2012/06/12

NEW NET Weekly List for 12 Jun 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 12 Jun 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. This week we'll again try to have a focus-topic discussion about "GoogleSuite: The Google Consumer Software Stack." We didn't get too far in our attempt to do that last week -- most likely a combination of me doing a poor job of preparation and meeting management, along with the perennial issue of guiding NEW NET meetings having certain things in common with herding cats. We'll see if tonight's Gsuite discussion is more fruitful.

The ‘net
1.        In Russia, Yandex will be replaced by Google as default search option in new Firefox  http://thenextweb.com/russia/2012/06/07/in-russia-yandex-will-be-replaced-by-google-as-default-search-option-in-new-firefox/  “…when Mozilla pushes the launch button for the next version of the Firefox browser (version 14), the default search engine in Russia will no longer be local Internet services giant Yandex but global market leader Google…Yandex…which was added as the default option in Russian-language Firefox builds starting early 2009, has a market share in Russia of approximately 60 percent (Google has about 26,5 percent). A Yandex spokesperson says they were notified by Mozilla of the imminent change on June 1…the company will continue to develop and distribute its own Yandex-branded, customised Firefox browser (at least until the end of this year, under the terms of the aforementioned agreement)…Yandex also says Mozilla’s decision will likely not impact its market share in Russia significantly…From a Yandex spokesperson: Default search in a browser is not the only or the key factor that defines a share in the search market…Yandex’s search share in Google Chrome that has more complicated settings for changing the default search than Firefox, is bigger that Google’s, which is the default search engine in this browser…”
2.       Online Seniors  http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/08/online-seniors-tech-savvier-than-you-think/  “…according to a new report by analyst firm Forrester Research, seniors ages 65 and up are probably more connected and tech-savvy than you think…about 60% of U.S. seniors are online. That’s about 20 million people and while this obviously means that 40% don’t care much about the Internet, those 60% who are online are tech-savvy and happily use technology to connect to their friends and family. Online seniors…highly value their mobile phones, but mostly for making calls. Only 22% of online seniors use their phones to access the Internet and only 7% of those who are online and own a mobile phone use mobile apps on a regular basis. So what do those seniors who are online do on the Web?...Just over 90%, for example, use email. 59% have purchased something online in the past three months, 49% have a Facebook account, 46% send and receive photos (mostly by email) and 44% play online games…there is still a wide open market for startups that focus on making photo sharing easy for seniors, for example…” [this highlights a potentially lucrative market since the smartphone seniors tend to have a ton of discretionary spending $$ if an app startup can figure out easy-to-use and engaging for seniors – ed.]
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
3.       Judge Posner Dumps Ridiculous Patent Fight Between Apple & Motorola As Contrary To The Public Interest  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120608/11584619251/judge-posner-dumps-ridiculous-patent-fight-between-apple-motorola-as-contrary-to-public-interest.shtml  “Judge Richard Posner is, perhaps, the most influential judge not on the Supreme Court…While he normally is on the 7th Circuit Appeals Court, appeals court judges will sometimes "slum it" down at a district court. So Posner was handling a big patent fight: one filed by Apple against Motorola for patent infringement concerning (of course) smartphones…The trial was supposed to start on Monday, but he released a statement saying that there's nothing worth reviewing at a trial, and that he's dismissing the case with prejudice (meaning it can't be refiled), and effectively saying (in much nicer language) that the whole thing is a joke…he lays out the basics, which are that there's simply nothing worth discussing…Apple has admitted that "it cannot prove damages for the alleged infringement" of two of the patents, that two other patents do "not create a genuine issue of material fact" that would allow a trial to move forward and, with the final patent, Apple's evidence of damages "fails to create a genuine issue of material fact…” [in my admittedly prejudiced view, this conclusion to the Apple/Motorola-Android lawsuit and last week’s conclusion to the Oracle/Google-Android lawsuit are an indication that Google has been playing fairly and ethically with their creation and ongoing development of Android, and that the anti-Android lawsuits were largely a result of Steve Jobs spite. The failure of these lawsuits makes me wonder if Google shouldn’t press the advantage and try to get an in-court resolution to Microsoft’s blackmailing of Android smartphone manufacturers – ed.]
4.       UK Websites to be forced to identify trolls under new measures  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18404621  “Websites will soon be forced to identify people who have posted defamatory messages online. New government proposals say victims have a right to know who is behind malicious messages without the need for costly legal battles. The powers will be balanced by measures to prevent false claims in order to get material removed…Last week, a British woman won a court order forcing Facebook to identify users who had harassed her. Nicola Brookes had been falsely branded a paedophile and drug dealer by users - known as trolls - on Facebook…The new powers, to be added to the Defamation Bill, would make this process far less time-consuming and costly, the government said…Mr Clarke said the measures would mean an end to "scurrilous rumour and allegation" being posted online without fear of adequate punishment …”
5.        LinkedIn Stops Collecting Calendar Meeting Notes Through Its Mobile Apps  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/257049/linkedin_stops_collecting_calendar_meeting_notes_through_its_mobile_apps.html  “LinkedIn has confirmed researcher claims that the calendar integration feature in its mobile apps sends complete details about people's upcoming meetings back to the company's servers, and it has updated the apps to limit what's being collected. Researchers from security vendor Skycure Security have analyzed how this feature works and found that LinkedIn's iOS app doesn't only inspect calendar meeting details locally on the device, but actually sends the information back to LinkedIn's servers. This poses a serious privacy risk because some of the collected information can be highly sensitive. For example, calendar meeting notes tend to include conference call numbers and passcodes…to implement their acclaimed feature of synchronizing between the people you meet and their LinkedIn profile, all LinkedIn need is unique identifiers of the people you are going to meet with, not all the details of your planned meetings…the LinkedIn app does not provide clear notification to users that their calendar event details are being sent from their devices. This is possibly a violation of Apple's privacy guidelines…Joff Redfern, LinkedIn's head of mobile products, confirmed that the company's mobile apps send complete meeting details from users' calendars back to its servers, if they opted into the feature. That information is used to make LinkedIn's profile matching algorithm increasingly smarter, Redfern said…”
6.       Use Their App, Keep Your Data  http://mashable.com/2012/06/11/use-their-app-keep-your-data/  “Ever noticed that so many apps needs access to your contact lists, browser history, location, and other personal data? As part of a fight back against this data-gobbling trend, a Bulgarian software developer has rewritten the Android operating system so that it gives apps bogus data…you still click to grant apps permission to access your data, but the apps don’t get the real stuff. For bookmarks, it provides default ones that came with the device (such as www.google.com). For logs…and phone contacts, it simply returns empty ones. “I don’t like applications accessing my location or phone book,” says…Plamen Kosseff, who by day writes code for a software company…“Why should they be accessing my phone book to see data I have from other people?” Kosseff’s custom OS is part of a research trend toward giving users more control over how apps deal with their personal data in the wake of major leaks and revelations such as last year’s Carrier IQ controversy, in which an obscure piece of network-diagnostic software on 141 million phones was revealed to have the ability to transmit personal information …”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
