2011/07/19

NEW NET Weekly List for 19 Jul 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 19 July 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. Mozilla's BrowserID to simplify authentication on the Web with master password http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011/07/mozillas-browserid-aims-to-simplify-authentication-on-the-web.arsMozilla aims to simplify account registration and authentication on the Web with a new technology called BrowserID. It is a decentralized authentication system allows the Web browser to manage the user's identity. The system relies on asymmetric keys and ties the user's identity to their e-mail address rather than conventional usernames and passwords. The browser handles the authentication process for the user, enabling relatively secure single-click logins on websites that support the scheme...The authentication process is largely transparent to the end user. All you will have to do is click a user interface element in the browser to approve the login. BrowserID conceptually similar to OpenID in a lot of ways, but without the usability problems and some of the other pain points…”
  2. Visually Automates The Making Of Infographics http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/13/visually-launches-to-automate-the-making-of-infographics/ “…Stewart Langille and Lee Sherman are today launching the first startup that solely focuses on mass producing infographics, Visually. Users who visit Visually this morning can see over 2000 infographics...Visually plans on monetizing eventually by letting publications subscribe to its offerings via a monthly fee. “Everyone needs to create a graph or a chart or something...Langille says. “There is a definite need to create simple visualizations for people...Langille hopes with Visually to create a community of designers a la Dribbble or Forrst, but also hopes to rope in infographic producers that are concerned with issues like exposure and monetization...This automated process is a harbinger of Visually product developments to come, as eventually Langile is about to introduce an interface where customers will be to be able to enter in data and have the visuals come out…”
  3. Twitter Won't Fly as High if it Flubs Bing Social Search Deal http://www.pcworld.com/article/235895/twitter_wont_fly_as_high_if_it_flubs_bing_social_search_deal.htmlTwitter stands to lose a lot of clout -- and money -- if it flubs its social search deal with Microsoft's Bing like it did with Google. Just a few weeks after Google shut down its tweet-parsing social search function…Microsoft also is prepared to cancel its contract between Twitter and Bing…if Bing bails on social search and Google decides not to come back, well, social search essentially ceases to exist. When Google's contract with Twitter expired on July 2, Google didn't bother renewing…A Google spokesperson said that Realtime Search was killed off so the company could integrate the tech with…Google+…Money and control also appear to be an issue…Twitter wants $30 million per year for access to tweets, more control over data licensing, how much traffic Bing sends to Twitter, and the UI presentation of tweets and ads on Bing. It even wants a cut of that advertising revenue…”
  4. How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/07/ff_khan/all/1 “...Carpenter, a serious-faced 10-year-old...pauses for a second, fidgets, then clicks on “0 degrees.” Presto: The computer tells him that he’s correct. The software then generates another problem, followed by another, and yet another, until he’s nailed 10 in a row in just a few minutes...he’s done an insane 642 inverse trig problems...Carpenter, who attends...a public school in Los Altos, California, shouldn’t be doing work anywhere near this advanced...when I visited his class...the kids were supposed to be learning basic fractions, decimals, and percentages...his teacher, Kami Thordarson, explains, students don’t normally tackle inverse trig until high school...But last November, Thordarson began using Khan Academy in her class...Carpenter has acquired 52 Earth badges in math...at which his classmates gaze with envy and awe...Initially, Thordarson thought Khan Academy would merely be a helpful supplement to her normal instruction...She’s now on her way to “flipping” the way her class works. This involves replacing some of her lectures with Khan’s videos, which students can watch at home...in class, they focus on working problem sets...lectures are viewed on the kids’ own time and homework is done at school...this flipping makes sense when you think about it. It’s when they’re doing homework that students are really grappling with a subject and...need someone to talk to...now Thordarson can tell just when this grappling occurs: Khan Academy provides teachers with a dashboard application that lets her see the instant a student gets stuck...” [yes, NEW NET has covered the Khan Academy before, but here’s a new article with a bit different coverage - ed.]
  5. Youth culture: teenage kicks in the digital age http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/26/untangling-web-krotoski-youth-culture “…youth of 2011 are a posse of Adam Ant-alike hipsters...sullen, moody and misunderstood. So far, so James Dean. But is there actually something different going on? These kids get their culture, gossip and attitudes from Google and Facebook. They are constantly on, constantly promoting themselves and constantly connected...Youth culture, superficially dominated by musical tastes, slang, fashion and objectionable hairstyles, is...an artefact of growing up...Psychologically, "youth culture" is the outcome of the process that kids, navigating the tortured period of adolescence, go through as they seek a community that's distinct from that which has come before. It is a period rich in self-expression, catalysed by the negotiation of social boundaries...What makes them now unique is that they have a (mostly) open communication platform at their fingertips that allows them to connect on a global scale with people going through the same biological, psychological and social changes...instead of creating a group identity in the playground or at the mall, they have the potential to do it on social networks, in networked computer games and via SMS…”

Gigabit Internet
  1. Beamforming your data: how WiGig will offer 7Gbps speeds http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/07/beamforming-your-data-how-wigig-will-offer-7gbps-speeds.arsThe Wireless Gigabit Alliance...has published the certification-ready 1.1 specification of its wireless system, and it includes some new capabilities, like a framework for video connectors...how will WiGig, which uses an incredible 60GHz frequency, ever manage to transmit information to devices that aren't literally pressed up against the router?...WiGig is a specification for hardware that uses 60GHz frequencies to transmit up to 7 gigabits of data per second over the air...802.11n WiFi tops out at a few hundred megabits per second...a download of an HD episode of Archer on WiGig would take mere seconds, even without perfect reception...The WiGig Alliance recently pegged the launch of capable devices for the first half of 2012...WiGig...IEEE 802.11...coded as 802.11ad...will require...new hardware both to send and receive signal, similar to when 5GHz started to make its way onto the market. Unlike 5GHz WiFi, though, WiGig's design includes methods for avoiding the decay problems that higher-frequency transmissions usually have…”
  2. Berkeley Lab and Internet2 to build 100 Gbps Prototype Scientific Network http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110713006519/en/Berkeley-Lab-Internet2-build-100-Gbps-PrototypeThe Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Internet2 today announced an agreement to build one of the world’s fastest and most advanced scientific networks...The new network will be built for the Department of Energy by Berkeley Lab’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) for its Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI), a $62M American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) grant...ESnet and Internet2 will work together to construct and operate the new 100 gigabit per second (100 Gbps) ANI prototype network...The ANI prototype network will significantly increase the information-carrying capacity of ESnet’s present network, which uses 10 Gbps technology...ESnet’s national network connects thousands of DOE scientists at over 40 different U.S. laboratory and supercomputing facilities and links them to their collaborators around the world. To build the national network, Internet2 will use fiber strands on Level 3 Communications’ Tier 1 fiber-optic network...ANI prototype network will initially connect three...supercomputing centers: the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley Lab, Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)...and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) in Illinois, as well as the Manhattan Landing International Exchange Point (MANLAN)...During the prototype phase, the network will be used for applications and networking research, including...the Acadia project, which will develop network interface controller (NIC) hardware and device-driver/protocol-specific software for host and gateway systems operating at 40 and 100 Gbps...”
