2012/12/25

NEW NET Weekly List for 25 Dec 2012

As mentioned in the previous post, there is no NEW NET meeting this week because 25 December is Christmas.

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) for the week of 25 Dec 2012.

The ‘net
1.        Digital duct tape IFTTT connects your web silos, early tool for IoT   http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/ifttt-raises-7-million-to-automate-your-life/  “IFTTT, the nifty Web service that offers a way to automate tasks online, just got…$7 million…of venture capital…the chief executive and one of the founders of IFTTT, said his first order of business would be to hire more people…the company’s second order of business is perhaps its most important: making the service more palatable to a broader audience…IFTTT (pronounced “lift” but minus the l) has…“recipes,” that appeal to fairly tech-savvy users. For example, popular recipes can…send notifications each time a new book is added to Amazon’s list of free e-books…e-commerce alerts, flight tracking and deal finding…The company is also looking to branch out into the physical world. IFTTT has already teamed up with Belkin around…WeMo devices, which let people wirelessly control home electronics from anywhere…More than 2.5 million recipes have been created on IFTTT…700,000 are available for public examination. Each day, three million to four million tasks set up through IFTTT are run...”  http://www.xconomy.com/national/2012/12/14/give-your-online-life-a-lift-with-ifttt/?single_page=true  “…have you come across a new technology…and said to yourself, “…only a real geek would use that!”, only to find yourself…benefiting from the same innovation a year or two later?...can you say “the Web” or “text messaging”…or “Netflix streaming”?…I want to tell you about a geek tool…I’ve been using…that everyone should know about. It’s called IFTTT…The acronym…stands for “If This, Then That.”…the service lets you set up prearranged actions prompted by specific conditions…users can create their own recipes or choose from a large set of existing ones. All of them involve the communications and productivity tools most of us use every day, from e-mail to social networking to cloud storage…you can set up a recipe saying, “If the weather report says it’s going to rain today, then send me a text message,”…This kind of stuff doesn’t happen automatically right now because the major cloud applications are still mostly siloed inside the companies that own and run them…Web and mobile services are like Lego bricks that can be snapped together to make a range of fun…useful and…geeky curiosities…”
2.       Facebook Tries Letting You Pay $1 To Guarantee Message Delivery To Strangers  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20810341  “Facebook has begun a trial which allows users to pay $1 to send messages direct to people who are not their friends. The fee will mean messages go straight to a recipient's inbox rather than the Other folder which contains all unsolicited correspondence. The trial is only for a "small number of people"…Users will be able to receive a maximum of one paid-for message per week, and no more than three each month…On Facebook, users can already send messages to anyone else on the network. However, depending on a user's privacy settings, messages from users who are not friends mostly end up in the Other folder…which is separate from the user's main inbox, often goes unchecked…”
3.       Wappwolf Launches iBeam.it For Sharing Content Across Online Services  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/18/wappwolf-home-to-ifttt-like-automation-tools-launches-ibeam-it-for-sharing-content-across-online-services/  “Wappwolf, the startup offering IFTTT-like automation tools like Dropbox Automator and Google Drive Automator, is now out with its latest utility called iBeam.it, focused on sharing to multiple service at once. This includes not only online file storage services like Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Skydrive and others, but also photo-sharing sites like Instagram, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook…Multi-posting tools have been a longtime staple of the web, ever since users have been inundated with multiple options for sharing their status or hosting files and other media in the cloud…Meanwhile, newer companies like Dispatch, for example, instead focus on creating online workspaces where users can collaborate across services like Dropbox and Google Drive. IFTTT, mentioned above, lets you automate tasks using triggers in order to take more specific actions, while things like CloudMagic are focused on search. Photo-specific options, like Pixelpipe’s Pi.ipe, also exist…With iBeam.it, Wappwolf users now have more of an all-purpose tool for sharing (“beaming”) content between Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive, Flickr, Skydrive, Evernote, Picasa, Twitter and more…”
4.       The Struggle to Connect Strangers  http://mashable.com/2012/11/27/highlight-bringing-people-together/  “…how do you create a social network that helps you meet people?...Whether it's through mutual friends, a common event or just plain luck, the universe's machinations which bring certain people together is not only widespread but also difficult to track…Highlight, the iPhone and Android app that launched in January, took the South by Southwest conference by storm, and became the poster child for the passive technology craze that includes Sonar and Loopt, is all about making those random encounters a little less random…if you could just take a bird's eye view of the world, and pick up two people, put them together and tell them, 'You two should meet,' you could just make life better," says Paul Davison, co-founder and CEO of Highlight. Davison's team…is constantly tinkering with the algorithms to make Highlight the easiest way to meet folks in person…the people we do things with are the most important things around us," Davison explains. "But the system we use to meet these people is so bad."…to bring some order to the randomness of meeting people who share the same interests, goals and lifestyle…the app is constantly improving and iterating ways to find common interests among users and encourage those users to bond over these commonalities…Highlight utilizes the GPS found in the iPhone or Android…to group users in a similar area and sift through what each has in common…Highlight offers a few levels of interaction. Users can opt to chat through commenting on another person's posts, inbox him or her with a private message…Davison stresses that Highlight is really what you make of it: Users who fill out their profiles completely and interact with others frequently on the service are more likely to see returns on their investment than those who are less enthusiastic…”
5.        Instagram users should wise up  http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/20/opinion/rushkoff-instagram-users/  “…Instagram has risen to the level of a Twitter as far as the culture around it is concerned. It has spawned a new visual language, a new etiquette of sharing and an outpouring of creativity in the form of contests, collaborative art exhibits and personal expression. Instagram got so popular so fast that Facebook took notice and purchased the company for a billion dollars -- (yes, $1 billion) -- to bolster its own smart phone presence shortly before its IPO. The problem with being bought for a billion dollars is that eventually you have to start showing the kinds of returns expected for a billion dollar company. That means either charging users for the service or, as in the case of Instagram, selling the users' data…what did we expect? Did we think Instagram was just a couple of self-funded slackers trying to make the world a more photographic place?...There are people working there, coding the software, designing the interface, and figuring out how anyone gets to look at anything whenever they want to. They need to eat…If they had charged for the service from the get-go, Instagram would have likely had many fewer takers. Photo services from Yahoo's Flickr to Google's Picasa already existed. So instead of charging for their service, Instagram decided to get the biggest base of users it could, use its massive membership as leverage to sell itself, and then let the buyer (in this case Facebook) figure out how to make money. In essence, Instagram sold its users to Facebook…So now that Facebook intends to cash in on its investment, it's a bit disingenuous for those of us using the free service to cry foul…What irks us…is the sense that…Instagram felt a little alternative, authentically bottom-up. It's a tiny piece of software, and if they had figured out a way for us to store our photos locally or to pay a small charge for server space exceeding some amount (as Flickr does), it could have stayed a rather noncommercial affair…”
