NEW NET Issues List for 19 Oct 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 19 October 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. Skype 5 launches with Facebook integration and group video calls http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/14/skype-5-launches-with-facebook-integration-and-group-video-calls/ “…Skype today has officially released the next version of its Windows client, Skype 5.0, which brings with it group video conferencing and Facebook integration…It first offered the ability for five-person video chats in May…In September, the company extended group video chat to support 10-person conversations. Eventually, Skype will charge for group video chats, but for now users can try out the service for free…the official release of Skype 5 is the first time we get to see Facebook’s integration into the software…the partnership is a win for both companies: Facebook gets access to a robust voice and video calling platform, and Skype will see a massive surge in new users from Facebook’s 500 million users…who never saw a reason to in the past…Skype 5 also introduces a more refined interface and better overall call quality. The new interface should make it more intuitive to use existing Skype features like screen sharing…” [this is a good thing if it pushes Google to put more effort into a unified communication interface – ed.]

2. Microsoft Bing, Facebook Social Search Cheered by Analysts http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Microsoft-Facebook-Social-Search-Cheered-by-Analysts-502220/ “…Microsoft Oct. 13 said it will soon begin indexing Facebook user profiles to surface contacts that are relevant to the searcher…For example, a user searching for a restaurant may see comments from his or her Facebook friends who went to that restaurant and liked it…By being able to bring data from Facebook into…search results…the search engines can leverage the social info they lacked to keep people on their sites longer…Bing's new functionality…may affect a minority of searches that they conduct…one could argue that people may not get terrific value out of knowing what their friends liked because people click "like" buttons for anything from true advocacy to a desire to get discounts, win prizes or play a game…Bing…search share is 11 percent…Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that he viewed Microsoft as a "scrappy startup" hungry to excel in social search…”

3. How a Physically Aware Internet Will Change the World http://mashable.com/2010/10/13/sensors-internet/ “…the Internet has had an impact on creativity, global business and economic growth that surpasses even the wildest expectations of the innovators who created it. But if you ask me, we still haven’t even scratched the surface. The next revolution of the Internet is not going to be built on manual input of information by 500 million or a billion users. Rather, there is much greater potential in connecting computers to sensors so that valuable new information can be created automatically without human data entry…Most of us have only recently become aware of sensors from swinging Wii tennis rackets, or switching our smartphones from landscape to portrait mode. What you may not realize, however, is that sensors are being created that are a a thousand times more sensitive than this and can be harnessed to have an incredible global impact…Take, for example, a food production chain. A network of biochemical sensors can understand where and how food is being produced and stored by “smelling” it. Then, the sensors can tell if the food is contaminated…If interconnected motion and heat sensor devices were spread out around your home, a computer system could understand when you leave a room, and would, for example, know when to turn off the lights automatically and unobtrusively…an ideal world, we will have incredibly small sensor technology…spread out all over the world. We will have sensors…lying alongside highways to measure traffic flow and road conditions, or in our homes and offices to watch how we are using our spaces…there are many relevant security and privacy challenges that follow from this vision, but I believe they can and will be solved…”

4. Microsoft Office 365 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20020029-56.html “…Microsoft announced today that it is adding Web-based versions of Office to its collection of hosted software for business. The company will also offer traditional Office as a subscription-based service. As expected, the company also rebranded the product…Business Productivity Online Suite will now be known as Office 365…The move is a huge bet for Microsoft. Office, along with Windows, is one of the two big profit centers for the company. Offering it as a subscription has the potential to make the company's total sales larger and more predictable, but also runs the risk of cutting into profits…”

5. Scribd’s books and magazines get rich links, thanks to Apture http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/19/scribd-apture/ Apture, a startup trying to improve online reading with a smooth way to explore extra content…will soon work on the millions of documents shared on Scribd…When users highlight a word or phrase, a box appears above the selected text, offering an opportunity to learn more. If users click on the box, Apture opens a small window with Web content from sites like Wikipedia, YouTube, and Flickr…Scribd doesn’t host traditional Web content…This is written content that normally wouldn’t have any links to the online world at all…The new partnership is the online equivalent of opening a book and finding that you can watch videos or read articles related to anything inside…”

6. Greater Manchester Police tweets sparking interest http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-11542935 “Call 686 "Man shouts 'you're gorgeous' to a woman". Call 674 "Confused man reports his TV is not working". These are just some of the hundreds of calls Greater Manchester Police has received from members of the public since it started "tweeting" about them at 0500 BST. The force has set up a 24-hour Twitter feed so every call it receives can be made public..The calls about serious incidents, such as robbery, assault, rape and threats to kill have been interspersed with people asking the police to do things far from their job requirements…The Twitter feed has caught the interest of members of the public, with 12,000 people following it…Many have been leaving tweets praising the constant updates saying it "makes fascinating reading". SaddleworthSal posted: "It's addictive…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. 2.2 million US PCs in botnets http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11531657 “…The US leads the world in numbers of Windows PCs that are part of botnets…More than 2.2 million US PCs were found to be part of botnets, networks of hijacked home computers, in the first six months of 2010…the research revealed that Brazil had the second highest level of infections at 550,000…"Once they have control of the machine they have the potential to put any kind of malicious code on there," said Mr Evans. "It becomes a distributed computing resource they then sell on to others."…a botnet called Lethic sent out 56% of all botnet spam sent between March and June even though it was only on 8.3% of all known botnet IP addresses…”

