NEW NET Issues List for 28 Apr 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 28 Apr 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. Time Warner, Embarq Fight to Outlaw 100 Mbps Community Broadband http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=14934 “…The city's residents, like many, long complained over high internet, cable, and telephone prices. So the city launched an ambitious $28M USD program to deliver these services basically at cost…the city offers an expanded basic cable (81 channels), 10 Mbps (download and upload), and a digital phone plan with unlimited long distance to the U.S. and Canada, all for $99.95…The city service, named Greenlight Inc., also offers a premium package with 20 Mbps (download and upload)… Time Warner Inc. and Embarq decided to take the fight to the state government, lobbying for several years to get the state government to pass laws to try to destroy the local effort…thanks to a lot of hard work (and money), the cable companies are close to getting their wish -- North Carolina's State Senate have proposed bills to not only effectively crippling or banning the local service, but also to prevent such services from getting funds under the broadband portion of the national Stimulus law…”

2. Yahoo pulls the plug on GeoCities http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8016211.stm “…Yahoo bought GeoCities for $3.57bn at the height of the dotcom boom in 1999…Yahoo says that existing GeoCities accounts will remain live for now, although it stresses that users should start looking for alternative sites…The closure of GeoCities spells the end of Yahoo's free hosting…”

3. Dropbox: Now Effortlessly Syncing Files For 1 Million Members http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/24/dropbox-now-effortlessly-syncing-files-for-1-million-members/ Dropbox, the Y Combinator and Sequoia-funded file synchronization startup that makes it easy to share files across multiple computers at once, just hit a major milestone: it now has over 1 million members…their product rocks, and is gaining fans quickly. We’ve been using it around the TechCrunch office for over a year now to collaborate on group projects and keep key files handy regardless of which computer we’re using. And we’re not alone - I often hear about other startups that are using Dropbox for their own projects…”

4. Why Email Clients Need to Change http://gigaom.com/2009/04/24/why-email-clients-need-to-change/ “…With every birthday reminder, bill confirmation, new friend, direct message, password recovery, and mailing list, the content of our inboxes becomes less and less a means of communication and more and more a record of all we do online. Email is the lowest common denominator of digital identity. It’s our web keychain. It’s the catch-all of our online lives. But if inboxes don’t fundamentally change in order to adapt to their new role as the keeper of myriad transactions across the entire web, they’ll be obsolete…”

5. Moodle Community, Another Example of Moore's Law http://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2009/04/25/moodle-community-another-example-of-moores-law/ “…a community associated with a learning management system ( LMS) called Moodle for global educators is growing at an exponential rate…I have enjoyed Moodle’s overall functionality and its hard-to-break user friendly interface (UI). I've installed it a few times on both Windows and Linux platforms, and integrated it with Apache, MySQL database after a few days' cram sessions on PHP programming and worked with administration functions as well as adding modules to make it meet the expectation of our organization…Moodle stands for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. In the technical terms, Moodle is Open Source Learning Management System (LMS) which enables learning professionals (educators) to create engaging online learning courses…”

6. Microsoft Live Search 411 Adds Traffic To Capabilities http://searchengineland.com/live-search-411-adds-traffic-to-capabilities-18167 How many people are familiar with Microsoft’s Voice Search tool “Live Search 411?” It’s a powerful yet not well-known way to do local search from any phone (1-800-CALL-411 or 1-800-225-5411). Conceptually, it’s exactly like Goog-411 but has more considerably more content and capabilities…”

7. Wolfram|Alpha: Our First Impressions http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/wolframalpha_our_first_impressions.php “…Alpha, which will go live within the next few weeks, is quite different from Google and really doesn't directly compete with it at all. Instead of searching the web for info, Alpha is built around a vast repository of curated data from public and licensed sources. Alpha then organizes and computes this knowledge with the help of sophisticated Natural Language Processing algorithms…Alpha can handle a lot of the mathematical questions that Mathematica can compute today (think: "integrate x^3 sin^2 x dx"), but every query will only run for a few seconds, so really complex queries will inevitable time out…Alpha also has a sophisticated knowledge of physics and chemistry data, and during today's demo, we also saw examples for nutritional information, weather, and census data…”

8. Yahoo's Zimbra Desktop 1.0 released http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10229060-12.html “…Zimbra Desktop 1.0 has shaken off its beta and is available as a free download for Windows and Mac. Zimbra differentiates itself from Mozilla's Thunderbird e-mail client (Windows|Mac) and from Gmail in its amphibian nature as both an online and offline in-box. It also sees itself as a central in-box for all your e-mail, contacts, and calendar information. As such, you're able to access Yahoo and Gmail contacts, calendars, and messages in Zimbra, plus POP or IMAP e-mail from AOL, Hotmail, or your office. At least in theory. According to Zimbra's Web site, syncing to some of the third-party e-mail and calendar services within Zimbra Desktop appear to remain beta features…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

9. World's largest malware network discovered, with corporate and gov’t PCs http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42113/108/ “…The world's largest-ever malware network has been uncovered, affecting 1.9 million corporate, government and consumer computers…I think you can assume that most large corporations and most western governments are affected…”

10. How the OAuth Security Battle Was Won http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_the_oauth_security_battle_was_won_open_web_sty.php “…Hammer-Lahav rolled into town hours after finding out that there was a security hole in his pet project for the last few months, a new way to use Twitter to log in to third party sites using the OAuth protocol instead of user names and passwords…at a small event of industry leaders called Social Web FOO Camp, he talked with friends and colleagues about it. At some point in conversation Hammer-Lahav realized that the problem went far beyond the Twitter implementation. The OAuth protocol had an inherent vulnerability…OAuth has support, but it doesn't have a centralized authority ready to deal with problems like this…the community moved to deal with the security issue…Fifty people from thirty companies mobilized to quickly and quietly respond. Big companies came to the aid of small ones…The decentralized community of open web and data portability advocates and engineers figured out on the fly how to protect users' control over their own accounts and company trust in the new protocol. This is the story of how they did it…”

11. UK Plan to monitor all internet use http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8020039.stm Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics…The Tories said the Home Office had "buckled under Conservative pressure" in deciding against a giant database…The Home Office will instead ask communications companies - from internet service providers to mobile phone networks - to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism…”

