2011/08/23

NEW NET Weekly List for 23 Aug 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 23 August 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. Yahoo uses Facebook to test six degrees of separation http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18685746 “…The world's population has almost doubled since social psychologist Stanley Milgram's famous but flawed "Small World" experiment gave people a new way to visualize their interconnectedness with the rest of humanity…Starting this week, social scientists from Facebook and Yahoo are hooking into that vast digital network to discover how many online connections, on average, it takes for people to relay a message to a "target" -- someone they don't know, in countries around the world…Milgram's conclusion was based on a small number of letters making it to their target, leaving room for doubt about his findings among many social scientists…"You really couldn't have done this until very recently," said Duncan Watts, Yahoo's principal research scientist who is leading the experiment. "It's a milestone, in terms of it's the kind of research question you can answer now that you could have imagined 50 years ago but that you couldn't have answered 50 years ago -- or even 15 years ago…”

2. Microsoft cloud downtime http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-issues-statement-on-cloud-downtime Microsoft…reported that its Office 365 was experience a disruption and not long after that its SkyDrive service was also experiencing a similar issue. Microsoft has officially commented…We worked to isolate the issue and we are beginning to see service restoration. We continue to investigate the root cause of this issue.”…For users of the Cloud, downtime such as this is a stark reminder that they are not in control of their data…they must be ready and willing to deal with all outages such as these. Fortunately for Microsoft, the outage was only a couple of hours…”

3. Evernote Buys Image Sharing App Skitch, Plans On Offering It For Free http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/18/evernote-acquires-image-sharing-site-skitch/ “…Evernote…has acquired Skitch, one of the best-selling apps on the Mac App Store. The app used to cost $20 currently in the app store, but Evernote will offer it for free…Also announced at the conference was the launch of Skitch for Android, which is available for free today. Versions for the iPhone and iPhone are already in the works…Our users take and share millions of photos and screenshots already, but the experience isn’t as good as it could be…Registered Evernote users are today at 12.5 million versus 3.9 million a year ago…The company is also bringing on 42K new people a day versus 11K a year ago, a 277% increase. Evernote uses a freemium model and its paying users are at 568K versus 92K a year ago…a 513% increase…the longer people use Evernote the more likely they are to pay — while 1% of people are using the product’s paid version after a month, 8% are paid after a year and after 3 years 25% of users are converted to paying customers…”

4. Skype Acquiring Startup GroupMe for Group Text Messaging http://www.pcworld.com/article/238566/skype_acquiring_startup_groupme_for_group_text_messaging.html “…Skype…has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GroupMe, a startup that offers a free group text messaging and conference call service on mobile phones…GroupMe offers its application on Apple's iPhone, Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and phones running the Android operating system…A short message service (SMS) version for users without smartphones is also available in the U.S. GroupMe also introduced earlier this month a new version of its application that supports direct messaging to a person in the group, and "questions" that can be directed to a few people, members of a group, or all known users, or broadcast over Twitter and Facebook…Microsoft…has agreed to buy Skype for US$8.5 billion…Microsoft said it will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms…”

5. Download.com wraps downloads in bloatware, lies about motivations http://www.extremetech.com/computing/93504-download-com-wraps-downloads-in-bloatware-lies-about-motivations “…Download.com was…devolving into a site every bit as bothersome as the many third-tier software repositories that hide genuine links below clever-placed advertisements and bundle toolbars…At Download.com, page designs have been repeatedly tweaked over the years to push its updater software (now called TechTracker), TrialPay offers, and the site’s mailing list…Now, things have taken a turn for the worse: Cnet has begun wrapping downloads in a proprietary installer…But it gets worse. Cnet knows that there’s something wrong with what they’re doing, and they’re trying to deceive developers and users…there’s a note posted to let developers know why the bundling is taking place: “for the users.” Yes, Cnet thinks we’re clueless…”

Gigabit Internet

6. Google Fiber in Kansas City – Imagining the Ultra High-Speed Internet http://brainzooming.com/google-fiber-in-kansas-city-imagining-the-ultra-high-speed-interne/9052/ What would you do with internet connectivity 100 times faster than you have right now in your home? How would access to an ultra high-speed broadband network fundamentally change the communities of which you are a member? These questions were at the heart of live video-feed remarks by Matt Dunne, Manager of US Community Affairs for Google at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce 2011 Innovation Conference as he discussed the Google Fiber build out in Kansas City…Most homes have internet connections with speeds 1% of the one gigabit promised…One objective is learning how the connectivity and apps developed to take advantage of the ultra high-speed broadband network will change peoples’ lives in the community…the project provides the opportunity to bring innovations Google is developing to Kansas City. The community will be an ideal test bed for further innovation as developers are able to test and introduce new tools with a critical mass of consumers who can provide feedback…For Google, success will be measured by actual use of the network by a high concentration of consumers across socio-economic categories to make differences in their lives. Dunne highlighted two specific areas: Making sure neighborhoods understand the value of the ultra high-speed internet connectivity and are generating demand for it…Delivering support for organizations vital to daily lives…through creating apps that make a difference in schools, libraries, health centers, senior centers…what it will mean for Kansas City is an open question for citizens, developers, and innovators to explore and shape…He noted locally-hosted gatherings planned around specific topics (telemedicine and entertainment were mentioned) with the intention of prompting formation of new ideas, connections, and networks of innovators.”

7. WCTA and Breda Move Fiber Forward Bringing Advanced Broadband Services to Iowa and Minnesota http://www.marketwatch.com/story/two-iowa-broadband-stimulus-winners-select-calix-for-regional-projects-2011-08-22 “…two Iowa Broadband Stimulus award winners -- Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association (WCTA) and Breda Telephone Corporation…have each selected the Calix Unified Access portfolio to bring advanced broadband services to rural subscribers in Iowa and Minnesota…WCTA will use its $19.6 million award, which consists of a $9.8 million grant and a $9.8 million loan…to offer advanced broadband services, including Internet protocol television (IPTV) services, ultra high-speed data services, and reliable voice services to 21 communities in six counties across northern Iowa and southern Minnesota…Breda will use its $5.2 million award, which consists of a $1.8 million grant, a $784 thousand loan, and $2.6 million in matching private investment…to provide advanced high-speed broadband to underserved areas…Breda is also…pulling fiber all the way to the premises across all customers in its Breda and Lidderdale exchanges to deliver advanced IPTV, ultra high-speed data services capable of delivering up to 1 gigabit per second to the premises…”

