2012/08/21

NEW NET Weekly List for 21 Aug 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 21 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.        A rare look inside Facebook’s Oregon data center  http://gigaom.com/cleantech/a-rare-look-inside-facebooks-oregon-data-center-photos-video/  “Prineville, Oregon: When the temperature creeps above 90 degrees in this rural community, it’s the perfect time to see why Facebook decided to build its first data center here. That’s when the outside air cooling system — which collects the cool, dry Oregon air and pushes it through filters and misters to chill the thousands of servers that hold all those Facebook Likes and photos — has to work overtime. In a rare visit to Facebook’s Prineville data center on Thursday, the temperature hit a high of 93 degrees outside. While the cows we passed on the 20-minute drive from the Redmond, Ore. airport searched for any semblance of shade, Building No. 1 of the data center was as noisy as an industrial factory, with air flowing through the cooling rooms and the humidifier room spraying purified water onto the incoming air at a rapid rate…Facebook’s data center here is one of the most energy efficient in the world. The social network invested $210 million for just the first phase of the data center, which GigaOM got a chance to check out during a two-hour tour. Building No. 1 is where Facebook first started designing its ultra-efficient data centers and gear, and where it wanted the first round of servers that it open sourced under the Open Compute Project to live. Since then — Building No. 1 was opened up in the spring of 2011 — Facebook has slightly tweaked its designs for Building No. 2 at the Prineville site, as well as the designs for its data centers in North Carolina and Sweden…”
2.       Israel says yes to internet-enabled donkeys  http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/israeli-theme-park-rolling-out-wi-fi-enabled-donkeys/  “There are plenty of people in the world today for whom a constant connection to the Internet is an absolute must….at all times….24/7. If a situation arises where no cellular or Wi-Fi connection is available, these people can rapidly dissolve into grouchy, short-tempered monsters, unrecognizable from their usual happy-go-lucky selves. Within a short time of realizing that the Internet is unavailable, slight trembling of the hands may be observed, along with the formation of damp patches in the armpit region, regardless of whether the room or outdoor temperature is comfortably cool. In most cases, in this increasingly wired world, such people are fine. These days, Wi-Fi is offered in so many places, including cafes, hotels, airports, shops and subways. Even visitors to the Kfar Kedem (Village of Yore) theme park in northern Israel needn’t worry (it’s on your upcoming travel itinerary, right?), for its forward-thinking owners have recently equipped some of its resident donkeys with Wi-Fi routers…”
3.       Video Chat Startup ooVoo Adds 4-Way Conferencing To Its iPad And Android Apps  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/21/oovoo-4-way-video-chat/  “Thanks to fast-growing usage of its mobile apps, social video chat startup ooVoo has been growing fast, topping 54 million total users. That’s up pretty significantly from the 46 million users it had just a few months ago, when it rolled out its new iPad app. According to ooVoo President Jay Samit, it’s adding close to 100,000 new users a day…now it’s updated its iPad and Android apps to now include high-quality, four-way chat sessions between users. While ooVoo users can host chats with up to 12 total users, the new version of its apps will let viewers see up to four participants at once. In addition to high-quality, four-way video chat, the new apps also include group messaging and push notifications to enable users to keep connected at all times. Users have many ways to connect with each other — in addition to its mobile iOS applications, ooVoo allows users to log in and chat via Facebook and Mac and PC desktop apps. But mobile is clearly the future of the service: About 30 percent of all video traffic comes from mobile devices, and now 50 percent of all new users are mobile users…”
4.       Barry Diller gets into bidding war for About.com  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57497622-93/barry-diller-gets-into-bidding-war-for-about.com-report/  “Barry Diller, one of the premiere dealmakers in media, has bid $300 million for struggling About.com, The New York Times' information Web site…The offer from Diller's holding company, IAC/Interactivecorp, is about $30 million higher than a rival bid from Answers.com…The Times announced on August 8 that it was in discussions about selling its About Group but didn't identify the interested parties. Answers.com President Peter Horan is the former head of About.com. About.com is designed to be a guide for Internet users and offers tips, advice, and information on nearly 1,000 topics…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        Google Files New Patent Lawsuit Against Apple, Seeks To Block iPhone, iPad & Mac Imports To U.Shttp://techcrunch.com/2012/08/17/google-files-new-patent-lawsuit-against-apple-seeks-to-block-iphone-ipad-mac-imports-to-u-s/  “…Google’s Motorola unit just filed a new patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington. According to this report, Motorola’s complaint seeks to block Apple from importing the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and “various Apple computers.” Today’s lawsuit is only the latest in a long series of recent disputes between Apple and Motorola/Google, but it marks the first time that Motorola is filing one of these lawsuits since its acquisition by Google became final in February…We are still waiting to get more details and will update the post once we hear more, but based on what we’ve heard so far, the complaint will focus on technologies Apple uses in virtually all of its current hardware products…”
6.       India To Biometrically Identify All Of Its 1.2 Billion Citizens  http://singularityhub.com/2012/07/10/india-to-biometrically-identify-all-of-its-1-2-billion-citizens/  “When you think of cutting-edge innovation, a massive bureaucracy might be the last thing that comes to mind.   But in India, a massive experiment is underway to take a technology that was once a hallmark of science fiction and apply it to solving the nation’s greatest challenges.  A small group of entrepreneurs within the government have set out to identify to every one of their 1.2 billion residents by using biometric technologies, such as iris scans and fingerprints. In the next few years, each man, woman and child will receive an “Aadhaar” (meaning: foundation) 12-digit unique identification number.  For the poor in India, this would end a vicious cycle where a person cannot prove who they are, and thus they are denied what they are supposed to receive.  Now, using the features of the body, technology can identify someone in a matter of seconds.  There will no longer be a need for passports, driver licenses, or other old school paper based identification…”
