2012/05/08

NEW NET Weekly List for 08 May 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 08 May 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.        Here's Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/04/30/heres-why-google-and-facebook-might-completely-disappear-in-the-next-5-years/  “…Google and Facebook…might be gone completely in 5 – 8 years.  Not bankrupt gone, but MySpace gone…In the tech Internet world, we’ve really had 3 generations: Web 1.0…Web 2.0…and now Mobile…Web 1.0 companies did a great job of aggregating data and presenting it in an easy to digest…fashion.  Google did a good job organizing the chaos of the Web…Amazon did a great job of centralizing the chaos of e-commerce shopping…Web 2.0 companies began to emerge, they seemed to gravitate to the importance of social connections…Facebook got college students.  LinkedIn got the white collar professionals…Web 1.0 companies never really seemed to be able to grasp the importance of building a social community…Why has Amazon done so little in social?… Social companies born since 2010…view the mobile smartphone as the primary (and oftentimes exclusive) platform for their application…They assume, over time, people will use their mobile applications almost entirely instead of websites. We will never have Web 3.0, because the Web’s dead…Facebook…will go public in a few weeks and probably hit $140 billion in market capitalization.  Yet, it loses money in mobile and has rather simple iPhone and iPad versions of its desktop experience.  It is just trying to figure out how to make money on the web…It has no idea how it will make money in mobile…a growing mismatch between an organization’s inherent product strategy and its operating environment over time…is a good explanation for what we’re seeing in the tech world today…with each new paradigm shift (first to social, now to mobile, and next to whatever else), the older generations get increasingly out of touch and likely closer to their significant decline…Google’s facing a painful multiple contraction, once its desktop search business (still accounting for the vast majority of its revenues and profits) starts to fall off a cliff as users dramatically drop traditional search for…a mobile world…the new mobile platform will certainly open the possibilities for new entrants that Amazon can’t even imagine…Facebook is also probably facing a tough road ahead as this shift to mobile happens…Facebook dragged its feet to get into mobile in the first place…data suggests they will be exactly as slow to change as Google was to social…Apple is really a hardware company, so it’s difficult to put it into a bucket related to web apps…it’s succeeded in mobile from making the best hardware and software ecosystem for apps to proliferate on…as long as it has a successful iOS platform, it doesn’t care which Web 1.0, 2.0 and mobile companies fail or succeed on top of it…both Google and Facebook…will have all the money in the world to try and adapt to the shift to mobile but history suggests they won’t be able to successfully do it…It’s a lot easier to start asking Siri for information instead of typing search terms into a box…we could have an entirely new way of gathering information and interacting with ads in a new mobile world…Fortunes will be made by those who adapt to and invest in this complete greenfield…”
2.       SigFig Launches To Be The Data-Driven Financial Planner Of Your Dreams  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/01/sigfig-beta-launch/  “Whether you have $10,000 or $10 million, trying to find help to manage your investments can be a minefield…even though you can certainly find very good advisers…it can be difficult to trust that they really know what they’re doing, and have your best interests in mind…as Mark Cuban has written, “If the broker had a clue, he/she wouldn’t be a broker, they would be on a beach somewhere.”…SigFig is a web application that tracks all of your various investments — bank accounts, 401k plans, IRAs, stock holdings, and the like — and gives tailored recommendations about your portfolio’s performance and changes that you could make…You plug your brokerage accounts into SigFig, by giving it your usernames and passwords, a blind verification process during which SigFig never actually sees your personal sign-in data. SigFig also says it is encrypted by 256-bit SSL security, “the same level banks and brokerages use,”…For users, SigFig is completely free. The company makes money by taking a commission on new investments you decide to make through the site’s recommendations…SigFig only surfaces what the best investments are based on their value, and funds can’t pay SigFig to have privileged ranking in recommendations…it seems to me that SigFig is doing to the financial planning industry what airline and hotel booking websites such as Orbitz did to the travel planning industry back in the 1990s, and what property search sites such as Zillow and Trulia did to the real estate industry in the 2000s. It’s a space where individual gatekeepers — in this case, financial advisers and brokers — have held the information and power for far too long. The data itself should be free, and now…it can now go directly to consumers who can make their own decisions…SigFig does not completely want to rid the world of financial advisers. The site will refer you to local financial advisers that it has vetted…”
3.       Wiggio collaboration tool snags one million users  http://gigaom.com/collaboration/wiggio-snags-one-million-users-pilots-new-premium-service/  “As far as collaboration tools go, Wiggio isn’t flashy. The suite of dead simple collaboration tools ranging from chat and file sharing to polling and document creation is targeted primarily at college students looking for a way to organize extracurricular activities and group projects…The company…has reached one million users, about 75 percent of which are students…how did the company, founded by a team of Cornell grads in 2008, gain its sizable following?...their approach is to make users’ lives incredibly easy and then set up the product to grow virally.  ”Students are kind of a different beast…If they have to learn anything, if they have to read anything, if they have to watch a video even, they will be completely turned off…From the very beginning we’ve been really focused on streamlined simplicity.”…Wiggio uses a powerful testing technique to ensure the product is incredibly easy to use – they give it to fourth graders…we adopted the mentality that we wouldn’t put the feature out until these fourth graders can use it easily…”
4.       Hulu To Users: Connect Your Facebook Account Or No Social For You  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/05/07/hulu-to-users-connect-your-facebook-account-or-no-social-for-you/  “…Hulu made changes to its social sharing features. For Facebook users, it was great — Hulu made it easy to turn sharing on and off so that you don’t accidentally tell all of your Facebook friends that you just watched a video…But for non-Facebookers, it was awful. The latter lost all their social features (including their friend lists) and were told they have to connect their accounts to Facebook if they want them back. Before last month’s change, all Hulu users had “the ability to have friends, the ability to IM friends, and the ability to see friends’ activities and comment streams,”…Without warning all those functions suddenly disappeared and she was told to connect her Facebook account if she wanted them back. People who were previously connected on Hulu through other means, such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, were essentially disconnected; they can no longer share their activity on Hulu. The company says it prefers to use Facebook Connect because it’s such a strong social platform…Any of your current Facebook friends that are also connected on Hulu were automatically added to your Hulu friends… You also can’t friend people on Hulu anymore, you have to friend them on Facebook, in order for them to show up on your Hulu friends page…” [so do you think Facebook is unstoppable and people who don’t use FB will be shut out of an increasing number of features, offers and activities, or will online resistance to being required to use FB result in people having non-FB options for most things? Thus far I’ve survived without FB, but it seems like more things pop up regularly that require you to use FB or sit on the sidelines. – ed.]