  3. School of the Art Institute of Chicago Using Gigabit Wireless http://www.fiercetelecom.com/press_releases/school-art-institute-chicago-saves-150000-annually-using-bridgewave-s-gigabBridgeWave Communications...supplier of 4G millimeter wave backhaul solutions...announced that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) deployed several AR60-AES gigabit wireless links to connect six campus buildings in downtown Chicago...BridgeWave’s...links are used to support numerous campus network services – including voice, video, bandwidth-intensive applications and emerging technologies...Kevin Lint, executive director of telecommunications and network services...quickly discovered that meeting a data rate requirement of 1000 Mbps cost-effectively could only be achieved with either leased Metro Area Ethernet or millimeter wave wireless technology. Since SAIC’s campus is located in downtown Chicago, and its buildings are situated within close proximity of each other...a network of BridgeWave’s high performance 60GHz wireless links was the preferred solution...BridgeWave offered...embedded AES encryption, link state propagation, a superior management interface...BridgeWave’s 60 GHz radios offer five-nines availability and can be deployed at a fraction of the cost of leasing Metro Area Ethernet service...”
  4. Computer Aided Detection with Supercomputing Functional Analytics http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-07-12/computer_aided_detection_with_supercomputing_functional_analytics_arriving_at_hospitals.htmlMedicsight PLC, an industry leader in...Computer Aided Detection (CAD) and medical image analysis software, has entered into an agreement with Ziosoft, Inc., the pioneer in supercomputing advanced visualization and functional analytics...One of the first U.S. sites to use the combined Medicsight and Ziosoft technologies will be the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWH) in Madison...Medicsight's ColonCAD is designed to assist radiologists during their review of CT colonography (CTC - also known as "Virtual Colonoscopy") images by automatically highlighting potential colorectal polyps...on the CT image...The clinical trial results demonstrated that, when assisted by ColonCAD, radiologists' accuracy for detecting polyps of all sizes was significantly improved compared with unassisted reading...” http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-07-14/medical_journal_cites_advances_in_cardiac_imaging_using_supercomputing_analytics.html “...Using supercomputing technology with deformable registration from Ziosoft, Inc., non-rigid (deformable) registration was performed on a series of computed cardiac tomographic (CT) images from a patient that underwent coronary CT angiogram...which improves motion coherence and enables functional analytics...the first three dimensions are spatial while time scale (motion of 3D) is referred to as the fourth dimension. Additional functional data, such as wall motion or deformation or molecular imaging data for assessing biological and metabolic pathways, can be integrated with the four dimensional images, evolving as the fifth dimension...This could lead to many patient benefits, such as replacing invasive electrophysiology procedures or the accurate placement of defibrillator leads in viable tissue. I believe we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in how supercomputing functional analytics could significantly impact the way we practice medicine...”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
  1. More patent shenanigans from lawsuit-happy Apple: HTML5 http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/applications/3290718/apple-html5-patent-angers-w3c/The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is seeking to invalidate a pair of Apple patents so the underlying technologies can be used as part of a royalty-free HTML5 stack. The W3C's call for prior art is necessary...because it maintains a strict policy of validating Web standards that can be used without paying for royalties. By finding examples of the technology in use before Apple filed the patents, the W3C can render those patents invalid...The patented technologies are core components to the W3C's Widget Access Request Policy, which specifies how mobile applications can request sensitive material. It is one of a number of specifications that are closely tied to the W3C's next generation standard for Web pages and applications, HTML5…”
  2. Adobe buys EchoSign for electronic PDF signatures http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20080239-264/adobe-buys-echosign-for-electronic-pdf-signatures/Adobe Systems...has acquired EchoSign, a company specializing in electronic signature technology...Electronic signatures have held promise for years for letting people sign documents without having to resort to the paper-based hassles of scanning, faxing, and mailing, but haven't made major inroads...Together, our aim is to make electronic signatures the standard way for people to sign documents and automate contracting...”
  3. Police get controversial iPhone-based face recognition tech http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/07/12/moris.iphone.add.on.raises.police.privacy.issues/A divisive iPhone add-on from BI2 Technologies is about to reach police in a way that could challenge civil rights. The MORIS case, already used in the military and a few limited areas, will let officers snap a photo of a person's face from up to five feet away and automatically cross-check it against a police database to see if it's a known suspect or if the person has a criminal history. If they have strong reason to believe a person is a suspect, they can even scan the iris from six inches away...MORIS raises issues through its implications for government surveillance and privacy. In addition to the risk of constant monitoring, the distance also raises issues of violating constitutional rights over reasonable search. A regular photo might require that police have proof of reasonable suspicion that someone is a criminal...An iris-level investigation would raise more concerns again since a police officer could get in trouble if they force a person to cooperate in the scan…”
  4. CSI smartphone http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/368674/csi-smartphone “...Where you’ve been, who you’ve talked to, who you’ve been sleeping with – secrets that people wouldn’t even share with their closest friends are being spilled into a device that knows you better than any confidant. Apple may have publicly denied that it’s tracking people via their iPhones, but the police and private forensic experts have no compunction about unlocking the secrets stored in smartphones...a huge number of handsets are sent to forensic specialists for analysis to discover where they’ve been and what they contain...18 months or two years ago the proportion of smartphones we were seeing compared to PCs was very small...Now it’s well over half the devices that we see...Your smartphone could place you at the scene of a crime, destroy an alibi or maybe even provide one...one of the first things police now do at the scene of a crime is take away a suspect’s mobile. “There’s so much in there,” said Ridley. “Pictures, notations, communications records, location information from cell records and Wi-Fi. You have navigation information in there from satnav software – the list goes on.” With so much potentially incriminating evidence available to the police, you might think that there would be privacy protection in place to stop authorities probing your handset – but you’d be wrong...”