7.        Intel Ultrabooks Will Mooch Free Wi-Fi  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/428062/intel-ultrabooks-will-mooch-free-wi-fi/  “There’s free Wi-Fi all around you, particularly if you live in a big city. That café you walked by, that neighbor who didn’t properly lock down her network, that public park you sat in on the way to work... free Wi-Fi abounds. But since you often have to hunt about for it manually, and you’re unsure of its quality until you test it, you often just opt to stay on your 3G service…A new deal Intel has struck with a company called Devicescape could solve this problem for you…Intel will be integrating technology from Devicescape into Ultrabooks…How does Devicescape work?...it lets a device automatically join a free Wi-Fi network, even if that network typically requires some sort of manual input to join. It achieves this feat by sending a specially-formatted DNS query that can worm its way past any Wi-Fi router that’s not hyper-fortified. The query then heads to Devicescape’s servers, bearing details of the Wi-Fi point; then Devicescape’s servers send back tailored instructions on how to gain access to that Wi-Fi point. Devicescape’s software on your device is then able to link you—automatically…you can leave your home, walk to work, and open up your device on the other end to discover that it has been updating itself--downloading emails, syncing calendars, and the like--as you go. Devicescape doesn’t allow just any old hotspot to form a part of its “virtual network.”…it curates the network through crowdsourcing…It has about 8 million access points that pass muster already (out of 100 million in its databases)…”
8.       Goodbye To Google Maps With Street View, Hello To Apple’s New Maps With 3D Flyovers  http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/11/goodbye-to-google-maps-with-street-view-hello-to-apples-new-maps-with-3d-flyovers/  “Outside of search, the closest tie between Apple and Google so far was the deep integration of Google Maps in Apple’s products. That radically changed today…Apple will now offer its own mapping service on iOS, opening up a new front in its competition with Google. The new maps will offer virtually all of the features iOS users have come to expect from the Google Maps-based default app (with one exception)…For the most part, Apple is replicating and expanding on existing features from the currently Google Maps version. There are now built-in Yelp reviews, turn-by-turn directions…and the same kind of instant traffic updates we’ve become accustomed to from Google. The only feature that’s gone missing – and Apple obviously didn’t talk about this today – is Street View, Google’s street-level imagery…chances are many users will miss it once they update to iOS 6…Apple will…“integrate” transit apps from third-party developers. It doesn’t look like the app itself will feature transit directions. It’s not just Google Maps facing some fresh competition now, though. Stand-alone turn-by-turn navigation apps from incumbents like TomTom and startups like Waze will likely become a niche product on iOS soon as well…”  http://www.pcworld.com/article/257378/apple_signs_global_agreement_with_tomtom_for_maps.html  “…TomTom said on Tuesday it has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information…TomTom already supplies its maps and related data to companies including Samsung, Research In Motion, and Google, but expects its relationship with Apple to be deeper…The maps app will also feature turn-by-turn navigation with spoken directions, interactive 3D views, realtime traffic information with alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly, and local search for over 100 million businesses…” [my view of Apple kicking Google Maps off the iPhone is that it’s a good thing; maps and local search is a key capability of smartphones. Apple has the cash to pour into creating a world class mapping service and they’re not about to kick out Google Maps then give their users a lousy substitute. Google has to be miffed, so they in turn will, I predict, throw some extra effort into making Google Maps shine on Android to try and convince iPhone/iPad users that Apple done them wrong. This is the kind of competition where the consumer wins – ed.]
Apps
9.       How Mobile Video App Socialcam Used Facebook To Explode To 75 Million Users In 15 Months  http://www.businessinsider.com/how-mobile-video-app-socialcam-used-facebook-to-explode-to-75-million-users-in-15-months-2012-6  “Socialcam is a mobile video app that lets users make and share quick films. It launched 15 months ago…Now Socialcam has about 8 million daily active users—more than 8X the size of its closest competitor, Viddy…Between its website and its app, more than 75 million people use Socialcam…Here are the key takeaways: Socialcam was able to scale to 75 million users by utilizing both its website and its app. Unlike Instagram, where the site merely encourages app downloads, Socialcam has a fully-functioning website where users can view videos people have made. The 75 million users are either people who use the website, people who have downloaded the app, or both…Facebook timeline and Open Graph integration have helped make Socialcam explode. Whenever a user watches or creates a video on Socialcam, the activity appears on their Facebook feeds….How did Socialcam come to be? MS: I was the CEO of Justin.tv and my cofounders were senior engineers there.  We came up with the idea at Justin.tv in the fall of 2010. We had an iPhone app that allowed people to stream live videos, and all of our users said the same thing: "We use your app to stream video clips, not live video." They said they tried using the YouTube and Facebook app to stream clips, but all of them failed…How big is the Socialcam team? Four people — three cofounders and one community manager…For a while, you and your competitor Viddy were neck and neck in terms of downloads and traffic. Now you've blown past them by 8-fold. How are you keeping the momentum?...There are three big factors in our continuous growth.  The first, which is hard to ignore, is Facebook. Our integration with Facebook has been ridiculously powerful…The second thing is the fact that we allow people to take videos without any limits.  We hear time and time again that people who have tried other apps come to us because we have no time limits…Imagine a birthday party. You're going to take a video when everyone sings happy birthday. You can't tell everyone, "Sing really fast because I have to get it in this video!" So Socialcam doesn't have time limits. The third is scaling. Socialcam had to scale from 15 servers to 150 servers in the past 45 days.  If my cofounders, who are the engineers, weren't able to pull that off, it wouldn't matter how viral we were or how well we were serving our customers…”
10.     Anti-bully apps  http://mashable.com/2012/06/11/bullying-apps/  “…at a Houston high school this April, dozens of students gather in a stairwell to watch a fight. They stand by as a girl, armed with a sock that has a combination lock in the toe, viciously beats another girl to the point that she will later have multiple staples inserted into her head at the emergency room. Tim Porter is developing an app that he believes can stop violence like this on school grounds…Porter’s app, Stop Bullies, allows students to anonymously report bullying by submitting messages, photos or videos to school administrators, who are alerted in real time. Each message includes a GPS tag that could, at least theoretically, help adults intervene. Customized versions of the app will go live for the first time in two schools this August…Instead of launching a dedicated app for bullying, other schools have built a bully-reporting function into their general apps. Steve Young, the CTO of a school district in Texas, for instance, helped create a bully report function for the district’s website and app…he says there have been about 67 reports made through the tool, about a third of which were legitimate. In a country where 83% of middle-schoolers and 85% of high schoolers have phones, apps provide a bullying reporting tool that is easily accessible to them, real-time and anonymous…About 24% of teenage students still aren’t allowed to carry phones at school …” [do you think anti-bully apps are a good thing? Two of the statistics were interesting to me; only 1/3 of the bully complaints in the Texas school district were judged to be legitimate, and 83% of middle school kids have cell phones – ed.]
