NEW NET Weekly List for 07 Aug 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 07 Aug 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.        Google Fiber gets a fast start in Kansas City  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57486627-94/google-fiber-gets-a-fast-start-in-kansas-city/  “…Google Fiber is taking off in Kansas City…where 46 of the designated neighborhoods -- or "fiberhoods" -- have qualified for the service…Google said it would prioritize construction of the network in neighborhoods -- so-called "fiberhoods" -- in which residents show the most interest. It set up a website where residents interested in the service can pre-register for the service for a $10 fee. When that particular "fiberhood" reaches a predetermined threshold, Google will commit to offering service in that area…Google has already managed to sign up 23 percent of the eligible neighborhoods in the two cities. Missouri residents seem to be more enthusiastic about the service; 31 percent, or 40 out of 128 eligible "fiberhoods" qualifying for service. Kansans are lagging, by contrast; only eight percent, or six out of 74 "fiberhoods," have so far qualified for the service…analysts at Macquarie Capital estimate Google has signed up 7,000, out of a possible 165,000 households…Google has "fiber trucks" going through various neighborhoods eligible for the fiber network to help educate residents…Google has also established a "fiber space" demonstration center where local residents can make appointments to learn more…Google's main package costs $120 and gives customers the 1Gbps broadband and Fiber TV service plus 1 terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage. The 1Gbps broadband-only service is only $70 and also includes 1 Terabyte of data storage. Time Warner Cable, Google's biggest competitor in this market, offers a 50 Mbps Internet service for an introductory price of $80 a month. And its total package with TV service and home phone service included is $200 a month…this initiative is less about a long-term revenue opportunity for Google and more about pushing current Internet providers to increase speeds and innovate…”  [the 8% qualified neighborhoods in Kansas vs. 23% in Missouri is why I told KCK and Google they should hire me as the Google Fiber community advocate, and that dramatic difference in interest is why Google or KCK should still hire me… - ed.]
2.       Google Fiber project tries to add more Kansas City-area cities  http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2012/08/06/google-fiber-project-adds-more-kansas.html  “Google Inc. is attempting to add three Johnson County cities into a future service area for its ultra-fast broadband and TV offering. The would-be Google communities — Westwood, Westwood Hills and Mission Woods — border Google’s existing service area in Kansas City, Kan., and are close to the University of Kansas Medical Center and KU Hospital. Westwood also is home to KU Hospital’s Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion…In several interviews with the Kansas City Business Journal, Lo has emphasized the potential enhancements Google’s 1-gigabit Internet network offers for telemedicine — patients and doctors attempting to interact from a distance. The agreement still needs approval from each community’s city council…”
3.       Logitech launches TV Cam HD for living room video chats: built-in Skype, 720p, $200  http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/03/logitech-skype-tv-cam-hd/  “…Logitech…TV Cam HD…$199.99 device hooks up to your TV and contains all the processing power needed to run Skype and transmit wide-angle, 720p footage of your couch over WiFi or Ethernet. Unlike the previous TV Cam, there's no need for a Viera Connect HDTV -- anything with HDMI-in will do. The company is banking on the notion that families will forgo the use of their existing mobile devices and laptops in favour of an always-on dedicated system with incoming call alerts, four noise-cancelling mics and a Carl Zeiss lens that "gets the whole family in the video call, so everyone from grandparents to grandchildren can move around naturally…”
4.       Transcribe: An awesome audio-transcription Web app for Chrome  http://thenextweb.com/apps/2012/08/04/transcribe-an-awesome-audio-transcription-web-app-for-chrome/  “If you ever have a need to transfer an audio recording into text format, you’ll likely love this little Chrome Web app. Aimed at journalists, students or anyone with a need to convert interviews and such like to the written from, Transcribe does exactly as it says on the tin. And it’s so incredibly simple to use…Transcribe is geared towards Google Chrome because because the Web app requires the HTML5 functionality…Transcribe works entirely offline – which allayed my initial fears that this tool would be heavily restricted by a dependence on connectivity…There are only five keys you’ll need to remember to control the player – and it’s likely you’ll only ever use two of them with any kind of regularity: Esc: Pause/Resume…F1: Slow Down…F2: Speed Up…F3: Rewind 2 Seconds…F4: Fast-Forward 2 Seconds…I used this app for the first time this week and, well, it was a godsend. I only really needed to use the Esc and F3 keys, so it wasn’t difficult to get to grips with. I’ll certainly be using this again…work is currently underway for a companion iPhone and Android Transcribe app, which will let users record an interview on their smartphone, and the app will automatically upload the recording to their Transcribe account…”
5.        Amazon now renting old-fashioned paper textbooks  http://venturebeat.com/2012/08/06/amazon-textbook-rentals/  “Amazon now offers physical textbook rentals as a cheaper option for college students, a move designed to keep Amazon as a dominant player in textbooks. While Amazon has offered digital rentals of textbooks for more than a year, this new initiative will cater to students who feel more comfortable with old-fashioned paper books for studying…Most of the textbook options Amazon offers for rent cost between $30 to $60. Rentals are by the semester (130 days), and there’s free shipping back and forth for delivery…For those concerned about getting a used textbook with a ton of scribbled notes inside, Amazon is doing quality control. The company will allow a “minimal” amount of note-taking in the textbooks. If a student adds “excessive writing or highlighting” to a rented textbook and tries to ship it back, he or she will be charged the full purchase price of the book minus rental fees…”
6.       Facebook's first real-cash gambling app launched  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19162971  “A real-money gambling app has been launched on Facebook - the social network's first. Developed by London-based online gambling operator Gamesys, the Bingo Friendzy app allows users aged 18 and over to play games for cash prizes. Facebook said only its UK members would be able to view the app. The website's largest gaming partner, Zynga, said it also planned to introduce real-money gambling versions of its games next year…Bingo Friendzy was not a joint venture…the game had been developed entirely by Gamesys. "Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the UK, and we are allowing a partner to offer their games to adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled manner," she told the BBC. Facebook intends to use age-gating technology to ensure under-18s and "vulnerable people" are unable to access the app. The social network typically takes a 30% cut of transactions on its network…”
7.        FedEx Now Lets You Print From DropBox, Google Docs  http://www.mediabistro.com/appnewser/fedex-now-lets-you-print-from-dropbox-google-docs_b25382  “FedEx bought Kinko’s several years ago and ever since then they’ve been pushing more and more to support the mobile office works. For some time now they’ve let you create print jobs from their website which you could then pick up in store. And now they’ve added the option of printing your docs from a number of cloud storage services. FedEx’s website will now let you log in to your accounts at Box, Google Docs, and Dropbox…”
8.       Google Ventures invests $8.2m in e-signature firm DocuSign  http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/08/07/google-ventures-invests-8-2m-in-e-signature-firm-docusign-bringing-series-d-round-to-55-7m-in-total/  “Electronic signature technology company DocuSign…raised $47.5 million in funding…Today, DocuSign is announcing that it has expanded the size of the Series D financing round to $55.7 million, letting Google’s investment arm Google Ventures in on the deal…The company’s cloud-based platform aims to disrupt the good old pen-and-paper market by helping its customers complete transactions faster, digitally…its network now has more than 20 million users and is growing at about 60,000 new users daily…Electronic signatures are being rapidly adopted by enterprises, small businesses and consumers worldwide due to their convenience, security and ease of use…Up until today, more than 150 million documents in 188 countries are said to have been ‘DocuSigned’. Customers include eBay, LinkedIn, American Airlines, Cisco, Yahoo, HP, Xerox, Expedia, Comcast and Toyota…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
9.       How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking  http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/  “In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter. Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc. Lulz. Had I been regularly backing up the data on my MacBook, I wouldn’t have had to worry about losing more than a year’s worth of photos, covering the entire lifespan of my daughter, or documents and e-mails that I had stored in no other location. Those security lapses are my fault, and I deeply, deeply regret them. But what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s. Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices. This isn’t just my problem. Since Friday, Aug. 3, when hackers broke into my accounts, I’ve heard from other users who were compromised in the same way, at least one of whom was targeted by the same group…”