7.        Everyone On the Internet Should Probably Change Their Passwords Now  http://betabeat.com/2012/08/everyone-on-the-internet-should-probably-change-their-passwords-now/  “…Dan Goodin’s Ars Technica article published late Monday illustrates at length why everyone who uses the Internet for anything at all should consider changing their passwords. Actions that once required supercomputing can be done from desktops now and when it comes to security, that’s spooky stuff: Newer hardware and modern techniques have also helped to contribute to the rise in password cracking. Now used increasingly for computing, graphics processors allow password-cracking programs to work thousands of times faster than they did just a decade ago on similarly priced PCs that used traditional CPUs alone. A PC running a single AMD Radeon HD7970 GPU, for instance, can try on average an astounding 8.2 billion password combinations each second, depending on the algorithm used to scramble them. Only a decade ago, such speeds were possible only when using pricey supercomputers…the epic hack of 32 million passwords from RockYou.com in 2009 was a watershed moment in cracking. Thanks to a SQL injection attack that allowed hackers to publish them online, Mr. Goodin writes that “almost overnight, the unprecedented corpus of real-world credentials changed the way whitehat and blackhat hackers alike cracked passwords.” The RockYou attack basically made old dictionary-style password cracking, in which cracking programs rotate through giant lists of words in attempt to establish a key, obsolete. Using patterns culled from RockYou and other sources as well as profiling possible password selection, crackers have made huge leaps in breaking both weak encryption and in taking advantage of Internet users’ lazy thinking…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
8.       China's Homegrown Smartphone Firm, Xiaomi, Takes on Market With Low-price Strategy  http://www.pcworld.com/article/260955/chinas_homegrown_smartphone_firm_xiaomi_takes_on_market_with_lowprice_strategy.html  “When Chinese company Xiaomi ended the Thursday unveiling for its second-generation smartphone, the audience, numbering in the hundreds, gave a standing ovation. The enthusiastic response was not for the device's quad-core processor, its high-definition touchscreen or its new localized OS. It was for the phone's no-contract price, finally revealed to be 1999 yuan (US$315 ), less than half the amount rivals Apple, Samsung, HTC are offering their handsets for…In a time when China's smartphone market is already filled with competitors, Xiaomi has stood out by building handsets with high-end specs for low prices. The strategy has not only worked, but helped garner the company a special level of popularity, with some in the media calling Xiaomi China's answer to Apple. The fervor for the company was on full display this Thursday, when company fans, clad in Xiaomi orange shirts, yelled and clapped in support as each feature of the newest phone was detailed. Equipped with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor from Qualcomm, along with a 1280 by 720 pixel touchscreen at 342 pixels per inch, the Xiaomi M2 features cutting-edge specs…Setting it apart from competing devices is the Xiaomi M2's aggressive pricing. A year ago, the company used the same price, 1999 yuan, for its first generation phone, which reached 300,000 pre-orders in two days…Apple's iPhone 4S starts at 4988 yuan, while Samsung's Galaxy SIII 16GB version is at 4999 yuan under no-contract pricing…”
9.       Nokia Mobile Data Challenge May Predict Where Mobile Users Will Go  http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112678690/nokia-mobile-data-challenge-predicts-movement-082012/  “Big brother is getting a few new tools that just might be able to determine where you’ll be tomorrow. A team of computer scientists from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. won Nokia’s Mobile Data Challenge with a program that uses an algorithm that can predict where you’ll be in the next 24 hours. Location prediction is possible through “the study of the interdependence of human movement and social ties of individuals,” it says in the paper, which calls it “one of the most interesting research areas in computational science.”…The paper outlines an algorithm that uses data from a user’s phone to predict where that person will be in the next 24 hours. Where this method differs from location prediction methods discussed in the past few months is that the new algorithm uses data from friends and contacts in the user’s phone to make its predictions. This new algorithm looks for patterns that might diverge from routine, where predictive systems previously only were able to determine locations based on patterns and routine…”
Apps
10.     How to make Android apps with Andromo  http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/how-to-make-android-apps-with-andromo-1091539  “Think you need to be fluent in Java to write apps for Google's Android mobile OS? What if you could write an app simply by navigating through a bunch of menus, without installing any piece of software and, more importantly, without writing a single line of code? Thanks to Andromo, it isn't a question of what if' but what is. Andromo's app-creation process is totally idiot-proof. If you have a mouse, a web browser and an imagination, the world's your oyster. Anyone, including someone who doesn't even have a whiff of programming knowledge, can whip up an Android app in a matter of minutes. Best of all, it costs nothing. But don't let that fool you into thinking of Andromo as a tool only for newbies. It's also got lots for the seasoned app developer who likes to spend time customising their apps to the hilt. For a fee, pro app developers can resell Andromo-created apps and even list them on Google's Android Store, Google Play. If you still aren't convinced to try Andromo, here's another gem: Andromo can help you generate revenue. That's right. To cover its costs while making the tool available for free, all Andromo apps display small non-intrusive strips of ads, 50 per cent of the revenue from which it'll share with you…”
11.      Transfer files between Android devices over Wi-Fi with TapPouch  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57496947-285/transfer-files-between-android-devices-over-wi-fi-with-tappouch/  “When it comes to file sharing between Android devices, Bluetooth can be slow, e-mail can be ridiculous, and transferring files using a computer feels like giving up. Wi-Fi is practically everywhere, and newer Android devices (4.0 and later) have built-in Wi-Fi file sharing capability. For older devices, TapPouch makes it simple to transfer files on the same Wi-Fi network. Here's how to use it…”
SkyNet
12.     Google Play Takes on iTunes With New Gift Cards  http://mashable.com/2012/08/21/google-play-itunes-gift-cards/  “…Google Play gift cards are now official and headed to number of popular retailers. Cards will be available for sale at Target, RadioShack, and GameStop locations in the United States over the coming weeks, and will be available on Walmart.com later this month. Available in $10, $25, and $50 denominations, the cards can be used to purchase music, movies, books, apps, and games from Google Play. Cards can also be used from in-app purchases in games. With the quickly approaching holiday season, it makes sense for Google to introduce Google Play gift cards now. Apple sells a ton of iTunes gift cards each holiday season. Now that Google offers the same, many customers might opt to purchase Google Play cards for the Android-lover in their life…”
13.     Five productivity-boosting Google Drive tips  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57492216-285/five-productivity-boosting-google-drive-tips/  “Twice in the last month I had to become reacquainted with Microsoft Office because a company I was working with required a genuine Office file. Both experiences made me appreciate Google Drive's simple, straightforward apps all over again…there are tasks Google Drive's word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program can't handle well or at all, but for 99.9 percent of the files I work on, Google Drive fits the bill nicely. Here are five ways to use Google Drive to shave minutes off your workday…Keyboard shortcut opens a list of keyboard shortcuts…E-mail text becomes a Google Docs file…Limit Google Drive syncs to specific folders…Create a single archive for all your Google data…”