SkyNet
11.      Ultimate guide to Google services  http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/features/internet/3362133/ultimate-guide-google-services/  “From its humble beginnings in 1998, Google has become one of the biggest brands on the planet…the company has come a long way in the last 14 years and now has an impressive range of services which - on the whole - are completely free to use. As well as online tools for everything from getting directions (Maps) to tracking visitors to your website (Analytics) there are also applications for your PC such as Picasa for editing and organising photos and the Chrome web browser. Plus, Google now owns YouTube and Blogger, and has its own social networking site, Google+. It even has its own operating system, Android, which runs on a multitude of smartphones and tablets. Whether you already use Gmail and Docs or you don't yet have a Google account, we'll show you some of Google's great tools and services you may not have heard of…”
12.     Gmail Hacks That Will Change Your Life  http://www.buzzfeed.com/spavis/gmail-hacks-that-will-change-your-life  “…I’m going to show you some Gmail hacks to make life easier on you and the people you communicate with, all without changing your daily email habits…Gmail’s storage capacity has grown from 1 GB to 10 GB…my suggestion for how to best improve your email life in one click is by enabling Priority Inbox…you get a cleanly segmented inbox with a more relevant unread count…I don’t actually use Priority Inbox…I handcraft my own inbox to suit my particular needs…If you’re Tim Ferriss or one of his followers then that means sending obnoxious autoresponders letting people know what email rules you have set up for yourself and how they might want to change their email practices…But if you’re part of the 99 percent of people…the onus is on you to come up with a system to deal with whatever comes at you. Your best friend for dealing with unimportant emails is Gmail’s filters…you set up rules in Gmail so that if certain conditions are met, then different things happen to your email…What’s the simplest Gmail filter that everyone should have…Having anything you email yourself automatically marked as read…here are a few filtering rules of thumb: Any emails you send yourself…Mailing lists for a group you’re no longer an active member of…Newsletters about products you own…travel deal-a-day emails…Don’t filter without exceptions. If a filter doesn’t have an exception, you should probably unsubscribe from whatever you’re filtering…Figure out which way you want to filter: bury the junk or surface the good stuff…Filtering is easier than unsubscribing…If you’ve ever run a contest or solicited submissions then you’ve probably gotten more emails than you know what to do with…there are two ways of handing this: create a whole separate throwaway email account like TechBroDudesiPad3Giveaway@gmail.com or…a great Gmail-only trick…kills these two birds with one stone: plus-addressing…Gmail treats special characters in different ways. For periods, it ignores them entirely. stevejobs@gmail.com is the same as s.t.e.v.e.j.o.b.s@gmail.com...But with the plus sign, Gmail ignores everything after it for delivery purposes. So if someone emails stevejobs+complaint@gmail.com or stevejobs+meetingrequest@gmail.com then Steve will get them both. This not only gives you an infinite number of throwaway addresses but also is a foolproof way for people to contact you in the manner you want…” [if you want more Gmail tips, there are additional articles in this series – ed.]
13.     How to Find Anything in Your Gmail  http://mashable.com/2012/06/06/gmail-advanced-search/#672811-from-OR-to  “Once you’ve used Gmail for awhile, hunting down a particular email can seem like a gnarly round of Where’s Waldo…Labels and stars can sometimes do the trick; other times, you need something a little more, well, advanced. That’s where Gmail’s advanced search options come in. Check out these 10 tips for advanced Gmail search functions…You can also opt to click the small gray arrow on the right side of the search box for a drop-down list of ways to refine your search…from: OR to:…to specify where emails are coming from and going to…make sure there's no space after the colon…Use a hyphen to exclude specific terms from your search… has:attachment…to limit your search to messages that include an attachment…in:anywhere…opens the search to messages anywhere in Gmail (emails stored in Spam and Trash are excluded from searches by default)…" " (quotes)…will refine the search to only include messages that contain an exact phrase…”
14.     10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Gmail Power Users  http://mashable.com/2012/06/05/gmail-keyboard-shortcuts/  “…Gmail offers a series of keyboard shortcuts…We’ve rounded up 10 of the most useful Gmail shortcuts to help streamline your email activity…Before testing out these shortcuts, make sure you’ve enabled them in your Gmail settings. Head to Settings > General > Keyboard Shortcuts to turn the feature on…Press Shift + C to compose a new message in a new window [or just C to compose a new message in the same window – ed.]…Scroll between messages in your inbox by pressing K and J to access newer and older emails…When you're in an email thread, type N and P to move among newer and older conversations. Hit O or Enter to expand a conversation…When viewing an email, hit R to reply, A to reply all, or F to forward…To move a message to the trash, type #…”
15.     How to Enable Offline Gmail in Chrome  http://blog.laptopmag.com/how-to-enable-gmails-offline-mode-in-chrome  “…Gmail provides users with the ability to access content offline…Gmail allows you to edit emails without an active Internet connection when signed in through Google Chrome. Viewing and searching messages happens in real-time, while sent messages are stored and fired off when you reconnect to the web. To activate the offline Gmail, follow our quick how-to below…”
16.     How to Back Up Your Gmail the Easy and Cheap Way  http://lifehacker.com/5773362/back-up-your-gmail-the-easy-way-or-the-cheap-way  “Gmail users put a lot of their lives into their inboxes. Over nearly seven years, with ever-increasing storage, how could you not? So if your inbox suddenly went blank, where would you turn? Now's the time to get a secondary stash in place. Here are four options—free or cheap, easy or geeky—that will give you peace of mind…For Those Who Don't Mind Paying for Convenience: Backupify…Backupify also backs up Facebook data, Flickr photos, Google Docs, your long-term Twitter stream, and lots of other webapps. Best of all, they're offering one year for free right now with discount code savegmail…For Cheapskates Who Like Automation: Gmail-to-Hotmail…Hotmail really, really wants you to transfer over your messages, and they've even created a simple web interface for doing so: TrueSwitch…For Free, Local, DIY Backup: Desktop Thunderbird (and Then Somewhere Else)…Thunderbird is free, works on any system, and creates nicely portable packages that are handy for any other backups you're doing…head to Gmail, click the "gear" in the upper-right corner, choose Mail settings, then head to Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Enable POP for all mail, and set Gmail to keep its copy. At this point, you should download and install Thunderbird, if you haven't already…click Gmail's link for configuration instructions; their step-by-step walk-through for Thunderbird 3.0 is spot on…Gmail messages are stored inside your Thunderbird profile…We'd highly recommend backing up that profile in the same way you'd back up your other important data, and hopefully somewhere online. Now you've got triple-threat access to all of your mail history…For Free, Local Backup, If You Don't Mind a Terminal: Fetchmail…Fetchmail is hardcore, bare-bones, command-line-powered mail backup. Gina showed us how to backup Gmail with Fetchmail, and doing it today is the same process…”
