2013/09/24

NEW NET Weekly List for 24 Sep 2013

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 24 September 2013, NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 PM weekly gathering upstairs at Tom's Drive In501 N. Westhill Blvd., Appleton, WI, USA, near Woodman's. Ignore the chain if it's across the stairs; come on up and join the tech fun!


The Weekly Top Ten, (pre-NEW NET, based on potential or immediate impact and/or general tech interestingness)
1.        HP launches self-healing computer startup software to cure malware attacks  http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/17/hp-launches-self-healing-computer-start-software/  “Hewlett-Packard is introducing self-healing computing startup software that can repair itself after a malware attack. The new HP BIOSphere with SureStart technology is a new kind of startup software that runs when a personal computer is turned on…Hackers have been able to compromise OS security protections by gaining root access, or compromising the BIOS software underneath the OS. To protect against that, HP has created its own BIOS software. The system can heal itself by comparing the BIOS that loads in a computer to an image of the BIOS that is supposed to be running. If the loaded BIOS is different from the copy of the BIOS that is embedded in the hardware, the computer will load the correct version of the BIOS instead…”
2.       Brazil's controversial plan to extricate the internet from US control  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/20/brazil-dilma-rousseff-internet-us-control  “When Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff postponed her official visit to the US in protest of National Security Agency spying activities on Tuesday, it seemed like a routine bit of diplomatic posturing. But another one of her proposals could perhaps be more significant: a set of measures intended to extricate the internet in Brazil from under the influence of the US and its tech giants…Rousseff proposed a set of ambitious, and controversial, measures that include: constructing submarine cables that do not route through the US, building internet exchange points in Brazil, creating an encrypted email service through the state postal service and having Facebook, Google and other companies store data by Brazilians on servers in Brazil…”
3.       BlackBerry aims to go private in $4.7bn deal with Fairfax Financial group  http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/23/blackberry-sold-fairfaix-financial  “BlackBerry, the once-dominant maker of smartphones…has found a suitor willing to pay $4.7bn for the troubled company. Fairfax Financial, a Canadian firm that already owns 10% of BlackBerry, has agreed to join forced with an unnamed consortium of other buyers to acquire the company for $9 a share. The move would take BlackBerry private, removing it from a public listing on Nasdaq, where stocks have fallen from a high of $148 in June 2008 and now languish at about $8 a share…The deal is not done, however. First, Fairfax will spend two months vetting the company's financial statements…BlackBerry said it could take a better offer if another buyer appears…”
4.       Google makes Quickoffice for Android and iOS free for Microsoft Office editing  http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/09/19/google-makes-quickoffice-for-android-and-ios-free-for-all-bringing-microsoft-office-editing-to-the-masses/  “Google…is making Quickoffice free for everyone. That means Android and iOS users can edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go without paying a dime. You can download the free versions now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store…if you do sign in to your Google Account from either of the new apps by September 26th, Google will give you an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage for free for two years…”
5.        Even supermarket chains are making cheap Android tablets  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/now-even-supermarket-chains-are-making-cheap-android-tablets/  “Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain and the world's second-most-profitable retailer behind Walmart, has announced it is launching an Android tablet. The device, named the "Hudl" (pronounced "huddle"), is an attempt to follow Amazon's model of offering an extremely cheap content portal that encourages customers to use other services. The device mostly runs stock Android 4.2.2 (including the Google Apps), but Tesco has added a small "T" to the left side of the system bar that will bring up an app for Tesco's myriad services. The Tesco app will give you access to groceries, recipes, coupons, loyalty cards, movie rentals, music, clothing, and even the Tesco credit card and Tesco bank. Tesco will actually undercut the Kindle Fire HD in the UK, selling for £119 ($191) vs. the £159 ($255) Amazon charges for the Fire HD…”
6.       Valve announces SteamOS as it renews living room push  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24207129  “Video games developer and publisher Valve has announced SteamOS, a free operating system it hopes will help bring PC gaming into the living room…The company is widely anticipated to launch its own machine to run SteamOS, believed to be called the Steam Box…Valve outlined its plans for the Linux-based operating system that will be available for download "soon"…"As we've been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we've come to the conclusion that the environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself...SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen…”
7.        Microduino: An Arduino clone nearly as small as a quarter, for $20  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/09/microduino-an-arduino-nearly-as-small-as-a-quarter-for-20/  “A typical Arduino microcontroller board is pretty small, about the size of a credit card. This makes it suitable for embedding into all sorts of electronic devices. But it's possible to go even smaller, as the makers of a new Arduino-compatible product called "Microduino" show. At 1" × 1.1", it's nearly as small as a quarter…The Microduino essentially divides the capabilities of an Arduino Uno into two boards, with one acting as the microcontroller core and a second used to communicate with a PC. Once an Arduino-compatible program is uploaded onto the core board, the secondary module for communication with the PC isn't needed. The core board can simply be placed into whatever project the user is creating…”
