2013/08/13

NEW NET Weekly List for 13 Aug 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 13 August 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.


The Weekly Top Ten, (pre-NEW NET, based on potential or immediate impact and/or general tech interestingness)
1.        Roll Your Own Amazon Price Tracker Using Google Docs (# 11)
2.       Insurance rates are being driven by tech that tracks how and where you drive (# 20)
3.       Mobile Computing: More Than Half of Employees Practice BYOD (# 21)
4.       Elon Musk unveils plans for Hyperloop transport system (# 30)
5.        The Future Of Work: Amazon vs. Zappos (# 35)
6.       Invisible design (# 38)
7.        Local entrepreneurs develop 3-D-printing vending machine (# 41)
8.       Open Medical Hardware: The Open Stent (# 46)
9.       First solar-powered Linux laptop (# 47)
10.     New Class of “Easily Retrievable” Asteroids Discovered (# 51)
The ‘net
11.      Roll Your Own Amazon Price Tracker Using Google Docs  http://lifehacker.com/roll-your-own-amazon-price-tracker-using-google-docs-1047403125  “There are tools that will track Amazon prices for you so you can grab a deal when the price is right, but why sign up for something when you can do it yourself with a simple Google document? This doc will track as many items as you want, and send you a daily digest of the prices and their changes. Amit…put this script together…All you have to do is open the doc, make a new copy to your own Google Drive, select "Initialize" and then "Start Tracking" from the Price Tracker menu…Paste in the Amazon…product URL for the item you want to track. The sheet will update itself automatically, and you can paste in as many items as you like. You'll get an email with the current prices of the products you want to track, and after that you'll get a daily email with the new prices, and an icon that shows you whether the price has gone up or down since the last update…”
12.     7Gbps transmissions up to a mile will boost wireless Internet coverage  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/08/7gbps-transmissions-up-to-a-mile-will-boost-wireless-internet-coverage/  “…FCC has changed its rules to allow higher-power outdoor operations on the 57-64 GHz band, enabling wireless transmissions "over distances up to a mile at data rates of 7Gbps,"…This is the same swath of spectrum used by Wireless Gigabit technology, which allows fast streaming between devices in living rooms and offices. Transmissions at this frequency are easily blocked by walls and objects…the FCC said the transmissions will still be useful outdoors in line-of-sight applications. Unlike a home network, the 7Gbps of bandwidth would be shared among many users…the Commission increased the power permitted for outdoor operations between fixed points using highly directional antennas and tied the maximum power permitted to the precision of the antenna beam which determines its potential for causing interference to other users, including to indoor low-power networks,"…It will also facilitate the use of this unlicensed spectrum as a backhaul alternative in densely populated areas where 4G and other wireless services are experiencing an everincreasing need for additional spectrum…”
13.     Internet search engines drove US librarians to redefine themselves  http://scienceblog.com/65442/internet-search-engines-drove-us-librarians-to-redefine-themselves/  “Although librarians adopted Internet technology quickly, they initially dismissed search engines, which duplicated tasks they considered integral to their field. Their eventual embrace of the technology required a reinvention of their occupational identity…Librarians, the researchers found, have gone from thinking of themselves as the knowledgeable person with the best answer to a patron’s question to being an interpreter and connector who points patrons to helpful materials for their consideration…”
14.     Facebook Moves Into Local Commerce With OpenTable Restaurant Bookings  http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/08/12/facebook-moves-into-local-with-opentable-restaurant-bookings/  “Facebook announced a deal today with OpenTable that will let people book restaurant reservations from the Facebook mobile app…when people visit a restaurant’s Facebook page, they can book directly from the page without leaving to go to another app. It will be available for all 20,000 restaurants on OpenTable in North America…If Facebook could build out more reviews or signals to indicate which of your friends “Liked” a particular restaurant, that could be a real competitor to Yelp. In another change today, Facebook is adding television listings on its mobile app. For TV shows and movies that have a Facebook page, those pages will now display the next local time and TV channel it is playing. The listings are based on current time zones. In other words, this is like TV Guide listings on Facebook. Both of these moves give users more reason to use Facebook and Facebook pages in particular…”
15.     Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality  http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/google-neutrality/  “…yesterday, Google told the FCC that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don’t give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections…At issue is Google Fiber’s Terms of Service, which contains a broad prohibition against customers attaching “servers” to its ultrafast 1 Gbps network in Kansas City. Google wants to ban the use of servers because it plans to offer a business class offering in the future…Google defended its sweeping ban by citing the very ISPs it opposed through the years-long fight for rules that require broadband providers to treat all packets equally…Google’s legally binding Terms of Service outlaw Google Fiber customers from running their own mail server, using a remotely accessible media server, SSHing into a home computer from work to retrieve files, running a Minecraft server for friends to share, using a Nest thermometer, using a nanny camera to watch over a childcare provider or using a Raspberry Pi to host a WordPress blog. None of those devices would do any harm to any broadband network…The server ban also prohibits you from attaching your personal computer to Google Fiber if you are using peer-to-peer software, because that works by having your computer be both a client and a server. The Free Network Foundation is working on a “Freedom Box”an open-source appliance you plug into your router that gives you ways to surf the net safely and anonymously; to help dissidents publish to the world…That too, by definition, is a server and thus banned by Google Fiber…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
16.     A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor  http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/bits/2013/08/02/a-cheap-spying-tool-with-a-high-creepy-factor/?from=global.home  “Brendan O’Connor is a security researcher. How easy would it be, he recently wondered, to monitor the movement of everyone on the street…Mr. O’Connor, 27, bought some plastic boxes and stuffed them with a $25, credit-card size Raspberry Pi Model A computer and a few over-the-counter sensors, including Wi-Fi adapters. He connected each of those boxes to a command and control system, and he built a data visualization system to monitor what the sensors picked up: all the wireless traffic emitted by every nearby wireless device, including smartphones. Each box cost $57. He produced 10 of them, and then he turned them on – to spy on himself. He could pick up the Web sites he browsed when he connected to a public Wi-Fi – say at a cafe – and he scooped up the unique identifier connected to his phone and iPad. Gobs of information traveled over the Internet in the clear, meaning they were entirely unencrypted and simple to scoop up. Even when he didn’t connect to a Wi-Fi network, his sensors could track his location through Wi-Fi “pings.”…“Actually it’s not hard,” he concluded. “It’s terrifyingly easy…”
