NEW NET Weekly List for 31 May 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 31 May 2011, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering at Sergio's Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. Tumblrs Are Driving Magazine Subscriptions http://www.businessinsider.com/tumblr-david-karp-mark-coatney-newsweek-gq-vanity-fair-2011-5 The stunning success of Tumblr continues to filter its way across the internet landscape. The rapidly maturing microblogging platform recently passed 250 million page views per day, shocking even founder David Karp…Perhaps nowhere is this as prevalent as the magazine brands that are bringing their voices to Tumblr. Mark Coatney started the trend two years ago when he was at Newsweek…In June 2010 Coatney left to join Tumblr where part of his job involves bringing more magazines to the platform. For the most part, it's been a remarkably successful venture…a successful Tumblr targets a community that might not be familiar with the print publication or its website…It's such a young audience overall and it's a different demographic…Media companies are learning how they can effectively leverage the platform…"Tumblr is, at this point, almost 60% outside the U.S., but there aren't as many media people on it. There are a few Canadian newspapers and The Guardian is great in the U.K….Coatney says. "Brazil is the second largest country, and as far as I can tell there isn't a big Brazilian media presence on Tumblr yet…”

2. Grubwithus, gathering strangers around restaurant tables, launches in Boston next week http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2011/05/grubwithus_gathering_strangers.html Grubwithus, a Chicago start-up that brings groups of people together for shared meals…combines four things I love: checking out new restaurants, family-style dining, saving money, and dinner conversations with new people — the more eclectic, the better…you buy your meal in advance, getting a 20 or 30 percent discount on a restaurant's normal rate…Most dinner groups consist of eight people, and you can invite friends along or go solo. The meals are served family-style, which gives you a chance to try several appetizers, entrees, and sides. People who reserve a spot at the table first pay a little less than those who commit later…On the site, you can see photos and profiles of the other people who'll be joining you…the meals are all about being social…But there's always a group of people who want to eat with a purpose, so some meals have tags that tell you they're for people interested in start-ups or the real estate industry, for example…The site got its start, Lu says, "when my co-founder and I moved to Chicago from LA for work, and we didn't know anyone." Grubwithus launched last summer in Chicago, and also operates in New York, Washington, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Grubwithus tends to organize dinners on Sunday through Thursday nights, when restaurants aren't as busy as they are on weekends…”

3. Modern community building http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2011/05/26.html The Stack Exchange network is already up to 51 sites on diverse topics, from math to cooking to science fiction. Each site is a community on its own, and each community has its own needs and values…Our goal as a company is to incubate each of these 51 communities—to get them to critical mass. Critical mass is that magic moment when the community has enough activity that it grows by itself. Building communities on the Internet is a new kind of profession…Stack Exchange is trying really hard…at building communities…doing little experiments and getting early results. And one thing we noticed is…you need a political/social approach. That is, you need smart human beings to use smart human judgment and cultivate each community individually…With 51 communities and a new one opening almost every week, our small team of four community managers are doing a great job but they just don’t have the bandwidth to help cultivate every site…So what I plan to do is build a team of super-evangelists here at Stack Exchange…This job will be sort of like being a community organizer at a non-profit. It combines elements of marketing, PR, and sales, but it’s really something different. I don’t expect that there are a lot of people out there who already kn0w how to do this well, so I’m going to train them, personally. Not that I know how to do this, but we’ll learn together. Every workday is going to start with a huddle at 9am and a plan for the day’s activities and an intensive six hours of work. Every workday is going to end with an hour of learning... reading Kawasaki and Godin and Ries and Trout, talking with invited experts, meeting with members of the community about what worked and what didn’t worked…”

4. 4th Time a Charm for Apple? From iDisk to .Mac to MobileMe to iCloud http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/05/icloud-apple/ Apple has revealed the name of its upcoming online media service: iCloud. But don’t let the cute branding fool you. The company has tried this service before, and the iCloud rebranding signals a do-over on one of Apple’s greatest failures…iCloud will be Apple’s sequel to MobileMe, a paid online service for synchronizing personal information, such as your calendars, address books, e-mail and photos, across multiple devices. Tech observers agree that MobileMe has been one of Apple’s most embarrassingly flawed products, thanks to its extremely buggy launch and limited functionality. MobileMe was itself a 2008 rebranding of .Mac, which began its life in 2000 as iDisk…With iCloud, clues suggest that Apple is finally getting serious with online media services. The company began building a 500,000-square-foot data center in North Carolina in 2009…NPD’s Rubin believes that similar to competitors offering cloud services, Apple will integrate iCloud as a cross-platform solution — as it does with iTunes — while leveraging the service for Apple customers by giving special perks to owners of iPhones, iPads and Macs...”

