2012/02/21

NEW NET Weekly List for 21 Feb 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 21 February 2012, NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 PM weekly gathering at Sergio's Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net
1.        Social Universe Still Quickly Expanding  http://mashable.com/2012/02/12/comscore-social-expanding/  “Social platforms are still in their Precambrian era, with new services emerging and consolidating large audiences almost faster than they can be tracked…the social category as a whole is on the cusp of becoming the dominant form of online content, accounting for 16.6 percent of Internet minutes spent as 2011 drew to a close…relative newcomers like Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google+ are evolving and growing at a steady clip. Twitter held the no. 2 spot in the category as of December, when it drew 37.5 million unique visitors. Throughout 2011, it had vied with LinkedIn for second position in social…In six short months, Google+ reached 20.7 million U.S. visitors in December (it claims more than 90 million accounts), while Tumblr hit 18.8 million. Perhaps most impressive of all is Pinterest, which has drawn 8 million visitors – many of them female – without the promotional power of Google…Facebook…average user engagement, which jumped 32 percent in the past year…The U.S. online video audience cracked 100 million in December, 43 percent higher than one year ago. The number of video streams grew as fast, rising 44 percent to 43.5 billion in December. YouTube…content channels displayed significant user loyalty. That bodes well for its big investment in premium channels…U.S. travel and retail online spending rose 12 percent to $256 billion. In the fourth quarter alone, retail e-commerce spending reached $50 billion. As social gained popularity…Instant messaging fell 40 percent year over year…Web-based email also suffered notable declines…While the significant decline among teens represents a continuation of a similar trend observed last year, that 18-24-year-olds are now moving away from webmail suggests a larger and more permanent shift in email usage …”
2.       Community Managers Share The Best Apps and Tools For Productivity  http://mashable.com/2012/02/14/community-manager-productivity-tools/  “…we asked several leaders in community management about the apps and tools they swear by for their social media management…As a community manager, I find myself in need of a good way to create forms fairly often…Wufoo is a great solution. What it has that Google Forms doesn’t [is that] depending on how someone answers a certain question, you can determine what questions come next…Shared docs, email and internal microblogging are great work, but combine all these and more to get the social work platform, Podio. Their apps market allows for wide range of project management and collaboration methods…I use TweetDeck for one reason only — it allows me to schedule my tweets for later…One app I love is Simply Measured. With so much data flying around in social media these days, it’s crucial for us…to identify influencers in real-time and monitor specific conversations that are happening around a particular event or brand…Sysomos allows me to measure the social buzz around my brand and its competitors. I monitor the conversations around keywords for each brand…Screenr is a free way to record your screen for tutorials, demonstrations and to answer customer issues…The drawback for Screenr is that it is only five minutes and has limited editing ability. For professional screen recordings, try ScreenFlow for Mac, Camtasia for PC and Screenr Pro…Most community managers have some responsibility in customer service, and ZenDesk is a great solution to handle the influx of customer service inquiries…”
3.       UC Berkeley computer vision class  http://www.vision-class.org/  “Computer vision seeks to develop algorithms that replicate one of the most amazing capabilities of the human brain - inferring properties of the external world purely by means of the light reflected from various objects to the eyes. We can determine how far away these objects are, how they are oriented with respect to us, and in relationship to various other objects. We reliably guess their colors and textures, and we can recognize them - this is a chair, this is my dog Fido, this is a picture of Bill Clinton smiling. We can segment out regions of space corresponding to particular objects and track them over time, such as a basketball player weaving through the court. In this course, we will study the concepts and algorithms behind some of the remarkable successes of computer vision - capabilities such as face detection, handwritten digit recognition, reconstructing three-dimensional models of cities, automated monitoring of activities, segmenting out organs or tissues in biological images, and sensing for control of robots. We will build this up from fundamentals - an understanding of the geometry and radiometry of image formation, core image processing operations, as well as tools from statistical machine learning. On completing this course a student would understand the key ideas behind the leading techniques for the main problems of computer vision - reconstruction, recognition and segmentation - and have a sense of what computers today can or can not do…”
4.       Lighting a Fire Under Satellite Broadband  http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/internet/lighting-a-fire-under-satellite-broadband  “ViaSat is hoping to leave the rest of the satellite broadband universe in the dust. On 10 January, it launched Exede, a new satellite broadband service that the Carlsbad, Calif., satellite communications company claims will be as good as or better than the average optical fiber connection on the ground…Subscribers will be able to download at speeds of 12 megabits per second and upload at 3 Mb/s. With obvious pride, Erwin Hudson, chief technology officer of ViaSat communications, calls the US $49-per-month service “screamingly fast.” Speed is good news for rural residents who depend on satellite broadband. ViaSat’s existing satellite broadband service, WildBlue, suffers from an ailment ubiquitous in the industry: slowness. It’s slow enough to make an agonizing ordeal out of loading graphics- and video-heavy pages…Part of the reason is the limited bandwidth of first-generation satellites, the best of which have a mere tenth of the 140-gigabit-per-second capacity of ViaSat-1, the new satellite at the center of the Exede service. But the other, more challenging problem is the half-second lag time between a satellite broadband subscriber’s computer and the Internet…”
Gigabit Internet
5.        Panasonic preps for WiGig era of content exchange  http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-panasonic-preps-wigig-era-content.html  “Panasonic is working on applications for the new WiGig-technology. WiGig holds out the promise of a time when mobile devices can communicate with each other—in an exchange of videos, photos, and other information-- at multigigabit speeds using the 60 GHz frequency band…a video filmed by DigInfo…shows a passenger transferring media from the tablet to a display mounted in the passenger seat. An exchange of content also takes place from the car’s computer over to the tablet; the passenger checks out auto information such as readings on tire pressure and battery capacity…the technology marketplace is no longer just about Internet connectivity but device connectivity, as more consumers own multiple devices and seek fast, efficient data transfers from one device to another…The standard is in draft stage with the IEEE as 802.11ad…the wireless technologies will offer higher data rates than 802.11ac, but at short distances - and where walls, ceilings and other obstructions don't hinder the path…The 60 GHz band simply has much more bandwidth available (7-9 GHz of spectrum) vs. 83.5 MHz in the 2.4 GHz band, which enables much higher data rates…Panasonic meanwhile is in the process of prototyping the WiGig-enabled SD card, which it aims to commercialize for vehicle usage in summer 2013…”
6.       D-Link launches industry’s first Wireless N PowerLine Gigabit Router  http://hexus.net/tech/items/network/35249-d-link-launches-industrys-first-wireless-n-powerline-gigabit-router/  “…By combining the functions of a high-speed Wireless N Router and PowerLine technology within a single…device, the Wireless N PowerLine Gigabit Router enables consumers to enjoy networking speeds of up to 300 Mbps wirelessly and up to 500 Mbps through their existing electrical wiring. No longer is there the need to buy multiple separate network devices or to trail wires throughout the house to resolve coverage dead spots or areas of poor wireless connectivity…As consumer electronics get smarter and the Digital Home develops, consumers' home networks are also evolving. Increases in online gaming and HD streaming in particular require a more robust, far-reaching and interference free home network…”
