2013/07/30

NEW NET Weekly List for 30 Jul 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013, NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 PM weekly gathering at  Sangria's Restaurant in Appleton, 215 S. Memorial Drive, Appleton WI, USA.

The Weekly Top Ten, (pre-NEW NET, based on potential or immediate impact and/or general tech interestingness)
1.        Internet Congestion Trouble-Spots Revealed (# 11)
2.       Hackers Reveal Nasty New Car Attacks (# 15)
3.       Geeksphone Firefox Smartphone, Peak+ Preorders Kick Off At $196 (# 20)
4.       The hardware revolution is upon us (# 30)
5.        Google launches $35 Chromecast  TV dongle (# 35)
6.       Jeff Bezos Doesn't Care What You Think About Amazon's Quarterly Earnings (# 39)
7.        How Do You Design a Medical Gadget That Costs 95 Percent Less Than Before? (# 43)
8.       3D printing at home could have health risks (# 45)
9.       Google Lunar X Prize Proposing New Cash Prizes to Help Struggling Teams (# 50)
10.     Slingatron hypervelocity coil to launch ships into space (# 52)
The ‘net
11.      Internet Congestion Trouble-Spots Revealed  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/517391/internet-congestion-trouble-spots-revealed/  “Every internet user has had the frustrating experience of staring at streaming video while it buffers or waiting for a webpage to load. These problems are the result of internet congestion where packets of data cannot be rooted quickly enough to meet demand. Just as frustrating is the inability to work out what is causing this congestion. Internet users are generally left scratching their heads when it comes to working out which part of the network is responsible for the snarl up. An interesting question for most users is where the congestion actually occurs…These puzzles are not easy to answer largely because the private companies that own various parts of the network keep the details about their traffic, capacity and network topology secret… “Even the ISPs would benefit from [a better understanding of congestion] as it would allow them to target infrastructure improvements at the key points in the network where return on investment, in terms of enhanced user experience, would be greatest,”…That’s partly why in 2010 the Federal Communications Commission began a long term project to gather data about internet congestion and to find out where it really occurs.  This study…has involved over 10,000 measurement units deployed at the homes and work places of customers of 16 ISPs in the US…”
12.     Why YouTube buffers: The secret deals that make—and break—online video  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/07/why-youtube-buffers-the-secret-deals-that-make-and-break-online-video/  “…My fellow Ars writer is a man who loves to watch YouTube videos…but he never knows when his home Internet service will let him do so. "For at least the past year, I've suffered from ridiculously awful YouTube speeds," Hutchinson tells me. "Ads load quickly—there's never anything wrong with the ads!—but during peak times, HD videos have been almost universally unwatchable. I've found myself having to reduce the quality down to 480p and sometimes even down to 240p to watch things without buffering. More recently, videos would start to play and buffer without issue, then simply stop buffering at some point between a third and two-thirds in…Why does online video have such problems? People may assume there are perfectly innocent causes related to their computers or to the mysterious workings of the Internet. Often, they're correct. But cynical types who suspect their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) intentionally degrade streaming video may be right as well…”
13.     The Internet’s Innovation Hub  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/516531/the-internets-innovation-hub/  “San Francisco startup GitHub has all the hallmarks of the next big social network. The company’s base of 3.6 million users is growing fast, and after raising $100 million last year, GitHub was worth $750 million…Yet GitHub is not a place for socializing and sharing photos. It’s a site where software developers store, share, and update their personal coding projects, in computer languages like Java and Python. “It’s a social network, but it’s different from the others because it’s built around creating valuable things,” says GitHub CEO Tom Preston-Werner…GitHub’s mix of practicality and sociability have made it into a hub for software innovation. People log on from around the globe (78 percent of its users from outside the U.S.) to test and tinker with new ideas for mobile apps or Web server software. For Ethan Mollick, an assistant professor at the Wharton School, GitHub is one of a new class of technology platforms, including the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, that allow innovation without the traditional constraints of geography or of established hierarchies…”
14.     SmugMug Launches Redesign Of Its Photo Sharing Website  http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/30/smugmug-redesign-website/  “SmugMug has revealed the new design of its photo sharing site, aimed to increase web customization capabilities and photo organization. The website now features new templates and themes, customization tools, a new photo organizer and responsive design to make SmugMug fit any screen…Customers choose from over 20 different templates and can change colors and themes for each one. They can also customize the layout of how photos are displayed, and bring the picture to full-screen when clicked. All these options are accessible with the page tool kit, so users don’t need any technical HTML or CSS experience. SmugMug’s organizer allows users to view their entire library of photos, and then simply click and drag where they want their photos to go. Users can modify gallery settings all at once, and have greater control over privacy settings. The end result is a sleek and personal page to display photos and videos, with the ability to constantly edit your work without it showing until you are ready…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