8.       Munich to hand out Ubuntu Linux CDs to ward off upcoming Windows XPocalypse  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2048897/munich-to-hand-out-ubuntu-linux-cds-to-ward-off-upcoming-windows-xpocalypse.html  “…Windows XPocalypse is set to unleash hell on April 8, 2014, and in a bid to preserve the security of its citizens, the German city of Munich is turning to an unlikely savior: Ubuntu Linux. Both security experts and Microsoft itself have warned that the impending end-of-life date for Windows XP could spark a hacker holiday, as the still-popular operating system will stop receiving security patches to plug vulnerability holes. Microsoft went so far as to warn that people who continue to run Windows XP beyond April will forever suffer from zero day exploits that could harm both your PC and spread to infect your friends. Microsoft's solution, naturally, entails upgrading to a new version of Windows or picking up a newer PC…”
9.       Applied Materials buys Tokyo Electron for $9.39 billion  http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/applied-materials-to-merge-with-tokyo-electron/?_r=0  “Applied Materials agreed on Tuesday to merge with Tokyo Electron in an all-stock deal, creating a big new producer of semiconductor and display manufacturing equipment with an expected market value of $29 billion. The merger is as much about the continued rise of smartphones and tablets…as it is about the need for cost cutting and consolidation as sales of personal computers fall and commitments for research mount…The company will take on a new name, as yet undisclosed, and it will be incorporated in the Netherlands. It will maintain headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., and Tokyo…In 2011, Applied Materials acquired another maker of telecommunications equipment, Varian, in a deal that leapfrogged the combined companies past ASML of the Netherlands to create the biggest player in the industry. By buying Tokyo Electron, Applied Materials would consolidate that position…”
10.     Smarter than you think: the internet isn't dumbing us down after all  http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/12/4722526/smarter-than-you-think-clive-thompson  “…Clive Thompson is used to defending the latest trends in digital technology from naysayers and skeptics. In 2008, he was one of the first to describe how sites like Twitter were about more than sharing what you had for breakfast. Now he’s written his first book, Smarter Than You Think, an investigation of how technology is helping us to learn more and retain information longer…Open the weekend section in any major paper and you’ll find the same hackneyed opinion pieces about how technology is making us a dumber, shallower species…I felt like, wow, everything in my life is richer and deeper thanks to new technologies. The opportunities for expression are so much greater…”
The ‘net
11.      Gecko Is One Small Step For The Internet Of Things  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/19/gecko-is-one-small-step-for-the-internet-of-things-one-huge-leap-for-your-smartphone/  “The Internet of Things…awaits us, a world where all of our devices are connected and communicate with each other in some sort of futuristic circle of life. But as with any major shift in technology, we’re certainly not there yet…Gecko, a new Indiegogo project that’s meant to “make your smartphone smarter.”…the accelerometer-equipped Gecko connects to your smartphone via low energy Bluetooth to help you monitor the various things in your life, as well as bring gesture controls and triggers to your smartphone. With Gecko, the connectedness isn’t built into the devices themselves but can rather be applied to objects in the home through these accelerometer- and Bluetooth-based tags. The device itself is packed with a TI CC2541 SoC, removable coin cell battery with a year’s worth of juice (depending on usage), as well as a buzzer and LED light for alerts…”
12.     The Internet of Things is 'fundamentally about economic value'  http://www.zdnet.com/the-internet-of-things-is-fundamentally-about-economic-value-7000020907/  “Self-driving vehicles, intelligent refrigerators, stoke-detecting gadgets that everyone wears: the idea of an "Internet of Things" is all the rage in the technology industry today…The "Internet of Things," a term coined in 1999…describes a world in which everything—from a living, breathing you to the inanimate objects around you—has a digital identity, to enable computers to organize and manage them. Add to that the notion that each entity could be actively connected with a radio or modem (allowing two-way communication and real-time manipulation) and suddenly the potential for new application explodes, such as "smart" objects that use sensors to understand the environment around them and data collection for things that have never been digitized before, from your morning run to the hundreds of machines on the floor of a massive manufacturing plant…"It's fundamentally about the economic value—what it will do for business and individuals and organizations…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
13.     Biometric Technology Takes Off  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/opinion/biometric-technology-takes-off.html  “The use of biological markers like fingerprints, faces and irises to identify people is rapidly moving from science fiction to reality. Apple’s latest iPhone, which went on sale this week, can be unlocked with a fingerprint. Users of Android smartphones can unlock their devices with a glance. And the Department of Homeland Security is developing facial recognition technology that would allow it to pinpoint criminals and suspects in large crowds of people with closed-circuit cameras…biometric technology has become so commonplace that even some schools and hospitals are using it. Its adoption could make sensitive information more secure…But it also has the potential to undermine privacy…biometrics are not as safe as is often thought…such systems are “inherently fallible” because they identify people within certain degrees of certainty and because biological markers are relatively easy to copy…people leave their fingerprints on everything they touch, which makes those fingerprints available to any determined spy or law enforcement agent. Experts have shown that fingerprints and other markers can be copied, giving hackers and thieves access to private information. And once compromised, fingerprints cannot be reset…”
