2011/10/04

NEW NET Weekly List for 04 Oct 2011

Below is the 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.

The ‘net

1. Amazon’s Silk Is More Than Just A Browser: It’s A Cloud OS for the Client http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2011/09/amazon-silk/ “…the most important part of Amazon’s announcement this morning isn’t the fairly vanilla tablet hardware or even the tablet’s spit-shined version of Android. What will really make waves is Amazon’s new web browser, Silk. Silk is the first truly new, mass-market, client software delivery mechanism to be built from the ground up with the cloud—not just the web, but the cloud—in mind…The main thing that Silk is not, is Google Chrome. Chrome is essentially an OS in browser drag, and in this respect it’s very much a “fat” take on “thin client.”…The fact that Chrome comes with such an extreme amount of OS-like baggage is what keeps it off of handheld devices…In its simplest form, Silk is yet another Webkit browser…However, when Silk is run in cloud mode, it can off-load some of the the parts of the browsing and rendering process to EC2…To speed up browsing, Silk uses EC2 to carry out some of the functions of a proxy server and a cache…Silk can hand off most of the actual rendering pipeline to EC2…my guess is that Silk is also an “OS” very much like Chrome, but the OS parts—namely, the parts that isolate pages into separately running processes—live on EC2…Amazon could use Silk as a killer mobile advertising platform…Kindle is already running on almost everything with a screen, and I would certainly love to try out Silk on the desktop. With Silk, Amazon could give Google a run for its money in mobile ads…Right now, the only company that could conceivably match Silk is Google—there’s no way Apple will get anything like this off the ground in the next two years…”

2. New Microsoft Hotmail features targeting 'gray mail' http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20114975-52/microsoft-aiming-to-clean-up-hotmail-users-inboxes/ “…Hotmail is the world's largest Web mail service, with approximately 350 million users, trailed by Yahoo Mail (310 million users) and Gmail (260 million users)…in the U.S., Yahoo is No. 1, with 96.6 million active users, followed by Gmail with 62.7 million users. Hotmail is third here with 45.5 million users…the challenges that Hotmail--and all e-mail clients, for that matter--faces are led by a never-ending flood of spam, newsletters, and other impersonal messages…50 percent of users' Hotmail inboxes are filled with newsletters and deal offers. So-called social updates from services like Facebook and Twitter make up 17 percent of messages, while group and other notifications make up 9 percent. Shopping notices account for 6 percent, while "true spam" and other miscellaneous messages come in at 2 percent each. Only 14 percent of messages are actually "person-to-person."…that 50 percent figure for newsletters and deal offers is what really stands out. And that's why the new Hotmail feature leading the way is a brand-new system for filtering newsletters…” http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/more-new-microsoft-hotmail-features-targeting-gray-mail-due-by-end-of-2011/10887 “…Microsoft…spam-fighting features will help users target “gray mail,” or mail that may or may not be actual spam, depending on a user’s view. Among the soon-to-be-rolled-out features: Newsletter filtering, including “unsubscribe”: The new filtering automatically will categorize incoming mail as “newsletters” and sweep all messages categorized this way into a folder which can be deleted altogether…More advanced folder management, with “categories” designation…Scheduled clean-up: Users can automatically get rid of emails…after 3, 10, 30, or 60 days…“Flags done right”: Users can flag messages so they will stay at the top of their inbox…Instant actions: Users will see buttons appear for the most common taks when they hover over a message, enabling quicker delete, flag, Sweep and other functions…”

3. Simplify Your Life With an SSH Config File http://nerderati.com/2011/03/simplify-your-life-with-an-ssh-config-file/ If you’re anything like me, you probably log in and out of a half dozen remote servers (or these days, local virtual machines) on a daily basis. And if you’re even more like me, you have trouble remembering all of the various usernames, remote addresses and command line options…Let’s say that you have a remote server named dev.example.com, which has not been set up with public/private keys for password-less logins. The username to the remote account is fooey, and to reduce the number of scripted login attempts, you’ve decided to change the default SSH port to 2200 from the normal default of 22…We can make things simpler and more secure by using a public/private key pair; I highly recommend using ssh-copy-id for moving your public keys around. It will save you quite a few folder/file permission headaches…However, there’s a much more elegant and flexible solution to this problem. Enter the SSH config file…As any security-conscious developer would do, I set up firewalls on all of my servers and make them as restrictive as possible; in many cases, this means that the only ports that I leave open are 80/443 (for webservers), and port 22 for SSH (or whatever I might have remapped it to for obfuscation purposes). On the surface, this seems to prevent me from using things like a desktop MySQL GUI client, which expect port 3306 to be open and accessible on the remote server in question. The informed reader will note, however, that a simple local port forward can save you…”

4. Facebook: brutal dishonesty http://uncrunched.com/2011/10/01/brutal-dishonesty/ ““Facebook does not track users across the web,” – A Facebook spokesperson on September 25, 2011…“Generally, unlike other major Internet companies, we have no interest in tracking people.” – Facebook employee on September 25, 2011… “A method is described for tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain.” – Facebook Patent application dated September 22, 2011…Whoops.” http://nikcub.appspot.com/facebook-re-enables-controversial-tracking-cookie In May of this year the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook like buttons and other website widgets were setting cookies on visiting browsers. This cookie could then be read later and used to track the user across different web properties…The cookie was being set even if the user had never been to the Facebook site, and even if they didn't click a 'like' or 'share' button. As a result of that report…the cookie in question…was removed and was no longer being set for logged in or logged out users when they visited a page integrating Facebook…Today, that cookie is back. It is being set by all the third-party sites that we tested…”

Gigabit Internet

5. Google: "We expect to make money with Google Fiber" http://www.iptv-news.com/iptv_news/september_2011_2/google_we_expect_to_make_money_with_google_fiber Google's Kevin Lo, General Manager of Access, opened the conference keynote session at this year's Broadband World Forum in Paris today to an auditorium packed with many service providers, who listened closely to his vision for Google's Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) project…"We are in this to make money, it has to make economic sense, and it does," said Mr. Lo. Google started construction of the new Google Fiber network this week, and expects to switch on the first connections for customers in the first half of next year, delivering 1 Gbps symmetrical speeds (both upstream and downstream) to all residents of both Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri…Mr. Lo referred to regulatory barriers as being the biggest impediment when trying to move fast with a new fibre network…we discovered that regulation can really get in the way…governments control rights of way, and a lot of the regulation we encountered came in the way of unreasonable terms and costs for access to these rights of way."…we focused on pole attachment agreements: hanging fibre on poles increases the speed at which you can deploy. It doesn't make sense to dig holes in the ground if you can deploy on poles. Pole attachment agreements drove a lot of our decision-making."…"The biggest challenge we face in the broadband industry is affordability," he said "We need to work together to develop new deployment techniques, to make it more affordable…”

6. Wi-Fi Gigabit Speeds Just One to Two Years Away http://www.tomsguide.com/us/802.11ac-gigabit-wi-fi-craig-barratt-Mobilize,news-12703.html Craig Barratt, president of Qualcomm Atheros, recently stated that Wi-Fi gigabit speeds within the home (via 802.11ac) is just one or two years away from becoming reality…802.11ac is the next step past 802.11n in the Wi-Fi ladder. It will be fully backward compatible with all previous generations of Wi-Fi, and in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, it will be identical to 802.11n. The major innovation with 802.11ac will be that in the 5 GHz band, the spec will offer "substantially" higher throughput…users will see gigabit speeds using the 5 GHz band…We like our games, our movies and our television shows streamed right to our desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, consoles and HDTVs. The higher the resolution, the more bandwidth we'll need to satisfy our hunger for multimedia. But much in the way software and hardware drive each other forward, the same applies to multimedia and bandwidth. Barratt pointed out that consumers also need a strong Wi-Fi network to offload much of that data consumption from cellular networks that typically charge high prices for small allowances of data…”

