2013/01/29

NEW NET Weekly List for 29 Jan 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 29 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.        Free Database of the Entire Web May Spawn the Next Google  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509931/a-free-database-of-the-entire-web-may-spawn-the-next-google/  “…A nonprofit called Common Crawl is now using its own Web crawler and making a giant copy of the Web that it makes accessible to anyone. The organization offers up over five billion Web pages, available for free so that researchers and entrepreneurs can try things otherwise possible only for those with access to resources on the scale of Google’s…Common Crawl’s data will make it easier for novel ideas to gain traction, both in the world of startups and in academic research…Common Crawl has already inspired or helped out some new Web startups. TinEye, a “reverse” search engine that finds images similar to one provided by the user, made use of early Common Crawl data to get started. One programmer’s personal project using Common Crawl data to measure how many of the Web’s pages connect to Facebook…led to his securing funding for a startup, Lucky Oyster, based on helping people find useful information in their social data…another tried to determine public attitudes toward congressional legislation by analyzing the content of online discussions about new laws…Social sites are quite sensitive about their content these days, and many implement anti-crawling mechanisms to limit the speed anyone can access their content…”
2.       Vine: Facebook Is Done Giving Its Precious Social Graph To Competitors  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/24/my-precious-social-graph/  “…Facebook’s…spent nine years getting you to confirm who you know, and apparently it’s sick of handing over your friend list to competitors. This week it cut off both Twitter’s new photo app Vine and messaging app Voxer from Find Friends, Facebook’s API that lets you connect with Facebook friends on other apps…this could backfire…other companies have bits and pieces of these data sets. LinkedIn knows your resume, Google knows your web searches, Twitter knows who you follow, Apple and Amazon have your credit card number, and your phone’s OS maker knows what apps you’ve downloaded…Still, if you want to jumpstart a social app, Facebook’s Find Friends feature is very valuable…its Platform Policy…states “Competing social networks: (a) You may not use Facebook Platform to export user data into a competing social network without our permission.”…Enforcement of these policies could create a moat around Facebook…The enforcement means Facebook is not an “open platform.”…it could cause a chilling effect on development on the Facebook platform…”  http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/24/3911972/vine-hands-on-twitter-takes-on-video-sharing  “…we finally got our hands on Vine, Twitter’s video-sharing app…amateur video…is notoriously difficult to make work in this context: it’s hard to shoot…Vine solves the problem by paring H.264 videos down into GIF-size snippets. Vines max out at six seconds…They also play automatically, which makes them much easy to scan and snack on from a mobile device…”
3.       College Degree, No Class Time Required  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578255992379228564.html/  “…Colleges and universities are rushing to offer free online classes known as "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. But…no one has figured out a way to stitch these classes together into a bachelor's degree…Wisconsin officials tout the UW Flexible Option as the first to offer multiple, competency-based bachelor's degrees from a public university system. Officials encourage students to complete their education independently through online courses…Given that a growing number of jobs require a degree, the new program appeals to potential students who lack the time or resources to go back to school full time…Officials plan to launch the full program this fall, with bachelor's degrees in subjects including information technology and diagnostic imaging, plus master's and bachelor's degrees for registered nurses. Faculty are working on writing those tests now…the degree will be indistinguishable from those issued by the University of Wisconsin the traditional way…Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has championed the idea, in part because he left college in his senior year for a job opportunity and never finished his degree. He said he hoped to use the Flexible Degree option himself…”
4.       How (and When) to Snag Cheap Fares  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323539804578260162548443472.html?mod=us_most_pop_newsreel  “When is the best time to get the best value on airfare?...the short answer is 49 days before your departure for domestic flights, while the sweet spot for international flights is 81 days…A typical flight from Los Angeles to Chicago could carry as many as 20 possible price points when the ticket is purchased. If the flight is wide open, all price points will be available…if the carrier sees flights filling briskly, it will spike the prices. "You'll see crazy fares that are literally five times as much as what you would normally pay for a flight,"…What's the priciest day to buy a ticket? The day before you fly, with the second worst, two days in advance and the No. 3 spot, three days ahead of time…”
5.        BitTorrent Launches Private and Secure Dropbox Alternative  http://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-launches-private-and-secure-dropbox-alternative-130125/  “BitTorrent Inc. has released a new application that allows users to securely sync folders to multiple devices using the BitTorrent protocol. The free application has no storage limits and can serve both as a public backup system and a shared drive…For the public…there’s never really been a good tool to securely backup and sync files over the Internet via BitTorrent. This may change, however, with the new Sync application just announced by BitTorrent…BitTorrent Sync has very similar functions to those offered by popular cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Skydrive, except for the fact that there’s no cloud involved. The upside to this is that no third-party has access to one’s files…”
