2011/02/08

NEW NET Weekly List for 08 Feb 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 08 February 2011, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering at Sergio's Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. Online Courses, Still Lacking That Third Dimension http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/business/06digi.html When colleges and universities finally decide to make full use of the Internet, most professors will lose their jobs…I began teaching classes online 10 years ago, but the term “online” is misleading. What I really mean is that I teach a hybrid course: part software, part hovering human…“We should focus on having at least one great course online for each subject rather than lots of mediocre courses,” Bill Gates suggested…The Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, which has developed about 15 sophisticated online courses, mostly in the sciences, spent $500,000 to $1 million to write software for each…Academic Earth, an aggregator Web site founded in 2009…offers 150 full university courses…The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also shares the raw materials of courses in its OpenCourseWare program…But students cannot interact and do not receive vital feedback about their own progress that an instructor or software provides…Carnegie Mellon seems to have made the most progress in developing fully self-contained online courses…course credit can be earned at other institutions if instructors send their students to the site. Students pay nominal course registration fees, generally $15 to $60, and Carnegie Mellon sends data about each student’s progress to the instructor at the student’s home institution…the director of Carnegie Mellon’s program, put it this way: “There is something motivating about the student’s relationship with the instructor — and with the student’s relationship with other students in the class — that would be absent if each took the course in a software-only environment.” Those relationships — with humans in the flesh — help students to persevere. Online courses are notorious for high dropout rates…”

2. Facebook replacing Craigslist for adult services http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20030954-71.html “…Craigslist withdrew from the adult services business last year…However, a Columbia University professor is suggesting that the business might have gravitated to somewhere even more obvious: Facebook…Venkatesh estimates that 83 percent of prostitutes have a Facebook page…With more discreet and personal access offered through cell phones, the web and Facebook in particular, he believes that prostitutes "can control their image, set their prices, and sidestep some of the pimps, madams, and other intermediaries who once took a share of the revenue…” [same thing that happened with music and the music industry?? – ed.]

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

3. Anonymous hacks firm trying to investigate it http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20030849-83.html A security firm investigating the people behind the recent Anonymous cyberattacks on various Web sites has become a victim of the group's exploits…HBGary Federal, which said that it had been working with the FBI to identify the leaders of Anonymous, saw its Web site hacked and the Twitter account of its CEO, Aaron Barr, compromised yesterday by the group…Anonymous revealed information about the CEO claiming to be his home address, Social Security number, and cell phone number…HBGary Federal's domain names hbgary.com and hbgaryfederal.com…and its Web site…were all hacked in the attack, Anonymous replaced the site with a page describing its motives behind the attack. In its message, the group claims that documents uncovered by HBGary purporting to reveal the names of the "higher-ups" at Anonymous had incorrect information…Barr apparently got himself into hot water when he told the Financial Times…he had identified two of the key members of Anonymous in the United States as well as senior members in other countries…one source from Anonymous involved in the cyberattack told Forbes that Barr was planning to sell the information to the FBI…”

4. White House will propose new digital copyright laws http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20030956-281.html The Obama administration has drafted new proposals to curb Internet piracy and other forms of intellectual property infringement that it says it will send to the U.S. Congress "in the very near future."…There's no detail about what the proposed law would include, except that it will be based on a white paper of "legislative proposals to improve intellectual property enforcement," and it's expected to encompass online piracy. The 92-page report (PDF) reads a lot like a report that could have been prepared by lobbyists for the recording or movie industry: it boasts the combined number of FBI and Homeland Security infringement investigations jumped by a remarkable 40 percent from 2009 to 2010. Nowhere does the right to make fair use of copyrighted material appear to be mentioned…”

5. Mobile cyber threats http://venturebeat.com/2011/02/07/mobile-cyber-threats-are-getting-worse/ Malware of all kinds keeps spreading on computing platforms…The renewed interest in attacking mobile platforms comes as smartphones and tablets become a primary computing tool for millions of users…mobile security may begin to consume as much resources as PC security, which accounts for billions of dollars in investment…there is a direct correlation between the popularity of a device and attacks against the device. One of the most high-profile threats was SymbOS/Zitmo.A, which attacked phones with the Symbian operating system, which is still the most popular mobile platform despite Nokia’s significant loss of market share. Another prominent threat was Android/Geinimi, which hid a Trojan in legitimate Android mobile apps… attacks against mobile platforms were also successful because so many mobile users aren’t aware of mobile security threats. People who believe in putting antivirus software on a PC don’t think about doing that for mobile phones…” [in addition to DHMN members focusing on app development skills, it would be a good thing for NEW NET and DHMN members to share and discuss their strategies for protecting mobile computing devices from malware and for syncing and/or backing up data on smartphones and other mobile devices – ed.]

