2012/03/27

NEW NET Weekly List for 27 Mar 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 27 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.        Living on a Stream: The Rise of Real-Time Video  http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/03/opinion-levy-backchannel-video/  “…I was marveling how easy it’s becoming to beam a live video feed, anywhere, not only to a friend or a group, but, essentially, the entire world. The province of the network news team with satellite truck has now extended to anyone with a smartphone…We are…about to move from our more fluid, DIY and YouTube-infused paradigm into something different: an explosion of video as its happening now…Since my friend was Kevin Kelly, an adherent of the “Long Bet,”…we crafted a challenge: If within 10 years, more than half of all video watched is live, I win. As soon as we agreed, I pulled out my iPhone and opened an app called Color. I then turned the camera on Kelly and asked him to explain the bet. Within seconds I was able to show him that several people in my social circle were already watching, in real time. I think that shook his confidence a bit…Hundreds of millions of people Skype with each other, sometime for hours. Once a novelty, live-streamed events on the web are now common…But we’re creeping up to a big inflection point. The next step is for everyone to make use of the tiny, high-quality HD cameras in our phones and our computers to routinely stream live to selected friends or everyone…the leader in instant streaming is Ustream, which has a real-time broadcast platform that scales to major events. Lurking in the background, though, is the giant YouTube…Google also has quickly become a player in social real-time video. The breakout component in Google+ is Hangouts, a real-time video conference system. (So much so that Google now uses it as its corporate conferencing system.) There’s even an open source project called WebRTC, developing a simple plug-in browser technology that implements real-time streaming on a web page…”
2.       Facebook App Lets You Become More Involved With Bills in Congress  http://mashable.com/2012/03/21/citizen-cosponsor-facebook/  ““Citizen Cosponsor,” a new platform from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), lets Facebook users show their support of a particular Congressional bill with the click of a mouse. Once a user “cosponsors” a bill, they receive periodic updates on its status — if there’s a hearing about it, whether it’s passed committee, or if it’s up for a full vote in Congress. Facebook automatically shows off a user’s support of a bill to all of his or her friends. The platform is built on Facebook’s Open Graph, which lets developers create apps that seamlessly integrate into Facebook users’ news feeds and Timelines. Funding for the project came from directly from Rep. Cantor’s office…Cantor’s office intends the platform to create more engagement between voters and government… “We’re looking at ways to connect people specifically to the bills that they care about,”…At launch, the platform only allows users to register their support for a bill — users can’t suggest changes or have an conversation about the bill directly on Cantor’s site. And only six bills — five of which sponsored by Republicans — are on the app so far. Lira says that Citizen CoSponsor is still “in beta,” and they’re looking for ways to add more engagement in the future …”  [I applaud efforts to get more active citizen involvement in government, but I strongly object to having to go through FB for this – ed.]
3.       Blue Jeans Low-Cost Video Conferencing  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/21/blue-jeans-ceo-looks-to-beat-his-two-time-acquirer-cisco-with-low-cost-video-conferencing/  “Having sold two companies to Cisco, Krish Ramakrishnan knows what it takes to compete with the venerable networking giant. After leaving Cisco for the second time…he started Blue Jeans Network three years ago to compete in the video conferencing space. They soon rolled out a product that connects people for video meetings regardless of whether they use Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco or Polycom. Now Blue Jeans is digging in deep with a new product meant to kill those expensive video conferencing units called MCUs or multipoint control units, that can cost north of $250,000…It’s my intention to take the oxygen out of the traditional MCU unit. Just shrink it. The industry doesn’t need legacy-type devices. The new service, which he calls an “MCU Killer,” starts at $299 per port (or per party involved in calls). He’s already signed up 250 enterprise clients including Facebook, Foursquare, Stanford University and MIT…”
4.       Facebook Photos Now Viewable In Fullscreen, Higher Resolution  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/22/facebook-photos-fullscreen/  “Facebook is now allowing Chrome and Firefox users to ditch the black background and comments sidebar that surround photos and view them full screen by clicking an expansion arrow in the top right. It also now automatically shows photos at maximum resolution, which is the 2048 x 2048 pixel max upload size, and can be up to 4X bigger on large displays. Facebook has improved the sRGB color profile of photos so that colors appear more vivid and faithful without loading slower. Before now, Facebook photos could only be viewed at roughly 3/4 of your screen size. Today’s updates will encourage high-res uploads, attract more professional photographers, and make the world’s most popular photo sharing service where 250 million photos are uploaded a day a better experience for everyone…”
5.        Metrics Show Surge in Google Chrome Use on Weekends  http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/03/21/metrics-show-surge-in-chrome-use-on-weekends/  “…Google’s Chrome is slowly chipping away at market share held by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, especially when it comes to weekend use…StatCounter tallies page views of websites in different browsers and then shows the percentage of views from each browser, including Firefox, Safari and Opera. While those latter three don’t fluctuate much during the week, Chrome peaks on the weekends and dips on the weekdays, while the opposite happens with IE. This suggests people are more likely using IE on their work computers and Chrome on their home PCs…when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE …”
6.       Free online MIT course: Introduction to computer science using Python  http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-00sc-introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-spring-2011/  “This subject is aimed at students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems. It also aims to help students, regardless of their major, to feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class will use the Python programming language. This course has been designed for independent study. It provides everything you will need to understand the concepts covered in the course…”
7.        A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/technology/for-an-edge-on-the-internet-computer-code-gains-a-following.html  “…The market for night classes and online instruction in programming and Web construction, as well as for iPhone apps that teach, is booming. Those jumping on board say they are preparing for a future in which the Internet is the foundation for entertainment, education and nearly everything else…But most have no plans to quit their day jobs — it is just that those jobs now require being able to customize a blog’s design or care for and feed an online database…Some see money to be made in the programming trend. After two free computer science classes offered online by Stanford attracted more than 100,000 students, one of the instructors started a company called Udacity to offer similar free lessons. Treehouse, a site that promises to teach Web design, picked up financing from Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn…General Assembly, which offers workroom space for entrepreneurs in New York, is adding seven classrooms to try to keep up with demand for programming classes, on top of the two classrooms and two seminar rooms it had already…The sites and services catering to the learn-to-program market number in the dozens and have names like Code Racer, Women Who Code, Rails for Zombies and CoderDojo…at the center of the recent frenzy in this field is Codecademy, a start-up based in New York that walks site visitors through interactive lessons in various computing and Web languages, like JavaScript, and shows them how to write simple commands. Since the service was introduced last summer, more than a million people have signed up, and it has raised nearly $3 million in venture financing…The site is free. Its creators hope to make money in part by connecting newly hatched programmers with recruiters and start-ups…To be successful in the modern world, regardless of your occupation, requires a fluency in computers..That is what pushed Rebecca Goldman, 26, a librarian at La Salle University…to sign up for some courses…she had found herself needing basic Web development skills so she could build and maintain a Web site for the special collections department she oversees…“Most libraries don’t have an I.T. staff to set up a server and build you a Web site, so if you want that stuff done, you have to do it yourself.” The challenge for Codecademy and others catering to the hunger for technical knowledge is making sure people actually learn something, rather than dabble in a few basic lessons or walk away in frustration…”
Gigabit Internet
8.       The Neutrino Network  http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/the-neutrino-network/2136  “With 802.11n, you can see Wi-Fi networking speeds above 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) with a range up to 70-meters. With the just shipping now 802.11ac, you can get more than a Gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds with a range of about 35-meters. 802.11ad, which is still coming together, may give us 7Gbps speed but at a range of only five-meters. Or, if laboratory experiments by University of Rochester and North Carolina State University work out, we may someday be able to use neutrino networks at ranges of tens of thousands of kilometers. Scientists from the school were able to use neutrinos–nearly massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light–to send the binary message “Neutrino” to a receiver that was just over a kilometer away and that included 240 meters of stone in the way…What neutrinos can do, that electromagnetic communications can’t do, is penetrate almost anything they encounter…neutrinos are not subject to magnetic attractions and are not significantly altered by gravity, so they are virtually free of any possible interference…current technology takes massive amounts of high-tech equipment to communicate a message using neutrinos, so this isn’t practical now…the first step toward someday using neutrinos for communication in a practical application…”