8. Young group bankrolling area startups http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/aug/07/young-group-bankrolling-area-startups/ The second floor of what once was Chattanooga’s first department store would be unrecognizable to the late David Loveman…fresh college graduates work late into the night on Loveman’s second floor, poring over a mismatched array of computer monitors as they create what could be the next Twitter, the next Amazon or something completely new…the founders of the newly minted Lamp Post Group…are themselves successful Chattanooga entrepreneurs. The business plan is an unusual one: Founders give advice, space, capital and office resources to entrepreneurs with ideas that are “scalable,” or have the ability to grow explosively and profitably. In the past eight months, Lamp Post has launched a half dozen companies, and organizers are looking for more new deals every day…Alling and his partners realized that they enjoyed launching companies more than running them, and that they wanted to try out their ideas in Chattanooga. They’ve grown Access America, their first venture, at a “feverish” pace into a $175 million revenue stream — in less than a decade…“Lamp Post handles all the back-office stuff…The company shares a number of designers, Web developers and programmers who can be shuffled around from venture to venture as needed…Lamp Post’s venture companies…are expected to be self-sufficient within a year and living on their own…Lamp Post buys a controlling interest of the company in its infancy, and slowly gives it back as the founders reach contractual milestones…Wamp, the communicator for the group, calls the strategy “paying it forward.”…“We see three to five new business deals per week,” Alling said. “People say, ‘You’re in Chattanooga, how many good ideas can there be in Chattanooga,’ but there’s this backlog of great ideas.” “Allen was the first residential customer to sign up for EPB’s [gigabit Internet],” Studer said, gesturing to Davis, who didn’t look up from his laptop. “Our interest is in investing in good companies…”

9. Chattanooga to test free Wi-Fi http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/jul/28/chattanooga-test-free-wi-fi/ “…When EPB looked at ways to bring high-speed broadband to Chattanooga, it initially rejected Wi-Fi…our topography made building a citywide wireless network a pretty expensive endeavor,” he said. So EPB instead built a fiber-to-the-home network with the fastest speed in the nation. Now Chattanooga’s Mark Keil, chief information officer for the city, is busying himself taking broadband to the next level — by cutting the wires and taking broadband to the air. He’s already knee-deep in wire-free broadband, after receiving about $30 million in federal and state grants to build a citywide wireless mesh network designed to work on top of EPB’s fiber-optic gigabit cable…he’s considering a plan to turn on consumer Wi-Fi for free in certain areas, once he nails down exactly how much it will cost taxpayers. “I’m going to do a test and turn on public access,” he said. “I’m bringing geeks from around the city, trying to figure out where would be the best place just to turn it on.”…contrary to popular belief, there’s nothing free about free Wi-Fi…because the city has to pay for data usage charges incurred in the process…“I want to do more than just turn it on in the parks.” It’s a popular idea with technologists, tourism officials and the general public, who would gain the ability to surf around the city at speeds greater than typical cellular speeds…Widespread Wi-Fi could also spur the creation of more mobile applications that take advantage of the greater bandwidth to deliver Chattanooga-specific experiences…Though DePriest would like to see Wi-Fi corridors and hot spots all over the city, “Cities have had a really hard time with the notion of blanketing the airwaves with Internet connectivity.”For-profit companies take the threat so seriously that they mounted a lengthy but ultimately unsuccessful legal challenge to EPB’s right to build its fiber-optic gigabit network, arguing that it infringed on their service areas. EPB won the day because it argued that it was providing a service not widely available…”

10. 95Mbps may be the NBN’s real-world limit http://delimiter.com.au/2011/08/19/95mbps-may-be-nbns-real-world-limit/ “…trials of National Broadband Network fibre connections through several different Internet service providers have shown speeds topping out at 95Mbps, five percent slower than the NBN’s overall theoretical limit of 100Mbps…the first dozen or so of Exetel customers had now had their NBN services connected and were able to use their connections…A surprisingly large percentage of the trial orders are for 100Mbps/40Mbps services, and…the service is delivering around 95Mbps down and 32Mbps up, with a 10ms ping time…A NBN spokesperson responded to the issue by noting that the company was building a network designed to achieve downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps at the wholesale Layer 2 (Ethernet) level. Most speed tests operate at the Layer 3 (Internet Protocol) level and the extra packet overhead will typically result in lower measurement speeds…speeds actually experienced by end-users will depend on a number of factors including, in part, protocol factors, the retail broadband plan they choose, their ISP’s network capacity, the number of simultaneous users on the service, the server’s equipment and configuration, their equipment and their in-premises connection.”…the ISP’s experiences in Tasmania showed that each point of interconnect region located around Australia would need at least 200Mbps of capacity supplied to it (which NBN Co refers to as the ‘Connectivity Virtual Circuit’) in order to ensure most customers would be able to access the maximum speeds under their NBN connections…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

11. Google Highlights Trouble in Detecting Web-based Malware http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/238370/google_highlights_trouble_in_detecting_webbased_malware.html Google issued a new study on Wednesday detailing how it is becoming more difficult to identify malicious websites and attacks, with antivirus software proving to be an ineffective defense against new ones…Google said it displays 3 million warnings of unsafe websites to 400 million users a day. The company scans the Web, using several methods to figure out if a site is malicious. "Like other service providers, we are engaged in an arms race with malware distributors,"…The company uses a variety of methods to detect dangerous sites. It can test a site against a "virtual machine honeypot," which is a virtual machine that visits a website and notes its behavior. It also uses browser emulators for the same purpose, which record an attack sequence…Other methods include ranking a website by reputation based on its hosting infrastructure, and another line of defense is antivirus software…”

12. Is Apple Using Photoshop to Fake Pics in Lawsuits? http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/08/is-apple-faking-evidence-to-crush-the-competition-not-likely.ars Following allegations that Apple may have purposely doctored a photo of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to elicit an injunction from a German court, there are now new allegations that Apple is up to the same photo-resizing tricks in The Netherlands. According to Webwereld…Apple has now submitted a flawed comparison of the iPhone 3G and Galaxy S smartphones…Samsung's lawyer accused Apple of "manipulating visual evidence, making Samsung's devices appear more similar to Apple's."…The photos of Apple and Samsung's competing tablets submitted to the German court were allegedly squished to make the Galaxy Tab's aspect ratio more closely resemble the iPad's. In the Dutch filing, side-by-side photos of the iPhone and Galaxy S were…sized to be the same height…There is also doubt that the image differences noted by Webwereld in the German case would be enough to sway the court. According to BBC News, the judge in Germany did not base his decision against Samsung on Apple's photos alone. He also physically examined both devices before deciding that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 likely violated Apple's registered Community Design enough to issue an injunction…”