6.       Microsoft killing off Expression suite of Web and design tools  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/microsoft-killing-off-expression-suite-of-web-and-design-tools/  “Microsoft has quietly announced that its Expression suite of Web and design-oriented tools is being killed off…Vector graphics drawing tool Expression Design 4 has been end-of-lifed…You can now download it for free, and it will continue to receive security patches as necessary until at least 2015…The same has happened to HTML and CSS authoring tool Expression Web 4. It's no longer for sale and no new versions will be released, and it's now available as a free download. Instead of developing Expression Web, Microsoft will continue to extend and improve Visual Studio's HTML, CSS, and JavaScript capabilities, with the IDE now being the company's main actively maintained Web development tool…”
7.        Robot Rabbit Could Be Your Next Digital Media Hub  http://mashable.com/2012/03/27/karotz-innovation/  “…With long, antenna-like ears, a minimalistic face and myriad colors glowing on its belly, the France-launched Karotz robot is nothing short of "aww"-inducing. But, don't let the face fool you: The cute little product packs an engaging toolset. The Karotz Smart Rabbit can be programmed to serve as an alarm clock, an MP3 player, a social media tool and a host of other features, along with an opportunity for original coding. "I use the Karotz to wake me up, and it gives me the weather and traffic information…This is all done in less than one minute from one application…the development of Karotz is actually a third-generation product of Nabaztag, a similarly-visaged personal robot that launched in 2005. Nabaztag, which means "hare" in Armenian, was manufactured by robotics company Violet. Violet was then acquired by Mindscape and subsequently the French-based Aldebaran Robotics, which ultimately oversaw final production of the Karotz model that soft-launched in the online market in January…”
8.       Websites Vary Prices, Deals Based on Users' Information  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887323777204578189391813881534-lMyQjAxMTAyMDIwMzEyNDMyWj.html  “…It was the same Swingline stapler, on the same Staples.com SPLS -1.65% website. But for Kim Wamble, the price was $15.79, while the price on Trude Frizzell's screen, just a few miles away, was $14.29. A key difference: where Staples seemed to think they were located…the Staples Inc. website displays different prices to people after estimating their locations. More than that, Staples appeared to consider the person's distance from a rival brick-and-mortar store…an unbiased, impersonal Internet is fast giving way to an online world that, in reality, is increasingly tailored and targeted. Websites are adopting techniques to glean information about visitors to their sites, in real time, and then deliver different versions of the Web to different people…Offering different prices to different people is legal, with a few exceptions for race-based discrimination and other sensitive situations…Many sites switch prices at lightning speed in response to competitors' offerings and other factors, a practice known as "dynamic pricing."…Some sites, for example, gave discounts based on whether or not a person was using a mobile device. A person searching for hotels from the Web browser of an iPhone or Android phone on travel sites Orbitz and CheapTickets would see discounts of as much as 50% off the list price…Many hotels have proven willing to provide discounts for mobile sites…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
9.       Congress is quietly abandoning the 5th Amendment; is the Internet listening?  http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/scandal-alert-congress-is-quietly-abandoning-the-5th-amendment/266498/  “…American politics doesn't work the way you'd think it would. Most people presume that government officials would never willfully withhold penicillin from men with syphilis just to see what would happen if the disease went untreated. It seems unlikely that officers would coerce enlisted men into exposing themselves to debilitating nerve gas. Few expected that President Obama would preside over the persecution of an NSA whistle-blower, or presume the guilt of all military-aged males killed by U.S. drone strikes. But it all happened…It may seem like a United States senator would be widely ridiculed for suggesting that American citizens can be imprisoned indefinitely without chargers or trial, and that if numerous U.S. senators took that position, the press would treat the issue with at least as much urgency as "the fiscal cliff"…News junkies likely know that I'm alluding to a specific law that has passed both the Senate and the House, and is presently in a conference committee…Lawmakers charged with merging the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act decided on Tuesday to drop a provision that would have explicitly barred the military from holding American citizens and permanent residents in indefinite detention without trial as terrorism suspects…Of the four main negotiators on the defense bill, only one of the Democrats, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), opposes domestic indefinite detention of Americans…Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), believes detaining Americans without charge or trial is constitutional…Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) believe it's constitutional to lock up American citizens suspected of terrorism without ever proving they're guilty…Civil liberties groups "aren't shedding any tears over the demise of the Feinstein-Lee amendment," because they objected to the fact that it protected only U.S. citizens and permanent residents, rather than all persons present in the United States…Senators McCain, Levin, and many other legislators suffer no consequences for failing to protect and defend the United States Constitution…”
10.     Verizon Is Blocking Google Wallet Anti-Competitively to Give Isis Development Time  http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Its-Clear-Verizon-Is-Blocking-Google-Wallet-AntiCompetitively-122513  “Verizon has been trying to justify their blocking of Google Wallet on Verizon phones…because Google Wallet uses the "secure element" on devices to store a user's Google ID…Verizon insists the unending blockade has nothing to do with the fact Verizon…is working on their own competing mobile payment platform named Isis. That's obviously not true, and more than a few technology websites have noticed that Verizon's simply acting anti-competively by delaying Google Wallet just long enough to help their Isis platform catch up…lo and behold Verizon's Isis Mobile Wallet app arrived this week, and is able to use the secure element with no problem…phone requirements for the app speak of this “secure element” as a “dedicated component in your phone” used to store payment cards and everything else needed to properly run a mobile payment app with NFC. Basically, that’s everything that they said was bad about Google Wallet…this kind of behavior from Verizon is nothing new…this kind of behavior is simply in Verizon's (and AT&T's) nature as duopolist gatekeepers. You have to assume that Verizon will also cave here as this story gains traction, but by then Verizon's goal of delaying Google Wallet…to give Isis a leg up will have already gained traction. One irony of course is that in conjunction with Verizon, Google worked to gut meaningful network neutrality rules that would have prevented this very thing from happening…”
