NEW NET Issues List for 29 Sep 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 22 September 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. The gigabyte generation is here http://wistechnology.com/articles/6531/ “…WiMAX which is a wireless network with a licensed part of the spectrum that has been deployed in many other countries is starting to be deployed here in the United States. As was said in one presentation, “This is the network for the gigabyte generation…Those that download so much, their traffic is measured in gigabytes of storage monthly, not megabytes…Download demand is moving quickly to 10, 20 and even 30 Gigabytes of information a month…Anyone with less than a gigabit as a goal for network infrastructures must be uninformed or trying to protect an obsolete product or service…”

2. A New Search Engine for Finding Similar Web Sites http://gigaom.com/2009/09/25/a-new-search-engine-for-finding-similar-web-sites/ “…Similar-site.com is a new search engine that lets you find web sites akin to one you’re interested in by pulling up a list of sites with matching web tags. For example, if you input gigaom.com into the search box on similar-site.com, it will bring up a list of blogs including TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb and the O’Reilly Radar, all of which share the tags “blog,” “technology” and “Web 2.0.” You can also specify tags that you want the search engine to look for, as well as delete any that you feel may be unrelated…”

3. Hacker Book Club http://ericholscher.com/blog/2009/sep/26/hacker-book-club/ At LPDN, our weekly programmer drinkup, we have been talking for a while about watching the SICP lectures from MIT as a fun thing to do. I then got to thinking about how it would be neat to involve more than just the few of us in Lawrence…I was thinking about having some kind of Hacker Book Club…an IRC channel where we can all hang out and ask each other questions…a focused group of people focused on learning the same material. It feels a bit like an open source classroom, where disperate people can come together to learn and share in the open source mindset…a really interesting way to combine a lot of the conversations that happens across the web in one place, with context, about a book…”

4. Dropbox Reaches 2 Million Users; Continues to Grow http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/24/dropbox-reaches-2-million-users-continues-to-grow/ Dropbox, the impressive file sharing service which makes it easy to sync your files across multiple computers and the web, has announced that it has reached two million registered users, just four months after reaching one million users. Of those, Dropbox has almost one million users that are active. Just earlier this month, Dropbox rolled out a brand new redesign of its web interface, and new search as well as many other features…”

5. Your Guide to Music on the Web, Part II http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/26/your-guide-to-music-on-the-web-part-ii/ “…Last month, I published Part 1 of my Guide To Music On The Web, which covered music recommendation sites, Web radio, independent music sites, playlists, and music visualizations. Today, in Part II we’ll take a tour of music search engines, Web players, ways to share music on Twitter, and music mixing apps…I really tried to find the best and the most used applications that will probably still be here to serve you tomorrow too…”

6. Wize: Product Review Search Engine http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/29/wize-redesigns-product-review-search-engine/ “…Product recommendation research engine Wize has launched a redesigned version of its platform that aggregates reviews from across the web. Launched in 2006, Wize lets consumers search for reviews on electronics, home goods, video games, health products and more. It searches shopping sites with user reviews, such as Amazon and BestBuy, as well as expert reviews from traditional product review sites. Wize’s technology has been tweaked to read reviews across the web and then analyze what people have said is good, bad or important…”

7. Flickr Now Supports OpenStreetMap Tags http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/flickr_now_supports_openstreetmap_tags.php Flickr just announced support for OpenStreetMap, the wiki-like mapping service that allows users to create and edit maps. Starting today, photos that are tagged with an OpenStreetMap node ID will include a link to OpenStreetMap (OSM) right underneath the photo. OSM assigns a random number to objects on its maps and Flickr can now read this number and also extract additional data about places from the OSM database. In addition, Flickr also announced that it will now support venue ID tags for the increasingly popular Foursquare service…” Flickr, OpenStreetMap, Foursquare, ReadWriteWeb

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Misdirected Spyware Infects Ohio Hospital http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/172185/misdirected_spyware_infects_ohio_hospital.html “…A 38-year-old Avon Lake, Ohio, man is set to plead guilty to federal charges after spyware he allegedly meant to install on the computer of a woman he'd had a relationship with ended up infecting computers at Akron Children's Hospital…Scott Graham shelled out US$115 for a spyware program called SpyAgent and sent it to the woman…He allegedly sent the spyware to the woman's Yahoo e-mail address, hoping that it would give him a way to monitor what she was doing on her PC. But instead, she opened the spyware on a computer in the hospital's pediatric cardiac surgery department, creating a regulatory nightmare for the hospital…Between March 19 and March 28 the spyware sent more than 1,000 screen captures to Graham via e-mail. They included details of medical procedures, diagnostic notes and other confidential information relating to 62 hospital patients. He was also able to obtain e-mail and financial records of four other hospital employees as well…”

9. Judge Orders Google To Deactivate User's Gmail Account http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=114264 “…In a highly unusual move, a federal judge has ordered Google to deactivate the email account of a user who was mistakenly sent confidential financial information by a bank…The Gmail user hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing…The bank attempted to file its papers under seal, but U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte denied that request…"It's outrageous that the bank asked for this, and it's outrageous that the court granted it," says John Morris, general counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology. "What right does the bank have and go suspend the email account of a completely innocent person?" He adds: "At the end of the day, the bank obviously screwed up…” [ http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10362913-245.html ]

10. IRS Scam Now World's Biggest E-mail Virus Problem http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090925/tc_pcworld/irsscamnowworldsbiggestemailvirusproblem “…Criminals are waging a nasty online campaign right now, hoping that their victims' fears of the tax collecter will lead them to inadvertently install malicious software. The spam campaign, entering its third week now, is showing no signs of slowing down, according to Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This one campaign accounts for about 10 percent of the spam e-mail that his group is presently tracking…”

11. Microsoft Security Essentials Available Sept. 29 http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Microsoft-Security-Essentials-Available-Tomorrow-492109/ “…Microsoft…Security Essentials product will be generally available Sept. 29…Security Essentials freeware is a slimmed-down replacement for Windows Live OneCare…Unlike OneCare, Security Essentials does not deal with firewalls or data backup. Instead, Microsoft chose to focus on anti-malware and anti-rootkit functionality…Security Essentials is "the first Microsoft security product to make use of the company's new Dynamic Signature Service, a technology that helps ensure [that] users stay protected by the most current virus definitions available without having to wait for the next scheduled download…Actions from unknown sources such as unexpected network connections, attempts to modify privileged parts of the system or the downloading of known malware all trigger requests for updates from the Dynamic Signature Service…”

12. Ignoring RIAA lawsuits cheaper than going to trial http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/09/ignoring-riaa-lawsuits-cheaper-than-going-to-trial.ars Jammie Thomas-Rasset and Joel Tenenbaum…were defendants in the RIAA's first two trials against accused online infringers…both defendants would have been far better off monetarily if they had simply ignored the complaint altogether…federal judge Nancy Gertner issued four default judgments against accused P2P file-swappers who never bothered to respond to the charges against them. Their failure to appear meant an automatic loss…Gertner accepted the record labels' claims and awarded them the minimum statutory damages of $750 per song. The defendants were accused of downloading an average of ten songs, putting total awards in the $7,500 range, in addition to a few hundred more for court costs…Thomas-Rasset's retrial ended up with a $1.92 million award, while Tenenbaum faces $675,000 in damages…Tenenbaum faces a life-altering damage award and the prospect of bankruptcy if not reduced or overturned on appeal…several commenters rightly point out that "not showing up" isn't the cheapest way out of such situations. Settling with the RIAA usually leads to payments of between $3,000 and $5,000, lower than the default judgments issued here…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. Walmart offering Palm Pre for $79.99, Amazon $99.99 http://www.cnet.com/8301-17918_1-10361693-85.html http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/26/pre-drops-to-79-99-at-walmart/ “…The Palm Pre…at Amazon…for just $99.99 with a two-year contract without any fussy rebates…”

