NEW NET Weekly List for 29 Mar 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 29 March 2011, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering upstairs at Tom’s Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA, near Woodman's. Ignore the chain if it's across the stairs -- come on up and join the tech fun!

The ‘net

1. HTTPS is more secure, so why isn't the Web using it? http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011/03/https-is-more-secure-so-why-isnt-the-web-using-it.ars You wouldn't write your username and passwords on a postcard and mail it for the world to see, so why are you doing it online? Every time you log in to any service that uses a plain HTTP connection that's essentially what you're doing…Firefox users can go a step further and use the HTTPS Everywhere add-on to force HTTPS connections to several dozen websites that all offer HTTPS, but don't use it by default…The real problem, according to Lafon, is that with HTTPS you lose the ability to cache…Another problem with running an HTTPS site is the cost of operations. "Although servers are faster and implementations of SSL more optimized, it still costs more than doing plain http…Perhaps the main reason most of us are not using HTTPS to serve our websites is simply that it doesn't work with virtual hosts. Virtual hosts, which are what the most common cheap Web hosting providers offer, allow the Web host to serve multiple websites from the same physical server—hundreds of websites all with the same IP address. That works just fine with regular HTTP connections, but it doesn't work at all with HTTPS. There is a way to make virtual hosting and HTTPS work together—the TLS Extensions protocol…But until that spec—or something similar—is widely used, HTTPS isn't going to work for small, virtually hosted websites…”

2. Cloud Girlfriends teach you how to fake it http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20048443-1.html When we at CNET first heard about Cloud Girlfriend--a yet-to-launch service that creates your dream girl and then puts her on display so all your social-networking connections can admire her witty status updates and wall posts--we turned a wary eye to the calendar. Less than a week to April Fools' Day. What are the odds that a start-up that creates fake Facebook girlfriends is itself a fake…But then we found the brains behind the operation, a financial analyst for San Diego-based wireless company Remec named David Fuhriman who swears it's the real deal. We had a number of questions for Fuhriman…As Fuhriman put it in an e-mail to CNET, the premise behind Cloud Girlfriend is all about boosting your online persona…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

3. It’s Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/business/media/26privacy.html “…we are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not…Mr. Spitz went to court to find out exactly what his cellphone company…knew about his whereabouts…In a six-month period…had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times…Unlike many online services and Web sites that must send “cookies” to a user’s computer to try to link its traffic to a specific person, cellphone companies simply have to sit back and hit “record.”…Tracking a customer’s whereabouts is part…of what phone companies do for a living. Every seven seconds or so, the phone company of someone with a working cellphone is determining the nearest tower, so as to most efficiently route calls…In the United States, telecommunication companies do not have to report precisely what material they collect…based on court cases…“they store more of it and it is becoming more precise.”…you have to hand over your personal privacy to be part of the 21st century.”…The major American cellphone providers declined to explain what exactly they collect and what they use it for. Verizon, for example, declined to elaborate other than to point to its privacy policy, which includes: “Information such as call records, service usage, traffic data,” the statement in part reads, may be used for “marketing to you based on your use of the products and services you already have, subject to any restrictions required by law…”

4. Color App Hack Lets You Spy On Anyone’s Photos Anywhere http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2011/03/28/color-app-hack-lets-you-spy-on-anyones-photos-anywhere/ For anyone sketched out by the privacy implications of Color, the highly hyped, highly funded, and highly public iOS and Android social media app that launched last week, now would be a good time to ratchet your creep-o-meter up another notch or two. Within hours of Color’s release last Thursday, security researcher and Veracode chief technology officer Chris Wysopal wrote on Twitter that with “trivial geolocation spoofing” the authentication model of Color is “broken.”…Using a jailbroken iPad and an app called FakeLocation, Wysopal was able to set his device’s location to anywhere in the world. Launching Color a moment later, he found, as predicted, that he could see all the photos of any person at that location. “This only took about five minutes to download the FakeLocation app and try a few locations where I figured there would be early adopters who like trying out the latest apps,” Wysopal wrote to me in an email. “No hacking involved…” [another reason to let other people try out new apps for a couple weeks before downloading them – ed.]

Mobile Computing & Communicating

5. Elop Fights Nokia Traditions in Race to Ship Microsoft Phone http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-27/elop-fights-nokia-traditions-in-race-to-ship-microsoft-phone.html Every summer for the last four years while Apple Inc. shipped a new iPhone, Nokia Oyj managers vacationed at their lake cottages in Finland. In mid-July, Nokia House is a ghost town…If you need a decision and the key person’s at the summer cottage? Forget it. You’ll resolve that issue in September. It’s something that hampers their agility.”…Nokia may provide a peek at its first Windows phone this year, though it’s promising volume shipments only in 2012. “It’s risky even to wait that long,” said Rob Sanfilippo…It would be great if they had them out by the middle of the year, June or summer, even if it’s one device to show that there’s real progress happening quickly.”…Apple squeezes three times more revenue per employee than Nokia, while Taiwan’s HTC Corp. gets twice as much…Both Nokia and Microsoft need the collaboration to work. Nokia’s smartphone market share has tumbled to 30.8 percent from 50.8 percent when Apple started shipping the iPhone in June 2007. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, with about 3.4 percent of the smartphone market, is piggybacking the world’s largest mobile-phone maker to dent the emerging dominance of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android software… “The Finnish engineers I know are religiously committed to open source, and I could hardly think of a more implacable opponent to that philosophy than Redmond,” said Urbanscale’s Greenfield. “They are likely to lose a lot of talent that won’t want to work with Microsoft.” In a speech in 2009, Anssi Vanjoki, a former Nokia executive vice president, who resigned shortly after Elop was appointed, likened closed systems to Stalinism…”

6. AT&T admits to slowing down the Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/ATT-to-Uncripple-Atrix-Inspire-4G-Upstream-Capabilities-113413 “…AT&T recently found themselves on the receiving end of some "4G" angst when customers realized that two of the smartphones the carrier proclaims are "4G" weren't able to upload at 4G speeds. While AT&T wasn't clear when asked why, AT&T responses to Better Business Bureau complaints indicated that the HSUPA capabilities of these phones had been intentionally crippled. Whatever the reason, AT&T has informed users on Facebook that the company will be issuing a software update…” [again, ‘leading edge’ may (unnecessarily) equal ‘bleeding edge’ – ed.]

7. Windows Phone Will Beat RIM & Apple by 2015 http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011/03/idc-predicts-windows-phone-will-beat-rim-and-apple-by-2015.php “…Analysts at IDC are now forecasting that the Windows Phone mobile operating system will be the number two smartphone platform by 2015. And Android will be number one. "Android is poised to take over as the leading smartphone operating system in 2011 after racing into the number two spot in 2010," says senior researcher Ramon Llamas. But it's Nokia's recent shift from Symbian to Windows Phone that will have the biggest impact on the market going forward…By 2015, IDC projects that Windows Phone 7 will have an install base of 20.7% of smartphones, behind Android at 45.4%. iOS will be in third place at 15.3% and RIM's BlackBerry will be at just 13.7%…” [a lot of people, including moi, would predict IDC and MS will be nowhere near #2 in 2015 – ed.]


8. This App is Rated R: Mobile App Stores to Institute App Rating System http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/this_app_is_rated_r_mobile_app_stores_to_institute.php “…CTIA Wireless Association announced…it will add a new voluntary App Rating System to its list of industry guidelines. Participating app stores will allow parents to block access by children to apps rated suitable for adults only. It seems likely that new adult apps will thus be made available as well. From the sacred to the profane, effective content ratings and guidelines could create a safe haven for all kinds of new apps and commerce to flourish…No list of which app stores will participate is available yet, but the organization's membership includes both Apple and Google, among many others. CTIA uses the number 800,000 to reference the large number of apps at issue…it seems that the organization is hoping or presuming that Google and Apple will participate. It seems unlikely that the system would be announced without some favorable consultation of those two most relevant members of the association. While a system intended to protect childeren by offering app ratings sounds like a good idea, it also sounds like it could become complicated. Voluntary ratings could prove ineffective, for one thing. The line between what's appropriate or innapropriate for children is also a subjective one. Wherever the line gets drawn regarding innapropriate content, you can probably expect someone to protest it…”

9. Android 3.0 catalog still stalled below 100 apps http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/03/29/android.3.catalog.stuck.at.100.apps/ A follow-up check by Second Gear developer Justin Williams has revealed Android 3.0's app catalog to have made little progress in the month since launch. About 14 core apps are still truly native, while a total of 50 include both the native apps as well as those phone apps with basic resizing for the larger screen…Android Market currently has no simple way to filter for tablet-optimized or tablet-only apps…The issue underscores an ongoing issue with app support on Android 3.0 so far that reflects the hastened launch schedule. Google posted the beta SDK just a month before the Xoom shipped and the finished version two days before launch…A lack of devices has also reduced access to hardware. The second wave isn't due to start until the LG Optimus Pad reaches Japan at the end of March…Apple was more deliberate with its own tablet plan and gave developers two months' lead time. It started with about 1,000 iPad-native apps already in the App Store and has about 65,000 as of the design's first-year anniversary…”

Open Source

10. Open Source Electronics Pioneer Limor Fried on the DIY Revolution http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_adafruit/ Limor Fried is a maker’s maker…She earned an electrical engineering degree from MIT, invented several delightfully nerdy things to do with Altoid tins, and reverse-engineered the legendary Roland TB-303 synthesizer. Now she runs Adafruit Industries, a New York City company that makes open source electronics kits and components for the growing tide of DIYers who are inventing the future…She’s leading the open source hardware movement, which may soon join open source software as a world-changing phenomenon that reinvents everything from business models to invention itself…She created one of the first community-led electronics companies. At Adafruit, the forums come first and the founders’ voices are front and center…Her cat is named MOSFET, as in the metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor…One of the things about doing projects is that documenting them and sharing them with people used to be really difficult. Now we see so many people putting up videos, and it’s so easy. I can make a five-minute video in an hour, with a preface and edits and nice audio and everything…There are also so many really great websites where people can share their projects. We have Instructables and iFixit and Etsy and Make and Hack a Day and our own Adafruit. So people who used to do this stuff alone now have even more community. It used to be just freaks in garages; now it’s freaks in garages working together…”