5.        Hachi Combines LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Google Into One  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/04/hachi-combines-linkedin-facebook-twitter-google-into-one-lets-you-search-all-your-connections-at-once/  “…this is cool. A new networking utility called Hachi is taking some of the best functionality offered by LinkedIn (searching by name, company, title, etc. and seeing how you’re connected to other users), and is merging that with your social graphs from other services like Facebook, and soon Google contacts, Twitter and even your Outlook address book…you can see who you know where – meaning, the actual path of connections between you and another person – even if you’re not connected on LinkedIn…unlike LinkedIn, the service isn’t limited to 2nd or 3rd degree connections – it can go deeper than that. And it can…show you how you’re connected to PersonA via LinkedIn, who knows PersonB on Facebook, who’s connected to PersonC via Twitter…it can compute the smartest path to get there via something called the “Path Score.”…on the basis of how well one person in the path knows the other one he or she is connected to…Hachi looks at factors like similar company, school and common friends…”
Gigabit Internet
6.       Orono, Maine, Getting 1Gbps Broadband Network  http://www.cio.com/article/705594/Who_Needs_Google_Fiber_Orono_Maine_Getting_1Gbps_Broadband_Network  “…The University of Maine Wednesday announced that it would be teaming up with telco GWI to build out a 1Gbps fiber network that would connect with the Maine towns of Orono and Old Town. The towns will be getting this new high-speed broadband network as part of the Gig.U initiative…The overall plan is for GWI to start laying down fiber in the downtown areas of Old Town and Orono first, where most of the major area businesses are located, before moving onto the outer areas of the towns…GWI says that it will offer residential customers a 250Mbps service on the network for $60 a month and 1Gbps service for $90 a month…The universities were inspired by Google's decision last year to build an experimental 1Gbps fiber network in Kansas City that has started construction…”
7.        Broadcom 100-Gbit Ethernet with single-chip solution  http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4371652/Broadcom-aims-to-spread-100Gbit-Ethernet-with-single-chip-solution  “Broadcom Corp…announced its fourth-generation Ethernet network processor, which it claims is the industry's first chip to use massive parallelism by virtue of its 64 packet-processing cores running at one gigahertz. Providing full-duplex 100Gbit per second performance, it can also be configured to provide a dozen 10-Gbit channels…Broadcom claims that by the end of 2012, the number of Internet-connected devices will exceed 7 billion. Over the next four years the majority of the content accessed from mobile devices will be high-bandwidth streaming video…To meet this demand, Internet service providers are quickly adopting 100-gigabit-per-second Ethernet, which is estimated to grow at a rate of 170 percent over the next five years…higher levels of integration…enabled it to reduce the power and area of its fourth-generation network processor by 80 percent…Using 40-nanometer design rules for its array of 64 packet processors, the BCM88030 also includes seven on-chip accelerators for common functions including a programmable algorithmic look-up engine for massive IPv6 tables …”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
8.       FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites – now  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57428067-83/fbi-we-need-wiretap-ready-web-sites-now/  “The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance. In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities…The FBI general counsel's office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly. "If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding," an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI's draft legislation told CNET…The FBI's proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA…the measure provides a "safe harbor" for Internet companies as long as the interception techniques are "'good enough' solutions approved by the attorney general."…The FBI's legislation, which has been approved by the Department of Justice, is one component of what the bureau has internally called the "National Electronic Surveillance Strategy."…The FBI's CALEA amendments could be particularly troublesome for Zfone. Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP who became a privacy icon two decades ago after being threatened with criminal prosecution, announced Zfone in 2005 as a way to protect the privacy of VoIP users. Zfone scrambles the entire conversation from end to end…industry groups aren't necessarily going to roll over without a fight. TechAmerica, a trade association that includes representatives of HP, eBay, IBM, Qualcomm, and other tech companies on its board of directors, has been lobbying against a CALEA expansion…”  [if you compare the government’s ability to monitor telephone, mail and telegram communications before the internet to their ability to monitor encrypted internet communications, extending the CALEA law can be viewed as merely giving them back the access to private communications that they once had; on the other hand, it would have been much more expensive to monitor everyone’s conversations before the Internet and low-cost computing existed, so extending the CALEA law could also be viewed as giving law enforcement monitoring capabilities they didn’t have before – ed.]
9.       Young File-Sharers Respond To Tough Laws By Buying a VPN  http://torrentfreak.com/young-file-sharers-respond-to-tough-laws-by-buying-a-vpn-120501/  “…young people are responding to tough legislation and increasing levels of online spying by investing in VPN services…Faced with the almost impossible task of physically restricting people’s activities online, during recent years authorities and copyright holders have sought to have legislation tightened up…In Sweden, the results of intense lobbying are clear…the country is being subjected to considerable online surveillance. But according to new research…an increasing proportion of the country’s population are taking measures to negate the effects of spying on their online activities. The study reveals that 700,000 Swedes now make themselves anonymous online with paid VPN services…further uptake of anonymization services will only increase as new legislation is introduced…Whether it’s for file-sharing, domain blockage circumvention or freedom of speech, anonymization services are here to stay. Welcome to the encrypted Internet.”
10.     Oracle/Java trial not looking good for Android and Google  “In what could be a major blow to Android, Google's mobile operating system, a San Francisco jury issued a verdict today that the company broke copyright laws when it used Java APIs to design the system…But the jury couldn't reach agreement on a second issue—whether Google had a valid "fair use" defense when it used the APIs. Google has asked for a mistrial based on the incomplete verdict, and that issue will be briefed later this week…Both sides are going to write briefs arguing how to proceed from here, with Google likely arguing the verdict needs to be thrown out, while Oracle somehow tries to hang on to its win on question 1A…On two other questions—whether Google violated copyrights on certain software documentation, and a question about whether Google's acknowledged copying of a few short software functions also broke copyright laws—the jury found mostly in Google's favor…What is clear is that the jury believes that Google did copy something important. Even though Google's code in Android was original or borrowed from other open source code, the jury found that the Android APIs copied the "structure, sequence, and organization" of Java APIs…If the verdict stands, the end result is that Java may not be as open source as it was thought to be. Oracle may be able to essentially take Java out of the public domain, at least as far as its use in cell phones…”
11.      Barnes & Noble pulls Linux magazine off shelves because of “Learn To Hack” cover story  http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2012/05/04/linux-format-censored/1  “A controversial hacking how-to in the last issue of Future's Linux Format has led to the magazine being pulled from the shelves of US bookselling giant Barnes & Noble. Issue 154 of Linux Format magazine had as its cover feature a piece entitled 'Learn to Hack,' walking readers through the use of the Metasploit Framework exploitation toolkit to gain access to computer systems running a variety of operating systems. The article also covered password cracking, network sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks over encrypted protocols…the guide also covered how best to protect your systems from the self-same attacks, providing readers with information that the publication hoped would help keep them safe from the ne'er-do-wells…the cracking tutorial proved too much for Barnes & Noble. The US bookseller pulled all copies of the magazine from shelves, although it's not yet clear whether it did so at the request of its own management or as a response to complaints from an outside agency…Future has elected to put the content of the article online for free, for those who were unable to read it in the magazine. Quoting security guru Bruce Schneier - 'I believe that the subject is just too critical, too integral a part of our everyday lives, to be left exclusively in the hands of experts' - the magazine's editors have defended the feature…The publication has also elected to continue with the planned publication of an pro-privacy tutorial in the latest issue entitled 'Beat the CIA,' in response to government plans in both the UK and US to introduce increasingly intrusive communications monitoring and censorship laws…”
12.     Everyone Has Been Hacked. Now What?  http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/everyone-hacked/all/1  “…On Apr. 7, 2011…unknown attackers launched a spear-phishing attack against workers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The e-mail…went to about 530 workers, or 11 percent of the lab’s workforce. The cleverly crafted missive included a link to a malicious webpage, where workers could get information about employee benefits…workers who visited the site using Internet Explorer got bit with malicious code…Although the lab detected the spear-phishing attack soon after it began, administrators weren’t quick enough to stop 57 workers from clicking on the malicious link…only two employee machines were infected with the code. But that was enough for the intruders to get onto the lab’s network and begin siphoning data…Only a few megabytes of stolen data got out, but other servers soon lit up with malicious activity…Oak Ridge had become the newest member of a club to which no one wants to belong…last year, the myth of computer security was struck a fatal blow when intruders breached RSA Security, one of the world’s leading security companies…hackers stole data related to the company’s SecurID two-factor authentication systems, RSA’s flagship product…even  the keepers of the keys cannot keep attackers out…security researcher Dan Kaminsky says he’s glad the security bubble has finally burst and that people are realizing that no network is immune from attack…the security industry…can finally face the uncomfortable fact that what they’ve been doing for years isn’t working. “There’s been a deep conservatism around, ‘Do what everyone else is doing, whether or not it works.’ It’s not about surviving, it’s about claiming you did due diligence,” Kaminsky says. “That’s good if you’re trying to keep a job. It’s bad if you’re trying to solve a technical problem.” In reality, Kaminsky says, “No one knows how to make a secure network right now…“There have been organizations that this has been like an eight- or nine-year problem,..They’re still in business…they’ve learned to live with it and to have incident detection and response as a continuous business process.”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
