2013/02/19

NEW NET Weekly List for 19 Feb 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 19 February 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.        Microsoft's Outlook.com Gains 60M Users, Exits Preview  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2415566,00.asp  “Microsoft…Outlook.com, the company's new free Internet email service, has grown to 60 million users since launching…Over the weekend, Microsoft also removed the beta tags from Outlook.com and made it open to the public…All users of the company's vintage Hotmail service will be automatically moved over to Outlook this summer, though users can switch sooner if they want…When making the transition from Hotmail to Outlook.com, users won't need to notify their contacts of a new email address…Users can keep the same @hotmail email address, and their password, messages, folders, contacts, rules, vacation replies, and other settings will all stay the same with no disruption, Microsoft promised…”
2.       Why Microsoft’s new Office 2013 license may send users to Google Docs  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/02/why-microsofts-new-office-2013-license-may-send-users-to-google-docs/  “If you buy a perpetual retail license for Office 2013, it will be locked to the computer you first install it on, forever. Buy a new PC and you won't be allowed to install your existing copy of Office on it, even if you wipe the disk of the old PC. You'll have to splurge for a new one. This is a change in policy from Office 2010. Office 2010 permitted a transition from one PC to a new one…The company's 2012 annual report…says that in its 2012 financial year, 80 percent of its sales were to businesses, 20 percent to consumers…It's spectacularly unlikely that this licensing change is going to increase that revenue in any meaningful way…But that is arguably missing the point. The software giant is penalizing a small, typically vocal group of users…It makes Microsoft appear petty and small-minded, determined to wring every last dollar from its customer base…The underlying reason for the change is…another incentive to buy an Office 365 Home Premium subscription. The $99 a year subscription lets you use Office 2013 on up to five PCs, and…you can…move licenses to new ones as necessary…The problem is that there are plenty of customers who reject the subscription model out of hand…So they probably won't flock to Office 365. What they might well do instead is download LibreOffice 4 or switch to Google Docs…Those enthusiasts could take the mass market with them. It's happened before, with Firefox and Chrome. It can happen again to Office…”
3.       The Pros And Cons Of A WebKit Monoculture  http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/17/the-pros-and-cons-of-a-webkit-monoculture/  “…Opera is shutting down the development of its own browser rendering engine and moving to the open source WebKit engine…With WebKit powering the built-in browsers of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, it’s already the de-facto standard engine for mobile and it has the potential to do the same on the desktop. Worldwide, Chrome now holds a considerable lead over Microsoft’s Trident-powered Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Gecko for Firefox already. The question is: are we better off because we have competing engines trying to outdo each other, or would we be better off if all the browser vendors just standardized on WebKit? As an open source project, WebKit allows all the vendors to contribute and the combined efforts of Google, Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft, Opera and everybody else in the browser ecosystem who may want to contribute could quickly push the web forward…as long as we can trust those in charge of WebKit development to work together to innovate, an all-WebKit web would be a boon for developers and users…Mozilla engineer Steve Fink argued that an all-WebKit web – both on mobile and desktop – would prevent innovation and lead to a small number of companies controlling the web as a platform…The interesting twist in Opera’s argument, however, is that the real competition isn’t between browsers and rendering engines. Instead, it’s about the web competing with native apps. Opera’s move, the company argues, is more about the fully open web competing with “the closed world of ‘apps’” and switching to WebKit allows it to counter this more effectively…”
4.       Tumblr Is Not What You Think  http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/18/tumblr-is-not-what-you-think/  “…what is the favorite social networking site of Americans under age 25? If you guessed Facebook you are way behind the eight-ball, because Tumblr now enjoys more regular visits from the youth of America…What are the young and restless doing on Tumblr all day?...For a long time, I thought of Tumblr as topic-based image blogging: In other words, self-expression through collecting pictures of a particular type of thing…Tumblr actually became huge because it is the anti-blog. What is the No. 1 reason that people quit blogging? Because they can’t find and develop an audience. This has been true of every blogging platform ever made. Conversely, blogs that do find an audience tend to keep adding that type of content…But Tumblr does not conform to this calculus, and the reason is that a large percentage of Tumblr users actually