2012/09/18

NEW NET Weekly List for 18 Sep 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 18 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. Once again, 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...

The ‘net
1.        Windows XP users to lose Google Apps support in Internet Explorer; GApps For IE8 Dropped  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57513361-93/windows-xp-users-to-lose-google-apps-support-in-internet-explorer/  “Millions of Internet Explorer users who work with Google Apps are about to need an upgraded browser -- but if they're using Windows XP or earlier, they may be out of luck. Google said today that it would end Google Apps support for Internet Explorer 8, the most widely used version of the venerable browser. But Microsoft blocks Windows XP users from installing more recent versions of IE, owing to the way device drivers are handled inside Vista and Windows 7. Users facing that dilemma have at least one easy way around that dilemma -- install Chrome! -- but plenty of IT managers frown on that sort of thing, particularly in government and education settings. Google's support for IE 8 will end November 15, shortly after the introduction of Internet Explorer 10 on October 26. "Each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, we begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version," the company explained…”
2.       1 in 5 U.S. women are now using Pinterest  http://vator.tv/news/2012-09-13-study-1-in-5-us-women-are-now-using-pinterest  “…Pinterest…the only way to keep track of all the stuff I want.  It makes it so easy to keep track of the cute baby clothes I want, and the home décor stuff I want, and the kitchen gadgets I want…Women account for 80% of all household purchases, so this might be the reason why one in five online women are now on Pinterest…Given all the reasons why I love Pinterest, the photo-sharing site’s popularity with women is not surprising…more than 17% of all pinboards are categorized under Home.  More than 12% of pinboards are categorized under Arts and Crafts, followed by Style/Fashion (11.7%), Food (10.5%), and Inspiration/Education (9%).  Food is the fastest growing category on Pinterest and generates the most repins. The survey found that Pinterest is most popular among women between the ages of 18 and 29, those with some college education, and those with an annual household income of $50,000—$75,000.  While 19% of women are using the site, just 5% of online men are on Pinterest…”
3.       Google Drive Threatens Microsoft's Footprint on Enterprise Tablets  http://midsizeinsider.com/en-us/article/google-drive-threatens-microsofts-footp  “…Microsoft Office suite has dominated both the home market and enterprise space for many years, with few inroads made by competitors such as OpenOffice and Google Docs. Microsoft's continued dominance of the desktop is finally being tested, however, as the "desktop" increasingly lives on user-owned tablets or smartphones--a universe dominated by rivals Apple and Google…a recent announcement about Google Drive shows how Microsoft still lags behind in innovating for the tablet market…iOS users of the Google Drive app can now edit Google documents--a functionality previously only available to Android users. This brings to the more than 400 million iOS devices sold to date the ability to create word processing documents, save them for free to cloud storage, organize them into folders, and allow others to collaborate from the comfort of their iPads. They join 400 million Android devices that already have this ability. Another feature upgrade for both platforms is the ability to view Google Presentations, which are the equivalent of Microsoft's PowerPoint presentations. Future Android and iOS updates promised by Google include the ability to collaborate in real time with Google's spreadsheets…the only Office functionality offered by Microsoft for iOS and Android is its OneNote product, giving Google free reign to attract users seeking a way to perform word processing tasks on their tablets and smartphones…”
4.       YouTube Moves API Discussions And Support To Stack Overflow, Ditches Google Groups  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/14/youtube-moves-api-discussions-and-support-to-stack-overflow-ditches-google-groups/  “…YouTube has taken steps to join Stack Overflow and bring discussions about its API there. For those who are using the API, you know that Google Groups hasn’t really been cutting it as far as getting updated information, details, and responses. It’s an interesting move for a Google-owned property to jump outside of its own house, but one that’s necessary to properly engage with developers. Go to where people are comfortable, your own tools be damned if they’re not cutting it…Here’s what the team had to say about it: Many of you are already familiar with the terrific Stack Overflow website, which has become the de facto resource on the web for all types of programming questions. And many of you have been asking YouTube API questions on Stack Overflow for some time now, but haven’t received any official responses from the YouTube API Developer Relations team. That’s because, for the past five years or so, our focus has been on providing developer support via our dedicated Google Group. We’ve decided that instead of continuing to maintain a dedicated Google Group for YouTube API questions, it would help more users if we focused on responding to Stack Overflow posts…”
5.        German government urges public to stop using Internet Explorer  http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57515312-75/german-government-tells-public-to-stop-using-internet-explorer/  “…fallout from this weekend's discovery of security holes in several versions of Internet Explorer continues to spread. The latest: Germany is urging its citizens to stop using Internet Explorer until there's a fix. "A fast spreading of the code has to be feared," the German government's Federal Office for Information Security, or BSI, said. The BSI recommended that users access the Internet using alternative Web browsers until Microsoft's security update becomes available. It's unusual for a government to flatly urge its citizenry to stop using a popular tech product, such as Microsoft Explorer. The security hole could compromise computers IE users use when they surf to a malicious Web site…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
6.       Google rejects White House request to pull Mohammad film clip  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/us-protests-google-idUSBRE88D1MD20120914  “Google Inc rejected a request by the White House on Friday to reconsider its decision to keep online a controversial YouTube movie clip that has ignited anti-American protests in the Middle East. The Internet company said it was censoring the video in India and Indonesia after blocking it on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya, where U.S. embassies have been stormed by protestors enraged over depiction of the Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and philanderer…Google said was further restricting the clip to comply with local law rather than as a response to political pressure…White House officials had asked Google earlier on Friday to reconsider whether the video had violated YouTube's terms of service…Google said on Wednesday that the video was within its guidelines…”
7.        Find My iPhone Leads To Arrest Of Suspects In Atlanta Armed Robbery Case  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/14/find-my-iphone-leads-to-arrest-of-suspects-in-atlanta-armed-robbery-case/  “…iPhone has had its crime-fighting capabilities detailed before, but a new story…has its Find My iPhone feature helping to catch two suspects in an armed robbery case. After five women were held up at gunpoint near the Biltmore Hotel last night in the Georgia state capital, police tracked one of their stolen iPhones to an apartment and nabbed the suspects…police used Find My iPhone, the service that Apple makes available to iCloud users who also own iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and iPad hardware, to track the device. Find My iPhone has helped in arrests a number of times in the past…Find My iPhone actually has more useful features in store in iOS 6, including a method for tracking a device’s progress and marking its route on a map, so you don’t just see where it is, but also where it has been since it left your possession…”
8.       Virgin Mobile fails web security 101, leaves six million subscriber accounts wide open  http://kev.inburke.com/kevin/open-season-on-virgin-mobile-customer-data/  “tl;dr Anyone who knows your Virgin Mobile phone number can…see who you’ve been calling and texting…change the handset associated with your number…change your address, your email address, or your password…purchase a handset on your behalf…There is no way to defend against this attack…I reported the issue to Virgin Mobile a month ago and they have not taken any action, nor informed me of any concrete steps to fix the problem, so I am disclosing this issue publicly…”
9.       Without radical change in patent law, Android's ecosystem will die  http://www.zdnet.com/without-radical-change-in-patent-law-androids-ecosystem-will-die-7000004311/  “As we have seen from the outcome of the Apple v. Samsung trial, the jury found that Samsung willfully infringed upon intellectual property patents which Apple held that caused customer confusion as to product origin and as a result, damaged Apple's sales…And if that decision is ultimately upheld, then I think…the Android ecosystem of the future will look very different than the one that we see today. I believe it is extremely likely that many if not all of the infringements of Apple's patents by Samsung will be upheld. I also think that it is likely that Samsung might have to pay triple (treble) damages due to "willful intent" to infringe…it is possible for Android partners to avoid further litigation and bans by creating a distinct trade dress for their devices which are unmistakeable from iOS devices. Amazon appears to have done this successfully with Kindle Fire and this has kept their products out of Apple's legal crosshairs…Software alterations would also have to be made in order to avoid patent infringement. The most notable of which is D'305, which covers a grid of rounded square icons against a black background -- the trade dress of Apple's iOS…But aside from trade dress/industrial design alteration, there is also the issue of the utility patents that were violated in the Samsung v. Apple case, and the only way to avoid that would be to remove the infringing functionality. Much of this functionality is critical to the way in which mobile devices operate, such as Apple patents D'381, D'915 and D'163, which cover many of the multi-touch gestures we come to think of as very basic in the operation of mobile devices, such as pinch to zoom/twist and touch scrolls, among several others…For Android to thrive, the US Patent system as a whole requires reformation, or Apple's utility and design patents that give them a virtual stranglehold on the industry need to be invalidated. I don't see either of the two things happening anytime soon.” [if what this article predicts actually comes to pass, the US patent system will almost single-handedly be responsible for putting a stop to smartphone (and possibly mobile computing) innovation in the US; following similar logic, there should be only one television manufacturer, and only one automobile manufacturer (“hey, you can’t use a circular steering ‘wheel’ to guide where your ‘car’ goes…and you can’t call it a ‘car’ either”) – ed.]
