2012/07/30

NEW NET Weekly List for 31 Jul 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 31 Jul 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.        EdX: One Course, 150,000 Students  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/education/edlife/anant-agarwal-discusses-free-online-courses-offered-by-a-harvard-mit-partnership.html  “AT the May announcement of edX, the Harvard-M.I.T. partnership that will offer free online courses with a certificate of completion, Susan Hockfield, the president of M.I.T., declared: “Fasten your seat belts.” If anyone was ready for the ride — the $60 million venture aims to reach a billion people — it was Anant Agarwal, the director of M.I.T.’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Mr. Agarwal, named the first president of edX, describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” who first went into business as a child in Mangalore, India, building coops for 40 chickens and selling their eggs. Start-ups still call to him: in 2005-6, he took time off from M.I.T. to create a semiconductor company. And in December, when M.I.T. decided to plunge into the world of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, with a new platform called MITx (now folded into edX), he came forward to teach the first offering, which ran March 5 to June 8 and enrolled over 150,000. How did you come to teach the first course? I just backed into it. M.I.T. asked me to look for a teacher for the MITx prototype course. I talked to some of my colleagues, who are much better teachers than I am, but I couldn’t get anyone to agree to do it. Many of them said it couldn’t be done in three months. But I’m really impatient, I like to get things done, and I’ve started enough companies to know that you can do things that big companies wouldn’t think was possible…”
2.       Google Fiber: Why Google makes the perfect ISP  http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/133547-why-google-makes-the-perfect-isp  “Google has been talking about its prototype fiber network for over two years now. After a lengthy selection process, Kansas City in both Missouri and Kansas were selected, and the specifics have finally been announced. As expected, the service sounds like an amazing deal on the face of it. Though, you’ll probably hear people grumbling that Google has too much data on us already, so should it really be your internet service provider too? When you look at what Mountain View is promising to deliver with Google Fiber, and the way the company is run, Google might be the ideal choice to be your ISP. Here’s why. Many net neutrality proponents cried foul a few years ago when Google supported Verizon’s vision for non-neutral mobile networks. Part of that proposal — the part that is often overlooked — is that Google strongly supported net neutrality over conventional wireline broadband. This is Google’s own wired network, so it’s not going to be running any of those shenanigans you’re becoming familiar with from the old ISPs. Comcast, Time Warner, and the rest are keen to build premium services, but Google has repeatedly come out against favoritism toward a single service or protocol…” 
3.       Goodbye, Hotmail. Hello, Outlook.com  http://www.zdnet.com/goodbye-hotmail-hello-outlook-com-7000001893/  “So long, Hotmail. It was nice to know you. Microsoft unveiled a major update to its consumer mail platform today, with a new look, a slew of new features, and a new name that is surprisingly familiar. The “modern email” service has been in super stealth mode for several months under the codename NewMail. With its formal launch as an open-to-the-public preview, the service gets a new name: Outlook.com…Outlook, of course, is the serious, business-focused mail client included with Office. Microsoft used the brand with Outlook Express, its lightweight email client in Windows XP, but dumped the name with the launch of Windows Vista in 2006. Restoring the Outlook name to Microsoft’s consumer email service accomplishes two goals. First, it dumps the Hotmail brand, which is tarnished beyond redemption, especially among technically sophisticated users who have embraced Google’s Gmail as the default standard for webmail. More importantly, it replaces the Hotmail domain with a fresh top-level domain that’s serious enough for business use…”
4.       New Online Tool Gives Public Wider Access to Key U.S. Statistics  http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/miscellaneous/cb12-135.html  “The U.S. Census Bureau today released a new online service that makes key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics more accessible than ever before. The Census Bureau’s first-ever public Application Programming Interface (API) allows developers to design Web and mobile apps to explore or learn more about America's changing population and economy. The new API lets developers customize Census Bureau statistics into Web or mobile apps that provide users quick and easy access from two popular sets of statistics: 2010 Census (Summary File 1), which includes detailed statistics on population, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship and owner/renter status, for a variety of geographic areas down to the level of census tracts and blocks…2006-2010 American Community Survey (five-year estimates), which includes detailed statistics on a rich assortment of topics (education, income, employment, commuting, occupation, housing characteristics and more) down to the level of census tracts and block groups…”
