2011/03/15

NEW NET Weekly List for 15 Mar 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 15 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. For the First Time, More People Get News Online Than From Newspapers http://mashable.com/2011/03/15/online-versus-newspaper-news/ As of the end of 2010, more people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers — and more ad dollars went to online outlets than to newspapers…In surveys conducted by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, 34% of respondents said they read news online within the past 24 hours (as opposed to 31% who favored newspapers); and a full 41% said they get most of their news online…Of course, the 18-to-29-year-old group overwhelmingly cast their vote with the web; 65% said the Internet was their main news source…Last year marks the first time online advertising outpaced newspaper advertising. The sector grew 13.9% between 2009 and 2010 to reach a $25.8 billion total…as tablet makers, app makers and news outlets continue to perfect the news consumption experience on that form factor, we’ll have a whole new breed to analyze…”

2. AT&T Implements Broadband Caps http://gigaom.com/broadband/sxsw-bummer-att-implements-broadband-caps/ AT&T is planning to send out letters next week notifying subscribers about a coming broadband cap of 150 GB per month for DSL subscribers and 250 GB per month for U-verse subscribers…The company says that the move will affect less than 2 percent of its customers, and customers who go over the cap will pay $10 for each 50 GB bucket of data…customers who use more than the 150 GB or 250 GB cap will get a one-time grace period, but in subsequent months they will be notified when they hit 65 percent, 90 percent and then 100 percent of their respective caps…As a general rule, we’re not fans of broadband caps at GigaOM, believing they can act as a brake on innovation. However, implementing a relatively high cap is far more preferable to implementing tiered pricing…”

3. Facebook preps Groupon-like service http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-14/facebook-to-offer-groupon-inspired-discount-deal-service.html Facebook Inc. plans to test a Groupon-inspired service that will sell discount offers, an effort to use its 500 million-plus members to capitalize on the surging online-deal market. The service will get started in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Atlanta, and Austin, Texas…It will be part of Facebook’s existing Deals program, which lets businesses offer specials to users. With the new feature, Facebook’s staff will work with local businesses to spotlight deals…Local businesses will be able to sign up to use this feature soon, and people will be able to find Deals in the coming weeks…Facebook, the most visited U.S. website, is playing host to a growing array of features, such as movie rentals and location- based services, to keep users focused on its pages -- and the ads that make up most of its revenue. The foray into the deals market could put pressure on Groupon Inc. and LivingSocial, which lead the nascent industry…Daily-deal services, which often target local businesses, will generate $3.93 billion by 2015, up from $873 million last year, according to BIA/Kelsey…”

4. Facebook wrong about anonymity, says 4chan founder http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/sxsw/8379895/Facebook-wrong-about-anonymity-says-4chan-founder.html Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg is wrong to describe online anonymity as cowardice, according to Christopher Poole, the founder of 4chan…Speaking at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, Poole said: “Anonymity is authenticity. It allows you to share in a completely unvarnished, raw way.” He said that Zuckerberg was “totally wrong” to equate online anonymity with cowardice. In a 2009 interview…Zuckerberg said: "Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity."…Poole said that online anonymity gave people, particularly young people, the room to make mistakes. He said: “To fail in an environment where you’re being identified by your real name is costly…”

5. 4 Ways to Set Up a Storefront on Facebook http://mashable.com/2011/03/13/storefront-facebook/ With more than 500 million active users on Facebook, there are more potential customers using Facebook than there are logging into eBay and Amazon combined. Most of these users don’t see the site as a purchasing platform, but more and more businesses are adding an option to use the social networking site to browse and buy their products. These four Facebook apps offer flexible options for adding a storefront to your business page…Payvment…Storefront Social…BigCommerce SocialShop…Ecwid…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Health Net loses data for 1.9 million people http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0316-health-net-records-20110316,0,1660184.story A second California insurance regulator has announced plans to investigate insurer Health Net Inc. for losing computer records that contain Social Security numbers and other personal information of nearly 2 million current and former policyholders…nine computer drives were found to be missing. The insurer said the records contain addresses, Social Security numbers, financial data and other information about customers, employees and healthcare providers. The company said it was notified by IBM, which manages its information technology system, that it could not find the drives…Health Net provides health coverage to about 6 million people across the country. In California, 845,000 customers were affected by the lost records…The insurer said in a statement that it was notifying affected individuals and "offering them two years of free credit monitoring services, including fraud resolution and, if necessary, restoration of credit files, as well as identity theft insurance…”

