2012/08/28

NEW NET Weekly List for 28 Aug 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 28 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.        How Facebook design tricks people into trading away privacy  http://boingboing.net/2012/08/26/how-facebook-design-tricks-peo.html  “On TechCrunch, Avi Charkham provides an excellent side-by-side comparison of an older Facebook design and the latest one, showing how the service has moved to minimize the extent to which its users are notified of the privacy "choices" they make when they interact with the service. The Facebook rubric is that people don't value their privacy ("privacy is dead, get over it,") and we can tell that because they demonstrate it by using Facebook. But really, Facebook is designed to minimize your understanding of the privacy trades you're making and your ability to make those trades intelligently. All privacy offers on FB are take-it-or-leave-it: you give up all your privacy to play Angry Birds, or you don't play Angry Birds. There's no "give up some of your privacy to play Angry Birds" offer, or "here's a game that's 95% as fun as Angry Birds but requires that you only yield up the most trivial facts of your life to play it" that we can test the market against. Charkham's five examples from the visual interface design are very good evidence that FB isn't a harbinger of the death of privacy; rather, it's a tribute to the power of deceptive hard-sell tactics to get people to make privacy trade-offs they wouldn't make in a fair deal…”
2.       Tripbirds relaunches as a ‘social hotel booking service’ based on Facebook and Instagram  http://thenextweb.com/apps/2012/08/28/tripbirds-relaunches-social-hotel-booking-service/  “Nobody has nailed ‘social travel’ yet, but someone will eventually,” Tripbirds co-founder Ted Valentin told me a few months ago. Last March, the company unveiled its social travel planning Web app in public beta, hoping to entice travelers worldwide to sign up and start planning trips based on recommendations they received from their friends (à la Gogobot, Trippy and Wanderfly). That didn’t quite work out the way Tripbirds was hoping, but rather than throw in the towel or keep hammering on a solution looking for a problem that hasn’t been (even partially) solved yet, the team decided to take the service offline and focus on one aspect of travel planning. Today, Tripbirds is unveiling the fruit of its labor. The website combines a traditional list of hotels with information from your social graph layered on top of it, allowing you to see where your Facebook friends have stayed and give you the ‘unofficial’ pictures of a hotel through Instagram photos…”
3.       Active in Cloud, Amazon Reshapes Computing  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/technology/active-in-cloud-amazon-reshapes-computing.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all  “Within a few years, Amazon.com’s creative destruction of both traditional book publishing and retailing may be footnotes to the company’s larger and more secretive goal: giving anyone on the planet access to an almost unimaginable amount of computing power. Every day, a start-up called the Climate Corporation performs over 10,000 simulations of the next two years’ weather for more than one million locations in the United States. It then combines that with data on root structure and soil porosity to write crop insurance for thousands of farmers. Another start-up, called Cue, scans up to 500 million e-mails, Facebook updates and corporate documents to create a service that can outline the biography of a given person you meet, warn you to be home to receive a package or text a lunch guest that you are running late. Each of these start-ups carries out computing tasks that a decade ago would have been impossible without a major investment in computers. Both of these companies, however, own little besides a few desktop computers. They and thousands of other companies now rent data storage and computer server time from Amazon, through its Amazon Web Services division, for what they say is a fraction of the cost of owning and running their own computers. “I have 10 engineers, but without A.W.S. I guarantee I’d need 60,” said Daniel Gross, Cue’s 20-year-old co-founder. “It just gets cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper.” He figures Cue spends something under $100,000 a month with Amazon but would spend “probably $2 million to do it ourselves, without the speed and flexibility…”
4.       Time Warner Cable invests $25M to build 1Gbps fiber network  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57501699-93/time-warner-cable-invests-$25m-to-build-1gbps-fiber-network/  “Time Warner Cable announced Tuesday a $25 million investment to expand its fiber broadband network to businesses in New York City. The new fiber network will be built in Brooklyn as well as to parts of Manhattan such as the Financial and Flatiron districts. Last year, Time Warner and the city of New York reached a franchise agreement in which Time Warner said it would expand its fiber network to areas that don't currently have access. The new service will offer speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, the company said in a press release (not yet available online). The company will target companies that have high data needs, such as design firms and technology companies…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        Apple wins $1-billion verdict vs. Samsung over smartphones  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577609810658082898.html  “Nine jurors delivered a sweeping victory to Apple Inc. in a…court battle against Samsung Electronics Co. awarding the Silicon Valley company $1.05 billion in damages…Jurors Friday found that Samsung infringed all but one of the seven patents at issue in the case…The damage award is shy of Apple's request for more than $2.5 billion…Apple filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against Samsung's products…the ruling…could shape how smartphones and tablets are designed and the fortunes of companies that make them. Apple's legal campaign is partly aimed at trying to beat back the gangbuster growth of Android, the operating system created by Google…In the second quarter, Android phones—which are made by many phone makers—represented 68% of smartphone shipments, while Apple's represented 17%...The only patent the jury found Samsung didn't infringe relates to design of a tablet. Throughout the trial, Samsung's lawyers frequently remarked that Apple shouldn't be given a monopoly on a rectangle with rounded corners…”  http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Apple-Samsung-Jury-Foreman-Says-Google-E-Mail-Was-3816620.php  “…The e-mails included an internal 2010 Samsung message describing how Google asked it to change the design of its products to look less like Apple’s…“Certain actors at the highest level at Samsung Electronics Co. gave orders to the sub-entities to actually copy,” Hogan said. “So the whole thing hinges on whether you think Samsung was actually copying. The thing that did it for us was when we saw the memo from Google telling Samsung to back away from the Apple design…The entity that had to do that actually didn’t back away,”…The Samsung e-mails presented as evidence during the trial included a Feb. 16, 2010, internal message describing minutes from a design meeting that was sent to “pass along only a few comments from Senior Designer Cho who went into the Google meeting yesterday,”…“Since it is too similar to Apple, make it noticeably different starting with the front side,”…referring to one of Samsung’s tablets…”
