2012/05/15

NEW NET Weekly List for 15 May 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 15 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.        Schedule Events, Meetings Easily With Doodle  http://www.ghacks.net/2012/05/08/schedule-events-meetings-easily-with-doodle/  “We have this…group that meets once a month for some pen and paper dragon slaying. While it consists of only five participants, it has been complicated up until now to agree on a date where everyone has the time…Email…would mean getting back and forth multiple times. Calendars are not an option as well, as some do not use online calendars at all, while others used calendars at different providers. Enter Doodle, a free to use service that lets you schedule events and meetings in just a few steps. What I really like about Doodle, besides being absolutely easy to setup, is that you do not need to create an account to use it…”
2.       The new Bing Maps, What’s Your Take?  http://www.ghacks.net/2012/05/07/the-new-bing-maps-whats-your-take/  “…a new design for Bing Maps…more or less slipped by unnoticed. The main idea behind the redesign was to improve search by removing features, links and design elements that were in the way of the searcher…The first thing that you will probably notice are the calls to action on the left. Bing displays six different options there as headlines, and related options below that. This may look crowded at first, but it may be helpful for users who are looking for specific information…Explore Map Imagery – Allows you to switch to different view modes, including bird’s eye, aerial or streetside…Explore Map Apps – Displays a list of map apps that you can install, for instance to display additional information on the map…”
3.       Jamendo Gets A New Look  http://www.ghacks.net/2012/05/03/jamendo-gets-a-new-look-and-criticism/  “Jamendo is one of the coolest destination for free music on the Internet…The site operators recently changed the design of the website, to provide users with a “more user friendly, simply website”, that allows everyone accessing it to “discover, listen to and download thousands of music tracks without limitation”…what’s new on the music portal…More accurate search results…faster, more responsive site…enhanced HTML5 music player…”
4.       Why Facebook may soon cost you money  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/9263845/Facebook-charges-users-for-prominent-posts.html  “The ‘pay to promote’ system is being trialled in New Zealand, and allows users to make the posts they make on the social network more conspicuous to their friends on the site. Facebook said it was using a series of different prices in the trial…A user in Whangerei, New Zealand, said he was offered a $2 price, and that the post would have been displayed on a yellow background. Facebook spokeswoman Mia Garlick confirmed…the idea was a new "feature" it was testing. "We're constantly testing new features across the site. This particular test is simply to gauge people's interest in this method of sharing with their friends…”  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57433340-71/why-facebook-may-soon-cost-you-money/  “…It's hard not to imagine that -- despite Mark Zuckerberg's insistence that Facebook will always be free -- the soon-to-public company will have to seek more revenues from its biggest franchise: every single one of its users. The principle behind the test aimed at users this week was the same as that aimed at advertisers: "Not too many people see your very important Facebook updates. So pay us and we'll make sure they do. Or at least we'll try."…On average, a mere 12 percent of your friends see your status updates. One can understand Facebook's problem. Too many people use it. Too many posts are being created. Too many people miss most of what's there. Yes, it's just like Twitter…Those who demand that Mark Zuckerberg pay them the same respect as he would pay God -- yes, by wearing a jacket -- are only interested in money rolling in…if Facebook's numbers fall short, they will be all over the company like a scratchy hoodie. It is that sure knowledge that is driving Facebook to find every possible avenue of revenue…”
5.        Zoho Launches Zoho Sites, Website Builder for Businesses  http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-cms/zoho-sites-adds-website-building-to-already-strong-portfolio-015599.php  “…Zoho has launched a website builder to go along with its suite of other tools for CRM, DAM and mobile apps. Zoho Sites is available now in the Google Apps Marketplace, and the two main levels are a free version, and a US$ 40 per year option for up to six websites…Yes, there are countless other website building tools out there, but it's not every day a company as large and ever-present as Zoho launches this kind of tool. That means anyone already using one of Zoho's many products will have little trouble integrating those tools with Zoho Sites…SMBs that may not be looking for document, email or CRM support can use Zoho Sites, and then when they're ready, they can start adding on other services…because Zoho sites is in available in Google's Marketplace, it's easy to sign into Zoho sites with a Google Apps login. There's about 35 website designs ready to plug in…All the designs feature clean, minimalist looks, another reason the Google App integration makes sense. They both have that same feel…for some companies, the only thing they want to start with is the website. If Zoho can provide that in an easy, low-cost way, it makes sense some of those companies will look again to Zoho for more advanced business needs…”
6.       Cheezburger Creator Launches SimpleHoney To Find Hotels You’ll Love  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/09/simplehoney-launch/  “People deal with the pain of online hotel search is different ways…I usually throw up your hands and say, “Screw it, I give up, I’m just going to pick an affordable hotel that doesn’t look completely terrible.”…there’s something broken here — the fact that without being there, it’s hard to tell what a hotel is really like. That’s what a startup called SimpleHoney is trying to solve. It was co-founded by Eric Nakagawa (a software developer who created the famous Icanhascheezburger blog) and Joyce Kim…When you create a SimpleHoney account, you’re asked for some basic information about your travel preferences, and the site starts recommending hotels based on those preferences. You can also fill out a longer quiz…Then you’ll be assigned a travel personality type…which is used to refine the recommendations. In other words, you’re no longer choosing a hotel based solely on the price and a star rating, but on how it actually fits with your personality and preferences…Behind the scenes, the SimpleHoney team is doing a lot of footwork to make sure the hotel recommendations are accurate, including interviewing the management and visiting the locations…as I filled out the survey, it backed up what Kim was telling me: “People don’t realize they have a travel style until they go through this…”
7.        Swiftype Builds Site Search That Doesn’t Suck  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/08/swiftype-launch/  “…I don’t think I’ve ever met another blogger who was happy with the search feature on their website. The options range from terrible to functional, but it’s never good, and I’ve always found that it’s easier to just search via Google…Matt Riley and Quin Hoxie saw the same problem when they were working at Scribd. So they left to build a better website search engine, one that they’re calling Swiftype…Riley and Hoxie say that unlike Google Site Search, it’s not just taking Google’s global web rankings and filtering them for one website. Instead, it builds…“a PageRank that’s specific to individual websites.” So it looks at the signals of importance on your website and prioritizes content accordingly. For example, if you link to anything from your front page, that’s a pretty big signal that it’s important to you and should be ranked highly…Swiftype also allows site owners to pin and unpin different items to the top of their search results. If you’re a news site, that might mean pinning the most popular and best articles, or it might mean promoting content that’s related to an ongoing sponsorship campaign. And Swiftype offers a set of tags that publishers can include in their pages to show which content should be surfaced in the results. Other features include analytics data and auto-complete for people typing in their search…”
8.       Mozilla and Google want MS Windows RT for ARM to run all browsers  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-57431475-2/google-agrees-with-mozillas-windows-rt-browser-concerns/  “Google has joined Mozilla in its attempt to push Microsoft to permit full-fledged browsers other than Internet Explorer on Windows RT, its operating system geared for devices running ARM processors. Mozilla objects to Microsoft decisions that, it says, prevent it from bringing a competitive version of Firefox to Windows RT. Other browsers don't get access to the same operating system abilities that IE10 gets…Mozilla, a veteran of the browser wars, isn't to be taken lightly, but having Google on its side amplifies the non-profit organization's clout…ARM processors are used in virtually all iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices…With Windows RT, Microsoft appears to be aiming for an operating system more in the style of iOS than Windows on the x86 chips that PCs use…Windows RT can only install software from the Windows Store of Windows Update service. It can only be obtained preinstalled on hardware. And third-party browser makers aren't particularly welcome…"They're trying to make a new version of their operating system which denies their users choice, competition, and innovation," Anderson told CNET…Google permits other browsers on Android, and Mozilla Firefox and Opera Mobile are among the browsers available…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
9.       Iran forbids banks and other firms from corresponding with users of Gmail and other foreign email services  http://thenextweb.com/me/2012/05/13/iran-forbids-banks-and-other-firms-from-corresponding-with-users-of-gmail-and-other-foreign-email-services/  “Iran has continued its online crackdown, and its move towards a national Internet, by introducing a new regulation that instructs banks, insurances firms and telecom companies to cease dealing with messages sent from foreign email addresses…The Ministry of Telecommunications ordered that only email addresses belonging to Iran can be used, meaning that Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and any other foreign email providers are no longer an option, not only for these institutions, but for their customers as well. Individuals who wish to correspond via email must now do so with domestic emails, ending with iran.ir, post.ir and chmail.ir, while governmental organizations are limited to using gov.ir or .ir. Universities are also included in the crackdown, and have been ordered to use either ac.ir or .ir endings for their email addresses…”