7. 5 Email Security Tips to Protect Your Small Business http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/news/article.php/3928231/5-Email-Security-Tips-to-Protect-Your-Small-Business.htm “…5 Tips for Email Security Best Practices…Implement an email archiving system…Specify policies and controls regarding what can be stored on user desktops and laptops, so you can control and protect important data…Be sure all key departments within your organization, such as legal, IT and HR, understand the policies; require them to sign off on your email filtering, retention, retrieval and analysis policies…Keep the big picture in mind. Staying attuned to how threats and anti-threat solutions are evolving, will better prepare you to identify problem areas for your business and to take the necessary steps to guard against them…educate your staff. By teaching them how to prevent the spread of viruses and worms via email attachments and phishing scams, you are investing in your organization’s overall well being. Make sure all employees are educated against opening spam or emails from unknown senders. Reiterate this policy frequently…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

8. How to root a Nook Color to transform it into an Android tablet: If you root a Nook, is it a rook? http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2011/02/howto-root-a-nook-color-to-transform-it-into-an-android-tablet.ars “…The Nook Color is an intriguing product, but its most compelling feature isn't listed on the box. Beneath the e-book reader facade, the Nook Color runs Google's powerful Android mobile operating system. Barnes and Noble intends to eventually expose more of the Nook's Android functionality to end users in future updates, but Android enthusiasts have already gotten a head start…The Nook Color is powered by an ARM Cortex-A8 processor that is clocked at 800MHz. It has 512MB of RAM and a 7-inch, multitouch-enabled, color screen with a 1024x600 resolution. The CPU is a modest step down compared to the current generation of Android devices (it's in the same ballpark as that of the original Motorola Droid), but the Nook Color's specs are otherwise comparable with the hardware in Samsung's Galaxy Tab…Available for $249 at Barnes and Noble retail stores, the Nook Color is a pretty good value compared to its more costly rivals. The WiFi-only version of the Galaxy Tab, for example, costs $500 from Best Buy—twice the price of the Nook Color…The build quality and hardware specs of the Nook Color are significantly better than the low-end, budget Android tablets like the dubious Maylong. The only other Android tablet that is worth considering in the Nook Color's price category is the Archos 70…There are two different approaches to turning the Nook Color into a tablet: you can root the Nook Color's default software environment and extend it with third-party applications, or you can run a conventional Android environment by booting a custom ROM image from a microSD card…There is also a separate project to bring Android 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb, to the Nook Color…The rest of this article will focus on how to root and enhance the standard Android 2.1 software environment that ships with the Nook Color. In a follow-up post, I'll describe my experiences with the Honeycomb ROM and explain how developers can use it for live Android 3.0 application debugging on the Nook Color…The Nook Color modding community has produced a special tool called the Auto-Nooter that will give the user root access and automatically apply a number of popular customizations…To root a Nook Color, you have to download the Auto-Nooter system image, write it to a microSD card, and then boot the Nook Color with the SD card inserted. The Auto-Nooter image basically just bootstraps the system and runs and a script that makes the desired modifications to the Nook's internal filesystem and then installs some Android packages. Before you start the process, you should keep in mind that rooting the Nook Color very likely voids the warranty…”

9. Haptics create a buzz http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9213884/Display_tech_to_watch_this_year_Haptics_create_a_buzz If multitouch display technology is proliferating, haptic feedback is helping to fuel the trend. Haptics provide tactile feedback to your fingers as you touch a display by vibrating all or part of the display surface…it's been adopted in more than 20 smartphone models, including the Nokia N8 and Samsung Galaxy S series, because it can help people interact with touch-screen applications…One practical application of haptics is, for example, to make the virtual keyboards on smartphones and tablets more usable. "The loss of tactile feedback [with virtual keyboards] tends to cause high error rates and user frustration…emerging haptic feedback technologies can do a lot more than simply vibrate. They can make a display's surface feel rough like sandpaper, or slick, or wet. They might even create the sensation of something moving under your finger. Thanks to haptics, users will soon be able to experience a display surface as more than just a piece of glass…”

