NEW NET Issues List for 09 Nov 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Wednesday, 09 November 2010, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel, 3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA near Ballard Road and Highway 41. Cambria Suites has free wifi and has an assortment of food and beverages.

The ‘net

1. Bing Maps drops Silverlight requirement and 3D maps http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20021530-248.html “…a future update to its Bing Maps service…removes the need for its Silverlight browser plug-in to view an alternate mapping layer, and…plans to remove its 3D map viewer. The changes will arguably make the service more approachable to the masses…Users no longer need to have Silverlight installed to use Bing Maps' bird's-eye view…the isometric view…used in addition to top-down photography to give users a better sense of two-dimensional scale…That also means bird's-eye view will work on mobile devices that may not have been able to run the Silverlight runtime…the company…still believes Silverlight to be an important technology…Saying the same thing can now be done with Ajax, the technology Silverlight was utilized to replace just less than a year ago, does not say much for its future as part of the company's online services strategy…”

2. Patent database up and running http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/11/patent-database-up-and-running.html “…one year ago, I posted a piece…about an unlikely group working happily together to vastly increase the amount of U.S. Patent information available at no charge on the Internet…it has been a pleasure to watch the U.S. Patent Office, the White House, and Jon Orwant at Google plow through this rather daunting task. The system is now in full production including all the current feeds that were previously only available for big bucks by subscription. Also available for the first time is the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) data, which is the full "wrapper" for a patent application. PAIR data was only available previously on a rate-limited query-only service…The President's Open Government Directive makes it clear that these should be public goods, available without fee or favor…hats off to the whole team at USPTO, to Joey Hutcherson at Commerce and to the Deputy CTO in OSTP, Beth Noveck, and to Jon Orwant and his team at Google…Google now has 20 tbytes available for download…another 50 tbytes on the way…”

3. Livescribe and Evernote Partner Up for Multimedia Notetaking http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/10/livescribe-and-evernote-partner-up-for-multimedia-notetaking/ Livescribe’s Smartpens take manuscript and audio notes. Evernote backs up and syncs multimedia notes across devices and platforms in the cloud, even doing basic OCR on photos. Now the two companies have teamed up, making for an extraordinarily versatile notetaking solution…Exporting Livescribe notes to PDFs and uploading them to Evernote is an extremely popular workflow for smartpen users…With the new version of Livescribe Desktop…that workflow is streamlined to a single click. Users selecting “share to Evernote” from the can upload audio, images or both to their Evernote accounts, which are then indexed for search in Evernote…Livescribe and Evernote describe this initial feature as a “first step” in their partnership…” [see also Evernote alternatives http://www.diigo.com/ and http://www.memonic.com/ ]

4. Give Instapaper A Handy Keyboard Shortcut http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/11/give-instapaper-a-handy-keyboard-shortcut/ “…Instapaper is a great way to keep track of stuff you find online and want to read later. Reader Chris Jones made it even more convenient with a simple AutoHotkey script to add a useful keyboard shortcut…If you like Instapaper, but don’t want to have the bookmark bar in your browser cluttering the screen, here’s a little AutoHotKey script which uses the Windows-P key combination to send the current page to Instapaper. Here’s what to do: Install Instapaper by dragging the Instapaper bookmarklet onto the bookmarks bar. Go to the browser’s bookmark manager and copy the Javascript code from the Instapaper bookmarklet. Create an Autohotkey script and paste the Javascript where indicated…”

5. Web browser pioneer backs new way to surf Internet http://apnews.myway.com/article/20101107/D9JBHNDG0.html The Web has changed a lot since Marc Andreessen revolutionized the Internet with the introduction of his Netscape browser in the mid-1990s…he's betting people are ready to try a different Web-surfing technique…RockMelt…available for the first time Monday, is built on the premise that most online activity today revolves around socializing on Facebook, searching on Google, tweeting on Twitter and monitoring a handful of favorite websites…Facebook's imprint also is all over RockMelt, although the two companies' only business connection so far is Andreessen. He also serves on Facebook's board of directors. RockMelt only works if you have a Facebook account…RockMelt is borrowing some technology and ideas from other sources. Its foundation is built on Chromium…Explorer still holds a roughly 60 percent market share…Firefox, which drew upon Netscape, ranks a distant second at 23 percent followed by Chrome at about 9 percent…RockMelt is starting off with a modest goal: it hopes to attract 1 million users as it extends invitations to people interested in trying the browser. Requests can be made through http://www.rockmelt.com…”

6. PayPal Kicks Off Holiday Shopping, Exclusive Deals And Free Shipping Offers http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/paypal-kicks-off-holiday-shopping-season-with-exclusive-deals-and-free-shipping-offers/ “…PayPal will allow users to unlocking a number of exclusive deals and promotions at partner retailers if shoppers use PayPal for payments. Barnes & Noble.com will offer 15 percent off on all PayPal purchases, plus free shipping…Newegg and MacMall will also offer special disounts for PayPal Users…”

