NEW NET Issues List for 30 Mar 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the Wednesday, 30 March 2010, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel, 3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA near Ballard Road and Highway 41. Cambria Suites has free wifi and has an assortment of food and beverages.

The ‘net

1. Are You Ready for the New, Easier Wikipedia? http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/are_you_ready_for_the_new_easier_wikipedia.php Wikipedia, the online user-created encyclopedia and the number six website on the Internet today, is about to get a makeover…the upcoming Wikipedia redesign, due to launch April 5, aims to make the site easier to navigate, easier to search and, perhaps most importantly, easier to edit. The upcoming design called "Vector" has been in use over the past six months by a group of 500,000 beta testers. Included in the update are changes like simplified navigation, a relocated search box, clutter reduction and even an updated Wikipedia logo. Also, all English Wikipedia users will soon be able to create PDFs and printed books from Wikipedia articles, a service previously available only to logged-in users…the most interesting change is how Wikipedia is making the page edit functions easier. A new toolbar will be provided which lets editors more easily insert links and tables, and an included cheatsheet will help users access the most commonly used functions…”

2. Verizon winds down expensive FiOS expansion http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100326/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_verizon_fios If Verizon Communications Inc. hasn't already started wiring your city or town with its FiOS fiber-optic TV and broadband service, chances are you won't get it…its entry into an area leads to lower cable prices, though FiOS itself has not been undercutting cable TV prices substantially…Verizon is nearing the end of its program to replace copper phone lines with optical fibers that provide much higher Internet speeds and TV service. Its focus is now on completing the network in the communities where it's already secured "franchises," the rights to sell TV service that rivals cable…Verizon never committed to bringing FiOS to its entire local-phone service area. It has introduced FiOS in 16 states, but the deployment is concentrated on the East Coast…Its stated goal was to make FiOS available to 18 million households by the end of 2010, and it's on track to reach or exceed that…”

3. Bing, Revisited: better, but still not a horse to bet on http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-bing-revisited-still-toast-but-slightly-less-burnt-2010-3 “…Bing's progress over the past year…has been significantly more impressive than we thought it would be when Bing launched last year…having walked through the numbers again, we remain convinced that Bing will never become a good business for Microsoft…To turn profitable on the existing cost structure, therefore, Bing has to capture 40%-50% of the U.S. search market, up from the 12% it has now. The Yahoo deal will help, but not nearly as much as most people think…Even if Bing were to capture 100% of the non-Google U.S. search market right now, in other words, Bing would have less than 35% of the market. Just as important, Bing's "owned-and-operated" share of the market would only be a measly 12%...To gain enough market share to turn profitable on its current cost structure, therefore, Bing must do the following: Capture all the share of the market that Google doesn't currently have…Convert at least 10 points of market share from "partner" site queries to "owned and operated" Bing queries. Remember, on partner sites, Microsoft only gets 1/10th of the revenue…Steal at least 10 points of market share directly from Google…The last challenge in this list, in our opinion--stealing 10 points of share directly from Google--will be the most difficult…Google will copy any interesting innovations that Bing rolls out -- and therefore neutralize Bing's attempts to gain significant market share…Can't Bing just cut its cost structure? What's wrong with making a nice living on, say, 25% of the search market? That's a nice idea, but the problem with the search market is that there are major economies of scale…We believe the reason Microsoft has built the infrastructure necessary to process 40%-50% of the U.S. search market is that Microsoft believes it needs this much share to become truly competitive with Google on relevance and revenue-per-search…We believe that the dynamics of the search market are such that it favors a natural monopoly like Google, and we just don't think Bing will be able to gain enough competitive advantage for Bing.com to grow to encompass 30% market share…” [http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Microsoft-Bing-Director-Search-Not-a-Zero-Sum-Game-Vs-Google-524808/ ]

4. Is MS Bing Trying To Kill Open Office or Is It Just Bad? http://www.katonda.com/blog/922/microsoft-bing-trying-kill-open-office “…If you try to search for OpenOffice on Bing, it will not show you the actual OpenOffice.org website but will show pages from random websites like OpenOffice.com or other non-OpenOffice.org websites. On the other hand, Google search shows OpenOffice.org as the first search result. Bing has gone to such an extent that in fact, you will not find the OpenOffice website even on the 5th page. So a Bing surfer will never land on the OpenOffice.org website…”

5. Journalism students turn to Wikipedia to publish stories http://www.ecampusnews.com/?p=30120&preview=true “…Denver journalism students are writing Wikipedia entries as part of a curriculum that stresses online writing and content creation as readers move to the web en masse…Students are leery about mentioning Wikipedia, because they might be subjected to criticism…But I tell them it’s an online source of knowledge that just has some information that might be questionable, but that doesn’t mean you have to dismiss all of [its content].” Students in the university’s Media, Film, and Journalism Studies Department have composed 24 Wikipedia articles this year, covering everything from the gold standard to San Juan Mountains to bimettalism, an antiquated monetary standard. Demont-Heinrich said the Wikipedia entries…taught students how to thoroughly research a topic before publishing to a site viewed by more than 68 million people a month…”

6. ICQ 7 Now Supports Facebook Chat http://www.allfacebook.com/2010/03/icq-7-now-supports-facebook-chat/ ICQ, who recently announced stream updates through Facebook Connect, has now gone the extra mile and integrated Facebook Chat into its client. This means that you can login to Facebook from within ICQ, and then see all your friends that are online, and then instant message chat with them…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

7. Innovation trumps digital piracy http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-12261_7-20001201-10356022.html “…director James Cameron says the key to combating digital piracy in the movie industry is to use technology to create an experience that is unmatched anywhere other than the theater…While "Avatar," Cameron's blockbuster 3D-film, has made…$2.6 billion at the box office worldwide, it is also the most pirated movie. This is despite the fact that the movie…is more than three hours long, which should make it harder to distribute via the Net. Cameron joked his next movie would be five hours long…He said the music industry made a critical mistake by trying to stop piracy instead of innovating to give consumers new experiences that the industry could use to generate more money…Cameron said he has tried to innovate to give movie goers a reason to go to theater…he discovered that people are willing to pay money to experience the same content in different ways. Not only are they willing to pay $10 or more to see Avatar on the big screen in 3D, but they also will pay to own the DVD…They want to own it, have it on a iPhone when they want it, and they want the social experience of going to the cinema. These are really different experiences. And I think they can all co-exist in the same eco-system."…people are still going to the theater to see Avatar now nearly four months after it was released…since people are still going to see the movie in the theater, they decided to release the DVD next month with the movie still playing in some cinemas. The movie will also be available soon on iTunes…”

8. Warner Bros. Hiring Students to Fight Online Movie Piracy http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/03/hey-students-snitch-on-pirate-classmates-earn-26k-a-year.ars Movie studios spying on P2P networks is a phenomenon most users suspect occurs, but have never really seen proof of. Until now, that is—Warner Bros. in the UK has published a job listing for an intern to dig through known piracy mediums in order to "gather information" and report back to the studio. For £17,500 (or US$26,000) per year, this internship sounds like the perfect opportunity for a student to learn about the ins and outs of copyright…the year-long internship would involve combing IRC networks, forums, and other P2P mediums for Warner Bros. and NBCU content…Warner also wants the intern to be able to develop bots to scan the Internet for links, send infringement notices, perform "trap purchases of pirated product," and collect "intelligence" on pirate activities…who really knows what Warner expects when it says to "gather information on pirate sites, pirate groups and other pirate activities."…TorrentFreak is already encouraging its readers to apply for the internship so they can provide updates on Warner's efforts…”

9. In response to new rules, GoDaddy to stop registering domain names in China http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/24/AR2010032401543.html GoDaddy.com, the world's largest domain name registration company…will cease registering Web sites in China in response to intrusive new government rules that require applicants to provide extensive personal data…The rules, the company said, are an effort by China to increase monitoring and surveillance of Web site content and could put individuals who register their sites with the firm at risk…In December, China began to enforce a new policy that required any registrant of a new .cn domain name to provide a color, head-and-shoulders photograph and other business identification, including a Chinese business registration number and physical, signed registration forms…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Mobile Milestone: Data Surpasses Voice Traffic http://gigaom.com/2010/03/24/mobile-milestone-data-surpasses-voice-traffic/ Mobile data bits traveling around the world outnumbered voice traffic for the first time during December of 2009…that data traffic was generated by an estimated 400 million smartphones set against 4.6 billion mobile subscribers making voice calls. What happens when everyone has a smartphone?...Data traffic grew 280 percent during each of the last two years, and Ericsson expects it to double annually over the next five…”

11. Instapaper For The iPad May Be The First Killer App http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/24/instapaper-ipad/ “…Instapaper…is one of my favorite applications, period. Between the web, the iPhone, and the Kindle, it’s easily one of my most-used apps…Arment posted a preview of Instapaper for the iPad…he went through quite a bit of trouble to tailor it for the new device…So why not just let users scale up the current iPhone version of the app? Because it looks awful, according to Arment…To be iPad-ready, Arment reworked the latest version of Instapaper (2.2) and…has made a “universal” version of the app…developers will be able to bundle iPhone/iPod touch versions with iPad versions in one package…it allows developers to charge one fee for the two different versions…”

12. Vlingo Introduces Text-reading Function for Drivers http://gigaom.com/2010/03/24/vlingo-introduces-text-reading-function-for-drivers/ Vlingo fired the latest salvo in the speech recognition wars this morning with the addition of a text-reading function for its BlackBerry application…SafeReader, a feature that reads messages aloud for drivers, eliminating the need to take their hands off the wheel…The text-to-speech feature is included in the new Vlingo 4.5 for BlackBerry, which is available free from Research In Motion’s BlackBerry App World or directly from the developer. Vlingo is vying for space in a field that includes powerful players such as Google, Nuance and Microsoft…”

13. MapQuest Brings Free Voice Navigation to the iPhone http://mashable.com/2010/03/30/mapquest-iphone/ It’s quite inevitable, really: After Google announced free turn-by-turn GPS navigation for Android devices — followed by Nokia’s decision to offer the same on its smartphones — the price of full-featured GPS navigation apps on other platforms is hurtling toward zero. Case in point: MapQuest 4 Mobile, a free GPS navigation app for the iPhone, now offers “basic voice guidance…”

14. Few Drive Well While Yakking on Phone, Yet 1 in 40 'Supertaskers' Who Can Do Both http://www.physorg.com/news189059365.html A new study from University of Utah psychologists found a small group of people with an extraordinary ability to multitask: Unlike 97.5 percent of those studied, they can safely drive while chatting on a cell phone…"supertaskers"…are so named for their ability to successfully do two things at once: in this case, talk on a cell phone while operating a driving simulator without noticeable impairment…This finding is important not because it shows people can drive well while on the phone…the vast majority cannot - but because it challenges current theories of multitasking. Further research may lead eventually to new understanding of regions of the brain…According to cognitive theory, these individuals ought not to exist…”

