2013/10/01

NEW NET Weekly List for 01 Oct 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 01 October 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 ‘net
1.        15 percent of adult Americans just say no to Internet use  http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/15-percent-adult-americans-just-say-no-internet-use-8C11259298  “…15 percent of American adults say they don't use the Internet or email. A…third of them say the Internet isn't relevant to them; they don't want to use it or have any need for it…19 percent say the cost of an Internet connection, as well as the expense of owning a computer, is too high…41 percent of adults who have not graduated high school are offline, as are 24 percent of Hispanics and 24 percent of those in households earning less than $30,000 per year…that 34 percent…who say they just don't need the Internet…say they're not only not interested in going online, they're "too busy," or think the Internet is a waste of time…”
2.       Save your screenshots in Dropbox  https://blog.dropbox.com/2013/09/save-your-screenshots-in-dropbox/  “…Starting today, all the screenshots you take can automatically be saved straight to your Dropbox. And on top of that, Dropbox will also create a link to your screenshot and copy it to your clipboard — so your picture’s instantly good to share. Whether you’re capturing screenshots of websites, favorite dog videos, or video calls with your buddy in São Paulo, now Dropbox can help keep your computer a little more organized…”
3.       AT&T attempts to out-Google Google in Austin fiber race  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57605381-94/at-t-attempts-to-out-google-google-in-austin-fiber-race/  “AT&T…said…Monday that it would launch its "GigaPower" super-fast home Internet service on December 1 in Austin, a city that Google has said it would deploy its own speedy Google Fiber service. GigaPower would start with speeds of 300 megabit per second, or roughly 40 times the speed of the average U.S. Internet home connection, before upgrading customers to 1 gigabit per second next year. Google also plans to offer its own 1-gigabit connection some time next year…AT&T is attempting to quell the Google buzz and drum up a little hype for itself…AT&T was mum on price…”
4.       Microsoft Details SkyDrive’s Smart Files Feature, Prepares To Roll Out Bing-Powered OCR Search  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/30/microsoft-details-skydrives-smart-files-feature-prepares-to-roll-out-bing-powered-ocr-search/  “One of the more interesting but relatively unknown features of Windows 8.1 is its deep integration with SkyDrive and Microsoft’s new smart files system for keeping your online and offline storage in sync without having to download all of your files onto every machine…Microsoft also today announced that the new optical character recognition (OCR) feature for searching through SkyDrive files that…will be rolling out over the coming weeks. As the company announced today, this feature will also come to Windows 8.1′s Smart Search. The OCR feature, which makes images on SkyDrive searchable, is powered by Bing…”
5.        Scribd Unveils Its Bid To Become The Netflix For Books  http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/01/scribd-harpercollins-book-subscriptions/  “The latest company making a bid to bring the subscription model to the book world is…social publishing service Scribd. Scribd first launched in 2007, offering users a platform for users to share documents and other written content…the company…already has users paying a subscription fee for access to premium content…the company “soft launched” this service in January by adding books to its premium offering, and that the service has been growing 60 percent for each month since…Scribd is…announcing its first big deal with a major publisher — HarperCollins…three main points…characterize the Scribd system…First, readers only pay $8.99 per month and can read unlimited books — Adler said this is a pricing model that has “worked incredibly well for videos and music.” Second, because the subscriptions are integrated with Scribd’s existing social platform, it facilitates book discovery in new ways. Third, Scribd’s approach is “device agnostic”, with iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, as well as a website that works on both desktop and mobile browsers…”
6.       Blippex, the first interesting search engine since Google  http://qz.com/129879/this-is-the-first-interesting-search-engine-since-google/  “…When Kossatz and his co-founder Gerald Baeck…started building their new search engine, Blippex, their first tagline for it was something like “The Wikipedia of Search.”…Blippex is built by its own users. And this makes its search results radically—and perhaps interestingly—different…Though Blippex constructs its search results on the basis of data gathered from its users, it does it in a way that’s anonymous and untraceable to any individual Blippex user…Blippex’s algorithm, called DwellRank, decides relevance based on how long users spend on a site and how many times Blippex users have visited it…the amount of time someone spends on a web page or document is, not surprisingly, a pretty good measure of how important and relevant it is…Blippex gets this information by having you download a plugin for your web browser. This plugin measures how long you spend on each site…a consequence of this is that the only pages in Blippex’s search index are those its own users have visited. It has only two million pages, compared to the tens of billions of pages and trillions of links that have been indexed by Google…The result is a search directory that’s currently only as good as the (mostly tech-focused) people who are early adopters of new web services. That means it’s great for things related to computer programming, pretty good for recent events, and nearly useless for more obscure search terms…”  https://www.blippex.org/
7.        F-Secure’s Younited wants to combine Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive  http://www.geek.com/mobile/f-secures-younited-wants-to-combine-dropbox-skydrive-google-drive-1572309/  “…F-Secure’s new cloud service is called Younited. It’s the company’s response to what it sees as a growing problem–having lots of files stored online across a number of different services. You may have files stored in Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, Evernote, Office365…but there’s no one place where all your files are available. Younited aims to solve that by allowing you to link all of your cloud storage accounts into a single Younited account. F-Secure is promising total control over your files, as well as freeing them from the prying eyes of advertisers and governments. Being a security vendor, they are also promising a high level of protection to keep your files safe and access to those files on any and all devices…You can visit the site and sign up with an email address, and then it’s just a case of waiting for an account to become available. If this was just another cloud storage service then it wouldn’t garner much interest, but the ability to bring together all your files from multiple different online services is compelling…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