9.       Broadband-to-work program  http://gigaom.com/broadband/we-need-a-broadband-to-work-program/  “The Federal Communications Commission…Lifeline program…which provides basic phone service for the poor, is getting a facelift for the broadband age…the FCC needs to reform the Lifeline program so it moves people from government assistance into jobs. Not just any jobs, but tech-oriented jobs…The Lifeline program…currently provides $10/month to low-income people to get basic phone service…Lifeline started in 1984. It covered the cost of one telephone line for a family, one or two phones and local phone calls…Lifeline now distributes about $1.3 billion a year nationwide. This year, the FCC commissioners…decided it’s time to change the rules to support broadband adoption…the Long Beach YMCA Youth Institute annually provides 2,500 low-income high school, middle school and elementary school kids with training that builds business-level proficiency in a range of digital media skills...The Institute has even spun off a nonprofit company that generates $400,000 annually providing digital media consulting services to clients around the country…a $10 month stipend by itself…won’t provide the…personal economic development the Youth Institute delivers. However, if the Lifeline program were transformed to a broadband-to-work program…here’s how things might change. A community organization develops a comprehensive plan for digital literacy, job skills development, internships, job placement and entrepreneurship that costs $500,000…$300,000 could come from grants and foundations. Another $100,000 could come from the FCC’s eRate program for broadband infrastructure…$100,000 could come from Lifeline…as a grant to a local organization that selects a carrier…to serve low-income constituents who qualify for Lifeline…If the FCC is going to spend $25 million for pilot programs to test moving Lifeline into the broadband era, they…should expand their worldview. Communities need to be driving theses programs and policies. Programs such as the Youth Institute come from leaders in the communities and are facilitated rather than dictated by corporate and government sources …”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
10.     The digital detective: Mikko Hypponen's war on malware is escalating  http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/04/features/the-digital-detective?page=all  “…Mikko ­Hypponen, the chief security research officer at F-Secure, an anti-virus software company, scrolls down the screen of his laptop examining the latest of the 200,000 malware files to arrive in his office every day in Helsinki…Hypponen is typing hard in short bursts…His hair is pulled into a blond ponytail and he wears small, round spectacles…criminals are producing malware on an industrial scale…Trojans, worms, spyware, backdoors, fake antivirus software, rootkits and others…Hypponen has become a prominent face in the anti-virus industry. He took down the network used by the Sobig.F worm in May 2003, and was the first to warn of the Sasser worm a year later. In 2007, he named the Storm botnet…Hypponen points out that only ten years ago the enemy was mostly mischievous teenagers. That changed on May 8, 2003, with Fizzer -- the first virus designed solely to make money…Hypponen's days are spent ­foiling these gangs…Hypponen is sitting in F-Secure's headquarters in the Jätkäsaari neighbourhood. One floor up from the atrium…is the lab where he and his team (there are around 500 people working in R&D) spend their days…the team includes Filipinos, Russians, Indians, Americans and Finns. There are F-Secure offices in 20 other cities. In the middle of the floor there's a conference table in front of three screens…He's investigating a server hosting a Trojan…He looks up, smiling: "Let's see where this goes, because it's fresh it's highly likely this site is still up and running…That's where the attackers are right now. And most likely if they run…host intrusion prevention system…they just saw a ping come in from F-Secure.com and they were like 'Oh, shit!'" He punches in more data. "Buenos Aries," he says seconds later. Thirteen thousand kilometres away, someone in Argentina will soon have his server shut down. Malware is now produced on a vast scale…Cybercrime is constantly evolving and becoming more mainstream…The easier cyber becomes, the more criminals will be drawn to the low-risk, high-yield benefits. One of the reasons online crime is growing rapidly is because it's very cheap to run…”
11.      Facebook Buys 750 IBM Patents To Defend Against Yahoo  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/22/facebook-buys-750-ibm-patents-to-defend-against-yahoo/  “Facebook has just bought…750 patents for networking, software, and other technologies from IBM…Facebook could use the patents to counteract Yahoo’s patent infringement lawsuit against it…Facebook was in danger of having to either settle with Yahoo or license the old tech giant’s patents to avoid uncertainty heading into its own IPO. It could have tried to invalidate Yahoo’s patents in court, but that case could have spilled over its IPO date and scared away investors. Since Facebook is a young company, it doesn’t have as robust a patent portfolio as other big successful tech companies. It only had 56 issued and 503 filed patents in the US. With its IPO looming and an expected $100 billion valuation, Facebook was both vulnerable and a lucrative target…”
12.     Is the CIA already in your kitchen?  http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/22/is-cia-already-in-your-kitchen/  “…Everyone wants, at some point in the day, at some places in the home, to be left alone. The colonists who fought the war of secession from Great Britain were no different…the Stamp Act…which applied to the colonies and not to residents of Great Britain, required that government stamps be purchased and printed on all legal, financial and even political documents in the possession of every colonist. The enforcement of that law -- which was done by British soldiers who entered private homes armed…with search warrants that they had written for themselves, which Parliament authorized them to do -- was so disturbing…the damage to British rule…was irreparable. After the Founders won the Revolution and wrote the Constitution…they rested in the assurance that only judges could issue search warrants "particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized," and that judges could only do so if they found probable cause of criminal behavior in the place the government targeted. The war on drugs has regrettably weakened the intended protections of the Fourth Amendment, and the Patriot Act -- which permits federal agents to write their own search warrants -- has dealt it a serious blow…Relying on the Patriot Act, federal agents have written their own search warrants just like the British soldiers did. They have done this more than 250,000 times since 2001. But the government has rarely used any evidence from these warrants in a criminal prosecution…for fear that the act would be invalidated by federal courts. Now, back to the CIA in your kitchen…it turns out that if your microwave, burglar alarm or dishwasher is of very recent vintage, and if it is connected to your personal computer, a CIA spy can tell when you are in the kitchen and when you are using that device. The person who revealed this last weekend also revealed that CIA software can learn your habits from all of this…We already know that your…iPhone can tell…where you are and, when the battery is connected, what you are saying. But spies in the kitchen?...Who revealed all this last weekend? None other than Gen. David Petraeus himself, President Obama's new director of the CIA…”
13.     Facebook asserts trademark on word "book" in new user agreement  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/facebook-asserts-trademark-on-word-book-in-new-user-agreement.ars  “Facebook is trying to expand its trademark rights over the word "book" by adding the claim to a newly revised version of its "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities," the agreement all users implicitly consent to by using or accessing Facebook…Facebook has launched multiple lawsuits against websites incorporating the word "book" into their names. Facebook, as far as we can tell, doesn't have a registered trademark on "book." But trademark rights can be asserted based on use of a term, even if the trademark isn't registered, and adding the claim to Facebook's user agreement could boost the company's standing in future lawsuits filed against sites that use the word…If you see a ™ next to a name, that indicates an unregistered, claimed trademark, whereas an R in a circle signifies a registered one…The newly revised user agreement reads as follows…"You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall), or any confusingly similar marks, except as expressly permitted by our Brand Usage Guidelines or with our prior written permission." Not accepting the terms isn't really an option for anyone with a Facebook account. "By using or accessing Facebook, you agree to this Statement," the document says…”
14.     The long arm of Microsoft tries taking down Zeus botnets  http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-57404275-264/the-long-arm-of-microsoft-tries-taking-down-zeus-botnets/  “Microsoft and financial services organizations, with an escort of U.S. Marshals, seized command-and-control servers Friday to take down botnets allegedly used to steal more than $100 million using an estimated 13 million computers infected with the Zeus malware…To take down the operation, Microsoft also took over Internet traffic that had been used to operate 3,357 botnets, according to the court's temporary restraining order…the court's seizure order…said the U.S. Marshals would preserve up to four hours of Internet traffic before disconnecting the computers from the Internet…Microsoft has made similar moves with the Waledac, Rustock, and Kelihos botets. But this operation was different,…unlike our prior botnet takedown operations, the goal here was not the permanent shutdown of all impacted targets," Microsoft said. "Rather, our goal was a strategic disruption of operations to mitigate the threat in order to cause long-term damage to the cybercriminal organization…Microsoft estimates there are 13 million computers infected with Zeus and its variants, 3 million of them in the United States…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
15.     HTC isn’t just building an Android skin, it’s building a whole platform  http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/123045-htc-isnt-just-building-an-android-skin-its-building-a-whole-platform  “…HTC could have continued to make small tweaks to Android; it could have kept making device-specific services like HTC Watch, but instead it either bought or partnered with some truly innovative companies. This strategy started a few months back with the Beats acquisition…all its upcoming Sense 4.0 phones will have Beats technology built in…That little red “B” logo on the back of the phone is a selling point for some consumers…All users of Sense 4.0 devices will get 25GB of cloud-synced Dropbox space added to their existing or new accounts for two years…the music streaming service Mog has just been picked up, bringing with it 14 million tracks and 500,000 subscribers…and we would expect some handy tie-ins with the Sense music app…HTC’s new partnership with LogMeIn…takes things to an entirely new level. All Sense 4.0 devices will have the LogMeIn Rescue service built in for HTC tech support to fix your phone remotely…”
