2013/11/12

NEW NET Weekly List for 12 Nov 2013

Below is the final NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) list of technology news and issues for Tuesday, 12 November 2013. We'll be meeting at the Fox River Mall food court, upper level (elevator available), in Appleton, Wisconsin. Bring your appetite and laptop or iPad Air -- the venue has a diverse cornucopia of food and free WiFi. Bring all your new tech toys, as well as your tech questions and answers.

The ‘net
1.        South Korea stuck with Internet Explorer for online shopping because of security law  http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/due-to-security-law-south-korea-is-stuck-with-internet-explorer-for-online-shopping/2013/11/03/ffd2528a-3eff-11e3-b028-de922d7a3f47_story.html  “South Korea is renowned for its digital innovation, with coast-to-coast broadband and a 4G LTE network that reaches into Seoul’s subway system. But this tech-savvy country is stuck in a time warp in one way: its slavish dependence on Internet Explorer.For South Koreans who use other browsers such as Chrome or Safari, online shopping often begins with a pop-up notice warning that they might not be able to buy what they came for. “Purchases can only be made through Internet Explorer,” says one such message…South Koreans remain captive to laws passed 14 years ago, which — in the name of Internet security — require citizens to bank and make nearly all purchases with Internet Explorer. Three-quarters of the country’s Web usage involves Internet Explorer…”
2.       Microsoft improves free Office Web Apps functionality  http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-improves-its-free-online-office-7000022911/  “How do you compete with rivals that are willing to give away a product comparable to yours? That's Microsoft's multi-billion dollar Office dilemma as it tries to compete with Google and its free Google Apps platform. For a generation raised on Gmail, Google Drive and the Google Docs family might be good enough…to decide they don't need the "real" Office…The latest Office Web App updates will go live shortly for anyone who signs in at Office.com with a free Microsoft account or a paid Office 365 account…These are significant improvements, enhancing collaborative capabilities and making the free online versions credible alternatives to the paid Office 2013 and Office 365 products…”
3.       New Google Maps For Desktop Brings Back Pegman, Adds Waze Data And 3D Earth Tours  http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/06/new-google-maps-for-desktop-brings-back-pegman-adds-waze-data-and-3d-earth-tours/  Google…launched an update to its new Google Maps for desktop that brings traffic data from Waze to the desktop…This integration will bring information about traffic incidents, construction zones and road closures from Waze…to Google Maps on the desktop…this update makes it easier to find Street View imagery on the new Google Maps…Just like in the old Google Maps, you can now drag and drop the Google Maps Pegman onto any road…and bring up Street View. The only difference is that Pegman now lives in the bottom right corner of Google Maps…As you zoom in, Google Maps will also highlight indoor business photos and user-uploaded pictures, including photo spheres. Street View itself is also getting a new feature: you can now get step-by-step direction cards that show you every stop of your route using Street View imagery to give you a preview of your route…Google is also pushing…the “tour guide” feature in Google Maps for mobile…by introducing a new “Earth Tours” feature that, just like the tour guides, auto-generated 3D tours right in Google Maps…”
4.       Skype tweaks Desktop API plans: Chat still going away  http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2013/11/06/skype-tweaks-desktop-api-plans-chat-still-going-away-call-recording-device-compatibility-stay-now/  “Skype…announced a change to its plans regarding the retirement of the Desktop API used by third-party developers to extend Skype functionality. Instead of retiring the Desktop API later this year as it originally announced, Skype is now keeping what it says are the most widely used features: call recording and compatibility with hardware devices. Unfortunately, Chat functionality is still going away. The changes mean that software supporting headsets, cameras, and other hardware that work with Skype should continue to function…the Microsoft-owned company has been…updating its infrastructure to work better…particularly in mobile. The Desktop API has been on the chopping block…but a large outcry from the community has caused Skype to reconsider, at least in part…”
5.        Netflix and YouTube make up majority of US internet traffic  http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/11/netflix-youtube-dominate-us-internet-traffic  “Netflix and YouTube now account for more than half of downstream internet traffic in North America…This online dominance marks the first time the two video streaming sites surpassed the 50% mark and shows a significant decline in the use of peer-to-peer services. BitTorrent, the protocol used for peer-to-peer file sharing, is now responsible for 7.4% of daily internet traffic in North America – a 31% drop from five years ago…Netflix accounted for 31.6% of downstream traffic on fixed networks in September during "primetime" internet hours – 9pm to 12am. This is a slight drop from May 2013, when Netflix posted a 32.25%...YouTube posted a slight increase from 17.11% to 18.69% in the six month period…”
6.       Teacher-Driven Technology: A Case for Video Conferencing  http://www.hendrix.edu/news/news.aspx?id=67768  “Hendrix students arrived at class to discuss a reading assignment with the author. But the San Francisco-based author wasn’t on campus. She was sitting comfortably in her Bay Area home…Arlene Goldbard nonetheless carried on an hour-long conversation with Hendrix students via video conferencing…Goldbard, the author of New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development and The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists, and the Future, listened as student groups posed questions such as “Should art be free?”…“She is very busy and in high demand, but she made time for our students…Our students interacted with a nationally known and respected writer and activist.  She brought her material to life for our students in a way Jay and I would never be able to accomplish,” he said…“Getting to discuss with Arlene the topics of her book was truly an awesome experience. Never before has classroom material been brought to life so directly for me,” said Lexi Adams, a freshman…“By speaking with the author we were able to get a better understanding of the author's true intentions with various literary devices rather than a third party's interpretation of such things,” said Alainna Collins…“Discussing the book with the author as opposed to discussing the book with a professor gives us a completely new perspective and understanding of the material,” said Carly Howden…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
