2013/06/18

NEW NET Weekly List for 18 Jun 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 18 June 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. (Thanks for setting up the meeting location, Mike!)


The Weekly Top Ten, (pre-NEW NET, based on potential or immediate impact and/or general tech interestingness)
1.        Neighborhood-Oriented Social Network Nextdoor (#16)
2.       IRS tracks your digital footprint (#19)
3.       MacBook Air Or iPad? (#26)
4.       Voice recognition tool Dragon updates Android app with hands-free driver mode and voice notifications (#29)
5.        Waze is just the beginning: Google focuses on location (#31)
6.       AMD Prepares Move to ‘Seattle,’ Its First ARM Chip (#35)
7.        Amazon’s Grocery Business Learns From Webvan That Rapid Growth Is The Enemy Of Fresh (#42)
8.       No Coding Skills Needed: Zortrax 3D Printer Out of the Box (#47)
9.       Help crowdfund this open-source environmental monitoring platform (#50)
10.     Citizen science and space exploration in Texas (#57)
The ‘net
11.      Bing increases bird's-eye data in update to Bing Maps  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2041398/bing-increases-birds-eye-data-significantly-in-update-to-bing-maps.html  “Microsoft…increased the amount of “bird's-eye” data inside Bing Maps by almost half…Microsoft also added to its roster of “venue maps” of stadiums and conference halls…Bing…added about 270 terabytes of bird's-eye data to its Bing Maps database, versus the 500 terabytes of data that it had already stored…Bing’s “bird's-eye” view captures data at a 45-degree angle, providing a sense of perspective that flat, top-down satellite imagery doesn’t provide…”
12.     Yahoo to issue inactive mail accounts to other users  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2041668/yahoo-to-issue-inactive-mail-accounts-to-other-users.html  “Yahoo is resetting email accounts that have not been used for at least 12 months and issuing them to other users. The company said…it was freeing up the dormant email IDs to give its current and new users the opportunity to sign up for “the Yahoo! ID they’ve always wanted.”…By mid-July, users will get to apply for IDs of their choice, and will find out which one they have got by mid-August…”
13.     Ex-Restaurant Man Erects the ‘Internet of Places’  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/06/observos-internet-of-places/  “Ronald Bynoe used to run a family restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Every hour, he would check the temperature of each place the kitchen stored food — including walk-in refrigerators, reach-in refrigerators, and soup kettles — and record it in a paper notebook. He was sure there had to be a better way of handling this ridiculously tedious task, and he started doing some digging — but turned up nothing….economical and user friendly for the restaurant industry,”…“So I decided to build something myself.”…Bynoe…created Observos, a box that can monitor the temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure of a space and shuttle this information across the net. The boxes are ruggedized for outdoor use and can connect to the web via Wi-Fi. You can check and monitor the information it collects through a simple web-based console, and Observos can text or e-mail you if the temperature of a place drops below a certain level, or if the air becomes too humid…”
14.     Amazon launches online store for 3D printers  http://www.zdnet.com/amazon-launches-online-store-for-3d-printers-7000016803/  “In another step towards 3D printers finding a place in everday businesses and homes, online retailer Amazon has dedicated a section of its site to selling 3D printers. The site sells 3D printers from well-known manufacturers such as Makerbot, as well as others such as Cubify and fabbster, alongside 3D printer filament and spare parts. Prices for machines range from the $1,099 JET – Open Source 3D printer Replicator G to $2,479 MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer. The store marks another move towards mainstream adoption for 3D printing…”
15.     Apple Announces iWork For iCloud, Its Answer To Google Docs  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/10/apple-challenges-google-docs-microsoft-with-iwork-coming-to-a-browser-near-you/  “Apple is taking some big steps up in its bid to challenge the likes of Google and Microsoft in cloud apps, and one of those involves a big upgrade to its iWork suite: Pages word processing, Numbers spreadsheet and Keynote presentation programs — all previously native-only — are now coming to iCloud to work across Safari 6.0.3 or later, Chrome 27.0.1 or later, and Internet Explorer 9.0.8 or later, on both Macs and PCs…In keeping with following where users are working today, Apple also introduced support for Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from Microsoft. Using the document manager in iWork, users can make edits in these programs and then share the files either in iWork, Office or PDF using iCloud Mail. No mention of Google Docs during the presentation or on Apple’s official iWork for iCloud microsite…”
16.     Neighborhood-Oriented Social Network Nextdoor  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/neighborhood-oriented-social-network-nextdoor-adds-mayor-bloomberg-and-nyc-as-its-newest-users/  “Nextdoor, the company for creating private social networks accessible only to your local neighbors, has had a lot of people join since it first launched in 2011: More than 14,100 neighborhoods have been created on the site, and on average 100 new neighborhoods are being added each day…New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to announce a partnership with Nextdoor to adopt the service as a citywide communications tool. At the moment, the Mayor’s office is the first to sign on for using Nextdoor to communicate with NYC citizens about things like neighborhood safety issues, natural disasters, and local events. Other NYC city services are set to roll out use of the site in the coming months…”
17.     Rounds is the Google Hangouts you’ve never heard of  http://pandodaily.com/2013/06/18/with-8-million-users-rounds-is-the-google-hangouts-youve-never-heard-of-today-it-adds-co-browsing/  “Airtime…was a spectacular failure…At the time, we chalked it up to the fact Skype had simply won video chat…What Skype couldn’t do (group chats), Google Hangouts had solved. However…an Israeli video chat company called Rounds has been proving that theory wrong. The company has…iterated its way to an impressive 8 million users — half a million of which are on mobile. Today the company adds co-browsing, another step toward its mission of allowing users to actually “do stuff” together online, and not just stare at each other. Rounds has gotten eight million users by making its chats active experiences, with games that mimic Tetris and Draw Something, among others…The idea is that people typically do more than just talk when they hang out…”
