2012/03/13

NEW NET Weekly List for 13 Mar 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 13 March 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.        Khan Academy Inspires Flip of Doctor-Patient Relationship Model  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/06/khan-academy-inspired-flip-of-doctor-office-visit/  “…the Khan Academy has impressed many of us and inspired teachers to flip the classroom lecture/homework model on its head as described in the video below. Doctors are now recognizing similar value in videos for their patients…In fact, we may not have a choice with the ever-increasing shortage of primary care physicians…individuals forget as much as 80-90% of what a doctor tells them. One of the nice things about Khan Academy is learners with different skill levels can watch the videos in different ways. Some may get it just watching it once while others may want to replay the video over a few times before a concept sinks in…Perhaps because Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson was a teacher before she was a pediatrician, she was naturally drawn to using her videos and blogs to benefit her patients’ families…the shortcomings of an office visit…is heavily driven by the billing needs versus a long-term focus on a patient’s overall health…Many doctors, particularly in primary care, are unhappy about the way they have been practicing and are unleashing their own creativity…So much of our present care delivery is rote and could be practiced online or provided via video/blog/text. And that the ‘real medicine,’ the service and the relationship or helping people in moments of anxiety and indecision are rare and undervalued. That oddly enough, there is simply no time in the day to do what matters most…”
2.       Microsoft: OnLive's Windows-on-iPad service violates license  http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/microsoft-onlives-windows-on-ipad-service-violates-licensing-policy.ars  “Gaming company OnLive…recently launched a service bringing a Windows 7 desktop, complete with Microsoft Office 2010, to iPad and Android tablets…There's just one problem: Microsoft says it's not properly licensed. The software giant is apparently asking OnLive for some cash in exchange for the right to continue the service, which is still working today…Microsoft has licensing options for partners who want to provide Windows in virtual desktop settings, but those options apparently don't cover the OnLive service as it exists today…Brian Madden, who writes extensively about desktop virtualization, wrote that "based on everything we know about Microsoft licensing, this [the OnLive service] should be in clear violation of Microsoft's policies…”
3.       Infographics For Everyone: Visual.ly Launches First Automated Tool  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/12/infographics-for-everyone-visual-ly-launches-first-automated-tool-out-of-beta/  “…Visual.ly, which offers an online tool to create instant visualizations of data, is launching its first public product out of beta. The service will let users take publicly-available data such as information from a Twitter hashtag or a Facebook feed, and then select a template (currently five, with each having two to three variations within it) to instantly visualize it. It will also team up with third parties and brands to offer other data feeds to users: one, for example, will involve sports statistics from ESPN. While infographics seem like the kind of thing that would mostly be the domain of number-crunching analysts and journalists, created for consumption by the wider public, the use of Visual.ly’s beta — launched last year — testifies to there being a bigger audience for actually making these pictures firsthand…”
Gigabit Internet
4.       Gigabit Internet for $70: the unlikely success of California's Sonic.net  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/gigabit-internet-for-80-the-unlikely-success-of-californias-sonicnet.ars  “…While some other cities can also brag about gigabit access, in this Sonoma County town it costs only $69.95 a month. The service comes courtesy of Sonic.net, the18-year-old Internet provider based in the neighboring city of Santa Rosa. And Sonic even throws in two phone lines with unlimited long-distance calling when you sign up…almost none of the few dozen residents on Florence Avenue bother with the highest-end gigabit service, though. And why should they? Sonic's everyday 100 Mbps fiber offering costs just $39.95 a month, the same price Sonic used to charge for its 20 Mbps DSL connections (It includes unlimited phone, too.) Compare Sonic’s 100 Mbps price to the two better-known area options for broadband—Comcast's Xfinity Extreme 105 Mbps service runs $199.95 a month, while AT&T's U-Verse tops out at 24 Mbps for $49.95…Sonic kicked off this buildout on favorable ground: a reasonably dense neighborhood in Sebastopol, a compact town of 7,397 that may be best-known as the home of tech-book publisher O'Reilly…But why did Sonic also offer gigabit access at only twice the price of its 100 Mbps service? Said Jasper: Why not? "The cost differential between a customer who's connected at all and one who's connected at one gigabit…is nominal." Calling the $69.95 service "a headline product," he noted one key reason for Sonic to offer it: because others can't…”
5.        Bell Labs innovations underpin a breakthrough commercial 400 gigabit-per-second chihttp://www.stockhouse.com/News/USReleasesDetail.aspx?n=8444567  “…Alcatel-Lucent…is introducing…a new chip for fiber optic networks that offers double the capacity, and four times the speed of today's networks…the Alcatel-Lucent Photonic Service Engine supports 400 gigabit per second…data transmission speeds on optical networks…unabated growth of broadband, mobile data and cloud-based services has presented a major challenge for service providers that need to find ways to keep costs in check while dramatically expanding the capacity of their networks…The versatile 400G PSE chip can be deployed in a broad range of network configurations - from metro to regional to ultra-long haul - and transmit wavelengths over existing or new photonic lines…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
6.       Up against the Wall! Should district be allowed to demand middle-schooler's Facebook password?  http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/13/10657012-up-against-the-wall-should-district-be-allowed-to-demand-middle-schoolers-facebook-password  “A 12-year-old Minnesota girl was reduced to tears while school officials and a police officer rummaged through her private Facebook postings after forcing her to surrender her password…The girl, whose identity is withheld in the lawsuit, came home "crying, depressed, angry, scared and embarrassed" after she was intimidated into divulging her login information by a school counselor and a deputy sheriff, who arrived in uniform, armed with a Taser…The student now fears that the school could make her give up her passwords at a moment's notice, at any time, for any reason," the lawsuit claims.  It also alleges that password prying is standard practice at the Minnewaska Middle School…Officials at the Minnewaska Area School District…say the ACLU's version of events is "one-sided," and that the school acted to "prevent disruption,"…The lawsuit raises the complicated -- and quite unsettled -- legal quandary that balances students' constitutional rights with schools' needs to maintain order and a positive educational environment. For example, can schools punish students who publicly criticize school officials on their own time using social networks?