2010/09/21

NEW NET Issues List for 21 Sep 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 21 September 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. IE9 Aims to Out-Chrome Chrome http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/sep/16/microsoft-ie9-review “…Microsoft has just unleashed the beta version of IE9, which could make you change your mind about browsers…the install process…is longer and more tiresome than it ought to be. The 64-bit version toddles off and looks for updates, then forces a reboot once it's installed…once up and running, what's immediately obvious is its pared-down look. It's very minimalist: the box is both the address bar and the search box…this is only for users of recent Microsoft operating systems: Vista SP2 and Windows 7. No XP, and…no other operating systems…Instead of calling on your CPU for processing, IE9 diverts the grunt work to your graphics processing unit (GPU), which means that graphics can be rich and fast…Microsoft says it's safer than other browsers. Using the same engine as its Security Essentials antimalware package, the browser checks websites and downloads and warns you if an app you're downloading isn't signed or a site is dodgy…” [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/16/no_ie9_9_on_windows_xp/ Microsoft has ruled out putting Internet Explorer 9 on Windows XP, leaving millions of PCs open to Mozilla and Google browsers providing hardware-accelerated rich-internet…”]

2. Facebook alternative Diaspora rolls out first code http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11326157 “…Diaspora describes itself as a "privacy-aware, personally-controlled" social network. It was conceived earlier this year by four US students…The open-source project has now released its first code to developers…"This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control,"…They aim to launch the first public product in October. Their idea of building Diaspora started earlier this year during a period of intense criticism of Facebook, the world's largest social network…"We want to put users back in control of what they share," Max Salzberg, one of the founders…The team turned to the fundraising site Kickstarter to raise funds to build the network, eventually raising $200,642 from nearly 6,500 people…” [They only asked for $10,000 on Kickstarter – ed.]

3. Photo and video internet memes http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/fashion/16meme.html “…back in 2000, Allen S. Rout, a systems programmer from Gainesville, Fla., posted a few photos of his 5-month-old son, Stephen, on his personal Web site. They were the kind of photos that every parent takes, but one in particular stood out: Stephen wearing a pair of red overalls, smiling in a crib…The photo had faded from memory until last July, when Mr. Rout…did a Google search of himself…within the results pages, he found the picture of Stephen…He was surrounded by cartoonish word bubbles filled with Japanese writing: “Don’t call me baby!” they read. “Call me Mr. Baby!” And there were other images in which the photo was transformed further: Stephen has a pompadour in one, a head full of snakes in another. His face was pasted onto Kurt Cobain’s head, carved into Mount Rushmore and tattooed onto David Beckham’s torso…There are so many iterations that, for a time, if you did a Google Image search for “happy baby,” the original photo of Stephen was the first result…the photo of Mr. Rout’s son had become an Internet meme: an idea, image, catchphrase or video that goes viral, mutating via amateur remixes into unexpected forms…a local news segment in Alabama about an attempted rape (“He’s climbin’ in your windows, he’s snatchin’ your people up,” ranted the victim’s brother, Antoine Dodson) mutated into the song, “Bed Intruder,” by Auto-Tune the News, which made the Billboard charts…KnowYourMeme.com…catalogs Internet memes and produces funny videos that explain how certain memes came into existence. When a reporter asked about the Stephen Rout meme in August, KnowYourMeme…With the help of its multilingual readers and Google Insights, a tool that tracks Web searches by time and location…pieced together a timeline: It started in 2004…a 2chan user superimposed Stephen’s face over an illustration from a manga comic book…The meme-ification of Stephen began…As Mr. Rout…An Internet dweller since the days of Usenet…knew that there was nothing he, or any parent, could do to prevent the use (or misuse) of an image of his child, once it was uploaded to the Web…Ghyslain Raza, the chubby 15-year-old from Canada who earned Internet infamy in 2003 when his classmates secretly uploaded an embarrassing video of him whipping around a golf-ball retriever as if it was a light saber. The clip was remixed and mashed up: Mr. Raza doing battle with Agent Smith from “The Matrix,” kayaking through whitewater rapids…“Star Wars Kid,” as the video was nicknamed, was viewed 900 million times by 2006…The blitz of attention caused Mr. Raza so much stress he left school and was eventually treated for depression, according to court documents his parents filed in a lawsuit against the classmates’ families…David DeVore…recorded his groggy son, also named David, in the backseat of their car after a dental appointment asking existential questions like “Is this real life?” and “Why is this happening to me?” Mr. DeVore uploaded the video, “David After Dentist,” to YouTube, where it went viral, with more than 67 million views. Within weeks, there were a rash of parodies, including one of Darth Vader asking similar life-searching questions, and a satire by the Upright Citizens Brigade called “David After the Divorce,”…The DeVore family has reportedly made $150,000 off YouTube advertising and related merchandise…As for the Routs (who are, it turns out, friends of friends of the DeVores), neither lawsuits nor money seems to be in the offing. “Everybody says, ‘There’s got to be money in this.’…Mr. Rout said. “I don’t want to use this as an opportunity to squeeze some money out of somebody for some purpose. It’s an amusement…”

