2012/10/09

NEW NET Weekly List for 09 Oct 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 09 Oct 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'm not going to remote in to the meeting tonight -- I've already got 40 hours on my timesheet for this week and have about two more hours of work I need to do tonight. But I will be at NEW NET next week. Yay! Many a tech discussion has been held without me since I was last at a NEW NET gathering of Fox Valley geeks, so it will be good to be at Sergio's in person.

The ‘net
1.        Skype alternative FriendCaller Doubles Users To 10 Million In A Year  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/06/browser-based-voip-and-video-chat-service-friendcaller-doubles-users-to-10-million-in-a-year/  “…FriendCaller says it has doubled the number of users it has worldwide to 10 million in less than a year…The FriendCaller service, which lets people talk to other FriendCaller members for free but charges for calls to external phones and other services, works across mobile devices including iOS and Android. It also exists in Web Phone form, and supports Facebook logins. FriendCaller has been around for several years, with the company behind it, C2Call, founded back in 2008…”
2.       Internet Archive launches TV News Search & Borrow  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443720204578002592487339454.html  “…the Internet Archive launched a free service that will let people sort through archives of every national news program in the U.S. The service, called TV News Search & Borrow, uses transcripts produced for closed captioning, designed for the deaf, to allow anyone to search its archives, pull up video and link to 30-second clips. For TV news companies…the question is whether they will see the service as a long-needed archive—or a trampling on their intellectual property rights…Internet Archive has been recording a wide swath of news programming across some 20 networks for at least the past three years, and others for as long as 10 years…ordinary people should be able to "compare and contrast content in a way that we've been able to do for the print press for a long time, and never been able to do until now on TV…TV content owners have sued to have their content taken down from sites that archive clips or broadcast it live without individual licensees…Producers at the nonprofit PBS "NewsHour" have been using an early version of the new system and said they are thrilled with it. "It's a great way to have an archive that we don't have currently…Mr. Kahle of the Internet Archive said he hopes the service will inspire discussions rather than legal action…Internet Archive already runs a library of Web content called the Wayback Machine. The Internet Archive launched the Wayback Machine in 1996 as a record of the Internet, and has since expanded its efforts into digitizing books, and now TV…TV News Search & Borrow service isn't supposed to prevent people from watching TV…Users are limited to watching 30 seconds at a time, though they can easily click to watch the next 30 seconds of a program…The Internet Archive's approach may have legal cover because it is providing just 30-second clips…”
3.       Minnesota engineers’ device could increase Internet speeds  http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2012/UR_CONTENT_412865.html  “…scientists and engineers at the University of Minnesota…invented a unique microscale optical device that could greatly increase the speed of downloading information online and reduce the cost of Internet transmission. The device uses the force generated by light to flop a mechanical switch of light on and off at a very high speed…nanoscale light conduits can be used to generate a strong enough optical force with light to mechanically move the optical waveguide (channel of information that carries light). In the new device, the researchers found that this force of light is so strong that the mechanical property of the device can be dominated completely by the optical effect rather than its own mechanical structure…Glass optical fibers carry many communication channels using different colors of light assigned to different channels. In optical cables, these different-colored light channels do not interfere with each other. This non-interference characteristic ensures the efficiency of a single optical fiber to transmit more information over very long distances. But this advantage also harbors a disadvantage. When considering computation and signal processing, optical devices could not allow the various channels of information to control each other easily…until now…”
4.       Owning and selling domain names  http://www.elliotsblog.com/let-adam-dicker-negotiate-on-your-behalf-7373  “…pro domain investors can make more money than others…because of the negotiations skills they have honed over the last decade. Receiving offers and inquiries on domain names every day helps these experts close deals for higher value than many others…in 2009, I wrote a blog post about negotiating to sell a domain name, with a focus on how Rick Schwartz seems to be able to sell his domain name assets for far more than most of us…In the post, I wrote the following: I would like to share an idea for a new domain service – domain sales negotiations. The difference between selling a domain name for five figures, six figures, and seven figures is minimal and the negotiation is often the deciding factor. While most of us don’t have names as good as the quality of Rick’s, they don’t necessarily have to be in order to achieve a huge sale. If there was a negotiation service where we could seamlessly hand off a negotiation to an experienced negotiator, unbeknownst to the buyer, it could help us maximize our sales. It looks like Adam Dicker also had this idea, and he is now offering domain negotiation services. According to a DNForum post and now a page on his personal website, Adam announced that he is willing to negotiate on behalf of the domain owner…”  http://domainnamewire.com/2012/10/02/go-daddy-auctions-sells-30000-domain-in-september/  “…Go Daddy Auctions is reporting over 30,000 domains sold last month…The top reported sale for last month is CashLady.com at $36,000…Other top sales include: safetygloves.com       $22,000…chinaindustry.com            $20,540…democraticcapitalism.com                $20,000…82.net  $17,905…startime.com       $15,000 (registered in 1996)…chickenscratch.com                $15,000…gogomobile.com                $12,500…Just over 50% of the domains were sold in auctions. About 47% were sold at fixed prices. 451 were sold through negotiations…”  http://www.circleid.com/posts/20120527_is_it_about_to_get_much_harder_to_own_a_domain_name/  “…why has air travel become so painful? Because the threat posed by bad actors requires making everyone jump through hoops before letting them board a plane…Registering a domain name could be about to go the same way…the cops that police the Internet are working on some major hoops for domain owners. The disease they are taking aim at is cybercrime…For around a year now, registrars and ICANN, the entity that contracts them to sell domains names, have been locked in negotiations around a set of 12 "recommendations" originally made by law enforcement agencies (LEAs) such as the FBI or Interpol…most of the recommendations that LEAs have presented as being positive steps towards fighting cybercrime have been agreed to by registrars and are thus ready to be implemented into the new registrar contract…a couple of law enforcement asks that are, frankly, likely to significantly negatively impact the experience of registering a domain name. The main point of contention is around the issue of verifying WHOIS data. This is the information — name, address… — that a domain registrant provides to the registrar to and that is then posted in a public database. LEAs want this data verified…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        CCTV Technology has ‘Overtaken Ability to Regulate it’  http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2012/10/04/cctv-technology-has-overtaken-ability-to-regulate-it/  “The first surveillance commissioner appointed by the U.K. government has warned that high-definition camera systems are being introduced that are so sophisticated that they may be in breach of human rights laws…“The rapid advancement of digital technology means that 16-megapixel HD cameras are now very affordable, so people are buying a camera with a huge optical and digital zoom power. “A tiny camera in a dome with a 360-degree view can capture your face in the crowd, and there are now the algorithms that run in the background. I’ve seen the test reviews that show there’s a high success rate of picking out your face against a database of known faces.” Research into automatic facial recognition being carried out by the Home Office has reached a 90 per cent success rate…Mr. Rennison said that automatic registration plate recognition was being used by every police force in the U.K. to track suspect vehicle movements remotely. Biometric technology, facial comparison and gait analysis can do the same for people…”
6.       Maine Republicans attacks WoW-playing Dem for online gaming  http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/ingame/republicans-out-democrat-world-warcraft-witch-hunt-6283586  “Colleen Lachowicz is a Democratic candidate running for State Senate in Maine. She's also a level 85 orc in the massively popular online game "World of Warcraft." And for that, the Republican party says she is unfit for office. Maine's GOP has accused Lachowicz of living a "bizarre double life" and set up a website meant to out her participation in the popular online game -- a game that currently boasts some 10 million players around the world. Not only does the website show off a picture of the orc character she plays -- named Santiaga -- it also displays comments that have been dug up from online forums…"So I'm a level 68 orc rogue girl.  I stab things . . . a lot. Who would have thought that a peace-lovin', social worker and democrat would enjoy that?!"…"I can kill stuff without going to jail. There are some days when this is more necessary than others."…"In Colleen’s online fantasy world, she gets away with crude, vicious and violent comments like the ones below," reads the website. "Maine needs a State Senator that lives in the real world, not in Colleen’s fantasy world."…Lachowicz…sent the following statement: “I think it's weird that I'm being targeted for playing online games. Apparently I'm in good company since there are 183 million other Americans who also enjoy online games. What's next? Will I be ostracized for playing Angry Birds…”
