2010/11/16

NEW NET Issues List for 16 Nov 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 16 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. SugarSync ups free storage to 5 GB, now allows any number of connected devices http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/11/10/sugarsync-ups-free-storage-to-5-gb-now-allows-unlimited-connected-devices/ SugarSync has announced that users of its basic, free plan will now get 5 GB of storage 'in the cloud'. Previously, that limit was 2 GB -- a limit that its main competitor, Dropbox, still has. The free 5 GB plan includes unlimited device support…you can sync any folder(s) you wish across computers (Windows and Mac) and smartphones running iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry OS…A couple of weeks ago Box.net also upped the storage quota in its free plan to 5 GB, while Microsoft's Live Mesh 2011 has also been offering 5 GB for sync since it came out of beta…” http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/11/10/sugarsync-giveaway-win-a-30gb-account-for-a-year/ When I reviewed SugarSync for Android in September, I came away with one resounding conclusion: it's better than Dropbox. The Android experience is better, and the Web experience is better…today…SugarSync lifted the crippling restrictions from its free version and bumped the storage up to 5 GB…there's now no reason to use Dropbox -- unless you're a Linux user…If the multi-device support (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian!) doesn't blow your mind, the share-this-folder-with-a-friend feature will…Maybe you want 30 GB, free, for a year! In that case, enter our giveaway by leaving a comment below [by Nov 13] -- we have 10 year-long subscriptions to give away…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SugarSync “…SugarSync was incorporated in 2004 by Gibu Thomas (CEO) and Ben Strong (Chief technical officer)…The same three investors put in another $10 million in December 2008 for a total of $26.5 million. Both founders left the company in November 2008…Sharpcast's first product was Sharpcast Photos, which was software designed to make it easier for people to view their photos on multiple devices and share them with friends via the Internet…Sharpcast Photos was shut down at the end of January 2009…SugarSync is the company's newest product and was launched in March 2008….”

2. The Current State of Live Video Streaming http://www.eddie.com/2010/11/09/the-current-state-of-live-video-streaming/ “…a look at the current state of live video streaming on the web…the three most popular free services, Ustream, Livestream and Justin.tv. I’ll focus on core service features, ad support and removal, social network chat integration, desktop broadcaster applications, mobile integration and revenue…Ustream, Livestream and Justin.tv are all similar in that anyone can broadcast full-motion live video for free on the Internet, using a Mac or PC…you can archive any broadcast for playback later, as well as embed any live broadcast or archived broadcast on to your own website. All three platforms also have interactive chat features…All three streaming platforms provide free ad-based video streaming services with the ability to archive any broadcast for future viewing…This is a primary way streaming platforms are able to offer free streaming…The social stream is quite an ingenious way of driving engagement and traffic to a broadcast. Moderately popular broadcasts can quickly go viral as viewers post updates to their networks, thereby bringing followers into a broadcast. A differentiator among streaming platforms is the desktop broadcaster application. Using a desktop application to live stream is generally more robust, results in better quality and offers more features than using a platform’s web based Flash broadcaster (which can often crash because, well, it’s Flash)…A feature that YouTube has in their live player, that the other platforms don’t, is dynamic adaptive bitrate live streaming. What this means is the YouTube player is able to sniff your bandwidth and adjust itself according to how big your pipe is…It’s similar to the experience you get while watching Hulu or a streamed Netflix movie. Why the current live streaming platforms have not adopted this, is a mystery, as adaptive bitrate streaming is nothing new…too early to tell whether YouTube is going to roll out live streaming to the masses or whether they will continue to cherry pick select events and partners to work with…” http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/10/livestream-for-facebook/ “…Livestream…is launching another partnership with the social networking giant. From today onward brands with a Facebook fan page can manually link up their Livestream channel to their page and host live video on Facebook for the first time ever, for free…”

3. Facebook's new messaging system mashes up SMS, e-mail, IM http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/11/facebooks-new-messaging-system-mashes-up-sms-e-mail-im.ars This is not an e-mail killer. This is a messaging system that has e-mail as part of it." That's how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the company's revamped messaging system, introduced at a special press event in San Francisco today. The more-than-just-e-mail system is meant to consolidate all of a user's interactions with other people—whether it's via SMS, Facebook messages, or e-mail—into one spot…Someone…might find it difficult to manage communications with different people on different mediums—I might have to text my 16-year-old cousin to get any kind of response, but e-mail my 90 year old grandfather. "I'm always keeping a lookup table in my head of who I need to reach out to and how to get ahold of them, and it should just be two things: a person and a message," said Facebook director of Engineering Andrew Bosworth…The idea is that you can send a message…and it will show up wherever is most appropriate for that user—SMS, IM, e-mail, or a Facebook message. When that user responds, you'll get the response back over any of those mediums, depending on where you are…In order to include e-mail as part of the new system, Facebook is introducing new Facebook e-mail addresses to all users who want one—the address will default to your public Facebook username @facebook.com…users don't have to get a Facebook e-mail address, and they don't have to link it to any of their other e-mail addresses…”

4. Microsoft lets Hotmail users set encryption by default http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20022241-245.html “…Microsoft…is offering Hotmail users…encryption when using the free e-mail service. To enable full-session HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) for Hotmail you can type in "https://hotmail.com" or set it as the default for e-mail, calendar, and contacts at https://account.live.com/ManageSSL...Also starting today, SkyDrive, Photos, Docs, and Devices pages will all automatically use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. Enabling HTTPS means Outlook Hotmail Connector, Windows Live Mail, and the Windows Live application for Windows Mobile (version 6.5 and earlier) and Symbian won't be available…”

5. Firefox 4b7: The Browser Wars Are Far From Over http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/11/blazing-fast-firefox-4-beta-7-impresses.ars Mozilla has announced the availability of Firefox 4 beta 7…It includes JaegerMonkey, Mozilla's enhanced JavaScript engine…It delivers highly competitive performance and puts Firefox back on an even footing with its rivals. The beta also brings the Firefox 4 theming overhaul to Linux, including the new tab position above the address bar…Mozilla has introduced support for HTML5 forms, which enables sophisticated browser-side form validation…We benchmarked beta 7 on an Ubuntu desktop computer with a six-core Intel i7 980X processor. It blazed through the SunSpider test in a mere 208ms. On the same computer, Chromium 6 took 224ms. Mozilla's efforts to improve JavaScript performance are clearly paying off. The beta also opens and closes nearly as fast as Chrome and offers smoother scrolling and tab switching than the previous version…” [What would it take to get a Chrome user to switch back to Firefox? – ed.]

6. Evernote Hits 5 Million Users http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/10/evernote-5-million/ “…memory enhancement service Evernote is today announcing that they’ve hit 5 million users…They needed 446 days to get its first million users, 222 days to get to its second million, 133 days to get to its third and 108 days to reach the 4 million users milestone…they’ve gone from 4 to 5 million users in just 83 days…If you’re an Android user, you might want to check out the latest version of Evernote’s Android app, which was just released.…”

7. Internet2 to Deploy First 100 Gigabit Ethernet Research Network http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Internet2-to-Deploy-First-100-Gigabit-Ethernet-Research-Network-107276023.html Internet2 announced today it will begin deployment of a new, nationwide 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GigE) network…As part of its recently awarded federal stimulus grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Internet2 is creating a nationwide high-capacity network that will enable advanced networking features for more than 200,000 essential community anchor institutions. This advanced, coast-to-coast network infrastructure will support the connection of community anchors -- schools, libraries, community colleges, health centers and public safety organizations -- to enable advanced uses of the network such as distance learning and telemedicine applications not possible using today's typical Internet service…”

8. The Internet strikes again: RIP, white pages http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/the-internet-strikes-again-rip-white-pages.ars “…the white pages? I can't recall the last time I used them to look up a person's phone number, and neither can many Americans. Phone companies like Verizon and AT&T have been pushing for regulatory permission to stop distributing the white pages to people's homes for some time. AT&T hasn't passed out white pages in Indiana for a couple of years, though it will provide a copy on request. Verizon has secured permission from states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida to stop mass distribution as well, and it's currently making the same case to Virginia regulators…”