6.       Windows 8 phones home, tells Microsoft every time you install a program  http://www.extremetech.com/computing/135010-windows-8-phones-home-tells-microsoft-every-time-you-install-a-program  “Security researcher and blogger Nadim Kobeissi has uncovered evidence that Windows 8 doesn’t just keep a local log of installed programs — it phones home to tell Microsoft every time you install an application. This is a significant expansion of a technology Microsoft introduced in Internet Explorer 9, called SmartScreen. In IE9, Smartscreen was an optional feature that would warn users if they ran a program that wasn’t whitelisted/ lagged with a positive reputation according to Microsoft’s servers. It was part of a wider initiative to encourage developers to sign their code, and MS claimed that SmartScreen significantly reduced the chances of downloading and installing malicious malware. Redmond decided to up the ante in Windows 8. SmartScreen is now a system-wide defense technology, enabled by default, and it tracks every program/application install on every PC…”
7.        Is eye scan technology the future of airport security?  http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-eye-scan-technology-20120824,0,4993492.story  “Will the airport of the future be able to verify the identity of passengers with a quick eye scan? Aoptix Technologies Inc., a Campbell-based high-tech company, has developed iris scan technology the company hopes can be used by the Transportation Security Administration to verify passenger identification in a matter of seconds. To market, sell and develop such technology, Aoptix announced last week it had acquired $42 million in additional funding from investors, bringing the total amount it has raised to $123 million since it launched in 2000. Aoptix’s scanning technology is already used to identify passengers coming in and out of the international departure lounge at London’s Gatwick Airport and for border control in Qatar…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
8.       Verizon and Sprint kill the Google Nexus experience, stick with GSM model  http://www.zdnet.com/verizon-and-sprint-kill-the-google-nexus-experience-stick-with-gsm-model-7000003176/  “I suspended my Verizon account for 90 days while I focused on funding my new AT&T account with the Nokia Lumia 900 and tried to figure out what I would do with my Verizon account (buy a new iPhone, Windows Phone 8, Jelly Bean, or BlackBerry 10 device). The 90 days is up so I just reactivated my service yesterday, I still have grandfathered unlimited data, and was blown away that there is still NO Android Jelly Bean update for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I now am much more sympathetic to Jason Perlow's frustration with Android and as CNET's Maggie Reardon stated on Friday there is still now word on when, and even if, Verizon or Sprint will release Jelly Bean for the Nexus. Google revealed Jelly Bean in June and then back in early July the update started rolling out to GSM/HSPA+ devices. Thus, AT&T and T-Mobile customers are able to experience Jelly Bean on their Galaxy Nexus, just as intended for the Nexus line. The upcoming T-Mobile unlimited data plan combined with a GSM Galaxy Nexus looks to be an even more attractive option now. I buy Galaxy Nexus devices with the intent of rooting them and installing custom ROMs so I do have Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus. However, the average consumer shouldn't be required to hack their phone to get the latest and greatest version of the operating system on their Nexus device and the lack of timely updates through Sprint and Verizon is unacceptable…”
9.       Amazon Kindle Fire 2 launch set for Sept. 6?  http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/tablets/amazon-kindle-fire-2-launch-set-for-september-6-1093278  “In a cryptic note sent to members of the media, Amazon extended its hospitality to an airport hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. on Sept. 6 where it may or may not unveil the Kindle Fire 2. The text on the invitation is scant: "Please join us for an Amazon Press Conference." The just-outside Los Angeles soiree could be for any number of things, but industry insiders anticipate a big announcement to echo through the hangar's halls. Though Amazon is cheekily keeping the details under wraps, the most obvious assumption would be the unveiling of a new generation of Kindle Fire tablets. TechRadar reported back in June that Amazon teased a new 7-inch and an unheard of 10-inch Kindle Fire 2 model, with a source reporting both could see the light of day sometime this summer. The 10-inch tab is reportedly set to run a more powerful, "more competent" quad-core processor while both large-display devices are said to be made of higher-quality materials and sport more ergonomic designs…”
10.     Fujitsu Ultrabooks U772 and UH572 launched  http://tech2.in.com/news/notebooks/fujitsu-ultrabooks-u772-and-uh572-launched/396112  “Fujitsu has launched two Ultrabooks - Lifebook U772 and Lifebook UH572. As per an official statement, the new Ultrabooks combine access to the latest mobile computing technology with the power and connectivity to support all-day mobile working. Fujitsu claims to be the first vendor to ship a new-generation Ultrabook with business class, enterprise-standard features such as Intel vPro technology. It also offers mobile security with features such as a fingerprint sensor and full disk encryption (FDE) SSDs…The new flagship Fujitsu Lifebook U772 Ultrabook is designed to appeal to employees who are now able to choose their own computer because of “Bring Your Own Device” initiatives in the corporate workplace. The company adds that the Lifebook U772 combines the portability and almost instant boot up time of a tablet with the power and usability of a traditional notebook, giving business users the best of both worlds. The Ultrabook comes with an optional port replicator, which provides easy docking and connection to the corporate network and peripherals. The 14-inch Lifebook U772 is less than 16mm thin and weighs 1.4kg. It comes with a red or silver shell and a frameless display. The Lifebook U772 notebook is secured by Advanced Theft Protection technology with Intel Anti-Theft and Absolute Computrace features, making it possible to remotely locate a lost or stolen device, and to copy or delete data remotely…The Lifebook U772 offers optional built-in 3G/ UMTS or 4G/ LTE support to guarantee mobile connectivity even when outside the range of Wi-Fi hotspots, and a strong magnesium shell, which the company claims makes it tough enough to survive the daily knocks from being carried around in a handbag or backpack. It also features an Anytime USB Charge functionality, because of which there is no need to leave a Fujitsu Ultrabook running overnight just to power-up mobile devices such as smartphones…”
Apps