5.        Amazon Lockers Available For Delivery In Silicon Valley  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/30/amazon-lockers-silicon-valley/  “Amazon.com is expanding its Lockers program, which allows customers to have their deliveries sent to, yes, nearby lockers…It may seem like an inconvenient alternative to home delivery at first — until you think about some of the headaches that can come up, like worrying one of your neighbors will swipe the package as it’s sitting on your doorstep, or making sure you’re at home to sign for it. With Amazon Lockers, the package sits securely at a nearby pick-up station, until you come by at your convenience (well, as long as it’s within three days of delivery) and open the locker up with a special code…Amazon continued to expand the program — the site now lists Seattle, New York, Washington, DC, and London as participating geographies. And our own Ryan Lawler just saw that there are Amazon Lockers available for delivery in Silicon Valley — three, to be precise, at 7-Elevens in San Carlos, Palo Alto, and Mountain View…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
6.       Oracle Fights Payment of Google’s $4M Android Legal Bill  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/07/oracle-costs/  “Google says Oracle should pay the $4 million in legal costs it incurred during this spring’s legal battle over the Android mobile operating system. But Oracle says otherwise. In a brief filed with a San Francisco federal court on Monday, Oracle argues that it doesn’t owe Google a penny, citing other groundbreaking cases involving disputes over intellectual property. “Because this case presented novel and difficult legal issues, had broad implications for the computer software industry, resulted in a mixed judgment, and was litigated in good faith, the Court should exercise its discretion to deny costs, as other courts have done in analogous circumstances,” writes Oracle lead counsel…Earlier this month, Google argued that Oracle should cover its estimated $4 million in legal costs because judge and jury denied most of Oracle’s claims that the search giant had infringed on its intellectual property in building Android. Details of Google’s expenses were filed under seal, but they include paying court-appointed expert witnesses and the management of a staggering 97 million legal documents…”
7.        NSA director finally greets Defcon hackers  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57481689-83/nsa-director-finally-greets-defcon-hackers/  “Over the past two decades, hackers at Defcon and the feds have been circling each other suspiciously. The nation's top "spook" -- National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander -- giving a keynote at the hacker confab, shows just how much tensions have mellowed. "I've spent 20 years trying to get someone from the NSA" to speak at Defcon, said Defcon founder Jeff Moss, who serves on the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council and is chief security officer for ICANN. "It's eye-opening to see the world from their view," he said. "On the NSA's 60th anniversary and our 20th anniversary this has all come together." Against a backdrop of relentless cyber-espionage on U.S. companies and government agencies and vulnerabilities and exploits affecting critical infrastructure providers, Gen. Alexander, who also is commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, asked the hackers for help. "In this room right here is the talent we need to secure cyberspace," he said. "You know we can protect the networks and have civil liberties and privacy and you can help us get there…”
8.       The known unknowns of Skype interception  http://paranoia.dubfire.net/2012/07/the-known-unknows-of-skype-interception.html  “What kind of assistance can Skype provide to law enforcement agencies?...I want to explain what we do and don't know about Skype and surveillance…While Skype's law enforcement handbook suggests that the company does not have access to IP address session logs, high-profile criminal case from 2006 suggests that the company does. Kobi Alexander…is wanted by the US government in connection with financial fraud charges…Alexander was traced to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo after he placed a one-minute call using Skype. That was enough to alert authorities to his presence and hunt him down. This makes sense. Skype clients connect to Skype's central servers (so that users can make calls to non Skype users, and learn which of their friends are online and offline), and so the servers naturally learn the IP address that the user is connecting from…what remains unclear is the extent to which governments can intercept the contents of Skype voice calls…the company makes it a point to mention that it provides end to end encryption, but then dodges all questions about how it handles encryption keys…Seth Schoen from EFF told Forbes recently, "my view is that Skype has gotten a reputation for impregnable security that it has never deserved." Exactly. Consumers think the service is secure, and Skype has absolutely no incentive to correct this false, yet positive impression…crytographer Matt Green proposed the 'mud puddle test' for easily determining if a cloud based storage solution has unencrypted access to your data…drop your device(s) in a mud puddle…slip in said puddle and crack yourself on the head. When you regain consciousness you'll be perfectly fine, but won't for the life of you be able to recall your device passwords…Now try to get your cloud data back. Did you succeed? If so…your cloud provider has access to your 'encrypted' data, as does