6.       Tumblr Starts To Look More Like A Fully Featured Twitter Than Blogging Platform  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/24/with-todays-update-tumblr-starts-to-look-more-like-a-fully-featured-twitter-than-blogging-platform/  “In an effort to make its Dashboard a “smaller and more streamlined experience,” the social blogging platform Tumblr is today overhauling the way users create posts on its website. Instead of the larger, full-screen experience which makes writing or sharing content on Tumblr feel more like blogging, the new post screens seem to be taking a page from Twitter in their design…Tumblr has positioned itself as a more lightweight form of blogging, which makes the concept more accessible to people. Using Tumblr is not as complicated as setting up a WordPress site, for example, and it’s significantly less difficult than establishing your own domain and hosting it yourself…”
7.        Next-Gen Video Format H.265 Is Approved: High-Quality Video On Low-Bandwidth Networks  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/25/h265-is-approved/  “The ITU has approved a new video format that could bring 4k video to future broadband networks, while also making streaming HD video available even on bandwidth-constrained mobile networks. The H.265 standard, also informally known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), is designed to provide high-quality streaming video, even on low-bandwidth networks…The hope is that, through improved compression techniques, H.265 will enable publishers to stream 1080p video with about half as many bits as required today. That should make true streaming HD video available not just in broadband households, but on mobile and tablet devices, using networks that are a lot more bandwidth-constrained…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
8.       Facebook and Instagram Asking For Your Government Issued Photo IDs  http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/01/instagram-asking-for-users-government-issued-photo-ids-now-too.php  “…a number of users of the popular photo sharing app Instagram and parent company Facebook have been locked out of their accounts and prompted by both services to upload images of their government issued photo IDs to regain access…More frustrating still for some users, not all IDs have been accepted, leading Facebook and Instagram to send follow-up emails asking users to provide more documentation, including their birth certificates…the requests are official and are being done by Instagram and Facebook in response to suspected violations of the two social networks’ distinct terms of service…”  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57565293-93/instagram-account-crackdown-spreads-panic-fear-of-hacking/  “…"Instagram occasionally removes accounts due to violation of terms and, depending on the violation, may ask people to upload IDs for verification purposes," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET…” http://news.techeye.net/internet/facebook-instagram-order-users-to-email-in-passports
9.       How Newegg crushed the “shopping cart” patent and saved online retail  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/how-newegg-crushed-the-shopping-cart-patent-and-saved-online-retail/  “…Soverain Software in 2003…isn't in the e-commerce business; it's in the higher-margin business of filing patent lawsuits against e-commerce companies. And it has been quite successful until now. The company's plan to extract a patent tax of about one percent of revenue from a huge swath of online retailers was snuffed out last week by Newegg and its lawyers, who won an appeal ruling…The ruling effectively shuts down dozens of the lawsuits Soverain filed last year against Nordstrom's, Macy's, Home Depot, RadioShack, Kohl's, and many others…Soverain used two patents, numbers 5,715,314 and 5,909,492, to claim ownership of the "shopping carts" commonly used in online stores…Soverain will lose the $2.5 million it stood to gain from Newegg, as well as two much bigger verdicts it won against Victoria's Secret and Avon. Those two companies were ordered to pay a total of almost $18 million, plus a "running royalty" of about one percent…The ruling in the Newegg case is a total wipeout for a patent troll that…was determined to collect hundreds of millions more. For Newegg's Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng, it's a huge validation of the strategy the company decided to pursue back in 2007: not to settle with patent trolls. Ever…”
10.     Pentagon to boost cybersecurity force  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-to-boost-cybersecurity-force/2013/01/19/d87d9dc2-5fec-11e2-b05a-605528f6b712_story.html  “The Pentagon has approved a major expansion of its cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold to bolster the nation’s ability to defend critical computer systems and conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries…The move…is part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force. The command, made up of about 900 personnel, will expand to include 4,900 troops and civilians…The plan calls for the creation of three types of forces under the Cyber Command: “national mission forces” to protect computer systems that undergird electrical grids, power plants and other infrastructure deemed critical to national and economic security; “combat mission forces” to help commanders abroad plan and execute attacks or other offensive operations; and “cyber protection forces” to fortify the Defense Department’s networks…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