7.        Denial-of-service tool targeting Healthcare.gov site discovered  http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/11/new-denial-of-service-attack-aimed-directly-at-healthcare-gov/  “Researchers have uncovered software available on the Internet designed to overload the struggling Healthcare.gov website with more traffic than it can handle…Arbor researcher Marc Eisenbarth said there's no evidence Healthcare.gov has been subjected to any significant denial-of-service attacks since going live last month…The tool is designed to put a strain on the site by repeatedly alternating requests to the https://www.healthcare.gov and https:www.healthcare.gov/contact-us addresses…Of course, there's no way of knowing who wrote and posted the tool…”
8.       In UK supermarket Tesco, the adverts are watching you  http://betanews.com/2013/11/04/in-uk-supermarket-tesco-the-adverts-are-watching-you/  “…UK supermarket Tesco is…introducing advertisements that watch customers…Just as the likes of Google tailor advertisements to web users, Tesco is looking to ensure that the ads its customers see are relevant. The fuel stations found at many branches of the supermarket are soon to be home to personalized ads courtesy of Amscreen…the new venture showcases the company's OptimEyes technology. This is a face-recognition system…rather than being used to identify individuals…will be used to identify "key traits" in those nearby. The system is able to pick up various data such as age and sex but it also takes into account the time of day…should the system detect a man on his way to work in the morning, it will display advertisements believed to be pertinent to him. Should a woman be detected, advertisements deemed to appeal to her will be displayed instead…”
9.       Chinese appliances are shipping with malware-distributing WiFi chips  http://www.geek.com/apps/chinese-appliances-are-shipping-with-malware-distributing-wifi-chips-1575315/  “Was the iron in the last hotel room you stayed in made in China? Bad news: it may have been hiding an insidious little chip designed to infect your computer with spam-serving malware. It’s not just irons that are being used as tiny trojan horses…Dashboard cameras, cell phones, and tea kettles have also been found inconspicuously outfitted with the malicious chips. They’re reportedly capable of latching on to any computer within 200 meters that’s attached to an unsecured WiFi network…like the ones in many hotels and coffee shops. Shipments of modified small appliances are apparently popping up in Russia…It’s entirely possible that the Russian gadgets were the first to be spotted and that similar malware gear has already been shipped to other corners of the globe…now you can’t even trust the iron you were going to use to press your slacks…what are these sneaky Chinese appliances up to? Right now, it looks like they’re only looking for unsuspecting drones to add to someone’s spam-serving army. Once a machine has been compromised, though, it’s possible that those in control would push additional malware to a victim’s machine…”
10.     NSA spying prompts open TrueCrypt encryption software audit to go viral  http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/531230/nsa_spying_prompts_open_truecrypt_encryption_software_audit_go_viral/  “A unique effort to crowdsource a security audit of the popular TrueCrypt open source encryption software appears to be going viral three weeks after it was launched…in response to concerns that the National Security Agency may have tampered with it. The intiative has so far garnered more than $57,000 in donations and bitcoins and attracted over 1,000 volunteers from 30 countries, including…some of the world's best regarded cryptographers…"The response has been amazing," said Kenneth White co-founder of the TrueCrypt Audit Project…we have had terrific offers of technical and logistical support from friends, colleagues and complete strangers,"…TrueCrypt, a free, open source encryption file and disk encryption softare tool for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, is widely used…around the world to encrypt sensitive and confidential data…there have been close to 29 million downloads of TrueCrypt…”
11.      Time for Internet Engineers to Fight Back Against the “Surveillance Internet”  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/521306/time-for-internet-engineers-to-fight-back-against-the-surveillance-internet/  “Will the usually obscure Internet Engineering Task Force – that open-to-anyone group of engineers who design and keep the ‘net functioning – step up and fight back against mass surveillance? That possibility is now in the air, following a talk…by cryptographer Bruce Schneier…surveillance is a business model of the Internet. The NSA didn’t wake up and say: ‘Let’s just spy on everybody, it said: ‘Wow, corporations are spying on everybody, let’s get ourselves a copy,’ ” he said, referring to the cloud computing providers and others who warehouse data. The NSA found the Internet quite easy to tap in various places; as a result, “The NSA has turned the Internet into a giant surveillance platform”…Those were fighting words to IETF members like Stephen Farrell…He said…it was time for the IETF to take action…to “make it significantly more expensive for a bad actor…One approach, Farrell said, was to organize a team of developers to make an open-source hardware and software crytopgraphy engine platform that could be used to add security to various places on the network…The basic problem is that…the existing ‘net is merely a…fancier version of the original one that assumed everyone was honest and trustworthy…”
12.     International Space Station Infected With USB Stick Malware Carried on Board by Russian Astronauts  http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/521246/20131111/international-space-station-infected-malware-russian-astronaut.htm  “...security expert Eugene Kaspersky…told journalists that the infamous Stuxnet had infected an unnamed Russian nuclear plant and that in terms of cyber-espionage "all the data is stolen globally... at least twice." Kaspersky revealed that Russian astronauts carried a removable device into space which infected systems on the space station. He did not elaborate on the impact of the infection on operations of the International Space Station (ISS)….Kaspersky doesn't give any details about when the infection he was told about took place, but it appears as if it was prior to May of this year when the United Space Alliance, the group which oversees the operaiton of the ISS, moved all systems entirely to Linux to make them more "stable and reliable…”
13.     Banking malware infections rise to highest level since 2002  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2062600/banking-malware-infections-rise-to-highest-level-since-2002.html  “Malicious software aimed at stealing online banking credentials surged in the third quarter of this year to a level not seen since 2002, according to a new report from Trend Micro. The security vendor said it counted more than 200,000 new infections from July through September, the highest number it has recorded in a three-month period in 11 years…The infections were…more distributed throughout the globe, indicating that cybercriminals are diversifying the banking customers they target. The most affected countries were the U.S., which made up 23 percent of the new infections, followed by Brazil…and Japan…The malware found was usually ZeuS, also known as Zbot, which dates back to 2006…Trend Micro noted that it also saw KINS, a malicious software program modeled after ZeuS, along with Citadel…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