11.      5 Best Practices to Secure and Protect SSH Server  http://www.tecmint.com/5-best-practices-to-secure-and-protect-ssh-server/  “…In this article, I will show you some simple tools and tricks that will help you to tighten your ssh server security. Here you will find some useful information on how to secure and prevent ssh server from brute force and dictionary attacks…1. DenyHosts…2. Fail2Ban…3. Disable Root Login…4. Display SSH Banner…5. SSH Passwordless Login…”
12.     China listening in on Skype - Microsoft assumes you approve  https://en.greatfire.org/blog/2012/dec/china-listening-skype-microsoft-assumes-you-approve  “…If you…are using Skype…you are probably not aware that all your phone calls and text chats can be monitored by the censorship authorities in China…chances are that you do not consent to such surveillence. Microsoft, however, assumes that you do consent…The fact that Skype is collaborating with Tom Online…for the China market has been known for years…To comply with the government regulation, TOM Online is obliged to use a text filter in TOM-Skype. If a message is found to be unsuitable for delivery because of specific text, the message is simply not transmitted between the users…The full text chat messages of TOM-Skype users, along with Skype users who have communicated with TOM-Skype users, are regularly scanned for sensitive keywords, and if present, the resulting data are uploaded and stored on servers in China…most Skype users are probably not aware of the differences between Tom Skype and the regular Skype…even if you are running the regular version of Skype, if the person you are chatting with or talking to is running the Tom version, your communication is still monitored and made available to the Chinese authorities. There is no way to know what software the other person is using. As we've established above, many are using Tom Skype unknowingly. This means that whether or not you are in China, whether or not you are using the regular version of Skype or the Tom version and whether or not you are writing something you think could be politically controversial in China, your communication data could all be stored on Chinese servers and shared with Chinese authorities…If you are in China, however, when you go to www.skype.com, you are automatically redirected to http://skype.tom.com. Skype does not ask if you want to be redirected. They also do not inform you of the difference between the regular Skype and the Tom Online version. The websites look very similar…By redirecting Chinese users to Tom Skype without notice, Microsoft is actively misleading users to think that they are downloading the real Skype client. By blocking Chinese users from downloading the real Skype, Microsoft is actively making it more difficult for Chinese users to circumvent surveillance…”
13.     Apple lifts block on combo 30-pin+Lightning charging accessories  http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/12/apple-lifts-block-on-combo-30-pinlightning-charging-accessories/  “……”  [chalk up another consumer win for the Internet; in my limited understanding of the world, at least, Apple would not have revised it’s policy regarding devices with Lightning connectors nearly as quickly, if ever, were it not for the Internet and it’s power to make a large and diverse group of people both inside and outside organizations related to specific issues aware of the need to address and resolve those issues in an equitable way; among many others, the Pentium FDIV bug, the Sony rootkit and now the Apple Lightning connector – ed.]
Mobile Computing & Communicating
14.     The Future Of The How-To Is On The Tablet  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/20/snapquide-ipad-tablet/  “I wouldn’t have an iPad if I didn’t have to do two things: Do interviews and cook. The first I have to do for work but the second I do for fun. Which is why I think that Snapguide’s  bold and stylish move to the tablet is not only inevitable, but means that the service has finally landed in its true home…Snapguide…is basically How-To guides for Generation Mobile, founded by former Yahoo Pipes PM Daniel Raffel and former Google Chrome engineer Steve Krulewitz…the app, which is No. 2 in Apple’s Best Apps of 2012 in the ”Discover with Friends” category, is in Apple’s acquisition crosshairs…The Snapguide iPad app, like Pinterest or Flipboard for How-Tos, purposefully feels like a magazine — with big colorful photos of step-by-step guides…Just like on any user-generated content platform, many will also spend hours creating guides…What the company does differently than older competitors Instructables or WikiHow is its fervent focus on simplicity and mobile design. “It became obvious that limiting the number of characters per step and only supporting short videos would become features and would allow us to design for predictable scenarios and keep the product easy to use…”
15.     Larger phones and smaller tablets give birth to 'phablets'  http://www.contracostatimes.com/business/ci_22195437/larger-phones-and-smaller-tablets-give-birth-phablets  “…smartphones have gradually gotten bigger and tablet computers have gotten smaller…devices in between are starting to emerge…informally known as phablets…they can be used for phone calls…The larger screens -- measuring 5 inches or more diagonally -- make the devices slightly better for watching movies, reading books and consuming other media…HTC Corp.'s new 5-inch Droid DNA…looks about the same size as my 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III…HTC succeeds by making the DNA taller rather than wider, which is important because the width is what spans your palm when you're holding it…watching a movie on a DNA beats doing it on the older iPhone's 3.5-inch screen or even the 4 inches on the new iPhone 5…In most apps, I don't actually get more content with the bigger screen. Text and graphics in Gmail messages simply get slightly bigger on the DNA. Google's maps are larger, but that doesn't mean you see more surrounding area, just bigger parks and road names…in my tests, everything just gets bigger on the Note compared with the S III. I'm seeing the same number of emails, the same coverage area for maps and the same amount of text for e-books…”
16.     Huawei Ascend Mate 6.1” phablet  “…Huawei's…about to introduce a 6.1-inch 1080p Android phone…According to earlier rumors, the Ascend Mate will feature a 1.8GHz HiSilicon K3V3 quad-core chip, along with a massive 4,000mAh battery, 9.9mm thickness and a price tag of…about $480…the 361ppi display is of LTPS (low temperature polysilicon)…”
17.     First Decent $100 Tablet Probably Won’t Be In The US Soon  http://gizmodo.com/5970992/you-wont-be-able-to-buy-the-first-decent-100-tablet  “…Acer…is planning to sell a $99 Android tablet, the Iconia B1…The company plans to target consumers in emerging markets…the Iconia B1 will come with a 1.2 gigahertz processor and pack a 7-inch display with 1024 by 600 resolution…”
Apps