Apps

10. Mobile App Users Are Both Fickle And Loyal http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/15/mobile-app-users-are-both-fickle-and-loyal-study/ A study released by Massachusetts-based application analytics firm Localytics today confirms my suspicion that we both love — and are quickly bored by — our mobile applications…In part 1 of its study, Localytics analyzed thousands of Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 apps. Using its realtime app analytics service, they found that, while most smartphone users are willing to try new apps (as evidenced by the 10 billion downloads from the iTunes store), 26 percent of the time they download an app, use it once, never to use it again. With 400,000 iPhone/iPad apps and 200,000 Android apps and the total number of smartphone users growing to 61.5 million in the fourth quarter, the appification of our mobile experience continues at a breakneck pace…On the flip side of the coin, in part 2 of the study that was released today, Localytics found that 26 percent of app users become loyal, repeat customers, using a new application more than 10 times. Yup, the exact same percentage as the number of quitters. And many of those loyal users then go on to use the application hundreds of times…”

11. The App Wall http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/05/the-app-wall/ “…I now have too many apps in my life in general. I’ve hit the app wall. Granted, my usage right now is very extreme…But the fact of the matter is that this is the way things are headed for everyone. It will take the average user longer to hit it, but everyone will eventually hit this app wall…apps are in a way just the new websites. There’s only so many you can visit throughout the day and so you find the ones you like and cycle through those day in and day out. Only on the rare occasion does a new site break into this must-visit cycle. Technologies like RSS, and now social filters like Twitter have helped ease this monotonous burden. But those don’t exist for apps yet. The closest things we have are push notifications and apps like Boxcar (for notifications) and Chomp (for discovery). And even if there was a streamlined way to use the data in many apps, you’d still have your set group of go-to apps. And there would still be a limit to how many you can use, like websites…I’m not sure many app developers fully understand this just yet. There’s so much exuberance in the app space right now because mobile platforms are exploding with growth. And so anytime one type of app remotely hits, a hundred similar apps pop-up…”

Open Source

12. Open-Source Kimono Lantern Could Help Tsunami Victims http://www.pcworld.com/article/222160/opensource_kimono_lantern_could_help_tsunami_victims.html You are probably all very aware now of the problems facing Japan after an earthquake and tsunami pretty much destroyed a large area of the country. Many of you are wishing there was more you could do than just donate money too. If you are handy at making DIY tech projects, you may be able to help a hacker create humanitarian open source hardware designed to help Japan's disaster victims. "Akiba" of Freaklabs originally created the open source Kimono Lantern out of recycled jars as a neat decoration for gardens and patios…Not only is the lantern being used to help the victims, but now the files necessary to create it have been uploaded for the hardware community to get at and make--material list and gerbers included. On a good day, Akiba claims the lantern will be able to give off 10 hours of light if exposed to 3-4 hours sunlight. The Kimono Lantern also uses a light detection sensor, so will shut off automatically in the day time...In a blog post on Freaklabs, Akiba said: "So although it's outside the original sphere of intended use, it looks like the simple Kimono lanterns we designed can play a small role in providing comfort and at least give a small feeling of safety to people that are going through this horrific experience. I'm currently kitting up as many lanterns as I have parts for [...] I'm also donating the complete design to the open source hardware community…”

13. 'Free' Culture Folks Discuss Models For Sustainable Creativity http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110307/23222313391/free-culture-folks-discuss-models-sustainable-creativity.shtml “…the FCForum has released their version 1.0 document which is described as a "How to for Sustainable Creativity."…the document…digs into what the current state of the market is in music, filmmaking, writing & publishing, fashion and software, and then looks at various economic models that can be used to support all of those. The discussions on each industry could certainly be fleshed out a bit, but there are some interesting visual representations…When you look at images like that, you quickly realize the problem is not that the internet is eating away at money going to musicians, but that something isn't right in how musicians make money today. Thankfully, things are changing, and the ability to seek out competition, rather than remaining a major label act, means that artists have more control and aren't forced into ridiculous deals…there isn't anything too surprising, but it's nice to see all these ideas in one place. I'm sure some will brush this off as being nothing special, but as a 1.0 document, it really does seem like a good start in highlighting the massive spectrum of possibility for creators to make money for being creative today…”

