2010/08/10

NEW NET Issues List for 10 Aug 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 10 August 2010, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs 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.

If Tom's 'net connection cooperates, the plan is to once again experiment with remote connection to the NEW NET meeting. This is partly because we need to develop effective telecollaboration tools for DHMN to be successful and partly because I enjoy using and learning more about those products and services which let one work with others around the world for free or for a minimal cost.

The ‘net

1. The New Hotmail Looks Great - And It's 3X as Popular as Twitter http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hotmail_is_3x_as_big_as_twitter_and_the_new_versio.php “…every one of Microsoft Hotmail's 350 million users now has access to the newest version of the webmail service…It's fast, it's really clean looking, it has cool features that Gmail doesn't have…the biggest changes in the new version are speed, performance, one-click filtering and "active views" (inline display of multimedia like photos and videos)…The integration of Microsoft's online document creation and collaboration tools are really nice too. It's more tightly integrated that Gmail and Google Docs are…”

2. Microsoft Introduces Social Lightbox Zoom.it from Live Labs and Silverlight http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/microsoft_introduces_social_lightbox_zoomit_from_live_labs_and_silverlight.php Microsoft Live Labs has released an early version of a free tool for easy sharing of high-resolution Web- images. Enter a URL at http://zoom.it and it will spit out a short link and embed code for a basic but sleek image viewer that lets you zoom around an image or image of a website. The tool is usable and it looks great, reminding us of the fun and zoomy Street Slide feature Microsoft recently introduced…The tool converts any image to Silverlight's Deep Zoom format and is ideal for bloggers, photo galleries and any situation in which people would want to share high-quality images on the internet…One of the nifty uses for the app is zooming around one long, single page of a website. Here is an example, using the homepage of the Discovery Channel…Zoom.it was created with Seadragon, the zooming technology acquired by Microsoft in 2006 that also contributed to discovery tool Pivot and 3D photo stitcher Photosynth…”

3. Skype plans to raise $100m in New York flotation http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/09/skype-plans-new-york-flotation “…Skype plans to raise up to $100m (£65m) through a Wall Street flotation…at the end of June, it had 560m registered users, of whom 124m made calls in the average month…It reported underlying earnings of $115m in the six months to June, on revenue of $406m…Skype was owned by the US online auction company eBay from 2005 to 2009…eBay sold a 70% stake in November to a group of venture capitalists for $2bn…a 56% stake is held by a consortium including Silver Lake, a Canadian pension fund, and Andreessen Horowitz…30% remains in eBay's hands while Skype's original creators, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, have 14%. Skype…wants to embed its services in televisions and mobile devices and has struck relationships with potential partners including Verizon Wireless…the penetration of our connected and paying users is low relative to our market opportunity," said the company…its name has entered the global lexicon as a verb, with users globally talking about "skyping" each other. The company has 839 staff, including 237 in Britain. Some 40% of its calls in the first half of the year involved video contact, as well as voice…”

4. Mozilla plans to silently update Firefox http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9180272/Mozilla_plans_to_silently_update_Firefox “…Mozilla plans to introduce silent, behind-the-scenes security updating to Firefox 4…before the end of the year…Firefox 4's silent update will only be offered on Windows…Most updates, including all security updates, will be downloaded and installed automatically without asking the user or requiring a confirmation…Unfortunately users will still see the updating progress bar on load, but this is an implementation issue…Unlike Google, Mozilla will let users change the default silent service to the more traditional mode, where the browser asks permission before downloading and installing any update. Chrome is the poster boy for automatic updates. Google's browser kicked off in September 2008 with a then-controversial mechanism that removed the user from the update equation. Chrome continues to rely on an automated service that updates the browser in the background, and can't be switched off. Taking updates out of the hands of users keeps them safer, Google has claimed…97% of Chrome users were running the latest version of the browser within 21 days of the last update's release…while only 53% Safari users could say the same…”

5. Answering Your Questions With Bing And Wolfram Alpha http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/search/archive/2010/08/10/answering-your-questions-with-bing-and-wolfram-alpha.aspx “…with the latest release of new Bing answers through our collaboration with Wolfram|Alpha, you can get access to more types of answers quickly and confidently…maybe your child is doing a report on France and they need to find the country’s GDP or the capital, go to Bing and type in “gdp of France” or “what is the capital of France” or how about those science homework questions that you think you know but you just need to make sure, like what is the boiling point of water? You can also use Bing to instantly compare geographical information, like comparing the current population in India to that of China or even how their literacy rates compare. Bing and Wolfram | Alpha make finding the answers to these common questions that much easier by proving this information to you right in the search results…”

6. Waze: Using groups and gaming to get geodata http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/08/waze-using-groups-and-gaming-t.html Waze, the company behind the free turn-by-turn navigation app of the same name…has long made referred to itself as a community mapping app, but there was no really way to be a part of a community within the app -- until now. Today's release is going to add Groups (about) to the Waze iPhone and Android apps…Groups can be created, joined and exited on the fly. Group members can send messages to each other. They each have a special icon (like a tattoo) that allows you to pick out other members of your group on Waze's Live Map (users can choose to be anonymous or show their user name to others in the group. Each group has a thermometer that indicates its popularity (defined by number of users and reports). When searching for Groups the popular and nearby ones are listed first…It sounds simple (and the feature should be), but Groups are potentially quite powerful - as VP Community Geographer Di-Ann Eisnor put it "you're not alone on the road anymore, there are always people around you." I picture Groups being used to help daily commuters and carpoolers. Back when I worked at Microsoft in Redmond, I would bus over from Seattle in the morning and then get a ride back in the afternoon from a co-worker. As a result some lucky car owner could use the three-person carpool lane. We each saved time with this deal, but we had to rely on asynchronous mailing lists. I think that a realtime app that lets you know which cars are headed your way will be much easier (especially if Waze lets you have a hitchhiker icon if you need a ride). I also picture it being great for events. If you're going to a massive concert or sports game it'd be great to know who else is heading there with you…It will also make an excellent free, fleet management tool. Cab companies and smaller delivery services can know where each other are at all times…”