9. Cabbies Help Microsoft Improve Online Mapping http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/11/cabbies-help-microsoft-improve-online-mapping/ No one knows how to get around a city faster than a cabbie…T-Drive, designed by Microsoft Research Asia, reportedly provides far more useful information than Google Maps or Mapquest…Microsoft engineers sifted through three months of data gleaned from the GPS units in 33,000 cabs throughout Beijing…to identify shortcuts cabbies use to avoid traffic signals, congested intersections and other headaches…The engineers used T-Drive to merge the GPS data with satellite map information…At least half the results provided by T-Drive were 20 percent faster than other tools, providing an overall time savings of 16 percent. That amounts to cutting your time behind the wheel by 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of traveling…The system only applies to Beijing and doesn’t include real-time info such as traffic accidents…T-Drive is one of several mapping tools…researchers are working with Nokia to develop a system that uses GPS info gleaned from motorists cell phones. And tech startup Waze lets drivers share their real-time routes…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

10. "Horde of piratical monkeys" creates LimeWire: Pirate Edition http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/horde-of-piratical-monkeys-resurrects-limewire-pirate-edition.ars “…the recording industry finally scuppered the pirate ship last month, obtaining a wide-ranging injunction against LimeWire LLC and its file-sharing software. LimeWire devs were bound by the court to remove their software downloads and source code from the Web…But two weeks later, LimeWire is back. LimeWire Pirate Edition builds on the old LimeWire codebase, but it removes LimeWire's use of some centralized servers, the Ask.com toolbar, in-app advertising, and software backdoors. It also enables all the features of the "Pro" version that LimeWire LLC used to sell as a premium product…A horde of piratical monkeys climbed aboard the abandoned ship, mended its sails, polished its cannons and released it FREE to the community to help keep the Gnutella network alive…the project's leader…goes by the name MetaPirate…"Speaking for myself, the motivation is to make RIAA lawyers cry into their breakfast cereal," he said by e-mail. "I hope the other monkeys have nobler intentions." The Pirate Edition coders plan to release their work as open source software…Mac and Linux versions of the new software are expected in the near future. LimeWire has been forked in the past, branching into other P2P apps like FrostWire, but MetaPirate would rather work on his new project than contribute to FrostWire…”

11. University Begins Reporting All P2P Users to the Police http://torrentfreak.com/university-begins-reporting-all-p2p-users-to-the-police-101112/ “…In July, the US put into effect a new requirement for colleges and universities to stop illicit file-sharing on their networks. This legislation puts defiant schools at risk of losing federal funding if they don’t do enough to stop illicit file-sharers on their campus. Schools across the country responded…and some have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to install anti-file-sharing systems on their network. This week, Valdosta State University (VSU) upgraded theirs. According to the university it can now identify students who use P2P software, and those who are caught will be reported to the police. “Once individuals are identified, VSU hands responsibility over to police. Users can face felony punishments, including a possible prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 per offense,” reports the student newspaper…”

12. New searches too personal for some air travelers http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111206843.html “…Airport travelers call it groping, prodding or just plain inappropriate - a pat-down that probes places where the sun doesn't shine. The Transportation Security Administration calls it the new reality of airport security…If…a passenger declines to go through the machine…an officer will perform a more personal search…"It's more than just patting you down. It's very intrusive and very insane. I wouldn't let anyone touch my daughter like that," said Marc Moniz of Poway, Calif., who is planning to accompany his daughter's eighth-grade class from San Diego to Washington in April. "We're not common criminals."…Brian J. Sodergren of Ashburn, who works in the health-care industry, is organizing an "opt out" day to encourage passengers to say no to advanced imaging technology, known to industry insiders as a "virtual strip search." He's planning the protest for one of the busiest travel days of the year - Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving. "Many people only fly around the holidays and may not be aware of the security changes," Sodergren said…” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1329923/Man-ejected-San-Diego-airport-refusing-invasive-security-check.html An airline passenger was…threatened with a $10,000 fine after refusing to submit to invasive security checks. John Tyner, 31, objected to the use of both the revealing full-body X-ray scanner and the controversial new 'pat-down' technique…criticised as being tantamount to groping, while the full body scanner renders the individual virtually naked…Mr Tyner…filmed the events on his mobile phone…He objects to them because of health concerns and the 'huge invasion of privacy' they represent…he can be heard…refusing to submit to a full body scan, asking to instead go through the traditional metal scanner and a basic 'pat down'. When he is taken aside by an official…Mr Tyner responds, 'You touch my junk and I'm going to have you arrested.'…A supervisor…then states, 'If you're not comfortable with that, we can escort you back out and you don't have to fly today.' Tyner responded 'OK, I don't understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying.' 'This is not considered a sexual assault,' replied the supervisor. 'It would be if you were not the government,' said Tyner. 'By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights,' said the TSA supervisor…he was then sent to the American Airlines counter where, to his surprise, the price of his non-refundable ticket was refunded…” http://blog.izs.me/post/1591805056/tsa-success-story “…the TSA’s “enhanced” pat-down procedures…They grope children. They touch your junk. The procedures are ludicrously ineffective and harmful from a security point of view…I took the UCSF letter, added a bit of highlighting and annotation to make it a bit easier to scan…You can get a copy from http://j.mp/cancer-ray...I started talking to the family behind me as soon as I got into the security line, a…couple with 2 adolescent boys and a girl about 4 or 5…I asked if they’d heard about the new X-Ray machines…She said, “Oh, yeah, I heard about those…if you don’t go through, they grope you or something, and if you do, they take a naked picture of you…Did you know that the UCSF oncology department thinks they pose a serious health risk, especially to children or anyone at risk for breast cancer?...Turns out she’s a breast cancer survivor. And her doctor has told her to avoid x-rays, even at the dentist…she didn’t realize that “millimeter wave digital backscatter detection” used x-rays, because the TSA doesn’t actually put that on the sign…When we got to the scanner, I opted out. Then they opted out. She’d already convinced the family behind them to do the same. Her response to the TSA agent was awesome, I wish I’d thought of it… “No thanks, I’ve already had cancer, just feel me up or whatever.” After the first 4 “OPT-OUT” calls, they just passed us all through the regular metal detector. No one got groped…The revolt was emotionally satisfying, and I totally recommend doing it, but ultimately it’s only a drop in the ocean. From where I’m sitting, I can see the security line, people holding their hands up in the little booth. So, do make trouble. On-the-ground rebellion is important. But also tell your legislator…call these people and tell them how you feel.…” [John Tyner’s video went ‘viral’; how long before TSA confiscates cell phones so people can’t record what happens at the checkpoints? The reality of the situation is that if President Obama and male senators had to watch their wives and daughters go through the TSA groping because they didn’t want to go through the backscatter x-ray, the groping would end the next day. An easy way to settle the issue would be for several female heads of state and the wives and daughters of President Obama and all male senators and congressmen to submit to a publicly televised TSA pat-down to demonstrate that it’s not sexual or overly invasive. – ed.]

