2010/09/14

NEW NET Issues List for 14 Sep 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Wednesday, 14 September 2010, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel, 3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA near Ballard Road and Highway 41. Cambria Suites has free wifi and has an assortment of food and beverages.

The ‘net

1. YouTube tests live video streaming http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20016180-93.html “…YouTube is…ready to give live video streaming a try in a test Monday and Tuesday with four partner sites. Next New Networks…is among four alpha testers of the new YouTube live-streaming platform…Young Hollywood…will present live celebrity interviews, starting with skateboarder Tony Hawk. YouTube's other partners on the project are Rocketboom and Howcast…This new platform integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels…this offering will only be available today and tomorrow…this appears the first test of a full-fledged live streaming platform the likes of Ustream and Livestream…”

2. LifeCam Studio: 1080p; optimized for Windows Live 2011 http://www.liveside.net/main/archive/2010/09/13/new-lifecam-studio-1080p-optimized-for-windows-live-2011.aspx “…Microsoft is adding some pretty cool new hardware optimized for Windows Live 2011: the LifeCam Studio…Windows Live Messenger 2011 will support HD video calling this fall…sharing photos, playing games and, of course, instant messaging all while video chatting in HD,” said Michael Chang…HD widescreen video calls with Windows Live Messenger 2011…the LifeCam Studio is indeed optimized for Windows Live..The webcam features…impressive specs, including full 1080p, auto focus, a tripod mount…”

3. Why Isn't the Price of Broadband Obeying Moore's Law? http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25748/ “…broadband internet prices have remained nearly stagnant since 2004, despite the explosive pace of adoption since then - from approximately 20 percent of U.S. households in 2004 to more than 65 percent today…upload speeds…more than doubled in that time. But that's nowhere near what you would expect if the price / megabit/s of broadband were obeying Moore's Law…Shane Greenstein, argues that the 2003 decision allowing the broadband industry to regulate itself has caused much of the stagnation…by now, broadband companies should have paid off almost all the costs associated with building out their infrastructure. "We are approaching the end of the first buildout, so competitive pressures should have led to price drops by now…This means that broadband companies are now operating their broadband as almost "pure profit," devoting only a small fraction of subscriber revenues to maintenance…”

4. The important thing is to do *something*, not just talk about it: 'YouTube Instant' creator, 19, finds instant fame http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/09/14/cnet.youtube.instant.creator/ For Stanford University student Feross Aboukhadijeh, what started off as a bet fueled by youthful ambition and technical bravado, ended up an Internet hit and quite possibly a job. Last week, Aboukhadijeh, 19, was just an ordinary, albeit talented, college student as he tested out Google Instant…He was immediately impressed…To his roommate, he said, "I bet you I can build YouTube Instant in an hour." And his roommate took him up on the bet…three hours later, YouTube Instant was born. The site lets people search the enormous YouTube video database in real time. He spent a couple more hours Thursday sprucing up the user interface. And before going to sleep that night, he posted his work to his Facebook page. "When I woke up Friday morning there was craziness," he said…countless e-mails congratulating him…the creation of a Wikipedia entry in his name, and…a job offer from YouTube CEO Chad Hurley via Twitter…Aboukhadijeh replied along the lines of "Is this a for-real offer?" Hurley then e-mailed him to set up a meeting, which is scheduled for Monday…Aboukhadijeh is just finishing up a summer internship with Facebook, but he doesn't see how that would prohibit his taking a job at YouTube, which is owned by Google. "I'd like to finish college," he added, which he agreed could pose the bigger problem…”

5. Sensor Networks Top Social Networks for Big Data http://cloud.gigaom.com/2010/09/13/sensor-networks-top-social-networks-for-big-data/ With the firehose of information enabled by Facebook, Twitter, location-based services, and other forms of social media, the era of Big Data is upon us…outside of the consumer world, the stakes are much higher…the ubiquity of connectivity and the growth of sensors has opened up a larger storehouse of information that will not only help businesses profit, but will also boost safety and enable environmental benefits. For example, a Boeing jet generates 10 terabytes of information per engine every 30 minutes of flight…for a single six-hour, cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles…the total amount of data generated would be a massive 240 terabytes of data. There are about 28,537 commercial flights in the sky in the United States on any given day…the Internet of Things will dwarf social media sites in its ability to generate data. The stakes and potential for monetization are huge…the sensor data will dominate by factors 10-to-20 times that of social media…There’s also a question of who owns the data. For example, if a roadway has sensors embedded in it, does the federal or state government own them?...Other than ownership and interoperability questions, there’s also the question of how long companies should store the data and who has access to it…larger providers like Microsoft are seeking to create marketplaces where data can be bought and sold among interested parties…the amount of data is only going to continue to rise, so figuring out how to manage it, what to keep and how to mine it for useful information will become increasingly important…”

6. Techmeme Turns 5: Interview With Founder Gabe Rivera http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/techmeme_turns_5_interview_with_gabe_rivera.php “…leading tech news aggregator Techmeme turned 5 years old. The service launched in September 2005, under the name tech.memeorandum,..In 2005, tech.memeorandum mostly tracked blogs. In 2010, Techmeme tracks all types of media web sites. Everything from news wires, newspapers, professional blogs, corporate blogs and personal blogs. That's been a natural evolution, as blogs have become more like newspapers and magazines - and vice versa. What's been more surprising is Techmeme's shift from full automation to a mix of algorithms and human curation. In this interview with Techmeme founder Gabe Rivera, we talk about these and other changes over the past 5 years…RWW: Like me, you started your site Memeorandum as a one-man band and not knowing if there would be a decent business model…How many people do you have working for you now?...GR: We're six in total…RWW: The biggest change…seems to be that it's moved from being entirely automated to being a mix of automated and manual editing…GR: Philosophically, I believe human editing plus automation have always been and will always be needed for top-notch aggregation…until editors arrived, Techmeme would often make questionable choices - like spotlighting too many redundant stories…Also, obviously significant stories would often take much too long to appear…RWW: Is your new product model, mix of automated and manual editing, scalable?...GR: I believe it's scalable…major news topics…can start out with just one human editor, so we only need revenue to support one person. But it isn't scalable to hundreds or thousands of news topics…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Iris scans, fingerprinting and national ID for India's 1.2 billion inhabitants http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/148097 “…India gears up to launch an ambitious scheme to biometrically identify and number each of its 1.2 billion inhabitants. In September, officials from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), armed with fingerprinting machines, iris scanners and cameras hooked to laptops, will fan out across the towns and villages…in the first phase of the project whose aim is to give every Indian a lifelong Unique ID (UID) number…a 12-digit number…is unlikely to rectify…the massive corruption in the public distribution system that is supposed to provide food to poor families…the use of biometrics on such a massive scale…is bound to be riddled with costly glitches…Other speakers raised issues of security and the possibility of hackers getting at databases…the possibility of religious profiling by state governments or misuse by caste lobbies is real. This is because the central government has decided to include caste as a category in the UID questionnaire to be filled out by applicants…agencies and service providers might require a UID number in order to transact business. Indeed, the UIDAI has already signed agreements with banks, state governments and hospital chains which will allow them to ask customers for UIDs…taken to its logical limit, the UID project will make it impossible, in a couple of years, for an ordinary citizen to undertake a simple task such as traveling within the country without a UID number…the website goes on to explain that this is merely "in the nature of the electoral roll or the telephone directory."…things begin to look ominous when seen in the context of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)…NATGRID would tap into 21 sets of databases that will be networked to achieve "quick, seamless and secure access to desired information for intelligence and enforcement…NATGRID will "identify those who must be watched, investigated, disabled and neutralized."…Nilekani maintains that the main purpose of the UID project is to empower the vast numbers of excluded Indians…”