13.     Samsung Galaxy S III Performance Preview  http://www.anandtech.com/show/5811/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-preview  “…It's no…surprise…there are…parallels between reactions to the iPhone 4S announcement and today's Samsung Galaxy S III announcement…the device is the slick plastic that harkens back to the SGS1…SGS2's textured back felt like the right way to do things if they needed to be made of that material…this is my only major disappointment with SGS3, and clearly HTC has won the industrial design category this time around with both the One X and One S…Up top is a gigantic three color (RGB) notification LED which is honestly probably the best I've seen in a device to date…The display is 4.8" SAMOLED HD, no plus…I didn't notice any of the mura or luminance inconsistency that so afflict the Galaxy Nexus' panel…SGS3's…"Smart Stay,"…will keep the display on past the defined timeout period if it detects a face with eyes open in front of the device…to stop those times when the device goes into standby while you're still reading or holding it…The device bumps up the front facing camera to 1.9 MP with BSI (previously FSI), and keeps the rear facing camera at 8 MP but includes a new sensor…The international Galaxy S III has an incredibly fast GPU (a very high clocked Mali-400/MP4), and a browser that runs javascript extremely quickly…The move to 32nm allows Samsung to reduce costs…while ramping up clock speeds. Samsung…appears to have pushed the limits on the GPU clock as we saw as much as a 66% increase in 3D performance…when I saw the SGS3 design for the first time, my initial reactions were somewhat cool…In the time that I played with the SGS3, my impressions and attitude toward the device changed significantly…”
14.     The HTC One X for AT&T Review  http://www.anandtech.com/show/5779/htc-one-x-for-att-review  “…the HTC One X on AT&T…is without doubt unlike any other HTC smartphone I’ve held to date…The phone is machined, not injection molded, from a single machined piece of polycarbonate plastic, and feels anything but cheap in the palm…The buttons blend into the glossy sides of the One X, getting pretty close to the optimal combination of protrusion and clickiness…there’s a secondary microphone for noise cancelation…At far right is the 1.3 MP front facing camera…The obvious mainstay of the One X is the 4.7" 720p infinity display which has a gentle curve at the left and right edges…One X…has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC, this is the first 28nm dual core Krait based part, and marks our first smartphone with it inside…AT&T One X also includes 16 GB of onboard storage, and again there’s no microSD card expansion option…The HTC One X is quite simply the smartphone we wished Google had launched Ice Cream Sandwich with…The 720p Infinity Screen has the best contrast ratio of any smartphone we've tested, and is…one of the best displays…we've reviewed in a phone…Android feels very smooth and snappy on the AT&T One X…One X delivers…among the best battery life of any smartphone we've tested…If you've been waiting to buy a high-end Android smartphone, the One X is really the only one to get on AT&T…”
15.     What Apple Will Do Next In Mobile Commerce? Check Out Pirq  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/08/want-to-know-what-apple-will-do-next-in-mobile-commerce-check-out-the-pirq-its-giving-to-employees/  “…Apple has been…silent on what its plans will be in mobile commerce and payments. But a deal that is getting announced today could be a clue…Apple has signed on with Pirq, a startup from Seattle, to offer food and drink daily deals to its employees in the Bay Area, with the service working by way of an iPhone app, location-based technology, and a Microsoft Tag code to redeem the discounts…The deal…will see discounts of between 20 percent and 50 percent at nearly 50 venues in Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View, and it is Pirq’s jumping-off point for offering a wider service in San Francisco further down the line…the difference between what Pirq does and what, say, Groupon offers is that Pirq pre-sets the discounts with restaurants and doesn’t require users to pay for the service upfront before redeeming it…The app lets users find deals near their current location, and then reserve a deal with no pre-payment needed. Pirq says it’s able to bypass pre-payment because of a bit of proprietary technology that lets restaurants adjust deal offerings in real-time based on peak and off-peak hours for…Another source we contacted described the deal with Pirq as part of a “four phase” rollout…the intention is to offer the service in a progression of circles: “First the Apple community, then the blogger community, then the community of users who get notices of Apple products early, and then finally the wider community of iPhone users…”
16.     Alternatives to Youtube catch on with mobile crowd  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/08/net-us-video-startups-idUSBRE84715V20120508  “Like many musicians looking for that big break, 24-year-old Angeleno Felice Lazae turned to YouTube for years to promote her songs -- with modest success, at one point getting more than 100,000 views on her cover of an Alicia Keys hit. But this month, the Los Angeles singer plans to premiere her newest music video not on YouTube but on Socialcam, a barely one-year old video-sharing social network that allows users to record, upload and view videos straight from their iPhones…"YouTube is so inundated with singers and artists…But the reaction I'm getting on Socialcam is amazing. It feels immediate." Lazae is among millions of users -- and viewers -- increasingly seeking alternatives to YouTube, fuelling a boom in smaller and nimbler websites like Socialcam and Viddy that cater to more niche audiences -- especially in mobile…More than 36 million have signed up for SocialCam, one of two fledgling mobile-video sharing apps whose rapid-fire growth is garnering attention. Along with Viddy, they have caught fire among iPhone users and are starting to pose a challenge in a lucrative and fairly wide-open mobile market to existing social media like YouTube and Facebook…Socialcam and Viddy already face competition from other start-ups like Klip and the latest manifestation Color, an app that launched two years ago as a photo-sharing service…”
17.     Passpoint WiFi tech promises cellphone-like handoff between hotspots  http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/05/passpoint-wifi-tech-promises-cellphone-like-handoff-between-hotspots.ars  “An industry group…said its Passpoint program aims to make WiFi a “true extension of service provider networks,” letting users roam from one hotspot to another with no manual effort, just as cell phone owners already switch seamlessly from one cell tower to another…Passpoint certification for network equipment and end user devices is expected to begin in June, and is based on the WiFi Alliance Hotspot 2.0 Specification.” A cell phone’s SIM card could be used to authenticate mobile users to WiFi hotspots. The advantages are fairly obvious—users get faster Internet access without password hassles, and service providers can divert traffic away from congested cellular networks…the organizations involved aren’t saying exactly what it will cost or how users will be billed. Whether it’s an extra charge will be determined by service providers…any device that can connect to WiFi and supports WPA2 security will be capable of using Passpoint services…”
Apps
18.     Girl-power produces new apps  http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20551338/girl-power-produces-new-apps  “…the 11 teams of high school girls unveiling their mobile apps for the 2012 Technovation Challenge were totally new-school, stunningly savvy and digitized to the max. Competing for the chance -- worth an estimated $15,000 -- to have their app developed and brought to the Android market, 520 girls in four cities around the country teamed up with tech mentors to brainstorm ways to put smartphones to good use. Following a theme of "science education," the 100 apps were winnowed down in regional playoffs…"Our app is designed to change the way you consume, little by little, every single day," said Sonya Jendoubi, a 16-year-old junior…By scanning grocery store products and learning instantly if the product is local, organic and comes in recycled packaging, Ecocitz "will help us fix our mistakes by focusing on people's misconceptions about what it means to be 'green.' "…The point of it all is girl power, said Tara Chklovski. She's founder of Iridescent, the science education nonprofit that runs the Technovation Challenge, now in its third year and growing fast…"The team saw this huge concentration of pregnancies in their area and came up with an app to educate girls about their options. You never see these kinds of apps on the market because there aren't girls creating them. We're trying to change that."…"Intoxication Station" from the Mountain View High School team took underage drinking head-on, with screen icons that brought up symptoms to tell how drunk someone was, offered first-aid tips and ways to get a ride home for a tipsy teenager, even help with hangovers…"Niffler," the Monta Vista High team's learning game based on a Harry Potter character, helps kids learn their chemical compounds…"The idea," said Anupama Cemballi, 17…"is to help make chemistry fun. Chemistry can be really boring in class, but our app makes it interactive." Cembali said even if her team didn't nail first place they still planned to get their app into the Android market on their own…But it was the team behind "Froggy Cut" that seemed to be shooting the highest…how to avoid cutting up all those frogs year after year, thus saving money and frogs' lives. They came up with an app that virtually dissects the slimy amphibians…"Approximately 2.5 million frogs are dissected in high school biology classes every year," said one of the team members, pitching her heart out…she went on to posit that "with each frog costing $4, that's $10 million spent on frog dissection annually. Our app will cost each student $1.99. So we can save the schools $5 million and we can make $5 million…”
19.     5 smartphone apps help you give back  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765573461/5-smartphone-apps-help-you-give-back.html  “…Perhaps it's time to pay it forward…these creative apps…help you make life easier for others. Instead…helps you find ways to spend less on daily purchases, freeing up money to give to charity. For example, when a co-worker stops by to suggest a Starbucks break, the app encourages you to decline, then donate the $5 you would have spent with just the push of a button…If you can't spare a dime, the Give Work iPhone app, a joint project between crowd-sourcing platform CrowdFlower and the nonprofit Samasource, lets you volunteer your time to help the poor in Africa…It combines crowd-sourcing and mobile technology to not only provide value to thousands of companies that need to execute on low-level tasks, but more importantly it helps provide income for thousands of African refugees…use The Extraordinaries app to "microvolunteer." You input your interests and skills into the app, and it matches you with a service opportunity…the Snooze app, built by LetGive, donates 25 cents to your favorite charity every time you hit the snooze button. Download SwearBox if you want to clean up your language (or stop saying overused words like "awesome"). It monitors your tweets for bad words. For every expletive, the app sends you a bill for a minimum of $1.50, which is then donated to charity.”