17.     Hard disk hacking  http://spritesmods.com/?art=hddhack  “Hard disks: if you read this, it's pretty much certain you use one or more of the things. They're pretty simple: they basically present a bunch of 512-byte sectors, numbered by an increasing address, also known as the LBA or Logical Block Address. The PC the HD is connected to can read or write data to and from these sectors. Usually, a file system is used that abstracts all those sectors to files and folders. If you look at an HD from that naive standpoint, you would think the hardware should be pretty simple: all you need is something that connects to a SATA-port which can then position the read/write-head and read or write data from or to the platters. But maybe more is involved: don't hard disks also handle bad block management and SMART attributes, and don't they usually have some cache they must somehow manage? All that implies there's some intelligence in an hard disk, and intelligence usually implies hackability. I'm always interested in hackability, so I decided I wanted to look into how hard disks work on the non-mechanical level…My interest was in the little PCB that's on the back of most HDs and where the SATA and power connectors were located…”
18.     How the government killed a secure email company  http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/08/the-government-versus-your-secrets.html?currentPage=all  “…Tanya Lokshina…received an e-mail from edsnowden@lavabit.com. It requested that she attend a press conference at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport…This was the wider public’s introduction to Lavabit, an e-mail service prized for its security. Lavabit promised, for instance, that messages stored on the service using asymmetric encryption, which encrypts incoming e-mails before they’re saved on Lavabit’s servers, could not even be read by Lavabit itself. Yesterday, Lavabit went dark…Ladar Levison, wrote, “I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.” Those experiences led him to shut down the service rather than, as he put it, “become complicit in crimes against the American people.”…By the end of the night, a similar service, Silent Circle, also shut down its encrypted e-mail product…Which secret surveillance scheme is involved in the Lavabit case? The company may have received a national-security letter, which is a demand issued by a federal agency (typically the F.B.I.) that the recipient turn over data about other individuals. These letters often forbid recipients from discussing it with anyone. Another possibility is that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court may have issued a warrant ordering Lavabit to participate in ongoing e-mail surveillance…”
19.     NSA director’s answer to security: First, lay off sysadmins  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/08/nsa-directors-answer-to-security-first-lay-off-sysadmins/  “National Security Agency (NSA) Director…said that the NSA would soon be moving to cut 90 percent of the system administrator positions that it has contracted out—positions like the one previously held by whistleblower/leaker Edward Snowden—by moving to an automated cloud infrastructure…"What we've done is put people in loops of transferring data and securing networks—doing what machines are probably better at doing," Alexander said. Moving to an automated cloud provisioning system…would cut the number of hands that touch the NSA's internal systems and address vulnerabilities—such as a sysadmin loading data onto a thumb drive and walking out with it. "It would also address the number of system administrators we have," he said. "Not fast enough—but we plan to reduce the number of system administrators by 90 percent to make networks more defensible and secure…”
20.    Insurance rates are being driven by tech that tracks how and where you drive  http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/like-it-or-not-insurance-rates-driven-by-technology-that-tracks-how-and-where-you-drive-is-gaining-momentum/  “When it comes to auto insurance, the idea of “how much” has typically always been the overriding question for consumers, whether it’s the cost of the policy or the span and type of coverage…a new tech trend has taken shape that is changing the way those variables are assessed…Most commonly referred to as Usage Based Insurance (UBI), carriers like Progressive, Allstate and State Farm have been beefing up their optional policy offerings with tech devices that gauge your driving habits for potentially lower insurance rates…Using technology like Ford SYNC or a small digital device like Progressive’s Snapshot that plugs into a car’s On Board Diagnostic port, or OBD port, the systems collect varying amounts of data from those enrolled in the programs  – such as when the vehicle is in motion, miles traveled, speed and braking. The data is then transmitted wirelessly directly to insurance companies to build a profile of your driving habits over a certain time frame and your policy is discounted (or “re-evaluated”)…Previous to UBI, insurance companies had no idea how, where or how much their customers were driving and relied on DMV driving records and general questions at the time the policy was set up to determine the costs and coverage. UBI gives them a much, much more precise picture of a customer’s driving behavior…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
21.     Mobile Computing: More Than Half of Employees Practice BYOD  http://www.formtek.com/blog/?p=3891  “BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the practice of employees using their own personal electronic devices to access business servers and data, is a relatively new…research find that surprisingly, already 70 percent of employees use their own smartphone or tablet to access corporate data. The Ovum report found that 56 percent of workers are accessing corporate data with their personal devices.  15.4 percent are doing it without their IT department knowing about it.  20.9 percent that they do it in spite of company policies against it…“trying to stand in the path of consumerized mobility is likely to be a damaging and futile exercise.  We believe businesses are better served by exploiting this behavior to increase employee engagement and productivity, and promote the benefits of enterprise mobility…”
22.    Tablets vs. Laptops: Which Are Better For Mobile Computing?  http://www.technologytell.com/gadgets/126120/tablets-vs-laptops-which-are-better-for-mobile-computing/  “…Business Insider  had an article on replacing tablets with laptops, and our sister site, TeleRead had an article on the subject as well…Laptops and tablets both fit the niche of mobile computing. They are both good for certain tasks and not so good for others. I gave up a laptop for a tablet a long time ago, and if I need a full computer, I use my desktop PC…I also keep Quickbooks on my computer because I’m leery of having my business finances accessible from a device that’s so easily stolen…I spend a lot of time in coffee shops because it’s where I do my fiction writing, and it’s where I meet with my clients. I see people working on both laptops and tablets…Most of the time, I see people doing the following types of tasks: 1. Web browsing…2. Reading…3. Email…4. Watching video…5. Social networking…6. Light word processing (mostly without complicated graphics, tables or the like)…All of those are perfect work for a tablet. I use my iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard to do all of them on the go. I think a good quality tablet with a keyboard can do almost everything a laptop can do, and it’s more portable…”
