2011/09/27

NEW NET Weekly List for 27 Sep 2011

Below is the almost-final list of issues for the Tuesday, 27 September 2011, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering at Sergio's Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

I'm going to add a couple more articles by 7:30 PM CDT, but wanted to post this meager offering for the start of the NEW NET meeting. Apologies for not having the latest and greatest tech articles of the past week -- have had a hectic week between out-of-state travels and a cranky laptop...

Trying to post incrementally since Blogger seems upset with me -- been trying to load the NEW NET list for half an hour now...this is the fifth increment and I'm quitting for the night if I get this one to load (a few more articles with each edit, sort of sneaking up on the Blogger servers, hoping they don't see me trying to sneak a few more KB into my post each time...kind of an interesting challenge -- I think some servers might be glitchy, but if I connect to the right server, it publishes the increment right away. I'm clicking on the "Publish Post" button repeatedly (adding to the problem, no doubt) and sometimes it indicates a very low percentage uploaded, and other times it's nearly 100% uploaded.

The ‘net

1. Xobni Rebrands Its Product Smartr, Launches Contact Manager For Android And Gmail http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/xobni-smartr-android/ Xobni…is rebranding its newer products Smartr and launching them out of private beta for Android and Gmail…The Gmail add-on shows you contextual information about whoever is sending you an email culled from various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and company databases. It also shows you your relationship history with that contact, a list of pervious email conversations and related contacts, as well as contact search. The Android app takes over your address book on your phone and delivers similar functionality…Since it is all managed in the cloud, it can handle thousands of contacts…A Smartr iPhone app is also in the works…”

2. 5-Sentence Secret to Slashing Your Internet Service Bill http://www.caring.com/articles/secret-to-slashing-your-cable-bill Cutting your cable bill can be as easy as making a single phone call…And the conversation can usually be over in five minutes. But you have to know exactly what to say to get the best possible deal. Here are step-by-step instructions for preparing for the call -- and the five-sentence script to follow. Before you call: Watch your mailbox. Save up the special offers and discount coupons…Do some research. Ask friends what service they use and how much they're paying. Call the rival company to ask what their best deal is right now if you switch…Know the details of your bills. Be clear on the services you're paying for…Know your payment history. How long have you been a customer?...Know your account number…Have a bill in front of you…Have a pen ready to take notes…Be as nice as possible without being smarmy…The script, in five sentences:…"I'm calling to make changes in my cable service because I can't afford my current payment."…"I'm considering switching services because I've received an offer from [name a rival company] for [name the specific services, such as cable and Internet] for [name the price]." Alternative: "My friend across town is only paying [name the price]."…State your history as a loyal customer and repeat that cost is the issue…"Is there anything you can do to help me reduce costs?"…Asking to speak with the "disconnection department" may get you the furthest with some companies…Push for a better bottom line. "Is that the best you can do?" If the offer isn't enough, push harder: "So, right now, my monthly payment is [name the current cost], and with this deal it will be [name the rep's proposed cost]. I don't think that's going to make enough of a difference."…"You've done a great job helping me, and I really appreciate it. Can we go over the details one more time -- and can I have your name so I know whom I was talking to?" (It's also a good idea to ask for e-mail confirmation.)…”

3. Adobe fights back with Flash 11 http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20109010-264/adobe-fights-back-with-flash-11/ “…Adobe, to counter a strong combination of opposition and alternatives to the browser plug-in, plans to ship Flash Player 11 in two weeks. The debut at its Max developer conference early next month is geared to send a message to programmers: Flash is still relevant, and Adobe is still investing in it. Flash 11's highlight, an interface called Molehill for hardware-accelerated 3D and 2D graphics, won't change the minds of those who would like to see Flash fade from the Web, nor will it reverse Apple and Microsoft's Flash opposition. But it is a powerful new feature for games, and games are one of the Flash strongholds Adobe is seeking to defend…”

