2012/05/01

NEW NET Weekly List for 01 May 2012

Happy May Day! Hope you got your May basket this morning... Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 01 May 2012, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 PM weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA near Ballard Road and Highway 41. Cambria Suites has free wifi and has an assortment of food and beverages.

The ‘net

1.        3 Ways SugarSync Beats Google Drive  http://www.pcworld.com/article/254534/3_ways_sugarsync_beats_google_drive.html  “…Google Drive creates a new folder, named \Google Drive, on your computer, and to have files synced to the cloud and other devices, you move or create files or folders there. Those files…sync to the cloud and…other devices on which you've installed Google Drive…if there are folders that you don't…want always stored in the cloud and synced to other devices…life gets complicated. You'll have to move that folder out of Google Cloud when you no longer want it synced, then move it back in again when you want it synced again…In SugarSync, simply indicate which folders you want synced, and they get synced. When you no longer want them synced, tell SugarSync to stop syncing them…I've got a PC, Mac, iPad, Android phone, and Xoom tablet that I use regularly and on which I frequently want to see documents and files that I'm working on or have archived…I don't want all folders to sync to all devices, and in some instances I only want the folders stored to the cloud and not synced at all. Doing this in SugarSync is quite easy…Just indicate which folders you want synced to which devices…It's possible to do this in Google Drive, but not nearly as easily -- and not as completely…any folders you put into your \Google Drive get synced to every device on which you've installed Google Drive. On a PC or Mac…find the Google Preferences screen, then indicate which folders you don't want synced to that device…I haven't yet found a way to tell the Android Google Drive client not to sync certain folders to it…To sync files and folders to the cloud and then to other devices in Google Drive, you have to create new folders under the new \Google Drive folder. If you already have a logical folder structure in place, this can make a well-ordered existence confusing…you may need to put them in different locations, depending on whether you want the folder synced…With SugarSync, you keep your existing folder structure…”

2.       Dropbox give extra storage to 5 GB, sort of, for pictures  http://www.pcworld.com/article/254586/dropbox_boosts_free_storage_limit_to_5gb_to_match_google_drive.html  “Dropbox boosted its free storage limit from 2GB to 5GB…The extra storage is part of a new automatic camera upload tool for Dropbox. The PC and Mac utility…automatically uploads photos to a private Camera Uploads in your Dropbox account…Here’s the catch with the storage of these photos: your first auto upload will secure 500MB of free Dropbox storage, and as you fill the space up, it will be bumped up to 3GB. The space you earn is permanent and can be used for the life of your account, but it’s only for the Camera Uploads folder…”  [this article was mainly included so you don’t misread headlines and think that DropBox upped it’s standard storage amount to 5 GB. If you included all online storage possible with Google, you can say they have unlimited storage, because I’m pretty sure you can put as many photos and videos as you want in G+, although they have to be photos smaller than 2048x2048 and  videos shorter than 15 minutes – ed.]

3.       Skype replaces P2P supernodes with Linux boxes hosted by Microsoft  http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/05/skype-replaces-p2p-supernodes-with-linux-boxes-hosted-by-microsoft.ars  “Microsoft has drastically overhauled the network running its Skype voice-over-IP service, replacing peer-to-peer client machines with thousands of Linux boxes that have been hardened against the most common types of hack attacks…The change, which Immunity Security's Kostya Kortchinsky said occurred about two months ago, represents a major departure from the design that has powered Skype for the past decade. Since its introduction in 2003, the network has consisted of "supernodes" made up of regular users who had sufficient bandwidth, processing power, and other system requirements to qualify. These supernodes then transferred data with other supernodes in a peer-to-peer fashion. At any given time, there were typically a little more than 48,000 clients that operated this way…The banishment of user-supplied supernodes comes as the number of people simultaneously signed into Skype has mushroomed over the past year. According to Skype Journal's Phil Wolff, that number hit 41 million at the end of last year, a 37-percent jump from the average number of concurrent users…”

4.       Zuckerberg’s Dinners with Girlfriend Help Spur Life-Saving Facebook Tool  http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/05/zuckerbergs-dinners-with-girlfriend-help-spur-life-saving-facebook-tool/  “Conversations over the dinner table with his med-student girlfriend helped Mark Zuckerberg formulate his latest big idea — harnessing the power of Facebook to help eliminate the critical shortage of organs for patients desperately in need of life-saving transplants. And it was his friendship with Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose life was extended by years following a liver transplant, in part, that spurred the 27-year-old Facebook founder and CEO to help put that idea into practice. “Facebook is really about communicating and telling stories… We think that people can really help spread awareness of organ donation and that they want to participate in this to their friends. And that can be a big part of helping solve the crisis that’s out there,” Zuckerberg told ABC’s Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview at the company’s headquarters. Starting today, users in the United States and U.K. will be able to add that they’re organ donors to their Timelines, and if they’re not organ donors, they can find links to official organ donation registries and instantly enroll…”
Gigabit Internet
5.        USI Wi-Fi upgrade will add speed, for some in Minneapolis  http://www.startribune.com/business/148981295.html  “…USI Wireless…said about 10,000 south Minneapolis households (houses and apartments) will have the option of getting Internet download speeds of 1 billion bits per second, or one gigabit, via the new fiber-optic cable…Video has become 90 percent of all Internet traffic," said Travis Carter, vice president of technology…"In order to handle that, we've got to add fiber to take some of the load off the Wi-Fi antennas."…Pricing for the service will range from $24.90 a month for 15 megabits to $99.90 a month for 1 gigabit…”
6.       First Gigabit Wi-Fi Routers Ready to Launch  http://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/26/first-gigabit-wi-fi-routers-ready-to-launch/  “Netgear today announced its first 802.11ac-compatible Wi-Fi router, capable of delivering gigabit speeds up to three times faster than current 802.11n routers. Topping out at 1300 Mbps in 5 Ghz mode and 450 Mbps in 2.4 GHz, Netgear's R6300 router will launch next month at a price of $199.99…Broadcom has already launched its first set of 802.11ac 5G Wi-Fi chips, even though the standard will likely not be finalized until later this year…Support for 802.11ac would obviously also have to be incorporated into…hardware in order for them to take advantage of the new speeds…”
7.        EPB installs final piece of Smart Grid  http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/apr/25/epb-installs-final-piece-of-smart-grid/  “…Workers hoisted the 1,170th Intellirupter to the top of a new pole Tuesday…More than 700 of the Intellirupters, which automatically reroute power in case of a disruption, already are communicating with each other over EPB's fiber-optic network. Chattanooga's city-owned utility has installed more of the devices than any other utility, and boasts…the densest installation of any utility…Outages used to cost Chattanooga-area businesses an average of $100 million in a…year. EPB's Smart Grid will reduce that by at least $40 million…EPB's fiber optic network helped convince HomeServe USA to build a customer service center in Chattanooga two years ago to serve its growing emergency home repair service. The gigabit-per-second speed on EPB's fiber optic telecommunications network won over company executives…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