13. Monitoring Your Car for a Safer Driving http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101106082635.htm “…The Dutch, Spanish and Turkish partners of MEDEA+ project CARING CARS set out to make driving safer by developing an…in-car network of sensors…that monitor a driver's vital signs and…responding accordingly. Sensors integrated within…conductive textiles are located in the car steering wheel and, through contact or near-contact with the driver's hands, monitor the driver's heart rate…wearable sensors provide a range of additional data such as alertness and emotional state. Should a driver fall asleep, a buzzer or a vibration in the steering wheel or accelerator pedal will give the alert and wake him…In the event of a crash, the CARING CARS technology, which incorporates an on-board camera, can assess the severity of the situation…Data on the location and condition of the passengers can be transmitted…and help to identify any potential risks…16-25 year old drivers are two to three times more likely to have an accident than more experienced drivers…companies are showing an interest in the CARING CARS technology as a way of monitoring the on-road behaviour of young drivers. The system would enable them to offer younger motorists with a record of safe driving more affordable premiums or, as an ultimate sanction, withdraw cover from reckless drivers…a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, is currently developing 4,000 modules with an insurance company for trials in Assen, which is known as 'Sensor City' for its major sensor network…”

14. Biometrics in motion trial begins at Manchester Airport http://www.flightline.co.uk/travelnews/biometrics-in-motion-trial-begins-at-manchester-airport/ Manchester Airport’s passengers will be invited to participate in a new technology trial that can recognise an individual’s iris while they walk around…The technology could have a variety of future applications…one example might be to allow international transfer passengers to mix with domestic passengers in the departure lounge…We are always keen to develop innovative technology solutions to improve our passengers’ experience of the airport”, said Mike Fazackerley, Manchester Airport’s Product Director…This technology has the potential for…a busy airport environment…because it can recognise individuals when they are moving around…”

15. Fun with Microsoft Security Essentials http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/microsoft-vs-mcafee-how-free-antivirus-outperformed-paid/2614 “…I’ve had Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) installed on my main working PC for most of the past year…Last month I decided to perform a scan using the Full option…MSE…detected several files…it considered malicious. One was a rigged PDF file…The other was a single file in the Java cache folder…that contained three separate exploits. I found the file and uploaded it to Virustotal.com…the results…Only 17 of 43 antivirus products detected this as a threat…Microsoft, Symantec, Avast, and F-Secure were among the engines that flagged the file…Either the file was a false positive…Or it was real, and most AV programs were missing it…this threat was first identified in definition 1.85.1774.0…released by Microsoft on July 9, 2010…I sent e-mail messages to contacts at…McAfee and Sunbelt…McAfee responded quickly…Our Labs team took a look at the file you referenced and it is malicious. We are in the process of developing new heuristics to combat the effects from a stream of recent malicious JAR files more proactively, the file corresponding with the hash you mentioned is in the queue.Sunbelt’s Malware Response Manager…reported that this file was in the company’s repository and submitted it for detailed analysis…This file contains a malicious java.class … that exploits the CVE-2008-5353 vulnerability. … We are currently testing our updated detection for this exploit and expect to release it shortly [McAfee and Sunbelt are at least 4 months late with their updates – ed.]…A commenter in the Talkback section of this thread posted a link to a news website claiming to offer a video of the full Sunbelt report…that page (which is hosted on a legitimate website that has clearly been compromised) displayed a video window with the message “Sorry, this video cannot be played. Problem: plugin is not found.” It then helpfully included a “Download plugin” link…The link leads to an executable file, which I downloaded (but did not execute) on a system that was not running any antivirus software and submitted to Virustotal.com. The result? 15/43 scanning engines detected it as malware. Microsoft Security Essentials was one of them…McAfee’s consumer product line did not detect the threat…Sunbelt successfully identified this threat. On the list of companies that missed it? Symantec, Avast, and TrendMicro…” [This situation shows the importance these days of keeping applications updated in addition to promptly applying operating system security patches; the link in the article comments which led to an innocuous-seeming invitation to download and install a ‘plugin,’ which could be more accurately described as a trojan. –ed.]

Mobile Computing & Communicating

16. Kno color textbook ereaders to cost $599 for single screen and $899 for dual screen http://www.digitaltrends.com/gadgets/kno-color-textbook-ereaders-to-cost-599-and-899/ Kno's 14.1-inch single- and dual-screen color textbook readers will cost $599 and $899 respectively…many textbooks don’t translate well to current ereaders: they need often need high-quality color plates and the ability to display dense graphs and tables…Kno argues the devices will pay for themselves over three semesters since digital textbooks through the Kno store will cost between 30 and 50 percent less than physical texts…Kno readers are based on a Linux operating system running either a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 MPCore CPU or an Nvidia Terga T200 CPU. The units feature one or two 14.1-inch LED-backlit color displays with a native 1,440 by 900-pixel resolution, 512 MB of onboard memory, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, microUSB connectivity, headphone and microphone ports, and a rechargeable lithium polymer battery pack that should get up to six hours of “normal campus use.” The tablets…can surf the Web and support a wide variety of media formats, including Flash video. The readers feature a stylus input that enables students to hand-write notes on pages, enabling students to use the Kno as a textbook, notebook, and research tool…Kno…is working with…textbook publishers (including Pearson, McGraw Hill, MacMillan, Bedford, Kaplan, Random House, and a number of university presses) to offer “tens of thousands” of the “most popular” textbooks…Kno is accepting a limited number of pre-orders for the tablets now, with plans to get an initial shipment to customers by the end of the 2010…”

17. Sony Ericsson X12 “Anzu” Has 4.3 Inch Display, to Run Gingerbread http://www.intomobile.com/2010/11/10/sony-ericsson-x12-anzu-has-4-3-inch-display-to-run-gingerbread-android/ “…Sony Ericsson…X12 (code-named Anzu) has a 4.3 inch touchscreen and…will go to market with Android 2.3 Gingerbread…it has a forward-facing camera (likely to support video calling that will be introduced in Gingerbread), HDMI-out, and the rear camera will be able to record 1080 HD video…There’s also the possibility that Sony Ericsson will brand this phone as Bravia rather than Xperia…the Anzu will hit the market Q1 2011…”

18. Samsung's 4.5-inch Gingerbread Device to Hit '11 http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Android-2.3-Gingerbread-Flagship-Device-android-galaxy,news-8787.html “…Expected to be Samsung's flagship phone for 2011, this as yet unnamed device is said to run Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and pack either a 4.3- or 4.5-inch "sAMOLED2" display…the phone will boast an 8-megapixel camera with the ability to shoot video in1080p; 14.4Mbps HSPA; Bluetooth 3.0; a 1.2GHz CPU; and 16GB of storage…”

19. Android and NFC: Tap Your Phone To Pay With Credit Card http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/15/android-gingerbread-to-support-near-field-communication-including-tap-and-pay/ “…the newest version of Android, codenamed Gingerbread, will bring with it…Near Field Communication…new Android phones will have a chip that let you tap your phone against special sensors to complete a specific action…plenty of practical applications…hook up your credit card to your Android phone, and conduct transactions simply by tapping your phone…Tap your phone against a location-aware sensor, and it can check you into whatever venue you’re standing in, without having to bother with opening app on your phone…it’s been rumored that the next iPhone will feature similar…technology…it looks like the Nexus S will include the chip and other new Android devices…Gingerbread is coming…within the next few weeks…”

20. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile partner with Discover to build mobile payments service http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20022912-94.html AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile are creating a mobile payment network…known as Isis, with the initial goal of setting up a mobile payment system in which people can use cell phones to pay for items directly at a retailer…The system will use…near-field communication…The new mobile payment service is expected to roll out over the next 18 months…Discover Financial Services will work with Isis to develop…the mobile payment network, while Barclaycard US, part of Barclays, will be the first credit issuer on the network…Isis is leaving the door open to other banks, financial institutions, and wireless carriers…While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets, and transit passes.”

21. Aro Mobile Uses the Cloud to Build Smarter Smartphone http://gigaom.com/2010/11/15/aro-mobile-uses-the-cloud-to-build-smarter-smartphone/ “…Paul Allen…$20 million funded project Aro Mobile gets its first public showcase today at the Web 2.0 Summit. Kiha Software…will show off how Aro’s platform helps make smartphones more intelligent and useful…Aro is a collection of downloadable apps: contacts, email, search, phone, browser that communicate with the cloud, where servers apply natural language processing, context awareness and data extraction to help speed information to a user and anticipate their needs. The goal is to cut down on the number of steps it takes to complete actions…if a friend emails you to set a lunch date, Aro offers to schedule that right on your calendar. If you’re browsing on the web, Aro can pull out names and offer to provide additional information about it or short cuts to actions…works with your contacts and email to prioritize messages from the people you interact with most…organize conversations with one person as you move between IM, email and SMS. And since Aro is context aware, it can offer different options at different times of the day or can provide reminders on when you should leave to make it in time for an appointment. Aro is coming out of private beta on Android and…coming to the iPhone soon, though in a less full-featured way because the iPhone doesn’t offer the same type of access that Android does…the best of user interfaces…and combine it with personal assistant apps like Siri…while layering in some of the relationship awareness of Gmail’s priority inbox and Facebook’s new messaging service…A bigger question would be privacy, since all of a user’s private data would flow through Aro’s servers. The company said it always asks for user data and never shares it with a third party…if it delivers, this could be a big win for Android…it could show why Android’s openness is beneficial by enabling some applications…other platforms might not fully allow…”