14. Golden-i microdisplay http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1555944/golden-microdisplay-esc-boston “…A WEARABLE COMPUTER will let you view documents on the equivalent of a 15in SVGA screen and navigate them by moving your head as if you are looking 'round a room. The device, called Golden-i, was demonstrated yesterday at the ESC embedded systems event in Boston, Massachusetts. It takes the form of a headset dangling a 800x600 micro-screen slightly below your eye level so that your view of your surroundings is not obscured…Although the micro display is tiny, it offers a virtual 15in display - the geometry is such that looking at the screen from 2in with some crafty optics is equivalent to viewing a 15in screen on a desktop…”

15. Wearable HD camcorders for your head http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/29/vholdr-launches-wearable-hd-camcorders-for-your-head/ “…VholdR has a new high-definition camcorder that you can attach to your head…Vholdr ContourHD1080p is the world’s first wearable camcorder that you can use to shoot and share 1080p video…It can shoot at 30 frames per second or 60. And you can adjust metering, contrast, exposure, and microphone sensitivity. The camera can share your video to VholdR.com. It costs $329.99 for the HD 1080p version and $279 for the HD version…The camera can record 3.5 hours of 1080p video internally. You can record up to eight hours on a removeable 16GB MicroSD memory card (not included). You can mount the camcorder on your goggles, helmet, handlebars, vehicle or pretty much anywhere else. The camera weighs just 4.3 ounces…”

16. A boost for Palm Pre? http://tech.yahoo.com/news/infoworld/20090926/tc_infoworld/93384 “…Two dignitaries in the JavaScript development space who have led the Mozilla Developer Tools Lab have joined Palm as directors of the Palm Developer Relations team…Palm is gaining the services of Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith, said blog entries from both men, who also have been running the Ajaxian Web site focused on AJAX development and related issues. "We will have the responsibility of the developer experience with Palm…The Palm opportunity, Galbraith said, gives he and Almaer "the opportunity to run Palm's developer program and to do things quite a bit differently than some others in the industry have done…”

17. Palm Pre's New Strategy: Forget iTunes, Hello Wireless Amazon Downloads http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/palm_pres_new_strategy_forget_itunes_hello_wireless_amazon_downloads.php When the Palm Pre debuted, one of its most useful features was its ability to sync with Apple's iTunes software. Unfortunately, how it went about doing this was a little bit underhanded: it pretended to be an iPhone. The most recent version of the hack…was made possible by Palm's use of Apple's USB hardware vendor code provided by the USB Implementers Forum, an industry standards group. The Pre simply used Apple's code so that iTunes would see the Pre as an Apple device. Apple…broke this functionality in subsequent iTunes software updates. Palm responded by complaining to the Forum, but the group took Apple's side…the Apple/Palm war seems to have ended. With the latest update to Palm Pre's webOS software, the company has come up with a new tactic altogether: forget about iTunes, use Amazon instead…”

Open Source

18. Moblin on the Dell Mini 10v netbook http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/09/moblin-2-arriving-via-dell-with-moblin-ubuntu-remix-netbook.ars “…Intel's Linux-based Moblin 2 platform is finally moving out of the lab and into the market. Dell launched its first Moblin-based product on Thursday, making the software platform available to consumers on its Mini 10v netbook. Although Moblin has a lot to offer, Dell warns that Moblin isn't ready for primetime yet and informs prospective buyers that the software is still experimental. Moblin was originally launched in 2007 to provide a Linux-based software platform optimized for Atom-based MIDs…”

19. GNU/Linux Gaming - Vega Strike for All http://blog.eracc.com/2009/09/24/gnulinux-gaming-vega-strike-for-all/ “…I have enjoyed playing games that run natively on…Linux…One of the games I play for a while, stop playing, and keep coming back to is the trading and battle space simulator Vega Strike…It has been under continual development over several years and is currently at stable version 0.5.0 which is “half way” to the eventual goal “The project goal is, at version 1.0, is to be a generic space simulator…”

20. IBM opens a Linux innovation center in Kazakhstan http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/25/ibm-opens-a-linux-innovation-center-in-kazakhstan/ “…IBM keeps pushing into emerging markets in an effort to encourage startups and technology adoption around the world. Today, it is announcing it has opened a Linux innovation center in Kazakhstan…IBM is betting that places like Kazakhstan will eventually see growth as vendors spread their wares around the globe and local businesses move onto the Internet. Linux is a perfect fit as far as encouraging low-cost technology in these areas…”

21. Character Head Modeling in Blender http://www.packtpub.com/character-head-modeling-in-blender-part1 In this two-part tutorial by Jonathan Williamson, we are going to look at how to model a character head in Blender. Along with basic modeling tools we will also focus heavily on good topology and how to create a clean mesh that will deform well during animation. This tutorial will take you through the whole process from setting up a background image as a reference, to laying out the topology, to tweaking the final model proportions and mesh structure…”


22. Google search snippets: go right to the information you want http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/jump-to-information-you-want-right-from.html “…Google shows you a few lines of text to give you an idea of what the page is about — we call this a "search snippet." Recently, we've enhanced the search snippet with two new features that make it easier to find information buried deep within a page...imagine we're particularly interested in learning about good cholesterol and what levels of it are healthy, so we try a more specific query, [good cholesterol level]. The top result is from the American Heart Association and has tons of information about cholesterol levels. The specific information about good (HDL) cholesterol, however, is contained in one section titled "Your HDL (good) cholesterol level"…the snippet for this result now provides the option to "jump to" just this section of the website…”

23. Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag.html “…Google doesn't use the "keywords" meta tag in our web search ranking…”

24. Why You Can’t Trust Google http://gigaom.com/2009/09/24/why-you-cant-trust-google/ “…If, like our little company, you run your business using Google Apps, you’re playing with fire. For time and again, the company has proven that despite all its talk, its offerings are as unreliable as those of any other service provider. Today, once again, Google’s Gmail service has gone on the blink, thereby disrupting our company’s work flow. For a few minutes, I quite enjoyed the fact that there was a lot less email than usual in my Inbox, but its absence gets in the way of getting any work done. Just to be clear — we have a paid version of Google Apps, so I have a legitimate reason to gripe about the Gfail…”

25. Is Criticism Of Google's Outages Unfair? http://www.pcworld.com/article/172636/Is_Criticism_Of_Googles_Outages_Unfair.html Give Google a break: Statistics show its reliability to actually be very good. It's the media that makes a big deal of Gmail and Gnews outages, not users. That is what several readers told me in response to yesterday's post concerning recent problems with the two services. Their authors have a point: The actual amount of downtime is pretty small. And a news service outage isn't the same as losing access to your hosted e-mail…”

26. Place Pages for Google Maps http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/place-pages-for-google-maps-there-are.html “…wouldn’t it be great to see all the information about one place in...one place? Starting today, you can do that on Place Pages for Google Maps. A Place Page is a webpage for every place in the world, organizing all the relevant information about it. By every place, we really mean *every* place — there are Place Pages for businesses, points of interest, transit stations, neighborhoods, landmarks and cities all over the world. You can get to a Place Page by clicking on "more info" in search results, or by clicking "more info" in the mini-bubble. Now, instead of just getting a slightly bigger bubble, you'll get an entire page of rich details, like photos, videos, a Street View preview, nearby transit, reviews and related websites…”