5. Microsoft Streetside Isn’t Just a Google Streetview Clone Anymore http://siliconfilter.com/microsoft-streetside-isnt-just-a-google-streetview-clone-anymore/ Microsoft today released a number of major updates to the Streetside feature in Bing Maps. Streetside used to be very similar to Google’s Streetview, but Microsoft just mixed things up a bit and included an important twist. Instead of showing you the street from a car driver’s perspective, Streetside shows you pictures of the buldings on the right or left side of the street. Using Streetside now feels a bit more like walking down a city block than driving down a street…you can smoothly move up and down any street, choose which side of the street you want to see with just one click and also switch to another street at an intersection…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Bank of America data leak destroys trust http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20110524,0,3701056,full.column “…a BofA employee apparently leaked confidential information about his and hundreds of other customers' accounts to scammers…In Goldstein's case, the security breach resulted in his checking accounts being rapidly drained of more than $20,000…The far-reaching fraud serves as a cautionary tale for all consumers who entrust virtually their entire financial lives to major companies…All too often…the guardians of our personal info prove sloppy or negligent in keeping data secure…Goldstein…returned home from a trip and found a UPS sticker on his door informing him that his bank checks had arrived. That was strange. Goldstein hadn't ordered any new checks from BofA…The scammers ordered new checks for two of Goldstein's three BofA checking accounts. They also arranged with UPS to be able to pick up the checks at a UPS outlet rather than have them delivered to Goldstein's address…the perpetrators contacted Goldstein's phone company, Verizon, and arranged for all calls to Goldstein's home to be forwarded to the scammers' cellphone…to prevent BofA from contacting Goldstein…The thieves then called BofA and asked that some of the money in Goldstein's third checking account — the one they hadn't yet accessed — be transferred to one of the accounts they had checks for.No problem. "The bank did it right over the phone…checks were cashed everywhere from Hollywood to Las Vegas within a matter of hours…the trust is gone…"I go online and check my accounts two or three times a day," Goldstein said…” [if you do online banking, the safest way to go is with the Secure Banking Live CD

7. Apple standard procedures won't work with malware http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-20066288-256.html “…Apple posted a support forum entry on how to avoid or remove the MacDefender malware that's been plaguing…users since early May…Apple's standard method of responding to user issues--ignore them until they won't go away and then issue a response when the outcry gets too loud--simply won't fly where user security is at stake. Mac users are a juicy, unprotected target for hackers, phishers, and scammers…a source inside Apple support told Bott that Apple had issued new instructions for support reps to follow when handling MacDefender cases. Those instructions? Don't help them…Support reps were told…not to refer those customers to forums where they might actually find help. Support reps were also instructed to dodge "general" questions that might lead to resolutions…this behavior is Apple's standard operating procedure for dealing with problems of imperfection…From my perspective, it represents a commitment first and foremost to not admitting fault, canny observation of which way the media winds are blowing, and action only after outcry has reached a sufficiently intolerable din…it won't work as a response to security issues…by all accounts, these attacks are becoming ever more common…Mac users are uniquely trained not to be security aware, thanks to all those years of being told that Macs don't get viruses…This is not an attack on the security of the operating system--any OS is hackable, for one thing, and phishing attacks rely less on zero-day vulnerabilities and more on the complacency of an unsuspecting victim…”