Gigabit Internet

4. Google to government: Let us build a faster Net http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20112042-264/google-to-government-let-us-build-a-faster-net/ “…Regulation can get in the way of innovation," said Kevin Lo, who as general manager of access oversees the Google Fiber project to bring extremely fast Net access to Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas. "Regulations tied to physical infrastructure sometimes defer the investment altogether," he said…Google--an Internet juggernaut that tries to move at startup speeds--feels it particularly acutely. Much of the company's ambitions are held back by broadband access that's too slow or missing altogether. "We're about moving the Web forward," Lo said. "We have product managers who are very frustrated. They have apps that don't work because they don't have the speeds." Lo called for three specific reforms: ease access to public rights-of-way where fiber-optic cables can be laid; ease access to utility poles; and enable special service districts to free sections of municipalities from zoning restrictions. He also said the Kansas City's "very pro-business" attitude was key to its selection for the Google Fiber project. "They demonstrated they could work at Google speeds," he said…”

5. Marietta City Schools in Georgia Upgrades Network http://it.tmcnet.com/channels/data-center-network/articles/222631-marietta-city-schools-georgia-upgrades-network-using-zayo.htm “…With its new dedicated district-wide Gigabit Ethernet network, Marietta City Schools now gets a high-speed, wide-area, fiber network linking its central administrative office to each remote location with high bandwidth capacity. It allows MCS to serve some 8,000 students at eight elementary choice schools and 1200 employees…According to Dayton Hibbs, MCS assistant superintendent of Operations, Technology and Assessment, the network upgrade not only helps them scale their network efficiently, but also allows them offer advanced technology and resources to their students and employees…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Neal Stephenson's Novel of Computer Viruses and Welsh Terrorists http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/books/review/reamde-by-neal-stephenson-book-review.html “…novelists are like unannounced visitors. While Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow pound manfully on the door, Jonathan Franzen and Zadie Smith knock politely, little preparing you for the emotional ferociousness with which they plan on making themselves at home. Neal Stephenson, on the other hand, shows up smelling vaguely of weed, with a bunch of suitcases. Maybe he can crash for a couple of days? Two weeks later he is still there. And you cannot get rid of him. Not because he is unpleasant but because he is so interesting. Then one morning you wake up and find him gone. You are relieved, a little, but you also miss him. And you wish he’d left behind whatever it was he was smoking, because anything that allows a human being to write six 1,000-page novels in 12 years is worth the health and imprisonment risk. It is tempting to call Stephenson a “cult writer,” but cult writers are typically under-or selectively read. All of Stephenson’s novels published since the late 1990s have been best sellers, and some of his original editions go for precious-metal asking prices online. His still-fresh, still-­astounding cyberpunk parody “Snow Crash” (1992) standardized use of the Sanskrit word “avatar” to denote virtual human identities and came impressively close to predicting how the Internet would come to be understood, which is to say as a “metaverse” paradoxically larger than the world that enfolds it…If you are a Stephenson fan who believes “Snow Crash” and “Cryptonomicon” (1999) are his greatest novels, “Reamde” will come as very good news, for in many ways it can be read as a thematic revisitation of those excellent precursors. Once again Stephenson is asking us to think about virtual worlds and information storage; once again, by God, he makes reading so much fun it feels like a deadly sin…”

7. When computer virus threatens your cars http://www.torquenews.com/1/when-computer-virus-threatens-your-cars-2011-automobile-show “…The year 2011 became the year when our cars started to talk, but it is also becoming the year when online services are present in your car making your vehicle vulnerable to computer virus….The question is can the car, plugged in to internet, be stolen by hackers, who introduce viruses or even worse, take outright control of your car. A consultant company iSEC Partners, specializing in security, recently demonstrated that one can open and even start a car with a simple text message sent from a smartphone. Anti-virus computer security companies are seriously worried about this. Last Tuesday, the antivirus software vendor McAfee said it is quite possible that cars, which have more and more chips can be very attractive to hackers…”

8. Microsoft halts another botnet: Kelihos http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20112289-83/microsoft-halts-another-botnet-kelihos/ Microsoft has put a halt to the Kelihos botnet and is accusing a Czech resident of hosting the botnet and using it to deliver spam and steal data, the company said today. Kelihos, also known as "Waledac 2.0" after a previous botnet that Microsoft shut down last year, comprised about 41,000 infected computers worldwide and was capable of sending 3.8 billion spam e-mails per day, according to Microsoft…This is the third botnet--following Waledac, and Rustock earlier this year--that Microsoft has taken down using these same legal and technical measures…”

