2011/05/10

NEW NET Weekly List for 10 May 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 10 May 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. Lots of interesting tech news in the past week, so this week's final list will have about as many as last week. A determined effort will be made to keep next week's NEW NET list to a more manageable number of items. At last week's NEW NET meeting, we had a great discussion about eight or nine items off the list, so there were about sixty that we never even talked about. Not enough hours in the day, and certainly not enough hours in a NEW NET meeting, to cover all the fun tech stuff that happens in the previous seven days...

The ‘net

1. MS buys Skype for $8.5 billion http://gigaom.com/2011/05/09/why-microsoft-is-buying-skype-for-8-billion/ “…Microsoft has bought Skype for $8.5 billion, in an all cash deal…It won’t surprise me if Microsoft comes in for major heat on this decision to buy Skype — and the software company could always botch this purchase, as it often does when it buys a company. The Skype team is also full of hired guns who are likely to move on to the next opportunity rather than dealing with the famed Microsoft bureaucracy…Skype gives Microsoft a boost in the enterprise collaboration market, thanks to Skype’s voice, video and sharing capabilities, especially when competing with Cisco and Google. It gives Microsoft a working relationship with carriers, many of them looking to partner with Skype as they start to transition to LTE-based networks…the biggest reason for Microsoft to buy Skype is Windows Phone 7 (Mobile OS) and Nokia. The software giant needs a competitive offering to Google Voice and Apple’s emerging communication platform, Facetime. The biggest winner of this deal could actually be Facebook…it gets access to Skype assets (Microsoft is an investor in Facebook…it needs to use Skype’s peer-to-peer network to offer video and voice services to the users of Facebook Chat. If the company had to use conventional methods and offer voice and video service to its 600 million plus customers, the cost and overhead of operating the infrastructure would be prohibitive…Skype had filed for an IPO and was going to do about a billion dollars in revenues…So why sell? Silver Lake and eBay were both getting impatient and wanted to lock in their profits. Some sources also believe that Skype’s revenues had stalled…The premium version of video calling and sharing was a way for Skype to increase its average revenue per user and move into the enterprise market. However, given Skype’s DNA is that of a consumer Internet company, the challenges are not a surprise…”

2. Google execs, tech experts focus on future of Postal Service http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/google-execs-tech-experts-focus-on-future-of-postal-service/2011/05/04/AFmuOVpF_blog.html Some of the folks responsible for developing and promoting e-mail, e-commerce and social media are banding together in an attempt to save the U.S. Postal Service, the institution arguably most threatened by the technological developments of the past few years. As mail volume continues to plummet and more Americans use the Internet to pay bills and keep in touch…some of the most passionate tech evangelists are planning to meet…to sort out how to save and remake the nation’s mail delivery service…John Callan, a longtime mailing industry consultant…said he’s inviting the officials normally involved in conversations about the Postal Service’s future — USPS executives, postal regulators, mailing industry bosses and lawmakers — but he wants most of the day to focus on longer-term ideas generated by outsiders. This isn’t about solving the current problems…we need to stage a serious conversation about the future, so…those of us in the postal industry can learn how we would do something differently. USPS anticipates losing about $7 billion during the fiscal year that ends in September and is in the process of eliminating 7,500 postmaster and administrative positions to save money…the Postal Regulatory Commission…said Monday it is concerned with Postal Service plans to close thousands of post offices in the coming years…”

3. Rising Costs Leave Facebook Developers in the Lurch http://adage.com/article/digital/rising-costs-leave-facebook-developers-lurch/227370/ As Facebook heads toward 700 million users, one thing seems clear: the gold rush for Facebook app developers is over. Early adopters of the social-game space, such as Zynga, Crowdstar and Playdom -- known in the industry as part of Facebook's "Top 10" -- are still raking in all the users and much of the revenue, but rising ad prices, a cluttered market, and higher transaction fees are forcing smaller players elsewhere, and in many cases off Facebook altogether…"For the most part, the window of opportunity for games on Facebook has closed," said Chris Cunningham, CEO of Appssavvy… "There was a three-year window for companies entering Facebook, but since Facebook opened their platform in 2007, each year has brought stricter restrictions and requirements that have changed the Facebook app marketplace forever."…"What we hear is that developers are having a hard time finding the audience on Facebook," said Spil CMO Oscar Diele, who sees 50 million gamers a month. "It's getting more and more difficult to get visibility and grow an audience." Mr. Diele…said he's seeing another trend -- developers skipping Facebook altogether in favor of platforms that are specific to social games…”

4. Optimizing Page Speed - Actionable Tips For SEOs and Web Developers http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/optimizing-page-speed-actionable-tips-for-seos-and-web-developers “…I want to share some practical advice I've learnt from optimising my websites loading times…The easiest tool(s) I've found are the YSlow and Page Speed Plugins for Firefox/Firebug…Once you have these installed…go to the website that you're wanting to optimise. Click on the Firebug icon in your add on bar (shown below) to open up the firebug console. Then click on the Page Speed tab and then the Analyse Performance Tab. In a few seconds you'll get a score out of 100…The handy thing about the Page Speed plugin is that it will give you additional information if you click into each of the sections and each section is colour coded as to how good or bad it is. Red bad, yellow ok, green great…Some of the most common places I see that people don't optimise are below…Minimise File Requests…Leverage Browser Caching…Optimise Images…Simple images tend to be smaller in the PNG format, whereas more complex images tend to be better in JPG…Why export at the maximum quality of JPG if there's no noticeable difference between that and medium…Enable Compression…You can also enable Gzip or deflate on your server. This will reduce the size of html files, css, etc that are being sent to your visitor. Once again, smaller file sizes = quicker loading times…work down the list on Page Speed, try to get as much as possible correct. You'll never hit 100/100…but it will certainly give you a path to follow…”

5. Scrible gets $500k check from National Science Foundation to fix Web research http://venturebeat.com/2011/05/04/scrible-gets-500k-check-from-national-science-foundation-to-fix-web-research/ The National Science Foundation…awarded a $500,000 grant to web research startup Scrible, which is launching its public beta today. Scrible’s bookmarklet is meant to facilitate annotation of web pages for the sake of research, archiving and collaboration. Web annotation has been done before…with…mediocre results…The more interesting attempts include Layers, WebNotes, ReframeIt, and Google Sidewiki…The big problem with early annotation services is that they weren’t trying to assuage pain. They wanted to be the “public layer” of the Internet…creating public discourse on the wide Web is a very different model involving different use cases, usage patterns and interactions, both with the content and among users.” Rather than creating a public forum, Scrible wants to help you pull things off the web. If you ever copy and paste a Web article into Word, or print out a page to mark it up, Scrible wants to help

6. Facebook's role in news is growing, online news is casual, social http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/09/BUAG1JCLPS.DTL Google remains the top source of traffic to the top 25 general news websites, but Facebook is emerging as a "critical player" for how consumers find and share news stories…"Google and Facebook are increasingly set up as competitors (for) sorting through the material on the Web," the Pew Research Center report said…the study illustrates how complicated it is for media companies to replace revenue sources that have been changed or lost in the digital age…"For the casual users, the revenue strategies will need to be substantially different than what you're going to seek to do for the power users,"…The study focused on the top 25 general interest news sites, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, AOL News, Reuters, Yahoo News, Google News and The Chronicle's SFGate.com…an average 77 percent of the traffic came from "casual users" who visited just once or twice a month. And in 34 percent of those visits, users spent from one to five minutes on the site per month…a small but loyal core of "power users" who visited at least 10 times per month. Only about 7 percent of users of all news sites fell in that category, with CNN having the largest portion at nearly 18 percent…23 percent of online news consumers would pay $5 a month for full online access to a local paper's content…three-quarters of those surveyed said they would not be willing to pay anything…Visitors to NYTimes.com will get free access to 20 items a month. Beyond that, they are asked to pay either $15 every four weeks to read content on nytimes.com and the smart-phone app; $20 for access at nytimes.com and a tablet computer app; or $35 for all three…while Google and the Drudge Report are responsible for sending most users to news sites, Facebook is gaining in importance as more people use the social network to share stories. The single biggest source remained Google, which accounted for an average of 30 percent of the traffic…up to 8 percent of the top news sites' traffic now comes from Facebook, which is also one of the top destinations after a visitor leaves a news site…users leaving sites for Facebook does not necessarily indicate that every visitor is leaving to share news. But it is likely that at least some of their audience is heading to Facebook to share the news…The same isn't true for Twitter. The microblogging service is frequently cited as an emerging source for people to learn about stories, yet the study found Twitter was a factor in driving traffic to only nine of the top 25 news sites. Twitter sent about 1 percent of traffic to those nine…Twitter may be good for the "sharing of emotions and views and tidbits of news, but not as much for posting and linking to news stories to the extent that you see from Facebook or Google or the Drudge Report…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Osama bin Laden's Death a Boon for Online Crooks http://www.pcworld.com/article/227047/osama_bin_ladens_death_a_boon_for_online_crooks.html “…public interest in the death of Osama bin Laden has created fertile ground for scammers looking to exploit the world's most wanted terrorist's death…Major security companies and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation say gullible victims that click on links risk infection by Trojan software applications designed to infect your PC and monitor your online banking activity…Email scammers are trying to trick you into downloading a compressed file of purported photos showing Bin Laden's body after being shot by American forces…Once you download the compressed "images," you are asked to run an executable file before you can see them. But instead of gruesome photos on your desktop you end up with a Banload Trojan that monitors your online banking sessions and attempts to redirect your online payments into the wrong accounts…”

8. Mozilla Takes a Stand Against Department of Homeland Security http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/mozilla_takes_a_stand_against_department_of_homela.php “…the MafiaaFire extension to Firefox…redirects traffic from seized domains to other domains. According to Mozilla legal blogger Harvey Anderson MafiaaFire "seized domain names allegedly were used to stream content protected by copyrights of professional sports franchises and other media concerns." The domains in question alleged acts of piracy have little to do with Firefox itself and…Mozilla is not going to disable the extension just because DHS wants them to. It wants legal justification…Mozilla has asked DHS some…common sense questions as to why they should disable the extension…Have any courts determined that the Mafiaafire add-on is unlawful or illegal in any way? If so, on what basis? (Please provide any relevant rulings)…Is Mozilla legally obligated to disable the add-on or is this request based on other reasons?...Can you please provide a copy of the relevant seizure order upon which your request to Mozilla to take down the Mafiaafire add-on is based? The question about the extension is less about professional sports teams, piracy and copyright and more about threats to the open Internet…Mozilla is looking for due process and transparency from DHS…"The problem stems from the use of these government powers in service of private content holders when it can have unintended and harmful consequences," Anderson wrote. "Long term, the challenge is to find better mechanisms that provide both real due process and transparency without infringing upon developer and user freedoms…”

