2011/11/01

NEW NET Weekly List for 01 Nov 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 01 November 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. Slice Brings Receipt Aggregator And Tracking Service To Gmail http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/25/eric-schmidt-backed-slice-brings-receipt-aggregator-and-tracking-service-to-gmail/ “…Slice is bringing its receipt organizer to Gmail users…the app automatically aggregates and pulls information from the electronic receipts in your email and organizes it in one place…the app consolidates your shopping history in one place so you don’t have to log into multiple websites, dig through receipts or manually file emails. Slice will automatically track in-progress shipments and chart shipping from multiple retailers on a single map. And the service will also provide quick access to return and customer service information that isn’t always so easy to find and will show you exactly what you bought down to the individual item from the most popular merchants, not just where you bought it…Slice is launching a new features, called Price Alerts, that will let users know when the cost of an item purchased drops, so you can try to recoup the difference from the retailer…The Gmail app is particularly useful, especially as the holiday shopping season nears and there’s an influx of receipts arriving in my inbox. Slice faces competition from recently launched Lemon.” [is this type of internet service something you’d want to use, or would you stay away from it due to potential abuse/hacking of your financial information? –ed.]

2. Facebook Will Cool Its First European Data Center for Free in Sweden http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/242670/facebook_will_cool_its_first_european_data_center_for_free_in_sweden.htmlFacebook has begun building a data center in Lulea, Sweden, where it will benefit from cheap electricity and year-round free air cooling…The data center will be Facebook's first in Europe, and its third worldwide…Lulea is on the edge of the Arctic Circle…allowing Facebook to save money by cooling its data center with fresh air rather than air conditioning…The less power wasted on ancillary functions such as cooling and lighting, the more energy-efficient the data center becomes…The servers there will run primarily on hydroelectric power from the nearby Lule river…Lulea has the cheapest electricity in Europe…”

3. LiveMinutes Launches Simple, Free Document-Based Web Conferencing Service http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/28/liveminutes-launches-simple-free-document-based-web-conferencing-service/There are still a number of pain points with existing web conferencing platforms, including having to install software, complicated pricing plans, poor usability, and cluttered interfaces. LiveMinutes is hoping to disrupt this space with its free, simple document-based web conferencing service. LiveMinutes free web-conferencing service sits between file sharing and web conferencing…Meeting leaders can start discussing and annotating around documents, and the service also integrates with Skype. And users can get a downloadable report after every meeting. LiveMinutes launched in alpha a few weeks ago and has already conducted 10,000 sessions for 2,000 users. For anyone who is frustrated with their current web conferencing service, LiveMinutes is worth a try…”

4. Ridejoy: Make Some Dough Back On Your Next Roadtrip http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/28/yc-funded-ridejoy-hitch-a-ride-on-the-cheap-or-make-some-dough-on-your-next-roadtrip/ “…Ridejoy…allows drivers who are already planning to take a roadtrip to ‘sell’ their extra seats to other users. The net result: drivers earn money on trips they were planning on taking anyway, and Ridejoy passengers get a door-to-door lift, in some cases for less than they’d pay for a bus ticket….Ridejoy…did a one-off trial for Burning Man this year with BurningManRides.com — a site that helped people coordinate their trips out to the Nevada desert. 1600 people signed up, 1150 rides were posted, and 400 rides were completed over a three-week span. In a neat twist, five pilots offered rides-by-air, completing a total of ten plane trips…the company is now opening its doors a bit wider. You can now use Ridejoy to book trips up and down the West Coast (starting at Vancouver, ending with San Diego). There’s a new route to Tahoe, a very popular destination for residents of Northern California. And you don’t necessarily have to be starting from or heading to the same place as your driver — if your pickup and/or dropoff points are on the way for them, Ridejoy can still find the listings…” [this service could be a ride-sharer’s dream, sort of an Internet-enabled college or hippie ride board, but the first thing that popped into my head was the negative possibilities; the service would be sued or put out of business the first time a rider or driver shared a ride with someone who should be starring in a thriller or horror movie – ed.]

Gigabit Internet

5. Alcatel-Lucent donates $100,000 to promote Chattanooga Gigabit Internet speed http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/oct/26/alcatel-lucent-donates-100000-promote-chattanooga-/Alcatel-Lucent is investing $100,000 in Chattanooga’s campaign to lure entrepreneurs to the city with plans to use EPB’s high-speed Internet links…it will help tout the gigabit Internet speed offered by EPB by helping to support “The Gig PrizeTM,” a Chattanooga-based initiative to foster the development of gigabit per second Internet applications and business ventures. “Last year, Chattanooga became America’s first and only city to complete a community-wide network capable of delivering up to 1 gigabit per second Internet speeds to every home and business in a 600 square mile area,” Robert Vrij, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region, told the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce today during the annual “Spirit of Innovation” award. “We’re proud to partner with Chattanooga as this extraordinary city establishes a groundbreaking model for demonstrating the direct linkage between investment in telecommunications infrastructure and economic growth…”

6. Vermont Service Provider to Help Complete High-Speed Fiber Network http://next-generation-communications.tmcnet.com/topics/nextgen-voice/articles/233670-vermont-service-provider-deploy-calix-onts-help-complete.htmVermont Telephone Company…will leverage the power of Calix's 700GE family…to help complete its 4G/LTE wireless broadband network…The Wireless Open World (WOW) network, set to be completed in 2013, will be capable of delivering VoIP and high-speed residential and business data services at up to one gigabit per second…Ranked 46th in the nation in terms of connectivity in January, Vermont has taken a number of steps to improve broadband access across the state…In addition to the WOW network, VTel is helping Vermont residents prepare for the broadband push by providing digital literacy training classes through thousands of Rural Broadband Farm Forums. The sessions will help teach residents how to leverage high-speed Internet access…”