17.     20 Awesome Tips For Searching With Google  http://www.inquisitr.com/249713/search-google-like-a-magical-knowledge-genie-20-awesome-tips-for-finding-stuff-interactive-infographic/  “…the team at OnlinePhD.org is ready to help everyday Google users get the most out of their Google search experience…were you aware that by adding the “~” tilde symbol to a word Google will also search for similar words such as ~kitten which will also search for cat, kitty, etc. Were you also aware that filetype:ppt or filetype:doc will only search for that type of document file for example “filetype:ppt kitten” will only search for Powerpoint presentations involving kittens…search one specific site…as “site:inquisitr.com Obama”…Google employs synonyms automatically. Afraid will include search results for [fear] and [scared]…The related: operator will give you related websites…The modifier inurl only searches the web address of a page. inurl:gob bluth will search urls containing both “gob” and “bluth”…150 horsepower to donkeypower…Converts units of measurements including length, mass, time, temperature, currency, etc…SFO MKE…Search flight prices by entering in airport codes…You can search by an image by simply dragging a picture right into the search bar…”
18.     Google Chrome 19 review  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373853,00.asp  “The Chrome versions just keep coming…With Chrome 19, you can now sync tabs among all the computers and devices you run Chrome…Chrome remains your best Web browser, thanks to blazing speed, and ground-breaking features.  It boasts unique features like Chrome Instant, built-in Flash and PDF display…First, there was Google Instant, by which Web search results start appearing as soon as you start typing in the Google search box. Then came Instant Pages, in which Chrome tries to guess which link you're likely to click on next, and preload that page in the background. Another "instant" feature, pre-loads the first-proposed autocomplete site in the background when you start typing in the browser's address bar…security protection…warns you when you're about to download a file (especially a program file) from a known malware-distributing site…Let's take a look at what makes this browser so special…”
19.     10 Tips for Increased Productivity on Google Docs  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/6/prweb9583977.htm  “…Google Docs is built with collaboration at its heart, allowing real-time editing by multiple users with a revision history that enables roll back to any version. Documents shared in Google Docs can be accessed, viewed and edited offline. AppsCare has uncovered 10 tips for making the most out of Google Docs by exploring some of the less obvious features of the suite…Install ‘WatchDoc’ a chrome extension that provides notifications when a document has been updated…Download ‘CloudMagic’ for offline search of mail, contacts and documents…‘Drag and Drop’ works for uploading documents as well as images taken straight form Google Images…‘Google Docs Viewer’ lets you view and share over 15 types of files online, including attachments in Gmail…Use the Word Processer to create web pages: create a page, click file, download as – HTML, rename as index. Html and upload to your web space…Save drawings in a scalable form: download as SVG option so that when you access the file offline the image quality does not deteriorate if the file size changes…Share docs with non-docs users: click sharing settings, click the padlock icon, change the privacy entry, and adjust who has editing rights…Keyboard shortcuts are the ultimate way to speed up productivity.…” https://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&answer=179738  https://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&answer=181110
20.    Microsoft Vs. Google, Part II: Can Docs Beat Office?  http://seekingalpha.com/article/647311-microsoft-vs-google-part-ii-can-docs-beat-office  “…this article will look at the Office Suites arena. Google recently announced their acquisition of QuickOffice, an Office suite for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. This demonstrates the seriousness with which Google is pursuing the Office market. QuickOffice allows offline editing of files, something that Google will integrate within their own Docs products. Google will add offline editing capabilities to the desktop soon also, and Microsoft is rumored to soon be coming out with an iPad Office app. This means that Google and Microsoft will be competing across every platform: online, the desktop and mobile…If Chrome OS gains a market share (as suggested in part I), people will use Google Docs on it…it seems that the PC will remain the main productivity device for a while, since it is hard to do work without a keyboard or on a small screen. Will Google be able to gain market share on the PC?...Microsoft has spent many years developing their Office software, so it will be difficult to be able to match the number of features they provide. Will Google be able to offer capabilities that will get people to switch? On one hand, the amount of features in the Office suite is not so important to most people. They just need Word for basic document editing, and they don't know about or need most of the complex features…Excel is feature-packed for people who need it, but most people just use it for managing tables and lists and doing very simple calculations…If much of the complexity of the Office suite is not relevant to most people, than Google Docs may be able to gain a large share by making the simple things a little better…if people switch to a simpler solution, they may have to give up use of a certain "pet feature" of theirs. The only way they would do this is if Google offered certain fundamental features that made it worthwhile for people to switch…Google might be able to do this in a couple of ways. One way is by providing a faster and simpler interface for people to use…Another area is online collaboration…Google Docs still remains very simple to use and one can see simple colored cursors where collaborators are editing things. Another area is version control…Microsoft does not provide a simple way for a regular user to do this. In Google Docs, one can easily compare a document with earlier versions and restore previous ones. A potential advantage for Google is connected to their strength in search…Google may be able to launch a feature that lets people search to do something and then let them actually perform it in one-click without having to read through complex instructions. Microsoft's help search in Office isn't very good at determining what a user wants to do, but Google is very strong in this area. Imagine being able to remove duplicates from a column just by searching "remove duplicates" on the side of a spreadsheet…”
21.     5 Google Calendar Tips and Tricks for Power Users  http://www.cio.com/article/707931/5_Google_Calendar_Tips_and_Tricks_for_Power_Users  “…Google Calendar has a number of basic features that help you make it through the week: calendar integration, mobile accessibility and sharing…Here are five advanced Google Calendar tips and tricks that will help you view important events easier, schedule events quicker, view your calendar offline…How to Hide Morning and Night…The "Hide morning and night" Lab lets you customize your calendar so you see only events within the time range of your choice, for example between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. instead of the 24-hour view…How to Access Google Calendar Offline…"Offline Calendar for Chrome 10+" (beta) uses HTML5 and synch capabilities so you can view your calendars and RSVP to existing event invitations while you're offline. Chrome stores your data on your profile while you're offline, then syncs it when you're back online…How to Find a Time That Works for Everyone…The "Suggested Times" feature automatically recommends an event time that's convenient for all of your guests. After you add attendees to a meeting, a "Suggested times" link will appear under the guests list…How to Dim Insignificant Events…The "Event dimming" feature lets you do just that: Dim events that have already passed and dim future recurring events…How to Receive a Daily Agenda…Google Calendar gives you the option to receive an emailed daily agenda detailing all your appointments and meetings. Generally, the email is sent to you around 5 a.m. local time…”
