2010/11/30

NEW NET Issues List for 30 Nov 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 30 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. Shop local movement starts online “…It's said that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. That's why a social media movement wants your money to stay in your community where it can do some good…At a time when people are rushing into big national retail stores, there is a push calling for people to spend money in local small businesses…a big supporter for the day falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is lending giant American Express…they're a great small business endorser and promoter of it…" says Corbett. Facebook has become a huge tool in the fight for small start ups to survive…Social media marketing…has changed a whole bunch of stuff. You don't have to be rich and spend thousands…Another tool this small business is using is Foursquare. People can check in and the Mayor get's a free waffle cone. "We have a bunch of customers competing with each other to be the Mayor. It's fascinating to me. I don't know where people have all this time to do this…Another way that American Express is pushing for local support is the $25 credit they are giving to registered card members who shop at a small business all through the month of December. And that Facebook page "Small Business Saturday" has more than a million people "Liking" it.” http://www.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/11/27/small.business.saturday/ “…Black Friday has evolved to exclude smaller merchants…To boost small business sales, American Express held its first-ever Small Business Saturday, where consumers are encouraged to spend locally…68 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays within the community. Big retail chains keep 46 cents of every dollar within the community…With online purchases…the local community keeps none of the profits…American Express also gave $100 worth of Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who signed up to participate on Facebook…Small Business Saturday is just the beginning of American Express' effort to build up small businesses. The company plans to introduce more local business-building initiatives…”

2. Facebook Gets Nod To Trademark 'Face' http://www.informationweek.com/news/telecom/business/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=228400047 Facebook…has received the go-ahead to trademark the word "face." The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday issued a Notice of Allowance that…the company is entitled to a trademark on "face," as it applies to the name Facebook…Approval of the trademark would give Facebook one more legal weapon as it battles other companies that use either "face" or "book" in their names. The trademark would only apply to Facebook's business as a provider of "telecommunication services, namely providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter."…Facebook has gone after several companies…trying to piggyback on its popularity through its name…the company sued Teachbook in federal court in San Jose, Calif., over its use of the word "book." Teachbook is a social network for teachers…”

3. Firefox losing steam, Chrome gaining http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9197203/Search_deals_generate_97_of_Mozilla_s_income Although Firefox's usage share has been stalled for the last year, Mozilla's revenues were up 34% in 2009…Royalty payments, almost all of which come from search providers, accounted for $101.5 million, or 97%, of 2009's revenue…Mozilla last renewed its search royalty contract with Google in August 2008. The…deal will expire in November 2011…In the last 12 months, Firefox lost 1.25 percentage points…a drop of 5% from the browser's October 2009 share…Chrome gained 4.9 points in the same period, more than doubling its usage share…Last month, Chrome accounted for 8.5% of all browsers used worldwide, while Firefox controlled a 22.8% share…Baker and Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript and currently the CTO of Mozilla, were the highest-paid executives in the organization. Each received $494,000 in compensation, bonuses and benefits in 2009…”

4. Sparked: welcome to the "Micro-Volunteering" World http://www.care2.com/causes/trailblazers/blog/say-hello-to-the-micro-volunteering-world/ How did you spend your last twenty minutes? Mindlessly browsing social media sites or watching videos online?...You could have been micro-volunteering, helping your favorite cause and flexing those professional muscles you've been building for years. Sparked.com allows skilled professionals to help out not-for-profit organizations, one small project at a time…Created by the Extraordinaries, Sparked.com hopes to engage the 73% of Americans who do not volunteer, mostly because of lack of time…"Give a little bit of money and time to have an impact."…Not-For-Profit organizations list individual projects that they need help accomplishing and volunteers can work on these tasks in their spare time…Volunteers sign up and list all of their skills and causes in which they are interested. From there, Sparked suggests challenges to perform. My skills include social media, graphic design, marketing, PR and copy writing…Since signing up, I have already started to revamp a logo for the 24th Street Theatre in LA, taken a survey for StudentMentor and helped choose a tagline for Reading Matters. Total time spent volunteering… maybe an hour…I feel like this type of volunteerism could really take hold. People have reduced their lives to 140-charachter tweets…and sound bytes…People spend thousands of hours every week doing nothing but browsing the web. If they could take this time and transform it into productive volunteerism without the annoying acclimation period of typical, time-consuming charity, I think they would…” http://www.tonic.com/article/got-a-sec-help-change-the-world-rolex-young-laureates-jacob-colker/ “…For Colker, the key to positive change is finding ways to engage people using digital media. "Technology is changing the game on a lot of things…One of his favorite demonstrations of that principle is the story of Jackson, a Masai tribesman in Kenya who…posted a request on Sparked for advice on how to build a well in his village, where the nearest fresh water is miles away. An expert on third-world water issues in San Francisco shot back a reference to a relevant local organization, which is now helping the community build a well…As part of his business plan, Colker is cultivating relationships with major corporations such as Kraft, Google and SAP, which encourage their employees to offer their expertise over the system as a way of giving back to the community, building positive company culture…We are a for-profit that is entirely focused on using the power of business to have an impact," Colker told me…”

5. Facebook cofounder launches Jumo, social network for activism http://gigaom.com/apple/subsidized-ipad-could-actually-save-you-hundreds/ Jumo, a new venture started by Chris Hughes, Facebook’s cofounder…launched in public beta today. Billed as a social network for social causes and activism, the service aims to help people find and discover issues they care about with their friends, keep tabs on them through h news and updates, and over time, help support their work and raise awareness. A nonprofit itself, Jumo is the latest example of broad efforts throughout the industry to bring the energy and innovation of venture-backed startups to the world of philanthropy…”