18.     How to fix Web pages that print too small  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2042126/how-to-fix-web-pages-that-print-too-small.html  “…Internet Explorer can be terrible when it comes to printing. On my Windows 8 system, for example, I went to any number of pages on Microsoft's MSN…then loaded Print Preview. The result every single time: several pages of little more than links, with none of the actual text of the story I was viewing…When printed Web pages come out too small, the likely culprit is the Shrink to Fit option, which Internet Explorer uses by default to try to squeeze all the elements of a Web page onto a sheet of paper--often at the expense of proper sizing…1. In Internet Explorer, while viewing the page you want to print, click the little gear icon in the upper-right corner, then choose Print, Print Preview…2. In the preview window that appears, notice that in the toolbar's print-size selector, the default setting is Shrink to Fit. Click that pull-down and choose 100%...3. Now you should see bigger text and photos…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
19.     IRS tracks your digital footprint  http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/irs-tracks-your-digital-footprint  “The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year -- it's also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers' digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it's never gone before. The IRS, under heavy pressure to help Washington out of its budget quagmire by chasing down an estimated $300 billion in revenue lost to evasions and errors each year, will start using "robo-audits" of tax forms and third-party data the IRS hopes will help close this so-called "tax gap."…"It's well-known in the tax community, but not many people outside of it are aware of this big expansion of data and computer use…”
20.    NSA-proof encryption exists. Why doesn’t anyone use it?  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/14/nsa-proof-encryption-exists-why-doesnt-anyone-use-it/  “Computer programmers…know how to build cryptographic systems that are impossible for anyone, even the U.S. government, to crack. So why can the NSA read your e-mail?...During the 1990s, a “cypherpunk” movement predicted that ubiquitous, user-friendly cryptographic software would make it impossible for governments to spy on ordinary users’ private communications. The government seemed to believe this story, too. “The ability of just about everybody to encrypt their messages is rapidly outrunning our ability to decode them,” a U.S. intelligence official told U.S. News & World Report in 1995. The government classified cryptographic software as a munition, banning its export outside the United States. And it proposed requiring that cryptographic systems have “back doors” for government interception…more than a decade later, the cypherpunks seem to have lost the war. Software capable of withstanding NSA snooping is widely available, but hardly anyone uses it…“Security is very rarely free…There are trade-offs between convenience and usability and security.”…Consumers have overwhelmingly chosen convenience and usability…”  http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/06/encrypted-e-mail-how-much-annoyance-will-you-tolerate-to-keep-the-nsa-away/
21.     The Web Cookie Is Dying. Here's The Creepier Technology That Comes Next  http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamtanner/2013/06/17/the-web-cookie-is-dying-heres-the-creepier-technology-that-comes-next/  “It may raise hackles to think that U.S. intelligence officials might be monitoring your telephone and Internet communications, but for most of us it’s only the marketers who are really interested in our everyday online activities. And with many billions of dollars at stake, companies are increasingly turning to more sophisticated techniques to identify potential clients and deliver relevant advertising. Many Internet advertisers rely on cookies, digital code stored on your browser. Some websites place multiple cookies when you visit, allowing them to track some of your activity over time…The problem for marketers is that some users set their browsers to reject cookies or quickly extinguish them. And mobile phones…do not use cookies…advertisers and publishers are increasingly turning to something called fingerprinting. This technique allows a web site to look at the characteristics of a computer such as what plugins and software you have installed, the size of the screen, the time zone, fonts and other features of any particular machine. These form a unique signature just like random skin patterns on a finger…Fingerprinting may prove a more robust tracking technology than cookies because the user’s identify endures even if they erase their cookies…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
22.    What 802.11ac Networking Is, And Why You Want It  http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/06/802-11ac-apple-wwdc/  “With everyone gushing over iOS 7…it was easy to miss the…announcement that Apple has added support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi to two key hardware products: the MacBook Air and the Airport Extreme. 802.11ac is the next generation of WiFi — the fifth, to be specific — and it’s not even officially a standard yet. But 802.11ac is poised to benefit our wireless experience with even faster throughput and more stable connections…It’s designed to offer wireless speeds of up to 1.3 Gigabits per second. That’s more than double the bandwidth of the current standard, 802.11n. On the scalability front, it allows for up to eight multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) streams and multi-user MIMO. 802.11n, the standard we’ve been using for a few years now, stopped at four streams. It also utilizes a technique called beamforming, which directs a concentrated wireless signal to a specific area — in this case, the 802.11ac wireless device you’re using. In order for beamforming to work, you need a router or base station that supports it, and a device capable of talking to the router. What all of this adds up to is a faster, more stable, more capable home wireless network…”
23.    The wearable computing era isn’t on the horizon — it’s already here  http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/13/the-wearable-computing-era-isnt-on-the-horizon-its-already-here-says-flurry/  “Given our addiction to smartphones and tablets, mobile consumers are already primed for the coming onslaught of wearable computing devices…we’re so tied to our mobile gadgets today that we might as well call them wearable…Flurry…found that we’re pretty much always connected to our mobile devices — even while we sleep…It’s a huge difference from the way we view television, which typically sees low usage throughout the day except for a big prime-time viewership spike. “I’m amazed at the nighttime usage for mobile — do people not sleep?…”