14.     My Month With a ChromeBox: How I Survived Without Windows or Mac  http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2012/08/my-month-with-a-chromebox-how-i-survived-without-windows-or-mac.php  “…about a month ago, I stopped wrestling with an operating system and learned to love the Web. Windows? Gone. My MacBook? Hardly touched. Instead, I’ve relied on a Samsung Chromebox 3 running Google’s ChromeOS for virtually all my daily computing needs. And I not only survived, I actually prospered. Up until recently, it would not have been safe to attempt such a stunt. When Google launched ChromeOS in December 2010, the idea was to forget loading software, tweaking settings and downloading the latest utilities in favor of just one thing: get you onto the Web just as fast as it can…Even back then, the idea was compelling. But the reality was marred by a number of niggling omissions and problems. For example, users do need some basic capabilities: a file manager, peripheral support and the ability to print, at the least. And the early ChromeBooks had a file manager that took forever to scan something as simple as a USB stick…My little experiment was not conceived entirely by choice. Over the past few years, Google has offered developers, analysts and journalists early models of its hardware via its Google I/O conference - and this year the company handed I/O attendees a ChromeBox - along with some other goodies. And as the conference ended this year, I found myself returning my former employer’s ThinkPad and in need of a new computer. Since I already had the ChromeBox, rather than buy another computer I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a try.” I took the Chromebox home, plugged it in to my existing monitor, attached a USB keyboard and mouse (the Chromebox also includes a Bluetooth 3.0 connection) and an external hard drive. I pressed the power button in front, booted up in just seconds, entered the username and password for my Google account, and, well, sat there. Done. Heck, setting up an Android phone is marginally more complicated than that. Since then, I’ve relied on the Chromebox for daily use, including writing, editing and filing stories. Since Chrome is now the most popular browser worldwide, I don’t really worry about compatibility issues from a browser perspective. And, of course, publishing on the Web means Web-based publishing tools. I do occasionally check platform-specific issues on my wife’s Windows PC or my MacBook, but by and large I don’t ever need to leave my ChromeBox…”
15.     Samsung invests $4bn in U.S. chip-making plant renovation  http://www.zdnet.com/samsung-invests-4bn-in-u-s-chip-making-plant-renovation-7000002914/  “Samsung will invest between $3--4 billion in an Austin, TX.-based plant to renovate a chip-making production line facility in efforts to meet burgeoning demand for its smartphones. It adds to a $1.98 billion investment in South Korea earlier this year to build a new chip-making facility, reports Reuters. The Korea-based smartphone maker will invest the money over the next year in a bid to turn the Austin chip-making plant into a more profitable venture. To put the $3--4 billion investment into sense, Samsung reported a $4.5 billion profit in its Q2 earnings…Samsung remains the world's largest memory chip supplier by revenue as its chips -- despite the company's ongoing legal tussles with Apple -- supplies memory chips to the iPhone and iPad maker…”
General Technology
16.     New Process Doubles Production of Biobutanol While Slashing Costs  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814121115.htm  “A new discovery should make the alternative fuel butanol more attractive to the biofuel industry. University of Illinois scientist Hao Feng has found a way around the bottleneck that has frustrated producers in the past and could significantly reduce the cost of the energy involved in making it as well. "The first challenge in butanol production is that at a certain concentration the fuel being created becomes toxic to the organism used to make it (Clostridium pasteurianum and other strains), and that toxicity limits the amount of fuel that can be made in one batch. The second issue is the high energy cost of removing butanol from the fermentation broth at the high concentrations used by the industry. We have solved both problems,"…Feng's team successfully tested the use of a non-ionic surfactant, or co-polymer, to create small structures that capture and hold the butanol molecules. "This keeps the amount of butanol in the fermentation broth low so it doesn't kill the organism and we can continue to produce it…”
17.     Michigan Residents Test Crash-Avoidance Technology  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443989204577603582528169646.html  “The largest-scale test of whether lives could be saved by giving cars the ability to communicate with each other on the road got under way here Tuesday in a program that could steer the future of U.S. auto safety regulation. For the next year, about 3,000 Ann Arbor residents will go about their daily driving in cars outfitted with electronic gear that tracks their vehicle's location and the locations of other similarly-equipped vehicles. If two vehicles appear to be on a collision course, alarms will chime—or in some cases a machine-generated voice will issue a warning. The systems, for example, can alert a driver when a vehicle three or four cars ahead in a line of cars jams on its brakes, and sound a warning to prevent a rear-end collision. The project…will generate data that regulators will use as they weigh whether future cars should have such "vehicle-to-vehicle" crash avoidance technology as federally-mandated standard equipment…”
18.     MicroEval Aims To Take The Pain Out Of Performance Reviews  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/16/microeval-launch/  “MicroEval, a startup in the current class of startups incubated by Y Combinator, is taking a new approach to the often painful process of employee performance reviews. The basic idea: Instead of having a single review every six or 12 months, break it up into quick bits of feedback that can be collected every week or so. Co-founder Ryan Jackson says the idea came, in part, from a friend of the founding team, who went in to a performance review and was criticized for things like coming in to work at 10 instead of 9, and focusing too much on their laptop during meetings — in other words, feedback that really shouldn’t have waited six months. Is that really a technological problem? Doesn’t it just suggest that some bosses need better communication skills? Jackson says that the issue is, in part, generational — that the old way may have made sense in the past, but technology has conditioned younger workers to expect “more frequent feedback.” By moving a largely paper-based process online, MicroEval makes it easier for supervisors to deliver feedback at that pace. Jackson says the team’s goal is to offer evaluations that can be completed in less than a minute. They should consist of just a few questions, where supervisors hit a button to rate things like your productivity, your teamwork, or whatever is most important to them, and offering additional comments as needed…”
