2013/06/04

NEW NET Weekly List for 04 Jun 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 04 June 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.        Photo Editing Platform Aviary Has 50M Monthly Active Users  http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/28/aviary-50-mau-japan/  “Aviary, the photo editing platform that has become a developer darling through its straightforward ability to integrate into iOS, Android, Windows Phone and HTML5 apps, has crossed a major milestone…more than 50 million people used Aviary in the past month…that MAU figure represents 100 percent growth over the past six months…the Aviary platform has been used to edit more than 4 billion photos to date…For all the talk in recent years about photo sharing “fatigue” in the tech space, it’s clear that creating images and sharing them with other people is one of the activities that human beings gravitate towards throughout history….technologies that help us do that in a smart and intuitive way will never go out of style …”
2.       Google exec  sees Google Fiber as a 'moneymaker'  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57586894-93/google-exec-sees-google-fiber-as-a-moneymaker/  “…Google sees its Google Fiber broadband business as a moneymaker, and not just an overpriced test network. And it's very likely that the company will continue expanding the service into other cities willing to partner to keep costs down….Milo Medin, vice president of access services for Google, told an audience of city planners, engineers, and city mayors that Google is…building…an actual business that the company hopes will one day be profitable…Medin admitted that when the idea of Google Fiber project was first conceived, even Google didn't see it as a viable business…A team inside Google had decided to recommend to the FCC that a "gigabit bill" be introduced in Congress that would include suggestions for ways to build and fund new and faster broadband networks. "But then someone…said, 'If we really think this is important, why whine to the government, when we can do it ourselves …”
3.       Better Bing Maps? Google Loses Key Maps Engineering Director To Microsoft  http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/30/google-loses-key-maps-engineering-director-raj-shah-to-microsofts-online-services-division/  “Microsoft just made a key hire that could help it re-energize its online mapping services. Raj Shah, who was previously heading up Google’s worldwide maps operations as the Engineering Director for Maps, will join Microsoft’s Online Services Division where he will likely work on Bing Maps…while at Google Maps, Shah was responsible for the part of the operation that brought in mapping data from around the world and then integrated it into Maps…Shah spent the last three and a half years at Google “spearheading [the] creation of its Maps by first establishing a global infrastructure that encompasses all countries mapped by Google.”…he built much of this capacity from the ground up and then enhanced it by “adding richer features to make the maps highly differentiated in a crowded marketplace …”
4.       Wall Street Journal To Launch A LinkedIn Competitor  http://paidcontent.org/2013/05/31/the-wsj-and-bloomberg-are-launching-social-networks-good-luck-with-that/  “…Wall Street Journal…is working on a new social network called WSJ Profile that would allow its readers to “participate in the sharing economy.”…the Wall Street Journal publisher showed a mockup of a profile page for a social network that would connect readers of the newspaper and allow them to share personal messages, find other readers with similar interests and so on. The page includes sections for a short bio or “about me,” work experience, industry affiliations, awards …”
5.        LinkedIn Turns Its Contacts Section Into A Personal Assistant  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/25/linkedin-turns-its-contacts-section-into-a-personal-assistant-with-google-yahoo-evernote-outlook-apps-integration-and-a-standalone-iphone-app/  “…LinkedIn…is relaunching its Contacts section as a smart contact management system that will let users link up and integrate connections on LinkedIn with those from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft apps; Evernote; TripIt; your iPhone and more, and then serve as a “personal assistant” to help manage the interactions you make with them…Contacts is the first big product to come out of LinkedIn’s October 2011 acquisition of Connected, the smart contacts management platform it bought…The main idea behind it is to help LinkedIn become more of a platform for managing and interacting with people you know through work…We all face the same problems: we connect with people in different ways online…”
6.       Amazon plans major move into grocery business   http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-amazon-grocerybre95311q-20130604,0,4160942.story  “Amazon.com Inc is planning a major roll-out of an online grocery business that it has been quietly developing for years, targeting one of the largest retail sectors yet to be upended by e-commerce…The company has been testing AmazonFresh in its hometown of Seattle for at least five years, delivering fresh produce such as eggs, strawberries and meat with its own fleet of trucks. Amazon is now planning to expand its grocery business outside Seattle for the first time, starting with Los Angeles as early as this week and the San Francisco Bay Area later this year…If those new locations go well, the company may launch AmazonFresh in 20 other urban areas in 2014…”
7.        Yahoo Shuts Down Mail Classic  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/02/yahoo-shuts-down-mail-classic/  “Starting the week of June 3rd…Yahoo is discontinuing Mail Classic. It’s requiring all Mail users to switch to the new version of Mail and accept a TOS/Privacy Policy update that lets it scan emails to “deliver product features, relevant advertising, and abuse protection”. You can opt out of the ads, but if you don’t want to be scanned, you have to ditch Yahoo Mail…“Beginning the week of June 3, 2013, older versions of Yahoo! Mail (including Yahoo! Mail Classic) will no longer be available. After that, you can access your Yahoo! Mail only if you upgrade to the new version. When you upgrade, you will be accepting our Communications Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. This includes the acceptance of automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content.” Those who upgrade can opt out of contextual ads through Yahoo’s Ad Manager …”
8.       34M Users Strong, DIY Web Publishing Platform Wix Moves Toward IPO  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/04/now-27m-users-strong-diy-web-publishing-platform-wix-takes-its-first-step-toward-ipo/  “…While Tumblr, WordPress and others…make it easy for anyone and their mother to start their own blogs, Wix.com launched in 2006 to do the same for websites — to allow anyone to build their own Flash-enabled homepage or widget overnight…Wix…employs nearly 400 people in its offices in Tel Aviv, New York and San Francisco…and has a user base of more than 34 million who have created over 23 million websites (as of December)…The company had been steadily chugging along, adding functionality piece-by-piece until it launched its HTML5 builder in March of 2012, which allowed users to build sites that would “display across both PC and mobile browsers in a drag and drop format that co-founder Avishai Abrahami compared to ‘HTML5 for Dummies…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
9.       Judge orders Google to comply with FBI's secret NSL demands  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57587003-38/judge-orders-google-to-comply-with-fbis-secret-nsl-demands/  “A federal judge has ruled that Google must comply with the FBI's warrantless requests for confidential user data, despite the search company's arguments that the secret demands are illegal…U.S. District Judge Susan Illston…rejected Google's request to modify or throw out 19 so-called National Security Letters, a warrantless electronic data-gathering technique used by the FBI that does not need a judge's approval…The litigation taking place behind closed doors in Illston's courtroom -- a closed-to-the-public hearing was held on May 10 -- could set new ground rules curbing the FBI's warrantless access to information that Internet and other companies hold on behalf of their users. The FBI issued 192,499 of the demands from 2003 to 2006, and 97 percent of NSLs include a mandatory gag order…Illston all but invited Google to try again, stressing that the company has only raised broad arguments, not ones "specific to the 19 NSLs at issue…”