11. Gameduino spritely takes centre stage http://www.electronicsweekly.com/blogs/gadget-master/2011/03/gameduino-spritely-takes-centr.html “…you can now connect your Arduino system to a VGA monitor and speakers, to enable writing an Arduino sketch to create video games (via Forth)...It is a properly designed, tested, and documented project created by Gadget Master James Bowman, and it is made available as open-source hardware…It's packed full of 8-bit game goodness: hundreds of sprites, smooth scrolling, multi-channel stereo sound…James provides full details of how to make a Gameduino board - see Gameduino: a game adapter for microcontrollers…Gameduino is a game adapter for Arduino - or anything else with an SPI interface - built as a single shield that stacks up on top of the Arduino and has plugs for a VGA monitor and stereo speakers. The sound and graphics are definitely old-school, but thanks to the latest FPGA technology, the sprite capabilities are a step above those in machines from the past…”


12. Google Commerce Search 3.0: You won’t believe it’s online shopping http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/03/google-commerce-search-adds-search-as-you-type-local-product-search-reccomendations.html Google rolled out new products for e-commerce websites on Monday including auto-completion and product previews for search fields and a search function that enables consumers to see what a local store has in stock, in real time. The updates, which also include a recommendations system and what Google calls "Enhanced Merchandising" tools to allow retailers to feature on-sale items in search results, make up Google Commerce Search 3.0…"Most websites don't have a good e-commerce experience," said Nitin Mangtani, a group product manager working on Google's Commerce Search team. "Consumers are demanding a better online experience. But a lot of websites have told us they can't afford 1,000 engineers to develop their site and add the features that consumers are asking for."…Google is hoping to step in and offer medium- to large-sized online retailers a few products to bring their e-shops up to speed in the increasingly competitive world of online shopping…”

13. James Gosling, 'father of Java,' joins Google http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/java_inventor_joins_other_founding_fathers_at_goog.php James Gosling, the man who founded programming language Java at Sun Microsystems, announced this morning on his blog that, "through some odd twists in the road over the past year...I find myself starting employment at Google today."…Last August, Oracle filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that its Android software infringes on patents and copyrights related to Java, patents acquired when Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems. Google has called the whole thing "baseless." Gosling used to work for Sun Microsystems, where he founded Java, but left when it was acquired by Oracle last year…What will be his purpose with the Big G? He says that he isn't sure, but that "it'll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon." Some are speculating that Gosling will come over to the Google-side to work on Android, the IP offender in question, while others wonder if "having on your payroll the father of the programming language at issue in the suit will come in handy when it goes to trial." Gosling joins other big names like Vint Cerf and Tim Bray at the company that intends to harness the world's information. Cerf led the team in the 1970s that created the TCP/IP protocols, which act as the backbone to the Internet. Bray co-invented XML, a standard that has since been used in the development of hundreds of languages, including RSS, ATOM and XHTML…”

14. Google city: Android is the beacon http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/03/29/google-city-android-is-the-beacon/ “…Just about everyone still thinks of Google as a search company. The reality is that those days are long over. Google is a web services company that makes quite a big chunk of its revenue from a very large, efficient advertising platform. The notion that Google is 90+% search hasn't been true for a long time, but lately it's become obvious: YouTube, AdSense, Enterprise and location/mapping are becoming huge businesses in their own right and together may have replaced search as Google's biggest revenue generator…On Google's last earnings report, it said that AdSense accounted for a significant 30% of its revenue. AdSense is advertising on third party websites. That has little to nothing to do with search…All but 3% of the remaining 70% of Google's revenues come from its "Sites". Google doesn't break down search within that, but that 67% is likely still mostly search. Still, YouTube, another huge Google business not directly tied in with search, is "hockey-sticking" as well…YouTube averaged over two billion pageviews a day and users were uploading 35 hours of video every minute. That's likely to have increased significantly in the past six months. Even more importantly, YouTube has learned to monetize its pageviews much more effectively…Google told me that its Apps business is growing faster than any other major cloud business. Specifically, Google Apps is the fastest-growing cloud business today…Google's Maps/data/location services are just starting to explode. To put into perspective how important location is to Google, consider the fact that the company recently tried to buy Groupon for an estimated $6 billion…Social is either Google's biggest failure or its biggest opportunity -- or both…Compared to the businesses above, search revenue and growth potential is relatively flat, prompting some to announce the search party over. Google has known since the earlier part of the decade that there is only so much market for search, and they've planned accordingly. That's why the next decade of Google's growth will be dominated by other businesses…Google's got a city of products to protect and Android ties them all together. ..Android is increasingly the tie-into everything Google is doing -- even more so than search. It is really the new beacon at the core of Google's city…”

General Technology

15. Acer's dual-touch-screen Iconia laptop reviewed http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20048383-1.html “…Instead of a screen and a keyboard, the Iconia ditches the keyboard for a second screen, which can be used either as an extended desktop or for a virtual keyboard. (We've seen a similar concept before, but with dual 7-inch screens, in the Toshiba Libetto W100.) In practice, it works better than you might expect. Onscreen typing is still nowhere near as intuitive as the real thing, but a few generations of iPhones and iPads have trained us to tap-type without too much trouble, at least for short writing tasks…”

16. Intel doubles capacity, drops price in refresh of popular SSD line http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9215089/Intel_doubles_capacity_drops_price_in_refresh_of_popular_SSD_line “…The new 2.5-in. Intel Solid-State Drive 320 Series offers models that more than triple capacity over the X25-M and reduces prices by up to 30%, or $100, on some models. While aimed at the laptop and desktop market, the consumer SSD has also been Intel's most popular model for servers in data centers. The SSD 320 more than doubled sequential write speeds from Intel's second-generation X25-M consumer SSD, to 220MB/sec…Intel has added native 128-bit AES encryption on the drives, which protects data while at rest on the NAND flash memory…while Intel has lowered its prices, it still amounts to about $1.80 per gigabyte. Wong expects mass adoption of SSDs by consumers won't occur until the price has reached about $1 per gigabyte, sometime in 2012 or 2013…”

17. U.S. motorists to get car tracking devices, pay by the mile? http://dvice.com/archives/2011/03/feds-consider-m.php “…you probably thought you were safe from Washington state's proposed mileage tax targeting hybrid and electric cars that pay less in gas taxes, but the federal government is now considering the same thing, complete with wireless mileage monitoring devices for every car in the country. The government is having a bit of a problem keeping up with the amount of money required to keep our highways from crumbling into dust, so the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is exploring some new ways of raising revenue. One of these ways could be to implement the system that Washington state has been thinking about: a tax based on mileage, instead of gas consumption, to make sure that hybrid and electric vehicles don't get off for free…how is Uncle Sam going to keep track of your mileage? The plan would be to require all cars to have a mileage tracking device, which would transmit information wirelessly to government tracking receivers at gas stations…”

DHMN Technology

18. Holographic display table is everything 3D should be http://dvice.com/archives/2011/03/holographic-dis.php “…With funding from DARPA, Zebra has been able to develop an electronic version of the…technology, embodied in an actual glasses-free 3D holographic projector table…Color, real-time, 3D holographic displays with up to 12 inches of visual depth. The technology enables 360-degree viewing by a team of 20 people without 3D glasses or goggles…this isn't simply a 3D image. It's a full color 360 degree high definition hologram, meaning that you can walk all the way around the display and view it from any angle you want. And not just view it, but actually see the scene from that perspective…These displays will at first be put to work for the military, but Zebra Imaging also wants to get them into the 3D entertainment and gaming markets…”

19. Kickstarter: The Cosmonaut Stylus Treats Tablets Like Whiteboards, Not Paper (and that’s awesome) http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/03/29/kickstarter-the-cosmonaut-stylus-treats-tablets-like-whiteboards-not-paper-and-thats-awesome/ Kickstarter is really the go-to place for all things iPad/iPhone…It’s kind of a running joke with us right now because of the sheer amount of iPad products on the site. But the Cosmonaut is different. It’s actually clever…Writing on an iPad isn’t like writing on paper. It’s different and as the embedded Kickstarter video explains, the experience is more like using a white board and so this stylus was designed with that in mind…this project doesn’t have multiple tiers of funding. Pledge what you want. There’s only 3000 funding slots open and pledges start at just a $1. Clever. This isn’t the Cosmonaut’s creators first go on Kickstarter. Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost were behind one of the first Kickstarter breakout products, the Glif. That project hit $137k in funding so these boys know a thing or two about creating a novel product…”

Leisure & Entertainment

20. Amazon Cloud Player Doesn’t Work On iOS — But It’s Not A Flash Issue http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/28/amazon-cloud-player-ios/ “…Amazon dropped a bomb on their rivals in the online music space: a fully working cloud storage and playback system. And it’s not just working on desktop web browsers, it works on Android devices too. One important place it doesn’t work though: iPhones, iPads, iPod touches — no iOS devices…you might think this is a Flash issue (Apple’s devices famously do not support Flash). But it’s not. I don’t have Flash installed on my MacBook Air and the Cloud Player works fine (as does it when you disable Flash in Chrome). Flash is needed to upload files to Cloud Drive, but not for playback…it appears that Amazon may simply be blocking the mobile version of Safari from playing back songs through Cloud Player…even if Amazon wanted to bring Cloud Player to iOS devices, Apple may not want it there. The company is gearing up to launch their own music locker system…” http://gigaom.com/mobile/hands-on-with-amazons-cloud-drive-cloud-player/

21. 3 Million Nooks Color Sold http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/03/29/estimates-point-to-3-million-nooks-color-sold/ “…3 million Nooks Color have rolled off the assembly line and into stores over the past year, giving the Nook Color firmly at 50% of the “iPad-like” tablet market. They estimated 600,000-700,000 sales per month in January and February during the post-holiday gift card redemption season. These numbers are actually quite impressive, especially for a relatively underpowered $249 tablet (or, if looked at another way, a wildly overpowered ereader). The popularity with Android hackers and rooters explains some of the sales while others see the device as an inexpensive alternative to the iPad…”