14.     Secure your small-business network without spending a dime  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2048137/secure-your-small-business-network-without-spending-a-dime.html  “…In 2012, 31 percent of cyberattacks were aimed at small businesses, and that staggering number is 100 percent attributable to inadequate—or nonexistent—security measures at many of these firms, which might as well be an open invitation to hackers…what if we told you that there were security controls in the tools you already own that could vastly improve your protection if you just used them? And that you could fill any gaps in protection with free security programs that are every bit as effective as their commercial counterparts? Below are several ways to fend off cyberthreats…The quickest—and cheapest—way to beef up your defenses is to understand and employ the security measures you already have at your disposal…Stay up-to-date…The longer you go without implementing an applicable patch, the more at risk you are…Supplement with free security tools…”
15.     FBI warns “Beta Bot” malware can kill your anti-virus programs, steal data  http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/83858  “The FBI sent out a warning today about an uptick in the use of malware known as Beta Bot that can steal sensitive data such as log-in credentials and financial information…Beta Bot blocks computer users' access to security websites and disables anti-virus programs, leaving computers vulnerable to compromise. Cyber criminals aiming Beta Bot at financial institutions, e-commerce sites, online payment platforms, and social networking…Beta Bot infection vectors include an illegitimate but official looking Microsoft Windows message box named "User Account Control" that requests a user's permission to allow the "Windows Command Processor" to modify the user's computer settings. If the user complies with the request, the hackers are able to infiltrate data from the computer. Beta Bot is also spread…via Skype, where it redirects the user to compromised websites…”
16.     Senator asks if FBI can get iPhone 5S fingerprint data via Patriot Act  http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/09/senator-asks-if-fbi-can-get-iphone-5s-fingerprint-data-via-patriot-act/  “Since Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) arrived in the United States Senate, he’s become the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. He’s made it his mission to raise questions about tech issues that he feels are improper, unjust, or just downright questionable. The debut of the new iPhones 5S, replete with a fingerprint reader, has now also gotten Franken’s attention. On Thursday, the Minnesota senator published a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, raising questions about the logic in making fingerprint readers more mainstream. "Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent," wrote Sen. Franken. "If you don't tell anyone your password, no one will know what it is. If someone hacks your password, you can change it—as many times as you want. You can't change your fingerprints…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
17.     BlackBerry announces $1B loss, 4,500 layoffs, and shifts away from consumers  http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/20/blackberry-bombs-announces-1b-loss-4500-layoffs-cutting-operating-costs-by-50-shifting-away-from-consumer-market/ “…BlackBerry…expects an operating loss between $950 million and $995 million in the second quarter, it’s laying off 4,500 employees, and it’s refocusing on enterprise and “prosumer” customers rather than mainstream consumers…As part of its move away from the consumer market, the company says it will reduce its smartphone portfolio from six phones to four…Now that the iPhone and Android are dominating mainstream smartphone buyers, BlackBerry’s only hope is to appeal to the businesses that need its secure services and its few remaining hardcore fans. The company plans to offer two high-end smartphones and two entry-level phones, with each group containing an all-touchscreen device and physical keyboard model…”
18.     Open source Android fork Cyanogen becomes $7m company  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/18/cyanogen_gains_funding/  “Independent Android firmware project CyanogenMod has become a company…The new company, Cyanogen, will be based in Seattle…Steve Kondik, who founded the Cyanogenmod project and from whose forum handle the names of both the project and the company are derived, will act as chief technology officer…The first thing Cyanogen has to show is a new, graphical installer that makes it easier to load a stock Android device with a custom CyanogenMod firmware. According to Kondik, that installer will be available in the Google Play store "in the coming weeks…”
19.     Android users can now lock their lost devices remotely  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57604339-94/android-users-can-now-lock-their-lost-devices-remotely/  “Worried about data from your lost Android phone or tablet getting into the wrong hands? You can now lock down your device remotely…Google's Android Device Manager is a handy service that allows you to see the location of a lost or stolen Android device. You can also remotely tell the device to ring as well as erase all of its data…The latest update to Android Device Manager enables remote password locking. If you want to prevent others from accessing your missing device, you can send a new password to secure it…”
20.    Microsoft Unveils the Surface 2  http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/microsoft-unveils-surface-2-130924.htm  “Microsoft has unveiled the Surface 2, which sports a lighter and thinner design along with a full HD screen…Because there's a Tegra 4 chip under the hood, you get 72 cores of graphics performance for games like "Halo: Spartan Assault," even while running other apps side by side…The camera on the Surface 2 is 5X sharper, but Microsoft is touting the enhanced front camera more for Skype calls. A new third-inch sensor with a unique lens helps you make video calls in very dim lighting…The new Surface 2 also promises to deliver 25 percent longer battery life. Other enhancements include double the bus speed for Wi-Fi and memory. The Surface 2 also moves from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0…Surface 2 runs Windows 8.1…”
21.     Nursing students embracing mobile technology  http://media-relations.www.clemson.edu/5081/nursing-students-embracing-mobile-technology/  “…Lanham, a former clinical nurse specialist at Greenville Health System, is teaching Clemson nursing students how to integrate mobile technology into health-care management. Using iPads, Kindles and other devices, students are learning how to capture medical records and access the latest patient health information. “In health care, the use of mobile technology is skyrocketing and nurses are expected to be technologically savvy,” Lanham said…In earlier days if a patient asked a question that a nurse couldn’t immediately answer, he or she would have to leave the room and look up the answer in a textbook that might be several years old…“With mobile technology, the latest information is always there and nurses can immediately convey it to patients.”… “When a patient wants to know more about his or her upcoming cardiac catheterization, for example, the nurse can pull up a photo of a heart at the bedside and the patient can know exactly what is going to happen…”
