2010/10/26

NEW NET Issues List for 26 Oct 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 26 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. Live Documents Challenges Google, Microsoft and Zoho http://business.rediff.com/special/2010/oct/11/spec-sabeer-bhatias-next-mega-project.htm “…The Live Documents service offered…InstaColl is already a big success in India especially among the education fraternity…Bhatia…was on a visit to India to sign a contract with the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) for Live Documents. The company has also signed up with the Karnataka government, which will implement the use of Live Documents in all 300,000 personal computers in government offices across 30 districts…The product was developed with the help of just 30 people…all Indians, and all based out of Bangalore…At the core of InstaColl's Live Documents is Adobe's Flash technology, the reason why it is perhaps the only company in Asia to get nominated for the Adobe Max Awards…InstaColl's office productivity suite runs on both…Internet browser (cloud) as well as on the desktop…with 100 per cent feature compatibility with Office…Bhatia does not want to stop here. He is also working with a couple of "cool" product ideas for Sabse Technologies. Sabse already has a free video conferencing platform in the cloud, called SabseBolo. Besides, the company's consumer application 'jaxtr', which enables one to make free calls internationally from any mobile phone…”

2. What’s Next for Posterous: Geo, Groups, Premium http://gigaom.com/2010/10/20/whats-next-for-posterous-geo-groups-premium/ Posterous, the email-based blogging platform, emphasizes simplicity and ease of use, yet it keeps adding new features…We are on the WordPress* end of the spectrum, but people think we’re micro-blogging because we’re so simple…The company has some new features in the works: increased support for groups, premium accounts for businesses, proximity-based geoblogs, and a better bookmarklet to bring in outside content…” [do you use Posterous.com or scribd.com, or do you know people who do? – ed.]

3. CarWoo Takes the Cheap Suit Out Of Car Sales http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/carwoo-takes-the-cheap-suit-out-of-car-sales/ If you’ve ever contacted a car dealer online, you’re familiar with the internet sales pitch: relentless phone calls and e-mails…CarWoo, aims to change that by connecting you with firm offers from dealers while preserving your privacy. The new service only helps out with new car sales right now, though the company says it may open up to used cars…Shoppers pay a fee to CarWoo and select the car they want…CarWoo will facilitate quotes from two to five nearby dealerships. Buyers are free to negotiate the final price…The process is transparent, and both the buyer and the dealers involved see all of the offers that come in. Buyers indicate how much they’re willing to pay and sellers decide whether the offer is acceptable. Dealers can see the negotiations in real time and — if they are able — can undercut their competitors directly to offer the best price…CarWoo has about 3,200 dealers participating nationwide, with 50 more added each week…Because potential car buyers have to put down money up front, dealers can be sure the leads they get from CarWoo are customers who are ready to buy…Whether customers decide the service is worth a fee of $39 or $79 remains to be seen, but we can certainly imagine some weary souls with inboxes full of spam from dealerships might be interested in negotiating the price of a used car at their own desk rather than the sales manager’s…”

4. ROME, a Content Creation and Publishing Tool for Virtually Anyone http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2010/10/introducing-the-public-preview-of-project-rome-a-content-creation-and-publishing-tool-for-virtually-anyone.html “…You…want to create an interactive report complete with video and music, spice up presentations with animation and interactivity, craft a visual email with self-created graphics, or design and publish your first website for the world to see. But, you don’t know where to start…we’re excited to offer a first look into Project ROME, an all-in-one content creation and publishing application for use at home, work or school*. It is intended for virtually anyone who wants to add the power of video, audio, photos, graphics, text or animation into everyday projects — from printed materials and presentations to digital documents and websites…Our goal is to make Project ROME so intuitive and fluid, that the technology doesn’t get in your way of expressing ideas with video, audio, photos, graphics, text and animation…Project ROME is for those of us who aren’t professional designers, but want to express our ideas in a more powerful way using digital content…Adobe is offering Project ROME as a free preview – a public beta. We invite you to check it out at http://rome.adobe.com...please tell us what you think. For teachers, we made a special version for you to try – Project ROME for Education…”

5. 100 Mbps DSL is Here & 800 Mbps is Around the Corner http://gigaom.com/2010/10/25/100-mbps-dsl/ “…a new breakthrough shows that it will only be a matter of time before DSL broadband crosses the 800 Mbps threshold…we are beginning to see the commercial availability of DSL that can deliver 100 Mbps…While fiber networks are better in the long run, most phone companies need to squeeze out more from their copper networks without losing too much ground to cable broadband rivals…Ikanos, a maker of broadband chips today introduced a new technology, NodeScale Vectoring, DSL access technology that allows connections at 100 Mbps and higher…the cost of deploying this technology is about a tenth of the cost of building a fiber to the home network…NodeScale technology allows carriers to eliminate the crosstalk that occurs on copper pairs when offering very high-speed Internet. The cross talk introduces noise in the network, which in turn limits the line quality and thus reduces the performance of the network…NodeScale essentially tames cross talk at the DSLAM level as opposed to line card vectoring which treats every line card as a separate crosstalk domain…”