8.       CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120427/08375418687/did-cispa-actually-get-better-before-passing-not-really.shtml   “…CISPA is still a highly problematic bill, the Quayle amendment…removed the broad "any lawful purpose" language, replacing it with the list of five specific uses (cybersecurity, cyber crime, protecting people from harm, protecting children from exploitation, and national security), thus closing that gaping hole in the bill…CISPA is supposed to be a "cybersecurity" bill…its supporters and its opponents in Congress have repeatedly stated that cybersecurity means protecting networks and systems from disruption, hacking and malicious code…Ruppersberger himself insisted that CISPA's sole purpose was allowing companies and the government to share "formulas, Xs and Os, the virus code". (I'm pretty sure he meant "1s and 0s", but what do you expect from someone who doesn't understand the thing he's trying to legislate?)…critics of the bill have…been saying…it could be used for things way beyond this stated cybersecurity purpose…the response from supporters has been consistent: no, it can't, and even if it can, it won't be. [Insert another impassioned speech about the cyber-threat from China.] Then, suddenly, only a few minutes before the final vote, the representatives near-unanimously amend CISPA to include these brand new targets of bodily harm and child exploitation, which have nothing to do with cybersecurity…It…explicitly endorses the exact things people were worried the government would do with that language…They have said over and over again that they don't want or plan to use the bill for anything except shoring up network security…it can no longer accurately be called a "cybersecurity" bill…the only way that's an improvement is if the representatives are admitting that they were planning on it being used for even more unstated purposes all along, but are now content with choosing only a few of the things they have repeatedly denied they wanted…”  http://gigaom.com/2012/04/28/why-is-silicon-valley-silent-on-cispa/  “…America’s major tech companies joined everyday internet users to break the back of a reviled law called SOPA. Months later, Washington is brewing a new law that alarms many SOPA opponents — but this time the same companies have been quiet as church mice…where are the tech companies whose internet muscle smashed SOPA?...Well, for starters, the two laws are very different: among other things, SOPA would have turned them into copyright cops, while CISPA simply gives them the option to pass on data if they choose. Secondly, cyber-attacks are serious stuff for such companies…for now…CISPA doesn’t harm the self-interest of Silicon Valley companies so they have little incentive to kick up dust…”
9.       Former Sun CEO says Google's Android didn't need license for Java APIs  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57420304-94/former-sun-ceo-says-googles-android-didnt-need-license-for-java-apis/  “Former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz took the stand here today as a witness for the defense, and disputed Oracle's claim that Java APIs were proprietary code from Sun. Google's lawyer…asked Schwartz whether, during his tenure at Sun, Java APIs were considered proprietary or protected by Sun. "No," Schwartz said in explaining the nature of open software. "These are open APIs, and we wanted to bring in more people...we wanted to build the biggest tent and invite as many people as possible."…Schwartz corroborated testimony…that during meetings following the launch of Android the Sun CEO didn't express any concerns or disapproval regarding Android, nor did he state that Google needed a license to use Java APIs in Android…Schwartz said that Sun wanted Google to pay a big license fee to call its phone a Java phone…Sun did not want to cede control of managing the key components in the Java stack, and Google wanted more control over its destiny…"We didn't like [what Google was doing with Android], but we weren't going to stop it by complaining about it," Schwartz said, explaining that Google could have chosen to work with Microsoft…"At least with Java they could be part of the Java community,"…In cross-examination, Oracle's lawyer Michael Jacobs asked Schwartz about…Sun's approach for granting intellectual property rights for independent implementations of Java…Schwartz insisted under questioning by Jacobs that as long as Google or the Apache Foundation didn't call their products "Java" it was his view they could ship their implementations of Java without any license from Sun…”  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57423754-94/java-creator-james-gosling-google-totally-slimed-sun/  “…Up until Saturday night…the proud father of Java had been fairly moderate in his comments about how Google treated his baby…During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle…Don't interpret any of my comments as support for Oracle's suit. There are no guiltless parties…in this little drama. This skirmish isn't much about patents or principles or programming languages. The suit is far more about ego, money and power…Just because Sun didn't have patent suits in our genetic code doesn't mean we didn't feel wronged…Google totally slimed Sun…Android represented a kind of dark side, incompatible with the Java "Write Once, Run Anywhere" (WORA) credo…Sun saw…high-flying, arrogant Google…using what was considered Sun's open, but in some ways restricted, code in a way that would offer little benefit to struggling company that had invested tens of millions of dollars developing Java and its community over more than a decade…Sun's co-founder and chairman, Scott McNealy, characterized the relationship with Google at the time: "The Google thing is really a pain. They are immune to copyright laws, good citizenship, they dont share. They dont even call back…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
10.     Kindle Fire Grabs Over 50 Percent of the Android Tablet Market  http://www.forbes.com/sites/adriankingsleyhughes/2012/04/27/kindle-fire-grabs-over-50-percent-of-the-android-tablet-market/  “…in a little over four months following its release, the Amazon’s Kindle Fire has come from nowhere to grab a whopping 54.4 percent of the U.S. Android tablet market. Way behind the Kindle Fire is the Samsung Galaxy Tab with 15.4 percent, and way behind that is the Motorola Xoom with 7 percent market share…in two months Amazon has almost doubled its market share and driven all the completion bar one player — Samsung — into single-digit market share…The success of the Kindle Fire is great news for Amazon, but it is terrible news for the other players, and also bad news for Android. The $199 price point is obviously attractive to potential tablet buyers, and the highly-customized Android operating systems (which really doesn’t look or feel like any other Android tablet on the market) is changing what tablet owners are expecting from an Android tablet…the tablet market is a two-horse race, split between two very different devices. Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Apple‘s iPad…Anyone else wanting to make even a small dent in the market is going to have to put their thinking caps on and come up with some secret sauce to make their Android tablet stand out above the rest…”
11.      Microsoft Invests $300+ Million in Barnes & Noble, Adds to E-Book Battle  http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/microsoft-deal-adds-to-battle-over-e-books/  “Microsoft agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Barnes & Noble’s Nook division…giving the bookstore chain stronger footing in the hotly contested electronic book market…The deal, which gives Microsoft a 17.6 percent stake, values the Nook unit at $1.7 billion — roughly double Barnes & Noble’s entire market value…Amazon once had close to 90 percent of the e-book market, but since then, a handful of players, including Apple, Google and now Microsoft, have edged in…Barnes & Noble…is the nation’s largest bookstore chain and has more than 25 percent of the e-book market…The deal is “clearly motivated by Apple and Amazon as relatively unstoppable forces, each in their own domain,”…Barnes & Noble will also produce a Nook app for the forthcoming Windows 8, a revamping of the Microsoft operating system that will take advantage of touch screens…Microsoft will invest $300 million in the division, and it has committed to paying an additional $305 million over the next five years…The Nooks have been largely well-received, with the latest iteration — a $140 black-and-white e-reader with a glowing screen — drawing positive reviews…Barnes & Noble has 691 retail stores and 641 college bookstores…Barnes & Noble expects a major new area of growth to come from education sales, as more students flock to cheaper electronic versions of textbooks. It is folding its higher-education operations into the new unit…”