Mobile Computing & Communicating

6. Verizon iPhone Shows You Can’t Win: Carriers Hold the Cards http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/02/iphone-verizon-sucks/ “…you just can’t trust wireless carriers. On the day that iPhone preorders began last week, Verizon quietly revised its policy on data management: Any smartphone customer who uses an “extraordinary amount of data” will see a slowdown in their data-transfer speeds for the remainder of the month and the next billing cycle. It’s a…bait-and-switch. One of Verizon’s selling points for its version of the iPhone is…an unlimited data plan — a marked contrast to AT&T, which eliminated its unlimited data plans…Verizon didn’t send out press releases to alert the public of this nationwide change regarding data throttling…The only reason this news hit the wire was because a blogger noticed a PDF explaining the policy on Verizon’s website, which Verizon later confirmed was official. Obviously it’s bad news, so Verizon wanted to keep a lid on it…“We’ve been working on this for a very long time,”…Verizon’s CEO, said during the Verizon iPhone press conference…We feel good about being able to handle it.” Working on what for a very long time? A plan to handle a flood of new data-heavy customers by slowing everybody down? Brilliant…”

7. Voice traffic warnings on Waze for iPhone http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/voice_traffic_warnings_come_to_iphone_app_waze.php “Waze, a user-driven collaborative mobile traffic mapping and sensor service, today added voice notifications and input concerning traffic hazards to its iPhone app. The company said the feature would soon be added to its apps on other platforms…the addition of a read/write voice interface will both lower barriers to input and create sensory interruption at essential times - when a driver nears a hazard. Waze…has 2.2 million users and is in the process of moving its headquarters from Israel to Palo Alto. It's one of the most user-friendly iterations of a larger trend of everyday devices turning into instruments of data capture…”

8. Sprint Unveils Kyocera dual-screen smartphone http://www.pcworld.com/article/218947/kyocera_echo_for_sprint_first_impressions.html The closest thing Android has had to a dual-screen phone was the Samsung Continuum…Kyocera has done much better with the Echo…It feels solid and well-built. When folded it's almost the same length/width as the original Motorola Droid, but it's a bit thicker…Folded it you can only see one of the 3.5-inch LCD screens, both which are of roughly the same quality as the Droid, but .2-inches smaller. When folded out, the Echo is very flat and thin, and the two screens form one 4.7-inch (diagonal) screen that's somewhat square and awkward to hold. Kyocera did a good job of minimizing the gap between the two screens. It's big enough to lose a line or two of text, though, so some scrolling may be required when reading pages spread out over two screens…The Echo ships with Froyo (Android 2.2), but they have made some pretty nice tweaks in the phone's software…E-mail, for example, can be set up…with one screen showing the message list, and the other displaying the highlighted message. The same concept is applied to the Gallery, where one screen is for viewing the pictures while the other displays thumbnails…when typing (in the messaging app, for instance), the entire lower screen becomes the keyboard, which means GIANT keys…you can also use both screens as one big one together, for viewing videos, images, giant maps, or playing certain games. The phone also features Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities…”

9. OnLive raises $40M from HTC for improved mobile gaming http://venturebeat.com/2011/02/08/onlive-raises-40m-from-htc-which-will-put-game-service-on-its-phones/ OnLive has raised $40 million from Taiwan’s HTC, one of the fastest-growing makers of smartphones…The announcement is a huge boost for server-based gaming, which promises to disrupt traditional game retailers and game consoles. It also shows that it will be possible to play the highest-quality games on mobile devices…OnLive was founded by serial entrepreneur Steve Perlman. He invested in the technology for nine years before launching the service last year using internet cloud technology. Perlman said that OnLive games will definitely be playable on HTC mobile devices…”

