2012/10/23

NEW NET Weekly List for 23 Oct 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 23 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 due to long hours at work and other obligations, but I am scheduled to be at NEW NET in person in NEXT WEEK!

The ‘net
1.        The Internet runs (mostly) on a handshake  http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/10/23/regulators-dont-mount-up-oecd-releases-detailed-study-of-the-efficiency-of-internet-exchanges/  “The network connections that tie the Internet together continue to function smoothly through a process that operates largely without contracts, according to a new report on Internet traffic exchanges by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development…just 0.4 percent of Internet traffic agreements are based on paid peering, in which one party pays another to move traffic between their networks. More than 99.5 percent of the traffic exchanges that keep the Internet running are based on a handshake: concluded without a written contract, meaning that terms and conditions are generally agreed upon. This research was based on a survey of 142,000 peering agreements. The report’s bottom line is that the commercial agreements over the past 20 years have created an efficient global market for connectivity based on voluntary, contractual agreements.  What’s more impressive, the study points out, is that this occurred in a highly competitive environment largely without regulation or central organization, and by diverse parties including providers Internet backbone, access, and content distribution services, as well as universities, NGOs, branches of government, individuals, businesses and enterprises of all sorts…”
2.       The Internet Cat Video Festival at Umass Boston is Tonight  http://bostinno.com/2012/10/23/inter-net-cat-video-festival-umass-boston/#ss__248620_245543_0__ss  “The Internet Cat Video Festival will be at UMass Boston tonight. This is a real thing that is happening that I’m not making up, I swear. You can confirm that I’m not lying here. See? Real. I wouldn’t joke about this. Back in August, 10,000 viewers showed up to watch cats on screen at the Walker Art Center’s summer-long experiment, Open Field, for the first ever Internet Cat Video Festival in Minneapolis, according to the event’s page. Tonight’s show party is the first stop of what is sure to be the cutest, most cuddliest tour of anything that has ever happened (save for the first time The Jonas Brothers toured North America). The hour and a half worth of videos depicting cats and their adorable ways will screen outside at the Harbor Gallery from 7 to 8:30 this evening…”
3.       Researchers report widespread Internet use by caregivers  http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-widespread-internet-caregivers-children-shunts.html  “When faced with disease, patients and caregivers now readily turn to the Internet for information and emotional support. This is particularly true in the case of caregivers of children with hydrocephalus. Researchers at Children's of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that adults caring for children with hydrocephalus reported greater regular use of the Internet than the general population (91.7 percent compared with 74 percent). The majority of these caregivers (81.9 percent) also use the Internet to obtain information about the disease, although they are somewhat skeptical about the overall veracity of information gained from the Web and are interested in well-respected hydrocephalus-related websites (such as that of the Hydrocephalus Association) and physician-suggested sites…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
4.       Parasite websites lifting young people’s graphic photos at alarming rate  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/porn-sites-lifting-kids-graphic-pictures-alarming-rate-article-1.1190588  “The Net’s newest parasites are causing severe headaches for kids who email, upload and sext graphic pictures of themselves. Called parasite websites, these pages take users’ sexually explicit media from sites like Twitter and Facebook and repost them publicly, now hosting a whopping 88 percent of the dirty pictures and videos of youngsters examined in a new study. Researchers for the Internet Watch Foundation came across 12,224 self-made sexually explicit photos and videos of young people in only 47 hours of research. Of the media they found, 7,147 were images, and 5,077 were videos. Overall, 10,776 — or 88 percent — were found on parasite websites. Internet watchdogs have long known about the problem of parasites, but this is the first time researchers have been able to demonstrate their exact reach…”
5.        Electronic Voting Machines Still Widely Used Despite Security Concerns  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/electronic-voting-machines-2012_n_1992992.html  “For years, researchers have been aware of numerous security flaws in electronic voting machines. They've found ways to hack the machines to swap votes between candidates, reject ballots or accept 50,000 votes from a precinct with just 100 voters. Yet on Nov. 6, millions of voters -- including many in hotly contested swing states -- will cast ballots on e-voting machines that researchers have found are vulnerable to hackers. What is more troubling, say some critics, is that election officials have no way to verify that votes are counted accurately because some states do not use e-voting machines that produce paper ballots. After the "hanging chad" controversy of the 2000 election, Congress passed a federal law that gave states funding to replace their punch card and lever voting systems with electronic voting machines. But computer scientists have repeatedly demonstrated that a variety of electronic voting machines can be hacked -- often quite easily…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