  5. DOJ: We can force you to decrypt that laptop http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20078312-281/doj-we-can-force-you-to-decrypt-that-laptop/The Colorado prosecution of a woman accused of a mortgage scam will test whether the government can punish you for refusing to disclose your encryption passphrase. The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to order the defendant, Ramona Fricosu, to decrypt an encrypted laptop that police found in her bedroom...this could turn into a precedent-setting case. No U.S. appeals court appears to have ruled on whether such an order would be legal or not under the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, which broadly protects Americans' right to remain silent...the U.S. Justice Department...claims: Public interests will be harmed absent requiring defendants to make available unencrypted contents in circumstances like these. Failing to compel Ms. Fricosu amounts to a concession...that encrypting all inculpatory digital evidence will serve to defeat the efforts of law enforcement officers to obtain such evidence through judicially authorized search warrants, and thus make their prosecution impossible. Prosecutors stressed that they don't actually require the passphrase itself...Fricosu would be permitted to type it in and unlock the files without anyone looking over her shoulder. They say they want only the decrypted data...The question of whether a criminal defendant can be legally compelled to cough up his encryption passphrase remains an unsettled one, with law review articles for at least the last 15 years arguing the merits of either approach…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating
  1. Virgin Mobile annoyingly follows AT&T, Verizon: mangles unlimited plans, lowers bar instead of raising it http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20079103-94/virgin-mobile-bids-farewell-to-unlimited-data-too/Virgin Mobile, the prepaid arm of Sprint Nextel, said today that it is moving away from a fully unlimited data plan...Virgin said that customers who exceed 2.5 gigabytes of data in a month will see reduced speeds...The company said less than 3 percent of its customer base go over that mark...the company also unveiled new plans starting July 20 that raise the price of its cheapest options. Its 300-minute plan, which includes unlimited messaging and data, costs $35, $10 more than before. Its 1,200-minute plan goes from $40 to $45…”
  2. PayPal on Android To Start NFC Payments http://venturebeat.com/2011/07/13/paypal-android-nfc/ “…PayPaltoday unveiled its first NFC (near-field communication) solution for Android devices at the MobileBeat 2011 conference...PayPal’s new NFC Android widget can be used to transfer money simply by tapping together two Nexus S phones...Now instead of opening up PayPal’s app and filling out a money transfer...you can save time by tapping a payment request into a widget...You can either request to send or request to receive money via the new PayPal widget. Once the request is sent, you simply hold the phones together until they buzz, then enter your PayPal password or mobile PIN, to complete the transfer…”
  3. How to Get Any File to Play Back on Your Android Phone http://www.pcworld.com/article/235701/how_to_get_any_file_to_play_back_on_your_android_phone.htmlAndroid may be a versatile OS, but the little green robot can run into trouble when it comes to certain file formats. RAW photo formats such as .NEF won't show up in the default Android's image and video Gallery app. Even common video file formats such as .AVI and .MKV will stop most Android phones in their tracks...there are apps and workarounds so your Android phone can open most audio, video, image, and Office file formats you throw at it...RAW images, for example, tend to be of higher quality than standard .JPEGs. And .MKV files can play videos with subtitles--helpful if you are hard of hearing, watching a foreign film, or stuck on an airplane with crummy headphones...by making your phone accept a more diverse number of file formats, you can save yourself the hassle in converting your media files into...inferior and more common file types that aren't as good at reproducing hi-fidelity music, saving storage space, and displaying crystal clear images...For a better audio experience, look no further than the PowerAmp Music Player...use QuickOffice($15) because it can sync my files with my DropBox or Google Docs accounts...One workaround is Google Docs, Google's online service for creating and viewing office documents...For all other text formats, the best and easiest workaround would be to e-mail the document to your Gmail account, then view the document using the "Preview" option inside your Gmail message...I only found one app that allows you to view images in the RAW format. The app is called RawDroid (free) and is currently only available as a demoUntil the VLC player comes to Android, you'll have to look elsewhere to find an app to play your HD files. The desktop clientDoubleTwist can convert your videos into a format that natively works on your phone...DoubleTwist can be extremely buggy at times...Another advantage DoubleTwist and VLC have over the stock video player...is that they support video bookmarking. That's an important feature if you are watching a video longer than 20 minutes. Bookmarking allows you to stop and start the video in the same place…”
  4. Status "Facebook phone" now available from AT&T http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/htc-status-at-t/4505-6452_7-34846841.htmlThe HTC Status is the country's first-ever "Facebook phone." Designed in collaboration with Facebook, the Status was first introduced at Mobile World Congress in the form of the HTC ChaCha. Its biggest selling point is a dedicated Facebook button that makes it that much easier for you to post status updates, share links, upload photos...a handy beginner Android phone. It ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a...QWERTY keyboard, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a front-facing VGA camera...However, the Status suffers from a small landscape-oriented screen...”