Open Source

22. Apache declares war on Oracle over Java http://www.itworld.com/legal/127051/apache-declares-war-oracle-over-java “…the Apache Software Foundation has called upon other members of the Java Community Process (JCP) to vote against the next proposed version of the language, should Oracle continue to impose restrictions on open-source Java use. The nonprofit organization has also indicated that it could end its involvement in the JCP…"Why would we want to be in an organization where the rules of law don't matter? Our being on the [JCP Executive Committee] would be a sham…we'd basically cave into Oracle pushing stuff through, whether or not it would be in the best interest of the community,"…In October, the ASF was ratified for another three-year term on the JCP Executive Committee (EC), by an overwhelming 95 percent margin…IBM announced that it was shifting developer support from Apache's own open-source version of the Java Standard Edition, called Project Harmony, to another open-source project, the OpenJDK. IBM was one of the staunchest supporters of Apache's position on the FOU, and its move to the OpenJDK at least suggests that the company would support Oracle in an upcoming vote on Java 7…If so, Big Blue would be joining a number of other organizations willing to let Oracle have its way, for the good of the language as a whole, including Red Hat and the Eclipse Foundation…”

23. Open Source Desktops May Not Happen for Small Biz http://www.itworld.com/open-source/127527/open-source-desktops-may-not-happen-small-biz “…there's one area where open source has consistently fallen woefully short: providing solutions for small businesses…it seems like open source software products--with their collective low price tag, solid support, and better security--would be a perfect fit for the needs of smaller businesses, which often need superlative computing capabilities but can only afford the least-expensive hardware and software due to budget constraints…Linux is perfectly good for small business, as is OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice and a slew of other applications. There are gaps in the toolkit: while excellent point-of-sale clients and servers exist for Linux, there is still a lack of bookkeeping software. Actually, there is open source accounting and bookkeeping software out there, but no one wants to migrate to it because it's not 100% compatible with what they have now…recent activity in the open source world shows clear signs as to how open source software can succeed in the small business arena. I've already mentioned two clear paths: cloud and embedded/mobile. Each one of these platforms, whether used separately or used together, afford a much easier pathway to deliver open source software to small business…Is the open source small business desktop completely dead? In its older form, I think it might be. Canonical is splitting Ubuntu sharply away from the "traditional" desktop interface, trying to muscle in on the mobile platform alongside Android and MeeGo, while hanging on to its legacy desktop functionality…These actions are leaving the "traditional" desktop behind. But for small business users, that may be a good thing, since cloud and mobile may finally deliver the promise of open source software to small business that desktop could not.…”

24. 5 Linux Network Monitoring Tools http://linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/tutorials/7215/1/ Monitoring traffic on your network is only as important as the data and computers you want to protect. Understanding how to do basic network troubleshooting will save you both in wasted time and money. Every Linux operating system comes with a number of command line tools to help you diagnose a network problem…there are any number of open source tools available to help you track down pesky network issues. In this article we'll take a look at what's available from the command line and from freely available applications…Ping…EtherApe…Nmap…tcpdump…Wireshark…”

25. 20 Linux System Monitoring Tools Every SysAdmin Should Know http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/top-linux-monitoring-tools.html Need to monitor Linux server performance? Try these built-in command and a few add-on tools…These tools provide metrics which can be used to get information about system activities…such as: Finding out bottlenecks…Disk (storage) bottlenecks…CPU and memory bottlenecks…Network bottlenecks…”

26. 8 (More) Free and Open Source Project Management Software http://www.junauza.com/2010/11/open-source-project-management-software.html “…we have featured here some of the best free and open-source project management software…project management software covers many types of applications that may include scheduling, tracking, reporting, resource allocation, communication and administration among others. It is designed to help companies or organizations complete a project quickly and efficiently…here is another round of excellent free and open-source project management software (in no particular order) that we have not included on our previous list…GanttProject…NavalPlan…Peppercan…eGroupWare…Planner…PHProjekt…web2project…Project-Open…”

SkyNet

27. Apps, Apps and More Google Apps http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=181865 So, Erin QL sent out a link to this Gapps webpage, suggesting it might be appropriate fodder for a NEW NET discussion or at least a NEW NET items list. Read over the plethora of available apps to see if any of them have value for you or could significantly change the way you approach Gservices or your overall computing habits. In the same vein, said the Count, see the Gapps series of blog posts at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Google%20Apps%20highlights [Are the basic Gmail and Gcalendar services just gateway drugs to the rest of the Gservices/Gapps?? – ed.]

28. Google TV not yet ready for prime time? http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_tv_is_like_a_cow_that_charges_you_for_milk.php “…I've had this Logitech Revue Google TV unit sitting in my bedroom…I was expecting the unit to show up and explode the universe of Internet video onto my television…Sitting at my desktop, I can easily navigate to any number of network websites - Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, you name it - and watch recent, full episodes of my favorite prime-time shows. I can see them on my giant, hi-res monitor and listen to them over my stereo system. No problem. But the moment that video makes its way over to my television, the networks get nervous. Every major network has now blocked Google TV…I'm left with…a wonderfully designed but almost useless device sitting at my fingertips…What we have now is a battle over the screen my free content shows up on. The thing is, if I want to stream House M.D. onto my television from my computer, that's quickly and easily done with some hardware additions and a cable. But so far, having a Google TV without cable has been more a disappointment than anything else…Without cable, my computer offers more content than Google TV…”

29. Google Earth Adds A Panoramic Photo Layer For A 360-Degree View http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/13/google-earth-adds-a-panoramic-photos-layer-for-a-360-degree-view/ “…Google Earth now includes a Photo layer which will allow users to find 2D photos taken from Panoramio…as well as panoramic photos sourced from 360cities.net, which collects panoramic photography on the web. Google had previously integrated 360 Cities into Google Earth under the Gallery layer, but this appears to be a deeper integration of the photos into the viewing experience…the panoramic photos from 360 Cities are marked with red square icons and the photos from Panoramio are marked with a blue icon. If you click the icon, you’ll be shown a bubble with a panoramic image. You can click again to see a larger version of the panoramic image in photo viewing mode…360 Cities has a…vast database of panoramic photos thanks to its vibrant community of photographers and travelers. The new photo layer…allows you to get an immersive view of a city or landmark…”

30. Google Hotpot Launches Social Place Reviews, Ratings http://blog.louisgray.com/2010/11/google-hotpot-launches-for-recommended.html “…people are sharing their thoughts and experiences about places they shop, eat and visit…Google jumped into this fray with both feet with the simplest, most lightweight platform I have seen yet, called Hotpot. The extension to Google Places…can be accessed through the Web or mobile…it only took a couple minutes to rack up about a dozen reviews, probably as many as I've ever logged in Foursquare…for Hotpot, it's not about checking in that you were somewhere, but all about the reviews and providing recommendations to friends. It may have been a quiet little release pushed out from the Mountain View giant…but it could be a big deal. I have added the Rate Places widget to my Android home screen, and expect to be using it a lot.” http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_launches_recommendation_engine_for_places.php “…by integrating these recommendations with mobile, Maps and Search, Google's Hotpot may be a "killer" location-based app. Sorry, Yelp.”

