2012/02/28

NEW NET Weekly List for 28 Feb 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 28 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.        Lord of the Files: How GitHub Tamed Free Software  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/02/github/all/1  “…GitHub’s…mission: to democratize computer programming…Instead of uploading videos of your cat, you upload software. Anyone can comment on your code and add to it and build it into something better…GitHub has shaken up the way software gets written, making coding a little more anarchic, a little more fun, and a lot more productive…GitHub now has more than 1.3 million users, and over 2 million source code repositories — eight times the tally from just two years ago…Two years ago, GitHub was a team of eight…By the beginning of 2011, they’d grown to 14 “hubbernauts”…and a year later, they’re at 57…and it hasn’t taken a dime of venture funding…Wanstrath and fellow programmer P.J. Hyett were both slinging code at Cnet…As they built out their sites at Cnet, Wanstrath and Hyett wound up making a lot of improvements to Ruby on Rails itself…To get one of their changes added to the central code, Wanstrath and Hyett would have to lobby one of those trusted coders and convince him that their change was worth integrating. That was often more work than writing the code in the first place…This was the dirty little secret of open-source software. With the average free software project, large amounts of code — maybe even most code — never actually got used…in 2005, Torvalds created Git, version control software specifically designed to take away the busywork of managing a software project…in the Git world, forking is good…Git makes it easy to just ‘do it’…and then come back later and show the end result off…It may have been built for Linux, but Git quickly proved to be a godsend for any large organization managing giant code bases…Facebook, Staples, Verizon and even Microsoft are users. At Google, Git is so important that the company pays Junio Hamano – who took over the project from Torvalds – to work on Git fulltime…For the 99 percent, Git’s command-line interface is notoriously difficult to use…GitHub…simplifies Git…At first, GitHub was a side project. Wanstrath and Preston-Werner would meet on Saturdays to brainstorm, while coding during their free time and working their day jobs. “GitHub wasn’t supposed to be a startup or a company. GitHub was just a tool that we needed,”…three months after that night in the sports bar, Wanstrath got a message from…the founder of PeepCode…“I’m hosting my company’s code here,” Grosenbach said. “I don’t feel comfortable not-paying you guys. Can I just send a check?”…Microsoft acquired Powerset, the startup that was providing Preston-Werner with a day job. The software giant offered Preston-Werner a $300,000 bonus and stock options to stay on board for another three years. But he quit, betting everything on GitHub…It’s the startup’s outright hostility toward corporate command-and-control that really sets it apart. “We don’t keep track of vacation days; we don’t keep track of hours. It doesn’t matter to us,” says CIO Scott Chacon. “I’ve been here at midnight and there are five people here. And I’ve been here in the middle of the day on a Thursday and there’s nobody here.” And yet it’s the most productive software development team he’s ever worked on…Geeks are learning that GitHub can help manage other projects as well. Books and even transcripts of talks have popped up on the site. One GitHub user, Manu Sporny, published his DNA information to the site last year, in the hope of spurring development of open-source DNA analysis software by providing real test data to analyze…Ryan Blair, a technologist with the New York State Senate, thinks it could even give citizens a way to fork the law — proposing their own amendments to elected officials…When you really think about it, a bill is a branch of the law,” he says. “I’m just in love with the idea of a constituent being able to send their state senator a pull request.”…“I want to live in a world where it’s easier to work together than to work alone… where every part of the software development process is a joy,” says CEO Wanstrath…”  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/02/github-revisited/  “…We published our GitHub story on GitHub because it was meta-cool…When we uploaded the story to GitHub, we published it under a Creative Commons license, and this allowed GitHub’s 1.3 million users to do what they do best: download their own version of the article — called a fork in GitHub parlance — mess around with it, and then offer the changes back to us via the website. Within a few hours, the first change came in: a typo fix. With the push of a button, the error was gone. Then someone translated the article into Spanish. And we were elated. This was collaborative Nirvana…The story was published at 3:30 a.m. Pacific, and by 9 a.m., there were about a dozen changes. Soon we were nearing 20, and this is where things started to get complicated…Some of their changes couldn’t be merged automatically, but they included good additions that should be considered. GitHub lets users describe the changes they’re making, but not everyone is precise when doing this…Then we noticed a formatting issue. Because we’d used Windows encoding in the text file of the story, our GitHub forkers were accidentally turning apostrophes and smart quotes into strange new characters, and this was polluting our results…Finally, a troll popped up. He didn’t really improve our article in any way, but he did add what appears to be — well, we don’t quite know what it is. This was starting to feel like collaborative hell…And here’s the thing. Just about all of the changes that were submitted were great. The readers were thorough in a way no single editor could ever be, uncovering missed spaces, substituting “an” for “a,” pointing out that our description of Ruby on Rails as a language was incorrect, and digging up an embarrassing number of typos. And the contributors were cool…great people to work with. And we think that this issue of version control is going to be increasingly important to the future of collaboration as people work together not just on software and books, but on physical objects as well. In all, the experience was the strangest mixture of excitement and tedium…”
2.       Apple vs. Facebook: users are the losers  http://news.cnet.com/8301-33617_3-57381092-276/apple-vs-facebook-why-users-are-the-losers/  “At first glance, it looks like Apple really loves Twitter. The reality, however, is that it hates Facebook. It sure seems that way, at least…last week's preview release to developers of Mountain Lion…includes a slew of new apps (Game Center, Reminders, Notes) and new features (Gatekeeper, Notification Center). What it doesn't include is Facebook integration…Instead, Apple again chose to anoint Twitter as its social media service of choice…This is another big win for Twitter, which received a 25 percent boost in new users last fall when Apple's latest iOS was released…the rocky relationship between the two companies…began after Apple yanked Facebook support out of its Ping music social network at the last minute…Jobs claimed that Facebook demanded "onerous terms" for Facebook integration into Ping, so Apple balked…In early 2011, Facebook agreed to launch its first tablet app exclusively for the iPad…HP intended to release a Facebook app for the TouchPad first…that, not surprisingly, didn't please Jobs. Facebook tried to stop the TouchPad app…but the damage was done…Unfortunately, the real losers in this battle are those of us who use Facebook and Apple products…The problem, as is often the case in business, boils down to bruised egos. Apple isn't very forgiving, even in the post-Jobs era…Facebook needs to prod its users to share and post more so that it can serve more ads to them; that, after all, is its business model. Deeper Facebook integration in iOS and OS X would do just that by making it simple and quick for people to do more on Facebook…Apple, on the other hand, isn't likely to receive any meaningful jump in sales by adding Facebook to iOS and deepening ties in OS X. It just doesn't need Facebook…”
3.       Box for Android Update Adds Collaboration, 50GB Free Storage  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400635,00.asp  “Cloud-based storage service Box on Thursday unveiled an updated Android app that boasts new collaboration features, support for new languages, and 50GB of free storage…Box said the revamped app leverages the Android 4.0 design, but users do not have to be running Ice Cream Sandwich to use it…The update also allows users to upload multiple files and monitor their progress while you work on other tasks. If you want to offload files on your device, meanwhile, the Android app now supports multiple file uploading from the SD card…”
4.       Dropbox for Android updated with automatic photo uploads, up to 3GB free space  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400722,00.asp  “Dropbox announced an update to its Android app on Friday that automatically syncs a user's photos on the phone. A complementary update to the desktop app also auto-syncs photos stored on cameras or SD cards…On Android, the photo-upload function mirrors one already built into phone: Google+ already can be set to automatically upload photos and store them in the cloud. On the other hand, Google won't allow any photos over 2,048 pixels wide, so high-resolution cameraphone images won't be stored on Google+ in their full resolution. The Dropbox Android app can automatically upload your photos and videos to Dropbox using Wi-Fi or your data plan. They're all uploaded at original size and full quality, and saved to a private folder called Camera Uploads in your Dropbox, Dropbox said. The desktop version will automatically kick in if a camera or SD card is connected, uploading the photos to Dropbox…”