24.    ParaShoot is a wearable HD video device  http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2013/06/15/parashoot-is-a-wearable-hd-video-device-that-takes-lifelogging-beyond-snapping-photos/  “Wearable computing is developing into a key focus for the next-generation of gadget lovers, and the ranks could soon include ParaShoot, a device that aims to make capturing your life in HD video as easy as wearing a pendant. Oh, and at less than $300 to boot. The tiny (48 x 30 x 11 mm) recording unit is currently seeking backers on Kickstarter…ParaShoot is wearable thanks to a neck strap (housing its battery) which lets it hang like jewellery or a lanyard. Memoto is image only, but ParaShoot snaps photos (the camera is removable) and records 720 HD video…”
25.    Acer updates its $199 C7 Chromebook, adds SSD  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2042324/acer-updates-its-199-c7-chromebook-adds-ssd.html  “Acer…announced that a new version of its C7 Chromebook will be available at Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com for $199. The refreshed model includes a 16GB SSD. The model C710-2856 Chromebook has an 11.6-inch LED-backlit LCD panel with native resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. It's powered by a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor and 2GB of DDR3 memory. Apart from swapping a 320GB mechanical hard drive for an SSD, this computer's specifications are the same as the earlier $199 Chromebook that Acer announced in November 2012…”
26.    MacBook Air Or iPad?  http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymagid/2013/06/18/apples-vs-apple-for-road-warriors-macbook-air-or-ipad/  “One reason I bought an iPad is because of battery life. Until last week, I didn’t have a notebook PC that could get me from coast to coast on a single battery charge.  On most cross-country flights, I would start the flight using my 2012 MacBook Air or my Lenovo Yoga and — when the laptop’s battery died — I’d switch to the iPad…those days are over.  As I pointed out in my review of the new 2013 MacBook Air, the new 13-inch model can easily get though a typical workday without having to be plugged in.  Apple says that it can get up to 12 hours on a charge and some reviewers have confirmed that claim.  PCMag.com’s 13-inch Air review unit ” lasted an astonishing 15-and-a-half hours on a battery test.”…All three current versions of the iPad (mini, iPad 2 and iPad) are rated for 10 hours according to Apple…Of course there are other issues besides battery life. For one thing the iPad is cheaper and there is something to be said for its touch-screen and its slate-like form factor. On the other hand, the MacBook has a real keyboard (you don’t have to type on glass) and runs all that…Mac software…”
Apps
27.    Smartphone App to detect bee incursions  http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/06/05/smartphone-app-detect-bee-incursions  “…researchers…have developed a smartphone app that will immediately detect an exotic bee or bee-pest incursion on Australia’s shores…The app allows remote monitoring of strategically placed bait boxes designed to attract bees “hitching a ride into the country” which may carry pests…the remote monitoring is cheaper and more cost effective than manual monitoring. “We’ve had two bait boxes fully operational in Brisbane and Cairns for the past six months. Their interiors are photographed every 15 minutes and the images uploaded to the internet…The images have all been of sufficient visual quality to clearly indicate the presence of bees in the bait box, proving the smartphone apps are an efficient way for us to detect an exotic bee incursion…when an incursion occurs at an Australian port, the smartphone image capture will indicate a higher activity level in the boxes and alert authorities, who can then manually check the boxes…”
28.    Microsoft tempts Windows developers with $100 cash for new apps  http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/19/4124548/microsoft-paying-developers-cash-for-windows-apps  “Microsoft wants Windows 8 and Windows Phone developers to create apps for its platforms, and it's tempting them by offering up hard cash…Microsoft is offering developers $100 per app for newly published applications submitted to the Windows Phone Store or the Windows Store by June 30th. Developers can net $2,000 in total by submitting up to 10 apps to each store…All apps must comply with the usual certification requirements, and developers must create applications for a purpose other than just launching a web page. Cloned variations from previously published apps are banned from the promotion, and the offer is limited to the first 10,000 qualified entries until June 30th…”
29.    Voice recognition tool Dragon updates Android app with hands-free driver mode and voice notifications  http://thenextweb.com/apps/2013/06/18/voice-recognition-tool-dragon-updates-android-app-with-hands-free-driver-mode-and-voice-notifications/  “Nuance Communications…released an update to its Dragon Mobile Assistant app for Android. Users with supported devices will find that it now includes hands-free driver technology, voice notifications, and new customization options. Dubbed “Intelligent Driver Mode”, the updated version of Dragon helps users keep their eyes on the road when they’re driving and not on their phone. The company says that its app will know when the driver is in a moving vehicle and, when detected, will switch them to a hands-free mode…”
30.    FiftyThree, Maker Of Drawing App Paper, Raises $15 Million  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/18/fiftythree-a16z/  “FiftyThree, the startup behind the wildly popular drawing app Paper, has closed a Series A round of financing…to expand its suite of creative tools for mobile and tablet users…After working on projects such as Office, Kinect, Sonos, and the Xbox, as well Microsoft’s own early tablet prototype, Courier, the team came together to create Paper. In doing so, it set out to build a set of tools that would change the way people used the iPad…While most initial iPad users thought about it as a tool for content consumption, Paper gave users the ability to be more creative. Since then, the app has been downloaded more than 8 million times…FiftyThree added a “Made With Paper” stream to provide new users and creators with inspiration for the types of projects they can embark upon…the team said it wanted to enable more social collaboration for creators which could enable them to work on projects together. It also hopes to build tools that go beyond just expressing oneself on the iPad or other tablets. That includes building hardware to create more physical tools for creation…”
SkyNet