7.        Facebook asks court to dismiss $15 billion privacy suit  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57527275-93/facebook-asks-court-to-dismiss-$15-billion-privacy-suit/  “Facebook has asked a federal court to dismiss a $15 billion privacy lawsuit because the Facebook users suing the social network didn't specify how they were injured by the company's actions…The suit…accuses Facebook of violating user privacy by tracking which Web sites the users visit even when they're logged out of Facebook…a lawyer representing Facebook, told a U.S. district judge…that the plaintiffs haven't said which sites they've visited, what kind of data was collected, or whether Facebook disclosed the information to anyone. The plaintiffs' attorney…said in court that Facebook was tracking users' activity by intercepting their interactions with third-party Web sites, and that this action is not covered in Facebook's privacy policies. Users said they consented only to the tracking -- which places cookies, or files that track and transmit which sites are visited, on their computers -- while they are logged in to Facebook…”
8.       Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/your-right-to-resell-your-own-stuff-is-in-peril-2012-10-04?pagenumber=1  “…in…the U.S. Supreme Court’s busy agenda this fall is a…case that could upend your ability to resell everything from your grandmother’s antique furniture to your iPhone 4. At issue in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons is the first-sale doctrine in copyright law, which allows you to buy and then sell things like electronics, books, artwork and furniture as well as CDs and DVDs, without getting permission from the copyright holder of those products. Under the doctrine, which the Supreme Court has recognized since 1908, you can resell your stuff without worry because the copyright holder only had control over the first sale…though Apple has the copyright on the iPhone and Mark Owen does on the book “No Easy Day,” you can still sell your copies to whomever you please whenever you want without retribution…if the Supreme Court upholds an appellate court ruling it would mean that the copyright holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it…The case stems from Supap Kirtsaeng’s college experience. A native of Thailand, Kirtsaeng came to the U.S. in 1997 to study at Cornell University. When he discovered that his textbooks, produced by Wiley, were substantially cheaper to buy in Thailand than they were in Ithaca, N.Y., he rallied his Thai relatives to buy the books and ship them to him in the U.S. He then sold them on eBay, making upwards of $1.2 million, according to court documents. Wiley, which admitted that it charged less for books sold abroad than it did in the U.S., sued him for copyright infringement. Kirtsaeng countered with the first-sale doctrine…”
9.       Local cops now paid with federal money to troll IRC  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/your-tax-dollars-at-work-local-cops-now-paid-with-federal-money-to-troll-irc/  “…Attorney General Eric Holder announced the winners of a new federal grant that will send hundreds of thousands of dollars to 13 agencies in an effort to step up enforcement of copyright and trademark laws. The Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Grant Award…was given to a wide variety of local law enforcement groups, including the City of Austin, the City of Orlando, the County of Sacramento, the Virginia State Police, and most oddly, the City of Central Point, Oregon (population: 13,000)…St. Louis…would be using its grant money to form an "area task force consisting of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to share resources and increase enforcement of existing state and federal IP laws."…the 10-page grant application for $200,000 that St. Louis submitted…points out an obvious problem with spending money on IP crime. Most people, particularly in poorer and more gang-ridden areas of the city, are likely more concerned with actual violence, rather than a guy on the street selling pirated CDs…"District detectives must prioritize assignments and the districts do not have the staffing or expertise to pro-actively investigate intellectual property crimes…The grant will transfer two detectives…to the Major Fraud/Cyber Crimes Section…the grant also will make sure that St. Louis increases "the number of investigations resulting in the arrest, seizure and the presentation of evidence…for those persons responsible for knowingly distributing copyrighted software, movies, or music over the Internet…The grant concludes by noting that its effectiveness "will be measured in the number of new investigations, arrests and cases referred for prosecution for intellectual property crimes by the detectives assigned to the Major Fraud/Cyber Crimes Section." Julie Samuels, the EFF staff attorney, called this goal "troubling." "We hope that the St. Louis police department…includes the required due process controls…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
10.     Five great Android tablets you can buy today  http://www.zdnet.com/five-great-android-tablets-you-can-buy-today-instead-of-waiting-for-the-ipad-mini-7000005198/  “…it is that more often than not I've been using a variety of 7" Android-powered tablets instead of my iPad…Whatever Apple ends up charging for the Mini, it's a safe bet it's going to be more than the 7" Android tablets…I really don't appreciate Apple's Big Brother approach to third-party software…I also really don't like Apple's patent lawsuit happy ways…over the last few months, Android and its hardware vendors have finally gotten their tablet act together…Here's my list from least to most attractive: 5) Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7…a 1.4GHz dual core processor with 16GBs of storage and a GB of RAM…it was updated in July to Android 4.04, Ice Cream Sandwich…At $400, it's a little much for a 7" tablet…4) Amazon Kindle Fire (2012)…the new model Kindle Fire's price: $159. It also comes tied at the hip with Amazon goodies. That's both a virtue and a vice…It uses a dual-core 1.2GHz OMAP 4430 CPU, a GB of RAM, and comes with 16GBs of storage…it still doesn't have HD video support... or a camera, … or storage expansion slot... or physical volume buttons…it's still a good tablet for the price. If I wanted to buy a tablet for a relative or friend this holiday who just wanted to read books and watch movies, I'd seriously consider the updated Kindle Fire…3) Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet (2011)…I'm still fond of last year's Nook Tablet at $179…a TI OMAP 4 dual-core 1 GHz processor along with 8GBs of storage, a GB of RAM and can handle addition storage with its microSD slot…I still prefer the old Nook Tablet to the new Kindle Fire…It delivers smoother performance and I find its interface to be easier to use…2) Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0…a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. And, like the Tab 7.7, it uses Android 4.04…check to make sure that you're getting the model you want. The earlier Galaxy Tab only Wi-Fi model is still available at a price of about $250…The best tablet of all, including the iPad, is the Nexus 7….1) Nexus 7…The Nexus 7, at $199, is simply the best tablet out there…it's become my go-to tablet. With a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 8GBs of storage the Nexus 7 runs very, very fast. How fast? Faster than any of its competitors. It's also the only one currently running Android 4.1, JellyBean. This is easily the best version of Android to date…”
11.      Acoustic cell-sorting chip may lead to cell phone-sized medical labs  http://esciencenews.com/articles/2012/10/02/acoustic.cell.sorting.chip.may.lead.cell.phone.sized.medical.labs  “A technique that uses acoustic waves to sort cells on a chip may create miniature medical analytic devices that could make Star Trek's tricorder seem a bit bulky in comparison…The device uses two beams of acoustic -- or sound -- waves to act as acoustic tweezers and sort a continuous flow of cells on a dime-sized chip, said Tony Jun Huang, associate professor of engineering science…By changing the frequency of the acoustic waves, researchers can easily alter the paths of the cells…since the device can sort cells into five or more channels, it will allow more cell types to be analyzed simultaneously, which paves the way for smaller, more efficient and less expensive analytic devices. "Eventually, you could do analysis on a device about the size of a cell phone," said Huang…Most current cell-sorting devices allow the cells to be sorted into only two channels in one step…"Today, cell sorting is done on bulky and very expensive devices," said Huang. "We want to minimize them so they are portable, inexpensive and can be powered by batteries…”