the government if they want it, as does any rogue employee who knows their way around your provider's internal policy checks. Both Dropbox and iCloud fail the mud puddle test. If a user's laptop is destroyed and they forget their password, both services permit a user to reset the password and then download all of their data…Both of these companies have access to your data, and can be forced to hand it over to the government…SpiderOak, a competing online backup service (which I use) passes the test. If a SpiderOak user forgets their password, they lose their data. What about Skype?..if you forget your password, Skype sends you a reset link by email, which lets you into your account, maintaining the same account balance and restoring your full contact list. Likewise, if you install Skype on a new computer, your contact list is downloaded, and you can conduct conversations that, to the other caller, will not in any way reveal that you recently installed Skype on a new device…Some protocols, like Off The Record (built into several Instant Messaging clients, but not to be confused with Google's fake, unencrypted Off The Record), random keys are created by the IM client, and then users are expected to exchange and verify them out of band (usually, by phone, or in person)…the ZRTP encrypted VOIP protocol, created by Phil Zimmermann of PGP fame avoids the static fingerprint method, and instead requires users to verify a random phrase at the beginning of each conversation. ZRTP (which is also used by Whisper Systems' RedPhone and the open source Jitsi chat tool) can rely on these pass phrase exchanges, because users presumably know each other…Encryption is great, but without some method of authentication, it is not very helpful…without authentication, you can be sure you have encrypted session, but you have no idea who is at the other end…The key verification/exchange methods used by OTR and ZRTP provide a strong degree of authentication, so that users can be sure that no one else is snooping on their communications. In contrast to the complex…methods employed by OTR and ZRTP, Skype does nothing at all. Skype handles all the crypto and key exchange behind the scenes…what is clear is that Skype is in a position to impersonate its customers, or, should it be forced, to give a government agency the ability to impersonate its customers…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
9.       Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core tops the benchmark charts  http://www.slashgear.com/qualcomm-snapdragon-s4-pro-quad-core-tops-the-benchmark-charts-hands-on-24240021/  “Qualcomm‘s been hard at work with their new quad-core chipset for mobile devices, and we’ve got one in our hands. Their brand new Snapdragon APQ8064 S4 Pro SoC packs quite the punch and we’ve just started taking it through it’s paces. Announced and available starting earlier today, this developer device…is a clear indication of what we can expect from Qualcomm later this year. Without getting too technical here the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 developer tablet kit contains a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and is running on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. This 10.1-inch display running a 1366 x 768 resolution is going to be put through its paces but for now here’s a quick glance at a few of the popular Android benchmark apps. Quadrant blew through the roof…”
10.     AT&T’s Best Android Phone Is Now Just $100  http://gizmodo.com/5929890/atts-best-android-phone-is-now-just-100  “Good news for anyone who's been sneaking sidelong glances at the HTC One X, one of the best Android phones in general and by far the best available on AT&T. As rumors had foretold, the handset's price has been cut in half, from $200 to $100…To recap, for those not familiar, this means that for $100 (and a hefty new contract) you get a beautiful 4.7-inch display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, and download speeds and battery life that are near-unprecedented. And this isn't an old warhorse being sent out to pasture, like last winter's Nexus Galaxy was when it got its $100 price shave. The One X has been out barely three months…”
11.      F.C.C. Forces Verizon to Allow Android Tethering Apps  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/fcc-verizon-tethering/  “Thanks to a government investigation, a large number of Verizon Wireless customers will be able to download apps that share a smartphone’s Internet connection with other devices, a feature known as tethering. And they won’t have to pay monthly fees to the carrier for the privilege. The Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday that it started the investigation after seeing reports that Verizon had pressured Google to block apps from the Android app store that gave customers tethering abilities without having to pay $20 a month for Verizon’s official tethering plan. In a statement, the F.C.C. said that Verizon could not block third-party tethering apps from the Android market because of rules attached to some spectrum it had purchased…”
Apps
12.     Real-life Harry Potter location-clock works via mobile app  http://www.gadgetbox.msnbc.msn.com/technology/gadgetbox/real-life-harry-potter-location-clock-works-mobile-app-916759  “A team of students at the University of Munich has put together a working "Magic Clock" that shows the locations of certain people, much like the Weasley household's clock in "Harry Potter." It isn't actually enchanted, of course, and works by more prosaic Internet-age methods — but in practice it actually looks quite magical. The clock is a repurposed grandfather clock they found on eBay, modified with gearing that allows four hands to rotate 360 degrees. They made their own face to replace its handsome brass one, with locations instead of times. Then they connected the clock to a microcontroller that would watch for updates on a server and turn the hands appropriately…”