31.     Waze is just the beginning: Google focuses on location  http://pandodaily.com/2013/06/10/waze-is-just-the-beginning-google-focuses-on-location/  “Google already knows what you’re trying to find on the Web. The near-ubiquity of its search engine has allowed the company to develop all kinds of products, from Google Now to Voice Search, with the sole purpose of helping you better navigate your digital world. Now the company is trying to do the same thing for the physical realm, having recently announced a newly-personalized Maps product and — according to a flurry of reports from Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and Globes – the acquisition of the Israel-based social mapping service, Waze…Maps currently dabbles with some user-generated features, but it isn’t nearly as you-centric as Waze. Not yet, anyway — Google is currently pushing to make Maps as user-specific as its other products, to become your personal cartographer instead of yet another satellite-generated navigation app. The service will soon begin offering preferential treatment to locations with which you are already familiar, or which are popular amongst your social networks or Web searches. Maps is currently made for everybody. Soon it will be made just for you…”
32.    Google Loon: Google's Second Most Important Project  http://www.forbes.com/sites/haydnshaughnessy/2013/06/16/google-loon-googles-second-most-important-project/  “Google’s latest “moonshot” project is Project Loon, a phalanx of balloons that sail in the stratosphere like low level satellites. The objective is to bring broadband capability to less developed parts of the world, an ambition Google is also pursuing through its White Spaces project. Google ran its first test on Saturday in New Zealand – here’s one report. It gave people 15 minutes of access before the balloons floated away…Driverless Cars and Google Glass…create great press…but Google is an ad company and autos and Glass will not add to that revenue stream…What does, and what will, is getting more people online with better connectivity, and controlling that process. In that sense Loon is really about the future of Google’s core business…Google Fiber, one of its three telco infrastructure projects, is too slow-build to matter in the near future…That makes Loon Google’s second most important project, behind one that gets very little press – White Spaces for rural, developing areas…”
33.    Now You Can Build Google’s $1M Artificial Brain for $20,000  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/06/andrew_ng/  “…Last year at Google he built a computerized brain that worked as a cat detector. It used a roughly 1-billion-connection network trained on 1,000 computers to teach itself how to spot cat videos on YouTube.  While this worked well…some researchers walked away thinking, “If I don’t have 1,000 computers, is there still any hope of my making progress on deep learning?” The system cost roughly $1 million…On Monday, he’s publishing a paper that shows how to build the same type of system for just $20,000 using cheap, but powerful, graphics microprocessors, or GPUs. It’s a sort of DIY cookbook on how to build a low-cost neural network…”
General Technology
34.    200 mpg Aptera still in the works  http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/06/10/200-mpg-aptera-still-in-works-says-owner/  “…the aircraft fuselage-style Aptera 2e automobile now has two chances to get off the ground. After purchasing the assets of failed Aptera Motors last year, Zaptera USA planned to have a partner manufacturer the aerodynamic, composite chassis of the innovative cars in China…Richard Derringer says delays ramping up production on the Chinese end have held up the car’s introduction, so he’s set up a second company called Aptera USA that will build the entire 2e in the United States. The first vehicles will now be powered by gasoline and called the 2g, with a target fuel economy of 100 mpg. The original battery-powered version will follow. Aptera’s original efficiency goal for that car was the equivalent of 200 mpg. A hybrid model is also in the mix. Derringer is hoping to have the cars on sale by early 2014…”
35.    AMD Prepares Move to ‘Seattle,’ Its First ARM Chip  http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/06/17/amd-prepares-move-to-seattle-its-first-arm-chip/  “Advanced Micro Devices has been using the same technology foundation as Intel since the 1980s. Now the underdog chip supplier is fleshing out plans to diverge. The company…is announcing “Seattle,” the code name for a new chip based on the ARM Holdings designs that prevail in smartphones and tablets. But AMD is aiming the microprocessor at server systems, a market where low power consumption is becoming nearly as important as in mobile device…AMD does not expect to deliver samples of Seattle until the first quarter of 2014, with commercial quantities arriving in the second half of that year…”
36.    Solar-powered plane lands near Washington  http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/texas/article/Solar-powered-plane-lands-near-Washington-4603359.php  “A solar-powered plane nearing the close of a cross-continental journey landed at Dulles International Airport…Solar Impulse's website said the aircraft with its massive wings and thousands of photovoltaic cells "gracefully touched down" at 12:15 a.m. EDT after 14 hours and four minutes of flight from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dulles…Pilot Bertrand Piccard was at the controls for the last time on the multi-leg "Across America" journey that began May 3 in San Francisco. His fellow Swiss pilot, Andre Borschberg, is expected to fly the last leg from Washington to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport in early July…It's the first bid by a solar plane capable of being airborne day and night without fuel to fly across the U.S, at speeds reaching about 40 mph…Piccard soared across the Appalachian mountains on a 435-mile (700-kilometer) course from Cincinnati to the Washington area, averaging 31 mph (50 kph). It was the second phase of a leg that began in St. Louis…”
Leisure & Entertainment
37.    Hordes of zombie games overrun E3  http://www.techhive.com/article/2041623/hordes-of-zombie-games-overrun-e3.html  “…one thing we can take away from this year's E3…zombie games have overrun the show—almost like a horde of zombies. There are zombie adventure games, zombie third-person shooters, zombie MMOs, and even zombie strategy games. It's been difficult to walk more than five feet on the show floor without bumping into another game infested with shambling undead monsters…We get a deep sense of satisfaction when eviscerating souless, mindless zombies. It's something you just don't get when beating up aliens or robots. Mindless corpses are also easy on A.I. programmers. Game developers are enamored with zombie massacres, and have started cooking up games that give you more creative ways of dealing with the walking dead. The Dead Rising series is famous for turning common household items into tools for committing zombicide, and PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies titles have you cultivating plant life to fight back a zombie home invasion…”
