2013/01/15

NEW NET Weekly List for 15 Jan 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 15 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.        How The New Facebook Search Is Different & Unique From Google Search  http://searchengineland.com/facebook-search-not-google-search-145124  “…Facebook’s search challenge to Google has arrived. But it has arrived in a much different format than many expected…Facebook’s not using its data to provide a better search that Google. Facebook is providing a new type of search that you simply can’t do on Google or anywhere else…With a typical Google search, the objects we search for are web pages, with the connections…that help determine the pages that rise to the top primarily being links from across the web…With Facebook Graph Search, the objects we search for aren’t web pages but instead virtual representations of real world objects: people, places and things. The connections are primarily Facebook Likes…When I’ve watched Facebook show me demos of Facebook Graph Search, and do some of the example searches I’ve itemized above, it’s impressive. But it’s also impressive because it’s a person from Facebook who makes heavy use on Facebook to connect to things and who is in turn tapping into the knowledge of many other Facebookers who are similarly hyper-connected. They are not, in a word, normal…Not only have I not liked my electrician, my plumber, my dentist, my doctor or my tax person on Facebook but I don’t even know if they have Facebook pages…Facebook itself understands this challenge, but it’s hoping the promise of what search can provide will help encourage people to build the connections they may lack now…If the utility to use Facebook as a type of super-Yelp or super-LinkedIn doesn’t prove itself at first, at the very least, Facebook Graph Search will allow people to search within Facebook itself in a better way than they can now. For example, people will be able to find all the photos they’ve liked on Facebook…Rasmussen and Stocky expressed Facebook Graph Search as a new, third way that people will view Facebook. They already have their own timeline, to see what’s related to them. They have a newsfeed view, to discover what’s happening with others. Now they have a “search view” to see whatever they like…”  http://www.wired.com/business/2013/01/the-inside-story-of-graph-search-facebooks-weapon-to-challenge-google/all/  [the Wired article is interesting if you want a longer read on the new Facebook search feature – ed.]
2.       Target Now Price Matching Amazon, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/08/target-now-price-matching-amazon-walmart-com-bestbuy-com-toyrus-com-year-round/  “Target today made a huge move to counteract the practice of “showrooming,” the term that refers to how consumers are using retail brick-and-mortar stores to go hands-on with items, which they then order online for less – often from competitors like Walmart and Amazon. The company announced that it is now extending its holiday price matching policy year-round, in order to match those prices offered by online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.com, as well as BestBuy.com and Toysrus.com…The price match is only being offered for up to seven days following the purchase, and as before, the policy includes print ads from other local retailers, too…Price-matching can be a dangerous game…Best Buy specifically cited an iPhone 5 price match, saying it lost $65,000 on the day of a Walmart Facebook promotion, because it had to match the chain’s $150 price, despite the fact that iPhones were out of stock in many places…”
3.       77 Percent Of Online Health Seekers Start At Search Engines  http://searchengineland.com/77-percent-of-online-health-seekers-start-at-search-engines-pew-study-145105  “…72 percent of U.S. internet users have gone online in the past year specifically for health-related information, and 77 percent of that group say their research started at Google, Bing or another general search engine. That’s significantly more than the 13 percent that begin at health portals like WebMD, general information sites like Wikipedia (only two percent) and social networks (one percent)…82 percent of respondents 18-29 years old start at a search engine, compared to 73 percent of those 50 and older…The debate over health information and the web has been going on for years, with many doctors urging patients to not rely so much on Google for health research, and lamenting the fact that they often have to correct misinformation that patients find online, or correct incorrect conclusions that patients draw after doing health research online…”
4.       Yahoo! Image Search – now with Flickr photos  http://www.ysearchblog.com/2013/01/10/image-search-flickr-photos/  “…we’re making it easier than ever to find and share photos on the web and mobile devices. Using Yahoo! Image Search, you can now easily find photos from Flickr that are available for re-use or re-posting under Creative Commons terms…Go to Yahoo! Image Search either on the web, your tablet or mobile phone. Search for any query. If you’re looking for a photo you can reuse, make sure you select the “Labeled for Reuse” filter on the left rail to only see the photos that you can reuse…To see the specific Creative Commons license terms for the image, just click the “Attribution” link…”
5.        China decrees all new homes must have fiber optic telecom connections  http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/01/china-tackles-last-mile-fiber-problem-decrees-all-new-homes-must-have-it/  “…even in places where fiber is already in the ground, the last-mile problem usually rears its ugly head. It's halted fiber-to-the-premises plans even in places like wealthy Palo Alto, California. But in China…a new government policy…will require…that “all newly built residences, if they are located in counties and cities where a public fiber optic telecom network is available, have to be equipped with fiber network connections.”…in a country like China, there aren't as many pesky environmental and/or economic regulations to get in the way…the new policy will take effect starting April 1, 2013 and it will also allow residents to choose their ISP…”
6.       Minerva Project to figure out top-tier university education without the high cost  http://gigaom.com/2013/01/14/an-ivy-education-without-the-debt-minerva-project-create-non-profit-to-figure-out-how/  “The Minerva Project…has grand ambitions for bringing a Harvard-level education to the Web. But there are two aspects of Ivy League schooling it’s trying to avoid: exorbitant tuition and traditional professor hiring practices…we’re trying to…reimagine what a tier one research university would look like if it started in the 21st century,” said…Minerva Project’s founder…Only students who meet a high academic standard will be admitted, he said, and…they’ll be taught by best-in-class professors delivering a rigorous, top-notch curriculum – at “well under half” the price of traditional Ivy League schools…the company has stayed relatively quiet as its peers in online education, Coursera and Udacity especially, have grabbed headline after headline…Minerva will not participate in Title IV programs, which provide student financial aid from the federal government…To succeed, Minerva needs to lure professors who would otherwise be Cambridge- or Palo Alto-bound…teachers can work from anywhere, including with collaborators at other schools. Another selling point: Minerva won’t lay claim to professors’ research, so they can own all of their IP outright…”       
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
7.        Drone-proof clothing shelters from surveillance  http://www.salon.com/2013/01/10/drone_proof_clothing_shelters_from_surveillance/  “…artist Adam Harvey has developed a prototype line of “stealth wear,” clothing that employs both design and materials to shield the wearer from detection and recognition by surveillance technologies. The anti-drone hoodie and scarf hide you from thermal imaging, the XX-shirt protects your heart from x-ray radiation, and an accessory called Off Pocket can instantly black out your phone signal…This is not Harvey’s first foray into counter-surveillance camouflage. For his masters’ thesis at NYU he developed “CV Dazzle,” a form of “expressive interference that takes the form of makeup and hair styling (or other modifications)” which functions to deflect facial recognition systems…the goal of CV Dazzle is to break apart the gestalt of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection. His new clothing line was developed as a response to the swift proliferation of domestic surveillance drones…Data and privacy are increasingly valuable personal assets and it doesn’t make sense to not protect them…the inclusion of a design element in “stealth wear” that immediately blacks out phone signal was, for Harvey, about more than protecting the wearer from surveillance through phone GPS systems…When I first modified my pants with signal attenuating fabric, it felt odd to be unplugged. It was as if I had blocked out part of the world, covered my ears, or closed my eyes. But then I adjusted and realized that I had just opened them again…”