20.    Android Developers Can't Get Paid And It's Killing The Platform  http://www.businessinsider.com/why-android-cant-monetize-2012-5  “Android has a monetization problem. According to a report from Flurry, for every dollar of iOS revenue, developers only get 24 cents from Android…Peter Farago, VP of Marketing at Flurry…laid out three reasons for us that he thinks are behind Android's monetization gap:  Payments are not seamless on Android. Google Wallet, a new mobile payments system, was supposed to help solve this problem. However…there is commerce friction…With iOS, you can link your phone to your iTunes account and download an app with one click…They don't have a curated store…There's a lot of garbage…"The consumer on Android is less willing to pay, there is more of an expectation that they get free stuff…Farago also believes that Google will have a hard time fixing the problem, it goes against the company's DNA. Google wants to create highly scalable, frictionless systems. Consequently, it's the "anti-customer service company;"…Apple and Amazon, on the other hand, have customer and retail in their DNA, it is a critical aspect of their user experience…it's also against their business model." Google wants to drive ad revenue, they are not as worried about the store…”
21.     iOS app success is a "lottery": 60% (or more) of developers don't break even  http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/05/ios-app-success-is-a-lottery-and-60-of-developers-dont-break-even.ars  “There is no shortage of stories about lone developers who made an app for the iPhone or iPad and had runaway success. But in the real world, the majority of app makers struggle to break even…59 percent of apps don't break even, and 80 percent of developers can't sustain a business on their apps alone…Over the years I have seen visibility of applications I've worked on greatly reduced," developer Pat McCarron told Ars…now your app is likely not going to be found if you never break the Top 100 or Top 200 lists…the App Store has become…less a chance for small developers to succeed along with well-established companies…there are a few huge winners, a bigger handful of minor successes, and a whole lot of failures…Some developers even said that App Promo's assertion that 59 percent of apps don't break even is…on the generous side…Lucius Kwok believes it may "fall in the range of 90 percent or higher."…"Development costs are generally much higher than folks realize," Kafasis said. "Making an app still requires tens of thousands of dollars in development, if not hundreds of thousands…anything over perhaps a couple bucks on iOS is a 'premium' price, and you'll get dinged on the price everywhere, by both users and journalists. That can make it very difficult to recoup costs, let alone turn a profit…I think the best answer is to create narrow or shallow apps that do just one thing and do it well," Kafasis added…It used to be easier to get away without spending any money on marketing, but now it's quite hard to make a dent in the market without that…there's little correlation between how much time and effort you put into an app and how successful it is," Kwok told Ars. "My most successful apps were fairly easy to make, but just happened to be in the right market at the right time. The apps I've spent the most time and effort on ended up being flops…It's no secret that the money in the App Store is the contracts writing the apps, not in selling the apps themselves…”
SkyNet
22.    Google Docs boasts 450 new fonts and 60 new templates  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57426699-93/google-docs-boasts-450-new-fonts-and-60-new-templates/  “…Google Docs…added over 450 new fonts to Google documents…choose new fonts…by clicking on the font menu in Google Docs and selecting "add fonts." People will then be taken to a menu of all the Google Web Fonts available. The types of fonts range from straightforward and business-like to scripty to cartoonish…60 new templates are designed for work, home, school, fun, holiday, and more. Examples of some of the types of templates include resumes, newsletters, recipes, photo sharing, and legal invoices…Other Google Docs announcements from today include more options for inserting images into documents, charts in spreadsheets now have support for minor gridlines and customization…”
23.    At Interior Department, Google Apps Will Co-exist With Outlook, Office -- for Now  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/254935/at_interior_department_google_apps_will_coexist_with_outlook_office_for_now.html  “Although the U.S. Interior Department plans to replace its on-premise email servers with Google Apps' cloud-based Gmail, the agency will retain Microsoft Outlook and Office as its standard e-mail client and desktop office productivity software…The Interior Department's 70,000 full-time employees and 20,000 seasonal workers will have the option to use the Gmail Web interface and Apps' Docs productivity applications, but most people will likely continue to use Office and Outlook as their primary options, at least for the near future. The Interior Department has an enterprise license to use Office and Windows agency-wide…The reasons behind this decision are varied. There are employees who simply prefer Outlook and Office over the Gmail Web interface and Docs. Others work in remote locations and get on the Internet using slow dial-up and satellite connections, so they find Outlook and Office are better for working under those conditions or when they're offline…If we get to a point where we feel comfortable that we can rely on a product like Google Docs, we may choose to go in that direction…What's clear is the Interior Department's intention to move from seven different on-premise Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino email systems to a single Gmail system on the backend…other vendors bid for the contract, including Microsoft, which pitched Office 365, its cloud-based email and collaboration suite…However, the combination of Google Apps and reseller Onix Networking got the nod…”
24.    Improved G+ notifications in email  http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/better-google-notification-experience.html  “Notification emails are a great way to keep up with what's happening in the Google+ stream: whether someone mentions you, comments on your post, or shares with you directly…sometimes you want to respond right away, right from your inbox…starting today, you can reply to Google+ notifications from Gmail…You can view, comment on, and +1 posts from inside your inbox…Your comments appear in the Google+ stream in real-time…Responses from others instantly appear in Gmail, as part of the notification message…”
25.    Google+ rolls out 'Hangouts On Air' worldwide  http://news.yahoo.com/google-rolls-hangouts-air-worldwide-055057519.html  “Google began letting members of its social network worldwide broadcast "hangouts" live to Internet titan's growing online community. Hangouts On Air were introduced last year at Google+ with select high-profile members testing the service that lets as many as ten people at a time take part in virtual roundtable style video chats broadcast for anyone to see…UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moo, the US president, musician Will.i.am, Desmond Tutu and even the Dalai Lama have taken part in "On Air" hangouts in which intimate online gatherings can be openly viewed at the social network. "Today we're excited to launch Hangouts On Air to Google+ users worldwide…”
26.    Judge says Google's Android lost money in 2010  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/03/us-oracle-google-trial-idUSBRE84219120120503  “…A jury is deliberating on Oracle's allegation that Google, the top Internet search engine, violated its copyright to parts of the Java programming language. At the end of the day on Thursday, one juror sent out a note asking what would happen if they can't reach a unanimous verdict…Judge William Alsup sent the jury home for the day and asked them to continue deliberating on Friday. Oracle sued Google in August 2010, saying Android infringes on its intellectual property rights to the Java programming language. Google says it does not violate Oracle's patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java, an "open-source," or publicly available, software language…Alsup quizzed attorneys for both companies about some of the Android financial information submitted in the case…The judge did not disclose the specific loss figures for Android, but said it lost money in each quarter of 2010…”
General Technology
27.    Windows 8 DVD playback only available with paid Media Center upgrade  http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/4/2998106/windows-8-drops-dvd-playback-media-center-upgrade  “…Windows 8 won't come with Media Center…This week, Microsoft revealed that the new operating system won't have any kind of DVD playback, unless you specifically purchase Media Center or use third-party DVD software…the company justifies the move by claiming…DVD use on personal computers is "in sharp decline," and says that it would have to spend "a significant amount in royalties" to offer support for optical media…Microsoft says online media is the focus for Windows 8, and will include H.264, VC-1, MP4, AAC, WMA, MP3, PCM…as well a variety of container formats to make that work, but…those DVDs won't be supported out of the box. How do you play DVDs on a Windows 8 PC, then?...if Windows 8 machines are anything like Windows 7 ones, every consumer PC that comes with an optical drive will probably have bundled DVD software…if you buy an add-on pack for Windows 8 (either the Pro Pack, or the Media Center Pack) via the new "Add Features to Windows 8" control panel, you'll get DVD support in Media Center as well as broadcast TV recording and VOB playback…free third-party software for Windows DVD playback is…easy to come by. VLC and Media Player Classic rank among our favorites.”