don’t WANT an audience. They do not want to be found, except by a few close friends who they explicitly share one of their tumblogs with. Therefore Tumblr’s notoriously weak search functionality is A-OK with most of its user base. Tumblr provides its users with the oldest privacy-control strategy on the Internet: security through obscurity and multiple pseudonymity…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        SlimCleaner 4.0: Slick system cleaning utilities  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2011379/slimcleaner-4-0-slick-system-cleaning-utilities-with-crowdsourced-information.html  “SlimCleaner is by far one of the more useful multi-utility tools I've run across. Aimed primarily at cleaning the junk out of your system, it has the capabilities of several popular programs, including Piriform's CCleaner and Trend Micro's HijackThis…SlimCleaner neatly divides its functionality over seven main tabs/tools: Cleaner, which removes detritus from the registry, temporary files, and so on; Optimize, which lets you to edit startup items and services; Software, which lists and uninstalls programs; Browsers, which does the same for browser plugins; Hijack Log, which lists software that might be cantankerous; Disk tools, which lets you optimize or wipe disks; and Windows, where you'll find all the native Windows utilities in one place and in an arguably better arrangement…New features for version 4 include a duplicate file finder, intelligent hard disk optimization, a software updater to compliment the driver updater, and…SSD optimization…”
6.       Fascinating video tracks a real Chinese hacker in action  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/19/fascinating-video-tracks-a-real-chinese-hacker-in-action/  “…American cyber security firm Mandiant, which worked with the New York Times to expose and counter a China-based hacking campaign, has released an extensive report that it says ties years of cyber attacks on U.S. corporations back to the Chinese military…Mandiant released a video that purports to show one of the Chinese hackers in the act of attacking real, unsuspecting “English language” targets…conducted by one specific Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group, which Mandiant has named APT1…We leave you with Mandiant’s “highlights” from its report…APT1 is believed to be the 2nd Bureau of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Department’s (GSD) 3rd Department, which is most commonly known by its Military Unit Cover Designator (MUCD) as Unit 61398…APT1 has systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations…APT1 maintains an extensive infrastructure of computer systems around the world…”
7.        Targeted Hacking Forces a New Reality on Antivirus Companies  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/510826/targeted-hacking-forces-a-new-reality-on-antivirus-companies/  “When the New York Times revealed this month that hackers had recently breached its networks, what turned the heads of security experts wasn’t that the attacks had occurred. It was a top antivirus company’s unusually candid admission about the limits of its own technology. Symantec was put on the defensive because its software only once detected and quarantined any of the 45 pieces of custom malware the hackers had used to target the New York Times and ferret out certain reporters’ e-mails…the paper did have the latest antivirus software on all computers on its network; but to guard against so-called advanced persistent threats, “antivirus software alone is not enough,” read Symantec’s statement…the blunt admission points to a rapidly changing computer security landscape and a growing threat to Symantec’s $6.7-billion-a-year business. A recent study…found that antivirus products from top vendors detected less than 5 percent of more than 80 new viruses tested. As attacks become more targeted and customized (see “The Antivirus Era Is Over”), startups are positioning themselves as alternatives to conventional antivirus vendors…Rather than using a blacklist to block known threats—the conventional method employed by antivirus software—FireEye works by assuming everything is suspect and testing programs in a safe “sandbox” before allowing them to run on a machine. In November, the CEO of the major security vendor McAfee left to join FireEye, which claims that nearly 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies are its customers…”
8.       Monitor your wireless network with Wireshark  http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/tutorials/monitor-your-wireless-network-with-wireshark  “Computer security is always a concern, network security even more so. Wireless networks are a favourite target for hackers. This is simply because there is no physical link between machines: everything goes over the airwaves. One of the first steps to tightening security is simply to see what the current activity is, and what machines are involved. The tool that should be your first stop is Wireshark…One issue that you need to be aware of is that what you can actually see is very dependent on your wireless network card. Newer cards are probably fully capable, but older cards (or less common cards) probably won’t support all of the possible capture options. If you find you have problems, check the Wireshark wiki to see if there are solutions…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