6. Why free online lectures will destroy universities http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/adrianhon/100006017/why-free-online-lectures-will-destroy-universities-%E2%80%93%C2%A0unless-they-get-their-act-together-fast/ “…university students sit in lectures every day, listening to someone speak for an hour in crowded theatres. Most are daydreaming, checking Facebook, surfing the web, texting and tweeting; if they’re particularly motivated or the lecture is unusually good, some might actually be paying attention. At the same time, millions of learners around the world are watching world-class lectures online about every subject imaginable, from fractional reserve banking to moral philosophy to pharmacology, supplied by Harvard, MIT, and The Open University. One group gets its education for free, and the other pays thousands of pounds per year. It’s a situation that can’t continue, and unless universities face up to the internet’s fierce competition they won’t have any future…The simple fact is that university lectures never worked that well in the first place – it’s just that for centuries, we didn’t have any better option for transmitting information…Even Adam Smith complained about this problem in 1776, in The Wealth of Nations…The discipline of the college, at the same time, may enable him to force all his pupils to the most regular attendance upon this sham lecture, and to maintain the most decent and respectful behaviour during the whole time of the performance…good lecturers can keep attendance up without any coercion, but…such lecturers are few and far between…The mediocrity of the average lecturer was made very clear when I watched Prof Michael Sandel’s fantastically engaging Harvard philosophy lectures on Justice on YouTube…we don’t go to the music hall to hear songs…Most of us don’t visit the theatre for an evening’s entertainment…You can guess where this is heading with universities…what about seminars, workshops, and tutorials, the “contact time” where students talk with teachers directly?...how much contact time do students at most universities really have? A few hours a week, at most?...Universities are important, and not just for training scientists, doctors, and lawyers. When taught well, the humanities can help students think beyond the “how” and into the “why” – and they provide the invaluable gift of critical thinking…online lectures and textbooks give universities the opportunity to reduce costs and increase quality, while focusing resources on what really matters: contact time between teachers and students…the education most universities provide isn’t worth the money. If they don’t have world-class reputations – and only a few do – then they need to change fast, or watch an exodus of students…”

7. The Rise of Tumblr, Posterous & Light Blogging http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/tumblr_posterous_top_trends_2010.php One of the big themes of 2010 has been the increased simplicity of posting content to the Web…Tumblr and similar services are sometimes termed light blogging, as they enable people to publish 'found' things very quickly and at the click of a button. Tumblr is the market leader amongst such tools, followed by Posterous, Soup.io, Noovo and others. Tumblr has grown the most in recent times, but Posterous has fought hard…Tumblr has always been a step ahead, as it launched back in April 2007 whereas Posterous didn't launch until June 2008. In December last year, Tumblr announced a couple of innovations that kick-started 2010: real-time alerts and enabling Twitter clients…In April, Posterous announced that it was shedding its minimalist origins…When it launched, the only way to post a story to Posterous was by email…in April 2010, Posterous added a full rich text editor and put more emphasis on sharing media files…A good example of big media flocking to these tools (but mostly Tumblr) in 2010 was National Public Radio (NPR)…"Part of what we do is experiment on different platforms, and it seemed apparent to us that there was a sizable number of NPR fans on Tumblr," Carvin told us. "It's less about page views and more about engaging a community that enjoys NPR."…A number of traditional media outlets began to use Tumblr this year, including Newsweek, Life Magazine and Rolling Stone…”

8. Forget Net Neutrality, Comcast Might Break the Web / Netflix is a bandwidth hog. Who will pay? http://gigaom.com/2010/11/29/forget-net-neutrality-comcast-might-break-the-web/ The fight…between Level 3 and Comcast…is about money. Yet what has begun as commercial dispute may end up fundamentally changing how the web works and who pays for it…Level 3 told the world that Comcast had hit it up for more money in order to deliver traffic from Level 3′s customers (such as Netflix)…On the other side, Comcast, said Level 3 was trying to sell itself as a CDN while not having to pay fees to Comcast as other CDNs do…when Comcast pointed out that Level 3′s traffic was increasing by more than double to reach a 5:1 ratio when compared to the Comcast traffic sent over Level 3′s network, it was justifying its decision to act…Peering is the face of this issue — the idea that Internet Service Provider A allow traffic from similarly sized and loaded networks to traverse its own at no cost because its traffic gets a pass when it’s on networks owned by ISP B or ISP C…the soul of this issue is how it exposes how uncompetitive the nation’s broadband networks really are…This is a problem the Congress and regulators cannot ignore…consumers…have paid for access to the Internet — that is the whole Internet, not one that is approved by Comcast or some other company…Typically areas have only two ISPs– a cable company and a telco…This idea of content providers paying ISPs to deliver the traffic to consumers, while consumers pay ISPs for access to the pipe isn’t a new one. If that flies, then companies such as Google or Hulu may find themselves paying more for peering…the real people to suffer will be those who depend on the web. Not because Comcast has decided to call Level 3 on it being a CDN, but because of the lack of real competition in our broadband networks…” http://gigaom.com/2010/11/29/level-3-comcast-in-a-cat-fight-over-online-video/ “…Comcast said in its statementOn November 19, 2010, Comcast informed Level 3 that, for the first time, it will demand a recurring fee from Level 3 to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast’s customers who request such content. By taking this action, Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content which competes with its own cable TV and Xfinity delivered contentComcast’s…Vice President for External Affairs and Public Policy Counsel emailed a statement…When another network provider tried to pass traffic onto Level 3 this way, Level 3 said this is not the way settlement-free peering works in the Internet world. When traffic is way out of balance, Level 3 said, it will insist on a commercially negotiated solution. Now, Level 3 proposes to send traffic to Comcast at a 5:1 ratio over what Comcast sends to Level 3, so Comcast is proposing the same type of commercial solution endorsed by Level 3…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