8. Craigslist Removes 'Censored' Bar http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2368914,00.asp “…Amidst criticism from state attorneys general and human rights groups, Craigslist abruptly removed its "adult services" section several days ago…the company placed a black "censored" bar where the link to the adult-oriented section had once been. The "censored" bar and the "adult services" link have now been removed entirely from the site…the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (or CDA) grants providers of 'interactive computer services' an absolute shield against state criminal law liability stemming from material posted by third parties…merely creating a forum in which users post ads that may violate state law plainly does not lead to liability for a Web site operator." That law, Zimmerman wrote, protects "individuals and companies who would otherwise be vulnerable targets to litigants who want to silence speech to which they object, illegal or not."…Craigslist has "repeatedly offered to go far above and beyond their legal obligations to work with law enforcement officials," with its manual screening process for "adult services" submissions, which requires a valid credit card number…Zimmerman said the AG's threats are "completely meritless. This strategy might amount to good politics, especially in an election year, but it continues to show remarkable disdain for the bedrock legal principles that have largely served the Internet well over the past 15 years…a one-stop-shop is more helpful for law enforcement than for criminals," Boyd wrote…Craigslist is not a pimp, but a public perch from which law enforcement can watch without being seen.”

9. Dangerous Adobe Reader zero-day raises the bar http://www.infoworld.com/print/136883 “…Adobe posted yet another advisory for a flaw in Adobe Acrobat and Reader that "could…allow an attacker to take control of the affected system." Ho hum…But there's more to the story. The untold part sends shivers down my spine…the trickster put together a TrueType font that caused Adobe Reader to go nuts…by sticking more data in a field than it's supposed to have, Reader can be tricked into running a program hidden away inside the PDF file. That, combined with an auto-executing JavaScript program…put the exploit in motion…Whoever put this zero-day together figured out a way to bypass Windows 7's vaunted ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) and DEP (Data Execution Protection) lock-down technologies…If a programmer can run tiny pieces of code to do its dirty deeds, and the tiny pieces appear just before a Return instruction, the malware can stay in control…Opening an infected PDF with Adobe Reader can get you pwned in Windows 7…That's only part of the bad news…the infected PDF drops an executable file in the Windows %temp% folder…In short, this new zero-day incorporates some old-fashioned buffer overflow techniques with solid JavaScript programming, incorporating new ROP techniques and a stolen certificate to infect Windows 7 systems. Whoever put this puppy together really knows their stuff…With Metasploit actively working on replicating the technique, you can bet that infected PDF files will be all the rage in the next week or two. If you ever needed a good reason to get rid of Adobe Reader, you now have it. This particular infection vector is so Acrobat/Reader-specific that folks who use Foxit Reader or any other PDF reading alternative, should be in good shape…”

10. Number of new computer viruses at record high http://www.gdata-software.com/about-g-data/press-centre/news/news-details/article/1760-number-of-new-computer-viruses.ht “…the number of new computer viruses has already reached a new record for the first half of 2010, with 1,017,208 malware programs. This represents an increase of 50 percent compared to last year…Windows users are still the number one target: 99.4 percent of all new malware of the first half of this year was written for Microsoft’s operating system. The other 0.6% targeted systems that contain e.g. Unix or Java technologies…Trojan horses dominate the top 5 malware categories, with a share of 42.6%. A big part of this category is made up by bogus antivirus programs and ransomware. Malware such as downloaders and droppers retain second place with a steady share of 20.3%...many types of new spyware have appeared. Many of these are part of banking trojans or keyloggers. Spyware is the biggest growing of all malware categories. Spyware enables attackers to steal access data, for instance to social networks. The proportion of backdoors has dropped in comparison to the last half of 2009, coming in fourth place with 12%…”

11. FBI & TSA: Photographers are terrorists http://indieregister.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/tsa-photographers-are-terrorists/ Photographers beware. You could be mistaken for a terrorist. As if taking pictures of police officers…and government buildings wasn’t bad enough, now if you’re caught taking pictures of airplanes you could be brought in for questioning…Transportation Security Adminstration has put out posters portraying shutterbugs as terrorists…The poster contains the phrase “If you question it, report it.”…The FBI has even put out terrorist awareness guides listing people who take pictures, notes or have maps could be plotting mass distruction…As…someone who just likes to travel, I frequently have a camera, maps and notepads with me. Combine that with my anti-big government bumper stickers and “subversive literature” and I’m a very dangerous man…”