27. Google Docs Become More Student-Friendly http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/28/AR2009092802665.html “…Google is tweaking Google Docs, which is a part of Google Apps' productivity suite, by adding a few student-friendly features. Google Docs has added an equation editor so students can actually complete math problems within a document, allowing students to not only write papers that include numbers and equations but also take notes from quantitative classes using Google Docs. Google has also added the ability to insert superscripts and subscripts, which can be useful for writing out chemical compounds or algebraic expressions. Google is also trying to make Docs appealing to those humanities majors out there by letting users to select from various bulleting styles for creating outlines and giving students ability to print footnotes as endnotes for term papers…”

28. Google Wave to be released to 100,000 testers Wednesday http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/09/29/google.wave.beta/ Google Wave…will go out to about 100,000 beta testers Wednesday…the Web application from Google Inc. combines elements of e-mail, chat, Wiki documents, blogs and photo-sharing sites to create a form of Internet communication called a "hosted conversation," or a "wave”…The app was created by…the Australian brothers who developed Google Maps…they hope Google Wave will eventually replace e-mail as the main way people converse on the Internet…”

29. More Ads Are Coming to Google Maps http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/more_ads_are_coming_to_google_maps.php “…you may start seeing company logos dotting the landscape on Google Maps. While Google has experimented with different types of ads in Google Maps on and off over the years, it now looks like Google is going to make another push to monetize Google Maps…Google plans to launch this program in at least the US and Australia in the new few weeks…”

General Technology

30. Freecom outs first ever USB 3.0 hard drive http://news.techworld.com/storage/3202573/freecom-outs-first-ever-usb-30-hard-drive/ After 8 years of success the USB 2.0 standard has begun its long journey into obsolescence. Dutch storage company Freecom has announced the first mainstream storage product based on ‘SuperSpeed' USB 3.0…the new external Hard Drive XS 3.0 doesn't cost the earth at £99 (approx $160) for a 1TB drive, even though that excludes the £22.99 for a desktop PCI-bus controller necessary to make it work at its intended throughput. Laptop users can pair it with a £25.99 plug-in PC Card to achieve the same effect. The company is also supplying drivers to make USB 3.0 work with Vista and XP. Windows 7 should have 'native' drivers from not long after launch, or users will hope so…USB 3.0 boosts the theoretical data throughput of USB storage devices to 4.8Gbit/s from USB 2.0's now rather tardy-sounding 480Mbit/s…another application…should be boosted by the arrival of USB 3.0, namely transparent encryption…”

31. Mad Scientists, Unite! http://wweek.com/editorial/3529/12608/ “…Housed in a 33,000-square-foot warehouse in Beaverton, TechShop is a Willy Wonka-like headquarters for inventors and hobbyists that gives its members access to spendy tools most garages don’t have, from $15,000 laser cutters and smelting equipment to an $8,000 tungsten inert gas welder used to weld stainless steel. It also offers space for storage and offices for companies working on test projects, as well as member- and employee-taught public classes on everything from robotics to welding. TechShop only opened last month, but the day I visited the warehouse was already buzzing with the sounds of industry. It’s only the third shop of its kind in the United States—joining the original TechShop in Menlo Park, Calif., and a recent addition in Durham, N.C.—but the Portland branch is growing fast, with 110 members so far… echShop’s newest idea—a Tonka Toy wet dream called “Dig It” that would let people take control of a giant construction machine and go nuts in the open field. After a quick tutorial I found myself at the controls of a 9,500-pound mini-excavator. Pushing the accelerator farther than someone with no qualifications should, I steered into a field and proceeded to dig, yes, a really big hole…”

32. Honda's U3-X unicycle really for robots http://news.cnet.com/8301-17912_3-10360718-72.html “…Honda on Wednesday unveiled the U3-X, a stool with a unique directional wheel system that allows it to travel diagonally, as well as right, left, forward, and backward. It's basically a robotic unicycle…Like the Segway, the U3-X is more about showing off an engineering breakthrough than selling an actual product. In this case, Honda contributes to the ongoing discourse on mobility among roboticists. The legs vs. wheels debate among roboticists has been going on for years. A third option, the tank tread system, has been introduced in recent years…”

33. Build a Better Bulb for a $10 Million Prize http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/technology/25bulb.html “…Philips, the Dutch electronics giant…submitted the first entry for the L Prize, an Energy Department contest that will award up to $10 million to the first person or group to create a new energy-sipping version of the most popular type of light bulb used in America…Testing of the Philips lamp will take close to a year to complete as the department independently evaluates the company’s claims…The L Prize has garnered significant attention in the lighting industry because 60-watt incandescent lamps represent 50 percent of all the lighting in the United States, with 425 million sold each year…”

34. Fast interfaces overlap at IDF http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=220200127 The buzz in fast interconnects at the Intel Developer Forum was supposed to be around SuperSpeed USB, the 3.0 version of the omnipresent interface coming to systems in 2010. But…Intel decided to roll out Light Peak, the next next big thing in fast interconnects. The 5 GHz USB 3.0 still got plenty of attention with a dozen chip, system and software vendors showing working products with throughput up to 250 Mbytes/second. But the 10 Gbit/second optical Light Peak captured people's imaginations—especially when Intel said it would have discrete controllers for it in 2010, perhaps even before it supports USB 3.0 in its chip sets. Light Peak could be thought of as a USB 4.0++ because it can carry any protocol…” [http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10360047-264.html ]

35. ARM attacks Atom with 2GHz A9 http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/09/arm-attacks-atom-with-2ghz-a9-can-servers-be-far-behind.ars “…ARM…took a major step last week in bringing the fight back to Intel by boosting its Cortex A9 processor up into Atom territory…ARM announced the availability of IP for a 2GHz dual-core A9 processor on TSMC's 40nm process, which the company claims will offer massively more performance than Atom within a smaller power envelope… Unfortunately for ARM's netbook ambitions, Linux is the only netbook OS that matters that runs on ARM, and the jury's still out on whether it can really take on Windows 7. As for Windows on ARM, it just ain't gonna happen, ever…Given that even the most insanely power-efficient, Atom-smashing 2GHz ARM netbook product is going to be relegated to whatever netbook niche Linux can carve out for it, it's worth asking what sort of future there is for such a high-powered ARM part…The only thing that makes the technique feasible from a performance per dollar perspective is the fact that Intel charges a fat premium for its higher-end server chips. Avoiding that premium is the sole reason that anyone would even consider using board-level integration…instead of die-level integration…any four-core ARM desktop or server processor that shoots at a similar absolute performance target as a four-core Nehalem processor will either look pretty much like a four-core Nehalem, or it won't hit the target…”

Leisure & Entertainment

36. Nintendo Cuts Wii's Price to $200 http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/blog/eyeonasia/archives/2009/09/nintendo_cuts_w.html “…Nintendo said that it would lower the price of its Wii video game console by $50 to $200 in the U.S…going into the crucial yearend holiday shopping period. Sony reduced the price of its…PlayStation 3 by $100 to $300 in August, sparking big sales gains. Microsoft also reduced the cost of the most expensive Xbox 360 model to $300…As of late June, Nintendo had sold 52.6 million Wii consoles; it expects to sell another 23.8 million by the March 2010 fiscal year end. Sony’s tally was at 23.8 million in June with another 1.19 million expected by next March. Meanwhile, Microsoft, which released the Xbox 360 in 2005, had sold 31 million consoles as of late August…”

37. Before Choosing an E-Book, Pondering the Format http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/technology/personaltech/24basics.html “…Steve Jordan, a self-published science fiction novelist…has the added burden of deciding how to deliver the stories he creates to his online audience. Some of those readers own dedicated devices like Amazon.com’s Kindle, some plow through his books on smartphones, some use laptops and maybe a few even employ desktop PCs left over from the last century. (In true sci-fi fashion, Mr. Jordan doesn’t publish his novels on paper.)…“I’m already selling six different formats on my Web site,” Mr. Jordan said. “If they have a particular format they prefer, they can usually get it from me…In the last two books I’ve put out,” Mr. Jordan said, “ePub has been the most popular format.” Amazon.com, the dominant player in electronic books, still pushes its own format for the Kindle reader. But it now also owns two companies — Mobipocket and Lexcycle — that sell e-books and reader software for smartphones…”