7. Hotmail still not working? Use Chrome to fix it, says MS http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/10/hotmail_complaints_chrome_fix/ Microsoft has advised Hotmail users struggling to access their email accounts to surf via Google’s Chrome browser in order to successfully connect to the recently overhauled service…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. The Information That Is Needed to Identify You: 33 Bits http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/08/04/the-information-that-is-needed-to-identify-you-33-bits/ With more than 6.6 billion people in the world, it’s easy to feel safely anonymous…data collectors assure consumers that they don’t collect or store personally identifiable information — things like full names, Social Security numbers or credit-card numbers…it’s often possible to identify people even without that information…Take, for example, a database that stores a user’s ZIP code, gender, age and model of car. On their own, these things sound anonymous. But if the ZIP code has 20,000 people, gender narrows that down to 10,000. Age could cut it down to a few hundred, and once you add model of car, you could be looking at a handful of people. Add other characteristics, like specific browser type and computer operating system, and you may be describing just one individual. How many pieces of information are needed to identify an individual? In the field of re-identification science, it’s 33 “bits…Why 33? Because…2 multiplied by itself 33 times is a bit more than the number of people on earth — 6.6 billion…Each piece of information you add reduces the pool of possible individuals…And this is a young field with still-immature techniques…”

9. BlackBerry will not let India monitor messages – Hah! http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jnqwf7al3YeLbjNf9J20VuMtlhjQ “…BlackBerry insisted…it would not allow the Indian government to monitor encrypted emails…BlackBerry's woes in India…come as Saudi Arabia announced a suspension of BlackBerry operations starting Friday because security agencies cannot monitor messages. The United Arab Emirates has also said it would halt BlackBerry email, messenger and other services from October on the same grounds…The Economic Times…quoted an unnamed security agency official as saying India, the world's fastest growing cellular market, would close BlackBerry services that cannot be monitored…India has demanded encryption details to track BlackBerry services but the Canadian company says even it cannot read the encrypted information…” [http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/08/uae_to_ban_blac.html The United Arab Emirates -- Dubai, etc. -- is threatening to ban BlackBerrys because they can't eavesdrop on them…RIM processes the information through a handful of secure Network Operations Centers around the world, meaning that most governments can't access the data easily on their own…Most countries have negotiated agreements with RIM that enable their security agencies to monitor and decipher this traffic. For example, Russia's two main mobile phone providers, MTS and Vimpelcom, began selling BlackBerrys after they agreed to provide access to the federal security service. "We resolved this question," Vimpelcom says. "We provided access." The launch of BlackBerry service by China Mobile was delayed until RIM negotiated an agreement that enables China to monitor traffic…RIM makes a big deal about how secure its users' data is, but I don't know how much of that to believe: RIM said the BlackBerry network was set up so that "no one, including RIM, could access'' customer data, which is encrypted from the time it leaves the device. It added that RIM would "simply be unable to accommodate any request'' for a key to decrypt the data, since the company doesn't have the key. The BlackBerry network is designed "to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances,'' RIM's statement said. Moreover, the location of BlackBerry's servers doesn't matter, the company said, because the data on them can't be deciphered without a decryption key. Am I missing something here? RIM isn't providing a file storage service, where user-encrypted data is stored on its servers. RIM is providing a communications service. While the data is encrypted between RIM's servers and the BlackBerrys, it has to be encrypted by RIM -- so RIM has access to the plaintext…”]

10. Body scanning images being banked http://www.salon.com/technology/dan_gillmor/2010/08/04/body_scanning_mission_creep/index.html When government officials launch new security technologies, they always promise that the devices and methods will A) not unnecessarily invade people's privacy; B) have strong policies in place to prevent abuse; and C) not go beyond their initial mandate. Then they break the promises…federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded."…The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images…we were told that no images could be stored because they'd be automatically deleted. Whoops, not true…these machines are specifically designed to store the images…the Department of Homeland Security…[is] mandating the rollout of the body scanners nationwide…Isn't there an option to be checked in some other way? There sure is, but be prepared for a serious hassle if you do…Even though lots of celebrities make sex tapes, there are at least a few movie stars and other public figures who have retained some old-fashioned modesty. Think any of these folks, however they regard their own privacy, won't be targets? Think again…watch as the full body scan becomes less and less optional if you want to actually catch your flight. Either it'll be mandatory, or the alternative will be hugely time-consuming and/or physically invasive…”

11. Defcon speaker calls IPv6 a 'security nightmare' http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/06/ipv6_security_nightmare/ “…the roll-out of the new scheme — known as IPv6 or Internet Protocol version 6 — is imminent…the radical overhaul still isn't ready for prime time — in large part because IT professionals haven't worked out a large number of security threats facing those who rely on it…We're coming into a time of crisis and no one is ready.” Chief among the threats is the issue of incompatible firewalls, intrusion-prevention devices, and other security appliances, Bowne said. That means many people who deploy IPv6 are forced to turn the security devices off…internet addresses that use the new protocol by default contain a 64-bit string that's generated by a computer's MAC, or Media Access Control, address. The use of the so-called extended unique identifier means that people who want to remain anonymous online will have to take precautions that aren't necessary under today's IPv4 system…everything you send or receive is labeled with your real MAC address and therefore if you were to do something naughty…they would know who you are much better than they do if all they have is an IP version 4 address…Many organizations require the use of the extended unique identifier so they can keep tabs on their employees' internet usage…”

12. How to hide yourself from Google and cell phone carriers http://venturebeat.com/2010/07/29/how-to-hide-yourself-from-google-and-cell-phone-carriers/ “…You would never let the government put a tracking device on you, but you may be carrying a cell phone that tracks your location. You don’t want the government monitoring your internet usage, but Google collects data on you. Since most people find they can’t live without a cell phone or Google, they grudgingly accept that they will lose their privacy and become trackable…Moxie Marlinspike…spoke at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas today about how to give users more choices by allowing them to hide from both Google and cell phone carriers without losing access to their services…Marlinspike (pictured) has set up two experimental services that allow you to stay anonymous and still use the internet…Google gathers a lot of data on you…Who knows more about citizens in their own country, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, or Google? Why is Google not scary?...To create anonymous access to Google, Marlinspike created an add-on for the Firefox web browser with a custom proxy server, which redirects you when you are using a Google application. If Marlinspike’s software detects a request for a Google service that does not require a login, it sends the request to the Google Sharing proxy server. That server anonymizes your identity and assigns a cookie to you that will work with the Google service…You can then use the Google service without being tracked. It has been available for about six months and about 80,000 people are using it…Marlinspike has also set up a way to do voice-over-internet-protocol VOIP calls on cell phones without being identified…Whisper Systems, lets you make calls (via RedPhone) or send text messages (TextSecure) without being tracked. RedPhone creates encrypted phone calls so no one can listen into your conversation. TextSecure also encrypts your text messages…But the sad truth is that many people probably won’t care enough to use these services.”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. 200,000 Android devices sold each day http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20012725-56.html Google CEO Eric Schmidt said on Wednesday that Google believes that some 200,000 new Android devices are being sold each day, leading to significant revenue in the form of increased mobile search traffic…The number was about 100,000 (a day) about two months ago…Google loves the success of Android because it means more people have phones capable of doing lots of Web searches for which it does get paid. "Trust me that revenue is large enough to pay for all of Android's activities and a whole bunch more," he said…As for Chrome OS, Schmidt said that Android's success hasn't caused the company to rethink its dual-OS strategy…Chrome…is a bit more of a departure from what's on the market…I think it is improper to be skeptical of Android and I think it is proper to be skeptical of Chrome OS…”