…”  http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/06/10585353-govt-agencies-colleges-demand-applicants-facebook-passwords  “If you think privacy settings on your Facebook and Twitter accounts guarantee future employers or schools can't see your private posts, guess again. Employers and colleges find the treasure-trove of personal information hiding behind password-protected accounts and privacy walls just too tempting, and some are demanding full access from job applicants and student athletes. In Maryland, job seekers applying to the state's Department of Corrections have been asked during interviews to log into their accounts and let an interviewer watch while the potential employee clicks through wall posts, friends, photos and anything else that might be found behind the privacy wall…Student-athletes in colleges around the country also are finding out they can no longer maintain privacy in Facebook communications because schools are requiring them to "friend" a coach or compliance officer, giving that person access to their “friends-only” posts. Schools are also turning to social media monitoring companies with names like UDilligence and Varsity Monitor for software packages that automate the task. The programs offer a "reputation scoreboard" to coaches and send "threat level" warnings about individual athletes to compliance officers…”
7.        Why online security is taxing our brains  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/08/us-websecurity-memory-idUSBRE82719N20120308  “…trying…to keep up with all the passwords and security questions…just to log onto…personal accounts…sometimes it feels like a losing battle. It's a battle millions of consumers can identify with. For a while it was just your mother's maiden name, then your first pet, the street you grew up on or the make and model of your first car. As passwords and security questions multiply, so does the potential for things to go wrong, possibly locking you out of your own life. Unless you're a savant with total recall, you need a system to manage that morphing body of login credentials necessary to navigate your virtual life…His answer? An elaborate Excel spreadsheet that's password-protected. Others go more old-school, like executive coach Darla Arni in Slater, Missouri. "I have an entire notebook that I keep all my passwords in, but its pages are filling up" and becoming increasingly disorganized, says the 55-year-old…Some smartphone apps, like RoboForm, Keeper Password, and PasswordWallet, can help consumers manage password overload…To be sure, going through several layers of authentication is a good thing for consumers, helping reduce the risk of increasingly sophisticated hackers gaining access to their accounts and emptying them out…It's what helps us identify fraudsters in Eastern Europe who have stolen your online credentials…”
8.       Yahoo Uses Words of Facebook’s Zuckerberg to Poke Him  http://allthingsd.com/20120312/worst-but-first-yahoo-uses-words-of-facebooks-zuckerberg-to-poke-him-in-patent-lawsuit/  “On the sixth page of its just-filed patent lawsuit against Facebook, Yahoo quotes the social networking company’s CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg: “Getting there first is not what it’s all about.”…Yahoo contends…Zuckerberg has “conceded that the design of Facebook is not novel and based on the ideas of others,”…it’s an attempt to hit home one point: We were here first and we have more patents…Of the 10 patents Yahoo is using in the 19-page lawsuit, filed today in California, the company said: “For much of the technology upon which Facebook was based, Yahoo was there first…Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology,”…So what does Yahoo want for this alleged free ride? Triple damages and to enjoin Facebook from operating by using said patents. Given the scope of the patents Yahoo said it has, that means it wants Facebook to essentially close down…”
9.       Eavesdropping Antennas Can Steal Your Smart Phone's Secrets  http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/39855/  “The processors in smart phones and tablets leak radio signals that betray the encryption keys used to protect sensitive data…Gary Kenworthy of Cryptography Research held up an iPod Touch on stage and looked over to a TV antenna three meters away. The signal picked up by the antenna, routed through an amplifier and computer software, revealed the secret key being used by an app running on the device to encrypt data…The antenna was detecting radio signals "leaking" from the transistors on the chip inside the phone performing the encryption calculations…"[This] antenna is not supposed to work at this frequency, and it's been in someone's attic for years and is a bit bent," said Kenworthy, a principal engineer at Cryptography Research. "You could build an antenna into the side of a van to increase your gain—well, now you've gone from 10 feet to 300 feet." Kenworthy and Benjamin Jun…demonstrated how a loop of wire held close to two models of smart phone could pick up their secret keys…The apps used in Jun and Kenworthy's demonstrations were of their own design, because it would be "bad manners" to demonstrate sniffing keys from other company's apps…the researchers have shown privately that they can eavesdrop on encryption keys from any app or mobile software…”
10.     Duqu Trojan used 'unknown' programming language  http://malware.cbronline.com/news/duqu-trojan-used-unknown-programming-language-kaspersky-070312  “…Researchers working for Kaspersky Lab have discovered that the Duqu Trojan, believed to have been written by the people behid the Stuxnet worm, was partly written using a previously unknown programming language…Researchers analysed the Payload DLL and found one section was written in an unknown language - it is this section that communicates exclusively with the C&C server, Kaspersky said. They have labelled this section the Duqu Framework. The Duqu Framework is not written in C++ and it's not compiled with Microsoft's Visual C++ 2008, "but is definitely object-oriented," Igor Soumenkov wrote on the company's blog. "The Duqu Framework appears to have been written in an unknown programming language."…we are 100% confident that the Duqu Framework was not programmed with Visual C++. It is possible that its authors used an in-house framework to generate intermediary C code, or they used another completely different programming language,"…CEO Eugene Kaspersky said that it "seems the state behind Duqu sponsored the development of a new [programming] language…”
11.      U.S. reportedly warns Apple, e-book publishers about price-fixing  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-fi-tn-department-of-justice-warns-apple-major-publishers-possible-lawsuits-for-ebook-price-fixing-20120308,0,5119376.story  “The U.S. Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five top book publishers that lawsuits over alleged e-book price fixing might be in the offing…the Justice Department has told publishers and the Cupertino tech giant that lawsuits could be filed accusing the companies of colluding to keep e-book prices high for both Apple users and rivals such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Some publishers "have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle," the Journal said. "If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