7. Popular messaging service shut down as fight between China's Internet firms escalates http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2010-11/04/c_13589831.htm “…Internet firm Tencent on Wednesday said it is shutting down its popular instant messaging service QQ on computers installed with anti-virus software run by the company's rival Qihoo 360, as a war between the two software giants escalated…"A new tag-on service run by 360 Safe has affected the normal functioning of QQ. With 360 Safe installed, we can not guarantee the safety of our service," Tencent said in a statement popping out on screens of millions of QQ and 360 Safe users…Qi Xiangdong, president of Qihoo 360, said…"Our 360 Safe services are eliminating about 60 million Trojan horses daily for Chinese Internet users. If they uninstall 360 Safe, the scale of these virus attacks will be beyond imagination," Qi said…the number of active QQ users in China has reached 1 billion, while Qihoo 360 also claims to have had at least 300 million users prior to June 2010. The war between Tencent and Qihoo 360 started in late September when Qihoo 360 alleged QQ was leaking users' private data and offered a new service on 360 Safe to prevent privacy leaks. Tencent has since accused Qihoo 360 of slander and business foul play…”

8. RIP Ask.com: Web Search is Over at Ask http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/rip_askcom_web_search_is_over_at_ask.php Ask.com, a well-known innovator but distant runner in the search race, has decided to give up algorithmic web search…Ask was acquired by IAC for $1.8 billion in 2005 but according to the most recent report totalled $227 million in annual revenue. Ask was always a search ground-breaker, but for some reason it never caught on. Ask instituted a site preview feature similar, if slower and less smart than what Google announced today, in 2006…The company did music previews before Google, and more. Unfortunately, the Ask search results never seemed as good as Google's…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

9. Rival calls foul over delivering Security Essentials via Windows Update http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9195079/Rival_calls_foul_over_Microsoft_s_delivering_Security_Essentials_via_Windows_Update Microsoft this week began offering U.S. customers its free antivirus program via Windows' built-in update service, a move one major security firm said may be anticompetitive…Microsoft started adding Security Essentials to the optional download list seen by U.S. users…Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition," said Carol Carpenter, the general manager of the consumer and small business group at Trend Micro…Microsoft made a point to say that it was not offering Security Essentials via Window Update, but only through the Microsoft Update service, which also offers patches for new versions of non-operating system software, notably Office and Windows Media Player…”

10. Finger-ID technology comes to Erie High; critics worry about data security http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_16461936 “…In an effort to reduce ID-number theft and speed up the cafeteria line, Erie High School is launching a high-tech biometrics system for identifying students through a scan of their index finger…Principal Steve Payne said several parents have called him to say they weren't comfortable with the practice, and one was particularly upset that the school scanned and stored students' biometric information last week without informing parents first. "That was an oversight on my part," Payne acknowledged…students will place their index finger on a reader that will use seven unique data points on the finger to figure out who they are…the student's name, photo and account information will pop up on a screen and their account will be debited…Parents have the choice to opt out if they don't want their children to participate…The finger-scan system is designed to reduce ID-number theft and speed up the cafeteria line…Maurie Mickey, an 18-year-old senior…often found herself stuck in a line so long that she has only 10 minutes to eat. "I wish this came a lot earlier," she said…Erie High School is the 16th school out of 50 in the St. Vrain Valley School District to implement the finger-scan technology. Black Rock Elementary School in Erie was one of the first in the district to use the technology, starting two years ago…parents in the Boulder Valley School District raised a ruckus a couple of years ago when the district experimented with biometric technology…families made it very clear that they weren't comfortable with it, and we dropped it…”

11. Researcher to release Web-based Android attack http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9195058/Researcher_to_release_Web_based_Android_attack A computer security researcher says he plans to release code Thursday that could be used to attack some versions of Google's Android phones…in older, Android 2.1-and-earlier versions…has written code that allows him to run a simple command line shell in Android when the victim visits a website that contains his attack code. The bug…lies in the WebKit browser engine…The issue does not affect Android 2.2 or later…Version 2.2 runs on 36.2 percent of Android phones…Because Android walls off different components of the operating system from each other, Keith's browser exploit does not give him full, root access to a hacked phone…Keith's attack probably couldn't be used to read or send SMS messages or make calls, but it could snatch photographs from the phone or snoop on someone's browsing history. "You have full control of the SD [Secure Digital memory] card, so anything on the SD card is fair game…there are many such unpatched bugs in mobile-phone components, but only lately have smartphones started to attract the kind of serious scrutiny that's already been focused on Windows operating systems and programs…”

12. Attackers Now Using Honeypots to Trap Researchers http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/attackers-now-using-honeypots-trap-researchers-110410 “…it's not unusual for the bad guys to adopt techniques used by their adversaries. The latest example of this is a malware gang that has deployed what amounts to a honeypot designed to monitor the activity of researchers or other attackers…While researching a piece of malware related to the Zeus botnet, a group of researchers at The Last Line of Defense gained access to a remote server used to help control the attack…the interesting part is what the researchers found when the accessed the back end server: a fake administrative console…the attack crew apparently…set up a phony login interface, complete with weak username and password and a simple SQL-injection vulnerability. The console clearly is meant to attract researchers, and perhaps other attackers…and allow the crew behind EFTPS to observe their movements and methods…The admin console also has a feature that allows remote users to upload new "bots," a tactic evidently designed to entice other attackers to try and compromise the server so the EFTPS crew can get a read on what they're up to…security researchers have been using honeypot systems for years now and they have become a key tool for gathering information on new exploits, attack techniques and botnet research…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. WellDoc brings mobile health tech to cell phones for chronic disease management http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-bz-welldoc-mobile-health-20101105,0,6481257.story “…WellDoc is on the cutting edge of the fast-growing mobile health field…The company's flagship product is web-based chronic disease management software that works with mobile phones, so that those with certain diseases, such as diabetes, can better manage their care. The health care industry is experiencing a confluence of technology trends. More and more consumers are using the Internet and mobile phones to track and personalize their health care…To use WellDoc, diabetes patients take blood readings with a wireless-enabled glucometer, which beams the data to the person's cell phone. The patient then shares the data with WellDoc's computer system, which tracks and analyzes the information, and then gives diabetes-management advice to the patient — all via cell phone…Some examples of health care solutions that AT&T is offering, in addition to WellDoc, include medicine bottles whose caps glow and beep to remind patients to take pills; home-based devices that monitor patients' heart levels; and audio and video feeds that can replace doctor's office visits…Two pilot studies…have shown that using WellDoc's mobile phone-based program to manage diabetes brought dramatic improvements and stability to patients…WellDoc received Food and Drug Administration approval to market its software for treatment for Type II diabetes. The company hopes to expand its offerings beyond diabetes management to cover other chronic diseases, such as treatments for cancer, congestive heart failure and respiratory diseases…”