12. Intel's walled garden plan to put A/V vendors out of business http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/09/intels-walled-garden-plan-to-put-av-vendors-out-of-business.ars “…Intel would love to move to a world where only code from known and trusted parties runs on x86 systems. It sounds sensible enough, so what could be objectionable about that? Depending how enamored you are of Apple's App Store model, where only Apple-approved code gets to run on your iPhone, you may or may not be happy in Intel's planned utopia. Because…the App Store model is more or less what Intel is describing…The fact that x86 was so popular and open gave rise to today's A/V industry, where security companies spend 100 percent of their effort trying to identify and thwart every conceivable form of bad behavior. This approach is extremely labor-intensive and failure-prone…What Intel is proposing is that the entire x86 ecosystem move to the opposite approach, and run only the code that has been blessed as safe by some trusted authority…with McAfee, Intel probably plans to offer a default walled garden option…security has always been a serious problem in the wild and woolly world of x86 and Windows. This is true mainly because Wintel is the biggest animal in the ecosystem, so bad actors get the most bang for their buck by targeting it. So why has Intel suddenly gotten so serious about it that the company is making this enormous change to the very nature of its core platform?...Intel wants to push x86 into niches that it doesn't currently occupy (phones, appliances, embedded), but it can't afford to take the bad parts along for the ride…if you were worried about a particular phone or TV being compromised, you just wouldn't buy it. Contrast this to the Windows desktop…Intel's dilemma looks like this: open, secure, ubiquitous—pick any two, but given the economics of the semiconductor industry, "ubiquitous" has to be one of them…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. ARM unveils 5X improvement with A15 next gen processor http://channel.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=26372 “…Eagle is the codename for the next generation ARM Cortex A (application processor)…Current high-end single core mobile SoCs (system-on-chips), such as…Apple's A4, are based on the Cortex-A8 design. The next evolution was the Cortex-A9, which is starting to appear in dual-core SoCs like NVIDIA's Tegra 2…the Cortex-A15 MPCore…promises five times the performance of the Cortex A8 at a similar energy footprint. And it can clock up to 2.5GHz…The exciting place for for software developer graduates to go and hunt for work is no longer the desktop…This processor is going to further advance our presence in the infrastructure; opening the door to base-stations, routers and servers…Cortex-A15 is scalable to 16 cores, and maybe more…ARM doesn't actually manufacture chips and it's only just started licensing the design…ARM developed the Cortex-A15 in close collaboration with its three lead licensee partners Samsung, ST Ericsson and Texas Instruments…the building-block…is a scalable unit of four CPU cores…the feature that enables the scaling of each of these units - Shorn mentioned 16 cores but we get the impression the design could, in theory, accommodate even more - is the AMBA 4 component. You can find out more on the ARM Cortex-A15 page…” [http://gigaom.com/2010/09/08/hey-iphone-meet-a-tiny-chip-with-superpowers/ “…Don’t be surprised that by 2012 our tablets and smart phones on average be about five times as powerful, with no detrimental impact on power consumption…computing is going through a transition akin to the shift from fixed line phones to cellular telephones. Computing is becoming portable and pocketable. It is omnipresent and at our finger tips…we are going to have even faster networks at our disposal, thanks to the rise of next generation wireless broadband technologies such as Long-Term Evolution or LTE. These faster networks will bring data to our devices at much higher speeds…Just as the growth of faster broadband sparked the sales of ever-more-powerful Pentium chips, a similar trend is going to take hold in the wireless world. This new world needs a new kind of architecture – one that marries power with very little power consumption so as to give long battery life to our portable devices…Think of this chip as a heavyweight boxer with the stamina of a long distance runner…Playing games in 3-D, running work and home environments on the same machine, conducting videoconferences along with dozens of other activities are going to be a breeze for devices powered by this new chip technology…One of the mobile technologies…to get a big boost from this new chip –- augmented reality…AR is going to remain a curiosity unless the chips can take all the visual and other information and turn it into something magic instantly…a chip built on the Cortex-A15 architecture can help…” http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4207494/ARM--in-servers-push--describes-the-Cortex-A-15-CPU “…the A15 core has been designed in conjunction with the development of the 32nm and 28nm process technologies…ARM has constructed a 2.5 GHz-capable superscalar core…the ability to power-reduce individual stages of the execution pipelines on the fly and…get the entire CPU into sleep mode in 10 microseconds, allowing a far more aggressive use of sleep than is possible with existing large-scale CPUs…the Eagle is clearly aimed not at advanced smartphones or mobile media devices, but at the network infrastructure, server, and cloud-computing space…total address space is 1 terabyte, far in excess of the needs of mobile or embedded computing…”] {the hard-to-answer question is, ‘will technology changes provide five times the processing power with no detrimental impact on power consumption’ – ed.}

14. Apple iPod Touch 2010 http://reviews.cnet.com/mp3-players/apple-ipod-touch-2010/4505-6490_7-34167385.html “…The fourth generation of Apple's iPod Touch offers nothing but improvements…at $229 (8GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB), Apple's fourth-generation iPod Touch…new features…make the iPod Touch more indispensable to those who aren't already toting the latest iPhone or Android smartphone…the back of the Touch now has a camera lens in the upper-left corner, along with a pinhole microphone…The camera used on the Touch is strictly designed for video recording, but it can be made to capture still frames, whereas the iPhone's camera pulls equal weight as both a photo camera (5-megapixel sensor, LED flash, HDR support) and an HD camcorder…An integrated speaker is included on the Touch…located behind a tiny speaker grille on the bottom edge of the device, along with a standard dock connection and a 3.5mm headphone jack…the flattening of the curved back…making the Touch less prone to wobbling on a table…At 3.56 ounces, this is the lightest iPod Touch yet…Features that made headlines when they made their iPhone 4 debuted have trickled over to the iPod Touch…You get the same A4 processor, same three-axis gyro sensor, and an identical Retina Display, sporting an impressive 960x640-pixel resolution at a dense 326 pixels per inch. You still can't make cell phone calls on the Touch, surf over a 3G connection, or receive a GPS signal…The fourth-gen Touch…mono microphone on the back…works with features such as the Voice Memos app and third-party VoIP and audio-recording apps that previously required a compatible headset or microphone accessory. If we had to pick one feature that defines the fourth-gen iPod Touch, it's the new video and photo capabilities. The camera on the back supports HD video recording up to 720p at 30 frames per second…give points to the Touch for being able to embed roughly estimated geotag information to your photos and videos, provided you keep the Wi-Fi antenna on. The front-facing camera is convenient for self-portraits and video calling, but its VGA resolution (640x480 pixels) can't compete with the HD camera on the back. A toggle button on the touch screen allows you to seamlessly toggle between the two cameras. Both cameras are capable of taking still shots…but the results don't hold up to the 5-megapixel camera…on the iPhone 4…these photos are simply video stills, which equate to a 960x720-pixel resolution using the using the camera on the back, or 640x480 pixels using the self-portrait cam…Gaming on the iPod Touch is better than ever, thanks to the improved display, additional three-axis gyro sensor, and a performance boost from the A4 processor. At the time of this review, there aren't many apps and games that take full advantage of the new gyro capabilities, which add precise pitch, roll, and yaw motion control to the existing accelerometer and multitouch controls…It's worth noting…a new game like Mirror's Edge drained the battery to 20 percent in an hour or so of play. If gaming is going to be your primary use for an iPod Touch, it's probably worth investing in an external backup battery pack. Another gaming feature introduced with the fourth-generation iPod Touch is…Game Center…a leaderboard that collects your progress and achievements for all the games installed on your iPod…displays the top scores and game rankings of your friends and facilitates wireless, multiplayer gameplay between your friends, or will automatch you with a random player…Game Center is Apple's way of making its game offerings more social…we have no doubt it will be a productivity-zapping hit…”

15. Wireless call quality matters; bad news for AT&T, good for Verizon, Sprint http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/wireless-call-quality-matters-and-thats-bad-news-for-at-t-good-for-verizon-sprint/39006 “…J.D. Power measured call quality…and found that AT&T lags in most regions. Verizon and Sprint were near the top of the rankings in call quality and T-Mobile connectivity was totally hit or miss depending on where you live…wireless customers are using their phones less for calls, but still cite dropped calls as the primary reason for switching carriers…AT&T may be in trouble if it loses its exclusive on Apple’s iPhone. Simply put, the network performance just isn’t there…”

16. T-Mobile Defy touted as a tank of a phone http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2010/0913/T-Mobile-Defy-touted-as-a-tank-of-a-phone “…If you're anything like us, you drop your smartphone about once a week, and your touchscreen is currently more cratered than a hunk of Swiss cheese. Fellow maladroits, take note: Sometime in the next couple of months – and definitely before the holiday season is out – T-Mobile will release a new Motorola phone called the Defy, which is apparently built to withstand scrapes, dings, drops, and everything short of an elephant stampede…But have no fear: The Defy isn't just an battle-tank. It's also a full-featured phone, which sports an Android 2.1 OS, a 5-megapixel camera, Flash capability, and a 3.7-inch WVGA screen…”