Open Source

10. Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" released February 6th, 2011 http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110205a “…After 24 months of constant development, the Debian Project is proud to present its new stable version 6.0 (code name Squeeze). Debian 6.0 is a free operating system…Debian 6.0 includes the KDE Plasma Desktop and Applications, the GNOME, Xfce, and LXDE desktop environments as well as all kinds of server applications. It also features compatibility with the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.2 of the LSB. Debian runs on computers ranging from palmtops and handheld systems to supercomputers, and on nearly everything in between…”

11. DreamPlug puts a 1.2GHz ARM Linux PC in a power outlet http://www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/dreamplug-puts-a-1-2ghz-arm-pc-in-a-power-outlet-2011022/ “…plug computer[s]…form part of an over-sized plug and sit in a power outlet. Unlike a typical PC they don’t have a video card and therefore no video out. They are ideally suited for use as a web or media server that is always on and always connected. Just plug it in and forget about it…the latest model to become available offers an update to the performance, software, and connections…It’s called DreamPlug, and it offers up some serious computing power using an ARM processor…The DreamPlug has the advantage of offering an always on computing solution that takes up no space and only draws 5 watts of power. Want a home server? DreamPlug could be the perfect solution. If you want one then it’s possible to pre-order for $149 with shipments starting some time this month. There’s also an optional $30 JTAG board for debugging and programming purposes if you intend to develop applications for use with the DreamPlug…”

12. Ada Initiative Supports Women in Open Source http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/12068_3923936_1/Ada-Initiative-Supports-Women-in-Open-Source-Counters- “…The Ada Initiative, a non-profit organization to encourage women's participation in both FOSS and related groups such as the Free Culture Movement and Wikipedia. It's an ambitious effort, but one that the founders are determined to make…Both Aurora and Gardiner have been active in FOSS women's groups for over a decade…the catalyst for the Ada Initiative was the hostile responses to Noirin Shirley's account of being sexually assaulted at ApacheCon in November 2010. The incident led to Aurora, Gardiner, and other members of the Geek Feminism blog to draft sample anti-harassment policies for conferences, and eventually to Aurora quitting her work as a full-time kernel developer at Red Hat to focus on the issues involved…The Ada Initiative is intended as a means to do the kind of intensive work that is difficult -- if not impossible -- when relying on volunteers. The current plan is to find funding for two years' full time work for at least Aurora and Gardiner…”

13. Manage System Startup and Boot Processes on Linux with Upstart http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/404619-manage-system-startup-and-boot-processes-on-linux-with-upstart Want to start, stop, and manage services on your Linux box? Then you need to familiarize yourself with Upstart and take control of your startup and boot processes on Linux. When Linux boots up, the first process that runs is called init. From there, init takes the task of starting up system processes. But which init? Turns out, there are several flavors of init, and it depends on which Linux distribution you're using and how modern the release is. Let's take a look at some of the backstory…”

SkyNet

14. Introducing the Google Translate app for iPhone http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/02/introducing-google-translate-app-for.html “…the official Google Translate for iPhone app is available for download from the App Store. The new app has all of the features of the web app, plus some significant new additions…The new app accepts voice input for 15 languages, and—just like the web app—you can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. For voice input, just press the microphone icon next to the text box and say what you want to translate…”

15. Google I/O Tickets Sell Out In 59 Minutes http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/07/google-io-tickets-sell-out-in-59-minutes/ “…tickets to the tech giant’s annual developer conference Google I/O went on sale. 59 minutes later, Google VP Vic Gundotra tweeted that tickets were now sold out. To put that in perspective, Gundotra also tweeted that the 2009 conference took 90 days to sell out, and the 2010 conference took 50 days…the apparent explanation is that developers are simply way more interested in building on Google platforms (namely Android and Chrome)…when tickets went on sale for Google I/O last year, the original Droid had only been out for a few months, and the rush of powerful Android phones was just picking up…Developers may also have caught on to Google’s habit of handing out new Android phones at such events (everyone received an Evo 4G last year), which makes the $450 ticket price seem even more reasonable…”