9. US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomatic crisis http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cable-leak-diplomacy-crisis The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking…of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies…Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and…US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN leadership. These two revelations alone would be likely to reverberate around the world…the secret dispatches, which were obtained by WikiLeaks…reveal Washington's evaluation of many other highly sensitive international issues…Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government, with one cable alleging that vice-president Zia Massoud was carrying $52m in cash when he was stopped during a visit to the United Arab Emirates…hacker attacks which forced Google to quit China in January were orchestrated by a senior member of the Politburo…Russia and its intelligence agencies are using mafia bosses to carry out criminal operations…the relationship is so close that the country has become a "virtual mafia state"…Devastating criticism of the UK's military operations in Afghanistan by US commanders…some of the dispatches from the London embassy in Grosvenor Square will make uncomfortable reading in Whitehall and Westminster. They range from political criticisms of David Cameron to requests for specific intelligence about individual MPs…a comparison between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler. The cables names Saudi donors as the biggest financiers of terror groups…an extraordinarily detailed account of an agreement between Washington and Yemen to cover up the use of US planes to bomb al-Qaida targets…Yemeni president Abdullah Saleh said: "We'll continue saying they are our bombs, not yours."…Clinton led a frantic damage limitation exercise this weekend as Washington prepared foreign governments for the revelations, contacting leaders in Germany, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, France and Afghanistan…Washington now faces a difficult task in convincing contacts around the world that any future conversations will remain confidential…The electronic archive of embassy dispatches from around the world was allegedly downloaded by a US soldier earlier this year and passed to WikiLeaks. Assange made it available to the Guardian and four other news organisations: the New York Times, Der Spiegel…Le Monde…and El País…WikiLeaks says…it also initially intends to post only limited cable extracts, and to redact identities…the US uses its embassies as part of a global espionage network, with diplomats tasked to obtain…from the people…frequent flyer numbers, credit card details…iris scans, fingerprints and DNA…The US embassy cables are marked "Sipdis" – secret internet protocol distribution…considered moderately secret but suitable for sharing with other agencies…automatically loaded on to secure embassy websites, and linked with the military's Siprnet internet system…More than 3 million US government personnel and soldiers, many extremely junior, are cleared to have potential access to this material…22-year-old intelligence analyst Bradley Manning was charged with leaking many of these cables…Manning is facing a courtmartial…Asked why such sensitive material was posted on a network accessible to thousands of government employees, the state department spokesman told the Guardian: "The 9/11 attacks…revealed gaps in intra-governmental information sharing…the US government has taken significant steps to facilitate information sharing…giving diplomatic, military, law enforcement and intelligence specialists quicker and easier access to more data to more effectively do their jobs…” http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/nov/29/wikileaks-amazon-ec2-ddos Wikileaks, the site that has infuriated the US government by releasing thousands of US diplomatic cables, is being hosted by…Amazon. The site came under a "Distributed Denial of Service" (DDOS) attack on Sunday night from an unidentified hacker, forcing it to seek a new location for its computer files. And it found it through Amazon's "Elastic Cloud Computing" (EC2) service, which enables businesses to hire its servers and store their data there…”

10. OpenDNS Is Being Blocked By Verizon Wireless http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/OpenDNS-Were-Being-Blocked-By-Verizon-Wireless-111530 OpenDNS was founded in 2006 and…has been a profitable business; in 2008 it was estimated that OpenDNS generates a whopping $20,000 per day off of their DNS redirection relationship with Yahoo…the company has grown substantially -- now serving roughly 20 million users. As ISPs slowly discovered that OpenDNS was eroding a possible revenue stream (redirection portal ads), many ISPs rushed to offer DNS redirection systems of their own…OpenDNS is being blocked by Verizon Wireless…Ulevitch is concerned that a growing number of landline broadband ISPs are going to begin doing this as well to protect their coffers…”

11. Why are the feds surveilling and repeatedly detaining computer security researcher http://www.boingboing.net/2010/11/18/why-are-the-feds-sur.html Computer security researcher Moxie Marlinspike…was detained by US border agents…agents escorted him to a detention room where they held him for four and a half hours…During that time, a forensic investigator arrived and seized Marlinspike's laptop and two cell phones, and asked for his passwords to access his devices. Marlinspike refused, and the devices were later returned to him. "I can't trust any of these devices now…They could have modified the hardware or installed new keyboard firmware." Marlinspike gained attention…at the Black Hat security conference…when he revealed a serious vulnerability in the way internet browsers verify digital security certificates…The incident sounds very much like what happened earlier this year to two other white hat hackers…In July, security researcher Jake Appelbaum was intercepted at a New Jersey airport and detained…earlier this month MIT researcher David House had his laptop seized…at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on his way back from Mexico…this incident is hardly the first for Moxie…There is some speculation that Moxie is being targeted because he has been identified as a friend and intellectual peer of Appelbaum, who is a volunteer with Wikileaks…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. Don't Start Holiday Shopping Without Amazon iPhone App http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/11/22/businessinsider-dont-go-shopping-on-friday-without-this-amazon-iphone-app-2010-11.DTL “…the burning question in every retail shopper's mind: could I get this cheaper on Amazon? Amazon Price Check lets you scan the barcode or say the name of almost any conceivable item, from toys to electronics, then pulls up listings for that product on Amazon…For some items, like books, CDs, and video games, you can also use the app to snap a photo…you can buy the product on Amazon right from the app--while standing in the store…I did a quick test around the house, and the camera worked with every book, CD, and DVD that I scanned (about a dozen). I tested the barcode scanner on recent tech products that I've purchased, and…it worked perfectly. My particular model of Toshiba netbook isn't sold on Amazon…but when I said "Toshiba netbook" into the voice recognition part of the app, it showed me a couple of alternatives…”

13. MicroVision’s second-generation SHOWWX+ laser pico projector http://www.gizmag.com/microvisions-second-generation-showwx-laser-pico-projector/17027/ “…the SHOWWX+ projects 16:9 widescreen images at up to 848 x 480 pixel resolution…and brightness of 15 lumens…the unit can project images ranging from…6 – 100 inches…The PicoP display engine uses laser-scanning technology to produce images that are always in focus – even on curved surfaces…This technology means the projected images are uniform in brightness, intensity and color saturation from the center of the display to the outer edges…SHOWWX+…measures…0.55 x 2.36 x 4.65 in…weighs…4.3 oz…Being “Made for iPod, iPhone, and iPad,” the device connects to these devices through the use of a single cable. It is also compatible with other devices such as mobile phones, cameras and camcorders via a composite TV/Video-Out adapter, while an optional VGA dock allows it to connect to a laptop…replaceable rechargeable battery provides power for up to two hours…The SHOWWX+ is available now for US$449 from MicroVision.”