28.    Tablet-like touch interface comes to everyday objects  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57428260-76/tablet-like-touch-interface-comes-to-everyday-objects/  “…Disney Research in Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University…announced a touch interface technology called Touche that brings a new set of gestures to existing touch screens and can make anything from table tops to body parts computer input devices. It could lead to a "smart doorknob" that unlocks when grasped a certain way, or a couch that turns on the TV when a person sits down and turns off when the person falls asleep. The technology will also allow people to add new inputs to smartphones by pinching the front and back of the device. Touche can also make the body an input device, allowing people to hold their fingers up to their lips to turn music off on their digital-music players. "It is not inconceivable that mobile devices will have no screens or buttons and rely on the body for the input surface,"…The Disney-Carnegie Mellon research…developed a system to sample the return voltage from the user's touch many times, resulting in a range of frequency values. That technique, called Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing (SFCS), allows the system to capture more information and operate with different types of gestures beyond just touching or not touching…"In our laboratory experiments, we were able to enhance a broad variety of objects with high-fidelity touch sensitivity. When combined with gesture recognition techniques, Touche demonstrated recognition rates approaching 100 percent. That suggests it could immediately be used to create new and exciting ways for people to interact with objects and the world at large…”
29.    Micron says it has fabbed working DDR4 chips  http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2173098/micron-fabbed-ddr4-chips  “…Micron has produced its first working DDR4 DRAM module with implementation expected in 2013. Although JEDEC has yet to finalise the DDR4 specification, Nanya and Micron have been forging ahead designing and now fabricating 30nm 4Gbit DDR4 chips that will be part of the two firms' DDR4 product range that will include registered and low-voltage registered DIMMs and SODIMMs. According to Micron, it is already sampling DDR4 modules and expects its customers to support quick implementation in 2013…”
30.    Next-Generation Nanoelectronics  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503162025.htm  “…while silicon-based circuits continue to shrink in size in the relentless pursuit of Moore's Law…power consumption is rising rapidly…In an effort to sustain the advance of these devices while curbing power consumption, diverse research communities are looking for hybrid or alternative technologies. Nanoelectromechanical (NEM) switch technology is one option that shows great promise…NEM switches, which can be designed to function like a silicon transistor, could be used either in standalone or hybrid NEM-silicon devices. They offer both ultra-low power consumption and a strong tolerance of high temperatures and radiation exposure…while individual NEM devices show extremely high performance, it has proven difficult so far to make them operate reliably for millions of cycles…Simply by replacing the metal electrodes with electrodes made from conductive diamond-like carbon films, the group was able to dramatically improve the number of cycles these devices endure. Switches that originally failed after fewer than 10 cycles now operated for 1 million cycles without failure …”
31.     Nvidia Files Patent For Hierarchical Graphics Processors http://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-patent-gpu,15466.html  “…Nvidia has applied for a patent that describes a hierarchical processor array. The idea is that there are two or three tiers of processing cores with dedicated functions that alleviates a problem in core design that results in increasingly wide and ineffective graphics rendering pipelines. Those pipelines include various shaders, such as a vertex shader unit, a geometry shader, a pixel shader, among others, and each of these shaders are getting wider at every level of parallel execution hardware. Nvidia says that "each massively parallel stage in a stage-by-stage pipeline tends to provide little granularity of control of portions of each parallel stage"…To keep parallelization efficient, the company describes a processor with multiple levels of processing hierarchies with "multiple classes of graphics operations being associated with a different stage of graphics processing."…each level would also include at least one module that is capable of processing all graphics functions. There would also be one top-level component that is able to distribute certain classes of work to lower level classes of processors. The patent specifically mentions a third-level class in the processor hierarchy that would be reserved for general purpose computations …”
32.    High-Yield Path to Making Key Ingredient for Plastic from Biomass  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120430164229.htm  “…an assistant professor of chemical engineering at UMass Amherst says the new discovery shows that there is an efficient, renewable way to produce a chemical that has immediate and recognizable use for consumers…the plastics industry currently produces p-xylene from petroleum…the new renewable process creates exactly the same chemical from biomass…The new process uses a zeolite catalyst capable of transforming glucose into p-xylene in a three-step reaction…this is a major breakthrough since other methods of producing renewable p-xylene are either expensive…or are inefficient…the performance of the biomass reaction was strongly affected by the nanostructure of the catalyst, which we were able to optimize and achieve 75-percent yield…This discovery is a part of a larger effort by the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation…to create breakthrough technologies for the production of biofuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass…”
Leisure & Entertainment
33.    Microsoft patents wearable controller for gaming  http://www.tgdaily.com/consumer-electronics-brief/63127-microsoft-patents-wearable-controller-for-gaming  “Microsoft has landed a new patent for a video game controller based on wearable electromyography (EMG) technology. The concept…would allow the user to control devices such as a smartphone, notebook, and Xbox 360 simply by wearing an armband device. Essentially, the sensors in the band pick up electrical signals that are generated by the muscles in the arm moving in a particular direction or style. Those electrical signals would then be sent to the device via a wireless or wired connection…the patent proposes integrating the technology into a watch and even clothing…I suspect we will never see this sort of technology for console gaming since the Kinect has been so popular. However, I could envision Loop being integrated into a device like a watch for controlling a smartphone.”
