2013/01/01

NEW NET Weekly List for 01 Jan 2013

As mentioned in the previous post, there is no NEW NET meeting this week because of New Year's Day falling on Tuesday.

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) for the week of 01 January 2013. See you next week at Sergio's!

(Apologies for the extremely abbreviated and less-varied-than-usual list. Was attacked by the superbug spreading around Appleton, Wisconsin, USA, and the plague, or flu, or whatever it was, kept me from even logging onto my laptop for nearly a week. Nasty stuff...)


The ‘net
1.        Reddit's visitors skyrocket in 2012 with 37 billion page views  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57561466-93/reddits-visitors-skyrocket-in-2012-with-37-billion-page-views/  “Upping its Web presence with high-level "ask me anything" sessions, the social news site racks in hundreds of millions of users…Whether readers want to learn the complexities of how the Mars Curiosity rover was able to enter the Red Planet's atmosphere or just see photos of cats being weird, they can go to Reddit…Reddit revealed that in 2012 it received 37 billion page views, 400 million unique visitors, and 30 million posts…The huge increase in traffic means Reddit has had to add more servers and other equipment and bring in more staff to maintain its site…In August, Reddit hosted President Barack Obama, whose impromptu hour-long interview crippled the site's servers. Reddit has also done AMAs with the Mars Curiosity rover team, Gangnam Style's PSY, and U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren who asked users for ideas on a bill to protect Web sites accused of copyright violations. Here are Reddit's top 10 posts of 2012 by page view: I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA (5,598,171 page views)…What's your "picture you can't see without laughing"? (2,450,140 page views)…What's your favorite picture on the whole Internet? (2,148,400 page views)…”
2.       Internet celebrates 30th birthday  http://bigpondnews.com/articles/Technology/2013/01/01/Internet_celebrates_30th_birthday_831636.html  “…few know this January 1 is the internet's 30th birthday. The computer network officially began its technological revolution when it fully substituted previous networking systems on January 1, 1983. Known as 'flag day', it was the first time the US Department of Defence-commissioned Arpanet network fully switched to use of the internet protocol suite (IPS)…Using data 'packet-switching', the new method of linking computers paved the way for the arrival of the World Wide Web…Based on designs by Welsh scientist Donald Davies, the Arpanet network began as a military project in the late 1960s…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
3.       Outmaneuvered at Their Own Game, Antivirus Makers Struggle to Adapt  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/01/technology/antivirus-makers-work-on-software-to-catch-malware-more-effectively.html  “The antivirus industry has a dirty little secret: its products are often not very good at stopping viruses…That is prompting start-ups and other companies to get creative about new approaches to computer security…In 2000, there were fewer than a million new strains of malware, most of them the work of amateurs. By 2010, there were 49 million new strains…The antivirus industry…is falling behind…A new study…analyzed 82 new computer viruses and put them up against more than 40 antivirus products, made by top companies like Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky Lab. They found that the initial detection rate was less than 5 percent. On average, it took almost a month for antivirus products to update their detection mechanisms and spot the new viruses…In May, researchers at Kaspersky Lab discovered Flame, a complex piece of malware that had been stealing data from computers for an estimated five years…Symantec and McAfee, which built their businesses on antivirus products, have begun to acknowledge their limitations and to try new approaches. The word “antivirus” does not appear once on their home pages…If it is no longer possible to block everything that is bad, the thinking goes, then the security companies of the future will be the ones whose software can spot unusual behavior and clean up systems once they have been breached. The hottest security start-ups today are companies like Bit9, Bromium, FireEye and Seculert that monitor Internet traffic, and companies like Mandiant and CrowdStrike that have expertise in cleaning up after an attack…” http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/computing/software/computers-its-time-to-start-over