16. Chrome OS vs. Android 3.0: Which will Survive? http://www.pcworld.com/article/218843/chrome_os_vs_android_3_which_will_survive.html “…Google is developing Chrome OS, an operating system for netbooks and connected devices that is essentially a browser in a box…Developers who want to write software for these devices will be writing Web apps, pure and simple…Android 3.0, previewed at a Google demo event this week, sees the search giant's smartphone OS blossoming into something more closely resembling a general-purpose computing platform -- including many features the Chrome OS folks told us we'd never need…if developers really want to write software "the Google way," my money's on Android, not Chrome OS…there's nothing fundamentally wrong with running applications in a browser. Web apps work well for countless enterprises today, and certainly for SaaS providers such as Salesforce.com…increasingly the future of computing doesn't look like a netbook. Mobile browsers are already the preferred window to the Web for many users, particularly in Europe and Asia…The classic browser view assumes the content will be narrow and users will scroll up and down to see more. That assumption doesn't hold on devices that can switch the screen from landscape to portrait view at the drop of a hat and where users scroll using finger gestures. Rollovers? Hovering help tips? Custom cursors? None of these tools are available when there's no mouse pointer. And intermittent connectivity, coupled with mobile carriers' tiered pricing, makes lightweight UIs a must for mobile devices, in contrast to the rich Web experiences touted by Chrome OS…many of the most popular apps you see in the iTunes Store are purpose-built UIs for individual websites, streamlined to take advantage of the device's smaller screen and native UI widgets…Android 3.0 acknowledges this trend by offering a new UI framework aimed at improving user experience on a variety of devices, including a host of redesigned UI widgets and a new way to build modular, multipane UIs…Android 3.0 introduces accelerated 2D and 3D graphics and support for multicore processors. Google is working to add similar features to its Chrome browser, but in general Web-based apps don't scale well to take advantage of hardware…for all Android's advantages, nothing about it precludes the Chrome OS application model, either. Android ships with a browser based on the WebKit rendering engine, the same as Chrome OS. The difference is that while the Chrome OS forces every application into the old-world browser experience -- which has remained essentially unchanged since Netscape 1.1 -- Android allows developers the opportunity to offer users something more, by combining HTML-based content and services with optimized native UIs…”

17. Google Ventures Invests in Anti-malware Firm Dasient http://www.itproportal.com/2011/02/08/google-ventures-invests-anti-malware-firm-dasient/ Google's venture capital division has invested in anti-malware company Dasient…Malware is one of the fastest-growing threats on the Internet today, and Dasient has developed innovative solutions that aggressively tackle this problem head on," said Karim Faris, Partner, Google Ventures. "Dasient enables companies to proactively protect their websites by detecting and identifying a malware infection before it harms their business. We are excited to be working with the Dasient team to help build and grow the company…”

General Technology

18. HP's TouchSmart 610 and 9300 recline http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20030815-17.html Hewlett-Packard has unveiled updates to its all-in-one desktop PCs…the HP TouchSmart 610 Consumer PC and the HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite Business PC…feature a 23-inch 1080p HD display and multitouch technology…touching or tapping a screen that's upright can be awkward. So, the screen features a recline that can dip to a 60-degree angle…HP's new PCs come with a Blu-ray drive and Webcam, as well as an SD slot. The 610, which will ship with AMD or Intel processors, features Hulu, Netflix, Rhapsody, and Twitter among the apps optimized to work with the computer's touch display…On the enterprise side, the TouchSmart 9300 Elite comes with Windows 7 and up to 16GB of RAM…”

19. Drobo Takes Aim At Small Businesses With New 12-Bay Version http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/02/07/drobo-takes-aim-at-small-businesses-with-new-12-bay-version/ “…DroboPro FS made a beeline for small businesses by mashing up its networking-centric FS series with the 8-drive Pro series…now they’re taking that a step further with the 12-bay version of the same…The new B1200i denotes the 12 bays it has and the iSCSI interface…It’s got three iSCSI ports on the back and a new priority on actual fileserver duty and virtualization. It’s got support for thin provisioning too, and of course all that off-site backup jazz and data optimization magic that makes Drobo Drobo. It’ll be shipping in Q2; you can get one kitted out with 12 2TB drives (24TB total) for under ten thousand…”

