2013/04/02

NEW NET Weekly List for 02 Apr 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 02 April 2013, NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 PM weekly gathering at Pizza King, 800 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. This is the first time at this location, so we'll see how the Internet access and other aspects of the meeting work out.

The ‘net
1.        Beyond Google Apps: The top 10 related cloud services  http://www.zdnet.com/beyond-google-apps-the-top-10-related-cloud-services-7000013269/  “If your company has made a commitment to using Google Apps, it may be able to drive more value out of that decision by adopting one of the many related applications featured in the Google Apps Marketplace. If the sheer variety of choices overwhelm you, you could start by checking out the ones that have been installed most often by other businesses…Most of them are for small or midsize organizations (although a couple appear to be meant more for large accounts)…here is the top 10 list in descending order (as of the afternoon of March 28, 2013): Mavenlink…MailChimp…Insightly…FlashPanel…Capsule CRM…Gantter Project…Zoho CRM…Do by Salesforce…draw.io…Accounting tools by Wave…”
2.       Flipboard 2.0 lets users create their own magazine  http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/flipboard-2-0-arrives-lets-users-create-their-own-magazine/  “Flipboard has just rolled out a major update to its popular news reader app that for the first time allows you to build and share your very own magazine. Available for the iPad and iPhone – Android users should get the update in the next month or so – version 2.0 brings a range of new futures, but the ability to curate content for your own Flipboard magazine is surely the headline grabber…Creating a magazine can be done in a flash – just choose a subject area that tingles your toes, make up a title, and search for suitable articles. Each time you find something that fits your magazine, simply tap on the ‘+’ button. You can create as many magazines as you like, and choose whether you want to make each one public for others to (hopefully) enjoy, or private, thereby using the feature as a kind of ‘read later’ tool…”
3.       Perforce Stages Assault On Dropbox and Google Docs  http://www.drdobbs.com/tools/perforce-stages-assault-on-dropbox-and-g/240151965  “Perforce is attempting to make a big strategic move that could expand its scope and general purview with the release this week of Commons. The firm is essentially positioning this document collaboration platform as a competing runner against Dropbox and Google Docs. This document collaboration tool supports all files types from large binary objects to small image files with merge capabilities for the most common document types, including Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Commons works by keeping track of the complete history of any file to save time in finding, revising, and collaborating on documents. Document collaboration issues, such as merging multiple edits into a single document or confusion over the most current version of a file, occur as documents pass through many workers and many versions — these issues occur frequently and take a "sizeable toll" (says Perforce) on productivity…”
4.       Watch out, internet: Dave Winer is back in the business of making blogging tools  http://gigaom.com/2013/03/28/watch-out-internet-dave-winer-is-back-in-the-business-of-making-blogging-tools/  “…Dave Winer has done a lot more for the world of online media and publishing than many people realize, including pioneering both blogging and podcasting, as well as the development of RSS. So it’s worth paying attention when he comes up with something new, even if it’s not immediately obvious how that service fits into our lives — because it probably will…he announced earlier this week that he was launching a new company called Small Picture and had a new product called Little Outliner…So I called Winer up and asked him to describe what Little Outliner is and what it is designed to do — and there is a clear thread that connects this…to the other things he has championed: namely, the idea of having control over one’s content, and of being fully open…In a nutshell, Little Outliner is a kind of notepad, and it runs in a browser window so no software has to be installed, and it allows a user to keep notes or text content of any kind — but also allows them to structure that content in a number of ways, so that it becomes a kind of brainstorming tool…”
5.        The Future of CSS: Flexbox Is a Game Changer  http://www.webmonkey.com/2013/04/the-future-of-css-flexbox-is-a-game-changer/  “HTML5 and CSS 3 offer web developers new semantic tags, native animation tools, server-side fonts and much more, but that’s not the end of the story. In fact, for developers slogging away in the web design trenches, one of the most promising parts of CSS 3 is still just over the horizon — true page layout tools. While it’s possible to create amazingly complex layouts using tools like CSS floats, positioning rules and the odd bit of JavaScript, none of those tools were actually created explicitly for laying out content, which is why it’s amazingly complex to get them working the way you want across browsers. Soon, however, you’ll be able to throw out your floats and embrace a better way — the CSS Flexible Box Model, better known as simply Flexbox. Flexbox enables you to create complex layouts with only a few lines of code — no more floats and “clearfix” hacks. Perhaps even more powerful — especially for those building responsive websites — the Flexbox order property allows you to create layouts completely independent of the HTML source order…Flexbox also makes it possible to do vertical centering. Finally…For some it may still be too early to use Flexbox. Browser support is improving, but obviously older browsers will never support Flexbox, so bear that in mind…”
6.       Yahoo, Dropbox Partner for Easier Email Attachments  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417330,00.asp  “Yahoo on Tuesday announced it has integrated Dropbox into its email service for quicker and easier attachments. The integration will allow users to send, receive, and manage Dropbox files within Yahoo Mail. Users will be able to quickly select files from their Dropbox account to include as an attachment in Yahoo Mail, and easily save any attachments they receive via email into their Dropbox account…because files can be stored in your Dropbox account online, it's easy to find the files you want even when you are away from your desktop."…Those new to Dropbox will be able to create an account for the cloud storage service from within Yahoo Mail. To do so, click on any attachment in Yahoo Mail, then select "Save all to," then "Save to Dropbox." From there, follow the instructions on the screen to set up a new Dropbox account…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
7.        Was 'the biggest cyberattack in history' all just a PR stunt?  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/shortcuts/2013/mar/28/spamhaus-internet-attack-pr-stunt  “The headlines have been apocalyptic: "Global internet slows after biggest attack in history"; "Biggest ever cyberattack slows internet for millions"; "The attack that nearly broke the internet"…According to a company called CloudFlare, which specialises in helping websites minimise the impact of online junk data attacks…this particular assault…eventually escalated to cause "congestion across several major [top-level, backbone internet networks], primarily in Europe, that would have affected hundreds of millions of people ... "…Except, as the tech website Gizmodo points out, not many people seem to have noticed: few have complained that the internet was more than usually sluggish; movie-streaming services such as Netflix did not go down…it certainly did not shake the internet to its core. Gizmodo concludes the whole story was essentially a cynical bid by CloudFlare to drum up more business…”