7.        PacketFront intros ASR6000 gigabit-to-the-home platform  http://www.lightwaveonline.com/fttx/news/PacketFront-intros-ASR6000-gigabit-to-the-home-platform-139510593.html  “…PacketFront…advanced service router (ASR)…ASR6000…uses a hybrid ASIC and network processor design to deliver improved functionality for controlling bandwidth consumption and traffic quality of services in the access layer…The ASR6000 supports 100-Mbps and 1-Gbps speeds over both copper and fiber access ports, as well as providing full wirespeed IPv4 and IPv6 routing and switching…The two main challenges facing broadband operators today are consumers’ increasing demands for bandwidth and the need for a secure IPv6 Internet access…The ASR6000 native dual-stack deployment makes it possible to proceed without this issue becoming an obstacle…each ASR6000 can independently use RADIUS or DHCP servers to authenticate and to supply services to end-user clients. This creates a very cost-effective approach for service control and network management…”
8.       Move to Chattanooga, Win Big Money This Summer  http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2012/02/move-to-chattanooga-win-big-mo.php  “…Chattanooga Tenn. already has their own gig network up and running and they aren't sitting around just watching the packets fly by. This summer will see the culmination of a series of activities, including an incubator/accelerator program, a student-oriented hatchery program, and cash prizes for gig geeks galore…The GigCity, as they call themselves, will pay for up to ten people to move (up to $1,250, so travel light) and forgive $10k of your new home mortgage if you end up staying for five years. The catch? As long as you come from outside the metro area and buy something in one of eight close-in neighborhoods, you are covered by the program…In addition, 10 other entrepreneurs will be selected for a special GigTank accelerator program. These entrants will get $15k in investment capital and the chance to win an additional cash prize of $100k. The application can be found here, but hurry: the deadline is the end of this month…”  http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/19/gig-city-seeks-to-catch-web-geeks-for-startups/
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
9.       10 Strategies To Fight Anonymous DDoS Attacks  http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/232600411  “Preventing distributed denial of service attacks may be impossible. But with advance planning, they can be mitigated and stopped…are DDoS attacks something that businesses and government agencies must simply endure, or, can they be more actively resisted?organizations can take a number of steps to at least mitigate the effect that DDoS attacks have on their websites, servers, databases…1. Know you're vulnerable…any site is at risk…2. DDoS attacks are cheap to launch, tough to stop…hacktivists can quickly crowdsource…DDoS is to the Internet what the billy club is to gang warfare: simple, cheap, unsophisticated, and effective…3. Plan ahead…Stopping DDoS attacks requires preparation. If attacked, "folks that don't take active measures to ensure the resilience of their networks are going to get knocked over……”  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/249438/denialofservice_attacks_are_on_the_rise_antiddos_vendors_report.html  “……”
10.     Oracle Drops Final Claim in Patent '476 Against Google  http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120218041255197  “Oracle has told the court it wishes to withdraw its last claim of the '476 patent, claim 14, no doubt having read Google's letter to the judge asking for permission to file a motion for summary judgment of invalidity of claim 14…The USPTO in December issued a final rejection of 17 of the 21 claims of this '476 patent, anyway, including all seven of the patent's independent claims…Google pointed out that one can't patent "transitory electrical and electromagnetic signals propagating through some medium, such as wires, air, or a vacuum” and asserted that claim 14 fell into that category of unpatentable subject matter…Google has filed a motion to strike portions of the third…attempt by Oracle's damages expert, Dr. Iain Cockburn, to come up with an acceptable report. This third effort is also flawed, Google maintains, and "riddled with fatal errors". Like guesswork. And inflated and unjustifiable numbers. "Yet again, he has violated the Court's express instructions and overstated Oracle's damages as a result."…even calculating that way, he comes up with a proposed number…valuing the patents at $57.1 million as the highest proposed figure…remember the headlines when Oracle first announced this litigation? That Google could lose up to $6.1 billion if it lost this case? That was never realistic…”
11.      Apple Asks for Court Approval to Sue Bankrupt Kodak in N.Y. Over Patents  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-15/apple-seeks-permission-to-sue-bankrupt-kodak-for-infringement.html  “Apple Inc. asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue Eastman Kodak Co. over allegations it’s infringing patents that Apple says cover technologies used in printers, digital cameras and digital picture frames. Apple said in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York that it intends to file a complaint against Kodak at the International Trade Commission and a corresponding suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan based on patent-infringement claims…”
12.     Judge rules that targeting Android for destruction is legally OK  http://www.geekwire.com/2012/judge-microsofts-android-tactics-hard-bargaining-patent-misuse  “…Barnes & Noble lost a key preliminary decision to Microsoft in their patent dispute. A new court filing explains the judge’s reasoning, and sheds light on some of the legal issues behind Microsoft’s effort to collect patent royalties from Android device makers. Theodore Essex, administrative law judge for the International Trade Commission, wrote in his Jan. 31 decision that Microsoft’s negotiations with Barnes & Noble over the use of Android in the Nook were “certainly hard bargaining,” but he concluded they didn’t qualify as patent misuse. “Even assuming that these transactions and the related evidence establishes that Microsoft is bent on eliminating Android as a competitor, the mere fact that Microsoft is targeting Android for destruction is insufficient to establish an antitrust violation let alone patent misuse,” he wrote…”
13.     How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/  “Every time you go shopping, you share intimate details about your consumption patterns with retailers. And many of those retailers are studying those details to figure out what you like, what you need, and which coupons are most likely to make you happy. Target, for example, has figured out how to data-mine its way into your womb, to figure out whether you have a baby on the way long before you need to start buying diapers…Target assigns every customer a Guest ID number, tied to their credit card, name, or email address that becomes a bucket that stores a history of everything they’ve bought and any demographic information Target has collected from them or bought from other sources…one of Pole’s colleagues noticed that women on the baby registry were buying larger quantities of unscented lotion around the beginning of their second trimester. Another analyst noted that sometime in the first 20 weeks, pregnant women loaded up on supplements like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to their delivery date. Or have a rather nasty infection…Duhigg shares an anecdote — so good that it sounds made up — that conveys how eerily accurate the targeting is. An angry man went into a Target outside of Minneapolis, demanding to talk to a manager… “My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”…The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again. On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.” What Target discovered fairly quickly is that it creeped people out that the company knew about their pregnancies in advance…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
14.     Spray-on cellular antenna gets great reception at Google event  http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-spray-on-antenna-great-reception-google.html  “…A Utah startup has introduced a spray-on signal booster in a can that promises an improved signal…this is a lightweight, easy answer for smartphone users who are frustrated over dropped calls and poor cellphone reception…The approach can create signal-boosting antennas on nearby walls, trees or clothes…The company…tested the spray on a tree, among other tests, and the team was able to send a VHF signal up to 14 miles away using only the treated tree…the company’s spray-on technology could make cell phones work with 10 percent better efficiency…The company is promoting it as a multi-purpose antenna, simple and quick to assemble, mountable on almost any surface, for use in any environment…Also, the company is upbeat over successful tests that were run to examine the spray's signal performance underwater. Chamtech promoters say the technology could be used by weather and oceanographic researchers and underwater welders…”
