2012/10/30

NEW NET Weekly List for 30 Oct 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 30 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.


The ‘net
1.        Four out of five young people feel 'lost' without internet  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/9643082/Four-out-of-five-young-people-feel-lost-without-internet.html  “Four out of five under-25s feel 'lost' without the internet, a survey has found…By contrast, just three out of five people over the age of 25 said that they would feel 'lost' without the internet…Half of the women surveyed also use the web to self-diagnose illnesses, with 60 per cent of under-25s using the internet for the same purpose. The survey also found that over 40 per cent of people have taught themselves to cook using the web, while a third use it to learn how to fix something…a burgeoning culture of dependency on the internet was inevitable…"Of course i feel incredibly irritated when the internet is out in my house. It's how I get all my news, and how I communicate with my colleagues. it's absolutely gutting when it's down. But the scientific evidence is very strong: you feel bewildered for a couple of days, and then you adapt…” [is this aspect of the Internet anything special, or is it a normal aspect of all/most major innovations, e.g. telegraph, automobile, radio, tv, personal computers, etc? What’s the longest period you’ve been totally offline in the past year? – ed.]
2.       Tropical Storm Sandy Batters Internet, But Few Knockouts  http://readwrite.com/2012/10/30/so-far-so-good-few-web-outages-reported  “Although Sandy continues to be primarily a flooding event, High, sustained winds and some large fires are complicating life on and off the Internet. Service issues for YouTube were widely reported…Tumblr's problems started at about the same time, with intermittent outages through the night. Tumblr is based in Manhattan, bit it is likely that the social network's systems are co-located elsewhere. Other New York-based firms, like BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and Gawker likely have suffered Sandy's wrath. BuzzFeed was down last night through 8:30 a.m. today, HuffPost is in station-keeping mode due to a power outage at its offices, and Gawker is down. The infrastructure of the Internet is solid so far, although edge-of-network problems continue to plague the East Coast, sending ripples  across the continent. According to the Internet Traffic Report (ITR)…traffic speed on the Internet dropped sharply from a rating of 69 just after 4:50 p.m. EDT Monday, just as winds from Sandy grew dangerous on the coast. Because of the size of the storm, high winds range as far west as Chicago, with scattered power and telecommunication outages reported throughout the immense affected area…Data centers in the affected region seemed to fare well…Those who rely on Amazon Web Services will be pleased to note that their services are smoothly running in North America, with no problems reported. Google Apps and Google's App engine cloud service are also showing green lights across the board…”
3.       Samsung Providing Solar-Powered Internet Schools To South Africans  http://cleantechnica.com/2012/10/30/samsung-is-providing-solar-powered-internet-schools-to-south-africans/  “Samsung’s new program to provide solar-powered “internet schools” to African communities has been a big success…Samsung has previously described it as an “exclusively solar-powered, mobile, and completely independent classroom that is geared towards increasing accessibility to education and connectivity across Africa”…The design of the system features roof- and side-mounted solar panels made out of a rubber-like material. These rubber-like panels were used rather than conventional ones primarily to limit breakage during transportation, and also to make it easy to track them if they are stolen. “The container has four inches of insulation and extraction fans to keep it cooler…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
4.       Windows 7 Malware Infection Rates Soar  http://www.informationweek.com/security/application-security/windows-7-malware-infection-rates-soar/240008738  “The number of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows XP machines infected by malware is on the increase, while the number of infected Windows Vista SP2 machines has declined sharply…the average number of infected Windows 7 SP1 machines increased by 23% on 32-bit systems and 7% on 64-bit systems, comparing the last quarter of 2011 to the first half of 2012…32-bit Windows XP SP3 machines are now two to three times more likely to be infected by malware than 32-bit Windows Vista SP2 machines, which have the lowest infection rate of any Microsoft operating system, followed closely by Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 7 RTM…the report found that "the infection rate for Windows XP SP3 increased" in the first half of 2012 "after declining for several quarters," largely thanks to Dorkbot worm infections, as well as a Trojan downloader called Pluzoks…the report…suggested that as more people adopt the software, security suffers. "Early adopters are often technology enthusiasts who have a higher level of technical expertise than the mainstream computing population…As the Windows 7 install base has grown, new users are likely to possess a lower degree of security awareness than the early adopters…Microsoft's report also charts a rise in social engineering attacks involving supposed license key generator--a.k.a. "keygen"--software that can be used to provide on-demand serial numbers, so people can pirate commercial software without buying a license…the exploit kit known as Blacole has recently grown in popularity to become the most common toolkit seen on PCs infected with such software…”
5.        Boeing tests microwave missile that knocks out electronics, represents our worst nightmare  http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/23/boeing-tests-microwave-missile-that-knocks-out-electronics/  “Forget bombs or the robopocalypse. In our minds, the most fearsome weapon is the one that disables our gadgets. That's what makes Boeing's newly tested Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) scarier than most projectiles. The missile bombards targets underneath with microwaves that shut down computers, power systems and just about anything electrical in their path. Thankfully, CHAMP's invisible payload arrives in discrete bursts and arguably makes it the world's most advanced (and likely expensive) non-lethal weapon: the prototype can target multiple individual buildings without ever having to detonate and hurt someone. Boeing is still developing CHAMP in a multi-year program and doesn't have guarantees that it will become military ordnance…”
6.       Fast Flux Botnet Nets Fraudsters $78 Million  http://www.informationweek.com/security/attacks/fast-flux-botnet-nets-fraudsters-78-mill/240009729  “What does it take to build a cutting-edge, highly automated series of attacks against banking systems, powered by financial malware and bulletproof hosting services? For starters, it helps to have extensive experience using the Zeus and SpyEye financial malware toolkits…"Operation High Roller Revisited," a new report released this week by McAfee and Guardian Analytics…provides greater insights into the gangs that appear to be behind a massive number of attacks launched against financial institutions from servers located in Russia, Albania and China. The criminals have stolen an estimated $78 million, in part by using financial malware…Prior to conceiving Operation High Roller…data shows that the fraudsters actively participated in early automated transfer systems against consumers and some business accounts and actively used Zeus and SpyEye in these attacks…These initial efforts were likely their test ground to gain knowledge of financial systems and their various fraud prevention practices…the gangs progressed to more advanced attacks, including launching highly automated transfer system exploits against European banks at the end of 2011. Earlier this year, the attacks were expanded to exploit banks in North America…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
7.        Microsoft Surface: Two viewpoints  http://www.anandtech.com/show/6385/microsoft-surface-review  “…After using Microsoft’s Surface for the past week I can say that I honestly get it. This isn’t an iPad competitor, nor is it an Android tablet competitor. It truly is something different. A unique perspective, not necessarily the right one, but a different one that will definitely resonate well with some (not all) users…From a distance, without using one, Surface is…a Windows tablet that doesn’t run most Windows applications, that doesn’t have most of the same new mobile apps that iOS and Android have, and it’s not priced aggressively enough to make those facts disappear. After living with Surface however, I understand the appeal. It’s worth a discussion, perhaps even consideration as it does some things better than any tablet on the market, and it does others worse. Like all tablets (or smartphones even), there is no perfect platform, there are simply combinations of features and tradeoffs…”  http://gizmodo.com/5953866  “……”
