2010/07/27

NEW NET Issues List for 27 Jul 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 27 July 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. British royals expand online presence with Flickr http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100725/ap_on_hi_te/eu_britain_royals_flickr “…Queen Elizabeth II is joining other proud parents starting Monday in showing off and sharing her photo albums — and those of the House of Windsor — on the online Flickr photo site. The launch of the British Monarchy Flickr account will beef up Buckingham Palace's online presence…More than 600 photos will be available for viewing at the launch — and many stretch back into the glories of the ancestors…Each family member has their own gallery…people using Flickr can share and embed the royal photos in blogs and social media…”

2. ZumoCast Is Like Cloud Storage Without The Cloud, Or The Cost http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/27/zumocast-is-like-cloud-storage-without-the-cloud-or-the-cost/ ZumoCast is a new cloud storage service, sorta, minus the cloud. The application streams files directly from your home desktop computer to another Internet connected device. A year and a half ago Y Combinator startup Zecter launched a cloud storage service called Zumodrive, with a twist – Zumodrive creates a drive on your device that is synced to the cloud. But instead of syncing those files with all of your other devices, Zumodrive tricks the file system into thinking those cloud-stored files are local, and streams them from the cloud when you open or access them…But that doesn’t solve the problem of storage costs. All the cloud storage startups are charging an arm and a leg for decent storage. 100 GB on ZumuDrive is $20/month…Enter ZumoCast. Install it on your Mac or Windows computer and tell it what files to make available to the app. Then install it on your iPad or phone and stream those files directly from your main computer…CEO David Zhao says they use the same technology behind ZumoDrive to automatically adjust for bandwidth fluctuation, and transcoding on the fly means most file types, as long as they don’t have DRM, stream fine. It’s a great application for accessing home videos, music and pictures. And the application also allows you to locally store a file as well if you like…Best of all is the price – free. Zhao says eventually they’ll charge for additional services with a freemium product…”

3. Firefox Just Perfected Tabbed Browsing http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/23/firefox-tab-candy/ “…at any given time you have a dozen to two dozen tabs open across multiple web browser windows…it’s a nightmare to try and remember where each is with so many open…Mozilla is working on a…new feature called Tab Candy is in the works. It’s still early in testing mode…Tab Candy is sort of like Apple’s Expose feature mixed with their Spaces feature…these features allow you to zoom out and get a bird’s-eye-view of all your windows (or tabs, in this case) that are open — and you can also arrange open windows (or again, tabs, in this case) in certain spaces so they’re clumped together. This allows you to more easily find what you’re looking for with so many tabs open…”

4. Shortened URLs Drive Need for New Security http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100723/tc_pcworld/shortenedurlsdriveneedfornewsecurity “…attacks exploiting shortened URLs have skyrocketed, and that a new approach is needed to protect against the rising threat…Sending URLs in email or instant messaging communications has always been problematic. Some URLs are excessively long--resulting in a bunch of gibberish in the message, and end up broken--rendering them useless for the recipient anyway unless the user wants to manually copy and paste or type in the part of the URL that got cut off. Social networking sites--especially Twitter with its 140-character message limitation--have driven the use of URL shortening services. Services like Bit.ly and TinyURL take the long URL and replace it with a much shorter alias URL. The net result is a URL that is much less cumbersome to communicate, but that hides the real URL behind it. Attackers can take advantage of the shortened alias to link to malicious sites…”

