2010/08/31

NEW NET Issues List for 31 Aug 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 31 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.

The ‘net

1. CollegeOnly, a Social Network Just for the University Set http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/collegeonly-a-social-network-just-for-the-university-set/ “…Josh Weinstein, a New York-based entrepreneur, says sharing photographs, trading gossip and obsessing about your crushes are now just part of the fun of being in college…“Facebook is different from what it used to be,” he said, “which was pictures, interacting with people and seeing what’s going on.”…On Wednesday, the service will be introduced in beta at seven colleges and universities, including Mr. Weinstein’s alma mater, Princeton…Unlike Facebook, CollegeOnly allows for anonymous posts…There will be some light moderation, however…to avoid the kinds of mean-spirited and vicious comments that were common on Juicy Campus…Mr. Weinstein said he was most excited about CollegeOnly’s photo-sharing features. “I think people will like it because they don’t want to post their photos now for their employers, parents and high school siblings to see…Mr. Weinstein said he did not see CollegeOnly usurping Facebook’s status as the dominant social networking hub on the Web…he said the two could co-exist, with Facebook serving as the primary way to keep tabs on birthdays, popular links and news articles and a way to quickly get in touch with a classmate or parent…”

2. Windows Live whiplash: Live Sync reverts back to Live Mesh http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/windows-live-whiplash-live-sync-reverts-back-to-live-mesh/7240 “…Microsoft is making a bunch of changes to what was going to be known as Windows Live Sync, its competitor to DropBox, that is slated to be part of Windows Live Essentials 2011…the final name of Windows Live Sync is going to be…. Windows Live Mesh…Microsoft officials have bowed to complaints resulting from a decision to chop the online storage limit for Windows Live Mesh. Instead of the 2 GB which is the current limit (and one that Microsoft execs claimed made sense, given how few users ever used the previously offered 5 GB), Microsoft is going back to offering 5 GB of online storage to Live Mesh users…Windows Live Mesh still isn’t going to support mobile phones when Windows Live Essentials 2011 is released…With this release of Windows Live Mesh, the focus is on syncing folders between computers (PCs and Macs). In the future, the team will explore adding support for other devices including mobile phones…Microsoft officials said these Live Mesh changes will take effect “when Windows Live Essentials 2011 is released in the fall of 2010.”… “SkyDrive offers 25GB for sharing photos and Office docs on the web. SkyDrive also offers an additional 5GB (via Live Mesh) for syncing files from your PC so that you can access them anywhere or so you can synchronize files between two PCs without having both online at the same time,” said a spokesperson…”

3. Open source Facebook-alternative Diaspora set to launch http://social.venturebeat.com/2010/08/26/facebook-alternative-diaspora-set-to-launch-in-three-weeks/ Diaspora, the open-sourced Facebook alternative initiated by four New York University students, will be launching in three weeks…The project garnered a large amount of press back in May when it raised over $200,000 on the social pledging site Kickstarter based solely on the idea of building a “personally controlled, do-it-all, distributed open source social network.”…many rallied behind Diaspora’s untainted ambition and pledged a donation, including Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg, who compared the idea to Facebook’s early peer-to-peer sister project, Wirehog. “I think it’s a cool idea,” Zuckerberg said…the Diaspora team…has pushed back many technical features such as plug-ins and APIs to spend time concentrating on the user interface, and in particular, ways in which it can enable easy ‘contextual sharing’ — the ability for users to intuitively decide what type of content is seen by co-workers, friends, family…Diaspora…still has hurdles to cross when it comes to user adoption. Open-source alternatives haven’t been popular in the past…in 2008, Twitter alternative Identi.ca sparked similar attention among users unhappy with Twitter’s ownership of their data, but was never able to get enough users to be considered an active threat…” [an excellent example of using open source for a mainstream project, of peer-to-peer community funding and of the ‘chicken and egg’ challenge of building social network services – ed.]

4. 20 best web apps you’ve never heard of http://www.worldphoto360.com/ipad-20-best-web-apps-youve-never-heard-of/ “…a few giants…dominate the web app world…We’ve spent some time looking beyond the leading sites, though, and discovered a host of interesting tech startups. Some take existing web app ideas and add a new spin of their own. Others are more innovative, using fresh concepts to deliver powerful new ways of using the web…here are 20 of the best…TeamLab…Roc…BuzzVoice…HomePipe…Resnooze…Scrumy…Good Noows…Touration…iSendr…Online Converter…Woziak…101in365…MugTug…Tweetaboogle…ZOCIAL.tv…DearMap…Historious…Envolve…Publisha…ShortForm.tv…”

5. 280 North http://gigaom.com/2010/08/25/why-motorola-bought-280-north/ “…280 North, a tiny software and web applications start-up started by ex-Apple employees…makes a web application framework called Cappuccino that allows anyone to build desktop-quality applications for the web. A good example is their 280 Slides offering, which allows users to create and view presentations on the web…Motorola, which has bet the farm on Android…runs the risk of being lost in the sea of Android phones…What it needs is unique and better Android user experiences…What Motorola needs is folks with true web and social networking skills to develop interfaces based…on top of Android OS…The investment came from Lowercase Capital, Y Combinator and other angels…”

6. Facebook sues start-up for using 'book' in its name http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0826-facebook-suit-20100825,0,3625119.story Teachbook.com has two employees and fewer than 20 users signed up for its free Web community…the Northbrook, Ill., company, which provides tools for teachers to manage their classrooms and share lesson plans and other resources, has been thrust into the spotlight by social networking giant Facebook, which sued the start-up for using "book" in its name…Facebook…filed its trademark infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Jose last week, asserting that the "book" part of its name is "highly distinctive in the context of online communities and networking websites."…"If others could freely use 'generic plus BOOK' marks for online networking services targeted to that particular generic category of individuals, the suffix BOOK could become a generic term for 'online community/networking services' or 'social networking services,'" Facebook argued in the lawsuit. "That would dilute the distinctiveness of the Facebook Marks…”

7. Adobe updates Web-based Photoshop, no longer demands membership http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20014749-248.html Adobe Systems pushed out updates Wednesday to both its Photoshop Express online photo tool and photo-editing app for Android devices…besides an increase in overall speed on the Web version of Photoshop Express…the site no longer requires users to register in order to use it. Unregistered users can now upload their photo, make edits, then download it without any administrative barriers…Adobe has given its slideshow tool a dramatic facelift, with the inclusion of customizable themes. By default, users get only one, called "midnight,"…Other tweaks to the site include a more thorough look at a photo's EXIF metadata, a way to post your photos to Facebook and Twitter, the inclusion of user ratings and comments that users can see within the photo organizer…Adobe has updated the Android version of its Photo Express application to include support for user videos…Adobe continues to compete with a handful of other online photo editors, including Picnik, which was acquired by Google earlier this year, Fotoflexer, and Aviary…”