Economy and Technology

22. Startup Incubator TechStars Raises $8 Million http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/startup-incubator-techstars-raises-8-million/ “…TechStars has raised $8 million in new funding for its programs in Boston, Boulder, New York, and Seattle. The new funding comes from more than fifty venture funds and over 25 individual angel investors…TechStars, which launched in 2007, is a “startup boot camp” for tech entrepreneurs in which selected startup receive up to $18,000 in seed funding (or $6,000 per founder up to three founders in exchange for 5 percent of the company), three months of mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and investors, and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program…for the past few years, the incubator has been raising money incrementally for each program and location. But this raise enables TechStars to operate and fund startups for the next four years…”

23. Message Bus: The Start Project’s First Graduate Launches, Pulls In A Cool $3 Million http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/29/message-bus-the-start-projects-first-graduate-launches-pulls-in-a-cool-3-million/ In late 2009, a group of seasoned entrepreneurs and investors came together to form The Start Project, a Silicon Valley-based incubator focused on idea generation, software development, product vision, and bringing great ideas to market…Today, Message Bus becomes our first look into what the group has been up to over the last year: thinking about email delivery, open APIs, and infrastructure applications. Like so many other startups before it, Message Bus is aiming to tackle the age-old problem of how to make our email systems easier and, at the same time, more robust…Message Bus bifurcates this challenging task into two parts: First and foremost, maintaining and administering email systems no longer makes sense for most companies, so the startup wants you to be able to send an email via a simple API easily and reliably — by providing a scalable engine that ensures the highest deliverability of email…Thanks to virtual servers, open APIs, and the cloud, deploying applications no longer involves assembling the entire chain, from the top down to the physical hardware. The old form of infrastructure deployment is no longer a requirement, as applications can be created on top of a host of infrastructure services that act like applications themselves…Message Bus pegs itself as an “infrastructure apps company” that is targeting the many businesses that no longer need to build up an entire stack to service their products. Its infrastructure applications will offer a suite of messaging utilities, beginning with email, in an effort to open up the massive data clouds behind every messaging system to allow companies greater insight into the data and analytics behind their applications and businesses…”

Civilian Aerospace

24. Scientists to Reap Benefits of Private Spaceflight Revolution http://www.space.com/11220-private-spaceflight-revolution-scientists.html “…Southwest Research Institute…bought seats on suborbital flights from both XCOR Aerospace and Virgin Galactic. SwRI's experiments are already built and ready to go…No one can guarantee when they will finish their flight-test programs…said Alan Stern, vice president of SwRI's space division…SwRI plans to send three different scientists — including Stern — and three different experiments up to suborbital space. One project will test out a biomedical harness, another will investigate the geology of asteroids and comets by performing microgravity experiments, and the third will look into the ability of suborbital vehicles to do astronomy and atmospheric science…SwRI plans to get good science out of its multiple suborbital research flights. But the institute also hopes that it can serve a pioneering role, by showing other researchers what can be done and simultaneously helping to further the development of private spaceflight. "We hope to start, or catalyze, a revolution," Stern said…”

25. Will Morpheus Be the First Vehicle on the Moon Since Apollo? http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/29/project-morpheus-lunar-lander-apollo/ “…A group of NASA engineers -- acting on their own initiative to find funding in other research and development projects, and in partnership with an aerospace startup, together with their own sweat equity -- have designed and built a breakthrough piece of technology: the first new lunar landing craft from the space agency in 40 years. The heart of the NASA engineers' project is a fully functioning lunar lander…It’s the first time in years that NASA has designed and constructed a space flight vehicle…the creators of Morpheus hope to give the lander a test run on May 4th…We’re really focusing on two technologies,” Ondler told FoxNews.com. “One is autonomous and hazardous avoidance. It has sensors on board that allow it to detect hazards in the environment and adjust its trajectory to land in a safe spot.” “The other is the propulsion system -- liquid methane,” Ondler added. “You can make the methane from water on the moon; there’s lots of water trapped in craters on the moon. So that allows you to not carry all of your fuel with you. You can arrive at a planet and make fuel yourself on the surface.”…the concept stems from a similar lander created by Armadillo Aerospace, an aerospace startup based in Mesquite, Texas. NASA was turned on to Armadillo after the company won NASA’s lunar lander challenge in 2009 -- a contest that ultimately created the idea for Morpheus. “Our vehicle was called Pixel,” Neil Milburne, vice president for Armadillo Aerospace…we had a bunch of folks come in from JSC to witness the flight. Once we demonstrated what was physically possible, we realized we needed to supersize this thing and put a bigger engine on there," he said. "NASA’s Morpheus is the next generation of that vehicle…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

26. Comparing GPUs and CPUs http://www.hpcwire.com/news/Comparing-GPUs-and-CPUs-118873154.html “…Interest in GPUs was already high when China's Tianhe-1A supercomputer achieved a number one TOP500 ranking using the power of the graphics chips. With that success, many in the HPC community are wondering what GPU computing can do for them…While for some applications GPUs can offer 20x performance increases or more over CPUs, that doesn't mean they are always the right choice…The GPU remains a specialized processor, and its performance in graphics computation belies a host of difficulties to perform true general-purpose computing. The processors themselves require rewriting any software…The use of GPUs speeds up a single node considerably, sometimes more than 30 fold. But if at the same time we don't develop a 30-fold higher bandwidth and 30- fold lower latency interconnect, scaling will always be limited across clusters of GPUs…The general consensus seems to be that with the proper resources and training, GPUs are worth the trouble. "Essentially, if the effort has been made to port the code to GPUs then the performance improvement over CPU systems can be phenomenal…One area where GPUs really shine is data analysis, where they may net speedups of 200x…”

27. NVIDIA PhysX Technology Adopted for Funcom's Dreamworld Engine http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/NVIDIA-PhysX-Technology-Adopted-for-Funcoms-Dreamworld-Engine-NASDAQ-NVDA-1418231.htm “…Funcom's Dreamworld 2.5, a leading game engine for massively multiplayer online games…is the first game to incorporate server-side NVIDIA® PhysX® technology. This unique implementation into Dreamworld Engine 2.5 results in more than a doubling in the speed-of in-game physics processing vs. traditional client-side PhysX technology, delivering realistic collision effects within the online gaming environments. Dreamworld 2.5 currently powers two of the world's most popular MMOs: Age of Conan and Anarchy Online, with a third, the Secret World, currently in development. The updated Dreamworld Engine 2.5 with server side PhysX is now live in Age of Conan. "We are excited to be working closely with NVIDIA to integrate PhysX technology into our Dreamworld 2.5 engine," said Rui Casais, chief technology officer at Funcom. "Server-side collision using PhysX will allow us to add a new level of realism to our online worlds…”


NEW NET location for 29 Mar 2011 Mtg = Tom's Drive In

NEW NET’s 29 March 2011 meeting will be 7 – 9 PM upstairs at Tom’s Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA, near Woodman's. Ignore the chain if it's across the stairs -- come on up and join the tech fun!



NEW NET Weekly List for 22 Mar 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 22 March 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. As AT&T Introduces Caps, BT Removes Them; Says Investing In Network Is Smarter http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110314/08473413487/as-att-introduces-caps-bt-removes-them-says-investing-network-is-smarter.shtml “…BT's CTO…admitted that there weren't any congestion issues that required traffic shaping or other limitations on the network, just so long as they continued to do basic investments in network infrastructure…just as AT&T is introducing broadband caps, BT has announced that it's removing them, because there's no need thanks to infrastructure investments. BT will remove the FUP controls currently applied to customers with ‘atypical’ usage. Today atypical users are restricted at 300GB usage and account for less than 0.5% of the BT customer base…As BT continues to invest in the network and network bandwidth we can now remove these restrictions …”

2. Dropbox forms http://lifehacker.com/#!5782180/dropbox-forms-is-the-easiest-way-to-let-anyone-send-a-file-to-your-dropbox-account Dropbox Forms is a free service (built into web form creation tool, JotForm) that creates a web-based form that anyone can use to upload files directly to your Dropbox folder…When someone uploads a file to your account using Dropbox Forms, it automatically syncs to your Dropbox under Dropbox\JotForm\Send a File\. If the person who sent the file filled out the accompanying form, the synced folder will also contain a PDF listing the submission date, person's name, email address, and a note…Whether you work in a field where you need clients to send you occasional files or you just want to give friends a quick shortcut to send you files, this is a really clever solution.”

3. Xobni for Gmail, Android & iPhone coming soon http://blog.xobni.com/2011/03/18/xobni-for-gmail-android-iphone-coming-soon-testers-wanted/ Not a day goes by at Xobni, without hearing “When will Xobni work on Gmail, Android or iPhone?”. This is truly the #1 request from Xobni users, and we’ve been listening. Last week, we deployed a new service called Xobni Pro…Previously, Xobni users could only unite their Xobni Contacts and rich profiles across Outlook and BlackBerry. Now, with the Xobni Cloud, we can extend this further. The Xobni Cloud is the foundation that will enable us to support new products…Xobni is coming to Gmail, Android and iPhone…we have been in Private Alpha mode with Xobni for Gmail with some of the most amazing Alpha testers in the world…if you’re one of those really early adopters, and like to get an early peek at these products, or if you’re one of the thousands that has written us asking for Xobni in Gmail, iPhone and Android—we’d love to have you on our Alpha (or Beta) tester team…”