8. Technology enables government abuse of the Patriot Act http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/secret-patriot-act/ “…Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday…Wyden says that what Congress will renew is a mere fig leaf for a far broader legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that the government keeps to itself — entirely in secret…“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden tells Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. ..As a member of the intelligence committee…one component of the Patriot Act in particular gives him immense pause: the so-called “business-records provision,” which empowers the FBI to get businesses, medical offices, banks and other organizations to turn over any “tangible things” it deems relevant to a security investigation…I think the public has a right to public debate about it.”…He believes the techniques themselves should stay secret, but the rationale for using their legal use under Patriot ought to be disclosed…The Justice Department…top national security official, Todd Hinnen…presented the type of material collected as…individualized and specific: “driver’s license records, hotel records, car-rental records, apartment-leasing records, credit card records, and the like.” But…Udall…warned in a Tuesday statement about the government’s “unfettered” access to bulk citizen data, like “a cellphone company’s phone records.”…Udall urged Congress to restrict the Patriot Act’s business-records seizures…Wheeler speculates those operations include “using geolocation data from cellphones to collect information on the whereabouts of Americans” …” http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/26/2-senators-win-promise-patriot-act-hearings/ “……”

9. China's Blue Army of 30 cyber warfare computer experts http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/chinas-blue-army-could-conduct-cyber-warfare-on-foreign-powers/story-e6frgakx-1226064132826 China has admitted for the first time that it…poured massive investment into the formation of a 30-strong commando unit of cyberwarriors..the unit, known as the "Blue Army", is nominally defensive, the revelation is likely to confirm the worst fears of governments across the globe who already suspect that their systems and secrets may come under regular and co-ordinated Chinese cyberattack…a former PLA general told The Times that the unit had been drawn from an exceptionally deep talent pool. "It is just like ping-pong. We have more people playing it, so we are very good at it,"…Organised under the Guangdong Military Command, the Blue Army is understood to have existed formally for about two years…the official PLA newspaper said that "tens of millions" had been spent on the country's first senior-level military training network…"The internet has no boundaries, so we can't say which country or organisation will be our enemy and who will attack us. The Blue Army's main target is self-defence. We won't initiate an attack on anyone…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. Viber VoIP app hits Android http://www.lifeofandroid.com/news_detail/viber-voip-app-hits-android/ We’ve been waiting for a simple, useable VoIP option that allows us to make free calls and texts to other Android users and, while there are numerous options out there – Skype obviously included – we’ve been disappointed with the call quality thus far. Viber has a great reputation in that area…Viber launched its, Skype-rivalling iOS app in December 2010…and by February had already hit the 10million user mark…As a Skype rival, it wins points for focus, providing free calls and texts to other Viber users and nothing else…”

11. NVIDIA's quad-core Kal-El used to demo next-gen mobile graphics, blow minds (video) http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/29/nvidias-quad-core-kal-el-used-to-demo-next-gen-mobile-graphics/ “…NVIDIA's new Glow Ball tech demo…Built to run on the company's quad-core Kal-El processor, it shows us the first example of true dynamic lighting on mobile devices and also throws in some impressive physics calculations like fully modeled cloth motion…NVIDIA's new hardware will make it possible to create lighting that moves, fluctuates in intensity, and responds realistically to its environment -- all rendered in real time…NVIDIA demoed the new goodness on a Honeycomb slate with 1280 x 800 resolution and the frame rates remained smooth throughout. In order to emphasize the generational leap that we can expect with Kal-El, the company switched off two of the four cores momentarily, which plunged performance down to less than 10fps. That means the simulations we're watching require a full quartet of processing cores on top of the 12-core GPU NVIDIA has in Kal-El…Glow Ball will be available as a game on Android tablets once this crazy new chip makes its way into retail devices -- which are still expected in the latter half of this year…” [watch the video – ed.]

12. Mobile technology adds three extra weeks on to working year http://www.managers.org.uk/news/boom-mobile-technology-adds-three-extra-weeks-working-year New research…suggests that managers’ readiness to switch between work-related and leisure activities during their time off is creating a ‘grey area’ between their personal and professional lives. Managers now spend an average of 2.5 hours a week (three working weeks a year), on top of their usual working week…largely enabled by mobile technology…Of the 76% of managers who can use devices including smartphones, laptops or tablets to work, almost half (49%) check their emails just before going to sleep at night and a quarter (24%) check them again on waking before they get out of bed in the morning. In addition, 26% of managers check emails on their way to and from work and…22% of managers monitor emails when they are socialising with friends and 9% when out on dates. Worryingly, 6% also report logging into work emails whilst driving…out of office hours, 59% of managers choose to visit websites related to their profession, 32% read magazines and journals about work, 30% read work-related books, 12% use social media for work purposes and 9% access professional smartphone apps…managers are voluntarily indulging in certain work-related activities before and after work, as well as at weekends…”