13.     Must-have mobile apps for the Olympics  http://www.techhive.com/article/2000236/must-have-mobile-apps-for-the-olympics.html  “Search “London Olympics” in either the App Store or Android Market and you’re going to find dozens of various Olympic-themed apps, some from reputable outlets and others merely trying to squeeze out a buck from the world’s most popular sporting event. The main NBC-branded Olympic apps will be your primary source for live event streaming and video highlights in the U.S., but here are five other apps that will provide you with a wealth of extras like in-depth recaps, stunning photos, and on-the-ground updates to keep you in the know, even when you’re not on your couch at home. Best of all, they’re all free. From the moment you fire up Reuters’ official Olympics app (pictured at the top of this article), the emphasis is on visuals and showcasing photography at every opportunity. Navigation is easy to grok and centralized in area off to the upper right, which allows users quick access to daily event schedules and an updated medal count…”
SkyNet
14.     Google Fiber Is The Most Disruptive Thing The Company's Done Since Gmail  http://www.businessinsider.com/google-fiber-is-the-most-disruptive-thing-the-companys-done-since-gmail-2012-7  “Remember how blown away people were when Gmail launched in 2004? Google Fiber feels like the same leap of innovation. It's been a long time since we saw anything like this from the search and advertising giant. Back when Gmail launched, the other free email providers like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail were offering less than 5MB of storage -- that's five megabytes. Google trumped them all with 1GB of free storage. With so much storage, there was no need to trash anything. You could archive it and keep it forever…Google Fiber is like Gmail on many levels: It exposes how slow the incumbents have been to innovate. Google Fiber makes the cable-based ISPs look pathetic. It promises to offer speeds up to 1,000Mbps downstream and upstream, for only $70 a month…”  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/28/google-fiber-devils-advocate-bitches/  “…Google faces a number of challenges as it transitions to become an ISP. Here’s why Google’s grand experiment laying fiber might not be all the it’s cracked up to be…from a cost standpoint, Google Fiber sounds pretty amazing. It offer Gigabit speeds at an attractive price point, which other ISPs probably can’t compete with. And it would be great, if it were available today. But rolling out fiber is a complicated process, and most Kansas City residents anxious for some high-speed competition probably have a long wait ahead. Google is doing some interesting things in trying to expedite its fiber installations. It has separated the city into “fiberhoods” of 250-1,500 households a piece, and is asking potential subscribers to express their interest and pre-register, essentially reserving a spot in line when installations begin…”
15.     Google Upgrades Gmail Video Chat With Hangouts  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/260050/google_upgrades_gmail_video_chat_with_hangouts.html  “Google will begin replacing Gmail's existing video chat system with a new, better one based on the Hangouts feature from its Google+ social networking service…The swap will improve the quality and performance of Gmail video chats, and, if users have Google+ accounts, they will be able to communicate with multiple people -- up to nine participants as long as all have Google+ accounts. So far, Gmail's video chat feature has allowed only for one-to-one sessions. Other new features for Gmail users who also have Google+ accounts will be the ability to watch YouTube videos simultaneously, collaborate on Google documents and do screen sharing…”
General Technology
16.     New 100W USB 3.0 Spec Can Charge Laptops  http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/usb-3-0-power-delivery-charging-86983  “…the new USB Power Delivery specification which includes the ability to transfer up to 100 Watts (W) through the familiar socket. The new standard will enable convenient charging of laptops and other power-hungry devices, such as external HDDs and printers, while also offering 5 Gbit/s data transfer rate. The Group hopes that the new cable will help eliminate device-specific chargers, and result in less e-waste. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group was responsible for the development of the USB 3.0 specification that was released in November 2008. Since then, it has been working on improving the standard, thinking up features that would deliver a better user experience…Under the new specs, the cable will be able to supply much more power than the 2.5W that is delivered by USB 2.0, and 4.5W previously delivered by USB 3.0…”