7. If Google builds it, will the applications come? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/29/google_does_kansas/ Forget the public vs private infrastructure debate, when Google need a high-speed broadband network, Google just builds it…Google Access GM Kevin Lo revealed that Google’s fiber network ambitions were forged when he and Chocolate Factory co-founder Sergey Brin discussed the US government’s national broadband plan in 2009. Brin mused at the time: “If we think this is so important – why are we asking the government to do it?” And that is how Google Fiber was born…Lo conceded he did not know how the network would be used and would not reveal ROI strategies. “What are people going to do with it? We have no idea. But we believe that we are on the right side of history - where speed matters,”…Google’s aim with the Kansas fibre project is to “inspire consumers, government and community…He added that gigabit connectivity was not about fast email, it is about doing things you have never seen before such as virtual/augmented reality and telemedicine…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Microsoft security tools nuking Chrome browser http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20114600-264/microsoft-falsely-labels-chrome-as-malware/ “…Google has released a new version of Chrome after Microsoft's antivirus software flagged the browser as malware and removed it from about 3,000 people's computers on Friday. Microsoft apologized for the problem and updated its virus definition file to correct the false-positive problem…Even though the problem directly affected only a relatively tiny fraction of Chrome users, Google decided to spin up and distribute updated beta and stable versions of Chrome. "Earlier today, we learned that the Microsoft Security Essentials tool began falsely identifying Google Chrome as a piece of malware ("PWS:Win32/Zbot") and removing it from people's computers," said Mark Larson, Chrome engineering manager, in a blog post Friday. "We are releasing an update that will automatically repair Chrome for affected users…”

9. HTC Android phones leak personal data to any app with Internet permissions http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/htc-android-phones-leak-personal-data-to-any-app-with-internet-permissions-2011102/ “…HTC Android smartphone…personal data is freely accessible to any app you have given network access to in the form of full Internet permissions. This vulnerability isn’t a backdoor or some inherent flaw in Android, it is instead HTC failing to lock down its data sharing policies used in the Tell HTC software users have to allow or disallow on their phone…not only is your data vulnerable when Tell HTC is turned on, it’s just as vulnerable when it is turned off. Tell HTC is meant to be software that collects anonymous information about how you use your phone…This information includes user accounts, network connection details, last GPS location, phone numbers used, SMS data, system logs, what’s in memory, running processes, installed apps, battery details, and a heck of a lot more…this information is collected regardless of your preferences and is accessible by any app with the right permissions…HTC Android phone owners need to be particularly careful about what new apps they install or updates to existing apps they apply. If you want to be extra safe you can navigate to /system/app/HtcLoggers.apk on your phone and delete the file.…”

10. Android flaw can disable, corrupt AV tools http://www.zdnetasia.com/android-flaw-can-disable-corrupt-av-tools-62302307.htm “…a security expert pointed out that a "component" within the operating system (OS) can be exploited to disable installed antivirus software, even corrupting the software to become another malicious app…this issue afflicts a "popular component" of the Android OS, which he declined to disclose as he is scheduled to speak to Google regarding the vulnerability…Once such apps are installed by a user, they can disable antivirus software on the device by exploiting the component's vulnerability. In some cases, the antivirus software can be corrupted and be utilized as a malicious app for cybercriminals to steal the mobile owner's personal information…Hassell stressed that this is "definitely an Android problem", adding he had tested the vulnerability on "top-end" mobile antivirus software…Hassell said it is "tough" to determine who should be responsible for upholding the security of Android apps…in an ideal world, it would be good for Google to guide developers--particularly consumers that are trying their hand at creating their own mobile apps for the platform--to write secure code. That said, he recognized that this might not be "viable" for the Internet giant from a business perspective. "This is a tough problem to solve and it needs to be solved as an [Android] community…”

11. Patent Troll Says Anyone Using WiFi Infringes http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20111001/00365416161/patent-troll-says-anyone-using-wifi-infringes-wont-sue-individuals-this-stage.shtml “…The Patent Examiner blog has the incredible story of Innovatio IP, a patent troll that recently acquired a portfolio of patents that its lawyers…appear to believe cover pretty much any WiFi implementation. They've been suing coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants and hotels first -- including Caribou Coffee, Cosi, Panera Bread Co, certain Marriotts, Best Westerns, Comfort Inns and more…While its initial lawsuits against coffee shops and restaurants did focus on the central corporations, with the hotels, Innovatio appears to be focusing on individual franchisees. Yes, the small businesses who own individual hotels and probably have no idea how to deal with a patent infringement lawsuit -- all because they dared to offer WiFi somewhere in their hotels…Innovatio's lawyers will let them settle for between $2,300 and $5,000. In almost every case, that's going to be cheaper than hiring a lawyer to just get started dealing with this…The lawyer representing the company…seems to imply that the company believes the patents cover everyone who has a home WiFi setup…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. Amazon Kindle Fire – A Tablet for the Masses? http://the-gadgeteer.com/2011/10/02/a-tablet-for-the-masses/ “…the Amazon “Kindle Fire” tablet is now reality and I believe it will be a big seller. At $199 it is within shouting distance of that “no brainer” gadget purchase price…the timing of Amazon’s release…about as good as it could get. The product is available for presale now…it will be released over a month before Christmas and most importantly, may be available several months before Apple is expected to announce its new iPad model(s)…The device features: 1 Ghz Dual Core Processor…7″ multi-touch display…1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi…Battery Life – 7.5 hours of video or 8 hours of book reading (WiFi Off)…Free cloud storage for all Amazon content…Amazon Silk web browser…Amazon has developed a device that when coupled with their extensive online content library is clearly aimed at the consumer/home market both in price and capabilities. I doubt we’ll be reading stories about the Kindle Fire being used…for navigating commercial aircraft. However, the Kindle Fire has more than enough processing power to provide for smooth video playback, fast app launches and a responsive user interface. The display is bright, has a higher pixel density than the iPad 2, and (hallelujah!) an anti-reflective screen…you’ll be able to charge it with the same charger or cable you’re using for a number of other devices in your home or car. The Kindle Fire comes with 8GB of storage space…I believe that is going to be sufficient when you consider Amazon is also including free storage on their cloud system…This should leave sufficient room for the device to hold several hours of video, books and a lot of music, and provided there’s a WiFi signal available content can be removed from the device and new downloaded from your online library. Once you have purchased content from Amazon it is always available …” http://www.geekwire.com/2011/amazons-entry-tablets-signals-start-generation “…Amazon has now made the long term tablet business an interesting three horse race — one that may ultimately turn on business models just as much, if not even more, than technology. What this move largely comes down to for the tablet market is Selling Hardware (Apple) vs. Selling Advertising (Google) vs. Selling Everything Else (Amazon)…” http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/with-silk-does-amazon-want-a-slice-of-googles-pie/ “…although the Kindle Fire is built on Android…there was no visible signifier that the tablet was at all powered by Google. No Google-branded e-mail, Web search, maps, anything. Mr. Bezos nodded, saying…the Fire’s software would be “unrecognizable as Android.”…Amazon is jumping into the browser wars,in competition with Mozilla, Microsoft and…Google, which has been pouring resources into Chrome. But it is going a step further with its Silk browser by acting as a middleman between the Fire and the Web…saying it will use its powerful cloud computing resources to speed up delivery of Web pages. Chris Espinosa, the eighth hire at Apple and a senior engineer at the company, tossed out a theory this week that Amazon wants to take a bite out of Google, using a tablet built on Google’s own software. “Fire isn’t a noun, it’s a verb, and it’s what Amazon has done in the targeted direction of Google,” he wrote…“This is the first shot in the new war for replacing the Internet with a privatized merchant data-aggregation network.”…Because its users’ Web traffic is piped through Amazon’s servers, it may give Amazon unique insight into the Web clicks, buying patterns and media habits of Kindle Fire owners. “Amazon now has what every storefront lusts for: The knowledge of what other stores your customers are shopping at and what prices they’re being offered there…Amazon is getting this not by expensive, proactive scraping the Web, like Google has to do, they’re getting it passively by offering a simple caching service…” http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/09/28/amazon-kindle-fires-silk-browser-sounds-privacy-alarm-bells/ “…All of your web surfing habits will transit Amazon's cloud. If you think that Google AdWords and Facebook are watching you, this service is guaranteed to have a record of *everything* you do on the web…Silk's terms and conditions notes that URLs, IP addresses and MAC addresses will be logged and can be retained for 30 days. The Silk FAQ also makes confusing statements regarding HTTPS connections as well…It sounds as if Amazon will install a trusted certificate in the Silk browser allowing them to provide a man-in-the-middle (MITM) SSL proxy to accelerate your SSL browsing as well. As Amazon is a US based company this would enable a US court order to intercept and record your secure communications…Amazon…stated "usage data is collected anonymously and stored in aggregate, and no personal identifiable information is stored…”