14. Frash Brings Flash to Jailbroken IPhones http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/202907/frash_brings_flash_to_jailbroken_iphones.html “…some intrepid iOS hacker has figured out a way to get Adobe Flash working on the iPhone--sort of…Comex, the same singularly-named individual who created that Web-based jailbreaking site earlier this month, has unleashed "Frash" for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. If you've jailbroken any of the compatible devices…you can now get Flash working inside of Mobile Safari, if you dare…The iPhone has never offered support for Flash, which has sparked a long-running controversy not just between Adobe and Apple, but even among smartphone users…Adobe, for its part, has been stating its intention to ship a mobile version of Flash for Google's Android smartphone platform for several months, but a final version of the software is still not available to users. Important to note, however, is…that Frash…very much in beta at version 0.02--doesn't work with anything but the most basic Flash animations…pretty much the only Flash you'll gain newfound access to is in the form of Web advertisements…”

15. 11 Mobile Web Annoyances http://www.pcworld.com/article/202806/11_mobile_web_annoyances_and_how_to_fix_them.html “…Websites now clamor to create mobile versions of themselves, forcing bite-sized samples upon smartphone users who want nothing more than the whole Internet in their pockets. The very idea of mobile Web browsing on small touchscreens is so new that we're far from seeing perfection; even the desktop Internet is loaded with annoyances, and it's been around for decades. Until we live in a perfect world, here are 11 mobile Web annoyances, and how to work around, cope with, ignore, or fix them…Lame Mobile Sites…New Browser Window…Built-in Pop-up Ads…Filling Out Froms…Redirect…Accidental Tapping…This Site Isn’t AppWorthy…Picking Up Where You Left Off…”

16. Droid 2 Packs Android 2.2 Astromech Power http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/handheld/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=226600317 “…Droid 2 has to be one of Verizon Wireless' worst-kept secrets in recent memory. Nearly every feature of the device has been leaked -- including images…Big Red finally got around to admitting that the device…will be available for pre-order Wednesday, August 11, and goes on sale Thursday, August 12, with Android 2.2 and Flash Player Mobile 10.1…Droid 2 is a sideways slider with a full QWERTY keyboard for messaging…Motorola says the keyboard has been redesigned…The original Droid's keyboard was one of its worst features…the Droid 2 will ship with Swype word-prediction software on board. This software lets users trace words across the software keyboard rather than peck them out…Another feature that sets the Droid 2 apart from the original is the…3G Mobile HotSpot feature. For $20 extra per month, the Droid 2 can be used as a wireless modem…this feature is overpriced, but it could negate the need for a separate modem…The Droid 2 has 8GB of internal memory, and will ship with an 8GB microSD card. It will support microSD cards up to 32GB for a total of 40GB of on-board storage…Verizon also announced that they will offer a special edition Star Wars version of the Motorola Droid 2 in September. The R2D2 Droid 2 will come with Stars Wars content and it will be made to look like R2D2 Astromech droid from the Star Wars film…”

Open Source

17. Spicebird: A Modern Thunderbird Remix http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reports/7144/1/ Take Thunderbird, mix liberally with calendaring, instant messaging, and release it on Linux and Windows. What do you get? Spicebird, a collaboration client that remixes Thunderbird to bring the creaking mail client up to date for today's users. Spicebird has been in the works for some time, but the 0.8 release is finally ready for a wider audience…Since Spicebird is based on Thunderbird 3.x, you'll see no difference in setting up mail here. Like Thunderbird, Spicebird is great at setting up "standard" email accounts like Gmail — plug in your email address and password and it'll likely figure out your account details (POP3 vs. IMAP, SSL or not, etc.) on its own…Spicebird differs from Thunderbird in that it has calendaring integrated, and offers instant messaging/IRC and a home tab with widgets…”

18. Sunbird: Your Calendar, Your Way http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/products/70485.html “…If you work on multiple computers or lack constant access to Web-based apps like Google and Yahoo calendars, you can be cut off from calendar access at very inconvenient times…This portability lets me store the Sunbird folder on the same USB drive that holds my working files. I plug this drive into whatever computer I use so all of my research notes, article drafts, personal and business records are always with me. This is a big plus since I use two different desktop computers, a netbook and two laptops running both Ubuntu and Puppy Linux distros…It runs independently of any email client…I do not have to be connected to any email client to get at my calendar…Much like…the Open Office suite and the Mozilla Firefox Web browser, Sunbird runs in Windows and Mac OS X in addition to Linux…the stand-alone Sunbird Calendar app is not the same package as Mozilla's Lightning. Lightning is a calendar extension for Mozilla Thunderbird. It offers calendaring features directly in the Thunderbird User Interface…If you like the options available in Sunbird but do not want to leave your Google Calendar in the clouds, you can take it with you. Sunbird will sync events with Google Calendar…”

19. Drupal 7: Everything you need to know http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/features/drupal-7-everything-you-need-to-know/ “…More than two years in the making, and containing 6,600 community-contributed commits, the release of Drupal 7 is imminent. Major changes have been made which impact end users, site builders and developers…let’s take a look at the new features in Drupal 7…The aims of the redesign were: 1. Make the most frequent tasks easy, and less frequent tasks achievable…2. Design for the 80%...3. Privilege the content creator – people spent most of their time managing content…4. Make the default settings smart…The most notable improvement to Drupal’s user interface are overlays. Usability lab tests observed that many users coming from other CMS systems were accustomed to a dedicated back end for administration and content creation, and found it difficult to distinguish the administration layer from the rest of the website. Drupal 7 uses overlays to combine the best of both worlds, edit where you are, and the UI simplicity of a dedicated back end…”