10.     AT&T will be slapped with net neutrality complaint over FaceTime blocking  http://gigaom.com/2012/09/18/att-will-be-slapped-with-net-neutrality-complaint-over-facetime-blocking/  “Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute have informed AT&T that they intend to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against the wireless carrier for violating network neutrality rules. The complaint will address Ma Bell’s plan to keep certain subscribers from using Apple’s FaceTime video calling on the AT&T cellular network. The move was expected, but the timing on when the FCC responds is unclear…this move is designed to do two things for AT&T. One, it pushes users to the newer shared data plans that help AT&T offset the loss in revenue from users deciding to dump texting and even voice plans. Two, it seeks to conflate Wi-Fi networks with cellular networks for purposes of abiding by the network neutrality rules. By making Wi-Fi an equivalent of cellular, AT&T can keep traffic off its cellular network while also limiting where users can use over the top services…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
11.      Smartphones are the PCs of the future  http://www.extremetech.com/computing/134868-there-can-only-be-one-smartphones-are-the-pcs-of-the-future  “…You will look back at the early 2000s, perhaps with an inquisitive child sitting on your knee, and laugh at how you carried around a cumbersome, neck-straining, gorilla arm-inducing, larger-than-pocket-size computer. “It made sense at the time…” Desktops and laptops too, having already begun their slide into outmoded antiquity, will soon be nothing more than dusty cupboard-dwelling relics and museum exhibits. The one form factor that will remain — the last and only bastion of consumer computing — will be the smartphone…In a few years, everything you do on your laptop today will be achievable on a smartphone. So why continue to use a laptop?...the keyboard is still the best way of inputting data, and some activities simply can’t be performed on a 4-inch smartphone screen. This will change, though…voice recognition has finally reached the stage where it can replace keyboard input. Muscle-computer interfaces, infrared keyboards, brain-computer interfaces — in the next few years, any of these could reach a maturity level…The display side of things is no different: Head-up displays (HUDs) like Google Glass, wireless contact lens displays, flexible OLED and e-ink displays, and bionic eyes all threaten to replace the 70-year-old tradition of a solid, immovable screen being the centerpiece of our interaction with multimedia…commenters are quick to point out that there are just too many applications where PCs will never be unseated — especially by a smartphone. Commenters also point out that technology doesn’t die; it dies out, but it very rarely goes extinct…for the foreseeable future, there will be limits to just how much processing power you can squeeze into a smartphone…Instead of desktop PCs, though, I think this gap will be filled by cloud computing…the cloud will simply become another resource — another processor core — that smartphones can tap into…a time will come when chip making processes are so advanced that the SoC in your smartphone is 10 (or 100) times the speed of today’s CPUs and GPUs. Eventually, you won’t need…a desktop PC that you wheel out whenever you need to do some 3D modeling. Eventually, it will seem completely unfathomable that computing once consisted of sitting in front of a variety of large beige/black/silver cuboids. Heck, eventually, anything more than a brain-implanted interface will seem clunky…”
12.     After a decade of research, Intel shows off its digital radio chip  http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/13/after-a-decade-of-research-intel-shows-off-its-digital-radio-chip/  “…Pat Gelsinger…at IDF in 2002…famously predicted “Radio Free Intel,” where every Intel processor would ship with an onboard radio. “Pat caught a lot of flak…Rattner said. “We had no idea how to do that.” One problem was that radio signals are analog, based on real-world signals such as waves, in contrast to the ones and zeroes of digital signals of computers. As you shrink a chip, the circuits of a digital computer shrink as well. But analog circuits don’t work in the same way. They no longer work. So it’s a hard problem to combine analog and digital on the same chip…Intel set out to create a digital radio, over the past decade, and it has finally completed the task…Intel created digital frequency synthesizers, sigma delta analog to digital converters, digital phase modulators, and digital radio frequency power amplifiers. Those were the elements of digital radio receivers and transmitters. Intel has now created its digital RF Wi-Fi transceiver. It has a 40-megahertz bandwidth, built with Intel’s 32-nanometer manufacturing technology, and it improves its functions as it is miniaturized. The experimental radio is comparable to decent stand-alone WiFi radios. Rattner thinks that the quality of the radio will be better within the digital chips than in separate analog chips over time…”
13.     Apple's iPhone launches no longer excite  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19557497  “…I'm constantly wondering what Steve would think about whatever Apple is doing. This week it's the iPhone 5. Everyone pretty much accepts that Apple will introduce it, and there have been so many leaks that everybody pretty much seems to know what it's going to be. Word is it will look a lot like the last two versions of the iPhone, except a bit thinner and a bit taller…I imagine Steve is not happy. First of all, he'd be furious about the leaks. Steve liked surprising people. More important, is this really the best we can expect from an outfit that claims to be the most innovative company in the world? This is the sixth version of the iPhone, and the user interface still looks almost exactly like the original iPhone in 2007…having had two years to plot and scheme, Apple's renowned designer Jonathan Ive has replaced the tiny 3.5in (8.9cm) screen with a slightly-less-tiny 4in (10.2cm) screen? Wow. Knock me over with a feather. What do you do with the rest of your time, Jony? This is what happens when a company is too cheap to invest in research and development. Did you know that Apple spends far less on R&D than any of its rivals - a paltry 2% of revenues, versus 14% for Google and Microsoft? No wonder the Android platform, where new models appear every week, now represents 68% of the smartphone market, up from 47% a year ago, while Apple slid to 17% over the same period…despite all its bluster about innovation, Apple has become a copycat, and not even a good one. Why is Apple making the iPhone bigger? To keep up with the top Android phones.  (Phones that, mind you, Apple fanboys ridiculed at first.)…Jobs once said the iPad's 9.7in screen was the perfect size, and smaller tablets made no sense. Then the Android camp had success with 7in tablets like Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7, and now Apple supposedly will announce its own smaller iPad in October. Talk about thinking different…”
14.     Intel Hopes to Counter ARM and Double Ultrabook Battery Life With Haswell Chip  http://www.pcworld.com/article/262156/intel_hopes_to_double_ultrabook_battery_life_with_haswell_chip.html  “The battery life of ultrabooks will nearly double with Intel's upcoming processors based on the Haswell microarchitecture, which will succeed processors code-named Ivy Bridge…Ultrabooks are a new category…but early sales have been disappointing partly due to high prices…The Haswell chips have been designed with ultrabooks in mind, so power usage has been cut to the point that the chip can be used in tablets. Some new Haswell chips will consume under 10 watts of power and deliver performance similar to Ivy Bridge chips drawing 17 watts of power. But Haswell can deliver double the performance compared to Ivy Bridge on the same power consumption…”
15.     Samsung Galaxy S III is a winner in my book  http://www.mercurynews.com/troy-wolverton/ci_21538941/wolverton-samsung-galaxy-s-iii-is-winner-my  “If you're shopping for a smartphone and aren't an iPhone fan, you'd do well to take a close look at the Samsung Galaxy S III…The device has become my go-to smartphone in recent months because it's fast, sleek, relatively easy to use and has a nice complement of features…Android devices…for all their talk about having powerful dual or even quad-core processors, they've just felt sluggish. Not so the Galaxy S III. Apps load and quit quickly and you can swiftly move from one homepage or app page to another…Sitting at my desk at work with the AT&T version of the Galaxy S III, I clocked download speeds of as fast as 54 megabits per second and upload speeds of as fast as 10 megabits per second. That kind of bandwidth blows away even my fast landline connection at home. One of the first things you'll notice about the Galaxy S III is its jumbo-sized screen. The device is one of a group of recently released Android smartphones with screens approaching 5 inches in diagonal. I generally haven't been a big fan of super-sizing screens. Larger screen phones have tended to feel bulky…bigger batteries…often hasn't translated into better battery life because more energy is needed to power their bigger screens. But I haven't been bothered by the S III's jumbo-sized display. Partly that's because the device is very thin…with rounded edges, making it easy to hold in one hand…” [if you needed a new smartphone right now, would you buy iPhone, Galaxy SIII or something else? And will Apple be able to get Galaxy SIII banned from the US? – ed.]