17.     Why Apple users are happy to be more inept than Microsoft's  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57481906-71/why-apple-users-are-happy-to-be-more-inept-than-microsofts/  “…it did make me wonder about Microsoft's sudden enthusiasm for retail. Just as Apple's new Genius Bar ads seem to have made many wonder about Apple's sudden enthusiasm for showing its customers as nincompoops who can't operate the simplest -- no, really, the simplest – programs. Should you have missed these ads, they show Boy Geniuses being ever helpful, even at 4 a.m. when strange men come knocking on their door asking for, you know, help. Many seem to have branded these ads as terrible, awful. They have offered that Steve Jobs would never, ever have approved such, such stupidity. The apogee, perhaps came in a headline from Digital Trends that hissed: "New Apple ads make Mac owners look inept, foolish." Sometimes it's hard to explain to techies that real people are different from techies…”
Leisure & Entertainment
18.     Self-publishers alert: FastPencil announces new premium placement agreement with Barnes & Noble  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/26/self-publishers-alert-fastpencil-announces-new-premium-placement-agreement-with-barnes-noble/  “Online publishing service FastPencil is announcing a new agreement with Barnes & Noble that will allow self-publishing authors access to premium placement in Barnes & Noble retail stores, online store, and Nook store. Which means that some lucky self-publishers will see their books not just in the digital recesses of various online stores, but front and center at America’s last major bookseller…Big-name FastPencil authors, such as US Senator Barry Loudermilk or The War of Art author Steven Pressfield, are in the top level tier: Premiere. With the new deal, Premiere level authors automatically get access to Barnes & Noble’s physical locations. And their books won’t just be in the store — they’ll be featured in the “octagon,” the high-profile front table visible as you enter the store…The lower two tiers of FastPencil’s authors, in the company’s Wavecrest imprint and self-publishing level, will have the opportunity to be presented to Barnes & Noble to be considered for inclusion in the program…”
19.     Penguin Group Dives Into Self-Publishing  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444464304577537092288601370.html  “…Pearson PLC, Penguin's London-based parent, said it would acquire the business from private-equity house Bertram Capital Management LLC for $116 million and fold it into its Penguin unit, where it will operate as a separate entity. The acquisition illustrates the newfound acceptance for self-publishers in a book world where they were once viewed largely as interlopers. It is also one more example of how low-cost digital distribution has disrupted the role of traditional publishers in determining how books are discovered by consumers…While Penguin may be able to pluck some new best sellers from Author Solutions' arsenal of more than 150,000 published authors, Penguin is also after the self-publishing outfit's facility with data, as the self-publisher has a valuable trove of information about what authors want to write and what customers want to read…”
Economy and Technology
20.    Ovation Technologies Brings the Power of Big Business Recruiting to Small Businesses  http://upstart.bizjournals.com/news/technology/2012/07/24/ovation-offers-small-biz-hiring-app.html?page=all  “…Ovation Technologies launched Ovation, a mobile and cloud-based social recruiting application designed specifically for the needs of small- and medium-size businesses. Available in the Google apps Marketplace, the Apple iTunes Store, and the Google Play Store, the new app is designed to make it easier and more affordable for small businesses to find the best employees anytime, anywhere…Small businesses today are competing for talent with large corporations, but have far fewer resources and can’t afford to make a bad hire. The average cost of a new hire, according a 2011 study by Bersin and Associates, is $3,500…Most small businesses don't have full-time recruiters or even an HR department and find finding and hiring employees to be a daunting and distracting task…By putting the power of cloud recruiting into the hands of the business owners, we're giving them a competitive advantage to find, perform background checks and bring onboard the best talent as quickly as possible at an affordable price…Ovation is a mobile enabled, cloud social recruiting tool that uses social networks, job boards and referrals to locate and rank job candidates. It also allows efficient digital background checks and electronic delivery of new hire paperwork…”
21.     Mozilla Confirms It Will Join Berlin’s New ‘Factory’ Campus  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/30/mozilla-confirms-it-will-join-berlins-new-factory-campus/  “We’ve covered them since before they existed, but now “Factory”, Berlin’s new, vast tech campus, is taking shape. As builders adapt old factory buildings (an area which will cover 107,000 square feet or 10,000 square meters), the privately-funded initiative has announced that Mozilla will become an anchor resident in the facility, which plans to house a number of startups large and small. Jim Cook, CFO of Mozilla also confirmed that Mozilla will be hiring in Berlin. Confirmed so far are the startups 6Wunderkinder, Four Sektor, Toast, Urge iO, Views, and local tech blog Silicon Allee. But the expanding SoundCloud team will take on a large swathe of the vast amount of space available, which will feature a basketball court, gallery, conference area, cafe and – last we heard – a swimming pool…”
DHMN Technology