20. Will Android + NVIDIA become the new Wintel? http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/will-android-nvidia-become-the-new-wintel/44569 Microsoft and Intel have dominated the past three decades of the personal computing revolution…while both companies are doing just fine financially…the Wintel alliance (Microsoft Windows on Intel x86 chips) is about to move from the driver’s seat to the back seat…Mobile computing is about to zoom past the PC ecosystem…despite efforts by both Intel and Microsoft to adapt to the mobile world, neither of the two is poised for the same kind of success in mobile that they’ve experienced in PCs…2011 will likely be the turning point. Here are four reasons…People are spending a larger chunk of their computing time on their smartphones as these devices take on greater capabilities…Multitouch tablets are about to explode in 2011 by bringing computing to new demographics (children, elderly, and people afraid of computers)…Smartphones will start to replace some PCs in 2011 with products like the Motorola Atrix 4G that are powered by dual core processors and can dock and function like full PCs…In the developing world, mobile devices are the primary PCs and Web devices…”

DHMN Technology

21. Texas Instruments shows off a 2GHz dual-core ARM OMAP 5 chip http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2024874/texas-instruments-2ghz-dual-core-arm-chip Texas Instruments today announced its new OMAP 5 mobile platform, a super-advanced mobile chipset that will enable Kinect-like gesture-based interfaces and potentially support Microsoft's new, ARM-based version of Windows. OMAP 5 is the first chipset based on the brand-new ARM Cortex-A15 processor, which offers support for more than 4GB of memory and multiple operating systems virtualized in hardware…The dual-core A15 (at up to 2-GHz per core) will be accompanied by a multi-core Imagination PowerVR SGX544 GPU…Cortex-A8 is the chip that enabled the first real generation of super-phones, including the Motorola Droid and Apple iPhone 3GS. Cortex-A9 is the platform that is starting to appear now in hot devices like the BlackBerry Playbook and Motorola Atrix. Cortex-A15 is another leap in power…OMAP 5 will allow mobile computers to run multiple operating systems much more easily than they do today. TI is targeting Android, Chrome OS, and Microsoft Windows…OMAP 5 devices could act as an Android-based smartphone when on the go and as a Windows-based desktop PC while in a dock, for instance…The big wow here, though, will be the interfaces. TI seems to be heavily focused on gesture-based interfaces…The company will provide a special API to enable full-body and multi-body gesture interfaces. You'll wave your hand near your smartphone to manipulate objects in virtual 3D…The gesturing world is going to explode," El-Ouazzane said…”

22. Replicating human vision in robots http://www.instrumentation.co.za/news.aspx?pklnewsid=37741 “…a robotic vision system that performs the operations of a human eye can complement the artificial intelligence that can be one of the vital cogs in the internal architecture of a robot. However, replicating the human vision system is a difficult task…A research team…has developed a field programmable gate array (FPGA) processor that has been specifically designed for artificial vision. It is a specialised device, and effectively brings supercomputing power to synthetic vision...This system can be trained to recognise any object in real-time, either from scratch or in an unsupervised manner. Vision is taught with the help of convolutional neural networks or ConvNets – multistage neural networks that can model the way the brains visual processing area creates invariance to size and position to identify the objects. The researchers have developed a general-purpose system that can be programmed like a standard PC, based on a runtime reconfigurable 2D grid of computing elements…The major difference is that the reconfiguration can be done at runtime, allowing very diverse computations to be performed on the grid. The FPGAs are custom-made for this system and are superior to any CPU (central processing unit) or GPU (graphics processing unit)…custom designed FPGAs will always outperform general purpose ICs for specific tasks since custom-made FPGAs require only about 10 watts, and within a few years will have the capability to dissipate just 1 watt…”

23. Steampunk CD player http://hackaday.com/2011/02/05/steampunk-cd-player/ This custom CD-player enclosure may not be your style, but you can’t deny that the fabrication techniques are top-notch (translated). This starts with a portable CD player and a set of amplified speakers. A brass plate serves as the base for the electronics, with the CD player internals mounted from the underside. The brass dome that covers the spinning disk also started as a sheet of metal…”