38.    Me Books For Children’s Favorite Books Lets You Be The Narrator  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/14/me-books-brings-childrens-favorite-books-to-ipad-lets-you-be-the-narrator/  “Many of the children’s e-book applications for iPad today use a combination of animations, video or even games to make books more “interactive” for their young readers. Me Books, a London-based digital e-book app and retailer launching today in the U.S., has a slightly different take. Instead of animation, the app uses audio to add an additional element to stories. The e-books are narrated, and include artwork that kids can tap to hear characters speak, too. In addition, readers (or their parents) can also record their own voices over the default narration to customize the experience even further…”   
39.    Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature  http://goodereader.com/blog/commentary/self-published-authors-are-destroying-literature/  “Self-published authors with their insistent need to spam social media and pump out a copious amount of horrible ebooks are ruining the modern online bookstore. You can’t browse Kobo, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon without running into a maelstrom of poorly written and poorly edited books. All of these bookstores put indie authors’ books side by side with established authors…Social media is also a breeding ground for people to try and hustle their books and literally beg for sales…self-published ebooks now account for 12% of the entire digital publishing market. In some cases, the number actually rises to a very respectable 20%, but is fairly genre specific to crime, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and humor. 95% of these books are insufferable and are written to capitalize on trends in publishing…“The overwhelming majority of self-published books are terrible—unutterable rubbish, they don’t enhance anything in the world.” He ranted on by saying, “These books come out and are met with a deathly silence, so the principle experience of self-publishing is one of disappointment…”
40.    The Future Of Self-Publishing  http://www.forbes.com/sites/suwcharmananderson/2013/06/11/the-future-of-self-publishing/  “…it was the point about how much work self-publishing can be that I wanted to expand upon. Abercrombie was very firmly of the opinion that self-publishing is too much work and not of interest to him…I scarcely want to write, let alone publish…” “Successful self-published authors are hiring editors, designers, publicists…In other words they are becoming tiny…highly motivated, but generally very inefficient publishers,” said Abercrombie. “I just think the great majority of writers would be better off writing than publishing.”…But we’re still at the dawn of self-publishing and the infrastructure we need is still being built. Over time, it will become much easier not just in terms of the tools but also the management…”
41.     Hugh Howey favors self-publishing  http://boingboing.net/2013/06/11/hugh-howey-on-why-he-favors-se.html  “Hugh Howey, author of the runaway self-published best-seller Wool, has a very well-argued, thoughtful, and fascinating look at the relative merits of self-publishing for a median kind of writer, who is not a bestseller and only looks for a supplement to a regular income: There are two possibilities. Your book might be in the top 1 percent of what readers are looking for — whether by the magic of your plot or the grace of your prose — in which case you are far better off self-publishing. You’ll make more money sooner, and you’ll own the rights when it comes time to negotiate with publishers…If, on the other hand, your work isn’t in the top 1 percent, it won’t escape the clutches of the slush pile. Your only hope in this case is to self-publish. Which means there isn’t a scenario in which I would recommend an author begin his or her career with a traditional publisher…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
42.    Amazon’s Grocery Business Learns From Webvan That Rapid Growth Is The Enemy Of Fresh  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/17/amazons-grocery-business-learns-from-webvan-that-rapid-growth-is-the-enemy-of-fresh/  “Amazon is moving deeper into at-home grocery delivery with AmazonFresh, which is expanding to L.A. as of last week, and which is set to continue to roll out to further markets over the course of this year and beyond. But it learned to take things slow from Webvan (the name and web presence of which it now own), the famous home grocery delivery flare-out of the 90s, and also to limit delivery areas to only high density urban areas, and to pursue as efficient a warehousing strategy as possible…How did Amazon learn those lessons? Well it helped to have the guys who made the mistakes to begin with in the room, for starters. Amazon has four former Webvan executives on its staff, and acquired Kiva Systems last year, a robotics company that was founded to solve some of Webvan’s original problems and answer questions raised during its brief tenure before IPO and collapse in 2001…”
43.    As Hardware Startups Take Off, Materials And Technology Marketplace Inventables Expands  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/16/as-hardware-startups-take-off-materials-and-technology-marketplace-inventables-raises-3m/  “…Inventables launched in 2010 as a marketplace for software, hardware and materials for makers, designers and manufacturers to create prototypes and low-volume production runs. Essentially, Inventables sells the parts, machines and materials that many hardware developers or manufacturers need to build their products. The marketplace itself is similar to any other shopping site, where you can purchase supplies online that are shipped to you within a few days. But Inventables has added a few features which make it friendly for makers. For example, on a product’s page, you’ll see what other designers have made with the material or how they used it to develop a product. You’ll also see questions (and answers) posted about the product. Additionally, Inventables develops and sells its own products, including a CNC milling machine, called Shapeoko, which is used by a watchmaker to design and manufacture its leather and wood watches…”
Design / DEMO
