2013/11/26

NEW NET Weekly List for 26 Nov 2013

Here's the draft NEW NET list for this week's meeting at Tom's Drive In on Westhill Boulevard next to Woodman's. After the NEW NET meeting from 7 - 9 PM, I'll update this post with any additions and insightful comments from the meeting.

NEW NET Weekly List For 26 Nov 2013


RHW
  1. The only thing of note that happened within the last week was the Doctor Who Fiftieth Anniversary special. It set records, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-doctor-who-50th-anniversary-special-sets-ratings-tumblr-records-20131125,0,570659.story#axzz2lnKoHKuH … It set an official Guinness record for most simulcasts ever, http://www.adweek.com/news/television/doctor-who-50th-anniversary-special-breaks-records-154125 … It was a well orchestrated plan to take over the world, http://gigaom.com/2013/11/26/doctor-whos-50th-anniversary-broke-ratings-records-by-enlisting-the-internet/ … It made, and will continue to make, the BBC lots of money, http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/doctor-who-50th-anniversary-episode-2853858 … You can play the Google doodle Doctor Who game, http://www.google.com/doodles/doctor-whos-50th-anniversary … Wired explained it all, http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/11/doctor-who-50th-anniversary/ … And on, and on, and on, https://news.google.com/news?ncl=dE1HAP_gelpG9YMUiYFDzXzBHBmKM&q=doctor+who+50th+anniversary


LNW
  1. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/nov/25/young-adult-readers-prefer-printed-ebooks  there are those who would find it difficult to believe they're reading at all..


