NEW NET Issues List for 28 August 2007

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 28 August 2007, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we'll try a new location for NEW NET, the Stone Cellar Brewpub. It is located at 1004 S. Olde Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. Andy says a brewpub that serves "fish & chips" or "bangers & mash" gets a bit of respect just for trying.

As mentioned in a post last week on this blog, tonight we'll spend a bit of time discussion online maps and mapping tools. Bring tips, tricks and ways you use online maps that are especially fun or useful for you.


Trying out a new meeting location this week -- Stone Cellar Brewpub!

The Web's Best Mapping Sites http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136018-page,1-c,bestoftheweb/article.html

The ‘net

  1. Why Can’t We Compute in the Cloud? http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/24/why-cant-we-compute-in-the-cloud-part-2/ (see also Part 1 of this article at http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/24/why-cant-we-compute-in-the-cloud/)
  2. Hacking education with Yahoo! Teachers http://tinyurl.com/2tvac2 (Ars Technica.com)
  3. ‘Kit’: Ars Technica’s new hardware and gadgets journal http://tinyurl.com/2rw2ym (Ars Technica.com)
  4. Yelp launches Events, a worthy Upcoming.org competitor http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9765517-2.html
  5. Web Conferencing Services Market Heats Up http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2174340,00.asp
  6. Skype Premium Users Get Free Service http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070823/tc_pcworld/136309
  7. 99 Mind Mapping Resources, Tools, and Tips http://www.collegedegree.com/library/college-life/99-mind-mapping
  8. Internet Radio Saved - For Now http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/internet_radio_saved_-_for_now.php
  9. New Yahoo Email Out of Beta http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136413-c,yahoo/article.html
  10. TorrentSpy Blocks Access for US Internet Users http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/08/torrentspy-clos.html
  11. 10 Free, Innovative Web Analytics Tools http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/10_web_analytics_tools_free_innovative.php

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. Spam fighters hit criminals' weak spot http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/08/24/Spam-fighters-hit-criminals-weak-spot_1.html
  2. Is Your Boss Spying on You? http://www.rd.com/content/is-your-boss-spying-on-you/;.app1_rd1
  3. These CAPTCHAs are just not working out http://xato.net/bl/2007/08/21/these-captchas-are-just-not-working-out/
  4. FBI launches cybersecurity project http://www.gcn.com/online/vol1_no1/44898-1.html
  5. Honeypots as sticky as ever http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/08/24/34OPsecadvise_1.html
  6. Cyberthieves stole 1.3 million names, Monster says http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/computersecurity/infotheft/2007-08-23-cyberjobs_N.htm
  7. German gov't PCs hacked, China offers to investigate http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070827/tc_infoworld/91368

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. Is the future of cell phones 'voice-based' http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/08/24/Is-future-of-cellphones-voice-based_1.html
  2. Can Owning a Skype Wi-Fi Phone Land You In Jail http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=699
  3. Handcuffs chafe wireless [cell phone] users http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2007-08-22-cellphones-abroad_N.htm
  4. iPhone may top sales goals http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/20070822/tc_macworld/iphonesales20070822
  5. The iPhone has been unlocked http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2007/08/24/iphone_hacking/

Open Source

  1. Linux felon forced to install Windows http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6204348.html
  2. Rock Your iPod With an Open-Source Upgrade http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136299-c,freeware/article.html
  3. Open-source Plone CMS app gets major upgrade http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070822/tc_infoworld/91262


  1. Hitchhikers Guide to Google Sky http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/005211.html
  2. Google sees big boost in mobile traffic http://tinyurl.com/384huo (Ars Technica.com)
  3. Google Puts Ads In YouTube Videos http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070823/tc_cmp/201801805
  4. First year of Google WiFi http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/first-year-of-google-wifi.html
  5. Mother Nature Meets Google Data Center http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2007/08/google_in_orego.html
  6. Inside the world of Google The Dalles http://www.thedalleschronicle.com/news/2007/08/news08-05-07-02.shtml

General Technology

  1. How to See Tuesday Morning's Lunar Eclipse http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,294451,00.html
  2. Java needs an overhaul http://www.russellbeattie.com/blog/java-needs-an-overhaul
  3. New Sonys automatically shoot when subjects smile http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=NewsDesk_Internal&article_num=082207-3
  4. INDEX 2007 Winners http://www.indexaward.dk/2007/default.asp?id=706&Article=2599&Folder=2599
  5. Iomega's Inexpensive Network Storage http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/005263.html
  6. "Junk sleep" damaging teenagers' health http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070828/wr_nm/britain_sleep_tech_dc

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. What Microsoft’s Falcon project is going to mean for when you should buy an Xbox 360 http://tinyurl.com/yu3f7u
  2. Wii Sales Surpass Xbox 360 Lifetime Shipments http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20070823/bs_nf/54856
  3. The Dorks Behind Penny Arcade http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/15-09/mf_pennyarcade
  4. Underwater shooter video game a success http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070823/tc_nm/videogames_bioshock_tech_dc
  5. Mobile game firm markets to commuters http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20070824/glu-mobile-mobile-games.htm