22.    Android's one killer feature that trumps the iPhone  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57449969-94/androids-one-killer-feature-that-trumps-the-iphone/  “…It's hard to argue that Android is more usable than iOS overall. The truth is that iOS is a more limited, simplified experience, but that makes it easy for most users to pick up and start using right away and makes it hard for them to get themselves in trouble by misconfiguring things. By contrast, Android is more flexible and customizable, but it can also be more difficult to navigate and more apt to confuse smartphone novices. However, the alerts system is the one area where Android is just flat out more useful and more usable than iPhone. If that sounds trivial, it's not -- especially for business professionals and others who do a lot of stuff with their smartphones. Alerts give you timely updates of important information, quickly let you know about things that need your attention, and give you an at-a-glance look at your latest messages from various sources. Apple made big strides with its alerts system in iOS 5 -- taking obvious inspiration from Android -- but even the vastly-improved alerts system still didn't match the power and efficiency of what Android offers…”
General Technology
23.    Cockroach-like Robot Scurries Over Ledges in Creepy Fashion  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405548,00.asp  “…UC Berkeley roboticists have built a new robot that darts about like a cockroach…DASH, short for Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod, is a six-legged robot that's modeled on the movement techniques of cockroaches and geckos, using cleverly placed Velcro strips to replicate those animals' natural grappling abilities. "Cockroaches…have fast relay systems that allow them to dart away quickly in response to light or motion at speeds up to 50 body lengths per second, which is equivalent to a couple hundred miles per hour, if you scale up to the size of humans. This makes them incredibly good at escaping predators,"…new evidence of how cockroaches, geckos, and other scrambling, nimble creatures can run full speed over a ledge or gap without falling inspired them to try to develop similar movement abilities in a robot…cockroaches use their hind legs to swing the rest of their bodies like a pendulum when confronted with gaps they need to cross, preserving about three-quarters of their running speed while doing so. "As we made the gap wider, they would end up on the underside of the ramp…when we filmed them with a high-speed camera and slowed it down, we were amazed to see that it was the cockroach's hind legs grabbing the surface that allowed it to swing around under the ledge."…The more roach-like DASH joins another UC Berkeley creation, CLASH, which is a robot that uses its sharp, pointed appendages to quickly scurry up and around vertical, textured surfaces. Earlier this year, Chinese scientists revealed the Clothbot, a small, fabric-clutching robot that pulls itself up pants and shirts…” [the next bug you squash may be a robot; lets hope they don’t scan our irises like they did to Tom Cruise, or go into our bodies through the belly button like they did to Keanu Reeves – ed.]
24.    Apple Unveils The MacBook Pro With Retina Display  http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/11/apple-unveils-a-redesigned-macbook-pro-the-most-beautfiul-computer-we-have-ever-made/  “Phil Schiller…wowed the crowd with…the next generation of the MacBook Pro. Schiller proudly proclaimed that this is the most beautiful computer they have ever made. [sounds like he’s channeling Steve Jobs… - ed.] It’s about as thin as the Air, weighs only 4lbs and packs a retina display…even though it uses a quad-core Intel Core i7, Apple promises fantastic battery life. The screen itself is 15.4-inches with a 220 ppi at 2880 x 1800…It packs an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 768GB of flash storage and an Nvidia Kepler GPU, the GeForce GT 650m. The new Intel chips allow for USB 3.0 as well joining Thunderbolt and HDMI (also a first) on the side of the new model. Apple claims 7 hours battery life…This will be the first MacBook Pro without an optical drive. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display starts at $2199 for a 2.3GHz Core i7, 8GB of RAM and GeForce GT 650 but once all the available options are selected, the price skyrockets to $3749…”
25.    Apple Quietly Kills The 17-inch MacBook Pro  http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/11/apple-kills-the-17-inch-macbook-pro/  “…Apple just axed the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Good night, sweet giant…the 17-inch MacBook pro was always a true mobile workstation. It generally shipped with the best standard specs and also the highest price…During Apple’s last earnings call, it was announced that the 17-inch model only captured 1.7% of all Apple notebook sales in the preceding financial quarter …”
26.    Green Mesh PC Case, Removes The Need For Dusty Intake Fans  http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/green-mesh-pc-case-removes-the-need-for-dusty-intake-fans-video-11-06-2012/  “…a unique style of PC case called the Green Mesh…moves away from the traditional fan laden PC case design…that not only bring in cold air but also suck in dust into the heart of your PC. The Green Mesh instead uses an open air design with a mesh case surround allowing cold air to circulate around your components and hot air to rise and vent itself through the top…The mesh design allows the case to acquire three to four times less dust, than a traditional PC case…”
Leisure & Entertainment
27.    CLANG, a swordfighting videogame project on Kickstarter  http://boingboing.net/2012/06/10/neal-stephenson-kickstarts-rea.html  “Neal Stephenson and…Subutai Corporation are looking to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter to fund CLANG, a rich, detailed and faithful swordfighting game. I've heard tell of the Stephenson swordfighting practice sessions, and particularly of the incredible swordfighters in his orbit…In the last couple of years, affordable new gear has come on the market that makes it possible to move, and control a swordfighter's actions, in a much more intuitive way than pulling a plastic trigger or pounding a key on a keyboard. So it's time to step back, dump the tired conventions that have grown up around trigger-based sword games, and build something that will enable players to inhabit the mind, body, and world of a real swordfighter. CLANG will begin with…the two-handed longsword used in Europe during late medieval and early renaissance times. This is a well-documented style that has enjoyed a revival in recent years thanks to the efforts of scholars and martial artists worldwide. At first, it'll be a PC arena game based on one-on-one dueling …”  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/260688528/clang
28.    John Carmack virtual reality headset, $500 kits available soon  http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/06/06/john-carmack-is-making-a-virtual-reality-headset-500-kits-available-soon-video-interview-inside/  “John Carmack has been building a virtual reality headset in his spare time. He’s showing it to people behind closed doors at this year’s E3…Check below for a 20 minute video with Carmack on virtual reality, why he decided to tackle headsets, the latency of the human mind, and the first footage of one his handmade prototypes …”
