2011/12/06

NEW NET Weekly List for 06 Dec 2011

Below is a list of issues for the Tuesday, 06 December 2011, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering atSergio's Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

Whether it's the final or initial list depends on how California free wireless and I get along.

Enjoy Sergio's chips and dip for me...

The ‘net

1. Photoshopped or Not? A Tool to Tell http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/technology/software-to-rate-how-drastically-photos-are-retouched.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all “…photographs of celebrities and models in fashion advertisements and magazines are routinely buffed with a helping of digital polish. The retouching can be slight — colors brightened, a stray hair put in place, a pimple healed. Or it can be drastic — shedding 10 or 20 pounds, adding a few inches in height and erasing all wrinkles and blemishes, done using Adobe’s Photoshop software, the photo retoucher’s magic wand…feminist legislators in France, Britain and Norway say, and they want digitally altered photos to be labeled. In June, the American Medical Association adopted a policy on body image and advertising that urged advertisers and others to “discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image.” Dr. Farid said he became intrigued by the problem after reading about the photo-labeling proposals in Europe. Categorizing photos as either altered or not altered seemed too blunt an approach…Dr. Farid and Eric Kee…are proposing a software tool for measuring how much fashion and beauty photos have been altered, a 1-to-5 scale that distinguishes the infinitesimal from the fantastic…”

2. Zaarly App Aims to Deliver Customers to Small Businesses http://mashable.com/2011/12/01/zaarly-small-businesses/What started as a local market for odd jobs is also becoming a way for small businesses to find leads — for free. Peer-to-peer mobile marketplace Zaarly…launched in May with an app that lets users request anything from a Michael Jackson dog costume (true example) to swimming lessons and to name whatever price they are willing to pay. Other users near them can fill those requests to earn some extra cash. Before long, small businesses such as maid services, catering companies and freelance designers began using Zaarly to find customers. The platform responded to its unexpected small business user base with a trial program in New York City that alerts participating companies when someone in their proximity, category, price point and who used a keyword relevant to them posts a request. Within the next couple of days, Zaarly will launch a self-serve version of the program that allows any business or individual to set up alerts for requests that they may be interested in completing…”

3. Tech Firm Implements Employee ‘Zero Email’ Policy http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2011/11/tech-company-implements-employee-zero-email-policy/ “…Employees of tech company Atos will be banned from sending emails under the company’s new “zero email” policy. CEO Thierry Breton of the French information technology company said only 10 percent of the 200 messages employees receive per day are useful and 18 percent is spam. That’s why he hopes the company can eradicate internal emails in 18 months, forcing the company’s 74,000 employees to communicate with each other via instant messaging and a Facebook-style interface…the goal is focused on internal emails rather than external emails with clients and partners. Atos has already reduced the number of internal emails by 20 percent in six months. When asked how employees have responded to the policy, Crouch told ABC News the overall response “has been positive with strong take up of alternative tools…”

Gigabit Internet

4. EPB, AT&T and Comcast compete for Chattanooga customers http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/dec/05/fiber-warfare/Chattanooga seems an unlikely battleground for the future of the American living room, yet it's one of the few American cities with three choices for the triple-play combo of TV, Internet and phone service. Since launching their products in the last two years, EPB and AT&T have slugged it out with Comcast, trying to gain the upper hand in a market that has exploded with choices in recent years. And the challengers are slowly gaining ground. Comcast revenues in the city of Chattanooga fell by 8.4 percent from January to June this year…Since launching its fiber-to-home service in the summer of 2010, EPB Fiber has attracted more than 33,000 residential customers to its high-speed Internet, TV or phone service, generating more than $3.8 million a month in revenue from just its residential division. EPB has already built a $45 million-a-year residential telecom business in less than two years…AT&T had only 821 TV customers in Chattanooga through its U-verse system this spring…EPB, for its part, holds the distinction of launching the nation's fastest Internet service last year when it rolled out 1-gigabit broadband to more than 170,000 Chattanooga-area customers. The utility even bested the mighty Google, the search engine giant that has yet to switch on its own gigabit network in Kansas City…comparison showed that EPB offers faster Internet speeds for the money, and shows equal pep in both uploading and downloading content, with Comcast and AT&T trailing on quickness…despite the old-line cable providers' best efforts, a growing group of consumers is still cutting the cord and exploring other options in record numbers…people are also canceling cable in favor of cheap Internet video, and some are turning to traditional antenna TV…Kelly Gillenwater once paid $130 for Comcast's double-play combo, but couldn't afford the bill without a steady source of employment…So she returned her cable box to Comcast and set up the rabbit ears. "We pick up all the channels we need on the antenna, and get our Internet through Cricket," she said, referring to the pay-as-you-go wireless Internet provider…”