8. Little Brother is Watching http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/magazine/17FOB-WWLN-t.html In George Orwell’s “1984,”…the goal of communications technology was brutal and direct: to ensure the dominance of the state…As the Internet proves every day, it isn’t some stern and monolithic Big Brother that we have to reckon with as we go about our daily lives, it’s a vast cohort of prankish Little Brothers equipped with devices that Orwell, writing 60 years ago, never dreamed of and who are loyal to no organized authority. The invasion of privacy…has been democratized. For Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who recently committed suicide after a live-stream video of an intimate encounter of his was played on the Web, Little Brother took the form of a prying roommate with a webcam. The snoop had no discernible agenda other than silly, juvenile troublemaking…There are also times, of course, when Little Brother does a positive service to society by turning the tables on the state and watching the watchers. The other day a video emerged that seemed to show an Israeli soldier dancing in a mocking manner around a cowering Palestinian woman whom he appeared to have under his control…Even Big Brother…had a motive for his peeping — to maintain order, to shore up his position and to put down possible rebellions — but I and the countless Little Brothers like me lack any clear notion of what we’re after…Big Brother may have stifled dissent by forcing conformity on his frightened subjects, but his trespasses were predictable and manageable…Little Brother affords us no such luck, in part because he dwells inside us rather than in some remote and walled-off headquarters. In the new, chaotic regime of networked lenses and microphones…point every which way and rest in every hand…”

9. Your Memories Will Be Rewritten: Product Placement Coming to Your Facebook Photos http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_product_placement.php The human brain's predictable fallibility leaves us susceptible to the creation of false memories by brand marketers through retroactive product placement into our photos posted on Facebook and other social networks…Changing pictures on Facebook to include product placement will create false memories…We will have memories of things we never did with brands we never did…all of a sudden, our future decisions are in the hands of people who want to make money off of us…[The movie] Inception made it seem like implanting a false memory was hard, but it turns out that it's really easy to make false memories. It takes one session of less than an hour, or a couple of paragraphs…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Verizon Wireless, AT&T to Sell IPad in Retail Stores Oct. 28 http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/207838/verizon_wireless_atandt_to_sell_ipad_in_retail_stores_oct_28.html Verizon…announced that it would begin selling the Wi-Fi version of the iPad, bundled with its MiFi portable hot spot device…AT&T announced that it too would begin selling the Wi-Fi + 3G version of the tablet at retail stores…Since the iPad's 3G chip doesn't function on Verizon's network, the company will offer three bundles of the Wi-Fi model and a Verizon MiFi 2200 portable hot spot; the bundles run $630 for a 16GB model, $730 for a 32GB model, and $830 for a 64GB model…Verizon will also be selling the Wi-Fi iPads without the MiFi for $500, $600, and $700 respectively…Customers who purchase the MiFi bundle can sign up for a no-commitment 1GB monthly plan for $20 a month…”

11. Opera Mobile for Android http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/opera_mobile_for_android_on_its_way_opera_11_gets_extensions.php “…The upcoming Opera Mobile for Android will offer two notable features: hardware acceleration and pinch-to-zoom…In Opera's two other mobile browsers, Opera Mobile and Opera Mini, there are only two levels of zoom - on for the full page width and one zoomed in for reading text. With pinch-to-zoom, however, Opera Mobile for Android users will be able to choose their own zoom level…”

12. Eyetracker Warns Against Momentary Driver Drowsiness http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101013083307.htm “…According to the German Road Safety Council…one in four highway traffic fatalities is the result of momentary driver drowsiness. Researchers…have developed an assistant system that tracks a driver's eye movements and issues a warning before the driver has an opportunity to nod off to sleep. The special feature of the Eyetracker is that it can be installed in any model of car. There is no need for a complicated calibration of the cameras…The system does not require a PC or a laptop. "What we have developed is a small modular system with its own hardware and programs on board, so that the line of vision is computed directly within the camera itself…the Eyetracker can be connected directly to the car's trip computer. If the camera modules detect that the eye is closed for longer than a user-defined interval, it sounds an alarm…the Eyetracker is only roughly half the size of a matchbox and practically undetected when mounted behind the sun visor and in the dashboard. The tiny lenses are just three to four millimeters in diameter…”

13. HP Reveals webOS 2.0, Palm Pre 2 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hp_reveals_webos_20_arriving_friday_on_palm_pre_2.php HP today has officially introduced webOS 2.0, the biggest update to what was formerly Palm's mobile operating system, one of the assets gained by HP back in April when it acquired Palm, Inc for $1.2 billion. Now called HP webOS, the updated operating system will make its debut this Friday on the new Palm Pre 2 smartphone…”

14. Windows Embedded Automotive 7 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20019978-56.html “…Microsoft's latest in-car software is dubbed Windows Embedded Automotive 7. The new software builds in the latest version of Microsoft's Tellme speech recognition technology as well as a version of Silverlight…While Microsoft has wrapped up its work on the new car software, it must now be designed into new vehicles, which tend to have a long design cycle of at least 18 months to 24 months, so it will be some time before Redmond's latest is on the road…”

15. Mobile Barcode Scanning up 700% This Year http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2010/10/mobile-barcode-scanning-up-700-percent-in-2010.php “…According to a new consumer adoption study from barcode technology provider ScanBuy, barcode scanning is up 700% in 2010…Although the report doesn't look at usage beyond the company's own technology, ScanBuy is one of the industry leaders in barcode scanning…The report's findings include a number of key data points…1D (UPC) and 2D (QR) codes are being scanned equally…Linking to a website is the most popular action delivered by a 2D barcode scan, with 85% of scans…Health and beauty products were the most popular items among 1D (UPC) scans, with 21%. They were followed by groceries (14.4%), books (12.6%) and kitchen items (9.2%)…Android was the most popular smartphone platform, with 45% of barcode users…followed by Blackberry (27%), iPhone (15%), Symbian (9%), Java (3%) and Windows Mobile (1%)…”

Open Source

16. Android Chief Andy Rubin Sends His First Tweet — And It’s Aimed At Steve Jobs http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/19/andy-rubin-twitter/ “…Apple CEO Steve Jobs went on a bit of a tirade against Google and Android in particular…that couldn’t have made Android chief Andy Rubin too happy…he decided to awaken his dormant Twitter account and send his first tweet…it’s clearly (but subtly) in response to Jobs…here is Andy Rubin’s first tweet: the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”…that’s Rubin using some geeked-out lingo to explain exactly what open is to Steve Jobs. In other words: Android…Rubin has about 100 followers right now. That should skyrocket shortly…”