8.       BitTorrent experiments with secure chat  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57605331-93/bittorrent-experiments-with-secure-chat/  “The aftermath of the NSA spying revelations has people and companies scrambling for ways to create more secure communications, which has led BitTorrent to build a instant-message chat client that follows the torrenting principle of decentralized data transfer. The first release of BitTorrent Chat is a private alpha, meaning you have to go to the BitTorrent Chat sign-up page to get an invite…The client uses the concept of decentralized technology that's at the heart of torrents to run instant messages between people…There's no central server that stores communications, although it apparently works "similar to BitTorrent Sync, but adapted for real-time communications,"…Eventually, the service is expected to work with other instant-messaging accounts and be interoperable with SIP standards, but for now it requires a BitTorrent account…”
9.       Defense.net Ensures All Your Base Are Not Belong To Them  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/30/defense-net-ensures-all-your-base-are-not-belong-to-them/  “If you’ve ever been on the business end of a denial of service attack, you know the sinking feeling you get when your servers fall to the enemy. Defense.net, a new project by cybersecurity expert Barrett Lyon is out to keep that from happening to their clients…Their first product is called DDoS SWAT and acts as a secondary DDoS mitigation service if your first one falls to the enemy. Because most financial and business organizations have their own servers in place, DDoS SWAT will pick up when those fail. The service provides “10 times as much bandwidth capacity” as most primary servers and they add in redundant data centers as well as a real anti-DDoS SWAT team…As an overflow service, Defense.Net DDoS SWAT has to do a lot more than match the capabilities and capacities of the primary provider. We’re only asked to step in when the primary provider is not succeeding. By definition, we’re stepping into a bad situation.”…it does have a few cool features that everyone can appreciate…Defense.net offers something called AttackView that shows you how and where you are being attacked and includes traffic diagnostics, attack origins, and how the attack is progressing based on the countermeasures applied. It also uses something called IP Reflection to route “clean” traffic around the junk and reduces latency to and from the attacked server…”
10.     Symantec seizes part of massive peer-to-peer botnet ZeroAccess  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2050800/symantec-seizes-part-of-massive-peertopeer-botnet-zeroaccess.html  “…ZeroAccess, one of the largest botnets in existence, have lost access to more than a quarter of the infected machines they controlled because of an operation executed by…Symantec….the ZeroAccess botnet consists of more than 1.9 million infected computers and is used primarily to perform click fraud and Bitcoin mining in order to generate revenues estimated at tens of millions of dollars per year. ZeroAccess has a peer-to-peer architecture where every infected computer can relay files, instructions and information to other computers—peers—in the botnet. This mechanism is used by its operators for command and control (C&C), making ZeroAccess more resilient to takedown attempts than botnets that depend on dedicated C&C servers…”
11.      US government shutdown kicks NASA and other agencies off the internet  http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/1/4790908/nasa-ftc-and-other-agency-sites-go-dark-in-government-shutdown  “As the US federal government furloughs an overwhelming number of employees, the websites they manage are going dark as well. The FTC, USDA, NASA, Library of Congress, and other agency sites have been turned off completely, and others are being updated periodically or not at all. With all non-essential personnel off duty, there's almost certainly nobody home to man the sites, and redirecting to a splash page doesn't take much work. But the stark, mournful notices are effectively a protest as well, creating an online graveyard reminding us of what's no longer running. Some sites have opted for a simple sentence or two explaining why they're not running. "Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available," says NASA. Others let you know exactly what you're missing…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
12.     Hands On With the New Kindle Fires  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424815,00.asp  “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is looking for "the intersection of customer delight and deep integration throughout the entire stack."…he showed off the new Mayday feature in this year's Kindle Fire HDX tablet lineup. Press the Mayday button, and within 15 seconds, a live Amazon operator appears in a video chat window on your screen to answer all of your Kindle Fire questions…Amazon's Kindle Fire lineup has always been the easy-living, hand-holding alternative to the DIY Android tablet software experience, and Mayday takes that cuddliness to the next level: your tablet now contains not merely an artificial helper like Siri, but an actual human assistant…The two new Kindle Fire HDX tablets, at $229 for 7 inches and $379 for 8.9 inches, deliver the most intense specs you'll find at that price point. On the small tablet, Amazon is matching the price and 1,920-by-1,200 screen resolution of Google's Nexus 7, but bumping up the processor a notch from the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro to the even faster 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800…”
13.     Keeping Your Laptop Plugged in All the Time Will Kill Its Battery Faster  http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/09/laptop-battery/  “Laptops are our indispensable lifeline to the majesty that is the Internet…if you’re like most people, you probably keep yours plugged in when you’re at work or home. Stop doing that…ideally everyone would charge their batteries to 80 percent then let them drain to about 40 percent. This will prolong the life of your battery — in some cases by as much as four times…each cell in a lithium-polymer battery is charged to a voltage level. The higher the charge percentage, the higher the voltage level. The more voltage a cell has to store, the more stress it’s put under. That stress leads to fewer discharge cycles…a battery charged to 100 percent will have only 300-500 discharge cycles, while a battery charged to 70 percent will get 1,200-2,000 discharge cycles…”
