2012/09/11

NEW NET Weekly List for 11 Sep 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 11 Sep 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. I will be attempting to participate in, or at least listen to, tonight's NEW NET meeting whilst sitting in my motel room in Greenville, SC. If the 'net connection from the motel works poorly for remote participation, I may zip over to a nearby Starbucks to see if things go better from there...

The ‘net
1.        GoDaddy Web outage takes out small-business sites  http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019116341_apustecgodaddyoutage.html  “Thousands and possibly millions of websites hosted by GoDaddy.com went down for several hours on Monday, causing trouble for the mainly small businesses that rely on the service…the outage began at around 1:25 p.m. EDT. By around 5:43 p.m. EDT, the GoDaddy.com website was back up and service was restored for the bulk of its customers. Driscoll said there was no loss of sensitive customer information…GoDaddy.com hosts more than 5 million websites, mostly for small businesses…Catherine Grison, an interior designer in San Francisco who operates the site YourFrenchAccent.com, said she had to stop sending emails with her website link in them while the outage was ongoing…"If I have no visuals I have nothing left except the accent," said Grison, a native of Paris. She said she was already shopping around for another site host because she was unhappy with GoDaddy's customer service…Kenneth Borg, who works in a Long Beach, Calif., screen printing business, said fresnodogprints.com and two other sites were down…"We run our entire business through websites and emails," Borg said…”
2.       Optimizing PDF Files for Search Engines  http://www.business2community.com/seo/optimizing-pdf-files-for-search-engines-0265820  “These past few weeks I’ve noticed a large amount of PDF documents ranking very high in search engines. Generally speaking, there are a lot of crappy websites out there that regurgitate information to people. In general, PDF document’s that you find on Google provide a better source of quality information on a given subject. I believe that Google has recognized that PDF files generally great source of information on niche subjects, and as a result has begun to rank them higher on search engine results pages. Because of this, I decided to a do a little research to help the generous PDF publishers of the word understand how to get their PDF documents to appear in google. There are a lot ways to create a PDF, just make sure that you or your designer is using a text based editor/creator. Photoshop, for example, allows you to save items as a PDF. This isn’t ideal, because you’re actually saving the document as an image that search engines can’t read. Search engine robots cannot read an image based PDF file, and they will will most likely completely ignore it. Using a text based PDF editor ensures that search engines can find, read and index your PDF files like any other website…Set document properties…Setting a title…Setting the document properties…Make the PDF visible to search engines…Optimize the content in the PDF…Choose a Keyword Rich Filename…Link to Your Website…”
3.       Build your own VoIP System – Part 2: An open Skype Replacement  http://www.sipwise.com/news/technical/byov-skype-replacement/  “In Part 1 of our series “Build your own VoIP System” we learned about the very basics of how VoIP and SIP in particular works. This is Part 2, describing the process of setting up a Skype-like service using the sip:providerCE. In Part 3 you will learn how to protect existing VoIP deployments with the sip:provider acting as a Session Border Controller (SBC). Since version 2.6 of our sip:provider platform, we got everything in our hands to build a secure and self-hosted Skype-like communication service solely based on open source software. In this post, we attempt to build a free, secure, SIP based communication system to provide encrypted voice and video communication, buddy lists, instant messaging, presence and remote desktop sharing/control on a self-hosted system…”
4.       Bing Is The Default Search Engine On The Kindle Fire HD  http://www.businessinsider.com/bing-is-the-default-search-engine-on-the-kindle-fire-hd-2012-9  “Microsoft has landed a nice win for its search engine, Bing…the Fire HD…search box is powered by Bing. Previously, Google powered web searches on the Kindle Fire…Microsoft…told us, "Bing will be the default search provider on the new Kindle Fire HD. No other details are available at this time." Amazon sold 4-6 million Kindle Fires in the last year, so it's not like Microsoft is suddenly going to mop the floor with Google. But, Amazon just doubled down on the Fire lineup and will try to sell many millions more. Getting in good with Amazon is another way for Microsoft to win some share in the long run…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        SkyNet takes another bite: I’m sorry, Dave, you can’t do that  http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/09/copyright-protectionism  “FANS of Neil Gaiman held their breath as the English author stepped to the podium to receive the Hugo award, dispensed by the World Science Fiction Society at its annual Worldcon shindig on September 2nd. Mr Gaiman opened his mouth and, almost before he could finish a sentence, at precisely 10:43pm Eastern Time an automated copyright-violation analysis killed the broadcast. It never went back up. The legions of Gaiman buffs online, presumably no longer breathless, heaved a sigh of disappointment and tweeted their displeasure like mad…viewers were treated to a message that the feed was banned "due to copyright infringement". The television excerpts shown for nominees had apparently been matched against stored "signatures"…of registered protected material. No matter that the footage was in keeping with fair-use principles and the producers of the nominated programmes, including "Doctor Who", had themselves submitted the video in question for the express purpose of being played at the live ceremony and streamed. Such niceties carry no truck with robots. Ustream, the firm behind the internet broadcast, was immediately aware of the glitch but its boss…explained that there was nothing it could do. The company had relied on a third-party clearance house, Vobile, to identify copyright violations…This was not an isolated incident. Following the descent of Curiosity in August, NASA's uploaded video related to the event was pulled for several hours due to a rogue copyright claim. And on September 4th, YouTube's mechanical minions briefly took down Michelle Obama's speech from the Democratic National Convention because of background music and accidental matches from footage uploaded by news agencies that are automatically claimed…”
6.       Sniffing open WiFi networks is not wiretapping, judge says  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/sniffing-open-wifi-networks-is-not-wiretapping-judge-says/  “A federal judge in Illinois has ruled that intercepting traffic on unencrypted WiFi networks is not wiretapping. The decision runs counter to a 2011 decision that suggested Google may have violated the law when its Street View cars intercepted fragments of traffic from open WiFi networks around the country. The ruling is a preliminary step in a larger patent trolling case. A company called Innovatio IP Ventures has accused various "hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets," and other businesses that offer WiFi service to the public of infringing 17 of its patents. Innovatio wanted to use packet sniffing gear to gather WiFi traffic for use as evidence in the case. It planned to immediately delete the contents of the packets, only keeping the headers. Still, the firm was concerned that doing so might violate federal privacy laws, so it sought a preliminary ruling on the question. Federal law makes it illegal to intercept electronic communications, but it includes an important exception. It's not illegal to intercept communications "made through an electronic communication system that is configured so that such electronic communication is readily accessible to the general public." Judge James Holderman ruled that this exception applies to Innovatio's proposed packet sniffing. In the Google Street View case, a California judge had suggested that WiFi communications were not public, even if they were sent without encryption. But Judge Holderman reached the opposite conclusion…”