Apps
22.    Nix Is A Smartphone Colour Sensor  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/17/nix/  “The army of Bluetooth-powered auxiliary hardware being built by hardware startups to extend the native capabilities of smartphones shows no signs of slowing its  march. Meet Nix: a colour sensor that lets you scan an object and get its exact colour data signature sent to the corresponding app on your phone so you can maintain a palette of preferred shades — and even track down an exact tin of paint. The sensor’s…creators say their device is much more accurate than using your phone’s on board camera to grab colour data, firstly because it’s purpose-built for accurate colour scanning and is “calibrated to return exact/specific colour values”. And secondly because it blocks out all ambient light — meaning the true shade can be captured…”
23.    FDA lays out rules for some smartphone health apps  http://www.telegram.com/article/20130923/NEWS/130929943/1002/business  “Food and Drug Administration…will begin regulating a new wave of applications and gadgets that work with smartphones to help users monitor their health…there are already more than 17,000 medical applications available, ranging from calorie counters to high-tech heart monitors. The FDA said Monday that the vast majority of these health care apps don't pose much of a risk to consumers and will not be federally regulated…the agency will focus on a handful of apps that turn smartphones into devices, like a heart monitor, or medical attachments that plug into smartphones, like arm cuffs that measure blood pressure…”
SkyNet
24.    Google+ Brings Snapseed to Online Photo Editing via Chrome  http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/09/18/google-brings-snapseed-to-online-photo-editing-via-chrome/  “Google recently bought Snapseed, one of our favorite photo editors, and this week added the features from Snapseed into their Google+ online photo editing interface…Google+ users who access the site using the Chrome browser…can now click on Photos and choose an image. Click on Edit in the upper middle of the screen…Along the right the user will find all the familiar Snapseed tools along with the Google+ “Auto Enhance” button, which does a decent job of automatically improving photos by itself. If Auto Enhance doesn’t produce desired results, then use the “Customize” button to do manual edits or click on one of the many Snapseed icons…”
25.    10 Questions to Ask When Using Google Analytics  http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228493  “…Google Analytics…automatically collects helpful data for you, so you can better understand, serve and build your online audience -- and your customers…Here are 10 essential questions to ask when using Google Analytics to track and improve your company's website: 1. Why is it important to gauge my website metrics in the first place?...2. How can I connect Google Analytics to my website?...3. What are Google Analytics 'Goals' and why should I use them?...4. How can I find out how people discover my website and keep them coming back?...5. Can I track my Google Adsense campaigns with Google Analytics?...7. How can I track and improve e-commerce sales?...8. How can I see which browsers and devices people view my website on?...9. How can I know what is sending my website visitors away?...10. How can I share key Google Analytics data with my clients, colleagues and stakeholders?…”
General Technology
26.    Apple Refreshes iMac With Haswell, Next-Gen Wi-Fi  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424768,00.asp  “…iMac…new 21.5- and 27-inch desktops get fourth-generation Intel quad-core processors, new graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and faster PCIe flash storage options…Fusion Drive is a combination of Flash Storage and a regular hard drive, which promises shorter boot times and faster access to apps and files. Apple provides the option of an iMac with a 1TB or 3TB Fusion Drive, and all-flash storage options are now available in configurations up to 1TB…The iMac comes standard with 8GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive…expandable up to 32GB of memory and up to a 3TB hard drive…The entry-level 21.5-inch iMac will run a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor - with the option for Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz - and Iris Pro graphics for $1,299. A 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and Nvidia GeForce GT 750M will set you back $1,499. The 27-inch iMacs…with a 3.4GHz Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 775M is $1,999. Those who need something even more powerful can upgrade to quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.5GHz and Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M series graphics with up to 4GB of video memory…”
27.    Code for America, MindMixer want your ideas for Ideation Nation  http://www.siliconprairienews.com/2013/09/code-for-america-mindmixer-want-your-ideas-for-ideation-nation  “Code for America co-executive director Abhi Nemani believes the country is ready to embrace the civic technology movement. Alongside…online community engagement platform MindMixer, the nonprofit helping government work better through technology will instill that belief into Ideation Nation, a five-week rally that asks Americans, "How would you improve your community using technology?" Using MindMixer's platform, the contest will gather responses online to be presented in front of a panel of judges, who will select 25 finalists. From there, the Ideation Nation community will vote on the ideas and provide feedback for the judges to make a top pick. The top entry will win a $5,000 grant…”