4.       Feds Requiring ‘Black Boxes’ in All Motor Vehicles  http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/12/black-boxes-privacy/  “Federal regulators are proposing that new automobiles sold in the United States after September 2014 come equipped with black boxes, so-called “event data recorders” that chronicle everything from how fast a vehicle was traveling, the number of passengers and even a car’s location. While many automakers have voluntarily installed the devices already, the National Transportation Safety Agency wants…them in all vehicles…The data, which can either be downloaded remotely or by a physical connection, depending upon a vehicle’s model, is to be used by manufacturers and regulators “primarily for the purpose of post-crash assessment of vehicle safety system performance,”…privacy advocates are raising the alarm bells, and want the agency to require…data be anonymized, and to prohibit the marketing of it…questions remain about the black boxes and data…how long should a black box retain event data, who owns the data, can a motorist turn off the black box and can the authorities get the data without a warrant…Just 13 states have some regulations about the black boxes. Many of them demand the manufacture disclose the existence of the black box and some require a motorists’ consent for the black-box data to be viewed by others. Clearly, the black boxes tell a story. Timothy Murray, the Massachusetts Lt. governor, claimed he was traveling within the speed limit and wearing his seatbelt after he crashed a state vehicle last year. The black box in the Crown Victoria captured data that Murray was going 100 mph without a seatbelt. How the government finalizes rules about the black boxes might set…precedent for other technologies…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
5.        Google's Nexus 4: Understanding your carrier options  http://blogs.computerworld.com/smartphones/21333/google-nexus-4-carrier-options  “…Google is focusing on direct and unlocked sales with its Nexus 4 phone. That means you buy the device outright from Google -- no contracts, no subsidies, and no commitments to anyone. You can buy the Nexus in a more traditional manner, if you want -- T-Mobile is selling the phone for $200 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a new two-year contract -- but for most people, the unlocked route will be the better option…By going unlocked, you can opt to use the device with any compatible service provider you want. That includes prepaid providers, which offer the same basic service as the big boys at a fraction of the cost…if you decide you aren't satisfied with your service or find someone else offering a better rate, you're free to jump ship at any point with no penalties, fees, or hassles…you can also easily utilize native Android features like Wi-Fi hotspot or USB tethering without having to pay more. Your phone is a Google phone, not a carrier phone -- and it has true pure Google software without any carrier crippling…So who should you use for service -- and how do you sign up? There are several possible options, but two carriers in particular stand out for their excellent plans and solid reputations: 1. T-Mobile Monthly 4G…2. Straight Talk…While Straight Talk labels its data as "unlimited," some users have reported being throttled down to slower-than-4G-level speeds after hitting the 2GB mark. Straight Talk doesn't have a clear policy about this, so it's somewhat of a gray area. The vast majority of people don't come close to hitting 2GB of data in a single month, but if you do, that's something to consider…Not keen on the whole prepaid concept? You can use the Nexus 4 with a standard carrier smartphone plan -- even without signing a contract. Since the Nexus 4 is a GSM/HSPA+ phone, it'll work with either T-Mobile or AT&T in the U.S. All you'll have to do is get a micro-SIM from the carrier you prefer and then contact them to activate an account…most people will do better by going prepaid…”  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57484847-285/how-to-cut-your-own-micro-sim-card/
6.       New smartphone camera promises end to out of focus shots  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57561012-94/toshiba-has-a-lytro-like-camera-for-smartphones-report/  “Toshiba…is creating Lytro-like camera technology for mobile devices that should be released before the end of 2013…Toshiba's technology reportedly lets users choose what part of a photo they'd like to focus on well after they've taken the shot. It will also allow users to put the entire picture into focus. For the most part, this type of technology has…not yet been put to use in smartphones or tablets…Toshiba's camera will have 500,000 miniature lenses layered in front of a camera sensor within a cube-shaped module that's just one centimeter thick. The sensor is said to be able to capture all of the different images from the lenses, which then give the user a choice of what to focus on -- one small portion of the photograph or the entire thing. This camera can also supposedly record video in a similar fashion, which is something Lytro hasn't yet introduced…”
Apps
7.        Google iOS apps: Google Is Attacking Apple From The Inside Out  http://www.businessinsider.com/google-is-attacking-apple-from-the-inside-out-and-its-working-2012-12  “…Google has lately adopted a new tactic to win mobile…Google is attacking Apple from the inside out. Over the past six months, Google has begun to systematically replace core, Apple-made iOS apps with Google-made iOS apps. In July, Google launched Chrome for iPhone—a Safari replacement…in October came Google Search—which included a voice search feature to compete with Siri. In December, Google launched Google Maps to replace Apple Maps, and a much-improved Gmail to replace Apple's core Mail app.  It also put out a new YouTube app, to replace the one that Apple removed during its last iOS upgrade…Google has launched an ad campaign recruiting iOS developers into the company…Google's tactic is working…AllThingsD, Liz Gannes says 2012 was the year "I basically stopped using iOS apps." She says Google apps are one big reason…I’m now using Google Maps instead of Apple Maps, Chrome instead of Safari, and Gmail instead of Mail. Those three have all made it to my home screen, where they replaced the in-house apps…the numbers one and two free iPhone apps right now are YouTube and Google Maps. None of this makes Apple executives very happy…”