7.        Lord Camden on NSA Surveillance  http://www.juliansanchez.com/2012/09/05/lord-camden-on-nsa-surveillance/  “I’m doing a deep dive into the pre-history of the Fourth Amendment, and am continuously amazed at how perfectly the condemnations of the “general warrants” that incensed the Framers apply to the programmatic authority granted the NSA under the FISA Amendments Act. The legal challenge to that statute is currently hung up on questions of standing, which will shortly be before the Supreme Court in the case of Amnesty v. Clapper. The government’s position is that only those who can prove they’ve actually been wiretapped are entitled to challenge the sweeping and highly discretionary surveillance programs authorized by the law—and since FISA surveillance is permanently secret by default, nobody can have that proof unless the government volunteers it. Which is funny (if you have a morbid sense of humor), because in one of the three seminal cases historians regard as the inspiration for the Fourth Amendment, Entick v. Carrington, Lord Camden’s ruling cites this exact situation as a key reason why general warrants should be forbidden…”
8.       FBI upgrades biometrics capacities  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57508562-76/privacy-hawks-fret-as-fbi-upgrades-biometrics-capacities/  “The computer revolution arrived late at the FBI, which was still collecting and matching fingerprints in 1999 in much the same way that it did when the agency first began collecting the images in 1924. But that's been changing lately…As the millennium neared, the agency finally traded in its manual system for one in which a database of fingerprints and associated criminal histories could be searched and updated. Now, the next step. The FBI is going ahead with an advanced biometric identification service that it has been testing and will phase into operation around the nation over the next couple of years. The official launch of the so-called Next Generation Identification program is part of the agency's billion-dollar upgrade of the agency's national fingerprint database, though some states have already participated in a pilot program by already uploading their photos…since 1993, the error rate of face recognition systems has dropped by a factor of 272…But as the hit rate gets more accurate, the FBI's capabilities will inevitably raise concerns about how it uses that new technology… in a 2010 presentation on facial recognition, the FBI's Richard Vorder Bruegge talked about the agency's desire to use facial recognition system to "identify subjects in public datasets" and "conduct automated surveillance at lookout locations."…the FBI still could also add civilian photos to the database with nobody able to prevent it…Here's a summary of some of the advances that the FBI is touting: Interstate Photo System enhancements including the ability to accept and search for photographs of scars, marks, and tattoos…criminal activity reported "on individuals holding positions of trust."…National palm print system that will allow the storage and search of palm print submissions from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies…system based around "multimodal biometrics" that will eventually extend to a biometric understanding of things like voice, or facial recognition…under certain conditions, machine face recognition performance can be comparable or even better than humans at recognizing faces…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
9.       The ultimate Android tethering guide  http://www.pcworld.com/article/261928/the_ultimate_android_tethering_guide.html  “Tethering: It's one of the most convenient features your smartphone has, yet carriers insist on restricting it. Tethering most often refers to using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. In other words, it lets you connect to the Internet on your laptop, tablet, or Wi-Fi enabled device, using your phone's data connection. Tethering is very useful if you happen to be in an area that has no free Wi-Fi and you need to do your computing on a device other than your phone. Carriers don't really want you to use this oh-so-convenient option, because users who tether are more likely to use a lot of data. After all, it's much easier to use data when you're browsing on a laptop or a tablet, than when you're limited to your smartphone's tiny screen. You might argue that, since most mobile plans feature limited data anyway, it shouldn't matter how you happen to use that data. But some carriers disagree, and will typically charge an extra $20 to $50 per month for tethering plans…Verizon recently announced that, thanks to an FCC investigation, it will stop blocking its Android users from downloading and using third-party tethering apps. This means that Verizon's Android users on usage-based plans can avoid the $20 tethering fee by using a third-party app instead of their phone's built-in tethering option…This doesn't mean that all tethering on Verizon is free, though—it's not. Here's the breakdown…”
10.     Kindle Fire HD 7" vs. Google Nexus 7: 7-Inch Android Tablet Head-to-Head  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409362,00.asp  “Amazon has announced its new Kindle Fire tablets, and while the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD has caught many peoples' attention for how it might fare against the iPad, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD could give the Google Nexus 7, our Editors' Choice for Android tablets, a run for its money. Amazon has upgraded the Kindle Fire in several ways, turning it from a merely affordable tablet to an affordable and very well-equipped tablet…The Kindle Fire HD has been given a complete overhaul over the original Kindle Fire. Its IPS LCD touch screen is a higher resolution 1,280 by 800 pixels compared to its predecessor's 1,048 by 600 pixels…It now features Bluetooth and a front-facing camera, neither of which was found on the Kindle Fire. It also boasts…dual Wi-Fi antennas and MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi in 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands. The Nexus 7 has similar specs - NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi - but it only has 8GB of storage compared to the Kindle Fire HD's 16GB (the $249 Nexus 7 has 16GB of storage), and there's no HDMI output on the Nexus 7. It's also slightly smaller and lighter than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet. The Nexus 7 also has dedicated GPS, and can find its location without access to a Wi-Fi hotspot. However, you need Wi-Fi to download the appropriate maps to the device to make that location data useful (but you can do this any time through Google Maps’ offline mode). The big difference between the two tablets isn't their hardware, but their software. Both are Android-based, but while the Nexus 7 offers a pure Android 4.1 interface with no additional skinning, branding, or control beyond Google's own operating system, the Kindle Fire HD renders Android almost unrecognizeable to provide a highly curated experience that centers around Amazon's content services…”