9.       Fujitsu Enters Europe’s Smartphone Market With Senior-Focused Android  http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/18/fujitsu-finally-enters-europes-smartphone-market-with-a-senior-focused-android-device-with-france-telecom-starting-in-june/  “…Fujitsu is launching its first device in Europe, marking its first “extensive foray into the smartphone market outside Japan.”…leading the charge…is the Stylistic S-01, a senior-focused, Android 4.0 device…in a world where Samsung and Apple are dominating smartphone sales, competition is getting tight to sell to mass market, younger demographics and some more specific targeting is needed. Smartphone penetration among seniors in France is only around 20 percent, but some 75 percent of mobile users in the senior age bracket plan to buy a smartphone in the next year…The Stylistic S-01…homepage icons that appear on the four-inch screen have been simplified and cast in a larger typeface to make them easier to see. The touchscreen…has been made less sensitive, with users required to push extra hard, as they would on a keypad, in order to tap through a command or number. While this might be annoying to the average smartphone user…this reduces the amount of accidental touches that an older person might make on the device…”
10.     The race is over: China to pass U.S. in iOS, Android devices for good  http://gigaom.com/2013/02/19/the-race-is-over-china-to-pass-u-s-in-ios-android-devices-for-good/  “In February 2012, China became the source of the most new activations of iOS and Android devices. Now, just a year later, the country is set to become the world’s largest market for devices running Apple’s and Google’s operating systems, period…By the end of February, China should have 246 million smartphones and tablets running iOS or Android; that will put it ahead of the U.S., which should have 230 million…the U.S. will very likely never lead again…thanks to the vast discrepancy in…population — 310 million to China’s 1.3 billion…” [it will be interesting to see the impact on mobile computing of two factors, per capita income and language, where China and the USA are very different; will mobile computing innovations begin to be driven by Chinese market issues rather than USA market issues – ed.]
11.      The PengPod tablet  http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2013/02/15/what-about-the-pengpod/  “…A relatively new name in the tablet-space is PengPod, made by Peacock Imports, a Florida, US-based outfit. The PengPod tablet runs Linux on ARM/Allwinner SoC hardware…instead of just running a pure Android tablet, you get the option to run your favorite Linux distribution and Android in dual-boot fashion, provided your Linux distribution has an edition for the hardware. There are currently three models of the PengPod – PengPod700 (7-inch screen), PengPod1000 (10-inch screen), and PengPod Stick (USB device)…common specs for a PengPod are: Allwinner A10 processor…Support for Linux and Android in dual-boot fashion on SD card…HDMI port…1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage…USB, OTG-WiFi…Front Camera (1.3M for PengPod700 and 0.3M for the PengPod1000)…Compared to high-end Android tablets, a PengPod is nothing to rave about, but a device of this sort that makes it possible to dual-boot my favorite Linux distribution gets on my buying list. That the price is around $120:00 USD makes it even better…”
Apps
12.     Are We Suffering From Mobile App Burnout?  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/digital-diary-are-we-suffering-from-mobile-app-burnout/  “At last count, I had 259 applications on my iPhone. I probably use 16 regularly — including Google Maps, Messages, Twitter for iPhone and Instagram. When I got my first iPhone in late 2008, I couldn’t wait to peruse the App Store for cool new games, neat productivity tools and quirky new social services…But now the App Store just feels daunting. Apple recently said there were 775,000 applications for the iPhone and iPad…trendy new games and services like Tiny Tower and Draw Something still float up and become all the rage. But they typically fade away, at least for me…I just don’t have the time to use more than I’m already using…I asked a few friends, and their behavior is similar to mine. One friend…said he had 150 applications installed on his phone. He estimates that he uses about 15 on a daily basis…a larger study by Nielsen…found that the average number of applications per smartphone was rising, but that the amount of time people spent using apps had not changed much. The most heavily used apps were Facebook, YouTube, the Android Market, Google Search and Gmail…”
13.     ComScore: Google has 5 of the 6 most popular apps in America  http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/14/comscores-state-of-the-digital-union-6-trillion-ads-google-has-5-of-the-6-most-popular-apps-and-more/  “…ComScore’s Digital Future report for 2013 just came out, and the analytics company has a lot to say about what happened in 2012…Online advertising…was way up, with almost six trillion display ads published in 2012…up 500 billion from 2011…AT&T accounted for a massive 1.04 billion of them, more than double the next largest online advertiser, Microsoft, which bought almost 50 billion impressions…Facebook…is the most popular app on phones in America…showing up on 76 percent of phones…Google…has…five of the top six mobile apps in the U.S. Google’s apps such as Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube take positions two through six…Google retained leadership in terms of unique visitors, with over 191 million. That’s just six million more than Yahoo, which is still…strong in online services and information, and over 20 million more than Microsoft…almost 11 percent of all time spent online, is spent on Facebook…”