12.     Samsung's Quad-Core Exynos CPU to Power the Galaxy S3  http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4371786/Samsung-announces-quad-core-Exynos-processor  “Samsung…is manufacturing a quad-core application processor for smartphones and tablet computers built on a 32-nm CMOS manufacturing process…The Exynos 4 quad…is based on a quad-core Cortex-A9 quad-core processor from ARM…The Exynos 4 quad-core chip is set to be used in Galaxy smartphones from Samsung…It operates at clock frequencies up to 1.4-GHz and provides double the processing power at a 20 percent less power than its predecessor, the 45-nm Exynos 4 Dual…the Exynos 4 includes a Mali quad-core T400 as its GPU…it is possible that the quad-core Exynos 4412 includes the Mali T604, the Mali T658 or that the company has switched back to Imagination as a source of GPU core. The quad-core Exynos 4 quad core does include an improved codec that provides 30 frame per second 1080p video recording and playback, an embedded image signal processor interface for high-quality camera functionality and an HDMI 1.4 interface…To improve power efficiency, Samsung has adopted on-off switching for each core as well as the per-core dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS)…”
13.     Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android  “Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It's infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages…We're building some amazing apps for Pebble. Cyclists can use Pebble as a bike computer, accessing the GPS on your smartphone to display speed, distance and pace data. Runners get a similar set of data displayed on their wrist. Use the music control app to play, pause or skip tracks on your phone with the touch of a button. If you're a golfer, feel free to bring Pebble onto the course. We're working with Freecaddie to create a great golf rangefinder app for Pebble that works on over 25,000 courses world-wide. Instead of using your phone, view your current distance to the green right on your wrist…”
14.     Cellcom rolls out 4G network in Northeastern, north-central Wisconsin  http://centralwisconsinhub.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20120501/WDH0101/205010448/Cellcom-launches-4G-service-in-area  “Cellcom launched its 4G LTE network Monday in seven areas of northeast and central Wisconsin, including the Wausau area. The first phase of Cellcom's 4G LTE rollout includes cell sites in Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Wausau, and parts of Oconto and Marinette counties, according to a news release. Additional cell sites in northeast and central Wisconsin will go online later this year as the company continues its 4G rollout…”
15.     iPavement embeds WiFi hotspots in the street  http://www.gizmag.com/ipavement-wifi-paving-stones/22325/  “…within the past few years, we’ve heard about asphalt-embedded parking spot locators, power strips and coils, piezoelectric generators, and heat-harvesting water pipes…a Spanish tech company has developed yet another piece of “street technology,” known as iPavement – sidewalk paving stones that double as WiFi hotspots. Each stone…contains a 5 GB microprocessor that communicates with nearby mobile devices via WiFi and Bluetooth. Power and internet access are supplied to each stone via a hard-wired 1,000-watt cable. In order to ensure continued coverage over a given area, it is recommended that individual stones be installed no more than 20 meters (66 feet) from one another. Along with providing internet usage to passers-by, however, iPavement also comes with a number of cloud-based apps for them to use while they’re in the area. These include a digital library; maps that promote local restaurants, shops and other attractions; a music service; a coupon catalogue featuring local businesses; a service that provides alerts on hazards and obstructions in the nearby streets; and a Bluetooth service that sends promotional messages to devices. An app is also available that provides statistics on local foot traffic, if the special footstep-registering stones are used…One of iPavement’s limitations, however, is its operating temperature range – it will only work between…14 - 113ºF…”
16.     RIM Signals Shift to Virtual Keyboards As It Bets Everything on BlackBerry 10  http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/05/rim-ditches-physical-keyboards-as-it-bets-everything-on-blackberry-10/  “…RIM is betting the farm on BlackBerry 10, an entirely new platform that’s focused on virtual keyboards, shifting away from the legacy of physical keyboards and BlackBerry 7…The transformation of the OS is so dramatic, the new BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device that RIM showed off has no physical keyboard…Physical keyboards are still in the company’s product roadmap, but when RIM’s developer reference hardware comes keyboard-free, you know big changes are afoot…the keypad learns how users type and adapts the keys to a user’s typing style. For example, as you type, the keypad adjusts itself so you no longer hit the I key instead of the O key…The whole typing process looks incredibly slick, and if it delivers, RIM users could quickly forget about the hardware keyboard they’ve come to love. The last feature RIM demonstrated was the BlackBerry 10 camera software. When the camera is launched, it actually begins caching what it sees. So, if you take a photo and find that someone closed his eyes the moment you clicked, you can go backward or forward in time by scrubbing along a timeline interface. From here, you can find the perfect moment when the subject had his eyes open. The change can be made in a selected area of a photo, leaving the rest of an image untouched…”
Apps
17.     Zillow Rental app  http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/how-is-zillow-targeting-younger-users.html/  “…Mobile is where it’s at for Zillow: Forty percent of its weekend traffic comes from mobile devices. Zillow Rentals – the new dedicated rentals app – is the latest in the company’s string of 10 mobile apps…But why did the company pick Android over iPhone for the launch?...Zillow’s Android users “tend to skew younger” and the company believed this group could “benefit from an app developed specifically with renters in mind.” Zillow plans to eventually expand the app to other platforms…Zillow Rentals offers some unique new features, including access to rent “Zestimates,” which are Zillow’s proprietary price estimates on around 100 million U.S. rentals. Users can also create side-by-side comparison lists of properties, create boundaries around specific areas to limit searches by geography, search based on the date a rental was posted, receive alerts when properties that match their criteria are posted, and contact owners and landlords directly via the app…”
18.     Social Apps Pass Games for Top Spot on Mobile Devices  http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/05/social-apps-pass-games-for-top-spot-on-mobile-devices.php  “…Thanks to huge hits like Angry Birds, games have long ruled the top of the charts for mobile usage. Not anymore. In April, for the first time in 40 months, social-networking apps have overtaken games in mobile analytics company Flurry’s monthly usage tracking…games and social networking are now tied at 24 minutes each (out of 77 minutes total that consumers spend with apps a day). That is a 10-minute increase for social-networking apps since the first quarter of 2011, when games devoured 25 minutes per day against just 15 for social networking. This is the first time since 2008…that any other app category has challenged games…Flurry saw a huge jump in revenue created by social-networking apps…In April, games held steady at 36%, but there was a huge jump for social networking, rising 12 percentage points to 37% overall…The major social-networking services - Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Path, LinkedIn and Pinterest - do not have ad presences in their mobile apps. And Flurry’s analytics do not include social photo- and video-sharing apps, such as Instagram and Viddy, as social apps. ..the growth is being driven by group messaging and dating apps…growth has stalled in both usage and revenue in mobile games (through Flurry, at least)…Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Plants Vs. Zombies, Cut The Rope, Minecraft and, more recently, Draw Something are among the games dominating the mobile game landscape, making it very difficult for new competitors to enter the space and scale effectively…the Games category could start behaving more like a ‘zero-sum game’ from here on out…mobile gaming is in no way decreasing; it is just holding steady in terms of average user time and revenue on Flurry’s network…gaming executives we contacted recently noted that it is becoming more difficult to reel in the normal gamer than it used to be…“Even with an influx of new consumers into the market," Farago said, "the expected would-be casual gamers will be increasingly wooed away from games by compelling social networking and other apps. Going forward, the games category will have to look to innovate…”