11.      New Kindle Fires stuck with ads unless you pay Amazon $15  http://www.pcworld.com/article/262052/amazon_to_allow_ads_optout_on_kindle_fire_hd_for_15_upcharge.html  “Amazon doesn't want to drive even more customers Apple's way, so it has done an about-face on its decision to include ads on the lock screen and main home screen of its new Kindle Fire tablets and is letting buyers opt out -- for a $15 upcharge. Last week, Amazon introduced a slew of new Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets. All the new Fire tablets featured "Special Offers" that included the ads. In a statement, Amazon has reversed course. "I wanted to let you know that with Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15. We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out. We're happy to offer customers the choice,"…The option to skip ads is available on both the Fire HD and $159 entry-level Fire model…”
12.     Toys R Us introduces a tablet computer for children  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-toysrus-tablet-20120911,0,41424.story  “Toys R Us Inc. is stepping into the heated tablet-computer wars with a $150 version for kids — including Wi-Fi connectivity, extensive parental control features and 50 pre-loaded apps that include popular games such as "Angry Birds" and "Fruit Ninja."…"You can jam 50 apps into this and make it an overwhelming value," said toy industry analyst Sean McGowan. "But at the end of the day, kids may decide it's not cool and it's either Apple or nothing."…News of the Toys R Us tablet, named tabeo, comes during a month that's been filled with new gadget announcements. Amazon.com Inc. unveiled four new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet last week, and Apple Inc. is rumored to announce its own 7-inch mini iPad in the coming weeks…although the adult tablet market is flooded with rivals eager to woo shoppers, many gadget makers have yet to seriously court the increasingly tech-savvy toddler and school-age set…”
Apps
13.     How a bedroom developer's 'ugly little game' became an App Store hit  http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-09/04/luca-redwood  “Dungeon-based puzzle app 10000000 (said "ten million") is an unlikely autobiographical game. So unlikely, in fact, the developer doesn't even realise how autobiographical it is. The App Store gaming scene is increasingly the domain of high-gloss, swollen-budget productions made by big name brands with impeccable gaming pedigrees. 10000000 is -- let's be frank -- an ugly little game made by one guy in his spare time. If there's a globalised, 21st century version of the American dream, Luca Redwood is proof of it, making it big with an app he coded from scratch. At this point, the £1.49 game with no marketing budget and no recognised brand attached has broken the top 50 App Store games in 25 countries. With a pregnant wife and a full-time job making humdrum finance software, Luca Redwood fit 10000000 into the margins wherever and whenever he could over the past year -- late nights, weekend mornings…"When you don't have a lot of time and you're throwing away two weeks of not getting enough sleep when you throw something away -- you get pretty disciplined." Throwing things away is an integral part of Redwood's process. "I had the basic idea in mind but I made lots of different prototypes and kept iterating until it was fun," Redwood said. "It all just came out of testing. There were even physical models of the game…Redwood experimented with dozens of variations, each one getting a little closer to the end goal he envisioned…After a year of hard graft, Redwood submitted the game to Apple and it appeared with no fanfare at all. "I had a marketing plan, a big spreadsheet of sites I was going to write to. Turns out I didn't need it." Editors at TouchArcade (the unquestioned "paper" of record for iOS games) discovered the game shortly after it was released. In an adulatory 5-star review posted on a Friday night, TouchArcade critic Eli Hodapp called 10000000 "mind-blowing" and raved about the game for 1,000 words -- about twice the length of a typical review on the site. Friends of Redwood noticed the review and emailed it to him, who stared uncomprehendingly at his monitor on Saturday morning. "After that TouchArcade review the game sold 2,000 copies a day for the first ten days," he said. "I was floored." Within a month the game has sold more than 50,000 copies…”
14.     After iPhone 5 Launch, It's All About the Apps  http://www.cio-today.com/news/After-iPhone-5--It-s-All-About-the-Apps/story.xhtml?story_id=0230029FLC38  “…From supposedly leaked Apple Mini photos to what we can expect from the iPhone 5 to Apple Radio and beyond, the speculation soon will be over. Apple is holding its big event Wednesday. Beyond the hardware , though, there's plenty of focus on apps…the iPhone 5 launch marks the beginning of a valuable opportunity for mobile app brands as millions of new device  owners will start downloading…the launch of a major device causes app downloads to peak and the costs to acquire loyal, repeat users to drop…Brands can expect this marketing opportunity to start with tomorrow's launch event, pick up steam as the iPhone 5 hits the shelves mid-month…Free apps will account for 89 percent of total downloads in 2012, according to Gartner. Worldwide mobile app store downloads will surpass 45.6 billion in 2012, with free downloads accounting for 40.1 billion, and paid-for downloads totaling 5 billion…90 percent of the paid-for downloads cost less than $3 each," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. "Similar to free apps, lower-priced apps will drive the majority of downloads. Apps between 99 cents and $2.99 will account for 87.5 percent of paid-for downloads in 2012, and 96 percent by 2016." Gartner expects Apple's iTunes App Store to have more than 21 billion downloads in 2012…”
SkyNet
15.     Google Fiber Splits Along Kansas City’s Digital Divide  http://www.wired.com/business/2012/09/google-fiber-digital-divide/  “Two days before the deadline to get neighborhoods signed up, Google’s effort to bring ultra-high-speed internet to a major American city could end up reinforcing the digital divide. When Google Fiber launched in late July, the announcement of the service came with the caveat that to get the super-fast 1 gigabit broadband hookups, neighborhoods would have to pre-register a certain percentage of households for the service. The deadline for pre-registrations is Sunday at midnight…As of Friday afternoon, Kansas City, Missouri, looks divided pretty much straight down the middle. On the western half of the city, nearly all neighborhoods have turned green, indicating they’ve met the goal. To the east, most are still yellow, meaning they haven’t met the goal. Right down the middle between the two halves runs Troost Avenue, the city’s historical socioeconomic and racial dividing line. Based on the map generated by the signup data, Google’s project is the latest to fall short of bridging that gap. “The white, affluent neighborhoods qualified and the primarily black, lower-income neighborhoods didn’t,” says Michael Liimatta, who runs a Kansas City nonprofit that works to bring broadband access to low-income residents…Google did not go into Kansas City blind to the issue of the digital divide, says company spokeswoman Jenna Wandres. It has 60 representatives on the streets trying to convince people without internet access of the benefits of getting their homes online, Wandres says. (That number will go up to about 100 for this final weekend…Google did a survey that found about 25 percent of residents didn’t have internet access at home. While affordability is one part of the equation, she says Google found another factor keeping people offline was relevance. “They don’t think they need it,” Wandres says. “They don’t see why.”