8. Phone Numbers Are Dead, They Just Don’t Know It Yet http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/28/phone-numbers-dead/ “…I’m certain my grandkids will never dial a phone number, or even have one. It’s time to say goodbye to ten digits along with the world’s oldest social network. While we’re at it, let’s kill phone-tree mazes, do-not-call lists…everything associated with phone numbers…This isn’t the demise of phone calls…People will still talk on their phones…the service…won’t entail punching digits into a device to start a conversation…Phone numbers are tied to a device, not to you…The phone was designed as a utility—dial a number, have a conversation. It’s remained this way since its inception. It’s not optimized for other experiences, which is why voicemail and conference calls are tedious, and why checking flight status is worse than a root canal. Compare this to your social networks. You have control over who accesses your information; you have one username and profile that you use at all times; and applications fill in the holes and extend the network’s capabilities to communicate, play games and meet people on your own terms…We don’t have this choice on the phone network today. Anyone can dial my number, and I can’t control it—but I do control my interaction on a social network. Google, Skype, and others try to resolve telephony problems by stuffing the phone system into the web…we’ve…hit the limits of what we can accomplish. Instead of replicating the antiquated phone network inside the web, let’s instead dramatically simplify telephony by adding voice on top of our social networks…say goodbye to lost phone numbers, moving contacts between devices and even 411… just as you determine who can see your bachelor party photos, you will soon have complete control over who has access to call you and who doesn’t…”

9. Neighborly Borrowing, Over the Online Fence http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/business/29ping.html The first time I unboxed my gleaming Roomba, I beamed like a proud new parent as I placed it gently on my hardwood floor…After the Roomba finished its chaotic dance, I put it back into its case and patted the sweet little machine good night…The Roomba was mine for only 24 hours. I had rented it through a service called SnapGoods, which allows people to lend out their surplus gadgetry and various gear for a daily fee…SnapGoods is one of the latest start-ups that bases its business model around allowing people to share, exchange and rent goods in a local setting. Among others are NeighborGoods and ShareSomeSugar. Other commercial services are springing up, too, including group-buying sites like Groupon…and Kickstarter, which allows people to invest small sums in creative ventures…The common thread of all these sites is that access trumps ownership; consumers are offered ways to share goods instead of having to buy them…there is also a growing cultural awareness that you don’t always get enjoyment out of hyperconsumption. The notion of ownership as the barrier between you and what you need is outdated…Roombas…can retail for as much as $600 for the newer models. I borrowed mine for a much more palatable $10…“The holy grails of consumerism are convenience and choice,” says Rachel Botsman, co-author of the forthcoming book, “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption.”…There’s much evidence that this is already happening. Do-it-yourself home improvers can borrow tools for a weekend project, and hobbyist campers can rent equipment per trip, rather than splurge on all-new gear…For people who lend their stuff, it’s a way to make extra money on possessions that are gathering dust…“My Roomba is on track to pay for itself,” says Luke Tucker, 31, a software engineer who rented me his robotic vacuum cleaner through SnapGoods…some experts think that there may be something bigger than thriftiness at play. These services may be gaining popularity because they reinforce a sense of community…Web commerce is moving beyond transactions by individuals and companies and embracing models that encourage social contact and interaction — a hallmark of the already robust social media phenomenon and a throwback to the good old days when people actually spent time socializing at local markets…Trust is a big factor in all of this…Marketplaces like eBay have long relied on ratings and user reviews to weed out unreliable participants…the latest wave of peer-to-peer systems make use of social networks…to engender trust…”

10. Microsoft Picks Virginia for Major Data Center http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/08/27/microsoft-picks-virginia-for-major-data-center/ “…Microsoft has selected a site near Boydton, Virginia for a major new data center project, with plans to invest up to $499 million in the rural community in the southern part of the state. The company plans to build a cutting-edge data center that will serve as the East Coast hub for Microsoft’s online services…Boydton, a town of about 500 residents in Mecklenburg County, will become the unlikely home for one of the world’s most advanced new modular data centers. Microsoft’s new facility will feature the use of its container-based design known as an IT-PAC (short for Pre-Assembled Component). By using modular systems and repeatable designs, Microsoft can reduce the cost of building its data center…In May the company began building a second data center in Quincy, Washington, and in June it confirmed plans to move forward with the construction of a new data center in West Des Moines, Iowa…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

11. Government Can Use GPS to Track Your Moves http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2013150,00.html Government agents can sneak onto your property…put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go…because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements…The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant…The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government's intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy…Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision…pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling…means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night…”

12. 25% of new worms are designed to spread through USB devices http://www.net-security.org/malware_news.php?id=1444 In 2010, 25 percent of new worms have been specifically designed to spread through USB storage devices connected to computers, according to PandaLabs. These types of threats can copy themselves to any device capable of storing information such as cell phones, external hard drives, DVDs, flash memories and MP3/4 players…48 percent of SMBs (with up to 1,000 computers) admit to having been infected by some type of malware over the last year…27 percent confirmed that the source of the infection was a USB device…these types of infections are still outnumbered by those that spread via email, but it is a growing trend. "There are now so many devices on the market that can be connected via USB to a computer…”

13. Chile, the first country in the world with Internet neutrality law http://www.lavanguardia.es/internet-y-tecnologia/noticias/20100827/53990325262/chile-primer-pais-del-mundo-con-ley-de-neutralidad-de-internet.html Chile is the first country in the world which guarantees by law the principle of net neutrality…the law…ensures that any user can use Internet, send, receive or provide any content, applications or legal services through the Internet, without blocking arbitrary or discriminatory…The regulation that has been done in Chile to the consumer as the center of the debate so you can choose the best service and freely surf the Internet without blocking or unfair restrictions…suppliers must provide a service "which makes no distinction arbitrary content, applications or services, based on the source of origin or their property." Yes allows operators and providers to perform the actions necessary for traffic management and network management, but still "not intended to take actions that affect or may affect free competition…”

14. U.S. military wants to exert influence over private cyber infrastructure http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-08-26/u-s-military-wants-to-exert-influence-over-private-cyber-infrastructure.html “…U.S. military wants to exert more influence over the protection of power grids, transportation networks and financial network systems…To do so the Pentagon is urging that its defense expertise be put in play beyond the .mil domain to include .gov and .com…The best-laid plans for defending military networks will matter little if civilian infrastructure -- which could be directly targeted in a military conflict or held hostage and used as a bargaining chip against the U.S. government -- is not secure…The Pentagon is therefore working with the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector to look for innovative ways to use the military's cyberdefense capabilities to protect the defense industry."…defenses are being developed by the National Security Agency and include blending U.S. intelligence capabilities with network security so that networks can react to threats…The Pentagon is also relying on Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to come up with ways to blunt the capabilities of intruders…Gaining the authority to impose military security on civilian assets is still in its infancy…”

15. Senate To Pass Internet Kill Switch As Rider On Defense Bill http://www.prisonplanet.com/senate-to-sneak-through-internet-kill-switch-bill.html The Senate is attempting to sneak through the infamous Internet kill switch cybersecurity bill by attaching it to another piece of legislation that is almost guaranteed to pass – the defense authorization bill – in an underhanded ploy to avoid the difficult task of passing cybersecurity on its own. “It’s hard to get a measure like cybersecurity legislation passed on its own,” Democratic Senator Thomas Carper…That’s why lawmakers pushing cybersecurity have resolved to introduce the legislation as a “rider” to a Senate defense bill that is likely to be easily passed before the midterm elections…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

16. SMS Replier Not Only Automatically Replies to Texts, It Knows When You're Driving http://gizmodo.com/5624059/ “…It looks like State Farm's app isn't the only app that helps keep you from texting while driving—there's SMS Replier too. And this app will know when you're driving…not only can you set customized replies, you can also choose how long you're doing the activity, so the phone will only reply "In a meeting" during the two hours that you set that you're in a meeting. (Would be nice if this synced up with your Google Calendar too, to automatically know what you're doing.) What's also cool, is if someone calls you during this time, SMS Replier will auto-reply to that as well, saying you'll call them back when you're done…Up to 5 numbers that you can add to get incoming calls and texts. Say, for emergency calls. Or also set numbers that you don't auto-reply to. The app's available for Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile…”