4. LinkedIn CEO says status updates growing fast http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/15/demo-linkedin-ceo-says-status-updates-growing-dramatically/ “…the professional networking site’s chief executive…Weiner said professional networking has evolved…While many people think of LinkedIn as a place to look for jobs, and Weiner acknowledged job searching is a “killer app” for the site, he also said it has become more of a “professional dashboard.” People can now use LinkedIn to get work done by connecting to people with information and resources that they need…the company has invested heavily in bringing more status updates to the site, for example by making it possible to cross-post updates between LinkedIn and Twitter…more than 1 million businesses have active profiles on LinkedIn that users can follow…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. The real Facebook burglaries story http://www.buzzmachine.com/2010/09/15/the-real-facebook-burglaries-story/ “…to get the real story behind the reports of a Facebook burglary spree that supposedly used the service…to find victims…I emailed Nashua, NH detective Dan Archambault, who told me that only two of the cases involved Facebook and in each case, “one or two of the suspects were Facebook friends with the respective homeowners. They basically had access to the walls and could read that the families were away on vacation. The information was only available to friends…my advice is don’t believe everything you read…this was not a case of a criminal using Facebook to find any old random victim. The implication of the coverage is that we were all — all 500 million of us — at risk for being so foolish to make ourselves public on Facebook and make ourselves vulnerable to every criminal out there…”

6. Craigslist Took One for the Open Internet http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/09/craigslist-open-internet/ Despite having the law on its side Craigslist took down its Adult Services section at the end of August, replacing it with the word Censored. It did so without fanfare…the small change marked a big capitulation to a gaggle of state attorneys general…Craigslist’s complete retreat was from a compromise position it agreed to, two years ago with same said attorneys general…this group is amping up its assault on the 12-year old law that has allowed the net to flourish…Congress is getting into the righteousness with a hearing during which two representatives from Craigslist will face public flogging…in the midst of an election season…While we can expect this kind of showboating and moral grandstanding from politicians, the reason they’ve gotten this far has everything to do with companies like Google, Yahoo, Yelp and Facebook standing on the sidelines, silently allowing Craigslist to be pilloried out of fear they’ll be tainted as supporting prostitution and child-sex–trafficking if they stood up for an open internet. The hearing is a set-up…witnesses…are five current and former members of Congress, who will undoubtedly use their time in front of cameras to make it clear how awful prostitution is…Oddly, no one argues that Craigslist has broken any laws. Craigslist is, instead, portrayed as a bad net citizen — even though it is operating exactly as intended under the landmark 1996 Communications Decency Act…CDA 230 protects Craigslist — and also WordPress, Yelp, Google Groups, Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, Topix, Yahoo, The New York Times and Wired.com to name a few. Google’s Blogger isn’t responsible for any libel in any posts, Twitter isn’t responsible for Tweets from drug dealers, Facebook isn’t responsible for uploaded incriminating photos…At the behest of the gang of attorneys general, Craigslist began requiring…that posters to Adult Services use a credit card…They hired a full-time attorney to screen the ads for pornographic images and terms…and rejected 700,000 ads on that basis last year…the prosecutors got yes for an answer, got the anticipated results — and it was not enough. The most recent assault on Craigslist has been led by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is in a tight race for the U.S. Senate…” [ http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100915/15125911029.shtml “…this grandstanding campaign is really an attack on the rather important Section 230 safe harbors for online service providers…asked about Section 230…Blumenthal said the law "is outdated and needs revision. I support changes clarifying and strengthening the law to hold websites accountable when they knowingly enable or promote illegal activity…”]

7. HDTV Code Crack Is Real, Intel Confirms, Opens Door For Black Boxes http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/09/16/intel-confirms-hdtv-code-cracked/ Much to the chagrin of the entertainment industry, the encryption that protects most high-definition video content has officially been cracked…Intel confirmed…that the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) -- the digital rights management software that governs every device that plays high-def content -- had in fact been compromised…HDCP prevents the copying of audio and video content as it travels across the cables that connect HD devices…The hack unlocks protected content by providing a "master key," which could be used to strip that encryption…For someone to use this information to unlock anything, they would have to implement it in silicon -- make a computer chip…after making a chip, someone would have to build it into a device, either on an individual basis or on a production line. And Intel just doesn't see that happening …”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