15. US Army meets with Apple, discusses tech for soldiers http://www.tuaw.com/2010/03/23/us-army-meets-with-apple-discusses-tech-for-soldiers/ “…Major General Nick Justice and several members of his staff traveled to Apple's Cupertino campus to discuss soldiers using Apple's products and technology in the field…He's reportedly interested in moving the Army away from the custom-built "big green box" electronics that the Army has used over the past decades…Justice wants the Army to investigate existing solutions from the commercial sector, including Apple's portable lines…One of the Army's lead computer scientists working for the Communications-Electronics Research and Development Center said, "Apple technologies offer unique and proven solutions with intuitive designs that allow users to learn quickly without a training manual…”

16. New Motion Control Patent Could Shake Up Smartphone Industry http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20100324/motion-control-a-powder-keg-in-the-mobile-patent-war/ “...Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a very broad patent on motion-based smartphone control…that could have significant implications…The patent is #7,679,604, “Method and apparatus for controlling a computer system,” and it describes motion control as a means of interacting with smartphones…Sounds quite a bit like the motion control you find today in Apple’s iPhone…Palm’s Pre…Google’s Nexus One…Motorola’s Droid…none of those companies owns patent #7,679,604. It belongs to Durham Logistics…When I contacted the Nevada Secretary of State’s office about Durham Logistics, it referred me to CSC Services of Nevada, the company that did the paperwork on Durham’s LLC status. CSC Services Of Nevada refused to provide any information. Ygomi, the company that now owns ArrayComm, the software outfit to which the patent was first assigned, doesn’t know much about it either…the lead inventor to which the patent is credited declined to comment on the record…it’s worrisome to me that a patent as broad as this exists at all, let alone that it’s in the hands of some mysterious Vegas LLC we know nothing about…Though issued just last week, the patent was filed in July 2006. And it was preceded by a nearly identical patent granted in 2004 after a 2001 application…at least two major motion-related Apple patent applications–“Movement-based interfaces for personal media device” and “Varying User Interface Element Based on Movement”–weren’t filed until October 2007. Which means that Durham Logistics could be sitting on a powder keg of a patent, one that, if allowed to stand, extends to a technology that has been widely built into today’s smartphones…”

17. The iPad in Education http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_ipad_in_education_colleges_give_ipads_to_all_incoming_students.php Seton Hill University plans to give every first year undergraduate student a 13" MacBook and an iPad. Just last month, George Fox University in Oregon also announced that it plans to give its new students a choice between a MacBook or an iPad…So far, Amazon's Kindle and other e-book readers haven't made a major dent in the textbook market and the early experiments with e-textbooks on the Kindle have been met with little success…”

Open Source

18. Ubuntu dumps the brown, introduces new theme and branding http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/03/ubuntu-dumps-the-brown-introduces-new-theme.ars Canonical has revealed the style of the new default theme that will be used in Ubuntu 10.04, the next major version of the popular Linux distribution…Ubuntu is shedding its signature brown color scheme and is adopting a new look with a palette that includes orange and an aubergine shade of purple. Ubuntu's distinctive brown look dates back to the very first version of the distribution, which was released in 2004. Although…new colors like orange gradually gained a foothold in the desktop palette, brown has been the dominant color of Ubuntu's default themes for the past five years…The theme change is part of a broader effort to redefine Ubuntu's visual identity, a move that could help make the open source desktop platform seem more professional and attractive to a mainstream audience..Although Ubuntu has made great strides in the area of usability, it has still lagged behind other distros like openSUSE in the quality of its theming and visual style…”

19. USB 3.0 - Everything you need to know http://www.thinkdigit.com/Parts-Peripherals/USB-30--Thriving-the-Vibes-of_4191.html “…we are here to give you an overview of this technology, the market availability of supported products and a look at some of the USB 3.0 devices. Let's start with a quick overview of the features of USB 3.0…Linux is now the first OS kernel to provide native support for USB 3.0, following the release of version 2.6.31 on Sept. 10, 2009! While Fedora 12, OpenSUSE 11.2, Mandriva 2010 & Ubuntu 9.10 are already backing the tech up, other distros are not far behind…”

20. Gnome Gmail Tightly Integrates Gmail Into Linux Desktops http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/03/gnome-gmail-tightly-integrates-gmail-into-linux-desktops/ “…There are workarounds to set Gmail as a default mail app in Linux, but they don’t cover right-click file sending and complex mail links. Gnome Gmail does a much better job of integrating Gmail. Download a DEB or RPM package from the site, install it, and then head to your Preferred Applications preferences…Set Gmail as your “Mail Reader”, and now it should really respond like a desktop client — on email links in every browser, when you right-click a file and select “Send to”, and with full functionality…Google Apps users, you’re not left out in the cold — hit the Configure link when you’re asked to sign into Gmail on a right-click Send To action…”

21. Why Community Projects Need CRM Too http://ostatic.com/blog/why-community-projects-need-crm-too “…customer relationship management (CRM) software…can play an important role in the health of a community project…Think of it not as "customer" relationship management, but community management software…CRMs are good for keeping contacts and conversations straight, and providing a written history of interactions…A few examples of where CRM would do a world of good: 1) Project contributors work with sponsors to put on an event…2) Tracking volunteers who can help with events…3) Wrangling press contacts…The list goes on and on…”

22. Desktop Linux: An Average User Success Story http://blog.eracc.com/2010/03/26/desktop-linux-an-average-user-success-story/ “…I often see the sentiment expressed that desktop Linux is “too hard” for the average PC user. Yet the qualification for “too hard” is usually that it is too hard to install Linux or too hard to fix problems on Linux for the average user…an average PC user will never install his own operating system…the average PC user will never diagnose and fix her own system. An average PC user is taking a “sick” PC to a local computer repair shop, or to Geek Squad at Best Buy or calling a geek friend to come fix it…Those average PC users would have zero problems using desktop Linux…Chuck is my average user desktop Linux success story. He has been so for about six years now. Chuck does not want to go back to Microsoft operating systems as he sees no benefit to that. He does see some negatives to going back though. He would have to go back to buying and installing anti-malware software and keeping that up to date. He would have to go back to worrying about malware infections through e-mail or cracked web sites…I am not there to watch over Chuck every time he opens an e-mail or browses web sites. With desktop Linux Chuck and I both know that he does not have to worry about those problems…Chuck agreed that he would never attempt to install his own operating system nor would he attempt to solve problems on his PC himself. He would call an expert for those every time…Just like he calls on an expert when his SUV needs an oil change, new tires or some repair done. Chuck is very much an average PC user. Yet, Chuck uses desktop Linux on his home PC every day to do the things he needs to do…”


23. Gmail now warns users of suspicious account activity http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9174044/Gmail_now_warns_users_of_suspicious_account_activity Google today added an alert to Gmail that warns users of the Web mail service when their account may have been hijacked. Using several criteria -- including plotting the Internet protocol (IP) address of each successful log-on -- Google determines whether to sound the alarm, which pops up at the top of a user's account and reads "Warning: We believe your account was last accessed from..." along with the location associated with the log-on. If an account is accessed from one country, then again a few hours later from a different country, Google would likely sound the alarm…"It's actually much more sophisticated than that," said Will Cathcart, a Gmail product manager. "If we determine that an IP down the block [from you] has logged into your account, and has recently logged into lots and lots of accounts, we'll display the warning." Cathcart declined to reveal details of the other factors that Google takes into account when deciding whether to trigger an access alert…”

24. Coming Soon to Gmail Chat: File Transfer http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/coming_soon_to_gmail_chat_file_transfer.php Google just announced a small…update to the chat feature in iGoogle and Orkut…You can now use the chat feature to send photos, documents and other files directly to your contacts…Google also announced that it plans to finally bring this file transfer functionality to Gmail's built-in chat feature. Right now, if you want to transfer a file to your Google contacts, you either have to email them the file or use the Google Talk desktop app…”

25. Google's Chrome Leaves Another Hackathon Unscathed http://blogs.forbes.com/firewall/2010/03/26/googles-chrome-leaves-another-hackathon-unscathed/ The Pwn2Own competition in Vancouver is a yearly demonstration of the software industry's utter inability to keep its products safe from determined hackers. This year, researchers cracked Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, and Safari in minutes, winning $10,000 each, bragging rights and the hardware those applications were running on. But more notable is the one survivor of the competition's browser category: Google's Chrome. For the second year in a row, Chrome has left the Pwn2Own competition unscathed even as all of its competitors have been compromised…” [http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20001126-245.html ]

26. Google Gigabit winners to be announced by end of year; 1,100 apply http://voices.washingtonpost.com/posttech/2010/03/google_fiber_winners_to_be_ann.html From Maui to Maine, 1,100 municipalities across the nation applied to be part of Google’s broadband fiber experiment…They sent their pitches by You Tube and organized fan pages…Some 600 applications came at the last few hours before business closing on Friday. Google said it would make the applications public…it’s unclear how the company will build it out and how much it would cost for service. But by building a network of 1 gigabit speeds, they are raising the bar for telecom and cable companies…it will choose the winning communities before the end of the year…it will review all the applications over the coming months, make site visits as they narrow down their list. But it didn’t say how many communities get their coveted 1-gigbit-to-the-home network…”

General Technology

27. Victorinox introduces unhackable Swiss Army knife with USB drive http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=13542 “…Victorinox has debuted the Secure Pro USB model, which they are dubbing as “tamper-proof” and “un-hackable.” While there have been USB keys added to previous Swiss Army knife models, this is the first edition that promises ultimate security…At a contest held in London, Victorinox was offering a £100,000 cash prize ($149,000) to a team of professional hackers if they could break into the USB drive within two hours. They failed. Some of the security layers on the Secure Pro include a thermal sensor, biometric fingerprint recognition technology and a self-destruct mechanism…It’s available in the UK now in three capacities, ranging from 8GB (£50/$74) to 32GB (£180/$268)…”

28. GM unveils electric concept car for mega-cities http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/general-motors-en-v/ General Motors sees a future where people navigate crowded cities in big Segways that look kinda like a Dyson vacuum cleaner…built with help from the über-geeks at Segway…They’re called Electric Networked Vehicles and they’re designed for cities bursting at the seams with traffic…Sixty percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030 and there will be 2 billion cars on the road. Automakers are looking for ways to build cars that pollute less and take up less space… the two-seater concepts that GM rolled out today in Shanghai with its Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industry are about one-sixth the size of a conventional car. They’re made of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and weigh just 1,000 pounds apiece. GM says you can squeeze five of them into a single parking space…There’s a motor in each wheel and a lithium-ion battery. It’s got “dynamic stabilization technology” so it can balance on two wheels, and GM says it can “literally turn on a dime.” It also says the vehicles have a range of 25 miles and a top speed of 25 mph, which it says is more than adequate for daily city driving…the EN-Vs are super-connected. They’ll use GPS, distance-sensing technology and vehicle-to-vehicle communications to ease congestion and reduce the risk of accidents…”

