2010/06/29

NEW NET Issues List for 29 Jun 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 29 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.

The ‘net

1. Plinky To Help Bloggers Overcome Writer’s Block http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/25/automattic-buys-up-thing-labs-plinky-to-help-bloggers-overcome-writers-block/ “…Automattic has acquired Plinky from Thing Labs, the creators of social media application Brizzly. Plinky essentially aims to inspire content creators…Plinky’s technology prompts you with an intriguing question or challenge and (like a question, or a challenge) and you have to answer. Depending on the prompt, your answer could contain photos, maps, playlists and more…”

2. Chrome 5 http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-06-22/google-chrome-5.html Bug-free and beautifully designed, Google Chrome 5 strives to combine the best of all browser worlds…it may also be the first Mac browser to truly give Safari's raw power a run for its money. On a 2GHz aluminum MacBook with 2GB RAM, I tested Chrome 5 against its latest competitors: Safari 5, Firefox 3.6.3, and Opera 10.53…Though it uses the same open source WebKit rendering engine as Safari, it doesn't reliably support the controversial, proprietary CSS3 transformation and animation tricks that Apple's built into Safari. However, like every browser I tested, it earned a perfect score in a compatibility test for CSS3 selectors, and it joined Safari and Opera with a flawless score of 100 in the Acid3 web standards benchmark. Chrome 5 also supports both Apple's H.264 codec and Mozilla's preferred open source Ogg Theora technology for plugin-free HTML5 video, and it beautifully played back HTML5 demo videos from YouTube and Brightcove…”

3. Bing app on iPhone searches via barcodes http://dvice.com/archives/2010/06/bing-teaches-it.php Microsoft just updated its free Bing app for the iPhone, giving iOS users something they've had, but never this easy: the ability to scan a barcode and get an accurate search result. You could take a picture of, say, the barcode on a can of a soft drink or a digital barcode online, and you'd either be taken to a search of the exact product or a specific page. Google has already worked images taken by a phone into its search with its Goggles service, though it's only on Android right now…”

4. Bing Taps ResellerRatings For Merchant Reviews http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/25/bing-taps-resellerratings-for-merchant-reviews/ “…Bing has tapped ResellerRatings to provide online merchant reviews for the shopping search results. ResellerRatings is a ratings site that includes more than 430,000 consumer reviews of online sellers and merchants. ResellerRatings both includes reviews of online retailers, such as Newegg, TigerDirect, DiamondShark, Buy.com, and B&H, and also allows these retailers respond to customers that submit reviews. Merchants can solicit customer reviews by using a pop-up check-out survey, can contact reviewers directly to resolve issues, view related product invoices, flag reviews from non-customers and post public replies to help influence customer service and satisfaction. ResellerRatings claims that its reviews have influenced more than 10 million purchasing decisions within the last year…”

5. Will Microsoft unleash its secret weapon against Google Docs? http://blogs.computerworld.com/16291/will_microsoft_unleash_its_secret_weapon_against_google_docs “…Using Windows Live Sync, you get access to your most important files wherever you are. If it's one of your own PCs, the files are right there, waiting for you, even if you made changes to them at another computer. If you're at someone else's computer, they're waiting for you on Windows Live SkyDrive…Windows Live Sync would be a natural addition to both the client-based and Web-based versions of Microsoft Office, and address Office's biggest shortcoming compared to Google Docs. At the moment, there's no automatic synchronization between the Web-based version of Office and the client version of Office. Work on a file on your local PC, and it stays there unless you remember to save it to the cloud. Work on a file on the Web-based version of Office, and it stays in the cloud, unless you remember to get it to a local PC…it's exceptionally confusing when switching between the Web-based and client versions of Office. If you use both versions of the software, it's very easy to accidentally work on an old version of a file, or overwrite a new version of a file with an old version. Because of that, very few people will likely use both versions in concert…that gives Google Docs a big opening, when Google finally gets the offline version of the software working in its newest iteration…”

6. Yahoo Lets Loose With a Boomerang - Automatic Website Testing http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/yahoo_lets_loose_with_a_boomerang_-_automatic_webs.php “…Boomerang is a piece of Javascript that you add to your web pages, where it measures the performance of your website from your end user's point of view…you find out exactly how fast your users think your site is…Among the uses of Boomerang, the team has listed these possible measurements…A page's perceived performance - it takes into account the moments at which a page becomes usable for a reader…Performance of dynamic pages…User bandwidth…Component load time…Network latency…”

7. Chrome unseats Safari as 3rd popular Internet browser http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g109eFMuZwDWmuWs69wu6_rzKeiw Google Chrome last week unseated Apple Safari for the first time as the third most used Internet browser in the United States…This is quite a coup for Google as they have gone from zero to almost 10 percent of the US market in under two years…There is a battle royal going on between Google and Apple in the Internet browser space…as well as in the mobile market…Chrome had 8.97 percent of the US browser market in the week that ended Sunday, topping Safari's 8.88 percent…Safari lost an approximately 1.5 percent lead it had on Chrome two months earlier. Firefox remained the second most popular with 28.48 percent of people using the free, open-source browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) reigned supreme with 52 percent of US Internet users surfing with the software. Globally, Chrome remained in a solid third place with 9.44 percent of the browser market and slowly closing the gaps with second-place Firefox, which had slightly more than 31 percent, and IE with 52.78 percent.”

8. TechCrunch TV launches http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/28/techcrunch-tv-launch/ “…Broadcasting daily from our fully-featured San Francisco studio, TechCrunch TV will be packed with some of the most recognizable and inspiring faces in tech…We’ll also be travelling the country (and the world), livecasting major events, visiting start-up offices and generally poking our cameras into every corner of the tech globe. TechCrunch TV will be littered with familiar TC faces – Mike Arrington, Sarah Lacy, MG Siegler, Jason Kincaid..plus we’re thrilled to have signed up some amazing names from outside of TC…including author Andrew Keen…and entrepreneur/investor, Cyan Banister…Behind the scenes, TechCrunch has invested big in the project…we built an awesome studio – connected to our distribution partners Brightcove and Ustream…In true start-up style, we’re launching with a limited beta service: about 40 minutes of original programming a day, supported by a wealth of previously recorded shows…The ‘live’ channel is also available on mobile…all of our shows – along with just about every video TechCrunch has ever made – will be available on demand; fully embeddable and sharable. Right now our on demand catalog includes highlights from TechCrunch Disrupt and TechCrunch 50, plus a variety of keynote interviews and profiles…”