15.     Hackers Reveal Nasty New Car Attacks  http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/07/24/hackers-reveal-nasty-new-car-attacks-with-me-behind-the-wheel-video/  “Stomping on the brakes of a 3,500-pound Ford Escape that refuses to stop–or even slow down–produces a unique feeling of anxiety…The more I pound the pedal, the louder the groan gets–along with the delighted cackling of the two hackers sitting behind me in the backseat… “Okay, now your brakes work again,” Miller says, tapping on a beat-up MacBook connected by a cable to an inconspicuous data port near the parking brake. I reverse out of the weeds and warily bring the car to a stop. “When you lose faith that a car will do what you tell it to do,” he adds after we jump out of the SUV, “it really changes your whole view of how the thing works.” This fact, that a car is not a simple machine of glass and steel but a hackable network of computers, is what Miller and Valasek have spent the last year trying to demonstrate…”
16.     Obama Promises Disappear from Web  http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/07/25/obama-promises-disappear-from-web/  “Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month. While the front splash page for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama's performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov…Why the change? Here's one possibility, from the administration's ethics agenda: Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out…It may be that Obama's description of the importance of whistleblowers went from being an artifact of his campaign to a political liability. It wouldn't be the first time administration positions disappear from the internet when they become inconvenient descriptions of their assurances…”
17.     US patent office rejects claims of Apple 'pinch to zoom' patent  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2045461/us-patent-office-rejects-claims-of-apple-pinch-to-zoom-patent.html  “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected claims of an Apple patent that figures prominently in a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics…The 21 claims of the patent were rejected by the USPTO in a "final office action," as they were anticipated by previous patents or unpatentable. Known as the "pinch-to-zoom" patent, it covers the ability to distinguish between the scrolling movement of one finger and two-fingers gestures like pinch-to-zoom on a touch-screen to activate certain functions…”
18.     Moscow Subway To Use Devices To Read Data On Phones  http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-moscow-metro-phones/25059582.html  “…Moscow's subway system…stations will soon be equipped with devices that can read the data on the mobile telephones of passengers…Metro police chief Andrei Mokhov said the device would be used to help locate stolen mobile phones…the devices have a range of about 5 meters and can read the SIM card. If the card is on the list of stolen phones, the system automatically sends information to the police…the devices can be used more widely to follow all passengers without exception." Mokhov said it was illegal to track a person without permission from the authorities, but that there was no law against tracking the property of a company, such as a SIM card.”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
19.     The Withings Pulse Is A Step Closer To Activity Tracker Perfection  http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/22/withings-pulse-review/  “The Withings Pulse is the latest device in the personal activity tracker category, and it isn’t a wristband…it’s a portable rectangle not unlike the original Fitbit devices designed to be carried in a pocket or attached to clothing via an included clip…pairing up with its smart scales to deliver info about steps walked, calories burned, altitude traversed and heart rate…The rubberized finish means you won’t lose it, and the way the OLED display is invisible when inactive is very cool. It’s got a single button, and touchscreen functionality to let you swipe through previous day totals, and it all works quite wel…”
20.    Geeksphone Firefox Smartphone, Peak+ Preorders Kick Off At $196  http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/25/peak-plus/  “Spanish open hardware phone platform manufacturer Geeksphone, which created the first developer preview devices for Mozilla’s Firefox OS (aka Peak and Keon), has announced it’s now taking pre-orders for a new beefed up consumer version of its Peak smartphone that it’s called Peak+. Geeksphone’s original two developer-focused devices sold out a few hours after going on sale – doubtless helped by their low prices of $194 and $119 respectively. The Peak+ looks likely to garner similar levels of demand, thanks to a similarly low pre-order price, although there is now more competition for Firefox devices — with Telefonica selling the ZTE Open in Spain (and elsewhere) for as little as €69/$90…Geeksphone has created a pre-sale reservation list for consumers wanting to buy the device for a “one-time, limited promotional price” of €149/$196 (excluding taxes) — after which it will be sold at a “standard price” via the startup’s online store…”
21.     The Paradox of Wearable Technologies  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/517346/the-paradox-of-wearable-technologies/  “Ever talk to someone at a party or conference reception only to discover that the person you are talking to is constantly scanning the room, looking this way and that, perhaps finding you boring, perhaps looking for someone more important?...Welcome to the brave new world of wearable computers, which will tread within the uneasy space bounded by continual distraction, continual diversion of attention, and continual blank stares along one border; and focused attention, continual enhancement, and better interaction, understanding, and retention along the other. Google’s…Glass…is only the beginning of this challenge…It’s a great myth that people can multitask without any loss in quality. Numerous psychology experiments show that when two relatively complex tasks are done at the same time, there is measurable deterioration in performance. Some of these experiments were even done by me, back in the days when I was a practicing cognitive scientist. David Strayer, whose research group at the University of Utah has studied these issues for decades, has shown that hands-free phones are just as distracting as handheld ones, and using one while driving is just as bad as driving while drunk…If simultaneous task performance is so deleterious, why do people maintain that they can do it without any deterioration?...The impairment in mental skills makes it difficult to notice the impairment…wearable technology can enhance our abilities significantly. Thad Starner, a wearable computer champion…has worn these devices for almost a quarter-century…He…reminded me of a conversation we had on this topic in 2002. I didn’t remember the conversation, so he described the interaction, reminding me of both his comments and my responses…it will be difficult to resist the temptation of using powerful technology that guides us with useful side information, suggestions, and even commands. Sure, other people will be able to see that we are being assisted, but they won’t know by whom, just as we will be able to tell that they are being minded, and we won’t know by whom…”