19.     Forget lasers, we're all going to play with masers now  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/08/forget-lasers-w.php  “We're all familiar with lasers, those amplified beams of light that brighten our Mötley Crüe concerts, scan our groceries and help us not look like such nerds by removing the need for our big stupid glasses…You know what else is cool? Some all-new room-temperature masers…They're microwave lasers, and scientists may have figured out a way to make them part of our everyday lives. Lasers and masers are a lot alike: They both work through a process of stimulated emission and both project different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. Masers, for their part, make excellent amplifiers as they offer very little noise (therefore a better amplifier). The reason you probably aren't as familiar with masers as you are with their visible light cousins is that they can only function in a vacuum or extreme cold…masers have still found a place in some top-shelf technologies, such as deep-space communications and atomic clocks, but otherwise, if engineers want to utilize a focused bit of electromagnetic radiation in an earth-bound piece of technology, lasers are basically the only option. Until now. A team of researchers at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, United Kingdom has published a study describing their method for operating a maser at room temperature in a room filled with air. The one thing holding back this new technology from finding its way into our gizmowhatnots is that, at this early stage in its development, the room-temperature maser is extremely power-hungry and the size of a coffee cup…”
20.    Synaptics ThinTouch: Bringing the Capacitive Touch Revolution to Mechanical Keyboards  http://www.anandtech.com/show/6172/synaptics-thintouch-bringing-the-capacitive-touch-revolution-to-mechanical-keyboards  “Earlier this month Synaptics announced the acquisition of Pacinian, a company that focused on physical keyboards that used capacitive touch. To expand, Synaptics has to look beyond clickpad and capacitive touch controllers into adjacent markets. The keyboard industry made sense and it’s ripe for innovation…Synaptics is announcing ThinTouch - a capacitive keyboard that promises a thinner profile and similar performance to a standard mechanical keyboard. ThinTouch uses capacitive sensing to determine when a key is pressed, while still allowing the key to move. In a normal keyboard, you press down on a key, it travels perpendicularly to the keyboard and actuates a switch or sensor. ThinTouch gives you the impression of similar travel distance, but instead of going straight down it actually travels diagonally towards you. By moving at an angle the key travels the same physical distance, but in a smaller z-height…Synaptics had four demo keys set out, one from an Apple keyboard, one from an Acer and two using ThinTouch. The ThinTouch keys didn’t feel identical to those from the Apple and Acer notebooks, but they were relatively close and not necessarily worse. I’d still have to feel an entire keyboard made out of ThinTouch keys to be convinced, but the effect is pretty impressive…”
21.     Windows 8 belongs on older PCs like a fish needs a bicycle  http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-belongs-on-older-pcs-like-a-fish-needs-a-bicycle-7000002747/  “As it happens, I do run Windows 8 on older PCs. But, testing operating systems is part of what I do for a living. Unless that's also part of your job description running Windows 8 on an older PC is just a waste of time…Windows 8 does boot faster and it has a few new features, but generally speaking Windows 8 with its “not Metro” interface is junk. I've been working with Windows 8 in one version or another for months now and there is simply nothing about it that would make me recommend it over Windows 7 or XP…Metro, no matter what Microsoft wants to call it, remains a usability nightmare on a conventional PC. It may or may not be as awful on a touch tablet…but I do know it's annoying as heck on my non-touch enabled PCs…Want to have malicious fun? Stick some poor sod in front of a Windows 8 system and then watch them try to back out of an application. Watch them look around for the now missing in action Start button and hunt for the windows controls on the desktop screen eating application. If they're lucky they'll eventually stumble over the invisible lower-left corner escape hatch to the main interface…Most people upgrade their operating system only when they get something better from it and there's nothing significantly better about Windows 8…”
Leisure & Entertainment
22.    Join io9 in a bold new experiment with storytelling  http://io9.com/5936688/join-us-in-a-bold-new-experiment-with-storytelling  “Starting today, we're going to be telling a story on io9. This story will be a sweeping space epic, gorgeously illustrated with professional artwork like what you see here. And you are going to help write it. Are you up for the challenge? Our experiment is a variation on the "exquisite corpse" method of story creation. An exquisite corpse is a storytelling method where the narrative is collectively assembled by a group of individuals. Each writer adds to the body of work by advancing the story where the last writer left off. In our version of the exquisite corpse, artists from the incredible visual effects firm Framestore will participate in advancing the story too…”
23.    The Joys and Hazards of Self-Publishing on the Web  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/technology/personaltech/ins-and-outs-of-publishing-your-book-via-the-web.html?pagewanted=all  “Not long ago, an aspiring book writer rejected by traditional publishing houses had only one alternative: vanity publishing…Digital technology has changed all that. A writer turned down by traditional publishers — or even avoiding them — now has a range of options. Among them are self-publishing a manuscript as an e-book; self-publishing through myriad companies that print on demand…and buying an array of services, from editing and design to marketing and publicity…The phenomenal growth of e-readers and tablets has vastly expanded the market for e-books, which can be self-published at little or no cost…most self-published books sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies…a huge majority of self-published books “don’t sell a lot of copies,” said Mark Coker, the founder and chief executive of Smashwords, a no-frills operation that concentrates on self-published e-books…At Lulu…you pay nothing upfront. Each time a print book is sold, you receive 80 percent of the proceeds, beyond the cost of manufacturing the book. For $450, Lulu offers an editing package for books longer than 7,500 words (which is most books). Lulu will have a designer create a book cover for $130, and it provides groups of services like editing, design and formatting, starting at $729 and going as high as $4,949. At CreateSpace, a division of Amazon, the process for producing a print book is similar…similar services can be found at many other Web sites, including Aventine Press; Self Publishing Inc.; Hillcrest Media; and iUniverse, Xlibris and AuthorHouse…Scribd got its start as a sharing site, where people distribute writing of all kinds free. The site now has an online store, where you can follow instructions to publish a manuscript as an e-book; when it is purchased at Scribd’s store, you get 80 percent of the proceeds…The single toughest part of self-publishing is getting attention for your book. Nearly 350,000 new print titles were published in 2011, and 150,000 to 200,000 of them were produced by self-publishing companies…”
