2010/11/02

NEW NET Issues List for 02 Nov 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 02 November 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. Facebook Credits Come to Best Buy, Walmart http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_credits_come_to_best_buy_walmart.php Facebook has continued to ramp up its virtual currency offering, Facebook Credits. Earlier this month, the company made it easier for…its users outside the U.S. to purchase credits. Today, Facebook Credits will be available in the form of gift cards at both Walmart and Best Buy stores…The new offering is just in time for the holiday season, so now you won't have to choose between Mafia Wars or Farmville for your Facebook game addicted friends. It's been just under two months since Facebook began offering its Credits as gift cards in Target stores but…landing on WalMart and Best Buy shelves should vastly expand the availability of its fledgling currency…cards will be available in denominations of $10, $25 and $50 at Best Buy and $5, $10 and $25 at Walmart with a $50 card available at Walmart.com. Facebook Credits can be used on more than 150 games and applications…”

2. Box.net bumps free, paid storage capacities http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20020916-248.html “…Box.net this morning is putting out big changes to its offerings…with the personal plan (which is free), users now get 5GB of storage--up from 1GB. Business users get a much larger boost, going up to 500GB from 15GB…the company's enterprise plan will continue to exist without limits on how much space users take…Box.net now runs out of two separate data centers, as well as being tied into Amazon's S3 as part of the company's back-up systems…Box is now pushing up against a petabyte (or 1,024 terabytes) of stored user files…the company is working on…a "new crop" of open-source, distributed file systems that the company hopes will improve how much the current system can scale…We're moving toward a future where storage isn't an issue…”

3. Windows Live Essentials 2011: Why It's Worth Exploring http://it.tmcnet.com/topics/it/articles/108175-windows-live-essentials-2011-why-its-worth-exploring.htm “…Though some of the Live Essentials programs are geared more toward home consumers, several of them are handy tools for the business world…I sometimes use Photo Gallery to do quick and dirty image editing when I don’t need the power of Adobe Photoshop…Among the Live Essentials tools that I use, I depend on Live Mesh the most as I typically juggle three different PCs—a desktop and two notebooks—and need to make sure my core documents and files are stored and in sync on all three….Windows Live Mesh 2011 combines the peer-to-peer file syncing of Microsoft’s Live Sync tool with the online syncing of the previous Live Mesh utility. You can sync files among multiple PCs as well as with your SkyDrive storage space. Microsoft allocates 5GB of space for synced files in addition to the 25GB of space you already get for SkyDrive…you have to install the software on each PC that you wish to sync and then choose which folders to sync. Microsoft also forces you to bounce between your local Live Mesh window and your online Windows Live Devices page to perform different functions…in the new Live Mesh is that it can use your local WiFi (News - Alert) connection to sync files across different PCs rather than doing it over the Internet. For this reason, I’ve found file syncing typically faster than it was in Live Sync…Like the other Live Essentials tools and Microsoft’s upcoming Internet Explorer 9, Live Mesh 2011 won’t run under XP.” http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/10/13/microsoft-will-close-live-mesh-and-windows-live-sync-next-year/ beta Live Mesh sync platform…will stop functioning altogether on March 31, 2011…already installed instances…will stop synchronizing folders in early 2011. Windows Live Mesh 2011 builds upon these two services' combined legacy and will live on as part of the Windows Live Essentials package…Live Mesh beta is a sync-with-the-cloud service, that comes with a "desktop in the cloud…and allows remote access to any of your PCs. Windows Live Sync is a piece of software that syncs folders directly across computers. Windows Live Mesh 2011…also adds…syncing Internet Explorer Favorites and Microsoft Office settings across computers…Windows Live Mesh 2011 works on Macs

4. Microsoft's Azure cloud plan favors Java http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/29/azure_java_roadmap/ “…Microsoft built C# and the Common Language Runtime (CLR) to kill Java…So why is Microsoft at PDC ten years later talking about making Java a first-class citizen on Windows Azure?...The enterprise…Azure has seen a surprisingly huge amount of adoption by its enterprise customers. They now want their server-side Java Enterprise Edition apps to work better on Azure…Changes are planned to Azure's networking, management, media, caching, and security that fill gaps in the next year. Microsoft will deliver new capabilities and add features that help simplify the tasks that developers are struggling to achieve on their own…Microsoft is also making it easier to move existing onsite apps to Azure…Only in June did somebody finally step up to put Java in the cloud: Salesforce and VMware's Spring said they would build VMforce, for hosting Spring- and Tomcat-based Java applications…Amazon this week upped the competitive pressure by cutting the price for the smallest computer and storage instance on its cloud from $0.02 to free…Microsoft introduced its smallest instance - the Extra Small Windows Azure Instance that's a quarter of the bandwidth, processing and cache of its previous smallest option. Extra Small is priced $0.05 per compute hour…”

5. IE9 Outperforms Other Browsers for HTML5 Compliance http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/ie9_outperforms_other_browsers_for_html5_complianc.php “…in a side-by-side comparison of Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome 7, Firefox 4 beta 6, Opera 10.6, and Safari 5.0, the tests found that the most compliant browser currently available is IE9…The numbers show that IE9 doesn't score perfectly in these areas. But all told, it gives a better showing than Chrome, trouncing the latter in the "xhtml5" spec. Being at the forefront of comformance with the not-yet-official HTML5 standards challenges the IE9's reputation as the bane of web development…”

6. Use Hotmail features without changing your email address http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2010/11/01/use-hotmail-features-without-changing-your-email-address.aspx “…you’ve seen lots of new features added to Hotmail that make Hotmail more efficient, like Sweep or the ability to send up to 10GB of photos in one message…Today we begin rolling out a feature that makes it easy to use Hotmail with any existing email address. Just as you can use Microsoft Outlook with an address from any service, you can now do the same with Hotmail on the web. Implementing this was fairly straightforward given the architecture of Hotmail, our POP aggregation support, and the "Send As" feature that lets you send mail from any validated email address…you just need to register and validate your email address. Over 30 million people have already registered an email address from another service when signing up for a Windows Live ID…”

7. Yahoo! Gets Even ‘Beta’ with New Email Experience http://ycorpblog.com/2010/10/26/yahoomailbeta/ “…Yahoo! Mail Beta — a faster, safer, more personally meaningful communication experience – seamlessly across PC, mobile and tablet devices…It’s at least twice as fast as previous Yahoo! Mail versions…We’ve added Twitter integration alongside Facebook…You can tweet…or send a text message out to friends while pulling together an email…you can also easily check out photos and videos from Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube via a new feature that automatically shows slideshows right in your emails when your friends send you links from these sites…you’ve got unlimited storage…with with Yahoo Mail…we’re…No. 1 in spam protection, blocking over 130 billion spam messages each month…”

8. Easily set your Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail as Windows' default email client http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/11/01/set-gmail-hotmail-or-yahoo-mail-as-windows-default-email-program/ Mailto:// links are still pretty common on the Web, and they can be somewhat bothersome if you use a Web-based email app like Gmail or Hotmail. Wouldn't it be great if you could tell Windows to open your webmail's compose page instead of trying to load a desktop program like Outlook Express or Windows Mail? There are...several ways to get Windows to do this, but not many are as simple as GmailDefaultMaker. It's a free program that allows you to choose whether you want mailto:// links to open with Gmail, Hotmail, AOL Mail, or Yahoo! Mail during the installation process. Once the install has completed, you'll never notice GmailDefaultMaker at work…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