14. Android app MailDroid keeps multiple email accounts under control http://www.androidapps.com/tech/articles/4145-android-app-maildroid-keeps-multiple-email-accounts-under-control MailDroid for your Android phone is an app that streamlines multiple email accounts and providers into a single, easy-to-access location…it's become more common to have multiple email accounts, rather than just one…MailDroid supports all of the mainstream mail providers, such as Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail and AOL, and you can manually add any POP3/IMAP mail…you'll see a menu listing each of your accounts…This menu is what makes it easy to bounce back and forth between accounts…I'm a Gmail user who likes organization, so my main complaint with Gmail's app on Android is that…I still have not figured out a quick and easy way to designate emails to their proper folder. MailDroid is great because "Choose a Folder" is very easy to find…”

Open Source

15. FocusWriter is all writing, no distractions http://lwn.net/Articles/413495/ It's November, and all around the world aspiring novelists…have turned their attention to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In the spirit of choosing the right tools for the job, I decided to look for an application more suited to fiction than my trusty Vim, and found FocusWriter…FocusWriter is a "distraction free" word processor that's designed to help writers immerse themselves in their work. When run, it elbows aside everything else on the screen and demands the writer's full attention…”

16. Non digital commons a lot more complicated than Free Software http://stop.zona-m.net/2010/11/non-digital-commons-a-lot-more-complicated-than-free-software/ “…John Wilbank, Vice-President for Science Creative Commons…explained…that, in a world that is undoubtedly plagued by copyright abuse from corporations, the Free Software and Creative Commons movements have been able to achieve good results just because copyright exists, is more or less the same worldwide AND only cares about immaterial objects. But trying to port the same ideals and methods to manufacturing and other fields, said Wilbank, is much more problematic and may even backfire in some cases…I asked him to elaborate on the subject…his answers…are good food for thought for anybody interested in the Commons and in a more open society…there is a lot of work on the difficulties of a patent commons, on biomaterials sharing, open hardware, each as separate domains, but not much that stitches it all together…Very few people have the capacity to practice a complex technology, while many have the capacity to take and share a photo, edit Wikipedia, or write code…open source hardware…is where safety comes in. It’s one thing to make my own LEDs, but another thing to make my own car or pharmaceuticals. The complexity and power of modern manufacturing systems is bringing the capacity for user-driven innovation to precisely these sorts of knowledge products, but we don’t have the sort of checks and balances in these products that we have in software…Software source code gets checked into repositories, and if it doesn’t run, it gets edited and re-compiled…We haven’t yet developed the social systems around more complex, non digital products, although the Open Hardware folks are well on their way…We need to encourage these communities to develop, because they are the best way to encode good knowledge into products. But when we are talking about cars and pharmaceuticals, we have safety regulations for a reason, at least in theory. User-driven creation of those kinds of products is going to trigger some antibodies in the system, and we have to be ready for that with plausible explanations, and, most important, robust communities of users…”

17. Librarians, developers push open-source alternative http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/librarians-push-open-source-alternative Librarians, information managers and open-source developers have founded a formal collaborative initiative, Open Network Libraries (ONL), aimed at providing services to library users and staff through the use of open source software. Parts of the library sector here are already developers and users of open-source software. One such development is the locally-developed Koha library management system, which has thousands of users internationally but not many in this country…The support and marketing around Koha and related products is not well coordinated…ONL is an attempt to remedy that shortcoming, making New Zealand’s libraries more aware of the existence and potential of open-source software in the field. ONL was “created to enable libraries to collaborate on the shared goal of serving their communities better,” says its website (www.onl.org.nz). “We advocate the use of free and open-source tools so that libraries can spend money on books, not on licence fees…”

18. 10 Free Server Tools Your Organization Needs http://www.serverwatch.com/trends/article.php/3914616/10-Free-Server-Tools--Your-Organization-Needs.htm “…This list of 10 free, essential tools is an amalgam of tools for all sizes of companies and networks. The range of tools covered here are generally cross-platform (i.e., they run on multiple OSes) but all are extremely useful to the system administrator, network administrator and first-level support personnel. While all of these tools are free to download and use in your network without payment of any kind to their developers or maintainers, not all are open source. The 10 essential tools listed here, in no particular order, are from various sources and represent the very best in tools currently used in large and small enterprises alike…PSTools…SharEnum…Nagios…Wireshark…Apache…IP Plan…Eclipse…KVM…OpenOffice.org (LibreOffice)…Webmin…”