7. WiGig Alliance to begin testing high-speed wireless technology http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2119562/wigig-alliance-begin-testing-speed-wireless-technologyA new wireless technology that could transmit data at 3Gbit/s to 5Gbit/s will undergo its first trials this week, and a series of key technology vendors are lined up to test products using the WiGig standard. The technology runs over the 60GHz spectrum which has almost no interference issues so it can deliver speeds far in advance of standard Wi-Fi connections, according to the WiGig Alliance…The high throughput means you can send uncompressed video streams or sync your smartphone with your PC in a few seconds, rather than minutes, while locations such as coffee shops could offer vastly improved browsing speeds…the first products using the technology…could start launching products by the middle of 2012…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Every Android device now infringes Apple patent: Slide to unlock http://www.zdnet.com/blog/mobile-news/every-android-device-now-infringes-apple-patent-slide-to-unlock/5199 “…Apple has been riding the patentability of design elements for a while…A U. S. patent awarded today to Apple guarantees that every Android phone and tablet ever made infringes Apple’s design. Anyone who has touched an Android device has come face-to-face with the slide to unlock feature…This simple control has now been patented by Apple, removing it from the available design pool to anyone else…This new patent over the simple slide to unlock feature means the company can go after any Android device maker it wants, and likely have success in the courts…the control on Windows Phone devices, sliding the lock screen up to access the phone functions, may very well infringe on this patent too…”

9. Yes, Google "Stole" From Apple, And That's A Good Thing http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2011/10/25/yes-google-stole-from-apple-and-thats-a-good-thing/Apple is…locked in a legal battle…over claims that Samsung’s smartphones and tablets infringe on Apple’s patents. ..Did Google “steal from iOS?”…If we define “steal” narrowly, the answer is almost certainly “no.” There haven’t been any allegations…that Google obtained a pirated copy of iOS source code and incorporated it into Android…On the other hand, if we define the term broadly, Google and Samsung clearly did “steal” Apple’s technology. A number of key concepts, such as pinch-to-zoom, were first introduced on the iPhone and later incorporated into Android…The important question…whether we want to live in a world…where only Apple is allowed to make phones with pinch-to-zoom capability (and dozens of other features)…I sure don’t…The lawsuit against Samsung is a replay of its “look and feel” lawsuit against Microsoft two decades ago. Apple was the first company to bring the graphical user interface to a large audience with…the Mac in 1984. Microsoft famously released a competing GUI-based operating system, Windows, in 1985. Apple sued, alleging that Windows had “stolen” the “look and feel” of the Mac OS…The courts eventually decided that it didn’t extend to “look and feel,” allowing Microsoft to continue selling Windows…You can imagine an alternate universe in which Apple won its lawsuit…Would anyone seriously contend that we’d be better off today if Apple (or Xerox, which pioneered some of the key concepts) had held a monopoly on basic UI concepts like menus, buttons, and scroll bars…Likewise, it would be a disaster for innovation if Apple won its lawsuits against Android and attained a 20-year monopoly on multi-touch smart phones…”

10. Major privacy flaw found in Dolphin HD browser for Android http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/10/major-privacy-flaw-found-in-dolphin-hd-browser-for-android.arsDolphin HD has long been our favorite third-party Web browser for Android…But recent versions of the browser have introduced a startling privacy flaw…the Android Police blog yesterday revealed that every URL loaded in Dolphin HD is relayed as plain text to a remote server…an unambiguous breach of privacy…the company behind Dolphin issued a statement…Recent versions of Dolphin introduced a feature called Webzine that offers a specialized presentation of websites. When a user visits a website, the URL is relayed to Dolphin’s servers which determine whether the Webzine view is supported for the specified destination. The company contends that the data is not collected or retained. It subsequently issued an update to disable the feature and said that it will be made opt-in in future versions…”

11. Red-light traffic camera contracts try to maximize number of tickets http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141744850One out of every five Americans lives in a community that pays a for-profit company to install and operate cameras that record traffic violations. A pro-consumer group says that practice could end up putting profits ahead of safety and accuracy. Some contracts require cities to share revenue with camera vendors on a per-ticket basis or through other formulas as a percentage of revenue…Another type of agreement — conditional "cost-neutral" contracts — also contain provisions that link payments to the number of tickets issued, although the payments are capped…local governments pay a monthly fee to a camera vendor. If ticket revenues fail to cover the vendor's fee in any given month, cities may delay payments. That gives vendors "an incentive to ensure a minimum (number) of citations are issued,"…While vendors capture violations, police or other local officials approve which violations are issued tickets. Some contracts penalize cities if they don't approve enough tickets, effectively setting a ticket quota…Automated traffic ticketing tends to be governed by contracts that focus more on profits than safety…”

12. The Dark Side Of Biometrics: 9 Million Israelis' Hacked Info Hits The Web http://www.fastcompany.com/1790444/the-downside-of-biometrics-9-million-israelis-records-hackedBiometrics are the next big thing in government and homeland security…Every time a foreigner comes to the United States, their biometric data--fingerprints and photographs--are processed into a massive database called US-VISIT. The service prevents identity fraud and helps find criminals, and countries all over the world have adopted similar systems. Now Israel's has been hacked, leading to the leak of personal information of nearly every single citizen there (even some dead ones) onto the Internet. Authorities in the Middle Eastern country announced the arrest on Monday of a suspect responsible for the massive data theft. He's a contract worker at the Israeli Welfare Ministry who was allegedly engaged in small-scale white collar crimes after-hours and who is accused of stealing Israel's primary national biometric database in 2006…The stolen database contained the name, date of birth, national identification number, and family members of 9 million Israelis, living and dead. More alarmingly, the database contained information on the birth parents of hundreds of thousands of adopted Israelis--including children--and detailed health information on individual citizens…”