16.     Virgin Mobile experiencing text, data outage  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57401265-94/virgin-mobile-experiencing-text-data-outage/  “A nationwide outage has left Virgin Mobile customers in the U.S. without text or data services…engineers were working on the issue but did not give any indication what caused the outage or when it is expected to be resolved. Virgin Mobile is an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator that leases network capacity from parent Sprint Nextel and resells the service to customers…Sprint customers appeared to be unaffected by the outage…The company recently announced that it would begin throttling data speeds for users who exceed 2.5GB a month…”
17.     How Tegra Can Become Nvidia's Most Valuable Segment  http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/03/21/how-tegra-can-become-nvidias-most-valuable-segment/  “…As the introduction of APUs from Intel and AMD has forced Nvidia to exit integrated graphics business, the company is looking at the other avenues for its revenue growth. One of them is expanding into mobile computing market…The company had a successful year with its dual-core Tegra 2 processors and also acquired Icera, the maker of baseband chips. Nvidia expects Tegra related revenues to grow by 50% next year…Nvidia’s mobile & game console computing chip revenues…are almost solely dominated by Tegra products…this business accounts for just 7.5% of Nvidia’s estimated $12.9 billion value. This is roughly one-fourth of the value that its professional GPU business brings to the table…the equation can change if Nvidia can gain a share of about 10% in the growing mobile computing market…A 10% share, in tandem with a rough pricing of $25 per processor will imply close to $3.4 billion in revenues from Tegra related products…If successful…a 10% market share with 30% EBITDA margins in next 7 years is something that can turn Tegra into single biggest business for Nvidia…”
18.     Asetek brings liquid cooling to laptops  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/03/asetek-brings-l.php  “…It seems a little weird, then, that it's taken this long for someone to cram liquid cooling into a laptop. Asetek has kludged together a prototype liquid cooling system for an Alienware M18x gaming laptop, one of those gaming rigs that seems likely to crush and/or burn any lap that it's used on. Inside is an Intel Core i7 running at 3.5 Ghz, along with dual AMD Radeon HD 6990M graphics cards…The solution that Asetek came up with is to create one liquid cooling system that circulates through every part of the laptop that needs active cooling…Benchmarking showed performance increases ranging from 18% to 23% across the board, while the laptop's cooling fans were able to run slower and quieter…”
19.     At Y Combinator’s Biggest Demo Day Yet, Mobile Is Taking Over  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/27/ycmobile/  “There are plenty of observations to be made about Y Combinator‘s Demo Day…But the thing that is sticking out the most is the nature of the products being launched. Out of the 39 companies presenting on the record today, 15 are mobile-first…lots of top technologists are declaring that the companies of the future are going to be mobile before they hit the web. The companies today are also noticeably practical — these are not just games and simple utilities. PlanGrid is providing blueprints to construction sites via iPads…Medigram is a HIPPA-compliant messaging app for hospitals...I suspect the next few classes of YC companies are going to be even more about mobile…”
Apps
20.    USC students turn to mobile apps for online classes  http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225567/USC_students_turn_to_mobile_apps_for_online_classes  “Many colleges have added online classes to their curricula, but mobile devices are now being used to supplement live sessions with teachers and classmates alike. At the University of Southern California (USC), students can connect via smartphones and tablets while taking online classes for a master's degree in social work or a master's in teaching. The classes have attracted students from other states and around the globe…Julie Row is working on a master's in social work at USC, but doing so from her home in New Jersey. She mainly uses the mobile app once or twice a day to check in and keep up on classes…nearly half of the social work students at USC who downloaded the mobile app used it 10 times a month for more than five minutes at time…"I'll go to the phone last minute, when it's useful to see whether the professor has posted information like class materials," she said…If she owned an iPad, she said, "I could definitely see it would be possible" to access videoconferences during live classroom sessions or see multimedia content. Currently, she views those via her laptop…Her online mobile app lets her see what classmates are posting on chat boards in various community groups…Row said she's able to get a top-flight degree from a renowned university without having to live nearby. She pays the same for tuition as a student on campus…She also got a master's in library science on a physical campus, and said her virtual experience is just as good …”
21.     Zoho Launches Android, IPad Apps for Its CRM and Project Software (Zoho Docs, too)  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/252550/zoho_launches_android_ipad_apps_for_its_crm_and_project_software.html  “Zoho is…rolling out native Android and iPad clients for its CRM and project management software…Zoho's decision to focus on mobile applications for CRM and Projects makes sense, given that users of those types of software tend to be in the field, meeting with customers or working on various tasks…the CRM Android application gives access to contacts, accounts, leads and other fields in the CRM system, which can also be edited and deleted. Both the Projects and CRM mobile clients enable offline activity…Zoho is gearing most of its native mobile application efforts on iOS and Android devices, he added. BlackBerry is still getting some attention, "but increasingly that's going to be a lower priority for us…”  http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/03/26/zoho-finally-takes-on-google-in-the-mobile-space-releases-docs-and-crm-to-the-play-store/  “…ZOHO Docs is finally available on Android. ZDocs looks strikingly like to GDocs, which should aid in making the transition into the new home for all of your on-the-go office needs…The app features access to all of your Zoho documents for viewing, including those created with Writer, Sheet, Show, and Docs. You can also upload images directly from your mobile to Zoho Docs, as well as search for documents…”
22.    PlanGrid Builds A New Market For The iPad: The Construction Industry  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/02/plangrid-builds-a-new-market-for-the-ipad-the-construction-industry/  “Mark this up as one more crucial chapter in the much-thumbed book called “The Consumerization of IT”: a new app has launched…that offers builders the ability to store, manage and view blueprints on and iPad tablet…PlanGrid…promises to present building blueprints in a far more efficient way than they have been presented before…on a more general level, PlanGrid is a sign of how the iOS platform is maturing and attracting a new wave of developers who target specific enterprise verticals…one of the four co-founders…comes from a construction background himself and says the costs and frustrations of dealing with paper-based plans are what drove him to want to rethink how things were done…PlanGrid is a cloud-based service that delivers blueprints as PDFs directly on the tablet; then people working in the field can use these instead of paper-based versions. When a modification needs to be made, that can be directly noted on the plan, in the app. That is subsequently updated into a new version. PlanGrid’s technology makes the rendering and scrolling of those blueprints significantly faster, too…Typically, 6% of rework is due to outdated blueprints, and in turn around 15% of construction costs are due to rework, which means 1% of total construction costs are due to the blueprint problem. Those are significant figures, considering that an average margin that a builder could expect to make is only between two percent and four percent…”
SkyNet
23.    Google's Punchd wants to replace loyalty cards with an app  http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/23/news/la-googles-punchd-puts-the-loyalty-card-on-your-smartphone-20120308  “…Google has changed the way we search online and the way many businesses advertise online. With Android, the company has built the most popular smartphone operating system in the world. And now the tech giant is looking to change the way we use punch cards. The "buy five subs, get the sixth free" card you have in your wallet; the "half off every five cups of coffee" ticket floating at the bottom of your purse -- Google is hoping someday you'll ditch the paper punch cards in favor of an app called Punchd…the idea behind Punchd…began at a small start-up founded by four friends who dreamed of taking a class project and making it big. The first iteration of the Punchd app -- originally called Punch'd -- was a senior year project in an Android development class at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Friends and classmates Reed Morse and Grantland Chew built the app as an answer to their own frustrations …”
24.    Google+ Hangouts now calling any phone  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57403603-1/google-hangouts-now-calling-any-phone/  “…Video calls among two or more Google+ users was the big draw when Hangouts launched, but now Google has flipped the switch the allow Google+ users to make phone calls to almost any phone number, not just within the Google+ ecosystem. That means that users will be able, for example, place a voice call from their computers and reach friends or family on their land line or cell phone. The feature is limited to outbound calls and cannot accept incoming calls to your Google+ account. It's also currently desktop-only, and isn't compatible with Google+ on mobile apps. Calls to phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada are free…To place a call, click the "Invite" button in Hangouts, then the "+telephone" link. After entering the number, hit "add."…”
25.    Google Voice update integrates voicemail with phone app  http://androidcommunity.com/google-voice-update-integrates-voicemail-with-phone-app-20120322/  “If you’re like most heavy Google Voice users, you keep your GV voicemail and standard carrier voicemail separate. This is great for managing different numbers, but it’s a bit of a pain to wrangle all on the same phone. Android and Google Voice get a little closer today, as GV’s voicemail service is available from the native Android phone/dialer app. The update treats voicemails like calls, so you’ll see them in the same place that you usually see Google Voice incoming and outgoing calls in the dialer…Unfortunately, this feature is limited to Android 4.0 at the moment…if I had to guess, I’d say that this is something Google’s been planning for a while and had to code for specifically in Ice Cream Sandwich…early reports indicate that phones without a mostly stock Android system can’t use the feature; skins like Samsung’s TouchWiz and HTC’s Sense UI usually completely replace the dialer and contact system …”  [this article highlights two sides of the Android vs. iOS phones; Google is enabling a feature that Apple probably wouldn’t want you to have, however Google’s lack of the tight integration between OS and hardware creates difficulty in rolling out the cool feature, while Apple would have minimal problems coordinating hardware/software changes – ed.]