20. CoLab Brings Online Collaboration to the Scientific Community http://ostatic.com/blog/colab-brings-online-collaboration-to-the-scientific-community Scientific researchers may want the input of others in the community but are understandably hesitant to share data and information they've worked so hard to uncover. When scientists working on similar projects are flung far and wide around the globe, collaboration becomes even more of a challenge. CoLab, a new open source project launched by two California-based scientists, aims to make it easier for the scientific community to work together toward its common goals…The CoLab Web site gives scientists a place to manage projects, share ideas with others, and park the data they gather. Stark and Strouse hope the site will help researchers identify and solve problems more quickly than the traditional approach which often leaves scientists isolated from others in their field…More than 100 researchers have already joined CoLab since its launch at Open Science Summit 2010 last month. They come from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including astronomy, physics, biology, and computer science, and are already beginning to collaborate on projects…”

21. Configure Wine Ubuntu For Running Windows Based Games http://www.devshed.com/c/a/Administration/Configure-Wine-Ubuntu-For-Running-Windows-Based-Games/ There are times when, as a Linux user who does not have a Windows-based operating system installed, you would like to play your favorite Windows game in a Linux environment using Wine. Sadly, in most cases, the game will run under less optimal/desirable conditions than when it is executed under Windows environment…This tutorial will be aimed at beginners or intermediate users of a Linux Ubuntu Wine installation. The goal is to help them achieve the best gamingexperience of running Windows games in Linux without having to deal with terminal commands. Not all games are guaranteed to work with this tutorial, but what is presented here are useful technical troubleshooting processes that the user should go through to optimize gaming conditions in Linux Wine…”

SkyNet

22. Chrome users can now drag and drop Gmail attachments to desktop http://thenextweb.com/google/2010/08/04/chrome-users-you-can-now-drag-and-drop-attachments-to-your-desktop/ “…Gmail users in Chrome and Firefox have been able to drag and drop multiple attachments into the window to be sent, but that’s where the fun stopped. If you wanted to download attachments, you had to do it the old fashioned, “use a link” way…Chrome users now have a better method – dragging and dropping. Now, instead of having to use the Download link from your Gmail window, you can just drag and drop your attachments right to your desktop…as long as you’re using Chrome…”

23. Google kills Wave - but the concept is here to stay http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/pda/2010/aug/05/google-wave Google has announced it is ending development on Wave, the cross-platform communication tool it launched with much fanfare at its I/O developer conference in May 2009…The Wave idea was a centralised communications tool that combined the real-time advantages of Twitter with the aggregation of your email and chat, with collaborative documents too…Eric Schmidt himself said of the Wave failure that it is just a symptom of trying things out…This is a company where it's absolutely OK to try something that's very hard, have it not be successful, and take the learning from that…Sergey Brin was convinced to support the Wave concept by a Google development team in Australia…they said, 'We want to do something new and revolutionary, but we're not even going to tell you what it is. And we want to go back to Australia, hire a bunch of people and just work on it…”

24. Google Mobile Adds Search History, But So Much More is Possible http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_launches_helpful_search_history_for_mobile.php Google just announced a new feature for mobile called Search History; users can opt-in to having their logged-in searches saved, starred, edited and accessed from across mobile or desktop searching…Where there is meaningful data, there is an opportunity to discover patterns, make recommendations and offer other sorts of forward-looking insight…the company's market share in mobile search is up to more than 98% this year, according to independent analysis. Google said last month that mobile searches on Android are up 300% in the first half of this year…”

25. The Un-Social Reality of Google http://gigaom.com/2010/08/04/slide-vic-gundotra-the-un-social-reality-of-google/ “…The world’s largest search engine covets a key to the magical kingdom called the social web. It would do anything to become part of that exclusive club…like spend a rumored $182 million on San Francisco-based Slide, a head-scratcher of a deal…I think that Zynga and Playfish both started with gaming as their sole focus. They weren’t trying to “pick the trend,” they just believed that you could combine casual games with the new distribution models of social networks…in order to understand social and win over the social web, companies need to understand people. I’m not sure Google is capable of understanding people on that level…Google, thanks to two brilliant engineer-founders, has become a great company seemingly able to solve the world’s most complicated engineering problems…what it can’t do is internalize empathy. It doesn’t know feelings. It doesn’t comprehend that relationships are more than a mere algorithm. You can see this in its many offerings; they’re efficient, but devoid of emotion, and emotions are what drive interaction…The whole company is built around “goal-oriented behavior,” which essentially means “come to Google, do your search and move onto the next thing.”…Google is facing pressure from two different directions. One one side, the social web is moving toward a future where serendipity replaces search. Facebook is on this side. On the other side, with mobile apps, Apple has helped popularize a new goal-oriented, task-specific paradigm that essentially starts to obviate the need for search. These two behavior changes are clear and present danger to Google…”

26. Google Research Director Peter Norvig on Being Wrong http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/thewrongstuff/archive/2010/08/03/error-message-google-research-director-peter-norvig-on-being-wrong.aspx “…Peter Norvig, the director of research at Google…talk about (among other things) how engineers think about error, what's good about failing fast, and why Google buys cheap computers…There's a story going back to the founding of Google: One of the venture capitalists came to [company founders] Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin] and said "OK, the first thing you have to decide is, is this company going to be run by sales or by marketing? They said, "We think we'll take engineering."…If you're a politician, admitting you're wrong is a weakness, but if you're an engineer, you essentially want to be wrong half the time. If you do experiments and you're always right, then you aren't getting enough information out of those experiments. You want your experiment to be like the flip of a coin: You have no idea if it is going to come up heads or tails. You want to not know what the results are going to be… We built an entire development process around the idea that errors exist and the need to minimize their impact…Google was early in accepting hardware errors…Google was very innovative in this area and saved a lot of money as a result. Failure is always an option at Google…the price of trying new things is that most of them fail. How do you build a tolerance for that kind of failure into a public corporation that's accountable to its bottom line?...We do it by trying to fail faster and smaller. The average cycle for getting something done at Google is more like three months than three years. And the average team size is small, so if we have a new idea, we don't have to go through the political lobbying of saying, "Can we have 50 people to work on this?" Instead, it's more done bottom up: Two or three people get together and say, "Hey, I want to work on this."…within the company, we're really good at making decisions based on statistics. So if we have an idea—"You know, here's a way I can make search better"—we're really good at saying, "Well, let's do an experiment. Let's compare the old way with the new way…When it comes to something that doesn't really have statistics…those types of decisions have to be made more on gut instinct rather than a statistical basis. And as a company, that's harder for us...I interviewed Ira Glass, the host of This American Life, and he said that for every story we hear on the show, they start developing 10 or so and go into production on three or four…What would you say is your failure-to-success rate?...we have all these ideas of how to make search better, and I'd say maybe half of those end up working…Most of the things you see in Google Labs are there because we didn't quite know what to do with them, so certainly less than half of them become hits…we're now at the scale where we can also do things that just make the Web better. We do a lot of open-source projects, because if we release code and some other company makes something really cool that makes the Internet better, we benefit, too. About half of Internet users are using Google search, so if another company builds something and two people start using the Internet because of it, we're going to get one of them…”