16.     Apple's timid new iPod nano sidesteps a smartwatch revolution  http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/14/3333316/apples-timid-new-ipod-nano-sidesteps-a-smartwatch-revolution  “…Apple's new iPhone 5 is a fine product, a line drive down the middle. It will easily sell millions and likely even break some records…It's also a little boring, which has led to serious questions about Apple's willingness or ability to innovate…The biggest danger sign for Apple is the iPod nano…One year the nano was plastic. Then it was metal. First it was thin, and then it was fat. Then it was thin again. Then it was Apple's answer to Flip video cameras. Then another revolution as the nano became a tiny slab of aluminum with a multitouch screen just slightly bigger than a watch. Now the latest nano, which is once again tall and thin, with a 2.5-inch display…Apple reworks the nano every few years to kick off a cycle of upgrades — the $150 nano is an impulse buy holiday present that almost makes it seem like you care about the recipient. "It's a new iPod nano!" you say to your giftee. "It indicates my hope that something shiny will distract you…iPod sales decline steadily every quarter, and cynically changing the nano into a tiny fake iPhone to juice sales one last time won't stop that slide. The MP3 player market is dead, and Apple doesn't seem to know how to move on…a year ago…Apple updated the previous watch-sized iPod nano with new clock displays…The nano wasn't a very good watch, but the potential was blindingly obvious — it was Bluetooth and a connectivity protocol away from being the ultimate iPhone accessory. It felt like a brewing revolution in wearable computing that guaranteed an extra $149 in revenue from every iPhone owner…The TikTok and LunaTik iPod nano watch bands were the original Kickstarter success story, now sold in Apple stores. The Pebble smartwatch that connects to the iPhone shattered previous Kickstarter records and raised an incredible 10 million dollars in just over a month…Apple could have blown the smartwatch market wide open with the first truly must-have phone accessory in years…Instead there's the new iPod nano…it's not even a compelling product…It runs a goofy proprietary OS, comes in just one storage size, doesn't support apps or popular next-generation music services like Spotify or Pandora…Killing the iPod mini in favor of the much-improved iPod nano was once the shining example of Apple destroying the old to make way for the new…Jobs was insistent that past success not forestall future innovation…if Apple had introduced a completely re-imagined iPod nano that served primarily as a watch companion to the exact same iPhone 5 on Wednesday, we wouldn't be asking if the company's products had gotten tired or stale or safe…”
17.     Motorola unveils its first Intel-powered smartphone: Razr I  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57514407-94/motorola-unveils-its-first-intel-powered-smartphone-razr-i/  “After years of talk, Intel is finally making some headway into the smartphone business. Motorola Mobility is the latest company to unveil a smartphone, the Razr i, to be powered by an Intel processor. The Razr i is essentially the recently announced Droid Razr M for Verizon Wireless, only with the different processor. It will be available in Europe and Latin America. The Razr i is one of a handful of smartphones now running on an Intel Atom processor, further evidence that Intel is establishing a beachhead -- albeit a small one -- in the mobile arena. Intel has shrugged off criticism that its chips were too power-hungry and inefficient to run in smartphones and has partnered up with major players such as Motorola, Orange, Lenovo, and ZTE. Intel is racing to expand its presence in the mobile world as its core PC business faces a looming slowdown, with consumers shifting their disposable income toward smartphones and tablets and away from laptops and desktops…”
Apps
18.     Diagnosing Skin Cancer via iPhone: The Apps to Know  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/diagnosing-skin-cancer-via-iphone-the-apps-to-know/262325/  “…Skin cancer…is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. When caught early, it's also entirely treatable…people get a lot of moles, and moles tend to make people very nervous (with reason!). Yet in truth, while it's important to closely monitor your moles, most really are benign. It takes just minutes for a good doctor to do a check, but compare that to the one to four months the average American currently has to wait to get an appointment. Moles aren't the only dermatologic condition that's simple to diagnose, either. Acne has a high cure rate, given just a handful of data points. Rosacea, eczema...this translates to…a massive market of conditions so easy to diagnose that they possess relatively low liability, a fact that's putting dermatology at the forefront of some extremely impressive mobile and telemedicine technology. "Mobile dermatology solutions can help solve the problem of access, and that's fueling a lot of funding," says Unity Stoakes, co-founder of the Manhattan-based StartUp Health, an acceleration academy for health and wellness entrepreneurs…We test drove five apps and sites heading up the trend…”
19.     Free Apps Account For 89% Of All Downloads; Most Of The Rest Under $3; iOS Store Biggest Of Them All  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/11/free-apps/  “…there will be nearly 46 billion mobile app downloads made this year, nearly double the 25 billion downloads in 2011. Among those downloads, free will continue to reign supreme: 89% of those downloads worldwide will cost nothing. That is also appearing to have a knock-on effect on apps that are sold for a price: 90% of paid apps will cost less than $3…By 2016, Gartner is predicting the the mobile app market will see almost 310 billion downloads, with 93% of those free apps. These numbers point to growing opportunities for those companies that help app developers monetize their apps in other ways: not just through mobile advertising, but also through developing models for in-app purchases, subscriptions and other ways to get users to pay later for content…Apps that cost between 99 cents and$2.99 will account for 96% of all paid downloads by 2016, the analysts predict…Apple’s iOS App Store will account for more than 21 billion of the 45.6 billion mobile app downloads this year…That’s a rise of 74% …it’s not outpacing the growth of app downloads overall, which will have grown by 83% between 2011 and 2012…growth…is being led by apps on other platforms…Amazon’s Appstore and Facebook’s App Center are two that have stood out…Gartner believes that Facebook in particular could become a “powerful competitor” to the platform stores themselves, “due to its strong brand and leading position in social networking and gaming.”…Also noted are the rise of other independent Android stores, which have come out to cater to the proliferation of official and forked Android devices…In China, that trend has been particularly strong…due to the lack of presence of Google Play…”
SkyNet
20.    Google Glass and the Future of Technology  http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/google-glass-and-the-future-of-technology/  “…whole new gadget categories — don’t come along very often. The iPhone was one recent example…But if there’s anything at all as different and bold on the horizon, surely it’s Google Glass…Google doesn’t like the term “glasses,” because there aren’t any lenses...Last week, I got a chance to put one on. I’m hosting a PBS series called “Nova ScienceNow”…Google Glass seemed like a perfect example of a breakthrough on the verge. So last week the Nova crew and I met with Babak Parviz, head of the Glass project, to discuss and try out the prototypes…At the moment, Google is planning to offer the prototypes to developers next year — for $1,500…you can’t believe how little they weigh. Less than a pair of sunglasses, in my estimation…Inside the right earpiece…Google has packed memory, a processor, a camera, speaker and microphone, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a battery…Google has said that eventually, Glass will have a cellular radio, so it can get online; at this point, it hooks up wirelessly with your phone for an online connection…“This is the bulkiest version of Glass we’ll ever make,” Babak told me. The biggest triumph — and to me, the biggest surprise — is that the tiny screen is completely invisible when you’re talking or driving or reading. You just forget about it completely. There’s nothing at all between your eyes and whatever, or whomever, you’re looking at…yet when you do focus on the screen, shifting your gaze up and to the right, that tiny half-inch display is surprisingly immersive. It’s as though you’re looking at a big laptop screen or something. Even though I usually need reading glasses for close-up material, this very close-up display seemed to float far enough away that I didn’t need them…Glass is designed for two primary purposes — sharing and instant access to information — hands-free, without having to pull anything out of your pocket. You can control the software by swiping a finger on that right earpiece in different directions; it’s a touchpad. Your swipes could guide you through simple menus. In various presentations, Google has proposed icons for things like taking a picture, recording video, making a phone call, navigating on Google Maps, checking your calendar and so on. A tap selects the option you want…Google has also shown that you can use speech recognition to control Glass. You say “O.K., Glass” to call up the menu…as I looked left, right, up or down, my view changed accordingly, as though I were wearing one of those old virtual-reality headsets. The tracking of my head angle and the response to the immersive photo was incredibly crisp and accurate. By swiping my finger on the touchpad, I could change to other scenes…Issues of privacy and distraction will have to be ironed out (although I’m not nearly as worried about distraction as I was before I tried them on)…We’ve seen that the masses can’t even be bothered to put on special glasses to watch 3-D TV; it may take some unimagined killer app to convince them to wear Google Glass headsets all day. But already, a few things are clear. The speed and power, the tiny size and weight, the clarity and effectiveness of the audio and video, are beyond anything I could have imagined…Google Glass…has potential no other machine has ever had before…”
