NEW NET Weekly List for 28 Aug 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 28 Aug 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.        How Facebook design tricks people into trading away privacy  http://boingboing.net/2012/08/26/how-facebook-design-tricks-peo.html  “On TechCrunch, Avi Charkham provides an excellent side-by-side comparison of an older Facebook design and the latest one, showing how the service has moved to minimize the extent to which its users are notified of the privacy "choices" they make when they interact with the service. The Facebook rubric is that people don't value their privacy ("privacy is dead, get over it,") and we can tell that because they demonstrate it by using Facebook. But really, Facebook is designed to minimize your understanding of the privacy trades you're making and your ability to make those trades intelligently. All privacy offers on FB are take-it-or-leave-it: you give up all your privacy to play Angry Birds, or you don't play Angry Birds. There's no "give up some of your privacy to play Angry Birds" offer, or "here's a game that's 95% as fun as Angry Birds but requires that you only yield up the most trivial facts of your life to play it" that we can test the market against. Charkham's five examples from the visual interface design are very good evidence that FB isn't a harbinger of the death of privacy; rather, it's a tribute to the power of deceptive hard-sell tactics to get people to make privacy trade-offs they wouldn't make in a fair deal…”
2.       Tripbirds relaunches as a ‘social hotel booking service’ based on Facebook and Instagram  http://thenextweb.com/apps/2012/08/28/tripbirds-relaunches-social-hotel-booking-service/  “Nobody has nailed ‘social travel’ yet, but someone will eventually,” Tripbirds co-founder Ted Valentin told me a few months ago. Last March, the company unveiled its social travel planning Web app in public beta, hoping to entice travelers worldwide to sign up and start planning trips based on recommendations they received from their friends (à la Gogobot, Trippy and Wanderfly). That didn’t quite work out the way Tripbirds was hoping, but rather than throw in the towel or keep hammering on a solution looking for a problem that hasn’t been (even partially) solved yet, the team decided to take the service offline and focus on one aspect of travel planning. Today, Tripbirds is unveiling the fruit of its labor. The website combines a traditional list of hotels with information from your social graph layered on top of it, allowing you to see where your Facebook friends have stayed and give you the ‘unofficial’ pictures of a hotel through Instagram photos…”
3.       Active in Cloud, Amazon Reshapes Computing  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/technology/active-in-cloud-amazon-reshapes-computing.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all  “Within a few years, Amazon.com’s creative destruction of both traditional book publishing and retailing may be footnotes to the company’s larger and more secretive goal: giving anyone on the planet access to an almost unimaginable amount of computing power. Every day, a start-up called the Climate Corporation performs over 10,000 simulations of the next two years’ weather for more than one million locations in the United States. It then combines that with data on root structure and soil porosity to write crop insurance for thousands of farmers. Another start-up, called Cue, scans up to 500 million e-mails, Facebook updates and corporate documents to create a service that can outline the biography of a given person you meet, warn you to be home to receive a package or text a lunch guest that you are running late. Each of these start-ups carries out computing tasks that a decade ago would have been impossible without a major investment in computers. Both of these companies, however, own little besides a few desktop computers. They and thousands of other companies now rent data storage and computer server time from Amazon, through its Amazon Web Services division, for what they say is a fraction of the cost of owning and running their own computers. “I have 10 engineers, but without A.W.S. I guarantee I’d need 60,” said Daniel Gross, Cue’s 20-year-old co-founder. “It just gets cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper.” He figures Cue spends something under $100,000 a month with Amazon but would spend “probably $2 million to do it ourselves, without the speed and flexibility…”
4.       Time Warner Cable invests $25M to build 1Gbps fiber network  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57501699-93/time-warner-cable-invests-$25m-to-build-1gbps-fiber-network/  “Time Warner Cable announced Tuesday a $25 million investment to expand its fiber broadband network to businesses in New York City. The new fiber network will be built in Brooklyn as well as to parts of Manhattan such as the Financial and Flatiron districts. Last year, Time Warner and the city of New York reached a franchise agreement in which Time Warner said it would expand its fiber network to areas that don't currently have access. The new service will offer speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, the company said in a press release (not yet available online). The company will target companies that have high data needs, such as design firms and technology companies…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        Apple wins $1-billion verdict vs. Samsung over smartphones  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577609810658082898.html  “Nine jurors delivered a sweeping victory to Apple Inc. in a…court battle against Samsung Electronics Co. awarding the Silicon Valley company $1.05 billion in damages…Jurors Friday found that Samsung infringed all but one of the seven patents at issue in the case…The damage award is shy of Apple's request for more than $2.5 billion…Apple filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against Samsung's products…the ruling…could shape how smartphones and tablets are designed and the fortunes of companies that make them. Apple's legal campaign is partly aimed at trying to beat back the gangbuster growth of Android, the operating system created by Google…In the second quarter, Android phones—which are made by many phone makers—represented 68% of smartphone shipments, while Apple's represented 17%...The only patent the jury found Samsung didn't infringe relates to design of a tablet. Throughout the trial, Samsung's lawyers frequently remarked that Apple shouldn't be given a monopoly on a rectangle with rounded corners…”  http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Apple-Samsung-Jury-Foreman-Says-Google-E-Mail-Was-3816620.php  “…The e-mails included an internal 2010 Samsung message describing how Google asked it to change the design of its products to look less like Apple’s…“Certain actors at the highest level at Samsung Electronics Co. gave orders to the sub-entities to actually copy,” Hogan said. “So the whole thing hinges on whether you think Samsung was actually copying. The thing that did it for us was when we saw the memo from Google telling Samsung to back away from the Apple design…The entity that had to do that actually didn’t back away,”…The Samsung e-mails presented as evidence during the trial included a Feb. 16, 2010, internal message describing minutes from a design meeting that was sent to “pass along only a few comments from Senior Designer Cho who went into the Google meeting yesterday,”…“Since it is too similar to Apple, make it noticeably different starting with the front side,”…referring to one of Samsung’s tablets…”
6.       Windows 8 phones home, tells Microsoft every time you install a program  http://www.extremetech.com/computing/135010-windows-8-phones-home-tells-microsoft-every-time-you-install-a-program  “Security researcher and blogger Nadim Kobeissi has uncovered evidence that Windows 8 doesn’t just keep a local log of installed programs — it phones home to tell Microsoft every time you install an application. This is a significant expansion of a technology Microsoft introduced in Internet Explorer 9, called SmartScreen. In IE9, Smartscreen was an optional feature that would warn users if they ran a program that wasn’t whitelisted/ lagged with a positive reputation according to Microsoft’s servers. It was part of a wider initiative to encourage developers to sign their code, and MS claimed that SmartScreen significantly reduced the chances of downloading and installing malicious malware. Redmond decided to up the ante in Windows 8. SmartScreen is now a system-wide defense technology, enabled by default, and it tracks every program/application install on every PC…”
7.        Is eye scan technology the future of airport security?  http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-eye-scan-technology-20120824,0,4993492.story  “Will the airport of the future be able to verify the identity of passengers with a quick eye scan? Aoptix Technologies Inc., a Campbell-based high-tech company, has developed iris scan technology the company hopes can be used by the Transportation Security Administration to verify passenger identification in a matter of seconds. To market, sell and develop such technology, Aoptix announced last week it had acquired $42 million in additional funding from investors, bringing the total amount it has raised to $123 million since it launched in 2000. Aoptix’s scanning technology is already used to identify passengers coming in and out of the international departure lounge at London’s Gatwick Airport and for border control in Qatar…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
8.       Verizon and Sprint kill the Google Nexus experience, stick with GSM model  http://www.zdnet.com/verizon-and-sprint-kill-the-google-nexus-experience-stick-with-gsm-model-7000003176/  “I suspended my Verizon account for 90 days while I focused on funding my new AT&T account with the Nokia Lumia 900 and tried to figure out what I would do with my Verizon account (buy a new iPhone, Windows Phone 8, Jelly Bean, or BlackBerry 10 device). The 90 days is up so I just reactivated my service yesterday, I still have grandfathered unlimited data, and was blown away that there is still NO Android Jelly Bean update for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I now am much more sympathetic to Jason Perlow's frustration with Android and as CNET's Maggie Reardon stated on Friday there is still now word on when, and even if, Verizon or Sprint will release Jelly Bean for the Nexus. Google revealed Jelly Bean in June and then back in early July the update started rolling out to GSM/HSPA+ devices. Thus, AT&T and T-Mobile customers are able to experience Jelly Bean on their Galaxy Nexus, just as intended for the Nexus line. The upcoming T-Mobile unlimited data plan combined with a GSM Galaxy Nexus looks to be an even more attractive option now. I buy Galaxy Nexus devices with the intent of rooting them and installing custom ROMs so I do have Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus. However, the average consumer shouldn't be required to hack their phone to get the latest and greatest version of the operating system on their Nexus device and the lack of timely updates through Sprint and Verizon is unacceptable…”
9.       Amazon Kindle Fire 2 launch set for Sept. 6?  http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/tablets/amazon-kindle-fire-2-launch-set-for-september-6-1093278  “In a cryptic note sent to members of the media, Amazon extended its hospitality to an airport hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. on Sept. 6 where it may or may not unveil the Kindle Fire 2. The text on the invitation is scant: "Please join us for an Amazon Press Conference." The just-outside Los Angeles soiree could be for any number of things, but industry insiders anticipate a big announcement to echo through the hangar's halls. Though Amazon is cheekily keeping the details under wraps, the most obvious assumption would be the unveiling of a new generation of Kindle Fire tablets. TechRadar reported back in June that Amazon teased a new 7-inch and an unheard of 10-inch Kindle Fire 2 model, with a source reporting both could see the light of day sometime this summer. The 10-inch tab is reportedly set to run a more powerful, "more competent" quad-core processor while both large-display devices are said to be made of higher-quality materials and sport more ergonomic designs…”
10.     Fujitsu Ultrabooks U772 and UH572 launched  http://tech2.in.com/news/notebooks/fujitsu-ultrabooks-u772-and-uh572-launched/396112  “Fujitsu has launched two Ultrabooks - Lifebook U772 and Lifebook UH572. As per an official statement, the new Ultrabooks combine access to the latest mobile computing technology with the power and connectivity to support all-day mobile working. Fujitsu claims to be the first vendor to ship a new-generation Ultrabook with business class, enterprise-standard features such as Intel vPro technology. It also offers mobile security with features such as a fingerprint sensor and full disk encryption (FDE) SSDs…The new flagship Fujitsu Lifebook U772 Ultrabook is designed to appeal to employees who are now able to choose their own computer because of “Bring Your Own Device” initiatives in the corporate workplace. The company adds that the Lifebook U772 combines the portability and almost instant boot up time of a tablet with the power and usability of a traditional notebook, giving business users the best of both worlds. The Ultrabook comes with an optional port replicator, which provides easy docking and connection to the corporate network and peripherals. The 14-inch Lifebook U772 is less than 16mm thin and weighs 1.4kg. It comes with a red or silver shell and a frameless display. The Lifebook U772 notebook is secured by Advanced Theft Protection technology with Intel Anti-Theft and Absolute Computrace features, making it possible to remotely locate a lost or stolen device, and to copy or delete data remotely…The Lifebook U772 offers optional built-in 3G/ UMTS or 4G/ LTE support to guarantee mobile connectivity even when outside the range of Wi-Fi hotspots, and a strong magnesium shell, which the company claims makes it tough enough to survive the daily knocks from being carried around in a handbag or backpack. It also features an Anytime USB Charge functionality, because of which there is no need to leave a Fujitsu Ultrabook running overnight just to power-up mobile devices such as smartphones…”