8.       Israel's 24me iPhone App Makes Life Easier  http://ca.shalomlife.com/business/18463/israels-24me-iphone-app-makes-life-easier/  “…a personal assistant…would make your life’s seemingly endless to-do’s more manageable…a married couple from Israel, founded 24me in January 2012…We needed one place that would tell us what was happening with our lives and help us get things done!...users could sign up via email and can optionally connect with Facebook. However, sign up is no mandatory to use the app. Users can then add tasks and reminders, which can come in the form of notes, pictures and voice recordings…The app is a personal assistant which connects to your life and automatically creates those alerts with the ability to complete your tasks within the app…Through the “Share Tasks” setting, users can also share a task with other people. For example, you can add a grocery list as a task and share it with roommates or a spouse. The tasks are synced in real time, so that all parties see updates to the task…“Get Done” is integrated with TaskRabbit, a website and mobile app where users can outsource small jobs and tasks to others in the neighborhood. Users put in their location, the task, and a price they are willing to pay, and then the system finds a willing “doer”…24me says it is also connected to thousands of service providers and financial institutions in the US, including big names such as Bank of America, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Direct TV, Comcast, Cablevision, and Citi Bank…24me is available for iPhone. An Android version is in the works…”
SkyNet
9.       Google’s mobile future is Now  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/25/googles-mobile-future-is-now/  “Google Now may be one of Google’s most underrated new products of 2012, but I think it will turn out to be Google’s killer mobile product in the long run. It’s the one tool that brings together virtually everything Google knows about you and where you are and then turns all of this information into a useful dashboard on your phone. No other Google product…draws up such a wealth of data about you…Google Now is a standard feature of Android Jelly Bean and up…that shows you information about your daily commute…appointments, local weather, upcoming flight and hotel reservations…how your favorite team did last night…how long it’ll take you to get back to your house…a list of nearby attractions you may be interested in, the value of the local currency…In the long run…Google Now has the potential to become the central hub for almost everything you do…The idea here, Google said when it introduced Now, is to search on your behalf before you even know what you want…With Project Glass, the company has laid this vision out at the beginning of the year…Project Glass is essentially Google Now plus augmented reality and wearable computing…”
10.     Google's new VP9 video technology  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-57561111-2/googles-new-vp9-video-technology-reaches-public-view/  “…VP9 could give Google a fresh start in its attempt to popularize royalty-free video streaming. VP9, the successor to Google's VP8 video compression technology…made its first appearance outside Google's walls. Google has built VP9 support into Chrome, though only in an early-stage version of the browser for developers. In another change, it also added support for the new Opus audio compression technology that's got the potential to improve voice communications and music streaming on the Internet…Releasing VP9 gives Google a chance to improve the video-streaming performance and improve other aspects of VP8. That's important in competing with today's prevailing video compression technology, H.264, and with a successor called H.265 or HEVC…H.264 is used in videocameras, Blu-Ray discs, YouTube, and more. But most organizations using it must pay patent royalties to a group called MPEG LA…Google has tried to spur adoption of VP8 instead, which it's released for royalty-free use. One major area: online video built into Web pages through the HTML5 standard. However, VP8 hasn't dented H.264's dominance…The VP8 and VP9 codecs have their origins at On2 Technologies, a company Google acquired for $123 million…”
11.      Nearsighted? Google Glass with prescription lenses spotted in NY  http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/too-nearsighted-google-glass-prescription-lenses-spotted-ny-1C7786307  “A new variant of the Google Glass augmented-reality headset has been spotted in New York — one with prescription lenses, which should be welcome news to nearsighted gadget-lovers around the world. The device (in Google muted red) was photographed at a restaurant in New York…The now-familiar shape of the Glass prototype, with battery pack behind the ear and visor arm in front, adorns a pair of ordinary metal-framed prescription glasses…Some methods of presenting 3-D or augmented reality simply don't work when paired with glasses, whether for optical or ergonomic reasons…But luckily for the glasses-wearing public, Google's highly anticipated headset appears to work well enough to take on the road, although there may still be limitations relating to other visual conditions, like astigmatism…a $1,500 "Explorer Edition" developer kit is set to ship early in 2013…”