8. Look Out Dropbox, Here Comes Verizon’s Mobile Cloud http://gigaom.com/2010/09/16/look-out-dropbox-here-comes-verizons-mobile-cloud/ “…V CAST Media Manager, a Verizon…subscription service to offload media and documents from mobile phones on to Verizon’s servers, is available for Android and BlackBerry smartphones. The service…has quietly expanded to…smartphones…For $2.99 a month, customers receive 25 GB of storage capacity and both a mobile and desktop client, allowing…access to files on either a handset or desktop computer. As a heavy user of…Dropbox and Zumodrive, I see many similarities between those and V CAST Media Manager…Verizon is competing directly against online mobile storage providers with a fairly comparable and reasonably priced product for smartphones…the service could catch on with consumers who aren’t already familiar with the concept of cloud storage…As the industry moves to a tiered-pricing model — which we know Verizon is prepping for in conjunction with its LTE rollout and AT&T has already done –will there be a “double-dip” cost?...carriers will try to make money coming and going, as folks pay for both the online storage service and for the data connection it requires…”

9. Nokia Is the McDonald's of Phones http://gizmodo.com/5638995/ “…Nokia still sells more phones than anybody on the planet. One in three mobile devices sold around the world this spring had Nokia stamped on the front. So why are their profits collapsing so precipitously, from $9 billion in 2007 to $312 million in 2009?...They make affordable feature phones that are insanely popular in China and India and much, much less so anywhere else in the world…they actually still manage to hold 41% of the smartphone market. That's a 10% decline from last year, and it's at least partially because their Symbian operating system has consistently been, for lack of a better word, nightmarish…like a fast food chain, Nokia isn't all that invested in user experience—which in smartphones increasingly equates to software experience. Software which, incidentally, Nokia could not care less about, according to an email from a former Nokia software engineer…Hardware Rules at Nokia…All schedules are driven by the hardware timelines…”

Open Source

10. A Rebuttal to "Goodbye, OpenOffice. Nice Knowing You." http://djere.com/node/15 “…OpenOffice.org has been of particular interest to me of late due to the recent controversy surrounding Oracle's Google lawsuit. I have loved OpenOffice for more than seven years now…However, Yegulalp's article was very well-written, and he made very compelling arguments as to why he decided to switch back to Microsoft Office after years of using OpenOffice.org, the free software alternative. After reading his article and carefully thinking about his conclusions, I made several observations and I came to my own conclusions about Mr. Yegulalp's experience. In this article, I will reveal those observations and conclusions…”

11. Weekend Project: Create a Live USB Key Linux Distribution http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/362829-weekend-project-create-a-live-usb-key-linux-distribution “…you simply cannot count on Linux being available everywhere you travel…when you're vacationing or on a business trip and need access to a Linux environment — or get the inevitable PC troubleshooting help request — you'll have to have a bootable distribution with you…so grab an unused USB flash drive…and make exactly what you need this weekend. The first question…is what distribution you wish to use as the basis for your live USB key. Most of the popular desktop distributions provide live CD images…and include a utility to install such an image onto…a flash drive…there are a handful of good multi-distribution live USB creation utilities you should consider if…your distribution of choice does not provide the options you need…”

12. Free RTS Game for Linux: Warzone 2100 http://tuxarena.blogspot.com/2010/09/free-rts-game-for-linux-warzone-2100.html “…Warzone 2100 is a free, open-source real-time strategy game available for Linux, Windows and Mac. This game was originally closed-source, developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive in 1999…it was officially licensed under the GNU GPL…” [ http://tuxarena.blogspot.com/2010/09/two-linux-free-civilization-like-games.html “…I will overview two Linux games which are a very good alternative to the famous Civilization series from Windows, Freeciv and FreeCol. They are both open-source, free, and usually come included with every distribution…”]

13. Install XOOPS for Powerful Open Source Content Management http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/273475-install-xoops-for-powerful-content-management “…when you think content management, so many tools come to mind. There's Drupal and Joomla! for starters. Both of those tools are outstanding solutions for content management. But many organizations are projects are choosing XOOPS…In this tutorial I will lay out the steps to installing XOOPS on your already running Linux box…”

14. Novell’s Patents Are Complicating Its Sale http://gigaom.com/2010/09/16/novells-patents-are-complicating-its-sale/ “…Novell will be put out of its misery and sold within the next three weeks…why it has taken so long? The answer…Big, juicy patents…The crown jewel — Novell’s SUSE Linux business — has never gotten the mileage it deserved, shackled by Novell’s weak corporate brand…Novell has a rich and varied patent portfolio…that cut to the heart of many different businesses. This is why Red Hat has remained interested in Novell, despite a lack of competitive threat from SUSE…” [http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2010/09/why-vmware-should-buy-novell-o.html “…VMware that would benefit greatly from certain Novell assets, in particular SUSE Linux…Novell's SUSE Studio and Appliance Toolkit programs could help to deliver tremendous value to VMware in its strategy to offer all IT as a server/virtual machine…”]

SkyNet

15. Google Tries Its Hand at Good Design With Swooshier Image Browsing http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_keeps_improving_image_browsing.php “…Google announced a new, swooshier format for showing photos on Place Pages, its listings for businesses and landmarks. Photos are now displayed in a lightbox layered over the screen, with a simple slideshow navigation…Google is not known for smooth design, but it seems to be trying harder to give users a pleasurable experience…Google Images got a similar makeover for the better this summer, introducing a new interface with search results tiled down a single page that can display up to 1,000 photos…Users of Panoramio, Google's photo-sharing site that emphasizes geo-tagging, or Google Places can upload and geo-tag photos…”