10.     Apple co-founder Wozniak sees trouble in the cloud  http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h1p0LVc4iFZxbWlflFGgcHhbRNCQ  “Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with the late Steve Jobs, predicted "horrible problems" in the coming years as cloud-based computing takes hold…the engineering wizard behind the progenitor of today's personal computer, the Apple II, was most outspoken on the shift away from hard disks towards uploading data into remote servers, known as cloud computing. "I really worry about everything going to the cloud," he said. "I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years…With the cloud, you don't own anything. You already signed it away" through the legalistic terms of service with a cloud provider that computer users must agree to. "I want to feel that I own things," Wozniak said. "A lot of people feel, 'Oh, everything is really on my computer,' but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it…”
11.      Apple buys fingerprint security firm AuthenTec for $356 million  http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-apple-authentec-acquisition-20120727,0,5065808.story  “Seeking to improve its touch technology, security, its patents portfolio or perhaps all of the above, Apple has purchased AuthenTec Inc., a fingerprint-authentication products maker, for $356 million in cash…The acquisition is the second biggest purchase ever made by Apple and offers AuthenTec's stockholders $8 a share, more than 60% above its Thursday closing price. AuthenTec sells fingerprint sensors to companies for security purposes but its touch-sensing technology can also be integrated into computers, according to the New York Times. AuthenTec also makes security technology for mobile devices, which could come in handy for Apple which this month saw malware sneak into its iOS App Store for the first time. The Florida-based company…last saw an $8 share price back in 2008. For Apple, this is its biggest purchase since it bought Anobit Technologies in 2011 for $400 million…the acquisition's patent holdings should also prove valuable for Apple in the current "patent wars" Apple is waging in court with various technology companies around the world…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
12.     First broadcast TV phone appears on MetroPCS  http://gigaom.com/mobile/look-ma-tv-first-broadcast-tv-phone-appears-on-metropcs/  “…MetroPCS is in the free-to-air TV business, but the sets it’s selling are rather small, fitting…within the confines of a smartphone screen. MetroPCS on Friday began selling the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G, the first U.S. smartphone to pluck local broadcasters’ TV signals out of the air…The Dyle mobile TV service MetroPCS is offering is the brainchild of the Mobile Content Venture, a consortium of local and network broadcasters, who are using their existing DTV airwaves and infrastructure to replicate their regular programming on the small screen…this service isn’t so much a new form of mobile TV as it is just regular TV miniaturized for your handset – without all of the bells and whistles such as DVR capabilities and on-demand programming we’ve become accustomed to having at home. Its biggest advantage, however, is price. It’s free – though Phone Scoop is reporting that Metro may start charging in 2013 – and it runs over broadcast frequencies, meaning you can watch as much as you like without incurring data charges…”
13.     Apple, be afraid... be very afraid  http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/technology/gadgets/apple-be-afraid-be-very-afraid-1.1356320  “I'm going to destroy Android,” Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson…I’ve just spent a few days with Samsung’s much hyped Galaxy S3, and I can see what the late Apple boss was so worried about. The Android powered S3 is superior to the iPhone 4S in almost every respect. Not surprising then that Samsung’s already sold more than 10 million of them. The first thing you notice about the S3 is the jaw dropping brilliance of its enormous 4.8-inch Super Amoled screen. Pick up an iPhone after this and its 3.5-inch screen suddenly seems tiny…Widgets? I hear you ask. No, you don’t get those on the iPhone. Google must have “stolen” that idea from somewhere else. Browsing the web, watching movies and reading eBooks on a screen this generous is a real delight…The 8-megapixel camera, while not quite as good as that on the 4S in low light boasts an arsenal of other features that give it the edge – zero shutter lag, software that automatically picks the best picture out of a series and the ability to take still pictures while shooting high definition video. There’s also a 1.9-megapixel front facing camera for video calls…I was pleasantly surprised by the S3’s battery life. With moderate use you’ll get a full day out of it, thanks to the huge 2 100mAh battery. If you play a lot of angry birds or are online for much of the day, pack a spare battery…unlike the iPhone…you can remove and swap the battery, a huge plus in my books…On the whole…the S3 beats the pants off the 4S. I have little doubt Apple will retake the top spot when it releases its new iPhone…It will almost certainly have a bigger 4-inch screen. And then who will have stolen whose ideas?” [I hope Samsung and other Android phone manufacturers have patented screens larger than 3.5” so that Apple and Microsoft will be forced to license the rights to make a phone with a screen larger than 3.5” – ed.]
14.     Siri, meet Nina: Nuance unveils voice software for iPhone, Android  http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/08/06/siri-meet-nina-nuance-unveils-voice-control-platform-for-iphone-android/  “…Nuance, the voice technology company best known for its Dragon Naturally Speaking line of voice applications for personal computers and Dragon Dictation on the iPhone, today announced Nina, a voice platform that’s aimed at enhancing customer-service applications with a Siri-like voice-control interface…It basically brings together what Nuance does well: speech recognition, text-to-speech, natural-language understanding and voice-ID biometric technology. It has rolled all of these into a hosted, cloud-based service that can be used by banks, insurance companies and other business who make customer service and account-access applications, which can now add all these features into their applications…You’ll be able to use it to pay bills, transfer money between accounts, and other basic things like that…here’s a key feature you might not expect: Nina can also use your voice to authenticate you. As part of our demo, we handed the phone around the room and tried to sign in to the demonstration banking app — only one of us could. If nothing else, adding a voice-based biometric option to banking apps would seem to improve the security of a mobile banking app, if only because sufficiently complicated passwords are hard to remember…”
15.     ARM's eight-core Mali GPUs promise 'dramatic' boost to mobile graphics  http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/06/arm-second-gen-mali-t600-gpus/  “…By the end of this year though, we should see a whole new generation of Malis -- not just a Mali 450 for mid-range handsets, but also the quad-core T604 and the eight-core T658, which are based on ARM's Midgard architecture and are taking forever to come to market. Now, to whet our appetites even further, ARM has just added three more variants of the chip to its roster, which can almost be considered the next-next-generation: the quad-core T624, and the T628 and T678, which are both scalable up to eight cores. The trio's headline feature is that they promise to deliver at least 50 percent more performance with the same silicon area and power draw, with the explicit aim of delivering "console-class gaming," 4K and even 8K video workloads, as well as buttery 60fps user interfaces in phones, tablets and smart TVs. The premium T678 is aimed at tablets specifically, and in addition to allowing up to eight cores also doubles the number of math-crunching ALUs per core, which means that its compute performance (measured in gigaflops) is actually quadrupled compared to the T624…there's one other, subtler change which could turn out to be equally important…It's ARM's curious decision to dedicate a small section of silicon (two percent, in fact) solely to running a new graphical compression codec, which the company has designed in-house and handed over Khronos as an open standard. The codec -- called Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) -- is all about stopping the "fragmentation of standards" that game and app developers have to deal with. Currently, a developer has to choose different codecs to achieve different levels of texture compression for different platforms: for example, they might choose an 8-bit-per-pixel codec for desktop and then an entirely separate 4-bit-per-pixel codec for mobile. ASTC will put an end to all that, ARM claims, by supporting all manner of textures, color standards and bit-rates, and thereby becoming the "the new standard" which has "no competitors."…somewhere on the outskirts of Cambridge, UK, and audible only to coders who know what an 8-bit HDR BPTC texture is, a gauntlet may have just hit the floor.” [this article is yet another illustration of how a majority of computing innovation is happening in mobile – ed.]