11.      How Free Apps Can Make More Money Than Paid Apps  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/26/how-free-apps-can-make-more-money-than-paid-apps/  “While building apps for Apple and Android app stores can be highly lucrative ventures for developers, one of the hardest decisions an app developer has to make is how to get the app to pay for itself. Often the “monetization strategy” — shorthand for “how will this app make money?” — is left for last. It’s hard enough to get discovered by consumers among the millions of already existing apps, not to mention convince people to buy it. People increasingly prefer free, ad-supported apps for their tablets and smartphones, yet many developers still aren’t sure how to tackle the free vs. paid issue. Deciding when to charge for your app, and when to try an ad-supported model, is one of the hardest decisions developers must make. Developers have several monetization options available, each with its own requirements and pitfalls. Before moving forward with a strategy though, there are a few of questions an app developer should explore in order to answer the ultimate question, “how can I monetize my app?”…As app markets across platforms explode, developers are talking to each other to determine the best type of monetization model to use. Most will tell you it’s a choice among four major options: 1.  selling your app in the app store…2.  offering a free, subscription-supported app…3.  offering a free app, with in-app purchases…4.  offering a free, ad-supported app…But the choice really boils down to two strategies: getting paid by users or getting paid by advertisers…”
12.     Flipboard Hits 20 Million Users, 3 Billion Flips Per Month  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/28/flipboard-hits-20-million-users-3-billion-flips-per-month/  “…remember when Flipboard had 5 million users? That was the official figure at the end of last year. It was also the number that came out just as the social magazine app was launching on iPhone, after having previously been an iPad-only app. And it was also six months before the app arrived on Android. Well, apparently, the move to the smartphone platform has been good for the company’s growth – today, Flipboard is announcing new metrics, including a jump to 20 million users and a reach of over 3 billion flips per month. The flips per month figure is an indication of in-app activity. Readers in the app turn pages with their fingers and each of these page-turns is designated as one “flip.” Before the iPhone app’s release, the company was seeing 650 million flips per month. After, it was trending towards 2 billion flips per month. Now cross-platform, it has climbed again to 3 billion. 1.5 million users log in daily, and they spend , on average, 86 minutes per month in the app. Nice metrics, if you can get ‘em, right? 75% of readers connect their social networks in Flipboard, and perform a total of 14.5 million social actions (favoriting, liking, sharing, etc.) in the app per month…”
13.     SkyDrive for Android phones now available  http://windowsteamblog.com/skydrive/b/skydrive/archive/2012/08/28/skydrive-for-android-phones-now-available.aspx  “A few weeks ago we announced our intention to release an official SkyDrive app for Android phones. Today we’re excited to announce that the app is now available for download. We want to ensure that you’re able to have your files accessible across the various devices you use—so it’s important that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day. This new app for Android is similar to our mobile apps for Windows Phone and iOS and is a key part of making sure your SkyDrive files are accessible and shareable from all your devices. In building the new SkyDrive app for Android, we wanted to ensure we kept the same intuitive design of all SkyDrive experiences while also making use of Android design patterns and conventional interactions, so this feels natural for people with Android phones. In this release, SkyDrive is available for Android phones with access to Google Play. The new app is designed to work best with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)—though it’s also fully functional on Android 2.3 and above…”
14.     Google's Nexus 7 tablet pops up in rare home-page ad  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57501546-94/googles-nexus-7-tablet-pops-up-in-rare-home-page-ad/  “Google really wants people to take a look at its Nexus 7 tablet. The $199 tablet started popping up on Google's home page today, a rare instance in which Google is actively promoting one of its own products. It's similar to the way Amazon's front page is often dominated by Kindle advertising. That Google would go to such lengths underscores the company's desire to make a bigger dent in the burgeoning tablet market, one still dominated by Apple's iPad. Given the traffic that goes through Google, the home page would be one of the most coveted spots on the Web for advertisers. The company, however, has traditionally resisted attempts to run advertisements for paid products on its main page. Only the top part of the Nexus 7 peeks out in a tease, along with a link to the 8GB version in its Google Play store…”
15.     Google Makes Voter Registration Easy With TurboVote Partnership  http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/08/google-makes-voter-registration-easy-with-turbovote-partnership/  “…Today Google announced the launch of its Online Voter Guide, a portal that allows Google users to register to vote easily. In addition to its YouTube Elections Hub and its Google Politics & Elections site, this page will provide easy access to TurboVote, which lets you register to vote, vote by mail, and sign up for emails and texts about the upcoming election. TurboVote breaks voter registration down into a few clickable steps. “To make it easy to navigate the rules and deadlines about registering to vote and how to vote by mail, we put together an online voter guide…”
16.     Search Google Drive Via Chrome’s Omnibox  http://www.conceivablytech.com/10306/products/search-google-drive-via-chromes-omnibox  “…Some time ago, Google tricked me into using its CloudConnect app, (not that I regret it entirely) a handy solution that automatically stores Microsoft Office documents in Google Drive (previously simply in the Google Docs folder). Since I love to write and writing significantly contributes to our household income, CloudConnect  is the main reason why there are thousands of documents, the majority of them being outdated and rather useless today, stored in my Google Drive. I am probably not the only one who thinks that handling and managing Google Drive could and should be easier. One change recently arrived courtesy of François Beaufort, a developer at Trapeze Media and a Chrome enthusiast. He posted the OmniDrive Extension in the Chrome Web Store and is offering probably the most useful feature for Google Drive users that Google should have introduced with Drive right away. Following the installation of Drive, users cans imply type “drive” in the omnibox and then search the contents of Drive directly from the location bar without having to actively browse to Google Drive and use the search bar over there. For people like me, this is an incredibly useful feature…”
17.     Google Wallet to challenge iPhone Passbook by storing ID, boarding passes  http://www.mobileburn.com/20371/news/google-wallet-to-challenge-ios-passbook-with-id-boarding-passes-and-more  “Aside from the payment and loyalty card information that Google Wallet already stores, Google hopes to include boarding passes, identification cards, and everything you'd find in a normal wallet. In a Q&A session hosted on YouTube, Robin Dua, head of product management for Google Wallet, said that Google wants Wallet to go beyond just mobile payments. The company hopes to be the tool used to store all relevant consumer information, including gift cards, travel itineraries, concert tickets, and more. When asked how Google would go beyond its current payment options, Dua said: "One of the types of things we're trying to do is make it easy for airlines, transit providers, and other types of issuers of credentials to make it super simple for them to get their credentials stored in the wallet...That's the goal. We want you to be able to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone and transact with that as your primary transaction device." Google initially pitched Wallet as a way to ease the purchase process in stores. The company now says it envisions Wallet growing to the point that it can be an actual replacement for a wallet, and it will need to do more than just buy sandwiches and coffee for that to happen…”
General Technology
18.     'Solid smoke' material aerogel gets added strength  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19323091  “Aerogels have been around for a long time, and have been described as "solid smoke" because they are so light. But these traditional types - made from silica - are fragile and brittle. By altering the composition and structure of these materials, scientists have now produced aerogels that are hundreds of times stronger…Scientists use polymers, a plastic-like material, to reinforce the networks of silica that extend throughout an aerogel's structure…The new aerogels are up to 500 times stronger than their silica counterparts…A thick piece actually can support the weight of a car. And they can be produced in a thin form, a film so flexible that a wide variety of commercial and industrial uses are possible." She said the new types of aerogel could yield highly insulating clothing that would keep people warm with less bulk than traditional "thermal" garments. It could also potentially be used in the walls of fridges and freezers, reducing their thickness and increasing storage space…”
19.     Microsoft revamps logo for 1st time in 25 years  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018975749_apusmicrosoftnewlogo.html  “Microsoft's corporate logo has a new look, setting the stage for a wave of products designed to cast the world's largest software maker in a new light. The makeover unveiled Thursday marks the first time that Microsoft Corp. has revamped its logo since February 1987. The Internet was barely around then, and cellphones were considered a luxury. At the time, Microsoft was putting the finishing touches on the second version of its Windows operating system. Two of Microsoft's biggest nemeses - Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin - were just 13 years old. And Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs was just in the second year of an 11-year exile from the company that went on to invent the iPod, iPhone and iPad after he returned. By revamping its logo, Microsoft is trying to signal that it has changed its thinking and its products to cater to people who are interacting with technology much differently than just a decade ago, let alone a quarter century…”
20.    IBM Unveils New Mainframe Running on World's Fastest Microprocessor  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409036,00.asp  “IBM may not be releasing a new smartphone or tablet any time soon, but is making headlines with today's introduction of a new line of mainframe computers that the manufacturer calls its "most powerful and technologically advanced ever." The zEnterprise EC12 mainframe server is designed to allow users to quickly and securely sift through hoards of data, which should be a cinch, considering the 5.5GHz microprocessor powering the zEC12 is the fastest chip in the world, according to IBM. Blood, sweat, and more than $1 billion in IBM research spending at 18 global labs was put into developing the zEC12, which the company touts as one of the most secure enterprise systems ever courtesy of its Common Creteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ security classification. It also carries a tamper-resistant cryptographic co-processor…”
21.     Brother's new speedy, pretty inkjet is a printer to get excited about  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/08/brothers-new-wi.php  “…we don't buy printers for their looks. We buy them for their ability to print, scan and copy as fast and painless as possible so we can get on with our lives. Brother's new Business Smart MFC-J4510DW printer challenges drab conventional printer design with a minimal and unassuming body, ultra fast color printing thanks to a landscape printing process and a touchscreen that actually works. Ignore the ridiculous model name — seriously, why can't anyone drop the long strings of letters and numbers already? — and you'll find something that's rare for a printer: elegant design. The MFC-J4510DW doesn't look like much with its stacked chassis, but that's exactly the point. Brother designed this printer to fit into your home, do it's job and not stick out like a sore thumb (made of excess plastic). As with premium home electronics and appliances, Brother believes that the printer should not only provide superb performance, but also beautiful design. You hear that HP? Beautiful design. For printers. It goes without saying that the MFC-J4510DW is a looker, for printer standards. How many times have you ever heard anyone call a printer out for its aesthetics?...Like most printers today, the MFC-J4510DW has a 3.7-inch touchscreen, but the difference is that it's buttery smooth when it comes to responsiveness. It swipes and scrolls as well as your iPhone or Android. As part of the company's philosophy to simplify the user experience and make printers as intuitive and straight-forward as possible, the MFC-J4510DW has a touch-sensitive number keypad that lights up only when an action requires it and turns off when you don't. A little convenience can really go a long way. Whereas most printers usually stow their ink cartridges deep within the printer, the MFC-J4510DW's ink carts are easily accessible in a little hatch in the lower right corner of the front of the machine…”  [Have you owned a Brother printer recently? If so, how did you like it compared to your experiences with HP? This Brother prints 11 x 17s – what competitor printers would you recommend that do 11 x 17s? – ed.]
22.    'Cyborg' Tissues: Merging Engineered Human Tissues With Bio-Compatible Nanoscale Wires  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120826143610.htm   “Harvard scientists have, for the first, time created a type of "cyborg" tissue by embedding a three-dimensional network of functional, bio-compatible nanoscale wires into engineered human tissues. As described in a paper published August 26 in Nature Materials, a multi-institutional research team led by Charles M. Lieber, the Mark Hyman, Jr. Professor of Chemistry at Harvard and Daniel Kohane, a Harvard Medical School professor in the Department of Anesthesia at Children's Hospital Boston developed a system for creating nanoscale "scaffolds" which could be seeded with cells which later grew into tissue…Beginning with a two-dimensional substrate, researchers laid out a mesh of organic polymer around nanoscale wires, which serve as the critical nanoscale sensing elements. Nanoscale electrodes, which connect the nanowire elements, were then built within the mesh to enable nanowire transistors to measure the activity in cells without damaging them. Once complete, the substrate was dissolved, leaving researchers with a net-like sponge or a mesh that can be folded or rolled into a host of three dimensional shapes. Once complete, the networks were porous enough to allow the team to seed them with cells and encourage those cells to grow in 3D cultures…” [hello, Dr. Frankenstein? – ed.]