16. Google beefs up Apps security http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/20/google-beefs-up-app-security/ “…Google Apps’ main security issue is the same one facing many other websites. It’s only protected by a username and a password, a combination that can be vulnerable, for example if you use the same password across multiple sites or if you’ve written it down…Google is adopting an approach that’s similar to one used by some larger companies — adding an extra password, one that’s randomly generated and changes over time. Traditionally, the password is delivered using an extra device, like a smartcard that employees carry around. The extra device makes these programs more expensive, and can be a pain for employees if they forget where they put it. Google simplifies the process by delivering the password to a device employees are already carrying around, namely their phone. Users…receive the passwords via SMS text message or through an application they install on their Android, BlackBerry, or iPhone…even if someone manages to steal or guess your password, they won’t be able to get into your account unless they’ve stolen your phone too…feature goes live today for Premier, Education, and Government Google Apps accounts…Google will eventually make this feature available to consumer users of apps like Gmail, as well as to…the free Standard Edition of Google Apps. It’s also making the code for the mobile apps available via open source…”

General Technology

17. Progressive Automotive X-PRIZE Winners http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/automobiles/19PRIZE.html The $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, the competition to create fuel-efficient vehicles…ended last week…Edison2, created the Very Light Car that achieved a combined 102.5 miles per gallon through a series of tests at the Michigan International Speedway and Argonne National Laboratory. It was a team with extensive experience in auto racing, including at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Indianapolis 500…the other winning teams were also salted with racing veterans, and although students and idiosyncratic inventors submitted entries, it was teams backed by specialty companies or big money that took the prizes. Mr. Kuttner, a commercial real estate developer, said he had invested millions of dollars…even filling up his wife’s credit cards. He won the competition’s top prize of $5 million in the four-seat vehicle category…The other winners of $2.5 million each for two-seat vehicles were the Li-Ion Motors Wave II, a battery-electric vehicle, which posted the energy equivalent of 187 m.p.g., and the enclosed battery-electric motorcycle E-Tracer from X-Tracer Team Switzerland, which achieved the equivalent of 187.6 m.p.g…The winners survived multiple stages of competition that began with the X Prize Foundation’s April 2007 release of a design proposal. One hundred and eleven teams entered, but when testing started at the speedway in April, only 24 teams showed up…To win the Automotive X Prize, Mr. Kuttner, 49, let his penchant for unconventionality extend to the car he created…Born in Munich in 1961, Mr. Kuttner said he came to the United States with his family in 1975. After they settled in Scarsdale, N.Y., the 14-year-old, who excelled in mathematics, wound up in the Scarsdale High School auto shop class. His first project, installing a Chevrolet V-8 engine in a Jaguar E-Type, initiated Mr. Kuttner into…unconventionality…Simon Hauger, director of the West Philadelphia high school team…was impressed by Mr. Kuttner’s approach…The route that he chose to go is that when you cut weight significantly, and you have significantly improved aerodynamics, you achieve the high fuel economy…that makes him stand out from the rest of us because we all felt that the drivetrain was significant…he treated it like a professional race: you enter more than one vehicle…Mr. Kuttner said Edison2 was developing a new generation of the Very Light Car…three patents were obtained during the development process, including one for the hub-mounted, in-wheel suspension. “We are quite convinced that we can take 400 pounds out of the average car,” he said…” http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/09/x-prize-winners-look-weird-with-good-reason/ “…The cars look weird because they had to look weird to get the numbers. In the end, science won…All three winners are low-weight, aerodynamically efficient platforms…Each one is a subtle manifesto about the way things could, and perhaps should, be. “What we are proposing, in detail, is a complete departure from the automobile,” Kuttner said…Also showing up for the ceremony today…was a busload of kids and teachers from the West Philadelphia Hybrid X Team, an inner-city high-school program that managed to quadruple the fuel efficiency of a stock Ford Focus sedan…maybe the X Prize winners don’t have to start car companies. Maybe they can license bits and pieces of their technology…Edison2’s innovative, miniaturized, in-wheel suspension system, or Li-ion’s battery management system…maybe they can become a sort of skunkworks for a big established automaker…at the invitation of General Motors, Kuttner and his Edison2 team spent the day at the GM wind tunnel outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, running the Very Light Car through its paces…And that whole afternoon, as the tunnel whipped a freight train’s worth of air past the fuselage of the Very Light Car, which registered a startlingly low coefficient of drag of 0.16, I didn’t hear a word about how the car looked…” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/environment/july-dec10/car_08-25.html “…With the focus on electric power, Kuttner named his team Edison2. But they quickly realized today's batteries were too heavy, even an impediment to reaching their goal…the facts told us that very lightweight was one of the keys to -- to real automotive efficiency…the Very Light Car…weighs under 800 pounds, compared to the average car now on the road, which is over two tons. Instead of batteries, their car is powered by an ethanol-based gasoline. Its diamond shape is meant to maximize aerodynamics and optimize fuel-efficiency…this can be built almost identical to what consumers are used to. But then you pay a price. You might get 70 miles per gallon, or 80…Or you can build an extreme, ecologically friendly car, and you can probably get to 110 or 120…So, it is a new envelope…You can buy a Prius and get 50 miles per gallon, and you can buy a Chevy Suburban and get…14…people make that choice every day…Kuttner has focused on…cost. They want to sell the car for $15,000 to $20,000…We always wanted to build a cheap car, because the only car that can really make an impact on our world is a car that people can afford. I mean, our entire engine transmission unit costs less than most electric cars' batteries…we can probably deliver an entire car for the price of some of these battery packs…”