14.     SanDisk’s wireless flash drive: A simple storage boost for your iOS or Android device   http://gigaom.com/2013/11/07/sandisks-wireless-flash-drive-a-simple-storage-boost-for-your-ios-or-android-phone/  “No microSD card slot? No problem…the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive…looks like pretty much any other 32GB flash drive…Unlike other flash drives, however, you can connect your iOS or Android device to it wirelessly…The SanDisk Connect works just like a typical flash drive…But SanDisk also makes a Wireless Flash Drive app you can download to use the drive with your phone or tablet…simply press the lone button on the drive…to turn it on, then connect to it as you would with any other Wi-Fi connection…the drive uses 801.11 b/g/n…”
15.     OrCam device gives those who are nearly blind the power of reading  http://venturebeat.com/2013/11/06/this-amazing-device-gives-visually-impaired-people-a-way-to-read/  “Liat Negrin has had trouble with her vision since childhood…a film crew recorded the Israeli walking into a grocery store and doing something that’s always been difficult for her — reading the ingredients on a cereal box. Thanks to a very special pair of glasses…a new computer-assisted vision device, developed by…OrCam Technologies…interpret nearby visual inputs, including letters, faces, objects, products, places, bus numbers, and traffic lights. A wearer simply points to an object in front of them, like a container of soy milk in the fridge or an approaching bus, and the device describes what it sees out loud…The device sits on a pair of glasses…beta studies have shown that it works most effectively for people who have some degree of vision, not those who are completely blind…”
16.     Apple’s iPad Air is the world’s first global mobile device  http://bgr.com/2013/11/04/ipad-air-global-cellular-analysis/  “The brand new iPad Air isn’t just the companies fastest, thinnest, lightest, best-performing tablet; it’s the world’s first truly global mass-market mobile device…one model for the entire globe…Every iPad Air sold is unlocked, and every cellular model supports the same GSM/GPRS/EDGE/CDMA/EVDO/UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA/HSDPA/LTE bands…whether you purchase an AT&T model or a Verizon model, you can freely switch to any carrier in the world without issue in the future…the only thing that is actually carrier-specific is the SIM card that comes with it. Simply insert any other SIM card, and even if you have a CDMA carrier like Verizon or Sprint, the iPad Air will configure itself and let you use it with whatever carrier you desire…”
17.     Holiday Dealmaster gives thanks for tablets  http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/11/holiday-dealmaster-gives-thanks-for-tablets/  “…here in Dealmaster Central…our partners at LogicBuy continue to serve up twice-weekly helpings of seasonal deals! Today we're going a little tablet-crazy, and our top deal is a 7-inch Dell Venue tablet. Sure, it's only running Android 4.2, but it's also only $149.99! There are several other options down in the list, too, including a 10-inch Sony Xperia Tablet Z and even a 16GB iPad Air…we'll be Dealmastering twice a week through the end of the year…”
Apps
18.     Strep scorecard app might help tell if you need a doctor  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/11/05/strep-scorecard-might-help-tell-if-need-doctor/  “Debating whether to seek a strep test for that sore throat? One day there could be an app for that: Researchers are developing a home scorecard that aims to prevent thousands of unnecessary trips to the doctor for this common complaint…Usually the culprit is a virus that they just have to wait out with a little TLC…the risk of strep throat is low enough for adults that doctors may skip testing them, deciding not to bother after running down a list of symptoms…If you could know that your risk was low enough that you wouldn't even be tested, you might actually save yourself a visit…The trick: Combine some of the symptoms that doctors look for with a bit of computer data to tell if strep throat is circulating in your geographical region…Fine and Mandl turned to the records of more than 70,000 sore-throat patients who got strep tests and had their symptoms recorded at CVS MinuteClinics…They determined those people's risk of strep using the experimental scorecard approach and checked the computer model's accuracy against the strep test results…identifying those with less than a 10 percent chance of strep throat could save 230,000 doctor visits a year…The method wasn't perfect: It meant 8,500 strep cases would have been missed, or the diagnosis delayed…But Mandl said it's unlikely that would lead to lasting harm as most of those infections would clear up on their own, or persisting pain eventually would send patients to the doctor…the rapid strep tests that doctors use in their offices can miss cases, too…”
19.     PlayStudios' myVegas Slots smartphone app offers real-world gambling perks  http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/playstudios-myvegas-slots-smartphone-app-offers-real-world-gambling-perks-441856  “PlayStudios…blurred the line between online and real-world gambling with the release of myVegas Slots smartphone games that let players cash in on perks at Sin City casinos. Free-to-play versions of myVegas Slots released for Apple or Android smartphones let people test their luck on virtual one-armed bandits such as those found in the Mirage, Luxor, New York New York or other MGM Resorts International properties and then use payouts to get VIP treatment in Las Vegas. "In Las Vegas there are literally 50 tiers of service levels that few people know exist…We let people engage in content that is fun, and their level of loyalty can win them the kind of access that few people get."…virtual chips can be cashed in for prizes ranging from buffet meals to show tickets, lodging, swimming with dolphins at the Mirage…100,000 players have cashed in on more than $10 million worth of real world rewards to date…MGM has been so impressed by the ability of the game to bring back old players to casinos and attract new visitors that it has ramped up resources devoted to promoting its brands in myVegas…”
20.    MyLowe's smartphone app a DIY tool for loyalty  http://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/blog/11495/MyLowe-s-smartphone-app-a-DIY-tool-for-loyalty  “…The MyLowe’s smartphone app is making relationship-building a DIY project…The app, by the home improvement chain Lowe’s, enables customers to look up their own purchase history and DIY projects based on data through the 7 million-member MyLowe’s program…The app can pull up a product, show how many are in stock and the fulfillment methods available. Customers and workers also can locate the product down to the aisle, or recall the dimensions of a room that was painted a couple years ago…More important, the app gives consumers control to use their own data in a way that benefits them…A recent survey by LoyaltyOne shows that 72 percent of consumers would willingly provide more information if they had control over the data…”