18.     My Pain Diary HD for iPad  http://news.yahoo.com/pain-diary-hd-ipad-end-sale-170337358.html  “…The…iPad version of…My Pain Diary: Chronic Pain Management…was received with 5-star reviews. Used by sufferers of chronic pain and chronic illness, My Pain Diary HD makes it easy to record important information about pain and symptoms. The Doctor’s Report feature outputs a professional PDF for communicating that information to healthcare professionals. The app boasts…pain tracking features, such as automatic weather tracking to help users determine exactly how weather affects their pain and symptoms. Multiple conditions can be tracked and compared visually using the interactive graphs. Photos can be attached to entries to track swelling, rashes…My Pain Diary…is an…iPhone and iPad app developed to eliminate some of the overhead in keeping a pain diary and communicating the information to healthcare professionals…”
19.     The Google Of The App Search Era Just Might Be Google  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/24/the-google-of-the-app-search-era-just-might-be-google/  “…the mobile application ecosystem has become an unfathomable jungle of applications – some 700,000-plus in the two top mobile app stores, Apple’s App Store and Google Play. And yet, we’re still waiting for the Google of the mobile app era to come in and save us from the mess that is today’s app market…It’s possible, though, that the Google we’re still waiting for is actually Google itself. There are independent app search companies already working on the app discovery challenge…But users aren’t searching for most of their apps on the web – they’re searching for apps on mobile. And when they’re searching on mobile, they tend to use the default app store apps on their device…63% of users find app through app store search…On mobile, the battle will eventually play out between the two giants – Apple and Google – for the better app search offering. Google…is already ahead of the game here…it’s not surprising that Google is ahead in app search. It’s Google. This is their bag…on iOS…developers may figure out how to use ASO to their advantage, before Apple figures out how to discount the erroneous signals of those attempting to throw the game…ASO is app store optimization – the manipulations that help apps get found the way SEO helps websites improve their own ranks…Google, and its search engineers steeped with years of experience in dealing with the SEO crowd, will have the advantage of knowing best how to keep the quality results at the top…there will be good apps everywhere. And really, how many “good” apps can a user install…25? 50? 100?…”
20.    20 Best iOS And Android Apps Of 2012  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/23/the-20-best-ios-and-android-apps-of-2012/  “…The best mobile apps of 2012…list lacks medium-defining breakthroughs like Instagram and Shazam…The apps we selected were either released or significantly updated between January 1 and December 21 of this year…Google Maps (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…Camera Awesome (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad free)…Slices for Twitter (iPhone, iPod touch $4.99 Android free)…Flipboard (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…Khan Academy (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad free)…Songza (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…Viggle (iPhone, iPod touch, Android free)…Brewster Address Book (iPhone, iPod touch free)…Next Draft – The Day’s Most Fascinating News (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad free)…Action Movie FX (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad free)…Atlas by Collins (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad $6.99)…Crackle – Movies & TV (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…Vyclone (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad free)…Stitcher Radio (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…Highlight (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…Clear (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad $0.99)…Pocket (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…Showyou (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad free)…Paper by FiftyThree (iPad free)…Zinio (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android free)…”
SkyNet
21.     Google in 2012  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/google-in-2012-android-soars-battles-with-regulators-and-a-tricky-new-role/2012/12/24/a761c3e0-4c4f-11e2-b709-667035ff9029_story.html  “…Here’s a look at the highlights…at Google in 2012…Regulation…The company faced backlash…from European regulators…and…The Federal Trade Commission…Google+…Google’s latest update on the site revealed that the year-old network has 135 active million users…Hardware…Google…made some notable steps into the hardware space…launching branded smartphones and tablets…as flagships for…Android…its Nexus 7 tablet was a popular item on many people’s holiday wish list…Android…75 percent of all phones that shipped in the third quarter of 2012 were running Android…”
22.    Google sells Motorola Home and set-top boxes to Arris for $2.35bn  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/20/google-sells-motorola-home-arris  “…Google has disappointed the British set-top box maker Pace by selling its profitable Motorola Home business to Arris Group in a $2.35bn cash-and-stock deal…The move leaves Google with the loss-making handset business and the patent portfolio belonging to MMI, with which it had hoped to fend off lawsuits against its Android mobile software from Apple, Microsoft, Nokia…For Arris, the acquisition gives it broader capabilities in consumer video products and services, and will boost its patent portfolio through a licence to what it called "a wide array of MMI patents". MMI's Home business generated quarterly revenues of about $880m over the past year, and about $60m of quarterly profit. It builds set-top boxes for a broad range of US cable companies…”
23.    Google Wants To Grab 90% Of Office Users Away From Microsoft  http://www.businessinsider.com/google-grabs-office-users-from-microsoft-2012-12  “There's a big, fat growth market staring Google in the face and it looks like the search-engine giant is finally ready to grab it: enterprise software. "Our goal is to get to the 90 percent of users who don’t need to have the most advanced features of Office," Amit Singh, a Google VP…Google generates about $1 billion from five businesses that sell products and services to the enterprise. That's almost a rounding error for Google. 96% of its revenue come from ads, so its enterprise products account for a mere 4%...Google ramped up its enterprise business…this year. It launched…Compute Engine, that competes head on with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. It introduced Drive…and is now charging companies with 10 employees or less. It launched the next-generation of Chromebooks and introduced…the Chromebox…Until recently, Google wasn't prepared to take on really big companies…Before Toyota signed a huge deal for Microsoft's Office 365 cloud, Toyota had asked Google to bid but Google backed out…Now, Singh is aiming for total domination of the Office software market. "We know the gaps between our features and theirs. We’re improving them week by week…”
General Technology