11.      Unauthorized unlocking of smartphones becomes illegal Saturday  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57565730-1/unauthorized-unlocking-of-smartphones-becomes-illegal-saturday/  “…Starting this Saturday, it becomes illegal…to unlock a new smartphone without the permission of the carrier that locked it…the Library of Congress handles the rulemaking for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is the specific law we're talking about here…In other words, the world's most powerful librarian finds that nobody is forcing us to buy locked phones, no matter how awesome the discounted price of a handset when you shackle yourself to a carrier for a few years. So if you want an unlocked phone, you've got to buy it that way…Are they gonna track you down if you're using an unlocked device?...Well, probably, yes…"they" will probably be your carrier, if they detect you've unlocked your phone. Before this point, they could just send you stern e-mails, but now they'll be able to send even more stern e-mails with the weight of federal regulations behind them…”  http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/01/28/federal-mandate-makes-unlocking-cellphones-a-punishable-crime/  “…People who…unlock their devices are now subject to $2,500 fines. Larger operations could be fined as much as $500,000 and imprisoned for 5 years…”
12.     Apple, Android grab 92 percent of all smartphone shipments  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57566122-94/apple-android-grab-92-percent-of-all-smartphone-shipments/  “Apple and Android continue to chew up the smartphone industry. The two platforms captured a record 92 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the final quarter of 2012…Android took the lead with 152.1 million shipments last quarter, almost double the 80.6 million shipped in 2011's fourth quarter…The market share for Google's mobile OS jumped to 70 percent from 51 percent in the same time frame…Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time…The iPhone maker shipped 47.8 million smartphones last quarter, grabbing a 22 percent market share. That compares with 37 million smartphones in the year-ago quarter, which translated to 24 percent share…”
13.     Apple Files Patent For Smart Shoes  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/24/apple-patents-smart-shoes-that-feature-embedded-sensors-and-alarms-for-when-you-need-new-ones/  “Apple has been dabbling in wearable tech…and…has filed for a patent covering so-called “smart shoe” systems which feature sensors that can track wear and usage and tell you when you need to replace them, charting your progress on a companion app for a mobile device, or via built-in LED lights, speakers or displays…Apple suggests embedding the processor and other electronics in the shoe’s heel…Sensors can be housed in the sole, heel, and all along the shoe at points where detecting where provides a good indication of how worn out a shoe is getting. The sensors could include simple pedometers, activity or motion detectors that can translate any kind of motion into a timed unit of use…The power for the sensors can either be supplied by a built-in battery, or from a generator that uses the actual motion of walking to recharge an energy store…”
14.     Huawei Becomes 3rd Biggest Smartphone Maker  http://www.mobilemag.com/2013/01/26/huawei-propels-itself-to-become-3rd-biggest-smartphone-maker/  “…Huawei has…moved itself into the third spot overall when it comes to worldwide smartphone market share. That’s huge. And we’re not just talking about the size of the Huawei Mate either…Huawei’s year-over-year change for units shipped in Q4 was a remarkable 89.5%...Samsung is sitting in the top spot with 29.0% market share with a 76.0% increase in units shipped. Apple is second with a 21.8% market share and a 29.2% increase in shipments. Sony is fourth with 4.5% market share and interestingly enough, another Chinese company, ZTE, rounds out the top five with its 4.3% market share…”
Apps
15.     No Fitbit Or Fuelband Necessary; The Moves Tracks Your Steps From iPhone  http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/24/moves-app-activity-tracker/  “For those of you who don’t have the disposable income or the obsessiveness of a Quantified Self devotee to try every single smart pedometer out there like the Fuelband, Fitbit or Jawbone Up, there’s an app for you…Moves, the free app just landed in the iOS store today. Using just your iPhone, it can track the number of steps you’ve taken per day, and where and when you’ve driven or cycled. I’ve used it for the past few weeks, and…it’s probably going to be a keeper…Karjalainen says he’s aiming for a much wider demographic than the one that goes out and spends about $150 on the Nike FuelBand…We think this very casual, mainstream approach to physical activity tracking could work better…He said the technical challenge of using the accelerometer to recognize the activity automatically without draining the batteries was quite hard…”
16.     What Will It Take to Make Grocery Mobile Apps Matter?  http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/16543/what-will-it-take-to-make-grocery-mobile-apps-matter  “…only 5.6 percent of respondents used their mobile phone to actually buy groceries during the past 12 months.The just-released mobile app upgrade from Wegmans promises to help more quickly build virtual shopping lists while also helping save money and time. Among the new features…past purchases can now be seen, perhaps helping with forgotten shopping list items…The mobile device's camera can scan product bar codes right from the pantry or refrigerator and quickly add them to a list…displays recipes from Wegmans Menu magazine with ingredients, instructions, and nutrition information for each. Ingredients can be added to the shopping list with a single tap…Shopping lists are organized by aisle according to your store's layout to help avoid backtracking…total cost of items on a list is now estimated…Cashiers can scan the phone…so benefits can acrue to the shopper's loyalty card…original features…include checking store locations and hours, refilling prescriptions, watching cooking videos…browsing recipes…checking nutrition information…Other supermarket apps in the marketplace enable shoppers to scan and self-checkout in aisles, see the store's weekly circular, download coupons…according to the Symphony EYC survey of 1,000 shoppers, supermarket apps are missing what shoppers wanted most: being able to compare prices with other stores…”
SkyNet