44.    The Open University Presents 'Design in a Nutshell'  http://www.core77.com/blog/videos/the_open_university_presents_design_in_a_nutshell_from_gothic_revival_to_postmodernism_25037.asp  “…Today, we have a series of animated shorts from the Open University, a UK-based distance-learning institution…it happens to be one of the world's largest universities and is accredited in the States. In keeping with the nontraditional structure—students typically study remotely, whether they are in the UK or elsewhere—they've also taken to producing short educational videos on YouTube, and the latest series of shorts happens to be about "Design in a Nutshell." The Bauhaus segment is a gem—I learned that Gropius's seminal school of thought marked the genesis of the "art school as an alternative way of life," as well as a few fun facts about Marcel Breuer…”
45.    Interdisciplinary Student Team Creates Light-Technology Product  http://www.lafayette.edu/about/news/2013/06/03/interdisciplinary-student-team-creates-technology-startup-business/  “Eight students representing four different majors came together to create a simulated startup company, UPower Technologies, integrating piezo-electric and light-emitting diode (LED) technologies into a recreational, educational, and rehabilitation device. It’s a pilot effort for the type of design projects envisioned for Lafayette’s new Center for Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership (IDEAL), which will support multidisciplinary learning, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. “When thinking about our senior project, we knew we wanted to do something different…as engineers would get a chance to work alongside art and econ majors as they would work on the design and market strategy of our product…”
46.    Design Silesia Presents the Ten Principles in Motion Graphics Form  http://www.core77.com/blog/videos/as_much_dieter_rams_as_possible_design_silesia_presents_the_ten_principles_in_motion_graphics_form_25005.asp  “Design Silesia, a blanket organization for promoting design in the Silesia region of Poland, is pleased to present their first 3D-animated short film, illustrating Dieter Rams' "Ten Principles of Good Design."…we've enumerated the secular decalogue below…Good design is innovative…Good design makes a product useful…Good design is aesthetic…Good design makes a product understandable…Good design is unobtrusive…Good design is honest…Good design is long-lasting…Good design is thorough down to the last detail…Good design is environmentally friendly…Good design is as little design as possible…”
DHMN Technology
47.    No Coding Skills Needed: Zortrax 3D Printer Out of the Box  http://www.technewsdaily.com/18315-no-coding-skills-needed-zortrax-3d-printer-out-of-the-box.html  “…Zortrax is poised to become the 13th successful3D-printer project on Kickstarter. With 10 days left in its monthlong campaign, an engineering team from Poland has received well over its $100,000 funding goal. The first printers are scheduled to ship this August. At $1,900, Zortrax’s price tag is on the high end of 3D printers designed for hobbyists, but its sturdy design, included software and out-of-the-box readiness mean users don't have to be computer programmers to become 3D-printing enthusiasts…The Zortrax 3D printer uses a heated print bed, which is a requirement for ABS, but because it's preassembled, users don't have to fiddle with making the bed level — which had been a common complaint with DIY 3D printers .The Zortrax team has spent the last two years designing and testing both the printer and its software. The printer has an aluminum frame that takes up about 14 x 14 inches on a desk…”
48.    Makerbot Updates Their Design Software And Firmware To Make 3D Printing Easier  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/13/makerbot-updates-their-design-software-and-firmware-to-make-3d-printing-easier/  “Makerbot…offers some amazing software for laying out and printing objects. Their product, Makerware, is free to download and use and supports some other 3D printers including the FlashForge. The new software adds some interesting features to the package including improved support structures and rafts…some objects require support material to maintain stability while printing. Before, Makerware would dump lots and lots of plastic over the face of an object to maintain support. Now, however, it only adds supports where they are needed, reducing the amount of plastic needed. The software has also added improved “rafts” that help keep the objects steady on the platform during printing. While this update is only useful for folks who use Makerbot it does point to one of the company’s great strengths: excellent software that works amazingly well with the hardware they sell…”
49.    Onion Pi turns Raspberry Pi into Tor proxy and wireless access point  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/06/onion-pi-turns-raspberry-pi-into-tor-proxy-and-wireless-access-point/  “The do-it-yourselfers at Adafruit have provided step-by-step instructions for turning a Raspberry Pi into a Tor proxy and wireless access point. A good project for users looking to anonymize their Internet traffic, "Onion Pi" requires just a Raspberry Pi, a few standard peripherals, and some work in the command line. You'll need a Pi (of course), an Ethernet cable, a Wi-Fi adapter with an antenna, an SD card loaded with the Raspbian operating system, and a power supply. You can buy all these from Adafruit in the company's Onion Pi Pack…The Raspberry Pi Foundation is excited about the project, saying it could let users "Foil the NSA and Prism with a Tor proxy…”
Open Source Hardware
50.    Help crowdfund this open-source environmental monitoring platform  http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/help-crowdfund-crowdsourced-open-source-environmental-monitoring-platform.html  “By empowering communities to collect data from their local environment and contribute to an interactive, worldwide environmental database, the folks behind the Smart Citizen Kit are enabling a whole new level of participation from citizen scientists…the Smart Citizen Kit environmental monitoring platform is not only campaigning for funding at Kickstarter, it also has an open-source Arduino-compatible hardware design, an open-source API, and includes a mobile app and an interactive, crowdsourced data visualization available online…the hardware is WiFi-enabled, available as a DIY kit and can be powered by solar cells…The platform has three distinct components, with the hardware at the heart of it consisting of environmental sensors and a data processing board, which can measure and log temperature, humidity, air composition (CO and NO2), sound levels, and light intensity. The data-processing unit then wirelessly streams the sensor information, which can be viewed on the second component, the Smart Citizen website (where it can also be viewed or shared by other users), or accessed with the third component, a mobile app…”