34.    They finally made a real lightsaber  http://gizmodo.com/5907718/these-guys-made-a-real-lightsaber  “…Wicked Lasers has actually made a lightsaber…not one that can cut you in half, but one that looks and acts like the actual Jedi weapon…The LaserSaber features an ultra smooth magnetic gravity system that can "power up" and "power down" the blade…The Lasersaber—that's how they call it to avoid any Lucasfilm lawsuits—is actually a 32-inch polycarbonate blade with an anodized aluminum base that attaches to a Spyder 3 laser…The effect is quite stunning. No other lightsaber toy I've seen lights up like this thing or can shine like the real thing on broad daylight. There's no comparison…They are available for $100 but you have to spend $300 more on the Spyder 3 laser…You can get the Spyder 3 lasers in three variants, 250mW and 750mW or the 1W. The…laser pointer that you can purchase…is likely to be around or under 5mW…So these Lasersabers should be brilliantly lit up even in a well lit room…”
35.    360° Panoramic Video With Your Smartphone  http://singularityhub.com/2012/05/02/360%C2%B0-panoramic-video-lets-you-capture-everything-around-you-with-your-smartphone/  “…a trio of cool smartphone accessories — the GoPano Micro, Kogeto Dot, and the BubbleScope…make it easy to record panoramic video, edit it, and share it with others…Apps like 360panorama let you take panoramic images with a smartphone simply by spinning around in a circle, but to record panoramic video in real time, a specially curved lens is needed to capture the 360° view simultaneously…EyeSee360, makers of the GoPano, converted its curved lens technology from a DLSR camera attachment to a smartphone accessory called the GoPano Micro…the Micro attaches over the iPhone camera and funnels in light from the curved lens to a mirror, which directs the complete image onto the iPhone camera. An app transforms the video…for easy viewing with interactive pan and zoom, and a free site hosts the Flash video files for sharing across the web…the BubbleScope is more compact than the Micro, will take still images, and records 120° vertically as opposed to the Micro’s 82°…it isn’t on the market quite yet, the website indicates it will retail at around $100 versus Micro’s $80…the GoPano Micro and the BubbleScope allow you to record video with the phone upright, so you can view the panoramic as it records…the Kogeto Dot takes a different approach by placing the mirror orthogonal to the iPhone, which means that the phone must be kept horizontal to record the scene around you, so you can’t view video as its recording…it also means that the phone can be easily set down during recording without needing a tripod…Kogeto recently dropped the Dot’s price on its website from $79 to $49…it was the camera on the iPhone 4 that allowed the image quality to be good enough for panoramic recording…increased demand for better smartphone cameras will likely translate into even more mobile users trying out panoramic images and video …”
36.    Indie game 'Botanicula' unbelievably creative  http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/jinnygudmundsen/story/2012-05-06/botanicula-game-review/54749672/1  “…Botanicula…presents a beautiful and meticulously-crafted imaginary eco-system set in a tree. Each scene is teeming with life, and numerous things can be clicked to see what will happen…In this point-and-click computer adventure, you control five adorable tree creatures that look roughly like a twig, a mushroom, a feather, a lantern and a seed pod…the tree and its inhabitants are being attacked by evil parasites. Your five tree creatures are the tree's champions on a quest to save the tree…there are no instructions. Clicking, observing reactions to your movements and trial-and-error are your only means of getting through this game. It's simple and refreshing. Divided into seven chapters, the game presents players with scavenger hunts which, when completed, open the next section . That description may make this game sound routine, but it is anything but commonplace. This beautifully-drawn world alternates between being whimsical and eerie, as it vibrates with creatures that are fanciful, lovely, bizarre and sometimes frightening. As you navigate along the tree's translucent limbs pulsing with sap, you will meet spiders, bees and snails; but you will also encounter whimsical creatures you have never seen before. Some will charm you with their burbles and snorts while others will scare you with their teeth-gnashing. Each of the over-150 locations is designed to tempt you to start clicking…the farther you get into the story, this sense of carefree exploration slowly changes as the environments you investigate get darker and the characters within more scary. At one point, you will even watch a gory puppet show where a dragon's head gets whacked off and the stump bleeds onto the stage…it is hard to fathom why it was included. The last chapter has some shooting sequences in which you can die and have to restart the section, but there is no blood. The navigation of Botanicula starts off easy but gets more complex. Some chapters are so complicated that even with game-provided maps, it's challenging to retrace your steps to deliver a found item that is needed by another that you met earlier in the game…”  http://youtu.be/UxeaS4Pq4EY 
Economy and Technology
37.    This Is What a Kickstarter Scam Looks Like  http://www.betabeat.com/2012/04/30/this-is-what-a-kickstarter-scam-looks-like/  “When Kickstarter projects go wrong, backers often think they’ve been scammed; usually, the creators simply overpromised. But a campaign for an action video game, MYTHIC: The Story Of Gods and Men, has just been busted by forum users at Reddit, SomethingAwful and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The creators claimed to be an independent studio, “Little Monster Productions,” of 12 industry veterans in Hollywood. “Our team has done a significant amount of work on the World of Warcraft series as well as Diablo 2 and the original Starcraft,” says the project page. Bullshit, said the Internet. Turns out the art was cribbed, the text for backer rewards was copied and pasted from another Kickstarter project, and even the office photos were from another game studio, Burton Design Group. The creators had raised $4,739 on an $80,000 goal when they shut the project down and deleted the Little Monster Productions website two days ago…”
38.    The Kickstarter for solar could make you money starting this Summer  http://gigaom.com/cleantech/the-kickstarter-for-solar-could-make-you-money-starting-this-summer/  “…Solar Mosaic…is…about to launch the truly disruptive part of its business: as early as this Summer Solar Mosaic plans to start offering people a way to buy into rooftop solar panel projects, and make back a return on their investment…for the investor it will be like buying the safe and predictable return of a mutual fund…a building owner will lease the solar equipment and enter into a contract for a fixed, low, electricity rate, commonly over about two decades…Solar Mosaic is the one that organizes the crowd-funding of the money to get the solar rooftop installed…Solar rooftops are a surprisingly low risk investment…solar loans are backed by a revenue-producing asset (electricity) and the building owners are just continuing to pay for the electricity that they are used to paying for day in and day out. There is little risk to investors that the buildings owners will default on their electricity payments, particularly since they are also saving money on their energy bills from day one…banks are one of the major ways that solar rooftops get funded in the U.S…The bank can get a good return on the investment over time — some estimate 12 percent…Solar Mosaic is looking to bring that money-making opportunity down to the everyday investor (including you and me)…he thought the solar projects could one day provide something like a six-percent return…“How many people are happy with the one-percent return they get from their bank?”…the idea of combining the crowd-funding model with solar rooftops and adding in the potential to make money could be truly disruptive…”
39.    Customer Loyalty And Rewards Platform For Local Businesses Belly Raises $10M  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/08/customer-loyalty-and-rewards-platform-for-local-businesses-belly-raises-10m-from-andreessen-horowitz/  “…Belly, a startup that is a fast-growing contender in the local business customer loyalty and rewards space, has raised $10 million…Belly wants to reinvent customer loyalty rewards through gamification, digital check-ins and a iPad setup for businesses…Part of this is an in-store iPad (which Belly supplies) that is used to validate paying customers right at the point of sale, and serves as a check-in point…Merchants pay a monthly subscription for unlimited Belly cards to hand out to customers, in-store marketing materials and secure access to customer data that reveals sales, points and redemption data, as well as insights into foot traffic and card usage patterns. Businesses can even use Belly data to send out push-notifications about exclusive promotions and other rewards to Belly customers…to check in, customers can scan their smartphone at an in-store iPad POS and with each check-in, you get closer to a specific milestone, and reward (as stipulated by the business). You simply scan a Belly card (provided by the merchant), or use Belly’s iPhone or Android Apps on the businesses’ Belly iPad app (which sits next to the register)…On the Belly mobile apps themselves, you can simply open the app and see a list of merchants that are Belly users by your location. The app completely replaces the merchant card at all of these businesses. With the Belly card, you have one universal rewards card…”  [have you used any smartphone digital customer loyalty programs, especially in the Fox Valley? I haven’t heard of any customer loyalty program apps having significant nationwide traction – ed.]