17.     Google adds offline editing, viewing capabilities to Slides presentation  http://googledrive.blogspot.com/2013/01/create-edit-and-present-with-google.html  “Good news, Slides lovers. You can now create, edit, comment and…present without an internet connection—just like you can with Docs. Any new presentations or changes you make will be automatically updated when you get back online. So you can…head to your upcoming presentation without worrying about whether there's going to be wifi. If you already have offline editing for Docs enabled, you don’t have to change anything to work with Slides offline. If not, you can turn it on for Slides (and Docs) by following these instructions [http://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2375012&topic=1628465]…to work offline you’ll need to be using Chrome or ChromeOS…”
18.     Google revamps Apps support site with documentation, training, and self-help resources  http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/one-stop-shop-for-help-with-google-apps.html  “Finding information should be as simple as using a great product. That's why we created support.googleapps.com—an easy-to-use website where you and your employees can find everything you need to make the most of Google Apps in your organization. In addition to 24/7 phone support, we now offer a complete collection of documentation, training, and self-help resources available at one convenient location…”
19.     Google’s Private Cell Phone Network  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/510341/googles-private-cell-phone-network/  “…Google wants to start operating its own, very small cell phone network on its Mountain View campus. It’s the latest in a series of hints in recent years that Google is unsatisfied with the way that mobile networks control the mobile Internet. Google tells the FCC it wants to install up to 50 mobile base stations in buildings on the Western edge of Google’s Mountain View campus, just a block or so away from its main Android building. Up to 200 mobile devices will be used on that “experimental” network and the area covered will be small, with indoor base stations reaching only up to 200 meters, and any outdoors ones reaching no further than a kilometer…the frequencies used…aren’t compatible with any U.S. mobile device. They are in use in China, Brazil, and India…Google might just be experimenting with devices for those parts of the world. Or it might be trying something more radical…”
20.    Acer: Windows 8 has been a big dud, but Chromebooks rock  http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/28/acer-windows-8-has-been-a-big-dud-but-chromebooks-rock/  “…Acer president Jim Wong says that the Windows 8 launch did essentially nothing for Acer’s PC sales. “The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch…Wong’s comments come as the entire PC market is getting stomped by the menace that is tablet computing. The so-called post-PC era is ruining companies like Acer…But it’s not all doom-’n'-gloom. For Acer, a big boost came from its Chromebooks, which accounted for roughly 10 percent of Acer’s PC shipments in the U.S…But that doesn’t exactly solve Acer’s Windows 8 problem, which is so significant that Acer doesn’t plan to release any Windows RT devices until this summer’s back-to-school season…”
21.     Google Offers $3.14159 Million In Total Rewards For Chrome OS Hacking Contest  http://www.zdnet.com/google-challenges-hackers-to-take-on-chrome-os-7000010516/  “…Google invites you to show up at the CanSecWest security conference on March 7 in Vancouver, BC to see if you can crack your way into Chrome OS. And, to make it worth your time, Google is offering a pi worth of cash rewards. That's a total prize package of $3.14159 million…”
General Technology
22.    Intel to wind down desktop circuit board business  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57565196-92/intel-to-wind-down-desktop-circuit-board-business/  “Intel will get out of the traditional desktop motherboard business, as it focuses its resources on mobile products…"The internal talent and experience of twenty years in the boards business...is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors," Intel said. Those designs will be mostly mobile, though Intel will also address "emerging" desktop designs. But even those -- like the tiny Intel NUC board and the all-in-one -- have their roots in the mobile world…Intel will stop developing new Desktop boards once Haswell launch is completed…that doesn't mean the demise of the desktop altogether, as motherboard makers like Asus and Gigabyte are expected to continue to participate in the market…”
23.    Voice Control Will Make Computing Better  http://readwrite.com/2013/01/22/siri-jokes-aside-voice-control-will-make-computing-better  “…From phones, tablets and TVs to cars and, yes, kitchen appliances, voice-controlled computing is weaving its way into our lives…Artificial intelligence-fueled voice control took its biggest step toward the mainstream in 2011 with the launch of iOS 5 and Siri…I recently found myself riding across Los Angeles in a friend's car…en route to meet up with his wife for dinner. "Text Priya," he said into his phone, adding "See you in 15 minutes." He confirmed the message and sent it, all without removing his eyes from the road. As a tech writer, I was well aware of this functionality…but here it was being used effortlessly in the wild by a self-described tech novice…Apple is slowly nudging Siri forward, adding deeper intelligence, tying in additional data sources and improving its overall performance…Meanwhile, Google is building sophisticated voice control into its Android operating system as well as its mobile apps for iOS and other platforms. Google Now is looking more and more like an impressive competitor to Siri - some say it's already better. The technology will soon find itself baked into hyper-futuristic wearable computing accessories like Google Glass. The…Nuance…Wintermute project promises intelligent, cross-device voice commands, which will be consistent and personalized across TVs, smartphones, tablets and other whatever other voice-controlled devices fill your home. If you ask your phone for the football game score and then later sit down and ask your TV to turn on "the game" it will know precisely which game you mean…Slowly but surely, voice control will become more accurate, useful and integrated into the gadgets we use - and eventually wear - everyday…”