9. Porn to dump Flash for HTML5? http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/06/28/pornographers_next_to_dump_flash_for_html5.html Apple is finding an unlikely ally in its efforts to support HTML5 in preference to Adobe Flash as the platform for dynamic web content: pornographers. According to a report by ConceivablyTech, leading adult film studio Digital Playground has announced its intentions to make the leap to HTML5, based in part upon needing to target HTML5 to reach Apple's iPhone users…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

10. It's Your Data, It's Not A Crime http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/06/its-your-data-its-your-bot-its-not-crime Can public websites decide who is and is not a criminal through their terms of service? A brief EFF filed yesterday argues no…Facebook claims that Power breaks California criminal law by offering users a tool that aggregates their own information across several social networking sites…Facebook claims that the tool violates criminal law because Facebook's terms of service ban users from accessing their information through "automated means."…the legal theories Facebook is pushing forward would make it a crime not to comply with terms of service…Using criminal law to enforce private website operators' terms of use puts immense coercive power behind measures that may be contrary to the interests of consumers and the public. EFF believes that users have the right to choose how they access their own data…Frighteningly, under Facebook's theory, millions of Californians who disregard or don't read terms of service on the websites they visit would risk criminal liability…”

11. Government sites to track behavior, target content http://venturebeat.com/2010/06/25/government-sites-to-track-behavior-target-content/ “…the Obama administration announced today that government agencies may begin tracking traffic and behavioral data online in order to better target information and services for the people who need them…the administration wants to make the government’s web presence easier to navigate, and more useful…it wants to monitor what information has proved most helpful so it can optimize how it communicates with American citizens on the web…The Office of Management and Budget, which will be charged with carrying out the policy changes, assures that people shouldn’t be concerned about the government watching their every online move…”

12. White House Seeks Comment on Trusted ID Plan http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100625/tc_pcworld/whitehouseseekscommentontrustedidplan “…Howard Schmidt, the White House cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to President Barack Obama, released a draft version of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace on Friday. The plan calls for the U.S. government to work with private companies to create an Identity Ecosystem, an online environment "where individuals, organizations, services, and devices can trust each other because authoritative sources establish and authenticate their digital identities." The Identity Ecosystem would allow Internet users to complete transactions with confidence, Schmidt said…The White House is seeking comments on the draft plan on a Web page at ideascale.com. A handful of people had already commented on the plan by Friday afternoon. One person suggested the White House take advantage of existing open-source trusted ID efforts, including OpenID…”

13. Remote Kill and Install on Google Android http://jon.oberheide.org/blog/2010/06/25/remote-kill-and-install-on-google-android/ “…I’ll talk about the REMOVE_ASSET and INSTALL_ASSET mechanisms that can be invoked by Google via Android’s GTalkService to not only remotely remove applications from an Android device but also remotely install new applications…RootStrap is intended as an example of an application that could be used to bootstrap a rootkit (hence the name)…RootStrap phones home periodically to fetch remote native ARM code and executes it outside the Dalvik VM. An attacker could use such an approach to gain a large install base for a seemingly innocent application and then push down a local privilege escalation exploit as soon as a new vulnerability is discovered in the Linux kernel and root the device. Since carriers are fairly conservative in pushing out OTA patches for their devices, an attacker could easily push out their malicious payload before the devices were patched…”

14. 6-Year-Old Ohio Girl Placed on 'No-Fly' List http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/26/year-old-ohio-girl-placed-fly-list/ An Ohio family recently learned their 6-year-old daughter was on the Department of Homeland Security’s 'no-fly' list…Alyssa Thomas, 6, was traveling with her parents when a ticket agent notified the family she was on the list of restricted fliers…When the family tried to clear up the issue with Homeland Security, they received a letter notifying them that it could not be changed. "She's been flying since she was two-months old, so that has not been an issue," said Dr. Thomas. "In fact, we had traveled to Mexico in February and there were no issues at that time."…“The watch lists are an important layer of security to prevent individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism from flying,” a TSA spokesman told Fox8…”

15. Moore's Outlaws http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25564/ “…The trends aren't promising: tour Kaspersky's labs--or those of any computer security company or research outpost--and you quickly learn that malware is tougher to detect, spam delivery faster, and attacks growing in number and financial impact…What we've been seeing, over the last decade or so, is that Moore's Law is working more for the bad guys than the good guys," says Stewart Baker, the former general counsel of the National Security Agency…referring to the prediction that integrated circuits will double in transistor capacity about every two years. "It's really 'Moore's outlaws' who are winning this fight. Code is more complex, and that means more opportunity to exploit the code. There is more money to be made in exploiting the code, and that means there are more and more sophisticated people looking to exploit vulnerabilities…If a network breach aimed at espionage can't readily be distinguished from one that is a prelude to attack, it's hard to know when a counter attack is justified…What's becoming clear to us, and indeed any practitioner of information security, is that most of the curves--and we can all dig out these curves, the amount of viruses on the Internet, the number of incursions, and blah blah blah--they all look depressingly similar. They all tend to look logarithmic in scale. They all go up like that," he said with a sharp skyward sweep of his hand…switching to new technologies will ultimately be necessary. And that's not likely to happen until we experience a major breakdown or attack…”

16. Chase Bank will support IE 6 but not Chrome or Opera http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/28/chase_ie_6_dumps_chrome_opera/ “…US banking giant Chase…online banking services will continue to support aging the IE 6 but drop support for Chrome and Opera. IE 6 is nine years old and even Microsoft is now desperately speaking out against the browser…Micosoft's Australian business unit recently equated using IE 6 to being as risky as drinking - or maybe, eating - a carton of nine-year-old milk as it lacked up-to-date cross-site scripting and anti-malware protection among other defenses…The bank has "strongly recommended" people using Chrome or Opera upgrade to a version of IE, Firefox or Safari it supports…IE is probably the most widely attacked, followed by Firefox. Interestingly, IE, Firefox and Safari were all felled during the annual Pwn2Own competition at CanSecWest, and only Chrome was left unhacked. Google's browser has a very sophisticated sandbox design that makes it extremely hard to attack…JP Morgan Chase has already seen its customer satisfaction rating drop since the Washington Mutual deal and this won't help. The decision blocks users accessing their accounts at their convenience on PCs using the Opera Desktop browser and mobile devices including the iPhone - now a quarter of US smartphones - using Opera Mini, in addition to blocking the fast growing segment of Chrome adopters…”

