NEW NET Weekly List for 24 May 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 24 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.

The ‘net

1. Zuckerberg Believes Facebook Can Provide Motivation To Kids http://www.itproportal.com/2011/05/21/zuckerberg-believes-facebook-can-provide-motivation-to-kids/ Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that 13 year olds should be allowed to access the social networking platform - for the sake of education…Zuckerberg said that like health, retail and finance sectors, the education sector will be more social in the future…“In the future, software and technology will enable people to learn a lot from their fellow students,” he said…for this very reason, Zuckerberg believes children 13 year old or younger should be allowed to use social networking platforms like Facebook…”

2. Microsoft Exchange Online Users See Slowdowns – Again http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/features/article.php/3934076/Microsoft-Exchange-Online-Users-See-Slowdowns----Again A week after Microsoft thought it had fixed problems with some users of Microsoft's Exchange Online service experiencing outages, the problems appear to be back -- if less severe than before…Last week, Microsoft scrambled multiple times to end glitches in the service that plagued many users with lack of email deliveries for as many as nine or more hours all told…The problems were related to a routing hub not properly dealing with what Thompson referred to as "malformed email traffic," even though Exchange is specifically designed to deal with such issues…”

3. Paper.li Upgrades Social News Curation Platform http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/19/paper-li-upgrades-social-news-curation-platform-adds-eric-hippeau-as-an-advisor/ Paper.li this morning announced new curation and management capabilities for its publishing platform, which basically allows individuals and publishers like HBO create personalized online newspapers by incorporating Twitter and Facebook streams into a familiar newspaper layout…Paper.li…is one of the pioneers in the new age of self-expression, allowing anyone to combine the publication of personalized online newspapers…with today’s blogging platforms and social networking services…Paper.li’s latest product advancements – which are live now – make it easier for people to find and share relevant information from the Web by improving the search capabilities, significantly enhancing curation options and providing one-click editorial controls…”

4. Yahoo rolls out new e-mail service http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20065506-93.html Yahoo has taken the "beta" tag off its Yahoo Mail. The Web giant, which introduced the beta offering of its online e-mail service in October, begins rolling out the latest version of Yahoo Mail to its 284 million users worldwide today…Yahoo has baked in some new social-networking features, including the ability to respond to Facebook friends from right inside an e-mail rather than jumping to Facebook…Yahoo has also prioritized contacts in the service, pushing e-mail from those in your address book to the top of unread messages. Users can also text and instant message from inside the e-mail program…Yahoo has included some apps in its e-mail service from third parties, such as the mega-file sending service YouSendIt, and the invitation application Evite…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. Small firms learn size doesn't matter to hackers http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-smallbiz-security-20110523,0,5494792.story It took all of three minutes for the hacker to break into the small accounting firm's computer system. The virtual open window into the system turned out to be a computer equipped with outdated software. It provided access to the office network and the hacker was able to get files that included private financial information. "That was a shock," said Lynne Leavitt, a partner at the four-person Los Angeles firm, Brakensiek Leavitt Pleger. "I thought we had good security. I thought we were safe." Luckily, it was just a test. The hacker had been employed by a security company to test the accountants' digital defenses. As a result, the firm put in new software and adopted new security procedures. Cyber security is not just for big businesses…Symantec, which sells anti-virus software, said that about 73% of the businesses in the study reported they had been targets of cyber attacks in the last year…”

6. PlayStation Network Hack Will Cost Sony $170M http://www.pcworld.com/article/228391/playstation_network_hack_will_cost_sony_170m.html “…Sony expects the hack of the PlayStation Network and will cost it ¥14 billion (US$170 million) this financial year…Unknown hackers hit the network gaming service for PlayStation 3 consoles in April, penetrating the system and stealing personal information from the roughly 77 million accounts on the PlayStation Network and sister Qriocity service. A second attack was directed at the Sony Online Entertainment network used for PC gaming. Sony responded to the attacks by taking the systems offline. It called in several computer security companies to conduct forensic audits and rebuilt its security system…"To date, we have not confirmed any misuse of personal information or credit cards," said Kato…The March 11 earthquake and tsunami occurred just three weeks before the end of the financial year and didn't have a large impact on the company's global financial performance for the year, but it did push Sony's Japanese operations into a loss…”

7. Mass. unemployment agency hit by computer virus http://www.bostonherald.com/business/technology/general/view/2011_0517mass_unemployment_agency_hit_by_computer_virus_possible_data_breach/ The state’s labor department is apologizing for a computer virus infection that may have compromised sensitive data from as many as 210,000 unemployed workers. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced today that the computer network for its unemployment system, including individual terminals at state-run career centers, was hit by a virus from “criminal hackers” last month… “This information may include names, Social Security numbers, employer identification numbers, e-mail addresses and residential or business addresses,” the agency said in a statement. “It is possible that bank information of employers was also transmitted through the virus…The agency discovered the virus on April 20 and enlisted security provider Symantec to eliminate the problem. But the agency later realized that the virus had survived and resulted in a data breach…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

