2010/11/23

NEW NET Issues List for 23 Nov 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 23 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. New look for Bing Maps http://www.liveside.net/2010/11/18/another-new-look-for-bing-maps/ Bing Maps…rolled out a new look…eliminating the need for Silverlight to view enhanced Bird’s Eye map views. Silverlight remains a big part of Bing Maps, powering Map Apps, including StreetSide, which has now been promoted (demoted?) to a Map App, but is more in keeping with the “basic maps in AJAX, map apps in Silverlight” theme…In a bit of a head scratcher, Aerial view has been renamed Bird’s Eye View, and Bird’s Eye view has been renamed “enable tilt”, ie: a checkbox within Bird’s Eye view now toggles between, umm, the feature previously known as Aerial view and Bird’s Eye tilt view. StreetSide…much more prominently featured in the previous version of the Bing Maps home screen, has been relegated to only one of…55 Bing Map Apps…still very cool Silverlight powered technology, featuring street side views, and nearby images pulled from Flickr…We’re still waiting to see some of the promised innovations from Bing Maps and Streetside, including embedded video and indoor panoramas…”

2. Yahoo! adds Twitter, Zynga, and Groupon http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101116/tc_afp/usitcompanyinternetyahoozyngatwitter “…Yahoo! on Tuesday meshed microblogging sensation Twitter and social game star Zynga into its websites as the…Internet pioneer strived to stay relevant in a changing online world….Yahoo! will be able to get virtual coupons or bargains to the 180 million people in the United States that visit its websites daily…it is testing Yahoo! Offers with 20 partners, including popular online coupon service Groupon…Lovers of Zynga games such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars will be able to play them at Yahoo! websites beginning this week. Yahoo! also began letting people post or see Twitter tweets from its Web pages…”

3. Analytics for Your Docs with Scribd Stats http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/analytics_for_your_docs_with_scribd_stats.php Document-sharing site Scribd has launched a new feature - Scribd Stats - that will allow users to get detailed analytics about docs uploaded to the site…It's like Google Analytics for your documents…The analytics include an overview of all the documents you've uploaded, as well as the ability to drill down into information about individual items. You'll be able to see which documents people are reading and sharing, as well as see referring links, geographic data for your readers, keywords and search terms…Pointing to the heat map that accompanies docs and tracks which pages had users abandon reading, Fast Company asks if Scribd Stats could "change the way we write."…the new analytics will be able to provide a great deal of data about readership and response…”

4. Skype celebrating 25 million concurrent users http://blogs.skype.com/en/2010/11/25_million.html Yesterday we reached a new milestone for peak concurrent users: 25 million people online, on Skype, at the same time…In 2009, our users spoke, stared and sung for 113 billion Skype-to-Skype minutes – and for the first six months of this year, approximately 40% of Skype-to-Skype minutes were video minutes…”

5. You Can Now Log in to MySpace with Facebook http://mashable.com/2010/11/18/you-can-now-login-to-myspace-with-facebook/ “…MySpace users can now log in to the once dominant social network using Facebook…The move is significant for a couple reasons. First…it’s official acknowledgment on the part of MySpace that Facebook has indeed become top dog in the social networking space…Second…as MySpace looks to turn itself around, it creates a huge new audience for MySpace’s content and affirms its focus on entertainment.…”

6. Facebook Alternative Diaspora Launches Private Alpha With Bet Hedging http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/23/diaspora-alpha/ “…Diaspora, the open-source Facebook alternative…were able to turn a goal of raising $10,000 in 39 days into $200,000 from 6,500 backers in the same timeframe. But with such high expectations, you have to deliver. And many expressed doubts that the small team of college students could do that…As the company notes on their blog, the first batch of private alpha invites are going out today. They note that each week they’ll be adding more people to the test, starting with those who contributed to the service’s funding…In less than five months, we’ve gone from nothing to a great starting point from which the community can keep working. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how people can share in a private way, and still do all the things people love to do on social networks…it sounds as if Diaspora is heavily predicated on lists, which they call “aspects”… We think that aspects are a simple, straightforward, lightweight way to make it really clear who is receiving your posts and who you are receiving posts from,” writes Diaspora. “It isn’t perfect, but the best way to improve is to get it into your hands and listen closely to your response…They then go on to list five things they know they could do better, including: security, better APIs, better documentation, easier upgrades, and cleaner code…”

7. Curation And The Human Web http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2010/11/curation_and_th.php There is no doubt in my mind that the topic of curation and the Internet, is an important one and that it will be a dominant topic in 2011. Curation is important because we are reaching the limits of what can be achieved through algorithms and machines in organizing and navigating the Internet…I define curation as a person, or a group of people, engaged in choosing and presenting a collection of things related to a specific topic and context…Aggregation employs software (algorithms) and machines (servers) to assemble a collection of things related to a specific topic and context…Techmeme uses an algorithm to find and publish links to the most important tech news of the day…Techmeme added people because it can produce a superior, curated product, than by machine aggregation alone…that's the reason Techmeme wins out over Google News because the quality of machine selected stories is not as good as that of a team of people curating the news together…People-based businesses are not scalable in the same way - you need to hire more people to do more. People add complexity, require management, vacations, and labor costs always trend up. In comparison, servers and software costs keep falling…The cheapest way to add a human layer is to improve machine aggregation by taking clues from what people do online, what they share, what they write, and what they discuss…the technology of aggregation constantly trends towards becoming a commodity…The value-add becomes the human layer…there are additional challenges to machine based aggregation: it becomes ever more easily gamed…Google is forced to keep changing its algorithm in a bid to shakeout those that figured out how to game its system…Techmeme, with its human curators, doesn't need to worry about others gaming its algorithm because commercial spam won't get published -- except by its sponsors…I see curation as a one part of that human essence, a natural human activity that cannot be matched by technology. And curation is where the value lies in improving the organization and usefulness of the Internet…Here is a Pearltree on "Curation."…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. TSA groping http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Amid-airport-anger_-GOP-takes-aim-at-screening-1576602-108259869.html “…Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice. Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes…Its specialty is what those critics call "security theater" -- that is, a show of what appear to be stringent security measures designed to make passengers feel more secure without providing real security. "That's exactly what it is," says Mica. "It's a big Kabuki dance…” http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-in-national/florida-airport-to-opt-out-of-tsa-screening “…Amid concerns over radiation from scanners, civil lawsuits over pat-downs, and general ineptitude on the part of TSA airport personnel, one Florida airport has thrown in the towel. Orlando Sanford International Airport has announced that it will opt out of the TSA’s screening program…” http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/wireStory?id=12199048 “…The TSA agreed Friday to let uniformed airline pilots skip the body scans and aggressive pat-downs at the heart of a national uproar. Pilots must pass through a metal detector at airport checkpoints and present photo IDs that prove their identity…” http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101120/BUSINESS07/11200470 First, it was shoes. Then, it was liquids. And now, it's full-body scanners -- able to see through clothes…the Fiqh Council of North America, an affiliate of the Islamic Society of North America, said the scanners contravene Islamic law because the scanners reveal images of nudity…The rest of the so-called pat-down was a full-hand, full-contact feel-up, including up around and under my breasts and between my legs…It was absolutely unnerving and absolutely horrendous," said Gigliotti, 43, a wife and mother. "Having somebody's hand up between your legs is absolutely offensive…TSA announced earlier this week it would no longer subject people younger than 13 to pat-down searches, but "who in their right mind thought it was OK beforehand to pat the genital areas" of young people…” http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2010/11/more-florida-opposition-to-tsa-screenings.html “…Florida Republican Senator George LeMieux made similar criticisms at a Senate hearing this week. “I’m bothered by the level of pat-downs,” LeMieux said. “I wouldn’t want my wife to be touched like that. I wouldn’t want to be touched like that myself…” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8150299/Obama-responds-to-growing-outcry-over-body-searches.html “…Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State…said she would not submit to a pat-down if it were avoidable. "Who would?", she said…” http://gizmodo.com/5696160/why-the-tsa-could-lead-us-to-public-rebellion-or-a-terrorist-attack “…I am not screened because I look like a terrorist. I am routinely screened because I look like someone who will readily comply…” http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/11/going-commando.ars “…a "National Opt-Out Day"…on November 24…a mass opt-out of the new AIT body scanners that can see through clothes, with participants choosing instead to have the more invasive pat-down. The goal…is for families to end up the next day "around the dinner table, eating turkey, talking about their experience—what constitutes an unreasonable search, how forceful of a pat down will we allow on certain areas of our body, and that of our children, and how much privacy are we will to give up for flying? We hope the experience then propels people to write their Member of Congress and the airlines to demand change."…a cofounder of We Won't Fly encourages people to get a pat-down on November 24 and "wear the kilt. Leave your phone on record…What they are doing is inexcusable…” http://abcnews.go.com/Business/walking-airport-security-lead-11000-fine/story?id=12215171 “…Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it can fine individuals up to $11,000 for walking away from the airport security process. But will it?…”