11.      How Free Apps Can Make More Money Than Paid Apps  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/26/how-free-apps-can-make-more-money-than-paid-apps/  “While building apps for Apple and Android app stores can be highly lucrative ventures for developers, one of the hardest decisions an app developer has to make is how to get the app to pay for itself. Often the “monetization strategy” — shorthand for “how will this app make money?” — is left for last. It’s hard enough to get discovered by consumers among the millions of already existing apps, not to mention convince people to buy it. People increasingly prefer free, ad-supported apps for their tablets and smartphones, yet many developers still aren’t sure how to tackle the free vs. paid issue. Deciding when to charge for your app, and when to try an ad-supported model, is one of the hardest decisions developers must make. Developers have several monetization options available, each with its own requirements and pitfalls. Before moving forward with a strategy though, there are a few of questions an app developer should explore in order to answer the ultimate question, “how can I monetize my app?”…As app markets across platforms explode, developers are talking to each other to determine the best type of monetization model to use. Most will tell you it’s a choice among four major options: 1.  selling your app in the app store…2.  offering a free, subscription-supported app…3.  offering a free app, with in-app purchases…4.  offering a free, ad-supported app…But the choice really boils down to two strategies: getting paid by users or getting paid by advertisers…”
12.     Flipboard Hits 20 Million Users, 3 Billion Flips Per Month  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/28/flipboard-hits-20-million-users-3-billion-flips-per-month/  “…remember when Flipboard had 5 million users? That was the official figure at the end of last year. It was also the number that came out just as the social magazine app was launching on iPhone, after having previously been an iPad-only app. And it was also six months before the app arrived on Android. Well, apparently, the move to the smartphone platform has been good for the company’s growth – today, Flipboard is announcing new metrics, including a jump to 20 million users and a reach of over 3 billion flips per month. The flips per month figure is an indication of in-app activity. Readers in the app turn pages with their fingers and each of these page-turns is designated as one “flip.” Before the iPhone app’s release, the company was seeing 650 million flips per month. After, it was trending towards 2 billion flips per month. Now cross-platform, it has climbed again to 3 billion. 1.5 million users log in daily, and they spend , on average, 86 minutes per month in the app. Nice metrics, if you can get ‘em, right? 75% of readers connect their social networks in Flipboard, and perform a total of 14.5 million social actions (favoriting, liking, sharing, etc.) in the app per month…”
13.     SkyDrive for Android phones now available  http://windowsteamblog.com/skydrive/b/skydrive/archive/2012/08/28/skydrive-for-android-phones-now-available.aspx  “A few weeks ago we announced our intention to release an official SkyDrive app for Android phones. Today we’re excited to announce that the app is now available for download. We want to ensure that you’re able to have your files accessible across the various devices you use—so it’s important that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day. This new app for Android is similar to our mobile apps for Windows Phone and iOS and is a key part of making sure your SkyDrive files are accessible and shareable from all your devices. In building the new SkyDrive app for Android, we wanted to ensure we kept the same intuitive design of all SkyDrive experiences while also making use of Android design patterns and conventional interactions, so this feels natural for people with Android phones. In this release, SkyDrive is available for Android phones with access to Google Play. The new app is designed to work best with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)—though it’s also fully functional on Android 2.3 and above…”
SkyNet
14.     Google's Nexus 7 tablet pops up in rare home-page ad  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57501546-94/googles-nexus-7-tablet-pops-up-in-rare-home-page-ad/  “Google really wants people to take a look at its Nexus 7 tablet. The $199 tablet started popping up on Google's home page today, a rare instance in which Google is actively promoting one of its own products. It's similar to the way Amazon's front page is often dominated by Kindle advertising. That Google would go to such lengths underscores the company's desire to make a bigger dent in the burgeoning tablet market, one still dominated by Apple's iPad. Given the traffic that goes through Google, the home page would be one of the most coveted spots on the Web for advertisers. The company, however, has traditionally resisted attempts to run advertisements for paid products on its main page. Only the top part of the Nexus 7 peeks out in a tease, along with a link to the 8GB version in its Google Play store…”
15.     Google Makes Voter Registration Easy With TurboVote Partnership  http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/08/google-makes-voter-registration-easy-with-turbovote-partnership/  “…Today Google announced the launch of its Online Voter Guide, a portal that allows Google users to register to vote easily. In addition to its YouTube Elections Hub and its Google Politics & Elections site, this page will provide easy access to TurboVote, which lets you register to vote, vote by mail, and sign up for emails and texts about the upcoming election. TurboVote breaks voter registration down into a few clickable steps. “To make it easy to navigate the rules and deadlines about registering to vote and how to vote by mail, we put together an online voter guide…”
16.     Search Google Drive Via Chrome’s Omnibox  http://www.conceivablytech.com/10306/products/search-google-drive-via-chromes-omnibox  “…Some time ago, Google tricked me into using its CloudConnect app, (not that I regret it entirely) a handy solution that automatically stores Microsoft Office documents in Google Drive (previously simply in the Google Docs folder). Since I love to write and writing significantly contributes to our household income, CloudConnect  is the main reason why there are thousands of documents, the majority of them being outdated and rather useless today, stored in my Google Drive. I am probably not the only one who thinks that handling and managing Google Drive could and should be easier. One change recently arrived courtesy of François Beaufort, a developer at Trapeze Media and a Chrome enthusiast. He posted the OmniDrive Extension in the Chrome Web Store and is offering probably the most useful feature for Google Drive users that Google should have introduced with Drive right away. Following the installation of Drive, users cans imply type “drive” in the omnibox and then search the contents of Drive directly from the location bar without having to actively browse to Google Drive and use the search bar over there. For people like me, this is an incredibly useful feature…”
17.     Google Wallet to challenge iPhone Passbook by storing ID, boarding passes  http://www.mobileburn.com/20371/news/google-wallet-to-challenge-ios-passbook-with-id-boarding-passes-and-more  “Aside from the payment and loyalty card information that Google Wallet already stores, Google hopes to include boarding passes, identification cards, and everything you'd find in a normal wallet. In a Q&A session hosted on YouTube, Robin Dua, head of product management for Google Wallet, said that Google wants Wallet to go beyond just mobile payments. The company hopes to be the tool used to store all relevant consumer information, including gift cards, travel itineraries, concert tickets, and more. When asked how Google would go beyond its current payment options, Dua said: "One of the types of things we're trying to do is make it easy for airlines, transit providers, and other types of issuers of credentials to make it super simple for them to get their credentials stored in the wallet...That's the goal. We want you to be able to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone and transact with that as your primary transaction device." Google initially pitched Wallet as a way to ease the purchase process in stores. The company now says it envisions Wallet growing to the point that it can be an actual replacement for a wallet, and it will need to do more than just buy sandwiches and coffee for that to happen…”