17. Microsoft posts video of customers criticizing OpenOffice http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/10/microsoft-posts-video-of-customers-criticizing-openoffice.ars “…Microsoft has compiled comments from 15 customers who switched to Office after evaluating OpenOffice. The result: this video recently posted to the company's office videos YouTube channel…A few hours after this story was published, Microsoft set the video as "private," meaning it can no longer be viewed by the public. We found it hosted on Microsoft.com. After we found the Silverlight version, Microsoft set the YouTube video back to public…The three minute video is well constructed, though it has no pretense of objectivity…only choosing quotes from customers who have switched back to its productivity suite. The video has 17 quotes in total, 14 of which complain about how OpenOffice leads to higher long-term costs, poor interoperability, lower productivity, decreased efficiency, and overall frustration (students, it can even affect your grades)…After doing a little digging, we found that these quotes are actually from case studies and press articles from the last four years…”

18. Manage Google Services from the Command Line on Linux http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/371342-manage-google-services-from-the-command-line-on-linux “…Google's services have crept into my daily routine to the point that I'm using Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs all the time. But I also like doing things from the command line, which is why I'm using GoogleCL to connect to Google services from the command line…GoogleCL supports Google Docs, Picasa, Blogger, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and YouTube. If you're wondering why it doesn't support Gmail, just remember that you can already interact with Gmail services via POP3, IMAP, and SMTP — so you can already set up text-based mailers and CLI tools to work with Gmail if you like. The GoogleCL tools are offered as source, generic Debian packages, and also as Windows packages…”

19. Howto connect multiple networks over the Internet the cheap way http://robert.penz.name/312/howto-connect-multiple-networks-over-the-internet-the-cheap-way/ I’m quit often asked by 2 types of people how to connect cheaply multiple networks securely over the Internet. The first type are owners of small companies which have more than one office and want to connect them to their central office. And the other type are people who are the de facto IT guy for their family and friends and need an easy way to get into the the other networks…most of them start with with remote connection software like Teamview, VNC, but at some point thats not enough anymore…The solution that I implement for them is based on the OpenVPN which is a well know, free and secure Open Source VPN solution, which is able to run on cheap hardware…You want a system with which nobody messes around and so it works for years without ever touching it again. And yes that is possible with the proposed solution. If you can’t reach the router it normally a ISP problem or power outage…you can also use this setup to let road warriors into your network over the Internet…So about what hardware I’m talking? An Accesspoint/DSL/Cable Router which is able to run OpenWRT, or any other system for which OpenVPN is available. I basically stick with systems that can run OpenWRT…I’m almost always use a Linksys WRT54GL which you get under 40 Euros. But you’re free to use anything else. e.g. a friend of mine has a setup working with a SheevaPlug and Debian on it, an other has a setup running with DD-WRT…”


20. YouTube Rolls Out Leanback on Eve of Google TV’s Launch http://mashable.com/2010/10/15/youtube-leanback-google-tv/ YouTube is preparing itself for this weekend’s big rollout of Google TV with a launch of its own: the full release of YouTube Leanback, its made-for-TV experience. Leanback, revealed in May at the Google I/O conference, is a core component of Google’s strategy to bring online video to the living room screen. It provides for a simplified YouTube experience and interface, offering simple keyboard commands, an advanced search interface, and a visual UI for browsing through YouTube clips and shows…YouTube Leanback is all about Google TV; it is the way the company wants users to experience YouTube while they are surfing the web on their TVs…We’re about to find out if consumers want the Internet on their TVs. Google hopes that people will do things such as favorite TED videos at work so they can watch them later at home. The company says that users of Leanback watch twice as much video as users of the regular YouTube interface…”

21. Google In-Page Analytics: Visual context for your Analytics data http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/10/introducing-in-page-analytics-visual.html When looking at Google Analytics reports, sometimes it’s difficult to visualize how visitors navigate on a given website page. To make this visualization easier, some users keep the website open in another browser tab so they can reference it while looking through reports….We’re releasing a new feature into beta: In-Page Analytics. With In-Page Analytics, you can see your Google Analytics data superimposed on your website as you browse…”

22. Google Voice Update Brings Search for Texts and Voicemail Transcripts http://phandroid.com/2010/10/18/google-voice-update-brings-search-for-texts-and-voicemail-transcripts/ Google’s Voice application has just been updated to version and brings with it the ability to search your voicemail transcripts and text messages. Searching text messages is nothing too exciting, but searching transcripts should do well to make a lot of people happy…”

23. Google Instant Costly as it Prepares for Mobile http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Google-Instant-Costly-as-it-Prepares-for-Mobile-127034/ Google Instant cost the search engine a lot of money to build and it burns through a lot of hardware and software computing resources. But people like it, so it's going mobile this fall…Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's senior vice president for product management, asserted…that not only was Instant not created to help Google make more money, but that "from a resource standpoint, it's actually pretty expensive.”…Google…purchased additional computer servers to deliver the results, but declined to say how many new machines and what the cost was to not only build Instant but keep it pumping out queries with each tap of a keystroke as it does today. The cost of search has steadily increased over the years as we develop new innovations to serve users," the spokesperson said…Google…Instant…serves an average of 5 to 7 times more result pages for some queries…”

24. Google Demo Slam: Something Weird Begins On Wednesday http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/18/google-demo-slam/ This morning, we were alerted to a site at the URL demoslam.com…Currently, the site…shows some weird Wall-E-like figures sitting in the rain while a figure in a green cap mows some lawn that doesn’t exist…The page reads: “Google Demo Slam: Technology is awesome. Learning about it isn’t. Until now.” Below that, it says “Welcome to Demo Slam. Where a little creativity takes tech demos from mundane to mind-blowing. All thanks to people like you. So come watch, choose your favorites and most importantly, show the world what you can do…it sounds like Google is hosting some sort of competition to see what people on the Internet can come up with using their various products and technologies…”

