2011/03/01

NEW NET Weekly List for 01 Mar 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 01 March 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. My Web Without Facebook Connect http://gigaom.com/2011/02/25/my-web-without-facebook-connect/ “…A day without Google, no matter how bad its critics say it has become, would make it virtually impossible to find things on the web. But a day without Facebook, is quickly making the web unusable…” [Are either of these statements about Google and Facebook true for you? For what percent of USA internet users and what percent of global internet users would each statement be true? – ed.]

2. Bing's Travel Search, So Much Better Than Google, Gets Even Better http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/bings_travel_search_so_much_better_than_google_get.php “…Bing offers a…compelling travel search experience and today added a new little feature that makes me want to use it even more. Search on Bing for the phrase "fly to..." and the name of a major destination city and you will now see an automatic display of the best dates to fly from where you are to that place, with the lowest price for a round trip ticket and advice about whether the price is likely to go up or down if you waited to buy the ticket later. It's really cool…It's really fast and easy to see cheap flights and dates at various places. Click through the results and you'll see even more, much of it powered by Microsoft's very wise acquisition of airfare prediction company Farecast in 2008…”

3. Overstat: The easiest way to test your website? http://venturebeat.com/2011/02/23/overstat-launch/ Testing, testing, testing — it’s one of the mantras among startups, but it can be tough to find the resources to make that happen when you’re a startup…a new company called Overstat is hoping to win itself a customer base by simplifying the testing process…Optimizely has made headway in this market already, but Overstat offers an interface that looks impressively easy to use. During the demo, founder Matthew Cordasco brought up a heat map of the Mint.com welcome page. “A moment ago we knew that 200,000 people had come to this web page, but we didn’t know [what] they were clicking on,” Cordasco said. “Now we’re beginning to get a clear picture of what they’re interested in.”…Overstat’s team saw that the Mint registration button wasn’t getting many clicks, so it created an alternate version of the page with a different image, then launched a test to compare the number of clicks received by the two images…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

4. Web's Hot New Commodity: Privacy http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703529004576160764037920274.html “…Companies including Microsoft Corp., McAfee Inc…are rolling out new ways to protect users from having their movements monitored online. Some are going further and starting to pay people a commission every time their personal details are used by marketing companies…a Washington start-up, Personal Inc…has raised $7.6 million for a business that aims to help people profit from providing their personal information to advertisers…Giles Sequeira, a London real-estate developer…recently began selling his own personal data…in December, Mr. Sequeira became one of the first customers of London start-up Allow Ltd. , which offers to sell people's personal information on their behalf, and give them 70% of the sale. Mr. Sequeira has already received one payment of £5.56 ($8.95) for letting Allow tell a credit-card company he is shopping for new plastic…As people are becoming more aware of the value of their data, some are seeking to protect it, and sometimes sell it…Allow, the company that paid Mr. Sequeira, is just one of nearly a dozen start-ups hoping to profit from the nascent privacy market…"Entrepreneurs smell opportunity," says Satya Patel, venture capitalist at Battery Ventures, which led a group of investors that poured $8 million in June into a start-up called SafetyWeb , which helps parents monitor their children's activities on social-networking sites and is rolling out a new privacy-protection service for adults, myID.com…”

5. How to Run an Online Background Check for Free http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/219593/how_to_run_an_online_background_check_for_free.html “…everyone should do at least one online background check on--you guessed it--themselves. After all, if you can find out sensitive information about yourself with a little (free) online sleuthing, there's no telling what employers, stalkers, and ex-girlfriends or -boyfriends will be able to uncover…Google is your first stop for a DIY background check…Searching Your Social Networks…Find the Basics: Phone Number and Address…Criminal and Public Records… Phone Number/E-Mail Address…Username/Handle…Web Domain/IP Address…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