5.        Interactive 3D graphical objects may soon be common on the web  http://www.rdmag.com/News/2012/02/Information-Tech-Computing-Internet-Interactive-3-D-graphical-objects-may-soon-be-common-on-the-web/  “…When customers visit an online shop, they want to see all parts of a product; they want to enlarge it, or visualize adjusting single elements. Until now, web developers have been dealing with a multiplicity of different programs, in order to illustrate articles on the Internet in such a complex way. The new HTML extension XML3D…simplifies that. An online shop can be extended with XML3D in just a few clicks…Up to now, for every move of the different object modifications, innumerable photos would have to be taken and then set together to an animation with a special kind of software…Using XML3D, it is possible to embed three-dimensional content in such an easy way on websites as had previously been achievable only with video clips on the Internet…Besides text, images and videos, 3D objects can also be pictured on the website. "All 3D components form part of the HTML code that defines the website. Therefore, web developers can create new 3D content by using their habitual programming methods…”
6.       “Facebook for scientists” ResearchGate raises a fresh round of funding  http://venturebeat.com/2012/02/22/facebook-for-scientists-researchgate-raises-a-fresh-round-of-funding/  “ResearchGate, a social network for scientists to share knowledge and research…is a full-blown network for scientists and researchers to connect, share and collaborate; they can login through their Facebook accounts as well…Scientists can post information and reports, connect with their peers to exchange ideas, and collaborate on problems. The social network has been up and running for four years now, with 1.3 million members from the scientific community…”
7.        Free Project Management Resources Released  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/free-project-management-resources-released-2012-02-28  “ProjectManager.com…released a suite of free project management resources for managers and teams…The newly released resources include an entire suite of free project management training videos aimed at helping people to manage projects from start to finish. The video series (also available on YouTube) has already attracted 30,000 plays in the first 24 hours of operation. The videos are unique in that they are offered by the Directors of the company to help the wider project management community to improve the way they manage projects…The Company has also released a suite of project management templates to help teams get started with projects quickly and easily…ProjectManager.com competes directly with Microsoft Project by offering the World's best online project planning software…ProjectManager.com is heavily integrated with Google Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets and Google Docs…”
Gigabit Internet
8.       N.C. Telehealth Network Successfully Connects First Non-profit Hospital  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nc-telehealth-network-successfully-connects-first-non-profit-hospital-139813623.html  “The North Carolina Telehealth Network (NCTN)…announced that Vidant Medical Center in Greenville is the first not-for-profit hospital to be connected to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). The connection was made possible by broadband fiber constructed during the first phase of the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative…Vidant Medical Center is using a combination of its fiber and MCNC-provided fiber for a fully-dedicated 1 gigabit per second connection to the NCTN…Vidant Medical Center is the first of 24 non-profit hospitals that will be connected to the NCTN over the next three months…Vidant Health has plans to supplement the initial NCTN connection in Greenville with a second 1000 mbps, completely diverse connection to increase resiliency and to serve their backup data center…this connection increases our bandwidth by tenfold with lower costs, more capabilities, and better overall patient services," he said. "This high-speed connectivity provides instantaneous care and support for patients in areas where they live and work."…The NCTN is subsidized through the FCC's Rural Health Care Pilot Program, which  provides funding to eligible health care providers for telecommunications services, including broadband…to improve the quality of health care available to patients in rural communities by ensuring eligible health care providers have access to affordable telecommunications services…”
9.       Google bringing IP TV to KC?  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/74496.html  “Speculation that Google is going to disrupt yet another industry -- this time cable television -- is circulating, prompted by an application the search engine giant filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission, seeking a franchise to provide video service in Kansas City, Mo. A similar application was filed in Kansas City, Kan…The two applications it filed are directly related to the company's fiber project, Google spokesperson Jenna Wandres told TechNewsWorld…This could be the big bang that changes the TV industry as we know it…Of course, the pay-TV industry has been frightened by…new competition in the form of disruptive technology…before…and successfully stared down all threats…Now the cable companies are back to raising their prices," he noted. However, both Google and Apple have a history of transforming moribund…industries…so this time might do the trick…”  http://www.kansascity.com/2012/02/22/3444862/google-giving-stronger-signal.html  “…In the Kansas application, Google said it would use “national and regional video headend facilities” — essentially programming collection points — “to send IPTV” — a television-over-Internet technology like that used in AT&T’s Uverse — “across a private (Internet protocol) network to subscribers.”…Time Warner Cable is the dominant distributor in Kansas City, although satellite services and Uverse have made recent inroads…The company recently acquired permission from the Federal Communications Commission to test Wi-Fi transmitters from the home in private residences at Stanford University. Google has been using that faculty housing to test some of the technology it could deploy in Kansas City. Those Wi-Fi routers could move data at the same gigabit speeds as its fiberoptic cables — suggesting a holistic system for blanketing homes with Internet service 100 to 1,000 times quicker than the U.S. average…Google could be braced for “cloud TV” that would make digital video recorders such as the Tivo obsolete. Rather than record programming on a device in the home, the report suggested, Google could simply store a seemingly endless amount of video in its data centers…So the Council Bluffs data center might become a giant, virtual DVR for all the customers subscribing to Google TV. “Watching TV almost becomes like watching YouTube. You search for something and you watch it…”
10.     From Milwaukee to Chattanooga, a sea of digital divide  http://www.jsonline.com/business/from-milwaukee-to-chattanooga-a-sea-of-digital-divide-5e4ai4d-140520573.html  “…Chattanooga claims to have the fastest broadband service in the nation: a superfast, city-run network available to every resident and business in a 600-square-mile region. The city of 168,000 residents offers broadband speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second…A full gigabit connection costs $350 per month. Service at 30 megabits per second…is…about $58 per month…there's a lot at stake as the economy becomes more dependent on telecommunications, according to the Wisconsin Technology Council. "Today's game-changing technology is improved broadband connections," the Madison-based organization said in a recent report, which says Wisconsin ranks 43rd out of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories in the percentage of households with access to broadband at download speeds of greater than 3 megabits per second…the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, disputes those figures and says only 12 states rank better than Wisconsin in the percentage of broadband connections at 3-megabits-per-second…Chattanooga's network is the byproduct of a $300 million electric utility upgrade that received $111 million in federal stimulus funds…Start-up companies have launched near a University of Tennessee laboratory in Chattanooga that uses the gigabit network for computer simulations. Amazon.com also opened a distribution center in the city…Chattanooga has a fleet of small drone helicopters that can be flown, via wireless broadband controls, into crime scenes where they send back wireless video feeds. And lighting in a downtown city park is controlled via the Internet to deter crime and respond to incidents such as flash mobs. The city is experimenting with holograms…"I am like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, trying to figure out how all these things work. The network is as important as anything we have done,"…Chattanooga…has signed up more than 35,000 broadband customers starting at speeds of 30 megabits per second…The network was profitable in its second year…replicating this in Milwaukee, Madison or most cities in Wisconsin would be difficult if not impossible. By state law, public entities here are only allowed to provide broadband to businesses and residents if it doesn't involve a tax subsidy or if there's been a referendum allowing a subsidy…Chattanooga says its gigabit network has put it on a shortlist of progressive cities anywhere in the world…The city is working with Cisco Systems and other technology companies to find more uses for the gigabit network. SimCenter Enterprises, a computer modeling and simulation firm, uses high-performance computing to help predict the future…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