51.     X-Cube 3D Printed Open Source Puzzle Cube  http://technabob.com/blog/2013/06/15/x-cube-3d-printed-rubiks-cube/  “…X-Cube is not the weirdest, most complex or most sophisticated puzzle cube I’ve ever seen…His aim with the X-Cube was to make a fun and relatable product to raise people’s awareness about 3D printing. The X-Cube is made of 52 moving parts and 102 stickers, which Dane says leads to 125 decillion possible permutations…the most impressive part about the X-Cube is that it’s open source. You have to pledge at least $40 (USD) to its Kickstarter fundraiser to get a finished version as a reward, but you only need to pledge $1 to get the toy’s 3D files, which you can then use to print the toy yourself…”
52.    Open Source Factory Plans To Produce Helpful Items—Then Give The Designs Away  http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681998/this-open-source-factory-plans-to-produce-helpful-items-then-give-the-designs-away  “Open Tech Forever wants to take the idea of freedom of information into the physical realm, by creating a real factory to create open source items like kilns and wheelchairs. Open Tech Forever believes in making good machines, then giving the technology away, so someone else can make their own model, and hopefully improve it. To cofounder Aaron Makaruk, open source methods are fundamentally more innovative than centralized development…"While companies working on proprietary technology may beat us on their ability to concentrate knowledge and technical ability, the open hardware industry clearly has an adaptive advantage."..Open Tech wants to build an "Open Source Factory" at a 40-acre site outside Denver, though they recently failed to raise $50,000 on Indiegogo…the plant, which he hopes to complete in the fall, will be used for production, research, design documentation, and teaching. The group’s first product is likely to be a biochar kiln that they can sell to local community gardens…After that, they have ready-to-go designs for a computer-controlled mill, wheelchair, and cold saw…the project, like OSE, will offer an alternative to the unfairness and wastefulness, as he sees it, of the mainstream economic system. Open source is not only better for product development, he says, but fairer to the disadvantaged…”
Open Source
53.    Sony SmartWatch goes open-source, looking for more innovation  http://www.androidauthority.com/sony-smartwatch-open-source-228160/  “After releasing the first true smartwatch from a major manufacturer, Sony shows its pioneering skin again by making the project fully open-source. Hoping to attract extra attention and possibly more innovative ideas from independent developers, Sony has granted them opened access. Running on pure Android essence, Sony’s SmartWatch was already compatible with various Google Play applications…in the near future Sony expects the first alternative firmware versions to appear on Open SmartWatch, the official page of the project. Sony also helps all those interested with instructions on how to create a custom firmware for their watches and reasons to do it, complete with developer support…”
54.    Google Launches Cube Slam, An Open Source Pong Clone  http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/12/google-launches-cube-slam-an-open-source-pong-clone-to-show-off-the-power-of-webrtc-and-webgl/  “Google today launched Cube Slam, an open source pong clone that you can play against the computer or a friend in the browser…to show off the power of WebRTC, Web Audio and WebGL…WebRTC is now synonymous with plugin-free video conferences in the browser and Cube Slam uses this to show you a live video and audio stream of your friend on a virtual screen while you’re playing…the game also uses WebRTC’s RTCPeerConnection and RTCDataChannel – two features most developers are probably not aware of – to send audio, video and all the “bits and pieces that keep the game in sync” back and forth between the two machines…”
55.     Whisper and Tor can help online privacy  http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2013/06/11/got-a-prism-and-boundless-informant-problem-whisper-and-tor-can-help/  “…here are two Free Software services that can help you deal with PRISM and Boundless Informant. Maybe not completely, but a little something is better than nothing…1. Tor is a well-known anonymizing service…Tor software’s job is to conceal your identity from your recipient, and to conceal your recipient and your content from observers on your end…Tor is best used in combination with other tools…Other applications that can help make Tor a more complete solution are: Enigmail, TorBirdy, and HTTPS Everywhere…2. Open Whisper is a Free Software project that creates “tools for secure mobile communication and secure mobile storage.” So far, the project has published two Android applications – RedPhone and TextSecure. They are available for download for your Android devices from WhisperSystems.org…”
Civilian Aerospace
56.    NEAP: 15 years later  http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2315/1  “…Fifteen years ago this week, plans for the first serious effort targeting commercial mission operations at a near Earth asteroid came to a head at a comprehensive, three-day peer-review meeting held at a beachside hotel in Southern California…A new commercial space firm appeared with panache in 1997 called Space Development Corporation, or SpaceDev for short. It was founded by Jim Benson,1 a successful and articulate 52-year-old serial entrepreneur who had made a modest fortune in software and document search, then retired in 1995 at age 50 to northern Colorado—and quickly got bored…A passionate free enterprise advocate, Benson formulated his plans for the company in 1996–97, consulting with several leading experts on extraterrestrial resources, space science, and space technology…SpaceDev was not the first “NewSpace” firm, but was among the first of such companies founded by a wealthy computer/software/Internet entrepreneur who crossed over to space, years ahead of Bill Gross (BlastOff), Paul Allen (SpaceShipOne, then Stratolaunch), Elon Musk (SpaceX), Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), one or both of the Google guys (Google Lunar X PRIZE, Planetary Resources), or Naveen Jain and Barney Pell (MoonEx). And let’s not forget Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic)…By late 1996 Benson had decided that SpaceDev’s first project would be to send a spacecraft to one of the many known near-Earth asteroids and…characterize its makeup and composition as well as assess its commercial value. This project—an end-to-end space mission—became known as the Near-Earth Asteroid Prospector, or NEAP… “NEAP will be the first private spacecraft to leave Earth orbit, the first private spacecraft to visit another planetary body, and the first private spacecraft to land on another planetary body…Benson’s more pragmatic approach was to simply send a commercially developed spacecraft to a desired target asteroid, touch the asteroid with the spacecraft by landing on it, and then claim it as private property…On November 11, 1997, SpaceDev issued its first Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for…participation on a deep-space mission…The AO highlighted participation opportunities on up to ten NEAP payloads: six science instruments and four “drop-cans”—small containers that would be ejected by the spacecraft en route to the target asteroid or onto the asteroid’s surface…”