9. Resisting the Online Tracking Programs http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/technology/personaltech/11basics.html “…Keeping your computer free of tracking programs is not easy because of the ad industry’s aggressive and sophisticated efforts…tools can minimize tracking, but using them requires considerable effort and tech know-how…the Federal Trade Commission…is trying to determine whether something simpler for consumers, like a do-not-track registry akin to the federal Do Not Call Registry, is feasible…advertisers are increasingly using…supercookies, such as…Flash and document object management (or DOM) cookies…and Web bugs or beacons…They are not removed when you clear out your cookies. To remove Flash cookies, visit Adobe’s online Flash Player settings page at bit.ly/cw2roU, click on the “Website Storage Settings” panel and remove all or some of the files. Block or restrict future third-party Flash cookies by going to the “Global Storage Settings” panel…Taco…for…Firefox and Internet Explorer…helps Web users manage and delete standard cookies, Flash and DOM supercookies and Web bugs…also lets you see who is trying to follow your online movements and helps you decline targeted ads from more than 100 ad networks. Other free browser plug-ins include: Better Privacy for Firefox…Ghostery for Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer…NoScript for Firefox…NotScripts for Chrome…Google says it does not use search history in directing specific ads, but both Microsoft and Yahoo do…online activity is also tracked based on your…I.P. address…mask your I.P. address using Tor…or a virtual-private-network service, such as OpenVPN…a new icon…on some ads…when clicked, provides information on how the ad was directed and how to stop getting them. The icon is…being managed by Better Advertising, the owner of Ghostery…”

10. Baidu CEO: 'Net Censorship a Fact of Life in China http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20101116/tc_pcworld/baiduceonetcensorshipafactoflifeinchina To be successful in China, Internet companies need to make peace with market realities they have no control over, including government censorship and bureaucracy, according to Robin Li, CEO of Baidu…a foreign company that doesn't obey Chinese rules can get in trouble with the government but still maintain a "strategic partner" status and be allowed to operate to a certain degree…This year has been tumultuous for Google in China…In July, the Chinese government renewed Google's license to operate in the country. Li…dismissed suggestions that Baidu holds a "favorite son" status with the Chinese government. "That's a misperception," he said…We're not the only game in town."…Baidu is the market leader, used by 99 percent of the country's Internet users, according to Li…Baidu now has a market capitalization of around US$40 billion…Li worked in the U.S. as an engineer at InfoSeek, and had developed a search technology . Mr. Mueller and the F.B.I.’s general counsel…were scheduled to meet with…several major companies, including Google and Facebook…Mr. Mueller wants to expand a 1994 law, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, to impose regulations on Internet companies….Obama administration…trying to develop legislation for the plan, and submit it to Congress early next year…Under the proposal, firms would have to design systems to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages. Services based overseas would have to route communications through a server on United States soil where they could be wiretapped…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

11. No-Contract Android phone with unlimited data for $25 Per Month http://www.savings.com/blog/post/The-Tech-pert-Smartphone-Savings-Get-an-Android-Phone-for-25-per-Month.html Virgin Mobile just took the wraps off the single best deal in the history of smartphones…anyone who's priced an iPhone, Droid…or similar phone knows the painful part is not the couple hundred bucks you spend on the hardware--it's the $70 per month minimum you have to pay for voice and data plans…and don’t forget the two-year contract that goes with it. Enter the Samsung Intercept, which Virgin sells for $249.99…The Intercept requires no contract whatsoever. Virgin's Beyond Talk plans start at just $25 per month. Not $25 plus a few bucks for taxes and a few bucks more for fees--just $25, period. That includes 300 minutes of talk time and unlimited text messages, e-mail, Web browsing, and other data. Unlimited!...the $40/month plan, which bumps your talk time to 1,200 minutes…it's a full-featured smartphone that runs the uber-popular Android 2.1 operating system…you have access to the complete Android Market…home to some 70,000 apps…The Intercept isn't perfect. Its 3.2-inch screen is a bit smaller than average, and its 3.2-megapixel camera won't win any awards for speed or image quality. On the other hand, it features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth…” http://notebooks.com/2010/11/16/samsung-intercept-review-good-phone-cheap-data-winner/ “…The phone comes with a 2GB microSD card and 256MB RAM/512MB ROM of built in memory…The phone works on Virgin Mobile’s 3G network (operated by Sprint)…the Samsung Intercept on Virgin Mobile provided very good call quality in most settings. When outdoors and in my home town the service was great and the calls where crisp and clear on both ends. About 20 miles away in an area with poor Sprint coverage, we had no trouble outdoors, but sounded crackly to the caller indoors…more of a reflection on the service available in that location than on the phone…since you are buying a phone and service, we suggest you check out your Virgin Mobile Coverage…Web and Email experience on the Intercept was great, though there were times we wished for a slightly larger screen…we found that after a day’s worth of use we still had battery life left when we reached our doorstep…If you find that you run down the battery too quickly you can replace the battery on the go…Virgin Mobile left Android 2.1 pretty much stock…We were able to do some customization, installing Launcher Pro 2 for a more friendly home screen interface. During our tests of Maps it acquired a GPS signal on par with our HTC Eris and Motorola Droid. Angry Birds also loaded up fine and allowed us to go on a pig crushing adventure…the screen size made the game feel a little small compared to the experience on the Motorola Droid, but the game ran smoothly…Samsung Intercept may not be the fastest, or newest, Android phone on the market but it does offer…a robust Android experience on a budget an excellent option…Samsung Intercept Specs: 800 MHz Processor…Android 2.1…Google Maps…Google Navigation…Opera Mini…Expandable Memory (up to 32 GB)…” http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/samsung-intercept-virgin-mobile/4505-6452_7-34183900.html “…What's lacking are the hardware touches that separate the entry-level, midrange, and high-end devices, like large, lush screens; speedy processors; and cameras starting at 5 megapixels…It measures 4.43 inches long by 2.19 inches wide by 0.59 and weighs a solid 4.9 ounces…WQVGA capacitive touch-screen display that is fairly responsive…the icons are on the small side, especially when compared to Android phones with 3.5-inch displays and above. On the plus side, the screen is bright and colorful on the eye, and the usual Android settings menu can help manage screen brightness if you're trying to reduce battery strain…Holding down the home button brings up a task manager that shows your recently opened applications. This lets you multitask quite easily…since the touch pad is smaller than a fingertip, we rarely used it…a 3.5-millimeter headset jack. On the left, there's a volume rocker and a microSD card slot…Both landscape and portrait modes give you access to the virtual QWERTY keyboard…though we found the smallish virtual keyboard less accurate to type on in portrait mode…There's also tight integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Places, and YouTube. Instead of the more common Quickoffice viewer, the Intercept has ThinkFree Office, which works much the same way. If you want something other than Gmail for your e-mail, you also get a standard inbox that lets you plug in your POP or IMAP server settings…Porting my phone number over took surprisingly less than 2 hours although I was told and prepared for 24-72 hours…After 6 days I have used 267 of my 300 minutes, which reminded me that AT&T does allow free calling between all their customers, free nights and weekends…I don't think they count minutes for incoming calls ,which Virgin Mobile does…it can be a bit sluggish and hesitant at times. I find that turning it off regularly…seems to take care of that…it does take its sweet time powering up…I need to check it at least twice per day as the items to be killed seem to get unchecked and checked randomly. Once Skype is activated it will will not disappear from the notification bar until the phone is shut off, and this I suspect drains battery life. Skype only works on WiFi in the US…After trying unsuccessfully to transfer jpg files to and from the phone I downloaded the user manual and read…"only a Contact?s information can be sent via Bluetooth. No other file type (video, image, or audio) can be sent using Bluetooth." This was confirmed via emails from customer support at both Virgin Mobile and Samsung... whatever that is supposed to mean I can not transfer photos…when I connect the phone to my laptop via USB it does not recognize it or the 2GB micro SD card…I downloaded Samsung New PC studio software and that seemed to do the trick…despite the little quirks and oddities. I am willing to live with those issues when I get to save $30+ off of my phone bill per month…I don’t need much of a phone, but a portable internet connection rocks!! This is the first plan that is designed for me. The plan was the primary factor in my decision to buy…my podcasting access (Geek talk from TWiT, BBC for general news...) is good enough that I have canceled my XM radio service…4 weeks in, I have had failures with both WiFi and 3G and turned my neato little phone into a... just a phone! No data…had to reset the phone…Virgin Mobile/Samsung response to problems makes me a little reluctant to recommend their service..The hundreds of thousands of apps are so cool, but scary. I remember the days when PCs were new and we hadnt a care, then the malicious stuff started…I just know trouble is on the way. Like the way it synchs with my Google accounts, I like the whole feel of having information at my fingertips…Many little frustrations, many substantial pleasures…”