…The company says its pre-registration model helps it keep construction costs down by only bringing the service to areas showing demand. Wandres says those savings get passed on to customers, who will be able to get a connection the company is calling 100 times faster than the average broadband connection, but for about the same price – around $70 per month. Without the efficiencies created by not digging trenches and laying down fiber until demand reaches a critical mass, Wandres says Google wouldn’t be able to offer its free service at all. She points to the free service as a clear sign of Google’s commitment to internet access for everyone…”  http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-googlenfl-20120906,0,6851433.story  “The National Football League has struck a deal with Google Fiber for carriage of its two cable channels on the search engine's new broadband distribution service it launched in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. For the NFL, the deal is another opportunity to take a shot at Time Warner Cable, the only major pay-TV distributor that is not yet carrying the NFL Network…Time Warner Cable is the cable operator Google is competing with in that region…the NFL went out of its way to note that "this marks the second TV provider in a Time Warner Cable market to announce launch of NFL Network in the past three weeks."…The NFL Network isn't cheap. According to SNL Kagan, it costs almost $1 per subscriber per month…”  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/09/how-kansas-city-taxpayers-support-google-fiber/  “…FCC commissioner Ajit Pai released a statement praising the Google Fiber project as a model…He argued…it is critically important that states and local communities adopt broadband-friendly policies when it comes to rights-of-way management."…Yet closer examination of the Google Fiber project reveals a more complex story. It's true that the Google Fiber project hasn't developed the way many liberal groups wanted it to. But it's important not to gloss over the fact that Kansas City's support for Google's network went well beyond deregulation to outright corporate welfare. It's hardly an example of the free market in action…Google received stunning regulatory concessions and incentives from local governments, including free access to virtually everything the city owns or controls: rights of way, central office space, power, interconnections with anchor institutions, marketing and direct mail, and office space for Google employees. City officials also expedited the permitting process and assigned staff specifically to help Google. One county even offered to allow Google to hang its wires on parts of utility poles—for free—that are usually off-limits to communications companies…the agreement between Google and Kansas City, MO, specifies that the city will "make space available to Google in City facilities for the installation of Google’s Central Office equipment and for additional network facilities," will "provide power necessary for Google’s equipment at City locations," and "will not charge Google for such space, power, or related services."…Campbell has suggested that these subsidies "weren't as important as the rights of way issues," but much the same point can be made about waiving customary fees for the use of rights of way. Space under a city's streets and along its utility poles is a scarce, taxpayer-owned resource. When a city offers a private company access to those resources for free, it's forgoing an opportunity to raise revenue. The implicit subsidy is even clearer when taxpayers, rather than Google, pay to hire extra city staff to supervise the project…”  http://www.kansascity.com/2012/09/10/3806274/google-fiber-gives-second-chance.html  “…Google…first real-world, door-to-door service will involve a second search. As the Google Fiber project wrapped up its first rally to register neighborhoods for its ultra-fast Internet service by midnight Sunday, the company said it will give those neighborhoods that fell short of its goals a second chance to qualify. Google also said it would give local grants to help more people understand ways to make use of the Internet…the company said it’s adjusting its now-or-never strategy for enlisting those neighborhoods to account for lessons learned from its first-ever attempt at pitching subscription services directly to consumers. “We’ve learned a lot from this process,” said Carlos Casas, who was leading Google’s Fiber division in its push to sign up customers. “A lot of it was expecting people to come to us. We realized that we have to go out to the community…”  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/09/google-fiber-kansas-city-goals-reached/  “…after a last-minute push, 180 out of the 202 ‘fiberhoods’ in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri managed to reach Google’s goals for getting the company’s TV service and gigabit fiber-optic Internet connection installed in their neighborhoods. To get Google Fiber installed, every neighborhood had to reach a pre-determined goal. Typically, Google required that somewhere between 5% and 25% of all households put down the $10 pre-registration fee to signal their interest in the service. All of the neighborhoods that reached their goals will get Google Fiber installed in their area. The order in which Google will install its fiber-optic lines will be determined by percentage of households that signed up for the service in each neighborhood…”
16.     Alibaba to Google's Android: Watch out in China  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57509329-94/alibaba-to-googles-android-watch-out-in-china/  “…Alibaba Chief Strategy Officer Zeng Ming said his company hopes to be "as strong as Android in China" with its own mobile operating system, Aliyun…Zeng says that the company has added "quite a few [new handset partners]."…Alibaba launched its Aliyun operating system last summer. The operating system was developed over a period of three years by the company's AliCloud division. The operating system revolves around the idea of leveraging cloud-based solutions, and the operating system comes with Web-based e-mail support. In addition, the operating system synchronizes call data, text messages, and photos in the cloud for access on other devices, like PCs…The operating system has so far not made a dent in the worldwide mobile operating system market, which is being dominated by Android's 68.1 percent share and iOS' 16.9 percent market ownership…” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444426404577645710780911798.html
17.     Google buys malware-scanning website VirusTotal  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/07/google-acquires-online-virus-malware-and-url-scanner-virustotal/  “VirusTotal, an online malware and virus scanner, was just acquired by Google. The company already used a number of Google services ahead of the acquisition, including App Engine and Google Storage. VirusTotal will continue to operate independently and maintain its existing partnerships with other antivirus companies and security experts. The two companies did not disclose the details of the announcement. It is worth noting, however, that VirusTotal describes itself as a “small resource-constrained company.” The company was founded in 2004 and uses a large number of antivirus engines from third-party providers to offer thorough checks of files that users can upload to its service…VirusTotal also allows users to enter a URL and check web sites for potential malware threats. The service also offers browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer…It’s possible, however, that Chrome could soon get an improved built-in virus scanner for downloads courtesy of VirusTotal, for example, or that parts of Google Search’s or Gmail’s malware detection could use some of VirusTotal’s assets…”