23.    AMD Trying to Bridge the Gap Between X86 and ARM  http://www.pcworld.com/article/261559/amd_trying_to_bridge_the_gap_between_x86_and_arm.html  “Advanced Micro Devices is taking steps to bridge the gap between x86 and ARM processors, and hopes to build a foundation from which programs will operate on mobile devices like tablets independent of architecture…The company is espousing the development of tools that blur the line between processor and accelerator engines inside a chip, Papermaster said. Programmers will be able to write a program once, which will then be executable either across x86 or ARM CPUs, or other graphics processors and accelerators tied to security, video or data compression. The ability to bring a variety of processing engines and programs will result in higher levels of realism and interactivity on tablets, Papermaster said. A combination of client and cloud will bring real-time interaction, and the processing engines will be needed to bring natural interactivity through touch, voice and gestures, Papermaster said. The CPU is just one engine, and devices will require more processing units to handle the massive amounts of incoming data. AMD is already taking steps in that direction by opening up its chip design to support external processing cores. For example, the company in June said it would combine its x86 processor with ARM's Cortex-A5 processor with TrustZone security technology on a single chip for tablets and PCs…”
Leisure & Entertainment
24.    Gaming performance with today's CPUs; does the processor you choose still matter?  http://techreport.com/articles.x/23246  “As you may know, a while back, we came to some difficult realizations about the validity of our methods for testing PC gaming performance. In my article Inside the second: A new look at game benchmarking, we explained why the widely used frames-per-second averages tend to obscure some of the most important information about how smoothly a game plays on a given system. In a nutshell, the problem is that FPS averages summarize performance over a relatively long span of time. It's quite possible to have lots of slowdowns and performance hiccups during the period in question and still end up with an average frame rate that seems quite good. In other words, the FPS averages we (and everyone else) had been dishing out to readers for years weren't very helpful—and were potentially misleading. To sidestep this shortcoming, we proposed a new approach, borrowed from the world of server benchmarking, that focuses on the actual problem at hand: frame latencies. By considering the time required to render each and every frame of a gameplay session and finding ways to quantify the slowdowns, we figured we could provide a more accurate sense of true gaming performance—not just the ability to crank out lots of frames for high averages, but the more crucial ability to deliver frames on time consistently. Some good things have happened since we proposed our new methods. We've deployed them in a host of graphics card reviews, and they have proved their worth, helping to uncover some performance deficiencies that would have otherwise remained hidden. In response to your feedback, we've refined our means of quantifying the latency picture and presenting the info visually. A few other publications have noticed what we're doing and adjusted their own testing methods; even more have quietly inquired about the possibility behind the scenes…”
25.    The Oatmeal has raised over $1.1M for a Nikola Tesla museum  http://venturebeat.com/2012/08/26/oatmeal-tesla-tower/  “Web comic The Oatmeal has raised an extraordinary $1.1 million on Indiegogo to build a museum dedicated to influential inventor Nikola Tesla. The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman announced a little more than a week ago that he would attempt to raise money to save the site of the Wardenclyffe Tower. This tower in Shoreham, N.Y. was Tesla’s incomplete masterpiece intended for trans-Atlantic wireless power transmission. While the tower has since been demolished, Inman and others want the 16-acre site for a museum. The United States doesn’t have a Tesla museum, so a “Nikola Tesla Science Center” sounds like a smart idea. The project has raised more than $1 million in nine days, and it now has more than $1.1 million in funds. The project still has 35 days to go, so you can still donate…”
26.    Amazon’s Kindle-Only Titles Downloaded Over 100M Times  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/28/amazons-kindle-only-titles-downloaded-over-100m-times/  “…Amazon has been crunching its own internal data this week in order to tout the traction surrounding its various products. Only yesterday, the company was talking about numbers related to its Prime two-day delivery, and today it’s boasting about Kindle title downloads. The company now says that its Kindle-exclusive books have been downloaded over 100 million times, and the number of exclusives in its Lending Library catalog has grown to include 180,000 books. That’s up from the 130,000 titles it had in April, for comparison purposes, and up from the 75,000 books it had in January. Although the number is, on the surface, just referring to the growth of Amazon’s exclusive Kindle catalog, in reality it’s also another metric related to Amazon Prime – the membership program which lets users pay on annual basis for access to faster shipping and unlimited video streaming, among other things. Amazon Prime members can borrow these Kindle-exclusive titles from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and according to Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content, customers have been doing just that, in droves. “They’re super popular,” he says, “in less than a year they’ve been downloaded more than 100 million times.” In January, Amazon was talking about the 75,000 ebooks it had available in the Lending Library, and these were being downloaded at a rate of around 300,000 per month. In November, there were just 5,000 ebooks in the Library. But as the library grew, so did the downloads…”
27.    Music streaming Grooveshark app back in Google Play  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57502151-93/music-streaming-grooveshark-app-back-in-google-play/  “Music streaming service Grooveshark, whose app was once booted after its the company became too controversial, said it recently worked with Google to remove illegal apps that were doing something even more alarming -- letting users download music for free. As a result, the Grooveshark app has been allowed back into the store. Google unceremoniously pulled Grooveshark from the store more than a year ago. The online service lets users upload songs and then share them with other users, which upset some in the music industry. After its ejection, Grooveshark noticed that other apps illegally using Groveshark's name were allowing users to download music for free, something Grooveshark claims it doesn't do. Grooveshark brought the matter to Google to get the issue resolved…”         
Economy and Technology
28.    Isis Mobile-Payment System To Debut In September After Delays  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-28/isis-mobile-payment-system-to-debut-in-september-after-delays.html  “Isis, the mobile-payment joint venture backed by AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA Inc., is on track for a debut in September, following months of delays and a change in strategy last year. VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY), a maker of payment terminals that is working on the project, is preparing for an introduction in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, next month, Chief Executive Officer Doug Bergeron said in an interview. Isis, which will let users pay for items at stores using their mobile phones, had previously planned to roll out the service in the first half of 2012. The joint venture tweaked its strategy last year, opting to use credit-card companies to handle transactions rather than the carriers themselves, and it’s taken time to ensure that payments can be made securely. “The focus has been: Get it right, make sure it’s secure,” Brad Duea, senior vice president of product management at T-Mobile USA, said in an interview. Isis joins a growing cast of competitors, including Google Inc. and EBay Inc., in vying to capitalize on mobile-payment transactions, which Juniper Research Ltd. expects to rise almost fourfold in total volume to more than $1.3 trillion by 2017. The payment system relies on near field communication, or NFC, a technology that lets users tap a phone on a cash register to make a payment…”
29.    Kleiner Perkins joins Rock Health in sponsoring digital health startups  http://gigaom.com/2012/08/28/kleiner-perkins-joins-rock-health-in-sponsoring-digital-health-startups/  “Venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers will be teaming up with the incubator program Rock Health to sponsor digital health startups trying to disrupt the health care industry. The tandem announced Tuesday that they are increasing the cash delivered to individual startups in the program to $100,000. Kleiner’s investment comes as overall investment in the healthcare sphere increases, with the impact of cloud and tablet technology making its mark in a traditionally more staid field. In June, a study by Rock Health found that investors had already poured $675 million into healthcare companies receiving $2 million or more in investments, compared with $968 million for similar companies the previous year. And according to financial services firm Burrill & Company, digital health financing climbed 317 percent in the first half of 2012. Over the past two years, Rock Health has supported 35 digital health start-ups in San Francisco and Boston…”
DHMN Technology
30.    Arduino gets new remote management possibilities  http://www.itworld.com/open-source/291353/arduino-gets-new-remote-management-possibilities  “Users of the Arduino open-source platform for home electronics do-it-yourselfers can now sign up for a communication service from the Spanish mobile phone provider Télefonica that lets them manage their projects remotely. The service also requires an updated Arduino GSM/GPRS Shield that allows users to establish TCP communication with their boards over a GPRS network. The updated version of the shield was announced at Campus Party, an electronic entertainment event being held in Berlin Friday and Saturday. The shield will be shown at Campus Party but does not yet appear to be available for sale. Arduino is an open-source hardware platform based on a microcontroller board as well as a development environment for writing software. Enthusiasts use it for building and controlling small home electronics projects that can have many purposes. A geeky gardener who is worried about keeping up with watering the plants for instance can use Arduino to control sensors that help care for an indoor garden. An Arduino-based system can water the plants only when they're thirsty, turn on supplemental lights based on how much natural sunlight is received and alert the gardener if the temperature drops below a plant-healthy level…”
31.     3D printers: 10 machines for home manufacturing  http://www.techrepublic.com/photos/3d-printers-10-machines-for-home-manufacturing/6379767  “The age of being able to print off anything - from washing machine parts to shoes - in your home is approaching. For years 3D printers, which build solid objects layer by layer using computer models, came with a price tag that made them unaffordable to anyone outside big business. However in recent years homebrew 3D printer projects such as RepRap in the UK and Fab@Home have demonstrated it's possible to build a 3D printer for about $1,000. Today, there are a slew of 3D printers aimed at the home market, many of which are based on the open-source RepRap printers. TechRepublic has rounded up 10 machines for fabricating items at home. 3D printing noobs should be aware that not only do many of these machines ship as kits that have to be built by the user, most are more complicated to operate than your standard 2D printer. Running costs are also not cheap. Most of the printers build objects using filament, typically made of ABS or PLA plastics. A one-kilogram coil of these plastics costs in the region of $70…”
32.    3D Composites Can Make Parts Cheaper  http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=248157&f_src=designnews_gnews  “Engineers at the University of Exeter have devised a new method for making aircraft and automotive components for short money using additive manufacturing techniques (a frequent topic on our site) and aluminum powders. Three-dimensional aluminum metal matrix composite components are made by mixing a combination of relatively inexpensive powders to cause a reaction and rapid solidification. This productes particles as small as 50nm to 100nm that are distributed uniformly throughout the composite and strengthen it. A reactive reinforcing material, such as iron oxide, also contributes to the composite's strength. Liang Hao, a lecturer at the University of Exeter's College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences, and Sasan Dadbakhsh, a doctoral candidate there, developed the technique in the university's Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing. They say the material and the manufacturing method can produce lightweight parts such as pistons, drive shafts, suspension components, and brake discs for cars and airplanes…”
33.    Melting plastic powder together, one layer at a time  http://hackaday.com/2012/07/27/melting-plastic-powder-together-one-layer-at-a-time/  “Here’s an interesting development in the world of 3D printers: A rapid prototyping machine that melts plastic powder together to create objects with extremely good resolution. The Blueprinter works by drawing a 0.1 mm thick layer of plastic powder over the build platform. After that, a very hot needle-shaped probe melts the plastic together. This process continues at a rate of 10mm an hour on the z axis, and a very precise plastic model eventually appears in the powder. There is no price ( or solid release date ) for the Blueprinter, but this 3ders.org article from earlier this year tells us the price for the machine will be €9,995, with a material cost of €49 per kg. Pricey, yes, but seeing as how the RepRap community already has the techniques behind melting plastic down pat, it might now be too hard to build your own plastic sintering printer…”
34.    FoldaRap: The Folding 3D Printer  http://technologywillsaveus.org/2012/07/foldarap-the-folding-3d-printer/  “…The FoldaRap is an open-source 3d-Printer, easy to assemble, and most important : foldable to bring it anywhere! Main features : Foldable…Made with robust aluminium extrusions…Max print volume of 140 x 140 x 140 mm (consumable : PLA filament of 1,75mm)…Easy to assemble…All the electronics are safely enclosed in the base, connected via USB…Works with open-source softwares that run on windows, mac, linux…Use common standards formats of the industry (STL, AMF, OBJ)…Maker Emmanuel Gilloz is driven by his experience at 3D printing meetups, where people carefully transport their assembled machines together and learn 3D printing by doing it. 3D printers of today are generally not that transportable and now Gilloz has addressed the issue, and quite nicely too. Small enough to fit in our hand luggage if you so wish!! FoldaRap is now a fundraising project on Ulule, where Gilloz hopes to raise €6500, but currently he’s well beyond that…”