14.     Apple co-founder on smart watches: 'I want the entire internet on my wrist'  http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/23/apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak-smart-watches  “Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, wants a smart watch. “I want the entire smartphone, the entire internet, on my wrist," he told Wired’s Nate Lanxon. "I want a larger display than they're starting with. They're starting with … displays that are the size of the iPod nano, which is the size of an ordinary watch of the past. I think we've got to get a little beyond this watch of the past."…In the interview, Wozniak lends his support to another new wearable technology Google Glass. "I think that has a chance too, and the reason is: I want one,” he said. “I don't have one because I haven't enough time to be an early tester…”
15.     Surface 2 tablet gives Delta pilots innovative tools on the flight deck  http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2013/09/30/surface-2-tablet-gives-delta-pilots-innovative-tools-on-the-flight-deck.aspx  “…Delta announced its partnership with Microsoft to equip each of our more than 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 electronic flight bag devices operating on Windows RT 8.1. The innovative handheld tablet puts in the hands of our talented group of aviators the right tools to do their job…Stored on the Surface 2 will be thousands of pages of easily accessible electronic documents, charts, navigational aids, checklists and other key reference materials previously kept in heavy flight bags. Once rolled out to the entire fleet, Delta will see an immediate fuel and cost savings as the cumbersome and heavy paper documents are removed from onboard our aircraft. In fact, the airline expects to eliminate the use of 7.5 million sheets of paper annually while reducing carbon emissions by 26 million pounds on 1.2 million fewer gallons of fuel…”
16.     Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review  http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/01/samsung-galaxy-note-10-1-review-2014-edition/  “…Samsung…Note 10.1…2014 edition…actually looks the part of a $550 device…Samsung…added a touch of elegance to the back of the device…we have a soft, textured "leather-like" material that's meant to resemble a leather book cover. Happily, it does a good job masking fingerprints, and it makes for a sturdier grip…The soft keys are now capable of sensing the S Pen (much like on the Note 8.0), which means you no longer have to adjust your grip on the pen every time you want to hit the back or menu buttons. A front-facing camera and proximity sensor sit just left-of-center above the screen…All four edges have something going on: a power button, volume rocker and infrared on the top; a covered microSD slot (supporting up to 64GB) on the right; a micro-USB socket on the bottom; and speaker grilles on both the right and left. Those speakers, by the way, aren't necessarily any larger than most, but they're some of the loudest we've tested…The Note 10.1 sports a beautiful WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) TFT LCD panel…you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better in a 10.1-inch tablet. It's the same size and resolution as the Nexus 10, although the Note offers more usable space since it lacks virtual navigation buttons…”
17.     FreedomPop Takes Aim At Carriers With Its New, Free Phone Plan  http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/01/freedompop-takes-aim-at-carriers-with-its-new-free-phone-plan/  “…Wireless data startup FreedomPop…is finally ready to take aim at traditional wireless carriers and their pricey monthly plans. In exchange for a whopping zero dollars a month, you can have 500MB of data, 500 text messages, and 200 voice minutes…And the first smartphone to fly under the FreedomPop banner? The $99 refurbished HTC EVO Design 4G…We’ve seen MVNOs like Ting and…Zact tackle the plan pricing problem by allowing for fine-grained tweaking, but where does FreedomPop’s money come from? A slew of value-add features and bigger data, voice, and messaging buckets…”
Apps
18.     Google Docs and Drive apps get a cleaner and colorful redesign  http://www.techienews.co.uk/971671/google-gives-google-docs-facelift-streamlined-header-focus-content/  “Google…has announced a revamp of Google Docs and its components stating that “things are about to get cleaner—and more colorful.” Google Docs will now come with a slightly different yet attractive interface. Each editor product’s icon will be displayed in the web app’s header section, which in itself will act as a link to a user’s Google Drive…the header within each of the products have been made more compact and more streamlined, which Google hopes will help the users to focus more on their content…”
19.     Google launches Android game vending machines in Tokyo  http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/30/google-gaming-app-vending-machine/  “…Google Japan…has announced three dedicated Google Play machines that will sell 18 different gaming titles which are a mix of free-to-play and paid-for titles. To use the machines, you'll need a smartphone running Android 4.0 and NFC…You rest the phone on the tray below the screen, and NFC pairing takes care of the rest…There's a slick unified animation from the giant touchscreen (which looks almost identical to drinks machines elsewhere in the country) to your Android phone of choice when the download kicks in. Also, for trying out another Google app, you'll get a 'present' which 'drops' down from the screen and into the vending tray once your download is complete. Not an Android user?...the vending machine will offer up a Nexus 4 for you to try out, although you do have to give it back, however. Several boiler-suited Google employees will man the machine…”
SkyNet
20.    Google Launches Web Designer, A Visual Tool For Building Interactive HTML5 Sites  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/30/google-launches-web-designer-a-visual-tool-for-building-interactive-html5-sites-and-ads/  “Google…announced the launch of Web Designer, a new tool for building interactive HTML5 sites and ads…Web Designer, which Google calls a “professional-quality design tool,” is now officially in public beta and available for download for Mac and Windows…Web Designer was developed to allow advertisers to easily create HTML5 ads for mobile and desktop…While this ad pedigree shines through across Web Designer…there is nothing in the tool that would prevent you from building interactive single-page sites and animations for other purposes…”