28.    Flour made from insects wins $1M for McGill team  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/flour-made-from-insects-wins-1m-for-mcgill-team-1.1866685  “A team of McGill University MBA students has won the $1 million Hult Prize for a project that aims to improve the availability of nutritious food to slum dwellers around the world by providing them with flour made from insects…The money will help them grow Aspire Food Group, an organization that will produce nutritious insect-based food products that will be accessible year-round to some of the world’s poorest city dwellers. “We are farming insects and we’re grinding them into a fine powder and then we’re mixing it with locally appropriate flour to create what we call power flour,”…Protein and iron, the students noted, are nutrients in short supply in the diets of many people in developing nations, but found in high amounts in insects. For example, they note, crickets have a higher protein content per weight than beef…”
Leisure & Entertainment
29.    A new crop of literary novels explores our internet dystopia  http://io9.com/dave-eggers-thomas-pynchon-and-isabel-allende-expose-o-1351440125  “…there's a new wave of beloved authors tackling our bewilderment with the internet-dominated world we live in. The literary wave may have started with Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story, with its ubiquitous social media ranking everybody's social status…There's the new Thomas Pynchon novel, Bleeding Edge, which takes place in 2001 and deals with the world of dotcom entrepreneurs and internet whiz-kids…while exploring the notion of the Deep Web, a part of the internet that hasn't been crawled by search engines…Then there's The Circle, the new book by the prolific Dave Eggers, who already tackled globalization and our discontents with technology in A Hologram for the King. In The Circle, Eggers follows Mae Holland, who goes to work at an internet company in the near future…The Circle is…a mashup of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and PayPal…founded by shadowy futurists whose vision of complete, global knowledge-sharing carries ominous consequences for democracy…perhaps most surprisingly, there's Ripper by Isabel Allende…she's doing a thriller that sounds as though she's commenting on the relationship between the virtual and "real" worlds in a very different fashion than Eggers and Pynchon…”
30.    Tips for making the most of Google Chromecast  http://www.gizmag.com/5-ways-to-get-more-out-of-google-chromecast/29125/  “Google's Chromecast currently doesn't have a whole lot of options other than its four officially supported apps: YouTube, Netflix, Google Music and Google Video…here's some user tips on how to get a little more out of the device…you can stream your local videos to the Chromecast if the Chrome browser on your computer supports the file type. In my tests, I've been able to stream the most common file types like mp4, m4v, avi and mpeg…The obvious extension of this is that you can stream a webpage to your HDTV via Chromecast…you can…send your entire desktop to the big screen…Adjust streaming quality to improve video playback…Make video always play full screen…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
31.     Bad news for Isis: Capital One pulls out  http://gigaom.com/2013/09/18/bad-news-for-isis-capital-one-pulls-out-of-mobile-payments-trial/  “Capital One is dropping out of Isis’s mobile payments pilot project…casting a pall over the carrier-driven initiative to turn the mobile phone into a universal digital wallet…its departure could mean that the banks are losing faith that Isis can really succeed with its nationwide launch of a near-field communications-powered mobile payments network…Capital One was just one of the four financial institutions…others are American Express, Chase and BarkleyCard…”
32.    Grove, Sequoia Capital’s New Startup Events And How-To Content Hub  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/20/meet-grove-sequoia-capitals-new-startup-events-and-how-to-content-hub/  “VCs are starting to get into content. First Round debuted its own version of Harvard Business Review…Sequoia…is debuting Grove, its new portal for how-to content, videos and events…one of the key pieces of feedback that portfolio founders had begun to share with the firm over the past year was that they wished there were a centralized place where they could find advice and how-to’s on important topics like hiring, fundraising and other business advice…this content is public for any founder or startup to see…each VC firm is thinking carefully about how to create a hub for marketing content that is actually helpful to the startup ecosystem. First Round has taken a more intensive approach with its Harvard Business Review-esque site. Google Ventures Startup Lab has started publishing some of its videos and tutorials…”
33.    Intuit updates QuickBooks, integrates Square  “…Intuit announced a completely new version of its QuickBooks accounting software, and to kick it off, it’s also announcing a new, and rather groundbreaking, partnership…with mobile payments juggernaut Square…small businesses that use the mobile payment service can automatically feed data from those transactions into their books…The service will be U.S. only for now, although with QuickBooks’ large global footprint it will be interesting to see if Square uses that in any way in the future…This is something of a sea change for the two companies. Intuit has itself created its own point of sale product called Go Payment, complete with a dongle that links up with a mobile device…”
Design / DEMO
34.    Prosthetic 'wearable art' line designed by Alleles Design Studio  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/prosthetic-wearable-art-line-designed-by-canadian-pair-1.1861584  “A Canadian couple quit their jobs, sold their cars, moved across the country and hunkered down for months to turn their pet project of affordable, designer prosthetic covers for amputees into reality, creating a product to fill a void in an industry dominated by medically oriented prosthetists. The founders of the Alleles Design Studio…first dreamed of designing high-fashion prosthetic covers years ago. Wanner developed the idea for the…business during her industrial design studies, when she realized amputees had few affordable options for creative cosmetic covers. A friend of the couple, John-Paul Austring, has been bothered by the lack of prosthetic options since doctors amputated his left leg when he was a 15-year-old battling bone cancer…”