22.    Nokia's new Bluetooth 'Treasure Tag' will prevent you from ever losing your keys again  http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/29/4567234/nokia-treasure-tag-bluetooth-nfc-proximity-sensor-windows-phone  “Nokia is preparing to launch a proximity sensor accessory for its range of Lumia Windows Phones. Sources familiar with Nokia's plans have revealed to The Verge that the Finnish smartphone maker will debut a "Treasure Tag" accessory that combines Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC to track items from a phone. The Treasure Tag will pair with Lumia Windows Phones via NFC…The…idea is to let Windows Phone users track items with a special application and the small square Treasure Tag accessory. Tile, a recently funded Kickstarter project, is very similar in concept to Nokia's device, and works with Apple's iPhone. Nokia has built a Treasure Tag application for Windows Phone that will let users manage the sensor and locate it when it's lost. The app will also display the location of the sensor on a map…”
23.    Gorilla Glass for your laptop  http://gigaom.com/2013/07/29/why-your-next-laptop-could-use-gorilla-glass-just-like-your-smartphone-does/  “…Gorilla Glass…now comes in a bigger size. On Monday, Corning introduced Gorilla Glass NBT, a stronger, scratch-resistant glass specifically made for touchscreen laptops…Corning says it’s a better all-around choice over traditional soda-lime glass due to these features: 8x-10x higher scratch resistance…Greater resistance to unsightly abrasions caused by cleaning, wiping or careless handling…Better ability to withstand the shock of accidental bumps…Corning is pitching the new glass as cost-effective, suggesting it would only account for one to two percent of a laptop’s price tag. Margins on those devices are pretty slim already but I suspect laptop makers will still adopt the new glass…”
Apps
24.    Free app helps residents report problems, get action  http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/north/2013/07/11/commonwealth-connect-app-become-tool-for-reporting-fixing-local-quality-life-issues-free-app-helps-residents-report-problems-get-action/ENzjIwvZSoz1m7Fd6jPBTN/story.html  “Residents of 14 area cities and towns have a new way to alert local officials to potholes, graffiti, and other irksome problems — and then monitor how quickly they get fixed. The communities are among 54 statewide that are offering a smartphone application for reporting quality-of-life issues directly to local government. When smartphone users who have downloaded the Commonwealth Connect app come upon a broken sidewalk, a dangling tree branch, or unsightly trash, they can snap a photo or write a description and submit the problem to officials for resolution…Residents can track the progress of the relevant municipal department in fixing the issue. Participants can also view requests by others and the response to them…”  http://seeclickfix.com/government   and  http://www.cityofboston.gov/doit/apps/commonwealthconnect.asp
25.    Smartphone app might help curb parking tickets  http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2013/07/smartphone-app-might-help-curb-parking-tickets  “A new smartphone application might help students reduce their likelihood of getting parking tickets. The Parking Ticket Terminator app, which was designed by the Long Island-based TimeMight Corporation and will be released in the fall, will help users become more familiar with town parking regulations, said Brian Pollack, the software developer for the app. Users will be able to search by ZIP code and view parking regulations and the hours when some lots are unregulated. The app will help drivers avoid receiving tickets and help prevent their vehicles from being booted or towed…”
SkyNet
26.    Define Google Drive based on your needs  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/google-in-the-enterprise/define-google-drive-based-on-your-needs/  “…The multiple definitions of "Google Drive" may cause confusion. If you instruct a person to "Open the file with Google Drive", should they open a browser or an app? Both actions open "Google Drive", but leave the user in different environments…The difference does matter…Opening a native Word file with Google Drive in the browser displays the file, and lets the user create an entirely new, converted file in the Google Docs format. There are now two files, instead of one. One in Google Docs format and one in Word format; this may cause more confusion and frustration…Organizations that have moved beyond Microsoft Office have it easy. Google Drive stores the organization's files, and provides access to the apps needed to create and edit documents. Without Microsoft Office installed, there's little chance for confusion. The challenge arises in organizations that use Google Apps for email and shared calendaring, yet still use the Microsoft Office suite for documents. In these settings, Google Drive functions simply to store Microsoft Office documents. That's where the multiple meanings of "Google Drive" might cause confusion…”
27.    Handwriting Feature Added to Google Translate Homepage  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422295,00.asp  “Google today rolled out its Google Translate handwriting feature for the Web, allowing users to draw the phrases or words they need translated when a keyboard can't do the trick. Handwriting…is now available via the Google Translate website on the browser. Imagine planning a trip to China, but not being able to read street signs or restaurant names. Instead of blindly choosing a direction or eatery, just draw the given characters on the Google Translate homepage to find their meaning…choose the language you wish to translate, and then select the down arrow on the bottom left of the language box. Select the "Handwrite" option with the pencil and draw away in the pop-up box that appears. "Suppose you see the Chinese expression '饺子' and want to know its meaning in English, but have no idea how to type these characters…Using the new handwriting input tool, you can simply draw these characters on your screen and instantly see the translation…”