13. Virgin Mobile introduces the LG Optimus Slider http://www.mobileburn.com/news.jsp?Id=16841 Virgin Mobile has announced the successor to the LG Optimus V smartphone, the LG Optimus Slider…the Optimus Slider features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread…Slider has a 3.2-inch, HVGA touchscreen and a 3.2 megapixel camera…Bluetooth 3.0 and microSD support for cards up to 32GB in capacity…Slider will cost $199.99 when it hits Virgin Mobile's online store on October 17…”

14. NFC update expands on mobile sharing technology http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/nfc-update-expands-on-mobile-sharing-technology/ “…near field communication technology got an upgrade in the form of device to device communication. Before this upgrade, the existing form of NFC utilizes an active device and a passive device, ideal for transactions like checking out in line at the grocery store…The upgrade to the technology (Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol) allows devices to communicate back and forth actively. This would allow a wider range of actions to be built into applications beyond simply utilizing the technology when purchasing items…a NFC-equipped high definition television or computer monitor could communicate with a NFC-equipped smartphone and allow the user to watch a recently recorded video on the larger screen…This technology would also create a happy communication medium between different types of smartphones. For example, Android and Apple phones could potentially communicate through NFC. While this type of technology is already in place with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, this upgrade simply offers another reason for smartphone manufacturers to include NFC technology in new versions. Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG, RIM and Sony Ericsson have already agreed to install NFC-capable microSD cards in new smartphones starting next year. Mobile carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are also on board with NFC as well as payment providers Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover…”

15. FCC Wants GPS In Every Phone By 2018 http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/04/fcc-wants-gps-in-every-phone-by-2018/ After years of having a GPS-equipped phone, the idea of not having GPS is a little crazy. Even with smartphone adoption rates dramatically increasing, there are still plenty of folks out there with maps and awesome memories. But come 2018, all of our directionally gifted friends will have GPS on their phones like it or not. The FCC has ruled that all telephone service providers — including VOiP services — must offer only GPS-capable handsets by 2018 to better aid in pin-pointing the location of 911 calls…”

Apps

16. The iPhone Could Finally Get Its Personal Assistant http://9to5mac.com/2011/10/03/co-founder-of-siri-assistant-is-a-world-changing-event-interview/ On Tuesday, Apple will change the way humans interact with electronic devices. All over again. Perhaps the biggest announcement at Apple’s iPhone event on Tuesday will be Assistant, Apple’s evolution of the Siri Personal Assistant Software. Siri, you’ll remember, is the company Apple picked up for a rumored $200 million in April of last year for, in Steve Jobs’ words, its “Artificial Intelligence”, not search or speech recognition. Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) represent the next generation interaction paradigm for the Internet. In today’s paradigm, we follow links on search results. With a VPA, we interact by having a conversation…a VPA is personal; it uses information about an individual’s preferences and interaction history to help solve specific tasks, and it gets better with experience…The device input methods we’ve used in the past have first been the keyboard…the mouse and…the touch interface…But humans didn’t evolve to communicate with keyboards or mice or even a touch screen…really we’re hard-wired for talking and listening…Unfortunately, we haven’t yet invented a computer that can understand what we say, and more importantly, use that information to go find answers and relay that information back to us…In 2003, the US Government began the most ambitious Artificial Intelligence program in its history…Funded by DARPA as part of its Personal Assistant that Learns project, the program ran for five years and brought together more than 300 researchers from 25 of the top university and commercial research institutions, with the goal of “building a new generation of cognitive assistants…The program was coordinated through SRI International…As the program ended in 2007, SRI took the knowledge gained by the CALO and some of its key players and formed Siri…Apple closed its purchase of Siri just two months after we went public with our app…if a better speech recognition comes along (or Apple buys one), they could likely replace Nuance without too much trouble. That being said, Nuance has far and away the most IP in speech synthesis technologies in the industry…Apple’s ‘mainstreaming’ Artificial Intelligence in the form of a Virtual Personal Assistant is a groundbreaking event. I’d go so far as to say it is a World-Changing event. Right now a few people dabble in partial AI enabled apps like Google Voice Actions, Vlingo or Nuance Go. Siri was many iterations ahead of these technologies, or at least it was two years ago. This is REAL AI with REAL market use. If the rumors are true, Apple will enable millions upon millions of people to interact with machines with natural language…”

17. Hipmunk comes to Android with a surprisingly slick app http://gigaom.com/2011/09/29/hipmunk-android-app/ Hipmunk has finally brought its travel search application to the Android operating system, with a brand new mobile app…Hipmunk for Android, which for now only facilitates flight searches, is impressive because it retains all the slickness of the company’s existing web and mobile offerings. That’s no small feat for an app made for Android, an operating system that generally takes a backseat to Apple’s iOS when it comes to user interface design…the experience is just as smooth as using an iPhone or iPad…“The biggest thing about our Android app is it doesn’t not do anything the iOS app does,”…a couple of features — such as the ability to easily clear your flight search history — are currently only found on the Android app, and are likely to be added to the next version of Hipmunk for iOS. Hipmunk’s Android debut could mark a significant inflection point for the year-old company, which has attracted a loyal following among the early adopter set…”

18. 5 questions for companies building mobile apps http://www.informationweek.com/news/development/mobility/231602447 Mobile apps have become must-have items for many companies, like websites were a decade ago. Enterprises want to provide mobile apps for their employees and/or customers, but they often don't know why or how to build one…what's missing in the enterprise space is an overall mobile strategy and an understanding of how an app will help both users and the company…1. Ask Why…it's critical for companies to ask why they want a mobile app and why it will help the end user…2. Ask How…there are three primary approaches: building native apps, using a development framework, and building Web apps…native code tends to be the best choice when performance is critical…Development frameworks or tools, however, often allow for faster development…frameworks allow you to be on multiple platforms faster and at a lower cost…Adobe's various mobile development tools, Appcelerator Titanium, Corona SDK, and PhoneGap…appMobi, Gideros, haXe, Moai, Mo Sync, Rhodes, Tiggr, and Unity3D…the more complex an app is, particularly if it relies on a complex business process, the more likely it is that the app should be a Web app…3. Ask About Maintenance…clients often think about apps like media buys rather than projects that require long-term attention and maintenance…development…deals often involve ongoing app maintenance fees…4. Ask How Apps Fit Your Infrastructure…companies…often…want is not so much an app as a service…Businesses need to think about apps as extensions of their infrastructure rather than discrete projects…5. Ask Whether It's Simple Enough…design software for your mom. "The age of the geek is over," he said…”

19. OnTheFly™ 1.2 for Android just made it easier to plan your trip http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/09/onthefly-12-for-android-just-made-it.html We just released the latest version of OnTheFly™, our airfare shopping mobile app, for Android. One of the new features in v1.2 is flexible date search, which enables you to browse 35 days of potential departure dates on a calendar combined with an interactive “temperature” graph. You can also save and access search history now, including particular itineraries of interest. We’ll even check price changes for those itineraries so you can know the best time to plan that dream trip…”