16.     Apple aims to kill off Google Maps in iOS 6 with redirects and better technology http://www.appleinsider.com/print/12/08/03/inside_apples_new_vector_based_maps_in_ios_6.html  “Apple isn't just declaring its independence from Google Maps with its new in-house backend for Maps in iOS 6. It has developed a…way to deliver map data that relies on resolution independent vectors rather than Google's multiple zoom levels of bit mapped images. The previous segment, Apple wants to wipe Google off the map with iOS 6, described Apple's iOS 6 strategy of cutting ties with Google's map servers and instead powering its own iPhone and iPad Maps client apps (as well as all third party apps that use iOS' built-in mapping services) with mapping servers it manages and operates on its own…The first primary technology advancement Apple will be introducing for iOS 6 Maps relates to the use of resolution independent vector images. This allows users to smoothly zoom in with a pinch of the fingers, while details and labels pop up as space allows. Google's existing map services are based on a series of fixed zoom levels, so when users zoom in, they see the existing map…incrementally repainted with the next zoom level as it downloads…Each fixed zoom level of Google's map data is made up of bitmapped graphics…Google does a pretty good job of quickly serving up replacement map tiles as users zoom in and out, but this process can be complicated by slow data networks that don't have the bandwidth to serve up tiles fast enough…while Google does support offline maps on its own Android platform, there's no way to load a specific set of maps at arbitrary zoom levels in iOS Maps, so you can only load up a relatively small area and hope the system doesn't automatically discard any of the maps you want to view offline. When using…vector maps, all…data are represented as mathematical lines rather than as fixed graphic images. This enables Apple to allow users to freely rotate the map however they want; the text of map labels dynamically reorients itself to remain legible. When users zoom in or out, the text size of labels scales smoothly, because it is being rendered live as dynamic text, not as a graphic image that includes text and must be "repainted" for every zoom level…highly efficient vector maps allows Apple to load up a large area of maps you can continue to zoom into even after you've entered Airplane Mode…After loading San Francisco and going offline, one can browse over 300 miles…south (nearly to Los Angeles), 335 miles…north to the Oregon border, and 300 miles east to the middle of Nevada, down to the primary city street level…Attempting the same task on an existing iPad, Google's bitmapped maps run out of steam just 35 miles…away…In late 2009…Apple began plotting its own next move in maps, no doubt concerned that additional dependence upon Google would eventually put it in a very difficult competitive position…Since 2009, Apple has only acquired a dozen different smaller companies. A quarter of these highly selective, strategic moves involved mapping companies. In July 2009 Apple bought Placebase, followed by Poly9 the next July. In August 2011, it bought C3 Technologies, known for work in developing 3D images based on aerial or satellite images…But Apple didn't just want to clone Google Maps. It made plans to replace it with superior technology…Google is also working on its own next generation Google Maps that makes use of vectors, but it has a more difficult job because it is targeting several major platforms: the web…Android…and its existing public API, which is rooted in how Google Maps has worked in the past. Apple can introduce entirely new technologies very rapidly because it only has to optimize for one platform: iOS…Apple isn't serving up a public web version of its own maps as Google does, so it isn't constrained by the limits of web-based technologies…When iOS 6 ships later this fall, Apple will essentially take away about half of Google's mobile maps users, and virtually all of its iOS users…This new competition should push Google to deliver mapping tools that iOS and OS X users will want to go out of their way to download…Apple is now on the brink of inheriting a huge new business…Last fall, the company did virtually the same thing with Siri voice assistance, jumping from dead last in mobile voice services to being the top vendor with a comfortable lead…”
17.     Recce Offers Winning Take On 3D Mapping  http://searchengineland.com/mapping-app-recce-offers-winning-take-on-3d-mapping-129489  “The most interesting development in digital maps may not in fact be the forthcoming introduction of Apple maps in iOS 6. It may instead be the recent launch of mapping app Recce (pronounced “rekki,” which is short for reconnaissance)…Recce creates 3D maps through automated rendering…it’s only available for iOS right now. The difference between what Recce is doing and Google Maps/Earth or Apple’s new 3D mapping is that the maps have a different, more playful or “cartoon-like” appearance. They don’t strive to be totally photo-realistic. This may sound strange or inferior but if you actually see and play with the Recce app, which only depicts London for now, you’ll see that it’s both engaging and a very fresh UI…both the UI and the smooth performance of the app…are impressive…Another fun element in the app, there are animations that simulate traffic and public transit. The London Eye also revolves for example. It’s “realistic” without attempting to be an exact duplication of reality. The company plans to increasingly layer real-time data into the app (including traffic and weather)…Recce is pulling in lots of data from different sources, including Twitter (users can also tweet from the app). People can search Recce by keyword or category…there’s also a “discovery” capability with “around me now,”…Eventually Liebenberg sees Recce becoming a “platform” with third party development on top of the UI and data the company has aggregated…the company has no ambition to map the entire world. Rather it wants to cover popular cities…the company already has data from 400 cities…”
18.     Nook Gets ForeverMap 2 Maps, Navigation, Location-Based Services  http://www.fastcompany.com/1844081/map-wars-nook-gets-maps-navigation-location-based-services-barnes-noble-battles-google-apple  “The Google-Apple map wars took another twist today when it was announced that Barnes & Noble is making OpenStreetMap the Nook's first mapping platform. Barnes & Noble's decision to adopt OpenSteetMap, through Skobbler's ForeverMap 2 app means that developers will also be able to create Nook applications with location-based functionality…Amazon…opted not to have Google Maps or a third-party map system integrated into the Kindle Fire's version of Android. Kindle Fire users currently have to access Google Maps through the web…Skobbler launched ForeverMap 2 on the freemium model; a free version of ForeverMap 2 is available for the Nook, while a $4.99 pay edition allows for offline use--letting users use their Nook as a navigation device. ForeverMap 2, which is already available on iOS and Android, is based around downloadable maps which are cached for offline use. The automobile angle is being pushed hard by both Amazon and Skobbler; the product's press release included mentions of “intuitive route guidance [and] wifi positioning.”…Apps with location-based services for the Nook can be developed through ForeverMap 2…OpenStreetMap is a Wikipedia-like open source mapping project that has quietly become the dark horse in the great map war between Google and Apple. Both Apple and Google are deeply interested in exploiting new sources of revenue from new location-based mobile advertising and marketing technologies that are expected to become commonplace in 2013 and 2014…”
19.     Dead Trigger hits 1 million iOS downloads after free-to-play switch  http://www.slashgear.com/dead-trigger-hits-1-million-ios-downloads-after-free-to-play-switch-04241691/  “…Madfinger made its mobile FPS Dead Trigger free-to-play on the iOS App Store. That iOS transition came after and earlier switch to free-to-play on Android, with Madfinger saying that the piracy rate on Android was just too great. It seems that piracy was driving the decision to go free-to-play on iOS as well, but whatever…it isn’t very surprising that Dead Trigger has hit 1 million downloads. It’s a flashy FPS…Madfinger got quite a bit of publicity when it announced that the game was going free-to-play on Android due to rampant piracy. The studio got even more attention when the game mysteriously went free-to-play on iOS, so it was the perfect combination of publicity, controversy, and the word “free” that propelled Dead Trigger to this 1 million milestone…”
20.    Apple drops YouTube as pre-loaded app in iOS 6 system  http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-08-06/apple-youtube/56831442/1  “Apple has eliminated Google's YouTube as a pre-loaded app on its mobile devices as the battle for users escalates between the two technology giants. When Apple released the test version of its upcoming mobile operating system, iOS 6, for its iPhone and iPad Monday, YouTube, one of the most popular default apps on the devices, was not in the lineup…"Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended," says Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller. "Customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser, and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store."…The YouTube app on iPhone and iPad was created by Apple's own developers using YouTube's open developer tools. As a result, the YouTube experience on Apple's devices is different than the version on Android devices and at YouTube.com on Web browsers. Apple forbids displaying ads on its version of the YouTube app. And some video creators, unwilling to forgo potential revenue from advertising, have chosen not to show their videos on Apple's devices. YouTube videos running on Web browsers or in the app on Android devices include ads…”