26.    Save Gmail messages in Google Docs  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57403753-285/save-gmail-messages-in-google-docs/  “…Gmail has a new experimental feature that lets users save their messages as Google Docs…Gmail makes it much simpler to save your messages as documents and PDFs, keeping formatting intact. Here's how to do it: Log in to Gmail. Click the gear-shaped icon near the top right, then select Settings. Click the Labs tab near the top center. Scroll down and click Enable next to Create a Document. Select Create a Document. Scroll to the top or bottom and click the button labeled Save Changes. The next time you want to save a message as a doc, just click the More button in the top center of the message reading pane, then select Create a document.  A new tab opens in Google Docs. From here, it's easy to edit, save, and export as a PDF or some other file format…This feature is incredibly handy for tackling invites, e-mailed schedules, and all sorts of other problems…”
27.    Google Maps Debuts Detailed 3D Landmarks  http://www.pcworld.com/article/252270/google_maps_debuts_detailed_3d_landmarks.html  “The 3D representations of buildings in Google Maps have been enhanced, with more than 1,000 landmarks across the world available to check out in detailed imagery. The new renderings look more like the real buildings with shadows and smoother curves…Some of the notable improved sites include the Piazza del Duomo in Florence, Italy, the Burj Khaifa in Dubai, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the White House, and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia…Messmer believes the improved 3D rendering will be of particular use to tourists: “It's much easier to get a sense of your location by simply comparing the shapes of buildings on the map to what you see out your window. By combining 3D buildings with other Google Maps features like Street View and driving directions, you'll have the most advanced ‘tourist map’ on the planet …”
28.    Chromium OS gets a desktop and window manager, looks like a proper OS  http://liliputing.com/2012/03/chromium-os-gets-a-desktop-and-window-manager-looks-like-a-proper-os.html  “…Google Chrome OS is little more than a Google Chrome web browser running on top of a Linux kernel. There’s no desktop or taskbar, and there aren’t many native apps built into the operating system…But Google may be planning to make its Chrome operating system look more like… well, more like an operating system…developers have been working a project called the Aura Shell which gives the operating system a desktop and window manager. It’s possible to build a version of…Chromium OS…with Aura, but the new environment isn’t yet ready…to deploy on Chromebooks…Even with the Aura Shell, Chromium OS is designed first and foremost to run web apps…But your apps and settings can appear on a desktop instead of a browser tab…Google recently rolled out the ability to synchronize your Google Docs with Chromium OS, so that all of your spreadsheets, presentations, and other documents are available on the go whether you have an internet connection or not. The Aura Shell makes Chromium look and act a bit more like a traditional Windows or Linux desktop operating system while retaining an emphasis on cloud storage, web apps, and quick boot speeds…we’re starting to see companies producing Chromebooks with higher caliber hardware…Chrome OS is still a tough sell. Almost anything you can do with a notebook running Chrome OS you can also do with a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer running the Chrome web browser. But Chrome OS offers tighter security, since users don’t download and install apps — instead they’re hosted online…if your Chromebook is lost or stolen you can pick up another computer and start working right where you left off…”
29.    Use Google Docs to Monitor Your Website’s Uptime  http://lifehacker.com/5896830/use-google-docs-to-monitor-your-websites-uptime  “Have a website and want to know the minute your site is down? This simple Google Docs spreadsheet from Digital Inspiration can email you and monitor your website for free. Although there are website monitoring services that provide this monitoring service and also provide more data analysis, many of them charge for the alerts or set limits for the number of alerts they send you. This website monitoring doc is in your hands and you can set it up very quickly…Digital Inspiration says that if you know some programming, you can also set up tweets and SMS alerts too…” [hmmm…what would it take for ABC/TechAdvised to set this up from scratch for websites they want to monitor? – ed.]
General Technology
30.    Nvidia claims title of world’s fastest graphics chip with 28 nm Kepler launch  http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/22/nvidia-retakes-crown-of-worlds-faster-graphics-chip-with-kepler-launch/  “…With the debut of  its code-named Kepler project, Nvidia is retaking the crown today as the creator of the world’s fastest graphics chip…The next-generation chip is called the GeForce GTX 680 and is the result of 1.8 million man-hours of work over five years…a single graphics card with the new chip can run Epic Games’ high-end game demo, Samaritan, without any visible flaws…And it can do so using a power supply that consumes 195 watts. Last year, it took three Fermi-based GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards running on a power supply with 730 watts to run the same demo…Kepler can run three high-definition monitors in stereoscopic 3D, whereas it took two Fermi boards to do the same thing. AMD’s graphics chip can run six screens at the same time, but Nvidia’s Walker said the only time six screens is useful is at a trade show…”  http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4304051/Nvidia-rolls-28-nm-graphics-processors  “…A Kepler-based graphics card, the GTX 680, officially goes on sale today at retail outlets for $499. It sports 1,536 Nvidia proprietary CUDA rendering cores and 192 control logic cores on a GHz clock. That’s up from 512 and 32 cores in the Fermi parts. Like Intel and others before it, Nvidia has learned more cores and a slower clock is the road to better power efficiency. Fermi ran its rendering cores at 1.544 GHz and the rest of the chip at a cooler 772 MHz. With Kepler, Nvidia takes a different tack, running the whole chip at 1.006 GHz but using three times as many cores. The GTX 680 card rides a PCI Express Gen 3 bus and consumes 195 W, down from about 250W for Fermi cards…”
31.     Astronomers Discover Rectangular Galaxy  http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27657/  “Galaxies essentially have three different shapes. The vast majority are flattened discs, often with spiral arms; some are ellipsoids, like rugby balls; and a few are completely irregular with no symmetry…Today, Alister Graham at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia and a few mates announce the discovery of a dwarf galaxy designated LEDA 074886 that is distinctly rectangular.  "We affectionately call [it] the “emerald cut galaxy”…The galaxy sits in a group of about 250 dwarf galaxies some 21 megaparsecs from Earth in the constellation of Eridanus. It's just a nipper, with a mass some 10 billion times that of the Sun. By contrast, the Milky Way is about a thousand times heavier…”
32.    What James Cameron Can Expect at the Bottom of the Ocean  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/03/what-james-cameron-can-expect-at-the-bottom-of-the-ocean/  “The race to the deepest point in the ocean – the Challenger Deep, 10,902* meters beneath the surface – is heating up.  National Geographic recently went public with its flashy website tracking James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge effort…Virgin Oceanic is working on its effort to tag the deepest points in all five oceans; and DOER marine is perfecting its blueprints, hoping to build a submersible that remains attractive to scientists long after the benthic silt settles on this renewed “race to the bottom”…What sorts of alien critters might we expect to see in Cameron’s upcoming documentary?...we don’t know.  Only four expeditions have ever reached Challenger Deep…The longer answer is that despite our relative ignorance of this largely uncharacterized gash in the Earth’s crust, there’s no real reason to expect a particularly transformative set of discoveries…scientific publications give no hint of any geochemical anomalies, no suggestion of exotic fluids like the ones that fuel methane cold seeps or hydrothermal vents, the richest of deep-sea oases.  With no other nutrient sources than the continual snow of dead plankton from the surface, the Challenger Deep might just be a remarkably inaccessible desert…”
33.    How CRM Played a Key Role in Helping a High School Charitable Fundraising Project  http://www.forbes.com/sites/microsoftdynamics/2012/03/21/how-microsoft-dynamics-crm-played-a-key-role-in-helping-a-high-school-charitable-fundraising-project/  “My daughter and I recently had a great opportunity to work together on a school project where…CRM played an integral role.  My daughter is currently in 10th grade…As a 9th grader my daughter, and about 40 other students, participated as a model in a fashion show fundraiser project produced by two girls in that year’s 10th grade class.  Approximately 200 people attended the show and the project team raised just over $1,100 for their chosen charity…my daughter decided to do a fashion show for her project the following year and she and two classmates quickly formed a project team to produce a fashion show fundraiser…the girls decided to establish a goal of tripling the previous show’s fundraising total.  They felt that getting substantially more than 200 people to attend the show would be unlikely so they started brainstorming ways to reach people…I immediately felt a great father/daughter experience was available…by working with them to implement a marketing automation system…we could quickly build a database of people in CRM that we would email about the fashion show fundraiser.  We also discussed using a web site to help provide information…and to provide a secure, online method of contributing to YouthBASE…each of the girls asked their parents to export their email contacts to Excel, and, using the CRM import utility, imported them in no time.  Each parent then wrote a personalized email to be sent via the CRM to everyone on their list…In real time the girls were able to see statistics regarding email deliveries, bounces, and opens.  They were also able to see visits to the web site.  They could tell which recipients were visiting the site and which were not…Over the next 5 days the total number of unique emails sends reached 6 and reached 433 total email recipients, with 949 visits to the web site from all over the United States and Russia, Brazil, Finland, India, and Mexico…The girls also established a Facebook page, but saw that only 21 visits to their web site came from Facebook.  Although their generation is more focused on Facebook than email, the demographic of those expressing an interest in their cause seem to have responded better to email than social media. Within 3 weeks, approximately 90 donors contributed a total of $5,187. Less than $1,000 came from show attendees…The girls were elated to surpass their goal by such a margin and to be able to donate so much to YouthBASE.  They were also astonished to learn just how much information is available to digital marketers using today’s technology…a group of sixteen year old girls have established an important foundation in learning that information is instrumental in understanding the effectiveness of marketing campaigns…they also learned that obtaining useful information does not have to be difficult or expensive…”