14. Microsoft and Nokia: A tale of two elephants http://www.infoworld.com/d/mobilize/microsoft-and-nokia-tale-two-elephants-576 When Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 in the United States yesterday, very few people lined up at the AT&T and T-Mobile stores to get the HTC and Samsung debut models…When Nokia announced yesterday that it was reabsorbing the Symbian operating system it had spun out as an open source effort 18 months ago, I thought, "Why bother? I thought MeeGo was your mobile OS future anyhow…Two giants in mobile computing have become the elephants in the room…Elephant No. 1: Microsoft crashes first…It killed Windows Mobile a year ago, after letting the once-important operating system wander aimlessly for years…then backtracked and reinstated Windows Mobile for embedded devices…Microsoft made a lot of noise last winter with Windows Phone 7…then it crippled the OS by leaving out tons of basic capabilities…device encryption, HTML5, multitasking, copy and paste, devicewide search, and Flash support. It became evident quickly that Microsoft was producing a "dumb blonde" phone…Does anyone really believe Microsoft is in the mobile game any more?...I wonder how long it will take for all those Microsoft employees being given Windows Phone 7 devices to secretly go back to their iPhones and Droids…Elephant No. 2: Nokia is gunning for the cliff…It hasn't advanced the Symbian OS very much since the iPhone changed the mobile game…it open-sourced the Symbian OS…Nokia then proclaimed Maemo as its next-gen OS, only to stop that effort after about a year and team up in early 2010 with Intel to produce MeeGo…Nokia is also confusing matters with its takeback of Symbian. Why continue to invest in Symbian if MeeGo is the future? Perhaps Nokia is as untrusting of its new platform as Microsoft has proved to be with Windows Phone 7….The truth may be more practical: MeeGo is for smartphones and other next-gen mobile devices, and Symbian is for plain old cell phones that make up the vast majority of Nokia's sales…the good news is that whatever happens with Microsoft and Nokia, there are compelling devices running Apple's iOS, Google's Android, and even RIM's BlackBerry.”

15. Evernote 2.0 for Android: Notes Leave the Cloud http://gigaom.com/mobile/evernote-2-0-for-android-notes-leave-the-cloud/ “…Evernote…rolled out version 2.0 of the Android mobile client, a major update that lets premium users keep notebooks on the phone for access without network connectivity…Evernote is the cross-platform freemium note-taking system that has millions of users…Evernote 2.0 for Android extends the mobile capability, and adds the ability to fully reference the user’s stored notes along with extended note creation functions…Notes can take several forms — text notes entered via the onscreen keyboard, images snapped with the phone camera and audio notes recorded…The major feature added in this new version is the ability for paid account holders to tag Evernote notebooks for downloading to the Android phone. This provides full access to notes, along with all images and audio recordings, even when there is no network connection….All notes created on the phone are also stored locally for both free and paid account holders, making all mobile notes available without access to the network…”

16. 5 Reasons Mobile Payments Will Become the Norm http://www.ismashphone.com/2010/11/the-big-thing-in-tech-mobile-payments.html Apple…may be soon moving on to their next big idea. It all began with word of the company hiring experts in NFC (Near Field Communication) technology…the big rumor circulating the internet is that the iPhone 5…will use mobile payment technology…some of the reasons that this may actually work: 1. Convenience. You carry your phone anyway, why not just make it your new wallet?...2. It can become more secure than using a wallet…3. Smartphone Sales on are the Rise…4. Apple is behind it…5. Newer generations will accept new forms of payment much more readily…”

17. Square Now Processing Millions Of Dollars In Mobile Transactions Every Week http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/square-now-processing-millions-of-dollars-in-mobile-transactions-every-week/ “…Square has finally opened its doors to the public. The brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey,Square was unveiled last December as a small credit card reader that could turn any iPhone into a mobile cash register. The startup has since unveiled apps for the iPad, Android and iPhone…Square is now processing millions of dollars in mobile transactions every week…small businesses, independent workers and merchants comprise most of Square’s rapidly growing user base. The technology only requires its tiny credit card scanner that fits into your audio jack and Square’s app. The device and the software are free, but Square takes a small percentage of each transaction (2.75% plus 15 cents for swiped transactions)…There are no initiation fees, monthly minimums…Square is the “PayPal for the real world.”…when I spoke to merchants and Square users, ease of use and simplicity were ubiquitous descriptions of the device. Nicole Westmoreland, the co-president of the Crocker Highlands Elementary PTA in Oakland, started using Square on an iPhone in mid-September to raise money through sales of swag and tickets for the organization. In a little over a month, the PTA had taken in $4500, and Westmoreland maintains that she would have only been able to raise $1000 without Square. “It was an easy way to force people to pay on the spot,” says Westmoreland…Dr. John Horning, a practitioner who makes house calls in the Bay Area…is completely mobile…payments tend to be large so credit cards are often the go to way for patients to pay. He previously used a wired credit card scanner but found it cumbersome and difficult to use. Square, on the other hand, fits into his medical bag (he uses it with his Android phone), and is an easy system for his staff to learn as well…”