General Technology
18.     'Solid smoke' material aerogel gets added strength  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19323091  “Aerogels have been around for a long time, and have been described as "solid smoke" because they are so light. But these traditional types - made from silica - are fragile and brittle. By altering the composition and structure of these materials, scientists have now produced aerogels that are hundreds of times stronger…Scientists use polymers, a plastic-like material, to reinforce the networks of silica that extend throughout an aerogel's structure…The new aerogels are up to 500 times stronger than their silica counterparts…A thick piece actually can support the weight of a car. And they can be produced in a thin form, a film so flexible that a wide variety of commercial and industrial uses are possible." She said the new types of aerogel could yield highly insulating clothing that would keep people warm with less bulk than traditional "thermal" garments. It could also potentially be used in the walls of fridges and freezers, reducing their thickness and increasing storage space…”
19.     Microsoft revamps logo for 1st time in 25 years  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018975749_apusmicrosoftnewlogo.html  “Microsoft's corporate logo has a new look, setting the stage for a wave of products designed to cast the world's largest software maker in a new light. The makeover unveiled Thursday marks the first time that Microsoft Corp. has revamped its logo since February 1987. The Internet was barely around then, and cellphones were considered a luxury. At the time, Microsoft was putting the finishing touches on the second version of its Windows operating system. Two of Microsoft's biggest nemeses - Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin - were just 13 years old. And Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs was just in the second year of an 11-year exile from the company that went on to invent the iPod, iPhone and iPad after he returned. By revamping its logo, Microsoft is trying to signal that it has changed its thinking and its products to cater to people who are interacting with technology much differently than just a decade ago, let alone a quarter century…”
20.    IBM Unveils New Mainframe Running on World's Fastest Microprocessor  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409036,00.asp  “IBM may not be releasing a new smartphone or tablet any time soon, but is making headlines with today's introduction of a new line of mainframe computers that the manufacturer calls its "most powerful and technologically advanced ever." The zEnterprise EC12 mainframe server is designed to allow users to quickly and securely sift through hoards of data, which should be a cinch, considering the 5.5GHz microprocessor powering the zEC12 is the fastest chip in the world, according to IBM. Blood, sweat, and more than $1 billion in IBM research spending at 18 global labs was put into developing the zEC12, which the company touts as one of the most secure enterprise systems ever courtesy of its Common Creteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ security classification. It also carries a tamper-resistant cryptographic co-processor…”
21.     Brother's new speedy, pretty inkjet is a printer to get excited about  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/08/brothers-new-wi.php  “…we don't buy printers for their looks. We buy them for their ability to print, scan and copy as fast and painless as possible so we can get on with our lives. Brother's new Business Smart MFC-J4510DW printer challenges drab conventional printer design with a minimal and unassuming body, ultra fast color printing thanks to a landscape printing process and a touchscreen that actually works. Ignore the ridiculous model name — seriously, why can't anyone drop the long strings of letters and numbers already? — and you'll find something that's rare for a printer: elegant design. The MFC-J4510DW doesn't look like much with its stacked chassis, but that's exactly the point. Brother designed this printer to fit into your home, do it's job and not stick out like a sore thumb (made of excess plastic). As with premium home electronics and appliances, Brother believes that the printer should not only provide superb performance, but also beautiful design. You hear that HP? Beautiful design. For printers. It goes without saying that the MFC-J4510DW is a looker, for printer standards. How many times have you ever heard anyone call a printer out for its aesthetics?...Like most printers today, the MFC-J4510DW has a 3.7-inch touchscreen, but the difference is that it's buttery smooth when it comes to responsiveness. It swipes and scrolls as well as your iPhone or Android. As part of the company's philosophy to simplify the user experience and make printers as intuitive and straight-forward as possible, the MFC-J4510DW has a touch-sensitive number keypad that lights up only when an action requires it and turns off when you don't. A little convenience can really go a long way. Whereas most printers usually stow their ink cartridges deep within the printer, the MFC-J4510DW's ink carts are easily accessible in a little hatch in the lower right corner of the front of the machine…”  [Have you owned a Brother printer recently? If so, how did you like it compared to your experiences with HP? This Brother prints 11 x 17s – what competitor printers would you recommend that do 11 x 17s? – ed.]
22.    'Cyborg' Tissues: Merging Engineered Human Tissues With Bio-Compatible Nanoscale Wires  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120826143610.htm   “Harvard scientists have, for the first, time created a type of "cyborg" tissue by embedding a three-dimensional network of functional, bio-compatible nanoscale wires into engineered human tissues. As described in a paper published August 26 in Nature Materials, a multi-institutional research team led by Charles M. Lieber, the Mark Hyman, Jr. Professor of Chemistry at Harvard and Daniel Kohane, a Harvard Medical School professor in the Department of Anesthesia at Children's Hospital Boston developed a system for creating nanoscale "scaffolds" which could be seeded with cells which later grew into tissue…Beginning with a two-dimensional substrate, researchers laid out a mesh of organic polymer around nanoscale wires, which serve as the critical nanoscale sensing elements. Nanoscale electrodes, which connect the nanowire elements, were then built within the mesh to enable nanowire transistors to measure the activity in cells without damaging them. Once complete, the substrate was dissolved, leaving researchers with a net-like sponge or a mesh that can be folded or rolled into a host of three dimensional shapes. Once complete, the networks were porous enough to allow the team to seed them with cells and encourage those cells to grow in 3D cultures…” [hello, Dr. Frankenstein? – ed.]