12. Employers Watching Workers Online Spurs Privacy Debate http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124045009224646091.html#mod=djemCJ “…many employees are uncomfortably aware that their every keystroke at work, from email on office computers to text messages on company phones, can be monitored legally by their employers. What employees typically don't expect is for the company to spy on them while on password-protected sites using nonwork computers…two employees of Houston's restaurant in Hackensack…created and contributed to a forum about their workplace on MySpace.com. Mr. Pietrylo emailed invitations to co-workers, who then had to log in using a personal email address and a password…supervisor called Ms. St. Jean into his office and asked her for her email and password to the forum. The login information was passed up the supervisory chain, where restaurant managers viewed the comments. The following week, Mr. Pietrylo and Ms. Marino were fired…Ms. St. Jean said in a deposition she feared she would be fired if she didn't give up her password, a twist in the case that Mr. Maltby says could sway a jury against the company…the outcome of many employee privacy cases hinges on workers' expectations of their privacy rights -- particularly whether they have been given notice that they are subject to monitoring. In the Houston's case, the workers had no idea their online activities outside of work could be monitored…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. G1: One Million Sold in Six Months http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10226034-94.html “…T-Mobile USA has sold 1 million G1 Android phones, six months after launching the product…They have yet to capture the public's attention the way the iPhone did when it was originally released: Apple sold 1 million iPhones in about two months, and 1 million iPhone 3Gs in its first weekend…Android now owns about 6 percent of the U.S. smartphone market as measured by operating systems. That puts it in fourth place, behind the iPhone, the BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile phones, in that order…”

14. Samsung Finally Unveils Android Phone http://www.crn.com/mobile/217200117;jsessionid=0FDG0VG03O3FIQSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN “…Samsung has officially released the Samsung I7500, a smartphone based on Google's Android software. However, unless you're in Germany around June, you won't be able to get your hands on the phone right away. Samsung did not release information about a launch date or pricing for the U.S…the I7500 has a 3.2-inch AMOLED (active-matrix, organic light-emitting diode) full-touch screen and 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity…a 5-megapixel camera, 8 GB of internal memory and Micro SD (up to 32 GB of external memory)…uses 1500mAh batteries and a 3.5mm ear jack, supports Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0 and MicroUSB connectivity. An integrated GPS receiver provides access to Google Maps features such as My Location, Google Latitude, Street View, local search and detailed route descriptions…”

15. Amazon snaps up iPhone e-book reader app Stanza http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10228374-1.html “…Amazon…acquired Lexcycle, the company that developed the popular Stanza iPhone and iPod Touch e-book reader application, for an undisclosed sum…it appears to be hedging its bets by picking up what it thinks is "an innovative company" that works across multiple mobile platforms. Clearly, Amazon is looking beyond the Kindle 2 and salivating over the 37 million iPhone and iPod Touch devices already in the market, as well as the upcoming Palm Pre, Google's Android phones, and future Windows Mobile phones. There's also talk of a rumored oversize iPod Touch that's due out later this year that would make for a potentially intriguing e-book reader…”

Open Source

16. Ubuntu 9.04: fast and slick http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10226746-92.html “…It's not just the speed changes, however, that has got me excited about Ubuntu 9.04. It's also the subtle additions to the interface; the logical move of shutdown and reboot options to the far right of the menu; the slick new notifications system; the seamless (finally!) integration of the Nvidia accelerated drivers, and the cleaned-up options and package install systems. Want Adobe Flash or other proprietary software like multimedia codecs on Ubuntu? Just search for them in the one location, under their own names. No downloading anything from any Web sites…I usually run a combination of Ubuntu and Windows on my PC, and the latest Mac OS X on my laptop. So I'm in a position to notice step changes in user interface behavior like the one that Ubuntu has brought to the table with 9.04. In short, Ubuntu is now as slick and beautiful as Mac OS X or Windows 7…”

17. Tiny Core Linux 1.4 & 2.0 RC1 released http://www.h-online.com/open/Tiny-Core-Linux-1-4-2-0-RC1-released--/news/113161 “…Tiny Core developers have announced the release of version 1.4 of their minimal Linux distribution. Tiny Core is only about 10 MB in size and is based on the 2.6 Linux kernel…Tiny Core Linux features the BusyBox tool collection and a minimal graphics system based on Tiny X and JWM…”

18. Ubuntu brings advanced Screen features to the masses http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/04/ubuntu-brings-advanced-screen-features-to-the-masses.ars “…GNU Screen is a powerful terminal multiplexer that makes it easy for users to manage multiple sessions at the command line. It provides rudimentary window management capabilities in text-based environments and enables users to detach a session and resume it later. The tool has long held a position of distinction among the most popular terminal utilities for system administrators…Ubuntu's screen improvements will boost the usability of the command line in Ubuntu server environments…”


19. First Google Android Netbooks spotted http://blogs.computerworld.com/first_google_android_netbooks_spotted “…The first Google Android netbook should definitely be more monumental than this $100-$200 device from SkyTone. Guangzhou, China-based Skytone is famous for making Skype headsets and ultra low cost children's computers. But, as of today, they have on their website, the Alpha-680 Google Android netbook…”

20. Google plugs PC power into cloud computing http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10227150-2.html “…The company has released experimental but still very much real software that brings in some of the power of the PC, where people often use Web applications. Google Native Client--first released in 2008 but updated with a new version Thursday--is a browser plug-in for securely running computationally intense software downloaded from a Web site. And on Tuesday, Google released O3D, a plug-in that lets Web-based applications tap into a computer's graphics chip, too…Whereas Native Client deals with software that runs on the central processing unit (CPU), O3D deals with the graphics processing unit (GPU). Computers these days typically come with both, but Native Client and O3D are separate projects for now, so programmers will have to deal accordingly. "We think the possibility of combining CPU and GPU computing would be great," Bridge said. "At present they don't actually work together, but we're looking at getting them to work together in the future…Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser, shares Google's ambition to have 3D Web applications and is working on a lower-level 3D interface in conjunction with the Khronos Group that oversees the widely used OpenGL 3D technology…”

General Technology

21. Seagate Replica back-up drive http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2345943,00.asp My philosophy regarding back-up solutions is that unless one is easy to use, you won't ever use it, even if it can save your life. The Seagate Replica ($200 list) passes muster on that score—it's a compact drive with built-in backup technology that's as easy to use as plugging in a USB cable and clicking OK a couple of times…The Replica is available in either a 250GB single-user version for $130 or the tested 500GB multi-PC version for $200. The multi-PC version comes with a docking station that stands the drive upright, but the rubberized backing on the drive will ensure that even the dockless single-PC version is secure on your desk. For my money, the extra space in the $200 version is worth the money, even if you use the drive with only one PC…Unfortunately, XP users with FAT32-formatted C: drives are out of luck: The drive and software don't support that format...The Clickfree, however, is even simpler to use, doesn't load anything on your PC, supports FAT32 drives, and works with Macs as well as PCs. Though neither is perfect, both are well worth considering as easy-to-use backup alternatives to the old "one-touch" or "no-touch" solutions (like the Maxtor OneTouch 4 mini and the Seagate FreeAgent Go), which still require a drawn-out setup process…”