Open Source

17. Modern OS on ancient hardware http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/locutus/modern-os-on-ancient-hardware-41162 “…I can surf the net, play movies…I am…transferring files, home movies taken with my Flip, to my home server over the internet…I am not at home right now. I am in a completely different city altogether. Yet I still have the need to spin some bits and bytes…Unfortunately I am not rich. I am married with children and…I don't have the latest quad core…Yet I am using the exact same operating system on my home desktop/server as I am using on this primitive beast…using ancient hardware like this does have some drawbacks. Things do take just a little bit longer to load up, Something like taking a minute to start up compared to forty seconds on my dual core home machine…it is no more than the delay Windows users have on their super modern machines once all the anti-virus and anti-spyware…is installed. This little piece of history actually seems to run faster than most of the poorly maintained windows computers I see…It, is an over twelve year old IBM ThinkPad i1400 Series laptop. The hard disk is only 12Gb, of which I still have over 7Gb free. I have expanded it's ram up to the maximum size of 256Mb…its cpu is a little pentium III running at only 500Mhz…even the cheapest and smallest netbook, heck even most mobile phones are more powerful than this…There is no possible way I could run any Windows on this machine and do what I can now…another reason why I like Linux. It doesn't matter…what the hardware specs are, I can still run the latest, modern, operating system available…”

18. Robotic Software Platform Behind Projects Like Segway RMP, Lego Mindstorm Going Open Source http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/09/robotic-software-platform-behind.html “…another important project is going open source…it is the popular robotic software platform called Urbi…projects like Segway RMP, Lego Mindstorm, Aldebaran Nao etc. runs on Urbi robotic software platform. Urbi…includes a C++ component library called UObject that comes with a robot standard API to describe motors, sensors and algorithms. This awesome technology is now open source with an GNU AGPLv3 license…the real potential of Urbi goes beyond robotics, since it has been successfully used in generic complex systems, where parallel and event-driven orchestration on multiple agents is the rule. According to many, Urbi is also very simple to use, even for beginners. It is perfectly suitable for advanced industrial or academics applications, as well as for the educational market…Urbi promoters hopes that, the initiative will allow developers worldwide to participate in the growth of the industry's most innovative robotic software solution…”

19. Open Source Windows SSH Client Delivers Security Boost http://www.serverwatch.com/tutorials/article.php/3903206/Open-Source-Windows-SSH-Client-Delivers-Security-Boost.htm The Windows SSH client PuTTY is incredibly useful; even more useful is setting it up with a private/public keypair…You can also use Pageant to manage the key. Launch Pageant, and an icon will appear in the system tray…You can…log in to your remote host via PuTTY…without having to give the key again…Juliet Kemp has been messing around with Linux systems, for financial reward and otherwise, for about a decade…”

20. Scary New Horror Adventure Available for Linux http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/scary-new-horror-adventure-available-linux “…Danger hides in every corner. Risk life and limb at every turn, your very sanity in peril with every step into the dark descent. The first-person adventure immerses the user in the spooky setting of an ancient desolate and crumbling Prussian castle. You, as the hero, navigates the terrifying environment using all your wits and knowledge to wriggle out of one tight spot after another. Hang around in any one area too long and you will begin to lose your mind and, if you're not careful, even your life…Amnesia: The Dark Descent has gone gold. To celebrate and whet your appetites, a Demo was released on Friday, September 3. Full retail pricing and downloads became available September 8…Linux minimum requirements are listed as a 2010 released distro, 3D acceleration drivers for at least a Radeon HD or NVIDIA 6, 2.0Ghz processor, 2048 MB memory, and 3 GB of hard drive space. Nerves of steel are recommended but not required. Frictional Games is one of the few companies that release their high-quality games for Linux at the same time and with equal priority as the other platforms. Their awesome Penumbra series is available now as a single package collection for the remarkable value price of $6…”

SkyNet

21. This is Your Brain on Google Instant Search http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_instant_search.php “…Google unveiled a new way to display its search results this morning, called Instant Search. Instant brings search results to your browser, as you type. Letter by letter - it's amazing…"The normative influence of Google just got a lot stronger," Kevin Marks, a British Telecom technologist…said today on Twitter…Google's influence over what we consider the norm, or what we take for granted as an assumption, regarding any particular topic, will become stronger now that we're instantly given suggested search queries and answers to questions we haven't even finished asking yet…combination of rapid results, sneak peeks into potentially related topics as we begin to explore and a responsive interface that encourages more sophistication in our interaction with search engines than the classic 2-word grunt-queries typically deliver…users participating in tests of the service quite often saw links they were interested in at the bottom of the page and then extended their search queries with text that would bring those results up to the top of the page…My theory: by making search a more interactive, call & response activity, Instant Search could stimulate mental activity, as opposed to Google making us stupid…” [http://www.readwriteweb.com/biz/2010/09/how-will-google-instant-affect-your-companys-seo.php “…the impact of Google Instant on SEO and search performance will come as a result of changes in the user experience, not the ranking algorithm…"It will have a tremendous impact," says Garg. "User behavior will change. And good SEO is all about understanding end user behavior."…insightful commentary on Google Instant's potential impact on SEO came in a blog post from Goolger Matt Cutts…it's possible that people will learn to search differently over time. For example, I was recently researching a congressperson. With Google Instant, it was more visible to me that this congressperson had proposed an energy plan, so I refined my search to learn more, and quickly found myself reading a post on the congressperson's blog that had been on page 2 of the search results…” http://blogs.computerworld.com/16920/google_instant “…The service weights results in favor of your search history, and searches that are local to you. For example, I live in San Diego, when I type "D" the first search that comes up is the California Department of Motor Vehicles…I get the same results whether I'm logged in or not, with private browsing switched on in Firefox, with cookies cleared, and with permission revoked for Google to use my location (which is actually a little disturbing -- why is Google still showing me search results for the local power company and furniture store if it's not supposed to know who or where I am?)… Power-searchers tend to search from the browser search box or Google Toolbar, and Instant isn't available there. It only works on the Google home page…”]

22. Google Android not intended for tablets http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/09/mixed-messages-from-google-is-android-ready-for-tablets.ars “…Android mobile operating system was designed for smartphones, but it is increasingly being adopted by consumer electronics companies to power a range of new devices, including tablets and e-book readers…the platform isn't natively suited for the tablet form factor…Google mobile products director Hugo Barra recently acknowledged…Android 2.2…is simply not designed for the tablet form factor…Google's Android compatibility definition…describes the mandatory hardware and software features…to protect the platform from fragmentation by ensuring that devices…share a baseline level of functional and behavioral compatibility…vendors like Samsung are building compelling tablet-sized Android products…this works because the Samsung Galaxy Tab is basically an oversized phone rather than a conventional tablet…upcoming products based on the Google TV platform will be able to run Android applications…One one hand, we have a radically new set-top form factor that will supposedly run Android applications, and on the other hand, we have a Google product director saying that Android isn't a good fit for non-smartphone devices…Google open source and compatibility program manager Dan Morrill…says that it won't be difficult for developers to make custom layouts that will allow applications to take advantage of the extra space when it's available…different form factors can be overcome if developers simply specify Android Market filters in their application's manifest file…Android Market will make sure your apps only appear to devices that can run them,..This approach…will create a certain kind of fragmentation that the Android compatibility definition was intended to prevent…What is most puzzling is the lack of consistency in Google's message about Android on non-smartphone form factors…”