13. Beware of Juice-Jacking http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/08/beware-of-juice-jacking/ “…your smartphone’s battery is about to die…You don’t have the power cable needed to charge the device, but you do have a USB cord that can supply the needed juice. Then you spot an oasis: A free charging kiosk. Do you hesitate before connecting your phone to this unknown device that could be configured to read most of the data on your phone, and perhaps even upload malware? The answer, for most folks, is probably not. The few people I’ve asked while researching this story said they use these charging kiosks all the time…In the three and a half days of this year’s DefCon, at least 360 attendees plugged their smartphones into the charging kiosk built by the same guys who run the infamous Wall of Sheep, a public shaming exercise at DefCon aimed at educating people about the dangers of sending email and other online communications over open wireless…Brian Markus…said he and fellow researchers Joseph Mlodzianowski and Robert Rowley built the charging kiosk to educate attendees about the potential perils of juicing up at random power stations…Anyone who had an inclination to could put a system inside of one of these kiosks that when someone connects their phone can suck down all of the photos and data, or write malware to the device…When no device was connected, the LCD screen fitted into the charging station displayed a blue image with the words “Free Cell Phone Charging Kiosk.” The screen switched to a red warning sign when users plugged in any devices. The warning message read: “You should not trust public kiosks with your smart phone. Information can be retrieved or downloaded without your consent…”

14. Apple, Nokia, Qualcomm line up next big patent score: InterDigital http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/17/interdigital-apple-nokia-patent/ “…the patent wars continue. Apple, Nokia, and Qualcomm are among many companies eying wireless telecom specialist InterDigital, holder of a major patent portfolio…the company’s auction is expected to be heavily contested. Google remains a potential bidder in InterDigital, but I don’t expect the company is going to fight too hard to win. The Motorola acquisition was Google’s biggest yet, and the company will likely hold off before any other major purchases. Google’s absence in the auction could dramatically lower InterDigital’s potential sell price. The company holds 8,800 patents in its portfolio, including key 3G and 4G LTE patents, Reuters reports. Over 50 percent of the 3G market is already licensing InterDigital’s patents in some form…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

15. Is high-speed (e.g. 4G) cellular service a self-defeating proposition? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/technology/as-mobile-networks-speed-up-data-gets-capped.html “…Cellphone plans that let people gobble up data as if they were at an all-you-can eat buffet are disappearing, just as new data-gobbling Internet services from Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Apple and the like are hitting the market or catching on…These services use far more data than simply checking e-mail or browsing the Web, so their heaviest users may find themselves running over their plan’s monthly allotment and paying extra…AT&T said that if current trends continued, the company’s network would carry more data in the first two months of 2015 than in all of 2010…Verizon’s monthly plan offering two gigabytes of data for $30, announced last month, costs the same as its old unlimited plan…it doesn’t take much for a media-hungry smartphone user to chew through two gigabytes; watching Netflix video for more than roughly 20 minutes a day will do the trick…as you give people faster devices with faster speeds, it’s going to be a lot easier to hit that two-gig mark…Sprint is the last carrier to hold onto its unlimited data plan, but analysts and industry experts say it is unlikely to last…a technology consultant in Clearwater, Fla. said he was frustrated that his connection might be slowed if T-Mobile decided he was using too much data. “These new services are coming out that let us do more, but the pipe is getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “And costing us more…” [I’ve read several articles that caution 4G phone buyers that if they get good 4G coverage, it will cost them a lot more than using a 3G phone; some even recommend against using 4G service – ed.]

16. AT&T tries to wring every last cent from SMS http://gigaom.com/2011/08/18/att-tries-to-wring-every-last-cent-from-sms/ AT&T is doing away with its $10 tier for 1,000 text messages a month for new customers, making it a choice between a $20 unlimited plan or 20 cents per text message. AT&T said it’s an effort to “streamline” its text messaging plans, and that it won’t affect existing customers, even those who switch handsets…text messaging growth was just 8.7 percent in the second half of 2010 compared to the previous six months, a slow down that threatens the bottom line of many carriers who rely on SMS revenue. Text messages are very cheap for operators, and bring in significant profits…”

17. AT&T sues customers seeking to block T-Mobile deal http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/17/us-tmobile-att-lawsuits-idUSTRE77G59020110817 AT&T Inc is turning to the federal courts to thwart an effort led by law firm Bursor & Fisher to derail AT&T's $39 billion takeover bid for Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile. In eight lawsuits filed last week, AT&T accused Bursor & Fisher and a second plaintiffs' firm, Faruqi & Faruqi, of trying to pressure AT&T into "an extortionate settlement" by encouraging AT&T customers to file multiple claims against the merger. Bursor & Fisher launched a "Fight the Merger" campaign in July, saying the megadeal would violate federal antitrust law and restrict competition…AT&T argued that the claims, brought under antitrust law, could not be decided in arbitration…The suits are a dramatic turnaround for AT&T, which just last November argued strongly in favor of arbitration in the U.S. Supreme Court case, AT&T v. Concepcion…”

18. Are Free Motorola Phones in Our Future? http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2011/08/17/are-free-motorola-phones-in-our-future-a-vc%E2%80%99s-take-on-why-google-is-buying-motorola/ I was invited to go on Bloomberg West TV on Monday when news broke of Google’s plan to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion in cash. I hadn’t had much time to digest the news before going on live television and found myself verbalizing my gut instinct: that is, I think Google will at some point give Motorola phones away for free in a profoundly disruptive move to own the mobile advertising framework. I now have had a day to think about what I said—and I still stand by it. As a venture capitalist with investments across a number of mobile startups, my advice to my portfolio companies is simple: plan for a scenario in which Google gives away Motorola phones for free and imagine how the market would be shaped in its wake…”

19. Augmented Reality Maps and Directions Coming to iPhone http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20094154-248/apple-patent-hints-at-augmented-reality-camera-app/ “…A patent application unearthed today and detailed by Patently Apple, suggests Apple could be planning to bring augmented reality-based mapping and map search features to its camera app. The patent application (PDF), entitled "augmented reality maps," details using the iPhone's camera and onboard sensors to pull up information about what's nearby. This is combined with a way to search, similar to what users can currently find in the maps app…In the patent, Apple describes that the need for such an application is especially important for providing people with a non-directions based approach for finding their way around, especially if they're not familiar with the city they're in. "For example, an instruction that directs a user to go north on Main Street assumes that the user can discern which direction is north," the patent says. "Further, in some instances, street signs might be missing or indecipherable…the example application very clearly looks like the current first-party camera application that Apple ships with its iOS devices, complete with a toggle to switch between the video and still camera modes, as well as a shortcut to the camera roll--all things that suggest the feature would end up there instead of in the maps app…”