22.    The Future Of Medicine Is In 3D Printing  http://www.webpronews.com/the-future-of-medicine-is-in-3d-printing-2012-07  “…3D printer or laser cutter…technology is still really cool, but it must be used with great responsibility…there’s another use for 3D printers that has a lot of potential to be abused, but also a lot of potential to save lives. The 3D printer revolution has taken hold of Professor Lee Cronin at Glasgow University. He has many interests, but one of his most ambitious involves 3D printers. In an interview with The Guardian, he talks up 3D printers and their potential for revolutionizing the medicine industry. His goal is to create “downloadable chemistry” so that people can print their own medicine at home…you can already see the problem here. Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in many countries, especially in the U.S. Giving people easy access to those drugs is a potential hazard that must be addressed. Cronin dismisses such a scenario and instead focuses on the benefits such an innovation could have on society. His team is now trying to build simple drugs with a 3D printer that only costs £1,200. So far, they have been able to build simple inorganic molecules inside reaction chambers. The next step is attempting to create something simple, like Ibuprofen. Cronin notes that if they succeed, they’ll be able to print just about any drug…”
23.    Students hone their science skills by building hovercraft at camp  http://www.goupstate.com/article/20120726/articles/207261014  “Students from around the community measured, taped and drilled this past week as the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) science camp at Carver Middle School gave them a chance to learn engineering skills…More than 20 students from 11 to 14 years old started building the hovercraft last Monday. The students hope to finish the craft when they get the last part they need. The hovercraft will travel on land and water at upwards of 30 mph…Toneia Stokes, 13, helped with painting and applying fiberglass. “You can learn, but have fun at the same time,” she said. Nicholas Drummond, 14, said he enjoyed doing something unique. “We used our minds to do something fun,” he said. “Not every kid gets to do this over the summer…”
24.    Raspberry Pi turned into a portable workstation  http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/raspberry-pi-turned-into-a-portable-workstation-20120719/  “The Raspberry Pi isn’t just a very cheap PC, it’s also tiny and uses very little power. So it isn’t too surprising to see one hooked up to a battery and display in a makeshift portable workstation. SK Pang Electronics sell a wide range of gadgets and components, so when the Raspberry Pi got delivered they didn’t hang about experimenting with it. What they have done is combine a mini wireless keyboard typically used with a smartphone, a USB power pack, and an small LCD monitor usually found in the backseat of a car. All components, including the Raspberry Pi, were mounted on a laser cut, transparent base with a specially cut hole acting as a handle for carrying the unit around. The difficult bit was figuring out how to power both the display and the Raspberry Pi from the single USB power pack…”
25.    Gunsmith Uses 3D Printer To Make A Rifle  http://www.webpronews.com/gunsmith-uses-3d-printer-to-make-a-rifle-2012-07  “…A member from the gun forum AR15 thinks he may have created and successfully tested the first 3D printed firearm. He used a Stratasys 3D printer from the mid-90s to create a .22 pistol. He claims to have fired over 200 rounds from the 3D printed marvel and it still works fine…he took it to the next level. He attached a .223 upper to the 3D printed lower. The experiment proved to be a success yet again. This time, however, he ran into some feed and extraction issues with the upper…you can now print your own gun if you so wish. The blueprints for guns are available on 3D printing resource Web sites…I would suggest that only gunsmith experts only try this. One mistake and the gun could explode in your hand. Plastic isn’t exactly the greatest material to make guns out of…”
Open Source Hardware
26.    From Tech to Toilet Paper, Berliner Tries to Live Completely Open Source for One Year  http://www.cio.com/article/710225/From_Tech_to_Toilet_Paper_Berliner_Tries_to_Live_Completely_Open_Source_for_One_Year  “…Open source computer, open source mobile phone, open source toothbrush, open source jeans, open source video codec, open source camera, open source beer and even open source toilet paper: these are just a few things you need if you decide to make every aspect of your life open source for a year. A 28-year-old filmmaker from New Zealand living in Berlin is going to try just that. "I'm starting on the first of August," said Sam Muirhead, who added that he has long been interested in open source technology and the philosophy behind it. He plans to abandon copyright products for one whole year and base his life on open source products the principle of sharing the results of community-oriented labor. Muirhead, who can't code, cannot solder and is a Mac user, wants to raise awareness outside the tech world about open source projects and methods…”
27.    Core77 Design Award 2012: Teagueduino  http://www.core77.com/blog/core77_design_awards/core77_design_award_2012_teagueduino_professional_winner_for_interaction_design_professional_notable_for_consumer_products_23013.asp  “Whether it was when you tore your parents vacuum apart or took apart your iPhone, building and making things was at the heart of it. Teagueduino taps into this ideology which makes it so universal and a great jumping off point. Teagueduino is an open source electronic board and interface that allows you to realize creative ideas without soldering or knowing how to code, while teaching you the ropes of programming and embedded development (like Arduino). Teagueduino is designed to help you discover your inner techno-geek and embrace the awesomeness of making things in realtime—even if you've only ever programmed your VCR. Teagueduino is an open source hardware platform that makes building interactive things—from experiments and games, to classroom projects and prototypes—easier. Teagueduino makes digital electronics more accessible by offering solderless assembly, fail-proof coding and a community of resources for support…”