8. Mobile Movement: Apple’s greedy, Android’s scary http://www.portfolio.com/business-news/2011/05/18/paidcontent-mobile-conference-focuses-on-apple-ipad-dominance “…Just because we’re rushing to the tablet doesn’t mean that we’ll get rid of laptop or desktop computers. The reason: tablets are great for some things like watching video, reading digital magazines and books, and playing some casual games. But they aren’t very good for phone calls…or…creating spreadsheets...people use tablets while they’re watching TV on big screens at home…Bob Bowman, president and CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, seemed…conflicted when it came to the subject of Apple…he’d really prefer not to have to develop apps for Android devices (they’re two to three times as expensive to develop). But…publishers hate turning 30 percent of an app purchase over to Apple…Brian Alvey, the president and founder of Crowd Fusion, said his company was not created to develop mobile products, but today it’s the firm’s chief purpose…I wish it was a two-horse race—iPhone and iPad—it would make my life a lot easier…Talking about...new concerns about those devices having a greater potential of being hacked, Alvey said: “Android, it just scares the hell out of me...we found the economics of the content business not to be conducive to the venture business,” Wenger said…there are lots of people out there who will be developing content for free. “We do think there’s an infinite supply of content,” he said. “If you want to build a business, you need to build a business around scarcity…”

9. Mobile Phone Gaming Gets A Boost From Better Graphics Chips http://blogs.forbes.com/ciocentral/2011/05/18/mobile-phone-gaming-gets-a-boost-from-better-graphics-chips/ Mobile innovation is at an all-time high. Chip manufacturers have announced product roadmaps for dual- and quad-core processors for next-generation smartphones and tablets…we’re seeing incredible performance gains in the graphics arena, enabling HD-like visuals on mobile phones. In a field once dominated by voice communication, graphics and multimedia have become crucial to transforming consumers’ mobile experiences and expectations…the mobile gaming industry will be worth $48 billion by 2015. The smartphone industry’s share of the U.S. portable gaming market jumped from 19 percent to 34 percent from 2009 to 2010…Among social gamers, mobile has emerged as the dominant platform. Mobile users now utilize their devices for games at a 61 percent clip, more than any other feature, including search and music…it’s becoming clear that the GPU has emerged as the heart of the mobile experience…We need to bring console graphics straight to mobile devices…That means enabling incumbent console systems like Xbox and Playstation onto smartphones…GPU advancements in the next several years will make HBO, Netflix and YouTube feeds crisper, bringing consumers desktop quality no matter where they are…As GPU technology becomes powerful enough to support native-like gaming and video, software development must be optimized to ensure that all-day battery life is prevalent in all smartphones…Overcoming these optimization challenges will actually exacerbate one of the more over-arching issues our industry faces…these rich apps are beginning to cripple the very carriers that make them possible in the first place…All of these aforementioned innovations are for naught if the networks are too overloaded to support them…IE Market Research Corp. recently predicted that the market for mobile gaming, music and TV will hit $52 billion by 2015 – up from $32.9 billion in 2009. The key to making that prediction a reality lies on advancements in GPU capabilities…”

10. Barnes and Noble's new $139 Nook has a touchscreen, 2-month battery life http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/05/barnes-and-noble-announces-a-new-touchscreen-nook-ereader-with-2-month-battery-life.html Barnes & Noble on Tuesday announced a new Nook eReader, with a 6-inch touchscreen and a two-month long battery life. Calling it the "simple touch reader," users control the device, open books, turn pages, search for authors and, yes, buy e-books, all by tapping and swiping on the device's E Ink Pearl display. The new Nook is selling for $139, the same price as the older Wi-Fi Nook model it replaces…the new gadget will feature 50% better contrast with its updated screen, weigh in at 7.48 ounces and be about as thick as a No. 2 pencil. It's also 6.5 inches tall and 5 inches wide…The new Nook can store about 1,000 books and has an SD card slot for expanded memory…The new Wi-Fi only Nook is phasing out the original black-and-white screen Nook eReader, which was offered in both Wi-Fi only or Wi-FI/3G models. The older models, which Barnes & Noble now calls the Nook 1st Edition, were dropped in price on Tuesday to $119 for Wi-Fi only and $169 for Wi-Fi/3G. Barnes & Noble has stopped production of the older units, so once the 1st Edition is sold out, that's it. Nook eReaders, including the 1st Edition model and the Nook Color tablet, make up "more than 25 percent of the digital book market -- just 18 months after launching Nook 1st Edition…”

11. Android leads, Windows Phone lags in Q1 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20064223-17.html “…over 100 million smartphones were sold worldwide during the first quarter of 2011. Google's Android OS secured 36 percent of the market, with more than 36.2 million units sold…Nokia's Symbian took the second spot, at 27.4 percent of the market and 27.6 million units sold. Apple's iOS…and…BlackBerry came in third and fourth with 16.8 percent and 12.9 percent market share…just 3.6 million smartphones using a Microsoft mobile OS were sold last quarter, for a 3.6 percent market share…the newer Windows Phone OS saw unit sales of only 1.6 million…During the first quarter of 2010, Android's market share stood at just 9.6 percent…Whether Microsoft can change the tide in the smartphone OS market with the help of Nokia remains to be seen…”

12. Smartphones Nearly 25% of Device Sales http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=150835 Retail sales of mobile communication devices grew 19% to nearly 428 million units during the first quarter from a year ago…Of that total, smartphones accounted for nearly one-quarter (23.6%), marking an 85% increase from the same period in 2010…Apple more than doubled iPhone sales from a year ago to 16.9 million globally…The company's signature device is now sold in 90 countries…Samsung had its strongest first quarter ever as it shifted to higher-end smartphones, such as the Galaxy line. The 68.8 million units Samsung sold overall gave it a 16% share of the device market, second only to Nokia's 25%…”

