computers that run a competitor's mobile OS…Here are some suggestions that can help turn Zune from a punch line into an asset…After almost four years, the standalone Zune player has something like 2 percent of the MP3 player market. Ballmer should face it: the iPod is unstoppable. But Microsoft…still shipped on more than 15 million phones in 2008 and 2009, and the vastly improved Windows Phone 7 could help Microsoft double that number in 2011. Every Windows Phone 7 will have the full Zune HD interface built into it. Microsoft should market the heck out of this feature…”

33. Developers Reinvent the Music Store http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/25387/ A new partnership between "music intelligence" platform Echonest and streaming music service Play.me lets developers create apps that offer new ways to find music and stream whole tracks for free. The deal can be used to create an app that streams up to five hours a week of music from a catalog of three million tracks; once the weekly streaming limit is reached, users have to pay up $10 a month for unlimited streaming…Music Explorer FX is just one of more than 70 that already take advantage of Echonest's application programming interface (API), which feeds data to apps from a vast catalog of artists and tracks…Overnight, online music stalwarts Pandora, Last.fm, and Grooveshark find that they have dozens of competitors built by small teams and even individual coders…Developers don't sell music under the new deal, but they get a cut whenever a user signs up for the Play.me streaming service through their app…Developers have always been able to cut deals with record labels individually, but that process was prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. By obtaining blanket rights to stream all the music in its catalog, Play.me has eliminated that headache…”

34. Apple Pulls the Plug on LaLa, Replaces it With… Nada http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20100601/apple-pulls-the-plug-on-lala-replaces-it-with-nothing/ “…Lala’s gone. It shut down last night…But there’s nothing in its place…Free streaming music hasn’t completely left the Web…sites like GrooveShark and HypeMachine…are in a legal grey area — they’re not fully licensed, but the labels aren’t trying to sue them out of business, yet…what about a cloud-based model, where you can access music you own from anywhere you can get a Web connection? Apple seems interested in that idea, and so does Google. But I have a hunch we’re not going to see one soon…maybe Steve Jobs has a surprise up his sleeve. Perhaps he’ll tip his hand tonight, when the Apple CEO sits down for an interview with Walt Mossberg…”

35. Clone Wars Adventures Is Free Star Wars MMO for Families http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2010/06/clone-wars-adventures/ The Force will be strong with our younglings this fall, when Sony Online Entertainment releases Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, a free-to-play, kid-friendly online PC game. Clone Wars Adventures…suite of online mini-games themed around the Clone Wars cartoon…lets players customize a character, buy pets and compete against friends in daily challenges. While kids can play for free, a monthly membership fee will get them even more…”

Economy and Technology

36. Boku mobile payments platform get additional funding http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/27/andreessen-horowitz-makes-strategic-investmemt-in-mobile-payments-platform-boku/ “…mobile payments startup, Boku…doesn’t require users to have a credit card or bank account to make a micropayment. Users enter their cell phone number on the site, reply to a text message and then all virtual charges are automatically charged to the user’s monthly cell phone bill…it’s ridiculously easy. The company also acquired Paymo and Mobillcash over the past year, systems that had significant international reach, Boku gained a strong base of users around the world. Currently Boku is available in more than 60 countries and on over 200 carriers worldwide…While mobile payments are set to gain considerable traction on social network, one potential obstacle to adoption are the high fees that mobile carriers charge to the payment systems (which are then passed on to the publisher). Boku told us last June that different cell phone carriers charge varying fees that range between 10% to 50% of the purchase price…”

37. Foxconn offers pay rises and suicide nets as fears grow over wave of deaths http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/28/foxconn-plant-china-deaths-suicides “…Construction workers began erecting anti-suicide nets today at an industrial plant in southern China that makes millions of the world's mobile phones and computers…To stem an epidemic of workers leaping to their deaths, the Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn – which works with Apple, Dell and Sony – has also pledged to raise salaries by 20% and offered counselling to its 420,000 employees here…Its mega-facility at Longhua, Guangdong province, so dominates the local economy that officials pay little heed to complaints by labour groups of secrecy, military discipline and low wages…at least a dozen employees have jumped from buildings in and around the complex…"It's very tough," said Liu Jichang, a 19-year-old migrant from Guangxi province, who earns 2,000 yuan (£200) a month polishing the cases of Apple computers 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. "We are not allowed to talk while we are working. In any case, it is too noisy to have a conversation."…"It's certainly not the worst place to work in China, but it's far from being the best…"Many people believe they did it for the money," said Li, a doctor at the clinic outside the factory gates. "The families of the victims have been promised more than 400,000 yuan. That's more than the workers could expect to earn over their entire lives so they might have thought that by jumping, they could solve all of their family's financial problems…”