23. Google Research Carves Space-Time to Optimize Video for Any Size Screen http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_research_discontinuous_seam_carving.php Videos come in different sizes, resolutions and aspect ratios; the problem is, so do screens…Resizing video has become more annoying as more people watch on mobile screens of varying sizes, but apparently Google Research has been working on a fix. Today Google Research announced an algorithm for resizing videos that will preserve the width to height ratio for "salient" images while squishing and stretching the "non-salient" parts of the shot…Think of salient content as actors, faces, or structured objects, where the viewer anticipates specific, important details to perceive it as being correct and unaltered…non-salient content, such as sky, water or a blurry out-of-focus background can be squished or stretched without changing the overall appearance or the viewer noticing a dramatic change…It's called "discontinuous seam carving" because it divides the salient and non-salient regions of the image with irregular chains of pixels, or "seams." The algorithm preserves the aspect ratio for important parts of the image in each frame and minimizes distortion to the non-important parts, so distortion in the resized version is not as obvious to the viewer…”

24. Google Search by Voice http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2010/09/google-search-by-voice-case-study.html Wind the clock back two years with your smart phone in hand…recall doing a search for a restaurant or the latest scores of your favorite sports team…you probably won’t even bother…With Google Search by Voice all that has changed. Now you just tap the microphone, speak, and within seconds you see the result. No more fat fingers…Search by Voice is a result of many years of investment in speech…We started by building our own recognizer (aka GReco ) from the ground up. Our first foray in search by voice was doing local searches with GOOG-411…in November 2008, we launched…Search by Voice. Now you can search the entire Web using your voice…it requires much more than a just good speech recognizer. You also need a good user interface and a good phone like an Android in the hands of millions of people…”

25. Google North American Faculty Summit - Day 2 http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2010/08/google-north-american-faculty-summit_04.html “…at the Google Faculty Summit, we discussed ideas around online social capabilities. Chris Messina opened the discussion…Damon Horowitz, founder of Aardvark, gave a talk about the Aardvark experience…a panel I moderated on the future of the social web…consisted of four experts in the area. Joseph Smarr came to Google after eight years as CTO of social networking site Plaxo. Lada Adamic is on the faculty at University of Michigan, where she studies the nature of social and information networks. Eytan Adar is also on the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he studies the evolution of production and consumption of data over time. Luis von Ahn is on the faculty of Carnegie Melon University and also an employee at Google; he studies mechanisms to connect significant human efforts to interesting problems…One theme…was the benefits and pitfalls of social personalization…there seems to be general agreement that passing lightweight updates among friends is a valuable tool for…keeping light contact with friends as a way of maintaining the state of the friendship. For information discovery…your friends are more likely to have something interesting to say about your local area and your longstanding hobbies or interests…your background knowledge about your friend will aid you in assessing the quality of the answer…an answer from a friend satisfies not just an information need but also a human need to interact and share experiences…socially augmented information can arrive through a push channel…or through a pull channel…The same mechanisms for social information sharing may also operate powerfully in the context of a group coming together around a shared interest or goal…Another topic we touched on…the problem of designing systems so…the actions that increase status in the game (using real-world currency to purchase items in the game; inviting friends to join and participate in the game; clicking on advertisements in the game) are designed well to support this goal. Rewarding the action of bringing new friends into the game is one obvious approach to increasing the total user population. More subtly, any game system must provide sufficient fun to be worth the expense to users…”

General Technology

26. Kids prove they're MoonBot masters http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/09/02/5034130-kids-prove-theyre-moonbot-masters “…Twenty teams of teen-agers from around the country have put homebrewed lunar rover prototypes through their paces in the MoonBots challenge, a spin-off of the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize program…The rovers may have been glorified toys, built up from Lego Mindstorms robo-components — but the effort involved far more work than play…More than 200 teams from 16 countries participated in the months-long competition. Each team, consisting of students ranging in age from 9 to 18, had to design a machine that could navigate a lunar-style course with plastic craters and ledges…Last week, the robots were tested in a series of live "mission webcasts." Judges for the event included…Anousheh Ansari…Dean Kamen, Lego robot builder Steve Hassenplug and National Instruments' Jeff Kodosky. The X Prize Foundation…organized the MoonBots challenge to supplement the Google-backed contest…The Landroids…took the top prize…In June, the team won first place…in the national eighth-grade division of the eCybermission program, sponsored by the U.S. Army…"The work these students did this summer was truly spectacular," William Pomerantz, senior director of space prizes for the X Prize Foundation, said…"The mission very closely paralleled the work our Google Lunar X Prize teams were doing, so we greatly enjoyed watching those technical challenges worked out on a different scale…” [several important lessons here for tech project teams, including using the website from ‘Day 1’ for a project notebook, capturing the project history with photos and videos and real-world challenges of not-enough-time prioritizing; watch the excellent video in this article. DHMN should consider sponsoring a team for some type of tech project like this; northeast Wisconsin needs more kids groups doing this. – ed.]

27. Intel's Sandy Bridge Architecture Exposed http://www.anandtech.com/show/3922/intels-sandy-bridge-architecture-exposed “…Sandy Bridge is Intel’s 2011 performance mainstream architecture refresh…value segments won’t see Sandy Bridge until 2012. The first CPUs will ship very early in 2011 for both desktops and notebooks. The architecture discussion we have here today applies to both. The CPUs won’t be called Sandy Bridge but instead will be called Intel’s 2nd generation Core i3/i5/i7…The CPUs will require a new socket (LGA-1155) and all new motherboards…The chipset brings 6Gbps SATA support (2 ports) but no native USB 3, motherboard manufacturers will still have to use an off-chip controller to get USB 3 support. Intel will also enable 5GT/s PCIe 2.0 slots with its 6-series chipsets…The largest performance improvement on Sandy Bridge vs. current Westmere architectures actually has nothing to do with the CPU, it’s all graphics. While the CPU cores show a 10 - 30% improvement in performance, Sandy Bridge graphics performance is easily double what Intel delivered with Clarkdale/Arrandale…The Sandy Bridge GPU is on-die built out of the same 32nm transistors as the CPU cores…SNB graphics is the anti-Larrabee. While Larrabee focused on extensive use of fully programmable hardware…SNB graphics…makes extensive use of fixed function hardware…Keeping much of the GPU fixed function is in-line with Intel’s CPU centric view of the world…The programmable shader hardware is composed of shaders/cores/execution units that Intel calls EUs…At launch there will be two versions of Sandy Bridge graphics: one with 6 EUs and one with 12 EUs…if you have a 95W TDP for a quad-core CPU, but three of those four cores are idle, then you can increase the clock speed of the one active core until you hit that TDP limit…Sandy Bridge takes advantage of this by allowing the PCU to turbo up active cores above TDP for short periods of time (up to 25 seconds)…Both CPU and GPU turbo can work in tandem. Workloads that are more GPU bound running on SNB can result in the CPU cores clocking down and the GPU clocking up, while CPU bound tasks can drop the GPU frequency and increase CPU frequency…ever since before the Pentium III Intel had aspirations of shipping fully locked CPUs. The power of the enthusiast community generally kept Intel from exploring such avenues, but we live in different times today…Overclocking, as we know it, is dead…Personally, I’d love nothing more than for everything to ship unlocked. The realities of Intel’s business apparently prevent that, so we’re left with something that could either be a non-issue or just horrible…GPU performance is clearly an important Sandy Bridge feature…The media processing engine, particularly with the video transcode support is very exciting…this could very well be Sandy Bridge’s killer feature. The ability to transcode at over 10x real time on everything from a desktop to a notebook is just awesome…SNB’s video transcode engine could effectively stop consumer GPU based video encoding in its tracks…Connecting it all together we have Sandy Bridge’s ring bus…The ring bus sounds very scalable and should support growth in core count, L3 cache and GPU performance. This may end up being the base architecture that takes us from multi-core to many core…” [http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/13/intel-takes-the-wraps-off-its-nvidia-killer/ Intel showed a demo of its hybrid graphics-microprocessor chip today, a chip that’s aimed at eliminating the need for a stand-alone graphics chip in personal computers…”] “…a 22nm successor to Sandy Bridge…downsized "Ivy Bridge" CPUs will debut in the second half of 2011…”