10.     No-fly list glitch: Computer error led N.J. toddler to be pulled from JetBlue flight  http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/10/travel/no-fly-toddler/index.html  “JetBlue Airways is apologizing for a "computer glitch" it blames for a family being told their 18-month-old daughter was on a government no-fly list. The parents…and their infant, identified only as Riyanna, had boarded JetBlue Flight 510 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Newark, New Jersey…when they say an airline employee ask them to get off the plane. "I said, 'For what?'" Riyanna's mother told CNN…"He said, 'It is not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as no fly.'" The family is of Middle Eastern descent and the mother wears a headscarf, but they say they are U.S. citizens and have lived in New Jersey all of their lives…"TSA did not flag this child as being on the no-fly list," Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Sterling Payne told CNN…"TSA was called to the gate by the airline and after talking to the parents and confirming through our vetting system, TSA determined the airline had mistakenly indicated the child was on a government watch list." The family declined to continue on the flight, saying they felt humiliated…"We are investigating this particular incident. We believe this was a computer glitch," JetBlue Spokeswoman Allison Steinberg said in a statement without elaborating. "Our crewmembers followed the appropriate protocols, and we apologize to the family involved in this unfortunate circumstance…”
11.      Hello Skynet: Self-adapting computer network to defend itself against hackers  http://blogs.computerworld.com/20173/hello_skynet_self_adapting_computer_network_to_defend_itself_against_hackers  “…What if a network was self-morphing and could protect itself against hackers by automatically changing its setup and configuration? Now you see me, but now you don't? Kansas State University cybersecurity experts are delving into the idea of applying intelligent adaptive techniques to cybersecurity…Kansas State University cybersecurity brains believe cyberattackers could be thwarted if the "network automatically and periodically randomizes its configuration through various methods -- such as changing the addresses of software applications on the network; switching between instances of the applications; and changing the location of critical system data." This makes it a moving-target defense. "The key is to make the network appear to an attacker that it is changing chaotically while to an authorized user the system operates normally."…Xinming "Simon" Ou and Scott DeLoach…were awarded a five-year grant of over $1 million…to study this moving-target defense, a type of adaptive cybersecurity…they "will also create a proof-of-concept system as a way to experiment with the idea in a concrete setting."…"If you have a Web server, pretty much anybody in the world can figure out where you are and what software you're running," DeLoach explained…attackers scan your system and find out everything they can about your server configuration and what security holes it has. Then they select the best time for them to attack and exploit those security holes in order to do the most damage…Instead of malicious hackers or automated attackers needing to find only one security hole to exploit, a self-morphing computer network system that "frequently removes whatever security privileges attackers may gain" would shift the security balance back to network administrators…”
12.     Why you don't need a firewall  http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/why-you-dont-need-firewall-193153  “Firewalls need to go away…Firewalls tend to be horribly managed. Almost no one reads the logs or responds to the events recorded…The average firewall produces thousands of warning messages every hour. Who can find the valuable, actionable information in all that noise? Not me -- nor any firewall administrator I've ever met…in over 20 years, I've never reviewed a hardware firewall that had up-to-date firmware. They all contained public vulnerabilities that would allow attackers to get in only if they tried…One of the biggest reasons why firewalls don't matter is how every app and service being developed today works over either port 80 or 443, two ports you can't and never could block. The bad guys know this, and many years ago, they coded their hacking tools and malware to work over those same ports…The smart hacker money has been sailing through the guaranteed open firewall ports for many years. Today, 99 percent of all successful attacks are client-side attacks, in which the end-user runs something he or she shouldn't… the real test of whether or not firewalls have any value is whether or not PCs with firewalls get hacked less than PCs with firewalls. This used to be true -- but it hasn't been true for a long time…most future computing devices will not be traditional desktop or laptop computers. Do you think that our pad devices, smartphones, mobile devices, and computer-enabled TVs are going to have firewalls -- or that their users that will understand firewalls well enough to configure them…In the future, which is now, firewalls are already dead…The cost of having a firewall simply outweighs the benefits…”
13.     Windows 8 to Let Parents Get Weekly Reports About Kids' Activity  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404478,00.asp  “Microsoft said this week that Windows 8 will allow parents to monitor their kids' Web activity and receive weekly reports describing their PC use. For secondary accounts, Windows 8 users can check a box that says, "Is this a child's account? Turn on Family Safety to get reports of their PC use." No downloads, installation wizards, or configuration is required…Monitoring a kid's Web activity "may be difficult to employ if your household has multiple PCs or if your kids use laptops and tablets," wrote Phil Sohn, the senior program manager lead for Family Safety at Microsoft. "And glancing over a teenager's shoulder can be awkward for both parents and kids…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
14.     Telefonica launches Tu Me for iPhone with free VoIP calling and messaging  http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/8/3007839/telefonica-tu-me-free-iphone-communication-app  “…Telefónica…Tu Me, a new integrated communications app for the iPhone…works over Wi-Fi as well as your carrier's network and offers free VoIP calling, integrated text and audio messaging, and photo and location sharing. Of course, you'll only be able to communicate or share with other Tu Me users — the app can search your address book for other users, or you can invite friends via SMS or email…Telefónica says that Tu Me will be launching on Android soon, and while there are already cross-platform messaging apps available (like Skype, Kik, ChatOn, and of course Facebook's dedicated messaging app), Tu Me has a nice level of polish that might make it worth investigating…As for how Telefónica will make up for potential revenue lost through the use of its app, the carrier notes that Tu Me is just one part of a number of "enhanced communication services" the company plans to roll out…”
15.     Voyager Mobile intros unlimited wireless plans starting at $19  http://www.bgr.com/2012/05/14/voyager-mobile-unlimited-wireless-plan/  “Voyager Mobile, an MVNO that resells airtime on Sprint’s network…will offer unlimited wireless plans for use on its nationwide 3G and 4G networks starting at $19 per month on May 15th…The new wireless company offers no-contract Android and Windows Phone handsets that operate on Sprint’s EV-DO 3G and WiMAX 4G networks. The $19 per month plans includes unlimited talk and text, while a second plan for $39 per month includes unlimited talk, text and data. The company will offer Sprint’s most popular Android smartphones, such as the Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G Touch, Motorola XPRT and others, along with a mobile hotspot, two USB dongles and Android-based tablets from HTC and ZTE…”
16.     Unnecto Quattro hands-on: an unlocked dual-SIM Android phone for under $200  http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/8/3007894/unnecto-quattro-hands-on  “…Unnecto's…newest Android smartphone, the Quattro…will cost under $200 unlocked…we suspect this is the kind of hardware we'll see in future Android smartphones that are free on contract…it has a 4-inch, 480 x 800 LCD screen, a 650Mhz MediaTek processor, and a 5-megapixel rear camera. You get two SIM slots with the Quattro — one micro SIM and another full-sized — but for now it only supports 850MHz and 2100MHz HSDPA…the company is working to get a T-Mobile compatible version…Quattro won't be sold from a carrier — it'll be solely be available from third-party retailers like Amazon and Newegg when it comes out…While the Quattro by no means competes with the newest marquee phones like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S III, it's solid for such an inexpensive phone…it runs a slightly-modified version of Gingerbread…The OS has also been modified with a setting that allows you to switch between the two SIMs in the phone…phones like the Quattro may very well be the devices that get smartphones into the hands of the nearly 50 percent of Americans who still use featurephones and dumbphones…”
17.     TicTocTrac watch measures both time and your perception of it  http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/8/3007537/tictoctrac-time-perception-measuring-wristwatch  “The passage of time can be measured with increasing accuracy, but our own perception of it often diverges wildly from the generally accepted reality…The TicTocTrac wristwatch, built as an engineering project, is a handsome analog-faced watch with a 3D-printed case and microSD card slot. You can check the time by double-tapping its face…Once the watch is "awake," double-tapping it again will start a time estimation exercise. The screen lights up briefly, showing a random amount of time (between 5 and 55 minutes) for you to wait. Once you think that amount of time has elapsed, you can wake up the watch, which will tell you whether you've overestimated or underestimated…this creates a basic form of "duration production," one of several methods used to track time perception…The watch is basically a proof of concept, and the team hasn't expressed any desire to make more of them. What they have done is release full instructions for building your own…”
