NEW NET Weekly List for 08 Jan 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 08 January 2013, 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.        Coupons at Checkout Finds Available Coupons for Order During Checkout  http://lifehacker.com/5972541/coupons-at-checkout-automatically-finds-available-coupons-for-your-order-during-checkout  “…We've always loved coupon sites like RetailMeNot for finding discounts at a moment's notice, but Coupon Follow decided to take it a step further by integrating their coupon data into the checkout process. Their extension, Coupons at Checkout, suggests available discounts and promo codes on available online store pages so you don't even have to look them up. All you have to do is install the extension and visit a supported online store (e.g. Target, Amazon, DELL, CVS, Macy's, Domino's Pizza, Travelocity, and many more). When you get to the checkout page, find the section for coupons or promo codes and click on it to make your options appear…”  [do you use online coupons when you buy from sites that have a coupon code option, and, if so, where do you get your codes? – ed.]
2.       Rise of the incognito internet  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d7597e64-4a13-11e2-a7b1-00144feab49a.html  “…Almost every action people take online is now monitored by a combination of “cookies”, “beacons” and other such tracking devices…timing how long web users spend on a website…remembering the items they put in their shopping baskets…For years, tools that blocked cookies and IP addresses were the preserve of the geeky few – now millions use them…DoNotTrackMe has been downloaded 3m times since its launch…Ghostery, for example, a product that tells users what software a website is using to track them – and blocks it on request – has 40m active users around the world…The number of tracking devices used by websites has almost doubled in three years…About a fifth of these sites use at least 100 cookies each…AnchorFree…which encrypts every web page a user visits, has been installed by more than 100m people. It is downloaded more than 1m times per week…Beyond security…what the bulk of users want is something very basic: privacy…”
3.       Dot Com Domains Top 105 Million Names  http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsp/dot-com-domains-top-105-million-names.html  “…there are now approximately 105 million registered domain names in the .com TLD. In contrast, the .net registry now totals 14.9 million names. All domain names registered in Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs) now come in at approximately 104.9 million. There are currently 280 different ccTLD extensions in use at the top level. Ranking TLDs by size, .com holds the top spot, followed by .de (Germany), .net, .tk (Tokelau), .uk (United Kingdom), .org, .info, .cn (China), .nl (Netherlands) and .ru (Russian Federation)…there were 246 million domains registered across all TLDs in the third quarter of 2012, which is a 12 percent year-over-year increase…”
4.       One Server Per Person  http://ostatic.com/blog/one-server-per-person  “…The control we give to cloud computing platforms like Google and Amazon negates the efforts of open source to put the control of their computing environment in their own hands. What we need are open servers…It seems natural now for a person to buy a computer, and it is beginning to seem natural to expect each person we meet to own a smart phone or a tablet. What if it became natural for each person, or each family at least, to also own a server? A personal, dedicated server that could host their web site…and any other dedicated web based application that they wanted to use…it is easy to understand why more people do not do this now. As a sysadmin, I’m intimately familiar with the complexity of keeping web applications running…For the one server per person, or, more likely, per household…the user interface must be simplified…Even the process of getting dynamic DNS setup or ordering a static IP from an ISP can be a hassle. We should be able to build a system optimized to run in someone’s basement or closet to be their personal connection to the outside world…what we need is a serious, concerted effort in…Taking back control of our personal information…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        When USB memory sticks lie  http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/29C3-When-USB-memory-sticks-lie-1775193.html  “…We think of USB memory sticks as block devices, but in reality they are computers that use a network to talk to a host…These devices can send any data they want." Once this perspective is adopted, whole new fields of application become possible…USB device drivers are often poorly programmed and offer many access points…it is possible to modify files while a USB memory stick is connected…Collin Mulliner exploited the misplaced trust in these USB devices to install an unauthorised extension on a Samsung smart TV that allowed him to gain full access to the TV's system…This allowed him to make arbitrary firmware changes, for instance in order to record content from a premium TV channel…Through fingerprinting, the USB memory stick can quickly establish what kind of device is trying to communicate with it…With the necessary programming, a USB memory stick can, therefore, return different content to a Windows PC than it does to a Linux computer…Goodspeed said that he can program his USB memory stick in such a way that it will self-destruct when someone tries to create a copy for forensic purposes…”
6.       Android botnet discovered across all major networks  http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/12/18/android-botnet-found-on-all-major-us-carriers-sends-thousands-of-spam-texts-to-spread-like-a-virus/  “A new Android spam botnet has been discovered that uses infected phones to send thousands of SMS messages without the user’s permission…it has already been spotted on all major US carriers and has the potential to make a big impact at the network level…It spreads through SMS messages…that advertise free versions of popular paid games like Angry Birds Space…After the user taps on a link from one of these SMS messages, their phone downloads an app that claims to install the game. Instead, SpamSoldier opens and removes its icon from the launcher to cover its tracks. It then immediately starts sending spam messages…Carriers likely won’t enjoy the large amount of SMS messages sent if it causes a slowdown, butthe user could lose out even more if he or she is charged for many of them. We think this is likely just a test for creating a much more effective Android botnet…”
7.        Intellectual Ventures: Our 2000 Shell Companies Are Totally Normal  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121220/02365821447/intellectual-ventures-dont-mind-our-2000-shell-companies-thats-totally-normal.shtml  “…in 2010, we wrote about a report suggesting that Intellectual Ventures was using somewhere around 1000 shell companies to hide many of its patent shakedown attempts…A few months ago, we wrote about an attempt to crowdfund an investigation into all of IV's shell companies…it has helped put renewed attention on IV's use of a massive number of shell companies. In response, IV…published a…blog post arguing that the use of thousands of shell companies is just a normal business procedure…IV is almost certainly worried…that, if the extent of its activities were known, there would be more fodder for real and necessary reform against trolling…the good folks at PlainSite, who try to shine some light on the hidden corners of the legal system…actually went through…the USPTO assignment database and…identified…the names of what appear to be over 2,000 shell companies…”
8.       To thwart hackers, firms salting their servers with fake data  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/to-thwart-hackers-firms-salting-their-servers-with-fake-data/2013/01/02/3ce00712-4afa-11e2-9a42-d1ce6d0ed278_story.html  “Brown Printing Co., which prints popular magazines and catalogues, knew that it had valuable assets in its computer systems and that those assets…were increasingly at risk with the proliferation of cyber-espionage…so…it turned to one of the oldest tricks in human history: deception. The…company began planting fake data in Web servers to lure hackers into “rabbit holes” in the hopes of frustrating them into giving up…Anyone who took it was being watched by Brown, their computer locations tagged and their tactics recorded…The emerging trend reflects a growing sense in industry that companies need to be more aggressive in fighting off intruders as the costs of digital espionage soar…digital deception is known as a type of “active defense,” a controversial and sometimes ill-defined approach that could include techniques as aggressive as knocking a server offline…security experts caution companies against taking certain steps, such as reaching into a person’s computer to delete stolen data or shutting down third-party servers… Digital deception tools date back at least 20 years in the academic research community…If the hackers have to expend a lot of energy and effort figuring out what’s real and what’s not, they’ll go elsewhere…Stolfo…tested his technology with a major U.S. bank two years ago. The bank put $1,000 in an online decoy account registered to a fictitious user, then Stolfo exposed the account to malware from Web sites controlled by hackers. Within three days, the bank began seeing attempts to shift money from the dummy account into a real account, whose owner the bank knew…a Northern Virginia cybersecurity firm that works closely with U.S. intelligence agencies and has been targeted by hackers in China has…created encrypted data files labeled with the names of Chinese military systems and put them in folders ostensibly marked for sharing with the National Security Agency and the CIA. With such bait, the firm has been able to document how individual hackers work and has linked their pseudonyms…Within the first week that Brown Printing installed the deception tools in 2010, it detected 375 suspicious probes against its Web sites. “That was the first time that we could say, ‘Wow, we’re seeing those events and we know what’s occurring…”
9.       U.S. Banks Again Hit by DDoS  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/u-s-banks-again-hit-by-wave-of-cyberattacks/  “For the last week, hackers have — once again — attacked the online banking sites of…nine banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, PNC, BB&T, Suntrust and Regions Financial…Customers at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and JPMorgan did not appear to have had any trouble reaching their accounts…Though banks take great pains to absorb large volumes of traffic, many experienced  unprecedented levels. Typically such attacks are deployed through a Web application, in which hackers recruit volunteers to click on a link that sends signals from their computers to a victim’s site, or through botnets…security researchers who studied the attacks on banking sites last fall said hackers had used a new weapon: data centers. Researchers…found that the traffic was coming from data centers around the world that had been infected with a sophisticated form of malware that was designed to evade detection by antivirus solutions. The attackers used those infected servers to simultaneously fire traffic at each banking site until it slowed or collapsed. By infecting data centers instead of computers, attackers obtained the horsepower to mount an enormous denial of service attack…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