24.    Engineered Fish Moves a Step Closer to Approval  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/business/gene-altered-fish-moves-closer-to-federal-approval.html  “Government regulators moved a big step closer…to allowing the first genetically engineered animal — a fast-growing salmon — to enter the nation’s food supply. The Food and Drug Administration…concluded that the salmon would have “no significant impact” on the environment. The agency also said the salmon was “as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon.”…the agency’s draft environmental assessment will be open to public comment for 60 days…AquaBounty Technologies…has been trying to win approval for more than a decade…The AquAdvantage salmon…is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon and a genetic switch from the ocean pout, an eel-like creature. The switch keeps the gene on so that the salmon produces growth hormone year round, rather than only during warm weather. The fish reach market weight in about 18 months instead of three years…The main concern addressed was whether the genetically engineered salmon could escape and establish themselves in the wild…The larger salmon…could conceivably outcompete wild Atlantic salmon for food or mates. The agency said the chance this would happen was “extremely remote.”…And reproduction would be unlikely because the fish would be sterilized, though the sterilization technique is not foolproof…AquaBounty produces its eggs…in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The eggs are shipped to…Panama, where the fish are grown to market weight…an investor…who owned nearly half the company’s stock, sold his holdings…to Intrexon…which is offering to buy the rest of AquaBounty…Intrexon is working on synthetic biology…a souped-up form of genetic engineering…”
25.    “Neuristor”: Memristors used to create a neuron-like behavior  http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/12/neuristor-memristors-used-to-create-a-neuron-like-behavior/  “Computing hardware is composed of a series of binary switches; they're either on or off. The other piece of computational hardware we're familiar with, the brain, doesn't work anything like that. Rather than being on or off, individual neurons exhibit brief spikes of activity, and encode information in the pattern and timing of these spikes. The differences between the two have made it difficult to model neurons using computer hardware…But researchers may have figured out a way to create a chip that spikes…people at HP labs…have figured out a combination of memristors and capacitors that can create a spiking output pattern. Although these spikes appear to be more regular than the ones produced by actual neurons, it might be possible to create versions that are a bit more variable than this one…To get the sort of spiking behavior seen in a neuron, the authors turned to a simplified model of neurons based on the proteins that allow them to transmit electrical signals…In the authors' circuit, there were two units, one representing the sodium channels, the other the potassium channels. Each unit consisted of a capacitor (to allow it to build up charge) in parallel to a memristor (which allowed the charge to be released suddenly. In the proper arrangement, the combination produces spikes of activity as soon as a given voltage threshold is exceeded. The authors have termed this device a "neuristor."…the NbO2 neuristor uses too much power to put in large numbers on a chip. But there are other types of Mott resistors known, and the authors think that it should be possible to find one that's both low power and compatible with current chip-making techniques…”
26.    Programming for all, part 1: An introduction to writing for computers  http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/12/programming-for-all-part-1-an-introduction-to-writing-for-computers/  “Computers are ubiquitous in modern life…Despite this, very few people know how computers actually do the things that they do…In this article, we'll take a look at some of the basic concepts of computer programming…Programming is about problem solving and thinking in a methodical manner…Think of programming like cooking: you learn the basic rules and then you can let your creativity run wild…If one is intending to understand computer programming, they must start their journey by looking at simple integers. In the modern world, we count using what is known as base 10; that is, there are ten distinct digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)…there is no reason that we must count in base 10, it is simply convenient for us…using base-two numbers would make the most sense for a computer that can only know on or off…The binary number system is base two, and the only numbers available for counting are zero (0) and one (1)…a single 0 or 1 (a single on/off value) is termed a "bit." When you group eight bits together, you get a byte (four bits is called a nybble, but you won't see that around much anymore). Therefore, if you have a 1GB drive, that means you have 1024*1024*1024 bytes of information…In the beginning, developing a program quite literally involved a programmer sitting in front of a large board of switches, setting some to up (on/1) and some to down (off/0) one at a time…hardware manufacturers and software developers came up with the concept of assembly languages…Assembly languages gave a simple name to each possible operation that a given piece of hardware could carry out…and…allowed programmers to create software that was somewhat removed from the absolute binary nature of the machine and quite a bit easier to understand by reading…”
Leisure & Entertainment
27.    How a tech entrepreneur became a best-selling Amazon Kindle author  http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/19/how-a-tech-entrepreneur-became-a-best-selling-amazon-kindle-author/  “Matthew Mather…founded…Haptic Technologies Inc…and has worked on nanotech, genomics, and cybersecurity. He’s also the author of a chart-topping Amazon book that sold 40,000 copies in its first eight weeks of publication — and shot to the top spot in Amazon’s science fiction charts — by following a very strategic publishing and publicity model…an astonishing 27 of the top 100 books on Kindle are self-published. Here’s how Mather did it…Using his background in startups and his savvy as an entrepreneur, he created an 11-step program to market and launch the book…you need to start with good reviews and get early sales … the system feeds itself…Mather created the Shakespeare system, an 11-step process to get to number one…Serialize…Hook…Amazon only…Key networks…Empathy…Select Program on Amazon…Perceived value…Editing…All free posting sites…Reviews…Engage…You need to prepare beforehand and do it all at once, at launch day,” he told me. “I started at three AM, sent out three to four press releases, ran through the whole marketing program in 14 hours, and by the next day I was number one in science fiction…I talked to a lot of science fiction readers…A book from a big publisher is $10-15  … so people will pirate them. But if you price it at $2-3, they won’t…you’re better off in the end…”
28.    The book as we know it is dead  http://pandodaily.com/2012/12/16/the-book-as-we-know-it-is-dead/  “…For five thousand years, since the advent of writing on clay tablets in Mesopotamia…the book was considered to be…a set of written sheets of skin or paper or tablets…But…our very concept of a book is changing. Over the summer, for the first time, American publishers generated more revenue from ebooks than from hardcover books…startups and established companies…are experimenting with what exactly constitutes a book…The book is compact, reasonably durable, long lasting, and stores a lot of information. But…Text contained within two covers can’t be easily transferred, and readers are not able to instantly connect and discuss what they are reading. Pages are static and can’t be updated or corrected until the next print run…if you want to discuss it with someone you have to do that from outside the confines of its pages. These limitations spring from a book’s physical form…we have transposed these hardcover limitations on today’s digital books…copyright law hamstrings readers’ ability to share text, and new technologies tend to mirror what came before…My vision for the future of the book is wrapped up in a project I plan to self-publish…a full-length narrative non-fiction book…In addition to the adventure story…I’ll offer radio and video interviews with the pilots, schematics of the planes, maps, newsreel footage of their accomplishments, photos, movie trailers, and other documentation…I compiled a playlist of popular tunes and radio commercials from the 1930s and early 1940s and want readers to customize these song lists. Anyone who downloads the book…would be able to highlight and share passages they find appealing with friends and other readers…I’d like to add a wiki so that everyone from historians to hobbyists could add material – perhaps separate biographies for each of the characters and discussion of the planes and the technology of the era…every book could spawn a book club…Authors could insert a storefront in every book by linking to, say, Amazon…If you publish a book about grilling then you could endorse your favorite tongs or cookbooks, and get a commission on every sale you refer to Amazon…”