6. The Truth About The iPad, Day 300: I Barely Use It Anymore http://www.businessinsider.com/ipad-review-day-300-2011-2 “…my iPad…is…definitely at home, because I've stopped bringing it to work…I think it's next to the bed…But I'm not positive. Because I haven't been using it that much…there's a new toy in my life -- a MacBook Air -- that I've been getting a lot more utility out of. I still think the tablet is the future of the personal computer, especially for non-technical, mainstream users…there are some things I only want to do on an iPad, like reading in bed, watching movies on plane trips, and playing some games that are better on the iPad than my iPhone…MacBook Air has taken over as my portable computer of choice…It's better for taking notes during meetings, it's better for multitasking, and it's better for goofing around on the Internet/doing more work while I'm watching TV at home…I don't really use Flipboard, Pulse, the Wired app, or any of the other individual magazine or newspaper apps…I've bought a bunch of books, but don't actually do a lot of e-book reading on the iPad…it's mostly on my iPhone 4, which is easier to read on the subway, in waiting rooms…I still don't use it on the subway…In part, because I don't want some crazy jerk to grab it and run when the doors open. A $130 Kindle is replaceable. It would be a real pain to lose a $730 iPad…my iPhone 4 is all I need for my 25-minute subway ride. It's bright and clear enough to read e-books, Instapaper, email, Twitter, etc., can also play music or podcasts, etc. And then I don't have to put it back in my bag when it's time to get off the train, the way I would with an iPad…”

7. Qualcomm Demos Remote Handwriting Recognition Using an Ultrasonic Pen http://www.anandtech.com/show/4174/qualcomm-demos-remote-handwriting-recognition-using-an-ultrasonic-pen “…We've been talking about higher performance SoCs for quite a while now, but the number of applications for these things beyond making your UI faster is fairly limited today…today I got a glimpse of a pretty neat application that Qualcomm is looking at…The device is a pen with two ultrasonic transmitters in it. You can write with the pen on any surface (e.g. a piece of paper) and use the microphone in your smartphone to pick up the sound signature emitted by the pen. Pair it all up with some processing on Qualcomm's dual-core SoC and you can write on a piece of paper and have it automatically transcribe on your smartphone. There are no changes that need to be made to the smartphone, you can rely on the standard microphone that ships on all smartphones…”

8. New and improved MacBook Pro laptops http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-apple-mac-20110225,0,1369152.story “…new, faster versions of…MacBook Pro laptops…include speedier processors, a higher-resolution built-in camera for video chatting and a new data transfer technology called Thunderbolt. Laptops account for about 14% of Apple's quarterly sales…the new laptops will come with a built-in front-facing…FaceTime HD cameras…FaceTime HD allows for high-resolution, widescreen video chats and photos, and works with most other Macs, as well as the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod Touch…MacBook Pros…start at $1,199 for…13-inch screen, $1,799 for the 15-inch…and $2,499 for the 17-inch version…”

9. HP’s new business laptops offer up to 32 hours of battery http://venturebeat.com/2011/02/22/hps-newest-business-laptops-offer-as-much-as-32-hours-of-battery-life/ Hewlett-Packard is announcing today a new family of laptops for business users with new industrial designs and one very interesting feature: a battery life of up to 32 hours…most laptops range in battery life from four to eight hours…by packing in a heavy battery, HP was able to get to 32 hours for its HP EliteBook 8460p laptop…the newest generation of chips, hard drives, batteries and other technologies is starting to yield considerable benefits for consumers…To get to 32 hours, you have to buy the HP BB09 ultra-extended life notebook battery and download the latest Intel graphics driver and HP BIOS…The notebook can get to 32 hours if you use Intel graphics, a 160-gigabyte Intel flash memory SSD drive, an HP LED HD display and Windows 7…”

10. My Smart Phone Got Me Out Of A Speeding Ticket In Traffic Court http://skattertech.com/2011/02/how-my-smart-phone-got-me-out-of-a-speeding-ticket-in-traffic-court/ Last year a traffic cop pulled me over while driving home and handed me a speeding ticket…As a brand new Motorola Droid owner, I was…trying just about every app that appeared in the Android Marketplace. One that…had me excited was My Tracks by Google. This free app records and visualizes your GPS data on a map…I…happened to have Google Tracks running when an officer cited me for speeding…The speed limit in the area was…25 miles per hour and the cop’s radar gun shockingly clocked me driving over 40 miles per hour…I was confident that I was within the posted speed limit in the back of my mind, but I just apologized and went my way…Once I parked my car in the apartment lot, I…realized that I had Google Tracks running as a background process…I pulled up my history for the previous session…I found that my phone only recorded a top speed of just 26 miles per hour…I now knew I was not speeding…I…decided to take my chances in traffic court…I decided to write down an account of the entire situation…and even exported the data from my phone to Google Docs…I…came across an ongoing Sonoma County Superior Court case regarding the accuracy of GPS devices and radar guns. I saved a few articles to back my claim…I eventually took the stand nervously. The plaintiff presented information from city plans noting that my speed limit was inappropriate for the area…I remained calm and spoke respectfully. I was also glad that I wore business casual clothing…Taking hints from a lawyer that spoke on behalf of a defendant shortly before me, I decided to ask the officer a few questions about the day he cited me. It turned out that the officer did not recall the last time he attended radar gun training, when the device was last calibrated, or the unit’s model number. I then presented my time stamped GPS data with details about my average moving speed and maximum speed during my short drive home…the judge asked how I obtained the GPS tracking information. I provided a detailed explanation about my…smart phone, the application in use, and how I exported the data…I mentioned the in progress Sonoma County Superior Court trial regarding the same matter about the credibility of both technologies. The judge took a moment and declared that I was not guilty, but…he chose to clarify his decision by citing the lack of evidence on the officer’s part. He mentioned that he was not familiar enough with GPS technology to make a decision based on my evidence, but I can’t help but imagine that it was an important factor…”