29. AMD Comes Roaring Back With 12-Core Magny-Cours Chips http://www.crn.com/hardware/224200566 “…Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) has something that archrival Intel (NSDQ:INTC) doesn't: a 12-core processor, part of…the company's first new server platform in years, dubbed Maranello…the five new 12-core Opterons in the initial 6100 series represent the smaller chip maker's first major advantage on core count since beating Intel to dual-core processors in 2006. Magny-Cours is a 45-nanometer processor that marks the end of the line for AMD's long-standing, DDR2-designed Socket F, which has supported successive generations of dual-core, quad-core and six-core Opteron chips since the CPU socket's introduction on Aug. 15, 2006. The eight-core and 12-core Opteron 6100 series chips use a new socket, Socket G34, that supports four DDR3 channels…The next major refresh of the Opteron lineup occurs in 2011, when AMD will transition to the 32nm fabrication process and its future Bulldozer core architecture…the new processors inlude an 88 percent increase in integer performance and a 119 percent increase in floating performance over its previous generation of six-core Istanbul chips…The move to DDR3 memory…gives AMD an edge over the current triple-channel boards from Intel on memory channels per processors…the new chips mark the transition to its long-awaited HyperTransport 3.0 technology via the chip maker's new 5600 series chipset…AMD hopes to make the most impact in…price. While prices for Intel's most powerful Xeon processors top $3,500, the priciest Opteron 6100 series chip is $1,386…”

30. NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3783 Fermi/GF100/GTX400 has been a long time coming…when AMD was delivering 5000 series cards NVIDIA could only talk about the High Performance Computing applications of their next GPU, Fermi…Much of this has been in NVIDIA’s hands – some of it has not. What’s indisputable is that TSMC, the chip foundry used by both AMD and NVIDIA, was not delivering the kind of yields on their 40nm process that AMD and NVIDIA were expecting…we’ll be getting a 480 core part for the GTX 480, and a 448 core part for the GTX 470. Ultimately we will not be seeing the full power of GF100 right away, but you can be sure that somewhere down the line we’ll see a GTX 485 or GTX 490 with all of GF100’s functional units enabled…As is usually the case for a harvested part, GTX 470 takes a clockspeed hit compared to GTX 480. The core clock falls 13% to 607MHz, and the shader clock falls the same distance to 1215MHz…NVIDIA’s memory clocks are lower than we had been initially expecting. GDDR5 is readily available up to 5GHz while NVIDIA doesn’t go any higher than 3.7GHz…When we asked NVIDIA about working with GDDR5, they told us that their biggest limitation wasn’t the bus like AMD but rather deficiencies in their own I/O controller, which in turn caused them to miss their targeted memory speeds…The GTX 480 is between 10 and 15% faster than the Radeon 5870…giving it a comfortable lead over AMD’s best single-GPU card…At $500 the GTX 480 is the world’s fastest single-GPU card, but it’s not a value proposition. The price gap between it and the Radeon 5870 is well above the current performance gap…with the GTX 480 and its much bigger GPU – it’s hotter, it’s noisier, and it’s more power hungry, all for 10-15% more performance…Fermi’s compute-heavy and tessellation-heavy design continues to interest us but home users won’t find an advantage to that design today. This is a card that bets on the future and we don’t have our crystal ball…was it worth the wait? No, probably not…”

Leisure & Entertainment

31. PlayStation Portable turns 5 years old http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2010/03/playstation-portable-turns-5-years-old/1 Five years ago today, Sony entered the handheld gaming business with the release of the PlayStation Portable…The PSP has gone on to sell 60 million systems worldwide, 17 million of those in the United States to date. By comparison, the DS has sold 125 million globally and close to 40 million in the U.S.…”

32. Easter Egg Hunts Go High-Tech With Geocaching http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=10183611 It will take more than a basket to gather the eggs at the Easter hunt in Boulder Junction, Wis. Participants need GPS. Organizers will hide 12 large buckets of eggs in Boulder Junction Winter Park in a variation on geocaching, a popular outdoor activity where people use GPS coordinates to hide items and post their locations online. Egg hunters will get GPS coordinates of the stashes…It's one of dozens of high-tech Easter egg hunts taking place across the country. Groundspeak, which operates http://www.geocaching.com, a Web site where people post cache locations and discuss the activity, features hundreds of Easter-related caches and events…”

33. Nintendo DSi XL is easy on the eyes http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g33Rtiz0PJhmHFPzn43u-9AGvT0gD9EOAE480 “…Not a demographic that's known for welcoming new technology, the senior-citizen crowd has nonetheless embraced the Wii console, with its intuitive controls and easy-to-understand interface. Nintendo's new portable system, the DSi XL, could find a place on the coffee table next to grandma's Wii remote. Think of it as the electronic equivalent of a large-print novel: You get the same content you would on a DSi, but everything's bigger and easier to read. The XL isn't just for seniors, though. As a game reviewer, I often spend hours gazing at the DSi…I also found Nintendo's new "WarioWare D.I.Y." more playable on the beefier XL. The new "WarioWare" includes a tool that lets you create "microgames," combining your own art and music into brief challenges…having more space helps when you're trying to draw, say, the perfect robot. The XL also comes with a thicker, more penlike stylus, a more comfortable alternative to the slender pointer of previous models…” [http://www.pcworld.com/article/192745/review_nintendo_dsi_xl_for_some_eyes_only.html ]

34. Sony Zaps PlayStation 3 'Install Other OS' Feature http://www.pcworld.com/article/192731/sony_zaps_playstation_3_install_other_os_feature.html “…When the company's newest PlayStation 3 firmware update drops on April 1, it'll remove a beloved feature once trumpeted as a system sale-maker. That's right Linux wonks, it's time to kiss the PS3's "Install Other OS" option goodbye. Unlike Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Nintendo's Wii, the PS3 shipped with an option to run "other" operating systems, including popular Linux distributions from Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu…Until next Thursday, that is…”

Economy and Technology

35. Case Studies in Freemium: Pandora, Dropbox, Evernote, Automattic and MailChimp http://gigaom.com/2010/03/26/case-studies-in-freemium-pandora-dropbox-evernote-automattic-and-mailchimp/ Don’t spend money on marketing, do offer flexibility and data exporting to eliminate buyers’ regret, make sure to capitalize on and value goodwill, and only charge for things that are hard to do…But the biggest reason…Pandora, Dropbox, Evernote, Automattic…are doing well is because they have great products that people want…offering a free service with the option to upgrade…Pandora first launched in August 2005 with something that sounds quite similar to freemium: users got 10 hours of free online radio at signup, after which they were asked to pay $36 per year. “In the first couple weeks we had 100,000 people come through and the vast majority listened to every last minute of their free ten hours…Then we asked them for their credit card and they would wander off into the wilderness.”…Pandora switched on an “ad-supported” option. It was ad-supported in name only, however, because they had no ad server, no ad staff — not even a place on their page to put ads. But growth quadrupled overnight, and within three days, Apple called and asked to buy out ad inventory through December. Conrad…said yes, arriving at the price of $10,000 for the month. “We literally hard-coded the ads on the page,” he said. “We didn’t want them to know, but every time they changed their creative we’d have to relaunch the entire site.” Pandora…took in $50 million in revenue last year…last year the company launched Pandora One…It now has 300,000 subscribers, accounts for 1.6 or 1.7 percent of monthly uniques, and is expected to bring in 15 percent of 2010 revenue…Dropbox…found that obvious keywords like “online storage” were bid up…that meant “our cost per effective acquisition per paid user was thousands of dollars for a hundred-dollar product…Dropbox was offering a product that people didn’t know they needed until they tried, and “search is great for harvesting demand, not creating it…Having dropped search marketing as a strategy…the company realized that user referrals were its biggest source of growth, so now it encourages referrals with an incentive program. That increased signups by 60 percent…Evernote…faces a challenge to spreading virally in that it’s not at all a social product…Evernote…has 2.7 million users…and 50,000 paying users…The thing is, over time inactive users drop off, and active users start paying…Our key insight is users are growing really fast, but revenue is growing faster.” Currently, users are growing 10 percent per month and revenue is growing 18 percent…”

36. Adknowledge launches Cambyo payment gateway to monetize free goods http://digital.venturebeat.com/2010/03/26/adknowledge-launches-cambyo-payment-gateway-to-monetize-free-goods/ Adknowledge, which runs a huge private advertising network, is announcing today a new way for online merchants to make money. Its new Cambyo offering is an ad-sponsored payment gateway that lets consumers pay for goods and services by participating in sponsored ad offers. Cambyo gives consumers the choice of paying in standard currency (with a credit card, mobile payments etc.) or participating in sponsored offers. They can get a product or service for free by completing a highly-focused ad offer, such as filling out a research survey…Special offers are currently popular with free-to-play social games on Facebook, where players use the offers as an alternative to real money when they pay for virtual goods such as fuel for a tractor in FarmVille. But with Cambyo, Kansas City, Mo.-based Adknowledge is attempting to broaden that practice beyond the gaming community…Advertisers get access to good sales leads via the special offers. And shoppers earn a free product or service by participating in an offer…”

37. Portable Real Estate Listings http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/greathomesanddestinations/26iht-rear.html “…point your phone at a building along the Champs-Élysées or some other street in Paris. Within seconds, you will see the property’s value per square meter, superimposed over a live image of the building streamed through the phone’s camera. Speed and convenience delivered with the aim of a smartphone. Could this be the new frontier of on-demand property search?...The application…uses “augmented reality” technology, or A.R., to harness a phone’s camera, global positioning system and compass. Elements like statistics and 3-D images are, essentially, layered over a live picture…According to the French agency, MeilleursAgents.com, the results have been positive…it took a developer only two days to customize the Layar browser with prices, based on city and agency records, and GPS coordinates. Since the agency’s version of the application was introduced in August 2008, he said, there have been several thousand downloads a week…”

Civilian Aerospace

38. SpaceX Falcon 9 flight set for April http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100325/BUSINESS/3250309/1006/news01/SpaceX+Falcon+9+flight+set+for+April “…first flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 likely will slip to at least late April so engineers can certify a system that would deliberate destroy the rocket if it veered off course…The Falcon 9 -- which could become a contender to fly U.S. astronauts to the space station -- holds an April 12 launch date on the Air Force Eastern Range, which provides…launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center…SpaceX Founder Elon Musk told Florida Today Wednesday that the supplier of the rocket's flight termination system still must finish testing and gain final flight approval from the Air Force…”