11.      Facebook denial makes more clear its power to spy on Android texts, phone calls  http://www.itworld.com/security/253644/facebook-denial-makes-more-clear-its-power-spy-android-texts-phone-calls  “Facebook had confirmed the snooping in a story that ran yesterday…The story – one of many highlighting how the broad access rights granted to many Android apps could make users' activity far more public than they think – was prompted by apps from Facebook, Yahoo, Flickr and Google, which install themselves with the right to access SMS messages and other supposedly private functions. Some apps can even intercept and eavesdrop on phone calls, while others such as YouTube's are able to take over control of an Android phone's camera to broadcast video or take photos at any time…The Times quoted Facebook sources as saying the company did not routinely monitor private text messages, but was running a limited project under which it did so…70 percent of Android users said they were not aware of the extent of the rights apps acquire to their text messages…Refusing to allow users to delete data, appearing to allow the deletion but secretly retaining the private data, connecting pictures and other content to the accounts of particular users without their permission are just a few of the clever, intrusive ways Facebook has abused the trust and data of users in the past…Having a vendor like invasion-of-privacy trendsetter Facebook demand the right to read and write text messages one or two version releases before it's ready to do anything with that permission does nothing to make anyone more confident in Facebook's restraint…in tech companies filled with people curious about what their customers are doing, eager to see if cool new search or networking tools work or network managers eager to estimate the speed and volume of Android text networks, the difference between "are" monitoring and "could be" monitoring is a lot narrower than anyone at Facebook appears willing to admit…”
12.     Everyone’s Trying to Track What You Do on the Web: Here’s How to Stop Them  http://lifehacker.com/5887140/everyones-trying-to-track-what-you-do-on-the-web-heres-how-to-stop-them  “Your personal information is valuable. More valuable than you might think…some people cried "So what if they track me? I'm not that important/I have nothing to hide/they just want to target ads to me and I'd rather have targeted ads over useless ones!" To help explain why this is short-sighted and a bit naive, let me share a personal story. Before I joined the Lifehacker team, I worked at a company that traded in information. Our clients were huge companies and one of the services we offered was to collect information about people, their demographics, income, and habits, and then roll it up so they could get a complete picture about who you are and how to convince you to buy their products…we designed web sites and campaigns to convince you to provide even more information in exchange for a coupon, discount…It works very, very well…real money is in taking your data and shacking up with third parties to help them come up with new ways to convince you to spend money, sign up for services, and give up more information…the only thing you have to trade for such "exciting" bargains is everything personal about you: your age, income, family's ages and income, medical history, dietary habits, favorite web sites, your birthday…Here's how to take back that control. If you're a Chrome user, there are tons of great add-ons and tools designed to help you uncover which sites transmit data to third parties without your knowledge, which third parties are talking about you, and which third parties are tracking your activity across sites…Adblock Plus…Ghostery…ScriptNo for Chrome…Do Not Track Plus…Mobile browsing is a new frontier…there are few tools to protect your privacy by comparison to the desktop…Dolphin is our pick for the best Android browser and Atomic is our favorite for iOS…One tip…was to use a completely separate web browser just for logged-in social networks and web services, and another browser for potentially sensitive browsing, like your internet shopping, banking, and other personal activities…you always have the option to just provide false information…Change your birthdate, or your first name. Set your phone number a digit off…We've talked about how to disappear before, and carefully examine the privacy and account settings for the web services you use…These…tips…won't significantly change your browsing experience, but can go a long way toward protecting your privacy…With a little effort and the right tools, you can make the web more opt-in than it is opt-out…”
13.     HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism   http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/02/unethical-html-video-copy-protection-proposal-criticized-by-standards-stakeholders.ars  “A new Web standard proposal authored by Google, Microsoft, and Netflix seeks to bring copy protection mechanisms to the Web. The Encrypted Media Extensions draft defines a framework for enabling the playback of protected media content in the Web browser…critics questioned whether the proposed framework would really provide the level of security demanded by content providers. Mozilla asked for clarification from the authors about whether it would be possible to implement the proposal in an open source Web browser…The aim of the proposal is not to mandate a complete DRM platform, but to provide the necessary components for a generic key-based content decryption system…Major streaming video services, such as Netflix, are eager to abandon plugins in favor of standards-based HTML5 video, but they have been held back by the lack of support for robust DRM mechanisms, which they need to use in order to fulfill their contractual obligations to the content providers…”
14.     Yahoo Demands Facebook License Its Intellectual Property  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-28/yahoo-demands-facebook-license-its-intellectual-property.html  “Yahoo! Inc. asked Facebook Inc. to license technologies covered by its intellectual property and threatened to take legal action if the companies don’t reach an agreement. We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights…Yahoo said it has made “substantial” investments in innovation and that other companies have already agreed to license those technologies. There are about 10 to 20 patents in question and they include technologies related to advertising and messaging…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
15.     Mozilla's Open Phone Idea  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400669,00.asp  “…Mozilla…is now targeting smartphones as a place where an open-source product can co-exist. The overall plans are vague, but…Mozilla has been developing its own open-source smartphone operating system, Boot 2 Gecko…Boot 2 Gecko will be demonstrated in products before the end of March and will ship in phones by the second quarter of this year…Ideally, an OS like this should be something which I can download and then boot on a Nokia 710, a Samsung Galaxy, a Motorola, or any phone that uses a screen for a keyboard. It might even run on an iPhone. I am not sure what difficulties are ahead for such an initiative if hardware isn't as standardized as something like a PC computer…The good news is that perhaps this is just a test of skill sets to get its feet wet—in other words, moving from a smartphone OS to a computer and tablet OS…The problem with open source, and Mozilla in particular, is the time it takes to come to market. Open-source development takes too long. While Mozilla can probably do the phone OS quickly, anything more than that might not be possible with an open-source crowd…”
16.     Samsung Galaxy Beam combines Android smartphone and Pico projector  http://www.slashgear.com/215298-25215298/  “…Enter the Samsung Galaxy Beam, a new Android smartphone with a Pico projector integrated into the housing. The Beam is…a mid-range Android phone with a projector crammed in for good measure. A 1.0Ghz dual-core processor runs Android Gingerbread on a 4.0-inch Super AMOLED screen. The device is surprisingly slim considering the hardware…Though the 2000mAh battery is above average for a smartphone, there’s no telling how long it will last while projecting content via the top-mounted lens….the projector, it’s not the greatest…15 lumens, but with something this small that’s hardly a point of contention. Samsung didn’t say what resolution could be projected, but an image as large as 50 inches can be created…”
17.     Nvidia rebrands Tegra 3 architecture '4-Plus-1'  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-57383526-17/so-long-ninja-nvidia-rebrands-tegra-3-architecture-4-plus-1/   “Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor will be making an appearance on a host of mobile devices this year, and…will…describe Tegra 3…as the "4-Plus-1" architecture…The processor comes with four high-performance cores to handle demanding tasks, like gaming, and a low-performance core designed to save battery life and handle less resource-intensive tasks, like accessing e-mail…The Tegra 3 is expected to be running on several smartphones and tablets this year…”