9. Facebook vows privacy fix 'in 24 hours' http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/facebook-vows-privacy-fix-in-24-hours/story-e6frgakx-1226147941509 FACEBOOK has promised an Australian blogger that it will ''fix'' a major privacy breach that he has exposed within 24 hours…Mr Cubrilovic said engineers at the social networking giant had made the commitment to him during a 40-minute conference call that ended early this afternoon…Mr Cubrilovic sparked a major privacy debate after posting a blog late on Sunday which demonstrated that Facebook was still collecting identifiable information about users after they had logged out from the social network…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. T-Mobile unveils Samsung Galaxy S II http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20111724-1/t-mobile-unveils-samsung-galaxy-s-ii-htc-amaze-4g/ T-Mobile USA today showed off what are likely to be its flagship phones for the rest of the year: Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S II and HTC's Amaze 4G…The two smartphones are the first to run on T-Mobile's newly upgraded network, which the company says is faster than most consumers' home Internet connection. While T-Mobile lacks the spectrum to build a true 4G LTE network, it has instead put its resources behind an upgraded version of HSPA technology…the phones should be able to average speeds at around 8 megabits per second, and peak speeds of 20 megabits per second--faster than the standard home DSL or cable connection…The Galaxy S II is a variant of the original Galaxy S II that hit overseas markets. Sprint sells its own version, also known as the Epic 4G Touch, and AT&T's will hit the U.S. market next week. The phone uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core chip, features a 4.52-inch Super Amoled display…”

11. Microsoft Files More Patents For Dual-Screen Swiss Army Knife Slider Phone http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/microsoft-files-more-patents-for-dual-screen-swiss-army-knife-slider-phone/ “…Microsoft filed the “Mobile Communication Device Having Multiple, Interchangeable Second Devices” patent, which basically describes a slider-style phone that has replacement components to swap in for the slider keyboard…the mobile phone should be able to communicate with any of the secondary devices, whether they’re docked in the phone’s little slide-out drawer or not. Within the picture, you can see a QWERTY keyboard, an Xperia Play-style gaming controller, an extra battery, and an alternate screen…Microsoft also included “expansion storage devices, solar panels for charging a battery of the first device, or for directly powering the first device, or medical sensors (surface thermometers etc.)”…Microsoft wants to make your phone a Swiss army knife. And the possible implementations of this are pretty far reaching. The game controller is an obvious choice…But something as simple as an extra battery (or possibly solar panels) can make a huge difference in the way we use our devices…”

Apps

12. Shopkick geo-coupon system http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/shopkick-by-the-numbers-700m-product-views-7m-product-scans-in-the-past-year-2-3m-users/ “…Shopkick, an innovative geo-coupon system that has received funding from Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, SV Angel…Instead of checking in, as you would with a geo app like Foursquare or Gowalla, shopkick automatically recognizes when someone with the free Android or iPhone app on their phone walks into a store. Once a shopkick Signal is detected, the app delivers reward points called “kickbucks” to the user for walking into a retail store, trying on clothes, scanning a barcode and other actions. Kickbucks can then be redeemed across all partner stores for gift card rewards or for Facebook Credits. User can also receive special discounts on specific products at partners stores like Macy’s, Best Buy or Target…the startup expects to pass 1 billion product views this year. There have been over 2 million physical walk-ins to stores (which are measured from the shopkick signal device installed at the store). The device is installed at 3000 large stores and 250 malls now…”

13. How Do You Find Good Educational Apps? http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/how-do-you-find-good-educational-apps/ “…Apple’s iTunes and its Mac App Store, the Amazon Appstore, Google’s Android Market, the Chrome Web Store, the Google Apps Marketplace, GetJar…all offer products in a designated education category, ostensibly designed to make it easier to locate apps for learning and studying…But having an education category doesn’t necessarily make it easier to locate quality apps…iTunes does offer a ratings system, as do all the major app stores, whereby users can give apps zero to five stars and can write detailed reviews of their experiences with the app. But this too is frequently an unreliable way to discover new and interesting applications…The alternative, of course, to searching through App Stores and taking your best guess based on the review information there is to rely on the recommendation of people you know. Indeed, word-of-mouth remains one of the most important ways that developers can sell and buyers can find quality applications…sites like Moms With Apps try to showcase “family-friendly” developers’ work…while “caveat emptor” holds true in app purchases as with anything you buy, one has to wonder if there aren’t better ways to help showcase quality apps…”