35.    Finnish design can no longer afford to be complacent  http://www.dezeen.com/2013/09/19/dan-hill-opinion-finnish-design/  “…I can only really guess at the deeper resonance of Vitra buying legendary Finnish furniture brand Artek, following hot on the heels of Microsoft buying legendary Finnish cellphone brand Nokia…Although this small country of five million people has also produced Iitala, Marimekko, Kone, Fiskars and others, these two firms bookend a first era of Finnish design, with Artek founded by the Aaltos and co. in 1935 and Nokia's dominance of the global mobile phone sector six decades later. Where do these "exits" leave Finnish design?...the wider culture around Nokia over the last decade had…betrayed a lack of understanding of the value of design. The software suffered badly and although intriguing handsets occasionally emerged, one felt that design was generally no more than an indulged child amidst what was really a masterful engineering and logistics machine…Once Apple, and then Google, had deployed a richer, strategic approach to design in order to seamlessly orchestrate people, apps, media, devices and the interfaces between them, Nokia had no answer…this week of deals actually poses the question: what does Finnish product design do now? There are…obvious trajectories…The first is in a new form of interactive object, as active partners of people, socially and culturally, via Internet of Things technologies, absorbing the essence of Varnelis's "new modernity"…Despite a culture borne of survival, Finland has an incredibly high standard of living…Yet in places, that success bred complacency, and by "places" I mean the pre-iPhone era Nokia and some of its other heritage brands. These last weeks suggest that Finnish design can no longer afford to be complacent…”
36.    The rise of the micro-manufacturers  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24203938  “Thanks to state-of-the-art design software and the latest computer-controlled laser cutters, 3D printers and other manufacturing hardware, designers and inventors are turning their ideas into reality and getting them to market far more quickly and cheaply…Digital designs sent online to micro-factories situated locally or abroad are reducing costs, waste and supply chains…TechShop, a pioneer in the "make-it-yourself" movement…has six centres in the US, each with around 1,000 members…Mr Hatch rattles off a number of…TechShop success stories, including Type A Machines, a 3D printer manufacturer; Clustered Systems, which makes lower-energy cooling systems for data centres; and Lightning Motorcycles, creator of the world's fastest electric motorbike…Prof Neil Gershenfeld…is developing a similar concept with his Fab Labs - local digital fabrication centres aimed at stimulating invention and entrepreneurship…There are about 150 Fab Labs dotted around the world in what the Fab Foundation describes as "a distributed laboratory for research and invention"…"In the past you had to go and convince a manufacturer to make your prototype, then convince a retailer to stock your product…Now digital manufacturing and the internet have made it so much easier for you to create, make and sell your products…New technology allows an individual like me to become independent and create a micro-business…Digital technology is lowering design and manufacturing costs by factors of 10 and 20 times…”
37.    Design Can (and Will) Transform Lives  http://www.manufacturing.net/blogs/2013/09/design-can-and-will-transform-lives  “…the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Annual Conference…is…the perfect location to bring together more than 600 industrial designers to talk about the importance design plays not only in product development, but in world of social entrepreneurship. IDSA is…filled with conversations about how design can transform lives…Byron Bloch, an expert in car safety who has dedicated his life to making sure that design flaws on vehicles don’t happen…has testified in front of congress on multiple occasions regarding car company oversights on design defects…Bloch stood in front of the crowd and demanded that, as designers, we must put our foot down and take the side of the consumer. He stated that no matter what, it’s on the shoulders of the designers to take care of the passengers…Following Bloch was Dean Kamen…He came to talk about the program he began more than 20 years ago, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)…It is truly one of the most inspiring stories of dedication to the future engineers and scientist of the world…“There are over 350,000 student participants annually with over 130,000 volunteers,” Kamen said. “Over 28,000 robots that have been built over the past 20 years…”
DHMN Technology
38.    Ultimaker Debuts Ultimaker 2 3D Printer  http://hothardware.com/News/Ultimaker-Debuts-Ultimaker-2-3D-Printer-With-Open-Source-Cura-Software-and-YouMagine-Website/  “Ultimaker 2…is more accurate, more efficient, and it’s even quieter at 49dB…the Ultimaker 2 has a new CNC-milled case (that’s all white with glowing sidewalls) with an OLED display, and its glass and aluminum build platform is designed to cool quickly so you can peel completed projects off more easily. The Ultimaker 2 can print with multiple materials, including PLA, ABS, and PVA, and it’s WiFi-compatible so you can print from a mobile device or computer…The machine itself is rather compact at 14.1 x 13.3 x 15.3 inches, and it can print objects within a 8.9 x 8.9 x 8.1 space. Ultimaker is also launching its Cura open source software, which the company claims can pre-process 3D files some 60 times faster than other open source applications…to foster a community of makers around its 3D printers and software, Ultimaker developed the YouMagine.com website where you can upload and share files…”
39.    Supermodder Ben Heck builds a quadcopter  http://www.cnet.com.au/supermodder-ben-heck-builds-a-quadcopter-339345283.htm  “King of the modders Ben Heck is building a quadcopter from scratch for his YouTube show…At the behest of his fans, super-modder Ben Heck is building a quadcopter from scratch for his Ben Heck Show on YouTube channel element14…In part one of the two-part video, Heck started building the quadcopter from scratch — the first time he has attempted building one — using model aeroplanes cannibalised for their propellers, controllers, motors and wires. Part of what he wanted to do was cut down on the wire tangle that's usually found in home-made quadcopters…”