18.     Google refreshes Maps, Earth with more high-res images  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57508787-93/google-refreshes-maps-earth-with-more-high-res-images/  “Google announced today that it's rolling out an "extensive refresh" for its high-resolution aerial and satellite images, which are viewable on both Google Maps and Google Earth. The aerial collection will be updated in more than 20 locations across the United States and Europe while satellite imagery is being boosted in over 60 regions worldwide. Furthermore, the image collection is going to include new 45 degree imagery in Google Maps across more 30 new cities in the United States, France, and Spain. The detail in these images is actually quite remarkable. Over on the official Google Maps blog, Google geodata strategist Eric Kolb pointed out a few examples of major landmarks ranging from baseball stadiums to religious centers, highlighting just how more comprehensive and accurate Maps and Earth are becoming…”
General Technology
19.     Dyson’s New DC44 Is The Halo Plasma Pistol Of Home Vacuums  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/07/dysons-new-dc44-is-the-halo-plasma-pistol-of-home-vacuums/  “…James Dyson’s wee English workshop…makes things that suck and blow and his latest, the DC44 “digital” vacuum sucks with the best of them. The DC44 is a hand-held vacuum that essentially replaces the DC31 and adds a few tricks to the hand-held magic show. The DC44 has a number of attachments, including a long “motorized floor tool” that allows you to extend the handheld’s reach all the way to the floor…Whereas the previous models sounded like jet planes taking off and actually offered an odd sensation of torque on ignition, the DC44 has a tiny “digital pulse motor” that apparently moves at 104,000 RPM and emits a shrill whine. The suckage, however, is quite impressive. We were able to easily sweep the kitchen and hard wood with the longer attachment…The best thing about the DC44, however, is the 20 minute battery life and dual speeds. We’ve used the old model, the DC16, for years and over time the battery life has dropped down to about two minutes…The charging solution is also unique. The Dyson mounts on the wall upside down, which means if you fill up the front tube you’ll have dust and dirt falling out of the mouth when you go to plug it in…Now is this thing worth the $400 you need to spend to get super…Dyson suckage? I’m not quite sure…”
20.    HP tries to trump iMac with SpectreONE  http://www.pcworld.com/article/262078/hp_tries_to_trump_imac_with_spectreone.html  “…Hewlett-Packard appears to be trying to steal some of i-maker's thunder with a new sleek-looking all-in-one PC, the SpectreONE, running Microsoft Windows 8. The new HP all-in-one…has 23.6-inch, flush glass and a 1080p display, is less than half-an-inch thick (0.44 inches), and includes a wireless trackpad to take advantage of Windows 8 gesture support…and a NVIDIA 1GB graphics card. Other features include four USB ports (two 2.0 and two 3.0 ports), HDMI-in, Beats Audio headphone jack and NFC support. NFC technology allows users to simply tap a smartphone or NFC tag on the base of the HP SpectreONE to instantly transfer content or login information to the PC…In addition, the system comes with full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and Adobe Premiere Elements 10, as well as a two-year paid subscription to Norton Internet Security suite. SpectreONE is priced to compete with Apple's 21.5-inch iMac. The HP model is expected to be priced at $1299, while the current 21.5-inch iMacs sell for $1199 with an Intel 2.5 GHz quad-core i5 processor and $1499 with 2.7GHz Intel i7 chip. The iMacs have AMD Radeon HD 6750 graphics…All-in-one desktop computers used to be considered a niche product, but they've gained popularity over the years. Apple has long been a leader in all-in-one sales, but it is expected to lose that mantle this year, with Lenovo selling some 4 million all-in-ones worldwide compared to Apple's 3.8 million.”
21.     Guess who’s winning the brains race, with 100% of first graders learning to code?  http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/04/estonia-code-academy/  “…Estonia is implementing a new education program that will have 100 percent of publicly educated students learning to write code…the new initiative aims to turn children from avid consumers of technology (which they naturally are; try giving a 5-year-old an iPad sometime) into developers of technology (which they are not; see downward-spiraling computer science university degree program enrollment stats). ProgreTiiger education will start with students in the first grade, which starts around the age of 7 or 8 for Estonians. The compsci education will continue through a student’s final years of public school, around age 16. Teachers are being trained on the new skills, and private sector IT companies are also getting involved, which makes sense, given that these entities will likely end up being the long-term beneficiaries of a technologically literate populace…By contrast, the U.S. public education system has been described as “running on empty” when it comes to tech literacy, leaving young adults unprepared to compete in a digitally driven economy…”
22.    Memstash Helps You Memorize Anything  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/09/hackathon-project-memstash-helps-you-memorize-anything/  “Unlike something like Evernote, which helps you store and reference information, Memstash helps you actually memorize stuff. For example, if you want to memorize a famous quote, you just highlight the text and click the Memstash bookmarklet. Then Memstash will begin sending you that quote via SMS or e-mail at specific intervals until you have it memorized. The app was built and demoed at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon by Sina Khanifar, Sohail Khanifar and BC Broussard. Sina and Sohail are brothers. Broussard and Sina met through a co-working space and have collaborated together on Startup Bus projects. Memstash is based on the spaced repetition learning technique. Sina says there are many spaced repetition applications out there, but you have to manually add the material you want to learn and remember to actually study it. Memstash makes it easy to add material with the click of a button, and send you the “flash cards” without you having to launch an application. “You don’t have to remember to remember,” he say…”
Leisure & Entertainment
23.    Would You Let Readers Watch as You Write Your Book?  http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/silvia-hartmann-will-write-a-novel-live-on-google-docs_b56994  “…UK author Silvia Hartmann will launch “The Naked Writer” project on September 12th, letting her readers follow along on Google Docs as she writes her next novel…Whoever clicks on the link can offer feedback and watch her work…It will be amazing to write knowing that people will be viewing each word, paragraph and chapter, each backspace as I go along! Some authors plan their manuscripts in advance, but my stories tend to have a life of their own and I look forward to seeing what unfolds with everybody else!”…In January 2012, The Sydney Morning Herald collaborated with their readers and published a novel called The Necklace. In April 2012, writer Willy Chyr invited the internet to contribute sentences to a novel. Since June 2012, YA author Kimberly Pauley has been polling her readers through her blog to help her write the third title in the Sucks to be Me series.”