21.     Meet the first company cashing in on its Google Glass app  http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/11/5091086/meet-the-first-and-only-company-making-money-through-its-google-glass  “The…promise of Google Glass was that it would be a wearable technology allowing users to merge the physical and digital worlds…So far, however, most of the apps on the platform have simply transplanted the functionality of their smartphone software to a screen much closer to your face…The Fancy is a New York ecommerce startup known for its ties to the world of high fashion and luxury goods. Its Glass app allows users to snap a picture of objects they see in the real world, then finds them matching or complementary items with similar styles and color they can purchase. It’s a clever use of the technology that has made The Fancy the first company to actually make money on Google Glass…People using the Fancy app on Glass have purchased everything from clothes to jewelry, kids toys to kitchenware…"We see a mix of people using the app: from the high-tech interior designer looking to decorate a space to the stylist that wants to match accessories with a fashionista's outfit." In other words, while the Glass app isn’t a big money-maker for the company, it adds to the startup’s stylish aura…Google Glass…is a…good match for shoppers on The Fancy, which counts Francois Henri-Pinault among its investors…Pinault is the chairman of PPR, the luxury goods giant which owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga…”
22.    CyanogenMod Installer Hits Google Play, Flashing the Custom ROM Now Easier Than Ever  http://www.droid-life.com/2013/11/12/cyanogenmod-installer-hits-google-play-flashing-the-custom-rom-now-easier-than-ever/  “At the time CyanogenMod announced that it had officially become Cyanogen Inc…the team made public the idea to bring a CyanogenMod Installer right to Google Play. This installer app would pair with computer software, turning a once complicated flashing extravaganza into essentially a non-hassle one click process…CyanogenMod Installer is now available on Google Play…The corresponding PC client application will go live for users to install later today and is completely free to download…Your device will be wiped completely, so make sure to get any important info you have on there into a save place…”
SkyNet
23.    Android’s Biggest Changes Aren’t Part of KitKat  http://techland.time.com/2013/11/01/androids-biggest-new-changes-arent-part-of-kitkat/  “My HTC One isn’t running Android 4.4 KitKat, but it feels pretty close. I just downloaded several apps that come standard with Google‘s Nexus 5…when combined with a new “Google Home” launcher, the experience is a lot like a stock Android phone. I didn’t even have to root the phone or void my warranty…it’s no accident that some of the biggest new features in Android 4.4 don’t require you to have Android 4.4 at all. In the future, it’s likely that Google will let users switch to the Nexus experience to practically any Android phone, with no rooting or sketchy third-party download sites required…Google is taking back control of Android…Slowly, Google is ceasing development on the open source versions of key apps, such as the software keyboard and the web browser, while building up proprietary apps such as Google Keyboard and Chrome. All these apps are then licensed to phone makers as a package deal…This is how Google ensures that its services are available on all major Android phones…there are plenty of customers who want nothing to do with phone makers’ apps and services, and just want the pure Google experience. This is where Google’s new launcher and apps come into play…”
24.    Google wants to build maps that customize themselves based on what they know about you  http://gigaom.com/2013/11/05/google-wants-to-build-maps-that-customize-themselves-based-on-what-they-know-about-you/  “In the next generation of maps, Google’s map designers say the service will know enough about you that it can show you a map that has been customized for your location and specific needs…Soon, they said, every map will be customized for a specific person and a specific location — and the more context it has about you, the more useful it can be…much of the past decade has been spent on simply digitizing all of the existing paper maps and information…now that this foundation has been created…map designers can add more and more detail that customizes the experience based on location and other signals about a user…”
25.    Gmail’s “Quick Action” Buttons For One-Click Access To Dropbox, YouTube And More  http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/11/gmails-quick-action-buttons-now-support-one-click-access-to-google-offers-seamless-opentable-dropbox-more/  “Google…is expanding the functionality of Gmail’s “quick action” buttons, which will now allow users to press a button next to emails in their inbox in order to take additional actions, like rating and reviewing restaurants you’ve ordered from on Seamless, modifying OpenTable reservations, saving promotions from Google Offers, viewing YouTube and Vimeo videos, opening Dropbox folders, and more. These quick action buttons also include support for opening Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, RSVP’ing to events, and checking on flight details and real-time flight status, among other things…the buttons are meant to make it easier for users to interact with email messages quickly – that is, without having to open up the emails themselves. Instead, with just one click, a window appears which lets you take an action related to the message’s content…”
26.    With 120M Users, Google Drive Gets Tighter Integration With Gmail  http://allthingsd.com/20131112/with-120m-users-google-drive-gets-tighter-integration-with-gmail/  “…Google Drive has 120 million active users. Today, it is launching additional features that bring it closer to the heart of Gmail, Google’s…most-used productivity app. “We’re trying to unify the file experience across Google and then beyond,”…Until now, Gmail users on the Web would have to download the files attached to their emails and then re-upload them to add them to their Google Drive accounts…Now, they’ll have the option to directly save attachments to Drive, and preview them in a lightbox where they’ll be selectable and searchable. It’s basically how files already work on iOS and Android…the previews will work for photos, videos, spreadsheets and PDFs, and users will be able to flip through batches of attachments from within the original email. But people will still have to switch over to Google Drive if they actually want to edit the documents…”
27.    Google Is About To Smoke Siri On The iPhone  http://www.businessinsider.com/google-now-for-iphone-adds-notifications-2013-11  “Google updated its search app for the iPhone today. Included are…new features for Google Now, Google's voice-controlled assistant that's a lot like Siri on the iPhone. Except Google Now is much better than Siri…Here's a taste of what you get with the latest update to Google for iPhone: Google will send you a notification for items like upcoming appointments and flight information…Reminders can also be tied to location. For example, you can tell Google to remind you to do the dishes when you get home…You can import items like…boarding passes, and car rental confirmations that are already stored in your Gmail account…Voice search has been improved, letting you search with the command "Ok, Google." There's no need to tap a button…Google Now is robust enough to act as a true personal assistant…your iPhone can do much of this out of the box, but you have to use separate apps like Calendar or Reminders. Google Now puts all that servicey stuff into one all-encompassing app. And Google Now is much better than Siri because it pulls in data from the Google services you already use like Gmail, Google search, and Google Calendar. For example, if Google Now sees that Amazon sent you a package shipment notification to your Gmail inbox, it'll automatically pull in the tracking information…”