40.    3D Robotics announces GPS-guided quadcopter for the masses  http://www.gizmag.com/3d-robotics-iris-gps-guided-quadcopter-drone/28818/  “…a lot of the GPS-guided quadrotors on the market are a bit too complicated for the average consumer to control. 3D Robotics is aiming to inject a little more simplicity into the equation with its recently unveiled Iris…the Iris supports simple GPS controls through any computer, tablet, or smartphone…the main body is designed to be aerodynamic, durable, and lightweight, while still providing enough lift to carry a payload…On a full charge, the battery provides enough energy for around 9-14 minutes of flight time…3D Robotics spent more than four years and enlisted the help of over 40,000 volunteers to program and fine-tune the open source software that guides the Iris. The drone can be controlled on any device running Windows, OS X, Linux, or Android at the moment, with an iOS app planned…Users can set up to 127 waypoints or, in the case of the mobile app, just draw a route on the screen to have the UAV follow a flight path using GPS coordinates. At any point during a flight, the Iris can be commanded to automatically take off, land, or return to its starting position…Pilots will also have the option of setting up a virtual fence that will keep the Iris from wandering outside a pre-set boundary, regardless of what it's commanded to do…3D Robotics is currently offering pre-orders of the Iris drone through its website, with the most basic package costing US$659.99. Customers can also customize their order with different add-ons, including a pre-programmed transmitter, extra battery, replacement parts, or a GoPro camera…”
41.     CodeBender Makes it Easy to Program Your Arduino from a Browser  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/12/codebender-cc-makes-it-crazy-easy-to-program-your-arduino-board-from-your-browser/  “The official Arduino IDE is a dour piece of software designed for uploading code to the ubiquitous and super-cool micro controller. It is a standalone, non-networked app…But what if you want to share code and upload programs right from your browser? That’s where CodeBender.cc comes in. CodeBender is a browser-based IDE that supports uploading to nearly any Arduino board. You can use the program to copy sample code, browse code uploaded by other users, and even store private snippets. Because it is collaborative you can clone bits of code and use it in your own projects and there is even a curated list of cool snippets…”
Open Source Hardware
42.    3D-printed, open source robot Jimmy  http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/21/intel-researcher-debuts-3d-printed-open-source-robot-jimmy/  “Meet Jimmy the 21st Century Robot. The artificial intelligence, or brains, of the robot is open source. So is the design and the technical description for printing him out as a 3D object…Jimmy is the creation of Intel researcher Brian David Johnson, a futurist who has been toying with the idea of the future’s robots for more than a decade. He is debuting Jimmy at the Maker Faire do-it-yourself tech expo in New York this weekend. These robots are going to be…very personal for each creator. “We can come to see these robots as an extension of ourselves, and that these are platforms to create as many of them as we can…Our motto is that every robot has a name…”
43.    This field-ready wireless platform is bringing open-source connectivity to the farm  http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/field-ready-wireless-platform-brings-open-source-farm.html  “After putting together a better greenhouse monitor…Louis Thiery…wanted to integrate field-ready sensors with a dedicated server that could control and monitor them all. The result of his work is Apitronics, an open source wireless platform with a small dedicated Linux computer serving as the brain. The Apitronics platform uses "Bees", which are low-power, Arduino-compatible sensor or actuator devices, and a "Hive", a small Linux box which networks the Bees together and gathers and displays data from them, or sends control signals downstream to the Bees…the basic Bees can be attached to "plugs" including humidity sensors and a weather station, but additional plugs are being developed…that can serve as door sensors…or water level sensors, or even controllers and sensors for field irrigation or aquaponic systems. Because the system uses open source hardware and software…anyone with Arduino/C++ experience can develop additional sensors or "hack the Hive itself." And it's not just for farms, either, as the system could also be applied to other environmental monitoring needs…”
Open Source
44.    Mexico sees its first open-source village cellphone network  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/09/16/mexico-sees-its-first-village-cellphone-network/2821643/  “The communications revolution that swept the globe missed the Zapotec village of Talea de Castro high in the mountains of southern Mexico, where making any sort of call meant trudging to a community telephone line and paying what could be a day's wages for a crackly five-minute conversation. All that has changed, thanks to…simple radio receivers, a laptop and relatively inexpensive Internet technologies, the people of the village have leapfrogged into the 21st century by setting up what amounts to their own mini-telecom company — one capable of handling 11 cellphone calls at a time…Before it was set up, Talea's 2,500 residents would make their calls from the "caseta," a house or shop that has a land line and charges a per-minute fee. There was little privacy, and international calls cost more than a dollar a minute. It was even worse for incoming calls, which required a runner to answer and tell townsfolk when someone was looking for them…In just six months, more than 720 residents have signed up to use the new system. Local calls made on off-the-shelf cellphones are free, and phoning relatives in Los Angeles costs just 20 centavos (1.5 cents) a minute. What's more, every subscriber has a distinct mobile number…”
45.    Coursefork: a new way to collaborate on open education  http://opensource.com/education/13/9/coursefork-education-tool  “What if teachers could fork educational materials just like software developers fork code?...Coursefork, is…not a MOOC, it's not Moodle, and it's not edX. It's a GitHub for course creation. It's about building a community. Coursefork is a platform for open-sourcing and collaborating on educational material. We've built a way to upload course material, allow others to create copies, modify them for their own use, and share their improvements both back "upstream" and to the community at large…”
46.    NotePad++ offers portable notepad features for programmers  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2048848/notepad-offers-portable-notepad-features-for-programmers.html  “Notepad++ is a portable notepad that users like computer programmers will find enormously useful, because it offers something the regular Notepad doesn't: numbered lines…If you're testing a program in a language such as Javascript, you’ll get obscure error messages like “operand missing on line 346”. So, it helps if you know which line the bug is on, and how to quickly locate that line. If the lines are not numbered, like in the regular Notepad, you would be sitting there till doomsday, trying to locate that one elusive little bug…Other smart features include zooming in and out (handy if you have bad eyesight), macro recording and playback, and tabbed notes, so you can have multiple notes open in the same window and click back and forth between them.  It also offers colour syntax coding, which makes reading through programs easier. Notepad++ is also smaller than Notepad…”