Open Source

14. Turn your Android Phone into a Wireless Camera using IP Webcam for Free http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/09/turn-your-android-phone-into-wireless.html IP Webcam is a free Android application that turns your Android smartphone into a network camera with multiple viewing options. You can view your camera using VLC player or any modern web browser. Windows, Mac and Linux platforms supported…You can even use IP Webcam with tinyCam Monitor(a mobile surveillance app for Android) installed on another Android device. There are several ways in which you could view your smartphone's camera from your desktop. Click on the image below to see the full set of options available…”

15. IntSim v2.5, an Open-Source 2D and 3D-IC Simulator, Released http://www.prweb.com/releases/3d/ic/prweb8829500.htm MonolithIC 3D Inc., a startup specializing in three dimensional chip stacking, has developed and released an open-source 2D and 3D-IC simulator…the software tool helps study scaling trends and optimize chip power, frequency, die size, interconnect stacks and transistor parameters…Optimization of clock frequency, interconnect stacks and transistor parameters is considered crucial to maximize performance and power benefits of scaling today. Intel, for example, has proprietary CAD tools that optimize interconnect stacks of their chips…A tool such as IntSim enables chip power prediction based on design choices and available transistor and interconnect technologies. IntSim v2.5 is available for free download at MonolithIC 3D Inc.’s website…”

SkyNet

16. Google+ open invites spur growth http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/google-shows-explosive-growth/1508 “…some folks were telling me recently how Google’s social network Google+ usage was going down and the site really wasn’t that popular…Clearly these people have been under a rock…since Google+ opened its doors to everyone, its growth has been nothing short of explosive. Indeed, Google+ made it to 50-million users faster than any other social network…since being opened to the general public (over age 18) last week, Google+ has been growing by at least 4% per day, meaning that around 2 million new users have been signing up each day.”…it took Google+ 88 days to hit 50-million users. MySpace—remember them?–took 1,046 days. Facebook, with 1,096 days, took even longer. Allen now finds it hard “to imagine a scenario where Google+ doesn’t end up with hundreds of millions of users. It’s just a matter of time.” I agree…By integrating +1 and Circles (targeted sharing) and other Google+ functionality into its Chrome browser, Android phones (and tablets), Gmail, Google Reader, Blogger, Google Photos, and other properties, Google+ will give its more than one billion users repeated chances to sign up for and use the functionality of Google+.” It also doesn’t hurt Google+ any that Facebook can’t seem to stop tinkering with its interface and has less and less respect for its users’ privacy…”

17. Google will finance rooftop solar installations http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/09/google-will-finance-rooftop-solar-installations.html Google wants homeowners to use solar panels to generate electricity. And it's investing $75 million to help up to 3,000 of them install panels on their roofs…One of the biggest hurdles to installing solar panels are the upfront costs. Homeowners often don't have the upfront cash…Google said its plan will allow homeowners to install a $30,000 solar electricity system with little or no money upfront. Instead homeowners would pay a monthly fee which would be about the same that they would pay in their monthly bills to their local utility. Google will own the panels, and will get paid when customers buy the electricity the panels produce…This is Google's second investment in residential solar, bringing its total investment to more than $850 million to develop clean energy…”

18. Google puts Dead Sea Scrolls online http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-20112167-76/dead-sea-scrolls-come-to-life-on-the-web/ Discovered in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been available for viewing only in a museum in Israel...until now. Thanks to some expert digital photography and a project set up by Google, high-resolution photos of five of the seven original Dead Sea Scrolls can now be seen online. The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Web site offers a peek into the distant past, allowing people to view and examine the scrolls in fine detail…”