17. Samsung Galaxy tablet just a really large phone? http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/26/samsung-galaxy-tablet-just-a-really-large-phone/ Pundits have decried the 5-inch Dell Streak for being too big to be a phone, some even saying that it is like holding a flip flop sandal or a waffle to their ears. Add two inches to that, and you have the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab which is somewhere between a phone and an iPad in size. And it works as a full 3G phone… just because it makes calls doesn't mean you have to hold it up to your head…realistic options include using a bluetooth headset or traditional earphone jack. Even a speakerphone would be a great option in private areas…Here's a size comparison below: iPad in back, Samsung Galaxy Tab middle, 4-inch Galaxy S phone in front…it has front and back facing cameras for video conferencing and taking pictures and video…” [http://www.techtree.com/India/Features/Samsung_Galaxy_Tab_A_formidable_iPad_Foe/551-112694-899.html “…The Galaxy Tab boasts of having two cameras; the iPad has none. One is a 3.2 megapixel at the back for taking photos, while the other is a front-facing one for video-calls…The Galaxy Tab will have Wi-fi as well as 3G support (using a standard SIM card slot), so you could be making video-calls to not just other tablets but even to regular 3G phones. Also, with companies like Skype promising to deliver their app for Android that supports video calls by the end of this year, you could possibly video-conf with anybody using a regular desktop/laptop and webcam…Swype, you simply…jot the letters of the word you're typing by swiping across a regular QWERTY mat, and the system will understand what you want to write. We had tried Swype on Samsung's Galaxy S and found it to be a nifty alternative to regular thumb tapping. Swype makes much more sense on a tablet…The Galaxy Tab is touted to have a microSD card slot, in addition to 16GB or 32GB internal memory just like the Galaxy S…Digital Cameras generally use [micro-ed.] SD cards to store photos…So after clicking away to glory, you could simply remove the microSD card, plug it into the Galaxy Tab directly and view them on a nice and large 7-inch screen…The Galaxy Tab…officially supports Adobe's Flash Player 10.1…all that Flash-based content will be viewable…No need to rely only on websites that are optimized (using HTML5) for devices like the iPad or iPhone…”]

18. Netbook's first with dual-core Atom http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Asus-Eee-PC-1015PEM/ “…The dual-core N550 is the latest in Intel's Pine Trail series of Atoms…the 45nm N550 has a 1.5GHz clock speed, 1MB of second-level cache, and an 8.5 Watt TDP…dual-core rival, AMD's Athlon II Neo K325…is said to have a 12-Watt TDP…Asus is the first vendor to announce, however, in the form of the Eee PC 1015PEM, which is also said to include USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0…typical netbook features: a 10.1-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels; from 160GB to 320GB of hard disk storage; and a VGA-resolution webcam…Bluetooth 3.0…allows devices to discover one another and "shake hands" using a Bluetooth radio, then switch to 802.11 networking for faster file transfers…Other connectivity includes 802.11b/g/n wireless networking and an Ethernet port…MMC/SD card reader, audio jacks (mic in and headphone out), and a VGA port, but there's no HDMI (presumably this will be reserved for a rumored configuration of the device that adds Nvidia's Ion 2 graphics processing unit). 1015PEM is available with a choice of three different six-cell batteries (48Wh, 56Wh, or 63Wh), proving lifetimes of 10, 11, or 13 hours…”

19. Android Browsing Battery Test Reveals Droid X Lasts Longest, AMOLED Handsets Trail http://blog.laptopmag.com/android-battery-test-reveals-droid-x-lasts-longest-amoled-handsets-trail “…we’ve been developing a battery test that would accurately gauge their endurance…the Droid 2 and the Droid X, ruled the roost…phones with attractive AMOLED screens clearly fell behind the pack. The worst phone for battery life that we tested was the HTC Droid Incredible, which managed an average of only 4 hours and 33 minutes, compared to the Droid X’s 7 hours and 42 minutes…The test itself is fairly simple. Avram, our tireless Web director, modified the LAPTOP Battery Test we use for notebooks, and created an Android App that does much the same thing: It opens the phone’s Web browser to one of 60 popular Web sites, remains there for 60 seconds, closes the browser, then reopens the browser to next Web site on the list. It does so until the phone’s battery dies, all while recording the time elapsed…Motorola’s doing something right: Both the Droid 2 and the Droid X lasted much longer than competing devices from Samsung and HTC…their AMOLED displays, coupled with a smaller form factor, seem to have negatively impacted their endurance. ..should you steer clear of AMOLED phones if you care about endurance? Not necessarily. OLED technology uses the most power when displaying white, which is why Samsung chose a black background for the app menus on its Galaxy…”

20. iPhone app to replace the stethoscope http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/30/iphone-replace-stethoscope The stethoscope – medical icon, lifesaver and doctor's best friend – is disappearing from hospitals across the world as physicians increasingly use their smartphones to monitor patients' heartbeats. More than 3 million doctors have downloaded a 59p application – invented by Peter Bentley, a researcher from University College London – which turns an Apple iPhone into a stethoscope. Last week, Bentley introduced a free version of the app, which is being downloaded by more than 500 users a day. Experts say the software, a major advance in medical technology, has saved lives and enabled doctors in remote areas to access specialist expertise…Smartphones are incredibly powerful devices packed full of sensors, cameras, high-quality microphones with amazing displays," he said. "They are capable of saving lives, saving money and improving healthcare in a dramatic fashion…Bentley's iStethoscope application is not the only mobile phone programme lightening doctors' bags and transforming their practices: there are nearly 6,000 applications related to health in the Apple App Store. The uptake has been rapid. In late 2009, two-thirds of doctors and 42% of the public were using smartphones – in effect inexpensive handheld computers – for personal and professional reasons. More than 80% of doctors said they expected to own a smartphone by 2012…”

Open Source

21. Hands On With The VIA ARTiGO A1100 http://elevenislouder.blogspot.com/2010/08/hands-on-with-via-artigo-a1100.html “…I could not help but purchase an ARTiGO…I have been testing different operating systems on it, and I think I can confidently declare a winner for best fit, and another for best performance. I did not have the Wifi Kit or the SD card reader installed for the tests. I am using 2GB of Crucial DDR2 800mHz RAM, and a 500GB 7200 RPM 2.5" SATA for the HDD…With Slackware there were some problems with the detection of the hard disk. Essentially, LILO and the kernel saw things differently. This was resolved with a live boot, chroot, and change of the LILO configuration file…Sorcerer Linux worked fantastically well. There were virtually no problems what-so-ever. The only detraction here was that the VIA's CPU is a single core 1.6 gHz Nano, with relatively small cache sizes…Windows XP 32bit (TinyXP respin by eXPerience was used) worked well, after getting it to boot from a USB stick…Overall performance, however, was not as good as any of the Linux distributions mentioned…SliTaz worked perfectly. It booted with the Vesa driver, although a quick tazpkg search showed me openchrome. I installed it, and performance was good enough to not warrant using the proprietary driver…Overall, I would say that SliTaz is the best fit. Seeing as most things worked fairly well right away, and no closed-source code was needed (this is an opensource blog after all) I would rate SliTaz an 8 of 10. The only reason for point docking being that overall performance left something to be desired. The best performance goes to Slackware…”