21.     Google: Alibaba's OS is an incompatible version of Android  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57513559-94/google-alibabas-os-is-an-incompatible-version-of-android/  “Google's Android chief, Andy Rubin, hit back against claims it muscled Acer out of using a rival operating system…Rubin called out Alibaba's Aliyun platform as a forked version of Android that's modified to the extent that it's incompatible with other Android devices. As a member of the Open Handset Alliance, Acer is forbidden from using such an operating system, he said…"Non-compatible version of Android, like Aliyun, weaken the ecosystem."…Acer had originally scheduled a press conference on Thursday to show off the first Aliyun-powered smartphone, but was told by Google that it would cease providing its support if it followed through…Any company can take Android and create a highly customized, or forked, version of Android. Amazon, for instance, uses its own variation of Android which isn't compatible with other Android devices. But companies under the Open Handset Alliance, which Amazon and Alibaba aren't a part of, have to run versions of Android that are compatible with its ecosystem, Google said. To have too many versions of Android in the market would be harmful to consumers and developers…Under these rules, other OHA members, including Samsung, aren't allowed to use heavily customized versions of Android if they want to further differentiate themselves. That would rule out Samsung using Android to build its own mobile OS…”  http://www.slashgear.com/googles-rubin-dont-expect-alliance-help-if-you-fragment-android-16247693/  “…Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps). So there’s really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that’s gone into that platform by the OHA…”
22.    Google Apps defeats Lotus, GroupWise in Australia  http://delimiter.com.au/2012/09/11/google-apps-defeats-lotus-groupwise-in-australia/  “In the past, the market for collaboration suites was divided between three major players — Microsoft, IBM and Novell, with the trio battling it out for market share in major and minor Australian organisations throughout the 1990′s and 2000′s. Over time, however, Microsoft’s Outlook/Exchange ecosystem has become the dominant player, with the two suites from IBM and Novell falling away…Telsyte revealed how far the pair have fallen…While it found that many CIOs were still hesitant to move on-premise applications into the software as a service model which Google Apps uses, it also found that the application which CIOs most wanted to move to the cloud was email and groupware. The search engine giant’s Apps suite is now second only to Microsoft’s Exchange for enterprise market penetration in Australia and is ahead of more established products like Novell’s GroupWise and IBM’s Lotus Notes…”
23.    Google Beefs Up Google Drive for iOS, Android  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409529,00.asp  “Google…updated its Google Drive app for iOS devices, adding editing and collaboration tools for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users…The search giant also added some new features to Google Drive for Android…Google Drive was released this past April…The file storage and synchronization service provides users with 5GB of free storage capacity, with additional capacity available for a monthly subscription fee that charges $2.49 per additional 25GB of cloud storage. Google Drive 1.01 for iOS now lets users create new Google documents, edit them, and format text in Google docs…Those features had already been present in Google Drive for Android. Users of Apple mobile devices will also now be notified of other people's edits of Google Docs in real-time, he wrote. That's a feature that has been available in Google Drive for PC users from the start. The improvement to Google Drive for iOS goes beyond just documents—iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users are now able to create folders and move files between via the app, and upload media like photos and videos to Google Drive from their devices. Google's presentation software has also been integrated into the new version of Google Drive. Users of iOS devices can now view presentations on their smartphones and tablets, plus look at speaker notes, switch to full-screen mode, and swipe between slides…”
General Technology
24.    Atomic bond types discernible in single-molecule images  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19584301  “…IBM in Zurich has published single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned. The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings…The team…used a variant of a technique called atomic force microscopy, or AFM. AFM uses a tiny metal tip passed over a surface, whose even tinier deflections are measured as the tip is scanned to and fro over a sample. The IBM team's innovation to create the first single molecule picture, of a molecule called pentacene, was to use the tip to pick up a single, small molecule made up of a carbon and an oxygen atom…the apparatus is kept at a cool -268C…The images show just how long the atomic bonds are, and the bright and dark spots correspond to higher and lower densities of electrons. Together, this information reveals just what kind of bonds they are - how many electrons pairs of atoms share - and what is going on chemically within the molecules…” [if at all interested in this topic, you gotta look at the picture in the article – ed.]
25.    Helium-filled WD drives promise huge boost in capacity  http://www.pcworld.com/article/262274/helium_filled_wd_drives_promise_huge_boost_in_capacity.html  “For more than 50 years, hard disk drives have run on air. That's about to change. Western Digital is preparing to launch a line of hard drives filled with helium gas that is said to drastically reduce internal friction and thus lower power consumption by 23% while increasing capacity by 40%. The 3.5-in data center drives…are expected to be available next year. The hermetically sealed drives are filled with helium, which is one-seventh the density of air…helium drives reduce drag on the disk's platters while the seals keep humidity and other contaminates out…”
26.    It’s Official: The Era of the Personal Computer Is Over  http://allthingsd.com/20120915/its-official-the-era-of-the-personal-computer-is-over/  “…As of this year, personal computers no longer consume the majority of the world’s memory chip supply…while it may not come as a terrible surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to personal technology trends during the last few years, there’s nothing like a cold, hard number to make the point crystal clear…The moment came during the second quarter of 2012. For the first time in a generation, according to the firm’s reckoning, PCs did not consume the the majority of commodity memory chips, also known as DRAM…During that period, PCs accounted for the consumption of 49 percent of DRAM produced around the world…it at first seems insignificant until you consider the wider sweep of memory chips in the history of the modern technology industry. PCs have consumed the majority of memory chips since sometime in the 1980s…And where are all those memory chips going?...phones consumed more than 13 percent percent of memory chips manufactured, and it expects that figure to grow to nearly 20 percent by the end of this year…IHS expects phones and tablets combined to consume about 27 percent of the world’s memory by 2013, while by that time PCs will consume less than 43 percent, making the decline, in the firm’s estimation, irreversible…the shift marks the beginning of an overall decline in the importance of PCs in the overall chip supply chain. Memory chip makers like Samsung, Hynix and Micron will focus increasingly on winning the business of phone and tablet makers and over time concern themselves less with the needs of PC makers…Last year, PC makers shipped about 353 million machines, an increase of about one-half of one percent, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see the industry finish the year with a slight decline in shipments year-over-year…IHS expects people around the world to buy 655 million smart phones this year, which would amount to nearly twice the number of PCs sold last year and almost three times the number of notebook PCs that will sell this year…For the last four quarters reported…Apple has sold 55.4 million iPads, which amounts to only 5 million fewer than all the PCs that Gartner says HP sold in 2011…”