6. Researchers to develop 1 Terabit Ethernet by 2015 http://www.zdnet.com/blog/emergingtech/researchers-to-develop-1-terabit-ethernet-by-2015/2397 “…current Ethernet technologies may not be able to keep up with the speed and bandwidth required for applications like streaming high definition video, cloud computing, and distributed data storage…researchers with the Terabit Optical Ethernet Center (TOEC) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) are aiming for 1 Terabit Ethernet over optical fiber — 1 trillion bits per second — by 2015 and 100 Terabit Ethernet by 2020. Google, Verizon, Intel, Agilent Technologies and Rockwell Collins are partnering with TOEC…Today’s networking equipment is hitting a wall as 100 Gigabits per second is implemented because of the amount of power needed to run and cool the required systems…Using energy-saving technologies based on photonics is the path forward…Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs report that optical transmission gear consumes more than a factor of 10 less than other network technologies such as cellular base stations and packet routers…”

7. LimeWire Is Officially Dead http://www.businessinsider.com/limewire-officially-dead-seeks-resurrection-2010-10 LimeWire, which was once the iTunes of file-sharing software, is officially dead…the Lime Group received a permanent injunction (PDF here) this afternoon from U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ordering it to stop distributing and supporting LimeWire…It's quite a downfall for a piece of software that was once found on one-third of all PCs worldwide…Earlier this month, the company contacted me to talk about plans for a forthcoming service that will launch with a different name…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Japan has national botnet warriors; why don't we? http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/japan-has-a-national-botnet-fighter-wheres-ours.ars “…the United States…more PC botnet infections than any other country in the world. Microsoft reports 2.2 million US PCs hijacked for cybercrime or distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks…government…measures ought to bear fruit in the next geological era or two. But in the meantime, how about we do what Japan did and set up a national botnet fighter?...Launched in 2006, it's called the Cyber Clean Center—a joint project of Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and its Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. Over sixty of Japan's Internet Service Providers work with the center, as do Symantec, Microsoft, McAfee, and six other security companies. Cyber Clean does the usual good stuff, trying to raise public awareness…But the Cyber Clean operation goes a massive step further than public education. It searches for bot-infected PCs, then engages in a series of "attention rousing activities" to get the user to realize that her computer has been hijacked…the project's latest "activity report" says that, as of August, it has collected almost 17 million bot samples and deployed over half a million "attention rousing" messages. An estimated 32.3 percent of users contacted actually go to their deinfestation page and download the relevant cleaning software, according to the organization. The campaign says it has counted 1,312,083 disinfectant downloads so far…”

9. Firesheep Extension Lets You Hack Into Twitter, Facebook Accounts Easily http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/24/firesheep-in-wolves-clothing-app-lets-you-hack-into-twitter-facebook-accounts-easily/ “…Developer Eric Butler has exposed the soft underbelly of the web with his new Firefox extension, Firesheep, which will let you essentially eavesdrop on any open Wi-Fi network and capture users’ cookies…As soon as anyone on the network visits an insecure website known to Firesheep, their name and photo will be displayed” in the window. All you have to do is double click on their name and open sesame, you will be able to log into that user’s site with their credentials. One word: wow…” http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/25/lazy-hackers-twitter-firesheep-boasts-100000-downloads-faceboo/ “…In roughly 24 hours, Firesheep has been downloaded more than 104,000 times, as would-be-hackers — or the merely curious— downloaded the Firefox extension to test the exploit…” http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2010/10/26/firesheep-usage-leads-to-idiocy.html “…In response to the rapid uptake of Firesheep, Jonty Wareing has just released a somewhat different tool called Idiocy. This acts as "a warning shot to people browsing the internet insecurely" by sniffing network traffic to see if anyone is visiting the Twitter website over an unencrypted HTTP connection; and if they are, it will hijack the session and automatically post a tweet to warn them that they are vulnerable. The tweets helpfully include a link to a page which explains what happened, and how to prevent it happening in the future…”

10. Every UK email and website to be stored http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8075563/Every-email-and-website-to-be-stored.html “…plans are expected to involve service providers storing all users details for a set period of time. That will allow the security and police authorities to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public if they argue it is needed to tackle crime or terrorism…The move was buried in the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review, which revealed: "We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework…Communications data provides evidence in court to secure convictions of those engaged in activities that cause serious harm. It has played a role in every major Security Service counter terrorism operation and in 95 per cent of all serious organised crime investigations…”

11. Bredolab botnet shut down http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00002056.html “…The Dutch National Crime Squad has announced a major takedown…Bredolab is a large family of complicated, polymorphic trojans. They have been distributed via drive-by-downloads and email. Bredolab is known to be connected to email spam campaigns and rogue security products. And the size of the botnet was massive: over 30 million infected computers and close to 150 command & control servers…the crime squad has announced that they will be sending a warning to infected PCs…they will probably use the existing botnet infrastructure to send a program to all infected machines, showing them a warning…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. TomTom, HTC team up on mobile navigation http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20020144-94.html TomTom and HTC…announced today that HTC Locations, the smartphone maker's new mapping and navigation service, will come preloaded with TomTom's "location-rich" maps…Since TomTom's maps will come preloaded, the companies are promising quick access to maps and locations…Though the TomTom maps and locations will be freely and automatically available on the phones, users who want turn-by-turn directions will still need to buy and download them through HTC Locations or HTC Sync…TomTom's maps and HTC Locations will also compete with the free Google Maps, which already has a home on many Android phones and other mobile devices…”