18. Sharp to Launch Glasses-Free 3D Android Based Mobile Phones http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/11/sharp-to-launch-glasses-free-3d-android.html “…3D technology is coming to your smartphones…Sharp is all set to launch two glasses free 3D enabled handsets in Japan and what makes the deal even sweeter is the fact that, both these handsets will be powered by Linux based Android operating system…According to Gartner, Android will become the second most popular mobile operating system by 2010 year end…Both handsets sport 1GHz Snapdragon CPUs, Android 2.2, and a 3.8-inch 3D-capable display with 800 x 480 pixel resolution. The main difference between the two is the full QWERTY keyboard on the 005SH, but 003SH makes up for it with a slightly better camera, a 9.6 megapixel model capable of recording 720p video, while 005SH sports a 8-megapixel camera…”

Open Source

19. MyPaint Hits 0.9 and is Looking Good http://ostatic.com/blog/mypaint-hits-0-9-and-is-looking-good MyPaint is an easy to use paint program…and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. After 5 years of development, version 0.9.0 was released on November 2 with some nice new features…It's similar to GIMP in appearance in that it opens in several small windows instead of the all-in-one…It is as the name implies a paint tool and not much else…The project is fully formed as well with tutorials and a wiki available for the program as well as development documentation. They maintain a Brainstorm forum for ideas…”

20. Ubuntu To Ditch X For Wayland http://digitizor.com/2010/11/05/ubuntu-to-ditch-x-for-wayland/ “…Mark Shuttleworth announced…Unity is going to use Wayland display server instead of X. This will not be implemented in Ubuntu 11.04…The next major transition for Unity will be to deliver it on Wayland, the OpenGL-based display management system…much of the work we’re doing on uTouch and other input systems will be relevant for Wayland and it’s an area we can make a useful contribution to the project…Shuttleworth said that X is not setup to deliver the super-smooth graphics and effects which he has envisioned for Ubuntu…the core goals of X make it harder to achieve these user experiences on X than on native GL…It should not only help Ubuntu but also give a big boost to the Wayland project…X will however stay for the next release, Ubuntu 11.04, though and possible some more releases after that…moving the entire ecosystem to Wayland will take several years…”

21. 5 of the Best Free Linux Webcam Tools http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20101102142312162/Webcam.html “…Webcams…enable users to chat in realtime with friends and family, send video email around the world, to videoconference with co-workers and clients, and even to broadcast a TV-like channel over the net. Other people use a webcam as part of a security system, making use of motion detection to receive image and video intrusion alerts…To use a webcam in Linux requires dedicated webcam software…we have chosen our favorite tools which enable webcams to capture images and video, and to act as a video surveillance device…we have compiled a list of 5 useful webcam tools…Cheese…ZoneMinder…Motion…Ekiga…HasciiCam…”

22. DimDim's Acquisition Would Pitch Another FOSS Leader Into Proprietary Hands http://ostatic.com/blog/dimdims-acquisition-would-pitch-another-foss-leader-into-proprietary-hands “…there are strong signs that Salesforce.com is close to acquiring open source web conferencing company DImDim…do we want to see another celebrated open source-focused company swallowed up by a proprietary one?...DimDim has long been one of the most respected open source applications. If you've ever used fee-based services like WebEx, DimDim is completely competitive with it…Salesforce personnel are already in DimDim's development facility in Hyberabad doing due diligence…it is one of the oft-ignored ironies of open-source software that it is largely dependent upon proprietary software profits to sustain and magnify its existence…”


23. Gmail is slow; is your online life in Google’s hands? http://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/28745/gmail-don%E2%80%99t-be-a-yahoo/ “…Outlook grew into a bloated monster, it brought otherwise fairly speedy computers to a grinding halt and finding stuff in the archives of years of email became a gargantuan job. A new web-based email service came to rescue: Gmail was fast, well-organized…For this former Outlook-fan the switch was a no-brainer – in fact I ended up ditching almost all desktop software, moving online. (Gmail for mail and Zoho for most other tasks)…Too bad it’s breaking down – again…MG Siegler tried to get some explanation from Google, who responded that they were unaware of any performance issues…what’s really troubling is that it’s not at all a new problem. I described the exact same situation two years ago…Google actually fixed that error, and Gmail became usable … for a while…It is bad enough that I should seriously consider moving off Gmail…But here’s the problem: despite all this talk, I’m not moving…at least not yet. I’m in Google Prison, just like I used to be in Outlook Prison. The difference is that Google Prison is a happy place – I’m chained here by the growing ecosystem of Google services, including Apps, Google Voice, Android …etc. It’s hard to leave when your entire life is in Google. I’ve become assimilated. I need my data to stay in Google. And I need the Borg to improve.…” [if you use online services and data storage, do you have dual access options for all those services and data? Or does a Gmail slowdown or a Skype service interruption cause you major problems? – ed.]