22. Which is Better For Your Business? A Mac or a PC? http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/163537/which_is_better_for_your_businessa_mac_or_a_pc.html “…up until 2006 I was an avid PC user…In the summer of 2006, I upgraded about 80% of my company's computers to Macs; we're a design agency, and so most people wanted Macs anyway. I kept hearing about their strengths…and dismissed them as blind lust from googly-eyed Apple enthusiasts. But something changed. People started doing things quicker. Work started flowing faster…Words can't describe how much productivity rose, including my own…”

23. 500 GB optical disc http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8021012.stm “…A disc that can store 500 gigabytes (GB) of data, equivalent to 100 DVDs, has been unveiled by General Electric. The micro-holographic disc, which is the same size as existing DVD discs, is aimed at the archive industry…Blu-ray discs, which are used to store high definition movies and games, can currently hold between 25GB and 50GB…the team at GE has made dramatic improvements in the materials enabling significant increases in the amount of light that can be reflected by the holograms." The higher reflectivity that can be achieved, the more capacity for the disc…”

24. Adieu to the old-fashioned desktop computer? http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10228435-1.html “…Averatec is charging ahead with the majority of its production in just two of what happen to be the fastest-growing areas of PCs: all-in-one desktops and tiny, low-power Netbooks. Netbooks are forecast to comprise one-fifth of the 133 million notebooks to be shipped in 2009, and the more than 3.5 million all-in-one desktops shipped in 2008 is expected to double by 2010…it's one of the only desktop form factors that's actually growing. The next Averatec Netbook model…OS is going to be a surprise," Cho said. While he would not confirm or deny that the OS will be Android, the company will say that it will be "a merger of cell phone and PC technology."…Cho calls himself a big believer in all-in-one desktops…he sees a day in the near future when traditional desktop systems will disappear from the home entirely…”

25. Night Owls Have More Staying Power Than Early Birds, Brain Study Shows http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2009/423/5?rss=1 Night owls seem to have a cognitive edge over early risers--at least when they're on their natural sleep schedule. That's one upshot of a new brain-imaging study that also gives surprising new insights into how the brain manages the urge to sleep and wake…Two factors control our bedtime. The first is hardwired: A master clock in the brain regulates a so-called circadian rhythm, which synchronizes activity patterns to the 24-hour day. Some people's clocks tell them to go to bed at 9 p.m., others' at 3 a.m., (ScienceNOW, 24 June 2003). The second factor--called sleep pressure--depends not on time of day but simply on how long someone has been awake already…Both groups performed equally well on the test when they took it 1.5 hours after waking. But after 10.5 hours without sleep, the night owls pulled ahead. Their reaction times improved by about 6% relative to the morning people and to their own earlier performance…”

26. IBM program to take on 'Jeopardy' champions http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10227842-71.html “…I was fine with IBM's Deep Blue taking on chess champion Garry Kasparov. The man had been fighting Deep Red all his life, so he was hardly going to be intimidated by another lumbering machine of power…we may now be facing the prospect of an IBM program called Watson…taking on Jeopardy champions, including, perhaps, 74-time winner Ken Jennings at one of America's most revered, um, mind games…The nice thing about "Jeopardy" is that you really have no idea what the questions might be. There are far more possibilities to take account of than there are in chess. Watson isn't merely going to have to think ahead. He's going to have to interpret and understand…”

Leisure & Entertainment

27. Brazilian startup goes global with Taikodom online game http://venturebeat.com/2009/04/27/brazilian-startup-hoplon-infotainment-goes-global-with-taikodom-online-game/ “…Taikodom only has 15,000 players, mostly in Brazil. But Hoplon and its corporate partners project the number of players to rocket to half a million worldwide by the end of this year, with revenue growing 20-fold over the same period, according to Teles. More than 90 percent of Taikodom players are 18 years and older, and each spends U.S. $25 a month — twice the industry average per paying user — on game-related products and items in Taikodom’s online virtual universe. Playing Taikodom is free…IBM’s “gameframe” and Hoplon’s connecting software, called Bitverse, use Java code and the Linux operating system…”

28. Preview: WET http://www.destructoid.com/preview-wet-130000.phtml “…WET looks to be right on track for a fall 2009 release on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. WET is a great looking "acrobatic shooter" that follows Rubi, a dual wielding hired gun that would much rather double back flip and shoot than just simply run and gun... Her weapons of choice are two guns and a sword. She can fire both guns independently while flying through the air in what the developers call Split Targeting. Slow motion kicks in as Rubi catches air, and so does a sort of auto-targeting for the secondary target…The swordplay is supposed to round out WET's combat, though it didn't appear to be as elegant in use as the guns did…”

29. 4K digital cinema might soon come home http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/04/beyond-hd-4k-digital-cinema-and-red-ray.ars “…At the beginning of this decade, it became apparent that the resolution specifications for HDTV—even the pixel-dense 1080p mode—just weren't adequate to digitally project feature films in movie theaters. Both the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers as well as a new group, Digital Cinema Initiatives, began work to define standards for digital cinema playback. DCI, formed by several large Hollywood studios, released version 1.0 of the "Digital Cinema System Specification" in 2005; the current 1.2 version of the spec was formalized last March. The spec defines both a 2K and 4K resolution, similar to HDTVs specification of 720 and 1080 formats. Unlike HDTV, which specifies the maximum vertical resolution, 2K and 4K refer specifically to the maximum horizontal pixel counts of 2048 and 4096…”

30. Nintendo's Game Boy turns 20 http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090423/tc_afp/lifestylejapanvideogamecompanynintendo “…Twenty years ago Japan's Nintendo Co. launched the Game Boy, the iconic handheld video game player that spawned characters from Super Mario to Pokemon and sold 200 million units worldwide…Nintendo "understood the young public, which was not the case for electronic groups like Sony, which targeted adults," said Hamamura…Consoles of the Game Boy series -- which includes the pocket, lite and colour versions -- have since sold 118 million units, while the follow-up Game Boy Advance series sold 82 million consoles. Twenty years on, Nintendo's portable consoles have grown up with their users. Nintendo in 2004 launched the dual-screen or DS portable console, which has since sold more than 100 million units around the world…”