24.    Hipset Is Next-Generation Music Site From Y Combinator's Tracks.by  http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/08/19/hipset-is-next-generation-music-site-from-y-combinators-tracks-by/  “Music startup Tracks.by has launched a new website for fans to discover music content called Hipset.com. Tracks.by, which is in the current Y Combinator batch that ends on Tuesday, already has a popular service that helps music artists connect with fans on Facebook. The company, which has clients such as Lil Wayne, Drake and Tyga, has a feature that unlocks music and other content once a user clicks a “Love” button, which drives viral growth. The company works with more than half of Billboard’s top 100 artists, as well as all the major record labels and artist management companies…cofounders Matt Schlicht and Mazy Kazerooni…started out as teenage employees at UStream, then parlayed that into social media work for major celebrities before turning that expertise into their own startup Tracks.by. Now with Hipset, the company is launching its ultimate goal: a destination site that automatically aggregates all the content–photos, videos, music, status updates–from music artists that people follow on Facebook  The content is presented in a visual Pinterest-style format…”
25.    Reviewing Asus' budget Xonar DGX and DSX sound cards  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/08/music-to-your-ears-reviewing-asus-budget-xonar-dgx-and-dsx-sound-cards/  “…we've trumpeted the benefits of discrete sound cards. They simply sound better than the typical integrated audio on motherboards, especially for those with discerning ears and halfway-decent speakers or headphones. Good sound cards tend to last through multiple upgrade cycles, too. They're amazingly inexpensive considering the expected lifespan. Indeed, the two we'll be putting under the microscope today—Asus' Xonar DGX and DSX—sell for less than $50. If the names look familiar, that's because the cards are the PCI Express versions of the Xonar DG and DS. Those older models have PCI interfaces, like an awful lot of other sound cards, and PCI slots are quickly disappearing from modern motherboards. The Xonar DGX and DSX drop into any PCIe x1 slot…Each card has a unique character. The DGX courts headphone users with a dedicated amplifier and Dolby Headphone surround-sound virtualization. Meanwhile, the DSX offers home-theater users a replaceable OPAMP, support for more output channels, and the ability to encode multichannel digital bitstreams in real-time. How do the two compare, and more importantly, how good do they sound? We've conducted a mix of performance, signal quality, and blind listening tests to find out…”
26.    Point, Shoot, Print: Picplum Aims to Make Photo Printing Effortless  http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2012/08/16/point-shoot-print-picplum-aims-to-make-photo-printing-effortless/  “It should be far easier to order prints of the photos you snap with your digital camera or smartphone—that’s a no-brainer. But San Francisco-based Picplum is one of the only companies that’s actually working to make the process simpler. For comparison, here’s how ordering a print works on a competing site, Yahoo’s Flickr. This will be all too familiar to any amateur photographer who (like me) has thousands of photos stored on the eight-year-old site: Upload the photo. Find the “Order Prints” drop-down menu item. Select the print size and quantity. Click “Add to Cart.” (Repeat these first four steps for every photo you want to print.) Click “Proceed to Checkout.” Wait while your photos are transferred to Snapfish. Click Continue. Select your photo finish and border. Click “Check Out.” Enter or select a shipping address. Click Continue. Enter or verify your credit card information. Click Continue. Review your order. Click Buy Now…And here’s how the process works on Picplum: Drag and drop the photos you want to print onto the Picplum upload page. Select a print size, unless you’re happy with the default suggestion. Click Send Now. Select or enter a recipient and write a personalized greeting. Click Save. Enter a mailing address and your credit card information (unless it’s been saved from a previous order). Click Pay & Send…By my count, the Flickr/Snapfish process involves at least 14 steps if you’re ordering one photo, plus four or five more steps for every additional photo. The Picplum process involves five to seven steps…”
Economy and Technology
27.    Dunkin Donuts gets into the mobile payment game  http://gigaom.com/2012/08/16/dunkin-donuts-gets-into-the-mobile-payment-game/  “Dunkin Donuts is following in the footsteps of rival Starbucks with the launch of its first mobile app, allowing users to pay for coffee and donuts with their smartphone. The app, available for iOS and Android, creates a virtual Dunkin Donuts card, which can be filled by transferring the value of an existing physical Dunkin Donuts Card or it can be funded through a credit card or PayPal transaction in the app…users select which virtual card they want to use and the app presents a QR code, which is scanned by an employee. The amount is deducted from their balance immediately after the purchase. Dunkin Donuts’ mobile payment system, which is available at most of its 7,000 U.S. locations, is similar in execution to the Starbucks mobile app, which also works with virtual cards and barcodes. But unlike the Starbucks mobile app, Dunkin Donuts users can also send mobile gift cards to each other via the app. Users can send a gift card up to $100 to a friend via Facebook, email or text message. The app also provides menu and nutritional information plus a tool for finding a nearby Dunkin Donuts…”
28.    Nvidia’s mobile computing investments pay off  http://www.trefis.com/stock/nvda/articles/138309/publish-todaystrong-tegra3-sales-could-drive-nvidia-to-22/2012-08-13  “Nvidia announced its Q2 2013 earnings on Thursday…strong Tegra 3 sales were one of the primary reasons for the 13% sequential increase in revenues…Nvidia expects to continue the growth momentum in the next quarter driven by the Kepler architecture and Tegra 3 processors…We estimate Tegra to become the most important division for Nvidia by the end of our forecast period…Last year, Nvidia began a focused push into mobile computing with ambitions of being more than a graphics chip maker. It positioned its standalone dual-core app processor, Tegra 2, well to capture significant non-iPad tablet market share in 2011. With the success of its quad-core Tegra 3 processor, it plans to make a deeper foray by targeting low-end tablets…”
29.    Skilled Work, Without the Worker  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/business/new-wave-of-adept-robots-is-changing-global-industry.html?hpw&pagewanted=all  “At the Philips Electronics factory on the coast of China, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools to assemble electric shavers. That is the old way. Robot arms like those at a Philips Electronics factory in the Netherlands can perform the same tasks as hundreds of low-skill workers. At a sister factory here in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work with yoga-like flexibility. Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human. One robot arm endlessly forms three perfect bends in two connector wires and slips them into holes almost too small for the eye to see. The arms work so fast that they must be enclosed in glass cages to prevent the people supervising them from being injured. And they do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year. All told, the factory here has several dozen workers per shift, about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai. This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution…”