31. Android Is for Touch, Chrome OS Is for Keyboards http://mashable.com/2010/11/15/android-chrome-os/ “…Google sees Chrome OS as the operating system for traditional computers, such as PCs, netbooks and laptops, which may include touch interfaces but always include keyboards; and the company sees Android as an operating system best suited to mobile devices, which may include keyboards but almost always include touch interfaces…Schmidt says to expect Chrome OS “in the next few months…”

32. Google Now Offers Real-Time Sports Scores http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_now_offers_real-time_sports_scores.php “…Google now offers real-time scores and links to game recaps and highlight tapes of NHL hockey games…Just enter "NHL" in the search box…The links are to pages on NHL.com, something that other sports leagues would be remiss to neglect to offer the search engine themselves. This example of structured data displayed as details on a search results page points towards a future where all websites offer structured data to Google and Google indexes it in real-time…”

33. Google Revamps Product Search http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/15/google-revamps-product-search-with-local-availability-popular-products-and-aisles/ “…Google is ramping up its product search efforts…The online-research for offline purchases market is huge ($917 billion to be exact), and Google wants to be the go-to destination for holiday shopper…Google is expanding its Blue Dot Specials feature…on mobile search by offering more data on whether a product is available in a nearby brick and mortar store. Google has partnered with over 70 retail brands, including Best Buy…to show shoppers whether a product is available in a nearby store…Google is improving its mobile shopping app (…2.5 million downloads) with new search filters like “price” and “brand.” The app also includes…Local Availability, voice search and barcode scanning…if you searched for a coffee makers, Popular Products would show you what coffee makers are being viewed the most within Google Product search. Aisles…puts products into sub-categories. So within a search for a coffee maker, you can search for specific machines within the drip coffee makers aisle…”

34. Announcing Accepted Organizations for Google Code-in http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/11/announcing-accepted-organizations-for.html “…we have chosen 20 open source organizations to participate as mentoring organizations in Google Code-in. Here’s a list of our participating organizations this year…The Apertium Project…The Battle for Wesnoth…Debian Project…Dragonfly BSD…Drupal…GNOME…Haiku…KDE…LimeSurvey…MoinMoin…Mono Project…OSUOSL…Parrot Foundation and The Perl Foundation…Plone Foundation…RTEMS Project…Sahana Software Foundation…Tux4Kids…VideoLAN…WordPress…WorldForge…These organizations will be creating tasks for the student participants in the contest to work on and submit to earn prizes…from all 8 categories in our task tracker: code, documentation, outreach, quality assurance, research, training, translation, user interface…sign up now if you would like to participate in the contest!…”

General Technology

35. AMD ships its first Fusion microprocessor-graphics combo chips http://venturebeat.com/2010/11/09/amd-ships-its-first-fusion-microprocessor-graphics-combo-chips/ Advanced Micro Devices kicked off its “Fusion era” today…it has shipped its first chips that combine graphics and microprocessor capability in a single chip…Some aspects of computing actually can happen faster in so-called APUs, or accelerated processing units…Computer makers adopting the Fusion chips are expected to debut their machines early next year…Intel also has a combo chip, code-named Sandybridge, coming at the same time…The Fusion processors will be able to run DirectX 11 games…The Zacate version of the APU can operate on 18 watts and is based on AMD’s new Bobcat…processing core. The Ontario APU platform is aimed at netbooks and operates on 9 watts of power…A second Fusion family, code-named Llano, has four processing cores on one chip and will ship later in 2011…”

36. How E Ink’s Triton Color Displays Work http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/11/how-e-inks-triton-color-displays-work-in-e-readers-and-beyond/ “…E Ink’s new Triton line give the company’s displays a long-desired new feature: color. Most of the E Ink team is in Japan this week, demonstrating their new screens in Hanvon’s new e-reader…the company’s primary focus is still developing low-power, high-contrast surfaces for reading. “What’s unique about color in reading,” he added, “is that while most textual content is still in monochrome, we can introduce color into cover art, children’s books, newspapers, and textbooks — places still in the reading field where color is at a premium.” E Ink developed the Triton screen in conjunction with a group of partners…Epson played a key role, providing the color filters’ controller chip…it’s still the same white, black and grayscale electrophoretic pigments; it’s only when filtered through the RGB overlay that the image appears in color. To reach for an historical analogy, it’s not totally dissimilar from film’s Technicolor process, which shot in black-and-white film strips through color filters, then reverse-processed…The image update or refresh rate for monochrome is the same (240 ms), but color animation can take up to about one full second…pictures on the Triton don’t need to update the entire screen: a moving figure in the foreground might be refreshed while the background remains identical — just like traditional cel animation. E-readers are the high-profile example of E Ink in action, but the company’s screens are also used in watches, battery indicators, printers, calculators, signage, end-cap displays in stores and a wide range of industrial displays…”

37. Georgia Tech in $100 Million Program to Develop NextGen High Performance Computers http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Georgia-Tech-Engaged-in-100-Million-DARPA-Program-106895983.html Imagine that one of the world's most powerful high performance computers could be packed into a single rack just 24 inches wide and powered by a fraction of the electricity consumed by comparable current machines…Putting this computing power into a small and energy-efficient package, and making it reliable and easier to program, are among the goals of the new DARPA Ubiquitous High Performance Computing (UHPC) initiative. Georgia Tech researchers from three different units are supporting key components of this $100 million challenge, which will require development of revolutionary approaches not bound by existing computing paradigms…The opportunity we have is to go far beyond the current product roadmaps," said David Bader, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Computational Science and Engineering. "We really have the opportunity to change the industry and to design our applications with new computing architectures. For the first time in the history of computing, we will be able to work with a clean slate…”

DHMN Technology

38. Kinect Drivers Hacked - What Will YOU Build with It? http://www.readwriteweb.com/hack/2010/11/kinect-drivers-hacked---what-w.php “…Hector Marcan released his open source Kinect drivers today, winning the $3,000 bounty from Adafruit Industries. Ada Fruit, a New York based company that sells DIY electronics kits, issued the bounty for open source Kinect drivers last Thursday…he plans to use the $3,000 to purchase additional tools and devices for…the hardware hacking group he's a member of. Adafruit is donating an additional $2,000 to the EFF. Access to Kinect from the desktop opens up some intriguing opportunities…Kinect is a gestural interface for Microsoft's X-Box 360. It enables users to play games through gestures, spoken commands or by presenting objects or images…rumor has it support for Kinect is being built into Windows 8…what sort of new interfaces might be enabled, either on the web or on the desktop…Those interested in hacking on Kinect can join OpenKinect Google Group…” http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/open-kinect-contest/ “…Before I joined Google, I was a grad student interested in topics like computer vision, motion self-tracking, laser scanners–basically any neat or unusual sensing device. That’s why I was so excited to hear about the Kinect, which is a low-cost ($150) peripheral for the Xbox…people have figured out how to access data from the Kinect without requiring an Xbox to go with it…open drivers for the Kinect have now been released. The always-cool Adafruit Industries, which offers all sorts of excellent do-it-yourself electronics kits, sponsored a contest to produce open-source drivers for the Kinect…there’s now a $150 off-the-shelf device that provides depth + stereo and a lot more…I want to kickstart neat projects, so I’m starting my own contest with $2000 in prizes. There are two $1000 prizes. The first $1000 prize goes to the person or team that writes the coolest open-source app, demo, or program using the Kinect. The second prize goes to the person or team that does the most to make it easy to write programs that use the Kinect on Linux. Enter the contests by leaving a comment on this blog post with a link to your project, along with a very-short description of what your project does or your contribution to Kinect hacking. The contest runs until the end of the year…” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QrnwoO1-8A Kinect Sells 1 million in 10 days http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-20022878-75.html

39. Mechdyne, Haption Bring Haptics Capability to Manufacturing Design http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Mechdyne-Haption-Bring-Haptics-Capability-to-Manufacturing-Design-107040328.html For the first time, users can enjoy all the benefits of haptic force feedback within a fully immersive display system…Mechdyne Corporation, an advanced data visualization solutions integrator…and Haption, a leading maker of haptic devices and full-body motion capture software, will demonstrate this ground-breaking capability on a 3D ROVR display with motion tracking…"The combination of Mechdyne and Haption technologies allows CAD/CAM operators using Dassault's V5 software to maneuver and realistically feel and simulate the parts of a design in a virtual reality system…The addition of touch will aid engineers and designers to verify designs for manufacturing or serviceability before prototypes are created…For example, in auto design, an engineer working in an immersive setting can simulate and test how to integrate a seat into a car interior. With this new capability, a human being can actually interact with the design. Engineers perform such tasks as validating seat placement, testing ergonomics, studying comfort levels, viewing posture while in design model…”