8.       Nexus 10: How Google’s New Tablet Stacks Up Against iPad, Surface  http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/nexus-10-vs-apple-ipad-vs-microsoft-surface-rt/  “After years of 10-inch Android tablets that have failed to make a meaningful dent in Apple’s market-defining iPad sales, Google has taken matters into its own hands. With the new Nexus 10, the company behind the Android OS is finally pushing a large-sized tablet of its own…how will it stack up against the new fourth-gen iPad? And how about Microsoft’s Surface tablet, which seeks to add a bit of PC flavor to the tablet world?...One major weakness for Android thus far has been a lack of tablet-optimized apps. To remedy this, Google is making a major push to get more of these apps from developers. But just how much the dev community is listening remains to be seen. Microsoft’s Windows 8 RT operating system has even fewer tablet-optimized apps. Future versions of the Surface tablet will be able to run traditional PC apps, but it’s unclear whether or not consumers want a keyboard-and-mouse desktop experience on a touch-friendly tablet…”  http://updates.gizmodo.com/post/34642526690/nexus-10-hands-on-a-tablet-you-can-split-with-everyone  “…the Nexus 10…is…plain and fast and nice and doesn’t weigh too much…Nexus 10 is your standard Samsung Black Rectangle Thing…I can imagine reading a magazine or book for any standard duration without fatigue, and its edges are comfortable…The screen is marvelous—really, really, really crisp…with a 300 dpi display…Text is sharp. This thing would be a joy for reading and watching…On the Nexus 10, Android 4.2 gives you multi-user login. Like any full computer, you’ll have an admin user who can then create as many separate accounts as you want, with their own customized settings, apps, and inboxes. This might sound small, but think about it! This tablet, out next month, is expensive (16GB for $400; 32GB for $500). But if you’ve got roommates or a family, you can split that cost and share the thing. Or…set up a guest account and let anyone do their thing, as long as they don’t steal the tablet…Nexus 10 is unremarkable, other than it’s terrific cleanliness. Android 4.2 has no stupid skins…if you want an Android tablet, you’ll get the most Android Android tablet there is…”
9.       Asus Vivo Tab RT has thoughtful design but…  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012888/review-asus-vivo-tab-rt-has-thoughtful-design-but-brings-a-mixed-tablet-experience.html  “Asus comes to the Windows tablet party with a strong tablet pedigree, which is just one of many reasons I looked forward to seeing the Vivo Tab RT…The Vivo Tab RT ($599 for a 32GB unit bundled with a keyboard dock; $699 for a 64GB model, also with a dock) handles many tasks well. But as a tablet—one of the first running Windows RT to reach my desk—it falls short of its Apple iPad and Google Android competition. The Vivo Tab reflects the evolution of the Transformer Pad Infinity TF700, right down to its keyboard dock, which turns the tablet into a clamshell-style mini-laptop…The dock provides multiple benefits: You get the flexibility of having a keyboard that you can detach at will; the dock adds only a modest amount of weight (1.3 pounds) to the device; and you'll get an extra battery and USB port in the bargain…The tablet weighs just 1.19 pounds, and measures 10.35 by 6.73 by 0.33 inches. That's slightly narrower and lighter than the Infinity, which measures 10.4 by 7.1 by 0.3 inches and weighs 1.31 pounds. By way of comparison, Apple's newest iPad measures 9.5 by 7.3 by 0.4 inches, and weighs 1.44 pounds. The Asus tablet felt well-balanced and comfortable in my hand; I particularly liked holding it vertically for reading…In this ridged upper area, you'll find an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash, and an NFC tap point. The tablet's headphone jack sits right above the volume rocker in the upper right corner, and its Micro-HDMI port hides beneath a flap in the upper left corner. Beneath that element sits the MicroSDXC card slot, which can accommodate up to 128GB of flash storage. The power button, situated along the top edge, is annoyingly slim, which makes it difficult to press. The tablet has true stereo speakers for left and right audio porting out the rear. This feature constitutes a huge improvement on the audio available from the Infinity…The Vivo Tab RT has a 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor (1.4GHz in single-core use) and has 2GB of system memory…the Tegra 3 supports Microsoft's Connected Standby mode under Windows RT, so you can read email, view calendar entries, and check news headlines, with minimal impact on battery life. Overall, my experience using the tablet to perform various tasks was positive…But Windows RT's many software quirks and omissions may limit the Vivo Tab's audience to dedicated PC users who've recently purchased a Windows 8 laptop or desktop, and want to extend their new Modern UI software purchases across both systems…”
10.     Google Refreshes The Nexus 7 With New Storage Options, Lower Prices, 3G Option  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/29/32gb-nexus-7/  “The Nexus 7 is now a little more awesome…Starting today, the Nexus 7 is available with 16GB for $199 and 32GB for $249. There is also a $299 32GB 3G model, providing Google plenty of ammo to fight off Apple and its new iPad mini. Today’s news was supposed to be announced at a large NYC event. But Hurricane Sandy decided to come to town. Google instead announced the Nexus 7 updates along with Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Android 4.2 on its Android blog. The Nexus 7 update does not bring any physical changes to the 7-inch tablet. It’s still the same Asus-made device as before — just a little cheaper…”
11.      Nexus 4: Google's flagship phone lands November 13th for $299  http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3569540/google-nexus-4-preview-price-release-date  “Google has officially announced the Nexus 4, the latest phone in its Nexus line…Built by LG, the phone features a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor — which Google claims is the fastest on the market — an 8 megapixel camera and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and up to 16GB of storage. Oh, and the back is made of glass — etched, layered glass that sparkles with a strange, almost holographic depth…The device will sell for $299 with 8GB of storage, or $349 with 16GB. A T-Mobile version will sell unlocked for $199 on a two-year contract…the Nexus 4 has 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, NFC, Bluetooth, and built-in compatibility with Google's latest accessory, the Wireless Charging Orb — an inductive charging dock. The phone also houses a sizable 2100 mAh battery, which…will get you about 10 hours of talk time…Google has decided to forgo stricter carrier partnerships in the US, which for now means that the company will only offer the device as an unlocked HSPA+ phone…the 320 ppi IPS+ LCD screen is terrific — a massive upgrade over the so-so Galaxy Nexus display and competitive with the iPhone's 326 ppi Retina Display…the screen looks stunning. It's also laminated and uses LG's new "G2" technology which integrates the touch sensor into the Gorilla Glass 2 outer layer, making everything thinner…The screen is also curved slightly at the edges, like it's been melted over the phone; Google says it's meant to improve swiping in from the sides of the device. Performance on the phone was snappy…in our short time testing the phone, it seemed to rip through just about anything we threw at it with little or no hesitation…”