17. Ford to debut curve control system in new Explorer http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20009060-48.html Curve Control is a driver aid system that is designed to help a driver to maintain control of a vehicle when entering a curve--such as a freeway off-ramp--with too much speed…as the vehicle enters a turn, Curve Control measures the driver's steering input and the speed of that input…AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control) system's sensors are also measuring roll rate, yaw rate, lateral acceleration, and wheel speed and running calculations based on those inputs 100 times every second…Curve Control can detect whether the driver has entered the turn at too high a speed, resulting in understeer. The system then applies braking pressure and reduces torque, slowing the vehicle by as much as 10mph within the first second…This is still all sounding like standard fare stability control to us, but Ford's press release says that the patent-pending system is different in that it measures how quickly the vehicle is turning and compares that to how quickly the driver is trying to turn and responds by applying "the precise amount of braking required on each wheel to enhance the individual wheel braking of the traditional stability control system…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

18. Motorola Droid X smartphone a win for Android http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-06-25/motorola-droid-x-smartphone-a-win-for-android.html “…the Droid X is one nice phone…1GHz processor and 512MB of memory…5 in. long, 2.6 in. wide and 0.4 in. thick…a WVGA 480 x 854-pixel screen -- I found it to be very clear and sharp…8GB of storage on board, and the phone comes with a 16GB microSD card…dual LED flash and camera -- 8 megapixels with 720p video capture…If you like physical keypads, you'll mourn the Droid X's move to a soft keyboard only…softkey fans will enjoy the inclusion of the Swype input software…Setup is simple, especially if you stash your life with Google…Verizon execs said anyone with a contract expiring in 2010 would be able to immediately upgrade. Unlimited data is $20/month; the mobile hotspot tethering service (yes, it has that too) is $5/month for 2GB…”

19. Android vs. iPhone: winning hearts of developers http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2010/06/android_gaining_ground_vs_iphone_in_hearts_and_minds_of_app_developers.html Software engineer Alberto Fonseca considered making apps for Apple’s iPhone after his job at Microsoft was cut during the company’s layoffs last year. After studying the situation, and the market, he made Google’s Android phones a priority instead...“We made a big bet,” Fonseca said, explaining that he based the decision on market research reports, the crowded iPhone app market, and his history with Java, the underlying Android programming language -- which, based on his experience, was easier for him to quickly pick up than the Objective-C used for iPhone app development…The rise of Google’s mobile platform is particularly telling in the Seattle region’s tech community, traditionally a hotbed for Microsoft’s technologies…Android meetups in the region have started drawing significant crowds over the past few months, with developers gathering to trade tips and learn about the technology…”

20. How Wi-Fi Drains Your Cell Phone http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/25651/?a=f Some simple changes to the software running on Wi-Fi access points could significantly extend or even double cell phone battery life. That's the finding of a study that investigated why using Wi-Fi on a cell phone, and on some other portable devices, sucks up power so quickly…The team began by benchmarking just how much power different models of cell phones needed to use Wi-Fi. "For example, we found that an HTC Tilt's total power consumption increases by threefold when using Wi-Fi," says Rozner, who notes that previous studies have shown Wi-Fi use can account for up to 60 percent of the phone's total energy consumption. "It is somewhat surprising that Wi-Fi consumes so much energy," Rozner says. He explains that a protocol called Power Saving Mode exists to prevent Wi-Fi from draining mobile devices' batteries too quickly. But when the team studied how a variety of access points use this mode, it found that the setup wasted power and unfairly prioritized some devices over others. "We found that current implementations of Power Saving Mode suffer multiple problems…”

21. Apple's Jobs on iPhone 4: You're Doing It Wrong http://www.gearlog.com/2010/06/apples_jobs_on_iphone_4_youre.php “…I love my new iPhone 4…but when I put my hand on the steel bands I lose all reception,"…an Arizona State University account emailed to Jobs…Jobs' response: "Just avoid holding it in that way."…it's a design compromise that is forced by the requirements of the FCC, AT&T, Apple's marketing department and Apple's industrial designers, to name a few…PCMag's Sascha Segan also refers to the iPhone 4 as the best iPhone ever. "It's not the best phone-calling phone, but we've gone well beyond the era when everyone bought handheld, networked computers primarily for making long voice calls…If you're looking for salvation from dropped calls, the iPhone 4 isn't it…”

22. Why People Use Location-Based Social Networks http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_use_location_checkin_apps.php Services like Foursquare, Gowalla and others make it easy to post your physical location to the Web - but what makes people want to do that at all? Fifteen-month-old Foursquare is adding 100,000 new users every week, and Facebook has made it clear that location is a feature it is preparing to offer soon. What's the motivation for users to register where they are in the offline world online?...Most people who shared their experiences with us were using one of the big social location apps: Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude or BrightKite. Real-world businesses are starting to make interesting use of these services. (Here's one list of 21 different examples.)…the stereotype of Foursquare users as youthful bar-hoppers is largely confirmed by the numbers. According to a data visualization by the independent group BitsyBot Labs, bar check-ins on the service beat out check-ins at places of education and parks almost all last week. Bars were about equal with the arts and entertainment category. Food and shopping reign supreme, but on most days travel tops drinking…San Francisco entrepreneur Pat Diven…records not where he is, but where he will be…"I use location for chance meetups with people I know in the city," he said…Cambridge-based experimental tech CEO Shava…on the use of location apps to connect with other people…"I have friends who work in coffee shops and we like to spontaneously clump to co-work…Location apps for tracking people around medical matters? That kind of thing makes many people take pause…Last week I showed my dental hygienist who else was checked in to the dentist's office on Foursquare at the same time I was, and her first reaction was concern about HIPPA (the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which regulates the security and privacy of health-related data)…the uses of location services for tracking other people are just beginning to become clear. Many of the popular location-based social networks present themselves as games…Does that really motivate people to check in? Does it motivate people to go to more or different places? Apparently, it does…The thing that surprised me most when I asked people why they use location-based social networks is how many of them say they use it primarily to track their own personal history. It's a lazy diary…Some people say they use it to help with their expense tracking on business travels…When I went to New York with my wife earlier this month, she grew very tired of me pulling out my phone to check in everywhere we went. But once we got home, she admitted it was nice to be able to scroll back through the updates to Facebook I published and remember all the places we had been…as Palo Alto's Spencer Schoeben told me this weekend, "I love looking back at my check-in history and remembering the awesome things I've done." Schoeben is the 16-year-old founder of one startup company and CEO of another, so he's recording a busy young man's history with those check-ins…There are, of course, other sides of the story, ranging from the very serious to the somewhat serious. Dan Tynan wrote this weekend at IT World about why you should consider not participating in these kinds of services. Tynan writes a blog called Thank You For Not Sharing…”