Apps

11. Like WordPress for Mobile App Creation: Cabana is a Service to Watch http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/like_wordpress_for_mobile_app_creation_cabana_is_a.php Is it possible for a visual drag-and-drop mobile app creation tool to deliver a sophisticated product? A service called Cabana was unveiled at the Launch conference today and says it aims to do just that, like WordPress for web and native mobile apps. There are a number of other companies offering this kind of service, most notably Widgetbox. Cabana looks more sophisticated, though, with a richer set of 3rd party services available for integration and what the company promises is an easy way to wrap new services' APIs up for use on the platform…a marketplace called Cabana Exchange will allow developers to share and monetize the platform on the plug-in level…Cabana is in closed beta for now, but is accepting requests for invites…”

12. iOS publisher Bulky Pix to release 40 games in 2011 http://www.macworld.com/article/158077/2011/02/bulkypix.html “…game publisher Bulky Pix is making good on their ambitious plan to release 40 iPad and iPhone games in 2011. These new titles will double their current library of games for iOS devices. The Paris- and San Francisco-based publisher developed about a third of these new releases in-house, while the remaining projects are being developed by outside studios…Forty games in a year is no modest number…the publisher is continuing to update its lineup and improve its already released games. With few publishers in the iOS market appearing dominant, Bulky Pix senses an opportunity…”

Open Source

13. Johnny Chung Lee, core Kinect developer, behind Adafruit hack bounty http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20034579-52.html “…former Kinect team "core contributor" Johnny Lee said…the new SDK from Microsoft…was something he'd been promoting internally before he left in January to join Google as a "rapid evaluator."…in the late Summer of 2010, trying to argue for the most basic level of PC support for Kinect from within Microsoft…turned out to be really grinding against the corporate grain…I decided to approach AdaFruit to put on the Open Kinect contest…Phil and Limor did a phenomenal job, much better than I could have done. Without a doubt, the contest had a significant impact in raising awareness about the potential for the Kinect outside of Xbox gaming both inside and outside the company. Best $3000 I ever spent…Adafruit wrote today that "Johnny approached us (while at Microsoft, he's now at Google) and we said we'd help out--so, we reverse engineered the Kinect on our own, started the contest, posted the USB logs to GitHub--and then Hector won. Since we didn't need to put up all the cash ourselves, a chunk went to the EFF. It was a little spy vs. spy for us to keep Johnny safe, and that also made it (more) fun…”

14. Top 59 Open Source Websites http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reviews/7305/1/ “…literally thousands of sites and forums provide news and information about open source software. To narrow things…we focused on sites that provide a lot of links of open source applications -- the top places to download open source software…The "project hosting" category includes giants like SourceForge that provide server space for open source code and allow downloads. The "directories" category includes sites that have created lists of open source projects and update those lists regularly, but that don't actually host the code…Sites that made a list of great open source software at some point in time but that don't update those lists on an ongoing basis are in the "best of open source lists" category. In the "collections" category, you'll find projects that have rolled a large number of open source projects into a single download…”