15.     Inkling Habitat ‘reinvents printing press’ with interactive ebook dev kit  http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/14/an-answer-to-apple-inkling-creates-first-industrial-publishing-platform-for-interactive-ebooks/  “…Apple doesn’t actually care about whose content it’s serving, as long as it can sell more iPads. It doesn’t want to make or sell textbooks, it wants to create indispensable use-cases for its iPads…Inkling Co-founder and CEO, Matthew MacInnis…was responsible for Apple’s expansion into educational markets in Asia and later a senior manager of all Apple’s international education efforts…MacInnis left Apple to co-found Inkling with the mission to help textbook publishers convert their content into digitized, interactive versions, going beyond static rehashing of text…the team set out to build a publishing platform that would redefine digital media, starting with reinventing the textbook…they’ve discovered that to reinvent books, they’ve had to go back…and re-imagine the entire printing process…Adobe’s InDesign has long been the de facto standard for formatting and laying out publications, magazines, newspapers, textbooks…The author writes the manuscript, the illustrators create images separately, everything has to be scanned, upped to the server, whereupon it’s outsourced to India, aggregated into PDFs, sent back to publishers for a read-over, back to India for changes…While iBooks looked to solve this problem, really the main use case for its Author tool is for teachers who want to publish books for their classrooms …it’s like GarageBand or Keynote for quick textbook publishing, not so much a scalable model that works for the entire industry…Inkling Habitat…platform targets the other end of the spectrum from iBooks: Professional publishers, giving them an industrial, or enterprise, platform that includes everything they need to create and publish interactive content for both the iPad and HTML5-based web content…Habitat enables publishers to “deploy standards-based content,” which includes guided tours, 3-D exhibits, interactive quizzes, and high def video…Habitat allows everything to be instantly published (and updated!) in a few clicks…Inkling wants to change how interactive content is built, giving textbook publishers the tools to scale interactive publishing…Inkling claims that Habitat is the “first integrated publishing environment” built for professional publishers…”
16.     Kindle Touch breakthrough: Startup debuts handwriting recognition in puzzle book  http://www.geekwire.com/2012/kindle-touch-handwriting-recognition-slick-feature-puzzazz  “Puzzle technology startup Puzzazz is giving Amazon’s Kindle Touch a capability that even Amazon didn’t envision — letting users input numbers and letters by writing them naturally with a finger on the screen, rather than tapping at the e-reader’s tiny on-screen keyboard. The new TouchWrite technology, developed internally by Puzzazz, recognizes those invisible scribbles and converts them into visible numbers and letters on screen…Unlike some handwriting-recognition from years past, the TouchWrite technology doesn’t require users to learn any special way of writing, and it recognizes many different styles of writing different numbers and letters…It’s the latest effort by the Seattle-area startup to improve the experience of using e-books, through its lineup of digital puzzle books. “We think what we’re doing here is the future of books…”
17.     A tablet? A smartphone? Galaxy Note is both  http://www.indystar.com/article/20120219/BUSINESS06/302190005/Technology-tablet-smartphone-Galaxy-Note-both  “It's a tablet. It's a smartphone. It's a phablet. Samsung's new Galaxy Note is hard to pigeonhole. It resembles an oversize smartphone or an undersized tablet. Then throw in that a key feature is a stylus-like pen -- Palm Pilot redux?...the device is quite sweet. Its 5.3-inch display is gargantuan in comparison with most smartphones, and yet the device is thin and well-proportioned. Its powerful dual-core processor and 16 gigabytes of storage is expandable via microSD by 32GB. The impressive rear-facing 8-megapixel autofocus camera can capture stills and high-definition video, and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera handles video chats…Screen size is a balancing act, and some will find the large display ungainly. Holding the phone to your ear might feel a bit dorky. I found it easily fit in a coat pocket and, surprisingly, my front jeans pocket. But it won't work for everybody…it runs Android version 2.3 Gingerbread and will be upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich…Backed by Wacom technology, S Pen features 256 pressure points of sensitivity. It fits snugly into a slot on the bottom of the device; still…A replacement costs about $30…Pressing the pen button and holding the pen against the screen captures a screen grab. An image editor appears, and you can draw or crop the image and paste the results into an email, text or document…”
18.     Settlement reached in iPhone 4 antennagate suit  http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-57380685-248/settlement-reached-in-iphone-4-antennagate-suit/  “…A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit targeting the antenna performance of Apple's iPhone 4. As part of a preliminary approval made this afternoon, U.S. residents who bought Apple's iPhone 4 will be entitled to $15 in cash or a bumper case provided by Apple…”
19.     Pocket Microscope With Accessory for Ordinary Smart Phone  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120215083025.htm  “A pocket-size microscope accessory developed by Finnish scientists will be accurate to one hundredth of a millimetre…Among those who will benefit from the device are the printing industry, consumers, the security business, and even health care professionals…The operation of the device is based on images produced by the combined effect of an LED light and an optical lens. Various surfaces and structures can be examined in microscopic detail and the phone's camera used to take sharp, high-resolution images that can be forwarded as MMS messages. An ordinary mobile phone turns into an instant microscope by attaching a thin, magnetic microscope module in front of the camera's normal lens. The device fits easily in the user's pocket, unlike conventional tubular microscopes…”
Apps
20.    App Battles Driver Distraction but Spares Passengers  http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/39724/  “…New sensing technology can determine whether a phone is being used by the driver, or merely a passenger, and is providing a building block for a new generation of distraction-thwarting apps…talking on a phone increases the risk of a crash four times; texting increases it 23 times. The National Transportation Safety Board…called for a nationwide ban on driver use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices while driving…existing phone-blocking tools, such as a $20 per year service from iZup, use a smart phone's GPS receiver to tell when it's being used inside a moving vehicle, and then automatically send calls to voice mail and delay text messages…these apps have an Achilles' heel: they are based on detecting car motion. That means that within the car, they can affect not only drivers' phones but those of passengers…Researchers…are developing technology that determines when a phone is likely in the driver's area…the phone to connect with a car's stereo…and issue subaudible beeps inside the car. The phone's microphone picks up the beeps; a signal-processing algorithm calculates the position of a phone within the car…when this application runs, it will decide whether you are the driver or the passenger…”
21.     PaperKarma: This mobile app stops junk mail in its tracks with a simple photo click  http://www.geekwire.com/2012/paperkarma-mobile-app-stops-junk-mail-tracks-simple-photo-click  “Most people absolutely hate receiving junk mail…one might think that there’s little hope to escape the clutter. That was until now…software developers Brendan Ribera and Sean Mortazavi have taken their frustration with paper-based junk mail, and turned it into an innovative new mobile app called PaperKarma. The free app…allows recipients of junk mail to snap a photo of the flyer, catalog, magazine or other offer and, in a few simple clicks, unsubscribe from the distributor’s list…I was pretty amazed at just how simple PaperKarma was to use…”
22.    Braille-Like Texting App Lets You Text Without Looking  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217145324.htm  “Imagine if smartphone and tablet users could text a note under the table during a meeting without anyone being the wiser. Mobile gadget users might also be enabled to text while walking, watching TV or socializing without taking their eyes off what they’re doing. Georgia Tech researchers have built a prototype app for touch-screen mobile devices that is vying to be a complete solution for texting without the need to look at a mobile gadget’s screen…”
SkyNet
23.    Google is largetst public DNS: 70 billion requests a day  http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/google-public-dns-70-billion-requests.html  “We launched Google Public DNS in December 2009 to help make the web faster for everyone. Today, we’re no longer an experimental service. We’re the largest public DNS service in the world, handling an average of more than 70 billion requests a day…Today, about 70 percent of its traffic comes from outside the U.S…We’ve also taken steps to help support IPv6. On World IPv6 Day, we announced our IPv6 addresses: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844 to supplement our original addresses, 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4…”