Economy and Technology

  1. Chinese Seek to Buy Seagate http://www.reuters.com/article/governmentFilingsNews/idUSN2537585620070825
  2. Why Some Brands Seem Anti-Social http://news.yahoo.com/s/adweek/20070824/ad_bpiaw/whysomebrandsseemantisocial
  3. Help wanted ads go unanswered in West http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070825/ap_on_bi_ge/western_workers
  4. Acer set to buy Gateway for $710 Million http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118820817365109596.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Civilian Aerospace

  1. Making a Mark with Rockets and Roadsters http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12484430
  2. Vehicle progress http://unreasonablerocket.blogspot.com/2007/08/vehicle-progress.html

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. Beyond Multicore http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1743477.html
  2. CAE Moves to the Fore http://www.designnews.com/article/CA6470738.html?industryid=43653
  3. Computer Display Reaches 220 Million Pixels In Resolution http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823122253.htm
  4. Hot Chips 19 NVIDIA Session http://news.com.com/8300-10784_3-7-0.html?keyword=GeForce+8800
  5. Multi-Core The Cool Factor at Hot Chips Conference http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3695411
  6. Heterogeneous Processing In The Age Of Nanocore (Part I) http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1739137.html
  7. Tech Startup Launches 64-Core Processor http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1736472.html



Unanswered Help Wanted Ads: A Sign of Things to Come?

A recent Yahoo! News article discussed the extremely tight job market in the Western US where some regions have unemployment rates as low as 2%.

This article immediately raises several questions in my mind.
  1. Does the article give an accurate portrayal of the situation in the west?
  2. Are most of the unfilled jobs minimum wage jobs that only teenagers will consider, or can an intelligent hard-working person easily find a full-time, family-supporting job?
  3. Is this situation a preview of what awaits America because of demographics, e.g. the baby boomers reaching retirement age?
First of all, does the article accurately portray the jobs situation in the Western US states? Can a person who needs a job and heads to these states find a job quickly, or is this just a news 'sound bite'? There are lots of people who need jobs in various areas of the US, especially areas where there have been massive layoffs and in certain industries that have been hard-hit by the lower wages which have driven the global economy in recent years. If this is a true portrayal, an excess of job openings is good news for job-seekers who are willing to move. Because there has not been a blast of media articles talking about the unanswered want ads, one might suspect this will be a short-lived topic. On the other hand, the article may simply be the leading edge of more extensive news coverage on this issue.

Secondly, what types of jobs are available and how much experience is needed for the higher paying jobs? If the unfilled jobs are mostly $6 to $10 per hour for unskilled labor, those jobs most likely will not justify relocation by someone who wants to support a family or for some other reason prefers to have a reasonable standard of living. Unfilled low-paying jobs might become more common in America and may cause even more immigration by those willing to work for what most Americans consider low wages.

If many of the unfilled jobs require someone with extensive experience in specialized occupations such as plasma cutting of thick metal on CNC machines or use of AutoCAD, Solidworks and 3D printers to design and produce prototypes for MEMS devices in the measurement and sensing industry, then job applicants need to carefully review the openings before relocating. If there is a wide range of openings with many of them paying well or leading to higher paying jobs, then the reported bonanza of job openings is a good thing for workers looking for a new start.

Lastly, is this an anomaly, or is it a harbinger of the American future? Will the graying of baby boomers lead to a shortage of less-skilled workers and/or an inadequate number of highly-trained and high-experienced employees available to American businesses?

If this is a true shortage of workers for the American economy, it will cause some serious changes at companies needing workers to either grow their business or just to replace employees who quit or are let go. It may result in companies spending more time on figuring out how to get and keep employees passionate about their jobs. Because it will be harder to find replacements for employees who are not a good fit with the company, it may lead to companies doing a better job up front of hiring appropriate employees. We might see some new research and new learnings about how to keep employees engaged and how to best utilize the skills, knowledge and passions of each worker.

One result for some companies or industries, especially for knowledge workers, will be more flexible working arrangements and schedules. People may spend more time working from home or in a co-working facility a mile from home, instead of traveling every day to an office 25 miles from their home. The co-working facilities may be paid for by the worker's employer, and may house people from twenty different companies, some large, some small and even a few that are owners of their one-person company. Different co-working facilities could have distinct personalities, such as Co-working Geeks, Co-working Moms, or Co-working Vegetarians. Lots of opportunities to build new communities! Companies who house their employees in these co-working facilities may find them a source of good new employees and unique innovations resulting from interactions of their employees with other people in the facility.