5. Netgear Benefits From More Wi-Fi Devices In Homes http://news.investors.com/Article/593730/201112051711/tablets-smartphones-helping-netgear-sales.htmThe proliferation of Wi-Fi devices, especially tablets, is proving to be a boon for Netgear…As more people use portable devices for surfing the Internet, streaming video and downloading apps at home, they're having to install or upgrade wireless routers built by Netgear and others. "What's helping them is the tablets," like Apple's (AAPL) iPad, said Hamed Khorsand, an analyst with BWS Financial. "The tablets are all Wi-Fi-enabled. At home, especially with how mobile the tablet is, you've got to have Wi-Fi in every corner."…Wi-Fi products have gone through several generations to today's IEEE 802.11n standard products. Up next is gigabit Wi-Fi — with speeds expected to be at least 10 times faster than today's speeds — which should be available in products next year…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Carrier IQ and Your Phone: Everything You Need to Know http://mashable.com/2011/12/01/carrier-iq-faq/There’s a storm of controversy flaring up over Carrier IQ, cellphone software that logs user activity and relays at least some of that information to wireless carriers. The carriers say they’ll use that data to improve their networks…Carrier IQ is…hidden. Short of rooting, or removing certain software safeguards to obtain “administrator” access to your phone, it’s almost impossible to know if it’s there…Without the user’s explicit approval, the software is enabled and gathering data on the phone…the software logs every keystroke and incoming text message…Trevor Eckhart, demonstrated that Carrier IQ indeed was logging keystrokes on his HTC EVO 3D smartphone, among other activity. When Carrier IQ sent him a cease-and-desist letter for saying the software was acting as a keylogger, the Electronic Frontier Federation (EFF) came to his defense. Carrier IQ backed off, issuing an apology…Is this legal? Paul Ohm, a former prosecutor with the Justice Department says no way. He recently posted on Twitter: “If the Carrier IQ/cellphone rootkit story is accurate, this is a clear, massive, felony wiretap. Not a close case.” Senator Al Franken, who raised privacy concerns over location tracking on cellphones earlier this year, also had a strong message for Carrier IQ, saying, “The revelation that the locations and other sensitive data of millions of Americans are being secretly recorded and possibly transmitted is deeply troubling…Carrier IQ is running on 141 million devices in the U.S., according to InformationWeek…If you have an Android phone, you can find out whether or not Carrier IQ is installed by using Eckhart’s Logging Test App, and you can use the app to remove the software for the cost of a dollar. The app requires rooting your phone, however, so proceed with caution and be warned: Some reports say it’s not always successful…” http://gigaom.com/mobile/how-to-check-if-your-android-phone-uses-carrieriq/

7. Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/senate-military-detention/Here’s the best thing that can be said about the new detention powers the Senate has tucked into next year’s defense bill: They don’t force the military to detain American citizens indefinitely without a trial. They just let the military do that. And even though the leaders of the military and the spy community have said they want no such power, the Senate is poised to pass its bill as early as tonight…Someone the government says is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaida or an associated force” can be held in military custody “without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”…But far more dramatically, the detention mandate…isn’t limited to foreigners…“U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”…So despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to trial, the Senate bill would let the government lock up any citizen it swears is a terrorist, without the burden of proving its case to an independent judge, and for the lifespan of an amorphous war that conceivably will never end…because the Senate is using the bill that authorizes funding for the military as its vehicle for this dramatic constitutional claim, it’s pretty likely to pass…”

8. C|Net Download.Com is now bundling Nmap with malware! http://seclists.org/nmap-hackers/2011/5 “…I've just discovered that C|Net's Download.Com site has started wrapping their Nmap downloads (as well as other free software like VLC) in a trojan installer which does things like installing a sketchy "StartNow" toolbar, changing the user's default search engine to Microsoft Bing, and changing their home page to Microsoft's MSN. The way it works is that C|Net's download page (screenshot attached) offers what they claim to be Nmap's Windows installer. They even provide the correct file size for our official installer. But users actually get a Cnet-created trojan installer. That program does the dirty work before downloading and executing Nmap's real installer. Of course the problem is that users often just click through installer screens, trusting that download.com gave them the real installer and knowing that the Nmap project wouldn't put malicious code in our installer. Then the next time the user opens their browser, they find that their computer is hosed with crappy toolbars, Bing searches, Microsoft as their home page, and whatever other shenanigans the software performs! The worst thing is that users will think we (Nmap Project) did this to them!…”