9. Businesses fall prey to cunning of online banking cyberthieves http://www.sentinelsource.com/business/business_news/businesses-fall-prey-to-cunning-of-cyberthieves/article_70a44d78-9fe4-59ac-af58-ca9fb8b99669.html Among the growing ranks of consumers, business owners and others being lured by the convenience of online banking are legions of cybercrooks who have found the technology a convenient way to steal from unsuspecting victims. More than 72 million households now manage their money online — up from about 12 million a decade ago…the FBI and a consortium of other government agencies reported in October that “thousands of businesses, small and large, have reportedly fallen victims to this type of fraud” with municipalities and nonprofit organizations increasingly coming under attack…unlike individuals, they lack legal protections for their losses. Ann Talbot learned of the danger four years ago when nearly $21,000 was taken from the bank account of her general contracting firm, Golden Gate Bridge. Then in May last year, cybercrooks struck her Martinez, Calif., company again, making off with about $100,000 from another account…Golden Gate had taken out an online-theft insurance policy, which limited its liability to about $10,000, according to Talbot…Even so, she is wary of the outlaws preying increasingly on those who bank via the Web. “It’s a huge problem,” she said, adding that many people “have no idea of the threat out there…”

10. Scammers Swap Google Images for Malware http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/05/scammers-swap-google-images-for-malware/ “…computer crooks…are using weaknesses in Google’s Image Search to foist malicious software on unsuspecting surfers…the SANS Internet Storm Center posted a blog entry saying they…were receiving reports of Google Image searches leading to fake anti-virus sites…the attackers have compromised an unknown number of sites with malicious scripts that create Web pages filled with the top search terms from Google Trends…If users are searching for words or phrases that rank high in the current top search terms, it is likely that thumbnails from these malicious pages will be displayed beside other legitimate results…the exploit happens when a user clicks on one of these tainted thumbnails…The user’s browser will automatically send a request to the bad page which runs the attacker’s script…[that] causes the browser to be redirected to another site that is serving FakeAV. Google is doing a relatively good job removing (or at least marking) links leading to malware in normal searches, however, Google’s image search seem to be plagued with malicious links.”…a Russian malware researcher who has been studying the fake anti-virus campaigns, called this tactic “the most efficient black hat trick ever,”…Sinegubko reckons that there are more than 5,000 hacked sites, and that the average site has been injected with about 1,000 of these bogus pages. The average page receives a visitor from Google approximately every 10 days, he said, which means Google is referring about a half million visits to fake anti-virus sites every day, or about 15 million visits each month…” [I’ve been hit by this five or six times in the past few weeks – ed.]

11. Battle Brews Over FBI’s Warrantless GPS Tracking http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/05/gps/ Kathy Thomas knew she was under surveillance. The animal rights and environmental activist had been trailed daily by cops over several months…Law enforcement secretly installs the tracking device on a target's car. Some models are hidden in the engine compartment and wired to the car battery. Others are slapped to the undercarriage with industrial-strength magnets. As the target drives around, the tracking device triangulates its position from three or four GPS satellites, and digitally transmits its coordinates continuously by radio…The use of GPS tracking devices is poised to become one of the most contentious privacy issues before the Supreme Court, if it agrees to hear an appeal filed by the Obama administration last month. The administration is seeking to overturn a ruling by a lower court that law enforcement officials must obtain a warrant before using a tracker…When Thomas found the device on her vehicle back in 2005, she ripped it from the underside of her fender, but quickly grew fearful the FBI would raid her house if agents suspected she’d removed it. So she carried it in a duffel bag in her trunk for a week…When her lawyer called a local U.S. attorney to inquire about the device, the prosecutor acknowledged it belonged to the feds and said they wanted it back. But Thomas refused to hand it over, and the FBI seemed to drop the matter. Her attorney told Threat Level the government “basically abandoned it.”…in most jurisdictions, investigators don’t need court approval to slap a tracking device on a driver’s car…the devices provide a stealthier and more cost-effective approach to surveillance than a team of cops trailing a suspect around the clock…Judge Alex Kosinski, in the dissenting opinion, called the use of GPS trackers without a court order “straight out of George Orwell’s novel 1984” and said they give government “the power to track the movements of every one of us, every day of our lives.”…Although the Justice Department has said the devices are used by investigators “with great frequency,” neither the department nor local law enforcement agencies are required to compile or disclose statistics about their use…Her FBI file, which she obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, makes it clear the surveillance was part of a nationwide investigation of activists…The FBI reports indicate agents likely turned to the GPS tracking device after it became increasingly difficult to tail her physically. Thomas had begun engaging in countersurveillance maneuvers, FBI agents claimed in the documents, including speeding, running red lights, making unsafe lane changes and weaving through congested traffic to evade them. A July 2004 report describes how she drove one day into the cul-de-sac where she lived and sped around to confront and photograph cars she believed were tailing her. The report says Thomas was becoming “extremely surveillance-conscious,” and that agents “were made [recognized as agents] on two separate occasions.” Thomas says the surveillance was a daily occurrence for months. Then…she confronted an agent who was following her on the freeway. She took an exit ramp and stopped, and when he pulled up behind her, she got out of her car to yell at him…the agent laughed at her, and after that the surveillance stopped. Or so she thought. She found the GPS tracker on her car a few months later.”

12. DOJ wants wireless providers to store user info http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20061472-281.html The U.S. Department of Justice today called for new laws requiring mobile providers to collect and store information about their customers, a proposal that pits it against privacy advocates and even other federal agencies. Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division, picked an odd place to describe the department's proposal: a U.S. Senate hearing that arose out of revelations about iPhones recording information about owners' locations, and, in some cases, transmitting those data to Apple without consent…Weinstein said, "when this information is not stored, it may be impossible for law enforcement to collect essential evidence." In January, CNET was the first to report that the Justice Department had started a new legislative push for what is generally known as mandatory data retention…"Many wireless providers do not retain records that would enable law enforcement to identify a suspect's smartphone based on the IP addresses collected by Web sites that the suspect visited…” [does anyone in the government see the irony in requesting Google and Apple to D.C. to testify about why their keeping smartphone user info and then using that forum to announce that the government is pushing legislation to require mobile providers to keep MORE information about the smartphone users??? – ed.]

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. 'PaperPhone': Cellphone of the Future? http://news.cnet.com/is-your-iphone-obsolete-meet-paperphone/8301-17938_105-20060621-1.html “…The e-paper prototype PaperPhone has a 3.75-inch thin-film display and developers call it the world's first flexible smartphone…"This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years," Queen's Human Media Lab Director Roel Vertegaal was quoted…the prototype is based on e-ink technology and is more like a bendable plastic sheet about the thickness of a conference badge. It can be operated by bending the corners to turn a page, squeezing to make a call, and even written on with a pen…Vertegaal, who collaborated with researchers…at Arizona State University, is set to discuss the prototype at the Computer Human Interaction 2011 conference next week…”

14. Tabbedout mobile restaurant bill pay http://gigaom.com/2011/05/09/tabbedout-finalizes-5-7m-round-for-restaurant-bill-pay/ Tabbedout, an innovative Austin, Texas startup tackling the problem of closing out bills at restaurants and bars…has raised $6.5 million…The new money will go toward building out the company’s staff and accelerating the marketing of Tabbedout to customers and business owners. Tabbedout has a cool take on mobile payments, because it focuses on a specific goal, to make the process of settling a tab easy and quick…When they arrive at a participating restaurant or bar, they just start a tab for that location and their payment information is sent directly into an establishment’s payment system, so the waiter never has to take or swipe the card. That’s good, because it cuts down on fraud from sneaky waiters…When it’s time to settle up, they just pay through the app…Now I can see my tab throughout the night. At the end of the evening, I can open the tab, set the tip and pay, or if I forget, the venue can close me out.” Orr came up with the idea after enduring an almost hour-long wait for a bill. He said Tabbedout helps consumers get out quickly and also helps them split bills between a group. And it also benefits busy restaurants, freeing up wait staff to service customers and taking the payment responsibility out of their hands…The company has…200 restaurants and bars lined up in 90 cities…It previously signed deals with point-of-sale providers Future POS, Jumpware and others and is now embedded with MICROS System’s point-of-sale offering, which is used in 130,000 restaurants and bars…While offerings like Square work well for the 27 millions merchants who don’t take credit cards, Tabbedout makes sense for the many establishments that do. Orr said he’s also considered allowing customers to order ahead through Tabbedout. But he said that introduces a lot of questions about how to get orders to the right person and how to take care of custom orders…”

15. Could Sustainability be Scannable? http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/05/sustainability-bar-code-scan/comment-page-1/ “…Sprint mobile recently released a Green ID package, which includes a multitude of apps all tailored to a green lifestyle, relevant eco-information and even “Take Action” real-world engagement options. A mobile sustainability movement has the potential to be effective with two components: accessibility to concise information and an easy user interface…The savviest of businesses are catching on fast and we are beginning to see these little square QR codes all over the place. They are intended to quickly link you to detailed product information…Even some historic and modern buildings in NYC are being tagged, so visitors can learn more about them instantly and for free. Fast growing companies like Foursquare, BlingNation and ShopKick are already jumping on the coded bandwagon. They offer geo-located services to incentivize consumers just for walking in the retail door. What these companies have yet to capitalize on, is “the ask” for deeper consumer sustainability. Act Bolder a San Francisco based company which realizes this potential and thus requires personal pledges for sustainable actions. Yet they have not released a mobile app…I thrive on new concepts… what if you could scan your reusable cup at Starbucks or a to-go shopping bag at Trader Joe’s each time you make a purchase. A simple, free and scannable sticker could be added to any reusable product and track your consumer eco-footprint. The impacts could yield real consumers retail rewards or donation credits to a favorite environmental fund. Consumer carbon foot printing could be calculated in real time and with the help of scannable technologies…”