There are lots of changes afoot in the new world of work. Companies and workers who successfully adapt will love the changes. Those who are stuck in the old way of doing things are headed for trouble, because the rules have changed and there's no heading back...

** One last note about the 'unanswered want ads' in the Western US states. With the collaboration and communication capabilities of today's internet, I see a huge opportunity for web services that successfully connect appropriate job candidates with employers desperate for good workers. There are already numerous 'job sites' on the web, but they are apparently not meeting the needs of the employers in the west. Some enterprising web services entrepreneurs should focus on this opportunity, move to Montana, Utah or Wyoming, and build a new company that addresses this apparently Huge Pain Point. (And for those who ask "will anyone pay to get rid of the pain?", the answer is Yes!)



Brasil: Experience with Biofuels

There are three good reasons for me to learn more about Brasil and biofuels:
  1. Brasil has extensive experience with biofuels.
  2. Brasil has many environmental factors which will help it lead the world in biorefinery innovation.
  3. I would like to visit Brasil (and do some consulting work there, if possible).
While doing biorefinery and ethanol research today I read two well-written blogs about biofuels and Brasil, ethablog and ethanol brasil. I was especially interested in those blogs because I think it's very important that US biorefinery organizations and companies not ignore what Brasil has learned about biorefineries over the past thirty years. In today's knowledge economy, we should value Brasil's hard-earned knowledge about ethanol and biorefineries. We should be willing and eager to learn from others' experiences and not feel like we have to blindly overcome the same challenges others countries or regions faced while developing their biorefinery industry sector.

As a first step in a personal effort to learn more about the Brasil biorefinery sector, I sent an email to the author of those blogs. Along with an invitation to participate in the proposed October 2007 BioRefine meeting in Wisconsin, I offered to meet with him in Michigan if he has the time and interest.

Three specific aspects of the Brasilian bio-ethanol ecosystem of interest for northeast Wisconsin are:
  1. Learnings about smaller-scale biorefinery facilities. Many of the biomass conversion plants in Brasil appear to be co-located with agricultural processing facilities rather than stand-alone mega-production facilities. Experience with small and medium conversion plants should translate well to the Wisconsin situation.
  2. Brasil has many years of experience with vehicles operating on various levels of ethanol. Wisconsin consumers and all parts of the automotive sector, including maintenance and repair, should learn from Brasil's experience in this area.
  3. Improving the economic outlook for farmers and other agricultural sector workers. Because agriculture and forestry have been such a large part of northeast Wisconsin's economy but are now sectors with ongoing job losses, anything we can learn from Brasil's biorefineries about creating jobs in agriculture and forestry will be beneficial to the New North.
While Wisconsin has much to learn from Brasil, there are also opportunities for Brasil to learn from Wisconsin. Brasil does not appear to be much further ahead in the area of cellulosic ethanol than the US. Research being done now or in the near future at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and other organizations within Wisconsin may bring cost-effective technologies to Brasil for converting their cellulose biomass to biofuels. It is important for both regions to collaborate, learning from the strengths of the other and making reliable and affordable biofuels a reality.


Online Mapping Tools

Online maps are both fun and useful for me, and I'm always interested in learning more from others about how they use online maps.

To that end, part of the next NEW NET meeting (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology issues), scheduled for 28 Aug 2007, will focus on online maps. If you come to the tech enthusiast gathering, please plan to share your favorite map tips and to pick up a couple new mapping tricks from others at the meeting.

As part of the preparation for this meeting, here are five recent articles about online mapping tools:
  1. The Web's Best Mapping Sites http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136018-page,1-c,bestoftheweb/article.html
  2. Online Maps: 50+ Tools and Resources http://mashable.com/2007/07/23/online-maps/
  3. USGS Offering Topo Maps Online http://tinyurl.com/26dbsq
  4. The Web 2.0 Road Trip http://www.cnet.com/4520-13386_1-6744597-1.html?tag=feat.3
  5. Trends of Online Mapping Portals http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/05/trends_of_onlin.html
Here are the top five online mapping sites:
  1. Mapquest
  2. Google Maps
  3. Yahoo Maps
  4. Microsoft Live Maps
  5. Ask Maps
Plan to bring all sorts of online mapping tips to the meeting, including different types of maps (street, aerial, topo), uses for maps (planning trips, putting on websites, sending to people traveling to a location, using with GPS) and lots of other interesting and unique info about how you use online maps.



Cellulosic Ethanol

One of the renewable fuels in US and Wisconsin news is cellulosic ethanol, and this blog will discuss ethanol and other biorefinery issues over the next few months.

Below is a brief glimpse into the world of cellulosic ethanol. I am absolutely not an expert on cellulosic ethanol or biorefinery topics in general. Blog posts on these topics will reflect my basic knowledge as a chemical engineer who is highly interested but peripherally involved in this sector. As I learn more about the subject, no doubt some of the opinions and interpretations you read here about ethanol and other biorefinery issues will change or become better supported with first-hand knowledge on the subject.