39. SwRI researchers begin suborbital space flight training aboard F-104 http://www.swri.org/9what/releases/2010/StarFighters.htm “…Southwest Research Institute researchers…have begun a new element of spaceflight training with a series of jet fighter flights in F-104 aircraft…The F-104 Starfighters training program allows us to move from laboratory centrifuge training to actual high-G ascent profiles rocketing us nearly 25,000 feet at 5 to 6 Gs, topped by zero-G parabolas. We each flew several of these ascent profiles in our initial flights, as well as various high-G turns…The F-104 Starfighter is one of the few aircraft out there with a performance envelope that allows a realistic flight environment-like launch and glide-to-landing profiles of some of the next-generation suborbital vehicles we expect to be flying soon…”

40. NASA Funds New Research Into Novel Space Engines http://www.space.com/news/nasa-propulsion-contracts-100326.html NASA has awarded a set of contracts to commercial companies working on new propulsion technologies for future spacecraft. The space agency granted $50 million each to five companies for research into novel engine system designs such as electric propulsion, new propellants made from non-toxic chemicals…recipients of the funds include Aerojet of Sacramento, Calif.; ATK Mission Systems of Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; Northrop Grumman Aerospace Corporation of Redondo Beach, Calif.; Orbital Technologies Corporation of Madison, Wisc.; and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Inc. of Canoga Park, Calif…NASA announced the new initiative amid several other contract award announcements, including five contracts worth $125 million each to companies working on Earth-based aviation technologies. These grants will be used to research low-noise propulsion, alternative fuels, hybrid engines and other technologies for aircraft.…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

41. CUDA, Supercomputing for the Masses: Part 16 http://www.drdobbs.com/high-performance-computing/224200312 “…In this article and the next, I discuss the CUDA 3.0 release. Far from an update to just support the newest 20-series architecture (codename "Fermi"), CUDA 3.0 is a major revision number increment release that adds enhancements valuable to all CUDA developers to make day-to-day development tasks easier, less error prone, and more consistent…”

42. NVIDIA Announces GPU Technology Conference for 2010 http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/NVIDIA-Announces-GPU-Technology-Conference-for-2010-89176497.html NVIDIA today announced that the GPU Technology Conference 2010 (GTC 2010) will take place on Monday, Sept. 20 to Thursday, Sept. 23 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif…I consider the GPU Technology Conference to be the single best place to see firsthand the amazing work enabled by the GPU," said Professor Hanspeter Pfister, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, Harvard University and GTC 2009 keynote speaker. "It's a great venue for meeting researchers, developers, scientists, and entrepreneurs from around the world and I'm looking forward to GTC 2010." The conference will once again encompass three concurrent GPU-focused summits in one location: Emerging Companies Summit -- a showcase for innovative startups…GPU Developers Summit -- a wide selection of content-rich sessions, tutorials, and presentations…NVIDIA Research Summit…”

43. Palix Launches ANDSolver Beta Program http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Palix-Launches-ANDSolver-Beta-Program-88937522.html Palix Technologies has introduced a new computational fluid dynamics (CFD) product called ANDSolver that has been designed from the ground up to use graphics processing units (GPUs) for fast and efficient aerodynamic analysis. Although developing and running applications to use multiple CPUs is a well established practice for high performance science and engineering simulations, a newer trend towards using GPUs for computation promises faster results with lower hardware acquisition and operating costs…with up to a 10x speedup compared to a typical quad core CPU. This level of performance is unique in that it is achieved on unstructured meshes which have traditionally not been considered amenable to GPUs…”

44. AMD Hardware Added to IACAT Accelerator Cluster http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/AMD-Hardware-Added-to-IACAT-Accelerator-Cluster-89041637.html The heterogenous computing cluster (called AC) used by the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies (IACAT) to explore the potential of novel architectures to accelerate scientific computing soon will be enhanced with new hardware…AMD is providing eight nodes, each with: Two six-core Istanbul CPUs. Three ATI 5870 GPUs, each with 1GB of memory. 32 GB DDR2 main memory. QDR InfiniBand (4GB/sec). "The addition of AMD/ATI GPUs to AC enhances our ability to develop and validate new applications and novel programming tools for heterogeneous computing," said Wen-mei Hwu…This hardware is in addition to the cluster's current 32 compute nodes, which feature: Two dual-core 2.4 GHz AMD Opterons. 8 GB of memory. One NVIDIA Tesla S1070 containing 4 GT200 GPUs, each with 4 GB of memory. One Nallatech H101-PCIX FPGA accelerator, 16 MB SRAM, 512 MB SDRAM…The cluster is used as a platform to support the development of GPU applications, tools, and environments to accelerate applications to the petascale and beyond…”



NEW NET Issues List for 23 Mar 2010

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 23 March 2010, 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 -- if there's a chain across the steps, ignore it and come on upstairs.

The ‘net

1. Microsoft IE 9 Ditches XP http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+IE+9+Preview+Airs+Embraces+HTML5+but+Ditches+XP/article17907.htm “…IE 9 won't support Windows XP…That's really not that surprising if you think about it, but it may be a bit of a shock to some.”

2. Should You Pay a 'National Broadband Fee'? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2361516,00.asp The recently released national broadband plan has grand ideas for hooking people up to high-speed Internet…the plan also floats the idea of a "national broadband fee," paid for by taxpayers…While a majority of the recommendations made in the 376-page FCC report are "budget-neutral" because they would ideally be funded by spectrum auctions and private investment, the public safety section is one of several that would require Congress to okay funding…The costs associated with keeping these efforts going and sustainable, however, could be between $12 billion and $16 billion. Congress should allocate this money no later than FY2012…Another way to get those funds?..."Imposing a minimal public safety fee on all U.S. broadband users would be a fair, sustainable and reasonable funding mechanism…the FCC said…”

3. Bandwidth Isn't Free, Distribution Isn't Free, So Why Should Content Be Free? http://blog.streamingmedia.com/the_business_of_online_vi/2010/03/bandwidth-isnt-free-distribution-isnt-free-so-why-should-content-be-free.html “…it seems more and more people are under the impression that access to premium video content should be free. Frankly, I don't see where this idea of "free" comes from. Video content costs money to produce, to distribute…years later, even with all the insane amount of eyeballs YouTube has, the business is not profitable based solely on an ad model…While it's true that the cost of distributing video over the web is getting cheaper by the day, it will never be free…When HBO came out with their HBOGO service, too many folks were quick to point out that it was behind a walled garden and that as a non-HBO subscriber, they would not be able to get it. That's exactly the point. Why should HBO simply give away their content for free, knowing that ad revenue alone won't make it a profitable business?...if we look at some of the most successful content models on the web today, like MLB.com, they are from companies that never gave away their content to begin with. And why should they? Their content is worth money, the experience they provide is compelling and as we have seen for years, consumers think the content is worth paying for…”

4. Enabling 100 Mbps internet in the near future http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/opinion/21Benkler.html Imagine that for $33 a month you could buy Internet service twice as fast as what you get from Verizon or Comcast, bundled with digital high-definition television, unlimited long distance and international calling to 70 countries and wireless Internet connectivity for your laptop or smartphone throughout much of the country. That’s what you can buy in France, and similar speeds and prices are available in other countries with competitive markets. But not in the United States…The Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan…aims to get 100 megabits-per-second service to 100 million households, at affordable rates…Meeting the speed target shouldn’t be difficult…Affordability is the hard part — because there is no competition pushing down prices…only 15 percent of homes will have a choice in providers, and then only between Verizon’s FiOS fiber-optic network and the local cable company. (AT&T’s “fiber” offering is merely souped-up DSL transmitted partly over its old copper wires, which can’t compete at these higher speeds.)…a significant reason that other countries had managed to both expand access and lower rates over the last decade was a commitment to open-access policies, requiring companies that build networks to sell access to rivals that then invest in, and compete on, the network…innovation happens in electronics and services — not in laying cable. If every company has to dig its own holes, the price of entry is too high and competition falters; over time, innovation lags…Existing local companies argue that they deserve control over a market because they’ve sunk enormous amounts of money into digging trenches…other countries are exploring creative ways for competitors to share the costs and risks of fiber investments, sometimes coupled with public investment, so that incumbent companies can accommodate competitors…”

5. Is Facebook becoming more important to the internet than Google? http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article7069878.ece Larry Page turns 37 on Friday. The billionaire co-founder of Google has a lot to celebrate. In 12 years he and his business partner Sergey Brin have created one of the most powerful companies on the planet…Life in the digital world, however, moves quickly. Last week Page and Brin’s crown passed — for who knows how long — to a 26-year-old rival who has every intention of keeping it…For the week ending March 13, the social networking site set up by wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg got more traffic than Google in America…Google’s algorithms have ordered the chaos of the internet with mathematical exactitude and become the default method for finding things online. Zuckerberg thinks this is all very last decade…Now Facebook has the critical mass to make discovery a viable alternative to conventional search engines…Another big threat to Google is the fact that much of this information will not appear in a Google search…Inside Facebook the attitude to Google seems spookily similar to Google’s attitude to Microsoft…Now it’s Google’s turn to feel the heat from a younger and brasher company…for the week ending March 6, more Americans typed “Facebook.com” into their web browser than “Google.com”. But the numbers ignore Google-owned Gmail and YouTube and the full picture is far more complex — and more favourable to Google…perhaps the statistic they should most fear is Facebook’s astonishing growth. Visits to the site have risen 185% over the past year. During the same period, Google’s traffic rose only 9%...There is, however, another figure that Google is watching very carefully — the amount of time spent on Facebook. Last month people spent 46.1 billion minutes on the site, according to Nielsen. The firm’s closest rival was Yahoo with 18.6 billion minutes. Google came in third with 11 billion…In some ways Google is less threatened by Facebook’s time eating than some of its rivals…But if search migrates away from Google, and Facebook starts eating up time spent on YouTube, Gmail or Google Maps, the search giant has a problem…”

6. Does Facebook Trump Google For News? http://searchengineland.com/stat-rant-google-facebook-twitter-38484 Earlier this week, Hitwise put out stats suggesting that Facebook is beating Google and Twitter when it comes to driving traffic to news sites. I dug a little deeper, and I beg to differ…The Hitwise blog post reported…Facebook: 3.64%, the 3rd biggest source of visits to News & Media sites…Google News: 1.27%, the 11th biggest source of visits…My first issue with these stats is that Google News — only one small slice of Google — is being compared to all of Facebook. That doesn’t seem a fair comparison. Unless Facebook has a Facebook News area (it doesn’t), it seems like you need to compare “whole” Facebook to “whole” Google when discussing who drives traffic…traffic from “whole” Google leaves Facebook in the dust, as a driver of traffic to news sites. So doYahoo and MSN. If you count traffic from any Google domain (or any Yahoo domain or MSN domain), the stats work out like this…Google sites, 20.16%...Yahoo sites, 18.92%...MSN sites: 8.76…Facebook: 3.64%...Hitwise also sent figures — and rankings — based on the main domain of each company. These were…Google.com, 16.50%, ranked 1st…Yahoo.com, 9.40%, ranked 2nd…Facebook.com: 3.64%, ranked 3rd…Google indeed trumps Facebook even more than I originally thought, as a news driver…In Facebook, you can be a fan of a news organization, effectively subscribing to it for updates…Google News has over 20,000 sources, and you can’t subscribe to any of them…As with Google News, people can’t “subscribe” to a source in regular Google. They discover sources that way. And often when discovering them, they have little need to go back to Google…searching is among the top internet activity…yet, look at web site stats, and search engine traffic often is not the top traffic driver…Because once you’ve found a trusted site (including a news site), you may not need to search for it again…search engines…remain a top way users will locate web sites initially and so cannot be ignored…So the Facebook versus Google loyalty stats? They’re interesting, but they’re not necessarily comparable…”