10.     Ransomware: protection, prevention and what to do in an attack  http://www.guardian.co.uk/media-network/media-network-blog/2013/may/31/ransomware-virus-protection-attack  “…Ransomware is not a new phenomenon. It first originated in Russia in 2005 and was called Winlock – a non-encrypted virus that successfully extorted over £10m before Russian authorities arrested 10 individuals in 2010. Of course this hasn't put a stop to the problem. With so much money to gain, cyber criminals have found new ways to spread the virus and to cash-in at the expense of victims…The latest attack is targeting German users. It's a hybrid ransomware / BKA trojan strain, which accuses users of being involved in the reproduction of pornographic material involving minors. The twist to the attack is that an image actually appears on the computer – put there by the malware…in America, the ransomware virus is impersonating the FBI, warning victims they need to pay for engaging in illegal online activity or risk being imprisoned. Referred to as the 'MoneyPak Ransom Virus', the malware locks down the computer and broadcasts a picture of the user. A pop-up screen appears saying the FBI has disabled the computer because the user has engaged in illegal activity. The interesting thing about this scam is that the victim can't use their own credit or debit cards to make the payment – instead, they must purchase a MoneyPak debit card and enter the card's information onto the computer. If the victim goes through the financial transaction, the computer is still locked and scammers walk away with $300 minus a paper trail…”
11.      Google Glass is just the beginning: Invisible cameras and the privacy headaches of tomorrow  http://www.zdnet.com/google-glass-is-just-the-beginning-invisible-cameras-and-the-privacy-headaches-of-tomorrow-7000016317/  “Wearable computing devices are heading for the mainstream but unless issues around privacy are tackled now, those problems are only going to get bigger as the devices themselves get smaller and less noticeable. Wearable tech, from activity trackers through to Google Glass and the much-rumoured Apple iWatch, is part of a new category of devices that allows users to measure and record their own behaviour and the world around them…as the next generation of wearable devices become less obtrusive, the privacy problems could get worse, not better. "The Google Glass conversation is about people with the glasses on and the camera is highly visible, but as these devices get embedded into textiles and have much smaller cameras and much less visible applications of the technology, it's going to create a whole raft of emergent issues…”
12.     President Obama Comes Out Strongly Against Patent Trolls  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130604/00412423310/president-obamas-comes-out-strongly-against-patent-trolls-here-are-details.shtml  “…President Obama is going to come out strongly against patent trolling, directing the USPTO and others to fix certain issues, while also asking Congress to pass further laws to deal with patent trolling. The President will flat out note that patent trolls represent a "drain on the American economy." The announcement will directly say that "patent trolls" (yes, they use the phrase) are a problem, while also talking about the problem of patent thickets like the infamous "smartphone wars."  The plan is scheduled to be released later today, but we've got a preview of the specific plan, and let's take a look at each of the suggestions quickly…”  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/04/fact-sheet-white-house-task-force-high-tech-patent-issues
Mobile Computing & Communicating
13.     Wearable technology emerging as major technology cycle  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/29/us-computers-wearables-marymeeker-idUSBRE94S16N20130529  “Wearable computing is emerging as the type of significant technology shift that will drive innovation in the way personal computing did in the 1980s or mobile computing and tablets are doing currently, said…Mary Meeker…she said wearables were coming on stronger and faster than is typical. The change is noteworthy because major technology cycles often support tenfold growth in users and devices…Many of the 150 times or so per day that users interact with their phones - to look for messages, make calls, check the time, and the like - could be hands-free with wearable technology…"Some people laugh at wearables..." read one slide featuring an image from the TV show "Saturday Night Live" that mocked Google glass, a wearable technology…she brought up the next slide, reading "Some people laughed at PC & Internet." The slide showed a 1999 Barron's cover trumpeting the headline "Amazon.Bomb."…Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo picked up the theme, telling conference goers that it was clear wearable technology would play a large role in the future…”
14.     Samsung launches Galaxy S4 Mini  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22715713  “Samsung has launched the Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller and cheaper version of its flagship smartphone. The device has a 4.3in (10.9cm) screen, which is slightly bigger than its predecessor, the S3 Mini…The 5in (12.5cm) S4 phone launched in April, and…has sold more than 10 million units. The mini version, the specifications of which were leaked online earlier this week, will need to convince consumers that it is not simply an underpowered phone sold with the help of Samsung's "premium" Galaxy brand…The S4 Mini has an eight-megapixel camera on its rear, compared with the S4's 13 megapixels. The Mini's 1.7GHz dual core processor is also less powerful than the quad-core chip found in the larger model…”
15.     Keyboard Maker MessagEase: Mobile Devices Morph Into Wearables  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/02/messagease/  “The touchscreen text input space could be heading for some serious disruption. If Apple drops its API guard a little more to allow developers to create system global keyboards that could open the floodgates to real keyboard innovation on iOS…That limitation does not exist on Android, of course, where developers are free to replace the system keyboard with their own software. But the barrier to entry here — and generally – remains how accustomed people are to Qwerty layouts…Little wonder that the likes of Swype have done well by disrupting the input method but leaving Qwerty order as it is…Yet there are signs those changes could be coming. Wearable technology is waiting in the wings to put new demands on text input technology…it’s pretty clear there’s going to be pressure for keyboards to evolve, for layouts to get a lot more flexible to keep pace and fit the new places we want to put devices…Meet MessagEase: an alternative keyboard that uses a mixture of taps and gestures combined with a radically different keyboard layout designed to speed up text input by minimising the movements typists have to make to reach the keys. MessagEase’s method compacts the keyboard space required into a small square — which could easily fit on a wrist watch, say, or even enable a Glass wearer to type in the air with minimal finger movements…”
16.     E Ink Promotes 1.7” Display For Wearable Market  http://allthingsd.com/20130603/e-ink-hopes-new-display-will-help-it-nab-share-of-wearable-market-everyone-is-talking-about/  “…display maker E Ink is trying to think small. The company, best known for making the display used on the Kindle and other e-readers, has been trying to find a range of new markets for its screens as the large-screen market shifts increasingly to full color products such as the Kindle Fire and Nook HD…with all the talk around wearables, the Taiwanese company wants to make sure it has a spot on the wrist of the future…the company detailed a new 1.73-inch display aimed specifically at this market. The first product with the display is the Sonostar Smartwatch…The new E Ink display features a 320-by-240-pixel resolution, with 16 grayscale levels…”
17.     Toshiba intros three Android tablets, two with Tegra 4 and a 2,560 x 1,600 screen  http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/03/toshiba-excite-pure-excite-pro-excite-write/  “…Toshiba…is completely scrapping its tablet lineup and replacing it with three new models. These include the Excite Pure, Excite Pro and Excite Write, and while they share the same plastic design, 10-inch form factor, ports and Android 4.2 OS, they each offer something a little different on the inside. Starting with the Pure, it's a $300 tablet running with last year's specs -- namely, a Tegra 3 SoC, a 1,280 x 800 screen with Gorilla Glass 1 and no rear camera. Storage is capped at 16GB, but since all of these have a microSD slot, 16GB or 32GB isn't really a hard limit. Moving up the line, the Excite Pro steps up to a Tegra 4 chip, 32GB of storage, an 8MP rear camera, Harman Kardon sound and a 2,560 x 1,600, 300-ppi Gorilla Glass 2 screen to match the Nexus 10…the Excite Write is exactly what it sounds like: a tablet with pen support. Specifically, it has a Wacom digitizer with support for 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity…Toshiba is…pre-loading its own TruNote and TruCapture apps to assist with note-taking…”