25. Google to bring Dead Sea Scrolls online, giving free, global access to ancient text http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-ml-israel-ancient-scrolls-online,0,7435884.story Israel's Antiquities Authority is partnering with Google to bring the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls online. The project will grant free access to the 2,000-year-old text…by uploading high-resolution images…The scrolls will be available in both original languages and in translation…this will ensure the originals are preserved while broadening access to the priceless artifacts…”

General Technology

26. Iomega rolls out USB 3.0 SSD flash drives http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Data-Storage/EMC-Iomega-Unveils-HighSpeed-SSD-Desktop-Storage-Drives-111156/ “…Iomega started shipping a new, host-powered external 1.8-inch USB 3.0 SSD flash-based storage drive with built-in encryption that could spell the beginning of the end for spinning-disk portable drives on the desktop. The new SSD-based machines, about the size of an iPhone, will be available in early November in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities…the new SSD drives can be dropped from a height of 10 feet and continue to work…They have no moving parts, fast application loading, and high I/O transfer speeds…they are great for transferring high-definition video, digital images, graphics and music," Huberman said. "They're really what professional videographers, photographers and other creative professionals can use for deadlines and temporary digital storage."…the new SSD flash drive is up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0 drives and is about twice as fast as a 7200 RPM SATA hard drive utilizing the same USB 3.0 interface…The new SSD drives are not inexpensive. The 64GB unit is priced at $229, the 128GB for $399, and the 256GB for $749…”

27. Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie leaving Microsoft http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/10/chief-software-architect-ray-ozzie-leaving-microsoft.ars In a very surprising move, Microsoft has announced that Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, will be stepping down from his position and leaving the company…Ozzie joined Microsoft in 2005 when the software giant acquired his company Groove Networks. In 2006, when Gates announced his upcoming retirement from day-to-day activities at Microsoft, Ozzie took over Bill Gates' position as Chief Software Architect and Ballmer assumed Gates' other role as CEO…Ray Ozzie is (or was) the most senior technical person at Microsoft, regarded by many as the person intended to provide the company's technical vision after the departure of Bill Gates. However, Ozzie's role at Microsoft has never seemed particularly clear, and company insiders felt his impact was superficial. It's also claimed that he rubbed other Microsoft employees the wrong way…” http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2010/10/ray-ozzie-steps-down.php “…This move by Ozzie could mean one of two things…The tanker has successfully turned, and Ozzie doesn't see himself as necessary to the process anymore…The tanker is in a more precarious position than we previously thought, and the captain is abandoning ship…"It was sad to see Ray leave. His original vision and what Microsoft delivered were becoming more disparate by the day…From an Enterprise 2.0 stand point, it's tremendously disappointing to see Ray leave Microsoft…The true infusion of collaborative constructs into business process to accelerate performance has only begun and Ray's departure cannot be seen as anything but untimely. This has to be a happy day for SharePoint competitors…”

28. Why CPUs aren’t getting faster http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25875/ “…The Central Processing Unit (CPU)--the component that has defined the performance of your computer for many years--has hit a wall…the next-generation of CPUs…have to contend with multiple walls--a memory bottleneck (the bandwidth of the channel between the CPU and a computer's memory); the instruction level parallelism (ILP) wall (the availability of enough discrete parallel instructions for a multi-core chip) and the power wall (the chip's overall temperature and power consumption). Of the three, the power wall is now arguably the defining limit of the power of the modern CPU…chip manufacturers have been forced to create "systems on a chip"--conurbations of smaller, specialized processors…so sprawling and diverse that they've caused long-time industry observers…to question whether the original definition of a CPU even applies to today's chips…with this generation of chips, Intel is innovating anywhere but in the CPU itself…The brain is full of high specialized processing cores as well as general computational capabilities. If silicon continues to follow the trend laid down by evolution, we can expect future "CPUs" in which the "central" processing unit is less and less important, and task-specific processors proliferate…”

29. WD breaks capacity limit with 3TB hard drive http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20019961-1.html “…Western Digital announced the availability its own 3TB and 2.5TB internal hard drives--the latest in the WD Caviar Green family--that you can bring home and install in your computer. This is great news for those who want a second and large hard drive for their computer that runs Windows 7 or Vista…Seagate has been hesitating to release the 3TB Barracuda XT internal hard drive--which it used to make the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk external hard drive and the BlackArmor NAS server--as a standalone product…because of the limitations in existing PC motherboards and in Windows operating systems…32-bit Windows operating systems generally support only the legacy Master Boot Record (MBR), which has the cap partition size of 2.19TB, to manage the hard drive. This means, the system won't see more than 2.19TB of storage, regardless of how much larger the hard drive's actual capacity is. On top of that, all Windows computers that use the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS)-based motherboards, which are the majority of computers on the market, can't boot from a hard drive that's larger that 2.19TB, either, due to the limitation of BIOS protocols…possibly by the end of next year, MBR will be completely replaced by GUID Partition Table (GPT), which is supported by both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, and the BIOS will be replaced by the new Extensive Firmware Interface (EFI). Then and only then, Windows users will no longer need to worry about hitting the barrier in the storage space…Western Digital has a quick solution for consumers to immediately take advantage of its new ultra high-capacity hard drives. The company bundles the new WD Caviar Green 2.5TB and 3TB hard drives with an Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI)-compliant Host Bus Adapter (HBA), in the form of a PCI Express add-in card…this card is an SATA storage controller that…enables the operating system to use proper software driver to correctly support large capacity drives. This allows computers that run Windows 7 and Vista, both 64-bit and 32-bit, to use the new hard drives, at their full capacity, as secondary drives, as long as they are formatted using GPT…”