8.       Luring Young Web Warriors Is Priority. It’s Also a Game.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/technology/united-states-wants-to-attract-hackers-to-public-sector.html?pagewanted=all  “…In the eighth grade, Arlan Jaska figured out how to write a simple script that could switch his keyboard’s Caps Lock key on and off 6,000 times a minute. When friends weren’t looking, he slipped his program onto their computers. It was all fun and games until the program spread to his middle school.  “They called my parents and told my dad I was hacking their computers,” Mr. Jaska, 17 years old, recalled. He was grounded and got detention. And he is just the type the Department of Homeland Security is looking for…Foreign hackers have…begun probing the nation’s infrastructure — the power grid, and water and transportation systems. So she needs her own hackers — 600, the agency estimates. But potential recruits with the right skills have too often been heading for business, and those who do choose government work often go to the National Security Agency, where they work on offensive digital strategies. At Homeland Security, the emphasis is on keeping hackers out, or playing defense…One answer? Start young, and make it a game, even a contest. This month, Mr. Jaska and his classmate Collin Berman took top spots at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Cyber Challenge, a veritable smackdown of hacking for high school students…With military exercises like NetWars, the competition, the first in a series, had more the feel of a video game…”
9.       The market for software that helps hackers penetrate computer systems  http://www.economist.com/news/business/21574478-market-software-helps-hackers-penetrate-computer-systems-digital-arms-trade  “IT IS a type of software sometimes described as “absolute power” or “God”…Packets of computer code, known as “exploits”, allow hackers to infiltrate or even control computers running software in which a design flaw…has been discovered. Criminal and, to a lesser extent, terror groups purchase exploits on more than two dozen illicit online forums…Just a dozen years ago the buying and selling of illicit exploits was so rare that India’s Central Bureau of Investigation had not yet identified any criminal syndicates involved in the trade…Underground markets are now widespread…Exploits empower criminals to steal data and money. Worse still, they provide cyber-firepower to hostile governments that would otherwise lack the expertise to attack an advanced country’s computer systems…Exploits themselves are generally legal. Several legitimate businesses sell them. A Massachusetts firm called Netragard last year sold more than 50 exploits to businesses and government agencies in America for prices ranging from $20,000 to more than $250,000. Adriel Desautels, Netragard’s founder, describes some of the exploits sold as “weaponised”. The firm buys a lot from three dozen independent hackers who, like clients, are carefully screened to make sure they are not selling code to anyone else, and especially not to a criminal group or unfriendly government…”
10.     Smartphone Apps Monitor Kids' Activity  http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/Smartphone-Apps-Monitor-Kids-Activity-200651921.html  “Parents can keep an even closer eye on their kids due to some new smartphone apps. They allow parents to see everything their kids do on smartphones. The Android apps are called "Protect Me if You Can" and "Catch Me if You Can." Parents can track where their children are with the GPS in the phones. The app can even monitor phone calls, text messages and photos taken…Some parents say it's for protection, while others say it's too invasive…Kristie Young is a mother who said she likes the idea and would use it on her kids when they're young teens…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
11.      Five Best Sleep Tracking Gadgets or Apps  http://lifehacker.com/5993005/five-best-sleep-tracking-gadgets-or-apps  “We could all use a better night's sleep, and the key to getting there is a mix of good sleep habits and understanding the things that keep you from getting the best sleep you possibly can. That's where sleep tracking gadgets that you wear, and smartphone apps that monitor your sleep cycles all come into play. This week, we're looking at five of the best sleep tracking tools…FitBit One…Sleep As Android…Jawbone Up…Sleep Cycle…Sleepbot…Honorable mentions this week go to Sleep Time…”
12.     Beyond Showrooming: 3 Ways Smartphones Are Changing How We Shop  http://business.time.com/2013/03/29/beyond-showrooming-3-quirky-ways-smartphones-are-changing-how-we-shop/  “When shoppers met the smartphone, they quickly learned that the device was ideal for shopping around — while shopping in person…More than half of Americans now own smartphones, and it’s this practice of “showrooming”—touching and feeling merchandise in stores before consulting the smartphone for a better deal—that seems to have most changed how consumers shop lately. But there are other, quirkier and somewhat unexpected ways that smartphones are affecting the retail scene. Here are three: Fewer Impulse Purchases in Checkout Lines…people waiting in a store checkout line are considered a captive audience—one that might be tempted into buying candy, soda…without thinking much of it. But smartphones seem to be more interesting…Single sale copies of magazines, largely purchased while waiting in line at the grocery store, are down 8.2% from last year. Sales of gum have taken a hit, too…More Shopping Collisions…at San Francisco’s popular Saturday morning farmers market…It’s always been crowded but now it’s impossible…Everyone’s looking down at their phone, blocking passageways, walking right into you sometimes. It’s rude.”…More Salesperson Snubs…A study by Accenture found that 73% of shoppers with smartphones would rather consult their devices than a salesperson for looking up information quickly…”
13.     Facebook’s Home On Android Could Give You A Sixth Sense For Your Social Life  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/29/facebook-home/  “Constant, close contact with your friends. That’s the promise of a “Facebook phone.” The modified Android OS and mobile homescreen replacement that sources tell us Facebook will unveil April 4th pushes your social life to you so fetching it isn’t interruptive…While it only takes a quarter of a minute each time, reaching for your phone, waking it from sleep, firing up the Facebook app, and loading your latest notifications does pull you out of the present…If that data automatically fed right into your homescreen, every time you opened your phone you’d be instantly up to date on conversations with friends and get a peek into their lives. And if Facebook can pipe this content into the lock screen, it’d be even more immersive, like a true heads-up display…”
14.     3 things the mobile industry can learn about advertising from gaming  http://venturebeat.com/2013/03/29/3-things-the-mobile-industry-can-learn-about-advertising-from-gaming/  “…I’ve spent the past eight years of my career trying to make mobile advertising work. I’ve watched the industry grasp at many paradigms while searching for the one that would finally work for mobile advertising…Meanwhile, mobile gaming apps have been quietly reinventing mobile advertising and out-monetizing even the large, well-established publishers. Here are a few things the mobile games companies have worked out along the way: Nobody likes banner ads…Freemium changes everything…gaming companies were the first to master the art of making money from free apps with the freemium business model. By offering their games for free and then offering in-app purchases with virtual currency, which players can use to buy bigger barns or weapons, game developers have circumvented the need for pay to play. With a rewarded ad unit, the consumer engages with an ad to earn virtual currency rather than buying it…The brands will come, but direct-response advertisers are key…The average American spends 10,000 hours playing digital games before they turn 21…10,000 hours…is the required time it takes to master anything. By this logic, we might be seeing the first generation of teenage gaming experts…mobile games and other entertainment apps are just beginning to become a powerful ad engagement tool for big brands…The mobile game industry is driving this creative innovation and scaling it…”
Apps
15.     Throwback Is An App That Steals Your Photos And Sends Them To Future You  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/20/throwback-is-an-app-that-steals-your-photos-and-sends-them-to-future-you/  “…a new app called Throwback is aiming to put the nostalgia back in photos. Throwback is an app that lets you take a picture, and send it to yourself or a group of friends at some point in the future. In fact, the app won’t let you even see the picture you’ve taken any sooner than a month. When you receive the picture, you’ll be able to save it to your camera roll or anywhere else for that matter, since it arrives in the form of an attachment to your email…“it’s out of an exploration between photography and nostalgia…I realized nostalgia is conjured by revisiting something you haven’t seen in a while,”…The app is super simple and straightforward. Once you’ve registered an email address, you are given the option to take a new picture or choose on from your photo album. You then select a date, a general range of time (from six months to five years) or click “Surprise.”…You can also choose to send it just to yourself, or to a group of friends…The app is available now on iOS…”  http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2013/03/calli-higgins-throwback/#slideid-18922