29.    Amazon May Cull Book Reviews To Improve Quality of System  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/technology/amazon-book-reviews-deleted-in-a-purge-aimed-at-manipulation.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0  “Giving raves to family members is no longer acceptable. Neither is writers’ reviewing other writers. But showering five stars on a book you admittedly have not read is fine. After several well-publicized cases involving writers buying or manipulating their reviews, Amazon is cracking down. Writers say thousands of reviews have been deleted from the shopping site in recent months…its sweeping but hazy purge has generated an uproar about what it means to review in an era when everyone is an author and everyone is a reviewer…The mystery novelist J. A. Konrath, for example, does not see anything wrong with an author indulging in chicanery. “Customer buys book because of fake review = zero harm,” he wrote on his blog…An ad hoc group of purists has formed on Amazon to track its most prominent reviewer, Harriet Klausner, who has over 25,000 reviews. They do not see how she can read so much so fast or why her reviews are overwhelmingly…exaltations…Once a populist gimmick, the reviews are vital to making sure a new product is not lost in the digital wilderness…Nowhere are reviews more crucial than with books, an industry in which Amazon captures nearly a third of every dollar spent…Several mystery writers…recently confessed to…manipulation under the general category of “sock puppets,”…In explaining its purge of reviews, Amazon has told some writers that “we do not allow reviews on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product…The explosion of reviews for “The 4-Hour Chef” by Timothy Ferriss shows how the system has evolved from something spontaneous to a means of marketing and promotion. On Nov. 20, publication day, dozens of highly favorable reviews immediately sprouted…he had sent several hundred review copies to fans and potential fans…Mr. Ferriss used Twitter and Facebook to ask for a review. “Rallying my readers,” he called it. Within an hour, 61 had complied. A few of his early reviews were written by people who admitted they had not read the book but were giving it five stars anyway because, well, they knew it would be terrific…Amazon, which published “The 4-Hour Chef,” offered this sole comment for this article: “We do not require people to have experienced the product in order to review…”
Economy and Technology
30.    What The Wirecutter tells us about the newfound power of affiliate links  http://pandodaily.com/2012/12/18/what-the-wirecutter-tells-us-about-the-newfound-power-of-affiliate-links/  “…gadgets recommendations site The Wirecutter…is run by a handful of people…that publishes only six to 12 posts a month, and is just over a year old…$600,000 of annual revenue…is far from inconsequential…the bulk of the revenue comes from Amazon and other affiliates, who pay The Wirecutter a small commission for referrals to their sites…as digital ad revenues flatline and publications cultivate more targeted audiences, they are becoming more important…The first wave of Web publishing has been dominated by business models that demand high turnover of content in order to gin up traffic…to attract advertisers…Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Gawker Media have done well with such a model. But there are signs of a shift in which affiliate links will play a significant role…Every time The Next Web publishes an article containing an affiliate link, it includes a disclaimer at the bottom, noting, “While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question.” It then directs readers to its Terms of Service for more details…Affiliate links work best when they’re matched to a specific audience, particularly if that audience happens to be in a buying mood…10 and 20 percent of visitors to The Wirecutter click on links…Banner ads on other sites…see an average click-through rate of just 0.25 percent…At Gizmodo, he grew tired of churning out blog posts in the name of pageviews. “There are two ways to have a publication…Highly curated and exhaustive…”
31.     AngelList and SecondMarket team up for legal, controlled look-alike to crowdfunding  http://pandodaily.com/2012/12/19/finally-angellist-and-secondmarket-team-up-for-legal-controlled-look-alike-to-crowdfunding/  “…SecondMarket and AngelList have teamed up to allow accredited investors to legally invest purely online on AngelList for the first time. Basically, it’s getting a head start on the JOBS Act while we wait for it to become law…last week…we wrote about Transcriptic’s wild seed round — the first company that used the partnership to round out its already successful, mega seed round. Founder Max Hodak described the experience by saying, “The Internet was just trying to throw money at us.”…Not every company will have such a barn-burner of an experience, but SecondMarket and AngelList are trying to replicate what worked in that case. Like Transcriptic, they are handpicking only companies that have a strong, well-known lead investor already, an easy to understand business, and some sort of momentum…”
32.    Longtime Microsoft Executive Craig Mundie to Retire in 2014  http://allthingsd.com/20121224/longtime-microsoft-executive-craig-mundie-cedes-strategy-post-to-retire-in-2014/  “Microsoft has quietly shifted Craig Mundie — its former chief research and strategy officer — to a new…role as “Senior Advisor to the CEO.”…Most of Mundie’s duties, including oversight of Microsoft Research and other technical strategy responsibilities, will now fall to Eric Rudder…the company’s chief technical strategy officer…Mundie had held the Chief Research and Strategy Officer title since Bill Gates announced his plan to cease working full-time at Microsoft back in 2006. Gates’s duties were split between Mundie and former Microsoft executive Ray Ozzie, who inherited Gates role as chief software architect…”
Design / DEMO
33.    Lightbank launches design fellowship, because “designers are the new hackers”  http://pandodaily.com/2012/12/18/lightbank-launches-design-fellowship-because-designers-are-the-new-hackers/  “…Lightbank partners have launched the Lightbank Design fellowship program. The three-month program is designed to allow promising young graphic designers — young in terms of either age or experience — to hone their skills and gain exposure to the world of technology by working alongside Lightbank’s more than 50 early-stage portfolio startups. Participants, aka “Fellows,” will be paid for their time and presumably have the inside track on permanent employment opportunities…The problem, according to Keywell, is two-fold. First, the midwest startup ecosystem suffers from an overall lack of technology-focused design talent…much of the top tech and design talent gravitates toward the two coasts. This program is intended to address this shortcoming by delivering frontline training to a new crop of aspiring designers three times a year…Second, the serial entrepreneur and investor believes there’s an entire population of design talent in other industries that wants to transition to the technology world but has no concept of where to begin and or how…”