What Is Cellulosic Ethanol?

What is cellulosic ethanol? It is ethanol produced from trees and other woody plant materials such as corn stalks (stover), switch grass or sugar cane bagasse. The actual materials which can be converted into ethanol are the lignocellulose components, including cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.

See the Wikipedia entry for cellulosic ethanol or the DOE (US Department of Energy) Biomass Program website for more detailed info about different sources of bio-ethanol.

Cellulosic ethanol is one of several liquid fuels made from renewable materials. Others include starch ethanol (which includes corn kernel) sugar ethanol and bio-diesel.

Short-Term Outlook

There are several processes to convert the lignocellulose into ethanol, and none of them are yet in widespread commercial use. The USA has a number of initiatives to develop cost-effective methods of large scale cellulosic ethanol production.

Energy independence efforts in the USA include proposed production levels of ethanol fuel. To meet the ethanol volumes targeted for the year 2017, 15 billion gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol capacity need to be designed and built. That’s quite a bit since we’re essentially at zero right now.

The short-term appears to be highly dependent on government grants and other financial support for the first cellulosic ethanol production facilities. It appears private investors are not confident enough about the biomass conversion technology or the economic value of cellulosic ethanol to invest $200+ million in large scale facilities.

Wisconsin Status

In June 2007, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was announced as the leader of the new DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (BRC), supported in part by a five year $125 million grant from the DOE. Wisconsin is providing an additional $104 million to support the center. The Great Lakes BRC will “conduct genomics-based research to remove bottlenecks in the biofuels pipeline, upgrade the procedures for processing plant biomass, and improve the biological and chemical processes used to convert biomass into energy.

Collaborating with UW-Madison on the Great Lakes BRC is Michigan State University and a number of private companies.

This center is one of three bioenergy research centers established with a total of $375 million in DOE grants. The other two centers are at Oak Ridge, TN and Berkeley, CA.

Other organizations or programs relevant to cellulosic ethanol in Wisconsin include the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, Flambeau Rivers Biorefinery, Virent Energy Systems, C5-6 Technologies, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The ‘Investing in Agriculture” conference (link to pdf brochure for conference) happened in Pewaukee, Wisconsin on August 16, 2007. In addition to hearing interesting presentations on general biorefinery topics and meeting new contacts involved in this sector, I listened to a few interesting discussions about cellulosic ethanol.

When I asked a panel of speakers at the conference what the three biggest challenges are faced by cellulosic ethanol in Wisconsin, the answer was:
  1. High capital cost of production facility
  2. Logistics, or getting the biomass to the production facility
  3. Improved energy crops for higher sunlight-to-cellulose-to-ethanol efficiency
It appears that a large portion of challenges 1 and 3 above are also covered by political and policy issues related to funding and crop price supports.

Aleksi Rastela, a university exchange student from Finland, also attended the August 16 conference. He contacted people at the conference and from relevant interested organizations not at the conference to discuss their interest in the Finnish ‘BioRefine Program.’ A Wisconsin meeting has been proposed for October 2007 with a BioRefine team from Finland and organizations interested in collaborating with this Finnish program for global innovation and progress in new biomass products.

Cellulosic ethanol and other biorefinery products are an exciting area that will bring countless opportunities for innovation, collaboration and economic improvement in Wisconsin, the USA and around the world.



NEW NET Issues List for 21 August 2007

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 21 August 2007, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

  1. Microsoft Increases Free E-Mail Storage Limit to 5 GB http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070814-hotmail-gets-much-needed-attention-storage-limit-bump-other-upgrades.html
  2. Skype users hit with outage http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/17/BUUNRJVSU.DTL
  3. [BarCamp style] Community Wi-Fi comes to San Francisco http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1035_22-6202624.html
  4. How JavaScript is Slowing Down the Web http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_javascript_is_slowing_down_the_web.php
  5. Across the pond, Bebo leaps ahead of MySpace? http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9760021-7.html
  6. Yahoo Local Gets A Sophisticated Makeover http://searchengineland.com/070814-234930.php
  7. Battling Click Fraud One Click at a Time http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20070815/tc_nf/50605
  8. Introducing good bloggers and companies to hire them http://marshallk.com/introducing-bloggers-and-companies-to-hire-them
  9. Univ., startup partner on human search ChaCha.com http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070815/ap_on_hi_te/techbit_iu_chacha
  10. Thoughts on the Social Graph http://bradfitz.com/social-graph-problem/
  11. OpenID: Great idea, bewildering consumer experience http://miksovsky.blogs.com/flowstate/2007/08/openid-great-id.html

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. Battling The Latest Weapon In Domestic Abuse – Spyware http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070816/tc_cmp/201800303
  2. Spammers find new ways to slip through http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/computersecurity/2007-08-15-spam_N.htm
  3. Liberties Advocates Fear Abuse of Satellite Images http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/17/us/17spy.html
  4. $300,000 settlement for copyright news articles distribution http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136045-pg,1/article.html