13. Windows Phone 7 Review http://www.anandtech.com/show/3982/windows-phone-7-review “…mobile wars have only just begun and despite the advantage enjoyed by Apple and Google, there is no end in sight. In another twelve months we will see fierce competition from HP, Microsoft and Nokia. There’s a lot at stake, and no company is willing to give up the opportunity to own the next-PC market without a hell of a fight…Windows Phone 7 is a significant departure from anything Microsoft has ever done in the past, from a UI standpoint that is. In my opinion it’s more beautiful than anything else on the market today - including Apple’s iOS…Flipping through pages upon pages of square app icons just isn’t the most efficient way to do it…When you unlock your iPhone or Android phone you’re dropped into what’s effectively your smartphone desktop. In iOS, that’s just a collection of app icons with a 4-icon dock at the bottom. Android gives you more of a modern desktop with icons and optional widgets. Windows Phone 7 effectively drops you into the first layer of a start menu - that’s your desktop…”

14. T-Mobile to debut tethering plan on November 3rd, $14.99 http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2010/10/26/t-mobile-to-debut-tethering-plan-on-november-3rd-14-99/ “…America’s fourth largest carrier will begin to offer/charge for tethering on November 3rd. The Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing Add-On, which will have a monthly cost of $14.99, will allow customers to use their smartphones as a tethered modem or Wi-Fi hotspot. Starting on 11/3, in order to legally share your device’s internet connection on T-Mobile, you’ll need: a 3G or HSPA+ capable device, an unlimited web plan of $19.95 or higher, and the $14.99 tethering add-on. The offering will be available to both postpaid and Flex Pay customers who meet the above requirements…”

15. Wi-Fi Direct Products Connect Without A Network http://www.informationweek.com/news/infrastructure/remote_access/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=227900741 The first batch of Wi-Fi Direct products were formally certified Monday, launching a wireless technology in which devices will be able to communicate directly with each other without being on a network or without first connecting to a network access point…We designed Wi-Fi Direct to unleash a wide variety of applications which require device connections, but do not need the Internet or even a traditional network,” said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, in a statement. “Wi-Fi Direct empowers users to connect devices -- when, where and how they want to…Broadcom cited the examples of friends in a train or on a beach connecting seamlessly with each other without network assistance. Citing file transfer and gaming applications as possible apps, Nagarajan said mass-market adoption will “depend on the type of applications that make use of the disruptive connection mechanisms offered through Wi-Fi Direct…”

16. Ortustech reveals 4.8-inch 1080p display that puts Apple’s Retina Display to shame http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/ortustech-reveals-4-8-inch-1080p-display-that-puts-apples-retina-display-to-shame-20101026/ Once you see one, it’s hard to go back from Apple’s Retina Display, their super high-density touch panel for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch…As pixel-dense as it is, it isn’t full high-definition. Enter little-known panel maker Ortustech, a joint venture between Casio and Toppan Printing…Ortustech is showing off a doozy of a display this week: a 4.8-inch HAST (Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT) LCD with a 160 degree viewinng angle, 16.8 million colors, a truly retina display caliber pixel density of 458ppi and… oh yeah… a 1920 x 1080 resolution…”

17. Walgreen’s now selling a $99 Android tablet http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2010/10/26/walgreens-now-selling-99-android-tablet/ “…the Maylong M-150, a 7″ (800×480) Android tablet. It runs v1.6 on a 400MHz CPU and 256MB RAM. It has Wifi, a resistive touchscreen, speakers, microSD card slot, and it even ships with a dongle that provides 10/100 and USB ports. The product page lists that the M-150 ships with a full browser, reading app, Youtube, and a video player…”

Open Source

18. Asterisk 1.8 - Major Release Sports 200 New Features http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/asterisk/asterisk-18---major-release-sports-200-new-features.asp “…Asterisk 1.8 includes includes new security features, integration with IPv6 and extensive feature additions…if someone wants to develop a product or solution based on Asterisk 1.8, now is a great time to get in, because you'll get four years of support from Digium...The new ISDN features in Asterisk 1.8 are a big step forward for the European Asterisk community…Even without the ISDN enhancements, the pure performance jump in 1.8 is significant. We can save money on hardware because more calls can be handled by a single Asterisk installation…some highlighted new features in Asterisk 1.8…Secure real-time transport protocol (RTP) support—New end-to-end VoIP encryption of signaling and media to compliment the existing encrypted signaling support…SRTP support will…allow for government and financial deployments of the Asterisk platform…Calendar integration—Support for Microsoft Exchange, CalDav and iCalendar. This is a pretty cool feature. If for instance your Calendar has you listed as in a meeting, Asterisk can automatically send the caller to your voicemail…Channel event logging (CEL)—Enhanced call tracking and logging for better audit trail and billing purposes…Google Talk and Google Voice support—Inbound and outbound support for Google Talk and Google Voice calling…”

19. Ten reasons Linux is the best choice for kids http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/desktop-os/2010/10/17/ten-reasons-linux-is-the-best-choice-for-kids-40090466/ “…keeping our children's computers running can be a bigger challenge than sorting out the adults at work. But if you install Linux at home, you can avoid the headaches. That's because sound reasons exist for migrating young users from other operating systems…Viruses and malware…Youngsters are prone to opening and installing things they shouldn't. Because you can't watch them all the time, you can't know where they're getting those applications or attachments from…With Linux, this concern evaporates…Security…If you don't give your children the root password, they can't run with root privileges…Cost effectiveness…Age-specific tools…Netbooks…the Linux operating system is ideally suited to run on netbooks…Agile learners…Most kids will master the Linux operating system quickly…Learning opportunities…Open source suits education. It practically screams: "Open me up and learn…”