30.    Crowdfunded businesses may owe taxes  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/13/us-column-feldman-crowdfunding-taxes-idUSBRE87C0F120120813  “When Julie Uhrman, chief executive of gaming start-up Ouya Inc, went looking for funding to launch a new video gaming console, she turned to crowdfunding site Kickstarter Inc. The goal: $950,000. Instead, when the campaign ended August 8, so many gamers and game developers had pledged $99 (or more) to get the new Android-based Ouya that the company raised $8.6 million, making it one of the biggest crowdfunding success stories ever…But one important thing has been overlooked: taxes. "We've been talking about that, but we have been so busy," she says. "Luckily, we have good accountants, so they'll sort it out for us."…When Kickstarter began in 2009, crowdfunding was largely used by musicians, film makers and other creative types to raise small sums of money for projects that might not make any money. But as it's grown — in some cases, becoming an alternative to venture capital — the dollars involved have gotten bigger…"Crowdsourcing is becoming a popular way for start-ups to raise cash, and the companies that receive the cash may not realize the proceeds are taxable," says Murray Solomon, a tax partner at accounting firm EisnerAmper. "They may get a very unpleasant surprise when they build all their prototypes and spend all the money."…if you raise more than $20,000 on Kickstarter from more than 200 people, you'll get a Form 1099-K (a new tax form introduced in 2011 and required for third-party payments above that threshold), courtesy of Amazon Payments, which processes transactions for the site…”
31.     A New Generation Of Con Artists Gets Inside Your Wallet  http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2012/08/21/how-a-new-generation-of-con-artists-get-inside-your-wallet/  “When it comes to fleecing people, con artists have a number of pipelines: Mail, phone, Internet/social media and affinity groups. They can operate most smoothly when people trust them and are motivated by greed. Since we’re hard-wired for both of these traits, only a dollop of skepticism saves most people from being bamboozled. Lately though, changes in technology and financial services have given them even more room to operate. Every year, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group of state regulators, publishes a list of scams that watchdogs from Boston to British Columbia see developing. These observations serve a early-warning systems for the rest of us…The 2012 JOBS Act makes significant changes to the methods startup businesses and entrepreneurs may employ to bring their ventures to the investing market, and investors must be wary of the attendant risks.   Even when the relaxed rules and registration exemptions are effective, they will not make investments in small businesses less risky – just more prevalent.  And the JOBS Act provisions do not eliminate fraud, an unfortunate common feature of Internet securities activity. Many states and provinces report a recent increase in active investigations or recent enforcement actions involving Internet fraud, and JOBS Act-triggered activity is likely to elongate this trend.  Investors must remember that small startups are among the riskiest of investment categories under the best of situations.  The crowdfunding and Internet investing marketplaces in North America will develop and undergo major changes in the next year, and investors should monitor this emerging capital formation community with a wary eye…”
DHMN Technology
32.    3D printers put drones in flight  http://www.afr.com/p/technology/printers_put_drones_in_flight_Dq2f2EC3hsbVQ8LTlgR2ZK  “Open up any electronic device and inside there are circuit boards, components and bundles of wire. Assembling these items into a product like a phone can be a tedious, labour-intensive process, and one that is often subcontracted to low-wage countries such as China. Now new ways of printing electronics in three dimensions are being developed. This makes it possible to incorporate circuitry and components into the material the product is made from, such as the phone’s case…Printing electronics is not new; screen printing, lithography, inkjet and other processes have long been used to manufacture circuit boards and components. But the technologies are improving rapidly and now allow electronics to be printed on a greater variety of surfaces. In the latest developments, electronics printing is being combined with “additive manufacturing”, which uses machines popularly known as 3D printers to build solid objects out of material, one layer at a time…Xerox…has developed a silver ink which can be used to print flexible electronic circuits directly onto materials like plastic or fabrics. Silver is a better conductor of electricity than copper, which is typically used in circuits, but silver is expensive and tricky to print because it melts at 962°C. However, by making silver into particles just five nanometres (billionths of a metre) in size, Xerox has produced a silver ink which melts at less than 140°C. That allows it to be printed using inkjet and other processes relatively cheaply…Xerox’s PARC research centre in Palo Alto, California, is developing ways to use such inks. These can print circuits for various components, including flexible display screens, sensors and antennae for radio-frequency security tags. With the emergence of additive-manufacturing techniques, it starts to become possible to print such things directly onto the product itself…That includes products with complex shapes. Optomec, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has developed additive-manufacturing systems for a variety of industries. It can print electronics directly onto a pair of glasses, for “augmented reality”; it can make a plastic water tank that uses embedded electronics to measure how full it is and turn pumps on or off; it can print sensors on military armour; or an antenna on the case of a mobile phone…Optomec worked with Aurora Flight Sciences, an American producer of unmanned aerial vehicles, and Stratasys, a 3D-printing company based in Minneapolis, to make a “smart wing” for a small drone. The wing was made from a thermoplastic material using a Stratasys 3D printer. Optomec then used a process it calls Aerosol Jet to print circuits, sensors and an antenna on the wing. The idea is that such technology would allow lightweight drones that can be customised for specific missions and printed on demand…”
33.    Raspberry Pi gets a Firefox OS port  http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/raspberry-pi-gets-a-firefox-os-port-20120816/  “The first low-cost smartphones running Mozilla’s Firefox OS won’t go on sale for quite some time yet, but Nokia engineer Oleg Romashin has already gotten an experimental version of the software up and running on his Raspberry Pi. It’s really no surprise that the 700MHz mini computer can handle the all-web operating system, but the video does offer an interesting glimpse at what Mozilla and its partners are going to bring to market. Performance is pretty solid, and certainly good enough for entry-level, feature phone-killing smartphones. Those devices will be critical to the early success of Firefox OS as Mozilla aims for a foothold in emerging markets before going global. And if this is how a very early, enthusiast-ported build of Firefox OS runs on an comparatively slow processor now, just imagine how well it’ll run on a souped-up current-gen (or even last-gen) mobile SoC…”