12.     Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Has Arrived: Photo Sphere Panoramic Camera, Gesture Typing  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/29/android-4-2-jelly-bean/  “…Android 4.2 Jelly Bean…will debut on the Nexus 10 tablet and the LG Nexus 4 smartphone, the latest devices to join Google’s family of pure vanilla Android products…Android 4.2 will finally offer multiple user accounts, allowing family members to share the device while maintaining their own unique settings…Android 4.2 will have a “quick settings” section if you click the icon on the top right, allowing you to switch between user accounts, toggle Wifi and Bluetooth, adjust brightness, go into airplane mode…The photo gallery app has also been revamped a bit, but the major introduction here is Photo Sphere…this is essentially an app that lets you create 360-degree panoramic photos (clearly a jab back at iOS 6′s Panorama feature) that are shareable on Google+, Google Maps…Android 4.2 will include gesture typing, a lot like Swype…Google Now has also seen an update, adding cards for flight information, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations, and shipping details…for fans of big-screen browsing, Android 4.2 brings with it support for Miracast wireless displays. This means users can watch movies, play games, browse, or whatever on their HDTV wirelessly…”
13.     6 billion datapoints from 500 million devices reveal differences between smartphones and tablets  http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/29/6-billion-datapoints-from-500-million-devices-reveal-differences-between-smartphones-and-tablets/  “…To understand those differences between how we use our smartphones and smart tablets, Flurry analyzed six billion user sessions from 500 million devices in September. Tablet owners are a little older than smartphone owners and have fewer Y chromosomes. And they spend a lot more time on games – 67 percent of time spent on a tablet is spent playing a game, versus 39 percent for smartphones…Tablets are for after dinner — the prime-time entertainment hours. While smartphones are in use all day, and do also show a small increase in the evening hours, tablets spike in the three hours between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m…85 percent of tablet owners in the U.S. use them while watching TV as a second screen: following tweets, sharing updates, and chatting about what they are watching…while smartphones are used more often than tablets, tablets are used for longer periods of time than smartphones. App engagement — the number of times a person opens an app — was 12.9 times each week on smartphones, versus 9.5 on tablets. But minutes per session showed 8.2 minutes in each tablet app, exactly double the 4.1 minutes in an app on a smartphone…”
14.     Livescribe $170  Sky WiFi Smartpen records written notes and audio straight to Evernote  http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/29/livescribe-sky-wifi-pen/  “The Pulse pen couldn't do it. The more recent Echo couldn't manage it either. But sending notes and linked audio wirelessly is what Livescribe's latest digital pen is all about. Branded the Sky WiFi Smartpen, it works with proprietary physical notebooks to preserve your handwritten notes and linked audio files on a minimum of 2GB of onboard storage, and then it sends them directly to your Evernote account via WiFi -- from where you can access them on pretty much any PC, tablet or smartphone. If you're wondering a how the pen selects the right network and enters a password, then it's actually pretty straightforward: Livescribe's new stationery is printed with connection buttons that, in conjunction with the OLED display on the pen itself, guide you through the procedure in a few seconds. The latest notebooks also have buttons for sending your captured thoughts to Google Drive, Dropbox…The basic 2GB Sky pen will arrive in stores on November 1st, priced substantially higher than its predecessor, the Echo…The new base model will cost $170, with 4GB and 8GB varieties priced at $200 and $250. Arguably, the reliance on wireless cloud storage means that the amount of onboard memory isn't so important any more, but if you do decide to opt for the most expensive model then you'll also get a year's subscription to Evernote Premium, which is worth $45…”
15.     Windows 8 Success Hinges on $10 Component  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970204005004578080621686676956-lMyQjAxMTAyMDIwNzEyNDcyWj.html#  “The success of Microsoft Corp.'s new operating system may hinge…on hinges. Hardware companies are grappling with the fact that the Windows 8 software has a touch-oriented user interface. That means not simply adding touch screens to computers but redesigning the hinges that connect screens and keyboards to withstand new twisting, turning and poking. Computer makers have teams of engineers designing joints, pivots and connectors for machines running the new software. They measure torque, test different springs and gears, and open and shut devices thousands of times. The software is also inspiring designers to dream up devices that convert from a clamshell mode to function like a tablet. "The hinge is the key to making it work," says Jeff Barney, vice president of Toshiba…A bad hinge…is the Achilles' heel of a laptop…Coming up with the right hinge "is an industrial design challenge,"…So engineers that specialize in hinges have gone back to the drawing board, testing new concepts and taking new measurements…The hinge needs to let someone rotate the screen without much effort, but not give when someone touches it…Dell's formula includes ball bearings and springs. There are other "tensioning forces" too, he says, which combine to create what hinge insiders call "sticktion."…Toshiba…has six engineers in Japan who just work on hinge design, and the company has been awarded more than 50 hinge-related patents…”
Apps
16.     NYC regulators propose rules for taxi apps  http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3574762/nyc-taxi-app-rule-proposal-e-hail-tlc  “The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is releasing a list of proposed rule changes that would permit the use of smartphone apps to hail and pay for taxicabs, provided they work with the city’s own computerized payment and trip data system. The proposal comes two weeks after regulatory disputes forced the upstart Uber to end its own taxi service in the city. The proposals would require any e-hail app to obtain a one-year, renewable license from the TLC, but would permit both payment within the app and with cash or credit card inside the car…Uber ran afoul of regulators by settling fares outside of the city’s own T-PEP system, which processes payments and transmits trip sheet data to the TLC…in order to be sanctioned, e-hail apps would need to be compatible with this system, obtaining fare data directly from the meter and confirming payment to the driver…apps would be forbidden from disclosing the passenger’s destination information, name, or other identifying information aside from their pickup location…drivers would be free to opt out of picking up e-hails altogether. The proposed rules would also forbid drivers from taking any payment for e-hail trips other than the fare and tip, ruling out Uber’s bonuses, and helping to ensure that riders hailing cabs the old-fashioned way have a fair shot at finding a ride. And while Uber mandates 20 percent gratuities in other markets like its recently-opened operation in San Francisco, the TLC’s rules would instead ensure that riders have final say about how much to tip their drivers…”
17.     Snapchats App Sees Over 20 Million Photos Shared Per Day  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/29/billion-snapchats/  “Snapchat, an impermanent photo messaging application…launched a version for Android today…users share over 20 million snaps every day…The application is currently currently #19 on the free apps charts and third overall, behind YouTube and Instagram, in the free photography apps charts…Instagram is a social network: you post your content to a select circle of followers, communicating to a wide audience some of whom choose to communicate back. Snapchat is one-on-one communication, more personal than texting or emailing as the content disappears. It’s the closest technology to a phone conversation or, gasp, real life interaction that I use. Users can send photos and control how long the receiver views the photo (up to 10 seconds) on the app. If you try to take a screenshot of the photo, the app notifies the sender…”
18.     Pandora refreshes iPhone, Android apps  http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019555637_apuspandoraapp.html  “Internet radio company Pandora is adding more functionality to its mobile apps - showing lyrics and artist information and making it easier to share self-crafted stations with friends - as companies intensify efforts to lure mobile advertising dollars…The app for iPhones is being released Monday, while an Android version is expected to follow soon…Mobile use of Pandora's streaming service is growing quickly. In the quarter that ended in July, mobile listening nearly doubled from a year earlier and made up more than 75 percent of its 3.3 billion listener hours…” [if you use your cellphone to listen to music, what apps do you use? – ed.]