19.     Mobile Apps Offer 3-D Printing Via the Cloud  http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/04/29/mobile-apps-offer-3-d-printing-via-the-cloud-video/  “…3-D printing is becoming even more accessible through Web sites and apps that let iPhone and iPad users upload designs or create new ones and have the finished product delivered to their door…France-based Sculpteo, which has offered cloud-based 3-D printing services via its Web site since 2009, in January introduced mobile applications that let iPad and iPhone users submit digital designs via those handheld devices…Sculpteo is partnering with Particule 14, an association of designers, to sell a range of objects that can be customized via Sculpteo’s apps…Sculpteo’s apps and outsourced services are designed to promote the growth of 3-D printing. Firms affiliated with Patricule 14 can embed Sculpteo’s design software into their own Web sites and then send customer designs to Sculpteo for printing and delivery. If a design is not three-dimensional, Sculpteo’s software converts it into 3-D…”
20.    14 DIY mobile app development resources for small businesses  http://www.zdnet.com/blog/small-business-matters/14-diy-mobile-app-development-resources-for-small-businesses/2288  “…If your small business is convinced that it wants to compete for some of that mobile app mindshare, there are a number of resources emerging specifically focused on helping you out regardless of how technical you are. Or not. Here are some of the do-it-yourself resources that I have been reading about. There are dozens of other services and sites focused on mobile app development. I’ve focused here on listing the options that don’t require a tremendous amount of past development experience…The AppBuilder…Apps Builder…Appmakr…AppExpress…BuildAnApp…iBuildApp…LiveCode Mobile…Magmito for Business…Mippin App Factory…Mobbase…Mobtify…Shoutem…Swebapps…Widgetbox Mobile…”
SkyNet
21.     Google's SketchUp sold to Trimble  http://arstechnica.com/getting-it-done/2012/04/heads-up-3d-modellers-googles-sketchup-sold-to-trimble.ars  “…Google's SketchUp is getting a new home…the popular 3D modeling platform had been sold to Trimble Navigation Ltd…Trimble hopes the addition will help extend its reach in such industries as architecture and construction, where its mapping, geolocation, navigation, and surveying equipment are already well established. Google bought SketchUp when it was just a small startup called @Last Software in 2006, founded with the goal of "bringing 3D modeling to everyone." Today, it boasts millions of users…Google currently offers SketchUp for free on its website, in addition to a Pro version priced at $495, targeted at modeling industry professionals…"The free version of SketchUp is an important part of our world as well," wrote Bacus, "and that isn’t changing in the least."…the two companies will continue to work together in maintaining Google's 3D Warehouse, a popular repository of user contributed 3D models that are offered freely for anyone to download and use…”
22.    Google Set to Meld GDrive With Chrome OS  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/04/google-gdrive-chrome-os/  “Google will tightly integrate its new Google Drive online storage service with an upcoming version of its Chrome OS operating system…First released last year on “Chromebook” laptops from Acer and Samsung, this lightweight operating system revolves around a single local application: Google’s Chrome browser…If you open the ‘save file’ dialog box on Chrome OS, for instance, the system will take you straight to Google Drive. “We’ll…effectively integrate [Google] Drive into the native file system of Chrome OS,”…Google Drive will integrate will version 20 of Chrome OS…When you open a document, you can immediately start editing…Google was on the verge of releasing a GDrive storage service several years ago, but Sundar Pichai was among the Googlers who were against launching the service — apparently because it was little more than a way of storing files…This version of GDrive is deeply tied to how we think about Google Docs,” he says. “The focus is on applications — powerful applications — that let people live and work in the cloud, create and collaborate. We started by letting people upload files to Google Docs, and GDrive is an evolution of this. It’s a place where you go to create and collaborate and share documents…Users are not just looking for file systems and storage…”
23.    Google Drive tutorial  http://asia.cnet.com/google-drive-tutorial-62214420.htm  “…Google Drive…which replaces Google Docs, lets you store files and access them from your computer, phone, or tablet, no matter where you are…Right away, you'll notice that Google Drive looks and acts a lot like Google Docs--you can create files, collections (folders), use the top bar to search, and upload files by dragging and dropping into the browser window…unlike Docs, you can now manage your entire drive from your desktop by installing the Google Drive application…check out these Google Drive features: Documents are free: Google gives you 5GB of free storage space, but any docs you create within Drive don't count against your storage…Upload up to 30 types of files…Share files, folders, or your entire Drive…Utilize Google Goggles…Collaborate on videos, photos, and more…Install third-party apps…”  other Gdrive articles --  http://mashable.com/2012/04/24/lulu-google-drive/   http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57420611-285/how-to-use-google-drive-with-keyboard-shortcuts/   http://howto.cnet.com/how-to-copy-files-to-google-drive-faster-in-windows-7/8301-11310_39-57419601-285.html
24.    Growing Up Google: How Cloud Computing Is Changing a Generation  http://mashable.com/2012/04/30/generation-growing-up-google/  “…a school administrator shared a story about how he tried to block Google’s chat feature, but his students created a workaround. They opened up a new Google Doc, shared it with friends, and used the sidebar chat to talk with each other. Although the behavior was worrisome to the administrator, it was hard not to be impressed at how cleverly these 7th graders interacted with the software. These students literally grew up on Google’s products…Google’s free Apps for Education program appears to have had a rather interesting result: it’s turning kids into loyal, long-term users. With dwindling budgets, it’s no wonder more and more schools are retiring costly on-premises hardware and making the move to Google...one educator required kindergarteners type their name into a Google Doc every morning in lieu of traditional roll call…Nearly half of Gmail’s overall user base is under 25, a statistic mirrored by the student bodies of American colleges and universities. Of the nation’s top 100 universities 66 have already gone Google…the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences also announced a Google Apps roll out slated for this summer. The school’s director of student technology listed heavy mail forwarding as just one of the reasons for switching, with more than 50% of students forwarding emails from the current school mandated Hotmail platform to personal Gmail accounts…while Princeton University’s administration may still be deciding between Google Apps and Microsoft’s Office 365, the student body has already made up its mind. In a survey of 150 students piloting the two options, only two preferred Office 365 products. As these early adopters enter the workforce, it will…end up impacting specific areas, like mobile. Today’s youth are so attached to the Internet that two out of three list their mobile device as their most important technology appliance. Google claims 43% of the smartphone market and also happens to be the only operating system that supports mobile versions of Google Apps products…”
25.    Google Translate after six years  http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/breaking-down-language-barriersix-years.html  “…In 2003…it took us 40 hours and 1,000 machines to translate 1,000 sentences…We announced our statistical MT [machine translation] approach on April 28, 2006, and in the six years since then we’ve focused primarily on core translation quality and language coverage…Today we have more than 200 million monthly active users on translate.google.com…People also seem eager to access Google Translate on the go…we’ve seen our mobile traffic more than quadruple year over year…more than 92 percent of our traffic comes from outside the United States…In a given day we translate roughly as much text as…all the professional human translators in the world produce in a year…We imagine a future where anyone in the world can consume and share any information, no matter what language it’s in, and no matter where it pops up. We already provide translation for…speech-to-speech “conversation mode” on smartphones. We want to knock down the language barrier wherever it trips people up, and we can’t wait to see what the next six years will bring.”