38. 25% of U.S. waters in Gulf now closed to fishing http://www.marketwatch.com/story/25-of-us-waters-in-gulf-now-closed-to-fishing-2010-05-29 “…National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration again expanded the area of the Gulf of Mexico that is closed to fishing as oil sheen patches continue to spread…The closed area now covers 60,683 square miles, or about 25% of federal waters in the Gulf…NOAA has banned fishing in these areas to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers…estimates of the size of the spill at BP…Deepwater Horizon rig…rank it the worst in U.S. history, surpassing the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. BP suspended its "top kill" effort to plug the massive oil leak for the second time in two days Friday morning…”

39. 7 Key Turning Points That Made Apple No. 1 http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/05/apple-gallery/all/1 “…Apple surpassed longtime rival Microsoft in market capitalization, making the Cupertino, California, company the most valuable technology company in the world…The milestone is even more remarkable given Apple’s single-digit share of the computer market. Microsoft, by contrast, runs on about 90 percent of the world’s PCs…what follows is a list of key turning points that took Apple from an also-ran into a champion…Jobs Returns, 1996…iMac, 1998…iPod, 2001…Mac OS X, 2001…MacBook, 2006…iPhone, 2007…iPad, 2010… While the jury’s still out on the tablet’s long-term viability, Apple has been selling 200,000 iPads each week, which is more than the number of Macs it sells in the same period.”

Civilian Aerospace

40. SpaceX Targets Friday June 4 For First Falcon 9 Flight http://www.cfnews13.com/Space/DestinationSpace/2010/5/30/private_rocket_poised_for_friday_launch.html “…SpaceX has been working for weeks on its new Falcon 9 rocket. The company was hoping to have gotten a test flight in by now, but their work was pushed back several times, most recently because of delays with the launch of a Delta IV rocket earlier in May…SpaceX said the launch won’t happen until Friday at the earliest. The company has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to launch more than a dozen Falcon rockets…”

41. Space Adventures Partners with Armadillo to Develop Suborbital Vehicles http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/guest/25246/ “…Space Adventures…is partnering with Armadillo Aerospace, the Texas-based small aerospace company founded by famed game developer John Carmack, to develop a suborbital vehicle to carry customers to at least 100 kilometers altitude…Anderson did note that the suborbital flights will feature the same key elements of an orbital launch, merely in a condensed--and less expensive--fashion. "There are three highlights of the experience" of flying in space, Anderson said: the launch, weightlessness, and the ability to see Earth from space. "Those three items are all components of the experience that you will have when you fly with us and our partner."…One selling point of the Space Adventures/Armadillo Aerospace venture is price: they plan on charging $102,000 a flight, compared to the $200,000 currently charged by Virgin Galactic…”

42. Private Rocket Makers Team Up to Build Robot Landers http://www.space.com/news/rocket-builders-private-robot-landers-100527.html “…XCOR Aerospace, specializing in rocket engines, and Masten Space Systems — which won a $1 million NASA contest to build and fly robotic vehicles on simulated hops on the moon…hope to combine their areas of expertise in anticipation of NASA-sponsored unmanned lander projects…NASA's new space plan proposed by President Barack Obama…if approved by Congress, would cancel NASA's earlier Constellation program in charge of new moon landers and other vehicles…NASA may not be the only potential customer for the team's unmanned landing craft and technology. The swarm of private teams and groups competing in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize to send robot probes to the moon, move them around and beam back live video is another possibility…XCOR and Masten happen to be "next door neighbors" in California's Mojave Desert…”

43. Investors scout space spin-offs http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM2235NL9G_index_0.html Investors looking for promising opportunities in space spin-offs used ESA’s Investment Forum in Stuttgart, Germany, this month to meet 28 young entrepreneurial companies looking for financing to start their businesses…this was the fourth Forum. Most of the companies were from the four ESA Business Incubation Centres in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. In parallel, the European Commission organised a workshop on satellite applications, underlining the role of the forum in bringing innovators, investors and industry together…”

44. First student-built interplanetary mission goes silent http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18982-first-studentbuilt-interplanetary-mission-goes-silent.html A spacecraft built by students has been launched towards another planet for the first time, but it has fallen ominously silent. The toaster-oven-sized cube called UNITEC-1 was launched towards Venus on 21 May…UNITEC-1 was designed and built largely by students…Its main purpose was to test computer chips for longevity in the harsh radiation and temperature environment of space. It carried six chips designed at different Japanese universities, which were to compete to see which one would last the longest. It also carried a radiation detector and a small camera. Radio dishes in Japan briefly detected signals from UNITEC-1 after launch, but for reasons that are not yet clear, the spacecraft fell silent a few hours later and has not been heard from since…”