23.    AMD Trying to Bridge the Gap Between X86 and ARM  http://www.pcworld.com/article/261559/amd_trying_to_bridge_the_gap_between_x86_and_arm.html  “Advanced Micro Devices is taking steps to bridge the gap between x86 and ARM processors, and hopes to build a foundation from which programs will operate on mobile devices like tablets independent of architecture…The company is espousing the development of tools that blur the line between processor and accelerator engines inside a chip, Papermaster said. Programmers will be able to write a program once, which will then be executable either across x86 or ARM CPUs, or other graphics processors and accelerators tied to security, video or data compression. The ability to bring a variety of processing engines and programs will result in higher levels of realism and interactivity on tablets, Papermaster said. A combination of client and cloud will bring real-time interaction, and the processing engines will be needed to bring natural interactivity through touch, voice and gestures, Papermaster said. The CPU is just one engine, and devices will require more processing units to handle the massive amounts of incoming data. AMD is already taking steps in that direction by opening up its chip design to support external processing cores. For example, the company in June said it would combine its x86 processor with ARM's Cortex-A5 processor with TrustZone security technology on a single chip for tablets and PCs…”
Leisure & Entertainment
24.    Gaming performance with today's CPUs; does the processor you choose still matter?  http://techreport.com/articles.x/23246  “As you may know, a while back, we came to some difficult realizations about the validity of our methods for testing PC gaming performance. In my article Inside the second: A new look at game benchmarking, we explained why the widely used frames-per-second averages tend to obscure some of the most important information about how smoothly a game plays on a given system. In a nutshell, the problem is that FPS averages summarize performance over a relatively long span of time. It's quite possible to have lots of slowdowns and performance hiccups during the period in question and still end up with an average frame rate that seems quite good. In other words, the FPS averages we (and everyone else) had been dishing out to readers for years weren't very helpful—and were potentially misleading. To sidestep this shortcoming, we proposed a new approach, borrowed from the world of server benchmarking, that focuses on the actual problem at hand: frame latencies. By considering the time required to render each and every frame of a gameplay session and finding ways to quantify the slowdowns, we figured we could provide a more accurate sense of true gaming performance—not just the ability to crank out lots of frames for high averages, but the more crucial ability to deliver frames on time consistently. Some good things have happened since we proposed our new methods. We've deployed them in a host of graphics card reviews, and they have proved their worth, helping to uncover some performance deficiencies that would have otherwise remained hidden. In response to your feedback, we've refined our means of quantifying the latency picture and presenting the info visually. A few other publications have noticed what we're doing and adjusted their own testing methods; even more have quietly inquired about the possibility behind the scenes…”
25.    The Oatmeal has raised over $1.1M for a Nikola Tesla museum  http://venturebeat.com/2012/08/26/oatmeal-tesla-tower/  “Web comic The Oatmeal has raised an extraordinary $1.1 million on Indiegogo to build a museum dedicated to influential inventor Nikola Tesla. The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman announced a little more than a week ago that he would attempt to raise money to save the site of the Wardenclyffe Tower. This tower in Shoreham, N.Y. was Tesla’s incomplete masterpiece intended for trans-Atlantic wireless power transmission. While the tower has since been demolished, Inman and others want the 16-acre site for a museum. The United States doesn’t have a Tesla museum, so a “Nikola Tesla Science Center” sounds like a smart idea. The project has raised more than $1 million in nine days, and it now has more than $1.1 million in funds. The project still has 35 days to go, so you can still donate…”
26.    Amazon’s Kindle-Only Titles Downloaded Over 100M Times  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/28/amazons-kindle-only-titles-downloaded-over-100m-times/  “…Amazon has been crunching its own internal data this week in order to tout the traction surrounding its various products. Only yesterday, the company was talking about numbers related to its Prime two-day delivery, and today it’s boasting about Kindle title downloads. The company now says that its Kindle-exclusive books have been downloaded over 100 million times, and the number of exclusives in its Lending Library catalog has grown to include 180,000 books. That’s up from the 130,000 titles it had in April, for comparison purposes, and up from the 75,000 books it had in January. Although the number is, on the surface, just referring to the growth of Amazon’s exclusive Kindle catalog, in reality it’s also another metric related to Amazon Prime – the membership program which lets users pay on annual basis for access to faster shipping and unlimited video streaming, among other things. Amazon Prime members can borrow these Kindle-exclusive titles from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and according to Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content, customers have been doing just that, in droves. “They’re super popular,” he says, “in less than a year they’ve been downloaded more than 100 million times.” In January, Amazon was talking about the 75,000 ebooks it had available in the Lending Library, and these were being downloaded at a rate of around 300,000 per month. In November, there were just 5,000 ebooks in the Library. But as the library grew, so did the downloads…”
27.    Music streaming Grooveshark app back in Google Play  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57502151-93/music-streaming-grooveshark-app-back-in-google-play/  “Music streaming service Grooveshark, whose app was once booted after its the company became too controversial, said it recently worked with Google to remove illegal apps that were doing something even more alarming -- letting users download music for free. As a result, the Grooveshark app has been allowed back into the store. Google unceremoniously pulled Grooveshark from the store more than a year ago. The online service lets users upload songs and then share them with other users, which upset some in the music industry. After its ejection, Grooveshark noticed that other apps illegally using Groveshark's name were allowing users to download music for free, something Grooveshark claims it doesn't do. Grooveshark brought the matter to Google to get the issue resolved…”         
Economy and Technology
28.    Isis Mobile-Payment System To Debut In September After Delays  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-28/isis-mobile-payment-system-to-debut-in-september-after-delays.html  “Isis, the mobile-payment joint venture backed by AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA Inc., is on track for a debut in September, following months of delays and a change in strategy last year. VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY), a maker of payment terminals that is working on the project, is preparing for an introduction in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, next month, Chief Executive Officer Doug Bergeron said in an interview. Isis, which will let users pay for items at stores using their mobile phones, had previously planned to roll out the service in the first half of 2012. The joint venture tweaked its strategy last year, opting to use credit-card companies to handle transactions rather than the carriers themselves, and it’s taken time to ensure that payments can be made securely. “The focus has been: Get it right, make sure it’s secure,” Brad Duea, senior vice president of product management at T-Mobile USA, said in an interview. Isis joins a growing cast of competitors, including Google Inc. and EBay Inc., in vying to capitalize on mobile-payment transactions, which Juniper Research Ltd. expects to rise almost fourfold in total volume to more than $1.3 trillion by 2017. The payment system relies on near field communication, or NFC, a technology that lets users tap a phone on a cash register to make a payment…”