Open Source

20. PhoneGap to become an Apache project as Adobe acquires Nitobi http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/10/phonegap-to-become-an-apache-project-as-adobe-acquires-nitobi.ars Adobe has entered an agreement to acquire Nitobi, the startup behind PhoneGap. Alongside news of the acquisition, Adobe and Nitobi have jointly announced plans to donate the PhoneGap project to the Apache Software Foundation. PhoneGap is an open source mobile development framework for building applications with standards-based Web technologies. The project provides a cross-platform Web runtime that allows application developers to reach multiple mobile operating systems with a single code base…The PhoneGap APIs are generalized so that the same code can be used across multiple operating systems for tasks like accessing the camera or addressbook. The goal of PhoneGap is to make it possible for local Web applications to have the same functionality as native software. The framework currently supports iOS, Android, the Blackberry OS, webOS, Symbian, and Bada—though not all of the features are supported on every platform…”

21. The Electric Sheep Project | The Collaborative Dreams of Thousands of Computers http://ubuntumanual.org/posts/413/the-electric-sheep-project-the-collaborative-dreams-of-thousands-of-computers “…With Electric Sheep, you can view the beautifully rendered collective dreams of thousands of computers. This constantly evolving and changing collection of fractal art is created using the mathematics of the Flame Fractal algorithm and the processing power of an army of client computers…Electric Sheep is a distributed computing program for Linux, Mac and Windows. It…may be the first example of open source visual art. It uses an algorithm that creates beautiful and ever changing videos rendered by the computing power of nearly a half million idle computers world wide…The name 'Electric Sheep' is an allusion to the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Phillip K. Dicks. The program renders flame fractals, called sheep, which are uploaded to the server, where a 'flock' of about 100 are stored, combined and evolve. These are distributed to client machines and displayed as a screensaver 'dream' when the computer sleeps…”

22. Open-source R&D advocates prep $150M cancer drug project http://www.fiercebiotech.com/story/open-source-rd-advocates-prep-150m-cancer-drug-project/2011-09-29 After watching the cost of drug research escalate year after year with only a small annual crop of new drug approvals to point to, a number of the Big Pharma companies have begun to question all the fundamentals of the grossly inefficient game. And one of the biggest assumptions--that you have to keep your drug IP carefully sequestered behind a legal firewall of patents--will be put to the test by a new project being hatched by some of the leaders of the open-source research movement in biopharma…they're in the process of rounding up backers for a project dubbed Arch2POCM, a patent-free approach to early-stage research. They hope to create a $150 million, five-year program involving public and private groups focused on cancer with a similar effort aimed at autism and schizophrenia, two of the toughest targets in neuroscience. The project, expected to launch next year, aims at initiating open-resource R&D work through proof-of-concept stage, giving the world a clear view of what works, and what doesn't…”

23. Small business lessons from an open source art exhibit http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/09/28/artprize-rick-devos/?section=magazines_fortune “…Amway heir Rick DeVos launched a novel, open-source art competition and festival called ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 2009. The event attracted more than 200,000 visitors in its inaugural year, and the group expects that to grow to some 500,000 this year…ArtPrize…offers businesses and artists a website to match up with each other. The result: Art in homeless shelters, bars, shops, on the streets, even sitting in the middle the Grand River. Almost all the prize money is awarded by public vote; after registering at an ArtPrize location, people can choose their favorites by text message or on ArtPrize's website. Last year, 465,538 votes were cast…Really great things happen when you create a light-weight framework and let people go. A lot of individuals making small bets is better than a centrally planned effort…What has surprised you about launching ArtPrize? We expected 20 to 30-year olds to show up with their smartphones. Who actually showed up [at ArtPrize] was so much wider than that --older couples and families with toddlers. We didn't even think about kids coming to ArtPrize. We didn't even have kids' T-shirts…The more we can create a framework that empowers people and connects people, they're going to create things of … much more value than we could without building some huge team and process. That allows all sorts of relationships between artists and business owners, venues and sponsors to spring up…encourage folks to try small scale experiments, not bet the future of the firm on open source…The overall goal of ArtPrize is to shift the culture of west Michigan to one that embraces creativity…”

24. Intrusion detection systems : Using tripwire on Linux http://how-to.linuxcareer.com/intrusion-detection-systems--using-tripwire-on-linux “…Whether you're an experienced system administrator or a Linux beginner, whether you're managing an enterprise-grade network or just your home network, you must be aware of security issues. One common mistake is to think that if you're a home user with few world-facing machines you're exempt from malicious attacks. The attacker will not get from you what (s)he can get from a large corporate network, but that does not mean you're safe. The earlier you become security-aware, the better. While the subject of network security is huge, today at LinuxCareer.com we chose an interesting piece of software named tripwire, a HIDS (Host-based Intrusion Detection System). Of course, besides learning about tripwire you will learn what an IDS is, its' uses, traps and pitfalls. A little network knowledge will definitely help you, plus a degree of paranoiaThere are NIDS and HIDS, that is Network IDS and Host-based IDS. The first try to detect intruders by monitoring network traffic (Snort, for example), while the HIDS monitor file alterations on the monitored system(s), syscalls, ACLs and so on, in order to achieve the same result…”

SkyNet

25. Google = Google+ http://battellemedia.com/archives/2011/09/google_google “…At the moment, Google's brand is a bit confusing. Google equals Chrome. And YouTube. And Android. And Google Docs. And Gmail. And Maps, Places, Voice, Calendar....and self driving cars, and investments in energy research, and antitrust hearings, and Adwords, and of course search. Not to mention Google+. Oh, and Motorola…the average consumer…is a bit confused about what Google really means…while most have seen Google+ as the company's answer to Facebook's social graph, I now see it as something far bigger. In short, Google+ = Google. Google VP of Product Bradley Horowitz…recently told Wired…Until now, every single Google property acted like a separate company…But Google+ is Google itself. We’re extending it across all that we do—search, ads, Chrome, Android, Maps, YouTube—so that each of those services contributes to our understanding of who you are…Larry Page is obsessed with Google+…Google+ is the digital mortar between all of Google's offerings…one seamless platform for extending and leveraging your life through technology. In short, Google = the operating system of your life. At the moment, there are really only three serious players who have the technological, capital, and brand resources to stake such an audacious claim. Of course, they are Apple, Microsoft, and Google (Amazon seems on the precipice of becoming the fourth). Of the three, Apple has the best handle on its brand…Google's…trying to redefine what happens inside your brain when you consider the concept of "Google."…with being the brand to which you entrust nearly every technology-leveraged part of your life. If that indeed is what the company is trying to do, I'm more certain that Google+ will succeed. Why? Because it means the company is committed in a new way to a singular purpose…” http://gigaom.com/2011/09/30/its-official-google-will-be-connected-to-everything/ “…Google+, is here to stay…John Battelle of Federated Media notes…Larry Page “is obsessed with Google+,”…the new social network has become the core of what he wants the company to become: namely, Google as “the operating system of your life.” One problem with that, of course, is that competitors and even government regulators at the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department (not to mention in Europe) are already howling about how many of its digital tentacles Google has extended into your life already…if my activity through Google+ starts to influence everything that Google does, including search and search-related advertising, how will it keep from stepping over the kinds of privacy boundaries that have caused Facebook so much difficulty?...That’s the problem with the kind of ubiquity that Google wants for its Google+ network, and the downside of trying to copy (and improve on) a giant social network like Facebook: along with all of the benefits comes the risks and the inevitable backlash as well…”

26. Google Chrome is finally coming to an Android device near you http://www.conceivablytech.com/9480/products/google-ready-to-run-with-chrome-for-android Google is heading toward the finish line for the first release of Chrome for Android…The new browser is now evolving into a powerful cross-platform application that may help Google to aggressively push Chrome as a gaming and entertainment platform. Google will soon unify its browser platform across Android, Chrome OS, Windows, Linux and Mac OS platforms…It is still unclear how Google will position Chrome within Android…While Chrome runs apps on the desktop, it will be difficult if not impossible for Google to convey the same idea to smartphones users and there is no question that it will be increasingly difficult for Google to explain the need for both Chrome and Android in the future. However, the idea of a much more functional Webkit browser on a tablet – a browser that is closely related to desktop Chrome – is very appealing and should not be underestimated by Google’s rivals…We should be seeing the first version of Chrome for Android in October.”