18. The Seven Best Startups At DEMO http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/15/demo-best-startups/ “…I took a stroll into the DEMO pit in order to find the seven best startups at DEMO…I’ve culled the seven that caught my eye (and ear) and presented them here in no particular order…Parallels Desktop 6/Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac…allows people to use their iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch in order to remotely access Windows applications running on a Mac…Yes, Flash and printing, on an iPad,..IQ Engines…Any Image Recognition Engine is a visual search engine…to tag any image you throw at it with a relevant label. Attempting to one up Google Goggles, IQ Engines aims to provide accurate and comprehensive image intelligence services to shopping applications, web publishers, photo labeling applications…Open BTS’ Range Networks aim is…to provide low cost web connected cell phones to everyone on the planet using scalable mobile infrastructure…it can set up cell phone plans for $2 to $3 a month…They’re the ones that built all the open source VoIP stuff for Burning Man…Dynamics…is a credit cards payments system that…looks like a normal credit card but is…a thin flexible computing platform, which allows for both a programmable multi-account and a “hidden” functionality, preventing theft as well as increasing convenience…BUMPME iPhone app, which allows users who don’t know each other to to send and receive messages to each other through unique identifiers, like license plates…Particle is an integrated development environment (like OpenPlug)…lets developers to translate one mobile app into the native language of another app…” [http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/26303/?a=f ]

DHMN Technology

19. AirScouter Projects a 16-inch Display Directly onto Your Retina http://www.japanprobe.com/2010/09/16/airscouter-projects-images-directly-onto-the-retina/ “…This display uses the “persistence of vision” effect to project pictures onto the retina. It does this by shining a light, at a level of brightness that’s safe for the eyes, and moving the light at high speed. The images projected on the retina are recognized by the visual sense, making it seem just as if they are floating just in front of the eyes…This display creates a mysterious effect, making it look as if there’s a 16-inch screen floating one meter in front of the eyes, and the scenery behind the screen seems transparent as well…” [watch the video – ed.]

20. Looxcie Introduces Wearable Camcorder http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/14/look-youtube-no-hands-looxcie-introduces-wearable-camcorder/ “…Looxcie…officially launched a wearable camcorder, that fits over the ear, which allows users to capture short clips and immediately share and publish those videos on the web via a companion mobile app…the device is available on Amazon.com for $199…a user straps Looxcie on their ear, putting the camera roughly at eye level. The device can continuously record and store up to 4 hours of video footage…If something noteworthy occurs, the user presses an “instant clip” button, which will take the last 30 seconds and package it into a video file. Through Bluetooth, that file is sent to Looxcie’s companion mobile app, which can then be shared via e-mail, Facebook or YouTube…For now, the mobile app is only available on Android devices, but Looxcie plans to roll out apps for the Blackberry, Windows and iPhone…If you have none of the above but still want to use a wearable camcorder, you can upload your files to your PC or MAC via a USB cord…” [http://blog.laptopmag.com/smile-hands-on-with-the-most-candid-camera-the-looxcie-wearable-camcorder ]

21. Nokia Developing 3D Rival to Google's Street View http://gizmodo.com/5639645/ Nokia and its mapping division Navteq are developing a rival to Street View, one that offers full three-dimensional computer models of villages, towns and cities, and could one day allow those urban centers to form the backdrop to realistic games…Street View falls short of a true 3D experience, says Ville-Veikko Mattila at the Nokia Research Centre in Tampere, Finland…perhaps the most noticeable way in which Nokia's service will differ from Google's is that users will be able to move smoothly through urban environments, almost as if they were in a photorealistic driving game, suggesting the firm could license its 3D cityscapes to games companies that want cheap but realistic 3D urban models…Nokia's proposed service relies on two technologies: one to construct a virtual cityscape, the other to clothe it in images taken from life. The 3D models that make up virtual streets and buildings are built with data from Navteq's nascent Journey View system, a dataset of mapping measurements made by the laser-radar technique known as lidar. These models are then decorated by City Scene, software written by Mattila's group that projects and accurately stitches photographs onto the 3D cityscape. Navteq already uses GPS-equipped cars to create digital maps of the world's roads…in November a new type of Navteq car will take to the roads: the Truecar. "As well as higher-resolution panoramic cameras, the Truecars will also include laser radar…”