9. FBI Snag Russian Students Guilty of Stealing $70 Million http://blog.brickhousesecurity.com/2010/10/08/fbi-russian-hacker/ “…Recently, the FBI detained 20 Russian students on suspicion of working with an international group of hackers guilty of stealing over $70 million from personal bank accounts…Many of the students were detained when they attempted to leave the United States…The scam started with a Zeus Trojan virus, which was disguised as an invitation to LinkedIn. Once a user clicked on the invitation, the virus would steal the users’ bank account numbers and allow the hackers full access into the users’ funds. The criminals would then transfer the funds into bank accounts created in fake names…the ring succeeded in stealing $70 million USD and attempted to steal another $150 million from personal accounts and medium sized companies, including churches and towns…”

10. TSA body imaging and pat-downs meet Resistance http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/for-the-first-time-the-tsa-meets-resistance/65390/ “…I showed up at Baltimore-Washington International for a flight to Providence, R.I. I had a choice of two TSA screening checkpoints. I picked mine based on the number of people waiting in line, not because I am impatient, but because the coiled, closely packed lines at TSA screening sites are the most dangerous places in airports, completely unprotected from a terrorist attack…Agents were funneling every passenger at this particular checkpoint through a newly installed back-scatter body imaging device, which allows the agency's security officers to, in essence, see under your clothing. The machine captures an image of your naked self…I don't object to stringent security…but I do object to meaningless security theater (Bruce Schneier's phrase)…the TSA is allowing passengers to opt-out of the back-scatter and choose instead a pat-down…I told the officer who directed me to the back-scatter that I preferred a pat-down. I did this in order to see how effective the manual search would be. When I made this request, a number of TSA officers, to my surprise, began laughing…One of them -- the one who would eventually conduct my pat-down -- said that the rules were changing shortly, and that I would soon understand why the back-scatter was preferable to the manual search…starting tomorrow, we're going to start searching your crotchal area" -- this is the word he used, "crotchal" -- and you're not going to like it…We have to search up your thighs and between your legs until we meet resistance," he explained…I asked him if he was looking forward to conducting the full-on pat-downs. "Nobody's going to do it," he said, "once they find out that we're going to do…We're trying to get everyone into the machine…” http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/68159 “…TSA screeners have a new enhanced pat down which has been likened to "foreplay." What's that? You don't want to be fondled for TSA's new aggressive and controversial body searches? TSA is counting on that, counting on you to instead choose for airport screeners to see a picture of the intimate contours of your naked body via the scanners. The aggressively enhanced TSA pat down involves over-the-clothes searches of passengers' breast and genital areas…The TSA tried similar aggressive pat down searches in 2004, but backed down when the ACLU began investigating…some say they will not send their children through x-ray body scanners and will press charges if a screener "molests" their child. The Savvy Traveler wrote that the new TSA pat down "would be sexual assault anywhere else."…CNN's Rosemary Fitzpatrick was reduced to tears when subjected to a pat down. She said, "I felt helpless, I felt violated, and I felt humiliated." People on certain medications or who carry certain toiletries might trigger "groping." People who have a pacemaker, or who had hip or knee replacement, as well as those who are wheelchair bound and cannot go through the body scanners will be put through an "abusive pat-down complete with hands to the crotch…”

11. How To Screw With Firesheep Snoops? Try FireShepherd http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/10/28/how-to-screw-with-firesheep-snoops-try-fireshepherd/ “…Firesheep, a simple Firefox add-on…lets users steal cookies and snoop on the Facebook and Twitter activities…on an unsecured wireless network. Plenty of tools offer workarounds and protections for Firesheep’s data-sniffing trick, such as virtual private network tools and the EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere plug-in…for anyone who wants to do their fellow network users a favor and really screw with anyone using Firesheep, one Icelandic hacker has come up with a more aggressive solution: FireShepherd. Gunnar Atli Sigurdsson…designed the program to run on a user’s desktop and periodically jam the local wireless network with a string of junk characters that Sigurdsson says will instantly crash Firesheep…he says. “It pretty much just floods the wireless network with packets that crush Firesheep and turns it off.”…Since Fireshepherd uses a vulnerability in Firesheep, someone may soon create a patch for the open-source program that nullifies Sigurdsson’s jamming technique…if that happens, he says he’ll search out another vulnerability and update the tool…” http://technologysufficientlyadvanced.blogspot.com/2010/10/herding-firesheep-in-new-york-city.html There's been a lot of talk about Firesheep over the last few days…I thought I'd spread the word and help some laymen out after work since there's a large Starbucks near my apartment. I dropped in, bought some unhealthy food, opened my laptop and turned on Firesheep…Around half an hour later, I'd collected somewhere between 20 and 40 identities. Since Facebook was by far the most prevalent…I decided to send the users messages from their own accounts to warn them of their accounts' exposure…a friendly, generic message that stated the location of the Starbucks, what the vulnerability was, and how to avoid it…I cleared the sidebar…and waited…Over the next 15 minutes…I did see…a sharp decline in the number of identities I was collecting when I restarted Firesheep…these people got the message. Hopefully they'll tell their friends, hide their kids, hide their wives…I cleared again, waited for ten minutes, and after resuming Firesheep's collection…the other four remained persistent…I drafted a very short message…and sent it to the four, once again from their own accounts: Really wasn't kidding about the insecurity thing. I won't send another message after this -- it's up to you to take your security seriously. You're at the [XYZ Street] Starbucks on an insecure connection…Twenty minutes passed, and all four were still actively using Facebook…I considered that they may not have received the second message, but after viewing their accounts it was clear that they had. This is the most shocking thing about Internet security…that after someone has been alerted to the danger (from their own account!) that they would casually ignore the warning, and continue about their day…” http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/28/white-hat-or-black-hat-firefox-hacking-tool-firesheep-raises-ethical-concerns/ “…Firesheep was written by Eric Butler and adds easy to use hacking functions to the Firefox web browser…Butler makes it clear that he sees himself as a white hat…I reject the notion that something like Firesheep turns otherwise innocent people evil…he seems to be like Dr. Gatling-hoping that his creation will do good rather than further evil…While the person who invents or distributes such tools or weapons does not make people evil or make them do misdeeds…if someone would have been unable to track down and start stalking an ex without using Firesheep, the ex would have not been stalked but for Firesheep. As such, making misdeeds easier does seem to bring with it a degree of moral accountability…Other folks, myself included, are helping make Firesheep famous. Following the above logic, this would also make me and the others folks contributors…” http://www.boingboing.net/2010/10/27/sheep.html “…Firesheep…is the latest effort to lay bare a well-known problem in how major (and minor) Web sites identify users after login. Even if you log in using a secure SSL/TLS connection, a reliable method of end-to-end encryption, many sites still hand you back to plain old HTTP. In the process, sites brand you with a token…The token doesn't let a third party sniff your user name or password, but it does let a browser lay claim to your identity for a set period of time…Of the large firms with this flaw, I'd argue that Google took this most seriously. In the intervening three years, Google has been layering SSL/TLS on ever more of its services. Gmail even added an option to kill other sessions…Firesheep comes with 26 prefabricated sidejacking tools for sites like Facebook, Amazon, and bit.ly…sites in the millions have this sheepish problem…But it's far less likely a random coffeeshop ne'er-do-well would sidejack such a session…The remaining question is, of course, what can you do…* Firefox users should install HTTPS Everywhere…* Engage in no unsecured Web logins when working on an untrusted network…If I can't use SSL/TLS through a session, I don't do it unless I use a VPN…* Secure all the services you use. Most email hosts offers SSL/TLS protected POP, IMAP, and SMTP sessions…use SFTP (an SSH-based variant) or FTPS (FTP with SSL/TLS encryption). Check the box for SSL/TLS anywhere it's available…* Use a VPN. A virtual private network connection creates an encrypted tunnel for all your data…I've used WiTopia for years, which is a fee-based service offering PPTP and SSL VPN connections. AnchorFree offers Hotspot Shield at no cost…* Instead of a VPN, set up an SSL/TLS Web proxy through which all your browsing is rerouted. That also protects the local link, and can be easier if you have a server elsewhere that you can set this up…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. Amazon Launches Brand New iPad Shopping App Called Windowshop http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/26/amazon-launches-brand-new-ipad-shopping-app-called-windowshop/ “…a new free iPad app, called Amazon Windowshop…is a complete “rewrite” of Amazon.com specifically for the iPad. Optimized for touch screen tablets, Amazon Windowshop makes it easy to swipe through the store to browse products on the iPad…Amazon presents products via a grid-like interface, but will include pop-outs of specific products with high-resolution images, user reviews, descriptions and videos related to that product…”