SkyNet
14.     Google’s Stock Price Breaks $800 for 1st Time  http://business.time.com/2013/02/19/googles-stock-price-breaks-800-for-1st-time/  “Google‘s stock price topped $800 for the first time Monday amid renewed confidence in the company’s ability to reap steadily higher profits from…Internet search and…the increasingly important mobile device market. The milestone comes more than five years after Google’s shares initially barreled through $700…If Google had its way, the stock wouldn’t even be priced near these levels. The company…had hoped to split its stock last year in a move that would have at least temporarily halved the trading price…But the proposed stock split was put on hold until Google resolves a shareholder lawsuit alleging that the stock split unfairly cedes too much power to Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin…”
15.     Google “Glass Foundry” events  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/02/google-gives-coders-a-peek-at-glass-at-secret-glass-foundry-events/  “Today, Google posted a summary and photos of two wearable computing developer events it held for its "Project Glass" in early February in New York and San Francisco. The events, called Glass Foundry, gave developers…early access to the application programming interface for the Glass wearable computing device and an opportunity to spend two days developing applications for them…The developers, who were a small subset of those who signed up for Google's Glass Explorer Program at the Google I/O event last June, formed teams for a "hackathon," producing more than 80 applications for Glass at the two events…Google is selling Glass Explorer Edition to those who pre-registered at I/O for $1,500. Google plans to hold more Glass Foundry events as it continues to develop the platform…”  http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/15/google-glass-foundry-event-lucky-developers-get-their-hands-on-googles-awesome-ar-glasses/
16.     Google rumored to be opening U.S. retail stores later this year  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57569710-93/report-google-to-open-u.s-retail-stores-later-this-year/  “Google plans to open its own retail stores across the United States, according to a new report, giving the increasingly hardware-focused company a place to show off its growing number of physical products. Citing "an extremely reliable source," 9to5Google says the company "hopes to have the first flagship Google Stores open for the holidays in major metropolitan areas." The report says Google accelerated plans to build physical stores because customers are unlikely to buy expensive hardware, including the upcoming Google Glass, without first having a chance to try it for free. Google already has set up Chrome mini-stores inside U.S. Best Buy locations and electronic retailers in the United Kingdom…”
17.     How Google Retooled Android With Help From Your Brain  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/02/android-neural-network/  “When Google built the latest version of its Android mobile operating system, the web giant made some big changes to the way the OS interprets your voice commands. It installed a voice recognition system based on what’s called a neural network — a computerized learning system that behaves much like the human brain… “It kind of came as a surprise that we could do so much better by just changing the model,” he says. Vanhoucke says that the voice error rate with the new version of Android — known as Jelly Bean — is about 25 percent lower than previous versions of the software, and that this is making people more comfortable with voice commands…When you talk to Android’s voice recognition software, the spectrogram of what you’ve said is chopped up and sent to eight different computers housed in Google’s vast worldwide army of servers. It’s then processed, using the neural network models…Google’s software first tries to pick out the individual parts of speech — the different types of vowels and consonants that make up words. That’s one layer of the neural network. Then it uses that information to build more sophisticated guesses, each layer of these connections drives it closer to figuring out what’s being said…in 2006, there were two big changes. First, Hinton and his team figured out a better way to map out deep neural networks…Second, low-cost graphical processing units came along, giving the academics had a much cheaper and faster way to do the billions of calculations they needed…it suddenly made things go 30 times as fast…Jeff Dean says that Google is now using neural network algorithms in a variety of products — some experimental, some not — but nothing is as far along as the Jelly Bean speech recognition software…”
General Technology