22. Is It Time to Try Direct Digital Manufacturing? http://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/8458 “…additive manufacturing technology has migrated from use in rapid prototyping to a full-fledged manufacturing solution, which is referred to as “direct digital manufacturing” (or rapid manufacturing). Increasingly, companies are applying it to manufacturing applications…Additive manufacturing is the generic name given to processes that create a part by building it up in layers, as opposed to milling or machining, which are subtractive processes…Direct digital manufacturing is the process of using CAD or other data to drive an additive manufacturing machine that makes usable parts…DDM eliminates molding, machining, casting, and forming. Instead of material removal or shaping, finished goods are produced by adding material, one layer at a time. Other than a few minutes of pre-processing to prepare a production run and some light post-processing to clean up a part, DDM progresses directly from CAD data to final part…DDM is suited for low-volume manufacturing, not mass production, but…every manufacturer has low-volume needs in the production of manufacturing tools, such as jigs, fixtures, gages, and hand tools…Because of the inherent need for custom-fit devices, the medical and dental professions have been early adopters of DDM. Orthotics, prosthetics, hearing aids, and dental bridges have all benefitted from DDM…This article was written by Scott Crump, CEO of Stratasys Inc., Eden Prairie, MN…”

23. NueFlow delivers SoC synthetic vision http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/Supercomputer-on-a-Chip-Delivers-Synthetic-Vision-103089589.html?ref=589 “…Yale University…researchers…have developed a "supercomputer" able to do real-time object recognition. The system, called NueFlow, is implemented as neural network mapped onto an FGPA, and can easily fit on the top of a desk, in a car, and perhaps eventually even in a cell phone…NueFlow works by simulating the mammalian visual system, mimicking the biological neural network that is hardwired into our brains. The system built by Culurciello and his colleagues uses vision algorthims, based on convolutional neural networks (ConvNets), mapped onto a Xilinx Virtex FPGA…the system delivers a modest 100 gigaops or so of compute…the implementation is 60 times faster than that of an Intel i7 CPU running the equivalent software and even 2 times faster than that of a high-end (512-core) NVIDIA GPU. Power-wise the comparison is even more favorable to the NueFlow implementation since the power draw was just 7 watts for the FPGA, versus 35 watts for the CPU and 300 watts for the GPU. "The complete system is going to be no bigger than a wallet, so it could easily be embedded in cars and other places…”

Leisure & Entertainment

24. Time Warner Cable Really Hates Online Video http://newteevee.com/2010/09/16/time-warner-cable-really-hates-online-video/ “…Epix, which is little more than a year old and has backing and content from Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM, recently signed a five-year deal with Netflix reportedly worth $1 billion. That deal gives Netflix subscribers access to 3,000 titles through its Watch Instantly service…new releases won’t appear on Netflix until 90 days after they’ve already been shown by Verizon, Dish Network and other Epix distribution partners…Time Warner Cable sees that deal as a reason not to strike a deal with the fledgling cable programmer…the new broadband ESPN service will only be available to cable subscribers who log in and prove that they pay for ESPN through their cable subscriptions. Epix content, on the other hand, is freely available to anyone who pays $8.99 a month for a Netflix subscription. The theme here seems to be that Time Warner Cable is ok with online video, but only if it can control who views it…if cable subscribers begin to leave or switch to broadband-only plans, subscribing to services like Netflix or Hulu Plus for their content…companies like Time Warner Cable will have to find other ways to boost revenues. One possibility is rolling out tiered pricing plans for broadband…those who use video sites as a cable substitute will pay more than those who just use broadband for email or other data-light applications…”

25. Tokyo Game Show opens with focus on 3D videogames http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5huooA0dT2C4s_nwVA3fKa2ecI9Nw “…Japanese video game industry gala got under way…featuring 3D racing games, monkeys and gore-splattered shoot-em-ups…Games developers and hardware makers are vying for a piece of the 3D and motion-sensing gaming market as competition…heats up ahead of Christmas…Sony's PlayStation Move…enables users wearing special glasses to play 3D games using intuitive wand-shaped motion controllers…Killzone 3, which will give players an optional, enhanced 3D view of whizzing bullets and splattering blood as they eliminate their on-screen enemies…PlayStation Move…will launch in North America on September 19. "Games will lead the 3D revolution, there is no doubt," SCE executive Hiroshi Kawano told a media briefing…Eyes were also on Microsoft's long-awaited Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360…Kinect uses a 3D camera and motion recognition software to let people play videogames using natural body movements and voice commands…”