29.    Kleiner Perkins joins Rock Health in sponsoring digital health startups  http://gigaom.com/2012/08/28/kleiner-perkins-joins-rock-health-in-sponsoring-digital-health-startups/  “Venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers will be teaming up with the incubator program Rock Health to sponsor digital health startups trying to disrupt the health care industry. The tandem announced Tuesday that they are increasing the cash delivered to individual startups in the program to $100,000. Kleiner’s investment comes as overall investment in the healthcare sphere increases, with the impact of cloud and tablet technology making its mark in a traditionally more staid field. In June, a study by Rock Health found that investors had already poured $675 million into healthcare companies receiving $2 million or more in investments, compared with $968 million for similar companies the previous year. And according to financial services firm Burrill & Company, digital health financing climbed 317 percent in the first half of 2012. Over the past two years, Rock Health has supported 35 digital health start-ups in San Francisco and Boston…”
DHMN Technology
30.    Arduino gets new remote management possibilities  http://www.itworld.com/open-source/291353/arduino-gets-new-remote-management-possibilities  “Users of the Arduino open-source platform for home electronics do-it-yourselfers can now sign up for a communication service from the Spanish mobile phone provider Télefonica that lets them manage their projects remotely. The service also requires an updated Arduino GSM/GPRS Shield that allows users to establish TCP communication with their boards over a GPRS network. The updated version of the shield was announced at Campus Party, an electronic entertainment event being held in Berlin Friday and Saturday. The shield will be shown at Campus Party but does not yet appear to be available for sale. Arduino is an open-source hardware platform based on a microcontroller board as well as a development environment for writing software. Enthusiasts use it for building and controlling small home electronics projects that can have many purposes. A geeky gardener who is worried about keeping up with watering the plants for instance can use Arduino to control sensors that help care for an indoor garden. An Arduino-based system can water the plants only when they're thirsty, turn on supplemental lights based on how much natural sunlight is received and alert the gardener if the temperature drops below a plant-healthy level…”
31.     3D printers: 10 machines for home manufacturing  http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/3d-printers-10-machines-for-home-manufacturing/6379767  “The age of being able to print off anything - from washing machine parts to shoes - in your home is approaching. For years 3D printers, which build solid objects layer by layer using computer models, came with a price tag that made them unaffordable to anyone outside big business. However in recent years homebrew 3D printer projects such as RepRap in the UK and Fab@Home have demonstrated it's possible to build a 3D printer for about $1,000. Today, there are a slew of 3D printers aimed at the home market, many of which are based on the open-source RepRap printers. TechRepublic has rounded up 10 machines for fabricating items at home. 3D printing noobs should be aware that not only do many of these machines ship as kits that have to be built by the user, most are more complicated to operate than your standard 2D printer. Running costs are also not cheap. Most of the printers build objects using filament, typically made of ABS or PLA plastics. A one-kilogram coil of these plastics costs in the region of $70…”
32.    3D Composites Can Make Parts Cheaper  http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=248157&f_src=designnews_gnews  “Engineers at the University of Exeter have devised a new method for making aircraft and automotive components for short money using additive manufacturing techniques (a frequent topic on our site) and aluminum powders. Three-dimensional aluminum metal matrix composite components are made by mixing a combination of relatively inexpensive powders to cause a reaction and rapid solidification. This productes particles as small as 50nm to 100nm that are distributed uniformly throughout the composite and strengthen it. A reactive reinforcing material, such as iron oxide, also contributes to the composite's strength. Liang Hao, a lecturer at the University of Exeter's College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences, and Sasan Dadbakhsh, a doctoral candidate there, developed the technique in the university's Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing. They say the material and the manufacturing method can produce lightweight parts such as pistons, drive shafts, suspension components, and brake discs for cars and airplanes…”
33.    Melting plastic powder together, one layer at a time  http://hackaday.com/2012/07/27/melting-plastic-powder-together-one-layer-at-a-time/  “Here’s an interesting development in the world of 3D printers: A rapid prototyping machine that melts plastic powder together to create objects with extremely good resolution. The Blueprinter works by drawing a 0.1 mm thick layer of plastic powder over the build platform. After that, a very hot needle-shaped probe melts the plastic together. This process continues at a rate of 10mm an hour on the z axis, and a very precise plastic model eventually appears in the powder. There is no price ( or solid release date ) for the Blueprinter, but this 3ders.org article from earlier this year tells us the price for the machine will be €9,995, with a material cost of €49 per kg. Pricey, yes, but seeing as how the RepRap community already has the techniques behind melting plastic down pat, it might now be too hard to build your own plastic sintering printer…”
34.    FoldaRap: The Folding 3D Printer  http://technologywillsaveus.org/2012/07/foldarap-the-folding-3d-printer/  “…The FoldaRap is an open-source 3d-Printer, easy to assemble, and most important : foldable to bring it anywhere! Main features : Foldable…Made with robust aluminium extrusions…Max print volume of 140 x 140 x 140 mm (consumable : PLA filament of 1,75mm)…Easy to assemble…All the electronics are safely enclosed in the base, connected via USB…Works with open-source softwares that run on windows, mac, linux…Use common standards formats of the industry (STL, AMF, OBJ)…Maker Emmanuel Gilloz is driven by his experience at 3D printing meetups, where people carefully transport their assembled machines together and learn 3D printing by doing it. 3D printers of today are generally not that transportable and now Gilloz has addressed the issue, and quite nicely too. Small enough to fit in our hand luggage if you so wish!! FoldaRap is now a fundraising project on Ulule, where Gilloz hopes to raise €6500, but currently he’s well beyond that…”