38. Future is TV-shaped, says Intel http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8272003.stm “…chip giant Intel…said its vision of TV everywhere will be more personal, social, ubiquitous and informative…TV will remain at the centre of our lives and you will be able to watch what you want where you want." Mr Rattner said: "We are talking about more than one TV-capable device for every man and woman on the planet…”

39. Samsung SCH-W880: 12 megapixel, 3X zoom http://dvice.com/archives/2009/09/samsung-sch-w88.php “…Samsung: the SCH-W800…socking great 12-megapixel camera with a 3G phone attached, making it a real departure from all of the talky-talk, snappy-snap hybrids we've seen over the past five years. There are proper camera controls on the body, and you get 3x zoom, HD video, HSDPA data, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, microSD slot, and, this being a phone for the Korean market, mobile TV. There's also a huge 3.3-inch AMOLED display…”

40. LucidLogix marries graphics chips that hate each other http://games.venturebeat.com/2009/09/22/lucidlogix-technologies-launching-chip-to-tie-graphics-chips-together-in-a-pc/ The graphics chip market is an exclusive club with only a few big members: Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia. But Israeli startup LucidLogix Technologies hopes to break into the club with its innovative Hydra 200 chip. That chip enables a game or other program to take advantage of all of the 3-D graphics chips in a computer, even if those graphics chips are different types or come from different vendors…”

41. Top 10 Unanswered Questions in Geeky Movies http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/09/top-10-unanswered-questions-in-geeky-movies/ Even the best movies ever made leave unanswered questions in their wake. Some refer to these as “plot holes,” but why not give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt? Maybe they had a perfectly reasonable explanation in mind, and simply… forgot to include it in the movie…here is GeekDad’s list of the ten best unanswered questions from geeky movies…”

Economy and Technology

42. A123 IPO charges car battery market http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/24/news/companies/a123_ipo/ “…A123 Systems…raised $380 million through an initial public offering… It was founded in 2001 with a $100,000 grant from the Department of Energy, and now has facilities in 10 countries. The firm has around 1,700 employees, mostly located abroad…The firm recently won a $250 million grant from the federal government to build a production facility outside Detroit - the second largest grant awarded in a recent $2.4 billion round of stimulus-related funding. The factory will complement production facilities the company already has in Asia. And Asia is probably the biggest reason A123 is so closely watched…The public offering, planned over a year ago but delayed after the market meltdown, comes as the stock market rebound continues and public offerings are again in fashion…it has yet to turn a profit, although that's not uncommon for tech startups. The firm lost over $40 million in the first half of 2009 on sales of just under $43 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2008, the company lost over $80 million on sales of $68.5 million. While many analysts see electric cars as the next dominant transportation technology, that future is by no means guaranteed…The company's biggest projects currently include a deal with BAE Systems for bus batteries, a project with Black and Decker for power tool batteries, and a deal with Mercedes-Benz's HighPerformanceEngines…” [http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2009/09/25/ipo_fuels_prospects_of_battery_makers/ ]

43. Is Twitter Worth a Billion Bucks? http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep2009/tc20090924_956402.htm “…reports emerged on Sept. 24 that the microblogging service was close to securing $100 million in funding that valued the company at $1 billion…a billion dollars for a company with virtually no revenue recalls the excesses of the dot-com era. The logic behind Twitter's valuation comes straight from the very same school. It views Twitter less as a single company than as the base for a whole realm of communication and data. "It is an increasingly important platform for business and consumers," says Seth Levine, managing director of Foundry Group. The bet, quite simply, is that Twitter can become enormous—a rich new source of business intelligence, a channel to reach targeted consumers around the world, and a hothouse for marketing and news startups. The risk, of course, is that Twitter may stall along the way and be remembered in a couple of years as a quirky fad…”

44. Playfish is taking the online gaming industry into uncharted waters http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article6829844.ece “…when Sebastien de Halleux and three friends founded Playfish in 2007, they found an intriguing way to side-step the set-up costs. They used the internet as their storage space and distribution platform. Since then Playfish has grown to become one of the world’s leading providers of games that are played on social networking sites such as Facebook. Its most popular game, Pet Society, attracts 16 million players a month — more than even World of Warcraft…We have no servers of our own. We run off the cloud. Everything from our business services like e-mail to our commercial services that actually run our games are all hosted on the cloud. This makes us a nimble operation…its games, which also include Country Story, are free to play. It makes money by selling inexpensive accessories or add-ons within the games, paid for online by micropayments…We allow people to buy additional items within the games, which they then show to their friends. The social connection is a powerful driver of the virtual goods model for us…The only thing apparently hampering Playfish’s growth is a lack of a reliable, global micropayment system. Mr de Halleux said: “The current e-commerce sites have been customised for the West, whether it’s Amazon or eBay, and they’re designed primarily for higher-ticket items like electronics or books. “Today, with the sort of global audience that Facebook makes addressable, we have a payment problem that really spans the globe…”

45. Shanda Games Falls in First Day of New York Trading http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aEXIJSlbRtXE Shanda Games Ltd. fell in its first day of trading in New York after the unit of China’s biggest online games provider raised $1.04 billion in the largest U.S. initial share sale this year. Shanda Games…dropped 2.5 percent to $12.19 at 11:24 a.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market trading…Shanda Games increased first-half profit 75 percent as it attracted more players with games such as MIR 2 and Aion in the world’s biggest online market…”

46. Newegg files for IPO http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/28/neweggs-ipo-filing-reveals-the-financials-behind-a-2-billion-electronics-retailer/ “…Electronics retailer Newegg plans to raise $175 million for an IPO…retailer says that it has been profitable every year since 2001 and posted sales of $2.1 billion in 2008. Newegg’s net income increased 55 percent in 2008, to $28.4 million…while Newegg is seeing decent revenue growth, retail is tough, especially when your biggest competition is Amazon…As with any IPO, investors will be looking for growth potential and whether Newegg can expand those profit margins over time. In order to double its profits, it can either double its revenues to $4 billion or double its profit margins to match Amazon’s…”

47. Xerox buys ACS to get into services http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/28/ma-binge-continues-as-xerox-buys-acs-to-get-into-services/ “…Xerox said today it will buy Affiliated Computer Services in a cash and stock deal valued at $6.4 billion…the copier giant will now expand into services such as collecting tolls and installing computer systems in government agencies…Xerox will now join battle with HP in print managed services, something that HP expanded into with its $13 billion acquisition of EDS last year. It will also take on IBM global services as well as Dell, which last week bought Perot Systems for $3.9 billion…”

48. Red Hat Profit Rises 37% http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125379354205337405.html Red Hat Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter profit jumped 37% as the company again posted better-than-expected results on growing revenue and higher margins…The open-software developer's results have held up relatively well in recent quarters, as the bulk of its revenue is recurring and subscription based…Red Hat's core Linux product is free, but the company makes its money on providing maintenance and support to corporations and large organizations who use it to operate computers…”

Civilian Aerospace

49. Student-Built Space Camera Photographs Earth, Costs $150 http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/080923-space-camera.html Two MIT students recently launched a digital camera into the stratosphere on a helium balloon, capturing amazing views of Earth from up high. The feat is impressive not just for the images, but for its budget - the entire project cost the students only $150. Oliver Yeh, an MIT senior studying computer science and electrical engineering, and Justin Lee, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, lofted the camera Sept. 2 from Sturbridge, Mass. By tracking its location through the GPS readout of a cheap cell phone they launched along with it, the students were able to retrieve the package after it landed in Worcester about 20 miles (32 km) away…”