27. Google Tweaks Gmail Interface - Launches Updated Contacts Manager http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_tweaks_gmail_interface_launches_updated_contacts.php Google just launched a revamped interface for Gmail and a major upgrade to the Gmail Contacts application. The updated Gmail interface now features three separate links for Mail, Contacts and Tasks at the top of the left sidebar, while the "compose mail" and "add contact" buttons have moved underneath these links. The Gmail Contacts application, which is the focal point of today's update, now offers users the ability to sort contacts by last name and to create custom labels for phone numbers and other fields that turn the application into a lightweight CRM solution…Contacts now features a larger notes field, keyboard shortcuts, automatic saving and an improved sorting feature for Asian languages. Contacts now also sports an undo function…”

28. Google's South Korean office raided http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/10/google-street-view-seoul-police-raid Police in South Korea have raided Google's Seoul headquarters as part of an investigation into data collected by the company's Street View cars. Police official Ahn Chang-soo said computers and hard drives had been seized in the raid by 19 Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) officers on the Google premises in the South Korean capital…South Korea is one of many countries – including the UK – investigating the data collected by Google's Street View cars. The search giant has admitted to accidentally intercepting fragments – amounting to 600MB – of personal data through Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries as it sought to map towns and cities…A string of code in the production systems of Street View cars allowed Google to retrieve and store information about the networks' location, names and Media Access Control (MAC) addresses on wireless networks that were not password protected. Last month the UK information commissioner ruled that Google is unlikely to have collected "significant amounts of personal data" with its Street View mapping cars, saying there is "no evidence as yet that the data captured by Google has caused or could cause any individual detriment…”

General Technology

29. Building the zero-fatality car http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9179697/Car_tech_Building_the_zero_fatality_car “…Over the next 10 to 20 years, car companies will rely increasingly on computer simulations and virtual engineering to build safer cars and help reduce fatalities. With magnesium and carbon-fiber parts in strategic locations, active safety systems that slow the car as it follows curves in the road, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication that warns you about approaching traffic, future cars will be much safer to drive…Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is another important step on the road to the zero-fatality car. The more a vehicle knows about other cars (and the roadway), the better it can react and avoid a danger…GM's OnStar and Mercedes' mbrace today use CDMA cellular and GPS signals to communicate vehicle status, including automatic collision notification, to a central location and provide other services such as roadside assistance and remote door lock or unlock…the car will…actively search for dangers, partly by communicating with other cars and partly by communicating with the road infrastructure, including signs, traffic lights and parking lots…just about every car manufacturer now has some form of stabilization control that checks for uneven tire speed and whether the car is at an angle, and keeps the vehicle level…the Federal Communications Commission in 2002 approved the use of the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) 5.9-GHz spectrum for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure signals…the DSRC signals could become part of the IIHS ratings and that future cars could be rated for their ability to communicate with other cars…these signals would send out a safety state -- for example, the car's speed, the level of brake pressure the driver has applied and steering -- to every other car in the vicinity…the car could send out its current path prediction according to GPS routing, for example, or warn the driver about unsafe traffic conditions reported from other vehicles…Cars would know the status of the next traffic light, the speed of other cars and that, say, there was a semi-trailer truck barreling down the cross street…In the Mercedes-Benz ESF concept car, a wireless network feeds information about traffic lights, emergency vehicles and the location of other vehicles to prevent accidents…Adaptive cruise control, which adjusts car speed automatically as you approach another car on the highway; blind-spot warning systems, which use cameras or sensors to detect cars moving up beside you; and lane-departure warning systems, which alert you when you drift out of your lane…Next up are collision avoidance systems that inspect environmental variables such as road conditions, lane markers and your attention level (by measuring steering wheel movements, time elapsed since you started the car, erratic behavior and many other variables) and use advanced algorithms to determine how much you should be braking in a given situation…”

30. The HP eStation Zeen and Zeus printer http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/05/the-hp-estation-zeen-the-zeus-printer-and-everything-we-know-a/ “…the Zeen is an e-reading-focused Android tablet with the unique ability to connect directly to an HP printer and function as its interface without the need for a computer…a capacitive tablet running a HP skin on top of Android 2.1 -- it won't get shifted to webOS, and it's not clear if it'll get upped to Froyo before launch given the development time required. It has capacitive touch buttons, a SD card slot, video support, and at least some prototypes have cameras with a special webcam app installed…E-reading is a major focus, and the Zeen has "significant" integration with the Barnes & Noble Nook bookstore and ecosystem. Makes sense, as the Nook itself is based on Android, and being able to print e-books from the Zeen would be a huge differentiator -- and a great way for HP to sell more ink. The Zeen will come in two configurations: a $399 bundle with a new printer called Zeus and as a standalone unit for an unknown price…”

31. Build what had previously not been possible http://jasonlbaptiste.com/featured-articles/build-what-had-previously-not-been-possible/ “…it all seems to start with a simple little idea. It may seem as if the idea sprung up instantly, but it’s most likely a compilation of building blocks. Over the course of history new building blocks become available…The crucial part to changing the world as an entrepreneur is to use these new building blocks to build what had previously not been possible…Over the past 18 months I’ve noticed an immense new set of building blocks emerge that will define the companies that shape our world over the next decade…Some may be obvious and some may be immature. The key is not to look at them alone, but look at them as pieces that can be put together to create something truly fascinating…Location Aware…Synced Data…Social Context…Touch Over Click…Say Cheese…Transactions <= .99…Assume The Device Is Portable…Zero Delay Information Flow…Scalable To Billions…Always Connected…Zero Barrier Distribution…Anything As A Service…HD Is The Standard, Not Exception…A La Carte…Direct Access To Customers…”

32. Apple obtains exclusive rights to Liquidmetal, a super-durable metal alloy http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/08/09/apple_obtains_exclusive_rights_to_custom_super_durable_metal_alloy.html “…The metal alloys owned by Liquidmetal Technologies were developed by a research team at the California Institute of Technology, and their amorphous, non-crystalline structure makes them harder than alloys of titanium or aluminum. Introduced for commercial applications in 2003 through the Delaware-based Liquidmetal corporation, the product has been used to create technology for the U.S. Department of Defense, has been found in medical equipment, and is even used to create sporting goods like tennis raquets and golf clubs…last week, Liquidmetal Technologies indicated that it had granted all of its intellectual property assets to Apple…Apple was awarded "a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to…such intellectual property in the field of electronic products…”