6.       Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE confirmed to get updated to Jelly Bean  http://www.mobilebloom.com/motorola-photon-q-4g-lte-confirmed-to-get-updated-to-jelly-bean/2223544/  “In today’s smartphone world where most handsets are full-touchscreen devices, it is getting harder to find a very capable smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard especially if you are the type that never got the hang of typing on a touchscreen and would rather do your messaging chores on a physical keyboard. The search for such device ended with the release of the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE  – a smartphone with all the bells and whistles with that lovely slideout QWERTY keyboard to make your messaging life a whole lot easier…that QWERTY keyboard is not the only good thing the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE has to offer. It also has an impressive specs sheet with fire-breathing components under the hood that can take the battle to the bad boys of the smartphone competition. With this handset as your mobile weapon of choice, you wouldn’t have to worry about typographical errors whenever you’re typing out a quick SMS or an email to family and friends…the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE will also get a taste of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the near future. This piece of news has been confirmed by none other than Motorola who already revised its Android software update page to confirm that the QWERTY-packing smartphone will indeed get upgraded to the latest iteration of the Google mobile operating system. Sad to say, there was no indication though as to when the Android 4.1 refresh will finally land on the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE…”
7.        Google and Amazon can breathe a sigh of relief as Apple skips competing on price with iPad mini  http://www.zdnet.com/google-and-amazon-can-breathe-a-sigh-of-relief-as-apple-skips-competing-on-price-with-ipad-mini-7000006243/  “Some people actually thought Apple would be able to get the new iPad mini down in the $199 to $249 price range, but there was no way I was buying that story. The iPad mini STARTS at $329 with six models ranging all the way up to a whopping $649 for the 64GB cellular model. The Google Nexus 7 is only $199, $249 for 16GB, and has a higher PPI display. Google has come a long way with their ecosystem too and it is easy to find books, music, and movies in the Play Store. There are also rumors of a larger 10 inch Nexus and if that comes in close to this new iPad mini price we may see Google become an even more serious contender in the tablet market. Apple has dominated the tablet market, but Android tablets are making some great efforts to compete. This is especially true this year with the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 competing at such a low entry price. The next thing Google needs to do is to get developers creating tablet-optimized applications because the 275,000 iPad apps offer a very compelling reason to go with an iPad…”
8.       Auto apps accelerated by triple-play graphics cores  http://www.eetimes.com/design/microcontroller-mcu/4398965/Auto-apps-accelerated-by-triple-play-graphics-cores  “The instrument panel in an automobile provides a critical interface between the driver and the vehicle. The overall design, features, and functionality of the instrument panel can be a major selling factor to a potential customer – or a complete turn off that drives the customer away. As opposed to traditional panels featuring physical dials and meters, there are many advantages to implementing the panel in the form of an electronic display. This allows the automobile manufacturer to provide unique, reconfigurable instrument panel designs that can provide sophisticated mixtures of digital content with computer-generated representations of classic design elements, such as dials and pointers to display speed and tachometer information…This article briefly introduces the i.MX6 family of processing devices from Freescale. In particular, we consider the Triple-Play graphics processing units (GPUs) featured in the i.MX6 devices and explains the advantages that result from using three specialized graphics engines…”
9.       New Samsung Chromebook and Samsung Series 5 550 head-to-head  http://www.zdnet.com/new-samsung-chromebook-and-samsung-series-5-550-head-to-head-7000006091/  “…I have the two premier Chromebooks in my possession. I bought the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook a few weeks ago and have been using it as my primary work machine since the purchase. This week Google sent me a new Samsung Chromebook ahead of the product unveiling…Having and using both of these fine laptops is getting me a lot of correspondence about which one is best. This article comparing the two is the result….The new Samsung Chromebook is about the same thickness of the 550 (0.81 inches) but is much lighter at 2.43 pounds. It is very similar to the MacBook Air in both size and appearance. It has a good keyboard much like that on the 550, and the trackpad, while good, is a bit smaller than that of the 550. The new Chromebook has the same light sensor of the bigger sibling. The 11.6-inch display of the new model is of similar quality of that of the larger model. The 12.1-inch display on the 550 is slightly brighter than that of the new Chromebook…The 550 has an Intel Celeron processor which runs things snappily, while the new Chromebook has a Samsung ARM processor. It also performs well, but I would say the 550 is a bit faster…That could be due to the additional memory (4 GB total) in the 550 versus the 2 GB in the new Chromebook. The new Samsung Chromebook has two USB ports (one 3.0, one 2.0) while the 550 has two USB 2.0. The new model also has a full HDMI port compared to the 550 which has a DisplayPort. The 550 also has an RJ-45 jack for ethernet which the newer Chromebook lacks. Both laptops have a full SD slot for memory expansion to add to the 16 GB of internal storage…The 550 cold boots in 12 seconds while the new Chromebook only needs 10. They both resume from standby almost instantly when the laptop lid is opened…Both Chromebooks have good battery life with the 550 perhaps slightly better…I easily get over 6 hours with each device, usually over 7 hours of real use…each of these Chromebooks is available with a 3G option but I have the Wi-Fi-only version of each. Working on Wi-Fi is as easy as expected and impressively each Chromebook instantly connects to the hotspot as soon as the lid is opened. There is never a lag reconnecting to the network, unlike some other laptops…Either of these Chromebooks are a good investment for folks like me that spend a lot of the day in the Chrome browser…”  http://money.msn.com/technology-investment/post.aspx?post=f189145a-be37-4a12-a125-cd290d1215a7  “…When tech investors look back on October 2012 from five or 10 years in the future, what's likely to be best remembered is the introduction of a $249 laptop. I have spent the last 22 months spending the majority of my working time on the predecessor devices to this Chromebook and I was able to spend a little bit of time with this latest version. I can say with confidence that it is the best value -- by a mile -- you can get for spending $249 on any kind of technology. You should order as many as you can, and make it the Christmas stocking present of choice, for as many people as you can afford.”  