10.     Wrist Sensor Tells You How Stressed Out You Are  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/508716/wrist-sensor-tells-you-how-stressed-out-you-are/  “…two MIT startups are developing wrist-worn sensors that can detect physiological changes—including perspiration and elevated temperature—that may signal the onset of events like anxiety attacks. The data collected by these devices can be fed into an algorithm that aims to learn what triggers anxiety, or when people may be about to engage in a risky behavior…Although the technology is still experimental and the devices are used mainly in medical research, they herald the appearance of consumer versions and associated apps that let people monitor their mood and stress levels…Neumitra, emerged from stealth mode earlier this year with a device that can measure proxies for excitement or stress, including increased motion, increased skin conductance from perspiration, and elevated skin temperature. The device, called bandu, sends readings to the wearer’s smartphone, which records them for later analysis…The challenge is teasing out exactly which physiological changes are linked to stressful events. Researchers also must filter out noise, such as perspiration from exercise or excitement from watching a favorite sports team. Some improvements will come from self-learning algorithms…Affectiva…Q sensor has been used for more than a year in trials…attempting to develop a physiological measure of pain…pain diagnoses currently rely entirely on patients’ self-reporting…Picard says her company is also working on ways to detect changes that may signal that a person is about to engage in risky or destructive behavior, such as drug abuse or even an outburst of violence…”
11.      iPhone fan switches to Nexus 4  http://www.24100.net/2013/01/an-iphone-lovers-confession-i-switched-to-the-nexus-4-completely/  “…No matter whom you would ask, everybody will confirm that I’m what some folks call an Apple fanboy…As the co-founder of Germany’s largest mobile development shop, I’m dealing with apps – predominantly iOS powered – in my daily professional life…I tried to give Android a chance more than once…and always switched straight back to the iPhone. None of those Android devices have worked for me – yet. And then I got the Nexus 4…It’s now almost two weeks since I switched the Nexus 4 on for the first time – and meanwhile I completely moved to it, leaving my iPhone 5 at home. Do I miss anything? Nope. Except iMessage…I’m not the average smartphone owner, who makes just a couple of calls every now and then or runs an app once in a while. By the nature of my job and out of curiosity, I deal a lot with social media outlets, social networks and constantly try new services…The latest version of Android outshines the latest version of iOS in almost every single aspect…One of the biggest advantages I found during my daily use is the level of cross-app and OS level integration…whenever I grab my iPhone for testing purposes, iOS feels pretty old, outdated and less user friendly. For me, there currently is no way of going back. Once you get used to all of these capabilities, it’s hard to live without them…The only thing I miss is iMessages…many of my friends are on iPhones and used to text me via iMessage…I tried Android many times before and it never worked for me…there are two main reasons for this. First, Android has made a major step forward with Jelly Bean…Second…I found the stock Android experience provided by Google the best you can get. After switching to the Nexus 4, I tried my Samsung S III again, and it did not work for me…”
12.     Tizen: Samsung's Plan To Free Itself From Google And Apple  http://www.businessinsider.com/samsungs-plan-to-ditch-google-and-apple-2012-12  “Samsung is expected to release a smartphone on a new operating system called Tizen in 2013. It's a bold move that could let Samsung lessen its dependence on Apple, a major customer for parts that has nonetheless sued it for patent infringement, and Google, which makes the Android software has been a big part of Samsung's smartphone success but now competes with Samsung through its Motorola acquisition. Tizen is similar to Android in that it's an open-source smartphone OS built from Linux…it's backed by Intel, Samsung, and NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile communication company. It arose from the ashes of another…Android alternative, known as MeeGo. MeeGo was championed by Intel and Nokia before Nokia cast it aside in favor of its Windows Phone partnership…Samsung wants to phase out its homegrown smartphone platform, Bada, and replace it with Tizen…”
13.     Nuance to create a universal voice assistant, bridging phones, TVs and cars  http://gigaom.com/2013/01/07/nuance-to-create-a-universal-voice-assistant-bridging-phones-tvs-and-cars/  “Nuance Communications is sticking its voice recognition technology into a lot of products, from its own smartphone and PC personal assistants to connected TV and cars. Though all of those devices share the same natural language understanding (NLU) technology, none of them are interconnected…Nuance…plans to break down those barriers between its separate platforms, and focus on what it’s calling “intelligent systems.” The idea is to create a personal assistant that will persist beyond the interface, that can be accessed anywhere from the cloud…it is launching an initiative called Living Language that will allow its servers to dynamically update…speech databases to reflect changing language patterns as they occur…Living Language will get its first test…in its evolving predictive-text interface Swype. Nuance will use crowdsourcing to start analyzing new words Swype users type into their texts and emails. As new words and phrases begin trending, Swype will update its lexicon and make that new vocabulary available to its Swype apps…we should start seeing closer integration of its various…voice command platforms: Dragon TV, Dragon Go, Dragon Drive, Dragon Dictation and Dragon Mobile Assistant…Nuance will offer its universal assistant across its own Dragon products, but its primary business is licensing technology to hardware vendors…like Apple, Samsung and LG sell across the consumer electronics landscape…As Nuance delves into more areas like the connected home and internet of things, there will be more opportunities to connect and interlink more devices. That’s where the potential of universal assistant could really get big…”
14.     New Airwave-Sharing Scheme Will Launch a Wireless Revolution  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/508556/new-airwave-sharing-scheme-will-launch-a-wireless-revolution/  “…the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is poised to recommend the biggest regulatory change in decades: one that allows a newly available chunk of wireless spectrum to be leased by different companies at different times and places, rather than being auctioned off to one high bidder…Cisco Systems estimates that mobile data traffic will grow by a factor of 18 by 2016, and Bell Labs predicts it will increase by a factor of 25. Many more airwaves could eventually be shared with the help of cognitive radios…The move will open up a piece of spectrum in the 3.550 to 3.650 gigahertz band now used by radar systems. The move in effect allocates spectrum for another Wi-Fi—a technology that has had tremendous impact. But it is the sharing approach that represents a dramatic change in unleashing bandwidth…Whatever the details, the move spells the beginning of the end of a system in which spectrum is either exclusively owned by a private company, walled off for government and military use, or unlicensed and crowded. It’s very different—this is going to allow for people to get low-cost access to the spectrum, to support new types of wireless devices…”
15.     Netbooks die at only 5 years old  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/31/netbooks-dead-2013  “Sayonara, netbooks. The end of 2012 marks the end of the manufacture of the diddy machines that were - for a time - the Great White Hope of the PC market…Asus, which kicked off the modern netbook category with its Eee PC in 2007, has announced that it won't make its Eee PC product after today, and that Acer doesn't plan to make any more; which means that "the netbook market will officially end after the two vendors finish digesting their remaining inventories." Asustek and Acer were the only two companies still making netbooks, with everyone else who had made them (including Samsung, HP and Dell) having shifted to tablets…Intel, which made its Atom processor with the intent of aiming at lower-cost, lower-power, longer-battery-life PCs, is still going to keep making the Atom; those will be pushed into the embedded market for point-of-sale applications. What killed the netbook? There are four candidates: the rest of the PC market (including the arrival of ultrabooks); the economy; the economics of netbooks; and the iPad plus the attendant rise of tablets…”
16.     E-Reader Revolution: Over Just as It Has Begun?  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887323874204578219834160573010-lMyQjAxMTAzMDAwMzEwNDMyWj.html  “…IHS iSuppli…estimates that shipments of dedicated e-readers peaked in 2011 and predicts that 2012 shipments slid to 14.9 million units, down 36% from a year earlier. By 2015, it expects unit sales of dedicated e-readers to be just 7.8 million…E-readers seemed revolutionary when they came into vogue in 2007. They allowed users to store and read hundreds of books on a device that was lighter than many hardcovers and took up much less space. In addition, digital books cost less to buy. In the intervening years, e-reader designs improved…they were easier to read, they weighed less, their pages turned faster, and they held more books. Wireless capability allowed users to download novels, magazines and newspapers wherever they were, whenever they wanted, and now the devices allow for reading in the dark…The real innovation in e-readers has been giving consumers a convenient way to buy books, wirelessly, without even having to use their computers…People haven't stopped reading. They are just increasingly likely to read e-books on tablets rather than e-readers…For most consumers, a multi-use tablet is a better fit, particularly at the price points at which tablets can now be had…Barnes & Noble said that revenue at its Nook segment—which includes both tablets and e-readers, as well as digital content and accessories—fell 13% from a year earlier to $311 million for the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 29…Despite the trends, dedicated e-readers have some selling points. They tend to be lighter than most tablets, and…Barnes & Noble says the low-end Simple Touch version of its Nook line can operate up to two months on a battery charge, compared with around 10 hours of reading on its Nook HD tablet. There have also been major improvements in e-readers, including touch-screen technology and self-lighting screens…”
17.     Mobile phones for market research  http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671571/4-secrets-for-doing-gonzo-user-research  “…There are now more than a billion smartphones in the world. That means a billion people walking around with cameras in their pockets. Need to know what it’s like to buy a product in India? Need to know what a game of soccer looks like in a favela outside Sao Paulo? It’s always best to go on a plane to find out. If you can’t, just ask people to film the experience for you. At Sense Worldwide, we’ve built up a network of freelance researchers, planners, and designers who can quickly paint us a picture of what it’s like to kill a roach in Tokyo or go running in Seoul. You can do the same. Reach out through your connections on LinkedIn. Set your Facebook ad phasers to Interests: design, photography; Location: Shinjuku. Find your barefoot ethnographers, hire their smart phones and smarter brains, then see the world through their eyes…”