4. How to Turn Bargain Hunters into Loyal Customers http://technologyreview.com/communications/35081/ A new service called LevelUp aims to combine several online business trends—game dynamics, social media, and location-based services—not just to win new customers for local businesses but to turn them into regulars. LevelUp is…a hybrid of…Groupon, which offers steep discounts at local businesses, and the location-based game Foursquare, which encourages users to share their location to earn points and kudos. LevelUp offers users a deal per day and also rewards customers with additional, even bigger discounts when they follow up by revisiting the location. The service was launched…by SCVNGR…This is all about one word: loyalty…Priebatsch has designed LevelUp to address some of the criticisms of social-media promotions websites and location-based services…experts have suggested that discount services like Groupon attract bargain hunters who are unlikely to return to a business…We want to do what 500 knockoffs in the daily-deal space, and millions of dollars in the location-based-services space, haven't been able to do: to get customers actually coming back…Every promotion that LevelUp offers has three levels: "Try it," "Like it," and "Love it." Typically, the initial "Try it" deal is about 50 percent off, and the subsequent deals progress to deeper discounts…"The number three is a really valuable tipping point," Priebatsch says. Data collected through SCVNGR suggests that a customer who returns three times is much more likely to keep coming back after that…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. Microsoft and feds bring down spam giant Rustock http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-20044480-75.html Rustock, purveyor of more e-mail spam than any other network in the world, was felled last week by Microsoft and federal law enforcement agents…This botnet is estimated to have approximately a million infected computers operating under its control and has been known to be capable of sending billions of spam mails every day…Microsoft's digital crimes unit, working in concert with U.S. marshals…raided seven hosting facilities across the country and seized the command-and-control machines that ran the network…Shutting down Rustock could put a huge dent in spam worldwide. Tech security giant Symantec estimated last year that Rustock was responsible for 39 percent of the world's spam…”

6. RSA Cyberattack could put customers at risk http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20044455-245.html “…our security systems identified an extremely sophisticated cyberattack in progress being mounted against RSA," Executive Chairman Art Coviello, wrote in an open letter to customers…the attack resulted in certain information being extracted…related to RSA's SecurID two-factor authentication products…The tokens, of which 40 million have been deployed, and 250 million mobile software versions, are the market leader for two-factor authentication…The tokens are commonly used in financial transactions and government agencies…Any time a security company gets broken into, it reminds you that it could happen to anybody…SecurID is a token authenticator device that flashes a new number every 60 seconds. The number is calculated from two things, a 'secret seed' unique to that device and the time of day…”

7. US military launches Operation Sock Puppet, pays contractor $2.76m for social media ops http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/17/us-military-launches.html “…the US military's Central Command…has awarded a $2.7 million contract to Ntrepid, a newly-formed Los Angeles-based startup, to create fake online "personae" for the purpose of manipulating online conversations and spreading pro-American, pro-military propaganda in social media. The "online persona management service"…would permit one US serviceman or woman to manage up to 10 separate sock puppets…Snip from Guardian: The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries"…The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US."…none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to "address US audiences" with such technology…The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto…the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated Facebook messages, blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

8. In AT&T & T-Mobile Merger, Everybody Loses http://gigaom.com/2011/03/20/in-att-t-mobile-merger-everybody-loses/ “…AT&T plans to acquire T-Mobile USA for a whopping $39 billion…Here is a list of who loses, in my opinion, in this deal…The biggest losers of this deal are going to be the consumers…T-Mobile USA has been fairly aggressive in offering cheaper voice and data plans as it has tried to compete with its larger brethren. The competition has kept the prices in the market low enough…Before the merger was announced, the handset makers such as HTC and Motorola had two major carriers who could buy their GSM-based phones. They just lost any ability to control price and profits on handsets because now there is a single buyer that can dictate what GSM phones come to market…AT&T’s offer has now pushed Sprint to the bottom of the pile in terms of size and potentially spectrum assets…Sprint and T-Mobile often stood against AT&T and Verizon on a variety of regulatory issues, so if AT&T succeeds, Sprint will stand alone on special access and other issues…the biggest loser in this could be Google. In T-Mobile, it has a great partner for its Android OS-based devices…Don’t be surprised if you see AT&T impose its own will on what apps and service are put on its Android smartphones. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the worst phone company in the U.S…create its own app store and force everyone to buy apps through it…this is just bad for wireless innovation, which means bad news for consumers. T-Mobile has been pretty experimental and innovative…generally been a more consumer-centric company. AT&T, on the other hand, has the innovation of a lead pencil and has the mentality more suited to a monopoly: a position it wants to regain.” http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/news/7-implications-of-an-at-t-and-t-mobile-merger “…Prices Will Probably Go Up…It Will Present An Opportunity For Prepaid Carriers…The Whole Concept of an "Unlocked" Phone Becomes Moot Within the U.S…T-Mobile's 4G Network Will Get An Upgrade…This May Create A Monopoly…There Will Be Pressure On Both Verizon and Sprint To Merge…”

9. Complete Integration Of Google Voice And 50 Million Sprint Customers, Plus 4G Nexus S http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/21/complete-integration-of-google-voice-and-50-million-sprint-customers-plus-4g-nexus-s/ This is the biggest news about Google Voice since the company behind it, previously called Grand Central, was acquired by Google in 2007…if you are one of Sprint’s 50 million U.S. customers, your Sprint phone number is now also a Google Voice number…If you’re already a Google Voice subscriber, you can use that number on your Sprint phone without the need for any software…In other words, if you have a Sprint phone you can choose to make that a Google Voice phone as well. And get all the benefits of Google Voice, like having it ring to any phone you control, initiating and receiving calls from Gmail, hilarious voicemail transcriptions, etc…This kind of integration is far more useful to users, and far less painful to set up, than number porting, which Google launched earlier this year…Google is also announcing today the availability of its first 4G and CDMA version of the Nexus S Android phone…Sprint users…can now have the benefits of Google Voice and use their phone number anywhere they want…” http://gigaom.com/mobile/google-voice-sprint-integration/ “…I find the Google Voice service invaluable and due to native integration, it’s a key reason why I’ve used both Google’s Android mobile platform and its Gmail services for the past several years. For those not familiar, Google Voice allows free calls and texts in the U.S. and Canada, can ring multiple handsets for incoming calls and supports voicemail transcription which forwards messages via email or SMS. In short, it’s an intelligent way to manage voice communications; especially for those with multiple phones or phone numbers…”

10. Mobile headset maker Jawbone raises $49M http://venturebeat.com/2011/03/16/mobile-headset-maker-jawbone-raises-49m/ “…Jawbone, the maker of smart wireless headsets…raised $49 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz…The company makes wireless Bluetooth headsets for cell phones, but its latest devices are more like motion-sensitive computers that you wear in your ear…Jawbone is selling a “mobile lifestyle” to discerning consumers…the company used advanced noise cancellation technology as the defining feature for its first headset launched in 2006. Touting “military grade” voice clarity, it sold the device at the hefty price of $120 when competing products sold for $40…The better sound came from having three microphones built into the device. It also had a sensor that felt the movement of your jawbone and correlated that with your speech…the fourth-generation Icon…debuted in January 2010 with a web site where you could customize the device. The most recent version was the Jawbone Era with motion-sensing controls, multiple processors, and a free voice communication service…The Jawbone Jambox wireless speaker is an example of the company’s move into a new but related category, as is its Jawbone Thoughts voice-driven communication service…”

11. Has AR reached the tipping point with the iPad 2? http://www.fastcompany.com/1738956/augmented-reality-possibly-the-ipad-2s-secret-killer-app The iPad 2…Are its light weight, large screen and twin cameras perfectly positioned to make the iPad an Augmented Reality giant?...Metaio is a big name in AR on the iPhone--back in 2009 we wrote about its interesting AR experiment to "tag" the real world--and it's already been experimenting with the AR opportunities afforded by the new iPad. Check out the video…One of the counter-arguments repeatedly mounted against the progression of AR on smartphones is the need to hold a phone up in front of a user's field of vision--a tiring act that can't be kept up for long. Tablets by their very nature are heavier…But the most convincing thinking about the use of tablets for AR is their larger screens are much better for delivering rich media content--think of how much more attractive an interactive ad is on a 10-inch screen versus a four-inch one…All the tests of the iPad 2's graphics powers place them well above its peer devices--excellently placed to deliver near-real-time video processing and 3-D graphics overlays of the sort Metaio is testing out…”

12. Nvidia chief explains his strategy for winning in mobile computing http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/04/idUS1863188220110304 “…Analysts have long predicted that Nvidia would be squeezed out of the PC market as its rivals created combo chips that put graphics and microprocessor on a single piece of silicon…To prepare for this day, Nvidia added programmability to its graphics chips as far back as 2001, with the introduction of the GeForce 3…getting graphics chips to do non-graphics computing tasks…to get into a wider range of devices, from video servers to supercomputers…now the company is in the midst of a new transition to mobile computing…spearheaded by the company’s Tegra and Tegra 2 mobile processors…Nvidia 1.0 was PC graphics. Nvidia 2.0 was the creation of this process that we call the GPU (graphics processing unit)…it extended the reach of our market from PCs to all kinds of computing devices, anything that has visually rich expression…That was the invention of programmable shader…Nvidia 3.0 is about reinventing Nvidia so that we are able to address a much larger part of the computing market…Nvidia 3.0 inside the company is really a parallel processor company with several specializations. One of them is visual computing…the second thing is energy-efficient computing. Energy efficient computing has two elements to it and one side of it is mobile. We think that in the future…the most desired personal computing device will be a mobile device. And the second aspect of it is the cloud. If you have millions and millions of processors in the cloud surely you would want it to be energy-efficient…so we invented this technology called CUDA which is at this point probably the world’s most pervasive parallel processing architecture. It powers the fastest supercomputer in Japan, the fastest supercomputer in China and many of the fastest supercomputers in the United States and around the world…we distilled Nvidia 3.0 down into…go parallel, go mobile and go ARM…the volume of mobile devices phones — one billion going to four — is so large it would attract developers. They would create applications that make these mobile devices more wonderful. This virtuous positive feedback system would happen for the mobile devices as it did for PCs, except it’s an order of magnitude larger. Instead of hundreds of millions of devices, it’s several billion…that would make the ARM processor the most valuable instruction set architecture (or chip processing architecture) in the world…We needed a really good operating system to expose the benefits of Tegra..finally it came along with Android 3.0…it has hardware acceleration, video hardware acceleration for graphics, has a rich applications programming interfaces (APIs) just like Direct X has for Windows…We’ve been working on a CPU internally for about three and half years or so. It takes about five years to build any full custom CPU…Project Denver has a few hundred engineers working on it for this period of time and our strategy with Project Denver was to extend the reach of ARM beyond the mobile…space. To take the ARM processor, partner with them to develop a next-generation 64 bit processor…backward-compatible with today’s ARM processors…we felt that we could bring the ARM processor into the PC…but retain the energy-efficient characteristic of ARM and would enable a new class of personal computers that has many times less power consumption than today’s PCs but has the performance of today’s PCs…we intend to take the ARM for mobile devices all the way to supercomputers. ARM is now the only CPU in the world that will have deep penetration in the mobile devices, the PC, servers and supercomputers…a modern version of a computer technology company…There are two reasons why we decided not to do x86…The first reason is…The world’s not waiting for us to build yet another x86 and…Intel has got every single price point covered from $10 all the way up to $1000…if you go into the ARM world, there are more competitors…but…we’re all using TSMC for manufacturing. It’s an equal playing field for everyone…we have to go choose the different types of markets where we could add a lot value…Media computing is something that we’re really good at it…I think…mobile devices are still in ancient times…this is…like Windows 2.0. We’re going to look back at these phones and…go; I can’t believe I used that…Our priorities are Windows first, Android second…Does Apple have to lose market share for your market opportunity to get bigger? No. Apple has to get to a point where the number of projects that they have in the company exceeds their capacity as a company to build internally…there are still a ton of content creation opportunities for those supercomputing workstations. But for most of our normal computing average computing needs, I think a mobile device with a couple of watts of power consumption, which is 50 times less than the power consumed by your desktop today, is going to be enough. So my imagination tells me that the mobile computing market is going to become unquestionably the most important computer in the world. Mobile processors will address a very large part of the market…”


