2011/06/14

NEW NET Weekly List for 14 Jun 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 14 June 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.

I'm posting this week's initial NEW NET list from Kansas City, Kansas (KCK). Depending on where my travels take me today as I explore technology in the KC metro area, the final update to this NEW NET list post may truly be done "on the road." Many of the rest areas along the freeways between Appleton, Wisconsin, and KCK have free wifi. The next step will be to have a continuous wifi mesh network not just at the rest areas, but covering the entire US interstate highway system! I, for one, look forward to being a participant in, and co-organizer of, the first BarCampInterstate once that continuous wifi network is rolled out. Maybe that can be one of the long term goals for the KC metro community-wide high-speed network: having continuous wifi available along the KC area interstate highways. And we thought driver distraction was bad because of cell phones...

The ‘net

1. Can wireless networks support the promise of the 'cloud'? http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20070241-266/can-wireless-networks-support-the-promise-of-the-cloud/ Google, Apple, and Amazon are pushing more and more of your entertainment, your data…into the cloud. But what's it mean for the wireless network operators who are already struggling to keep up with heavy data demand?...using these services will no doubt eat up a lot more bandwidth than just downloading a song one time to your computer or smartphone…you could be downloading that same song every time you sync your device or even every time you listen to it…once Apple or Google start offering video in the cloud, the problem may get even worse…"The tonnage of traffic on the network is growing," said Fared Adib, vice president of product development for Sprint Nextel…As an industry, the ecosystem needs to work together on these issues."…AT&T…data traffic…has increased 8,000 percent over the past four years…Internet traffic in general is expected to quadruple over the next four years…"The sense we've gotten from working with Google is that they get it," said Sprint's Adib. "They know we have to balance the traffic loads with the service they're trying to offer…Using Wi-Fi to offload heavy traffic loads is one solution…Sprint…said…80 percent of mobile data usage on its network is done by subscribers at home or in the office, where Wi-Fi is typically available…the company is working on ways to make discovering and connecting to these networks easier so that devices do it automatically and seamlessly…”

2. Hungover? Use Zaarly To Get Your Gatorade And Advil http://www.kctv5.com/news/28159706/detail.html What started as an idea at a weekend developers and entrepreneurs conference has turned into support from Ashton Kutcher and now a fully realized website that has gotten plenty of attention in less than four months of existence. Zaarly.com may be one of the hottest ideas to come from Kansas City’s emerging technology and social media scene…Here’s how Zaarly works: Users can log on to the site and either be a provider or a servicer…some people may put out a post that says they would pay $20 to have their lawn mowed. Those interested in performing the service can then connect with that user to offer their services. Zaarly…also works by people posting actual items, like an iPod, for sale. Others may be looking for items and can put out a price they are willing to pay. Those offering or desiring items or services are plotted on a map, so users can attempt to connect with other users close to them. "The most common posts so far are for services,"…The idea was started at a Startup Weekend in Los Angeles…Zaarly COO Eric Koester and current CEO Bo Fishback went to contribute to some ideas pitched and to look for other ideas. Eventually Fishback pitched an idea of his own, which a group of people at the conference worked on…Hofmann, who formerly worked at the Kauffman Foundation…said it’s an exciting time to be part of tech companies from Kansas City. "Being in KC is really fantastic,” Hofmann said. "The startup and tech scene are trying their hardest emerge. There are some key players here that are really trying to make that happen…” http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/13/hungover-at-sxsw-use-zaarly-to-get-your-gatorade-and-advil/ “…Zaarly, the much buzzed about HTML 5 mobile app that connects buyers and sellers in a localized market place, is now live today in Austin…if you’re stuck in bed needing Gatorade and Advil…you can now hit up Zaarly.com on your phone and put in your order. With Zaarly people who want things and people who want to provide services are brought together in an unprecedented way, with the focus on the buyer’s needs as opposed to the sellers…Sellers bid for the tasks, and the buyer chooses the best one, with Zaarly connecting the two via an anonymous Twilio-powered phone number. While, like Craigslist, the service basically runs on the honor system, Zaarly community managers keep close watch and filter out bogus and inappropriate offers…”

3. For Google, iCloud Is Annoying; For Microsoft, It's A Humiliation http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-icloud-microsoft-cloud-2011-6 “…Apple's vision for the cloud is very different from Google's. In fact, Apple's vision for the cloud is pretty much Microsoft's vision for the cloud…it's pretty humiliating for the Redmond company that Apple did what Microsoft should have done a long time ago…for Google, the cloud means cloud + web; for Apple, cloud computing means cloud + software, with the internet stuff happening behind the scenes…To Google, the point of cloud computing is to replace desktop software with the web. For Apple, cloud computing doesn't replace software, it augments it. All of your email, data, songs and stuff is automagically synced to the cloud so that you don't have to do backups and you can access it anywhere. To Apple, the point of cloud computing is to make the software better…Microsoft's slogan for cloud computing has always been…client software on the desktop is too rich and interactive to be replaced with everything in the browser…This is an alternative vision to Google's and also a powerful one…The problem for Microsoft is that they had almost a decade to come up with something like iCloud to realize that vision, and they didn't…”