20. Why your next smartphone may have a larger HD screen http://gigaom.com/mobile/why-your-next-smartphone-may-have-a-larger-hd-screen/ Samsung is reportedly shrinking down the size of full high-definition screens and will create them for large smartphones and small tablets. The company’s Super AMOLED Plus technology…will support 1280×720 resolution displays on mobile devices, exceeding Apple’s Retina Display which currently provides a 960×640 resolution…We can expect 5″ to 6″ smartphones in fall 2011…Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus technology is better seen than described; the display colors are extremely vivid when compared to any other screens. Here in the U.S., one of the first smartphones to use it was the Samsung Infuse 4G on AT&T’s network. I was blown away by the colors on the 4.5-inch display…carrying the Infuse with 4.5-inch screen wasn’t a problem for my hands or my pockets…Samsung’s fastest selling phone, the Galaxy S II with 5 million sales in 85 days, uses a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display; clearly the larger size isn’t hurting sales…”

Apps

21. Android users only spend time on top apps http://gigaom.com/2011/08/18/android-users-only-spend-time-on-top-apps/ Android users have about 250,000 apps to choose from but most have little use for any of them outside the top 50…according to new data from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics…the top 10 Android apps account for 43 percent of the time spent on all mobile apps by Android users. And when you look at the top 50 apps, 61 percent of the time spent is on these apps…if you’re an app maker on Android, you’re facing long odds at being used if you’re even in the bottom half of the top 100. And if you’re lost among the rest of the 249,550 apps, good luck getting any usage…The growing picture here is that Android has a real issue in making sure that more developers can thrive in the Android Market. If you’re a developer and you can’t afford to pay for marketing or you don’t have some amazing viral hit, it looks like it’s very hard to get your app used and that makes it hard to crack profitability on Android for all but the biggest apps…”

22. Chinese developers take a bite of the Apple http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=6B5B19EE-1A64-67EA-E48C4FDDD16485B6 If you've ever gone to Apple's mobile app store and purchased games like High Noon, Gamebox1 or Doodletruck, then you've downloaded an app from the burgeoning Chinese software development community. Software developers in China had historically been faced with a number of hurdles when it came to selling products in the U.S., included distribution, marketing, payment, and a host of cultural issues…Apple's app store cleared away most of this hurdles, sparking a new wave of software development, mostly focused on games…"High Noon," a fighting game developed by…Beijing-based game design company Exoweb…was recently ranked as the 14th most-purchased app at in the U.S. app store…there are more than 100 iOS apps developers in China whose apps - mostly interactive games -- have been widely purchased at Apple's global app stores…the company was trying to target a Western audience right from the start…The reason? Not only are Chinese consumers less used to paying for apps, but few have the dual-currency credit cards necessary to make payments at the app store…Instead, most Chinese iPhone users jailbreak their phones…Targeting the global market may bring companies more revenue, but it also poses a big challenge to Chinese developers, and not just when it comes to cultural barriers, says Sun Peilin, analyst at Beijing-based research firm…There is a lack of creativity, he points out. "A lot of China-made apps are just copying foreign apps."…Chinese developers are beginning to look at the Android app market as well, but not with the same degree of interest…"Apple App Store is simple, independent and has global reach," he says. "All we have to do is make good apps and send them to Apple."…the payment system of Android Market is immature, a major strike against it for a lot of app developers…"Most Android apps are free…also, the store doesn't have an efficient marketing system like Apple's." Due to the fast growing Android device users in China, Tang says his company has started to work on Android apps…the Android Market is actually banned in China, due to the tumultuous relationship between the Chinese government and Google…Instead, China has its own Android…third-party stores like Hiapk, and stores set up by phone makers such as Lenovo…”

23. Boston’s Best Apps: Gregory Raiz, Clock Radio, SketchPad, Tip Calculator http://bostinnovation.com/2011/08/19/bostons-best-apps-gregory-raiz-clock-radio-sketchpad-tip-calculator/ Name: Gregory Raiz…Age: 34…Number of apps created: A little over 50. We have a little over 23 of them linked on our website, but there are many others we can’t post about. We have about a dozen house apps that we’ve developed for our company and many others that we’ve worked on for Boston area companies…Creating apps since: The app store launched. Our tip calculator app was released in the 2009 early days of the AppStore. SketchPad app was released on the launch day of the iPad…Day job: Founder and CEO, Raizlabs…Our app ideas come from our internal ideas list. We have about 50-100 ideas on our list at any one time. When we have some capacity we work on some of our own app projects. We try to push the technology or UI with our own apps. Often times our own needs represent our own development efforts. Right now, we’re developing our own project called AppBlade.com that’s a tool for other app developers to help them build and deploy great apps…We generally look to understand how users interact with their phones and what problems they have. We often observe people using our apps to better learn what works and what doesn’t…Boston has a great community of developers building apps. We run a meetup for local iPhone developers called DrinksOnTap.org where we meet up and give demos of the apps we’re working on…”

24. Twitter launches Bootstrap, open-source tools for making web apps http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/08/twitter-launches-bootstrap-tools-for-making-web-apps.html “…Bootstrap is an open source set of files written in CSS (or Cascading Style Sheets, a programming language used to dictate how a website or web app looks and works) that covers some of the building blocks of most web apps, such as buttons, tables and forms, page templates, app navigation and even stylistic matters such as typography and color gradients. The simple and small tools (at about only six kilobytes in size) released by Twitter, on the popular code sharing site GitHub, are the same basic tools used by Twitter developers for the social network's own webpages and apps…Earlier on at Twitter, programmers were more focused on building the social network to meet users' needs than building it with coding consistency…"Inconsistencies among the individual applications made it difficult to scale and maintain them," he said. "Bootstrap began as an answer to these challenges." Now, the same tools Twitter users are open to the Web and anyone who wants to use them or make them better, or "fork" the tools and modify them to build something else…”