24.    Microsoft wants you to pay as you go for new Office  http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2013/01/29/microsoft-office-review/1870323/  “Every few years you can count on Microsoft to come calling with a fresh version of Office, the bread and butter productivity software suite…But Microsoft claims the brand new Office 365 Home Premium that launches Tuesday is the most ambitious new version of Office in the quarter-century history of the franchise…But the big news is in how Office is being sold and updated, and reinvented for the cloud computing era…For $99.99 a year, you get to use Office with all of the aforementioned programs on up to five computers, PC and/or Mac. You can lower the cost to $79.99 if you buy a Windows 8 PC at the same time. Microsoft will also let you pay $9.99 a month for a regular subscription, provided you buy direct from Office.com. And college students can qualify for a $79.99 subscription plan that covers the full four years. Microsoft will also add an Office 365 Small Business Premium offering for $149.99 a year…”
25.    Girls Who Code expands across the US with summer programs  http://thenextweb.com/us/2013/01/24/girls-who-code-expands-across-the-us-with-summer-programs-in-detroit-san-jose-and-miami/  “Girls Who Code is set to expand its female-oriented tech education program to Detroit, Miami and San Jose thanks to $435,000 in funding from Knight Foundation…Girls Who Code’s ambition is to empower young women to pursue careers in tech and engineering, contributing to closing the gender gap in this job-generating sector. Knight Foundation is supporting this goal as part of its Tech for Engagement Initiative…”
Leisure & Entertainment
26.    Nvidia's GeForce Experience PC game optimizer enters open beta  http://www.techspot.com/news/51437-nvidias-geforce-experience-pc-game-optimizer-enters-open-beta.html  “Nvidia has opened the doors on its GeForce Experience after letting thousands of users hammer on it over the last month…When the closed beta began last month, the GeForce Experience only supported 32 games, and while that number hasn't increased by much, Nvidia has added nine more titles to its database, including Far Cry 3, Mechwarrior Online and Hawken. You'll still need a Fermi or Kepler-based graphics card, though the software now offers limited support for Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, which weren't backed before…”
27.    Noteflight’s Cloud-Based Music Notation Tool Goes Mobile  http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Noteflight-s-Cloud-Based-Music-Notation-Tool-4194607.php  “Noteflight…announced a new version of its web-based music notation editor that targets a wide set of mobile devices…This fundamental shift in technology allows users to move seamlessly from device to device as they create, share and consume sheet music in the cloud. Built on a new HTML5 standard for audio that gives websites the capabilities of full-blown music apps, Noteflight is the first notation tool to target both mobile and desktop with a single web-based product…Noteflight has redesigned its user experience from the bottom up to support both mobile and desktop users. A unique multi-touch piano keyboard allows users to enter notes and chords, just as one would on an actual piano. The Score Editor switches effortlessly between editing, hearing and reading scores as musicians focus on different tasks. Noteflight’s entire site has been given a completely new interface that is responsive and appropriate on large or on small screens, for touch or for keyboard/mouse input…Noteflight is making all of these innovations available at no additional cost to both free users and paid subscribers…”  http://www.noteflight.com/
28.    Valve Releases Half-Life For Linux  http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTI4MzE  “Valve has originally ported their original Half-Life title to Linux…Yes, the game originally released in 1998. If you didn't buy the game a decade ago, Valve still sells Half-Life on Steam for a price of $9.99. The Linux port of this game, which is powered by the "GoldSrc" engine (a heavily-modified Quake engine), is currently considered beta.”
Entrepreneurism, Technology and the Economy
29.    Cisco to Sell Linksys Business to Belkin  http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/24/belkin-steps-up-as-a-buyer-for-ciscos-home-networking-unit/  “Belkin is acquiring Cisco‘s home networking unit…including its products, employees, and the popular Linksys brand, which makes smart routers for home Wi-Fi access points…Belkin claims it will honor valid warranties for current and future Linksys products. When the deal closes, Belkin will account for approximately 30 percent of the U.S. retail home and small business networking market…the company likely fetched a lower price the $500 million Cisco paid for it in 2003…”
30.    Alchemist, an incubator for B2B startups  http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/20/silicon-valley-bigwigs-rally-behind-alchemist-an-incubator-for-enterprise-startups-exclusive/  “…when Silicon Valley’s newest accelerator, Alchemist, launched its first class of startups this week, investors opened their check books. The startups that have been selected for the first class are far from sexy — unless a “software-defined infrastructure platform for heterogeneous computing” does it for you – but they’re all generating revenues. What they have in common is that they target their products at businesses, not consumers…Alchemist provides the startups with about $30,000 in initial funding, which is a larger sum than alternative programs such as Y Combinator…There’s a real need for enterprise-focused accelerators in the market…B2B companies have a whole different set of requirements than consumer startups to get their products off the ground…”