19. Why all scientists should blog http://scienceofblogging.com/why-scientists-should-blog-a-case-study/ “…I was 2 years into my PhD and had a respectable number of peer-reviewed publications to my name…despite the publications, I longed to feel that any of my work was making an impact beyond the traditional boundaries of academia: peer-review publications and scientific conferences. As I was not a full-fledged PhD with a ton of experience, my opportunities for media appearances and invitations to give presentations around the globe were appropriately limited. So, with my good friend and colleague, Travis, I started a blog…I have just published the final study from my PhD in the prestigious journal, Diabetes Care. Despite the wonderful journal, presentations at international conferences discussing the work, and a message that I thought was rather important to the field, the work was met with complete silence…it gave me some great fodder for our blog. So I decided to do a 5-part series on the topic of metabolically-healthy obesity, the grand finale of which was the discussion of my recently published study…the series hit a nerve. The biggest nerve I managed to hit was that of BoingBoing.com, a very popular aggregator of interesting news stories which sent a good chunk of traffic our way…this interest resulted in a total of 12,080 page views and over 70 comments from readers during the week of the series…the same research which I published in a prestigious medical journal and made basically no impact, was then viewed by over 12,000 sets of eyes because I decided to discuss it online…Soon after, I was contacted by a reported from MSNBC.com who wanted to do a story on my study…I also directed the reporter to a number of colleagues in the field who are also doing seminal work in the area…that article was published on MSNBC.com…that article has generated 119 reader comments and has been spread via twitter by even more readers…these numbers are not earth-shattering. But keep in mind we are talking about scientific research here…”

SkyNet

20. Gmail Lite: If You Build It Google, We Will Come http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/27/gmail-lite/ “…I’ve seen the future of messaging — it looks a lot like Facebook Messages…But I’m not sure that the future is Facebook Messages…that’s simply not how I have used Facebook…We need a Gmail Lite. At first, I was underwhelmed by the new Facebook Messages…in the past couple of weeks…I’m seeing the absolute beauty of the system…in its speed…Gmail…I’m envisioning would be an opt-in version…There would be no options to change the fonts of the email. No subject line. No CC field, no BCC field. No left-align, right-align, quotes, bullet lists, etc...that you don’t use 99 percent of the time. It would just be a tiny input box that you could type a message into, or paste a URL into…you’d be able to drag a photo or document in this box too, to attach it to the message (like you now can with regular Gmail)…If you want to be formal with someone, send them a letter. 99 percent of messages online should be brief…Gmail Lite should borrow the character restriction from Twitter and enforce it…maybe bump it up to 160 characters, the actual SMS limit, as usernames wouldn’t be needed…messages could…be sent via SMS…the problem with email coming in is that when one comes in, you know in the back of your mind that you’ll have to type a bunch of words and hit send to respond to it. It will take time. So you put it off…a lot of people would respond more immediately. And the response rate in general would be higher…if you needed to send a long email, you could hop back into regular Gmail Classic with the click of a button…I would bet that a huge percentage of Gmail users would opt-in to using Gmail Lite as their primary email solution…this is probably only going to work with a messaging system that has hundreds of millions of people already using it…of those, Gmail is in my mind still definitely the best…”

21. $1,000 Bounty For Rooting Google TV, Installing Apps http://www.magicandroidapps.com/wiki//index.php?title=GoogleTvRootBounty “…$1000.00 USD to the first person who roots/add third-party app support to Google TV…Google TV device must be hacked before Google officially unveils third-party App development support for the Google TV…For the Google TV to be considered rooted, the procedure must result in the end-user having the ability to install third-party apps…”

22. Google Earth 6: Here’s What’s New http://mashable.com/2010/11/29/google-earth-6/ “…Google Earth 6…is available today for Windows, OS X and Linux. The update includes: Integrated Street View - The Google Maps Street View experience is now fully integrated into Google Earth…3D Trees…Better Historical Imagery…”

23. Optional attendees in Google Calendar http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/optional-attendees-in-google-calendar.html “…Without knowing which attendees are crucial and which are optional, it can be difficult to know which meetings you really need to attend. That’s where Google Calendar’s new “Optional attendees” feature comes in. With a couple clicks, you can openly communicate the importance of a meeting for each attendee. Click on the “Make some attendees optional link” above the guest list and then toggle the role of each attendee by clicking the icon next to his or her name…this feature has helped us more effectively manage our own time on the Calendar team…”

24. Google-backed O3b Satellite Gets $1.18B in Funding http://gigaom.com/2010/11/29/google-backed-o3b-satellite-venture-gets-funding-for-liftoff/ O3b Networks, a Google-backed satellite company aimed at providing Internet service to the emerging world…raised $1.18 billion in financing to finally bring the service on line by the first half of 2013…The name O3b comes from “the other three billion” a reference to the worldwide population of users who don’t have regular access to the Internet. The company plans on providing broadband to 150 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East…O3b will primarily serve mobile operators and Internet service providers, providing backhaul for voice and data. The network will consist of eight Ka-band satellites orbiting at 8,000 kilometers, four times closer than regular geostationary satellites. The proximity of the satellites and their use of the Ka-band will mean better performance and extremely low latency. Service will begin by 2013 following the launch of the first eight satellites from French Guiana…”

General Technology

25. LaCie announces world's smallest SSD USB 3.0 drive, up to 120 GB http://www.neoseeker.com/news/15301-lacie-announces-worlds-smallest-ssd-usb-30-drive/ “…LaCie announced the world’s smallest USB 3.0 SSD drive, boasting speeds up to 260 MB/s and up to 120GB in size. The LaCie FastKey…combines the performance of an SSD, DRAM cache technology, and USB 3.0 to write small files up to 100 times faster than your average USB 2.0 hard drive…With a sturdy metal casing, AES 256-bit encryption and being the smallest drive of its kind…the smallest model is 30 GB and comes in at $149.99; 60 GB is $249, and the 120 GB is a wallet crunching $474.99…”

26. Graphene supercapacitor breaks storage record http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/44477 Researchers in the US have made a graphene-based supercapacitor…Supercapacitors, more accurately known as electric double-layer capacitors or electrochemical capacitors, can store much more charge than conventional capacitors…The new device…has electrodes made of graphene mixed with 5wt% Super P (an acetylene black that acts as a conductive additive) and 10wt% PTFE binder…The energy density values of the supercapacitor are comparable to that of nickel metal hydride batteries. "This new technology makes for an energy storage device that stores nearly as much energy as in a battery but which can be recharged in seconds or minutes…”