18.     Study suggests throttling smartphones is pointless  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/data-throttling-validas/  “AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA all practice data throttling, which involves slowing Internet transfer speeds for cellphone customers who use too much data. This policy applies only to customers with unlimited data plans, and  the cellphone companies say it is intended to prevent data hogs from overloading the network…a new study suggests that throttling doesn’t address excessive data use at all…Validas analyzed data use on bills from unlimited data plans and customers on limited, tiered plans to calculate the amount of data used by the top 5 percent for each type of customer…When we look at the Top 5 percent of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans — and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off…it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. Validas raises the question of whether the carriers were throttling simply because they want unlimited data customers to switch to limited, tiered plans…”
19.     4 ways to stave off the cell phone apocalypse  http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/24/technology/spectrum_crunch_solutions/   “…none of the solutions for easing the spectrum shortage are inexpensive or easy. There's no catch-all fix on the horizon…Here are the four primary ways they're going about staving off a spectrum crisis and the resulting cell phone apocalypse…Reusing spectrum…either adding more cell sites or adding more radios to existing sites to increase the number of connections that a network can handle…Make more efficient use of existing spectrum…New network technologies can…free…up capacity…4G…Long Term Evolution…adds about six to eight times more capacity than a traditional 2G network…Down the road…even 4G's extra capacity won't be enough…Get people off the cell network…home broadband is generally much faster than your smartphone. Offloading mobile traffic to Wi-Fi connections is an efficient way to lighten the load…The tactic is working. About 22% of traffic from mobile devices will travel over non-carrier networks in 2016, according to…Cisco…Add spectrum…The problem is that some of it is held by companies and government agencies that can't or won't make good use of it, and a whole lot of it is unsuitable for wireless broadband…But even for those with billions to spend, spectrum is growing prohibitively expensive -- and there's never enough. That means that unless carriers find new ways to stave off the crunch, smartphone customers will soon be seeing bigger bills for slower, spottier service.…”
Apps
20.    App search engines grow with explosion of apps  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/18/BU001N84MH.DTL  “About 800 apps were available when Apple launched its App Store in the summer of 2008. Four years later, the store stocks more than 500,000. Adding in the Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile markets, as many as 1.1 million apps are now available for smart phone users…The explosion poses a dilemma for users and developers alike: How can an app stand out from the crowd?...Quixey and…Chomp are among the latest tools to help people find the app that's right for them. They scour the apps ecosystem - not just the titles and keywords, but ratings, reviews and other sources - to pinpoint the most appropriate match. It's a critical piece of the $30 billion apps market…Juniper Research…estimates…revenue for the apps business will increase…to $52 billion by 2016…”  http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/23/apple-chomp/  “…Apple’s…App Store is far from perfect…with its immense scale, a few problems have been revealed. The biggest one is app discovery…how do you find anything?...they hope to change that. Apple has bought the app search and discovery platform Chomp…Chomp currently has a deal with Verizon to power all of their Android-based app searches. That relationship, obviously, is going to get a bit awkward with this acquisition…”
21.     Download bots a “well-known secret” of the app ecosystem  http://www.insidemobileapps.com/2012/02/14/download-bots-were-the-well-known-secret-of-the-app-ecosystem/  “…bots or automated programs have been used for well over a year to download apps until they reach the top of the charts where they can be seen by real users…Many of the biggest developers and marketing companies had been well-aware of the issue for months — if not years…It’s absurd to think about how long Apple must have known about and tolerated this practice…Fiksu, a company that helps developers acquire users in the most efficient way possible, had tested out one of these marketing services early last year…it became obvious to us that users weren’t even launching the app. So we stopped using it after that.”…A few of the best-known mobile game developers acknowledged that their high chart rankings may have partially relied on downloads by bots…”
22.    Kindle Fire Makes Amazon Appstore Cozy for Devs  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/74485.html  “Some developers are making more money by showcasing their wares in Amazon's Appstore instead of Google's Android Market…Distimo…looked at the 110 apps available in both online stores that generated at least US$200 per day in revenue during the last week of January. Of those, 42 earned more money sitting in the Amazon Appstore than they did in the larger Android Market. The Appstore also accounted for 28 percent of the total revenue from the top 110 sellers. Much of the Appstore's success came thanks to the release of the Kindle Fire, according to the report. Amazon's Appstore had a 14-fold increase in app downloads during December, when the tablet was released, compared to October…”
23.    Android has 450k apps, 850k activations a day  http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-850000-android-activations-a-day-300-million-devices-450000-apps-barcelona-mobile-world-congress-20120227,0,5211904.story  “…Andy Rubin…tweeted Monday: "…850k activations a day now!" In December, Google was at a pace of about 700,000 Android activations a day. That's up from  500,000 activations a day in June 2011 and 300,000 a day in December 2010…More than 300 million Android devices have been activated since the operating system's launch in 2008 and more than 800 models of phones and tablets have been built running Android…Google's Android Market also has more than 450,000 apps available for download, up from 150,000 at the time of last year's Mobile World Congress…More than a billion apps are downloaded each month…”
SkyNet
24.    11 ways to make Gmail smarter   http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57383103-285/11-ways-to-make-gmail-smarter/  “Gmail comes packed with plenty of smart, sleek features, and…users are discovering (or building) new ones every day. Here are some of our favorites…Use keyboard shortcuts…Sign in to multiple accounts simultaneously…Access Gmail offline…Manage Contacts…Secure your account…Schedule e-mails to be sent later…Customize mass mailings…Make Gmail your default "mailto:" client…Add a whitelist…Change the default font…Add autocorrect …”
25.    10 Types of Devices That Android Is Making Better  http://www.androidauthority.com/android-everywhere-10-types-of-devices-that-android-is-making-better-57012/  “…What if the little green robot would make the jump to an entire new class of devices?...Android everywhere is not the stuff of sci-fi…Here’s a list of amazing objects, from wristwatches to cars, that already run Android…1. Watches…2. Smart glasses…3. Home Appliances…4. Cars…5. Homes…6. Cameras…7. Smart TVs…8. DECT phones…9. Game consoles…10. Mirrors …”
26.    Google’s Newest Frontier: The Ocean  http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2012/02/27/googles-newest-frontier-the-ocean/  “…A new partnership between Google, oceanographers and Catlin Group Limited…aims to bring clown fish, coral reefs and other delights of the Great Barrier Reef to living rooms across the world through the Internet, using technologies that capture images of the ocean depths…Using technology that only recently became available, the images will be accessible on Google Earth and Google Maps, allowing even those who can’t swim a virtual dive in the reef. Approximately 50,000 panoramas will be available on a new Google feature called “Panoramio” which links photos to locations…Though the project doesn’t fully launch until late this year, when a full expedition to the Great Barrier Reef is complete, a sample of what to expect – including huge sea turtles swimming about amongst colorful fishes – can be viewed and tested out on the Catlin Seaview Survey’s website …”
General Technology
27.    Black hole clocks fastest wind ever recorded   http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57383305-76/black-hole-clocks-fastest-wind-ever-recorded-by-nasa/  “Although black holes are invisible, they can be found by watching their effect on nearby gas and stars. For…black hole IGR J17091…Its gravity is pulling gas away from a companion star and this gas has formed into a disk around the black hole, which is driving off…the fastest wind ever discovered…off a disk surrounding a stellar-mass black hole…The wind speed was…clocked…around 20 million mph, or about 3 percent of the speed of light…Typical theory on black holes is that their gravitational pull is so strong that everything near it gets sucked in…However, scientists believe this isn't the case with IGR J17091…Contrary to the popular perception of black holes pulling in all of the material that gets close," King said, "we estimate up to 95 percent of the matter in the disk around IGR J17091 is expelled by the wind…”