7. Facebook Inspires More Loyalty than Google for News http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Web-Services-Web-20-and-SOA/Facebook-More-Sticky-Than-Google-For-News-Media-News-Sites-437025/ Facebook users are more loyal to news and media Websites than are visitors from Google News…among the top 5 print media Websites in the week ending March 6, 78 percent of Facebook users were returning visitors compared to 67 percent from Google News. Visitors to broadcast media sites posted a 77 percent returning rate for Facebook, compared to 64 percent for Google News…While Google.com is the No. 1 source of traffic to these sites, visitors from Google are less likely to be returning visitors than for either Google News or Facebook. "This reinforces the long-term value to News and Media organizations of working with the likes of Google News and Facebook,"…These statistics don't mean Facebook is going to suck inordinate amounts of traffic from Google. What it does mean is that the social network of 400 million-plus users is a viable advertising touchstone for advertisers and retailers…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Beware the new Facebook password reset scam http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/191847/facebook_users_targeted_in_massive_spam_run.html Facebook's 400 million users have been targeted by a spam run that could infect their computers with malicious software designed to steals passwords and other data…The messages say that the user's Facebook password has been reset and the user should download an attachment that contains the new password…The attachment is actually a Trojan horse program, which infects a computer without any visible signs. Marcus said the spam run contained a variety of malware programs, including password stealers, rogue antivirus programs or botnet code…Facebook's high number of users makes it a prime target for spammers and hackers. "There's a huge victim pool to go after," Marcus said…”

9. Disgruntled Former Employee Wirelessly Bricks 100 Cars in Texas http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/03/hacker-bricks-cars/ “…Police with Austin’s High Tech Crime Unit on Wednesday arrested 20-year-old Omar Ramos-Lopez, a former Texas Auto Center employee who was laid off last month, and allegedly sought revenge by bricking the cars sold from the dealership’s four Austin-area lots. “We initially dismissed it as mechanical failure,” says Texas Auto Center manager Martin Garcia. “We started having a rash of up to a hundred customers at one time complaining…The dealership used a system called Webtech Plus as an alternative to repossessing vehicles that haven’t been paid for…the system lets car dealers install a small black box under vehicle dashboards…The dealer can disable a car’s ignition system, or trigger the horn to begin honking, as a reminder that a payment is due…Texas Auto Center began fielding complaints from baffled customers the last week in February…The troubles stopped five days later, when Texas Auto Center reset the Webtech Plus passwords for all its employee accounts…police obtained access logs from Pay Technologies, and traced the saboteur’s IP address to Ramos-Lopez’s AT&T internet service…At first, the intruder targeted vehicles by searching on the names of specific customers. Then he discovered he could pull up a database of all 1,100 Auto Center customers whose cars were equipped with the device. He started going down the list in alphabetical order…“Omar was pretty good with computers,” says Garcia…”

10. The 50 Riskiest Cities For Cybercrime in America http://www.pcworld.com/article/192051/the_50_riskiest_cities_for_cybercrime_in_america.html “…Symantec's "Riskiest Online Cities" report ranks Seattle at the top, followed by Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Raleigh. Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver, Austin, and Portland round out Symantec's top 10 riskiest locations. Before you start packing your bags, though, let's take a closer look at Symantec's study…The more high-risk activities observed in each state -- things like use of public Wi-Fi, online shopping sites, and online banking services -- the more "risky" points it received…Making the list isn't so bad…Avoid paying bills or sending other sensitive information when connected to a public hotspot. Configure your Wi-Fi device prior to connecting to ensure that sharing isn't enabled. Keep a firewall enabled at all times. And make sure your PC isn't set to connect to any open network; instead, manually connect only to networks you know and trust…”

11. Memory card exposed 3,000 smart phones to malware http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/191931/malware_infected_memory_cards_of_3000_vodafone_mobiles.html Malware-tainted memory cards may have ended up on as many as 3,000 HTC Magic phones…an employee of Panda Security plugged a newly ordered phone into a Windows computer, where it triggered an alert from the antivirus software…inspection of the phone found the device's 8GB microSD memory card was infected with a client for the now-defunct Mariposa botnet, the Conficker worm and a password stealer for the Lineage game…Vodafone will give security software to people whose computers have become infected as a result of plugging in an infected HTC phone…”

12. Botnet pierces Microsoft Live through audio captchas http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/22/microsoft_live_captcha_bypass/ “…Pushdo spam botnet has found a new way to penetrate Microsoft's Live.com by exploiting weaknesses in the audio captchas…A new version of the bot causes infected PCs to pull down Live.com audio captchas and return the correct response within 10 seconds, according to a researcher at anti-virus firm Webroot…the bot demonstrated [a] remarkable capability to bypass the audio captchas," Webroot researcher Andrew Brandt wrote Monday Morning. "In most cases, it was able to submit the correct answer within two tries…Captchas require a person to recognize a series of distorted characters that are hard for computers to read using optical character recognition programs. Audio captchas, which are available in the event the user is visually impaired, work in much the same way except that characters are verbally recited amid background static and other noise…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

13. Shigeru Miyamoto "devoting" himself to getting the Nintendo DS in schools http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/214484/shigeru-miyamoto-devoting-himself-to-getting-the-nintendo-ds-in-schools/ In a recent interview, Shigeru Miyamoto said he is currently working on getting Nintendo DS systems in school as a learning aid, stating "That is maybe the area where I am devoting myself the most."…While Miyamoto mentioned other goals like increasing the Wii's online presence, he stated the establishment of the DS in schools as "the area where I am devoting myself the most."…in Japan…Nintendo's portable platform has been used as a tour guide in museums…”

14. First Android automobile to launch next month http://www.intomobile.com/2010/03/19/first-android-automobile-to-launch-next-month.html “…Android is known for its flexibility. From smartphones to tablets, from military ops applications to microwaves, Android is making its rounds. Now…The Roewe 350 is the world’s first Android automobile…available starting April 23rd, and will cost…about $10,250 to $19,000…the Roewe 350 will come equipped with Google’s turn-by-turn directions application, as the car is running Android 2.1. Users can take advantage of the GPS, live traffic views, getting you from point A to point B with ease. But it doesn’t stop there. Users will also be able to surf the web, and have the ability to engage in online chatting. No client for the service has been revealed, but in due time, more details should emerge. It’s also not known whether one can install applications with the OS…it would be nice if certain applications, like Pandora were bundled…”

15. Rush Is On to Be First in iPad Apps http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/technology/22apps.html It can be difficult to write software for a gadget without being able to touch it. But that has not stopped developers from rushing to create applications for the Apple iPad…The few companies that did receive the device — including Major League Baseball, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times — have been subject to Apple’s long list of rules. The companies must agree to keep the iPad hidden from public view, chained to tables in windowless rooms…At the offices of Barnes & Noble’s digital unit in New York, 14 developers have occupied a windowless room since January, completely redesigning the company’s iPhone app for the iPad…Apple said last week that it was starting to accept submissions from iPad developers who want the chance to get their apps into the App Store before the iPad’s release. But both Amazon and Barnes & Noble say they plan to wait and test their software on an actual iPad before submitting it for Apple’s review…”

16. Palm Joins Forces With AT&T, But Is It Enough? http://www.crn.com/mobile/224000370 “…AT&T has agreed to carry both the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi and offer its 3G network service for Palm's newest smartphones. The deal now brings the Pre and Pixi models to all three major wireless carriers…However, AT&T may not be enough to save Palm. Palm shares crashed after the mobile device maker released a shockingly disappointing sales forecast…its third quarter fiscal 2010 earnings…including $349.9 million in revenue…was higher than the company's previous forecast of $285 million to $310 million…Palm quickly negated any positive vibes by stating that its fourth quarter sales forecast would be less than $150 million, which is far worse than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $305 million…Palm reported that it shipped nearly 1 million smartphones for the third quarter, but sold just 408,000 devices during the period…nearly a 30 percent decline from the previous quarter…”

17. Android-Based Dell Aero (Error?) Is Headed for AT&T http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=16341&news=Google+Android+OS+Dell+Aero+ATT AT&T has pre-announced its plans to offer the Dell Aero, which is apparently a re-branded version of Dell's first smartphone running Google's Android OS…all that's known for sure right now is that the Aero will run Android and include an alternate user interface created especially for it by Dell and AT&T…the Aero is almost certainly a re-named version of the Dell Mini 3iX -- pictures of the two show that they are nearly identical, and the Mini 3 series is Dell's first Android-based smartphones…there are also unconfirmed reports that this carrier is going to pick up a second Android OS-based model from Dell…The Dell Mini 5 will be bigger than its sister model, as it will sport a 5-inch display with a WVGA (800 by 480 pixel) resolution…with support for multi-touch…”

18. Crippled 'Exclusive' Verizon Skype App Drops On Thursday http://www.broadbandreports.com/shownews/Crippled-Exclusive-Verizon-Skype-App-Drops-On-Thursday-107501 “…a Skype client on Verizon smartphones…sounded interesting at first…soon became clear that the client would be packed with restrictions, and that Skype (which had complained ceaselessly about the closed nature of wireless networks) was in several ways helping Verizon keep the wireless sector closed with the deal…Harry McCracken at over at Technologizer breaks down the restrictions…You can’t make Skype Out calls to U.S. numbers–if you try, the app will let you route your call over Verizon’s voice network, where it’ll use minutes from your plan. You also can’t use Skype In to receive calls from landlines and cell phones: Incoming calls must come from other Skype users. And for reasons I don’t completely understand, Skype Mobile works only over Verizon’s 3G network, not Wi-Fi–which is the opposite of the situation on the iPhone, where you can only call over Wi-Fi, not the AT&T network. We'll help Mr. McCracken: Verizon wants you paying more money for data…”

19. SanDisk ships 32GB memory card for phones http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10469952-92.html SanDisk announced that it is shipping a 32GB memory card for smartphones--the largest capacity to date. Currently, smartphone MicroSD cards top out at 16GB. The removable SanDisk microSDHC card would match the maximum internal capacity of high-end phones like the Apple iPhone 3GS and Google Nexus One…”