20. Most Touch Screen ebook Readers Run on Linux http://steamingopencup.blogspot.com/2010/10/most-touch-screen-ebook-readers-run-on.html Want to go on an ebook-reading marathon for two weeks? You don’t need an iPad. All you need is a decent touch screen ebook reader. They can last more than 10 days…E-ink displays, which most of these ebook readers use, consume less power, are less susceptible to glare, are less strenuous to the eyes, and most of all, cost much less than even the most basic iPad…why did I…leave the numero uno ebook reader on the market today - Amazon’s Kindle - out of the picture. Because I find clicking buttons so outdated and flicking through virtual pages with fingers so cool…You know what else most of them have in common aside from the e-ink display? - a Linux-based OS…”

SkyNet

21. Google Engineer Builds Facebook Disconnect http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/20/google-facebook-disconnec/ “…Google engineer Brian Kennish, inspired by the most recent Facebook privacy and data debacles…decided to create “Facebook Disconnect” i.e. a Google Chrome extension that obliterates all Facebook Connect functionality and all traffic from third party sites to Facebook servers…Facebook Disconnect will “presumably” prevent the sending of data back to Facebook across the one million sites that use the Facebook Connect service…he created the extension to help quell his desire to delete his Facebook account…with absolutely no encouragement from Google or Facebook, despite the fact that he works for the former, “Nobody at Google asked or encouraged me to do so, or probably, even knows who I am…”

22. Google Ventures Invests In Local Deals Site Signpost http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/20/signpost-local-deals/ “…Google Ventures didn’t just invest in a Groupon clone…Signpost…looks to help you find the best deals in your neighborhood…you’ll find a listing of deals at restaurants, retailers, and other merchants located in your city (you can zoom in if you want to restrict your search to within a few-blocks)…unlike sites like Groupon, there are dozens or even hundreds of deals visible on Signpost at once, ranging from happy hour at your local bar to a 40% discount at a nearby spa…The site’s biggest difference from Groupon, though, is the source of its deals: instead of having a salesforce reaching out to merchants, most deals are submitted by other users…if you notice that your local coffee shop is offering a two-for-one special on drinks, you can log onto Signpost and tell your friends. At this point there isn’t much incentive to do this — you can earn karma points but can’t exchange them for anything — but it sounds like Signpost has plans to encourage posting more deals down the line…”

23. Google Docs Gets Drag-and-Drop Support http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371150,00.asp “…Google is making it a little bit easier to spruce up a document with the addition of a drag-and-drop option to Google Docs, which will allow users to pull an image directly from the desktop and place it on the page. "Google documents already has three ways to add images: you can choose them from your hard drive, add them by URL, and you can find them using Google Image Search…In January, Google launched cloud storage for any type of file that included up to 1GB of free storage…”

24. Business Photos Help Build Google Places/Maps Brand Identity http://searchengineland.com/business-photos-help-build-google-placesmaps-brand-identity-53925 Google’s effort to bring photographers to local businesses to capture interior and exterior images now bearing fruit…the images that its contractors have been collecting (all over the world) are now online…Users and potential customers who look online for local businesses can now see more high-quality photos that give them a sense of what a place is really like. The photos may include the storefront, decor, layout, merchandise, food, signage about hours and accepted payment types, and other items that help people learn more about a business…Business owners can also add their own images and video as well and Google continues to encourage them to do so…By building out your Place page with visuals and other relevant business information – such as hours of operation, offers and more – you’ll help potential customers learn more about you and feel like they know what to expect when they actually walk through your doors…Google’s push to enrich Places with images, reviews, Street View, video, and so on, is an effort to make Places the favored local consumer resource online and in mobile. A more complete set of data and information will also help them successfully compete for consumer attention with Facebook Places/Pages…Places Pages remain somewhat buried behind the “more info” link within Maps, although they do surface in SERPs for business name lookups…”

25. Google Groups Data To Be Destroyed! http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=308700 I'm not sure what's worse here: the fact that some of my data is going to go away, or the fact that I found this out almost by accident…I find Google Groups to be very useful; it solves an important problem. I rely on it…So I was quite disturbed when I went to create a page within a group, and I came across this rather mildly-headlined Notice About Pages and Files…Notice the last line of the third paragraph: "In February 2011, we will turn off the pages and files features, and you will no longer be able to access that content…I suspect there are significant numbers of people who will discover it too late, the way Google is playing this one…you can save your data if you (1) find out about its impending doom and (2) move it to Google Docs or Google Sites. Both of these require action on your part, and if you don't act your data will quietly become unavailable (same as "destroyed")…”

26. Google Tests 1G-bps Broadband Network at Stanford http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Networking/Google-Tests-1Gbps-Broadband-Network-at-Stanford-University-244231/ “…Google struck a deal with Stanford University to build a broadband network fueling Internet speeds of up to 1G bps for 850 homes owned by faculty and staff on the campus…The search engine, which depends on fast broadband connections to ensure its applications serve consumers effectively, said in February it planned to test such networks in American communities serving 50,000 to 500,000 people. Google accepted applications from municipalities all over the country through March and will announce the winner or winners by the end of the year…”