4. (All these Brilliant People at) Facebook Make Me Sad http://hueniverse.com/2010/11/all-these-brilliant-people-at-facebook-make-me-sad/ This is not…criticism of Facebook in any way. In fact, the problem is just how unbelievable the Facebook team is (in a good way). The sheer strength of their talent is almost unmatched in our industry…The problem is, all that talent is building something I just don’t care about, and no one is left for anything else…When it comes to staying connected to the people I care about, they either live with me, I talk to them on the phone weekly, or have an annual dinner when I visit Israel or New York. This is just enough for me. There is a reason why I am not in touch with people from high school, the army, or film school. We all moved on, became different people, changed context, and lost the common thread that united us…finding long lost friends is mostly a short awkward exchange followed by a one sided stream of useless information…When it comes to news, I want to be “friend” with the editors of the New York Times, and when it comes to buying a digital camera, the reviewers at DPReview…in my offline world, information and sharing works perfectly fine without Facebook…I am in no way suggesting that almost 600 million people are wrong. The massive and highly engaged Facebook user base clearly gets value and satisfaction from the product…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. When Engineers Lie http://www.cringely.com/2011/06/when-engineers-lie/ “…based on recent events at RSA, Lockheed Martin, and other places, I think lying should not be part of the game. Was there a break-in? Was data stolen? Was there an unencrypted database of SecureID seeds and serial numbers? All we can say at best is that we don’t really know…that is supposed to make us feel more secure because it means the bad guys are equally clueless. Except they aren’t, because they broke-in, they stole data, they knew what the data was good for while we — including SecureID customers it seems — are still mainly in the dark. A lot of this is marketing — a combination of “we are invincible” and “be afraid, be very afraid.”…the U.S. government does not want us to have really secure networks. The government is more interested in snooping in on the rest of the world’s insecure networks. The U.S. consumer can take the occasional security hit, our spy chiefs rationalize, if it means our government can snoop global traffic…RSA, Cisco, Microsoft and many other companies have allowed the U.S. government to breach their designs. Don’t blame the companies, though: if they didn’t play along in the U.S. they would go to jail…The feds are so comfortable in this ethically-challenged landscape in large part because they are also the largest single employer… on both sides…Yet there is good news, too, because IPv6 and Open Source are beginning to close some of those security doors that have been improperly propped open…The U.S. government is a big supporter of IPv6, yet the National Security Agency isn’t. Cisco best practices for three-letter agencies, I’m told, include disabling IPv6 services…The key winners are going to be those companies that embrace IPv6 as a competitive advantage. IPv6-ready outfits in the U.S. include Google, AT&T, and Verizon. Yahoo and Comcast still have work to do. Apple has been ready for years…”

6. Credit card data taken from 200,000 customers http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20110612/OSH03/306120053/Credit-card-data-taken-from-200-000-customers-hackers-target-Citigroup “…about 200,000 Citibank credit card customers in North America had their names, account numbers and email addresses stolen by hackers who broke into Citi's online account site…Citigroup said it discovered that account information for about 1 percent of its credit card customers had been viewed by hackers…The bank discovered the problem during routine monitoring. The bank said hackers weren't able to gain access to social security numbers, birth dates, card expiration dates or card security codes…Details about their bank accounts and financial information linked to them could be acquired using the email information and account numbers hackers stole…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

7. Virgin Mobile Motorla Triumph Android http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2386645,00.asp “…Sprint announced the Motorola Triumph, Motorola's first Android device for Virgin Mobile…the Triumph looks…a lot like the original Motorola Droid for Verizon…4.8 by 2.5 by 0.4 inches (HWD) and 5 ounces…It has a 4.1-inch, 800-by-480 WVGA touch screen that felt a bit sluggish, despite its 1-GHz processor. There's a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera that supports 720p HD video capture and playback on both the phone or over its HDMI out port. There's also a front-facing VGA camera for video chat, though we have yet to find a good video chat solution for Android…Triumph will be the first handset to come preloaded with Virgin Mobile Live 2.0, an app that gives you free access to a Virgin Mobile branded music stream…The phone is running Android 2.2…Triumph is slated for a summer release…You can sign up for an unlimited text, data, and Web plan for as little as $25 per month…The door is wide open for a competitor to the Optimus V. If the Triumph's touch screen sluggishness is addressed, it could be a good option …” http://www.pcworld.com/article/229930/motorola_triumph_handson_solid_prepaid_phone.html

8. Looking Out for Mobile Data http://www.technologyreview.com/business/37681/ In 2004, three students at the University of Southern California shook up the world of mobile phones. The three hackers—John Hering, Kevin Mahaffey, and James Burgess—found a vulnerability in certain Nokia cell phones' Bluetooth connection to wireless headsets, which could let eavesdroppers listen in on phone calls…Nokia didn't take the problem seriously because Bluetooth communications have such a short range…the trio created a rig to sniff signals from more than a mile away. They mounted the hardware on a rifle stock, dubbed their contraption the "BlueSniper rifle," and demonstrated it at the Defcon security conference…Hering and his partners are continuing to forge their own path in the emerging field of mobile security with the company they founded in 2007, now called Lookout Mobile Security…malware on smart phones is not a significant problem yet, as the Lookout team realized. So instead they focused on helping consumers secure their devices in other ways. The Lookout app allows data on a phone to be managed remotely, for example, or it can locate a lost or stolen phone…We decided to build a software product," says Mahaffey, who serves as chief technology officer. "We did not want to sell through fear." The basic version of the app is free; Lookout makes money by selling a premium version. The company says its software has 10 million users…The company has focused on details such as streamlining the user interface of its app, and developed it expressly for mobile devices, rather than retrofitting…What Lookout has done, which is remarkably simple but somehow has eluded the other vendors, is the fact they've designed their products for the iPhone-age consumers…”

9. Kindles Getting Cheaper, and Huge: 10 Percent of Amazon’s Business Next Year http://allthingsd.com/20110607/kindles-getting-cheaper-and-huge-10-of-amazons-business-next-year/ “…Jeff Bezos and company continue not to release sales numbers for the devices, but everyone else keeps guessing. Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney, an Amazon bull, has bumped up his sales estimates, and now thinks the company will sell 17.5 million devices this year, and another 26 million in 2012…Mahaney thinks Kindle readers and books will generate $6.1 billion for Amazon next year–nearly 10 percent of its overall sales…This business didn’t exist until Thanksgiving 2007…all of this has been as the Kindle has faced competition from Apple’s iPad on the high end, Barnes & Noble’s Nook line in the middle, and a bevy of very cheap e-readers on the bottom…It’s a popular product that keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. The first Kindles went for $399…now the lowest priced ones, which come with a smattering of ads, go for $114. Mahaney thinks they’ll be below $100 by Christmas…”