28. Sensitive touch for 'robot skin' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11265415 “"Artificial skin" that could bring a sensitive touch to robots and prosthetic limbs…The materials…can sense pressure as sensitively and quickly as human skin…The materials could be used to sheath artificial limbs or to create robots that can pick up and hold fragile objects…In one approach, Ali Javey…built up layers of criss-crossed nanometre-scale wires topped with a thin rubber sheet. The amount of electrical current running through the device is dependent upon how much pressure is exerted on the rubber sheet; more pressure allows more current to flow. The team demonstrated the flexibility of their TFT stacks by bending them to a radius smaller than that of a pencil without changing the skin's performance…”

29. DEMO’s next wave of innovation http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/13/demos-next-wave-of-innovation-heres-the-launch-list/ DEMO Fall 2010, the technology launchpad conference coproduced by VentureBeat and IDG, is kicking off tomorrow…DEMO is still a venue for companies to launch cool, innovative products. We’ve got more than 60 companies on-stage this year, and at VentureBeat we’ll be covering each of them in a post as they begin their demonstrations. For now, here’s a list of the companies and products…”

30. Ron Conway’s Tech Megatrends http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/13/ron-conways-confidential-investment-guide-the-tech-megatrends/ “…Ron Conway invests so early in startups that he looks mostly at the team and current tech trends when making investment decisions…Last year he was focusing on real time and location startups. This year…trends include…Social…Real Time…Location Based Services…The Urban Entrepreneur…Mobile…Flash Sales…Behavior & Transaction…”

DHMN Technology

31. 'Mind-reading machine' can convert thoughts into speech http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7987821/Mind-reading-machine-can-convert-thoughts-into-speech.html Researchers have been able to translate brain signals into speech using sensors attached to the surface of the brain for the first time…The experimental breakthrough came when the team attached two button sized grids of 16 tiny electrodes to the speech centres of the brain of an epileptic patient…The patient had had part of his skull removed for another operation to treat his condition…scientists recorded brain signals in a computer as the patient repeatedly read each of 10 words that might be useful to a paralysed person: yes, no, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, hello, goodbye, more and less…the computer…was able to match the brain signals for each word 76 per cent to 90 per cent of the time. The computer picked up the patinet's brain waves as he talked and did not use any voice recognition software…Prof Greger and his team believe that soon they will be able to have translation device and voice box that repeats the word you are thinking…brains of people who are paralysed are often healthy and produce the same signals as those in able bodied people – it is just they are blocked by injury from reaching the muscle…”

32. Toshiba Folio 100 review http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/4990/toshiba-folio-100-tablet-preview “…The 1024 x 600 TFT-LCD screen…doesn't quite have the resolution of the iPad (1024 x 768), it is 16:9, so the Folio already stands out as the more movie-centric media device on the block…The Tegra 2 processor…whips applications along like a Roman guard…the Folio 100 is instantly on, instantly off…One surprise on board is its USB 2.0 port. Neither Samsung nor Apple allows USB devices to hook-up to their respective slates, and certainly not to transfer files to and fro…A memory stick won't increase the storage though - that's through SD card only - but it will make hooking up cameras and other devices easier…Folio 100 is also DLNA compatible, allowing you to stream its…content…without having to store it on the internal memory. Nor do you have to use external software to convert file types on the fly, as there's healthy file support…the Folio 100 looks as if it's been designed by a PC company, rather than a lifestyle one. The build is more per functionary than pretty…This current generation is also restricted to Wi-Fi use (802.11n), while a further model with 3G connectivity is planned for around Easter 2011…Battery life is a respectable 7 hours for general, multimedia use, and although there's no rear-mounted camera, there is a 1.3-megapixel webcam for videochat…”

33. LG Optimus Smartphones Feature NVIDIA Tegra 2 http://www.anandtech.com/show/3892/lg-optimus-series-smartphones-to-feature-nvidia-tegra-2-in-q4-2010 “…LG announced that starting in Q4 2010 it will be shipping smartphones based on NVIDIA's Tegra 2…It's NVIDIA's second generation smartphone SoC with a pair of ARM Cortex A9 cores (ARM's first out-of-order architecture). The dual core CPU will run at 1GHz. Tegra 2 also features NVIDIA's own mobile GPU, although we know nothing of its architecture or how well it stacks up to high end GPUs from Imagination Technologies. NVIDIA calls it a GeForce GPU however I'd be surprised if there's any similarities between it and what's shipping in desktop GeForce GPUs…LG selected NVIDIA Tegra because…Tegra 2 features a number of mobile “firsts”: the first mobile dual-core CPU, the only ultra low-power NVIDIA GeForce® GPU and the first 1080p HD mobile video processor. Taking full advantage of the two speedy 1 GHz processors sharing the workload in Tegra 2, consumers can experience up to 2x faster web browsing and up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1 GHz. NVIDIA’s…graphics also delivers…1080p HD video playback…gaming and…3D capabilities…” [http://www.anandtech.com/show/2911/ ]

34. "Intelligent" Stamps and the Maturation of Augmented Reality http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/intelligent_stamps_and_the_maturation_of_augmented_reality.php “…The Royal Mail (the national postal service of the United Kingdom) introduced what it called an "intelligent stamp" that displays a video using augmented reality…If you're the lucky recipient of a letter with a stamp from this series, you can use the junaio application…to launch the "experience." After pointing your camera at the stamp, a 4-minute video of Bernard Cribbins - an 81-year-old British character actor - reading W.H. Auden's 1935 poem "The Night Mail" (whilst aboard a train, no less) automatically begins playing…I have nothing against the nostalgic video the Royal Mail created to play from this special set of train stamps, but perhaps they could continue to innovate using the medium in the future…It seems whenever a new brand discovers augmented reality, they discover it in its simplest state…I would love to see some brands really take a chance on the technology and get the most out of it early on. Many branded AR experiences…are very basic, or gimmicky, and the really cool innovative stuff is being tested in labs at universities…”