18.     Crowdsourced Learning Platform StudyBlue Helps Students Study On The Go  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/04/2-5m-users-strong-studyblue-grabs-9m-to-help-students-study-on-the-go/  “…Wisconsin-based startup StudyBlue set out with a simple and straightforward mission: Leverage technology to help students improve their academic performance. Over the next year, with smartphone adoption accelerating, that took a more defined shape, with StudyBlue becoming laser-focused on mobile to allow students to study anywhere and everywhere — across devices…StudyBlue has become a “digital backpack,” with its web and mobile study tools enabling college and high school students to store and organize their course materials, turning them into flashcards, quizzes and study guides that can be accessed on the go. By allowing students to share the content they create with others, the startup has amassed an enormous library of user-generated study materials — over 100 million in total — which cover a wide array of subjects, from zoology to anthropology. The free platform has attracted 2.5 million students to date, 1.5 million of which have signed on in the last year…In 2009, 100 percent of StudyBlue users were university students, but today high school students and teachers now represent over 30 percent of its user base and, next, the startup wants to make middle school a bigger share of that 30 percent…”
19.     Blekko Launches Izik, A Tablet-Optimized Search App  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/04/blekko-launches-izik/  “…Blekko is launching a new app today called Izik…designed specifically for the search experience on tablets…Izik is an attempt to recapture “that same tingly feeling” that people had when they first used Google more than a decade ago and realized that this was a new, improved search experience. That doesn’t happen on tablets, he said, because search on tablets “doesn’t look native.”…search on a desktop or laptop is more likely to be “task-oriented,” while search on a tablet is more exploratory or fun…Plus, typing on a tablet is just harder — they’ve found that search queries on a tablet are usually only one or two words long, rather than the previously standard two-to-four. Izik, then, takes Blekko’s search technology and redesigns the interface to make it fit that experience, making it more touch-friendly and image-driven. When you first open the app, you can choose from a few search queries that are popular currently, or you can type your own search into the box. Once you’ve made your search, the app offers you a dynamically generated list of different categories that fits with your specific search…”
20.    Google cleared of search results bias after 2-year US investigation by FTC  http://searchengineland.com/ftc-law-protects-competition-not-competitors-says-not-enough-evidence-to-prove-search-bias-144119  “After 19 months of investigation, political maneuvering, lobbying and intense speculation the FTC has closed its antitrust investigation of Google…Google comes away largely unscathed from the process…The settlement has three components…there will be no involuntary scraping of third party content for inclusion in “specialized” (vertical) Google search results (the Yelp case). Google will also enable easier exporting of AdWords campaigns to Bing and other platforms. And Google (through a consent decree) will be required to fairly license Motorola’s “standards-essential” patents and stop using them in an anti-competitive way to block rival products…The commission chose to close its investigation into alleged “search bias,” which was Google’s rivals’ main area of interest…the FTC was unanimous…that there wasn’t enough factual evidence under the law to support any sort of complaint. Leibowitz also pointed out that Bing and Yahoo (both by implication) do some of the same types of things that Google was criticized for doing…Leibowitz emphasized, “The law protects competition not competitors.”…there are no fines and no continuing litigation…regarding the notion that the US Department of Justice might now take up an antitrust case against Google, Leibowitz essentially dismissed the idea…”
21.     Google Extends Free Gmail Voice Calls In The U.S. And Canada Through 2013  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/26/google-extends-free-gmail-voice-calls-in-the-u-s-and-canada-through-2013/  “In what is becoming somewhat of a holiday tradition…Google…announced that it is extending free domestic calls from Gmail in the U.S. and Canada for yet another year. Just like at the end of 2011 and 2010, Google today said that Gmail users will once again get one more year of free voice calls from the Gmail chat widget…When it first launched this calling feature, it said that it would make it free for the first year. Since then, of course, it has always extended this offer, despite the company’s recent trend toward closing some of its less popular or money-losing services…”
22.    Power through schedules with 21 Google Calendar tricks  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2021459/power-through-schedules-with-21-google-calendar-tricks.html  “…Google Calendar…is accessible wherever you go, and it offers granular controls for Type A personalities as well as color coding for the style-conscious…allowing you to add calendars outside your organization, and to involve your social network in events…This guide will help you take control, whether you're a Google Calendar novice or a power user…Not all of the useful shortcuts are official features. Google is constantly brewing new concoctions, so visit its Labs to find unique tools…1. Use keyboard shortcuts…2. Find any date in a hurry…3. Customize calendar navigation…4…See your upcoming plans in a colorful text list…5. Dim less-important events…6. Hide weekends…7. Minimize all-day events…8. Keep both work and play at your fingertips…9. Schedule an event with a one-liner…10. See when a colleague is available…11. Check whether everyone can meet—in the room with the view…12. Hide events you’re not attending…13. Let Google Calendar RSVP for you…14. Don’t miss the next meeting…15. See who’s free or busy…16. Show two time zones…17. Manage multiple time zones…18. Know the weather…19. Add calendars from around the Web…20. Schedule events from your social network…21. Share your calendar…”
23.    Google Chrome 25 will disable silent extension installation, kill all such extensions retroactively  http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/12/21/google-chrome-25-will-disable-silent-extension-installation-kill-all-such-extensions-retroactively/  “Google…is changing its stance for silently installing extensions in its browser. As of Chrome 25, external extension deployment options on Windows will be disabled by default and all extensions previously installed using them will be automatically disabled…you will still have the option to “Enable extension” as well as, if you’re not sure how it got there, “Remove from Chrome.”…Chrome 25 will give you a list of the extensions it is disabling. If you want to keep some of them, you can click on “Extension Settings.” Otherwise, you can click on “OK, Great…”
24.    Is Amazon's Advertising A Threat To Google?  http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/12/24/is-amazons-advertising-a-threat-to-google/  “…Amazon is expanding its advertising network…Amazon is gaining some $500 million in annual revenue from ads at present. Peanuts as compared to Google’s. However…Amazon can bring in higher-margin revenue by selling advertising than it can from its retail operations. By showing ads for products that it may not actually sell on its own website, Amazon establishes itself as a starting point for consumers looking to buy something on the Web…Forrester reported that 30 percent of U.S. online shoppers in the third quarter began researching their purchase on Amazon.com, compared with 13 percent who started on a search engine such as Google – a reversal from two years earlier when search engines were more popular starting points…Amazon is where you go if you want to buy something, Google if you want to search for something…to advertisers who are selling things an ad being shown to someone who is actively seeking to buy something is much more valuable than an ad to someone who is simply searching for something. So…we might assume that the Amazon ads are more valuable than the Google ones…”
25.    Request refunds for Google Play apps after grace period ends  http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57562188-285/request-refunds-for-google-play-apps-after-grace-period-ends/  “The Google Play store does allow users to return apps, but only within a 15-minute window…many paid versions of apps offer the best features -- you know, their selling point. Let's say you bought an app that you can't gauge its usefulness in 15 minutes or less. Or maybe the app is freezing your device when you use it and figuring out what's going on is taking more than 15 minutes. Are you stuck with the app now? Well, maybe. Maybe not. If the app is relatively cheap, it may be less hassle to just eat the cost. But if the price is $10 or more and causes your device to freeze when using it, asking for a refund seems understandable. You won't be able to return the app via the automated system on the Google Play Store on your Android device or through the Web. However, you can request a refund from the developer, or even Google, if you're within a 48-hour window. Here's how…”
26.    Top 10 Ways to Speed Up and Beef Up Your Google Searchehttp://lifehacker.com/5973313/top-10-ways-to-speed-up-and-beef-up-your-google-searches  “…Here are 10 ways to beef up and speed up your Google searches and find stuff easier…10. Make Use of Google's Built-In Tools…9. Make Your Results Easily Scannable…8. Endlessly Scroll Through Results…7. Make Google Cache Better…6. Ditch the Spammy Results…5. Turn Off Google's More Annoying Features…4. Highlight Your Search Terms on the Resulting Pages…3. Use Advanced Operators…2. Add Custom Searches to Your Browser…1. Know When Not to Google…”
27.    Google Maps Mess: Windows Phone to Regain Access  http://www.informationweek.com/byte/personal-tech/mobile-applications/google-maps-mess-windows-phone-to-regain/240145642  “…Google's apparently deliberate maltreatment of Windows Phone users is more of a public relations scandal than anything technical. The company can't seem to make up its mind what it has done or what to say about it. Google announced that it will remove the behavior, but it has reaped a whirlwind of scrutiny that won't subside easily. Windows Phone users who try to browse the Google Maps mobile site get redirected to the Google home page. Based on my testing, it seems that this redirection occurs for any browser based on Microsoft's Trident browser layout engine…Combine it with all the other practices I described in my column last week — the end of Calendar Sync, poor support for the CalDAV standard on which non-Google Calendar users must rely, their refusal to provide Microsoft access to YouTube metadata, and a general refusal to write apps for Windows Phone — and it's hard not to conclude that Google is intentionally giving Windows Phone users a bad experience.”