40. Is the Adam really on its way?? http://notionink.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/week-end-special-part-viii/ “…Here we have your Mother Board and on top you can see the NVidia’s Tegra 250 power house…Nearly all here are clocking something around 28 hours a week for their sleep. For us in the core team is around half of that!...Total more than 20 customized applications are coming your way. Not the stretched mobile apps, but custom-made for your Adam!...Email, Calendar, Office, Paint, Gallery, Settings, File Browser are some of the very special ones to mention here, along with the whole Panel System…there is an OPEN GL Engine which extracts the juice out of Tegra…The response to Adam is ecstatic…I have spent nights preparing for the day when finally we can stand in front of all of you and explain what Adam is, why is it not a tablet, how it works, what is still left to be done and how future generations are going to evolve…” http://www.androidguys.com/2010/11/13/nvidia-ceo-talks-tablets-android-future-computing/ “…the…tablets…army is coming, and for the most part it seems the good ones are being powered by the mighty nVidia Tegra 2. This dual-core graphics ready masterpiece seems to have everyone's eye…they have the potential to top anything on the current mobile market, and long-term the Tegra 2 has the potential to continue to dominate…Car companies are working on tablets, consumer electronics companies are working on tablets, computer companies are working on tablets, and communications companies are working on tablets. The medical industry is working on tablets…I don't remember in the history of computing [when] a singular device is being worked on by all of the industry…Huang did go on to say that tablets that wait and use a Tegra 2 will have "the benefit of higher performance and much, much better multitasking and better graphics…”

41. Paper plane captures images of space http://www.gizmag.com/paper-plane-images-space/16913/ Three British amateur aerospace enthusiasts have successfully sent a camera-equipped paper airplane to an altitude of 89,000 feet (27,127 meters), where it captured images of the blackness of space before gliding back to Earth. Project PARIS (Paper Aircraft Released Into Space) involved getting the plane into the stratosphere using a weather balloon before letting it go via a release mechanism…the plane, called Vulture 1, is…a complex, sharp-looking custom model aircraft, complete with a framework and fuselage... although it is constructed from paper…The plane was attached to a styrofoam payload box, which was in turn attached to the balloon. The payload box contained video and still cameras, a GPS tracking unit, a back-up beacon transmitter, and the release mechanism. Vulture 1 also contained a GPS unit, a miniature camera, and an all-important toy plastic test pilot…The plane took 90 minutes to complete its return flight, and ended up landing in the woods just 100 miles (161 km) from the launch site, with only a small hole in one wing…”

42. New Forms of Highly Efficient, Flexible Nanogenerator Technology http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101111074725.htm “…The team of Prof. Keon Jae Lee…developed new forms of highly efficient, flexible nanogenerator technology using…nano-materials that…convert tiny movements of the human body (such as heart beats and blood flow) into electrical energy. The piezoelectric effect refers to voltage generation when pressure or bending strength is applied to piezoelectric materials…The research team…has succeeded in developing a bio-eco-friendly ceramic thin film nanogenerator that is freely bendable without breakdown. Nanogenerator technology, a power generating system without wires or batteries, combines nanotechnology with piezoelectrics that can be used not only in personal mobile electronics but also in bio-implantable sensors or as an energy source for micro robots. Energy sources in nature (wind, vibration, and sound) and biomechanical forces produced by the human body (heart beats, blood flow, and muscle contraction/relaxation) can infinitely produce nonpolluting energy…”

Leisure & Entertainment

43. The Beatles arrive on iTunes http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/16/apple_itunes_announcement/ “…Apple has finally added the Beatles' back catalogue to its iTunes music service…the band's 13 studio albums including Please Please Me, White Album and Rubber Soul are now available…Apple fans can also buy the Beatles' two-volume Past Masters and Red and Blue collections as either albums or individual songs…a special digital Beatles Box Set that features the Liverpool group's first ever US concert in 1964 and contains the 13 studio albums, plus other goodies…Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964 film can be streamed and viewed through iTunes for free by people buying Beatles' music until the end of 2010…”

44. The iPad Is About To Become A Video Game Console Controlled By The iPhone http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/ipad-video-game-console/ “…Big Bucket Software unveiled an amazing update to their excellent iPhone/iPad game, The Incident. Version 1.2 allowed you to use your iPhone as a wireless controller to control the action on the larger-screen iPad. The first time I used the feature, I was giddy. It reminded me of being 7 years old and playing Nintendo for the first time…with the upcoming version 1.3, The Incident is taking the next leap: to your TV…you can already hook up your iPad to your TV. The problem is that this is only meant for media (movies, music, etc) right now. And even if you could run apps, there is no good way to control them remotely. The Incident fixes that because they’ve already nailed this interaction between iPhone (or iPod touch) and iPad. It’s amazingly simple to sync up…This is going to be awesome running on the TV…”

45. Hulu Brings in the Dough: $240M of Revenue in 2010 http://gigaom.com/video/hulu-brings-in-the-dough-240m-of-revenue-in-2010/ Hulu is going to make more than $240 million in revenue in 2010…Hulu generated $108 million in revenue in 2009. Hulu had 30 million users in October 2010, who watched some 260 million content streams as well as 800 million ad streams during that month…“The leading source of revenue is through advertising,” said Kilar, adding that more than 40 percent of money generated with content in this industry is generated through advertising…Hulu will introduce personalized advertising, addressing users by name…it can with a 99 percent certainty tell whether a viewer is male or female just by looking at his video viewing history…the company will roll out…the ability to swap out commercials, so that users who don’t want to watch a car commercial can switch to a commercial for dog food instead…Kilar said that ads on Hulu are 55 percent more effective than ads displayed on traditional channels…Asked why Hulu Plus is showing its users commercials, he reiterated that advertising will always be a core component on Hulu…” http://venturebeat.com/2010/11/10/hulu-ad-free/ “…There is nothing that prevents us from presenting an ad-free version of Hulu Plus,” Kilar said…Hulu could set a price where an ad-free model would make sense, but when the company asked its users whether they wanted to pay a certain price and skip the ads or pay a lower price that’s possible due to advertising, the latter option appeals to “the vast majority,”…”

46. Dish selling Logitech Revue at discounted $179 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20022359-17.html “…Dish Network customers can buy the Logitech Revue set-top box for $179…available to Dish customers who subscribe to the DVR integration service, which costs $4 per month. The Logitech Revue, which features the Google TV platform, otherwise costs $299…With the help of a Dish DVR…Dish subscribers can surf the Web from the Revue and view programming from several services, including Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand. They can also search current live TV listings. Unlike cable subscribers, Dish customers can also search for recorded content on the DVR and send commands to the DVR by way of the subscriber's home network…”

47. Microsoft Launches New Casual Games Hub http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2010/nov10/11-15GameHub.mspx “…The Microsoft Game Hub is a new feature that starting today appears in a similar way on MSN Games, Bing Games and Windows Live Messenger…allowing anyone who uses any one of those different sites to play the same games, see their friends’ status updates, and send each other game challenges…Through the new hub, players can sign into their Facebook or Windows Live accounts (or both), scroll through their friends’ status updates, send casual game challenge requests, view game leaderboards, save a game as a favorite to make it easier to find, and track their favorite games…It doesn’t matter where you play – on Messenger, on Bing, on your mobile device, or on your PC…casual gamers…according to the Casual Games Association, now number more than 200 million around the world…Bing Games has already seen more than 55 million game session played to date right in the browser…the casual games demographic tends to be older and skewed toward women…at launch, more than 35 titles, including hits such as Cubis 2, Super Stacker, and Plants vs. Zombies are connected and playable…” http://games.msn.com/

48. New Zork game in Call of Duty: Black Ops http://www.news.com.au/technology/gaming/new-zork-game-in-call-of-duty-black-ops/story-e6frfrt9-1225950697378 “…Call of Duty: Black Ops has been unearthed with the discovery of several retro minigames. Fans have been distracted from the game proper by Dead Ops Arcade, a twin-stick retro shooter hidden within the game's menus, and a CoD-themed version of classic text game Zork…Dead Ops Arcade is accessed from the start menu…Dead Ops Arcade is…a top-down shooter in the vein of Smash TV that puts the game's Cold War assets through a retro filter. Completing the Zork game gives players an "Eaten by a Grue" achievement…”