28.    22 Free Google Products for Small Business Owners  http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/60668-22-Free-Google-Products-for-Small-Business-Owners  “For ecommerce entrepreneurs and small business owners, Google has attractive, free tools for nearly every aspect of online productivity. Here is a list of free online…Google…tools…Google Chrome…Google Calendar…Gmail…Google Drive…Google Cloud Print…Google Voice…Google Webmaster Tools…Google Analytics…Google Merchant Center…Google Alerts…Custom Search Engine…Places for Business…Google Sites…Google Translate…YouTube…Google and Your Business…Google Books…Google Maps for Android…Google+…Google+ Hangouts…Google Moderator…Blogger…”
General Technology
29.    Milky Way may host billions of Earth-size habitable planets  http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-earth-like-planets-20131105,0,2673237.story  “…scientists now say that Earth-size planets orbiting sun-like stars in a so-called habitable zone are…common…Using a clever method to detect Earth-size exoplanets they may have missed, astronomers calculated that 1 in 5 stars like the one at the center of the solar system hosts a planet capable of holding liquid water on its surface and — if it had the right chemical ingredients — supporting life…The results suggest that the Milky Way is home to 11 billion Earth-like planets…The nearest could be just 12 light-years away. The new planetary census was based on data gathered by the Kepler space telescope, NASA's primary planet-hunting observatory. The analysis also identified 603 potential exoplanets, including 10 Earth-size candidates orbiting in a habitable zone…A transit-watching telescope like Kepler looks for dips in a star's brightness as a planet travels in front of it and blocks a tiny fraction of its light…that works only if the telescope is properly aligned to catch a planet in the act of transiting. There's another problem: Some stars are too active for this to work well; they flicker so much that it's hard to find the tiny 0.01% dip in light caused by an Earth-size planet…”
30.    Windows 8.1 'Back-up Media' disc available to buy soon  http://betanews.com/2013/11/05/windows-8-1-back-up-media-disc-available-to-buy-soon/  “Although Microsoft made upgrading from Windows 8 to 8.1 easy and free, the process has to be done through the Microsoft Store. If you want an ISO version of the OS, and don’t have a TechNet or MSDN subscription, you need to engage in a little trickery…Newegg is currently offering a "Windows 8.1 Back-up Media disc" for pre-order that could potentially save the day. Exactly what the disc contains isn’t spelled out (a recovery disc/a full installable copy of the OS/both?), but you will need to have your own Windows 8.1 license key to use it…”
31.     Navy christens next generation of aircraft carrier  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/09/navy-christens-next-generation-aircraft-carrier/  “The Navy christened the USS Gerald Ford…the most technologically advanced aircraft carrier the United States has built. The Ford is the lead ship in the Navy's next class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. It's designed to get more fighter planes in the sky in less time and to be ready to incorporate unmanned aircraft into its air wing. It's the first carrier redesign in four decades and is scheduled to join the fleet in 2016. "She is truly a technological marvel," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said…"She will carry unmanned aircraft, joint strike fighters, and she will deploy lasers…”
Leisure & Entertainment
32.    Your late fees are waived: Blockbuster closes  http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/tech/gaming-gadgets/blockbuster-video-stores-impact/  “…If only Blockbuster could rewind back to the 1990s. That was the time when the video chain was the colossus of the movie-rental business, with stores in seemingly every city shopping district and suburban strip mall in America. Visiting the store was a weekly rite for many people, who would show up on Friday evenings to check out the latest releases…That custom is now as gone as a world with three television networks…DISH Network, which purchased Blockbuster in 2011, announced it was closing the chain's 300 remaining U.S.-based retail stores…"Consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said DISH president and CEO…”
33.    Video gaming boosts certain brain regions  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57610912-1/video-gaming-boosts-certain-brain-regions-study-says/  “This is your brain. This is your brain on Super Mario 64…A new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry…concludes that "video gaming causes increases in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation, and strategic planning, as well as fine motor skills." The research was conducted jointly by the Max Planck Institute…and Charite University Medicine…Scientists had 23 adults play Super Mario 64 on a Nintendo XXL for 30 minutes each day for two months. A control group played no video games for the same time period. Brain scans showed the gamer group had "significant" increased gray matter in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum. There was also a correlation between the gamers' reported desire to play and the amount of the increase…"While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase…”
34.    Amazon signs up for 'future of streaming' ORBX  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57611215-92/amazon-signs-up-for-future-of-streaming-orbx/  “Amazon becomes the first major partner…to use lightweight new technology from Mozilla and OTOY for streaming games, video, and software…Amazon began to offer to AWS customers technology on Tuesday that allows them to stream complex games and software, thanks to…the new JavaScript codec ORBX. AWS customers using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) G2 will be able to stream complex software and games that require scalable GPU ray traced rendering such as Autodesk 3DS Max and Maya…In addition to hosting the software remotely, eliminating the need for local software installations, the technology sidesteps the increasingly thorny question of DRM on the Web…ORBX, which was co-developed by OTOY, Autodesk, and Mozilla, enables 1080p60 cloud streaming to HTML5 browsers, and thus cuts out plugins, browser-specific video codecs, and native code dependency…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