21.     Google’s New Page Speed Tool Speeds Up Your Website  http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/08/new-google-page-speed-tool-speeds-up-your-website/  “Google has added yet another trick to the company’s Page Speed web optimization service — a page rewriter that turbocharges your site by making sure that your visible, above-the-fold content loads before anything else…Page Speed’s new rewriter, which Google refers to as “Cache and Prioritize Visible Content,” works by optimizing three main things on your site — all of which are standard best practices for speeding up a website, but are often hard for smaller sites to pull off. First off the Page Speed rewriter isolates those parts of the page that can’t be cached (logged in user info for example) and caches the rest of the page. The next step is, as the name implies, to “prioritize visible content rendering.” The Google blog is a little unclear on how this works, saying only that the rewriter “automatically determines and prioritizes the content that is above the fold of the browser, so that it doesn’t have to compete with the rest of the page…”
22.    Nerd Alert: Turn Google Street View Maps into Animated ASCII  http://www.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2012/08/nerd-alert-turn-google-street-view-maps-animated-ascii/2851/  “Here's something to get all () about: A nerdheap of artist/programmers found a way to transform Google's Street View photos into wild, blipping ASCII paintings…The group works for the experimental Labs arm of Teehan+Lax, a Toronto-based marketing firm, and crafted the technology as a way to let painters "draw" with animated computer code. (You can see a video about the process below.)…As a nifty feature, the programmers made their OpenGL effort compatible with WebGL, which is used by Google Maps. The result is a side project called "ASCII Street View." You might have to update your browser for it to work; it seemed to function best with me on Chrome. (Here's the group's open Frameworks add-on.) But it's well worth fiddling with until functional. The major cities of the world rendered in blinking computer characters is a truly freaky sight to behold. As Mark Wilson at Co.DESIGN put it, the images share "both the look and the same origins-of-the-Internet, hacker overtones seen in The Matrix…”
23.    Google’s product pruning continues  http://gigaom.com/2012/08/04/googles-product-pruning-continues-unabated/  “…In the last 12 months Google has shut down several dozen products…On Friday afternoon the axe was brought down on on three more products…Google said it’s doing away with Google Apps for Teams, Google Listen and Google Video for Business…It’s also planning to prune its count of official blogs. Ibel writes that there are 150 that the company currently uses — they’re going to pare that down to an as-yet-unnamed number…while Page may be pruning, he’s making room for planting new, ambitious projects as well…we have seen such products…like Google Drive and Google Compute Engine, things that are core to the company’s mission and play to its information-finding and processing strengths. But we’ve also seen risky entrees into areas like augmented reality with Google Glass and living room hardware with Nexus Q. And after an “indefinite delay” announced earlier this week, the latter looks like it’s already on its way to being the subject of one of these product shutdown announcements in the future…”
24.    Android's Rise Helps Google Grow its Traffic Surveillance System  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428732/androids-rise-helps-google-grow-its-traffic/  “Google…mobile maps will provide live traffic data on 130 new U.S. cities…Google now offers traffic data in more than 50 countries…Google took a roundabout route to building the world's largest traffic-jam surveillance network—by providing the operating system for some 400 million smartphones…using the mapping function on an Android-powered device sends Google anonymous data on your position and current speed that it uses to figure out traffic flows—if you're traveling along a freeway at 60 miles per hour, but suddenly slow to a crawl, Google knows that traffic most likely just snarled up. Google new announcement underscores the power of that mobile crowdsourcing approach…The information sent to the company specifies only a location and speed, not any information that can be tied to a user or particular device, says Seyboth. The start and end points of a route are not uploaded…”
General Technology
25.    Decoding the Science of Sleep  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443866404577565781327694346.html  “…As his Boeing 737 approached the city, Mr. Glusica woke up from a nap in the cockpit and took over the controls. His co-pilot warned him repeatedly that he was coming in at the wrong angle…The plane overshot the landing and burst into flames…An investigation found that the captain was suffering from "sleep inertia."…Some 20% of automobile accidents come as the result of drowsy drivers…military researchers…concluded that sleeplessness is one of the leading causes of friendly fire…But…sleep likely hovers somewhere near flossing in most of our lives: something we are supposed to do more—but don't…That number of sleep-deprived people is up about 25% from 1990…Americans now spend tens of billions of dollars on prescriptions, at sleep labs, on mattresses and for medical devices in our quest for some simple shuteye…why is sleep…becoming so problematic? Much of the problem can be traced to the revolutionary device…the light bulb. Before this electrically illuminated age, our ancestors slept in two distinct chunks each night. The so-called first sleep took place not long after the sun went down and lasted until a little after midnight. A person would then wake up for an hour or so before heading back to the so-called second sleep…It was a fact of life that was once as common as breakfast…A 15th-century medical book…advised readers to spend their "first sleep" on the right side and after that to lie on their left. A cleric in England wrote that the time between the first and second sleep was the best time for serious study. The time between the two bouts of sleep was a natural and expected part of the night, and depending on your needs, was spent praying, reading, contemplating your dreams…this type of sleep is so ingrained in our nature that it will reappear if given a chance…subjects sequestered from artificial lights have tended to ease into this rhythm…cultures without artificial light still sleep this way…sunset no longer meant the end of your social life, but the beginning of it…Factories soon began running all night long. By the 1920s, the idea of a first and second sleep had entirely disappeared from our daily rhythms…Researchers are increasingly finding that lack of sleep is terrible for our health. Sleeplessness has been linked to increased rates of heart disease, obesity, stroke and even certain cancers…sleep is the time when our bodies naturally repair themselves on a cellular level…Many of us try to mitigate our lack of sleep with coffee and sleeping pills, but it just doesn't work. Caffeine may work in the short-term, but…the body begins to build up a tolerance to it…patients taking popular prescription sleeping pills fell asleep just 13 minutes faster than those given a sugar pill. They slept for a grand total of 11 minutes longer. People seem to overestimate the effectiveness of sleeping pills…because of the placebo effect, and…because some of these pills cause short-term memory loss that leaves people believing they got better sleep than they actually did…In a new branch of sleep medicine, scientists have identified how to get a good night's sleep naturally. Most of the suggestions come down to changing your behavior…studies have shown that people should avoid the bluish light from computer screens, TVs and smartphones…for at least an hour before bed. And, by doing yoga or other relaxation techniques…subjects in studies have…improved both their sleep quality and quantity…New consumer devices, like headbands that measure brain waves during the night and pedometer-like devices that measure movement, can give the home user data rivaling what they might get in a sleep lab. Such data can allow people to pinpoint the real effects of each day's choices on their night's sleep…”
26.    Bending light stronger than ever before by accelerating electrons  http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/08/bending-light-stronger-than-ever-before-by-accelerating-electrons/  “When it comes to light, certain types of fabricated materials behave in a radically different manner from ordinary materials like water and glass: they have negative refractive indices, so that light will travel in the opposite direction expected in normal materials…A new experiment has achieved extraordinarily large negative refractive indices for radio frequency light…a special material which, at very cold temperatures, bent light much more strongly than has been accomplished before…If you place a drinking straw into a glass of water, the straw will appear bent, with the part in the water appearing to extend at a steeper angle than the part in air. However, the straw will not "bend" in the opposite direction from its insertion in ordinary materials: if you imagine a vertical line at the point where the straw enters the water, the refracted image will always be on the opposite side of the line from the piece of the straw in air. In negative refraction, however, the straw would appear on the same side of the imaginary vertical line. The researchers achieved high negative refraction through a specially designed semiconductor device…The device is an example of a metamaterial, since this behavior can't occur naturally. Ordinary glass has an index of refraction approximately equal to 1.5 for visible light; previous experiments with negative refraction created materials with indices as large as -5. By contrast, the current study obtained an index of refraction of about -700, a dramatically larger effect…Using metamaterials to focus radio waves represents a significant advance in the control of light for microscopic devices.” [look at the photo in the article; it may look unimpressive, but it’s actually quite impressive and cool that they can change the appearance of the straw to appear radically different than you’d expect – ed.]