Open Source

25. Open hardware, or open source hardware? http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/commons-law/2011/08/open-hardware-or-open-source-hardware/ “…Open Source Hardware…comes with the recipe/blueprints/source code…so that you can reproduce it yourself, and Open Hardware…comes with complete specifications so that you can interface to it without any nasty surprises…Open source hardware is better (from the user’s perspective), but open hardware is definitely a step in the right direction…The only thing you have to be a bit careful about when talking about open source hardware is that it's more difficult to draw the boundary between source and object than it is with software. For example, I'd say an open source car is still an open source car if the complete design docs are available, even if the motors are individual proprietary units and you don't have the source for them, so long as the specification of the motors is sufficient for you to do what you want with them…”

26. Red Hat CEO At LinuxCon: I Have No Idea What’s Next http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/17/red-hat-ceo-at-linuxcon-i-have-no-idea-whats-next/ Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat…delivered a terrific opening keynote presentation for LinuxCon…After a quick summary of some of the major milestones Linux has seen over the last twenty years, he jumped into the heart of his keynote: what’s next? Whitehurst wasted no time in answering this question: “I have no idea.”…Linux has seen so much growth in so many markets that it is almost a foolish exercise to try to make predictions about what’s next for Linux…The freedom to use Linux for any purpose, for free, has spawned many of the things we now take for granted: Amazon, Facebook, Google. Could any of these have succeeded to the extent that they have if they were required to purchase expensive proprietary software before they rolled out their products?...The open source development model used by Linux has seen some remarkable, and in some cases ironic, collaboration…The National Security Agency wrote the Security Enhanced Linux extensions which are now a fundamental part of Red Hat and a few other distributions. The work the NSA did made it so secure that Linux is now the most secure operating system certified by the Russian government…Whitehurst shared a recent conversation he had with Facebook’s CTO, in which he was asked “Why do you guys release so much of your infrastructure work for free, when you know your competitors are going to use it, too?” The answer: it’s a moral issue. They feel that that have a responsibility to make the world a better place for everyone — contributors and competitors alike…”

27. San Diego open-source software makers meet up and geek out http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/18/san-diego-open-source-software-makers-meet-and-gee/ “…A gaggle of software developers and an Internet celebrity sit down for a nighttime talk in the bowels of a massive computer-chip-development company…the San Diego techies…gather twice monthly in Qualcomm’s massive research facility to discuss the who’s who and what’s what of the computer world, this meeting was no joke…“A lot of the developers are generally more introverted,” said Phelan Riessan, a local Internet software developer who organizes the bimonthly RefreshSD meet-ups…The software developers, computer system administrators and freelance web designers who attended RefreshSD last week are part of a highly decentralized industry that places little stock in face-to-face communication. Online meeting suites and rapid-fire instant messaging services have made personal contact all but obsolete in the tech field. But programmers and interface designers are reaching out to each other. Their reasons are myriad: some seek to form business connections to store away for use in a later project, while others want to find friends with similar interests and ambitions…”

SkyNet

28. Motorola may be an Android-protection solution with a much bigger picture http://www.businessinsider.com/google-motorola-steven-levy-2011-8 “…Steven Levy…spent hundreds of hours with Googlers for his book so he knows more about the company than any other non-Googler…Levy…wouldn't have predicted that Google would have bought Motorola but it's not surprising because Google likes to take big bets and make big leaps…The way this whole thing seems to be going is to protect the Android operating system, and when they began to figure out how to dig themselves out of this patent hole and as is often the case with Larry, the solution winds up to be much bigger, and encompasses some other opportunity…he likes to…come up with a scheme that not only addresses the problem but comes up with something big in addition…they're…enamored by the idea of doing interesting things that you can only do if you own the hardware company along with a software company…”

29. Cloud computing: see the weather on Google Maps http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/08/rain-or-shine-see-weather-in-google.html “…Today, we’re adding a weather layer on Google Maps that displays current temps and conditions around the globe, and will hopefully make travel and activity planning easier. To add the weather layer, hover over the widget in the upper right corner of Google Maps and select the weather layer from the list of options. When zoomed out, you’ll see a map with current weather condition…” http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/18/google-maps-weather-layer-is-strangely-dissapointing/ Google has finally added weather data to its maps, but is this really the best it can do?...the new layer is somewhat useful, but it doesn’t seem like a very serious effort, and it pales next to the wealth of weather apps and sites already available…The weather data is provided by Weather.com. Cloud satellite imagery for this layer, originally only featured on Google Earth, is supplied by the U.S. Naval Research Lab… “This is a very smart strategy for Weather.com,” says Kirk. “This is a case of ‘keep your enemies closer.’ If Google really decides to go there, they could dominate…”

30. Photovine: Google’s photo-sharing app http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/17/photovine/ “…If you’ve heard of Photovine before, it’s either because you read that Google registered the domain, or that they pushed the app into the App Store. But until now, the app has been in closed beta testing with a very limited number of users. Not anymore. As of now, the app is open for all to sign up. So what is Photovine? It’s a photo-sharing application for iOS that puts an emphasis on “vines”. That is, photo-centric moments or ideas that connect you with other users. Yes, that sounds a bit pretentious. And the best way to understand it is to watch the video below. But think of it this way: you take a picture of your favorite cologne. This prompts another user to take a picture of their favorite fragrances. And that prompts another user to do the same…This is an interesting concept because it spurs users into action. With an open-ended picture app you can take a picture of anything, and to some users, that’s daunting. What do you take a picture of when you can take a picture of anything? With Photovine, the experience is more guided. Or, if you wish to take a picture of anything, you can simply start your own vine…”

31. Google Launches Blog To Remind People Google Music Still Exists http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/17/google-music-magnifier/ Music Beta…does work — it just doesn’t offer much…Magnifier is a new music discovery site that Google has launched today as a compliment to Music Beta…Each day, the blog will be updated with a “song of the day” that can be added to your Music Beta account with one click…But Magnifier still doesn’t address one of Music Beta’s core incompetencies: there is no way to purchase music. In order to get music into Music Beta, you have to upload your own MP3s…Presumably, they’re still negotiating with the labels and rights holders to be able to incorporate either a music store or a streaming service into the Music product, but that’s clearly not ready to go yet…until it is ready to go, Music Beta won’t be close to resembling an “iTunes killer” or even an Amazon MP3 competitor…”

General Technology

32. Beyond Windows 8: Patent Hints To A Future Streaming OS http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/08/microsoft-patent-suggests-cloud-based-os/ “…it’s not surprising to see Microsoft patent what they are calling “Fast Machine Booting Through Streaming Storage”, which essentially means booting the OS from the cloud…“layers” is actually a series of local and networked storage systems that would prioritize sources as needed. According to Microsoft, this would result in faster loading time since the layers containing parts of the OS would be available immediately, as opposed to…having it saved as a local image before execution. Microsoft also has plans to extend this beyond the personal computer, possibly for use in tablets, smartphones, consumer electronics, set top boxes and etc…users without fast and stable internet connections may actually find this slower to boot…”