35.    The 'chemputer' that could print out any drug  http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/21/chemputer-that-prints-out-drugs  “Professor Lee Cronin is a likably impatient presence, a one-man catalyst. "I just want to get stuff done fast," he says. And: "I am a control freak in rehab." Cronin, 39, is the leader of a world-class team of 45 researchers at Glasgow University, primarily making complex molecules. But that is not the extent of his ambition. A couple of years ago, at a TED conference, he described one goal as the creation of "inorganic life", and went on to detail his efforts to generate "evolutionary algorithms" in inert matter. He still hopes to "create life" in the next year or two. At the same time, one branch of that thinking has itself evolved into a new project: the notion of creating downloadable chemistry, with the ultimate aim of allowing people to "print" their own pharmaceuticals at home. Cronin's latest TED talk asked the question: "Could we make a really cool universal chemistry set? Can we 'app' chemistry?" "Basically," he tells me, in his office at the university, with half a grin, "what Apple did for music, I'd like to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs."…A couple of years ago, Cronin was invited to an architectural seminar to discuss his work on inorganic structures. He had been looking at the way crystals grew "inorganic gardens" of tube-like structures between themselves. Among the other speakers at that conference was a man explaining the possibilities of 3D printing for conventional architectural forms. Cronin wondered if you could apply this 3D principle to structures at a molecular level. "I didn't want to print an aeroplane, or a jaw bone," he says. "I wanted to do chemistry."…He shows me the printer, a nondescript version of the £1,200 3D printer used in the Fab@Home project, which aims to bring self-fabrication to the masses. After a bit of trial and error, Cronin's team discovered that it could use a bathroom sealant as a material to print reaction chambers of precisely specified dimensions, connected with tubes of different lengths and diameters. After the bespoke miniature lab had set hard, the printer could then inject the system reactants, or "chemical inks", to create sequenced reactions. The "inks" would be simple reagents, from which more complex molecules are formed. "If I was being facetious I would say that to find your inks you would go to the periodic table: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and so on," Cronin says, "but obviously you can't handle all those substances very well, so it would have to be a bit more complex than that. If you were looking to make a sugar, for example, you would start with your set of base sugars and mix them together. When we make complex molecules in the traditional way with test tubes and flasks, we start with a smaller number of simpler molecules." As he points out, nearly all drugs are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, as well as readily available agents such as vegetable oils and paraffin. "With a printer it should be possible that with a relatively small number of inks you can make any organic molecule," he says…The scale and architecture of the miniature printed "lab" could be pre-programmed into software and downloaded for use with a standard set of inks. In this way, not only the combinations of reactants but also the ratios and speed at which they combine could be ingrained into the system, simply by changing the size of reaction chambers and their relation with one another; Cronin calls this "reactionware" or, because it depends on a conceptualised sequence of flow and reorientation in a 3D space, "Rubik's Cube chemistry". "What we are trying to do is to combine the notion of a reaction with a reactor," he says. "Conventionally the reactor is just the passive space or the environment in which a reaction takes place. It could be something as simple as a test tube. The printer allows it to be a far more active context…”
Open Source Hardware
36.    Can Open Source Hardware Companies Survive Clones?  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/24/can-open-source-hardware-companies-survive-clones/  “In theory, this Kickstarter project aiming to sell a sub-$2,000 MakerBot clone shouldn’t be that much of a big deal. The MakerBot Replicator, one of the first (and best) home 3D printers in the world, is an open source product, and as such, anyone with a little wood, some soldering experience, and a dream should be able to build one – or a hundred and one. But in practice the Kickstarted project, called the TangiBot, is nearly an exact replica of the MakerBot. What happens when an open source project begets its competitors and, more important, what does it mean for the open source hardware ethos in general if people flock to copies at the expense of the original? The TangiBot, built by Matt Strong, is supposed to be “a clone of a popular open source 3D Printer” with “the same performance and features at a roughly 33% discount.” He aims to sell it at $1,299 for a dual extruder model (so you can print in two colors simultaneously). Compare this to $1,999 for a dual-extruder MakerBot. Strong will find his savings by manufacturing in bulk in China, something MakerBot has thus far avoided. “Just to be clear, there is nothing illegal, sneaky or underhanded going on here. Everything is legal and fair. This is simply the way open source designs work…”  http://www.wired.com/design/2012/08/tangibot-makerbot-clone/
37.    Beautiful Eventorbot: A new open-source 3D printer  http://www.3dprinter.net/beautiful-eventorbot  “Here’s yet another open source 3D printer in development. There are so many garage 3D printers now that we don’t write-up every one, but it’s a beauty and he’s got such great photos of it, we wanted to show it to you. It’s called the Eventorbot, found on Thingiverse, which the developer calls “simple with less materials.” The simplicity results in fewer plastic parts in a stronger structure. The hiding of all wires makes for a really stunning look. It’s so nice to see printers that don’t look like erector sets. He will have a complete parts list and the STL files for all the plastic parts uploaded within the week. In fact, I just read an update on the Facebook page this morning that said, “I can work on the STL files or the parts list later tonight. Which one do you guys prefer first?” You’ll be able to build this baby for between $300 and $500…”
38.    Four Open Source 3D Printable Mason Jar Lids  http://www.treehugger.com/green-home/four-open-source-3d-printable-mason-jar-lids.html  “In the not too distant future we’ll be able to 3D print replacement parts for things that break, make art that matches our taste, toys to play with and design objects to fill our needs around the house. Personal 3D printers like the Thing-O-Matic and people like Alex English of Proto Paradigm are helping democratize manufacturing. Alex has released a useful set of 3D printable lids for canning jars to help around the kitchen. 1. Mason Jar Lid…2. Mason Jar Fruit Fly Trap…3. Mason Jar Straining Lid…4. Mason Jar Large Strainer…”
Open Source
39.    PC-in-a-Keyboard Comes with Ubuntu Linux Preloaded  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/261487/pcinakeyboard_comes_with_ubuntu_linux_preloaded.html  “…Uncovered last week by Liliputing, the Diablotek U310 includes an Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz dual-core processor along with 1MB L2 cache and 2.5 GT/s DMI. With support for Intel hyper-threading technology, the 104-key device packs 2GB DDR3 RAM as well as a 500GB SATA 2.5-inch hard drive. Offering 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN, the U310 also features an onboard Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 and Azalia audio codec with two built-in speakers. USB 2.0, serial, and audio ports are provided for easy connection to a wide variety of PC peripherals, including an external DVD or CD drive. A USB mouse is included. Perhaps best of all, of course, is that the U310 comes preloaded with Ubuntu Linux, one of the most popular free and open source operating systems out there. On Amazon, it's priced at $239 with free shipping…”
40.    BERO Open Source Robot Asking For Funding On Kickstarter  http://thedroidguy.com/2012/08/bero-open-source-robot-asking-for-funding-on-kickstarter/  “A very small startup established in New York city, Reality Robots Limited, has announced a brand new Kickstarter project with the goal to create a “multi-motor-wireless-animated-mobile-robotic-toy-platform.” The device has been called “BERO,” and to control it Reality Robotics is planning to create a open source application that will run on the Android operating system. This BERO device is based off of a Google Bug Droid robot that was observed during the Maker Faire just last year. The inventors haven’t been able to get a confident response one way or another from Google regrading the use of the Google Bug Droid form, so it sounds like they are getting ready to move forward with some different options. The startup company has developed six different variants of the BERO device based on the funding level you decide on Kickstarter…”
41.     The White House releases its first open source app on Github  http://venturebeat.com/2012/08/24/white-house-open-source/  “…the White House is definitely not doing business — or government, rather — as usual. The U.S. government has released a repository of open source code that allows citizens to create and vote on petitions, the same functionality that drives WhiteHouse.gov. In September 2011, President Barack Obama made this commitment: Among our commitments, we’re launching a new online tool — called “We the People” — to allow Americans to directly petition the White House, and we’ll share that technology so any government in the world can enable its citizens to do the same. Today the White House fulfilled that commitment, as a repository of source code was made public on Github. The web application allows users to create accounts, log in, set up petitions, and vote…”
Civilian Aerospace
42.    As commercial space race intensifies, SpaceX, Virgin find they have company  http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/08/as-commercial-space-race-intensifies-spacex-virgin-find-they-have-company/  “…Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft team held its Program Implementation Plan Review in Colorado this week, the first milestone in its CCiCap list. CCiCap is phase 3 of NASA's Commercial Crew vehicle development program, intended to foster commercial rides to the International Space Station for NASA astronauts. Passing that first milestone was worth $30M to Sierra Nevada. It advances the company toward the first drop test and free flight of the Dream Chaser Engineering Test Article, a version of the craft specifically built for testing, in November…SpaceX completed its COTS (Commercial Orbital Transport Services) agreement this week with a certification from NASA, clearing the way for SPX-1, its first standard cargo flight to the International Space Station (the earlier flight was a test loaded with non-critical supplies). SpaceX Cargo Resupply Services flights, at $133M, will cost far less than deliveries launched by Russia, Japan, or the European Space Agency. The next flight has been bumped into early October by another rocket launch, and won't be sent off before October 8 at 8:12pm. Wet dress rehearsals (loading up the rocket with propellants on the stand and staging countdowns) should begin within the next week…Orbital Sciences was also slated to fly its Antares rocket for the first time in early October, but there's no word yet on whether the traffic jam that's holding up SpaceX will bump them again. Antares is Orbital's COTS vehicle and a competitor of SpaceX's Falcon. It has been delayed several times due to launchpad construction at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia. If all goes well, Antares will carry a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to orbit on its second flight, in a few months, in a test very similar to the one performed by the SpaceX Dragon earlier in the year, when it rendezvoused with the International Space Station…”
43.    Google Lunar X Prize; first tethered test ‘flight’ for White Label Space lunar lander  http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/white-label-space/blog/tethered-flight-test-1  “…A short duration hovering test hop was conducted. Objectives for the test were:  Test the ground, flight command and data logging systems…Demonstrate that the vehicle has sufficient thrust to actually liftoff…Record orientation data to see how the IMU coped with the flight…All objectives were successfully achieved. The photo below shows the vehicle at the point of lift off. Video will be posted shortly…”  http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/white-label-space
Supercomputing & GPUs
44.    Cray to Add NVIDIA Kepler GPUs to Its Next-Generation 'Cascade' Supercomputer  http://www.equities.com/news/headline-story?dt=2012-08-16&val=386853&cat=tech  “…Cray Inc. today announced that its next-generation supercomputer code-named 'Cascade' will be available with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs based on the next-generation NVIDIA Kepler GPU computing architecture…Adding the NVIDIA Tesla Kepler-based GPUs, which are designed for computationally intensive HPC environments, into future versions of our Cascade system will give our customers the flexibility to choose from a variety of powerful accelerator options.' In June, Cray announced that the Cascade supercomputer will be available with the new Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. With these new offerings, Cray customers will be able to customize a Cascade supercomputer with innovative processor technologies that best meets the high performance computing (HPC) needs of their scientific applications. NVIDIA Tesla GPUs and Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors will be available in future versions of Cray's Cascade supercomputer…The system will feature major advancements to the Cray Linux Environment, Cray's HPC-optimized programming environment, and the next-generation Aries interconnect chipset. Cascade will also feature support for Intel Xeon processors-a first for Cray's high-end systems. 'Cascade will be the first system to combine three key technologies: the latest Intel Xeon CPUs, Cray's next-generation Aries system interconnect, and new Tesla Kepler-based GPUs, the highest performance, most energy-efficient accelerators ever built…”
45.    AMD Unveils Teraflop GPU with ECC Support  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-08-08/amd_unveils_teraflop_gpu_with_ecc_support.html  “Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has launched six new FirePro processors for workstation users who want high-end graphics and computation in a single box. One of them promises a teraflop of double precision performance as well as support for error correcting code (ECC) memory. The new offerings also includes two APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) that glue four CPU cores and hundreds of FirePro GPU stream processors onto the same chip. The straight-up GPU-based cards are the FirePro W9000, W8000, W7000 and W5000…They are based on AMD's new Graphics Core Next Architecture, which according to the company is their "first design specifically engineered for general computing." Application development is supported via C++ AMP (Accelerated Massive Parallelism) and OpenCL, two open standard languages that are meant to offer an alternative to NVIDIA's CUDA programming framework. The top-of-the-line W9000 and W8000 are the ones built to chew on heavy-duty numeric codes such as CAD, CAE, medical imaging, and digital content creation, while also providing enough graphics muscle to drive up to six 30-inch displays. Both are double-slot cards that support the newer, faster PCIe Gen3 interface. Performance-wise, the W9000 and W8000 are rather impressive beasts. The W9000 is the one that will deliver a double precision (DP) teraflop of peak performance. If only 32 bits of precision are required, this same chip will provide a whopping four teraflops in single precision (SP). That outruns NVIDIA's fastest Tesla GPU (665 DP gigaflops and 1330 SP gigaflops) by a fair margin…”


NEW NET location for 28 Aug 2012 Mtg = Sergio's Restaurant

The NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurial and Technology issues) 28 Aug 2012 meeting from 7 - 9 PM will be at Sergio’s Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton; backup location, Tom’s on Westhill Blvd. Come and join in the tech fun!