22. Six things I wish Mom told me (about ssh) http://blog.ksplice.com/2010/08/six-things-i-wish-mom-told-me-about-ssh/ “…you’re probably already familiar with at least the basics of ssh. But you’re hungry for more. In this post, we’ll show you six ssh tips that’ll help take you to the next level…Everyone knows that you can use ssh to get a remote shell, but did you know that you can also use it to run commands on their own? Well, you can–just stick the command name after the hostname!...Combine this with passwordless ssh logins, and your shell scripting powers have just leveled up…Some programs need a pseudo-tty, and aren’t happy if they don’t have one (anything that wants to draw on arbitrary parts of the screen probably falls into this category). But ssh can handle this too–the -t option will force ssh to allocate a pseudo-tty for you, and then you’ll be all set…ssh’s ability to forward ports is incredibly powerful. Suppose you have a web dashboard at work that runs at analytics on port 80 and is only accessible from the inside the office, and you’re at home but need to access it because it’s 2 a.m. and your pager is going off…Fortunately, you can ssh to your desktop at work, desktop, which is on the same network as analytics. So if we can connect to desktop, and desktop can connect to analytics…we can make this work…So now, if you visit http://localhost:8080/ in your web browser at home, you’ll actually be connected to port 80 on desktop…But wait, isn’t analytics behind the firewall? How can we even reach it? Remember: this connection is being set up on the remote system (desktop), which is the only reason it works. If you find yourself setting up multiple such forwards, you’re probably better off doing something more like: wdaher@rocksteady:~$ ssh -D 8080 desktop…This will set up a SOCKS proxy at localhost:8080. If you configure your browser to use it, all of your browser traffic will go over SSH and through your remote system, which means you could just navigate to http://analytics/ directly…ssh into a system, press Enter a few times, and then type in a tilde. Nothing appears. Why? Because the tilde is ssh’s escape character. Right after a newline, you can type ~ and a number of other keystrokes to do interesting things to your ssh connection…~? will display a full list of the escape sequences, but two handy ones are ~. and ~^Z…~. (a tilde followed by a period) will terminate the ssh connection, which is handy if you lose your network connection and don’t want to wait for your ssh session to time out. ~^Z (a tilde followed by Ctrl-Z) will put the connection in the background, in case you want to do something else on the host while ssh is running…I’m sure you’ve seen this a million times, and you probably just type “yes” without thinking twice: wdaher@rocksteady:~$ ssh bebop…The authenticity of host 'bebop (192.168.1.106)' can't be established…RSA key fingerprint is a2:6d:2f:30:a3:d3:12:9d:9d:da:0c:a7:a4:60:20:68…Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?...if this is your first time connecting to bebop, you can’t really tell whether the machine you’re talking to is actually bebop, or just an impostor pretending to be bebop…In principle, you’re supposed to verify this out-of-band (i.e. call up the remote host and ask them to read off the fingerprint.)…How does one actually find this fingerprint? On the remote host, have your friend run: sbaker@bebop:~$ ssh-keygen -l -f /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key.pub 2048 a2:6d:2f:30:a3:d3:12:9d:9d:da:0c:a7:a4:60:20:68 /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key.pub (RSA) Tada! They match, and it’s safe to proceed. From now on, this is stored in your list of ssh “known hosts” (in ~/.ssh/known_hosts), so you don’t get the prompt every time…like any ssh pro, you log into a bajillion systems, each with their own usernames, ports, and long hostnames…you already know how to do this. username@host or -l username to specify your username, and -p portnumber to specify the port…But this gets really old really quickly, especially when you need to pass a slew of other options for each of these connections. Enter .ssh/config, a file where you specify convenient aliases for each of these sets of settings…”

23. Qimo: Linux for Kids http://maketecheasier.com/review-of-qimo-linux-for-kids/2010/08/26 “…Many people are familiar with Edubuntu, the Ubuntu spinoff intended for school and other educational institutions, but you may not know much about Qimo. Unlike Edubuntu, which is designed for a client-server network model, Qimo is intended for a sole desktop user…children 3 years old and up. It uses a customized version of the XFCE desktop, with large icons and simple menus, to make it easy to navigate…you do not have to actually install Qimo to try it out. It’s a fully functional Live CD based on Ubuntu, so you (or your child) will have the opportunity to test the software yourselves to see if it’s what you want…Qimo’s greatest benefit is that it’s packed with some of the top software available for kids on Linux…Arguably the closest thing Linux has to a “killer app” for kids, no junior distribution would be complete without GCompris. This package includes dozens of games and activities, including several that aim to teach toddlers and young children how to use the mouse and keyboard. I can speak from experience as to the effectiveness of some of these, as I recently watched a 2 year old go from zero mouse skill to browsing YouTube after spending about 15 minutes…Along the same lines as GCompris, Child’s Play is a collection of games and activities…TuxPaint is a fun and flexible drawing program for kids that includes simple shapes and stamps. A must-have for any young artists…Tux Math is a game requiring quick thinking…Comets fall from the sky and it is the player’s duty to save the igloo homes of your penguin brothers. Tux Math also has a multiplayer mode…For older kids, Laby could be a lot of fun, and a great gateway into the world of programming. Levels are created as puzzles, and the player must “code their way out” using simple instructions…While the basic Qimo desktop isn’t particularly inspiring, the system does have a few shining tidbits…To find out for sure just how fun and simple it was, I set my 2.5 year old toddler down at the computer in front of the Qimo desktop earlier today…”

24. Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 8 – Puppy 5.10 http://g33q.co.za/2010/08/26/lightweight-distro-roundup-day-8-puppy-5-10-wow/ “…I reviewed Puppy about a month ago, and thoroughly blasted it. That was Puppy 5.01. Today we look at 5.10 and the improvement is IMMENSE…Puppy has a heritage of being lightweight and fast. This version does not disappoint. Puppy lives in only 70 MB of RAM! Can you use the Internet with ease? Yes. Puppy comes with a browser installed, and when you click on the “browse” icon the first time you get a list of browsers to add…Is it good for someone who has an older pc and needs a Linux distro? Very much so…”

25. 5 of the Best Free Linux Screen Capture Tools http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20100823043917405/ScreenCaptureTools.html “…if you have a technical problem with your computer, a screenshot allows a technical support department to understand the problems you are facing. Writing computer-related articles, documentation and tutorials is nigh on impossible without a good tool for creating screenshots…Linux…two most popular desktop environments, GNOME and KDE, each offer a competent screenshot utility. However, the functionality offered by their screenshot utilities is relatively basic. Furthermore, many Linux users prefer to use a more lightweight desktop environment. For the most feature-rich dedicated screenshot utility, look no further than Shutter (formerly known as GScrot). This tool receives our highest recommendation…let's explore the 5 screen capture tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources and reviews…Shutter…GIMP…KSnapshot…gnome-screenshot…ImageMagick…”