28.    Proof That Google Plus Will Prevail  http://www.fastcompany.com/3004448/plus-one-proof-google-plus-will-prevail  “Remember when Google Plus “flopped"? Well, it didn’t. In fact, it was, and still is, just part of Google’s plan--but everyone (including the media) has trouble seeing it as anything other than a swing and a miss for the explosive overtaking of Facebook, which is what most people believe was Google’s intention with Google Plus…99% of the people in Silicon Valley I’ve talked to…will tell you that Google Plus flopped…But I'm willing to stake my reputation on the following statement: If Google Plus doesn’t have a staggering number of active users by the end of 2013, you can all come over to my office and pie me in the face…Google Plus never was, and will never be, only about competing directly with Facebook…Sure, there’s a social networking aspect to it, but Google Plus is really Google’s version of Google. It’s the groundwork for a level of search quality difficult to fathom based on what we know today. It’s also the Borg-like hive-queen that connects all the other Google products like YouTube, Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books, and more. And…that snowball is starting to pick up speed and mass…What makes Google Plus different is that it is the new backbone of a company that does search better than anyone already--something Facebook could never compete with…Google Plus’s brilliant method of gaining new users is…to methodically absorb certain verticals using the carrot instead of the stick…Step one: Corral every single blogger…bloggers can link their Google Plus profile to the content they create. Guess how many online writers see that and say “Eh, I don’t need to have that.”…Step two: Attract every single small business and at least one of their employees. Want your business to appear on Google Maps, Google Local…you need a Google Plus Local Business page now… this account must be managed by a real person with a real Google Plus personal account. Now you have all small businesses as well as a new person in each business using Google Plus…maybe you want better music, movie, or book recommendations--look no further than Google Plus. Want to find a community of skiers or chefs or race car drivers with a flick of the wrist?...The point is, once Google Plus has every blogger, every small business, lots of gamers, lots of YouTubers, etc., actively using the product, they will continue to use all that new data to make even more of their products more awesome…”  http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/05/why-the-google-long-game-is-brilliant/
29.    Amazon's top selling laptop doesn't run Windows or Mac OS  http://www.zdnet.com/amazons-top-selling-laptop-doesnt-run-windows-or-mac-os-it-runs-linux-7000009433/  “…what, according to Amazon, in this winter of Windows 8 discontent has been the best selling laptop? It's Samsung's ARM-powered, Linux-based Chromebook…The Chromebook has several things going for it…First, it's cheap. The list price for $249. On Amazon, it's currently going for more than that: $317. Why is it selling for more? It appears that retailers are taking advantage of the demand for this lightweight laptop. Even at that price it's cheaper thanany of the other laptops in Amazon's top 20 laptop list. Second, anyone who can use a Web browser can use a Chromebook. After all its interface is primarily the Chrome Web browser. Who can't use a browser?...As others are also discovering, the Chromebook works really well for daily work.. To quote ZDNet's own James Kendrick, my "recent purchase of a Chromebook surprised me by proving how well it works for me. After a week of using the Chromebook, that surprise has morphed into total satisfaction…”
General Technology
30.    Best SSDs For The Money: December 2012  http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-benchmark,3269.html  “…at the end of the day, what an enthusiast needs is the best SSD within a certain budget…We at Tom’s Hardware have come to your aid with a simple list of the best SSD offered for the money…many SSDs come so close to saturating the SATA 6Gb/s interface, and, in practical use, are all but indistinguishable…Prices and availability change on a daily basis. Our picks will be valid the month of publication, but…SSD pricing is especially competitive…As you shop, use our list as a guide, but always double-check for yourself…many enthusiasts are hesitant to blow several hundred dollars on solid-state storage (especially when they can get a quartet of 2 TB hard drives or a high-performance processor for the same price…Over the past five years, CPU performance has hit new and unforeseen heights, and processors are increasingly spending time waiting on data from hard drives. This is what makes storage today's most glaring bottleneck. Overcoming it requires an SSD…the real-world differences between SSDs in a desktop environment aren't altogether very large. The most important jump happens when you go from a hard drive to (almost) any SSD…”
31.     Add a RAM Disk to Your Computer for Faster-than-SSD Performance  http://lifehacker.com/5969767/add-a-ram-disk-to-your-computer-for-faster+than+ssd-performance  “…Even if you're already rocking a fast SSD (one of the best upgrades you can make), you can still improve your computer's performance by adding more memory and turning it into a RAM disk, which can be as much as 70 times faster than a regular hard drive or 20 times faster than an SSD…you can move caches to a RAM disk to increase your SSD's longevity. Besides that benefit, though, a RAM disk can make your programs launch as much as twice as fast—whether you have an SSD or not…after setting up the RAM disk, you should notice dramatically faster application launching…the combination of SSD with RAM disk will take your computer performance to a whole new level…”
32.    Double-speed 10 Gbps USB 3.0 to arrive next year  http://ces.cnet.com/8301-34437_1-57562283/double-speed-usb-3.0-to-arrive-next-year/  “Computing industry powers are doubling the data-transfer speed of USB 3.0 from today's 5 gigabits per second rate to 10Gbps. The move will uncork speed bottlenecks of external SSD storage devices, open up options such second monitors, and help confine the even faster Thunderbolt interface to a high-end niche…The specification should be done in mid-2013, which "will enable initial products to appear in late 2014 with a much broader availability of products in 2015,"…To take advantage of the double-speed USB 3.0 interface, devices such as computers, hubs, and digital cameras will need new USB controller hardware. However, the new version of USB 3.0 uses the same connectors, so existing USB devices can be plugged into the higher-speed ports. USB 3.0 cables may or may not work…”
33.    Technology to help you control Windows 8 PC with your eyes  http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/tobii-rex-lets-you-touch-windows-8-with-your-eyes-2013012/  “…Tobii wants to help move the laptop and desktop crowd into the touch world with their Rex eye tracking camera…one thing Microsoft was missing from Windows 8 was a better way to interact with their new OS when the screen wasn’t being held in your hand…Most users are not comfortable with holding their arms out for extended periods of time. Given the work that Microsoft has put into Kinect on the Xbox 360, and all the PC hacks that have come from that system, I had originally thought that the answer was gestures drawn in the air. Tobii Rex now has me thinking that the answer might be keeping my hands on my touchpad, but using my eyes to do all the heavy lifting. The Gaze eye tracking system from Tobii is designed to use your eye positioning in collaboration with the Microsoft touch language for Windows 8 to control your computer. This method still requires you to use a mouse in certain situations, which is good since it will be a while before the Internet agrees that those aren’t necessary anymore. Instead of using the mouse for control of the interface, you use the mouse for interacting. Clicks and fine points will be controlled through the mouse interface, but the rest of your motion across the screen would be handled by your eyes moving across the screens…”
34.    Intel, Plastic Logic and Queen's U build the PaperTab: a flexible e-paper tablet  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jan/07/ces-2013-tablet-computers-paper  “A flexible, paper-thin tablet which looks and feels like a sheet of paper is being touted as a revolutionary advance in computing. The PaperTab, a high-resolution plastic display PC prototype, was unveiled on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A new concept device developed by Intel, Queen's University from Canada and the British firm Plastic Logic, it caused a stir on the first day of the week-long conference with an interactive, 10.7in plastic display…The team behind the PaperTab said their goal was to emulate the feel of paper with a robust, lightweight product that could bend and be dropped on a desk. Powered by the second-generation Intel Core i5, the tablet will run one app per display. Users who are accustomed to running multiple apps on a single display will need to adapt by sharing information between PaperTabs, by tapping them next to each other. Users will be able flick through a document by bending the screen, or by joining screens together for a larger display. Each PaperTab will also be aware of other PaperTabs nearby, helping users keep track. Email can be sent by placing the device in an out tray or by bending the top corner of the display. The PaperTab can also store thousands of documents…”
35.    10 Tools To Get Kids Excited About Programming  http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-tools-to-get-kids-excited-about-programming/  “…Getting a kid excited about programming might take some doing because logic needs a bit of time to develop. It is imagination and creativity which arrive first. That’s where the crux of these ten tools lie…using creative tools to get children excited about programming…From games to programming tools, from logic to intuition, let’s take a gander at ten tools that should help to show that programming is not all about functions and loops…Crunchzilla Code Monster…Logo…Scratch…EToys…Waterbear…ToonTalk…Cargo-Bot…Ruby for Kids…Raspberry Pi…RoboMind…”
36.    The Next MS Office  http://winsupersite.com/office-2013/here-comes-next-office  “…the next Office wave of products and services set to launch at the end of the month…is arguably the most important Microsoft launch of 2013…With the Next Office, Microsoft is expanding the range out quite a bit. This wave of Office products will include, in addition to the Windows versions, a vastly improved Web-based Office Web Apps version that will for the first time be a viable alternative to natively installed applications and, over time, native Office versions for iPad and Android tablets…Microsoft will also update the Mac suite at some point…Microsoft has tried to foist subscription-based versions of Office on consumers for a few versions…Office 2013 is the first that gets it right…the subscription-based versions of Office 2013—which are sold through Office 365—tie Office to you, the user. And you get multiple PC/device install rights, not just the ability to install to a single PC…Microsoft explicitly condones family sharing of these licenses so that you can provide Office 2013 to all the PCs in your house…Tied to the Office subscription is the fact that Office 2013 will be delivered as an online service, through Office 365 subscriptions…you will also be able to use a feature called Office On Demand to use the Office application on PCs you don’t use. When you’re done, the install is wiped out immediately as if it were never there…Office…integrates with…SharePoint Online…for businesses and SkyDrive for consumers—and…uses those services as the default save point for documents so that they will be available anywhere at any time…you could…save documents to your Documents library as before…Office 2013 takes this user experience revolution to the next step by embracing the Metro design ideals, which minimizes the user interface “chrome”…I argue that it is Office, not Windows, that is Microsoft’s most important franchise…”