DHMN Technology

27. DIY Binder Clip As Mobile Phone Tripod Mount http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/11/diy-binder-clip-as-mobile-phone-tripod-mount/ “…DannyBR details how he uses a binder clip for a mobile phone tripod mount on-the-cheap…an economical solution to mounting my mobile phone on a table top tripod I have…I use the largest binder clip I have and drilled a hole in the centre. Afterwards, I can easily clamp my phone. My phone has a rubber case around it that will protect it, but I plan on buying some foam tape to place on the edges of the clip so it won’t scratch it. Aside from the cost, it’s also versatile. You can place the phone in it in either landscape or portrait and use it on a professional tripod if needed…”

28. The Kee4 one-handed, four-key mobile keyboard http://www.gizmag.com/kee4-keyboard/17068/ “…Citta Consulting is taking a different approach to portability to with its Kee4 Keyboard – a device that has just four keys and can be operated with one hand using a "composite keystroke" system…Kee4 is Bluetooth keyboard worn on one hand with the thumb inserted into a pouch to hold it in place. This allows the four fingers to rest on each of the device’s four keys so the user doesn’t have to move their fingers from key to key…resting it on a solid surface, such as the side of your body or an armrest, is recommended to stop the keyboard moving when the keys are pressed…the unit relies on patented technology that uses a combination of keys, called composite keystrokes, to generate a full range of characters. The device uses two types of composite keystrokes…a rocking composite keystroke, involves a rocking motion where the key that is pressed second is the first to be released. A rolling composite keystroke…involves a rolling motion where the first key that is pressed is the first to be released…such a system will take a bit of getting used to, but the demo video below proves it’s far from impossible…”

29. The R2B2 pedal-powered kitchen appliance concept http://www.gizmag.com/r2b2-flywheel-powered-kitchen-appliance-concept/17063/ “…a mechanical flywheel drive to power a set of kitchen appliances…The kitchen machine, coffee grinder and hand blender chosen for this device would under normal circumstances need to be plugged into an electrical wall socket, but there's no electricity needed for R2B2. Pumping the pedal spins the flywheel, which in turn provides the energy needed to operate the three cooking aids…Pumping the pedal can power the flywheel up to 400 rpm, generating the equivalent of 350W of energy to power the appliances by direct mechanical rotation…A switch dial to the front of the unit controls the speed of the gears, with fast, slow or neutral being available…The hand blender can take various attached ends for different tasks and the transmission gives the device up to 10,000 rpm. The multi-function kitchen machine includes different blades, a slicing disc and whip, and was designed to do as many different jobs as possible with the least possible parts…”

30. Keep the raccoons at bay with Android powered Arduino water gun http://recombu.com/news/keep-the-raccoons-at-bay-with-android-powered-arduino-water-gun_M12809.html This Android-controlled Arduino water gun…was created to "water plants and chase away raccoons"…Controlled by an Android handset, which communicates with the robot via Bluetooth, you can steer the bot using an onscreen joystick - or control it via SMS from further afield…”

31. Steampunk bandwidth meter http://blog.skytee.com/2010/11/torrentmeter-a-steampunk-bandwidth-meter/ “…I got inspired by reading Tom Igoe's article in Make Magazine issue 11, about an antique gauge displaying air quality data from the web…I wanted a big brass gauge telling me how big my pipe was…It's made from a a custom made voltmeter, scale 0-150, 150=5V. Thus it's rather easy to use a PWM output pin of an arduino to drive it…In my case I want to simply have my router post the current incoming bits per second (the torrent) to the Arduino…There is a perl script, grepping the desired information from my Linux router's /proc, and a loop that's started on boot. That loop calls the script periodically and pipes the output to the serial port emulated by the FTDI chip on the Arduino. The Arduino converts it into a pulse width…I got a 1908 voltmeter in a brass housing, about 20cm (8in) in diameter…I had to come up with a calibration array that would map input values to the appropriate pulse width…By the time I was done with TorrentMeter Mk. 1 and thinking about how to make the scale of TorrentMeter Mk. 2, @saschaludwig contacted me. We live only about half an hour from each other. He helped me to draft the Mk. 2 scale and I showed him how the TorrentMeter was driven. He was working on his own version: Megabitmeter, a modern gauge with a laser cut and laser edged scale…”

32. Digi-Key Tech Zone http://www.digikey.com/us/en/techzone/index.html Digi-Key Corporation brings you Technology Zones including featured suppliers, products, and resources for: Microcontroller, Lighting, Sensor, Wireless, Power, and there are more Zones to come. Resources include application notes, reference designs, white papers, links to product training modules…” [as recommended in Make magazine – ed.]

Leisure & Entertainment

33. The First Augmented Reality Star Wars Game, Falcon Gunner http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/17/star-wars-iphone-falcon-gunner/ “…There is a long line of Star Wars-themed games going back to the days of arcade games, and continuing through home console and mobile games…the first augmented reality Star Wars game for the iPhone just hit the app store. It is called Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner…starts with the scene from the original Star Wars inside the Millennium Falcon after they escape the Death Star and the TIE Fighters attack. ..in the gunner’s turret…and you turn the iPhone to rotate around and shoot the attacking TIE Fighters while Han Solo and Princess Leah either encourage or heckle you depending on your skils…In the 360-degree background is the Death Star and an earth-like planet, which come into view depending on which way you turn. The game is completely immersive, and works especially well while sitting in a swivel office chair. The game also has an augmented reality mode which…you can play in your room or outdoors and the spaceships look like they are coming in from the distance…Be careful doing this in public…you might become that guy depicted in this other promo video showing what you might look like if you play the game in public…for pure gameplay I prefer the full-graphics mode…I am not a game guy, but there is a real Wow factor here…”