28.    Open-Source Phone Pushes The Boundaries Of DIY Tech  http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/07/open-source-phone-pushes-the-boundaries-of-diy-tech/  “…David A. Mellis, from MITs High-Low Tech group, has created a DIY mobile phone out of easily obtained electronic parts and a little bit of plywood. It may not have the internet connectivity or giant touchscreen of your current mobile phone, but it’s a completely self-made, operational phone, which means it’s low impact and free from the constraints of mass production…the initial prototype combines a custom electronic circuit board with a laser-cut plywood and veneer enclosure. The phone accepts a standard SIM card and works with any GSM provider. Cellular connectivity is provided by the SM5100B GSM Module, available from SparkFun Electronics. The display may only be about 1.8″ across, but it does offer color images. Currently, the software supports voice calls, but the folks at High-Low Tech say SMS and other functionality could be added with the same hardware. Altogether the prototype contains about $150 in parts…”
29.    Open source model disrupts the commercial drone business  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/27/open-source-model-disrupts-the-commercial-drone-business/  “The do-it-yourself (DIY), open-source drone movement is turning into a real business that could disrupt the commercial and military drone industry. It’s another case of how exploiting the curiosity of hackers can turn into a commercial opportunity…Chris Anderson (pictured), editor of Wired magazine and a drone hobbyist and businessman…spoke about this DIY trend…at the Defcon hacker conference…Anderson said the whole project is “open sourcing the military industrial complex.” Drones have been the domain of the U.S. military…Those drones cost millions of dollars, but the DIY drone business is focused on created ubiquitous drones that cost tens of dollars. Anderson’s interest started five years ago as he sought ways to get his kids interested in science...with Lego Mindstorms robot kits…Then…a remote-controlled airplane…The kids lost interest. But the idea of combining the DIY nature of the robot and the airplane sent Anderson “straight down the rabbit hole,” he said…His interest in drones led to a web site called DIY Drones, which has blossomed into a community of 30,000 registered members. The site gets 1.4 million page views a month, has 6,000 blog posts, 8,000 discussion threads, and 80,000 comments a year…Anderson co-founded a for-profit company, 3D Robotics…that creates computing hardware for drones…built on the Arduino open-source computing platform…That hardware can be used to build all sorts of drones, such as “quad copter”…3D Robotics sells the drone hardware for $199 or so…The hardware is priced at about 2.6 times the hardware bill-of-material cost, allowing a 40 percent margin for retailers and a 40-percent margin for the company. But since the software is free, the end product can be quite cost efficient compared to competitors who have to try to keep pace with an all-volunteer software community, Anderson said. That means that Chinese knock-off rivals can copy the hardware but will have a tough time keeping up with 3D Robotics as it launches new software-driven varieties. Right now, the company offers 150 different products, including 75 from the community. “They can’t clone our community,” he said. The company has two factories and 50 employees now. In addition, 3D Robotics rewards its community contributors with T-shirts, coffee mugs, free travel, free hardware, and — if they contribute enough — equity in the company…”
Open Source
30.    Will Open Source Divashark Unseat Wireshark for CTP?  http://www.internetnews.com/blog/skerner/defcon-will-open-source-divashark-unseat-wireshark-for-ctp.html  “…We all love open source Wireshark for packet capture right? Apparently, that isn't always the case. Researcher Robert Deaton took the stage at Defcon to announce a new open source effort that could one day possibly unseat Wireshark. Deaton said that every team at the Defcon CTP (Capture the Packet) contest uses Wireshark. That said he argued that in his view it's the wrong tool for the job. In his view there is lots of noise in Wireshark, especially when looking for something simple like usr/pswrd, there is too much detail at the tcp level. So for example, one of the CTP challenges was to find a user's Reddit login which is possible with Wireshark, but it's unduly tedious…Divashark a tool to make live network forensics easy, it gets you the info you care about as quickly as possible without getting bogged down in small details…Divashark will do the same type of capture as Wireshark and it automatically follows tcp and udp streams as they come in, then the packets are run though a port independent classifier. He added that the system has powerful abilities to filter traffic at an application level. The http dissector lets researcher filter by user-agent, or whatever url has been requested. Divashark will make a competition like CTP easier as it will no longer be about who can hunt through wireshark the fastest…”