27.    Valve's Gabe Newell predicts Windows 8 will be a 'catastrophe'  http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/07/26/valves_gabe_newell_predicts_windows_8_will_be_a_catastrophe.html  “The co-founder of hit game maker Valve believes that Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 8 operating system will spell disaster PC makers, some of which he believes will exit the market altogether…Gabe Newell said his company is interested in bringing its Steam digital storefront to Linux as a way of hedging its bets against a potential failure of Windows 8…"I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," Newell said. "I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people…When Windows 8 launches on October 26, it will signal a major change in strategy for Microsoft, which will be building its own touchscreen tablets, called "Surface,"…”
28.    Microsoft said to block ability to boot straight to desktop in Windows 8  http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-said-to-block-ability-to-boot-straight-to-desktop-in-windows-8-7000002219/  “If you were…counting on being able to circumvent the new tiled Windows 8 start menu, you may be disappointed…Those with access to the final builds are discovering the final tweaks Microsoft made to the product…One of those tweaks is the decision to block users from setting up their Windows 8 machines to boot straight to the Desktop, circumventing the tiled Start screen, formerly known as the Metro screen…users cannot boot straight to the Desktop in Windows 8. With Windows 8 test builds, users could create shortcut that switches to the Windows 8 Desktop…While many like the tiled Metro start screen and are looking forward to using it on touch tablets and PCs, many others aren't keen on it -- especially business users who are convinced that Metro will be a nuisance, especially on non-touch-enabled hardware…”
29.    TSMC, Like Intel, Invests in ASML for 450 mm wafers and EUV  http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/TSMC-Like-Intel-Invests-in-ASML-for-Smaller-EnergyEfficient-Chips-368753/  “Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is following Intel in investing in chip-equipment maker ASML, a move that is aimed at accelerating the development of faster, smaller and more energy-efficient chips that leverage such technologies as 450-millimeter tools and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. TSMC…invested about $1.4 billion…to help fund ASML’s R&D programs as it looks to adopt next-generation chip-making technologies while slowing the escalating manufacturing costs…ASML’s research and development programs will help secure and accelerate EUV development activities, in parallel with the necessary focus on improved performance of existing optical lithography tools and speed up the deployment of new technologies for 450-millimeter wafers…The research in developing 450mm waters will enable TSMC, Intel and others to manufacture more chips more quickly. Longer-term, the vendors will see the benefits from the development of EUV lithography, an immature technology that holds promise as chips continue to shrink in size…”
30.    AMD's New FirePro Processors Include CPUs and GPUs  http://www.pcworld.com/article/260500/amds_new_firepro_processors_include_cpus_and_gpus.html  “Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday launched new FirePro processors that include CPUs and graphics processors, a change from previous FirePro chips that only had graphics processors. The new FirePro A300 series processors combines CPUs and GPUs, much like AMD's existing A-, C- and E-series processors that go into consumer laptops and desktops. While the consumer chips have Radeon graphics cores, the new processors have FirePro graphics cores and provide the graphics capability typically provided by a discrete graphics card. The new processors are targeted at media and engineering professionals, AMD said in a statement. It is designed for use in multimedia workstations that are typically used to make special effects for high-definition movies, or for engineering applications such as CAD/CAM. The AMD FirePro A300 has four CPUs operating at a speed of up to 4GHz, 384 graphics cores operating at a speed of up to 760MHz, and draws 65 watts of power. The FirePro A320 has four 4.2GHz CPUs, 384 800MHz graphics cores, and draws 100 watts…”
Leisure & Entertainment
31.     Amazon decides it actually does need licenses for music  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/amazon-decides-it-actually-does-need-licenses/  “It has been over a year since Amazon.com introduced its Cloud Player—a personal music storage and playback service connected to a user's Amazon account. Only today, though, did Amazon announce that it entered into licensing agreements with "Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and more than 150 independent distributors, aggregators, and music publishers,"…It's…a change in the company's attitude toward licensing, which launched its CloudPlayer service in March 2011, boldly proclaiming, "Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It's like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available."…Amazon's new scan-and-match service copies customer's iTunes and Windows Media Player music libraries and matches songs to those in Amazon's own library of 20 million songs, populating your cloud player so you can listen anywhere. "All matched songs–even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs–are instantly made available in Cloud Player and are upgraded for free to high-quality 256 Kbps audio,"…Amazon announced that it will be separating Cloud Drive from its Cloud Player service, reserving Drive for file storage and Player for music storage. While you can upload any file to Drive, the two services will have separate subscriptions…”
32.    Zynga and the making of its next hit, ChefVille  http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/08/06/inside-zynga-and-the-making-its-next-hit-chefville/  “…I spent some time last week with the Zynga team working on the game ChefVille, which will be launching its baby to the world this week…I was able to sit down with some of the key team members on the project. They’re a mix of folks with vast experience in gaming, going back to the glory days of Activision. What does it take to launch a successful social game on the Web? I made it my personal goal to find this out and boy did I learn quite a bit…What’s ChefVille you ask? It’s a game that lets you open your own restaurant, grow and buy your ingredients, impress and compete with your friends and meet new people…”
33.    Amazon launches social game development studios  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57487831-93/amazon-launches-social-game-development-studios/  “Amazon has launched a social game development effort called Amazon Game Studios, as well as a game for Facebook called Living Classics. Amazon Game Studios is exactly what it sounds like: a new team at Amazon that's focused on creating innovative, fun…games…The post revealed little else about the game studios other than it is currently hiring…The studios' first major title -- Living Classics -- is what Amazon calls a "moving object game." The game features a family of foxes interacting with animated illustrations from books such as "Alice in Wonderland," "The Wizard of Oz," and "King Arthur…”
34.    MakeGamesWithUs Wants To Turn High School Kids Into iPhone Game Developers  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/06/y-combinator-makegameswithus/  “MakeGamesWithUs is a new iOS game publishing company with a twist: its focus is on helping high school and college students to build games. MakeGamesWithUs us will take the kids’ creations, provide professional graphics and art and publish them in the App Store. The kids will own the code, and the company will own the graphics and take a cut of the sales. The company already has a few games built by students available, including Elemental Fury…one thing that’s been missing from the code literacy movement up til now is help in making the jump from knowing some code to actually building something with your knowledge. “There’s a huge number of kids out there with the potential to make games, but they get held up in the process,” Desai explains. MakeGamesWithUs is trying to bridge that gap by offering tutorials, tools and a forum for developers. The game builders are assumed to already have some object-oriented programming experience, specifically in Java. Desai says the team chose Java because it’s what the AP Computer Science class uses, and it’s common in introductory computer science classes at universities as well. The tutorials teach programmers to use Objective-C, the programming language for building native OSX and iOS games, for building games. A Mac is required. The lessons begin with downloading and installing Apple’s development environment Xcode and the game development framework Kobold2D. Developers are shown how to build Conway’s Game of Life clone and can work their way up to building an Angry Birds clone. There are other tips and tutorials as well, including an overview of doing version control with Git…”