23. Verizon already cutting Kin prices in half http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/06/26/leak.confirms.kin.one.and.two.price.changes/ “…Verizon is now known to be slashing the prices of the Kin One and Two in half thanks to a leak this weekend. The Kin Two will drop from $100 to just $50 on contract, while the $50 Kin One is falling to $30. Both will be part of a wider sale that starts on June 28. While sales aren't uncommon at Verizon, BGR notes the other phones in the sale are several months old or more and reaching the end of their lifespans: the BlackBerry Storm2 will drop to $150 after having been in shops since November, the Nokia Twist (now $50) has been at Verizon since September, and the LG enV Touch (also $50) has been in stores since May of last year…”

Open Source

24. Nvidia Releases a Much Improved Video Driver for Linux http://news.softpedia.com/news/Nvidia-Releases-a-Much-Improved-Video-Driver-for-Linux-145361.shtml “…Nvidia finally announced on June 22nd the final and stable version of the 256.x proprietary driver for Nvidia graphics cards. Nvidia 256.35 incorporates lots of fixes and improvements, over previous releases. Unofficial GLX support was also added for a few OpenGL extensions, as well as Thermal Settings reporting improvements, Compiz fixes, many VDPAU improvements, and many more. Without further introduction, let's take a look at some of the most important changes brought by the Nvidia 256.35 video driver…”

25. Review: VLC 1.1.0 for Linux http://www.linuxadda.com/2010/06/vlc-1-1-0-for-linux-complete-review.html “…VideoLAN has come up with interesting tweaks, updates and enhancements to its all popular VLC media player with the release of version 1.1 Among some of the new features introduced by the VLC 1.1.0 player we can mention: GPU decoding using VAAPI for H.264, MPEG-2 and VC-1…Support for Blu-Ray PGS subtitles…Encoding and decoding of the WebM format…DVD-Audio files support…For your pleasure, I’ve tested the new VLC 1.1.0 on Ubuntu 10.04…”

26. Finding Evernote Replacements for Linux http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/322137-finding-evernote-replacements-for-linux One of the applications many users ask about when migrating to Linux is Evernote. While the folks at Evernote haven't created a Linux port, you'll find plenty of apps for note taking, organization, and wrangling important personal and business documents. Some Linux users object to Evernote because it's not open source, but that's only half the problem. Even if you're not picky about software licensing, Evernote isn't an option on Linux. You can run the Evernote plugin on Firefox and Chrome, or you might get lucky running Evernote in Wine. But a native client? Nope. But it is possible to find quite a few free and open source alternatives that provide much of the same functionality…Tomboy…Dropbox…Zim…QuickFox Notes…BasKet…For my use, Dropbox and Tomboy in combination are the best tools to replace Evernote…”

27. Verbal bits from the Debian Project Leader https://lwn.net/Articles/391562/ “…new Debian leader Stefano Zacchiroli delivered a relatively high-energy "state of Debian" talk. According to Stefano, Debian is doing great, but can do better yet; he has some ideas for how to make the project better. Debian has grown a lot since its origin back in 1993. At this point, it holds around 29,000 packages and is the base for some 120 derivative distributions. There have been eleven major releases over the life of the project, with the twelfth getting closer. The project has about 900 developers, plus about 120 "Debian maintainers" working on it. It would seem that Debian is going strong…”

28. Docky - Probably The Best Dock Application I have Ever Used in Ubuntu http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/06/docky-probably-best-dock-application-i.html “…Docky is an awesome dock application for Ubuntu/Linux. Docky started off as a simple theme for Gnome DO, another popular dock application, and later own became a dock application on its own. Docky is widely regarded as the most user friendly among the dock applications available in Linux…”

29. USB stick encryption using Linux http://www.linuxconfig.org/usb-stick-encryption-using-linux “…Another solution is to encrypt your USB stick so it will be accessible only to those users who posses a correct password which will fit to decrypt an used encryption method. This article will deal with…encryption of an USB stick device. Although encrypting an USB stick seems to be the best and easiest solution it must be said that it also comes with number of disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that decryption of the USB key must be done using a Linux system with kernel version 2.6 and higher which has a "dm_crypt" module loaded in the running kernel. In other words, you cannot use your encrypted USB stick on any Windows machine and UNIX-like system with kernel version below 2.6. Therefore, to encrypt only a part of USB stick which holds only a private information seems to be a good solution. In this article we will use USB stick of capacity 16GB known to the system as a block device /dev/sdc. We first partition the disk to hold two partitions, one for encrypted data and the other for non-private data and then encrypt only single partition intended to hold private data…Let's start with partitioning of our USB stick…”

SkyNet

30. View .doc Gmail attachments right in your browser http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/view-doc-attachments-right-in-your.html If you receive Microsoft® Word files as attachments in Gmail, you can now view them with a single click — no need to download, save, and open files with a desktop application when you just want read them. The Google Docs viewer that allows you to view .pdf, .ppt, and .tiff files in your browser now supports .doc and .docx formats too…”

31. Google Introduces Better Word and PowerPoint Previews for Google Docs Mobile http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_docs_microsoft_office_previews.php Just last week, Google introduced better Microsoft Word previews for the desktop version of Gmail. Today, Google also launched a similar feature for the mobile version of Google Docs, the company's online office suite. Now, Android, iPhone and iPad users can see high-fidelity previews of their Word, PowerPoint, and PDF documents right in their mobile browsers. These previews retain almost all of the formatting from the original document, including headlines and columns, as well as footnotes and endnotes. Until now, you had to download these documents to view them on your mobile device. In the mobile previewer, you can pan and zoom within a page. On Apple's platforms, you can also use the pinch-to-zoom gesture to zoom in or out…the new previewer does not support Excel spreadsheets…”

32. Google Moves Encrypted Search to New Domain http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_moves_encrypted_search_to_new_domain.php Google announced today that it was moving domains for its encrypted search from https://www.google.com to https://encrypted.google.com. In May Google launched an encrypted version of its Web search, allowing users to enable a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection to encrypt their information as they searched…”

33. Google launches new Android 2.2 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7860491/Google-launches-new-Android-2.2.html Owners of the Google Nexus One smartphone will be the first to receive the update to Android 2.2…The roll-out of Android 2.2, codenamed Froyo, is already underway. Google claims that Android performs some of the same tasks up to five times faster in version 2.2 compared to 2.1…HTC, Dell and Sony Ericsson have all added their own features to Android. They will take longer to update those additions, with HTC expected to roll out Froyo in August. Motorola’s new Droid X is also expected to launch with Froyo in August. The update…is a free upgrade that will allow Android users to turn their device into a portable wifi hotspot and to view websites that use Adobe’s Flash. Neither of these features is on iPhone 4, although the iPhone’s “retina display” offers significantly higher resolution than the Nexus One, as well as integrated video calling.”