5. Listiki offers a smart way of gathering public opinion through crowdsourced lists http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/07/27/listiki-offers-a-smart-way-of-gathering-public-opinion-through-crowdsourced-lists/ Listiki (a portmanteau of the words “list” and “wiki”) lets you crowdsource lists of, well, anything…But here’s the clever bit: any list can, effectively, be cloned so that you can re-order items to your own taste (via drag ‘n’ drop) or even add, delete and/or replace them. Any changes made are interpreted in real time and ripple through to a ‘master’ list, aggregating the opinions of all contributors but without destroying your own version of the list. You can also, of course, view the original lists of other contributors to that subject…Listiki is pitching itself as a list-building platform which allows you to gather and share opinions. Whereas polls are “linear, single-selection tools” and forums, Twitter, Facebook, and blog comments are more conversational but less structured, “organizing things into lists comes extremely naturally to people”…Listiki says its solution differs from competitors like Listology, which allows users to create individual lists that aren’t editable by others, or editor created list sites such as Listverse. However, Listphile, a user-generated list site that supports multiple authors, and Path.io (co-founded by Sean Fanning of Napster fame), which is still in private beta, would appear to be more direct competitors…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Passwords that are Simple--and Safe http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25826/ Researchers at Microsoft have come up with a way to create easy-to-remember passwords without making a system more vulnerable to hackers…Increasingly complex password requirements--rules like "passwords must be 14 characters long and contain at least two uppercase letters, two lowercase letters, and three symbols"…Requiring that passwords include numbers, symbols, and mixed cases significantly increases the number of possible passwords. With such rules, a dictionary attack becomes infeasible, but passwords also become harder to remember…The service simply counts how many times any user on the service chooses a given password. When more than a small number of users pick a password, the password is banned and no one else is allowed to choose it. The scheme can only be used by organizations with millions of users…Replacing password creation rules with popularity limitations has the potential to increase both security and usability," the authors write. "Since no passwords are allowed to become too common, attackers are deprived of the popular passwords they require to compromise a significant faction of accounts using online guessing…”

7. Microsoft issues tool to repel Windows shortcut attacks http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9179479/Microsoft_issues_tool_to_repel_Windows_shortcut_attacks Microsoft Corp. late Tuesday released an automated tool to stymie exploits of a critical unpatched Windows vulnerability that experts fear will soon be used by hackers against the general PC population. However, the tool, like a manual procedure that Microsoft recommended last week, is only a makeshift defense, one that many users may resist applying, since it makes much of the Windows system, including the desktop, taskbar and Start menu, almost unusable…The company admitted that applying the Fix It or the registry-editing work-around would "impact usability" of the machine, since both transform the usual graphical icons on the desktop and elsewhere into generic white icons, making it impossible to tell at a glance which represents say, Internet Explorer, and which stands for Microsoft Word…”

8. 90% of Australian web snoop document censored to stop 'premature unnecessary debate' http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/no-minister-90-of-web-snoop-document-censored-to-stop--premature-unnecessary-debate-20100722-10mxo.html The federal government has censored approximately 90 per cent of a secret document outlining its controversial plans to snoop on Australians' web surfing, obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws, out of fear the document could cause "premature unnecessary debate"…Industry sources have claimed that the controversial regime could go as far as collecting the individual web browsing history of every Australian internet user…The government is hiding the plans from the public and it appears to want to move quickly on industry consultation, asking for participants to respond within only one month…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

9. HP: WebOS phones only, no Win Phone 7 http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20011559-260.html “…HP…told CNBC that the company will use WebOS, the mobile operating system acquired when it purchased Palm, on smartphones. HP will not be selling any Windows Phone 7-based devices…It's not a huge surprise that HP wants to push its own software over Microsoft's after it spent $1.2 billion to get it. But, HP is Microsoft's biggest customer, and it's somewhat of a setback for Microsoft not to have the full backing of the largest tech company on the planet for the launch of its new mobile software later this year…”

10. Will Company-Wide Beta Testing of Windows Phone 7 Help Microsoft? http://gigaom.com/2010/07/22/will-company-wide-beta-testing-of-windows-phone-7-help-microsoft/ Microsoft will reportedly provide every one of its employees with a Windows Phone 7 handset, which works out to an instant user base of 90,000. Microsoft-watcher Mary Jo Foley…added a little snark of her own, saying “90k down… just under 30 million to go” — a loose reference how far behind Microsoft is in the smartphone market where it once was a leader…the bigger questions may be how quickly can Microsoft adjust to user feedback, and how many employees will keep using the devices over the long haul? We’ve seen such “dog-fooding” strategies before, the most recent and notable being the Google Nexus One, which was used by Google employees for weeks prior to the handset launch…But if I had to pick a company that’s been completely contrary to Google’s speed, especially in terms of smartphones, it would be Microsoft…”