16. HP Veer 4G, a $99 AT&T Exclusive, Launches May 15 http://gigaom.com/mobile/hp-veer-4g-a-99-att-exclusive-launches-may-15/ The HP Veer 4G, Hewlett Packard’s first handset since it acquired Palm, will launch on May 15 in the U.S. as an AT&T exclusive. Customers can purchase the small device for $99 with a two-year contract…the first of many expected handsets and tablets that will run an improved version of the webOS platform and can be used as a 4G mobile hotspot…the other unique quality is the size of the Veer 4G, which bucks the trend of devices with larger screens. A small 2.6-inch multitouch display with 320×400 resolution takes the entire front face of phone, and the screen slides up to reveal a QWERTY hardware keyboard…The small size of the Veer 4G may underwhelm some, but it’s only the first of the new webOS handsets that will be launching this year…along with the diminutive size, which some will actually see as positive, the up-front cost is priced to match this small but capable smartphone…”

17. Asia’s impact on global smartphone stats http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/If-Android-wins-Asia-will-it-take-the-world/1304534260 “…Asia has long been Nokia's stronghold but that may rapidly change during the transition from Symbian to Windows Phone…Smartphone shipments to Asia grew 98 percent, to 37.3 million units, during Q1, with volumes strongest in China, India and South Korea…Nokia…remains number one in 28 countries, including mainland China, where it grew 79 percent to 8.9 million units…Nokia accounted for 53 percent of shipments to the Asia-Pacific region during Q1…Increasingly, smartphones will drive market growth. This means feature phone makers will either need to become smartphone dependent or consolidate that part of the market…Nokia's real market share reach comes from feature phones…China-based ZTE is one manufacturer driving Android phone shipments into the region…Android shipment share was 35 percent during the quarter -- that's 35.7 million units…HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson drove Android shipments in the first quarter, with each vendor shipping well over 3 million devices…It's now a market share race -- how much market share Android smartphones gain before Nokia has a solid Windows Phone pipeline…smartphone shipments grew 83 percent, to 101.1 million units, during first quarter…Samsung "shipped nearly 3.5 million bada operating system-based smart phones, outperforming total shipments of Windows Phone devices by more than a million units." He emphasized: "This achievement shows that there is still room for multiple operating systems…”

18. Samsung’s Galaxy S II hits 3 million pre-orders http://venturebeat.com/2011/05/09/galaxy-s-2-3m-preorders/ “…Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S II may be the Android smartphone to beat this year…worldwide pre-orders for the phone — the successor to last year’s wildly popular Galaxy S series — have hit 3 million…The numbers is…particularly impressive since many countries, including the US, still have no release date (or pre-orders) for the Galaxy S II…Samsung…projects 10 million units to ship this year. But the company also managed to sell 10 million units of the original Galaxy S last year…I suspect Samsung will reassess its estimates for the Galaxy S II soon, and it could likely sell upwards of 15 to 20 million units this year…S II seems to be the most compelling option at the moment. It sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display and fast dual-core processor…“It’s the best Android smartphone yet, but more importantly, it might well be the best smartphone, period,” Vlad Savov wrote in his Galaxy S II review for Engadget.”

19. Mobile phones could be powered by speech http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8500161/Mobile-phones-could-be-charged-by-the-power-of-speech.html “…Electrical engineers have developed a new technique for turning sound into electricity, allowing a mobile to be powered up while its user holds a conversation…Dr Sang-Woo Kim, who has been developing the design at the institute of nanotechnology at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea, said: "A number of approaches for scavenging energy from environments have been intensively explored. The sound that always exists in our everyday life and environments has been overlooked…This motivated us to realise power generation by turning sound energy from speech, music or noise into electrical power. Sound power can be used for various novel applications including cellular phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles…A sound absorbing pad on top vibrates when sound waves hit it, causing the tiny zinc oxide wires to compress and release. This movement generates an electrical current that can then be used to charge a battery. A prototype of the technology was able to convert sound of around 100 decibels - the equivalent of noisy traffic - to generate 50 millivolts of electricity. This is not enough to charge a phone properly, but Dr Kim and his colleagues hope that by altering the material the wires are made from they will be able to produce more energy at lower sounds levels…”

Apps

20. Mobile app stores a $3.8 billion biz in 2011 http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20059500-248.html “…IHS iSuppli…says revenue from app stores owned by Apple, Google, Nokia, and Research In Motion is set to grow 77.7 percent, reaching $3.8 billion by the end of the year and eventually rising to $8.3 billion in 2014. By comparison, 2010's mobile app store combined revenues stood at $2.1 billion, up from $830.6 million in 2009…IHS iSuppli picked Apple as the frontrunner among the four companies, pulling in $2.91 billion in revenue from the App Store by the end of the year…IHS iSuppli's…research and estimates…call for Apple to drop down to a 60 percent market share in 2014. That decrease is attributed to Google's Android Market, which IHS iSupply estimates as…$425.36 million in revenue and growing 295.4 percent in 2011…IHS iSupply estimates RIM at growing 69.2 percent and raking in $279.11 in revenue as a result, and Nokia grabbing fourth place at an estimated $201.48 million revenue…its report takes into account in-app purchases, which it says "will serve as a key growth driver for revenue up to 2014…”

21. Another Apple App Store little secret: empty installations http://www.wirelessweek.com/News/2011/05/Mobile-Content-OfferMobi-App-Store-Empty-Installations-Mobile-Applications/ “…you're an Apple developer. Your apps have to compete against the hundreds of thousands of other apps in the App Store, so it's in your best interest to get your app ranked high in Apple's charts as possible…Apple ranks apps solely on how often they're downloaded…so, with thousands of dollars in venture capital financing at stake, you begin to look for ways to get your apps downloaded en masse. It doesn't matter if a user only opens the app once and never uses it again… it only matters that your apps get…downloaded often…One tempting, if somewhat devious option: incentivizing users to install apps they might only use once, if at all…Well, Apple seems to be tracking those metrics now, prompting a major shakeup in how apps are ranked…Apple…no longer using download rates as the sole metric for its app rankings and had even begun to reject apps whose sole purpose was to generate new downloads…OfferMobi, which runs a pay-for-performance mobile marketing platform, recently spoke with Wireless Week about the apparent changes in Apple's ranking algorithms…Below is an edited transcript of Wireless Week's discussion with OfferMobi CEO Howie Schwartz…”

22. Android Grows as Primary Target for Innovative Developers http://gigaom.com/2011/05/05/android-grows-as-primary-target-for-innovative-developers/ “…While Apple still holds a strong lead in apps, there is an increasing number of cutting-edge, innovative apps initially launching on Android before they go to iOS…it highlights the unique appeal of the Android platform, which doesn’t make as much money for developers but is finding more interest from creative programmers…In the last six months or so, I’ve seen…a number of apps that consciously launched on Android first. Enterproid, Aro Mobile, ThruTu, Zazu, Contapps, Skifta, and RadioMe are just a few of the apps that bypassed iOS…a lot has to do with the advantages of the open platform of Android, which encourages more cutting-edge applications with a broader array of features in some cases. Apple’s limits on access to its hardware as well as its tougher review process also seems to be playing a role. It’s still easier to make money on iOS, and fragmentation is a headache for many Android developers, but for a growing number of developers, it makes more sense to start on Android first…If you develop free applications and want to get to scale and responses from users, Android is very inviting…many are timing their apps to take advantage of their fast growth of the platform and are coming out with titles that make more use of some of Android’s architecture. Contapps, for example, offers a contact list replacement app that’s more visual, with gesture-based search, social integration and search and mapping built into the app. Lior…said he was also worried about Apple stifling the app because it might be too close to the iOS native functions. ”We want to be a one-stop shop for contacts and interaction; that’s a big goal and we need the openness of Android…That’s some of the allure of the Android platform. Developers can get deep into the guts of a device and build out a lot of apps that work with the existing the platform or simply replace its functionality…Other apps like ON, an address book app, also have had to be watered down to work on Apple’s platform. Apple’s approach has been great for consumers who are looking for very polished apps…But it can be stifling for some developers looking to innovate in areas that Apple is less interested in, said Punit Shah, co-founder of Zazu, a personal assistant app that reads aloud news, social feeds, and emails, and is looking to help users plan for upcoming calendar events…Zazu recently completed an iPhone app, but there’s no guarantee that it will get approved. With Android, there’s no review process, so developers are assured they can launch on Android Market…The review process for updates can also be harder for developers who like to iterate quickly and constantly test their apps, said Toy…Android gives us the ability to use agile development. We’re able to fix bugs, test new features, and release new versions very quickly. Android also allows us to explore different business models as we bring our products to market…fragmentation is still a major issue for Android developers…different screen sizes, custom ROMs and operator additions can wreak havoc on testing. And Apple is still a better place to make money, he agrees…Experimental stuff, in particular, may start showing up more on Android…we eventually may see a class of apps that are more robust on Android than on iOS…there’s an increasing chance we’ll see more really ground-breaking mobile apps on Android as time goes on…”

23. The Fortune 500+ Web app http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/05/introducing-the-fortune-500-plus-web-app/ Want to see the full Fortune 1,000? Or figure out how to sell to, meet with, or work for any of the country's biggest companies?...you can download the Fortune 500+ Web app and quickly find out which companies you need to know and -- thanks to the power of LinkedIn -- who you know at each one. Users can: Target the 1,000 biggest companies in the U.S…Locate your connections using LinkedIn…Find the right companies to meet with or sell to…Track breaking news…Build, map and share lists of prospects…”

24. Branded Apps Drive User Relationships http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2047058/app-app-branded-apps-drive-user-relationships Fifty percent of mobile phone owners in the United States will have a smartphone by the end of 2011, predicts Nielsen. A total of 63.2 million people in the United States owned smartphones during the three months ended December 31, 2010, up 60 percent compared to the same period in 2009…Mobile applications are the sure-fire way to extend a brand," Rebecca Flavin, CEO of EffectiveUI, said…Here are some guidelines to ensure your branded app's success: Know your consumers…What feature can you tie to your product that will solve a problem in the users' lives?...Keep it simple…Determine the platform. What devices do the majority of your consumers use?...Quick development tips…consider using HTML5 as much as possible with native code…for key aspects of your app…Test…Market. With more than 370,000 apps in the App Store, you need a launch plan for your app. Tips on app discovery can be found in my column, "Top the iOS App Store Rankings…Measure…”