33. Big Macs on campus http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/07/big-macs-on-campus/ “…a Ridgewood, N.J.-based research firm called Student Monitor…has been tracking higher education computer purchases for 22 years. Twice a year, Student Monitor interviews 1,200 students for 55 minutes each at 100 representative campuses…95% of college students interviewed this spring owned at least one computer (83% owned a laptop, 24% a desktop, 15% both)…Among the laptop owners, 27% owned Macs…Among those who planned to purchase a new computer, 87% planned to buy a laptop. And among those students 47% planned to buy a Mac…Apple and Dell have switched positions in the college laptop market in the space of five years. In 2005, 47% of students buying laptops chose Dells. In 2010, 47% are choosing MacBooks…”

Leisure & Entertainment

34. Madden 11 on the iPad: A perfect armchair QB http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-31747_7-20013078-243.html Video game football on the go used to be a challenging proposition for a mobile armchair quarterback. Nintendo's handhelds have never made great versions of Madden. The PSP has a superior iteration, if you've got a PSP…Enter the iPad. Apple's tablet has offered up lots of gaming potential but relatively few killer app games since its spring debut…Madden 11 hits the iPhone and iPad on Tuesday, but the iPad HD edition is expected to cost $12.99. Does it offer anything to justify the cost? Based on our experience so far, absolutely. First off, the graphics and player models on this year's mobile Madden appear greatly improved…on the iPhone 3GS, an early build of Madden 11 seemed choppy. On the iPad, animations and plays flowed smoothly and looked the way we'd expect them to on a larger screen. Madden wisely uses the added iPad screen real estate to draw a larger field of vision for the players, avoiding the blinder feel from which the iPhone edition suffered…”

35. Kindle Gets Games http://mashable.com/2010/08/05/kindle-games/ “…Kindle is no longer an e-books-only device; developers have just released two Kindle-ready games…with Kindle’s paper-like interface, we weren’t expecting first-person shooters or elaborate fantasy games. The kinds of entertainment apps that have been developed and released so far are what we’d expect would go over well with Kindle’s book-loving users: word puzzles…these two initial offerings represent the more shallow end of the app pool; we predict clever crossword puzzles, two-player games, less literary offerings such as puzzle or math games, and more will be coming relatively soon…”

36. Fold Proteins, Help Cure Diseases in Foldit Video Game http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100805/tc_pcworld/foldproteinshelpcurediseasesinfolditvideogame “…Plying a freely available game and matched against automated computer routines designed to ascertain how amino acids twist into their ideal shapes, science journal Nature reports video gamers took top marks, folding proteins better than a computer. The game, called Foldit (or Fold.it) comprises two-years of biochemistry and computer science at the University of Washington. Its goal was simple: Come up with a better, quicker way to fold proteins by harnessing the brainpower of video gamers…Why protein folding? Because protein feeds your muscles and helps ferry signals in your brain that control your body, and because improper folding, which can produce inactive or incorrectly folded proteins, is associated with everything from allergies to several neurodegenerative diseases…Foldit, which works a bit like Tetris, asks players to actually fold a protein by shaking sidechains, wiggling backbones, and clearing locks and bands…humans fare notably better than computers when crunching problems requiring risk-taking and long-term predicting--both areas necessary toward speeding protein folding….”

37. Peasant's Quest is a game that takes you back 25 years to the ancient days of text-only games, such as Zork. Throw out your mouse, hit the CapsLock, and type "LOOK" or "TALK" at the prompt. You'll get a written response, you might be prompted to do something, or receive sage advice. Not sure what to do? Use the arrow keys to make your character start walking. Use the Enter key to clear messages. You've never heard of Zork!? Download Zork and get a taste of what old geezers staring at green screens thought of as challenging. You can visit Best Old Games, a site for old DOS games like Pac-Man and Prince of Persia. You may need the DOSBox utility to play Zork DOS games [for more stuff like this and for serious computer advice, sign up for the free Steve Bass newsletter]

Economy and Technology

38. Score Loyalty Points for Walking in a Store http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/04/score-loyalty-points-for-walking-in-a-store/ Stores generally do not know that a customer has visited until the customer buys something on the way out. A start-up, Shopkick, is betting that stores would also like to know when shoppers enter and reward them for doing so. Shopkick is an app…that retailers can use to track when shoppers have entered a store and reward them with points or discounts…other apps use cellphones’ GPS signals. That means that someone could stand on a street corner and check in to a place to earn points without ever setting foot in the shop…Check-ins are a really nice start, but unfortunately, most of them are fake,” said Cyriac Roeding, Shopkick’s co-founder…Instead of relying on GPS or Wi-Fi signals, Shopkick installs small devices in stores that send out an inaudible noise. Cellphones with the Shopkick app pick it up with their microphones…Stores that are partnering with Shopkick, including Best Buy and Macy’s, can offer personalized discounts. Shoppers redeem them at the cash register by giving the cashier their cellphone number. Shoppers also earn points, which Shopkick calls kickbucks, for entering a store, even if they do not make a purchase. These are redeemable for a variety of things, including gift cards, Facebook credits and Napster song downloads…”

39. Local-services startup Redbeacon raises $7.4M http://deals.venturebeat.com/2010/08/05/redbeacon-funding/ Redbeacon, the service listings startup…just raised $7.4 million in its first round of funding. Users post service requests on Redbeacon, detailing if they need something repaired or delivered, then service providers can bid to do the job…buyers…don’t just choose providers from a directory, but respond to actually bids…their information isn’t shared with a service provider unless that provider’s bid is chosen…”

40. Barnes & Noble on the Block? http://www.fastcompany.com/1677429/barnes-noble-to-sell-barnes-noble-amazon-better-prepare The world's largest book retailer, Barnes & Noble, announced Tuesday that its…considering selling the company in order to increase shareholder value…the board has formed a team to evaluate "strategic alternatives" to make sure it's "taking advantage of [its] compelling digital opportunities."…B&N's online store is exploding, with sales increasing 51% last quarter and 32% the quarter before that. In the next fiscal year, Web sales are expected to increase 75% to $1 billion. The Nook, Barnes & Noble's answer to Amazon's Kindle, has arrived with a splash in the e-reader market, outselling the Kindle in its first month on sale. And a price drop in June should help swell the Nook's success…Barnes & Noble has watched Amazon rip into its market share long enough -- and its fight back is beginning to draw blood…”