13. Facebook Sees 600,000 Compromised Logins Per Day http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/28/facebook-sees-600000-comprised-logins-per-day/New figures from Facebook reveal how often the social networking site’s users are hacked…every day, “only .06%” of Facebook’s 1 billion logins are compromised. Or, to put it another way, 600,000 logins per day are compromised…the majority of the time, Facebook accounts are hacked by spammer who send out messages to the victim’s friends. (Who hasn’t seen this? “Help, I’m in London and had my wallet stolen!”)…We were curious about what Facebook really meant by “compromised” accounts, so we were glad to hear back from the Facebook PR team this afternoon with a clarification…these accounts weren’t hacked or compromised on Facebook itself, they are compromised off site, such as through phishing scams, for example…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

14. IPads Change Economics, and Speed, of Hotel Wi-Fi http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/business/ipads-change-economics-and-speed-of-hotel-wi-fi-on-the-road.html “…Largely because of the broad use of iPads and other mobile tablets, which are heavy users of video streaming, the guest room Wi-Fi networks that most hotels thought they had brought up to standard just a few years ago are now often groaning under user demands. “The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half,”…This means more hotel customers are unhappy with their Internet connections. Hotel owners, meanwhile, who are digging out from a two-year slump caused by the recession, will probably have to invest more money to provide more bandwidth. For travelers, it may mean still another fee…Some hotel Internet service providers are proposing a solution that offers tiered Wi-Fi service. The lowest level, suitable for basic Internet requirements like checking e-mail, would be free, but other levels would be priced depending on bandwidth requirements…The iPad represents the “final nail in the coffin” for the idea that all Internet is free, Mr. Garrison said…”

15. Amazon's Kindle Fire Will Become To The Video Industry What The iPod Was To The Music Industry http://blog.streamingmedia.com/the_business_of_online_vi/2011/10/amazons-kindle-fire-will-become-to-the-video-industry-what-the-ipod-was-to-the-music-industry-1.html “…If you asked people to make a list of the companies that have had the most impact on the online video market, Apple would probably be mentioned by many…while Apple gets a lot of credit for completely changing the mobile and music markets…Apple has done little to truly push the streaming market forward…when it comes to the iPad, the fact it provides a broken web experience and makes viewing video difficult…means that Apple's inclusion on the list could be debated…While no one would debate the impact of YouTube…the impact of Google TV is a few years away. The next company I think should be added to the list who has truly impacted this market and will continue to help everyone in the online video value chain is Amazon…they have made distributing video easy and affordable with their self-service model…Amazon now offers more than 12,000 movies and TV shows for free with Amazon Prime…But the thing that will really propel Amazon to the top of the video food chain will be the Kindle Fire. At no time…has a product come to the market that is affordable, dedicated to the consumption of video and will be sold by the tens of millions in such a short period of time…The Kindle Fire truly is a product that was developed to consume video and will be adopted by the masses, with video being front and center…”

16. Tablet shipments exploded in Q2 to surpass netbooks for the first time http://www.bgr.com/2011/10/24/abi-tablet-shipments-exploded-in-q2-to-surpass-netbooks-for-the-first-time/Global tablet sales into channels exploded in the second quarter of 2011 to surpass netbooks for the first time in the emerging category’s young history. Market research and intelligence firm ABI Research determined that shipments of media tablets ballooned 112.5% in the second quarter to reach 13.6 million units, up from 6.4 million tablets in the first quarter this year. Netbook shipments declined from 8.4 million units to 7.3 million over the same period, just over half the number of media tablets shipped in the quarter. ”This is a trend that we do not expect will reverse…”

17. Republic Wireless: An Android-Powered, VoIP/Cellular Hybrid Carrier That’ll Cut Your Phone Bill In Half http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/31/republic-wireless-an-android-powered-voipcellular-hybrid-carrier-that-will-cut-your-phone-bill-in-half/ “…Get ready for Republic Wireless, a new mobile phone service from Bandwidth.com that…could truly be the phone carrier you’ve always wanted…If you’ve placed a call on Twilio, Skype, Google Voice…there’s a very good chance that Bandwidth.com was involved. The company’s extensive VoIP infrastructure handles much of the heavy lifting for these services, and it also offers some of its own products, like Phonebooth…The service will essentially be…an alternative to the likes of Verizon and AT&T…The service will use what it’s calling “Hybrid Calling” — your phone will rely primarily on Wifi, whenever it’s available. And it will fall back on cell networks when you aren’t connected to Wifi…Users will not have to manually switch between Wifi and cellular — the phone will figure it out automatically…You’ll be able to send both calls and texts via Wifi…You won’t need to sign up for a contract, so there aren’t any termination fees. No overage fees, either…” http://gigaom.com/2011/10/31/republic-wireless-to-launch-19-voice-sms-service/Republic Wireless…will launch a hybrid cellular voice and VoIP service on November 8…The service, which costs $19 a month…does require a special Android handset. The plan includes unlimited voice and text messaging. It also includes unlimited data without any bandwidth caps…”

18. Apple acquires C3 Technologies; working on iMap app? http://venturebeat.com/2011/10/29/apple-buys-c3-technologies-one-more-cut-into-google-maps-yoke/Apple has apparently acquired a company called C3 Technologies that has sophisticated processing technology that can build 3D maps…when you navigate or get directions on Apple iOS devices, such as the iPhone, you’re using an application from Google Maps — because Apple has nothing else. That’s a big sore spot for Apple…there’s evidence that Apple is secretly building out its own mapping technology…This acquisition of C3 is just the latest move. The deal looks worth about $240 million…C3′s technology can be used to seamlessly integrate 3D imaging into traditional 2D maps and other photographies…The acquisition comes after a string of moves that suggest Apple is building both a back-end mapping system to be able to compete with Google’s GPS offerings as well as a string of other high-tech layers — such as this 3D map offering — that will give it something special…Apple may be hoping to more than catch up with Google’s superior mapping offerings — it probably wants to surpass them…Apple bought Placebase, a mapping software development company, which appears to be the foundation of Apple’s mapping efforts…last summer, Apple acquired web-based 3D mapping company Poly9…” http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395555,00.asp#fbid=9u6fUQb8dDf