9. Facebook flaw allows access to private photos http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/facebook-flaw-allows-access-to-private-photos/64761A flaw in Facebook allows users to access private photos that are hidden from view, through no less than the social network’s own image reporting tool…‘Report abuse’ features in Facebook give users access to personal, private and hidden photos that would normally be hidden from view. The flaw, spotted by members of a body building forum, no less, allows Facebook users to access photos revealed by the report abuse tool…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. The iPad Isn't Just Killing PC Sales - Memory Chips Take a Hit Too http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/ipad_killing_memory_chip_makers.phpThe iPad isn't even two years old yet, and already it's making a huge impact on the consumer electronics market. The tablet has sold phenomenally well, chipping away at netbook and other PC sales in the process. Android-based tablets are slowly catching up, and will undoubtedly be fueled by the Kindle Fire…This is all great news for Apple and the consumers who love their products. It's less thrilling for its competition, quite obviously. But it's also a bummer for companies that manufacture RAM chips. Manufacturers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips in particular have lost about $14 billion in the last three years…A big part of the reason is the popularity of the iPad and similar tablets, which use considerably fewer memory chips than laptops…”

11. Kindle Fire Unseats iPad as No. 1 Tablet at Best Buy http://mashable.com/2011/12/01/kindle-fire-vs-ipad/The Amazon Kindle Fire tablet debuted last month with the promise of being the only tablet with a real shot of challenging the iPad, mainly because of its rock-bottom price: $199, less than half the price of the cheapest iPad model. Now it appears to be delivering on that promise. Although there are no official numbers on the actual sales of the Kindle Fire (apart from Amazon saying it sold four times as many Kindle products as last year), the tablet is now the best-selling tablet at BestBuy.com…Of course, there are several different iPad models on Best Buy’s list, ranging from the bare-bones 16GB WiFi-only model to the $829 64GB WiFi+3G model, and Apple offers each in both black and white. Considering various iPads are in positions two through five in the rankings, it’s likely that when sales for all models are accounted for, the iPad still blows the Fire out. Nonetheless, the Kindle Fire’s rapid rise is notable in a category that has, until now, been dominated almost completely by the iPad…”

12. Amazon invests in Foxit to boost PDF support in Kindle devices and apps http://thenextweb.com/mobile/2011/12/06/amazon-invests-in-foxit-to-boost-pdf-support-in-kindle-devices-and-apps/ “…Amazon has invested in Foxit Corporation, announcing today that it will work with the company to build out PDF support in its Kindle devices and also its Kindle reading applications. Whilst PDF’s have been supported by Kindle devices, Amazon hopes that by working with Foxit it will be able to “make the customer experience for PDFs on Kindle even better”, by delivering high-quality rendering with no loss of quality or consistency…As part of its Kindle experience, Amazon has offered users the opportunity to send PDF devices to their readers using their @kindle.com email addresses. To ensure a consistent experience, Amazon also provides a service which can convert PDF documents to Kindle format, simply by typing “Convert” in the subject of the e-mail when they submit their personal document to their @kindle.com address. The announcement is likely to see Foxit work to boost PDF rendering and annotation features on the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s Android-based tablet device. By outfitting the Kindle Fire with powerful PDF features, users may be able to edit documents, annotate existing files and share changes…”

13. MIPS Unveils Technologies to Enable $100 Google Android-Based Tablets http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/display/20111206115021_MIPS_Unveils_Technologies_to_Enable_100_Google_Android_Based_Tablets.html “…MIPS Technologies, the designer of mobile microprocessor technologies, and Ingenic Semiconductor, a China-based CPU provider for mobile multimedia applications, have announced worldwide availability of the world's first tablet based on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), is sold for less than $100. The tablet is powered by Ingenic's JZ4770 mobile applications processor, which leverages a MIPS-BasedTM XBurst CPU running at 1GHz. The new tablet is available with a 7" capacitive multi-touch screen. 8" and 9" form factors will be available soon. All versions include support for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD, as well as 3D graphics with the Vivante GC860 GPU, 1080p video decoding and dual front/rear cameras. The XBurst processor's power-efficient architecture provides extended battery life-the 7" tablet draws less than 400mA during active web browsing…”