26.    Google finally launches Cube, play your way through a cubic Google Maps world  http://fusible.com/2012/04/google-finally-launches-cube-play-your-way-through-a-cubic-google-maps-world/  “Back in January, Google released a teaser video for a Google maps-based game that was set to be released in February.  But February, came and went and the game wasn’t released.  Now, Google has finally quietly launched the game online at www.playmapscube.com. Travel through New York, Tokyo and many other cities and learn all about the Google map features.   You can even bike your way through San Francisco as fast as possible and Google recommends you pay attention to the biking layer on the map to see which roads are safer. To play, you navigate the marble by using your cursor.  As you finish each level, your time is recorded…”
General Technology
27.    SSD vendors set to trigger price war to force out smaller peers  http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20120425PD202.html  “Major SSD firms have initiated price reductions to reflect falling prices for NAND flash chips. The move is also aimed at triggering a price war in the market in an attempt to squeeze out smaller peers…Kingston Technology, Intel, OCZ and Crucial are identified as the ones lowering SSD prices…SSD vendors hope to speed up the industry transition from SATA2 to SATA3 by narrowing the price gap between the two…Prices for SATA3 SSDs are now only…US$10 higher than those for SATA2 ones…”
28.    Foxconn’s new Nano-PCs launched, will compete with ZOTAC’s ZBOX  http://tech2.in.com/news/htpcs/foxconns-new-nanopcs-launched-will-compete-with-zotacs-zbox/301542  “…AT-5300 and AT-5600…Nano-PCs are around forty times smaller than a typical Micro-ATX PC.  These…are equipped with…USB 3.0, HDMI ports, n-series Wi-Fi, gigabit LAN, digital audio, powerful internal speaker and a card reader. AT-5300 is powered by Intel Dual Core Atom D2700 running at 2.13GHz processor and AT-5600 Nano-PC is powered by AMD Dual Core E450 1.65GHz APU processor. Both the models are fan-less and are ideal for home and business computers…and weigh only 600g with a dimension of 19cm x 13.5cm x 3.8cm…Both PCs support one SATA II connector for 2.5-inch HDD or SSD, one card reader slot for multi-type storage card and one SO-DIMM socket to support DDR3 memory up to 4GB…Power consumption of these Nano-PC models while running an HD movie is less than 24W and in idle state it is less than 15W…Nano-PC can be mounted on the back of a TV for media streaming, internet and PC functionality in the living room…attached to the back of a monitor to create a flexible All-In-One style PC…configured for use in a server based computing environment…as a media player for advertising and information screens in locations such as hotels, airports, retail stores and hospitals…a variety of kiosk applications…”
29.    Honda technology aims to end traffic jams  http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/04/26/honda-technology-aims-to-end-traffic-jams/  “…vehicles moving erratically and braking needlessly breaks up the smooth flow of traffic and leads to congestion. Honda has also observed this phenomenon and claims to have pioneered a technology based on this principle that, rather than just helping to avoid traffic jams, aims to prevent them from occurring entirely…Honda conducted experimental testing of a system utilizing the technology on a primary vehicle and with several secondary vehicles trailing behind it…test results demonstrated that the system helped increase the average speed of the primary vehicle by approximately 23 percent and improved fuel efficiency of the secondary trailing vehicles by approximately 8 percent…the system monitors the acceleration and deceleration patterns of the vehicle to determine whether the driver's driving pattern is likely to create traffic congestion. Based on this determination, the system provides the driver with appropriate information…to encourage smooth driving which will help alleviate the intensity of acceleration and deceleration by trailing vehicles…the system is said to be even more affective when all the vehicles communicate with each other, which is similar to the SARTRE ‘road train’ initiative being tested in Europe though Honda’s system still requires the driver to make adjustments to their driving pattern rather than rely on an autonomous system like with SARTRE…”
Leisure & Entertainment
30.    We Don’t Need Game Publishers, Hardware Makers or Retailers  http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/04/opinion_kohler-we-need-no-one/  “…traditional videogames…cost too much to make, don’t make enough money back and leave consumers feeling as if they have paid too much for them…Our hands are tied, say the publishers…Our hands are tied, say the hardware makers…Our hands are tied, say the retail stores…It wasn’t that long ago that these three entities were absolutely essential to gaming…Today, all three do things that make videogames a better experience…But something critical has changed…they are no longer required. Using the miracle of the internet, game creators can make videogames — good ones! — and sell them to game players without any involvement from traditional publishers, retailers or hardware makers…It wasn’t that long ago that publishers were the only entities that were in any position to give money to developers. Now a developer can go straight to the audience for cash, whether that’s by selling games directly on the App Store or Steam, or through Kickstarter, or through a freemium model…surely someone needs to make the hardware games are played on? Of course, but…As generalized hardware becomes more adept, specialized hardware becomes less necessary…while traditional publishers are still trying to make the old model work, pressing games onto discs and selling them for $60 plus extra DLC, it’s the developers and associated businesses that aren’t wedded to the old ways that will start to run circles around them. Because eventually they’ll start making games that look just as good — and they’ll know all the tricks to selling them through digital stores…They’ll innately understand the new way of doing business, not be married to the old one…Fire away, gentlemen. We need developers to make games. We need players to play them. Everything in between is negotiable.”