General Technology
12.     Flushing the crapware: A guide to reinstalling Windows 8 on a new PC  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/flushing-the-crapware-a-guide-to-reinstalling-windows-8-on-a-new-pc/  “…buying a new Windows 8 PC means that you're also buying a bunch of OEM-installed software that you didn't ask for…Much of this software can simply be uninstalled with no harm done, but if something goes wrong with your PC and you need to reinstall Windows, all of that crapware will usually come right back with it. For years now, most OEMs have neglected to include a "vanilla" Windows install disk with their computers, opting rather to include some sort of "restore partition" with all of the crapware baked in…To help out those of you who are planning to buy new PCs—or got them from Santa Claus—but don't want to deal with all of this junk, we're going to update our original Windows 7 bloatware removal guide for Microsoft's latest operating system. Parts of the following will be transplanted from that article where appropriate, but while the reasons for performing a clean Windows install are the same, the actual process is often surprisingly different…”
13.     DIY Animation Platform PowToon  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/14/diy-animation-platform-powtoon-grabs-600k-for-its-video-creation-software/  “PowToon…animation platform…lets anyone build marketing videos on the fly…Gonen says he happened across PowToon on his own, while hunting for an affordable way to create presentations for his portfolio companies. ”The limited options for creating affordable and nontraditional marketing collateral is mind-blowing,” Gonen says…PowToon offers a DIY solution for making those nearly ubiquitous marketing videos featuring cartoon characters explaining some sort of idea or solution…“explainer” videos…attempt to use simple, entertaining scripts to establish a core concept. These videos are regularly used in startup demo presentations shown to users and investors…With PowToon’s freemium service, users have access to a collection of templates and other content sourced from designers, animators, voice actors, and sound artists who sell through the PowToon Marketplace. Its DIY platform lets non-professionals drag-and-drop objects onto slides, choose the animation and duration, then add text and a soundtrack…” http://www.powtoon.com/
Leisure & Entertainment
14.     SimCity Designer Lovingly Crafts Handmade ‘Christmas Games’  http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/12/stone-librande-christmas/  “While most dads cruise the GameStop aisles to find the perfect gaming gift for their kids, Stone Librande, lead designer on the next installment of SimCity, has a more personal plan. For the last 17 years, Librande has taken a busman’s holiday to dream up, design and lovingly handcraft an original board game to give to his two sons on Christmas morning…That first year’s game was developed as little more than an amusing diversion for a 3-year-old…Now the Christmas games, like Junkyard Bots, Alpha Zoo-tauri, Roboball, Kong-Zilla and more, have become an exercise in producing heirloom-quality artisanal entertainment on an annual basis…Librande, whose credits include Diablo 3 and Spore, says he never intended to become a game designer. But when executives from Blizzard Entertainment played a game of “Monster Hunter,” his 2002 Christmas gift, they called him a few days later asking if he’d be interested in coming to work with them…he still doesn’t have a dedicated workshop for the Christmas games. Instead, he pulls his car out of his garage, occasionally borrows a laser cutter from a friend, and frequents Bay Area TechShops to work on more serious pieces of equipment…”
15.     Netflix outage on Christmas Eve blamed on Amazon Web Services problems  http://www.slashgear.com/netflix-outage-on-christmas-eve-blamed-on-amazon-web-services-problems-26262132/  “…Netflix had a significant outage on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that took the streaming service off-line. The problem wasn’t on Netflix’s end; rather the problem had to do with Amazon Web Services Elastic Load Balancing service in the US-East data center. The problem with Amazon service led to Netflix and streaming service Heroku being off-line Christmas Eve and the outage continued into the next day. Interestingly, Amazon’s own video streaming service Amazon Prime Instant Video was apparently unaffected in most locations…”  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413716,00.asp  “…In a nutshell, a developer accidentally deleted some data from the Amazon Elastic Load Balancing Service (ELB)…"Unfortunately, the developer did not realize the mistake at the time…After this data was deleted, the ELB control plane began experiencing high latency and error rates for API calls to manage ELB load balancers." Since Amazon didn't realize that the data had been deleted, its team initially focused on the API errors. "The team was puzzled as many APIs were succeeding…it took Amazon several hours to figure out that data had been deleted. When it did, around 5 p.m. Pacific, the team disabled several of the ELB control plane workflows and recovered some data…To make sure the same error doesn't happen again, Amazon will now require developers to get approval before deleting data…”