24.    Kids, Google + And The Increasing Speed Of Innovation  http://towriteistothink.com/2012/02/18/kids-google-and-the-increasing-speed-of-innovation/  “…If you’re reading this, you’re probably a user of social media and if you are, you’ve undoubtedly seen a good deal of negative sentiment surrounding G+. Let me share a story with you. I’ve got a 13-year old daughter who’s in 7th grade. Six months ago she didn’t text, didn’t IM, and didn’t really spend any significant time in front of a computer or phone. Then she entered junior high school. Fast forward to today: She’s got the outline of her phone permanently etched into the back right pocket of her jeans and she spends a great deal of time at night with her friends on group IM chats…Last week, I was lying on the floor of her room doing math homework with her…when I said to her “So you’re 13 now. I’m surprised you haven’t asked me for a Facebook page yet, how come?” “Facebook? That’s for adults. We use Google +.” My mind was fully blown. As a VC who is supposed to be spun up on trends in technology, this one caught me as off-guard as Jeremy Lin. I…asked her to show me her Google+ page. Sure enough, she and dozens of her friends had the whole thing dialed. Different circles for different classes of friends, the whole shebang…Just a few years ago, Facebook didn’t exist. Now nearly 15% of the people on this planet use it, except that is for my 13 year-old daughter and her group of friends…Teenagers eschewing their parents’ ways is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow. A year ago my kids bought all their music through iTunes. Now they both have Rdio accounts and unused iTunes gift cards from the holidays lie untouched on their desks…Are my daughter and her friends a blip or a trend? And if it’s a trend, what are the implications for Facebook and Google in the next year or two…”
25.    Google Seeks To Plant Antenna Farm in Iowa  http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/02/20/google-seeks-to-plant-antenna-farm-in-iowa/  “…Google Fiber, Inc. is seeking permission to place satellite antennas on land near its data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The antennas could be used to receive content feeds from broadcast networks that could be bundled with a high-speed fiber service…The application discusses an array of 4.5 meter satellite dishes, and seeks access to transmissions from satellites including Intelsat 9, which carries international television programming…In late 2007 Google purchased an additional 1,000 acres of land near its $600 million Council Bluffs data center site…Just a few hundred miles south of Council Bluffs is Kansas City…Satellite feeds in Council Bluffs may fit perfectly into the bigger picture of Google TV everywhere, large fiber build-outs, and a growing number of wireless patents to support Android…”
General Technology
26.    The USB Memory Stick Is Facing Extinction  http://www.fastcompany.com/1816192/the-usb-memory-stick-is-facing-extinction  “One of the odd questions I keep being asked about the iPad is "Where do you plug in USB stuff?"…the USB memory stick is very swiflty about to be obsolete…They're a handful of dollars at your convenience store, novelty designs compete with austere ones…Any tech that's got to this level of commodity is due to be banished to the history books…it's flourished like crazy to fill a technological need--moving files swiftly and easily between computers…But…a bunch of other technologies have been advancing, and are about to make the USB stick obsolete. It's all about the mobile computing revolution, which has done two very important things: introduced people to the idea of accessing wireless data on the go or anywhere they could imagine and also changed how people think about computer files…Dropbox, an app that's used by 45 million people who upload 1 million files every finve minutes, is at the forefront of revolutionizing this entire idea, and it works wirelessly…With free tech like this why would you hunt down your USB stick, fiddle with files, wait while it transfers, disconnect it, stick it into the new device…The Amazon Kindle tech is similar, because you can access your same book files on the Kindle e-readers or other devices anytime you like and your bookmarks and such are shared among them…You almost don't need to "store" photos on your smartphone once you've taken them, as long as you upload them to a cloud-ish storage service like these, ready to access them anywhere…smartphone or tablet…systems they really do make you think differently about files that you used to think of as "yours."…wireless, mobile, and cloud-based tech are outpacing the humble USB stick faster than an avalanche racing down a mountain…there are specific super-smart uses of USB sticks that'll stay around for ages yet…But before long all your USB sticks will be gathering dust on your shelf because you'll have changed how you access data…”
27.    Windows 8 vs. Mountain Lion: Does Microsoft stand a chance?  http://www.extremetech.com/computing/118689-windows-8-vs-mountain-lion-does-microsoft-stand-a-chance  “…The personal computer, as imagined by IBM and powered by Microsoft DOS and Windows, is raggedly exhaling its final breaths. In its place is a great big shuddering heap of conflated, commingled, converging software and hardware led by Apple’s Mountain Lion and Microsoft’s Windows 8…Released in 2009, both Windows 7 and OS X 10.6 had almost zero cloud-, mobile-, or cross platform features; they were both very much “PC” operating systems. This isn’t to say that you couldn’t add extra functionality through third-party software, but the out-of-the-box experience, which the vast majority of users experience, was very PC. In…Windows 8 and OS X 10.8…almost every feature is somehow linked to the cloud, mobile, or home entertainment…central, converged hubs for your complete digital existence…the difference — and thus friction — between the desktop and mobile OSes is being reduced…Microsoft and Apple have both settled on a post-PC reality…both companies are converging from completely different directions. Microsoft is trying to leverage its way into the tablet and phone market by way of its massive Windows user base. Apple…is trying to get iOS users to pony up for a Mac laptop, Apple TV, and eventually an Apple iTV…For 30 years, Microsoft has been making money on x86 PCs and servers, and the Office suite of software…Microsoft needs Windows 8 to succeed on tablets and drive sales of Windows Phone 8… or it’s screwed. Apple, on the other hand, has the iPhone and iPad; two of the world’s most desirable [desired] mobile devices…Apple has already made its revolutionary leaps — way back in 2007 with the iPhone, and again with the iPad in 2010…If Microsoft walks in Apple’s shadow, which so many other companies have done — if it tries to imitate Apple — it will lose. If Microsoft can forge its own path, perhaps with a metaphorical tractor or some good ol’ napalm, it could come out on top. The good news is that Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are shaping up to being very different beasts to OS X and iOS…”
28.    Sony developing authenticating power outlets: pay-to-charge on the way?  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57377767-1/sony-envisions-future-with-pay-as-you-go-power/  “…Sony is looking to revolutionize the inefficient way in which we consume power. A new concept video from the electronics giant shows how we could use power more efficiently in the year 2030 by switching to smart outlets with authentication and wireless charging…The prototype power outlet, integrated with a short-range wireless FeliCa transmitter (and a new RFID over power line technology), allows the user to swipe a pay card across the faceplate and pay for energy on the spot. What makes it truly interesting is if humankind keeps progressing towards alternative energies (such as wind, solar, and biomass), then our outlets could give us options as to what source from which we obtain our power…Imagine not having to use power from the electric company for a TV-viewing session, instead drawing from a battery in your house that contains stored power from your solar- and wind-power generation sources…The proposed power control center app (for tablet or smartphone) would enable consumers to observe how much power is available from various power sources in the home. With the app, one could check how much juice the electric car in the garage contains, enable or disable outlets in various areas of the house, or remotely control devices connected to a power outlet…Taro Tadano from Sony…wants to speed up the process of development and integration, but reliability, safety, and patent battles present several roadblocks…”
29.    Nevada approves regulations for self-driving cars  http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-nevada-self-driving-cars.html  “The state's legislative commission on Wednesday approved regulations that were vetted by car manufacturers, insurance companies, law enforcement officials and others. Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles Director Bruce Breslow says the DMV is now developing licensing procedures for companies that want to test self-driving cars in Nevada…self-driving test cars will use red license plates. When the technology is ready for use by the general public, the cars will display green license plates.”