23.    Two second mobile time? Google says it’s vital to success  http://gigaom.com/2013/08/09/two-second-mobile-time-google-says-its-vital-to-success/  “When it comes to browsing on the Internet, the greater population has the patience of a reasonably sized gnat. While extended loading times on the desktop have gone the way of the dial tone and stay reasonably speedy…mobile is a different story. According to…Google, the average mobile browser page takes a whopping 7 seconds to load. In comparison, Google finds that anything lasting over a second is jarring enough to break a user’s flow…Google says…cut your website’s load time to below two seconds, or face the consequences…Google’s call for optimization hits on some pretty practical points: developers should minimize loading times by focusing on trimming “above the fold” content — i.e. allowing for the first section of the web page to load smoothly while the rest of the page continues to load over time. In addition to optimizing the load of both JavaScript and CSS that appears in that crucial area, Google recommends the basics — avoid excessive redirects and bloated data that requires multiple roundtrips to render a page. Developers can test their pages by utilizing Google’s updated PageSpeed Insights tool. It can accurately time the load speed of websites across a number of platforms, show how it all appears on mobile and give optimization suggestions…”
24.    Android is better  http://paulstamatiou.com/android-is-better  “It was just meant to be a quick experiment. I started using a Nexus 4. I was going to go right back to my iPhone after a week. I was designing more and more Android interfaces at Twitter and realized I needed to more intimately grok Android UI paradigms…A month in I didn't miss anything about my iPhone. Two months in I sold my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. It has now been three months since I made the switch. I'm loving Android. I only missed having a good camera so I just upgraded to a Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4…Most services I rely on daily are owned by Google. My world revolves around GMail and Google search…The list of Apple products I use daily largely amounts to OS X and Apple hardware. People identify themselves as Mac users and Windows users... zoom out a bit and you'll find another Venn diagram where Google almost entirely encompasses all of these users…when it comes down to it my love of Android lies heavily with the way Android handles notifications…the more time I spent living with Android it became obvious that being able to do anything and suit a variety of needs is a pillar of the Android experience…Want a picture emailed of the person trying to unlock your phone emailed to you? Lookout Security & Antivirus does that…”  [this post does a good job of capturing why some people prefer Android over the iPhone. For people who are happy with how the iPhone works, they are much better off with the monoculture iPhone experience; for them it will be easier and more enjoyable to use – ed.]
Apps
25.    New Smartphone app connects bicycle owners with renters  http://tech2.in.com/news/apps/new-smartphone-app-connects-bicycle-owners-with-renters/910136  “…a new app is making sure that no bike collects dust in a garage. Cyclists in more than 500 cities worldwide have access to rentals thanks to the growing popularity of city bike sharing services that provide convenient and affordable access to bicycles…a new iPhone app called Spinlister is aiming to connect bicycle owners with people who want to rent different types of bicycles and for longer periods of time. "A lot of people have amazing bikes, but their bikes are just sitting in their garages," said Marcelo Loureiro…"If you're looking for a three to four block ride, no one can beat the city bike share. But sometimes people want to use the bike for the whole day and not be worried about docking the bike or time deadlines," he said, adding that the average bike rental on the app is for three days. The app enables renters to find nearby bikes on a map and to filter by the type of bike they're looking for, as well as the price, height and availability. The average daily rate for a bike on the app is $10, plus a 12.5 percent fee. The cost can be paid with a credit card using the app…”
26.    Apps, smartphone discussion to take place at Caribou Coffee  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/northbrook/briefs/chi-jns-510173296-northbrook-20130805,0,1321598.story  “The Northbrook Public Library will host an Appy Hour discussion Tuesday, Aug. 6, at Caribou Coffee. The discussion of smartphone and tablet applications will take place from 6-7 p.m. at 1347 Shermer Road, Northbrook. "We'll swap favorites and help you discover the newest, greatest quality apps for your smart devices," according to an announcement from the library. The free event is open to all ages and registration is not required…”
SkyNet
27.    Google Search Starts Highlighting In-Depth Articles On Search Results Pages  http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/06/google-search-starts-highlighting-in-depth-articles-in-new-knowledge-graph-box/  “Google today announced a new feature for Google Search that highlights in-depth articles related to your search queries. Google says while many users just want a quick answer, its own research indicates that about 10% of people are looking for links to more in-depth stories…the results “are ranked algorithmically based on many signals that look for high-quality, in-depth content.” The results, Google says, are meant to “provide high-quality content to help you learn about or explore a subject.” Publishers, Google says, should ensure that their articles follow its general guidelines for longer stories (including pagination markup) and make sure they “create compelling in-depth content.” “I’m happy to see people continue to invest in thoughtful in-depth content that will remain relevant for months or even years after publication. This is exactly what you’ll find in the new feature…”
28.    Google Play Launches Line of Discounted Textbooks  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422934,00.asp  “…Google…is joining the e-textbook revolution, this week rolling out a new Google Play feature for purchasing and renting digital textbooks…"With digital textbooks, there's no need to worry about which ones you have with you and which ones you left in your dorm room," Scott Dougall, director of product management at Google, wrote in a blog entry. "Because your library is stored in the cloud, you have instant access to the titles you need — when you need them — on your Android tablet, phone, iOS device, and on the Web." Now, your textbooks weigh only as much as the device you're reading them on, and are as portable as your smartphone or tablet…by renting books through Google Play, students can hang on to the text for only a semester or two, then return it at the end of six months, saving up to 80 percent compared to physical books, and eliminating the frustration of trying to sell textbooks back to the campus store….”