29.    Celluloid no more: distribution of film to cease by 2013 in the US  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/06/the-silver-screen-no-more-distribution-of-film-to-cease-by-2013-in-the-us/  “…IHS Screen Digest…says that movie studios will cease producing 35mm film prints for major markets by the end of 2013…IHS predicts studios will stop producing film for the rest of the world by 2015…Film reels are more expensive than digital storage, degrade faster, and are physically much heavier to ship and carry around…another factor is pushing studios to make the change from film to digital: the price of silver shot up. What was once $5 is now about $28 an ounce…While economics may be spurring directors toward digital movies, theaters aren’t following quite so quickly. "51.5 percent of worldwide screens had digital projectors at the end of 2011,"…the move from film to digital will almost certainly create a burden on theaters to invest money they may not have on new projection technology. Digital projection systems can cost between $70,000 to $100,000 and small town movie houses will have trouble coming up with that cash …”
30.    Amazon’s markup of digital delivery to indie authors is ~129,000%  http://andrewhy.de/amazons-markup-of-digital-delivery-to-indie-authors-is-129000/  “So my book about travel came out last week!...I self published it (wrote, designed, marketed and even did the layout for it)…This post is about the where the sales of the book are coming from, and why Amazon takes 48% of digital book sales.  Surprising eh?  I thought Amazon was the BEST for indie authors, right?...A few months ago I ran a kickstarter for the book to raise the funds to be able to focus on the book, and people from around the world kicked in…So I wrote the book.  Finished up with 25 chapters and 52,000 words…the preorders say a lot to say about the way people read books. So 51% of the orders were for Kindle.  I love my kindle.  I can see why.  I was amazed to see iBooks so high…The book is on sale for $9.99 (I was betting that it was equally hard to get a $10 customer as it was a $1 customer)…So how did the sales do? Kindle CRUSHED on sales.  People have their credit cards stored in there and the user experience is amazing.  Nook is dead last again…iBooks is at 11% and .pdf at 12%...I should focus on Amazon Kindle 100% right? I started to.  All my energy went to the amazon link…So, I’m at the end of my week, time to see just how the sales ended up…Wait, Amazon pays out the worst?..I dig a bit deeper and find this little gem: Avg. Delivery Cost ($) 2.58. So for every $9.99 book I sell I, the author, pay 30% to Amazon for the right to sell on Amazon AND $2.58 for them to deliver the DIGITAL GOOD to your device.  It is free for the reader, but the author, not amazon, pays for delivery …”
Economy and Technology
31.     Making mobile payments ubiquitous  http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/10/mobile-payments-a-trillion-dollar-industry-once-everyone-can-actually-make-a-payment/  “Is that a Windows phone?  Uh, sorry about that…. we only accept payments from Apple devices.” The absurdity of the above statement is crystal clear.  Basic transfer of money from one party to another in exchange for goods and services shouldn’t be this exclusive…Did we just unveil the new “we don’t accept American Express” of our generation?...I see a democratized world where the device you have in your hand doesn’t determine if you can pay for your daily sandwich…For the last one hundred years, innovations in payments have continually struggled with how to improve on the experience of paying with cash…Today, the one thing more commonly carried than money in our society is a cell phone, which is making it the most logical form of payment going forward…outside the pin-needle sized, early-adopting Silicon Valley elite, you will discover roughly 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide – an astonishing 85 percent of the world population…95% of these individuals don’t carry an Apple device…moreover, 75% of the world is still not using a device generally regarded as a smartphone…So why is there so much focus on a mobile payment experience in which only 5% – or at max 25% – of the world can actually participate?  Shouldn’t we look at what all these devices have in common when we are designing an experience as universal as payment?...The mobile payment methods of the future must be device and OS agnostic…further evaluation of the payment experience shows the in-person, in-store transaction is just one of many different payments we make during our everyday life.  A very large hole is opening for players who want to address the broader public markets of payment…a device that can text is a device that can transact, which makes payments available to the 6 billion people who hold mobile devices today.  This opens up mobile payments to be made anywhere, at anytime, by anyone.  Most people just want to quickly make a payment and move on with their life…Sometimes simplicity is the ultimate sophistication …”
32.    Apple Announces New Passbook App To Store Movie Tickets, Retail Cards, And Boarding Passes  http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/11/apple-ios-passbook/  “Apple just announced a new iOS app…called Passbook that aims to store all of your “passes” — a category that includes boarding passes, store cards, and movie tickets. This could be a boon for consumers…The idea is to create one app that replaces a lot of the clutter in your wallet…you can open up Passbook whenever you need to board a flight, get into a movie, or get a discount at the store — it looks like the passes are mostly, but not exclusively, redeemed using QR codes. The examples included a Starbucks card, where the user’s balance is automatically updated with each payment. On the airline side, the app can alert you if the gate changes for your flight…this could have pretty big repercussions for other companies. For example, I’ve seen a flood of startups who jumped on the loyalty bandwagon and tried to replace the physical punchcards and memberships in your wallet …”
33.    PR Newswire Launches Agility Dashboard  http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/11/pr-newswire/  “…PR Newswire (a.k.a. “the site that I use to search for press releases”) is…launching a new product called Agility…largely built around things that the company already offers, such as its press release distribution service and its journalist database…it updates those services and unites everything in a single dashboard, rather than forcing requiring companies to jump from one service to another…with Agility, PR pros can access a database of 700,000 journalist contacts, complete with social data like their Klout score and latest tweets. They can also track mentions of their companies and competitors in traditional and social media, then respond or share from the dashboard. And yes, they can distribute press releases…It’s not just about shooting a release to a small group of journalists, but finding anyone who’s influential on a given subject matter and engaging them, whether it’s with a press release or a tweet. If it sounds like PR is starting to blur into things like customer service and marketing, well, that’s the idea…”
DHMN Technology
34.    MAKE Kicks Off "A Summer of Making"  http://world.einnews.com/pr_news/99750064/make-kicks-off-a-summer-of-making-with-its-3d-school-s-out-special-issue  “MAKE magazine's special "Schools Out!" issue is hitting newsstands this week, featuring over 50 projects to make and photographed in 3D with glasses bound inside. It's MAKE's first issue devoted entirely to projects for kids and families, and kicks off MAKE's summer-long program, "A Summer of Making." The issue provides how-to guides and kits for fun and functional projects; from how to make 3D movies and models to silk-screening t-shirts to installing a zip line in your backyard. Step-by-step photo guides accompany the featured projects and all have recommendations for age and group activities…”