Economy and Technology

31. 12-core CPU in 2010?: Troubled AMD Looks to Pass Intel http://www.dailytech.com/MultiCore+Race+Heats+Up+Troubled+AMD+Looks+to+Pass+Intel/article14952c.htm “…race is heating up over the number of cores in a desktop processor, but only time will tell whether the race is the path of good design, or another blind charge. Intel already has a four-core 45 nm desktop processor (Nehalem/i7) and a six-core server processor (Xeon) on the market. It plans to roll out an eight-core server processor (Xeon) in Q4 2009. However, it may fall behind in the core race (though still presumably ahead in die-shrinks) if AMD is able to deliver on its planned release schedule. AMD plans to release its six-core 45 nm processor, codenamed Istanbul in June…AMD has announced plans to beat Intel to 12 cores, releasing both 8 and 12 core processors, codenamed Magny-Cours, in Q1 2010. It has also announced that it will in 2011 roll out its 32 nm Bulldozer core, which will feature up to 16 cores, running on the new Sandtiger architecture…”

32. For the First Time in 23 Years, Microsoft's Sales Drop http://www.dailytech.com/For+the+First+Time+in+23+Years+Microsofts+Sales+Drop/article14960c.htm “…for the past 23 years Microsoft had announced its quarterly results. And every year saw a rise in earnings and revenue from the previous year. However, this year, something happened to the company that had never before happened in its 23 years of public offering -- it saw a Q3 drop in sales and revenue…its net income plunged 32 percent to $2.98B USD…the company is still profitable. While the drops are definitely a trouble sign, many companies would love to have a balance sheet like Microsoft's…The first problem is that the recession is denting computer sales, with sales down 7 to 9 percent worldwide for the quarter. The second key problem is that netbooks are conquering the market, displacing traditional notebooks. Where the average OS license from Microsoft runs $50 to $60 on average, the average netbook license is a mere $15…The trouble for Microsoft is that its cash cow is shifting. PC sales are troubled, and they're getting hurt by the move to cheaper notebooks…Microsoft's one ace in its sleeve is Windows 7…”

Civilian Aerospace

33. Ohio rocket man reports 'perfect flight' http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/workshop/4315103.html “…Just before 1 p.m. on Saturday April 25, a Saturn V rocket carried one more man into history. Steve Eves broke two world records Saturday, when his 1/10th scale model of the historic rocket—built in his garage near Akron, Ohio—lifted off from a field on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The 36-ft.-tall rocket was the largest amateur rocket ever launched and recovered successfully—and at 1648 pounds, also the heaviest. Eves' single-stage behemoth was powered by nine motors—eight 13,000 Newton-second N-Class motors and a 77,000 Newton-second P-Class motor…As MDRA members like to say, "We have cool launches, and we have really cool launches. The cool ones are when everything goes according to plan."…He built the tubular skin from Luan plywood—nearly 300 square feet of it, according to Rockets magazine—and then coated it with fiberglass…All told, the project cost about $25,000—including nearly $13,000 for the fuel alone, which burned up in less than 10 seconds Saturday…”

34. Space 2.0: bringing space tech down to Earth http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1362/1 “…What kinds of projects are Space 2.0 companies? * Every GPS company is a Space 2.0 company. Even DigitalGlobe, the imaging powerhouse that feeds Google Earth with its own constellation of satellites, started with a license to publish photos once classified for spies’ eyes only. * Your Temper Foam pillow came from NASA research into seats and headrests that reduce the impacts of high G-forces on astronauts. * Outlast Technology makes outdoor gear from phase-changing fabrics, originally designed to shield spacewalkers from intense heat and cold. * The ear thermometer in every hospital and pediatrician’s office uses the same infrared sensing mechanism that measures the temperature of distant stars. * AeroGrow makes countertop gardens that were developed for aeroponic experiments in zero gravity. * Photovoltaic solar collectors and thin-film solar arrays have moved from Apollo missions and the International Space Station to suburban rooftops…Space 1.0 is the industry we all grew up with: rockets to the Moon and billion-dollar government contracts. In Space 1.5, the launches are commercial and so are the payloads; the Saturn 5 and the Apollo capsule are replaced with rockets by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, carrying communications satellites built by these and other big, public companies. “NewSpace,” the privately funded world of such visionaries as Elon Musk and Richard Branson, is probably Space 1.5.1…derivative technologies make up our Space 2.0 community…In some cases, Space 2.0 businesses are developing technologies for NASA and commercial use simultaneously, under the SBIR or STTR programs. Sometimes they repurpose existing patents, like the team at iShoe that took an electronic insole designed to help astronauts to readjust to gravity, and turned it into a medical device to monitor seniors at risk for falls, or a physical therapy tool to adjust the gait of stroke victims or wounded Iraq vet…”

35. Small Satellites Provide Low-Cost Entrée http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/OPT042409.xml&headline=Small%20Satellites%20Provide%20Low-Cost%20Entree “…There are four categories of small satellites: Minisatellites weigh 100-500 kg.; microsatellites 10-100 kg.; nanosatellites 1-10 kg.; and picosatellites 0.1-1 kg. Mini- and microsatellites are becoming more common in space programs, for the advantages they provide in speedy launch schedules and economy. Nanosatellites are beginning to be tested and deployed, while picosatellites are largely experimental…”

36. Raytheon contracts with Space Port Indiana http://www.fwdailynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3114:Technology:-Raytheon-contracts-with-Space-Port-Indiana&catid=70:doug-leduc&Itemid=136 “…Raytheon Network Centric Systems has become the latest major business customer of Space Port Indiana, a company formed a little more than a year ago to perform lower-cost but demanding operational evaluation on equipment that must work perfectly in space. Raytheon Co.’s Fort Wayne operations sent a commercial telemetry and global positioning system platform on a high-altitude balloon last month for testing in near space…Testing the equipment in the 1-percent atmosphere of near space was about as close as the company could come to testing it in the rigors of real space, which include exposure to microgravity, extreme changes in temperature and high levels of radiation…In addition to balloon lifts, its facility at the Columbus Municipal Airport has been providing customers with telemetry, guidance, tracking, GPS, communications and airspace management tools…SPI will start rocket launches next month to offer an opportunity “to test within the rigorous environment of high(-gravity) loads, vibration and even rapid descent…”