8.       Homeland Security tells PC users to disable Java to avoid zero-day drive-bys  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Jettisoning-Java-Damned-if-You-Do-Damned-if-You-Dont-77072.html  “For many businesses, disabling Java to guard against a zero-day attack is easier said than done. The consequences of falling victim to an exploit are high -- but the consequences of losing Java functionality can be high as well…The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is urging computer users to disable or uninstall Java due to a serious flaw in Runtime Environment (JRE) 7…"It's a drive-by bug, so little user interaction is necessary, and people won't even know they've been attacked until it's too late," he explained…Unfortunately, many consumers and businesses are not likely to take this advice. If they did, they wouldn't be able to view sites they need or like for work or play…the suggested workaround "is conceptually difficult and likely to not be implemented by many end users unless they are forced to comply," Shields said…”  http://www.macrumors.com/2013/01/11/apple-blocks-java-7-on-os-x-to-address-widespread-security-threat/
9.       Singapore allows pre-crime strikes against online crooks  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/15/singapore_passes_precrime_cyber_law/  “The Singaporean government has passed amendments to the city-state’s Computer Misuse Act…granting itself powers to take proactive measures against a potential cyber threat before it disrupts critical infrastructure. The Ministry of Home Affairs released a statement…explaining the changes as necessary given Singapore’s increasing reliance on cyberspace…Such requirements may include data breach reporting, or supplying technical information including network design architecture, firewall rules, and software algorithms in order to provide early-warning of an attack or help deal with an ongoing threat. The general idea…is to enable “proactive and upstream action against a threat before it materialises to cause any harm…”
10.     Mobile Hotmail and Outlook.com multi-day access issue  http://www.zdnet.com/mobile-hotmail-and-outlook-com-users-hit-by-multi-day-access-issue-7000009676/  “An undetermined number of mobile users of Microsoft's Hotmail and Outlook.com have been unable to access the service for the past several days. The problem is affecting iPhone, iPad and Android phone users…The problem seems to stem from issues with Exchange ActiveSync, the Microsoft protocol for accessing Exchange Server natively from mobile devices…While most, if not all, mobile Hotmail and Outlook.com users currently can access their mail via a Web site, some still cannot using their local mail app on their devices if that mail app relies on EAS…It seems as though Microsoft is marking the issue as resolved because users can still get to their mail via Web access. Google announced late last year that it is dropping EAS support by the end of January 2013…”
11.      Dropbox Experiencing Syncing, Folders, Links And App Integrations Issues  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/10/dropbox-experiencing-syncing-issues-on-the-web-and-desktop-but-your-files-are-safe/  “…Dropbox…site and service aren’t working properly right now…A lot of tech professionals use the service to share files with distributed teams. It’s a lifesaver when you aren’t sitting right next to your colleague…This causes concern for those who aren’t fully trusting all of their filesharing in the “cloud” yet, because when something goes down, like Dropbox has, accessing your files is impossible. Basically, you’re relegated to emailing your co-workers and friends for an attachment of the file that you need…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
12.     YotaPhone Has An E-Ink Display On The Back  http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/yotaphone/4505-6452_7-35560814.html  “…the YotaPhone…is…the most interesting smartphone…at CES…YotaPhone is a high-end Android 4.1 Jelly Bean smartphone with an e-ink display on the back…E-ink conserves more resources than color HD displays, so if you're just reading a long article or a book, use the low-power e-ink side, and when you're ready to watch a TV show or swipe through a photo gallery, flip the phone around to use LCD. There are two ways to get content onto the back display. The first is to simply mirror what's on the screen by swiping down with a two-fingered gesture…The second way to program YotaPhone's e-ink display is to use apps built for that specific purpose…It also overturns capacitive navigation buttons and instead adopts a Web OS-style gesture navigation, where half a swipe across the bottom takes you back, a full swipe takes you home, and a long press in the center brings up recent applications…the 4.3-inch e-ink display (200dpi) isn't touch-sensitive itself, which just makes navigation slow and clunky…I hope the Yota team comes up with a better system here…The front of the phone also uses Gorilla Glass 3 to protect its 4.3-inch 1,280x820p HD LCD display…the SIM card slot…doubles as power button…to reduce the number of holes and buttons. Qualcomm's 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus (MSM8960) chip, 4G LTE, and NFC are all onboard. It also features a 12-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video support, and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera with 720p support…two storage capacities: 32GB and 64GB, with 2GB RAM -- but no expandable memory…”
13.     T-Mobile rips up contract on unlimited data plan  http://ces.cnet.com/8301-34447_1-57562886/t-mobile-rips-up-contract-on-unlimited-data-plan/  “…T-Mobile today upped the ante by offering its plan without a contract. For $70 a month, T-Mobile customers can get unlimited data, text messages, and phone calls. The company has been aggressive as it works to re-spark customer growth. In August, T-Mobile opted to follow Sprint's lead and offer an unlimited data plan without any strings. Under its other plans, customers who exceed a certain threshold will be "throttled," or see their connections dramatically slowed down…the company said it has seen strong adoption of the unlimited plan, with 46 percent of new customers opting for it in December alone. Sprint and T-Mobile dangle unlimited in hopes of luring away heavy data users from Verizon Wireless and AT&T…T-Mobile, in particular, has embraced no-contract for its core service, something Sprint hasn't even done. Sprint largely relies on prepaid arms Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, but later this month will launch its own Sprint-branded prepaid option with a limited array of phones…”
14.     Nobody needs a 6-inch smartphone  http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/15/technology/mobile/huawei-6-inch-smartphone/  “After a year that saw Samsung's 5.3-inch Galaxy Note and 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II smartphones go from curiosities to serious product trends, it shouldn't be shocking that CES served as the launch pad for a 6.1-inch smartphone…And it's atrocious. The phone is the Huawei Ascend Mate. Start playing with the device and it's quickly clear that Huawei didn't make the phone bigger to address any particular need or shortcoming…It supersized the Ascend Mate purely for the sake of novelty…When attempting to hold a phone like a "phone" no longer feels natural in any way, it's a problem…Testing out the giant slab, I felt like I was part of a gag ripped straight from the world of Pee-Wee Herman. And with the Ascend Mate in my hand…I worried that this abomination won't fade away into obscurity. That it won't be the last 6-inch monstrosity we see…It's a paranoia fueled by Sony and Lenovo releasing 5-inch flagship handsets at CES. Rumors suggest that Samsung's moneymaker, the Galaxy S IV, will also be 5 inches…”
15.     The Lenovo Chromebook  http://www.thestreet.com/story/11812685/1/the-lenovo-chromebook-another-nail-in-microsofts-coffin.html  “…for those working for corporate America, we have been issued one every three or so years for the better part of the last 20 years. I'm talking about a ThinkPad laptop…It was first made by IBM and in the last decade Lenovo…it remains the most reliable Windows laptop around…One could argue that the Lenovo ThinkPad was Microsoft's face of corporate America on the road…This is about to change. In 2013, Lenovo will break with its Microsoft Windows exclusivity and start offering PCs -- laptops and desktops alike -- based on Google's…Chrome OS…Why is Lenovo doing this? Corporate America, as well as some branches of government, are trying to reduce their costs…At the same time, the complexity of a Windows PC has grown beyond most users' capabilities to handle it…Once you have used your Windows PC for the first few days, weeks and months, it no longer takes 30 seconds to boot it up, but perhaps one minute, then two minutes, then... My old Windows PC now takes at least five minutes to boot before it approaches usability. Then you have the longest list of viruses and spyware…”