General Technology

19. Birth of the global mind http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/a4bce7e8-e32b-11e0-bb55-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1Z60B3fIr “…Computer scientist Danny Hillis once remarked, “Global consciousness is that thing responsible for deciding that pots containing decaffeinated coffee should be orange.”…the mechanism by which the Sanka brand colour became a near-universal symbol for decaffeinated coffee in the US is exactly the same one by which hundreds of millions of people have a shared knowledge…of many things both true and untrue. What is different today, though, is the speed with which knowledge propagates. News, entertainment and opinions spread through social networks, websites and search engines in a process increasingly close to real-time. Those things that rise to the top are decided not by media executives but by their viral momentum…The web is a perfect example of what…Vannevar Bush called “intelligence augmentation” by computers…Humans create the documents that make up the web and provide the associative links between them…When the algorithms for finding the “right” documents improve, we all get smarter; when spammers or other malware lead the algorithms astray, we all get dumber…When the web goes mobile, even more interesting things start to happen. A human with a smartphone can literally see around corners and through time…our phones are eyes and ears for what is starting to look increasingly like a global brain…This is man-computer symbiosis at its best, where the computer program learns from the activity of human teachers, and its sensors notice and remember things the humans themselves would not. This is the future: massive amounts of data created by people, stored in cloud applications that use smart algorithms to extract meaning from it, feeding back results to those people on mobile devices…The global brain is still in its infancy. We can raise it to help us make a better world, or we can raise it to be selfish, unjust and short-term in its outlook…”

20. SPARC T4 looks to be good enough to stave off defections to x86, Linux http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/09/sparc-t4-looks-to-be-good-enough-to-stave-off-defections-to-x86-linux.ars “…Oracle officially launched the Sparc T4 microprocessor and a line of servers based on the new SPARC CPU. Oracle Systems Executive Vice President John Fowler claimed at the rollout event that early customers using T4 servers have seen "up to five times [the] performance improvements across a range of Oracle and third-party applications, and are already placing orders to replace outdated systems from our competitors." For those who are still members of the Sparc/Solaris installed base—those who haven't headed for x86 or Itanium already—the T4 is potentially good news. It provides a way to preserve investments in existing Solaris skills and software while getting a significant performance boost over the year-old T3. The T4 will likely stop some defections, buy Oracle time as it prepares its next generation of processor, and reduce the company's dependence on reselling Fujitsu SPARC 64 systems to run its own database…”

DHMN Technology

21. Arduino Rules at Maker Faire New York http://www.pcworld.com/article/240550/arduino_rules_at_maker_faire_new_york.html Arduino might as well exploded all over last weekend's Maker Faire in New York City, because it was everywhere. There was a whole new tent dedicated to it, four panels to just explain what it was, and more manufacturers than I knew even existed. It’s Arduino Fever!...Make Yourself an Arduino Lie Detector…Julio Terra and Mustafa Bagdatli of NYU’s ITP Program put one together using an Arduino microcontroller, breadboard, 4 LEDs, a few wires, some resistors, and finger contacts made of some silver jewelry stitched to Velcro and soldered to wires…This particular homemade lie detector skips the needles and uses the LEDs to tell when you are lying. All you have to do is wire it up correctly and upload the software, courtesy of Julio Terra. The Arduino lie detector, like a “real" one, should be taken with a grain of salt because it is hypersensitive and is more liable to pick up embarrassment, rather than tell the difference between a true statement and a lie…”

Leisure & Entertainment

22. Kindle Fire: Amazon's bid to challenge iPad for tablet market http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/27/amazon-kindle-fire-tablet-wars Amazon is set to join the tablet wars on Wednesday as it launches a rival to Apple's best-selling iPad, a device that has made digital tombstones of all the competition so far…Amazon has released no details ahead of the event but the device is reportedly called Kindle Fire, to tie in with its existing ebook reader…Apple has increasingly encroached on Amazon's business in recent years as its iTunes store has poached more music, movie and now books and magazine sales. Amazon has been building its online presence, too, and entered the hardware business with the launch of Kindle. The retailer is the biggest online books seller and the US's second largest seller of music online after Apple's iTunes, and it has been increasingly building up its online movies and TV sales and rentals business. The company signed a deal with Fox this week that it said means it now offers more than 11,000 movies and TV shows available via its Amazon Prime service…The retailer has a very different approach to Apple, he said, but that is what may make them Apple's biggest threat to date…Apple has so far proved a tough competitor. Rival products from Dell, Hewlett Packard and Blackberry maker RIM have all bombed. According to…TechCrunch, the Kindle Fire looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook…TechCrunch says Kindle Fire will be a 7in tablet with a $250 price tag. The initial version will offer wireless functionality but no 3G; it will also have a USB port and speakers, but no camera. A bigger, more expensive model will launch next year…”