General Technology

27. Apple Killed The CD Today http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/20/a-compact-death/ “…The CD and other optical discs, like DVDs and Blu-rays, are obviously going to live on for a while as a way to transport media. But make no mistake that today, with two unveilings, Apple has effectively sealed the fate of the optical disc in the computer industry. Soon, it will go the way of the floppy disk…I came to the realization that I had never once used the optical drive in my current MacBook Pro, and it was simply taking up a lot of space and was making my computer unnecessarily bulky…DVD to reinstall OS X and other software…has been replaced with a super-slim USB stick…flash memory cards…are already blowing DVDs out of the water when it comes to storage…we may see more drives like this one (which use much less plastic than typical USB flash drives — and appear to even use less plastic than optical discs)…soon the optical drives will start to fade out of existence…” http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/10/why-apple-saddled-the-macbook-air-with-gimped-cpus.ars “…the Macbook Air has been updated. But if you were hoping for enough CPU muscle in the new models to keep a bunch of Flash-addled webpages from bringing the entire portable to its knees, then you're going to be sorely disappointed—the Core 2 Duo is still with us in the new models. In fact, the 11" Macbook Air actually trails its predecessor in clockspeed, while the 13" model hasn't changed at all…”

28. Chinese Chip Closes In on Intel, AMD http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/26596/ “…The Loongson processor family (known in China by the name Godson), is now in its sixth generation. The latest designs consist of the one-gigahertz, eight-core Godson 3B, the more powerful 16-core, Godson 3C (with a speed that is currently unknown), and the smaller, lower-power one-gigahertz Godson 2H, intended for netbooks and other mobile devices…Intel's Xeon processor uses a 32-nanometer process…while the Godson 3B uses 65 nanometers, leading to significantly slower processing speeds. But the Godson 3C processor will leapfrog current technology by using a 28-nanometer process, although this will only increase its clock speed by about a factor of two…With its eight additional cores, this should make the 3C about four times as fast as the Godson 3B…China's Dawning 6000 supercomputer, originally slated for completion in mid-2010, will instead debut in 2011, using the Godson 3B…the Dawning supercomputer…could…rank on the Top 500 list of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world…”

29. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: "Mac OS X meets the iPad" http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/10/mac-os-x-107-lion-mac-os-x-meets-the-ipad.ars “…Jobs gave the first sneak peek at the eighth major version of Mac OS X. Codenamed "Lion,"…the new version will bring new features and innovations developed for its iOS mobile operating system…multitouch gestures, an app store, an app home screen, full-screen apps, auto save, and auto resume on launch…Jobs was careful to note that the Mac App Store won't be the only place to get applications—just "the best place."…To better manage currently running apps, Apple has combined windowed apps, full-screen apps, Exposé, and Spaces into what it calls Mission Control…Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will launch in summer 2011…”

30. The robot that reads your mind to train itself http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11457127 “…the Neural Systems Laboratory, University of Washington, hopes to take brain-computer interface (BCI) technology to the next level by attempting to teach robots new skills directly via brain signals. Robotic surrogates that offer paralyzed people the freedom to explore their environment, manipulate objects or simply fetch things has been the holy grail of BCI research for a long time. Dr Rao's team began by programming a humanoid robot with simple behaviours which users could then select with a wearable electroencephalogram (EEG) cap that picked up their brain activity…The team reasoned that giving the robot the ability to learn might just be the trick to allow a greater range of movements and responses…"What if the user wants the robot to do something new?...The brain is organised into multiple levels of control including the spinal cord at the low level to the neocortex at the high level," he said…To emulate this kind of behavior…Dr Rao and his team are developing a hierarchical brain-computer interface for controlling the robot…”

DHMN Technology

31. Houston Group Gets White Space Rollout Grant http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/107946 “…Technology For All (TFA) provides Internet service to Houston's working-class East End neighborhood using a variety of unlicensed spectrum ranging from 900 MHz through 5 GHz. Under a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation, researchers at Rice University and TFA will develop and test custom-built networking gear as well as consumer devices that can use TV band white space frequencies and seamlessly switch between different frequency bands…While a Wi-Fi node can provide a higher data rate, a white-space node can cover a much larger area. The project will study how dynamic network architecture can combine these strengths…An ars technica article, Prof's bring free "Super WiFi to working-class Houston said the area where they plan to offer the service has five empty TV channels available…that may not be the case. The Show My White Spaces tool from Spectrum Bridge showed only one channel available for fixed devices: Channel 2. There are no channels for portable 100 mW devices, and only nine channels for 40 mW portable devices in Houston. If the Spectrum Bridge analysis is correct, TFA and Rice will need to get a waiver of the rules to allow fixed operation on one or more of the eight channels (four VHF and four UHF) reserved for wireless microphone use…I shifted the analysis to Beaumont, Texas (about 75 miles distant) and found two low-band VHF channels (5 and 6) that were available for fixed white space devices, and eight UHF channels that could accommodate 40 mW portable devices…”

32. Unlicensed Use of Wireless "White Space" “…In addition to the requirement that mobile phones, netbooks, tablets and other devices have access to the information needed to determine their position and consult an FCC-approved geographic database listing licensed broadcast spectrum users…in their area, the FCC reserved two vacant UHF channels for licensed wireless microphones and other low-power auxiliary service devices in all areas of the country…Cambridge Consultants…is developing a product called InCognito, a package of microprocessors, circuit design and software that makers of mobile phones, computers, set-top boxes and wireless base stations can use to enable their devices to find available white spaces by linking up to the free-spectrum database when it becomes available…Microsoft chose a different path, feeling "strongly" that a database lookup function was sufficient in lieu of a spectral-sensing capability…if the database indicates vacant white space in the area of a laptop or mobile phone, that device should be able to connect to the Internet via that white space without interfering with local TV stations or wireless mics…”