26. Sony Move Review: Don't Be Wii 2.0 http://gizmodo.com/5640908/sony-move-review-dont-be-wii-20 “…Sony's Move is perfectly competent…But making games that mimic Nintendo's casual-friendly Wii party games is the wrong move…they need to focus on…hardcore fans…everyone who wants a Wii probably already has one, or knows someone who has one…I played through the entire game of Heavy Rain with the Move controller. It completely changed the experience…Opening a door? Push forward to grab the handle, yank back to open the door. Slide a window open? Grab the controller and slide to the left…As wonderful as the experience became, it still suffered from the hardware's limitations. Often I would perform an action correctly—one I had done hundreds of times before, by the end stages of the game—and yet still fail the gesture. There was no way to know why I failed…I blame this partially on the capabilities of the Move controller, as well as on the movement recognition in the software itself…Each game developer needs to reinvent the wheel in this aspect, to calibrate what kind of leeway they want to give their players…Sony is the platform for the hardcore…Imagine playing the next God of War game as Kratos…actually physically swinging your arms to make him swing his Blades of Chaos…around. Imagine actually slicing soldiers and watermelons as Raiden in the new Metal Gear Solid: Rising, making 1:1 cuts and seeing the character doing the same thing. Imagine stabbing the giants in Shadow of the Colossus and feeling the vibration as they shudder and tumble…the mentality of Nintendo wasn't one to foster these hardcore games. Games that many core gamers grew up with…So forget casual gamers, Sony. They've already got their Wiis…” [http://kotaku.com/5626492/playstation-move-review-the-motion-controller-wars-start-now?skyline=true&s=i “…the Playstation Move nails augmented reality and does it in a way that you're going to enjoy. Games like Start the Party, EyePet and even Sports Champions all experiment with the idea of turning that Move controller into a piece of cartoon fiction when it shows up in live video on your television. The first time you see it, a live video of yourself holding a cartoon weapon or silly toy, it's really neat. Imagine what developers may do with this in a year or two…” http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/17/sony-moves-creator-wants-motion-control-to-be-as-accurate-as-possible-video/ ]

27. 'Halo: Reach': $200M in 24 hours, biggest game in Microsoft history http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/15/halo-reach-genertes-200m-in-sales-in-first-24-hours/ Halo: Reach has become the biggest game of the year in just 24 hours. During one day, the Xbox 360 game generated $200 million in sales in the U.S. and Europe…Bungie…developed the Halo series since the first game launched in 2001. Bungie is moving on to a new gaming universe while Microsoft’s 343 Industries studio will take over the Halo games in the future…the lifetime sales of Halo games have topped $2 billion…”

28. James Cameron Plans to Shoot “Avatar” Sequel 6.8 Miles Underwater http://mashable.com/2010/09/18/avatar-2-x-prize/ “…James Cameron wants to travel 6.8 miles beneath the surface of the ocean to shoot footage for the Avatar sequel and win a $10 million X-Prize at the same time…to the first private crew to make two manned dives to Challenger Deep, the deepest surveyed point in all of Earth’s oceans…the sequel to Avatar will be set in the oceans of Pandora, the planet portrayed in the first film, and Cameron will shoot some scenes with the submarine he’s building…No one has visited Challenger Deep since explorers Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh made the journey half a century ago…”

Economy and Technology

29. Yahoo CEO predicts demise of Apple's iAd mobile ad network http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/09/16/yahoo_ceo_predicts_demise_of_apples_iad_mobile_ad_network.html “…Bartz took the opportunity to comment on Apple's newly launched iAd mobile ad network…The Yahoo CEO predicted that Apple will fail because advertisers won't cooperate with the iPhone maker's policies…"Advertisers are not going to have that type of control over them. Apple wants total control over those ads."…Early customers of iAd were said to be experiencing delays in launching their advertisements because Apple has "kept tight control on the creative aspects of ad-making, something advertisers aren't used to."…mobile ads took about eight to 10 weeks to launch, which is much longer than the timeframe for other mobile ads…Apple…believes the richly interactive ad experiences, which provide essentially an "app within an app," will provide a superior experience when compared to other services…”

30. A Tale Of Two VC Industries: The Web Versus Cleantech http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/21/vc-web-versus-cleantech/ “…the VC industry is split in two: software-based businesses and everything else (specifically, “cleantech, biotech and other capital intensive businesses”). Software businesses don’t require as much capital as they once did, and certainly not as much as cleantech or biotech…the main asset venture capitalists bring to the table for Web startups is no longer capital, but rather connections, advice, and deal-making prowess…for greentech and biotech, the capital is still the most important thing they bring to the table…The average size of a venture round for a Web startup during the period was $5.2 million. The average size of a cleantech round was $30.7 million…On the exit side of the funnel, of 32 Web startup acquisitions…the total in exits was $4 billion. The comparable exit value for cleantech companies was $726 million, but that was only for four tracked companies. When you look at the average exit value, it was $182 million for cleantech versus $63 million for Web…”

Civilian Aerospace

31. Another competitor for Virgin Galactic? Boeing to Fly Passengers to Space http://www.space.com/news/boeing-private-spaceship-space-tourism-100915.html “…Boeing has teamed up with a private spaceflight marketing firm…Space Adventures will market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft…to travel to the International Space Station as well as other future private space stations…first test flights of the new CST-100 space capsule are slated to launch by 2015…”