31.     Scorsese says all his future movies will be 3-D  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57421832/scorsese-says-all-his-future-movies-will-be-3-d/  “Martin Scorsese has become so enamored with 3-D filmmaking that he expects to use the technology in all his future projects…he wishes…"Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver" had been three-dimensional…There is something that 3-D gives to the picture that takes you into another land…Scorsese said the added dimension of digital films allows movie fans to feel a stronger connection to the story and actors on screen…he never thought he would have the opportunity to make a 3-D film. He said conquering the technology was challenging at first, but he ultimately decided to experiment as much as possible and watched 3-D versions of Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder" and "The House of Wax," the 1953 horror film, for inspiration…”
Economy and Technology
32.    The Rise Of A Total Apple Monopoly  http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/26/apple-will-one-day-rule-the-world/  “…The twin dark stars of profit and market share bring even the kindest companies into a collision course with failure…Apple is headed down that road…the iPhone accounted for a whopping 59% of smartphone sales in the U.S. last quarter…Apple is on pace…to be the first trillion dollar company in history and will do so on the back of a trivial amount of products and services. Apple’s success is made possible by keeping things simple…Steve Jobs…correctly identified that the average consumer doesn’t care about specs but rather capabilities. The spec has been dead at Apple for more than a decade…The same philosophy is driving the iPhone’s massive growth. There isn’t a better universal smartphone on the market. This isn’t open for discussion and the numbers prove it…consumers overwhelmingly prefer Apple’s take on mobile phones…I’m ready to jump ship to the iPhone after being an Android user since the original Droid. Updates aren’t regular or useful and the vast fragmentation in hardware causes apps to be very inconsistent in quality…As dominating as the iPhone is to the mobile phone market, the iPad is even more so to the tablet market. The iPad is experiencing a crazy amount of growth due to the lack of true alternatives…This domination in two of the most important consumer electronic spaces — coupled by Apple’s astounding cash reserves and market valuation — is more frightening than Microsoft’s monopoly in the ’90s…Apple is all about convergence and making products…as simple as possible…this is driving consumerism toward a simplified operating system void of traditional computing elements…The PC market doesn’t matter anymore. The company has moved past caring about low-margin computing products. Talk of an Apple HDTV has been around for years and the market is ripe for the taking. The next big step for Apple is enterprise and education with medical not far off…Android is the only hope to stand tall against Apple and it’s currently in a sad state. Google is giving OEMs too much leeway…As an owner of both an Android and iPhone, I sincerely believe Android is a better OS but the iPhone is a better device…The iPad will slowly morph into the de facto personal computing device. There will still be alternatives. Android and Windows will not completely go away…But Apple…needs to make even bigger inroads into China…After China falls into Apple’s pocket, the world will be its oyster…” [talk about a depressing article…the end of choice and general computing devices…massive domination by Apple…an ironic reverse recursion of the iconic “1984” Macintosh commercial…welcoming soma and the Ministry of Truth with open arms…maybe Facebook and Apple will become the only two ‘internet/computing’ tools anyone ever needs – ed.]
33.    Start-Ups Look to the Crowd  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/technology/kickstarter-sets-off-financing-rush-for-a-watch-not-yet-made.html  “When Eric Migicovsky, an engineer, wanted to develop a line of wristwatches that could display information from an iPhone — like caller ID and text messages — he went the traditional route of asking venture capitalists to finance his company. But he couldn’t even get a foot in the door, let alone secure any money for what he called the Pebble watch…he turned to Kickstarter…Less than two hours after the project went up on the site, Mr. Migicovsky and his partners hit their goal of $100,000. “By that night, we were at $600,000,” said Mr. Migicovsky, who is 25 and a recent engineering graduate of the University of Waterloo…As of Sunday afternoon, the total had passed $7 million. Pebble is the latest…example of how Kickstarter, a scrappy start-up sprouted in the New York living room of its founders three years ago, is transforming the way people build businesses…“This year marks the year that we’ve seen Kickstarter enter the real world in a number of ways,” said Perry Chen, one of its founders. “At Tribeca Film Fest, there are a dozen different Kickstarter-backed films, there’s an installation at the Whitney Biennial that was a Kickstarter project and we just had our birthday party at a Kickstarter-funded restaurant.” Much as the introduction of cheap Web services lowered the barrier to entry for people seeking to create a start-up, and as offshore manufacturing gave entrepreneurs a chance to make products without having to build a factory, Kickstarter offers budding entrepreneurs a way to float ideas and see if there’s a market for them before they trade ownership of their company for money from venture capitalists…The founders of Kickstarter say they draw a firm line between a project and a business. “With the more consumer-oriented projects, we make sure it’s very clear backers know they’re helping build a project and they will get one as their reward,” said Yancey Strickler, another Kickstarter founder. “They are intended to be finite projects, but you do find things that start off with a small idea and grow into something quite large…”
DHMN Technology
34.    US Army devising non-lethal “magic bullet” for drone aircraft  http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-cetera/us-army-devising-non-lethal-magic-bullet-for-drone-aircraft-20120428/  “…the US Army’s Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAMS)…is essentially a shoulder-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for short term flights to drop bombs on a small target…When a LMAMS weapon is launched, it will acquire its target in less than 20 seconds. LMAMS vehicles fly 100 meters above the target, and can circle for up to 30 minutes if there is not a clear shot…the goal of the non-lethal weapons program is to just incapacitate the target…The entire package is also easy to carry at just 3 lbs. Of course, the challenge here is to take a lethal weapons platform and make it reliably non-lethal. The Army has worked up the specifications…for the non-lethal warhead…It must be no bigger than 1.2 x 1.2 x 2.1 inches, 96 grams or lighter, impact at no more than 100mph, and cost less than $500 per unit. What this really sounds like is a magic rubber bullet that can seemingly appear out of thin air. When the project is finalized, it will be evaluated for use by various government agencies like Homeland Security…”
35.    Cambridge becomes UK's first White Space city  http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/25/cambridge-becomes-uk-s-first-white-space-city-as-trials-declared/  “The UK White Space consortium has declared its technology trials a success in Cambridge today. Some of tech's biggest names teamed up to equip Silicon Fen with Neul's "Weightless" broadband gear -- managing to get an 8Mbps data service out to the residents of rural Orwell. While great for those who can't get fixed line services, the consortium's also emphasized the benefits for Governments who could use an internet of things and cellphone networks, which can offload excess traffic in times of need. All that's required is for Ofcom to double-check the claims that it won't interfere with other wireless transmission formats and deliver its official blessing…”