24. Five features Google needs to deliver in Android 2.3 http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/11/five-features-google-needs-to-deliver-in-android-23.ars Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread, is expected to materialize this month. Little is known about Gingerbread's features, however…We have some ideas of our own about what Google should be doing. We think that Android's messaging applications need an overhaul, Google should make a stronger effort to deliver good first-party software, and the home screen could use some better widgets…1. Fix the Android e-mail client…2. Deliver good first-party applications…Tight integration of Google's Web services is arguably one of Android's major selling points, yet…It's mystifying that the search giant hasn't built its own native Android applications for Google Docs…3. Unify Android messaging…4. More flexible home screen with better widgets…5. Support for higher resolution and a real tablet UI…”

25. Nicaragua Raids Costa Rica, Blames Google Maps http://searchengineland.com/nicaragua-raids-costa-rica-blames-google-maps-54885 An error on Google Maps has caused an international conflict in Central America. A Nicaraguan military commander, relying on Google Maps, moved troops into an area near San Juan Lake along the border between his country and Costa Rica…taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag…La Nacion — the largest newspaper in Costa Rica — says the Nicaraguan commander, Eden Pastora, used Google Maps to “justify” the incursion even though the official maps used by both countries indicate the territory belongs to Costa Rica…Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla went on national TV…and asked citizens to “be calm and firm, amid the outrage that these events provoke within us.”…From reading additional news reports and speaking with journalists from the Tico Times, it sounds likely that the troops were already in the area before Google Maps was used to review the disputed border…” http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/11/regarding-boundary-between-costa-rica.html “…after a discussion with the data supplier for this particular border (the U.S. Department of State), we determined that there was indeed an error in the compilation of the source data, by up to 2.7 kilometers. The U.S. Department of State has provided a corrected version and we are now working to update our maps…I thought that I’d take this opportunity to provide some additional historical context. The dispute in this area goes back to at least the mid-19th century, and both the International Court of Justice and the United Nations have weighed in. The dispute mainly centers around control of the mouth of the San Juan River, and was recently reignited because of dredging activity in this location. In 1888, U.S. President Grover Cleveland was called upon by Nicaragua and Costa Rica to arbitrate the dispute. That year, the New York Times published President Cleveland’s decision. The 1888 Arbitration upheld the 1858 treaty and its terms…”

26. See the Page Behind the Search Result with Google Instant Preview http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/see_the_page_behind_the_search_result_with_google_1.php “…Google…has moved beyond instant search results to instant previews…type in your search phrase, not only will your results appear as you type, but if you mouse over the results, you'll see an "image-based snapshot" that the company is calling "a new kind of visual search result" - the Instant Preview…Instant Previews save you on clicks by offering a full-page preview of the page hidden behind the link, making it easier to see what you're getting into…the idea is simple, as are its uses. Looking for a map or a pie chart? Take a look at the Instant Preview and see if one's there. Want text, not images? Again, take a peek before clicking…”

27. Google’s Response To Facebook’s Response To Google’s Facebook API Ban http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/googles-response-to-facebooks-response-to-googles-facebook-api-ban/ “…Facebook released a clever way to continue to download Google user data, despite Google banning Facebook from using their APIs. It looks to me like they aren’t going to try to stop Facebook from using this more manual approach…We’re disappointed that Facebook didn’t invest their time in making it possible for their users to get their contacts out of Facebook. As passionate believers that people should be able to control the data they create, we will continue to allow our users to export their Google contacts…That’s a nice swipe there in the beginning, about how they wish Facebook had spent time giving people a way to liberate their own Facebook data rather than building tools to end run around Google…”

General Technology

28. Marvell quad-core ARM at targets x86 servers http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4210531/Marvell-debuts-quad-core-ARM-for-servers Marvell will try to thrust ARM into servers and networking gear with a 1.6 GHz quad-core Cortex A9 chip debuting at the ARM Technology Conference. The Armada XP aims at a broad range of systems from low power Web servers for business to network-attached storage and media servers for the digital home…Armada XP delivers up to 16,600 Dhrystone MIPS at 10W. It includes up to 2 Mbytes L2 cache and supports a 64-bit interface to DDR2/3 memory running at up to 8090 MHz. The chip is an SoC that integrates support for four PCI Express Gen 2.0 links…in May…Marvell promised a five-fold reduction in power consumption compared to typical x86 server processors…Marvell is initially targeting 32-bit applications. ARM rolled out extensions to support virtually some 64-bit capabilities as part of its next-generation A15 core announced in September…analysts said many server makers will wait for ARM chips with full native 64-bit support…”

29. 3D Holograms Coming To A Screen Near You http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/server_virtualization/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=228200194 “…Researchers at the University of Arizona…have developed the fastest 3D motion hologram. Unlike regular flat 3D, a holographic display presents an image that is viewable on all sides, projected in front of the viewer without the need for special glasses. Refresh rates have been…one image changing every few minutes…the rates have now been increased to a view change every two seconds…a new type of plastic on a screen…reacts chemically to a laser shooting holographic pixels. The image is then stored on the screen and fades away naturally after a couple of minutes or seconds, depending on the parameters used…A wide variety of applications could spawn from the technology, including entertainment, telemedicine, 3D maps that can be updated for the military and remote guidance during emergency situations…”