Apps

14. USAF Make It Fly http://www.afcea.org/signal/signalscape/index.php/2011/11/30/14689/A new app from the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service challenges users to see if they have what it takes to design the next generation of military aircraft. The Make It Fly app for the iPhone hit the Apple store in November and already has positive reviews. The free program lets you build and fly your own aircraft—from fighter jets to remotely piloted bombers. The program includes a series of nine mission objectives, and users choose from different wings, engines, weapons and fuselages to create the best plane. Pick the correct parts and fly on to the next mission. The Air Force hopes the app enhances recruiting efforts by sparking an interest science, technology, engineering and mathematics…”

15. How Smartphone Apps and Social Networks Will Revolutionize Medicine http://www.forbes.com/sites/techonomy/2011/12/05/how-smartphone-apps-and-social-networks-will-revolutionize-medicine/Self-obsessed citizen scientists who use gadgets like the FitBit and Up by Jawbone to track their own health data and engage in group experiments online have piqued media interest of late. Now a doctor has endorsed the power of this emerging trend. Eric J. Topol, M.D., Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Professor of Genomics at The Scripps Research Institute, says a consumer revolution will fundamentally change the way medicine is practiced. Topol makes his case in a new book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care…As monumental as changes in personal technology and medicine have been since 1990, Topol says that a true revolution will come as wearable sensors, smartphone apps, social networks, and whole-genome sequencing begin delivering “big data” to clinics, laboratories, and hospitals. Aggregated and integrated data generated by those tools will create a complete and continuously updated picture of every patient, influencing everything from the treatment of disease, to the prolonging of health, to the development of new treatments…“We now have the extraordinary, innovative tools to digitize human beings and prevent diseases and conditions that otherwise would occur. However, the only way this can move forward is through a consumer revolution…”

SkyNet

16. Google Targets Amazon's 'Prime' With 1-Day Delivery http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/technology/companies/a-new-google-venture-nudges-web-boundaries.html “…Google is working on a delivery service that would let people order items from local stores on the Web and receive them at their homes or offices within a day…It is part of a bigger, strategic effort by Google to move beyond its core search business by helping people buy things, not just find them…people searching for products online or on their phones could buy something from a local retailer or the local branches of nationwide chains, and could then take the next step — delivery — through Google. Google does not intend to build stores or warehouses or become a retailer itself…Instead, it is talking with potential partners, including retailers and possibly couriers…Google is arguably at a competitive disadvantage because consumers view Amazon and maybe eBay as guaranteeing over all a higher-quality shopping experience, and retail ads are almost half of Google’s business…Local online and mobile ads are a growing revenue source for many companies, including Google…Google’s biggest hurdle in competing with companies like Amazon and Apple in becoming a commerce business is collecting credit card numbers, which enables quick purchases of things as diverse as digital music and offline goods. Apple has said in the past that it has more than 225 million credit card numbers, and Amazon has the credit card information of tens of millions of customers…”

17. Google offers free phone calls from within Hangouts http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57335103-93/google-offers-free-phone-calls-from-within-hangouts/Google is…offering free voice calls in the United States and Canada from inside its Google+ Hangouts video conference service…Google+ users can dial anyone in those two countries and have them join a Hangout, even if they're not online…Google isn't making the service easy to find. Rather than including it on the interface that launches when user click the "Start a Hangout" tab on their Google+ home page, users need to navigate to Hangouts with extras (plus.google.com/hangouts/extras) to try the service. Google introduced Hangouts with extras in September as something of a testing ground for the video conferencing feature. It's an alternative offering where users can share notes and drawings using a sketchpad, as well as collaborate with Google Docs, the company's online word processing application. Users can also screenshare in Hangouts with extras…” http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/01/hangouts-voice-calls/ “…This means people no longer have to be by a computer, or even have a Google account to join a G+ video chat. You just call them up and their voice can be heard by anyone in the Hangout, and they can listen in on the session…”