13. LinkedIn Teams Up With Snaptu To Launch App For Feature Phones http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/15/linkedin-teams-up-with-snaptu-to-launch-smartphone-like-app-for-feature-phones/ “…LinkedIn has a rapidly growing userbase outside of the U.S., and increasingly users want to access the network from their mobile phone…Feature phones actually represent 80% of the devices sold worldwide…LinkedIn is teaming up with mobile developer Snaptu to launch a rich application for feature phones…the app will work across 2,500 device models, including those from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and LG. Snaptu focused on bringing the most commonly used LinkedIn features in the new app…Facebook also made a similar move, partnering with Snaptu to launch a similar rich app for feature phones…” http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/20/facebook-reportedly-acquires-snaptu-for-an-estimated-60-70-million/ “…Facebook has acquired Snaptu…As part of our goal to offer people around the world the opportunity to connect and share on mobile devices, we’re excited to confirm that we recently signed an agreement to acquire Snaptu…”

14. Performance of Web Apps Throttled on iOS Devices http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/report_finds_performance_of_web_apps_throttled_on.php “…iOS devices run Web applications two-and-a-half times more slowly when they're launched from the home screen than when they're run from within the mobile Safari browser…when Web apps are saved to the home screen and launched this way, they aren't able to take advantage of Safari's recently updated Nitro JavaScript engine nor do they get to utilize some Web caching systems…poor performance of these Web apps could simply be a bug introduced in the most recent iOS. Or it could be an intentional move by Apple to make it more difficult for those who'd like to bypass its App Store…One way to avoid the new in-app purchase rules - and to avoid paying Apple its 30% share of app sales as well - is to build your app as a Web app…if these apps aren't fully functional, or aren't as functional as native apps, it may be a disincentive for developers and for users to go that route…If Apple is intentionally throttling the performance of Web apps, it does call into question the company's support for HTML5 and Web standards…”

15. Amazon Appstore Launches With 3,800 Apps for Android http://emoney.allthingsd.com/20110322/now-open-amazon-appstore-launches-with-3800-apps-for-android/ “…Amazon has officially launched the Android Appstore, a potential iTunes equivalent for Android…Amazon has been recruiting developers since at least January to convince them to get on board with the venture. Initially, users will have access to a catalog of 3,800 applications…At launch, apps will be available from dozens of developers, spanning big names like Gameloft, Handmark and Glu Mobile…To start, the store will be nowhere near the long tail of applications found on Android Market or Apple iTunes, which respectively have catalogs of roughly 150,000 and 350,000 applications. But Amazon is trying to make a big splash in terms of quality. The store launches today with an Angry Birds exclusive to its new hit game…”

16. 3 New Ways to Get Your App Noticed http://gigaom.com/mobile/one-in-a-million-3-new-ways-to-get-your-app-noticed/ “…Mobile apps, across all platforms, are already approaching the millions…once you create a great app and figure out how to monetize it, you still have get your app noticed and downloaded in the oversaturated app ecosystem…App discovery is tricky, both for users looking for new and interesting apps, and for developers who want to get their app the exposure they believe it deserves…Alan Warms, CEO and founder of Appolicious, talked to me about two key approaches his company is taking to solve the discovery problem…Appolicious uses people’s social graphs to help them discover new apps through both an app…and a series of websites, including Appolicious.com, AndroidApps.com, and AppVee.com. Its new Android app automatically imports apps into a user’s library and allows users to see what apps their Facebook friends have recently downloaded…Appolicious also has an algorithmic search and recommendation engine, as well as a lot of online content such as ratings, reviews, lists, likes, curated reviews, compilations, video reviews and industry news…Ouriel Ohayon, founder of Appsfire, told me…search…is practically irrelevant when it comes to apps…Appsfire is trying to personalize apps, much like Pandora has done for music. The UI shows personal app streams, which is a much more visual experience than the app stores. Continuing the music metaphor, users can create Appmixes and share them…The Appsfire mobile app connects to users’ Facebook accounts to tell them which apps their friends are using, and it also scans a user’s mobile device to recommend similar or related apps…Appboy…brings check-ins to the world of mobile apps…When a user opens an app, Appboy+ offers an option to check in to that app…Users now have a simple and effective way to tell friends what apps they use and like…Not only do developers gets exposure for their apps, but they can see the top users and reward them via badges, promotions and awards…to engage their audience and users…”

17. Specialty Android apps for business users http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=6E268E59-1A64-6A71-CE1DAB528BEB96F6 Android smartphones are now the market leaders in terms of mobile sales, and more and more are finding their way into business…These 40 apps show that the Android platform can play a serious role in business…What follows is a category-by-category guide to the best Android specialty apps for business users…The categories are: Email and calendar…Notes and lists…Databases…Mind-mapping and whiteboarding…Conferencing…File management and printing…Cloud storage and FTP…Remote access…Business travel…Business miscellany…”

18. Application Stats on Android Market http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2011/03/application-stats-on-android-market.html “…new feature that we’ve added to Android Market…Application Statistics is a new type of dashboard in the Market Developer Console that gives you an overview of the installation performance of your apps. It provides charts and tables that summarize each app’s active installation trend over time, as well as its distribution across key dimensions such as Android platform versions, devices, user countries, and user languages…the dashboard also shows the comparable aggregate distribution for all app installs from Android Market…we’ve seeded the application Statistics dashboards with data going back to December 22, 2010. Going forward, we’ll be updating the data daily…”

19. How DrChrono brings “hacker culture” to health care http://venturebeat.com/2011/03/21/drchrono-ipad-health-care/ DrChrono…moves many of a doctor’s basic bookkeeping tasks onto Apple’s device…The DrChrono app…allows doctors to do things like take notes, write prescriptions, and access patient records on their iPad…the company charged a $2,500 set-up fee — after all this was a professional app providing real value to doctors…after joining YC, Kivatinos and his co-founder Michael Nusimow…made the app free…more than 1,500 doctors have signed up to use the product, where less than 100 had signed up before…DrChrono is now based on a “freemium” model, where doctors get the basic app for free, then pay extra for features like speech-to-text conversion (so a doctor could just talk into their iPad, and the app would convert their words into written notes) and electronic billing. Pricing starts at $99 per month…when he first started the company, he tried to work with hospitals but found that the sales process just took way too long…DrChrono is working with small, private practices that have one to five doctors. Those doctors are often eager to switch to an electronic system (the financial incentives offered by the Obama administration for doctors to switch to electronic records help), but they can’t afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars…”

Open Source

20. Experimenting with Dropbox in Debian Squeeze http://www.insidesocal.com/click/2011/03/experimenting-with-dropbox-in.html I've been getting closer and closer to needing a Dropbox-like utility on my Linux, Windows and Mac machines (one of each, really). I need access to a certain subset of my files on more than one computer…I heard about SugarSync, which offers a free 5 GB of space, but SugarSync doesn't offer a Linux client…I could have used JungleDisk, and I may still explore that option…Due to licensing issues, Dropbox has fallen out of the Debian non-free repository…I did a bit of searching around and came up with Yeri Tiete's excellent solution: Use the Linux Mint Debian Edition packages for nautilus-dropbox and dropbox. I downloaded the Mint packages, followed the instructions, then installed the client in Windows. In about 5 minutes time, I was using Dropbox. While I was initially not terribly happy about having to drop things into my Dropbox folder in order to have them sync, as opposed to the Ubuntu One/SugarSync…method of allowing any folder/file to be synced, I'm surprisingly OK with Dropbox's method because it allows me to easily keep track of what exactly I have shared between my various desktops…”

21. Aligning SSD Partitions http://www.linux-mag.com/id/8397/ “…I just bought a new 64GB SSD…But…I need to think about configuring the SSD…partitions happen on cylinder boundaries…If this cylinder boundary is not aligned with the “page” of an SSD, then the SSD can easily undergo extra work during a read/modify/write cycle, perhaps causing…performance to be reduced…Linux fdisk uses a default geometry of 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, and,. still currently, 512-byte sectors…This is definitely not aligned on 4KB pages. So we need to adjust the geometry to align the cylinder boundaries…Theodore Ts’o, the ext4 leader, has a blog about this very subject. His recommendation is the following: 224 heads (32*7)…56 sectors per track (8*7)…This results in 12,544 sectors per cylinder (256 * 49). Using 56 sectors per track gives 56*512 bytes or 28,762 bytes per track. This is the same as seven blocks of 4KB in each cylinder so you have an integer number of 4KB pages per cylinder. Therefore any partition will be aligned…If you aren’t going to partition your SSD, then you don’t need to worry about these steps – just use the whole device, /dev/sdd for example, and you should be fine…”