12. Smartphones Will Surpass PC Shipments In Two Years http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/16/meeker-smartphones-pcs/ “…at the Web 2.0 Summit, Mary Meeker…put up the slide above showing…that global smartphone shipments will eclipse PC shipments in 2012, with more than 400 million smartphones expected to be shipped that year, compared to less than 200 million last year…phones, in general, are more ubiquitous. To the extent that all phones are becoming smartphones, they will be much more accessible and portable and than PCs (laptops included)…Android…and…Apple’s iOS…platforms now account for 42 percent of smartphone operating systems shipped in the third quarter of 2010…Meeker extrapolates from the experience of Japan, where social networking on mobile devices rapidly took over from the desktop…three years ago and now accounts for 84 percent pageviews for Mixi, Japan’s largest social network…”

13. webOS at HP, will it live or dieF? http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20101116/palm-chief-by-birthright-palm-should-have-owned-the-smartphone-market/ “…Palm’s…acquisition by HP made perfect sense. “We needed more resources,” Rubinstein said. “We could not compete in a fashion that would allow us to be one of the premier companies in the marketplace…HP needed a strong mobile strategy around which they could innovate–one that would allow them to control their own future and not rely on the kindness of strangers.”to…succeed in the mobile device space, you need to own a veritically integrated stack strategy–software, hardware and services–like the one Palm is now building out with the help of HP’s not inconsiderable resources. “We’ve actually pulled a couple hundred people out of HP and made them part of Palm…to broaden our scope and we’re just cranking away…we’re going to see people with more and more devices in the future…our focus is to deliver a unified experience for that around webOS…We’ve got some great products in the works,” Rubinstein said. “Some smartphones, a great tablet coming…Everyone forgets, we just closed this acquisition in July….This time next year, you’ll see us in a very different position.”

14. Acer jumping into Android tablet market with 4.8”, 7” and 10.1” http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/11/acer-jumping-into-android-tablet-market-with-three-models.ars “…Acer has decided to join the masses in rolling out a tablet for any and every demographic the company can possibly think of with a line of new 4.8", 7", and 10.1" tablets. The company introduced the products…Tuesday, all of which will eventually run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) when they are released in 2011…everyone uses technology differently, and that the future showed a "variety of form factors and devices." Indeed, Acer seems to want to get into all of those markets at once with its…tablets, all of which will have dual-core Tegra CPUs…the company hopes to have them available to the public in the spring…”

Open Source

15. Novell Agrees To Attachmate Private-Equity Takeover For $2.2B - the End of an Era http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2010/11/22/attachmate-buys-novell-for-2-2b-the-end-of-an-era/ Novell…agreed to be acquired by Seattle-based Attachmate for $2.2 billion in cash…Novell also said it is selling off “certain intellectual property assets” to CPTN Holdings, a consortium of tech companies organized by Microsoft…for $450 million in cash…a pretty sad end for a company that once rivaled Microsoft…Attachmate is owned by a private investor group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital, and Thoma Bravo. The company, which helps businesses manage and deliver IT services, is a Seattle-area software icon…” http://www.infoworld.com/t/open-source-applications/microsoft-will-purchase-882-novell-patents-809 CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft, is purchasing 882 Novell patents for $450 million in cash…In a Form 8-K filing with the SEC, Novell stated…"Novell will sell to CPTN all of Novell's right, title and interest in 882 patents ... for $450 million in cash." A quick look through the U.S. Patent Office database finds 461 patents that listed Novell under the assignee name…It was not clear Monday which other technology companies are involved with CPTN Holdings. A limited liability corporation of that name was formed in Delaware on Nov. 4…possible area of interest for Microsoft would be the IP around Unix held by Novell. In March, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah confirmed that Novell owned the copyrights around Unix…”

16. What Will Become of openSUSE? http://ostatic.com/blog/novell-sold-what-will-become-of-opensuse “…Novell has sold off some portion of its intellectual properties to CPTN Holdings, (backed by Microsoft)…The remainder of Novell assets will be acquired by Attachmate Corporation…Attachmate Corporation plans to operate Novell as two business units: Novell and SUSE…there was no…mention of openSUSE in either discussion of Attachmate or CPTN Holdings…Attachmate…doesn't have a very high profile…What the company is decidedly not known for is innovation of any kind. It looks like it's picked everything up via acquisition or mergers…Andreas Jaeger, openSUSE Program Manager, could only say…let's not speculate until we have more information…all we know right now is that Novell is sold. No one knows what will happen to openSUSE…”

17. MS changes story on Kinect hack http://www.npr.org/2010/11/19/131447076/how-the-x-box-kinect-tracks-your-moves Microsoft releases Kinect... Adafruit announces Kinect open drivers $1K bounty... MS says "nobody is allowed to hack us"... After 3 days, Adafruit awards $3K Kinect bounty... Matt Cutts announces additional open Kinect prize competitions... Lots of online articles about Kinect hacking... MS says, "oh yeah, we made the Kinect hackable on purpose..." http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/11/microsoft-claims-kinect-left-open-by-design-with-bonus-hacked-vids.ars