28.    Nurses use Google Hangouts to collaborate on technology  http://www.zdnet.com/nurses-use-google-hangouts-to-collaborate-on-technology-7000018634/  “Google Hangouts are getting more and more interesting. The ability to easily start a live video conference with colleagues all over the world, share screens, and see each other -- all in real time -- is opening many doors for innovation…A good example of this is the Hangout produced by Yuri Shevchouk and involving RN Rob Fraser, clinical development nurse Ian Miller, and travel nurse Gary Cox…Fraser was in Toronto Canada while Miller was in Australia's Canberra region. Fraser discussed using technology to help nurse leaders tell their stories. Miller talked about how the web site he developed helped share information within his nursing unit. Cox talked about travel nursing and apps that help him get his job done…”
29.    Google refreshes Zagat’s mobile apps and website, removes paywall  http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/29/google-relaunches-zagat/  “…Google…relaunched Zagat’s website and mobile apps for iPhone and Android. And even better, Zagat’s annoying paywall that used to block its reviews from everyday eyes has now come down…This new version of Zagat only covers restaurants and nightlife in nine cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas. But Google says it plans to have Zagat cover “50 U.S. and international destinations” during the “coming months…”
General Technology
30.    The hardware revolution is upon us  http://www.trueventures.com/2013/07/27/the-hardware-revolution-is-upon-us-and-why-it-matters/  “…Cheap processors, cheaper memory, and even cheaper sensors means it’s a great time for people who like to tinker with hardware to tinker.  Platforms like Kickstarter and Quirky de-risk production, identify features and customers, and do so before the first tool is made…Building factories is no longer a prerequisite for building products. Add to the mix emergent technologies such as 3D printing and inexpensive laser cutters that put prototyping capabilities onto a kitchen table, and we suddenly are facing an extraordinary revolution in hardware-based innovation. This is a tectonic shift that is going to drive the next wave of industrialization — one that is more nimble, adaptable and rapidly evolving. One that is as much based in software as it is in assembly lines…The offspring of this marriage of machine and software is customizable, connected, and enables creation. This new age of hardware is the foundation for a novel breed of services and platforms that leverage software and—most importantly—data, whether to change health behavior or to revolutionize the way we farm…True Ventures has been early and big investors in the burgeoning hardware and device wave:  we funded Fitbit‘s seed round in 2008, were early investors in MakerBot starting in 2010, and have gone on to fund 3D Robotics, Airstone Labs, Ginger.io, LittleBits, Sifteo, Sano Intelligence, Streetline, Valencell…These investments has given us a unique view at the dawn of this new revolution, and we want to share what we have learned…”
31.     The One Last Thread Holding Apple and Google Together  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/07/apple-google-llvm/all/  “…Six months after Schmidt left Apple’s board, Steve Jobs laid into Google…crying foul over Android’s challenge to the iPhone…the two companies publicly sparred over whose smartphone technology was the most “open” and whose would ultimately make life easier for humankind. Then, in 2012, Apple summarily removed Google Maps and YouTube from the iPhone, determined to reduce its dependance on the company that so quickly usurped its command of the mobile market…Until recently, the two companies shared one of the world’s most important open source software projects — WebKit, the basis for Apple’s Safari browser and Google’s Chrome — but then, in April, that marriage ended too. Once so close, Apple and Google are now as far apart as anyone…yet, there’s one thing they still have in common, one last piece of technological brilliance they freely share with each another…it’s an integral part every new Apple iPhone — and every new Android phone. It’s not an app or a web service or some sort of hardware contraption. It’s more important than that…This tool is known as LLVM, short for low level virtual machine…The thing to realize is that LLVM underpins so much of the work at both Apple and Google, helping create not only smartphone software, but operating systems and browsers and web services…Created by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, LLVM is a way of building software compilers — those contraptions that receive raw code from the world’s programmers and convert it into real, live software applications. But it’s more than that. It’s also a better way of executing software applications on PCs and smartphones and tablets and other hardware. It lets you run programs on machines and microprocessors they weren’t explicitly written for…”
32.    Samsung's 840 EVO SSD family: Fast, large  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2045163/samsungs-840-evo-ssd-family-fast-large-and-in-charge.html  “If you're a laptop user who's skipped the SSD experience because of the breed's lack of capacity, your drive has arrived…Samsung's new 840 EVO family of drives will be available in capacities up to a whopping 1TB. And these drives are aggressively priced: $110 for 120GB version, $190 for the 250GB, $370 for the 500GB, $530 for the 750GB, and a mere $650 for the 1TB…65 cents per GB is a new low for retail SSDs. The larger part of the secret behind the 840 EVO's increased capacity is 3-bit MLC (Mulit-Level Cell) NAND which by it's very nature (it stores 3 bits of information) offers a third more capacity than the 2-bit MLC NAND used in most current generation drives. Also helping fit more stuff into less space is the 19nm manufacturing process used to produce the NAND. Samsung for some reason is calling this 10nm-class, or 1x NAND, but they assured us that it's 19nm…”
33.    Sony, Panasonic Jointly Developing 300GB Optical Disc  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422411,00.asp  “Sony and Panasonic are teaming up to develop a standard for professional-level optical drives. Ultimately, the duo hopes to release a 300GB optical drive by the end of 2015. The durable optical disc — dust- and water-proof, resistant to changing temperatures and humidity — is ideal for a long-term storage tool. Sony and Panasonic plan to market the new disc format to businesses looking to store hefty amounts of data for long periods of time…Sony's file-based optical disc archive system from 2012 and Panasonic's series of optical disc storage devices…houses 12 100GB discs for a total storage capacity of 180TB.…”