30. Without Driver or Map, Vans Go From Italy to China http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=02000233WGEK Across Eastern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Gobi Desert -- it certainly was a long way to go without getting lost. Four driverless electric vans successfully ended an 8,000-mile (13,000-kilometer) test drive from Italy to China -- a modern-day version of Marco Polo's journey around the world…The vehicles, equipped with four solar-powered laser scanners and seven video cameras that work together to detect and avoid obstacles, are part of an experiment aimed at improving road safety and advancing automotive technology…a study sponsored by the European Research Council…Though the vans were driverless and mapless, they did carry researchers as passengers just in case of emergencies. The experimenters did have to intervene a few times -- when the vehicles got snarled in a Moscow traffic jam and to handle toll stations. The project used no maps, often traveling through remote regions of Siberia and China…The vehicles ran at maximum speeds of 38 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour) and had to be recharged for eight hours after every two to three hours of driving…”

DHMN Technology

31. Imec leads development of stretchable electronic fabrics http://www.theengineer.co.uk/news/imec-leads-development-of-stretchable-electronic-fabrics/1005895.article “…The four-year project dubbed PASTA (integrating Platform for Advanced Smart Textile Applications) brings together a variety of European industrial and academic players…Johan De Baets, leading the research from Imec, said PASTA differs from other smart textile projects because it will focus more on making electronic packages conformable to the properties of textiles instead of just weaving rigid electrical components into fabrics…PASTA will demonstrate a conductive fibre with small micromachined silicon dyes integrated into the yarn. With the knowledge gained from STELLA, the fabric will include a stretchable interposer that will serve as a stress-relief interface between the rigid component and elastic fabric. The fabric will also feature stretchable electrical interconnections…There is even potential for it being produced through roll-to-roll manufacturing. PASTA will demonstrate the use of the technology in a variety of ways…LED integrated fabrics for safety signs, strain-gauge embedded textiles for safety monitoring, bright light shirts for visibility when cycling and humidity-detecting hospital bed sheets…”

32. GoPro launches cheaper version of wearable camera, HERO http://www.abcnews.in/technology-news/gopro-launches-cheaper-version-of-wearable-camera-hero-10182/ “…GoPro HD Helmet HERO…wearable camera…offers a full frame of 960p 4:3 resolution. It is able to capture video of 60 frames per second and also allows cinema-ready slow-motion. The device gives performance in rich color and the adjustment of light/dark is also fast…The sound output is also natural with high/low settings…HERO has a 5 megapixel camera…The lens of the cam is fixed focus and the video is saved in MP4 file format. It has a slot for SD memory cart that can be expanded up to 32GB…It has a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that can be charged with power adapter or through USB to computer. The battery life is good enough of 2.25hours. GoPro HD Helmet HERO comes at a price of $179, which is about $100 less than the previous version…”

33. Aided Eyes: Eye Activity Sensing for Daily Life http://lab.rekimoto.org/projects/aided-eyes-eye-activity-sensing-for-daily-life/ “…eye movement allows us to gaze at an object and shows our level of interest in the object. In this research, we propose a method that involves real-time measurement of eye movement for human memory enhancement; the method employs gaze-indexed images captured using a video camera that is attached to the user’s glasses…Although the existing eye tracker systems track eye movement with high accuracy, they are not suitable for daily use because the mobility of these systems is incompatible with a high sampling rate. Our prototype has small phototransistors, infrared LEDs, and a video camera, which make it possible to attach the entire system to the glasses…We develop an information extraction system with real-time object recognition in the user’s visual attention area by using the prototype of an eye tracker and a head-mounted camera…The combination of a low-resolution camera and a high-resolution, wide-angle camera is studied for high daily usability. The possibility of gaze-guided computer vision is discussed in this paper…”

Leisure & Entertainment

34. Xbox Kinect: It's A Lot Of Fun, But It's "Half-Baked" http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/11/04/businessinsider-xbox-kinect-review-2010-11.DTL “…reviewers say it's fun to play the Kinect, but they caution this is still a first version of the product. It's still a little rough around the edges…David Pogue at the NYT: "There’s a crazy, magical, omigosh rush the first time you try the Kinect. It’s an experience you’ve never had before," but…body tracking isn’t as quick or precise as the Wii’s remote-tracking."…Engadget…it's tempting to give concept and potential nearly as much weight as execution.' The Kinect as hardware is great, but there's plenty of room for software engineers and UI designers to improve…Mercury News: "Yet Kinect often feels like a half-baked beta product…loads of issues that Microsoft and its partners need to work through…it would be a shame to let Kinect's potential go to waste." Gizmodo…It's also hard to justify the $150 price tag right now…You also need a lot of space—way more than either the Wii or PlayStation Move requires, and this is a big problem…” http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/11/04/the-open-kinect-project-the-ok-prize-get-1000-bounty-for-kinect-for-xbox-360-open-source-drivers/ “…The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar connected to a small base with a motorized pivot, and is designed to be positioned lengthwise below the video display. The device features an “RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone running proprietary software”, which provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities…Imagine being able to use this off the shelf camera for Xbox for Mac, Linux, Win, embedded systems, robotics, etc. We know Microsoft isn’t developing this device for FIRST Robotics, but we could…First person / group to get RGB out with distance values being used wins…you’ll get the $2,000 bounty…Can’t wait for my own army of quadcopters with 3d sensing…”