16.     Amiigo Fitness Tracker Bracelet  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/15/amiigo-fitness-tracker-bracelet-gets-vc-investment-kicks-off-indiegogo-campaign/  “Amiigo, a fitness tracker bracelet, shoe clip plus app that can tell what type of exercise you’re doing thanks to its combination of hardware sensors and gesture-based software algorithms, has kicked off its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo…Amiigo…wants to couple the VC investment with crowdsourced funding as it says the latter is a way to build a community around the product and “find initial beta users”…the system now has the ability to discriminate “very subtle differences” between exercise sessions. “To say not only that you are ‘running on the treadmill’ as opposed to ‘the elliptical’, but also that your running is faster today, or choppier or less consistent…the user can actually record different types of running in a practice session, and then see how/where those are turning up during competition or performance…a user can get feedback on how closely his/her ‘run’ resembles that of a friend or some professional athlete…Amiigo users will help the system get even more capable — by providing exercise data to broaden and deepen its recognition system.  ”Amiigo will provide the initial reference database (full of well over 100 commonly performed exercises) and the recognition system to identify the activities, but it’s the users who have the ability to take it to the next level…”
17.     Nvidia unveils Tegra 4 processor, first quad-core Cortex-A15 chip  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2023835/nvidia-unveils-tegra-4-processor-first-quadcore-cortexa15-chip.html  “Nvidia unveiled its Tegra 4 processor Sunday…The Tegra 4 is based on ARM's quad-core Cortex-A15 processor and also packs in 72 graphics processing unit cores…Huang…pitted a Nexus 10 tablet, which he called "the fastest tablet in the world today," against a Tegra 4-based tablet. The two tablets were set to load 25 high-traffic web sites: the Tegra 4 did it in 27 seconds and the Nexus 10 tablet in 50 seconds…Huang also showed other tricks that could be done with the faster chip, such as HDR (high-dynamic range) photography. HDR combines a series of photographs taken at different exposure settings to provide a wider dynamic range and is processor intensive. The iPhone 5 takes about 2 seconds to capture an HDR image…while the Tegra 4 can snap two shots almost simultaneously and combine them…”
18.     Samsung debuts Exynos 5 'Octa' mobile processor  http://www.zdnet.com/samsung-flexes-component-muscle-debuts-exynos-5-octa-7000009599/  “…Samsung…dual-core Exynos 5 processor, or 5250, was included in its Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet as well as Google's Chromebooks in 2012, and helped make functions such as full high-definition (HD) playback more vivid. The dual-core Exynos 5 chip uses ARM's Cortex-A15 architecture with an onboard ARM Mali T604 quad-core graphics processing unit (GPU)…Exynos 5 "Octa" processor…relies on ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. This means there are four cores of ARM Cortex-A15 processors to cope with graphic-heavy processing, and another four cores of Cortex-A7 processors to handle the basic computing activities…The Exynos 5 Octa is targeted at high-end smartphones and tablets…We have leaped from 90-nanometer (nm) to 28nm manufacturing in five generations, and we are looking to go even lower to 20nm, 14nm and even 10nm in the future…”
19.     Vizio PC lineup 2013  http://www.slashgear.com/vizio-pc-lineup-2013-refresh-hands-on-its-time-for-touch-11264997/  “…Vizio seems to have become very enthusiastic about Windows 8, introducing new lines of touch-based notebooks and all-in-one PCs that are ready to take full advantage of the operating system…Vizio’s Thin + Light Touch line of notebooks…one with a 14″ touchscreen and the other with a 15.6″ display…1366×768 resolution is nowhere to be found with these two notebooks, with the 14″ model offering up 1600×900 and the 15.6″ variant going all the way with 1080p resolution…the 14″ and the 15.6″ models will come packing either a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 processor and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, or an AMD A10 4657M clocked at 2.3GHz with discrete Radeon HD graphics…both come with 8GB of RAM and solid-state drives…Vizio’s new all-in-one touch…PCs will come in 24″ and 27″ varieties, with the 24″ coming with the option of a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 and Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics or a quad-core AMD A10 4600M 2.3GHz and Radeon HD 8750A discrete graphics. For the 27″ it looks like the only option is that 2.4GHz Core i7 quad-core and Intel 4000 integrated graphics. Both will come with a 1TB hard drive and a 32GB SSD to offer a performance boost…there’s one feature in particular that’s very interesting about these all-in-ones: the power supply also doubles as a subwoofer…that subwoofer will give Vizio’s all-in-one touch PCs a certain boost that other packages lack. There are a number of ports on the base, meaning that you won’t have any ugly cables sticking out of the sides of your computer…”
20.    The touch laptop, like it or not  http://ces.cnet.com/8301-34435_1-57563657/ces-postscript-the-touch-laptop-like-it-or-not/  “…Intel's CES booth…had one basic unmistakable message: touch has arrived…Windows 8 convertibles, detachables, touch-screen laptops, and just plain tablets from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Samsung, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, Sony, and others blanketed Intel's booth…Intel issued an edict to PC partners during its CES keynote: all next-generation ultrabooks based on its "Haswell" chip must be touch…Your next laptop will likely be touch, whether you like it or not…by this time next year, the preponderance of laptops on display at your local Best Buy will have touch screens…Not every laptop will go touch, of course. High-end gaming lappies and business portables will be available with non-touch screens for the foreseeable future. But I suspect that, eventually, even these will go touch.”
21.     1 in 3 smartphone owners use device while driving  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57564019-94/1-in-3-smartphone-owners-use-device-while-driving/  “Do you still use your smartphone behind the wheel?...35 percent revealed that they do use their smartphones while driving…it's likely more people do but just didn't admit it. Out of the drivers who fessed up, 89 percent said they use their phone for calls, 68 percent for navigation, 39 percent for instant messaging, and 31 percent to check e-mail or the Internet… younger people tend to feel a greater need to stay connected in the car. A full 55 percent of those 18-to-39 years old see in-car access to data as important, compared with just 27 percent of people in the 40-to-69 age bracket…”
Apps
22.    Store Loyalty Cards on Phone  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323482504578227822777589846.html?mod=googlenews_wsj  “…make the most of all those store loyalty cards you carry around…free smartphone apps…such as Key Ring and CardStar let you store the information for grocery stores, pharmacies, big-box retailers…Key Ring and CardStar are available on the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows smartphones…After downloading the app, take a picture of a loyalty card's front and back with your smartphone, upload the photos to the app and tag them to the appropriate retailer…To use a card at checkout, a cashier can either scan the card's bar code from the smartphone or type in the member's ID number…”
23.    Top 10 Smartphone Apps 2012  http://www.i-programmer.info/news/83-mobliephone/5277-top-10-smartphone-apps-2012.html  “…smartphone owners became the majority of mobile phone users [in America – ed.] for the first time in 2012, growing from 49 percent of mobile subscribers in Q1 2012, to 56 percent by Q3 2012. In the US Android had a 52% share of the smartphone market while Apple had 35%. Blackberry had the next largest share, 7% while Windows Phone only had 2%...Overall Google Search was the most popular Android App with over 46 million unique users on average per month. Gmail with 44.5 million users was ranked second and Facebook was third with over 42 million users. On Apple Maps was the most popular app with over 32 million unique users on average per month. Facebook with 28.5 million users was ranked second and YouTube was third with over 23 million users…” [interesting differences between the top ten apps on Android and iPhone, see article for charts showing the top ten – ed.]