Apps

19. SoundHound powering 4M voice searches a day http://gigaom.com/2011/10/25/soundhound-voice-recognition-growth/Buzz around voice recognition technology is louder than ever, thanks to the debut earlier this month of Apple’s iPhone 4S, which includes a voice recognition and virtual assistant feature called Siri…SoundHound, the company that makes voice recognition apps for music and song search…now has 50 million users worldwide on iOS and Android; its service is processing more than 4 million music searches per day, and receiving 1,000 hits per second. SoundHound’s growth has been speeding up significantly of late…The company began in 2005, as founder Keyvan Mohajer was studying for his Ph.D. at Stanford and dedicating his studies to voice recognition technology. SoundHound has raised $16 million to date and as of this past summer had around 55 employees. The company’s flagship SoundHound app identifies songs that a user sings or hums; its newer app, Hound, debuted in May and can identify when a user says the name of an artist, album or song…”

20. Nokia Maps officially arrives on iOS and Android, touts offline storage http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/25/nokia-maps-officially-arrives-on-ios-and-android-touts-offline/Nokia Maps is still getting development love, despite the Finnish manufacturer pinning its smartphone hopes and dreams on Windows Phone. The HTML5-powered maps are now willing to play ball with iOS and Android devices. Previously one of Nokia's strongest built-in functions on its own phones, the maps perform well on rival hardware -- although pinch-to-zoom isn't working on our Google devices…There's a smattering of online settings, including transport directions, but the best part is a new offline mode that will download neighborhood maps from your WiFi connection…” [is there anything Google Maps (or whatever MapApp you use) doesn’t do on your smartphone or needs to improve, and will Nokia maps push Gmaps to innovate or is Nmaps totally irrelevant? –ed.]

21. Appcelerator rides the app wave with $15 million in funding http://gigaom.com/2011/11/01/appcelerator-rides-the-app-wave-with-15-million-in-funding/Appcelerator, which helps developers build native and HTML5 mobile apps, has been on a tear in the last year, going from 5,000 apps to 30,000 apps built off its Titanium platform…The company said its growth in the last year makes it the largest third-party app publisher of mobile applications in the Apple App Store and Android Market. Its mobile apps built on Titanium are now on 30 million devices, compared to 2.5 million a year ago. And it now has 1.6 million developers, thanks to the January acquisition of Aptana…the company is evolving to provide not just cross-platform tools for native apps but also HTML5 web apps…Appcelerator is benefiting from the explosion in mobile apps, which is projected to go from 10.7 billion apps last year to 182.7 billion in 2015…It’s providing a good set of tools for developers and companies to push out mobile apps. Companies like NBC, eBay, Merck, GetGlue and others have turned to Appcelerator to build out mobile apps…” [if you’re a mobile app developer, do you code in the native SDK for your mobile platform(s) or use cross-platform tools; if you’re a smartphone user, how often do you download, use or buy new apps and do you think the app market will really expand by over 10X in the next four years? – ed.]

Open Source

22. OpenSim open-source software from Stanford accurately models human motion http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-opensim-open-source-software-stanford-accurately.htmlThere are 640 muscles in the human body, or maybe it is 639. Or maybe it is 850. Or 656…Stanford bioengineer Scott Delp…has programmed almost every one into his latest work, OpenSim, a software application that helps medical professionals and bioengineers study, diagnose and correct abnormalities in how people move…OpenSim will be on display at The Leonardo, a science and technology museum in Salt Lake City…visitors walk across a pressure-sensitive floor and are presented at the other side with color-coded print outs of their weight distribution, identifying even slight imbalances that might be putting undue stress on their limbs and joints. Such stress can lead to pain or arthritis…even relatively minor abnormalities can compound until hip and knee replacement surgeries become necessary…To make their research more approachable for a younger audience, the OpenSim development team is creating an interactive soccer game. The real-world player adjusts the strength of two leg muscles on the simulated soccer player to generate the force necessary to kick a virtual ball into a virtual goal…The kids' first instinct is to crank up the muscles to full strength, but this has unintended consequences, as the kids quickly learn…OpenSim…can help determine whether a simple surgery to lengthen a specific muscle might help victims of cerebral palsy. It can predict how simple changes in gait might reduce the incidence or severity of osteoarthritis. In addition to helping millions delay or avoid costly hip and knee replacements, OpenSim could help in the development of new, more sensitive prosthetics, able to read and interpret electrical impulses to control the devices…the greatest fact about OpenSim may be that it is open source…By putting this powerful software in the hands of as many people as possible, we are setting in motion a self-perpetuating research ecosystem…”