33. As HP bails and Dell fades, who will make PCs? http://www.infoworld.com/d/computer-hardware/hp-bails-and-dell-fades-who-will-make-pcs-170336 At the rate things are going, you may have no choice but to buy a Mac, even if you run Windows -- via Apple's Boot Camp feature or via desktop virtualization, of course. Though not a done deal, Hewlett-Packard said yesterday it was looking to exit the PC business, and Dell has been slowly withdrawing from the consumer PC market. With these two companies account for 30 percent of all PCs sold globally and 49.5 percent in the United States, you have to wonder who will take their place. Lenovo is in the best position, followed by Acer. Lenovo is already No. 3 globally, at 12 percent, versus Dell's 12.5 and HP's 17.5 percent shares…Lenovo…focuses on laptops, so those looking for desktop systems may be disappointed, but the number of desktop-style PCs sold continues to shrink. Lenovo also had the greatest growth rate of all PC makers globally…In the United States…HP accounts for 26.9 percent of PCs sold, and Dell for 22.6 percent. No. 3 -- and the fastest grower -- is Apple, which now accounts for 10.7 percent of all PCs sold in the nation. Toshiba comes in a 9.6 percent and Acer at 9.3 percent; Lenovo's presence is tiny…” http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/18/apple-wins-without-throwing-a-punch/ “…I’m sitting in a cafe. Around me, there are five people on laptops — four of them are MacBooks. Four other people are using tablets — all four are iPads. Welcome to the Post-PC world…“Consumers are changing the use of their PC,” HP CEO Leo Apotheker said…while HP may be the worldwide leader in PC sales with massive revenues, their actual profit from those sales has already been far surpassed by Apple. Further, while overall PC growth continues to contract, Apple’s Mac sales continue to grow and have outpaced the rest of the PC industry for 21 consecutive quarters. That’s over five consecutive years. That’s certainly another way to interpret ”Post-PC world”…Steve Jobs said last March when unveiling the iPad 2…It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities…”

DHMN Technology

34. No Technical Know-How Needed: Endless Forms Web Site Helps Users ‘Breed’ 3-D Printable Objects http://www.newswise.com/articles/no-technical-know-how-needed-endless-forms-web-site-helps-users-breed-3-d-printable-objects Forget draft tables and complicated computer-aided design programs: You dream it. Endless Forms helps you design it. Cornell University engineers are allowing anyone to point, click, collaborate and create online in the evolution of printable, three-dimensional objects. They aim to transform the design of art, architecture and artificial intelligence. Their new, interactive website EndlessForms.com, allows users to design their own things – from lamps and butterflies to furniture and faces – without any technical knowledge and using the same principles that guide evolutionary biology…EndlessForms.com users can develop objects just as gardeners raise roses – a “generation” of objects is displayed, and a user chooses objects they like, which are “bred” to produce the next generation. Over time, objects evolve and users can publish these objects…”

35. Open-Source Architecture: WikiHouse Puts Housing Design in Your Hands http://www.pcworld.com/article/238496/opensource_architecture_wikihouse_puts_housing_design_in_your_hands.html “…After decades in which prefab was relegated to postmodernist architects, the modern DIY movement got to it, resulting in WikiHouse: a mix of Wiki software, computer-aided design programming, and CNC machining techniques that puts building design straight into the hands of the end users…a London architectural practice released WikiHouse as a plugin for Google Sketchup…A video of their prototype is up on the website—a large shed-like structure, designed and built in about 24 hours…Once you have all the necessary components—Sketchup, WikiHouse, and a CNC mill, as well as a bunch of 18mm plywood—the WikiHouse process is surprisingly simple. You draw your house on Sketchup, borrowing components from other users as you like…the WikiHouse plugin…works its magic and spits out a set of milling drawings for the house. Those milling drawings, when given to a CNC mill, will cut standard 8’x4’, 18mm plywood into the frame and supports of your house…WikiHouse will be released with a Creative Commons license…”

Leisure & Entertainment

36. Ooyala powers ESPN’s billion-plus video streams http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/16/ooyala-now-powering-espns-billion-plus-video-streams/ “…Ooyala, the fast-growing online video services provider, is announcing that it has landed a big content partner: The so-called “worldwide leader in sports”, ESPN…It’s a serious feather in the cap and vote of confidence for the four-year-old video startup, as ESPN is one of the biggest producers of online video content, with 400 unique visitors hitting play on ESPN videos every second (and serving over 1 billion streams per month)…ESPN…had been using its own video system, based on Disney technology (ESPN is owned by Disney), and had been experimenting with a number of different video platforms and technologies…after vetting a number of third party platforms, Ooyala “landed a bit higher” than its competitors, because it enables the sports giant to shorten video load times and to take advantage of a multi-bit rate that can deliver HD at up to 2.8 Mbps…not only does Ooyala step up load times and increase playback quality, but…also offers its customers a realtime analytics engine, with detailed per-video and per-user reporting for both on-demand and live video streaming, as well as integrations with payment systems…it’s great to see ESPN finally offering a quality player with fast load times and a more linear on demand experience in which video queues and layouts feel more akin to a television viewing experience…”

37. Ford predicts the demise of the in-car CD player http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=31280 Ford…will no longer offer multi-disc CD changers in one of its most popular consumer vehicles; the Ford Focus…digital downloads now account for 98 per cent of all single sales…Sheryl Connelly, global trends and futuring manager at Ford, said: "In-car entertainment technology is moving more rapidly than almost any other element of the vehicle experience. The in-car CD player – much like pay telephones – is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology"…95 per cent of buyers of the all-new Focus have opted to equip the car with an auxiliary jack for connecting portable audio devices in addition to the now-standard USB port…Ford will in 2012 introduce Ford SYNC across a range of models. The new system, designed to cater to "tech-savvy customers" will offer multiple USB ports, an SD card slot, RCA inputs and Bluetooth connectivity…SYNC…will enable users to connect mobile broadband dongles, allowing for the creation of a Wi-Fi hotspot that will in turn provide on-the-go access to cloud services such as Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Music…”