13. Dot Gives Your iPhone a 360-Degree Video Eyeball http://gizmodo.com/5804686 Everyone loves panoramas. But they're usually kind of tricky to shoot—and video? Forget it…the Dot attachment…for your iPhone 4 that turns it into a 360-shooting machine. Dot's still in the Kickstarter womb…but the pre-production models look great. Although the snap-on lens will only give you a distorted mess when you use the default camera app, Kogeto's software gives you smooth, swipe-navigable video, all the way around…Plop your phone down on at able at your birthday party, and have a virtual-recreation the next day—then shoot it to all your guests…”

14. ASUS Padphone http://www.dailytech.com/ASUS+Brings+Padfone+UX+Ultraportable+MeeGo+Notebook+to+Computex/article21754.htm ASUS has brought out the big guns to Computex, including…the new Padfone…the concept for this "tablet" device is rather unique… the tablet portion of the device is a "dumb" unit. It only houses a 10.1" screen, extended battery, and I/O extender…The magic happens…when you lift the back flap of the device and plug in the accompanying smartphone. The combo then turns the Padfone into a fully functioning Android tablet. Given the fact that the resulting combo has to house a full-blown smartphone inside, don't expect for the Padfone to be as svelte as an iPad 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but it is an interesting concept nonetheless…ASUS is targeting a December launch timeframe for the Padfone…”

15. Android Smartphones Consume More Data http://gigaom.com/2011/05/31/android-smartphones-consume-more-data-heres-why/ Android smartphones are the most data hungry, according to new statistics from Nielsen Co., blowing past the iPhone and other smartphones. But it’s still not clear why that is and whether or not this indicates more usage on the part of Android users or something inherent in the platform…Android users consume an average of 582 megabytes per month over cellular connections. IPhone users were second with 492 megabytes per month followed by WebOS phones (448 MB), Windows Phone 7 (317 MB), and BlackBerry (127 MB)…Other Nielsen statistics suggest, however, that iPhone users should be the biggest data users. Nielsen said that iPhone users were tops in downloading an app in the last 30 days as well listening to streaming music or watching video in the last month while Android users were second in all those categories…it could be that Android owners are more power users while iPhone users dabble more broadly but may not be as intense in their data use…Apple requires apps that are bigger than 200 MB to be downloaded over Wi-Fi rather than on a 3G connection. It also does its software updates over a wired connection via iTunes while Android users get their updates wirelessly…Android can natively route more traffic via cellular networks than iOS. Android also has a higher percentage of free apps compared to iOS and it’s likely that the free apps monetize more through ads, which have to communicate frequently with ad servers…Google…said that when an Android user opts in for location services, anonymized location information is sent directly to Google’s servers. That means that Google is potentially sending a steady stream of information from its phones back to its data centers…perhaps it just comes down to the fact that Android users are more savvy…The platform was more popular initially with programmers and tech enthusiasts who were attracted by Android’s openness and its ability to modify it. So it could be that these users just try to get more out of their devices…”


16. The Labyrinthine Maze of the Mobile OS http://www.wirelessweek.com/Articles/2011/05/Labyrinthine-Maze-Mobile-OS-Mobile-Content/ “…Developers play an important part in making mobile operating systems…successful…Here's a platform-by-platform look at the advantages and disadvantages of the top mobile operating systems, from the developer's point of view. Apple's iOS platform…market share is gigantic and it rakes in boatloads of cash…the size of Apple's application storefront can actually make things more difficult to developers…Its massive size means there's a ton of competition…A new app in the App Store is a very small fish in a very big pond…Getting apps noticed can be a big problem…Apple controls…all the apps sold through the App Store. This walled garden approach has been criticized for being too restrictive and dictatorial, but developers say the limitations Apple imposes…make it easier to do their jobs…Apps developed on iOS work consistently across all the different generations of iPhone and iPad…Apple is notoriously slow to approve new apps; makes unexpected and dictatorial changes to rules…iOS apps must be written in Objective-C…Android would seem to be the best of both worlds. It has enough market share…while providing its developers the flexibility of open source and a programming language they're more familiar with…that flexibility is…a double-edged sword…the four different versions of Android currently on the market are less of a concern than the variety of form factors running the operating system…a device's hardware may perform differently than expected, making it more difficult to develop apps leveraging a smartphone's camera, Bluetooth capabilities or keyboard…A well-trod saying about Java fragmentation is applicable to Android as well. At first, it was write once and run everywhere – now, it's write once and test everywhere…BlackBerry may still be popular in the enterprise space, but it sure isn't popular with developers. Not only has the operating system failed to catch up to iOS and Android, it's difficult to develop for. The lack of backward compatibility between different versions of the platform, combined with clumsy developer tools and a dizzying array of form factors, makes creating apps for BlackBerry anything but a cakewalk…If you want to get in BlackBerry's app store, you'll have to create five to six different versions to get 80 percent of BlackBerry users covered for a given application…Given the massive market share of iOS and Android, and the enterprise appeal of BlackBerry, why would anyone develop for Windows Phone 7, given its relatively limited scale?...Its development tools are…a "joy to work with," and there's a chance that Microsoft will pay you to develop for the platform…No matter how difficult or easy a platform is to develop for, a developer's final decision about which operating system to build for rests on their client's needs and the potential for return on investment…”