37.    The ARM vs x86 Wars Have Begun: In-Depth Power Analysis of Atom, Krait & Cortex A15  http://www.anandtech.com/show/6536/arm-vs-x86-the-real-showdown  “…last month, Intel dropped by my office with a power engineer for a rare demonstration of its competitive position versus NVIDIA's Tegra 3 when it came to power consumption…After much pleading, Intel returned with two more tablets: a Dell XPS 10 using Qualcomm's APQ8060A SoC (dual-core 28nm Krait) and a Nexus 10 using Samsung's Exynos 5 Dual (dual-core 32nm Cortex A15). What was a walk in the park for Atom all of the sudden became much more challenging…Intel's Core architectures will likely service the 4W and above space, while Atom will take care of everything else below it. The really crazy part is that it's not too absurd to think about being able to get a Core based SoC into a large smartphone as early as 14nm, and definitely by 10nm (~2017)…By the time Intel moves to 10nm ultramobile SoCs, you'll be able to get somewhere around Sandy/Ivy Bridge class performance in a phone…As far as smartphones go…the baseband side of Intel remains embarassingly quiet. This is an area where Qualcomm is really the undisputed leader…Both Intel and Qualcomm have architecture updates planned in the not too distant future (with Qualcomm out of the gate first), so this will be one interesting battle to watch. If ARM is the new AMD, then Krait is the new Athlon 64…”
38.    Researchers force a gas to a temperature below absolute zero  http://phys.org/news/2013-01-gas-temperature-absolute.html  “Absolute zero was first defined by Lord Kelvin back in the mid 1880s, as the lowest possible temperature state, where atoms stop moving…but over the past several decades, scientists have discovered that there are exceptions to the rule and that at least theoretically, it should be possible for a system to produce conditions where temperatures fall lower than absolute zero…the physicists started by chilling a quantum gas made up of potassium atoms to near absolute zero. They used lasers and magnetic fields to force the atoms into a lattice pattern. At temperatures above absolute zero, the atoms naturally want to repel one another, keeping the system stable. But by adjusting the lasers and magnetic field, the researchers were able to force the atoms to attract one another, essentially, turning the system on its head…to force it to be stable, the team also adjusted the lasers that held the atoms trapped in place. Doing so, they report, resulted in the gas transitioning to a temperature below absolute zero…”
39.    For a Glimpse Of The Future, Try Reading A 3.5-Inch Floppy Disk  http://www.fastcompany.com/3004409/glimpse-future-try-reading-35-inch-floppy-disk  “Tom Persky’s company, floppydisk.com, sells about 250,000 of the 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch square plastic storage cards each year. It has an inventory of about 1 million disks, many of which Persky acquired from competing companies as they went out of business. And he has no plans to restock them as they’re sold…As Persky transfers data from old media to new, he is…witnessing…personal data decay…in an environment of increasing dependence on digital data, where everything is stored in the nebulous cloud, that decay will only become more widespread and complex…It is a hassle to open a document saved to a floppy disk that was written in the now-extinct Lotus 1-2-3. But imagine trying to open tweets without Twitter, recover a note from your cloud-based inbox after the service shuts down, or search for family photos in a Facebook account for which you’ve lost the password…When he receives a shipment of disks from a customer, he tries to read them in different drives. Sometimes a disk will mysteriously work in one drive, but not another, and he has no idea why. Whatever data is readable gets transferred to a CD and shipped back to the customer. The service costs $1.99 per 3.5-inch floppy disk or $4.95 per 5.25-inch floppy disk…This translation is complicated enough when you’re moving data from a floppy disk to a CD, but it is only a hint of what we may be dealing with in the future. In the modern era, the problems of content and context meet the problem of volume. A standard floppy disk holds 1.44 megabytes of data. The cloud is virtually limitless…”
Leisure & Entertainment
40.    Shutterfly To Acquire Photo Sharing And Storage Startup ThisLife  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/03/source-shutterfly-to-acquire-slick-photo-sharing-and-storage-startup-thislife/  “…Shutterfly, the photo and personal publishing company founded in 1999, is set to acquire online photo sharing and storage startup ThisLife…ThisLife lets you import your photos from most of the popular online photo-sharing sites (Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Shutterfly, Flickr, Twitter and SmugMug), but it also comes with a desktop uploader (Mac and Windows) for transferring your iPhoto galleries and uploading folders or individual files. If you decide to connect your account to other online photo services, ThisLife will also regularly import your images from there to make sure they are stored in a safe spot. Once uploaded, the service displays your images, which are shareable, on a timeline that scrolls horizontally. Other compelling features of the service are an algorithm that always gives preference to the file with the highest resolution, as well as a facial-recognition tool that makes it easier to tag people in your photos (and that can get names and other data from your Facebook account if you connect the two)…”
41.     NVIDIA unveils Grid Gaming System to jumpstart cloud gaming  http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/06/nvidia-unveils-grid-gaming-system-to-jumpstart-cloud-gaming/  “…the Nvidia Grid Gaming System…will enable gamers to play in the cloud in a way that is much more convenient and efficient than can be done today. It means gamers can log into high-end games on a Smart TV, even though the TV has no serious 3D graphics computing power itself. The game can access technology in a web-connected data center — which Nvidia calls the Grid — to do the computing in the data center, or cloud, and then send the results down to the gamer’s machine, wherever the gamer is playing. This means you could log into a laptop in your hotel room and play high-end games, even though your laptop is a relatively weak machine…Nvidia also made it a lot easier for gamers to play their games in the cloud, so that they could access their saved games from multiple devices…Nvidia’s partners include Agawi, Playcast, G-Cluster, Cloudunion, Cyber Cloud, and Ubitus…An Nvidia Grid Gaming System has 20 Grid servers in a rack. That system has 240 Nvidia graphics chips and 200 teraflops, or as much computing power as 700 Xbox 360 game consoles…The technology, GeForce Experience, automatically detects the hardware in your system and the game you’re playing. It then automatically sets the 3D graphics and other technologies for the best results…”
42.    Lenovo's Horizon 27 takes coffee table computing to a new level  http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/lenovo-ideacentre-horizon-27/4505-3118_7-35561100.html  “…Lenovo also wants customers to think of the 27-inch multitouch Horizon not so much as a semi-portable desktop…but instead as a multiuser device…On top of Microsoft's new operating system, Lenovo…added its own multiuser interface called Aura…Drop the screen down to its table-top-style flat mode, and Aura pops up automatically, presenting you with a relatively intuitive software control wheel from which you can launch various touch-supported applications. Some of the apps look familiar, like a photo browser, and music and video players…Other apps, though, particularly games and educational titles, come designed with multiple users in mind…It has variants of air hockey, a four-player shooting game that's a mashup of Gauntlet and Boxhead, an elaborate multiplayer board game, various card and casino-style games…With the computer, you also get a set of sliding air hockey paddles, a set of joysticks, and even a large six-sided die. The joysticks and the paddles are both touch-capacitive, and they turn the Horizon into your own personal arcade, interacting neatly with the games that have been designed with the Horizon's input devices in mind…The $999 price tag for a model with an ultra-low voltage (ULV) version of Intel's Core i3 chip won't hurt adoption, and that still gets you all of the input accessories, as well as the 27-inch screen. Its impressively thin design, coming in at 1.1 inches thick, is also inviting…it will also offer Core i5 and Core i7 ULV CPUs, to go along with the solid-state hard-drive options and Nvidia GeForce GT 620 graphics chip, all available at traditional pricing levels…”
43.    Asus’s Qube, Motion & Voice Control, streams Google TV, Might Finally Make Google TV Worth Using  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2023863/asus-qube-will-stream-google-tv-offer-motion-and-voice-control.html  “Asus is planning to serve up Google TV via a little black box. With the Qube, you'll get more than 100,000 TV shows and movies through Google TV, which includes Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go…there are loads of games and apps as well. The Qube is paired with a remote you can control via gestures and voice commands. Google TV already includes intelligence to understand your voice instructions for opening apps as well as for surfing the Web and TV channels. The back of the remote includes a hard QWERTY keyboard, which means you shouldn't experience the kind of nightmare that otherwise comes along with navigating, say, Netflix…on your TV. The remote also has a Google Voice button…You'll get additional control from your Android phone or tablet via the Mobile Remote app from the Google Play store…There's picture-in-picture TV viewing as well as the Chrome browser…Asus throws in 50GB of web storage on its servers …”
44.    Smart TV usage grows nearly 25%, is iTV coming?  http://articles.marketwatch.com/2013-01-03/industries/36123357_1_pay-tv-subscriptions-hulu-online-video  “…The number of U.S. households using TVs connected to the Internet jumped by almost 25% in 2012 -- a percentage increase that should climb to almost 30% this year…By the end of last year, there were about 26.8 million U.S. homes using a so-called smart TV…up from 21.6 million at the end of 2011. By the end of 2013, the firm expects to see 35.1 million American homes equipped with an Internet-ready set…”  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-07/tv-makers-feeling-apple-heat-give-sets-a-smartphone-feel.html  “Samsung…LG…and Toshiba…anticipating a challenge from Apple…are answering with TVs that respond to voice commands and let viewers move easily between Netflix and ESPN…New models from LG and Panasonic…sport an onscreen display inspired by smartphones and tablets…Four Samsung models will respond to voice commands or hand gestures, like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft…Kinect game console…The focus on user experience…is driven in part by the threat of a TV product from Apple…Apple’s iPhone redefined the smartphone and crushed rival brands. Its iPad created the tablet market, denting laptop sales. Incumbent TV makers don’t want to be caught unprepared…At stake is a global television market projected to reach $200 billion by 2018…”
45.    New Video Law Lets Netflix Share What You're Viewing  http://readwrite.com/2013/01/04/watch-out-new-video-law-lets-netflix-share-what-youre-viewing  “…just before the new year, the President signed it into law. In a significant shift in video privacy - online video rental companies can now share information about the movies you rent or buy…According to the new law, companies have to ask only once. You can opt out, but if you don't, say goodbye to the rights to your video data for two full years…Netflix will introduce new social features that basically link users' Netflix and Facebook accounts and share their viewing history with friends. Netflix was previously unable to do this in the U.S. by the 25-year-old Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), which banned the sharing of personal data for anything but law enforcement purposes…it's ironic this new law even passed, as the VPPA was originally enacted in the 1980s in response to a local Washington newspaper publishing a list of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork's rented videotapes during his nomination process. At that time, Congress was up in arms over this privacy breach, which helped scuttle Bork's appointment and led to the phrase "borked" entering the language. But less than a month after Bork's passing on December 19, 2012, it seems that Netflix investment of roughly half a million dollars in lobbying Congress to update the law was enough to do the trick…”