32. New greenhouse promises fresh salad in space http://news.discovery.com/space/greenhouse-promises-fresh-salad-in-space.html “…A team from Kennedy Space Center is tending to the greenhouse, with the goal of getting the system ready for a test run aboard the International Space Station. The unit, built by Wisconsin-based Orbital Technologies Corp., is designed to be lightweight, energy- efficient and very low maintenance…The growing medium contains seeds and time-release fertilizer. Water wicks passively through the system. The chamber, roughly 16 by 20 inches, is collapsible, so that when the seeds are just beginning to grow, the lights are very close to the rooting mat. The unit expands to accommodate the plants as they grow…The system has been under development intermittently for more than decade…During that time, Orbital Technologies was able to reduce the system's power requirements to around 100 watts. "The majority of the hardware revolves around the lighting system…The LEDs only emit wavelengths of light that are used by the plants, primarily blue light for plant structure and orientation in microgravity, and red light for photosynthesis. In addition to lettuce and other leafy greens, tomatoes, radishes, dwarf green peppers and aromatic herbs, such as basil and mint, are candidate space crops…Initial tests show the nutritional value of the vegetables is similar to terrestrial-grown plants…” http://www.greendesignbriefs.com/component/content/article/8483 http://www.kurzweilai.net/future-food-for-cities http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/nasa-astronauts-may-grow-vegetables-space-100917.html ]

33. Dragon Debut with Falcon 9 Launch set for October 23 http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1438 “…Pre-launch preparations for the blast off of the first operational Dragon spacecraft by SpaceX Corporation are rapidly picking up momentum…they are targeting October 23 as the earliest date for liftoff of the Dragon reusable spacecraft to orbit on a 5 hour test flight atop a two stage Falcon 9 booster…Saving time and money is the driving force at SpaceX in order to keep costs down compared to their competitors and thereby win lucrative launch contracts. That mantra was emphasized to me repeatedly by SpaceX engineers during my pad 40 visit…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

34. UW-Madison GPU parallel computing cluster http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/University-of-Wisconsin-Launches-HPC-Center-102781344.html A trio of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering professors has launched a new high-performance computing center…The Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Center will combine the expertise of Mechanical Engineering Bernard A. and Frances M. Weideman Professor Vadim Shapiro, associate professor Krishnan Suresh and assistant professor Dan Negrut. Modeling essentially means reducing a problem, such as the mobility of a vehicle or robot, to a series of equations. Simulation is the process of using a computer to solve these equations, which are too complex to do by hand. Visualization is turning the solution data into usable information via animations or graphs. The heart of the center is a computer cluster composed of 5,760 scalar processors split across 24 graphics-processing units (GPUs). Negrut…is the current center director…As the team continues to increase the number of GPUs that can be used in parallel (four is the current maximum), Negrut expects that similar complex problems will be solved an order of magnitude faster than can be done with current technologies…” [ http://www.engr.wisc.edu/news/headlines/2010/Sep13.html ]

35. Nvidia to showcase 60 visual computing startups at GPU Technology event http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/07/nvidia-to-showcase-60-visual-computing-startups-at-gpu-technology-event/ “…Nvidia will highlight visual computing at its third annual Emerging Companies Summit, which is part of its GPU Technology Conference taking place Sept. 21 to 23 in San Jose, Calif. Some 60 startups will compete to present on stage at the event. The companies hail from categories including robotics, computer vision, real-time face recognition, real-time medical imaging, hyper-realistic virtual worlds, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence…“Our goal is to fuel the growth of the ecosystem for GPU computing,” Herbst said in an interview. “Our hope is that we’ll see a billion dollar company emerge in this ecosystem.”…Useful Progress, a Paris-based startup focused on medical imaging…uses Nvidia graphics chips and its CUDA programming environment to create videos that seem to “fly through” human organs…The technology can help physicians diagnose and repair anomalies in the brain and heart…OptiTex…makes 3D visualization software for fashion-related industries. Using Optitex, consumers can dress a virtual mannequin similar to their body style to see how they would look in various apparel…Universal Robotics (pictured, right) will also show off robots that learn, react and adapt to their surroundings…”

36. Cloud supercomputer power for your datacenter http://www.zdnet.com/blog/datacenter/need-some-supercomputer-power-for-your-datacenter-check-the-cloud/456 “…PEER 1 Hosting in the UK has launched a supercomputing cloud service based on the Nvidia Tesla S1070 and M2050 GPU computing systems…the S1070 is a 1U rack mount that contains 960 processor cores and four teraflops of computing power. The primary benefit of this type of cloud service certainly seems to be the ability to expand your computing capabilities in areas that you might not previously have considered. Programming for the Tesla machines and their Fermi processors can be done using the well-documented CUDA programming environment…to sweeten the deal, Peer 1 is offering free trials and proof-of-concept access to their cloud…”


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