15. The Rise of the Engineer-Activist: Build-it-yourself environmental monitoring http://www.onearth.org/blog/the-rise-of-the-engineer-activist Natalie Jeremijenko…Beatriz da Costa…Myriel Milicevic…were in the vanguard of wresting powerful environmental monitoring devices from the realm of specialists, and putting them into the hands of average citizens…While the price of the professional-grade air quality sensor used by your local environmental quality department can run into tens of thousands of dollars, the hardware for a DIY device can cost just a couple hundred dollars…Engineer-artist Jeremijenko…In her 2003 work "Feral Robotic Dogs,"…led student teams in taking apart readily available mechanical toy dogs, fitting them with sensors and basic communications devices, and then setting them loose in vacant urban lots. When one dog sniffed out a pollutant, the pack would converge, making otherwise invisible contamination easily visible to human bystanders. Beatriz da Costa…equipped homing pigeons with miniature backpacks loaded with (extremely tiny) devices to measure common pollutants and transmit data to the web, for her 2006 project "Pigeon Blog."…the flock of birds "wrote" a real-time air pollution index as it flew back to the coop…Milicevic culminated his graduate studies in interaction design with "Neighborhood Satellites," a project involving toy-like, networked, satellite-shaped handheld devices equpped to detect air pollution. Players walked around their neighborhoods with the devices; the more often a player detected different "pollution clouds," the better she/he scored compared to other players…the game made collecting depressing pollution data fun and collaborative, while also amassing a significant body of information about local environmental conditions…”

16. Openbravo Open-Source ERP Suite for SMBs http://www.crn.com/news/applications-os/229219446/openbravo-emphasizes-modularity-in-new-release-of-open-source-erp-suite.htm “…Openbravo unveiled a new release of its flagship software this week, offering a more modular system the company said is easier to implement than traditional ERP systems and is more adaptable to changing business conditions. Openbravo…recently moved its global headquarters to San Francisco…there are some 2,800 active Openbravo deployments in North America. Openbravo 3 is available now as a free, community edition and a professional edition with more advanced functionality, additional modules and customer support…”

SkyNet

17. My Increasing Love Affair With Google Apps http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2011/02/my-increasing-love-affair-with-google-apps.html At Foundry Group, we have now completely switched to Google Apps…Five months later I am ready to declare this experiment a complete success.As every day passes, I find a new magic happy thing that ties my life together better…About once a week I’m stymied by something, but the +1 each day nets out to +6 for the week. That’s fine for me – I figure out a work around and usually, voila, as if the $GOOG could read my mind, the thing that didn’t work right or didn’t exist suddenly appears…”

18. Google launches Recipe View http://www.mercurynews.com/food-wine-headlines/ci_17471955 “…Google "Recipe View,"…lets home cooks search for recipes in new ways across the foodie universe…home cooks have been running more than 10 million recipe searches a day using Google's regular search engine…Google's…new tab, accessed in the same way you access Google's images, news or shopping searches -- with a single click from the home page…The…goal…was to present those reams of recipes -- 2.9 million for lasagna alone -- in a way that helps people make decisions. Each recipe link includes a photo, if it exists, as well as a line of description, the source, a rating and a review tally…there's a big diversity in the types of results," Goel says. "You can have the 'world's best' but it takes 3¼ hours, or a 4-star recipe that takes an hour. It's kinda nice."…you can set your own search parameters -- by clicking boxes on the left side of the page -- to specify cooking times and ingredients, or screen out anything over 100, 300 or 500 calories…”

19. Decision getting close for Google purchase of ITA http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50147.html The Justice Department has made it clear to Google that it’s willing to go to court to block its acquisition of travel software-maker ITA – and Google has responded by stepping up negotiations to save the deal…Sources say that a deal between Google and DOJ’s antitrust lawyers could be “days away,” but others also warn that negotiations about the $700 million acquisition could fall apart at any time…Google announced its acquisition of ITA Software in July; the search giant says the deal will allow it to develop a better travel search product and answer more advanced queries…Expedia, Hotwire, TripAdvisor, Kayak and other companies launched the "FairSearch.org" coalition to oppose the deal months ago…Google pointed out that Expedia doesn't even use ITA software, nor do several other travel websites, such as Travelocity or Priceline, which, along with Expedia, make up the top three travel sites…”