18. Microsoft Hires World's Leading Geo-Dissident, OpenStreetMap founder, to Join Bing Maps Team http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/steve_coast_joins_bing.php OpenStreetMap is a global map edited by volunteers, like the Wikipedia of the mapping world…Last month OpenStreetMap founder Steve Coast announced that he was leaving for-profit Cloud Made, the primary company behind OSM. Today he announced where he's going next: to be a Principal Architect at Bing Maps…With the rise of location-aware mobile devices and platforms for processing massive amounts of data, including location data, geo technology is poised to grow far more important than it already is…Coast is a giant figure in the mapping world. In 2009, readers of leading geo publication Directions Magazine voted him the 2nd most influential person in the geospatial world, ahead of the Google Maps leadership…Coast will turn 30 years old next month…As part of the deal, Bing is donating access to its distortion-free aerial photos of the world to the Open Street Maps community. This Summer, Bing Maps added an OpenStreetMap layer to its offerings…Makes you wonder about Google's choice to roll their own now doesn't it?...Between the OSM mappers, MapQuest, Microsoft and all the others who are part of the open project; I [see] no way OSM doesn't become the dominate mapping data source for all users moving forward…Coast has long symbolized the disruptive potential of free and community edited location data. He, his collaborators and the OpenStreetMap project are being counted on to keep some of the biggest and most powerful geo-focused corporations in the world honest…”

19. Tiny module includes 1.2GHz CPU, Wi-Fi http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Anders-Electronics-CMA510/ “…Anders Electronics announced a diminutive COM (computer on module) featuring Marvell's 1.2GHz Armada 510 CPU. The Linux-ready CM-A510…measures 2.95 x 2.55 inches (75 x 65mm), and passes all its signals to and from the outside world via twin surface-mount connectors…the company says it will offer an SB-A510 carrier board…that can turn the module into a single board computer…The CM-A510 also offers two gigabit Ethernet interfaces and, unlike many modules so small, also includes onboard Wi-Fi (Broadcom 4319 chipset) and an external antenna connector…a graphics controller, capable of supporting parallel RGB and analog RGB interfaces with up to 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution; 2D/3D graphics acceleration; an SATA II interface; and four USB ports…a PCI Express interface, an SDIO/MMC interface, a camera interface, I2C, GPIO, and three serial ports. The device additionally offers an audio subsystem that has speaker, microphone, and S/PDIF support…”

SkyNet

20. Gmail Call Recording Appears To Be Rolling Out Widely http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/20/gmail-call-recording-appears-to-be-rolling-out-widely/ “…Earlier this month…Google…improved…the ability to record inbound Google Voice calls directly from Gmail. Now it looks like Google is rolling out the feature more broadly…Google Voice has let users record some phone calls for a long time, but…you have to hit the number ’4′ on your keypad (most people probably don’t even realize they can do this). The feature is only available on inbound calls, and there’s a verbal notification given to both parties…The Gmail implementation seems identical in terms of functionality…But it’s a heck of a lot more convenient. A new ‘record’ button sits just above the dialpad, and it’ll probably introduce a lot of people to the handy feature for the first time…it looks like this doesn’t work on voice calls that are routed directly from one Gmail contact to another (without using Google Voice)…” [if Gvoice call recording is of interest to this week’s NEW NET participants, maybe we’ll do some experimenting with recording a couple calls – ed.]

21. Google Docs editing finally comes to mobile browsers — but how useful is it? http://venturebeat.com/2010/11/17/google-docs-mobile/ Dear Google: If you keep this up, I won’t have any more excuses to be unproductive on my phone in transit…Google Docs users can now edit their files in mobile browsers on iPhones and…Google’s Android…Google Docs users could already access their files and view them. They can now select a new edit function and add or remove information as they see fit. The functionality extends to Google’s Spreadsheets…as well as its word document editor…In practice, editing documents on a mobile device can be a real challenge. There’s the small screen to begin with, and the keyboard takes up most of the screen on most phones. Editing spreadsheets is particularly unwieldy…Google Docs…already…offers a free collaboration service for businesses that have multiple employees…across the country. While one member of a team edits a document, other members can see the changes in real-time. Yammer and Salesforce’s Chatter, two other huge players in the business collaboration space, already have mobile applications. With Google Docs already behaving as a collaboration service, the next logical step was to take it mobile…”

22. Google Apps Customers Get More Controls, More Apps http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2010/11/google-apps-integration.php Google began offering the full range of its various services - such as Voice, Analytics and Picasa - to Google Apps customers on an opt-in basis in September…Goolgle has…simplified the names of the different versions…Google Apps is our free service geared towards families, entrepreneurs and other groups up to 50 users…Google Apps for Business offers 25GB of email storage per user, a 99.9% uptime guarantee..advanced management tools, telephone support…and more…Google Apps for Education offers many benefits of Google Apps for Business, but at no cost to schools, universities and qualifying non-profits…”

23. Chrome OS Still Coming This Year http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/22/google-chrome-os-2010/ “…a lot of hoopla right now that Google’s Chrome OS has been delayed and will miss the stated release date of “this year”…Google CEO Eric Schmidt…last week…said that Chrome OS would be available sometime in “the next few months”. So I asked Google today if they were…sticking with the “later this year” availability of Chrome OS — the answer I got? An enthusiastic “yep!”…it looks as if work is still progressing to knock out a lot of late-stage bugs before the OS can be released…I would bet that we’ll see some sort of Chrome OS beta launch in December…I had a chance to ask the Googlers about Chrome OS recently, and was told that a preview version of Google OS is still going to hit this year and be available in test form on several new form factors…Google is already distancing itself from the talk that Chrome OS is meant for tablets…Schmidt…said that Chrome OS was meant for keyboards, while Android was meant for touch…”

24. Google Pushes Chrome Browser Via Newspaper Ads http://searchengineland.com/google-pushes-chrome-browser-via-newspaper-ads-56600 “…I came across an unusual ad — one placed by Google, to push its Chrome browser…the ad covers one of the 20 “things” that are part of the “20 Things I Learned About Browsers And The Web” ebook that Google released earlier this week…to explain…how browsers work and why “modern” browsers are important…it lists Chrome along with competing browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer…the point isn’t just to push Chrome but rather promote that people should use the most current browsers out there, no matter who makes them…Google believes that applications…will live in our browsers…That means getting people to use the most capable browsers out there…it’s unusual for Google to advertise any of its consumer products, much less advertise them via newspaper ads, though it’s not unprecedented…it’s…a sign of how seriously Google treats the entire browser situation…”

25. Google's DocVerse links MS Office with Google Docs http://venturebeat.com/2010/11/22/google-doc-microsoft-office-connectivity / Google…is giving Microsoft Office users a way to bring their documents into Google Docs without having to leave the Office application…this could be the final nail in the coffin for desktop document editing…Google Docs already allows Google users to upload their Microsoft Word and Excel documents into the cloud and turn them into Google-powered office documents. Now Microsoft Office users don’t even have to manually upload their documents onto Google Docs — they can do it straight through the Office applications…Google Docs gives small- to mid-sized businesses with employees strewn across the country a powerful free option for collaboration…Google did pick up DocVerse for $25 million earlier this year. DocVerse specialized in helping people collaborate on Microsoft Office documents…The service is currently available to early testers…”

General Technology

26. Intel unveils reconfigurable Atom chip http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4210937/Intel-rolls-six-merged-Atom-FPGA-chips Intel Corp. has rolled out…a new line of system-in-package products…that include Atom and Altera FPGA die…The FPGA blocks let engineers customize the devices for whatever interfaces or unique features their system requires. The high–end chip uses a 1.3 GHz Atom with a 400 MHz graphics block consuming 3.6W and costing $106. The low-end device runs at 600 MHz with a 320 MHz graphics block, consumes 2.7W and costs $61. The Altera FPGAs…can support six high-speed transceivers using more than 350 I/O pins…Board maker Kontron has E600C-based prototype boards available now…”