18.     Best Buy Says It Has Killed 'Showrooming' For Good  http://www.businessinsider.com/best-buy-new-price-matching-policy-2013-2  “Best Buy is confident that its latest policy change will kill "showrooming" in its stores…Starting on March 3, the retailer will price match all local retail competitors, along with 19 "major online competitors" in all product categories, whenever a customer asks for it…Showrooming, the practice of looking at items in a physical store then going online to make the actual purchase, has been a big worry for consumer electronics stores. Customers showroom electronics items more than any other category…”
19.     Nvidia Introduces Supercomputer-Class Graphics Card for Gamers  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2415527,00.asp  “Nvidia today released its new GTX Titan graphics card on an eager gaming market. Touted as being the most powerful single GPU solution for gaming graphics, the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan will slot in as a companion to Nvidia's existing GeForce GTX 690 dual GPU graphics card as the most powerful graphics cards that you can buy…The GTX Titan is built on the same Kepler architecture as the GTX 680, GTX 690, and Telsa K20 GPU cards. However…the GTX Titan is built on the GK110 core used in the Tesla K20 and Tesla K20X. The GK110 has 2688 CUDA cores, 4500 Gigaflops of compute power, and 7.1 billion transistors…Memory utilization is better on the Titan in multiple graphics card SLI mode than the GTX 690. The GTX Titan comes with 6GB of GDDR5, and it can be deployed in 2-way and 3-way SLI configurations…Rather than using voltage and power consumption as control points, the GTX Titan uses temperature as a control, letting the GPU and its driver control performance. This process allows the graphics card to dynamically vary clock speed and voltage…Tweakers will still be able to change settings, but out of the box, the GTX Titan will tailor its own performance as long as the GPU core temperature stays at or below 80 degrees Celsius. With a high capacity fan and a heat sink that runs the length of the card, this means that high levels of performance will be available while keeping heat output and resulting fan noise down…”
20.    100Gbps and beyond: the future of networking  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/02/100gbps-and-beyond-what-lies-ahead-in-the-world-of-networking/  “…Processors, systems, and storage are getting better integrated, more virtualized, and more capable at making use of greater networking and Internet bandwidth. At the heart of these changes are major advances in networking. We're going to examine six specific trends driving the evolution of the next-generation data center…Beyond 10Gb networks…The rack as a data center microcosm…Beyond the simple SAN… Software-defined networks…Backup as a Service…Application-aware firewalls…”
Leisure & Entertainment
21.     4 payment trends that will shape the future of game development  http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/15/4-payments-trends-that-will-shape-the-future-of-game-development/  “Nearly one in 10 Americans has purchased a digital good in the past year. Today’s gamers have an unprecedented range of platforms, payment options and preferences to choose from, and there is little doubt that the digital goods economy will continue to grow. If you’re an online game developer or publisher, there are a lot of questions to answer to determine how to best monetize game content…While there’s no single answer, the recent growth of global and local payment options have at least made transactions easier to facilitate…PlaySpan took a deeper look at four key payment trends that will have a positive impact on the future of game development…1) Gamers are using multiple channels to make payments…2) Alternative payments offer appealing features and benefits to gamers…3) In-app purchases dominate the growing mobile platform…4) Digital wallets gain acceptance, but there are strong differences between genders…”
22.    New smartphone shooter attempts to improve first-person controls on touch devices  http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/14/new-smartphone-shooter-the-drowning-hopes-to-improve-first-person-controls-on-touch-devices/  “Controlling first-person shooters on a touch-screen device always makes my hands want to explode…The Drowning is a first-person shooter due out soon for iPhone and iPad. It features high-quality visuals that should help you get your money’s worth out of that Retina display, but it’s even more ambitious for its new control scheme. Most first-person games on iPad have players using their thumbs to control virtual buttons and directional pads…this only works for a few moments before my hands start to cramp…In The Drowning, Scattered rethought controls from the ground up for the touch screen. All of the basic movement commands work with one hand. Different gestures correspond to moving, shooting, aiming, and zooming. To walk, players just need to tap the ground with one finger like in an adventure game. A left or right swipe will adjust where the camera is looking. Players can then fire by tapping the screen with two fingers, and the bullet will fire to the middle point. Finally, gamers can zoom in by pinching with two fingers…”
Economy and Technology