49. Social Gaming: Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Headed http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/13/social-gaming/ “…there was this guy named Ken who was working a 9-to-5 at some giant software company writing tons of code for something whose importance and value was exceeded only by its monotony. Ken’s wife, Roberta, had been playing some newfangled PC game and thought to herself, “Man, this game sucks! Ken and I should totally make a better one!” The husband-and-wife team then worked nights and weekends for three months building…Mystery House. And it was awesome. On the heels of this success, they raised money, made more hit games, and eventually sold their gaming empire for $1.5 billion…it could just as well be the founding story of a Playfish or a Zynga today. But this is the story…of the founding of Sierra Online back in the ’80s. It was an exciting time back then. Technology had enabled game developers to develop new game mechanics and immerse players in new worlds in ways that had never been imagined before. And the best part? A husband-and-wife team could work nights and weekends and knock out a meaningful and entertaining game in three months…in the same way that a husband-and-wife team can no longer build a competitive PC game in three months, we’re entering a time when it will no longer be possible for a few guys in a garage to build a successful social game…the gaming industry is now entering a phase where just making a fun game is not enough…in the first generation of social games…what made a game attractive and go viral took a lot of the same muscles that make websites successful…All these elements took games that were pretty basic from a gameplay standpoint and turned them into runaway hits. The success of the next generation of games, as Zynga demonstrated with Frontierville, will depend less on the “hustle” of virality and more on real and impactful gameplay…the “art” of the game will matter more, and as a result I think we’ll see social gaming companies reach out more and more to the traditional gaming community to find talent…” [this isn’t just the story of social gaming, it’s the story of jumping wholeheartedly into an emerging technology, where one or two people can figure out and create pieces of that technology and have a huge impact in a new or greatly expanded market– ed.]

50. World Blender launches with TechStars http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/11/techstars-launches-ten-new-startups-in-seattle/ TechStars, the…seed accelerator program with operations in Boulder, Boston, Seattle and New York City has unveiled it’s…10 new startups from the inaugural Seattle class…These companies are about three months old and have two or three founders. Here are our notes on the startups that presented…World Blender is creating social location-based first person shooter games such as GPS Assassin.…” http://www.worldblender.com/games.html “…games in which every time you play, your experience and strategy are a little different based on where you and your friends are in the real world right now. It means the ability to shoot up your buddy who's sitting across from you in class or leave an explosive present for a friend who's behind you in line at the coffee shop. It means when someone is trying to take you out, your phone or iPod starts freaking out and tells you to get 300 yards away within a few minutes if you want to live. It means you can unleash a barrage of missiles to wreak havok on your competition…Or try to defend your places and people Jack-Bauer style…Want to help playtest our games? Apply here.”

Economy and Technology

51. Are the demands of modern air travel pushing the technology too far? http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/engine-trouble-20101109-17m58.html WHEN one of the engines of the Qantas flagship A380, the Nancy Bird Walton, exploded shortly after take-off from Singapore last Thursday, it shattered confidence in the technology and the companies…the moment engine parts started plummeting from 6000 feet on to Indonesia's Batam Island, the airline, the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the engine maker Rolls-Royce knew they had a public relations disaster of epic proportions on their hands…Rolls-Royce…designed and built…the Trent 900 engines bolted to more than half the world's A380 fleet. Investors wiped £1 billion off the value of the company in two days. Qantas, meanwhile, took the only course that was genuinely available to it by grounding its flagship fleet. The airline…has also seen its shares savaged, nosediving 6 per cent since the explosion, wiping$385 million from airline's worth - more than the price of a new A380…Qantas was quick to drop its engine supplier, Rolls-Royce, into the maelstrom. Joyce said the the British firm's Trent 900 engine was a new design that either had a material defect or a design fault…he said it was outrageous for the union to claim that Qantas's maintenance standards or its practice of outsourcing A380 heavy maintenance to Germany's Lufthansa might have had a bearing on what had happened. The engine had been serviced by its maker, Rolls-Royce…there was a known potential problem of excessive wear in the Trent 900 engines that was the subject of a current airworthiness directive (basically, a safety recall notice) from the European Aviation Safety Agency, Qantas said the engines had been inspected and were fully compliant with the safety notice…The incident raises the question: are we pushing aeronautical technology too close to the edge…”

52. Walmart offers free shipping until Dec. 20 on 60,000 products including electronics http://www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/walmart-offers-free-shipping-until-dec-20-on-60000-products-including-electronics-20101111/ Walmart has decided to give geeks across the U.S. an early Christmas present by introducing free shipping from its online store. It’s a limited offer on eligible products, but the products that come under the offer fall mainly in the electronics and toys categories. From today through December 20 around 60,000 items will qualify for free shipping if ordered via Walmart’s online store. There is no minimum purchase in place to get free shipping either.…”

53. Free email newsletter platform TinyLetter http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/12/pud-revisits-his-past-launches-an-email-newsletter-platform-with-tinyletter/ Email newsletters may be ready for a comeback…despite the communications mechanism being old-school, publishers can put in less effort to get more views in an inbox than on a blog…TinyLetter is a dead simple way to create email newsletters…TinyLetter will create a URL to send to contacts via email, Facebook, Twitter and more so they can sign-up. You can then write your newsletter, customize your newsletters by design, add subscribers, read replies from subscribers and track old newsletters. You can also turn on the option to charge per month for your newsletter…if you don’t blog daily, you won’t build an audience, but email newsletters can be sent out weekly and have a built in audience. And people check their email everyday. And people can reply to emails…”

54. 14 Reasons Why You Need To Start A Startup http://onstartups.com/tabid/3339/bid/24525/14-Reasons-Why-You-Need-To-Start-A-Startup.aspx “…The best time to start a startup is not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not next year. The time is right now, at this very second. Here's why…You Will Have The Time Of Your Life…You Have The Power To Create Something From Nothing…A World Of Knowledge Is Available…Cloud Computing And Web Apps Make It Cheap To Start…Location Isn't Important At First…You Can Get Press And Attention Overnight…There Are More Customer Acquisition Channels Than Ever Before…It's Possible To Make A Living From A Startup Fairly Fast…The Capital To Grow Is Widely Available If You Need It…You Will Make Friends And Connections That Will Last A Lifetime…The Amount Of New Platforms And Technologies Is Staggering…Finding Out Whether You Are Right Takes Far Less Risk…A Traditional "Job" Isn't Much More Secure In The Long Run…The Worst That Can Happen, Isn't Really That Bad…”

55. Indonesian internet companies http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/12/coincidence-or-has-this-tiny-indonesian-company-pushed-google-into-the-market-faster/ “…Sitti has indexed more than 20 terabytes of data; comprising 12 million articles, 12 million Twitter accounts, 800 million pages of websites and blogs, 10 million Facebook conversations, 20 thousand words of slang and 2.7 billion Google search terms– all in Bahasa Indonesia and all to make mathematical sense of Bahasa language context, so that it can match ads to content better than Google. Google…only launched Adwords and announced it was ready to serve the market October 8… about a week after Sitti just launched a trial of its contextual ad engine consisting of that consisted of 2,700 individual ads for 529 brands. It must be doing something right; not only did Google come into the market almost immediately but, the day after the campaign launched, Google bought the keyword in Bahasa for “Sitti.”…Sjarif claims a few candidates were told that Google was going to crush the small upstart…Google brings heft to the market, but it will never get as deep into the nuances Bahasa indexing as Sitti is. Sitti cites the example of ZAO Begun in Russia, which Google tried to buy for $140 million…as evidence that language can be a powerful differentiator on the Web…Sitti raised money from a handful of local angels…offline moguls who didn’t know a thing about the Web…One of these angels called him the day after he committed the money and said, “Andy, do two things for me. The first is don’t die, because this is going to be big. Now, explain to me what you do.”…Sitti’s angels have given the company a long leash, deep pockets and helped open doors to the country’s old media elite. Sjarif now turns down traditional venture firm money, bootstrapping the company’s growth by giving big brands local media consulting advice for digital campaigns. “I want to talk to VCs when I don’t need their money,” he says…Sjarif…says three things drive the Indonesians love affair with Tweeting and Foursquare…They’re narcassists; they love to gossip about one another…and they get bored during urban traffic jams. He says he can map the traffic flows in Jakarta based on the volume of Tweets he indexes at any given time…”