Leisure & Entertainment

24. Angry Birds Coming to 3DS and Wii, Valentine's Day Version Hitting Today http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2379577,00.asp “…"Angry Birds"…will be available on the Wii and 3DS later this year…In early January, Sony announced that Angry Birds would be available on the PSP and PS3 as a mini game, with 63 levels…in November…Rovio chief executive Peter Vesterbacka told the BBC that Rovio is working on a version of the game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation3, and Wii game consoles. Until then, users can amuse themselves with a Valentine's Day version of the game…It will be incorporated into Angry Birds Seasons, the holiday version of Angry Birds that already features Halloween and Christmas options. Those who have already downloaded Seasons will get the Valentine's Day option via today's update. It costs $0.99 on the iPhone, $1.99 for an HD version on the iPad, and is free for Android…Rovio on Sunday released a secret code that allows users to access a Rio-centric level of the game…Rovio unveiled a new Angry Birds game, a partnership with 20th Century Fox known as "Angry Birds Rio." The game will be released in conjunction with the studio's movie, also called "Rio."…users must first get to Ham 'Em High, level 13-12. At that point, the first two birds will be yellow and white…users can launch the yellow bird anywhere they want, but when it comes to the white bird, launch it backwards in order to unlock a special golden egg…”

25. The battle for Internet movies: Apple vs. Walmart http://venturebeat.com/2011/02/08/apple-walmart-internet-movies/ “...Apple’s iTunes is so far the number one service for selling movies—in the U.S., it accounted for 64.5 percent of all movie purchases online in 2010—but the company is going to have to deal with a new contender: Walmart…Even though Walmart’s presence in the segment is minuscule now (it doesn’t even show on the charts yet,) the retail giant is not to be underestimated as it will become a major player if its momentum continues…The company already represents a critical source of revenue for the major Hollywood studios because of its massive sales of Blu-ray and DVD movies—and now is expanding this business into the online realm…Walmart generated over $3.5 billion in revenues to the studios through sales of physical movies last year…”

Economy and Technology

26. Offer Flowers In Mobile Applications http://www.floristone.com/api/flowers-api-mobile-applications.cfm Mobile commerce is exploding - the annual sales of physical goods is over $2.2 billion dollars and has a growth rate of over seven times that of regular ecommerce. The Florist One API can be used by any mobile application to create a storefront to sell florist-delivered flowers and earn affiliate commissions of 22% on every sale. The Florist One API could be used to build a mobile application that is exclusively a 'flowershop app' to send flowers - it could also be used to add a storefront to any existing mobile application that now wants to offer flowers…” [DHMN app developers should consider building prototype apps to do in-app sales of flowers and other goods; this Florist One API for mobile apps might be a good place to start – ed.]

27. In-app purchases in iPad, iPhone, iPod kids' games touch off parental firestorm http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020706073.html “…8-year-old Madison worked to dress up her simple mushroom home on the iPhone game Smurfs' Village. In doing so, she also amassed a $1,400 bill…The Rockville second-grader didn't realize the Smurfberries she was buying on the popular game by Capcom Interactive were real purchases, much like buying a pair of shoes from Zappos or movie tickets from Fandango. After all, lots of children's games require virtual payments of pretend coins, treasure chests and gold…Madison's mom, Stephanie Kay, was shocked to find very real charges from iTunes show up in her e-mail box…"Note that the Smurf app states it is for ages 4-plus." The games…on Apple's iTunes store…are free to download but let companies charge users for products and services when the application is launched…Google this week introduced these so-called "in-app purchases" for Android mobile phones and tablets…”