Apps
  1. App developers withdraw from US as patent fears reach 'tipping point' http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2011/jul/15/app-developers-withdraw-us-patentsApp developers are withdrawing their products for sale from the US versions of Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market for fear of being sued by companies which own software patents - just as a Mumbai-based company has made a wide-ranging claim against Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo and a number of other companies over Twitter-style feeds, for which it claims it has applied for a patent. Software patent owners in the US have latched onto potential revenue streams to be earned from independent developers by suing over perceived infringements of their intellectual property - which can be expensive for developers to defend even if they are successful…developers in Europe are retreating from the US to avoid the expense and concern such "patent trolls" are causing. Simon Maddox, a UK developer, has removed all his apps from US app stores on both iOS and Android for fear of being sued by Lodsys, a company which has already sued a number of iOS and Android developers…Fraser Speirs, a Scottish developer who has written apps for the Mac and iOS, remarked that he was "starting to get seriously concerned about my future as a software developer due to these patent issues"…Maddox tweeted that he was removing his apps from US app stores and putting 0.575% of total revenue into a spare bank account. "Screw you, Lodsys", he commented. He told the Guardian that it's "far too dangerous to do business" in the US because of the risk of software patent lawsuits…”
  2. Frustrated by Apple, WhitePages Goes Android First http://allthingsd.com/20110712/frustrated-by-apples-long-approval-process-whitepages-com-goes-android-first-with-latest-app/When WhitePages launches its Localicious app on Wednesday, it will be in the Android Market rather than in the iPhone App Store...Although WhitePages still sees iPhone owners as a key target, Apple’s approval process is just too difficult to time a launch around...one of its apps, a reverse phone lookup directory, has been in Apple’s hands for the past two months awaiting approval...“I think we are going to see a lot of people start to ship Android first...You can’t be held hostage.” Localicious isn’t the first app that WhitePages did first for Android. The company also has launched a Caller ID app for Android after finding, like others that wanted to offer such a service for iPhone, that Apple wouldn’t allow the needed access…”
  3. SwiftKey X Adds Yet Another Virtual Keyboard Option for Android http://allthingsd.com/20110714/swiftkey-adds-yet-another-virtual-keyboard-option-for-android/?mod=googlenewsWindows Phone 7 and iPhone owners have just one option when it comes to software keyboards — use the virtual keyboard that is built into the operating system. Android device owners, meanwhile, have a growing array of choices...Swype...focuses on tracing each word rather than pecking letter by letter. Nuance offers several options with its Flex T9 product, which lets users speak, trace, handwrite or type. The latest entry is SwiftKey X...What makes SwiftKey unique is its effort to personalize itself to the user...SwiftKey can not only predict, midword, what a person is trying to spell, but also guess what word might come next. It learns the words you use by scanning various sources, such as your Gmail, Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as text messages and other data entered on the phone itself...SwiftKey...can also handle more than one language at once...start typing in French and SwiftKey will select a word en français as the next likely word. Return to English and the suggestions return to English as well. Braidwood said the multilingual crowd represents the most passionate of SwiftKey’s early users…”
  4. Nuance’s Dragon Go Is a Voice-Powered Search App That Knows Where to Look http://allthingsd.com/20110713/nuances-dragon-go-is-a-voice-powered-search-app-that-knows-where-to-look/When it comes to voice-powered search, there are plenty of options...What makes Dragon Go a bit different is the fact that the new iPhone app often knows what to do with a specific query. Say “Play R.E.M.” and it opens Pandora. Say “buy tickets for Bridesmaids” and it will open Fandango. But say “Reviews for Bridesmaids” and it will open IMDB instead. Meanwhile, asking for a review of a restaurant should bring up Yelp while a query for reservations for that same restaurant polls OpenTable. Nuance, which created the free app, has built an open architecture aimed at including all manner of vertical queries. At launch it supports more than 180 options from the aforementioned sites to services such as Yelp, Wikipedia and Google...Nuance expects that number will continue to grow...I played with Dragon Go...The app can be amazingly adept at searching what one wants much of the time, but there are certainly times where it simply does a Google search for something close to — but not exactly — what one is searching for…”

Open Source
  1. PuTTY 0.61 released http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=11278After four long years, here comes a new version of PuTTY, the popular free telnet/SSH client for Windows and Unix platforms.PuTTY 0.61 brings new features, bug fixes, and compatibility updates for Windows 7 and various SSH server software…”
  2. IBM throws its source code and support behind OpenOffice http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/ibm-throws-its-source-code-and-support-behind-openoffice/9240 “…IBM will be...donating essentially all its IBM Lotus Symphony source code and resources to Apache’s OpenOffice project...IBM’s Open Document Format...architect Rob Weir...wrote...IBM [has] not been exemplary community members when it came to OpenOffice.org. This wasn’t necessarily by design, but...that was the effect...with this “fresh start at Apache” IBM is “going to contribute the standalone version of Lotus Symphony to the Apache OpenOffice.org project...IBM will be donating more than 3-million lines of Symphony source code to the Apache OpenOffice project. IBM will also be adding developers to work with the OpenOffice community to assess how Symphony should be integrated into OpenOffice…”
  3. Toyota Embraces the Penguin http://www.linuxplanet.com/news/centos-6-debuts-as-toyota-embraces-the-penguin.html “…The opportunities for Linux at Toyota could be in both areas -- infrastructure and embedded. The in-vehicle infotainment market is still a young one, and it's ripe for the opportunities that Linux can deliver...just because Toyota has joined the Linux Foundation doesn't mean you'll be able to get a shell on the display of your 2012 Prius. But, hey, the day may come when you can get a shell to diagnose a problem or have a web browser inside your passenger seat display. Toyota joining the Linux Foundation is yet another indication of the importance of Linux to the embedded market…”
  4. Mozilla releases SeaMonkey 2.2 based on Firefox 5 http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Mozilla-releases-SeaMonkey-2-2-based-on-Firefox-5-1276082.html “…SeaMonkey Project developers have made version 2.2 of their "all-in-one internet application suite" available to download. SeaMonkey 2.2 is a major update that is based on the same Gecko layout engine as the recent Firefox 5.0 release...it offers improved canvas, JavaScript, memory, and networking performance, and introduces support for CSS animation. Users can now change archive options via the Copies & Folders Account Settings pane. Other changes include updated standards support for HTML5, XHR, MathML, SMIL and canvas…”

SkyNet
  1. Google Employee No. 59 http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/07/12/google-employee-no-59-on-google-privacy-and-why-he-left/Douglas Edwards joined Google in 1999 as employee No. 59, and lived through some of its early developmental steps...Something of an outsider in a culture dominated by engineers, Edwards helped the company develop what he calls “a human voice,”...He left in 2005...“It took me a long time to realize that I had to write the book,” Edwards said...I’m thinking, all these stories in my head. So finally I decided I’ve got to get this out of my head and on to paper.”...I think I’m proudest of the fact that I helped give Google a human voice...Everybody else buried all the ugly details in the end user license agreement and I said, we’re not going to do that. I was really proud that...and they allowed me to put that language on the site...I think it scares Larry...that a large body of very useful information would be unavailable to Google to search, to present to the world and to use for improving its own products, that I think is something that he would find unacceptable...Google doesn’t have enough irrational people working there, and the rest of the world doesn’t have enough rational people occupying it...Google needs more irrational people...so that they’ll better understand how people react to things like targeting ads in Gmail. They look at it and they understand that there’s no privacy violation because no person ever looks at your email, it’s all machine-scanned...So, it’s not like your privacy’s being invaded...I talk in the book about this moment I had with Sergey...and I said, we need to talk about the privacy issue around Gmail...he looked at me and he said, “There is no privacy issue.” Because in his mind, there was no privacy issue...Google was not reading email, Google was not targeting email...He didn’t understand that people’s perception was reality…”