http://www.cnet.com/laptops/samsung-chromebook-series-3/4505-3121_7-35500150.html  “…If you're wondering whether to get this or a tablet, though, you'll have to assess your priorities. Tablets have a wealth of entertaining apps and better battery life. But when it's time to type, I find Chromebooks much more agreeable than using my iPad and Kensington Bluetooth keyboard or my Transformer Prime with its own keyboards…My biggest complaint about the Samsung Chromebook is performance. In short, it struggles under a load, especially when there are many browser tabs open. For example, text sometimes arrived sluggishly in a long Google Docs word-processing document, and paging up and down through even simple, moderately long documents could be excruciating. Another problem: a YouTube video playing a song in the background paused when I tabbed away to another task. Another video stuttered while I was scrolling in Google Docs…Closing down tabs to keep it to a half dozen seemed to help…Google really does improve the operating system steadily with its six-week update cycle, so today's problems could ease with future releases of the operating system…Overall, the Samsung Chromebook is a solid device for the price when used for occasional Web tasks, especially for Google-centric people…”
10.     Thefts of cell phones rise rapidly nationwide  http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2012/10/20/thefts-of-cell-phones-rise-rapidly-nationwide/1646767/  “…the cell phone has become a top target of robbers who use stealth, force and sometimes guns. Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cell phone-related, police say, and most occur on bustling transit lines. One thief recently snatched a smartphone while sitting right behind his unsuspecting victim and darted out the rear of a bus in mere seconds. Another robber grabbed an iPhone from an oblivious bus rider — while she was still talking…in nearby Oakland, City Council candidate Dan Kalb was robbed at gunpoint of his iPhone Wednesday after he attended a neighborhood anti-crime meeting. "I thought he was going to shoot me," recalled Kalb, who had dropped his phone during the stickup. "He kept saying, 'Find the phone! Find the phone!'" These brazen incidents are part of a ubiquitous crime wave striking coast to coast. New York City Police report that more than 40 percent of all robberies now involve cell phone…”
11.      Android Features That Blow iPhone Out of the Water  http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/224707  “While iPhone fans brag about their beloved devices, Android fans will grin knowingly and take comfort because there are several solid reasons to stick with -- or switch to -- their Google-powered phones. Here's a look at the nine biggest features that make Android devices more favorable than Apple's iphone: 1. Expandable storage…2. Killer maps…3. No 'walled garden'…4. Ability to Choose your default apps for Web browsing, email and more…5. Support for multiple app stores…6. Multiple hardware choices…7. Standard cables and dock connections…8. Better widgets…9. Better integration with Google services…”
Apps
12.     Brewster: The Smart Contacts App That Wants To Rule Them All  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/19/brewster-the-smart-contacts-app-that-wants-to-rule-them-all-now-conquering-europe-too/  “Brewster, the relationship-centric iOS address book app that went live in the U.S. in July…is picking up some more steam. On the heels of an app update earlier this month, this week it is launching across Europe, available for the first time in iOS App Stores across the region…The app itself, if you have not used it yet, is built with the idea of taking a new approach to the conundrum of managing contacts across different social networks, your phone and your email. Sourcing whichever of these you choose to activate in the app, it aggregates all the contacts you have made, merges them and uses algorithms to intelligently figure out connections based on those other users’ activity. It then becomes a centralized address book from which you can then access those other networks…the idea of one address book to conquer them all is not exactly new: from early starts by companies like Plaxo (now part of Comcast), there have been Gist (bought and shut down by RIM), Rapportive (now part of LinkedIn), Xobni and lots of others (including small startups like Fruux) looking to solve the problem, both on the enterprise but also on the consumer side. Brewster’s unique selling point has been how it gives the address book a more personalized twist: incorporating social networks with email, you can find people by their names — and photos if one of the accounts you have connected with them on has them — but also by their interests (eg, music, dogs, work networks) and by location — basically any information that they make public about themselves…”
13.     The 25 best travel apps  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-app-reviews/9614344/The-25-best-travel-apps.html  “There are lots of apps that can enhance your travelling experience. Here are a few of our favourites…Triposo…TripIt…Hailo…Urbanspoon…XE Currency…Spanish Dictionary Pro…TubeExits…Goings On: The New Yorker…UK Bus checker…HotelTonight…Jetsetter Hotel and Travel deals…Outdoors GPS Great Britain with National Parks OS Maps…The Cartographer…Google translate…Journey Pro…Getpacked (Lucas van Shaik)…Rough Guide Trip Lens…Skyscanner (Skyscanner)…Yelp…Maverick Pro…National Trust…Street View on Google Maps…London Bus Checker…PetrolPrices Pro…MyMapRide GPS Cycling Riding…” [some of these apps are specific to the UK; what travel apps do you use in Wisconsin or the USA? – ed.]