35.    China Buys Its Way Into Silicon Valley  http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424052702303843104579171963801529056-lMyQjAxMTAzMDAwNDEwNDQyWj  “China's homegrown Internet giants are buying their way into Silicon Valley. The Chinese firms, which have little consumer business outside their home market, are unloading small fortunes on startups as they strive to understand and eventually gain a foothold in the elusive U.S. market. This week, Tencent Holdings…is vying to lead a fundraising round of $200 million in…Snapchat…Tencent's investment will likely value the two-year-old company, which has no revenue, at $4 billion…Last month, Alibaba Group Holdings…took the lead on a $206 million investment in ShopRunner Inc., a rival to Amazon.com…China's 600-million user strong Internet market has helped companies like Tencent and Alibaba become some of the world's largest. Tencent is worth more than $100 billion, while Alibaba is edging toward an IPO that could value it just as much…the largest firms have begun to look abroad for new opportunities. To accomplish this, Chinese firms are tunneling into Silicon Valley's tightknit network with more than just thick checkbooks…The Chinese firms' appetites are fueling lofty valuations in the frothy U.S. startup market, where founders who don't even need the money are now entertaining aggressive bids…”
36.    Microsoft Is Making $2 Billion Per Year From Android Patent Royalties  http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-earns-2-billion-per-year-from-android-patent-royalties-2013-11  “Microsoft is generating $2 billion per year in revenue from Android patent royalties, says Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund…This money, says Sherlund, helps Microsoft hide the fact that its mobile and Xbox groups are burning serious cash…Microsoft…Entertainment and Devices…was the group that housed Xbox, Windows Phone, and those Android royalty payments. That group always seemed to be profitable…largely because of the Android money…Microsoft is probably losing $2.5 billion on Skype, Xbox, and Windows Phone. Of that, $2 billion in losses are attributable to the Xbox platform…”
37.    Bitcoin Comes Under Senate Scrutiny  http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/11/05/bitcoin-comes-under-senate-scrutiny/  “Bitcoin is about to get some time in the Capitol Hill spotlight. A pair of Senate committees will hold hearings on the policy issues raised by virtual currencies in the coming weeks…Bitcoin, a currency that is essentially a computer code and is not backed by any government, has seen its value surge this year because of  interest from retailers and investors. But government agencies have also stepped up their oversight of the loosely regulated currency amid fears it could be used to facilitate criminal activity. The two Senate hearings…are likely to examine how regulators are responding to the new forms of payment…Potential points of discussion include how financial-industry regulators will watch over investment in the new currencies and how virtual currencies might impede tax collection or facilitate trade in illegal products out of the sight of law enforcement…”
38.    The Cheapest Generation  http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/the-cheapest-generation/309060/1/?single_page=true  “In 2009, Ford brought…the Fiesta, over from Europe…to attract the attention of young Americans. It passed out 100 of the cars to influential bloggers for a free six-month test-drive…Young bloggers loved the car. Young drivers? Not so much. After a brief burst of excitement…Fiesta sales plummeted. As of April 2012, they were down 30 percent from 2011…The company is trying to solve a puzzle that’s bewildering every automaker in America: How do you sell cars to Millennials…today’s young people simply don’t drive like their predecessors did…Even the proportion of teenagers with a license fell, by 28 percent, between 1998 and 2008…All of these strategies share…key assumptions: that demand for cars within the Millennial generation is just waiting to be unlocked; that as the economy slowly recovers, today’s young people will eventually want to buy cars as much as their parents and grandparents did…But what if these assumptions are simply wrong? What if Millennials’ aversion to car-buying isn’t a temporary side effect of the recession, but part of a permanent generational shift in tastes and spending habits? It’s a question that…has large implications for the future shape of the economy…Millennials have turned against both cars and houses in dramatic and historic fashion…the share of young people getting their first mortgage between 2009 and 2011 is half what it was just 10 years ago…The largest generation in American history might never spend as lavishly as its parents did—nor on the same things…”
Design / DEMO
39.    Remaking a city by rethinking its design  http://gigaom.com/2013/11/05/remaking-a-city-by-rethinking-its-design/  “Jennifer Magnolfi is an expert in designing workspaces that maximize effectiveness by increasing interaction among their inhabitants, but she had her hands full when it came to redesigning downtown Las Vegas…Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh brought Magnolfi on for a stint to help on the Downtown Project, his $350 million attempt to revitalize a largely decrepit downtown Las Vegas by building a community around small businesses, communal areas and technology startups. Her work has largely been centered on building programmable spaces that can users can adapt to their own needs…Among the co-working spaces, abandoned buildings and second-rate casinos that make up the area where the Downtown Project is focused, Magnolfi said “there were unpredictable design patterns that I did not expect to emerge from the system.” She spoke about how people’s digital interactions were manifesting themselves in physical spaces…and about how a team of volunteers armed with $10,000 and 48 hours turned a block of boarded-up buildings into neighborhood demonstration of what a green city would look like…”
40.    Why Moore’s Law doesn’t influence design these days: Less is “moore”  http://gigaom.com/2013/11/05/why-moores-law-doesnt-influence-design-these-days-less-is-moore/  “…Moore’s Law still rings true: Every 18 months…technology becomes twice as good at roughly half the cost…since the dawn of computing, technology has been a driving force in what we want: more of it. That’s changing, however, said John Maeda, president of Rhode Island School of Design, now that design is coming to the forefront of new technological products…Maeda…spent the 1990s trying to understand the intersection of technology and art because design and computing didn’t really connect at all…“There are three kinds of design that underlie experience design: The actions world of the body, the emotions world of the mind, and the relations world of people,”…A decade or two back, Moore was almost synonymous with the word “more.” People prioritized more technological capability and lower cost over other attributes. Give me more storage, more speed, more screen size, for example. But now, less is more, said Meada…with good design, more is not better. “Less equals more because design balances desire for technology and utility of technology. Therefore, technology is now less important making design more visible…”
DHMN Technology