34.    World’s first 3D printing co-working environment – Mak3D  http://3dprinterblogs.com/blog/2012/08/09/worlds-first-3d-printing-co-working-environment-mak3d/  “Mak3d is a new Co-working envoronment for 3D Designers and soon to be the worlds first High Street 3D print shop – the go to place for 3D Print and 3D print design, located in Brick Lane, London. For £200/month you get to play with: In house high definition 3D printer from Objet…In house HD 3D scanner…STL File correction for 3D prints…Numerous freelance work for 3D desinger…A finishing workshop with tools included…”
35.    Billionaire Peter Thiel invests in the development of 3D printed meat  http://io9.com/5936317/billionaire-peter-thiel-invests-in-the-development-of-3d-printed-meat  “…Humans eat about 240 billion kilograms of meat each year — a voracious demand for animal protein that has resulted in environmental degradation, cruelty to livestock, and the spread of dangerous diseases. And now, owing to a $350,000 donation by the Thiel Foundation to a company called Modern Meadow, the idea of printing meat using a 3D printer has come that much closer to reality…Modern Meadow was co-founded by Gabor and Andras Forgacs, two tech-entrepreneurs who developed and commercialized bioprinting — a technology that iteratively constructs tissues and organ structures based on computer-controlled delivery of cells in three dimensions. The pair had previously co-founded Organova, a company that worked to apply the same principle to drug discovery, drug testing, and transplant tissues. With Modern Meadow, though, they're hoping to change the way meat and leather products are produced, as well as making an impact in regenerative medicine and medical diagnostics…It's too early in the process to know how the meat will taste, or what its texture will be like. An early challenge for biologists working on lab-grown meat has been in simulating the exact texture that's characteristic of meat that was once part of a living, breathing animal. It's an open question as to whether or not this challenge will ever be overcome. For Modern Meadow, their initial goal is to develop 3D cellular sheets composed of pig cells. They're hoping to mature those sheets into muscle tissue with electric stimulation inside a bioreactor…”
Open Source Hardware
36.    MakerPlane pops up on Boing Boing, Reddit, Engadget  http://boingboing.net/2012/08/20/makerplane-open-source-hardwar.html  “John sez, "MakerPlane is an open source aviation organization which will enable people to build and fly their own safe, high quality, reasonable cost plane using advanced personal manufacturing equipment such as CNC mills and 3D printers. The project will also include open source avionics software to enable state-of-the-art digital flight instruments and display capabilities. Basically we are designing an aircraft that can be built on a CNC mill at home, or at a makerspace which is easy to assemble and quick to build. The plans and instructions will be available for free to anyone that wants them!”  http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/21/makerplane-open-source-homebuilt-plane/  [and, as often happens in media, the story is a bit skewed, since hardly anything on MakerPlane Model 1 will be made with a 3D printer. Lots of parts with a CNC mill, but not so much with 3D printing – ed.]
37.    When code can kill or cure  http://www.economist.com/node/21556098  “SMART pumps deliver drugs perfectly dosed for individual patients. Easy-to-use defibrillators can bring heart-attack victims back from the brink of death. Pacemakers and artificial hearts keep people alive by ensuring that blood is pumped smoothly around their bodies…As these devices have become more capable, however, they have also become more complex. More than half the medical devices sold in America (the world's largest health-care market) rely on software, and often lots of it. The software in a pacemaker may require over 80,000 lines of code, a drug-infusion pump 170,000 lines and an MRI (magnetic-resonance imaging) scanner more than 7m lines. This growing reliance on software causes problems that are familiar to anyone who has ever used a computer: bugs, crashes and vulnerability to digital attacks. Researchers at the University of Patras in Greece found that one in three of all software-based medical devices sold in America between 1999 and 2005 had been recalled for software failures. Kevin Fu, a computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts, calculates that such recalls have affected over 1.5m individual devices since 2002. In April researchers at McAfee, a computer-security firm, said they had found a way to get an implanted insulin pump to deliver 45 days' worth of insulin in one go. And in 2008 Dr Fu and his colleagues published a paper detailing the remote, wireless reprogramming of an implantable defibrillator. When software in a medical device malfunctions, the consequences can be far more serious than just having to reboot your PC. During the 1980s a bug in the software of Therac-25 radiotherapy machines caused massive overdoses of radiation to be delivered to several patients, killing at least five. America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has linked problems with drug-infusion pumps to nearly 20,000 serious injuries and over 700 deaths between 2005 and 2009. Software errors were the most frequently cited problem…”
38.    Open-source hardware heats up  http://www.tmworld.com/electronics-blogs/open-sourced/4394187/Open-source-hardware-heats-up  “BeagleBone just announced 20 new daughter boards that provide a wide array of interfacing capabilities to the BeagleBone embedded controller. For test and measurement, there are some particularly good ones, such as boards for interfacing via RS-232, RS-485, CAN and also boards for driving stepper motors. Add this to the digital I/O, PWM output and 12-bit ADCs already on the board and the BeagleBone, costing just $89, is a powerful emerging platform for test and measurement. BeagleBone is an open-source single board computer that runs Linux. It fits in the palm of your hand and is loaded with resources. Because it's a computer you can program your tests in any programming language you like, from C to the command line. Python, also open source, seems to be the most popular language for BeagleBone…”
Open Source
39.    Pandora: The Handheld Console for Linux Tweakers  http://semiaccurate.com/2012/08/17/pandora-the-handheld-console-for-linux-tweakers/  “We…recently got a chance to interview Micheal Mrozek, one of the core members of a small company named OpenPandora, which produces the Pandora handheld gaming console. Long before Kickstarter and crowd sourced development funding became the flavor of the week, the OpenPandora team was designing and producing their own handheld gaming console based off of what their fellow forum members wanted. The idea behind the Pandora was to produce a handheld gaming console that met the needs of their highly active, but small, forum. It had to be a fully functional Linux PC, have an awesome D-pad, and be powerful enough to emulate the mass market console gaming systems that had proceeded it. It took a long time to get all of the pieces into place (read: four years of hardship and delays), but the Pandora has finally matured into the handheld console that its steadfast supporters have always hoped it would…basically, it’s a miniature Linux PC the size of a Nintendo DS, so way smaller than a Netbook. So you got a pretty neat keyboard, a high-res touchscreen, an incredible battery time (over 10 hours in normal usage) and can do things you can do on a normal PC. Coding, Office Work, Websurfing, etc. However, that’s not all. You also have a proper DPad and buttons to play games – and we made sure these are one of the best (as we’re gamers ourselves). So you can both replay classic games (SNES, Genesis, Arcade, Amiga, C64, Playstation, etc.), play Linux or Homebrew games or even code your own games. And another special thing is: It’s open. If you want to run Android on it, you can do so. You rather want Debian, Slackware or Ubuntu? You’re free to do that…”