11. India unveils prototype for $35 tablet http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10740817 The Indian government has unveiled the prototype of an iPad-like touch-screen laptop, with a price tag of $35 (£23), which it hopes to roll out next year. Aimed at students, the tablet supports web browsing, video conferencing and word processing…Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said a manufacturer was being sought for the gadget, which was developed by India's top IT colleges. An earlier cheap laptop plan by the same ministry came to nothing. The device unveiled on Thursday has no hard disk, using a memory card instead, like a mobile phone, and can run on solar power…The plan was to drop the price eventually to $20 and ultimately to $10, he added…”

12. Samsung handing out free mobiles to disgruntled iPhone 4 users http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/jul/23/samsung-give-away-free-phones-twitter Samsung is out with the stretchers, running full tilt towards the customer carnage left by antennagate. Yes, if you're a disgruntled iPhoner, Samsung is coming for you. Via Twitter and Facebook, Samsung is giving away (yes, literally giving away) its Galaxy S device, mostly to a "cross section" of customers reporting iPhone reception problems…Samsung says: "Recently there has been a real increase in online activity from consumers dissatisfied with some of our competitors' products…Samsung apparently started handing out the Android-powered devices via Twitter…Tiffany Nieuwland, Conde Nast digital marketing staffer, was among the first to be offered one after bemoaning the number of dropped calls she gets. Jose Espinosa, director of digital services at Connect Group, was next up for a Galaxy S in the post. And then DigitalNetwork, a London-based search and digital recruitment company…a cherry-picked bunch of digital influencers. Will Critchlow, co-director of web marketing and development company Distilled…received his no-strings Samsung phone this morning – with a handwritten courtesy note attached…”

Open Source

13. OpenHeatMap: Custom Heat Maps for Geo Data http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/openheatmap_custom_heat_maps_for_geo_data.php “…Pete Warden is aiming to become something new: the guy who built the easiest way to publish maps on any website. His new project OpenHeatMap is an open-source tool to embed visualizations of data with a location element and changes over time. It works in Flash or HTML5, and it could be just the hackable thing you're looking for - if you're looking for a way to see where time, space and a set of numbers all come together…he describes it like this: "My one-sentence description is 'YouTube for maps,'" he says. "If you have location data in an Excel spreadsheet, you can save it out as a CSV file, upload it to OpenHeatMap and get an interactive online map that you can customize, share and embed." It's a GPL JQuery plug-in that lets you display data with a location component, as well as over time…This has the potential to make public data relevant to the lay user…”

14. Musings on Starting an Open-Source Project http://www.daverea.com/2010/07/deacon-musings-on-starting-an-open-source-project/ “…I can still remember the intrigued excitement I felt when my friend Seth first told me about a free system called “Linux”, and showed me the LRP box humming along in his attic…countless thousands of lines of code, and over a decade later, I felt that same excitement when I decided to launch my own open-source project. “Deacon” (short for Droid+Beacon) was on its way to becoming a library for Android developers who wished to add push-notification capability to their Android applications…I’ve seen plenty of projects come and go…But I never really considered just what the creation of a community around a piece of software would entail…In the first week of the Deacon Project’s existence, I pulled some late nights and scraped together everything that – in my experience – I felt an open-source project ought to have…A few days later, I received an out-of-the-blue email with another offer to contribute – this time, from Toronto-area software engineer, Android-enthusiast and entrepreneur Faisal Abid. The library began to take shape, with plenty of commits and frequent new blog entries…It’s been four months since I founded and announced the Deacon project, and the team and I have learned a few lessons about open source projects along the way. The project is admittedly still a fledgling, but if you’re interested in hearing a few impressions from our work so far, feel free to hit the jump…”