34.    Solar tower turbine  http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/a-smaller-route-to-solar-success/  “There are at least a dozen major ways to turn sunlight into electricity, but one of the more interesting is using a field of mirrors to focus the sun’s energy on a “power tower” where the heat is captured and used later to spin a turbine and turn a generator…But now comes a new player with a different concept: build the tower, but on a smaller, simpler scale, and skip the storage in favor of using using biogas or natural gas to power the system after dark…Aora, has two systems running, one on a kibbutz in southern Israel and the other in Almería, Spain. It hopes to announce soon that it will be building several more in Arizona. The basic unit planned there is an array of about 50 mirrors focused on a tower that rises 115 feet. It produces 100 kilowatts of electricity…The competition is hundreds of times larger…Their towers are hundreds of feet high and surrounded by thousands of mirrors, and they produce power at the level of tens or hundreds of megawatts…The giant towers heat water into steam or heat molten salt that will be used to boil steam; the steam flows through a turbine that converts the heat energy to rotational movement that drives a generator…Aora, on the other hand, heats ordinary air that then expands and spins a gas turbine that resembles a jet engine. During periods when there is no sun, the system injects a hydrocarbon fuel…or a variety of other substances to expand the gas and spin the turbine…one question is what to do with the hot air that is expelled from the turbine. There is not quite enough of it to boil water to make steam for electricity, but it could have a variety of uses, including driving an air-conditioning system. In that sense, a small modular design has advantages over a mega-project…”
Leisure & Entertainment
35.    Microsoft patent points to head-mounted, laser-based display technology  http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2012/03/microsoft-patent-points-to-head-mounted-laser-based-display-technology.ars  “…a new Microsoft patent for a "laser-scanning virtual image display" could actually point to plans for the company to jump into the world of virtual reality gaming…The document describes both a helmet and a set of eyeglasses (which "could be at least partially transparent"), using two laser-based, "dilation optic" displays to project what appears as a 21-inch diagonal, 16:9 ratio image viewed at arms length…By displaying slightly different images to each eye, the projected image could appear in stereoscopic 3D to the viewer…there's some circumstantial evidence that big name game developers may already be testing the possibilities of head-mounted gaming…last month id software's John Carmack tweeted about running "a prototype 1920x1200x2 display set from eMagin"…Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski followed up with a "me too" tweet that he was working with similar hardware. Carmack later tweeted a photo of two micro-displays embedded in ski goggles…there's some reason to believe Microsoft would benefit more than other platform holders from adding a head-mounted display to its gaming hardware. One of the most limiting factors of playing with motion control technology like the Kinect is that you always have to be facing the screen to know what's going on…With a good head-mounted display, this problem could become a thing of the past—as long as your coffee table is well out of the way…”
36.    Valve’s Gabe Newell talks wearable computers  http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/valves-gabe-newell-talks-wearable-computers-rewarding-players-and-whether-w/all  “…there’s a surprising amount going on with…wearable computing…they sort of look like the old wearable computing solutions, the difference being that they’re way higher resolution, way lighter weight, much better battery life…It seems like just about the time that everybody gave up on them they actually started to become interesting, so we’ve been seeing a lot of stuff go on in that space that gets us excited…we’re just sort of scratching our heads trying to figure out the best way to get that hardware out to customers…it’s not a question of whether or not this is going to be useful for customers, whether or not it’s going to be useful for content developers, you know, it’s figuring out the best way we can get these into people’s hands…we’re thinking of trying to figure out how to do the equivalent of the…incremental approach in software design and try to figure out how would you get something similar to that in the hardware space as well. The…old method of…make a giant pile of inventory and hope that some set of applications emerge…doesn’t seem to be the…fastest ways to move stuff forward, so we’re trying to come up with an alternative…to iterate more rapidly…some of the prototypes that I’ve seen are basically the equivalent of a hundred inch display with considerably lower power requirements than a typical smartphone display…some of the hard engineering problems are getting solved and a hundred inch display is way better than a ten inch display…a lot of these systems tend to allow you to overlap on a per-pixel basis the sort of real world with the virtual world…it requires obviously a lot of computation to try to figure out how to integrate pixels from the real world with pixels from the virtual world…”
37.    Writing Books, Part Deux: Improv With Google Docs  http://www.informationweek.com/byte/news/personal-tech/digital-content/232602981  “…Sarah Pinborough, a British writer, was scheduled to be a guest at NECon in 2009. Wilson had never read her…He bought Tower Hill and was impressed by the unorthodox choices she made with the plot and the heroine. She had to cancel her NECon trip and so he sent her a complimentary email…The following year he was rebuffed by Amazon.uk when he tried to buy the ebook of her new novel…She emailed him the PDF, which he stuck in his Kindle. He encountered a quantum leap in style, and was intrigued by a character referred to as "the man of flies."…But Wilson lives down the Jersey Shore and Pinborough's a Londoner…Could this work? Wilson opened a Google Doc and committed his nascent ideas to digital paper. The…working title was "The Flies of the Lord" and he projected novella length. He gave Pinborough access to the doc and asked her if she wanted in. She was game…They'd keep adding ideas for characters and scenes and plot twists into the doc as they occurred. The other would drop by and comment on the ideas and enhance them or make an alternate suggestion…Through a slow process of accretion, the doc grew…all this cyber and digital stuff…that's all great, but there's nothing like a face-to-face…this was their first tête-à-tête, and the ideas flew. They nailed down what the novella would be about…suddenly they had a wicked and gruesome twist that delighted them both. The novella was now headed along a path neither could have predicted…They're using Dropbox (as in Draculas). Pinborough had never heard of it but she's taken to it swimmingly. They've kept the Google Doc as their idea well and are using it as a story map--not a full outline…But the need for face time is ongoing. For that they use Skype every few weeks…Skype has proved excellent for planning out their next moves. Two of the point-of-view characters are husband and wife…They needed an argument between the two--a blow-up over religion--and the question arose: Who should write it? Wilson suggested they both write it--simultaneously. Make it like improv theater…At a preset date and time, they both showed up at the Google Doc and got into it…The result was ... electrifying…things were said that seemed to come out of nowhere--things that had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the crumbling relationship…Pinborough was delighted with the exchange and Wilson was positively giddy. The argument had reached into areas neither of them would have taken it alone…They resolved to arrange other improv encounters between characters. This can happen only with a collaboration and only with something like Google Docs…a chat room would provide the same immediacy, but when they finished in Docs, the dialogue was all formatted and ready for pasting into the manuscript…”
38.    With World of Warcraft fading, what will Blizzard do next?  http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/123193-with-world-of-warcraft-fading-what-will-blizzard-do-next  “…Blizzard’s smash hit…and the acknowledged most popular MMO on Earth…is past its prime. Subscription figures have fallen from 12 million just after the release of the last expansion to 10.2 million…WoW isn’t dying…but it is fading. At seven and a half years old, it’s no longer a fledgling upstart or a product in its prime…From Battle.net revamps to Diablo III‘s focus on cooperative multiplayer, Blizzard is working to improve social integration both within each game and across its various franchises…World of Warcraft has been an unbelievable cash cow for Blizzard-Activision, but attempting to clone its success is more likely to produce two stunted bovines rather than a second champion milker…No MMO sequel has ever been more than a tepid success…Blizzard is working on another MMO, but the game, codenamed Titan, is reportedly designed to appeal to casual players and to emphasize gaming with people you know rather than with strangers…”
39.    Where is mobile gaming happening? At home, in bed  http://gigaom.com/2012/03/22/where-is-mobile-gaming-happening-at-home-in-bed/  “Mobile gaming conjures up images of people playing on subways, waiting in line and walking down the street. But you’re much more likely to find mobile gaming happening at home and in bed…Mocospace…surveyed 15,000 users and found that 96 percent of them say they play mobile games from home, ahead of waiting for an appointment (82 percent), commuting (73 percent) and at work (64 percent). That’s not exactly surprising. We’ve heard from…mobile game company Miniclip…that…given only one choice of response, 44 percent of people said they played at home, while 22 percent said they played while waiting in line, 21 percent played while traveling and 13 percent played at a restaurant…the gaming at home is taking place most often in bed…given only one answer to choose from, 53 percent of home gamers said they played from their bed while 41 percent said they played in the living room, 5 percent played from their bathroom and 1 percent played from the dining table…The most popular mobile game category is social (62 percent), action (52 percent, puzzle (40 percent), casino style (28 percent)…mobile gaming is increasingly a threat to console gaming in the home…recent surveys highlight just how personal these mobile devices are. People are on their devices right up until the time they go to sleep…an iPass survey last year found, 43 percent of mobile workers keep their smartphones within arm’s reach when they sleep…”  [with this in mind, mobile game companies might want to focus on some games especially appropriate for or engaging when at home or in bed – ed.]