21.     Amtrak hops on Google Maps Engine for interactive locator map  http://www.zdnet.com/amtrak-hops-on-google-maps-engine-for-interactive-locator-map-7000021344/  “…Amtrak is getting…some much-needed infrastructure upgrades as a new Google Maps for Business customer. The most obvious one to travelers will likely be Amtrak's new interactive train locator map, constantly posting relevant information about train locations and arrival times…As trains pass sensors embedded on tracks, the data is then routed from GPS devices installed on Amtrak trains and then pushed onto the Google Maps Engine…Internet users can search for "near real-time data" for approximately 300 daily trains by name or train number…checking up on train status is the second most-common activity at Amtrak.com, right after buying tickets…”
General Technology
22.    World’s Largest Solar Thermal Power Plant Delivers Power for the First Time  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519596/worlds-largest-solar-thermal-power-plant-delivers-power-for-the-first-time/  “…Brightsource Energy announced that its huge, DOE-funded solar thermal power plant at Ivanpah, California, delivered power to the grid for the first time. It was part of a test to demonstrate the system, which uses mirrors to focus sunlight on towers to generate steam. The steam is then used to spin turbines and generate electricity. The plant isn’t quite finished yet, but is expected to be done by the end of the year…Its sheer size and obvious complexity are impressive—as is its price tag. The $2.2 billion power plant was made possible by $1.6 billion in U.S. government-backed loans…it’s still too early to know whether decades from now it will be looked at as a relic of an ill-conceived government spending spree, or as a project that was essential to opening the way for an electric grid that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels…When you calculate the amount of power the plant is likely to produce over its lifetime, the cost per kilowatt-hour is likely to be much higher than for fossil-fuel power. It’s even likely to be higher than the cost of power from solar panels, thanks to the fast drop in solar-panel prices in recent years…”
23.    World record solar cell with 44.7% efficiency  http://phys.org/news/2013-09-world-solar-cell-efficiency.html  “…using a new solar cell structure with four solar subcells…a new record efficiency of 44.7% was measured at a concentration of 297 suns. This indicates that 44.7% of the solar spectrum's energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy…These solar cells are used in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), a technology which achieves more than twice the efficiency of conventional PV power plants in sun-rich locations…In this multi-junction solar cell, several cells made out of different III-V semiconductor materials are stacked on top of each other. The single subcells absorb different wavelength ranges of the solar spectrum…”
24.    A $200K Jet Pack That You Can Buy In Two Years  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/30/i-believe-i-can-fly-with-this-soon-to-be-commercially-available-jet-pack/  “…Martin Jetpack, a New Zealand-based company, has just revealed the latest prototype of its jet pack, which is promised to be available in mid-2014…Glenn Martin has been working on building a jet pack for the last 30 years…The P12 marks the 12th iteration of his dream, and the closest version yet to commercial availability…Martin will be releasing the Jetpack to first responders like policemen and firemen before bankers, NBA players, oil tycoons, etc. will have their chance at a purchase. However, Martin says the jet pack should be commercially available to anyone (who can afford it) by 2015…The Martin Jetpack will cost anywhere between $150,000 and $250,000…”
25.    GoPro Releases The Smaller, Faster Hero3+ Action Camera  http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/01/gopro-releases-the-smaller-faster-hero3-action-camera/  “…GoPro…Hero3+…is 20 percent smaller than its predecessor and packs some much-improved internals, allowing the camera to capture even better quality imagery. GoPro claims the upgraded lens should result in images that are 33 percent sharper while featuring half the amount of digital artifacts. The camera’s sensor has also been upgraded for better low-light performance and it packs improved audio pickups. GoPro also boosted the camera’s wireless connectivity, claiming the new wireless is four times faster…the Hero3+’s battery now lasts 30% longer…The Hero3+ will hit stores this week for $329 …”
26.    FDA approves wearable artificial pancreas  http://www.geek.com/science/fda-approves-wearable-artificial-pancreas-1572256/  “…the FDA has just approved a device that acts…as an artificial pancreas. The device will be able to monitor and maintain the insulin levels of patients with type 1 diabetes, which is a first in modern medicine. Type 1 diabetes…is a disease in which the…complete lack of insulin means sufferers must closely monitor blood sugar levels and inject synthetic insulin…Patients are already able to get pumps that slowly dispense insulin, but they have to be set manually based on frequent blood sugar tests. The new wearable pancreas takes what was two separate manual activities and manages them both with the aid of a computer algorithm to keep blood sugar right where it’s supposed to be…”
27.    With Weak Back-To-School Sales, The PC Market Is Now Microsoft’s To Save  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/30/with-weak-back-to-school-sales-the-pc-market-is-now-microsofts-to-save/  “Splat. That’s the sound the PC market just made…back-to-school computer sales were “virtually absent.”…The traditional September bump that students provided to PC OEMs as they headed back to classrooms failed to generate a meaningful sales delta…consumers are repudiating traditional PC form factors (desktops and laptops) for other devices at a quicker pace than expected…among younger folks (students for example), the trend has accelerated…If consumers – students, especially – are moving away from laptops and desktops at a faster pace than we expected, they still have to produce. Given that, they will need a device that meets that need and satisfies their desire for mobility and touch. The Surface 2 could be that device…in my view, there is no tablet quite like the Surface 2 in terms of its focus, capabilities (Office, Touch Covers, etc.) and price point…we’ll know by the end of the year if Microsoft’s entrance into the OEM wars will grow the pie, or merely fight for a slice as the desert shrinks around it…”