35. Virtual reality you can touch http://www.ethlife.ethz.ch/archive_articles/100816_virtuelle_realitaet_cho/index_EN Researchers at the Computer Vision Lab at ETH Zurich have developed a method with which they can produce virtual copies of real objects. The copies can be touched and even sent via the Internet. By incorporating the sense of touch, the user can delve deeper into virtual reality…”

Leisure & Entertainment

36. Amie Street gobbled by Amazon, morphs into new Songza http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2010/09/amie-street-gobbled-by-amazon-turned-into-the-new-songza.ars Amazon has bought AmieStreet.com, the indie music site…Amie Street launched in July 2006 as…one of the only services that offered DRM-free MP3s…Songs started out free, but as more and more people bought a particular song, the price would go up a few cents, with a cap of 99¢ per download…The news that Amazon was buying out Amie Street's online business came as a shock to some users, but it shouldn't have. Amazon has long been an investor in Amie Street, so it was only a matter of time before the media giant took over…Amie Street…is focusing on its "new" social music service Songza…the focus of Songza appears to be custom-built "radio" stations where users can stream more than 8 million songs…unlike Pandora, it seems as if users will be able to choose the songs that get played instead of simply guiding the service towards certain types of music—users can request a song or artist from a particular station and it may or may not get approved by the creator of that station…Songza is currently in an open beta, so it's free to check out if you're interested…”

37. Google Instant music video http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/09/instant-music-video/ “…Google Instant rejiggering how we think about search, but it is also a clever way to create instant music videos. We saw this with the official Google Instant version of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”…now the same thing has been done with the “Instant Elements” song in the video above. The lyrics to Tom Lehrer’s song, “The Elements,” are typed into Google Instant, and it creates a visual accompaniment to the song, showing search results and images for each element like magnesium, silicon, and gadolinium. I think we have a meme here. You can do this for any song…”

38. The line between book and Internet will disappear http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/09/beyond-ebooks-publisher-as-api.html “…a book properly hooked into the Internet is a far more valuable collection of information than a book not properly hooked into the Internet…Ebooks to date have mostly been approached as digital versions of a print books that readers can read on a variety of digital devices…with a few bells and whistles…we define ebooks by a laundry list of things one cannot do with them…You cannot deep link into an ebook…You (usually) cannot copy and paste text…You cannot query across, say, all books about Montreal…Ebooks are an attempt to make it easier for people to buy and read books, without changing this fundamental fact, without letting ebooks become part of the Internet…an .epub file is really just a website, written in XHTML, with a few special characteristics, and wrapped up. It's wrapped up so that it is self-contained…so that it doesn't appear to be a website…everything exists within the EPUB spec already to make the next obvious -- but frightening -- step: let books live properly within the Internet, along with websites, databases, blogs, Twitter, map systems, and applications…The current world of ebooks is just a transition to a digitally connected book publishing ecosystem that won't look anything like the book world we live in now.”

39. Dedicated e-reader: When it’s time to go off the grid http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/09/10/the-case-for-the-dedicated-e-reader-when-its-time-to-go-off-the-grid/ With the advent of the iPad and the plethora of cheaper Android tablets that are due to flood the market…there’s an increasingly popular theory in the tech industry: the days of the dedicated e-reader are numbered…The reasoning – and it’s convincing – is that e-book content is now available on most multifunctional devices like mobiles and tablets that work well enough as book readers, while having other functions…However, I have a confession to make: I’m now a total Kindle convert…It’s the only gadget that encourages me – no, forces me – to go off the grid and get away from…being always-connected…Throw in the technical merits of a dedicated e-reader: The e-Ink screen that eliminates eye strain associated with back-lit LCD screens and means that it can comfortably be read in direct sun light, the (up to) month-long battery life, the relatively light weight of the device…But, mostly, I’m attracted to the Kindle because – shocking as it may seem to TechCrunch readers – it’s necessary (no, healthy) to go off the grid sometimes…”

40. Amazon rips iPad’s glossy screen in TV ad http://www.pcworld.com/article/205391/amazon_rips_ipad_in_new_tv_ad.html “…now that the political season is in full swing and the airwaves are being poisoned with attack ads, Amazon has decided to emulate the pols and launch its own assault on Apple's tablet. It started broadcasting today an ad that touts the superiority of the Kindle's display over the iPad's in direct sunlight. The 30-second ad shows a man and a woman lounging by a swimming pool. The man, dressed in T-shirt and shorts, is having difficulty reading his iPad in the bright sunlight. The woman, dressed in an alluring swimsuit and wearing designer sunglasses, is happily reading her Kindle. "Excuse me," the flustered man says. "How are you reading that in this light?" The woman turns to him, lowers her shades so she can look over them and chirps, "It's a Kindle." Then she leans conspiratorially toward the man as she removes her peepers and adds: "$139. I actually paid more for these sunglasses…”

41. Boxee Box goes Intel http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/09/boxee-box-goes-intel-gets-priced-for-pre-order.ars Boxee and D-Link have announced that the upcoming Boxee Box set-top box is now available for preorder from Amazon…Boxee Box is a hardware set-top box built by D-Link and tailor-made to run Boxee's HTPC software. It was first announced as a collaboration between Boxee and D-Link late last year, and in January both companies announced that the device would be built on NVIDIA's Tegra 2 ARM-based platform. However, due to performance concerns for H.264 high-profile decoding, the platform was switched to Intel's Atom CE4100 SoC—the same processor that powers the upcoming Google TV platform. "The major problem we had with the Tegra 2 was support for high-profile HD playback," Boxee CEO Avner Ronen told Engadget. "You can do high-profile VC-1 with Tegra 2, but not H.264…”

Economy and Technology

42. Apple products are a mutant virus says Acer founder http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100909PD210.html Acer founder Stan Shih…commented that Apple's…iPad and iPhone…are like mutant viruses, which are difficult to find a cure for in the short-term…Steve Jobs has always been looking for revolution, while other PC brands evolved naturally and are developing products in a more solid way…a market that evolves naturally will always turn out to be much stronger…Shih still praised Apple's creativity and innovation…and believes its strategy should be a good example for PC brands to learn from…Apple's applications are built on a culture of innovation, while Taiwan's industry has been focusing too much on hardware…Shih also predicted that US-based PC vendors will eventually quit the PC market in the long term…”

43. Nokia dumps CEO, turns to Microsoft exec http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jZRSFwBGc4h2T-5RjXHNm2xoKcZgD9I52PPG0 Nokia Corp. is replacing CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with top Microsoft executive Stephen Elop as the world's top handset maker aims to regain lost ground…Elop, head of Microsoft's business division, has held top posts at Juniper Networks Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., Macromedia Inc…the 46-year-old Canadian…has worked closely with Nokia at Microsoft and Macromedia with developing the Symbian software platform for Nokia phones…Nokia stock down more than 20 percent this year due to two profit warnings…In 2005, Elop became CEO of Macromedia, maker of Flash software…He is a computer engineering and management graduate from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and also served as a systems executive at Boston Chicken, Inc…”