27.    Hardware is dead  http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/15/hardware-is-dead/  “I go to China every four or five months for work…but the highlight of every trip is the day I spend at Hua Qiang Road North in Shenzhen. Pretty much every piece of electronics we use today is sourced and manufactured within 100 miles of Shenzhen, and Hua Qiang is the city’s electronics shopping district…In the US, when we talk about tablets we usually mean the iPad and increasingly the Kindle devices, but beyond that there is not much else in the market. I had heard that tablets in China had already reached low price points. You can buy a reasonable Android phone for $100 retail, and I wanted to see if I could find a $150 tablet…I walked into the middle of the scrum to a random stall. I pointed to one of the devices on display and asked, “How much for this one?” 300 kuai. My Mandarin is a bit rusty, so I had to ask again…the stall owner repeated renminbi 300 yuan…300 renminbi is US $ 45. And that was the initial offer price given to a bewildered foreigner in China, no haggling…I bought the device and did some more research. This was a 7-inch tablet, Wi-Fi only with all the attributes of a good tablet. Capacitive touchscreen. Snappy processor. Front facing camera. 4GB of internal memory and an expandable memory slot…these devices are now all over the supply chain in Shenzhen. At volume…you can get them for $35 apiece. My device ran full Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and had access to the full Google API, including Gmail, Maps…Once my heart started beating again, the first thing I thought was, “I thought the screen alone would cost more than $45.” My next thought was, “This is really bad news for anyone who makes computing hardware.”…there is almost no profit margin left in the hardware business. A $45 tablet is cheap enough to be an impulse purchase…A $45 price puts tablets within reach of a whole host of other activities…waiters in restaurants…mechanics in auto body shops…every nurse in a hospital…I’ve been writing about the impact of low-cost devices from China for several years. But I think we have been dancing around some of the implications…if your company sells hardware today, your business model is essentially over. No one can make money selling hardware when faced with the cold hard truth of a $45 computer…My contacts in the supply chain tell me they expect these devices to ship 20 million to 40 million units this year. Most of these designs are powered by a processor from a company that is not known outside China — All Winner…people in the industry…always ask “Who made it?.” My stock answer is “Who cares?”…There was no brand on the box or on the device…The hardware maker literally does not matter. Contract manufacturers can download a reference design from the chip maker and build to suit customer orders…The only way to make money with hardware is to sell something else and get consumers to pay for the whole device and experience…Apple sells more than just hardware. It sells iOS. It sells the Apple Brand…It sells a bit of magic. And people will pay $400+ for that. Amazon is also clearly way ahead on this model…last week, Jeff Bezos highlighted that Amazon does not make money on the Kindle, it makes money on the content it sells on top of the Kindle…At $45 retail, we will probably start to see tablets become giveaways. Open a checking account and get a tablet with your bank’s app preloaded. Sign up for an insurance policy or a stock-trading account, get a tablet to submit claims or day-trade…We are much closer than most people realize to a major tipping point in the industry. It is time for many to find a new business model…”
28.    Kinobi Will Use Kinect To Teach You Yoga, Dancing Or Maybe Even Surgery  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/11/kinobi-will-use-kinect-to-teach-you-yoga-dancing-or-maybe-even-surgery/  “…if you’re trying to learn a physical skill — like dancing, yoga or martial arts — how can you tell if you’re doing the moves correctly? Kinobi wants to solve this problem by using the Microsoft Kinect device to monitor your activity and give you real-time feedback. You watch a video on your computer and follow along, and Kinobi will let you know if you’re doing it wrong. Kinobi will sell a selection of instructional videos, filmed in 3D, delivered through a web application. You just need a computer with a modern web browser and a Kinect…It began as a tool for training teachers in classroom management. Chapman says he and his team were originally trying to create a solution for video recording teachers and providing feedback…One day he was standing in line at a department store and some kids playing with a Kinect and realized that he could use it for his project. Later they realized they could apply the system they built to many other skills. “When I was a kid, I tried everything,” Chapman says. “But as I got older, I tried fewer and fewer thing.” The reason, he says, is that he didn’t want to embarrass himself in public. He wanted more individualized instruction…Kinobi will monitor all your moves and give you individualized feedback from the privacy of your own home…Currently Kinobi only works with major muscle movements, but Chapman’s vision is to eventually be able to capture fine motor movements so that it could be used to teach many professional skills, up to and including surgery…”
29.    Will Apple’s Tacky Software-Design Philosophy Cause A Revolt?  http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670760/will-apples-tacky-software-design-philosophy-cause-a-revolt  “…Despite consistently glowing reviews from critics and consumers alike, iOS and OS X, Apple’s operating systems which tie Macs and iPads and iPhones together, have rubbed some the wrong way in recent years with their design directions…I spoke with a number of designers, Apple veterans, and industry insiders hostile towards Apple’s approach to software design. Equally eye opening was the number who genuinely praise Microsoft for its novel approach for Windows 8, the most radical redesign to date of the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. The criticism and controversy, much of it revolving around a trend called skeuomorphism, reveal chinks in Apple’s armor rarely visible to those outside…If you’ve ever used an Apple product, you’ve experienced digital skeuomorphic design: calendars with faux leather-stitching, bookshelves with wood veneers, fake glass and paper and brushed chrome. Skeuomorphism is a catch-all term for when objects retain ornamental elements of past, derivative iterations--elements that are no longer necessary to the current objects’ functions. In software, skeuomorphism can be traced back to the visual metaphors designers created to translate on-screen applications before users were accustomed to interacting with computer software: virtual folders to store your documents, virtual Rolodexes to store contacts. But over time, skeuomorphism has seeped into all areas of UI design, especially in Apple’s software, where text documents, for example, are made to look like yellow legal pads…Inside Apple, tension has brewed for years over the issue. Apple iOS SVP Scott Forstall is said to push for skeuomorphic design, while industrial designer Jony Ive and other Apple higher-ups are said to oppose the direction…it was Steve Jobs who encouraged the skeuomorphic approach, some say. "iCal’s leather-stitching was literally based on a texture in his Gulfstream jet,"…at Apple, where pixel-perfect standards are the norm, many designers believe skeuomorphism has significantly degraded the user experience. The issue is two-fold: first, that traditional visual metaphors no longer translate to modern users; and second, that excessive digital imitation of real-world objects creates confusion among users. "I’ve come to absolutely dislike this trend in user interface toward skeuomorphism," says designer Yves Béhar, the founder of fuseproject, which is best known for designing the Jawbone and original One Laptop Per Child PC…”
30.    The role of tech journalism in a post-technology world  http://www.zdnet.com/the-role-of-tech-journalism-in-a-post-technology-world-7000004303/  “…Tech journalists swarmed into…San Francisco earlier this week to cover the much anticipated Apple iPhone 5 launch…This small improvement in a mass produced consumer product resulted in a flood of news coverage. Yet just yards from where the legions of the tech press were packed…for a very long Apple product pitch, Intel, the world's largest chip company…was…discussing where it sees the future of computing. How many stories have you seen about Haswell and IDF compared with the launch of Apple's slightly longer, slightly slimmer iPhone?...Intel microprocessors power the server infrastructure of our digital world. Intel's roadmap for its microprocessors determines the shape of the future…Yet it seems of little interest to tech reporters. Tech journalism has become tedious product journalism where printing the spec sheets for mass produced consumer products is celebrated as a great story and where there appears to be little understanding of bigger picture stories about how our digital technologies are transforming our industries, cities, and our societies…The impact of digital technologies…is causing a massive disruption…now its easy to tell which news stories generate the highest views…It's also possible to tie reporters' salaries to pageviews and unique visitors. The rise of pageview journalism now dominates most newsrooms…There's no space to develop stories over time, there's few opportunities to educate readers about the importance of key trends…we are increasingly living in a post-technology world, where it's what we do with technology and all our other tools and processes, that matters. We have plenty of "technology" but we've barely scratched the surface of what we can do with it…The future is not about technology, it's about our collective ability to harness what we already have…It's easy to confuse innovation with technology but…Innovation is about creating new types of businesses in which technology is but one piece of a far larger story…Tech journalism will change but that change is unlikely to come from reporters trained to churn out six product stories a day…”
31.     Am I an outlier, or are Apple products no longer easy to use?  http://battellemedia.com/archives/2012/09/am-i-an-outlier-or-are-apple-products-no-longer-easy-to-use.php  “I’ve been a Mac guy for almost my entire adult life. I wrote my first college papers on a typewriter, but…in 1984, I found the Mac, and I never looked back. Till now…the past year or so has been dominated by the kind of computing nightmares that used to be the defining experience of my Windows-PC-wielding friends and colleagues. And it’s not limited to the Mac – the iPhone is also a massive fail in what was once the exclusive province of Apple: Ease of use. I’ll caveat this post with the fact that I may be something of an outlier – I have thousands of contacts in my Apple contact database, and…have amassed more than 10,000 digital images…But my wife isn’t an outlier. She has about 250 contacts. She tries to use iCal, but can’t make it work. Her email breaks early and often. And she’s spent the past two months in IT hell, trying to salvage her digital life from the clutches of Apple’s self-centered, walled-garden update called the Lion operating system, which wiped out nearly all her previous settings and useful applications…I am certain this post will elicit all manner of Apple fanboys who claim I’m a moron, that I’ve brought upon my own demise through stupid decisions.  Well, let’s review a few, and you can judge for yourself…”