SkyNet

14. Google lets you block bad sites to find more of what you want http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/hide-sites-to-find-more-of-what-you.html “…You’ve probably had the experience where you’ve clicked a result and it wasn’t quite what you were looking for…you may dislike the site in general, whether it’s offensive, pornographic or of generally low quality. For times like these, you’ll start seeing a new option to block particular domains from your future search results. Now when you click a result and then return to Google, you’ll find a new link nex t to “Cached” that reads “Block all example.com results.”…Once you click the link to “Block all example.com results” you’ll get a confirmation message, as well as the option to undo your choice…Once you’ve blocked a domain, you won’t see it in your future search results…The next time you’re searching and a blocked page would have appeared, you’ll see a message telling you results have been blocked, making it easy to manage your personal list of blocked sites. This message will appear at the top or bottom of the results page depending on the relevance of the blocked pages…”

15. Google’s Blogger Is About to Get an Overhaul http://mashable.com/2011/03/14/googles-blogger-is-about-to-get-an-overhaul/ “…Blogger is one of the world’s top 10 biggest websites, far larger than WordPress.com, Tumblr or Posterous. Yet these blogging platforms have secured the most hype over the years…Google’s blogging platform is fighting back though. The company highlighted some of its impressive stats and upcoming features in a blog post. It now boasts more than 400 million active readers around the world. More impressive are its publishing stats; Blogger says more than 500 million blog posts have been published on its platform, amounting to more than 500 billion words. That’s more than 5 million novels’ worth of content…The most interesting part of Google’s blog post is the sneak peek into what appears to be a complete redesign of Blogger’s user interface, one the search giant calls “cleaner and more modern.” Google also teased updated analytics, new publishing features, an updated mobile interface and “smarter content discovery…”

16. Google's 15 Biggest Acquisitions And What Happened To Them http://www.businessinsider.com/googles-15-biggest-acquisitions-and-what-happened-to-them-2011-3?op=1 “…Google basically bought AdSense, the paid search platform that made it a financial powerhouse, from Applied Semantics in 2003. In addition, three of the four non-search businesses that Google has identified as its future -- YouTube, Android, and display advertising -- were acquired and run more or less independently today. The fourth -- enterprise apps -- was helped greatly by the acquisition of Postini…#15: Android mobile platform, "up to" $50 million (estimated)… #14: Aardvark social search, $50 million…#13: Jambool social payment platform, $70 million…#12: Invite Media ad platform, $81 million…#11: Feedburner RSS tools, $100 million…#10: Like.com visual search, $100 million+…#8 (tie): Applied Semantics, $102 million…#8 (tie): dMarc automated radio ad placement, $102 million…#7: On2 video compression, $133 million…#6: Slide social gaming, $228 million (estimated)…#5: Postini email security and services, $625 million…#4: ITA travel service, $700 million (if regulators let it go through)…#3: AdMob mobile advertising, $750 million…#2: YouTube video sharing site, $1.65 billion…#1: DoubleClick display ad technology, $3.1 billion…”

17. YouTube Acquires Green Parrot: Makes Your Videos Better http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/youtube_acquires_service_that_makes_your_videos_be.php YouTube sees a whole lot of video uploaded to its servers every day - and a lot of that is bumpy, blurry, choppy footage…35 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute - much of it is now shot on mobile phones. In order to improve the quality of those videos, YouTube…has acquired an Irish company that makes video enhancement magic technology. Called Green Parrot Pictures, YouTube says the 6 year old company has built "cutting-edge video quality improvement technology that has been used in major studio productions from Lord of the Rings to X-Men to Spider-Man. Their technology helps make videos look better while at the same time using less bandwidth and improving playback speed…”

18. Next New Networks: YouTube Creator Institute Looking for Next Video Stars http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2381782,00.asp “…Days after the Google-owned video site announced its acquisition of Next New Networks, YouTube said Thursday that it will start the Creator Institute, an initiative aimed at helping enthusiasts hone their digital skills. With YouTube users uploading more than 35 hours of video per minute, there are bound to be some duds. YouTube is hoping to help at least a few of its users improve their video skills with the Creator project, which will be conducted with the help of the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts and Columbia College of Chicago…Participants will be able to take classes, talk with professors, and learn how to combine their video skills with "new media" tools needed to become a viral hit. The new media curriculum includes everything from story arcing to cinematography, monetization strategies to social media tactics…The program includes online and in-person components. The USC version will accept 10 people and will run from May 25 to June 22 in Los Angeles. CCC will also accept 10 students for a program running from May 31 to July 22 in Chicago. Student hopefuls must be 18 or over, and submit an application at youtube.com/creatorinstitute before March 25…”