Open Source

25. MySQL successor, Drizzle, reaches maturity http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/news/mysql-successor-drizzle-reaches-maturity/ “…Drizzle began nearly three years ago as a project to deliver a new database that focused on MySQL’s original goals of ease-of-use, reliability and performance. With many of the original MySQL project team involved, Drizzle reimagines MySQL while remaining compatible…the typical MySQL application runs just fine on Drizzle without change…We designed Drizzle to work as a piece of someone’s current infrastructure, not be yet another application which has a costly integration. We have a NoSQL sort of solution via the blob streaming module, but we are first and foremost a relational database.” Taking the MySQL codebase as its starting point, Drizzle claims to increase reliability and performance by removing non-essential code, refactoring the remaining code, which has been moved to C++…This new architecture also gives the end-user more choice in configuration…another core differentiator is the effort made by the Drizzle team to make the database friendlier to develop on and with…”

26. inMojo Is An Etsy For Open Source Hardware http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/05/03/new-marketplace-inmojo-is-an-etsy-for-open-source-hardware/ Hardware and gadget freaks with a penchant for hand-made open source hardware now have a marketplace, which lets them sell and buy open (source) hardware online and worldwide. For sellers, inMojo solves the problem of limited sales channels and great ideas simply getting lost in the crowd. Open hardware buyers now have a destination to discover and compare new open hardware products in a collected setting. inMojo works much like Etsy, the well-known marketplace for handmade items, just with a focus on open hardware. The site lets you sell any kind of items that fall under its definition of Open Source Hardware and also assists people in making stuff…There are also a number of other features for sellers, for example attribution tracking, licensing and marketing support, special offers for hackerspaces and students…”

27. Open Web Analytics with Piwik http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/442082-open-web-analytics-with-piwik “…Google Analytics is extremely popular for tracking and analyzing Web traffic — but it's a poor choice for organizations that don't want to depend on a third party, or share their traffic data with someone else…you have a mature free software alternative that runs great on Linux, called Piwik. Let's look at what Piwik can do for you…it's pretty close to par with GA. This is especially true if you're not tied into Google AdWords or running really complex campaigns in Google Analytics…You'll find the latest release at piwik.org/latest.zip. Grab that on your server using wget or download it to your desktop and then upload it to your server…The most recent release Piwik 1.4 came out on April 30th…Once you get Piwik installed, you have one last task — you need to integrate a piece of JavaScript into your site so that you can actually track visitors. I'm using Piwik to track traffic on my blog, which is run using WordPress. Luckily, WordPress has a Piwik Analytics plugin that easily integrates the code without requiring you to edit any of the templates. It looks like there's a Drupal Piwik plugin as well but I haven't tested that one yet…”

SkyNet

28. Google Unveils 'Ice Cream' OS, Music Service, Movies at I/O http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385142,00.asp Google opened its Google I/O conference with a focus on its Android operating system, announcing…its next-generation "Ice Cream Sandwich" release…There are over 100 million Android phones activated worldwide, Barra said, across 36 phone makers, 215 carriers, and 450,000 Android developers. Over 400,000 Android devices are activated every day, and there are more than 310 Android devices across 12 countries…There are over 200,000 apps available in the Android Market…there are 4.5 billion app installs…Honeycomb 3.1…complete with a task switcher that allows users to see apps that users have recently used. "You'll never run out of memory, and you'll never have to quit to move on to something…Android 3.1 also includes improved widgets, which can be stretched horizontally and vertically…"Ice Cream Sandwich,"…will debut in the fourth quarter. "It will be…one OS that runs everywhere," Claren said, on phones as well as tablets. The new OS can determine where your head is looking, and can update 3D scenes to update the perspective—and it runs via OpenGL on the GPU hardware…The OS's virtual camera operator can figure out by itself who is speaking and focus on the right person…Google announced…users can buy movies via the Android Market, and stream them to any device. Movies have a 30-day rental period, and a 24-hour period to complete them…Google executive also announced the expected Google Music service, dubbed Music Beta by Google…Google Music is based on Music Manager, which can include the iTunes music library, which will upload the playlists and music recommendations…Up to 20,000 songs can be added…people can go to music.google.com to request an invitation. While it's in beta, the service is free. Mobile users can download the app today…Google announced Android Open Accessory, where Android device builders can build an accessory and integrate into any Android phone. One example included an exercise bike that connected to a phone via a charging plug that also launched a cardio app…Google also announced "Android at Home." At the center of the Android at Home architecture are Android devices, connected with new services that allow your Android device to connect to other devices…We want to think of every device in your home as a connection to Android apps…Google demonstrated a wireless light switch, connected to an Android tablet…Wireless Science will ship wireless lights and switches later this year…Samsung was expected to announce a Chrome OS netbook today at the Google I/O show…”

29. 5 Google Apps Features Guaranteed to Boost Productivity http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/050611-5-google-apps-features-guaranteed.html You're probably familiar with the basics of Google Apps--Gmail, Docs, Calendar and Spreadsheets. But built into these are a number of features designed to increase productivity and simplify workflow. From a meeting rescheduling tool in Google Calendar to Priority Inbox, there's a tool for nearly every need…Check out these five Google Apps features that can save you time and increase your productivity…1. How to Create and Send a Custom Survey…try a Google Docs feature called "Forms."…You can also create a form from a spreadsheet…2. How to Turn Images With Text into a Google Doc…the Google Docs List API offers Optical Character Recognition (OCR)…3. How to Use Google Apps Script for Automation…With Google Apps Script you can automate a variety of features in Google apps…4. How to Whiteboard Collaboratively With Google Drawings…collaboratively work on a project timeline with your colleagues or design a diagram for a presentation: Google Drawings…lets you create charts, diagrams, designs and other schematics…5. How to Translate Your Documents…”

30. Google’s Panda Update Cripples Open Publishing Competition http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/05/google%E2%80%99s-panda-update-cripples-open-publishing-competition/ “…This is a guest post by HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson…Search engines are a critical part of the democratization of the Web and none is more important than Google. They provide the critical gateway to information in a meritocratic way…open publishing platforms have provided free tools for creating and sharing information with topical expertise and a voice to anyone on the Web…Google’s recent “Panda” update intentionally upends this ecosystem…as Google has said publicly, “low-quality [page] content [on the domain] can impact an entire domain.”…open publishing platforms like HubPages and YouTube can be negatively impacted in their search rankings simply by hosting contributions of various quality on a single site. HubPages has seen a negative impact from this change, but so far YouTube has not…YouTube’s open publishing environment makes low-quality content as prevalent as on any other moderated open publishing platform…Apparently, Google’s Panda update has been punitive only to platforms other than Google’s…Before Panda, Google gave open platforms of all sizes many ways to separate high quality content from poor content without chilling an entire domain…We are concerned that Google is targeting platforms other than its own and stifling competition by reducing viable platform choices simply by diminishing platforms’ ability to rank pages…”

31. Large drop in freelance writing work following Google algorithm change http://www.zdnet.com/blog/foremski/report-large-drop-in-freelance-writing-work-following-google-algorithm-change/1797 Freelancer.com has an interesting report that shows a massive drop in freelance writing jobs following Google’s Panda algorithm update in February, which was designed to demote content farms in search rankings…Using data from the over 100,000 freelance projects completed on our site from the last quarter…The main trend we’ve noticed is the massive decline in content writing jobs all across the board in the wake of Google adjusting its search algorithm…These numbers are particularity noticeable as writing jobs had been experiencing massive leaps in growth quarter on quarter since the inception of Freelancer.com…the writing jobs may have gone to a lower level of contractor that Freelancer.com isn’t seeing?...Other key trends in the Freelancer Fast 50 report: Hardware Design Booming: This quarter every category related to hardware product design is up significantly. Product design jobs are up 23%, Solidworks (the popular CAD program) is up 25%, Microcontroller jobs are up 21% and Mechanical Engineering, 18%...Apple products continue to rise, with iPhone jobs gaining 12%...iPad jobs up 18%...and Cocoa jobs up 41%...Android jobs are up 15%...Jobs related to Microsoft related products continued their seemingly terminal descent; MS Access down 15%, MS Expression down 28%, Windows Mobile down 9%, Microsoft (General) down 16%, Windows CE down 20%, Windows Desktop down 23%, Windows Server down a whopping 27%. Nokia’s Symbian plummeted 32%…”

32. Google to build its own office space http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_18011875 With the Googleplex already straining at the seams and the company preparing its biggest hiring surge ever, the Mountain View Internet giant is about to do something it's never done before -- build its own office space. Google is planning a cutting-edge environmentally friendly design and has agreed to pay the city of Mountain View $30 million to lease 9.4 acres near Shoreline Boulevard…Google has hired Ingenhoven Architects…to develop plans for what could total nearly 600,000 square feet of space. Google currently owns or leases about 4.3 million square feet of space in Mountain View…Many of Ingenhoven's projects have incorporated renewable energy sources such as geothermal energy as well as conservation features…Google is expected to make the $30 million upfront payment in June for a lease that will run for 53 years on half of the 18.6-acre city-owned site. Mountain View and Google had reached an agreement in 2007 to lease the other 9.2 acres, with Google paying an initial rent of $1.1 million a year. The two deals collectively allow Google to develop up to 595,000 square feet of office and research and development space. Partly at Google's request, the city is also revising its long-range development plan to transform the area east of Highway 101 -- an area dominated by Google, Microsoft and Intuit (INTU) -- to include a more balanced mix of retail and housing…Google's success has meant a continual hunt for larger homes -- from an upstairs office on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto to…the former headquarters of Silicon Graphics, a cluster of buildings that now makes up the heart of what is known as "the Googleplex." Google's headquarters zone now includes more than 65 buildings that stretch…more than a mile…The company, which already has about 26,000 employees, said…it plans to hire more people this year than ever before, surpassing the 6,131 people it added in 2007…The Internet giant even appears to be eyeing another real estate first: leaping Highway 101 and expanding into the heart of Mountain View. Real estate sources say Google is close to a deal to occupy a vacant two-building complex on Fairchild Drive just west of 101 formerly occupied by Nokia, as well as the nearby former Netscape headquarters…”