24.    Grooveshark rolls out full HTML5 site for all devices  http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/05/screw-app-stores-grooveshark-rolls-out-full-html5-site-for-all-devices/  “Shortly after getting its Android app kicked out of the Google Play store, Grooveshark is rolling out the full version of its HTML5 web app today…Grooveshark is a streaming music service that relies on its users to upload songs to the cloud. People can then share or add those songs to genre-specific channels, much in the same way you can with YouTube videos. The service is unlike popular rivals such as Pandora and Spotify because it doesn’t have expensive licensing deals allowing it to play copyrighted music. And because of this, Grooveshark has run into legal battles with major music publishers that claim the startup is either infringing on copyrights or owes them royalty payments. Many speculate that Grooveshark’s legal woes are what caused its mobile apps to be banished by mobile app stores…”
25.    Thunderbolt Graphics Technology Turns Your Ultrabook Into a Gaming Rig  http://blog.laptopmag.com/thunderbolt-graphics-technology-turns-your-ultrabook-into-a-gaming-rig  “Your Ultrabook’s onboard graphics chip may be good enough for some gaming, but what if you could enjoy all the power of a high-end desktop video card or even dual video cards, every time you sat down at your desk? A new technology from Lucid, makers of the Virtu MVP graphics acceleration software, will let you attach any Thunderbolt-enabled notebook to an external graphics card that’s good enough to transform your 3-pound ultraportable into a heavy-hitting gaming system…What happens when you accidentally (or purposefully) disconnect the external graphics card from your laptop while you have a program running? Lucid’s Thunderbolt graphics software will simply force close your application and return you to the Windows desktop, without forcing you to reboot or allowing a system crash…The notebook world has long been waiting for truly powerful and practical external graphics solution. Back in 2007-2008, ASUS teased mobile gamers with its XG Station graphics peripheral, which when it finally appeared, was only available in a few distant markets like Australia…When it comes to market, Lucid’s Thunderbolt video solution could change the way we look at notebook gaming. Today, if you want a portable gaming rig that really performs, you plunk down several thousand dollars on a gaming system that’s probably too bulky to carry. Tomorrow, you could have the best of both worlds: a light-weight Ultrabook that can play mid-range titles like World of Warcraft on the road, and demanding games like Batman: Arkham City when you come home and attach it to an external video card…”
Economy and Technology
26.    Running a Business With Staff Scattered Around the World  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/business/smallbusiness/running-a-business-with-employees-around-the-world.html  “…even though Mr. Dandrea, founder and chief executive of ITX Corporation, based in Pittsford, N.Y., looked all across the country, he struggled to find candidates…he began looking outside of the United States and discovered a surplus of talented but underworked I.T. professionals in Argentina. “I got 81 really qualified résumés, which blew me away…He hired seven of the applicants, but instead of transferring them to Pittsford, just outside of Rochester, he let his new employees work from Argentina. “We had to figure out how to manage projects with people remotely,” he said. “And how do you communicate with them in Spanish?”…He now has 128 full-time employees, including 72 in South America. Only 42 people report to the main office in Pittsford, and 14 work elsewhere in the United States. “It’s a lot of fun working this way,” he said. “But there are always challenges.” While there are benefits to employing a far-flung staff …it can be difficult to get employees to work cohesively. The suggestions in this guide come from business owners who have tried. Ken Cauley, founder of a video game news site, Kombo.com, said the hardest part was creating accountability…he worked with 10 employees and 30 freelancers in the United States, Australia, Canada, Honduras and Japan…One frequent problem was missed deadlines…four years after starting his business, Mr. Cauley decided his staff needed a set of black-and-white rules. He and his employees developed the “Kombo Bible,” a 40-page document that detailed every aspect of the company…Soon after, people stopped missing deadlines and productivity increased…employees knew exactly what would happen if they slacked off…accountability issues pretty much dropped to zero…Clevertech, which builds custom software and applications…has employees in India, Israel, Pakistan…Mr. Shalev has employees post a daily goal on Yammer…His software developers also have to submit their code at the end of the day…He now requires all employees to have cellphones, so he can track them down if they fail to report…He has learned to coordinate schedules across countries…someone has to make sure colleagues in other countries fill in…In some cultures, people say yes a lot — “but they don’t mean yes; they mean they heard you,”…The first few years running his company…he often got caught up with something and did not go to bed until 3 a.m. To avoid a 24-hour workday, Mr. Shalev asks his overseas employees to work as close as possible to 9 to 5 Eastern Standard Time…”
27.    The Lean LaunchPad Online  http://steveblank.com/2012/09/06/the-lean-launchpad-online/  “You may have read my previous posts about the Lean LaunchPad class taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Caltech and for the National Science Foundation. Now you too can take this course. I’ve worked with the Udacity, the best online digital university on a mission to democratize education, to produce the course. They’ve done an awesome job. The course includes lecture videos, quizzes and homework assignments. Multiple short video modules make up each 20-30 minute Lecture. Each module is roughly three minutes or less, giving you the chance to learn piece by piece and re-watch short lesson portions with ease. Quizzes are embedded within the lectures and are meant to let you check-in with how completely you are digesting the course information. Once you take a quiz, which could be a multiple-choice quiz or a fill in the blank quiz, you will receive immediate feedback…”
28.    Intel’s future being depressed by ARM  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/07/as-arm-based-devices-take-over-intel-cuts-its-sales-forecast-for-the-rest-of-the-year/  “Intel announced today that its sales for the third quarter will be lower than expected due to a decline in demand…that decline demonstrates once again that a major shift is occurring in the personal computer landscape. Even though the iPad and other tablets were quickly tagged as content consumption devices, companies such as Apple realized that tablets were canibalizing computer sales. Intel failed to adapt to the ever-changing space and the vast majority of its revenue still comes from x86 processors…iPad sales were up 181% year over year — and that quarter, Apple reported a “miss”. When it comes to chips, the companies that benefit from those new devices are Samsung and Qualcomm who manufacture systems on a chip with technology licensed from ARM. Intel still hopes that Microsoft will play an important part in the coming quarters. Windows 8 will be released on October 26 and could foster PC sales…Cheap ARM-based tablets with Windows 8 RT will have to co-exist with Intel-based tablets or tablet laptop hybrids. And then there is the Microsoft surface. If we ever get a release date and prices, Microsoft’s take should come with ARM and Intel chips, depending on the model. Intel has plans to release power-efficient chips as well. Some Windows Phone 8 devices should come with an Intel mobile system on a chip that competes directly with ARM-based systems on a chip. In the end, these low-power options are what will drive the next generation of mobile computers…”
DHMN Technology