38. Why Nintendo Doesn’t Need to Make iPhone Games http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2011/08/nintendo-iphone-games/ We’re never going to see Super Mario Bros. on the iPhone, no matter how much Nintendo’s investors may clamor for it…Some even say Nintendo should use its $10 billion cash reserves to aggressively acquire mobile- and social-game developers, as many other game publishers have done recently…it would be a bad move…Nintendo’s games are excellent only because the company takes several distinct and unique approaches to making them so…The company crafts its hardware and software in tandem; abandoning this practice would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater…Soon after Sega “went third-party,”…conventional wisdom said Nintendo should do the same thing: Abandon the GameCube, put Mario on the Xbox, Zelda on the PlayStation 2. It wasn’t the right move then, because Nintendo DS and Wii ate everyone’s lunch a few short years later. Neither does it make sense now…I believe Nintendo will, eventually, respond to the changing market. Years from now, the company will have everything it now derides as being useless and/or harmful: a flourishing digital store with persistent user accounts across devices, a wide variety of inexpensive games, downloadable versions of retail games and more power in the hands of developers…It’s not that Nintendo has been made irrelevant by Apple, it’s that old methods of game distribution are dying faster than Nintendo expected them to…Apple’s success is certainly challenging long-held assumptions about how much games should cost and how they should be developed and sold, but it doesn’t mean people are going to play games only on their smartphones from now on. This is a solvable problem, and Nintendo is a company with the wherewithal to solve it…”

Economy and Technology

39. Why HP is betting the farm on Autonomy http://gigaom.com/2011/08/18/hp-betting-farm-on-autonomy/ “…Hewlett-Packard announced plans to spend some $10.25 billion in cash to acquire Autonomy, the United Kingdom–based software and services company…Why is HP is taking such a huge leap?...It’s now-or-never time for HP…Businesses today deal with a ton of data, so Autonomy’s software to help manage that data will be in demand for years to come…Autonomy represents an opportunity for HP to accelerate our vision to…lead a large and growing space, which is enterprise information management…Margin-wise, Autonomy can hit the ground running at HP…” http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/38387/ “…Autonomy…gets close to $1 billion in revenue each year from software that can turn huge volumes of images, text, and video into useful statistics and insights for businesses. Acquiring that technology will enable HP…to exploit a trend dubbed "big data." Businesses are increasingly interested in finding ways to distill meaning from the growing piles of digital information, from tweets to video, flowing through our lives at work and at home…Autonomy's products enable companies to do things like analyze transcripts from call centers; discover which sales strategies work best; and process troves of e-mails and other documents to match whether what is being said and done comports with a company's legal responsibilities. Such analysis can be automated using software that looks for certain things automatically, or performed manually by a person entering queries…”

40. You Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash at Any Chase or Wells Fargo http://www.betabeat.com/2011/08/15/bitoin-exchange-chase-wells-fargo-exch/ “…ExchB, founded in May 2011, just started accepting cash and check payments via brick-and-mortar banks to speed up the sometimes-lengthy process of crediting an account with USD in order to buy BTC. “ExchB customers can walk up to any of over 15,000 locations nationwide and make a cash deposit at any Chase or Wells Fargo branch,” president David Sterry wrote last week. “Simply walk up to the teller, deposit your cash or check, and e-mail us an image of your receipt. Cash clears when we verify your e-mail and check deposits typically clear overnight…”

41. Groupon Is Running Low On Cash http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-low-on-cash-2011-8 “…Groupon is running low on cash. The company is not broke. It can also presumably raise additional capital in the private markets if its IPO gets further delayed. But Groupon's cash cushion relative to its liabilities is small--and the gap between the two is going the wrong way fast…If the company stumbles…or the economy suddenly turns south, Groupon could get into serious trouble in a hurry…Groupon is able to generate cash while losing money because it collects cash from Groupons the moment it sells them and doesn't have to pay some of the cash to merchants until 60 days later. When the company is growing rapidly, it generates a lot more cash from new Groupon sales than it has to pay out to redeem old Groupons…The trouble is that the cash Groupon generates from the Groupon sales is not all Groupon's to keep. It owes a big chunk of that cash to the merchants it sells Groupons for. And at the end of Q2, Groupon owed a lot more cash to merchants than it had on hand…”

Civilian Aerospace

42. Russian space hotel for a weightless night’s sleep http://www.worldcrunch.com/next-big-thing-space-tourism-weightless-night-s-sleep/3618 Russia has an ambitious plan for a tourist hotel in space. Orbital Technologies and RKK Energija are unveiling plans for it this week…A Soyuz rocket is supposed to launch the "Commercial Space Station" (CSS) - where the hotel would be located - into space. Orbital Technologies, a Russian firm, is expecting that, by the latest 2016, guests will be able to move into the four double rooms situated 350 km above the earth…it could also provide refuge for ISS astronauts in case of emergency. The ISS has several times been threatened by possible collisions with manmade space debris…Boeing…and Bigelow Aerospace…signed a contract to build an “inflatable hotel” in space, based on NASA research conducted in the late 1990s…Five years ago, a Russian rocket launched the experimental Bigelow "Genesis I" into orbit at an altitude of 450 km. The frame and cover folded out, as did a solar module to provide electrical energy for the habitat. A second habitat, "Genesis II," was successfully launched in 2007…Robert Bigelow…is looking ahead to the launch in 2014 of a more fully developed space module called "Sundancer."…Plans were announced in 2001 by MirCorp, a Russian firm, to build a cosmic hotel by 2004 – but the project never got past the announcement phase. Nor has anything further been heard from Spanish entrepreneur Xavier Claramunt, who years ago announced his "Galactic Suite" project. The Japanese construction company Shimizu, which was saying a decade ago it would be opening a space hotel in 2017, is leaving the project open on its website but making the realization of it contingent on whether or not a “low-cost fully reusable space vehicle is successfully developed…”