19.     An Apple Exit Over Maps  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970204840504578087192497916304-lMyQjAxMTAyMDIwOTEyNDkyWj.html  “Apple…executive Scott Forstall was asked to leave the company after he refused to sign his name to a letter apologizing for shortcomings in Apple's new mapping service…Mr. Forstall's team had been working to replace Google Maps on the iPhone for years. After Apple released its software to the public in September, users immediately complained about data inaccuracies and other bugs…Mr. Forstall argued that the company could address the outcry without apologizing, as Apple had done when it shipped iPhones with faulty antennas a few years ago…Mr. Cook and others disagreed…Mr. Cook signed his name to the apology instead…”  http://gigaom.com/2012/10/29/from-inside-apple-the-scott-forstall-fallout/   “…Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS…had worked with late Steve Jobs since NeXT…Forstall’s exit was fairly last minute and not something he initiated. Many within the iOS and OS X teams only heard about it minutes after the news went out…Steve Jobs and Forstall were close, but none of the executives really cared for the deposed iOS chief…Unlike in the Jobs era, when the company would ship features when they were ready for primetime, a culture of schedule-driven releases has become commonplace. The time-based schedule is one of the reasons why Siri and Maps arrived as half-baked products and were met with derision. Many engineers inside Apple could foresee problems with Maps…Maps and Siri are complex products whose dependencies (for the lack of a better word) go deep into different parts of the phone and even the network. The schedule-driven release culture makes folks less daring — why take arrows in your back for failing to deliver a radical new feature on a pre-dictated time? If this cultural warp continues, Apple might have a bigger headache on its hands…”
SkyNet
20.    Google Signs Deal With Warner Music  http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/29/google-signs-deal-with-warner-music-group/  “Google got one of the key pieces of its digital music puzzle in place over the weekend when it finally signed a deal to bring the catalog of the Warner Music Group — with Green Day, Madonna, Neil Young, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and hundreds of other acts — to its Play store…for Google’s music service, which has struggled to gain traction against iTunes, Amazon and the myriad of other digital services, it is an important step. It means that Google’s millions of Android users…will finally have an essentially complete catalog of MP3s to buy. “We’re now working with all of the major record labels globally, and all the major U.S. magazine publishers, as well as many independent labels, artists and publishers,” wrote Andy Rubin…In Europe, it will introduce “scan and match,” a crucial feature for cloud music. It matches songs on a customer’s computer to a master database on Google’s servers, allowing users to skip the laborious task of uploading every single song…feature will…be ready in the United States…“soon after” its introduction in Europe on Nov. 13…”
21.     Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop Screen Sharing Service Comes Out Of Beta  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/29/googles-chrome-remote-desktop-screen-sharing-service-comes-out-of-beta-adds-real-time-audio-for-windows/  “Google…is taking its Chrome Remote Desktop screen sharing service out of beta…the Chrome Remote Desktop app runs in Chrome and allows you to share your desktop with others or control theirs to see presentations — or, as Google notes, become the family hero by “adjusting printer settings on your mom’s computer to finding a lost file on your dad’s laptop.”…Google also added a few new features to the tool. Most interestingly, Windows users can now share a real-time audio feed using the tool. This new version also brings the ability to copy and paste between your local machine and the remote computer you control. Google promises that it will continue to work on the Chrome Remote Desktop service and make it “even more powerful” in the future…you…have to download and install a helper app to get things to work. The install process of the Chrome app will automatically prompt you to download these applications, which run on Windows, Mac and Linux…using the tools is about as easy as using applications like TeamViewer and other comparable services. If you want to share your own screen, you get a code to give to your family member or colleague to initiate the connection. In our brief tests, the image quality was quite good …”
22.    Google Earth Kansas Airspace Awareness Tool Honored  http://www.stateaviationjournal.com/index.php?q=content/kansas-airspace-awareness-tool-honored-acec  “…The Kansas Airspace Awareness Tool (KAAT) was selected as one of the top 24 projects in 2011 and was given the Honor Award at ACEC’s annual gala. In fact, the KAAT was #1 on the list of Honor Award recipients…the KAAT project was made possible by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for approximately $265,000…The KAAT is the first of its kind in the nation and continues to broaden its application…”  http://www.burnsmcdblog.com/2011/09/12/airspace-awareness-tool-making-complicated-airspace-easier-for-developers/  “…Designed to protect the state’s airspace from potential development obstructions, the tool aids in the safe placement of tall structures like water towers, cell towers and wind turbines — all of which could pose harm to aircraft and interfere with flight paths. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires advance notice of any proposed developments, but in the past when developers submitted their plans, it wasn’t always clear if their site selection was in protected airspace…The KAAT makes it easier to understand the complicated airspace that surrounds Kansas airports using the Google Earth plug-in to map out these imaginary surfaces in color. Users can lay out obstructions on the 3-D map to determine if their development plans interfere with protected airspace before submitting their plans to the FAA. The new system eliminates the guesswork and simplifies the FAA’s evaluation process…”  http://kdotairspace.burnsmcdbts.com/Default.aspx
23.    Quickly create Google Docs with one-click  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012966/chrome-tip-quickly-create-google-docs-with-one-click-web-apps.html  “…to create new Google documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, don't waste time wading through Google Drive. Instead, if you use Google's Chrome browser, you can install a few Web apps for one-click access to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides through the new tab page. These are basically shortcuts that create new documents when you click on them. To install them, just visit the Chrome Web Store links for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and click the “Add to Chrome” button for each one…”
24.    Gmail’s New Time-Saving Compose Window  http://updates.gizmodo.com/post/34640583507/meet-gmails-new-time-saving-compose-window  “Google’s rolling out a redesign of the Gmail compose functionality that will save heavy email users a lot of time. The new compose window won’t take up the entire large frame of your Gmail anymore. Instead, it’ll look like a larger version of the Gchat window that you’re used to…going back and finding information from other emails so that you can write the one you’re working on is a huge time suck. The new floating compose window will allow you to reference old messages without breaking the flow of what you’re writing. In addition, Google’s tweaking the “To,” “CC,” and “BCC” address lines so that profile images of your contacts show up when you start typing in their names…Google is launching a limited preview of the new features today. They’ll be rolled out to everyone in a couple of months…”
25.    Google, AT&T, and Starbucks join wireless charging alliance  http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3570902/starbucks-google-att-powermat-wireless-charging  “…Starbucks, Google, and AT&T have decided to support the Power Matters Alliance: a wireless power standards group formed by Powermat and Procter & Gamble (parent company of Duracell). The Alliance intends to create wireless power standards for phones and devices under the IEEE association's guidelines…The alliance's biggest rival, Qi, is backed by a number of hardware vendors including Samsung, Motorola, LG, and HTC…Starbucks plans to pilot Duracell Powermat charging stations in 17 of its Boston-area stores, which could lead to a broader rollout…Starbucks says that the company plans to test the charging stations through the holidays…”
26.    Google and the Future of Augmented Reality  http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/10/after-google-glass-the-content-of-our-augmented-reality-future/264059/  “…It is The Future. You wake up at dawn and fumble on the bedstand for your (Google) Glass. Peering out at the world through transparent screens, what do you see? If you pick up a book, do you see a biography of its author, an analysis of the chemical composition of its paper, or the share price for its publisher? Do you see a list of your friends who've read it or a selection of its best passages or a map of its locations or its resale price or nothing? The problem for Google's brains, as it is for all brains, is choosing where to focus attention and computational power. As a Google-structured augmented reality comes closer to becoming a product-service combination you can buy, the particulars of how it will actually merge the offline and online are starting to matter…the hardware (transparent screens, cameras, batteries, etc) and software (machine vision, language recognition) are starting to look like the difficult but predictable parts. The wildcard is going to be the content…No one knows how to create words and pictures that are meant to be consumed out there in the world. This is not a small problem. I'm sitting with Google's former maps chief John Hanke…We're talking about Field Trip, the new Android app his 'internal startup' built, when he says something that I realize will be a major theme of my life for the next five or 10 years. Yours too, probably…Field Trip is a geo-publishing tool that gently pushes information to you that its algorithms think you might be interested in…it works like this: I go down to the Apple Store on Fourth Street in Berkeley and…hear a ding. Looking at my phone, I see…that the East Bay Vivarium -- a reptilian wonderland that's part store, part zoo -- is a couple of blocks away. That sounds neat, so I walk over and stare at pythons and horned dragons for the next hour…It's only a slight exaggeration to say that Field Trip is invigorating…It makes life more interesting. And since I switched back to my iPhone after a one-week Android/Field Trip test, it's the one thing that I really miss…What the team behind it creates and discovers may become the basis of your daily reality in five or 10 years. And that brings me back to Hanke's comment, the one you could devote a career to…Part of the inspiration behind Field Trip was that we'd like to have that Terminator or Iron Man-style annotation in front of you, but what…parts of the digital world do you want to see appear in the physical world?…” [a long article, but if you like the idea of Google Glass or augmented reality in general, it’s definitely worth the time to read it – ed.]