46.    Nvidia Shield: The new Android games console  http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49040/nvidia-project-shield-launched  “Nvidia has come up with something genuinely exciting in the gaming world with the announcement of Project Shield, a totally Android-based games console that looks like an all-in-one game controller. The real trick of the Shield though is its interaction with the PC. Nvidia has turned the controller into a media streamer that lets you play games from your desktop on your TV…your desktop streams the PC game over Wi-Fi to the controller, which in turn plays it on your TV or the attached 5-inch screen. The controller even runs Steam. Think of it like a Wii U for the PC gamer, making it finally possible to easily hook up your PC to your big screen TV in the living room. The controller is the console, with a Tegra 4 chip inside and a HDMI out on the bottom of the device so it can connect it to your TV. The controller can also be used with a 5-inch, 720p display that plugs into the top of it. There is also a microSD slot and an audio out, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack…The 5-inch display will mirror whatever is shown on the HDMI out and is touch sensitive, making for a tablet-like Android experience. The console is essentially a replacement for the set-top box or Apple TV, but with Android gaming thrown in and a proper controller …”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
47.    Avis buys Zipcar for $500 million  http://www.zdnet.com/avis-buys-zipcar-for-500-million-a-look-at-the-it-threads-7000009288/  “Avis bought car sharing company Zipcar for $500 million…Zipcar gives the car rental company access to younger consumers, points of presence in cities and college campuses, mobile apps and a good brand…CEO Ronald Nelson said the company can manage Zipcar's back-end more efficiently by procuring cars at better rates. Nelson also said Avis will maximize revenue at Zipcar by managing its inventory of vehicles better on weekends…This transaction will enable Zipcar to…meet the need for vehicle availability during higher yielding periods of peak demand…Zipcar's utilization is quite low Monday to Friday but is extremely high on Saturday and Sunday resulting in them having excess fleet during the week and often not being able to capture all of the profitable demand from their membership base on weekends…The future of personal mobility is taking shape now. Consumers increasingly access a variety of on demand mobility options from their smart devices…If Zipcar customers suddenly find themselves in an Avis phone tree there will be issues…It remains to be seen if Avis can be hands off on Zipcar's tech when it needs to and add value and whittle costs elsewhere…”
48.    Advertising challenges as mobile internet use increases  http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/29/unnatural-acts-and-the-rise-of-mobile/  “…As desktop traffic growth declines, and mobile adoption explodes, predatory marketers need to monetize mobile traffic or die trying…Users are the net losers in this festival of lowering the bar when it comes to how badly behaved a marketer is permitted to be in order to drive use…1. The key driver is that mobile CPMs are only 15 percent of desktop CPMs. As traffic migrates, seven ads on mobile bring the same revenue as one on the desktop…The possibility exists in 2013 that the absolute revenues of the major players will decline as desktop revenues suffer and mobile revenues fail to make up the difference, even as they grow dramatically…Google, due to its high desktop-based revenues, should be more focused on the trend than anybody. It has way more to lose than either Facebook or Twitter…2. 2013 will be the year of the Chief Marketing Officer…3. In the absence of long-term thinking, all streams will eventually turn into marketing-infested flows…4. Destination site thinking replaces platform thinking…5. Platforms steal ideas rather than partner or acquire…6. Advertising on mobile becomes a process of force feeding users with messages from desperate publishers…7. Intimacy and long-term relationships are a forgotten goal…8. Users become cynical…9. Advertisers become cynical…10. New apps and services can grow quickly by offering intimacy and control to users…11. Mobile revenue can grow, and even exceed desktop CPMs if long-term models based on organic and intimate relationships between users and brands are at the core. I definitely long for an unpolluted stream that is 100 percent capable of telling me things I want to be told. I also would love a way to tell the advertisers which brands I love, whether it be my favorite airline, movie theater, restaurant, camera vendor…I would love a way to regulate or control how my favorite vendors interact with me. Throttling them when they send too much or the wrong stuff, killing their ability to reach me when they behave badly, embracing them when they serve me well…”
49.    Anti-social lessons for tech innovators  http://pandodaily.com/2012/11/23/the-anti-social-era-lessons-learned-from-vimeo-founder-jake-lodwick/  “My cousin Jake is a better entrepreneur than I am. He helped found College Humor when he was a teenager, and then used his knowledge from that experience to create Vimeo. When he made money from these companies, he used the proceeds to make three angel investments: Tumblr, MakerBot, and, my company, Bleacher Report…he is clearly a better investor than me, too…There was a period of time when he was very much interested in self-promotion, and that was probably the least productive period of his life. So he quit that and now enjoys an audience of a mere few hundred Twitter followers…I’m going to go ahead and recount some of the best lessons that I have learned from one of the best product creators in the Web’s nascent history…Lesson 1: You are the only user who matters. Jake…is addicted to self-improvement, and constantly asks himself why he does the things he does…And he creates products that will be successful even if he is the only person who finds them useful…He builds things for himself, because he will like using them — sometimes millions of others will also find them useful, sometimes it’s just him…Lesson 2: Coming to terms with failure is not enough — you must learn to ignore shame…Silicon Valley has almost created a cult of ‘failure’…But people don’t fear failure. They fear shame…Jake has conquered shame. When I was ten years old, Jake and I were at a beach resort and they had a talent show for kids…Jake went on stage and tried to do a comedic song and dance routine that was not funny and flopped terribly. My parents were ashamed for him. But Jake was not ashamed…Lesson 3: Sometimes it is ok to be nobody, useless, anti-social, and alone …”
50.    Best Link Building Posts Of The Year  http://searchengineland.com/whole-lotta-link-love-in-2012-our-best-link-building-posts-of-the-year-143875  “…Whether you need a fresh start on link building in 2013 or are just looking for a few new ideas and sparks of inspiration, take a look at some of the tips and observations shared in the wildly popular posts listed below. All you need to know about link building is printed clearly in black and white. Our Most Read Link Building Posts Of 2012…”
51.     Zulily: Fresh, Fast, and Worth $1 Billion  http://www.inc.com/jeremy-quittner/billionaire-club-zulily.html  “Darrell Cavens co-founded Zulily in 2009, and just three years later, the company had achieved a billion dollar valuation…As dads of young kids, [co-founder] Mark Vadon and I knew first-hand what it was like trying to buy kids' clothes…we saw a white space between the big box and the boutique stores. That was the fall of 2009. We launched the site on January 27, 2010. It has been an interesting three years. We are in our fifth office space, and every time we move, I walk into each space and say, "It is so big. Do we really need a place so big?...From day one, Mark and I had a vision of building a great consumer retail brand…We have a grand vision for how we get this company to the $10 billion number…Technology is an enabler for this business. We have over 10 million people signed up for our e-mail and our goal is to deliver 10 million e-mails in 15 minutes in the morning.  When we talked to the top e-mail providers, they said we can't do this…But we have done it, and when you do this, a lot of people come to the site very rapidly. When we open the doors it is like Black Friday every day…Our company is about delivering freshness and newness every single day, and moving at a pace that others in retail have not seen. In traditional retail models, you work today on product that will be in the store 18 moths from now. We are adopting about 1,500 styles of product every day and 5,000 SKUs. As I give retailers tours and explain this, they look at me…That's more than they do in a season, and we do it every day. …”
Design / DEMO
52.    Human-centered design: strokes of genius  http://www.pddnet.com/news/2012/12/strokes-genius  “…Fourteen U.S. Olympians trained with it prior to this summer’s London games. College swim teams from coast to coast…have added it to their training arsenal. The first high school team to embrace the technology won its state championship, and numerous other high school programs now use it. AvidaMetrics is the biggest little tool to hit the sports world since stopwatches…AvidaMetrics is a sophisticated telemetry system created by new-product development specialists at Twisthink in Holland, MI…The system continuously captures nanoseconds of an athlete’s action on-the-fly, condenses and processes data for eight different performance metrics, and extracts two key stats that the athlete specified prior to the practice session, then feeds actionable info back to him or her through an earbud as they continue training nonstop…data for the performance metrics is routinely refreshed on the coach’s tablet or laptop. He can talk directly to practicing athletes too, and every piece of data is sent to the Cloud, available for review on computer by the athlete or coach at any time. They can zero-in on individual training sessions, compare days, weeks or an entire season, as well as compare training performance with that of other team members…Twisthink’s…expertise in radio frequency (RF) wireless technology offered precisely what startup enterprise Avidasports needed…The product idea came from Avidasports President Bruce Burton while watching his daughter swim on her Detroit-area high school team…Plenty of groundwork preceded actual system development, however. First steps for Twisthink were in-depth interviews with swimmers and coaches…to identify product restraints and also to further clarify what the system needed to provide…Coaches also asked about getting performance feedback as close to the swimmer’s actions as possible. This reflects a basic tenet of training: the closer to an event that feedback is received, the more meaningful and useful it will be…In the sports world, all types of athletes…rely on a theoretical clock in their heads to properly pace themselves…enabling them to optimize performance and results…The AvidaMetrics system really…helps athletes develop the clock in their head…”
53.    An impec-able bike frame: Handmade by machine  http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/an-impec-able-bike-frame-handmade-by-machine  “…Bicycle Manufacturing Co. (BMC) has…become an icon of Swiss engineering, precision and style…We simply want to build the fastest and best bikes in the world,” says BMC owner Andy Rihs…we work with the best riders in the world. BMC leads cycling with its production of a 100 percent carbon fiber frame with a uniquely high level of automation and process control: the impec. Short for “impeccable,” the frame is the result of…$51.8 million…and four years developing the materials, robotic processes and entirely new factory…The perfect racing bike frame…would transform all of its rider’s pedal-turning energy directly into propulsion with no negative impact from its own weight…It turns out that the perfect frame tube is hardly ever round…The solution was BMC’s Load Specific Weave (LSW) process. This three-stage, robot-controlled production line combines braiding, resin transfer molding (RTM) and trimming into a continuous process…BMC claims theirs is the first fully automated composites RTM station in the world…BMC originally painted the shells and tubes before assembly, using 6-axis robots. But today, shells and tubes are assembled first, then hand sprayed…geometries were really too complex for the robot…it is faster for us to paint by hand and have 100 percent assurance of the quality we need. The impec has earned…the “IF gold product design award” in 2011…The preforms for BMC’s impec frame tubes…are made on a radial braiding machine developed by Herzog…Graves describes the equipment as an object of envy for universities but not practical for large-scale manufacturing…Herzog describes its radial braiding as 2½-D…For BMC’s development of very tailored manufacturing in a high-wage country, radial braiding was the only possible solution to produce the tubes for the impec frame…braiding enables precise placement of much more material per unit of time…greater process stability…These attributes are boosting the use of radial braiding not only in the impec frame and in aircraft structures…but also in carbon fiber-reinforced automotive composites…because it also meets their speed and high productivity requirements while enabling the complex shapes…”