33. Nvidia Tegra 2 Has Ten Confirmed Design Wins http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/display/20101010132042_Nvidia_s_Tegra_Starts_to_Get_Popular_Among_Manufacturers.html “…tablets with Tegra 2 that have been announced include the Toshiba Folio 100, Malata SMB-A1011, E-Noa Interpad, Hannspree Hanns Mart, Viewsonic G Tablet, Mouse Computer LuvPad AD100, Notion Ink Adam and KNO tablet…LG Electronics has also announced that Tegra 2 will power its smartphones. Tegra-powered devices currently shipping include the Microsoft Zune HD and Samsung M1 portable media players and the Toshiba AC100 smart companion MID (powered by Tegra 2)…Tegra has a serious drawback, it does not include baseband processor functionality so to integrate more performance-related logic…Nvidia is not alone with its highly-integrated SoCs for advanced devices…Marvell, Samsung, Qualcomm…are already offering system-on-chip products with extreme performance for smartphones or tablets…”

34. What Rapleaf Knows About You http://gigaom.com/2010/10/24/what-rapleaf-knows-about-you/ “…Wall Street Journal’s Emily Steel has written an in-depth (and excellent) expose…RapLeaf’s privacy policy states it won’t “collect or work with sensitive data on children, health or medical conditions, sexual preferences, financial account information or religious beliefs.” After the Journal asked RapLeaf whether some of its profile segments contradicted its privacy policy, the company eliminated many of those segments. Segments eliminated include: interest in the Bible, Hispanic and Asian ethnic products, gambling, tobacco, adult entertainment, “get rich quick” offers and age and gender of children in household. RapLeaf says many of its segments are also “used widely by the direct-marketing industry today…Rapleaf knows your real names and email addresses…Rapleaf sells pretty elaborate data that includes household income, age, political leaning, and even more granular details…Politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, are using Rapleaf…When a person logs in to certain sites, the sites send identifying information to RapLeaf…RapLeaf installs a “cookie,” a small text file, on the person’s computer containing details about the individual (minus name and other identifiable facts). Sites…include…Pingg.com…About.com…TwitPic.com…”

35. Giving Yourself a Sixth Sense for Wireless Networks http://imakeprojects.com/Projects/wifi-heartbeat/ “…This project is for a small electronic unit that allows the user to sense the presence and relative signal strength of wireless hotspots. It can be worn as a pendant or carried in a pocket. It is "always on" and communicates the presence and signal strength of an in-range hotspot by way of sequences of pulses - like a heartbeat you can feel. The stronger and faster the "heartbeat", the stronger the wireless signal detected…”

36. DIY 2.4GHz Spectrum Analyser http://www.wireless.org.au/~jhecker/specan/ This is a simple project that allows you to monitor the 2.4GHZ ISM band in your immediate vicinity. There many wireless devices available on the market now that broadcast in the 2.4GHz spectrum including Bluetooth, 802.11a/b ethernet (WiFi), Zigbee, wireless USB, cordless phones, wireless mice and keyboards and the humble microwave oven. Depending where you live in the world your government has allocated a roughly 80MHz block for transmitting all manner of data starting at 2.4GHz. It's getting a bit crowded in this band, especially if you live in a built up urban area. With this project you can monitor what's going on and figure out what channel to change your WiFi network to in order for it to keep working when your neighbor rudely sets up their wireless network on the same channel as you…”

37. Sensor network at Kew Gardens http://www.lkl.ac.uk/projects/vesel/index.php?q=node/97 The wireless sensor network has been installed in a student plot at Kew Gardens, in which will be grown French beans and courgettes…This simple sensor network aims to harness agricultural intelligence to build a capable decision support system for farmers…Our particular implementation of such a wireless sensor network is innovative in two ways. We are working on interfacing it with other parts of the VeSeL resource kit, including fixed computers and mobile devices, to support local and remote monitoring and action. More broadly, these innovations designed initially for small scale contexts in the developing world could have applications in the developed world in terms of power conservation techniques and methods of data collection, storage and delivery in unstable communications infrastructure…”

Leisure & Entertainment

38. Netflix Accounts For 20% Of Peak U.S. Internet Bandwidth http://www.multichannel.com/article/458744-Netflix_Accounts_For_20_Of_Peak_U_S_Internet_Bandwidth_Study.php Netflix represents more than 20% of downstream Internet traffic during peak times in the U.S…North American households use a median of 4 Gigabytes per month of Internet bandwidth, whereas in Asia-Pacific region the median is 12 Gigabytes…in North America the average time a fixed connection is active is 3 hours, whereas in Asia-Pacific it's closer to 5.5 hours…Netflix, which had about 16.9 million subscribers as of the end of September 2010, provides its "Watch Now" Internet streaming service on more than 100 devices…”

39. Target Unveils In-Store Facebook Photo Printing http://www.allfacebook.com/target-unveils-in-store-facebook-photo-printing-2010-10 Grandma…can’t log on to see your photos from last night (although that might be a good thing). Unless you decide to print them at home or struggle through an hour of trying to set her up with a Facebook account that she’ll never know how to use on her own, Grandma will be entirely oblivious to your online existence. Until today. Target has just announced Facebook connectivity with their in-store KODAK photo kiosks…shoppers can now log on at the kiosk and browse their photo albums directly…All the KODAK kiosk print options…can be fully integrated with your Facebook photos…This comes on the heels of Facebook’s recent decision to support photo downloads and allow high resolution photos, suggesting that something’s afoot. Clearly, Facebook is setting themselves up as the premier photo utility for its casual users – why go to Flickr, for example, if you’re already logged in to Facebook…”