27.    Nexus 7 tablet runs Chromium OS  http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-features/67142-nexus-7-tablet-runs-chromium-os  “…Nexus tablet may run Android as the default OS, but that hasn't stopped devs and modders from loading alternate operating systems on the device…the highly versatile Ubuntu was first spotted running on Google's flagship Nexus 7 tablet just about a week ago, with Canonical subsequently releasing an official tool to help Linux enthusiasts install the OS (12.04) on the tablet…now a developer by the name of Hexxeh says he is currently in the process of porting Chromium OS - the open source version of Chrome OS - to the Nexus 7…Chromium OS does boast a few advantages. For example, Chromium supports Chrome extensions and apps, which allows you to use Chrome on a mobile device the same way it would work on a Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop…”
28.    Google’s New iOS Search App Answers Your Questions Directly  http://updates.gizmodo.com/post/34644303787/googles-new-ios-search-app-answers-your-questions  “Google just released an update to its search app for iOS. Now it has the Knowledge Graph built inside, meaning you can ask it questions and it will answer right back.  So if you say “Who’s the president of South Africa?” it will just say “Jacob Zuma” rather than offering a bunch of results you don’t care about. That’s pretty awesome, and way better than Siri who seems to just search the web for the answer to every question you ask her”
General Technology
29.    Welcome to the New Era of Personal Computing  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411471,00.asp  “…these past few weeks have been…packed with industry announcements that could transform the computing landscape entirely. Last week, we welcomed Apple's iPad mini and the official launch of Windows 8 for tablets and desktops. This week, we get Windows Phone 8 and new Android tablets from Google…I could not help but wonder: are we actually seeing the end of the PC as we know it and the beginning of truly personal computing? I don't for a second believe that PCs are going away…but there isn't much profit to be made in the industry anymore…today's high-powered PCs and laptops might even be overkill in many office and personal settings…the computer didn't become somewhat personal until…laptops came to market. Even…the laptops of those days were bulky…only when I saw the first smartphone…did I get a sense that computing was finally getting personal. In fact, today the smartphone is exclusively personal in almost every case…Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff…proclaimed that Windows 8 "will be the last PC OS Microsoft will bring to market."…as clients get thinner and smaller, the need for a powerful OS for desktops and laptops use should decline…smartphones will be the largest segment of the PC market…by 2015, the smartphone will dominate the cell phone market. The smartphone PC is the one computing device people take with them everywhere…But the most disruptive new PC is…the tablet. Apple has sold 100 million iPads to date and owns about 65 percent of the tablet market…the iPad is the gold standard in 10-inch tablets…the only other company making progress is Amazon and that is because it ties its Kindle Fire to its ecosystem of products and services…Google is also trying to build out a robust services offering and, over time, Microsoft will do the same. However, Apple has at least a two-year lead over all of them and is not likely to stop innovating, thus keeping the competition in its wake…The tablet market will grow by at least 200 percent in the next two years and by 2014, they will outsell PCs on an annual basis…”
30.    Memoto: Discreet Camera Records Your Life In 30-Second Intervals  http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/22/memoto/  “…With cameras becoming ever smaller and storage becoming ever cheaper, there will come a day when all of our life’s memories are digitally preserved. Memoto, a Stockholm-based startup inspired by the Quantified Self movement, is taking a stab at this opportunity with a postage-sized camera that wearers will carry around with them constantly. It snaps a photo every 30 seconds, keeping a visual trail of your everyday life. A companion online service will store everything, catalog it by time, date and place and even help you pick out the most visually interesting moments. The company’s launching a campaign on Kickstarter to draw interest. They’re hoping to retail the camera for $279 next year…Early backers will get the camera and a one-year web subscription for $199…the company behind Memoto thought about voyeuristic or awkward social situations carefully in designing the camera. For one, the camera doesn’t turn off unless you put it away in darkness. That’s so friends, family or bystanders know with certainty about whether they’re being recorded or not. That’s different from other wearable devices…where it might not be so clear if you’re being recorded…Co-founder Martin Källström…became passionate about the Quantified Self movement and the ideas of Gordon Bell, a Microsoft researcher well-known for his experiments in life-logging. Kallstrom wanted a way to record unexpected moments in his life, like his children’s first steps…we don’t often remember to record moments or shoot videos as these memories are happening…things that don’t seem important at the moment become profoundly meaningful as we look back…”
31.     Apple’s Fusion Drive Details  http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/digging-into-fusion-drive-details  “…Fusion Drive is Apple's take on solving the "I want the speed of an SSD but I have way more stuff than I can fit on the SSD I could afford" problem…Fusion Drive combines TWO drives, a solid state drive (SSD) and a mechanical drive. Apple's initial incarnation puts a 128GB SSD in with either a 1TB or a 3TB mechanical drive. This is not a simple RAID, however, as 100% of the "magic" is done within OS X itself. What Fusion Drive does is it watches what files and applications you run most regularly and it moves them to the SSD. It will also take stuff that you aren't using all that often and moves it to the mechanical drive…this is not a caching concept, at least not in the current use of the word. Cache would imply that the data on the SSD is duplicated, and it's not. If you have a 1TB mechanical drive paired with the 128GB SSD, you have a 1.12 TB storage platform. This truly is the fusion of all the space on two separate disks…”
32.    Has AMD's Clock Run Out?  http://blog.thirdyearmba.com/has-amds-clock-run-out  “AMD recently announced that they massively missed their quarterly numbers, and that they plan to lay off 15% of staff. Of course they are blaming it on the economy, but…the real problem is that AMD has become irrelevant by failing to release competitive chips…ten years ago, I wrote a column about AMD's upcoming Athlon 64 processor, which was to be the first mainstream 64-bit processor…64-bit processors were exciting because they finally allowed PCs to address more than 4GB of RAM, and also offered a number of improvements…While Intel had offered 64-bit processors in a few high-end workstations, they were ridiculously expensive, and never really caught on. AMD was essentially offering an affordable processor with next-generation capabilities…A number of top tech companies used it in their servers because it could do more work per watt of power consumed…The problem was that the Athlon 64 was pretty much the last in AMD's string of hits. Intel quickly eclipsed them by releasing the first dual and quad-core CPUs, and managed to scale performance much more quickly…”
33.    AMD Will Build 64-bit ARM based Opteron CPUs for Servers, Production in 2014  http://www.anandtech.com/show/6418/amd-will-build-64bit-arm-based-opteron-cpus-for-servers-production-in-2014  “…AMD will be building Opteron processors based on a 64-bit ARM architecture…The only other detail we know is that these ARM based Opterons will embed SeaMicro's Freedom Fabric, presumably on-die. AMD offering ARM based Opterons is really to target the microserver market…AMD was quick to mention that despite today's announcement, it will continue to build x86 CPUs and APUs for client and server markets…the move sounds a lot like AMD trying to move quickly to capitalize on a new market…AMD seems to hope that it'll be on the forefront of that revolution - should it happen. Embracing ARM also further aligns AMD with one of Intel's most threatening sources of competition at this point. The question is whether or not AMD is doing itself more harm than good by working to devalue x86 in the server space…”
Leisure & Entertainment
34.    Roku update adds cross-provider search over Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Vudu and Crackle  http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/29/roku-cross-provider-search-netflix-hulu-amazon-vudu/  “We've seen web portals that let you search for TV and movies on the internet across different services, but a new update for Roku is bringing that capability directly to its set-top boxes. Whether you're searching by movie, TV show, actor or director it will sniff out related content across…Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Crackle, Vudu and HBO Go. The new Roku Search function…in our tests worked quickly, pulling up content wherever it was available and mentioning if it was available in HD. The only downside is navigating the onscreen keyboard via remote, although you can always sub in your mobile device thanks to those recently upgraded remote apps for iOS and Android…Roku says it can reach its tendrils across around 130,000 titles and almost 100,000 actors and directors…”