General Technology

18. Nvidia Kepler GPUs to trail AMD's next generation http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4230979/Nvidia-Kepler-GPUs-to-trail-AMD-s-next-generationNvidia Corp.’s first generation Kepler GPU should emerge in March 2012…The GK107, first of the Nvidia Kepler series, a budget card aimed at a mainstream audience, will purportedly feature a 128-bit memory interface, GDDR5 memory and support PCI-Express 2.0…The first Kepler cards, successors to Nvidia’s Fermi architecture and based on TSMC’s 28nm process, were initially expected to emerge in late 2011 but production has been pushed back to early Q2 of 2012…Kepler GPUs will purportedly triple the dual-precision floating point performance of Fermi…AMD's Southern Islands GPUs -- Radeon HD 7900-series-- are set to come out with higher end models leading the way. Ultra high-end card Tahiti is due to be first in line, expected out in January, followed by the Tahiti Pro in February, with midrange Pitcairn cards to follow towards the end of February and beginning of March, giving AMD a two to three card advantage in next generation graphics over Nvidia in the first quarter of next year…”

19. Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid Drive Tested: 750GB at Near-SSD Speeds http://blog.laptopmag.com/seagate-2nd-gen-momentus-xt-hybrid-hard-drive-provides-750gb-at-near-ssd-speedsLast year, Seagate threw the storage world a curve when it released the original Momentus XT, a 7,200-rpm 250 or 500GB hard drive with the ability to cache your most commonly used files on its 4GB of Flash memory for faster app opens, boots, and other frequent reads. Today, the company announced its next-gen Momentus XT, which ups the capacity to 750GB, the flash memory to 8GB, and the interface to SATA 6Gb/s, all while promising even more intelligent caching. But is the new 2011-era Momentus XT worth its $245 MSRP, when you can buy a regular 750GB, 7,200-rpm drive for $149 or a 128GB SSD for around $200?...If you want the fastest performance possible, then a full-fledged SSD such as the Samsung 830 Series ($209 for 128GB) is still the way to go. However, if you need more a drive with a lot more than 128GB of storage and can’t afford to mortgage the farm for a 256GB or larger SSD, the Seagate Momentus XT is your best upgrade option. Seagate also says that some OEMs will also be offering the drive as an option on their notebooks…”

20. Intel and Micron prep for 128GB storage http://gigaom.com/2011/12/06/intel-and-micron-prep-for-128gb-storage/Are you ready for 128 GB memory cards and solid state drives at more reasonable prices? Intel and Micron have teamed up to deliver a 128 GB multicell NAND flash memory chip that will make incredibly dense memory a reality for tablets, cell phones and yes, servers too…The Intel and Micron news is good for electronics lovers, but it’s also worth noting because of how these companies built their memory — using what they call a “planar cell structure,” to help with problems of leakage as the channels etched into the chips shrink. Kevin Kilbuck, director of marketing for Micron’s NAND Solutions Group, says the technology should continue to work as chips get smaller and smaller…”

21. Robotics Meets Architecture – 50 Quadcopters Will Autonomously Build Twenty Foot Tower http://singularityhub.com/2011/12/01/robotics-meets-architecture-%E2%80%93-50-quadcopters-will-autonomously-build-twenty-foot-tower-video/ “…This December, two Swiss architects and an Italian robotics engineer will, for the first time, build a tower solely by flying robots…Fifty quadcopters will take to the air simultaneously and work together to position all of the 1,500 prefabricated foam blocks. When it is completed the tower will stand 6 meters tall (19.7 feet) and 3.5 meters wide (11.5 feet). That's a significant chunk of the 10 x 10 x 10 meter airspace that the 50 quadcopters get to work in. Custom built electronics and onboard sensors enable the precise control needed to dance together so dangerously close. The robots can be pre-programmed for flight paths that might include arcs and spirals, and a fleet management program takes over when the vehicles fly too close to avoid collisions. The program also automates take-offs and landings. A state-of-the-art motion capture system will track the robots simultaneously at a rate of 370 frames per second with millimeter accuracy. The tracking computer will send flight commands wirelessly from a control room nearby…Gramazio and Kohler's research…explores the new area of additive digital fabrication. You can think of their robots as large scale 3D printers, building layer by layer. To harness the power of digital tools in architecture design and construction, the team is formulating algorithms that intertwines both structural logic and aesthetics…The quadcopters…in addition to adjusting to the placement of the blocks…have to adjust to each other…”