10. Apple's iOS 5 and iCloud no threat to Android http://blogs.computerworld.com/18420/apple_ios_5_icloud_android “…most of the standard "Apple's new is Android's old" arguments apply as much to this year's WWDC announcements as they have to past iEvents. Nonintrusive notifications? Check. PC-like browsing? Got it. PC-free activation and synchronization? Yep…Apple's iOS 5 is largely the company playing catchup…the company's iCloud service does offer some neat twists on familiar concepts, like the ability to store your music in the cloud without having to upload it, as you presently do with Google Music. The upload-free option works only with iTunes-purchased songs unless you opt to pay $25 a year, of course -- and the service doesn't actually let you stream music, only download it to an iOS device or to iTunes on a computer -- but it's a nice touch nevertheless…While all of these new features will be nice improvements for Apple's existing iPhone users, they won't be enough to convince any meaningful number of Android users (or would-be Android users) to jump ship…Consider, too, Android's untouched edge in the field of choice and customization. Android allows you to pick from a huge selection of phones, ranging from simple QWERTY sliders to the big-screened quad-core phones of the future. Once you select a phone, Android gives you the ability to install what you want and use the device how you want…”

11. Paperlinks Brings Business-Optimized QR Codes To Life http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/10/paperlinks-brings-business-optimized-qr-codes-to-life/ “…QR Codes are becoming more of a mainstream product for businesses, products and brands…Y Combinator-backed Paperlinks is launching a new way for businesses to engage consumers with QR codes…The actual code can incorporate the logo of a brand or business…instead of leading peoples to a web page (as most QR codes do), Paperlinks app and codes open up a landing page with the company’s logo and other modules, which can include Tweets, calendars, video, contact info, photos and more…Paperlinks includes in the landing page…the ability to add content from the brand or business directly to your own applications. For example, if you scan a QR code for a business, you can click on the contact info in the landing page and it can be added to your contacts…Paperlinks also provides analytics (or “scanalytics”) for businesses, which give then metrics on how effective campaigns are, how long users are spending on landing page, which are most popular modules they are clicking on and more. Paperlinks will also provide print services (i.e. printing QR codes on posters and business cards)…”

Apps

12. For Apple, Yesterday’s Banned Apps Are Tomorrow’s Great New Feature http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/06/for-apple-yesterday%E2%80%99s-banned-apps-are-tomorrow%E2%80%99s-great-new-feature/ “…the army of developers who have created over half a million Apple iOS apps to date perform another valuable function, in addition to making Apple’s hardware more attractive to users and contributing 30 percent of their revenue to the company…they act like a big, unpaid R&D lab for incubating features that Apple can eventually incorporate into its own products — even after banning those same products from its app store…Take Camera+, the camera app for the iPhone that has grossed $2.7 million…for its creator Lisa Bettany (and her team)…Last August, Apple pulled Camera+ from iTunes because its new “VolumeSnap” feature allegedly violated Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement by allowing users to shoot photos using the iPhone’s Up Volume button…Bettany told those assembled yesterday that she doesn’t even consider it worthwhile to release an Android app because users on that platform refuse to pay for stuff that iPhone users gladly do…Earlier this week, Steve Jobs stood on a stage to announce a great new feature for the iPhone’s built-in camera app: the ability to take photos using the device’s Up Volume button, which Jobs heralded as a fantastic new way to take capture a moment with a photo quickly…the strikingly similar tale of Greg Hughes’ Wi-Fi Sync app, which Apple rejected…for its ability to sync iTunes music wirelessly to an iPhone using a local wireless network. On Monday, Apple unveiled…a wireless syncing feature for moving music from iTunes to iOS devices…it used a logo that’s practically the same as the one Hughes used for Wi-Fi Sync…”

13. Will Users Go for New Game Rentals Service on Android? http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011/06/poll-will-users-go-for-game-rentals-on-android.php “…game network WildTanget…will soon be testing out a subscription game rental service on…Android…Instead purchasing a game to keep, users will be offered the opportunity to rent a game for the day, for as little as 25 cents. If they end up liking the game and decide to buy, they'll be able to apply the rental fee towards the full purchase price of the mobile application…Recent reports on Android Market trends show that the majority of paid applications (80%, says analytics firm Distimo) were downloaded less than 100 times…mobile search firm Chomp found that in April, 97% of Android app downloads were free apps…by suggesting that rentals may work to change that trend, the implication is that it's price alone that's preventing app developers from realizing revenue here. There may be other factors at play which are just as important…the checkout process on Android may need to be improved, discovery of paid applications worth paying for is still a challenge on the Android Market and the quality of the apps themselves may be lacking…”

14. The Ins and Outs of Mobile Apps http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704570704576275132869170342.html For many small companies, apps are turning into a valuable marketing tool. As more people come to rely on smartphones, entrepreneurs are cooking up mobile software that offers a quick way to connect with the business or learn more about it…Mr. Abrams, whose three restaurants in New York served 125,000 diners last year, says that any business that isn't pursuing a mobile strategy is shortchanging itself. "Even if only 1% of our customers download the app, it's a lot of great word of mouth," Mr. Abrams says…At Bizness Apps LLC's site, for instance, an owner can start by picking an industry-specific template; there are offerings for restaurants, bars, gyms, lawyers and others…Chicago-based Red Foundry Inc. lets owners build an app free using its templates. Users can publish the app to Apple's mobile-software marketplace on their own if they have a $99-a-year membership to Apple's developer program. Or they can allow Red Foundry to publish the app and provide performance analytics for $39 a month…To use the programming languages behind the apps, owners can download software-development kits from Apple and from Android creator Google. These require some technical know-how, but both come with tips and tools. The $99 annual Apple developer membership will let users publish as many apps as they want in its marketplace. Android charges a one-time $25 developer-registration fee for publishing apps in its marketplace…Companies like MotherApp Inc. let Web developers create apps using HTML instead of the mobile-development kits…Specialized firms charge as much as $20,000 for design and development, and can take months to finish the job…Mr. Abrams says he spent about $10,000 on his project, including hiring app designers and a photographer. Red Foundry, for its part, charges $11,900 to build an app, which includes meeting with business owners to get them up to speed on using the Red Foundry…some in the industry argue apps don't have to cost thousands of dollars. Bizness Apps, for one, charges $399 for complete setup and design of an app, in addition to the $39 monthly charge…”

Open Source

15. Scientists develop open-source genome analyzer http://the-scientist.com/2011/06/10/diy-genome-analysis/ With the cost of genome sequencing getting cheaper every year, there is a rising demand for tools that enable researchers to make sense of the mountains of raw, high-throughput data without having to outsource to information specialists…scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have developed new open-source software that allows researchers to perform genome analyses from the comfort of their own labs…GenPlay is an analyzer and browser that can sift through gene expression, epigenetic, and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data…”