20. Google Woos Game Makers http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/google/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229219535&subSection=All+Stories “…Game Developers Conference (GDC) opened…on Monday and Google is conspicuously present, with a large banner promoting its development tools in the North Hall of the Moscone Convention Center and more than two full days of presentations…Internet Explorer 8 only supports 28% of modern browsing capabilities. With the imminent official release of Internet Explorer 9, that figure will jump to 59%. Firefox 4 and the latest Chrome builds, from versions 9 through 11, come in at 87% or 89% in the case of Chrome 10. Safari and Opera can handle 77% of the latest Web technologies…Web browsers still lack support for capabilities that are useful for game developers such as mouselook, which allows players in first-person shooting games, for example, to use the mouse to change their perspective. Presently, there's no built-in way to differentiate between mouse movements intended to change the in-game view and mouse movements intended to manipulate the browser or other applications…a member of the audience asked whether, with all the caveats and technical issues presented, it's really worth it for developers to create Web-based games…"In the long run, we're confident we'll have high-quality solutions," he said. That means in the near term, there are likely to be some gaps between what developers want and what the Web as a platform can deliver…”

General Technology

21. Thunderbolt / Light Peak: the successor to USB? http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/220639/what_you_need_to_know_about_thunderbolt.html “…Apple's latest MacBook Pro models brings with it a brand-new connection technology called Thunderbolt…Here's what you need to know about the industry's latest connection standard. Thunderbolt (previously called Light Peak) is a new peripheral-connection technology, developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, that combines data, video, audio, and power in a single connection…Thunderbolt allows for high-speed connection of peripherals such as hard drives, RAID arrays, video-capture solutions, and network interfaces, and it can transmit high-definition video using the DisplayPort protocol. Each Thunderbolt port also provides up to 10 Watts of power to connected peripherals…Thunderbolt is designed to allow the use of either electrical or optical connections…Optical versions will likely be used only when cables longer than three meters are needed…Because Thunderbolt is based on PCI Express, it offers a direct connection to the PCI Express bus…A Thunderbolt channel can provide up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of data throughput--and each Thunderbolt port includes two channels. Thunderbolt is also bi-directional…with estimated real-world performance of around 8Gbps, Thunderbolt is many times faster than FireWire 800 and USB 3.0…another big selling point is that, since Thunderbolt supports data, video, audio, and power, you can use a single Thunderbolt port--and thus a single cable--to connect many of your peripherals…once you've got enough Thunderbolt devices and adapters…While Thunderbolt does carry video, audio, data, and power--thus reducing the number of cables sticking out of your computer--it doesn't provide enough power to run a large display…every Thunderbolt port includes both DisplayPort and PCI Express connections. Which means a Thunderbolt port can handle the same types of video and audio--displays with greater than 1080p resolution and up to eight channels of audio--as a DisplayPort port…Third-party vendors will sell adapters, available sometime this spring, that let you connect USB, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800 devices to Thunderbolt ports…You can connect up to six devices to each Thunderbolt port by daisy-chaining them…Unlike with USB 2.0, where connecting a non-Hi-Speed device or a USB 1.0 device can affect the performance of the entire USB bus, Thunderbolt is designed to handle multiple devices of varying levels of performance without affecting the channel itself…”

22. OS X Lion Really Will Maul The CD (And All Other Discs) http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/25/os-x-lion-death-of-cd/ It has now been at least a year since I last used the optical drive on any of my computers…I’m really starting to believe I never will again…I have zero doubt that this optical drive-free experience will soon be the reality for all Mac computing…The last time I can remember using my optical drive was to install OS X Snow Leopard…a year and a half ago…Apple will use the new Mac App Store to distribute the follow-up, OS X Lion…there’s a new feature of OS X Lion which brings support for a separate recovery partition of a hard drive. In other words, if you need to restore your system, you can do it from the other area of the drive, no disc or USB drive needed…Just like the floppy disk before it, the optical disc will fade into irrelevance. And now you see why Apple has never included a Blu-ray drive in any of their machines…”