35. Big Cable Is Bleeding: 500K+ Subscribers Lost http://gigaom.com/video/big-cable-is-bleeding-500k-subscribers-lost-last-quarter/ “…subscribers are cutting the cord and opting out of paying for cable: By adding up subscriber losses from four of the top five cable companies, we found that more than half a million users have ditched their cable companies…216,000 of those households did not sign up with other providers, deciding instead not to pay for multichannel video services at all…cable subscribers continue to raise their bills at an incredible rate. Comcast reported on its earnings call that average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 10 percent year-over-year, ending the third quarter at about $130 per month…expecting users to pay $125 to $150 a month, and continuing to raise those rates 5 to 10 percent every year, isn’t a sustainable business model. At some point, those users will find alternative, cheaper ways of getting the content they want…For some tips on navigating life without cable, check out our new weekly video series, Cord Cutters, where we discuss the gadgets, tips and content available for those who have decided to do away with their expensive pay TV…”

36. New Battlefield Game Lets You Play For Free http://kotaku.com/5682272/theres-a-new-battlefield-game-and-its-free-to-play “…EA today revealed a new game in the Battlefield series, and…it's part of the publishers Play4Free line of PC games…Battlefield Play4Free pits the forces of the United States and Russia against each other in a 32-player online combat game for the PC that…won't cost you a pretty penny to download or start playing…there's no word yet on what happens once you start playing for free, like how much it'll cost you to get the decent weapons or equipment. Balancing the free players with the paying userbase is always the knife's-edge decision that makes or breaks these kinds of games…”

Economy and Technology

37. Can Crowd-Sourcing Spur Aerospace Ideas? http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awst/2010/11/01/AW_11_01_2010_p75-264503.xml&headline=Can%20Crowd-Sourcing%20Spur%20Aerospace%20Ideas?&channel=awst “…Open-source development is commonplace in the software industry, and crowd sourcing is gaining ground in the automotive and consumer sectors…The U.S. government…is promoting the use of challenges and prizes to stimulate innovation…the aerospace community…is coming to grips with how government and industry could take advantage of open innovation using tools such as crowd sourcing, social networking and prize challenges…TopCoder has built a community of more than 250,000 mathematicians, engineers and software developers worldwide, 5-10% of whom are regularly active, says Jack Hughes, founder and president. “We provide an on-demand, variable workforce…TopCoder takes a software problem, breaks it into pieces, puts them out to competition and pulls the solutions together into a bigger system…The company ran a $50,000 challenge to develop an algorithm to optimize NASA’s spaceflight medical kit. The result was a threefold improvement in accuracy and efficiency…Darpa, meanwhile, demonstrated the power of social networking for problem solving with a nationwide balloon hunt that was won in just 9 hr…The agency also created an online protein-folding game that drew thousands of players and uncovered genius in the form of a 12-year-old boy from Louisiana and a retired plumber…Darpa has launched the Fang program to crowd-source the design of an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and compare it with the U.S. Army’s conventionally sourced Ground Combat Vehicle in terms of capability, cost and timescale, with a prize of up to $1 million for the winning design…The enabling infrastructure will be vehicleforge.mil, modeled on the sourceforge.net website used for open-source software development. Users will check out component models, modify them and check them back in, and the vehicle design will be “recompiled” to assess the effect of changes…Mentor is designed to engage high school students and train a next-generation cadre of engineers through distributed design and manufacturing challenges worth a total of $10 million. “It’s an effort to get them excited about manufacturing, because they are not today…The plan is to deploy 3D printers at 1,000 schools across the U.S. and around the world and use social media, perhaps a Facebook application, as a design collaboration tool. “Each school will design and produce a piece of a product…Darpa also has tapped TopCoder to develop an online community for middle and high school students as part of its three-year, $14-million CS-STEM effort to halt the decline in computer-science education in the U.S…”

38. OnGreen, A Site Connecting Clean Tech Startups And Investors http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/ongreen-series-a-investmen/ OnGreen— a professional networking and collaboration website that connects clean tech entrepreneurs with potential investors…has raised a $1.4 million series A investment…The company aims to build the world’s largest database of green technologies and entrepreneurs globally, and to create funding opportunities for these through its platform…More than 250 deals have been posted from 30 countries…according to our September survey half of those who posted were contacted by potential investors…entrepreneurs can also use the site to get feedback on their business plans and to network in what is a somewhat fragmented industry…OnGreen will use the series A capital to launch a Chinese version of its site, build its presence in China and India during the next year, and to launch a patent exchange in coming weeks…OnGreen plans to generate revenue through advertising, lead generation, events, custom clean tech and green industry research…”

Civilian Aerospace

39. Spacecraft factory to break ground in Mojave http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/11/space-tourism.html A production facility that would build the world's first fleet of commercial spaceships is set to begin construction Tuesday at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The 68,000-square-foot facility…will be home to the Spaceship Co., or TSC -- a joint venture owned by…Scaled Composites and…Virgin Galactic…TSC hopes to complete the complex by September 2011. It expects to build three White Knight aircraft…and five smaller SpaceShipTwo rocket planes…TSC expects to employ up to 170 people when production is in full swing. It has begun posting job openings on its website for engineers and technicians…”