18.     Mini-Projector for Smartphones  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120510100042.htm  “…It‘s convenient to be able to show people vacation snapshots on a smartphone. But picture details are often hard to make out – the display is simply too small. A new LED projector could help: You position the smartphone in a small cradle on a coffee table,for instance, and it projects the image onto the table top…If a user wants to zoom in on a portion of the picture, they can swipe the projection with their finger the same way they would swipe a display screen – the projected image can be controlled using the same principle as the display itself. The special thing about the LED projector: the entire image displayed, such as a vacation snapshot, is crisp and clear – even if projected at a very fl at angle with the beams striking the table surface at a diagonal. Usually, this would distort the picture and make it blurry in places…Our projector consists of hundreds of tiny microprojectors in an array, each of which generates a complete image…modeled on nature – on the compound eye found in some insects – and with it for the first time we can create very thin and bright LED projection systems with tremendous imaging properties…Hundreds of individual images overlap to create a sharp and bright overall picture. But if the device is positioned at an angle to the “screen,“ each little projector shines a slightly different image…Each of the individual images is computed using software the researchers have developed: the position sensor and the smartphone‘s camera could deliver the geometric information, which the software uses to perform its calculations and compute the individual images…The optics were manufactured on wafers containing around 300 chips, each in turn housing 200 lenses for the microprojectors…The image is overlaid with infrared lines invisible to the user. If the user‘s finger breaks one of these lines with a swipe motion, for instance, the sensor registers this and advances to the next image…”
19.     Two weeks of smartphone charging in your pocket  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57428080-76/two-weeks-of-smartphone-charging-in-your-pocket/  “Retailer Brookstone will sell a portable fuel cell able to charge smartphones a dozen times before running out. Fuel cell maker Lilliputian Systems today announced that Brookstone will be the first retailer to carry its portable USB power source…The fuel cell device is about the size of a thick smartphone, and the lighter fluid-filled cartridges are about the same size as a cigarette lighter…The new fuel cell will charge any device that has a USB cable…”
20.    Windows Phone Smokes Android, iPhone, But No One Wants It  http://www.pcworld.com/article/255298/windows_phone_smokes_android_iphone_but_no_one_wants_it.html  “During Microsoft's recent Smoked by Windows Phone challenge, Microsoft-based devices were almost always faster at completing everyday tasks compared to Android and iPhone handsets. But even the fastest Windows Phone can't run away from the fact that nobody's buying Microsoft-powered handsets…Microsoft recently wrapped up the Smoked by Windows Phone promotion claiming Windows Phone devices beat out more than 50,000 challengers in 36 countries. During the challenge, your smartphone would participate in a head-to-head race against a Windows Phone to complete a basic task such as uploading a photo to Facebook, searching for movie times, or checking weather forecasts. If you won, you'd typically get $100, although Microsoft did offer a new laptop and $1,000 at one point. Microsoft only had to pay out 2 percent of the time, claiming a win rate of 98 percent…Smoked by Windows Phone was also accused of being an unfair challenge and Microsoft even tried to wrangle one crushing defeat against a Samsung Galaxy Nexus into a win…Tech writer Sahas Katta took his Samsung Galaxy Nexus into a Santa Clara, Calif., Microsoft Store and was challenged to look up the weather in two different cities. Katta had two weather widgets on his Android home screen and had set up his phone to bypass the lock screen so all he had to do was turn on the phone and he'd win. That's exactly what happened, but Microsoft employees quickly tried to wrangle out of giving Katta the prize with several excuses…After the rest of the tech media picked up the story, Microsoft apologized and offered Katta the prize…Despite Microsoft's best efforts, its new smartphone platform is not popular with consumers. In fact, Windows Phone appears to be less popular in the U.S. than Microsoft's aging Windows Mobile platform…during the first three months of 2012, Windows Phone had a market share of just 1.7 percent, far behind fourth place Windows Mobile at 4.1 percent. The top smartphone operating systems in the U.S. are Android (48.5 percent), iOS (32 percent), and BlackBerry (11.6 percent)…”
Apps
21.     Facebook Is Launching Its Own App Store  http://venturebeat.com/2012/05/09/facebook-app-center/#s:app-center-facebook   “Facebook is launching a new App Center, “a place to find social web, desktop, and mobile apps” — and not just Facebook apps. The App Center will bring Facebook’s 900 million users all the best in iOS apps, Android apps, web apps, mobile web apps, and even desktop apps…You won’t just find free apps here, either. Facebook is also introducing paid apps. The company stated it expects in-app purchases to be developers’ primary money-makers for the time being; however, making paid apps available through the Facebook platform is the beginning of a very interesting business opportunity, both for devs and for Facebook…Each app will have star ratings gathered from users, and Facebook will also be collecting data on how often users come back to the app and how long they stay on it. Those scores will be combined to determine an application’s overall quality…For apps such as Goodreads, that Facebook-linked growth has been truly phenomenal and has earned its own nickname: the Facebook Timeline bump…Facebook tells us it is not competing directly with Apple or Google. The App Center will send traffic to both the iOS and Android platforms. If, for example, you’re browsing Facebook’s App Center on your Android and you click a link for a plant/zombie game, you’ll be taken to that app’s Google Play page to install it…”
22.    iOS 6 to Drop Google Maps for Apple Maps App from C3 Technologies  http://9to5mac.com/2012/05/11/ios-6-apple-drops-google-maps-debuts-in-house-maps-with-incredible-3d-mode/  “…Apple has…in development for iOS 6: a completely in-house maps application. Apple will drop the Google Maps program running on iOS since 2007 in favor for a new Maps app with an Apple backend…While Apple has always had full control of the actual iOS Maps application design, the backend has belonged to Google. That will change with iOS 6 thanks to their purchases of Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9; acquisitions that Apple has used to create a complete mapping database…Apple’s replacement for Google Street View will likely also be an in-house solution. C3 Technologies worked on street view capability…The most important aspect of the new Maps application is a…new 3D mode. The 3D mode does not come enabled by default, but users simply need to click a 3D button that is conveniently and visibly stored in the app…This is how…C3 Technologies described their technology…Since 2007 when it was spun out of the aerospace and defense company Saab AB, venture-backed C3 has redefined mapping by applying previously classified image processing technology to the development of 3D maps as a platform for new social and commercial applications. The Sweden-based company’s automated software and advanced algorithms enable C3 to rapidly assemble extremely precise 3D models…On the topic of C3 technologies, a few weeks ago we heard that most of the C3 Technologies top executives that came to Apple as a part of the acquisition have left for new opportunities…”
23.    MobBase Busts Out Free HTML5 App Creator for Bands: Like TuneCore for Apps?  http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/05/mobbase-html5-band-apps/  “…apps really can be a fine way for artists to “connect with their fans,”…MobBase debuted another interesting entry in the budding market for helping bands build apps — a trend that at the very least gives them a new way to promote themselves to their fans, and could even turn into a significant revenue stream. Its idea: an HTML5 app that’s free for any band to create, and which runs on any platform (mobile, tablet or a “computer,” whatever that is), delivering music, photos, tweets and videos. Bands can have it for free with a limit of three songs and three videos — or, they can post unlimited content within the app and use all of the extra features for $5 plus $5/month…Several other companies are mining this same vein, including Mobile Roadie, AppsBar, SongPier, Band App…Bands who are building one of these shouldn’t skimp on the tunes; they need to keep that music updated, ideally with exclusives, demos, outtakes, and other stuff fans crave; and they need to remember to surround that music with other stuff that will make them money (tickets, merch, vinyl sales, download sales of the same music, etc.)…The HTML5 and iTunes versions of the app are identical. The iTunes one is much more expensive because Apple does not allow apps created by app farms…”
24.    Google+ Hangouts On Air in app form could have massive potential  http://www.androidapps.com/tech/articles/11928-google-hangouts-on-air-in-app-form-could-have-massive-potential  “Google announced…that Hangouts On Air is now universally available for all Google+ users…Hangouts is a social feature of Google+ where people can video chat with one another while using the social networking service. It’s a bit like a group Skype or Apple’s FaceTime, but with the ability for multiple people to video-chat together at the same time…You can broadcast your live hangout directly from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website…Google announced a number of celebrity Hangouts On Air for the coming weeks including the CBS Morning Show, Conan O’Brien and Jamie Oliver, as well as some interesting social causes…users of the Android Google+ app can start hangouts, but currently it’s limited to just nine users…The ability to view Hangouts and participate in them while mobile will be a great boon and make them very flexible…there are already many apps that facilitate video sharing…the Vimeo app allows users to upload, manage and view clips from their smartphones and check out recommended videos from Vimeo’s curated channels…Socialcam…faciltates easy sharing of video clips which are then stored in the cloud and viewable from any device. However, no other app offers the same collaborative experience that Google’s new Hangouts On Air could…there are video-chatting apps like Skype, and something like Tango Video Calls is great because it allows group video chats in-app, but these are only with your friends or contacts, not strangers…Google+ may not have the reach of Facebook or Twitter, but the video hangout feature is a unique selling point for the service and it’s the only social network that offers anything like it…”
SkyNet