SkyNet

26. Gmail & Gvoice: Make and Receive Calls Right from Your Inbox http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_brings_google_voice_to_gmail_make_and_recei.php “…If you are a Gmail user in the U.S., you can now make free Web-based phone calls to any phone in the U.S. and Canada right from the Gmail interface. You can also make International calls for fees starting at $0.02 per minute…If you are a Google voice user, your Google Voice number will appear as the outbound called ID number on calls made from Gmail. You can also opt to receive inbound Google Voice calls from inside the GMail interface…You can now, for example, simply initiate a call by simply clicking on a phone number in an email signature…more than just an email client…Gmail is now becoming more of a full-blown communications suite…” [ http://thenextweb.com/google/2010/08/25/google-calls-not-a-skype-killer-but-still-a-viable-option/ “…I rather like the somewhat-anonymous quality of Skype. I can easily create a throw-away account, not having to worry about anything being related to it…part of the reason that I prefer Skype at present is because I can still stay behind my somewhat-impenetrable wall of a 2nd account without anyone knowing who is attached to it…What Google does have going for it, however, is unmatched convenience. Essentially, where ever I feel comfortable logging into my Gmail account, I’ll be able to make a Google call. There is no need to download and set up Skype…” http://www.sexbombsburgers.com/2010/08/gmail-voice-about-future-search-not.html “…Google Translate…award-winning and pretty accurate service uses statistical machine translation, an algorithm that studies patterns in different written languages and then predicts the results in another language. The system's accuracy is predicated entirely on the number of documents it has to work with; the larger the comparison database, the more accurate the translation. In 2007, the search company launched Google 411, a service that you could call and ask questions, such as the address of a business…The purpose of 411 wasn't so much for Google to provide you with a rather convoluted information delivery system, but more for the company to gather voice samples to use in building a better voice search system, in the same way that documents were used to build Translate's database…original translation system, used United Nations documents because there were millions of them, and they were all already translated into the U.N.'s six official languages. It was a treasure trove of information. Google 411 was a similar early attempt at building a database…Google Voice, including Gmail calling, is the next step in that process. Google will use the zillions of calls that go over its Voice service to build up its database, which will allow it to improve the accuracy of its voice search…free phone calls are the jackpot that Google has been looking for. While Skype and phone companies continue to try and find a way to squeeze pennies out of phone calls, for Google it's extremely valuable to give them away for nothing because it will help the company develop the next generation of search…”]

27. Putting Google Realtime to Real-World Use http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/204293/putting_google_realtime_to_realworld_use.html “…Google Realtime can be a powerful tool for businesses that know how to use it…Companies can use information gleaned from Google Realtime to "read the minds" of consumers. Conducting searches related to current or planned products or services can help identify what customers want and what concerns they might have…Google Realtime enables businesses to monitor customer issues and complaints--in real-time--to track any pervasive issues and begin to develop solutions before the phone starts ringing off the hook…If HTC were to monitor Google Realtime and see a spike in Droid Incredible customers complaining that the device can't get a signal, it could filter the results by location to determine if it is a prevalent issue with the smartphone in general, or if it is limited to a specific geographic area--perhaps indicating that the problem is with a Verizon tower rather than the HTC device…The significance of monitoring real-time Facebook status updates and Twitter tweets is that it is raw, unfiltered information. When a customer has a bad experience at a restaurant, he is not shy about sharing that information with the Twitterverse. When someone really loves the movie she just saw, odds are fair that the Facebook social network will hear about it…to put Google Realtime to use is that it doesn't require hiring a full-time employee dedicated to monitoring Google Realtime streams…"we've also added updates content to Google Alerts, making it easy to stay informed about a topic of your choosing. Now you can create an alert specifically for "updates" to get an email the moment your topic appears on Twitter or other short-form service.”

28. Gmail’s Priority Inbox strikes a blow against email overload http://venturebeat.com/2010/08/30/gmails-priority-inbox-strikes-a-blow-against-email-overload/ “…Google is launching an ambitious new attack on the problem called Gmail Priority Inbox…The feature divides your inbox into three areas, all viewable in one screen — at the top, there’s the “priority” emails, the ones you should read right away; below that are the emails you have starred (an existing Gmail feature to mark emails as comments); and the inbox with everything else…it has been a challenge developing the algorithm to find the best emails, which is based on “signals” like who sent the email, the words used, and how you’ve treated past emails…Sheth told me that he has been playing with Priority Inbox for a few months, and now he finds it hard to go back to regular inboxes…I’ve found that I’m frequently marking emails as “unimportant.” My workflow has already changed, where I deal with most”priority” emails right away, then only do a quick browse of the rest of the emails a couple of times a day…”

29. Doodle alternative: Easier event scheduling in Google Calendar http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/easier-event-scheduling-in-google.html “…changes to…Google Calendar…should make scheduling events easier…The old interface for creating recurring events was clumsy and took up too much space on the screen. Now you'll see only a summary of your recurring event on the main event page; if you want to edit it, you can use a window that opens when you select the "Repeats" checkbox…You'll notice a new tab on the event page that should make it easier to find a good time to schedule an event. When your friends or coworkers give you permission to see their calendars, you can click this tab to see a preview of their schedules and hover over their events to see what conflicts they might have…”

30. Hardware Acceleration is Coming to Chrome http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hardware_gpu_acceleration_google_chrome.php “…Chrome will soon support GPU hardware acceleration. Developers can speed up the rendering of complex pages by offloading a lot of the processing to a computer's graphics card…As browser developers continue to try to increase the responsiveness of their applications, hardware acceleration is the natural next place to look for performance gains…Chrome currently only uses hardware acceleration for displaying some content…however, the Chromium team expects to move "even more of the rendering from the CPU to the GPU…To try Chrome's built-in GPU acceleration, you need to run a cutting edge version of Chrome…You can easily install Chromium parallel to Chrome and the two installs generally don't interfere with each other. By installing Chromium, you will also get a chance to test Google Chrome Labs…”

31. Google buys Angstro http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_buys_innovative_startup_angstro_to_help_bui.php “…Here's how Angstro describes itself on its website: "Inspired by the angstrom unit of measure (0.1 nanometre) named after Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Angstrom, Angstro represents the ability to hone in on highly focused, relevant news across professional networks. Where search engines such as Google and other news aggregator services have immense infrastructures that return a huge array of random results, Angstro analyses a wide breadth of information from multiple data sources to deliver very few, yet very intelligent results."…What does it mean to see someone like Khare join people like Joseph Smarr, Bradley Horowitz , Chris Messina, Brad Fitzpatrick and most recently Slide's Max Levchin? It means that Google's entry into social networking is going to be big, ambitious and probably engage heavily with the data-portability paradigm that has positioned itself as the strategic antithesis of Facebook. Identity and user data community leader Kaliya Hamlin says the addition of Khare to the Google team bodes well…"He did a lot with limited resources and he understands social," Hamlin told us. "It gives me hope the Google will be able to build an effective set of social tools…”

32. Google Chrome Gets Speech Recognition and Labs http://google-chrome-browser.com/google-chrome-gets-speech-recognition-and-labs “…Google sees the browser as a central part of future computing devices. The Chrome OS is just one of the many manifestations of this particular vision of the future. In Chrome OS, the browser (Google Chrome) is used to do everything from listening to music to editing documents and creating spreadsheets. While Chrome OS based devices are still a few months away, Google is working hard to get its browser ready for various form factors…future versions of Chrome will future GPU Acceleration that will enable it to do heavy duty computing (like scaling videos) with ease…DownloadSquad has discovered that speech recognition has been enabled in the latest Chromium builds…Chrome isn’t the first browser to get voice recognition. Opera received voice navigation support as far back as 2005 with Opera 8…”