Leisure & Entertainment
28.    Will Valve’s Crazy ‘Steam Controller’ Reinvent the Gamepad?  http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2013/09/steam-controller/  “…Valve now wants to totally reinvent the gamepad. The company…announced the Steam Controller on Friday morning, but it’s not just a traditional controller with a few tweaks. In an attempt to make PC games designed around a mouse and keyboard interface…Valve has rethought the handheld gamepad experience. Steam Controllers won’t have a D-pad or an analog joystick, the two constant features of nearly every standard game controller since 1983. Instead, it will feature two trackpads. “The trackpads allow far higher fidelity input than has previously been possible with traditional handheld controllers,”…Whole genres of games that were previously only playable with a keyboard and mouse are now accessible from the sofa.”…Valve…added a touchscreen in the middle of the controller. There’s advanced force feedback, which it calls a “higher-bandwidth haptic information channel than exists in any other consumer product…”
29.    'Grand Theft Auto Online' Launches: How To Begin Your Life Of Crime  http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1714858/grand-theft-auto-online-gta.jhtml  “…Rockstar Games has finally launched "Grand Theft Auto Online." Set as sort of a prequel to "GTAV"…the online version will allow players to steal cars, beat up criminals and work their way up to ruling a criminal empire... with players around the world. Call it "Crime With Friends," and you wouldn't be far off the mark…here's a rundown of everything you'll need to know about "GTA Online."…Buy A Copy Of GTA V…Know Your Grandparents…Microtransactions…500 Missions…Get A Gang…Build Your Stronghold…Wait A Few Days…”
30.    Myst 20th anniversary: Lost to the Ages, Myst Online free  http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9713372/looking-back-game-myst-20th-anniversary  “Myst was supposed to change the face of gaming. What is its legacy 20 years later?...in 1993…Myst, it was said, was wiping the slate clear for a completely new direction in gaming…Twenty years ago, people talked about Myst…as one of those rare works that irrevocably changed its medium…If you remember the game, you remember that feeling of landing on Myst Island for the first time…left with no option but to start exploring. This was a revolutionary feeling to have while staring at your PC screen…Fans and critics alike held their breath in anticipation of the tidal wave of exploratory, open-ended gaming that was supposed to follow, waiting to be drowned in a sea of new worlds. And then, nothing. "It just kind of puttered out," said Myst cocreator and Cyan founder Rand Miller…We got accolades for increasing the exposure of what was called the 'adventure game,' and then we got blamed on the other hand for the death of the adventure game…The adventure genre at the time was largely dominated by PC titles like the King's Quest and Gabriel Knight…games that Myst in no way resembled, aesthetically or mechanically…But it wasn't just an issue of being ahead of its time — if so, we'd be seeing a lot more games like Myst in 2013…how could something so undeniably impactful have so few contemporary successors?... Robyn Miller had been a student at the University of Washington, taking a year off…when his older brother Rand called him…and asked if he'd like to work together on a children's computer game. The proposal was out of left field — Rand was a programmer…in a small-town bank…and neither had any experience in game development; Robyn had barely played a video game in his life…if you asked them, the Millers would have said they were in the world-building business first, the game and storytelling business second…We're not game designers; we were place designers, so we just started drawing maps, and the maps kind of fueled the story…They decided early on that…Myst would have no inventory or enemies; you would not be able to die or start over…Robyn was coming up against a problem that video games are still dealing with today: Can the medium support stories and characters in the same way that a film or a novel does? And is that even what the medium should do in its advanced iteration?... Rand renamed Cyan to CyanWorlds and busied himself with the development of Myst Online: Uru Live, a massive multi-player online game…But the game was canceled prior to release in 2004…The Uru project lost so much money for Cyan that the company was forced to temporarily cease operations…One of the first things that made him think there could still be a place for non-violent, open-world gaming came straight from the pages of that cultural barometer/hive mind Reddit. "On the front page, there was a [post] where somebody said…'Yeah, why don't people make these games? Why can't we just explore? Why do we always have to shoot things?' So, maybe the time is right again to try that…there's plenty of room for something really cool in this genre…”  http://mystonline.com/en/
Entrepreneurism and Technology
31.     Paris to be home to the biggest startup incubator in the world (100,000m²)  http://www.rudebaguette.com/2013/09/25/in-2016-paris-to-be-home-to-the-biggest-digital-incubator-in-the-world/  “…the city of Paris…launched the…1000 Startups…project, which will be largely financed by Xavier Niel…Starting in 2016, the Halle Freyssinet, an old shipping and freight center in Paris 13th arrondissement…will be…transformed into a massive tech incubator with 100 000m2 of co-working and office space, accelerators, incubators, event facilities, and other services focusing on the tech community. 30 000 m2 of the space will be specifically targeted to the 1000 startups the project owners are looking to attract into the space…Another wise move was getting a private sector star such as Xavier Niel to agree to largely finance the project. Knowing that they no longer have the (financial) means or, perhaps, the know how to take on projects such as this, the government is clearly looking to the public-private model as a way to both achieve some of their goals and get the business community and its leaders more involved in the development of France’s digital economy…”