13. $29 HTC Inspire 4G: price sensitive Android phones helping drive smartphone market penetration http://www.videogamingpros.com/htc-inspire-4g-at-29-att-creates-best-value-in-mobile-technology/223504/ “…HTC hit a home-run…when they released their low cost Wildfire smartphone, and…put the tech and mobile worlds on notice with their Thunderbolt smartphone that recorded the quickest up and download speeds of any mobile phone…How do you follow that act? By releasing a phone that has so much to offer that I hate to call it a “value priced” phone…Buying the HTC Inspire 4G smartphone is like getting a Ferrari for the price of a Corolla…you can order the phone for only $29.99, which is $70 less than purchasing the phone directly from AT&T…The sturdy, aluminum uni-body design and huge 4.3 inch screen is the first thing to catch your eye…With 800 x 480 pixel resolution, HTC could have done better here, but the display is crisp, clear, and videos and browsing are handled with visual excellence…Android 2.2 Froyo (with a software upgrade coming to 2.3) is the OS in charge…”

14. Android Phones Click With Millennial Ad Network http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=150748 Android phones accounted for more than half (53%) the impressions on the Millennial Media mobile ad network in April, nearly double the 28% share generated by the iPhone. BlackBerry phones drove 16% of impressions…Wi-Fi continued to grow as a way for mobile users to connect, given "the increased popularity of tablet devices, coupled with smartphone owners using Wi-Fi to improve cellular coverage significantly…In addition to the 29% of impressions generated via Wi-Fi connections, the balance came through wireless operator networks: Verizon accounted for 19%, Sprint 11%, AT&T and T-Mobile, each 10%…”


15. The App Store and the Future of Software: Secure, Sanitized and a Little Sad http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/The-App-Store-and-the-Future-of-Software-Secure-Sanitized-and-a-Little-Sad-72480.html “…we've reached a tipping point here when it comes to online application downloads. Apple's App Store for iOS started it; I think malware is going to finish it…soon the vast majority of applications will only be downloaded from a handful of big-name app store curators…Apple's sheer ability to capture mindshare, entice developers, induce consumer adoption, and market…resulted in a new model where ease of access, app discovery and convenient installation (and billing) will end up ruling the world. The openness of Android as a platform, on the other hand, has been a key differentiator and growth catalyst for the operating system, all the while also being its Achilles heel…All the world needs is a few more high-profile Android malware programs to hit the market, and Google's approval process might suddenly become more Applesque ... or open the door for, say, Amazon to tout a more secure marketplace…While it is, again, theoretically possible for a malware-laden app to make it into the Mac OS X App Store, it would have to be extremely sophisticated…we're heading toward a place where almost all software is going to be downloaded from Apple, Amazon.com, Microsoft or Google…And the downside? We'll have a more generally sanitized computing experience because big-brand names won't provide access to subversive, fringe application. If you're the kind of person who wants everyone to wear white shirts with black ties, you don't understand why sanitization is a bad thing…”

16. Apple throws weight behind iOS devs on patent issue http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20065399-248.html Apple has sent notice to Lodsys, as well as developers targeted by the patent holdings firm, saying it has licensed the rights to in-app purchase, and that that license extends to developers on the iOS platform…"Apple is undisputedly licensed to these (patents) and the Apple App Makers are protected by that license," Sewell wrote. "There is no basis for Lodsys' infringement allegations against Apple's App Makers…”

17. Sonar Finds You The Most Relevant People In The Room http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/23/sonar-finds-you-the-most-relevant-people-in-the-room/ Using almost every publicly available profile, Facebook, Linked, Foursquare, Instagram, Eventbrite etc, mobile app Sonar, shows you who, how many, and why particular people are relevant to you in a room…you open up sonar and we tell you that the guy sitting across from you is facebook friends with your college roommate, the dude by the jukebox is a VC that you follow on twitter, and the cute girl by the bar also likes the Arcade Fire and Hemingway…Sonar plans on monetizing as a data play, “Our ambition is to aggregate and analyze all of the real-time geo-demographic data to help brands and SMBs identify, in real time, who and where their audience is…”

Open Source

18. Miro 4, Open-Source Desktop Media Player with Syncing for Android http://gigaom.com/video/miro-40-android/ “…Miro just unveiled version 4.0 of its product, which includes media syncing for Android handsets and tablets. The software also makes it possible to buy Android apps from Google’s Android Market and Amazon’s Android app store…The new update also includes a home sharing feature that makes it possible to play any Miro library content on any computer in the home network….Miro is published by the non-profit Participatory Culture Foundation as an open-source project, and it has been trying to compete with iTunes and other media players for a long time. The makers of Miro told me in March they’ve been clocking about two million active users per month and a total of five million downloads of the application over the last year…”

19. Google Summer of Code: Where are the students? http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2011/05/google-summer-of-code-where-are.html Google Summer of Code is truly a global program. For this year’s program we received 5,651 applications from 3,731 students in 97 countries. We accepted 1,115 students from 68 countries…This year we are excited to have students from 6 countries that haven’t previously been represented in Google Summer of Code: Cambodia, Georgia, Guatemala, Kyrgyz Republic, Rwanda and Uruguay. Students are enrolled in 698 universities from around the globe…”