DHMN Technology

30. Southampton scientists develop new method to identify people by their ears http://www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2010/oct/10_107.shtml “…ears have certain advantages over the more established biometrics, such as face recognition, as they have a rich and stable structure that is preserved from birth to old age, and instead of ageing they just get bigger. The ear is not affected from changes in facial expression and remains fixed in the middle of the side of the head against a predictable background, unlike face recognition which usually requires the face to be captured against a controlled background. ..the fact that ears can be concealed by hair led Professor Nixon and his team to further research their use as a biometric and to come up with new algorithms to make it possible to identify and isolate the ear from the head. This new technique achieved 99.6 per cent success at identifying ears from over 250 images, despite hair concealment and possible confusion with spectacles…”

31. D-Space personal info for marketers http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-20019867-36.html “…Rapleaf…has been acquiring Facebook user numbers and profiles from apps, matching them up to its own database of Internet users, and selling it to their business model when they started their business."…Rapleaf, a San Francisco-based "people search" company…had been packaging up publicly available but difficult-to-compile data about tens of millions of individual Web users and using a side business called TrustFuse to sell it to marketers who could match it to e-mail addresses…” http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2010/10/latest_facebook_privacy-news_s.html “…Facebook has been enabling this kind of open access to user information since its inception and that anyone searching for it doesn't need an app to find it…your Facebook username or profile number -- is already public data in most cases. Unless you disable the "public search" feature…anybody can see your name and photo by typing in the right address…even if you have opted out of public search, any of the 500 million-plus users on Facebook can see what the Palo Alto, Calif., social network defines as public data: name, picture, gender and networks. Facebook's adjustable default privacy settings will also let strangers see some of your friends [or let strangers see your data via your friend’s account]…this whole episode confirms two general principles to remember when thinking about electronic privacy breaches. 1) Data will leak by accident for a variety of benign reasons…2) Some companies won't resist the temptation to use data they weren't supposed to see…” http://goo.gl/aUpr “…The only way to stop the application developers from peeping into your own Facebook world, Felt says, is to not put any applications on your personal profile. The vast majority of applications don't need your private data to do their thing, she notes, and yet all of them have access to whatever you can see…”

32. Breadboard launches augmented reality art exhibit throughout Philadelphia http://technicallyphilly.com/2010/10/18/breadboard-launches-augmented-reality-art-exhibit-throughout-city “…Breadboard — an initiative hosted by the University City Science Center — launched the local version of the Virtual Public Art Project, a national augmented reality art program…users can load up three-dimensional images that correlate geographically with popular Philadelphia landmarks…[Augmented Reality] is certainly going to crash through our lives through commerce and advertising. The fact that there’s an organization that exists now and is using this technology and exploring creative and artistic aspects, we thought was a really good project to bring to Philadelphia…Artists responded to a call from Breadboard and were trained through workshops about basic 3D modelling tools, with help from VPAP at Next Fab Studio…The art…is supported by augmented reality app platform Layar on the iPhone and Android-powered devices. The software additionally enables users to access other reality “layers” provided by other companies in the Philadelphia region…Breadboard emerged out of 30 plus years of EKG programming, but to really embrace some of the operating model we had developed, embrace our partnership with Next Fab Studio and do a lot more with technology…”

33. Pioneer Preps Laser Head-up Display for vehicles http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/207248/pioneer_preps_laser_headup_display_for_2012.html Pioneer is developing a head-up display for cars that links in with the navigation function available on many modern smartphones. A prototype of the device…at Japan's Ceatec electronics show…uses a laser to display bright, high-contrast, full-color images on a screen that would be mounted above the dashboard, between the driver and the windscreen. To the driver the projected images would appear in the lower part of the windscreen…The screen used in the prototype is about double the size of a car's rear-view mirror, which makes it larger than most current head-up display systems…The most common feature in connected navigation systems is the ability to download the latest road conditions. Some systems use the link to update databases of convenience stores and gas stations, and some provide daily updates to gas prices. Static databases will become a thing of the past in automotive navigation during the next 10 years…”

34. Tonchidot Raises $12 Million for Augmented Reality/Social Gaming Platform http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/30/tonchidot-raises-12-million-round-b-expands-new-augmented-realitysocial-gaming-platform-globally/ “…augmented reality startup Tonchidot has raised $12 million…from various Japanese companies, including the country’s second biggest telco KDDI…Tonchidot…is known for Sekai Camera, its hit augmented reality (AR) application that’s available for free on the iPhone, Android, iPad, and on the web…the fresh money will be used for expanding the company’s app platform (Sekai Apps) that makes it possible for third parties to release social/location-based/AR games within the Sekai Camera application…these titles will constitute the third wave of innovation in the rapidly growing mobile gaming space – following “traditional” mobile games and location-based services like Foursquare…SoLAR stands for “Social, Location, Augmented Reality”. The first two SoLAR titles already added to Sekai Camera are third-party action game Kaboom and a unique Twitter app called CooKoo…a quirky mix between Twitter client and AR-powered, location-based social game that transforms your tweets into pigeons…”

35. Censorship Circumvention Tools Aren't Widely Used http://www.technologyreview.com/web/26574/ Users in authoritarian regimes either don't know about…or aren't interested…tools like Tor and Freegate that can…access the Internet freely from anywhere…the most popular circumvention tools aren't the ones designed to protect dissidents…most of the people who are avoiding censorship restrictions are using simple proxies to do so, which connect users to blocked content but don't typically take steps to conceal the identity of the person accessing the information…simple proxies…in many cases…were not blocked by government filters the way that tools specifically designed for censorship circumvention were…many people may simply not be interested in censorship circumvention…the group of people who want to participate in these political conversations may be smaller than we've generally hoped…”