Leisure & Entertainment

22. Cinema Net Adds New Kind Of Interactivity, Turns Moviegoers Into Human Joysticks http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/163441/ncm-audiencegame-turns-movie-audiences-into-human.htmlDigital out-of-home video is getting a large-scale, interactive twist courtesy of National CineMedia and the Audience Entertainment Group, which are jointly introducing a new, interactive feature called AudienceGame…The AudienceGame system essentially turns the entire movie audience into a giant “human joystick,” which controls the on-screen action by moving their arms back and forth in unison (or something close to it), giving new meaning to social gaming…Disney Cruise Line, launched an AudienceGame campaign in NCM theaters in top markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and New York. In the Disney AudienceGame, moviegoers are able to guide Donald Duck on a 90-second adventure down an AquaDuck “water coaster” on a Disney cruise ship. The program combines live video and animated overlays…Currently, the AudienceGame technology is available in 22 theaters across the country…”

23. Wacom's Holiday Ideas That Bring Families Closer Together http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/12/05/prweb9004037.DTLAround the holidays, "fun for the whole family" used to mean gathering around a board game, baking cookies or sledding down the local snow-covered hill. With the world of technology taking over family entertainment, many may think this picture-perfect vision is a thing of the past…there are still opportunities for families to share in on holiday fun together. Instead of fighting it this holiday season, why not embrace activities and gifts that incorporate technology, such as Wacom's Capture tablet, while encouraging interaction between parents and their children? This year, Wacom's Capture tablet gives families the priceless gift of memories. Families can upload their print and digital photos to their computer to create online scrapbooks that will be enjoyed for years to come. Children will have fun looking at old baby pictures and talking about all of the stories and memories that only old family photos can conjure. Not only will families be able to view and print their newly created keepsakes, but they can share with friends and family too! The best part is that this project will encourage family interaction through the years as the scrapbooks are updated with new pictures over time…”

Economy and Technology

24. All Dwolla transactions under $10 are now free http://blog.dwolla.com/all-transactions-under-10-are-now-free-1-for-small-business/ “…as of today transactions under $10 carry no fee…Dwolla is hell bent on a core vision and value set: moving money safely, quickly, easily and as cheaply as possible. It’s what has fueled our growth over the last year…Small businesses are something we genuinely care about. In our heads, the idea of Dwolla getting 25 cents for a 2 dollar coffee just sounds silly…Micro transactions have never had a payment platform that allowed them to be valuable. Our API now allows anyone selling goods for $1 to actually keep its $1. Money should not depreciate in value as it changes hands…Who do we think this is going to help?...Coffee Shops – Getting that $2.15 coffee or cookie will actually fetch you $2.15 now…Food Trucks. Lets get the first ones on board!...Micropayment platforms – Want to get paid $1 for an upgrade or virtual good inside your app? Just build the Dwolla into your code…Paywalls – Hey, they’re working for New York Times…Why can’t you get compensated fairly for your content? (Hint: Checkout our express payment method to make it easy for your readers)…”

25. Zynga IPO could raise as much as $1.15 billion http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-57335415-17/zynga-ipo-could-raise-as-much-as-$1.15-billion/Social-gaming company Zynga is ready to brave the turbulent initial public offering market…it will price its stock between $8.50 and $10 a share. The company currently plans to sell 100 million shares, but has made 15 million additional shares available…the company could raise between $850 million and $1.15 billion in its offering. "We intend to use the net proceeds to us from this offering for general corporate purposes, including working capital, game development, marketing activities and capital expenditures…”

DHMN Technology

26. Aussie hacks Siri to automate home http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/aussie-hacks-siri-to-automate-home-20111202-1o9zj.htmlAn Australian man has become one of the first to hack the iPhone 4S voice recognition app Siri but his motives were not sinister – he wants to use the smartphone as a home automation tool…Marcus Schappi, 28, spent just over $120 on a gadget set-up which enabled him to hack Siri and use voice commands to turn on a lamp and open web pages. He next wants to see whether he can ask Siri to close the chicken hutch on his property and unlock his front door using simple voice commands…But the hack may not last long, with Mr Schappi predicting Apple would want to close the hole he exploited…Mr Schappi is the director of Little Bird Company, which sells electronics such as the devices required to make the hack work. He plans to sell a "plug and play" box that will ship early next year and allow anyone to hack their iPhone 4S Siri app…”