20. Linux thin client taps new Marvell ARM SoC http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Wyse-T50/ “…The Wyse T50 offers 1GB RAM, 1GB flash, DVI-I with a dual-display option, gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and support for 720p video within a browser….While most of Wyse's Linux thin clients run Attachmate's SUSE Linux, the entry-level T50 uses a modified version of Ubuntu, although the company does not say which version was adopted. The Wyse T50 supports Citrix Online Plugin 11.x Client with HDX (Citrix Receiver), as well as VMware View Open Client, Wyse TCX and VDA, and Microsoft Windows Terminal Server virtualization technology, says the company. The device is said to stand out from other entry-level thin clients by offering Microsoft RDP (remote desktop protocol) 7 compatibility…”


21. Google Chromebook: What we can learn from the CR-48? http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/google-chromebook-pilots-ahead-what-we-can-learn-from-the-cr-48/49132 “…Glenn Weinstein, chief technology officer of Appirio…handed CR-48s—a precursor to the Chromebooks coming June 15—to all 250 U.S. employees in a pilot to see what would happen. Appirio workers get a choice of a Dell laptop or Apple MacBook Pro. Weinstein wanted to see how the Chromebook would be used in the field…Appirio…operates completely in the cloud…because it integrates Amazon Web Services, Google Apps, Salesforce, Workday and other SaaS applications such as NetSuite…Appirio is a software as a service and cloud systems integrator that specializes in doing things like connecting Google Apps to Salesforce implementations…it’s no surprise that Appirio—the largest reseller of Google Apps—was an early Chromebook tester. Here’s a look at Weinstein’s top takeaways from the CR-48 (right), a clunky, underpowered notebook…We gave to the CR-48 to employees and see what they would do with it and when they would revert to their laptops,” said Weinstein. “Three months in the CR-48 exceeded expectations. The majority of employees are using the CR-48s every day, but not all day.”…Samsung and Acer’s hardware will be much more polished and will be able to handle cameras being added to the Chromebook etc…Weinstein noted that consultants had trouble with the Chromebook on customer sites that used Outlook…Appirio, which uses Google Apps, was a natural fit for the Chromebook internally. Externally, the Chromebook may be trickier to use if partners aren’t cloud ready or SaaS happy…one of the big hurdles with the first Chromebook pilot was the lack of support for desktop sharing. Appirio uses Citrix’s GoToMeeting a lot. “We do a lot of desktop sharing and not having a GoToMeeting client was tough…Weinstein is waiting to get into the next Chromebook program since Appirio is interested in the devices as a reseller and customer…Appirio deployed Google Apps at Genentech, International Hotels Group and Motorola…Weinstein expects that the Chromebook and Apps will ultimately be bundled—at least that’s Appirio’s plan as a reseller…Most of the workforce can work on a browser-only machine,” he said…Appirio is paying $125 a month per employee for PCs. Most enterprises are pushing $400 a month. Weinstein said at $28 a month for the Chromebook his full cost with helpdesk support will probably be more like $50 a month per user…Couple the Chromebook savings with Apps and moving off Exchange and there’s a nice TCO story…The security story will sell. “The Chromebook can’t store data on the hard drive and that means more secure computing…The Chromebook doesn’t have to do everything, but just enough to become a complement. The economic story is there and that will generate plenty of interest. In the short run, Chromebooks will appeal to companies already using Google Apps…the long-term trend is in place: Companies are going to be looking to ditch the laptop management business.”

22. Google Acquires ‘Kayak For Consumer Electronics’ Sparkbuy http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/23/google-acquires-kayak-for-consumer-electronics-sparkbuy/ Google has made an acquisition today—Sparkbuy, a ‘kayak for electronics.’ Sparkbuy, which has raised $1 million in funding, is a high-powered product search engine and comparison shopping site. You enter which criteria are important to you, and the site will give a listing of laptops that it thinks you’ll like best. You could also use in-depth filtering options to break down results…The assumption is that Google will use Sparkbuy’s expertise and/or technology to boost Google Product Search, the search giant’s own comparison shopping engine…it looks like the startup’s founder are joining Google as employees….When we built Sparkbuy way back in the waning days of 2010, we wanted to make it really easy to find the gadget that’s perfect for your needs. Our idea was that you could combine huge piles of structured data with an intuitive interface, et voila: a few clicks to find the electronics widget with exactly the features you want…”

23. Google Maps updated for Android and iPhone mobile Web browsers http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/google-maps-updated-for-android-and-iphone-mobile-web-browsers-50003863/ Google Maps has been updated to make the mobile version on iPhone and Android devices more like that found in the standard desktop version…Other features include searching for nearby locations…selectively applying map layers including satellite, transportation and traffic, viewing Places pages complete with photos and ratings, and using personal starred locations and My Maps functions…you might wonder why you'd want to use Google Maps in your mobile browser when there's a perfectly good native app installed. It's a valid point. From Google's point of view, it's much easier to manage the ongoing user experience across mobile and fixed platforms using a Web-based application it has 100 per cent control over…we're fairly certain you'll find the native app faster than the Web for pinpointing your location and finding directions. Even over Wi-Fi the Web app often takes longer to render…Native apps definitely have their place, but Web apps seem to be the way forward…”