22. Bug Labs: Modular, Mobile Device Development Platform http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110314005381/en/Bug-Labs-Pitney-Bowes-Announce-Modular-Mobile Bug Labs, an open source hardware and software provider that gives companies the tools and support needed to prototype, pilot and produce innovative networked devices with ease, and Pitney Bowes Inc…announced the industry’s first modular, mobile device development platform incorporating hardware-level security and security life-cycle management services…BUGsecure offers enterprises a flexible, trusted platform with the highest level of data protection and encryption available. Current devices on the market rely on software security, making them more vulnerable to breaches. BUGsecure provides a deeper level of security by fully protecting the device’s hardware and operating system, not just its application software…”


23. Larry Page & Google http://www.fastcompany.com/node/1739013/print “…The company line on Page's ascension is that it does not mark any effort to "fix something" at Google. After all, the company…generated more than $29 billion in revenue in 2010 and 24% annual growth…And yet Page is becoming CEO at a crucial inflection point in Google's history. The company is beset by rivals everywhere…Page might seem an odd choice to be CEO. He's personally reserved, unabashedly geeky…Here's our seven-part guide to the Google of today -- and tomorrow…For much of its early life, Google reveled in its bottom-up culture. The governing philosophy was "Let's hire lots of really smart people and let them do whatever they want…This system worked really well until the company reached about 10,000 workers…Google now has 24,000 employees and plans to hire another 6,000 in 2011…Page and Brin pushed Google into mobile, buying Android when the project was an eight-person startup in 2005…Google made Android free and allowed phone manufacturers and carriers to tinker with the software. Critics carp that this strategy hurts Android's usability…this is true, but it misses the point. Android isn't about getting lots of people to use Google phones. The mission is to get lots of people to use smartphones…Android's earliest phones were panned, but with each new version, it has come closer to matching the panache of the iPhone. Its newest incarnations offer…an almost magical capacity to decipher speech commands -- that Apple's devices can't match…by 2012, there will be more than 130 million Android users around the world…Android's triumph should serve as a sweet reminder of the value in imposing just enough discipline before letting the kids chase the ice-cream truck…if you've ever wondered why Google needed its own web browser, called Chrome, here's why: It needed Chrome to goad Microsoft, Apple, and other browser makers into reigniting innovation in what had become a moribund market…Expect Page to launch even more initiatives that may seem futile when considered alone but that are, in fact, designed to wake up drowsy competitors. Think about…Google…releasing its own branded phones…Or about Google's initiative to wire America with fiber-optic lines…Google really wants Verizon and others to pick up the pace…Larry would wander around the engineers…and sometimes he would say, 'Oh, I don't like that,' …But the engineers would get some data to back up their idea, and the amazing thing was that Larry was fine to be wrong. As long as the data supported them, he was okay with it. And that was such an incredibly morale-boosting interaction for engineers…Larry Page isn't on Facebook, he doesn't trade one-liners on Twitter…Google insists that social-networking sites do not constitute a major threat to its advertising businesses…Google isn't planning a Facebook clone but rather it intends to roll out new social features across all its products…If Google can't compete with Facebook directly, perhaps it can render Facebook moot by making everything else on the web feel like Facebook…with brand advertising, the company's resistance has been deeply cultural. Persuasion offends…Page's …meritocratic beliefs. The company became the biggest search engine in the world because it built a better product, not because it created better TV ads than Yahoo…Franz Och…oversees Google's machine-translation system…that can transform one language into another…Google's project…has succeeded far beyond what most experts thought possible…Google spent a year trying to recruit him; each time, he explained to Page and other execs that what they were asking for couldn't be done…That audaciousness -- the ambition to tackle a seemingly unsolvable problem with deep reservoirs of money and data -- is the ultimate insight into what makes Google Googley. "When people come to Larry with ideas, he always wants it bigger," says one ex-Googler. "His whole point is that only Google has the kind of resources to make big bets…today, machine translation (along with speech recognition) is…a key competitive advantage. Even on the iPhone, you'll use Google's software to help you read that French road sign or to transform your voice commands into text searches. Och now seems bemused by this success. Google, he says, simply had far more resources -- more data, more computing power, more money -- than he ever thought possible…Page and Brin's stated mission has been to catalog and analyze all of the world's information, and their larger, unstated aim is to reform all of the globe's inefficiencies…Page and Brin's big bets don't always work…Focus on the misses, though, and you risk overlooking its remarkable successes. Google persists in reforming modern communications networks…While tech wags slagged Google for losing to Facebook, almost none of us saw it turning into the world's largest phone company…More than anything else during my interviews with people who know Page, one comment stands out…says David Lawee, Google's head of acquisitions…Larry is a truly awesome inventor-entrepreneur. My aspiration for him is that he becomes one of the greatest inventors-entrepreneurs in history, in the realm of the Thomas Edisons of the world."…He truly believes Larry Page's Google will change the world. Should we believe it too?…” http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/mf_larrypage/all/1 “…As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, he became obsessed with transportation and drew up plans to replace the school’s mundane bus network with an elaborate monorail system, providing a “futuristic” commute between the dorms and the classrooms. Page’s ideas may have been fantastic, but his vision always extended to the commercial. “From when I was 12, I knew I was going to start a company,” he says. In 1995, he went to Stanford to pursue his graduate degree. It was not only the best place to study computer science but, because of the Internet boom, was also the world capital of entrepreneurial ambition…I didn’t want to just invent things, I also wanted to make the world better.”…When someone pitched an idea, Page would invariably counter with a variation that was an order of magnitude more ambitious. In 2003, when executives met to consider opening engineering offices overseas, Schmidt asked Page how quickly he would like to grow. “How many engineers does Microsoft have?” Page asked. About 25,000, he was told. “We should have a million,” Page said, in all seriousness…In 2008, Google participated in an FCC auction for radio spectrum to be used for mobile broadband…if the spectrum was sold above a certain price, the winner would have to allow other companies to run devices on their networks…Google would bid on the spectrum, high enough to get it over the threshold, and then bow out…Verizon did top its bid, and the company was off the hook…It turns out, though, that…Page urged Google to consider topping the Verizon bid…In the early 2000s, Veach worked on what would become the company’s advertising system…Veach pointed out that not all countries commonly used credit cards. Page proposed taking payments appropriate to the home country—in Uzbekistan, he suggested, Google could take its payment in goats. “Maybe we can get to that,” Veach responded, “but first let’s make sure we can take Visa and MasterCard.”…One way Page tries to keep his finger on Google’s pulse is his insistence on signing off on every new hire—so far he’s vetted well over 30,000…He gets a set every week and usually returns them with his approvals—or in some cases bounces—in three or four days. “It helps me to know what’s really going on,” he says…”

24. Google Apps Love Story http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/google/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229301131 After exiting from bankruptcy last year, BI-LO got serious about saving some money on information technology. The grocery retail chain…needed a new e-mail system to replace…Lotus Notes…There were concerns about security, at least initially. BI-LO has pharmacies, so it has to maintain HIPAA compliance. It's a tier one credit card merchant, so it has to maintain PCI compliance. And the company tries to maintain SOX compliance, even though it's a privately-held company…we found out that Google was actually more secure than we were," said Dewitt. "We just thought we were secure."…Gmail would save…$200,000, and the company might be able to derive some benefit from other Google services…the company only trained a few power users but found usage soaring almost as soon as Google Apps became available…I was just astounded at how quickly people stopped using desktop office productivity tools and started using Docs, just because it made their lives easier. They could share their information and track the changes. And it was that easy. No training. They just started using it…Microsoft may still dominate large enterprise accounts, but its popularity appears to be shakier among smaller organizations like BI-LO. Office 2003 is still being used at BI-LO but…I don't have any plans to upgrade…except for a small group of people…”

25. Google offers help for U.S. nonprofits https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/google-for-nonprofits/announcement-blogpost “…With today’s launch of the Google for Nonprofits program, which provides exclusive product offerings and enhanced online resources, we’ll be able to help U.S.-based nonprofits reach more donors, improve operations and raise awareness for their cause. If you work for a nonprofit, this program provides you with several new benefits. Instead of applying to each Google product individually, you can sign up through a one-stop shop application process. If approved, you can access our suite of product offerings designed for nonprofits: up to $10,000 a month in advertising on Google AdWords to reach more donors, free or discounted Google Apps to cut IT costs and operate more efficiently…We’ve also developed other online resources such as educational videos, case studies and better ways for you to connect with other nonprofits…”

26. New Google Apps feature release process http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-google-apps-feature-release-process.html “…With Google Apps, new features are available with a refresh of the web browser. There’s no need to wait years for the next big software release or manage a complex set of installers, software patches, and hardware upgrades…we’ve heard from some customers with complex IT environments that they’d like more notice before new features are deployed to their users…we’re happy to announce a new feature release process aimed at helping you balance the benefits of accessing improvements as soon as they're ready with the task of integrating the changes into your organization. Our new process has two release tracks…Rapid Release: Customers on the Rapid Release track have access to new features as soon as the features have completed testing and quality assurance…Scheduled Release: Customers on the Scheduled Release track gain access to new features on a regular, weekly release schedule following the initial release of those features. This delay allows time for administrators to familiarize themselves with new features using a test domain, educate support staff, and communicate any changes to their users…New features for Gmail, Contacts, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites will be following this new release process going forward…You can always change your selection by choosing how you would like to receive new features in the Google Apps control panel…”

27. How This 19-Year-Old Is Taking On Google http://www.inc.com/articles/2011/03/how-19-year-old-daniel-gross-is-taking-on-google-with-greplin.html “…I was in Israel and had graduated high school, and I was all set to go into the Israeli Army. I applied to Y Combinator. And not thinking I'd get in, I was invited to an interview…they didn't quite like what I was working on, but I guess they liked me. They wanted me to come back, so I hopped back on a plane. In my three months there, I built several things, none of which caught on. Right at the end of Y Combinator, you get a cool opportunity to get up on a stage and show your project to the world…our project had just got shut down, so this was 48 hours before the end of the program. I went over to [Y Combinator co-founder] Paul Graham's house, and he said, "Just build something that you'd want to use today…So I created a very, very, very basic demo in that 48 hours…But the idea had support. So I spent the next months building a workable product by night and raising $780,000 in angel funding. It was from a pretty cool team, the guy who made Gmail, Paul Buchheit, and Chris Dixon, and the guy who did Square. Also the CTO of Facebook, Bret Taylor…It's also very hard to make a product when you're not the target audience…Greplin was the one project idea I had for which I was the target audience…The idea was in a sense a headline: A search engine that lets you find all of your stuff online…we had this weird problem where we didn't know so many people would use it…the code I'd written at 4 a.m. trying to get onto stage didn't scale very well…At that point you can either monkey-patch everything, or you can start from scratch. We chose to do the latter…You say you're not trying to compete with Google, but what you've created seems a lot like Google for social media and cloud-computing. What portion of your data lives, personally, is in the cloud?...I don't think I have a single piece of information that's solely on my laptop. I think I'm indicitive of a future generation…regardless of how successful Greplin is…my parents won't be satisfied unless I get a degree. They won't speak to me. But, really, I've been completely focused on the company, and haven't given it too much thought…”