30.    HP Z1 Redesigns the Workstation  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400265,00.asp  “Hewlett-Packard  Z1 is the world's first desktop all-in-one workstation. Despite packing a giant Intel Xeon processor and an Nvidia Quadro graphics processor, the HP Z1 has no tower…The new workstation looks unlike anything we've ever seen, combining the high-performance parts of a desktop workstation with the form-factor of an all-in-one…But it adds an innovative design element to the mix as well. The all-in-one folds down flat and opens up, with the 27-inch monitor lifting up like the hood of a car to expose the components within. The easy open chassis and modular component design also allows parts to be swapped out and upgraded with no tools needed…”
31.     VLC 2.0 Released  http://www.macstories.net/news/vlc-2-0-released-whats-new-and-an-interview-with-videolan-developers/  “…Available for Mac, Windows, and Linux machines, VLC 2.0 is a major update…Often regarded as “the media player that can open almost anything”, VLC has indeed become many’s de-facto choice over the years when it comes to dealing with a variety of video file formats, or audio files that other media players such as iTunes won’t open. If you weren’t aware of all its functionalities and secrets, you’d say VLC’s best feat is the fact that it can launch almost any kind of file you throw at it…”
Leisure & Entertainment
32.    Scalado Remove takes the hassle out of shooting pictures in a crowd  http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/14/scalado-remove-clears-up-your-photos-we-go-hands-on-video/  “It's a familiar scenario. You're traveling with a friend and she poses in front of a famous monument. You're ready to take her picture with your phone but there's a constant stream of people and vehicles getting in and out of your shot…You could wait for the right lull in traffic to press the shutter key or you could use Remove -- Scalado's patented new object removal technology…it highlights potential objects and lets you eliminate them manually…Just tap the on-screen shutter key and Remove quickly takes several pictures in a row…You can touch a second time to stop capture or let the app finish on its own. Remove then magically displays the resulting composite shot…There's also a toggle in the same location which lets you switch to a secondary UI that allows you to pick which unwanted details to remove (or keep)…you can load and re-tweak previous captures at any time to restore (or eliminate) objects after the fact. Remove introduces a completely new way to capture that special moment…” [watch the video – ed.]
33.    Van Gogh's Starry Night modded into beautiful interactive light and sound show  http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/14/interactive-starry-night/  “This is one of those little projects you wish you could just play with the second you've seen it. Greek Artist Petros Vrellis coded an interactive light and sound show into Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night -- that you can control with your fingers. With a swipe of a single digit (or hand) you can pull the particles of the artists paint daubs to redirect the swirling mass of night sky in any direction, making music as you do so. After the break we've got video that you really, really should watch -- and afterward start begging the creator to get this onto people's iPads as soon as he can manage it.” [make sure you watch the video – ed.]
34.    The Nightman cometh: LED suit makes for ethereal snowboarding  http://www.gizmag.com/led-suit-snowboarding/21510/  “Night snowboarding usually equates to grueling pre-dawn slogs up backcountry routes or short, icy turns under stadium-like lights at small resorts…In this stunning piece of film, a unique LED suit is employed to turn the subject into a powder-slashing apparition…"I wanted to approach snowboarding in a more textural aesthetic way that felt more emotive and expressive," Sutton explained on Facebook. "I was really drawn to the idea of a lone character made of light surfing through darkness." The one-of-a-kind LED light suit…required a lot of testing to get right…an estimated 300 man hours were expended building, testing and fine-tuning the suit. In the end, they used strips of LED lighting powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries…Over the course of three nights, Sutton used a Red Epic video camera and snowmobile to capture footage of Hughes lighting the night like a human torch. We're left with a mesmerizing, ethereal scene in which Sutton's "Silver Surfer" makes his way through soft, supple cold smoke…"Filming in the suit was the most surreal thing I've done in 20 years of snowboarding…”  [another one where you have to watch the video – ed.]
35.    How Developers Are Shaping the Future of Music  http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_the_future_of_music_is_in_the_hands_of_develop.php  “…Technology has altered everything from the creation of music to its distribution, upending retailers, studios and business models across the industry…Music isn't dying so much as evolving, and the landscape is already beginning to look quite different…This weekend, coders and industry representatives gathered in San Francisco for Music Hack Day…the event is dedicated to bringing developers together to build new things using the latest technologies and platforms…Some hacks are strictly Web or software-based, while others involve some tinkering with hardware, including LED lights, Nintendo Wii controllers and Kinects. The most recent Music Hack Day spawned a total of 62 hacks. The list included a music search engine that queries multiple streaming services, as well as a Theramin made from two iPhones…A side effect of this type of collaboration is that the entire industry is creeping forward. A few years ago, Wahlforss said, some record labels had no idea what an API was or how it was relevant to their business. Today, EMI has an API of their own. They, along with Universal Music Group, participate in Music Hack Day and are curious about much of the fruit it bears…For SoundCloud, this spirit of hacking is something that plays a prominent role in the culture of the company…Modeled after Google's "20% time," the company encourages employees to use what it calls Hacker Time to experiment and build new things…The open architecture of the Web, the proliferation of APIs and hacker culture have already made a notable mark on how people create, discover and share music, yet all of this is still very much in its earliest stages…”
36.    Comcast unveils $4.99 per month Streampix service, taking aim at Netflix  http://www.geekwire.com/2012/comcast-unveils-499-month-streampix-service-aim-netflix-hulu  “Comcast this week is rolling out a new video streaming service called Streampix…The offering, which includes access to past seasons of TV shows such as 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost and The Office as well as movies like Brokeback Mountain, Ocean’s Eleven and The Big Lebowski, will cost $4.99 per month when bundled with other Comcast video packages…Netflix and Hulu Plus, on the other hand, charge $7.99 per month. Of course, the kicker here is that Streampix is only available to existing customers of Comcast…”
37.    Qwikster Rebaptized: Netflix’s Name Game With Disc-Only Subscriptions  http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/02/netflix-dvd-subs/  “…from Netflix’s company blog…“Now you can sign up directly for a DVD only plan.”…As of Thursday, new customers can sign up for a plan that includes unlimited DVD and Blu-ray discs by mail for $7.99 a month, with a free one-month trial. The trick is, you have to navigate to dvd.netflix.com, rather than Netflix.com…Netflix wants to sell discs-by-mail on top of streaming subscriptions, not separately — partly because it makes more revenue that way, and partly because the company’s priority is to boost subscribers for its now-flagship streaming video product…when Netflix cancelled Qwikster — partly because it made account and queue management even more convoluted — Qwikster.com began redirecting to Netflix.com. So it was nearly impossible to sign up for a new disc-only subscription over the web…This wouldn’t be a problem except that disc subscriptions are still much more profitable than streaming video. Plummeting disc subscriptions are the dirty little secret behind Netflix’s holiday-fueled bounceback in domestic subscription numbers. Some users dropped their DVD plans for streaming only. Others, upset that their prices had gone up, cancelled entirely. After years of disc-fueled growth, virtually nobody was signing up for new DVD plans…”
Economy and Technology
38.    Fast Company 2012 list of 50 most innovative companies  http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2012/full-list  “Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are transformational firms, obsessions of the business world…But if you had to pick, which one would you say is the most innovative--literally, the most innovative company in the world? (And then who's No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4?) The four we chose were featured on our cover last November ("The Great Tech Wars"). Since then, they have jostled for the No. 1 title--with Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, Apple's Siri voice assistant, Facebook's Timeline interface, and Google's reinvention of YouTube as a niche-programming powerhouse…see if your opinion matches ours. If it doesn't, worry not. In a month or so, one of these firms will surely disrupt everything again.…”
39.    Coolest Startups in America  http://blog.rightsignature.com/2012/02/coolest-startups-in-america.html  “The new book Coolest Startups in America profiles "awesome startups in the USA today that will be global household names tomorrow. Doreen Bloch is a New York City-based entrepreneur and author who identifies companies that are disrupting traditional industries with innovative web products. She uncovered 7 common characteristics of the most successful startups: they solve real problems, do it in a unique way, have reach, are ambitious, execute quickly and efficiently, focus on the consumer, and have cool brands…Here's the…list of startups featured…Square  Accept credit cards using your iPhone…Kickstarter  People pledge dollars to project creators…HaveMyShift  Hourly workers trade shifts online…Dwolla  Cash-like payment network…Shapeways  Trendy objects made with 3D printing…Asthmapolis  Inhaler data tracking…Learn about how these companies got off the ground, gained traction, and became leaders in their spaces, and hear insights and secrets from the founders. Buy the book in paperback and Kindle editions…” [I only listed six of the startups from this article; read the article or the book to find out about the rest. – ed.]