35.    Digital Storm Bolt stuffs full-power graphics in mini gaming desktop  http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/24/digital-storm-bolt-stuffs-full-power-graphics-into-a-mini-gaming-pc/  “Attempts to create truly small gaming desktops usually involve at least some kind of performance hit. Even HP's category-bending Firebird…had to use toned-down graphics to succeed in a tiny enclosure. Digital Storm might have broken the trend towards sacrifice with its new Bolt desktop: although it's just 3.6 inches wide and 14 inches tall, the Bolt can cram in as much as a GeForce GTX 680 and will even let gamers upgrade the graphics like they would in a full-size PC. The…case still allows room for as much as an overclocked 4.6GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM and storage options that meld a spinning hard drive with up to two SSDs and a DVD burner…The $999 entry-level Bolt carries a modest 3.1GHz Core i3, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and GeForce GTX 650 Ti, while it takes a staggering $1,949 to get a fully decked-out Core i7 system with a GTX 680…”
36.    This Replica Myst Book Plays All the Myst Games  http://updates.gizmodo.com/post/34641941723/this-replica-myst-book-plays-all-the-myst-games  “Hiding a comic in the book you’re supposed to be reading is so 1950s. 2012 calls for something considerably more advanced, which Mike Ando delivers with his replica Myst linking book that hides a built-in computer and touchscreen display capable of running all of the PC games…he custom built a compact Windows XP PC with a 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 32GB compact flash card holding the OS and all the games. The five-inch 640x480 touchscreen display is admittedly a little disappointing…”
37.    Philips and Apple: Hue LED Bulbs Are Your Own Personal Light Show  http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/hue-led-mood-lighting-lights-up-your-life/  “Philips has a new and interesting way to light your home. The hue lighting system uses LED lightbulbs with adjustable brightness and color-changing features…Each bulb contains 11 LEDs in three different colors, which Philips calls royal blue, red/orange and lime. The lights combine to create up to 16 million colors…Philips claims that users can even dial in the bulbs to mimic traditional incandescent lights — the holy grail of alternative light sources…you can even assign each a different color to create your own little light show. The app even comes with a series of templates to help you out. These range from the boring…to the exciting, like the Energize template that will supposedly give you more energy. It’s like Red Bull seeping into your eyeballs. You can also create your own templates…Fade up the lights as you wake in the morning; fade them down when you should be going to sleep…You can even adjust colors by tilting the smartphone…The light bulbs are roughly the same size as traditional bulbs and fit into any standard socket…It’s based on the open source ZigBee LightLink wireless standard, which means the bulbs will work with other devices that adhere to the standard…It works well, and it’s simple and energy efficient (8.5 watts per bulb at full power). So whats the catch? Price. The starter system — three bulbs and a hub — will set you back $200 and will be available exclusively in the Apple Store. Additional light bulbs will cost $60 each…” http://mashable.com/2012/10/29/apple-light-bulbs/
38.    Carosel: The Technology Behind Their Music  http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2012/10/28/carosel-the-technology-behind-their-music/  “…Carosel, an Irish Indie Pop band now based in Paris, created its soon to be released album, Back to the Start, via the power of the internet, technology, emails and of course killer guitar and  vocals…70% of Back to the Start, which features a cover of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence, was recorded at home. The featured track, I’m Sorry, was recorded solely at a flat in Paris in the 15th arrondissement…Carosel’s co-founder, songwriter and guitarist, Pete McGrane would have an idea for a guitar arrangement, bash it out on his six string, beat up wooden acoustic guitar that was connected to his computer and then email the tracks to his producer, Liam Mulvany, Asylum Studios in Dublin…Mulvany would give them the once over, improve them, layer them up and email them back to McGrane to revise. Then, when the tracks were ready for some hands-on care, he would take his hard drive and his guitar back to Dublin for some final studio work…a thing called M-Box…allows McGrane to record directly into his computer using special music software, Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Then he records each instrument separately, one at a time so he doesn’t even need a full band, only to be able to play all the instruments he needs to make song good, which he can. The other tools, Pro Tools and Ableton Live allow McGrane to record voice and guitar, but also add in drum sounds, brass…This video shows McGrane and Carosel’s other co-founder, singer/songwriter Michelle Phelan, recording guitar, drums and vocals in a Parisian apartment and also what goes on in the studio…collaborative global music making…enables him to send his ideas to producers and other musicians in around the world and they can add their ideas to his recordings and email them back…they can make suggestions and hear the direction I’m taking with the song,” adds McGrane. “When I’m happy with my arrangement, then I send it to the studio…”
Economy and Technology
39.    The Hardware Renaissance  http://paulgraham.com/hw.html  “One advantage of Y Combinator's early, broad focus is that we see trends before most other people. And one of the most conspicuous trends in the last batch was the large number of hardware startups…Investors have a deep-seated bias against hardware. But…The best founders are better at seeing the future than the best investors, because the best founders are making it…The spread of tablets makes it possible to build new things controlled by and even incorporating them. Electric motors have improved. Wireless connectivity of various types can now be taken for granted. It's getting more straightforward to get things manufactured. Arduinos, 3D printing, laser cutters, and more accessible CNC milling are making hardware easier to prototype. Retailers are less of a bottleneck as customers increasingly buy online…Physical things…haven't been as great a way to start a rapidly growing business as software. But…Hackers love to build hardware, and customers love to buy it. So if the ease of shipping hardware even approached the ease of shipping software, we'd see a lot more hardware startups…”
40.    Announcing SXSW V2V  http://sxsw.com/music-film-interactive/news/announcing-sxsw-v2v  “…SXSW V2V is an extension and re-imagining SXSW's 26-year-old Austin event with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation. The startup and venture capital space is of major interest to all the creative industries that are at the core of the SXSW family of events. Featuring four days of informative panels and workshops, inspirational speakers, intensive mentor and coaching programs, networking events and receptions, pitch competitions and startup showcases, SXSW V2V offers innovators and entrepreneurs across all creative industries a space to learn the skills, make the connections and find the inspiration to take their ideas and talents to the next level. If you are involved in building an app, a service, a business, a brand or a community, then this event is for you. Join us August 11 through August 14, 2013…in Las Vegas, Nevada…”
41.     Money Troubles: What Happens When Kickstarters Fail?  http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/10/19/money-troubles-what-happens-when-kickstarters-fail/  “Since Kickstarting games became a thing, everyone has soothsayed the possibility of how it could go wrong. There are two significant ways, really. A high profile game comes out, and is a big pile of doo-doo. Or a high profile game never comes out at all…neither is in violation of any part of the Kickstarter model, and both are something that really should be accepted as a possibility by people pledging to projects…now the first example we’ve spotted of a game not appearing has happened, with the documented struggles of Haunts: The Manse Macabre. A successful $25,000 Kickstarter that has not only missed its release date, but isn’t sure if it will ever make one. Haunts…was to be a multiplayer game in which people played as either the haunters or the haunted, humans or ghosts. Running for over a month, the Kickstarter was very slow to make its money, adding on about a thousand dollars a week, until a big spurt forward in its final run. In the end it exceeded its $25k goal, reaching $28,739…Here’s the thing: videogame projects don’t always work out. They never have. No matter who is making the game, nor how it’s funded, sometimes games just don’t get to be games…Haunts developer Rick Dakan explains in great depth, and with great sadness, about why his project has fallen to pieces. Starting with a very small development team, over the last few months most of them have left…now Dakan is left with a buggy, unfinished game, written in a programming language he doesn’t know…Development took much longer than expected, new bugs are replacing old bugs…None of this was planned. And certainly none of this appears to be a misuse of $29k. When you pledge money to a Kickstarter, you really are only ever funding the development of a project. But…when the reward level that promises to provide the vanilla version of the game is usually the most popular, it’s hard not to perceive it as pre-ordering. It shouldn’t be, but it sure feels like it is…The Kickstarter rules make it clear that projects can fail, and that developers should be open and honest about the issues they’re facing…”