SkyNet
14.     Could Google disappear if it fails to quickly improve mobile advertising?  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220635/Could-Google-disappear-Analysts-warn-search-engines-demise-fails-improve-mobile-advertising.html  “As Google suffers a catastrophic nose-dive in its market value, analysts are already predicting its demise as the world's lead Internet search engine. '[Google] could disappear in five to eight years and disappear in the sense that Yahoo used to be the king of search,' said Eric Jackson, the founder and managing member of Ironfire Capital, a technology-focused hedge fund…Google's stock value plunged a hair-raising 10 percent this week -- wiping out more than $24 billion from the company's value -- after its third-quarter earnings report…revealed a 20 percent drop in profits over last year…Advertising revenues are falling -- and will continue to fall -- for Internet companies because consumers are increasingly migrating to mobile applications and advertisers aren't willing to pay as much for a mobile ad…Advertisers aren't willing to pay as much for mobile advertising because the platform is not as effective as advertising on a desktop or laptop computer…'I think that there is a big opportunity right now for someone to step forward and assert themselves for a new way of getting people information for doing search in a mobile world,' Jackson said. 'I don't think typing in a blue box is the ideal format for a mobile world. And I think the best opportunity out there to displace Google in this area is probably Apple's Siri.' For now however, despite its drop in earnings, Google remains dominant in online advertising with a 74.5 percent share of the U.S. search ad market…”  http://www.forbes.com/sites/darcytravlos/2012/10/20/worried-about-google-story-stronger-for-long-term/  “…Google stock had run up 37% in the last four months, so it is likely that some new investors looking for a quick momentum decided to take their gains.  However, companies competing in this new mobile-ecosystem world need to be evaluated long term, not on a quarterly basis…And long term, Google is only getting stronger…Google…leads in mobile display ad revenue with 25% according to e-Marketer and dominates in mobile advertising overall with 51% market share…Mobile introduces unique challenges to Google…and everybody else.  The challenge: advertising does not work the same on mobile devices as it does on desktops.  The screens are smaller making the ads harder to read and it difficult to place very many ads on that screen…there is good news.  First, the mobile ad market is nascent.  In 2012, the market for mobile ad spending is expected to be $2.61B this year, and that will grow over four-fold over four years .  Second, the format for effective mobile ads has yet to be figured out…Third, the screen sizes on mobile devices are growing…it is a very smart and well-capitalized industry.  Google has $48B, Apple has $117B, and Facebook has $10B in their bank accounts and armies of talented, creative employees that have brought to market game-changing innovations including online search, smartphones and social networking.  It is a certainty that they will figure out mobile advertising.  Or someone else will and they use their war chests of cash to copy it…The new “trend” or paradigm for consumer technology companies is to create systems around hardware, software and services…Google and Amazon are manufacturing their own tablets, Google bought Motorola for smartphones and it is rumored that Amazon is on its way to smartphone production…Google is in very early stages of this strategy…All in all, Google appears to be doing all the right things to pursue an effective and profitable long-term strategy in consumer technology…As Android continues to proliferate, it will have more real estate from which to deliver ads or to test ways to deliver ads.  Google is as well positioned as any company to compete in this new consumer technology paradigm.   Today, it appears the long-term horse race is between Apple, Google and Amazon…Investors who believed in the ad model for online search and invested in Google on its IPO at $85, had a bumpy, albeit rewarding, ride to $714 over the ensuing three years.  The new world is mobile, and investors again are challenged to look at the longer term.  Google…consensus price targets dropping to a respectable $765 to $800, the stock is priced to provide a 12-17% return over the next year.  Longer term, the prospects could be even better if Google’s strategy plays out.…”
15.     Google renames Google Drive apps, releases them to Chrome Web Store  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57538430-93/google-renames-google-drive-apps-releases-them-to-chrome-web-store/  “Say goodbye to Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. Say hello to Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google quietly renamed its Google Drive applications today while releasing them as standalone apps inside the Chrome Web Store. Once users install them, they will be available as shortcuts every time they open a new tab in Chrome. They're also coming to Chromebooks. In a few weeks, Google says, Docs, Sheets, and Slides will appear in Chromebook users' app list by default. They aren't the only new Web apps available in the Chrome Web Store. Google also has released apps for Drawings, Forms, Google Apps Script, and Fusion Tables.”