31.     4,300 new jobs coming for Intel US$4bn 14nm chip plant in Ireland  http://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/item/31174-4-300-new-jobs-as-intel-get  “Ireland’s…given chip giant Intel the go-ahead it needs to construct a massive US$4bn chip plant that will produce the next generation of 14 nanometer (nm) microprocessors…Intel CEO Paul Otellini confirmed Intel Ireland’s Leixlip plant is one of three global sites…to produce its next-generation 14nm chips. The two other sites that have been chosen are Intel’s Oregon and Arizona plants…The new buildings will include a three-storey main fabrication facility (FAB) with a floor area of 101,000 sq metres and will comprise IC assembly equipment within an open clean room supported by two utility floors, an air conditioning mezzanine and utility trenches. Other buildings include a process specific support system building to house liquid chemicals and collection of waste water, as well as a facility support building, a two-storey boiler/chiller facility, a water treatment building and…a new chemical storage building…”
Design / DEMO
32.    Don’t Divorce Design from Manufacturing  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509306/dont-divorce-design-from-manufacturing/  “…Design can offer ways for companies to sell products for more money even as they lower the costs of making them. Yet with a growing trade deficit in manufactured goods, the United States now designs many products that it no longer makes. Autodesk’s CEO, Carl Bass, believes that must change…Bass, a hobbyist who last year designed his own Christmas gifts and had them produced on a 3-D printer, spoke…about the role of design in manufacturing…Design can help sell products for money, and well-done design also helps bring down the cost of production…You’re starting to see [more design] even in industrial settings, like in medical equipment or factory machinery. People are selling based on the design of machinery…I was talking to an engineer…at a consumer electronics company. They use our software for doing the analysis for plastic injection molds…He used to run a simulation that took 36 hours…Now [his] time has gone down to less than three hours…It leads to a cheaper and better product…During the period where people tried to exploit offshoring and outsourcing, manufacturing and design got divorced from each other. Now companies are realizing that if you get too divorced from making the product, you don’t understand how to improve it.  I was walking…through this factory in China where they make a huge percentage of the world’s laptops…This outsourcer used to just do the manufacturing, but they told me now they’re doing the routine engineering, too…”
33.    Redesigning Google: how Larry Page engineered a beautiful revolution  http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/24/3904134/google-redesign-how-larry-page-engineered-beautiful-revolution  “Something strange and remarkable started happening at Google immediately after Larry Page took full control as CEO in 2011: it started designing good-looking apps. Great design is not something anybody has traditionally expected from Google. Infamously, the company used to focus on A/B testing tiny, incremental changes…More recently, however, it’s been impossible to ignore a series of thoughtfully designed apps — especially on iOS, a platform that doesn’t belong to Google. Google+, YouTube, Gmail, and Maps are consistent and beautiful — in stark contrast both to Google’s previous efforts and even Apple’s own increasingly staid offerings. We went to Google looking for the person responsible for the new design direction, but the strange answer we got is that such a person doesn’t exist. Instead, thanks to a vision laid out by a small team of Google designers, each product team is finding its way to a consistent and forward-looking design language…”
DHMN Technology
34.    O’Reilly Media spins out Maker Media into a separate company  http://radar.oreilly.com/2013/01/why-we-spun-out-maker-media.html  “…O’Reilly Media announced that we have spun out Maker Media into a separate company…Many of the most interesting technologies of the next decade will involve innovations in hardware, not just software. The Maker movement, like all enthusiast movements, is a harbinger of deeper change…In 2005, Jeff Han’s work with multitouch interfaces was a maker project at NYU. In February 2006, when he demoed his work at TED, it was a WOW moment. A year and a half later, with the release of the iPhone, the multitouch screen was the foundation of a transformative consumer product. Multitouch was just the beginning. Smart phones are sensor platforms: GPS, compass, accelerometer, camera, microphone, and dozens more specialized sensors create new possibilities for application design that are only now being exploited more fully…as soon as something crosses over into the consumer realm, it’s no longer seen as “makerish.” When Nike is selling quantified self devices, when your bathroom scale tweets your weight, it’s hard to see this as part of the Maker movement. Yet thinking about how much further we have to go in applying sensors to transform applications and business processes will help you see important opportunities that you might otherwise miss…To understand the trend line of the Maker movement, ask yourself “What are makers playing with today that has already become mainstream? What other kinds of devices and business processes can be transformed by the additions of sensors? What are the opportunities here for startups…”
35.    iRobot autonomous all-in-one 3D printing, milling, drilling and finishing robot  http://www.kurzweilai.net/irobot-files-patent-application-for-autonomous-all-in-one-3d-printing-milling-drilling-and-finishing-robot  “…just when you thought 3D printing was finally putting you back in charge of creating your own stuff, along comes iRobot Corporation with a U.S. patent application for a “Robotic Fabricator.”…A Robotic Fabricator would automate manufacturing and assembly processes to reduce the need for human labor, decrease manufacturing costs, and improve product quality. Product fabrication is centered around a six-axis industrial robotic manipulator that handles the product from seed component to mature product. The primary manipulator positions the product for manufacturing operations such as additive and subtractive manufacturing (3D printing, milling and drilling). A secondary manipulator handles component pick-and-place and secondary manufacturing operations such as wire placement and hardware testing…”