27. Mining the Seafloor for Rare-Earth Minerals http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/science/09seafloor.html “…potato-size rocks…carpet the global seabed. Known as manganese nodules, the rocks are plentiful in nickel, copper and cobalt, as well as manganese and other elements, but lie miles down in inky darkness…The nodules turn out to contain so-called rare-earth minerals — elements that have wide commercial and military application but have hit a production roadblock. China, which controls some 95 percent of the world’s supply, had blocked shipments, sounding political alarms around the globe…In October, Dr. Hein…presented a paper on harvesting the nodules for their “rare and valuable metals.”…elements known as rare earths number 17 in all and range from cerium and dysprosium to thulium and yttrium…Applications include magnets, lasers, fiber optics, computer disk drives, fluorescent lamps, rechargeable batteries, catalytic converters, computer memory chips, X-ray tubes, high-temperature superconductors and the liquid-crystal displays of televisions and computer monitors…most rare earths are not particularly rare…most production has shifted to China because of lower costs there and the country’s record of lax regulation of environmental hazards…rising global prices for the more common metals found in the seabed rocks are increasing the allure. Investors…see the presence of the exotic elements as icing on the cake…dwindling supplies of terrestrial copper — a key ingredient of industrialization used in everything from wires and switches to pipes and roofs — have forced miners on land to go after increasingly low grades of ore and have raised interest in seabed resources…ore in the Chilean copper and gold mine that collapsed in August…bears concentrations of copper that measure only a half percent…The nodules have 1 percent,” he added, “so they’re twice as rich…”

28. Microsoft Lync: renamed unified communications http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2010/11/17/microsoft-lync-ushering-in-a-new-generation-of-communications.aspx “…we are celebrating the launch of Microsoft Lync -- the next generation of Office Communications Server…Microsoft Lync 2010 now delivers on our vision to transform communications by connecting people in new ways. Lync integrates enterprise voice, instant messaging and web, audio and video conferencing into a connected single communications experience…some of my favorite new features…Unified experience. Go from an instant message, to a voice call, to a video call, to a meeting, to a shared whiteboard session – all within the same Lync 2010 experience…Device switching. Switch between your head-set and phone in the middle of a call…Lync Online will be available in 2011 with the general availability of Office 365…”

DHMN Technology

29. Layar lands another $14M to turn AR into something useful http://venturebeat.com/2010/11/16/layar-lands-another-14m-to-turn-augmented-reality-into-a-discovery-tool/ Layar…landed another $14 million…Augmented reality essentially uses location-based technology to superimpose images and content on top of a smartphone camera’s viewfinder…It’s…technology that can turn your camera into a heads-up display for real life…Layar…available on Google’s Android…as well as the iPhone…Layar announced plans to launch on Symbian…Layar is…a springboard that brings in developers to figure out just what to do with the technology…Publishers can create and sell special augmented reality layers that tag places with information like real estate listings or restaurants…the company has launched about 1,500 of these layers. The funding will help solve a major question that’s bugged a number of augmented reality naysayers…why would someone actually use the app…” http://gigaom.com/2010/11/16/layar-augments-reality-with-14m-in-new-funding/ “…I spoke with Layar co-founder, Maarten Lens-FitzGerald…for how the new funding will be used. “We have three main plans…First, we want to upgrade our infrastructure and ensure we have a good organization in place. Second, we’re looking at creating a new interface to the world. For example, how does a bookmark work in augmented reality?”…Layar isn’t just about finding information. It’s meant to provide “impactful augmented reality experiences for people’s everyday lives…which leads to the third planned funding use: “We want to add more core capabilities to the Layar platform…which will require additional user experience research…a key example from one of the…AR layers provided me with an “a-ha!”moment. At Stanford University, you can use Layar to see a virtual archway that no longer exists on the campus because it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906…the ability to view long-gone points of interest in tandem with the physical world of today is powerful and opens up a world of possibilities…”

30. A Minority Report Interface for the Rest of Us http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/techspecs/26028/ “…ever since a be-gloved Tom Cruise blew everyone's minds in Minority Report, interface dorks have been trying hard to bring it into the real world. But here's the problem: who actually wants to spend their whole workday wildly waving their arms around?...musicians and dancers just might. That's the idea behind Toscanini, a gestural computer interface…Toscanini fits a ramen-noodle-sized budget. The free software runs on Texas Instruments' "Wireless Watch Development Tool" -- an accelerometer-equipped, programmable sports watch that costs just $50…it provides a bridge between your movements and digital instruments like synthesizers and keyboards -- or anything else you can control from your computer through a MIDI connection. Think of it like Microsoft Kinect, but for making weird performance art instead of playing Xbox…You can record your movements as musical 'macros', or build your own apps."…Gestural expression puts your personal imprint on the data," he says. "It's random, but it's also you. 500 people can play three notes on a piano and not sound much different, but with our watch it will always sound very different…Mysse and Grodin are considering building a product ecosystem around the watch, including paid apps and musical accessories produced via 3D printing…”

31. Part Silly Putty, part duct tape http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/techspecs/26024/ “…a flexible, curable, sticky silicone that's part Silly Putty, part duct tape -- is technology that improves your technology…something that would let normal people "hack things better" -- easily repair or modify their aging gadgets instead of throwing them out…moldable by hand, waterproof, curable at room temperature, rigid but flexible after curing, able to adhere to almost anything. The new class of silicone…called Formerol, can do anything from repair a cracked laptop to weatherproof a bike basket…”

32. Qualcomm Next-Gen Snapdragon MSM8960: 28nm, dual-core, 5x Performance Improvement http://www.anandtech.com/show/4024/qualcomm-reveals-nextgen-snapdragon-msm8960-28nm-dualcore-5x-performance-improvement “…The current Snapdragon is available in both 65nm and 45nm versions integrating a single Scorpion CPU core running at up to 1GHz and an Adreno 200 or 205 GPU…Snapdragon was the SoC of choice for many Android phones over the past year and a half…In the coming months we’ll see the first dual-core Cortex A9 based NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoCs ship in devices. Sometime next year we’ll see A9 based OMAP4 SoCs…what does Qualcomm have in store for us…we have the MSM8260 and 8660 SoCs…current generation technologies: integrating two Scorpion cores and an Adreno 205 GPU on a single 45nm die. The 8260 features HSPA+ support, while the 8660 supports HSPA+, CDMA2000 and 1xEV-DO Rev. B. These two dual-core SoCs will run at 1.2GHz…8x60 SoCs started sampling over the summer…expect to see them in high end smartphones sometime in 2011 at the earliest…the next-generation Snapdragon SoC…on a 28nm process…Qualcomm MSM8960 SoC…two next-generation processor cores, presumably out-of-order as Qualcomm is promising 5x the performance of the original Snapdragon chip (2x for the move to dual cores and the rest due to OoO, larger caches and other architectural tweaks perhaps…Power consumption is said to be 75% lower, however that seems very aggressive…MSM8960 is set to offer a ~4x improvement in graphics performance…wasn’t specific about what the reference point…Adreno 3xx GPU would be used in SoCs from 2011 - 2013 on a 28nm process…The 8960 continues to be a single chip solution with integrated modem, supporting all 3G modes as well as LTE. The MSM8960 will begin sampling in 2011, meaning we likely won’t see smartphones based on it until 2012.”