25.    Google Quietly Launches Free Google Offers Across The U.S.  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/09/google-quietly-launches-groupon-now-like-free-google-offers-across-the-u-s/  “Google…announced its latest update for Google Maps for Android with support for Google Offers…Google Maps for Android users now get access to free Google Offers like a free coffee or dessert…that’s actually just a small part of a wider update to Google Offers. Merchants across the U.S. – including towns where Google’s pre-paid offers haven’t launched yet – can now use a new self-service interface to create these free offers…there are three major pieces to today’s announcement: a new way for users to use Offers, a new way for merchants to use it, and expanded distribution of offers through Maps for Android. Until now, Google and most of its competitors in this market have focused on pre-paid offers. With this new free offering, Google wants to give merchants more opportunities to get new customers to their stores. Store owners can use a new self-service interface to set specific times for when and how long an offer should be valid. This new interface also gives merchants access to stock photography and other tools to fine-tune their messages. The coupons can be for money off, a percentage discount or a free product or gift…this is for free coupons and not for pre-paid offers. As Rosenblum put it, this is basically a way to give shoppers “a gentle nudge” to come and try out a new store, coffee shop or restaurant…”
26.    Five ways to depersonalize Google search results  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57433241-285/five-ways-to-depersonalize-google-search-results/  “A friend asked me to recommend a browser add-on that would allow her to see generic results when she did a Google search. I convinced her to eschew extensions in favor of the manual approach to search depersonalization. Google's support site explains…how to restrict who sees your personal results, limit whose personal results you see, and customize the feature in other ways…The most-obvious way to depersonalize searches --at least partially -- is to use your browser's anonymous mode. In Google Chrome, click the wrench icon in the top-right corner and choose New Incognito Window (or press Ctrl-Shift-N in Windows or Command-Shift-N on a Mac)…Note that even when browsing anonymously while signed out Google may personalize your searches to a limited extent because the service's cookies remain active…Toggle personalized search results on and off with one click…If you're signed into a Google account when you search, click the globe icon in the top-right corner of the browser window to view the depersonalized version of the search results. Click the person icon to revert to the results filtered by Google's knowledge of your Web history, your current location, the device you're using, and other data specific to you. After comparing the personalized and generic results of 25 searches of various types, I found only a handful of the top-10 results changed for most searches, and for several search terms there was no change in the top-10 results with and without personalization…Whenever you open a new Google search window while signed into an account, the default is to personalize your searches even if you selected the "Hide personal results" icon in your most recent search session. To disable personal search results once and for all, click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the window, choose Search Settings, scroll to Personal Results near the middle of the page, and choose "Do not use personal results."…disabling personal results doesn't prevent your searches from being recorded in your Web history. To pause the Web history feature, click the gear icon, choose Web History…and click the Pause button…Repeat the steps and click Resume to reactivate the feature…Perhaps the simplest way to ensure you're getting generic search results is to delete all the cookies from your browser…An alternative is to set your browser to delete all cookies each time you close the program…Google lets you opt out of the company's tracking cookie. First, sign out of your Google account. Then click the gear icon in the top-right corner and choose Web History. Select "Disable customizations based on search history." This setting is controlled by a Google cookie, so if your browser is set to delete cookies on exit, you'll have to add this cookie to your list of exceptions…Chrome lets you roll your own version of Google search that disables personalization and can be set as the browser's default search service. Click the wrench icon in the top-right corner and choose Settings…Select Basics in the left pane and click Manage Search Engines in the Search section. At the bottom of the list of "Other search engines" is a blank entry for adding a new search engine. Enter a name such as "Depersonalized" in the first text box and add a URL such as "www.google.com" in the keyword box. Type the following line in the text box labelled "URL with %s in place of query"…”
27.    Google shows how Gmail goes through its system  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/05/google_data_center_cartoon/  “…Google is unveiling a cartoon narrative to explain something that until recently it never talked about: how its data centers process your information, specifically Gmail missives. “The Story of Send” is a Google-created interactive animation that touts the company’s efforts to minimize the energy it consumes in its network of upward of two dozen giant data centers…It’s a snapshot of otherwise imperceptible events inside of a vast data cloud…Built around the journey of a Gmail message as it travels from a desktop computer in what looks like New York City to someone’s smartphone in San Francisco, ”Story of Send” is rendered with characteristic Google whimsy. For instance, as data moves underground by fiber, it disturbs a vampire in his crypt and triggers sepulchral chords from a pipe organ…In service of clarity — and making the process something that non-geeks can easily grasp — Google has oversimplified the story in some ways. For instance, it says that a Gmail message is processed in the data center nearest the account owner…Actually, Google assesses not only geography but factors like usage patterns to determine which center handles an e-mail account. Farmer says that even though she is based in California, her own personal Gmail account is handled by one of Google’s data centers in Europe…because the bulk of her activity is nocturnal, at a time when European centers are off-peak…During its short time in transit (90 percent of all Gmail messages go through the system in less than five seconds, and half go through in less than a second), an e-mail message is stored, virus-scanned and backed up at another site…”
28.    Google Docs gets new Research tool, lets you search without leaving your work  http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/15/3022223/google-docs-research-toolbar-launched  “Google Docs…Research sidebar…appears to have recently launched on the suite…After selecting Tools > Research or using a shortcut, Docs will bring up a sidebar, letting you either type in a term or right-click one in the document to research it. It's a bit more than a glorified search bar, though. Snippets of the web results can be added to the document itself, images can be dragged and dropped, and the tool will automatically generate citations to credit whatever you've used. You can even limit the image search to Creative Commons-licensed free results…it's a reminder of everything we'd still like to see integrated into Google Docs. We're sure many students and researchers, for example, would welcome an integrated citation manager in the style of Zotero or a dedicated Books or Scholar toolbar…”
29.    Google patents Project Glass wearable display  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57434403-76/google-patents-project-glass-wearable-display/  “Google has received three patents for a "wearable display device" which appear to be the foundation for its Project Glass augmented reality glasses. Company engineers submitted patent applications for a wearable display device last fall and they were assigned today…the patent references the types of inventions you would expect, such as display designs for showing data and playing music…one of the engineers behind Project Glass, Sebastian Thrun, said that early tests show the glasses are best suited for taking and sharing photos. Thrun released a…picture of his son taken with the glasses as Thrum held him with outstreched arms and spun him around.”
General Technology
30.    Google, Apple, Microsoft (oh, and Amazon): My multiplatform life  http://news.cnet.com/8301-33620_3-57432676-278/google-apple-microsoft-oh-and-amazon-my-multiplatform-life/  “…Carrying three phones sounds crazy, but it makes more sense when you understand it's part of my work. I have to understand how each of the major smartphone platforms operates…I should probably get a BlackBerry as well, but I just can't quite make myself do it…Why would I or anyone bother with a Windows Phone? Because it has some synergies with Microsoft's strong operating system and online services…I carry the Lumia 900, which nicely sends my pictures off to Microsoft's SkyDrive…my iPhone 4S…ability to update the phone, manage my music and do other things through iCloud has been wonderful. But when I'm at an event and want to pull a picture off quickly? Could I please just plug the dang phone in and see it show up as a drive rather than using iPhoto? I find myself using the "PC side" of my MacBook Air…where I can see the iPhone this way…I don't actually carry all three of these phones around all the time…I've been fortunate enough to "accessorize" them for particular needs, to decide which one makes sense for the right occasion. The iPhone is awesome for concerts, sharp pictures, dependable camera and if I record video, the sound is clear. With my Galaxy Nexus, the audio gets all washed out when I record short video clips…I can almost always depend on my Galaxy Nexus to get a good 4G LTE signal with Verizon. My iPhone 4S…can struggle to get a clear signal…Galaxy Nexus is my go-to phone for trips or just being out-and-about. I know I'll have a solid, fast signal, if I want to push some photos to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram. I know I've got an awesome GPS built into it. I've got solid integration with Google Voice. I've got a mobile hotspot that works better than my standalone mobile hotspot unit…The Galaxy S II Skyrocket is my other Android phone…I like that it still has Android 2 -- Android 4 still hasn't grown on me…Unlike the Galaxy Nexus, it's easy to see in the sunlight. The iPhone is awesome for outdoors as well…Windows Phone? So far, that's been mostly useful for when I'm at Microsoft events…My main computer is a MacBook Pro, running Windows 7…if you're running three external monitors off the computer, as I do…Windows makes dealing with multiple monitors easier than the Mac…I also like Outlook 2010 and Excel for Windows…far better than their counterparts on the Mac…the MacBook has a great high-resolution anti-glare screen and wonderful ergonomics -- other than the constant heat, of course. Running Windows on it through Boot Camp has been a really great experience…the MacBook Air…It's one of the best accidents I've ever had. It's an incredibly light, powerful computer that sips power. It comes on so quickly that I stopped taking my iPad out on trips…The touchpad is incredibly intuitive and useful, so that I can easily do things…in the confines of an airplane seat…Since most of my data is in the cloud, I can also pick up the MacBook Air and go, without having to worry about shuffling particular files around…should I have that rare need to run Windows, I've got it ready to go virtually, using VMware Fusion. I've got the latest iPad, a Kindle Fire and two different Android tablets, one from Asus running Android 4 and another from Samsung using Android 3. The iPad sees the most use, quite simply because it works best for the things I want a tablet to do. The Kindle Fire, however, is nice for book reading. It beats the iPad on this score, for me, though I still prefer the regular Kindle readers…Windows 7 is compelling enough to make me use it over Mac OS for some needs. The MacBook Air is compelling enough to make it a choice for traveling. My iPhone has some stand-out features, as do my Android phones. But the Android tablets? Like Windows Phone, nothing really drives me to use them much…For a product to be successful with me, there's got to be some compelling features that makes it stick. Being a compelling choice is even more important for those who have no need or ability to use multiple devices. They need one computer, one phone…”