50. SpaceX to Launch Spaceship Prototype in New Rocket Test http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/090929-spacex-dragon-prototype.html Space Exploration Technologies…will launch a prototype of its reusable Dragon cargo capsule on the maiden flight of the Falcon 9 rocket the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company still hopes to conduct this year…Dragon is a reusable capsule SpaceX has been developing under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program since 2006 to carry cargo to the international space station…”

51. Solar power from outer space http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/09/26/plans-for-solar-power-from-outer-space-move-forward/ A California technology startup is rapidly pushing forward with plans to build the first space-based solar power station to beam 200 megawatts of electricity back to Earth via microwaves to a receiving station near Fresno. The firm, Solaren Space, has been pushing for space-based power since 2001 and it secured a Power Producing Agreement with PG&E Corp.in April 2009. PG&E…hasn't put any money into the project but its willingness to sign shows that Solaren must be doing something interesting…”

52. Founder of Cirque du Soleil heads to ISS http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/090928-laliberte-space-clown.html Former circus performer Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil…launches to space Wednesday…headed for the International Space Station…has dedicated his flight to publicizing global water issues through a creative performance to be broadcast from orbit…reportedly paying about $35 million for the spaceflight. Liftoff is set for 3:14 a.m. EDT (0714 GMT) Wednesday. Laliberte will spend about 12 days in space…”

53. SpaceX Navigation Sensor Demonstrated on Space Shuttle http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090925005578&newsLang=en “…Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces the successful demonstration of a proximity sensor, called DragonEye, on NASA’s STS-127 shuttle mission…in preparation for future visits by SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft…DragonEye, a Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensor, has undergone flight system trials aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour…DragonEye LIDAR system provides three-dimensional images based on the amount of time it takes for a single laser pulse from the sensor to the reach a target and bounce back, providing range and bearing information from the Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. DragonEye will make its operational debut on the final flight of the Dragon spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, where the spacecraft will demonstrate the ability to berth with the ISS…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

54. Bloomberg Uses GPUs to Speed Up Bond Pricing http://www.wallstreetandtech.com/advancedtrading/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=220200055 “…Each night, Bloomberg calculates pricing for 1.3 million hard-to-price asset-backed securities such as collateralized mortgage obligations (including cash flows, key rate duration and such). Since 1996, the market news giant has performed these calculations — single-factor stochastic models based on Monte Carlo simulations — on a farm of Linux servers in its data centers in New York and New Jersey…In 2005, Bloomberg released a more precise two-factor model that calibrates itself to the current volatility surface…This model was more expensive to run and we ran it when people asked for it…Bloomberg considered scaling up its Linux farm to accommodate this customer demand. "It turned out that in order to compute everything within that eight-hour window, we would need to go from 800 cores to 8,000 cores," Edwards. "That's a lot of servers, about 1,000…A programmer on Edwards' staff suggested trying to run the models on graphics processing units…That programmer now runs the team of technologists that work on the bond pricing system. Bloomberg went live in 2009 running its two-factor models on a farm of traditional servers paired with nVidia Tesla GPUs. Instead of having to scale up to 1,000 servers, Bloomberg is using 48 server/GPU pairs…”

55. GPU computing at Harvard http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/09/harnessing-fun-for-serious-science/ “…Lincoln Greenhill…together with U.S., Australian, and Indian colleagues, is…building a revolutionary radio telescope — 8,000 antennas spread across 1.5 kilometers of desert — deep in the Australian outback. The antennas will generate so much data, however, that without a new kind of computing, running at faster speeds while requiring lower power, the project would be impossible…Greenhill’s Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is one of a trio of projects at Harvard whose massive computing needs have prompted investigators to join forces to pioneer new computing techniques that will benefit not just radio astronomy, but quantum chemistry and neuroscience as well. The three projects have come together in an effort called “SciGPU” (www.scigpu.org)...GPUs were developed over the past two decades as manufacturers sought ways to speed up computers as they manipulated ever-larger and more-detailed computer graphics imagery – first computer animations and then also videos…The explosion of the video game industry in the 1990s and 2000s drove the development of ever-more-complex GPUs…two important events made GPU computing practical today. In the late 1990s, the first programmable GPU was developed, and roughly two years ago, the programming language to program it, called CUDA, was released by video card manufacturer Nvidia Corp…”

56. Supercomputers Often Run Outdated Software http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Supercomputers-Often-Run/8184/ “…Supercomputers keep breaking records for processing speed, but software to operate them has not kept up with that increasingly zippy hardware…Codes are still being used from the 1960s," said Ed Seidel, director of the National Science Foundation's office of cyberinfrastructure…Attendees at the meeting said one of the most popular computer languages used to create programs for supercomputers is Fortran, which went out of style among conventional programmers decades ago and is rarely even taught in college computer-science departments today…”


NEW NET Issues List for 22 Sep 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 22 September 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. White House unveils cloud computing initiative http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10353479-52.html “…federal CIO Vivek Kundra unveiled the administration's first formal efforts to roll out a broad system designed to leverage existing infrastructure and in the process, slash federal spending on information technology…the federal government today has an IT budget of $76 billion, of which more than $19 billion is spent on infrastructure alone….the government "has been building data center after data center," resulting in an environment in which the Department of Homeland Security alone, for example, has 23 data centers…this has resulted in a doubling of federal energy consumption from 2000 to 2006. "We cannot continue on this trajectory," Kundra said…As an example of what's possible with cloud computing, Kundra pointed to a revamping of the General Services Administration's USA.gov site. Using a traditional approach to add scalability and flexibility, he said, it would have taken six months and cost the government $2.5 million a year. But by turning to a cloud computing approach, the upgrade took just a day and cost only $800,000 a year…”

2. Firefox use reaches critical mass; Skype reigns in IM http://www.infoworld.com/d/applications/firefox-use-reaches-critical-mass-skype-reigns-in-im-049 “…Mozilla's Firefox Web browser has finally reached critical mass. There are now more users running some variant of Firefox (50.6 percent) than not running it…Internet Explorer remains strong, with nearly 84 percent of users running the Web browser regularly…Google's Chrome continues to make inroads, with 16 percent of users running the browser at least occasionally. As with Firefox, this growth comes in spite of Internet Explorer's continued dominance: Fully 12 percent of users run both the Microsoft and Google Web browsers on their systems. In fact, among users of the three top Web browsers, only 15 percent run either Firefox or Chrome exclusively. Everyone else appears to run them in addition to, as opposed to in place of, Internet Explorer…Skype finally surpassed…MSN Messenger as the most widely deployed IM/VoIP client software for Windows PCs.”