34. Smartphones are the future for Google and the world http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jun/28/eric-schmidt-google-smartphones-activate “…Google…Chief executive Eric Schmidt…tells the Guardian that Google has been instrumental in a generational shift in democratising information. "Over my lifetime, we are going to go from a small number of people having access to most of the world's information, to virtually everybody in the world having access to virtually all of the world's information," he said. "That's because of web search, cheap phones and automatic translation…he makes it clear Google is positioning itself for the future through mobile, with the development of its Android mobile system and with subsequent Google-branded handsets…The mobile battle pitches the three biggest tech firms against each other: Google, Apple and Microsoft…"I believe that the very best engineering is now going on the mobile devices — the hardest problems and the most clever solutions," says Schmidt…Schmidt describes how our online lives are now more personal, social and mobile. "When people are awake, they are now online, and that has a lot of implications for society and for Google…”

35. Google Chrome OS creator takes job at Facebook, announces switch on Twitter http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-06-28/google-chrome-os-creator-takes-job-at-facebook-announces-switch-on-twitter.html Google's Matthew Papakipos, the engineering director who started and led the project to create the Chrome operating system, has been hired away by Facebook. Papakipos announced his job change Monday afternoon on Twitter, writing "Now that Chrome OS & WebGL are in good shape, it's time for something new. I'm going to work @ Facebook!...Papakipos, who also worked on the WebGL 3D graphics API for Web browsers, had been with Google since 2007, and previously held jobs at Nvidia and PeakStream…”

36. Google May Lose China Permit on Government Objections http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-29/google-may-lose-china-permit-on-government-objections.html Google Inc. may lose the right to operate a website in China, forcing the search-engine company to abandon the world’s largest Internet market, after the government objected to its efforts to avoid censorship controls. The government probably won’t renew Google’s Internet license if the company continues to automatically redirect users of the Chinese service to its Hong Kong site, Google said in a blog post today. The company plans to stop taking users directly to the unfiltered site to keep Google.cn running…“Google would effectively go dark in China,” Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said in the blog posting. “It’s clear from conversations we have had with Chinese government officials that they find the redirect unacceptable.” The dispute with the government has cost the company partnerships with China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and Motorola Inc. in the country. The operator of the world’s most used search engine said in January it would stop self-censorship of the Google.cn portal, ending cooperation with the laws of a state that bans references to content deemed politically unacceptable…”

General Technology

37. Rethinking the Whiteboard http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/rethinking-the-whiteboard/ “…While Mr. Liao usually starts and invests in technology businesses, he said he decided to take an active role in WhiteyBoard, a physical goods company, because, “I love a product you don’t have to explain…Mr. Cywinski said he developed a preference for study rooms at the school that were equipped with wall-to-wall whiteboards that allowed him to put up his formulas. The problem was that he found the rooms were in demand and hard to reserve during exam periods. When he went to buy a whiteboard for home use, he said he experienced “sticker shock” — finding that most traditional 4-by-6 whiteboards cost $250 before shipping and installation…The pair traveled in search of a stick-on, peel-off white board material and eventually found it in China…They sold their first WhiteyBoards six months ago through business events and phone orders. In March, the company began online sales at WhiteyBoard.com. By the first week of June, their online sales had surpassed $70,000, they reported. Made in various sizes, the boards cost $10 to $30…”

38. California weighs 'digital adverts' on number plates http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10368899.stm California is weighing whether to allow advert-broadcasting digital number plates on vehicles, in a bid to raise revenue for the cash-strapped state. Drivers could select messages to display and could earn rewards from advertisers that pay the state. "We're just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues," said Democratic Senator Curren Price…"It's an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront…”

39. AMD Announces $99 Quad-core Chip for Cloud Servers http://www.pcworld.com/article/199613/amd_announces_99_quadcore_chip_for_cloud_servers.html “…Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday announced a new family of microprocessors for cloud computing servers…The processors include the $99 Opteron 4122 processor, which is AMD's first server chip priced under $100. The quad-core chip operates at a speed of 2.2GHz, includes a total of 8.6MB of cache and draws 75 watts of power…The Opteron 4100 lineup also includes two six-core processors -- the Opteron 4162 EE and 4164 EE -- that draw just 32 watts of power…”

40. Microsoft creates glasses-free 3D technology http://www.theengineer.co.uk/news/microsoft-creates-glasses-free-3d-technology/1003197.article Existing 3D screens that do not require glasses, including Nintendo’s recently launched 3DS handheld console, can only be viewed from specific angles. But the new technology from Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group in California uses cameras to track viewers’ positions and alter the angle of projection. Sending different images to viewers’ right and left eyes creates the 3D effect. ‘The technology is scalable and applicable to all device sizes from mobile phones to laptops to large walls,’ Stevie Bathiche, the group’s research director, told The Engineer. ‘The approach stays low cost even on very big screens…”

41. SanDisk's SD card can store data for 100 years http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9178428/SanDisk_s_SD_card_can_store_data_for_100_years SanDisk on Wednesday announced a Secure Digital card that can store data for 100 years, but can be written on only once. The WORM (write once, read many) card is "tamper proof" and data cannot be altered or deleted, SanDisk said in a statement. The card is designed for long-time preservation of crucial data…The media comes with capacity of only 1GB. SanDisk determined the media's 100-year data-retention lifespan based on internal tests conducted at normal room temperatures…The company said it is shipping the media in volume to the Japanese police force to archive images as an alternative to film…”