27. MakerGear for Digital and Personal Fabrication http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2011/12/01/makergear-for-digital-and-personal-fabrication/Desktop manufacturing is a term that MakerGear.com founder Rick Pollack uses several times in our conversation. The 5-person company based in Ohio is empowering others to join the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement of desktop or personal manufacturing…Mr. Pollack was an early adopter of the MakerBot Cupcake and explains that he was very active in the burgeoning 3D printer community and built parts and a company based on those early days. He was building devices with motion controllers years before the Wii and is passionate about helping others to make their own stuff. His company, MakerGear, sells 3D printers based on the open source RepRap and its own Mosaic printer design…We do a lot of our production locally. The guy who makes our nozzles, for examples, I can drive to his place and talk…we have a growing group of Small Business Owners that want to do small run production, rapid prototyping…”

Open Source Hardware

28. DARPA's factory of the future looks like open source development http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/12/darpas-factory-of-the-future-looks-like-open-source-development.arsDARPA is looking to solve the problem of runaway defense systems projects by reinventing how complex systems are developed and manufactured. They aim to do this by borrowing from the playbooks of integrated circuit developers and open-source software projects. And in the process, the agency's Adaptive Vehicle Make project may reinvent manufacturing itself, and seed the workforce with a new generation of engineers who can "compile" innovations into new inventions without having to be tied to a manufacturing plant…the Army alone had spent $22 billion over the last 10 years on programs that got cancelled…The AVM project aims to change that by reducing the "product cycle" of defense systems from an average of almost 10 years down to two years—similar to the design cycle for new integrated circuits. To do that, DARPA is funding the development of software tools, called META, that will allow engineers to design, prototype and test systems collaboratively before they are ever built…today, DARPA released the final solicitation for IFAB (Instant Foundry Adaptive through Bits), a computer-driven flexible manufacturing capability that will allow for distributed, software-driven manufacturing of systems in "foundries" that can be quickly reconfigured to new tasks, using technologies like computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) machine tools and "additive manufacturing" (otherwise known as 3D printing) to scale up rapidly from prototype to full production runs. The goal of the IFAB program, Wiedenman said, is "to build the factory of the future, using software that can rapidly reconfigure a factory for new products with no need to retool to build something new…”

29. Openmoko's FreeRunner lives on in Golden Delicious http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/12/2/openmokos-freerunner-lives-golden-delicious/The FreeRunner open-source smartphone has been reborn, with Openmoko's abandoned project being given new life by German company Golden Delicious…Openmoko…created a pair of open hardware handset designs, namely the Neo 1973 in 2007 and the Neo FreeRunner in 2008…in 2009 the company announced it would no longer be creating smartphone devices…German Openmoko fans have banded together to design and develop a more powerful motherboard as a drop-in replacement for existing handsets. Dubbed the GTA04, the board uses an OMAP3-based processor running at…800MHz, and packs the HSPA 3G radio technologies…Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB 2.0 On-The-Go connectivity are included, along with support for SDHC card storage of up to 32GB. The board also wins in the add-on stakes: an optional FM transceiver module can be included, along with a barometric altimeter, accelerometer, compass, gryoscope, standard-fit GPS, a camera connector and a pair of expansion connectors…” http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/

30. OpenPnP working to create an affordable and completely open Pick and Place machine http://hackaday.com/2011/11/30/openpnp-working-to-create-an-affordable-and-completely-open-pick-and-place-machine/If you happen to do a lot of SMD work, a pick and place machine is an incredible time saver. The problem is that most automated pick and place solutions are well outside of the “small outfit” price range, let alone the budget of a hobbyist…The OpenPnP project is…completely open source hardware and software solution with a price target of under $1,000. Things are already well under way, with plenty of details available in the project’s wiki…a prototype should go into construction in the near future, and development of the pick and place’s control software is coming along nicely…Be sure to check out the project page if you are interested in lending a hand…” http://dangerousprototypes.com/2011/11/29/open-source-smt-pick-and-place-machine

Open Source

31. New iodoom3 Project will Improve Doom 3 Game Engine http://www.ubuntuvibes.com/2011/12/new-iodoom3-project-will-improve-doom-3.htmlThe incredible people who brought ioquake3 engine have already started working on a new project - iodoom3. Many popular Linux games like Open Arena and Urban Terror are based on ioquake3 engine. With starting of iodoom3 project we will see more games coming to Linux in future that will be able to utilize high end features of id Tech 4 engine. Just like what was done with Quake 3's source code, Doom 3 source code will be polished and new features and fixes will be introduced…A WIP wiki page has already been set…”