40.    Moai Game Development Platform Leaves Beta, Offers Free Use Through April 30  http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/23/with-6000-followers-zipline-games-launches-its-moai-game-development-platform/  “Zipline Games has attracted 6,000 game developers to its Moai game development platform. And now it’s formally launching version 1.0…Using a single code base, developers can create games that run across iOS (Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad), Android, and Google Chrome…Zipline will offer free Moai cloud services through April 30 and then will start charging for them. Among the companies that have taken advantage of Moai already is DistinctDev, maker of the hit game The Moron Test. DistinctDev previously created eight versions of its game for different platforms and is now moving to Moai…Before Moai, it took three months and coordination with an outside firm to port the iOS version of The Moron Test 1 to Android. Using Moai, we released The Moron Test 2 to both platforms on the same day with all development done in-house…”
Economy and Technology
41.     EMC Buys Pivotal Labs  http://gigaom.com/cloud/exclusive-emc-buys-pivotal-labs/  “EMC Corp., the…storage and cloud hardware company has bought Pivotal Labs, a San Francisco-based consulting firms well known…for its pioneering work on agile development methodology…Pivotal…would a different — and a smart — kind of services division for a company like EMC…large hardware vendors are facing a unique and new challenge from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google, who are getting the attention of the next generation of businesses. In order for these hardware vendors to stay relevant, they need to offer their hardware as a service…”  http://gigaom.com/2012/03/13/pivotal-labs-is-in-takeover-talks/  “…Joi Ito’s Digital Garage, a Japanese incubation and investment company, snapped up Pivotal Singapore…but his group is not buying Pivotal Labs SF…Pivotal Labs…has been credited for shaping Twitter’s development culture; and its clients include Groupon, Gowalla and Best Buy…Pivotal’s services are different from an incubator’s: It’s a consultancy that brings technical teams into its space to grow them, train them and help them build their products…it has created a sort of focused training program for technology startups and projects within larger companies…Your technical folks come into the Pivotal office every day at 9:00 a.m., sit down at a desk with a “Pivot” from the company’s team, and work in tandem as pair programmers for the full day until 6:00 p.m. At the end of period of about 2–7 months, you have a trained agile development team for building products with Ruby on Rails, as well as lot of progress on your product…Pivotal Tracker, which the company developed to help clients plan and execute projects, is a free agile development tool that has hundreds of thousands of users…”
42.    Mobile Marketplace EggDrop Hits Half A Million Downloads  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/20/after-ditching-auctions-mobile-marketplace-eggdrop-hits-half-a-million-downloads/  “EggDrop, essentially a mobile app alternative to Craigslist, is starting to pick up steam…The app originally launched last June…But that first experience doesn’t look much like EggDrop today…With the first version of EggDrop, the idea was to introduce a somewhat unique pricing model – the “falling price” auction. Instead of setting a price for an item, the seller would enter both a minimum and maximum price. Over 72 hours, the price would gradually fall if there were no takers…that system didn’t prove to be a hit with users. Sellers tend to be very protective of their minimum price…When people put down the price range they always think back to what they paid for it, rather than what the fair market value is.” Now, sellers just create a normal listing with whatever price they want, and leave it up indefinitely, if they choose…the setting to automatically re-list the item after 7 days is switched on by default…if the item is of a time-sensitive nature – like concert tickets, for example – users can configure the item to expire…EggDrop is proving popular in major metro areas in the U.S., starting with L.A. and followed by (in order) New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, D.C., Detroit and Denver…roughly a quarter of the users (25%-30%) are either moms or students, looking to clean out closets or save a few extra dollars…one of EggDrop’s key selling points – its ability to cross-post listings to Craigslist – hasn’t had a major impact on the app’s adoption. It’s a very small percentage of users that discover the app that way…Instead, users are finding the app through old-fashioned means: word-of-mouth, app store searches…the company has added a couple of notable features to the app: a built-in anonymous messaging feature that allows buyers and sellers to communicate in real-time without having to share mobile phone numbers…While originally, the company looked like a modernized take on what Craigslist could be if built in the mobile era, recent events have put the app in closer competition with other newcomers like Zaarly…Up until earlier this month, one of Zaarly’s biggest differentiating features (besides its primary focus on tasks, not goods), was the anonymity of its users. But Zaarly’s revamped reputation system now lets buyers and sellers know exactly who each other are. EggDrop, meanwhile, takes a more middle-of-the-road approach, using badges and “karma scores” to rate transactions, while keeping some aspects of buyer/seller communication anonymous…” [is the primary advantage of EggDrop over craigslist that you can use it whenever/wherever, or is it more that its convenient for people whose primary interface with the web is their mobile device? If EggDrop gets traction in the Appleton area would you or other Fox Valley residents use it instead of or in addition to craigslist or eBay? – ed.]
43.    The future of money  http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2010/04/features/daniel-roth-and-the-future-of-money  “…Ivey, a computer programmer based in Alabama, began wondering if he and his wife hadn't hit on something: what if people could transfer money over Twitter for next to nothing, simply by typing a username and a dollar amount?...a decade ago, the idea of moving money that quickly and cheaply would have been ridiculous…Since 1998 PayPal had enabled people to transfer money to each other instantly…last summer PayPal began giving a small group of developers access to its code…Ivey immediately used it to link users' Twitter accounts to their PayPal accounts, and his new company, Twitpay, took off. Today, the service has almost 15,000 users…moving money, once a function managed only by the biggest companies in the world, is now a feature available to any code jockey. Ivey is just one of hundreds of engineers and entrepreneurs who are attacking the payment ecosystem…Square…lets anyone accept physical credit card payments through a smartphone or computer by plugging in a free sugar-cube-sized device…A startup called Obopay…allows phone owners to transfer money to one another with nothing more than a PIN. Amazon.com and Google are both distributing their shopping-cart technologies across the internet…cutting out…the credit card companies' constant fee-skimming. Facebook appears to be building its own payment system for virtual goods purchased on its social network and on external sites…Apple gave iTunes developers the ability to charge subscription fees through their applications, making iTunes the gateway for an entirely new breed of transaction…About 20 per cent of all online transactions now take place over so-called alternative payment systems…But perhaps nobody is as ambitious as PayPal…LiveOps…a call-centre outsourcing firm, built a tool that streamlined payments to its operators, turning what had been a nightmare of invoicing and time tracking into an automated process. Previously, anybody who wanted to create a service like this would have had to navigate a morass of state and federal regulations and licensing bodies. But now engineers can focus on building applications, while leaving the regulatory and risk-management issues to PayPal. "I can focus on the social side of the business and not on touching money,"…PayPal has brought this…spirit of innovation and experimentation to the world of payments. Your wallet may never be the same…”
44.    Shanghai targeting global high-end manufacturing hub  http://en.ce.cn/Insight/201203/19/t20120319_23168711.shtml  “Shanghai is…going all out to become a global high-end intelligent manufacturing center….Shanghai's...laying the foundation for becoming one of the world's intelligent manufacturing centers…Shanghai will…undertake a number of major specialized programs in the fields of large-scale integrated circuit, civil aviation, internet of things, new-generation internet, intelligent grid, and satellite navigation…At the end of the 12th Five-year Plan, the added value of emerging strategic industries is expected to double that of 2010…Shanghai attaches less importance to total volume targets, such as gross industrial output value, that have been used in previous Five-year Plans, and more importance to goals of economic benefits, structural optimization, innovative ability, and resources and environment…”
45.    Crowdfund Act Passes In the Senate  http://allthingsd.com/20120322/senate-passes-crowdfunding-bill-with-added-protections-for-non-accredited-investors/  “The U.S. Senate today approved, 73-26, an amended version of legislation that will legalize “crowdfunding,” or equity investments in start-ups by the general public. The CROWDFUND Act (or Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act) adds requirements to the House of Representatives’ JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act that companies use SEC-approved crowdfunding platforms that provide investor protections.. many people worry that lowering the barriers to investing will encourage fraud. The Senate amendments were focused on creating protections for nonaccredited investors. Under the Senate bill, entrepreneurs will be allowed to raise up to $1 million per year through approved crowdfunding portals. The amount investors will be able to spend will be capped based on their income, with some people only allowed to put in a maximum of $2,000…the House and Senate bills will have to be reconciled and signed…”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/house-passes-jobs-act-sends-bill-to-obama/2012/03/27/gIQA9DfZeS_blog.html  “The House overwhelmingly approved a measure Tuesday designed to make it easier for growing companies to attract investors…The bipartisan measure, strongly backed by both parties and the White House, passed 380 to 41. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, first passed the House earlier this month with wide bipartisan margins and the Senate approved it last week after adding amendments that provide additional safeguards on “crowdfunding” to prevent credit scams. The House needed to approve the changes before sending it to the White House for President Obama’s signature…”
46.    FutureAdvisor Raises Funding From Sequoia To Bring Financial And Investment Advice To The Masses  http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/20/futureadvisor-raises-funding-from-sequoia-angels-to-bring-financial-and-investment-advice-to-the-masses/  “…FutureAdvisor…is an online financial advisor designed to help people get the most out of their investment portfolios. FutureAdvisor’s web app provides people with personalized financial advice by recommending ways to reduce fees, maximize on tax efficiency and select the right investments…the startup will analyze your entire financial picture and takes these details into account by providing personalized, actionable recommendations for future investments based on age, risk tolerance as well as current and existing investment situations. FutureAdvisor provides a free platform for unlimited investment advice but also offers premium plans, with a flat annual fee ($49-$195), that allow clients to schedule personalized video consultations with financial advisors on staff to answer any specific questions they may have, as well as receive alerts…In terms of retirement, the startup will answer questions such as how much you need to save per year to stay on track of your retirement goals and how much you need to save to retire comfortably…”