32.    Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB Review  http://www.anandtech.com/show/6276/nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-review-gk106-rounds-out-the-kepler-family  “…NVIDIA could be selling more GPUs if they had access to more 28nm capacity. As a result of this capacity constraint they have had to prioritize the high-profit mainstream mobile and high-end desktop markets above other consumer markets…NVIDIA’s situation has finally improved to the point where they can finish filling out the first iteration of the Kepler GPU family. With GK104 at the high-end and GK107 at the low-end, the task of filling out the middle falls to NVIDIA’s latest GPU: GK106…GK106’s launch vehicle will be the GeForce GTX 660, the central member of NVIDIA’s mainstream video card lineup. GTX 660 is designed to come in between GTX 660 Ti and GTX 650…the GeForce GTX 660 will be utilizing a fully enabled GK106 GPU. A fully enabled GK106 in turn is composed of 5 SMXes – arranged in an asymmetric 3 GPC configuration – along with 24 ROPs, 3 64bit memory controllers, and 384KB of L2 cache…with GK106 packing 2.54B transistors into 214mm2…NVIDIA is setting the reference clocks for the GTX 660 at 980MHz for the core and 6GHz for the memory…GTX 660 has power target of 115W with a TDP of 140W…partners have the option of going with either 2GB or 3GB of RAM…Of the 3 cards we’re looking at in our upcoming companion GTX 660 launch roundup article, every last card is going for $229 despite the fact that every last card is also factory overclocked…At $229 the GTX 660 is going to be coming in just under AMD’s Radeon HD 7870…”
Leisure & Entertainment
33.    Famo.us Is A Gaming Engine For 3D Interfaces  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/10/famo-us-is-a-gaming-engine-for-3d-interfaces/  “Famo.us, launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco and brought to you by the same guy who founded PowerSet…lets developers write fully 3D apps without having to depend on complex programming tricks or compiled apps. It’s a lot like the interfaces you see in Iron Man or Minority Report, and it works on nearly any platform, including desktops, Android, and iOS. In essence, Famo.us is a JavaScript game engine that renders applications with high performance in both native and browser environments. The Famo.us engine does all the heavy lifting — you know, the stuff browsers are horrible at — and bypasses the operating environment to speak directly with the graphics hardware…The math involved with developing a 3D virtual world — at least one that performs well and follows the laws of physics — is incredibly dense, so you’d naturally assume that the coding language is foreign to most. But no. Developers can code for Famo.us in JavaScript. It’s as simple as that. Because the technology speaks directly to the GPU, it works on any device: iOS, Android, web, gaming consoles, and anything else with a GPU…”
34.    Google Fiber Adds Turner Channels, Including Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, And TNT  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/14/google-turner-broadcasting/  “When Google first announced the details of its Kansas City fiber rollout, one of the knocks against it was that its channel lineup was a little thin. While it had struck deals to bring video subscribers more than 116 channels, at the time of its announcement, it was missing some notable channels — stuff like ESPN, Disney, AMC, TBS, TNT, and HBO…Earlier in the week, Google announced that it had added channels from mega-conglomerate Disney, bringing networks like ABC Family, Disney Channel, and all the various ESPN channels to its lineup. That brought the total number of channels up to about 200. Today, Google announced it has also added content from Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting. The Turner deal will provide channels like Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, HLN, hTV, infinito, TBS, TCM: Turner Classic Movies, TNT, and truTV. That brings Google mostly up to parity with other distributors, and at $120 a month for TV and 1Gbps broadband, the offering is competitively priced…”
Economy and Technology
35.    Cheapest iPhone 5 costs an estimated $168 to make but sells for $649  http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/14/iphone-5-costs-168-to-make/  “The 16GB iPhone 5, the least expensive of Apple’s new smartphone models, costs $167.50 to manufacture…Tech Insights estimates the iPhone 5 costs about $35 more than the iPhone 4S to make. The most expensive competent is the new A6 processor, which costs $28. The second-most expensive item is the Qualcomm 4G LTE modem, which runs $25…When a wireless carrier isn’t paying for a portion of the device, the 16GB iPhone 5 costs $649. With a wireless carrier subsidizing the cost, it costs $199 but you’re tied to two-year contract. The cost difference between the $167.50 materials bill and the $649 sales price is $481.50. While some of that money goes into paying for Apple’s operations and marketing, it still makes a hefty profit. Apple collected $8.8 billion in net income last quarter alone…”
36.    Marissa Mayer Just Gave Every Yahoo Employee An iPhone 5, Android or WinPhone 8  http://www.businessinsider.com/marissa-mayer-just-gave-every-yahoo-employee-an-iphone-5-2012-9  “…Marissa Mayer just sent an email to all of Yahoo's full time and part time employees in the US, promising them a new Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or HTC smartphone…Yahoo employees will have a choice of phones: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or Nokia Lumia 920. Yahoo is also going to pay its employees data and phone bills…the idea is for Yahoo employees to use the phones that Yahoo users are using…The program will cost Yahoo a few million dollars, which is pocket change for a company with annual revenues in the billions of dollars. The benefit will be a more informed and motivated workforce. Here's a memo that just went out…As of today, Yahoo is moving off of blackberries as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries…we'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do…”
37.    Idle Print Looks to Monetize Spare Cycles in 3D Printing  http://on3dprinting.com/2012/09/14/idle-print-looks-to-monetize-spare-cycles-of-3d-printing/  “Idle Print is trying to help people find solutions for their 3D printing needs at a fraction of the cost, while also helping people who own 3D printers make some income on the side. Idle Print is an online marketplace that allows sellers with 3D printers to find buyers who need an object printed…We spoke with Idle Print and here’s the transcript of the interview…the rate of innovation and development of open source 3D printers is driving machine prices downward and capability upwards. ..much money do you think an end user can make…will depend on a great many things; supply/demand, additional services, marketing, capability, etc.   We hope to enable proficient operators with a capable machines to make a living doing this…we hope for this to be a platform to offer additional services to supplement revenue via 3D modeling, scanning, post processing, etc. We want to enable users to provide a bit more than just printing, though that’s certainly the foundation…”
38.    Dice Holdings Pays $20M Cash For Slashdot, SourceForge And Freecode From Geeknet  http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/18/dice-holdings-buys-slashdot-sourceforge-and-freecode-from-geeknet/  “…Dice Holdings, the career website owner, has bought the online media business of Geeknet, which includes the high-profile tech websites Slashdot, SourceForge, and Freecode, paying $20 million in cash for the assets. The deal is bringing Dice a set of sites that are profitable and generating good revenues: The company tells me that they are on track for a $20 million turnover this year on EBITDA of $5 million. Slashdot brings in 3.7 million uniques per month; Sourceforge has 40 million monthly unique visitors; and Freecode brings in 500,000 a month…it looks like the deal will leave Geeknet to focus solely on ThinkGeek, its e-commerce site for hipster tech-types. Dice Holdings has built a business around recruitment and job-finding sites focused on specific niches. They include the technology industry-focused Dice.com, eFinancialCareers, ClearanceJobs, Rigzone, AllHealthcareJobs, and Targeted Job Fairs, an events-focused business. Up to now, its purchases have been more in the area of building up this business — such as its 2010 purchase of Worldwideworker. It looks like the acquisition of Slashdot and the rest is a play to push more traffic to these lucrative job sites — specifically for Dice.com…”
DHMN Technology
39.    DARPA's LS3 robot mule follows you around  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13639_3-57509724-42/run-darpas-ls3-robot-mule-follows-you-around/  “Let the human-hunting games begin. Boston Dynamics has a new video of its oversized beast pursuing defenseless human meatsacks through a forest. The Legged Squad Support System (LS3), aka AlphaDog, is designed to carry 400 pounds of payload and travel 20 miles without refueling. It's funded by DARPA and the U.S. Marine Corps and is meant to support troops in rugged terrain. The latest video shows the cow-size monster clambering over rocks and up steep hillsides with heavy weights on its sides. It charges through bushes without a thought…It can also stand up when it's on its side on the ground. The person-following technology, however, will be key if the LS3 is deployed with marines in the field. It can also maneuver to preset locations with its sensors and by using GPS…” [gotta watch the video and see the pictures – ed.]