12.     SXSW 2012: British ad agency turns homeless into wifi hotspots  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9139054/SXSW-2012-British-ad-agency-turns-homeless-into-wifi-hotspots.html  “A well known British advertising agency has sparked outcry within the technology community attending the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, by turning homeless people into wifi hotspots. Bartle Bogle and Hegarty (BBH) has launched a “charitable experiment”…whereby it equips homeless people with a 4G MiFi device to create a pay-as-you-go wifi hotspots for attendees. However, the experiment…has been criticised by many attendees and technology writers as “tasteless” and “thoughtless”. Attendees need to stand near the homeless volunteer in order to access the wifi, which many have described as just "awkward"…BBH’s Homeless Hotspots website frames the initiative as an attempt to “modernise the Street Newspaper…Wired magazine has described Homeless Hotspots as something which sounds like it is out of a “darkly satirical science-fiction dystopia…BBH has defended the initiative, which, at first many people on Twitter thought was a hoax…homeless people are…given a t-shirt to wear, which says: I’M [FIRST NAME], A 4G HOTSPOT, SMS HH [FIRST NAME] TO 25827 FOR ACCESS, www.homelesshotspots.org...there’s an insane amount of chatter about this, which…in many ways is very good for the homeless people…these people are no longer invisible…We are not selling anything. There is no brand involved. There is no commercial benefit whatsoever…Each of the Hotspot Managers keeps all of the money they earn. The more they sell their own access, the more they as individuals make…”
13.     Former Microsoft exec Ozzie: 'Of course we're in a post-PC world'  http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57392789-75/former-microsoft-exec-ozzie-of-course-were-in-a-post-pc-world/  “Microsoft fights the notion that the world has entered the "post-PC era," opting instead for the more Windows-friendly "PC-plus" phrasing. But Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's former chief software architect, has little doubt that the world has moved on. "Why are we arguing? Of course we're in a post-PC world," Ozzie said…To Ozzie, though…the market for devices that do general computation is going to continue to expand. And there's plenty of opportunity for companies that understand how to create devices consumers want…”
14.     New iPad all about graphics  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-57392624-64/new-ipad-why-quad-core-graphics/  “Apple has just elevated the graphics chip to superstar status…the new iPad has a quad-core graphics processing unit (GPU)…Anandtech cites graphics chip technology from Imagination (PowerVR SGX543MP4) and CPU tech from ARM (Cortex A9)…Translation? The new iPad's graphics chip--which is based on Imagination's PowerVR tech--is basically a quad-core version of the dual-core graphics chip in the iPad 2. That's where Apple gets the two-fold performance increase…Apple is focusing on the GPU because it needs to devote all of the chip real estate it can to transistors that push around an amazingly pixel-dense display--which crams a resolution of 2,048x1,536 into a 9.7-inch display…But good graphics aren't only necessary for gaming. High-octane graphics silicon can boost performance on other tasks, including multimedia (video decode) and productivity (iPhoto or Photoshop)…for these reasons, Apple may have just promoted the GPU to No.1 chip status…”  http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_the_new_ipad_is_so_huge_for_apple.php  “…new iPad introduction was Apple's most important event of the year…the iPhone is still a bigger business for Apple…But the iPhone is just Apple's small sliver of the giant phone market. The iPad, meanwhile, is a green field - a totally new market that Apple is building and defining. And so far, it has it almost to itself…the iPad maintained its lead as the best tablet on the market in terms of hardware, software, and ecosystem…And don't overlook the importance of the price-cut iPad 2, now starting at $399. By shaving $100 off the cheapest iPad's price, Apple has significantly expanded the iPad's addressable market…"We think that iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world," Apple CEO Tim Cook said…Apple could potentially sell 80 million iPads this year, about twice as many as it did last year…At an average price around $550, that's about $45 billion in sales - about the same amount as all of Apple generated in 2009…”  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57392727-37/four-takeaways-from-apples-resolutionary-ipad/  “…Someday, sometime, Apple is going to stumble, and maybe the competition will finally take advantage of the misstep to close the gap. That day's not yet on the horizon. With the newest iPad featuring a sharper screen, the high-resolution 2048x1536-pixel Retina Display, as well as faster wireless connectivity, rapid-response touch-screen control and quad-core graphics, Apple has widened its lead in the tablet market…Middle managers are showing up for meetings with iPads in tow. Factory managers go about their floor checks carrying around iPads. Doctors and hospital administrators are incorporating the iPad into work flow. Similar stories abound, offering anecdotal evidence that something's afoot…”
Apps
15.     HomeSnap Is Not A Boring Real Estate App  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/08/homesnap-is-not-a-boring-real-estate-app/  “Sawbuck Realty, an online real estate broker, has just launched a new app called HomeSnap which lets you discover information about any home nationwide just by taking a photo of it. Using a combination of mobile phone sensors to determine location and orientation as well as MLS and public records data, HomeSnap can tell you everything about a home, including how many square feet it has, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, estimated price and more. And it can do so even if the house is not on the market…Currently, it has over 90 million homes in its database… “So many of the real estate apps are boring and utilitarian, explains Wolcott. “We looked at things like Shazam – things where you want to show your friends, and they say ‘how does that work?’ – and we tried to make something like that for homes.”…the app uses the iPhone’s sensors, like the accelerometer, gyroscope, and GPS, to determine where you are and what you’re looking at… “The real idea,” says Wolcott, “is to be kind of magical. You just take a picture, and it knows what you’re looking at…”
16.     Retailer Mobile Websites Beat Apps among US Smartphone Owners  http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/a-store-in-your-pocket-retailer-mobile-websites-beat-apps-among-us-smartphone-owners/  “Smartphone owners are increasingly using their devices for shopping, from researching products and reviews, to comparing prices, finding retail locations, and redeeming coupons. And retailers are responding with mobile apps and websites designed to attract smartphone shoppers…Nielsen’s detailed analysis of smartphone usage reveals that retail websites are more popular than retail apps, and that Amazon’s is the most popular retail mobile website of all…Retailers need to think of their business as a multi-channel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and bricks and mortar stores…”