16.     Fly around London using the PigeonSim  http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2012/10/fly_around_london_using_the_pigeons.html  “Over the years we've seen some creative ways that people have used Google Earth. From the crazy "skydiving" a few years ago, to Paul van Dinther's impressive A-tour, we've seen a lot of great ways to stretch Google Earth. Today's is a mixture of crazy and awesome -- a simulator that uses the Xbox Kinect to allow you to pretend to be a pigeon and fly around London. It looks great! Check out the video…to see a bit more about how it works…”
General Technology
17.     Nvidia dual, quad-GPU VGX to power cloud virtual desktop rendering  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/nvidias-vgx-cards-bring-big-graphics-performance-to-virtual-machines/  “Though virtual machines have become indispensable in the server room over the last few years, desktop virtualization has been less successful. One of the reasons has been performance, and specifically graphics performance—modern virtualization products are generally pretty good at dynamically allocating CPU power, RAM, and drive space as clients need them, but graphics performance just hasn't been as good as it is on an actual desktop. NVIDIA wants to solve this problem with its VGX virtualization platform…the technology will allow virtual machines to use a graphics card installed in a server to accelerate applications, games, and video. Through NVIDIA's VGX Hypervisor, compatible virtualization software…can use the GPU directly, allowing thin clients, tablets, and other devices to more closely replicate the experience of using actual desktop hardware….the NVIDIA VGX K1, is built to provide basic 3D and video acceleration to a large number of users—up to 100…Each of this card's four GPUs uses 192 of NVIDIA's graphics cores and 4GB of DDR3 RAM (for a total of 768 cores and 16GB of memory), and has a reasonably modest TDP of 150 watts—for reference, NVIDIA's high-end GTX 680 desktop graphics card has a TDP of 195W, and the dual-GPU version (the GTX 690) steps this up to 300W…”
18.     Early look at Microsoft Windows 8 baffles consumers  http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/early-look-at-microsoft-windows-8-leaves-consumers-confused/1/189244.html  “The release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is a week away, and consumers are in for a shock. Windows, used in one form or another for a generation, is getting a completely different look that will force users to learn new ways to get things done. Microsoft is making a radical break with the past to stay relevant in a world where smartphones and tablets have eroded the three-decade dominance of the personal computer. Windows 8 is supposed to tie together Microsoft's PC, tablet and phone software with one look… judging by the reactions of some people who have tried the PC version, it's a move that risks confusing and alienating customers. Tony Roos, an American missionary in Paris, installed a free preview version of Windows 8 on his aging laptop to see if Microsoft's new operating system would make the PC faster and more responsive. It didn't, he said, and he quickly learned that working with the new software requires tossing out a lot of what he knows about Windows. "It was very difficult to get used to," he said. "I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old, and they never got used to it. They say: 'We're just going to use Mom's computer.'" Windows 8 is the biggest revision of Microsoft Corp's operating system since it introduced Windows 95…17 years ago…”
Leisure & Entertainment
19.     My 6,128 Favorite Books  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444868204578064483923017090.html  “I started borrowing books from a roving Quaker City bookmobile when I was 7 years old…I had no way of knowing it at the time, but what started out as a harmless juvenile pastime soon turned into a lifelong personality disorder. Fifty-five years later, with at least 6,128 books under my belt, I still organize my daily life—such as it is—around reading…No matter what they may tell themselves, book lovers do not read primarily to obtain information or to while away the time. They read to escape to a more exciting, more rewarding world. A world where they do not hate their jobs, their spouses, their governments, their lives…I've never squandered an opportunity to read. There are only 24 hours in the day, seven of which are spent sleeping, and in my view at least four of the remaining 17 must be devoted to reading. A friend once told me that the real message Bram Stoker sought to convey in "Dracula" is that a human being needs to live hundreds and hundreds of years to get all his reading done; that Count Dracula, basically nothing more than a misunderstood bookworm, was draining blood from the necks of 10,000 hapless virgins not because he was the apotheosis of pure evil but because it was the only way he could live long enough to polish off his extensive reading list. But I have no way of knowing if this is true, as I have not yet found time to read "Dracula."…I dread that awkward moment when a friend hands you the book that changed his or her life, and it is a book that you have despised since you were 11 years old. Yes, "Atlas Shrugged." Or worse, "The Fountainhead." No, actually, let's stick with "Atlas Shrugged."…I hate having books rammed down my throat, which may explain why I never liked school: I still cannot understand how one human being could ask another to read "Death of a Salesman" or "Ethan Frome" and then expect to remain on speaking terms…Books as physical objects matter to me, because they evoke the past. A Métro ticket falls out of a book I bought 40 years ago, and I am transported back to the Rue Saint-Jacques on Sept. 12, 1972, where I am waiting for someone named Annie LeCombe. A telephone message from a friend who died too young falls out of a book, and I find myself back in the Chateau Marmont on a balmy September day in 1995…None of this will work with a Kindle. People who need to possess the physical copy of a book, not merely an electronic version, believe that the objects themselves are sacred. Some people may find this attitude baffling, arguing that books are merely objects that take up space. This is true, but so are Prague and your kids and the Sistine Chapel…The world is changing, but I am not changing with it. There is no e-reader or Kindle in my future…Books are sublimely visceral, emotionally evocative objects that constitute a perfect delivery system. Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who have clutter issues, or who don't want other people to see that they are reading books about parallel universes where nine-eyed sea serpents and blind marsupials join forces with deaf Valkyries to rescue high-strung albino virgins from the clutches of hermaphrodite centaurs, but they are useless for people engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books…”