40.    Build a Supercomputer? You’ll Need Legos and Raspberry Pis  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/09/lego-super-gallery/  “Wanna build your own supercomputer? All you need is some Legos and a few dozen Raspberry Pis…That’s how Simon Cox and a team of engineers at Britain’s University of Southampton built their supercomputer, and they’ve the published instructions so that you can build one too. The total cost was about £2,500 — or $4,031 U.S. — not including network gear, but you can build a smaller version with four Raspberry Pis for just a few hundred dollars…the team wants to make supercomputing accessible to hobbyists, particularly kids like his 6-year-old son, James. “Our goal is to get just one child somewhere to say: ‘That’s cool mum and dad, can I have a go?’”…In the late ’90s, he worked on the first Microsoft Windows-based supercomputer, bringing the cost of supercomputing down from millions of dollars to tens of thousands. The Raspberry Pi project is the next logical step…hundreds of dollars is still quite a lot of money for a hobbyist project, especially in the developing world, but it does offer new possibilities to a much wider demographic…Raspberry Pi computers…only cost $35. Cox bought one for his son James, thinking that teaching him to program would be a fun summer activity. He was right. “It was amazing to watch his eyes light up as he figured out he could type stuff in and make the computer do different things,” Cox says. Then Cox…told his Southampton team they should buy a bunch of them and try building a supercomputer. James liked the idea too, intrigued by the thought of connecting lots of computers together to solve larger problems — so the team roped him in…Using 64 separate power supplies, one for each Raspberry Pi, is inefficient. But he wanted to show people they could do this on their own at home. That’s where the Legos come in. Cox was in James’ room one day when he realized they could use Legos to build the racks and cases for the supercomputer cluster…it’s not the most practical super computer in the world, but the graphics processing unit (GPU) on those Raspberry Pis does offer some real computational power. Cox also bought 16GB SD cards for all of them, so they have a combined storage capacity of about 1TB. That’s good enough for someone to start learning how supercomputing works…he’s already heard from one person who’d been trying to get the budget to do a computer science summer camp for kids. He was finally able to get the budget for the program when he showed his director the University of Southampton’s Raspberry Pi project. “The director saw that and said; ‘Oh, you’re going to be building cool things like this? OK then…”
41.     KindleBerry Pi  http://www.ponnuki.net/2012/09/kindleberry-pi/  “We left our little studio in the Kootenays…to travel throughout Europe, traveling to discover about new media, spiritual centers, art, design and open source initiative. I decided to go really minimal on the computer gear stuff, so I only packed my Kindle, a camera, an android phone and of course my Raspberry Pi! The Raspberry pi, although a beautiful project and quite an electronic feat, it can be a bit limiting as a main production machine, but I convinced myself I could use it as my main traveling computer. The plan was, using a Kindle as a screen, connecting it to the processing power of the Raspberry Pi while using an external keyboard to work comfortably…The tinkering started and the KindleBerry Pi was soon to be born. Although I ended up buying a laptop while traveling, all that dreaming and tinkering ended up working nicely, creating a really portable development platform. At the least it has become a proof of concept that could be used for other similar projects. So here is how you can create your very own KindleBerry Pi…”
42.    Raspberry Pi Made in the UK  http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1925  “…last year…we had to make the decision to manufacture the Raspberry Pi in China…when nobody had heard of the Raspberry Pi, we had been unable to find a British manufacturer whose prices per unit (especially at a point where we were thinking of sales in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands you’re seeing now) would work for us, and who believed that the project would be enough of a success for them to risk line space for us. There was just no way to make the Raspberry Pi in the UK and keep the price at $25 for the Model A…and $35 for the Model B…at the beginning of April, Eben and I paid a visit to…Sony’s Welsh facility, where, as well as making Sony products, Sony’s team undertakes contract electronic manufacture (CEM)…and they’ve already invested in adding PoP (Package on Package – the fiddly stuff where the Broadcom chip at the heart of the Raspberry Pi is stacked beneath the RAM chip) hardware manufacture ability and expansion capability just for us…Element14/Premier Farnell have made the decision to move the bulk of their Raspberry Pi manufacture to South Wales…The initial contract will see the Pencoed plant producing 30,000 Raspberry Pis a month, and creating around 30 new jobs…”
43.    UCSD is "Printing" Blood Vessels in Seconds  http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=27686  “…Among the most daunting tasks of tissue engineering is growing blood vessels.  In order to create functional organs, a tissue engineer must intubate the growing target tissue with blood vessels.  But creating the proper 3D structure to coax stem cells into differentiating into the correct kinds of endothelial and muscular cells to form the blood vessels has been a daunting task…researchers at the University of California, San Diego…have used a new method called dynamic optical projection stereolithography (DOPsL) to grow a fractal network of 3D blood vessels out of soft biocompatible gel…the UCSD team created a working prototype of micromirrors, which direct light to solidify photosensitive liquid biogel.  Controlled by the computer, the mirrors were able to pattern a network of 3D blood vessels in mere seconds…the technology will likely first be applied to attempts to better grow and differentiate diverse tissues in the lab.  For example the method could add vasculature to a growing cardiac tissue, improving its survival…Professor Chen…envisions a future in which mankind can simply "print" rich multi-tissue replacement organs -- say a heart, kidney, or liver -- then populate the framework with stem cells and chemicals, grow it for a couple months, then finally pop the finished product into a human…”
Open Source Hardware
44.    Building research equipment with free, open-source hardware  http://phys.org/news/2012-09-open-source-revolution-science.html “..The DIY movement has vaulted from the home to the research lab, and it's driven by the same motives: saving tons of money and getting precisely what you want. It's spawning a revolution, says Joshua Pearce.Three converging forces, all open source, are behind this sea change…software, 3D printers and microcontrollers. With these tools, researchers from all over the world are driving down the cost of doing science by making their own lab equipment. The open-source Arduino microcontroller is key…The Arduino…can run any number of scientific instruments, among them a Geiger counter, an oscilloscope and a DNA sequencer. But it really shines when it operates 3D printers like the open-source RepRap. This microwave-sized contraption starts at about $500 and can actually make parts for itself…Pearce's lab has five. 3D printers make stuff by laying down sub-millimeter-thick layers of plastic one after another in a specific pattern…The Arduino controls the process, telling the printer to make anything from toy trains to a lab jack. Lab jacks raise and lower optical equipment…Pearce received a quote for a thousand dollar version…Using a RepRap, inexpensive plastic filament and a few nuts and bolts, Pearce and his students made one for under a buck. Then they posted the OpenSCAD code they used to make the lab jack on Thingiverse, a web repository of designs where members of the "maker community" can submit their designs…"Immediately someone I'd never met said, 'This isn't going to work quite right, you need to do this,'" Pearce said. "We made a simple change, and now I have a lab jack that's superior to our original design."…"It is creating a gift economy. We've paid into the community by submitting our designs, and we get payment back in the form of excellent feedback and free access to other peoples work…The Thingiverse community already has a whole line of open-source designs for over 30,000 things…At Michigan Tech, Pearce is organizing a student-based Enterprise to do open-source projects for industry and to build custom-made instrumentation for university faculty at a fraction of the cost…In university research labs everywhere, thousands of dollars that once paid for equipment can now support graduate students. High schools will be able to afford good science labs. More research can be funded with fewer dollars, driving more discoveries...” http://www.appropedia.org/Building_research_equipment_with_free,_open-source_hardware