40.    The Decline and Fall of 'Draw Something'  http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/05/decline-and-fall-draw-something/51792/  “Just six weeks ago, Draw Something was the hottest mobile game in the world, but today its popularity has collapsed and Zynga may be left holding the bag…OMGPOP launched Draw Something on February 6 of this year and watched it soar to 35 million downloads in just seven weeks. Not since the runaway sensation Angry Birds, had a game became the favorite pastime of iPhone addicts so quickly…Zynga…quickly snatched up OMGPOP and its 40 or so employees for $200 million, rescuing a struggling company that had burned through $17 million in funding in six years and was on the verge of bankruptcy before stumbling upon the Pictionary clone that made everyone rich. It was a great story ... for OMGPOP. For Zynga, it's starting to look like an expensive blunder…Two weeks ago, Business Insider checked in on the number of people still playing Draw Something and noticed a disturbing downward trend…As of May 1, it's gotten even worse, with the average number of users per day is now below where it was when Zynga acquired the game. (It's currently around 10 million, down from a peak of close to 15 million.)…It's clear that fewer people are drawing things and doing it less often. Like most one-hit wonders, fans got bored and moved on …”
41.     LinkedIn Acquires Professional Content Sharing Platform SlideShare  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/03/linkedin-acquires-professional-content-sharing-platform-slideshare-for-119m/  “LinkedIn has just acquired professional content sharing platform SlideShare for $119 million…SlideShare is a sharing platform for business documents, videos and presentations. SlideShare lets anyone share presentations and video and also serves as a social discovery platform for users to find relevant content and connect with other members who share similar interests…IBM and others use the platform to curate content from all of their employees and partners on a branded page…“Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. “These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission…”
42.    Startup Zagster aims to be the Zipcar for bikes  http://gigaom.com/cleantech/startup-zagster-aims-to-be-the-zipcar-for-bikes/  “Zagster is aiming to bring the shared-bike model to a campus, apartment complex, or hotel near you — and let you ride for free. The startup…just signed Cisco and Hyatt Hotels to install its shared bike service in their locations…The company…already manages bikes at 56 locations nationwide and is consulting with Boulder, Colo., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Rio de Janeiro on biking programs…bike sharing programs like Hubway…are all about very short trips that are one way. Ours are for longer trips, commuting…Zagster provides and maintains the bikes, and manages their use, charging the owner of the facility $100 per bike per month– and claims 50 percent gross margins. Use of the bikes themselves will be free to the end user, who reserves it online and unlocks it with a mobile phone…“We see bikes as analogous to the pool or gym at these properties,” he said. The benefit to the customer is that Zagster maintains the bikes and storage area…”
DHMN Technology
43.    Can you violate a patent by planting some seeds?  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/04/farm-fresh-infringement-can-you-violate-a-patent-by-planting-some-seeds.ars  “Can a farmer commit patent infringement just by planting soybeans he bought on the open market?...the [US] Supreme Court…is pondering an appeals court decision saying that such planting can, in fact, infringe patents. In 1994, the agricultural giant Monsanto obtained a patent covering a line of "Roundup Ready" crops that had been genetically modified to resist Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. This genetic modification is hereditary, so future generations of seeds are also "Roundup Ready." Farmers had only to save a portion of their crop for re-planting the next season, and they wouldn't need to purchase new seed from Monsanto every year. The company didn't want to be in the business of making a one-time sale, so when Monsanto sold "Roundup Ready" soybeans to farmers, it required them to sign a licensing agreement promising not to re-plant future generations of seeds…farmers remain free to sell the soybeans they grow in the commodity market, where most are used to feed people or livestock. Roundup Ready soybeans…now account for 94 percent of all acres planted in Indiana…Vernon Bowman…realized that Roundup Ready soybeans had become so common in his area that if he simply purchased commodity soybeans…the overwhelming majority of those soybeans would be Roundup Ready. Commodity soybeans are significantly cheaper than Monsanto's soybeans, and they came without the contractual restriction on re-planting. So Bowman planted (and re-planted) commodity soybeans instead of using Monsanto's seeds. When Monsanto discovered what Bowman was doing, it sued him for patent infringement…Bowman argued that when Monsanto sold seed to a farmer, it exhausted its rights not only to that specific seed but to all of the seed's descendants…Bowman…argued that he was free to plant the seeds and even to save and re-plant each season's crop for future seasons…Monsanto contends that Bowman is illegally "manufacturing" infringing soybeans…In a world where 94 percent of soybeans in circulation are descended from Monsanto's genetically engineered seeds, it might be hard for farmers who didn't want Monsanto's seeds even to buy seeds that were not patent encumbered. Monsanto's position would effectively place the burden on farmers to test seeds they hope to plant in order to ensure they are not covered by any patents…”  [if this doesn’t sound familiar, re-read “Freedom™” – ed.]
44.    Modder Turns Exercise Bike into Mario Kart Controller  http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Gaming-Exercise-Mario-Kart-Mod-Exercise-Bike,news-14818.html  “…The Wii and Microsoft's Kinect both aim to get gamers moving…but what about playing some of the classics and exercising at the same time? Canadian modder Brent Smith rigged an old stationary bike up to an old Super Nintendo controller using an Arduino microcontroller, a few transistors, some pushbutton switches, a few resistors, a $2 photo interrupter, and a breadboard. The resulting mod allows you to play Super Mario Kart with a real bike as the controller. Peddling at a certain rate holds down the A button to accelerate, while left and right are buttons on the handlebars. There is a red button in the middle of the handlebars for using special items. "When I was young I used to think about how much fun it would be to play SMK with a real bike," Smith said via his blog. "Now, many years later, we finally have the ability to create such a thing without a lot of very specific knowledge and tools. Nothing there is overly expensive and none of it should require more then a little time and googling to figure out how to use…”
45.    A New Wave of Hardware Innovation, by Dale Dougherty  http://www.core77.com/blog/articles/a_new_wave_of_hardware_innovation_by_dale_dougherty_22384.asp  “A meetup for hardware startups brought 200 people to a warehouse in San Francisco's Dogpatch…The meetup was organized by Nick Pinkston, the founder of CloudFab, who thought that people designing hardware products wanted to find each other more easily. I found new startups doing e-textiles, robots, medical diagnostic adaptors for the iPhone, a new kind of coffee maker and others, including a foldable kayak…,on Kickstarter, hardware products such as Pebble, Twine and PrintrBot are raising the bar on raising money via crowdfunding…traditional sources of investment such as venture capitalists don't seem to be interested in hardware. One exception is Brad Feld of the Foundry Group who has invested in MakerBot…A large chip company is now hiring makers in its research and development organization. Another software company is looking for "maker advocates" who can help them understand how to connect with the maker community…we're seeing a new wave of innovation from new sources, inspired by the maker movement. The combination of open hardware, collaborative design practices and personal fabrication tools are making it possible for a whole new group of creatives to develop physical things…Make Magazine is organizing a program featuring leaders of the maker movement, such as Limor Fried and Phil Torrone of Adafruit, Massimo Banzi of Arduino, Jay Rogers of Local Motors, Mark Hatch of Tech Shop and others. We will be talking Arduino, 3D printing, and open source hardware, plus showcasing 25 hardware startups…We will discuss how larger companies and new sources of capital might accelerate the pace the innovation in hardware. Make's Hardware Innovation Workshop will be held May 15-16 at…Xerox PARC…”
Open Source Hardware
46.    Stabilized aerial photography: 3-Axis IMU working with a Papilio One  http://www.gadgetfactory.net/2012/05/3-axis-imu-working-with-a-papilio-one/  “…Here is a new…project that has just been realized by Papilio user Laurent Siou, he has successfully made a 3-Axis IMU with a Papilio One 250k board!! Laurent’s goal was to realize an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for a camera and take in-flight stabilized videos. His particular design is comprised of : Papilio One 250K board…ITG-3200 eval board…BMA180 accelerometer…HMC5883L magnetometer…Laurent used the AVR8 core 1.6.0 with Arduino IDE…”
47.    Sparky’s Widgets - Dedicated to Open Source Hardware/Software  http://www.eeweb.com/websites/sparkys-widgets-dedicated-to-open-source-hardware-software  “Dedicated to Open Source Hardware/Software and all forms of Making. Sparky’s Widgets brings together designs, tutorial videos and general information. Sparky’s Widgets is best known for SMT drag soldering tutorials and sensor interface designs. This site continually adds new…content, from Welding to Radios…creative projects and informative videos and tutorials…”
Open Source
48.    Six reasons to try the GIMP 2.8  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/255081/six_good_reasons_to_try_gimp_28.html  “…GIMP is surely among the best known examples for offering a no-cost and yet power-packed alternative to an extremely high-priced proprietary market leader…the project's developers announced the release of GIMP 2.8, a new stable version that culminates more than three years of work…1. Single-Window Mode…Perhaps the most widely anticipated feature now included in GIMP 2.8 is an optional single-window mode. Users can toggle between the default multi-window mode and the new single-window mode; in the latter, GIMP will put dockable dialogs and images in a single, tabbed image window…2. Multi-Column Dock Windows…3. On-Canvas Text Editing…4. Separate Save and Export…5. Layer Groups…6. Cairo…” [have or do you used GIMP on a regular basis? If so, does it take care of all your Photoshop-y graphics needs?  – ed.]