54.    Will Designers Take to the iPad3?  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/427100/will-designers-take-to-the-ipad3/  “Demand for an effective iPad stylus is rising. Adobe Photoshop Touch came to the iPad this week. The app…had been available for Android for a while…Jacob Schulman of The Verge, for one, was impressed with the app. He called it “surprisingly functional…Schulman’s post is thought-provoking, and worth reading in full, but where it really gets interesting is in the comments section…Steve Jobs disliked styluses…In 2007, when he introduced the iPhone, Jobs effectively killed the stylus. “Yech!” he said, and his fans applauded. The critical tide is shifting, however. Farhad Manjoo recently declared in Slate his hope that the stylus would make a return someday soon. He embedded this intriguing 2010 video from Ken Hinckley on the new kinds of interactions that become possible when combining touch and stylus interactions on a screen…Apple would do well to begin to focus on one influential market in particular: designers, many of whom seem to be desperate for an effective iPad stylus…Wacom’s Cintiq appears to be the gold standard, and probably will remain so…But there’s a real business case for Apple to make sure the iPad 3 works well with a stylus…Verge commenter Erik Bernhardsson…cites discussions in design forums where people are debating which tablet to get; many are gravitating to Samsung or Lenovo for the iPad’s lack of stylus support…”
DHMN Technology
55.     Build Your Own Google Glass  http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/hands-on/build-your-own-google-glass  “…Google…Project Glass…goal is to build a wearable computer that records your perspective of the world and unobtrusively delivers information to you through a head-up display…if Google is able to start developing such a device, it means that the components are now available and anyone should be able to follow suit. So I decided to do just that…Most of the components required for…Glass…are…similar to what you can already find in a smartphone—processor, accelerometers, camera, network interfaces. The real challenge is to pack all those elements into a wearable system…My world changed the day I first wore my prototype. At first there was disappointment—my software was rudimentary, and the video cable running down to the onboard computer was a compromise I wasn’t particularly pleased with. Then there was discomfort, as I felt overwhelmed while trying to hold a conversation as information from the Internet (notifications, server statuses, stock prices, and messages) was streamed to me through the microdisplay. But when the batteries drained a few hours later and I took the prototype off, I had a feeling of loss. It was as if one of my senses had been taken away from me…When I wear my prototype, I am connected to the world in a way that is quintessentially different from how I’m connected with my smartphone and computer…Once the initial period of adaptation is over, those augmented streams of information slowly fade into the background of our minds as conscious effort is replaced with subconscious monitoring. The key insight I had while wearing my own version of Google Glass is that the true value of wearable point-of-view computing will not be in the initial goal of supporting augmented reality…the greatest value will be in second-generation applications that provide total recall and augmented cognition. Imagine being able to call up (and share) everything you have ever seen, or read the transcripts for every conversation you ever had, alongside the names and faces of everyone you ever met…”
56.    Lego's Mindstorms EV3 robots are here  http://ces.cnet.com/8301-34441_1-57562323/get-ready-to-program-legos-mindstorms-ev3-robots-are-here/  “The third generation of Lego's best-selling programmable robotics platform is here, and features more sensors, motors, and flexibility than ever. Plus mobile apps…The third full generation of Lego's programmable robotics platform, EV3 is aimed at both enthusiasts…and educators, and blows past the previous generation with a long list of new features that add speed and power, intelligent programmability, and more ways to communicate with the robots. Lego expects to begin selling the product, which includes 594 Technic pieces that can be used to make five different robots, this summer at a retail cost of $350. It will also release instructions for 12 additional robots at launch…”
57.     Raspberry Pi Education Manual Teaches Basic Computer Science Principles  http://lifehacker.com/5972500/the-raspberry-pi-education-manual-teaches-you-basic-computer-science-principles  “Whether you have a new Raspberry Pi and are just figuring out what you can do with it or don't have your hands on one yet but want to get started learning more about programming and other computer science topics, the free Raspberry Pi Education Manual is a wonderful 172-page resource. Provided by a team of UK teachers from Computing at School (CAS), the PDF manual is a beginner's guide to Scratch (an awesome visual programming environment), Python, the Linux command line, and more. You'll find experiments for creating games and animation …”
58.    The Difference Between Makers and Manufacturers  http://www.technologyreview.com/review/508821/the-difference-between-makers-and-manufacturers/  “It’s not surprising that 3-D printing has captured the imagination of so many technologists…But the real cause of excitement is the emergence of 3-D printers that are affordable for consumers—at least those with a thousand dollars or more to spend…In Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, Chris Anderson describes the swelling community of people determined to create their own stuff using 3-D printers, laser cutters, advanced design tools, and open-source hardware…Though many of the products created this way so far are one-off novelty items and customized tchotchkes, ­Anderson insists that the movement is about more than high-tech crafts for hobbyists. In particular, he delights in its Web-like culture of sharing designs and collaborating in online communities…What kind of future might the maker movement bring us? Anderson envisions it could mean that “Western countries like the United States regain their lost manufacturing might, but rather than with a few big industrial giants, they spawn thousands of smaller firms picking off niche markets.”…The reader is left wondering: how does sharing digital designs change the fact that most of the goods we want and depend upon, from iPhones to jet planes, still require the skills and budgets of large manufacturers?...While 3-D printers will no doubt get more versatile—some advanced models are already able to handle an impressive range of materials, including certain metals—additive manufacturing will remain, at least for a while, better suited to making parts than to building entire machines or devices…the way we make things in the United States is in desperate need of revitalization…In Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance…Shih…rejects the notion that innovative products can reliably emerge when designs are shipped off for others to produce…truly advanced products more typically come about when designers and inventors understand manufacturing processes. “You can create a CAD design,” he says, “but you need to understand what a production process can and can’t do…”
Open Source Hardware
59.    First open source D3D scanner from 3D Creations  http://www.3ders.org/articles/20130104-first-open-source-d3d-scanner-from-3d-creations.html  “3D Creations, a Milwaukee-based reseller of affordable 3D printers and 3D scanners, is currently developing a low-cost open source 3D scanner - they named it D3D 3D scanner…In December 3D Creations demonstrated their first complete prototype of structured light 3D scanner at Milwaukee Makerspace. The scan results looked really good and the accuracy was excellent…3D Creations is asking for help from communities to support this young team to design and make a great 3D scanner…They have asked questions like "How much do you expect a mid-grade 3D scanner to cost?", "What size objects would you like to use on the 3D scanner?", "What TOLERANCES do you need to achieve for your 3D scanning application…3D Creations are planning to launch a Kickstarter in mid-2013 to begin production for the first open source 3D scanner that's high-quality & low-cost 3D scanner…”
60.    ThingSquare open source IoT system  http://gigaom.com/2013/01/03/faceless-sensors-and-compact-routers-are-ingredients-for-the-internet-of-things/  “…as we add more connected devices inside the home with lower price points, a standard module that enables a connection via a smartphone makes sense…Another element that might make sense is a lightweight router that connects a network of sensors. For example, ThingSquare, which has created an open source hardware and software platform for the internet of things, called ThingSquare Mist that includes a lightweight router. The Co-founder of ThingSquare…developed Contiki a programming language designed for connecting and communication between sensors. The ThingSquare Mist router…requires a mere 5 kilobytes of ROM and 1 kilobyte of RAM. The router runs on tiny, low-cost microcontrollers that can be on the sensor itself…While this setup won’t work for every network, it’s great for sensor networks in remote locations where power is limited or even as a router to coordinate multiple sensors for some kind of mesh network to monitor physical health…”
61.     Human Interface Board enhances QuickStart dev  http://www.embedded.com/electronics-products/electronic-product-reviews/connectivity/4403837/Human-Interface-Board-enhances-QuickStart-dev  “The Human Interface Board from Parallax brings advanced functionality to the QuickStart development platform. The board stacks directly on top of the QuickStart development platform, creating a minimal footprint for both boards. With multiple audio and video outputs and keyboard or mouse inputs, as well as a microSD card socket, the Human Interface Board can add an interactive interface to any project. Where applicable, the Human Interface Board uses the same I/O pin assignments as the Propeller Demo Board peripherals. Like the QuickStart development platform, the Human Interface Board is an open-source hardware design, so all design files—including layout, schematics, and firmware—are available under licenses that allow free distribution and reuse …”
Open Source
62.    CuBox Pro 2GB open-source computer could fit in your pocket  http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/03/meet-the-cubox-pro-an-open-source-computer-that-spans-two-cubic-inches-and-weighs-3-2-ounces/  “An Israeli startup has created a new version of a tiny computer dubbed the CuBox. The CuBox Pro measures two cubic inches and weighs just 3.2 ounces…The open-source mini computer from SolidRun has two gigabytes of main memory…and an 800-megahertz dual-issue ARM PJ4 processor. The processor uses the ARMv7 chip design and processes code in 32-bit chunks. The computer can display full high-definition video, running at 1080p and using just three watts of power. The CuBox Pro is suited for high-memory, multimedia, and mobile apps. It could function as a home media center, thin client, XBMC console, or even a simple, tiny desktop computer. The CuBox Pro sells for $159, while the earlier 1-gigabyte CuBox sells for $139…The CuBox Pro has no fan and uses a Marvell Armada 510 SoC (system on a chip) processor. It has an infra-red receiver, gigabit ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports and a micro-SD slot. It supports Linux-based software such as Ubuntu, Debian, GeeXbox and openelec.tv as well as the Google Android operating system…”
63.    Ubuntu operating system comes to Android smartphones  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20891868  “The Ubuntu operating system has been adapted to run on smartphones. The Linux-based software will allow users to run desktop apps on their handsets, allowing them to double for PCs when docked to monitors. The code will initially be released as a file which can be installed on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus phone…we're at this point when the power of the phone is crossing over that with baseline processing power of basic laptops," Mr Shuttleworth told the BBC…The new version has been designed to work on last and current-generation Android handsets which share the Linux kernel…To offer touch-based controls Ubuntu has adopted the same QML (Qt modelling language) framework being utilised by the upcoming Blackberry 10 operating system…"It's an impressive move by Ubuntu but ultimately I don't think it's a smart move," said Chris Green, principal technology analyst…"They are not the first company to try and drop a desktop operating system on a mobile device and nobody has ever been able to make it work…”  http://www.zdnet.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-know-now-about-ubuntu-on-phones-7000009362/