31.     All Presentation Software is Broken  http://www.igvita.com/2012/05/14/all-presentation-software-is-broken/  “…I have yet to see a presentation or a slide that could not have been made better by stripping the unnecessary visual dressing. Simple slides require hard work and a higher level of clarity and confidence from the presenter. All presentation software is broken. Instead of helping you become a better speaker, we are competing on the depth of transition libraries, text effects, and 3D animations. Prezi takes the trophy…it is optimized for precisely one thing: generating nausea. If you want your message to travel, then the browser is your (future) presentation platform of choice. No proprietary formats, no conversion nightmares, instant access from billions of devices, easy sharing…Instead of trying to make the presenter more effective, we are too busy trying to replicate the arsenal of useless visual transitions with the HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL stacks. Spinning WebGL cubes and CSS transitions make for a fun technology demo but add zero value…There is nothing to prove by imitating the broken features of PowerPoint and Keynote, let's leverage the strengths of the web platform…Keynote, PowerPoint and friends are optimized to help hide your incompetence: no useful feedback, no way to measure the effectiveness of your delivery or reach of the message. On the web, we inherit all of the power of web analytics for free. We can measure slide impressions, time on slide, referrals, clicks, display heatmaps, segment the viewers, setup conversion goals and more…did the presentation convey the right message? The goal was to focus the audience on optimizing for user perceived latency and the available tools. The peaks in time on slide up to slide 20 correspond to off-site clicks to Navigation Timing spec, Google Analytics documentation, and examples - mission accomplished. Slides 30 to 40 are mostly flat: I need do a better job of motivating webpagetest.org, because it is an amazing tool…The presentation was recorded and I uploaded it to my own YouTube account - this gives you a lot of great analytics…”
32.    Why You Can't Dump Java  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/255250/why_you_cant_dump_java_even_though_you_want_to.html  “Java's direct responsibility in the recent Mac Flashback Trojan attacks have many calling for Java's retirement…Unpatched Java is responsible for sizable proportion of today's successful Internet browser attacks, including two compromises I've suffered over the last couple of years. It's also been the culprit behind nearly every Windows exploit that's affected friends and family, aside from the pure social engineering exploits from phishing, Craigslist scams…Should we recommend that people disable or remove it? Like most problems in life, the answer isn't an easy yes or no…Any software not in use, including Java, should be removed from your system…It reduces the attack surface for exploits and their creators…I've removed Java a few times over the years, though many websites and services…require Java. There are enough cool and useful services that depend on Java that I end up reinstalling it…Few successful Java-related attacks are related to zero-day exploits. Almost all are related to Java security bugs that have been patched for months…Most people exploited by Java bugs have been ignoring that warning message for months. Patch better, and you'll have much fewer successful Java exploits…Java installers didn't uninstall older versions of Java even when a new version was applied. Many computers I've examined have two or more versions of Java running, and unfortunately, malicious code can query the visiting computer for its Java versions and run the one that the malicious code knows to be exploitable…I've done some security audits where the company tells me it must have three to five different versions of Java to run the business…some companies simply cannot get rid of old versions of Java with known vulnerabilities…”
33.    Post office will not ship laptops, iPads abroad  http://phys.org/news/2012-05-office-ship-laptops-ipads.html  “The U.S. Postal Service is banning international shipments of electronics with lithium batteries such as smartphones, laptops and iPads, citing the risk of fire…friends and family will have to use more expensive private companies such as UPS and FedEx to ship electronics to U.S. troops based abroad. The Postal Service cited discussion by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Universal Postal Union…Officials expect that U.S. consumers can resume shipments in most cases after Jan. 1, once the agency develops a new policy…”
34.    Six Ways to Use Multiple Displays With Your Laptop  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/255394/six_ways_to_use_multiple_displays_with_your_laptop.html  “…we highlight six ways to use multiple displays with a laptop, including a couple of portable solutions suited to traveling executives and alternatives for employees working from a laptop-based workstation…1. Android, iPad tablets..2. Portable USB Monitors…3. The Matrox Graphic eXpansion Module…4. Dedicated DisplayLink Adapter…5. External GPU…6. Software Approach…”
35.    AT&T Moves Aggressively Into Remote Patient Monitoring  http://www.informationweek.com/news/healthcare/mobile-wireless/240000296  “As AT&T continues to expand its services into the telehealth market, the company has signed an agreement with Valued Relationships Inc. to deliver a remote patient monitoring service to more effectively manage chronic diseases and help reduce hospital readmissions…equipment will be installed in the patient's home that connects to VRI's nurse-staffed telemonitoring center to monitor patients around the clock who suffer from a number of chronic illnesses, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. The system will capture data from wirelessly connected personal health devices, such as blood pressure cuffs, weight scales, and pulse oximeters. Patients then upload the information through AT&T's network to VRI's care representatives…If patients require intervention, care representatives call them to check that the technology is working properly…then arrange the necessary treatment…hospitals are seeking to reduce readmission rates as a way to lower healthcare costs…nearly 20% of Medicare patients are re-hospitalized within 30 days after discharge, at an annual cost of $17 billion. Hospital readmissions carry huge costs for hospitals and add greatly to the cost of healthcare. Remote patient monitoring has the potential to prevent many such readmissions…”
36.    Honda's UNI-CUB Robotic Unicycle Could Replace Scooter  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57434692-1/honda-uni-cub-promotes-our-fat-lazy-future/  “Like the Segway before it, Honda's new Uni-Cub solves a problem that does not exist; it's a means for able-bodied people to rove around when they could just as well walk…The Uni-Cub is the latest iteration of a personal mobility technology Honda previously showed off as the U3-X. It incorporates a pretty big gee-whiz factor with its self-balancing and multidirectional movement. The sitter (the word driver seems less appropriate) controls the Uni-Cub by shifting his or her body weight. The device uses two wheels; the front uses what Honda calls an Omni Traction Drive system that goes forward and back and side to side. A smaller rear wheel helps the Uni-Cub turn in place. Its electric motor drives it up to almost 4 miles an hour…”
Leisure & Entertainment
37.    $99 Xbox 360 with Kinect now official  http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/7/3004973/xbox-360-99-two-year-contract-launch  “…Microsoft is selling the a 4GB Xbox 360 console with a Kinect for $99 with a two-year Xbox Live Gold contract for $14.99 per month…you'll have to live near a Microsoft Store to cash in on this deal; you'll need to bring in the coupon…and sign up for two years of service…this bundle will cost $458.76 over the course of two years (before taxes), as compared to a $299 bundle bought outright, plus two years at $59.99 per year for Xbox Live Gold, which can often be found at a discount…That pesky early termination fee starts at $250 in months one through three, drops to $240 in month four, and drops by $12 every month following…”
38.    HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' On Track To Be Crowned Most Pirated Show Of 2012  http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/05/09/hbos-game-of-thrones-on-track-to-be-crowned-most-pirated-show-of-2012/  “…With its popularity swelling and no easy way to watch for viewers without cable, HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” is inspiring massive levels of piracy…the second season of the show has been downloaded more than 25 million times from public torrent trackers since it began in early April…It certainly appears to be the most pirated show of the year…The fact that it’s consistently at the top of the Pirate Bay’s top one hundred TV show chart seems like a pretty in-your-face leading indicator of the huge volume at which this is being shared…According to the BitTorrent-focused blog and measurement site Torrentfreak, the first season of “Game of Thrones” was the second-most pirated show of 2011 behind the sixth season of Showtime’s “Dexter.”…numbers show that downloads of the second season of “Game of Thrones” so far consistently top “Dexter”‘s piracy numbers from the same point in its season last year…”
Economy and Technology