35.    The 'chemputer' that could print out any drug  http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/21/chemputer-that-prints-out-drugs  “Professor Lee Cronin is a likably impatient presence, a one-man catalyst. "I just want to get stuff done fast," he says. And: "I am a control freak in rehab." Cronin, 39, is the leader of a world-class team of 45 researchers at Glasgow University, primarily making complex molecules. But that is not the extent of his ambition. A couple of years ago, at a TED conference, he described one goal as the creation of "inorganic life", and went on to detail his efforts to generate "evolutionary algorithms" in inert matter. He still hopes to "create life" in the next year or two. At the same time, one branch of that thinking has itself evolved into a new project: the notion of creating downloadable chemistry, with the ultimate aim of allowing people to "print" their own pharmaceuticals at home. Cronin's latest TED talk asked the question: "Could we make a really cool universal chemistry set? Can we 'app' chemistry?" "Basically," he tells me, in his office at the university, with half a grin, "what Apple did for music, I'd like to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs."…A couple of years ago, Cronin was invited to an architectural seminar to discuss his work on inorganic structures. He had been looking at the way crystals grew "inorganic gardens" of tube-like structures between themselves. Among the other speakers at that conference was a man explaining the possibilities of 3D printing for conventional architectural forms. Cronin wondered if you could apply this 3D principle to structures at a molecular level. "I didn't want to print an aeroplane, or a jaw bone," he says. "I wanted to do chemistry."…He shows me the printer, a nondescript version of the £1,200 3D printer used in the Fab@Home project, which aims to bring self-fabrication to the masses. After a bit of trial and error, Cronin's team discovered that it could use a bathroom sealant as a material to print reaction chambers of precisely specified dimensions, connected with tubes of different lengths and diameters. After the bespoke miniature lab had set hard, the printer could then inject the system reactants, or "chemical inks", to create sequenced reactions. The "inks" would be simple reagents, from which more complex molecules are formed. "If I was being facetious I would say that to find your inks you would go to the periodic table: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and so on," Cronin says, "but obviously you can't handle all those substances very well, so it would have to be a bit more complex than that. If you were looking to make a sugar, for example, you would start with your set of base sugars and mix them together. When we make complex molecules in the traditional way with test tubes and flasks, we start with a smaller number of simpler molecules." As he points out, nearly all drugs are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, as well as readily available agents such as vegetable oils and paraffin. "With a printer it should be possible that with a relatively small number of inks you can make any organic molecule," he says…The scale and architecture of the miniature printed "lab" could be pre-programmed into software and downloaded for use with a standard set of inks. In this way, not only the combinations of reactants but also the ratios and speed at which they combine could be ingrained into the system, simply by changing the size of reaction chambers and their relation with one another; Cronin calls this "reactionware" or, because it depends on a conceptualised sequence of flow and reorientation in a 3D space, "Rubik's Cube chemistry". "What we are trying to do is to combine the notion of a reaction with a reactor," he says. "Conventionally the reactor is just the passive space or the environment in which a reaction takes place. It could be something as simple as a test tube. The printer allows it to be a far more active context…”
Open Source Hardware
36.    Can Open Source Hardware Companies Survive Clones?  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/24/can-open-source-hardware-companies-survive-clones/  “In theory, this Kickstarter project aiming to sell a sub-$2,000 MakerBot clone shouldn’t be that much of a big deal. The MakerBot Replicator, one of the first (and best) home 3D printers in the world, is an open source product, and as such, anyone with a little wood, some soldering experience, and a dream should be able to build one – or a hundred and one. But in practice the Kickstarted project, called the TangiBot, is nearly an exact replica of the MakerBot. What happens when an open source project begets its competitors and, more important, what does it mean for the open source hardware ethos in general if people flock to copies at the expense of the original? The TangiBot, built by Matt Strong, is supposed to be “a clone of a popular open source 3D Printer” with “the same performance and features at a roughly 33% discount.” He aims to sell it at $1,299 for a dual extruder model (so you can print in two colors simultaneously). Compare this to $1,999 for a dual-extruder MakerBot. Strong will find his savings by manufacturing in bulk in China, something MakerBot has thus far avoided. “Just to be clear, there is nothing illegal, sneaky or underhanded going on here. Everything is legal and fair. This is simply the way open source designs work…”  http://www.wired.com/design/2012/08/tangibot-makerbot-clone/
37.    Beautiful Eventorbot: A new open-source 3D printer  http://www.3dprinter.net/beautiful-eventorbot  “Here’s yet another open source 3D printer in development. There are so many garage 3D printers now that we don’t write-up every one, but it’s a beauty and he’s got such great photos of it, we wanted to show it to you. It’s called the Eventorbot, found on Thingiverse, which the developer calls “simple with less materials.” The simplicity results in fewer plastic parts in a stronger structure. The hiding of all wires makes for a really stunning look. It’s so nice to see printers that don’t look like erector sets. He will have a complete parts list and the STL files for all the plastic parts uploaded within the week. In fact, I just read an update on the Facebook page this morning that said, “I can work on the STL files or the parts list later tonight. Which one do you guys prefer first?” You’ll be able to build this baby for between $300 and $500…”
38.    Four Open Source 3D Printable Mason Jar Lids  http://www.treehugger.com/green-home/four-open-source-3d-printable-mason-jar-lids.html  “In the not too distant future we’ll be able to 3D print replacement parts for things that break, make art that matches our taste, toys to play with and design objects to fill our needs around the house. Personal 3D printers like the Thing-O-Matic and people like Alex English of Proto Paradigm are helping democratize manufacturing. Alex has released a useful set of 3D printable lids for canning jars to help around the kitchen. 1. Mason Jar Lid…2. Mason Jar Fruit Fly Trap…3. Mason Jar Straining Lid…4. Mason Jar Large Strainer…”
Open Source
39.    PC-in-a-Keyboard Comes with Ubuntu Linux Preloaded  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/261487/pcinakeyboard_comes_with_ubuntu_linux_preloaded.html  “…Uncovered last week by Liliputing, the Diablotek U310 includes an Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz dual-core processor along with 1MB L2 cache and 2.5 GT/s DMI. With support for Intel hyper-threading technology, the 104-key device packs 2GB DDR3 RAM as well as a 500GB SATA 2.5-inch hard drive. Offering 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN, the U310 also features an onboard Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 and Azalia audio codec with two built-in speakers. USB 2.0, serial, and audio ports are provided for easy connection to a wide variety of PC peripherals, including an external DVD or CD drive. A USB mouse is included. Perhaps best of all, of course, is that the U310 comes preloaded with Ubuntu Linux, one of the most popular free and open source operating systems out there. On Amazon, it's priced at $239 with free shipping…”