Civilian Aerospace
47.    Software problem delays cargo ship arrival at space station  http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/09/22/us-space-station-idINBRE98A00420130922  “A software glitch will delay Orbital Sciences' trial cargo ship from reaching the International Space Station until Tuesday…The company's Cygnus capsule…had been scheduled to reach the station on Sunday…six hours before the capsule was due to dock, a computer software problem caused Cygnus to reject navigation data radioed from the station…Orbital Sciences said it had found the cause of the data discrepancy and was developing a software fix. The next opportunity for the capsule to rendezvous and dock with the station will be on Tuesday…”
48.    Students at USC attempt to launch rocket into space  http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-usc-rocket-lab-space-20130920,0,2123551.story  “…student engineers from the University of Southern California's Rocket Lab in Los Angeles say they are trying to make history Friday evening by sending a student-built rocket into space. By the time the rocket motor burns out in about 13 seconds, it will have gone from zero to six times the speed of sound, or 4,500 miles per hour. If they succeed in getting the aptly named "Traveler" to reach the 62-mile mark, these young engineers will be the first group of students to successfully launch a rocket into space, representing the culmination of several years of work since USC alum Ian Whittinghill dreamed up the idea as a freshman in 2003. Over nearly a decade, several generations of students have devoted countless hours to the goal, sometimes 40 or 50 per week, outside of their classwork…Whittinghill, the son of the founder of Whittinghill Aerospace LLC, spent much of his youth immersed in rocket science. When he came to USC, he began to see how all the classes were teaching key bits of information that could be used to design and build such a craft on campus…Whittinghill persuaded some professors, including Dan Erwin, now chairman of the department of astronautical engineering, to submit a proposal for funding and space. “I was asking for what I thought were outlandish things,” Whittinghill said. To his surprise, his fledgling Rocket Lab got $160,000 in initial funding and some dedicated workspace…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
49.    Graphics acceleration can bring 10X speedup to Java  http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/22/graphics-acceleration-can-bring-10x-speedup-to-java/  “An IBM executive said today that graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration is coming to the Java programming environment. That could improve processing performance as much as 10-fold for Java-related computing…Java and GPUs will open up a world of opportunities for faster web performance…Speedups vary greatly when Java programmers take advantage of existing GPU compute libraries, based on Nvidia’s CUDA programming environment. Those speedups range from 2X to 48X faster…IBM will enable IBM runtimes for server-based GPU accelerators and explore acceleration in ordinary workloads under existing applications programming interfaces…this will allow millions of Java developers to accelerate a broad range of applications using GPU accelerators – and achieve speedups that will dramatically improve the capabilities of the applications. Plus, the acceleration will fuel a new generation of Java-based enterprise applications that would not have been possible without GPUs…”
50.    HP, Nvidia team up for GPU Centre of Excellence  http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2013/09/23/hp-nvidia-gpu/1  “HP and Nvidia have officially opened a joint GPU Technical Centre of Excellence in Grenoble, France, as part of a joint initiative aimed at further boosting the acceptance of GPU-based high-performance computing (HPC) systems. For many workloads, graphics processing units (GPUs) offer considerable advantages to traditional central processing units…GPU-accelerated systems have been taking over the TOP500 list of supercomputers in recent years, but it's something HP and Nvidia believe could go still further…The goal of this collaborative GPU Technical Centre of Excellence is to enable perennial solution improvements and facilitate the adoption of HP systems based on Nvidia Tesla GPUs for HPC. The facility provides researchers with remote access to an HP cluster platform comprised of 10 ProLiant SL250s, SL270s and ML350p Gen 8 servers, each of which includes integrated Nvidia Tesla GPU accelerator boards along with a smaller number of Nvidia Grid GPU boards for GPU virtualisation experiments…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
51.     Top Ten Trends from Boomer Technology Circles Summit  http://www.accountingweb.com/article/top-ten-trends-boomer-technology-circles-summit/222393  “…Boomer Consulting identified the following…trends from the BTC Summit that accounting firm leaders should consider: 1. Remote workers…several firms are reducing office space requirements to less than 200 square feet per employee due to the remote workforce and staff working outside the office…2. Electronic signatures…3. Growth in advisory services…4. Talent development…6. Mobile devices…8. Desktop video conferencing…”

52.    A Digital Future: K-12 Technology by 2018  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/a-digital-future-k-12-tec_b_3930632.html  “…The… New Media Consortium Horizon Report details six up-and-coming technologies in the next five years for K-12 classrooms…Mobile learning. Tablets and smartphones in the classroom are no longer a matter of "if," but "when, and how quickly?"…Cloud computing. When it comes to greater educational collaboration, cloud computing has unlimited potential…Learning analytics…Learning analytics is the education industry's response to "big data"…Open content: The rise of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, in terms of college learning is having a trickle-down effect on K-12 education…3D printing…will allow K-12 students to create tangible models for their ideas…Virtual laboratories: These Web applications give students the chance to perform physical science experiments over and over, from anywhere with Internet access…”

*****

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