36.    DIY Bioprinter Lets Wannabe Scientists Build Structures From Living Cells  http://www.wired.com/design/2013/01/diy-bio-printer/  “A new bioprinter developed at a hackerspace can print living cells for less than the cost of an iPod touch. 3-D bioprinters have the potential to change the way medical research is conducted, even print living tissue and replacement organs, but they are expensive and highly specialized. They literally build living structures, like blood vessels or skin tissue, cell by cell, revolutionizing biomedical engineering…Frustrated by their cost and exclusivity, a group of makers at the DIYbio hackerspace BioCurious are developing a system open to anyone with a soldering iron and a serious passion for cell biology…plans to build your own have been thoroughly documented as an Instructable by Patrik D’haeseleer, a genomics, bioinformatics, and computational biology researcher who has worked in labs at the Harvard Medical School…The printer can’t yet produce a replacement pancreas, but it spawns new possibilities for hackers and scientists…”
37.    DeltaMaker takes crowdfunding route to growing 3D printer market  http://www.gizmag.com/deltamaker-3d-printer/25983/  “The ongoing race to build the cheapest, most versatile 3D printer continues with the impending launch of the DeltaMaker…the DeltaMaker puts its own spin on the growing personal electronics revolution, matching the print resolution of the MakerBot Replicator 2 while offering a larger overall build envelope and, at US$1,599 dollars, costs $600 dollars less…Like most options on the market, it's a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printer that uses 1.75-mm filament ABS or PLA, and builds layers as thin as 100 microns. That's a resolution four times thicker than the Form 1 Kickstarted last year (which costs about twice as much), but is significantly thinner than cheaper printers like the Solidoodle…”
Open Source
38.    Why I’m Leaving Ubuntu for Debian  https://micahflee.com/2013/01/why-im-leaving-ubuntu-for-debian/  “I’ve been using Ubuntu as my primary operating system since 2005…Before I started using Ubuntu I tried out Red Hat, Mandrake (and later Mandriva), Slackware, Gentoo, and even Debian. In all of them, something didn’t work. Usually it was wifi, but sometimes it was audio or video, or weird X config problems. But when I switched to Ubuntu, all of that went away…I’m eternally grateful to Ubuntu for this…However, a lot of Ubuntu’s recent decisions have been turning me off. It started a couple years ago when they changed the default desktop environment from GNOME to Unity…Another thing that started to annoy me was Ubuntu One, their cloud service. I could immediately see that if I were to use and rely on Ubuntu One, I would be locked in…I was also noticing that my OS was starting to want me to buy stuff. Cloud storage space, music from the Ubuntu One music store straight from rhythmbox. It didn’t bother me all that much, but it was definitely a new direction for my OS that I wasn’t a huge fan of…”
39.    LibreOffice 4.0: An Existential Release  http://ostatic.com/blog/libreoffice-4-0-an-existential-release  “LibreOffice 4.0 is right around the bend…Folks were wondering why the big jump in version numbers…there are two big reasons why the time is now…Schulz cites major API changes as one of the reasons why this is such an important release…it signifies that "LibreOffice 4.0 is becoming a different animal…The second major reason is "the rebase 'for one very, very last time' on the Apache OpenOffice codebase is enabling Libreoffice to have a very clear and clean story on licensing." Apparently this allows The Document Foundation to develop and release LibreOffice under the MPL and GPL v3+, which are freer than the original codebase license of LGPL. Under the new scheme, LibreOffice can now be sold on apps stores and the like…”
Civilian Aerospace
40.    SpaceX to Launch Private Astronauts in 2015  http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/2013/01/11/spacex-launch-astronauts-2016/  “…SpaceX announced its readiness to launch U.S. astronauts, employed by SpaceX itself, into orbit by 2015…SpaceX is now beginning internal discussions on the possible crew. The 2015 SpaceX demonstration flight, carried out with the Dragon capsule and launched by a Falcon 9 rocket, will be followed in 2016 by a similar mission planned by Boeing on its CST-100 capsule developed in collaboration with Bigelow Aerospace. In its first flight with astronauts onboard, the Dragon capsule would stay in space at least 3 days but would not dock with the International Space Station (ISS)…”
41.     Space-miners to crush asteroids and 3D print satellites  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23101-spaceminers-to-crush-asteroids-and-3d-print-satellites.html  “…commercial asteroid exploration has become a race, with the launch of a second company focused on mining near-Earth space rocks…Deep Space Industries (DSI)…hopes to eventually help build, fuel and operate satellites in orbit, without ever bringing the components back to Earth…DSI plans to launch three laptop-sized satellites called FireFlies in 2015 to observe near-Earth asteroids and identify which ones would be the best targets for mining. In 2016, it plans to launch DragonFly spacecraft to bring samples weighing between 23 and 45 kilograms back to Earth…in 2020, the company hopes to start harvesting asteroids for useful goods, particularly the raw products of fuel. DSI expects its first clients to be the owners of the communications satellites that require propellant to stay in their designated orbits. DSI is also developing a space-based 3D printer called the MicroGravity Foundry, which would grind up asteroids, separate out the useful bits and fuse them into manufactured goods…”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIY_fmvFDhM  [video is worth watching – ed.]