18.     Google Edition phones could jumpstart an Android ROM renaissance  http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/157389-google-edition-phones-could-jumpstart-an-android-rom-renaissance  “A few months ago no one would have expected Google, HTC, and Samsung would get together to sell a line of “Google Experience” smartphones direct to consumers, but that’s exactly what’s happening. Freed of all the carrier bloatware and OEM skins, the pure Nexus-like HTC One and Galaxy S4 are sure to be fabulous experiences. But more than that — this changes the way Android works and could jumpstart a new renaissance in ROM development. Among the complaints Android users have had over the years, none is as constant or universal as the OEM customization of Android…most users are left in the lurch while a comparatively small number live in the Nexus ecosystem with Google catering to them…With Samsung and HTC — arguably the two most important OEMs — offering up their flagship phones for the Google treatment, this could become standard practice. Google editions of important phones could be released as a matter of course…The Google Experience Galaxy S4 and HTC One will have professionally tuned builds of Android with the right drivers and software libraries to make everything work — just the thing on which to base a ROM…A number of hardware features will be disabled on both devices because stock Android doesn’t support them…these devices aren’t locked down, so all of their secrets are up for grabs…”
Apps
19.     Smartphone app to use mobile camera to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria and viruses  http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/smartphone-app-to-use-mobile-camera-to-detect-toxins-proteins-bacteria-and-viruses-371833  “Researchers have developed a new smartphone app that uses the mobile's built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules. The app and cradle system for smartphones has sensitive biosensing capabilities that could enable on-the-spot tracking of groundwater contamination and combine the phone's GPS data with biosensing data to map the spread of pathogens…At the heart of the biosensor is a photonic crystal. A photonic crystal is like a mirror that only reflects one wavelength of light while the rest of the spectrum passes through. When anything biological attaches to the photonic crystal - such as protein, cells, pathogens or DNA - the reflected colour will shift from a shorter wavelength to a longer wavelength. For the handheld biosensor, a normal microscope slide is coated with the photonic material. The slide is primed to react to a specific target molecule. The photonic crystal slide is inserted into a slot on the cradle and the spectrum measured…”
20.    Sunrise raises $2.2 million to keep building the ultimate calendar app  http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/4/4391330/sunrise-calendar-app-funding  “Calendars are boring, a static list of events on a grid with no brains of its own. Until recently, it wasn't even possible to reliably sync events to an iPhone, so how could we expect a next generation of intelligent calendar features? Google came along and made it simple to share calendars with colleagues, and Facebook let you invite friends to events, but it doesn't all work together. It’s up to you to subscribe to the URL bearing your Facebook events inside Google Calendar, or download the .ics calendar files…To Sunrise calendar co-founder Pierre Valade, a jumble of dates and times from a dozen different services should add up to something more. Sunrise…has raised $2.2 million to build a smarter calendar, from letting you text a friend straight from an event page to giving you one-tap access to dialing a cab. Valade says that the calendar, like the email inbox, should be where some actual productive actions begins, not just a place you go to see what’s on the docket for today…”
21.     Google's app store downloads could surpass Apple's by June  http://www.zdnet.com/googles-app-store-downloads-could-surpass-apples-by-june-7000016257/  “The 900 million-strong army of Android devices that have been activated to date are likely to propel Google Play into pole position among mobile app stores by June…Google announced in May it had reached 48 billion downloads off the back of a month that saw Android users download around 2.5 billion apps. Google had approximately 700,000 apps available in June…The day before, Apple announced that since opening its App Store in 2008, iOS owners had downloaded 50 billion apps — excluding re-downloads and updates — and were doing so at a rate of two billion apps per month. Apple has around 850,000 iPhone apps…Given the two store's rates, Dediu told ZDNet it was "very likely" that Google Play downloads will surpass the App Store in June…”
22.    Free apps for apartment hunting  http://www.techhive.com/article/2038747/home-sweet-home-free-apps-for-apartment-hunting.html  “Having recently been through the particular brand of torture that is apartment hunting in San Francisco, I was so very relieved to discover that other, smarter options exist beyond that tired old go-to, Craigslist. I will always love Craigslist for everything it has done for me, and the addition of a map view and photos in the search results list has only made the site even more useful. But I could do without all the gray hairs that incessant searches and countless lists of semi-complete listings have earned me. The next time I uproot myself, I will turn to one (or more) of these handy apps built to aid the savvy apartment hunter…Now, if only there was an app to simplify the application process…HotPads…Lovely…Trulia Rentals…Zillow Rentals…Rent.com…”
SkyNet
23.    Google aims to ease email overload with new Gmail sorting tabs  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57586334-93/new-gmail-look-blings-up-your-inbox-with-tabs/  “Google…unveiled on Wednesday the new look and automatic labels for Gmail on the Web, as well as in Gmail's Android and iOS apps. The new default categories, based on Gmail's existing Label system, are Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. They appear as large tabs on the Gmail site, easy to use for touch screens and fully customizable. You can also drag-and-drop messages between them, and Google will automatically "learn" how you want them filtered. It's not quite the "Card"-ification of Gmail, as Google has gone to great lengths to make as many of its services as possible take their visual cues from the popular "Card" layout of Google Now. However, it's definitely more touch-friendly and designed to make it easier to organize e-mail…”
24.    New Google Maps UI Calls For Shifts In SEO Tactics  http://searchengineland.com/new-google-maps-ui-calls-for-shifts-in-seo-tactics-159534  “…at the Google I/O developer conference, a newly redesigned Google Maps design was introduced. While a number of online commentators have virtually gushed about the new interfacing from an end user perspective, there may be a less-than-rosy view for many local businesses…Here are a few takeaways based upon this analysis…For all local businesses, rankings are becoming even more important! Familiarize yourself with how to rank in Google Maps, and consider whether you need to step up your game to compete more effectively in this arena…Focus on ways to get more positive reviews, since this could increase your chances of ranking in the new interface when users opt to filter by reviews, even if you’ve been ranking lower than your competitors up until now…Make sure you include photos with your Google listing — you can do this through the Google Places dashboard (it allows up to 10). Add pics into your Google+ Local page as well…Even though Google+ is still not heavily populated with consumers, you should still attempt to engage with it some to position yourself well…”
25.    Google Will Soon Launch Google Web Designer  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/04/google-will-soon-launch-google-web-designer-a-free-html5-development-tool-for-creating-web-apps-sites-and-ads/  “Google will soon launch Google Web Designer, an HTML5 development tool for “creative professionals.” The service, Google says, will launch within “the coming months” and is meant to “empower creative professionals to create cutting-edge advertising as well as engaging web content like sites and applications – for free.”…This description obviously doesn’t give us much to go on, but Google notes that the tool will be integrated with DoubleClick Studio and AdMob. Google is clearly going after the “native” ads market, as well (think online brand experiences and sponsored stories), so the connection between Web Designer and DoubleClick makes sense. But it sounds like this tool will be quite a bit more capable and will go quite a bit beyond ads, though Google told me that it’s focus will be on creative advertising…”