40. Zynga worth more than Electronic Arts http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/26/is-zynga-worth-more-than-electronic-arts/ “…Zynga is currently valued at $5.27 billion on SharesPost, a secondary market, where Zynga employees can sell shares that they own in the private company. Redwood City, Calif.-based EA is worth $5.24 billion in public trading on the Nasdaq stock market…Many hope that Zynga will go public, but it hasn’t done so yet…Starting with Texas Hold Em Poker, Zynga managed to grab lots of users on Facebook and figured out how to make money from a small percentage of them. Adopting the “virtual goods” business model pioneered by South Korea’s Nexon for online games, Zynga charged real money to players for virtual currency, which was used to buy poker chips and other virtual goods in Zynga games…thanks to virtual goods sales, Zynga is expected to grab roughly a third of the $1.6 billion market for virtual goods in the U.S. in 2010…Zynga really took off in the middle of 2009 when it launched FarmVille, which is still the No. 1 game on Facebook with 57.4 million monthly active users…”

41. Cryptic to make Champions Online MMO free-to-play http://www.geek.com/articles/games/cryptic-to-make-champions-online-mmo-free-to-play-20101026/ “…Cryptic and publisher Atari have decided to switch to a free-to-play model for the superhero MMO. Revenue will be generated from an in-game store using real-world money converted to whatever currency the game uses. A subscription option will still exist, classed as “Gold status”, which will allow access to additional content and features…The decision by Cryptic comes after seeing a number of other high-profile MMOs switch to the freemium model. The most recent of those has been Lord of the Rings Online and Everquest II…With so many MMOs switching to free-to-play you have to wonder if we will ever see a subscription-only MMO released again…”

42. Minecraft Halloween Update will feature fire-spitting squidlings http://www.geek.com/articles/games/minecraft-halloween-update-will-feature-fire-spitting-squidlings-and-hellish-new-underworld-20101025/ “…those who worry that developer Notch may have forgotten about his delightful voxel-based world-build game can rest assured that he’s hard at work, plugging away at a new Halloween Update that is set to add not just six new block types… but an entirely new, ghost-filled dimension to the mix…The dimension is accessed through a player built portal, and once there, you will find yourself in a fiery, chthonic world made mostly of a red stone that, once ignited, will burn literally forever. That’s problematic enough, but becomes even more dangerous when you add the new Ghast enemy type into the mix: polygonal squidlings that shoot fire at the player. Even if they don’t fireball you, though, they’ll surely hit some of the red rock that makes up this extra-dimensional world… at which point the entire tunnel you’ve dug will instantly turn into an inferno…”

Economy and Technology

43. Doxo Launches Paperless Billing Service http://www.businessinsider.com/doxo-2010-10 Doxo, a Seattle-based startup that has been operating in stealth since 2008, is finally showing off its paper-free service for billing and other mailings…Doxo is a single dashboard for managing all of the banks, wireless providers, utilities, and other businesses that would otherwise send you snail mail every month. You can manually upload documents to Doxo, but the real value comes from Doxo's partners, which will send you bills and notifications electronically through Doxo…almost everyone still gets old-fashioned paper bills. The problem is that going paperless is a lot of work. You need to sign up for dozens of online accounts and remember when to check in with each to pay your balance. Doxo is…putting all of your online billing activity in a single location attached to a single username and password. Doxo will live or die by the businesses it signs up…Doxo is backed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos…”

44. Y Combinator is The Disruptor In The Valley http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/1108/best-small-companies-10-y-combinator-paul-graham-disruptor.html Justin Kan and Emmett Shear watched their first startup, an online calendar called Kiko, implode…in 2006. They sold Kiko's scraps on eBay for $258,000 and wondered what to do with their lives. So the pair did the only thing they could think of: They went to see Paul Graham at his house in Cambridge, Mass…Graham sat them down and helped bang out a plan to create Justin.tv, now the Web's biggest portal for live video, with 31 million users a month…Graham is the father of Y Combinator, a startup-rearing juggernaut that's part incubator, part drill sergeant and part liaison to the investor class. Y Combinator--a computer term for a program that runs other programs--has fired up 200 companies since 2005…YC's three-month boot camp for startups, run twice a year in Mountain View, Calif., attracts 1,000 applicants for roughly 40 spots. Graduates are expected to emerge with a working product, customers and revenue. They also get a crack at pitching their ideas to investors on Demo Day…YC puts up $11,000, plus $3,000 per founder, for each company in return for a piece of pure equity of around 5%. That equity could be worth real money should the companies take off…Of the 36 startups in YC's recent class, ended in August, 30 have raised fresh capital, many of them over $1 million. "We didn't mean to invent this new model," says Graham, who at 45 has sandy hair and a youthful earnestness. "It all happened by accident…”