23. Seagate ships XP-Friendly 3TB desktop drive, breaking 2.1TB barrier http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20037397-1.html “…in June 2010, Seagate shipped the first 3TB hard drive, the Barracuda XT…Today the company announced the first standalone version of the same drive that consumers can buy and use with their desktop computers…The company says it wanted take time and find an easy way to make the hard drive support Windows XP, which is still popular…Prior to this, both Western Digital and Hitachi announced 3TB hard drives with different approaches to supporting legacy operating systems. Neither allows for booting…32-bit Windows operating systems generally use only the legacy master boot record (MBR), which has a cap partition size of 2.19TB, to manage the hard drive. This means that the system won't see more than 2.19TB of storage, regardless of how much larger the hard drive's actual capacity is…Windows computers that use BIOS (basic input/output system)-based motherboards, which are the majority of computers on the market, can't boot from a volume that's larger than 2.19TB, either, because of the limitation of BIOS protocols…this problem can be solved in the near future by replacing MBR with GUID Partition Table and BIOS with the new Extensible Firmware Interface…Seagate claims that its new DiscWizard software allows you to use the new 3TB drive's entire capacity, even when the hard drive is used as a bootable main drive…”

24. China Preps Godson Chip for Supercomputing Duty http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/China-Preps-Godson-Chip-for-Supercomputing-Duty-116884603.html “…The 2.56 petaflop Tianhe-1A is now the top system in the world, and…1.27 petaflops Nebulae machine is ranked third. Both are GPU-powered, and use NVIDIA Tesla parts, and to a lesser extent, Intel CPUs, to achieve their stratospheric performance levels…the Chinese don't intend to rely entirely on…US-based chipmakers…to build their next-generation HPC machines…this week, Weiwu Hu, the lead designer of China's Godson processor (also known as Loongson)…talked about Godson's upcoming debut in a supercomputer to be deployed later this year…the new 8-core Godson-3B processor will be used to power a Dawning-built supercomputer…expected to hit about 300 teraflops using 3,000 of the Godson chips, he said. If successful…it will also mark the return of a MIPS-based supercomputer to the TOP500. The Godson family is a 64-bit MIPS architecture…As one might expect from a MIPS architecture, the Godson delivers outstanding performance per watt numbers …the 3.2 gigaflops/watt achieved by the Godson-3B CPU is even better than the 2.3 gigaflops/watt delivered by a Fermi Tesla device (M2050), although…the Tesla part also powers 3 GB of on-board memory and some other components…their next-generation Godson-3C design, a 16-core processor that is expected to deliver 512 gigaflops -- four times that of its predecessor…courtesy of the process shrink to 28nm, allowing the engineers to crank the clock to 2 GHz and double the number of cores…In the near-term, Godson is not likely to challenge x86 CPU dominance in HPC or anywhere else, but it may cut into future sales of Intel and AMD parts in Chinese-bound supercomputers, clusters, and servers…being the hottest economy on the planet, represents a lot of potential revenue for these companies…Perhaps more worrisome would be if China were to export Godsons, or systems based on those chips, to other countries…” [could the marketing clout of China result in the Godson cpu being as much of a threat to Intel as ARM is becoming?]

DHMN Technology

25. SudoGlove: Bend index finger to accelerate car http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20032087-1.html “…Bending…[the index finger] makes the remote-controlled car in the SudoGlove system accelerate. Tilting your hand turns the car. Pressing your ring finger makes it go in reverse. Pinkie pressure turns on the headlights, siren lights, and siren sounds. Clapping honks the horn. The SudoGlove, designed and built by engineering students at Cornell University, allows wearers to control a modded RC car using hand gestures…it has implications for any hardware containing a wireless transceiver…unlike other gestural gloves that can be used to control virtual objects, the SudoGlove (so named for the Sudo programming command) is aimed at bridging the gap between users and traditional hardware devices…our goal is for SudoGlove to feel more like an extension of the body as opposed to an external machine…To make the SudoGlove, Blum…outfitted a standard RC car with an Arduino Pro Mini microcontroller and other electronics components…”

26. Student Balloon Photographs Shuttle Launch From Edge of Space http://www.space.com/10963-student-balloon-photos-shuttle-discovery-launch.html A camera-toting balloon captured dramatic photos of NASA's shuttle Discovery streaking into orbit on its final flight yesterday (Feb. 24), snapping the images from the edge of space as part of a non-profit student project. In one of the photos, Discovery arcs off planet Earth, leaving a trail of exhaust in its wake…The balloon snapped photos from an altitude of more than 70,000 feet…The student balloon mission is a joint effort of two non-profit educational organizations, the Challenger Center for Space Science Education and Quest for Stars…Quest for Stars lets middle-school and high-school students help place balloon-borne experiments at the edge of space using relatively cheap, off-the-shelf hardware…”