24.    Simple’s online-only banking app launches on Android  http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/15/3877066/bank-replacing-simple-android-app-launches  “…online banking startup Simple announced the first Android version of its app, which is designed to replace traditional personal banking with an online-only experience. The app allows customers to see their balance at a glance, find nearby ATMs, deposit checks, as well as view and categorize their past spending…The company built up a wait list of more than 125,000 potential customers and started sending out invites eight months ago when it launched its iPhone app…Simple is a software and customer service company, not a bank. The startup partners with federally-insured bank Bancorp to handle the money, with the goal of building digital products that make it so that customers never have to walk into a bank again…Simple sets itself apart by focusing on the average banking customer and building an…experience that incorporates some of the money-managing features found in the popular personal finance tool Mint and others like it. The company also emphasizes minimizing fees and aligning its financial interests with those of its customers…”
SkyNet
25.    Google+ Hangouts On Air Now Have A Full-Screen Option For Your Broadcast  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/10/google-hangouts-on-air-now-have-a-full-screen-option-for-your-broadcast/  “…Google+ Hangouts…full-screen option has been a long-requested feature, and the Hangouts team announced today that this has been added due to popular demand…Hangouts On Air take your live streaming Hangout and push it to an embeddable YouTube player, which records for later viewing as well…This feature is now the default…the service takes a lot of the hard work out of shooting live video, recording it and then sharing it to places like YouTube…”
26.    Google Now automatically pulls your digital boarding pass  http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/google-now-automatically-pulls-your-digital-boarding-pass-317706  “…Google Now has added a new feature called 'Boarding Pass card' that pulls your boarding pass automatically from your Gmail's online check-in data…To use the new feature, flyers must normally check-in online with their airline. Once checked in, Google Now will automatically retrieve a digital boarding pass, complete with a barcode, on your behalf. The digital boarding pass will contain various details regarding you flight such as terminal information, gate number and seat number. Once at the airport, you can just present your QR Code at the gate, which is scanned…the service only works with certain airlines at the moment…you should be equipped with a device supporting Android 4.1 or higher, since Google Now comes with Jelly Bean…”
27.    Google Solicits User Input On Colors Of Hi-Tech Glasses  http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/01/google-solicits-user-input-on-colors-of-hi-tech-glasses.php  “…Google Glass community advocate Sarah Price took to her profile page on Google Plus over the weekend to post a photo of her wearing a pair of the Google Glass specs in a new color: a “neutral shade” somewhere between gray and brown. Price then asked her over 27,000 followers which of the colors Google has shown-off so far that they like best…Google has previously released photos of Google Glass in black, white, orange (or “tangerine,” as some Googlers refer to it) and light blue…Price also took to the comments in her post to respond to some user suggestions, such as one for removable, snap-on colored frames for the hi-tech specs. Price noted that this might prove difficult because Google Glass contains a “touchpad” for controlling the glasses off to the right hand side of the frames…Price wrote: “Still working on the solution for prescription lenses — no updates there quite yet but we’re continuing to make progress…”
28.    Google+ Photos Get Pan And Zoom Functionality  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/08/google-photos-get-pan-and-zoom-functionality-letting-you-really-explore-high-res-photos/  “Google+ came out…with an addition to its Photo section of the service. The team has added pan and zoom functionality to let you explore small areas of high-resolution photographs…Google’s social feature set has attracted artists of all types, especially professional photographers. Uploading photos is super easy, and sharing with Circles has been a way to get feedback on those pics of the mountains that you just took on a hike before sharing them with the public…”
29.    How Google Is Forever Changing The Webinar  http://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2013/01/14/how-google-is-forever-changing-the-webinar/  “…For many of us in the tech world a typical webinar usually goes like this:  you invite lots of people who then sign up on your website or through an event management service like Eventbrite.  At the date and time, the attendees login through a special URL that’s been sent to them and call a special conference call number.  You, the presenter, share your desktop using a service like GoToWebinar or BrightTalk and then display your PowerPoint presentation…But webinars are changing.  Sage was determined to hold their event using Google+ Hangouts On Air…it has gained in acceptance among the technology community and larger corporations like Sage.  And Google continues to develop more features, like the ones introduced last week.  Just imagine this:  a video chat service where an unlimited number of people can join your conference.  For free…Suppose you’re a comedian who wants to hold a special performance.  Or a music band who decides to broadcast a concert from their parents’ garage.  Or a budding interviewer who wants to setup a TV show from his or her living room like Kramer did on Seinfeld.  Or, in my example, a small business owner who wants to explain how the fiscal cliff is affecting his business to 500 people who have nothing more exciting to do than listen to him on a weekday afternoon…It’s like having a giant TV studio to broadcast to the world…from your office…The biggest benefit to this service is it’s free.  Other web presentation services offer similar video capabilities but you have to subscribe to them…your event will be streamed live through your YouTube channel.   So not only can people attend the live event but they can catch it saved on YouTube.  And of couse will be searchable on Google.  You’re getting an audience both ways (unless you make it private which kind of defeats the purpose). You can link it back to your website and continue to promote it through social media…”
30.    Google launches Zavers, targeted digital coupons  http://googlecommerce.blogspot.ca/2013/01/introducing-zavers-by-google-helping.html  “…we’re excited to introduce Zavers by Google—a digital coupon solution that enables retailers and manufacturers to reward loyal customers with coupons that are relevant to them…So dog owners don’t get cat food coupons and parents of teenagers don’t get diaper coupons…Zavers’ real-time data gives manufacturers new ways to measure coupon redemptions and analyze consumer preferences so they can manage distribution, tailor campaigns, and optimize budgets for maximum ROI…With Zavers, shoppers find manufacturer discounts on their favorite retailer websites, and save the digital coupons to their accounts. Then they simply shop for those products and check out as usual. Redemption occurs in real time, with savings automatically deducted at checkout when shoppers provide their rewards cards or phone numbers—no scanning or sorting necessary. Manufacturers only pay when a product is moved off the shelf…”
31.     Google's Zamboni doodle will kill your productivity  http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/01/15/google-doodle-zamboni-game/1837637/  “…The fine folks at Google released a new Zamboni-inspired doodle. And yes, it's every bit as amazing/fun/addicting as you'd expect. The Zamboni doodle celebrates Frank Zamboni's 112th birthday. Zamboni was an American inventor best known for inventing an ice resurfacing machine…”  http://www.google.com.au/
General Technology
32.    Dell introduces HDMI stick that turns any screen into a thin client PC  http://liliputing.com/2013/01/dell-introduces-hdmi-stick-that-turns-any-screen-into-a-thin-client-pc.html  “Dell acquired Wyse last year and launched a line of cloud computing products that lets you access software data on a remote server…Now the company is introducing a new thin client that you can put in your pocket, and it’s aimed at the consumer market…Dell’s “Project Ophelia” looks like a kind of big USB flash drive. But if you plug it into a TV or monitor it lets you access your music, movies, pictures, and other data stored in your “personal cloud” using Dell Wyse Cloud Client software…For the most part these apps aren’t actually running on the Project Ophelia — instead you can login to a remote PC or virtualized PC environment…The stick features WiFi and Bluetooth and it can draw power directly from your display — if your display has an MHL port. If not, you can connect it to an HDMI port and plug in a USB power cable…under the hood this thing is running Google Android 4.0 which means you can also use it to surf the web, check your email, play media or run other Android apps without logging into a virtual desktop…”