33. DIY flight simulator motion rig http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/11/diy_flight_simulator_motion_rig.html Matt Thomas of Roger Dodger Aviation (and Maker Faire Kansas City fame) designed and built this Moving Axis AirCraft Simulator, which is a flight simulator that tilts and shifts you as you fly a virtual plane. If you've been thinking about building something similar, you are in luck- along with the device itself, he also recorded a series of tutorial videos on the trials and tribulations of constructing such a device…”

34. Video Games With Imaginary Steering Wheel as the Controller http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116075805.htm “…Scientists have designed a communication system based on hand movement and position for virtual control of a videogame through a flight time camera…participants who visited the booth for Infaimon…had the opportunity to test this interface with a videogame operated simply by moving ones hands as if holding a virtual steering wheel. The scientists have employed a time of flight camera or TOF with which they capture in 3D user's movements to later transmit them to a computer, which then processes and transmits them to the game's car…this type of camera…offers three-dimensional information without having to resort to the classic stereoscope systems of two lenses…The functioning of the TOF camera is relatively simple: an infrared ring gives off a light that bounces off the body, which is then recorded and returns to the sensor…distance between these objects can be calculated. "Our idea…is to be able to apply this sensor to different problems…such as video surveillance systems, biometric face identification, analysis of player movement in sports performance, and man-machine interfaces…”

Leisure & Entertainment

35. Netflix $7.99 Streaming-Only Plan, Slightly Increased Unlimited/DVD Plans http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20023529-17.html Netflix has a new streaming-only option…video rental company will now offer customers a plan that includes the ability to view movies through its streaming service for $7.99 per month…Netflix has increased its streaming-plus-DVD-by-mail plans…Netflix's previous $8.99 plan, which offered streaming and one DVD out at a time is now $9.99. The company's two-DVD plan, plus streaming, is now $14.99, up from its previous $13.99…”

36. Barnes & Noble Nook Color ebook reader http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/16/nook-color-review/ “……is the Nook Color worth your hard-earned cash? Well, we'll say this -- if you're a hardcore reader with an appetite that extends beyond books to magazines and newspapers, the Color is the first viable option we've seen that can support your habit. Not only does Barnes & Noble have an astoundingly good selection of e-book titles, the company seems to be aggressively pursuing the periodical business, which is a big deal. This is the first device we've seen that effectively and consistently presents a color magazine option. It's not the fanciest or most sophisticated presentation, but the idea of having your favorite glossy delivered direct to a device like this every month (in a truly readable format) is a major innovation. But besides all the reading you'll be doing with the Color, you're also buying into a potentially much bigger proposition -- namely, the idea that come Q1, this thing will be a viable Android tablet with an app store of its own. Granted, it doesn't have 3G on-board, and the OS could use some serious TLC and polish, but if B&N delivers on its desire to create a marketplace for Nook Color apps, you could be spending $249 not just for a great reading experience, but for something far bigger…”

37. The Beatles Aren’t Yesterday, After All: Two Million Songs, 450,000 Albums in a Week http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20101123/apple-sells-2-million-beatles-songs-in-a-week/ “…Top album: “Abbey Road.” Top song: “Here Comes the Sun.”…Probably didn’t hurt that the George Harrison song is one of the ones Apple is using in its new campaign…It will be be nice for the company if it sells a lot of Beatles songs. But it’s really great for them that they get to advertise iTunes using Beatles songs…once people get to iTunes, it doesn’t matter to Apple if they buy Beatles songs, Angry Birds or episodes of “House.”…whatever Apple paid (I have a hunch it was a big sum, at least part of which was up front), it will end up getting its money’s worth…”

38. Zynga Takes On Rivals With CityVille, A Casual Virtual Metropolis http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/17/zynga-cityville/ “…meet the latest Zynga game that’s destined to join the ranks of Facebook’s most popular applications: CityVille. It’s SimCity meets FarmVille, and it’s got plenty of competition. CityVille isn’t quite finished yet — Zynga says we can expect it to go live globally in the coming weeks…When it does launch, the game will be internationalized in German, Italian, Spanish and French…Digital Chocolate’s Millionaire City has 12.6 million monthly active users, making it one of the top games on Facebook; other competitors include Playfish’s My Empire, Crowdstar’s Hello City, and Playdom’s Social City, along with many others…I’m not the sort of person who enjoys FarmVille or FrontierVille — I like my games to involve a bit more strategy and thinking. And, from what I can tell, CityVille comes a little closer to what I’m looking for. It’s no Civilization or SimCity, but this is probably Zynga’s ‘smartest’ game yet. If you’ve played SimCity or any of the aforementioned social city building games, CityVille will feel pretty intuitive…”

39. Amazon.com starts own online studio http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2010/11/amazoncom-goes-hollywood-launches.html “…Amazon.com is taking on the movie business. The company is inviting aspiring filmmakers to submit their scripts and movies to a new website called Amazon Studios…Amazon will dole out a total of $2.7 million to the top submissions received by Dec. 31, 2011…Amazon is applying the crowdsourcing concept to the movie business…Amazon is asking would-be filmmakers to writers to submit scripts and full-length "test movies" of more than 70 minutes. According to Amazon, these test movies "must include imaginative stories with great acting and sound" but "they don't need to have theatrical-quality production values."…Amazon wants to turn the best projects into "new, full-budget theatrical films."…Filmmakers get a $200,000 payment if their material gets turned into a theatrical film, and another $400,000 if the movie makes more than $60 million at the U.S. box office…In exchange for submitting material, users will give Amazon an 18 months of exclusive rights…That type of restriction without payment is likely to deter working filmmakers and screenwriters and make Amazon Studios a home for rookies only…”

40. OnLive MicroConsole official at $99 http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/18/onlive-microconsole-official-at-99-we-go-hands-on/ “…OnLive is launching the MicroConsole right now, a tiny box that turns your Speedy Gonzales internet connection into a virtual game console….the $99 OnLive Game System gives you the leanback HDTV experience complete with a custom wireless gamepad…OnLive's…giant server farms process the games far away, then pipes the rendered images (using proprietary compression technologies and custom hardware) straight to your screen. The MicroConsole grabs that stream using a standard 10/100 ethernet connection, decodes it and upscales it all the way up to 1080p using a custom SOC, and outputs the resulting images to your TV at up to 60fps over HDMI 1.3…the entire system uses just six watts under full load, thanks to an underclocked chip…unit has no fan or even so much as a vent to exhaust heat from within…the MicroConsole doesn't technically use ZigBee, though…IEEE 802.15.4…connects the console's custom wireless controllers…when the company decided latency was paramount, it was the only way to go, with 2.4GHz too saturated and Bluetooth too slow…OnLive built a custom software stack for 802.15.4 that responds in 800 microseconds flat, or under 2ms when or if you've got four controllers paired at once. We were immediately impressed by the build of OnLive's gamepads…these ship with a pair of AA batteries but you can also buy a rechargeable 2400mAh lithium-ion pack…reportedly good for 36 hours and charges using a standard microUSB port…the service is still struggling to build out -- it launched with 23 games in June, and it's only up to about 40 now…some are wary of spending full price for a PC game that one can't actually download -- even if said service comes with 30-minute demos and game rental options…the future's looking far more bright…there are presently 100 more games in the pipeline…slated to appear before the end of 2011…the company's adding about a game a week right now…it's…planning a Netflix-like flat rate pricing plan for back-catalog and indie games as well…”