12.     System-on-chip technology comes of age  http://www.eetimes.com/design/power-management-design/4397940/System-on-Chip-technology-comes-of-age  “The silicon transistor continues to be at the heart of post-PC era products like the smartphone and the tablet…Frequency (clock-speed) was the primary metric in the PC era and the central processing unit (CPU) was the primary chip that drove advancements…Form-factor, cost and power for a given function are now critical drivers in the mobile market and that in turn has increased the importance of on-chip integration of functional hardware…This shift from mostly performance-centric chips to mostly power-constrained chips and the focus on lowering cost and increasing system-level integration is poised to disrupt the traditional semiconductor landscape…The features of these devices collectively enhance the user experience – outstanding graphics rendering, wireless connectivity, instant-on, connected stand-by, long battery life and touch-screen apps. They may not offer the fastest raw computer performance, but they are perceived by the average consumer to be fast and provide a far superior user experience…The key to the success of early post-PC products…is the fact that they were designed from the ground-up without the baggage of legacy PC-era software or hardware…The PC will continue to find a place on every desk for the foreseeable future…if history were a guide, it would suggest that the sustaining CPU semiconductor technology underlying traditional PC products is likely to be eventually displaced or at least substantially altered by the disruptive SoC technology underlying the smartphone…Intel and AMD focused on making CPU-based chips (e.g. Core and Athlon) while Nvidia focused on making standalone graphics chips (GPU) for the PC and server markets. All the other players in this landscape have utilized some form of on-chip system integration (SoC)…Nvidia now offers highly integrated mobile SoCs (Tegra family)…Apple which was not even in the mobile chip design business started designing its own SoC based chips…Samsung has also acquired all the SoC building blocks…The smartphone offered the first significant platform for SoC technology to demonstrate its potential and put the SoC on a collision course with the standalone CPU…Intel was unable to break into the smartphone market for the first five years (until 2012)…In just five years, the SoC technology has catapulted from enabling basic computation/connectivity on a feature phone to being at the heart of all smartphones…the SoC is very clearly on a collision course with the CPU…The unique cost structure enabled by the SoC has the potential to truly disrupt the business model in the semiconductor industry. The ASP for the NVIDIA Tegra SoC chip is in the range of $20 while the ASP for a leading edge Intel IvyBridge CPU chip is in the $150 range…it will be very difficult for the CPU product to compete while retaining historically high profit margins…As a strong and cash rich incumbent in the sustaining CPU market, Intel’s response to this growing segment-zero threat should not be underestimated…Earlier this year, Intel released Medfield, its first SoC processor aimed at the smartphone market…the semiconductor industry…next five years are likely to see a confluence of…technology and market forces…These trajectories are discussed below…#1: Ascendance of the SoC…#2: Ascendance of the GPU…the GPU is the most heavily used block within SoCs like the Tegra, Snapdragon and the A5X…#3: Diminishing returns from transistor scaling…#4: Accelerating product life-cycles Tablet and smartphone offerings are refreshed once every year – much faster than the historical PC refresh cycle…#5: Dropping ASPs of mobile consumer products…#6: Growth in mobile SoC shipments…mobile SoC shipments will dwarf CPU shipments within the next few years…Intel will continue to face increasing pressures to compete in the mobile market…Intel will be forced to also compete with SoC technology in the ultrabook and PC segments and doing so may necessitate a change not only in its technology direction but also in its business model…”
Apps
13.     ezNetScan Scans Wireless Networks from Your Android Phone  http://lifehacker.com/5949222/eznetscan-scans-wireless-networks-from-your-android-phone  “…If you manage a wireless network, or just like being able to see who's on your wireless network at any time, ezNetScan for Android gives you a powerful tool for scanning, collecting data on, and reporting on the networks…ezNetScan scans the networks you connect to to show you how many devices are connected to it, and displays them to you with their local IP addresses, hostnames, MAC addresses, and more. If you have SNMP enabled on the devices on your network, it can collect SNMP data and show you installed applications and other useful information about the systems on your network. ezNetScan will even port scan specific devices, scan active services, and perform pings and traceroutes inside and outside your local network…The app doesn't offer intrusive tools, and it won't sniff packets or help you spy on a device's connection, but if you want to check and see if someone's sitting on your home wi-fi, or you're a network admin at a small business and need a useful—albeit lightweight—tool to check on your wi-fi network from your phone, this app is worth checking out…”
14.     Should You Go on Google's Field Trip?  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429433/should-you-go-on-googles-field-trip/  “…Field Trip, a new smartphone app from Google…is surprisingly charming and useful. It may also enrich the company by serving up useful location-based ads. Google released Field Trip, a free app for Android smartphones (an iPhone version is in the works) last week. It periodically serves up alerts based on your current location. The alerts are gathered from a slew of online sources that range from The Historical Marker Database to concert site Songkick to the Google Offers deal service. You can determine how and how often Field Trip pings you with information, and what kinds of data you're served…if Google positions it correctly, it could become a nice source of revenue…I wasn't sure how useful Field Trip would be, since I was using it in a familiar place. I know San Francisco fairly well, and I figured it wouldn't tell me much I didn't already know…There was a lot more going on around me than I realized. An update from the Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations informed me that a key scene from the 1995 identity-theft flick The Net, which stars Sandra Bullock…was filmed at a real Apple convention at Moscone Center. An update from Arcadia Publishing taught me about the architect and design style behind a beautiful brick middle school that I pass—usually without noticing—several times a week…an update via Flavorpill divulged that an interactive art space near my home, Frankenart Mart, offers free hot dogs once a month…Unlike with most Google products, the design of Field Trip was the first thing I took a shine to. Google does a lot of things well, but let's be honest: creating products that are visually pretty isn't usually one of them…”
SkyNet
15.     Google merges Photos and Drive  http://thedroidguy.com/2012/10/google-merges-photos-and-drive/  “Google is on a spree to merge many services into one and is planning to do so by consolidating the quantity of storage it offers across all services by merging into Google Drive. When Google launched GMail, it was an email service which offered a lot more free storage when compared to competing email services then. Storage is obviously very costly and Google cannot afford to give unlimited storage to each user for free. That’s pretty reasonable for a company which has millions of users under multiple products, and as a result, Google is growing stingier day by day when it comes to storage and hence it is going to combine the free storage offered for Google Drive and Photos…When Google launched Google Drive, it offered 5 gig of free space, and that didn’t include the 1 gig of free storage which Google was providing with Google Photos or Picasa, but according to the new revised policy, Google will no longer count the storage provided for Google Photos and Google Drive separately, which means the 5 gig free storage which Google was offering with Google Drive will now be shared with Picasa…If a user makes use of Picasa very frequently, but does not use Google Drive as much, then there is a very good chance that he will be very happy because of the sudden increase of free space by 4 gigs…users who don’t use Picasa at all…won’t be affected by the policy change…On the downside, few users access both, Photos and Drive, and such users will be forced to buy additional storage at a premium…”
16.     Google Puts Its Virtual Brain Technology to Work  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429442/google-puts-its-virtual-brain-technology-to-work/  “…Google…software…learned how to recognize cats, people, and other things simply by watching YouTube videos (see "Self-Taught Software"). That technology, modeled on how brain cells operate, is now being put to work making Google's products smarter, with speech recognition being the first service to benefit. Google's learning software is based on simulating groups of connected brain cells that communicate and influence one another. When such a neural network…is exposed to data, the relationships between different neurons can change. That causes the network to develop the ability to react in certain ways to incoming data of a particular kind—and the network is said to have learned something…Google's engineers have found ways to put more computing power behind the approach than was previously possible, creating neural networks that can learn without human assistance and are robust enough to be used commercially, not just as research demonstrations. The company's neural networks decide for themselves which features of data to pay attention to, and which patterns matter, rather than having humans decide…Google is now using these neural networks to recognize speech more accurately, a technology increasingly important to Google's smartphone operating system, Android…"We got between 20 and 25 percent improvement in terms of words that are wrong,"…Other Google products will likely improve over time with help from the new learning software. The company's image search tools, for example, could become better able to understand what's in a photo without relying on surrounding text. And Google's self-driving cars (see "Look, No Hands") and mobile computer built into a pair of glasses (see "You Will Want Google's Goggles") could benefit from software better able to make sense of more real-world data…Dean says his team is also testing models that understand both images and text together. "You give it 'porpoise' and it gives you pictures of porpoises," he says. "If you give it a picture of a porpoise, it gives you 'porpoise' as a word."…"This is the route toward making more general artificial intelligence—there's no way you will get an intelligent machine if it can't take in a large volume of knowledge about the world," he says…”
17.     Seven Creative Uses for Google Street View  http://lifehacker.com/5949134/?post=53245816  “…Google designed Street View so you'd always be able to tell what your destination looks like before you get there. That's not all it's useful for though…here are some clever uses for Street View you may not have thought of…Scout neighborhoods when apartment or house hunting…Street View tour of a neighborhood can tell you a lot about the area…Check for parking or transit before you go to a new restaurant or interview…That way you don't waste precious time circling for parking or walking around when you could be eating, hanging out with friends…Search for nearby amenities near your destination…Reverse-look up destinations you don't have an address for…Navigate tricky intersections before you get there…Use Street View vistas as source material for art, or for settings in novels…Take a trip down memory lane…Whether it's my grandparents' old house or the place I went to elementary school…it's fun to take a virtual tour of a place you used to know…Hunt for silly, scary, or interesting slices of life. There are dozens of Street View art projects dedicated to this, but one that stands out to us is Jon Rafman's 9-Eyes…”