29.    Teenager Tackles Autism With Help From Google Glass  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/08/catalin-voss/  “As you slip on the Google Glass…you’re told they can read the emotions of the people around you. You peer through the frames…But the payoff doesn’t come…Glass doesn’t read the happiness. “Neutral,” the display says…the problem isn’t the computerized eyewear. It’s you. You’re so focused on the hovering display, you’re not looking at the smiling face. When you turn slightly, gazing straight at that smile, the display responds. “Happy,” it says. And when the face changes, dropping the smile for a wide-eyed, wide-mouthed look of shock, the display changes too. “Surprise,” it says. These Google Glass frames run an experimental application cooked up by the person you’re looking at…His name is Catalin Voss, and he’s all of 18 years old. At 15, after catching the eye of computer science legend Steve Capps, Voss was commuting between Heidelberg, Germany and California to build mobile applications for a Silicon Valley startup called PayNearMe. Now, two months removed from his freshman year at Stanford University in Palo Alto, he’s fashioning a Silicon Valley startup of his own, a company that seeks to remake education using software that tracks facial expressions and body language…Sension…envisions a world where online teaching tools instantly respond to your behavior — where, for example, you’re hit with a quiz question when your attention drifts from a lecture video — but this fledgling venture also harbors much loftier goals…Voss and his co-founder, Jonathan Yan, hope to create a face-tracking engine that can help people to better recognize and understand the expressions and emotions of others. The tool would be a natural for treating autism and related disorders…”
General Technology
30.    Elon Musk unveils plans for Hyperloop transport system  http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/12/elon-musk-unveils-hyperloop-transport  “…Elon Musk has unveiled plans for a "Hyperloop" transport system he hopes will one day shuttle passengers and cars between Los Angeles and San Francisco travelling faster than the speed of sound…People and cars would be transported between cities inside aluminum pods traveling a speed of up to 800 miles per hour inside elevated tubes…Musk has previously said that Hyperloop will be a "cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table."…the tubes would be elevated on columns 50 to 100 yards apart and run alongside California's Interstate 5 highway. "You just drive on, and the pod departs," Musk said, estimating that the system could be built for $6bn with people-only pods, or $10bn for the larger pods capable of holding people and cars…The system would be a closed loop, designed for cities less than 900 mile apart that have high levels of traffic…the solar-powered system would allow passengers to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 30 minutes. Such a journey would be five hours shorter than the time it would take to drive…”
31.     Senic Wants To Revolutionize Measurement, Starting With A Smartphone-Connected Laser Distance Meter  http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/09/senic-wants-to-revolutionize-measurement-starting-with-a-smartphone-connected-laser-distance-meter/  “…Senic is launching pre-orders for…a laser rangefinder like the ones sold in hardware stores…The difference is that Senic’s device uses Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with iOS and Android devices, recording measurements instantly and syncing them to the cloud…Toby Eichenwald explained that he got the idea working for his father’s company in Korea…“The product that we’re working on right now is the worlds’ smartest laser distance meter…The laser distance meter they’re building has a 200-foot range, is accurate up to 0.075 inches, is water and dust resistant and features single button operation. It will retail for $149 in stores, but is available to pre-order customers through the Senic website starting today for just $99…”
32.    Ultrasonic networking: your devices are talking, and you can’t hear a thing  http://gigaom.com/2013/08/09/ultrasonic-networking-your-devices-are-talking-and-you-cant-hear-a-thing/  “…Google engineer Boris Smus figured out a way to use ultrasonic sounds to let your devices talk to each other —  and he’s using the Web Audio API implemented in Google’s Chrome browser, so you don’t even need to download an app for it…the idea behind ultrasonic networking was to figure out alternatives to Bluetooth, WiFi Direct and NFC to let mobile and desktop devices that are in the same physical space pair up and exchange data with each other. One key motivation was that existing technologies often aren’t compatible with each other…Even if both devices have Bluetooth, one of them may require a profile the other doesn’t support, or support a different version of the standard. ”…pretty much all devices have microphones and speakers, so it’s easy for them to exchange sounds…Translating data into sounds also limit your bandwidth…The main point here is to show that it can be done on commodity hardware, and that it’s possible to do with the open web…you don’t actually need all that much bandwidth for what Smus has in mind. After two devices are paired, everything can be offloaded to the cloud. That approach would also work really well for the internet of things…”
Leisure & Entertainment
33.    The Nokia Lumia 1020: The smartphone to render point-and-shoots obsolete  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/the-nokia-lumia-1020-the-smartphone-to-render-point-and-shoots-obsolete/  “…Take a Lumia 920 and slap on an AMOLED screen and a hulking great camera—now you have the Lumia 1020…The Lumia 1020 has 2GB of RAM instead of the 1GB found on the 920-series phones. It apparently contains a barometer…in addition to the typical GPS/GLONASS, compass, accelerometer, and gyroscope…But the point of the Lumia 1020 is the camera…The sensor has a resolution of 7712×5360 for a total of 41.3 megapixels…the sensor is back-side illuminated. Most imaging sensors use front-side illumination…Back-side illumination…is more complex, but it allows more light capture…this ridiculous resolution…allows two things. First, it allows for oversampling…This…results in better capture of fine detail. The second thing is that it allows better digital zoom…digital zoom can crop the 41MP sensor output to 5MP—no need to upscale. At the highest level of zoom, this means that there can't be any oversampling. So it loses that advantage, but at intermediate zoom levels, some amount of oversampling is still possible. Oversampling and digital zoom are both also available for video, allowing 4× zoom at 1080p and 6× zoom at 720p, all without upscaling…”