23.    Innovation for the ‘one percent’  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/innovation-for-the-one-percent/2013/02/18/7321ccb8-7780-11e2-b102-948929030e64_blog.html  “…there are two parallel tracks of innovation right now in America. One group of innovators gives us Facebook…while another group of innovators seeks to give us Mars colonies. On one track, you have the innovation contributions of the “99 percent” — or the “crowd.”…the crowd…has given us…“crowdfunding” and “open source,” and…Facebook. These types of innovations are almost impossible to create by a government agency or even by an entrenched corporation. They can only be dreamt up in college dorm rooms or…while tinkering in the garage…you will rarely hear politicians mention the crowd in any type of major policy speech. On the other track, you have the innovation contributions of the “1 percent”…such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates who work on the big projects of the day, developing an interplanetary space ship, conceptualizing new ideas for asteroid mining, mapping the human genome and creating new health-care solutions…Viewed from this perspective, many of America’s innovation priorities…in President…Obama's State of the Union address — creating new sources of clean energy, developing new 3D printer technology, mapping the human brain, analyzing the human genome — take on new meaning. Instead of asking…which of these should be solved by government or by the private sector, ask…which of them can be solved by the crowd and which of these can be solved by the 1 percent…”
24.    How Samsung is out-innovating Apple  http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/18/tech/gaming-gadgets/samsung-apple-innovation/  “…Apple set the standard for modern mobile devices with the iPhone and the iPad…it took another few years before Android was good enough to go toe to toe with iOS, Apple's mobile operating system. But it's no longer about being just as good as Apple…Competitors have built upon the foundation Apple laid in mobile and are now leapfrogging it with bunch of useful features you can't find on iPhones and iPads…it's most apparent in products made by Apple's biggest mobile rival, Samsung…Samsung's Galaxy devices have…more brand recognition than any other phone or tablet running Google's operating system…the company has innovated a lot by creating popular new product categories that Apple is wary to try. The best example of this is the Galaxy Note, a smartphone-tablet hybrid with a giant screen. When that device first hit…critics…slammed the device for being too large…It was really thick. And it came with a stylus…None of that mattered. Samsung sold at least 10 million Galaxy Notes. The company came out with an updated version with an even larger screen called the Galaxy Note II a few months later and sold another 5 million…Samsung created a new category of smartphone that people didn't even know they wanted…Samsung is taking advantage of its mobile devices' processing power to layer premium features on top of Android, such as the ability to run two apps at once in a split screen or separate window…what's most important is how nimble Samsung has become at improving its mobile devices through software updates…Apple feels behind…its newest fourth-generation iPad…has a killer processor and other great hardware features, but the operating system doesn't take advantage of any of that. The home screen is still just a grid of static icons that launch apps. Apple also isn't nearly as versatile at adding new software features to its devices…it feels like Apple's software goes out of its way to limit what you can do on the machine…”
DHMN Technology
25.    3D-Printing Pen, The 3Doodler, Reaches Kickstarter Funding Goal In Hours  http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/19/3d-printing-pen-the-3doodler-reaches-kickstarter-funding-goal-in-hours/  “…Built by a team of toy designers, the 3Doodler is a pen with a simple plastic extruder at the tip. When you press a button, a thin string of plastic comes out and almost instantly hardens. You can use the pen to draw plastic pictures or, with a little plastic, even build three-dimensional objects. A pledge of $75 gets you a pen and you can use standard-gauge ABS/PLA plastic – the same material used by Makerbot. The plastic is self-feeding and you can get a few dozen objects out of one string of plastic…It’s a fun toy and actually quite useful for very simple prototyping of plastic objects. In a few minutes we were able to build a little wireframe cube and draw a TC logo…The project is already funded and it looks like it will be a popular product. It’s fun, clever, and introduces basic 3D-printing concepts without the rigmarole of programming and CAD. Think of it as a LOGO programming language for ABS extrusion fans…”
26.    15 Clever Augmented Reality Campaigns  http://www.businessinsider.com/augmented-reality-campaigns-2013-2?op=1  “In a world full of smartphones, augmented reality (AR) campaigns are a very smart and unique way for brands to engage with consumers…Whether consumers are test driving a new car model, learning a new recipe, or playing a game, AR campaigns resonate with consumers in a way that most other ad platforms fall short. The ad becomes a game, versus just promotional material…Stella Artois' Le Bar Guide app allows consumers to find out how close they are to a Stella-serving bar and how to get there…National Geographic's AR app allowed people to swim with dolphins, pet a cheetah, and see ancient dinosaurs up close…Volvo S60's AR app allows you to drive the car (using your smartphone) through whatever room you're currently in. So if you're at work, a Volvo S60 will plow through your office and you will have to avoid hitting obstacles, including your co-workers' desks…”