13. To Save Students Money, Colleges May Force a Switch to E-Textbooks http://chronicle.com/article/The-End-of-the-Textbook-as-We/125044/ “…some companies and college leaders are…saying that e-textbooks should be required reading and that colleges should be the ones charging for them. It is the best way to control skyrocketing costs and may actually save the textbook industry from digital piracy, they claim…think about the current textbook model. Every professor expects students to have ready access to required texts, but technically, purchasing them is optional. So over the years students have improvised a range of ways to dodge buying a new copy—picking up a used textbook, borrowing a copy from the library, sharing with a roommate, renting one, downloading an illegal version, or simply going without…Here's the new plan: Colleges require students to pay a course-materials fee, which would be used to buy e-books for all of them…they're far cheaper to produce than printed texts…By ordering books by the hundreds or thousands, colleges can negotiate a much better rate than students were able to get on their own, even for used books…Of course those who wanted to read the textbook on paper could print out the electronic version or pay an additional fee to buy an old-fashioned copy—a book. Some for-profit colleges, including the University of Phoenix, already do something like this…”

14. SCVNGR Using Google's Places API http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/scvngr_goes_global_first_app_to_use_google_places_api.php SCVNGR is a location-based service with apps for the iPhone and Android that wants to add a "game layer on top of the world."…the company is…going international and expanding to about 80 new countries. Until today, SCVNGR was only available in the U.S…switching to the Google Places API allowed SCVNGR to quickly scale globally, as it can now rely on Google's extensive location database to power its service. SCVNGR users will now also be able to create challenges and treks - the central gaming elements on the service - at all of these locations…”

15. Mobile phone software identifies facial features http://www.theengineer.co.uk/video/mobile-phone-software-identifies-facial-features/1005728.article Facial-recognition software has been created for mobile phones that could soon help identify individuals and how they are feeling…It tracks 22 facial features in real time and is thought to be unrivalled for speed and accuracy…Our tracker uses a combination of voice and facial-recognition software making it far more effective…software uses the camera on a mobile to track individual points on a person’s face, focusing on the eyes, noise, mouth and jaw line. The image is stretched to provide a neutral expression, which is then compared to a database of existing photos. A user’s voice is also recorded to help identification…Tresadern believes facial-recognition technology will soon replace passwords and PIN numbers to log into internet sites from a mobile. But he also claims it can be used for novel ways of interacting with a mobile phone, such as for augmented reality applications or to record a user’s emotions…”

16. Smartphones Now 28% of U.S. Cellphone Market http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/mobile-snapshot-smartphones-now-28-of-u-s-cellphone-market/ “…Nielsen Company…reported that as of the third quarter of 2010, 28 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers now have smartphones…Among those who acquired a new cellphone in the past six months, 41 percent opted for a smartphone over a standard feature phone, up from 35 percent last quarter…According to Nielsen…Symbian is the most popular smartphone operating system in Europe. In the U.S., the Apple iPhone OS has practically caught up to the RIM Blackberry OS, with 28 percent and 30 percent marketshare respectively…Google’s Android OS is now at 19 percent and growing. Among those who chose a device in the last six months, however, Android took the lead in Q3, while RIM Blackberry and Apple iPhone are practically tied for second place…”

17. The Rise of the Gigabyte Phone http://gigaom.com/2010/11/02/the-gigabyte-phone/ “…we will soon be consuming nearly one gigabyte of data every month on our smartphones, thanks in large part to rapid improvements in technology and networks. This is a similar growth pattern we saw on wired broadband networks; the faster the speeds, the more data we consumed…an average smartphone (globally) consumes a mere 85 megabytes of data every month…so far in 2010, an average iPhone user consumes 196 megabytes of data each month, while an average Android phone consumes about 148 MB per month. Informa predicts that over next five years, there is going to be a staggering 700 percent increase in data consumption every month…We’re likely to cross the Gigabyte-per-month data consumption relatively soon, especially in the U.S…Because of several factors…The introduction of next generation wireless broadband technologies at scale by end of 2010…availability of new smartphones powered by dual core processors…rise of more and more web services and apps written specifically for mobiles…introduction of the iPhone on Verizon, a superior network, will likely encourage more usage of wireless web…by the end of this year, nearly half Sprint’s customers will have smartphones, many of them powered by Android…By 2014, more than half of the capacity in the North American last mile backhaul will be dedicated to LTE. The move to wireless is…comparable to the introduction of the early incarnation of DSL technologies back in the late 1990s…It spurred sales of faster desktops; remember we needed processors and memory to keep up with the data tsunami that was coming down the broadband pipe…For carriers, this is a heaven-sent opportunity…they can now use the somewhat valid excuse of “limited” spectrum and the huge cost of build-out as a way to introduce metered pricing. Guess what? One by one, they’ve all started to shank the much-loved flat rate monthly plan in the back…”

Open Source

18. The Exodus Begins – 33 Developers Leave OpenOffice.org http://digitizor.com/2010/11/01/and-so-the-exodus-begins-33-developers-leave-openoffice-org/After Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, OpenOffice.org fell into the hands of Oracle…a few very prominent members of the OpenOffice.org community decided to form The Document Foundation and fork OpenOffice.org as LibreOffice…They invited Oracle to join The Document Foundation and to donate the brand “OpenOffice.org”. LibreOffice was chosen as a temporary name…Oracle was not pleased and asks those who founded The Document Foundation to leave OpenOffice.org…they left OpenOffice.org along with 33 other developers…LibreOffice has already got backing from Google, Novell, Red Hat, Canonical etc. Mark Shuttleworth had even said that it may replace OpenOffice.org in future Ubuntu releases…the future looks bright for LibreOffice and The Document Foundation and it looks gloomy for OpenOffice.org.”