40.    BERO Open Source Robot Asking For Funding On Kickstarter  http://thedroidguy.com/2012/08/bero-open-source-robot-asking-for-funding-on-kickstarter/  “A very small startup established in New York city, Reality Robots Limited, has announced a brand new Kickstarter project with the goal to create a “multi-motor-wireless-animated-mobile-robotic-toy-platform.” The device has been called “BERO,” and to control it Reality Robotics is planning to create a open source application that will run on the Android operating system. This BERO device is based off of a Google Bug Droid robot that was observed during the Maker Faire just last year. The inventors haven’t been able to get a confident response one way or another from Google regrading the use of the Google Bug Droid form, so it sounds like they are getting ready to move forward with some different options. The startup company has developed six different variants of the BERO device based on the funding level you decide on Kickstarter…”
41.     The White House releases its first open source app on Github  http://venturebeat.com/2012/08/24/white-house-open-source/  “…the White House is definitely not doing business — or government, rather — as usual. The U.S. government has released a repository of open source code that allows citizens to create and vote on petitions, the same functionality that drives WhiteHouse.gov. In September 2011, President Barack Obama made this commitment: Among our commitments, we’re launching a new online tool — called “We the People” — to allow Americans to directly petition the White House, and we’ll share that technology so any government in the world can enable its citizens to do the same. Today the White House fulfilled that commitment, as a repository of source code was made public on Github. The web application allows users to create accounts, log in, set up petitions, and vote…”
Civilian Aerospace
42.    As commercial space race intensifies, SpaceX, Virgin find they have company  http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/08/as-commercial-space-race-intensifies-spacex-virgin-find-they-have-company/  “…Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft team held its Program Implementation Plan Review in Colorado this week, the first milestone in its CCiCap list. CCiCap is phase 3 of NASA's Commercial Crew vehicle development program, intended to foster commercial rides to the International Space Station for NASA astronauts. Passing that first milestone was worth $30M to Sierra Nevada. It advances the company toward the first drop test and free flight of the Dream Chaser Engineering Test Article, a version of the craft specifically built for testing, in November…SpaceX completed its COTS (Commercial Orbital Transport Services) agreement this week with a certification from NASA, clearing the way for SPX-1, its first standard cargo flight to the International Space Station (the earlier flight was a test loaded with non-critical supplies). SpaceX Cargo Resupply Services flights, at $133M, will cost far less than deliveries launched by Russia, Japan, or the European Space Agency. The next flight has been bumped into early October by another rocket launch, and won't be sent off before October 8 at 8:12pm. Wet dress rehearsals (loading up the rocket with propellants on the stand and staging countdowns) should begin within the next week…Orbital Sciences was also slated to fly its Antares rocket for the first time in early October, but there's no word yet on whether the traffic jam that's holding up SpaceX will bump them again. Antares is Orbital's COTS vehicle and a competitor of SpaceX's Falcon. It has been delayed several times due to launchpad construction at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia. If all goes well, Antares will carry a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to orbit on its second flight, in a few months, in a test very similar to the one performed by the SpaceX Dragon earlier in the year, when it rendezvoused with the International Space Station…”
43.    Google Lunar X Prize; first tethered test ‘flight’ for White Label Space lunar lander  http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/white-label-space/blog/tethered-flight-test-1  “…A short duration hovering test hop was conducted. Objectives for the test were:  Test the ground, flight command and data logging systems…Demonstrate that the vehicle has sufficient thrust to actually liftoff…Record orientation data to see how the IMU coped with the flight…All objectives were successfully achieved. The photo below shows the vehicle at the point of lift off. Video will be posted shortly…”  http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/white-label-space
Supercomputing & GPUs
44.    Cray to Add NVIDIA Kepler GPUs to Its Next-Generation 'Cascade' Supercomputer  http://www.equities.com/news/headline-story?dt=2012-08-16&val=386853&cat=tech  “…Cray Inc. today announced that its next-generation supercomputer code-named 'Cascade' will be available with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs based on the next-generation NVIDIA Kepler GPU computing architecture…Adding the NVIDIA Tesla Kepler-based GPUs, which are designed for computationally intensive HPC environments, into future versions of our Cascade system will give our customers the flexibility to choose from a variety of powerful accelerator options.' In June, Cray announced that the Cascade supercomputer will be available with the new Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. With these new offerings, Cray customers will be able to customize a Cascade supercomputer with innovative processor technologies that best meets the high performance computing (HPC) needs of their scientific applications. NVIDIA Tesla GPUs and Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors will be available in future versions of Cray's Cascade supercomputer…The system will feature major advancements to the Cray Linux Environment, Cray's HPC-optimized programming environment, and the next-generation Aries interconnect chipset. Cascade will also feature support for Intel Xeon processors-a first for Cray's high-end systems. 'Cascade will be the first system to combine three key technologies: the latest Intel Xeon CPUs, Cray's next-generation Aries system interconnect, and new Tesla Kepler-based GPUs, the highest performance, most energy-efficient accelerators ever built…”
45.    AMD Unveils Teraflop GPU with ECC Support  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-08-08/amd_unveils_teraflop_gpu_with_ecc_support.html  “Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has launched six new FirePro processors for workstation users who want high-end graphics and computation in a single box. One of them promises a teraflop of double precision performance as well as support for error correcting code (ECC) memory. The new offerings also includes two APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) that glue four CPU cores and hundreds of FirePro GPU stream processors onto the same chip. The straight-up GPU-based cards are the FirePro W9000, W8000, W7000 and W5000…They are based on AMD's new Graphics Core Next Architecture, which according to the company is their "first design specifically engineered for general computing." Application development is supported via C++ AMP (Accelerated Massive Parallelism) and OpenCL, two open standard languages that are meant to offer an alternative to NVIDIA's CUDA programming framework. The top-of-the-line W9000 and W8000 are the ones built to chew on heavy-duty numeric codes such as CAD, CAE, medical imaging, and digital content creation, while also providing enough graphics muscle to drive up to six 30-inch displays. Both are double-slot cards that support the newer, faster PCIe Gen3 interface. Performance-wise, the W9000 and W8000 are rather impressive beasts. The W9000 is the one that will deliver a double precision (DP) teraflop of peak performance. If only 32 bits of precision are required, this same chip will provide a whopping four teraflops in single precision (SP). That outruns NVIDIA's fastest Tesla GPU (665 DP gigaflops and 1330 SP gigaflops) by a fair margin…”

*****

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