28.    Replacing Electricity With Light: First Physical 'Metatronic' Circuit Created  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120223183809.htm  “…Looking at the success of electronics over the last century, I have always wondered why we should be limited to electric current in making circuits…If we moved to shorter wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum -- like light -- we could make things smaller, faster and more efficient."…circuits are…built of different arrangements of circuit elements, like resistors, inductors and capacitors, which manipulate the flow of electrons in a circuit in mathematically precise ways. And because both electric circuits and optics follow Maxwell's equations -- the fundamental formulas that describe the behavior of electromagnetic fields -- Engheta's dream of building circuits with light wasn't just the stuff of imagination…he and his group at Penn have made this dream a reality, creating the first physical demonstration of "lumped" optical circuit elements…in a nascent field of science and engineering Engheta has dubbed "metatronics."..the "lumped" designation refers to elements that can be treated as a black box, something that turns a given input to a perfectly predictable output without an engineer having to worry about what exactly is going on inside the element…The "meta" in "metatronics" refers to metamaterials, the relatively new field of research where nanoscale patterns and structures embedded in materials allow them to manipulate waves in ways that were previously impossible. Here, the cross-sections of the nanorods and the gaps between them form a pattern that replicates the function of resistors, inductors and capacitors, three of the most basic circuit elements, but in optical wavelengths …”
29.    We're not paying enough for software  http://news.cnet.com/8301-19882_3-57384178-250/were-not-paying-enough-for-apps/  “If you use more than one computer at a time, as I do, maybe you know of the utility called Synergy. It allows you to use one keyboard and mouse on multiple computers…For years, I used Synergy to allow the keyboard and mouse on the Windows PC that my employer owns to control my personal Macbook when I parked it on my desk at work…when CBS replaced my PC with a MacBook, giving me two-Mac setup…I couldn't get Synergy to work anymore. Fortunately, I discovered an alternative, ShareMouse…It is beautiful. It does more than Synergy, it's much easier to set up, and is better in every way. Except for the price…I got a message that I need to pay to use it in my "professional" setting. ShareMouse had detected a domain controller on my network, decided I was a corporate dude, and chucked me into the "pay up or get lost" category…ShareMouse is great, I thought. I'll pay. How much? $24.95. Per computer…But I could not get my head around the $50 price of admission, not after flying free for so long with Synergy…I e-mailed Gunnar Bartels, the general manager of ShareMouse in Germany…I was pretty sure that he'd make a lot more money by pricing the utility "fairly," as I said, and making it an impulse purchase…He told me that he had a limited market (how many dual-wield laptop users are there?) and that he really liked to pay his developers…Bartels explained, at a low price, you sell a lot of units, but you have to support all these users. More users, more support costs…Steam CEO Gabe Newell on GeekWire…said, "We varied the price of one of our products. What we saw was that pricing was perfectly elastic. In other words, our gross revenue would remain constant...There's no way to use price to increase or decrease the size of your business." The developer of iA Writer, Oliver Reichenstein, said on Google+: "No matter what price we choose, we always make the same revenue." In other words, "by cutting the price by factor 5, I am selling exactly 5 x more apps. What I expected was that at a certain point the price change would impact the sales profit positively or negatively but it never did…”
30.    Never Forget Your Keys, Phone or Lipstick Ever Again  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220085834.htm  “…a team in Dubai has developed the concept of an IPURSE, a mobile platform that keeps track of tiny RFID tags you stick to or insert into your personal possessions, mobile phone, camera, laptop, keys other gadgets and even mundane objects such as notebooks and cosmetics…"IPURSE," an intelligent system built on a mobile platform can keep track of items a user carries in their purse or bag and alerts them when any item is removed or simply missing from the bag…IPURSE uniquely merges RFID (radio frequency identification) and NFC (near-field communication) technologies together into a single system. It thus gives users a "smart" monitoring system that can remind them of overlooked items as well as providing alerts when a tagged item is removed from their bag. The system can also incorporate additional smart features such as a weather check coupled to the RFID tag on one's umbrella or rain coat or reminders set for different occasions when different items are needed…”
31.     Catalyst allows plastics to be made without petroleum  http://www.rdmag.com/News/2012/02/Materials-Chemistry-Nanotechnology-Catalyst-allows-plastics-to-be-made-without-petroleum/  “It is now possible to produce plastics without the use of petroleum, thanks to a new type of catalyst enabling efficient conversion to key components of various products including plastics, medicines and paint…Almost all chemical products, ranging from anti-freeze and pharmaceuticals to plastics and paint, are currently made of petroleum…the technology enabling the fabrication of products of the same quality largely from biomass has existed for some time. “Until recently, there were too many steps involved in the process, so the technology was not efficient or economical enough to be used on a large scale…It is now possible to produce components that can be used to make plastics and other substances by means of a one-step process, once the biomass has been converted at a high temperature into gas…The industry will be able to utilise this technology to make bioplastics, biopaints and even biopharmaceuticals. The properties of these products are the same, despite the fact that the raw material was biomass instead of petroleum: the bioplastics are totally identical to regular plastics.” The petroleum-free products are made using a recently developed catalyst consisting of iron nanoparticles …”
Leisure & Entertainment
32.    Tomahawk, the Music App Nobody’s Talking About   http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/02/tomahawk-music-ap/  “…Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, Spotify — each can be summed up in a sentence or so and readily understood from the very first time you use it. Tomahawk is more complicated, but if you’re a music fan who listens to music on a laptop or desktop…it warrants a try…Tomahawk is a media player along the lines of iTunes or Winamp, which can play the music stored on your computer…you install Tomahawk’s content resolvers, which are basically plug-ins that can find music to play in a bunch of other different streaming services…Whenever you try to play a song, Tomahawk might use any combination of these sources to provide the audio…Tomahawk gets more useful when you’re trying to play stuff you don’t already have — for example, a playlist from a Tomahawk-using friend…Tomahawk says, ‘OK, out of all the content sources that you have access to, what’s the best match?’” Within the same playlist, Tomahawk might grab one track from your local machine, another from your friend’s machine, a third from YouTube and a fourth from Spotify…you don’t care where that music lives; you just want to hear it…,Tomahawk can play tracks from your Tomahawk friends’ computers, which makes Tomahawk a P2P streaming client with which you can listen to your friends’ collections, tap into your work computer’s music from your home computer, and so on…Tomahawk is an open source project that we work at out of the goodness of our hearts and a passion to solve this problem: All of the media players that have been around for 10 years were built to solve problems of 10 years ago…The problems that you need to solve today are, you’ve got silos of music everywhere…and I’m forced as the user to bounce between interface to interface to interface…This basically solves that problem. It’s a very user-centric view …”
33.    Promise.tv: a PVR that records EVERYTHING on TV for a whole week  http://boingboing.net/2012/02/20/promise-tv-a-pvr-that-records.html  “…Promise.TV has launched the world's first Promiscuous TV recorder! Working on the UK's Freeview platform, it records every programme on every TV and radio channel and stores them for a whole week…This was originally commissioned as an internal BBC project, and the Ludlams and their partners have been productizing it ever since. It really does what it says on the tin: records the whole Freeview multiplex for a week at a time, which means that you don't have to program your PVR with the shows you like: you always have the last week's TV on tap (this'd be especially cool for when scandalous material is broadcast from Parliament -- if you find out about it after the fact you can go back and check). The Promise.tv folks have worked out several ingenious ways of navigating all this stored material as well…”
Economy and Technology