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. Technology helps reinvent cell phone ads http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070818/ap_on_hi_te/mobile_phone_ads
  2. Apple chooses European iPhone carriers http://news.com.com/8301-13579_3-9763744-37.html

Open Source

  1. Two Linux tools for enabling wireless cards http://www.linux.com/feature/118555
  2. Hardening your systems with Bastille http://www.linux.com/feature/118353
  3. How to set up Apache virtual hosting http://www.linux.com/feature/118471
  4. Questions swirl as Sourcefire buys ClamAV http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=457


  1. Say hello to Think - the Google car http://www.pandia.com/sew/505-think.html
  2. Google Apps XSS Hole: “Expected Behavior” http://ha.ckers.org/blog/20070817/xss-hole-in-google-apps-is-expected-behavior/
  3. Google Opens Click-Fraud Resource Center http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3695126
  4. Real time Traffic in Google Earth http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2007/08/real-time-traffic-in-google-earth.html

General Technology

  1. Sony plans to recycle electronics for free http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/2007-08-16-sony_N.htm
  2. RIP AppleWorks http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/08/15/rip-appleworks
  3. IBM wins $120 million contract to run DTV coupon program http://tinyurl.com/2675zg (arstechnica)
  4. Adobe's AIR strategy: First platform, then applications, exec says http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9761815-7.html
  5. Tiny wind engines cool computers http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6946042.stm
  6. Tesla Roadster to Make First Road Trip http://blogs.business2.com/greenwombat/2007/08/tesla-roadster-.html
  7. Tesla electric supercar may be delayed http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/15/possible_snags_at_tesla_electric_car_co/
  8. AMD to extend x86 for multicore era http://tinyurl.com/2b4qcv (arstechnica)
  9. Couple tries to name baby 'at' symbol http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070816/ap_on_hi_te/china_name_blame
  10. What Apple's iWork moves mean for Office http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/20070817/tc_macworld/iwork_office20070817
  11. Arctic ice at record low, melting faster than predicted http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/17/america/NA-GEN-US-Low-Ice.php
  12. The biodegradable laptop http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9761853-7.html
  13. Teen Girls Play with Technology at IBM Camp http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2172412,00.asp
  14. Toshiba Planning 320GB Notebook Drive http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136212-c,harddrives/article.html

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. MTV Networks investing $500M in games http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2007-08-16-mtv-games-investment_N.htm
  2. EA ships four Mac games http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/20070818/tc_macworld/eaships20070817
  3. Videogame industry hopes to harness girl power http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070817/wr_nm/media_videogames_girls_dc

Economy and Technology

  1. VMware IPO: Silicon Valley giant is born http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_6626949
  2. Citrix to buy virtualization company XenSource for $500 million http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9760160-7.html
  3. Microsoft trying to derail Google/DoubleClick deal by lobbying Congress http://tinyurl.com/yugt37 (arstechnica)
  4. Dell Cooked Books to Meet Quarterly Financial Targets http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070816/tc_pcworld/136067

Civilian Aerospace

  1. How I Spent My SETI Summer http://www.space.com/searchforlife/070816_seti_reu.html
  2. Bigelow Aerospace Fast-Tracks Manned Spacecraft http://www.space.com/news/070814_bigelow_sundancer.html

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. Scan Primitives for GPU Computing http://graphics.idav.ucdavis.edu/publications/print_pub?pub_id=915
  2. NVIDIA slides pdf from Graphics Hardware Conference http://graphicshardware.org/presentations/nickolls-tesla-gh07.pdf
  3. 64-core CPUs shipping in 4Q 07 http://news.com.com/Chipmakers+aim+to+unclog+data+paths/2100-1006_3-6203218.html



Investing In Agriculture Conference

At the Investing In Agriculture Conference in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, on 16 August 2007, it was estimated that commercial cellulosic ethanol is only five years away.

At the same conference, it was pointed out that for the past thirty years commercial cellulosic ethanol has been only five years away. It appears there are significant challenges to full scale commercial cellulosic ethanol, both political/economic and technological, at least in the US. With current ethanol technology, the less expensive oil-based fuels and relatively low energy efficiency of US renewable feedstocks such as corn, soybeans and trees, cellulosic ethanol will primarily be a topic of conversation in Wisconsin rather than a choice for vehicle fuel.