19. Film making with open source hardware and software http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/next-star-wars-could-be-shot-using-open-sourc “…if Lucas were going to film Star Wars today he might just be using both open source software and hardware to do so! Chris Church and his partners in Dynamic Perception are making motion capture and time lapse technology available to everyone via open source. Their Open MoCo project not only makes software to run cameras and equipment available under an open source license, but they also publish the specs for the hardware under an open source license as well…Chris gives credit to the Arduino open source platform for much of the micro-controller functionality that the Dynamic Perception equipment uses. Open MoCo has published the specs for the dollys and hardware both electronic and structural that will let anyone make state-of-the-art video. If you don't want to make it yourself, you can buy it from Dynamic Perception…When he wanted to start using motion capture technology in his film, he was blown away with how expensive the hardware and software was. It was out of the reach of most hobbyists and even some professionals…Chris and his partner set about seeing how they could make motion capture available to everyone…”

20. Drupal Founder on Why Open Source is Good for Business http://mashable.com/2010/11/01/dries-buytaert-interview/ “…Dries Buytaert is feeling pretty good about the open source business model. The company that he co-founded in 2007 sells software and products that leverage Drupal, the open source project he started in 2000…I’ve been working on Drupal for 10 years. There’s no quick-rich formula. It definitely takes a lot of time to build a community…For us, a big part of building the community was offline events. We started doing meetups for example, and we also started organizing Drupal conferences…I started working on Drupal really for two reasons. One, around the time 10 years ago, I wanted to learn more about PHP and MySQL…And secondly…I needed a message board. And so I figured I’ll write it with MySQL and PHP so I can learn more about it…then I started adding to it, restructuring it, changing it to a modular framework. I added a lot of experimental features…for me Drupal in the early days was an experimental platform to dabble around in different kinds of technologies…I built a website with that that was called Drop.org, which was kind of the public-facing site of those experiments…that attracted an audience of people interested in the future of the web who were excited about the latest and greatest things…what sets Drupal apart from the others is that it’s truly a platform. If you look at WordPress, it’s really good at blogging. If you look at Joomla, it’s really good at building smaller, corporate websites…It doesn’t mean they can’t be used in other ways… but I think that Drupal is unique in that it scales from really small to really large on one dimension. There are a lot of people who use Drupal on sort of the $10-per-month hosted accounts…But also it scales up to some of the largest websites in the world — like the White House website…open source CMS systems…used to win on price, because open source is cheaper, but I think recently we started to win on features as well… And the reason is that the open source development model allows us to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation online. It’s really hard for a commercial organization that has 30 developers or even 50 developers to keep up with the developments on the web. There are new services launching every day…commercial interests are a really good thing. But they have to be managed properly…the reason Drupal is successful is the community…the reason we have such a large community is because so many people make money with Drupal. They use Drupal to build websites for their customers…it’s a tool that allows people to make money, and because they’re making money with Drupal, they’re invested in the project and they contribute to the project because their business depends on it…”

SkyNet

21. Google Maps On Android Becoming An LBS Juggernaut http://searchengineland.com/google-maps-for-android-54308 “…I’m an Android EVO owner and still have iPhone envy except in the Maps department. The combination and integration of Google Maps, Places Pages, Street View and Navigation (with the phone and contacts) has created a kind of LBS juggernaut on the Android device that will increasingly prove challenging to compete with — even for Yelp…no such combination of services exists on the iPhone…I use the Google services on my EVO almost exclusively now to find local information and directions…Google added more reviews with their branded icons, added filters (e.g., distance, rating, neighborhood) and enabled real-time updating from Latitude, which is a layer on Maps…Google is slowly but surely tying together its PC and mobile Maps experiences and content around location…Two areas where Google Maps/Places are now “vulnerable” to competition are deals/coupons and social…deals/coupons are very clearly on the radar for Google, but it doesn’t have a product yet…”

22. Google Rolls Out Place Search http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/27/google-place-search/ “…Google…reworking and rebranding their Locale Business Center as Google Places…starting today, they’re going to add Place results to Google Search in a major way. Place Search will now reside on Google.com when you’re doing a search that Google believes is attempting to discover a location. And it will also have a home in the left toolbar (you know, where “Images”, “Videos”, “Shopping”, etc reside) as “Places”, which a user can click on to just get location results…”

23. Real-Time Location Tracking Comes To Google Latitude On Android http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/28/latitude-real-time/ Google has just released a series of updates for their Google Maps Android application. Two of these updates are useful: Place page reviews and the ability to filter search results….one of them is really interesting: real-time location updating in Google Latitude…this feature is an experimental one…if you enable it, your friends on the service will be able to see where you are in real-time…Previously, location updates through Latitude would occur regularly, but not in real-time…this new real-time feature is meant for short-term usage if you’re going to meet up with a friend, for example. It make sense to make this a more temporary option for both battery life, and because of the creepy factor…This is all a part of Google Maps 4.6 for Android (1.6 and later)…”

24. Google Donates $5 Million for Innovation in News http://mashable.com/2010/10/26/google-donates-5-million-for-innovation-in-news/ Google has announced a donation of $5 million for innovation in digital journalism — $2 million will go to the Knight Foundation and $3 million will go toward international news efforts…the $2 million for the Knight Foundation — an organization that focuses on advancing and funding journalism in the digital age — will be broken up by $1 million to help fund the Knight News Challenge and another $1 million for general grant-making for journalism innovation…Knight News Challenge is a worldwide news innovation competition that will be distributing $6 million in awards to contest winners…one of the requirements is that they have to be open source, which aligns nicely with Google’s goals in the space. Last year, the Foundation awarded $2.74 million in grants that ranged from real-time ads, to crowd-funding, to reporting using social media. It’s also supported the likes of DocumentCloud, Spot.Us and Everyblock.…”

General Technology

25. Dream recording device 'possible' researcher claims http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11635625 “…researchers said they have developed a system capable of recording higher-level brain activity. "We would like to read people's dreams," says the lead scientist Dr Moran Cerf. For centuries, people have been fascinated by dreams and what they might mean; in ancient Egypt for example, they were thought to be messages from the gods…The eventual aim of Dr Cerf's project is to develop a system that would enable psychologists to corroborate people's recollections of their dream with an electronic visualisation of their brain activity…for example, that when a volunteer was thinking of Marilyn Monroe, a particular neuron lit up. By showing volunteers a series of images, Dr Cerf and his colleagues were able to identify neurons for a wide range of objects and concepts - which they used to build up a database for each patient…He admits that there is a very long way to go before this simple observation can be translated into a device to record dreams - a "dream catcher". But he thinks it is a possibility - and he said he would like to try…The researchers will only be able to identify images or concepts that correlate with those stored on their database. But this data base could in theory be built up - by for example monitoring neuronal activity while the volunteer is watching a film…It would be wonderful to read people's minds where they cannot communicate, such as people in comas," said Dr Cerf…”

26. Russia developing alternative OS to Windows http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/russia-developing-alternative-os-to-windows-20101027/ The Russian government has decided it is going to develop its own operating system as an alternative to using Microsoft Windows. Rather than opting for an existing Linux distribution instead, Russia will invest $4.9 million creating its own OS based on Linux for use across all government departments…The key aims are to remove the dependence on Windows and allow for better security, while at the same time not becoming just another Linux distribution…Russia intends this move to save them a lot of money in the future, but also possibly the ability to better monitor what is going on across their entire infrastructure.…”

27. Hybrid material enables power-producing fabrics http://www.theengineer.co.uk/news/hybrid-material-enables-power-producing-fabrics/1005796.article Researchers at Bolton University have developed a flexible photovoltaic-piezoelectric fibre that can be woven to create energy-harnessing fabrics…research scientists from the university’s Institute for Materials Research and Innovation (IMRI) developed the material with funding from the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC)…The most immediate applications will be in the area of low-power microelectronic-driven devices such as mobiles, laptops, MP3s, iPads; anything that requires rechargeable batteries or small batteries to run…We have conducted a number of experiments, measuring lower-level electricity generated by hybrid photovoltaic and piezoelectric cell but can bring in one watt of energy per 20cm x 20cm square of the material…Bolton University will be working with GK opto-electronics and Nanchang Hangkong University in China to further develop the energy-harnessing fibre…”