29.    Now you can make watermelons explode with your brain  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/09/now-you-can-mak.php  “Thanks to an EEG headset and a compressed air cannon, destroying things with your brain just got a whole lot easier. LVL1, a hackerspace in Louisville Kentucky, has designed this rig that fulfills the fantasies of every disgruntled person ever: by looking at something (in this case, an unlucky watermelon) and concentrating hard enough, to can blow it into bite-size chunks. No genetic tinkering or use of the Force is required, just a hacked up Star Wars Force Trainer (which reads brainwaves, sort of) that controls a CO2 cannon jammed up the wazoo of a watermelon. Concentrate hard enough, and the headset will sense the power of your will and signal the cannon to fire, turning the watermelon (which, for the record, didn't ever do anything to you) into a tasty pulp…”
30.    Military Maker-tainers  http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/17/mobile-labs-build-on-the-spot-combat-solutions.html  “…the Army is deploying special scientists and self-contained, mobile laboratories to the warzone capable of designing and producing problem-solving inventions for soldiers operating in remote outposts in Afghanistan. The service’s Rapid Equipping Force, known as the REF, took a standard 20-foot shipping container and packed it with high-tech, prototyping machines, lab gear and manufacturing tools to create the Expeditionary Lab -- Mobile. Soldiers no longer have to wait to bring ideas back to scientists and engineers back in the states…These mobile labs represent the REF’s future as its director, Col. Peter Newell, wanted to figure out a way to help the Army’s quickest, most agile acquisition arm deliver equipment to soldiers even faster. Stood up in 2002, the REF has delivered life-saving pieces of combat gear such as the Raven drone and the Pilar acoustic sensor system that detects incoming bullets…”
31.     The launch Of GE Garages Making Things Competition, $20k award  http://www.3ders.org//articles/20120908-the-launch-of-ge-garages-making-things-competition.html  “GE Garages are a series of pop-up open workshops launched by GE aiming to serve as an advanced manufacturing lab for technologists, entrepreneurs and everyday people. The first GE Garages was launched at SXSW Interactive(an emerging technology gathering in Austin, Texas) on Mar.8. After SXSW Interactive, GE Garages will travel to other cities…GE is partnering with STORY, a Chelsea based 2,000 sq ft retail space which operates with the "point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery, and sells things like a store", for its upcoming October issue: MAKING THINGS. Making Things is GE Garages' new competition for finding an architect/design to design and produce a spatially stunning window installation using rapid prototyping technology for the new GE Garages pop-up store. This store will be housed temporarily in New York City's Chelsea-based retailer STORY. The opening date of the store is October 5. Entries are due September 20…”
32.    Hardware Hackers At The Disrupt Hackathon  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/04/hardware-hackers-we-want-you-at-the-disrupt-hackathon/  “Do you have hardware project that’s been simmering on the back burner because you can’t get access to a 3D printer? Come on down to the Disrupt Hackathon and use one of the MakerBots and Raspberry Pis we’ll have on site for anyone to use. Build toys, robots, Arduino cases, or whatever you want and enter the Disrupt Hackathon as an inaugural hardware hacker…The best hardware hack as chosen by the judges wins a brand new Replicator courtesy of MakerBot – a $2,000 value…For starters, I’ll have four Raspberry Pi boards available for hackers to futz with during the evening courtesy of our friends at Adafruit Industries. If you’d like to get access to one (and to keep one) you must contact me at john@techcrunch.com before this Friday and I’ll choose four hackers at random. You’ll want to bring an SD card with Adafruit’s own Raspberry Pi Linux Disro already ready to go so you can get down to hacking instead of spending precious minutes flashing images…If you’re already an advanced hacker, pack up your Ardunio board and bring a selection of sensors and motors. Once we get better at the hardware portion of the festivities we’ll be sure to bring a supply for you all to use, but this year in SF we need your help to shape our hardware hacker best practices. Come ready to build something in 24 hours with a team of strangers …”
33.    The Variable Cross: Create Your Own 3D Printed Cross Pendant Necklace  http://on3dprinting.com/2012/09/06/the-variable-cross-create-your-own-3d-printed-cross-pendant-necklace/  “…celebrities are wearing cross pendant necklaces of all different shapes and designs. The trend is hot and there are many to buy online, but what if you wanted to design your own? Now you can. The Variable Cross is a pendant that you can customize through a webpage in 3D. The website uses brand new WebGL technology (works best in Chrome). Once you create your design, it is 3D printed in sterling silver. This is the service first to offer you the tools to create your own jewelry in precious metals using 3D printing…”
34.    Pre-assembled all-Metal HYREL 3D printer  www.­3ders.­org/­articles/­20120909-­pre-­assembled-­all-­metal-­hyrel-­3d-­printer.­html  “A small group of designers and engineers based in Atlanta, USA launched their HYREL 3D printer project on Kickstarter. HYREL is fully assembled 3D printer and fully tested before delivery. It has rugged metal frame made of steel and aluminum and uses precision linear rails for all three axes…HYREL 3D printer will also include the expandable and upgradable features such as expandable build area pack – Go from 150x150x200 mm to 200x200x200 mm; expansion slot and electronics for second HYREL 3D "Hot-Head" extruder etc. For Kickstarter project the base printer HYREL Engine is sold for $1,395, including a single extruder head and a build area of 150x150x200 mm…”  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/25111729/hyrel-3d-printer
Open Source Hardware
35.    Sort of a Sugru Repair Robot  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/05/diy-sugru-fixbot-robotic-arm/  “Robotic arms haven’t been the same since Tomy stopped making the Armatron but that doesn’t mean you have to live your life without a robotic helpmate. The Fixbot Robotic hand is a DIY project that requires a bunch of time, servos, and 3D printed parts, but it’s easy to make if you have a little time. It’s part of a marketing campaign by Sugru, a self-setting moldable rubber for repairing electronics. The video shows the Fixbot repairing things around the house…”  http://www.instructables.com/id/EBJZVMCH5Y9WD94/
36.    Thermal Imaging Phone Camera  http://www.instructables.com/id/Thermal-Imaging-Phone-Camera/  “I have a 100 year old house that can be drafty and hard to heat in the winter. I have been wanting a thermal imaging camera to help find leaks ever since we bought this house. So I finally just made my own.The temperature readings are overlaid onto the phone's camera display. The display is adjustable for different temperature ranges and can show the numeric reading for every zone or just 1…it is not as nice as the $2000 - $10,000 cameras but it is good enough for most things you need a thermal imaging camera for and it is also rather fun to play with…I would like to make and sell these so others like me can save money and energy. I should be able to manufacture and sell them for around $150. The software for iPhones is ready, the Android software will be available soon. This is also going to be an Open Source Hardware project…”
Open Source
37.    Two more tiny, sub-$100 Linux PCs join the fray  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/262009/two_more_tiny_sub100_linux_pcs_join_the_fray.html  “There seems to be no end in sight to the march of the tiny, sub-$100 Linux PCs arriving on the market this year, and recently two more contenders were added to the mix. It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about the Oval Elephant and the Mini X, both of which added fresh diversity to a landscape that already included the Raspberry Pi, the Cotton Candy, the Mele 1000, and the MK802, among others. Now, there are two more to consider: the $49 Cubieboard and the $89 UG802. Intrigued? Then read on…”