41. The Future of Startup Funding http://paulgraham.com/future.html Two years ago I wrote about what I called "a huge, unexploited opportunity in startup funding:" the growing disconnect between VCs, whose current business model requires them to invest large amounts, and a large class of startups that need less than they used to. Increasingly, startups want a couple hundred thousand dollars, not a couple million. The opportunity is a lot less unexploited now…If founders become more powerful, they'll be able to make investors give them more money upfront…The other thing founders hate most about fundraising is how long it takes. So as founders become more powerful, rounds should start to close faster…an interviewer asked me if founders having more power would be better or worse for the world…Better or worse, it's happening…Founders understand their companies better than investors, and it has to be better if the people with more knowledge have more power…In a lot of startups, the biggest source of stress for the founders is not competitors but investors…”

42. In search of serendipity http://www.economist.com/node/16638391?story_id=16638391 “…the internet has allowed people to interact easily and cheaply with others who would previously have been unreachable, and social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are spawning all sorts of new relationships and collaborations…change is both faster and less predictable than before, making traditional top-down planning trickier. And because things change so fast, knowledge is increasingly dispersed. Instead of drawing on a few, stable, reliable sources of information, managers today must tap into multiple, fast-moving, informal knowledge flows…When knowledge is dispersed, you are less likely to find what you want via a formal search…They offer three tips. One is to live near other brainy changeophiles. The old dream that the internet would allow such people to move to some tropical island or rural idyll and telecommute is unlikely to come true. Far from abandoning traditional business centres, creative people cluster together in places such as Silicon Valley…That way, every social interaction is potentially profitable…The second suggestion is to join Mr Vardi on the conference trail. When industries go through periods of rapid innovation, there is typically a flowering of new conferences to help people share knowledge…The third tip is to make better use of online social networks, particularly to make contact with new people…What does all this mean for firms?...That will mean pushing more resources from the corporate centre to those employees who are most exposed to change. Employees should also be encouraged to spend more time nurturing their networks both online and off, and tweeting to their heart’s content. Firms that ban their employees from using Facebook or Twitter may suffer the same fate as the big wooden effigy at the Burning Man festival, which, as you may have guessed, goes up in flames.”

43. Microsoft marketing reaches a new low? http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/microsoft-enters-pc-vs-mac-debate/9262 “…on Microsoft’s Windows 7 website is a new “PC vs. Mac” page…Microsoft goes on to compare PC vs. Mac in six areas: Having fun - Macs might spoil your fun…Simplicity - Macs can take time to learn…The points raised are an interesting mix of facts, FUD, and crazy lame stuff. Here’s what I think is one of the lamest arguments: Available in your favorite color. Macs only come in white or silver. PCs are available in a full spectrum of colors…Color? Seriously? How much of a Windows 7 selling point is this?...there’s some weird FUD points. Take this for example: More digital media. With PCs running Windows 7, you can play the videos and music stored on your home PC while you’re on the go, for free. Apple charges $99/year for its online service…Microsoft is trying to make some point…but it falls flat because MobileMe isn’t really a media sharing service. There’s an air of desperation in the information that Microsoft has presented…confused, jumbled and simplistic, like someone just jotted down some PC vs. Mac points and was then allowed to post them up without really giving them much thought…”

44. Intuit Buys Personal Finance Management App Cha-Ching http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/10/intuit-buys-personal-finance-management-app-cha-ching/ “…Intuit just acquired Cha-Ching, a Mac web app and iPhone app to help consumers manage their personal finance…Similar to Mint.com (which Intuit acquired last year for $170 million), Cha-Ching’s Mac and iPhone apps allow users to keep track of daily transactions and bank accounts. You can schedule bills and payments, set budgets and upload receipts…the company could be using the technology to boost their Apple applications, which includes the Mint iPhone app and a Quicken app for Mac. And it looks like Intuit is trying to replace their existing personal finace product Quicken online with Mint.com, so Cha-Ching’s consumer-focused technology could be part of this strategy…”

Civilian Aerospace

45. SpaceX Unveils Ambitious Exploration Goals http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/awst/2010/08/09/AW_08_09_2010_p22-246146.xml “…Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is revealing ambitious concepts for a family of Falcon X and XX super-heavy-lift vehicles that it says could provide the foundation for the first commercially based road map to Mars…SpaceX believes nuclear thermal is the preferred propulsion means for the piloted part of the mission, while solar-electric power could be used to transport supplies…SpaceX unveiled its exploration vision at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Joint Propulsion Conference in Nashville, Tenn. “Mars is the ultimate goal of SpaceX,” says Tom Markusic, director of the company’s McGregor, Texas, rocket development facility. SpaceX has focused mostly on developing vehicles to transport cargo and humans to low Earth orbit (LEO), but it now believes its Falcon 1/9 launchers could be evolved into a super-heavy-lift family that will be the basis for a Mars-capable architecture…”

46. Rocketplane lands in bankruptcy http://newsok.com/rocketplane-lands-in-bankruptcy/article/3483329 “…Last month, Rocketplane filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin, where it relocated after closing its Oklahoma City headquarters at Will Rogers World Airport and relinquishing its hangar at the Oklahoma Spaceport in Burns Flat in 2009. CEO George French filed personally as well as for each of three business entities: Rocketplane, Rocketplane Global and Rocketplane Kistler. Debts for each were listed at about $8.2 million, $3.7 million, $2.6 million and $7.4 million, respectively…Where did the money go?...Dollars were spent on jet engines to power the vehicle and on a contract with a rocket engine manufacturer to build a liquid oxygen/kerosene engine…Salaries of the company's staff — which in 2006 numbered about 50 — also ate into the funding. French has said the $18 million was spent on "employees' 200,000 hours of design work."…French said the company determined that to be viable, it would need multiple vehicles at a cost of $100 million each. He remains hopeful that Rocketplane will emerge from bankruptcy and return to Oklahoma…”