42. Seagate 3TB Drive http://www.pcworld.com/article/200031/big_seagate_3tb_drive_ups_storage_ante.html It feels like we've been stuck at 2TB forever. Not anymore: Seagate announced it's shipping the industry's first 3TB hard drive, the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk External Drive. This news is significant because Seagate has figured out a workaround to the long-standing constraint that has kept hard drive capacity maxed out at 2TB. (The first 2TB hard drive debuted from Western Digital debuted a year-and-a-half ago.) Moreover, not only is the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk the first to break past that limitation, it does so at a reasonable cost per gigabyte: The drive, with a USB 2.0 connector, will sell for $250, which works out to $0.08 per gigabyte. By comparison, Seagate sells its 2TB GoFlex Desk External Drive (also with a USB 2.0 base) for $190, or $0.09 per gigabyte. As with other drives in the GoFlex line, you can swap out the USB 2.0 base for optional USB 3.0 or FireWire 800 modules, which will provide better performance…As enticing as 3TB sounds, though, this won't be the end of the line for increasing 3.5-inch hard drive storage this year. Storage analyst Tom Coughlin, of Coughlin Associates, notes "I expect we will see up to 750GB to 800GB per platter on 3.5-inch drives before the end of this year. That would give us 3TB or more with a four-platter drive, or approaching 4TB with a five-platter drive." Expect more advances in areal density for 2.5-inch drives, too; there, Coughlin expects us to see a two-platter, 1TB drive that will fit in a standard z-height notebook computer later this year.

43. Terrafugia Transition flying "car" gets special FAA exemption http://www.autoblog.com/2010/06/29/terrafugia-transition-flying-plane-gets-special-faa-exemption-s/ “…the FAA has just awarded the Terrafugia Transition an exemption which will allow the 1,440-pound car/aircraft hybrid to fly under a "light sport" designation, even though it hits the scales at a hefty 120 lbs. more than the rules allow. A light sport pilot license only requires 20 hours of seat time – far less than what a full license would demand…the Transition comes loaded with all of the safety goodies of your standard economy car – airbags and crumple zones come standard. While Terrafugia hasn't exactly said what kind of top speed the Transition can carry on terra firma, it does say the craft gets around 30 mpg when scooting around town…the Transition can lower its wings, fire up a rear-mounted propeller and take to the air where it can carry a top speed of around 115 mph with a range of 460 miles. Not too shabby. The little carplane only requires an air strip of around 1/3 of a mile, and with its wings folded, can comfortably fit in any garage. Final MSRP is expected to be around $194,000.”

Leisure & Entertainment

44. Lulu, A Review http://litlift.com/lulu-a-review As an avid reader, I've come to appreciate and enjoy the tactile experience of holding a book. So when I finished my novella a few weeks ago, my number one priority became finding a way to create that experience with something that I'd written. After a quick comparison of the two major players in this space, Lulu.com and CreateSpace.com, I rather arbitrarily selected Lulu to try out first. Lulu made it easy to get started…After a few minutes of playing with the fonts, adjusting the chapter headings and adding page numbers, I had something that had a very professional look to it and then saved it to a PDF…cover creation application is rather clunky…What it doesn't do is make it easy for you to understand which section of the cover your actually editing. For my next book I think I'll take the time to actually do a full design myself, and simply use their PDF upload option…Overall my experience using Lulu was wonderful. For less than $20 I got my book published and mailed to me, and at no additional cost I can start selling it online. If anyone has used CreateSpace let me know how it compares…”

45. New music videogames offer instrument instruction http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100626/music_nm/us_games The disconnect between playing music-based games and playing an actual instrument is perhaps best crystallized when the artists contributing the music admit that they can't grasp the games themselves…DJ Deadmau5…notes that while the "DJ Hero" franchise is a great way to expose his music to new fans, it won't help those fans develop any real DJ skills…It's a point of view shared by many artists: that pressing plastic buttons on a fake guitar can diminish a fan's appreciation of how difficult the real thing is, and that it could even stunt interest in learning an instrument. That could soon change. Music games coming out this fall, such as "Rock Band 3" and "PowerGig: Rise of the SixString," are taking a decidedly instructional route by providing a more realistic playing experience in the ongoing effort to keep the genre fresh…developers of both stress that their respective games are entertainment and that the instructional modes are simply there to give fans an added option. But it's an option that hadn't been available until now…Rick Peckham, assistant chairman of the guitar department at the Berklee College of Music and a Harmonix consultant, says using games to teach an actual skill will help establish a baseline of understanding that teachers can then build on. "This will not only get you the record score, but the ability to play the record as well, and that's a good thing…”

46. iPhone 4 + Gyroscope + Gaming = All Kinds Of Awesome http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/24/iphone-4-gyroscope-game/ “…one of the only completely new features on the iPhone 4 is the gyroscope…third-party developers haven’t had a chance to play around with it yet because they didn’t have access to the iPhone 4 hardware…there are a sad lack of apps that use the feature…there is one out there. Ngmoco’sEliminate: GunRange. And it’s awesome…You pick a gun (preferably a high-powered semi-automatic one) and head to the shooting range. But the game shines thanks to the gyroscope — which is required for you to play. Rather than dragging your finger around the screen to tell your gun where to aim, you simply tilt the iPhone itself. Sure, you could sort of do this previously with the compass built in to the iPhone 3GS — but trust me, this is much, much better….That’s how you fire your weapon, simply tap the screen. You can imagine that as more developers take advantage of this gyroscope, they’ll come up with plenty of innovative things you can do on the screen during games since your fingers are now freed up. Watch the video below to see just how accurate and sensitive the gyroscope is…it’s pretty amazing…”

47. Adventures in self-publishing http://blog.seattlepi.com/thewritersblock/archives/212015.asp With all that's going on in the publishing industry these days, self-publishing has emerged as far more than a last-resort option…last year, "the number of 'nontraditional' titles dwarfed that of traditional books whose output slipped to 288,355 last year." Meanwhile, the article notes, "a staggering 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers." Self-publishing is becoming more mainstream than, well, mainstream publishing…if you find yourself ready to go for it, you can follow one writer who's currently in the process of self-publishing and blogging all about it: Seattle author John Yunker…A former Microsoft employee and technically inclined, he opted to launch the e-versions first (which allows more time for editing and book design), and The Tourist Trail is currently available on the Kindle and forthcoming on the iPad. To get self-publishing and marketing tips (and to learn from his mistakes), check out John's blog…These days, with e-publishing and print-on-demand being efficient and cost-effective, an author can find his or her niche outside of mainstream publishing…”

48. Hulu Plus Subscription Service Streams TV for $9.99 a Month http://www.pcworld.com/article/200094/hulu_plus_subscription_service_streams_tv_for_999_a_month.html “…Hulu launched a preview of a new $9.99-a-month subscription service called Hulu Plus that streams TV content to Web-connected TVs and devices including the iPhone and iPad. The service supports 720p high-definition streaming, and will work across computers, TVs, mobile phones, and tablets…”