NEW NET Weekly List for 21 Aug 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 21 Aug 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.        A rare look inside Facebook’s Oregon data center  http://gigaom.com/cleantech/a-rare-look-inside-facebooks-oregon-data-center-photos-video/  “Prineville, Oregon: When the temperature creeps above 90 degrees in this rural community, it’s the perfect time to see why Facebook decided to build its first data center here. That’s when the outside air cooling system — which collects the cool, dry Oregon air and pushes it through filters and misters to chill the thousands of servers that hold all those Facebook Likes and photos — has to work overtime. In a rare visit to Facebook’s Prineville data center on Thursday, the temperature hit a high of 93 degrees outside. While the cows we passed on the 20-minute drive from the Redmond, Ore. airport searched for any semblance of shade, Building No. 1 of the data center was as noisy as an industrial factory, with air flowing through the cooling rooms and the humidifier room spraying purified water onto the incoming air at a rapid rate…Facebook’s data center here is one of the most energy efficient in the world. The social network invested $210 million for just the first phase of the data center, which GigaOM got a chance to check out during a two-hour tour. Building No. 1 is where Facebook first started designing its ultra-efficient data centers and gear, and where it wanted the first round of servers that it open sourced under the Open Compute Project to live. Since then — Building No. 1 was opened up in the spring of 2011 — Facebook has slightly tweaked its designs for Building No. 2 at the Prineville site, as well as the designs for its data centers in North Carolina and Sweden…”
2.       Israel says yes to internet-enabled donkeys  http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/israeli-theme-park-rolling-out-wi-fi-enabled-donkeys/  “There are plenty of people in the world today for whom a constant connection to the Internet is an absolute must….at all times….24/7. If a situation arises where no cellular or Wi-Fi connection is available, these people can rapidly dissolve into grouchy, short-tempered monsters, unrecognizable from their usual happy-go-lucky selves. Within a short time of realizing that the Internet is unavailable, slight trembling of the hands may be observed, along with the formation of damp patches in the armpit region, regardless of whether the room or outdoor temperature is comfortably cool. In most cases, in this increasingly wired world, such people are fine. These days, Wi-Fi is offered in so many places, including cafes, hotels, airports, shops and subways. Even visitors to the Kfar Kedem (Village of Yore) theme park in northern Israel needn’t worry (it’s on your upcoming travel itinerary, right?), for its forward-thinking owners have recently equipped some of its resident donkeys with Wi-Fi routers…”
3.       Video Chat Startup ooVoo Adds 4-Way Conferencing To Its iPad And Android Apps  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/21/oovoo-4-way-video-chat/  “Thanks to fast-growing usage of its mobile apps, social video chat startup ooVoo has been growing fast, topping 54 million total users. That’s up pretty significantly from the 46 million users it had just a few months ago, when it rolled out its new iPad app. According to ooVoo President Jay Samit, it’s adding close to 100,000 new users a day…now it’s updated its iPad and Android apps to now include high-quality, four-way chat sessions between users. While ooVoo users can host chats with up to 12 total users, the new version of its apps will let viewers see up to four participants at once. In addition to high-quality, four-way video chat, the new apps also include group messaging and push notifications to enable users to keep connected at all times. Users have many ways to connect with each other — in addition to its mobile iOS applications, ooVoo allows users to log in and chat via Facebook and Mac and PC desktop apps. But mobile is clearly the future of the service: About 30 percent of all video traffic comes from mobile devices, and now 50 percent of all new users are mobile users…”
4.       Barry Diller gets into bidding war for About.com  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57497622-93/barry-diller-gets-into-bidding-war-for-about.com-report/  “Barry Diller, one of the premiere dealmakers in media, has bid $300 million for struggling About.com, The New York Times' information Web site…The offer from Diller's holding company, IAC/Interactivecorp, is about $30 million higher than a rival bid from Answers.com…The Times announced on August 8 that it was in discussions about selling its About Group but didn't identify the interested parties. Answers.com President Peter Horan is the former head of About.com. About.com is designed to be a guide for Internet users and offers tips, advice, and information on nearly 1,000 topics…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        Google Files New Patent Lawsuit Against Apple, Seeks To Block iPhone, iPad & Mac Imports To U.Shttp://techcrunch.com/2012/08/17/google-files-new-patent-lawsuit-against-apple-seeks-to-block-iphone-ipad-mac-imports-to-u-s/  “…Google’s Motorola unit just filed a new patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington. According to this report, Motorola’s complaint seeks to block Apple from importing the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and “various Apple computers.” Today’s lawsuit is only the latest in a long series of recent disputes between Apple and Motorola/Google, but it marks the first time that Motorola is filing one of these lawsuits since its acquisition by Google became final in February…We are still waiting to get more details and will update the post once we hear more, but based on what we’ve heard so far, the complaint will focus on technologies Apple uses in virtually all of its current hardware products…”
6.       India To Biometrically Identify All Of Its 1.2 Billion Citizens  http://singularityhub.com/2012/07/10/india-to-biometrically-identify-all-of-its-1-2-billion-citizens/  “When you think of cutting-edge innovation, a massive bureaucracy might be the last thing that comes to mind.   But in India, a massive experiment is underway to take a technology that was once a hallmark of science fiction and apply it to solving the nation’s greatest challenges.  A small group of entrepreneurs within the government have set out to identify to every one of their 1.2 billion residents by using biometric technologies, such as iris scans and fingerprints. In the next few years, each man, woman and child will receive an “Aadhaar” (meaning: foundation) 12-digit unique identification number.  For the poor in India, this would end a vicious cycle where a person cannot prove who they are, and thus they are denied what they are supposed to receive.  Now, using the features of the body, technology can identify someone in a matter of seconds.  There will no longer be a need for passports, driver licenses, or other old school paper based identification…”
7.        Everyone On the Internet Should Probably Change Their Passwords Now  http://betabeat.com/2012/08/everyone-on-the-internet-should-probably-change-their-passwords-now/  “…Dan Goodin’s Ars Technica article published late Monday illustrates at length why everyone who uses the Internet for anything at all should consider changing their passwords. Actions that once required supercomputing can be done from desktops now and when it comes to security, that’s spooky stuff: Newer hardware and modern techniques have also helped to contribute to the rise in password cracking. Now used increasingly for computing, graphics processors allow password-cracking programs to work thousands of times faster than they did just a decade ago on similarly priced PCs that used traditional CPUs alone. A PC running a single AMD Radeon HD7970 GPU, for instance, can try on average an astounding 8.2 billion password combinations each second, depending on the algorithm used to scramble them. Only a decade ago, such speeds were possible only when using pricey supercomputers…the epic hack of 32 million passwords from RockYou.com in 2009 was a watershed moment in cracking. Thanks to a SQL injection attack that allowed hackers to publish them online, Mr. Goodin writes that “almost overnight, the unprecedented corpus of real-world credentials changed the way whitehat and blackhat hackers alike cracked passwords.” The RockYou attack basically made old dictionary-style password cracking, in which cracking programs rotate through giant lists of words in attempt to establish a key, obsolete. Using patterns culled from RockYou and other sources as well as profiling possible password selection, crackers have made huge leaps in breaking both weak encryption and in taking advantage of Internet users’ lazy thinking…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
8.       China's Homegrown Smartphone Firm, Xiaomi, Takes on Market With Low-price Strategy  http://www.pcworld.com/article/260955/chinas_homegrown_smartphone_firm_xiaomi_takes_on_market_with_lowprice_strategy.html  “When Chinese company Xiaomi ended the Thursday unveiling for its second-generation smartphone, the audience, numbering in the hundreds, gave a standing ovation. The enthusiastic response was not for the device's quad-core processor, its high-definition touchscreen or its new localized OS. It was for the phone's no-contract price, finally revealed to be 1999 yuan (US$315 ), less than half the amount rivals Apple, Samsung, HTC are offering their handsets for…In a time when China's smartphone market is already filled with competitors, Xiaomi has stood out by building handsets with high-end specs for low prices. The strategy has not only worked, but helped garner the company a special level of popularity, with some in the media calling Xiaomi China's answer to Apple. The fervor for the company was on full display this Thursday, when company fans, clad in Xiaomi orange shirts, yelled and clapped in support as each feature of the newest phone was detailed. Equipped with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor from Qualcomm, along with a 1280 by 720 pixel touchscreen at 342 pixels per inch, the Xiaomi M2 features cutting-edge specs…Setting it apart from competing devices is the Xiaomi M2's aggressive pricing. A year ago, the company used the same price, 1999 yuan, for its first generation phone, which reached 300,000 pre-orders in two days…Apple's iPhone 4S starts at 4988 yuan, while Samsung's Galaxy SIII 16GB version is at 4999 yuan under no-contract pricing…”
9.       Nokia Mobile Data Challenge May Predict Where Mobile Users Will Go  http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112678690/nokia-mobile-data-challenge-predicts-movement-082012/  “Big brother is getting a few new tools that just might be able to determine where you’ll be tomorrow. A team of computer scientists from the University of Birmingham in the U.K. won Nokia’s Mobile Data Challenge with a program that uses an algorithm that can predict where you’ll be in the next 24 hours. Location prediction is possible through “the study of the interdependence of human movement and social ties of individuals,” it says in the paper, which calls it “one of the most interesting research areas in computational science.”…The paper outlines an algorithm that uses data from a user’s phone to predict where that person will be in the next 24 hours. Where this method differs from location prediction methods discussed in the past few months is that the new algorithm uses data from friends and contacts in the user’s phone to make its predictions. This new algorithm looks for patterns that might diverge from routine, where predictive systems previously only were able to determine locations based on patterns and routine…”
10.     How to make Android apps with Andromo  http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/how-to-make-android-apps-with-andromo-1091539  “Think you need to be fluent in Java to write apps for Google's Android mobile OS? What if you could write an app simply by navigating through a bunch of menus, without installing any piece of software and, more importantly, without writing a single line of code? Thanks to Andromo, it isn't a question of what if' but what is. Andromo's app-creation process is totally idiot-proof. If you have a mouse, a web browser and an imagination, the world's your oyster. Anyone, including someone who doesn't even have a whiff of programming knowledge, can whip up an Android app in a matter of minutes. Best of all, it costs nothing. But don't let that fool you into thinking of Andromo as a tool only for newbies. It's also got lots for the seasoned app developer who likes to spend time customising their apps to the hilt. For a fee, pro app developers can resell Andromo-created apps and even list them on Google's Android Store, Google Play. If you still aren't convinced to try Andromo, here's another gem: Andromo can help you generate revenue. That's right. To cover its costs while making the tool available for free, all Andromo apps display small non-intrusive strips of ads, 50 per cent of the revenue from which it'll share with you…”
11.      Transfer files between Android devices over Wi-Fi with TapPouch  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57496947-285/transfer-files-between-android-devices-over-wi-fi-with-tappouch/  “When it comes to file sharing between Android devices, Bluetooth can be slow, e-mail can be ridiculous, and transferring files using a computer feels like giving up. Wi-Fi is practically everywhere, and newer Android devices (4.0 and later) have built-in Wi-Fi file sharing capability. For older devices, TapPouch makes it simple to transfer files on the same Wi-Fi network. Here's how to use it…”
12.     Google Play Takes on iTunes With New Gift Cards  http://mashable.com/2012/08/21/google-play-itunes-gift-cards/  “…Google Play gift cards are now official and headed to number of popular retailers. Cards will be available for sale at Target, RadioShack, and GameStop locations in the United States over the coming weeks, and will be available on Walmart.com later this month. Available in $10, $25, and $50 denominations, the cards can be used to purchase music, movies, books, apps, and games from Google Play. Cards can also be used from in-app purchases in games. With the quickly approaching holiday season, it makes sense for Google to introduce Google Play gift cards now. Apple sells a ton of iTunes gift cards each holiday season. Now that Google offers the same, many customers might opt to purchase Google Play cards for the Android-lover in their life…”
13.     Five productivity-boosting Google Drive tips  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57492216-285/five-productivity-boosting-google-drive-tips/  “Twice in the last month I had to become reacquainted with Microsoft Office because a company I was working with required a genuine Office file. Both experiences made me appreciate Google Drive's simple, straightforward apps all over again…there are tasks Google Drive's word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program can't handle well or at all, but for 99.9 percent of the files I work on, Google Drive fits the bill nicely. Here are five ways to use Google Drive to shave minutes off your workday…Keyboard shortcut opens a list of keyboard shortcuts…E-mail text becomes a Google Docs file…Limit Google Drive syncs to specific folders…Create a single archive for all your Google data…”