Economy and Technology
16.     How Kickstarter can solve its product problem  http://gigaom.com/2012/12/20/how-kickstarter-can-solve-its-product-problem/  “Kickstarter is becoming two businesses…one that originally began as a way to support traditional artistic projects like film, music and theater and one that showcases technology, design and video game projects. But this split is causing increasing growing pains for Kickstarter as it tries to deal with the second category, which now represents more than one third of all the money successfully raised. The problem is that people who back these projects have come to think of Kickstarter as a store where they pre-order products…CNN reported that just eight of the top 50 projects with a deadline of November or earlier actually hit their deadline. Most of the delays were for tech, design and game campaigns in which many backers are expecting a finished product for their support…Kickstarter has stressed recently that it is not a store and isn’t in the business of processing pre-orders of goods…many people still don’t understand that distinction. When they give, they expect something back as if they’re just pre-paying to get something at a specific time…The company needs to establish a separate platform for Kickstarter hardware and product design projects…There have been some changes recently prohibiting the rewarding of multiple units and limiting simulations and renderings of tech and design products. But it’s still not enough for the average user to undertand how these projects are different…”
17.     Yahoo ends 2012 with a bang, stock at highest since August 2008  http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/12/31/yahoo-ends-2012-with-a-bang-as-its-stock-price-reaches-level-not-seen-since-september-of-2008/  “Yahoo shareholders of the world rejoice: the company’s stock price just hit its highest level since August of 2008. Today, Yahoo peaked at $19.97…In 2008, Yahoo declined from a high of $29.66 to a low of under $10…Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, an ex-Googler and well respected executive, has brought fresh excitement to a firm long mired in leadership changes and dated business models. Yahoo has recently shown focus, exiting the Korean market and shuttering its music service in China, and product execution, as demonstrated by the rebirth of the profile of its Flickr property following the Instagram kerfuffle…Mayer has brought…a fresh vision: “Yahoo will have to be a predominantly mobile company,”…as the company has a distinct lack of mobile engineers, the ability to staff up in proper areas is nothing less than critical. In today’s trading, Yahoo market capitalization rested around…$23.4 billion…”
Design / DEMO
18.     Misfit Wearables Puts Design First in New Activity Tracker  http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2012/12/31/misfit-wearables-puts-design-first-in-new-activity-tracker/  “Misfit Wearables cofounder and CEO Sonny Vu learned a valuable lesson at his last company, AgaMatrix. The mobile health startup produced a blood glucose meter called the iBGStar, which allows users to check, monitor and share their readings on their iPhones. With only a glucose strip and the iPhone plug-in, users could track and analyze their health data over time, and even share it with their doctors, without having to keep a record or carry around a dedicated blood glucose meter. “If you can reduce technology from people’s lives, make it invisible, we could end up with a much more delightful experience,”…As Vu and his AgaMatrix cofounder Sridhar Iyengar started thinking about what to take on next, they realized that in the post-PC era, the next big thing is computation and sensors on the body…activity trackers are basically just pedometers…Misfit Wearables wanted to be sure consumers were willing to pony up for their design…The cofounders’ goal was to raise $100,000 in 30 days. They reached it in 10 hours. The deadline was extended by more than a month (to Jan. 16), and they’ve raised more than $570,000…“It’s awesome, “ he says. “We don’t’ have a marketing budget. We have no PR firm. We have 570,000 views of our YouTube video. It seems to have caught people’s attention.” Vu attributes the success of the campaign to the product’s design…”
19.     2012 Autodesk University: A Stake in the Cloud  http://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/autodesk-university-2012-centers-on-the-cloud.aspx  “…8,000 attendees, predominantly male, were here for Autodesk University…the annual event—now in its 20th year in the U.S., with spinoffs around the world—attracts tech-enthusiast architects, engineers, manufacturers, industrial designers, modelers, programmers, and educators…the geekiest of the geeks…had come from 99 countries to ogle CNC milling machines, modeling software, and 3D printers on display by 150-plus exhibitors, to participate in the 800-plus classes…For the company, which repeatedly emphasized its push to the cloud, the growing popularity of Autodesk’s cloud-based tools means that its users, traditionally in the building and manufacturing industries, have gone mainstream. Since its launch in September 2011, Autodesk 360, the company’s cloud platform, has been accessed by nearly 15 million users who have created nearly 1 million visualizations…”  http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=20884205&siteID=123112&src=OMSE&mktvar001=524476&mktvar002=524476&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=design%20engineering%20software&utm_content=Design%20Engineer&utm_campaign=Autodesk%20-%20MFG%20-%20Fusion%20360%20-%20GDN