Economy and Technology

49. The Next Billion-Dollar Company Raises $90 Million http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/25/palantir-the-next-billion-dollar-company-raises-90-million/ “…It was very scary since doing enterprise software [from] 2005 to 2009 was a little bit like starting a circus in the middle of Palo Alto with engineers,” Karp says, “Enterprise is a dirty word and that’s the business we’re in, and government is also not very popular in the Valley, [we combined] both.”…Today, funding is not an issue. Palantir, a team of 250-plus engineers nestled in downtown Palo Alto, has raised $90 million in Series D financing at a $735 million valuation…revenues have at least doubled every year for the last three years…yet this nearly billion dollar company…remains a wallflower in Silicon Valley…Palantir is not in the social game. It doesn’t dispense daily deals, nor does it accept mobile payments and it certainly does not Tweet. It is an obtuse, difficult-to-explain product that is mainly used in Washington— the government makes up 70% of its business and the rest is dominated by private financial institutions…Palantir’s user-friendly analysis program is becoming a major player in the war against terrorism and cyber espionage, stimulus spending accountability (Palantir is literally powering the administration’s efforts to identify fraud in stimulus projects), health care, and even natural disasters like the recent earthquake in Haiti…”

50. Coke boasts “phenomenal” engagement from Twitter ads http://social.venturebeat.com/2010/06/25/coke-twitter-ads/ “…In a promising review of the microblogging network’s nascent advertising program, Carol Kruse, a top executive at the beverage company, said that its initial Promoted Tweet ad received 86 million impressions in its first 24 hours and drew an engagement rate of 6 percent, compared to the typical 0.02 percent clickthrough rate…Coke was also the second company behind Disney to buy a Promoted Trend ad…which is a sponsored space below the network’s top 10 trending topics that links to a search results page…She added that the campaign wasn’t expensive compared to other types of online advertising…Twitter has a unique metric called “Resonance” that measures whether an ad is popular with users. It considers factors like retweets, replies, clicks on tagged search terms within posts, avatar clicks, link clicks, and views after a retweet…”

51. Boston-Power Recharges With $60 Million Funding http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2010/06/25/boston-power-pulls-in-60m-more-to-push-battery-technologies-into-electronics-cars-and-utilities/ “…$60 million in Series E growth equity funding…brings Boston-Power’s total funding to $185 million since it was founded in 2005…the money will be used to expand into international markets, ramp up production of its battery technologies, and strengthen its sales, marketing, operations, and engineering team, especially in the Boston area. Boston-Power now has about 100 employees in Massachusetts and some 500 workers and consultants worldwide…the company is now planning to double in size over the next two to three years…Boston-Power’s main innovation is in the chemistry and engineering of lithium-ion batteries that are safer, more reliable, longer-lasting, and more eco-friendly than the status quo. Other companies working in the lithium-ion battery sector include A123 Systems (NASDAQ: AONE) in the Boston area, ActaCell in Texas, Sakti3 in Michigan, Mobius Power in California, and Korea’s LG Chem and Techno Semichem…”

52. We’re suing everybody on Twitter http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/globe-on-technology/were-suing-everybody-on-twitter/article1613285/ “…A group of big banks asked a judge to force a financial news website called The Fly On The Wall (Theflyonthewall.com) to stop posting immediate updates on analyst research from several major banks. TFOTW published its updates so quickly that the big banks often didn't have time to share the research reports with their clients first. We're not entirely sure how this happened – do wealthy investors only communicate by carrier pigeon? – but it obviously was a big problem for the banks. Fortunately, however, a judge sided with the banks, issuing an order this March prohibiting TFOTW from issuing such updates for a set period of time following their release by the banks – essentially, the judge imposed a time-delay. This is great, great news – it finally recognizes the reality that this whole real-time thing is just a fad, and the Internet will soon revert to its natural state as a means of transmitting information long after that information has become stale…we here at Globe Tech HQ are so inspired by this ruling, we're taking action ourselves…Globe Tech is suing everybody on Twitter…”

53. PayPal to take your credit card, no account needed http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-20008854-12.html If PayPal has its way, you'll be using its service to pay for all kinds of apps and software updates with your credit card…the electronic payments company announced a new service for developers that will let software-writers accept credit card payments using PayPal without requiring buyers to have a PayPal account. The program, called Guest Payments, will let software developers offer credit card payments for an app in addition to PayPal's electronic transferring of funds between a buyer and seller. Publishers will be able to add PayPal's credit card payment options to any app--desktop, mobile phone, and Web…”

54. Investors grab Tesla Motors IPO http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/28/technology/tesla_ipo/ Tesla Motors will offer up its shares to the public for the first time on Tuesday, testing investors' faith in a company that has proven it can make functional and stunning electric cars but has never had a profitable quarter. PayPal founder Elon Musk's seven-year old auto company lost $55.7 million last year and $260.7 million since its inception. The company has performed so poorly from a financial standpoint that Musk recently said he lost his entire personal fortune on Tesla. But investors are giddy about the Palo Alto, Calif.-based automaker's initial public offering, prompting Tesla on Monday to increase the number of shares it plans to offer by nearly a fifth to 13.3 million. Tesla…priced its shares late Monday at $17 each, above the target range of $14 to $16. That allowed Tesla to raise more than $226 million in the IPO…”

55. X Prize Foundation Announces $10 Million Oil Disaster Cleanup Challenge http://www.fastcompany.com/1664758/x-prize-foundation-announces-10-million-oil-disaster-cleanup-challenge “…At the TEDxOilSpill conference this morning, Francis Beland, VP, Prize Development at the X Prize Foundation announced a sweet incentive for figuring out a way to mop up BP's mess: a $10 million X Prize. The prize is a testament to the difficulty of stopping the oil spill--similarly large X Prizes have been offered for DNA sequencing technology, fuel-efficient vehicles, and robotic moon missions. No word yet on requirements for winners, but Beland is already soliciting suggestions at francis@xprize.org. Details will be announced in the coming weeks. This is a prime opportunity for anyone who has tried (and failed) to reach BP directly with potential disaster fixes…”