33. Google Image Search Gets Easier With Sort by Subject http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_image_search_gets_easier_with_sort_by_subje.php “…Google…announced it is simplifying search in Google Images by adding a new layer - sorting. The ability to sort Google Images should clean up the interface and results. The way it works is that you do a Google Images search for something like "flowers" then the results page comes up with a ton of flowers but no rhyme or reason to it. Click the sort button on the options bar to the left and it should break the search down by flower topic such as "roses" or "rhododendrons."…The new sort by subject feature is a graduation of the Image Swirl and Similar Images projects produced by Google Labs…”

34. Google Business Photos: sending photographers to shoot inside businesses http://singularityhub.com/2011/05/08/google-maps-goes-inside-your-business-with-new-photos-video/ “…Google…has started to roll out panoramic pictures of the interiors of buildings. As with StreetView, photos taken for Google’s Business Photos will allow users on Google Maps to pan, tilt, and zoom, essentially giving them a 3D-like view of a location’s interior. Want to know if a restaurant has a classy enough interior to impress your date? Curious as to how big a hotel’s conference room really is?...Watch the commercial for the new feature in the video below…Digital maps are becoming so packed with visual data that soon you won’t need to go anywhere anymore – you’ll be able to see almost everything without leaving a computer…Like StreetView, Google will be responsible for taking the photos themselves. Businesses have to apply to have Google come and perform a photoshoot (takes about an hour)…a special area of a place page on Google Maps will now be reserved for Business Photos. When you click on it, you’ll be transported inside the building, just as Street View transports you onto the street in front of businesses. Look around and explore the interior of an establishment well before you ever arrive there…Google’s FAQ says: “We’re taking panoramic photos, which initially will appear on your business Place Page as single shots, and over time may be stitched together into a panoramic view…The real value of getting a Google photographer out to your place is allowing customers to then explore that space in a sort of 3D-like way (as we do with StreetView). If these pics aren’t stitched together, why bother…When I saw Swedish mapmaker C3 publicize their gorgeous 3D interior and exterior maps I knew that Google would have to do something along the same lines…These Business Photos won’t be as visually stunning as C3′s models, but they probably satisfy the needs of most customers if they’re close enough to the quality we see on StreetView…it’s clear that explorable interiors of buildings are coming to digital maps everywhere. It just makes sense: we can explore streets and the outsides of businesses, the next step is to let us peak [sic] inside…”

35. A Google-a-Day Puzzle for Sunday, May 8th http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/05/a-google-a-day-puzzle-for-sunday-may-8th/ “…our good friends over at Google are starting up a daily puzzle challenge. Each day’s puzzle will task your googling skills a little more, leading you to Google mastery…with the knowledge that because others may publish their answers before you do, if you want to be able to search for information without accidentally seeing the answer somewhere, you can use the Google-a-Day site’s search tool, which will automatically filter out published answers, to give you a spoiler-free experience…”

General Technology

36. Teardown of Apple's 21.5-inch iMac finds removable graphics board http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac-Intel-21-5-Inch-EMC-2428-Teardown/5485/1 “…the new iMacs were out, so we knew…we had to…start sharpening our suction cups!...this iMac model opens in the same way as previous generations…you have to…pull off the magnetically-held display glass with two medium-size suction cups, and then remove the screws holding the LCD in place…the new 21.5" iMac…Tech Specs: Quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache…500 GB Western Digital 7200 RPM hard drive…4 GB of RAM…AMD Radeon HD GDDR5 graphics processor…Thunderbolt port…802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR…iMac 21.5" EMC 2428 Repairability Score: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)…The front glass panel and LCD are quite easy to remove for accessing all the hardware underneath…RAM, hard drive, and optical drive can be replaced with relative ease, as long as you don't mind taking out the LCD (for the drives)…Limited use of adhesives (pretty much all the fasteners are mechanical) make disassembly pretty straightforward…Replacing the CPU and GPU is possible to do, but you need to remove the logic board from the computer…Removing the logic board is a pain, since you have to disconnect a bunch of connectors, and wiggle it out of the machine…Making the LCD and glass spotless when reassembling the machine is nearly impossible…”

37. Will Nevada Pass Laws to Welcome Robot Cars? http://singularityhub.com/2011/05/05/will-nevada-pass-laws-to-welcome-robot-cars/ It may take years to produce the first autonomous vehicles for consumer use but Nevada is already laying the legal ground work to get ready for their arrival. Assembly Bill 511 in the current session of the Nevada legislature outlines provisions for getting robot cars licensed and on the road…While the fate of this bill is far from certain, if it is successful it could be a small step towards the social and legal changes we’ll need if we ever want to see robot cars on our highways…Surely in the next few years we’ll all be reading Kindles and watching YouTube while letting our cars drive themselves…the greatest barriers to putting autonomous cars on the road won’t be engineering problems, they’ll be social and legal battles. Autonomous cars have the potential to be much safer than human drivers, yet they are still bound to cause at least some accidents at some point, and will undoubtedly kill a few passengers as well…Who can ‘drive’ them? Where can they go? There are many such questions…AB511 tries, with some success, to answer some of these questions. Or rather, it gets the ball rolling so that its state bureaucracy can answer them…This section of the bill also tries to define what ‘autonomous vehicle’, ‘sensors’, and even ‘artificial intelligence’ mean in this context…There are many many things that AB511 simply doesn’t provide for, but in fact, no single piece of legislation could possibly address all the potential landmines that surround robot car adoption for the public…Given enough bills like it, however, and we could be creating the web of legislature that will eventually be solid enough to support the widespread use of autonomous cars…”

38. Adapteva Pitches A Supercomputer For Your Phone http://gigaom.com/2011/05/02/adapteva-pitches-a-supercomputer-for-your-phone/ “…Adapteva, a Lexington, Mass.-based startup…has created a design (and also the actual chip) for a 64-core accelerator that will sit inside a tablet or smartphone to help offload work from the application processor or graphics engine and do more computing on the device as opposed to sending it over a cellular or Wi-Fi network…unlike a GPU, the 64-core Adapteva chip only operates at one watt. To understand how powerful that is from an energy efficiency perspective, a four-to-eight-core server chip could operate at anywhere from 60-120 watts…Adapteva, isn’t focusing on the HPC market at first–despite asserting that his design can scale to a 4,096-core design that would run at 64 watts. He said that…“As long as you can plug something into a wall, the need for low power goes down significantly…However, in the mobile world where devices need to run all day, yet avoid bulky batteries, power consumption is at a premium…The company began in 2008 and has managed to raise $2 million in funding from angels and boardmaker BittWare, its first customer. Amazingly, with that small amount of funding it has managed to have three versions of its chip built, making the startup incredibly capital efficient…the goal isn’t to build chips for the mobile market, but to license the technology, much like ARM…Olofsson has two more difficult tasks to accomplish (since he’s apparently taken care of the hard task of building and designed a 64-core chip that runs at 1 watt for less than $2 million.) He must explain to board makers, chip firms and device makers why gadgets need this rather foreign accelerator chip, and he has to convince them that it makes sense to process data on the phone, rather than ship it over the cellular network…The second task may be made easier by people’s desire to handle tasks such as speech or facial recognition or intense video games on their mobile devices. Olofsson argues that the latency inherent in sending even voice recognition to a server is problematic and that gameplay is impossible. Plus it costs more in terms of data charges and can drain the battery. “If you can keep the radio quiet and use the processing locally the battery life gets better…”

39. Intel's 3D tech redefines the transistor http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20059431-64.html Intel made one its most significant technology announcements ever today by stating it will base upcoming processors on 3D transistors. So, what is a 3D transistor exactly…Intel calls it generically 3D but technically it's a Tri-Gate transistor…The traditional flat two-dimensional "planar" gate is replaced with a thin three-dimensional silicon fin that rises up vertically from the silicon substrate. What's a fin?...The current is controlled by using a gate on each of the three sides of the fin--two on each side and one across the top--rather than just one on top, as is the case with the 2D planar transistor…Why is this important? It's necessary to sustain Moore's Law--doubling the number of transistors on a silicon device every two years…How soon will Intel use this technology?...Intel will quit making 2D transistors and move completely to 3D on Ivy Bridge. Ivy Bridge will go into commercial production at the end of this year and into large production volume in 2012…Ivy Bridge will use 22-nanometer technology versus the 32-nanometer tech currently used on Sandy Bridge…Intel's biggest challenge going forward isn't speed but power efficiency. The 3D transistors enable chips to operate at lower voltage with lower leakage, providing both improved performance and energy efficiency…Will this allow Intel to compete more effectively in the smartphone and tablet world? That's the idea. U.K.-based ARM Holdings is Intel's new nemesis. ARM chips power most of the world's tablets and smartphones…Intel's 22nm 3D transistors provide up to a 37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm planar transistors…”

40. The UAV video problem: using streaming video with unmanned aerial vehicles http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/display/article-display/365480/articles/military-aerospace-electronics/volume-20/issue-7/features/viewpoint/the-uav-video-problem-using-streaming-video-with-unmanned-aerial-vehicles.html Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) present different video handling requirements to traditional manned vehicles. These demands can be summarized as: the number of video streams handled…more demands on distribution, such as several remote data consumers…varying and, at times, restrictive limitations on data-link bandwidth. When it comes to adding video data streams in manned vehicles, normally only intra-vehicle distribution is required…Video transmission to a ground station is either not needed at all or is implemented as an add-on that is non-critical to the safety or functionality of the vehicle. When additional video streams are installed in an unmanned vehicle, the data has to be encapsulated and transmitted to a ground station using a relatively low-bandwidth data link. This adds increasing pressure on the video capture, compression, and transmission solution implemented on the aircraft…For unmanned systems, video data constitutes the only “eyes-in-the-sky” and thus the only link that a ground crew may have with what is actually going on in the vicinity of an unmanned air vehicle. As it is not unusual for the unmanned air vehicle to be “flown” by a ground crew hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away, the video data link becomes absolutely critical to the safety and success of the mission…Also…the number and resolution of video sensors mounted on the unmanned vehicle have continued to increase, while the demands on quality, reliability, and latency remain unchanged…” [an example of how military technology needs can drive innovation – ed.]