  2. Google Staffing Up On Patent Lawyers And Experts http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/13/google-staffing-up-on-patent-lawyers-and-experts/ “…Google...recently lost the bid for Nortel’s 6,000 mobile and wireless patents to a consortium of tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, RIM, and Sony...Google controls less than 1,000 patents...Google currently owns 701 patents in total whereas Microsoft was granted 3,121 patents last year....because Google doesn’t own a large number of patents, the company will continue to be vulnerable to patent lawsuits...On its legal job listings page, Google is looking to fill six patent-related positions including a patent agent, patent counsel, patent docketing clerk, patent litigation counsel, patent paralegal, and a strategic patent licensing and acquisitions manager…”
  3. Google all the time on the Chromebook http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j_YevXpsr3FxgEimugnPu7nnqzpwNew laptops running Google's Chrome operating system offer a new approach in portable computing: Games, productivity tools and anything else you might need are handled by distant computers connected to the Internet...That streamlines things, at the cost of having stronger, standalone applications that normally handle these tasks...the trade-off might be worth it for the more casual consumers of online content. Google already has a good variety of online services...Gmail for messages, Google Plus for sharing photos and links and Google Docs for word processing, spreadsheets and other common tasks. Other companies also make free programs, which run through Google's Chrome browser...everything you need is available on the Internet. Google believes storage and services are better handled by Internet-connected data centers located far from you...computers running Microsoft's Windows tend to keep files and programs on the individual machines in front of you. Samsung Electronics Co. and Acer Inc. are making the first Chromebooks using Google's Chrome Web browser and an underlying operating system based on Linux…” http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20079635-64/samsung-acer-google-chromebooks-still-strong-on-amazon/Google software-based Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer are still vying with Apple MacBook Pros and Windows 7 laptops in an Amazon top-10 popularity contest. As of Thursday evening, the $349 11.6-inch Acer AC700-1099 Chromebook (Wi-Fi) is ranked No. 4 on Amazon's laptop best-seller list, while the $499 12.1-inch Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook (Titan Silver) is in the No. 10 spot. Above the No. 4 Acer is a MacBook Pro and a couple of Toshiba Windows 7 laptops, like the Toshiba Portege R835-P56x 13.3-Inch LED Laptop (Magnesium Blue)...the new entrants to the laptop market...seem to have staying power in the top 10…”
  4. Google Chrome Laptops-$20/Month http://memeburn.com/2011/07/internet-at-the-heart-of-everything-qa-with-ceasar-sengupta-of-chrome-os/ “…We expect many consumers as well as many businesses and schools to greatly value the speed, simplicity and security this operating system provides. We are changing the way that devices are sold into businesses and schools by offering a subscription model that could save them up to thousands of dollars per device per year. Chromebooks for Business start at $28/device/month and Chromebooks for Education start at $20/device/month…”
  5. G+ quotes excerpts and quotes http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/technology/internet/a-big-a-for-google-1.1100266The web is alive with the sound of clicking – on Google’s hot new social app, Google+, that is. It’s currently in demo mode, as the Google execs and lucky few that have been invited get to test it out and see its potential…” http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Messaging-and-Collaboration/Google-to-Challenge-Facebook-in-Business-Brand-Ads-433365/ “…Google+ has over 10 million users…Google+ users are sharing over 1 billion items each day…users are clicking the +1 recommendation button 2.3 billion times a day…Christian Oestlien, the advertising lead on Google+, has asked businesses, and other organizations not to fashion business brand pages—similar to Facebook Pages—so that Google can optimize the business-user experience…While Google is actively working on fulfilling business pages demand, it is picking some of thousands of applicant companies to test out business pages on Google+…"We're going to take a small group of brands, businesses and other entities and create profiles for them and see how users interact with them via circles, through the stream and even how they communicate with them through Hangouts [Google+ group video chat]…consensus among most analysts is that Google+ will indeed help the search company make more advertising money…” http://news.cnet.com/8301-19882_3-20079844-250/google-makes-me-happier-than-facebook/ “…I've been running a small experiment. I've been mirroring most of my Twitter and Facebook posts to Google+ to see how the different communities respond. The result: Google+ makes me happier…” http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-20080169-93/more-women-crashing-google-sausage-party/ “…Paul Allen of FamilyLink and Ancestry.com…estimates Google+ was 77 percent male and 23 percent female on July 4. Three days later it was 68.4 percent male and 31.6 percent female, and as of Saturday it was nearing a 2-to-1 male/female ratio…” http://www.informationweek.com/byte/commentary/231001949 “...Google rolled out a mobile app with...Google+...Stream view is a miniaturized version of the full website...Swipe to the right and you get any nearby public activity. Swipe to the left and you see the incoming feed...Photosharing is the single most addictive feature of the app...You decide when uploads take place. For instance, you're able to set them only during WiFi connections and only when the phone's plugged in and charging. That makes it easy to go out, snap bunches of pictures, add comments, and automatically upload them from a data connection that doesn't penalize you $1.99 a MB for overage fees...”
  6. Google Getting Serious About Chrome Profiles, The Logged-In Experience http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/13/google-chrome-logged-in/The meteoric rise of Google’s Chrome web browser has a side effect that I think a lot of people are missing. It gives Google...the ultimate weapon...This ability to tie a Google account to Chrome has been around...but given the new graphical layout of the feature, it’s clear that Google intends to make this much more useful and compelling. In the upper right hand side of Chrome...you’ll see a beaker icon that Google likes to use for experimental features. Clicking on this allows you to see your Chrome Profile, customize it, switch to another one, or delete it...The text on the creator reads: “A Chrome profile contains a set of bookmarks, browsing history, saved passwords, and themes. You can create multiple profiles if you need to manage separate settings. For example, you can use one profile, and your friend can use another...Facebook is Google’s biggest challenge on the web, and Chrome gives them something that Facebook does not have: a browser…”
  7. Google News badges turning the news into a game http://www.zdnet.com/blog/google/google-news-badges-turning-the-news-into-a-game/3136Google News is now offering users in the U.S. the ability to earn shareable badges for voraciously reading news and articles on topics ranging from politics to Harry Potter...badges are available in levels from Bronze to Silver, Gold, Platinum, and, at the top, Ultimate, according to Google’s blog entry. There are 500 different badges to earn in this beta - or “bronze release,”...users can easily share them with friends from your signed-in Google account...the badges are there to start conversations, demonstrate expertise in a topic...This concept should be sounding especially familiar to Microsoft Xbox 360 gamers: Google News badges are essentially Xbox Live “gamerscore,” the popular social currency that lets players compare how many “achievements” they’ve hit…”