18.     Google Apps for Business Users Getting Phone, Email Support Through Chrome  http://www.eweek.com/enterprise-apps/google-apps-users-getting-phone-email-support-through-chrome/  “Paying customers of Google Apps just got a big new benefit: Google is now offering phone and email support when users access Google Apps through Google's Chrome Web browser. "The Chrome browser helps businesses get onto the Web securely and quickly—and today, we’re adding phone and email support for Chrome for Google Apps customers," wrote Fred Beckebanze, manager of Google's Apps Technical Solutions Engineers…Google Apps for Business, Education and Government customers may contact Google via phone or email to receive support…The phone and email support is for paying customers of Google Apps using Chrome. Paid Google Apps for Business accounts start at $5 per user for monthly accounts, or are available on an annual basis starting at $50 per user. Customers with standard free Google Apps accounts are not eligible for phone or email support…”
19.     Google rewrites dot-doc death note  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/04/google_rewrites_dot_doc_death_note/  “Google’s plan to give old Microsoft Office file formats a quiet bullet behind the woodpile seems to have fallen by the wayside…Google's original announcement stated: The following features are intended for release to these domains on October 1st: Docs: Users no longer have the ability to download Google Docs in Office 2003-07 format (.doc, .xls, .ppt)…It was an announcement that had brought a loud and unwelcome reaction from users – and the Google announcement has been quietly laundered. It now reads: Docs: The built-in exporting feature from Google Docs to Microsoft Office will now allow users to download Google documents as modern Office formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), as opposed to the older formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt) that were standard in Office 97-2003. For users who still use Office 97-2003, we recommend installing the free compatibility plugin from Microsoft, which will allow them to open modern Office file types…Note: The ability to import Office files of any format to Google Docs is still supported and will remain unchanged.…”
20.    Will a Chromebook be your next PC?  http://www.zdnet.com/will-a-chromebook-be-your-next-pc-7000005280/  “You could buy a Windows 8 PC, good luck with that, a pricey Mac, or you could get the Google Chrome OS powered Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook…you could keep using Windows, although Windows 8 looks worse every time you look at it; or you could buy a Mac for big bucks; or you could buy a  Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook starting at $449 and have a great Linux-based desktop that you already know how to use…Linux is easy enough for grandpa and grandma to use. And, besides if you know how to use the Chrome Web browser--you do know how to use a Web browser right?--then you already know how to use Chrome OS and a Chromebook. If you really want to have the full Linux shell command experience, you can have that too, but it’s purely optional. The new model Chromebook has been out for several months…I decided rather than review it immediately, I’d see if I could actually use it for my day to day work. I’m here to report to you today that yes, yes, you can use the Chromebook for a Windows or a Mac desktop replacement…” http://ostatic.com/blog/chrome-os-ready-for-round-two  “…Google may be fixing some of the problems with its operating system, and could win over more users with it…As more of us use Google's applications, it is convenient that Chrome OS seamlessly handles them, but the really big news from the report above is that Google Drive plugs a big hole in Chrome OS…with Google Drive, users have a free and obvious way…provided by Google--to marry storage, data and applications with use of Google's operating system…Drive works…the way people are used to working with local file storage systems. This is a big win for Chrome OS…There are many other reports emerging about Chrome OS taking important steps forward. The OS boots immediately and is known for the tight security that it offers. If you looked at and dismissed this operating system, it may be time for a second look.…”
21.     Google's Knowledge Graph: Implications for Search & SEO  http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2214849/Googles-Knowledge-Graph-Implications-for-Search-SEO  “In May 2012, Google announced the Knowledge Graph which is designed to help users see factual summaries related to their search queries for such things as biographies of notable figures, tour dates for musicians, and the cast of movies. The purpose of the Knowledge Graph according to Google is to help users: Find the right thing…Get the best summary…Go deeper and broader to discover more about the search…one of the key focuses for Google is to move away from being a search engine and focus on becoming a knowledge engine. Google is so committed to this that Google's Search Quality team has been renamed to Google's Knowledge Team…Today, the Knowledge Graph database holds information about 500 million people, places, and things. More importantly, though, it also indexes over 3.5 billion defining attributes and connections between these items…Google is also indexing structured data found in the form of schemas and microformats on websites…Data in itself is meaningless, but when data gets linked because of its relationships with various data sets available on the web, it becomes useful and meaningful…just adding content for the sake of adding content isn't enough. The content needs to be correlated, connected, and shared via authority accounts on the web…Google has stated that they only support a handful of these microdata types, including: Reviews…People…Products…Businesses and organizations…Recipes…Events…Music…Video…If your website includes any of these types of content, you're eligible for a microdata implementation, which will surely future proof your search presence…”
General Technology
22.    Cute-as-a-bug Toyota Uses Face Detection, Arm-Flapping to Open Doors  http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/10/toyota-insect/  “Toyota has revealed their newest concept, the Smart INSECT, which inexplicably stands for: Information Network Social Electricity City Transporter. The INSECT is no relation to Daimler’s Smart line of vehicles, but is an update of Toyota’s COMS (“Chotto Odekake Machimade Suisui,” or “a little smooth driving around town”) concept, a doorless EV with a 31-mile range and a top speed of 37 mph…the INSECT comes with facial recognition technology. As you approach the car, cameras analyze your face to verify the driver’s identity. Once authenticated, the car flashes its headlights and says, “Hello.” If the car’s cordial tone isn’t strange enough, the door functions are possibly the weirdest we’ve seen. According to the product demonstration, the driver approaches the car and flaps her arms like a bird. The car recognizes the motion, and opens the gull-wing doors…On the interior, the car runs behavior-recognition software. After syncing with the driver’s smartphone, the INSECT links with a cloud system that provides each vehicle with its own virtual agent. The software adjusts everything from the stereo volume to the fog lamp intensity according to driver habits. When traveling on a new route, users can speak voice commands for navigation and make changes on-the-fly. The system works remotely, too, which means that if you’re stuck in the office or at home, the air conditioning can be fired up, and the doors can be unlocked…”
23.    'Peak Car' Moment: Car-Sharing, Carpooling, Car-Ignoring  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/10/the-rich-worlds-peak-car-moment-car-sharing-carpooling-car-ignoring/263086/  “When it comes to cars and young people in America, every trend line is pointing down-right. Car sales? Down 11 percentage points. License ownership? Down 28 percent. Miles driven? Falling fast. Car companies hope this is a peculiar outcome of the U.S. recession. But in fact, the move away from cars is bigger than the U.S. (and bigger than the recession)…As the world's richest economies pack densely into cities to escape the new normal of gasoline prices, miles driven in passenger vehicles have either hit a ceiling or started to decline in the U.S., Japan, Germany, the UK, and France. Australia has seen the same decline in car travel…In the U.S., the global capitol of car enthusiasts, total miles traveled peaked in 2004, the Economist reported, and per-person travel hit a peak in 2000…car marketers are both accepting and pushing back against the "peak car" moment in the West…They understand that young people are getting crushed between expensive education and cheap jobs. They accept that cars have lost that halo of hipness they owned in the 1970s. But they also see a future beyond peak car abroad. In 2011, the world added 60 million new cars…about half of last year's new car sales came from developing economies, for whom "peak car" is a date far in the future…”
24.     
Leisure & Entertainment
25.    Have you met the hexaflexagon?  http://io9.com/5949799/have-you-met-the-hexaflexagon-if-not-its-high-time-you-did  “…YouTube's resident mathematical mind-blower, Vi Hart, introduced many of us to the topological wonder that is the hexaflexagon. If you haven't seen it yet, get your life in order and go check it out. In fact, even if you have seen it, go ahead and watch it again. Then reconvene with us here for round two of hexaflexagons!...last week, Hart dubbed October "The Month of the Flexagon," and we told you we'd keep you posted on any future flexagon flicks. This is us making good on our word. In this newly released video, Hart takes us on an historical journey through some of the hexaflexagon's more subtle propertie…”  [watch the video of the amazing hexaflexagon and the fast-talking narrator; you’ll enjoy it! – ed.]