43. 2011 space elevator conference http://io9.com/5832012/this-massive-engineering-project-may-be-our-best-chance-at-colonizing-space “…at Microsoft's Redmond campus this weekend…scientists and enthusiasts talked about plans to build a space elevator. This enormous engineering project would allow us to haul materials, and eventually people, into high orbit without rockets…NASA is offering prizes of over $1 million to people who can come up with materials to make it happen…The working design…comes from a concept invented by NASA scientist Bradley Edwards…in the 1990s called The Space Elevator. His design calls for three basic components: A robotic "climber" or elevator car; a ground-based laser beam power source for the climber; and an elevator cable, the "ribbon," made of ultra-light, ultra-strong carbon nanotubes…It's attached to the Earth at the equator…The ribbon stretches 100,000 kilometers out into space, held taut by a counterweight that could be anything from a captured asteroid to a space station. Along the thread would be way stations where people could get off and transfer to orbiting space stations…We already have robotic climbers that can scale ropes and lift incredibly heavy objects…this is within the capabilities of our current technology…how will we send our robot lifters scuttling up that cable? The dominant theory…is that we'll have lasers on the space elevator platform, and a dish on the elevator that will capture the beam and convert it to power…In 2009, NASA awarded $900,000 to LaserMotive for their successful demonstration of this so-called "wireless power transmission" for space elevators. In 2012, NASA will offer a similar prize for a power-beaming lunar rover…An entire day was devoted to technical discussions about cutting-edge nanomaterials research and carbon nanotube production…Every year at the Space Elevator Conference, people bring carbon nanotube fibers and compete to see which can withstand the greatest strain before breaking. Winners stand to gain over a million dollars from NASA in its "strong tether" competition; sadly, this year, nobody had fibers that were strong enough…So we've got your elevator; we've got your power source; but we still don't have a cable you can use to climb out of the gravity well. When will we have it? We only have educated guesses, but it could be as soon as five years from now and as far away as decades…”

44. SpaceX looks for an extra base http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/08/18/7409909-spacex-looks-for-an-extra-base The blend of commercial and NASA business is a hallmark of the "new space" approach to spaceflight….For now, NASA is SpaceX's prime customer: SpaceX's current manifest anticipates flying four resupply missions to the space station during 2012…"We have built four rockets this year," Musk told me as we sat in his corner cubicle at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. "Last year we built two rockets, next year we'll build eight rockets. So our production rate is increasing quite rapidly."…NASA has set aside nearly $270 million to support the development of the Dragon and spaceships offered by three other companies (Blue Origin, Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corp.) as vehicles for station-bound astronauts. The Dragon is the only one of the four proposed spaceships that's already been in space…Musk noted…hopefully in about three years we'll be transporting astronauts."…Musk has already said that SpaceX is thinking about establishing an additional base for launching Falcon rockets, to supplement its facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and the pad that's currently being renovated at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California…"The third launch site would open early, in perhaps three or four years…we do think we need three launch sites in order to handle all of the launch demand that we have been able to get. "It would be a purely commercial launch site, whereas Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg are actually Air Force bases…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

45. Adventures with HPC Accelerators: GPUs and Intel MIC Coprocessors http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-08-15/adventures_with_hpc_accelerators:_gpus_and_intel_mic_coprocessors.html “…the buzz around hardware accelerators, particularly graphics processing units (GPUs), has been growing…GPUs and other emerging accelerates are being embraced by the scientific computing world as a way to speed up simulation, modeling, visualization, and data analysis…Lui’s talk focused on GPUDirect, a new transfer protocol that reduces latency and increases performance for end-to-end data transfers between GPUs…“There are many things you can do with the GPU capability and the good floating point arithmetic it provides,” Lui said. “But to scale out and use many machines together, you need Infiniband to get the communication across.”…GPUDirect allows for faster GPU to GPU communication…for two well-known molecular dynamics codes, AMBER and LAMMPS…GPUDirect reduced latency in the codes by 30 percent and improved overall performance by 20-40 percent…Intel’s many integrated core (or MIC, pronounced “Mike”) architecture is yet to hit the market…MIC is Intel’s answer to NVIDIA and AMD’s GPU challenge. Both GPUs and Intel’s MIC coprocessors allow far greater processing speeds by enabling many more threads to occur simultaneously. Both connect to the CPU through a PCI bus. The key difference between the two technologies, according to Koesterke, is that Intel’s MICs take advantage of the x86 architecture…whereas GPUs have a stream processing architecture quite different from traditional cores…MICs are coded using C, C++, Fortran and OpenMP — languages familiar to the open science community. GPUs are coded with CUDA and OpenCL, newer languages that many in the community have not yet mastered…”

46. AMD Pushes Microsoft Virtual Desktops Through New GPU http://www.pcworld.com/article/238056/amd_pushes_microsoft_virtual_desktops_through_new_gpu.html “…Advanced Micro Devices on Monday announced a FirePro graphics processor for businesses that can deliver Windows desktop sessions to remote client PCs through support for Microsoft's desktop virtualization technology. A single FirePro V9800P GPU will be able to deliver up to 22 Windows 7 virtual-desktop sessions per graphics card…through Microsoft's proprietary RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) transport…The V9800P is targeted at customers looking for workstation replacements through virtualization, or at companies like engineering firms looking to create clusters for execution of scientific or math tasks…The GPU also supports OpenCL, a set of programming tools to develop and manage parallel task execution…”

47. NOW Is the Time to Sell the Farm http://www.waterstechnology.com/inside-market-data/opinion/2103216/platform-sell-farm “…Analyzing securitized and derivative products is data intensive, computationally expensive, and requires more computations to be performed, faster, with the same or lesser IT budgets. Formerly, firms increased compute capacity by upgrading old hardware, counting on Moore’s Law…But as clock speeds hit the physical limits of silicon-based transistors, the microelectronics industry refocused on expanding the number of computing cores per CPU chip instead of creating faster chips…further gains in capacity will come not from upgrading hardware, but from having more of it…It quickly became clear that the problem with expanding existing compute farms was…ancillary costs: real estate (in metropolitan areas), availability of qualified personnel (in rural areas), and infrastructure for cooling, power and back-up generators. Some firms own compute farms, while others rent them from vendors, such as IBM or HP, or embrace Amazon’s EC2 on-demand cloud computing platform…while businesses scramble to build larger compute farms, investing in everything from real estate to dedicated electrical plants, they are ignoring the largest grid: employees’ desktops. Employee desktops are within firms’ firewalls, enterprise branded and configured, favorably located, requiring minimum networking costs or delays, where electrical, cooling and power back-up requirements use existing business continuity solutions. And there are no issues of losing data ownership and no risk of IP dissemination…Even desktops of developers have mean utilization profiles of 10 percent to 30 percent during the day and are completely inactive at night. All non-mission-critical machines are candidates for inclusion in a firm-wide “network of workstations” (NOW) cloud…the concept will evolve to “core dedication,” allowing firms to assign dedicated capacity to the NOW-cloud, and share the GPUs of thousands of desktops left idle every night, when contention for local compute farm resources is highest, as trading desks and research groups run their models, risk analytics, portfolio optimizations, back-testing, etc., as well as regional and firm-wide risk and reporting…Today, large-scale distributed “quasi-supercomputers” of staff desktops across a firm surpass the processing rates of custom-built, dedicated compute farms…”


*****

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