40. SpaceX COTS Demo Delayed to December 7 http://www.spacenews.com/venture_space/101108-spacex-cots-demo-delayed.html “…SpaceX has postponed a planned Nov. 20 launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo vessel to no earlier than Dec. 7…The flight, a demonstration of the medium-class rocket and space capsule being developed under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, was…modified to reflect a June 2009 initial demonstration flight. Routine resupply runs to the international space station were expected to follow as early as December of this year, but hardware development has taken longer than planned. Brost attributed the delay in part to a slip NASA's planned launch of Space Shuttle Discovery…SpaceX is still awaiting regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the mission. The company submitted its license application more than a year ago, but the FAA is still reviewing data on the Dragon capsule’s planned atmospheric re-entry…”

41. Space Travel is Bad Medicine for Your Bones http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/space-travel-bad-for-bones-101108.html “…Scientists have known for years that exposure to microgravity rapidly weakens bones, and the new research shows the effects can last for a year or more after astronauts return to Earth…researchers…found that some bones remained weak even a year after the astronauts landed, despite intensive exercise and rehabilitation regimes. Hip bone mineral density in particular suffered…while other areas, such as the wrist, bounced back faster…Previous studies have shown that astronauts' bone mineral density drops by up to 1.8 percent every month they spend in space — a rate comparable or to exceeding the decline senior citizens experience during a full year on Earth…During their six-month stints aboard the International Space Station, astronauts exercise about 2 1/2 hours per day, six days a week, officials have said. Space flyers ride a stationary bike, run on a treadmill and lift weights…after they return to Earth, NASA puts crewmembers through a customized exercise program that can last up to three months…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

42. Why China's New Supercomputer Is Only Technically the World's Fastest http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25981/ “…while the Linpack benchmark used to officially determine the speed of the world's fastest supercomputers measures their ability to do calculations in short bursts, in the real world of scientific computing, what often matters most is a machine's ability to sustain that performance…the Tianhe 1A…uses 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 CPUs; it would require more than 50,000 CPUs and twice as much floor space to deliver the same performance using CPUs alone…The problem with GPUs, says Dunning, is that they are so "compute hungry" that they "tend to sit idle for a large percentage of the time." The bottleneck is the memory on board GPU processors: it's fast, but not fast enough…it's not clear that the Linpack benchmark which pegs the machine as the world's fastest is a useful indicator of its performance in real-world applications. "The Linpack benchmark is one of those interesting phenomena -- almost anyone who knows about it will deride its utility," says Dunning. "They understand its limitations but it has mindshare because it's the one number we've all bought into over the years." The [Tianhe 1A] system's reliance on GPUs also means that overwhelming majority of existing supercomputing software would have to be entirely re-written to run on it. That's a programming challenge that has so far eluded engineers in the west - it's "more art than science," at this point, says Dunnin…” [sounds a bit like sour grapes since the Linpack numbers have been generally accepted for years as the ‘best’ way to rank supercomputers – ed.]

43. Supercomputer to improve research http://temple-news.com/2010/11/01/supercomputer-to-improve-research/ “…The National Science Foundation awarded Temple $840,000 for the high-performance graphic processing unit. The university gave an additional $200,000 for the project to total $1.04 million for the supercomputer…Temple’s supercomputer will use CPU, a GPU and an electronic monitor simulation software design. The proposal for the project…ranked No. 6 out of approximately 100 proposals in the country…The title of Temple’s proposal for the grant, “MRI-R^2: A Hybrid High-Performance GPU/CPU System,” gets the “R^2” from President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009…Temple’s system will be ranked in the Top 300 fastest computers in the world…Researchers outside Temple can submit applications to use our new system, and we’ll review them…Temple research professors’ plans to conduct for the supercomputer include the exploration of molecular self-assembly, microvessel networks, spatio-temporal data analysis, large-scale system simulation, effective uniformization and fault-tolerant high performance computing …”

44. Should I Buy GPGPUs or Blue Gene? http://www.hpcwire.com/features/Should-I-Buy-GPGPUs-or-Blue-Gene-106708953.html “…a paper from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick…"Performance Analysis of a Hybrid MPI/CUDA Implementation of the NAS-LU Benchmark,"…asks the question: As an organization, should I commit to a platform based on general-purpose GPUs (GPGPUs) or an IBM Blue Gene? In procuring a new supercomputer…there are lots of technical issues…CPU speed, memory size and bandwidth, communication latency, scalability, capability, electrical power consumption, ease of supporting legacy code…total cost of ownership (TCO)…they…compared the performance of pipelined wavefront computations (a class of parallel application), running across multiple GPU nodes against an InfiniBand-based cluster of AMD processors and an IBM Blue Gene/P…This study says nothing about other mainstream supercomputers from IBM, Cray, HP, SGI, NEC, Fujitsu, and so on, or other classes of computations…an interesting race is emerging in supercomputing…Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will deploy their 20 petaflops Blue Gene/Q Sequoia system based on future IBM Blue Gene technology…Nebulae and Tianhe-1A…and…Jaguar at the Oak Ridge…are employing NVIDIA GPUs to attain multi-petaflops systems…large computing facilities such as LLNL and OLCF buy both, but for those organizations with more modest budgets, a choice must be made… Re-engineering applications for both types of platforms requires significant investment: Blue Genes are memory constrained, have low clock rates and clearly excel at scale, which our current algorithms in many cases do not. GPUs on the other hand require the careful porting of core kernels…So what is it going to be, GPU or Blue Gene? It all depends on the size of the system…GPUs show promising power efficiency, but this is just half the story. Utilizing the available peak of a GPU is a difficult challenge. The Blue Gene, however, is closer to traditional designs, so realizing performance on these platforms presents fewer programming challenges, as long as the algorithms themselves scale…”



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