27.    Video shows flexibility of open-source, robotic tentacle  http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/11/this-open-source-robotic-tentacle-will-haunt-your-dreams/  “In the underground world of robotic tentacle makers, there are two rules: 1) don’t talk about underground tentacle-making and 2) don’t talk about underground tentacle-making. Both of those rules have been shattered by Matthew Borgatti, a robotics designer who has created a life-like, 3D-printed tentacle that flails around quite disturbingly using Arduino boards and a set of mini air compressors…the robotic tentacle is almost completely soft and is controlled by three solenoids that manage the flow of air into the robot. Borgatti has posted the code for his robot…and he’s even built a simple interface to control its motion…”
Open Source
28.    Can This Design Student Build An Open-Source Alternative To GPS?  http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671857/can-this-design-student-build-an-open-source-alternative-to-gps#1  “Maps are power. Those who draw them control the public’s access to the world at a fundamental level…These days, we rely on the Global Positioning System, developed by the Department of Defense during the Cold War. Though it’s publicly accesible, GPS is still a closed system, meaning the government can shut it down or edit it as they see fit…Philipp Ronnenberg, an interaction design student…introduced his fledgling Open Positioning System, an alternative to GPS. “At the moment, we are bound to the Americans’ military GPS and network companies,” he says. “The technology is closed at the moment and can be curated or shut down at any time.” The OPS, on the other hand, seeks to establish a reliable positioning system that’s totally independent of the government, corporations, and even satellites…Ronnenberg has come up with a radical alternative to using signals from satellites. Instead of measuring how long it takes a signal to move from Lower Earth Orbit to your phone, OPS measures nearby seismic frequencies…predictable, man-made disturbances emitted by power plants and turbines… “I came to this idea because I was researching animal communication…Elephants and some spiders can communicate through the ground by producing seismic activity which is then transmitted and received.”…Ronnenberg’s system can pick up seismic frequencies from any surface in contact with the ground…the user, obviously, needs to be nearby a machine or power plant emitting a noise, and readings can get muddled by city noise…similarly to GPS, the sensor needs at least three readings to produce a reliable location…”
29.    Willow Garage ROS, the Robot Operating System, moving to Open Source Robotics Foundation  http://www.i-programmer.info/news/169-robotics/5480-ros-moving-to-open-source-robotics-foundation.html  “The open source Robot Operating System created by Willow Garage is in the process of moving to the Open Source Robotics Foundation…Willow Garage…confirmed it was undergoing a fundamental transformation but that the future of ROS and PR2 was not at risk…Willow Garage has decided to enter the world of commercial opportunities with an eye to becoming a self-sustaining company. This is an important change to our funding model…There are close to 50 PR2 robots in the world and Willow Garage support of the platform will not diminish…the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF), an independent nonprofit company founded last summer with support from Willow Garage, was chartered in-part to become the long-term home for ROS core development, ROS wiki hosting, and ROS answers support…”
Civilian Aerospace
30.    Private Moon Travel Startup Launches Crowdfunding Campaign  http://www.space.com/19795-private-moon-travel-crowdfunding.html  “A private startup aiming to launch manned lunar expeditions has started a crowdfunding campaign to get the public involved…Golden Spike, aims to get its first mission off the ground by 2020. To help achieve that goal, the startup's leaders are reaching out via the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in hopes of raising $240,000 ­— "a dollar for every mile on the way to the moon,"…Contributors during the 10-week campaign can secure rewards ranging from printed "thank you's" and subscriptions to Golden Spike's mailing list (for a $25 donation), to VIP trips to see the company's first moon launch (for a contribution of $50,000)…Stern said the money raised would be used to help Golden Spike get off the ground. But moreover…it's a way for people excited about the idea of private moon travel to get involved, and a way to raise awareness about the venture…”