Civilian Aerospace

44. Are We Heading for a Space Bubble? http://www.technologyreview.com/business/26263/ Before the year is out, SpaceX will likely have conducted the first orbital demonstration of the Dragon capsule, which is intended to transport cargo, and ultimately humans, to the International Space Station (ISS). Next year, Orbital Sciences is expected to launch its cargo vessel, Cygnus. By 2014, two more spacecraft, the Dream Chaser and CST-100 are on track to have maiden voyages, launched by the Sierra Nevada Corporation and Boeing, respectively. And even more spacecraft are being developed by companies such as Blue Origin and PlanetSpace, as well as suborbital vehicles being built by Virgin Galactic, XCOR…there are seven federal and eight nonfederal launch sites licensed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration…Additional applications for even more spaceports are likely…at last week's American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2010 conference, some attendees began asking: is the space industry building too much capacity…”

45. Astronauts' Fingernails Falling Off Due to Glove Design http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/09/100913-science-space-astronauts-gloves-fingernails-injury/ “…fingernail trauma and other hand injuries—no matter your hand size—are collectively the number one nuisance for spacewalkers…"The glove in general is just absolutely one of the main engineering challenges," Newman said…study of astronaut injuries sustained during spacewalks had found that about 47 percent of 352 reported symptoms between 2002 and 2004 were hand related. More than half of these hand injuries were due to fingertips and nails making contact with the hard "thimbles" inside the glove fingertips…sustained pressure on the fingertips during EVAs caused intense pain and led to the astronauts' nails detaching from their nailbeds, a condition called fingernail delamination…For now, the only solutions are to apply protective dressings, keep nails trimmed short—or do some extreme preventative maintenance…a couple people…removed their fingernails in advance of an EVA…”

46. Hair Dryer Glitch Pushes Private Danish Rocket Launch to 2011 http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/private-danish-suborbital-rocket-launch-delayed-100913.html A powerless hair dryer was apparently to blame for thwarting the debut launch of a privately built Danish rocket, pushing the novel booster's first flight back to sometime in June 2011…Madsen's homemade submarine, called the Nautilus, had towed the floating platform to its designated launch site…The Nautilus' engine supplied power for the hair dryer used in the rocket to keep the liquid oxygen valve from freezing. But the submarine's engine was shut down for the launch…It may have been frozen lubricant in the actuator that prevented the actuator from opening the valve…"We had to leave the heating system without power for longer than planned," von Bengtson said in an e-mail. "Those extra minutes without power were perhaps enough for the LOX valve to freeze up…”

47. Space technology spin-off aids mining http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM1OMJOXDG_index_0.html Dutch company EstrellaSat, supported by ESA, is using space technology to raise the productivity and safety of heavy-duty mining machines. Full-scale field trials began in August at an open mine in the Andes and at the world’s biggest copper mine in the Atacama Desert. At the El Brocal mine in Peru, 10huge haulage lorries are connected wirelessly to the mine’s control centre and via satellite to a control centre in the Netherlands for the machines and their drivers to be continuously monitored…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

48. Tianhe-1, China's first Petaflop/s scale supercomputer http://www.top500.org/blog/2009/11/13/tianhe_1_chinas_first_petaflop_s_scale_supercomputer The Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) recently unveiled China’s fastest supercomputer…The Tianhe-1(TH-1) supercomputer…built by NUDT…will be used to provide high performance computing service for the Tianjin area and the northeast of China...to solve the computing problems in data processing for petroleum exploration and the simulation of large aircraft designs. Other uses…include the sciences, financial, automotive and shipping industries…The TH-1 is made up of 80 compute cabinets including 2560 compute nodes and 512 operation nodes. There are…4096 Intel Xeon E5540 processors with a frequency of 2530MHz and 1024 Intel Xeon E5450 processors with a frequency of 3000MHz…Each compute node has two Intel Xeon processors with 32GB of memory. ATI Radeon HD 4870×2 GPUs are connected via PCI-E connections on each compute node…The Tianhe system used 20480 CPU cores…and 4096000…Stream Processing Units…”

49. CUDA, Supercomputing for the Masses: Part 20 http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/227400145 “…This article utilizes the Parallel Nsight 1.0 analysis capabilities coupled with the NVIDIA Tools Extension (NVTX) library to examine the simpleMultiCopy asynchronous I/O example from the NVIDIA GPU Computing SDK; create a hybrid CPU and GPU computation that balances the simultaneous use of both CPU and GPU resources on a single calculation; and compare the very fast primitive restart OpenGL rendering code from Part 18 with more conventional OpenGL rendering methods. If you're interested in any of these topics and thinking about purchasing the professional version of Parallel Nsight, you should find this article illuminating…”

50. Crisis in Computing http://voices.allthingsd.com/20100909/crisis-in-computing/ “…Virtual design, forecasting and simulations are now essential for smarter science, faster innovation and better product development…the traditional CPU-based technology that once put America in the lead is now…holding us back. Our legacy computing is no longer scaling cost-effectively and power-efficiently enough…We want safer oil and gas discovery, workable alternative fuels, lower emission combustion engines, more efficient electricity production and smart grid management. We know we need to forecast weather, understand climate change and design micro-organisms to absorb environmental wastes. Doctors want better tumor models and surgical decision support, and they’re racing to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases like Alzheimer’s…From nearly a standing start in 2005, by this November China is expected to have developed the world’s fastest computer–based, ironically, on our own American hybrid parallel processors that are far more cost-effective and power-efficient than traditional CPU chips. Tokyo Institute of Technology, CSIRO in Australia and CEA France are similarly focused…They’re jumping straight into next-generation, hybrid HPC by adding graphics processing units (GPUs) to drive far better price, efficiency and performance…The Senate should get behind Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and his amendment to the reauthorization of the America Competes Act. Government agencies need to coordinate around the opportunity that GPUs and hybrid architectures offer…HPC ushers in huge operating advantages for oil and gas, finance, medical devices and services, and any sector with massive quantities of data that can be crunched more efficiently with hybrid parallel processors…Why would we allow our position as world leader in HPC to slip, the way we have with automobiles, battery technology and memory chips?...As U.S. Undersecretary of Energy Steven Koonin put it last month at a conference of computer scientists, “High Performance Computing feeds itself. Once you fall off the curve, it’s really hard to get back on…”

51. EM Photonics, UD develop advanced algorithms for Air Force http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2011/aug/taufer-em-photonics082310.html “…The EM Photonics' GPU computing team is led by John Humphrey, who developed the GPU-accelerated math library CULAtools, and will be working closely with Michela Taufer's group, the Global Computing Laboratory at UD…The new team has tremendous experience in the massive parallelization of computationally intense algorithms on GPUs and can rely on the deployment of the University's largest supercomputer, code-named “Geronimo,” which is based on a custom GPGPU design utilizing NVIDIA Tesla and Fermi GPU computing technology…With access to a set of GPU libraries that can address the computational needs of so many applications, Air Force engineers can stay focused on their specific projects without having to write software code for advanced GPU architectures,” said Humphrey…“There is a tremendous need today for skilled engineers and computer scientists in this research area…The AFOSR invests in long-term, broad-based research into aerospace-related science and engineering…”


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