16. Mozilla launches MemShrink effort to improve Firefox memory use http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2011/06/mozilla-launches-memshrink-eff.html Firefox is a memory hog…even though Firefox 4 (and soon 5) improve memory over say Firefox 3.x, it's still a real hog…Mozilla is now taking this very seriously and is starting a new effort called, 'MemShrink'. The goal of the group is to target the developer resources required to solve this nagging problem…a group of people will get together to look at the big picture, triage bugs, investigate general approaches, and do some brainstorming…There are plenty of people out there at have 1 GB or less of RAM. As I'm writing this post now, Firefox 4.0.1 is consuming 633 MB on my machine and that's not abnormal…it's just waaay too much RAM for a web browser…Time will tell how effective the MemShrink effort is, but it's definitely a step in the right direction…”

17. Monit - your best employee http://linuxaria.com/howto/monit-monitor-restart-daemon-linux If you are in charge of some services probably you have set up some monitoring system to notify you if something go wrong (email, sms or a Tweet), and so you can fix it quickly. But do you really want to be always available 24×7 every day of the year ?...Monit, a fantastic tool that can manage some problems for you…Monit is a free open source utility for managing and monitoring, processes, files, directories and filesystems on a UNIX system. Monit conducts automatic maintenance and repair and can execute meaningful causal actions in error situations…Monit can start a process if it does not run, restart a process if it does not respond…You can use Monit to monitor files, directories and filesystems for changes…You can also monitor remote hosts; Monit can ping a remote host and can check TCP/IP port connections and server protocols…Monit logs to syslog or to its own log file and notifies you about error conditions and recovery status via customizable alert…” [Luke W and Mike M – wondered if this would be handy for TechAdvised / mD / DHMN servers – ed.]

SkyNet

18. 10 reasons why Chromebooks will be a huge success http://techlaze.com/2011/06/chromebooks-success/ As June 15th nears, the folks at Google must be busy biting their nails off. This is the big G’s first step into the world of operating systems…they will be competing with 3 operating systems which have been around for a very long time…Here are ten such reasons why Chromebooks will be a huge hit…Backing from vendors…good backing from reputed companies like Acer, Samsung, Toshiba and Dell…Faster bootup times…Google Chrome OS…boots in…10 seconds…Another option for frustrated Windows users: Viruses, fragmentation, malware, crapware, bloating, BSODs, Windows has got it all…Apps galore…Android encore…For the Android and Google fanboys, Chromebook is a must-have device…Great secondary device…Secondary devices like tablets and netbooks are not only convenient but also affordable for many people…Chromebooks are cheaper than the much coveted iPad….Web addicts: If you spend your whole day in a web browser, Chromebook is something you should consider…the whole operating system wasted on a chronic web addict…Cloudlust…For…a taste of the cloud life, Chromebooks are…a perfect entry point…Low price…If you consider the wifi-only model Acer provides, 350 $ isn’t too costly when compared with the 16 GB Wifi-only iPad 2 which costs 500 $...Good Battery Life…Samsung…8.5 hour battery life with continuous usage…”

19. Welcome to a Faster Web with Google SPDY http://www.technologyreview.com/web/37772/ SPDY, a protocol Google revealed in late 2009, dramatically speeds up Web page loading by changing the way that browsers communicate with servers…today, the protocol launches as a commercial product. Website optimization company Strangeloop has built SPDY into its flagship product Site Optimizer, software that sits in between a website and its users, and adjusts the site's code to make pages load more quickly. Strangeloop's customers will have the ability to turn the protocol on easily; in tests, the protocol has sped up websites by 10 to 20 percent. At first, this will only make a difference for people who visit websites using Google's Chrome browser (the only one that supports SDPY), but Strangeloop expects that it could end up having a big impact on mobile devices as well, since Google is likely to build SPDY into browsers designed for Android…According to the content-delivery network Akamai, people only give a site three seconds, on average, to load before giving up and navigating away. Better performance…means more page views…There are a lot of ways to speed up a website. Changing the protocols that determine how information gets sent over the Internet is potentially the most rewarding but also one of the trickiest…to roll SPDY out to the entire world, all browser manufacturers would have to adopt it, and every server would have to support it…Strangeloop's…Site Optimizer software sits between a company's Web server and the user's browser and adjusts the website's code automatically to make it load faster…Browsers today typically open up lots of connections to a server, in order to start downloading lots of information at once—images, ads, text, and so on…Those connections take time to "warm up" and start downloading at their full capacity. Also, they don't prioritize well…SPDY addresses this problem by opening one connection that is capable of loading many different parts of the page at once. It also allows programmers to manage how pages load, so they can deliver more important pieces first…”

20. Bank of England turns to Google to shed light on economic trends http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jun/13/bank-of-england-google-searches They may not know it, but web users who type "unemployment", "estate agents" or "VAT" into Google are helping the Bank of England to gather information on the state of the British economy. The central bank is turning to internet search data as it seeks to widen its understanding of unemployment, consumer spending and the housing market…the Bank…believes online search data can be an increasingly useful source of intelligence about the state of the UK…"As further developments are made in this area, and the backrun of the data increases, these data are likely to become an increasingly useful source of information about economic behaviour." McLaren and Shanbhogue's article showed three examples, each using search volume patterns sourced from Google's Insights for Search. The most striking results came from the "estate agents" search term, which appeared to closely track the change in average house prices over the last eight years. According to the pair, the Google search data, when correctly handled, gave a more accurate picture than other housing surveys…”

21. ICBC using Google Street View to resolve claims http://www.vancouversun.com/ICBC+using+Google+Street+View+resolve+claims/4936143/story.html Google Street View, which provides a ground-level view of thousands of streets across B.C. has a new fan: ICBC…the public insurer has begun using the technology to help resolve some insurance claims, a cheaper alternative than adjusters visiting accident scenes in person or hiring investigators to produce official photos of a crash site. "Google Maps is readily available for staff online and are being used now very successfully in some offices to resolve liability," states an internal ICBC memo…"Street View ... would be sufficient to understand the physical layout and characteristics of an intersection" but…a site visit by an adjuster is still required if evidence, such as skid marks, needs to be gathered…while there has been no companywide directive to use Street View, several adjusters began using the technology when it launched two years ago…"It's in no way a tool to rely on solely, but it is an additional source that can help us better understand a particular claim." Grossman said the service can be particularly helpful when someone calls ICBC's Dial-a-Claim line and is having difficulty explaining how a crash occurred…”