16.     Snap photos like a pro with your smartphone  http://bc.ctvnews.ca/snap-photos-like-a-pro-with-your-smartphone-1.1184087  “iPhonography is the latest craze for creating spectacular images with your iPhone and it’s radically changing the photography landscape…Brian Noppe…teaches a course called iPhonography 101. It helps turn the average Joe into a pro of sorts, by exploring the world of photography apps…"They're making useful, interesting apps that nobody else would have thought of and they're making them available for a dollar, for free, for two bucks, that's fantastic…The biggest thing is just those minor adjustments of exposure and contrast and things like that, that just can add a lot of punch to the colour and the look of the photograph…I use an app called KitCam a lot, because it's got some film-like features. Camera Awesome is another excellent one, and Camera Plus. Those are the three most interesting and popular camera apps that are on the market right now…”  http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2013/03/27/take-better-smartphone-photos/2024849/
17.     Google Reader’s Heir Apparent Feedly Relaunches On iOS & Android  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/01/now-with-3-million-new-users-google-readers-heir-apparent-feedly-relaunches-on-ios-android-reveals-how-it-plans-to-make-money/  “Feedly, the RSS feed-reading client that is rapidly becoming the one to beat following the planned Google Reader shutdown, is today launching new versions of its Feedly Mobile client for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android phones and tablets. This update, built-in response to user feedback, is focused on improving search, productivity, discovery and sharing. But the feature, which is likely to appeal to ex-Google Reader users the most is the new “title only” mode, designed to make headline scanning more efficient. The startup says it has now seen 3 million new users sign up for its service in the wake of Google’s announcement that it’s shuttering Google Reader on July 1, 2013. Prior to this, Feedly had grown its own user base organically to 4 million users since its founding in 2008…”
18.     The 64 Best Health and Fitness Apps  http://greatist.com/health/best-health-fitness-apps  “…he most exciting development yet is how our phones are helping us get in shape. Sure, mobile apps allow us to fling exploding birds at green pigs, but they also help us run faster, get stronger, eat smarter, and connect with people around the globe…Greatist scoured every app market for standout apps that were pushing the boundaries of health and fitness. Not all of these are the most downloaded apps…Instead, we focused on some key metrics: Is the app highliy rated? Is it user-friendly? Is it reliable or is it buggy?...we tried to cover an array of interests, so naturally there will be apps that could have made the list but didn't. We wanted to choose 64 health and fitness apps that are reinventing the way mobile phones can help us lead better lives, one healthier choice at a time. From mainstays like Nike Training Club to gamified programs like Zombies, Run! to educational powerhouses like Khan Academy, this list — in no particular order — runs the gamut of what's to come for the future of our health. And best yet? Almost all of them are free…”
SkyNet
19.     This Secret Google Maps Gesture Is Totally Brilliant  http://gizmodo.com/5993128/the-best-secret-google-maps-gesture-is-totally-brilliant  “…Google might have the smartest new gesture we've seen in a while: a smart, simple way to zoom in and out with one hand. Just double tap the screen with your thumb—anywhere on the screen is fine—and on the second tap, hold your finger down. Now slide your finger up and down. Zooming! It's so simple and so good, and works on Android and iOS. And no, not an April Fools joke…There are plenty of hidden features in all of Google's stuff, sure, but man, this one is quite great, especially since Google hasn't really spent much time playing it up…”
20.    Here's Who Won The Google Glass Contest  http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2013/03/31/from-levar-burton-to-you-heres-who-won-the-google-glass-contest/  “…Last week, Google sent its invites out to folks who told it what they’d do with Google Glass, the computer-powered eyewear it will start to produce as early as next year. Now, we have a much better idea of who will get them, and it’s a mix of celebrities, tech insiders, and people you’ve never heard of. Stanford computer science student Andrej Karpathy has assembled a list of more than 2,000 from Twitter feeds, where many people tweeted their plans with the hashtag #ifihadglass. It’s apparently not a complete list, because Google said it would choose 8,000, and many people posted on its Google+ social network instead of Twitter…Karpathy listed each winner’s original #ifihadglass tweet. Neil Patrick Harris would show what it’s like on the set of his show, How I Met Your Mother, while Kevin Smith would show what it’s to write Clerks III…former House Speaker and momentary presidential candidate Newt Gingrich sounds like he’s in teacher mode, as he plans to “take it on tours of zoos and museums to share the animals and fossils.” Then there’s Penny Arcade Web comic creator cwgabriel, who offers: “I would record myself making comic strips and what PAX is like from my point of view…some people with seemingly no imagination made the cut–like someone named Alex Lawrence who originally tweeted, “I wish I could come up w/something creative for the #ifihadglass campaign. I just want to try them. Probably not enough to get the nod.”…there will be plenty of worthwhile experiences we’ll be able to see, assuming these folks actually share what they’re promising to do. For instance: “I am 100% disabled vet who #ifihadglass would like to see how I could use it improve mobility and better social integration,” says @veterantraveler…Will Smith (not the actor) “would document and share the first year of my child’s life…”  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/31/glass-explorer-apps/
21.     Q&A: Google Consumer Surveys  http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevecooper/2013/03/29/qa-with-paul-mcdonald-co-creator-of-google-consumer-surveys/  “Paul McDonald has been with Google for 10 years, most recently as a product manager for Gmail…Today marks the one-year anniversary launch of Google Consumer Surveys, a product created with software engineer Brett Slatkin. These completed micro surveys grant readers access to a website’s content and earns publishers $0.05 per response. Earlier this week McDonald opened up about the past, present and future of Google Consumer Surveys…Q: When did you come up with this idea? A: It was really a quest to save the newspaper industry…at Google we get 20 percent of our time to work on things that we’re passionate about and I’d been working with a former colleague of mine from another team on ways to monetize content online…we knew that journalism was expensive, especially really good journalism and so we wanted to find a way to compensate those publishers. We hit upon this idea that instead of paying for content with your money, you could pay with your time for answering a one- or two-question market research survey…We had an opportunity around July 2011 to form a team to see if we could build this product and make it successful…Q: Why is saving newspapers so important to you? A: I have friends who are journalists. The co-founder of this project, his wife is a journalist. I appreciate high quality news and I don’t want to see that go away because news organizations can’t pay for that content or can’t get the journalists to create it…it’s important to Google to have a variety of high quality content and design, whether that’s from paid news organizations or from bloggers or people who are professionals. We’re trying, basically, to create a way for them to be compensated without the users having to pull out their wallet and pay for that content…”