33.    Kingston's 1TB USB Stick  http://www.tomshardware.com/news/1TB-USB-Large-Capacity-Thumb-Drive-512GB-USB-DataTraveler-HyperX-Predator-USB-3,20278.html  “…Kingston announced…the world's first 1TB USB stick…Officially named the DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0, we heard it affectionally referred to as 'the brick' on more than one occasion…The DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 offers read/write speeds of up to 240MB/s and 160MB/s, is SuperSpeed USB 3.0 certified and is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0. Kingston also has a 512 GB version in the market, which is priced at $1,750…”
Leisure & Entertainment
34.    Zivix Jamstik Portable MIDI Guitar For Beginners And Pros  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/08/the-zivix-jamstik-is-an-absolutely-amazing-portable-midi-guitar-for-beginners-and-pros/  “The surprisingly small and light Jamstik is…one of the coolest things I’ve seen at CES…It is a MIDI guitar that is actually a musical controller. By playing and plucking the strings you can play music using synthesized sounds and it recognizes chords, notes, and nuances including bends and hammers…The device connects to a PC or tablet and you can play it just like a regular guitar. To go up the neck you simply slap a button on the body to play higher notes. “Our goal is to provide a platform for making music more meaningful, accessible and fun for the masses. While the Jamstik is instantly compatible with Garage Band and hundreds of other core-midi applications, we are developing apps for teaching, interactive Tab and a fun music re-mix experience,” said Koehler. The Jamstik uses IR sensors to see your fingers as you press the strings so you never have to tune the guitar and it can notify you before you tap the wrong notes. It’s a great teaching tool and a fun portable music maker…”
35.    Valve's Gabe Newell on Steam Box, biometrics, and the future of gaming  http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/8/3852144/gabe-newell-interview-steam-box-future-of-gaming  “We just sat down for a rare and wide-ranging interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, who opened up to The Verge with details about the company's upcoming "Steam Box" gaming hardware, the future of the Steam digital distribution platform, and even gaming itself…the Steam Box will be designed to work across multiple screens in the home using networking standards like Miracast, ideally allowing users to effortlessly transition between rooms and monitors to enjoy gaming and other content. But Valve's goal isn't just to put a box into everyone's living room, it's to help build an ecosystem of content developers…We think that there are pluses and minuses to open systems that could make things a little messier, it’s much more like herding cats, so we try to take the pieces where we’re going to add the best value and then encourage other people to do it…The way we sort of think of it is sort of "Good, Better," or "Best."…Good are like these very low-cost streaming solutions that you’re going to see that are using Miracast or Grid…"Better" is to have a dedicated CPU and GPU and that’s the one that’s going to be controlled…You can always sell the Best box, and those are just whatever those guys want to manufacture. [Valve's position is]: let's build a thing that’s quiet and focuses on high performance and quiet and appropriate form factors…We’ll come out with our own and we’ll sell it to consumers by ourselves. That’ll be a Linux box…”
36.    Experimental Results: Liars and Outliers Trust Offer  http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/01/experimental_re.html  “Last August, I offered to sell Liars and Outliers for $11 in exchange for a book review. This was much less than the $30 list price; less even than the $16 Amazon price…I sold 800 books from this offer -- much more than the few hundred I originally intended -- to people all over the world…it's interesting to count up the number of reviews I received from the offer. That's not a trivial task. I asked people to e-mail me URLs for their review, but not everyone did. But counting the independent reviews, the Amazon reviews, and the Goodreads reviews from the time period, and making some reasonable assumptions, about 70 people fulfilled their end of the bargain and reviewed my book. That's 9%...although I didn't put any deadline on when the review should be completed by, I received a surge of reviews around the end of the year -- probably because some people self-imposed a deadline. What is certain is that a great majority of people decided not to uphold their end of the bargain…”
37.    Disney, Pixar 'Infinity' Gaming Experience Coming in June  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414335,00.asp  “Disney Interactive…announced…its "most ambitious gaming initiative ever" — Disney Infinity. The new platform brings together beloved characters from The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animations Studio to fight hand-in-hand against animated evil. Players can venture through some of their favorite Disney and Pixar worlds, including the campus of Monsters University or the pumpkin patch in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Players can also get creative and build new environments. By integrating real and make-believe, Disney Infinity turns collectible character figures (pictured below) into animated superheroes, allowing Mr. Incredible to run alongside Mike Wazowski in what Disney has dubbed a virtual "Toy Box."…”
Economy and Technology
38.    10 Reasons Why 2013 Will Be The Year You Quit Your Job  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/12/10-reasons-why-2013-will-be-the-year-you-quit-your-job/  “…Getting the things you want is hard but for reasons I explain below, you now have no other choice. The myth of corporate safety, of rising up through the ranks, of getting the gold watch, of getting applauded by your peers is over…I’m going to tell you why you have to quit your job. Why you need to get the ideas moving. Why you need to build a foundation for your life or soon you will have no roof…1) The middle class is dead…“It’s all outsourced, or technology has taken over for the paper shufflers,” he said…More people entered the upper class than ever last year.” But, he said, more people are temp staffers than ever…2) You’ve been replaced. Technology, outsourcing, a growing temp staffing industry, productivity efficiencies, have all replaced the middle class…Most jobs that existed 20 years ago aren’t needed now…3) Corporations don’t like you…4) Money is not happiness…In other words, don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time. That will never get you where you want – freedom from financial worry. Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before…5) Count right now how many people can make a major decision that can ruin your life…The way to avoid this is to diversify the things you are working on so no one person or customer or boss or client can make a decision that could make you rich or destroy you or fulfill your life’s dreams or crush them…6) Is your job satisfying your needs? I will define “needs” the way I always do, via the four legs of what I call “the daily practice.” Are your physical needs, your emotional needs, your mental needs, and your spiritual needs being satisfied?...7) Your Retirement Plan is…gone…The only retirement plan is to Choose Yourself. To start a business or a platform or a lifestyle where you can put big chunks of money away…8) Excuses. ”I’m too old.” “I’m not creative.” “I need the insurance.” “I have to raise my kids.” I was at a party once. A stunningly beautiful woman came up to me and said, “James, how are you!?”…I had no idea who I was talking to…It turns out she was the frumpish-looking woman who had been fired six months earlier from the job we were at. She had cried as she packed up her cubicle when she was fired. She was out of shape, she looked about 30 years older than she was, and now her life was going to go from better to worse…9) It’s okay to take baby steps…Before a human being runs a marathon they learn to crawl, then take baby steps, then walk, then run…Make the list right now. Every dream. I want to be a bestselling author. I want to reduce my material needs…Every day, what do I need to do to practice those themes? It starts the moment I wake up: “Who can I help today?”…10) Abundance will never come from your job…”