20. Mozilla Stops Firefox Development For Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 http://techie-buzz.com/tech-news/mozilla-stops-firefox-development-for-windows-mobile-and-windows-phone-7.html Mozilla has been building a version of Firefox for Windows Mobile devices for quite some time now with anticipation that Microsoft might increase it’s market share…However, developing for Windows Phone 7 was not easy considering the restrictions placed on developers…Mozilla also cited that Windows Phone 7 has a closed platform and does not support development of native applications through a NDK. For that reason, Mozilla today announced that they are stopping development of Firefox for all Windows Mobile based devices including the upcoming Windows Phone 7…”

Open Source

21. Will The Linux Desktop Soon Be Irrelevant? http://www.linux-mag.com/cache/7733/1.html Some of us are still waiting for the year of the Linux desktop…Let’s face it, we’re going to be waiting for a while…These days there are few barriers to adopting Linux, primarily issues relate to the requirement for a specific Windows based application, proprietary devices, or perceived complexity of this strange new system…We access most of our information via the Internet and we can use web applications to create just about anything…we’re not there yet, but think about this - how many people actually use an email client on their home computer?...Distributed computing has been around much longer than this idea of “the cloud” which sounds like some new fancy, happy place…things are going to the cloud, a place where all your dreams can come true. Or where anyone can steal your information…It’s not that the Linux desktop isn’t cool, nor that it won’t get even better…it’s more that it will become less relevant…People have a perception that a desktop PC means Windows…If you’re not running a PC, then you’re running a Mac. That’s all there is, right?...It will be interesting to see how much netbooks and “the cloud” change the way we use computers, over time…Once it’s normal for users have gigabit access to the Internet from their home, that’s bound to change things…If companies like Google can do the same for a suite of what are traditionally desktop applications, what’s to stop people from using them?...As users realise they have less and less need for a desktop, they’ll start buying other things - like a Linux based iPad-like device…the main piece of the puzzle is a massive online market of web based applications…Take a look at the amazing amount of products Zoho offers for free…Games are the obvious exception to the rule where desktop is likely to remain king, but moving these online will be possible one day…”

22. Snap Spiffy Linux Screenshots with Shutter http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reviews/7012/1/ Snapping a quick screenshot is a capability you get out of the box with most current Linux distributions…For GNOME users this typically launches gnome-screenshot while Kde will bring up Ksnapshot…Shutter brings a full range of functionality to the screen grab process…it integrates nicely with the GNOME desktop including taking over the Print Screen button. It will work as a standalone application in other desktop environments but won't integrate quite as nicely…Writing documentation for any computer-based process or software application begs for a good screen capture tool. Grabbing a screen shot at just the right time can be difficult, particularly if you want to show something like a tool tip or popup window. Shutter has both a time delay feature and the ability to grab just a tool tip if you want. Capturing a long web page for reference or review is not an easy task with most screenshot tools. You'll need to install gnome-web-photo to get this feature working…”

23. Ben NanoNote Handheld Notebook Now Shipping, Open-Source Hardware, Software http://nexus404.com/Blog/2010/03/19/qi-hardwares-ben-nanonote-handheld-notebook-shipping-small-notebook-opensource-hardware-software-hacked/ Qi Hardware has finally begun shipping their open-source copyleft hardware ultra-portable “handheld laptop”, dubbed the Ben NanoNote. It’s a highly hackable, compact little computer that can be used normally with it’s base Linux operating system, or it can be easily modded to do just about anything you want…It uses a XBurst 336MHz processor, 32MB of DRAM and has 2GB of flash storage. The screen is smaller than an iPhone’s as it comes in at only 3.0-inches. It does have a microSD card slot and USB port for memory and a “full” QWERTY keyboard…reminds me of the Pandora open-source gaming handheld…We envision developers turning the device into a music or video player for Ogg or an offline Wikipedia or MIT OpenCourseWare appliance. Or you can simply amaze your friends by creating an ultra small handheld notebook computer."…they’re selling them for only $99. They’re now shipping from Qi Hardware’s website…”

24. Annotating PDFs With the Open-Source Software Package Okular http://www.serverwatch.com/tutorials/article.php/3872006/Annotating-PDFs-With-the-Open-Source-Software-Package-Okular.htm KDE document reader Okular doesn't just read multiple document formats; it also allows you to add annotations to files as you read them. Note that to get this functionality, you need version 0.8, which is in Ubuntu Karmic, or Debian Squeeze…You'll see various highlighters, drawing, and note options down the left-hand side of the document window. Be warned that the inline text annotation option will hide anything underneath its box…There are a couple of limitations. There appears to be no way to hide annotations, which is a little irritating…If you've ever felt the need to scribble notes on your PDFs without bringing dead trees into the equation, Okular is well worth a try.”

25. Get Your Open Source Home Energy Developer Kit http://earth2tech.com/2010/03/15/get-your-open-source-home-energy-developer-kit-courtesy-of-people-power/ There’s a growing number of options out there for aspiring home energy app makers — this morning wireless energy management startup People Power released its software developer’s kit called SuRF (Sensor Ultra Radio Frequency) for OSHAN (Open Source Home Area Network)…The developer ecosystem for applications that will enable consumers to manage their home energy consumption is still very nascent. Mainstream consumers are largely not yet interested in buying home energy management gadgets, and Google’s web energy tool PowerMeter has only signed up a couple thousand users by early February…Google officially opened up the API of its web energy tool PowerMeter, and Microsoft also recently told us it just released a software developer kit for its energy tool Hohm to a select number of gadget makers…People Power’s technology takes the idea of open energy information one step further, and it’s built upon an open source platform for wireless sensor networks. People Power’s SuRF kit is built upon a project that came out of UC Berkeley, as part of the DARPA Networked Embedded Systems Technology (NEST) program, called TinyOS, which offers developers low cost open-source software and an operating system for wireless home networks…”


26. Google Stops Censoring China Search Results http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-22/google-stops-censoring-results-making-block-by-china-likely.html Google Inc., following through on a pledge to stop censoring search results in China, began serving mainland Chinese users via its unfiltered Hong Kong site, a move that could prompt the government to block the service. The company began redirecting traffic from its China Web page, Google.cn, to Hong Kong, a part of the country that isn’t subject to censorship laws…The approach may not work for long because the government is probably going to block the site, called Google.com.hk, just as it has before with the main Google.com page…The company challenged the government of the world’s most populous country in January by threatening to allow all search results to be shown on its China Web site, including references to Tibet and the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Google has about 600 employees in the country. Google.cn included the search engine, Google News and Google Images. “The Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement,” Google said in a blog post…”

27. Can China live without Google? http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2010-03/22/c_13220543.htm “…The media's mass coverage of Google's retreat from China showcased a war between the biggest search engine company and the biggest Internet market in the world…China definitely is influenced by the West, but the influence is mutual. People of a certain culture learn to know a different new thing, but the new thing also has to learn to suit its new customers. That's why KFC serves Chinese porridge and McDonald's provides Chinese food menus here…Google then…tried to change the rules after it had gained an "irreplaceable" position in China, i.e. demanding the Chinese government change Internet regulations at their request. Google was confident that China would make some concessions…I'm not sure if Google knows that its arrogance can easily remind the Chinese people of the "big powers" who cracked open China’s door by warships and cannons in the 19th century. The reason those invaders could make the Qing government sign unfair treaties is that they owned advance weapons that China didn’t have…The only difference was military weapons in the past and Internet service today…the Chinese people have suffered a lot in the past 500 years, and that's why they have such strong feelings for their country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity…Google has challenged the Chinese government's sovereignty by demanding the government accept Google’s presumed definition on "opening up"…The current "China Threat" theory shows Western countries are actually in fear of being dominated by China one day…”

28. Google Calendar Has a Smart Rescheduler http://gigaom.com/2010/03/18/google-calendar-rescheduler/ I’m one of those people who has a tough time trying to schedule meetings. What’s worse is that times change…my calendar constantly descends into chaos. I turned to professional help, but if you are both like me and are a Google Calendar user, scheduling help could now be as simple as turning on a…new gadget, available in Google Calendar Labs…called Smart Rescheduler…it is dead simple…you can select an event and click “Find a new time” and the machine does the rest, offering up multiple options for folks to chose from…”

29. Experiment to show hotel prices on Google Maps http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2010/03/experiment-to-show-hotel-prices-on.html Google Maps is often one of the first stops travelers make to find and compare hotels. Today we started experimenting with a new feature, visible to a small portion of users, to help make that process even easier by showing specific prices for selected hotel listings…when you search for hotels on Google Maps you'll be able to enter the dates you plan to stay and see real prices on selected listings…”

30. Gmail plug-in Etacts adds contact info, social networking like Xobni http://lifehacker.com/5491683/etacts-adds-contact-info-social-networking-and-handy-statistics-to-your-gmail-sidebar If you ever thought previously mentioned Xobni looked cool, but you prefer Gmail to Outlook, free Gmail plugin Etacts adds many of the same features…The Etacts plugin automatically adds detailed contact information…similar to…Rapportive, but Etacts takes it one step further. Not only do you get links to any social networks that contact is a part of, and some of the information contained therein (such as their occupation and location), but you also get a detailed summary of your mailing history with them, complete with nice little graphs and charts…The plugin also adds a few new convenient features to Gmail related to follow-up messages. If you have a particular issue that you need to keep an eye on, you can opt to send the message and have Gmail remind you if you haven't heard back within a specific period of time. It also adds a category in your left sidebar for all messages awaiting reply…As with most other plugins, you do need to allow it to access your Gmail inbox. However, Etacts uses Gmail's OAuth, so you log in with one click and it never sees or store your password. The service does store your email subjects, from, to, and time headers (obviously, since it needs to display these on the sidebar), but never the bodies…Etacts is available as a free extension for both Firefox and Chrome…”

31. Chrome auto-translation and expanded privacy options http://chrome.blogspot.com/2010/03/at-end-of-rainbow-new-pot-of-chrome.html “…automatic translation and fine-grained privacy controls…have been promoted to the stable channel so all Chrome users can try them out…Google Translate technology…works across 52 languages and can automatically detect and translate entire websites in less than a second…there’s a set of “Content Settings” options that let you manage how browser cookies, images, JavaScript, plug-ins, and pop-ups are handled on a site-by-site basis…We’ve also implemented a new approach to our Google Update technology, which allows us to remove the unique ID from Google Update while still preserving our ability to determine the number of active users and keep everyone up-to-date with the latest security updates and speed improvements…You can learn more about all of these features at google.com/chrome/privacy, watch our video series on browser privacy…”