24. HandsOn Network, Google Team to Boost Effective Use of Technology by Nonprofits http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/handson-network-google-team-to-boost-effective-use-of-technology-by-nonprofits-122452523.html HandsOn Network, the volunteer arm of Points of Light Institute, announced today that it is partnering with Google to create HandsOn Tech Corps, an initiative designed to increase the nonprofit sector's effective use of technology. HandsOn Tech Corps will activate 24 AmeriCorps VISTA members in communities across the country who will be provided with an in-depth technical education program and will then use that knowledge to build robust, long-term relationships with select nonprofits and local community members to help them implement technology tools that support their missions…HandsOn Tech Corps members will participate in biweekly educational opportunities to develop replicable nonprofit technology assessment and skill development tools focused on technology needs, capacity and adoption. HandsOn Network is currently accepting applications for VISTA positions that will address nonprofit technology adoption, cloud based applications and online media, and technical assistance and support…”

General Technology

25. Microsoft closes consumer skunkworks unit http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-20064439-75.html A little more than three years after opening Pioneer Studios, a skunkworks operation to develop consumer electronics and experiences, Microsoft has closed the unit…Pioneer was the brainchild of J Allard, the executive behind the original Xbox launch and chief technology officer of the company's Entertainment and Device division before leaving the company a year ago…Pioneer…was once at the heart of the company's efforts to capture consumer imagination…Pioneer sought to incubate design that might one day make its way into products. The ill-fated Courier tablet--something of a dual-screen tablet that predated Apple's iPad--emerged from Pioneer. Though the device won kudos when images leaked, Microsoft decided to shelve the concept…because of Microsoft's size, the group zeroed in on opportunities that offered revenue opportunities north of $100 million a year. And because the group focused on those opportunities so early, it had a 20 percent success rate. "Often times our work just doesn't go anywhere. That's one of the perils of being an entrepreneur…The idea behind Pioneer was to breathe a culture of innovation into the all-too-often stolid company…”

26. Livescribe Smartpen Gets Facebook and Google Shortcuts, $99 Model http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/228386/livescribe_smartpen_gets_facebook_and_google_shortcuts_99_model.html Livescribe smartpens are getting shortcuts for sending notes to popular Web services, as well as the capability to make interactive “pencast” PDFs than animate recorded handwriting and synced audio. The company is also introducing a $99 2GB Echo pen on Monday, $50 less than the 4GB model, to a trio of pens that hold up to 8GB of notes and apps. The new Livescribe Connect service lets you "send" audio and handwritten notes from paper to Facebook, Google Docs, Evernote, your mobile phone, and iOS devices…the pen itself doesn't connect to any wireless network…you choose on paper where to send specified notes by making a series of smart keystrokes, taps, and key words…Not until you sync the pen via microUSB to a desktop app do your notes actually leave the pen…Check out this gallery for examples of ways businesses are using pencasts. Using Livescribe Connect with a $200 Echo 8GB pen for a few days had me hooked. It's an awesome way to record more than basic text; you can draw flow charts, mind maps, or flowers as you daydream during meetings. It's great for covering your tracks and ensuring the accuracy of your notes; audio recordings tied to your keystrokes could be a lifesaver in a fast-talking client meeting or hard-to-grasp classroom lecture…I'd love for the pen to send data wirelessly without requiring a hard connection…the device, alas, is thicker than your standard "dumb" pen…Adjust the audio settings if the beeps are blowing your cover…Livescribe's security measures include locking your notes behind a username and password, which you must enter to hop onto the desktop software and transfer recordings. You can save content to a "personal cloud," kept private by default. Eighty-seven percent of information workers use handwritten notes, according to a Forrester survey…”

27. Automotive Black Boxes http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/05/automotive-black-boxes/ Next month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to declare that all vehicles must contain an event data recorder, known more commonly as a “black box.” The device, similar to those found in aircraft, records vehicle inputs and, in the event of a crash, provides a snapshot of the final moments before impact. That snapshot could be viewed by law enforcement, insurance companies and automakers. The device cannot be turned off…The pending mandate looks to some like a gross overreach of government authority, or perhaps an effort by Uncle Sam, the insurance industry and even the automakers to keep tabs on…drivers…But if you’re driving a car with airbags, chances are there’s already one of these devices under your hood…The state statutes, starting with one in California, arose out of consumer complaints about insurance companies getting the data without the vehicle owner even knowing that the data existed or had been accessed…Standards proposed in 2008 would ensure that data once available only to automakers IS publicly accessible. The new standards would make accessibility universal and prevent data tampering such as odometer fraud…Those regulations would, in theory, make black box data more reliable than what is currently collected. But they also would prevent drivers from controlling the collection of information — information that they own. “I am not sure why consumers would want a system in their vehicles that they could not control,” Glancy said…Other concerns involve law enforcement access to enhanced electronic data recorders or whether dealers or insurance companies could use that data to deny or support claims…It comes down to a balancing act between an individual’s right to privacy and automakers’ need for data to determine the cause of a crash, between the need for a robust reporting system and the computing power available, between state interests in protecting consumers and insurance companies. Whether that balance tilts in favor of drivers remains to be seen…”