23. Open Source: You Know, For Kids! http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/79023 “…a young girl approached my booth at LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington. She was probably 12- or 13-years old, and she gave me some of the best feedback I'd ever had on our products. My new young friend told me what she liked about our articles, the art, and even our ads…She told me that I needed to give out stickers for her and other attendees to put on their laptops, which I immediately ordered after the event…I worked at our booth at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) event. I paid attention to the kids who walked around the expo floor…or who ran around in little packs…Another SCALE exhibitor stopped by and grumbled about all the kids and said they shouldn't be there. I politely told him why I disagreed…Andrew Baerg, led a session at Open Source Bridge called Showing Kids the Source…kids are taught how to use programs at school, but he says they aren't shown how to create them…He points to the Scratch community as a great way for kids to see how open source works and how powerful it can be…Baerg sees it as a good way to show kids how to share code, proper etiquette for commenting on other programs, and more complicated concepts, such as forking or remixing someone's code…Baerg wanted attendees to feel the excitement kids experience when they are exposed to the source code of a program…I remember as a kid playing Castle Wolfenstein with my brother on our Commodore 64 and how it felt when we discovered we could open the source code up and give ourselves extra lives!...most programmers can think back to times when they've had these sorts of mind-altering moments…One of my favorite sessions from this particular mini-conference was done by Mirano Cafiero, Malakai Wade, and Saskia Wade. They gave a presentation on their favorite FOSS software and what they wished it could do that it didn't currently…the session was inspiring to watch because the girls were telling a room full of adults the directions that FOSS software should take…The SCALE Kids Conference organizers want to provide kids who are excited about technology, particularly free and open source software, a place to express and share their enthusiasm…My hope is that the event will be as kid-driven as possible — a free and open source event for kids, by kids," he says. His vision is for a single speaker track with only children presenting, and a mini-exhibit area where kids can showcase their favorite open source software and hardware…the young attendees are going to be the future users, developers, and leaders of current and new FOSS projects…”

24. Mantra open source browser-based security framework http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/open-source-insider/2011/10/free-software-testing-on-usb-for-students-to-web-developers-with-mantra.html “…Mantra…is built/based on Mozilla's Firefox web browser…and can be taken "anywhere" on any rewritable media including memory cards, USB flash drives and portable hard disks…Mantra is part of the Open Web Application Security Project -- OWASP. OWASP itself describes Mantra as follows, "Mantra is a collection of free and open source tools integrated into a web browser, which can become handy for students, penetration testers, web application developers, security professionals etc. It is portable, ready-to-run, compact and follows the true spirit of free and open source software…”

SkyNet

25. Syncdocs GDrive App http://www.pr.com/press-release/364934 “…Syncdocs leverages the fast, reliable storage of Google Docs. Syncdocs makes it easier…to migrate to the cloud…while keeping an offline backup. Syncdocs automatically keeps users' PC folders synchronized with their Google Docs accounts. Syncdocs turns Google Docs into an online drive…The power of Google Docs is available right from the Windows desktop, so users can click on a local Office document and open it in Google Docs…” [we should try this out at NEW NET this week if no one tries it before the meeting; it seems like Google would already be working on Gdrive syncing, but if a startup comes up with a better way to enable a Gdrive, Google would likely buy them in a flash – ed.]

26. Google+ opens to Google Apps users http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/10/google-plus-now-available-to-google-apps-users.htmlGoogle+ is now open to users of Google Apps…But Google's new social network, itself a challenger to Facebook, will work a bit differently for those using Google+ with a Google Apps account versus a personal Google account…Google Apps users will be using email addresses that are tied to their workplace -- whether a business or an educational institution -- to get onto Google+. As such, Google is allowing businesses to have administrative control over all Google+ accounts integrated with Google App accounts…your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time…Google is also advising businesses to tell their employees to keep that in mind when using Google+ with a Google Apps account and to not share stuff that only the company itself should see…One new tool added for Google Apps users in Google+ is Hangouts with extras, "which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs."…a migration tool…will allow users with a personal Google+ account to move them over to a Google Apps integrated Google+ account…” [this will undoubtedly result in complaints about companies messing with their employees’ G+ postings and in confidential company information being accidentally posted for the world to see – ed.]

27. How to Create a Google+ Profile For Your Business http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/242803/how_to_create_a_google_profile_for_your_business.htmlGoogle+ has finally opened up business profiles to its Google Apps for Business users, presumably in an effort to roll out any kinks before throwing the doors open to the world. Being first at bat can have intangible benefits on the Internet, including a valuable backlink to your company website from your Google+ profile. Here's how to join this limited group of users and make the most of your Google+ profile before everyone else. First, you'll need Google Apps for Business…If you don't have Google Apps for Business, the price of entry--in addition to $5/month per user--is a website on your own domain…” [So does this mean that business won’t be able to have a G+ profile/account unless they have a Google Apps for Business account? If that happens, they’re starting to play the Facebook silo / walled garden game. Is there value for small local businesses and retailers to have a G+ account/page? Even if there’s no way to judge at this point whether G+ will be valuable in the future to a business, is it worth the minimal cost to jump on the bandwagon now to reserve the ‘best’ G+ account name for your business? – ed.]

28. Google Maps rolls out business interiors in Street View http://venturebeat.com/2011/10/26/google-maps-interior-view/Google is taking its Street View feature indoors…it is moving out of its pilot phase with more 360 degree interiors cropping up online…Google is using these images as a marketing tool for businesses…In order to have your businesses’ interior photographed, you must fill out an application with Google. If chosen, you will be contacted by Google’s photographers to set up a time for the shoot. Google owns all rights to the photos…Google asks that you tell customers and those in the area you are holding the shoot on the day it happens. If people are in any of the shots, Google will blur their faces or simply not put the photo up…the company has already worked with thousands of businesses to shoot these 360 degree interior views. Photos will be available both on your Google business page as well as the Google Maps Street View…”

29. Google's Big Video Push Is Here: YouTube Getting More Than 100 New Channels http://www.businessinsider.com/google-launches-more-than-100-exclusive-youtube-channels-2011-10?op=1Google is launching more than 100 new YouTube channels with exclusive video content commissioned from media companies and celebrities. Providers with their own channels will include Thomson Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, comedy magazine The Onion, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutcher, Deepak Chopra, Shaquille O'Neal (who will have a comedy channel), and Madonna (with a dance channel). Sources…say…Google paid advances of more than $100 million to get this content. The artists will be able to earn it back through ad monetization over time…We've heard several times in recent months that Google is upping its investment in original video content under leader Robert Kynci -- as one source put it, the company would rather fund the next MTV or ESPN than buy them…Earlier today, Google launched the next version of Google TV, which includes a new YouTube app…”