15. Lifehacker Pack for Linux: Our List of the Best Linux Downloads http://lifehacker.com/5590624/lifehacker-pack-for-linux-our-list-of-the-best-linux-downloads “…This first edition of the Lifehacker Pack for Linux includes our favorite apps that get things done and make your desktop great [the usual suspects are included in this list, but also a couple not-so-familiar ones]…GNOME-Do…gedit…AutoKey…Handbrake…Tilda or Yakuake…”

SkyNet

16. Google's New Image Search http://www.pcworld.com/article/201531/googles_new_image_search_thanks_bing.html “…a series of minor but useful tweaks to the popular Google Image Search…"instant scrolling."…you can now view images as one continuous scroll…Google Image Search displays up to 1,000 thumbnails per page…a hover pane…appears when you pause the cursor over a thumbnail…new "dense tiled layout" that crams more thumbnails on a page…Other upgrades include larger thumbnail previews…and improved keyboard navigation. For instance, you can use the Page Up / Page Down keys to scroll through multiple pages of images--a real time-saver…When you click on a thumbnail, a new "landing page" launches to display a larger copy of the image; the website that hosts the image is visible behind it…”

17. Google Makes Finding Places Easier on Android's Google Maps App http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_makes_finding_places_easier_on_androids_goo.php “…the race is on to take the lead in serving up local search results on mobile platforms…Google has made efforts on multiple fronts, including its latest aggregation of mapping and business information, Google Places…On Android-powered phones with Google Maps 4.4, you'll find the new Places icon in the app launcher with the rest of your apps. Press and drag it right onto your home screen to use it when you're looking for a restaurant, shoe store, movie theater or any other type of local business. You'll get a detailed list of all the nearest places and can choose one to learn more about it on its Place Page. The app…allows for user-added frequent searches. In the initial search results, you'll get a basic smattering of information, including operating hours, distance and even compass direction from your current location…clicking on the link will bring you to a place's "Place Page", where you'll find information like pricing, hours, parking, menu, aggregated user-submitted reviews, maps, contact information…The latest version of Google Maps is available for Android users running Android 1.6 and higher…”

18. Google Launches ‘Apps For Government’, With Servers On US Soil http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/26/google-launches-apps-for-government-with-servers-on-us-soil/ “…Google announced Google Apps for Government, a new version of Google’s suite of cloud-based enterprise applications that have been hardened to meet the government’s more stringent security restrictions…every year, the federal government spends $76 billion on IT expenses. Another $50 billion is spent on IT by state and local governments…this is the first multi-tenant cloud application suite that has received FISMA certification at a FISMA-Moderate level, which gives it the ability to store and serve sensitive (but not classified) information…this encompasses 80-90% of all government information…To comply with government regulations, Google will be hosting App data on servers that are segregated from its common ‘cloud’ and are housed exclusively on US soil. Gmail and Google Calendar data is currently being stored on these special servers; Google says the other apps will follow…CEO Eric Schmidt says that the enterprise software space is currently a sort of “open field”, as organizations look to finally turn away from the software architectures they’ve relied on for the last twenty years. In general, Schmidt says that everyone in government has the same problems: “it’s expensive and difficult to do things”. And he believes that web applications are well-suited for the vast majority of common tasks that the government has to manage, like distributing driver’s licenses, health care, and getting registered for Social Security…”

General Technology

19. The future is now at MIT Media Lab http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20011404-52.html “…the MIT Media Lab…the 25-year-old hotbed of research and innovation that has produced the underlying technology behind things like Guitar Hero, Lego Mindstorms, E Ink, One Laptop per Child, and much, much more…Though much of its funding comes from its 60 corporate sponsors, those companies are not able to specifically support--or direct--any particular research projects…the corporate sponsors benefit by, among other ways, getting royalty-free licenses to the work products…CityCar--the folding vehicle…Expected to weigh in at less than a 1,000 pounds, it can fit into the tiniest of parking spaces, and could get the equivalent of at least 150 miles per gallon, mainly because it is a battery-electric car…CityCar would have four in-wheel electric motors, and each wheel has its own suspension, drive motor, and steering…the car can rotate on its own axis--they call that an O-turn--can park sideways and do straight-ahead lane changes…because it doesn't have a central engine, the CityCar can be folded, making it even smaller and allowing it to fit in even smaller parking spaces…It holds just two passengers…it is not intended for heavy-duty driving. It is meant for the most common trips…Bokode…a way to solve a problem by adapting society to the fact that there are already 1 billion digital cameras in people's hands, rather than asking people to give up those devices in order to try to work with a whole new technology…much more data can be transferred through that same smartphone scanning process…the Bokode…can be scanned just the same as any of the other coding systems. But instead of carrying just a small bit of information, it can convey as much as 10,000 bytes, enough to pass on an entire bus schedule or restaurant menu or the like…”