22. A Peek Into The Future Of Google Docs http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/13/ama-a-peek-into-the-future-of-google-docs/ “…members of the Google Docs team announced that they were doing something fairly unusual for employees at a large company: they’re giving members of the popular link-sharing site Reddit a chance to ask them anything…offering some insight into where Google’s free online productivity suite is headed over the coming months…they…hint at…nifty upcoming features. Here are some of the highlights…Regarding an offline version of Google Docs…You’re going to see offline start to roll out later this summer. We used to have offline with Google Gears, but it became pretty clear that plugins weren’t the right approach. We’ve been reimplementing offline using HTML5 standards like AppCache, File API, and IndexDB…the long term direction is if you access a Doc URL while offline, it should open the local copy of the doc and let you edit. When you go online all your edits get synced in the background…We’ll need to work through all the tricky problems with how to merge conflicting edits. It’s fun stuff…Document data is stored in a storage system built on top of Bigtable. Storage is distributed across many machines and geographic locations, and all access to the underlying storage is tightly controlled and audited…Cloud print will be coming to more devices (right now it’s only on mobile and Chromebooks)…it sounds like the Android Google Docs app will be getting a native editor (right now it kicks you off to a web editor, which is clunky). It sounds like offline editing will also be possible using the native app…”

23. Apple's OS X Lion Features Could Make Google Chromebooks Tough Sell http://www.pcworld.com/article/230152/apples_os_x_lion_features_could_make_google_chromebooks_tough_sell.html “…Apple has stuck a browser-only mode called "Restart to Safari" into OS X Lion…as an option on Lion's lock screen giving you access to a sandboxed version of the Safari browser. You wouldn't be able to access your desktop applications or other computer files from the browser-only mode…Acer and Samsung will be the first out of the gate with Chromebooks…that are priced from $380-$500…the biggest downside of these devices is they are simply browsers in a box and almost nothing else. The $500…Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook features…a 12.1-inch screen with WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution, 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor, 16GB mSATA SSD, 2GB RAM, two USB 2.0 ports, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity…a $1000 MacBook Air running Lion -- due out in July -- featuring an 11.6-inch screen with 1366-by-768 resolution, 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB flash storage, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, two USB 2.0 ports, and a Mini DisplayPort. You'll also get…a browser-only mode for those times when you need quick Internet access. The only downside to this set-up might be how well Lion runs on the cheapest MacBook Air…At $1000, the cheapest MacBooks cost twice as much as a Chromebook, but you get the advantage of having a full desktop operating system. Add to that the instant on feature found in Apple's latest MacBook Air models, and Chrome OS becomes a much tougher sell…”

24. Samsung Chromebook Carries $332.12 Bill of Materials http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/Samsung-Chromebook-Carries-332-12-Bill-of-Materials-IHS-iSuppli-Teardown-Reveals.aspx “…the Series 5 Chromebook from Samsung…sports attributes commonly found in a full-featured notebook…Including a high-quality 12.1-inch display, a full day (8.5 hours) of battery life, a new dual-core Atom processor, 2 gigabytes (GB) of memory and a 16GB solid state drive, the new Chromebook carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $322.12. When the $12.20 manufacturing cost of the Samsung Chromebook is added in, the total cost to produce the device rises to $334.32…Priced at around $500, the Chromebook very much resembles a value notebook or 3G netbook in terms of features and connectivity…as much as Google would like to de-emphasize the role of user hardware, it is the hardware, in fact, that defines the Chromebook and will determine the success of the platform.”…The Chromebook is a mobile computing platform that boots up within eight seconds, connects effortlessly to the web via Wi-Fi or 3G, and stores all its data in the cloud…the Chromebook’s focus on providing a compelling user experience has resulted in the inclusion of some advanced hardware features not typically found in low-cost notebooks…Samsung chose to trim spending on certain items while increasing its outlay on other items, such as the display, battery pack and enclosure…”

General Technology

25. A Preview of Future Disk Drives http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/37771/ A new type of data storage technology, called phase-change memory, has proven capable of writing some types of data faster than conventional flash based storage…Disks based on solid-state, flash memory chips are increasingly used in computers and servers because they perform faster than conventional magnetic hard drives. The performance of the experimental phase-change disk drive…suggests that it won't be long before that technology is able to give computing devices another speed boost…the prototype, known as Onyx…had a data capacity of eight gigabytes and went head-to-head with what Swanson calls a "high-end" 80 GB flash drive made for use in servers. When it came to writing small chunks of data on the order of kilobytes in size, Onyx was between 70 percent and 120 percent faster than the commercial drive…the prototype placed significantly less computational load on the processor of the computer using it. It was also much faster at reading data than the flash drive when accessing blocks of data of any size…”

26. Obama administration unveils programs to build the smart grid http://gigaom.com/cleantech/obama-administation-unveils-programs-to-build-the-smart-grid/ “…Obama administration officials unveiled a slew of programs and initiatives…to…add information technology to the power grid to make the grid more efficient and more secure. The Obama administration has already invested $4.5 billion in recovery investments into smart grid projects, which were then matched by $5.5 billion in private money…We’ve already installed 5 million smart meters nationwide, and we’ve deployed smart grid technology and research projects, and these new programs are a continuation of this commitment, said Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu…Here’s 9 ways that the Obama administration is looking to spur the smart grid…a minimum of $250 million in loans for smart grid projects in rural places in the U.S…a new non-profit program called Grid 21, which will focus on spurring consumer-facing tools that will enable consumers to reduce energy consumption…new projects, including a crowd-sourced map to track progress of smart grid projects, a student competition around home energy efficiency…an initiative that will…share the lessons learned from the smart grid stimulus investments…a new “Renewable Energy Rapid Response Team,” that will review clean power and transmission line projects and improve “federal coordination” for…clean power projects…it will create ways for grid operators to have access to information about threats to the power grid, help companies deliver new security tools…a “Smart Grid Innovation Hub,” that…will support R&D and project deployments…the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will support new smart grid research…a report that focuses on four ways to help modernize the grid…the programs don’t offer much more funding commitments, in comparison to the smart grid stimulus funds, and utilities might find these new programs to be “smart grid lite.”…”