33. Introducing Blogger Stats http://buzz.blogger.com/2010/08/introducing-blogger-stats.html “…we are excited to introduce Stats for Blogger. First launched to Blogger in Draft back in July, Blogger Stats is a cool real-time stats service that's fully integrated with Blogger; you don't need to do anything to enable it for your blog. You can find the new Stats tab on your blog’s dashboard…”

General Technology

34. IBM Describes Fastest Microprocessor Ever http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20100824/tc_zd/253938 IBM revealed more details of its 5.2-GHz chip on Tuesday, the fastest microprocessor ever announced…the z196…will power its Z-series of mainframes…IBM will ship the chip in September…the POWER6 chip…ran at speeds of up to 4.6 to 4.7 GHz…IBM defines the z196 as one of the few remaining CISC chips, which allows for bulky, large programs that can require much more memory to execute in than RISC chips, including the PowerPC and ARM embeddded processors…The z196 contains 1.4 billion transistors on 512 sq. mm chip fabricated on 45-nm PD SOI technology. It contains a 64 Kbyte level-1 instruction cache, a 128-Kbyte L1 data cache, a 1.5-Mbyte private L2 cache per core, plus a pair of co-processors used for cryptographic operations…”

35. LED light bulbs may not be magic bullet for energy savings http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/08/led-light-bulbs-may-not-be-magic-bullet-for-energy-savings.ars “…Though artificial light sources are increasingly efficient, scientists point out that people may even the keel on energy costs by using light sources more and more…artificial lighting, an energy expenditure that accounts for 0.72 percent of the world's gross domestic product…an LED as bright as a 60-watt incandescent bulb consumes only 7 watts of power…As lighting becomes more efficient and less expensive, they say, people will likely elect to use more and more of it…the authors also project that our energy and light usage has not yet reached a saturation point. Between more efficiency and a greater desire to use light for productivity purposes, our energy usage stands to increase, rather than decrease, even as our lights become more efficient…”

36. Ben Franklin approves: generating power from electricity in the air http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/energy/25671/ Lightning is a powerful manifestation of the electrical charge that can accumulate in the atmosphere. New research…suggests that it might be possible to harness that electrical charge…water vapor in humid air can accumulate charge and transfer it to materials it comes in contact with…it might be possible to design collectors that exploit this behavior to generate electricity. The technology, which he calls "hygroelectricity" could provide an alternative to solar power in places without much sunlight but with a lot of humidity…”

DHMN Technology

37. Use Microsoft Surface to Control a Swarm of Robots With Your Fingertips http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-08/new-interface-can-control-robot-swarms-touchscreen “…Mark Micire, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, proposes using Surface, Microsoft's interactive tabletop, to unite various types of data, robots and other smart technologies around a common goal…You can tap, touch and drag little icons to command individual robots or robot swarms. You can leave a trail of crumbs for them to follow, and you can draw paths for them in a way that looks quite like Flight Control, one of our favorite iPod/iPad games…The system can integrate a variety of data sets, like city maps, building blueprints and more. You can pan and zoom in on any map point, and you can even integrate video feeds from individual robots so you can see things from their perspective…”

38. Riders on a swarm http://www.economist.com/node/16789226?story_id=16789226 “…The search for artificial intelligence modelled on human brains has been a dismal failure. AI based on ant behaviour, though, is having some success…A single ant cannot do much on its own, but the colony as a whole solves complex problems such as building a sophisticated nest, maintaining it and filling it with food. ..Marco Dorigo…was one of the founders of a field that has become known as swarm intelligence…In 1992 Dr Dorigo and his group began developing Ant Colony Optimisation (ACO), an algorithm that looks for solutions to a problem by simulating a group of ants wandering over an area and laying down pheromones…Migros, a Swiss supermarket chain, and Barilla, Italy’s leading pasta-maker, both manage their daily deliveries from central warehouses to local retailers using AntRoute. This is a piece of software developed by AntOptima, a spin-off from the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Lugano (IDSIA), one of Europe’s leading centres for swarm intelligence. Every morning the software’s “ants” calculate the best routes and delivery sequences, depending on the quantity of cargo, its destinations, delivery windows and available lorries. According to Luca Gambardella, the director of both IDSIA and AntOptima, it takes 15 minutes to produce a delivery plan for 1,200 trucks, even though the plan changes almost every day…Digital ants and birds, then, are good at thinking up solutions to problems, but Dr Dorigo is now working on something that can act as well as think: robots. A swarm of small, cheap robots can achieve through co-operation the same results as individual big, expensive robots—and with more flexibility and robustness; if one robot goes down, the swarm keeps going…This is based on three sorts of small, simple robot, each with a different function, that co-operate in exploring an environment. Eye-bots take a look around and locate interesting objects. Foot-bots then give hand-bots a ride to places identified by the eye-bots. The hand-bots pick up the objects of interest…All this is done without any pre-existing plan or central co-ordination. It relies on interactions between individual robots…Swarmanoid robots may not much resemble the creatures that originally inspired the field, but insects continue to give programmers ideas. Dr Dorigo’s group has, for instance, developed a system to allow robots to detect when a swarm member is malfunctioning. This was inspired by the way some fireflies synchronise their light emissions so that entire trees flash on and off. The robots do the same, and if one light goes out of synch because of a malfunction the other bots can react quickly, either isolating the maverick so that it cannot cause trouble, or calling back to base to have it withdrawn…” [for more on insect swarm intelligence, read Steven B. Johnson’s ‘Emergence’ – ed.]

39. HTC HD2 Phone Hacked to Control Robot Protos 3 http://www.gadgetsdna.com/htc-hd2-phone-moded-to-control-robot-protos-3/5367/ If Nexus One, Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid and HTC Magic can control Robos, so can HTC HD2. HTC HD2 has been hacked and moded to control Protos 3 Robot which is being used for experimenting with Wifi, Computer vision, navigation…video after the break…The vision system uses the build in webcam of the netbook and then sends the X and Y axes of the detected object back to arduino through USB cable. The robot then steers and navigates to the target…The robot has been used in a SWARM test where a number of robots are controlled from the same notebook via WIFI…”

40. Burning Man's open source cell phone system could help save the world http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/083010-open-source-voip-cell-phones-at-burning-man.html “…The technology starts with the "they-said-it-couldn't-be-done" open source software,OpenBTS. OpenBTS is built on Linux and distributed via the AGPLv3 license. When used with a software-defined radio such as the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP), it presents a GSM air interface ("Um") to any standard GSM cell phone, with no modification whatsoever required of the phone. It uses open source Asterisk VoIP software as the PBX to connect calls, though it can be used with other soft switches, too. (More stats in a minute that I promise will blow away your inner network engineer.)…”

41. New Generation of Power: Hi-Tech Rechargeable Batteries http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823203328.htm “…These new power sources could in the future be woven into fabrics such as uniforms or ballistic vests, and poured or sprayed into containers of any size and shape…The batteries, once woven into clothing, could provide power for a range of high-tech devices, including handheld radios, GPS devices and personal digital assistants….Allen described development of new cathodes made from an iron-fluoride material that could soon produce lightweight and flexible batteries with minimal loss of power, performance, or chargeability compared to today's rechargeable power sources…Belcher Biomaterials group is in the beginning stages of testing and scaling up the virus-enabled battery materials, which includes powering unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance operations. Making light-weight and long-lasting batteries that could result in rechargeable clothing would have several advantages for both military personnel and civilians…"Typical soldiers have to carry several pounds of batteries. But if you could turn their clothing into a battery pack, they could drop a lot of weight…”