31.     Why Open-Source Principles Are a Recipe For Innovation  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2012/07/25/why-open-source-principles-are-a-recipe-for-innovation/  “Two weeks ago, Amy Clark wrote that an open-source model can — and should — be applied to scientific research in the pharmaceutical industry. Using insights from Ashoka Fellow Stephen Friend, she showed that open-source science would eliminate redundant efforts and fast-track lifesaving drugs. Open-source software development methods — whose success stories include Linux, Firefox, WordPress, Drupal and OpenOffice — are based on the simple idea that source code should be available for anyone to freely use, redistribute and modify. In one common analogy, open source experts compare code to a favorite recipe shared among friends and family. In that example, cooks have the freedom to follow Aunt Mary’s apple pie recipe to the letter, but they can also adapt and improve the recipe before passing it along to friends. Open-source software proponents believe these kinds of tweaks and adjustments serve the common good. (A few audacious entrepreneurs have even taken the recipe analogy literally by open sourcing recipes for cola and beer…”
Civilian Aerospace
32.    Send Anything to the Edge of Space, for Free  http://www.wired.com/design/2012/07/pongsats/  “…For just zero dollars, JP Aerospace will fly your science project — contained conveniently in a ping-pong ball — to the edge of space and back. Though the project is free for students, artists, engineers, and really, anyone interested in space exploration, it does cost money — somewhere around $14 per PongSat, according to Powell. So Powell took to Kickstarter to fund not his dreams, but the dreams — or rather, experiments — of 1,000 students…Powell…has been launching PongSats since 2002…PongSats in the past have contained experiments from the very simple (what happens to a marshmallow in space?) to the very complex (a full atmospheric lab). Carried up to 100,000 feet, the innards of each ping-pong ball experience near-vacuums, cosmic rays, zero gravity, and temperatures 90 degrees below zero before descending via parachute. JP Aerospace then returns them to their makers, to see just what happened up there. To get them up that high, JP Aerospace loads the PongSats in a “high rack” that they attach to a weather balloon…”
33.    $100K Space Prize Goes to Company Making Inflatable Satellite Parts  http://www.space.com/16817-space-startup-prize-inflatable-satellite-parts.html  “A company that's developing inflatable satellite components won the $100,000 grand prize in a space business contest…Space Ground Amalgam, LLC took home first place in the 2012 NewSpace Business Plan Competition, which seeks to help startup space firms create potentially game-changing technologies. The Virginia-based company beat out nine other finalists for the NASA-funded prize…Space Ground Amalgam builds inflatable parts — such as reflectors, booms and solar arrays — that could decrease satellites' size and weight while helping them meet high bandwidth demands…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
34.    Science gets cool: Cray supercomputer now studying ice cream  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/07/yes-science-is.php  “Ice cream has been around a long time and we don't need any help knowing we like it. But, we do need help understanding why we like it and that's why scientists at the University of Edinburgh are firing up the Cray supercomputer to better understand ice cream…Supercomputers help us understand complex systems and interactions, right? Well, according to Dr. Alan Gray one of the lead scientists on the program, ice cream is more complex than many of us would believe. Its base substances — including different flavoring elements — interact in a variety of ways. Plus, add time into the equation and that affects the interactions as well. It's enough to give you brain freeze. That's where the Cray supercomputers at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Center (EPCC) come in. They started with a massive 200 cabinet Cray XT5 supercomputer using 200,000 CPUs, but switched to a 10 cabinet Cray XK6 that uses a combination of GPUs and CPUs that offered better performance and scalability. The 10 cabinet hybrid system integrated 936 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with standard x86 CPUs turbocharged the process — with performance two and a half times faster than just using the CPUs alone…”
35.    MSC Software Offers GPU-Accelerated FEA for Engineers  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-07-25/msc_software_offers_gpu-accelerated_fea_for_engineers.html  “…MSC Software Corp…has released a GPU-accelerated version of the Marc 2012 Finite Element Analysis application, which speeds up a range of engineering simulations. Engineers seeking to solve complex manufacturing and design problems can use Marc 2012, supported by NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, to accelerate engineering simulations by two to six times. This enables engineers to develop more realistic models and higher quality simulations, with increased productivity and faster development cycles. "The combination of GPU acceleration and Marc's multi-physics capabilities allows engineers to better capture true nonlinear behavior, resulting in dramatic design improvements across a range of models and industries…”

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