However, there are signs pointing to a bright future for bioenergy and biofuels in Wisconsin:
  1. Recent $125 million five year grant from DOE for the UW-Madison led Great Lakes BioEnergy Research Center.
  2. Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, to encourage and facilitate research and training and support companies involved in bioenergy.
  3. Conferences in Wisconsin related to biomass and renewable resources.
  4. Programs and courses at Wisconsin colleges and universities related to renewable resources and the biorefinery sector.
  5. Wisconsin investments and start-ups in the biorefinery sector.
Two types of opportunities are found in Wisconsin biorefinery area:
  1. Short-term projects which take advantage of grants, low-cost loans and government price supports for the biorefinery segment, due to rising oil prices, a focus on clean-tech and the biorefinery tie to biotech and nanotech.
  2. Long-term projects, with a focus on sustainable technologies and products which make sense regardless of short term grants or government price supports.
Upcoming weeks will be filled with research on cellulosic ethanol and background work on the broader topic of biorefineries, along with making new connections in this economic sector. If interested in this topic, please contact me add your comments on this blog.



BioRefine Program

BioRefine is a national Technology Program of Finland to promote and enable both Finnish and global innovation and progress in new biomass products.

The BioRefine Program is managed by TEKES (Finnish funding agency for Technology and Innovation) and Finpro (Finnish International Trade Promotion Organization) with a 2007 - 2012 budget of USD 187 Million. (http://www.iea.org/Textbase/pamsdb/detail.aspx?mode=gr&id=3592)

Aleksi Rastela will be attending the Investing in Agriculture conference (pdf document) in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, on the 16th of August. He is interested in introducing companies to a collaboration opportunity in the field of biorefining through a Finnish Technology Program. Aleksi is interested in meeting with different companies and organizations involved in biorefining and related industries during his visit to Wisconsin (August 16 - 17). Here is a link to a recent article about Aleksi:


Aleksi will compile a list of interested organizations for Finpro to review in their panel discussion on September 3 in Finland. Appropriate companies will be invited to meet in Wisconsin with a BioRefine team, with the meeting being targeted for October 2007. Interested organizations are asked to meet with Aleksi at the August 16 conference or send the information to him by no later than noon on Monday, August 20. (aleksi.rastela {at} gmail {dot} com).

The information sent should contain the following:

· Organization (Name, industry type/ Department and website)

· Contact person (Name, title, email, phone)

· Two or three sentences describing the organization’s core competencies and/or technologies and other possible connections to biorefining or related industries.


I'm involved with Aleksi on the BioRefine topic because he's an exchange student at my alma mater, Michigan Technological University, because I'm very interested in the biorefinery sector, and because I'm working with the New North (www.thenewnorth.com) on their cellulosic ethanol working group.



NEW NET Issues List for 14 August 2007

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 14 August 2007, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. I won't be there because, as Luke puts it, I'll "be at the SkyNet awakening" (actually just the Google:Chicago Open House).

The ‘net

  1. Primary role of the Internet shifting from communications to content http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070813-study-primary-role-of-the-internet-shifting-from-communications-to-content.html
  2. See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/08/wiki_tracker

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. Homeland Security tests automated "Hostile Intent" detector http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070812-homeland-security-tests-automated-hostile-intent-detector.html
  2. UK Police Data Stolen http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070813/tc_pcworld/135878
  3. SpyProxy takes Web apps security fight to 'virtual sandbox' http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070808/tc_infoworld/90864
  4. New Security Holes Put PC Users at Risk: Streaming Media Files http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20070806/tc_nf/54418

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. New Razr 2: First Impressions http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/005130.html
  2. Skype comes to iPhone via IM+ http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/20070813/tc_macworld/skypeiphone20070813
  3. Nokia says 46 million batteries may overheat http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070814/tc_infoworld/90976
  4. iPhone Customers Report Touch-Screen Dead Spots http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070811/tc_cmp/201400193
  5. HTC Tempts iPhone Fans With 'Unlocked' Mobile Computer http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070810/tc_cmp/201307165

Open Source

  1. Novell wins right to Unix copyrights: SCO finished? http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070811/tc_infoworld/90941
  2. Motorola sees Linux as its mobile mainstay http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070808/tc_infoworld/90862
  3. HP turns to Linux for datacenter of the future http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20070809/tc_infoworld/90880


  1. For a fee, Google lets you increase the size of your in box http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2007/08/10/google_space/
  2. Google Pack Picks Up Free Office Suite http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070814/tc_cmp/201500243
  3. Yahoo edges Google in U.S. user satisfaction survey http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070814/wr_nm/internet_study_dc
  4. Google gBox key to latest iTunes challenge http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070810/ap_on_hi_te/google_digital_music
  5. Dr. Google and Dr. Microsoft http://tinyurl.com/2dv67r (NY Times)

General Technology

  1. End of an era: Intel intros 3.0 GHz quad-core Xeon, drops Pentiums http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/33351/135/
  2. Paper battery offers future power http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6945732.stm
  3. AMD helping developers get ready for octo-core and parallelism http://news.com.com/8301-13579_3-9759153-37.html
  4. Consumer Devices to Kill All But 802.11n http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20070810/tc_zd/213220