3. Skype Founders Sue eBay http://gigaom.com/2009/09/16/skype-founders-sue-ebay-big-surprise/ “…the $2 billion bid from the Silver Lake consortium…has dealt with the litigation risk is by persuading eBay to assume 50 percent of any losses resulting from the lawsuit. But that still doesn’t mitigate against the possibility that the founders could win the lawsuit — and put their creation, Skype, out of business…there is no love lost among eBay management, the Skype founders and some of the investors in the consortium that’s trying to acquire it. Zennstrom and Friis were rebuffed by eBay management when they expressed interest in buying back Skype…When eBay bought Skype in 2005, it didn’t acquire Joltid — a major corporate blunder by then-eBay management. Many of the guys who spearheaded the acquisition (and overlooked the fact that they needed to buy the core technology) long ago left the company. Still, as I’ve said before, eBay needs to be held responsible for this clear negligence of its duties…”

4. Taming Your Digital Distractions http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/technology/personaltech/17basics.html Is there any human invention more duplicitous than the personal computer?...Sure, you could use your PC to analyze stats for the annual sales report due in two days…You get to your PC every morning with hours of productive time ahead of you. Next thing you know, it’s 5 p.m. and you’ve frittered the day away on Digg, Hulu, Wikipedia and your fantasy football league. And no wonder — how can anyone expect to get anything done when you’re plying your trade on one of the most distracting machines ever invented?...During the last few weeks, I’ve been using a slate of programs to tame these digital distraction …”

5. MS Office Web Apps technical preview http://news.cnet.com/8301-19882_3-10355890-250.html Microsoft has finally started to open up its Web-based versions of Office apps to early testers. Thursday we got access to a "technical preview" of Excel and PowerPoint on the Web (not, notably, Word). The obvious comparison that will be made is to Google Docs…Office Web Apps is a fundamentally different product from Google Docs. The apps run more slowly than the lightweight online Google productivity apps, but Microsoft will offer more features and commonality with the desktop apps…Office Web Apps doesn't work on Google's Chrome browser. That's a shame, since for Web apps (as opposed to more-static sites), I have found Chrome to be a faster and thus more usable platform than Firefox or Internet Explorer…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Why virus writers are turning to open source http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10356421-83.html “…By giving criminal coders free access to malware that steals financial and personal details, the malicious software developers are hoping to expand the capabilities of old Trojans. According to Candid W?est, threat researcher with security firm Symantec, around 10 percent of the Trojan market is now open source…”

7. Facebook to end Beacon tracking tool in settlement http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iHu1jUmbDqb2SuYZV2Zd3DSqYSbAD9AS1IO80 Facebook is shutting down its much-maligned Beacon marketing program, launched nearly two years ago amid fanfare only to generate a storm of privacy complaints over the tracking of user activities at partner Web sites. Facebook agreed to end Beacon and create a foundation to promote online privacy, safety and security as part of a $9.5 million settlement in a lawsuit over the program…”

8. Gaming Mouse-maker Razer Hit With Infected Firmware http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090922/tc_pcworld/gamingmousemakerrazerhitwithinfectedfirmware Gamers trying to update their mouse or keyboard drivers from accessory maker Razer USA's Web site recently may have gotten more than they bargained for. That's because the company's computers appear to have been hacked, and its support site used to spread malicious Trojan horse programs, according to Rik Ferguson, a researcher with Trend Micro. After hearing comments from concerned customers, Trend researchers took a look at Razer's drivers. They downloaded 8 infected drivers, and immediately contacted Razer. "They immediately took the site offline…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

9. UC Berkeley researchers bring fluorescent imaging to mobile phones for low-cost screening in the field http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/07/21_cellscope.shtml Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are proving that a camera phone can capture far more than photos of people or pets at play. They have now developed a cell phone microscope, or CellScope, that not only takes color images of malaria parasites, but of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers…We can take advantage of these mobile networks to bring low-cost, easy-to-use lab equipment out to more remote settings…”

10. Microsoft focusing on mobile search http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Microsoft-Bing-Still-Has-Room-to-Grow-Says-Exec-370998/ “…In the weeks following Bing's June 3 rollout, Microsoft had pushed the search engine in the U.S. marketplace with a massive ad campaign estimated at between $80 million and $100 million…Microsoft made incremental gains in the search-engine space in August, with 10.7 percent of U.S. online searches. By comparison, Yahoo and Google had 16 percent and 64.6 percent…We've internalized what Google has been saying over the past few years, which is they see mobile search as one of the biggest areas," Songhurst said…Bing faces a similar uphill battle for market-share against Google in the mobile-search space, however…Google owns 52.5 percent of the mobile-search space, with Yahoo coming in second at 22.6 percent and Microsoft at 8.0 percent…” [ http://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2009/09/15/microsoft-exec-describes-search-ad-strategy.aspx -- “…July results on worldwide search engine use…Microsoft held fourth place with 2.9 percent search use, just behind the Baidu Chinese search engine. Google's lead was 67.5 percent, and Yahoo held the No. 2 position with 7.8 percent search use…”]

11. Why You Can’t Get a Good Phone With Verizon http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/09/verizon-smartphones/ “…Why does the U.S. carrier known for the best network have the worst smartphones?...They recognize they don’t have compelling devices right now but feel they can make up for it with network quality…Verizon’s extremely conservative approach to new handsets, the company’s long and rigorous testing procedures and its emphasis on the network rather than the phone has created a portfolio that’s a complete buzz kill…They can’t get the iPhone right now and they can’t take Nokia devices…All they can do all they can do is push the BlackBerry as hard as they can and hope for a new Motorola phone…”

12. Palm Axes Windows Mobile Phones http://www.informationweek.com/news/personal_tech/smartphones/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=220001048 “…smartphone maker Palm said Thursday that it will abandon the Windows Mobile platform for its devices in favor of its own webOS mobile operating system. "We've made the decision to dedicate all future development resources to the evolution of webOS," said Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein, in a conference call with investors, according to numerous industry blogs. "Going forward, our roadmap will include only Palm webOS-based devices,"…the company on Thursday reported a quarterly net loss of $161.1 million, compared to a loss of $39.5 million for the same period a year ago…”

13. Intel's Not-So-Mighty Atom http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/1005/technology-intel-atom-chips-digital-tools.html “…Netbooks are extremely popular right now, on account of their being smaller, lighter and (mostly) cheaper than their full-notebook cousins…The weight savings is accomplished by using smaller screens and omitting features like optical drives…the Atom…chip turns out to be the cause of most of the netbook's problems…the Atom family of chips…draw fewer than 10 watts of power. That's a tenth of the power drain of recent-issue Pentiums for the desktop. The lower wattage means a cooler device that lasts longer when running off a battery. It also means the chip doesn't have as much oomph…the atom is only good at doing a few things at a time. I have it do my browser and a few IM clients. I'm able to use my browser for almost all of my work…the Atom chip simply isn't up to the demands placed on it by a full-fledged Windows Vista computer doing business in today's Web world. Tasks are stuck in molasses; things that used to happen in the blink of an eye, such as switching windows or opening applications, now take one, two, even three beats. Internet Explorer's windows routinely freeze up on me. YouTube and Hulu videos are often stuttering and jerky; games like Flight Simulator are a joke…”

14. Apple iPod touch (3rd Generation) http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2352686,00.asp “…The third generation of iPod touches looks identical to the 2nd generation models, but the capacities and prices are improved: 8GB ($199), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399). There's no built-in video camera, as had been rumored, which is a bit of a surprise, considering the less-expensive and much-tinier nano got one…Measuring 4.3 by 2.4 by 0.3-inches (HWD) and weighing in at 4.1 ounces, the device is, as always, dominated by its luscious 3.5-inch glass touch-screen. With a 480-by-320 resolution, the display is the best in the business…There's no Wireless N support yet—the 3rd generation touch is 802.11b/g Wi-Fi only…the company claims that the 32GB and 64GB versions of the device are 50 percent faster than the previous iteration (the 8GB touch doesn't get the hardware upgrade). Also, the higher capacity models include support for OpenGL ES Version 2.0, which lets developers create games and apps with better graphics…There's still no support for Flash, which is a feature I'd gladly trade for the slight speed boost…”

Open Source

15. System Rescue - My Favorite LiveCD http://ardchoille42.blogspot.com/2009/09/system-rescue-my-favorite-livecd.html “…One of the things I love about GNU/Linux is the existence of LiveCD's. A live CD or live DVD is a CD or DVD containing a bootable computer operating system. Live CDs are unique in that they have the ability to run a complete, modern operating system on a computer lacking mutable secondary storage, such as a hard disk drive. Live USB flash drives are similar to live CDs, but often have the added functionality of automatically and transparently writing changes back to their bootable medium…My favorite LiveCD is System Rescue CD. System Rescue is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash…”