General Technology

28. Pepsi bottles: only plants, no more oil? http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2011/0315/Pepsi-bottles-no-more-plastic PepsiCo Inc. unveiled a new bottle Tuesday made entirely of plant material…The bottle is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials. Ultimately, Pepsi plans to also use orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other leftovers from its food business…Coca-Cola Co. currently produces a bottle using 30 percent plant-based materials…it plans to test the product in 2012 in a few hundred thousand bottles. Once the company is sure it can successfully produce the bottle at that scale, it will begin converting all its products over…Coca-Cola said it welcomed other advances in packaging, but noted that it has scaled up use of its own plant-based bottle since introducing it in 2009. It also says it has demonstrated a 100 percent plant bottle in the lab and is still working to ensure it is commercially viable…Pepsi…has had dozens of people working on the process for years…”

29. Adobe Prepares For A Possible Future Without Flash http://www.businessinsider.com/adobe-medialets-2011-3 Give Adobe credit: While it's still trying to make a version of its Flash software that is acceptable for tablets and smartphones, it's also preparing for a digital publishing future that may not revolve around Flash. Adobe's latest move is to integrate Medialets' advertising platform into its Digital Publishing Suite for iPad and tablet publishers. (Medialets is a mobile/rich media ad startup in New York.)…Adobe's core business is selling software tools and services to publishers, whether it's Flash, this Digital Publishing Suite, Photoshop, Omniture analytics…This new integration with Medialets could help publishers generate ad revenue from their Adobe-produced iPad and tablet content…don't be surprised to see Adobe as a potential acquirer for Medialets…”

30. Calxeda's ARM chips designed for 480-core servers http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/379549/calxeda_arm_chips_designed_480-core_servers/ Calxeda…revealed initial details about its first ARM-based server chip, designed to let companies build low-power servers with up to 480 cores. The Calxeda chip is built on a quad-core ARM processor, and low-power servers could have 120 ARM processing nodes…The chips will be based on ARM's Cortex-A9 processor architecture. With the inclusion of DRAM, each ARM node will consume an average 5 watts of power during operation…Calxeda will compete with companies such as Nvidia, which is developing its first ARM CPU, code-named Project Denver, for PCs, servers and supercomputers. Marvell has already announced the quad-core Armada XP server chip…Low-power servers are also being built around selected netbook chips based on the x86 architecture, such as Intel's Atom processor. SeaMicro last month announced the SM10000-64 server, which incorporates 256 Intel Atom N570 dual-core processors. Dell also offers low-power servers based on Via's Nano chip. Advanced Micro Devices is looking to put its low-power Bobcat chips on servers. Servers mostly come with x86 chips, which could be a barrier as chip makers try to push ARM processors into data centers. There are also concerns about the weak server software ecosystem surrounding ARM. Dell this week said companies may find it challenging to maintain separate software stacks, and may be unwilling to port software from x86 to ARM, which have separate instruction sets…”

31. Intel plans Atom server chips to target fast-growing “micro servers” http://venturebeat.com/2011/03/15/intel-plans-atom-server-chips-to-target-fast-growing-micro-servers/ “…a new category of “micro servers” is growing fast as power efficiency and density of computing rise to the forefront…micro servers…try to pack a lot more single-chip boards into a smaller space with much lower power levels and a smaller overall footprint. If these micro servers take off, Intel may be able to stave off low-power rivals such as ARM from taking a chunk of the server business…Intel plans to create micro server chips that consume as little as 10 watts by 2012. Today, Intel’s Xeon server chips run at 45 or 30 watts.In the coming months, it will offer a 20-watt Xeon chip and a 10-watt Atom chip designed for servers…The idea is that certain applications will work better on many low-power dense servers than on a handful of more powerful but power-hungry servers…Intel said that the micro servers will be appealing to web site hosting companies that have lots of customers with relatively low-traffic web sites..SeaMicro feels that the opportunity for low-power, purpose-optimized servers is well above the 10 percent of the total server market in the four to five year timeframe that Intel has suggested…”

DHMN Technology

32. CustomCTRL: An Open Source Home Automation Hardware Controller http://www.cocoontech.com/portal/articles/news/34-hardware/457-customctrl-an-open-source-home-automation-hardware-controller CustomCTRL is an Arduino based open source home automation hardware controller, supporting some of the more popular home automation protocols. The controller will be accessible via an internet based server…It will also support most smartphone platforms, including iPhone and Android…The controller supports 4 major interfaces: Z-Wave (via a serial interface)…ZigBee (onboard XB24 Series 2)…IR (onboard IR receiver, jack for IR emitters)…X10/INSTEON (via SmartHome Dual Band PowerLinc Modem)…The project was recently posted on Kickstarter with the goal of raising enough money ($33,000) to start production. Currently they are at $3,943, has 34 backers, and have 47 days to go…”

33. Local robotics teams set sights on World Championships http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110320/APC0101/103200627/1036/APC06/Robotics-teams-set-sights-World-Championships “…the Menasha Gearheads Blue team…was one of 53 participating in the VEX Robotics Competition's Upper Midwest Regional at Xavier. "This is the largest robotics tournament ever in Wisconsin," said Ron Lohse, a Xavier teacher and robotics club adviser…"Last year there were 26 Vex teams in the state. This year there are 113. Internationally, last year there were 2,500 teams. This year there are 4,000," he said. The impact this kind of competition has had on interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education has also been dramatic, he said. "It's a great program for kids. They have fun and don't even realize they're learning something."…The powerhouse team from this area is St. Mary Central High School, Town of Menasha. Five of its six teams had already qualified for Worlds; the sixth made it Saturday…Konetzke can't say enough about robotics and its impact on his career choice. "I'm going into mechanical engineering and Vex Robotics played a huge role in that. It made me see creativity in science and engineering. It's been the highlight of my high school career," he said. Menasha coach Isaac Zimmermann said he started five years ago with five kids and now has eight teams and 45 kids. "It is cool to see them excited about science and technology and using it…”

34. How Kickstarter Became a Lab for Daring Prototypes and Ingenious Products http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_kickstarter/all/1 “…Build a better mousetrap and the world is supposed to beat a path to your door…some inventors are finding that promise rekindled, thanks to Kickstarter. The site launched in 2009 as a way to crowdsource the funding of idiosyncratic arts projects…Kickstarter empowered creators, who had a new, no-strings source of funding, as well as audiences, who had the opportunity to help realize the kind of art they wanted to see, rather than what some suit thought would be profitable. “It has changed who the gatekeepers are,”…More than 14,000 people have posted projects on Kickstarter, and more than 400,000 people have supported them, contributing a total of more than $35 million. Eighty new projects are launched every day, and $1 million is pledged every week. The site has tapped a source of patronage that was all but nonexistent before. The result…has been the realization of thousands of passion projects…If you think your invention will make you a millionaire, go the corporate route. If you think it’ll be fun, and you don’t want to compromise, stick with Kickstarter…48 percent of postings that include a personal video get funded, versus 30 percent of those without a video…Projects that raise funds for 30 days or less have the highest success rate…But now people are using Kickstarter for more than just quirky arts projects…Schuyler Towne, a competitive lock picker, raised $87,407 in preorders—15 times more than his goal—to launch a line of homemade tools. When a small footwear company called Vere Sandals wanted to develop its 2011 collection, it turned to Kickstarter to cover production costs and gauge demand for its designs. Ray Riley, the general manager of Microsoft’s design studio, says that every industrial designer is now watching the site because it offers so much insight about forging a “deeper connection to consumers.”…Kickstarter began much like one of its projects—bootstrapped with a series of small investments from fellow artists…even people who don’t need Kickstarter are turning to the site. Industrial designer Scott Wilson…had an idea to create a wristband that would convert an iPod nano into a watch…So he posted it on Kickstarter, asking for $15,000 to cover tooling costs for the parts. After 30 days, he had raised $941,778 from 13,512 people…Wilson has had to hire six people to answer the more than 40,000 Kickstarter-related emails he’s gotten, check message boards, and manage fulfillment and customer service.) He says the process helped shorten his production timeline from the typical year or so to 30 days…only 10 percent of Kickstarter funds have gone toward the creation of gadgets or other tech products, and they don’t seem eager to increase that number…if Kickstarter loses its personal touch, if it becomes little more than a corporate presales channel, things get more complicated…Right now, the site operates on the honor system. But if the stakes grow higher, it doesn’t take much imagination to foresee a morass of lawsuits, escrow accounts, and mellow-harshing rules and regulations…The Kickstarter guys are now getting phone calls—from big brands, rock stars, people with patents and NDAs, people who hope to sell their products at Walmart…just as Twitter outgrew its beginnings as a humble messaging system, Kickstarter may not be able to maintain its low profile much longer. “The most interesting companies demonstrate emergent behavior,” says Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist…People’s use of the service is never what the creators intended…”