32.    Quirky Invention Machine To Build Out Product Categories  http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/01/quirky-the-new-york-based-invention-machine-brings-on-doreen-lorenzo-as-president-to-build-out-product-categories/  “In an effort to scale its product development capacity, Quirky, the creation funnel for crowd sourced invention ideas, has hired as president Doreen Lorenzo, formerly the president of design consultancy firm frog design…Lorenzo will be running product organization, the department devoted to transforming an idea submitted by a community member into a commercial good…Quirky’s product development department has been able to move from creating plastic kitchen gadgets to more complex designs, like electronics. “Next year we’ll move into more product categories,” Kaufman said…Those categories could include further work with electronics, sustainability projects, products requiring chemical engineering…Six months ago, Quirky announced a partnership with General Electric to develop smart home products, like an app-enabled milk jug…”
33.    Calling Hardware Startups, Compete In Hardware Battlefield For $50,000  http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/01/calling-hardware-startups-compete-in-hardware-battlefield-for-50000/  “Gadgets, gizmos and things are hot. With the rise of crowdfunding and easier paths to manufacturing, there are more gadgeteers than ever before. And we’re looking for some of the best hardware startups to compete on our Las Vegas stage for a giant $50,000 check, tons of publicity and the brand new Hardware Battlefield cup…this new competition will pit 20 hardware startups against each other. The winner will be chosen by VCs, makers and TechCrunch Editors…The Hardware Battlefield is taking place at CES 2014 in Las Vegas…The competition is open to all hardware companies who are planning to launch (crowdfund or ship) product in a two week window before or after January 10. You can still be in prototyping stage but you must have a working, usable product by January 7 and be ready to offer pre-orders on that day or soon thereafter…”
Design / DEMO
34.    4 Big Trends Shaping The Future Of Design  http://www.fastcodesign.com/3016623/innovation-by-design/where-is-design-going-next  “Our Innovation by Design competition drew more than 1,200 entries from big firms and tiny studios…illuminating four key priorities for the next wave of innovation…GOAL #1: CHALLENGE US…Thoughtful design doesn't just enable our habits; it pushes us to improve behavior, making us more economical, reflective, and responsible…GOAL #2: DESTIGMATIZE AFFLICTION…To improve day-to-day hardships, designers must do what cold, clinical solutions do not: treat those in need as regular consumers, whose emotions drive decisions…GOAL #3: RETHINK THE SUPPLY CHAIN…in today's world of 3-D printing and creative packaging, a designer can dream up a product--plus a new way to get it into people's hands…GOAL #4: ADAPT TO USERS…Rather than us having to integrate it into our lives, the product instinctively conforms to us…”
35.    The "Bad Guys" Of Engineering: What Defines "Design-Centric" Companies Like Apple  http://www.fastcodesign.com/3017298/the-bad-guys-of-engineering-what-defines-design-centric-companies-like-apple  “On the back of every iPhone and iPad…glistens the signature of Apple's products: "Designed by Apple in California."…its products are not "Engineered by Apple in California,"…we tried to get at the core of what distinguishes a design-centric company from an engineering-centric one…what we found most telling was that even Apple's own engineers revere Apple's design-driven approach…Nitin Ganatra, the former director of iOS application engineering…explains…You let the design team come up with the absolute best possible design, regardless of engineering constraints…then have us figure out how to actually make it work…”
DHMN Technology
36.    The push to create a $30 portable brain recorder  http://www.cnbc.com/id/101062968  “…an intriguing area of research that's gaining buzz is the brain…DARPA is collaborating with several tech-focused small businesses to create a $30 brain-recording device within the next year…small sensors, tucked inside a baseball hat or helmet…would record electrical activity along your scalp. Your brain wave data then would be collected by mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, so any head impacts could be analyzed on the spot for any serious injuries…Affordable brain-recording units have wide-reaching applications for high-impact sports, the military and hands-on science education in classrooms. The technology could also help gamers tackle their holy grail—hands-free, mind-controlled video games. Envision moving your personal avatar on a screen by simply thinking about it…Medical-grade EEG systems costing thousands of dollars have been around for years…But a more affordable EEG device would put the technology in the hands of more students and hobbyists. The development could unlock tinkering and innovation for more amateurs, sometimes called citizen scientists…Part of DARPA's $30 brain recording device challenge is to make the science affordable for classrooms and students…Having EEGs in every classroom in America would engage students in science and technology in a way not previously possible in the field of neuroscience…”
37.    3D Printing Multiple Materials, Colors & Textures Gets Closer  http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=267987  “The ability to 3D-print multiple materials, colors, and textures in the same piece is of growing interest to many engineers…soon we'll see high-quality, industrial-strength printers that can do both plastics and other materials, such as ceramics or metals, in one job…the prototype Vista 3D inkjet print head, created by…TTP…can not only print metals and plastics, but also ceramics, biological cells, and enzymes. This ability is due to the print head's droplet ejection motion, which can print large particles of 50 microns and above, as well as viscous and volatile fluids…Before this type of printer becomes available, the only commercial multi-material printer is still Stratasys' Objet Connex500, which prints two different types of plastic…Researchers in CSAIL's Computation Fabrication Group have come up with two new open source methods for simplifying software and making it more efficient…One method addresses defining the material composition of an object, and the other addresses defining an object's functional goals…OpenFab…attempts to make it easier and more powerful for engineers to directly specify what materials, with which material properties, they want in different parts of the printed object…Some just want to say "make an object that functions like this." That's where Spec2Fab comes in, a functional approach to specification…"With Spec2Fab, you don't have to care about materials," Piotr Didyk…"You specify your design goal and the software optimizes it for material placement to achieve that goal…”