39.    ACH goes real time with FiSync. Free for banks and credit unions.  http://blog.dwolla.com/ach-goes-real-time-with-fisync-free-for-banks-and-credit-unions/  “Dwolla’s FiSync service is something that we’ve been working on for years in some form or another. We released the standard functionality in various forms last year to financial institutions across the country, but none of the iterations offered the most disruptive component: an engine to power real-time transaction of real funds…we’ve designed a real-time system that solves this problem. Not only does it solve the problem, but we’ve decided to give the answer to your banks and credit unions for free. Why is this important? I give you a dollar bill, and you know that dollar is worth 4 quarters, 10 dimes, 20 nickels or 100 pennies, but as Dwolla users, you know that when it comes to electronic transactions that is no longer the case. Since the 60s and 70s, new fees, costs, partnerships and structures have been built on top of what used to be a pretty simple idea, turning it into a confusing system that’s no longer recognizable. I swipe, you get paid 2-7 days later, the value of a dollar drops by ~2.75%, and $48 billion is lost…the thing feeding this beast and moving your money from Bank A to Bank B is a 40-year-old system, facilitating a $33.9 trillion dollar exchange, called the Automated Clearing House (ACH)…Compounded by 80+ reject codes (which have a full 90 days for everyone to wrestle with), rampant fraud and unrealistic hours of operation, ACH isn’t the engine for real-time payments. It’s old reliable but it needs a helping hand to go real-time…What worked well back when Disco and rotary phones were a good idea doesn’t work well now, and instead of innovating a new solution, we handed off the reins to Visa and Mastercard…The core component of FiSync is a real-time transfer system that allows money to move from one bank account to another, in real-time, and without using any of the existing systems, networks or resellers. That simple…”
40.    Yahoo boots Thompson, names Ross Levinsohn interim CEO  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57433394-93/yahoo-boots-thompson-names-ross-levinsohn-interim-ceo/  “A resume error brings down not only CEO Scott Thompson, but also four of Yahoo's directors. A settlement with investor Daniel Loeb will put him and two allies on the Internet pioneer's board. Yahoo's global media leader, Ross Levinsohn, took over today as Yahoo's interim chief executive, replacing Scott Thompson in a shake-up that also will put activist investor Daniel Loeb on the Internet pioneer's board…Fred Amoroso is now chairman of the board, replacing Roy Bostock. Bostock, along with Patti Hart, VJ Joshi, Arthur Kern, and Gary Wilson, resigned from the board. Thompson left after Loeb's hedge fund, Third Point, discovered that Thompson's resume falsely claimed he had a computer science degree…”
41.     GM to Stop Advertising on Facebook  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702304192704577406394017764460-lMyQjAxMTAyMDEwNTExNDUyWj.html  “General Motors…plans to stop advertising on Facebook after the auto maker's executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers' car purchases…The largest U.S. auto maker by sales will continue to expand its use of marketing through Facebook's pages, in which marketers can display content at no cost…GM, started to re-evaluate its Facebook strategy earlier this year after its marketing team began to question the effectiveness of the ads. GM marketing executives, including Mr. Ewanick, met with Facebook managers to address concerns about the site's effectiveness and left unconvinced advertising on the website made sense…GM spends about $40 million on its Facebook presence. About $10 million of that is paid to Facebook for advertising, the rest covers content created for the site, agencies that manage the content and daily maintenance of GM's pages…”
42.    Facebook Hires Team From Photosharing App Lightbox To Quiet Mobile Fears  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/15/facebook-lightbox/  “Facebook has just closed a deal to hire the full team of seven employees from Android photosharing app developer Lightbox, which should reduce worries that mobile will be its downfall. The Lightbox Photos app developed by the 500 Startups company automatically created personal photo blogs from a user’s uploads. But now it will be shut down, has already been stripped from Google’s Play marketplace, and people have until June 15th to download their photos…But the Lightbox talent acquisition still doesn’t illuminate how Facebook will make more money off of little screens…Lightbox developed consumer Android mobile apps. It’s first app Lightbox Photos cloud-hosted the photos from your Android device and synced them to your Android. It was designed to replace your Android camera app…One problem with Instagram was that its content was very siloed…But Lightbox auto-generates full-featured photo blogs with their own vanity URLs from a user’s uploads, so your friends and followers could interact with your photos from any interface…Facebook won’t be adding that community to its 500+ million mobile population. Just Lightbox’s talent is joining the big blue social network, not the tech or users. Some loyal Lightbox are already expressing their dismay about the app shutting down…”
43.    Pinterest Marketing Platform Curalate Lands $750k Seed  http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/15/look-out-pinterest-marketing-platform-curalate-lands-750k-seed-from-nea-first-round-mentortech/  “A new breed of social media sites led by visual rather than text-based interactions is now spawning a new breed of marketing service catering to the new format. The latest of these is a startup called Curalate, which is officially launching today with $750,000 in seed funding…for a service that lets brands search and track its images across the social network…Although the site is only officially launching today, in its beta format it has already managed to pick up more than 150 brands as customers…That speaks to how, up to now, there hasn’t been an analytics service available quite like the one that Curalate is offering…This is a gap that…is only now starting to get addressed, as brands continue to see huge traffic coming from the image-based social network…“Pinterest is being crushed under the weight of its own traffic,” Chung says, who notes that brands can tell that there is a lot of traffic coming to their e-commerce sites from Pinterest, but that’s effectively all they know…”
DHMN Technology
44.    MakerBot Replicator 3D printer  http://reviews.cnet.com/printers/makerbot-replicator-3d-printer/4505-3155_7-35266603.html  “…Before you consider buying a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, ask first why you might want it…If you want a 3D printer to experiment with, or for a professional environment where color isn't crucial, the value of the $1,999 Replicator's dual-extruder head could also be hard to justify. A single-extruder Solidoodle 2 3D printer costs just $500…if I weren't concerned with price, and if I had the time to master the software, the hardware, and the quirks of the printing material, I would buy the MakerBot Replicator. 3D printing offers raw, creative potential on a par with the early days of personal computing. With real advances like affordable dual-extrusion capability, the Replicator leads its market. You won't currently find a more powerful consumer-level 3D printer. Just know that getting the most out of the Replicator will involve a time commitment, and a willingness to endure repeated trial-and-error in order to print certain objects successfully…Unlike the MakerGear Mosaic 3D printer I wrote about in January, the MakerBot Replicator is not a build-it-yourself kit. MakerBot…Replicator…is the company's first true prepackaged product…the Replicator still shows signs of MakerBot's DIY roots. The body of the printer is made from laser-cut plywood…For feet, the Replicator uses small pieces of rubber tubing that you slide onto the bottom edge of the printer's frame…The plywood will also certainly warp over time, affecting print quality to varying degrees depending on the temperature and humidity of your work environment…MakerBot…advises that you can correct for it with the software. Still, as more 3D printers hit the market with warp-resistant plastic and metal enclosures, MakerBot might start to feel pressure to use different materials for the Replicator…I expect most complaining will be about the software…MakerBot's paper manual directs you to the online software installation guide, but that document only addresses installing ReplicatorG. It's only after you install that program that you find you also need to install the Python software interpreter…Python bridges the gap between the ReplicatorG software and Skeinforge, a powerful software package that mostly works in the background while you print…The software side of 3D printing is one of its biggest usability weaknesses…Skeinforge…capable of driving 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, and other fabrication devices…shows remarkable flexibility and a wealth of configurable options, but it's clearly designed by and for engineers…To print an object on the Replicator from your computer, you open the design in ReplicatorG and then manipulate the model on the virtual build platform. From there, ReplicatorG sends the design to Skeinforge, which it works in the background to generate "gcode." Gcode is the series of instructions that tells the printer how to print an object…I wish it would let you pause a print and then resume it after a day or two. You can pause currently, but it leaves the heat elements on, meaning that you can't walk away from it for an extended duration. Some prints can take hours…The Replicator stands out from other consumer-level 3D printers mainly because of its dual-extruder print head. No other printer under $2,000 has one…The built-in SD card slot is unique to the Replicator, but 3D Systems will offer the option to print over Wi-Fi in its forthcoming Cube 3D printer…3D printing is an inspiring activity, although it can be frustrating and demanding of your time. It also seems certain to grow in popularity. Crafters, hobbyists, and design professionals will likely integrate 3D printing into their routines, and it is an obvious educational junction point for art and science. It has the potential to become one of those generational-gap technologies that kids pick up naturally…3D Systems will release its much-hyped Cube 3D printer in a few weeks. A single-color printer for $1,299, the Cube is directly targeting consumers, more so than the consumer-professional-enthusiast mix MakerBot has on its radar. If 3D Systems can nail the software experience and improve some of the uncertainty involved in 3D printing, it will be able to call the Cube a success…For now, the MakerBot Replicator is the best 3D printer available for under $2,000. It's not a toy, but rather a challenging, thrilling creation platform. If you have the time to invest in learning how to use it, you will surely be rewarded.”