34.    Memory bus breakthrough promises faster storage, terabytes of memory  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2045531/flash-breakthrough-promises-faster-storage-terabytes-of-memory.html  “…Diablo’s Memory Channel Storage (MCS) architecture, expected to show up…later this year, allows flash storage components to plug into the super-fast channel now used to connect CPUs with memory. That will slash data-access delays even more than current flash caching products that use the PCI Express bus…Diablo estimates that MCS can reduce latencies by more than 85 percent compared with PCI Express SSDs (solid-state disks). Alternatively, the flash components could be used as memory, making it affordable to equip servers terabytes of memory…Other than on-chip cache, the memory channel is the fastest route to a CPU…The connection is designed to be used by many DIMMs (dual in-line memory modules) in parallel, so each component doesn’t have to relinquish the bus for another one to use it. That saves time, as well as CPU cycles that would otherwise be used managing the bus…Diablo…              has figured out a way to use the standard DDR-3 interface and protocols to connect flash instead of RAM to a server’s CPU. Flash is far less expensive than RAM, but also more compact…”
Leisure & Entertainment
35.    Google launches $35 Chromecast  TV dongle  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23437476  “Google has announced a low-cost competitor to Apple TV - a "dongle" device called Chromecast. The dongle is plugged into a television's HDMI port, and allows users to stream media from smartphones, tablets and computers. Launching immediately in the US, the device will cost $35…”  http://gigaom.com/2013/07/24/why-chromecast-is-such-a-big-deal-for-google-and-a-threat-to-apple/  “…Chromecast…has been developed by the very same people who have been working on Google TV for the past few years. But it looks like they have learned from their mistakes, and radically simplified the experience…Chromecast is pure simplicity: Search and discovery of video content is happening on the mobile device or laptop, and all Chromecast does is stream media from the cloud. Add to that the ability to turn on your TV simply by starting video playback on your tablet, and you’ve got something that looks a bit like the anti-Google TV…”  http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-ends-chromecast-netflix-promotion-20130725,0,483513.story  “Citing overwhelming demand, Google on Thursday said it has ended a Netflix promotion tied to its new Chromecast TV dongle. The promotion gave users, new and existing, three free months of Netflix's video streaming service, valued at about $24, when they bought Chromecast, a $35 gadget that was announced Wednesday…”
36.    Canon Dims Sales Outlook as Smartphones Capture Snapshots  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-24/canon-dims-sales-outlook-as-rising-smartphones-take-snapshots.html  “Canon Inc. is finding it even harder to sell cameras in a global market where smartphones already command a 13-to-1 lead in shipments. The world’s biggest camera maker cut its annual profit and sales forecasts yesterday as it faces slowing demand for the compact and high-end models with interchangeable lenses that underpin its 983 billion-yen ($10 billion) business…Worldwide shipments of cameras have fallen to a 10-year low as consumers increasingly take pictures with phones from Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) equipped with lenses capable of high-quality snapshots…”
37.    Activision Blizzard splits from Vivendi in $8bn buyout  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jul/26/activision-blizzard-splits-vivendi  “Video game publisher Activision Blizzard has announced a deal to buy itself back from French media giant Vivendi. The company, responsible for hits such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, will purchase 429 million shares for $5.83bn. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly have formed ASAC II LP, an investment vehicle through which they will purchase 172 million company shares for approximately $2.34bn in cash, or $13.60 per share. This will make it the largest Activision shareholder, and the arrangement includes $100m personally invested by Kotick and Kelly. Included in the same investor group is Tencent, the powerful Chinese investment company that runs social networks, internet service providers and online gaming portals in China. "Tencent's investment as part of a group which now holds around 25 per cent of the company is an interesting development…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
38.    Facebook Is Worth $24 Billion Less Than When It Went Public  http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/25/despite-gains-facebook-is-currently-worth-24-billion-less-than-when-it-first-went-public/  “The market awarded Facebook a 25 percent share price spike today, following a strong earnings report that showed off the company’s ability to retain mind share among youths…The firm pop in its shares has pushed Facebook’s valuation past the $80 billion mark, where it currently rests at $80.21 billion. Not a bad day’s work, but…Facebook has torched tens of billions of dollars of shareholder equity since it first went public…Here’s TechCrunch’s Josh Constine and Kim-Mai Cutler the day before the fateful, and botched, IPO: Facebook shares will start trading at $38 tomorrow, the company confirmed in a release, giving it a valuation of $104.12 billion…”
39.    Jeff Bezos Doesn't Care What You Think About Amazon's Quarterly Earnings  http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-25/jeff-bezos-doesnt-care-what-you-think-about-amazons-quarterly-earnings  “…honestly, Jeff Bezos doesn’t care what you think. Amazon’s chief executive doesn’t concern himself with Amazon’s quarterly earnings report or with Wall Street’s visceral reaction to it…Bezos manages Amazon for the long term and regularly mucks up the bottom line with expensive, risky bets on unprofitable new businesses such as grocery deliveries and tablets…With Amazon (AMZN) stock up about 15 percent since the start of the year and well into nosebleed altitudes above $300 a share, investors were primed for a letdown with today’s report. They got one. Amazon posted $15.70 billion in revenue for the quarter…The company lost $7 million in the second quarter…Amazon actually lost money during all of last year…It also guided investors to expect a further loss in the third quarter, somewhere between $65 million and $440 million…”