35.    Sight: An 8-Minute Augmented Reality Journey That Makes Google Glass Look Tame  http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2012/07/29/sight-an-8-minute-augmented-reality-journey-that-makes-google-glass-look-tame/  “Sight, a short, science fiction film by Israeli student filmmakers Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo is a brilliant take on the emerging world of augmented reality (AR)—the technology behind Google‘s goofy glasses. The film, a graduation project in the Screen-Based Arts Department of Bezaleal academy of arts, in Jerusalem, details a fictional user interface capable of not just augmenting, but controlling, reality—through retinal implants…What May-raz and Lazo have done is to take consumer AR to its logical, and terrifying, conclusion based on what is happening in the present moment…The film depicts a day in the life of an engineer for a fictional company called Sight Systems, at some point in the near future. One of the amusing things is that his apartment is almost entirely bare because the contact lens-like implants in his eyes project a data environment on the bare walls…”
Economy and Technology
36.    Wall Street company trading program runs amok, loses $440 million  http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/08/03/trading-program-ran-amok-with-no-off-switch/  “When computerized stock trading runs amok, as it did this week on Wall Street, the firm responsible typically can jump in and hit a kill switch. But as a torrent of faulty trades spewed Wednesday morning from a Knight Capital Group trading program, no one at the firm managed to stop it for more than a half-hour…Knight employees and New York Stock Exchange officials noticed the blizzard of erratic orders…and sent alarmed messages to Knight managers…On Friday, Knight, which in the last decade grew into a leading broker for American stocks, climbed off the mat, securing emergency financing…two days after it disclosed a possibly fatal $440 million loss from the software problem…Knight’s short-term financing was meant to keep it alive until Monday…Knight is in discussions about selling is its futures brokerage unit, largely made up of operations the firm purchased only in May..Knight’s failure to respond sooner was particularly mystifying to other traders because on Wednesday the firm had introduced new trading software. Industry experts said that this would normally be cause for programmers and other employees to be on high alert…it would have made sense if the firm’s employees had not caught the problems for the first minute or so, given the speed at which Knight’s program was firing off orders. After that, though, the problems were visible for all to see…”
37.    Facebook: Work in progress  http://www.economist.com/node/21559947?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/workinprogress  “It is still gaining members—there were 955m by the end of June—but Facebook has been losing friends ever since it became a public company on May 18th…not since that first day has the share price closed above its bloated debut mark of $38…On August 1st Facebook’s shares closed at $20.88…New shareholders are not the only ones feeling fed up. On July 30th Limited Run, a New York platform for the online shops of record labels, artists and designers, said it would delete its Facebook page. It estimated that 80% of clicks came from “bots”—computers rather than people, but triggering payments to Facebook all the same…there are reasons to be sceptical about the speed at which Facebook’s revenues and profits can grow. In America and much of Europe just about anyone who might want to join already has; and the ratio of daily to monthly users ticked down…a sign to some of “Facebook fatigue”. So Facebook must make money from the members it has rather than simply by adding new ones. And it must find a way to do so on mobile devices, from which most Facebookers now check the site…There is little space for ads on a smartphone; and ads must not just avoid irritating users, but make them click…Advertising through friends’ recommendations on social networks is still new. So advertisers will need to learn what sponsored stories ought to look like, and then be convinced to spend money on them. They will also need to keep refreshing stories, which in turn will mean more expense…Gartner, another research firm, said this week that failing to communicate with customers on social networks could be as damaging to companies as not answering phone calls or e-mails. Mr Weinstein notes that Facebook “is still valued like a very successful business”: worth $50 billion…”
38.    Facebook's Stock Crash Has Created A Bunch Of New Problems For The Company  http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-lockup-release-2012-8  “Facebook's stock crash has done more than blindside investors who figured that no price was too high for the IPO. The crash has also created a bunch of new problems for the company: Lock-up releases will likely lead to hundreds of millions of new shares being dumped on the market over the next six months ... and Facebook can no longer do a simple "follow-on offering" to manage this process…Facebook faces a massive ~$3 billion tax bill related to its employee stock compensation and can no longer do what it planned to do, which was sell shares to raise this cash…Facebook employees now have less incentive to stay at the company than they did prior to the IPO, which may make retention more difficult and expensive…All of these issues could put additional pressure on Facebook's share price…”
39.    Silicon Valley Creating Jobs, But Not for Everyone  http://www.wired.com/business/2012/08/silicon-valley-creates-jobs-but-not-for-everyone/  “…innovation creates jobs…The metro region that includes Silicon Valley led the country in job growth, posting a 3.8 percent increase compared to the same time last year. San Francisco followed close behind with the second-highest growth rate at 3.6 percent…But the other key measure of the region’s economic well-being undermines the uncritical optimism politicians tend to lavish on tech. In Silicon Valley…the unemployment rate in June was 8.8 percent, an increase of nearly half a percent from May, and well above the national average…shouldn’t a place as exceptional as Silicon Valley be able to do better than…the rest of the United States? In the definitive annual report on the state of Silicon Valley’s economy, the Silicon Valley Index, researchers earlier this year found that jobs for highly educated workers abound. Average incomes are on the rise…Yet the…median incomes have fallen, and more students are receiving free or reduced-price lunches — a standard measure of economic hardship…as some workers make notably more money, more workers are making less…many of them are still not finding work at all…Academics have nicknamed this phenomenon the “hollowing out” of the U.S. economy. Highly skilled, highly educated workers do increasingly well in an increasingly specialized economy driven by knowledge work…But when tech companies grow, they no longer create the kind of medium-skilled, middle-class jobs they did in the past. Facebook doesn’t need factory workers…That’s the reality, and it’s going to be that way from here on out. You don’t need all the people you used to need.”…the hollowing out of Silicon Valley reflects not a temporary condition but a basic structural change. The shakeout has just started, he says…Companies don’t seek the talent that’s closest to home — they seek the best people in the world, wherever they may live…“We used to have an economy that had absorption capacity. It could provide opportunities for the whole,” Hancock says. “Now we have an economy that’s brutal, an economy that only rewards people at the high end. The rest I don’t know…”
DHMN Technology
40.    EMF Camp, the site and Networking  http://blog.emfcamp.org/post/27143646219/emf-camp-the-site-and-networking  “Electromagnetic Field is a three-day camping festival for people with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, geeks, scientists, engineers, artists, and crafters…Provisioning high bandwidth connections is always fun, especially those that are only required for a very short period of time, and most notably, out in the middle of a field…They’re…giving us our own 1Gbps circuit between the two. Using this we’re constructing our own multihomed network, with multiple transit and peering connections, ensuring speedy Internet access for the entire camp…we’ll be erecting temporary 30 metre tall masts and creating a point-to-point microwave link to connect the camp. As you can see the masts are pretty impressive!..Like all large hacking events in Europe (HAR2009/CCC) we’ll be using portaloos, or datenklos, to house network switches and power distribution around the site. If you want super-fast wired access please make sure you bring a 40 to 50m Cat5 cable with you to connect your tent…” [you gotta check out the picture of the datenklos, and DHMN *has* to buy a datenklos just to kit it up like this – ed.]