34.    People People are Clearly Seeing Music  http://www.technologytell.com/gadgets/108072/people-people-are-clearly-seeing-music/  “Stockholm-based industrial design company People People has got…sound style…the group is currently working towards production of their transparent speaker box, a design unique to anything we’ve ever seen — classy, simple and beautiful. A tempered glass enclosure with aluminum edges seals dual 3-inch full-range drivers, a 6.5-inch subwoofer and the condensed pre-amp circuits. With only red and white leads connecting the speakers to the power source, you can literally see the relationship between each component…Americans relate to this Scandinavian aesthetic as ‘simplistic’ by our standards (think Ikea furniture or H&M fashions) where unnecessary factors are omitted during the design phase and the engineer promotes functionality over form…”
35.    Adobe acquires Behance, sets sights on community-driven Creative Cloud  http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/20/adobe-acquires-behance/  “…Adobe…has just announced its acquisition of Behance, the online portfolio community for creatives in a number of disciplines…Touting over 1 million active users and 90 million project views in the past month, Behance is an online repository for portfolios, feedback, inspiration and the hiring of creative pros. Adobe is planning to fully integrate the design community's wares into it's Creative Cloud arsenal "allowing members to seamlessly create content, seek feedback, showcase their work and distribute it across devices." For now, there won't be any changes for free and paid members of the Behance offerings, but Adobe is evaluating how to integrate the paid portions into Creative Cloud memberships with the free option from the community remaining as such…”
DHMN Technology
36.    Raspberry Pi Used To Replace A 30-Foot GSM Base Station And Create A Working Mobile Network  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/21/raspberry-pi-used-to-replace-a-30-foot-gsm-base-station-and-create-a-working-mobile-network/  “A Cambridge, U.K.-based consulting firm has managed to use the open source Raspberry Pi computer to replicate the functions normally performed by a 30-foot GSM cellular basestation to create a fully functional mobile network. Using two open source software programs, and a bit of off-the-shelf hardware kit DIY enthusiasts can get their hands on fairly easily, PA Consulting rolled their own mobile phone service. The system works by routing calls similar to the way they’d be handled by Skype, thanks to an open source program called FreeSWITCH, which also enables SMS communication and phones on the network to connect to the Internet…”
37.    3D Printing Technology & Healthcare  http://openhealthnews.com/hotnews/open-source-3d-printing-technology-healthcare  “…Over the past year, there has been a dramatic increase in the study and use of 3D printing technology by biotechnology firms and academia for possible use in tissue engineering applications. Building organs and body parts using 3D printing techniques, layers of living cells are deposited onto a gel medium or sugar matrix and slowly built up to form three dimensional structures. This field of biotech research has been variously referred to as organ printing, bio-printing, body part printing and computer-aided tissue engineering…Some of the most recent news clips or articles…about 3D printing in healthcare include the following…Cartilage Made Easy With Novel Hybrid Printer…Bioengineers use open source 3-D printer to create human organs…Surgeon Uses 3D Printer To Make Models Of Bone…3D-printed sugar network to help grow artificial liver…Read about other examples of 3D Printing in Medicine at 3DPrinter.net…”
38.    Turning a Raspberry Pi into a tiny Linux notebook  http://liliputing.com/2012/12/turning-a-raspberry-pi-into-a-tiny-linux-notebook.html  “…hacker Nathan Morgan decided to use the Raspberry Pi as the guts of a tiny laptop computer with a 3.5 inch display, a thumb-keyboard, solid state disk, and rechargeable batteries. He calls it the Pi-To-Go, and it’s a fully functional computer running Raspbian Linux. It gets up to 10 hours of battery life thanks to the low-power ARM-based processor and a reasonably large battery pack. The end product includes more than $400 in parts… so if you’re really just looking for a cheap Linux laptop, you’re probably better off buying an old netbook and installing Ubuntu on it…But there’s something incredibly cool about Morgan’s little computer, which features a 64GB solid state disk, a mini keyboard with an integrated touch area, a powered 7-port USB hub, and a 3D printed case. Morgan’s design also includes an LED which illuminates a Raspberry Pi logo on the back of the case…”
Open Source Hardware
39.    Open source and low cost RoBo 3D Printer  http://www.3ders.org/articles/20121219-open-source-and-low-cost-robo-3d-printer.html  “Another open source 3D printer is now on Kickstarter: the RoBo 3D Printer…has a cute Robot looking. It features a large print area 10 x 12 x 9 inch / 254 x 305 x 229 mm and claimed to be an easy-to-use and easy-to-assemble 3D printer…A RoBo 3D printer kit is priced at $475, including all the parts you need for building the machine. For $520 you can get a fully assembled and calibrated RoBo 3D printer…”
40.    Facebook’s first-ever hardware hackathon  http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/05/hardware-hackathon/  “…The hackathon’s goal is to create a set of open-source computer hardware building blocks — kind of like Lego for computing. These blocks would eventually be applied to real-world use cases in large data centers in ways that would boost energy efficiency, make repairs simpler, and reduce overall data center costs…The hackathon is a joint project between the OCP and Upverter, a DEMO-launched open-source hardware startup…Upverter founder Zac Homuth told VentureBeat via email that hackers in the upcoming event will be using Upverter’s software tools for the hackathon…The Open Compute Summit will take place at the Santa Clara Convention Center on January 16 and 17, 2012…”
41.     Open source attachment turns iPhone into a thermal imaging camera  http://www.techhive.com/article/2022395/this-open-source-attachment-turns-your-iphone-into-a-thermal-imaging-camera.html  “…Andy Rawson…put his IR-Blue device on Kickstarter so you can visually gauge temperatures at home…The IR-Blue is a Bluetooth-enabled thermal imaging device that comes equipped with a 64-zone non-contact infrared sensor array. You can use the device to quickly read the temperature of whatever you point it at, whether it be your hand, a computer heat sink, or a frying pan on the stove—and of course take a picture of it. The IR-Blue attaches to the back of your phone and it's compatible with iOS as well as Android. It’s also an open source project: The iPhone source code, firmware and Eagle design files for the Bluetooth 4 version are all available on GitHub. Andy says that the Android files are still being finalized and will be available soon…”
Open Source
42.    Detroit has become an open-source wireless technology guinea pig  http://www.mlive.com/business/detroit/index.ssf/2012/12/detroit_has_become_an_open-sou.html  “…Cass Corridor neighborhood of Detroit is becoming one big wireless communication access point, as part of the first phase of a new open source wireless networking technology being tested in the city. The network and its technology, called Commotion, is being built by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. The OTI plans to publicly release the open-source wireless technology in early 2013, after sufficiently testing it in Detroit. "The partners OTI works with in Detroit are not only self-provisioning connectivity for local residents, they're proofing out technologies that support free, safe, ubiquitous communications around the globe." Commotion creates decentralized wireless networks called “mesh networks,” by using a series of devices such as laptops and mobile phones. “The prototype network can potentially distribute Internet access to local residents, but even without a connection to the global Internet, Commotion allows neighbors to communicate with each other…”