35.    Pair's Car-B-Q wins TechShop grill-design contest  http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20824218/pairs-car-b-q-wins-san-jose-grill  “It was an enticing challenge: Design and build a new and improved barbecue grill, enjoy a lunch of smoked pulled pork and possibly win a prize worth about $1,000. But only one pair of bona fide contestants showed up Saturday to take home the handcrafted Grill Build trophy. Nick Neylan and Michael D'Antonio…won with their smoker built into an old dirt-racing spirit car. Their Car-B-Q can be hitched up and towed to wherever the picnic is happening…The Tech Shop, which opened in San Jose last year, is a do-it-yourself membership club offering a workshop filled with high-tech woodworking, metal shop, sewing and other tools -- including laser cutters, a computerized quilting machine and a water-jet cutter. The company's shops, including ones in Menlo Park, San Francisco and Detroit, are a tinkerer's paradise of equipment…Tech Shop members include hobbyists as well as would-be entrepreneurs…"I left my 9-to-5 job at Apple (AAPL)," said Youngblood, a 35-year-old San Jose Tech Shop member. "Inside me, I just wanted to build things."…Ilana Murray makes pins, jewelry cases and aviator goggles popular with fans of steampunk -- a genre of science fiction and fantasy that incorporates 19th century technology. She estimates that access to the laser cutter and other tools has quadrupled her productivity. Besides the winning Car-B-Q, three other grills were on display Saturday. Mike Catterlin, the Tech Shop's San Jose manager, dubbed his invention the "60-minute grill"…But because it was created by the Menlo Park Tech Shop staff, it also wasn't eligible for the contest. Tech Shop member Brett Jacoby, of San Jose, was demonstrating his multilevel grill that also features an oven, a swing-out coal bin and a warmer top…But because he had several months' head-start and had taught a class in grill design, he didn't feel it was fair to enter Saturday's competition. That left Neylan and D'Antonio …”
36.    Hong Kong: Home to the World’s Cheapest 3D Printer  http://pandodaily.com/2012/06/11/hong-kong-home-to-the-worlds-cheapest-3d-printer/  “…on the 12th floor of a mostly disused industrial building in Hong Kong’s New Territories – a part of the metropolis in which few Westerners set foot – Jon Buford is building what he says is the world’s cheapest 3D printer. For the last six months, the Atlanta native and his team of six have been working on the MakiBox, an easy-to-assemble 3D printer that will retail for about $300. It will also offer a new way to feed plastic source material into the machine, eschewing the conventional string filament used by most printers in favor of much cheaper pellets. Buford’s overarching idea is to help 3D printers find a wider market than the small hobbyist crowd that has so far taken to the technology. While companies such as MakerBot, uPrint, and Cubify already offer personal 3D printers for the at-home experience, none is as user-friendly as the MakiBox promises to be…” [while it’s good that innovators are driving down the cost of 3D printers, I agree with Luke W that the real key to widespread home 3D printing is the development of a ubiquitous easy-to-use 3D printing software suite – ed.]
Open Source Hardware
37.    RetroCade Synth Board Re-programs Itself Into Atari, C64, Amiga  http://createdigitalmusic.com/2012/06/retrocade-synth-board-re-programs-itself-into-atari-c64-amiga-open-source-hardware/  “…in sci-fi how you’ll see robots and other machines that can transform, re-program themselves on the fly for a new task?...imagine a single-board – looking a bit like an ultra-compact computer – that does that for sound, and you have the basic notion of the RetroCade Synth. For lovers of classic computer audio chips, and chip music associated with gaming and the demo scene, it means a single device that can be all those vintage sounds from the moment you switch it on…The magic here is all via something called a “field-programmable gate array,” or FPGA…The RetroCade Synth is open source hardware – perhaps the first high-visibility project to use an FPGA for sound. (See the awesome MilkyMist for an example of a FPGA-based, open source hardware for video; the MilkyMist uses these features to add more video-processing techniques as the project develops, and has inspired other projects well beyond video or music.)…even if you know nothing of how these boards work, the RetroCade Synth is looking like a useful musical tool. A Kickstarter project is being used to fund production. Note that this differs from projects that use Kickstarter to fund development; by funding production of a complete or nearly-complete design, Kickstarter can help designers jump over the hurdle of the initial capital needed to manufacture something their users want…”
38.    OpenRelief Launches Open Source Disaster Relief Drone  https://www.linux.com/news/featured-blogs/200-libby-clark/586942-openrelief-launches-open-source-disaster-relief-drone-  “…a team of developers has returned to LinuxCon in Yokohama this week to announce OpenRelief, a new project aimed at building a low-cost, remote-controlled robotic plane to report damage in hard-to-reach, disaster stricken areas. Shane Coughlan…was a volunteer driving relief supplies across the country and worked with aid agencies on remapping the disaster area using GPS. Access to hard hit areas was limited and information on road conditions was dangerous to obtain…When he shared his experience with the audience someone commented that it would be nice to devise a way to relay that information faster to the front lines. That got Coughlin thinking about a better solution. The result was OpenRelief, a collaborative effort of 12 professionals from around the globe to create a prototype drone that can fly itself into and out of disaster zones to take photos and video and map roads, people and smoke. Sensors will measure weather conditions and radiation…”
Open Source
39.    Seamlessly Extending IRC to Mobile Devices  http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/seamlessly-extending-irc-mobile-devices  “…As great as IRC can be, there's one thing about it that's always bothered me, and it's something that Jabber got right—the concept of a resource and priority. In IRC, when you log in as whatever user you are, you can't log in as that user again from another machine. Jabber allows multiple user logins, so long as the "resource" is different, and it'll route your messages to the client with the lowest priority. IRC doesn't even have that concept, so once you log in on your desktop, you have to log in as another user if you want to log in on your laptop…For years, I've used a fairly common workaround…If you use a text-based client like Irssi, and run that client on a machine that's on all the time, you can run the client within a terminal multiplexer…That gives you the ability to run the client, detach from the terminal session, then log in via SSH on another machine and reattach to your session…this scheme…doesn't work well with mobile devices like tablets and mobile phones…Is There a Better Way?...after noodling around for a while one day, I did find a way. Irssi, the text-mode client I usually use via Screen and SSH, has a "proxy" (or "bouncer") mode where you can have it listen on a couple additional ports and then attach another IRC client to it…Once you get the proxy module running successfully, connecting to it is as easy as pointing another IRC client at it…Although this works just fine, it bothers me a little bit, as the password that's sent between the mobile device and your Irssi session that's running in Screen is sent in the clear. I'd much prefer that to be SSL-encrypted, so no one can intercept that password. Unfortunately, the Irssi proxy module doesn't support SSL, but there's a way around that through the use of the stunnel utility. Stunnel is a generic encryption wrapper that's designed to add SSL encryption to any non-encrypted service…”