39.    GE Teams Up With Startup Health To Fuel Digital Health Innovation  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/08/g-e-hires-kleiner-partner-teams-up-with-startup-health-to-help-fuel-digital-health-innovation/  “…GE’s business generally falls outside the virtual walls of the consumer web. However…GE has recently renewed its commitment to investing in innovation, particularly as it places its bet on the “industrial Internet” in an effort to bring some digital magic to industry…GE also has its eyes on healthcare and the revolution that’s waiting in the wings. With digital health data proliferating, wearable health-tracking devices (and the sensors underneath) maturing and becoming cheaper to produce — along with improvements in remote diagnosis, healthcare transparency and a booming app economy, the intersection of health and technology is heating up…GE launched Healthymagination in 2009 as a vehicle to invest in healthtech innovations that aim to deliver higher-quality (and more affordable healthcare), improve access to health info…The company committed a whopping $6 billion to the initiative to make this happen…GE is now looking to expand its support of health innovation to early-stage companies…GE partnered with StartUp Health — the academy, accelerator and resource for healthtech entrepreneurs — to create a three-year program designed to help accelerate the growth of consumer health startups…”
40.    Customer Service Platform Zendesk Signs Up Evernote As Its 25,000th Business  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/08/zendesk-evernote-25k/  “Zendesk…closed out 2012 by crossing the 25,000-customer milestone. It’s a big-name company, too — note-taking app Evernote announced that it will be using Zendesk to deliver customer service…through those businesses, Zendesk is delivering customer service to 100 million consumers in more than 140 countries…”
Design / DEMO
41.     An inside look at Samsung's approach to product design  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2024395/an-inside-look-at-samsungs-approach-to-product-design.html  “At a gathering of designers from Samsung's Korea headquarters, the company made it clear that it will continue to push toward being a lifestyle brand…This design-centric gathering was…focused on…examining Samsung's approach to industrial design as a company philosophy across products…When we differentiate ourselves from the competition, we free ourselves from the design…design sometimes has to wait for the engineering to catch up…You can now see a lot of narrow bezel TVs. The first slim bezels go back to 2008, but we didn't have the right technology…By 2010, our engineers could come up with the technology to do a slim bezel…to make the original design…On the Galaxy SIII we focused on making it more human, and how the surface moves, and so we thought metal may not be the best material to use with this design philosophy; we thought plastic was more warm and would go along with that design philosophy…Design permeates through the entire company. It's much more than you think…we introduced a new design for a product—Touch of Color [HDTVs in 2008]. In order for this design to become product, we got our hands on the double injection molding machines all around the world…This represented one-third of all the profits we made from that product…”
42.    Curvy, Sensuous Gadgets Are Dead, and CES Killed Them  http://www.wired.com/design/2013/01/ces-design-trends-2013/  “Flowing, curvaceous gadgets took a back seat to boxier shapes with sharp, straight lines at CES this year…The "Blobject" had a good run. Advances in CAD software made this sinuous style possible and Apple made it popular starting with their first iMac. After the iconic Bondi Blue blob exploded in popularity, the trend transformed everything from staplers to soap bottles. CES 2013 seems to have ended the golden age of globules and ushered in a rectilinear revolution…exuberant organic forms have been replaced with hard-edged alternatives…Apple designers once talked about touring jelly bean factories to learn how to make plastic more playful. Today, it's more likely that they are visiting aerospace engineers or weapon manufacturers. The iPhone 5 killed off the last soft fillets on the device, replacing them with hard-edged, industrial chamfers…I've heard that the decision to create a monolith with chamfers was largely a need-based design decision, to reduce size while maximizing the internal capacity for battery, guts, etc.," says Nick de la Mare, executive creative director at Frog Design…He doesn't see the iPhone 5's design as a statement of aesthetics as much as function…If you look across other industries you have an apparent trend toward stealth, beginning basically in the mass market with the introduction of the hard geometries and corners of the stealth fighter etc…In a sense it's just a celebration of the machine. These are perfect forms, unyielding and edged, things that only a computer could generate. And as such, a  juxtaposition to the organic, more naturalistic elements we were seeing before…”
DHMN Technology
43.    Review: what materials can be 3D printed?  http://betterprinter.blogspot.ca/2012/12/3d-printing-plastic-filaments-kinds-and.html  “…here is a post on the many materials that can be 3D-printed at home. It is not complete and will expand with time…Read it as a short generic survey of usable materials…the open source / open hardware community rocks, because a lot of enthusiasts explore a lot of subjects…Polylactic acid is the most common filament used by hobbyists, the other one being ABS. PLA is a class of environment-friendly plastic which is entirely made out of natural products, hence the organic plastic or bioplastic name. Really, it is a mix of corn starch and sugar cane derivatives that meets food-grade and biodegradability standards and even made its way as surgical suturing…PLA really is the preferred choice for many, because of its numerous and interesting properties, among which are its solidity, colors and organic nature…ABS is definitely the other material of choice when it comes to 3D printing. What makes it so common in the industry is that it can also be molded  in addition to being extruded.  It is cheaper than PLA and it also can be recycled, but contrary to PLA, it is made out of oil…pros and cons of ABS vs. PLA can be found on this page at protoparadigm (also a buyers's guide), and on Pixilagency…PVA…is an uncommon but very interesting filament that dissovles in water! It is mainly used as a temporary support structure in dual head printers, to solve overhang issues. One head prints the PVA structure, and the other head prints standard plastic on top of it…Nylon is another oil-based plastic…Many other oil-based thermoplastics are available to print with, such as the Polyethylene family (high or low density, for bottle caps, food storage containers such as milk jugs, chemical resistant piping, plastic wraps, or PET for synthetic fibers and clear plastic bottles)…a home 3D printer could print any thermoplastic, that melts and can be shaped into a filament…One other plastic worth mentioning is the strong and worthwhile polycarbonate (aka PC or Lexan)…Wood-based filament…was "discovered" recently. It it a mix of wood particles and polymers, which produces porous objects that resembles cardboard…it is one of the best material ever for artists because of the texture and because it mostly hides the printed layers…Printing pastes: sugar, chocolate, silicone, wax, clay…requires a serious modification of the printer head, where the hot end must be swapped with a syringe, a peristaltic pump or an auger screw for example…”