37. SpaceX Draco thrusters successfully tested http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20090423-2 “…The Draco thruster test series included 42 firings with over 4,600 pulses of varying lengths and was performed in a vacuum test chamber to simulate the space environment. The series resulted in a total firing time of over 50 minutes on a single thruster. SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, recently selected by NASA as part of their Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract to carry cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and return cargo to Earth, utilizes 18 Draco thrusters to provide precision control in orbit and while approaching the ISS…”

38. Lunar Odyssey Shoots for the Moon http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090422-tw-glxp-odyssey-moon.html When the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize premiered, the first official team to sign up was Odyssey Moon — but the company has plans far beyond winning or losing the private race to the moon…Richards and his multi-national team partnered with the space technologies company MDA of Canada to launch their "Moon One" (M-1) Lunar Lander in July 2011. They hope not just to win the Lunar X Prize, but also to kick off the first in a series of low-cost robotic missions to the moon… Odyssey Moon is focused on developing a suitable launch vehicle and their M-1 Lunar Lander, as opposed to other teams that have displayed early lunar rover designs. Richards characterized the Google Lunar X Prize as "a lander competition, not a rover competition," and noted that the challenge was in getting the lander to brake, descend, and land safely…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

39. nVidia's GT300 specifications revealed http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/4/22/nvidias-gt300-specifications-revealed---its-a-cgpu!.aspx “…GT300 is the first truly new architecture since SIMD [Single-Instruction Multiple Data] units first appeared in graphical processors. GT300 architecture groups processing cores in sets of 32 - up from 24 in GT200 architecture. But the difference between the two is that GT300 parts ways with the SIMD architecture that dominate the GPU architecture of today. GT300 Cores rely on MIMD-similar functions [Multiple-Instruction Multiple Data] - all the units work in MPMD mode, executing simple and complex shader and computing operations on-the-go…GT300 itself packs 16 groups with 32 cores - yes, we're talking about 512 cores for the high-end part. This number itself raises the computing power of GT300 by more than 2x when compared to the GT200 core…if the clocks remain the same as on GT200, we would have over double the amount of computing power. If for instance, nVidia gets a 2 GHz clock for the 512 MIMD cores, we are talking about no less than 3TFLOPS with Single-Precision…”

40. Why high-performance computing needs financial engineering http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/04/why-processors-need-high-finance.ars “…to successfully develop, fabricate, and sell high-powered number-crunching chips, you need at least two market segments: 1) a high-end, high-margin segment where you can launch your top-tier, most expensive products, and 2) a much larger market where you can sell last quarter's and last year's top-tier parts in order to achieve the economies of scale that enable you to keep producing the high-end parts that perpetuate this trickle-down product cycle. For NVIDIA, Intel, AMD/ATI, and, to a certain extent, IBM, that much-coveted high-end market segment is made up of a collection of niches, and any journalist or analyst who has sat through a GPGPU or high-performance processor presentation for any of these companies can recite from memory the most popular members of this collection: medical imaging, defense, oil and gas exploration, pharmaceutical research, 3D rendering for movies, and finance…”

41. Symposium on HPC accelerators http://www.saahpc.org/ What do GPUs, FPGAs, vector processors and other exotic special-purpose chips have in common? They are advanced processor architectures that the scientific community is using to accelerate computationally demanding applications. While high-performance computing systems that use application accelerators are still rare, they will be the norm rather than the exception in the near future. The first annual 2009 Symposium on Application Accelerators in High-Performance Computing (SAAHPC'09) aims to bring together developers of computing accelerators and end-users of the technology…”



NEW NET Issues List for 21 Apr 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 21 Apr 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. 15M hits later, YouTube Symphony live debut http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090416/ap_on_en_mu/youtube_symphony “…Part publicity stunt by its producers, part vanity trip by its participants, part opportunity to attract a younger crowd to classical music, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra gathered 93 musicians from more than 30 countries. Ranging in age from 15 to 55, the players included a surgeon-violinist and a professional poker player-cellist. The roster was selected by voters from among the 15 million viewers of http://www.YouTube.com/Symphony since the project was announced four months ago…Despite the short preparation time, they played like a finely tuned instrument…"It was a very talented group of individuals," Diaz said in an interview. "Every rehearsal, it's just gotten better and better, and they've gotten this sense of group rhythm, which is a fundamental part of it all. ... To do that in 48 hours is amazing." The Internet generation of performers attracted a youthful crowd that had no reason to feel shy. The staid decorum was suspended for the three-hour concert, which featured 15 short pieces. Thomas sat on the podium at one point, watching pianist Yuja Wang fly through the "Flight of the Bumble Bee." In another departure from tradition, the audience was encouraged to bring video cameras. One of the many high points was the world premiere of Tan Dun's 4 1/2 minute "Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica."…”

2. Web IM In Hotmail http://www.liveside.net/main/archive/2009/04/21/web-im-in-hotmail.aspx Web IM is coming to Hotmail. It became available to users in France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the UK last month and starting today it will roll out to Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the USA…now, even if you are on a computer without Windows Live Messenger installed you can IM your buddies…”

3. Mayo Clinic, Microsoft deepen health record ties http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10223981-56.html “…The Mayo Clinic on Tuesday said it will build a personal health record service based on Microsoft's HealthVault technology…Mayo Clinic Health Manager, will initially focus on general pediatric and adult health issues, immunization records, pregnancy, and asthma. In the coming months, the clinic will add tools to help manage chronic conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure…People don't need to be a patient of the clinic to use the new tool, Microsoft said. Microsoft's HealthVault is designed to allow people to store many different kinds of health records, including digital information from its partners, data from in-home medical devices, as well as information entered directly by the patient…”

4. Time Warner Cable shelves bandwidth usage billing http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090417/tc_afp/usittelecominternettimewarnercable “…Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable television operator in the country, conducted the initial test of consumption based billing with subscribers in one US city and had plans to extend it to additional cities. The test of billing subscribers for actual broadband usage by the gigabyte instead of charging a flat monthly fee met with protests from members of the public and the US Congress, including New York Senator Charles Schumer…Time Warner Cable said it is working to make "measurement tools available as quickly as possible…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

5. FBI Spyware Has Been Snaring Extortionists and Hackers for Years http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/04/fbi-spyware-pro.html A sophisticated FBI-produced spyware program has played a crucial behind-the-scenes role in federal investigations into extortion plots, terrorist threats and hacker attacks in cases stretching back at least seven years, newly declassified documents show. As first reported by Wired.com, the software, called a "computer and internet protocol address verifier," or CIPAV, is designed to infiltrate a target's computer and gather a wide range of information, which it secretly sends to an FBI server in eastern Virginia…”