DHMN Technology

28. Microsoft Wants to Rule the White Spaces http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/37608/ The first "white spaces" devices, which thread long-range wireless data signals through gaps in TV spectrum, will start to appear later this year. Microsoft is bidding to play a central role in how they operate. The coming devices are expected to include home routers to bring Internet to the home and even mobile devices such as phones or tablets. To avoid interfering with TV broadcasts, they will check with a government-appoved online database to learn of available white spaces between channels in their area. Microsoft has applied to the FCC to become an approved administrator of such a system, built using technology developed by its research wing, dubbed SenseLess…Google and eight other companies have already been granted permission to operate white spaces databases…Microsoft's system was recently demonstrated in Las Vegas, where it enabled an Xbox games console to get online using a prototype white spaces device made by startup Adaptrum…Microsoft's trial white spaces network, on its Redmond, Washington, campus, can provide high-speed Internet at a range of over a mile…Development of SenseLess has been led by Microsoft researcher Ranveer Chandra with colleagues Thomas Moscibroda and Victor Bahl…Trials of SenseLess have also shown that devices do not need to have a very accurate location fix, says Chandra—good news, because many white spaces devices will need to work indoors, where GPS is less accurate. "With the right models, a device can be only accurate to within 0.6 miles and lose access to less than 2 percent of spectrum…”

29. How One Dev Uses SMS to Open and Close His Garage http://blog.programmableweb.com/2011/05/17/how-one-dev-uses-sms-to-open-and-close-his-garage/ “…sometimes a mashup solves a very simple problem in an interesting way…Brian Beermann…controls his garage door using the Twilio SMS API, some hardware and a lot of creativity…Using an Arduino with an ethernet shield and some electronic components I built a Twilio powered garage door. It can tell if the garage door is open or closed and it can also activate the garage door opener if desired. In addition I have a program that runs every 15 minutes and checks the garage door. If it is open past 8:00, it sends my wife and I a text message. We can simply reply to close it…How cool is that? In addition to Twilio, this mashup relies on Arduino, a bit of open-source hardware, made to be flexible and applicable to as many things as possible…”

30. Hacking Kinect for collision-proof wheelchairs http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/geckosystems-moves-to-new-mobile-robot-r-d-facility-pinksheets-gosy-1516580.htm “…GeckoSystems will be continuing its R&D into advancing their suite of proprietary mobile robot solutions for not only the upgrading of wheelchairs to be collision proof, but also the recently announced GeckoImager™, the AscBot™, and the ChairBot™. GeckoSystems' new GeckoImager uses sensor fusion interpolated with structured light machine vision ("depth camera") data from the Kinect sensor with sonar range finding data, complimented by GeckoOrient's™ solid-state compass, accelerometer, and odometry sensor fusion. This provides their automatic, self-navigation AI software, GeckoNav™, with sufficient and timely data to achieve actionable situation awareness resulting in a very safe, loose crowd level of mobile robot autonomy that is "collision proof." This unedited video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn93BS44Das , shows a GeckoSystems' CareBot™, equipped with a pair of Microsoft Kinect sensors, navigating through a narrow passageway cluttered with various obstacles. This represents the worst case for in-home and/or commercial navigation...GeckoSystems does not need to license Microsoft's Kinect technology since they are using the Kinect as a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology…”

31. Modders Make Android Work the Way You Want http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/05/cyanogenmod-android-hack/ CyanogenMod is one of the biggest hacks to ever hit the Android mobile platform. It’s got an estimated 500,000 users. Many Android programmers use it as a starting point for their own coding projects…Every Android-powered device comes running a version of the operating system…CyanogenMod replaces that stock OS with a custom build, letting you make adjustments to your phone that the official version prevents…it all began with…The G1…it made customizing your G1 as easy as pie. Steve Kondik…a software developer working for a mobile content delivery company in Pittsburgh, was looking for: a more “open” platform for coders coming from a background in open source code…After each version of Android was made available for download to the public, Google pushed all of the code to an online repository called Kernel.org, free for all to poke, prod and play around with…I just tried using some of those concepts to tweak the code. I had no idea what I actually wanted to do with the phone…After finishing his first version of CyanogenMod, Kondik posted the file to XDA forums…All of a sudden, my single-page thread is one hundred pages long,” Kondik says…In essence, CyanogenMod’s popularity can be attributed to the very thing that draws so many to the Android platform: openness, flexibility, control…For many, CyanogenMod is the key to unlocking that control…”

Leisure & Entertainment

32. E Ink's Smart Snowboard http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/26776/ This is not your mom's snowboard. At the Society for Information Display this week, reflective-display company E Ink is exhibiting a number of prototypes that hint at future products. Definitely the most whimsical is a snowboard with a semi-circular black and white display showing a compass, clock, and weather predictions. The idea is…to demonstrate future directions for the company's flexible, rugged, low-power displays…The low power requirements for these displays—once the image changes, it doesn't require any power to maintain it—and good readability under sunlight will, the company hopes, enable them to expand into a broader range of products. The company has started to get these displays in point-of-sale display ads in stores…”