Leisure & Entertainment

36. Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Review http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/canon_powershot_sx30is_review/ The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is a brand new super-zoom camera sporting an incredible 35x zoom lens equivalent to a focal length of 24-840mm. The lens construction comprises multiple special lens elements including an Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) element as well as a Hi-UD element, compensating for light aberrations while maintaining high image quality across the entire zoom range…the 14 megapixel SX30IS also features full manual controls…The Canon PowerShot SX30 IS is…priced at…$429.99…the Canon SX30 IS offers a frankly incredible zoom range that's much more portable and cheaper when compared with its equivalent on a DSLR…the SX30 IS truly is a one-stop-shop for all your photography needs. The massive focal range is backed up by respectably bright apertures of f/2.7 and f/5.8 at either end, while the 4.5-stop image stabilisation system is better than many Canon pro lenses…the 720p HD video quality is more than adequate for most users and situations. It boasts stereo sound courtesy of microphones positioned either side of its lens…You can also take advantage of the 35x zoom during recording…”

37. Angry Birds free on Android http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2010/10/15/angry-birds-for-android-available-for-free/ “…Why is Angry Birds free on Android? We want to make Angry Birds available for as many people as possible…Angry Birds will run on second generation Android devices and upwards, with Android platform 1.6 or later. Your device needs to support OpenGL ES 2.0. QVGA display resolution is not supported currently, but we will add support for QVGA devices soon. Angry Birds Android features mobile advertising. A future update will include the option to purchase and opt out of advertisements…download Angry Birds on your device for free exclusively from GetJar (http://www.getjar.com/angry-birds). It will soon be available on the Android Market and Motorola SHOP4APPS, free of charge as well…”

38. The Evolution of the E-book: When is a Book Not a Book? http://gigaom.com/2010/10/15/the-evolution-of-the-e-book-when-is-a-book-not-a-book/ “…Borders has joined forces with a service called Bookbrewer to provide a simple service that allows bloggers or anyone else with an idea to publish what is effectively an e-book, and get it distributed through all the major e-book platforms…The Bookbrewer service allows writers to upload their content — which can be any length — set their own suggested price…then publish an e-book in the open ePub format that can be downloaded for the iPad, the Kindle, the Kobo or any other e-reader. The service has two tiers: one costs $89.99 and gives authors an ISBN, the universal book-tracking number used in the publishing industry, and the $199.99 advanced package also gives the author a master ePub file they can share or upload wherever they wish. Amazon…Kindle Singles…is designed for pieces that are…between 30 and 90 printed pages…The company said it’s looking for submissions from outside the traditional publishing industry, including “serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers.”…the tablet could become a platform for authors of all kinds…anyone with something they might feel deserves a larger audience…it’s like the early days of the Gutenberg revolution…The advent of tablets and e-bookstores dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for…writers, who would previously have had to find an agent and a publisher…and would have had to pay them a handsome share of any revenue…through services like Bookbrewer and Kindle Singles, they can reach what is potentially a much larger audience, and maybe even make some money…e-book publishers pay authors as much as 70 percent of the revenue their books make. The e-book market as a whole continues to grow rapidly…sales climbed 172 percent in August…the book as we know it is undergoing a fundamental transformation, just as so many other forms of content are…”

39. Augmented reality monster hunt with Layar http://recombu.com/apps/manchester-gets-augmented-reality-monster-hunt-with-layar_M12538.html Mobile augmented reality technology is cool, sure, but what is it for? Making virtual zombies appear around Manchester, judging by the latest project to use AR browser Layar…the Manchester Monster Hunt…is taking place over the next couple of weeks. Simply fire up the Layar app on your iPhone or Android handset…Get close enough to them, and not only will they look photogenic through your phone's camera, but you'll be able to 'slay' them and win prizes…new monsters are being released into the wild every week…Vampires, Zombies and Werewolves have all had their turn - this week it's Ghosts, with Demons and Witches to come…”

40. Oprah and Ellen onboard to help Microsoft flog Kinect http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/201042/6304/Oprah-and-Ellen-onboard-to-help-Microsoft-flog-Kinect In a move that almost guarantees mass market exposure across North America as the holiday season looms, software giant Microsoft is to use both The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show to help market its upcoming Kinect motion-control videogame peripheral…Not limited to restricting its Kinect marketing drive to just Oprah and Ellen, Microsoft has also revealed that its promotional campaign for Kinect includes partnerships with Burger King, Kellogg's and Pepsi – the latter deals consisting of 400 million cans of Pepsi Cola and Diet Pepsi and 60 million Kellogg's cereal boxes…Microsoft's Kinect platform (which was previously known as Project Natal) uses dual camera technology to scan and track real-world game players, transferring their virtual interactions directly into videogame worlds without the need for a conventional button-heavy gamepad controller. The standalone Kinect sensor officially launches in the United States on November 4 and will cost $150 USD. A special Xbox 360 console bundle including Kinect and 4GBs of Flash storage will also be available for $300…”

41. Augmented reality technology fuses physical and virtual http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/oct/18/technology-fuses-physical-and-virtual/ At Qualcomm’s Sorrento Valley headquarters, Jay Wright holds a Nexus One smart phone over a game board. Up pops Blue Bomber — one of the two robotic fighters in the classic Rock’em Sock’em Robots…Look away from the phone screen, and all that’s there is the game board. This is mobile augmented reality…The technology uses the camera on a smart phone to trigger software that displays three-dimensional graphics onto real-world images…Instructions — or how-to guides — that pop up on the phone for assembling everything from furniture to electronics also have potential for the technology…If you’re teaching physics, why not build a little interactive 3-D physics simulation that looks like it’s sitting on the textbook page instead of a bunch of static diagrams?” said Blair MacIntyre, head of the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech University…And then there’s advertising — where augmented reality may have its biggest bang…Augmented reality…roots date back to aircraft maintenance, where workers repairing complex wire harnesses would overlay a schematic on a display screen as they were working on the harness, so they knew where wires should go without having to constantly turn away and consult the paper schematic…For Qualcomm, being an early proponent of augmented reality helps drive demand for its chips, particularly its Snapdragon applications processor…Qualcomm is calling on software developers to help build augmented reality applications. It released a software tool kit for developers, and it’s sponsoring a $200,000 contest for the best augmented reality applications on Android…Just how big will augmented reality applications become? There are limitations, said MacIntyre, the Georgia Tech professor who has worked closely with Qualcomm. He doesn’t think, for example, that people will want to walk down the street holding up their phones to get information…ABI Research forecast that revenue related to augmented reality on cell phones will grow from $6 million in 2008 to $350 million by 2014…”