40.    NSF Innovation Corps  http://pandodaily.com/2012/02/18/nsf-innovation-corps-the-coolest-incubator-youve-probably-never-heard-of/  “NSF Innovation Corps. Never heard of it? That’s okay — few have. But it’s something we should all know about…every year, the U.S. government’s National Science Foundation writes over 10,000 grants to scientists and professors around the country…At some point, someone asked: “What would happen if we plucked out a few of the most commercially viable projects, brought their scientists and professors out to California… and taught them to be entrepreneurs?” And thus, Innovation Corps was born…Stanford lecturer Steve Blank…essentially invented the Scientific Method for startups with his Lean Launchpad class: get the facets of your business in front of your customers quickly, treat all of your assumptions as hypotheses that require validation, and be ready to adapt at every step of the way. You can read more about Lean LaunchPad at Steve’s blog…The NSF wanted to pull the best scientists in the country out of the comfort of their labs, give them $50,000, all the mentorship they could need…and see if they could get a commercial venture to come out on the other side…One team worked on detecting explosives using a special material and a UV light. Another worked on a hand-held tool to measure the fluid pressure of your eye. This was hardcore… friggin’… science…they give the teams $50,000 to cover living expenses and to compensate them for leaving anything they might have left behind…“You don’t want the government funding these companies — you want them getting to the point where they’re being funded by VCs, or by real revenue from real profits. The idea isn’t that the government competes with private capital…In 2011, they mentored 21 teams. 19 of them have gone on to continue their commercial efforts. In 2012, they’re aiming for 200 teams. In 2013, they’re hoping for 400. “This is how we’re going to kick every other country’s ass in the world,” says Blank. “We’re going to institutionalize what we know how to do best. It’s Silicon Valley meets the best of science and engineering.”
DHMN Technology
41.     Tiny Robotic Bee Assembles Itself Like Pop-Up Book  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/02/robotic-bee/  “arvard University engineers have come up with a production technique inspired by pop-up books and origami, that allows clones of tiny robots to be mass-produced in sheets…With the new method the engineers don’t just fabricate the robot, but also produce a surrounding “assembly scaffold” that’s attached to the bee-bot by tiny hinges. When the scaffold is lifted by pins, it folds the flat robot’s joints and turns it into a 3D model. The Harvard Monolithic Bee (or Mobee), for example, turns from a flat shape into a 2.4-millimetre-tall robot in just one movement…The whole structure is made like a printed circuit board. 18 layers of different materials (carbon fiber, a plastic film called Kapton, titanium, brass, ceramic, and adhesive sheets) are laminated together in a thin, laser-cut design. Then the pins pop-up from the bottom to fold everything into place…because the robots are so small, you could print dozens on a single sheet. While the process was designed to produce micro-air vehicles, the same technique could be used for pretty much any 3D object that needs a number of material layers, integrated electronics and lots of tiny hinges…”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxSs1kGZQqc  [cool video showing the pop-up process – ed.]
42.    Doing Biotech in My Bedroom  http://www.technologyreview.com/business/39597/  “In a spare bedroom of his family's house in County Cork, Ireland, Cathal Garvey is repeating the feats that led to the dawn of the biotechnology age. He's growing bacteria. He's adding DNA. He's seeing what happens…Garvey, who is 26, dropped out of a PhD program at a big cancer lab two years ago. Instead of giving up on science, however, he started doing it on his own, spending $4,000 to equip a laboratory in his parent's house. As a member of the "do-it-yourself" biology movement, Garvey takes inspiration from the early days of hobby computers, when garage tinkerers spawned companies like Apple and the rest of the PC industry. The idea now is that anyone—not only big-budget academic labs or large companies—should be able to practice biotechnology…His goal, he says, is to show that biology can be done in an open-source fashion, and on a shoestring budget. Instead of beakers, he uses recycled jars. A sterilizer is rigged from a pressure cooker and a hot plate. To feed his germs, he boils potatoes into a starchy mix…DIY biology is part of a wider trend in design that's sometimes called maker culture: people are using 3-D printing services or cheap, custom electronic circuits to develop prototypes of gadgets, products, or vehicles. Now that amateurs can put rockets into space, what's to stop them from genetically modifying life forms in the kitchen?...CoFactor, a California company, now sells a $599 DNA-copying machine called OpenPCR. And via Shapeways, a 3-D printing company, Garvey is selling a plastic test-tube holder he designed. When attached to a drill bit at home, the $50 piece becomes a fast-spinning centrifuge…George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School…thinks the trend can't be dismissed…the cost of both synthesizing and decoding DNA molecules is now falling five times faster than the cost of computing power…”
43.    From plasma speakers to robotic pipe organs: Meet the inventors of ‘StudentRND’  http://www.geekwire.com/2012/studentrun-skunk-works-brings-kids-invent-plasma-speakers-robotic-pipe-organs-cool-stuff  “Edward Jiang…20-year-old University of Washington computer science student spends his spare time running StudentRND, a Bellevue skunk works of sorts where high-school and college students can drop in for free to build everything from low-cost surface computers to robotic pipe organs to video games. Jiang started the non-profit organization three years ago while a senior at Interlake High School…Today, the organization has the support of organizations such as Stratos Product Development, Physio Control, Medtronic, Google and Chase Community Giving, but Jiang says they are looking for more involvement from the technology community via mentorship. It operates on a grass-roots budget of about $30,000, with 39 percent of funding coming via corporations. “As time went on, we realized what we wanted to build was a community of kids who loved to build cool stuff,” said Jiang, who given his busy schedule no longer has time to participate in the cutting-edge projects. Tucked in a 3,500 square foot office space in Bellevue next to an auto repair shop, StudentRND opens its doors on Wednesdays and Saturdays to kids who want to tinker in an electronics lab (complete with soldering tools and oscilloscopes) or Fablab (outfitted with a 3-D printer and laser cutter) or computer lab (full of software). Those tools, combined with the endless creativity of the students, can lead to pretty compelling ideas…”
44.    Build yourself a Drone NOW (before they become illegal)  http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2012/02/get-a-drone-now-before-they-become-illegal.html  “Francis Fukuyama isn't your standard tech guy.  He's a policy guy at Stanford that writes hefty books on very philosophical topics.  That's why his detailed blog post on his efforts to build a surveillance drone are so cool…Francis makes two simple observations that are worth repeating.  Here's the first one: "I don’t have to spell out the implications of this.  I want to have my drone before the government makes them illegal." I agree with Francis, it's pretty clear that drones will become illegal sooner than later…The second observation Francis makes?  "One somewhat worrying thing is that virtually all of this [drone] equipment comes from China or Taiwan." I actually think this is a good thing.  It will slow down efforts to ban them. So, follow the trail blazed by Francis and build yourself a drone…”  http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2012/02/print-your-own-drone-free-designs-and-tools.html  “Here's an interesting twist on building your own drone:  A drone you can print it using tools that you own (or your neighbor owns)…It's a great example of maker tech, drones, tinkering networks, leveraging the network, etc. in one neat package…Peter designed the Vampire using Google Sketchup…it's 3D modeling software.  If you have an engineering bone in your body, get it. Peter than posted his designs to Thingverse for anybody to download. He then printed out the parts using his Ultimaker 3D printer…”
45.    The Hackathon Is On: Pitching and Programming the Next Killer App  http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/02/ff_hackathons/all/1  “…We’re participating in BeMyApp. It’s a hackathon—a contest to pitch, program, and present a functioning Android mobile application in 48 hours…On Friday I was handed a microphone and given 60 seconds to outline my idea for an app, then 30 minutes to mingle and out-schmooze a dozen other wannabe CEOs. We were vying to be one of six “idea generators.” While engineers and designers are admitted automatically, people with ideas for apps (regardless of experience or qualifications) need to win over the crowd. Only the engineers and designers get to vote. We, in turn, jockeyed to recruit them, channeling the hyperbole of used-car salesmen…Like an American Idol for programmers, these marathon coding competitions have exploded in popularity. Fueled by the development of easier-to-use software-writing tools and a new willingness among companies to allow third parties to slice and dice their data, more than 200 hackathons were held last year in the US (and just as many more were held throughout the rest of the world). The result has been a wave of innovation and new businesses…”