42. MakerBot woes http://makerblock.com/2010/08/makerbot-woes/ Building my MakerBot and getting it printing reliably was challenging, but totally doable by a technical novice such as myself. I have lots of people on the MakerBot Operators group to thank for their patience and help in getting my MakerBot online. Looking back, I spent about a month building and then calibrating my ‘bot…It’s easy for me to forget that first month of occasional frustrations and triumphant victories, now that I’ve been printing successfully for more than eight months…We Alone On Earth…WAOE are a group of introspective, philosophically and technologically minded twenty-somethings. To give you you an idea of their frustration with their ‘bot, the post was entitled, “MakerBot: not very much fun at the moment (caveat emptor)”…WAOE list off seven problems with the MakerBot. I’m not going to refute these points – but rather offer another perspective on them…The PTFE is prone to melting. [WAOE expects the new MK5 Plastruder will resolve this issue]…Inexplicable printing behavior due to noise. [WAOE fixed this issue by twisting wires and installing a resistor]…Printing large objects is hard without a heated build plate. [WAOE notes this isn't an issue if you're good at soldering]…The heated build platform is difficult to build and requires a relay kit. [WAOE notes this isn't an issue if you're good at soldering]…Calibrating Skeinforge is hard. [WAOE notes this is still an issue]…The Plastruder MK4 feed system is unreliable. [WAOE expects the new MK5 Plastruder will resolve this issue]…The threaded rods are of poor quality. [WAOE are getting new threaded rods, which should fix their problem.]…A MakerBot Cupcake CNC kit is not for everyone – but the kit can be build and operated by anyone who is willing to invest the time to do so. It is a cheap, hackable machine that is literally going to be just as useful as you make it…A MakerBot kit is just a platform for your creativity…”\

Leisure & Entertainment

43. New Kindle Leaves Rivals Farther Back http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/technology/personaltech/26pogue.html “…Amazon unveiled what everyone (except Amazon) is calling the Kindle 3. You might call it Amazon’s iPad response. The Kindle 3 is ingeniously designed to be everything the iPad will never be: small, light and inexpensive. The smallness comes in the form of a 21 percent reduction in the dimensions…The new one measures 7.5 by 4.8 by 0.3 inches, yet the screen has the same six-inch diagonal measurements as always. Amazon’s designers did what they should have done a long time ago: they shaved away a lot…Now, the Kindle is almost ridiculously lightweight; at 8.5 ounces, it’s a third the weight of the iPad. That’s a big deal for a machine that you want to hold in your hands for hours. Then there is the $140 price. That’s for the model with Wi-Fi…A Kindle model that can also get online using the cellular network, as earlier models do, costs $50 more…E Ink is satisfying to read but deeply flawed technology for e-book screens…E Ink is great for battery life, too, since only turning pages uses power…The new Kindle reduces the page-turn wait to well under a second. It’s the fastest page-turner among e-readers…E Ink’s speed problems mean that it can never display video…Still, Amazon has clearly put a lot of time into refining the new Kindle’s E Ink screen…”

44. Blockbuster preparing for bankruptcy http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/08/blockbuster-tells-hollywood-studios-its-preparing-for-midseptember-bankruptcy.html After dominating the home video rental business for more than a decade and struggling to survive in recent years against upstarts Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster Inc. is preparing to file for bankruptcy next month…Executives from Blockbuster and its senior debt holders last week held meetings with the six major movie studios to discuss their intention to enter a “pre-planned” bankruptcy…Blockbuster has lost a total of $1.1 billion since the beginning of 2008…One of the primary goals of the bankruptcy process…would be to escape costly leases for some of its worst-performing stores…Blockbuster closed nearly 1,000 stores in the last year alone, a reflection of consumers’ rapidly declining interest in renting DVDs from retail locations now that they can rent them from ubiquitous kiosks in grocery stores, in the mail, or via the Internet…”

45. Facebook Photos Used 5 Or 6 Times More Than Competitors — Combined http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/27/facebook-photos-usage/ “…Zuckerberg…focused on Facebook Photos as being a key catalyst that led to everything the social network is today…when they launched the product, they didn’t have all of the features that their competitors did…they didn’t have high-resolution photos and you couldn’t print them. But one thing they did have was the social element — and this changed everything…“The photo product that we have is maybe five or six times more used than every other product on the web — combined,” Zuckerberg stated…if Zuckerberg’s stats are accurate, it’s becoming YouTube-level huge compared to their competitors. Of course, what he means by “used” isn’t entirely clear — do they just browse more, or upload more as well? Either way, it’s massive…CTO Bret Taylor…noted that he had been “brainwashed by Silicon Valley” before he saw and understood the power of Facebook Photos (he was likely working at Google at the time). He had been thinking like an engineer about the best way to organize photos on the web. But he quickly realized that “the best possible organization of photos is around people,” Taylor said. “There are ten other industries waiting to have this type of disruption,” Taylor said noting the travel industry, e-commerce, and music as a few of them. Earlier, Zuckerberg agreed. Because of the social element, “every single vertical will be transformed…”

Economy and Technology

46. Location-Based Services Move into the Supermarket: Pancake Mix on Aisle 6 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/location-based_services_move_into_the_supermarket.php Modern supermarkets often offer close to 100,000 items on their store shelves. Finding the one thing you are looking for can often be a hassle…with the help of Point Inside, shoppers at a number of Meijer supercenters in Michigan will be able to use their iPhones to find the product they are looking for. Point Inside already offers maps for malls and airports, but…supermarkets are an even more lucrative market for indoor location services, as they allow companies to speak directly to consumers who are actively looking to buy something. This gives a store like Meijer, which is running a pilot study of this application, the opportunity to customize offers for frequent shoppers and to highlight sale items and other products …”

47. Yelp Begins Offering Local Deals http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/yelp_begins_offering_local_deals.php “…Yelp is offering a sneak peak today of a new feature it is calling "Yelp Deals". The new feature will enter Yelp into a growing market of local-deal providers, with companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, by offering deals to what Yelp users spend most of their time looking for - local businesses…the company will begin offering "some great deals for our users" in cities like San Diego, San Francisco and New York…It looks like the deals will be limited-time offerings, as a counter sits at the top of the screen counting down how long it will last. The coupon is available for purchase directly from Yelp and the deal can be redeemed by printing out or showing your confirmation on your phone to the business…”

48. Intuit, Mophie launch credit-card feature for iPhone http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/intuit-mophie-launch-credit-card-feature-for-iphone/38403 “…Intuit has been giving small business owners a tool to collect credit card payments remotely - a service called GoPayment that’s ideal for mobile professions, such as plumbers, electricians and tow-truck drivers…the company has teamed with a small company called Morphie to enhance the credit card payment acceptance policy with a card reader and cover for the iPhone, called Complete Card Solution…for $180. The updated version of the GoPayment app for iPhone is free but the service itself is $13 a month. There’s no contract and the company boasts a complete set-up time of about 15 minutes. The reader/cover is a sleek piece of hardware that’s also powerful enough to ensure that the encryption of data happens during the swiping of a credit card…touch technology…allows customers to authorize a transaction by signing the iPhone’s touchscreen with a finger…the GoPayment service itself works across platforms. It’s only the new reader and app that’s iPhone only…Because there’s only one shape and size of an iPhone. Because Android devices come in so many shapes and sizes, it would be too hard…to develop a reader for it…rewarding the iPhone for having no variety to its look, for being a one-size-fits-all kind of smartphone. The idea that it would be too hard to develop for other form factors felt like a bit like an excuse instead of a reason…the life of a product such as the one being offered by Intuit and Mophie is a stepping-stone product, one that won’t be needed someday and is only a short-term solution until technology comes in to make it obsolete…Eventually, mobile devices will likely have some sort of card scanner - maybe using the camera of the device - to make swiping a credit card feel so very 2010…”