DHMN Technology
20.    Merging Hexapod Bots and Flying Quadrotors Is Humanity’s Biggest Mistake  http://www.gizmag.com/hexacopter-hexapod/25516/  “What do you get when you cross a hexacopter with a hexapod? A hexacopterpod? Hexapodcopter? Hexahexapopter? Whatever it’s called, it’s pretty cool…After receiving a PhantomX Hexapod kit from Trossen Robotics, the Mad Lab team set to the task of giving it the gift of flight. The first step was performing a bit of weight reduction surgery on the hexapod, which involved the laborious task of replacing its original ABS plates with carbon fiber – which also added a liberal dose of ominous cool. Although the carbon fiber conversion cut the unit’s weight significantly, it was still hefty enough for the team to decide upon a six-rotor setup rather than four to increase the stability of the unit in the air. A Hoverfly Pro flight controller, six E-Flite Power 15 motors and six E-Flite 40-amp ESC (Electronic Speed Controls) were also used. The result is a hexapod/hexacopter hybrid that can scuttle along the ground like an insect, or take to the air – like a flying insect…”
21.     Makerspace: Madison Public Library sees innovation centers as a key part of its future  http://host.madison.com/news/local/writers/pat_schneider/makerspace-madison-public-library-sees-innovation-centers-as-a-key/article_3f8e9334-4d39-11e2-a1e0-001a4bcf887a.html  “When Trent Miller realized that Madison’s Central Library would be a vast empty building for a brief time — after the collection was moved out and before demolition for a renovation began — the library gallery coordinator knew he had to organize a major art show. “Bookless,” the resulting one-day, one-night 100-exhibiter art show and fundraiser that closed out the main library building’s original incarnation in January, drew an estimated 5,000 people. Library staff were already at work designing a media production lab for the new library, teen services librarian Jesse Vieau tells me, when Bookless took place. The enthusiastic reception for the event, where partiers splashed the walls with graffiti before they came down, ate, drank, danced and posed by the hundreds in a photo booth, convinced Vieau and Miller that technology could be used for so much more in the library’s next life. While brainstorming about ways to gather people together for creative exchange continued, the initiative was dubbed the “Bubbler.” The name — a Wisconsin word for drinking fountain — worked both for its local resonance and as term for a community gathering space…As now envisioned, the Bubbler will be a program incorporating elements of the “maker” movement that will radiate out from the new central library downtown into the branch public libraries…”
22.    Westport Library to hold talk on Maker Space  http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Westport-Library-to-hold-talk-on-Maker-Space-4135986.php  “Westport Public Library will host a talk on the library's Maker Space at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8…Bill Derry, the library's assistant director, and Board of Education member Mark Mathias will discuss the space and demonstrate a 3D printer…"We're going to show how the Maker Space and Mini Maker Faire supports learning," Derry said…Derry, Mathias and a townwide team of volunteers are planning the second Mini Maker Faire at the library for April 27. The space was installed in the library more than a year ago as part of the worldwide Maker movement of people making their own goods…”
Open Source Hardware
23.    Open Source Outer Space: Copenhagen Suborbitals  http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-12/open-source-outer-space-how-couple-guys-are-building-homemade-rocket-ship-masses  “…Founded in 2008 by two amateur engineers and entrepreneurs, Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, Copenhagen Suborbitals is now comprised of a coterie of 20-plus specialists determined to create the first homemade, manned spacecraft to go into suborbital flight. If successful--a manned launch is projected for sometime in the next few years--Denmark would be the fourth country in the world, after China, to successfully launch a manned rocket into space. What’s exceptional about such a feat, if completed, will be Kristian and Peter's ability to do so on a shoestring budget of a few hundreds of thousands of dollars, versus the tens of millions of dollars it costs government-funded agencies and the rising tide of private companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic or Bigelow…their accomplishments are impressive: their solid-and-liquid-fuel rocket, the HEAT-1X, is the first "amateur" rocket flown with a payload of a full-size crash test dummy, and the first to perform a successful Main Engine Cut-Off, or MECO command, and the first launched from a "low budget" sea-based platform. It's also the most powerful amateur rocket ever flown. If you’re trying to go to space, there’s no point in being tight-lipped about it. By making the spaceflight project open-source, Copenhagen Suborbitals were not only able to attract space-crazed specialists to volunteer their human capital in exchange for being part of something new and exciting, but they also raised donations, product support and constructive feedback from avid followers from all over the world…”