28. Super-threads: new e-fibres for woven smart textiles http://www.materialsviews.com/details/news/864283/Super-threads_new_e-fibres_for_woven_smart_textiles.html “…You…listen to music from the mp3 player embedded in your jeans, before making a video call to a friend using the flexible LED screen in your shirt-sleeve…Your t-shirt measures your heart rate and breathing rhythm, and offers information about your recent progress…your suit informs you that you’re running a dangerously high temperature and your skin is clammy, and recommends you consult your doctor ASAP…these scenarios could very soon be an everyday reality. They highlight just some of the many possible applications for smart textiles or e-textiles, fabrics that are constructed with electronic functionality…There are two main ways of integrating electronics with fabrics. The first is to attach premade electronic components and circuits to a textile substrate, e.g. by sticking an LED display to the front of a t-shirt. The second method is to construct electronic functionality at the fibre level, and weave these e-fibres together with conventional fibres…the second method…is likely to represent the future of e-textiles…Cherenack and her colleagues have made more robust e-fibres and this has enabled them to use a commercial weaving machine to produce an e-fabric for the first time. They cut 0.5-2 mm wide fibres out of Kapton E, a flexible, chemically resistant and low thermal expansion plastic, and built circuit components (e.g. an LED, or a sensor, or a transistor, plus connecting wires) on each fibre…As a test the team produced a tablecloth out of e-fabric, with humidity and temperature-sensing fibres, as well as LED fibres for output…As rapid progress continues in the field of e-textiles, wearable computing won’t remain in the realm of science fiction…”

DHMN Technology

29. ‘Wireless’ Humans Could Form Backbone of New Mobile Networks http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101028074037.htm Members of the public could form the backbone of powerful new mobile internet networks by carrying wearable sensors…The researchers at ECIT are investigating how small sensors carried by members of the public, in items such as next generation smartphones, could communicate with each other to create potentially vast body-to-body networks (BBNs)…The availability of body-to-body networks could bring great social benefits, including significant healthcare improvements through the use of bodyworn sensors for the widespread, routine monitoring and treatment of illness away from medical centres…If the idea takes off, BBNs could also lead to a reduction in the number of base stations needed to service mobile phone users, particularly in areas of high population density…Even though the market for wearable wireless sensors is still in its infancy, it is expected to grow to more than 400 million devices annually by 2014…”

30. Innovation, Education, and Makers http://mindshift.kqed.org/2010/10/innovation-education-and-makers/ “…On the Monday following Maker Faire New York, the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored a workshop titled “Innovation, Education and the Maker Movement.”…Thomas Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy…vibrant communities are organizing around projects, technologies, and physical places…Hacker Spaces and Maker Spaces are springing up around the country…Jigsaw Renaissance in Seattle…seeks to encourage: Ideas. Unfiltered, unencumbered, and unapologetically enthusiastic ideas. Ideas that lead to grease-smeared hands, lavender sorbet, things that go bang…Walk through our door with an open mind, and you are liable to be whisked off your feet and into a project you’d never have thought up…If you stick around long enough, you’ll end up being the one creating projects and doing the 3-2-1 countdown for some new toy…we are moving towards what MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld has called personal fabrication…with the dramatic reduction in the cost of the tools needed to design, make and test just about anything — including $1,200 3D printers, CAD tools, machine tools, sensors, and actuators…we are seeing the early beginnings of a powerful Maker innovation ecosystem…Tech Shops are providing access to 21st century machine tools, in the same way that Kinkos gave millions of small and home-based business access to copying, printing, and shipping…Andrew Archer — the 22-year-old founder of Detroit-based Robotics Redefined. As a teenager, Andrew started off entering robotics competitions and making printed circuit boards on the kitchen table. He is now building customized robots that transport inventory on the factory floors of auto companies…we wouldn’t teach kids how to play football by lecturing to them about football for years and years before allowing them to play…if education is about the “lighting of a flame not the filling of a pail” — we should be putting the tools of discovery, invention and fabrication at the finger tips of every child…Zach Lemnios, our Director of Defense Research and Engineering, has made STEM education a priority. Our DARPA Director, Regina Dugan, has called for a “renaissance of wonder.” Recently, DARPA announced that it is launching a new initiative called MENTOR — Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach. DARPA’s goal is to deploy 3D printers in a thousand high schools, and to enable student teams to develop and build vehicles such as mobile robots and go-karts. NSF has been supporting some great work by academic researchers, like Hod Lipson’s Fab@Home project and Neil Gershenfeld’s global network of Fab Labs…I asked Margaret and Dale to convene this workshop because it was my strong sense that there is not nearly enough interaction between Makers on the one hand and STEM educators, researchers, funders, and policy-makers on the other…”

31. The Urbee Hybrid: the First 3-D Printed Car http://www.fastcompany.com/1698943/the-urbee-hybrid-the-first-car-to-have-its-body-3-d-printed “…How about a hybrid car that has literally been printed out? Stratasys and Kor Ecologic recently teamed to develop Urbee, the first car ever to have its entire body 3-D printed with additive manufacturing processes (by printing layers of material on top of each other until a finished product appears)…Boeing…prints some airplane parts using the process…Bespoke Innovations is using 3-D printing to manufacture prosthetic limb casings. But Urbee is entirely 3-D printed--all exterior components were produced with Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems by Stratsys…Urbee, which competed in the 2010 X-Prize Competition, gets up to 200 mpg on the highway and 100 mpg in city conditions using either gasoline or ethanol…”

32. Open hardware and Arduino http://www.linuxaria.com/article/open-hardware-arduino?lang=en “…Open source hardware is part of the open source culture movement and applies a like concept to a variety of components. The term usually means that information about the hardware is easily discerned. Hardware design (i.e.schematics, bill of materials and PCB layout data) in addition to the software that drives the hardware are all released with the FOSS approach . Since the rise of reconfigurable programmable logic devices, sharing of logic designs has been a form of open source hardware. Instead of sharing the schematics, HDL code (as in hardware description language) is shared. HDL descriptions are commonly used to set up system-on-a-chip systems either in field-programmable gate arrays or directly in application-specific integrated circuit designs. HDL modules, when distributed, are called semiconductor intellectual property cores, or IP cores…Examples of open hardware…RepRap…Bug Labs…Arduino…Fritzing…”

33. EditMe: Easy Wiki Creation and Collaboration http://gigaom.com/collaboration/editme-easy-wiki-creation-and-collaboration/ “…creating a shared knowledge base of information that can be accessed and updated by everyone can be incredibly valuable…I was recently tasked with choosing a platform for the storage of product and company data, to bring together the information currently housed in Google Docs, emails and elsewhere…A shared wiki is the logical place to store this type of information…a good wiki will become the clearinghouse for any and all information that needs to be documented. While there are many wiki packages, after a diligent search we chose editme…Even as a tech-savvy company, my experience has shown that most users don’t easily adapt to using specialized wiki syntax…if people don’t understand it or the process is difficult then they won’t take the time to use it. I found editme had an easy-to-use visual editor but with the option of using some more powerful syntax as well…Overall, I am happy with the way that I can assign and manage these permissions…I’m not fond of the way that that it sends password reminders and logins via plain text in an email. I would much prefer a reset link or other reset or reminder options…we have no problem supporting other products and services that we find useful and that contribute to our own success. I know that there are also open-source alternatives that we can install and maintain but as a business critical service we decided that going with a hosted and maintained offering was our best option. With unlimited users at even the cheapest plan and pricing ranging from $5 – $79 month, it was well within our budget…”

34. LumiNet: the Jacket Computer http://www.tomsguide.com/us/luminet-jacket-wearable-computer,news-8524.html “…this jacket is a computer. Jan Borchers and René Bohne developed the LumiNet system as an answer to…the Lilypad Arduino. Unlike the Lilypad, Luminet modules are networked in a decentralized fashion. So if one chip goes bust, the rest can take up the slack. Instructions are received by a single node, and then spread to the rest of the network. Borchers and Bohne…call this "programming by infection."…”