44.    DIY Digifab via Deadwood, SD: B9Creator High-Resolution 3D Printer  http://www.core77.com/blog/exclusive/diy_digifab_via_deadwood_sd_the_story_behind_the_b9creator_high-resolution_3d_printer_23581.asp  “…we had the chance to catch up with self-taught maker Michael Joyce, the brains behind the B9Creator at Maker Faire this past weekend…I've always been a little bit of a tinkerer as I grew up—I ended up with a math degree out of college, [then I] joined the Air Force, flew as an air force pilot for about 12 years, got out and did a few little things in software. I started making these $25,000 Lost in Space robot replicas…I got interested in 3D Printing, mainly in applications for space exploration and things like that. But…I wanted to start doing something with higher resolution…that's how I got interested in doing this DLP-based printer…the fact that I've been building those Lost in Space robots gave me a lot of good contacts, as far as my manufacturers, to get things built quickly. So I already had a good relationship with a metal company and an acrylic company…I wanted to work on something based on DLP and photosensitive resins…I built several different prototype versions in January, but then I learned that some things I was trying to do had already been patented…The actual SLA patent is expired so we're basically doing a form of SLA…we've got a patent pending on the release portion of our design and we have a design patent for the whole look and feel of the machine. But we do intend to open source everything... except for the patent-pending portion of the hardware, we'll have a non-commercial clause for that part, so we have some way to regain our energies here, and our monies…it will be a great platform for people who want to experiment with higher-resolution projectors, if they want to throw a laser under there and try to do laser beam curing instead of projection curing…there's tons of people on our support forum on B9Creator.com, they've been assembling them; they run into problems and help each other out. For the most part, it takes people about four hours on average to assemble the kit…They're $2,495 and that's everything you need except for the computer and the resin—it's the full kit including the projector…We're looking at both a bigger version and a smaller version—the smaller version would be higher resolution, the bigger version would have higher print volume…The idea with open source is we develop a community around it, so if I go off on something else, it's still self-supporting…”
45.    Ben Heck’s Double Decker 3D Printer  http://3dprintingindustry.com/2013/01/04/ben-hecks-double-decker-3d-printer/  “Benjamin J. Heckendorn – known in the virtual world as Ben Heck – is a tech-savvy tinkerer, who is famous for his modifications applied to different consoles and personal computers. As a man that is passionate about tech, it should come as no surprise that 3D printing is on Ben’s radar and has been since the early days. Indeed, he has built a portable 3d printing machine in his persistent mission of making the most out of all things technologically and electronically interesting. His fourth attempt in this area has resulted in something even more interesting – watch the visual story below to get a sense of his latest 3D printing project – a machine capable of printing two objects simultaneously!…”
Open Source Hardware
46.    Open Source 3D Printer From Argentina: Kikai Labs  http://3dprintingindustry.com/2013/01/10/a-new-open-source-3d-printer-from-argentina-kikai-labs/  “Kikai Labs is a start up 3D printer company based in Argentina that will start shipping its first batch of open source 3D printers at the end of this month. Founded by Marcelo Ruiz Camauer, who was only introduced to 3D printing a couple of years ago and bought a Makerbot 18 months ago, the Kikai Labs 3D printer recently won the ‘Rio Info Innovation Award, Argentina’…the Kikai Labs 3D printer has a build area of 20 x 20 x 18 cm with a print speed of 50-60mm/s and a layer thickness of 0.8 mm. It uses open source software and electronics with a RAMP 1.4 board and can operate via an SD card or USB interface. The 3D printer can also be ordered with an optional heated bed. The price for a fully assembled Kikai Labs 3D printer is $1664…”  http://www.kikailabs.com.ar/tecnologia
47.    Ford’s OpenXC project will produce open-source car hardware  http://gigaom.com/2013/01/10/forget-apps-fords-openxc-project-will-produce-open-source-car-hardware/  “Ford…announced…OpenXC, an open-source software and hardware program that exposes the internal workings of the vehicle to a future generation of apps and devices…Ford…is taking its OpenXC open-source hardware program out of beta, making the deepest inner workings of the car open to engineers who want to design apps and even modular hardware components for the future automobiles. OpenXC is a joint project between Ford and open-source hardware developer Bug Labs to bridge the gap between the highly specialized and proprietary world of automotive computing and the world of open development…the primary goal of the project was to create is a vehicle interface module based on the open-source hardware platform Arduino It plugs into car’s internal communications network and gains real-time access to vehicle performance data like speed, acceleration and braking as well as vehicle sensor data. The module then translates that information into a format an Android smartphone or tablet can decipher. Developer are then free to build smartphone apps that can read the vehicle data or use the interface as the basis for a new hardware that integrates directly into the car…”
48.    Pairasight Is An Embeddable, Open Source 3D Camera  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/11/pairisight-is-an-embeddable-open-source-3d-camera/  “…Pairasight, a unique system for adding stereo vision to almost anything, including glasses. While the company is still nascent, they do have a very compelling technology that could help EMTs, police, and military record their world wirelessly when on duty. The glasses can take stereo images at 5-megapixel quality and stream video wirelessly to their own encoding servers…creator Chris Salow was very down to earth and explained that his mission was to build an open source product that allows for multiple use scenarios. He’s expecting to have initial prototypes built this year…”
Open Source
49.    Darpa open sources code for building amphibious tank  http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-01/11/darpa-open-source-code  “Two years ago, defence secretary Robert Gates killed off the Marines' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle -- a $13 billion…misfire of an attempt to build an armoured boat that could make landfall and still get around on the beach. But…DoD's forward-thinking Darpa group plans to release open-source software that will let anyone design and run virtual tests on their own swimming tank…it will kick off the first phase of a contest where you can pit your amphibious tank design against everyone else's. The prize: $1 million…Darpa's software -- built in part by researchers at Vanderbilt University -- is called Meta. It's an open source version of the same kind of complex design and simulation software that typically costs big corporations tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars…The code will be released 14 January at noon EST, and the first phase of the contest -- called the FANG (Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle) challenge -- will kick off. Contestants will use this code to build a drive train and mobility system…”
50.    Develop Veterans Affairs Department open source patient scheduling system, win $3 million  http://www.nextgov.com/health/2013/01/develop-open-source-scheduling-system-va-and-win-3-million/60572/  “…the Veterans Affairs Department launched a contest with $3 million in prizes for development of a new patient scheduling system based on open source software. The new system will replace 25-year-old technology. In March 2009, after spending $167 million over eight years with no viable software to show for it, VA cancelled its previous replacement system for scheduling new patients…VA said it will use the contest to encourage software developers to build a new system based on its open source Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, known as VistA…The competition will help us serve veterans by encouraging ideas to provide more personalized care.”…VA’s chief information officer, said “for the last 18 months, we have been working with the open source community to support this change in direction.” VA is running the contest on the Challenge.gov website, with entries due by June 13…”
51.     Tutorial: GIMP 2.9/2.10 Feature Preview  http://www.gimpusers.com/tutorials/whats-new-in-gimp-2-10  “For GIMP 2.10, the developers want to completely switch to GIMP's new computation engine GEGL. This will offer higher bit depths, more non-destructive editing and faster rendering due to OpenCL support in the future. We've taken a look on the stuff that changed since 2.8…1 A huge step for GIMP: 16/32 bit per channel support…2 (Almost) Lossless color space conversions…3 New tool: Unified transformation…4 Heavily improved scaling quality: No- and LoHalo-Samplers…5 Sampling example 2…6 More on-canvas previews…7 Multi-core CPU / GPU support…8 OpenCL-accelerated filters…9 GEGL based filters and plugins…10 ICC v4 color profile conversion support…11 Tile based computation and projection…12 Color temperature correction…”