41.     Oculus Rift head-mounted display finds funding from developers  http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/08/oculus-rift-head-mounted-display-finds-funding-from-developers/  “The idea of a mass-market virtual reality headset that totally immerses players in a game world died out pretty quickly in the '90s…a hardware designer named Palmer Luckey thinks that technology has finally caught up with the dream, and seems to have done a good job convincing a lot of game designers that he's right…the Oculus Rift, launched on Kickstarter today…The device quickly surpassed it's $300,000 funding goal…primarily by selling $300 development kits to thousands of backers. Those developers include id Software's John Carmack, (who'll be bringing Doom 3 BFG as the first game to support the headset), Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski, Unity CEO Dave Helgason and Valve president and owner Gabe Newell, who offered up supportive quotes on Rift's potential for truly immersive virtual reality. What makes Oculus Rift different from the failed consumer head-mounted displays of the past (and present)? The creators tout a 110-degree diagonal field of vision that eliminates the "tunnel vision" effect of some displays with smaller screens, and an "ultra low latency" head tracking system that prevents the nausea that can come when the image lags slightly behind your craning neck. The Oculus Rift SDK will support games created in both the Unreal and Unity engines…”
42.    Android 4.0 ported to Raspberry Pi's $35 Linux computer  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/08/android-4-0-ported-to-raspberry-pis-35-linux-computer/  “The Raspberry Pi…$35 Linux computer will soon be able to run Android 4.0. Google’s mobile operating system is being ported to the device…Because the Raspberry Pi computer uses an ARM11 CPU instead of a chip based on the more ubiquitous ARMv7 architecture, software support is somewhat limited. Recent versions of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, for example, aren’t compatible. The Raspberry Pi foundation provides a special version of Fedora that is tailored to run on the device. There is also a specially optimized Debian port called Raspbian that is under development. Android 4.0 could be a compelling option for some Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. According to the Raspberry Pi foundation, the Android port has support for hardware-accelerated graphics and video playback…”
Open Source Hardware
43.    Open source powder 3D printer for home  http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Pulver-3D-Drucker-fuer-daheim-1660668.html  “With the Pwdr Model 0.1 , there is another 3D printer that offers itself for the production on your desk. Alex has the budding open-source device at the University of Twente developed (Netherlands) and published last week on Thingiverse. Previously set for 3D printer at home…on the fused Depositing modeling (FDM) and press a heated plastic welding wire through a die…Pwdr DIY is the first professional who works with another method. The production technology developed at MIT has been used only in professional 3D printer from Z Corp., such as. Here, the printer fills the installation space in the device layer by layer with a powder bonded and selectively the parts that belong to the object later, with a binder…Currently there is only one copy of the Pwdr Model 0.1, the machine by Alex Budding. He has designed at the University of Twente in the context of his thesis in mechanical engineering and construction. In his focus on "Engineering Design" is about the exploration of new development methods. Rapid prototyping changed since many of the design process, he had decided to construct a 3D printer itself and aware of the vacancy to be filled powder pressure. That all construction plans and program components of open source should be available for budding is this: "I hope that with the release of Thingiverse other people will be inspired to recreate a Pwdr machine and further advance the development." Budding Alex has been processed with his printer two materials: The ZP131 powder sold commercially, the Z Corp. uses in its printers and consisting mainly of gypsum , and the ceramic compound is aluminum oxide. Since the binder is made ​​from a conventional Pwdr HP printer cartridge, the first prints are actually incurred with black printer ink. After the fine-tuning the ink has been replaced by a mixture of water and 20 percent alcohol. The alcohol ensures that the print nozzles do not clog the cartridge. The object of alumina, a ceramic membrane has, (sintered) Budding after printing in a furnace fired. Unfortunately, the material with a price of 300 € / kg too expensive for home use. With the Pwdr will be processed but also cheaper materials: candidates are commercially available gypsum, starch, sugar and other ceramic powders…”  http://pwdr.github.com/  [Google translated in Chrome –ed.]
44.    Businesses With Impact: Fenix International  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-seaver/businesses-with-impact-fe_b_1684927.html  “I want to talk about Fenix International, the maker of the Fenix ReadySet Solar Kit. I have…seen firsthand the dire need for a reliable power source by millions of people in third-world countries. At the same time, I have often been surprised to notice how many people live in poverty but still seem to have personal cell phones. They have cell phone reception, but ironically don't always have a way to charge these cell phones at their homes…Cell phones are not a luxury item to these people; many depend on mobile phones to tap into the global economy…there are more than 600 million "off the grid" mobile subscribers today: people who have cell phones but no consistent electricity source…to charge their phones, it's a common practice for a rural third-world cell phone user to walk more than 20 miles to the closest city…It's an inefficient system that relies on fossil fuel power and massive human effort to do what a solar panel could do in a few hours…the Fenix ReadySet Solar Kit…a personal renewable energy system that uses solar panels to generate power…it's a high-quality, well-designed product -- delivered by ex-Apple engineers hailing degrees from MIT, Stanford, Brown and other great schools…The ReadySet Solar Kit isn't just about making it easier for individuals to charge their phones. It actually gives regional entrepreneurs the ability to start their own small businesses using the ReadySet Kit, where they can in turn charge phones for their entire communities…Fenix believes that "mobile energy" is the next exciting frontier that will power laptops, tablets and even water purifiers and vaccine refrigerators off-grid…Over the next five years, Fenix would like to sell at least a million units, expand into other areas of the world, and see "applications" for their ReadyStart kit be produced. They intentionally designed the kit so it that its power can be imparted to devices with a USB cable or a 12-volt adaptor, which means that third parties can easily design compatible applications. It's "open-source" hardware, which I personally really appreciate…They are also in the middle of a so far very successful Kickstarter campaign, which I encourage you to check out, because you can actually buy a ReadySet Kit for yourself by donating to this very worthy cause. It's not just for citizens of developing countries; you can actually use it anywhere in the world as a reliable alternative and clean power source. It's also not a bad idea for your emergency kit or boat/RV…”
45.    Scientists measure pollutants in Kiwi homes  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10823604  “…A device invented by the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (Niwa) to measure air quality, dubbed Pacman, is being used to test the air quality inside houses. Pacman stands for Particles, Activity and Context Monitoring Autonomous Node and takes the form of a small box filled with air-quality measuring instruments…Poor air quality affects the cardiovascular system and can cause respiratory diseases…The Pacman devices, which will be installed in up to 20 volunteer's homes, will monitor airborne particles, carbon dioxide levels, temperature and movement that can influence indoor air quality…The highest measured concentrations so far had come from the poor use of wood-burning stoves and solid wood-burners. Other sources of indoor pollution included incense, pesticides, pets and evaporation from solvents - pine scented cleaning products can react with sunlight and produce dangerous airborne particles…Niwa said amateur air quality scientists could build their own Pacman, designed with open-source hardware and software and files that could be downloaded from here.”