27. New Google Maps Feature Lets You 'Helicopter' Preview Routes http://www.pcworld.com/article/240953/cool_new_google_maps_feature_lets_you_helicopter_preview_routes.html Google Maps now includes a cool new feature that lets you preview a route with a 3D bird's eye animation, whether you’re driving, walking, biking, or using mass transit. To use it, go to Google Maps, click "Get directions," and input your start and end points—just like you would normally. Starting Friday Google has added a small "3D" button next to "Driving directions to (your destination)."…Now views allow you to see 3D rendering of elevations such as buildings, hills and mountains as Google flies you along your recommended route…If the images here -- captured from a virtual trip from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. -- don’t impress you, check out the blog post from Google’s Earth and Maps team where they show photos from a picturesque drive from Carmel, California to Big Sur…”

28. I'm giving up Google Chromebook http://betanews.com/2011/10/02/im-giving-up-google-chromebook/ “…As much as I like the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, which I have used continuously since July 31, we must part ways. In a few days I will return to running Windows 7…My two-month journey to the cloud can offer lessons to Google, which has much work to do yet before Chrome OS is really ready for the masses…The browser-based, Linux OS is still an early-adopter product…I dragged my feet going Chromebook, waiting for Apple to release Mac OS X 10.7 Lion…Two weeks after installing Lion, I still don't like it. Lion reminds me too much of switching to Windows Vista from XP…Lion is one of the major reasons why I'm going back to Windows 7…Living in the cloud isn't so bad. The air is a little muggy and there are stormy days, but I can't complain about the overall experience…The surprisingly good integration with Google cloud apps and services is major reason…So there is no misunderstanding: You can comfortably use Chromebook as an everyday business PC, as long as your stuff is accessible from the browser and supports Flash and adopted or open browser standards…Chrome OS satisfies all I need to do on a daily basis…The three main benefits I see…Instant-on, long battery life, and Internet connectivity. Switching to Windows 7 is going to be painful, because I will lose instant-on. Once you have the capability on a laptop, you can't easily go back…This machine easily and quickly finds WiFi networks. When none is available, there is backup -- Verizon 3G radio with 100MB free bandwidth per month. What a lifesaver that was for me…Instant-on allowed me to flip the lid and write, close it to answer the vet's questions and resume work quickly…there are fundamental performance problems that make Chrome OS feel like beta software. Google Talk crashes several times a day, as do some third-party plugins. Flash is a killer (crashes helluva lot), and I'm convinced it's a major source of browser tab crashes, sometimes maddeningly slow performance…This kind of behavior is simply unacceptable in a shipping, commercial operating system…Right now I've got a loaner from Google…I had planned to buy my own Chromebook to replace the loaner. But…I've grown increasingly frustrated by the aforementioned beta-like, performance problems…I really will miss Chromebook. I've grown quite attached over the past two months…Perhaps if I was just working for myself and not writing about tech (where there is need of platforms to test stuff on), I would keep using Chromebook…”

General Technology

29. Hybrid drives could usher in Macs with more, cheaper storage http://gigaom.com/apple/hybrid-drives-could-usher-in-macs-with-more-cheaper-storage/ A new Apple patent…reveals plans for a new type of hybrid drive that combines the benefits of both platter-based and flash storage…Apple’s patent application reveals some innovative ideas about how to use a flash/spinning drive combo. The key new element in Apple’s patent application has to do with a system for detecting environmental conditions in a computer’s surroundings, and then changing which portion of the drive it writes to based on those conditions. That would allow it to temporarily store information on the flash portion of the drive, if conditions detected are determined to potentially pose a high risk for data written to the platter drive…Meanwhile, the platter-based drive can operate in normal conditions, providing lots more storage per dollar for customers. Flash-based storage…has a long way to go before it can compete in terms of per GB cost with platter-based drives. Capacities in Mac computers using hybrid drives could theoretically far outstrip those currently available from flash drives, while also offering some of their performance benefits. Hybrid drives can keep often-accessed data on the flash portion of the drive, to make operations like booting, shutting down and opening applications consistently speedy…”

30. ‘Artificial leaf’ makes fuel from sunlight http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/artificial-leaf-0930.html Researchers led by MIT professor Daniel Nocera have produced something they’re calling an “artificial leaf”: Like living leaves, the device can turn the energy of sunlight directly into a chemical fuel that can be stored and used later as an energy source. The artificial leaf — a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials bonded onto its two sides — needs no external wires or control circuits to operate. Simply placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it quickly begins to generate streams of bubbles: oxygen bubbles from one side and hydrogen bubbles from the other. If placed in a container that has a barrier to separate the two sides, the two streams of bubbles can be collected and stored, and used later to deliver power: for example, by feeding them into a fuel cell that combines them once again into water while delivering an electric current…The device…is made entirely of earth-abundant, inexpensive materials — mostly silicon, cobalt and nickel — and works in ordinary water…Nocera’s 2008 finding of the cobalt-based catalyst was a “major discovery,” and these latest findings “are equally as important, since now the water-splitting reaction is powered entirely by visible light…This is a major achievement, which is one more step toward developing cheap and robust technology to harvest solar energy as chemical fuel…”

DHMN Technology

31. Will You Soon Be Able To Make Amazon's Kindle At Home? http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/09/15/part-8-will-you-soon-be-able-to-make-amazons-kindle-at-home/ “…in an excellent article in strategy+business, A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Fabrication, Tom Igoe and Catarina Mota explain how the economics of manufacturing are being further disrupted by rapid advances in manufacturing technology which point the way toward a decentralized, more customer-centric “maker”…In the foreign outsourcing of manufacturing, managers chased…economies of scale, often overlooking the additional costs of transport, inventory management, quality control, sales, marketing and distribution of large production runs, as well the risks involved in such extended supply chains. They paid scant attention to the long-run costs of losing knowledge and the opportunity to learn…digital manufacturing is beginning to do to manufacturing what the Internet has done to information-based goods and services. Just as video went from a handful of broadcast networks to millions of producers on YouTube within a decade, a massive transition from centralized production to a “maker culture” of dispersed manufacturing innovation is under way today…digital fabrication devices fall into two categories…programmable subtractive tools, which carve shapes from raw materials…additive tools, which are primarily computer-controlled 3-D printers that build objects layer by layer…Technically known as “additive rapid manufacturing” devices…the price of additive technologies is plunging exponentially while capabilities are growing, in a fashion similar to Moore’s Law in computing. In 2001, the cheapest 3-D printer was priced at $45,000. Today a professional 3-D printer costs less than $10,000, and a desktop do-it-yourself kit costs less than $1,500…Lessons for Large Manufacturers…Prepare now for the capabilities you’ll need when some of your products are digitally fabricated…Establish a hybrid product line that mixes complementary mass-production and individual-production items…Counter reverse engineering with open innovation. Digital fabrication will inevitably enable amateur enthusiasts to knock off and alter commercial products in their garages…Help in the development of new and better materials for fabrication…with digital manufacture, the important question is not whether we could make a Kindle in this fashion, but rather: what can we do with this new technology that we couldn’t even dream of doing before…”