46.    White House: A Progress Report on Modeling & Simulation for the Economy  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/15/progress-report-modeling-simulation-economy  “Last week Aneesh Chopra addressed the inaugural National Modeling and Simulation Coalition with an update to an important R&D initiative focused on an industry of the future. In May 2010, an interagency working group made five priority recommendations to deliver on the promise of modeling and simulation (M&S) tools that spur productivity in advanced manufacturing, health care and education. We reported on our progress: Lowering Barrier to Entry…Lab to Market…Health Care applications…Cloud Computing…Education…”  http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/amp/  http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/fy2013omb_innovation.pdf
Open Source Hardware
47.    The {Unspoken} Rules of Open Source Hardware  http://blog.makezine.com/2012/02/14/soapbox-the-unspoken-rules-of-open-source-hardware/  “I truly believe open source hardware is here to stay…I spend most of my days working on open source hardware in some way, and I wanted to talk about some of the {unspoken} rules…many, seem to follow. Why? Because the core group of people who’ve been doing what we’ve collectively called “open source hardware”…all work towards a common goal: sharing our work to make the world a better place…We pay each other royalties, even though we don’t need to…I introduced Mitch Altman, inventor of the TV-B-Gone, to Limor Fried. I wanted to convince him to work with her on an open source hardware kit version…Mitch travels the world doing workshops while MAKE, Adafruit, and many others sell his kit, and he gets paid a royalty…Behind the scenes, most/all open source hardware designers pay a royalty to each other when they make and design together…We credit each other, a lot…In open source, you’ll see makers gladly say where they first saw an idea…Naming: be different. It’s better to be unique…we focus on branding things and building a product that people know comes from a specific company or person…We’ll say things like Arduino-compatible, but we won’t call them Arduino. Arduino, the name, belongs to the Arduino team…We actually do open source hardware…If you’re calling it open source hardware, release the files: schematic, source, BOM, and code. All under an open license. Don’t hide it. Don’t say you need to sign an NDA and attempt to obfuscate…A new thing I’ve seen, and I don’t think meets the spirit of openness: don’t use open source hardware or software as a “prize” if your Kickstarter gets funded…I’m moving everything to GitHub to make this easier on me…Basing your project/product off open source? Open source it…Let’s say you make something based on an Arduino, which is under an open license — yeah, you need to do the same…However, I don’t think everyone agrees with this point…Code and designs: add value…Just changing a couple of things so you can ship your own thing is really frowned upon…It’s one thing to copy and improve, it’s another to just copy and sell…Cloning ain’t cool…If your goal is just to make Arduino clones and not add code or hardware improvements, please go do something else instead…Support your customers…Spend the time and resources to create tutorials, forums, and support your customers…Build your business around open source hardware…If you’re celebrating open source and attempting to make money around it, you gotta put value back in too…Respect the designer’s wishes…We can email each other and talk when needed…it’s a strength that we’re a community who can talk to each other when needed…It’s also helpful for the designer to include a bit of text in a Readme for the license or on a project page that lists some ideal uses…When we finally get an open source hardware foundation, we’ll all support it…They’ll be there to serve us, the community!...I’ll financially support a foundation, and I’m sure many/all/most of the open source hardware companies will too. I make a living from open source hardware, so when a foundation comes along I’ll give them money…I think I can get the people I work with at Adafruit to donate about $400 per employee x 25 people — that works out to $10,000 from my day job. This is something that’s important, so I’m going to try to make it happen…”
48.    Auraslate Is An Open Source Android Tablet For Hackers  http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/16/auraslate-is-an-open-source-android-tablet-for-hackers/  “If you’re sick of firmware lockdowns and failed reflashings on your other Android tablets, the Auraslate may be for you. It’s…an Ice Cream Sandwich-compatible tablet built from the ground up for hax0rz and programmers…There are two models – the 7-inch 726B and the 10-inch 1026…the 1026 can run the latest version of Android. You can upload any version you want, however, and even the hardware is open source in that you receive a hardware source disk for about $20…you won’t be blazing through web pages on this thing or playing high-end video games. For about $130, you get a standard Android CORTEX A9 tablet from a Chinese OEM that you could get for about $95 if you really dug around. However, Auraslate is promising open source software updates for their hardware and you also get a support community and the source code. This sort of package is ideal if you’re working on an Android hardware project…you will be able to talk with a community of hackers dealing with the same hardware and software…”
49.    David Braben hopes to teach kids how to program on a very cheap computer  http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/40232/Elites_David_Braben_hopes_to_teach_kids_how_to_program_on_a_very_cheap_computer.php  “The Raspberry Pi single-board computer is nearly here. Equipped with everything you need to build the next big video game, this $25/$35 development computer is due to be released before the end of the month. The board, intended to run the Linux operating system and compatible with a variety of programming languages, will be shipped out to a number of UK schools, where students will be allowed to take them home and do with them what they will. The hope is that putting this power in the hands of children will enable them to explore the world of computer development, and inspire a new generation of programmers. Gamasutra sat down with industry veteran and Raspberry Pi trustee David Braben to discuss what he hopes for the future of the project, and how Computer Science education in the UK can be aided…”
50.    Ford and Bug Labs Shipping OpenXC Beta Test Kits to Devs and Universities  http://hothardware.com/News/Ford-and-Bug-Labs-Shipping-OpenXC-Beta-Test-Kits-to-Devs-and-Universities/  “OpenXC is an open source connectivity platform developed in tandem by Ford and open source hardware maker Bug Labs. Announced this fall, the platform is designed to allow developers the ability to use an Android- and Arduino-based module to interact with a vehicle’s in-car tech, such as vehicle sensors and GPS units…Ford announced that OpenXC beta test kits are now shipping to developers worldwide…Ford is debuting the first app to run on the platform, an as-yet-unnamed tool that “would allow a driver to provide selected personal contacts with an automatic location update during that driver’s travels.” Practical examples include the app sending an automatic email or text to a waiting colleague if the car senses you’re running late or notifying a loved one upon your safe arrival at a destination…”
51.     5 questions with John Scott, founder of MIL-OSS and Open Source for America  http://opensource.com/should-be/12/2/community-spotlight-john-scott  “Meet John Scott. He is a systems engineer in Alexandria, Virginia. Scott has worked extensively on open source software policy for the US government and military--and helped found MIL-OSS and Open Source for America…I work primarily in the government and military space promoting the adoption of open source software tools and methods. My company itself does allot of open source geospatial work as well. I also am working on a DARPA-funded open source hardware project called vehicleforge.mil to help the US military share hardware designs…”
Open Source
52.    Apache releases first major new version of popular Web server in six years  http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/apache-releases-first-major-new-version-of-popular-web-server-in-six-years/10390  “The Apache Software Foundation has just announced the release version 2.4 of its award-winning Apache HTTP Server. This is the first major release of the Apache Web server in more than six years. Long before the release of Apache 2.2 in December 1st, 2005 though, Apache was already the most popular Web server in the world. Today Apache powers almost 400 million Web sites…”