27. Pixel Trickery Helps Create a Brighter Screen http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/37730/ The iPad's bright and beautiful screen comes with a cost: a battery that makes up most of the tablet's weight. A new display technology designed for tablets uses a quarter of the power consumed by most screens while improving the range of colors and the resolution. The technology, developed by Samsung and its affiliate, Nouvoyance, uses a novel pixel design that lets more of the backlight shine through…A standard LCD display uses a pixel architecture called RBG stripe, in which each pixel is made of red, blue, and green subpixels that filter color from a white backlight. The process is extremely inefficient—more than 90 percent of the backlight luminescence is wasted. Normally, to increase the resolution, the number of pixels needs to increase, as does the number of transistors used to control those pixels. The problem is that the transistors block part of the pixel…Nouvoyance's pixel design, called PenTile, lets more light through in a couple of ways. First, the red, blue, and green subpixels are larger than those in traditional displays. Second, one out of every four subpixels is clear. This means the backlight can use less power and shine brighter…Fewer subpixels would usually mean a lower resolution. But the PenTile display uses individual sub-pixels to trick the eye into perceiving the same resolution while using about one-third as many subpixels as an RGB stripe panel…The PenTile display also uses image processing algorithms to determine the brightness of a scene, automatically dimming the backlight for darker images…”

DHMN Technology

28. AR.Drone coming to Android, gets new multiplayer games http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/06/ardrone-coming-to-android-gets-new-multiplayer-games.ars Up until now, only iPhone users have been able to pilot their own Parrot AR.Drone quadrocopter, but starting next month, Android owners will finally be able to get in on the augmented reality action…the piloting app is expected to be available starting in July. Surprisingly, the piloting app is also available for both Samsung and Nokia phones…The apps for all three platforms are free to download…One of the titles we managed to check out at CES, AR.Flying Ace, is already available in the App Store for free, while the other, AR.Race, will be launching today, also free of charge…For those without friends who also own a Drone, Parrot is also working on an as-of-yet untitled game that will allow two players to play together using the same quadrocopter…” [fantastic news for my favorite DHMN project-that-we’re-not-working-on-yet: a phone-controlled quadcopter that works with Android –ed.]

29. Two New Tools for Self-Tracking http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/37721/ “…the Computer History Museum in Mountain View…was host to the first annual Quantified Self conference, a gathering of people who use different tools to record a variety of personal metrics with the goal of improving their health, happiness, and productivity. Kassam was sporting the hottest new fitness monitoring gadget: a device that looks and acts like a watch, but which also measures heart rate and other physiological factors…it detects heart rate from the wrist using near infrared spectroscopy, along with both skin and ambient temperature, and galvanic skin response, a measure of sweat on the skin that is linked to both physical activity and stress or excitement…High heart rate and temperature probably means someone is exercising." Low activity, as recorded by the accelerometer, suggests the wearer is sleeping. The device also tracks quality of sleep based on movement during this phase. It combines various measures to calculate the number of calories burned during the course of a day. Accompanying software helps users track and visualize how they are progressing over time…The Basis watch is one of a growing number of new tools that seeks to passively collect data on the wearer's health and behavior with the aim of helping them to change it for the better. These devices are part of the new movement in self-tracking, enabled by a new generation of wireless devices and smart phone apps to track exercise, nutrition, sleep, mood, and other variables…”

30. Augmented Reality Eyewear Is Almost Usable http://gizmodo.com/5811472/if-the-vuzix-star-1200-glasses-are-any-indication-augmented-reality-eyewear-is-almost-usable/gallery/1 Vuzix has been playing around with augmented reality for awhile now, and the Star 1200 AR glasses are their most realized implementation of the technology…see-through display technology, a 1080p camera and stereoscopic 3D capabilities…Star 1200s have six motion tracking sensors, adjustable earphones and a 16:9 display resolution of 800x452 (which is equivalent to viewing a 60-inch screen from 10 feet away)…The technology can be used to broadcast computer-generated objects and real-time alerts which are triggered by AR markers, or…by the computer or smartphone that the Star 1200s are connected to…”

31. Flash Bainite is lighter, stronger steel http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-06-lighter-stronger-steel-.html A Detroit entrepreneur surprised university engineers here recently, when he invented a heat-treatment that makes steel 7 percent stronger than any steel on record – in less than 10 seconds…Now the entrepreneur is working with researchers at Ohio State University to better understand the science behind the new treatment, called flash processing. What they've discovered may hold the key to making cars and military vehicles lighter, stronger, and more fuel-efficient…"The process that Gary described – it shouldn't have worked," he said. "I didn't believe him…Cola showed them his proprietary lab setup at SFP Works, LLC., where rollers carried steel sheets through flames as hot as 1100 degrees Celsius and then into a cooling liquid bath…He claimed that the resulting steel was 7 percent stronger than martensitic advanced high-strength steel…Cola further claimed that his steel could be drawn – that is, thinned and lengthened – 30 percent more than martensitic steels without losing its enhanced strength…it turned out that everything he said was true,"…Cola is a self-taught metallurgist, and he wanted help from Babu and his team to reveal the physics behind the process…so that he could find ways to adapt it and even improve it…In traditional, slow heat treatments, steel's initial microstructure always dissolves into a homogeneous phase called austenite at peak temperature…"We think that, because this new process is so fast with rapid heating and cooling, the carbides don't get a chance to dissolve completely within austenite at high temperature, so they remain in the steel and make this unique microstructure containing bainite, martensite and carbides," Babu said…this unique microstructure boosts ductility -- meaning that the steel can crumple a great deal before breaking…” [this is a great example of what a skilled and passionate ‘hacker/maker’ kind of person can achieve – ed.]