Economy and Technology

41. The Man Who Paid A Record $335,000 For Virtual Property http://blogs.forbes.com/oliverchiang/2010/11/17/meet-the-man-who-paid-a-record-335000-for-virtual-property/ “…I introduced you to the man who sold his virtual property in the…online game Entropia Universe for $635,000 in real dollars, making a half million dollars from the sale. Now meet the man who bought the largest chunk of that property. He paid a whopping $335,000…Yan Panasjuk last week completed a transaction with Jon “Neverdie” Jacobs to buy a large portion of Jacobs’ popular Entropia destination “Club Neverdie,” including seven bio-domes, a stadium, club and mall. He paid the entire $335,000 out of his own pocket…His purchase price beats out the previous record-holding purchase of the Crystal Palace Space Station, also in Entropia, by Buzz “Erik” Lightyear for $330,000 in January. Why would Panasjuk pay so much money for something that doesn’t exist in the real world?...“When motion pictures were first invented there were a lot of critics saying that it is a novelty act and it would never amount to anything nor will be able to make any real money once the novelty wears off – last time i checked Avatar has grossed 2.7 billion dollars world wide…Virtual Universe is the next logical step in world entertainment…although there are a lot of critics and people shaking heads…Because Entropia has a real cash economy (players can exchange Project Entropia Dollars for real U.S. dolllars at a fixed 10:1 exchange rate), virtual entrepreneurs can start real moneymaking businesses in the game. Jacobs, for instance, was making $200,000 a year in revenue from sales of virtual goods and services…In Entropia, Panasjuk is the avatar John “Foma” Kalun who has been a player for a decade…who is Panasjuk in real life? He’s a 35-year-old software engineer living in Boston. Panasjuk was born in the former Soviet Union…Ever since he was six years old he says he was “fascinated by computers, Internet and the opportunities they provide.” At the beginning of 2000…Panasjuk says he got a tip from a friend to check out Entropia. He’s been hooked ever since…He says he made the purchase partly because he wants to be able to spend more time in the virtual world…he was averaging 10 to 20 hours per week. He wants to be able to spend about 40 to 60 hours a week now…making running the virtual asteroid a full-time job…He thinks he will eventually be able to generate the same level of revenue Jacobs was, if not more…”

42. Facebook Tests “Pay Later” Option for Buying Virtual Goods http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/11/18/pay-later-virtual-goods/ Facebook is testing a “Pay Later” option for purchasing goods within social games. Users who have never purchased Credits before can spend Credits they haven’t paid for and repay the balance later. Users can only repay a balance with a credit card or PayPal…the option may be designed to get users to comfortable with buying virtual goods and get them to put their credit card or PayPal details on file with Facebook for quick purchasing in the future. Facebook has signed deals with all the top social game developers…With plenty of games that accept Credits, the biggest barrier to users actively spending is getting their payment information on file…When a user who has never bought Credits goes to purchase a virtual good, they’ll see a dialogue pop-up asking if they want to pay later and have “Facebook send you a bill…If users choose to repay, the only payment methods which are offered are credit card and PayPal. Once a user has input payment details for one of these methods, future purchases only require a single click…users aren’t required to first settle their balance, and can still buy more goods through the Pay Later system, increasing their debt. At this time, there doesn’t appear to be limit to how far into debt a user can go, or any repercussions for remaining in debt…by only allowing users to repay balances with methods which can be quickly reused later, Facebook has converted non-buyers into one-click-buyers…”

43. Travel Search Engine Kayak Files For $50 Million IPO http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/17/travel-search-engine-kayak-files-for-50-million-ipo/ Travel search engine Kayak just filed…for a proposed initial public offering. The company hopes to raise $50 million…For the nine months ended September 30, 2010, Kayak generated $128 million in revenues, growing by 48% from last year…Net Income was actually down for the first three quarters to $6.2 million from $10.4 million in 2009…the travel site processed more than 469 million user queries for travel information, which grew by 37% from last year…ITA’s software powered 42% of Kayak’s overall airfare query for the year. Airline travel queries accounted for approximately 85% of the searches performed on Kayak…Kayak said in relation to the Google-ITA deal: “If completed, Google could pursue the creation of new flight search tools which will enable people to find comparable flight information on the Internet without using a service like ours. According to Experian Hitwise, in September 2010, approximately 30% of travel searches began with Google. Upon completion of its acquisition of ITA, this number could substantially increase, as Google may choose to offer services that directly compete with the services we offer…The company said that Orbitz accounted for 18.8% of Kayak’s revenue for the year, and Expedia accounted for 24.9% of revenues for Kayak…”

44. Eric Lefkofsky Sees Big Returns From Social Media http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/business/18sbiz.html “…Eric Lefkofsky…is 40 and keeps a deliberately low profile in…Chicago…Forbes…estimate his wealth at $750 million…The first business Mr. Lefkofsky started, StarBelly, made tools for building Web sites; he sold it in 2000 for $240 million. He then started two companies that have…gone public — InnerWorkings, which provides printing capabilities over the Web, and Echo Global Logistics, a transportation and logistics outsourcing business…also founded MediaBank, which helps companies buy advertising. In each case, Mr. Lefkofsky used the power of technology and the Internet to update an industry…then came Groupon…worth as much as $3 billion…Mr. Lefkofsky and Mr. Keywell started an investment fund with $100 million of their earnings. It’s called Lightbank, and it invests only in early-stage technology companies that are built around social media…Groupon…have grown from a handful of employees to more than 2,700 over the past two years. This year alone we have expanded into 29 new countries…ThePoint.com, the predecessor of Groupon, was a failure until we found the right recipe, which was to make buying a social experience. Now, Groupon is a very well-run business with great operational control and a metrics-driven culture…a study…indicates 42 percent of your customers wouldn’t run another promotion. What do you make of that…The study is flawed…we conduct regular surveys and our merchants are overwhelmingly happy… we have featured about 5,000 merchants more than once, which would never occur if they weren’t making money off Groupon…We think that the most disruptive business models will take advantage of that social graph over the next five to 10 years. Take travel as an example…Think about the way most companies currently hire…There’s no reason to hire people that we can’t learn something about through some connection of our personal network. There’s no site today that takes advantage of the social graph in this way…LinkedIn does part of it. It’s a great example of a company…leveraging the social graph to grow and deliver value…no one has fully cracked the code on social recruiting yet…Now that Lightbank exists, do you get inundated with…entrepreneurs pitching ideas?...Absolutely. We have already invested in seven companies and we have a goal of doing a new one about once a month…”

45. Indeed Now Largest Job Site By Unique Visitors http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/17/indeed-monster-largest-job-site/ “…Job search engine Indeed.com slipped past Monster.com to become the largest job site in the U.S. According to comScore, 12.3 million people visited Indeed in October, up 19.6 percent. Monster.com attracted 12.1 million people, and CareerBuilder.com came in third with 11.3 million job seekers…These numbers are just for the respective main sites, and do not include each property’s larger networks. CareerBuilder and Monster are still larger by that measure, with 21.2 million and 14.7 million monthly unique…compared to 12.5 million for Indeed. Indeed passed Monster in pageviews last year, and currently gets an estimated 334 million pageviews a month, compared to 311 million for CareerBuilder and 205 million for Monster…Monster bought HotJobs from Yahoo earlier this year. The number of visitors to HotJobs.com is down 67 percent from a year ago…”