26.    Scholars owe new Dead Sea Scrolls reading to Google  http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2013/06/new-examination-of-dead-sea-scroll-fragment-using-a-high-powered-google-scan-may-have-solveded-an-an-ancient-mystery-234.html  “…For the past 2,000 years scholars have been puzzled by the biblical curse on Ham, Noah's son…the curse is problematic for several reasons, including because it is stated as applying to Ham's son Cana'an – not to Ham…Many scholars have long believed that parts of that story was lost or excluded…Now scholars have discovered an answer to the problem of the curse of Ham in a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The fragment is from cave 4, and it was scanned by Google as part of their ongoing project…with a special high definition camera that allows scholars to see writing that is too faded for the naked eye to see – some so faded that even normal magnification devices can't detect it…Canaan invaded a land that was not his, and that was the reason his descendants were exiled, not because of his father’s sin…the Apocryphal Book of Jubilees…also states that Canaan’s sin was in taking the land in a manner different than the way Noah had intended to divide it, ignoring his brothers’ warning not to do so…In other words, the story is really meant to explain how the land meant for Shem's descendants got into the wrong hands, and to provide justification for pushing Cana'an's descendants out…”
27.    Using Google Authorship to build brand, credibility and SEO  http://www.accountingtoday.com/acto_blog/google-authorship-search-engine-optimization-seo-hugh-duffy-brand-66899-1.html  “…Google Authorship is helping small- to mid-size business owners improve SEO, develop a personal brand tied to their business, improve click-throughs, and increase lead generation from the Internet…It is directly tied to your Google+ account…Essentially, Google+ is another social networking tool, part LinkedIn, part Facebook and part Twitter. Even though you might think you do not need another social media application to keep up with, Google+ has unique advantages. The more people you tie to your Google+ account, the stronger your brand reach will be. A Google+ account is based on your Google profile. According to Google, the purpose of the profile is to help shape what you see when you search your own name…Firms that have taken the steps to tie their Google Authorship (via their Google+ profile) to their website get higher click-through rates and increase exposure to more of their content…”
28.    Google 'bans' facial recognition on Google Glass - but developers persist  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/03/google-glass-facial-recognition-ban  “Google will not allow apps that implement facial recognition on its Google Glass product…citing privacy concerns…Developers have pointed out though that it is possible to load apps - which Google calls "Glassware" - onto the wearable system without needing Google's permission. Those could then communicate with any of a growing number of services which say they can connect a name with a face once given a photo. Equally, users could simply upload still pictures to other online services which would provide the facial recognition service…The developers behind Lambda Labs, which offers a paid-for facial recognition service, tweeted: "Don't worry, we think it's a core feature. Google will allow it or be replaced with something that does." Being able to recognise faces has looked to a number of observers like an ideal application for Glass, because the device can "see" what the user is looking at, and display data such as a name in a small screen at the top right of the visual field which is invisible to outside observers…”
General Technology
29.    Microsoft Gives In To The Old Guard, Adds Start Button (sort of) And Boot To Desktop  http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/30/windows-8-1-to-get-start-button-boot-to-desktop-option/  “Windows 8.1, which will be available for download in a preview version on June 26, will feature the good old Start button in desktop mode. Users who dislike the new Modern UI/Metro interface will also be able to boot right to the desktop…The reality is that most Windows PCs don’t have touchscreens. Leblond especially stresses that this is true for commercial settings…a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to us that you will have the option to boot directly into the desktop, too, without having to go through the fullscreen Start menu first. You will also be able to boot into the Modern UI, but with the Apps list view open as the default…”
30.    Seagate Laptop Ultrathin HDD brings big storage to tight spaces  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2040740/review-seagate-laptop-ultrathin-hdd-brings-big-storage-to-tight-spaces.html  “While it's easy to make a thin SSD for low-profile laptops and other mobile computing devices, NAND memory isn't cheap. Designers are constantly faced with a choice between capacity and affordability. While 2.5-inch hard drives are about one-fifth the cost of SSDs,their 7- or 9mm profiles rendered them difficult to implement in ultraportables and other smaller laptops. That's why the Seagate Laptop Ultrathin HDD is big… err small news. At 3.3 ounces and just 5mm thick, it provides 500GB of relatively cheap storage ($89 retail) that eases the price/capacity design conundrum.The drive has a SATA 6Gbs interface, but its platter spins at only 5400 rpm, so you shouldn't expect extremely high performance…”
31.     Why wealthy tech entrepreneurs are pouring their money into water  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2013/may/29/tech-entrepreneurs-charity-water-ethiopia-huddle  “…I recently spent a full week with members of the charity: water team and a group of founders from well-known technology startup companies…charity: water has become the cause du jour for Silicon Valley's digirati. For the uninitiated, charity: water is a US-based non-profit organisation whose goal is to provide clean, safe water to the 800 million people who currently go without. To date they've funded more than 8,000 projects across 20 countries, bringing water to more than 3 million people….Harrison…claims "spiritual bankruptcy"…led him to Liberia in 2006 where he volunteered as a photojournalist aboard a hospital ship. Much of the sickness he witnessed was caused by drinking dirty water – sicknesses easily avoided through the provision of simple wells. Upon returning to the US he…sponsored his first water projects. Since then, a huge percentage of all money raised has come from the technology community…Harrison is a talented story teller who expertly uses graphic design, professional photography and video to drive his message home. In charity: water he has created a compelling, modern and attractive brand that today's design-obsessed technology entrepreneurs identify with…”
32.    How to Get a Job  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/opinion/friedman-how-to-get-a-job.html?_r=0  “…there’s been an important shift in the education-to-work model in America…since jobs are evolving so quickly, with so many new tools, a bachelor’s degree is no longer considered an adequate proxy by employers for your ability to do a particular job — and, therefore, be hired. So, more employers are designing their own tests to measure applicants’ skills…They just want to know one thing: Can you add value? One of the best ways to understand the changing labor market is to talk to the co-founders of HireArt (www.hireart.com): Eleonora Sharef, 27, a veteran of McKinsey; and Nick Sedlet, 28, a math whiz who left Goldman Sachs. Their start-up was designed to bridge the divide between job-seekers and job-creators. “The market is broken on both sides,” explained Sharef. “Many applicants don’t have the skills that employers are seeking, and don’t know how to get them. But employers also ... have unrealistic expectations.” They’re all “looking for purple unicorns: the perfect match. They don’t want to train you, and they expect you to be overqualified.” In the new economy, “you have to prove yourself…The way HireArt works, explained Sharef (who was my daughter’s college roommate), is that clients — from big companies, like Cisco, Safeway and Airbnb, to small family firms — come with a job description and then HireArt designs online written and video tests relevant for that job. Then HireArt culls through the results and offers up the most promising applicants to the company, which chooses among them…”