Leisure & Entertainment

35. Netflix Original Content Could Shift An Industry, but will media companies cut off Netflix's content supply? http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/18/killing-cable/ “…Netflix has confirmed that they intend to pay for House of Cards…Netflix is not paying for the full production of it, but instead they’re paying for the first-rights access to air it. In other words, they get the first “window” to show it to viewers…until now Netflix has…focused on the second or third or even fourth window…For the first time, they’re going to get people signing up to Netflix to get first access to content. And if it’s as good as the talent behind it suggests, they might get a lot of people signing up for that very reason…In three years, we won’t be paying $75 a month to a giant cable conglomerate. We’ll be paying $8 to Netflix and other players that pop up — like HBO (by themselves)…there will still be the monthly fee for Internet…We’d just be removing the ridiculous $75 cable television fee that gives us thousands of channels with content only on at a certain time — and most of which we don’t want…The cable television model has been broken for far too long. For over a decade now we’ve heard the promises of a la carte content and pricing, but it never came because there was no real incentive for it to come…” http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20043850-261.html If media companies won't sell content to Netflix, then Netflix will go acquire the content itself. That's the message Netflix is sending content suppliers and consumers…Netflix is in talks to acquire Media Rights Capital's drama series "House of Cards," produced and directed by David Fincher, who directed "Social Network." The show also stars Kevin Spacey…Netflix…outbid HBO and AMC with an offer in the area of $100 million…The move comes as several big media companies have predicted that Netflix's supply of top-quality content could soon slow to a trickle…The company's offer to stream tens of thousands of movies for $8 per month has TV and film sector honchos worried about their profit margins, the consumer trend of renting instead of buying, and the growing perception that their content can be had on the cheap…the message was that Netflix would receive access to mostly bottom-rung shows and films…"Retail is so big and diffuse, this strategy has never worked," Hastings said in 2009. "Four years ago, Blockbuster…paid the Weinstein Company to block all purchases of their films by Netflix…but we've never had a problem buying Weinstein DVDs." Netflix obtained the DVDs presumably from other rental stores. Licensing streaming rights can't be had from anyone else but the show's owners…it's hard to believe that Netflix can afford to acquire too many shows this way, or at least those of the caliber of "House of Cards."…But the "House of Cards" deal shows that Netflix is willing to do whatever it takes…”

36. Moki.TV Personalized Guide To What’s Streaming On The Web http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/17/moki-tv-is-the-ultimate-personalized-guide-to-whats-streaming-on-the-web/ “…TV shows and movies are spread across a variety of websites, and platforms, including iTunes, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and others, and it can be difficult to sort through all this fragmented content…Moki.TV is launching today as a personalized guide to all TV, video and movie content on the web…the site has 40,000 movies, and 60,000 TV episodes indexed; and this number is growing daily…But the startup is much more than just a directory. Moki.TV will allow you to import your ratings from Netflix into its platform and will start serving you recommendations based on those preferences…Moki.TV will also send you weekly emails recommending titles you may like based on your preferences…the startup will email you when the content becomes available on Hulu, iTunes, Netflix etc…At first glance, Moki.TV reminds me a lot of Clicker…which was just acquired by CBS Interactive…“We think they solved the fragmentation problem,” says Huang of Clicker, “But we are closer to a guide [as opposed to a directory] and have more discovery features.”…As more and more consumers cut the cable cord, there is a need for a recommendations and personalization service that spreads across all of the web platforms where users are finding this content…”

Economy and Technology

37. Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble over Android devices http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-20045551-75.html Microsoft filed suit today against Barnes & Noble as well as the makers of its Android-based e-reader and tablet devices for patent infringement, part of its broader campaign against Google's mobile operating system. The software giant alleges that its patents cover a range of functions "essential to the user experience." The company specifically cites the way users tab through various screens on the Nook e-reader and the Nook Color tablet, both of which run Android, to find the information they're after, as well as the way they interact with documents and e-books…Microsoft previously sued Motorola, alleging that several of its Android devices infringe on Microsoft patents. Microsoft would prefer that companies making Android devices follow the lead of its longtime partner HTC, which worked out a deal last year covering its own Android devices…”

38. LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s 10 rules of entrepreneurship http://venturebeat.com/2011/03/15/reid-hoffman-10-rules-of-entrepreneurship/?source=facebook LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman gave a speech today about how entrepreneurs can “invent the future”. Speaking at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, he recited a list of 10 rules of entrepreneurship…Try to create “disruptive change…Aim big…Build a network to amplify your company…Plan for good luck…Maintain flexible persistence…Launch early enough that you’re embarrassed by your 1.0 product release…Always keep your aspirations and aim high, but don’t drink your own Kool Aid…Having a great idea for a product is important, but having a great idea for product distribution is even more important…Pay attention to your culture and your hires from the very beginning…These rules of entrepreneurship are not laws of nature. You can break them.…”

39. Tech Start-Up Bliss: Dogpatch Labs http://www.thestreet.com/story/11046151/1/tech-start-up-bliss-dogpatch-labs.html “…the Big Apple's start-up scene is blossoming…Taking advantage of the boom are more than a dozen Manhattan incubators, accelerators and so-called co-working spaces, which have emerged to foster entrepreneurs and their next great idea. Meet Dogpatch Labs, a 3,000 square-foot loft space in Manhattan's Union Square district that hosts 45 workers from 15 start-ups…Dogpatch provides companies with free office space for six months (after the allotted time, they're replaced with another firm), and hosts workshops, conferences and networking events that connect entrepreneurs…Dogpatch graduates include iPhone photo sharing service Instagram, which recently passed its 1 million user milestone, and Q&A website Formspring, which has raised $14 million in funding…the lab's focus on collaboration is tremendously helpful when trying to help a fledgling company off the ground…We try to round out the skill set and have a diverse group of people here who can help each other in unique ways." Start-ups that want to work at Dogpatch must apply on its Web site, and are selected in a competitive process that includes the evaluation of a team's vision and background. Read on for some of the emerging companies that currently call Dogpatch Labs home…”

40. Do startup weekends help create startups? http://sten.tamkivi.com/2011/03/do-startup-weekends-help-create-startups/ The most recent Garage48 weekend event in Tallinn sparked some healthy discussion around the perceived and actually delivered value of this format towards the commonly accepted goal of creating more young, brave and hungry technology businesses in the country. The devoted fans of the time-constraint, playful and cutely random 48-hour hackathon were publicly questioned if their lack of attention to the big bad real world (business cases, marketing channels and Terms of Service legalese) were not accidentally misleading the youth to think that creating a real company is a joyride, lacking the need of solving the really hard problems…I created a subjective set of evaluation scales to judge the Garage48 events’ goals, benefits and strengths against as well as to compare those to the needs of building an actual business…As a next step I mapped these pairs on a radar graph, ending up with this template (click on any image to enlarge)…I am still a firm believer that crazy-fast hackathon events and Garage48 among them have a huge role to play still in their part of the circle: inspiring, boosting and motivating recruits before they enter the real battlefield and have to smell the gunpowder…At the same time, the Garage48 “training” doesn’t cover everything a budding company will need…there is clear opportunity for other groups, programs and events to come in here. And we know that many of those actually already exist…I am releasing the original quick-hack excel template for above graphs here if you want to play around: Garage48 vs real startups.xlsx…”

Civilian Aerospace

41. UK Space Agency's CubeSat http://www.southgatearc.org/news/march2011/uk_cubesat_mission_takes_shape.htm “…the UKube-1 CubeSat…winning payloads from the UK Space Agency’s payload competition include the first GPS device aimed at measuring plasmaspheric space weather; a camera that will take images of the Earth and test the effect of radiation on space hardware, using a new generation of imaging sensor; an experiment to demonstrate the feasibility of using cosmic radiation to improve the security of communications satellites and to flight test lower cost electronic systems; and a payload made up of 5 experiments that UK students and the public can interact with. UKube-1…nanosatellite…collaboration between the UK Space Agency, industry and academia…is envisaged as the pilot for a full national CubeSat programme…CubeSat missions offer opportunities for a wide range of people to get involved in space activity, removing barriers and encouraging innovation…The spacecraft is being developed through an existing Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with innovative Scottish space company Clyde Space and the University of Strathclyde…Companies providing free support to UKube-1 include Isotron, Xilinx, Invotec and DS SolidWorks Corp…”

42. TripAlertz Offers Space Flight http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2011/03/14/out-of-this-world-deal-tripalertz-offers-space-flight/ “…TripAlertz Inc. emerges from stealth mode this week, promoting a flight to space which executives hope will launch the start-up to cosmic growth…TripAlertz is a Groupon for travel with a thick layer of social networking on top. The more people who sign up, the cheaper the hotel, cruise or other deal becomes. In the case of the space trip…for which XCOR Aersospace Inc. plans to charge $95,000 – the price drops to $85,000 once 10 or more people sign up…each trip includes a requisite five-day training course at a resort in Arizona where users will be physically and psychologically tested to verify they are fit for space travel…Each day-tripping cosmonaut will board a Lynx, a fully reusable, liquid rocket-powered vehicle which will be piloted by Rick Searfoss, a former NASA Astronaut…the Lynx takes off and lands much like a plane, but the two-seater hits supersonic speeds within 60 seconds of takeoff, achieves a 75% trajectory and then goes straight up…The rocket powered vehicle goes about 175,000 feet above earth, or 33 miles, where passengers then experience weightlessness for about 10 minutes before beginning the return flight home. Only one passenger can fly at a time…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

43. Nvidia targets enterprise supercomputing http://www.itnews.com.au/News/251305,nvidia-targets-enterprise-supercomputing.aspx “…With two large-scale GPU-based high performance computers (HPC) currently in Australia, and three more expected this year, Nvidia expected demand for its Tesla HPC brand to grow. The demand for large-scale HPCs was currently driven by research organisations like the CSIRO, which deployed a cluster containing 64 Tesla S1070 chips (256 GPUs) in November 2009. After being upgraded with newer Tesla s2050s, the cluster ranked 145 in the Top500 supercomputers list last November…Besides the Canberra-based GPU cluster, CSIRO also had a number of what Domanski called “desktop supercomputers” – individual, four-GPU workstations. The teraflop workstations were estimated to require 1,100 Watts and cost between $10,000 and $15,000…Eventually, Domanski hoped desktop supercomputers would be as common as today's off-the-shelf laptops, allowing researchers to consider scientific problems without computational limits…workstations with two to three Tesla GPUs would cost between $3,000 and $4,000. Besides CSIRO, Xenon counted the Department of Defence, Rio Tinto and Chevron among its Australian customers…”