30. Switching to Gmail may save the university money http://badgerherald.com/oped/2011/10/27/switching_to_gmail_m.php “…Gmail’s knack for innovating collaboration remains true today. Google Apps such as Docs are among the most prevalently used cloud-based systems in existence, with uses that are relevant to both student and professional work…the University of Wisconsin is among the institutions that offer members personalized Apps accounts…the Huron publication…recommends that UW combine its 72+ email systems…it also notes the prevalence of Gmail at peer institutions and that the site is already used to provide email accounts to UW alumni…it would be an easy way to cut a sizeable chunk out of UW’s struggling budget…UW Division of Information Technology…Communications Manager Brian Rust…“When we manage the system, we can control things like uptime, data integrity, backups, things like that,” Rust said. “Cloud computing is great…but…a cost…comes with it in terms of losing control over not only the reliability…of the system, but also your own files and how they might use your information.” With WiscMail, he said the university can be confident employees’ intellectual property is safe, and when the email system crashes in the middle of the night, DoIT employees are around to fix it. When you are talking about Gmail…that has 99.9 percent uptime and promises its education users exclusive ownership of their email content, this argument does not make much sense…UW is not perfect either…UW trusts Gmail to provide email services to its alumni and allows students and employees to use Google Apps — a partnership in which they already negotiated a contract to meet their standards. Arguing the university should stick with WiscMail for peace of mind is ridiculous…”

31. Google satellite map updates http://googlecode.blogspot.com/2011/10/fridaygram-small-world-little-robots.html “…The satellite views in Google Earth and Google Maps are updated periodically. Want to know when that happens?...Follow Your World, a web site that emails you when satellite images are updated for anywhere you like. Just enter a location and your email address, and you’ll be notified when a new aerial image is available…”

32. Google TV, Android Apps http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/10/google-tv-android-market/Google’s smart TV software platform, Google TV, is poised for its first significant overhaul since it launched in Logitech and Sony hardware a year ago…Google TV users will find new TV-optimized Android Apps, an improved YouTube experience, and new features that provide easy, direct discovery of TV and movie content…As Rishi Chandra, director of product management, Google TV, told me, “There was a perception that we were a cord-cutting product, and that’s something that we didn’t do enough to dispel. Our point of view is that there’s new content coming, content that you just haven’t been able to access with your TV. Now we’re bringing that content, and adding the discovery experience on top of it.” So, no, Google TV can’t be your all-in-one, zero-compromises, Internet-only video delivery system. But what it can do well — namely, deliver YouTube, Netflix and other web-based video to your HDTV — is about to get better…In the most significant Google TV update of all, Android Apps now have a home on your big-screen TV…Google considers Google TV to be a marathon project, not a sprint…We’ve tried to take what we could use constructively, and build a better product with version 2. As a Google mantra, we always launch early and iterate.”…Google will soon announce new chipset partners for brand new Google TV hardware in 2012 (Samsung and Vizio are already on board). So, no, the story of Google TV does not begin and end with a single software version, or just a small collection of set-top boxes and TVs from Sony and Logitech…”

General Technology

33. A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.htmlThe chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants…the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home…some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don’t mix. This is the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, one of around 160 Waldorf schools in the country that subscribe to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans…Alan Eagle…holds a computer science degree from Dartmouth and works in executive communications at Google, where he has written speeches for the chairman, Eric E. Schmidt. He uses an iPad and a smartphone. But he says his daughter, a fifth grader, “doesn’t know how to use Google,” and his son is just learning. (Starting in eighth grade, the school endorses the limited use of gadgets.)…On a recent Tuesday, Andie Eagle and her fifth-grade classmates refreshed their knitting skills, crisscrossing wooden needles around balls of yarn, making fabric swatches…a teacher drilled third-graders on multiplication…She asked them a math problem — four times five — and, in unison, they shouted “20” and zapped their fingers at the number on the blackboard…Andie’s teacher, Cathy Waheed, who is a former computer engineer…taught fractions by having the children cut up food — apples, quesadillas, cake — into quarters, halves and sixteenths…Some education experts say that the push to equip classrooms with computers is unwarranted because studies do not clearly show that this leads to better test scores or other measurable gains…Waldorf advocates make it tough to compare, partly because as private schools they administer no standardized tests in elementary grades…”

34. China Deploys First Petaflop Supercomputer with Native Chips http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-10-28/china_deploys_first_petaflop_supercomputer_with_native_chips.html “…China has built and installed a petaflop supercomputer using homegrown microprocessors…the machine is powered by 8,700 ShenWei SW1600 processors…the Sunway BlueLight MPP was installed in September at the National Supercomputer Center in Jinan…8,700 chips were used to attain a petaflop of peak performance…which is pretty much on par with a late-model quad-core x86 processor…A peak petaflop supercomputer would not place the machine in the top 10 of the TOP500 today, but the presence of the made-in-China processors is certainly a notable accomplishment…China is also committed to employing its latest Godson processors in supercomputers…Godson lead engineer Weiwu Hu said the Godson-3B will power the 300-teraflop Dawning machine that was scheduled to be deployed over the summer…besides the Godson-based and ShenWei-based systems, another design based on something called "Yinhe" will be used in a supercomputer before the end of 2011…”