17.     Apple switches from Google to OpenStreetMaps in new iPhoto…but forgets to give credit  http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/08/apple-switches-from-google-to-openstreetmaps-in-new-iphoto-but-forgets-to-give-credit/  “…since Google raised the price to access its maps API, a lot of companies have switched to OpenStreetMaps…Apple has joined the club, using OSM in the new iPhoto for iPad and iPhone. But…Apple didn’t bother to credit the creators of these maps, and is using two-year-old, out-of-date information…all they’ve done is render Open Street Map data with their own stylesheet, miscategorised the status of some ways, conveniently forget to include any copyright attribution, and pass it off as their own…The folks behind OSM were a little more tactful in their blog post about the discovery: The OSM data that Apple is using is rather old (start of April 2010) so don’t expect to see your latest and greatest updates on there. It’s also missing the necessary credit to OpenStreetMap’s contributors; we look forward to working with Apple to get that on there…”
18.     Satellite AR  http://spacedata.agi.com/MobileApps/about.htm  “Ever wondered what satellites are flying above your head when you look up? This app will show them to you using augmented reality. Point your phone's camera to the sky, and small icons track the locations of various satellites. For many, a line indicates their projected path across the sky. Those flying in sunlight are labeled in yellow, and those in the shadow of the Earth or Moon, in blue…The app also contains a simple star map. The brightest 2000 stars are shown as white dots on the screen, to help the user align the app's display with the sky above…”
SkyNet
19.     Google wins approval to sell pay TV service in Kansas City  http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2012/03/07/missouri-approves-googles-request-to.html  “Google…has the go-ahead to provide video services in Kansas City. The Missouri Public Service Commission has granted Google Fiber Missouri LLC the authority to build a video service network…On Feb. 17, Google sought franchises to offer video service in Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan…The application to the Kansas Corporation Commission cited Internet-based TV offerings to residences. That application remains pending; commissioners have 30 days from the Feb. 17 filing date to approve it…Google still is exploring what product offerings will be available when it launches Google Fiber in Kansas City. She said the video franchise licenses were a necessary legal step, but the action doesn’t mean Google will or will not pursue video services…”
20.    Top 10 Google Docs Annoyances (and How to Fix Them)  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/251496/top_10_google_docs_annoyances_and_how_to_fix_them.html  “Google Docs is convenient, cheap, and compatible with just about any platform, making collaboration incredibly simple. It’s also infuriating, incomplete, and limited. Google Docs wafts in the cloud, just beyond your tinkering fingertips, and you’re at the whim of the Google engineers who control the tweaks, fixes, and enhancements…This is the first part of an ongoing series covering fixes for Google Docs annoyances. In this first edition, we tackle the Google Docs text editor…Manage Repeated Text…View Plain Text Files…Simulate a Guided Spelling Checker…Claim More Real Estate…Turn Off Notifications…Open Google Docs in the Same Tab or Window…Find Out Who Changed an Item…Sidestep Problems With Big Images…Share Files Among the Clouds…Avoid the Internet…”
21.     After the pwnage: Critical Google Chrome hole plugged in 24 hours  http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/after-the-pwnage-critical-google-chrome-hole-plugged-in-24-hours.ars  “Less than 24 hours after a Russian hacker pocketed $60,000 by exploiting a previously unknown critical vulnerability in Google Chrome, company developers released an update removing the security threat. The quick turnaround underscores one of the key advantages of Google's open-source browser: the speed in which highly complex bugs are fixed and updates are pushed out to users. By contrast, Microsoft, which must run updates through a battery of rigorous quality-assurance tests, often takes months to fix bugs of similar complexity…”
General Technology
22.    ARM unveils world’s most efficient 32-bit processor  http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/arm-unveils-worlds-most-efficient-32-bit-processor-20120313/  “…chances are you have a chip based on an ARM design inside your phone and/or tablet. But it’s not just the high-performance gadgets we use everyday that require processors, everything from home appliances to the vehicles we travel in and the medical equipment that monitors us contain a myriad of chips too. Today, ARM has unveiled the world’s most energy efficient 32-bit processor, and it’s promising to open the way for many more very low power, always-connected devices…The new chip is called the ARM Cortex-M0+ and has a 32-bit architecture built using a 90nm process, which helps to keep costs down…Significantly, the M0+ offers both performance and power saving gains over the previous generation chip it the replaces: the Cortex-M0. But more importantly, ARM has developed a 32-bit processor that uses a third of the energy typical 8-bit and 16-bit processor require…Even though ARM is using a 90nm process for the M0+, it still manages to produce a chip that measures just 1mm x 1mm…Depending on the device, when coupled with a battery pack this new chip could go years before the battery is depleted. It truly opens up a deploy-and-forget mentality for intelligent sensors…”
23.    IBM drills holes into optical chip for terabit-per-second speed  http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/holey-chip-ibm-drills-holes-into-optical-chip-for-terabit-per-second-speed.ars  “IBM researchers have built a prototype optical chip that can transfer a terabit of data per second, using an innovative design requiring 48 tiny holes drilled into a standard CMOS chip, facilitating the movement of light. Much faster and more power-efficient than today's optics, the so-called "Holey Optochip" technology could enhance the power of supercomputers…With the Holey Optochip, Schow said "our target is the bandwidth that interconnects different processors in the system—not the processor talking to its memory, but a processor talking to another processor in a large parallel system."…That base chip has all the electronic circuit functions to complete the optical link. So it's got drivers that modulate vertical cavity lasers and receiver circuits that convert photocurrent from a detector into a usable electrical signal." Drilling holes into the chip lets IBM use industry-standard, 850-nanometer vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL), and photodiode arrays, both soldered on to the chip. The holes allow optical access through the back of the chip to the transmitter and receiver channels, making it more compact…”
24.    Five technologies that will transform homes of the future  http://arstechnica.com/business/the-networked-society/2012/03/the-five-technologies-that-will-transform-homes-of-the-future.ars  “…We've been sold on such technological visions for years, but they always seem to be "three to five years" out. The tech we do get never seems to work quite as seamlessly as the futurists suggest. And yet we're still making remarkable technical progress; networking in general, and the Internet in particular, have only begun to transform our homes. Here are five basic technologies that will soon prove crucial to our networked lives…Super high-speed Internet…Smart thermostats and the future of power…Centralized entertainment and the streaming revolution…Personal health tools meet constant connectivity…The personal content experience: e-readers, tablets, and phablets…”