45. Ozzie's 'doomsday' memo warns Microsoft of post-PC days http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Fusion-io-Creates-New-Technology-Alliance-Program-105386758.html “…Ray Ozzie's just-published memo is a "doomsday-ish" missive that calls on the company to push further into the cloud or perish…His "Dawn of a New Day" memorandum, which was dated Oct. 28, is an attempt to focus Microsoft's attention on the day when PCs will no longer rule consumer or business computing…If you do a tag cloud of the memo, you'll see he rarely mentions the words PC or Windows…The words that are most prominent," Miller noted, "are devices and services, and that shows that Ozzie believes the future will revolve around connected devices and continuous services." In a nutshell…Ozzie's memo spells out the time when the PC -- the foundation of Microsoft's 35-year-old business, particularly its lucrative Windows franchise -- has been replaced by a slew of simple, low-cost devices that are constantly connected to the Internet, and through that, to cloud-based services…tomorrow's devices…They're relatively simple and fundamentally appliance-like by design, from birth. They're instantly usable, interchangeable, and trivially replaceable without loss."…Ozzie's…telling Microsoft that it needs to look forward or you're not going to own the market in the future," Miller said. "He's trying to get Microsoft to start thinking about a day when the hegemony of Windows is a thing of the past…”

46. PayPal Introduces its Micropayment Solution http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/paypal_introduces_its_micropayment_solution.php “…PayPal, one of the most popular online payment providers, announced today the unveiling of a micropayment solution…the new product will offer low fees and a seamless integration that "lets consumers pay for digital goods and content in as little as two clicks…there are a couple of problems with selling cheap digital goods. For consumers, it's a matter of time and hassle, while merchants often have to contend with high transaction fees and lost sales…the new solution offers PayPal's competitive fee structure for micropayments, with pricing at 5 percent plus 5 cents for purchases under $12. A number of companies have already signed on, including Facebook, Autosport.com, FT.com, GigaOM, Justin.tv, Ooyala, Plimus, Tagged, Tyler Projects and Ustream. The decision to purchase digital goods and content usually happens on impulse, so the act of paying needs to be as quick as that impulse…”

Civilian Aerospace

47. Virgin Galactic CEO Branson Opens First Commercial Spaceport http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371395,00.asp “…Sir Richard Branson celebrated the completion of Spaceport America, the first commercial purpose-built space port…The spaceport includes a two-mile long runway…It's 42 inches thick and can support every existing type of space craft currently in existence…The runway was dedicated in a celebration that included Branson, Richardson, about 30 of 380 Virgin Galactic future astronauts who got to see Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo jet carry the SpaceShip Two in a landing and flyover…Our spaceship is flying beautifully and will soon be making powered flights, propelled by our new hybrid rocket motor, which is also making excellent progress in its own test program…Branson said that he plans to be taking passengers into space in nine to 18 months…”

48. NASA Awards Contract To Team FREDNET Google Lunar X PRIZE Contender http://www.space-travel.com/reports/NASA_Awards_Contract_To_Team_FREDNET_Google_Lunar_X_PRIZE_Contender_999.html Team FREDNET has been awarded a NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) contract at the maximum government purchase value of $10.01 million. As a recipient of this ILDD contract, Team FREDNET will offer technical data relating to its robotic Google Lunar X PRIZE landing mission…The X PRIZE Foundation started with the brilliant vision of "Revolution through Competition." Team FREDNET took the next logical step to employ "Revolution through Open Collaboration" and utilizes volunteer efforts around the world to increase its ability to achieve profitable, privately funded, beyond-government sponsored space commercialization…Our 700+ global volunteer Team FREDNET members are (beyond) thrilled to be selected by NASA for the Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data award…This is a significant milestone that proves the viability of our distinguishing collaborative thought leadership in our goal to become the first open-source organization to place an intelligent rover on the surface of the Moon…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

49. GPU’s and Particle Accelerators http://www.wtkr.com/news/dp-nws-cp-fastest-computer-20101022,0,3766615.story “…The video game industry is helping Jefferson Lab researchers solve some of science's most baffling mysteries…researchers at the Department of Energy nuclear physics lab booted up what they say is Hampton Roads' most powerful computer system. They didn't use secret government equipment, but rather graphics processing units…Researchers at…Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility…turbocharged 266 central processing units, the part of a computer that functions like a brain, with 480 graphics processing units. As a result, the system absorbs information 1 million times faster than a standard computer…The system also relied on $5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal economic stimulus plan…Approximately $3.3 million went towards the equipment, including the graphics processing units and servers. Researchers spent the rest developing the system, such as creating a code that married the various components together, and staffing the system through 2013.”

50. Nvidia looks to the future of GPU computing http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/application-development/2010/10/26/nvidia-looks-to-the-future-of-gpu-computing-40090520/ “…We've had parallel GPU computing for several years, but why is it really taking off now? A: It showed up at a time when performance was having a very difficult time scaling because of power and architectural challenges for processors that were designed for instruction-level parallelisation. It wasn't until recently that parallel computing — inspired a lot by Cuda — made people realise that there are whole areas in computing science that we can tackle…When you can do something 10 or 100 times faster, something magical happens and you can do something completely different…Will Cuda persist alongside open-standard OpenCL and other approaches, or will everyone switch to a common parallel computing standard?...We put a lot of energy into developing OpenCL. We're the first to market with every release of OpenCL and are known to have the best implementation…But the challenge with GPU computing is that it's changing so fast. We're improving performance by a factor of four every other year…the reason why Cuda is more adopted than OpenCL is simply because it's more advanced. We've invested in Cuda for much longer. The quality of the compiler is much better. The robustness of the programming environment is better. The tools around it are better. There are more people programming it…It turns out that parallel computing as we've implemented it is successful because we didn't try to take over the CPU. We didn't wake up and say we've invented something that's going to disrupt the CPU…”


*****

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