23. The Future Of Books: A Dystopian Timeline http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/the-future-of-books-a-dystopian-timeline/ With the launch of the Kindle Fire tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next ten or so years…ebook sales are now outpacing hardback sales and publishers are now crowing ebook numbers alongside their traditional in-store sales numbers. Soon those in-store sales numbers will dwindle and disappear simply because there will be no stores – heavy readers…will be happy to head over to Nooks and Kindles, especially when they drop below $99 (as they will this year)…While I will miss the creak of the Village Bookshop’s old church floor, the calm of Crescent City books, and the crankiness of the Provincetown Bookshop, the time has come to move on…2013 – EBook sales surpass all other book sales, even used books…2015 – The death of the Mom and Pops. Smaller book stores will use the real estate to sell coffee and Wi-Fi…2018 – The last Barnes & Noble store converts to a cafe and digital access point…2019 – B&N and Amazon’s publishing arms – including self-pub – will dwarf all other publishing…2020 – Nearly every middle school to college student will have an e-reader. Textbooks will slowly disappear…2025 – The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance…”

24. Dish Network Challenges Google for Hulu http://www.businessinsider.com/guess-who-made-the-highest-bid-for-hulu-2011-9 “…Two sources tell us that satellite TV provider Dish was the highest bidder, coming in around $1.9 billion. It beat out both Amazon and Yahoo. Google bid much more — something in the range of $4 billion. But that bid came with special conditions, as has been previously reported — Google wanted more content for a longer period of time, and perhaps other concessions as well…Hulu's owners are still deciding what to do. They were hoping for a higher bid, and were disappointed that no company would offer more than $2 billion…”

Economy and Technology

25. WooThemes Launches WooCommerce To Turn WordPress Sites Into Online Shops http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/woothemes-launches-woocommerce-to-turn-wordpress-sites-into-online-shops/ “…WooThemes is launching a new service today called WooCommerce, which lets users install a plugin on their WordPress site in order to turn that site into a professional e-commerce storefront. The system includes a plugin and the company’s theme library, while also offering multiple payment gateway options, settings for configuring shipping rates, coupon support, email templates, a reports panel to track sales and performance…WooThemes has devoted a division of its company, WooLabs, to creating new ways to turn the themes into feature-rich platforms. E-commerce is the first offering from WooLabs…The first of the WooThemes to receive integration with the WooCommerce plugin are Statua, which allows photographers to sell their prints online, and Diner (integration arriving soon), which allows restaurants accept take-out orders from their website. WooThemes is certainly not the only e-commerce platform company, but it wants to be one of the easier ones to use…The biggest competitor on WooThemes’ radar is Shopify, the popular online retail platform. But while Shopify is flexible and extensible, it’s not designed for WordPress sites and it requires a bit of tech savvy to use…”

Civilian Aerospace

26. Humans Envisioned On Mars In 25 Years http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2011/09/23/09.xml&headline=Humans%20Envisioned%20On%20Mars%20In%2025%20Years&channel=space “…The first version of the Global Exploration Roadmap represents a step in the international human space exploration roadmapping activity…The “Asteroid Next” pathway calls for an initial piloted mission to a Deep Space Habitat in the 2025 to 2028 time frame, followed by a pair of four-person expeditions to yet-to-be-selected asteroids between 2028 and 2033. The “Moon Next” approach calls for five extended-stay missions on the lunar surface for a crew of four between 2020 and 2030, followed by missions to a Deep Space Habitat at an Earth-moon Lagrange point and a Near Earth Asteroid during the following decade. The lunar missions would focus initially on polar exploration. They would feature demonstrations of long-distance rovers under develop pment for the Mars expeditions, which could follow in the mid-to-late 2030s…The U.S.-managed, 15-nation International Space Station, with operations extended to at least 2020, figures prominently in the early stages of either pathway…The roadmap’s participants include the space agencies of Italy, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the U.K., as well as NASA and ESA…”

27. Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes New Members http://www.commercialspaceflight.org/?p=1569 The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that three companies providing services to the commercial spaceflight industry have joined the Federation…The new Associate Members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation made the following statements…United Space Alliance, stated, “Space travel…commercial operations will play a significant role in shaping human space flight of the future…David Clark Company pioneered the development of aerospace crew protective equipment and has supported virtually every manned high altitude/space program to date…Moon Express is dedicated to expanding Earth’s economic sphere in a sustainable way through entrepreneurial commercial space models of exploration, operations and economic development…”