25.    Microsoft unveils universal translator that converts your voice into another language  http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/122083-microsoft-unveils-universal-translator-that-converts-your-voice-into-another-language  “Microsoft Research has shown off software that translates your spoken words into another language while preserving the accent, timbre, and intonation of your actual voice. In a demo of the prototype…Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s chief research officer, says a long sentence in English, and then has it translated into Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin…it’s remarkable how the three translations still sound just like Rashid. In order for the translation system to do its work it needs about an hour of training, which allows it to create a model of your voice. This model is then mushed into Microsoft’s standard text-to-speech model for the target translation language…Once the training period is out of the way, there’s no reason that translation couldn’t be performed in real time on a smartphone, or near-real-time…”
Leisure & Entertainment
26.    Roku seeking $50M round for international expansion  http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/08/roku-seeking-50m-round-for-international-expansion/  “Roku…set-top boxes allow people in the U.S. to stream over 350 content channels on their televisions, including video, music, social and gaming services. Some of the channels offered include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle MLB.tv, UFC, Classical TV, TuneIn, Facebook, Flickr…Following Netflix’s lead, Roku launched its line of streaming media set-top boxes in the U.K. and Ireland back in January…Roku has already sold 2.5 million of its set-top boxes in the U.S. alone…Roku, which generates revenue through hardware sales, advertising, and channel subscription fees, made over $100 million in sales last year. The company intends to become profitable in 2013…”
27.    The New Cable-TV Guy: Intel  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702304450004577277732222512596-lMyQjAxMTAyMDEwMjExNDIyWj.html#  “Intel Corp. is developing an Internet-based television service that it hopes to sell to U.S. consumers, a strategic shift by the chip maker as it sets its sights on the crowded pay-TV business. Intel has for several months been pitching media companies on a plan to create a "virtual cable operator" that would offer U.S. TV channels nationwide over the Internet in a bundle similar to subscriptions sold by cable- and satellite-TV operators…Intel wouldn't provide Internet access, which subscribers would obtain separately. The TV offering would use Intel technology, and in at least some scenarios under consideration, would use Intel's name. In its presentations to media companies, Intel says it is making its own set-top box to carry the TV service, and it has demonstrated an interface for users to browse programs…The new effort would mark a big shift for Intel…Intel's maneuvers come as the broader television business undergoes a major shift, with people spending more time watching video on the Internet and mobile devices…Hoping to get more of its chips into consumer living rooms, Intel has for years made the case that more processing power and better software are needed for services that appeal to consumers. But many of its efforts in the field, including a hardware effort called Viiv, and past partnerships with Hollywood content partners, have been scuttled…”
Economy and Technology
28.    PayPal launching Square competitor  http://gigaom.com/2012/03/12/rumored-paypal-to-launch-square-competitor/  “PayPal’s plans to announce a solution for small businesses at an event this Thursday includes a mobile payment dongle that would compete against Square, Intuit, Verifone and others…The dongle…will allow small business owners to process credit card swipes from a smartphone, similar to Square, Intuit’s GoPayment and Verifone’s PAYware. The potential move…would fall in line with PayPal’s recent strategy to bring its payment services into physical stores. It’s working with a host of partners to bring its in-store system to bigger retailers including Home Depot, which is launching the service in more than 2,000 locations…The in-store system works ideally for retailers with existing hardware. But a mobile payment acceptance tool like Square would allow PayPal to target much smaller businesses with one or two locations and give them a simple way to process card transactions…”
29.    Among Online Entrepreneurs, Subscriptions Are All the Rage  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/business/smallbusiness/selling-online-products-by-subscription-is-all-the-rage.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all  “…If you’re a dog owner like I am, you go out and buy food every three or four weeks…But you usually don’t realize you need it until you’re out.” Mr. Zhardanovsky, 34, was well aware that an online pet supply store, Pets.com, had been one of the more celebrated flameouts of the dot-com bubble. But…Mr. Zhardanovsky’s plan was to sell pet food on a subscription basis. He figured that other pet owners had experienced the same frustrations…and might be willing to sign up for a monthly delivery service…We had an overwhelmingly positive response from our customers who wanted to sign up for the service…Customers who sign up to receive regular deliveries of pet food can determine how much they get and how often it comes…In its first month, July 2010, the company shipped about 60 orders; by January of this year, that number had leapt to 27,000. In 2011, PetFlow exceeded $13 million in revenue — with 60 percent of its sales coming on a subscription basis…subscription models are, in so many ways, the holy grail of business…lately, more businesses have come up with creative ways to use the Internet to sell products that have not traditionally been sold by subscription. H.Bloom…sells flowers by subscription; Trunk Club sells clothing by subscription…Amazon encourages customers to place standing orders for products like power bars or paper towels…It is not hard to see the appeal of recurring revenue, but some of the benefits may be less obvious. “This is the best business model you can ever have because we can place inventory purchases against future sales…That predictability allows…lower inventory levels and…better deals with suppliers…A subscription model allows you to establish long-term relationships with customers…Subscription models and recurring revenue also tend to impress investors…he noticed we had such a strong connection with our community of customers and suggested a subscription-based model…subscription models are a great way to build lifetime relationships with our customers…The change to a subscription model had an immediate impact; Ms. Kim’s business grew more in the five months after she made the switch than it had in the previous three years combined…I think subscription models work best in two instances,” he said. “Where the product is a necessity or when it’s an absolute passion…” [potential opportunity discussion topic for NEW NET meeting: what products could we sell by subscription? – ed.]