20.    Google Fiber Killed The TV Star  http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2012/10/23/google-fiber-killed-the-tv-star/  “The internet is about to drown in digital video. Right now, the current average household broadband speed is only slightly faster than it was when it was first introduced in homes 16 years ago. With the introduction of Google Fiber, however, offering up to one gigabit (100 megabits per second) upload and download speed, the internet will finally begin to reach its full potential. That kind of speed offers near-instant access to HD video…People will now have a very real reason to cut their cable, and advertisers will need to rethink their relationship with customers…what might this future look like? More interactive? Definitely. More real-time? Naturally. Imagine how smoothly shows like “American Idol” will run when viewed on internet-connected TVs. Forget phone numbers; you’ll just vote through the TV. Product placement will be on another level. Clothing worn by characters will be buyable through the TV interface…Advertisers have long relied on cable TV to provide access to their target audience. But in the next few years, the audience simply won’t be there. They will (finally) begin accessing content through a host of other providers like Hulu+, iTunes, Netflix and Apple TV. It will require a total rethink of what constitutes commercial content…Advertisers will need to find not only new ways to reach their audience but, in many cases, new ways to measure that reach…The dilemma advertisers will have to address is what content people are willing to digest, and formulate how best to overcome consumer reluctance to make people excited about viewing their content. This will likely be discovered through innovative brand partnerships to produce content more suited to a new reality of tablet-toting cord cutters…”
Economy and Technology
21.     FundersClub Turns The Crowd Into Venture Capitalists  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/19/fundersclub-seed-round/  “If you need more proof that FundersClub wants to radically change startup funding by letting non-VCs invest, it just closed a $6 million seed round, the largest ever from a Y Combinator company. There are still questions about its legality, but investors include A-listers YC, First Round, Chris Dixon, and Aaron Levie. Their support shows Silicon Valley is ready to disrupt itself by inviting the crowd to the cap table…FundersClub is a website that picks promising startups and lets people invest in them over the web in return for real equity. Anyone who’s an “accredited investor” (earns over $200,000 a year or has a net worth over $1 million) can browse startups with open rounds ranging from a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars. They learn about the businesses, pick ones they believe in, and plop down as little a $1,000. The average investment so far is $2500. All the legal paperwork and money transfer happens right there online. If one of the startups gets acquired or IPOs, the investors can cash out their stake and FundersClub collects a percentage. That makes this a whole different ball game than the crowdfunding in exchange for rewards like on Kickstarter, and it doesn’t require the JOBS Act.…”
22.    Facebook executive Joanna Shields resigns to head up London's Tech City  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/9622759/Top-Facebook-executive-Joanna-Shields-resigns-to-head-up-Londons-Tech-City.html  “Joanna Shields, one of Facebook’s most senior executives, is to quit the social media giant and join David Cameron’s project to create a competitor to California’s Silicon Valley in East London. Ms Shields, the vice-president of Facebook who is responsible for the business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is to become the new chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation…Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Shields said that she had always had a “passion” for public policy and was keen to help the Government. Tech City is already home to 3,000 digital companies, most of them start-ups. “There are not many opportunities where you know from day one you can contribute on a huge level,” said Ms Shields, the former chief executive of Bebo who was also a senior figure at Google…”
DHMN Technology
23.    Motorola Solutions HC1 wearable computer is your engineer’s Google Glass  http://www.slashgear.com/motorola-mobility-hc1-wearable-computer-is-your-engineers-google-glass-22253053/  “…A new wearable computer has gone on sale, with Motorola Solutions hoping that enterprise users will gladly sacrifice some style if it means they have both hands and a database-worth of information at all times. The Motorola HC1, based on Kopin’s Golden-i wearables technology, may not have the slick aesthetic of Google’s Glass, but for those in defense, utilities, telecommunications, aerospace, and aviation industries, it opens up persistent connectivity and remote support to the work day. The HC1 system consists of a micro-display that’s suspended just in front, and below, of the wearer’s eyeline, running at SVGA 800 x 600 resolution to appear like a virtual 15-inch panel. It’s paired with a power-frugal 800MHz OMAP3 dualcore running Windows CE 6.0 professional with a custom speech recognition engine, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and USB, along with a 9-axis head-tracking accelerometer with digital compass…”  http://www.eweek.com/mobile/motorola-hc1-device-is-google-glass-for-business-users/
24.    R-10 quadrotor project on Kickstarter  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1101297082/r10-quadrotor-powerful-inexpensive-and-customizabl  “…To address the problem of high-cost MAVs, we put our best engineering minds to work to reduce the cost without sacrificing performance.  We designed the system to make use of modern mass-manufacturing processes such as laser-cutting, as well as modern aluminium alloys; we designed a smart frame design and low-cost high-performance electronics; and we developed advanced stabilization and positioning software to automatically stabilize and in some cases pilot the craft.  The result is the R10 Quadrotor, a reliable micro air vehicle that is both simple to operate, and very low cost, making micro air vehicles accessible to everyone. R10 is able to not only take on duties that previously required costly air crews, trained pilots, or expensive MAVs/UAVs, but to do so very affordably; now anybody from professionals to enthusiasts can own an R10, and operate their own micro air vehicle, or swarms of micro air vehicles. The R10 is designed to allow payloads such as cameras or sensors to be attached, for use in a variety of tasks.  Yet the R10 Quadrotor’s low cost and accessibility means that it’s also an extremely fun radio-control aircraft to fly: more maneuverable than fixed-wing models, yet safer and more durable than model helicopters; making it perfect even for enthusiasts…”