DHMN Technology
42.    Milwaukee Makerspace Moves  http://milwaukeemakerspace.org/2012/10/the-new-milwaukee-makerspace/   “When Milwaukee Makerspace started in August of 2009, Tom and Royce gathered a group of people who had a common interest in starting a hackerspace/makerspace in Milwaukee. A group met at Tom’s house for the first meeting, and then moved to the local Culver’s, meeting each week to discuss current projects, and plans for a space. By November 2010 the group acquired a space in the Chase Commerce Center, and with 13 founding members they launched at our current location…We’ve gone from 15 members at the start of 2011 to over 70 members near the end of 2012. We’ve seen our capabilities expand, the list of equipment grow, the number of projects explode…We’re about to start the process of moving from our present 6,000 square foot space to a new 16,000 square foot building…instead of exclusively working on our own projects for the next month, many of us will also be working on building out the new space: having a Sawzall party on the roof, knocking down a wall or two, building up several new ones…We hope to offer a lot of new capabilities at the new space, things we’ve wanted to do but may not have been able to due to limitations of our first space. We’ll also be looking at hosting classes and other events at the new space…”
43.    3D Printer CB-printer launched at the 3D Print show in London  http://www.3ders.org/articles/20121024-3d-printer-cb-printer-launched-at-the-3d-print-show-in-london.html  “…Rapcraft 3D printer was launched on Kickstarter…This open source 3D printer tried to raise $50,000 and they obtained $13,371 when the funding period was over…Bartosz Cieluch, an experienced Polish car manufacturer…started his own CB-printer.com and appeared at the 3D Print show in London…CB-printer.com provides two versions of 3D printer: CB-printer kit and assembled CB-printer, both are completely made of aluminiun…The assembled version has a start time of approx. 20 minutes, including checking calibration, warming up the head and the table and installation of software…Build envelope(mm): 200 x 200 x 180 mm…Layer thickness (mm): 0.1 mm…Speed (mm/s): 50 – 300 mm/s…”
Open Source Hardware
44.    Internet of food: Arduino-based, urban aquaponics in Oakland  http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/internet-food-arduino-based-urban-aquaponics-in-oakland/  “The land in West Oakland where Eric Maundu is trying to farm is covered with freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots so there’s not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. So Maundu doesn’t use soil. Instead he’s growing plants using fish and circulating water…a gardening system that combines hydroponics (water-based planting) and aquaculture (fish farming)…it uses less water (up to 90% less than traditional gardening), doesn’t attract soil-based bugs and produces two types of produce (both plants and fish). Aquaponics has become popular in recent years among urban gardeners and DIY tinkerers, but Maundu- who is trained in industrial robotics- has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. Using sensors (to detect water level, pH and temperature), microprocessors (mostly the open-source Arduino microcontroller), relay cards, clouds and social media networks (Twitter and Facebook), Maundu has programmed his gardens to tweet when there’s a problem (e.g. not enough water) or when there’s news (e.g. an over-abundance of food to share)…“I feel knowledge of electronics and software programming makes me a better farmer than just having a hoe. Gardens that can communicate for themselves using the internet can lead to exchanging of ideas in ways that were not possible before…he runs Kijani Grows (“Kijani” is Swahili for green), a small startup that designs and sells custom aquaponics systems for growing food and attempts to explore new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening…”
45.    Open source hardware, 5 new modules  http://solutions-cubed.com/open-source-hardware-5-new-modules/  “Open source hardware is something we’ve decided to get involved in.  The gist of it is that you provide your design files for public use and reuse.  We’re beginning to design small inexpensive modules for re-sale, and making them open source hardware. Our first 5 modules were a single H-bridge for DC motor control, an RS232/RS485/logic level serial converter, 64Mbits of Flash memory, an electronic compass, and a real-time clock/calendar.  Those went up on the web site this afternoon for sale.  Earlier this week we received in the prototypes for the second 5 modules.  They are an analog accelerometer (angle sensor), a high side load switch, an object detector that uses IR signals to detect objects out to about 4”, a USB to serial data converter, and a serial data to IR converter…The final testing and production circuit board should make these available by December 1st.   That means in the week they’ll move off my desk, and I’ll be on to the 3rd group of 5 open source hardware parts.  That group will include an microcontroller on each board…”
Open Source
46.    Steps for Putting Ubuntu on a Nexus 7 Tablet  http://ostatic.com/blog/simple-steps-for-putting-ubuntu-on-a-nexus-7-tablet  “…in the small tablet space…most people think of open operating system…Android…it's actually very easy to put Ubuntu on a Nexus 7 tablet…Canonical is very interested in taking Ubuntu to tablets, TVs and other new devices. Some have even speculated that Canonical might consider becoming a player in the hardware business…But it looks increasingly like Canonical will concentrate on how to take Ubuntu to devices made by others…the company…posted instructions for putting Ubuntu on the Nexus 7 tablet…”
47.    Raspberry Pi maker says code for ARM chip is now open source  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/all-code-on-raspberry-pis-arm-chip-now-open-source/  “The makers of the Raspberry Pi credit card-sized computer today announced every last piece of code running on the computer’s ARM chip has been open sourced. While the computer could already run several Linux-based operating systems, not all the drivers were open source. Going fully open source prevents users from having to use drivers that are proprietary or reverse-engineered…all the VideoCore driver code has been made available on GitHub under the 3-clause BSD license, making the Pi’s BCM2835 chip “the first ARM-based multimedia SoC with fully-functional, vendor-provided…fully open-source drivers.” As of today, “everything running on the ARM is now open source.” UPDATE: As some astute readers note, this isn't strictly true…The additional open source code will also make it easier for new operating system ports to take advantage of the Pi’s full hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities…”
48.    FPS 'Receiver' Now Available for Linux  http://www.ubuntuvibes.com/2012/10/critically-acclaimed-game-receiver-now.htm l first person shooter Receiver is now available for Linux. The game has been developed by Wolfire Games, creators of popular cross platform game Overgrowth and Humble Indie Bundles. Receiver was created for the 7-day FPS challenge to explore gun handling mechanics, randomized levels, and unordered storytelling. Armed only with a Colt 1911 A1 and an audiocassette player, you must uncover the secrets of the Mindkill in a building complex infested with automated turrets and hovering shock drones. Receiver is made using Unity game engine which got Linux publishing support recently. The game has been praised for its realistic gun mechanics…when reloading a gun, you have to pull out the magazine, load it manually and then put it back again…Receiver can be purchased for $5