30.    Twitter buys Posterous, a social blogging service  http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-twitter-buys-blogging-platform-posterous-20120313,0,5686169.story  “Twitter is taking the San Francisco startup Posterous under its wing…the two companies announced that Twitter had purchased Posterous…Posterous Spaces blogging platform…a popular service in its own right with about 15 million users, won't be going away anytime soon…We'll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we'll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks."…Twitter made it clear that they were purchasing the talent that built the blogging platform that focuses on sharing to specific groups of friends and easily blogging from mobile phones, email and app…”
DHMN Technology
31.     “Back To The Future” flying DeLorean quadcopter  http://technabob.com/blog/2012/03/11/back-to-the-future-flying-delorean-quadrotor/  “…What you're looking at here isn't a scene from a movie, it's a totally custom-built flying quadrocopter built to look like Doc Brown's DeLorean from Back to the Future. This thing looks exactly like Doc's ride from the movie, and can hover off the ground quite well, despite the uneven weight distribution of the car body. Clearly, where it's going, it doesn't need roads…not only does it fly, but it looks awesome, with those LED headlights and taillights, body details and glowing wheels. It's even got a tiny little Mr. Fusion on the back - though it gets its power from a Lithium Polymer battery…its stabilization control is powered by MultiWii, a HobbyKing 12A BlueSeries speed controller, and a batch of Turnigy 2204-14T motors for the engines. Pictures can't do it justice, and you really need to see this thing in flight…”
32.    OCD: Hackerspace Detroit  http://metrotimes.com/culture/the-nerdy-playhouse-1.1281937  “…OmniCorpDetroit, a self-described hackerspace located in the heart of Eastern Market. Pushing past the completely tired "computer-hacking" connotation, the term refers to a cooperative where members pool financial and material resources as well as ideas…It's about creating, rebuilding, experimenting and inventing together — a notion that members refer to as "hacking."…OCD guy and moped mechanic AJ Manoulian remembers millions of extension cords running everywhere because there was originally only one plug for the airy, 8,000-square-foot space. At least junk removal was easy, as garbage was thrown out a second-story window into a garbage bin below...One of the founding members, Jeff Sturges…secured finances and the lease on the building, which was once a cold storage warehouse. The initial funds were gathered from all co-founders, each of whom contributed between $200 and $2,000 for a start-up pot of about $5,000. There was no grant funding, total DIY from day one. They rent from the folks at Rocky Produce, who've been "really supportive." A year and a half after OCD opened its doors, every corner of the cavernous warehouse is occupied and in-process. The first-floor workshop houses a bunch of dusty mopeds and myriad old machines — a table saw, welder and lathe being the easiest to identify…Upstairs, computer geeks and artists are lost in their respective programming and painting. There is a full sewing station, a 3-D printer, and neat rows of desks cluttered with computer screens, oscilloscopes and other electronics. A well-stocked DJ booth sits behind a wall of speakers made from hacked-up radio components from an abandoned music school…Most of these tools and machines have been donated or are shared between members, with a few larger purchases having been voted on as a group and purchased from communal OCD funds…”  http://www.detroityes.com/mb/showthread.php?9639-Hackerspace-Detroit  “…If you seek the bright side of Detroit, look no further than the budding Eastern Market hackerspace collective OmnicorpDetroit…When one enters a hackerspace the thought can easily cross one's mind, "What use on earth could any of these projects ever have?" Yet when in the actual surround of the space and feeling the energy exuding from the all the brightness and inquisitiveness the thought becomes, "Something, no many things, very significant and important are certain to arise from here…”  [check out this article for some great pictures of OmniCorpDetroit – ed.]
33.    3D-Printer with Nano-Precision  http://www.tuwien.ac.at/en/news/news_detail/article/7444/  “Printing three dimensional objects with incredibly fine details is now possible using “two-photon lithography”. With this technology, tiny structures on a nanometer scale can be fabricated. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have now made a major breakthrough in speeding up this printing technique: The high-precision-3D-printer at TU Vienna is orders of magnitude faster than similar devices (see video). This opens up completely new areas of application, such as in medicine…The 3D printer uses a liquid resin, which is hardened at precisely the correct spots by a focused laser beam. The focal point of the laser beam is guided through the resin by movable mirrors and leaves behind a polymerized line of solid polymer, just a few hundred nanometers wide. This high resolution enables the creation of intricately structured sculptures as tiny as a grain of sand…”
Open Source Hardware
34.    "Piccolo" Is the World's Smallest CNC Platform  http://www.core77.com/blog/digital_fabrication/honey_i_shrunk_the_cnc_machine_piccolo_is_the_worlds_smallest_cnc_platform_21909.asp  “…the fellas at Diatom…have partnered with a couple of collaborators at Carnegie Mellon's Computational Design Lab to present "Piccolo," a purportedly "pocket-sized stand-alone CNC platform for under $70." It's essentially a kit to turn your trusty Arduino into a very basic, very small CNC machine…Be it plotting a quick graffiti, printing a one-off business card on the fly, or multiple Piccolos working together to create a large mural, this kit provides a platform for experimenting with 2D or 3D digital fabrication at a small scale. We are currently refining the Piccolo prototype into an open-source design that is simple, quick to assemble, and easy to use, and is entirely composed of digitally manufactured components and inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware…Piccolo project includes Arduino and Processing libraries, to use Piccolo in a variety of ways such as moving autonomously or responding to sensors and data, whilst providing an accessible educational tool and a new output for Processing sketches…”
35.    Lessons learnt from Local Motors’ take on the open-hardware revolution  http://miter.mit.edu/article/open-source-cars-are-here-lessons-learnt-local-motors%E2%80%99-take-open-hardware-revolution  “…The only attractive segment of the automotive market is getaway vehicles for VCs who hear the word ‘automotive’ and need to flee the scene as hysterically as possible…The epitome of Japanese efficiency, Toyota, spends three to five years and billions of dollars to produce a new automobile model. This industry is not for everyone. But Jay Rogers…founded Local Motors to make open-source cars. The company developed an online platform for crowd sourced car design and developed a unique micro-factory for rapid local manufacturing…we are not taking on the car industry as a whole. Rather, we are taking on the problems with car manufacturing. There are so many technologies for cars, but they are not making their way to production and testing quickly…Rogers believes that this model of open innovation is not appropriate for every field, but it can be applied to any field that scores high on two scales: number of users and number of creators. This simple paradigm makes sense, and when you think about it, it suddenly poses opportunities in other apparently obese industries…it’s not enough just to have many people able to do this and many people interested in the product – it has to have a large, real impact on the user’s life…The hitch with crowd-sourcing is that nobody wants to do the uninteresting dirty work…There is no such thing as un-moderated open sourcing. Standard-writing is a critical part of the process and regulation is a very real part of the car industry…Local Motors took a big piece of regulation from the Air Resources Board to court and won unanimously…Can an open-sourced jalopy survive against the lean mean driving machines of Detroit, Germany and Japan? Local Motors’ showstopper, the Rally Fighter, argues that it can. It is a sleek all-terrain vehicle with…stunning design and extreme durability…The Rally Fighter originated from a web design tournament and was chosen as the first design for production…This design made it through not only because of its popularity within the open community, but because it was identified as buildable yet unique…Specs for the Rally Fighter are: 6.2 liter, V8 engine and 430 horsepower (at 5900 rpm), 424 lbft (at 4600 rpm). The final version of the Rally Fighter uses composite panels for the doors, body and inner shells.  