38.    Need To Print Teeny-Weenie Things? The LumiFold Has You Covered  http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/30/need-to-print-teeny-weenie-things-the-lumifold-has-you-covered/  “I never thought I’d see the day when someone would find a reason to build a wee tiny foldable 3D printer that can make things about as big as a few matchboxes. This printer, called the LumiFold, is a 3D printer with a build envelope of 90x90x90mm and uses UV sensitive resin to print fairly high-quality objects in a few minutes…The creators are looking for a teeny-weenie $1,500 to fund the project and they’re selling the printer for $429. You can also buy parts kits for a bit less…”
39.    3D printed 6 seconds toothbrush tailored to your teeth  http://www.3ders.org//articles/20131001-blizzident-releases-3d-printed-6-seconds-toothbrush-tailored-to-your-teeth.html  “…Engineers from Blizzident have invented a new kind of toothbrush that is tailor-made to fit into a person's mouth using 3D scanning and 3D printing. According to the company, By simply biting and grinding, Blizzident automatically cleans all teeth perfectly within six seconds, and you can even floss and clean your tongue at the same time…To make the brush, the dentist takes an impression of all your teeth (with biting position) or scans them directly (thus creating a digital 3D model directly) and then uploaded to Blizzident. The makers need to find out the optimal placement of 600 bristles by simulating biting and chewing movements and then create a computer aided design (CAD) model of the brush accordingly. The brush is then printed out using 3D printing, to be precise here, stereolithography technology, which employs a vat of liquid ultraviolet curable photopolymer "resin" and an ultraviolet laser to build parts' layers…The biting motion achieves the same effect as the two common teeth cleaning motions — the Modified Bass technique, in which the brush is positioned at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and moved back and forth, and the Fones technique, in which the brush is held at right angles to the teeth and moved circularly…The tailor-made 3D printed toothbrush is now available online for $/€299. Prices of direct scan or impression+digitizing range between $75 and $200, but the company says this invention could actually save people money in dental costs, as well as saving time spending on brushing and flossing teeth. the Blizzident lasts one year, you can then buy a refurbished one…”
Open Source Hardware
40.    Open-Source Through the Lens of a Microscope  http://allafrica.com/stories/201309301461.html  “A cheap professional microscope based on open-source technologies has been developed by a group of engineers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The project is part of the OpenLabTools initiative, aimed at providing a forum and knowledge centre for the development of low-cost and open-access scientific tools. The idea is to enable research centres all over the world to do work even with a tiny budget…The microscope prototype will cost around US$800, whereas conventional microscopes cost between US$15,000 and US$80,000. It will be modular and simple to replicate, improve and adapt to different research purposes…”
41.     Mad Max meets Martha Stewart in These Open Source Appliances  http://www.wired.com/design/2013/09/these-appliances-are-inside-out/  “When designer Jesse Howard accidentally cracked open his coffee maker, he was surprised to see a simple heating mechanism encased in the complex, injection molded shell. He also noticed…it was almost impossible to repair. This simple discovery led him to brainstorm about how the junked java maker could be redesigned with an eye toward repair, modification, and small-scale manufacturing…He scoured his kitchen for inspiration and found a number of gadgets that could be scrubbed of their largely cosmetic cases…his designs would communicate not only how they work, but also how they could be repaired or customized…The project was inspired by the Open Structures Project, a group that hopes to bring the open innovation model of a site like Wikipedia to the world of dishwashers and cake mixers…These devices are based on the belief that complex gadgets can now be manufactured in the home…Howard also created schematics and an illustrated bill of materials that gives hungry hackers a recipe to manufacture appliances of their own. Almost all of the components in Howard’s designs can be sourced from a local hardware store or parts distributor and any remaining elements can be fabricated with a consumer-grade CNC mill or 3-D printer…I reduced the appliances to their minimum requirements, but would be excited to see ‘features’ added back in by future users/producers…”
Open Source
42.    10 underdog open source apps you need to try  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-underdog-open-source-apps-you-need-to-try/  “It used to be that open source as a whole was the underdog…there are still some hidden gems…You might never have heard of some of these, or perhaps you have, but you've dismissed them because you already have a program that does the same thing "just fine."…1. KOffice…2. Claws Mail…3. Bohdi Linux…4. Xfce…6. Battle of Wesnoth…7. KeePass…8. Liferay…9. The Gimp…10. Clementine…”
43.    Teach kids about copyright: a list of resources from Creative Commons  http://opensource.com/law/13/9/open-curriculum-alternatives  “…we should be teaching kids is to be creative and take full advantage of all the web has to offer. Copyright, asking permission, open licensing, and all the other legal nuances, should be seen as secondary (and even complementary) to this purpose. We should be starting the conversation with the things kids can do versus what they can’t do…exceptions and limitations to copyright that allow various uses of copyrighted materials for educational, journalistic, and other purposes…a crucial and growing part of the Internet landscape—the commons of free and open materials in the public domain and/or released under open licenses that actually encourage copying, redistribution, revision, and remix…here are some organizations and experienced educators who have developed copyright curricula. The following list of resources are open educational resources (OER), licensed under a CC license that enables free and legal reuse, redistribution and remix. In short, stuff that is free and just fine and even great to copy…”
44.    MATE 1.8 and Cinnamon 2.0 Confirmed for Linux Mint 16  http://news.softpedia.com/news/MATE-1-8-and-Cinnamon-2-0-Confirmed-for-Linux-Mint-16-386774.shtml  “…Linux Mint 16 (Petra) will include the yet-to-be-released Cinnamon 2.0 and MATE 1.8 desktop environments…Linux Mint 16…will be officially available for download by the end of November 2013…Linux Mint 16 will be distributed in separate editions, with the Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce desktop environments…”
Civilian Aerospace