Open Source Hardware
36.    Musician Moldover’s MOJO controller open source  http://createdigitalmusic.com/2012/04/moldovers-mojo-now-open-source-grab-build-details-and-ableton-live-sets-and-effects/  “Live electronic musician Moldover’s MOJO is the Sherman Tank of controllers: enormous, indestructible, destructive. It’s also a deeply involved build, costing US$1999.00. If you want to get some of that … um, MOJO … but don’t have two grand lying around, or if you want to adapt it to your own mojo, Moldover’s work is now fully open-source. If you’re an experienced hardware maker, you could use these files to build your own MOJO or adapt ideas into your own design. (Moldover uses the excellent, powerful Livid Builder line of parts.) If you are a builder, you can get an idea of what’s involved with the build in the timelapse and explanation above…”
37.    Air Quality Egg to monitor your community’s air  http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679740/the-air-quality-egg-will-let-you-know-exactly-what-youre-breathing  “…federal, state, and local agencies rely on just 3,000 "ambient air and deposition monitoring networks" to monitor major pollutants in all of North America…That’s approximately one for every 1,200 square miles…But a new sensor network is being built--one adorable little DIY egg at a time. Meet the Air Quality Egg, a system hatched to create a network of open-source sensors and a data platform that will turn everyone into…a data collector…The Air Quality Egg is a sensor system designed to allow anyone to collect very high-resolution readings of NO2 and CO concentrations…the project’s Kickstarter campaign…has collected three times more than their $39,000 goal. "Each Egg that comes online contributes data that, in aggregate, will provide what is essentially an 'air quality API.'"…A second set of sensors can also measure ozone (O3), volatile organic compounds, radiation, and particulates…It works by positioning small electronic sensors…which send regular radio signals to the egg-shaped base station inside. The data is relayed to open data service Pachube, which allows you to check out your local atmospheric profile, generate tweets and SMS alerts for certain pollutants…The whole system--open-source hardware and software---can be ordered fully assembled ($100) or as a kit ($70) for the DIY crowd…”
38.    Hacking Wi-Fi Routers to Bring Voice and Data to Rural Communities  http://www.core77.com/blog/social_design/hacking_wi-fi_routers_to_bring_voice_and_data_to_rural_communities_22239.asp   “…A recent article in The Economist looks at Africa's booming economy, identifying mobile phones as one of the major drivers behind the continent's growth…More than 600m Africans have one; perhaps 10% of those have access to mobile-internet services…But as a continent of over a billion people, that means some 400 million—twice the population of Brazil—still do not have access to mobile communications. And even fewer have access to the Internet. Those who do have access to a phone spend more than half of their disposable income just to stay connected…In comes Village Telco, an organization working on technology to leap past these challenges and offer a low cost communications option for Africans in rural areas…He had been following wireless hacker movement who had discovered that Linksys routers were built on open-source software and that a wave guide antenna could be built using a soup can—"a cantenna," he told me—that would distribute a broadband signal several kilometers…Based on this technology, Village Telco developed the "Mesh Potato," a wi-fi router adapted to connect with other devices like it and distribute wi-fi over large areas at low cost…The "killer app," as Song describes it, is that these potatoes connect not only with laptops and smartphones, but with analog phones. "The plain old ordinary telephone is one of the most elegant pieces of technology ever designed," he noted. Indeed, the mesh potatoes are designed for simple plug and play, allowing anyone to plug in an analog telephone and make a call to anyone else on the network—at no extra cost. Having developed a first-generation wi-fi device in the Mesh Potato, Village Telco is now developing a less expensive yet more powerful version to put it within the reach of the poorest communities…”
Open Source
39.    Precise Pangolin: Ubuntu 12.04, introduces Unity HUD  http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/04/precise-pangolin-rolls-out-ubuntu-1204-released-introduces-unity-hud.ars  “…developers behind the Ubuntu project have announced the availability of Ubuntu 12.04, codenamed Precise Pangolin. The new version of the popular Linux distribution brings…several major user interface improvements, and a number of changes to the platform’s default application lineup…Version 12.04 is the sixteenth release since the original launch of Ubuntu in 2004…Ubuntu 12.04 is a long-term support (LTS) release…it will receive security and stability updates for an extended duration. LTS releases, which are issued every two years, have historically offered three years of support on the desktop and five years on the server. Regular Ubuntu releases, by comparison, are only supported with updates for 18 months. Ubuntu 12.04 is the first LTS release that will receive a uniform five years of support in both environments…”
40.    Google Drive for Linux Is on the Way  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/254488/google_drive_for_linux_is_on_the_way.html  “…We're working on Linux support--hang tight!" Wu wrote in a Google+ discussion…Without the forthcoming support, Linux users of Google Drive can’t automatically synchronize their files with the service the way Windows and OSX users can, making the new offering much less appealing than competing alternatives…Ubuntu One also offers users 5GB of free storage…Wu didn't specify a time frame for the addition of the new support…Google…recently announced that it's shutting down Picasa for Linux, causing another sore spot in the Linux community…”
41.     Android's new ally against the iPhone: Ubuntu  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57424335-94/androids-new-ally-against-the-iphone-ubuntu/  “Last year was a long time ago for Android. That was when Google's mobile platform was stealing market share from all the other smartphone platforms -- winning even against the iPhone -- and beating a path toward market dominance. But Android is now facing a renewed challenge…At AT&T, the iPhone represented 78% of all smartphone sales in the first three months of 2012. At Verizon, which had been an Android stronghold since the launch of the original Motorola Droid in October 2009, the iPhone has picked up over 50 percent of all smartphone sales for each of the past two quarters…the iPhone has spread to virtually all of the major carriers and there are now iPhone models available for under $100…Android badly needs a new advantage against the iPhone…It may get it from Canonical's Ubuntu for Android…While the iPhone is winning on simplicity, Android is winning on expanded features (and it's still expected to have a 50 percent market share this year). One of those expanded features that the iPhone doesn't have is the ability to dock and act like a computer…Ubuntu has an alternative vision for smartphone/PC convergence and it's teaming with Android hardware makers on devices that will hit the market later in 2012…When Ubuntu is loaded on an Android phone, the two platforms share the same Linux kernel, so it's not like running two operating systems. The two pieces act like complementary partners. The Android phone functions normally when used as a smartphone or when making calls, but when it docks then the Ubuntu desktop pops up and acts like a standard computer…Because Ubuntu is so lean, the entire Ubuntu software stack only takes up about 2GB, and that includes apps for e-mail, Web browsing, photo editing, music, and other basic stuff…”
Civilian Aerospace