28. Local business knowledge and BizSpark resources helps Affect Network lead Irish startups to success http://www.bizspark.com/Blogs/globalstartups/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=1344f1b2-9934-46f5-a930-d07d531fc271&ID=28 “…the BizSpark program and Enterprise Ireland…are collaborating closely to assist technology start-ups. Affect Network are helping these promising ventures become investor-ready, identify sales and marketing channels and in some cases receive grant support directly from Enterprise Ireland or funding through the Halo Business Angels Network (HBAN)…In five years of operation, Affect Network Directors Nicky Martin and Howard Kent have shepherded more than 100 companies in the manufacturing, IT and services sectors providing them with grants and loans acquisition support, market assessment, business planning, competitive analysis, branding, sales and marketing, employee performance reports and productivity improvement strategies…They’re probably the same problems affecting technology entrepreneurs all over the world,” said Nicky. “They have a great concept, but they don’t have a business plan that does it justice. They need help selling the idea…many start-ups also lack the financial infrastructure to support their idea. “A lack of initial internal matched funding is often an issue, or lack of a guarantee to support bank funding. These startups can also get strangled in red tape…Most BizSpark companies need initial-stage funding in order to pay salaries during the non-trading product development period, cover the cost of proofing the product, bring the product to market and pay for on-going working capital during the initial trading period. BizSpark companies tend to be classic high-potential startups, so they are often a natural fit for Enterprise Ireland grant support. They meet a lot of the basic criteria, such as introducing a new or innovative product or service to international markets, being headquartered and controlled in Ireland, capable of creating 10 or more Irish jobs and realizing exports of €1 million within three to four years of starting up…”

29. AOL Buys Huffington Post for $315 Million http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/02/08/businessinsider-aol-will-pay-arianna-huffington-4-million-a-year-2011-2.DTL “…Arianna Huffington will only land $18 million all together from the sale of the Huffington Post to AOL, the Drudge Report reports. Considering it sold for $315 million, and it has Huffington's name on the site, you'd think she was getting a bigger pay day. (We had heard it was in $100 million range.) If Arianna is feeling bad about getting a relatively small payout, she can take solace in the fact that AOL is planning on paying her a $4 million base salary to run its content operations…”

Civilian Aerospace

30. Private Moon Race Team Signs Rocket Deal with SpaceX http://www.space.com/10787-private-moon-race-team-signs-rocket-deal-spacex.html A privately funded team hoping to win a multimillion-dollar race to the moon has figured out how it's going to get most of the way there — aboard a commercial rocket that could launch in 2013…Astrobotic Technology Inc…signed a contract with…SpaceX…to launch its robotic payload to the moon aboard a Falcon 9…Astrobotic's expedition will search for water and deliver payloads, with the robot narrating its adventure while sending 3-D video. The Google Lunar X Prize is an international moon exploration challenge to land a robot on the lunar surface, have it travel at least 1,650 feet (500 meters) and send data and images back to Earth. The first privately funded team to do this will receive the $20 million grand prize. An additional $10 million has been set aside for second place and various special accomplishments…The Google Lunar X Prize expires whenever all prizes are claimed (or, failing that, at the end of 2015). Twenty-one teams are currently in the race…”

31. Private Spaceflight Innovators Attract NASA's Attention http://www.space.com/10785-nasa-commercial-space-innovators.html “…Real space hardware is being built in "a rapid and unprecedented way," Garver said…We’re looking to…allow companies to do those things in low Earth orbit…Garver’s visits with space entrepreneurs groups included Feb. 4 discussion with Bigelow Aerospace president and founder Robert Bigelow…Garver and Bigelow discussed several issues, including the prospect for a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) – an inflatable room for the International Space Station. BEAM would be a larger version of the already flown Genesis-type unit…Bigelow has his sights on a grander adventure: Building the first of multiple, fully-functioning stations by 2015. The initial "Alpha" complex would consist of Bigelow's large Sundancer and BA 330 modules…The company is currently on the road marketing a variety of individual spaceflight programs, tied to an array of duration and pricing options, including an option of $28,750,000 for a 30-day astronaut visit. A Memorandum of Understanding…is geared to explore joint efforts to establish a next-generation commercial human spaceflight program for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Ahmed Al Mansoori, director general of EIAST, and Robert Bigelow…One day after visiting with Bigelow's team, Garver visited the brains behind the Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft…The seven-person Dream Chaser vehicle is based on NASA HL-20 lifting body work, a legacy design completed in the 1980s and 1990s…Dream Chaser would fly to the International Space Station and back. The vehicle is slated to launch vertically on an Atlas 5 rocket and land horizontally on conventional runways…Dream Chaser is taking shape with modern methods and materials. The core structure of the craft will become an atmospheric flight test vehicle, to be taken to high-altitude and released by the White Knight Two mothership…We plan to be ready for drop testing by May 2012…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