Economy and Technology

42. How much money social media sites can make you http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/14/report-how-much-money-social-media-sites-can-make-you/ “…data compiled by online ticket seller Eventbrite showed that across all social channels, there was a clear gain in dollar amount every time a consumer “shared” news about one of the firm’s events — data that has a direct corollary to any company using social media as a way to advance its brand…The dollar gain was clear, with the most recent data showing that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through an “email friends” application equals $2.34…Eventbrite found that in its case, Facebook is now the number one referring site for traffic to the company’s site, surpassing Google, with each Facebook share driving 11 visits back to Eventbrite.com…”

43. Intuit’s New Version Of Quicken Gets Mintified http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/14/intuits-new-version-of-quicken-gets-mintified-with-financial-data-insights-and-more/ One of the reasons Aaron Patzer founded personal finance site Mint.com was because of his frustrations with Intuit’s financial management software Quicken…Mint.com…was bought by Intuit for $170 million in the Fall of 2009…Patzer, who is now vice president and general manager of Intuit’s personal finance group…This is the first version of Quicken to reflect the collaboration of…Quicken Desktop and Mint.com…includes 360-degree financial view that brings together all accounts, including bank, credit card, investment and retirement. Intuit has also added support for 7,000 more banks and now lists 12,000 banks and credit union…One feature that is clearly lacking between Quicken and Mint is the ability to sync your Quicken desktop software with your Mint.com web account, and integrate the data…Patzer says that this will soon be added to the suite of products… the Intuit acquisition doesn’t seem to have stunted Mint.com’s growth. Patzer says that the platform has grown from 1.7 million users in September of 2009 to 4.2 million…”

44. How Intel clawed huge profits from the global downturn http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/10/four-ways-that-intel-rode-the-downturn-to-record-profits.ars “…Intel's…Q4…for 2009 (an 875 percent year-over-year increase in net income, for instance)…has more than just recovered the ground it lost in 2008…despite the anemic, tentative nature of the global recovery so far…Many of the gains in the past two earnings reports have come from Intel's datacenter division, where the ongoing cloud computing buildout is boosting the company's server revenues…the cloud is to the server room what the temp worker is the full-time employee, and Intel is now a major temp provider…the Chinese stimulus…has been a consistent factor in Intel's recent performance, and as such it represents another way that Intel has made lemonade out of economic lemons…the semiconductor…companies cut R&D, sold off adjacent businesses, and just focused on staying in the black…In contrast to the rest of the industry, Intel kept its R&D budget flat throughout the downturn…The chipmaker's commitment to R&D is already starting to pay off in consumer electronics and mobiles…much of the money the US has been printing and pumping into the economy has gone into emerging markets…Intel cited strong demand from emerging markets as a major factor in its earnings growth…”

45. 60 percent of Apple’s sales are from products that did not exist three years ago http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/10/19/chart-apples-new-revenue-streams/ Fully 60% of Apple's (AAPL) quarterly sales now come from two products -- the iPhone and the iPad -- that didn't exist three years ago. "Note the seasonality with the holiday spikes…This last quarter is not a holiday quarter. Now imagine what next quarter will look like on this chart…”

Civilian Aerospace

46. Industry leaders gather in Cruces for Spaceflight Symposium http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-business/ci_16368867 “…As completion of Spaceport America looms, excitement has continued to build, and more and more people seem to accept that commercial space flight will be a reality in southern New Mexico…Virgin Galactic, Armadillo Aerospace, Boeing, as well as NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Neil Sheehan, just to name a few, will be in Las Cruces this week for the sixth International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight. More than 400 attendees are expected this year…On Friday, a runway dedication at the spaceport will include Virgin founder Richard Branson and Gov. Bill Richardson…We want to have the people in the business community in Las Cruces hooked up with the people in business who are coming to the symposium who know they eventually want to be where the center for commercial space is…”

47. NASA to Spend Up to $30 Million on Private Moon Data http://www.space.com/news/nasa-contracts-private-moon-data-101015.html NASA has signed six contracts worth as much as $30 million in all to purchase data from private teams competing to send homemade robots to the moon. The U.S. space agency awarded small, firm-fixed price contracts worth at least $10,000 to six teams competing in the Google Lunar X Prize contest to design, build and launch private moon probes…these contracts send a clear signal to the investment community that NASA is ready to purchase lunar data, even from small, entrepreneurial firms…The NASA money comes in addition to the $30 million prize purse up for grabs in the Google Lunar X Prize competition. Twenty-two teams are racing to land a robot on the lunar surface, have it move at least 1,650 feet (500 meters) and transmit data and images back to Earth…”

48. NASA To Crowdsource Software Development http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/enterprise-apps/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=227800070 NASA has collaborated with Harvard University to open a new virtual laboratory in which software developers can compete to create code for the space agency…NASA researchers will use the NASA Tournament Lab, an online environment, to ask for a solution to a computational or complex data-processing challenge…The Obama administration has encouraged government agencies to use challenges to foster innovation and make the U.S. more competitive overseas in technology and science. NASA especially has embraced this strategy, offering numerous developer challenges to help it develop new technology…The Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science is hosting the lab under the direction of a crowdsourcing scholar, Harvard Business School Professor Karim R. Lakhani…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

49. Microsoft Patents GPU-Accelerated Video Encoding http://www.conceivablytech.com/3421/business/microsoft-patents-gpu-accelerated-video-encoding/ Microsoft has been granted a key patent that defines one of the primary uses of graphics processors in the future: Video encoding…Microsoft applied for the patent…in October 2004 and was granted a patent to its invention today. It outlines a concept where the GPU is used, among others, to perform motion estimation in videos, the use of the depth buffer of the GPU, to determine comprising, collocating video frames, mapping pixels to texels, frame processing using the GPU and output of data to the CPU. The patent appears to cover all bases of GPU-accelerated video encoding…The first GPU-accelerated video-encoder we know of was Elemental’s Badaboom, which is now potentially infringing Microsoft’s patent…”