47.    Big venture firm raises the personal networking stakes  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/26/net-us-venture-andreessen-idUSBRE82P0T120120326  “Andreessen Horowitz, a three-year-old venture capital firm…is aiming to go big with another aspect of venture investing, one it says has often been more talk than action: providing start-up companies with business connections that can help them succeed. The company has…hired a partner and a small staff to connect entrepreneurs with companies that might buy their products…"It's something we've been doing for a over a decade, in a formal way," Sequoia Capital partner Jim Goetz said…Other large VC firms cited similar efforts…these efforts in many cases don't ultimately amount to much, many entrepreneurs say…It is something Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz found wanting when they worked together at Netscape and then at Opsware. "We got 2-3 introductions from VCs that actually amounted to anything,"…Andy Rachleff…who handled the Opsware investment, acknowledged that such networking was not a priority. He called Andreessen's and Horowitz's requests for introductions…"a source of constant frustration."…While Andreessen and Horowitz stress that their overall experience with VCs was positive, they felt there was an opportunity to systemize and upgrade the introduction process…”
48.    Venmo Opens Payment Service to Public  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/after-2-years-in-beta-venmo-opens-payment-service-to-public/  “After more than two years in beta testing, Venmo, a mobile payments service that lets people send money to their friends, is opening its doors to the public on Tuesday. It is rare for a start-up company working in a highly competitive and crowded market…to stay in test mode for so long…But the team behind Venmo…did not think the service was ready for mainstream use until now…We were waiting to perfect the payment experience before releasing it to the public…The service, which  until now has been by invitation only, has also become adept at handling larger sums of money and more transactions during its beta phase…the company is now processing around $10 million in payments monthly, a figure that grows by 30 percent each month…The company does not charge a transaction fee to people using its service to send each other money…as the company starts to talk to small businesses about using Venmo for payments, it plans to charge fees. Venmo also hopes to work with Square and other point-of-sale systems, in hopes of replacing the credit card altogether. The phone is the ultimate payment platform…We want to keep payments among friends free…”
49.    Square adds encryption to its reader  http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/26/square-adds-encryption-to-its-square-reader/  “Square has added encryption technology to its Square reader…The added circuitry does mean higher costs, but it’s unclear how much. The battery alone adds 15 to 25 cents in costs. All of the Square readers currently shipping have encryption; I received mine today. Square plans to migrate existing users to the new readers over time. (I asked for a replacement reader.)…”
DHMN Technology
50.    World’s First Flying File-Sharing Drones in Action  http://torrentfreak.com/worlds-first-flying-file-sharing-drones-in-action-120320/  “…Liam Young, co-founder of Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today…has already built a swarm of file-sharing drones…“Part nomadic infrastructure and part robotic swarm, we have rebuilt and programmed the drones to broadcast their own local Wi-Fi network as a form of aerial Napster. They swarm into formation, broadcasting their pirate network, and then disperse, escaping detection, only to reform elsewhere…The public can upload files, photos and share data with one another as the drones float above the significant public spaces of the city. The swarm becomes a pirate broadcast network, a mobile infrastructure that passers-by can interact with,”…Each of the drones costs 1500 euros to build…Each one is powered by 2x 2200mAh LiPo batteries. The lift is provided by 4x Roxxy Brushless Motors that run off a GPS flight control board. Also on deck are altitude sensors and gyros that keep the flight stable. They all talk to a master control system through XBee wireless modules…These all sit on a 10mm x 10mm aluminum frame and are wrapped in a vacuum formed aerodynamic cowling. The network is broadcast using various different hardware setups ranging from Linux gumstick modules, wireless routers and USB sticks for file storage…We are planning on scaling up the system by increasing broadcast range and building more drones for the flock. We are also building in other systems like autonomous battery change bases. We are looking for funding and backers to assist us in scaling up the system,”…they’re not just practical. The creative and artistic background of the group shines through, with the choreography performed by the drones perhaps even more stunning than the sharing component…When the audience interacts with the drones they glow with vibrant colors, they break formation, they are called over and their flight pattern becomes more dramatic and expressive…”
51.     Mixing Kids and Electronics – Success Starts Young  http://opensourcehardwarejunkies.com/2012/03/mixing-kids-and-electronics-success-start-young-i-hope/  “Here is the dilemma: I love my kids.  I enjoy tinkering with electronics.  I have one life to live…I will teach my kids to tinker with electronics. This way, I get to play with my kids and electronics – it’s win, win…I had the pleasure of attending the Open Source Hardware Summit in New York City.  Among the schwag in the registration bag was a small plastic package full of 15 or so LEDs and a flat lithium battery…As soon as I got back to the hotel, Ellie and I broke them out, scattered them over the floor and were lighting up the colorful LEDs.  After about an hour of on off play, she was starting to grasp that the long leg and the short leg had to be a certain way for the light to shine…by the end of the weekend she could say “Emitt’en Light Diode” pretty well.  [“Ellie, It’s Light Emitting Diode” – “Emitt’en Light Diode Daddy”…This led to LEDs being part of her “toys” she would ask to play with.   So we scatter LEDs over the table and get some lithium batteries out…Then I started pulling out the breadboard and put some buttons on there. It’s a toddler dream to push buttons and watch LEDs blink on and off with a touch.  I give her a pile of wire connectors and she builds her own “circuits” in the breadboard…My kids watch me do everything.  They love to mimic me. If they see me working with electronics, they won’t be able to resist…So I keep my basement lab open to my children…Taking things apart in front of her; unscrewing, unfastening, banging electronics with hammers…Sometimes I go down to the lab with my daughter pretending I will get a project worked on…Really though, this is a myth – I can’t get any “work” done when my little one is in the lab…But its not about the work at this point, its about spending time with my kid, and slowly saturating her brain with the coolness of electronics…If I am going to have my kid flip through endless pictures of apples, oranges and grey bunny rabbits, I might as well make resistors, capacitors and multi-meters part of her growing lexicon…If my kid can recognize some parts on a circuit board and know the names of a few common tools, than I have succeeded. And they will be further ahead than most adults I know. I get to read to my kids while teaching them electronics – all is well…”
52.    ARS hackerspace forum?  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/03/ars-readers-call-for-hackerspaces-in-the-ars-openforum.ars  “Ars Technica's beginnings are rooted in a community that has always tinkered, built, and modded computer hardware. As it has evolved, the do-it-yourself philosophy has also triggered other communities that make their own stuff. Most recently, the "make movement" has made a name for itself in the world of open source hardware and hacking. The movement covers a broad range of interests, edging into some hardcore do-it-yourself projects. Some groups meet in hackerspaces, but the movement at large seems mostly based on the spirit of building things yourself or with other people. This month, svdsinner started a fascinating thread in the OpenForum titled "Forums and the modern make movement." He started the thread by discussing "The modern open source hardware/hardware-hacking movement that has arisen with the advent of ultra-low cost micro controllers, the skyrocketing usefulness-to-cost ratio of interesting electronics sensors like gyroscopes, accelerometers, etc., and the new e-commerce-enabled ease of buying a vast array of inexpensive electronic components regardless of whether they are 'available locally' or not. There is a huge alpha-geek driven culture (personal fabrication, 3d printers, home CNC, hobby robotics, rapid prototyping, quad-rotators, etc.) that while on one hand is a perfect fit with the targeted readership of Ars, has no place in the open forum where it can be discussed where it would not be out-of-place…”
Open Source Hardware
53.    Xbox & Chumby hacker designs open-source Geiger counter  http://gigaom.com/cleantech/xbox-chumby-hacker-designs-open-source-geiger-counter/  “Xbox hacker and co-founder of the Chumby project, Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, has designed an open-source Geiger counter to help citizens in Japan detect radiation in the wake of the nuclear disaster…After several design iterations, Huang…created a Geiger-counter design that he wanted to be “suitable for everyday civilian use,” affordable, intuitive, easy to use and “sufficiently stylish.”…The final design includes: Extensive logging capabilities…The ability to work in scenarios where Internet and power have been out for days…A sensor that can detect all three forms of radiation…he doesn’t plan on manufacturing the Geiger counter, but has donated the design to the community (and open-sourced it)…”
54.    Kickstart Horto Domi, an Arduino-controlled OSHW garden  http://www.core77.com/blog/kickstarter/kickstart_horto_domi_an_arduino-controlled_garden_22031.asp  “We've seen Arduino applied in a lot of inventive ways in recent years like robotics, lighting, games and now gardening. Horto domi, a new Kickstarter Project, uses Arduino Ethernet to control the temperature of an enclosed, raised-bed garden so that no matter how cold it gets outside, you can grow anything you want all year round…it's designed to "maximize the mineral and nutrient value...and minimize environmental contamination risks." The system uses sensors to collect moisture and temperature data both inside and outside the dome, and then adjusts the interior conditions accordingly. "With minimum Kickstarter funding we can satisfy all the elements necessary for an open hardware publication…with additional funding we will be able to pursue further open source innovation, development and publication…There's still over a month to go before the Kickstarter campaign ends…”
55.     Metal Fabricator and Small Urban Manufacturer and DIY Metal Mill  http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2012/03/23/metal-fabricator-and-small-urban-manufacturer-makes-outdoor-backpacking-gear/  “Changing the world one gram or ounce at a time is the nature of the Make Your Own Gear community…it is comprised of outdoor lovers, hikers, backcountry types from around the world who simply want to carry less and enjoy nature more. This is the story of how Devin Montgomery is building a new outdoor product, in a cottage industry niche…Mr. Montgomery invented and designed one of the world’s first lightweight chimney kettles…He had to learn metal spinning in order to make it as light and as durable as it is now…What is even better, in my view, is Mr. Montgomery’s belief and support of local manufacturers…with local artisans, local metal workers, metal fabricators, CNC router shop owners, and many more doing work in small community shops…Mr. Montgomery is based in Pittsburgh and had a recent successful Kickstarter campaign to start producing the second round of Backcountry Boilers…these stories are popping up all over the world…about the makers, the artisans, the inventors who are using old methods with new technologies…I just read about a DIY metal mill called the Multimachine…You can read it here on Make Projects and build it for approximately $150. Some cottage industry efforts and new inventions are growing because of affordable shared space and shared knowledge. I regularly read Steve King’s work at Emergent Research and one of the trends he follows is co-working. It is part of what is driving small urban manufacturers to create makerspaces or hackerspaces…”  http://www.sys-con.com/node/2214193  “A technology project spearheaded by a 76-year-old retired businessman in Texas hopes to jump-start metal work and small manufacturing at the village and neighborhood level throughout the developing world…the project provides a build-it-yourself toolkit of plans that will enable artisans in the developing world to build and repair their own agricultural and other essential equipment. Assisted by his 6400 member world-wide group of machinists and engineers collaborating through a Yahoo Group, Pat Delany has spent years researching and experimenting with machine tools and techniques appropriate for resource-poor developing areas…The core of the MultiMachine project is a detailed instruction set for building the essential tools of a basic machine shop -- a screw cutting metal lathe, drill press and milling machine -- out of inexpensive materials easily available throughout the developing world …”  http://makeprojects.com/Project/The-Multimachine-150-12-Inch-Swing-Metal-Lathe-Mill-Drill/1751/1