33.    Elevated carbon dioxide making arid regions greener  http://phys.org/news/2013-05-elevated-carbon-dioxide-arid-regions.html  “…a study of arid regions around the globe finds that a carbon dioxide "fertilization effect" has, indeed, caused a gradual greening from 1982 to 2010. Focusing on the southwestern corner of North America, Australia's outback, the Middle East, and some parts of Africa, Randall Donohue of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Canberra, Australia and his colleagues developed and applied a mathematical model to predict the extent of the carbon-dioxide (CO2) fertilization effect…The team's model predicted that foliage would increase by some 5 to 10 percent given the 14 percent increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration during the study period. The satellite data agreed, showing an 11 percent increase in foliage after adjusting the data for precipitation…The team looked for signs of CO2 fertilization in arid areas, Donohue said, because "satellites are very good at detecting changes in total leaf cover, and it is in warm, dry environments that the CO2 effect is expected to most influence leaf cover." Leaf cover is the clue…because "a leaf can extract more carbon from the air during photosynthesis, or lose less water to the air during photosynthesis, or both, due to elevated CO2." That is the CO2 fertilization effect…”
34.    Chef in a Box  http://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/gadgets/chef-in-a-box  “…Touch-screen drink machines, for example, use a set of flavor cartridges to create more than a hundred soft drink combinations, be it Raspberry Coke or Peach Sprite Zero. The Let’s ­Pizza machine kneads the dough, spreads it with sauce, cheese, and your choice of toppings, and then bakes it under infrared lamps—all in less than 3 minutes. And ­MooBella’s Ice Creamery takes a mere 40 seconds to ­create a custom-blended dish of ice cream, with nearly 100 combinations of flavors and mix-ins…They represent the beginning of what will eventually be a revolutionary shift in the way food is prepared. In this new food future, we predict, meals will be prepared not by human hands but by a “food ­compositor”: a machine that creates healthy, delectable, and affordable dishes from a set of basic ingredients and flavors at the push of a button. Imagine sitting down to a dinner worthy of a three-star Michelin restaurant for about what you’d pay today for a McDonald’s Happy Meal. And that meal will be catered to your specific tastes and health needs, with virtually no effort at all…unless you grow everything and prepare everything yourself, you’re already eating plenty of push-button food. A bread machine or coffeemaker is just a simple kitchen robot. That gourmet frozen lasagna you heated up for lunch…likely rolled off an automated assembly line…A food compositor will likely work very much like today’s inkjet printers and 3-D printers…A food compositor would begin with a digital “recipe” in which each ingredient has been broken down into tiny ­edible elements—let’s call them “morxels.” To “print” a food, the compositor would mix and match morxels from a number of cartridges, each containing a basic building block for flavor or texture. As the food compositor prints each morxel, it could also season, dye, hydrate, and cook it with a heated element or the zap of a laser. As with prototypes created by 3-D printers, the shapes of composited dishes could be fancifully complex. And as with inkjet photos, the color of the food could span the hues of the rainbow…Flavor scientists have identified five basic categories of tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (meatiness or savory). But you can’t simply re-create a flavor by combining essences of these taste dimensions. Rather, the early generations of food compositors will rely on a basic set of carbohydrate and protein cartridges, plus some dried and powdered flavors…”  http://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/gadgets/adventures-in-printing-food
Leisure & Entertainment
35.    Tetris Blitz: classic game arrives on smartphones, tablets  http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/05/30/tetris-blitz-smartphones-tablets/2372949/  “Alexey Pajitnov's Tetris has both delighted and frustrated puzzle fans around the world for nearly 30 years – and a new version for mobile devices now offers a new twist on the classic gameplay. Called Tetris Blitz,the iOS and Android game gives you two minutes to rack up as many points as possible…Tetris Blitz succeeds in delivering an enjoyable and challenging digital diversion while on-the-go, but be aware it's not quite the same game as the original, and while it's free there are many in-app purchases to get the most of it…With Tetris Blitz…you do not rotate the puzzle pieces at all – but rather, you're tapping where the puzzle pieces should go on the boar…”
36.    Online Publisher Lulu Angles For The Next Wave Of Self-Publishing With Picture.com  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/02/online-publisher-lulu-angles-for-the-next-wave-of-self-publishing-with-picture-com/  “…Lulu is one of the oldest self-publishing houses on the Internet. Initially the company offered printing services and editing tools for self-published authors…This month the company launched a new photo book printing division, a move that runs parallel to the way the market is going. While most fiction and non-fiction is ending up on reading devices, folks still love a good album. The service, available at Picture.com allows for instant photobook generation and the printed end products are handsomely bound books, calendars, and even business class brochures and marketing collateral…We’ll help you publish to your website, or your organization’s website, or any content marketplace you deem worthwhile, not just on our tablet or on our website…”
37.    Amazon moving ahead with five original TV series  http://news.yahoo.com/amazon-moving-ahead-five-original-tv-series-130657621.html  “Amazon.com…will make five original TV series, having used viewer feedback to pick the shows from a group of 14 pilots filmed by the world's largest Internet retailer earlier this year. The chosen series are: "Alpha House", a political comedy starring John Goodman; "Betas", a comedy about start-up culture in Silicon Valley; "Annebots", a kids' show about robots; "Creative Galaxy", an animated art adventure series; and "Tumbleaf", another kids' show about a small blue fox named Fig. These are the first TV series ever made by Amazon and represent a major foray into original programming delivered over the Internet, stepping up competition with Netflix Inc and Hulu…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
38.    From Amazon Prime To Amazon Pronto, The Future Of Physical Delivery  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/02/iterations-amazon-prime-to-amazon-pronto/  “Membership has its privileges.” A slogan made famous by American Express today also applies to an online membership many, many people happily keep: Amazon Prime. Ever since committing to Prime — and this is anecdotal — but our household trips to Target steadily decreased, and in 2013, outside of one trip to replace a defective item in a pinch, I haven’t shopped for household goods in any mega-store…Amazon, of course, offers next-day shipping, so they’ve compressed the 48 hours to 24. This is where Amazon will fight one of their many future battles…Here’s how I suspect Amazon to carve up these first critical 24 hours of delivery…Delivery By The Hour: Like many SF-based startups are offering now, Amazon will likely follow suit. Order something from them and need it in an hour, or within two hours, or within four hours, or by the end of the day? Amazon will probably segment each delivery window and append a price for that convenience…Delivery At Fixed Locations: This is all about Amazon Lockers…Lockers turn into Amazon-specific post-office boxes…Retail Warehouses…I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon follows through on the rumors to open Costco-like experience stores in select locations…Aerial Delivery…my little deck outside…is a perfect landing spot for a modest drone aircraft to periodically land and drop-off the only item on Amazon that I actually “subscribe” to…I actually expect this to be in Amazon’s future…”