34.    Live Design launches Envision symposium  “Live Design…announces…The Envision Symposium, the first event of its kind devoted to shaping the future of where technology intersects with the arts; including, film, television, gaming, theatre, music and storytelling. Envision will take place, September 19-21 in Monterey, California. Envision is open to the brightest innovators, visionaries, programmers, executives, designers, engineers, producers, CTOs, CMOs, disruptive thinkers and creative technologists from the world of entertainment, gaming and technology.  Attendees will be those who are not bounded by traditional thinking and expectations in these fields, but rather want to engage in similar conversations, in a collaborative environment, and help create a blueprint for the future…The sessions will delve into the art and science of storytelling from a variety of perspectives - lighting, sound, video, scenic, cinematography, direction, choreography, new media - and discuss how we merge them all into a series of experiences so captivating and compelling that we capture new audiences and compel old audiences to stay interested…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
35.    The Future Of Work: Amazon vs. Zappos  http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/10/the-manichaean-labors/  “…Downtown Vegas…is very much a business investment…of a sort. You could call it an investment in building a community where businesses can thrive, but that would be missing the larger point. To me it seems like a $350 million bet on the idea that doing good, having fun, and working more productively are not at all incompatible; that, in fact, they can reinforce one another…The new district, some two dozen city blocks and counting, will be built to maximize the number of serendipitous collisions among strangers, and would-be entrepeneurs will be measured by their Return On Community more than their return on capital…But there’s a gargantuan elephant in this brave new room, and its name is Amazon. It’s strange to think that Zappos, with its communal-family culture, is a wholly owned subsidiary of a ruthlessly efficient machine. Amazon’s treatment of its employees recently caused Business Insider–a Jeff Bezos investee–to warn: “Brutal Conditions In Amazon’s Warehouses Threaten To Ruin The Company’s Image.” My friends who used to work there inform me that it doesn’t treat its techies much better. No coincidence that it has the second highest employee turnover among the Fortune 500…It seems to me that Amazon and Zappos are microcosms of two potential futures of work. On the one hand, you have breathtaking inequality, “peak jobs,” and the bifurcation of the population into a diminishing elite of skilled/tech/finance workers, and a growing mass of low-quality and/or part-time jobs increasingly threatened by technology and international competition…Call that the Amazon future. Or even the Amazon present…And then there’s the Zappos future. Its take-home pay still isn’t spectacular; but it’s a future where companies genuinely try to create a social fabric–and safety net–woven from excellent benefits, a thriving culture, a strong community, and the encouragement of entrepeneurs, on the theory that these rewards will eventually redound to companies and their executives…”
36.    Entertainment and Technology Meet in Hollywood’s Backyard  http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/ryan-seacrest-kevin-systrom-help-bridge-gap-between-hollywood-silicon-valley-1200574525/  “…The distance between Hollywood and Silicon Valley is being bridged by people like Seacrest and Systrom, who are emblematic of an ongoing cross-pollination between these two worlds. Though it’s the friction between the entertainment and technology fi elds that gets the most attention, mutual interest unites them. Nowhere is this dialogue more evident than in Los Angeles, where a technology-driven startup community is coming of age in the backyard of the world’s entertainment mecca. Collectively known by some as Silicon Beach, it’s not just a group of tech companies but rather an ecosystem complete with mentorship programs, entrepreneurial education and near-nightly events to call its own…it’s largely clustered around the beachside locales of Santa Monica and Venice…In Los Angeles, there are now more than 30 co-working spaces, more than two dozen incubators and accelerators (though some are larger than others), and by some counts better than 700 startups in various stages of development. This thriving tech hub is dependent on educational support from local universities; benefi cial policy set at the government level, including the mayor’s office, which is shining a light on the tech community; larger companies doing business with the newbies; and increased venture funding…The merger of the two worlds has the potential to re-create film distribution, enhance moviegoing experiences, bring content to consumers in new ways on multiple screens, change the way we discover music, and reshape the way we experience the Internet altogether. “My message to every studio is: If we disrupt Hollywood in this town by Hollywood giving business development partnerships to people, by Hollywood taking equity stakes in people, by Hollywood’s staff leaving to (go to startups), then the next generation of Hollywood will exist in this town,” said Mark Suster, founder of tech accelerator Launchpad, and managing partner at Upfront Ventures…”
37.    Skolkovo, Russia’s Massive Project To Emulate Silicon Valley, Gets A $4B Commitment  http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/09/skolkovo-15b/  “Skolkovo, the much debated public effort by the Russian government to kickstart a startup culture inside the country, said it secured another 135.6 billion ruble ($4 billion) commitment from the government through the next seven years…Skolkovo’s new funding should total about $15 billion through 2020…Skolkovo is a massive government-led effort to diversify the Russian economy away from its dependency on natural resources and build an entrepreneurship culture inside the country. At its heart is a 1,000-acre site about an hour from central Moscow that is slated to become a hub for venture-backed startups, technical research and education. Right now, the site contains a lone Hypercube — a steel, glass and concrete structure housing conference rooms and co-working spaces. It is basically surrounded by vacant plains at this point…Skolkovo has also attracted its critics. Is the project too quixotic? Is it corrupt? These are issues that Russians in the startup community debate regularly…”
Design / DEMO