45.    Ford + TechShop: Getting Employees to Tinker  http://www.wired.com/design/2012/05/ford-techshop/  “…Ford employees who invent something that the company ends up patenting receive a free three-month membership to TechShop, where they can flex their creative muscles. Project sponsor Bill Coughlin, CEO of Ford Global Technologies, has high hopes for the partnership…It’s easy to see why the program is appealing to Ford’s designers and engineers. The Detroit TechShop is an amazing 17,000 square feet, stocked with $750,000 worth of laser cutters, 3-D printers, CNC machine tools, and staffed with “Dream Consultants” whose job it is to help you fabricate pretty much anything. Ford employees are free to use the space day or night, for projects related to their work or personal projects…Since launching the program, patent disclosures are up an impressive 30 percent, but Coughlin thinks there are more long-term organizational benefits. Disruptive ideas, for example, are more likely to be taken seriously…“Once someone starts thinking creatively it’s hard to turn that off. People stop seeing problems and start seeing opportunities.”…Coughlin’s group at Ford is responsible for filing patents for the company and monetizing the thousands of patents it already has…The profits his group generates helps fund new programs like the partnership with TechShop. Still, the program raises some thorny legal issues for inventors. If an engineer designs something in his free time and funds it on Kickstarter, say, would Ford own the patent? Coughlin says there is a process for employees to clear after-hours projects, and in all but one case, they’ve been free to pursue their ideas without fear that Ford might claim ownership. And employees who create patentable projects related to the auto industry receive a portion of revenues generated from the patent…”
46.    Raspberry Pi could bring 'cheap' Windows to companies  http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/from-both-sides-10005031/raspberry-pi-could-bring-cheap-windows-to-companies-10026180/  “A Raspberry Pi enthusiast has managed to get Windows 7 on the cheap Linux computer using Citrix XenDesktop…The credit card-sized computer was running the Debian Squeeze (version 6.0) OS and had Citrix Receiver and the Iceweasel browser preloaded…The approach could allow firms that have to use Windows for legacy reasons to use the £30 Raspberry Pi, which itself cannot run the Microsoft operating system…"We're beginning to understand that there are ways to lower the cost of ownership using a Raspberry Pi even for businesses which aren't prepared to switch over entirely to open-source software…Originally designed as a cheap device for teaching schoolchildren to program, the Cambridge-developed Raspberry Pi has become popular among tech hobbyists. Many of those lucky enough to have bought the small, uncased computer — one waiting list has run to 250,000 — have been experimenting with it in projects from a retro-fit for the ZX Spectrum to a smart home energy monitor…”
47.    3-D print advances may create more jobs  http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/3-d-print-advances-may-create-more-jobs-1370896.html  “…Additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, is expected to become a $3.7 billion global industry by 2015, more than doubling its current $1.7 billion value…Additive manufacturing is the process of creating solid objects from a digital file by printing thin layers of material one on top of another. It is almost the opposite of conventional machining, which sculpts or shapes objects by removing material…Currently, the technology is being used to print production parts for Boeing aircraft, as well as orthopedic implants, designer jewelry and custom braces for teeth. SelectTech Services Corp.’s advanced manufacturing facility in Springfield last year produced a 3-D printed model airplane that can take off and land on its own landing gear…UDRI operates a reverse engineering and rapid prototyping facility with 3-D part scanning and printing capabilities…Federal officials said additive manufacturing has the potential to minimize the need for tooling, compress supply chains and reduce waste. The technology also can produce novel components and complex structures that can’t be made cost effectively using conventional casting, molding and forging processes. “I can build designs on my machines that can’t be built if you are going with traditional methods of tooling,” said Ben Staub, president of Bastech, a Dayton company that provides rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing services…,Meeting the expected industry growth will require technicians who can produce 3-D computer models “because that is what is required to run these machines,”…In 2010, Staub spun off Rapid Directions Inc., a company that sells 3-D printer systems and associated materials. RDI’s revenues this year could approach $4 million…3-D printers that can produce industry-standard parts range in price from $15,000 to more than $1 million, depending on their quality and sophistication. RDI sells a hobbyist-level printer kit for $1,500…Cubify, a division of 3D Systems, started taking pre-orders last month for the Cube, a home color 3-D printer that sells for $1,299. It prints using ABS plastic at 25-thousands-of-an-inch layers up to a height, width and depth of 5.5 inches. “I bet it won’t be too many years away where it’s going to be in Best Buy for $300 or $400…”
48.    My Raspberry Pi Thinks It's a Mainframe!  http://www.designspark.com/content/my-raspberry-pi-thinks-its-mainframe  “…Given the phenomenal advances in computing since the birth of the ZX Spectrum, I thought it might be fun to compare the Raspberry Pi with a computer that was closer to the state of the art at around that time, and to see if the Raspberry Pi could fill its shoes…Introduced not long after the ZX Spectrum, the IBM 4381 processor was the workhorse of mainframe computer installations that could fill a data centre and support many thousands of users…Could a Raspberry Pi replace the IBM 4381? Well, it turns out that just as it's possible to use a Pi to emulate a ZX Spectrum, one can be used to emulate a somewhat larger mainframe computer. This has been made possible by a piece of open source software called Hercules, and next we'll cover the experience of running this under Debian Linux on a Raspberry Pi. First we install the hercules package from the Debian repository, and then create a configuration file which tells it to emulate a model 4381 machine with 16MB RAM and terminals and storage etc. attached. Hercules is then executed from the command line, and we run up an IBM 3270 terminal emulator from another machine on the network, providing it with the IP address of our Raspberry Pi…if we go to back to the Raspberry Pi (connected to over its UART via a PC running minicom) we see that Hercules reports that a terminal has attached…After a short period of time start-up completes and VM provides the status of attached card punches and printers. Which are, of course, virtual and represented by files under the Linux filesystem. If we go back to the Hercules instance running on the Raspberry Pi we can hit ESC to toggle the view to a screen which displays a virtual hardware console…we can go to our 3270 terminal and log on to VM as an administrator…when we are finished we tell VM to shut down before exiting the Hercules emulator. So, a Raspberry Pi can be used to emulate a mainframe which would have filled a large computer room, and to run the same software which it would have run. Of course, the only reason you would do this is for fun, learning or perhaps as part of computer conservation efforts…”
49.    RPI student mission: Make something  http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/RPI-student-mission-Make-something-3530118.php  “Looking more like a machine shop than a laboratory, the high-ceilinged room at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Industrial Innovation has enough moving parts to please even the most demanding mechanical engineer…that's what filled the room Wednesday afternoon: more than a dozen mechanical engineering majors who will graduate later this spring for jobs at companies such as Boeing, Apple and Pratt & Whitney…The laboratory, where students would learn not only how to design products but how to design the systems to manufacture them as efficiently as possible while ensuring high quality and minimal waste, is unique in the country…Tammy Robbin and Brooke Cosko, who were part of a team that developed and manufactured a marshmallow launcher, will go to work on more serious products at aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney. Their teammate, Ryan Surveski, will spend the summer at Apple Computer before entering graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall…Another team produced a detachable bicycle light that can be used as a flashlight…Microscale and nanoscale processes are expected to begin showing up in the lab in coming months…"I have phone calls left and right" seeking students, Samuel said. Kurt Anderson, associate dean for undergraduate students, says industry has an unmet need for 600,000 individuals with manufacturing skills, who have computer numerical control expertise and a capability for learning as technologies advance…”
50.    Autodesk Inventor Fusion Technology Preview  http://labs.autodesk.com/technologies/fusion/overview/  “The free Autodesk Inventor Fusion Technology Preview…provides direct modeling for rapid design changes without limitations, and unites direct and parametric workflows within a single digital model created in Autodesk Inventor…Ease of use improvements. New marking menus, sketch ease of use and modeling ease of use, make this release of Inventor Fusion the easiest to use yet. Did we mention it was easy? Inventor Fusion Technology Preview 2013 is fully interoperable with AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor software, enabling customers to choose the modeling approach that is right for the task at hand. The Microsoft Windows compatible technology preview executable expires on April 1, 2013…”
Open Source Hardware
51.     Open-Source Touch Table Puts the World at Your Fingertips  http://www.pcworld.com/article/255620/opensource_touch_table_puts_the_world_at_your_fingertips.html  “Table computers like the Merel mTouch and the Samsung SUR40 running Microsoft's Surface software…have been a thing for a while now. The basic idea is very simple, just the iPad writ large--a giant, HD-quality, touch-sensitive screen, backed by a reasonably powerful PC. But hardware like that will set you back four or eight grand, respectively, putting it out of reach of all but the most dedicated hobbyists and institutions…The Playsurface Kickstarter aims to change that. It's an open-source, open-hardware touch table that can be used as a peripheral for an external computer or with an integrated computer as a table computer…they're aiming to make the table available as an Ikea-easy kit with a full computer inside for $1750, or $1250 for just the table. This places it within range of hobbyists and general consumers…kit will ship with a Windows computer, but we here at GeekTech trust that Linux enthusiasts will quickly provide a palatable alternative…The Playsurface is being developed by Templeman Automation, an engineering consultancy from Somerville, Massachusetts, who have done previous work on touch tables for the US Navy and the National Science Foundation, in the latter case together with Tufts University, so they have experience and reputation in this area to build on…”
52.    Kickstarter open source portable power supply  http://www.pr.com/press-release/412604  “…a quality power supply is crucial for computer engineering but most variable power supplies plug in to a wall outlet and they are large and very inconvenient to carry while traveling…VariPower-USB-500A is open source hardware, all hardware design files and firmware source code are released under the GPL v2 license…There is a whole community of students, hackers and engineers that can benefit from this device. Devices like Arduino and similar project boards will benefit greatly from a stable and easy to use power supply…”  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/210251816/usb-based-variable-power-supply-for-small-projects-0
53.    Open Source Hardware Came to DC!  http://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/open-source-hardware-came-dc  “Last month the world of Open Source Hardware descended on Washington as part of OH/DC.  The goal of the event was to begin to introduce policymakers to the Open Source Hardware movement.  Enthusiasts, educators, businesspeople, and academics came together on panels and during demonstrations to explain just what Open Source Hardware is all about. If you could not make it to the event, you can catch up below with pictures, video, and audio…”
Open Source
54.    Willow Garage Announces New Open Source Robotics Foundation  http://ostatic.com/blog/willow-garage-announces-new-open-source-robotics-foundation  “…many of the most interesting advancements in robotics have arrived via open source robot platforms…Among open source robotics efforts, Willow Garage--a project that originated at Stanford University--may be the most famous and accomplished. Robots being developed within it run ROS (Robot Operating System) software, and are surprisingly capable. At least 25 institutions are developing robotics applications on Willow Garage's open platform…Willow garage has announced the launch of the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF)…The OSRF is an independent, non-profit organization founded by members of the global robotics community. Their mission is to support the development, distribution, and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development…”
55.     Open source CRM with "CRM gamification"  http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/open-source-insider/2012/05/open-source-crm-with-crm-gamification.html  “A new open source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution with built in "CRM gamification" techniques has surfaced this month in beta version…Zurmo claims to provide a means to "engage users at every level" in the pursuit of CRM excellence…Zurmo says that CRM could be great, if only it were used more and that users lack the incentive to log in and makes notes pertaining to customer feedback and requests at every opportunity…Zurmo…tackles this issue head on by offering the user short term gains for these repetitive tasks…Gamification features then include the following: Point allocation…General Leveling…Progressive Badges…Game Achievement Alerts…Leader boards - weekly, monthly and overall…”
56.    Linus’ thread about GitHub issues  https://github.com/torvalds/linux/pull/17#issuecomment-5654674  [worth reading if you are a Linux geek or a serious GitHub user – ed.]