45.      Leveraging open source hardware to track fish  http://www.dal.ca/news/2012/09/10/student-collaboration-on-fish-chips-makes-a-splash.html  “Anyone with an iPhone is familiar with what an accelerometer does, even if they’ve never heard of one before. It’s the device that tells the screen to turn depending on how the phone is being held. That same technology is the cornerstone of Dalhousie student Franziska Broell’s research study, which focuses on biological oceanography and sensor development for marine animal tracking…She was tasked with developing an accelerometer that could be attached to a fish to record its movements. This device would collect data that would help the team learn more about fish behaviour and growth based on the movement of the tail…Currently, no one uses a reliable measurement of growth rate in the field…The two students have been refining the technology for over a year now by adapting open source hardware developed by the Arduino electronics community. Over that time, their device has evolved into a much smaller circuit that requires less power to operate while maintaining the quality of the data…I’ve been able to refine it to eliminate components and simplify the design,” says Bezanson. “We’ve designed our tags so they can sample up to 500 movements per second,” explains Broell as she watches a slow-motion video of a large fish eating a smaller fish. The moment passes so quickly that it’s easy to miss. The high-definition video has helped her team show that an accelerometer capable of recording such fast movements is necessary to learn more about feeding behaviours and growth rates…”
Open Source
46.    Intel declares Clover Trail Atom processor a "no Linux" zone  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/09/intel-declares-clover-trail-atom-processor-a-no-linux-zone/  “…Intel officials confirmed that the upcoming “Clover Trail” version of the company’s low-power Atom processor would not support Linux. The Clover Field processor is targeted at mobile devices, such as low-cost notebooks and tablets. The Inquirer reports that an Intel representative at IDF declared that Clover Trail “cannot run Linux” and is exclusively “a Windows 8 chip.”…the Clover Trail system-on-a-chip architecture was designed specifically for Windows 8 tablets and “convertibles.” In effect, Clover Trail is Intel’s effort to provide a full Windows 8 experience…on devices competitive with ARM-based Windows 8 tablets. To achieve that, Intel worked closely with Microsoft to instrument the chip to allow Windows 8 to control Clover Trail's advanced power management features, which support what Perlmutter called "always-on" functionality. It's that special sauce in Clover Trail that won't be supported for other operating systems, including Linux, likely in part because of Intel’s desire to keep those features close to the vest—and because of contractual obligations to Microsoft…”
47.    Google releases tool for creating online courses  http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Google-releases-tool-for-creating-online-courses-1705240.html  “Google is hoping to make the creation of course materials for online education easier with the release of the open source tool Course Builder. Google calls the project "an experimental early step in the world of online education" and explains that the project came about when the company's research arm created a large online course called Power Searching with Google…The software allows course creators to populate a bare-bones framework for delivering activities and assessments, populated initially with samples from Google's Power Searching course. It also includes basic forum functionality and sign-up pages for students to register. Google has also created extensive documentation on course creation and implementation…several universities around the world, including Stanford University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, have expressed interest in using the software to create some of their online courses. Users will need to be aware that, since the courses are using App Engine, significant usage will incur usage fees. Google's Power Searching course, which was accessed by roughly 150,000 visitors, would have cost about $20 a day to host on App Engine. According to the company, a course with up to 300 students should run free of charge on the platform…”
Civilian Aerospace
48.      Start your Own Space Program http://stephenmurphey.com/open-source-space-program/  “Open Source Hardware is ushering in a new era of personal & DIY space exploration. Starting your own space program has never been easier. Only a few years ago you needed millions (or billions) of dollars and a huge manufacturing facility. Not anymore. Thanks to low cost software and manufacturing tools – you can build satellites in your garage…Open Source Hardware designs are freely shared (usually online) so that anyone can build, adapt and modify them. Any improvements made by the community are also shared under this license and can result in huge improvements with limited resources…Cubesats were first designed in 1999 by CalPoly and Stanford as a low cost Open Source Hardware alternative to building a microsatellite from scratch. The blueprints have been freely shared and anyone can adapt and modify the designs to suit their space mission. Because Cubesats are easy to build and relatively cheap to launch, they have become quite popular with schools and governments that can’t afford traditional space exploration…You can build your own satellite for around $50,000 thanks to Open Source Hardware and affordable tools . But space exploration is still expensive and this is where Kickstarter comes in. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that has become popular for startups, artists and ambitious makers around the world. Several space entrepreneurs have even funded part or all of their projects using Kickstarter…”
49.    Warp drive could become science fact  http://news.discovery.com/space/warp-drive-possible-nasa-tests-100yss-120917.html  “A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel -- a concept popularized in television's Star Trek -- may not be as unrealistic as once thought…A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy. Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy, potentially bringing the idea back from the realm of science fiction into science…An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind…the starship itself would stay inside a bubble of flat space-time that wasn't being warped at all. "Everything within space is restricted by the speed of light," explained Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group of scientists and engineers devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight…”
50.      Astrium wins DEOS contract to demonstrate in-orbit servicing  http://www.astrium.eads.net/en/press_centre/-kx9.html  “Astrium, Europe’s leading space company, is preparing a new technology mission for the maintenance and disposal of satellites. Today, at the ILA Berlin Air Show, the DLR Space Administration announced that Astrium Friedrichshafen will be the prime contractor for the definition phase of the DEOS (German orbital servicing mission) project. The order is worth a total of around €13 million…The DEOS project will for the first time demonstrate technologies for the controlled in-orbit disposal of a defective satellite. In addition, DEOS will practice how to complete maintenance tasks – refuelling in particular – that extend the service life of satellites…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
51.     Motion estimation algorithm ported to GPU  http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/2012/09/motion-estimation-algorithm-ported-to-gpu.html  “Motion estimation in an image sequence has many potential uses such as detecting and tracking moving objects. However, one potential drawback to its use is the computation time needed to run the motion estimation software…researchers from the Illinois Institute of Technology…have taken a general purpose block-matching algorithm which is commonly used for motion estimation and ported it to run on multiple NVIDIA (Santa Clara, CA, USA) GPU cards using the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) computing engine. Their intention in doing so was twofold -- to develop a fast and accurate motion estimation for use in real-time video sequence processing and to develop a good case example for understanding the CUDA environment with use of single or multiple GPU cards…the implementation is suitable for processing a surveillance video at 720× 480 pixel resolution at 30 fps (real-time) using two NVIDIA C1060 Tesla GPU cards, outperforming the same outperforming the same CPU implementations by several orders of magnitude…The demo program will perform video capturing and streaming, at 360 × 240 pixels resolution and 30 fps, through the Internet from the users camera to the GPU server. The server performs real-time motion estimation and return estimated motion field, which is displayed on the user's screen…In an effort to make it easier for programmers to take advantage of  parallel processing hardware, Nvidia, Cray, the Portland Group (PGI), and CAPS enterprise have developed a new parallel-programming standard known as OpenACC…Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL; Cambridge, MA, USA) aim to make writing image-processing algorithms easier with a new programming language called Halide…Engineers at Vector Fabrics…have optimized an OpenCV image processing algorithm written in C++ and made the results available as an Android App.”
52.     Swiss National Supercomputer Center opens new facility  http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/2012/09/motion-estimation-algorithm-ported-to-gpu.html  “The Swiss national supercomputing center recently opened a new state of the art facility – with lake-water cooled computing systems…CSCS, known for their expertise in applying high performance computing to areas as diverse as the daily weather forecast and climate prediction through to drug discovery and evolution biology, are hosts for Switzerland's premier HPC systems - including the Monte Rosa andTodi Cray XE6 and XK6 machines. With over 50,000 CPU cores and around 200 powerful NVIDIA Tesla X2090 GPU cards on site, developers at CSCS are aiming to achieve significant scientific breakthroughs with their applications…”

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