38.    Invisible design  http://www.wired.com/design/2013/08/the-age-of-invisible-design/  “The Wright brothers didn’t invent powered, manned flight…daredevils around the world had already put motors on gliders and launched themselves into the air. Technically these machines could fly—they just tended to crash afterward. But the Wright brothers created a plane that people could actually control, with an effective steering system that let pilots maneuver the craft in midair…They may not have invented powered flight, but they brought it into the realm of human experience. They designed it. Ask a thousand experts for their definition of design and you’ll get a thousand different answers. But at root it’s a simple concept: To design something is to make a series of decisions that shape an experience for the user—whether that’s flying an airplane, reading a magazine, or navigating a website…it’s not only aesthetics. Many…decisions are coded into the way our products operate. Design doesn’t just make things beautiful, it makes them work…Dieter Rams laid out his now canonical 10 Principles of Good Design. Rams taught us that great design is as little design as possible. It doesn’t draw attention to itself; it merely allows users to accomplish their tasks with the maximal amount of efficiency and pleasure. At its best, it is invisible. Rams was talking about designing things you can see and feel. But we’re entering a new era, one in which designers create experiences centering not on physical objects but on the fabric of digital information that surrounds us. That’s the next great challenge for design: weaving the threads of technology, information, and access seamlessly and elegantly into our everyday lives…”
39.    Techstars Picks 11 Startups for 2013 Class in Seattle  http://www.xconomy.com/seattle/2013/08/05/techstars-picks-11-startups-for-2013-class-in-seattle/  “Techstars Seattle has picked 11 startup companies to participate in its 2013 class, which begins today. The fourth edition of the top-tier startup accelerator in Seattle includes…Designlab, a San Francisco/New York startup, aims to teach people Web design skills—such as layout, user experience, and typography—through online lessons and projects…Everpath, a Seattle startup, is a course catalog for online education in programming, design, business, and other topics. The site lists courses from existing online education providers such as Coursera, Codecademy, and General Assembly, providing a course summary, price, availability, difficulty, and other information, with a link to the course provider…”  http://www.trydesignlab.com/    http://www.everpath.org/
40.    Why User-Centered Design is Not Enough  http://www.core77.com/blog/articles/why_user-centered_design_is_not_enough_by_john_wood_23465.asp  “Buckminster Fuller framed this question in his 1993 book of the same name, warning that mankind's prospects would go decisively one way, or the other. Twenty years on, it is clear that nobody could have answered his question with any certainty. This is because we are all entangled in it. Fortunately, most of us have heard of the butterfly effect, so we are slowly realising that each one of us has some responsibility for what happens. What does this mean for 'UCD' (User-Centered Design)?...The growth of humanism gave us a strong belief in free will. More recently, in the era of consumption, it has tended to make us restless and unsatisfied. This is a paradox. In the 21st century, never have so many people had so much access to so much information. Yet, our species has become increasingly disconnected from the complex ecosystem that nourishes and sustains it. This is because, for the sake of convenience, we have manipulated, or dumbed-down our perceptions of what is immediately around us. What should worry designers, in particular, is that they played a major part in creating this artificial, user-centered world…”
DHMN Technology
41.     Local entrepreneurs develop 3-D-printing vending machine  http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2013-08-06/whats-in-the-box-local-entrepreneurs-develop-3-d-printing-vending-machine/1773053.html  “The world’s first fully automated 3-D-printing vending machine, dubbed the Dreambox, will be available for use in downtown San Mateo soon as its makers are busy learning how to grow their business at Boost VC, an incubator for young entrepreneurs. The Dreambox kiosk will help anchor a pop-up retail site at the former Collective Antiques building on Third Avenue…The pop-up retail store should open in a couple of weeks and will feature the Dreambox, a vending machine that users can print almost any object in 3-D. Customers can watch their creations made on the spot for a modest fee depending on the size. The largest object the machine can print now, however, is about 7-by-9-by-5 inches. The vending machine can even turn 3-D images of a person into small figurines. The box was invented by three students at the University of California at Berkeley, one who studied engineering, the other business and the third computer science…”
42.    The Problems With Reinventing CAD Software  http://www.forbes.com/sites/rakeshsharma/2013/08/09/the-problems-with-reinventing-cad-software/  “…The emergence of a community of makers, hardware startups, and personal technology products such as 3D printers, has democratized design. Instead of engineers, entrepreneurs and consumers are using free design and collaboration software to shape the next big thing…Targeted specifically at the Maker community and hardware entrepreneurs, Upverter is a suite of collaboration, data and design tools for hardware entrepreneurs. In simple words, it helps hardware entrepreneurs and electrical engineers design and prepare complex circuits and drawings and collaborate using the cloud…audiences for design software have changed from broadly technical to hobbyists. Products, such as Google Sketchup, are squarely aimed at a growing community of design enthusiasts who are interested in mechanical and electronic design but lack sophisticated skills or funds to invest in expensive proprietary solutions. “Design expectations are based on personal experiences with technology at work and at play,” says Guillermo Melantoni, Product Line Manager at Autodesk…The company launched 123dapp, a free 3D modeling software, three years ago to attract the Maker community. More recently, they resuscitated popular cloud-based 3D modeling software Tinkercad…Melantoni says the intention is to convert the company’s industrial grade design technology into simple tools so that “everyone, at every skill level, can unlock their creativity.” “You can’t 3D print something without the 3D design file – this is where Autodesk comes in,”…But, a combination of browser technology and lack of open file formats have stymied their progress. Kaustuv DeBiswas started Sunglass after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology two years ago. The thirty-three-year-old former architect drew upon his personal frustrations with available design software to develop a collaborative cloud-based market solution. Sunglass functions as a design tool, community as well as marketplace: you can design parts as well as search for them using the tool…”