  8. Google is changing your brain, study says, and don't you forget it http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_18478827 “…Google is altering your brain...When we know where to find information, we're less likely to remember it -- an amnesia dubbed The Google Effect by a team led by psychologist Betsy Sparrow...The finding...doesn't prove that Google...or other search engines are making us dumber...We're still capable of remembering things that matter -- and are not easily found online...students are more likely to recall a trivial fact if they think it will be erased from the computer -- and forget it if they're assured it will be there...people are better at remembering where to find facts, rather than the facts themselves...This creates a mental dependency on instant access to information...in many ways, this is no different from humans' age-old reliance on the "group memories" shared by friends, families and tribes...We all have these people in our lives who know certain things. And we dip into what they know, when we need it," said Sparrow. "We allow them to be responsible for it." "I really think we are using the Internet the way we used to use people…”

General Technology
  1. Dump Your Printer to Escape the Madness http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/technology/personaltech/getting-by-without-a-computer-printer.html “…we live in a world where going without a printer can be more trouble than it is worth. Yet the desktop printer seems frozen in mediocrity while PCs, smartphones and tablets have evolved beyond most people’s wildest dreams. It can still be soul-crushingly frustrating to set up...Printers are generally inexpensive to buy...they are not generally inexpensive to own...the lifetime cost of a printer can be 10 times the $50 price tag...Strategy 1: Go Cold Turkey...not owning a printer...is for the gamblers out there, because even if you need a printer only rarely, you often really need one at those rare moments. Buying or selling a house anytime soon? You are going to need a printer...You can use the printer at your office. You can store things in the cloud or on a thumb drive and pop over to the copy store to print something...Strategy 2: TLC for PDFs...You can limit contact with your printer by becoming more familiar with PDFs, the popular electronic-document format...If you are using Microsoft Word in Windows, the 2010 version has a “Save as PDF” option in the “Save as” menu. Earlier versions of Word can download a free software patch (bit.ly/ookkqE) from Microsoft to do the same thing...Strategy 3: Upload Your Signature...One of the main reasons many people own a printer is because we still live in a world where a scribble of ink on a piece of paper, also known as a signature, is required for many document...Hello Fax (hellofax.com), keeps a digital image of your signature on file, which you can then position and resize onto any document you upload to the service. Once the document is “signed,” you can e-mail it or send it to a fax machine from your PC...Strategy 4: Get the Last Drop...The printer industry wants you to do two things: use lots and lots of ink and, when the time comes to replace it, use its name-brand cartridges for refills.avoid doing either…”
  2. TED Global 2011: Forget Glastonbury, this is Nerdstock http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2011/jul/13/ted-global-2011-glastonbury-nerdstock “…TED Global conference in Edinburgh, the annual mindfest that brings together some of the world's smartest scientists, biggest thinkers, and most innovative do-ers to share their "ideas worth spreading"...this year's theme? It's just the small matter of "The stuff of life"...Private companies, she argues, are exerting the kind of control and power that previously only governments had...creating what she calls "a new layer of private sovereignty". What is the minimal unit of matter that can undergo Darwinian evolution? The answer...is a single cell, and this raises a whole host of questions. Questions such as, what is life? Is biology special? Is matter 'evolvable'? And if we can make stuff that mimics life, can we then make life?...What is the likelihood that somewhere in the universe there is non-carbon-based life? Just about 100%...Algorithms are no longer just a set of instructions that tell a computer what to do...The world has now become a place where algorithms battle each other for supremacy. The financial markets now consist of one set of algorithms trying to outsmart another set, and nobody can be exactly sure any more of what it exactly is that we're doing...at 2.42pm on 6 May last year, 9% of the Dow Jones index simply disappeared "and nobody knew where it went". No person was in control; it was simply a bunch of computer algorithms battling it out...This, he says, is not information: it's culture..."If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark"...Because if it's social mobility you're after, the USA (followed closely by the UK) is the worst place to live on Earth...research has shown that the more unequal a country - ie, the greater the gap between rich and poor - the less people trust each other, the more heart disease they suffer, the greater number of murders there are, and the higher level of mental illness they suffer…”
  3. Swiss party looks to ban PowerPoint http://www.euronews.net/2011/07/06/swiss-party-looks-to-ban-powerpoint/A political party has spawned in Switzerland with the...aim of banning PowerPoint. The APPP (Anti-PowerPoint Party) says that the time wasted by the presentation software costs the Swiss economy 2.1 billion Swiss Francs (€1.7 billion) annually and €110 billion for the rest of Europe. The APPP bases its calculations on verified assumptions about the number of employees attending such meetings each week, and presumes that 85% of them find them pointless. Under the rules of the Swiss political system, the party only needs to obtain the signatures of 100,000 voters to be able to push through a national referendum on the matter…”

DHMN Technology
  1. austriamicrosystems Selected by Google for Arduino Prototyping Platform http://www.sys-con.com/node/1899604austriamicrosystems...announced that its EasyPoint™ mini joystick module has been selected by Google for their new Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK)...The new reference design platform uses the N50P111 EasyPoint™ joystick module with the AS5013 linear Hall sensor IC to support a new user interface for developers. Google’s new Android Open Accessory Development Kit is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible...hardware and software. The Arduino board using the EasyPoint™ module operates with the Android OS and allows you to interact with your Android Phone and the entire environment...”
  2. The Singularity is Far: A Neuroscientist's View http://www.boingboing.net/2011/07/14/far.htmlRay Kurzweil, the prominent inventor and futurist, can't wait to get nanobots into his brain. In his view, these devices will be equipped with a variety of sensors and stimulators and will communicate wirelessly with computers outside of the body...In Kurzweil's scenario, brain nanobots could just as easily manipulate motor functions, cognitive processes, memories, emotions, and basic drives...Kurzweil predicts that by the late 2030s, we will be able to routinely scan an individual's brain with such molecular precision and with such a complete understanding of the rules underlying neuronal function and plasticity that we will be able to "upload" our mental life into a vastly powerful and capacious future computer...At that point, boundaries between brain, mind, and machine would fall away...I am a neurobiologist and I have spent the past 28 years engaged in studies of the cellular and molecular basis of memory and cognition. I am an optimist and a technophile, but I believe that I speak for the vast majority of brain researchers when I express serious doubts about Kurweil's timetable...”
  3. The sky's the limit http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2011/07/18/tiny_unmanned_craft_fly_into_danger_controlled_by_an_iphone/ “...Missy Cummings...director of MIT’s Humans and Automation Lab...has developed software to fly remote-controlled miniature aircraft with an iPhone...Cummings was a Navy fighter pilot for 10 years, flying F/A-18 Hornets and A-4 Skyhawks. Now she and her team of a dozen students are developing unmanned aerial vehicles...equipped with cameras...With funding fromBoeing, they are devising controllers that are easy to use - even for untrained operators...By having your own vehicle you can really survey the world in a much more realistic way...The iPhone application takes advantage of an accelerometer built into the phone. Operators can move the phone up, down, left, or right, as if it were a joystick, and the vehicle moves accordingly...Operators can watch video or look at snapshots taken by the onboard camera on the iPhone screen...operators are actually just nudging the vehicle along, since it knows how to stabilize itself and makes only small adjustments according to the directions it is given...”