General Technology

19. Taking Control of Cars From Afar http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/35094/ “…Researchers who have spent the last two years studying the security of car computer systems have revealed that they can take control of vehicles wirelessly. The researchers were able to control everything from the car's brakes to its door locks to its computerized dashboard displays by accessing the onboard computer through GM's OnStar and Ford's Sync, as well as through the Bluetooth connections intended for making hands-free phone calls. They presented their findings this week to the National Academies Committee on Electronic Vehicle Controls and Unintended Acceleration, which was brought together partly in response to last year's scandal over supposed problems with the computerized braking systems in Toyota Priuses. The team, including Tadayoshi Kohno, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Washington, and Stefan Savage, a professor of computer science at the University of California, San Diego, had previously shown that they could take control of a car's computer systems, provided that they had physical access to the vehicle's onboard diagnostics port—a federally mandated access point located under the dashboard in almost all modern cars…”

20. Low-Power Memory from Nanotubes http://technologyreview.com/computing/35083/ A new type of nonvolatile memory based on carbon nanotubes has dramatically lower power requirements than current technology. It uses the nanotubes to read and write data to small islands of phase-change materials, which store information. With further development, the new technology could extend battery life in mobile devices…Nonvolatile memory stores information even when the power is switched off. The standard technology for it, flash memory, is used in smart phones, cameras, USB sticks, and fast-booting netbook computers. But the storage density of flash memory is reaching its limit because the transistors used to make flash memory arrays cannot be miniaturized any further. The power needed to write to flash is also a speed limitation, and it drains the batteries in portable devices. The new nonvolatile memory…can hold more data than flash while requiring considerably less power. A few replacements for flash are in development. The one that's closest to commercialization is phase-change memory. The "bits" in phase-change memory are small islands of materials called chalcogenides that switch between glassy and crystalline states when rapidly heated. The two phases have different electrical resistances that can represent "1" or "0"—the bits are read by passing a small current through an electrode to read the resistance…”

DHMN Technology

21. Kinect Hack Dims the Lights So You Don't Have To http://www.pcworld.com/article/221842/kinect_hack_dims_the_lights_so_you_dont_have_to.html “…A hacker put his Kinect to work as a home automation tool…a blogger known only as 'nitrogen' makes use of the libfreenect library programming tool to turn the Kinect's cameras into a home automation sensor of sorts. The camera detects whether anyone is in the room, and where that person is located…For example, it'll dim the lights if you sit down to watch a movie, or it'll switch them off if nobody is in the room. It's a perfectly geeky way of saving energy…”

22. EADS unveils bicycle that is 'grown' from fine powder http://www.theengineer.co.uk/design-engineering/news/eads-unveils-bicycle-that-is-grown-from-fine-powder/1007706.article EADS has unveiled the Airbike, a bicycle made using a manufacturing process that literally grows a product from a fine powder of metal, nylon or carbon-reinforced plastics. Made from nylon, the Airbike technology demonstrator was assembled using Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) at a centre located next to Airbus’s site at Filton…Similar in concept to 3D printing, the bike design is perfected using computer-aided design and then constructed using a laser-sintering process that adds successive, thin layers of the chosen structural material until a solid, fully formed bike emerges. EADS said that it has developed the technology to the extent that it can manipulate metals, nylon and carbon-reinforced plastics at a molecular level, which allows it to be applied to high-stress, safety-critical aviation uses. Compared with a traditional, machined part, those produced by ALM are said to be up to 65 per cent lighter but still as strong. The technology is likely to be employed eventually in industrial applications such as aerospace, the motor industry and engineering…”

Leisure & Entertainment

23. Zune hardware apparently dead, software and services live on http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/gaming.gadgets/03/15/microsoft.zune.rip/ “…Microsoft will cease development of its family of Zune-branded music players due to weak demand and a desire to focus on its smartphone platform. Zune will live on as a software and services platform, according to Bloomberg's source. Windows Phone 7 embeds the Zune player for media playback on the phone, uses the Zune Marketplace for online music sales, and the Zune PC software for media syncing and firmware updates…Since their introduction in 2006, the Zune players always played second fiddle -- if that -- to Apple's iPod line…Microsoft also did little to promote the Zune brand beyond US borders; the original models were also available in Canada, but until recently, the Zune HD was US-only…”