16. Set Up A Simple High-Availability Web Server For A Small Company Using Debian Lenny http://www.howtoforge.com/set-up-a-simple-high-availability-web-server-for-a-small-company-using-debian-lenny “…This tutorial was written for the Debian Lenny distribution and supposes that the user has knowledge about what load balancing is and some basic skills of Linux, our two load balancers consist out of 2 machines that monitor each other [heartbeat], if the master stops responding the secondary one [Backup] will take the master role [Backup -> Master]. For this setup, we will need 3 IP addresses, 2 for each node and one virtual IP address that will be used by the master node (master node will catch this IP). At the end we will install Apache as our web server…”

17. Anonymous browsing on Android http://www.h-online.com/open/Anonymous-browsing-on-Android-Update--/news/114243 A group of developers at the Digital Technology Group (DTG), formerly the Laboratory for Communication Engineering (LCE), at the University of Cambridge have released two Android applications that allow users to browse the web anonymously using The Onion Router. The Onion Router, commonly referred to as Tor, is free software designed to provide internet anonymity to users while browsing online. It does this by bouncing the communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers from all around the world, preventing visited sites from learning a users physical location…”


18. Google Acquires reCAPTCHA to Fight Spam and Improve Google Books OCR http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_acquires_recaptcha.php Google just announced that it has acquired reCAPTCHA…Google, of course, isn't so much interested in owning software that can generate CAPTCHAs…but is looking at reCAPTCHA as a way to improve the optical character recognition (OCR) software it uses for large scale text scanning projects like Google Books and the Google News Archive Search...reCAPTCHA is currently in use on over 100,000 websites to prevent spam and fraud. the reCAPTCHA team, which is currently based at Carnegie Mellon University, will join Google…”

19. Google Acquired a Crowd Computer http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2009-09-17-n65.html “…reCaptcha technology might have been feasible to duplicate for Google, but the installed existing user base for reCaptcha is possibly the actual gold Google was after. ReCaptcha mentions they’re serving 30 million Captchas daily and that generally, people spend roughly 10 seconds on a captcha – that’s quite some human computing power Google snapped up there…At reCaptcha…you’ll always be presented with two, not just one words…reCaptcha already knows one of the words, but wants you to help solve the other word (if enough other people solve that other word similarly, the system gains confidence that it now knows what that word reads). So you can say one word is the actual Captcha test word... while the other word deliberately spends more of your time than needed for the robot test by letting you turn books into text. It’s these extra seconds that you spend solving the…unknown word that make up the CPU of that crowd computer Google now owns…There are other puzzles out there which are tough for today’s AIs, but easy for humans, which might benefit a Google project…calling 1-800-GOOG-411 allows US users to say what business they are looking for and to be then connected with that business, but the reason Google really did this, according to Google’s Marissa Mayer, was to “to build a great speech-to-text model ... that we can use for all kinds of different things, including video search…”

20. Google Chrome 3.0 Still Isn't Ready for Business http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/172219/google_chrome_30_still_isnt_ready_for_business.html “…I have been a huge fan of Chrome since it came out last September…it's still not quite ready to take center stage as the browser of choice for business. Although its performance and clean, intuitive interface make it a joy to use, its lack of mainstream support limits its usefulness in the office…browser performance can be just as important as operating system performance, because most of us spend hours a day in the browser. When Chrome hit the browser stage last year, it sparked a welcome performance race between all major browsers…of the four leading browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome), Chrome has the least support from developers…while Flash 10 is supported on Chrome with XP and Vista, it is not with Windows 7, Windows 2000, or Windows Server. There are tons of other Web applications out there, such as SalesForce.com, in which Chrome might actually work, but the developer is not yet committed to officially supporting it…”

21. Google's Android 1.6 Donut Is Ready http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Googles-Android-16-Donut-is-Ready-For-Developer-Consumption-549364/ Google released Android 1.6, the Donut release, to programmers. The build supports CDMA with new telephony APIs, as well as QVGA and WVGA screen resolutions to enable greater application coverage on more Android devices. The new Quick Search Box lets users search their phones for contacts and applications from a search widget on the home screen. Another perk is the text-to-speech engine, which could help Android smartphones better compete…Android apps will be able to voice what users text into their smartphones. Voice-enabling applications are becoming a huge deal, particularly in the wake of the popularity of Google's Voice Search technology, which lets users speak into their Android and Apple iPhone smartphones to find search results…” [Google needs to collaborate with developers of the top iPhone apps and convince/pay them to develop the same apps for Android or work with someone else to develop similar apps for Android.]

General Technology

22. AMD sub-$100 quad cores: mainstream transition from dual core CPUs? http://www.dailytech.com/AMD+First+With+Quad+Core+CPUs+Under+100/article16267c.htm “…AMD is introducing two new quad core Athlon II CPUs, including the first processor below $100. Just three months ago, AMD launched its first dual-core Athlon II CPUs at similar prices. OEMs are loving this move, as they will be able to market AMD's quad cores against computers with Core 2 Duos at the same price point…these new processor launches are in preparation for the launch of Microsoft's Windows 7 on October 22, which is expected to be the catalyst for a wave of PC purchases throughout the busy Christmas shopping season. Quad core CPUs have accounted for a small percentage of CPU shipments until now because of high price premiums and lower single thread performance in games…”

23. DreamScreen tablet computer comes from HP, not Apple http://venturebeat.com/2009/09/16/the-long-awaited-dreamscreen-tablet-computer-comes-from-hp-not-apple/ Hewlett Packard has beaten Apple to the punch in coming up with a beautiful tablet-like computer. The company’s just-announced DreamScreen products represent a new category of wireless connected screens. These screens are hybrids of slate computers and digital photo displays. They’re not multitouch screen-enabled…But you can control the panels through touch-enabled controls on the border of the screen. They’re not full-fledged computers that run Microsoft’s Windows software, but you can use them to keep up with Facebook friends, view photos as they’re updated in real-time, listen to Pandora Internet radio, share Snapfish personal photos and enjoy music and photo collections that are stored on other networked computers. It’s a category of computer that is suitable for casual use by broader, mainstream audiences who might use it while browsing TV…Given Apple’s example of the iPhone, I would expect that Apple would do a multitouch screen, and maybe even the full Mac OS X operating system. But I would also expect it would cost a lot more than this HP product…”

24. Microsoft Should Give Windows 7 $30 Student Deal to Everyone http://www.pcworld.com/article/172187/why_microsoft_should_give_30_student_deal_to_everyone.html “…Microsoft today announced a Windows 7 discount for college and university students -- and the deal's a doozy. In the U.S., for instance, students will pay just $30 for Win 7 Home Premium Upgrade if they order by January 3, 2010. The regular upgrade price is $120. Which led me to thinking: Why not extend the upgrade deal to all consumers? Here's what Microsoft could gain from such a move…”

Leisure & Entertainment

25. Winning Netflix Team Draws From AT&T, Yahoo http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/09/21/winning-netflix-team-draws-from-att-yahoo/ “…BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos took the $1 million prize in a competition that pitted 41,000 teams from 186 countries, all trying to improve Netflix’s movie-recommendation system, also known as Cinematch, by 10%. It was a goal that Netflix itself hadn’t been able to accomplish. The team formed from three existing ones that entered the contest in October 2006. Mr. Koren, a senior research scientist at Yahoo, and Chris Volinsky, director of the statistics research department at AT&T Labs Research, were part of BellKor, a three-person team that won Netflix’s first “progress prize” in 2007 for improving Cinematch by 8.43%. The following year, BellKor merged with Team Big Chaos, a pair of computer-science students from the Graz University of Technology in Austria, to capture the second $50,000 progress prize. “The success of that collaboration told us that that was a really powerful way to improve our scores,” Mr. Volinsky said…The group later added Team Pragmatic Theory, a pair of researchers who worked at Canadian telecommunications-software developer Broadsoft…”