6. Stealthy Rootkit Slides Further Under the Radar http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090415/tc_pcworld/stealthyrootkitslidesfurtherundertheradar “…The malicious software is a new variant of Mebroot, a program known as a "rootkit" for the stealthy way it hides deep in the Windows operating system, said Jacques Erasmus, director of research for the security company Prevx…Mebroot inserts program hooks into various functions of the kernel, or the operating system's core code. Once Mebroot has taken hold, the malware then makes it appear that the MBR hasn't been tampered with. "When something is trying to scan the MBR, it displays a perfectly good-looking MBR to any security software…each time the computer is booted, Mebroot injects itself into a Windows process in memory, such as svc.host…”

7. Microsoft gives Interpol free COFEE http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/04/microsoft-gives-interpol-free-cofee.ars “…Microsoft will provide its Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) tool free of charge to Interpol's participating 187 countries to aid global law enforcement in fighting cybercrime. Microsoft's COFEE application uses common digital forensics tools to help officers at the scene of a crime gather volatile evidence of live computer activity that would otherwise be lost in a traditional offline forensic analysis…”

8. Wanted: Computer hackers...to help government http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090418/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_cyber_security “…General Dynamics Information Technology put out an ad last month on behalf of the Homeland Security Department seeking someone who could "think like the bad guy." Applicants, it said, must understand hackers' tools and tactics and be able to analyze Internet traffic and identify vulnerabilities in the federal systems…Short said the $60 million, four-year contract with US-CERT uses the ethical hackers to analyze threats to the government's computer systems and develop ways to reduce vulnerabilities…”

9. The Great Brazilian Sat-Hack Crackdown http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2009/04/fleetcom “…Brazilian Federal Police swooped in on 39 suspects in six states in the largest crackdown to date on a growing problem here: illegal hijacking of U.S. military satellite transponders. "This had been happening for more than five years," says Celso Campos, of the Brazilian Federal Police. "Since the communication channel was open, not encrypted, lots of people used it to talk to each other." The practice is so entrenched, and the knowledge and tools so widely available, few believe the campaign to stamp it out will be quick or easy. Much of this country's geography is remote, and beyond the reach of cellphone coverage, making American satellites an ideal, if illegal, communications option…”

10. Researcher Offers Tool to Hide Malware in .Net http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090417/tc_pcworld/researcherofferstooltohidemalwareinnet “…The tool, called .Net-Sploit 1.0, allows for modification of .Net...Net-Sploit allows a hacker to modify the .Net framework on targeted machines, inserting rootkit-style malicious software in a place untouched by security software and where few security people would think to look….Net-Sploit automates some of the arduous coding tasks necessary to corrupt the framework, speeding up development of an attack. For example, it can help pull a relevant DLL (dynamic link library) from the framework and deploy the malicious DLL…The Microsoft Security Response Center was notified of the issue in September 2008. The company's position is that since an attacker would already have to have control over a PC, there is not a vulnerability in .Net. It doesn't appear that Microsoft has any plans to issue a near-term fix…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

11. Windows Mobile 6.5 To Launch In May http://www.crn.com/mobile/216900090;jsessionid=E0YMQYMWPUEL0QSNDLPCKH0CJUNN2JVN “…Microsoft is ready to show the ins and outs of the mobile platform with an official launch. According to a blog post on Microsoft's Windows Mobile blog, Tech Ed 2009 will feature a "kickoff presentation" for Windows Mobile on Monday, May 11…Windows Mobile 6.5 is a stopgap to deliver more functionality and features to Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional as Microsoft readies Windows Mobile 7.0 for release sometime in 2010…”

12. Cash prize to design secure phone http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8008241.stm The Design Council is offering £400,000 for designers to develop new ways of securing mobile phone handsets…Applicants have until 22 May to submit their applications, with the finalists announced on 29 June…The Design Council said the challenge for designers could be broken down into three areas: * How to make a mobile harder or less desirable to steal, * How to make personal data more secure, * How to make online and mobile transactions more secure…”

13. Harnessing a Global Mobile Payments Market http://www.technewsworld.com/story/m-commerce/66855.html?wlc=1240347508 The global economy is changing. For many consumers, the credit card crunch is crumbling their ability to buy things online. In many countries outside the U.S., consumers do not have credit cards but rely instead on smart cards to swipe transactions directly through their banks…An estimated 75 percent of all online users around the globe lack credit cards -- but 4 billion online users have a mobile phone. For Paymo CEO Paul McGuire, that statistic sparked a light-bulb moment that illuminated a business plan he is hoping will revolutionize e-commerce payments…Subscribers worldwide can pay their bills and buy from a growing list of merchants by sending a text message through their mobile phones…”

Open Source

14. The GPL, Your CMS Project and You http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-cms/open-source-the-gpl-your-cms-project-and-you-004329.php “…One of the biggest issues around the GPL in the Content Management Systems community is around modules, extensions, add-ons or whatever you want to call the external pieces that third parties might build to extend a particular CMS's capabilities. This topic is so thorny to discuss because the intersection of license and copyright issues for code extensions makes it nearly impossible for a lawyer to make general statements on the matter…You can see how the different interpretations of this issue play out within the various open source CMS projects. Joomla! has decided that all extensions listed in its own resources will have to be licensed with the GPL. Drupal is the same. Plone is discussing allowing exceptions on a case by case basis and even then will specify which alternative license can be used for those exceptions they approve…”

15. Foxit Software Releases Foxit Reader 1.0 for Desktop Linux http://www.prlog.org/10221243-foxit-software-releases-foxit-reader-10-for-desktop-linux.html “…Foxit Software today is announcing the official Linux version of Foxit Reader 1.0, a freely downloadable PDF viewing application. With this release, it now supports the ability to reliably view and print PDF files across all major operating systems in the enterprise…”

16. click2try Exhibits Virtual Open Source Apps http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-21-2009/0005009692&EDATE click2try (http://www.click2try.com), a community site that makes it easy to try and use Open Source software, today announced it will be demonstrating its click2try.com site featuring virtualized Open Source applications at LinuxFest Northwest 2009 (http://www.linuxfestnorthwest.org). click2try hosts a catalog of more than 40 Open Source applications that visitors can try for free, right from a browser, without downloading any software. The catalog provides resources for each application, including links to major application development sites, as well as links to documentation, tutorials, and reviews…”