24.    Hardware for the holidays: Why not open source?  http://www.infoworld.com/d/hardware-the-holidays-why-not-open-source-209681  “…Two projects have caught my attention. While neither is exactly crucial to your IT department, both are signs of things to come…First, I've taken delivery of a new Model B Raspberry Pi…We use Asterisk with FreePBX as our phone system, running on a dedicated PC server in our server room. The idea of migrating the central switch to a Raspberry Pi is very appealing, so we've been working on a test system…We're attempting to use a full port of both Asterisk and FreePBX to the Pi. Asterisk is very resource-intensive, so we've disabled the video system on the Pi and added all the storage we can. Since FreePBX provides a Web interface, there will hopefully be no need for anything other than the Raspberry Pi connected to an Ethernet cable once it's all working. Looking at the tiny board -- dwarfed even by the Ethernet cable -- it's amazing to think we're attempting to cram a whole telephone exchange into it. This is the home hacker equivalent of the trend that's changing data centers. Low cost, low-energy, high-function computing is now available in ways that are unleashing the Innovator's Dilemma on the data center…”
Open Source
25.    Kolab Systems spearheads an open-source solution for groupware  http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/31/kolab-systems-spearheads-an-open-source-solution-for-the-third-pillar-of-productivity-groupware/  “Why is the founder and former president of the Free Software Foundation of Europe currently leading a for-profit software company in the groupware space? I asked Georg Greve, a former physicist and nanotechnologist, exactly that question. “There are three pillars of productivity for modern knowledge workers,” Greve replied. “One is the browser, the second is office applications, and the third is groupware. Free software has tackled the first two very well … but on the groupware side, almost nothing has happened.” Greve is the CEO of Kolab Systems, which produces Kolab groupware, an enterprise-scale email, calendaring, contact management, and task management suite that is fully open-source, freely available, and interoperable with multiple web, desktop, and tablet clients. The company’s clients include Fortune 500 companies — which Greve cannot contractually name — who have 60,000 employees using Kolab, as well as the entire school system of Bazel, Switzerland, and the German Federal Office for Information Security…”
26.    d0x3d! is an open-source board game about network security  http://www.geek.com/articles/games/d0x3d-is-an-open-source-board-game-about-network-security-20121228/  “If you need a new options to add to your non-video game nights and have burnt out on the fictional cyberpunk dystopia of Netrunner or want to move to a game more based in reality…check out…d0x3d!, the game not only aims to be fun, but to introduce people to network security terminology, as well as basic security constructs and attack-and-defend mechanics. The d0x3d! was inspired by Forbidden Island, a title from 2010 that is simple but versatile enough to be played either by yourself or with up to four players. Leacock’s d0x3d! comes in two editions: the Standard version that comes with everything you need to play in a “handsome” box, or the No Frills version, which comes with everything you need to play, but without the organizational box inserts and instruction manual…”
Civilian Aerospace
27.    Virgin Galactic maiden voyage by end of 2013?  http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/virgin-galactic-space-planes-should-launch-this-year  “…by the end of the year, Spaceport America should be home to the first-ever “spaceline”: Virgin Galactic…The six passengers and two pilots will take off horizontally from the spaceport’s 3.7-kilometer-long runway in a space plane that will likely have the ambiance of a trendy business jet…The real adventure begins after the two linked craft rise about 15 km (50 000 feet), at which point SpaceShipTwo will drop from its mounting, fire up its rocket motor, and go zooming upward into the heavens. Its passengers will then experience peak forces that are almost 4 g’s—four times normal gravity—more than what a ride up on the space shuttle gave its astronauts…“Going to 6 g’s is a serious thing, but it’s a very trainable thing,” says George T. Whitesides, president…for Virgin Galactic. “We put 80 of our earliest customers through that exact g profile and the vast majority did fine.”…exactly when passengers will begin flying is unclear. But Branson has said that the first such flight, on which he and his two grown children will be passengers, should occur sometime this year. It’s understandable that the timetable is still a bit vague. Ferrying ordinary people to the edge of space is, after all, not something anyone really knows how to do yet…”