46.    Babelfish: Adafruit's Arduino-based RFID flash-cards for learning language with open source hardware  http://boingboing.net/2012/08/03/babelfish-adafruits-arduino.html  “Learn to make a speaking, card-reading toy! The Babel Fish helps you learn to say words and phrases on RFID flash cards by reading the card and playing an associated sound file loaded on an SD card inside. This project is very straightforward and could make a great jumping-off point for your own awesome RFID and Wave Shield project…”
47.    New Book Will Offer Birds-Eye View of Shenandoah River  http://www.clarkedailynews.com/new-book-will-offer-birds-eye-view-of-shenandoah-river/34129  “…Beverly Pearce of Winchester…was contemplating a photographic book about the Shenandoah River. Pearce…said that she was researching inexpensive ways of making aerial photographs when she came across work being done by the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS). “I was impressed with their ingenuity, their energy, and their openness—including their willingness to share knowledge, resources, and results,” Pearce said. “Denizen Media’s policy is also one of open-sourcing our photographs to anyone who wants to use them for non-commercial purposes, so there was a certain alignment of purpose.”…A grant from the Marion Park Lewis Foundation funded a mentorship for me to learn balloon mapping with Adam Griffith, one of the original developers of the technology,” Pearce explained. “PLOTS and Denizen Media coordinated a workshop over the weekend of July 21-22 to share the technology with others in the area…which enabled us to spend time both on the river practicing the ballooning—and inside working on laptops to ‘stitch’ the images together using software developed by PLOTS.”…Pearce and the others who attended the weekend workshop used helium-filled balloons to launch cameras to an altitude of 500 to 1,000 feet. The digital photographs are then “stitched” together using image mapping software and can be used to show river features such as rapids, caves, ledges, and streamside riparian corridor. Cameras can be modified for infrared technology, which helps with mapping algae coverage and vegetation coverage. The balloon mapping technology was developed by ballooners who monitored the Gulf Oil Spill who later came together to pool resources and experience, and formed PLOTS, Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, a not-for-profit organization…The core PLOTS program is focused on “civic science” in which open source hardware and software tools and methods are used to generate knowledge and share data about community environmental health. PLOTS seeks to increase the ability of underserved communities to identify, redress, remediate, and create awareness and accountability around environmental concerns by providing online and offline training, education and support, and by focusing on locally-relevant outcomes that emphasize human capacity and understanding…”
Open Source
48.    Valve's optimizations make Linux port of L4D2 outperform Windows version  http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/08/valves-optimizations-make-linux-port-of-l4d2-outperform-windows-version/  “…Valve revealed that its Linux port of the popular title Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) now outperforms the Windows version of the game on a high-end test rig. The OpenGL-based Linux port of L4D2 runs at 315 FPS, the Direct3D-based Windows version runs at 270.6 FPS, and the OpenGL-based Windows version runs at 303 FPS. "That the Linux version runs faster than the Windows version seems a little counter-intuitive, given the greater amount of time we have spent on the Windows version. However, it does speak to the underlying efficiency of the kernel and OpenGL,"…Valve announced last month that it was working to bring the Steam game distribution service to Linux, as well as porting its Source game engine and L4D2…The company has worked to boost the rendering frame rate on Linux so that it could offer a competitive gaming experience to users of the platform. The effort proved more successful than Valve anticipated. The company…is investigating the difference in performance between OpenGL and Direct3D with the aim of getting the Direct3D-based Windows version up to speed with its OpenGL counterpart…”
49.    Nokia reportedly planning to sell Qt as more developers are laid off  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/08/nokia-reportedly-planning-to-sell-qt-as-more-developers-are-laid-off/  “Nokia is shutting down its Qt offices in Australia, laying off the team that was responsible for developing key parts of the open source development toolkit, including the QML user interface layout system.. information…from an unnamed source suggests that Nokia is actively looking to sell its Qt assets, effectively ending the company’s ownership of the toolkit. Qt provides a sophisticated C++ framework for cross-platform mobile and desktop application development. It was originally created by Norwegian software company Trolltech, which was acquired by Nokia in 2008. Nokia transitioned Qt to an open governance model that has made the project more inclusive and open to independent contributors…Qt 5.0 represents a major overhaul of the toolkit. It will make JavaScript a first class citizen and establish QML as the standard mechanism for building Qt user interfaces…the transition to an open governance model will insulate Qt from collapsing in the event that Nokia withdraws its support. There are a number of other companies that are actively involved in Qt development…There are also a multitude of major Qt adopters, ranging from Dreamworks to Adobe, that have an interest in ensuring that the toolkit is properly maintained…Qt also has a large following in the open source software ecosystem…The KDE community uses Qt to build a popular desktop environment for Linux and a cross-platform suite of desktop software. The KDE project relies heavily on the capabilities of Qt, so the fate of the toolkit has obvious implications for KDE as a project…”
Civilian Aerospace
50.    Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada to win $1.1 billion NASA backing for spaceships  http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/03/13103192-nasa-announces-11-billion-in-support-for-a-trio-of-spaceships  “NASA has committed $1.1 billion over the next 21 months to support spaceship development efforts by the Boeing Co., SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corp., with the aim of having American astronauts flying once more on American spacecraft within five years…The space agency is setting aside $460 million for Boeing, $440 million for SpaceX and $212.5 million for Sierra Nevada. The next phase of NASA's commercial spaceflight effort — known as Commercial Crew Integrated Capability, or CCiCap — calls for these three companies to take their design and testing program through a series of milestones by May 2014. Optional milestones could lead to crewed demonstration flights in later years. NASA wants to have at least one commercial space taxi carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station by 2017. The three companies say they can meet or beat that schedule, provided that they continue to receive NASA support…Boeing is working on a capsule called the CST-100, SpaceX  is upgrading its Dragon capsule to be capable of flying astronauts safely, and Sierra Nevada is testing its Dream Chaser space plane…SpaceX projects being able to launch a crewed demonstration flight in 2015, and Boeing anticipates achieving that feat by late 2016…Musk told me that the 2015 demonstration flight would go into orbit, but not to the space station. He estimated that the first space station flight could take place a year later…”
51.     Google-Backed Asteroid Mining Venture Adds Billionaire Investors  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-06/google-backed-asteroid-mining-venture-adds-billionaire-investors  “Planetary Resources Inc., an asteroid-mining venture backed by Google Inc. executives, said it added more billionaire investors and is nearing a funding agreement with a “top-10” mining company…The venture said in April it has the backing of Ross Perot Jr., Google’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Page, Chairman Eric Schmidt and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Co-Chairman John C. Whitehead. The Seattle-based company aims to be the first to harness potentially trillions of dollars of minerals including platinum group metals by using robotic technology to mine asteroids…While Planetary Resources has “enough funding for several years of operations” including its initial prospecting missions, it would consider an initial public offering for future financing needs…Planetary Resources intends to launch a telescopic space surveyor into Earth’s low orbit in less than two years to identify potential metal- and water-rich asteroids and begin prospecting within four years…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
52.    Eurotech Adds Kepler GPU Option to Supercomputer Line  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-06-20/eurotech_adds_kepler_gpu_option_to_supercomputer_line.html  “…Eurotech…announced an agreement with NVIDIA to expand the Eurotech Aurora supercomputer product line with new energy-efficient, high-performance GPU-accelerated systems…It will include joint engineering efforts to develop the industry’s highest density Eurotech supercomputer cluster…featuring 256 NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPUs in an X-rack configuration.  The new systems are expected to deliver more than 500 teraflops of performance per rack and above 3.6 GFlops per watt…Using current-generation NVIDIA Fermi GPUs, the current Aurora supercomputer delivers energy-efficient performance in the range of 2.5 GFlops per watt…By leveraging NVIDIA Kepler GPUs, the Aurora systems have the horsepower necessary to break through the desirable 0.5 petaflops per rack barrier…”
53.    Researchers aim to broaden researcher access to protein simulation  http://phys.org/news/2012-08-aim-broaden-access-protein-simulation.html  “Using just an upgraded desktop computer equipped with a relatively inexpensive graphics processing card, a team of computer scientists and biochemists at the University of California, San Diego, has developed advanced GPU accelerated software and demonstrated for the first time that this approach can sample biological events that occur on the millisecond timescale. These results have the potential to bring millisecond scale sampling, now available only on a multi-million dollar supercomputer, to all researchers, and could significantly impact the study of protein dynamics with key implications for improved drug and biocatalyst development. With some innovative coding, a GPU (graphics processing unit) that retails for about $500, and the widely used software package of molecular simulations called Amber (Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement), the researchers were able to run a simulation showing the same five long-lived structural states of a specific protein as observed in a simulation conducted by…a purpose-built molecular dynamics (MD) supercomputer…This work shows that using conventional, off-the-shelf GPU hardware combined with an enhanced sampling algorithm, events taking place on the millisecond time scale can be effectively sampled with dynamics simulations orders of magnitude shorter (2000X) than those timescales…”



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