17. MySQL 5.4 gets bigger anyway, encroaching on new parent Oracle's turf http://www.betanews.com/article/MySQL-54-gets-bigger-anyway-encroaching-on-new-parent-Oracles-turf/1240345051 “…When Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced his acquisition of Sun Microsystems yesterday morning, he didn't mention MySQL at all -- his company's principal competitor in the small systems database space. Maybe that was just for spite: It's no secret that Ellison wanted MySQL; he said so explicitly three years ago. It was one of the key missing elements in the top-to-bottom stack he's been looking for, a way to create a line-up of pre-configured systems with everything customers need…”

18. Linux fast-boot tech targets Windows users http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS6115531495.html “…A number of Windows-based laptops have shipped with minimalist Linux-based fast-boot environments for quick access to the Web and other essentials, but most are embedded in firmware and linked to specific chipsets or BIOS modifications (see farther below for a survey of some recent fast-boot systems). Presto, on the other hand, can be downloaded by consumers at $20 a pop, and installed on "almost" any Windows XP or Windows Vista computer…”


19. New Google tools: Similar Images and Google News Timeline http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8009400.stm “…Similar Images uses a picture rather than text to find other matching images. Timeline presents information already available in Google News but organised and displayed chronologically…Timeline…is the brainchild of Andy Hertzfeld, a key member of the original Apple Macintosh development team…”

20. New in Gmail Labs: "Suggested Recipients" http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/new_in_gmail_labs_suggested_recipients.php “…a new feature in Gmail Labs will now help you to ensure that you don't inadvertently forget a recipient you typically include in your group emails. After you activate it, this new feature, "Suggest more Recipients," kicks in after you add at least two recipients to your message. If you, for example, usually send out a message to your mom, dad, sister and brother together, Gmail will suggest that you add both your sister and brother to the list of recipients after you type in your mother's and father's address…”

21. Google profit up but revenue drops for first time http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090417/tc_afp/usitinternetearningscompanygoogle Google reported a 9.2 percent rise in quarterly net profit, but the Internet search giant said revenue declined for the first time ever in consecutive quarters. The Mountain View, California-based company reported a net profit for the first quarter of the year of 1.42 billion dollars compared with 1.31 billion dollars in the corresponding quarter last year. Revenue was 5.51 billion dollars for the first quarter, up six percent from the same quarter a year ago but down three percent compared with the fourth quarter of last year…”

22. Students for Google Summer of Code™ 2009 http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/04/announcing-accepted-students-for-google.html Students in 70 countries are now celebrating their acceptance in to the Google Summer of Code 2009 program! For our fifth year running the program, we've paired 1,000 students with mentors in more than 65 countries with more than 150 Free and Open Source software projects. Check out the program website for more details on each accepted student project…”

23. Dead Souls of the Google Booksearch Settlement http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/04/legally-speaking-the-dead-soul.html Google has scanned the texts of more than seven million books from major university research libraries for its Book Search initiative and processed the digitized copies to index their contents…In the fall of 2005, the Authors Guild, which then had about 8000 members, and five publishers sued Google for copyright infringement…This column argues that the proposed settlement of this lawsuit is a privately negotiated compulsory license primarily designed to monetize millions of orphan works. It will benefit Google and certain authors and publishers, but it is questionable whether the authors of most books in the corpus (the “dead souls” to which the title refers) would agree that the settling authors and publishers will truly represent their interests when setting terms for access to the Book Search corpus…”

General Technology

24. What if our tech is good enough? http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/what-if-our-tech-is-good-enough--589169 Perhaps Blu-ray is the canary in the coalmine…we find ourselves in an impossible position. In almost every sphere, the technology we have is so good that any improvements can only be incremental. The gap between the first digital cameras – which struggled to produce even grainy VGA images – and today's 10-megapixel models is immense, but once your megapixels hit double digits, any further improvement is hardly noticeable…”

25. Have we arrived in the post-Windows era? http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=16590 “…There are a lot of reasons for the failure of Windows Vista, but in retrospect the biggest reason was that the OS simply didn’t matter that much anymore. Most of the consumers who ended up with Vista simply got it because it came installed when they bought a new computer. The vast majority of them never chose Vista…It was the software equivalent of repainting a room and rearranging the furniture…I used it as my primary production machine at the office every day. I installed it on a high-powered 64-bit Hewlett-Packard desktop machine. I loaded all my apps on it. It worked fine. However, my conclusion on Windows 7 was, “So what?” There’s nothing in Windows 7 that matters. In fact, the computer operating system has never mattered less than it does today…It didn’t used to be this way. Installing a new operating system used to be like getting a whole new computer…”

26. Why Aneesh Chopra is a great choice for federal CTO http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/04/aneesh-chopra-great-federal-cto.html “…The Federal CTO will be an assistant to the President, as well as the Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He will work closely with Vivek Kundra, the recently-named Federal CIO, to develop and implement the President's ambitious technology agenda…I've been working for much of the past year to understand what many have been calling Government 2.0, and in that process, Chopra has been one of those who have taught me the most about how we can build a better government with the help of technology. He is an excellent choice as Federal CTO, for many reasons…”

Leisure & Entertainment

27. Wii MotionPlus for New Games Only http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090416/tc_pcworld/wiimotionplusfornewgamesonly “…Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus, a precision-remedy for its finicky Wii Remote, won't be backwards compatible, says the company…What will it work with? New games only, all custom-tailored, a fact that reportedly torqued off certain blindsided third-party developers last summer. Why no retroactive precision-motion love? The cynical view fingers upcoming sequels like Wii Sports Resort with its medley of frisbee, jet ski, and kendo sims. Nintendo wants you to buy new stuff, not discover the pleasures of revisiting the oldies wielding a superior control mechanism they probably could and should have shipped in the first place…”

28. Adobe Flash coming to your TV http://www.crn.com/software/216900126;jsessionid=J2DLGAFM043WKQSNDLPCKH0CJUNN2JVN “Adobe on Monday said it will bring an optimized version of its Flash video software to TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray DVD players by the end of 2009…The new version, called the Adobe Flash Platform for the Digital Home, is available immediately to OEMs…Adobe said about 98 percent of PCs have Flash installed, and according to Internet market research firm comScore, about 80 percent of videos viewed online worldwide use Adobe's Flash Player. Adobe said it sees home televisions as essentially the next frontier for Flash…The offering from Adobe doesn't work with TVs made by Sony or Samsung, whose Internet-connected TVs use Yahoo's rich media platform…”