41. 13 Percent of PCs To Run ARM Chips by 2015 http://redmondmag.com/articles/2011/05/06/idc-arm-chips-by-2015.aspx “…IDC indicated…it has begun tracking PC microprocessor shipments by architecture, such as x86 and ARM, for the first time. The research firm now predicts that ARM will grab 13 percent of the PC microprocessor market by 2015…The benefit of running Windows on ARM chips involves obtaining longer battery times for mobile devices. Intel already indicated new thinking in that direction by announcing a new 22-nanometer tri-gate chip design on Wednesday that Intel says can cut power consumption in half. Forrester analyst Richard Fichera explained in a blog post that the power savings is 50 percent over the current 32-nm "Sandy Bridge" design…Intel expects to release the new 22-nm components sometime in 2012…”

42. For MIPS, Less Is More http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0509/technology-mips-sandeep-vij-dvd-micro-chips-less-more.html “…MIPS…is just a sliver of a semiconductor company…and it sells just a sliver of a product: a compact processor design licensed by the makers of assorted electronic gizmos. MIPS has more than 125 licensees, who together ship more than 500 million MIPS-based processors each year…a set-top box or a DVD player…also used widely in cellular base stations, Internet routers and high-performance data-networking switches. The chip technology…is 30 years old but…Demand for MIPS-based parts has been growing rapidly: Sales for the December quarter rose 44% to $21.9 million…MIPS was worth more than $3.5 billion at the peak of the dot-com boom as investors dreamed that MIPS-powered machines would drive the new economy. They didn't. Instead, the technology industry continued to standardize on cheap, ubiquitous processors cranked out by Intel and…Advanced Micro Devices…In China the company's designs even show up in some desktop computers. Vij likes to point to a $444 PC built and marketed in China that runs Linux and uses a MIPS processor. "The only American company making any money on it is MIPS…Google's Android operating system is processor agnostic. Write an Android application once and it will run anywhere. Earlier this year MIPS showed off a pair of smartphones and tablets based on processors from MIPS licensees Actions Semiconductor and Ingenic Semiconductor…MIPS' designs, like those from rival ARM…are stripped-down and compact…Three high-performance MIPS computing cores--or brains--can be crammed into the same space within a phone or mobile device as a single Intel Atom mobile processor core without increasing the device's power draw…”

43. NVIDIA to Acquire Icera, Adds Software Baseband to its Portfolio http://www.anandtech.com/show/4322/nvidia-to-acquire-icera-adds-software-baseband-to-its-portfolio “…Qualcomm itself has done very well as it has a rare combination of owning a considerable amount of IP within its application processor but also having a successful cellular baseband business. Qualcomm designs its own CPU cores (based on ARM instruction sets), its own GPU cores and likely controls much of the other IP going into its SoCs. On top of all of that, Qualcomm designs its own modems which can be both integrated into its application processors or used externally as a separate chip…Having an extensive baseband portfolio is no different for a player in the app processor space as owning your own chipset business was for Intel in the early 2000s…Today NVIDIA announced that it too is going to play in this game with the acquisition of Icera. The acquisition…is worth $367 million in cash. Icera’s modems aren’t too common in high end smartphones. A quick look through its product offering shows a strong focus on mobile broadband devices (e.g. USB modems), however it’s possible that Icera simply could never break into the handset market - something NVIDIA can help address with its recent success on the back of Tegra 2…eventually integrating Icera’s technology into Tegra SoCs now becomes an option…What Icera offers that’s unique is what it calls a software baseband. All cellular baseband processors require some sort of on-board processing, which is usually handled by a licensed ARM core, fixed function logic or combination of the two. Icera’s baseband chips feature its own custom designed microprocessor…that can be upgraded, through software, to support a wide range of wireless standards…Icera argues that its software baseband architecture results in a smaller overall die size and lower power consumption than the competition. If true, this would mean better levels of integration both in an SoC and in a handset as well as longer battery life…”

DHMN Technology

44. Raspberry Pi: A $25 Bare-Bones PC That Fits On Your Keychain http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/05/05/raspberry-pi-a-25-bare-bones-pc-that-fits-on-your-keychain/ “…David Braben…best known for developing the revolutionary Elite, is now leading a foundation called Raspberry Pi to mass produce this ultra-minimal PC and distribute it…Their device is as bare-bones as it gets, and they’re hoping to sell it for $25. It’s about the size of a USB drive, and comprises a 700MHz ARM11 processor, 128MB of RAM, and ports for video, removable media, and USB 2.0. That’s all! There’s a “general-purpose” I/O slot that can be used to attach peripherals like a camera or wireless module, but that’s really all there is…With a 16GB SD card, a USB hub connecting a mouse and keyboard, and any monitor that connects to composite or HDMI, you’ve got a fully functional PC…right now it’s shown running Ubuntu 9, but there are a number of options…I suspect this thing is much less junkware than many other low-cost devices…This thing could be bought in bulk and easily distributed, powering internet cafes and schools in impoverished areas, and introducing them to the joys of Linux. Every kid could carry their entire computer around with them on an SD card…Personally, I like it better than the OLPC approach…”

45. Why Smartphones Can See More Than We Can http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703922804576301153452838860.html?mod=googlenews_wsj “…one of the most exciting trends in technology: augmented reality…is about as close to magic as we can get without visiting Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…Not to be confused with virtual reality, which substitutes a simulated world for the real thing, AR takes a live view of the real world and/or a real object and adds computer-generated graphics or sounds that appear as if they're right in the scene. The resulting visual can look convincing enough that people reach out and try to touch the AR object. Most smartphones are now built with the technological requirements for AR—including a camera, accelerometer, compass and GPS—so developers are quickly building AR apps that take advantage of these devices…AR games add objects to real-life places and scenes, like ghosts in…Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary that appear as if they're on the actual street that people are on…Viewdle's Social Camera uses AR for social networking as it identifies people in photos by comparing their images to tagged photos of friends in Facebook. Google Goggles uses image recognition to provide information about real-life objects…Armchair quarterbacks appreciate AR every time they see the National Football League's first-down yellow line, visible only to the television audience. And some sporting events now include advertisements that appear on TV as if they're painted on a field or basketball court…An app called Layar uses GPS and helps people with things like finding the closest drugstore or getting extra points in a game by walking to a certain place…Nintendo's 3DS hand-held game, which comes with six AR Cards…When viewed through the 3DS's two outward-facing cameras while playing AR Games, the cards come to life with things like boxes that unfold, a dragon that pops out of the box and bull's-eyes that must be shot using buttons on the 3DS…One online ad includes an interactive driving game that made users feel like they were driving the Volvo S60 through whatever their iPhone or Android camera displayed as AR obstacles fell into the road…The Viewdle Social Camera…suggests names of people in photos taken by an Android smartphone by comparing their faces to a database of friends tagged in a person's Facebook account…Devices with enough processor power…will be able to display photos captured on the smartphone with each person's most recent Facebook status update shown in bubbles above their heads…” [just like Loki’s D

46. Pneuborn Robotic Babies Will Claw At Your Dreams http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/05/09/pneuborn-robotic-babies-will-claw-at-your-dreams/ The store downstairs from your apartment specialized in junk. Its owner was a small man, his face sagging and acne scarred, his front shirt pocket bulging with a pack of Marlboros and his hands always, always fiddling. He died a week ago and his shop has been locked since. At night you hear a baby crying through the floor. A mewling, a squeal, silence for an hour, maybe two. You stare in the near dark at a stain on the ceiling, straining to hear the noise again. There it is. A baby’s cry…You know a way in. The back window…You push yourself over through the window and hear a rustle in the empty, cramped shop…Suddenly, you hear the cry. It is so realistic, so close that you nearly scream. To your left is a box marked “Pneuborn 7II/13.” The cries are coming from inside. You lift the lid…Suddenly, two metal hands reach out and grab your neck. The thing is heavy, about as big as a 13 month old baby. It pushes you down and clinging to its leg is a 7 month old robot…You soon discover they run on batteries powered by human blood…Pneuborn-7II was built to study the relationship between motor development and embodiment. It is 80cm (31″) tall, weighs 5.4kg (11.9 lbs), and has 26 degrees of freedom actuated by 19 pneumatic muscles. Notably, the robot’s spine has three pitch and yaw joints that allow it to rotate, flex, and extend. It is fully autonomous, containing a micro controller, battery, air valves, and an air source (compressed C02 cartridge bottle)…The researchers implemented a learning algorithm based on central pattern generators with an optimization method, which was able to generate successful crawling forward motions. They were able to accomplish this despite the robot’s lack of sensors or sophisticated artificial intelligence…” [read the original post – this was either really creepy or strangely cool or both – ed.]

Leisure & Entertainment

47. Fleck brings social gaming (and zombies) to Google Maps and Facebook http://blog.games.com/2011/05/06/fleck-brings-social-gaming-and-zombies-to-google-maps-and-face/ Ever wonder what it would be like to grow trees, build houses, plant flowers and interact with other real world players all on top of Google Maps?...the people at Self Aware Games sure have. They've brought their idea to life via Fleck, a new browser-based game that's currently in beta at Fleck.com…I found the experience to be much more enjoyable when not confined to the small play area on Facebook. You can also play the game on your iPad. Fleck's gameplay can be most easily thought of as a combination of MMO and the established Facebook social game. You'll enter into a real-time environment populated by dozens or even hundreds of other real-world players…The novelty behind Fleck is the game's world - the real world, as seen through Google Maps. That is, each environment in the game represents a real world place…all of the major social gaming elements are here. You have both a stamina and a health bar, and XP meter that fills as you complete tasks (watering or harvesting plants or trees and so on), and will unlock new items to purchase in the store as you level up…One of the first places you'll likely visit is your home address, which is encouraged through the game's ample Quest system. You'll be able to place a small house on any particular address in the game, so this only makes sense. Doing so gives you an automatic spawn point whenever you next login to the game…”

48. 1.2 Million Fewer American Households Own A Television http://blogs.forbes.com/briancaulfield/2011/05/03/1-2-million-americans-households-just-killed-their-television/ For the first time in two decades the number of American households with televisions fell…The percent of U.S. households with a television set fell to 96.7 percent from 98.9 percent…That means 1.2 million fewer American households have televisions…New digital television technology proved too expensive for some after the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Poorer households simply skipped the upgrade to televisions with built-in digital tuners…Others, however, appear to be viewing video content on tablet computers, laptops, and desktop computers — and leaving traditional televisions out of the mix…That…could mean a redefinition of what constitutes a television…a small subset of younger, urban consumers are going without paid TV subscriptions.”

49. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: In Ten Years, “We Will All Have A Gigabit To The Home” http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/03/netflix-hastings-gigabit/ Netflix is blowing the doors off its business, with $3 billion in annualized revenue and a $12 billion market cap driven by the transition to streaming online video. In terms of hours watched, streaming surpassed DVDs for Netflix in the fourth quarter, but CEO Reed Hastings has been preparing for this moment for more than decade. The name Netflix itself always held the promise of movies delivered over the Internet. The problem…was that back then they couldn’t stream movies over 56K modems. But there was Moore’s Law and improvements in bandwidth which could be plotted, and that is exactly what Hastings did. “We took out our spreadsheets and we figured we’d get 14 megabits/sec to the home by 2012, which turns out is about what we will get.” So what does his spreadsheet tell him about the next ten years? “If you drag it out to 2021, we will all have a gigabit to the home…” [this is exactly the kind of prediction one should try to make after reading “What Technology Wants” by Kevin Kelly!! – ed.]

50. Find Out if You’re a Target in the Biggest U.S. BitTorrent Lawsuit Ever http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/05/bittorrent-lawsuit-checker/ “…More than 23,000 people will soon be notified by their internet service providers that their subscriber information is being turned over to lawyers suing over the 2010 Sylvester Stallone flick The Expendables…the case is the largest BitTorrent file-sharing lawsuit in U.S. history…All told, more than 140,000 BitTorrent downloaders are being targeted in dozens of lawsuits across the country, many of them for downloading B-grade movies and porn. Film companies pay snoops to troll BitTorrent sites, dip into active torrents and capture the IP addresses of the peers who are downloading and uploading pieces of the files. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great resource on what to do if you’re a target…”

Economy and Technology

51. Black-and-white QR codes are becoming hot http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0505-qr-codes-20110504,0,2980003.story “…A QR code on the side of the Palmer Printing building at 739 S. Clark St. last week linked to a coupon for a $7.95 shrimp taco dinner at Flaco's Tacos around the corner. A recent Jimmy Fallon TV performance with Stephen Colbert and Taylor Hicks featured a QR code in the background, linking to a Fallon video…On Michigan Avenue on Friday, beverage-maker Silk passed out pamphlets that included QR codes…Some QR code promoters aren't seeing the traffic they expected. That's the case for Palmer Printing…Palmer manager Chad Kase said he thinks usage will pick up as the weather improves, spurring pedestrian traffic in the South Loop area, and as more people learn about QR codes…Burke said scanning a QR code can be a frustrating experience if the symbols aren't displayed in a well-lighted spot, or if the code is too close to other graphics or text to allow the phone camera to lock into the symbols. Also, later-model smartphones tend to have an easier time scanning codes…The Chicago-based Public Library Association last month held its first QR-codes webinar, and more than 200 industry practitioners nationwide listened in. Now "we're getting requests to do a second webinar…But the QR code industry had better watch its back. Bosch, a consumer products company, has begun using what are called MS tags — short for Microsoft tags — that work similarly to QR codes.…”

52. Google Voice CEO Launches Firespotter, A Google Ventures Funded Incubator http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/04/google-voice-ceo-craig-walker-launches-firespotter-a-google-ventures-funded-incubator/ When Google Voice…cofounder and CEO Craig Walker left Google last year, he didn’t go far…he just went across the street to set up a desk at Google Ventures as an entrepreneur in residence…He and his team (former Google Voice engineers Brian Peterson and John Rector, and Alex Cornell) are launching Firespotter Labs today, an incubator for new startups. The company has also taken an initial $3 million round of funding from Google Ventures (keepin it in the family!)…Walker has direct experience…Grand Central came out of a successful incubator, Minor Ventures. He says he wants to take the parts of Minor Ventures that worked, and then tweak a few things…Walker says that Firespotter Labs will build the initial products using its own permanent in house team. When and if an idea has legs, then they’ll hire a team and spin off the company…Boutique incubators are…in vogue right now. Betaworks continues to do well, and Churn Labs, founded by Admob founder Omar Hamoui, is off to a great start…”

53. The Class That Built Apps, and Fortunes http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/technology/08class.html “…class, here’s your homework assignment: Devise an app. Get people to use it. Repeat. That was the task for some Stanford students in the fall of 2007, in what became known here as the “Facebook Class.” No one expected what happened next. The students ended up getting millions of users for free apps that they designed to run on Facebook. And, as advertising rolled in, some of those students started making far more money than their professors…the Facebook Class fired up the careers and fortunes of more than two dozen students and teachers here. It also helped to pioneer a new model of entrepreneurship…the lean start-up. “Everything was happening so fast,” recalls Joachim De Lombaert, now 23. His team’s app netted $3,000 a day and morphed into a company that later sold for a six-figure sum…Facebook apps were a novelty. The iPhone had just arrived, and the first Android phone was a year off…Working in teams of three, the 75 students created apps that collectively had 16 million users in just 10 weeks. Many of those apps were sort of silly: Mr. De Lombaert’s, for example, allowed users to send “hotness” points to Facebook friends. Yet during the term, the apps, free for users, generated roughly $1 million in advertising revenue…many students were richly rewarded. Some turned their homework into companies…The Facebook platform was taking off, and there was this feeling of a gold rush…Facebook Class was the brainchild of B. J. Fogg, who runs the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford…he focuses on how to harness technology and human psychology to influence people’s behavior…Three days before a presentation was due, Mr. De Lombaert accidentally deleted the computer code he was tinkering with…working around the clock over a weekend, they built another version, with a more rudimentary algorithm. The stripped-down app took off. In five weeks, five million people signed up. When the team began placing ads on the app, the money poured in…one of the themes of the class: make things simple, and perfect them later….Mr. Greenberg…and his colleague…set out to create an app that would let Facebook users send “hugs” to one another. It took them all of five hours. The app took off. So they moved on to apps for “kisses,” “pillow fights” and other digital interactions — 70 in all. Their apps caught on with millions of people and were soon bringing in nearly $100,000 a month in ads…His father advised him to pull a Mark Zuckerberg and drop out. The next day, Mr. Greenberg did just that. Now 25, he works out of a glass-walled corner office in San Francisco. He is C.E.O. of his company, now called Sharethrough, which uses social media to distribute videos across the Web for companies. It employs 30 people and has raised about $6 million in venture capital…” [the Facebook Class is another example of the value of being ready to jump on new internet friends and to participate in the first wave of a new technology that has a low barrier to entry – ed.]

54. Can You Really Incubate the Next Big Thing? http://gigaom.com/2011/05/06/can-you-really-incubate-the-next-big-thing/ Now that we are smack in the middle of a technology up cycle, it isn’t really a surprise that we’re beginning to hear more and more about “incubators.”…during the dot-com boom, there were 350 incubators…This morning when I read about Firestarter Labs, a new venture from Craig Walker, who was one of the co-founders of GrandCentral, the service that became Google Voice, I had a feeling of deja vu…I like companies with founders who have one idea, focus on it, obsesses about it, and would die for it. Idea banks, R&D labs, or whatever the hell you want to label them, just don’t have the concentrated intellectual horsepower and business talent to make a go of it…I called Bill Gross, currently a thorn in Twitter’s derrière and the guy behind the company that started the incubator craze: IdeaLab, a Pasadena, Calif.-based R&D lab of sorts. IdeaLab is 15 years old and has created over 75 startups, a few of which have turned into billion-dollar companies…Gross explained that…IdeaLab and his ideas are limited by finding the people who can take an idea and an early product and turn it into a business. Yep — not money, not space, not bandwidth or infrastructure — it’s people…“Our biggest bottleneck is finding the right people to turn ideas into companies,” he said. “Hired guns don’t really work in early stages,” Gross said. Folks you bring in need to turn these ideas into their own ideas, which is a double-edged sword. “You cannot be entrepreneurial if you are not passionate, but if you turn too far away from the original idea, then it is a problem as well.” This delicate balance is hard to strike and the new idea factories are going to find out the hard way…if that doesn’t convince you that incubators don’t work, just go searching for the 350-plus incubators that popped up during the last boom.”

55. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile turn Isis mobile payment network into mobile wallet http://venturebeat.com/2011/05/04/isis-mobile-wallet/ When it was announced in November, the Isis mobile commerce network seemed like a bold attempt by wireless carriers to edge out credit companies on mobile payments. Now the carriers behind Isis — AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile — have lowered their ambitions and are looking to partner up with Visa and MasterCard…Clearly, the carriers behind Isis are desperate to get a mobile payment system going sooner, rather than later. Instead of the carriers building their own payment network from scratch, which would have allowed them to collect fees with every transaction, they’re looking to create a “mobile wallet” that would store consumers’ existing credit card information. That would basically make paying for something with your phone no different from swiping your credit card…It’s unclear how the carriers plan to make money from Isis without having full control of the payment network…” [this seems like a pretty good example of how it’s difficult for large corporations to innovate in a new space; sort of an example of “the innovator’s dilemma” – ed.]