14.     My Month With a ChromeBox: How I Survived Without Windows or Mac  http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2012/08/my-month-with-a-chromebox-how-i-survived-without-windows-or-mac.php  “…about a month ago, I stopped wrestling with an operating system and learned to love the Web. Windows? Gone. My MacBook? Hardly touched. Instead, I’ve relied on a Samsung Chromebox 3 running Google’s ChromeOS for virtually all my daily computing needs. And I not only survived, I actually prospered. Up until recently, it would not have been safe to attempt such a stunt. When Google launched ChromeOS in December 2010, the idea was to forget loading software, tweaking settings and downloading the latest utilities in favor of just one thing: get you onto the Web just as fast as it can…Even back then, the idea was compelling. But the reality was marred by a number of niggling omissions and problems. For example, users do need some basic capabilities: a file manager, peripheral support and the ability to print, at the least. And the early ChromeBooks had a file manager that took forever to scan something as simple as a USB stick…My little experiment was not conceived entirely by choice. Over the past few years, Google has offered developers, analysts and journalists early models of its hardware via its Google I/O conference - and this year the company handed I/O attendees a ChromeBox - along with some other goodies. And as the conference ended this year, I found myself returning my former employer’s ThinkPad and in need of a new computer. Since I already had the ChromeBox, rather than buy another computer I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a try.” I took the Chromebox home, plugged it in to my existing monitor, attached a USB keyboard and mouse (the Chromebox also includes a Bluetooth 3.0 connection) and an external hard drive. I pressed the power button in front, booted up in just seconds, entered the username and password for my Google account, and, well, sat there. Done. Heck, setting up an Android phone is marginally more complicated than that. Since then, I’ve relied on the Chromebox for daily use, including writing, editing and filing stories. Since Chrome is now the most popular browser worldwide, I don’t really worry about compatibility issues from a browser perspective. And, of course, publishing on the Web means Web-based publishing tools. I do occasionally check platform-specific issues on my wife’s Windows PC or my MacBook, but by and large I don’t ever need to leave my ChromeBox…”
15.     Samsung invests $4bn in U.S. chip-making plant renovation  http://www.zdnet.com/samsung-invests-4bn-in-u-s-chip-making-plant-renovation-7000002914/  “Samsung will invest between $3--4 billion in an Austin, TX.-based plant to renovate a chip-making production line facility in efforts to meet burgeoning demand for its smartphones. It adds to a $1.98 billion investment in South Korea earlier this year to build a new chip-making facility, reports Reuters. The Korea-based smartphone maker will invest the money over the next year in a bid to turn the Austin chip-making plant into a more profitable venture. To put the $3--4 billion investment into sense, Samsung reported a $4.5 billion profit in its Q2 earnings…Samsung remains the world's largest memory chip supplier by revenue as its chips -- despite the company's ongoing legal tussles with Apple -- supplies memory chips to the iPhone and iPad maker…”
General Technology
16.     New Process Doubles Production of Biobutanol While Slashing Costs  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814121115.htm  “A new discovery should make the alternative fuel butanol more attractive to the biofuel industry. University of Illinois scientist Hao Feng has found a way around the bottleneck that has frustrated producers in the past and could significantly reduce the cost of the energy involved in making it as well. "The first challenge in butanol production is that at a certain concentration the fuel being created becomes toxic to the organism used to make it (Clostridium pasteurianum and other strains), and that toxicity limits the amount of fuel that can be made in one batch. The second issue is the high energy cost of removing butanol from the fermentation broth at the high concentrations used by the industry. We have solved both problems,"…Feng's team successfully tested the use of a non-ionic surfactant, or co-polymer, to create small structures that capture and hold the butanol molecules. "This keeps the amount of butanol in the fermentation broth low so it doesn't kill the organism and we can continue to produce it…”
17.     Michigan Residents Test Crash-Avoidance Technology  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443989204577603582528169646.html  “The largest-scale test of whether lives could be saved by giving cars the ability to communicate with each other on the road got under way here Tuesday in a program that could steer the future of U.S. auto safety regulation. For the next year, about 3,000 Ann Arbor residents will go about their daily driving in cars outfitted with electronic gear that tracks their vehicle's location and the locations of other similarly-equipped vehicles. If two vehicles appear to be on a collision course, alarms will chime—or in some cases a machine-generated voice will issue a warning. The systems, for example, can alert a driver when a vehicle three or four cars ahead in a line of cars jams on its brakes, and sound a warning to prevent a rear-end collision. The project…will generate data that regulators will use as they weigh whether future cars should have such "vehicle-to-vehicle" crash avoidance technology as federally-mandated standard equipment…”
18.     MicroEval Aims To Take The Pain Out Of Performance Reviews  http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/16/microeval-launch/  “MicroEval, a startup in the current class of startups incubated by Y Combinator, is taking a new approach to the often painful process of employee performance reviews. The basic idea: Instead of having a single review every six or 12 months, break it up into quick bits of feedback that can be collected every week or so. Co-founder Ryan Jackson says the idea came, in part, from a friend of the founding team, who went in to a performance review and was criticized for things like coming in to work at 10 instead of 9, and focusing too much on their laptop during meetings — in other words, feedback that really shouldn’t have waited six months. Is that really a technological problem? Doesn’t it just suggest that some bosses need better communication skills? Jackson says that the issue is, in part, generational — that the old way may have made sense in the past, but technology has conditioned younger workers to expect “more frequent feedback.” By moving a largely paper-based process online, MicroEval makes it easier for supervisors to deliver feedback at that pace. Jackson says the team’s goal is to offer evaluations that can be completed in less than a minute. They should consist of just a few questions, where supervisors hit a button to rate things like your productivity, your teamwork, or whatever is most important to them, and offering additional comments as needed…”
19.     Forget lasers, we're all going to play with masers now  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/08/forget-lasers-w.php  “We're all familiar with lasers, those amplified beams of light that brighten our Mötley Crüe concerts, scan our groceries and help us not look like such nerds by removing the need for our big stupid glasses…You know what else is cool? Some all-new room-temperature masers…They're microwave lasers, and scientists may have figured out a way to make them part of our everyday lives. Lasers and masers are a lot alike: They both work through a process of stimulated emission and both project different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. Masers, for their part, make excellent amplifiers as they offer very little noise (therefore a better amplifier). The reason you probably aren't as familiar with masers as you are with their visible light cousins is that they can only function in a vacuum or extreme cold…masers have still found a place in some top-shelf technologies, such as deep-space communications and atomic clocks, but otherwise, if engineers want to utilize a focused bit of electromagnetic radiation in an earth-bound piece of technology, lasers are basically the only option. Until now. A team of researchers at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, United Kingdom has published a study describing their method for operating a maser at room temperature in a room filled with air. The one thing holding back this new technology from finding its way into our gizmowhatnots is that, at this early stage in its development, the room-temperature maser is extremely power-hungry and the size of a coffee cup…”
20.    Synaptics ThinTouch: Bringing the Capacitive Touch Revolution to Mechanical Keyboards  http://www.anandtech.com/show/6172/synaptics-thintouch-bringing-the-capacitive-touch-revolution-to-mechanical-keyboards  “Earlier this month Synaptics announced the acquisition of Pacinian, a company that focused on physical keyboards that used capacitive touch. To expand, Synaptics has to look beyond clickpad and capacitive touch controllers into adjacent markets. The keyboard industry made sense and it’s ripe for innovation…Synaptics is announcing ThinTouch - a capacitive keyboard that promises a thinner profile and similar performance to a standard mechanical keyboard. ThinTouch uses capacitive sensing to determine when a key is pressed, while still allowing the key to move. In a normal keyboard, you press down on a key, it travels perpendicularly to the keyboard and actuates a switch or sensor. ThinTouch gives you the impression of similar travel distance, but instead of going straight down it actually travels diagonally towards you. By moving at an angle the key travels the same physical distance, but in a smaller z-height…Synaptics had four demo keys set out, one from an Apple keyboard, one from an Acer and two using ThinTouch. The ThinTouch keys didn’t feel identical to those from the Apple and Acer notebooks, but they were relatively close and not necessarily worse. I’d still have to feel an entire keyboard made out of ThinTouch keys to be convinced, but the effect is pretty impressive…”
21.     Windows 8 belongs on older PCs like a fish needs a bicycle  http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-belongs-on-older-pcs-like-a-fish-needs-a-bicycle-7000002747/  “As it happens, I do run Windows 8 on older PCs. But, testing operating systems is part of what I do for a living. Unless that's also part of your job description running Windows 8 on an older PC is just a waste of time…Windows 8 does boot faster and it has a few new features, but generally speaking Windows 8 with its “not Metro” interface is junk. I've been working with Windows 8 in one version or another for months now and there is simply nothing about it that would make me recommend it over Windows 7 or XP…Metro, no matter what Microsoft wants to call it, remains a usability nightmare on a conventional PC. It may or may not be as awful on a touch tablet…but I do know it's annoying as heck on my non-touch enabled PCs…Want to have malicious fun? Stick some poor sod in front of a Windows 8 system and then watch them try to back out of an application. Watch them look around for the now missing in action Start button and hunt for the windows controls on the desktop screen eating application. If they're lucky they'll eventually stumble over the invisible lower-left corner escape hatch to the main interface…Most people upgrade their operating system only when they get something better from it and there's nothing significantly better about Windows 8…”
Leisure & Entertainment
22.    Join io9 in a bold new experiment with storytelling  http://io9.com/5936688/join-us-in-a-bold-new-experiment-with-storytelling  “Starting today, we're going to be telling a story on io9. This story will be a sweeping space epic, gorgeously illustrated with professional artwork like what you see here. And you are going to help write it. Are you up for the challenge? Our experiment is a variation on the "exquisite corpse" method of story creation. An exquisite corpse is a storytelling method where the narrative is collectively assembled by a group of individuals. Each writer adds to the body of work by advancing the story where the last writer left off. In our version of the exquisite corpse, artists from the incredible visual effects firm Framestore will participate in advancing the story too…”
23.    The Joys and Hazards of Self-Publishing on the Web  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/technology/personaltech/ins-and-outs-of-publishing-your-book-via-the-web.html?pagewanted=all  “Not long ago, an aspiring book writer rejected by traditional publishing houses had only one alternative: vanity publishing…Digital technology has changed all that. A writer turned down by traditional publishers — or even avoiding them — now has a range of options. Among them are self-publishing a manuscript as an e-book; self-publishing through myriad companies that print on demand…and buying an array of services, from editing and design to marketing and publicity…The phenomenal growth of e-readers and tablets has vastly expanded the market for e-books, which can be self-published at little or no cost…most self-published books sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies…a huge majority of self-published books “don’t sell a lot of copies,” said Mark Coker, the founder and chief executive of Smashwords, a no-frills operation that concentrates on self-published e-books…At Lulu…you pay nothing upfront. Each time a print book is sold, you receive 80 percent of the proceeds, beyond the cost of manufacturing the book. For $450, Lulu offers an editing package for books longer than 7,500 words (which is most books). Lulu will have a designer create a book cover for $130, and it provides groups of services like editing, design and formatting, starting at $729 and going as high as $4,949. At CreateSpace, a division of Amazon, the process for producing a print book is similar…similar services can be found at many other Web sites, including Aventine Press; Self Publishing Inc.; Hillcrest Media; and iUniverse, Xlibris and AuthorHouse…Scribd got its start as a sharing site, where people distribute writing of all kinds free. The site now has an online store, where you can follow instructions to publish a manuscript as an e-book; when it is purchased at Scribd’s store, you get 80 percent of the proceeds…The single toughest part of self-publishing is getting attention for your book. Nearly 350,000 new print titles were published in 2011, and 150,000 to 200,000 of them were produced by self-publishing companies…”
24.    Hipset Is Next-Generation Music Site From Y Combinator's Tracks.by  http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/08/19/hipset-is-next-generation-music-site-from-y-combinators-tracks-by/  “Music startup Tracks.by has launched a new website for fans to discover music content called Hipset.com. Tracks.by, which is in the current Y Combinator batch that ends on Tuesday, already has a popular service that helps music artists connect with fans on Facebook. The company, which has clients such as Lil Wayne, Drake and Tyga, has a feature that unlocks music and other content once a user clicks a “Love” button, which drives viral growth. The company works with more than half of Billboard’s top 100 artists, as well as all the major record labels and artist management companies…cofounders Matt Schlicht and Mazy Kazerooni…started out as teenage employees at UStream, then parlayed that into social media work for major celebrities before turning that expertise into their own startup Tracks.by. Now with Hipset, the company is launching its ultimate goal: a destination site that automatically aggregates all the content–photos, videos, music, status updates–from music artists that people follow on Facebook  The content is presented in a visual Pinterest-style format…”
25.    Reviewing Asus' budget Xonar DGX and DSX sound cards  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/08/music-to-your-ears-reviewing-asus-budget-xonar-dgx-and-dsx-sound-cards/  “…we've trumpeted the benefits of discrete sound cards. They simply sound better than the typical integrated audio on motherboards, especially for those with discerning ears and halfway-decent speakers or headphones. Good sound cards tend to last through multiple upgrade cycles, too. They're amazingly inexpensive considering the expected lifespan. Indeed, the two we'll be putting under the microscope today—Asus' Xonar DGX and DSX—sell for less than $50. If the names look familiar, that's because the cards are the PCI Express versions of the Xonar DG and DS. Those older models have PCI interfaces, like an awful lot of other sound cards, and PCI slots are quickly disappearing from modern motherboards. The Xonar DGX and DSX drop into any PCIe x1 slot…Each card has a unique character. The DGX courts headphone users with a dedicated amplifier and Dolby Headphone surround-sound virtualization. Meanwhile, the DSX offers home-theater users a replaceable OPAMP, support for more output channels, and the ability to encode multichannel digital bitstreams in real-time. How do the two compare, and more importantly, how good do they sound? We've conducted a mix of performance, signal quality, and blind listening tests to find out…”