  4. Arduino Launches Arduino Ethernet And Android Arduino Mega ADK http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/arduino-launches-arduino-ethernet-and-android-arduino-mega-adk-18-07-2011/ “...Arduino Mega ADK is Arduino’s take on the recently released an Arduino-derived open source accessory development kit (ADK) for Android phones and tablets, which has just been released by Google. The new board consists of a Arduino Mega 2560 with the addition of a USB Host chip that communicates with the phone and a powerful power supply capable of charging the connected phone...Arduino Ethernet combines a regular Arduino board with the Ethernet Shield to allow developers to add ethernet connectivity...The ADK is available for...$83...Arduino Ethernet...$56) and...$21...for the optional PoE module...”

Leisure & Entertainment
  1. Could the iPod Be On Its Deathbed? http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/07/ipod-deathbed/ “…the heyday of the MP3 player is over and done with...iPod sales have been steadily declining since their peak at 22.7 million in December 2008, and analysts estimate another 7.2 percent drop over the quarter that just ended. Apple still commands 70 percent of the MP3 player market...other mobile devices, namely smartphones and tablets, can do the job of an MP3 player...Apple dramatically revamped its line of iPods, even giving the iPod Touch some features that were unique to the iPhone 4...consumers...no longer have a need for the single-purpose MP3 player...It’s worth nothing that for the first time since the iPod Touch was introduced, it’s not being included in Apple’s Back to School promo as a freebie with a Mac purchase. The iPod Touch was replaced with a $100 iTunes gift card…”
  2. Showdown: Spotify vs. Rdio vs. Grooveshark vs. Pandora http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/07/14/showdown-spotify-vs-rdio-vs-grooveshark-vs-pandora/ “...In today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, we have a plethora of awesome options for discovering, sharing and enjoying music online, particularly in the U.S. Today the big news is that Spotify, the all-you-can-eat buffet of musical tunage, has officially launched in the U.S. But we’re also seeing...Grooveshark slowly creeping through the digital rights forest, oldies like Internet radio’s Pandora hanging onto the baby boomers, and new cool kids on the scene like the 11-month old Rdio surfing the waters with more beauty than a Californian sunrise. So, which music service is right for you...”
  3. Twitter Is The Newest Tool For Self-Published Stories http://www.fastcompany.com/1766338/your-next-bed-time-story-companion-may-be-twitter “...The Ice Race Cometh--A Twitter Tale is an original story, from the official SpongeBob writing team, and will consist of multiple tweets and images broadcast throughout each day from July 12th to July 15th...the team seems to be taking the Twittersodes seriously...The serial Twitter story is an appropriate use of social tech...Twitter is the perfect medium for this type of storytelling. It's genuinely "one to many" broadcasting, as opposed to Facebook's more shuttered social groups, and it's easy to follow a Twitter-fed storyline either as it unfurls among your more usual tweet feed items...It also doesn't require visiting an outside website to keep up with an episodic story--reading the updates can be as simple as asking you to click on a hashtag or your favorites list in a desktop Twitter app. And the "episodes" are presented cleanly from their original source, without comments to distract you from the developing plot (unless you choose to start a discussion, or follow an existing one via hashtagged tweets). From a publishing point of view, you can easily automate the episodic tweeting so it doesn't take much effort...”
  4. Visit to the GameSpy Indie Open House http://www.pcworld.com/article/234857/independent_gaming_our_visit_to_the_gamespy_indie_open_house.htmlIndependent game development is fast becoming big business, so PCWorld took a sneak peek at four of the five indie games being developed as part of IGN's Indie Open House project. It's kind of like a residency program for programmers, and the project provides the teams with free office space in San Francisco for six months, as well as licenses to use GameSpy Technology's online gaming development tools. Here's what we learned about the future of PC gaming after meeting with the next generation of developers and playing early builds of their upcoming games...”

Economy and Technology
  1. Dropbox Raising Massive Round at a $5B-Plus Valuation http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/12/dropbox-raising-massive-round-at-a-5b-plus-valuation/ “…Dropbox is finally moving on raising its next venture round and it’s a whopper...The real news are the numbers we’re hearing from multiple sources close to the company. Dropbox is looking to raise between $200 million and $300 million according to these sources. In terms of valuation, the company has already had multiple offers at a valuation north of $2 billion range, and recently more informal discussions in the $8 billion-valuation range. Our sources expect the valuation to end up in the $5 billion to $10 billion range…”
  2. Evernote grabs $50M to be everyone’s “second brain” http://gigaom.com/2011/07/13/evernote-grabs-50m-to-be-everyones-second-brain/Evernote, the popular cloud-based note-taking application, has pulled in $50 million in new funding...The new investment, which comes after a $20 million series C round last year October, will be used for aggressive growth and acquisitions as the company expands its offerings. The new money is another sign of increasing momentum for the popular service, which is now up to 11 million users...Evernote had just reached the 10 million-member mark a month ago after taking almost 1,000 days to reach the 5 million milestone. The company is racking up users on its way toward its goal of getting 1 million paid members...Evernote said last month that it has 400,000 paying subscribers…”
  3. Crittercism Raises $1.2 Million For App Support http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/13/crittercism-raises-1-2-million-from-kleiner-perkins-and-google-ventures-for-app-support/ “…Crittercism, a startup that provides support infrastructure for mobile apps...raised...seed funding round...While $1.2 million may not seem like a deal-size that is cause for a big fuss...the deal was pretty competitive and Crittercism had to turn investors away to make room in this round...the mobile application development services market is projected to grow to $100 billion by 2015 — seem to be confirmation of the serious growth happening (and coming to) mobile app development, and the potential of startups like Crittercism that provide support systems for these app developers…”

Civilian Aerospace
  1. How a mission to Mars could kill you http://news.discovery.com/space/mission-to-mars-health-risks-110718.html “...Despite several decades of research and development, a long-duration voyage to Mars is still on the drawing board...there are still major engineering and physiological hurdles to overcome...effects of background cosmic rays from extragalactic sources and extreme radiation events from the sun make space travel too hazardous for an estimated six months there and six months return...you would exceed acceptable levels of fatal cancer...We also worry about effects of radiation on the heart and the central nervous system...Lead shields actually create secondary radiation when struck by cosmic rays, while water, perhaps the best form of protection, would have to be several meters thick to get enough protection...Solution: Pick astronauts that have...a built-in genetic resistance to radiation damage. "We didn't know about this (ability) five or ten years ago...the human body falls apart without gravity...Bone loss of one percent per month...Cognitive problems including Alzheimer's-like symptoms...Weakness and lack of cardiovascular fitness...Muscle atrophy...when they arrive at Mars, there's nobody there to take care of them...Solution: Lots of time on a treadmill while in microgravity conditions...The crew needs...a rotating arm of one-kilometer diameter...the equivalent of the gravity felt on the Earth at sea-level...six or seven people in a confined space for 18 months...is likely to produce stress, tension and perhaps even severe psychiatric problems...the risk of "increased human performance errors due to sleep loss, fatigue, work overload, and circadian desynchronization; and, increased errors due to poor team cohesion and performance, inadequate selection/team composition, inadequate training, and poor psychosocial adaptation...NASA is also looking at special voice and facial movement monitors to diagnose early signs of stress...Only vegetarians will be allowed on a Mars trip, since meat can't be preserved in space...radiation can damage the vitamins in food supplies, and the loss of even one vitamin in the food chain could cause serious health effects over a long trip...the crew will have to grow its own food in some kind of greenhouse...Some experts say the answer to all the medical, radiation, food and psychological issues is to get there faster. Former astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz is developing an electric-nuclear plasma-powered rocket (called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, or "VASIMR") to cut the trip to 39 days...”