56. Apple tops Google as most world's valuable brand http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20061004-17.html “…Apple is the world's most valuable brand with a value of $153.3 billion, according to Millard Brown Optimor's…study released today. In just one year, Apple's brand value has increased by 84 percent…Google, the leader in the study for four years running, was knocked down to second place this year, losing 2 percent of its brand value to end up at $111.5 billion. IBM, McDonald's, and Microsoft rounded out the top five with brand values of $100.8 billion, $81 billion, and $78.2 billion in brand value, respectively…”

57. A Few Key People Really Can Make a Huge Difference http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/05/a-few-key-people-really-can-make-a-huge-difference/ “…in Seattle…I’m inspired by the enthusiasm of the young, emerging startup ecosystem that is here. It has all of the components for success: a steady inflow of smart, CS graduates from UW who prefer to stay local if they could, a smattering of local VCs & angels, some “patron” companies like Microsoft and Amazon…yet somehow all of the neurons don’t yet seem to be firing as powerfully as they need to be…I started to reflect on what it would take to “change the trajectory” for…any regional market…I’ve always been a big believer that just a couple of key individuals make all of the difference…I was meeting with a first-time CEO of a very promising young startup…“Your number one priority…right now is hiring the 1 or 2 people that are going to join your company and make a difference. There’s you and your killer CTO co-founder. But who else is going to…help you with improving your marketing / positioning to become a clear…leader…A few key people really can make a huge difference.”…I don’t care if you’re a 10-person organization, a 1,000 person organization or a multinational corporation – often it is the few key players that change the dimensions…My recipe…1. Community Leaders + Organizers…It takes both to build a community. The business leaders need to do their parts. The people with the time, energy & creativity to build organizations…need to bring their ideas to fruition…2. Passionate Entrepreneurs & Ambassadors…You need…passionate tech entrepreneurs who want to build businesses locally…Dave Schappell…is ex-Amazon and is a tireless advocate for the Seattle community…Every community needs their “ambassadors” who build relationships with leaders from other communities, who convince these people to come visit the community, who help organize events with local teams to get the cross-city interactions…3. Patron Companies…Seattle has…the local giants…Microsoft & Amazon…People do want to help…They need somebody bending their ears. They can then direct staff, allocate budgets, talk to the press, connect you with politicians and attend events…actively…embracing the startup community, helping local successes emerge…4. Elder Statesmen…Jeff Bezos (and executive team) have to recognize that it’s in their best interest to see the community thrive…Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates and other senior teams from Microsoft need to want to promote local startups. These kinds of connections seldom emerge from middle management…Who from Seattle has their ears?…5. Playing to Your Advantages…Every region has its advantages…unique skills, teams, experience and regional assets that give…a better chance of success than other regions…what local assets do you have that load dice in your favor?...6. Marketing Muscle…every community needs its local tech press to report on companies and run conferences…in Seattle John Cook and company are solving this at GeekWire. Every region needs its local media & events…7. Local Angel Community / Recycled Capital…Fred Wilson wrote an eloquent piece…about “recycling capital,” which every regional community should read…10. Time…to really build a regional community you need time…if a few key people really wanted to put in the effort to make it happen I’m confident that Seattle could be a major force in the decade to come…”

58. Top 14 Things Marketers Need to Know About QR Codes http://searchenginewatch.com/3642255 “…Here's a follow-up crash course on tools, tactics, and best practices to confidently help you jumpstart a 2D barcode marketing campaign…1. A QR Code is a 2D Barcode…2. 2D Barcodes Can Store a Variety of Data…4. 2D Barcodes Can be Placed in and on Nearly Any Location…5. Mobile Barcode Scanning is on the Rise…8. Management Tools are Available to Track Scanning Analytics…9. 2D Barcode Content Should Provide Special Value for the Customer…10. Small or Complex QR Codes Can't be Scanned by Smartphones With Lesser Quality Cameras…11. Consumers Need Guidance to Scan 2D Barcodes…13. Testing Scannability is Imperative….download my QR Code Best Practices Checklist & Campaign Worksheet to help plan and manage your campaigns…”

Civilian Aerospace

59. Scaled Performs First SS2 Feather Flight Test http://www.space.com/11568-virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-reentry-system-test-flight.html “…Virgin Galactic passed a major glide test flight…over California's Mojave Desert today (May 4)…Today's flight marked Virgin Galactic's seventh glide test for its first SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, called the VSS Enterprise…SpaceShipTwo was carried to its high-altitude drop zone by the WhiteKnightTwo mothership, VMS Eve…For today's flight, SpaceShipTwo pilots tested the deployment of the craft's feathered re-entry system. The feathered re-entry…allows SpaceShipTwo to rely on aerodynamics and the laws of physics to control speed and altitude…The combination of high drag and low weight -- due to the very light materials used to construct the vehicle -- mean that the skin temperature during re-entry stays very low compared to previous human-carrying spacecraft. In short, thermal protection systems such as heat shields or tiles are not needed…following re-entry at around 70,000 feet, SpaceShipTwo’s feather lowers to its original configuration and the spaceship becomes a glider for the flight back to the spaceport runway and touchdown…The April 27 glide test marked SpaceShipTwo's longest flight yet: 16 minutes and 7 seconds…”

60. Astronaut has $15 billion plan to mine the moon http://www.leaderpost.com/technology/Astronaut+billion+plan+mine+moon/4718531/story.html The last man to set foot on the moon wants to go back, only this time to mine a rare element used in the production of fusion energy -a waste-free form of nuclear energy that could help power the planet in the 21st century. Harrison Schmitt, the first geologist and the last of 12 men who left their footprints on the moon, is promoting an ambitious $15-billion US project to obtain helium-3 (He-3) -an isotope of the inert element -that is rare on earth, but relatively abundant on the moon. Schmitt…helped discover the substance when exploring the moon's surface on Dec. 11, 1972, as a member of Apollo 17…What Schmitt helped discover during his 75-hour sojourn on…a lunar valley deeper than the Grand Canyon…was the mixed layer of material called regolith contained small amounts of helium-3. "Helium-3 is a nearly ideal fuel for fusion nuclear power…it produces little or no radioactive waste, unlike almost all other nuclear systems.''…100 kg of He-3 could provide sufficient fuel to allow a fusion reactor to generate 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power for a year…That 100 kg could be produced by mining the lunar regolith to a depth of three metres and an area of about two square kilometers…Schmitt believes the commercial feasibility of He-3 as a fuel source for nuclear fusion could be proven with a $5-billion US demonstration plant…Helium-3) also is an ideal rocket fuel. Fusion rockets to allow you to accelerate and decelerate on the way to Mars would shorten the timeframe that human beings are exposed to radiation in space…”

61. SETI Shutdown http://news.santacruz.com/2011/05/04/seti_shutdown “…The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, Institute, headquartered in Mountain View, switched its radio signal receivers into “hibernation mode” on April 15 when funding—mostly from UC– Berkeley—to operate the Lassen County facility ran dry. (The SETI Institute is not related to SETI@home, the crowdsourcing alien-hunting operation that lets volunteers donate their computer processors’ downtime to the search for alien intelligence.) The suspension of the search for extraterrestrial life comes just when…NASA’s Kepler telescope, launched two years ago, has detected hundreds of planet groups in the past year that experts say could contain intelligent life…Suddenly we have this list of planets that we could aim (our radio dishes) at to see if they might have life, and we’ve lost the power to do it…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

62. Supercomputing and High Performance See Growing GPU Adoption http://blogs.forbes.com/tomgroenfeldt/2011/05/06/supercomputing-and-high-performance-see-growing-gpu-adoption/ “…a technology consultant who now specializes in GPUs and finance, said working with GPUs two years ago was pretty painful…Nvidia and Microsoft have provided software to make it easier to write programs for the fast processors and move existing applications over…Developers are definitely interested; he began organizing meet-up groups in mid-January and now has more than 500 people signed up with five more joining each day for sessions around the world, frequently held at local Microsoft offices…three of the world’s top five supercomputers use Nvidia GPUs, he said and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory has announced it will build a 20 petaflop computer using Nvidia GPUs…academics…began using GPUs in medical imaging to turn around breast exam results in minutes rather than days…“CUDA means a developer with a laptop can start programming GPUs. We have a very scalable platform which developers love.”…more than 400 universities around the world are teaching students how to program GPUs…The results have been impressive. One risk management vendor reported that GPU processors had a core application speedup of 100 times. Competitors will be compelled to move to GPUs to keep up…Bloomberg used 48 GPUs for a bond pricing application and reduced costs from $4 million to $144,000 and power costs from $1.2 million to $31,000. Sheppard said for a new technology to replace existing systems it has to be 10 times cheaper or 10 times better. GPUs can be 100x faster and 10x cheaper and do it with less power and less space…”

63. NVIDIA Powers Movie Magic and the Data Center http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/04/28/nvidia-powers-movie-magic-and-the-data-center/ “…NVIDIA announced that approximately 450 Industrial Light and Magic artists worked on the new Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon animated film Rango using workstations equipped with NVIDIA Quadro solutions. The artists benefited from the speed of the graphics processing unit (GPU) when using animation tools such as Autodesk Maya, along with a range of ILM’s in-house applications. “Our ongoing work with ILM to drive GPU optimization for visual effects and CG creation has led to incredible results,” said Dominick Spina, technology manager, Digital Film Group, NVIDIA…All Things Digital’s Arik Hesseldahl has a nice article on the secret of NVIDIA GPU’s in LucasFilm’s magic. In this Youtube video ILM’s CTO Richard Kerris explains how NVIDIA Quadro GPU’s enabled the impressive visual effects in movies such as Harry Potter and the Last Air Bender…”

64. Juelich Supercomputing Centre Boots Up GPU Cluster http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-05-07/juelich_supercomputing_centre_boots_up_gpu_cluster.html The Jülich Supercomputing Centre today announced that its new JUDGE (Jülich Dedicated GPU Environment) cluster went live. JUDGE will be used for compute intensive data analyses in the areas of biology, medicine and environmental research. JUDGE is planned to be used for ensemble simulations in climate and atmospheric research as well as data analyses and simulations on big data sequences in the area of biology and brain research. JUDGE will allow these applications and others to be optimized for the highest performance. The JUDGE system in Jülich is a hybrid system using graphical processors or GPGPUs and conventional processors. GPGPUs can help to raise the performance of computers without significantly raising energy consumption…The JUDGE cluster is based on 54 IBM System x iDataPlex server nodes with 12 cores each and 96 GB memory and 108 NVIDIA M2050 graphical processors…”

65. India's fastest supercomputer - the GPU-architecture based SAGA-220 http://www.thinkdigit.com/General/ISRO-develops-Indias-fastest-supercomputer--the_6709.html “…Indian Space Research Organisation has just built a new supercomputer, one that is said to be the fastest in the country, with a theoretical peak performance of up to 220 TeraFLOPS. Called SAGA-220 (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS), the supercomputer is located in…at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre…A GPU-based supercomputer, SAGA-220 stands for Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS. It is made up of 400 Nvidia Tesla 2070 workstation GPUs, and 400 Intel Xeon quad-core CPUs…”


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