26.    Point, Shoot, Print: Picplum Aims to Make Photo Printing Effortless  http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2012/08/16/point-shoot-print-picplum-aims-to-make-photo-printing-effortless/  “It should be far easier to order prints of the photos you snap with your digital camera or smartphone—that’s a no-brainer. But San Francisco-based Picplum is one of the only companies that’s actually working to make the process simpler. For comparison, here’s how ordering a print works on a competing site, Yahoo’s Flickr. This will be all too familiar to any amateur photographer who (like me) has thousands of photos stored on the eight-year-old site: Upload the photo. Find the “Order Prints” drop-down menu item. Select the print size and quantity. Click “Add to Cart.” (Repeat these first four steps for every photo you want to print.) Click “Proceed to Checkout.” Wait while your photos are transferred to Snapfish. Click Continue. Select your photo finish and border. Click “Check Out.” Enter or select a shipping address. Click Continue. Enter or verify your credit card information. Click Continue. Review your order. Click Buy Now…And here’s how the process works on Picplum: Drag and drop the photos you want to print onto the Picplum upload page. Select a print size, unless you’re happy with the default suggestion. Click Send Now. Select or enter a recipient and write a personalized greeting. Click Save. Enter a mailing address and your credit card information (unless it’s been saved from a previous order). Click Pay & Send…By my count, the Flickr/Snapfish process involves at least 14 steps if you’re ordering one photo, plus four or five more steps for every additional photo. The Picplum process involves five to seven steps…”
Economy and Technology
27.    Dunkin Donuts gets into the mobile payment game  http://gigaom.com/2012/08/16/dunkin-donuts-gets-into-the-mobile-payment-game/  “Dunkin Donuts is following in the footsteps of rival Starbucks with the launch of its first mobile app, allowing users to pay for coffee and donuts with their smartphone. The app, available for iOS and Android, creates a virtual Dunkin Donuts card, which can be filled by transferring the value of an existing physical Dunkin Donuts Card or it can be funded through a credit card or PayPal transaction in the app…users select which virtual card they want to use and the app presents a QR code, which is scanned by an employee. The amount is deducted from their balance immediately after the purchase. Dunkin Donuts’ mobile payment system, which is available at most of its 7,000 U.S. locations, is similar in execution to the Starbucks mobile app, which also works with virtual cards and barcodes. But unlike the Starbucks mobile app, Dunkin Donuts users can also send mobile gift cards to each other via the app. Users can send a gift card up to $100 to a friend via Facebook, email or text message. The app also provides menu and nutritional information plus a tool for finding a nearby Dunkin Donuts…”
28.    Nvidia’s mobile computing investments pay off  http://www.trefis.com/stock/nvda/articles/138309/publish-todaystrong-tegra3-sales-could-drive-nvidia-to-22/2012-08-13  “Nvidia announced its Q2 2013 earnings on Thursday…strong Tegra 3 sales were one of the primary reasons for the 13% sequential increase in revenues…Nvidia expects to continue the growth momentum in the next quarter driven by the Kepler architecture and Tegra 3 processors…We estimate Tegra to become the most important division for Nvidia by the end of our forecast period…Last year, Nvidia began a focused push into mobile computing with ambitions of being more than a graphics chip maker. It positioned its standalone dual-core app processor, Tegra 2, well to capture significant non-iPad tablet market share in 2011. With the success of its quad-core Tegra 3 processor, it plans to make a deeper foray by targeting low-end tablets…”
29.    Skilled Work, Without the Worker  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/business/new-wave-of-adept-robots-is-changing-global-industry.html?hpw&pagewanted=all  “At the Philips Electronics factory on the coast of China, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools to assemble electric shavers. That is the old way. Robot arms like those at a Philips Electronics factory in the Netherlands can perform the same tasks as hundreds of low-skill workers. At a sister factory here in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work with yoga-like flexibility. Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human. One robot arm endlessly forms three perfect bends in two connector wires and slips them into holes almost too small for the eye to see. The arms work so fast that they must be enclosed in glass cages to prevent the people supervising them from being injured. And they do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year. All told, the factory here has several dozen workers per shift, about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai. This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution…”
30.    Crowdfunded businesses may owe taxes  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/13/us-column-feldman-crowdfunding-taxes-idUSBRE87C0F120120813  “When Julie Uhrman, chief executive of gaming start-up Ouya Inc, went looking for funding to launch a new video gaming console, she turned to crowdfunding site Kickstarter Inc. The goal: $950,000. Instead, when the campaign ended August 8, so many gamers and game developers had pledged $99 (or more) to get the new Android-based Ouya that the company raised $8.6 million, making it one of the biggest crowdfunding success stories ever…But one important thing has been overlooked: taxes. "We've been talking about that, but we have been so busy," she says. "Luckily, we have good accountants, so they'll sort it out for us."…When Kickstarter began in 2009, crowdfunding was largely used by musicians, film makers and other creative types to raise small sums of money for projects that might not make any money. But as it's grown — in some cases, becoming an alternative to venture capital — the dollars involved have gotten bigger…"Crowdsourcing is becoming a popular way for start-ups to raise cash, and the companies that receive the cash may not realize the proceeds are taxable," says Murray Solomon, a tax partner at accounting firm EisnerAmper. "They may get a very unpleasant surprise when they build all their prototypes and spend all the money."…if you raise more than $20,000 on Kickstarter from more than 200 people, you'll get a Form 1099-K (a new tax form introduced in 2011 and required for third-party payments above that threshold), courtesy of Amazon Payments, which processes transactions for the site…”
31.     A New Generation Of Con Artists Gets Inside Your Wallet  http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2012/08/21/how-a-new-generation-of-con-artists-get-inside-your-wallet/  “When it comes to fleecing people, con artists have a number of pipelines: Mail, phone, Internet/social media and affinity groups. They can operate most smoothly when people trust them and are motivated by greed. Since we’re hard-wired for both of these traits, only a dollop of skepticism saves most people from being bamboozled. Lately though, changes in technology and financial services have given them even more room to operate. Every year, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group of state regulators, publishes a list of scams that watchdogs from Boston to British Columbia see developing. These observations serve a early-warning systems for the rest of us…The 2012 JOBS Act makes significant changes to the methods startup businesses and entrepreneurs may employ to bring their ventures to the investing market, and investors must be wary of the attendant risks.   Even when the relaxed rules and registration exemptions are effective, they will not make investments in small businesses less risky – just more prevalent.  And the JOBS Act provisions do not eliminate fraud, an unfortunate common feature of Internet securities activity. Many states and provinces report a recent increase in active investigations or recent enforcement actions involving Internet fraud, and JOBS Act-triggered activity is likely to elongate this trend.  Investors must remember that small startups are among the riskiest of investment categories under the best of situations.  The crowdfunding and Internet investing marketplaces in North America will develop and undergo major changes in the next year, and investors should monitor this emerging capital formation community with a wary eye…”
DHMN Technology
32.    3D printers put drones in flight  http://www.afr.com/p/technology/printers_put_drones_in_flight_Dq2f2EC3hsbVQ8LTlgR2ZK  “Open up any electronic device and inside there are circuit boards, components and bundles of wire. Assembling these items into a product like a phone can be a tedious, labour-intensive process, and one that is often subcontracted to low-wage countries such as China. Now new ways of printing electronics in three dimensions are being developed. This makes it possible to incorporate circuitry and components into the material the product is made from, such as the phone’s case…Printing electronics is not new; screen printing, lithography, inkjet and other processes have long been used to manufacture circuit boards and components. But the technologies are improving rapidly and now allow electronics to be printed on a greater variety of surfaces. In the latest developments, electronics printing is being combined with “additive manufacturing”, which uses machines popularly known as 3D printers to build solid objects out of material, one layer at a time…Xerox…has developed a silver ink which can be used to print flexible electronic circuits directly onto materials like plastic or fabrics. Silver is a better conductor of electricity than copper, which is typically used in circuits, but silver is expensive and tricky to print because it melts at 962°C. However, by making silver into particles just five nanometres (billionths of a metre) in size, Xerox has produced a silver ink which melts at less than 140°C. That allows it to be printed using inkjet and other processes relatively cheaply…Xerox’s PARC research centre in Palo Alto, California, is developing ways to use such inks. These can print circuits for various components, including flexible display screens, sensors and antennae for radio-frequency security tags. With the emergence of additive-manufacturing techniques, it starts to become possible to print such things directly onto the product itself…That includes products with complex shapes. Optomec, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has developed additive-manufacturing systems for a variety of industries. It can print electronics directly onto a pair of glasses, for “augmented reality”; it can make a plastic water tank that uses embedded electronics to measure how full it is and turn pumps on or off; it can print sensors on military armour; or an antenna on the case of a mobile phone…Optomec worked with Aurora Flight Sciences, an American producer of unmanned aerial vehicles, and Stratasys, a 3D-printing company based in Minneapolis, to make a “smart wing” for a small drone. The wing was made from a thermoplastic material using a Stratasys 3D printer. Optomec then used a process it calls Aerosol Jet to print circuits, sensors and an antenna on the wing. The idea is that such technology would allow lightweight drones that can be customised for specific missions and printed on demand…”
33.    Raspberry Pi gets a Firefox OS port  http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/raspberry-pi-gets-a-firefox-os-port-20120816/  “The first low-cost smartphones running Mozilla’s Firefox OS won’t go on sale for quite some time yet, but Nokia engineer Oleg Romashin has already gotten an experimental version of the software up and running on his Raspberry Pi. It’s really no surprise that the 700MHz mini computer can handle the all-web operating system, but the video does offer an interesting glimpse at what Mozilla and its partners are going to bring to market. Performance is pretty solid, and certainly good enough for entry-level, feature phone-killing smartphones. Those devices will be critical to the early success of Firefox OS as Mozilla aims for a foothold in emerging markets before going global. And if this is how a very early, enthusiast-ported build of Firefox OS runs on an comparatively slow processor now, just imagine how well it’ll run on a souped-up current-gen (or even last-gen) mobile SoC…”
34.    World’s first 3D printing co-working environment – Mak3D  http://3dprinterblogs.com/blog/2012/08/09/worlds-first-3d-printing-co-working-environment-mak3d/  “Mak3d is a new Co-working envoronment for 3D Designers and soon to be the worlds first High Street 3D print shop – the go to place for 3D Print and 3D print design, located in Brick Lane, London. For £200/month you get to play with: In house high definition 3D printer from Objet…In house HD 3D scanner…STL File correction for 3D prints…Numerous freelance work for 3D desinger…A finishing workshop with tools included…”
35.    Billionaire Peter Thiel invests in the development of 3D printed meat  http://io9.com/5936317/billionaire-peter-thiel-invests-in-the-development-of-3d-printed-meat  “…Humans eat about 240 billion kilograms of meat each year — a voracious demand for animal protein that has resulted in environmental degradation, cruelty to livestock, and the spread of dangerous diseases. And now, owing to a $350,000 donation by the Thiel Foundation to a company called Modern Meadow, the idea of printing meat using a 3D printer has come that much closer to reality…Modern Meadow was co-founded by Gabor and Andras Forgacs, two tech-entrepreneurs who developed and commercialized bioprinting — a technology that iteratively constructs tissues and organ structures based on computer-controlled delivery of cells in three dimensions. The pair had previously co-founded Organova, a company that worked to apply the same principle to drug discovery, drug testing, and transplant tissues. With Modern Meadow, though, they're hoping to change the way meat and leather products are produced, as well as making an impact in regenerative medicine and medical diagnostics…It's too early in the process to know how the meat will taste, or what its texture will be like. An early challenge for biologists working on lab-grown meat has been in simulating the exact texture that's characteristic of meat that was once part of a living, breathing animal. It's an open question as to whether or not this challenge will ever be overcome. For Modern Meadow, their initial goal is to develop 3D cellular sheets composed of pig cells. They're hoping to mature those sheets into muscle tissue with electric stimulation inside a bioreactor…”
Open Source Hardware
36.    MakerPlane pops up on Boing Boing, Reddit, Engadget  http://boingboing.net/2012/08/20/makerplane-open-source-hardwar.html  “John sez, "MakerPlane is an open source aviation organization which will enable people to build and fly their own safe, high quality, reasonable cost plane using advanced personal manufacturing equipment such as CNC mills and 3D printers. The project will also include open source avionics software to enable state-of-the-art digital flight instruments and display capabilities. Basically we are designing an aircraft that can be built on a CNC mill at home, or at a makerspace which is easy to assemble and quick to build. The plans and instructions will be available for free to anyone that wants them!”  http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/21/makerplane-open-source-homebuilt-plane/  [and, as often happens in media, the story is a bit skewed, since hardly anything on MakerPlane Model 1 will be made with a 3D printer. Lots of parts with a CNC mill, but not so much with 3D printing – ed.]