27. RC Car Modded With Arduino and PC for Telepresence http://technabob.com/blog/2011/02/17/rc-car-telepresence-hack/ “…most of the RC cars have a very limited range…get the things too far from you and they just won’t respond. DIYer Pierric Gimming has taken an off the shelf RC truck for the toy store and cobbled it together with a PC and Arduino controller into something that can be controlled over the web from just about anywhere. The little RC vehicle is also a pretty cool telepresence device…other than the netbook it’s not that expensive to make from the looks of it…if you have an extra smartphone on your mobile plan lying around you might be able to pull this off with something smaller than a netbook…”

Leisure & Entertainment

28. The Very Rich Indie Writer http://www.novelr.com/2011/02/27/rich-indie-writer “…Amanda Hocking is 26* years old. She has 9 self-published books to her name, and sells 100,000+ copies of those ebooks per month. She has never been traditionally published. This is her blog. And it’s no stretch to say – at $3 per book1/70% per sale for the Kindle store – that she makes a lot of money from her monthly book sales…the logic goes roughly as follows: If you’re an indie writer, you get to sell books at a price way, way lower than what a Traditional Publisher can sell at. And yet you make more money, because your only costs are to an ebook and cover art designer…readers are more inclined to buy your stories, even if you’re an unknown author, simply because your book prices are cheaper…And the best thing is that it’s infinitely scalable: your ebooks are out there, getting sales every single day. No shelf-space, no print runs to worry about…Hocking and her peers…have never been published the traditional route before…were inspired by Konrath’s exploits, and…are now selling way more than Konrath ever has…You don’t have to be traditionally published to sell a lot of ebooks, and you don’t have to be A-List famous…A number of web fiction authors are now moving/releasing their work exclusively on the Kindle ebook store..It’s likely that the web fiction writers of the future would treat web fiction as this thing you do when you’re writing a novel – it’s fun, dynamic, and very fulfilling, but when the novel’s done you close off the web fiction site and turn that into a landing page for your ebook…The good news is that writers can now make a significant amount of money, if they’re hardworking enough, and smart enough, to take advantage of the digital tools available to them…”

29. Microsoft Develops Prototype Next Generation Photo-Realistic Avatar http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=21004 “…Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie showed off one of the technologies he's been cooking up in his units skunk works operation. It looks like you; its face contorts like yours into smiles, laughs, and grimaces. It even talks like you. The digital entity in question is what may become Microsoft's next generation avatar…,it could offer some stunning personalized gameplay…Reportedly the new floating-head avatar project was inspired by the increasing popularity and interest in the $149 Xbox Kinect, an accessory for the Xbox 360 that captures video and audio…”

Economy and Technology

30. Enterprise Cloud Storage Platform Box.net Raises $48M http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/24/enterprise-cloud-storage-platform-box-net-raises-48m-from-andreessen-horowitz-and-others/ “…Over the past four years, Box has evolved from a simple cloud storage platform to a collaborative enterprise offering with mobile and social capabilities. The company now stores 300 million documents on its platform (more than the Library Of Congress) and has…5 million users…DreamWorks, Cisco and Dell and 60,000 other companies, or 73% of the Fortune 500, use Box to share, access and collaborate on business content online…last year brought storage plans, file syncing and more to Box’s platform…Box.net wants to take on Microsoft Sharepoint, and has aggressively campaigned for existing Sharepoint users to switch to the company’s cheaper, simpler option…The funding will also be used to build a new data center on the east coast; Box currently operates two data centers in California…”

31. NVIDIA’s increasing emphasis on Tegra and Tesla http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/02/24/as-fear-sweeps-the-market-nvidia-plummets.aspx “…NVIDIA…is a company undergoing a massive transition in its product lines. I'm more concerned about the future…the company disclosed that their supercomputing Tesla line is now a $100 million business…NVIDIA released its CUDA programming language in 2007 and saw $1.4 million in Tesla sales that year. Tesla ramped to $7 million in sales in 2008, $27 million in 2009, and finally hit $100 million this year…Being at the center of the tablet and smartphone revolution, Tegra hogs most of the headlines around NVIDIA…we're still in the early stages of a tectonic shift to tablets and smartphones…In tablets, getting to market first ahead of key launch periods is extremely important...NVIDIA has once again hoodwinked the competition by at least a quarter, and next holiday season will continue to be the dominant processor in a growing tablet field…NVIDIA has ridden a wave of mobile device optimism northward in recent months…while NVIDIA does have strong prospects going forward, the company is still 27% below the revenue peak it saw in early 2008…”