34.    Buck (Formerly Billing Revolution) Launches Single-Click Mobile Payments Service  http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/15/buck-formerly-billing-revolution-launches-single-click-mobile-payments-service-new-partners/  “Buck, the mobile payments company formerly known as Billing Revolution, is launching its new, single-click credit card checkout today, which allows shoppers to pay for goods or services without an account, username or password…the company has lined up several new high-profile customers, including Glamour, SpyderLynk, Papaya Mobile and credit card processor Braintree…Buck…at first…does require a more traditional checkout process, including entry of the appropriate data like credit card number, expiration date, etc. The difference is that after that initial transaction, your phone then becomes a mobile wallet in the sense that any other Buck-enabled merchant will automatically recognize that you’re a member of the Buck network. You won’t have to type in your information again the next time you check out on a Buck-powered site…all major card types (MC, VS, Amex, Discover) are supported…”
35.    Scan Gets $1.7M To Make QR Codes More Useful  http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/23/scan-gets-1-7m-from-google-ventures-and-shervin-pishevar-to-make-qr-codes-actually-useful/  “…Scan co-founder Garrett Gee…thinks Scan can go beyond its modest ambitions as a QR code and 1D barcode scanner and make those awkward squares that now serve as hopeful addendums to things like movie posters and conference badges ubiquitous and user-friendly…the Scan web interface allows normals to generate QR codes with no prior development experience. With Scan.me businesses or individuals can create QR codes representing a person’s online presence (sort of like an About.me for QR codes) or a QR code for any website…We understand that there is a negative connotation around QR codes,” Gee, who insists that QR codes do actually work, says,”That is why we focus on the content and experience…”
36.    Plant Toughness: Key to Cracking Biofuels?  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221125203.htm  “Along with photosynthesis, the plant cell wall is one of the features that most set plants apart from animals. A structural molecule called cellulose is necessary for the manufacture of these walls. Cellulose is synthesized in a semi-crystalline state that is essential for its function in the cell wall function…New research…reveals…a means to reduce cellulose crystallinity, which is a key stumbling block in biofuels development…A plant's cell wall serves several essential functions including mechanical support: Allowing the plant to withstand the onslaughts of wind and weather, and permitting it to grow to great heights-- hundreds of feet for trees like the giant Redwood--and providing an essential barrier against invading pathogens. The cell wall is also the source of materials that have long been utilized by humans, including wood and cotton, in addition to serving as a potential source of biofuel energy…members of the team analyzed the cellulose manufactured by plant cells that had these mutations…Normally, the individual sugar chains that make up cellulose bond to each other to make a semi-crystalline fiber. This crystalline structure gives cellulose its essential mechanical properties, such as rigidity and tensile strength. This structure is also is responsible for cellulose's resistance to digestion, which provides a key barrier to utilizing cellulose as a source to produce liquid fuel. The mutant CESAs, 1 and 3, produced cellulose with lower crystallinity. This cellulose was also more easily digested, a process that is needed to liberate sugars from cellulose so they can be converted to useful fuels…”
37.    Home Depot Brings PayPal into its Nearly 2,000 stores  https://www.thepaypalblog.com/2012/02/the-home-depot-brings-paypal-into-its-nearly-2000-stores-in-the-u-s/  “…six weeks ago we announced a small five-store pilot with The Home Depot to test PayPal’s in store payment system. Today we’re proud to report that The Home Depot is beginning a national roll-out that will let customers pay with PayPal in all of its nearly 2,000 locations nationwide. Within the next two weeks, every The Home Depot store in the U.S. will be equipped to accept payments from customers using a PayPal card, or mobile phone number and PIN combination…”
DHMN Technology
38.    Behind the Google Goggles, Virtual Reality  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/technology/google-glasses-will-be-powered-by-android.html  “…later this year, Google is expected to start selling eyeglasses that will project information, entertainment and…advertisements onto the lenses. The glasses are not being designed to be worn constantly — although Google engineers expect some users will wear them a lot — but will be more like smartphones, used when needed…You obviously won’t see what they can from the behind the glasses…you will see bizarre body language as people duck or dodge around virtual things…The glasses will use the same Android software that powers Android smartphones and tablets. Like smartphones and tablets, the glasses will be equipped with GPS and motion sensors. They will also contain a camera and audio inputs and outputs…”  http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/google-glasses-real-micro-displays-20120223/  “…A pair of micro LCD displays project an image to a mirror, which points the image from the screen to a small part of the glasses, close to the nose. This part of the glasses, just to the right of where your eyes would look to see though a normal pair of glasses, is slightly angled to catch the image from the reflection. The result is a 0.52-inch display on each side of your nose that combines to offer you a 960×540 resolution right in a set of glasses. By splitting up the hardware on either side of your face, you end up with two 1.5 x 1.5-inch squares handling the most complicated part of this whole thing, which is the display. To an onlooker, the surface of the actual displays that your eyes are seeing isn’t much bigger than a dime…”  http://www.informationweek.com/news/development/mobility/232601276 “...Here are a few potential pitfalls…Privacy…Redundancy…Cost…Health…Liability…Battery Life…Control...”
39.    Virtual Reality Supports Planning by Architects  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120215082827.htm  “…3D video glasses made by the KIT spin-off "inreal Technologies" provide a true representation in virtual reality. With the help of integrated high-resolution motion sensors, the virtual environment adapts to the natural movement of the head in real time…The inreal terminal is an innovation for use in architecture. Users can "access" their future home prior to construction. The key component of the terminal is a head-mounted display, 3D video glasses with integrated high-resolution motion sensors. They measure the position and movement of the head and, thus, allow for an adaptation of virtual environment in real time. Via tablet control, design wishes, such as changes of the wall color, floor cover, or room layout, can be made immediately. The terminal is advantageous for the client and reduces the architect's working time during the planning phase…”
40.    Pivothead glasses record what you see in 1080p  http://www.gizmag.com/pivothead-video-sunglasses/21593/  “Pivothead's entry into the small market of sunglasses with built-in video cameras threatens to knock much of the competition into a cocked hat this April, thanks to its ability to capture 1080p video. The glasses additionally include an 8 MP stills camera, a 44.1 kHz microphone, gyroscopic image stabilization and continuous auto-focus. H.264/MPEG-4 video can be shot at 30 fps in either 720p or 1080p, though there is the option of a 720p-only 60 fps mode. The gyroscopic image stabilization and continuous-auto focus kick in when "Active Mode" is selected. It's not precisely clear how they affect the camera's settings, but "Spectator Mode" and "Social Mode" are also among the settings…The camera is switched on with a button on the underside of the left temple arm. With the push of a button on the top of the arm, the camera begins shooting in default 30-fps 1080p video. Modes can be changed on the go by holding down buttons, with feedback given by colored LEDs on the inner side of the left temple arm…”
41.     Mind-reading skateboard gets cues from neuroheadset  http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-mind-reading-skateboard-cues-neuroheadset-video.html  “…Chaotic Moon Labs…are showcasing another skateboard that moves beyond Kinect power and hand signals, over to a board that moves by just reading your mind. Think where you want to go and your board takes you there. From their Board of Awesomeness, their newest Board of Imagination is designed to show another twist to skateboard inventiveness…The Board of Imagination is a skateboard that carries the same Samsung tablet with Windows 8 and the same 800 watt electric motor as the earlier skateboard, but now sports a headset. With it, the board will read the rider’s mind and will move anywhere the rider imagines. The skateboard can translate brain waves into action such that the user visualizes a point off in the distance and thinks about the speed in which to travel to get there. The skateboard does the rest…”