Leisure & Entertainment

32. Do Americans have too much time on their hands? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2386737,00.aspThe Les Paul Google doodle is arguably now one of the search giant's most popular homepage creations. The company even left it up an additional day in the U.S. due to popular demand. The doodle…featured the strings of a guitar in the shape of the Google logo. That logo, however, was actually playable—strum it with your mouse and it played a song. In the U.S., meanwhile, users could record a 30-second snippet of their creations and share with friends…They posted to Twitter and Facebook, and uploaded to YouTube in droves. Below are a few of the selections that caught our eye…” [it is absolutely astounding what people will spend significant amounts of time on and be highlighted by the media; but I’m ok with that since it’s Google… - ed.]

33. “Robopocalypse” and The Terrifying Truth About New Technology http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304392704576375473021288898.html In movies, on television, and in books, robots are stalking the land, scanning for human victims. The technology we depend on is going awry…As we consider the umpteenth round of cutting-edge cellphone upgrades, we feel a creeping unease settle over our shoulders…I turned 33 this year, plenty old enough to have grown weary of being bombarded by the new…I channeled my fear and worry into a novel called "Robopocalypse."…"Robopocalypse" joins a proud tradition of techno-apocalyptic tales, stretching from high-flying Icarus, to Frankenstein's monster, and to many a giant radioactive creature who has crashed the streets of Tokyo…The fear of the never-ending onslaught of gizmos and gadgets is nothing new. The radio, the telephone, Facebook…Each of them scared the heck out of an older generation. And each of them was invented by people who were in their 20s…Why are the young able to thrive, tossing away instruction manuals and digging in with reckless abandon?...at the moment you choose to stop growing, your world will begin to shrink. You'll be able to communicate with fewer people, especially the young…You will not understand how to pay for things…Each new generation builds on the work of the previous one, gaining new perspective. New verbs are introduced. We Google strange and dangerous places. We tweet mindlessly to the cosmos. We Facebook our own grandmothers. I, for one, don't want to be left behind…”

34. Discrete HTPC GPU Shootout http://www.anandtech.com/show/4380/discrete-htpc-gpus-shootout The popularity of Intel's HD Graphics amongst HTPC [home theater personal computer] enthusiasts and the success of the AMD APUs seem to indicate that the days of the discrete HTPC GPU are numbered. However, for those with legacy systems, a discrete HTPC GPU will probably be the only way to enable hardware accelerated HD playback…discrete HTPC GPUs also aim to offer more video post processing capabilities…both AMD and NVIDIA have been serving the market with their low end GPUs. These GPUs are preferable for HTPC scenarios due to their low power consumption and ability to be passively cooled. Today, we will be taking a look at four GPUs…From AMD…we have the 6450 and 6570, while the GT 430 and GT 520 make up the numbers from the NVIDIA side…we have also been keeping track of some exciting open source software in the HTPC area. Aiming to simplify the player setup and also take advantage of as many features of your GPU as possible, we believe these are very close to being ready for prime time. We will have a couple of sections covering the setup and usage of these tools…let us…take a look at the contenders…”

Economy and Technology

35. Jobs stumps for new 'spaceship'-like Apple campus http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20069915-37/jobs-stumps-for-new-spaceship-like-apple-campus/ “…Steve Jobs wants to build a new corporate campus in Cupertino, Calif., that will be dominated by a single "spaceship"-like building…Jobs said the current campus holds about 2,800 employees, but the company has 12,000 employees in the area…Apple purchased 98 acres from Hewlett-Packard last year…real estate experts estimate it may have been $300 million or more…Jobs told the council…We've seen these office parks with lots of buildings--and they get pretty boring pretty fast. So we'd like to do something better than that…It's a bit like a spaceship landed…There's not a straight piece of glass in this building--it's all curved," he said…Apple's design calls for the campus to be 80 percent landscape with 6,000 trees, Jobs said, including apricot trees, orchards of which used to dominate the site…Most of the vehicle parking would be located under the building and landscape…It would have an on-campus energy center that would be its primary source of power, using the power grid as a backup…the site is currently 20 percent landscape checkered with parking lots. Landscape would increase 350 percent, visible parking would decrease by 90 percent, and building footprint would decrease by 30 percent…” http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/06/steve-jobs-first-planned-apples-statement-hq-3-decades-ago/240444/ “…Back in 1983, before the stock market crashed, the tech bubble burst and Steve Jobs was pushed out of his position as Apple's CEO, Jobs purchased a huge plot of land in San Jose's Coyote Valley…he hired legendary architect I.M. Pei to design the campus and preserve the undeveloped land's beauty…At the time, Feld was a real estate consultant involved in the project. "To me, it's as if time hasn't shifted -- 30 years, same vision, same scope, same dream…”

36. Innovators at boot camp pitch ideas to energize education http://www.kansascity.com/2011/06/07/2934857/innovators-at-kauffman-labs-boot.html “…the first…Kauffman Labs’ entrepreneurial boot camp…employed a pair of psychologists. Their mission: preparing this field of innovators from across the nation for failure…The 23 people who won a seat in Kauffman’s laboratory out of more than 1,000 applicants are spawning a wealth of ideas to invigorate the way schools work and how to educate children…Budding entrepreneurs such as Melissa Pickering of Boston, and her growing company that enables children to create moving picture lessons, said they are leaving energized, smarter and buoyed by a support network…They spent four months with the foundation, which brought to bear everything it has learned about “the science of startups,”…Pickering…used the labs experience to help her plan to make iCreate bigger and more strategic. But “the stipend is gone now,” Pickering said of the financial support she received during her time at the labs. So now it’s back to her role as a single founder, working in a shared office space back in Boston…Adam Gellar’s company, Edthena, evolved from his desire as a former teacher to create a video-collaboration tool where teachers could deliver and receive feedback on videos they make of themselves teaching class. Michael Qin and Jerry Huang of Freemont, Calif., had experience in companies such as Google and Unisys. But it was their shared frustration as fathers trying to read with their children that spawned Childroad — a company that uses a Netflix-like format to deliver voiced-over children’s books online…Though he’s had major corporate jobs, Qin said, “This is the proudest thing I have done for the kids…”