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. Halo 3 Presales On Record Pace http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070810/tc_cmp/201311216
  2. Microsoft Slashes Xbox 360 Price, Offers New Editions http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20070808/bs_nf/54486
  3. Wikia Unveils Gamers' Guide http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070813/tc_pcworld/135871

Economy and Technology

  1. Microsoft forms new ad unit with $6 billion aQuantive http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070813/wr_nm/aquantive_microsoft_dc
  2. VMware sets much-anticipated IPO at $29 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070814/ap_on_hi_te/vmware_ipo
  3. Talk Of iPhone Cutback Sinks Apple Stock http://news.yahoo.com/s/ibd/20070731/bs_ibd_ibd/2007731tech
  4. Yahoo's president snaps up $1.1 million in stock http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070810/wr_nm/yahoo_president_dc

Civilian Aerospace

  1. Space Hotel Slated to Open in 2012 http://www.space.com/news/070811_space_hotel.html
  2. Keith Cowing's Devon Island Journal http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=24980
  3. Why Progressives Should Care About Human Destiny in Space http://www.alternet.org/story/59310/

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. SGI Technology Accelerates Rendering for CG Feature Film http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1711955.html
  2. AMD Unveils High-End Graphics Accelerators http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1709011.html
  3. ITER Selects ANSYS Software for Design of Fusion Facility http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1717726.html
  4. Cluster 2007: Early Registration Now Open http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1715384.html
  5. Liquid Computing Presses Sales to Boot Up Company http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1712403.html
  6. Deadline Extended for Microsoft eScience Workshop Abstracts http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1712952.html



Remote Computer Assistance

Last night's NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology issues) was a particularly beneficial one because of Andy M's demo to the group of the dead-easy remote computer assistance which is enabled free via Zolved (www.zolved.com).

If you've ever needed help with a computer question or problem, or if someone has called you up asking for help, Zolved could be very useful to you. The main caveat is that both your computer and the other person's computer need to be able to connect to the web (don't know if it works via dialup or how well a dialup connection will work) and have a working browser. This beta web service enables two computers to connect via the web. It then allows one person to view or take control of the other person's computer without a lot of messing around with settings on the computer, without permanently installing a VNC such as TightVNC, and without using a paid service such as the technician's license through LogMeIn. Solutions such as TightVNC or LogMeIn are great tools for certain situations, but when someone calls up and says "Help", a quick and dirty free service like Zolved can be just what the doctor ordered.

The person who has a problem goes to the Zolved website and clicks on the 'Select' button in the tab near the top that says, 'Get Help From Your Friend.' When the Zolved Remote Control webpage comes up, the person with a computer problem then clicks on the 'Share my screen' link. Next they'll click on 'Install', and install the temporary connector program. A screen will pop up letting them choose whether to just let the person helping them view the screen, take control or share files. (This is also a handy way to exchange files in certain situations...). The person with a problem gets an eight digit PIN which they'll give to the person who's going to connect to their computer. Write that number down, then click on the 'Share my PC' button.

On the other end of the internet, the person helping out will also go to Zolved, go to the 'Get Help From Your Friend' page, then click on the 'View or Control' link. Go through the same procedures to do a temporary download install that allows you to connect to the other person's computer and put in their eight digit PIN.

Away you go! You can see exactly what's on the screen of the troubled computer, and control that computer if the person wanting help has selected that option when logging in on Zolved.

This might just be the solution you need when friends or relatives call you up asking for computer help, or when you call your more knowledgeable geek friends asking them for help. It's often much quicker to figure out what the problem is and fix it yourself than it is to have someone explain the problem and then have you try to walk them through twenty steps to fix the problem.

One nice bonus feature of Zolved is their attitude, exemplified by this quote from their FAQ about why they provide the free remote control service, "We wonder how other companies get away with charging for it and when Karma will catch up with them. The open source community has been offering this free technology for years."

The Zolved website has lots of other good info on it "to solve technical support issues for your computer, wireless network, MP3 players and more..."

Thanks, Andy!



NEW NET Issues List for 07 August 2007

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 07 August 2007, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. The weekly email sent out a couple days ago said this week's meeting was canceled, but travel plans changed so we'll be at Tom's this week and probably not meet two weeks from today.