24. Netflix Crushing the Digital Movie Competition http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20110315/netflix-crushing-the-digital-movie-competition/ If you’re going to pay for a movie over the Web, you don’t have to use Netflix. But there’s a very good chance you’ll do just that: A 60 percent chance…Reed Hastings’ company owns 61 percent of the market for digital movies, with Comcast running a distant second at eight percent. There’s a three-way tie for third between DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and Apple…Netflix is in the midst of a go-go growth boom, and while not all of its 20 million subscribers are using the company’s Web video service, many of them are. And a third of its new customers are signing up for its Web-only option…Apple’s iTunes movie store, which sells and rents films on an a la carte basis, has yet to catch on as well as Steve Jobs would like. And if you’re going to rent a movie from the cable guys, it seems much more likely that you’ll rent a movie via cable, directly to your TV…”

Economy and Technology

25. Startup visa legislation influenced by Vivek Wadhwa’s blog posts http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/14/finally-a-startup-visa-that-works/ In my last post about the Startup Visa, I was very critical of the Kerry–Lugar legislation. That’s because it required immigrant entrepreneurs to raise at least $250,000 in financing for their startups…Few startups raise this kind of seed money—even in Silicon Valley. I couldn’t foresee this bill generating more than a few dozen jobs…I was delighted to receive an e-mail, last week, from Garrett Johnson, who works for Senator Richard Lugar…the Senator had read my articles and asked his staff to consider my comments. After consulting with…other champions of the visa, Garrett had revised the legislation. He sent me a draft of the bill that was introduced today. This new legislation is even better than I had hoped for…I expect it to unleash a flood of entrepreneurship…The really good news is that this enables foreign students and workers who are already in the U.S. to qualify for a visa. The requirements for them are very reasonable—they must show that they have enough in savings not to be a burden to American taxpayers, and get a qualified investor or a government entity such as the Small Business Administration to validate their ideas by making a modest investment…This version of the bill will, I expect, encourage tens of thousands of workers trapped in “immigration limbo”, and foreign students who would otherwise return home after graduation, to try their hands at entrepreneurship. Many of these people would not otherwise have considered entrepreneurship; they will now have the incentive to take the risk…”

26. Zynga Rolls Out New Virtual Currency http://emoney.allthingsd.com/20110314/zynga-rolls-out-new-virtual-currency-in-lieu-of-facebook-credits/ Zynga is announcing a new virtual currency today called “zCoins,” which will allow users to earn rewards across 10 of its most popular games on Facebook. The branded-currency announced today comes just a couple of months before Facebook is mandating that all social games use Facebook Credits as the default payment system…it’s hard not to see how the Zynga-branded coins isn’t a ploy for the game-maker to build its brand as Facebook inserts itself more and more into the gaming experience. The new program, announced today at SXSW, is called RewardVille, which will give players zPoints and zCoins in CityVille, FrontierVille, FarmVille, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Café World, Treasure Isle, YoVille, PetVille and Vampire Wars…”

Civilian Aerospace

27. Spaceport timeline still intact after staff changes http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_17608927 Two weeks into the start of the year and Gov. Susana Martinez's tenure, Spaceport America was in a limbo state, after Martinez dismissed all members of its governing board and forced the resignation of its executive director…Martinez reappointed the seven-member board in February, installing two people from the former body. And her pick for executive director, Christine Anderson, a retired civilian administrator in the Air Force, was announced at the end of February…Gary Whitehead of Truth or Consequences, a former spaceport authority board member…doesn't think project timeline was affected significantly…Virgin Galactic is developing a two-vehicle system in California that's expected to carry passengers to suborbital space from Spaceport America. Richard Branson, head of the Virgin Group, said during a visit to the spaceport last October that the first launches likely will take place between mid-summer of this year and spring of 2012…”

28. SpaceX wins contract from European satellite operator http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_17612138 Space Exploration Technologies…won a new launch contract from a European satellite operator…The new contract with Luxembourg-based SES further adds to a growing launch manifest for the South Bay firm, better known as SpaceX. The deal…also marks the first geostationary satellite launch using SpaceX's large Falcon 9 rocket. The SES-8 communications satellite is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2013 from SpaceX's Launch Complex at the Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral, Fla…SES is one of the world's largest telecommunications satellite operators…The SES deal shows that even the most conservative commercial or government customers can have confidence flying their satellites on the Falcon 9 rocket," Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and CEO, said…”