There is no paint on the Rally Fighter…We wanted desert drivers to absolutely love it, whereas North-Easterners will probably find it inappropriate, but we will get to them soon, with our next models…It took the Rally Fighter 18 months to go from initial concept to production. Traditional manufacturers need three to five years…Local Motors plans to further reduce this time to 12 months for its next models…the open-source model allows for rapid development to a stage that is “good enough to get to customers.” Great customer ideas are incorporated in the next production vehicles…To manufacture cars locally and save on expensive shipping fees, Local Motors designed a micro-manufacturing plant, implementable globally…Customers come for a few days to build their own car with the assistance of Local Motors trained staff. No mechanical or engineering skills are required…The customer is fully involved in the assembly of the car – from frame alignments and engine calibration to break system and dashboard placement…this concept of having the customer emotionally involved in the creation of the car is…part of a recent trend of shifting the power balance from traditional manufacturers…to the end customer, who is recently figuring out the benefits and accessibility of hands-on production. “Our vision is for everyone to be able to build these models everywhere, but in the short run, the best solution is this micro factory we developed, which is operated like a local agency in different areas by people who are interested in being a nexus of local manufacturing…”
36.    WIKISPEED and Open Source Ecology Announce OSHW Partnership  http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/profiles/blogs/wikispeed-and-open-source-ecology-announce-partnership-in-open?xg_source=activity  “The open-hardware movement got a tremendous boost today when WIKISPEED, an innovative automotive company building modular, high-performance cars using agile design principles, and Open Source Ecology (OSE), a group committed to providing free plans and processes necessary for building the global economy, announced that they are teaming up to revolutionize transportation in the developing world. Taking on traditional, proprietary manufacturing R & D, the two companies aim to create an open-source productdevelopment methodology that would allow communities around the world to quickly develop their own machinery and processes to support themselves, removing a dependency on industrialized nations for costly solutions…”
37.    Open source hardware: Announcing a new licence  http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/commons-law/2012/03/open-source-hardware-announcing-a-new-licence/index.htm  “Open hardware is coming of age. I'm currently working on projects as diverse as open source cars, open source boats, open source wind turbines and open source electronics. A problem is that there are only two open licences designed for hardware: the CERN open hardware licence and the TAPR open hardware licence. Both of these are copyleft licences, and attempt to impose the same licence terms on any distribution of the original hardware, in a form similar to GPL: so called "copyleft". I'm not convinced that copyleft is the right way to go for hardware…Hardware and software are different. It costs zero to replicate software, but will always cost something to replicate hardware, even if you have unrestricted access to the blueprints. The upshot of this is that the cost differential between adopting the GPL and designing around it (for software) is vastly greater than the cost differential in circumventing a copyleft hardware licence. This is one reason why hardware copyleft is not a great idea. Another reason is that it's relatively easy to circumvent any hardware copyleft licence…”
Open Source
38.    An open-source robo-surgeon  http://www.economist.com/node/21548489  “…Blake Hannaford and his colleagues…are about to release a flock of medical robots with wing-like arms, called Ravens, in the hope of stimulating innovation in the nascent field of robotic surgery. Robot-assisted surgery today is dominated by the da Vinci Surgical System, a device that scales down a surgeon’s hand movements to let him make tiny incisions. That leads to less tissue damage, and thus a quicker recovery for patients. Almost 2,000 da Vincis have been made, and they are used in about 200,000 operations a year around the world…the da Vinci is…immobile and weighs more than half a tone…and it costs $1.8m, which puts it beyond the reach of all but the richest institutions. It also uses proprietary software. Even if researchers keen to experiment with new robotic technologies and treatments could afford one, they cannot tinker with da Vinci’s operating system. None of that is true of the Raven. Originally developed for the American army by Dr Hannaford and Jacob Rosen…as a prototype for robotic surgery on the battlefield, it is compact, light and cheap (relatively speaking) at around $250,000…it is also the first surgical robot to use open-source software. Its Linux-based operating system lets anyone modify and improve the original code, creating a way for researchers to experiment and collaborate…At Harvard, Rob Howe and his team hope to use a Raven to operate on a beating heart, by automatically compensating for its motion. At the moment, heart surgery requires that the organ be stopped and then restarted…Warren Grundfest is working on ways to give the robot a sense of touch that is communicated to the operator. Pieter Abbeel and Ken Goldberg…will try teaching the robot to operate autonomously by mimicking surgeons. And Dr Rosen himself will work on ways to get human and robotic surgeons to work together…”
39.    Install BackTrack 5 Revolution 2 on external hard drive  http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/03/12/install-backtrack-5-revolution-2-on-external-hard-drive/  “BackTrack is a Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu, designed for hackers and/or security professionals, and loaded with the best Free Software and Open Source penetration testing applications available…the best information gathering, vulnerability assessment, exploitation, privilege escalation, reverse engineering, RFID, stress testing, forensic and anti-forensic applications…The latest edition is…BackTrack 5 R2. It is available as an installable Live DVD ISO image for both 32- and 64-bit architectures…While you can install it on any computer, I think the best practice is to install it on an external, USB hard drive. Doing that, gives you a pentest distribution on the go plus all the extra storage you might need. You may also opt to install it on a USB…flash drive…if you choose to go that route, be sure to have one with a capacity of more than 18 GB…A default installation of BackTrack 5 R2 takes up just a little bit more than 18 GB of disk space…”
Civilian Aerospace
40.    Neil deGrasse Tyson Supercut Demands We Dream of Space Again  http://gizmodo.com/5892297/neil-degrasse-tyson-supercut-demands-we-dream-of-space-again  “We're big fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson here at Gizmodo, and although we've delivered similar messages in the past, this new "We Stopped Dreaming" supercut by Evan Schurr…is worth five minutes of your…day. It's beautifully cut, with all kinds of archival space footage and a compendium of Neil deGrasse Tyson's most compelling messages…The entire thing adds up to a convincing, emotional, yet logical plea to revive the space program…” [video is a must-listen for space enthusiasts - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl07UfRkPas&feature=youtu.be – ed.]