37.    When code can kill or cure  http://www.economist.com/node/21556098  “SMART pumps deliver drugs perfectly dosed for individual patients. Easy-to-use defibrillators can bring heart-attack victims back from the brink of death. Pacemakers and artificial hearts keep people alive by ensuring that blood is pumped smoothly around their bodies…As these devices have become more capable, however, they have also become more complex. More than half the medical devices sold in America (the world's largest health-care market) rely on software, and often lots of it. The software in a pacemaker may require over 80,000 lines of code, a drug-infusion pump 170,000 lines and an MRI (magnetic-resonance imaging) scanner more than 7m lines. This growing reliance on software causes problems that are familiar to anyone who has ever used a computer: bugs, crashes and vulnerability to digital attacks. Researchers at the University of Patras in Greece found that one in three of all software-based medical devices sold in America between 1999 and 2005 had been recalled for software failures. Kevin Fu, a computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts, calculates that such recalls have affected over 1.5m individual devices since 2002. In April researchers at McAfee, a computer-security firm, said they had found a way to get an implanted insulin pump to deliver 45 days' worth of insulin in one go. And in 2008 Dr Fu and his colleagues published a paper detailing the remote, wireless reprogramming of an implantable defibrillator. When software in a medical device malfunctions, the consequences can be far more serious than just having to reboot your PC. During the 1980s a bug in the software of Therac-25 radiotherapy machines caused massive overdoses of radiation to be delivered to several patients, killing at least five. America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has linked problems with drug-infusion pumps to nearly 20,000 serious injuries and over 700 deaths between 2005 and 2009. Software errors were the most frequently cited problem…”
38.    Open-source hardware heats up  http://www.tmworld.com/electronics-blogs/open-sourced/4394187/Open-source-hardware-heats-up  “BeagleBone just announced 20 new daughter boards that provide a wide array of interfacing capabilities to the BeagleBone embedded controller. For test and measurement, there are some particularly good ones, such as boards for interfacing via RS-232, RS-485, CAN and also boards for driving stepper motors. Add this to the digital I/O, PWM output and 12-bit ADCs already on the board and the BeagleBone, costing just $89, is a powerful emerging platform for test and measurement. BeagleBone is an open-source single board computer that runs Linux. It fits in the palm of your hand and is loaded with resources. Because it's a computer you can program your tests in any programming language you like, from C to the command line. Python, also open source, seems to be the most popular language for BeagleBone…”
Open Source
39.    Pandora: The Handheld Console for Linux Tweakers  http://semiaccurate.com/2012/08/17/pandora-the-handheld-console-for-linux-tweakers/  “We…recently got a chance to interview Micheal Mrozek, one of the core members of a small company named OpenPandora, which produces the Pandora handheld gaming console. Long before Kickstarter and crowd sourced development funding became the flavor of the week, the OpenPandora team was designing and producing their own handheld gaming console based off of what their fellow forum members wanted. The idea behind the Pandora was to produce a handheld gaming console that met the needs of their highly active, but small, forum. It had to be a fully functional Linux PC, have an awesome D-pad, and be powerful enough to emulate the mass market console gaming systems that had proceeded it. It took a long time to get all of the pieces into place (read: four years of hardship and delays), but the Pandora has finally matured into the handheld console that its steadfast supporters have always hoped it would…basically, it’s a miniature Linux PC the size of a Nintendo DS, so way smaller than a Netbook. So you got a pretty neat keyboard, a high-res touchscreen, an incredible battery time (over 10 hours in normal usage) and can do things you can do on a normal PC. Coding, Office Work, Websurfing, etc. However, that’s not all. You also have a proper DPad and buttons to play games – and we made sure these are one of the best (as we’re gamers ourselves). So you can both replay classic games (SNES, Genesis, Arcade, Amiga, C64, Playstation, etc.), play Linux or Homebrew games or even code your own games. And another special thing is: It’s open. If you want to run Android on it, you can do so. You rather want Debian, Slackware or Ubuntu? You’re free to do that…”
40.    NSA’s Open Source Spin-Off Sqrrl Lands $2 Million in Funding  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/08/nsa/  “The National Security Agency may not be the first organization that comes to mind when you think of contributors to open source software projects. But over the last few years, as we reported last month, the agency created and open sourced an rather interesting software platform known as Apache Accumulo. Basically, it’s a “NoSQL database” for handling massive data sets securely. As we mentioned last month, Sqrrl — a company spun out from the NSA to commercialize Accumulo — recently received seed funding from two major venture capital firms, and today, the fledgling outfit announced that those two firms were Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners, which made a total investment of $2 million…”
41.     BackTrack 5 R3 review  http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/08/17/backtrack-5-r3-review/  “BackTrack is a security-focused Linux distribution that is loaded with all the best Free Software penetration testing applications available. It is based on Ubuntu Desktop. The latest edition is code-named Revolution, and the newest update-release – BackTrack 5 R3, was released just a few days ago. It is distribution designed for penetration testers and other security professionals, or those who want to mess with all the best security and penetration testing applications the free software community has to offer. This is not a distribution you want to install just to check email and perform other mundane Internet activities, though nothing stops you from using it just for those purposes. It is made available for public download as DVD installation images for both 32- and 64-bit architectures…”
42.    Google’s Mind-Blowing Big-Data Tool Grows Open Source Twin  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/08/googles-dremel/  “Mike Olson and John Schroeder shared a stage at a recent meeting of Silicon Valley’s celebrated Churchill Club, and they didn’t exactly see eye to eye. Olson is the CEO of a Valley startup called Cloudera, and Schroeder is the boss at MapR, a conspicuous Cloudera rival. Both outfits deal in Hadoop — a sweeping open source software platform based on data center technologies that underpinned the rise of Google’s web-dominating search engine — but in building their particular businesses, the two startups approached Hadoop from two very different directions. Whereas Cloudera worked closely with the open source Hadoop project to enhance the software code that’s freely available to the world at large, MapR decided to rebuild the platform from the ground up, and when that was done, it sold the new code as proprietary software. On stage last month during a panel discussion dedicated to Hadoop, Olson and Schroeder went toe-to-toe over whose approach made the most sense, and as so often happens in the Valley when open source is the subject at hand, the dispute raised more than a little heat from those sitting in the audience…MapR has now launched a separate open source project meant to serve as an major complement to Hadoop. At the Apache Software Foundation — the not-for-profit open source outfit that oversees Hadoop — MapR recently proposed a project that aims to mimic Dremel, a shockingly effective data-analysis tool built and used by Google. The project is called Drill, and according to Tomer Shiran, the MapR employee who oversaw the proposal, it’s suited to completely open development in a way that the company’s original Hadoop work was not. With Hadoop, MapR was working with an existing project — with an entrenched community of developers. With Drill, it’s starting something new…”
Civilian Aerospace
43.    First Lynx Flight Likely in 2013  http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/08/18/first-lynx-flight-delayed-to-early-2013/  “The first flight of XCOR’s Lynx prototype will most likely be conducted in early 2013. XCOR test engineer Geoffrey Licciardello…it is taking longer to build the two-person vehicle than expected and that there have been delays in getting components from suppliers. Officials have been saying “late 2012 or early 2013″ since announcing a tentative time line…The first few flights will be short hops off the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The Lynx Mark I prototype will reach an altitude of 62 kilometers (203,000 feet). Based on test flights, XCOR will build a production models called Lynx Mark II capable of reaching 100 kilometers (330,000 feet)…”
44.    Boulder researcher spearheads effort to privately fund space science  http://www.dailycamera.com/science-environment/ci_21342052  “…Boulder planetary scientist Alan Stern said he's tired of weathering the federal funding storm -- the 2013 budget proposed by President Barack Obama would cut funding for planetary sciences by 20 percent -- and he's guessing he's not alone. Stern is now spearheading an effort to supplement government funding for space exploration, research and education with privately raised money through a new company dubbed Uwingu, which is Swahili for "sky." The plan is to sell "space-related products" -- the exact nature of which have not yet been unveiled -- and to use the proceeds to fund grants for space science…Stern said Uwingu already has one product largely developed and ready to go, but before the company officially launches, it needs to raise $75,000 to cover its initial expenses. To do that, Uwingu has turned to the crowd-funding website Indiegogo, where the company had already taken in more than $25,000 as of Friday. The campaign ends at midnight Sept. 14…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
45.    The crazy science of GPU compute  http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/20/engadget-primed-gpu-compute/  “…The risk of…technological greed is that we don't make full use of what we already have, and nothing illustrates that better than the Graphics Processing Unit. Whether it sits in our desktops, laptops, tablets or phones, the GPU is cruelly limited by its history -- its long-established reputation as a dumb, muscular component that takes instructions from the main processor and translates them into pixels for us to gawp at. But what if the GPUs in our devices had some buried genius -- abilities that, if only we could tap into them, would yield hyper-realistic experiences and better all-round performance from affordable hardware?...this hidden potential actually exists…even though it still hasn't generated enough fuss to become truly famous, the semiconductor industry is making more noise about it now than ever before…join us…as we…explain why the trend known as "GPU compute," aka "general purpose GPU (GPGPU)," or simply "not patronizing your graphics processor," is still exciting despite having let us down in the past. We'll try to show why it's worth learning a few related concepts and terms to help provide a glossary for future coverage…”
46.    Researchers Use GPU-Equipped Desktop to do Protein Simulation at Supercomputing Scale  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-08-07/researchers_use_gpu-equipped_desktop_to_do_protein_simulation_at_supercomputing_scale.html  “Using just an upgraded desktop computer equipped with a relatively inexpensive graphics processing card, a team of computer scientists and biochemists at the University of California, San Diego, has developed advanced GPU accelerated software and demonstrated for the first time that this approach can sample biological events that occur on the millisecond timescale. These results have the potential to bring millisecond scale sampling, now available only on a multi-million dollar supercomputer, to all researchers, and could significantly impact the study of protein dynamics with key implications for improved drug and biocatalyst development. With some innovative coding, a GPU (graphics processing unit) that retails for about $500, and the widely used software package of molecular simulations called Amber (Assisted Model Building with Energy Refinement), the researchers were able to run a simulation showing the same five long-lived structural states of a specific protein as observed in a simulation conducted by D.E. Shaw Research’s Anton, a purpose-built molecular dynamics (MD) supercomputer. The Anton simulation was conducted over a period of slightly more than one millisecond – or 100 times longer than the previous record…”