40.    20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don't Get  http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonnazar/2013/07/23/20-things-20-year-olds-dont-get/  “I started Docstoc in my 20’s, made the cover of one of those cliché “20 Under 20” lists, and today I employ an amazing group of 20-somethings.  Call me a curmudgeon, but at 34, how I came up seems so different from what this millennial generation expects…here are my 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get…Time is Not a Limitless Commodity…You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated…We’re More Productive in the Morning …Social Media is Not a Career…Pick Up the Phone…Be the First In & Last to Leave…Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do…Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes…You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked…A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing…People Matter More Than Perks…Map Effort to Your Professional Gain…Speak Up, Not Out…You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops…Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter…You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors…Pick an Idol & Act “As If”…Read More Books, Fewer Tweets/Texts…Spend 25% Less Than You Make…Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It…”
41.     As global marketplace grows, so do opportunities  http://wtnnews.com/articles/10687/  “Simple demographics should tell U.S. business owners all they need to know about the size of the opportunity: About 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside the United States and a rising percentage of those people are “middle class” consumers. Less obvious to many business owners, especially smaller firms and startups, is how to efficiently and safely break into that global marketplace …”
Design / DEMO
42.    New Course: The Design of Everyday Things  http://blog.udacity.com/2013/07/new-course-design-of-everyday-things.html  “After reading The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman, I remember thinking to myself, “I probably learned more from this book than I learned from a majority of classes I took in graduate school.”…This is why I’m thrilled to announce Udacity’s production of Design 101: The Design of Everyday Things. This series of courses is taught by Don Norman, Kristian Simsarian, and myself, and I’m confident will help current and potential designers be successful in their careers. Oh, and the best part....the class is offered to students for free! An equivalent course at a university would probably cost $5,000 or more. Design 101: The Design of Everyday Things is based upon the new edition of The Design of Everyday Things (revised and expanded: to be published in Fall 2013). The material is been divided into three or four short courses (the exact number to be determined), each of which can be taken independently, offering students considerable flexibility. The components provide the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to understand the role of design in today’s world…”
43.    How Do You Design a Medical Gadget That Costs 95 Percent Less Than Before?  http://www.wired.com/design/2013/07/idsa-ideo-evotech-endoscope/  “…Food and Drug Administration classifies an endoscope as a Class II medical device, but…it’s just a long plastic tube with a light and camera at the end…they can cure problems quickly and with very little pain — if the patient has access to a clinic that can afford their $50,000 dollar price tag…EvoTech is developing an endoscope…that is substantially equivalent in terms of functionality, but costs a mere $2,500 dollars. Moshe Zilversmit…wanted to be an engineer with Doctors Without Borders, but they didn’t have a program like that,” he says. “So I went out and did it on my own.” Zilversmit recruited a team and discovered that endoscopes were relatively simple from a technical perspective. He got to work prototyping one in his garage, and a few months later, it was in use in Uganda. Traditional endoscopes cost anywhere from $30,000-70,000, but by making different design choices and cutting out extraneous “nice-to-have” features, the price can be reduced dramatically…off-the-shelf camera modules, only slightly better than the ones used in smartphones, could provide pictures crisp enough to meet clinical standards for just a couple hundred dollars. “The EvoCam is basically a webcam you put in your body.”…Most endoscopes come with dedicated computers and complex image processing hardware. The EvoCam replaces all those expensive extras with software running on a standard laptop, using solar power if necessary…”
DHMN Technology
44.    MIT looks to movie CGI to make 3D printing easy  http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9240999/MIT_looks_to_movie_CGI_to_make_3D_printing_easy  “MIT this week plans to publish two papers detailing ways to simplify the 3D printing process by using open-source software that is more intuitive. Using computer graphics models and simulations, 3D printers can already produce a wide variety of 3D objects, but the software used in the printers is slow and difficult to use…"Our goal is to make 3D printing much easier and less computationally complex," said Wojciech Matusik…"Ours is the first work that unifies design, development and implementation into one seamless process, making it possible to easily translate an object from a set of specifications into a fully operational 3D print."…Matusik and his MIT team developed OpenFab, a programmable "pipeline" architecture to deal with those problems. OpenFab was inspired by RenderMan, the software used to design computer-generated imagery commonly seen in movies. OpenFab allows for the production of complex structures with varying material properties…”