38.    CompuLab Intense-PC - A Low-Power, Compact, Powerful Linux PC  http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=compulab_intensepc&num=1  “…the latest computer out of CompuLab is the Intense-PC. The CompuLab Intense-PC is a very small form factor (19 x 16 x 4 cm), low-power, fan-less computer that features up to an Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, 16GB of DDR3 system memory, and a solid-state drive for storage. The Intense-PC is also available with Linux Mint pre-loaded as the operating system…I accepted an offer from CompuLab for them to send out an Intense-PC review sample…The Intense-PC isn't as tiny as the Trim-Slice or Fit-PC2, but it's not shipping with an Intel Atom or ARM CPU but rather a low-power Intel Celeron/Core processor. The Intense-PC is available in several varieties ranging from an Intel Celeron 827E to an Intel Core i7 3517UE "Ivy Bridge" 17 Watt processor. The model that CompuLab sent over was the Intel Core i7-3517UE model, which is a dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz with a 2.8GHz Turbo Boost and 4MB of Smart Cache. Along with the Core i7 3517UE CPU, which boasts Intel HD 4000 graphics and are used by the Intense-PC, the configured system for evaluation had 8GB of RAM, a 500GB Hitachi HCC54755 HDD, and a Realtek RTL8188CE wireless adapter…”
Civilian Aerospace
39.    Dream Chaser's crazy Cold War backstory  http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/09/the-long-complicated-voyage-of-the-dream-chaser-may-yet-end-in-space/  “One clear, sunny day this past May…an Erickson Aircrane helicopter hoisted the UFO up off its perch of rectangular white styrofoam and carried it in circles around the local airstrip…That day, the world met Dream Chaser, the small spacecraft that Sierra Nevada Corporation hopes will become NASA's future ride to the International Space Station…it's set to be dropped from a helicopter for first landing tests some time later this year. It's the only spaceplane on NASA's short list of CCiCap partners; the other two are Apollo-like capsules designed to plummet back to Earth…while the craft itself is new, Dream Chaser's history goes much further back…The Dream Chaser is a Cold War product, replete with secret military programs, spy planes, rocket scientists, Russian trawlers, and Air Force test pilots working in the middle of the desert. Fifty years later, this descendant of a secret Soviet spaceplane might finally see its way into orbit. The American branches of the Dream Chaser family tree begin with Dale Reed, a man who loved anything that flew. Reed spent the 1960s doing experiments at what became known as NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center…NASA Ames researchers had made an important discovery: a blunt-nosed airplane didn't get hot the way a pointy-nosed one did when it reached supersonic speeds, because a pressure wave held the hot air away from the nose. A blunt-nosed spacecraft was therefore more likely to survive atmospheric re-entry…the blunt capsule shapes Ames researchers began testing didn't fly very well. They fell through the atmosphere and decelerated at about eight times Earth's gravity…Dale Reed decided that a flying spacecraft was a better option, one with the ability to reenter gently and fly to a specific destination…Wings are a problem for re-entry vehicles; they burn up easily and they must be strong enough to withstand the force of reentering the atmosphere at over 20,000 miles per hour…Reed read the research papers and began to build models of wingless aircraft, crafted out of paper and balsa…Eventually, he convinced his superiors to grant him the small team of people and budget necessary to build full-sized aircraft…”
40.    Going up? Kickstarter hopefuls raise space elevator cash  http://phys.org/news/2012-08-kickstarter-space-elevator-cash.html  “While a small amount of money raised will make them a stronger hobby team the more they raise in time the stronger the possibility that LiftPort can become a true lunar elevator company…the amount that has been pledged is $13,899 with 16 days to go The overall goal is continued research and work toward the construction of that lunar elevator. "The study will include characterization of materials; analysis of required rocketry and robotics; and evaluation of landing sites and methods of anchoring to the Lunar surface…The Liftport system would allow access to the lunar surface via a ribbon cable. The Liftport system would first send a base spacecraft into orbit. A ribbon cable would shoot out towards the lunar surface, and a lander module would attach to the moon's surface…The company plans to use the Kickstarter funds to create a floating balloon platform tethered to the ground, which will assist a robot to climb into the sky…"We can pre-test this up to 200ft without causing a ruckus at the Federal Aviation Administration. Any further, and we need airspace clearances from the FAA, Air Force and Navy." Laine says that the modest goal of $8,000 at first is to rebuild their community. "We will launch another campaign; and another, and another and another." The most ambitious goal of raising $3 million would allow the LiftPort to carry out a one-year feasibility study for the moon space elevator project…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
41.     HP, Intel Score Petaflop Supercomputer at DOE Lab  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-09-05/hp_intel_score_petaflop_supercomputer_at_doe_lab.html  “The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has ordered a $10 million HP supercomputer equipped with the latest Intel Xeon CPUs and Xeon Phi coprocessors…the system will deliver one petaflop of performance and will take up residence in one of the most energy-efficient datacenters in the world…The first phase will use HP's ProLiant SL230s and SL250s servers. These will be equipped with the current "Sandy Bridge" Xeons, specifically the new E5-2670 CPUs (8-core 2.6 GHz, 115W). At least some of the SL250s boxes will also host the upcoming "Knights Corner" coprocessor, the first commercial chip in Intel's new manycore Xeon Phi line…The second phase of the HP system will incorporate next year's "Ivy Bridge" Xeons, built on Intel's latest 22nm technology. When completed in the summer of 2013, the HP cluster will house about 600 Xeon Phi coprocessors and 3,200 Xeons. Although that's not a particularly high ratio of accelerators to CPUs, it's likely that the vector-heavy Xeon Phi silicon will deliver more than half of the total flops for the machine…”
42.    Oak Ridge: The Frontier of Supercomputing  http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/09/10/oak-ridge-the-frontier-of-supercomputing/  “the data hall within Oak Ridge National Laboratory…reveals three of the world’s most powerful supercomputers…The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) is on the frontier of supercomputing, forging a path toward “exascale” computing. The data center features an unusual concentration of computing horsepower, focusing 18 megawatts of electric capacity on a 20,000 square foot raised-floor area. “The power demands are about what you would see for a small town,”…That power sustains three Cray systems that rank among the top supercomputers in the latest Top 500 list…Jaguar is currently undergoing a metamorphosis into Titan, an upgraded Cray XE6 system. When it goes live…Titan will be capable of a peak performance of up to 20 petaflops…Titan will be accelerated by a hybrid computing architecture teaming traditional central processing units (CPUs) from AMD with the latest high-speed graphics processing units (GPUs) from NVIDIA…At 20 petaflops, Titan would be significantly more powerful than the current Top 500 champ, the Sequoia supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Labs…But Titan is just a first step toward the goal of creating an exascale supercomputer…by 2018. Jaguar…dual 6 core AMD Opteron chips have been upgraded to a single 16-core Opteron CPU, while Jaguar’s Seastar interconnect has been updated with Cray’s ground-breaking new Gemini interconnect…NVIDIA Tesla 20-series GPUs are being added to the system, which will be upgraded to NVIDIA’s brand new Kepler architecture. Upon completion, Titan will feature 18,688 compute nodes loaded with 299,008 CPUs, with at least 960 of those nodes also housing GPUs…”

*****

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