RJW

  1. id Software founder John Carmack resigns  [the end of an era - ed.]  http://www.polyghttp://trailgenius.com/on.com/2013/11/22/5134500/id-software-founder-john-carmack-resigns  “John Carmack, co-founder and technical director at id Software, has left the company to focus his full-time attention on his role as chief technical officer at Oculus VR...John's work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete...”
  2. File hosting site MediaFire takes on Dropbox with 50GB free  [one rule of thumb is that a technical innovation should be 10X better than the incumbent competitor; MediaFire Desktop gives 25X more storage, but time will tell if other aspects of it are significantly better than Dropbox - ed.]  http://thenextweb.com/apps/2013/11/21/file-hosting-site-mediafire-takes-dropbox-app-gives-50gb-free-cloud-storage/  “File hosting service MediaFire has launched a Dropbox-like application for OS X and Windows today, MediaFire Desktop, which lets users upload files directly from their desktops to the cloud, and share them with others. The public beta of MediaFire Desktop has the same type of file syncing features found in Dropbox — but with up to 50GB of free cloud storage, it is obviously out to take on the incumbent in this space. Comparatively, Dropbox starts you off with 2GB of free space...”
  3. That 60W-equivalent LED: What you don’t know, and what no one will tell you  [this is the first time I’ve heard about this potential performance shortcoming of the larger LED bulbs, so you might want to research it a bit more if you’re going to buy some, but new technology often has unanticipated negative consequences, a la http://www.amazon.com/What-Technology-Wants-Kevin-Kelly/dp/0143120174/  - ed.]  http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/led-insights/4423570/That-60W-equivalent-LED--What-you-don-t-know--and-what-no-one-will-tell-you-  “...folks assumed that anywhere you had the 40W or 60W incandescent, you could screw in the CFL. This is not at all the case for a 40 or 60 watt-equivalent. Within an LED bulb the internal generation and distribution of heat is such that it “desperately” needs access to cool surrounding air...totally unlike incandescent and substantially unlike a CFL, reliability and life expectancy go down hill sharply as soon as you install  it anywhere that air is restricted. Guess what? A large percentage of places for LED best value is in those place where access is difficult and air is restricted...”
  4. WD Black 2 Dual laptop drive has a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD inside  [Will this type of dual or hybrid computer drive become a defacto standard in the next couple years? - ed.]  http://reviews.cnet.com/laptop-hard-drives/wd-black-2-dual/4505-9997_7-35832702.html  “...The WD Black 2 Dual Drive is the first of its type to have two internal drives -- a 128 SSD and a 1TB HDD -- inside one single 2.5-inch, 9mm-thick standard laptop drive. This means on the outside it still looks just like a regular laptop hard drive and will fit anyplace a regular hard drive of its standard is used...”
  5. DIY and Save: A Scientist's Guide to Making Your Own Lab Equipment  [this could end up being extensively utilized by schools in low per capita income countries - ed.]  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118102245.htm  “...His new book...is a step-by-step DIY guide for making lab equipment. The essential tools are a 3D printer, open-source software and free digital designs. "It's a guidebook for new faculty members setting up labs," he said. "With it, they can cut the cost by a factor of 10, or even 100 for research-grade equipment. Even in the classroom, we can do a $15,000 educational lab for $500."...Pearce, an associate professor at Michigan Technological University, began printing out lab equipment in earnest after a seminal moment, when he priced a lab jack at $1,000. "All it does is move things up and down," he said. Using a printer and open-source software, his team made a utilitarian replica for about five dollars...”
  6. Symantec Aims to Defeat Stealthy Malware by Sanitizing Files  [Although Symantec antimalware can be annoying or downright unreasonable, their new approach to neutralizing a class of malware by creating a safe copy of certain types of incoming files seems like a useful antimalware tool, although only time will tell whether the tool is effective or merely antimalware bloat - ed.]  “......”  http://www.eweek.com/security/symantec-aims-to-defeat-stealthy-malware-by-sanitizing-files.html  “The new "Disarm" feature in Symantec's messaging security software sanitizes common file formats, stripping away scripts and anything that could be malware...the company's email gateway software will clone any Microsoft Office or Adobe PDF file—two formats commonly used by attackers to deliver malicious code—creating a copy that has been cleansed of any potential scripts and malware...”
  7. Two-Seat Electric Octodecacopter Completes Early Flight Tests  [It will be interesting to see how many years it takes to have commercial electric copters for sale - ed]  http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/11/e-volo-vc200/  “...A German company has developed...a scaled-up version of the electric quadcopters...but this version will carry two people and could fly for up to an hour. E-volo’s new model has made “multiple flights lasting several minutes”...including flights to 22 meters (limited by flying indoors). The VC200 uses carbon fiber and 18 separate motors and propellers powered by multiple batteries for redundancy...”
  8. Using Trekker, Google's edge in the next mapping war  [Maps is one of the areas where significant online innovation is still occuring for consumers  - ed.] http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/22/5132754/the-holy-trail-using-trekker-googles-edge-in-the-next-mapping-war  “...Trekker, the powerful if awkward device...recently concluded its first year as one of the technological engines of Google’s six-year-old Street View program. "The Trekker is a mobile image-capture platform," Fiock says. "We took some of the same technology from the Street View cam and made it portable — ultra portable...”