22.    Like it or not, Google's forcing the new Gmail compose window on you  http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/it-or-not-googles-forcing-new-gmail-compose-window-you-1C9139748  “In the near future, Gmail users will have no choice but to compose their emails in small boxes situated in a corner of the Gmail page. Like the Facebook changes we love to hate, this particular Google switcheroo was initially optional…"[W]e're now ready to introduce the new compose experience as the default for everyone," Phil Sharp, a product manager on the Gmail team…Thanks for taking away our right to choose what we prefer, Mr. Sharp!...Gmail's "new compose experience" might be a bit more comfortable to those who are used to the way Facebook Chat windows popup in the lower corner of the Facebook page. (Or those who use Google Talk within Gmail or Google+ and are also accustomed to this sort of layout.) In October, Google revealed the change to the way you compose emails in Gmail with little fanfare, but plenty of praise. Instead of using the whole browser window to tap out your missives, you would use a small box that pops up in the corner of the Gmail pageand the whole thing would supposedly becleaner, more streamlined…”
23.    If Children Had Google Glass  http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/if-children-had-google-glass/  “Would you buy Google Glass? How about a 3-D printer? I would (and, in the case of the 3-D printer, I have). Of course, I’m a sucker for being an earlier adopter, and the first to get my hands on new things…my children give me an excuse to indulge in my (expensive) hobby. I want to expose them to new technologies while they’re still new, and before we’ve had a chance to figure out how they fit into our lives. My father brought home one of the first desktop computers, one of the first printers, an early microwave, even a prototype Mac (he was an IT guy)…I want my children to explore new technologies the way I did — while they’re glitchy and frustrating and full of unrealized potential…when a gadget is new, there’s still room to grow…That’s the only reason I can think of to invest in Google Glass (other than just for fun) — the hope that by jumping in early, I’d encourage innovation in my kids. Streaming video and map applications are far from the limits of such a powerful computer in such a small form (and they’re not likely to be super-effective in the mountains of New Hampshire…But I have trouble imagining what else it will do without holding one in my hand, and maybe I’ll always have trouble. Maybe it takes an excited 11-year-old (mine has already offered his entire savings, money he’d previously intended to put towards an iPad mini, to the cause) to see the potential, and find a way to act on it. He’s already far surpassed me on the 3-D design software we’re both learning to use…”
24.    Social Media Communities - How Google Plus Brings People Together  http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/2013/3/30/social_media_communities_how_google_plus.htm  “One of the most awesome things about social media is how many ways you can use it. Send a private message to someone one minute and talk to a million people the next. But when you just want to talk to your friends or a like-minded group of people who share a particular interest, the choices become fewer. Facebook groups are fine, but I would recommend Google Plus Communities. First things first: It's time to get over your fear of Google Plus. No, it's not the social network full of cobwebs, and no it's not the same as Facebook…I think Google Plus Communities are everything Facebook groups should be and then some…you should use Communities to talk about the stuff you're into with people who love it too. Communities can be private --if there's something you want to say regularly to a specific group of people --or public if you want to make new friends and share your knowledge…”
25.    Google Analytics Now Makes It Easier To Track Inbound Links  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/26/google-analytics-now-makes-it-easier-to-track-inbound-links-and-stats-from-its-social-hub-partners/  “…Google today announced that it has redesigned some of Google Analytics‘ social reports to make it easier for publishers to see when they get inbound links from other sites. The update also makes it easier to track how people are engaging with a publisher’s content through the new Data Hub Activity report. Google Analytics’ Social Data Hub gets this data from partner sites like Reddit, and Digg, through commenting systems like Disqus, Echo and Livefyre, as well as a number of other services. The standalone Data Hub Activity report provides publishers with a “timeline of the number of activities that have occurred in the Social Data Hub and the raw activities in a list below.” The data can also be filtered by specific networks…Stats about trackbacks…were already available in Google Analytics, but they are now available in a standalone report…”
26.    Google engineers find a way to filter robocalls the way Gmail filters spam  http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/2/4174282/google-engineers-filter-robocalls-like-gmail-filters-spam-ftc  “The Federal Trade Commission just announced the three winners of its Robocall Challenge, a contest meant to crowdsource the solution to the robocall scourge that prompts more than 200,000 consumer complaints every month. The first-place award was split between two individuals, programmers Aaron Foss and Serdar Danis. The "technology achievement award," reserved for a submission affiliated with a large company, went to two Googlers, Daniel Klein and Dean Jackson. When complaining to the FTC, consumers often wondered why it wasn't possible to screen robocalls with the same effectiveness as Gmail screens spam. Klein and Jackson's solution is not unlike Google's email spam filter, which prompts users to report bogus messages. Their system allows users to instantly report originating phone numbers to an online database; on the other side, phones or external hardware automatically check the database every time a call comes in. It also includes a mechanism that blocks "spoofed" numbers, which obfuscate the true origin of the call, and weighs additional factors such as call volume, frequency, and inbound-to-outbound ratio…”
General Technology
27.    Apple aims to win over video editors  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-apple-final-cut-20130328,0,2837576.story  “The backlash over Apple's redesign of Final Cut Pro video editing software two years ago was so severe that even slashing the price by $700, to $299, caused an uproar. Video editors jeered that Apple had abandoned loyal professional users to create a cheap product aimed at consumers. References to "Apple's lemon" and "debacle" became common refrains in blog posts and industry trades scrutinizing the fallout…Now, after updating the software seven times since its release in 2011, Apple is launching a campaign Thursday aimed at winning back skeptical professional users. That campaign, timed to coincide with the National Assn. of Broadcasters convention that starts April 6 in Las Vegas, will feature users like Julian Liurette, who followed the firestorm from his video editing desk in Toronto at the Globe and Mail newspaper. After waiting a year as Apple gradually released updates, Liurette finally gave it a try and was surprised. So Liurette began moving the newspaper's video operations from the old version to Final Cut Pro X. "It's better on all fronts," Liurette said. "Its interface is 100 times more interesting. And it's much, much faster…”
28.    Lenovo to design own chips  http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4410926/Lenovo-moving-into-chip-design-business  “Lenovo, the second largest smartphone supplier in China, will get into the chip design business with a special focus on smartphones and tablets…The company, which has maintained a small IC design team consisting of about 10 people over the last decade, is now committed to expanding this team to about 100 engineers by the middle of this year, according to a China-based industry source with direct knowledge of Lenovo’s recruitment of chip designers. Lenovo will be hiring 40 engineers in Shenzhen area and 60 in Beijing…This initiative appears to be driven by the company’s desire to control its own destiny in smartphones and tablet…”
29.    Mansize jellyfish 'RoboCop' will patrol the world's oceans  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2300966/Man-sized-robot-jellyfish-silicone-patrol-US-waters-aquatic-spy-study-life-ocean-floor.html  “A life-like, autonomous robotic jellyfish the size and weight of a grown man is the latest weapon in the US Navy’s arsenal to guard the world’s oceans. Virginia Tech College of Engineering researchers have unveiled the prototype robot, nicknamed Cyro. It is a larger model of a robotic jellyfish the same team made in 2012 – headed by Shashank Priya of Blacksburg, Virginia, and professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech…Both robots are part of a multi-university, nationwide $5 million (£3.3m) project funded by U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Centre and the Office of Naval Research.  Jellyfish are attractive candidates to mimic because of their ability to consume little energy…Cyro is modelled and named after the jellyfish Cyanea capillata, Latin for Llion's Manemain jellyfish…Cyro is powered by a rechargeable nickel metal hydride battery…Experiments have also been conducted on powering jellyfish with hydrogen…the jellyfish must operate on their own for months or longer at a time as engineers likely won't be able to capture and repair the robots, or replace power sources. ‘Cyro showed its ability to swim autonomously while maintaining a similar physical appearance and kinematics as the natural species…”