56. Supreme Court relaxes limits on innovations that can be patented http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/28/AR2010062803523.html The Supreme Court on Monday loosened the limits on the kinds of inventions that are eligible for patent protection in a case that was closely watched for its impacts on innovation. At issue was a bid by two inventors to patent a business method for hedging risk in buying energy. The high court unanimously rejected the inventors' claim, deeming their innovation too abstract to qualify for patent protection. But in doing so, it also rejected a lower court's reasoning that only inventions involving machinery or physical "transformations" are eligible for patents. Some experts hailed the decision as a move that could bring patent law out of the industrial era, when inventions were more likely to be machines, into the information age, where they are often are less tangible…Arguments in the case had drawn considerable interest from those in fields such as software, medical diagnostics and finance, where advances often come in the form of strategies that might not be eligible for patents because they do not involve machinery or the "transformation" of anything physical…”

Civilian Aerospace

57. New Boeing Spaceship Targets Commercial Missions http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/boeing-new-capsule-concept-100625.html “…aerospace juggernaut Boeing is hard at work developing a new capsule-based spaceship to fly people to and from the International Space Station. The new Boeing space capsule is a project using the company's recent $18 million award from NASA to advance the concepts and technology necessary to build a commercial crew space transportation system. It is one of several efforts by different U.S. companies to come with new spaceships to fill the void left by NASA's retiring shuttles…NASA has outlined a launch target for 2016…NASA isn't the only customer Boeing has in mind for the CST-100. The company has teamed up with Bigelow Aerospace…Reiley and Bigelow agree that the inaugural launch of the private Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule by the California-based company SpaceX represented a great stride made in commercial spaceflight…"The unprecedented success of the Falcon 9's inaugural launch clearly demonstrates that it's possible to dramatically reduce the cost of human spaceflight operations," Bigelow said. "SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule were developed at a cost dramatically below that of traditional cost-plus programs…”

58. Lofts In Space http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/jun/HQ_10-153_XHAB_Competition.html “…The X-Hab Academic Innovation Competition is a university-level challenge designed to encourage further studies in spaceflight-related engineering and architecture disciplines. This design competition requires undergraduate students to explore NASA's work to develop space habitats…Students will design, manufacture and assemble an inflatable loft that will be integrated into NASA's operational hard-shell prototype lab unit. The competition winner will participate in a demonstration of the submitted design during the 2011 Desert Research and Technology Studies, or a similar field test next summer…”

59. SpaceX seals biggest-ever commercial launch deal http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/06/24/343621/spacex-seals-biggest-ever-commercial-launch-deal.html “…SpaceX has landed the largest-ever commercial space launch deal - a $492 million contract with communication satellite operator Iridium…SpaceX will use Falcon 9s to put multiple Iridium Next communications satellites into low-Earth orbit from Vandenberg AFB in California from 2015 to 2017. Iridium's planned constellation of 72 operational and nine spare Next satellites will replace its current constellation, which provides mobile voice and data services globally…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

60. PathScale Looks to One-Up CUDA, OpenCL with New GPU Compiler http://www.hpcwire.com/features/PathScale-Looks-to-One-Up-CUDA-OpenCL-with-New-GPU-Compiler-97089024.html HPC compiler maker PathScale has unveiled ENZO, a new GPU software development suite aimed at the high performance computing space. The solution includes a home-grown compiler, runtime system, and device driver. ENZO is being built for performance from top to bottom and will initially target NVIDIA's high-end GPUs. Up until now, users looking to exploit graphics processor acceleration for technical computing had to rely on either NVIDIA's CUDA software stack or OpenCL implementations…PathScale will be the first vendor to offer a complete third-party development stack for GPU computing developers…Hoping to reuse some of NVIDIA's CUDA stack, they quickly found that the code generator and driver were not optimized for performance computing. "Their drivers, which really dictate quite a bit of what you can do, are supporting everything from gaming to HPC," says Bergström. "It's not that they haven't built a good solution. It's just not focused enough for HPC."…they found writing CUDA code for performance tedious, requiring a lot of programmer hand-holding to optimize performance…PathScale engineers found that the register usage pattern in the CUDA compiler was generalized for all types of GPU cards, so performance opportunities for Tesla were simply missed…”

61. AMD Chases NVIDIA with New FireStream GPU Offerings http://www.hpcwire.com/features/AMD-Chases-NVIDIA-with-New-FireStream-GPU-Offerings-97006419.html AMD today announced its next-generation FireStream GPU accelerator boards for HPC and other technical computing applications. The FireStream 9350 and 9370 represent the company's attempt to match the pace NVIDIA has set with its "Fermi" Tesla-20 GPU offerings…The new PCIe boards from AMD are based on the ATI Radeon HD 5870 processor…AMD has kicked up the peak performance on the new top-end FireStream, more than doubling the peak floating point performance of AMD's current generation 9270 product. The dual-slot 9370 device boasts 2.64 teraflops of single precision performance and 528 gigaflops of double precision performance. From a raw FLOPS standpoint, this matches up well with NVIDIA's latest "Fermi" parts, which deliver 1.03 single precision teraflops and 515 gigaflops double precision. The 9370 comes with 4 GB of local GDDR5 memory, while Tesla-20 offers the option of 3 or 6 GB…”

62. GPU Computing II: Where the Truth Lies http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/GPU-Computing-II-Where-the-Truth-Lies-97117894.html “…when it comes to the CPU vs. GPU performance wars, it pays to know who's runnning the benchmarks -- not only in relation to vendor loyalties, but also programming skills, software tools they used, etc. It's also worth comparing like-to-like as far as processor generations. In this regard, I think the NVIDIA Fermi GPU should be used as sort of a ground floor for all future benchmarks…”

63. Japanese Supercomputer Claims to Be High-performance, Low-cost, Greenest http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20100618/183587/ “…Tokyo Institute of Technology…Tsubame 2.0…will start operation in the fall of 2010…capacity of the system is 2.39 PFLOPS (petaflops, double-precision value), which ranks second in the "Top500,"…It will be the first petaflops computer in Japan…the computation capacity of its graphics processing units (GPUs) accounts for 90% of the total computation capacity…The backbone of the supercomputer system consists of 2,816 units of Intel Corp's "Xeon 5600" microprocessor…which has six cores and operates at a frequency of 2.93GHz, and 4,224 units of Nvidia Corp's "Tesla M2050" GPU…the total memory bandwidth is 720 Tbps, which is about 42 times higher than that of the Tsubame 1.0. And the computation capacity was increased by about 30 times…The university structured a multilevel storage using not only DRAMs such as DDR3 but also SSDs (solid state drives) composed of flash memories. While the total memory capacity of the backbone system's DRAMs is 80.6 Tbytes for microprocessors and 12.7 Tbytes for GPUs, the total memory capacity of the SSDs is 173.9 Tbytes…”


*****

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