41.     Making #spaceapps physical  http://open.nasa.gov/blog/2012/03/10/making-spaceapps-physical/  “…Jon is a product designer at the University of Dundee…His research emphasis is on physical apps, which as he explains it are a way to take information or data from the internet and connect that to a real world device…Physical apps are a way of making the web physical…By working together with similarly concerned citizens from throughout the world, NASA believes that by sharing your expertise you can make a difference…NASA invited people to make suggestions about grand challenges that could be solved…the initial tranche of suggestions were software based. To help define some more “physical” ideas NASA asked Dundee for some help. We want to make, rather than just code…We want you to try and make stuff – some of that will be grand theme and grand idea type challenges, but we want to start with something a bit more homely…If you are stuck up in a confined space whizzing round the earth for months, if not years, at a time, you are going to miss the odd home comfort…How will bread bake in space?...since baking takes a lot of energy, can we device new low power techniques that can be applied on the Space Station, and then ultimately in the new low power homes back on Earth…We call this challenge #bakerfaire…We call on makers, bakers, bread lovers, food scientists, product designers, electrical engineers and tinkerers everywhere to come and develop physical apps and hardware as part of the NASA International Space Challenge…”  http://spaceappschallenge.org/challenge/handheld-hardware-citizen-science/  “The challenge is to develop plug-in hardware that can be used for any one of NASA’s citizen science missions, such as the creation of a spectrometer, photometer, or other instrumentation. A solution could include an open source framework to allow a variety of external sensors to interface with common smartphones. Sensors could measure atmospheric conditions, the radioactive environment over time, electromagnetic interference, or a variety of other conditions…”
42.    Rocket club aims to fly high with project, careers  http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120311/NEWS01/303110025/Rocket-club-aims-fly-high-project-careers  “Things are looking up for student rocket enthusiasts at Florida Tech. A 60-member club on campus called the FIT Student Rocket Research Society (SRRS) is designing a large-scale rocket and launch program. Their goal: to launch their rocket higher than 100,000 feet and log GPS data to become a contender for $10,000 in prize money. The student engineers are developing the rocket according to requirements for the Carmack prize from Armadillo Aerospace, a leading developer of reusable rocket-powered vehicles. They’ve received financial support from Northrop Grumman. While the rocket is not scheduled to compete until April of 2013, a test flight will take place next month…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
43.    HPC Advisory Council to Create NVIDIA GPU Development Center  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-03-13/hpc_advisory_council_to_create_nvidia_gpu_development_center.html  “The HPC Advisory Council, a leading organization for high-performance computing (HPC) research, outreach and education, today announced a new NVIDIA GPU-based HPC development center. The new center is part of the HPC Advisory Council's High Performance Center, and will provide remote access to the HPC community free of charge for developing, testing and benchmarking the next generation of HPC applications. The Center will provide developers with the ability to test their HPC applications on NVIDIA Tesla M2090 GPUs, the world's most powerful parallel processors. Designed from the ground up for HPC, computational science and supercomputing, NVIDIA's Tesla M2090 GPUs provide 512 CUDA cores with 665 gigaflops of peak performance to accelerate even the most demanding computationally intensive workloads…”
44.    Going parallel  http://www.sdtimes.com/blog/post/2012/03/09/Going-parallel.aspx  “If you’re not doing parallel programming yet, just wait. Multicore processors and on-chip GPUs are already on the desktop…You may have started your parallel programming career with multiprocessor systems. Clusters and symmetric multiprocessing systems are commonly used as servers, and high-level task partitioning has wrung a lot of performance out of them. The next wave of parallelism arrived with multicore processors. All the major CPU vendors are now delivering multiple cores on single chips. Your app won’t perform any better unless you use special libraries and algorithmic techniques to rewrite your code to take advantage of multiple cores. Tools to ease this process are now routinely included in vendors’ development systems. A variant of multicore processing is now being implemented on GPGPU systems. GPGPU stands for “general-purpose computing on graphics processing units.” Now that hardware vendors are building chips that contain both general-purpose CPUs and GPUs on the same silicon, you can farm out certain kinds of tasks to the GPU. Researchers are finding that a wide variety of programming problems are vulnerable to the GPGPU approach, but you may not recognize your code once you’ve adapted it to the new architecture. Say goodbye to loops, and hello to arrays and vectors…”

*****

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