43.    Local Teachers Attend 3D Printer Workshop at Michigan Tech  http://readme.readmedia.com/Local-Teachers-Attend-3D-Printer-Workshop-at-Michigan-Tech/7107895  “Carim Calkins and Jim Rumon from Frost Middle School were at Michigan Technological University recently, learning to build their own 3D printer to take home…since the open-source RepRap 3D printers developed for the workshop can print their own components, teachers and students can use the workshop printer to build another one, and then use the two printers to build two more, and on and on. The possibilities are virtually unlimited. The Calumet High School team was sponsored by General Motors and PACE (Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education). Through PACE, GM is launching an industry/university/high school partnership curriculum, and Calumet was the program's pilot school. "GM is continuously looking for ways to further develop student's interest in science, technology, engineering and math. This new pilot program with PACE provides a tremendous opportunity in which to accomplish this goal," said John Calabrese, vice president, global vehicle engineering at General Motors. "We are able to train these students on some of our more advanced technologies, such as the 3D printers, so they are prepared once they enter the workforce to jump right in to understanding these applications…”
Open Source Hardware
44.    Bloomberg backs Ubuntu Edge mobile computer with $80,000 pledge  http://news.techworld.com/security/3463005/bloomberg-backs-ubuntu-edge-mobile-computer-with-80000-pledge/  “Canonical’s ambitious attempt to crowdfund $32 million (£21 million) for the Ubuntu Edge might be falling short but the concept has at least found a symbolic business backer with the news that Information firm Bloomberg has pledged $80,000 to the cause. That sum has made Bloomberg the first organisation to qualify for the ‘Enterprise 100’ bundle, which gives them 100 Edge smartphones plus one month’s tech support and access to workshops…Bloomberg and Canonical remain upbeat about the prospects that the Edge will in theory appear in May 2014. To do that it must reach the $32 million target by midnight on 21 August; with under a fortnight to go the total stood at $8.5 million…”
45.    Space station poised to launch open-source satellites  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24008-space-station-poised-to-launch-opensource-satellites.html  “Want to do your own space experiment? From next week, you will be able to run science projects on the world's first open-source satellites…ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on 3 August aboard a Japanese resupply vehicle (which is also carrying fresh food, supplies and a talking humanoid robot). Known as CubeSats, each mini satellite packs an array of devices – including cameras, spectrometers and a Geiger counter – into a cube just 10 centimetres to a side. The cargo ship carrying the CubeSats should arrive at the ISS on 9 August, and the satellites will then be deployed using a robotic-arm technique tested last year. The method can put several small satellites into orbit around Earth, eliminating the need for dedicated launch vehicles and making citizen-science missions like ArduSat more affordable…”
46.    Open Medical Hardware: The Open Stent  http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2013/open-medical-hardware-the-open-stent/  “The stent pictured above is an example of an Open Stent from NDC, makers of nitinol materials and devices, particularly for medical applications. In their introduction to the project, they write: The first problem that we encounter when developing useful and practical educational resources for stent design is that every design we might want to use as an example is proprietary! That leaves us without much to talk about… So to solve this problem, the first step was to create a design to use as an example. The Open Stent is designed to be completely generic, but also realistic, and relatively easy to modify and extend to be useful for whatever purpose a designer intends…In addition to publishing their draft of Open Stent Design, which they call “a practical guide and resource for design and analysis of a generic Nitinol stent,” NDC has provided extensive calculation tools and CAD files as well, to help others evaluate and create derivatives of the design…”
Open Source
47.    First solar-powered Linux laptop  http://www.zdnet.com/first-solar-powered-linux-laptop-7000019183/  “WeWi Telecommunications, a Canadian telecommunications company…known for its disaster recovery services…will be the first to build a fully solar-powered, Linux laptop. The new laptop, which is still in development, will be named the SOL. WeWi hasn't revealed any pricing but it's rumored that it will list for $400. The SOL's specs are: CPU: Intel Atom D2500 1.86 GHz Duo Core, Intel 945GSE + ICH7M…RAM: Kingston 2-4GB DDRIII SDRAM…Display: 13.3" LCD, WXGA, 1366 x 768…GPS: gpsOne Gen8A…Wi-Fi: MIMO 802.11b/gn (2.4/5GHz)…The company claims that with this configuration, and its built-in Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels with 16-percent efficiency, it will have a battery life of eight to ten hours. For its operating system, it will run Ubuntu 12.04…”
48.    3D printing labs across Israel to spark new innovation  http://israel21c.org/technology/3d-printing-labs-across-israel-to-spark-new-innovation/  “…Israel will segue from “startup nation” to “self-manufacturing nation” if leaders of the non-profit Reut Institute realize their ambitious dream. “Our vision is for Israel to lead the coming revolution of self-manufacturing,” says Roy Keidar, CEO of the Reut Institute…That future will see folks of all ages making their own products with inexpensive materials and open-source technologies, Keidar explains to ISRAEL21c at Reut’s first Communal Technological Space (CTS) 3D printing lab, soon to be replicated across Israel as part of Reut’s XLN (Cross-Lab Network) Initiative. “We have such sophisticated easy-to-use tools, like 3D printers, that today it’s not a dream that you can wake up in the morning, sketch an invention, put it on your computer and then print it…”
Civilian Aerospace
49.    Schoolgirls Build Homemade Mars Rover You Can Drive  http://www.space.com/22302-schoolgirls-build-mars-rover-spirit-model.html  “A sister act in North Carolina has proven that age is no obstacle when it comes to building a Mars rover. Working out of their home garage, 13-year-old Camille Beatty and her sister Genevieve, 11, built a functioning robot modeled after NASA's now-deceased Mars rover Spirit. The girls designed, developed and built the scale-model rover with the help of their father, Robert Beatty. Their mechanical creation will be unveiled Saturday (Aug. 10) as part of an interactive Mars exhibit at the New York Hall of Science…After working with the simple circuits for a while, the Beattys started building robots when Camille was 11 years old. Since that time, the family has created about 12 to 15 bots from their home in Asheville, N.C…Kids and adults who visit the exhibit can control the Beattys' rover, driving it around on a simulated hunt for life on the surface of the Red Planet. The rover's infrared camera, sonar sensors, thermal array sensor and other technology help the rover roam around the exhibit in search of infrared-light-emitting rocks …”