25.    GO!SCAN 3D Captures Accurate 3D Models, Point-and-Shoot Style  http://technabob.com/blog/2012/10/22/goscan-handheld-3d-scanner/  “…3D printing technology, but this tech is still limited in that you need to know about 3D modeling to recreate objects…with the advent of 3D scanners, you can even skip that step, and just scan in the objects you’d like to replicate. The GO!SCAN 3D is a handheld 3D object scanner, which allows you to quickly and easily grab 3D images of real-world objects, and convert them into digital 3D models. These models can then be used for everything from CGI effects to video games, to serving as models for 3D printing. It uses a bright white LED as its light source, and offers a resolution of .500 mm, with an accuracy of 0.1mm. It’s scanning area can be as large as 15″ x 15″, and it can capture as many as 550,000 measurements every second…This lightweight (2.4 pound) scanner caputures objects with a simple point-and-shoot method – all you have to do is aim the scanner at the object, and move it back and forth until it has all of the surfaces. You can even capture objects by moving them around, since the scanner doesn’t require a rigid setup like other 3D scanners…”
26.    Airplane Created With 3D Printer  http://www.technewsdaily.com/8337-airplane-created-with-3d-printer.html  “3D printers are already being used to create machine parts and small toys, but engineers have now used the technology to build an entire vehicle: a plastic, unmanned airplane that actually flies. The plane, created by engineering students at the University of Virginia (U.Va.), has a 6.5-foot wingspan, and was made from assembled printed parts. The team tested their creation during four flights in August and early September at Milton Airfield near Keswick, VA. The aircraft, which is only the third 3-D printed plane known to have been built and flown, achieved a cruising speed of 45 mph…”
Open Source Hardware
27.    Microcontroller Maniacs Rejoice: Arduino Finally Releases the 32-Bit Due  http://www.wired.com/design/2012/10/arduino-due/  “The long-awaited Arduino Due just hit the market, replacing the 8-bit, 16MHz brain of the popular Uno microcontroller prototyping platform with a 32-bit, 84MHz processor, while augmenting inputs and capabilities all around. For robotics and electronics hobbyists, its a moment of much excitement. But for the rest of us, what does this new controller offer over the older models? “Having a 32bit ARM processor running at 84 MHz allows you to do much more much quicker,” explains Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi in an e-mail to Wired. “If you think about the Quadcopters that Chris Anderson and his community are building, they need to read many sensors as fast as possible then process all that data to calculate how to keep the quadcopter flying properly. Having a faster processor, with much more capabilities like DMA can increase the stability, responsiveness and precision of the aircraft while using less chip to do it.” The heart of the Arduino Due is the Atmel SAM3X8E, an ARM Cortex-M3-based processor…”
28.    Evil Mad Scientist Art Controller  http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2012/10/evil-mad-scientist-art-controller/  “*Okay, it’s just an open-source hard ware programmable timer, but hey look, it’s labelled “ART CONTROLLER” right on the board itself! Vastly cooler than cheap, everyday electrical timers out of the local big-box store!...“While no programming is required— the microcontroller comes preprogrammed to do everything listed above — the Art Controller’s onboard ATtiny2313A microcontroller can be reprogrammed in circuit with an AVR ISP programmer, such as the USBtinyISP, to make either minor or radical changes to its behavior. You can vary the timing, the way timing is used, or do anything else that you care to, with up to 16 available digital I/O lines…”
Open Source
29.    Open Source SmartDeblur Attempts To Save Out of Focus Photos  http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2012/10/open-source-smartdeblur-could-restore-blurred-and-out-focus-images  “Programmer Vladimir Yuzhikov has released a Windows only application SmartDeblur that can do some really impressive things with removing blur from images after the fact. Released on his website earlier this month, the open source project can recover a pretty spectacular amount of information from an otherwise illegible photograph. Yuzhikov spends a substantial amount of time on the technical details of the mathematical processes he uses to get this information, and if it's something that you understand, it's interesting reading. Yuzhikov isn't the only one working on deblurring images, and tweaking areas that are otherwise out of focus. Last year, Adobe showed off something similar at their MAX conference, and here's something similar from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. While the examples of SmartDeblur don't seem to do much to make an aesthetically pleasing final image, what is really impressive is just how much information can be extracted from the fuzzy original. As you can see in the example below, legible text was easily reconstructed…”
30.    Features of Open Source GPS Tracking System  http://linuxaria.com/article/features-of-open-source-gps-tracking-system?lang=en  “Over the past few years, Global Positioning Tracking System (GPS) applications have become extremely popular among automobile consumers and in fact anyone who drives a vehicle on a regular basis probably use them. So much so that many car manufacturers offer GPS capabilities built directly into their cars. Mobile device providers have also found themselves competing with each other over their location aware applications using GPS technology. While there are several applications on the market that offer functionality for individual consumers, there is not a lot available for companies or small business owners who need to manage several vehicles at once from a central location. The Open GTS (Open GPS Tracking System) Project is an open source project developing the Open GTS application, focusing on a GPS application specifically built for managing fleets of vehicles for small businesses. Fleet vehicles have different requirements for GPS applications than individual vehicles. For instance, the dispatch manager’s ability to keep track of each vehicle’s location through the work day is just as important as the driver’s ability to find their way around with accurate real time mapping and directions…”
Civilian Aerospace
31.     Jeff Bezos’ Secretive Blue Origin Tests New Rocket Engine  http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/10/blue-origin-rocket-engine/  “The most secretive commercial space company has passed a milestone after successfully test-firing part of its new rocket engine. Blue Origin, the suspiciously quiet rocket company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, fired up the thrust chamber for its engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center…The engine is a 100,000-pound thrust model that uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as fuel. Blue Origin plans on using the engines as part of its reusable booster system that will launch its interestingly shaped spacecraft into orbit as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) project. The Washington-based company is one of four upstart private space firms receiving funding for the development of a manned spacecraft that will be capable of carrying astronauts into orbit. The other participants are Boeing, Sierra Nevada and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. “We are very excited to have demonstrated a new class of high-performance hydrogen engines,” said Rob Meyerson, president and program manager of Blue Origin…”