30.    Tactile Helmet Uses Vibrations to Help Firefighters 'See' in the Dark  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417265,00.asp  “…what firefighters experience when they rush into a burning building…is…you can't see anything through all the smoke and haze. That's a problem for firefighters, especially when or if a tactical entry hits the proverbial fan and they're forced to feel their way through a blackened, burning house in order to accomplish an objective…researchers at the University of Sheffield's Centre for Robotics have come up with a new helmet design that uses the power of touch – specifically, touch feedback – to give firefighters a kind of ultrasonic-like awareness of obstacles within their smoky environments. "When a firefighter is responding to an emergency situation he will be using his eyes and ears to make sense of his environment, trying to make out objects in a smoke filled room, for example, or straining to hear sounds from people who might need rescuing…The helmet that the researchers built uses ultrasound sensors to detect the presence of nearby objects…It relays this information to the helmet-wearer in the form of…vibration pads that have been placed around the inside of the helmet. The closer a firefighter gets to an obstacle…the more a pad will vibrate to let the firefighter know that something's nearby…”
Leisure & Entertainment
31.     Razer Edge Review: So Heavy, So Expensive, So Awesome  http://gizmodo.com/5992669/razer-edge-review  “A gaming laptop in a tablet. It's a thought experiment that raises a whole host of questions: Is that even possible? Can it possibly be good? Would anyone even want it if it were? And finally: How much does it cost? The Razer Edge's answers translate roughly to "Yes!", "Sort of.", "Maybe?", and "Erm, you better sit down." A Windows 8 tablet computer with gaming PC guts. That means a discrete graphics card, and insides that ramp all the way up to a Core i7, 256GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM. It also has an optional mobile console case that turns the Edge into a 10.1-inch "handheld" gaming console. The Edge itself is a thick black 10.1-inch tablet constructed with aluminum and plastic. It's more comfortable to hold than you'd expect, given its girth compared to mainstream tablets…”
32.    OUYA and MakerBot partnership will allow for DIY 3D case printing  http://androidcommunity.com/ouya-and-makerbot-partnership-will-allow-for-diy-3d-case-printing-20130327/  “If you were one of the many backers of the OUYA game system, or are still planning to make a purchase once the console comes available in retail outlets — you may be interested in this latest partnership. The folks at OUYA have partnered with MakerBot and are offering plans that will allow users to have their own 3D console case printed. This is coming by way of the “OUYA MakerBot 3D Printing Development Kit” which is currently available from the Thingiverse.com website. This kit will include a 3D template and specs that can be used to print a console of your own design. Basically, that is to say you will be able to print out an OUYA console case with custom patterns and colors…”
33.    Amazon Gets Social Advantage Over Apple By Acquiring Goodreads  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/28/amazon-acquires-social-reading-site-goodreads/  “…Amazon…announced the acquisition of social reading service, Goodreads…Goodreads had raised $2.75 million in funding from the likes of True Ventures since launching in January 2007…last August, the site had over 10 million members and had catalogued more than 360 million books, adding 22 million each month. Now, the site boasts over 16 million users. This type of social integration could give Amazon a major advantage over e-sellers like Apple, who have no social components to their product whatsoever. With people actually discussing and sharing the books that they’re into, having an Amazon direct connect makes complete sense. The site can offer special deals to Goodreads users, which in essence is now Amazon’s book-reading social network…”
34.    DICE Blurs The Line Between Hollywood And Games With Battlefield 4  http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngaudiosi/2013/03/27/electronic-arts-blurs-the-line-between-hollywood-and-games-with-battlefield-4/  “…DICE used GDC 2013 to offer a glimpse into what next generation gaming will mean for gamers…The Swedish developer showed off a live demo of Battlefield 4, which has been announced for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3…Watching this nearly 20 minute sequence on a giant movie theater screen was appropriate. In fact, if people happened to wander into the packed theater, they’d likely not have realized they weren’t watching a Hollywood blockbuster film. The line’s being blurred between games and movies in new ways…Battlefield 4 employed full performance capture to put the actors (face, voice and action together) into these virtual roles…the studio is taking the technology that James Cameron utilized for Avatar and pushing it even further for this new game. Coupled with the brand new Frostbite 3 game engine, the characters portrayed in the demo came across as real. “Next gen is not about polygons and shaders, it’s about the emotional connection players will have with these characters. Battlefield 4 is about gripping experiences that are human and dramatic and believable…”   http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2013/03/27/battlefield-4-introduces-frostbite-3-new-approach-at-gdc/
Entrepreneurism and Technology
35.    Bitcoin Hits $1 Billion  http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/networks/bitcoin-hits-1-billion  “Bitcoin, the world's first open source cryptographic currency, which has been on a tear since the beginning of this year, set a new record for itself yesterday afternoon as the price listed on the largest online exchange rose past US $92. With nearly 11 million Bitcoins in circulation*, this sets the total worth of the currency just over one billion dollars…Bitcoin is not a company. It's a digital currency that runs on a global peer-to-peer network without the backing of a nation or any other central authority…“It’s something of a mystery that Bitcoin has a positive value at all since it wasn’t launched in the way a new currency is typically launched,” says Lawrence White, an economist who teaches the history of banking and money at George Mason University. “Typically, if a country wants to introduce a new currency, they make it redeemable for the old currency at a fixed exchange rate and then after a while they cut off the link and retire the old currency. But they launch the new currency by giving people a sort of firm expectation of what it’s worth. Bitcoin didn’t do that. It just launched itself by its own bootstraps and we don’t really understand how that worked, as economists…”
36.    Pay what you want for new menu item at St. Louis Bread Co. cafes  http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/panera-expands-pay-way-you-want-concept-to-one-menu/article_cdd54acf-75d2-5b11-84fa-c47c3d6d332a.html  “It started off nearly three years ago as a small experiment at a Clayton cafe to test whether people would be willing to pay full price — or more — when there are no set prices so those in need can pay less or nothing at all. After following it up with four more nonprofit cafes across the nation, Panera is now taking this concept to the next level. Starting today, patrons will be able to walk into any of the company’s 48 bakery-cafes in the St. Louis region (where it operates as St. Louis Bread Co.) and pay what they want for a new menu item: turkey chili. If it proves sustainable, the “meal of shared responsibility” — as Panera calls it — could be expanded to other regions…”  http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Panera-trying-new-pay-what-you-want-experiment-4387169.php