49.    How to Support A Family of 5 By Running An Open Source Project  http://gun.io/blog/open-source-business-how-to-support-a-family-by-running-an-open-source-project/  “…Lately, I've been recording music in my spare time. Since I try to use as much Free and Open Source software as possible, I found the free digital audio workstation Ardour. When I went to download the software, I was asked for a donation before I could download it. Intriguing!...I interviewed the project leader, Paul Davis, about this business model…When I originally started working on Ardour, I was relatively financially independent…by 2008 I was reliant on the support I was receiving from a few companies in the audio technology world. In early 2009 this support had all come to an end, and I could either give up working on Ardour and find a "regular" job, or figure out some way to make a living from Ardour itself. I had been accepting donations for several years…The big change was the so-called pay tunnel…I didn't want to try to force people to pay for Ardour, but I wanted to "encourage" them as much as I could…The target is $4500 per month. Occasionally it makes or slightly exceeds that target. Often it falls short. I work on Ardour full time based on this income, though the last couple of years have seen me do some relatively short term consulting that has supplemented my income by about 10%. My real goal is to grow the income enough to pay some of the other developers who work on Ardour with incredible dedication, and no payment at all. My family lives without health insurance or any clear retirement plans, but we can also live cheaply thanks to my participation in helping start Amazon. Having complete control over my work schedule and life is worth something - I'm not sure how much…”
Civilian Aerospace
50.    SpaceX 1st private cargo run to space station now May 19  http://news.yahoo.com/spacex-try-iss-launch-may-19-231557059.html   “SpaceX said it will attempt to send a cargo-loaded spacecraft to the International Space Station on May 19 after a series of delays, the latest over software issues…SpaceX aims to be the first private company to send its own spacecraft to the orbiting research lab on a cargo mission…SpaceX made history with its Dragon launch in December 2010, becoming the first commercial outfit to send a spacecraft into orbit and back…SpaceX and several other companies are competing to be the first to operate a private capsule that could tote astronauts and cargo to the ISS…The main goals of SpaceX's cargo flight include a fly-by of the ISS and a berthing operation in which the company's reusable spacecraft, the Dragon, will approach the ISS and the crew aboard the orbiting outpost will use the ISS robotic arm to help it latch on…The gumdrop-shaped Dragon capsule will carry 521 kilograms (1,148 pounds) of cargo for the space lab and will also aim to return a 660 kg (1,455 lb) load…”
51.     Wearable technology for space  http://www.aviationnow.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_05_03_2012_p06-02-454198.xml  “…An astronaut’s garments must be functional, yet as comfortable as possible, whether the flier is sealed inside a spacecraft or on a spacewalk…Mass, volume, durability, ease of care, even resistance to bacteria and recyclability compete with greater demands for functionality…Think of garments laced with sensors and circuitry that monitor vital signs or that display patient histories in a virtual setting to medical specialists. A safety tunic donned by bicycle or motorcycle riders might incorporate turn signals and caution lights. We are really focused on displays and controls, human interfaces…A major focus is clothing with sensoring technology that collects information about unfamiliar environments and quickly provides it to the wearer in a usable format…His initial quest for outside expertise led Simon to Lucy Dunne, an assistant professor of apparel design at the University of Minnesota and an early researcher in the field of technology-enhanced apparel. Their meeting in late 2011 initiated a…project involving 15 students from Dunne’s functional clothing lab who previewed some of their concepts to NASA engineers for integrating environmental sensors and controls, microphones, cameras, computers, and even hazard-warning devices into test garments…”
52.    Boeing's capsule landing system tested in Nevada  http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1205/03cst100/  “Boeing conducted a successful end-to-end test Wednesday of the landing parachutes for the CST-100 commercial crew spacecraft…An Erickson Sky Crane helicopter hoisted the capsule to an altitude of about 14,000 feet and released it…Wednesday's drop test included two drogue stabilization parachutes and three main chutes to slow the capsule to a gentle touchdown at Delamar Dry Lake near Alamo, Nev., a former emergency landing site for the X-15 rocket plane. Crewed flights of the CST-100 will initially return to Earth at White Sands Missile Range, N.M…The CST-100 is Boeing's proposed spacecraft for commercial human transportation to the International Space Station. NASA awarded Boeing a $112.9 million agreement last year to advance the design and development of the capsule's systems. It is competing with spacecraft concepts by SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corp., and Blue Origin. Bigelow Aerospace, a Las Vegas-based firm designing a private space station, is partnering with Boeing on the CST-100 vehicle…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
53.    NCSA director: GPU is future of supercomputing  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20021232-64.html  “The director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications has seen the future of supercomputing and it can be summed up in three letters: GPU. Thom Dunning…says high-performance computing will begin to move toward graphics processing units or GPUs…"What we're really seeing in the efforts in China as well as the ones we have in the U.S. is that GPUs are what the future will look like,"…But it's not going to be a snap to tap into the processing potential of GPUs. "Programming these machines to do [GPU] calculations is still a very substantial effort…If they start to solve some of these other problems like putting [the GPU and CPU] together on a chip, that's when you'll start to see a lot software rewritten…a very small pipe between [the CPU and GPU]…really restricts the effectiveness with which you can use the GPU," he said…Intel, AMD, IBM, and Nvidia chips will all vie to get inside future supercomputers but Intel has one distinct advantage, according to Dunning. "They have much easier programming models…The real issue in GPUs right now besides this very narrow pipe is the difficulty of programming them. At University of Illinois, we've seen pretty dramatic speed-ups in the performance of GPUs but only if you make a very substantial investment in people who are reprogramming them…”
54.    Chinese Genomics Giant Launches GPU-Accelerated Cloud Service for DNA Sequencing  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-04-26/chinese_genomics_giant_launches_gpu-accelerated_cloud_service_for_dna_sequencing.html  “…BGI, the world's largest genomics institute, is launching a service that will enable researchers worldwide to perform affordable next-generation sequencing (NGS) bioinformatics analysis in the cloud…"EasyGenomics" service from…BGI combines an intuitive user interface with BGI's automated pipeline analysis, software and tools…integrated with the industry's largest sequencing platform to provide everything biologists, bioinformaticists and, ultimately, physicians need to submit and receive an automated analysis of DNA sequencing data…GPU acceleration enables scientists to analyze DNA sequencing data faster than was ever possible, reducing the time from five days to just five hours. Once fully deployed in the cloud, we anticipate EasyGenomics could one day revolutionize genomics research." The EasyGenomics cloud service features hybrid computing systems powered by NVIDIA Tesla M2070 and M2075 GPUs, which accelerate the DNA sequencing data analysis in conjunction with system CPUs. BGI plans to upgrade the EasyGenomics service with hundreds of additional NVIDIA Tesla GPUs when it is fully deployed…”

*****

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