20. Energy, sustainability, and public understanding of climate http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/07/energy-sustainability-and-public-understanding-of-climate.ars “…the Lindau Meeting made clear is…the physics community is splitting in two. A large chunk of it…is focused on CERN's Large Hadron Collider, waiting to see whether dark matter and supersymmetric particles come out of its collisions…A good chunk of the rest of it…have decided to focus on something with the potential for a more immediate payback: energy…Energy issues were presented as just one aspect of a larger sustainability challenge…the panel then fielded questions about some of the technologies that might play a role in a sustainable energy economy. There was a clear consensus among the panel that the key tech would be emissions limiting, rather than something that would help us continue burning fossil fuels near current rates…When it comes to generating power, there was a general sense that most of it would come from advanced versions of existing technologies like solar and wind…About the only new technology that had anyone excited was nuclear fission of thorium, which is cleaner and more abundant than uranium…Physics seems to dictate that batteries will never get the same energy density as hydrocarbons, and their production relies on materials that also can't be extracted sustainably. Hydrogen simply has too many storage and transport issues. Rubbia is partial to methanol-based biofuels, while Schellenhuber thinks it might be time to rethink the car model entirely…”

21. Fraternity of the Wired Works in the Wee Hours http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/technology/26night.html “…for some…the wee hours of the morning are the most productive. That is what led Amber Lambke and Allan Grinshtein to start a group called the New York Nightowls, a sort of study hall for entrepreneurs, freelancers and software developers who gather at 10 every Tuesday night and stay as late as 4 a.m. “The goal is to come, get inspired, meet new people and get work done,” said Ms. Lambke, a creative consultant. “It’s six hours of uninterrupted, productive time where you’re surrounded by other creative people doing awesome things.” Others have organized similar weekly gatherings in nearly a dozen cities, including San Francisco, Boston, Stockholm and Melbourne, Australia…this is no library. It is not uncommon to hear soft music playing, and some participants choose bottles of beer over coffee…a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie percolates through the night, one that can be hard to come by during normal working hours…The group got its start one evening in April when Mr. Grinshtein fired off a message to Twitter, asking if anyone wanted to form a casual work group…Ms. Lambke, who did not know Mr. Grinshtein, was immediately interested. “I saw the tweet and thought, this is exactly what I need…Ms. Lambke and Mr. Grinshtein try to cap the group’s size at around 30 people…a shared working space called New Work City that caters to freelancers and other independent types, offered to let the Nightowls use the space at no cost…When you don’t have your co-workers constantly interrupting you, fewer friends bored at work and on IM, it’s easier to get things done,” said Montana Low, the chief scientist at RescueTime, which makes productivity software. “A lot of people have problems with this type of distraction, and everyone is looking for ways to get a little more out of their day.”…Johan Hedberg, a 33-year-old public relations consultant in Stockholm, became interested in coordinating a local version after he saw an online posting about the group. “I have a lot of friends and colleagues writing books and working on Web projects who sit by themselves at home,”…Mr. Hedberg, who holds the gatherings at his offices on Tuesdays and serves platters of cinnamon buns and hot coffee, said that nearly 30 people turned out for the first event in mid-June and more than 100 had signed up to be notified of the meetings…”