34. Social Media, Not Search, Drives Sales of Beatles on iTunes http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/a_little_help_from_my_friends_-_social_media_not_s.php “…the first week of the Beatles in the iTunes store: more than 450,000 albums and 2 million individual songs have been sold via iTunes worldwide…Hitwise has…analyzed these early figures from the Beatles digital launch and has found that social media - not search - drove much of the online traffic surrounding Apple's announcement…in the U.K…on Nov.16, over a quarter of all Apple traffic came from social network sites, as compared to just 16.59% for the two days prior…one out of every 200 visits that left Facebook that day went directly to Apple. This moved Apple up on the list of sites to which Facebook sends traffic from number 86 to number 20…With Facebook receiving in excess of 40 million visits from U.K. Internet users every day, that equates to a lot of traffic for Apple from the social networking site…”

35. How to pick the perfect point-and-shoot camera http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2010/11/holiday-camera-shopping-picking-the-perfect-point-and-shoot.ars If you're in the market for a new point-and-shoot camera—whether for yourself or for someone on your holiday shopping list—the array of choices can make it difficult to find one that's right. Here are some tips to help you narrow down the options. First things first—do not get wrapped up in the number of megapixels…Increased megapixel counts on the tiny sensors used in most compact cameras just means more noise, not necessarily sharper images. Instead, there are a few characteristics to focus on: lens focal range and quality, size, ruggedness, and ergonomics.…”

Economy and Technology

36. When It’s Darkest Men See the Stars http://steveblank.com/2010/11/24/when-its-darkest-men-see-the-stars/ This Thanksgiving it might seem that there’s a lot less to be thankful for. One out of ten of Americans is out of work…The pundits say the American dream is dead and this next decade will see the further decline and fall of the…United States…But I don’t think so…We’re standing at the beginning of the entrepreneurial revolution…Wave after wave of hardware, software, biotech and cleantech products have emerged from what has become “ground zero” of entrepreneurial and startup culture. Silicon Valley emerged by the serendipitous intersection of: Cold war research in microwaves and electronics at Stanford University…a Stanford Dean of Engineering who encouraged startup culture over pure academic research…a single Bell Labs researcher deciding to start his semiconductor company next to Stanford…the wave of semiconductor startups in the 1960’s/70’s…the personal computer revolution in 1980’s…the rise of the Internet in the 1990’s…the wave of internet commerce applications in the first decade of the 21st century…just when you thought the wave had run its course into stasis, a sudden shift and radical change into a new family of technology emerged…startups in the past were constrained by…long technology development cycles…high cost of getting to first customer…structure of the venture capital industry…expertise about how to build startups…failure rate of new ventures…slow adoption rate of new technologies by the government and large companies…the things that have been limits to startups and innovation are being removed…In the past, the time to build a first product release was measured in months or even years…startups have begun to build products…to deliver a minimum feature set in…weeks rather than years…Startups traditionally required millions of dollars of funding…open source software has slashed the cost of software development…For consumer hardware, no startup has to build their own factory as the costs are absorbed by offshore manufacturers. The cost of getting the first product out the door for an Internet commerce startup has dropped by a factor of a ten or more…incubators like Y Combinator, TechStars and the 100+ plus others worldwide like them have begun to formalize seed-investing…entrepreneurs began to understand that startups were not simply smaller versions of large companies…Using the business model / customer development / agile development solution stack, entrepreneurs…use an iterative and incremental development methodology (agile development) to build the product…Today, it’s the consumer – specifically consumer Internet companies – that are the drivers of innovation…adoption by 10’s and 100’s of millions users can happen in years versus decades…the time needed to get the first product to market has been cut by a factor of ten, the dollars needed to get the first product to market cut by a factor of ten, the number of sources of initial capital for entrepreneurs has increased by a factor of ten…this won’t be limited to just internet commerce startups. It will spread to the enterprise and ultimately every other business segment…innovators who are unemployed or underemployed now face less risk in starting a company. They have a lot less to lose and a lot more to gain…Revolutions are not obvious when they happen. When James Watt started the industrial revolution with the steam engine in 1775 no one said, “This is the day everything changes.”…We may remember this as the time when…the speed of how businesses operated changed forever…It may be the dawn of a new era for a new American economy built on entrepreneurship and innovation…”

37. Innovation and Disruption: How a Successful Company can be gone in 10 Years http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2010/11/17/sc10-jeffs-notebook-innovation-and-disruption-how-a-successful-company-can-be-gone-in-10-years/ Tuesday morning’s keynote by Clayton Christiansen, Harvard Business School, was probably one of the most insightful keynotes that I’ve attended in some years…Mr. Christiansen explained how big, successful companies can be gone within 10 years by innovation and disruptive technologies, ideas or activities. This can happen not because the executives of these successful companies are inept, but because they follow the lessons that business schools around the country teach. They focus on profit. But when innovation and disruptive technologies, ideas or activities happen, a focus on profit can end up being the wrong direction…successful…computer companies of the 1960’s and 1970’s…are…gone now. They focused on the good rules of business and what their customers wanted and it drove them to oblivion…”

38. The Facebook Juggernaut http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/25/facebook-juggernaut/ “…Facebook. $35 billion valuation…25% of all US Web traffic — and all that with fewer employees than Google has job openings…A Google engineer was recently paid $3.5 million to not jump ship to work there. Facebook seems an unstoppable juggernaut…”