32. Trick or Treat Arduino http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/10/01/5820553.htm Powered by pneumatic solenoid valves and an Arduino microcontroller, a fi re-breathing dragon will be appearing in Marin County, California, on October 31. The project began last year, when the now 17-year-old Sam DeRose and his 16-year-old friend Alex Jacobson teamed up with their fathers, Tony and David, to design a robotic version of the friendly dragon Saphira from the Eragon fantasy novel and movie. Their eight-and-a-half-foot-tall Saphira can rise from her turret, extend her wings, turn and nod her head, and shoot huge balls of fl ame…TIME: 400 hours COST: $1,100…Automatic Candy Dispenser TIME: 20 hours COST: $250 Trick-or-treaters at Noel Portugal's Austin, Texas, home are invited to press a button on a control box or to text or call the number on the box's LCD screen. The device wirelessly broadcasts incoming candy requests to an Arduino on the second story of the house. When the Arduino receives a request, it activates a servo motor, opening a gate that covers a hole in the side of a bucket and releasing candy to the children below…”

33. Retro gaming on a giant Game & Watch http://www.house4hack.co.za/?p=333 “…21tanks…want a massive LED TV that is connected to the web, and specifically the retro games you can find over at http://www.pica-pic.com/. They want this TV in their reception room, with two massive buttons. The idea is that waiting people can play a quick game or two standing up while they wait…Well we have now completed the massive game. It is not only a proof of concept anymore. Tobie did the inside of this game with an arduino and Chris from CubedModels. Here is some photos of the finished product…”

34. A DIY Arduino watch that's actually wearable, still won't win you points with the ladies http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/28/a-diy-arduino-watch-thats-actually-wearable-still-wont-win-yo/ “…Your timepiece can say a lot about you, including: "I'm a big nerd, please beat me up and take my lunch money." So, what does an Arduino watch tell your peers? Well, for one, that you have way too much time on your hands. And two, that you're crafty person capable of putting your brain meats to work building actual things. Of course, telling time with a series of brightly glowing LEDs on an exposed PCB also sends the message that being fashionable is not your primary concern. If you're looking to earn some geek cred, and can live with the fact that wearing this will probably cost you that cute girl's number at the bar, hit up the source for instructions. At least this wearable Arduino timepiece is a slightly less conspicuous than the Steampunk version we saw last summer…”

35. Learn a New Skill This Weekend http://lifehacker.com/5845274/learn-a-new-skill-this-weekend A weekend may not seem like a lot of time, but you might be surprised by what you can learn in just 48 hours. Here are a bunch of new skills you can pick up on the weekend, or at least master the basics…Learn to Code, Design and Create a Web Site, and Other Computer Skills…Advance Your Knowledge of Photography, Drawing, and Other Artistic Skills…Pick Up a New Musical Instrument…Master Some Handy DIY Skills…Learn to Cook…”

Leisure & Entertainment

36. Hate Your Hulu Ad? Now You Have More Alternatives http://mashable.com/2011/10/03/hulu-ad-swap/ Hulu users who don’t like the ads they’re seeing will be able to find ones they might prefer, thanks to a new program called Ad Swap. Hulu Ad Swap works like this: When you see an ad you don’t like, you can click on a number of ad choices, which have been targeted at you based on your previous ad and viewing preferences. The advertiser whose ad you clicked away from will not be charged for that impression…Hulu Ad Selector, introduced in 2008, already gives a choice of three ads from one brand or one ad from a selection of three different brands. Ad Swap will offer viewers more options than Ad Selector…”

37. USA’s “Psych” Social TV Campaign Scores With Fans http://mashable.com/2011/09/29/psych-hashtagkiller-usa/ USA Network launched a fun new interactive social media mystery game tie-in for its hit TV show Psych. The game is called #HashTagKiller and it takes place on the Web using Facebook’s Open Graph API. The game launched on Wednesday and will unfold online over the next seven weeks. The game uses video created with the cast specifically for the game, as well as puzzles, clues and Facebook messages between series leads Shawn and Gus. Users can visit hashtagkiller.com to get started…Psych has a very active social media following with more than 2 million fans on Facebook…After the idea was hatched, Psych writers got to work on a script. In addition to the online elements of the game, stars James Roday and Dule Hill also star in video clips that will roll out as part of the game each week. The clips are designed to mimic the look and feel of the show. During the week, players can log into HashTagKiller.com to get more clues and messages and continue to try to track down the killer and solve the case…”

38. Avatar Land http://travel.usatoday.com/alliance/destinations/mouseplanet/post/2011/09/Avatar-Land/549554/1 “…the Walt Disney Company announced plans to build a new theme park land based on the movie Avatar…in Disney’s Animal Kingdom…this arrangement is in direct response to the apparent success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando…this arrangement with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment studio and Fox Filmed Entertainment gives Disney exclusive theme-park rights to use elements from the 2009 box-office hit. They will also be able to take advantage of two planned sequels…the first sequel is due out in 2014 with the second coming in 2015…visitors have flocked to Universal Orlando to see for themselves how Hogwarts has come to life. But what really drives them to visit? Do they come for the rides? There are currently only three—and two of those were essentially “re-imagined”…to fit within Harry Potter’s World. The third, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, is…a wonderful attraction that combines technology and some of the films’ elements into a thrilling and repeatable ride—but it’s still only a single ride. Do they come for the theming? I have to believe this is, at least partially, the case. There’s always something special about seeing a fictional place come to life…What Potter aficionado could pass up the chance to sample a Butterbeer or purchase an authentic magic wand?...the sale of food and merchandise in Universal’s theme parks were up a whopping 90 percent during the first half of 2011…attendance at the two-park resort soared 52 percent…The real question is whether Disney can approach this type of brand recognition from Avatar…”

39. Microsoft Kills Off Zune Music Player http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231700240 Microsoft this week made official what many Redmond watchers long suspected--the company has quietly decided to discontinue its Zune line of MP3 music players and will stop selling the devices once current inventory runs out. "We will no longer be producing Zune players," Microsoft officials said, noting that the company's efforts in digital music would now be focused exclusively on the Windows Phone line of smartphones…”

40. Trump and Kiyosaki Debut New Use of Autodesk SketchBook at Live, Online eBook-Signing http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/trump-and-kiyosaki-debut-new-use-of-the-autodesk-sketchbook-pro-app-technology-at-live-online-ebook-signing-of-midas-touch-130965013.html “…Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki will appear in their first live chat and online eBook-signing on iPad using the Autodesk SketchBook Pro for iPad app. The free, live chat and online eBook-signing of an exclusive, iBookstore version of "Midas Touch…occurs October 5, 2011…we are using iPad, iBookstore and Autodesk technology in a new way to provide real-time information, and limited-edition, signed eBooks, to attendees as fast as possible. Using the Autodesk SketchBook Pro paint and drawing software, Caniglia's tech team will capture Trump and Kiyosaki's signatures in real-time during the event…Purchase a limited-edition version of the eBook officially signed by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki on the iBookstore for $25.95…this version of the signed book will only be available for 48 hours after the start of the live chat…”

41. Welcome to Mashable Entertainment http://mashable.com/2011/09/13/welcome-to-mashable-entertainment/ Welcome to the new Mashable Entertainment section…Over the past five years, the entertainment industry has changed. Social and digital media are having a profound impact on how entertainment content is created, consumed and distributed. Services like Netflix, Hulu and Spotify and the ability to access content across devices — mobile phones, settop boxes, tablets and more — have forced establishments to realign and adjust, lest they perish. For the past decade, the narrative around the music industry has been largely about its struggles to adapt to the digital age. The film and television industries have (thus far) avoided the same fate, but changes in consumer behaviors and the rise of ubiquitous connectivity has changed those fields, too…With Mashable Entertainment, our goal is to focus on the intersection of technology and entertainment, and their evolving nature…as the Fall TV season kicks off, we’re going to look at the role social media is having on the traditional television landscape…Ten years ago, the pinnacle of connected entertainment was watching The Sopranos on DVD. There were no MP3 players, no smartphones, and Netflix was a small mail-based rental service trying to compete with the likes of Blockbuster…”