50.    For Just Under $2K, You Can Have A Burial in Space  http://gawker.com/for-just-under-2k-you-can-have-a-burial-in-space-1092724362  “…the future is now in terms of personalizing your departure from this mortal coil. Today marks yet another milestone in body disposal: the relatively cheap space burial. A start-up called Elysium Space will send your cremated remains into orbit for the cheap price of $1,990. Your remains will launch into low orbit, and circle the Earth for a few months before you re-enter the atmosphere and burn up in an awesome fireball. Not only will you get to experience the ride of your afterlife, but your family and loved one's will be able to follow along on your final journey through an iPhone App…”
51.     New Class of “Easily Retrievable” Asteroids Discovered  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/518046/new-class-of-easily-retrievable-asteroids-discovered/  “Asteroids that pass close to Earth have become the focus of increased attention in recent years, partly because of the…threat they pose to humanity. But they are also a potential boon.  For decades, science fiction writers and various space scientists have pointed out that asteroids offer a huge untapped source of valuable resources…even if this stuff is too expensive to bring home, it could provide the raw materials for rocket fuel and perhaps even rockets themselves to be manufactured in space…last year…Planetary Resources…announced its intention to begin mining asteroids as soon as is feasible…Daniel Garcia Yarnoz and a few pals at the University of Strathclyde in the UK today describe an entirely new category of asteroid that is easy to capture. These guys have searched…the current database of around 9000 near-Earth objects looking for those that could be manoeuvred into an accessible orbit by changing their velocity by less than 500 metres per second. By accessible orbit, these guys mean an orbit around the L1 or L2 Lagrangian points where the gravitational force of the Sun and Earth exactly balance. These points are around a million kilometres or so from Earth…12 asteroids meet this criteria…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
52.    Will the GPU Replace the CPU?  http://www.datacenterjournal.com/it/gpu-replace-cpu/  “…the clock speed of processors has become far less a performance metric, having been replaced by number of cores, cache size and memory capacity…The trend toward parallel computing through multicore processors led to a surprising result: growing interest in using GPUs (graphics processing units) for general-purpose computing. One of the major benefits of GPUs is that it applies the concept of parallelism (multiple cores) to a much greater extent, integrating hundreds or thousands of processing cores, whereas CPUs typically integrate maybe a dozen or so. In light of the challenges that CPUs face in terms of future scaling, could GPUs be a replacement that takes up the slack in pressing forward toward greater compute capability?...Although the GPU offers tremendous benefits for some applications, it is not a universal solution for all compute problems. Some tasks are serial in nature rather than parallel, and in these cases, the CPU performs better than the GPU. Furthermore, GPUs lack the kinds of I/O interfaces that are as necessary to computing as raw processing. In the context of supercomputing…at a recent roundtable discussion of industry representatives, “the majority of panelists agreed that the use of GPUs in supercomputers is becoming an integral part of the segment’s forward momentum, though the consensus was that CPUs would in no way become redundant in the space as a result…”
53.    Making Hadoop faster with GPU  http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/making-hadoop-faster-with-gpu/147501  “By enabling the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of servers, Hadoop has transformed the way organizations manipulate big data. The open source framework is capable of rapidly scaling from a single server to thousands of machines and processing information really fast…Researchers hypothesize that by offloading calculations from a central processing unit (CPU) to a graphics processing unit (GPU) designed for complex 3D and mathematical tasks, it could be possible to bump up Hadoop’s performance. This is because GPUs can perform calculations 50 to 100 times faster than their CPU counterparts…There have been projects in the past which combined the Hadoop of MapReduce approach with a GPU. For instance, the Mars MapReduce-GPU project managed a 1.5 to 16 times increase in performance in analyzing Web data and processing Web documents…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
54.    Top 10 HR Technology Trends For 2014  http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2013/08/01/top-10-hr-technology-trends-for-2014/  “…These are the top ten HR technology trends that this…group forecasts to impact companies and their workers in 2014: HR data is secure in the cloud…Gamification is here to stay…Integrated social media will result in better communication and collaboration…Virtualization and globalization are transforming  the workplace…Cross-functional innovation teams will become the norm to improve creativity, productivity, and quality…Cloud and business process outsourcing support business goals by reducing infrastructure costs…Mobile tools become even more prevalent from senior management through hourly workers…HR needs to harness and analyze Big-Data for business performance results…Integration, consolidation, and “suite” solutions  will increase the interoperability of systems, databases, and tools…Global, standardized definitions for HR terminology, metrics, data models, and systems…”

55.     Top ten mobile trends  http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/ThreeTrending/top-ten-mobile-trends-gamechanging-technology-in-your-pocket-29465654.html  “…We look at the top ten ways in which technology is changing our lives as consumers and what we can now do on our mobile phone: 1. Ditch the Wallet…2. Call, Click and Collect…3. Apps…4. Appcessories…5. Airport Check-In…6. Daily Deals Websites…7. TV to Go…8. Paperless Newspaper…9. Hailo…10. Skype, Viber, FaceTime, Whats App…”

*****

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