45.    3D printing at home could have health risks  http://phys.org/news/2013-07-3d-printers-shown-emit-potentially.html  “A new study…shows that commercially available desktop 3D printers can have substantial emissions of potentially harmful nanosized particles in indoor air…Desktop 3D printers are now widely accessible for rapid prototyping and small-scale manufacturing in home and office settings. Many desktop 3D printers rely on a process where a thermoplastic feedstock is heated, extruded through a small nozzle, and deposited onto a surface to build 3D objects. Similar processes have been shown to have significant aerosol emissions in other studies using a range of plastic feedstocks, but mostly in industrial environments…graduate students…measured ultrafine particle concentrations resulting from the operation of a single type of popular commercially available desktop 3D printers inside an office space. Ultrafine particles (or UFPs) are small, nanosized particles less than 100 nanometers in diameter…Estimates of emission rates of total UFPs were high, ranging from about 20 billion particles per minute for a 3D printer utilizing a lower temperature polylactic acid (PLA) feedstock to about 200 billion particles per minute for the same type of 3D printer utilizing a higher temperature acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) feedstock. The emission rates were similar to those measured in previous studies of several other devices and indoor activities, including cooking on a gas or electric stove, burning scented candles, operating laser printers, or even burning a cigarette. Human inhalation of UFPs may be important from a health perspective…”
Open Source Hardware
46.    Singapore better than United States for hardware makers  http://sgentrepreneurs.com/2013/07/29/singapore-a-better-than-silicon-valley-for-hardware-makers-bunnie-huang/  “The next crop of great hardware startups could very well come from Asia. That thought hung in the air as Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, which Make Magazine calls the maker’s maker, gave a talk at Singapore’s Mini Maker Faire on why the country is a better place than the United States for hardware startups. Bunnie moved to Singapore in 2010 and later brought in the team at Chumby, a startup he was then involved with. Recently, he has been building an open-source laptop…While Silicon Valley is perceived as a mecca of sorts for technologists and tinkerers, setting up there contains many hidden costs…1) Poor locality of services…2) Unfavorable tax structure…3) High cost of living…4) Prohibitive cost of doing business…5) Raising venture capital is essential in Silicon Valley…”
47.    Home Alarm System Project for your Raspberry Pi  http://www.projects.privateeyepi.com/home/home-alarm-system-project  “…Monitor your home from your smart phone or computer using the dashboard featuring zone status (armed/disarmed/alarm), alarm dates and time as well as activity logs. You can also use the dashboard to arm and disarm zones…We will provide you with a full inventory of electronic parts and diagrams. We will show you bread board wiring schematics for you to copy…Even complete beginners with no programming, operating system or electronics experience can make this work…”
Open Source
48.    Scott Phillips of Code for Tulsa honored by White House for open-source software  http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.aspx/Scott_Phillips_of_Code_for_Tulsa_honored_by_White_House/20130726_52_E1_CUTLIN653169  “Scott Phillips and other members of Code for Tulsa were planning to have an all-night hackathon, but 12 days before their June 1 target date Moore was devastated by a giant tornado…As it turns out, hacking can be valuable after natural disasters. FEMA officials offered the group resources in case its members were interested in creating software to help with disaster relief. The June 1 hackathon gained a new purpose, and Code for Tulsa set to work developing an open-source mapping tool to help officials search dwellings after disasters…that work…earned Phillips the Champion of Change award, bestowed by the White House on those who work for open government and "civic hacking,"…Code for Tulsa evolved out of a group called Tulsa Web Devs when it became the local arm of Code For America…Code for Tulsa created a dispatch tool for the Tulsa Fire Department that takes incoming dispatch information and converts it to a format that can be pushed out to text messages and Web alerts, which allows firefighters to respond faster and with more accurate information…They were also able to meet with Christopher Whittaker, a project management consultant at the Smart Chicago Collaborative, and the two groups plan to collaborate on projects that could help both communities. "Chicago is the top city in the civic hacking movement…”
49.    First Open Source Airplane Could Cost Just $15,000  http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/07/open-source-airplane-design/  “There’s an open source airplane being developed in Canada, and now its designers are looking to double down on the digital trends, turning to crowdsourced funding to finish the project. The goal of Maker Plane is to develop a small, two-seat airplane that qualifies as a light sport aircraft and is affordable, safe, and easy to fly. But unlike other home-built aircraft, where companies or individuals charge for their plans or kits, Maker Plane will give its design away for free. The group behind the project consists of pilots and engineers who are designing the airplane, allowing it to be built using the kind of personal manufacturing equipment somebody in the maker community might already have at home or can easily purchase…In the spirit of the open source and maker movements, the Maker Plane group is including components from many designers and builders outside their circle. As they focus on the design of the airplane (fuselage, wings, etc.), the Maker Plane team helps connect those interested in building their own with other open source components such as an air data computer and radios. They even show you where you can get plans to build your own traffic and collision avoidance system.…”
Civilian Aerospace
50.    Google Lunar X Prize Proposing New Cash Prizes to Help Struggling Teams  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/07/glxp-new-prizes/  “…The Lunar X Prize, established in 2007, offers $20 million to the first private team to land a robot on the moon, have it travel 500 meters, and send pictures and video. They have until 2015 to do this, and the prize drops to $15 million if a government entity reaches the moon first, something China expects to do later this year. There also is a $5 million second-place prize…Alas, things aren’t going as well as the X-Prize folks had originally hoped, so they’re considering offering additional prizes. This could include $750,000 each for as many as four teams that present completed designs, power consumption plans, navigation, hardware, and operational details on how they’ll complete the mission. A similar prize could be awarded to as many as four teams that complete designs for a camera subsystem and create a video with realistic mockups or simulations showing their probe’s lunar mission…The new prizes could include a $7 million purse divvied up among the first teams to successfully launch. And one last suggestion is to pay $1 million to the first team to get within 500 kilometers of the lunar surface…”