40.    NSA’s Open Source Spin-Off Sqrrl Lands $2 Million in Funding  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/08/nsa/  “The National Security Agency may not be the first organization that comes to mind when you think of contributors to open source software projects. But over the last few years, as we reported last month, the agency created and open sourced an rather interesting software platform known as Apache Accumulo. Basically, it’s a “NoSQL database” for handling massive data sets securely. As we mentioned last month, Sqrrl — a company spun out from the NSA to commercialize Accumulo — recently received seed funding from two major venture capital firms, and today, the fledgling outfit announced that those two firms were Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners, which made a total investment of $2 million…”
41.     BackTrack 5 R3 review  http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/08/17/backtrack-5-r3-review/  “BackTrack is a security-focused Linux distribution that is loaded with all the best Free Software penetration testing applications available. It is based on Ubuntu Desktop. The latest edition is code-named Revolution, and the newest update-release – BackTrack 5 R3, was released just a few days ago. It is distribution designed for penetration testers and other security professionals, or those who want to mess with all the best security and penetration testing applications the free software community has to offer. This is not a distribution you want to install just to check email and perform other mundane Internet activities, though nothing stops you from using it just for those purposes. It is made available for public download as DVD installation images for both 32- and 64-bit architectures…”
42.    Google’s Mind-Blowing Big-Data Tool Grows Open Source Twin  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/08/googles-dremel/  “Mike Olson and John Schroeder shared a stage at a recent meeting of Silicon Valley’s celebrated Churchill Club, and they didn’t exactly see eye to eye. Olson is the CEO of a Valley startup called Cloudera, and Schroeder is the boss at MapR, a conspicuous Cloudera rival. Both outfits deal in Hadoop — a sweeping open source software platform based on data center technologies that underpinned the rise of Google’s web-dominating search engine — but in building their particular businesses, the two startups approached Hadoop from two very different directions. Whereas Cloudera worked closely with the open source Hadoop project to enhance the software code that’s freely available to the world at large, MapR decided to rebuild the platform from the ground up, and when that was done, it sold the new code as proprietary software. On stage last month during a panel discussion dedicated to Hadoop, Olson and Schroeder went toe-to-toe over whose approach made the most sense, and as so often happens in the Valley when open source is the subject at hand, the dispute raised more than a little heat from those sitting in the audience…MapR has now launched a separate open source project meant to serve as an major complement to Hadoop. At the Apache Software Foundation — the not-for-profit open source outfit that oversees Hadoop — MapR recently proposed a project that aims to mimic Dremel, a shockingly effective data-analysis tool built and used by Google. The project is called Drill, and according to Tomer Shiran, the MapR employee who oversaw the proposal, it’s suited to completely open development in a way that the company’s original Hadoop work was not. With Hadoop, MapR was working with an existing project — with an entrenched community of developers. With Drill, it’s starting something new…”
Civilian Aerospace
43.    First Lynx Flight Likely in 2013  http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/08/18/first-lynx-flight-delayed-to-early-2013/  “The first flight of XCOR’s Lynx prototype will most likely be conducted in early 2013. XCOR test engineer Geoffrey Licciardello…it is taking longer to build the two-person vehicle than expected and that there have been delays in getting components from suppliers. Officials have been saying “late 2012 or early 2013″ since announcing a tentative time line…The first few flights will be short hops off the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The Lynx Mark I prototype will reach an altitude of 62 kilometers (203,000 feet). Based on test flights, XCOR will build a production models called Lynx Mark II capable of reaching 100 kilometers (330,000 feet)…”
44.    Boulder researcher spearheads effort to privately fund space science  http://www.dailycamera.com/science-environment/ci_21342052  “…Boulder planetary scientist Alan Stern said he's tired of weathering the federal funding storm -- the 2013 budget proposed by President Barack Obama would cut funding for planetary sciences by 20 percent -- and he's guessing he's not alone. Stern is now spearheading an effort to supplement government funding for space exploration, research and education with privately raised money through a new company dubbed Uwingu, which is Swahili for "sky." The plan is to sell "space-related products" -- the exact nature of which have not yet been unveiled -- and to use the proceeds to fund grants for space science…Stern said Uwingu already has one product largely developed and ready to go, but before the company officially launches, it needs to raise $75,000 to cover its initial expenses. To do that, Uwingu has turned to the crowd-funding website Indiegogo, where the company had already taken in more than $25,000 as of Friday. The campaign ends at midnight Sept. 14…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
45.    The crazy science of GPU compute  http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/20/engadget-primed-gpu-compute/  “…The risk of…technological greed is that we don't make full use of what we already have, and nothing illustrates that better than the Graphics Processing Unit. Whether it sits in our desktops, laptops, tablets or phones, the GPU is cruelly limited by its history -- its long-established reputation as a dumb, muscular component that takes instructions from the main processor and translates them into pixels for us to gawp at. But what if the GPUs in our devices had some buried genius -- abilities that, if only we could tap into them, would yield hyper-realistic experiences and better all-round performance from affordable hardware?...this hidden potential actually exists…even though it still hasn't generated enough fuss to become truly famous, the semiconductor industry is making more noise about it now than ever before…join us…as we…explain why the trend known as "GPU compute," aka "general purpose GPU (GPGPU)," or simply "not patronizing your graphics processor," is still exciting despite having let us down in the past. We'll try to show why it's worth learning a few related concepts and terms to help provide a glossary for future coverage…”
46.    Researchers Use GPU-Equipped Desktop to do Protein Simulation at Supercomputing Scale  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-08-07/researchers_use_gpu-equipped_desktop_to_do_protein_simulation_at_supercomputing_scale.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 D.E. Shaw Research’s Anton, a purpose-built molecular dynamics (MD) supercomputer. The Anton simulation was conducted over a period of slightly more than one millisecond – or 100 times longer than the previous record…”

*****

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