35. Meet ARM’s Cortex A15: The Future of the iPad, and Possibly the Macbook Air http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2011/10/meet-arms-cortex-a15-the-future-of-the-ipad-and-possibly-the-macbook-air/ “…Cortex A15…will go into ARM tablets and some high-end smartphones…and it’s by far the best candidate for an ARM-based Macbook Air should Apple chose to take this route…A15 will also go into the coming wave of ARM-based cloud server parts…A15′s pipeline is the first place where you can see the scales tipped slightly in favor of performance over power…These storage structures are often in operation even when most parts of the processor are unused and powered down, so they represent a single point of energy drain…the A15′s closest peer is probably AMD’s Bobcat, which is essentially an out-of-order take on Intel’s Atom…ARM’s Cortex A15, Intel’s Atom, and AMD’s Bobcat will target both mobile devices and the cloud server space…it’s a given that a future version of the iPad will be based on the A15, either alone or in a big.LITTLE configuration…There have been persistent rumors that Apple will move the Macbook Air to ARM…Steve Jobs also liked to have his very own, non-commodity CPU hardware…Jobs was notoriously capricious and mercurial when it came to making big hardware decisions…it’s obvious that Apple has a working, internal prototype of an ARM-based Macbook Air running an ARM port of Lion…when Jobs was alive, there was always the chance that he would make the jump to A15…Now that he’s gone, however, Apple will be free to do the sensible thing and unplug the ARM-based Macbook Air prototype, so that they can spend their personnel resources on something productive…” [is the ARM Macbook Air an example of potentially breakthrough hardware that only Steve Jobs could make a success, or an example of his commercially unsuccessful ventures like the Newton and the Cube? – ed.]

DHMN Technology

36. 7 reasons why schools need 3D printers http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/i-technology-10024461/i-technology-7-reasons-why-schools-need-3d-printers-10024537/ “…I am a governor of a local secondary school…In the case of 3D printing…I'm pretty sure the engineers are on to something…The result isn't necessarily an object of beauty - there's only so much you can achieve by squeezing epoxy out of a tube. But both the capability, and the pieces that emerge, open new doors to down to earth, home-brew innovation. ..one potential "market" for 3D printers is education. Let's consider some reasons why… Low cost of entry…Basis for creativity and innovation…Wider world online interaction…Outreach to other schools…Business acumen…Genuine real-world skills…Direct use for schools…While the future of 3D printing is unclear, already uses are emerging that were not even considered by the original creators…”

37. Origo Makes 3D Printing Child's Play http://singularityhub.com/2011/10/12/origos-3d-printer-could-be-the-last-toy-your-ten-year-old-will-ever-need/ “…Origo may be the last toy you ever have to buy for your child. The prototype 3D printer under development by Artur Tchoukanov and Joris Peels allows children aged ten and up to design figurines and shapes on a computer, and then print them out to play with. Instead of buying your children more toys, let them make their own…Tchoukanov and Peels have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to make Origo a reality…Early testing at TEDxKids in Brussels suggests that children are dying to print their own stuff. Where was 3D printing when I was kid, huh?...Origo is still in the prototype phase, but…We should expect the 3D printer to have a USB port, wireless connectivity, a price around $800, and it will use 3Dtin as its design software…the printer will be able to produce objects about the size of a “large mug or medium jar.” Depending on complexity, Origo should be able to give kids a small object (like a ring) in a manner of minutes, but larger objects (like a detailed baseball) could take a few hours…”

38. Criminals find use for 3D printers http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/10/criminals-find-use-for-3d-printers/ “…criminals seem to have found malicious use for 3D printers…back in September, criminals managed to steal more than $400,000 from ATMs using ATM skimmers…using a high-tech 3D printer to make the skimmers for ATM machines look as real as possible…a member from a German lock-picking grop, Sportsfreunde Der Sperrtechnik, used a 3D printer to replicate a key to unlock handcuffs used by the Dutch police. Amazingly he managed to achieve this from a photo of the key hanging from the belt of the police officer, and through some basic math to gauge the size, he managed to produce a workable key…he then put the model online for anyone to print it…”

Leisure & Entertainment

39. Informal e-reader library comparison http://www.marco.org/2011/10/28/ereader-library-comparisonIn the past, I’ve always recommended the Kindle over other e-ink readers, and buying Kindle books instead of iBooks on iOS, because Amazon had the biggest library of relevant titles and strongest content ecosystem…Amazon’s advantage is no longer as clear in my casual searching…the best way to decide which e-reader ecosystem to buy into: search for a bunch of things you might want to read, plus the last few books you bought, and see which platform has the best availability for you. Here are some books, newspapers, and magazines I’ve searched for recently in the four biggest ebook stores…Kobo and iBooks both appear to suffer with back-catalog and niche-publisher availability…I’m impressed with how much the Nook periodical selection has improved since my Nook Simple Touch review…Magazines that are mostly graphical or richly formatted, such as Martha Stewart’s Living, are better on tablets…If you’re going to primarily read periodicals, get the iPad. If you’re going to read books, all of these platforms look like safe options. The Kindle still looks like the best ecosystem for the titles I searched for, but just barely…” [it appears the ‘e-reader vs tablet’ holy wars will continue indefinitely; what’s best for any individual will be a matter of economics (got plenty of discretionary cash?) and use-case (is the device primarily for reading books, how many portable computing devices do you want to carry, how much input do you want to do on the device, how long do you want the battery to last, etc –ed.]

40. Subtext Livens Up E-Books With Author Commentary and Social Reading http://allthingsd.com/20111025/subtext-livens-up-ebooks-with-author-commentary-and-social-reading/A new social reading app called Subtext launches today on the iPad, with a selection of books laden with annotations from authors and researchers…Subtext is a lot like the special features you’d find on a DVD, but for e-books. And you can create your own annotations…Subtext works most seamlessly with Google Books but it also supports reading and annotations across editions of the same book on various platforms…Subtext doesn’t yet support proprietary books from distributors like Amazon and Apple…At launch, Subtext offers 18 enhanced books, including commentary from George R.R. Martin’s editor and researcher on “A Game of Thrones,” character updates by Frances Mayes for her “Under the Tuscan Sun” and movie scenes and interviews for Lisa See’s “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.” Readers mark up books with comments, questions, polls and links to Web pages; they can dictate instead of typing; and they can mark anything with a “spoiler alert” tag. They can navigate books page-by-page like normal, hop around through annotations, and see what page their friends are on. Subtext is iPad-only for now, and is next working on a Web version…”