49. Microsoft will spend $400 million marketing Windows Phone 7 -- Microsoft To Pay More Than Half A Billion Dollars To Jump-Start Windows Phone 7 -- A billion to launch Windows Phone 7? -- Windows Phone 7 Costing Microsoft Billions [take your pick of headlines, but don’t let facts get in the way of a good linkbait title – ed.] http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/a-billion-to-launch-windows-phone-7-i-bet-microsoft-is-paying-a-lot-more/7238 “…TechCrunch is reporting that Microsoft may spend as much as a billion dollars to launch and develop Windows Phone 7 in its first year…I think that number is low…Microsoft easily spent over a billion dollars over three years to develop and launch the now-defunct Kin phones, which were a tiny subset of its Windows Phone base. Microsoft spent an estimated $500 million to buy Danger; at least two to three years worth of salaries for the Pink team…Windows Phone 7 is of far more importance to Microsoft than the Kin phones were. And Microsoft has been working on its Windows Mobile 6.x successor for two-plus years so far…We know Microsoft is spending a boatload on evangelizing the coming Windows Phone 7. It has been holding code camps and contests. It has been giving away thousands of developer phones so individuals can build and test their apps. It has been offering selected developers cash guarantees to convince them to write apps for Windows Phone 7…”

50. Too Few Women In Tech? http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/28/women-in-tech-stop-blaming-me/ “…Every…time we have a conference we fret over how we can find women to fill speaking slots. We ask our friends and contacts for suggestions. We beg women to come and speak. Where do we end up? With about 10% of our speakers as women…we do spend an extraordinary amount of time finding those qualified women and asking them to speak…A lot of the time they say no. Because they are literally hounded to speak at every single tech event in the world because they are all trying so hard to find qualified women to speak at their conference…statistically speaking women have a huge advantage as entrepreneurs, because the press is dying to write about them, and venture capitalists are dying to fund them. Just so no one will point the accusing finger of discrimination at them. That WSJ article also criticizes Y Combinator for having just 14 female founders out of their 208 startups to date…Y Combinator wants – really, really wants – female founders and that there just aren’t very many of them…Y Combinator cofounder Jessica Livingston has told me how excited they are to get applications from women, and that they want to do everything they can to get more female applicants…I suspect…the rate of acceptance for female applicants is far higher than for male applicants…”

Civilian Aerospace

51. Moon Capital: A Commercial Gateway to the Moon http://www.commercialspacegateway.com/item/135175-moon-capital-a-commercial-gateway-to On 21 September 2010, the Moon Capital Competition will accept entries for the architectural design of an international and commercial lunar habitation. The prime sponsors of the competition who are putting up the prize money are: The Boston Society of Architects…The New England Council of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics…The competition is open to all comers, although its slant is largely toward space architects and architects who may become inspired to design in space…Moon Capital consists of the planning and design of a Second Generation Habitation on the Moon to support a resident staff of 60 people. The groundbreaking on the Moon will occur July 20, 2069, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. Second Generation means that a prior lunar base exists that can serve as the construction camp and the assembly point for building Moon Capital. This assumption means that the project designers do not need to address the means of delivering materials and construction equipment to the site; the technology and transportation capability exists to assure these deliveries…The primary purpose of Moon Capital is to provide a permanent commercial, science, and technology development facility on the Moon…”

52. SpaceX Asks For Oct. 23 Dragon Launch Slot http://www.aviationnow.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2010/08/30/07.xml&headline=SpaceX%20Asks%20For%20Oct.%2023%20Dragon%20Launch%20Slot&channel=space “…SpaceX has requested Oct. 23 on the 45th Space Wing’s calendar for launch of its second Falcon 9 rocket, which will aim to place a Dragon cargo capsule into orbit. The flight is the first of up to three launches planned under SpaceX’s $278-million Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract with NASA…In December 2008, NASA gave California-based SpaceX…a contract worth $1.6 billion for 12 flights to deliver cargo to the International Space Station). Orbital Sciences Corp. holds similar contracts for development work and launch services on the Taurus II launcher and Cygnus spaceship…A second operational Dragon that will maneuver to within 6 mi. of the ISS is targeted for launch early next year, while a provisional third test would have the Dragon actually dock at the station…”

53. NASA funds rocket flights by Masten and Armadillo http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/30/AR2010083004249.html “…Masten Space Systems of Mojave, Calif., and Armadillo Aerospace of Rockwall, Texas, were awarded a total of $475,000 by NASA's Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program…NASA wants the flights to demonstrate capabilities of the Masten and Armadillo vehicles to carry small payloads to what it terms "near-space" - altitudes between 65,000 feet and 350,000 feet. The program is seeking dependable rocket systems that can fly at reasonable cost while safely returning payloads to the ground…Masten's craft will make two flights late this year and two early next year from Mojave Air & Spaceport in the high desert north of Los Angeles. Two are planned to reach altitudes about three miles high and two will go to about 18 miles high…NASA said Armadillo has been funded for two flights in the fall to altitudes of about nine miles and a winter flight about 25 miles high…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

54. Games chip helps astronomers see the stars http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/games-chip-helps-astronomers-see-the-stars/story-e6frgakx-1225909106228 “…Researchers from the Swinburne University of Technology Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing are pioneering the use of graphics processing units -- a type of processor that improve graphics in computer games -- for astronomy. The centre's Scientific Computing and Visualisation group has applied the games technology to astrophysics because GPUs have vast potential to boost computing power…"We would hope to see speeds of between 30 and 100 times faster than using a single CPU," Dr Fluke said. "The way a scientist would think about that is, what used to take a month to do could be done in a day…”

55. Robotics Visionary and Molecular-Simulation Pioneer to Headline NVIDIA's 2010 GPU Technology Conference http://www.marketwatch.com/story/world-renowned-robotics-visionary-and-molecular-simulation-pioneer-to-headline-nvidias-2010-gpu-technology-conference-2010-08-26 “…two of the world's leading computing visionaries will join NVIDIA CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang as keynote speakers at the second annual GPU Technology Conference…Klaus Schulten of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the world's top computational biologists, will deliver the second keynote on Wednesday, Sept. 22, highlighting the major discoveries made using the computational microscope. In addition, he will review his pioneering research on cell disruption and viruses, including the H1N1 virus….Sebastian Thrun, a robotics pioneer at Stanford University and distinguished engineer at Google, will conclude the conference with his keynote on Thursday, Sept. 23, unveiling how advances in GPU computing for computer vision will fundamentally advance self-driving, robotic technology for cars….GTC 2010 will take place from Monday, Sept. 20, to Thursday, Sept. 23, at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. Registration for GTC 2010 is now open. Interested attendees can register and find detailed information about conference keynotes, sessions, tutorials, and roundtables at www.nvidia.com/gtc…”


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