Linux or Mac: which is the better Windows alternative? http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201002048

The ‘net

  1. My Favorite Traffic and Backlink Attraction Method http://www.seo-scoop.com/2007/07/31/my-favorite-traffic-and-backlink-attraction-method/
  2. Wikiversity Gains Momentum http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070804/tc_pcworld/135533
  3. Slap in the Facebook: It's Time for Social Networks to Open Up http://www.wired.com/software/webservices/news/2007/08/open_social_net
  4. Confessions of a LinkedIn Dropout http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2007/tc2007085_238273.htm
  5. Microsoft Teams With NASA For 3-D Space Shuttle Images http://searchengineland.com/070806-061643.php
  6. Cool Digital Experience: Shuttle Launch http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/aug07/08-05EndeavourPR.mspx
  7. Fogeys Flock to Facebook http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2007/tc2007085_051788.htm
  8. Top Sites for Easing Travel Woes http://webworkerdaily.com/2007/08/06/top-sites-for-easing-travel-woes/

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

  1. Report: "Sidejacking" session information over WiFi easy as pie http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070801-report-sidejacking-session-information-over-wifi-easy-as-pie.html
  2. Average PC is a smorgasboard for a new MP3-eating Trojan http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070803-average-pc-is-a-smorgasboard-for-a-new-mp3-eating-trojan.html
  3. New bill calls for all-knowing, all-seeing, cross-platform V-chip http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070803-new-v-chip-could-take-censorware-to-new-level.html
  4. Malignant Javascript Evades Detection http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070803/tc_pcworld/135483
  5. US House approves changes to surveillance program http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/05/america/spy.php
  6. Defcon 2007: The Wi-Fi honeypot from hell http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/33251/118/

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. Apple iPhone Being Sized for Voice Interface http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070803/tc_cmp/201202665
  2. Wi-Fi Hotspots Continue To Pose E-Mail Security Risk http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20070803/tc_nf/54388
  3. Secret New iPhone Features http://mossblog.allthingsd.com/20070803/secret-new-iphone-features/ (read the comments)

Open Source

  1. Synergy http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/
  2. Azureus vs. KTorrent http://www.linux.com/feature/118243
  3. What I learned at OSCON http://www.linux.com/feature/118347
  4. Lenovo, Novell partner to offer Linux on the ThinkPad http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070806-lenovo-novell-partner-to-offer-linux-on-the-thinkpad.html


  1. Gphones coming? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118602176520985718.html
  2. Linux to power Google GPhone? http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS5441884477.html (lots of details, but are they right?)
  3. Google Checkout simple, PayPal versatile http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070802/ap_on_hi_te/tech_test_online_payments
  4. Google Maps Adds Traffic Updates http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/005058.html
  5. Google Talk now has group chat http://www.google.com/talk/whatsnew.html
  6. Google Business Referral Representative http://gspy.blogspot.com/2007/08/google-business-referral-representative.html

General Technology

  1. Undercover Reporter Outed, Flees DefCon Conference http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/005078.html
  2. Competitiveness Bill Advances in U.S. Congress http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,135435-c,techrelatedlegislation/article.html
  3. The new wave of Silicon Valley start-ups http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/6929569.stm
  4. The angst of Silicon Valley http://www.scripting.com/stories/2007/08/04/theAngstOfSiliconValley.html
  5. In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich http://tinyurl.com/2fn92j (NY Times)
  6. White House High-Security Locks: Bumped/Picked at DefCon http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/08/jennalynn-a-12-.html
  7. Sun UltraSparc T2 Chip: 64 Threads http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201203738
  8. Rethinking 'Crossing The Chasm' http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/rethinking_crossing_the_chasm.php

Leisure & Entertainment

  1. Id's Rage revealed http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=169536
  2. Video game lets players be immigrants http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070802/ap_on_hi_te/immigration_video_game
  3. Chinese Gamers Hunt Corrupt Officials Online http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20070803/tc_pcworld/135471
  4. Quake Zero Coming to a Web Browser Near You http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,135562-c,games/article.html
  5. AmieStreet.com Announces Series A Financing Led By Amazon.com http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/NYM01106082007-1.htm

Economy and Technology

  1. Forget Babysitting and Paper Routes, Teen Turns to SEO http://blogs.cnet.com/8301-13530_1-9753204-28.html
  2. Amazon’s Flexible Payment System http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=5853
  3. Lenovo reports 12-fold jump in profits http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070802/ap_on_bi_ge/earns_china_lenovo

Civilian Aerospace

  1. NASA Shows Patience as Spaceflight Firm Hunts Financing http://www.space.com/news/070801_nasa_rocketplane.html
  2. Space Settlement and War http://www.space.com/adastra/070802_adastra_spacesettlement.html
  3. Where adults play spacemen http://www.nunatsiaq.com/news/nunavut/70803_382.html

Supercomputing & GPUs

  1. 15-year-old parallel processing patent threatens Sony, PS3 http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070731-15-year-old-parallel-processing-patent-threatens-sony-ps3.html
  2. Sony To Exhibit High-Speed Cell Computing Board At Siggraph http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20070803/tc_cmp/201202502 Parallel Processing is seeking damages and wants all PlayStation 3s not yet sold to consumers impounded and destroyed.
  3. Parallel Vision http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1703560.html
  4. NERSC Performance Analysis Software Tool to Be Used in NSF Centers http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1698042.html
  5. I.B.M. Near Supercomputer Contract http://tinyurl.com/2w7g85 (NY Times)