Civilian Aerospace
64.    Open source smallsats in Russia  http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2213/1  “The Russian microsatellite “Chibis-M” was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) on October 30, 2011, as a payload onboard the Progress-M13 cargo vehicle…Chibis-M was successfully deployed on January 25, 2012, after Progress-M13 undocked from the ISS…and has been successfully operating in orbit for almost a year. This was the successful completion of a story that started in…the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences…the lack of funds allocated to the space industry today, and the desire to launch a satellite in the near future, resulted in need to…design…a spacecraft…saving money while trying to meet the desired performance requirements…such an approach required a system of orientation and stabilization (SOS) responsible for maneuvers and attitude control…A small group of SOS developers from the SPUTNIX company, consisting of designers, engineers, programmers, and mathematicians…selected the Embedded Cygnus Operations System (ECOS) as the operating system…in part by its accessibility (free of charge) and support of a wide spectrum of processor architectures. ECOS is a real-time, open-source operating system that is easily reconfigurable…we can say…that the use of open software in general and of the ECOS operating system in particular was the correct choice…Modern trends in satellite development make us believe that the use of open source will not be limited to purely engineering solutions to prepare an in-flight software package…there is a new paradigm of a “public satellite” as available to any user with access to an open hardware-software platform…First steps in this direction are already taken: these are projects such as ArduinoSat, Strand-1 and Strand-2, PhoneSat 1, Open Source Satellite Initiative, “opencube” initiatives…This concept is planned to be developed in Russia by SPUTNIX company with a microsatellite platform called “TabletSat.”…to create small, inexpensive satellites weighing between 10 and 50 kilograms using scalability principles, maximum unification of units and subsystems, support of plug-and-play during assembly and launch preparations in the form it is understood in the computer industry, and, most importantly, supporting the ability to uplink user applications onboard…Imagine that the already launched TabletSat-type vehicle is equipped with cameras for observation of the Earth, stars, Sun, and Moon; in addition, it has rate, acceleration, and rotation sensors. A typical user, wishing to perform an experiment, writes a script for satellite in such terms as “rotate,” “image,” “measure,” and “record,” and uploads it to the satellite using a web browser. Getting the resource on the satellite, he starts his application onboard and sees his experiment results via the same browser…”
65.    SpaceX’s 2013 manifest  http://www.parabolicarc.com/2013/01/06/spacexs-manifest-will-continue-to-confound-in-2013/  “…how many flights will SpaceX undertake this year?...According to the current schedule, we can expect five flights from SpaceX this year…The SES 8 flight will be SpaceX’s first attempt to place a spacecraft into geosynchronous orbit where the majority of communications satellites reside. That will be a major step forward for the company. With CEO Elon Musk wanting to take the company public, SpaceX will need to significantly increase its launch rate to about once per month…SpaceX now has 3,000 employees and has been hiring like crazy in an effort to ramp up production while at the same time maintaining high quality. That will be a delicate balancing act. The company will continue work this year on its Grasshopper suborbital vehicle, which is designed to test techniques for recovering and reusing Falcon 9 stages. It will also continue to assemble the Falcon Heavy rocket at Vandenberg for a likely test flight in 2014. SpaceX has an ambitious schedule of seven milestones to complete this year under the NASA-funded commercial crew program which is aimed at transforming the Dragon freighter into a crew vehicle and human rating the Falcon 9 booster…”
66.    Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Moon Express Acquires Rocket City Space Pioneers  http://www.americaspace.org/?p=29477  “One of the teams competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP), Moon Express, has reached an agreement where it will partner with Dynetics to acquire fellow GLXP team, the Rocket City Space Pioneers (RCSP)…This is not the first GLXP team that Moon Express has acquired. The team “Next Giant Leap” fell under Moon Express’ umbrella in May of 2012. With the combined resources of three teams essentially under one roof, Moon Express is poising themselves for a trip to the Moon. They, however, are not considered to be the team to beat by most experts—Astrobotic Technology currently holds that position …”
Supercomputing & GPUs
67.    ASUS Powers Most Efficient GPU-Based Supercomputer  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2013-01-02/asus_powers_most_efficient_gpu-based_supercomputer.html  “ASUS ESC4000/FDR G2 HPC servers have been chosen to meet the needs of the SANAM HPC cluster…As of November 2012, SANAM was number two on the global Green500 list…making it the most energy-conserving GPU-based supercomputer in the world…with 421.2TFLOPS total processing power. SANAM employs 210 ASUS ESC4000/FDR G2 computing nodes with 420 AMD FirePro S10000 dual-GPU modules and an array of 420 Intel Xeon E5-2650 8-core processors for a total of 38,400 cores. The ESC4000/FDR G2 was picked for…usage in fields such as petroleum, aerospace, bioinformatics, weather forecasting, and the simulation of chemical reactions and particle movement…reaching 421.2TFLOPS at half the cost of a similarly-powered CPU-only design…”
68.    The wind tunnel computer that hopes to conquer cancer  http://www.totalgeekdom.com/?p=915  “…Not long ago, I was working on a different computer project, assessing the cooling requirements, and I thought to myself, “It sure would be a cool to build a fully functional, small scale wind tunnel as a case for a computer.”…this wind tunnel-computer idea…sat around in some distant corner of my brain, until I decided to build a…medical research computer that would donate its time to cancer research…In the past year, World Community Grid moved closer to enabling a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) based project, the Help Conquer Cancer project…In the Help Conquer Cancer project, a single CPU workunit took around an hour for my other computer to run, where the GPU enabled version completed in less than 10 minutes…With that in mind I decided to build a GPU processing system that would solely dedicate its time towards cancer research. I investigated the expenses to build and run this system and realized that the component costs would be high, as were the added electricity costs required to keep the system running 24/7…We turned to the fundraising site Indiegogo and setup a project campaign to raise funds to defer the costs of the components as well as the electricity costs…I debated going with water cooling, but decided instead to see how far I could push air cooling…with the Cancer Supercomputer I knew the graphics cards were very long and had very big coolers on them, so I needed to change my approach. I also knew from testing that under full load the GPUs could output a lot of heat, especially with multiple GPUs in a tight space. I needed a solution that allowed for more space, while also allowing me to move a lot of air…This way all the air flow would be forced to travel across the components surfaces, as opposed to flowing past large empty areas of case…There are two types of wind tunnels; the one I’ve built is a subsonic wind tunnel. This type of design involves a contraction section which is used to increase velocity (airspeed) through the test section…I needed the test/contraction section to be big enough to accommodate the motherboard/CPU cooler/GPUs and also fit the power supply and a SSD. After tinkering with several designs I settled on a shape and size that allowed room for further growth. The contraction section of this wind tunnel has enough space for two full mATX motherboards plus the PSU. This allows for the possibility of adding another system in the future and cooling two systems inside one wind tunnel…I tested a couple of different fans and settled in on a box fan. It only consumed 96 mA and allowed for peak flow in the 2200CFM range with air speeds of 14-15MPH…I wanted a transparent section for the contraction/test section where the computer was going to reside. I used a couple of pieces of Lexan, cut to size to form a transparent window and top section…There are 6 total switches…The key switches are wired to the computer power switches and also to the fan switches. The key switches prevent anyone from turning anything off…I always wanted two key switches so that I could pretend I had a nuclear submarine that required two keys in order to launch. I always use my Sean Connery accent when using the key switches in order to maintain authenticity…The gain in airspeed from the shape of the tunnel is around 240%...I also tested the fan at its highest setting and recorded air speeds of around 26-30mph through the contraction/computer section of the tunnel…While its not possible to use a box fan with most computer builds, in this application where large airflow volumes are required it’s clearly a superior arrangement…Each GPU can run 8+ workunits; and currently I’m running 10 on each GPU for a total of 20…This computer running 20 total tasks simultaneously achieves around 20 or so days of processing time in just one day. Since going online, this computer has already completed over 750 days’ worth of cancer research, or a little over 2 years worth of processing cancer research in just over a months’ time…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
69.    Consumer electronics four-horse race now: PC, smartphone, tablet and TV  http://www.zdnet.com/consumer-electronics-its-a-four-horse-race-now-7000009440/  “…The consumer electronics market is now a four-horse race between PCs, smartphones, tablets and televisions, according to Accenture…All of these devices are considered to be "multi-function,"…On the way out? Single-function devices such as DVD/Blu-ray players, cameras (photo and video), and -- perhaps surprisingly -- gaming consoles…Those four hardware horsemen? They all showed growth: PCs were up 20 percentage points from a year ago; smartphones, 14 percentage points; tablets, 7 percentage points; TVs, 13 percentage points. Other consumer electronic categories showed "largely flat or declining" interest…the market is consolidating, and once parity is reached in a particular use case, that single-purpose device begins to decline. (Low-end compact cameras, I'm looking at you.) The exciting thing is that we're seeing a point where consolidation has reached a natural limit. The PC, smartphone, tablet and TV all serve different enough purposes where true consolidation is no longer a good idea for each form…”
70.    20 Tech Trends That Will Define 2013  http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671397/20-tech-trends-that-will-define-2013-selected-by-frog#1  “…we asked a wide variety of technologists, designers, and strategists across Frog’s studios around the world to take a look to the future. The near future, that is. “Near” in that 2013 is not only upon us, but also “near” in that these technologies are highly feasible, commercially viable, and are bubbling up to the surface of the global zeitgeist. We believe you’ll be hearing a lot more about these trends within the next 12 months…SMARTPHONE ACCESSORIES BECOME SMARTER…WE LOSE CONTROL OF OUR CARS…WE EMBRACE A NEW TYPE OF PATINA…HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION GETS MORE HUMANISTIC…APPS BECOME INVISIBLE…WE FACE MORE TECH DISRUPTION--BY NATURE…DATA ECOLOGY BECOMES MORE DIVERSE…OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR SMARTPHONES GET MORE PHYSICAL…FACES BECOME INTERFACES…AUTOMATED INTELLIGENCE AIDS OUR DIGITAL DOPPELGÄNGERS…WE REACH THE TABLET TIPPING POINT…USSD IS THE FUTURE OF FINANCIAL INCLUSION…THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY COMES OF AGE…RIP, MIX, BURN GETS PHYSICAL…VIRTUAL MANUFACTURING STARTS SMALL…THE DAWN OF ROBOTIC HANDICRAFT (AND THE ARTISANAL HANDSET) ARRIVES…INTERACTION CHOREOGRAPHY GOES SHOPPING…THE ART OF INNOVATION GETS EVEN MORE ARTFUL…SENSORS, SOCIAL NETWORKS CHANGE HEALTH BEHAVIOR, ON A LARGE SCALE…MICRO-NETWORKS RISE…”



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