49.    The future of our open source world  http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/10/26/open-source/  “…"open source"…philosophies of universal access and free redistribution of source code have revolutionized the software industry…open source ideas have tremendous potential beyond software. All you need to create a successful open source community are participants who both contribute to, as well as benefit from, shared content. Such networks of transparency, collaboration, and trust can be tremendously beneficial in other industries as well, from pharmaceuticals to manufactured goods. We have already begun to see promising results from applying open source philosophies to hardware development and manufacturing. Consumers have taken the lead in the open source hardware movement, embodied by the popular "Maker Movement." This subculture…has driven the rise of collaborative, community "hacker spaces" as well as the hugely popular Maker Faires in cities across the country. The business community has not ignored these makers; venture capitalists are certainly paying attention to the developments…Arduino…makes the bulk of its income from delivering consulting and design services to those looking to build devices based on its circuit board…contributors with access to Arduino's designs have offered improvements to the programming language and wiring, which have significantly boosted sales…Open Source Ecology, is experimenting with ways to cheaply construct from scratch over 50 crucial machines, from bakery ovens to back hoes…Jakubowski publishes all the blueprints and schematics for each piece of his Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) on a Wiki for contributors from all over the world to access and tweak. Groups throughout the country have developed blueprints for Open Source Ecology, while machines are prototyped and improved on the Factor e Farm in rural Missouri.  According to the group's website, 12 of the 50 machines are in their prototyping and documentation phase, including a microtractor, backhoe, and CNC circuit mill.  Through this construction kit, Open Source Ecology aims to lower barriers to entry for farming, building, and manufacturing in rural communities, urban neighborhoods in need of renovation, and developing nations…
Civilian Aerospace
50.    SpaceX Dragon successfully completes first commercial space cargo mission  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/29/first_contracted_dragon_finished/  “…SpaceX Dragon splashed down in the Pacific yesterday, marking the end of a mostly successful first contracted trip to the International Space Station. The reusable cargoship dropped into the ocean yesterday evening…after resupplying the ISS and its crew…Some of the cargo brought back by the capsule is due to be returned to NASA in the next couple of days, including research samples from the station's microgravity environment. The ship delivered 882 pounds of gear to the ISS, including scientific research and crew supplies. It returned with nearly twice that weight of stuff…The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stack which launched the Dragon was also lifting a secondary cargo - an OG2 satellite, which burned up in the atmosphere after the Falcon failed to get it into position to settle into a good orbit…the Falcon second-stage couldn't do the second burn necessary to get the OG2 to its required orbit, as the earlier first stage problem meant this would have resulted in parts of the stack and payload flying through the space station's prohibited safety zone. OG2-owner Orbcomm is sticking with SpaceX for its future launches though, sending two sats up in 2013 and 2014, this time as the primary payload…”
51.     Clearing The Obstacles To Space Solar Power  http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_10_18_2012_p04-01-508036.xml  “Advocates of space solar power (SSP) continue to refine their ideas for harnessing the Sun’s energy, beaming it to Earth and plugging it into the power grid…to begin deploying commercial SSP spacecraft in the 2030s, “large advances” in power transmission will be needed in the next 10 years, followed by significant advances in large space structures in the 10 years after that…Photovoltaic cells, for example, need to move from 15-30% conversion efficiency to 35-40% in the Japanese model, with specific weight dropping from 10-100 grams/Watt to 1 g/W and service life in space growing from 10 years to 30-40…Sasaki sees reusable launch vehicles as the ultimate solution for SSP, and he finds developments in the space tourism field encouraging…The technology gap from the suborbital flight to the orbital flight is considered very large, but the suborbital flight technologies could lead to breakthrough in the orbital RLV…an advanced concept under study with NASA funding known as Solar Power Satellite by means of Arbitrarily Large Phased Array (SPS-Alpha)…represents a very different architecture for SPS, using a hyper-modular approach in which all platform elements can be mass produced, and none are larger than a ‘smallsat.’ This could enable significantly lower development time/cost, much greater ease of manufacturing at lower cost, and significantly higher reliability…mass-produced “intelligent” spacecraft weighing 100-300 kg would assemble themselves into a constellation shaped to collect solar energy, convert it and transmit it through the “hive” of other spacecraft to a transmitter array assembled in the same fashion…”
52.    ‘Space hotel a reality within 10 years’  http://rt.com/news/space-hotel-travel-anderson-254/  “…Space Adventures’ Eric Anderson…says within ten years there will be the first hotel in orbit, and eventually, people will live in space…[Space Adventures] has been taking people up to space since the 2000s…Because there is an incredibly good business plan behind it, because millions of people want to go to space…All the market studies that have ever been done will show you that 40 per cent of the general public wants to go to space in their lifetime. It just has to reach a point where they can afford it and it is safe enough for them to feel that they are not risking their lives excessively do it. But I do think the tourism market is a catalyst. It is not by any stretch the only reason we would go to space. We will go to space for resources: we will mine the asteroids, will get precious metals like platinum-group metals from asteroids. People will live in space, will do pharmaceutical research, will develop new drugs. Space will become part of our economic sphere of influence, but tourism is a fantastic catalyst for that…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
53.    GPUs for Signal Processing in MATLAB  http://www.nvidia.com/content/cuda/spotlights/brian-fanous-mathworks.html  “This week's Spotlight is on Brian Fanous of MathWorks,a senior engineer in the signal processing and communications group…This interview is part of the CUDA Spotlight Series…Brian: I am an engineer in the signal processing area at MathWorks. I am responsible for GPU acceleration of the various products in that area…Current FPGAs, DSPs, and GPUs have enough compute power that engineers can solve much bigger problems much faster than we could previously. That’s a bit general, but it means that theoretical algorithms people came up with 30 years ago are now feasible to deploy…Those complex algorithms are everywhere – in smartphones, automobile collision avoidance systems, medical equipment…We provide toolboxes that extend MATLAB to enable more productive development in different areas. For example…Phased Array System Toolbox™ facilitates sensor array design and system simulation. It can model things like radar for UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) design, sonar and other array processing systems…Computer Vision System Toolbox™ enables the development of vision processing algorithms for tasks including object detection, recognition and tracking…We've enabled GPU computing in three of the toolboxes: Communications System Toolbox, Phased Array System Toolbox, and Signal Processing Toolbox…These toolboxes provide GPU acceleration of complex and time-consuming algorithms such as Turbo decoding for wireless communications, clutter modeling for radar, and cross correlation for signal processing…Generally just a few lines of MATLAB code need to be changed to enable GPU acceleration. We've seen speedups of 30x for wireless simulation and over 100x for radar systems…”
54.    Titan Sets High-Water Mark for GPU Supercomputing  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-10-29/titan_sets_high-water_mark_for_gpu_supercomputing.html  “Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has officially launched its much-anticipated Titan supercomputer, a Cray XK7…With Titan, ORNL gets a system that is 10 times as powerful as Jaguar, the lab's previous top system…With a reported 27 peak petaflops, Titan now represents the most powerful number-cruncher in the world. The 10-fold performance leap from Jaguar to Titan is courtesy of NVIDIA's brand new K20 processors, the Kepler GPU…Although the Titan upgrade also includes AMD's latest 16-core Opteron CPUs, the lion's share of the FLOPS will be derived from the NVIDIA chips. In the conversion from Jaguar, a Cray XT5, ORNL essentially gutted the existing 200 cabinets and retrofitted them with nearly ten thousand XK7 blades. Each blade houses two nodes and each one of them holds a 16-core Opteron 6274 CPU and a Tesla K20 GPU module. The x86 Opteron chips run at a respectable 2.2 GHz, while the K20 hums along at a more leisurely 732 MHz. But because to the highly parallel nature of the GPU architecture, the K20 delivers around 10 times the FLOPS as its CPU companion…Thanks to the energy efficiency of the K20, which NVIDIA claims is going to three times as efficient its previous-generation Fermi GPU, Titan draws a mere 12.7 MW to power the whole system. That's especially impressive, especially when you consider that the x86-only Jaguar required 7 megawatts for a mere tenth of the FLOPS…”


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