17. Most Android Apps Make Almost No Money http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-business/most-android-apps-make-almost-no-money/10925 “…most paid Apple iPhone apps will lose money…a new report from app market research firm Distimo suggests that developers writing for Google Android make even less. This…paints a grim picture for the vast majority of app developers who hope to make money from the platform…only a tiny portion of paid apps have significant sales…About 95.4 percent of Android apps sell fewer than 1,000 copies…the top money almost any app will make is $2,310, and 79.3 percent of the paid apps don’t even make $330 for the developer…This is probably why app developers for Android lean more heavily toward free models, presumably with advertising…When 73.8 percent of free apps get downloaded fewer than 50,000 times, you have to ask about the average advertising revenue per user…only a few will see apps make enough money to provide a reasonable return on their investment of time…the entire industry rests on the labor of people who essentially donate their services creating enough bulk content to catch popular attention. What happens if the un-moneyed masses decide to walk away and do something profitable with their time? Will platform owners have to start a subsidy model…” http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-business/most-apps-in-the-apple-app-store-will-probably-lose-money/5187 “…because we don’t have any details of the patterns in which apps make money…take a flat average of revenue divided by the number of apps, which means the gross revenue app developers saw from sales alone would be about $8,300 per app…the average app can afford about 3.6 weeks of work by one developer. How hard is it to write an app in that time? It would depend on the complexity and how familiar the developer was with iOS…Of course, the revenue distribution isn’t flat, so the big winners will make a lot of money and most apps will probably make next to nothing, suggesting that most apps as a business venture would actually lose money…”

18. Ford eyes health application for Sync http://www.freep.com/article/20110519/BUSINESS01/105190638/Ford-eyes-health-application-Sync Ford wants to expand its Sync technology…to enable people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses to monitor themselves and take preventive action if needed…Working with Medtronic, the Minneapolis-based medical technology company; WellDoc, a developer of medical-monitoring software, and SDI, a health care analytics company in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., Ford wants to introduce the diagnostic feature on a new vehicle in the next "one to two years,"…There are 27 million Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes…Already companies such as WellDoc and SDI are developing mobile health care applications for smartphones…Ford and partners want diabetics to be able to use the same wireless glucometers they use at home or work in their vehicles. The Sync-connected devices would alert a driver or passenger when blood-sugar levels rise or fall to risky levels…Mascarenas said Ford is "doing a tremendous amount of work" at its Dearborn research center on ways to reduce driver distraction…”

19. Appsfire Scores $3.6M As App Discovery Demands Grow http://gigaom.com/2011/05/30/appsfire-scores-3-6m-as-app-discovery-demands-grow/ With Apple’s App Store hitting the half billion million app markand Android Market poised to overtake it later this year, it’s a busy time to be in the app discovery business. Appsfire, a France-based startup, is reaping the benefits, scoring $3.6 million in Series A funding from French investors Idinvest. The funding will help the company accelerate its growth as it looks to strike more partnerships…and build up its team of seven employees. The funding signals the growing opportunity in app discovery, which is becoming a major issue for both consumers and developers. With a sea of content available, there is increasing money flowing to start-ups that can help developers and publishers get their apps recognized and downloaded by consumers. Appsfire…catalogs the apps on a user’s phone and suggest apps on an Appstream, a live wall of apps that identifies recommended, featured and hot apps…Appsfire has hit 2 million users worldwide, hitting the top 10 rankings in the U.S., France, Spain, Germany, Austria and Turkey…Appsfire said it’s preparing to release a new company software development kit that will allow advertisers and developers to provide highly targeted offerings to users. Appsfire is also planning on expanding to other mobile platforms soon…”