32. Multicore processors: Some of the technical issues http://www.newelectronics.co.uk/article/31232/Multicore-processors-Some-of-the-technical-issues.aspx “…in the mid 1960s founder Gordon Moore noticed how quickly transistors were shrinking on silicon wafers…A few corrections ensued as the frenetic pace of development of the early 1970s settled down to the long term trend: a doubling in functional density every two years…in the early 1990s, Intel decided Moore's Law needed something extra; Moore's Law was then not only about density, but also about performance. And it got faster…At the beginning of the silicon revolution, IBM Fellow Robert Dennard discovered that shorter gates would switch faster – one of the factors in what became known as Dennard scaling. Intel, and the other processor makers, reaped the rewards of this in the 1990s as clock speeds accelerated from tens of megahertz into the gigahertz domain…And then the music stopped. Moore's Law is now back to its original density based definition and clock speeds, even on advanced microprocessors, are stuck stubbornly at around 3GHz…by the early years of the last decade, processors nudged up against the 150W limit that could be sustained by packaging and air cooling…Dennard scaling came to a halt with the introduction of the 130nm generation of processes and designers had to find another way to improve processor performance…Doubling the number of transistors will only yield a speed up of 40% at best…why not multiply the number of processors? In principle – as long as you can feed the processors data – a near linear increase in performance is possible…You can apply the inverse of Pollack's Rule: cut the performance by 40% and you can double the number of cores…Right now, most systems only deal with a few processors on a chip. But Moore's Law scaling suggests an exponential increase in their number as process geometries head below 32nm…the power problem is shifting away from the processors themselves and into the data movement infrastructure…The answer is to have the memory sit underneath the processor and drill vias through the dram to support connections from the system to the processor. Although a future dram could provide gigabytes of storage, this memory would probably act as a fourth or fifth level of cache within the system, with more sitting on DIMMs in the main system…The stacked option is one that IBM is investigating for its server processors. The company already uses embedded dram to increase the amount of on chip cache near processors on its existing designs…The next problem is the on chip interconnect. Although individual cores can easily be powered down to prevent leakage current from dominating overall power consumption, it is hard to shut down parts of an on chip bus…Some savings can be made by moving to a different clocking scheme. The Teraflops chip, and some other recent SoC architectures, used a mesochronous scheme…The idea behind mesochronous clocking is that, at more than 1GHz, delivering a consistent clock to all parts of a chip becomes increasingly difficult because of the delay across 1cm of die. Mesochronous clocking avoids having to distribute the same clock signal across the chip. A single clock need only be delivered to tiny islands the size of a few individual processors. You then use asynchronous techniques to join up the islands in a scheme that is also known as globally asynchronous, locally synchronous (GALS)…”

33. New supercomputers boost imaging grunt http://www.zdnet.com.au/new-supercomputers-boost-imaging-grunt-339309052.htm IBM…supercomputers have been purchased by the Australian Synchrotron and Monash University, in collaboration with CSIRO and the Victorian Government to power an "almost" real-time, atomic-level imaging and visualisation facility…Together dubbed the Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment (MASSIVE) facility, they will aid a wide range of fields spanning from biology to geology…The project is estimated to cost around $8 to $9 million over the next three years, with the GPU-powered systems to be co-located at Monash University and Australian Synchrotron. The Australian Synchrotron is a scientific research facility that provides researchers with access to cutting-edge x-ray and infrared techniques that have a wide range of applications in fundamental science and industrial research…using imaging and visualisation, it can study the lungs of baby rabbits, mice and rats to understand how human lungs develop and function in premature babies. It studies the lungs on an elementary level and applies that treatment to babies who do not have fully developed lungs…It is anticipated that both of the IBM iDataPlex systems each containing 84 Nvidia GPUs being deployed at Monash University and the Synchrotron will rank on the next Top500 list…”


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