28. Vulture UAV Could Replace Downed Satellites http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=aerospacedaily&id=news/asd/2011/09/26/02.xml The U.S. Navy is showing interest in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Vulture solar-powered, ultra-endurance unmanned aircraft as a means of providing communications to carrier strike groups if satellites are knocked out. The Vulture program is developing technology for an unmanned aircraft able to stay aloft for up to five years…The Vulture will use solar arrays on the wing, booms and tails to collect energy during the day. This will be stored in regenerative fuel cells that will then power the distributed electric propulsion system through the night, ideally without any loss of altitude. The 400-ft.-wingspan demonstrator is planned to be built and flown under Phase 2 of the Vulture program, which began late last year with the award of an $89 million cost-share contract to Boeing, which is teamed with solar-powered UAV developer Qinetiq…The demonstrator will be flown at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, which has FAA approval to conduct unmanned aircraft flight testing…At 400-ft., the demonstrator will be substantially larger than NASA’s 247-ft.-span AeroVironment Helios solar-powered UAV, which set an altitude record of more than 96,000 ft. in 2001…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

29. Dell to Build 10-Petaflop Supercomputer http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-09-22/dell_to_build_10-petaflop_supercomputer_for_science.html The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has revealed plans to deploy a…petascale supercomputer courtesy of a $27.5 million dollar NSF award…the system will consist of 2 petaflops of Sandy Bridge-EP processors with an 8 petaflop boost from Intel's Many Integrated Core (MIC) coprocessors…it will likely be the first deployment of Intel's commercial MIC technology…Stampede, as the system will be called, is meant to serve both traditional number crunching HPC applications and data-driven analytics applications within NSF's eXtreme Digital (XD) user community…At 10 teraflops, Stampede will be the most powerful resource for XD users…the foundation of Stampede is a 2 petaflop cluster with 6,400 x86 compute nodes, lashed together with FDR (56 Gbps) InfiniBand from Mellanox. Each node will house two of Intel's 8-core Xeon E5 (aka Sandy Bridge-EP) and 32 GB of DRAM. Stampede will also include 16 big memory nodes, each sporting 1 terabyte of DRAM and 2 NVIDIA GPUs…The cluster will also be hooked up to to Lustre storage nodes, also suppled by Dell. It will consist of 14 PB of disk, and deliver an aggregated bandwidth of 150 GB/second…Stampede's base cluster and storage nodes represent the lion's share of the NSF funding at $25 million. The remaining $2.5 million will go toward 8 petaflops worth of MIC coprocessors, which will be hooked into the x86 nodes via PCIe 3.0 links…Besides the GPUs in the shared memory nodes, 128 of the 6,400 regular nodes will be outfitted with NVIDIA's next-generation Kepler GPUs to support remote visualization. Kepler is the successor to Fermi, NVIDIA's current GPU architecture…”

30. AMD & NVIDIA in changing semiconductor industry http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/AMD-Nvidia-gain-in-changing-semiconductor-industry/articleshow/10132782.cms “…like other technology sectors, processor market…is undergoing some significant changes. The trend towards more accessible and mainstream computing devices, with greater reliance on audio and visual interface, is slowly impacting the way semiconductor companies do business. In the short run, the beneficiaries of these changes have been AMD and Nvidia, who have leveraged their expertise in graphics chips to grab opportunity…AMD has managed to increase its share in the market with the help of Fusion processors that pack a powerful graphics processor on the same chip. Nvidia, on the other hand, has become a major player in mobile processor industry with its Tegra chips being the default processor for Android tablets…PC usage has moved away from 'type and read' to 'View and listen'. The web sites we visit every day rely on pictures, Flash, SilverLight or streaming video…Nvidia…is using its expertise in graphics chips to provide solutions for tablets, smartphones and high-performance computing machines. "Graphics chips are indispensable to a host of cutting-edge medical, engineering, design, digital content creation and scientific applications…ISRO built India's fastest supercomputer, the SAGA-220, based on NVIDIA GPUs." Nvidia is now building a processor for mainstream computers. Called Project Denver it will, according to Dhupar, "usher in a new era for computing, combining a standard architecture with…performance and energy efficiency."This trend seems to have adversely affected Intel, the market leader who has never been too strong on graphics chips…”

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