Open Source

20. Syncany: open source Dropbox alternative http://www.webupd8.org/2011/05/syncany-great-dropbox-alternative-which.html Syncany is a brand new open-source file sync software (similar to Dropbox, or Sparkleshare)…Besides the fact that it's open source, Syncany encrypts the data on your machine so your files are safe. Further more, Syncany is extensible through plugins so it will be easy to add new protocols. Syncany currently supports FTP, Box.net, Amazon S3, Google Storage, IMAP…Local, Picasa and Rackspace Cloud Files…Syncany is currently unstable and a bit slow, but already functional. However, it lacks some features such as sharing a file (like copying its public link in Dropbox)…Syncany has just reached the first public release…Syncany is only available for testing right now…” [this would be an interesting project for someone who wants to get involved with open source – ed.]

21. Moodlerooms Inc., a Baltimore startup, raising $1.5 million http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/technology/2011/05/moodlerooms_inc_a_baltimore_st.html Moodlerooms Inc., a company that got its start in Baltimore's Emerging Technology Center incubator…is using the open-source online education platform Moodle and offering add-on services and support to its institutional clients, which range from public schools to colleges and universities. Moodlerooms is competing against such heavy hitters as Blackboard and K12 Inc…This is the third time the company has sought to raise money. Last year, the company…raised $750,000 and $7.1 million. The money has fueled its expansion and growth -- the company moved its headquarters…and it hired more people.” [here’s a startup building a company on top of an open source product –ed.]


22. Google to expand ultra-fast broadband to KC, Mo http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iOmS0bFxUCO1kgEtC193luueeZDQ “…Google announced in March it had picked Kansas City, Kan., as the inaugural site for its "Fiber for Communities" program, which is expected to deliver Internet access 100 times faster than broadband connections offered by telephone and cable companies. On Tuesday, the company said it had reached a deal with Kansas City, Mo., to run the high-speed fiber optics across the Missouri River and into the city. The first customers are expected to go online sometime in the middle of next year…High-tech businesses, hospitals, utilities and schools initially would be the biggest beneficiaries of the network, which would provide rapid transmission of data and high-definition images far beyond what is available now. As for the value to individuals…that depends on pricing of the 1 gigabit service, since current available broadband speeds are plenty fast for most applications…Milo Medin, Google's vice president of access services, said…"One of Google's goals is to make the web faster…We believe the innovation on the web is only in its beginning phases.”

23. Mobile Wallet – Google’s most important product for 10 years http://onsoftware.en.softonic.com/mobile-wallet Back in 2000 I was lucky enough to meet up with Google’s CTO…to talk about the search engine’s new AdWords solution…I thought his new AdWords product will change the business world forever…AdWords went on to become the company’s main revenue stream, generating revenues of $28 billion in 2010…Yesterday, as I watched Google present its new Wallet solution, I got that same tingly feeling as I had 10 years ago, that something truly game changing is about to drop…Essentially it’s an Android app that turns your phone into a wallet. With it you’ll be able to use it to store virtual versions of your current plastic cards…I would bet my horse that one day it will bring in more money for Google than AdWords does…Google Wallet could be the single biggest thing to happen to the retail industry since credit cards were launched…As well as bank cards, eventually the app will store all your loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets, and maybe even your passport, eventually. We will never need to carry around or store any of these cards, documents or bits of paper again. Everything will be inside your phone…Google Wallet will also open interesting new ways for retailers to interact with their customers…I have a feeling Google Wallet won’t take long to start making its mark in the western world’s shopping malls, outlets, coffee shops , and restaurants. At launch, Wallet will support Citibank Mastercards and there are already 120,000 stores where the payment system will be accepted, including the likes of Macy’s, Walgreens, Subway, Toys ‘R’ Us and Bloomingdale’s…”