Economy and Technology

42. Incredibly Useful Sites for Small Business http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/240711/incredibly_useful_sites_for_small_business.html “…These well-designed services and resources are among the best the Web offers for small and midsize businesses. Some include apps for smartphones and downloads for your desktop, but all of them provide the bulk of their features within a Web browser…Productivity…We tend to prefer Google's tools for lean companies with little need for the desktop Office applications included with Office 365…Evernote…VMWare's SlideRocket is a beautiful, cloud-based alternative to PowerPoint…Need to brainstorm in a more structured way than in a long text list? Want to visualize your thoughts in a flowchart? Mind-mapping tool SpiderScribe is a breeze to get started with…If you conduct business from multiple phones (who doesn't?), Google Voice is a godsend…Proxify comes in handy when you want to surf securely on a public Wi-Fi connection at an airport or café…Both LogMeIn and GoToMyPC let you access a faraway PC securely…HHipmunk's unique airfare finder displays flight options in a handy grid. Rather than forcing you to start each search anew, it arranges each search in a tab…IndieGoGo lets you keep most of the money you've raised, even if you haven't reached your initial goal. With Kickstarter, on the other hand, if you fall even $1 short of your $4000 goal, then no cash…for you…Rocket Lawyer provides copious articles and free forms, such as for nondisclosure agreements…ZenDesk provides a virtual help desk for companies that require customer support and can't keep up with flooded inboxes and never-ending help-desk tickets…FaxZero lets you fax a .doc, .docx, or PDF file for free. An ad will follow your document out of the recipient's machine, but you can eliminate that with a $10-per-month subscription or a $2 one-time fee. HelloFax performs the same job, with no ad the first five times you use it…Both Harvest and FreshBooks offer time tracking, billing, and bookkeeping tools ideal for service-based businesses…Think of InDinero as Mint.com for small businesses. It imports data from your bank, credit card, and other accounts (including Harvest and FreshBooks), after which it spells out where your money is flowing, through handy charts…QuickBooks. Intuit's accounting and bookkeeping package dominates the field, although reviewers often wish that its online versions better mirrored the desktop software. When it comes to choosing a customer relationship managment service…Insightly is a solid but lean option to add to your Google Apps suite--and it's free for three users…vCita provides a professional contact card that you can embed on other sites, featuring options to schedule a phone call or video meeting. It could use more creative design options, but it's a great way to offer your expertise to potential clients. vCita is free if you don't charge for your sessions…Dropbox…has made backup and file sharing almost sexy for consumers. But it isn't the best cloud-storage service for business. That honor should go to Box.net. You get 5GB of storage free--more than twice the Dropbox free limit…”

43. IBM Tops Microsoft to Be Second-Most Valuable in Technology http://news.businessweek.com/article.asp?documentKey=1376-LSB6KB0UQVI901-1GOP71DFU07PC8VB4M3A8093N4 International Business Machines Corp. passed Microsoft Corp. to become the world's second-most valuable technology company, a reflection of industry changes including the shift away from the personal computer. IBM's market value rose to $214 billion yesterday, while Microsoft's fell to $213.2 billion. It's the first time IBM has exceeded its software rival based on closing prices since 1996, according to Bloomberg data. IBM became the fourth-largest company by market value, based on yesterday's closing price, and, in technology, trails only Apple Inc…”

44. Collaborative Consumption Leader And Unlikely VC Rachel Botsman Will Convince Us All To Share http://www.fastcompany.com/1781573/rachel-botsman-collaborative-fund-whos-next-venture-capitalism-sharing-economy “…Rachel Botsman…wanted to start a movement…about something she was observing in her travels around the world: collaborative consumption…Botsman believes the collaborative consumption business model can help companies better provide services and goods to people wherever and whenever they need them, at a price they can afford, and allow businesses to profit and thrive, without draining our natural resources…Botsman had steeped herself in research about the sharing economy…co-authored a book…maintains a website and research about these businesses…became…a central figure, in the growing network of collaborative consumption businesses…These things existed, but people didn’t have a common vernacular to describe how Airbnb, Zipcar, and others were tied together. If you combine authenticity with passion and knowledge you can really take people along and do some incredible things."…Botsman advises and through Collaborative Fund invests in companies like...Skillshare, a marketplace that helps people share and make money from whatever they do best by teaching it to others…Taskrabbit, which lets individuals run errands, just about anywhere and at any time, for others in need…Rentcycle, the online marketplace that helps people find rental goods, of any kind, near where they need them…CultureKitchen…a Bay Area-based culinary school where people can share family recipes and insight into their cultural backgrounds…Botsman reveals that she's mulling her next book. "I don’t want to say exactly what it is but it will look into reputation, trust, and what’s happening with money. How we exchange money is changing. What will that look like in 15 years time? How will banks be reinvented? How will payment systems and currency be changed?…” http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/have-a-skill-to-share-collect-a-class-and-start-teaching/ “…even with all the opportunities for teaching and learning online, the value of face-to-face instruction from a knowledgeable teacher can’t be discounted. That’s the premise behind the New York City peer-to-peer learning company Skillshare. Skillshare builds on a basic premise proven by the immeasurable amount of content on the Internet: there are a lot of smart people with valuable skills to teach — and leverages the Internet’s grassroots community-building function. The result is a wide selection of person-to-person classes on any number of topics — from wire jewelry, to scone-baking, to Web development, to Bayesian statistics. If enough people show an interest in what you have to offer, your class is a go. It’s a cross between Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods, and Kickstarter, an online fundraising tool. If enough people show an interest in what you have to offer, your class is a go. Classes run an average of $20 per student, and the startup takes a 15% cut. Skillshare doesn’t provide classroom space, but it does offer guidelines on finding a good venue to hold class…” http://www.skillshare.com/learn

45. Bringing Back "Lost" Industries: The Case Of Batteries http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/09/21/bringing-back-lost-industries-the-case-of-batteries-part-10/ “…Today I turn to whether it’s possible to recover an industry that has already been “lost”, and in particular, the case of lithium ion batteries...one of the many key sectors that the USA had “lost” to Asia—a victim of decades of outsourcing by multiple companies in the private sector. Now an effort is underway to bring lithium ion batteries back…When A123 Systems, set out to manufacture its lithium-ion batteries some years ago…They had no option but to go to Asia to manufacture their lithium ion batteries…That’s where the know-how was — it was nonexistent in the U.S.”…Repatriating a high-tech manufacturing plant to the United States is not simply a matter of hiring the local talent. It requires good-old foreign know-how…We basically brought that here, copied it exactly and scaled it up.” A123 also brought a team of six Korean engineers to help transfer the technology to the U.S. and sent a team of Americans to Korea to learn. Gertner heard a similar story at LG Chem Power…LG Chem is building a factory in Holland, Michigan, to make batteries for the Chevy Volt. Production depends on replicating the company’s lithium-ion plants abroad, down to the smallest detail…Fifty years ago, American firms used to make fun of Japanese firms for “merely imitating the US”. Now American firms are having to go through the same process: there is no other way to get re-started, once the expertise has gone…Only 5 to 10 percent of the cost of a battery cell coming from labor; material accounts for the bulk of expenses…Senator Carl Levin of Michigan is quoted by John Gertner: Our companies are not competing with those companies in Korea and Japan. They’re competing with those governments that are supporting them…In other countries, it often works differently. Governments are more willing to help companies pool information about a new industry or technology and (especially in Korea and China) assist with the early-stage commercialization of products, including the construction of plants…The US government is thus moving to re-establish an industrial commons in the field of new battery technology, with skills shared by a large, interlocking group of workers at universities and corporations and in government. Although there is still a vocal segment in the political sphere urging the government to leave matters to the private sector, the record shows that the private sector on its own has succeeded in destroying whole sectors of the economy through foreign outsourcing…At first the factories leave; the researchers and development engineers soon follow. The experiment now under way is: can the commons be re-established? In supporting the re-establishment of the industrial commons, one danger for the current administration…is to view its support of batteries as a jobs program, rather than the fostering innovation and the creation and preservation of knowledge…”