51.     UK team designs human mission to Mars  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22952441  “Scientists at Imperial College London have designed a concept mission to land astronauts on Mars. The plan envisages a three-person crew journeying to Mars aboard a small two-part craft. The craft would rotate to generate artificial gravity and use a heat shield to protect itself against solar flares. The crew would then return to Martian orbit in a pre-sent craft fuelled using ice from beneath the planet's surface. The concept, developed in conjunction with the BBC, is intended to spark further debate about the technical obstacles and risks that would have to be overcome in order to put humans on Mars…”
52.    Slingatron hypervelocity coil to launch ships into space  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57595150-1/could-this-hypervelocity-coil-launch-ships-into-space/  “…Derek Tidman…thinks a massive, gyrating coil can speed up objects fast enough to give them escape velocity and send them into orbit…he's trying to build a large prototype launcher with Kickstarter backing. It's called the Slingatron…The idea is to dramatically reduce the cost of launches and accelerate space development…The Slingatron is an electrically powered coil, up to 328 meters across, that works like an old-fashioned overhead sling weapon…It would have a spiral launch track on a modular platform that could gyrate at 40 to 60 cycles per second. That exerts a strong centripetal force on the payload, which is released at the center and accelerates to speeds of 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) per second as it travels through the coil…The forces acting on the payload would be too great for humans to bear, so the Slingatron wouldn't be for astronauts. But it could be used to launch bulk materials such as water, fuel, and building materials, as well as satellites that have been hardened to bear the g-forces…”
53.    Hillbilly Tracking of Low Earth Orbit Satellites  http://travisgoodspeed.blogspot.com/2013/07/hillbilly-tracking-of-low-earth-orbit.html  “At Black Hat DC in 2008, I watched Adam Laurie present a tool for mapping Ku-band satellite downlinks, which he has since rewritten as Satmap. His technique involves using an DVB-S card in a Linux computer as a receiver through a 90cm Ku-band dish with fixed elevation and a DiSEqC motor for azimuth motion. It was among the most inspirational talks I'd ever seen, and I had a blast recreating his setup and scanning the friendly skies. However, such a rig is limited to geostationary satellites in a small region of the sky; I wanted to see the whole sky, especially the moving targets. In this article, I'll demonstrate a method for modifying a naval telecommunications dish to track moving targets in the sky, such as those in Low Earth Orbit. My dish happily sits in Tennessee, while I direct it using my laptop or cellphone here in Europe. It can also run unattended, tracking moving targets and looking for downlink channels…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
54.    Looking Beyond Linpack: New Supercomputing Benchmark in the Works  http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/07/24/supercomputing-benchmark-set-to-evolve/  “…With so much emphasis and funding invested in the Top500 rankings, the 20-year old Linpack benchmark has come under scrutiny, with some in the community suggesting it needs to evolve…Dongarra and his colleague…are developing a new benchmark that is expected to be released in time for the next TOP500 list release in November. The new benchmark being proposed is called the High Performance Conjugate Gradient (HPCG)…The HPCG won’t replace Linpack, but both metrics will be used to evaluate contenders in the November Top500. The primary objective of the Top500 list of the top supercomputers in the world is to provide a ranked list of general purpose systems that are in common use for high end applications. The list has been released twice a year for the past twenty years, with Linpack serving as the standard yardstick of performance. The High Performance Linpack (HPL) was introduced by Dongarra and selected for the Top500 in 1993…“We have reached a point where designing a system for good Linpack performance can actually lead to design choices that are wrong for the real application mix, or add unnecessary components or complexity to the system,” said Dongarra. “The hope is that this new rating system will drive computer system design and implementation in directions that will better impact performance improvement for real applications…”
55.     Nvidia unveils Quadro K6000  http://www.zdnet.com/nvidia-unveils-quadro-k6000-the-fastest-and-most-capable-gpu-ever-built-7000018488/  “GPU and chipmaker Nvidia has unveiled a new line of professional GPUs for workstations. The Quadro K6000 GPU, built around the company's successful Kepler architecture, delivers five-times higher compute performance and nearly double the graphics capability of its predecessor, the Nvidia Quadro 6000 GPU…12GB ultra-fast GDDR5 graphics memory lets designers and animators model and render characters and scenes at unprecedented scale…2,880 streaming multiprocessor (SMX) cores deliver faster visualization and compute horsepower than previous-generation products…Supports four simultaneous displays and up to 4k resolution with DisplayPort 1.2…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
56.    Top Small Business Technology Trends for 2H 2013  http://www.pymnts.com/news/businesswire-feed/2013/july/17/spoton-predicts-top-small-business-technology-trends-for-2h-2013-20130717005323  “…SpotOn’s top predictions for 2H 2013 include: 1. Death of the cash register as we know it…2. Minimum wage hikes and Obamacare opens doors for new tech…3. Expansion of hyper-local reach through mobile…4. The multi-channel digital Rolodex…5. Customer data gets a facelift…6. Merchants become your friends online…7. …and see real ROI as a result…8. Greater focus on the Baby Boomers…9. Flash deals give way to precise marketing…10. Greater personalization of rewards…”

57.     Emerging Trends in the World of Search Engine Optimization  http://www.searchenginejournal.com/emerging-trends-in-the-world-of-search-engine-optimization/64299/  “Things have been changing…in the SEO world…Here are a few…emerging trends in the SEO world: Mobile Search…Twitter…Quality…Google +…Conversion Rate Optimization…”

*****

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