37.    Wal-Mart may get customers to deliver packages to online buyers  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57576747-93/walmart-to-tap-in-store-customers-to-deliver-to-your-home/  “Walmart is considering doing something that most people would find extremely radical. The company is in the early planning stages of a service that would see in-store customers rent space in their vehicles and their time to the mega-retailer to deliver products it sells online. The move would combat same-day delivery ideas from Amazon and reportedly what's in the works with Google…people would order products online. Walmart would then tap in-store customers willing to deliver products to the online shopper's home, effectively creating a crowd-sourced delivery model…Walmart currently relies on FedEx to deliver products from its stores to customers. In five metro areas, it's testing a service called Walmart To Go, in which its own delivery vehicles are bringing products to customer homes on the same day they're ordered. A move to make customers deliver products could add a whole different twist…”
38.    Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy's Last Safe Haven  http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-28/bitcoin-may-be-the-global-economys-last-safe-haven  “One of the oddest bits of news to emerge from the economic collapse of Cyprus is a corresponding rise in the value of Bitcoin, the Internet’s favorite, media-friendly, anarchist crypto-currency…The value of a Bitcoin went up to $78. Someone put out a press release promising a Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus. Far away, in Canada, a man said he’d sell his house for BTC5,362. Bitcoin was created in 2009 by a pseudonymous hacker who calls him or herself Satoshi Nakamoto…It’s a form of virtual cash used to buy goods and services online. Even by Web standards, it’s a strange and supergeeky phenomenon. This is what happens when software and networks meet the concept of currency, when you take peer-to-peer networks and advanced cryptography and ask, “How can I make a new economy?” There are 10,952,975 Bitcoins in circulation…Bitcoin isn’t about to replace hard currency—with a market cap of $864 million, all of it is worth less than what Facebook (FB) paid for Instagram—but it’s bigger than anyone expected. And many people will tell you that the emergence of a virtual global money supply beyond the reach and control of any government is very real and that it’s time we take it seriously…A Bitcoin’s not so much a thing as an understanding, a balance in a decentralized general ledger, or “account log.” Bitcoins are created as the side effect of a great deal of meaningless computational work…”
39.    SEC Greenlights One Style Of Equity Crowdfunding For Startups  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/28/equity-crowdfunding-sec/  “The SEC today paved the way for a new era of venture capital investing by stating it won’t pursue enforcement action against FundersClub, whose platform lets any accredited investor fund startups in exchange for equity…FundersClub’s model could be used by others to raise capital online for startups before the JOBS Act goes fully into effect…Its website hosts profiles of different startups looking to raise money. Any accredited investor (someone who earns over $200,000 a year or has a net worth over $1 million) can choose to invest as little as $1,000 in startups with open rounds on FundersClub. These investors can cash out if the startup is acquired or IPOs, or if they do a stock offering on the secondary market…FundersClub was thought to be operating in a murky legal grey area because it’s not a registered broker-dealer. FundersClub…never directly handles the invested money, which is kept in separate custodial accounts for each startup it hosts. Technically, it’s not crowdfunding, but rather a venture capital advisor that raises funds online through a streamlined process rather than offline with traditional paperwork…”
Design / DEMO
40.    Inventor Fashions the Perfect Cup for Dunking Oreos  http://www.wired.com/design/2013/04/inventing-an-oreo-cup/  “Sam Feller’s latest at-home invention might have sugary origins, but it also stands as a case study about using the latest tools — and a bit of creativity — to make solutions to simple problems…despite being a $2 billion dollars a year product, food scientists have not yet figured out how to dunk these sweet cookie sandwiches in a glass when the milk gets low. Some think a new utensil is the answer, but self-proclaimed “Awkward Engineer” Sam Feller thinks that’s a hack solution. Instead, he offers his own fix: a custom chalice that could stylishly serve Snoop Lion if he had a case of the munchies, but also maximizes milk displacement for the engineering-minded. The cup has a wide mouth and an Oreo-sized pit that makes dunking easy no matter how much milk is left…”
41.     Design Oscars: and the nominations are…  http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2013/03/designs-of-the-year.html  “If the words ”design awards” conjure up images of red carpets and unusual frocks, the new Designs of the Year show at the Design Museum, London, may force you into a rethink…Now in its sixth year, the annual exhibition is a snapshot of innovation in digital, fashion, product, architectural, transport, furniture and graphic design, with industry-nominated entries from across the world…the Child Vision glasses designed by London-based industrial design consultancy Goodwin Hartshorn…bright, chunky frames would look at home on a designer’s bedside table, but they are far more than eye candy: the fluid-filled lens allows for self-adjustment, giving children without access to opticians the chance to see clearly. Then there is the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX) (above), developed at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. Less terrifyingly nicknamed “magic arms”, the device, a lightweight version of an existing adult product, helps children suffering from musculoskeletal disease with lifting and moving. Open-source design (including a selection of projects made with the cheap, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer) and 3D printing make up a large percentage of entries…Designers are always quick to turn technologies to their advantage, he says, and this year is all about putting small-scale manufacturing tools into the hands of consumers…”
42.    3D Printing Tech Adopters Could Gain Design Innovation Advantage Over Rivals  http://biztech2.in.com/news/enterprise-solutions/3d-printing-tech-adopters-could-gain-innovation-advantage-over-rivals-gartner/156162/0  “3D printing is disrupting the design, prototyping and manufacturing processes in a wide range of industries, according to Gartner, Inc. Enterprises should start experimenting with 3D printing technology to improve traditional product design and prototyping, with the potential to create new product lines and markets. 3D printing will also become available to consumers via kiosks or print-shop-style services, creating new opportunities for retailers and other businesses. “3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption,” said Pete Basiliere, Research Director at Gartner. “It is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas…”
DHMN Technology
43.    Raspberry Pi $25 Model A Suited For Battery/Solar Powered Projects  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/31/raspberry-pi-model-a-arrives-in-us/  “The Raspberry Pi microcomputer prides itself on being affordable, with its tiny $35 price-tag for the original Model B Pi. But now its lowest cost board — the $25 Model A — has gone on sale in the U.S. The Raspberry Pi Foundation confirmed to TechCrunch that Model A can now be purchased in the U.S. via reseller Allied Electronics…What does $25 buy you? Enough processing power to use it to run a home media centre if you so desire, according to the Foundation. But the Model A was conceived with lower power consumption projects in mind, perhaps battery or solar powered, as Model A consumes around a third less power than Model B. It also has half the RAM of the second revision Model B, plus only one USB port and no Ethernet connection — to keep costs down…”