33. Sony shows off markerless AR technology http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201105/11-058E/index.html Sony has developed integrated ‘Augmented Reality…technology’ called…“Smart AR.” When capturing visuals through a camera on a device such as a smartphone, the technology enables additional information to be displayed on the device’s screens such as virtual objects, or images and texts that cannot be identified by visual perception alone. The technology employs the markerless approach, forgoing any requirement for special markers such as 2D barcodes. The object captured by the camera is quickly recognized and can be tracked at high-speed along with the movement of the camera, as it is displayed over the actual 3D space…“SmartAR” technology combines ‘object recognition technology’…for recognition of general objects such as photographs and posters with Sony’s own proprietary ‘3D space recognition technology,’ which has been fostered through the research of robots such as “AIBO” and “QRIO.”…”

34. Ubisoft unveils free-to-play 'Ghost Recon' title http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2011/05/ubisoft-unveils-free-to-play-ghost-recon-title/1 “…Ubisoft is developing a free-to-play online game based on the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon franchise. Ghost Recon Online is a downloadable, multiplayer shooter that will enter a closed beta period…Players can choose between three different Ghost classes and use customizable weapons and the latest military technology. The game is free to play… players can opt to purchase premium items. Interested players can head here to apply for the closed beta…Electronic Arts recently released a free-to-play game based on Battlefield…”

35. Hollywood shuns intelligent entertainment. The games industry doesn't. Guess who's winning? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/23/gaming-makes-hollywood-look-embarrassing “…here's what's on at your local multiplex. Screen one: a 3D CGI cartoon about a wisecracking badger with attitude you'd quite happily reverse a six-tonne tractor over. Screen two: a 3D superhero theme park ride that thinks it's King Lear. Screen three: a rom-com so formulaic you suspect it was created from a template on Moonpig.com. Screen four: The Very Hungry Caterpillar 3D. Screen five: all of the above, randomly intercut with one another because no one's paying attention anyway. Screen six: a lightshow for cattle…About once a month there's a film actually worth bothering with…There seems to be something missing from cinema: big budget dramas with panache, aimed at an adult audience. Where are they? They migrated to television. And…to video games. Consider two of the biggest video games of 2011 thus far. The first is Portal 2, a darkly humorous science fiction…Experience…The game mechanics of Portal 2 are almost impossible to describe without diagrams, but…you wander around a 3D environment trying to escape a series of rooms by firing magic holes on to the walls or floor; holes you can walk or fall through…it also includes a cooperative two-player mode in which you and a friend play through a parallel game together. The whole thing is stunningly clever and immensely enjoyable….LA Noire…has caused a stir…with its firm focus on narrative and staggering new facial animation technology…You're watching actors give genuine performances – within…a video game…I guarantee you'll be surprised…what really made me excited, thinking about both of these games, is…they're both…old-fashioned video games that challenge the mind instead of the thumbs…”

Economy and Technology

36. LinkedIn doubles in value on market debut http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/05/linkedins-109-pop-on-first-day-of-trading-isnt-close-to-dotcom-era-ipos.html LinkedIn shares closed at $94.25 on Thursday, up 109% from their IPO's opening price of $45 a share…in terms of the frothiness quotient, the social networking site's initial public offering is a piker compared with what we saw during the late-1990s dot-com madness," Petruno wrote…LinkedIn shares soared as high as $122.69 during its first full day of trading before closing at $94.25…the record is held by VA Linux, which…held its IPO on Dec. 8, 1999, at $30 a share before closing at $239.25, for a Day-One jump of 698%…”

37. Intel becoming a cash cow like Microsoft? ARM sneaks up on Intel http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4216152/Intel--Underneath-the-smoke-and-mirrors The contrast between what Intel was saying and doing at its annual analyst meeting here yesterday was pretty revealing…Analysts think Intel's PC franchise is starting to look like a pair of worn disco pants at a Web 2.0 party where ARM smartphones and tablets are the latest fashion. Intel execs fought the characterization on many fronts. But their actions spoke louder than their words…Intel…did show a chart that…suggested Intel's 32nm Atom-based Medfield smartphone processor is about as good as any…But so far the chip has been rejected by Nokia, and Intel lacks the confidence to share the names of anyone…using it. One OEM told me Medfield is too power hungry. He called for a new ground-up x86 design beyond the scope of an Atom shrink…I am beginning to sense some denial here. Let's not even talk about the FUD Intel is starting to spread on Windows on ARM…Quarterly sales of Intel's PC client division appears pretty clearly to be peaking. The image would be even more clear if Intel showed a longer swath of the group's financial history…” [Is Intel joining Microsoft as case studies in Clayton Christenson’s next update to “The Innovator’s Dilemma” – has hitting the single core brick wall and rapid innovation in mobile computing finally done to Intel what AMD was never able to do? – ed.]

Civilian Aerospace

38. Formation flying satellites http://www.theengineer.co.uk/in-depth/formation-flying-satellites/1008738.article “…two satellites, Mango and Tango, were launched…to undertake the dangerous act of flying in close formation a task so difficult that a slight drift could damage one or both satellites, scattering billions of pounds’ worth of technology across space…a number of global space organisations are investigating the technology. Germany’s TanDEM-X satellite was launched last year to join TerraSar-X in a formation mission…The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Proba-3, designed to validate control techniques for formation flight, will launch in 2013…the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to fly a six-satellite mission, the F6 (Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information) in less than three years…these satellites are equipped with optical and GPS sensors that can detect small distances between spacecraft…the distance between the satellites can be determined to within 10cm in real time…why go to such lengths to fly satellites in formation when the risks are so high? ’There are some things that you cannot do without formation-flying satellites,’ said Gomes. ’Telescopes are an interesting application because the deployment of a set of satellites can combine the light from all of them, providing a better resolution…the Dutch Orbiting Low-Frequency Array (OLFAR) project…is hoped to place swarms of nano-satellites in orbit around the moon. These nano-satellites will receive frequencies in a band ranging from 30kHz to 30MHz…Gomes predicts that formation-flying satellites could also be important in space warfare. ’When your enemy is trying to interfere with your equipment, if you have distributed systems it becomes much more difficult…One issue with developing formation-flying satellites is the power required to maintain formation. Dr Mini Saaj at the Surrey Space Centre is looking at the use of hybrid electric propulsion systems to help solve this problem. The system would scavenge electromagnetic power from drifting space plasma or the Earth’s magnetosphere to maintain position and reduce on-board power requirements…”