24. Google Unveils Wallet And Offers: An Open Platform For Mobile Payments http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/26/google-wallet-offers/ “…Google’s VP of Commerce…wanted to make it clear that this would be an open platform. She invited “payment networks, carriers, and banks to join us in creating tomorrow’s shopping experience”. And some of those partners are already on board. Citi, Mastercard, FirstData, and Sprint are the initial partners…By 2014, Tilenius notes that 50 percent of smartphones will have NFC built into them — that’s 150 million devices…you’ll be able to add your existing credit cards…only Citi-backed Mastercards are a partner right now…Right off the bat, Google Wallet will work with Mastercard Paypass. This means right now 300,000 merchants around the world and 120,000 in the U.S. are technically ready…It will initially work with “Gcard” a Google pre-paid card set up by Mastercard…The other component of the announcement is Google Offers. These work seamlessly with Google Wallet. You find an offer you want, save it to Wallet with a click and you’re ready. You can redeem them by tapping the phone at the point of sale…Google notes that the ability to receive digital receipts will be a part of Wallet as well…digital loyalty cards are another thing they’re working on. There were also hints of the gaming dynamics down the road to make mobile payments more engaging and fun…Google is really pushing the “open” aspect of this. They want and need more partners for this to really take off…”

General Technology

25. AMD gears up for first developer conference in eight years http://www.sdtimes.com/AMD_GEARS_UP_FOR_DEVELOPER_CONFERENCE/By_Alex_Handy/About_AMD/35574 “…the world of graphics processors…has come…to prominence over the past three years, mostly through corporate evangelism for the use of graphics processors to share workloads with CPUs. AMD hopes to push this use case at its first developers conference in eight years…AMD's newest processors are a combination of CPUs and graphics processing units (GPU) on the same chip…despite being on the same silicon, the two processors address separate memory spaces. Earlier this year, NVIDIA rectified same problem in its CUDA development tools, allowing developers to address information to the GPU without having to keep track of an entirely separate memory structure. AMD will announce this same capability…Whereas NVIDIA is advocating the use of its GPUs as a tool for nightly batch-job processing and high-performance computing, AMD is looking at smaller use cases…How do we allow the power of GPU processing to participate in smaller workloads?...The areas we're innovating in are how to make the GPU more of a peer processor with the CPU, so they can work together on relatively small batches of work. We think that is going to solve a lot of problems in the apps consumers will use…”

26. Lockitron Unlocks Your Door With Your Phone http://singularityhub.com/2011/05/24/unlock-your-door-with-your-phone-text-a-key-to-a-friend-lockitron-is-awesome-video/ “…Lockitron is an electronic door lock you can control via your phone…Not only can you open the Lockitron using…“any phone with internet access” no matter where you are, you can also pass an electronic key code to your friends or family. When they text the code to a specified telephone number the door opens. You can cancel the digital key at anytime, making it perfect for out of town guests…the company has installed 60 Lockitrons so far, serving over 400 users…Their electronic lock…adding another utility to the already impressive mobile phone toolkit…soon your smart phone will be the only thing you have to carry with you…at $300 plus $5/month for text message service, Lockitron isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s less expensive than other high tech keyless entry systems we’ve seen…There are many selling points to the Lockitron system, but the greatest has to be the flexibility in letting people in. Open the door while you’re miles away while you’re talking to someone on the phone. Give your friend access through a unique text message code…”

27. AMD Betting Everything on OpenCL http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2011/05/30/amd-betting-everything-on-opencl/1 Fusion is either going to carry AMD through to the victory parade, or drag it through the streets for a pelting in the village stocks. The whole future of AMD's CPU division rests on GPGPU computing being catapulted into the mainstream. If this happens, the company's APUs can theoretically…thump Core i7 like AMD64 thumped Pentium 4. If it doesn't, however, then AMD's CPU future is going to look pretty bleak…in the middle of June we'll also have our first developers' conference…the objective will be to give educational instruction in an academic setting for researchers and developers…who want to develop OpenCL/DirectCompute acceleration stuff…CUDA's going to have a niche place in the industry – I think it'll exist for very specific high-performance computing applications - stuff like genetic mapping and specific things that universities are researching…”