42.    Compromise spaceport liability bill would allow some lawsuits  http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_22435157/compromise-spaceport-liability-bill-would-allow-some-lawsuits  “Space travelers paying $200,000 each for a two-hour flight originating in New Mexico would have the chance to sue manufacturers and suppliers if negligence caused a disaster…The measure, Senate Bill 240, would allow for lawsuits in select circumstances. It is a compromise proposal after a year of disagreement about how much liability protection Spaceport companies should have. A bill last year would have made it almost impossible to sue Spaceport suppliers and manufacturers…Virgin Galactic began negotiations last summer with the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, which had fought the bill to essentially exempt Spaceport suppliers and manufacturers from lawsuits. Virgin Galactic already has protection from lawsuits under certain conditions…Their bill would not prevent or limit the liability of a space flight entity "in cases of wanton or reckless disregard for the safety" of space travelers…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
43.    GPU-Accelerated Life Sciences  http://www.nvidia.com/content/cuda/spotlights/bob-zigon-beckman-coulter.html  “This week's Spotlight is on Bob Zigon of Beckman Coulter. Beckman Coulter develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify and automate complex biomedical testing…Bob is responsible for investigating technologies that affect the flow cytometry, particle characterization, analytical ultracentrifugation and automation business units…For the last year I’ve been working on a prototype of a new CUDA-based application that will calculate the molar mass, gross shape and size distribution of protein samples by way of analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC). The application is currently 120 times faster than existing software. For the six years prior to that, my team and I implemented three versions Kaluza, a CUDA-based application used in flow cytometry. Our goal was to build an application that would allow cancer researchers to interact with 800 megabyte leukemic data sets 200 times faster than existing software. By the time we shipped our third version, we were executing 400 times faster on a Fermi card than our competitors…”
44.    Amazon Offers GPU Access to Udacity Students  http://www.i-programmer.info/news/150-training-a-education/5347-amazon-offers-gpu-access-to-udacity-students.html  “Amazon Web Services will provide access to GPU compute instances on Amazon EC2 to students taking Udacity's Intro to Parallel Programming course that starts on February 4, 2013…Udacity's new third level course that sets out to teach parallel programming by coding image processing algorithms and uses high-end GPUs and nVidia's CUDA programming environment…Free AWS access is being offered to the first 5000 students who complete Unit 1 (including assignments). They will be provided with promotional credits for 15 hours of GPU instances. In addition the first 1000 students who complete all units and assignments for the entire course (seven units) will be awarded promotional credits for a further 15 hours of GPU instances which could be used to try out ideas…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
45.    6 Trends Reshaping Small Businesses In 2013  http://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalonespark/2013/01/25/6-trends-reshaping-small-businesses-in-2013/  “2012 might well be remembered as the year in which many key emerging technologies and trends broke free from their novelty status. As the coming year progresses, we’ll see those trends establish themselves as prominent factors for small-business growth. Here are six things to watch as 2013 unfolds…1. Resilience as the New Norm…Andrew Zolli, who co-authored the book Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, described the thinking…resilience: how to help vulnerable…organizations and systems persist, perhaps even thrive, amid unforeseeable disruptions…2. Changing Demographics and Regional Growth Patterns…High-tech jobs are being created in a “more geographically and economically diverse set of regions.” Cities like Greensboro, N.C., and Boise, Idaho…lead the market for new tech jobs…over the past five years…3. The Rise of the Freelancer…long-term unemployment is changing the nature of work. Structured 9-to-5 jobs are being reshaped by project and task-based work…4. Gamification…For small businesses, gaming can be used to drive efficiency, reward employees, and even encourage healthier behavior…5. Crowdfunding…6. Data in Everything…In 2013, more tools will come online, and that means more ways for you to tie that data back to your business…”
46.    Top-10 telecom trends for 2013  http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/20130108/wireless/2013-predictions-top-10-telecom-trends-2013-what-watch-coming-year/  “…RCR Wireless News has gathered predictions from leading industry analysts and executives on what they expect to see in the new year…1. TEM, MDM and MAM market: further consolidation to come…2. BYOD market will continue to see exponential growth…3. M2M market set to take off…4. The arrival of 4G does not signal the end of fixed-line services for enterprise…5. The major challenge facing IT will not be controlling user’s devices, but their behavior…6. Windows 8 – the new BlackBerry?...7. Vendors providing MDM-style services with their core offering become the new norm…8. IP-based P2P messaging set to overtake SMS (at least, on smartphones)…9. SMS providers will find new routes to extend the life-cycle…10. TEM as a proposition will broaden into a new offering – birth of a new acronym?…”

*****

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