Leisure & Entertainment

35. Roku: My First Day Review & Impressions http://searchengineland.com/roku-review-impressions-54195 Until recently, I’d never heard of Roku, a little box that makes it easy to download TV shows and movies through the internet, for viewing on your TV…as part of my Life With Google TV series, I’m looking at other internet-to-TV devices. Roku is pretty cool, and a no brainer for anyone who often uses Netflix or Amazon rentals…Google TV an ambitious attempt to let you search for video content anywhere. Roku is much more about letting you “tune in” to select internet distribution channels…The basic Roku HD cost $60 and outputs 720p HD video. For $80, you can get the Roku XD, which gives you 1080p HD video, plus a “rewind” feature and extended range wireless capability. For $100, there’s the Roku XD|S, which adds dual-band wireless, component video and audio plus a USB port that eventually will allow for playing photos, music and videos off an external USB device…Connections are straight-forward. There’s an HDMI out plug, which runs to your TV…this means you’ll need a spare HDMI input on your TV. There’s no “pass-through” capability…Roku’s start-up screen says setup “should take less than 3 minutes.” In reality, it took about 15, but it was still pretty painless…The default channels are…Netflix…Amazon Video…Hulu Plus…this is all Roku does — makes it possible to “tune in” to these three and important internet video channels easily. Everything else in the Channel Store is likely a waste of time, for most people….I rented a movie through Amazon that I wanted to watch on TV. Unfortunately, it wasn’t downloading correctly to my main laptop. I dug out an older laptop, but then it was a hassle of getting that one wired to the TV. Once I’d plugged everything in, it wouldn’t support the TV’s full resolution. Roku eliminates all that hassle. Your Amazon purchases flow right from Roku and into your TV…What’s Hulu Plus? A $10 per month subscription service that lets you watch the full current season of many shows (rather than the unpredictable number that Hulu seems to provide), as well as past seasons of many other shows…when you have cable or satellite, there’s…A channel guide. A way to see everything that’s available…Roku has nothing like this…Roku lets you tune into these new stations, as they were, but it lacks a unified guide to what’s on them…The cheapest Google TV device, the $300 Logitech Revue, is 5 times more expensive than the cheapest Roku device at $60…You won’t find YouTube, which really ought to be one of Roku’s default channels…the remote doesn’t have a volume control…I have to…turn the volume up or down depending on various…environmental factors. I don’t want to juggle two remotes to do this…There’s also no power on/off button…I had to search the help pages to confirm that I wasn’t insane…If you want to turn off your Roku, you have to unplug it…Should you get it? If you use either Netflix or Amazon a lot now via your computer, and you also own a TV, absolutely…I’m surprised that either of those companies don’t sell the devices themselves or give them away as incentives…It might not make as much sense if you already have another device that supports one or more of these channels…(Wii, Xbox, PlayStation, TVs, Blue-ray players, to name a few). It makes even less sense if you’re a big Apple fan…Roku doesn’t tune into iTunes. Apple does. Apple also does Netflix…Maybe you want to wait for the Boxee Box…perhaps it will bridge the gap between Roku’s simplicity and Google TV’s search-for-shows promise…As for Google TV versus Roku…they’re very different in many ways. Google TV offers a more ambitious future of TV viewing but at a higher price. If you’re tempted by that ambition, it probably makes little sense to also buy a Roku. Google TV can tune into all the same channels…”

36. OhLife’s Daily E-Mails Motivate a New Wave of Online Diarists http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2010/10/26/ohlifes-daily-e-mails-motivate-a-new-wave-of-online-diarists/ “…It’s the…death knell for the venerable old paper diary: a Web-based journaling system called OhLife that makes keeping a daily record of your life as easy as sending an e-mail message. Sign up for a free account with OhLife, and every day at 8:00 p.m., the startup’s servers will send you an e-mail message with the friendly subject line “How did your day go?” All you have to do is reply to the message, and your note will go straight into your online journal…You can attach a photo if you want, and you can review and edit your entries any time at the website. You can set the service to include a random entry from the past in the daily prompt, just to give you something to reflect on…that’s it. There’s no social sharing, no “Like This” or “Tweet This” buttons, no tags or maps or targeted ads. Entries are private, for your eyes only. OhLife is brilliant in its simplicity, and the cleanliness of the basic idea spills over into the website’s spare, stylish design…users have left more than 100,000 entries—and have told creators Reman Child and Shawn Gupta that OhLife prompting them to journal regularly for the first time in their lives…”

37. Why I Won’t be Getting a Kinect at Launch http://www.slashgear.com/why-i-wont-be-getting-a-kinect-at-launch-30111294/ “…I’m a pretty serious gamer…That love of games has helped me become completely console agnostic. No matter the hardware a game is playing on, I will play it. Unlike so many other gamers…When it comes to consoles, I love them all with reckless abandon. But when Microsoft releases its Kinect motion-gaming peripheral…I won’t be in line to pick one up…I’ve been burned too many times by motion gaming…I recently bought the PlayStation Move. The technology…works better than the Wii, but like Nintendo’s motion gaming, it falls flat for me…like the Wii, it requires far too much effort to do far too little. It makes it even more obvious that I’m not really doing what my character on the screen is, even though the goal is to make it seem that way…”

38. Microsoft acquires Canesta, developer of 3-D gesture controls http://mashable.com/2010/10/29/microsoft-acquires-canesta/ Microsoft has acquired Canesta, the manufacturer of semiconductor chips capable of sensing movement and gestures in 3-D. The technology could be applied to everything from Windows 8 motion controls to its Xbox Kinect motion-sensing device. Canesta, founded in 1999, specializes in the 3-D sensors that power “Natural User Interfaces.” A NUI doesn’t require inputs like a mouse or a keyboard for user to interact with a program or interface; it gets its commands from natural human gestures. While the fictional UI utilized in the 2002 film Minority Report is the best-known NUI in popular culture, Microsoft actually owns two popular ones: Microsoft Surface and Xbox Kinect…Honda…is hoping to use Canesta’s technology to help its cars detect and avoid obstacles…Microsoft utilizes 3-D sensing technology from competitor PrimeSense in its Xbox Kinect gaming system…Today’s deal may be more about Canesta’s intellectual property than it is about bringing more natural user interfaces to Microsoft’s products. Canesta is the owner of 44 different patents on 3-D sensing technology, processing algorithms and chip design. Having those patents handy will be useful in avoiding lawsuits…”

39. Nook Color features LCD display, shorter battery life at $249 http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/10/bns-nook-color-announced-starts-at-249.ars “…The Nook Color, which B&N is billing as a hybrid tablet and e-reader device, has a full-color 7" LCD screen and…built-in WiFi and runs on Android, but lacks 3G support…The new "VividView" display in the Nook Color has a 1024x600 resolution with 16 million colors, as well as a lamination film on its surface to help reduce glare from the backlight…the partial evolution into a tablet means a tabletization of the battery life: the Nook Color gets only eight hours of use with the WiFi off (for comparison, the regular Nook gets 10 days with WiFi off). The Nook Color starts at $249, with the first-generation Nook still at $149…”