Open Source
56.    An open data standard for food  http://gigaom.com/2012/03/14/this-is-cool-an-open-data-standard-for-food/  “An open data standard for food has emerged on the web. With such a tool, restaurants, food apps, grocery stores, the government and other interested parties can tell that arugula is also called rocket salad, no matter where on the web it occurs or what a restaurant menu or recipe app calls it…A group of folks concerned about sustainable foods have built the seeds of an open food database hosted on Heroku, with the code pertaining to it located at Github…So far, they have created a database of 1,000 foods and hope to have 7,000 that folks can access via an API…After playing with…apps such as Food on the Table, I realized I needed a single way to identify food from one app to another. This is a challenging task for a variety of reasons, with one being that the makers of many of the processed foods that Americans eat, or even prepared foods served in restaurants, are composed of a multitude of ingredients…the Open Food folks have sidestepped the issue of processed foods by only including whole foods in their database. But to make such a database useful for a wide variety of people and purposes…things like Coke or Twinkies will have to be included…the power of Open Food data extends beyond food apps to calorie-counting apps or even budgeting apps…”
57.     Igalia releases open source Kinect skeleton tracking library  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/03/igalia-releases-open-source-kinect-skeleton-tracking-library.ars  “If you want to build a Linux application with motion controls, then you are in luck. Igalia has released an open source skeleton tracking library that works with Microsoft's Kinect input device. The Glib-based framework, which is called Skeltrack, supports tracking a single user and can monitor up to seven joints. Igalia has previously released GFreenect, a GObject wrapper around the OpenKinect project's cross-platform libfreenect, which allows developers to obtain a video stream with depth data from a Kinect camera…Skeltrack is designed to be used with GFreenect…it uses algorithmic skeleton tracking exclusively and doesn't rely on a pose database. The implementation is partly based on a research paper(PDF) about real-time depth camera data processing….The result is quite impressive, as it picked up fairly nuanced changes in arm position…”
58.    Icelandic government makes a push for open-source software  http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/business-of-it/2012/03/22/iceland-swaps-windows-for-linux-in-open-source-push-40154870/  “Iceland's push to move its public sector to open-source software has made some headway…the scheme faces hurdles with other enterprise software, as some government ministries are firmly locked into a web of proprietary technologies from companies such as Oracle…The government needs to back open-source software, as there aren't that many service providers actively selling free and open-source software. The hope is that Iceland can, through a series of pilot projects, lay out how a public-sector organisation can move to open source…”  http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-03/23/iceland-open-source-software  “…Iceland has made a big push for migrating to free software in the last four years. In 2008, the government agreed on a policy that states, among other things, that public institutions should consider open-source and proprietary software on an equal footing…Since then, a handful of institutions have made the leap to free products. Five out of 32 secondary schools have moved from Windows to Ubuntu…The country's media commission has moved from Windows to Fedora, the Icelandic Arts Centre changed to Ubuntu and the Soil Conservation Service now uses open communications platform Asterisk. But now, a 12-month project has launched to get the biggest public institutions in Iceland -- all the ministries, the city of Reykjavik and the National Hospital -- on open-source…”
Civilian Aerospace
59.    Mojave Makers Gets Lease, Sets April 10 for Open House  http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/03/23/mojave-makers-gets-lease-sets-april-10-for-open-house/  “…the East Kern Airport District board approved a lease with the Space Studies Institute for a storage building at the Mojave Air and Space Port that is being renovated into a maker space. SSI is serving as the lessee until the Mojave Makers, a group composed of employees of different airport tenants, can obtain its 501(c)3 non-profit status. The maker space will serve as a sort of clubhouse where members can work on their own projects in their free time. It is designed to facility networking and provide a sense of community for employees who work at the more than 60 companies located at the desert spaceport…The two-year lease for the 3,900 square foot building is at a monthly rate of $975 plus a 5 percent fee for the security fee, which brings the total to $1,023.75. The group must pay the first month’s rent for April, and then there is a six month rent abatement…The airport governing board has authorized the expenditure of $25,000 for improvements to the old structure…New windows have been installed and a new bathroom is being built that is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act…Members will do some of the internal renovations and provide their own tools and equipment for the building. They are also expecting donations of equipment and supplies from companies at the airport. On Saturday, board member Dick Rutan offered to donate some spare aluminum pipes that he has in one of his hangars …”  [it will be interesting to see what civilian space projects come out of this makerspace; looks like Tater needs to move to Mojave! Darned reasonable rent, and it’s nice to see the community support for a makerspace – ed.]
60.    MoonKam Returns First Student-Selected Lunar Images  http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/mar/HQ_12-093_MoonKam.html  “One of two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed back the first student-requested pictures of the lunar surface from its onboard camera. Fourth grade students from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., received the honor of making the first image selections by winning a nationwide competition to rename the two spacecraft.  The image was taken by the MoonKam, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students…Over 60 student-requested images were taken aboard the Ebb spacecraft from March 15-17…"MoonKAM is based on the premise that if your average picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture from lunar orbit may be worth a classroom full of engineering and science degrees,"…GRAIL is NASA's first planetary mission to carry instruments fully dedicated to education and public outreach. Students will select target areas on the lunar surface and request images to study from the GRAIL MoonKAM Mission Operations Center …”
61.     NVIDIA GPUs Helps PTS Bid for 2015 Google Moon Mission  http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2012/03/27/nvidia-helps-power-bid-2015-moon-mission-and-30-million-prizes  “…A team of 100 German scientists, engineers and developers has formed the Part-Time Scientists (PTS), one of 26 teams from around the world participating in the contest…the PTS team has deployed NVIDIA Tesla GPUs in several of the servers and workstations in its mission-control center…Tesla GPUs will accelerate the mission's computationally intensive applications, such as simulating vehicle navigation, monitoring positions of the rover in real time, and processing and transmitting high-resolution video and images…The PTS team will benefit from the Tesla GPUs at all stages of the mission. During preparation and planning, GPUs will be used to simulate millions of different mission scenarios. This will enable the team to improve launch and landing techniques by, for example, adjusting the timing and duration of thruster burns for course corrections, while minimizing the margin of error…the PTS team will use the computational power of Tesla GPUs to navigate and monitor the rover's activities and generate highly detailed lunar maps from the transmitted stereoscopic 3D images…With NVIDIA GPUs, PTS expects to achieve a 5-10X speed up in the processing of the massive video feeds produced by the rover. Only GPU-based computing systems have the computational power required to process and deliver this information cost-effectively in real time…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
62.    Submerged Supermicro Servers Accelerated by GPUs  http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/03/22/submerged-supermicro-servers-accelerated-by-gpus/  “Supermicro and Green Revolution Cooling have teamed with an energy research company to create a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster featuring servers that are accelerated by GPUs and immersed in a liquid cooling solution. The 24-rack installation at CGGVeritas in Houston is the largest deployment to date of Green Revolution’s CarnotJet cooling racks, which are filled with 250 gallons of dielectric fluid, with servers inserted vertically into slots in the enclosure. Fluid temperature is maintained by a pump with a heat exchanger using a standard water loop…The CarnotJet system has enabled CGGVeritas to implement a tremendously powerful GPU-accelerated cluster at a very attractive cost,” said Christiaan Best, Technical Founder of Green Revolution Cooling (GRC). “ We’re pleased that Supermicro has provided submersion-ready servers that perform extremely well in the system …”
63.    NVIDIA Finalizes CARMA, Its Tegra 3 CUDA on ARM Development Kit  http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-finalizes-carma-its-tegra-3--quadro-development-kit/15094.html  “…NVIDIA announced CUDA on ARM during the unveiling of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, which is powered by combination of ARM based Tegra 3 SOC and the CUDA GPUs…Today, the company launched a developer kit based on this combination named CARMA…In order to allow developers to build the applications for the new chip, which will combine multiple ARM cores (allegedly) with 256 CUDA cores - NVIDIA has rolled out a development kit which combines the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip, featuring five ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores with a Quadro 1000M GPU…”
64.    GPUs help design studio create high-quality 3D visualizations for architects  http://www.digitalmanufacturingreport.com/dmr/2012-03-18/delta_tracing_reinvents_itself.html  “…this Venice, Italy-based professional design studio had made a name for itself producing high-quality 3D visualizations for architects. When the building industry declined in 2009, so did demand for the company's sophisticated architectural renderings and animations…Delta Tracing leveraged NVIDIA CUDA-powered tools such as the NVIDIA iray renderer within Autodesk 3ds Max software to refocus its business and rapidly produce photorealistic images…“In the past, each rendering of a photorealistic test image took more than 40 minutes, so it might take a whole day of test images to produce something we could show to a client…Now, the same production takes only 15 minutes – with higher quality…you can get a good visual feedback in about 20 seconds…we can do multiple tests, do a fully rendered image, and get client approval in about half the time it used to take to do a single test image.”…The iray and NVIDIA GPU system also produces high-resolution final images of stunning realism much faster. Doing 40 high-resolution images for a furniture brochure used to take close to 10 days; Delta Tracing can now deliver those same 40 images in two and a half days…In the first month of 2011, we had already completed the same amount of work it took us all of 2010 to do. As a result, we can now bring in far more production work. I estimate it would take a company like ours a month or two, at the most, to recoup our full investment in our NVIDIA systems …”

*****


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