42.    Blue Origin lifts its veil of secrecy: Spaceship design passes test  http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/26/11416351-blue-origin-lifts-its-veil-of-secrecy-spaceship-design-passes-test  “…Blue Origin — the rocket venture backed by Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos — says it has successfully tested the design for its orbital spaceship during a series of wind-tunnel tryouts…Blue Origin is involved in…a public competition to develop America's next-generation space taxis…Blue Origin successfully tested the design of its next-generation Space Vehicle, completing a series of wind tunnel tests to refine the aerodynamic characteristics of the spacecraft’s unique biconic shape…In addition to the NASA-funded work on the orbital Space Vehicle, Blue Origin has a separate development program for a suborbital crew capsule and propulsion vehicle, designed to take passengers and scientific experiments past the boundary of outer space for a few minutes of weightlessness…”
43.    Scaled Career Day in Mojave Deemed a Great Success  http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/04/27/scaled-career-day-in-mojave-deemed-a-great-success/  “…on Saturday morning, Scaled Composites flung open the gates to its facility at the Mojave Air and Space Port for the company’s first ever Career Day…Scaled employees spent the next four hours of the hot spring day talking to prospective hires who wanted jobs at the company that is developing SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism venture and the Stratolaunch aircraft for Paul Allen…The event was a great success, with the company receiving hundreds of applications from prospective employees. Scaled currently has about 350 employees and is looking to expand by about 20 percent or roughly 70 new hires…It was a clear but very hot day in the Mojave Desert, with the 91 degree temperature setting a new record for that date…the Scaled folks were very happy to talk to the job applicants and spent the time to get to know them a bit. It was the mark of employees who were happy and enthusiastic about what they were doing…Overall I was very pleased with our April Plane Crazy Saturday, Scaled Composites Career Day…Scaled Composites was extremely organized and executed a smooth experience for attendees. Over 300 resumes had been sent to Scaled online before the actual event and people flew into LAX from Wisconsin, Iowa and other states to apply…”
44.    Ice prospecting robotic rover books a ticket for the Moon  http://www.gizmag.com/astrobotic-polaris-moon-ice-prospecting-rover/22293/  “While the Moon may or may not contain…precious metals…recent satellite missions have indicated that it does nonetheless contain something that could prove quite valuable – water ice. NASA has estimated that at least 650 million tons…of the stuff could be deposited in craters near the Moon’s north pole alone. If mined, it could conceivably serve as a source of life support for future lunar bases, or it could be used to produce fuel for spacecraft stopping at a “lunar gas station.”…NASA has contracted…Astrobotic Technology to determine if its Polaris rover robot could be used for ice prospecting…The latest SBIR contract is aimed specifically at analyzing how the rover would need to be refined in order to carry a payload of ice-prospecting gear…Already, Astrobotic has reserved the use of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle to send a spacecraft containing Polaris on a trajectory toward the Moon, for a planned 2015 prospecting mission…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
45.    CSIRO's GPU cluster to reach 130 TFLOPS this month  http://www.itnews.com.au/News/297430,csiros-gpu-cluster-to-reach-130-tflops-this-month.aspx  “CSIRO has kicked off a $1 million project to upgrade its 2.5-year-old supercomputing cluster…The cluster was established in November 2009 with 128 Dual Intel Xeon E5462 central processing units (CPUs) and a total of 256 graphics processing units (GPUs) in four-core Tesla S1070s…By the end of the month, the cluster will comprise 134 compute nodes, powered by 268 eight-core Xeon Sandy Bridge E5-2650 CPUs and 390 Tesla 2050 GPU cards…the upgrade would likely make the cluster one of the 100 most powerful machines on the Top 500…A further GPU upgrade, planned for later this year, would deliver an additional two- to threefold performance boost…”
46.    Douglas Trumbull Fuels New Filmmaking Paradigm with NVIDIA Quadro GPUs  http://www.btlnews.com/crafts/post-production/douglas-trumbull-fuels-new-filmmaking-paradigm-with-nvidia-quadro-gpus/  “…Douglas Trumbull has been pioneering new…filmmaking techniques since…he served as special effects supervisor on 2001: A Space Odyssey…He is also credited with developing several technologies for IMAX, including IMAX Ridefilm, the company’s immersive simulation rides installed at entertainment venues and theme parks around the world…Trumbull has harbored a dream of high-resolution, high-frame-rate production and distribution…with the advent of digital cinema and technologies like NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics processing units (GPUs), that vision is now becoming a reality. “The power that’s available through GPU computing and the current generation processors is having a radical impact on overall production costs,” said Trumbull. Trumbull envisions a production pipeline where directors can shoot in a greenscreen virtual-set environment and almost immediately review the shot with all of the VFX elements rendered in real time, in stereoscopic 3D running at 120 fps. He has been pioneering this new film production paradigm…loosely dubbed “Hyper Cinema”…a state-of-the-art production studio on his property in Berkshire Hills, MA…features an 80-foot greenscreen stage and an adjacent screening room equipped with a special hemispherical high-gain Torus film screen, where he can review high-resolution, 3D footage rendered out in real time or near real time…we can shoot and then screen material immediately in this new format…It also allows us to experiment on stage and see the results immediately on the screen…Trumbull is preparing to direct a science-fiction film to demonstrate the full potential of high-frame-rate production and his “Hyper Cinema” concept – his first feature film since 1983 when he directed Brainstorm…It’s a very intense, participatory experience. What I’m trying to do is show the industry how we could substantially improve the movie-going experience for the public.”…one of the key challenges the film industry faces today is developing a compelling in-theatre experience…we’re going to see a lot of turmoil in the exhibition business over the next few years as the industry transitions to a movie experience that’s so spectacular that you can’t get it on your laptop or smartphone, so that people come to a theater expecting something amazing, enveloping and powerful…“NVIDIA technology really comes into play as one of the big accelerators of this process,” said Lacombe. “We have NVIDIA Quadro cards in almost every computer on site, doing all kinds of graphics and parallel computing acceleration for high-throughput, high-bandwidth, 120 fps 3D material.”…Trumbull’s on-site model-making shop is a virtual one. Models are designed in modeling software like Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya or Rhino 3D and printed to 3D stereolithographic printers, which build a physical model with special polymers – a process that is also powered by an NVIDIA Quadro pro graphics card…we can get rid of a lot of manual work in building miniatures…Trumbull explained that none of this would have been possible without a GPU-accelerated pipeline…we hope to get 50 or 100 set ups per day and shoot the whole movie in a couple of weeks…this approach will save as much as 75% of production costs over traditional workflows. “We wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are now if it weren’t for the NVIDIA Quadro card,” said Trumbull...”

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