Economy and Technology

40. Microsoft Runs Worst Internet Startup Ever. 1 Year, $2 Billion In Losses http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/28/microsoft-online-business/ “…Microsoft released their Q1 2011 earnings today. The results were very good except for one very big blemish: the Online Division. Last quarter, the division lost $560 million…In the past year, Microsoft has lost well over $2 billion from the division…any startup that did that would have long since gone under — with that kind of burn rate, they probably would have gotten the plug pulled a few weeks into existence no matter how well-funded they were…Of all the money Microsoft makes, the vast majority comes from two divisions: Windows & Windows Live Division (Windows) and Microsoft Business Division (Office)…money from the Server & Tools division…it’s less than half of those other two…The web is making Windows…less vital, while at the same time coming up with free and/or cheap tools to replace the relatively expensive Office…smartphones and tablets have created an ecosystem where Windows is essentially a non-player…And Office is basically non-existent in these spaces…Microsoft needs to have a heavy presence online in order to maintain their power going forward…But Microsoft needs more than just this presence, they need to make money here…not only are they failing…They’re failing in spectacular fashion…People talk a lot about Google’s failure to make money off of YouTube. But at least they’re not bleeding money to this extent…may actually be close to profitability…while it’s true that Apple hasn’t been hugely successful online, they really haven’t tried much…MobileMe, which isn’t hugely popular…they do make money on…can Microsoft turn this around? With Bing continuing to gain some popularity and Microsoft now in complete control of Yahoo’s search business, there’s some hope. But even with those, there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut way to start making real money without pouring a ton more in…19 quarters of losses in a row is bad enough; the fact that the profit trend is going the wrong way is even more troubling…”

41. China temporarily loosens exports of rare earth metals http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9193798/China_gives_on_tech_metals_but_not_supercomputing “…U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is on her way to the region, will talk with Chinese leaders about the shrinking exports of rare earth elements, used in many high-technology applications…China, which produces 97% of the world's supply of rare earth elements, has reduced exports steadily since 2000. In the first half of this year, its export allocation was 16,000 tons, which was on track for 32,000 tons for the year…then China cut its export allocation for the second half of this year to 9,000 tons…He believes China may halt exports by 2012. Technology companies that manufacturer finished goods in China and use rare earth elements for components such as magnets, or to build monitors, are unaffected by reductions…”

42. Apple, Google Interested in Mobile Payments Startup BOKU http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/01/apple-google-boku/ “…Apple and Google are engaged in conversations with mobile payments startup BOKUabout a potential acquisition or a wide-reaching partnership…CEO Mark Britto and co-founder Ron Hirson have held multiple meetings with executives at the helm of Apple’s iPhone business…BOKU has also engaged in high-level meetings with Google…BOKU already can be used for in-app purchases for Android apps…BOKU competes with startups such as Zong and Fortumo in the burgeoning mobile payments space. Armed with $38 million in funding from a slew of big-name investors…the company aims to allow tens of millions of people across the globe to pay for digital goods and social experiences across the Web using their mobile phones…last week, BOKU (and other startups) struck a deal with AT&T that lets subscribers buy music, movies and other digital goods by typing in their phone number instead of using a bank card or PayPal account…”

43. Instagram, The Photo App For The Cool Kids, Is Taking Off http://www.businessinsider.com/instagram-taking-off-2010-11 Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are…living the startup dream. Their simple iPhone photo shooting-and-sharing app is…already approaching 500,000 users…It is currently Apple's featured iPhone "app of the week" in iTunes, which has accelerated its growth. And the people who use it seem to love it…To keep the site up, they have to battle the crushing weight of their growth on Instagram's infrastructure…Instagram is three things…An iPhone app for taking pictures and applying visual filters to them, making the photos look retro-cool…A way to easily post your picture to a bunch of sites at the same time, such as Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and Tumblr. Most people have to do this manually…A social network of photos, where you can quickly and simply see what your friends are doing through colorful photos, and add comments…What makes Instagram special -- and why, we think, so many people are trying it out, and many seem to be staying -- is the way it merges these three functions into a very simple, attractive iPhone app…Tumblr, TwitPic, or Flickr could have done this eons ago. But Instagram works quickly and doesn't feel weighed down…Instagram grew out of Burbn, a mobile web app that Systrom worked on earlier this year…before that, Systrom was a summer intern at Odeo, the company that morphed into Twitter. After graduating from Stanford in 2006, he got a job at Google, first working on Gmail, and then in the corporate development/M&A department. It wasn't an exciting time for M&A when Systrom was there -- 2008, when the economy was nosediving -- but he spent enough time talking to startup entrepreneurs that he realized that's what he should be working on. After working at NextStop for about a year -- a social travel site that Facebook acquired -- he set off to start Burbn, which quickly raised $500,000 in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Baseline Ventures…”

44. Instapaper Founder Marco Arment's Journey http://www.fastcompany.com/1697767/innovation-agents-marco-arment-founder-instapaper Marco Arment started Instapaper, because he wanted to be able to read the Web pages he’d saved during the day on his train ride home…So the co-founder of the micro-blogging service Tumblr put his considerable coding skills and a finely tuned sense of design and usability to work. A couple of days later: voila. Arment developed the Web site version of Instapaper and had a business on his hands…It’s been profitable every month for the last couple of years. That’s why, though Instapaper started as a side project, Arment was able to ditch his full-time gig…Instapaper offers a free basic service and for $4.99 per month, Instapaper Pro offers additional features including storage of up to 250 articles…Programmers work in bursts of productivity. Then, they let the brain rest and get back into it. A lot about the office world is not a great fit for me…Micropayments are certainly an interesting idea, but not for me…I’m not really touching the money. That is staff and labor intensive…I think publishing will be very much what we see today, a long-tail enterprise. We are heading towards the major publishers having less influence and spending most of their attention on catering to something particular…I’ve done everything from stocking shelves at a natural food co-op, to baking bagels at Bruegger…I realized that jobs suck…I learned the value of giving people little delights [while working at the bagel shop]. Those small details and experiences are the reason why people like luxury cars. They are full of those little delights. You can do the same thing with any business…I try to find new and tiny ways to delight my customers. They may not notice, but it helps drive goodwill and makes your product remarkable.”

Civilian Aerospace

45. Want to Mine the Solar System? Start With the Moon http://www.space.com/news/moon-mining-space-exploration-101030.html The first extraterrestrial mining operation in human history will likely start up on the moon, thanks to its ample and relatively accessible stores of water ice, experts say…The moon won out over asteroids and Mars, chiefly because it's so close to Earth and has so much water, as well as other resources like methane and ammonia. "I think the moon is clearly the answer," said Greg Baiden…Baiden spoke during a session here yesterday (Oct. 29) at a conference called Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement…Frigid craters at both lunar poles have likely been trapping and accumulating water for billions of years — water that is relatively pure and easy to get at. "We now know the water there is free water. It's unbound," said Paul Spudis…"Mining water on the moon is going to be a lot easier than we thought." This water is so valuable not just for its potential to keep future moon dwellers hydrated. It can also be separated into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen, the chief components of rocket fuel. Propellant could be produced from moon water and sold at refueling stations in low-Earth orbit, allowing spaceships and satellites to top up their tanks in space…it makes economic sense to supply the filling stations from the moon because its gravity is one-sixth that of the Earth, and thus launching from there is much cheaper…Shackleton Energy Company, for example, hopes to be selling rocket fuel in orbit by 2020…”