32. Google mobile: Search your Android phone with written gestures http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/03/search-your-android-phone-with-written.html As mobile phones become increasingly powerful and can store more data, we've introduced new methods of search to get you to your content faster, such as search suggestions or search by voice…sometimes, typing to get to the right search suggestion takes too long, and you may be in a quiet environment where speaking a query is inappropriate…Gesture Search, a new Google Labs application for Android-powered devices running Android 2.0 or above in the US…lets you quickly find a contact, an installed application, a bookmark or a music track from hundreds or thousands of items, by simply drawing alphabet gestures on the touch screen. Say you want to call your friend Anne. Just open Gesture Search and draw letter “A”, and Gesture Search returns a list of items that have words starting with “A”. If your handwriting isn't all that neat, that's okay. If the "A" you draw looks a bit like an "H", as seen in the bottom left corner of the screenshot, "H" results will be brought up as well. If needed, you can also erase a query by crossing it horizontally: left to right erases the entire query, and right to left removes the last letter or space in the query. Now you can either scroll down the list to find Anne or write more letters to refine the search…”

33. How Google is Managing the Android Fragmentation Issue http://jkontherun.com/2010/03/17/how-google-is-managing-the-android-fragmentation-issue/ “…Google knows that it has a problem in that there are four different shipping versions of Android right now. There was talk of Google trying to get all the different handsets on one base version…but…It’s not Google’s call because the carriers typically make the decision to push firmware updates, not Google…I see two things going on here. One is an effort to follow up as many Android 2.x features on Android 1.6 devices if possible. And where it is possible, Google releases a feature, function or application for both 1.6 and 2.x devices at the same time…I’m starting to think that Google is passively trying to reduce fragmentation by steering towards two main OS versions as opposed to four: Android 1.6 and a common Android 2.x version…Without exercising direct control like Apple does, Google has little choice in how to deal with the fragmentation. But they are dealing it with in a unique and quiet manner…”

34. Traffic on Google’s fiber is growing http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/03/google-traffic/ “…if Google were an ISP it would be the third largest in the world and the fastest growing — if you are measuring the amount of traffic passed from its network to another…much of that traffic is due to YouTube, since when you measure by traffic a three-minute long video is the equivalent of thousands of pages of search results, but that’s still a staggering number for a single company. Google has a…strategy…to serve as the middleman between its servers and the world’s consumer ISPs…more than half of its transit traffic is sent to those networks via direct peering relationships…Google has been deploying banks of servers inside those same networks, so that traffic to Google’s servers never has to leave an ISP, cutting down on lag time and transit costs…it’s unlikely that Google will want to become a full-on ISP, but the changes and innovation that Google is showing highlights just how important net transit is to its business. What should frighten the world’s current ISPs is…If Google can come up with a partnering model that costs them little or uses a revolving fund, they could create a workable model for communities to get beyond reliance on companies like Verizon and Comcast...municipalities could forge a viable alternative to the current system of begging and pleading for telecoms to lay fiber in their areas…”

35. Google Denied Nexus One Trademark by USPTO http://www.pcworld.com/article/191997/tiny_telecom_to_google_you_want_nexus_one_lets_talk.html OK, what genius at Google came up with the "Nexus One" name for the company's first smartphone? The moniker has been giving the company nothing but headaches…The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently denied Google's trademark application for "Nexus One" because Portland, Oregon-based Integra Telecom already has rights to the name…"Integra does have trademark rights to ‘Nexus." Integra Telecom spokesman John Nee told PC World via e-mail. "We appreciate that the PTO is protecting our trademark rights. Integra Telecom has over $60 million in annual revenue associated with our Nexus brand." Integra is willing to negotiate…According to Nee, Google hasn't contacted his company since the PTO decision…Google plans to fight the PTO ruling…”

General Technology

36. G.M. Tinkers With Augmented Reality System for Cars http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/gm-tinkers-with-augmented-reality-system-for-cars/ “…an augmented reality system…called the enhanced vision system, would embed an array of sensors and cameras inside and outside vehicles that could monitor a driver’s eye and head movements and provide relevant additional information to help him deal with current driving conditions. General Motors hopes the system could alert drivers when a possible danger might be approaching the car from the outside, away from a driver’s field of view…he doesn’t expect a technology like this to be in the marketplace until at least 2016 or 2018…The goal for Mr. Seder’s team is to help drivers cope with unsafe or difficult situations, such as driving in the fog, at night, or while using a GPS navigation system that requires the driver to look away from the road…”

37. NComputing’s Numo chip could drive desktop computer costs to zero http://deals.venturebeat.com/2010/03/19/ncomputings-numo-chip-could-drive-desktop-computer-costs-to-zero/ “…The cost of destkop computing hardware is moving toward zero. Stephen Dukker, chief executive of NComputing, is moving that idea a step closer to reality today as he announces a new chip called Numo. Of course, we don’t really mean zero. We just mean really really really cheap compared to today’s costs…NComputing currently makes client computers that cost about $70. You plug them into a monitor and link them to a desktop computer. The client, using NComputing’s vSpace software, taps the power of virtualization. That is, it taps the unused power of the PC to operate the client as if it were another computer. You can attach 10 or 20 of these small clients to a single desktop computer…LG Electronics plans to sell 19-inch to 24-inch monitors with the chip integrated into them…The good thing about the Numo chip — which has two ARM processors at its core — is that it could be built into all sorts of things, from TVs to handhelds and other mobile devices, pretty much turning any device with a display into a Windows-capable computer. Devices that could use the $20 chip include set-top boxes, eBook readers, and media players…”

38. Toshiba says good-bye to incandescent era http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10469446-54.html Toshiba announced Wednesday it has produced its last major run of incandescent lightbulbs…the phaseout is part of a strategy to ultimately concentrate on LED (light-emitting diode) lighting products…Australia was the first country to ban the sale of incandescent lightbulbs, which took effect in 2010. In December 2007, the U.S. passed a law phasing out the sale of the 100-watt incandescent bulb beginning in 2012 with a ban to take effect by 2014…Many companies have responded to the changes by reducing production in favor of new lighting technology like LEDs and CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs)…”

39. California’s Smart Meter Battle: Google vs. Utilities http://earth2tech.com/2010/03/17/california%E2%80%99s-smart-meter-battle-google-vs-utilities/ There’s a battle looming in California over smart meters and energy prices…[Google is one of many parties supporting that proposal] which says the state should require its big utilities to give near real-time pricing information to every smart meter-enabled customer by the end of next year. California’s big three utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric — have raised plenty of objections to that deadline…The debate, which could influence smart grid policies across the country, underscores an important difference between the two things Google wants utilities to provide — energy “usage” data versus “pricing information.” Electricity usage is a real thing that can be measured in real time with magnets and wires, either by a smart meter or lots of other devices. Electricity prices, on the other hand, are contrived, during or after the fact, by a convoluted market…Delivering pricing data in real time will be challenging for smart meter networks…for utilities, delivering power comes first, figuring out who pays for it (and how much) comes later…Most utility customers pay steady, regulated rates, and don’t get to see these complex price fluctuations — at least, not yet…Most smart meter networks, including those being deployed by California’s big utilities, are lower-bandwidth and designed to be read every 15 minutes or hourly, not in real time. While there are ways to get faster or more current price information to homeowners, Krevat doesn’t see such a network being the best, or most cost-effective, way, to do it…”

Leisure & Entertainment

40. Apple Bans Game, Days After Developer Publicly Trashes App Store http://kotaku.com/5497459/apple-bans-game-days-after-developer-publicly-trashes-app-store Last week, game developer Tommy Refenes publicly called Apple's app store "awful" and "horrible." This week, Apple yanked his game from their store…Apple hasn't offered Refenes any clues, leaving him only with theories. "They gave me no explanation at all as to why they took it down," the developer told Kotaku after trying to get an explanation from Apple all week. "I'm guessing they are mad that I said their store [is worthless]…and the iPhone is a Tiger handheld and they took it down…”

41. This is easily the coolest thing I’ve seen an iPhone do this week http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2010/03/19/video-this-is-easily-the-coolest-thing-ive-seen-an-iphone-do-this-week/ “…When the folks over in Cupertino strapped a little speaker to the bottom of the iPhone and released an SDK, do you think that any of them thought “Oh, people are totally going to use this to make apps that can push little Styrofoam balls around a fake soccer field.” Yeah, probably not…The 99 cent app, Football – Real Kick, is a clever twist on the “blower” concept we’ve seen before. In a nut shell: sound pushes air around. Certain sounds that the iPhone speaker can emit push enough air around that you can just baaaarely feel it, making it just strong enough to blow out a candle — or in this case, blow around a little Styrofoam ball. Unlike past blower apps, this one doesn’t emit a constant stream. It only putts out air when you tap that “kick” button; combine this with a hand drawn soccer field, a couple of iPhones, and a whole lot of beer, and you’ve got the world’s most expensive game of foosball…” [watch the video]

42. Etude offers sheet music, piano instruction http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/20100319/tc_macworld/etudeofferssheetmusicpianoinstruction For the aspiring musician without the paycheck to take lessons, computers have really opened up the traditional teaching field…Etude, released Wednesday by Wonder Warp Software, is a prime example. The app seeks to provide a different method of instruction to those learning piano: it combines a database of electronic sheet music with an on-screen light-up keyboard and audio playback of the piece…if you want to boast about your newly mastered piece to the world, Etude offers integration with Twitter and Facebook. The app is currently available for the iPhone and iPod Touch for an introductory price of $3…”

43. Nintendo to launch 3D-capable DS handheld http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9173921/Nintendo_to_launch_3D_capable_DS_handheld Nintendo is planning to launch a new version of its handheld DS gaming device on which users can get the illusion of 3D without using special glasses…The device, provisionally called the 3DS, will be launched in Japan before the end of March 2011…An alternate way of achieving a 3D effect is to place a filter directly in front of the display panel that consists of thousands of small lenses. The lenses focus each image to a fixed point in space and the viewer gets the 3D illusion as long as they are watching from that position. It has the advantage of not requiring glasses but restricts the viewing angle and typically means only a single person can see the 3D effect…Each of the screens on the DSi XL is 4.2 inches in size, which makes them about double the area of the screens on the DS Lite and larger than the 3.25-inch screens on the DSi…”

44. Iranian developers defy huge odds to create acclaimed computer game http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/20/AR2010032002730.html It might not seem that remarkable for a ragtag group of friends to come up with a computer game in a dusty back office…The Tehran office run by business developer Arash Jafari and chief executive Amir Hossein Fassihi is no flashy Silicon Valley incubator, but it's no standard Iranian workplace…The young men in sneakers and hooded sweatshirts laugh out loud as rock music blares from speakers…We hang out so much that we have to be friends," said Yaser Zhian, the main programmer. "It just feels so good to be doing something all by ourselves. It's us against the world…The game, created by a 20-member team, is expected to be released abroad to coincide with the Iranian new year, which starts Saturday. There have been other Iranian-produced computer games, but "Garshasp, the Monster Slayer" is the first that can compete internationally…Me and Soheil Eshraghi played in a band," said Jafari, a former electronics engineer with long, dark hair. "We liked games, but I didn't know Soheil could make animations…at the prestigious Sharif University of Technology, Jafari met Fassihi, an old friend, who was studying civil engineering. Both had passed a grueling national exam taken by 200,000 students a year. The top 800 are accepted at Sharif University; Jafari placed 97th and Fassihi 180th. Fassihi, who recently became a father, won a scholarship to pursue graduate studies at UCLA. After earning his degree, he returned to Tehran, where international pressure over Iran's nuclear program was already hurting businesses. Jafari and Fassihi then started a company developing Web sites. “When we had made enough money, we decided to try and make the game…”