41.     Crashing rockets could lead to novel sampling technology  http://phys.org/news/2013-11-rockets-sample-return-technology-video.html  “During spring break the last five years, a University of Washington class has headed to the Nevada desert to launch rockets and learn more about the science and engineering involved. Sometimes, the launch would fail and a rocket smacked hard into the ground. This year, the session included launches from a balloon that were deliberately directed into a dry lakebed. Far from being failures, these were early tests of a concept that in the future could be used to collect and return samples from forbidding environments…"We're trying to figure out what the maximum speed is that a rocket can survive a hard impact," said Robert Winglee…The idea for a project called "Sample Return Systems for Extreme Environments" is that the rocket will hit the surface and, as it burrows in a short distance, ports on either side of the nose will collect a sample and funnel it to an interior capsule. That capsule will be attached by tether to a balloon or a spacecraft, which would immediately reel in the capsule to recover the sample…it developed out of our student rocket class. It's been a successful class, but there were a significant number of rockets that went ballistically into the ground. We learned a lot of physics from those crashes…”
42.    Palm-Size Drones Buzz Over Battlefield  http://news.discovery.com/tech/robotics/palm-size-drones-buzz-over-battlefield-131105.htm  “Weighing only 0.56 ounces…the Black Hornet looks like a tiny toy helicopter. But it's really a nano-size piece of military hardware unlike anything on the battlefield today…The PD-100 Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System…is a drone…a soldier can carry and operate as easily as he or she would a radio…the British infantrymen in Afghanistan have been using the new Black Hornets on a variety of missions -- from scouting routes for possible enemy ambushes to peeking over the walls of a nearby compound…troops working with the Black Hornet say it runs silent and is invisible at more than 30 feet…A complete PD-100 kit comes with two Black Hornets, a docking station for battery recharging, a remote control unit and a mobile device with a 7-inch-wide…screen to watch the camera feed -- all of which is carried in a tough…case, for a total weight of…3 lbs…”
43.    How to inkjet-print circuits at fraction of time and cost  http://www.kurzweilai.net/how-to-inkjet-print-circuits-at-fraction-of-time-and-cost  “A novel method to rapidly and cheaply 3D-print electrical circuits has been developed by researchers…For about $300 in equipment costs, anyone can produce working electrical circuits in the 60 seconds it takes to print them using commodity inkjet printers and off-the-shelf materials. The technique, called instant inkjet circuits, allows for printing arbitrary-shaped conductors onto rigid or flexible materials and could advance the prototyping skills of non-technical enthusiasts and novice hackers…the researchers…use silver nanoparticle ink to print the circuits…Printing the circuits on resin-coated paper, PET film, and glossy photo paper worked best…“Everything we introduced in our research is available on the market and makes it possible for people to try this at home…”
44.    Makerbot launches mission to put 3D printers in every US public school  http://www.fastcompany.com/3021540/fast-feed/makerbot-launches-mission-to-put-3-d-printers-in-every-us-public-school  “…MakerBot Industries has announced a new crowdsourcing initiative with DonorsChoose.org, Autodesk, and America Makes to put 3-D printers in each of America's public schools. MakerBot Academy could put as many as 5,000 printers in public schools by the end of this school year…The initiative is a response to President Obama's call for more home-grown manufacturing…Each 3-D printing bundle comes with a MakerBot Replicator 2 printer, three spools of PLA filament (in red, white, and blue, of course), and a year of MakerBot Makercare for about $2,250…”
Open Source Hardware
45.    Angel, the Open Source sensor platform for Health and Fitness  http://www.open-electronics.org/angel-the-open-source-sensor-platform-for-health-and-fitness-funded-on-indiegogo/  “Angel, is a…wearable device coming up from indiegogo…Currently most trackers for fitness and health are built for use by a single proprietary app…We are opening up every protocol, API and sensor data stream…Angel is the first open sensor for health and fitness…It was designed from the ground up to be open, both in hardware and software…”
46.    KiCad: CERN's Contribution to Free/Open PCB Design  http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1320005  “One of the main issues the open hardware community must overcome to reach a maturity level akin to that of open-source is the lack of state-of-the-art free/open EDA (electronic design automation) tools…CERN's Hardware and Timing team is actively working on bringing a new generation of free/open PCB design tools to the masses…KiCad…is a complete suite that includes features such as a schematic capture editor and a layout tool for the creation of professional-level schematics and printed circuit boards up to 16 layers. There's also an integrated 3D board and Gerber file viewer. Licensed under GPLv2 and able to run on GNU/Linux, Windows, and Apple OS X, KiCad is the ideal choice for the PCB hobbyist. The hardware fraternity at CERN believes that KiCad can do to PCB design what the GCC compiler did to software, letting design and development knowledge flow more freely in the open hardware community…CERN is actively working on a set of work packages targeted to bring KiCad up to par with the features of the proprietary PCB tools…”
Open Source
47.    Rebuilding Ecuador's economy with open source principles  http://opensource.com/government/13/11/flok-society-ecuador-economy  “…the Government of Ecuador has launched a major strategic research project to "fundamentally re-imagine Ecuador" based on the principles of open networks, peer production, and commoning. The project seeks to "remake the roots of Ecuador’s economy, setting off a transition into a society of free and open knowledge." The announcement of the project…was made…by the Free/Libre Open Knowledge Society, or FLOK Society…The research project will focus on many interrelated themes, including open education; open innovation and science; 'arts and meaning-making activities'; open design commons; distributed manufacturing; and sustainable agriculture; and open machining. The research will also explore enabling legal and institutional frameworks to support open productive capacities…The Ecuador development report does not focus on juicing up economic growth, exploiting nature, and privatizing public resources, but on the idea of bien vivir, or "good living." The nation is…seeking to develop a paradigm change that focuses on a different "cosmovision" for "living life to the fullest…”
48.    Bribe Devs To Improve Open Source Software  http://www.i-programmer.info/news/136-open-source/6554-bribe-devs-to-improve-open-source-software.html  “A startup has had the bright idea of monetary exchange between those who want bug fixes and additional features in open source projects…Bribe.io announces itself as: A super easy way to bribe developers to fix bugs and add features in the software you're using…the idea is to encourage…developers…by specifying a monetary value to a bug report or feature enhancement…the idea is to use cash as a sort of voting system for what users really want done and to implement the changes as part of the public codebase. For example if 100 users want a feature and they are all willing to pay $10 for it then the programmer or programming team might decide that to raise its priority and add $1000 to the project's funds…The concept behind bribe.io is so appealing, it's surprising that no one has come up with it before. But it's taking the step between a simple idea and its implementation…has a head start in that its the subject of a StartUp Weekend,…”