44.    10 Amazing Things 3-D Printers Can Do Now  http://www.wired.com/design/2012/04/10-things-3d-printers-can-do-now/?pid=172&viewall=true  “…Invisalign braces has built a nearly half-billion-dollar business by 3-D printing orthodontic aids based on scanned data of teeth. Instead of wearing the traditional metal braces, a series of slightly different clear braces are printed out — fixing a problem smile without the metal-mouth look…Future generations will laugh that people once visualized new construction projects using blueprints. A prospective homeowner can now opt for a 3D-printed, full-color, dollhouse-sized version of their new abode before they cut their first check…Jewelers typically prototype new pieces by hand-carving models out of wax that are then cast in precious metal — a labor-intensive process that is prone to small accidents. Today, the maker can design a model in a CAD/CAM program like JewelStudio and create the form with a 3-D printer or CNC mill…Figure Prints creates trophies from World of Warcraft and Minecraft using ZCorp technology, the only 3D-printing method capable of printing full-color parts…3D-printed joints or bones are now helping 30,000 patients remain mobile, 10 million are using custom-fit hearing aids, and in the near future, the machines will be used to print pharmaceutical drugs…Teach the Next Generation of Designers…A well-run bake sale can generate enough funds for a school to buy a 3-D printer and 123D is a free beginner's CAD program. It just takes one plucky parent to get kids learning the basics of mechanical engineering by the time they can ride a bike. O'Reilly Media recently won a grant from Darpa to build 1,000 hacker spaces in schools across America…”
Open Source Hardware
45.    Open Source 3D Printing Slashes Michigan Tech Optics Lab Costs  http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2013/march/story87386.html  “…open-source hardware makes it possible to drive down the cost of doing science. As part of that movement, a Michigan Technological University lab has introduced a library of open-source, 3D-printable optics components…Joshua Pearce, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and electrical and computer engineering, explains: “This library operates as a free, flexible, low-cost tool set for developing both research and teaching optics hardware.” Pearce’s lab used OpenSCAD, an open-source computer-aided design software tool, to make the designs customizable. They can be printed on open-source RepRap 3D printers, and the electronics and controls are based on the open-source Arduino microcontroller environment. The study found cost reductions generally over 97 percent, with some components costing only 1 percent of the market price for optical products of similar function. “For example, commercial optical rail sells for around $380 per meter, and you can build an open alternative with printed parts for less than what you would pay in sales tax,” says Pearce. “And there is no sales tax, shipping costs or waiting for parts to come in stock or ship.”…to outfit an undergraduate teaching laboratory with 30 optics setups costs less than $500 using the open-source optics approach, compared to $15,000 for commercial versions…”
46.    DUO 3D sensor shows up on Kickstarter, claims that “anyone can build” it  http://www.slashgear.com/duo-3d-sensor-shows-up-on-kickstarter-claims-that-anyone-can-build-it-26275360/  “We’ve been hearing a lot about motion tracking as of late, the Leap Motion being the most popular device…However, a new mechanism is looking to gain some ground and has popped up on Kickstarter. The DUO 3D sensor claims to be the “world’s first and only DIY 3D sensing solution.” The DUO 3D sensor is open source, meaning that you can do anything with it that you please. It comes with open hardware plans, and you can get it in kit form where you assemble it or you can get fully assembled devices. The drivers and SDK are also open source, so there’s quite a bit that you can do with it right off the bat…”
47.    Open source hardware for ‘Smart Agriculture’ to deal with vagaries of weather  http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/smart-agriculture-to-overcome-vagaries-of-weather/article4567645.ece  “Small and marginal farmers…may soon be better equipped to tackle the vagaries of climate-dependent agriculture and market dynamics. Researchers at the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) and the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) have joined hands to develop a technology-assisted system to generate detailed information on soil and agro-climatic conditions. Named Smart Agriculture, the project seeks to utilise precision farming methods to improve crop output. The researchers are working on an IT-enabled system to provide real time data on soil and micro weather conditions…ICFOSS has developed the prototype of a solar-powered remote station for monitoring soil and atmospheric conditions. Working on Open Source hardware and software, it automatically uploads data…“Precision farming requires specific information on the state of the atmosphere and soil, in terms of parameters such as temperature, humidity, soil pH, rainfall, soil salinity, and wind vector (speed & direction). The data can be used to provide advisories for farmers depending on the type and age of crops they have planted…”
Open Source
48.    OpenShot Reaches Halfway In Kickstarter Campaign  http://www.thepowerbase.com/2013/03/openshot-reaches-halfway-in-kickstarter-campaign/  “…OpenShot, the leading (currently) open source video editing package for Linux has reached the halfway point in its Kickstarter campaign today.  OpenShot, which seeks 20k in funding to release upcoming versions of its software for Windows and Mac, has crossed the 10k threshold…with 22 days left to go in their campaign, it seems like they might cross the finish line early…why does a program that uses cross-platform libraries and written in C++ need 20k in order to exist on Windows and Mac?  Jonathon explains some of the challenges…Due to cross-platform compatibility issues, our timeline will need to be re-built, using a new, and much improved canvas.  Utilizing HTML5, JQuery, CSS, and WebKit, the new timeline out-performs previous versions of OpenShot by many magnitudes, and is much easier to “skin” and “theme”, due to the power of HTML and CSS…”
49.    Free & Open Source Rootkit and Malware Detection Tools  http://linuxaria.com/article/free-open-source-rootkit-and-malware-detection-tools?lang=en  “A lot of sniffers, rootkits, botnets, backdoor shells and malwares are still on the wild today, which are used by malicious attackers after successfully pawning a certain server or any live network in order to maintain their access, elevate their access privilege, and spy other users in a network. In order to protect our network or server from such intrusions and further damage, there are free and open source detection tools that can be deployed and used as part of our security strategy. They are mandatory when our server or network is up and running, especially if a certain user is downloading a file which could possibly be malicious or harmful…Here are some tools which could be of use to you guys…Chkrootkit…Rootkit Hunter…BotHunter…NeoPI…Ourmon…Grep…”
50.    LibreOffice adoption soaring, but OpenOffice still open source king  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/03/libreoffice-adoption-soaring-but-openoffice-still-open-source-king/  “More than two years after LibreOffice came into being, it's hard to call the open source office software anything but a success. There are possibly tens of millions of people who use it—or at least have it installed on their computers. But how close is LibreOffice to overtaking OpenOffice, the king of open source productivity suites? The short answer is that LibreOffice has a long way to go. OpenOffice (which descended from Sun's StarOffice) has existed as an open source project for more than a decade. Concerns about OpenOffice's future after the Oracle/Sun merger led a core group of OpenOffice contributors to create LibreOffice, which is based on the same original code base but is getting more frequent updates than OpenOffice…the makers of most major Linux-based operating systems…now ship LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice as the standard office suite…The numbers released by LibreOffice and OpenOffice aren't quite apples-to-apples, but they do suggest more interest in OpenOffice. OpenOffice 3.4 has been downloaded more than 40 million times since being released in May 2012. The 21 million figure of individual users of LibreOffice includes all the users racked up since LibreOffice became available in January 2011…It stands to reason that there is a bigger base of existing OpenOffice users than LibreOffice ones, both among individuals and corporations, thanks to its long history and name recognition inside and outside the open source community…OpenOffice's published download stats show that it often hits 160,000 or 170,000 new downloads a day. On a "bad" day, the number might drop to 120,000. Perhaps LibreOffice's figure of new downloads is higher than the 100,000 new IP addresses requesting updates each day, but we don't know based on the available data…Controversy over LibreOffice adoption figures arose last October when Rob Weir, an OpenOffice contributor and IBM architect who works on the Open Document Format, wrote the aforementioned series of blog posts questioning "LibreOffice's Dubious Claims."…Weir took the projects' total download numbers and calculated an average daily download rate of 29,460 for LibreOffice and 127,326 for OpenOffice…LibreOffice is enjoying much quicker adoption now. Weir's average was based on the total number of downloads of LibreOffice since January 2011, including the early days when LibreOffice was counting fewer than 10,000 new users a day…”