56. Paul Buchheit talks about Facebook, Google and his new gig http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/11/facebooks-paul-buchheit-talks-about-facebook-google-and-his-new-gig.html “…we reported that Paul Buchheit, who created Gmail and founded FriendFeed,was leaving Facebook to join Y Combinator. We caught up with Buchheit on his last day at Facebook…the history of the two companies is very different. Google came out of a Stanford research project so it always had a very academic flavor to it. They were PhD students who hired other PhD students from the start. Facebook had more of a dorm room hacker origin. Mark and his friends put together the site very fast and had a much less academic view on things. They have more of a move fast and break stuff mentality which is one of the slogans there…One of the downsides of having worked on something like that that was notable is that everyone keeps expecting that you are going to work on that again. I have very little desire to work on e-mail again in the future. To me, there's a lot more interesting stuff out there…Although I have worked for quite a few larger companies, it's never as exciting to me as those early stages where it's just a few people hacking things together really quickly and getting them out to the world. To me, that's where you have the uncertainty, the unpredictability and the most excitement…”

Civilian Aerospace

57. GLXP scorecard http://www.newspacejournal.com/2010/10/12/does-the-glxp-scorecard-need-a-new-grading-curve/ The web site Evadot recently published a comprehensive “team scorecard” ranking all the current teams participating in the Google Lunar X PRIZE. The scorecard lists 22 teams and their cumulative scores based on the following metrics…Funding…Innovation…Social Savvy…Connections…Progress…Feeling…Inspiration…Rover/Lander Completion…Participatory Exploration…” [Astrobotic and FREDNET appear to be tied for first place so far – ed.]

58. SpaceX raises $50 million http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/50-million-spacex/ “…Elon Musk…,just raised another $50 million for his other swing-for-the-fences company, SpaceX… Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and the Founders Fund are the biggest investors…This latest funding brings the total capital put into SpaceX to $200 million, which is a lot for a startup, but really not that much for building a rocket company…There is no proven business model in space other than government contracts and low-earth-orbit satellite launches. Going after new markets in space is definitely a long-term play…SpaceX already has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the space station, among other projects. It also has several large commercial deals in the works worth hundreds of millions of dollars and claims to be slightly profitable…”

59. Promise - and problems - of power from space http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/05/BUOI1G59PI.DTL The vast challenge of space, frigid and airless, lured 100 engineers and entrepreneurs to Sunnyvale recently to dream about using extraterrestrial manufacturing and mining projects…for…opening the space frontier to human colonization…the two-day event gave participants a chance to discuss the building of orbital solar power stations to beam electricity down to Earth. Such proposals were advanced in the mid-1970s…Gerard O'Neill and…Peter Glaser argued that orbital photovoltaic arrays could send energy wafting down to Earth in the form of electromagnetic waves gentler than sunlight…Mankins estimated that it would cost $10 billion over 10 years to mount a large orbital solar program…PG&E has contracted to buy future space-based power from the Southern California startup Solaren, which hopes to be in production by 2016…Would-be colonists…recognize that one big roadblock is the $5,000 to $10,000 that it costs to put every 2.2 pounds of cargo into orbit…studies in physiology are needed to help people adapt to micro- and zero-gravity environments…we still don't know which plants and animals, operating in a closed environment, could sustain human life. Nor do we yet grasp the psychological perils of long-term confinement…technologies being used in extreme mining operations on Earth that seem applicable in space - and vice versa…$1 million, semiautonomous loaders, directed by joystick operators hundreds of miles away, are being used in very deep mines where it doesn't make sense to send humans…The techniques we develop for space are going to be directly relevant to underwater exploration," Baiden said. "It makes sense that we'll test them out in harsh environments here on Earth before we try them in space.”

Supercomputing & GPUs

60. The GPU Revolution http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/88/8844sci1.html Three years can pass in a flash for most chemical research projects—and often without yielding three years' worth of useful data. Experiments take time…But for computational chemistry, the past three years have released a torrent of data. A revolution in how molecular simulations are carried out is now making it possible for theorists to do speedy desktop calculations that rival those of supercomputers…easier-to-use GPUs have transformed the computational field in the past three years…the computational chemistry field is now in the third of a series of evolutionary steps for general-purpose GPU computing. In the first step, just getting a program to run on the GPU at all "was impressive, and usually there was no speedup,"…In the second, theorists demonstrated some impressive speed increases with GPUs versus traditional CPU-based calculations. But now…scientists are ready to do calculations "that we never even dreamed of doing on CPUs because it would be too slow."…Alex Travesset, a professor in the department of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, makes do with only one GPU per computer in his group. "You can have a very powerful system by just putting a GPU into an existing computer,"…Travesset and his team recently used the GPUs in their lab to systematically simulate the properties of polymer nanocomposites…Travesset looks at how long a certain molecular dynamics calculation runs on the computer cluster he would use at Iowa State and then looks at the time the same calculation takes on his desktop GPU…The 90 cores of this cluster, which is the fastest that we have here, give me the same performance as one Fermi…graphics card. That's a performance speedup factor of about 90. With a GPU, "I can get it on my own computer right in my office,"…Programming GPU clusters, Illinois' Stone says, is one of the next problems to be addressed by computational chemists and computer hardware firms. The way GPUs currently communicate with one another in a cluster is through CPUs, which is time-consuming and inefficient. "You have to work on how to communicate back and forth,"…”

61. GPUs May Threaten Password Security http://www.gtri.gatech.edu/casestudy/power-graphics-processing-units-may-threaten-passw “…GTRI researchers are investigating whether this new calculating power might change the security landscape worldwide. They're concerned that these desktop marvels might soon compromise a critical part of the world's cyber-security infrastructure - password protection. "We've been using a commonly available graphics processor to test the integrity of typical passwords of the kind in use here at Georgia Tech and many other places," says GTRI senior research scientist Richard Boyd. "Right now we can confidently say that a seven-character password is hopelessly inadequate - and as GPU power continues to go up every year, the threat will increase."…Until recently, multi-core graphics processors…were hard to use for anything except producing graphics data for a monitor…that changed in February 2007…Nvidia released…new tools allow users to directly program a GPU using the popular C programming language. "Once Nvidia did that, interest in GPUs really started taking off," Boyd explains. "If you can write a C program, you can program a GPU now." This new capability puts power into many hands, he says. And it could threaten the world's ubiquitous password-protection model because it enables a low-cost password-breaking technique that engineers call "brute forcing."…The intruders' high-speed technique basically involves trying every possible password until they find the right one. "I don't think many people understand the incredible computing power that's in these GPUs already," he says…Researchers in the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering are developing programming tools that enable engineers in the defense industry to use GPUs more easily in their work. Boyd himself plans to use the calculating power of GPUs for a range of research, including problems in electromagnetics and machine learning…Boyd hopes his password work will increase awareness of the GPU's potential for harm as well as benefit…"The latest Nvidia GPU runs our code at a rate of a billion password comparisons per second…”

62. AMAX Unveils Its Densest GPU-Accelerated System http://www.hpcwire.com/features/AMAX-Intros-Its-Densest-GPU-Accelerated-System-106898073.html “…server maker AMAX, which has introduced what it says is the densest GPU computing system on the market. The ServMax AS-5160G is a 16-GPU, 4-CPU system that delivers more than 8 teraflops of high performance computing in a mere 5U of rack space. Headquartered in Fremont, California, AMAX is a 30-year-old company that…got onboard the GPGPU bandwagon early…about half of the company's revenue is derived from HPC customers, and about half of that now comes from GPU-equipped gear…the 5U AS-5160G…marries a 16-GPU 3U chassis with 2 dual-socket x86 1U servers. The 3U graphics box is…equipped with 16 NVIDIA Fermi Tesla modules…the graphics modules are hot-pluggable…On the host side are the two 1U servers, which can come with either AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon CPUs. The CPUs are there mainly to drive the 16 GPUs, where most of the computational muscle lies (16.48 teraflops of single-precision floating point or half of that in double-precision). Scaled up to a 42U rack, an AS-5160G cluster will deliver over 64 double-precision teraflops…”


*****

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