Civilian Aerospace

46. Print Your Own Space Station — in Orbit http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/3d-space-printing-101111.html “…Made in Space wants to launch 3-D printers into orbit and use them to make parts for spacecraft and space stations, which would be assembled in zero gravity…Dunn discussed the company's business model and plans here recently at NASA's Ames Research Center, during a conference called Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement…The technology has advanced greatly in the past several years, with one company now selling a home-use desktop printer for less than $1,000…Printing out components in space could reduce structures' mass by 30 percent or so, Dunn said, because engineers wouldn't have to build the parts to withstand the rigors of launch, which include high g-forces and lots of vibration…Space printing could also reduce any time delays caused by broken or malfunctioning equipment…3-D printers aboard the station could simply crank out whatever's needed. And the broken part could be recycled into feedstock…Missions…could take 3-D printers along to help establish human settlements…Using metal and plastic as feedstocks, they could print out robot parts. Using Mars or moon dirt, they could build up dwellings, piece by piece…”

47. Imagine a moon base in 2069 http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/innovation/11/18/moon.colony/ “…talented designers and architects imagine a moon colony in 2069. The design competition, created by the nonprofit urban planning group SHIFTboston, produced wildly creative illustrations and concepts…SHIFTboston's Moon Capital 2010 competition aimed to smash together two fields that often find themselves at odds: architecture and engineering. "The tension between what is mostly ideal or perhaps impossible and what is logical and clearly achievable is necessary to arrive at passionate and creative solutions,"…The winning entry by designer Bryna Andersen imagines a moon base surrounding a massive satellite dish that would collect solar energy and beam it back to Earth…New sporting events would be introduced that make use of the moon's low gravity…"There is something in the American psyche that caters to the stuff of 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' and 'Avatar,' don't you think?"…"The illustration of the elevator core -- looking up -- I kept coming back to 'Tron' for that one," said Harms. "Now the new 'Tron' movie is coming out in December and we're excited about that…”

48. Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_one_way_to_mars “…Mars…colonization…could happen faster and more economically if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America — not expecting to go home…Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor…and Paul Davies, a physicist at Arizona State University…believe the one-way trips could start in two decades. "You would send a little bit older folks, around 60 or something like that…because the mission would undoubtedly reduce a person's lifespan, from a lack of medical care and exposure to radiation…Mars is a six-month flight away, and it has surface gravity, a thin atmosphere, frozen water, carbon dioxide and essential minerals. The two scientists propose the missions begin with two two-person teams, in separate ships that would serve as living quarters on the planet. More colonists and regular supply ships would follow…By not taking the extra fuel and provisions necessary for a return trip to Earth, the mission could cut costs by 80 percent…they're not proposing a "suicide mission." "The astronauts would go to Mars with the intention of staying for the rest of their lives, as trailblazers of a permanent human Mars colony…What we would need is an eccentric billionaire…Psychological profiling and training of the astronauts, plus constant communication with Earth, would reduce debilitating mental strains…The mental health of humans in space has been extensively studied. Depression can set in, people become irritated with each other, and sleep can be disrupted, studies have found. The knowledge that there is no quick return to Earth would likely make that worse…Both men contend that Mars has abundant resources to help the colonists become self-sufficient over time. They write that the colony should be next to a large ice cave, to provide shelter from radiation, plus water and oxygen…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

49. World's Greenest Petaflop Supercomputers Built with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Worlds-Greenest-Petaflop-Supercomputers-Built-with-NVIDIA-Tesla-GPUs-109047349.html The "Green500" list of the world's most energy-efficient supercomputers was released today, revealing that the only petaflop systems in the top 10 are powered by NVIDIA Tesla GPUs. Of these GPU-powered petaflop systems, Tsubame 2.0, from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), was ranked number two; and Tianhe-1A…was ranked number 10…heterogeneous systems, built with both GPUs and CPUs, deliver the highest performance and unprecedented energy efficiency," said Wu-chun Feng, founder of the Green500…GPUs have quickly become the enabling technology behind the world's top supercomputers…"Top500" supercomputers based on heterogeneous architectures are, on average, almost three times more power-efficient than non-heterogeneous systems…”

50. Nvidia Tesla Now Powers Three of Top 5 Supercomputers http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/other/display/20101116180811_Nvidia_Tesla_Now_Powers_Three_of_Top_5_Supercomputers.html “…Tesla 2000-series compute accelerators now power three of top five supercomputers on the planet…According to the updated Top 500 list of supercomputers, the most powerful system nowadays is Tianhe-1A located in National Supercomputing Center (NSC) in Tianjin, China. the system scores 2.566 petaFLOPS (PFLOPS) in LINPACK benchmark and can theoretically perform 4.7 quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS). The most powerful supercomputer on the planet is powered by 14 336 six-core Intel Xeon X5670 (2.93GHz) central processing units (CPUs) as well as 7168 Nvidia Tesla 2050 compute boards…Other supercomputers powered by Nvidia Tesla in the top 5 are Nebulae (1.271PFLOPS, 4640 Tesla compute boards, 2.55MW) that belongs to NSC in Shenzhen, China as well as Tsubame 2.0 (1.192PFLOPS, 4200 Tesla compute boards, 1.340MW) located in GSIC Center of Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan…supercomputers powered by compute accelerators like Nvidia Tesla are only beginning to take off…Tianhe-1A consumes 4.04MW of power, whereas a CPU-based cluster based on today's microprocessors with 2.566PFLOPS performance would have used 50 thousand of CPUs and consumed 12.7MW of power…Tsubame 2.0…delivers petaflop-class performance while remaining extremely efficient, consuming just 1.340MW, dramatically less power than any other system on the top five…”

51. Conference Highlights Dividing Lines Across GPGPUs http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/Conference-Highlights-Dividing-Lines-Across-GPGPUs-109313174.html If there was a dominating theme at the Supercomputing Conference this year, it had to be GPU computing…the technology seemed to be ubiquitous at SC10…Today, every major and minor HPC system vendor now offers GPU-equipped servers…But not everyone at SC10 was hopping on the GPU bandwagon…There is a definite divide in the HPC application community about the value of graphics processors for science codes…a number of developers…had played with GPUs and found they couldn't realize that magical 10X performance bump they felt they needed to commit their applications to a new platform. Although there are plenty of technical computing applications that have been ported to CUDA, many -- the majority, in fact -- have not…getting to 100X or beyond would be attainable only by those algorithms that are not memory-bound, that is, those dominated by computation rather than memory access. Most of the customer applications they've worked with have been able to achieve between 2X and 10X performance increases when ported to GPUs, and sometimes that's not enough for to justify a platform change…my impression is that the bigger, older codes are more resistance to being ported to GPUs than smaller and newer ones…In many cases, those older codes are no longer attached to their original developers, which makes transforming the algorithms into a GPU-friendly design…legacy codes tend to have accumulated kludges and tweaks that make such redesigns extremely painful…the if-it-aint-broke-don't-fix-it crowd often dominates the software maintenance mentality. This might help to explain the slow response of the US and Europe to adopt GPU-equipped supercomputers, at least at the level of the large national labs and universities…this is where many of those legacy HPC codes are developed and maintained…”

52. CUDA, Supercomputing for the Masses: Part 21 http://www.drdobbs.com/high-performance-computing/228300263;jsessionid=231PDW3VP1O3LQE1GHPCKHWATMY32JVN “…This article will focus on Fermi and the architectural changes that significantly broaden the types of applications that map well to GPGPU computing while maintaining the performance benefits provided by previous generations of CUDA-enabled GPUs…Fermi is the internal name that NVIDIA uses for the GF100 architecture that has many expanded capabilities to overcome computational limitations in the previous G80 and follow-on GT200 series of architectures. Variants of the Fermi architecture are used in the GeForce 400 and Tesla 20-series…GPGPU computing has now permeated all aspect of global computing technology. From ultra-low-power CUDA-enabled GPUs to the largest supercomputers in the world such as China's Tianhe-1A (meaning Milky Way), which can perform 1 quadrillion peak floating-point operations, GPGPU computing is redefining what is possible on a computer…”


*****

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