32. Version 1.0 of QEMU published http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Version-1-0-of-QEMU-published-1388993.htmlFollowing four release candidates, the QEMU project has announced the arrival of version 1.0 of its open source system emulator. QEMU can be used as a stand-alone desktop virtualisation product or be used to emulate guest hardware, such as an ARM-based board on a standard x86 PC. The major update to the software now uses a separate thread for each VCPU and adds support for new CPUs; the SCSI emulation has also been improved. One experimental feature is particularly interesting: instead of generating native code run by the host operating system, QEMU can now create bytecode and run it with its own interpreter (Tiny Code Interpreter). Because of this, only the interpreter needs to be adapted for other host systems; the code generator does not. The KVM and Xen virtualisation platforms both use QEMU as a basis for their virtual machines…”

Civilian Aerospace

33. Beam It Down: A Drive to Launch Space-Based Solar http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2011/12/111205-solar-power-from-space/In an aircraft hangar in Germany, scientists are firing lasers across the room in the hopes of bringing science fiction to life: beaming solar power directly from space…space-based solar technologies now in development in the lab will be technically feasible and ready for practical demonstration within the next decade or two. What's more, based on existing technologies, space-based solar could be an economically viable alternative to today's commercial energy sources within the next 30 years…”

34. Virgin Galactic sets up shop in Las Cruces http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_19469003 “…Southern New Mexico is starting to grow into one of its nicknames. With word that Virgin Galactic has chosen a site here to open an office, Las Cruces has taken another step toward becoming the "Space Place," a moniker developed for a marketing campaign by the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance several years ago. Virgin Galactic is part of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and plans to launch suborbital space flights at the $200 million Spaceport America north of Las Cruces. The company will place its Las Cruces facility in the Green Offices at 166 S. Roadrunner Parkway, a building with a curved bluish-green glass exterior…"We plan to move in, in January 2012," said Mark Butler, senior program manager with Virgin Galactic. "Initially (we'll have) a small team of four to six people, including (the departments of) travel and tourism, program management, trade controls and export strategy and some administrative support. Over the coming year the team will increase to include members of our operations…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

35. Why Nvidia's chips can power supercomputers http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-57332553-64/why-nvidias-chips-can-power-supercomputers/Nvidia chips are now in three of the five fastest supercomputers in the world. How did Nvidia get there so fast? I spoke with Steve Scott, chief technology officer at Nvidia's Tesla products group, to find out. First, a quick primer on Tesla and graphics chip-based supercomputing. Tesla processors are basically graphics processing units (GPUs) that have been redesigned for supercomputers. The results are impressive enough that some of the most important supercomputing sites have signed on. The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, probably the premier U.S. supercomputing site, will use Tesla processors in its next supercomputer,Titan. "About 28 percent of all the supercomputer sites use GPGPUs," said Steve Conway, an analyst at IDC, referring to general purpose GPU. "Those sites use at least some GPUs. That's about three times what it was three years ago. But this trend is much wider than it is deep. In the sense that the average supercomputer that does have GPUs in it, five percent of those processors are GPUs. The rest are standard (central processing unit) processors. So, it's still pretty early. GPGPUs right now are mainly experimental," Conway said. Nvidia's Scott is trying to change that. He spent 20 years at supercomputing giant Cray as the CTO. He's been at Nvidia for only three months…”

36. Remote Access to Graphics Accelerators in a High Performance Cluster http://www.pddnet.com/news-remote-access-to-graphics-accelerators-in-a-high-performance-cluster-120211/ “…a new technology, rCUDA…allows remote access to graphics accelerators in a set of high performance computers (HPC cluster). The application was developed by the doctoral student in the research currently being undertaken for his doctoral thesis at the Universitat Jaume I (UJI)…The proposed system consists of a structure of graphic cards to support networked computing in complex operations to hundreds or thousands of nodes that make up a high-performance computer, thus getting 100% efficiency. This system saves energy by using fewer graphics processors and reduces investment in equipment and maintenance costs…Mellanox Technologies…considers that this technology is highly innovative and has provided material for research free of charge…The Parallel Architecture Group in Valencia and the High Performance Computing and Architectures Group in Castelló are working together on this technology for over two years…”


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