42.    Tongue Drive System Goes Inside the Mouth to Improve Performance and User Comfort  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220085656.htm  “…Tongue Drive is a wireless device that enables people with high-level spinal cord injuries to operate a computer and maneuver an electrically powered wheelchair simply by moving their tongues. The newest prototype of the system allows users to wear an inconspicuous dental retainer embedded with sensors to control the system. The sensors track the location of a tiny magnet attached to the tongues of users…The new dental appliance contains magnetic field sensors mounted on its four corners that detect movement of a tiny magnet attached to the tongue. It also includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and an induction coil to charge the battery. The circuitry fits in the space available on the retainer, which sits against the roof of the mouth and is covered with an insulating, water-resistant material and vacuum-molded inside standard dental acrylic…”
43.    New Robots Can Continuously Map Their Environment With Kinect  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216134110.htm  “Robots could one day navigate through constantly changing surroundings with virtually no input from humans, thanks to a system that allows them to build and continuously update a three-dimensional map of their environment using a low-cost camera such as Microsoft's Kinect. The system, being developed by researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), could also allow blind people to make their way unaided through crowded buildings such as hospitals and shopping malls. To explore unknown environments, robots need to be able to map them as they move around -- estimating the distance between themselves and nearby walls, for example -- and to plan a route around any obstacles…The new approach, based on a technique called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), will allow robots to constantly update a map as they learn new information over time…”
44.    AR.Drone 2.0  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/02/ardrone-20-hand.php  “…With AR.Drone 2.0, which we got a taste of at CES 2012, Parrot has taken a hard look at the strengths and weaknesses of its first generation flier, and has come back with something that feels like a vast improvement over its predecessor…AR.Drone 2.0 improves pretty much everything. That weak VGA camera's been ditched for an HD cam that pushes out in 720p. Using Parrot's app, recording flights is as simple as tapping a button, and you can push out to video sharing sites such as YouTube all from the app. You can share photos, too, and the app works with your Android or iOS device…There's still four rotors, but now there's a cocktail of sensors* built into AR.Drone 2.0 that makes flying higher a cinch. With the first gen drone, it was recommended that pilots stay under about 15 feet lest the breeze flip the thing over. AR.Drone 2.0 can fly as high as your Wi-Fi signal will allow, which is how it talks to your device, and can stabilize itself in winds up to 12 miles an hour…AR.Drone 2.0 keeps itself stable midair thanks to an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer and pressure sensor all talking to one another, as well as two ultrasound sensors and a ground-facing second camera to measure altitude and speed to keep the wind from turning the unit belly-up. The biggest and most impactful change here, however, is in how the AR.Drone 2.0 controls…Parrot calls it the Absolute Control mode, and it makes piloting as easy as tilting your tablet or smartphone. Before, spatial orientation was paramount. You constantly needed to have a handle on which way the drone was facing as commands were all relative. This meant you were looking down a lot at the drone's cockpit view on your smartphone or tablet, all the while nervously checking the drone to make sure you weren't bashing into things or giving out free haircuts to passersby…Now, the flier keeps tabs on where you are using a 3D magnetometer. The conventional "Relative Flight" mode is still in there, which Parrot recommends for experienced pilots…It's a very fluid experience, and one that has you thinking less about how awkward you feel controlling the drone in the air, and more about how fun it is to fly…Parrot's first generation, which will be discontinued, had a steep initial learning curve that made its $300 price tag tough to swallow. AR.Drone 2.0 is a mature platform, one that Parrot's put a lot of thought and engineering behind, and it won't cost you a dollar more…”
45.    Top Ten Things to Do With Your Own Drone  http://www.forbes.com/sites/venkateshrao/2012/02/20/top-ten-things-to-do-with-your-own-drone/  “…I don’t get it. What exactly do people expect to do with their own private drones?...I should be getting it. You see, my background is in aerospace engineering, and my PhD concerned formation flight problems for unmanned aircraft and spacecraft…I now live in Las Vegas, home to Creech Air Force base…and have become good friends with an actual, live drone pilot who unleashes Hellfire fury from the skies in Afghanistan.  He and I occasionally get together over coffee and talk drones and iPad apps…So either I am not smart enough/visionary enough to see the substance beneath what’s going on, or we are in the midst of a minor drone bubble…in an effort to figure things out, I’ve started making a list of potential private citizen applications of drone-stuff that could explain the frenzy…Spy on cute girl next door…Paparazzi 2.0…Start a revolution…Attach guns to drones…Disaster relief…Monster Drone Rallies and Drone Racing…Post-apocalyptic survivalism…Drone Art…Citizen search and rescue…Home/office cranes…”
Open Source Hardware
46.    Maker Business – Raster Begins  http://rasterweb.net/raster/2012/02/20/maker-business-begin/  “…I’ve run a company for the past 8 years or so, and while our primary business has been related to web development and services, we’re looking at branching out a bit, driven by the fact that more and more I seem be getting requests to help build, or just straight out sell, a button. There’s a page over on the Sparkbooth site about USB Button Keyboard Replacements that has a number of solutions, and mentions a few of my blog posts, so based on this, I’ll be building a bunch of buttons and putting them up for sale…I’m not ready to become the next Adafruit Industries or Makerbot, but I’ll be writing up my experiences dabbling in the area of being a “Maker Business” and besides those two companies (which I admire) I’ll be looking at others, and hey look, this piece about Ten Rules for Maker Businesses has some advice for me, so I’ll be using it as a bit of a guide…”
47.    Open Source Hardware and why you should care  http://10rem.net/blog/2012/02/24/open-source-hardware-and-why-you-should-care  “…I'm a big fan of OSS, and think it's one of the single most impactful things that has added to the collective knowledge of the developer community…Open Source means different things to different people, and not everyone expect the same result of benefits from it…software developers are often not aware of…Open Source Hardware…I have a few hobbies that center around making things. Some are mostly physical/mechanical, like CNC machines. Others are mostly electronic, like MIDI interfaces, synthesizers, MIDI to CV converters, and whatnot. Most of these have code, firmware, which is (or will be) released under Open Source licenses. But what about the actual plans, schematics, and the board designs? How can you license and categorize those? That's something the Open Source Hardware movement is trying to define and make easier…”
48.    RC Helicopter, Arduino and of course, the Kinect  http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/kinect/RC-Helicopter-Arduino-and-of-course-the-Kinect  “…The Kinect detects my hands, head, and hips. This information is translated into x, y, z coordinates, processed with some 7th grade Algebra, and then sent to the Arduino over the serial port. The Arduino receives the signal, and converts it to a 38 kHz Infrared signal that the S107 can understand…You will need a Kinect with power adapter to connect to a Windows 7 (or 8) computer. Xbox Kinect or Windows Kinect will work. You will need an Arduino Board…various resistors, transistors, IR LEDs…some creativity. This is not a step by step tutorial. I will provide the Arduino code that gets the Helicopter flying, but the rest is up to you to be creative…”
49.    SparkFun Talks Trends for Future  http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sparkfun-electronics-reflects-upon-2011-talks-trends-for-future-140557183.html  “…the open source hardware model and DIY maker movement are converging to foster amazing ingenuity and exceptional growth for both industries. SparkFun…grew 34.4 percent year-to-year), reflecting both the community in which the company is involved and a growing interest in DIY electronics. SparkFun aims to continue increasing participation in 2012 by…the launch of…www.learn.sparkfun.com…with a goal of helping lowering the barriers for people of all ages to get started…We've hired a quite a few new people to keep up with the increasing demand for DIY and the maker movement…DIY electronic components that are easy to program and that can then be "broken" into individual components dramatically lowering the barrier of learning electronics and programming…the Open Source Hardware movement…continues to gain momentum and…has led to the creation of an entity dedicated to the movement called the Open Source HardWare Association…Embedded electronics and fashion are combining into a whole new market that is geared toward introducing individuals to the fashionable side of electronics. Everything from Plushbots to electronics embedded into clothing are made using conductive thread, sensors, power supplies, LEDs…”
Open Source