39.    Demand for Social Tools Sparks Bring-Your-Own-Service Trend  http://www.eweek.com/cloud/microsoft-demand-for-social-tools-sparks-bring-your-own-service-trend/  “Demand is growing for enterprise social solutions, according to a new…report from research firm Ipsos, which surveyed more than 9,900 information workers in 32 countries…Forty percent said such tools would help improve teamwork…34 percent said that their organizations' management underestimates the value of social-enabled software at work…Thirty-seven percent said that they could perform their jobs better if management backed the use of social tools…Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that they know of co-workers who have gone against policy and installed social software or apps on their PCs or work handsets…the burgeoning social enterprise scene is exhibiting some parallels to—and overlap with—the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon that is redefining workplace IT…"Employees are already bringing their own devices into their workplaces, but now they are increasingly bringing their own services, as well. Employees expect to work differently, with tools that feel more modern and connected, but are also reflective of how they interact in their personal lives…”
40.    Bijoy Goswami Doesn’t Want Austin To Be The Next Silicon Valley  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/02/bijoy-goswami-doesnt-want-austin-to-be-the-next-silicon-valley/  “Bijoy Goswami is a fascinating man…But even though he went to Stanford, The Human Fabric author doesn’t want Austin to become the next Silicon Valley. He explained that the DNA of Silicon Valley (and all of California, actually) comes from this notion of becoming an overnight success…“Silicon Valley is the product of the Gold Rush. In 1849, people came with nothing and if they struck gold they’d become a millionaire. The formation of California started with this, and the whole of the state began to believe in the idea of overnight success,”…Austin entrepreneurialism is quite different, and comes from a place of authenticity and passion. “In Austin…the startup culture…is derived from a personal journey, and from where they’re passion comes from. They don’t care if they’ll be big or small, but they care about being authentic and giving their passion to the world.” Goswami went on to say that Austinites don’t build the tools, but use them…”
41.     Why IBM desperately needed to buy SoftLayer  http://gigaom.com/2013/06/04/why-ibm-desperately-needed-to-buy-softlayer/  “IBM’s acquisition of SoftLayer is a bid to make the IT giant relevant in a world where Amazon Web Services has come in from left field to snarf up workloads that IBM would very much like to own…Increasingly, IBM is not just competing with age-old hardware and software rivals like Oracle and HP, but  also with Amazon. Going forward, IBM will butt heads more with Google and Microsoft, which have staked big claims in public cloud infrastructure…IBM can sell SmartCloud to its existing…customer base of Fortune 500 companies, but if it wants to be relevant at all to newer, nimbler and more innovative customer accounts, it needed to do something…IBM says its current SmartCloud business — without SoftLayer — was expected to generate $7 billion in revenue in 18 months. Not too shabby on the surface, but I would bet that number derives from a melange of IBM hardware, software and services that others might not really consider “cloud” at all. Softlayer is privately held…reporting total sales of about $335 million for its 2011 …”
42.    Intel Capital creates $100M fund to invest in perceptual computing  http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/04/intel-capital-creates-100m-fund-to-invest-in-perceptual-computing/  “Intel Capital has created a $100 million fund to finance perceptual computing projects, or those that use more senses to interact with computing devices. Perceptual computing includes gesture recognition using 3D depth cameras, which send signals into a room and measure the time it takes to bounce back in order to map the room’s 3D space. Intel Capital is making a strategic investment so that the PC can thrive. Intel’s venture capital arm typically funds next-generation technologies so that it can keep pumping up demand for its computer chips. Perceptual computing includes eye-tracking, voice recognition, face recognition, and gesture controls. The hope is that it will reinvigorate demand for PCs, which has been sagging as tablets take off…”
43.    Scripted Gets $4.5M To Build Out Its Online Marketplace For Freelance Writers  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/04/scripted-funding-redpoint-crosslink/  “Freelance writing doesn’t always have the reputation for being a hugely lucrative endeavor…Scripted, the San Francisco startup that runs an online marketplace to connect freelance writers with companies who need written content, has raised $4.5 million…the new funding will help the company scale its reach to bring more writers onto its platform. Another focus is to hone Scripted’s software for surfacing relevant content that companies may be interested in purchasing, and its technology for helping writers pitch new topic ideas…Scripted currently has 80,000 vetted, United States-based writers on its platform writing content for some 1,000 paying customers. Scripted sells content at flat rates, and takes varying percentages in terms of commission based on the piece…”
44.    Kansas City event hopes to inspire teen innovation  http://www.siliconprairienews.com/2013/06/new-kansas-city-event-hopes-to-inspire-teen-innovation  “…William Robison's children had begun to ask questions about owning their own business someday. "As a business owner for as long as they can remember, they have only witnessed this side of the world," he said. "As they mature, I challenge them to explore opportunities of their own." But Robison didn't see many entrepreneurially-minded events geared toward teenagers. So he brought the idea to Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's Nate Olson and offered to organize an event for aspiring teenagers himself. The result is Kansas City's first Teen Idea Labs, scheduled for June 12…In collaboration with the Kansas City entrepreneurial community, the one-day event will be filled with mini-seminars to help engage students and inspire young people to "develop innovation for tomorrow…”
Design / DEMO
45.    Ubiquita Supports Senior Design Competition  http://www.lasvegassun.com/community/press-releases/2502/  “Ubiquita, Inc. a voice and IT services provider and proponent of supporting innovation, is giving back to the community with the sponsorship of the 12TH Anniversary of Fred and Harriet Cox Senior Design Competition at UNLV…The 2013 Spring Senior Design Competition is the culminating project for undergraduate engineering students at UNLV…more than 30 teams created a variety of technologically innovative projects, ranging from a high-tech blanket that emits cool temperatures, a shelving system that will help wheelchair-bound people reach high kitchen shelves, to a machine that automatically rolls silverware into napkins. The competition introduces students to the spirit of entrepreneurship and the benefits of commercial application. “The Senior Design Competition plays a critical role in assisting students prepare for their career and we are proud to support their work as they become Nevada’s future technology leaders
46.    Weird wearable technology  http://www.zdnet.com/weird-wearable-technology-7000016212/  “Ping is a social networking garment which connects the wearer to their social media accounts -- including Facebook -- wirelessly. By performing natural gestures, whether lifting the hood, bending or swinging your arms and moving the zip, you are able to 'ping' back your friends when they send you a comment, like or message. The wearer can use an app on their smartphone in order to customize messages sent by sensors that track when you move your clothing. Messages can be assigned to particular groups of friends, can change depending on where you are, who you're talking to…”
DHMN Technology
47.    OHM2013. Observe, Hack, Make. A five day outdoor international camping festival  https://ohm2013.org/site/  “…A five day outdoor international camping festival for hackers and makers, and those with an inquisitive mind. On 31st July 2013, 3000 of those minds will descend upon on an unassuming patch of land…30km north of Amsterdam…It is a four year tradition in The Netherlands to hold such an event. In the spirit of WTH, HIP and HAR the latest edition, OHM2013, is a non-commercial community run event. The event happens thanks to the volunteers, all 3000 of them. They will run the network, help people around the site, give talks, hold workshops…The target audience includes free-thinkers, philosophers, activists, geeks, scientists, artists, creative minds…”
48.    The Buccaneer: A 3D Printer that Everyone can use!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pirate3d/the-buccaneer-the-3d-printer-that-everyone-can-use  “…We at Pirate3D are creating a full 3D printing solution for home consumers. We want this technology to be freely available to everyone (at great and affordable prices!) and also easy to use…Our long term mission is to be innovative at every level of 3D printing, from object design all the way to printing…The Buccaneer is built to be as easily set up as possible. You do not need to mess around with raw spools of plastic lying around on your table because it is now integrated into the machine via cartridges. There are no unnecessary wires or parts that get in the way and every Buccaneer is fully set up and ready to go in minutes…”