45. MSU robot digs most "moon dirt," wins NASA contest http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwview.php?article=8551 A Montana State University student-built robot won a national contest at the Kennedy Space Center Friday by digging the most simulated moon dirt in 15 minutes…Montana MULE removed 21.6 kilograms of regolith from a giant sandbox…far above the 10 kilograms required to qualify in the contest and far ahead of the nearest competitor in NASA's first Lunar Regolith Excavator Student Competition…"I'm supposing my parents won't have much problem with how many video games I played as a kid," Chris Ching said…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

46. Intel tells users: you don't need future-proof GPUs http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/05/intel-tells-users-you-dont-need-future-proof-gpus.ars “…Intel's discrete GPU product, codenamed Larrabee, is still dead. More importantly, it shows that Intel still doesn't understand that it has a major problem in integrated graphics…Intel's IGPs have been a leaden albatross around the neck of mobile graphics for years, and now that they're in the same package as the CPU…they're impossible to escape if you want Intel inside your laptop…the chipmaker is now informing us that the "vast majority" of users don't need OpenCL, DirectX 11, or DirectCompute. Users should be happy with the ability to run HD video…Intel—which spends so much effort sending teams of anthropologists to far-flung corners of the earth, building out a huge healthcare IT effort for the elderly, and developing software and services—can't (or won't) make a mobile GPU that isn't crippled, and can't make a discrete GPU at all…the love child of Larrabee and Intel's Terascale program…will be aimed at high-performance computing (HPC) efforts…the trend of building high-density compute nodes out of clusters of very cheap, low-power mobile chips, like Atom or ARM…you can use a combination of board-level integration and drastically cheaper hardware to serve more threads out of the same amount of rack space than you could by purchasing one or two expensive, power-hungry, high-margin server processors and running virtual machines on them…board-level integration piece was always the part of physicalization that seemed backwards, because die-level integration should always be cheaper and more efficient…a combination of high margins on server chips and (possibly) the overall organization of the hardware on the die have left an opening for a simpler, cheaper solution…”

47. Tokyo Tech Announces Plans for 2.4 Petaflop Supercomputer http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Tokyo-Tech-Announces-Plans-for-24-Petaflop-Supercomputer-94969679.html “…TSUBAME 2.0 will use GPGPU computing…The TSUBAME 2.0 supercomputer…will employ approximately 4,200 NVIDIA Fermi GPUs…The system has more than 1,400 compute nodes and uses Voltaire's QDR InfiniBand network. It uses the latest SSD technology and high-density mixed technology for the world's fastest total data I/O performance at 0.66 terabytes using DataDirect Networks storage technology. The operating system will be a mix of Linux and Microsoft Windows HPC…”

48. NVIDIA Tesla GPUs Boost Performance of AcuSolve CFD Software http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-Tesla-GPUs-Boost-Performance-of-AcuSolve-95051984.html “…ACUSIM Software, a leading provider of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solutions widely used by engineers and scientists involved in product design, has integrated support for NVIDIA Tesla 20-series GPUs into the company's latest AcuSolve 1.8 release…AcuSolve is used in a broad range of mechanical design applications and deployed by research organizations and Fortune 500 companies…to replace costly physical tests during product development…”

49. SGI Partners with Irish Centre for High-End Computing to Provide GPGPU Service http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/SGI-Partners-with-Irish-Centre-for-High-End-Computing-to-Provide-GPGPU-Services-94929654.html SGI…announced its partnership with the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) to provide customers with complete consultation services in the growing field of general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU). ICHEC will work exclusively with SGI to enable institutions and businesses to accelerate the development of applications that utilize GPGPU systems…Having largely benefited intensive scientific computing to date, more general-purpose use of GPU technology is expected to provide solutions to a much broader range of disciplines. "More users are beginning to turn to GPGPU systems to gain a competitive advantage in a wider range of fields…ICHEC has established a significant team of researchers focused primarily on porting applications on GPGPU architecture…”

50. China supercomputer design points to future speed kings http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20006450-64.html “…China has muscled into the No. 2 spot on the list of the world's fastest supercomputers thanks, in part, to specialized Nvidia graphics chips: a technology that Intel is now pursuing to keep pace with this new trend in high-performance computing. China's Nebulae supercomputer…achieved 1.271 petaflops/s (1.271 quadrillion floating point operations per second) running the Linpack benchmark, which put it in the No. 2 spot on the widely reported Top500 list…Jaguar, a Cray system at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, retained the top spot. Nebulae achieved this "in part due to its Nvidia GPU (graphics processing unit) accelerators...Nebulae reports an impressive theoretical peak capability of almost 3 petaflop/s--the highest ever on the TOP500…”


*****

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