43.    Stanford neurosurgeon launches new open-source medical journal built on a crowdsourcing modehttp://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2012/12/19/stanford-neurosurgeon-launches-new-open-source-medical-journal-built-on-a-crowdsourcing-model/  “Stanford neurosurgeon John Adler, MD, has launched a new open-source medical journal that leverages crowdsourcing to make scientific research more readily available to the general public…Curēus (pronounced “curious”) is an “open source” online medical journal that shares material, is available and free to anyone, and allows researchers to publish their findings at no cost within days – rather than the months or even years it typically takes for research to be made public. It’s built on a “crowdsourcing” platform that allows readers to rate material based on the article’s quality…”
Civilian Aerospace
44.    SpaceX's newest rocket hovers above launch pad in test flight  http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-spacex-grasshopper-reusable-rocket-20121224,0,3823929.story  “…it’s a little strange to see a rocket fire up its engines, blast off, and then hover in the air. But that’s exactly what Hawthorne rocket maker SpaceX pulled off with its 10-story Grasshopper…In a 29-second flight, the rocket burst into the sky, rose 131 feet, hovered and landed safely on the pad using thrust vector and throttle control…the Grasshopper has steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure…the Grasshopper…would be the first-ever fully reusable rocket — the Holy Grail in rocketry…The closest example of a reusable launch system is the retired space shuttle fleet, which were only partially reused after a tedious months-long overhaul…This test was completed Dec. 17 at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas…”
45.    Garvey Space Flies Suborbital Rocket Again in Mojave  http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/12/21/garvey-space-flies-suborbital-rocket-again-in-mojave/  “…NASA Launch Services Program (LSP)…has initiated a new high-altitude launch service for demonstration NanoSatellites. This service is intended to provide streamlined, introductory launch opportunities for the growing number of academic, business and research organizations that are developing CubeSat and NanoSat-class payloads. The first flight under this program took place on Saturday, Dec.8, and featured the Prospector 18D…suborbital reusable launch vehicle (sRLV)…previously flown three times by a team consisting of Garvey Spacecraft Corporation (GSC) and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)…Launch took place at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) test site outside of Mojave, Calif…the mission…verified the feasibility and value of having responsive, dedicated launch services for the emerging nanosat community…The P-18 is the latest in a series of GSC/CSULB test vehicles that are establishing the foundation for an operational nanosat launch vehicle (NLV) capability…”
46.    SpaceShipTwo practices flying with engines  http://news.discovery.com/space/spaceshiptwo-practices-flying-with-engines-121220.html  “SpaceShipTwo, a six-passenger, two-pilot spaceship owned by Virgin Galactic, completed a key flight test on Wednesday, gliding over the Californian Mojave Desert with its engine, fuel tank and thermal shielding on its wings for the first time. At least two more glide flights are planned before SpaceShipTwo makes its first powered flight…The flight test program is going to take a while because the very first flight isn't trying to go all the way up to the edge of space and just hang out there for 15 minutes and then come back down again. We're going to slowly go up and up, we'll see what we learn as we go, see how the vehicle responds to it as we go…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
47.    IIT Delhi & NVIDIA To Develop Exaflop Supercomputer  http://business-standard.com/india/news/nvidia-iit-delhi-tie-up-to-build-supercomputer/200040/on  “NVIDIA today announced that it is collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi…to establish a research lab to help the country reach its goal of achieving exascale computing by 2017…The development of exascale computing systems, which would be hundreds of times faster than most of today’s petascale systems, will enable innovation and breakthroughs in biology, earth sciences, genomics, life sciences, medicine, materials science, energy, national security, and many other scientific domains…IIT Delhi will provide the infrastructure for the Exascale Research Lab, including software and computing systems, and will maintain an active research program on exascale development and GPU computing. In addition to GPU accelerators, NVIDIA will provide access to its supercomputing and scientific application domain expertise…”
48.    How Intel secured the Chinese Exaflop Supercomputer Deal  http://vr-zone.com/articles/how-intel-secured-the-chinese-supercomputer-deal-feat.-ivy-bridge-ep--xeon-phi-/18457.html  “…in the next 18 months, Intel will power the world's most powerful supercomputer. Consisted out of approximately 100,000 Ivy Bridge-EP based Xeon E5's and 100,000 Xeon Phi boards (Knights Landing), the Chinese supercomputer should be the world's most powerful, reaching no less than 100 PFLOPS of compute power…approximately 10 times faster than the fastest supercomputer in 2011 and five times faster than the current fastest supercomputer. This project is heavily backed by the Chinese government and Ministry of Sciences, viewed as the system needed to aid the China space exploration…rising the health research to a new degree…start battling the older population, predict where to build cities, calculate the highway system…as well as wild projects such as intelligent license plates, real time traffic calculation to suggest preferred speed to reduce stoppages on the roads…This project was budgeted with around 100 million dollars for the processing power, which is a large sum indeed. However, given that Intel is placing almost the top-end Ivy Bridge-EP processors and top-of-the-line Xeon Phis, the budget starts to look small…100,000 Xeon E5 should retail for $250 million.  Xeon Phi would add additional $250-350 million, bringing a total for just the processing silicon north of half a billion dollars. This excludes motherboards, memory, storage, enclosure, cooling and just about anything else…financials aside, the Chinese supercomputer will be a majestic rig indeed, with over 200,000 pieces of silicon processing weather simulations, calculating Chinese space projects (manned missons to the Moon by 2020, Mars by 2025)…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
49.    Most anticipated tech products for 2013  http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/digital-crave/most-anticipated-tech-products-2013-011455921.html  “…chances are you want to know what cool things you might be playing with next year. Many of these are based purely on speculation, but that’s part of the fun…1. Xbox 720…2. PlayStation 4…3. Blackberry 10…4. Microsoft Surface Pro…5. iPad 5…6. Amazon Phone…7. Augmented reality glasses…8. Fujitsu Lifebook 2013…9. MIT’s folding car – The Hiroko…10. Smartphones that bend…”
50.    Five big stories for tech in 2013  http://news.cnet.com/8301-10797_3-57560095-235/five-big-tech-stories-to-watch-for-in-2013/  “…here are some predictions on the big tech trends we'll be writing about next year:  1. The competition reels in Apple…2. The IPO market heats up again, but not for consumer tech…3. Things get even more interesting at Microsoft…4. Facebook will continue to tick us off and we will continue to love it…5. Patents will still plague us, but solutions will emerge…”

*****

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