37. iTunes now costs $1.3 billion/yr to run http://www.asymco.com/2011/06/13/itunes-now-costs-1-3-billionyr-to-run/ The iTunes store continues to grow…Apple published…the following: 15 Billion iTunes song downloads…130 million book downloads…14 billion app downloads…$2.5 billion paid to developers…Since we know something about the average price of songs and apps, and we know the split between developers and Apple…we can get a rough estimate of the amount Apple retains to run its store…If we add the content margins from music and apps and assume the store runs at break even we can get an idea of what it costs to operate the store…over $1.3 billion per year…Much of that cost does go into serving the content (traffic and payment processing). Some of it goes to curation and support. But it’s very likely that there is much left over to be invested in capacity increases…”

38. Garmin buys up German GPS company Navigon http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2386906,00.asp Garmin…will acquire rival Navigon…With Navigon, we are also acquiring one of the top-selling navigation applications for the iPhone and Android platforms…Navigon produces the popular MobileNavigator app for the iPhone and Android…In recent years, companies like Navigon and Garmin have had to compete with smartphones that boast built-in GPS and mapping technologies. Why buy a standalone GPS devices when your Android phone will also call out directions? GPS device makers have tackled this obstacle with apps of their own, but are they too late?…”

Civilian Aerospace

39. James Cameron to see dark side of Moon for $150 million http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/08/51458982.html “…James Cameron, a Canadian-born Hollywood director and the creator of Avatar, is reported to have purchased a $150-million ticket for a trip round the Moon in 2015…In his autobiography, Cameron writes that he still cannot tell whether he is a filmmaker or a researcher. He does not have an academic degree, but studied physics a little at a college in Canada…he spent years shooting underwater documentaries about the sunken Titanic and Bismark ships buried at a depth of 2 km…As he worked on Titanic,he patented several deep-water cameras. He later patented the 3D cameras he used while working on Avatar…In August 2010, Cameron explored the bottom of Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest lake, aboard Russia’s Mir-1 research submersible…So far, only 24 humans have been lucky to see an Earthrise over the Moon – one of the most amazing moments in their lives. A lunar excursion plus a visit to the International Space Station will take 17 days…”

40. SpaceX chosen to launch Asian telecommunications satellite http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20110613 Thai satellite company THAICOM Plc. has chosen Space Exploration Technologies to launch the new Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit…in the second quarter of 2013…Thaicom is the eighth non-U.S. customer manifested for upcoming flights aboard the Falcon 9…The Thaicom 6 satellite is designed to serve the growing satellite television market in South and South-East Asia, as well as Southern Africa. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, VA , and expected to weigh about 3,200 kilograms at launch, the satellite will operate from 78.5 degrees east and carry 18 C-band and eight Ku-band transponders…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

41. GPU Supercomputing Accelerates China's Solar Energy Research http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-06-09/gpu_supercomputing_accelerates_chinas_solar_energy_research.html Chinese researchers have run the world's highest performing molecular simulation to examine improved techniques for more efficient production and use of crystalline silicon, a key material used in solar panels and the semiconductor industry. Researchers…used Tianhe-1A, the world's fastest supercomputer, to perform a simulation on NVIDIA® Tesla™ GPUs that was five times the performance and more than twice the size of the previous highest-performing molecular simulation. The simulation modeled the behavior of 110 billion atoms at an unprecedented 1.87 petaflops of performance…Computer simulations…can reveal far more details than experimental measurements, at much less cost…The levels of performance we achieved by using all 7,168 NVIDIA GPUs in the Tianhe-1A supercomputer enabled us to run simulations that come closer than ever to reproducing the behavior of the material in different aspects and its true bulk properties under different conditions…Tianhe-1A…was named the world's fastest supercomputer in November 2010 by the Top 500 organization, the first time the title was given to a Chinese supercomputing center…”

42. AMD Announces New GPGPU Programming Tools http://hothardware.com/News/AMD-Announces-New-GPGPU-Programming-Tools/ AMD's GPU solutions have come a long way since the company acquired ATI…When it comes to HPC/GPGPU tools, however, Nvidia has had the market all to itself…Nvidia has sunk a great deal of effort into developing PhysX and CUDA. AMD has announced a new suite of programming tools it plans to use to woo developers in the burgeoning field…One of the new tools, gDEBugger, is an "advanced OpenCL and OpenGL debugger, profiler, and memory analyzer." AMD acquired the software when it purchased graphics startup Graphic Remedy in October 2010. Other programs, which aren't expected until Q3 2011, include Parallel Path Analyzer (useful for optimizing a program to run across both CPU and GPU), Global Memory for Acceleration (simplifies memory management) and the Task Manager API…”

43. Top 10 Objections to GPU Computing Reconsidered http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-06-09/top_10_objections_to_gpu_computing_reconsidered.html “…the emergence of GPU computing in the HPC world over the last few years has been a remarkable and unprecedented development. It has all the markings of a disruptive technology. It begin with a small cadre of adherents willing to brave the complications of shoehorning graphics languages like Cg and OpenGL’s GLSL into performing general-purpose calculations…It provides step out, order of magnitude performance gains over conventional solutions in more cases than people would like to admit…As we approach the four-year release anniversary of NVIDIA CUDA, arguably the ground zero of the GPGPU movement, there are many who have flirted, piloted and adopted the technology, but many more who are sitting on the sidelines for various reasons…What follows below is an attempt to list and address these objections, reconsidering them in light of recent developments and our best guess at how the future will unfold. To be clear, GPGPU is not the solution for all HPC applications but many have found the technology cost effective in domains as diverse as seismic imaging, electromagnetics, molecular dynamics, financial valuation, medical imaging and others…”

44. AMD offers $50K in OpenCL app contest http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4216940/AMD-offers-50K-in-OpenCL-app-contest Advanced Micro Devices kicked off a contest offering up to $50,000 in prizes to developers with the best applications using the OpenCL interface on its processors that merge x86 and graphics cores. AMD uses the OpenCL standard to run in parallel general computing job on its graphics cores while archrival Nvidia uses its own tools under the CUDA brand. AMD hosted a developer summit to encourage use of OpenCL…As many as 50 apps, including Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9, have been tuned to use OpenCL on AMD's hybrid processors so far…AMD hired TopCoder to run the contest…developers need to submit an abstract describing their app and download an AMD OpenCL software developers kit and related drivers and runtime software. The contest is open to developers in a wide range of fields including video, imaging, security, data mining, user interfaces, gaming and social networking…”


*****

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