  2. Cocktails with SpaceX and Dragon http://satellite.tmcnet.com/topics/satellite/articles/197915-cocktails-with-spacex-dragon.htm “...SpaceX...always seems to has a new feature to point out on its hardware, new growth announcement to talk about, or some new hint on what it is working on...during a reception...at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum, the evening before STT-135/Atlantis left the launch pad for the final time...the featured guest at the reception was the company's first in-space Dragon capsule...SpaceX expects to conduct a Falcon 9/Dragon mission later this year with Dragon rendezvousing with the International Space Station (ISS) and being pulled in for docking. The demonstration will pave the way for SpaceX to start delivering cargo to the ISS in 2012 and returning "downmass" -- experiments, equipment -- back to Earth. In the post-shuttle era, cargo Dragon will provide a downmass capability of 3,000 kilograms; the only other vehicle providing downmass capability is the Soyuz capsule and most of its capacity is dedicated to returning astronauts back to earth with only 60 kg available for return...”
  3. Happy ‘Birthday’ Neptune http://news.discovery.com/space/neptune-completes-first-orbit-since-discovery-110712.html “...Neptune has only completed one whole orbit around the sun after being discovered 164.8 (Earth) years ago...As Neptune is located so far away from the sun (approximately 4.5 billion kilometers, 30 Astronomical Units (AU), or 30-times the sun-Earth distance), it takes over 164 Earth years to complete one full orbit around our star...”

Supercomputing & GPUs
  1. GPU Computing Wades Into the Mainstream http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-07-14/gpu_computing_wades_into_the_mainstream.html “…The idea that the most successful technologies become invisible doesn't yet apply to GPU computing, but it's getting there. This week there were a handful of major HPC system announcements based on GPU-equipped platforms, but you wouldn't have know that from the headlines...GPUs are beginning to fade into the background...Drexel University has installed a large cluster to be used for its astrophysics and molecular dynamics research...The 176 teraflops are attributed to 68K NVIDIA GPU cores in the machine. That works out to about 133 of the latest 512-core Tesla GPUs at 1.33 double precision teraflops per processor...Bright Computing notable contribution here is its support for GPUs...Today though, all cluster and workload managers support GPU computing to one extent or another...The idea is to help automate the management of the GPU resources in the cluster so that the system admins don't have to treat these CPU-GPU machines like exotic animals...Swinburne University of Technology in Australia is buying a Rackable C3108 /Altix UV combo system that will deliver 130 teraflops...the Swinburne machine will be used for astrophysics computations...the system will incorporate NVIDIA GPUs...it's a good bet that most of the flops are from the GPU side...even though these CPU-GPU machines are becoming more commonplace, I've noticed that the naming convention for them has not quite settled. Some are calling them hybrid systems, while others are referring to them as heterogeneous machines...Since the GPUs and CPUs are still discrete entities, heterogeneous seems the better nomenclature here…”
  2. EEDP Spotlight on Advanced Computing Lab http://ge.geglobalresearch.com/blog/eedp-spotlight-on-advanced-computing-lab/ “...I’m a Computer Scientist in the Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP)....I also wanted to talk about some of the...(super) cool software projects GE is working on...feel free to reach out...on Twitter (@EdisonsDesk, @CTMcConnell) and we can chat further...the Advanced Computing Lab...was the lab where I did my first rotation...watch this YouTube video...a “just for fun” project that some of the lab members worked on in their spare time...Although the focus is not on hardware, a deep understanding of how computer architectures work is essential for getting the algorithms and applications to meet performance specs. For example, CUDA and OpenCL are programming languages that are used to create programs which run on non-conventional processors like Graphical Processing Units (GPUs). A GPU can be used to achieve highly parallel, extremely fast mathematical processing by taking advantage of hundreds of processing cores. To achieve such fast processing the software/algorithms team need to understand how these cores are laid out on the GPU, how these cores share memory and how to efficiently transfer data between the CPU and GPU...the ACL has been working on...projects such as...Radiation detection...Next generation computation on board aircraft...Large scale data intensive simulations of alloys, turbine designs...Biomedical imaging...”
  3. rCUDA 3.0a released http://gpgpu.org/2011/07/17/rcuda-3-0a-released “... rCUDA 3.0 (Remote CUDA), the Open Source package that allows performing CUDA calls to remote GPUs, has been released. Major improvements included in this new version are...Added compatibility support with CUDA 4.0 environment...Updated CUBLAS API to 4.0...General performance improvements...”
  4. fMRI Analysis on the GPU http://gpgpu.org/2011/07/17/fmri-analysis-on-the-gpuFunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) makes it possible to non-invasively measure brain activity with high spatial resolution. There are however a number of issues that have to be addressed. One is the large amount of spatio-temporal data that needs to be processed...A random permutation test with 10 000 permutations, with smoothing in each permutation, takes about 50 s if three GPUs are used, compared to 0.5 – 2.5 h with an optimized CPU implementation. The presented work will save time for researchers and clinicians in their daily work and enables the use of more advanced analysis, such as non-parametric statistics, both for conventional fMRI and for real-time fMRI.”

*****

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