50.    KDE Death Watch?  http://www.datamation.com/open-source/the-kde-death-watch-1.html  “Is KDE dying? This question, or variants of it, have been asked with increasing frequency in the two weeks since Jonathan Riddell announced that, after the next release, Canonical would no longer pay him for his work on Kubuntu, the KDE version of Ubuntu. But is the question valid? Or simply unsupported panic?...This marks the loss of the last major distribution to ship with a KDE desktop…A Google search for "is KDE dead" returns 38,100 results, most of them in the last five years, but a few over a decade old. By contrast, "is GNOME dead" returns only 6 results. Apparently, the KDE death-watch has a long tradition…Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has expressed the occasional enthusiasm for KDE, it has never received the same level of attention as GNOME in Ubuntu. According to KDE's Aaron Seigo, Riddell was never paid full-time to work on Kubuntu…a look at the Kubuntu mail forum indicates that an active community supports Kubuntu, and seems determined to keep it alive…”
51.     Introducing Warp – An Open-Source Theme Framework for WordPress & Joomla  http://speckyboy.com/2012/02/21/introducing-warp-an-open-source-theme-framework-for-wordpress-joomla/  “Each time you develop a theme you’ll have to deal with the same, repetitive tasks. E.g. you need a certain folder structure to organize your PHP, CSS and JavaScript files or you rely on features like layouts, compression and caching. Because you don’t want to start from scratch, coding all these features over and over again, you are better off using a theme framework. It provides you with a file and folder structure and offers a rich tool set for solving common tasks…With a framework you will usually get a basic HTML template, a base CSS and a JavaScript library…There is a whole bunch of theme frameworks out there – one of them is Warp, the framework from YOOtheme that has just been released as open source. Warp is a lightweight theme framework designed for developers and focusing on simplicity and usability. One of Warp’s key features is its cross-platform compatibility…it works with different CMS systems like Joomla or WordPress and can even be extended to support others…Warp also covers all aspects in theme development and uses the latest web technologies: Valid HTML5 markup, an up-to-date CSS framework and additional tools using the latest jQuery version…”
52.    Avoiding Common WordPress Setup Mistakes  http://olex.openlogic.com/wazi/2012/avoiding-common-wordpress-setup-mistakes/  “WordPress has become one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) available. With its host of available themes, templates, and plugins, WordPress is versatile, easy to use – and provides an easy venue for users to make some very common mistakes. Some users put too much trust in the standard WordPress installation. All too often, these users lack an understanding of basic security, database management, or the dangers of excessive plugin usage. Here are some simple steps to take to increase the security and usability of your WordPress platform…”
Civilian Aerospace
53.    New Propulsion Method for Low-Cost Microsatellites  http://www.stevens.edu/news/content/godin-receives-award-research-new-propulsion-method-low-cost-microsatellites  “…universities and independents can now launch research craft for tens of thousands of dollars, rather than the multi-million dollar price tags of traditional launches. This new class of satellite is democratizing outer space exploration…Kyle Godin…recently demonstrated a new method for propelling some of these miniaturized satellites…Weighing in at less than 1 kilogram, picosatellites offer incredible promise to budget-conscious space explorers, not to mention some unique challenges. Among the smallest orbiters in development today, picosatellites require a much lighter and less volatile propulsion system than traditional satellites…volatile, combusting propellants are outlawed on picosatellites. These small devices hitch rides into space in shared payloads to spread the launch cost among participants. A single malfunction during transit could therefore destroy dozens of spacecraft…Godin developed a 1cm square thruster that includes a layer of solid state sodium azide. When a picosatellite needs to make a position adjustment while in orbit, a circuit underneath the sodium azide will heat to 275°C, at which point the chemical releases a burst of nitrogen gas enough to execute a maneuver. By covering a picosatellite with these simple thrusters, the satellite can make numerous controlled position adjustments throughout its lifecycle…”
54.    Plans To Bring A Spaceport To Colorado  http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/02/20/plans-to-bring-a-spaceport-to-colorado-are-moving-ahead/  “…Colorado…Senate approved a bill that would limit liability to any company operating spaceflights out of Colorado…the bill is key to space travel so companies would be willing to invest without worry of major lawsuits. The airport is already working on a program to put sub-orbital planes on the edge of space. A spaceport…would allow travelers to get to their destination by flying just outside of the earth’s atmosphere…What we’re looking at is horizontal launch with space vehicles…”
55.     Construction firm aims at space elevator in 2050  http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120221004421.htm  “It may be possible to travel to space in an elevator as early as 2050, a major construction company has announced. Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, on Monday unveiled a project to build a gigantic elevator that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth…In Obayashi's project, a cable would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of the cable would be anchored at a spaceport on the ground, while the other would be fitted with a counterweight. The terminal station would house laboratories and living space. The car could carry up to 30 people to the station at 200 kilometers per hour, which would mean a 7-1/2 day trip to reach the station. Magnetic linear motors are one possible means of propulsion for the car…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
56.    GPU-Accelerated Swarm Behavior  http://developer.nvidia.com/content/cuda-spotlight-gpu-accelerated-swarm-behavior  “…Iain Couzin, an Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University…uses a range of experimental systems - from ants and locust swarms to schooling fish and even human crowds - to explore the fundamental principles that underlie collective behavior across levels of biological organization. This interview is part of the CUDA Spotlight Series…huge migratory bands of marching locusts are driven not by some cooperative action but rather by cannibalism. When population size exceeds the available resources these insects make the best of a bad situation by turning on each other…such aggregations…saturate predators and move effectively out of nutrient poor areas. Understanding this gives us hope that we could use satellite imaging of vegetation quality and distribution as well as weather information to predict when and where swarms form…GPU computing has utterly transformed the science we can do. Not only can we now simulate, for the first time, realistic group sizes - such as millions of individuals in a locust swarm - but we can use the exceptional performance to answer evolutionary questions by simulating groups over ecological and evolutionary timescales…the power of GPU computing allows us to employ massively accelerated computer vision so we can now track the motion of hundreds or thousands of individuals in our laboratory experiments…We currently use eleven C1060 Tesla boards situated in my lab, which is far from enough…so we are actively pursuing funding for a centralized GPU facility at Princeton University…”
57.     New supercomputer for Taiwan’s Render Farm  http://www.chinapost.com.tw/business/asia-taiwan/2012/02/29/333054/New-supercomputer.htm  “A new supercomputer developed by the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC) will be launched in the near future to help reduce the computation time required in the production of animation and special effects…The system…encompasses a graphic processing unit (GPU) cluster and is located at the Tainan branch of the NCHC…The Formosa series has established a “Render Farm” platform to provide cloud-based animation and special effect rendering services for local film and animation industry…Costing NT$37 million (US$1.25 million), Formosa 4 adopts a hybrid computing framework combining a central processing unit (CPU) and GPU to further reduce construction costs and increase energy efficiency. It has an optimal performance of 70 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second), nearly nine times faster than the 8 teraflops of Formosa 3…”
58.    Hot-Rodding Windows and Linux App Performance with CUDA-Based Plugins  http://drdobbs.com/parallel/232601605  “Adding GPU capabilities to existing Windows and Linux apps can be done simply using plugins and the built-in support found in CUDA. This easy form of dynamic loading enables CUDA to be used selectively to hugely accelerate individual tasks within a larger application. CUDA is maturing to become a natural extension of the emerging CPU/GPU paradigm of high-speed computing to make it, and GPU computing, a candidate for all application development. A recent article in this series tutorial series, Running CUDA Code Natively on x86 Processors, noted recent developments that allow CUDA programs to transparently compile and run on x86 processors. This article focuses on incorporating CUDA into Windows and Linux workflows by exploiting the capabilities of the NVIDIA compiler driver, nvcc, to create native runtime loadable plugins…”

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