26. Hulu Already Working On Subscription Service http://blog.streamingmedia.com/the_business_of_online_vi/2009/09/hulu-already-working-on-the-technical-requirements-for-subscription-service.html “…Rupert Murdoch and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference, indicated that one day, Hulu may indeed have a subscription based service…Hulu is already beta testing a subscription based video service internally and is working out all of the technical details for the offering…”

Economy and Technology

27. The Man Who's Beating Google http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/1005/technology-baidu-robin-li-man-whos-beating-google.html Robin Li has built the most popular search site for the world's biggest audience--in China. That's round one in epic battle…In a decade he has transformed Baidu from a handful of employees putting in sweat equity to an enterprise with 7,000 workers and a market value of $12.8 billion. Li's…Baidu stake is worth an estimated $2.1 billion…Baidu has captured a huge slice, each month racking up 8 billion searches and 145 million unique visitors…making it the most popular non-U.S. site in the world…While Baidu has a 2-to-1 lead in China, Google ( GOOG - news - people ) has been steadily winning eyeballs there…If Google isn't the leader there, will it really be the leading search company in the world?…”

28. Can Amazon Be Wal-Mart of the Web? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/business/20amazon.html “…Fifteen years after Jeffrey P. Bezos founded the company as an online bookstore, Amazon is set to cross a significant threshold. Sometime later this year, if current trends continue, worldwide sales of media products — the books, movies and music that Amazon started with — will be surpassed for the first time by sales of other merchandise on the site. (That transition already occurred this year in its North American business.) In other words, in an increasingly digital age, Amazon is quickly becoming the world’s general store. Alongside the books and CDs and DVDs are diapers, Legos and power drills, not to mention replacement car clutches and more arcane items like the Jackalope Buck taxidermy mount…”

29. Dell to Buy Perot Systems for Services http://gigaom.com/2009/09/21/dell-to-buy-perot-systems-for-services/ “…Dell said today it would pay $3.9 billion to purchase IT services company Perot Systems in a deal designed to help the computer giant compete as the business of supplying computer hardware becomes more entwined with offering services — from unified computing packages to fully-formed computing clouds. The industry has long criticized Dell for its poor services capabilities when compared with competitors such as IBM or HP…Peter Altabef, the current chief executive of Perot, will stay on to run Dell’s services business. The acquired company was founded in 1988 by Ross Perot, who twice ran for U.S. president. As part of this push to meld computing gear and services, HP last year purchased EDS, an IT services company that was also founded by Ross Perot…”

30. Oracle's Larry Ellison says Sun losing $100 million a month http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_13391182 “…Declaring that Sun Microsystems is losing $100 million a month, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison expressed frustration Monday over an extended European anti-trust review that has delayed his plans to acquire the struggling computer-maker. But he also told a Silicon Valley audience that he expects the deal will eventually win approval. "The longer this takes, the more money Sun is going to lose, and that's not good for anybody…”

Civilian Aerospace

31. 2009 Lunar Lander Challenge: Level 2 -- Done! http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/Armadillo/Home/News?news_id=367 “…module vehicles fly so much nicer than the quads -- the control authority is much better, they don't have propellant trim issues, and they have slosh baffles inside the tanks. We also knew that the new "amateur rocketry regulations" were due to come into force this year, which would allow us to fly in many more areas than the experimental permits we had been getting would…We had 15 full loads on the super mod before our Lunar Lander Challenge attempt…nearly three million pound-seconds of delivered impulse from the vehicle, not even counting the previous flights as a normal module. That is around $30,000 in direct testing costs…We got the fuel and lox loaded, but when we were nearing completion of the helium fill, Russ noticed that there was a leak from the high pressure servo valve packing. Fifteen previous flights had never seen one. This was tense, because not only was the contest timer ticking, but our lox was also boiling off at about three pounds a minute, so if we had a 15 minute delay, I would be very worried about running out of lox while over the pad. TODO: valve stem leakage is a chronic problem, we need a better torque spec and locking mechanism…We had had a power outage at the hangar. It hadn't effected the laptop that I run the main flight control program on, but it must have also interrupted the wireless radio that communicated with the rocket. If that had happened during the flight, the vehicle would have gone into an auto-land from wherever it was. TODO: get a UPS for everything at mission control…this flight was completely nominal, and the terminal guidance also worked properly, so I landed one foot from the center. The offload procedure was also completely nominal. We had a half hour to spare…” [This detailed description by John Carmack of real-life NewSpace development work shows how easy it is for things to go wrong when procedures and products are continually being improved/changed. NewSpace products and procedures may need to bring back reasonable engineering safety factors or margins of error.]

32. Team Selenokhod Enters $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition http://www.xprize.org/media-center/press-release/team-selenokhod-enters-30m-google-lunar-x-prize-competition “…Team Selenokhod, a Russian group of engineers and managers, announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE - a $30 million competition that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch to the moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks as outlined in the competition’s official rules. Team Selenokhod, headquartered in Moscow, Russia with ten group members, is among 20 teams from 44 countries that are competing for their share of the $30 million prize purse…”

33. MIT students spend only $150 to snap stunning photos from near-space http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/sep/21/mit-students-budget-space-photographs “…Oliver Yeh spent less than $150 (£93) on a secondhand camera, a GPS-enabled mobile phone, a weather balloon and a polystyrene coolbox which he launched from a field in Massachusetts as part of a science project. The result was a time-lapse array of stunning photographs from the edge of space that could easily have come from Nasa, with its $17bn annual budget. Yeh, a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, enlisted two friends to help with Project Icarus, which he dreamed up to prove that it was possible to reach the upper levels of the atmosphere even on a tight budget…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

34. SGI Makes Leap Into 'Personal Supercomputing' http://www.hpcwire.com/features/SGI-Makes-Leap-Into-Personal-Supercomputing-60079687.html “…SGI's move into mini-clusters parallels Cray's entry into the market last year with the CX1. Like Cray's machine, Octane III is aimed at technical computing users in need of more power than a workstation, but looking for the same sort of turnkey user experience. Pricing looks to be in the same general range. Cray's minimally-configured CX1-LC starts at under $12,000, while SGI's base configuration for the Octane III starts at $7,995. The idea is to give workstation users a comfortable path to HPC, and establish a larger base of users upon which to grow the market…The graphics workstation comes with a single dual-socket, quad-core 5500 CPU and a choice of high-end NVIDIA GPUs: the Quadro FX1800, FX3800, FX4800, FX5800 for visualization, or the Tesla C1060 for GPGPU accelerated applications. Memory capacity tops out at 144 GB…”

35. Parallel Programming: I Told You So http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7526 “…First, parallel computing is hard and second we need to re-think how we do things. This opinion is shared by virtually everyone who has worked in HPC over the years. The prognosis is not that great either. Take a look at Greg Pfister’s blog where he writes about comments like Parallelism Needs a Killer Application…In a similar vein, Mike Wolfe of The Portland Group (producers of excellent optimizing compilers) writes in HPCwire about the recent OpenCL fanfare. His article entitled Compilers and More: OpenCL Promises and Potential provides a fair assessment of OpenCL. I like to think of these articles as “buckets of cold water thrown on the masses”…”

36. NextComputing Announces High-Density Stream Computing Server http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NextComputing-Announces-High-Density-Stream-Computing-Server-59548257.html NextComputing, manufacturers of high-performance, portable workstations and servers, announces the NextStream, a high-density stream computing server…the NextStream is best suited to mission-critical applications requiring high-throughput data streaming and/or a mix of traditional CPU processing and GPU parallel processing…”