28.    Meet the Latest Start-up to Take on Space  http://www.inc.com/eric-markowitz/meet-the-latest-start-up-to-take-on-space.html  “Golden Spike, a start-up founded by the former chief of NASA's space and earth science programs, has plans to reach the moon by 2020. A half-century ago, the Space Race was fought between nations. Today, that battle has a decidedly scrappier feel, with start-ups leading the charge. One recent entrant is the Golden Spike Company, a Boulder-based start-up that plans to offer human expeditions to the moon…Stern believes that firms already operating within the private spaceflight industry have created the basic technology that makes commercialized space travel a possibility. Now, according to the company mission, "Golden Spike will exploit these advances, and others in the late stages of development, for commercial use, to offer human expeditions to the Moon at prices comparable to robotic flagship missions…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
29.    Broadcom Predicts Top 10 Technology Trends in 2013  http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Broadcom-Technology-Trends-2013-Smartphones,19936.html  “…Broadcom has predicted the top 10 technology trends in 2013…for 2013, a total of 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets are expected to be sold. Broadcom’s…top 10 technology trends next year…are as follows: Simultaneous Video Display Across Devices - "Playing video seamlessly across multiple devices like your smartphone, tablet or laptop will become more commonplace in 2013…NFC: More than Just Payments…No Longer for the Luxury Set: Smarter Cars at Lower Cost…Android for Set Top Boxes - "Can Android democratize set top boxes like it has for mobile phones?...LTE Builds Out and Up - "Adoption of LTE is still in the initial stages but consumers will see widespread coverage in 2013. In North America, Verizon should finish its LTE rollout by June 2013…Small Cells Get Rolling…Go Big - "Look for the first Ultra HD (4Kx2K) TVs to start showing up and…MPEG-5 codecs and broadband chipsets…Emergence of a Software-Defined Networking Ecosystem…5G WiFi Everywhere - "Offering improved range, better battery performance, higher capacity and speeds up to three times faster than existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks, 5G WiFi is the latest Wi-Fi standard…Context Awareness - "GPS technology has made navigating the globe seamless, eliminating the need for road maps and detailed directions from friends. But GPS has limitations…2013 will elevate to the next level: “context awareness.” Context awareness goes beyond navigation by culling data from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and sensors in your phone to provide you with intelligent information on your location and surroundings…”
30.    2013 technology advances to watch  http://www.sfgate.com/technology/dotcommentary/article/2013-technology-advances-to-watch-4158790.php  “…if the consumer-tech product cycle has become a wee bit predictable, it's also clear that steady progress in hard computer science and high-level engineering will continue to alter our relationship with machines in more fundamental and interesting ways. Here are five areas that this columnist will be watching closely in 2013 and beyond: Personal robotics: During the summer, Emily, a 25-pound robotic lifeguard, made its first successful rescue, pulling in a father and son caught in a riptide along the Oregon coast…No one knows when robots will become a regular presence in our everyday lives…the hard technical problems are steadily being solved, the high prices are beginning to fall…Context-aware computing…Apple's Siri…and similar services like Google Now represent an important shift in human-computer interaction…understanding natural language, filling in gaps in instructions and taking context into account. Google Now…takes into account the time, your geographical location and a calendar entry, and provides a useful alert without any additional human input…Devices that know our locations, contacts, habits and preferences can provide useful information at the ideal time, or simply take actions on our behalf…Electric vehicles in new and shifting shapes: The Hiriko, a clever little electric car…is expected to go into production this year…The car can go up to 75 miles on a single electric charge. But the bigger novelty is that the car folds onto itself, allowing three to squeeze into a standard parking space. In addition, each wheel has its own motor and steering control, enabling the car to park sideways…The plan is to lease the cars a la Zipcar…Lit Motors has developed the C-1, an electric motorcycle encased in metal and equipped with a gyroscopic stabilization system that prevents it from falling…3-D printing: Artificial limbs. Drones. Homes…The falling cost and ease of use is already sparking creative new designs for everything from bicycles to high heels…Gesture control: Sometime early this year, Leap Motion is expected to begin shipping its…small, rectangular device that allows computer users to scroll websites, resize maps, draw pictures and play games, all with mid-air hand movements…Some gesture-control applications might…just tire out your arms. But it opens up new possibilities - for precise control of robots, maintaining sterile environments during surgeries, controlling machines from across wide spaces and offering computing power to the severely disabled.”

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