40.    U.S. Navy turns to Linux to run its drone fleet  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57449783-76/u.s-navy-turns-to-linux-to-run-its-drone-fleet/  “…the U.S. Navy will begin installing Linux to control some of its autonomous flying vehicles. The contract, which is worth $27,883,883, calls for a "Linux transition on the tactical control system software for vertical take-off (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle ground control stations."…The U.S. military is not new to Linux, and has learned from past problems with less-reliable operating systems. "While the US military has been a growing user of Linux, the contract might also have something to do with the swabbies learning from the mistakes made by the flyboys and girls in the US Air Force," The Register wrote. "After a malware attack on the Air Force's Windows-based drone-control system last year, there has been a wholesale move to Linux for security reasons…”
41.     First Linux Mint PCs go on sale  http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/first-linux-mint-pcs-go-on-sale/11193  “…Mint’s my current favorite Linux desktop distribution. But, like most distributions, to run it, I had to install it myself. Now, Mint, in conjunction with CompuLab, is selling its first Mint-branded PCs…you could buy a PC or laptop from ZaReason and a handful of other Linux PC vendors with Mint Linux, but the two mini-PCs that Mint and CompuLab are offering are the first to have Mint’s official blessing…It features a die-cast solid-metal case which acts as a giant passive heatsink. Although the metal makes the mintBox heavier than other devices its size, it makes it feel really unique, robust and well engineered. More importantly, it cools down its components without needing any fans. Other than the noise coming from its internal 250GB hard-drive, the mintBox is completely silent.”…The mintBox Basic, which list for $476 plus shipping, duty, and value added tax (VAT) comes with a 250GB hard drive. For a processor, it uses an AMD APU G-T40N. This is a 1GHz dual core, which includes an integrated ATI Radeon HD 6290 for graphics. This is an Intel-compatible embedded system unit. This system comes with 4GBs of RAM…The mintBox, according to Lefebvre, with its Kensington lock and 4 small dents underneath it for the mintBox to be mounted on a VESA…mount bracket and their low-power consumption…make the mintBox an attractive device for companies, hotels and cybercafés where it can be placed or mounted on walls securely and significantly reduce noise levels and electricity bills…the mintBox is meant both for serious computer hobbyists and for serious business use…”
Civilian Aerospace
42.    SpaceX value soars after successful mission to dock at ISS  http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jun/07/spacex-value-soars-iss-mission  “Elon Musk has added another $1.4bn to his fortune after backing the first private company to successfully dock a spacecraft with the International Space Station…The success of the launch has doubled the value of the company's shares from $10 to $20, according to private company analyst PrivCo. It values SpaceX at $2.4bn and Musk's stake in the firm at $1.6bn. SpaceX executive Kirstin Brost Grantham has told PrivCo that the privately-held company has entered into $4bn worth of contracts for commercial and government launches through 2017…the company is now in line for a $1.6bn contract with Nasa for 12 flights using Falcon 9 and Dragon to resupply the International Space Station through 2015…”
43.    UA veggie garden for space readied for an earthly trek  http://azstarnet.com/news/local/education/college/ua-veggie-garden-for-space-readied-for-an-earthly-trek/article_4880ddbb-5f09-502d-a48a-1423c28de594.html  “…Someday, the University of Arizona's Lunar Greenhouse will provide a life-support system for astronauts on prospective missions to the moon, Mars and beyond…the greenhouse is being exhibited at the San Diego County Fair, followed by a stopover at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago…A prototype has been operating at UA's Campus Agriculture Center since 2010. Inside, vegetables climb the walls of the 18-foot-long cylinder with aluminum ribs covered by a durable plastic skin…The structure collapses into a 4-foot-long disk for spaceflight. Upon landing, the greenhouse would expand like an accordion and begin to operate…"We're working mostly with vegetables that NASA has interest in; that's leafy green vegetables -lettuces and spinaches and small green herbs like basil," said Gene Giacomelli, director of the program and a plant sciences and engineering professor. The team also is interested in vining plants like tomatoes and root crops like sweet potatoes…"Each one of them (plants) can provide the water and the oxygen for one astronaut every day,"…The Lunar Greenhouse would have to be buried under a layer of lunar soil to protect it from micrometeorites and solar radiation…The team has positioned a webcam in the lab that anyone can view online. Team members have addressed entire classrooms though the webcam - from local third-graders to Australian graduate students. "Rather than taking the classroom to the lab, we're taking the lab to the classroom…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
44.    Scaling Applications to a Thousand GPUs and Beyond  http://developer.nvidia.com/content/trenches-gtc-scaling-applications-thousand-gpus-and-beyond  “…Dr. Alan Gray from the University of Edinburgh described his use of C, MPI and CUDA on an NVIDIA Tesla -powered Cray XK6 hybrid supercomputer to run massively parallel Lattice-Boltzmann methods. “Simulating simple fluids like water requires massive amount of computer power, but simulating complex fluids like mixtures, surfactants, liquid crystals or particle suspensions, requires much more than that,” commented Dr. Gray. Dr. Gray is using 1933 (a total of 7,529,536) particles on every one of the 1000 GPUs. He has achieved a 2x performance over a previously-tested CPU-only solution, with just half the node count…non-optimized code will always give poor performance. That is exactly what happened initially with Dr. Gray's project; in order to achieve highest performance he had to tune register usage, take memory coalescing into account and introduce asynchronous streaming to pipeline multiple kernel executions…Be sure to watch the streamcast of this presentation : Scaling Applications to a Thousand GPUs and Beyond”
45.    Inside the Kepler GPU  http://developer.nvidia.com/content/trenches-gtc-inside-kepler  “…GK110 has 7.1B transistors (wow!), 15 SMX units, >1 TFLOP fp64, 1.5MB L2 cache, 384-bit GDDR5 and PCI-Express Gen 3…an awesome GPU that greatly exceeds Fermi's compute horsepower, while consuming less power and generating less heat…Each GK110 SMX unit has 192 single-precision CUDA cores, 64 double-precision units, 32 special function units and 32 load/store units. The resources comparison slide of Kepler GK110 versus Fermi showed a 2-3x increase in floating point throughput…a new ISA encoding enables four times more registers to be indexed per thread; 255 compared to 63 in Fermi. This was often a limiting factor for scientific codes, especially those that use double precision floating point…the (read-only) texture cache…now allows global addresses to be fetched and cached without the need to map a texture…I have often needed something like CUDA Dynamic Parallelism for my CFD simulations of boundary layer flows! The region of interest there is mainly around rigid walls and requires finer adaptive meshing to improve resolution and accuracy…Follow this link to watch a streamcast of this presentation : Inside Kepler…”

*****

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