57.     Citizen science and space exploration in Texas  http://www.citizensinspace.org/2013/06/citizen-science-and-space-exploration-in-the-lone-star-state/  “…Citizen scientists and hardware hackers will learn how to do “space on the cheap” at a two-day Space Hacker Workshop in Dallas. Participants at the workshop will learn how they can build and fly experiments in space, and even fly in space as citizen astronauts, through the Citizens in Space program. The Space Hacker Workshop takes place July 20-21 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field. The workshop is sponsored by Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy, and SpaceGAMBIT, an international collaboration of citizen scientists operating through makerspaces, hackerspaces, and community groups. Citizens in Space has purchased 10 flights on the XCOR Aerospace Lynx spacecraft, now under construction at the Mojave Air and Space Port, which will be made available to the citizen-science community. “We’re looking for 100 citizen-science experiments and 10 citizen astronauts to fly as payload operators,” Citizens in Space project manager Edward Wright said…”
58.    Kapiolani students take top prize in space contest  http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/22594409/kapiolani-students-take-top-prize-in-space-contest  “A team of Kapiolani Community College students won the top prize at an international competition for building and launching a space-related mission…Team Mod 6 won the Cansat competition last weekend after eight months of preparation. The seven students defeated teams representing top universities from Iran, Canada, India and the United States...the students presented a 100-page document describing their design to NASA judges. They later launched their final payload on a rocket flying about 2000 feet in the atmosphere above Texas. Afterward they analyzed data collected during the flight…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
59.    Barcelona taps Tesla and Tegra for next-gen hybrid supercomputer  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/12/bsc_arm_gpu_pedraforca_supercomputer/  “The Barcelona Supercomputing Center has been monkeying around with the combination of low-powered processors and relatively low-end graphics chips…BSC is getting ready to take its ceepie-geepie prototyping up another notch by marrying a baby ARM processor aimed at smartphones and tablets with a full-on GPU coprocessor. The prototype cluster, which is to be called Pedraforca, will take the existing Tegra 3 processor from Nvidia - as implemented on the "Kayla" system launched by the chipmaker in conjunction with motherboard maker SECO…With the Kayla system board, which comes in a MiniITX form factor, the CPU side is again a Tegra 3 chip from Nvidia, but the board has a PCI Express 2.0 x16 link to hook a full-on Tesla GPU to the ARM processor…”
60.    A mix of CPU and hybrid systems jockey for HPC hegemony  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/17/top500_supercomputing_phase_change_incomplete_and_not_precisely_predictable/  “…While GPU and x86 coprocessors are certainly the main computation engines on some of the largest systems that made it onto the June 2013 HPC system rankings, it's going to take years before such offload engines are the norm – it takes time to port code and get the big bucks needed to put together hybrid machines. Besides, existing machines have to go through their economic life cycles of five years or so…make no mistake about it: the HPC racket is in the midst of a transition that will be as jarring and dramatic as the shift from single processor, symmetric multiprocessing, and constellation systems in the 1980s and early 1990s to Linux-based clusters and other massively parallel systems in the late 1990s and early 2000s. With coprocessors offering ridiculously better floating point performance per chip plus lower electricity use and cost, the CPU is just not the answer any more except for workloads that really need a fast execution pipeline. In years hence, when memory, fabric interconnect, coprocessors, and likely central processors will all be crunched down to single chip packages, we won't even be talking about coprocessors any more. This will simply be the way computing is done…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
61.     5 Trends That Will Drive The Future of Technology  http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/05/19/5-trends-that-will-drive-the-future-of-technology/  “…trends can be important, especially those long in the making.  If lots of smart people are willing to spend years of their lives and millions (if not billions) of capital on an idea, there’s probably something to it…Computers are deciding which products to stock on shelves, doing legal research and even winning game shows.  They will soon be driving our cars and making medical diagnoses.  Here are five trends that are driving it all…1. No-Touch Interfaces…2. Native Content…3. Massively Online…4. The Web of Things…5. Consumer Driven Supercomputing…”

62.    6 Emerging Technologies and What They Mean to CIOs  http://www.govtech.com/pcio/6-Emerging-Technologies-and-What-They-Mean-to-CIOs.html  “Mobile Robots…the general image of a “robot” may be a human-like machine that can carry out simple tasks. But in reality, robots take on a range of different forms, like kiosks and self-driving vehicles…he expects robotics to start replacing person-to-person interactions for services rendered in city halls and state agencies, such as driver’s license renewals…3-D Printing…The increased range of materials that 3-D printers can use has greatly expanded the possibilities of the technology…A concept conceived by an engineer in the morning can be held in the hand after lunch…No one yet knows the potential that may be unlocked by the technology…Online Electric Vehicles…electric cars are a more frequent sight on U.S. roadways…but the next evolution of electric vehicle (EV) technology — embedded charging infrastructure under the roads — could be a long way off…Remote Sensors…From pollution, parking and traffic to finding bumps in the road, remote sensors can help cities monitor and improve their infrastructure…Virtual Currency…Bitcoin and other forms of virtual currency are gaining steam with consumers, but Michael Cockrill, Washington state’s CIO, isn’t so sure about digital currency’s future in government…Video Facial Recognition…The federal government’s strong interest in using video and photo technology for facial recognition seems to indicate that the technology is on the cusp of widespread growth…”

*****

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