22. Apple’s Magic Trackpad Signals The End Of The Mouse Era http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/27/apple-magic-trackpad-mouse/ “…Apple unveiled today…the new Magic Trackpad. Essentially, it’s a larger version of the trackpads that ship with each MacBook and MacBook Pro. But it’s a stand-alone product, meant to be used with desktop computers…“Looking at the big picture, more users are using our trackpad because there are more notebook users than desktop users,” an Apple representative told me…Laptops have been Apple’s best-selling computers for some time now…we can likely expect the gap between laptops and desktops to increase…“People love the trackpad. People love those characteristics. So we wanted to bring that kind of design to our desktop users,” the Apple rep told me. So Apple designed the product (in conjunction with the wireless keyboard) to bring everything people like about the trackpads over to the desktop experience. Pinch-to-zoom, inertial scrolling, tap-to-click, it’s all there…”

Leisure & Entertainment

23. YouTube Easter Egg: Play “Snake” Game While Watching a Video http://mashable.com/2010/07/24/youtube-snake-easter-egg/ “…you can play the classic game Snake…at…YouTube by holding the left and up arrow keys on your keyboard while a video is playing or paused. Once the game starts, you can direct a transparent snake around the video player with the arrow keys to gobble up dots that cause the snake to grow. Hitting the edge of the player or any part of your snake’s body will end the game. The Easter egg — just one in a long series of similar stunts from Google — was discovered by users last week…It doesn’t work with embeds, either, so you’ll have to go to YouTube’s website to try it out…”

24. Live Concerts Come to YouTube and Vevo This Summer http://mashable.com/2010/07/23/youtube-vevo-live-concerts/ “…VEVO and YouTube…launch a series of live-streamed concerts, “Unstaged: An Original Series from American Express.” The five-concert series kicks off on August 5 with a performance by Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden in New York. The concert coincides with the release of Arcade Fire’s new album, The Suburbs (which comes out August 3). Other performances will include The Roots and John Legend (both of which also have new albums this year)…The National’s latest album, High Violet, leaked onto the web back in April, after which they streamed it on The New York Times’s website. That publicity, coupled with the live-streamed concert in May, (not to mention their growing popularity), may have contributed to their album’s success; they came in at number three on the Billboard Top 200 chart after one week of sales…”

25. Pandora tops 60 million users, mobile growth strong http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100724/tc_afp/usitcompanytelecommusicinternetpandora “…Pandora has topped 60 million users…We're definitely on a steep growth curve right now," said Tim Westergren, who founded Pandora in 2000…We just passed 60 million users and I've never advertised," Westergren told technology and media executives…Pandora is available for the iPhone, the Blackberry, the Palm Pre, and devices running Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating systems but does not currently provide service outside the United States…We get about 90,000 new people a day activate Pandora on a mobile device and that number is growing," he said. "Android is a very fast grower." He said the next step for Pandora would be "getting into cars and into electronic devices at home…”

Economy and Technology

26. Joke iPhone Sticker Turns Into a Business http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/a-joke-iphone-sticker-turns-into-a-business “…After Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference last week, Szymon Weglarski and Jon Dorfman, two designers from Brooklyn, decided they would have a little fun with the iPhone 4’s antenna problem. They designed tiny bandages that fit perfectly around the edge of the iPhone, opened a store on the marketplace site Etsy, and named their new product Antenn-aid…“We put the site up late Friday night and we’re getting a new order every minute,”…At first they tried to sell the Antenn-aids individually, which proved to be inefficient, so they soon switched to a six-pack of assorted colors, which costs $5 plus shipping…The two designers are clearly having a little fun with the product. The Antenn-aid Web site says the stickers “work like magical,” poking fun at Apple’s description of the iPad as a “magical and revolutionary product.” The technical specifications of the Antenn-aids are listed as follows: “Umm… it’s a sticker.”…”