Economy and Technology

29. Oracle, Entering Hardware Arena, Agrees to Buy Sun for $7.4 Billion http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aVWptwRiZl1w&refer=home “…Oracle Corp. agreed to buy Sun Microsystems Inc. for about $7.4 billion in cash, swooping in after the server maker’s talks to be acquired by International Business Machines Corp. failed…The takeover moves Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker, into the market for server and storage computers, pitting the company against IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison also gains Sun’s Java programming language and Solaris operating system, which work with its top-selling database program…It remains to be seen how Oracle runs a hardware company, especially one where its market share is declining…Oracle seeks to reach $50 billion in revenue by 2012. The Sun purchase is Oracle’s third-largest, ranking behind the $10.3 billion takeover of PeopleSoft Inc. in 2005 and the $8.5 billion purchase of BEA Systems Inc. last year. Oracle has spent almost $34.5 billion buying 52 companies since 2005…”

30. EBay plans Skype IPO next year http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=009131580 EBay plans to spin off Skype via an initial public offering (IPO) because the Internet telephony unit doesn't mesh with the company's two other businesses -- e-commerce and online payments. EBay announced on Tuesday that it expects to complete Skype's IPO in the first half of next year…”

31. Ford Bets the Fiesta on Social Networking http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/04/how-the-fiesta.html “…Ford is betting the success of the Fiesta subcompact on the blogs, tweets and Facebook updates of 100 people who will live with the cars and share their experiences online…Ford wants to generate buzz for the Fiesta, which will bring Europe's "small cars can be cool" ethos to America when it arrives next year. But rather than hand a bunch of them over to mainstream journalists, Ford broke with tradition by inviting dozens of 20-somethings to live with the car for six months and tell the world about it…the healthiest of the Big Three wants to generate buzz for the car among "millennials," those born between 1979 and 1996. Some 70 million millennials will be driving next year, and Ford is targeting the Fiesta squarely at them. A Microsoft study found 77 percent of millennials use a social networking site like Facebook or MySpace daily…Ford recently handed 100 Fiestas to 100 people selected from 4,000 applicants. These "agents" -- that's what Ford calls them -- get to use the cars for six months in exchange for completing monthly "missions" with different themes. They'll share their experiences through YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter accounts…”

32. Massive Server Purchase Likely in Chinese Warcraft Deal http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090417/tc_pcworld/massiveserverpurchaselikelyinchinesewarcraftdeal “…Chinese online game firm NetEase.com will buy all-new servers to start operating World of Warcraft in China this year, potentially leaving masses of unused computing clusters in the hands of the current Chinese operator…NetEase will distribute and run the game in China for three years after current operator The9's license expires in June…World of Warcraft brought the firm over 90 percent of its revenue in 2006 and 2007…The9 owns an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 servers, and most are probably the high-performance blade servers that Blizzard requires for its online games…NetEase owns even more servers than The9 but will likely have to buy at least 1,000 new blade servers to take over World of Warcraft…”

Civilian Aerospace

33. SpaceX launch of Falcon 1 rocket postponed http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0904/19falcon1/ “…The next launch by the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket, originally scheduled for Monday evening, has been postponed while engineers examine the level of vibrations its Malaysian satellite payload will experience during ascent…Late Sunday night, SpaceX issued a press release announcing the delay. "While both the Falcon 1 vehicle and satellite passed all preliminary checkouts and are cleared for launch, a concern has been identified regarding the potential impact of predicted vehicle environments on the satellite. Based on these concerns, the SpaceX team is evaluating options to minimize this impact and ensure mission success…”

34. Small Company Plans Mini-Greenhouse for Lunar Lander http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7380649&page=1 “…a small group of entrepreneurs is already at work on what it hopes will be the first miniature greenhouse ever sent to the moon. The entrepreneurs (government help not refused but not needed, thank you) plan to grow mustard seeds -- ideal because the two weeks they take to bloom is the same length as a lunar day…"We've never grown a plant beyond low earth orbit," said Taber MacCallum, the founder, with his wife, Jane Poynter, of an Arizona firm called Paragon Space Development Corp. "We don't know how it will react to one-sixth gravity, or to cosmic rays…”

35. Ballutes Studied For Hypersonic Space Vehicles http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/090421-technov-ballutes.html “…Global Aerospace has been given NASA funding to study the use of ballutes in planetary atmospheric entry and descent, aerodynamic orbital capture, and aerodynamic gravity assist. Ballutes (from BALLoon plus parachUTE) are basically large, inflatable devices that use atmospheric drag to decelerate spacecraft; they were invented by Goodyear Aerospace in 1958. The company is developing the Hypersonic Control Modeling and Simulation Tool (HyperCMST). It will be used to study the problem of controlling the trajectory of different hypersonic space vehicles as they maneuver close to planets and satellites with substantial atmospheres…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

36. GPUs vs. CPUs for EDA simulations http://www.eetindia.co.in/ART_8800569755_1800000_NT_f35ee8f2.HTM “…Simulation has always been about speed. A program that forecasts tomorrow's weather but takes 26 hours to complete is useless, but one that takes 26 minutes is invaluable. It's the same with EDA. If you can get simulation results faster than spinning a board or a chip, you add value. If you don't, you don't. There are basically three ways to make the simulation go faster: better algorithms, faster processor clocks and parallelism. As David A. Patterson, professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, says: "No one knows how to design a 15-GHz processor, so the other option is to retrain all the software developers" to program parallel machines…”

37. Computing revolution creating desktop supercomputers http://www.sciencewa.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2487&Itemid=587 “…The hardware used to produce graphics in computers may be the key to managing the massive amounts of processing power needed by future supercomputing efforts, such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). A project like the SKA needs massive amounts of processing power, with terabytes of data flowing into the central computing core every second…Chris Harris, PhD student at the Western Australian Supercomputer Program (WASP), at UWA, is completing his doctoral thesis on this topic. “My thesis investigated the use of GPUs in radio astronomy data processing…”

38. Nvidia jumps on OpenCL for GPUs train http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/42079/140/ “…Nvidia today released its first OpenCL driver and software development kit (SDK) for GeForce GPUs and Tesla HPC cards. It is a critical move for Nvidia that is yet another sign that OpenCL is emerging as the common development platform for GPGPU acceleration in software…”

39. A Tool to Make More of Many Cores: Intel's Ct http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22517/?a=f “…later this year, Intel will release from its lab a research project called Ct ("C for Throughput") that will automatically make standard C and C++ compilers work with many-core processors, starting with Intel's first new graphics processor in many years, code-named Larrabee, which is scheduled to ship in early 2010…Unlike competing programming architectures such as nVidia's CUDA, which enable massive parallelism using large numbers of that company's graphics processors, Ct is backward compatible with the entire body of software written for Intel's long-running x86 architecture…”