  9. 3D Systems and Motorola Partner on Project Ara Modular Phone [3D printing will get a nice publicity and usefulness boost if 3D Systems can develop a smartphone production process using 3D printing - ed.]  http://www.3dsystems.com/press-releases/3d-systems-and-motorola-partner-modular-custom-smartphone  “3D Systems...entered into a...development agreement with Motorola Mobility...to create a continuous high-speed 3D printing production platform and fulfilment system in support of Motorola’s Project Ara. Project Ara aims to develop highly-custom, modular smartphones...3D Systems plans to substantially expand its multi-material printing capabilities including conductive and functional materials. The company also plans to combine additive and subtractive manufacturing methods, and deliver an integrated high-speed production platform...”
  10. 16 secrets of Google Drive  [One of my goals is to write a series of ebooks about Google services, and I’m always interested in learning about more effective ways to use those services - ed]  http://www.macworld.com/article/2065613/16-secrets-of-google-drive.html  “Google Drive—formerly Google Docs—has come quite a way in nearly a decade of existence...I rounded up a few tips to help you get even more out of this online productivity platform...1. Search by person...2. Search Google Docs and Gmail...3. Sync, work on documents with your Mac or PC...4. Save to Drive while browsing the Web...5. Keep the conversation within your document...6. Get social with your documents...7. Tap into apps...8. Obligatory keyboard shortcuts...9. Who needs a new tab? Use the research pane...10. Work in over 60 languages...11. Customize Google Forms...12. Easy table of contents...13. Script your Google Drive, Gmail, and Forms...14. Edit master slides for presentations...15. Bridge the productivity gap with Quickoffice for iOS and Android...16. Edit documents, presentations, and drawings offline...”
  11. Taiwanese iPhone maker Foxconn to build plant in the US, citing manufacturing 'renaissance'  [It will be interesting to see if this move by Foxconn is an exception or if a large number of companies from other countries will establish manufacturing facilities in the US - ed.]  http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/22/5133428/taiwanese-iphone-maker-foxconn-to-build-plant-in-the-us-robots  “American companies usually go to Asia to do their manufacturing, but this time it's the other way around. Foxconn, the Taipei-based electronics manufacturer that builds Apple's iPhone, is planning to invest $40 million to build robots in Pennsylvania. Foxconn will spend $30 million over the next two years building a high-tech manufacturing facility in Harrisburg, PA, as well as $10 million on research at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University...”
  12. The Google Wallet debit card proves the world isn’t ready for mobile payments  [This move by Google will be worthwhile if it gets a significant number of new users for their consumer buying services because that’s an advantage Apple and Amazon have over Google - ed.]  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/21/the-google-wallet-card-proves-the-world-isnt-ready-for-mobile-payments/  “It began with an early, hopeful promise — that one day, very soon, you could commonly start paying for goods and services with a tap of your phone. Not with an app on your phone, mind you, but with a reader at the cash register that would instantly and wirelessly complete your transaction. That future, sadly, hasn't yet materialized...Google has unveiled a debit card for its Wallet app, and while the thing itself is pretty much what you'd expect, the move is surprising. Google was one of the earliest proponents of NFC, or the technology underpinning the tap-to-transact dream. Even when NFC failed to take off, other alternatives sprung up. Square Wallet is a pretty elegant way of handling mobile payments (you just give your name at the register and go). Yet apparently enough people still prefer paying by card that Google thinks it's a worthwhile audience to go after...”
  13. Google rebuilds Android camera programming for better photos  [this article highlights the opportunity for improvement and innovation in many of today’s hardware products that have a significant amount of functional performance affected or determinede by software, rather than just by hardware changes - ed]  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57613613-94/click-google-rebuilds-android-camera-base-for-better-photos/  “Want a better camera on your Android device? Google does, too...the company has overhauled the mobile OS's plumbing. Google has built deep into Android support for two higher-end photography features -- raw image formats and burst mode -- and could expose those features so that programmers could tap into them...Google already uses burst mode on the Nexus 5 smartphone's HDR+ mode, capturing multiple photos in rapid succession and merging them into a single high-dynamic range photo. Hardware still matters a lot for a smartphone's photographic capabilities. But a better software foundation could mean Google's mobile OS becomes more competitive, especially if programmers choose to tap into the full data that Android makes available...”
  14. Okay, Google, you officially beat Siri  [This is one of the more informative ‘Google is better than Siri’ articles that I’ve seen; it also highlights one of Google’s competitive advantages -- “their cloud services are evolving much faster than those of its competitors” - ed]  http://venturebeat.com/2013/11/24/google-siri/  “Over a year and a half ago I was beyond excited with Siri and the possibilities Apple could explore with it...Unfortunately though, that was the only moment of bliss in my relationship with Siri...One night in New York I was packing for a trip to Brazil and asked Siri  what the weather was like in São Paulo. To my dismay she replied, “Here’s the weather for Brasilia, Brazil...Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, is 500 miles away from São Paulo...I decided to try the new Google conversational search with the same question. “OK Google, what’s the weather like in São Paulo?” — and I see the words being interpreted by Google as I say them...An instant later, I hear back: “Here’s the weather forecast for São Paulo, Brazil, for Sunday night.” Oh, wait, do you know that I am traveling on the morning flight and getting there at night? Also impressive, Google used a web service to correct what it had understood initially from my question to something that made complete sense. Siri usually apologizes for not getting what I said. “OK Google, how do I get to Avenida Paulista?” And I was given driving directions from the GRU airport to Avenida Paulista...”

*****

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