39. Aaron Patzer Ditches His Desk http://www.inc.com/articles/2010/11/aaron-patzer-ditches-his-desk-at-intuit.html “…Over the past two months the wunderkind founder of Mint.com, the online money-management tool acquired last September by Intuit for $170 million, has been traveling the globe, hopping from Canada to India, with plenty of stop-offs in between…"I've been spending quite a bit of time in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK as Mint is expanding globally, and I'm personally doing much of the research and business deals to make them happen," Patzer wrote…What about his desk in Mountain View…"I'd say he's there for one-third of the month—at least a week each month to check in with his team," says Martha Shaughnessy, an Intuit spokesperson…Aaron is the kind of person who speaks his mind, and has rubbed some people the wrong way," a Palo Alto entrepreneur who knows Patzer…says. "There's a culture clash."…Delicious founder Joshua Schachter also barely made it three years at Yahoo, calling innovating at a large company "an incredibly frustrating experience."…Patzer told the New York Times last December that he missed the scrappy start-up vibe. "The corporate campus seems so quiet. A start-up is overflowing with energy. Here it’s a little more subdued," he told the Times. "They’ve got these high, very depressing cubicles."…Patzer was already hinting at wanting to build out Intuit in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. "That's something that I'd like to personally do, not only for the travel experience, but just to really understand how other cultures handle money and their personal financial lives…”

Civilian Aerospace

40. SpaceX's spaceship cleared for commercial re-entry http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40338516/ns/technology_and_science-space/ “…SpaceX…received the first-ever commercial license for a spaceship re-entry from Earth orbit…Federal Aviation Administration…granted SpaceX the one-year license on Monday…A Falcon 9 is to carry a Dragon to low Earth orbit…This will be the first attempt by a commercial company to recover a spacecraft from low Earth orbit…To date, only six nations or government agencies have done it: the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India and the European Space Agency…After the final shuttle mission, SpaceX will make at least 12 flights to carry cargo to and from the station…The next three Falcon 9 missions will be to carry an operational Dragon cargo vessel in an increasingly complex series of demonstrations under the terms of the company's $278 million COTS deal. Upon successful completion of the demo missions, SpaceX is to begin making regular cargo-delivery runs to the space station under a separate, fixed-price contract valued at $1.6 billion…”

41. Private Rocket Builder to Launch Demo Flights From Florida http://www.space.com/news/private-rocket-builder-florida-launches-101129.html A private rocket development company has struck a deal that could allow for demonstration launches of its reusable suborbital spacecraft…Masten Space Systems, a private aerospace company based in Mojave, Calif., announced a partnership with Space Florida…to explore the possibility of demonstration launches from…a rocket launching pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida…Masten's reusable, vertical-takeoff-and-landing suborbital rockets are being designed to operate frequently and affordably, with the ability to fly several missions per day with a small crew. These so-called reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) will enable frequent, reliable and low-cost access to the suborbital space environment…”

42. Vegas firm hoping to attract Canadian astronauts onto inflatable space station http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/bigelow-aerospace-hopes-canada-will-jump-on-board-commercial-space-station-110206714.html “…Bigelow Aerospace says it's working on a commercial space complex that will have the strength of a Kevlar bullet-proof vest. A company representative was in Ottawa…delivering a keynote speech… at the annual summit of the Canadian Space Society…"I don't know how much I can say, but let me say if there wasn't the interest in Canada, I wouldn't be here," he said. "We're certainly talking to some Canadian officials and we're excited where this can take us."…The Las Vegas firm already has two prototype space-station modules in orbit — Genesis I and Genesis II…"With the retirement of the space shuttle it will become more difficult for countries like Canada to sustain an astronaut corps," he said. "The private sector and private revolution that's happening in America can not only guarantee Canada a future in terms of human astronautics, but one that's much brighter and more inexpensive…The Nevada space company is currently working on Sundancer, its first full-scale module, which is scheduled for launch and orbit in 2014…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

43. Students Build Leading ‘Green’ Supercomputer http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/11/19/students-build-leading-green-supercomputer/ “…students from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) have earned third place in the Green 500 list for energy efficient supercomputing with a 33 Teraflop system that was competition’s greenest self-built cluster…students got hands-on experience building their own supercomputer with NVIDIA C2050 graphics-processing units. NVIDIA donated 128 C2050 units to the Illinois CUDA Center of Excellence…and NVIDIA research scientist Sean Treichler spent time on campus helping to plan and build the cluster, which landed spot 403 on the Top500 list and then took third place when the Green500 was posted. “This project was very unique in that it gave students access to something few people ever have the opportunity to do,”said NCSA’s Mike Showerman…This video shows the NCSA students assembling the system…”

44. iray Renderer by mental images Supports Photorealistic 3D Product Design http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/iray-Renderer-Supports-3D-Product-Design-in-Dassault-Systemes-CATIA-V6-110167879.html mental images, a global leader in rendering software and visualization tools…announced today that its iray rendering technology is integrated into Dassault Systèmes CATIA V6, the 3D collaborative design solution. With iray rendering technology leveraging the parallel processing power of NVIDIA Quadro and Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs)…product designers, engineers and marketing professionals can, right within CATIA, interactively create stunningly photorealistic images of their designs…High quality product and device styling, design checks and creative marketing materials can be created in a fraction of the time previously required by leveraging the hundreds of parallel processing cores inside the new NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics and Tesla high performance computing (HPC) solutions…iray technology provides easy "push button" rendering for designers and engineers so they can focus on their workflow and not on tedious render preparations. With just a few intuitive settings, users can easily create photorealistic images with perfectly simulated real-world lighting and materials, including the subtle effects of indirect illumination and refraction, which are critical to achieving realism…”

45. Real Time Tomography, NVIDIA Accelerate Clinical Workflow http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Real-Time-Tomography-NVIDIA-Accelerate-Clinical-Workflow-Reduce-Time-to-Diagnosis-111011189.html “…Utilizing NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs (graphics processing units), Real Time Tomography's new AdaraGPU software processes and enhances digital mammography images up to 10x faster than conventional CPU-based image processing solutions, greatly reducing the time to diagnosis. With its high image quality, flexibility and processing performance, AdaraGPU minimizes image delay -- critical for interventional procedures, such as breast biopsy. "Reducing the time to display an image on the screen will improve throughput in the clinic," says Dr. Catherine Piccolo…"It will also help improve biopsy procedures and reduce patient discomfort by minimizing the time that they are in compression…”


*****

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