45. Kylo media browser http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/032210-first-look-kylo-media.html Hillcrest Labs, known for its $100 Loop pointer--a four-button-plus-scroll-wheel wireless input device--has announced the release of its free Kylo browser. Based on Mozilla, Kylo is a Mac- and Windows-compatible streaming-media browser intended for the big screen--specifically HDTVs attached to a computer…Kylo is a living and breathing Web browser…Kylo is designed so that you'll rarely have to enter text to visit your favorite media sites. On the Home screen you find 128 large buttons that, when clicked, lead you to such popular media sites as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video, Pandora, ESPN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox. You can see subsets of these buttons by choosing specific kinds of media from a series of tabs at the top of the screen. You can select All, TV, Movies, Music, News, Sports, Games, Original, Social, or Learning. Clicking is what Kylo is all about. If you have a pointing device (Hillcrest would like you to think of its Loop pointer first, naturally, but any mouse will do) just click on a button and off you go to the site, which behaves exactly as it would in any other browser…The buttons and text are large enough that they can be easily read from the couch and clicked on. If you find the default layout of screen elements too small, you can click on a Pan and Zoom button…”

46. Heyzap lets Facebook game developers publish their games to the web http://games.venturebeat.com/2010/03/23/heyzap-lets-facebook-game-developers-publish-their-games-to-the-web/ Heyzap is liberating games from Facebook, allowing social game makers to publish them directly on the web. The new platform will let game creators to maximize their audiences for games that have proven themselves on Facebook or the hi5 social network. It takes as little as an hour to half a day to adapt a Facebook or hi5 game for the web. That’s why 15 game publishers, with a monthly combined reach of 50 million users, have signed up already. Heyzap uses Facebook Connect (which lets non-Facebook apps tap into a Facebook user’s friends list) to preserve the virality of Facebook games on the web…Users can play with their friends, regardless of whether they are on Facebook or not…”

Economy and Technology

47. PayPal Wants To Go From 1000 To 2000 Employees In Asia – This Year http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/17/paypal-asia/ PayPal has seen the future, and apparently it lies out East. The eBay company has just announced plans to double its presence in the Asian-Pacific region by the end of 2010…New jobs will be located at all seven offices in the region including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan…PayPal says it has processed more than $6 billion of total payment volume (at spot rate) in Asia Pacific in 2009, an increase of 38 percent from 2008. Since its establishment in the region in 2006, the company has struck dozens of partnerships with Asian companies including this morning’s announcements today with DBS, Singapore’s largest bank…”

48. Online chief William Lynch takes over as Barnes & Noble CEO http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-barnes-and-noble19-2010mar19,0,2035168.story “…Barnes & Noble Inc. announced…it was replacing Chief Executive Steve Riggio with the head of its online division. William Lynch, 39, joined the New York company in February 2009 as president of its website, Barnes & Noble.com…The world's largest bookseller has seen its store sales decline as more customers migrate online…said Lynch had done "a superb job in quickly establishing Barnes & Noble as a major player in e-commerce and digital content…”

49. AT&T to sell eco-friendly phone charger http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-20000660-266.html “…a new AT&T Zero Charger for your cell phone…will stop drawing an electrical charge if your charger is plugged into the wall, but the phone isn't attached. Conventional chargers continue to draw power when devices are plugged into a wall, even when the battery has finished charging or when no device is attached to the charger…Other devices, including TVs, computers, and all kinds of home appliances, also draw power from the power grid when they are plugged in even if they aren't turned on. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that standby power makes up as much as 20 percent of home energy use in the U.S.…”

Civilian Aerospace

50. First flight for SpaceShipTwo http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2010/03/22/2237244.aspx Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane took to the air for the first time this morning from California's Mojave Air and Space Port. The craft, which has been christened the VSS Enterprise, remained firmly attached to its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane throughout the nearly three-hour test flight. It will take many months of further tests before SpaceShipTwo actually goes into outer space…today's outing marks an important milestone along a path that could take paying passengers to the final frontier as early as 2011 or 2012. The captive-carry flight comes three and a half months after SpaceShipTwo's unveiling in Mojave…Both SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo were designed by aerospace guru Burt Rutan. Today's test was the first in a series aimed at checking the aerodynamics of the rocket plane in a controlled, real-world environment…”

51. Professional astronauts sought by Bigelow Aerospace http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7466226/Bigelow-Aerospace-American-space-firm-seeks-professional-astronauts.html “…Bigelow Aerospace, has become the first commercial company to advertise for professional astronauts. The firm, founded by Bob Bigelow, the head of a budget motel chain in the US, wants experienced spacemen working in orbit and on the ground. Only professionals with space flight experience need apply, which limits the pool of possible applicants worldwide to little more than 500…Mr Bigelow, from Las Vegas, already has two test models of his inflatable space modules in orbit around the Earth…He plans to build orbiting hotels to provide out-of-this-world holidays…Bigelow's modules, which can be linked together sausage-style to form a space station, are launched in compact form and then expanded to full size. Space duties spelt out in the job offer include: * Performing as a professional astronaut aboard the Bigelow Aerospace Station Complex * Managing all on-board aspects of employee and customer astronaut personal safety…"

52. FAA, NASA Vie for Authority Over Commercial Space Safety http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704207504575130552501802866.html Congress hasn't yet voted on White House proposals to outsource manned space flights to private enterprise…The Federal Aviation Administration believes it should be the agency in charge, while National Aeronautics and Space Administration believes the flights fall under its jurisdiction…The FAA, which currently has safety oversight of rocketships intended to blast tourists to the edge of space, hopes to expand that authority to cover planned commercial rockets designed to ferry astronauts to and from the orbiting international space station, and eventually on exploration missions deeper into space…Bryan O'Connor, the head of NASA's safety and mission assurance office, told the subcommittee that his agency is developing its own, independent safety requirements covering proposed commercial transportation of astronauts …”

53. Solar sails take shape http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2010/03/19/2233551.aspx As Japan gears up to send the first working solar sail into deep space in a couple of months, the Planetary Society is moving ahead with its own solar-sail project…Japan's Ikaros spacecraft, due to piggyback on the May 18 launch of the Venus-bound Akatsuki orbiter aboard a Japanese H-2A rocket…When the $1 million-plus LightSail mission was announced last November, its backers hoped to get it off the ground sometime this year…"We can still be ready by the end of 2010, but the launch vehicle will probably not be available until the first part of 2011," he said. LightSail-1 and Ikaros are both aimed at showing that solar sails can actually propel a spacecraft through the cosmos - something that's never been done before, even though people have tried for more than a decade…”

54. New Private Space Freighter Has Solid Backing http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/orbital-sciences-new-spaceship-100316.html “…Orbital Sciences…is building the unmanned Cygnus space freighter and a new rocket, the Taurus 2, to launch it. The first scheduled demonstration and operational launches are slated for 2011…Orbital holds a $1.9 billion contract with NASA for eight flights to resupply the space station, and is slated to form an integral part of the new U.S. commercial fleet alongside SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, as well as other boosters…NASA also has a $1.6 billion contract with the California-based SpaceX (short for Space Exploration Technologies) for unmanned cargo flights to the space station…Orbital's cylindrical Cygnus freighter includes a pressurized cargo module that can carry up to 5,952 pounds (2,700 kg) of payload. Its service module contains avionics, power, communications and command and control…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

55. IE9 to be GPU-accelerated http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/ie9-to-be-gpu-accelerated-20100316/ “…IE9…will be the first browser to be capable to handling this sort of GPGPU activity. Nvidia, Microsoft’s partner in the endeavor (the one handling the GPU side of the release) explained IE9’s new features in a blog post…Internet Explorer 9 includes…hardware accelerated graphics and text…resulting in graphics and performance improvements throughout the browser including the first to deliver hardware accelerated scalable vector graphics( SVG); the first to enhance JavaScript engine performance with the benefit of shifting from the CPU to the GPU; and the first to deliver GPU-Powered HTML5…”

56. Researchers give update on road to parallelism http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224000194 Researchers have taken several small steps on a long and complex journey toward creating new parallel programming models to harness tomorrow's many-core processors. The work entails crafting an entirely new set of architectures ranging from parallel applications and data structures to the processors that will run them. That was the picture that emerged from more than a dozen presentations from the Universal Parallel Computing Research Center…funded by a five-year $10 million grant from Intel and Microsoft…The center consists of 18 principal investigators, two research programmers and 33 graduate assistants. It parallels industry-funded work going on in separate centers at Berkeley and Stanford…The summit gave updates on three separate processor projects…All three are attempts to test out new concepts for a coming world of general-purpose chips built up from hundreds of cores…”

57. NVIDIA Shifts CUDA Into Third Gear http://www.hpcwire.com/features/NVIDIA-Shifts-CUDA-Into-Third-Gear-88863677.html In anticipation of the upcoming Fermi Tesla product launch, NVIDIA has released the CUDA 3.0 Toolkit…with a number of other GPGPU goodies designed to ease the task of general-purpose GPU computing…CUDA 3.0 represents the third major revision of its software stack for GPU computing…According to Sanford Russell, NVIDIA's general manager of GPU computing…"At the beginning it was the brave, then it was the smart, then it was the talented," says Russell. "And now we're trying to get to the mass market of programmers."…CUDA-compatible processors started being widely available in notebooks and laptops in 2009, significantly increasing the potential user base for GPU computing. NVIDIA estimates that over 180 million CUDA architecture GPUs have been installed…With the Fermi Tesla 20-series gear just weeks away from its official launch, NVIDIA wants to make sure the new products have the software support in place to attract developers…”

58. GE Uses GPGPU Technology in Rugged Platforms http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/GE-Uses-GPGPU-Technology-in-Rugged-Platforms-88429232.html GE Intelligent Platforms today extended its family of rugged GPGPU (general purpose computing on a graphics processing unit) solutions with the…6U OpenVPX NPN240 multi-processor. The NPN240 features two NVIDIA CUDA-capable GT240 96-core GPUs, enabling it to deliver up to 750 GFLOPS peak per card slot…the NPN240 is ideal for…military/aerospace companies and organizations…one company experienced a 15x increase in throughput in a radar application…NPN240 is designed to deliver…performance in…applications that lend themselves to parallel processing such as radar, sonar, and signal and sensor processing as well as state-of-the-art image, video and graphics . Typical applications include stream processing of high resolution images for deployed airborne surveillance…GPGPU technology provides a more flexible and highly cost-effective alternative to the FPGA-centric solutions that have traditionally been applied to some of the industry's toughest computing problems…”