Civilian Aerospace

46. Get to any city on earth within two hours travel http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/a-project-between-klm-and-michiel-mol-could-bring-every-city-on-earth-within-two-hours-travel/story-e6frg95x-1226156133530 A Formula One tycoon is linking up with KLM, the Dutch airline, to develop spacecraft that could bring every city on Earth within two hours' travel time…Their ambition…is to pioneer commercial space travel with…the first scheduled flights within 15 to 20 years. Michiel Mol, 42, a Dutchman who co-owns the Force India F1 team and made his fortune in computer software, said this weekend: "Being able to travel from London to Sydney in an hour and 45 minutes, that is the future. It is also the reason why KLM joined our firm [Space Expedition Curacao] as a partner…Sir Richard Branson intends to become the first private space tourism operator, booking seats at $A209,000 each. Mol intends to follow suit in early 2014 and says he has already sold 35 tickets at pounds $A97,000 for flights from the Caribbean island of Curacao…His first spaceship, the Lynx, from…XCOR Aerospace, will…feature breakthrough technology with a reusable engine. It's the first time a spaceship will be capable of doing four flights a day and of doing 5,000 flights with one engine…The first generation spaceship will travel at 2,200mph, but the second generation will need to reach a velocity of 13,750mph to achieve the desired orbit…once the craft is in space "where you are going doesn't make much difference. You need 10 minutes to get into space and maybe half an hour to decelerate and land again, and the rest of the time you are flying at 12,000-13,750mph…The cheapest ticket prices on Concorde were pounds 6,200…Mol says the viability of long-haul space travel will depend on similar price levels. When we get to the point that travelling through space is two or three times [the cost of] a business-class long-distance flight then I think there will be millions of people who would prefer to be in Sydney in a little more than 1 and a half hours instead of 24 hours…His father, Jan Mol, who is worth $A653m according to The Sunday Times Rich List, will co-host the British launch of the venture with Marie Claire von Alvensleben in London this week…”

47. Space Startups Have A Head Of Steam http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/awst/2011/10/03/AW_10_03_2011_p54-374098.xml “…Exhilaration is growing across the commercial spaceflight field, as policy changes in Washington and progress on a wide range of commercial-space ventures feed anticipation that the terrestrial economy is about to leap into low Earth orbit…more than 240 students have trekked to the…Nastar Center…A painted wooden sign at the entrance to the crowded parking lot shows the promise—and hope—riding on the commercial space industry. It says “Help Wanted,” and lists “immediate” employment available for several types of skilled workers…Nastar Center has…done numerous research projects for FAA, NASA, [the U.S. Navy], as well as several internal research projects. Nastar Center has expanded our training capability, first for commercial space-traveler training and then for upset recovery training for commercial aviation.” Nastar is a harbinger of things to come in commercial space…while the big boys are banking on government seed money and the promise of big government contracts…a gaggle of smaller companies are already at work on spaceflight apps they believe will be pots of gold in the sky. Most of the near-term apps are necessarily based on suborbital spaceflight, but the private sector already is in business on the space station as well. “In two years, we’ve designed, developed, launched, operate and market our own facilities on the U.S. National Lab,” says Jeffrey Manber…of NanoRacks, which sells cubesat-class experiment accommodation and other scientific services on U.S.-controlled ISS facilities. “We’re…obsessed with the bottom line, [as] the first generation of commercial providers of goods and services in space…NanoRacks’ prices are low enough that a private California high school has paid to send student experiments into space…Stern and his colleagues have gone on to procure flights from both Virgin and XCOR, and have trained at the Nastar center. They chose three pre-tested experiments to check out on a suborbital mission…to determine how useful suborbital flight can be for astronomy and upper-atmosphere studies…Stern and his fellow suborbital scientists at SwRI hope to hire themselves out to other researchers who may not have the time or inclination to perform their own experiments in suborbital space, or the ability to engineer and build them…Stern’s group has teamed with three flight-services providers as payload integrators…Virgin, XCOR and Masten Space Systems…The SwRI group already faces competition in the inflight operations arena. A Florida-based non-profit corporation…has set up as Astronauts4Hire, which plans to match researchers needing payload specialists with would-be suborbital scientists…“If somebody else is developing the spacecraft to get there, and NASA is the anchor tenant and has a lot of the infrastructure and lessons learned from 50 years, then I can come along with an app,” says Brett Alexander…“I don’t know if that app is taking pictures looking down, or it’s taking pictures looking up, or if it’s using microgravity for science or manufacturing…it comes at a price point and an entry point that is so much lower than it was before, and that is the way of the commercial market.”…Altus Space Machines, a five-person startup based north of Denver, has flown a test version of its “sticky boom” technology…the idea is to combine a flexible device that uses electrostatic attraction to grapple a non-cooperative spacecraft with a very long, strong boom for safety. “We call it a mechanical tractor beam…It just opens up such a wide range of capabilities, everything from orbital debris mitigation, sample capture for things like the Mars Sample Return mission, all the way to the main market we’re looking at—trying to revolutionize space logistics…”

48. SpaceX To Try Reusable Launch http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2011/09/30/07.xml “…SpaceX engineers have concluded it may be possible to modify the company’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle to make it fully reusable, a feat SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk says could cut the cost of access to orbit “a hundred-fold.”…it is at least tentatively feasible to modify the kerosene-fueled vehicle’s main and upper stages for return to Earth using propulsive landing with landing gear…By reusing most of the vehicle, the cost of flying to orbit becomes primarily the cost of propellant, he says, which puts it at $200,000 a flight…The company also must await final approval to fly two Orbcomm data-relay satellites as piggyback payloads on its first flight to the station, which would demonstrate the ability of the Dragon cargo capsule to provide ISS logistics…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

49. Appro to Deliver 800 TFLOPS Supercomputer to Japan’s University of Tsukuba http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-09-14/appro_to_deliver_800tflops_supercomputer_to_japan%E2%80%99s_university_of_tsukuba.html “…the Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputer…is selected by the Center for Computational Sciences at the University of Tsukuba…for advanced scientific research and multi-disciplinary programs covering a wide range of research and education areas, including particle physics, astrophysics, biophysics and climate…The Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputer…at University of Tsukuba is a hybrid system that will consist of two CPUs and 4 GPUs per node with a total of 4,288 CPU cores and 548,864 GPU cores, achieving up to 802.07 Tflops of peak performance based on the…Intel Xeon Processor…using Appro's air-cooling technology and techniques…with dual-rail Mellanox Connect X3 QDR InfiniBand…”

50. GPU parallel computing for checked baggage inspection systems http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mercury-computer-systems-selected-to-sharpen-performance-of-checked-baggage-inspection-systems-2011-09-29 Mercury Computer Systems Inc…has been selected by a…provider of security inspection systems to accelerate the performance of its high-capacity checked baggage scanning equipment. Mercury's unique expertise in optimizing algorithms was applied to powerful graphics processing units (GPUs)…Mercury's advanced software framework will enable the scanning systems to deliver ultra-clear images, improving the reliability of results, increasing security and expediting the screening process at airports and other transportation hubs…Our seven-year track record of bringing the tremendous processing advantages of GPGPUs to a wide range of military and commercial applications is evidence of this…Mercury first implemented GPGPUs in 2004 as part of a medical imaging application…”

51. Marshall Scores “BigGreen” GPU Cluster http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-09-29/marshall_scores_%E2%80%9Cbiggreen%E2%80%9D_gpu_cluster.html Researchers at Marshall University in the United States are set to receive a new GPU-powered cluster that will allow them to make further advances in bioinformatics, climate research, physics computational chemistry and engineering. Nicknamed “BigGreen” the cluster will boast “276 central processing unit cores, 552 gigabytes of memory and more than 10 terabytes of storage.” This, coupled with the eight NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with 448 cores each will push BigGreen into the six teraflop range—and will allow the university’s researchers to explore new areas aided by simulation and parallel computation capabilities…Dr. Jan I. Fox, Marshall’s senior vice president for information technology said…It will literally change the way we work and do research at Marshall University…”


*****

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