26.    Storing Travel Photos, Let Us Count The Ways  http://www.gadling.com/2012/10/01/storing-travel-photos-let-us-count-the-ways/  “In the olden days of storing travel photos when hard drive memory filled up, travelers turned to a variety of external storage devices to manage the shots they had take along the way. Zip Drives, Memory Sticks, DVDs and other forms of storage have all had their day. Today, a variety of storage devices, cloud storage like Google Drive and even social media oriented storage options offer more choices than ever…Let's take a look at the options available right now…Moving and sharing photos became easier too with flash drives like Kingston's 16GB model for around $20, which works for many travelers who might later move that 16GB of photos to another source when travel is complete…Google Drive gives users 5GB of storage free, with more available for a fee – 25GB runs $2.49 a month by subscription and storage can be up to 2TB in size…Other cloud-oriented services like Flickr offer a great deal of storage for free then charge a fee for premium accounts with more storage…Many travelers choose to shoot and upload on the go to social sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest that share their journey as it unfolds. HipGeo is a convenient journaling app that enables travelers to keep track of what they saw and where they saw it. Users then share their travels…HipGeo instantly transforms all those elements into virtual journals that can then be automatically shared a variety of ways. A new one, ThisLife, allows users to store 1000 photos and uses geotagging to create a timeline of all photos uploaded, making finding them easier. ThisLife wants to be the permanent home for all our photos..Facebook, for example, is limited to tagging, likes and comments. If users want to order prints or search for photos, they are out of luck…Thinking that way, a service that is totally photo-focused like Flickr, Snapfish or Picassa might be the best choice…For most non-professional photographers, just regular people who travel, a good free cloud-based service will probably be just fine. For mega-users, premium cloud storage sites like SmugMug, PhotoShelter or ZenFolio might be better…Check CNET's "Google Drive is not for everyone, so try these alternatives" or a variety of articles from our friends at Engadget about photo storing…”
27.    “Humble Bundle” of Pay-What-You-Like E-Books Already Made $224,000 In First 6 Hours  http://io9.com/5950389/humble-bundle-of-pay+what+you+like-e+books-already-made-224000-in-first-6-hours  “…it's only been something like six hours since the Humble Bundle of "name your own price" e-books was rolled out, and already some $224,000 has been spent, some of which will go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The authors in the bundle include Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, John Scalzi and Kelly Link, and it's a nice mix of classic and new titles, including Doctorow's new YA novel Pirate Cinema…”
28.    Crowdsourced Music Streaming Service Jelli Plans To Go International  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/02/crowdsourced-music-streaming-service-jelli-raises-9-million-plans-to-go-international/  “Jelli, the crowdsourced social radio platform, is today announcing $9 million in additional funding…Jelli also…has expanded its user base by 250% to reach 2 million listeners per month, and it has expanded its lineup of station partners, and is now delivering 500% more radio ad impressions than it did a year ago. The startup first launched back in 2009, then calling itself a “Digg for streaming music,” as it allows users to vote up or down the tracks they want to hear. Unlike Pandora, which is focused more on delivering personalized stations for individual users, Jelli brings listeners together to program stations together, in a more collaborative way. But what’s really clever is that the music users vote on isn’t just played in the app for other mobile listeners, it’s also broadcast on terrestrial radio through partnerships Jelli has with affiliate stations…”
29.    Felicia Day: tech tools for an online entertainment video producer  http://lifehacker.com/5948396/im-felicia-day-and-this-is-how-i-work  “Felicia Day got her start in Hollywood as an actress, appearing in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and more. Today, Felicia has emerged as a leader in the world of online video production. She not only acts in, but also writes and produces the hit web series The Guild. Based on the lives of online gamers, The Guild has been viewed more than 150 million times…Earlier this year, Felicia launched Geek & Sundry, an original YouTube channel…Geek & Sundry aims to "present the very best of indie geek culture."…We talked to Felicia about how she manages it all…What's apps/software/tools can't you live without? Dropbox. I work [in] three or four different places a day, so synching my files across computers is key. My life lies in Gmail and Google Drive. We tried other things to organize all the Geek & Sundry work, but nothing proved flexible enough for us, so we stick to shared Google Docs to do a majority of the work. Backupify assures me all my social media and Google stuff is backed up, and 1password makes me feel better about my account securities. I love Day One diary software as well because it syncs across computers and reminds me politely to record my life in little snippets. What's your workspace setup like? I have a small office in my house with my iMac and gaming PC where I do the majority of my busy work, editing notes, emails, etc. I also have a back office I converted from a garage where I go to do creative work and shoot my weekly show The Flog. I recently got a treadmill desk too in the den, which is literally the best purchase I've ever made. So I rotate throughout the day in those three spaces when I'm not at the Geek & Sundry office…”
Economy and Technology
30.    Target Adds QR Codes In Retail Stores To Help Shoppers Buy On Mobile Devices  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/03/take-that-amazon-target-adds-qr-codes-in-retail-stores-to-help-shoppers-buy-toys-on-mobile-devices/  “…Target is adding a new technology to its mobile initiatives—QR Codes. Target will debut QR codes in stores for the season’s 20 most popular toys. You can use the Target mobile app to scan toy QR codes, and shoppers will be able to buy toys and ship them free anywhere in the U.S. from their phones…each of the top 20 toys of the season will have a QR code that can be scanned to purchase the toy directly using a mobile device…this feature can be particularly useful when a particular toy is sold out in the store. The app would allow a purchaser to just find the item online, and allows Target to keep the sale…Not only do we have the hottest toys, we are helping guests shop the way they want — in stores, online and directly from their mobile devices,”…even though reports point to QR Code fatigue amongst consumers, clearly retailers are still betting on the technology. Last December, Amazon offered discounts to consumers on any product purchased via its price comparison mobile app…Amazon wanted consumers to scan barcodes of products at brick-and-mortar retailers via its Price Comparison app. Users would get a 5% discount on up to three items…Target is hoping this new mobile technology will encourage shoppers to stay with Target in-stores…”
31.     Most Interesting Startups To Emerge From DEMO  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/05/the-14-most-interesting-startups-to-emerge-from-demo/  “DEMO Fall 2012 wrapped up in Santa Clara today…77 startups took the stage to show off their apps, services and products…here are the 14 startups that stood out from the pack during the three-day launch event…RentLingo, which was picked as the best of the “Alpha Pitches” given by student entrepreneurs, began as a simple class project at Stanford…Although there are scores of sites that allow you to browse apartment listings, there is no easy way to find information on prospective tenants, roommates or sublets…RentLingo decided to use social networking to make the rental process less of a pain in the ass and help landlords find great tenants and renters find the best apartments…The site aggregates and lets you view all of this social sentiment around each listing, aiming to provide a more effective and relevant “review” system…With Padmapper, Craigslist, Zumper and seemingly hundreds more, it’s a crowded space, but RentLingo has taken a unique angle that could be powerful at scale…Ube (pronounced yoo-bee) took home the “People’s Choice Award”…The startup is trying to take the unintuitive and costly world of home technology and make it simple and cheap…Ube’s app allows users to easily control IP-enabled smart devices using their Android or iPhone. This includes smart TVs, set top boxes, AV receivers, DVD players, thermostats, garage doors openers…its app will work with over 200 IP-controlled devices when it launches…Neumitra develops data-driven technologies to address the effects of stress on health, productivity, and happiness…the company is developing both wearable and mobile tech that uses biosensors to monitor your autonomic nervous system and the contextual and personal cues that set off stress…Neumitra presented its newest product, Bandu, a smart watch that helps users reduce stress and “slow down.”…When it finds significant changes in the norm…the device prompts you to take a number of mood-altering actions…NeuroTrack is a suite of behavioral assessment tools…that can help identify the symptoms and diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment up to four years before their onset…ElectNext aims to help anyone and everyone get informed and stay engaged with important political issues…The end-goal is to match users with the…politician…who aligns closest with your political views…ElectNext itself simply wants to create a tool that increases voter participation in the U.S…Flinja wants to turn college students into a freelance workforce, offering an eMarketplace in which they can make themselves available for freelance work…Bizness Apps…simple tools that allow individuals or businesses to quickly and affordably create their own mobile apps for iOS, Android or the Web…YouBetMe is an app that lets you challenge your friends (and strangers) to a wager about anything…Monday Night Football…how many Jello shots you can take, etc…Blipboard is a personalized mobile map of the exciting stuff happening around you…based on the activity and interests of your friends, influencers and other businesses…Candy Lab’s new mobile app uses augmented reality to turn the world around you into a video game — with advertising. The company calls Cachetown a combination of “Google AdWords, Foursquare, and Super Mario Brothers,” delivering its game layer in location-based AR.”