31.     Commercial Crew Efforts To Be Hit Hard By Sequestration  http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_02_15_2013_p01-01-549222.xml  “NASA’s topline budget for fiscal 2013 will be reduced by $726.7 million…if sequestration takes effect March 1, with a significant portion of that cut being absorbed by the agency’s efforts to nurture commercial systems for transporting crew and cargo to low Earth orbit. “Sequestration would reduce Commercial Space Flight funding by $441.6 million below the FY 2013 budget request,”…As a result, NASA would not be able to make fourth-quarter milestone payments to the industry teams working on the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) program, including for SpaceX’s Inflight Abort Test Review, Boeing’s Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control Engine Development Test, and the Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Integrated System Safety Analysis Review #2…Overall availability of commercial crew transportation services would be significantly delayed, thereby extending our reliance on foreign providers for crew transportation to the International Space Station…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
32.    NVIDIA Scores Green Victory with Italian Supercomputer  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2013-02-05/gpu_wars.html  “…Eurotech and NVIDIA announced a new HPC system, called Eurora…using NVIDIA GPUs…With Eurora pumping out 315 gigaflops per watt…NVIDIA executives are happy that they can now claim the most energy-efficient HPC system uses their GPUs. The most powerful supercomputer in the world, the Titan system at Oak Ridge National Lab, uses the same K20 GPUs as Eurora. Eurora's efficiency was not just about GPUs, though. Everything about the system was created with the intention of optimizing power draw…To create Eurora, Eurotech replaced older generation NVIDIA GPUs in its previous Aurora systems with the latest Tesla K20 processors. NVIDIA's K20 Kepler generation GPU for the HPC market was also designed specifically to increase FLOPS per watt…”
33.    Professor receives grant to use super computer to test Microdrones  http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/21418/tech-professor-receives-grant-to-use-super-computer-to-test-microdrones  “A Virginia Tech professor is once again in the national spotlight for his work with supercomputers. Professor Wu-Chun Feng…has received a $3.5 million grant to research simulating micro-air vehicles, MAVs…Wu will be using the supercomputers to simulate fluid dynamics of the micro-air vehicles. The computations required are so detailed that the machine being used to do them has to be capable of processing very large amounts of information. "We have to figure out the right way to take the application, decompose it to its fundamental algorithms, extractions and map them appropriately onto a CPU or GPU,"…Wu compares CPUs and GPUs to sport utility vehicles and drag racing cars, respectively. The CPUs are able to do a multitude of actions relatively well, but don't have the greatest performance, while GPUs are able to do single tasks with extreme efficiency and speed…"We're trying to accelerate the simulation of the micro-air vehicles; we're not actually putting (the computers) inside these drones, at least not yet," Wu said. "But certainly that could be the next frontier,"…GPU accelerated computers are becoming more common, and more effective…The effective use of these simulations would help to accelerate the process which MAVs can get tested, stabilized and produced, and potentially could accelerate modern intelligence gather capabilities…When he first started in imagery, results came back on weekly basis. Now, said Stiles, images are coming back in real-time, 24/7…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
34.    Forrester’s top 15 emerging technologies  http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/07/forresters-top-15-emerging-technologies/  “Research firm Forrester understands that everyone who’s been listening with even one ear knows that mobile, social, cloud, and data are big freight trains of change…Analyst Bryan Hopkins gave us a peek into what Forrester thinks is next…Next-generation devices and UIs…New sensors…Advanced collaboration and communication…Systems of engagement…Smart products…In-location positioning…Machine-to-machine networks…Smart process applications and semantics…Advanced analytics…Pervasive BI…Process and data cloud services…Big data platforms…Breakthrough storage and compute…Software-defined infrastructure…Cloud application frameworks…New identity and trust models…”
35.    Forrester’s top 10 trends for mobile in 2013  http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/14/forresters-top-10-trends-for-mobile-in-2013/  “…Mobile phones are already well on their way to replacing cameras, cash, maps, remote controls, handheld gaming systems, boarding passes, tickets, cash registers, calculators, notepads, and much more. And they’re becoming globally ubiquitous: 1.6 billion phones were shipped last year; and by the end of this year, 1.4 billion smartphones will be in use…Forrester shared its view of the near future of mobile…Marketers will realize that mobile requires a total shift in marketing approach…Tablets will be the biggest short-term disruptors…Mobile platforms will catalyze next-generation connected experiences…Smart apps powered by big data and sophisticated analytics will help us complete tasks…Mobile will play a leading role in engaging consumers in emerging markets…Mobile will require more formal organization, processes, governance…Leading marketers will take back ownership of mobile from agencies and vendors…The role of mobile marketing manager will emerge…Finding the right strategic mix of staff will rise in importance…Spending will increase to enable mobile services…”

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