49.    The New “Handmade” (Part Three)  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/01/the-new-handmade-part-three/  “…When Mixee Labs co-founder Nancy Liang was little, she dreamed of making herself into an action figure. “I had this notion that if you could become an action figure or become a toy, you’ve made it in the world,”…her ongoing interest in technology and design led her to a job as the materials lead at Shapeways, a company that could help her make those childhood fantasies come true…she hung around the Shapeways booth at Maker Faire until the CEO showed up, then handed him her resume and talked her way into a job…But when later trying her own hand at 3D object creation, Liang ran into a hurdle. “I started to learn how to 3D model and — lo and behold! — it’s not as easy as you think it is,” she says with a laugh. “I spent five hours at my computer trying to make this action figure that looked nothing like me,”…Liang still believes in the potential that 3D printing brings to the hobby crafting market. But she also saw that there was a hole that needed to be filled to make that happen. The gap lies between the accessible printing technology and the software needed to translate ideas into computer-understandable designs…The company’s goal is to make it easier for everyone to make something and then have it printed in 3D format…”
50.    10 Incredible Things You Can Make With 3D Printers  http://www.manmonthly.com.au/features/10-incredible-things-you-can-make-with-3d-printers  “…Here are ten ways people are using 3D printers for something functional—and sometimes changing the world in the process…10. Clothing…9. Guitars…8. Houses…7. Camera Lenses…6. Food…5. Art…4. Prosthetics…3. Body Parts…2. Robots…1. 3D Printers…”
Open Source Hardware
51.     Open hardware effects pedal on Kickstarter  http://boingboing.net/2013/05/30/open-hardware-effects-pedal-on.html  “…Rebel Technology launches a Kickstarter to fund the OWL reprogrammable effects pedal: an open hardware, open source effects stompbox with a potentially unlimited library of effects written in C++ and powered by a powerful ARM Cortex M4 processor. It allows musicians to load any available effect or effect chain from their computer onto the pedal. Martin, Tom and Giom, the engineers behind the project, met each other at the London Hackspace in Hoxton. They all come from different backgrounds: Tom is a sound engineer and university lecturer, Giom a DSP engineer and musician, and Martin a software and hardware engineer. They have a shared passion for audio signal processing and hacking…”
52.    Government supports open-source RF initiative  http://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/design/embedded-systems/government-supports-open-source-rf-initiative-2013-05/  “Universities and companies are being given the opportunity to use the open source RF hardware platform, MyriadRF and configurable transceiver technology developed by Lime Microsystems as a result of a tie-up with Europractice…Europractice will promote Lime’s LMS6002D field programmable RF transceiver and associated boards for use in research and teaching of wireless technology to its member establishments throughout Europe. The boards include Azio’s Myriad RF-1, an open source board created for Lime’s non-profit MyriadRF open source RF hardware design initiative. “Many European universities are leaders in the field of wireless technology, and I believe that the products will find numerous teaching and research applications,”…“The field programmable feature is especially attractive as it allows the reuse of the device in a teaching environment,” said McLean. The community is being supported by an open-source website with support forums, board designs, data sheets, FPRF configuration software and downloads for a growing number of projects…”
Open Source
53.    Secure Boot isn't the only problem facing Linux on Windows 8 hardware  http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/24869.html  “There's now no shortage of Linux distributions that support Secure Boot out of the box…But even if your distribution supports it entirely you still need to boot your install media in the first place…looking for USB boot media takes time, and since the overwhelmingly common case is that users don't want to boot off USB, it's time that's almost always wasted. One of the requirements for Windows 8 certified hardware is that it must complete firmware initialisation within a specific amount of time, something that Microsoft refer to as "Fast Boot". Meeting these requirements effectively makes it impossible to initialise USB, and it's likely that certain other things will also be skipped. If you've got a USB keyboard then this obviously means that your keyboard won't work until the OS starts, but even i8042 setup takes time and so some laptops with traditional PS/2-style keyboards may not set it up. That means the system will ignore the keyboard no matter how much you hammer it at boot, and the firmware will boot whichever OS it finds…”
54.    Living a year of open source  http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/04/opinion/sam-muirhead-year-open-source/index.html  “Sam Muirhead is a videographer who for one year is abandoning proprietary products and instead using and producing open source materials. It started a few years ago, as I was spiraling down one of Wikipedia's endless information rabbit holes. I already had as many trains of thought as I had tabs open, and yet, somewhere between the fall of the Roman Empire and the chemical properties of copper, another little thought managed to burrow a space for itself: I started to consider the process by which all this information had been amassed, ordered, published and argued over -- the massive collaborative effort shared amongst so many contributors, and the exponential benefit such a resource provided. Over time that initial little moment of wonder grew into a fascination with the culture around shared information - code and designs that can be studied, modified, and redistributed by anyone, for any purpose…Since August 1 2012 I've been living a "Year of Open Source," exploring how the systems and culture of free and open-source software work in other areas. For a year, I'm using or developing products and projects that are shared under open licenses, made to be copied or built upon by others -- which also means not buying any traditionally copyrighted or patented products. I've been applying this concept to as many areas of my life as possible and documenting the results in blogs and videos…He is currently creating an open educational curriculum for teaching video editing…” http://yearofopensource.net/
55.     MIT's Einsteinian game engine goes open source  http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/193325/MITs_Einsteinian_game_engine_goes_open_source.php  “OpenRelativity, the game engine designed by the MIT Game Lab for its educational game A Slower Speed of Light, is being released as an open-source toolset. The engine was designed to model Einstein's special relativity in a game environment, to communicate its principles in an exploratory format. "Education can be assisted through the use of games and other interactive media," says MIT Game Lab's Rik Eberhardt…The MIT Game Lab is built around this idea that play is extremely powerful, and one thing games are good at is giving people an intuitive grasp of complex scientific ideas…”
Civilian Aerospace
56.    Dutch startup Space Expedition Corporation is taking on Virgin Galactic  http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2013/06/feature-prepare-ignition/prepare-ignition  “…Michiel Mol, a Dutch entrepreneur…is a Formula 1 team owner who was once married to a former Miss Universe Nederland. As a teenager, Mol made computer games and was obsessed with space. Aged eight, he built his own telescope. So, when Virgin Galactic started selling tickets, he was one of the first takers. But, as the years passed, Mol became restless. Eventually he decided to hedge his bets: in 2010, he accepted an invitation to become CEO of a small Dutch startup called Space Expedition Corporation (SXC)…there is a chance that SXC -- a tiny company with only a dozen employees -- will beat Galactic in the race to be the first to send tourists into space…Galactic and SXC hope to start taking tourists into space in early 2014. Whether either of them can make any money from the venture remains to be seen…SXC is one of a small number of private airlines -- or "spacelines" -- trying to open up space to non-professional pilots and oligarchs. From 2014, up to four times a day, at $95,000 (£63,000) per head -- less than half Virgin Galactic's bill -- SXC hopes to take ticket-holders on hour-long flights from the Caribbean island of Curaçao to the edge of space. For several minutes, they will experience weightlessness and gaze at the Earth…”