32.    Innovation in Manufacturing Takes a Village  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428988/innovation-in-manufacturing-takes-a-village/  “For expensive manufacturing research…a new push toward shared pilot production facilities…With improvements in efficiency and refinements in production methods, CIGS technology could still be a potential option for renewable energy…But the facilities needed to get there are enormously expensive. The production facility…is crucial for testing whether new advances in materials can translate into reliable and affordable commercial production. Such production lines…can cost between $10 million and $50 million. That's way too much for a tiny…company…Companies like Magnolia and many others can persist because the costs…are shared across the industry…the pilot-scale production line is shared by some 40 companies and backed by a $57 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy…American ideas sometimes fail to get commercialized because companies, especially smaller ones, can't afford the big, risky investments needed to sort out how to produce their inventions…the Obama administration has launched a campaign to restore U.S. preeminence in high-tech manufacturing. Its centerpiece is a $1 billion plan for 15 new manufacturing institutes…The idea is to create facilities that benefit entire sectors…says Michael Molnar…who also heads a White House task force on advanced manufacturing…an additive manufacturing institute in Youngstown, Ohio…will host 3-D printing technologies…The hope is that the institutes will repeat the success of Sematech…the semiconductor R&D organization created in the 1980s to help U.S. firms compete against Japanese computer-chip manufacturers…Michael Idelchik, vice president for advanced technology at General Electric…says…GE is particularly interested in 3-D printing, which is gradually becoming a commercially viable way to manufacture industrial parts. "Transitioning this industry from a prototyping industry into production capabilities is the future…”
33.    Japan’s New Tech Generation  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/technology/a-new-tech-generation-defies-the-odds-in-japan.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all  “Every Wednesday, a bar in central Tokyo hosts an unusual speed-dating event. There are drinks and plenty of coy looks. But the young people at the bar aren’t here for romance. “I want to meet like-minded people — basically, people who get the Internet,” said Shingo Hiranuma, 29, a former smartphone engineer at Toshiba who recently introduced a new map application, Sanpo…a new generation of Japanese technology entrepreneurs is stepping up. While their numbers are small compared to those in the United States, they are turning to a bevy of start-up incubators and even to financing from Silicon Valley…“There’s a lot of uncertainty in Japan right now, and that’s actually made younger Japanese more willing to take risks and try out new ideas,” said Hiro Maeda, 26. Mr. Maeda went to college at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and worked on several start-ups in the United States before returning to Japan to create Open Network Lab, a Tokyo-based incubator…Mr. Maeda said it received close to 100 applications during its latest round this year — more than twice the number from the previous year. The lab provides early funds, office space and mentoring…it has become increasingly clear that the country’s big electronics firms cannot be counted on to drive innovation. Japan’s top tech giants in products from televisions to smartphones, their competitiveness sapped by a strong yen, are racking up huge losses and being overtaken by nimbler, cheaper overseas rivals…Japanese society continues to venerate lifetime company loyalty, while penalizing risk-taking and failure…risk-taking is absent not just among would-be entrepreneurs, but also among investors…the value of investments by…venture capital fund members increased to 24.6 billion yen ($316 million) in 2011…that was a small fraction of the $12.6 billion in venture funding raised by Silicon Valley companies that year…“Seed funding has grown in Japan, but you’re talking about very small amounts,” Mr. Fukuyama said. “Entrepreneurs are still seen as drifters with nothing better to do.”…Mr. Harada runs PeaTiX, an event management start-up that lets users set up event invitations and ticketing. Mr. Harada, who worked at Sony, Apple and Amazon before founding PeaTiX in 2009, says it has become easier for him to lure talent away from big companies…Still, many potential recruits tell him that the blow to their reputations if they fail is too large in Japan…because there are so few start-ups in Tokyo, we had nobody to discuss things with, to ask whether we’re on the right track.” The weekly start-up dating salons, like the bar Nomad New’s Base here in…Tokyo, seek to fill such a need. As the drinks flowed, Mr. Hiranuma, the former Toshiba engineer, moved around the room…with his MacBook Air, pitching his Sanpo app. Sanpo, which means stroll in Japanese, lets users plan routes to destinations, as Google Maps does — except the app suggests detours to popular shops, restaurants and other spots along the way. “It helps people take fun detours, and try something new…”
34.    What Technologies Will Crowdfunding Create?  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428986/what-technologies-will-crowdfunding-create/  “…Jay Silver, creator of MaKey MaKey, an "invention kit" consisting of a processor board and alligator clips that turns objects with high electrical resistance—bananas, Play-Doh, human flesh—into computer controllers…listed the project on Kickstarter this year hoping to raise $25,000. He ended up with $568,106. Since then, it's been a race to negotiate with Chinese manufacturers, customs agents, and wholesalers to produce and ship what will be the first product of Silver's newly incorporated company, JoyLabz…In the U.S., Internet funding occurs on Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and similar websites that permit people to donate money to projects, including films and journalism. Often they're promised something in return, like a T-shirt or movie ticket…Crowdfunding is supporting inventions which might otherwise have limited economic prospects, including gadgets appealing to narrow markets, hobby kits, and a 4,000-pound spider robot that can seat two…Perhaps most of all, it has become a fertile outlet for self-described "makers"…Makers are a breed of super-hobbyists who have been coalescing into a social movement around technologies like 3-D printing. Because of the availability of crowdfunding, their projects are becoming more ambitious…One project called Ninja Blocks—the invention is a rubbery block of sensors that uploads reports to the Internet—raised $102,000 on Kickstarter, generating attention that allowed its creators pull in another $1 million from investors. "The business side of the maker movement is hockey-sticking right now," says Silver, who recently took a day job as "maker research scientist" at Intel's Interaction and Experience Research Laboratory, the first person to hold that title. "I don't know if people realize that. If you have a good idea, there is nothing stopping you from doing it, including the funding…”
DHMN Technology
35.    No Reason For Any Individual To Have 3D Printer In Their Home  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/06/there-is-no-reason-for-any-individual-to-have-a-3d-printer-in-their-home/  “…Makerbot has released their Replicator 2. Form 1 sought to Kickstart $100,000 for their professional 3D printer; they’re at $1.5 million and counting. Panda Robotics just launched a Kickstarter for their open-source PandaBot printer. The authorities are cracking down on 3D-printed guns. John Biggs argues that home 3D printing is killing the manufacturing industry. I respectfully disagree…3D printing will be a serious threat to manufacturing as we know it. But not at home. That doesn’t make sense. Instead, we’ll have two kinds of communal 3D printer shops. In high-infrastructure areas, there’ll be a clutch of online providers a la Stratasys (and I expect one of them to be Amazon.com): you’ll pick your 3D design from a huge online menu…tweak the 3D preview until you’re happy, and they’ll print it out in some vast warehouse…In low-infrastructure areas, or if you’re a casual hobbyist…you’ll head down the road to your nearest local printing facility…They’ll customize your order, render it in the cloud as needed, print it out…Until recently, I would have used “developed world” and “developing world” rather than “high-infrastructure” and “low-infrastructure.”…But you won’t see many home printers outside of passionate artists/hobbyists and home manufacturing businesses…It just doesn’t make economic sense…I’m saying that custom 3D printing is going to be too important to be a home-hobbyist endeavour: instead it will explode from a hacker novelty to a fundamental part of our collective economic infrastructure. In the high-infrastructure world, this will provide new economic efficiencies, open up new market segments…In the low-infrastructure poor world, though, it’s going to be a lot more important…There I think it might be something akin to an economic revolution…”
36.    Raspberry Pi Moonlights as Dutch Brewmeister  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/10/brewpi/  “…beer brewers are still finding new ways of improving the way the stuff is made. Case in point: BrewPi, a fermentation temperature control system powered by the tiny Rapsberry Pi computer that’s taking the tech world by storm. The project is just one example of how open source software and a new breed of ultra-cheap computer hardware make it that much easier for the people to build, well, whatever they want. The Raspberry Pi and other low-cost hardware platforms such as the Arduino microcontroller boards are a means of connecting all sorts of existing devices so that they can readily interact with each other…BrewPi was created by Dutch electrical engineering student and home-brewer Elco Jacobs. Although he plans to sell kits for turning refrigerators into BrewPi systems, he has released the instructions and source code online for free and thinks the code might be useful even for non-brewers. BrewPi is essentially a beefed-up refrigerator. An Arduino board gathers data from sensors, adjusts temperature controls on the refrigerator, and runs an OLED display. There’s also a web-based interface for viewing and controlling temperatures. This runs on a web server loaded onto the RaspberryPi, which also runs Python scripts for communicating with the Arduino…”