45.    SpaceX launches upgraded Falcon rocket on first orbital mission  http://www.nbcnews.com/science/spacex-launches-upgraded-falcon-rocket-first-orbital-mission-8C11289702  “SpaceX launched the first of its new and improved Falcon 9 rockets from the California coast on Sunday, succeeding with an ambitious test flight that also marked the company's first flight from the West Coast. The unmanned next-generation Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket blasted off from…Vandenberg Air Force Base…carrying a Canadian satellite to track space weather…Sunday's launch marked the sixth Falcon 9 rocket launch for SpaceX…One of those upgrades included an innovative addition to the Falcon 9's first stage, which SpaceX designed to restart after separating from the second stage…SpaceX has been working to develop technology for a completely reusable rocket launch system…Sunday's launch was also the first time a Falcon 9 launched a satellite into orbit instead of the company's Dragon space capsule…the huge satellite payload fairing…is large enough to house a school bus…The Falcon 9 rocket improvements include a set of nine brand-new Merlin 1D engines arranged in a novel circular pattern — which SpaceX calls the "Octaweb" — that together can generate 1.5 million pounds of thrust in a vacuum, a 50 percent increase over previous Falcon 9 engines…The new Falcon 9 rocket carries more fuel for those engines…The company has at least three more Falcon 9 rocket flights planned for 2013, all of which will launch satellites into orbit for customers…”
46.    New commercial resupply spacecraft successfully docks with ISS  http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/09/cygnus-resupply-spacecraft-successfully-docks-with-iss/  “…the Cygnus spacecraft has successfully docked with the International Space Station. Cygnus carried about 1,300 pounds of cargo up to the ISS, which will be unloaded beginning Monday morning. Orbital Sciences, the US company that built the unmanned Cygnus, was awarded a $1.9 billion contract to supply the ISS. It became the second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services provider, joining SpaceX…The September 18 launch was Orbital Sciences' first resupply flight. After the first docking attempt was delayed, the tech staff at Orbital Sciences quickly wrote and deployed a software patch that fixed the date-formatting issues. In addition to the patch upload, Cygnus also had to successfully complete additional NASA-mandated tests and simulations before being cleared to dock with ISS…Orbital Sciences, which has eight additional resupply missions scheduled into 2016…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
47.    GPU-Accelerated Genomics  http://www.nvidia.com/content/cuda/spotlights/knut-reinert-fuberlin.html  “…Dr. Knut Reinert…and his team focus on the development of novel algorithms and data structures for problems in the analysis of biomedical mass data. In particular, the group develops mathematical models for analyzing large genomic sequences…A central part of these projects was the development of large software packages containing algorithms for assembly and genome analysis…the endeavor clearly showed the lack of available implementations in sequence analysis…we develop tools and software libraries and do not in general have a lot of data analysis tasks. We have a couple of high memory compute servers (6 to 12 cores, between 48 to 256 GB main memory). In addition we have a compute cluster, with some NVIDIA Tesla K20s in the cluster and some on a dedicated development machine…So far we have implemented only the low-hanging fruit, which has worked astonishingly well. The parallelization consists of two parts. The first was to bring an involved data structure, the FM-index, generically onto the GPU…Secondly, we programmed a parallel traversal on this index in a generic fashion, which allows the code to run on a multicore as well as on the GPU…Instead of aiming to speed up only certain aspects of the algorithm, we thought about how we can implement the infrastructure to port ALL our indices to the GPU…”
48.    Cray Cascades Over GPU, Coprocessor Edge  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2013-10-01/cray_cascades_over_gpu_coprocessor_edge.html  “…Cray…Adaptive Supercomputing…was aimed at creating a single supercomputer architecture that could integrate multiple processing technologies…its XC30 supercomputer has stepped up its performance capability with the addition of support for both Xeon Phi coprocessors and NVIDIA Tesla 20X accelerators…According to Thomas Schulthess, professor at ETH Zurich and director of the Swiss National Supercomputing Center…“Our first experience with climate and materials science applications showed that replacing one of the multi-core processors in the XC30 with an NVIDIA Tesla GPU boosts application performance and disproportionally reduced energy to solution,” Schulthess said. A recent test using a climate simulation on Piz Daint now runs over three times faster and reaching the solution with seven times less energy consumed as compared to CSCS’ current flagship system “Monte Rosa”…Understanding that no single processor engine is ideal for every type of user application, the Cray XC30 series highlights the flexibility of scalar processing, coprocessing and accelerators to build hybrid systems capable of leveraging the strengths of each technology into one ‘adaptive’ HPC environment…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
49.    Deloitte Tech Trends 2013  http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Services/consulting/technology-consulting/technology-2013/index.htm  “Deloitte’s annual Technology Trends report examines…10 trends that we believe have the opportunity to impact business over the next 18 to 24 months…Our 2013 trends are grouped into two categories: Disruptors are opportunities that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations, and sometimes even business models…CIO as the Postdigital Catalyst…Mobile Only…Social Reengineering by Design…Design as a Discipline…IPv6 (and this time we mean it)…Enablers are technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but which warrant another look because of new developments or opportunities…Finding the Face of Your Data…Gamification Goes to Work…Reinventing the ERP Engine…No Such Thing as Hacker-proof…The Business of IT…”

50.    8 Technological Trends Your Business Should Follow  http://www.tapscape.com/8-technological-trends-business-follow/  “…The following trends are real game-changers that you can harness to keep your business at the head of the pack…Cloud Computing…Mobile-Friendly Websites…Embedded Sensors…Operational Intelligence Systems…Virtual Appliances…Private Application Stores…The Internet of Things…Focused Social Networks…”

*****

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