27. Collaborative Mapping Startup CloudMade Lands $12.3 Million From Greylock http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/27/collaborative-mapping-startup-cloudmade-lands-12-3-million-from-greylock/ CloudMade, which provides collaborative data and tools to developers and OEMs for mapping and navigation applications, has raised $12.3 million in series B funding led by Greylock Partners…CloudMade’s platform allows third parties to create applications with stylized and customized map tiles, fully featured turn-by-turn navigation, in-app advertising, local search and data sets relevant to thousands of consumer activities. CloudMade distributes its collaborative mapping, package maps, geo services and advertising to developers and businesses; its main customers are mobile developers, OEMs and network operators. Some of the 12,000-plus developers using CloudMade’s API include Skobbler, OffMaps, Geocaching, Trails, Ride the City, GayCities, and Dopplr. The startup uses data from partnership with OpenStreetMap (OSM), a wiki map of the world that has over 250,000 users worldwide (and is adding 3,500 new users per week), making over 7,000 edits per hour…”

28. LearnVest Launches Financial Bootcamp Programs To Keep Women Fiscally Fit http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/27/learnvest-launches-financial-bootcamp-programs-to-keep-women-fiscally-fit/ Personal finance site for women LearnVest…Launched last fall at TechCrunch50…raised its first round of funding from Accel Partnersand seed investors a few months ago ($4.5 million to be exact). LearnVest has a simple goal: to help women organize their finances and learn how to become financially savvy…the startup is launching three online programs, called ‘bootcamps,’ to educate women on various financial subjects, including a Financial Basics Bootcamp, Cut Your Costs Bootcamp, and Investing Bootcamp…the Investing Bootcamp, which costs users $7.99, teaches women how to make smart investing decisions and properly allocate their portfolios. For three weeks, women will receive daily emails with advice and actionable items that they can perform on LearnVest, making the newsletter interactive. For example, for the Financial Basics bootcamp, one of the daily actionable items is ‘Get Your Credit Score.’ Cut Your Costs Bootcamp topic range from Bootcamp topics range from ways to save on energy bills to exactly how to negotiate a lower cable bill…Alexa von Tobel, LearnVest’s CEO and founder, tells me that the idea is to encourage women to not only learn, but also motivate them to make actionable decisions about their accounts and finances at the same time. She chose a newsletter format because the ‘LearnVest woman’ simply doesn’t have time to read the same information in a book…”

Civilian Aerospace

29. DIY Satellites Let You Find Your Own Space http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128740683 The do-it-yourself movement has taken its first steps across the final frontier: space. A California company, Interorbital Systems, is offering a personal satellite kit that it says will open up space research for schools, hobbyists and amateur engineers. For just over $8,000, the company provides everything from batteries and an antenna to solar panels and a microcomputer. Once you've built your satellite and designed your experiment, the company will launch it into space on its own rocket…Professional astronomer Alex Antunes tells NPR's Audie Cornish he bought one with the intention of turning it into an outer-space musical instrument. Antunes says the sun interacts with the Earth's magnetic field in the ionosphere and causes all sorts of activity. "Let's put something up there and convert that directly to sound data, so you can hear it…It has a power system that's basically two lithium AA batteries hooked together, a little stick of gum computer chip, a bunch of very fragile solar cells that are packed away, antenna and lots of wires. If you were expecting to see Sputnik, it's completely different…”

30. Space Elevator Pioneers to Appear at the 2010 Space Elevator Conference http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100726005502&newsLang=en The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), an independent coalition designed to promote outreach and foster research relating to the construction of an Elevator to Space, announced today that Russian engineer Yuri Artsutanov and American engineer Jerome Pearson, pioneers of the modern Space Elevator concept, will appear at the 2010 Space Elevator Conference…The Conference…at the Microsoft Conference Center, will feature scientists, researchers and space enthusiasts from throughout the world as they explore the technical, legal and social issues relating to building an Elevator to Space…Artsutanov and Pearson are credited with independently creating the first modern blueprints for building an Elevator to Space. Artsutanov’s proposal, created in the early 1960s, used the newly discovered graphite whiskers to propose an Elevator to Space using cables attached to a satellite, and running in both directions. Independently of Artsutanov, in the United States Pearson conducted his own research on an Elevator to Space while at NASA. In 1975, Pearson published a proposal “The Orbital Tower: A Spacecraft Launcher Using The Earth’s Rotational Energy.”…Their ability to take the idea of a Space Elevator, first proposed as a tower by Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and come up with an Engineering solution which can actually make something like this happen, is the basis for all work done on this concept since then.” The Space Elevator Conference will be held from August 12th through the 15th…”