52.    Creating an Open Source Project  http://www.drdobbs.com/jvm/creating-an-open-source-project/240145389  “…I announced on Twitter that I had started an open source project for a piece of software that I created (more on that later and in future blog posts). My original intent was to offer this software via a commercial license only (closed source), but as time went on I decided to share it as open source. In some ways this means abandoning all hopes of garnering license fees for the use of my software, but in other ways it means the following: The building of a community…Greater exposure…Lower barrier of entry…Reduced risk if my little software company goes belly-up…All of these represent benefits to those who use open source software, and it could represent real monetary value to those who create it. This can be in the form of donations, consulting fees, service contracts, partnerships, or high-level employment. Either way, creating an open source project can generate opportunities for everyone involved; more so than if the software sits dormant on a hard drive somewhere. But where do you start?…”
Civilian Aerospace
53.    Bigelow has contract to supply International Space Station inflatable module  http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130112/SPACE/301120029/ISS-will-get-first-inflatable-addition  “NASA will add an inflatable module to the International Space Station developed by Bigelow Aerospace, a company that hopes to deploy the first privately operated space stations. The space agency on Friday announced it has awarded Bigelow a $17.8 million contract to fly a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, to the station…NASA said the module would demonstrate its benefits for commercial space endeavors and future exploration missions…Bigelow habitats are seen as potentially helping to open a market for commercial human spaceflight by providing destinations for private crews beyond the ISS…Bigelow Aerospace says its expandable habitats could exceed the usable space of the ISS at a fraction of the cost…”
54.    Unilever Buys 22 Flights on XCOR Aerospace's Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft  http://www.xcor.com/press-releases/2013/13-01-11_unilever_buys_22_flights_on_lynx.html  “Commercial spaceflight is entering the main stream and looking (and smelling) quite good!...Unilever Group…announced a 22 flight purchase on XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx Mark II suborbital spacecraft for Unilever’s space-themed AXEApollo campaign for the AXE  brand of men’s…personal care products. Unilever will award the first flight to a lucky winner selected from a drawing just after the Super Bowl on February 3rd, and the 21 other winners will come from a year long, 60 country promotional campaign. That larger campaign includes a 100+ person December 2013 space camp for early stage winners in Orlando called the AXE Apollo™ Space Academy…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
55.     The Future of Graphics Cards in 2013  http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/327809,gtx-700-vs-hd-8000-8211-the-future-of-graphics-cards-in-2013.aspx  “With Nvidia and AMD both releasing a new generation of graphics cards over the next few months…There are two things we have been completely certain of for a good while now. Firstly the increasing difficulty in shrinking silicon experienced by all chipmakers means TSMC’s 20 nanometer (nm) ‘process shrink’ will not debut for almost another year; both AMD and Nvidia’s next-gen will be made on the existing 28nm process like their predecessors. In addition both the Red and Green team are slated to release tweaked and enhanced versions of their 2012 architectures rather than all-out new designs…both will be building physically larger pieces of silicon and just how large they can get depends on the efficiency of their designs…it is worth a quick summary of the current architectures. With its current ‘Southern Islands’ cards AMD developed a largely new design: it was technically innovative and a first foray into a general computing design…Nvidia took a different route with Kepler, its radically redesigned of the flawed 2010 vintage ‘Fermi’, for one by reducing general computing elements…it also moved to a single clock speed for the entire piece of silicon with huge results for efficiency. The effect of this redesign was impressive – Kepler uses less silicon, much less power and is incredibly fast - generally winning out against bigger, hotter AMD chips this generation…Kepler is faster and more efficient, however AMD’s current baby may have more scope for improvement…in the previous generation (HD 7xx0 and GTX 7x0) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) the foundry that manufactures both Nvidia and AMD’s graphics chips, made a long overdue move from 40nm to 28nm. In doing so, they literally halved the size of each of the billions of transistors in that generation. This secret sauce allowed both AMD and Nvidia to fit much more firepower into the same amount of silicon, without increasing power draw and allowed for epic performance increases…Nowadays 28nm chips are much easier to make, they also ‘leak’ less, making them less power hungry and thus cooler. Finally technical maturity and experience gained over of the past year could allow Nvidia and AMD to tweak their designs on a technical level…”
56.    Silicon Mechanics Offers NVIDIA K20 GPU Option  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2013-01-11/silicon_mechanics_offers_nvidia_k20_gpu_option_to_servers.html  “Silicon Mechanics, Inc…now offers the new NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU Computing Accelerator in its hybrid architecture server product line. The new ultra-efficient Kepler-based GPU is designed for high throughput of both dual- and single-precision workloads. It is ideal for climate and weather modeling, computational fluid dynamics, computer-aided engineering, computational physics, biochemistry simulations, and computational finance…With teraflops of single- and double-precision performance, NVIDIA Kepler GPU Computing Accelerators are companion processors designed for double-precision applications and the supercomputing market. The Tesla K20 delivers three times the double-precision performance compared to the previous generation Fermi-based Tesla M2090, in the same power envelope…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
57.     15 emerging technology domains in 2012  http://www.luxresearchinc.com/coverage-areas/overview.html  “Emerging technology fields are fertile hunting grounds for new business opportunities…entrepreneurs across many industries look to these areas to drive growth…Lux Research analysts…cover the following technology areas: Solar Components…Solar Systems…Smart Grid and Grid Storage…Electric Vehicles…Alternative Fuels…Bio-based Materials and Chemicals…Formulation and Delivery…China BioPharma…Sustainable Building Materials…Efficient Building Systems…Water…Advanced Materials…Energy Electronics…Printed, Flexible, and Organic Electronics…China Innovation…”
58.    Five senses direct emerging technological trends  http://www.labcanada.com/news/five-senses-direct-emerging-technological-trends/1001940621/  “A new generation of computing will mimic human senses…according to IBM's annual "IBM 5 in 5"…a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years…This new generation of machines will learn, adapt, sense and begin to experience the world as it really is. This year's predictions focus on…the ability of computers to mimic the human senses—in their own way, to see, smell, touch, taste and hear…1) Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone…scientists are developing applications for the retail, healthcare and other sectors using haptic, infrared and pressure sensitive technologies to simulate touch, such as the texture and weave of a fabric…helping simulate the physical sensation of actually touching the material…2) Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousand words…systems will not only be able to look at and recognize the contents of images and visual data, they will turn the pixels into meaning, beginning to make sense out of it similar to the way a human views and interprets a photograph…3) Sound: Computers will hear what matters…a distributed system of clever sensors will detect elements of sound such as sound pressure, vibrations and sound waves at different frequencies…4) Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter…researchers are developing a computing system that actually experiences flavor…It will break down ingredients to their molecular level…the system will be able to create new flavour combinations…5) Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell…tiny sensors embedded in your computer or cell phone will detect if you're coming down with a cold or other illness. By analyzing odours, biomarkers and thousands of molecules in someone's breath, doctors will have help diagnosing and monitoring the onset of ailments such as liver and kidney disorders, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy by detecting which odours are normal and which are not…”

*****

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