57.     Debian Administrator's Handbook published  https://lwn.net/Articles/496797/  “…The Debian Administrator's Handbook is now available in several formats and from several sources -- all linked from the website at http://debian-handbook.info/. This translation into English…has been crowdfunded, and the results are just released.  The funding campaign was so successful that
 the book is even published under not one but two free licenses…It is available as paperback, in several electronic formats for easy consumption, and even browsable online from the website.  And of course, it's also been made available to Debian users
 in the "debian-handbook" package…It describes installation, migration, configuration of basic services as well as the main network services, monitoring and backups, virtualization, preparing Debian packages, securing the system, and a quick crash-course for the beginners…”
Civilian Aerospace
58.    NASA Greenlights SpaceX May 19 Launch to ISS  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404355,00.asp  “SpaceX on Friday confirmed that NASA has greenlighted May 19 as the launch date for the first privately funded cargo mission to the International Space Station…The launch of a SpaceX Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket…is scheduled for 4:55 a.m. ET…NASA Television will start broadcasting the event at 3:30 a.m…If the May 19 launch is again delayed for some reason, a backup plan is to lift off on May 22…the automated Dragon capsule, carrying cargo for the orbiting space lab, will berth with the ISS if it passes a systems check…SpaceX…plans to conduct manned flights to the ISS by 2015…If and when the ISS rendezvous does happen, crew aboard the space station will use the space station's robotic arm to dock the capsule, which will be carrying about 1,150 pounds of cargo for delivery to the orbiting lab. Then the SpaceX Dragon is supposed to take on a 1,455-pound payload to bring back to Earth…The company conducted its first COTS Demo Flight 1 mission a little more than a year ago, launching a Dragon C1 capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 8, 2010, inserting the Dragon C1 into orbit, and recovering the capsule to become the first privately funded company to successfully complete the orbital insertion and recovery of a spacecraft…Earlier in the day, SpaceX announced plans to offer trips to private space stations someday. The proposed foray into space tourism, a joint venture with Bigelow Aerospace…will allow consumers to travel into space in SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and then spend time in Bigelow Aerospace's BA 330 habitat…”
59.    SmallSat Lab nurtures spaceport opportunities for NMSU students  http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_20615615/smallsat-lab-nurtures-spaceport-opportunities-nmsu-students  “New Mexico State University has received $99,999 from the Air Force Research Laboratory to re-establish the SmallSat Laboratory in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The SmallSat program was started by former NMSU professor Steve Horan in 2001, and is now run by Steve Stochaj, an electrical engineering professor. The lab's mission is to foster research and provide students with hands-on engineering experience through the development and operation of small satellites…One portion will be used to pay students who are conducting undergraduate work. The rest will be used to purchase equipment. One of Stochaj's goals for SmallSat includes competing in the University Nanosat Program. Sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Space Development and Test Wing, the program hosts a competition that has teams vying for a spot as a secondary payload as part of a NASA launch. Teams submit their proposals, and about a dozen are chosen to build their own satellite. Out of those, one is selected to be launched…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
60.    Using GPUs to accelerate EDA applications  http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/other/4372253/Opinion--Using-GPUs-to-accelerate-EDA-applications-  “…GPUs hold great promise in the field of high-performance-computing (HPC). Having immense computational power and high memory bandwidth packed in a commoditized hardware platform, GPUs have already been successfully utilized by oil and gas companies, and computational finance and similar organizations seeking the best compute-bang for their bucks…EDA applications have been traditionally implemented on regular processors. Most, if not all, of these applications were not designed for parallel or vector processors…GPUs emerged in the late 90s. At first, they were designed solely to function as a coprocessor to the CPU, to offload graphic algorithms onto custom hardware. Optimized for this mission, they consisted of a pipeline of several types of processors…The newer GPUs consisted of “general-purpose” SIMD cores. GPUs adapted a massive multi-core architecture…The performance bottleneck of EDA applications comes from two directions. First, most of these applications are single-threaded while CPU and GPU architectures have tens to thousands of parallel cores. Secondly, these applications are bottlenecked by memory latency. CPUs are designed for the 90%-100% cache hit working point. Half of the die size of modern CPUs consists of cache memory…in EDA applications, the data-set is too large to fit in the cache…As a result, the single CPU core is even further underutilized due to the need to wait hundreds of cycles for each memory load operation…GPU’s are perfectly suited for data-parallel algorithms with huge datasets. In the most recently developed GPUs there are more than a thousand processing cores…All that is required is that you launch several million short-lived independent threads that need not communicate with each other…Sounds easy? Well, if your algorithm naturally breaks into parallel threads, where each thread works on its own different subset of the data, then it is. The bad news is that in most EDA applications not all parts of the flow can be broken into independent parallel threads…There’s a lot of potential in GPUs for those EDA applications that have parallelism potential. The GPU architecture is ideal for data-parallel processing; it is an incredible throughput-machine, if you give it the right code to run. However, a major effort is needed to redesign not only the software, but the underlying algorithms as well. For us at Rocketick, this redesign effort paid off. We are able today to simulate the largest chip designs in the world 10 to 30 times faster, compared to the leading simulators in the market…With every new GPU generation, our product automatically leverages the ever-growing gap between the GPU and the CPU in terms of processing and memory bandwidth”
61.     GPU to be mainstays in supercomputers  http://www.zdnetasia.com/gpu-to-be-mainstays-in-supercomputers-62304745.htm  “The use of graphics processing units (GPUs) in supercomputers might not be prevalent in the market yet, but uptake is likely to increase in the near future as more manufacturers turn to heterogeneous computing, which includes both computer processing units (CPUs) and GPUs in a computer…most people used to laugh at the prospect of using GPUs in high-performance computing (HPC) as these chips were mostly used for running games. However, as these chips are also able to simulate physics-based realities as well as process general purpose computing, there are benefits to be reaped when GPUs are included in supercomputers…as of November 2011, 39 out of the Top500 supercomputers were a combination of CPUs and GPUs. This was a jump from just 17 supercomputers in the June 2011 list…while GPU use is still emerging within the industry, it will be commonly integrated into systems five years from now…Beyond computational prowess, there are also energy efficiency benefits to be reaped, Matsuoka pointed out. Citing the example of the Tsubame 2 supercomputer, he said one of the main design briefs when the team he led started on developing the machine was that it had to be 10 to 20 times more energy efficient than its CPU-based predecessor. By integrating GPU chips in Tsubame 2, the second-generation supercomputer was able to perform more efficiently at 1,264.2 megaflops per watt (MFlops/watt) compared with Tsubame 1's 98.06 MFlops/watt peak performance, he said. This allowed Tsubame 2 to be ranked 10th in the Green500 supercomputers list--a list that its predecessor could not even get on…”

*****

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