Civilian Aerospace

32. UMD engineers to test boiling at zero-gravity http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-umd-zero-gravity.html University of Maryland Professor…is working with…NASA's Glenn Research Center in Ohio to study how boiling is altered in zero-gravity…the Microheater Array Boiling Experiment…which has already been tested on NASA's "Vomit Comet" and the European Space Agency's Parabolic Flight Campaign in France, will be installed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox once aboard the ISS….In space, boiling may be required to generate vapor to power turbines in some advanced concepts for power generation, for temperature control aboard spacecraft, and for water purification,"…on Earth, vapor, which is less dense than liquid, is removed from heated surfaces through the action of buoyancy. In zero-gravity, the buoyancy force becomes negligible and vapor can blanket the heated surfaces rather than moving away, potentially leading the surfaces to a state known as critical heat flux. Critical heat flux occurs when a heater or plate becomes too hot, restricting the flow of liquid to the surface and causing the plate to overheat and potentially burn out…”

33. Space Camp changing direction with NASA's new vision http://www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=14138364 “…as NASA moves towards more commercial space flight…Space Camp theme now is "The Moon, Mars, and Beyond" "Here at Space Camp, we focused for quite a few years on the space shuttle and the things that it did. And as we move into future and retire the space shuttle, Space Camp is going to pick up the reins and move into the next phase,"…the Space Camp's Director of Operations said they are revamping the Mission Center Complex to mirror NASA's changing direction. "You can have a lunar-themed mission, or a Mars mission. Or even an asteroid,. So it's moon, Mars and beyond. Children are still interested. They still want to discover, explore, understand. And we still want to inspire and teach…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

34. AMD Helps Advance Parallel Computing with OpenCL University Kit http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14331&Itemid=47 AMD…announced…the OpenCL University Kit, a set of materials…to enable the next generation of software developers and programmers with the knowledge needed to lead the era of heterogeneous computing. OpenCL…helps developers to harness the full compute power of both the CPU and GPU to create innovative applications…Teaching students to effectively leverage the OpenCL standard involves all the intricacies of parallel programming plus support for a new class of heterogeneous computing devices built on a variety of hardware technologies…advanced understanding of OpenCL is not needed to understand the course materials; students only require a basic knowledge of C/C++ programming. A C/C++ compiler and an OpenCL implementation…For students and developers who are interested in presenting technical papers on heterogeneous computing, AMD will be holding its first AMD Fusion Developer Summit from June 13-16 in Seattle, Washington…”

35. GPU Computing and The HPC Gap in US Manufacturing http://www.hpcwire.com/features/The-HPC-Gap-in-US-Manufacturing-116848418.html Using high performance computing to help modernize US manufacturing is one of those good ideas that seems inevitable but always just out of reach…some might ask what's the point of trying to boost manufacturing in the US when the sector only employs about 10 percent of the workforce, a figure that is projected to decline further in the coming years…Despite the relatively few workers employed in the segment, because of its sheer size, US manufacturing dominates world production. Output in 2009 was $2.15 trillion (expressed in 2005 dollars), besting China's contribution of $1.48 trillion and representing about 20 percent of the world's manufacturing output…the real value of the US manufacturing sector is that it's at the heart of much of the science and engineering innovation on which the remainder of the economy rests…US manufacturers employ more than a third of the country's engineers and account for 60 percent of all private sector R&D…Manufacturing, like agriculture before it, is a foundational activity that acts as a catalyst to other business sectors…there is no realistic way…to employ existing (and future) blue-collar workers without a healthy manufacturing sector…the US is ranked fourth in manufacturing competitiveness, behind China, India, and South Korea, and is expected to drop to fifth place, behind Brazil, by 2015. A National Institute of Standards and Technology factsheet recounts the need for the industry to focus on developing technologically-advanced products that can compete in the global marketplace…HPC, in particular, is seen as a key driver in upgrading the nation's manufacturing capabilities. The use of such technology allows engineers and designers to perform prototyping, product design and analysis, product lifecycle management, and product optimization/validation…despite better access to HPC than is generally available in other countries, in the US fewer than 10 percent of manufacturers use this technology…”


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