Civilian Aerospace
49.    Recognizing Giant Leaps: Google Lunar XPRIZE Establishes Milestone Prizes  http://www.space.com/23503-google-lunar-xprize-milestone-prizes.html  “…in 2007…XPRIZE and Google launched the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE…The concept was…land on the moon, move 500 meters and send back video, images and data. The prize requirements were conceived to demonstrate the minimum useful capability a spacecraft would need for…space exploration and scientific research. Thirty teams signed up…by the close of registration in 2010…This week, XPRIZE and Google announced a series of Milestone Prizes…XPRIZE has…learned that success is more likely if we continue to keep our eye on the entire ecosystem surrounding a prize, and…address any significant challenges to that ecosystem that may arise…two elements of the Google Lunar XPRIZE ecosystem are critical: potential customers for the technology developed by teams, and investors to help create the businesses to leverage those markets…much has changed since the Google Lunar XPRIZE was launched. The global economic downturn has reduced an already small pool of investors…downturn has also…reduced the budgets that governments...spend in space exploration…XPRIZE began a dialogue with teams to better understand the challenges…we needed to find a way to recognize and support the teams that were making substantial technical progress…Within the next year, there are certain developmental milestones for flight-ready hardware that teams must pass in order…to launch by the deadline of Dec. 31, 2015…rewarding these milestones will…help the competing teams by allowing them to access financing at a critical point in their mission timeline…The Milestone Prizes are for demonstrating…robust hardware and software to combat key technical risks in the areas of imaging, mobility and lander systems…”
50.    America's rocketeers: Young geniuses could push the space race forward  http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/11/06/will-young-rocketeers-push-space-race-forward/  “Fresh ideas from young rocket scientists of the millennial generation might just kick-start the U.S. space program -- just as similarly young scientists did in the 1960s' race to the moon. Rocketeers like 24-year-old Cory Medina are inventing new ways to explore space…he’s using 3D printed parts…to design a combustion chamber for a new 35,000-pound thrust liquid rocket engine. The idea is to launch multiple low-cost “cube” satellites created using 3D printed materials…Sam Rodkey is a propulsion engineer at Blue Origin…Rodkey is designing new lower-cost rocket technology to compete with NASA. At SpaceX, young rocketeers like Kevin Miller and John Tsohas are…working on next-gen rocket technology…What’s fueling these young rocketeers? It’s partly a new funding effort from the U.S. government…NASA announced the winners of the Space Technology Research Grants Program to help universities invent new ideas. Some of the projects, which each receive $250,000, include an oxygen recovery system, a study of cryogenic fuel for deep-space voyages, and a way to detect asteroids in space using image recognition technology…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
51.     AWS launches GPU instances  http://www.zdnet.com/aws-launches-gpu-instances-mobile-app-developer-tools-7000022814/  “Amazon Web Services…launched a new type of instance using Nvidia Grid graphics processing units for 3D modeling…AWS said that it will launch G2 instances, an Elastic Compute Cloud service designed for 3D graphics. The service is aimed at graphic intensive efforts such as visualizations and large workloads. The move takes the GPU cloud services from AWS beyond the core high performance computing workloads. In the supercomputer market, Nvidia GPUs are increasingly being used. Nvidia added that the AWS G2 instances are also aimed at software as a service companies…”
52.    Square Enix's streaming service uses virtual supercomputers to kill game latency  http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/04/square-enix-project-flare/?ncid=rss_truncated  “Streaming game services are nothing new, but Square Enix thinks they need a fix…the company behind Final Fantasy and Deus Ex: Human Revolution…announced a new cloud gaming platform that it claims kills game latency dead. It's called Project FLARE…It claims to harness the power of "virtual supercomputers" to offer powerful performance and incredible "Hollywood-level" animation that current streaming services just can't handle. Though Project FLARE is just exiting its R&D stage, Square Enix has already engaged Ubisoft as an early partner. It's currently shopping its technology around to other developers…the secret sauce behind Project FLARE is a technology that lets them run CPUs and GPUs in separate servers to turn up the graphic potential and efficiency of any game. In a hotel room in San Francisco, the company showed several demonstrations of this, such as incorporating video streams into Final Fantasy gameplay, real-time camera switching in Agni's Philosophy and the ability to dramatically increase the number of objects on screen in Deus Ex without affecting the game's frame rate…Navok hopes this will result in far more realistic battle and crowd scenes in the future…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
53.    The Top 7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2014  http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/10/31/the-top-7-technology-trends-that-will-dominate-2014/  “…I’m bracing…for unprecedented growth when it comes to anytime, anywhere, on-demand information and entertainment…here are my top 7 predictions for technology trends that will dominate 2014…1. Consumers will come to expect Smart TV capabilities…2. Smart watches will become ‘smarter’…3. Google Glass will still be in “wait and see” mode…4. Other applications and uses for Apple’s TouchID will emerge…5. Xbox One and PS4 will blur the lines between entertainment and video gaming…6. 3D Printing will begin to revolutionize production…7. The movement towards natural language search will make search more accurate and intuitive…”

54.    5 tech trends mingling with bio-inspired design  http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/11/05/5-tech-trends-mingling-bio-inspired-design  “Bio-inspired design is showing up in technology projects big and small, from telescopes inspired by lobster eyes to see more of space to swellable microneedle arrays that provide safer skin grafts, based on an insect with a similar swellable proboscis. Here is a look at how bio-inspired design is finding its place within five ascendant technology trends…1. The Internet of Things…2. Expanding spatial frontiers…3. Biological paradigms…4. The human/machine interface…5. Mass customization…”

*****

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