39. Suborbital rocket launches from Spaceport America http://www.space.com/11757-rocket-launches-human-remains-rings-suborbital.html “…The unmanned UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket roared off its launch pad with payloads-a-plenty from Spaceport America, the country's first purpose-built commercial spaceport…The suborbital SL-5 mission was a partnership between UP Aerospace and Spaceport America. The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium sponsored the flight to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs…The Friday rocket launch, as well as the year-long campaign that enabled students to build the experiments that flew, were sponsored by NASA through the Summer of Innovation Program…UP Aerospace…designed and operates the 20 foot-long rocket…the launch took about 15 minutes from liftoff to landing. Packed in the rocket’s payload section were nearly 30 student experiments carried to the edge of space in canisters that then returned back to Earth via parachute. We actually set a record here at Spaceport America … 73 1/2 miles. This is our highest flight that we've had to date…The investigations included: a look into magnetic levitation, a sensor to measure radiation levels at high-altitude, the measurement of sound propagation through a vacuum, and a project to determine if temperature in space has an effect on electrical components. Other student experiments also included what happens to marshmallows traveling on a rocket, gauging the ph level of yeast grown in microgravity, as well as find out if AC current can heat-up or roast a New Mexico home grown green chili…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

40. Dual-Use GPUs for Servers -- AMD and NVIDIA http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-05-19/dual-use_gpus_for_servers_--_amd_and_nvidia_mind_their_ps_and_qs.html “…AMD's Fusion processor/OpenCL strategy is its long-term answer to NVIDIA's CUDA approach, but in the near-term, AMD is looking for other ways to follow NVIDIA's lead into the GPU server market. This week AMD announced the FirePro V7800P, its first non-FireStream server GPU part…designed to serve both graphics/visualization applications and GPU computing…it supports Microsoft RemoteFX, a visualization technology for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The idea is to serve up desktop visuals from clusters to various types of thin clients, relieving the local device of doing heavy-duty graphics. The advantage is that a single GPU can support the graphics (and audio) for multiple clients…V7800P-equipped servers can crunch on GPGPU applications when they're not busy drawing pretty pictures for client devices. It's easy to imagine a scenario where a GPU cluster would be driving desktop graphics during working hours and running HPC codes at nights and on weekends…Compute-wise though, the two AMD graphics processors are equivalent, both encompassing the same GPU technology (Cypress), core count (1,440) and memory (2 GB). Like the 9350, the V7800P delivers about 2 single precision teraflops or 400 double precision gigaflops…NVIDIA introduced a graphics/visualization-capable Tesla part last year in the M2070Q, a variant of the M2070 with Quadro graphics features enabled (the Q stands for Quadro). Like the FirePro V7800P, the M2070Q is aimed at users who want to build an all-in-one visualization/compute cluster…HPC-wise, the Tesla offering looks more compelling, with a slight edge over the FirePro part in double-precision performance (515 gigaflops versus 400 gigaflops), a substantial edge in memory capacity (6 GB versus 2 GB), and a huge advantage in its support for features like ECC memory, L1 and L2 caches, asynchronous data transfers, and concurrent kernels…The compute-loving FireStream and Tesla parts are cheaper than their dual-GPU counterparts, so if you don't need to serve up graphics, the choice is obvious. The success of these GPUs will hinge on how important server-side visualization becomes, and if technologies like Microsoft's RemoteFX get some traction…”

41. Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Accelerates Machine Learning with GPUs http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-05-23/pittsburgh_supercomputing_center_accelerates_machine_learning_with_gpus.html “…scientists at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and HP Labs are achieving speedups of nearly 10 times with GPUs (graphic processing units) versus CPU-only code (and more than 1000 times versus an implementation in a high-level language) in k-means clustering, a critical operation for data analysis and machine learning…Ren Wu, principal investigator of the CUDA Research Center at HP Labs, developed advanced clustering algorithms that run on GPUs…PSC scientific specialist Joel Welling recently applied Wu's innovations to tackle a real-world machine-learning problem. Using data from Google's "Books N-gram" dataset and working together, Wu and Welling were able to cluster all five-word sets of the one thousand most common words ("5-grams") occurring in all books published in 2005…Wu and Welling ran on the latest "Fermi" generation of NVIDIA GPUs. Using MPI between nodes (three nodes, with three GPUs and two CPUs per node), they observed a speedup of 9.8 times relative to running an identical distributed k-means algorithm (written in C+MPI) on all CPU cores in the cluster, and thousands of times faster than the purely high-level language implementation commonly used in machine-learning research…”



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