50. Photonic Fence Blasts Mosquitos with Lasers http://www.switched.com/2010/09/23/photonic-fence-blasts-mosquito-with-lasers “…an effective and marketable mosquito-zapping laser fence could be on the horizon. Intellectual Ventures (IV) continues to develop and demonstrate its anti-malaria technology, which relies heavily on Nvidia's Graphics Processing Unit…While a laser-guided mosquito defense system obviously sounds awesome, the GPU contributes a particularly incredible function to IV's Photonic Fence. The mosquito defense system not only distinguishes between different types of insects so that it can determine which pests to blast, but it also identifies the mosquitoes that carry malaria. Once the GPU recognizes a carrier, the pest defense, uh, fence cripples the vermin by blasting off its wings…”

51. For Proprietary HPC, Hope Springs Eternal http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/For-Proprietary-HPC-Hope-Springs-Eternal-104997544.html “…commodity-based HPC systems -- basically, we're talking x86 Linux clusters -- dominate the industry…because of the presence of a healthy supercomputing segment (systems over $500K), this dominance is not completely overwhelming…IDC estimates about three-quarters of HPC server revenue comes from x86-based systems…companies who come up with proprietary technologies…have had limited success in this market. Often very limited…Although ClearSpeed's accelerators offered even better performance per watt than GPGPUs, the proprietary nature of the technology kept HPC users away in droves…x86 silicon is used to take advantage of the cost benefits of volume server chips (not to mention the x86-centric software ecosystem)…There are other possible variations on the pure commodity HPC theme…Appro's…HF1 server…incorporated overclocked x86 Xeon CPUs along with a liquid cooling system to compensate, with the idea of providing a souped-up box for high frequency trading (HFT)…Convey Computer Corporation…with a "hybrid-core" model that employs x86 processors along with an FPGA as the co-processor…the co-processor to be loaded with a "personality" that extends the x86 instruction set for a particular class of applications -- bioinformatics, seismic processing, data mining, financial analytics…IBM's Blue Gene and its newer Power7-based HPC servers…rely on custom ASICs and other hardware…the Green Flash project…is to design a special-purpose supercomputer to perform climate simulations based on a much higher resolution cloud model…if NVIDIA has its way, system vendors will be able to create a general-purpose supercomputer with the performance characteristics approaching that of an Anton or Green Flash a few years down the road. The GPU maker's future generation processors, Kepler in 2011 and Maxwell in 2013, will be 3 and 10 times more powerful, respectively, than the current Fermi processors…”

52. The Second Coming of TSUBAME http://www.hpcwire.com/features/The-Second-Coming-of-TSUBAME-104970024.html When the TSUBAME 2.0 supercomputer is formally inaugurated in December, it will officially be declared the fastest supercomputer in Japan. However, it’s not simply speed that separates this machine; boasting a raw performance of 2.4 petaflops, the new TSUBAME exceeds the total FLOPS capacity of all other government and academic supercomputers in Japan today…the institute added 170 NVIDIA Tesla S1070 servers (680 GPUs) as part of the TSUBAME 1.2 upgrade, which increased the machine's peak performance from 80 to 141 teraflops. This 1.2 incarnation also turned out to be the first GPGPU-powered supercomputer to earn a spot on the TOP500 list…TSUBAME 2.0 will use the company's latest ProLiant SL390s G7 server for its compute infrastructure. Specifically, the 2.4 petaflops of compute power will be derived from 1,442 compute nodes: 1,408 of which are the new SL390s G7 nodes, each equipped with two Intel Westmere EP CPUs (6-core, 2.93 GHz) and three NVIDIA M2050 "Fermi" modules. The system will also include 34 Nehalem EX-based nodes hooked up 34 10-series Tesla S1070 servers. Total memory capacity for the system is 80.6 TB of DRAM, plus 12.7 TB of local GDDR memory on the GPU devices. Each node will also be outfitted with either 120 GB, 240 GB or 480 GB of solid state disk (SSD) local storage for a total of just under 174 TB. External storage is provided by over 7 PB of DataDirect Networks gear, including a 6 PB Lustre partition plus another petabyte of NFS/iSCSI-based disk. An 8 PB Sun SL8500 tape system represents the final layer to TSUBAME's storage infrastructure. The whole cluster is woven together with QDR InfiniBand, in a full bisection, fat tree architecture…”

53. Jefferson Lab cluster tops 100 teraflops http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-10-jefferson-lab-cluster-tops-100.html “…Jefferson Lab's…supercomputer, called Hadron, was built with components that were purchased and cobbled together over the last year. It runs on both video game graphics cards and ordinary computer processors. About 90 percent of its computing power comes from the video game graphics processing units, or GPUs. The Hadron system contains 480 GPUs and 266 CPUs…We bought two different types of GPUs. We bought gaming cards, and we bought graphics cards in the professional line for supercomputing. These cards are similar to the gaming cards, but they are configured somewhat differently and have error-correcting code built-in," Watson explained. "Some calculations we can do equally well on either card, and we do those calculations on the gaming cards. There are some calculations that involve much more, and those have to be on the professional-quality cards." Hadron is being used to compute how the building blocks of matter, quarks, build the protons, neutrons and other particles that makeup everyday matter…Watson used about $1 million of a nearly $5 million grant received as part of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funding under the auspices of the Department of Energy's USQCD (US Quantum Chromodynamics) collaboration to purchase the 352 gaming cards and 128 professional graphics cards and associated hardware currently installed in the Hadron system. A chunk of the grant also went toward funding the effort to create computer code to adapt the GPUs for scientific computing…”



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home