32.    SpaceShipTwo Fitted With Rocket Propulsion System  http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_10_22_2012_p04-01-509022.xml  “Scaled Composites is moving closer to the start of powered flight tests of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo with the installation of major elements of the rocket system…the Sierra Nevada-developed RM2 hybrid rocket motor…will power the vehicle to suborbital altitudes at speeds in excess of Mach 3…The start of RM2 installation follows the completion of aerodynamic tests of the unpowered SS2 earlier this summer. That milestone, which was achieved by late August, effectively kept the suborbital spacecraft on track for the start of rocket-powered flights by November/December. Virgin Galactic hopes that, pending a successful powered test campaign, it will be able to start passenger flights by the end of 2013. Flight envelope clearance for airspeed, angle-of-attack, center-of-gravity and structural loads was completed during a final round of six flights from late June through mid-August…”
33.    Penn State Lunar Lion research team shooting for the moon  http://www.centredaily.com/2012/10/21/3377270/penn-state-lunar-lion-research.html  “…Penn State students, faculty and researchers are poised to change space exploration as we know it…The director of the Penn State Lunar Lion team, Paul has his sights set on landing a university-designed spacecraft on the moon by 2015 — and for “just” $50 million…in terms of space flight, $50 million is a bargain. The typical budget for even a simple NASA mission dwarfs the team’s estimated price tag…The university has one of 25 teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize — a challenge that calls for privately funded crafts to land on the moon, travel across the surface, and broadcast images and video…For the Penn State team, the only group run entirely through a university, finding private partnerships will be key…“We’re not spending $50 million to make $20 million,” Paul said. “We’re spending $50 million to build a new capability at the university in space research, and to bring new research ideas and new development to Centre County and the region.”…Four teams have already folded, and attrition is expected to continue. Paul said he would be pleased if two teams make it all the way to the moon… “This is about so much more than the prize from Google,” he continued. “When we do this, we’ll be the first university in history that explores another body in space…”
34.    Commercial ISS Research Platform Headed For 2014 Launch  http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_10_19_2012_p06-01-508449.xml  “The first external commercial research platform developed for the International Space Station under the U.S. National Laboratory umbrella is progressing toward a 2014 liftoff and installation on Japan’s Kibo module exposed facility. The commercial platform, owned by NanoRacks LLC and developed jointly with Astrium North America…is headed for a critical design review in April, setting the stage for delivery to the station either aboard a U.S. commercial, Russian, European or Japanese launcher. “We have one customer already signed and significant interest from a variety of potential customers, from the military, industry, government and academia,” said Richard Pournelle, NanoRacks senior vice president…The development partners outlined their efforts this week at the 2012 International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, N.M. The external platform will hold a colony of 10 standard NanoRacks research enclosures, each measuring 40 x 10 x 10 cm and configured for power and data gathering. The enclosures are suited for sensor development, Earth and deep-space observations, and exobiology research, among other uses…The cost for a standard 90-day deployment is $1.5 million, plus $40,000 for research requiring a return to Earth, either aboard a SpaceX Dragon or a Russian Soyuz capsule…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
35.    Kick-start your career with free parallel programming course  http://blogs.nvidia.com/2012/10/kick-start-your-career-with-free-parallel-programming-course/  “For people with the right skills, there will always be high-paying, intellectually stimulating jobs. Making more accessible the skills that employers need most is key. So online education startup Udacity is working with NVIDIA and other technology companies to provide free technology courses to people around the world. The first class we’re creating with Udacity is an “Introduction to Parallel Programming,” led by David Luebke, who helped found NVIDIA Research six years ago, and John Owens, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis. Students will learn to use the CUDA programming model, take part in hands-on exercises and test their knowledge with quizzes – all delivered online via (what else?) cloud-based GPUs. The course kicks off early next year, but you can enroll today at http://www.udacity.com/overview/Course/cs344/CourseRev/1.…”
36.    GPUs are driving silicon performance and SoC innovation  http://www.digitimes.com/supply_chain_window/story.asp?datepublish=2012/10/22&pages=PR&seq=201  “Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia and communications technologies company, observes that the growth in performance of mobile GPUs, such as its PowerVR IP cores, is driving future generations of silicon process and packaging technologies, as well as SoC (system on chip) processing performance across a growing range of markets. The GPU's ability to deliver unprecedented processing horsepower (measured in GFLOPS) whilst also delivering amazing graphics performance per mm2 and per mW, means that GPU capabilities are becoming the dominant force driving heterogeneous processing performance in everything from mobile phones through to TVs, in-car information and entertainment, games consoles and even cloud computing…To help its partners, Imagination is already working with leading silicon foundries to implement high performance mobile GPU-based systems delivering unheard-of levels of memory bandwidth, using the latest PowerVR Series6 GPUs combined with wide I/O memory and advanced 3D IC assembly and process technologies. Imagination is also working with foundries and EDA vendors to ensure that licensees of all of Imagination's IP (intellectual property) cores can benefit from well-defined tool flows and optimized libraries to achieve the most aggressive speed, area and power consumption targets…”

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