41. Everything you need to know to get ready for NaNoWriMo http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/10/30/everything-you-need-to-know-to-get-ready-for-nanowrimo/National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is around the corner starting on November 1st. If you’re planning on taking the plunge, we’ve put together a list of tools that will help get you started, and keep you going…National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30. When preparing for NaNoWriMo, you have to ask yourself four basic questions – what, where, when, and how? If you can answer each of these questions, you’re ready to start writing…”

Economy and Technology

42. Race Against the Machine: Could machines make work more human? http://gigaom.com/collaboration/race-against-the-machine-could-machines-make-work-more-human/ “…new book Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy is getting a ton of press…The central argument that smart machines are now replacing white-collar workers…economically speaking, that might not be automatically good news…Business leaders, technologists and economists are peering into the future of work, but futurists are too, and at least one of them sees reason for optimism…At one end of the spectrum are low-paying service-oriented jobs that require personal interaction and the manipulation of machinery in unpredictable environments. Examples might include driving a vehicle in traffic, cooking food in a busy kitchen, or taking care of cranky pre-schoolers…To the extent that many service jobs involve human interaction, they also require skills such as empathy and interpersonal communication. At the other end of the spectrum are jobs that require creativity, ambiguity, and high levels of personal training and judgment. These jobs tend to pay well, because they require skill sets that are more difficult to replicate. The job opportunities of the future require either high cognitive skills, or well-developed personal skills and common sense. In a nutshell, people will need to be either “smart” or “nice” to be successful…Luddites should take notice — computers just might push us to do work that is meaningful and enables us to become better people…”

43. Chinese Search Engine Baidu’s Q3 Revenue Up 85 Percent To $655M; Profit Up 80 Percent http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/27/chinese-search-engine-baidus-q3-revenue-up-85-percent-to-655m-profit-up-80-percent-to-295m/ “…search engine Baidu posted strong earnings today, with total revenue in the third quarter of 2011 coming in at $654.7 million, an 85.1% increase…Baidu’s net income was up 80%...China’s search industry is still in its early stages,..As of September 30, 2011, Baidu had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $1.8 billion…Baidu now has 77 percent of the search market share in China…” [combining this article with the ones in last week’s NEW NET list about the importance of the Chinese market to Apple and to the Internet in general, it is a reasonable question to ask if Baidu will someday surpass Google in revenue, profit or number of users – ed.]

Civilian Aerospace

44. Copenhagen Suborbitals http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/10/welcome-to-copenhagen-suborbitals/ “…My name is Kristian von Bengtson…A little over three years ago my life changed. Everything I have learned, taught myself, loved and wanted to do was suddenly merged together in a split second: building my own space rocket with the right partner and crew…in May 2008 I founded Copenhagen Suborbitals together with my newfound friend Peter Madsen…inside Peter’s submarine, under water, we planned how to conquer the universe without a single dime in our pockets…we decided just to begin and to make this endeavor an open source and non-profit project. We wanted to leave it to people to decide if they wanted to donate some money…three years later we are blessed with thousands of donors, many sponsoring companies, and about 30 fantastic and hard-working part-time specialists. In June 2011 we succeeded in launching our dummy manned space rocket into the air. It was hand-built at a price of approximately $100,000…This is not a business, nor is it an attempt to race against being the first doing private space travel in Europe. It is truly a project pushing the limits of a small group of individuals…”

45. NASA's future rides on commercial space success http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45007639/ns/technology_and_science-space/ “…NASA…has bet big that private spaceships will be ready to carry cargo and astronauts to orbit soon. The future of the International Space Station, as well as the future of NASA's robotic science missions and human deep space ambitions, depend on that outcome…After 30 years of carrying astronauts into low-Earth orbit, NASA retired its space shuttle program earlier this year….NASA has made a renewed commitment to human spaceflight…to take people first to an asteroid and then on to Mars. But in order for NASA to devote its resources to that ambitious pursuit, private industry must take over transportation to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station, Garver said…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

46. Parallelization and Characterization of Pattern Matching using GPUs http://gpgpu.org/2011/10/29/parallelization-and-characterization-of-pattern-matching-using-gpusPattern matching is a highly computationally intensive operation used in a plethora of applications. Unfortunately, due to the ever increasing storage capacity and link speeds, the amount of data that needs to be matched against a given set of patterns is growing rapidly. In this paper, we explore how the highly parallel computational capabilities of commodity graphics processing units (GPUs) can be exploited for high-speed pattern matching…a pattern matching library running on the GPU…can be used transparently by a wide range of applications to increase their overall performance…The results of our performance evaluation using off-the-self graphics processors demonstrate that GPU-based pattern matching can reach tens of gigabits per second…"

47. The GPU Computing Revolution https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/mathsktn/articles/-/blogs/the-gpu-computing-revolutionThe Industrial Mathematics KTN has released a new report on The GPU Computing Revolution: from Multi-Core CPUs to Many-Core Graphics Processors. Written for a nonspecialist audience, it explains the background to technology developments that are changing the face of computing, and shows what business and government can do to exploit the resulting opportunities. The GPU Computing Revolution has been produced in collaboration with the London Mathematical Society and written by Simon McIntosh-Smith of the University of Bristol…”

48. New OpenCL Book Published http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-10-24/new_opencl_book_published.htmlMorgan Kaufmann…has released Heterogeneous Computing with OpenCL, a new book for developers…The book provides in-depth OpenCL™ experience and details multiple device architectures and application programming interfaces (APIs), from multi-core CPUs, GPUs and fully integrated Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) like AMD Fusion APU technology, to fundamental parallel algorithms…The book was co-authored by several industry and academic leaders from AMD and Northeastern University…”


*****

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