53.    Open source flight simulator  http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=23944  “Students in the Marshall University Computer and Information Technology major are getting a unique opportunity to build something that the military could use someday…Major General Anthony Crutchfield, Commanding General of the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence…suggested they link up to build and develop flight simulators…The Army has a huge 3rd party contract with all kinds of different companies who build their flight simulators and run them for them on a base…Crutchfield toured the digital forensics lab and talked with Morgan and others about their gaming programs…The simulators have been developed in Combat Analysis classes…Morgan says the hope is it will help those involved get a feel for various aircraft and combine that knowledge with technical expertise that might help them get jobs with contractors that work on flight simulators…Things are taking off. Morgan, along with students, have put together a low-cost flight simulator…Zach DeLong is the president of the Marshall gaming club and a student in the class. He says  the project is something that could become much bigger…”
54.    Reasons to Download LibreOffice 3.5  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/249940/five_good_reasons_to_download_libreoffice_35.html  “…the Document Foundation on Tuesday announced the arrival of LibreOffice 3.5, the third major release of its free and open source office productivity suite…More than 30,000 changes have been made to the software during its 16 months of development…nearly 300 brand-new developers joined the project during that time…Here are a few of the highlights…included in LibreOffice's presentation and drawing components…are an improved importer for custom shapes and smart art from .ppt and .pptx files and a feature for embedding multimedia and color palettes into .odf documents…LibreOffice 3.5's spreadsheet module supports up to 10,000 sheets…the software performs better when importing files from other office suites…LibreOffice has also been considerably slimmed-down…”
55.     Ubuntu for Android Will Bring the Desktop to Your Phone  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/250356/ubuntu_for_android_will_bring_the_desktop_to_your_phone.html  “…Designed to coexist with Android on users' multicore smartphones, the new version of Ubuntu is designed to launch the full Ubuntu desktop when the phone is docked with a keyboard and monitor. The rest of the time, the phone runs Android as usual…Android data and applications such as contacts, telephony, and SMS/MMS messaging are accessible from the Ubuntu interface…This is not an Ubuntu app on an Android phone…Rather, it's a way to have the full Android experience when you use your device as a phone and the full Ubuntu experience when it's docked, complete with the full suite of productivity apps and tools from the desktop…”
Civilian Aerospace
56.    GENIE rocket system does smooth VTOL, lateral flight  http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/16/genie-rocket-system-does-smooth-vtol-and-lateral-flight/  “NASA can't just park up in the middle of space and rely on Robotnaut 2 for its entertainment…at some point the urge to explore new worlds will become too strong to resist. That's when it'll need a suborbital rocket guidance system like the GENIE ("Guidance Embedded Navigator Integration Environment"), which transforms a flood of sensory data into reliable and autonomous maneuvers…NASA is depending on technology like this to control the next generation of affordable and reusable space craft. The test flight shown after the break can only boost GENIE's chances: it took a Xombie rocket up to 160 feet and then made it fly laterally for another 160 feet before landing with a degree of swagger…”
57.     Mars mission to be simulated to find best menus for trip  http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/story/2012-02-17/research-mars-food-hawaii/53160760/1  “…Life may exist in some form on Mars. Well-stocked supermarkets don't…if astronauts someday head there in what's estimated would be a three-year mission…what they'd take to eat would be among the concerns…a group of Cornell University and University of Hawaii-Manoa researchers are looking for a half-dozen volunteers to spend four months next year living in a simulated Mars base on a Hawaii lava flow…Data from the simulation will be used to look at menu fatigue and the economics of finding the easiest things to transport…The volunteers will live essentially like astronauts, Hunter says. They'll dress in simulated spacesuits — hazardous material suits instead of heavier and more cumbersome spacesuits. They'll take a mix of the prepared foods NASA astronauts eat today and some shelf-stable foods, such as flour, sugar and freeze-dried meats, for making their own meals…The site of the study hasn't been determined, though there are a number of locations in Hawaii that are "quite Mars-like in various ways," says Kim Binstead, co-investigator at the University of Hawaii-NASA Astrobiology Institute. "We need a site that is very low on vegetation, visually isolated, visually Mars-like and very stark." Volunteers, Hunter says, should be mostly scientists or engineers…people who are interested in food, who know how to cook. And people who are healthy." Those chosen will go to Cornell this summer to train to prepare meals with the given supplies, Hunter says. There'll be a two-week dry run before the four-month experiment "to make sure everyone gets along and the equipment works…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
58.    Japanese University Boots Up 800-Teraflop GPU Supercomputer  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-02-14/japanese_university_boots_up_800-teraflop_gpu_supercomputer.html  “Japan's newest supercomputer, an 802-teraflop GPU-accelerated Appro cluster, went into production last week at the University of Tsukuba…The machine represents…a three-year effort that will attempt to push the envelope on GPU-pumped supercomputing. HA-PACS…stands for Highly Accelerated Parallel Advanced system for Computational Sciences…The new Appro cluster represents the 8th generation supercomputer at Tsukuba and is the first to be accelerated by GPUs. As you might suspect, the vast majority of the 802 teraflops is provided by the graphics units, in this case, based on the latest NVIDIA Tesla GPU part, the M2090. Each cluster node pairs four of them with two 8-core Xeon E5 ("Sandy Bridge") CPUs…the 268-node HA-PACS machine will house 1072 GPUs and 536 CPUs, as well as a total of 34 terabytes of memory on the CPU side and an additional 6.4 terabytes for the GPUs. External storage amounts to just over half a petabyte…Using the top-of-the line CPUs and GPUs makes for a dense and powerful cluster, with each node delivering just shy of 3 teraflops (peak) performance…CPU's aside, the main focus for HA-PACS is to draw the most performance from the GPU hardware…HA-PACS will be porting codes to the GPU in the areas of subatomic particles, life sciences, astrophysics, nuclear physics and environmental science…the HA-PACS team is in the process of developing custom hardware to support direct communications between the GPUs…to quickly shuffle data between themselves without the overhead involved in going through the CPU. This custom hardware, known as the Tightly Coupled Accelerator (TCA), will be distinct from the HA-PACS base cluster from Appro, but will eventually be integrated with it…TCA will use PCIe as a communication channel between the GPUs and employ FPGA technology to facilitate this. The FPGA will be based on an existing implementation developed at Tsukuba called PEACH, which stands for PCI Express Adaptive Communication Hub. The idea is to provide a controller that enables PCIe devices to directly communicate with one another…”
59.    NC State Researchers Teach GPGPUs New Tricks  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-02-07/nc_state_researchers_teach_gpgpu_processors_new_tricks.html  “esearchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows graphics processing units (GPUs) and central processing units (CPUs) on a single chip to collaborate – boosting processor performance by an average of more than 20 percent. Chip manufacturers are now creating processors that have a ‘fused architecture,’ meaning that they include CPUs and GPUs on a single chip…However, the CPU cores and GPU cores still work almost exclusively on separate functions. They rarely collaborate to execute any given program, so they aren’t as efficient as they could be…Our approach is to allow the GPU cores to execute computational functions, and have CPU cores pre-fetch the data the GPUs will need from off-chip main memory…CPUs and GPUs fetch data from off-chip main memory at approximately the same speed, but GPUs can execute the functions that use that data more quickly. So, if a CPU determines what data a GPU will need in advance, and fetches it from off-chip main memory, that allows the GPU to focus on executing the functions themselves – and the overall process takes less time…”

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