47. How to be an astronaut 4: Roughing it in orbit http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/08/how-to-be-an-astronaut-4-rough.html “…Space missions can last for months, and the nearest supermarket is a long way off. That means food has to last for the duration. Most fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, is in any case frowned upon for other reasons: it can decompose and produce persistent, unwelcome odours. Bananas are out of the question. But dry food can be problematic, too: crumbs can get into delicate instruments, or even into the lungs…space food often takes the form of freeze-dried, dehydrated or irradiated versions…Food preserved this way tends not to look, smell or taste like it does on Earth…it also loses some of its nutritional value, which means that till now astronauts have had to take cocktails of supplements to maintain their health…Water is heavy and is used up quickly, so the inhabitants of the International Space Station drink their own urine, although not before it has been cleaned using a combination of filters and ion-exchanges. And in future, what is euphemistically termed astronauts' "solid waste" is likely to be recycled into food, oxygen and water…Being in space is bad for your health. Astronauts in micro-gravity experience a drop in their red blood cell count - making the body less efficient at taking oxygen on board - and a gradual wasting of their bones and muscles. To combat these problems, astronauts are encouraged to work out in space…wounds don't heal properly in the absence of gravity, so even a cut can be bad news. NASA is ploughing money into ways to speed up the healing process in space…the most common health problem for astronauts is space sickness…It can put astronauts out of action for days, but anti-sickness goggles that flash strobe lighting into the unfortunate astronaut's eyes may provide some relief…weeks spent in cramped conditions, cut off from friends and family, can prove extremely stressful. Astronauts have previously refused to do their assigned tasks, had bloody brawls, given each other the silent treatment for months and made unwanted sexual advances. Space agencies hope that simulating the experience of lengthy space missions here on Earth will help them understand how to prevent such occurrences…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

48. GPGPU Approach Lowers X-Ray Exposure http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20100723/516/video-game-processors-help-lower-ct-scan-radiation.htm A new approach to processing X-ray data could lower by a factor of ten or more the amount of radiation patients receive during cone beam CT scans…Cone beam CT plays an essential role in image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), a state-of-the-art cancer treatment…Though IGRT has improved outcomes, the large cumulative radiation dose from the repeated scans has raised concerns among physicians and patients…Because CBCT is mainly used for treatment setup while patients are in the treatment position, fast reconstruction is a requirement, explains lead author Xun Jia…Jia and his colleagues developed an innovative CT reconstruction algorithm for graphic processing unit (GPU) platforms. The GPU processes data in parallel –-- increasing computational efficiency and making it possible to reconstruct a cone beam CT scan in about two minutes…With only 20 to 40 total number of X-ray projections and 0.1 mAs per projection, the team achieved images clear enough for image-guided radiation therapy. The reconstruction time ranged from 77 to 130 seconds on an NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPU card, depending on the number of projections –-- an estimated 100 times faster than similar iterative reconstruction approaches…Compared to the currently widely used scanning protocol…Jia says the new processing method resulted in 36 to 72 times less radiation exposure for patients…”

49. Cloud Accelerator Emerges from Stealth http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Cloud-Accelerator-Emerges-from-Stealth-99796544.html “…Grid-X, a cloud computing architecture…prototypes dramatically accelerate processor and TCP/IP speeds for high-end IEEE 100GigE networks. In addition to traditional network infrastructure, Grid-X can accelerate mobile devices for streaming video on smartphones like the Google Android. Both prototypes were demonstrated in July 2010, to the firm's strategic customers and technology partners in the aerospace, defense, and supercomputing industries…For mobile devices, this capability allows extended use of data-intensive applications with minimal drain on the battery…”

50. Solving the Multicore Dilemma http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Solving-the-Multicore-Dilemma-An-Interview-with-eXludus-CEO-Dale-Geldart-99780839.html?viewAll=y “…our main focus at eXludus is developing solutions that allow for more efficient use of multicore processing power…a bit differently than most…The majority of discussion and activity on this subject relates to parallelizing applications so that an application may natively tap into the parallel processing capabilities of multicore…we believe that improving system resource allocations can yield equally large, and possibly larger, benefits. So, it's the resource allocation side of the problem that we're addressing, which is a much less discussed side of the problem…the industry has some major hurdles given that most applications in use today are serial or only marginally parallel, so there are major re-writes that need to occur across a very wide spectrum of applications…there is an extreme shortage of developers that have experience in developing parallel applications…a grassroots effort; new school curriculums focusing on parallel development, new tools, new libraries…three to five years at minimum…in resource consumption terms, we have to look at how well these new parallel application will make use of many-core architectures…most problems are not inherently massively parallel. You have to look hard to find examples of even 32-way parallel applications…most problems are not more than 75 to 90 percent parallel, meaning that most parallel applications are going to consume somewhere between 4 and 10 cores…”

51. Knights Ferry Versus Fermi http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Compilers-and-More-Knights-Ferry-v-Fermi-100051864.html “…In May, Intel announced the Many Integrated Core (MIC, pronounced "Mike") architecture…The Knights Corner, the first real product based on the MIC architecture, will use Intel's 22nm process and include more than 50 x86 cores…NVIDIA has announced and started to deliver its next-generation architecture, Fermi…let's start with a short architecture review of the Intel MIC and NVIDIA Fermi (aka Tesla-20 series)…The Knights Ferry has 32 x86 cores on chip…I will refer to them as 32 processors. Each processor has a vector unit…allowing 16 single precision floating point operations in a single instruction. Double-precision compute throughput is half that of single-precision…The Knights Ferry is implemented on a PCI card, and has its own memory, connected to the host memory through PCI DMA operations…The new NVIDIA Fermi architecture has up to 512 CUDA cores, though the largest cards being delivered to date have 480 or 448. These are organized into 14 streaming multiprocessors, each with two sets of 16 thread processors. I will call this 14 dual processors, or 28 processors, each with 16 thread processors, allowing 16 single precision floating point operations in a single cycle in each processor. Double precision throughput is half that of single precision…”

52. Passware Kit 10.1 cracks RAR and Truecrypt http://pr-canada.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=237585&Itemid=58 Passware, Inc., a provider of password recovery, decryption, and electronic evidence discovery software for corporations, law enforcement organizations, government agencies and private investigators, announces Passware Kit 10.1. This is the first commercially available software that cracks passwords for the most difficult to decrypt file types - RAR archives and TrueCrypt hard disks - using advanced acceleration methods provided by graphic processing unit (GPU) cards…By using just a single card, Passware Kit can accelerate password recovery for the strongest encryption used in RAR archives, TrueCrypt volumes, and MS Office 2010/2007 documents…The new product enhancements result in record password recovery speed, when compared to competitive products. The time to recover passwords for strong RAR 3 archives is reduced 10 times, with the speed of more than 2,500 passwords per second with just a single FERMI card by NVIDIA. Recovery of passwords for TrueCrypt disks occurs 45 times faster than before…”


*****

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