Civilian Aerospace
51.     Plan would make way for SpaceX rocket launches in Texas  http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_9b8bbda8-9a71-11e2-8be4-001a4bcf6878.html  “…House Bill 2623 was introduced by state Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville. It would permit the county and state to close beaches for rocket launches except on weekends and holidays…Oliveira introduced the bill should SpaceX, formally called Space Exploration Technologies, choose a site near Boca Chica beach to conduct rocket launches…Texas is one of four launch pad and control center sites being considered by SpaceX. Also under consideration are Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico…”
52.    Ambitious Startups Could Signal The Coming Of A Second Space Age  http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/31/ambitious-startups-could-signal-the-coming-of-a-second-space-age/  “…In the 40 or so years that Voyager has toured the outer fringes of the solar system, our focus on space has grown more limited, and in many ways it’s a new breed of space-based startups that are helping to spark imaginations the way NASA has done for decades…these days NASA can’t even maintain its public outreach programs thanks to recent budget cuts. That’s why the promise of privately operated space startups is so captivating…SpaceX founder Elon Musk famously noted that he hoped to establish a full-fledged colony on Mars, and at least one mildly kooky organization is looking to get people living and working on the Red Planet as soon as possible by way of a televised spectacle meant to raise funds and select the first batch of Martian astronauts…Planetary Resources has received backing from some serious names and aims to explore/hopefully mine nearby asteroids for precious materials with a fleet of specialized robots…Altius Space Machines took home the top at NewSpace 2011′s business plan contest for its vision of simplifying the process of wrangling out-of-control satellites and the like…SpaceGround Amalgam won that same prize a year later for its inflatable antenna concept — they fold up for easy storage during launch, and can inflate and harden once in orbit…Even the Startup Weekend guys are getting into it: the very first SW event dedicated solely to space is slated to kick off in late May with the goal of coaxing would-be space entrepreneurs into cooking up the next great space startup…”
53.    Guiana Spaceport Contract Renewed through 2017  http://www.spacenews.com/guiana-spaceport-contract-renewed-through-2017#.UVmOnxyk9lk  “The French and European space agencies on March 29 signed a five-year contract valued at 438 million euros ($570 million) giving the European Space Agency (ESA) access to the Guiana Space Center spaceport through 2017…Located near the equator and providing launch trajectories over the water for liftoffs to the north and east, the spaceport’s geographic location is viewed as ideal for launches of most types of satellites to geostationary, near-polar or other orbits because the rockets do not overfly populated territory…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
54.    Demand Surges for Supercomputers  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887323361804578388531030341090-lMyQjAxMTAzMDIwODEyNDgyWj.html  “Demand is suddenly surging for the largest scientific computers, driven by technology changes seen in two powerful systems unveiled this week. The supercomputers, installed in Illinois and Texas—each requiring about the space of a basketball court—use new combinations of semiconductor chips to tackle complex scientific problems in fields such as climate change, earthquake prediction and medicine. Other laboratories have been adopting their own hardware variants, underscoring new movement in a field that until recently was dominated by technology that evolved from personal computers [meaning GPU computing]…Business users—such as drug companies, auto makers and energy producers—also have increased purchases. Sales of supercomputers priced at $500,000 and higher jumped 29% last year to $5.6 billion, research firm IDC estimated. That contrasted with demand for general-purpose servers, which fell 1.9% to $51.3 billion…As supercomputers get more powerful, scientists can examine animated models of objects and phenomena with much greater detail than before…”
55.     Cray to do GPU Upgrade on XC30 System at Swiss National Supercomputing Centre  http://investors.cray.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=98390&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1797953&highlight=  “…Cray Inc…has signed a contract with the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) to upgrade and expand its Cray XC30 supercomputer. When the upgrade and expansion is completed, the Centre's Cray XC system…will be the first petascale supercomputer in Switzerland…Cray will upgrade Piz Daint to include NVIDIA® Tesla® K20X GPU accelerators. CSCS is the first customer to order a Cray XC supercomputer with NVIDIA GPUs…CSCS is…focused on ensuring the Swiss scientific and industrial communities have the supercomputing resources necessary to stay competitive on an international level…"With GPU acceleration integrated into Cray's latest generation supercomputer, the application performance and the energy efficiency of our simulations will improve significantly. We are very excited about the collaborative development of a truly general-purpose, hybrid multi-core system with Cray…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
56.    14 Startup and Technology Trends to Look for in 2013  http://tech.co/14-startup-technology-trends-to-look-for-in-2013-2012-12  “…To help your startup get a leg up in the new year, we’ve collected 14 trends to look for in 2013 from entrepreneurs across several diverse industries. 1) OPEN WORLD, OPEN COMPETITION…2) SOCIAL, LOCAL, MOBILE…3) CONTINUED MOMENTUM OF SOCIAL GOOD…4) MOBILE OR BUST…5) INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY…6) MATURATION OF THE SMARTTV…7) GIFT CARDS GO ELECTRONIC…8) INNOVATION IN DIRECT MARKETING…9) OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES…10) CONVERGENCE OF CONTENT, MARKETING, AND SALES…11) THE CLOUD GROWS…12) SOCIAL FOCUS OF ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS…13) STARTUP SUSTAINABILITY…14) PROLIFERATION OF LIFEHACKING…” 
57.     3 Technology Trends  Transforming Meetings  http://meetingsnet.com/tech-newstrends/3-technology-trends-are-transforming-meetings  “…when it comes to meetings technology, we’re in for “a really fun ride,” meetings technology expert Corbin Ball…told attendees at the…Conference Management Association…conference in January. “In these next few years, we’re going to see some amazing changes” driven by three technology trends….Wi-Fi Continues to be the Lifeblood of Event Communication. The demand for Wi-Fi will continue to grow exponentially and meeting facilities will need to adapt to retain business, said Ball. “[Wi-Fi] is a basic utility for running a meeting effectively.”…As businesses become Web-based, so does the business of planning meetings. New technologies have made it cheaper, faster, and easier to manage meetings using online applications. “What used to take a team of programmers weeks, months, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to do can now be accomplished by a gifted teenager over a weekend in his bedroom,” Ball said. The result is an explosion of apps…Every aspect of the meeting planning process can be assisted by Web-based technology, from registration to marketing, relationship-management, and travel…Virtual meetings technology has come along way in a short period of time and will continue to transform the industry…Hybrid meetings are hot right now, and we’ll see more of them as it becomes cheaper and easier to extend a face-to-face meeting to a greater audience…Planners are finding that hybrid meetings are not cannibalizing face-to-face events as many had feared, but in fact are increasing their exposure. Ball cited a recent Meeting Professionals International survey where two-thirds of respondents said that the hybrid meeting did not hurt attendance while about one-quarter said it increased attendance…”

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