46. Virgin Galactic: inside the world's first spaceport http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8098942/Virgin-Galactic-inside-the-worlds-first-spaceport.html “…The world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport is just four months from completion on this remote tract of central New Mexico ranch-land between the Rio Grande and San Andres mountains…Among the 380 travellers who have already paid a $20,000 deposit for the $200,000 trip are a clutch of celebrities, entrepreneurs and scientists, including the comedian Russell Brand, designer Philippe Starck, former Dallas star Victoria Principal, Prof Stephen Hawking, property developers the Candy brothers, science-fiction film director Bryan Singer (who appropriately is working on a film version of the Battlestar Galactica television series), and Prof James Lovelock, at 91, the oldest participant…We met in a nearby sleepy spa town with an outlandish name. Truth or Consequences…It is a 40-minute drive to the site where workmen are constructing the terminal hangar designed by Norman Foster…One floor below is mission control, the nerve centre for the operation. And from the ground floor, the astronauts, kitted out in Virgin space flight suits, will leave for their spots on the VSS Enterprise. They will all first have been put through a human centrifuge machine that replicates the 3.5 G force (multiples of gravity) that they will encounter as the craft surges upwards. All will undergo a three-day training course, psychological tests and background medical checks to make sure that they are physically and mentally up to the challenge…“This is going to be a crucial hub for the commercial expansion of space,” said Mr Whitehorn. “Space will be essential for our survival and we are on the verge of a revolution…After this month’s solo piloted flights of the VSS Enterprise, the next stage in the testing process will be to fit the craft with rocket motors and send it into space – tests that are expected to take place next year. Then will come the first full space flight of two pilots and six passengers – Branson and his family and Burt Rutan, the American aerospace engineer who designed the spaceship at Scaled Composites in the Mojave “We’re at the dawn of a new era for space travel,” said Mr Mackay. “This is where the aviation business was in the 1920s…”

47. Bigelow still thinks big http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1719/1 “…Bigelow Aerospace…bankrolled by founder Robert Bigelow, has developed and launched two subscale prototypes, Genesis 1 and 2, and has plans to launch larger modules in the near future to support applications ranging from commercial research to “rent-a-stations” for governments…We don’t intend to ask anybody for money until perhaps 2012… At the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) in Las Cruces, New Mexico, last month, Bigelow Aerospace had an exhibit that demonstrated how large their ambitions truly are. On display was a model of “Space Complex Alpha”, its baseline space station, which uses one BA 330 module (so named because each has 330 cubic meters of volume) and two smaller Sundancer modules, linked together with a docking node a propulsion bus. The company was also showing off a larger concept, Space Complex Bravo, which uses four BA330 modules with two docking nodes and two propulsion buses…the company showed off a concept called the BA2100…this module would have 2,100 cubic meters of habitable volume, over six times that of the BA330…We’re a small company: our staff totals between 110 and 115 people,” he said. SpaceX, by comparison, now has about 1,000 employees…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

48. China # 1 in supcomputing? Tianhe-1A outruns Jaguar http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/New-China-GPGPU-Super-Outruns-Jaguar-105987389.html “…Tianhe-1A, a new Chinese supercomputer…has recorded a Linpack score of 2.507 petaflops. That would beat out Oak Ridge National Lab's 1.759 petaflop Jaguar machine, the current TOP500 title holder, by a wide margin…the first time a non-US supercomputer held the number one spot in six years. From June 2002 to June 2004, Japan's Earth Simulator was the fastest supercomputer in the world…The concentrated performance available in high end discrete GPUs has opened up the petaflop club for a lot more players. But to get to the top of the heap, you need thousands of GPUs. Tianhe-1A…sports 7,168 of them, in this case, NVIDIA Tesla M2050 (Fermi) GPUs. Those represents the lion's share of FLOPS in the system, despite the presence of accompanying 14,336 CPUs. Tianhe-1A also comes with 262 TB of memory and 2 PB of Lustre-based storage…Its peak performance is 4.7 petaflops, yielding a Linpack efficiency of just over 50 percent…Because the GPUs are stuck on the relatively slow PCIe bus, the overhead of sending calculations to the graphics processors chews up quite a few cycles on both the CPUs and GPUs…the CPU-only Jaguar has a Linpack/peak efficiency of 75 percent…Tianhe-1A draws just 4 megawatts of power, while Jaguar uses nearly 7 megawatts and yields 30 percent less Linpack…Tianhe-1A…is targeted for typical high performance computing applications including oil exploration, equipment development, biomedical research, animation design, weather forecasting, financial risk analysis, remote sensing, materials research…Tianhe-1A…was developed by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and is being housed at National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin. Tianhe-1…was built using AMD GPUs…Since there is currently no CUDA port for AMD GPUs, software compatibility between the two systems is going to problematic, unless they go the OpenCL route…Even before Tianhe-1A, the country claimed three systems in the top 20: Nebulae at number 2, Tianhe-1 at number 7, and Mole 8.5 at number 19, all of which use GPUs. The US, Germany, and the UK currently have no GPU-equipped systems on the TOP500…”

49. NCSA director says GPU is future of supercomputing http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20021232-64.html “…Thom Dunning, who directs the NCSA and the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies at the famed supercomputing facilities on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says high-performance computing will begin to move toward graphics processing units or GPUs…this is exactly what China has done to achieve the world's fastest speeds with its "Tianhe-1A" supercomputer. That computer combines about 7,000 Nvidia GPUs with 14,000 Intel CPUs: the only hybrid CPU-GPU system in the world of that scale. "What we're really seeing in the efforts in China as well as the ones we have in the U.S. is that GPUs are what the future will look like…NCSA already has a small CPU-GPU hybrid system. "It's something we have been working on for a number of years. We have a CPU-GPU cluster for the NCSA academic community. Made up of Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs. A 50 teraflop machine…The catalyst to move programmers en masse toward GPUs will be when chips appear that combine both high-performance CPU and high-level GPU functions on the same piece of silicon, Dunning said. "If they start to solve some of these other problems like putting [the GPU and CPU] together on a chip, that's when you'll start to see a lot software rewritten…currently…a very small pipe between [the CPU and GPU]…really restricts the effectiveness with which you can use the GPU…The real issue in GPUs right now besides this very narrow pipe is the difficulty of programming them…”

50. Optimizing GPUs in the Enterprise http://www.itbusinessedge.com/cm/blogs/cole/optimizing-gpus-in-the-enterprise/?cs=44012 “…it is clear GPUs will start to take on more and more responsibility for handling raw data in the enterprise…there is a wide variety of options when configuring a system architecture that ensures optimal data handling between GPUs and CPUs, and between GPUs themselves. The ideal solution, unfortunately, is likely to vary across different data environments…A good place to start is a recent overview of Intel's Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge architectures by tech consultant Nebojsa Novakovic. Both lines feature integrated GPUs in four- to eight-core socket designs and external QPI v2 links capable of 8 gigatransfers per second…NextIO's vCORE Express expansion system…sports four Tesla M2070s…capable of delivering full cluster performance at about one-tenth the cost of a CPU configuration…GPUs are likely to find homes in a wide range of data settings, from small-job, low-GPU-count shops all the way to the largest supercomputer…Finding a way to accommodate their improved processing power and integrate them into CPU-dominated infrastructure will probably be one of the most crucial tasks of IT infrastructure management as the industry transitions to high-speed, high-data architectures…”

51. Is Underutilizing Processors Such an Awful Idea? http://www.hpcwire.com/news/Is-Underutilizing-Processors-Such-an-Awful-Idea-106155369.html “…a Sandia study found that certain classes of data-intensive applications actually run slower once you try to spread the computations beyond eight cores. The problem turned out to be insufficient memory bandwidth and the contention between processor for memory access. That is certainly not the case for all applications. But beyond that, it's not always useful to focus on memory bandwidth limitations when considering how to get the most out of your processors…Leaving a core idle is considered "wasteful"…No one considers it a "waste" if while running a job on every core of your machine, half your memory is empty, or half your network is unused, or you are only using half the available IOPS or bandwidth to your disk drive…the real metric you should be concerned about is how much work your cluster is getting done in a given time period…it might make sense to let cores go idle in order to ensure the remaining cores are left with enough memory bandwidth for fast execution…”


*****


0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home