57.     Autonomous Rovers to Compete for $1.5 Million NASA Prize  http://www.space.com/21383-nasa-mars-robot-challenge.html  “NASA is ready to award $1.5 million in prizes next week for robotic rovers that can skillfully navigate mock alien terrain and collect samples all by themselves. Today's robots exploring extraterrestrial landscapes, like the Mars rover Curiosity, have some autonomous capabilities, but they are largely dependent on directions from their handlers on Earth. NASA hopes a little competition will help spark innovations in autonomous navigation that could be used on future missions…The rovers in the contest will have to pass rigorous testing to earn prize money. To get through Level 1, the robots will have 30 minutes to search for and retrieve an undamaged mock geological sample — such as a shoe box or tennis ball — that has previously been identified by the robot's computer, NASA officials said. The rovers that can complete that task successfully will move on to Level 2, in which the robots will have to autonomously return at least two undamaged samples to their starting platform within two hours. Awards will be doled out based on the difficulty of the samples collected, with prizes ranging from 100,000 to $1.5 million…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
58.    Google Erects Fake Brain With … Graphics Chips?  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/05/gpus-in-the-data-center/  “Your brain is a collection of neurons — tiny cells that use electro-chemical signals to send and receive information. But as Google builds an artificial brain that will help drive everything from its web search engine to Google Street View to the voice-recognition app on Android smartphones, it’s using very different materials. Among them: graphics microprocessors, the same sort of silicon chips that were first designed to process images and videos on your desktop computer…Geoffrey Hinton, the artificial intelligence guru…was recently hired by the search giant to continue work on the so-called Google Brain…we spoke to Hinton just after his “deep learning” operation was acquired by Larry Page and company…he said that Google is now using graphics processing units, or GPUs, to help power its brain-mimicking neural networks…Though GPUs were designed for processing images and video and games, Google is using them in a more general way, as you would normally use a machine’s main microprocessor, or CPU. But because they’re so good at processing large amounts of information in parallel, completing many small tasks at the same time, GPUs can be applied to almost any computing task that require some hefty horse power…it’s a natural fit. GPUs love big problems,” says Ian Buck, a engineer at graphics chip maker Nvidia who founded the CUDA project, a software platform that helps developers build applications for GPUs. “They’re designed to process huge amounts of information in parallel. Mimicking the human brain — where you have billions of neurons all firing at the same time — is really just one big parallel simulation…”
59.    Scientists Use Nvidia GPU-Powered Supercomputer In HIV Breakthrough  http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/nvidia-gpu-supercomputer-117880  “…Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said they were able to use a Blue Waters supercomputer to run a simulation of the atoms that comprise the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)…the project involved the use of supercomputing to discover the chemical structure of HIV’s capsid, which is the protein shell that protects the genetic material of a virus and makes it virulent…Blue Waters incorporates a Cray XK7 supercomputer, which is powered by 3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU accelerators. Blue Waters can deliver a peak performance of almost 12 quadrillion floating-point operations per second…Researchers have been able to prevent the virus’ capsid from functioning in HIV-infected rhesus monkeys, leading to hope for a similar result in humans…By gaining knowledge of how a capsid’s structure is built, scientists can develop more effective drugs to fight the HIV virus… GPU-accelerated supercomputing allowed scientists to simulate the full structure of 64 million atoms, rather than simulating HIV capsids in separate parts…Previous simulations at best were able to simulate sections of the HIV virus separately, requiring researchers to stitch them back together,”…“The GPU-accelerated version of the simulation software, NAMD, runs five times faster than the CPU-only non-accelerated version,”…A CPU-only system would have been too large in scale, and simulation time would have been too long…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
60.    5 Emerging Technologies Every Office Will Have In 2020  http://www.forbes.com/sites/centurylink/2013/05/21/5-emerging-technologies-that-every-office-will-have-in-2020/  “…Here are five technologies that today’s experts are discussing and could very well be commonplace in offices by 2020…Remote Workers as Robots…advances in the speed of Internet connections and mobile phone networks are expected to lead to an increase in telecommuting…That’s where technologies like Suitable Technologies Beam telepresence robot play a part. The 5-foot robot has a screen that will beam a video-stream of a remote worker. The remote worker can…control the robot to move around the office, and microphones and cameras on the robot keep them in the loop of everything happening closeby…Sensors Everywhere…voice or facial recognition…technology will have advanced and be ubiquitous…During a phone conversation…voice recognition will be constantly running in the background to pick out context — such as the mention of a meeting, which it will then add to your calendar. It could also be used for real-time translations…3D Printing…If your job involves design, you may soon find yourself with a 3-D printer on your desk…Gesture Control…HP announced it would integrate Leap Motion Controller’s gesture technology into select computers. The device uses infrared LED lights and cameras to detect hand gestures with up to a millimeter of accuracy…Wearable Enhanced Reality…smartphones and tablets help us take photos, video and get directions, but in 2020, it will be the devices we wear that we will turn to first…”

61.     SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies Preview  http://www.cgw.com/Press-Center/News/2013/SIGGRAPH-Emerging-Technologies-Preview.aspx   “SIGGRAPH 2013 Emerging Technologies presents innovative technologies and applications of the latest developments in several fields, from 3D displays and interactive input devices to collaborative environments and robotics, and technologies that apply to film and game production. The Emerging Technologies program provides attendees a unique hands-on opportunity to interact with select innovative technology before they become hot topics in the mainstream media and blogs…Autostereoscopic Projector Array Optimized for 3D Facial Display…This dense-projector-array display is optimized in size and resolution to display an autostereoscopic life-sized 3D human face with a wide 110-degree field of view. It has multiple applications, including 3D teleconferencing and fully synthetic characters for education and entertainment…IllumiRoom: Peripheral Projected Illusions for Interactive Experiences…llumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system that augments the area surrounding a television with projected visualizations to enhance traditional gaming experiences. It changes the appearance of the room, induces apparent motion, extends the field of view, and enables entirely new physical gaming experiences…Light-in-Flight: Transient Imaging Using Photonic Mixer Devices…Commercial time-of-flight sensors based on photonic mixer devices (PMDs), are used to capture transient images of photons in-flight...Light-in-Flight is orders of magnitude less expensive than previous approaches, while simultaneously simplifying and speeding up the capture process…Skyfarer: A Mixed-Reality Shoulder Exercise Game…A mixed-reality shoulder exercise game developed for prevention and treatment of shoulder pain for individuals with spinal cord injury…Near-Eye Light-Field Displays…Near-eye light-field displays depict sharp images by synthesizing light fields corresponding to virtual scenes located within a viewer's natural accommodation range. This system optimizes optical trade-offs among resolution, field of view, and form factor, and demonstrates a thin, lightweight HMD prototype, containing a pair of microlens-covered OLEDs…”

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