37.    3D Printer Form 1 Tops $1.4M On Kickstarter In A Week  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/02/3d-printer-form-1-tops-1-4m-on-kickstarter-in-a-week/  “The Form 1 3D printer, which you may recognize from Kickstarter, has topped $1.4 million in pre-orders in just under a week on the crowd-funding platform. With nearly 1,000 backers already, the FormLabs team has sold out of all their early-bird pledge packages, so anyone who backs the project now is only ahead of the official website sale shipments. Mad Kickstarter success always comes down to demand. Disrupt runner up gTar walked away with 3x its funding goal because it made learning the guitar fun and easy. Pebble took home a whopping $10 million after finding the perfect balance between smart watch functionality, beauty, and battery drain. The Form 1 is no different. It takes the quality of a $1 million+ professional-grade 3D printing machine and packs it nicely into the price point of a hobbyist’s plaything. But that wouldn’t mean anything if it weren’t for the 10 million+ designers working with CAD software, many of whom have no access to the approximate 30,000 3D printers installed in the world…”
38.    What Can We Learn From An Un-Conference?  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-read/the-stream-series-2012-wh_b_1932690.html  “Welcome to the Stream Series. A blog series that seeks to capture some of the best thinking from the WPP Stream unconference. Over the last four days we've hear thoughts from David Shing of AOL, Investor and astronaut Esther Dyson and Suresh Balaji of HSBC…When we launched Stream six years ago we sought to create a conference people actually wanted to go to. We wanted to reach out to the rising stars in WPP's companies who were passionate about technology and curious about the changes it was making in marketing. There were some guiding lights. Tim O'Reilly had been running Foo Camp successfully in the States and Yossi Vardi was making waves with his tech unconference, Kinnernet, in Israel…we at WPP thought the event needed to…be in a pleasant climate, somewhere you could be outside without being rained on…The hotel couldn't be too fancy…There'd have to be enough time in the agenda to actually talk to people…most importantly it must not be just one big room…Next we had to invite the right people…The ideal would be that our clients and partners would set the agenda…The event would need to require minimal prep and lots of chances to improvise on site…time for both in depth conversations and more light-hearted pursuits…intellectually stimulating, but not exhausting…It was chaotic at first…True to the Foo Camp and Kinnernet model, there is no schedule. Instead we put up two big white-boards and let people post the topics on their minds, not just on our minds…While Stream is invitation only, nearly everyone is new (this year 80% of the people had never been before)…Highlights for me this year included…a 6 foot remote-control drone which flew at 200 mph above us for three days filming a live feed of the resort and our surroundings. There was a dancing robot that had us all on our feet. There were discussions on data, privacy, content, banner ads, influence, developing market smartphones, e-commerce, Gov 2.0, artificial intelligence, IP, behavioral economics and crisis management…there was also impromptu singing, 3D printing, filmmaking, star-gazing, archery and dancing…Participants have also written at least three books from ideas that came out of Stream…we know of at least three start-ups whose founders credit Stream for bringing them together or giving them the ideas…I am increasingly struck by Stream as a metaphor for the successful company in the digital economy…WPP is currently ranked by paid content as the 7th largest digital media company in the world alongside Apple and Facebook. If we are to continue to succeed, then we need to remain open to new talent and particularly to younger talent. We have to provide an environment where they can shine and…can develop their ideas…”
39.    Raspberry Pi gets turbo-charged with overclocking update  http://www.zdnet.com/raspberry-pi-gets-turbo-charged-with-overclocking-update-7000004582/  “Owners of the Raspberry Pi mini-computer are now able to get a roughly 50 percent performance improvement  by overclocking the processor…A firmware upgrade to the popular Debian Linux-based device means that users can now choose one of five overclock presets in the system's configuration, without voiding their warranty. Previously, such tinkering was possible but invalidated the Raspberry Pi's warranty over fears it might decrease the lifetime of the BCM2835 chip…the combination of only applying turbo when busy, and limiting turbo when the BCM2835′s internal temperature reaches 85°C, means there will be no measurable reduction in the lifetime of your Raspberry Pi…”
40.    Desktop Manufacturing Part 1 – Revolutions  http://www.gullicksonlaboratories.com/blog/?p=80  “A lot of people have compared the rise of desktop 3d printing to that of the personal computer revolution of the 1970′s…they both are the commoditization of existing industrial technology by ambitious do-it-yourselfers who reverse-engineered million-dollar devices in their garage workshops and basement laboratories…I think that this is an incorrect analogy, and I believe that a more accurate parallel can be drawn…I think the best analogy is between the destop 3d printer and the digital video revolution of the early 2000′s…When it became practical to record digial video on video cassette tapes the benefits of this technology were obvious to everyone working with video on a daily basis.  The capability to easily capture footage from tape into a non-linear editing system without generational loss was a godsend and adoption of the format was switft in the professional and semi-pro circles who were able to take advantage of it…Over time, along with the professionals some consumers desired to adopt a digital format as well, treating it as a more durable version of previous analog formats and with this some consumer-grade equiptment was produced.  This lead to the introduction of the Mini-DV format.  The price of these units ranged between $500-$1000 and were generally not used along with editing software due to the cost of the sophisticated professional-grade software…Then came iMovie. Apple released iMovie for the iMac in 1999 with a simple ad campaign demonstrating that “professional” results that could be had with nothing more than placing a Mini-DV camera and iMovie into untrained hands.  iMovie worked because it allowed the user to exert just enough creative control on the output to create a sense of ownership and a feeling of creativity while still constraining creative options sufficiently to almost guarantee sucess in a time investment that was realistic for the untrained user…”
Open Source Hardware
41.     The Open Hardware Summit: The Future of Manufacturing is Sharing  http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2012/10/open-hardware-summit-2012/  “The Open Hardware Summit was held for the third time last Thursday in New York in advance of World Maker Faire in nearby Queens. This is the first year that it was held by the relatively new Open Source Hardware Association…Speakers ranged in age from 11-year-old Super-Awesome Sylvia, who is in the third season of her DIY webshow for makers, to 77-year-old Pat Delany, who created a $150 lathe/mill/drill from scrap metal. Wired’s Chris Anderson keynoted on “Microeconomics for Makers,”…On having an open hardware company, he said: When we tell people we’re an open hardware company, they ask how you protect the intellectual property. We don’t. We license it so anyone can use it. They can compete with us. They can undercut us. They say, ;you can’t build a business on that.’ Sure, it’s a challenge, but our model allows us to innovate faster than a closed model. That speed of innovation and our community are the barriers to entry. You can clone us, but you can’t clone our community. You can’t innovate as quickly as our community can. The community beats cloning every time…Here are a few of the highlights: Dale Dougherty, co-founder of O’Reilly Media, talked about the history of the term “make” as opposed to “hack” and the evolution of Make magazine and Maker Faire. He also announced that Mayor Bloomberg designated September 24-30 Maker Week in New York City in honor of World Maker Faire. Akiba, who works at FreakLabs and is a co-founder of Tokyo Hackerspace, explained how he and his colleagues with Safecast created radiation monitoring devices in response to the Fukushima disaster…”
42.    RoboCup's TeenSize League gets champion open-source robot  http://www.gizmag.com/robocup-teensize-champion-open-source-robot/24460/  “…building robots much taller than a garden gnome has proven a daunting requirement for university labs with limited budgets and experience. Just five teams qualified to compete in the mid-range TeenSize category this year, for robots three to four feet (95-120 cm) tall. A new open-source hardware platform from the University of Bonn…Team NimbRo…is in a particularly good position to commercialize a TeenSize robot platform…NimbRo-OP stands three feet (95 cm) tall, weighs 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg), and has a total of 20 degrees of freedom…underneath it sports a dual-core PC powered by the AMD E-450 processor, has two gigabytes of RAM, and a 64 gig solid state drive. Its Linux-based software is based on that used by the DARwIn-OP…the NimbRo-OP looks like an incredible platform that should make good on its promise of broadening the TeenSize roster…For…US$26,000…universities will get a fully assembled and tested robot that is ready to be tinkered with and programmed. Although it sounds rather expensive, it will save teams the trouble of prototyping their own, and the untold hours of research and development…”
43.    Open Source Robotics Prevail at NYC Maker Faire  http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/open-source-robotics-prevail-at-nyc-maker-faire-298782.html  “The World Maker Faire New York was as much a way for tinkerers to show off their latest creations as it was a place for inventors to work on their projects with others. There was a common mind around the outdoor booths at the annual fair, held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens on Sept. 29 and 30, that innovation is a community effort. Drones were a common sight at the event, and you could find the automated robots flying on gyrocopters, laying on six-wheel beds ideal for off-roading, and being shown off as working concepts for tomorrow’s cars. But the star of the show wasn’t an eight-legged robot or a person twiddling with wires at a table. The star of the show was Arduino, an open source platform created by the do-it-yourself community to create interactive electronic devices. It was behind most of the robotic hulls, beneath the glass of the Linux tablets, and within the face-detection tools of the paintball sentry guns. Arduino was the lifeblood of the machines…”