31. Students, cubesats and importance of a space education http://news.discovery.com/space/students-cubesats-experiment-zero-g.html Last month, I joined a team of space engineering students from the University of Michigan in an hour and a half-long flight aboard the famous Weightless Wonder aircraft to document the group's participation in NASA's Reduced Gravity Flight Education Program in Houston, Texas. Flying at 30,000 feet in a state of simulated weightlessness is an outer-worldly experience was the icing on the cake for the young engineers. They used the flight time to test their nanosatellite experiment, the eXtendable Solar Array System (XSAS), which has been in development since September 2009…” [video at webpage]

Supercomputing & GPUs

32. GPGPU Computing Demand Spurs Cloud Offering http://www.hpcwire.com/features/GPGPU-Computing-Demand-Spurs-Cloud-Offering-99353249.html The world's largest public GPGPU computing on-demand service was launched this week at the Siggraph International Conference in Los Angeles. PEER 1 Hosting, a provider of IT infrastructure, has constructed a 128-GPU compute cloud that incorporates NVIDIA Tesla gear and mental image's RealityServer 3D Web platform. The new service is aimed at customers who want to offload image rendering and technical computing workloads on GPU-accelerated servers…This can entail applications such as CG rendering, medical or seismic imaging, and product design. Since RealityServer also ties into Internet protocols such as HTML and PHP, this gives Web applications a path to GPU-accelerated services…Bioinformatics, financial analytics, and a wide range of scientific research applications that benefit from GPU acceleration are all fair game…Hardware-wise, the cloud is made up of S1070 Tesla servers and M2050-equipped x86 servers, in approximately a 50:50 ratio…”

33. New NVIDIA Fermi-class Quadro Launches the Era of Computational Visualization http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/New-NVIDIA-Fermi-class-Quadro-Launches-the-Era-of-Computational-Visualization-99320484.html NVIDIA today launched…its Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs) based on NVIDIA Fermi architecture…The new Quadro GPUs deliver performance that is up to five times faster for 3D applications and up to eight times faster for computational simulation…the new Quadro GPU is the world's first professional graphics solution with Error Correction Codes (ECC) memory and fast, IEEE double precision floating point performance. These are intended for applications demanding the highest accuracy, such as medical imaging, finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics. "In high-end visual effects development, fast iteration is essential," said Olivier Maury, research and development engineer, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). "By using NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, we are seeing up to eight iterations each day of complex fire, dust and air simulations, representing speed improvements of ten to fifteen times. NVIDIA CUDA and Quadro GPUs have entirely changed the way we solve complex visual effects challenges…”

34. Nvidia: Intel Has No Particular Advantages in Heterogeneous Multi-Core Technologies http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/display/20100722132431_Nvidia_Intel_Has_No_Particular_Advantages_in_Heterogeneous_Multi_Core_Technologies.html David Kirk, an Nvidia Corp. fellow…admitted that heterogeneous computing architecture is the most efficient since it allows to process all types of data in the best way…At present many companies working in the fields of oil and gas exploration, seismic processing financial services and other are employing graphics processing units (GPUs) and/or special compute accelerators or their base (such as AMD FireStream and Nvidia Tesla) for high-performance computing (HPC) instead of traditional central processing units (CPUs). Intel Corp., the world's largest maker of microprocessors, failed to deliver its own graphics chip code-named Larrabee…"We find that most problems, if not all, are a mix of serial control tasks and parallel data and computation tasks. This is why we believe in heterogeneous parallel computing - both [parallel and serial] are needed. CPUs are commodity technology and there are multiple CPU vendors that we work with. In my opinion, Intel has no particular advantage in developing a hybrid system - in fact, they have had little success historically in designing either parallel machines or programming environments," said David Kirk…”


*****



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