29. Intelsat Signs Up for Satellite Refueling Service http://www.spacenews.com/satellite_telecom/intelsat-signs-for-satellite-refueling-service.html Satellite fleet operator Intelsat has agreed to be the inaugural customer for a novel system to refuel satellites in orbit being developed by MDA Corp. of Canada, agreeing to purchase one-half of the 2,000 kilograms of fuel that the spacecraft would carry into orbit for other satellites…Intelsat’s investment in the 1,000 kilograms of fuel is intended to add between two and four years of additional life to four or five otherwise healthy Intelsat satellites in geostationary orbit…MDA has been working on the technology for several years but has declined to make the needed capital investment, estimated at $300 million or more, until it had an anchor customer. Luxembourg- and Washington-based Intelsat has now agreed to fill that role. While payments from Intelsat begin before launch, most of Intelsat’s investment would occur after confirming that its satellites have received a specific amount of propellant…”

30. NASA and open source http://fcw.com/articles/2011/03/14/nasa-to-host-open-source-summit.aspx NASA will host an open-source software summit at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Fielf, Calif., at the end the month to bring the leaders in the open-source community together to focus on the challenges facing the community and to establish processes, polices and culture needed to encourage open-source development. The summit, which will take place March 29-30, features a variety of speakers from the open-source community, including director of Mozilla Labs (the company behind the Firefox browser)…“Open source brings numerous benefits to NASA software projects, including increased quality, reduced development costs, faster development cycles and reduced barriers for public-private collaboration to commercialize agency technology" Chris Kemp, chief technology officer for IT at NASA, said…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

31. 20 petaflop Cray supercomputer with GPUs for Oak Ridge should overtake Tianhe-1A http://www.hpcwire.com/news/Oak-Ridge-Looks-Toward-20-Petaflop-Super-117559718.html Oak Ridge National Lab, which already hosts two petascale supercomputers, is planning to add another to its elite stable of HPC machines. According to a news report in the Knoxville News Sentinel, the DOE lab will begin installing a new 20 petaflop supercomputer, named "Titan," in late 2011, with the complete system ready to boot up sometime in 2012…Titan will also be a Cray supercomputer, in this case, a yet-to-be-released GPU-accelerated machine that will use NVIDIA Tesla parts to deliver most of the FLOPS…it will likely be an XE6 variant with Tesla GPU-equipped blades…that entire system will cost about $100 million. That is probably going to be quite a bit less expensive than the DOE's other 20 petaflop system: the IBM Blue Gene/Q "Sequoia" supercomputer. The price tag for that machine hasn't been disclosed, although the 10 petaflop IBM Blue Waters system at NCSA will run more than $200 million…Titan…will be dedicated to running a wide variety of open science application…which means a number of academic and commercial users will get a chance to play on the first multi-petaflop GPU supercomputer in the US.”

32. Stanford University selects GPU cluster http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Xtreme-Compute-Technologies-Announces-a-BriX-GPU-Cluster-Award-118012359.html “…XCT today announces Stanford University's selection of XCT "a-BriX" NVIDIA Tesla based solution…as part of a new 50 node (100 Tesla C2050 GPUs) heterogeneous cluster to be dubbed "numbercruncher." Stanford's "numbercruncher" will support a wide range of research initiatives including computational biology, molecular dynamics, structural biology and chemical biology simulations…As a CUDA Center of Excellence, Stanford University has demonstrated a broad use of GPUs in both its curriculum and its research," said Sanford Russell, director of CUDA marketing at NVIDIA. "The 'numbercruncher' will be an excellent resource for Stanford's Chemical and Biological researchers and students wanting to harness the power of parallel computing…”

33. NVIDIA GPU Combo Captures Bronze on Green500 http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/QLogic-InfiniBand-NVIDIA-GPU-Combo-Captures-Bronze-on-Green500-117738953.html QLogic Corp. today announced that a cluster using NVIDIA Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs)…operated by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) achieved a number three ranking for MFlops/watt on the Green500 list of the world's top supercomputers…the Green500 ranks the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world using performance-per-watt to encourage HPC vendors and users to deploy more cost-effective computing systems. The NCSA's hybrid cluster incorporated Intel Core i3 2.93Ghz dual core processors with NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPUs and QLogic TrueScale InfiniBand solutions, producing a score of 933.06 MFlops/watt -- nearly four times more efficient than average supercomputers…”


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