44.    Open Source's Final Frontier  http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/at-work/innovation/opensource-hardware-summit  “This past Thursday, I attended the third annual Open Hardware Summit, organized by the Open Source Hardware Association and held at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in Manhattan. While open software is now very much mainstream, open hardware is in a far more primitive state. So hearing from the folks at ground zero of this newfangled way of developing and marketing products was illuminating…open-source hardware is…hardware for which the design documents—schematic diagrams, board layouts, CAD files, whatever—are all made available to anyone under some sort of open license. As with open software, different types of licenses grant varying degrees of freedom (although a lot of freedom appears to be the norm here). This approach stands in stark contrast to the usual way of doing business, where a company encircles its intellectual property wagons and keeps competitors at bay with a variety of weapons: copyrights, patents, or simply by maintaining trade secrets. To anyone over about 21, it’s difficult to get your head around how a business can possibly make a buck when it gives most of its intellectual property away for bupkis. But some really do. Sparkfun is probably the poster child for this movement, having grown over the past decade from a dorm-room operation to a multi-million dollar business…”
Open Source
45.    'OpenDyslexic,' Free Font, Helps People With Dyslexia Read Online   “…According to Gonzalez, "OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typefaces includes regular, bold, italic and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users…Your brain can sometimes do funny things to letters. OpenDyslexic tries to help prevent some of these things from happening. Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to add a kind of "gravity" to each letter, helping to keep your brain from rotating them around in ways that can make them look like other letters. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent flipping and swapping, Gonzalez…had seen this style of "heavy bottomed" font before, but that other examples were prohibitively expensive. His mission was to create an open source version that everyone could download and/or contribute to and augment over time. Gonzalez has said that the user response has been great and that dyslexia sufferers have been able to read text without it "looking wiggly"…”
46.    Thinking Small With Tiny Core Linux  http://ostatic.com/blog/thinking-small-with-tiny-core-linux  “I recently had the need to build a virtual appliance, a small Linux server that did one thing, and required no interaction…I found the Tiny Core Linux, and when they say tiny, they mean it. The Tiny Core download is only 12MB. Tiny Core Linux is meant to be a minimalist desktop operating system. The main download includes a window manager, a text editor, and thats about it…for my purposes, I did not need the GUI, all I needed was a server. So I downloaded and installed the tc-install tool, launched it and installed the OS into a very small virtual machine…If you are familiar with command line Linux administration, you might feel a bit lost when you start looking around at Tiny Core. The developers made some interesting concessions in name of size and, presumably, security. By default, no data is retained between reboots. So, spend a little time getting your shell environment the way you like it, spend a little more getting the server you need set up, give it a quick reboot and all the changes you just made are gone…Time to read the documentation…the applications had to live somewhere, so where were they? Tiny Core mounts the hard drive as /dev/sda1, and in the hard drive there are two directories: /boot (ah, there it is!), and /tce. Files stored on the hard drive persist between reboots, and inside the /mnt/sda1/boot/extlinux directory is a file named extlinux.cfg, where you can define your boot parameters. Three boot parameters I was interested in were “cron” to start the cron daemon, “opt=sda1”, and “home=sda1”. These parameters tell Tiny Core to use the hard drive to store the contents of /opt and /home to persist between reboots…It was a fair bit of work to get my virtual appliance working the way I wanted, but it was also an interesting look at an alternative concept for building a Linux system…”
Civilian Aerospace
47.    SpaceX launch gets Dragon spaceship on the way to ISS, but secondary mission didn’t get satellite in desired orbit  http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/08/14297705-spacex-launch-problems-revealed-dragons-ok-but-satellite-goes-awry?lite  “…Although SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully sent its Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station, an engine failure and a less-than-nominal satellite deployment suggest that the company has some technical issues to resolve…one of the nine Merlin engines on the Falcon's first stage shut down, but the onboard computer recalculated the data for the other eight engines to get the Dragon in orbit and save the resupply mission…the engine didn't explode — but that protective panels were ejected because of the pressure loss associated with the shutdown…As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in real time to ensure Dragon's entry into orbit for subsequent rendezvous and berthing with the ISS…Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine-out situation and still complete its mission…Dragon is expected to begin its approach to the station on October 10…Over the following weeks, the crew will unload Dragon's payload and reload it with cargo to be returned to Earth. Splashdown is targeted for October 28…the Orbcomm OG2 telecommunication satellite, which rode into orbit as a secondary payload…was supposed to be put into a highly inclined orbit after a second-stage restart, and serve as the first piece of a new 18-satellite telecom constellation…the satellite was deployed into the wrong orbit because of the engine anomaly…satellite-watcher Jonathan McDowell called attention to the fact that the satellite showed up…as having a 203-by-323-kilometer orbit rather than the planned 350-by-750-kilometer orbit…”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/spacex-dragon-capsule-launched-to-space-station-supply-run-1st-official-flight-under-contract/2012/10/07/7f9693c2-10e0-11e2-9a39-1f5a7f6fe945_story.html  “…Because this is a new resupply ship for the space station, NASA and its international partners had set detailed safety rules in advance for Falcon, even though the engine failure was far from the station. And those rules prevent SpaceX from firing its second stage engines…”
48.    How SpaceX Will Keep the Space Station in Business  http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/10/spacex-iss-cargo/  “The first launch of a new space era is scheduled to take place on Sunday night as SpaceX prepares to deliver its first NASA-contracted cargo load to the International Space Station. Sunday’s launch…will mark the first of 12 contracted flights for SpaceX…the company will use a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to deliver about 1,000 pounds to the ISS and bring back more than 1,200 pounds of research equipment and supplies…Nine minutes and 46 seconds after launch, both the first and second stages of the rocket will have completed their job and the Dragon capsule will separate from the rocket. It will then begin a multi-day approach to the ISS…the crew will unpack supplies, including clothing, food and batteries. There is also 390 pounds of scientific experiments heading to the station, including 23 student experiments…the Dragon is the only spacecraft currently available to return to Earth with a significant amount of cargo…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
49.    New supercomputer for South Australia  http://www.cio.com.au/article/438324/new_supercomputer_south_australia/  “Scientific researchers across South Australia now have access to the massive processing power of a new supercomputer…eResearch SA said its new ‘Tizard’ supercomputer…provides 2304 cores that deliver 24 teraflops of processing power. The system has 48 compute nodes, each with 128GB of memory, an additional 17 nodes using 68 graphical processing units, and two large memory nodes with 512GB and 1024GB of memory…research in quantum chromodynamics – which describes complex interactions between quarks and gluons as they combine proton or neutron particles – requires a high performance computer cluster. “The installation of the Tizard machine will transform the way we perform these computations as we harness the power of dedicated graphics hardwre, or GPUs,” Professor Leinweber said…the clustered supercomputer completes calculations 100 times faster than standard CPUs alone. "By exploiting this speed-up we will be able to acquire the massive statistics needed to explore aspects of QCD that are otherwise unknown…”
50.    Nvidia GPUs to Help Simulate a Bee's Brain for Flying Robots  http://io9.com/5948202/new-project-aims-to-upload-a-honey-bees-brain-into-a-flying-insectobot-by-2015   “…scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex are hoping to create the first accurate computer simulation of a honey bee brain — and then upload it into an autonomous flying robot…The researchers hope a robotic insect could supplement or replace the shrinking population of honey bees that pollinate essential plant life…NVIDIA will provide them with high-performance graphical processing units called GPU accelerators. This will allow the researchers to simulate aspects of a honey bee's brain by using massively paralleled desktop PCs…researchers aren't trying to emulate a complete honey bee brain, but rather two specific and complex functions within it, namely vision and sense of smell…they will upload those models into a robotic honey bee so that it can act autonomously…researchers hope to provide their flying robot with the cognitive power required to perform basic tasks — and without a set of pre-programmed instructions…the advent of an artificial pollinator could provide a solution…to the problem of dwindling honey bee populations — an organism that's currently dealing with the devastating effects of colony collapse disorder…the artificial honey bee may be the first of many robots we introduce into the environment…”

*****

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