28. Google Docs Drawing vs. Microsoft Visio (Day 24 of Google tools vs. Microsoft tools) http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/228613/day_24_google_docs_drawing_vs_microsoft_visio.html There is another tool buried in Google Docs that we haven't yet looked at during our 30 Days With...Google Docs--Drawing. The Microsoft Office equivalent, or counterpart, would be Visio…While Drawing sounds like an art program--and it could be used as such to an extent--in the context of Google Docs, or office productivity, it is more about business drawings like flowcharts, organizational charts…or diagrams for business documents or presentations…you will start with a blank Drawing canvas. Across the top is a menu bar with…the standard collection of lines, arrows, and shapes, as well as the obligatory text box. Using the array of shapes available, and filling in colors with the paint bucket you can create a colorful chart or diagram…it is almost unfair to compare Drawing to Visio…Visio just makes it easy to crank out professional-looking drawings and diagrams…one area where Drawings stands out, though…is the Google Docs sweet spot--real-time collaboration…you can share out a Drawing and enable whole teams of individuals to work on it together online in real-time. Visio is awesome, but it doesn't have the online collaboration piece…Visio 2010 Standard is $250, Visio 2010 Professional is $500, and Visio 2010 Premium is a whopping $1000…Google Docs Drawing is nice if you need to collaborate in real-time, but overall Drawing compared to Visio is like comparing Microsoft Paint to Adobe Photoshop…”

DHMN Technology

29. 5 Axis Robot Carves Metal Like Butter http://singularityhub.com/2010/04/05/5-axis-robot-carves-metal-like-butter-video/ Industrial robots are getting precise enough that they’re less like dumb machines and more like automated sculptors producing artwork…this level of production is becoming the new standard…Automated production has really progressed to a point where humans can’t keep up. The real challenge is between two different styles of robotic production: printing and machining…Milling, however, is still the best way to produce high-grade metal objects…You can’t build a working diesel engine out of a 3D printer…yet. While we’re waiting for that technology to mature, the machining sector is developing new capabilities that keep it competitive…These industrial robots can carve exquisite pieces out of materials 3D printers can’t touch…” [so I’m thinking we need to combine 5 axis robot mini mills with 3D printers; use the mill to provide a smooth finish on the exteriors of low resolution printed items; watch the video – ed.]

30. Make An Arduino Board Oscilloscope http://www.pcworld.com/article/228381/make_an_arduino_board_oscilloscope.html “…Oscilloscopes can be useful tools, but they can be expensive, depending on the model. What's a poor geek to do? Thankfully, you can make your own if you have an Arduino board laying around…Xoscillo is an awesome project that lets you to turn an Arduino board into an oscilloscope…Your board will be able to use up to four input channels at frequencies up to 7 kHz and as many as seven input channels at 4 kHz. It utilizes 8 bit vertical resolution, can sample voltages for as long as you need (or until your power line is struck by lightning), and you can use several boards together to increase the number of channels. Xoscillo also has a forum for you to ask questions when you break something…very handy for hobbyists and those without an oscilloscope…”

31. PhotoFly - 3D Models from Photographs from Autodesk Labs http://blog.gisuser.com/2011/05/photofly-3d-models-from-photographs-from-autodesk-labs/ “…from the Autodesk Labs…Project Photofly allows anyone with a common point and shoot digital camera to create near accurate 3D models from photographs using the power of cloud computing. The 3D models can be manipulated through CAD applications or shared with others through YouTube and Autodesk’s free* Inventor® Publisher Mobile Viewer…” http://www.vizworld.com/2011/05/autodesk-labs-utilities-project-photofly-20/ “…One particularly neat feature of the Autodesk offering is that they offer a type of “inverse” scanning, so that you can stand inside a room and take photos of all the walls, and have the entire room reconstructed. It’s almost like scanning an object inside-out…” http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/37631/ “…An overlapping set of around 40 photos is enough to capture a person's head and shoulders in detailed 3-D…The 3-D rendering can be viewed as a naked wire-frame model of the captured scene or a version with realistic surface color and texture…You could send that model from your photos to a 3-D printing service to physically re-create what you saw…consumer services such as ShapeWays that will print out 3-D models in a variety of ceramics, plastics, and metals. Autodesk's is the first consumer software capable of producing models accurate enough for 3-D printing…”

Leisure & Entertainment

32. Barnes and Noble's Nook Challenges Kindle and iPad http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/business/media/23nook.html “…The Nook Color has surprised publishers of women’s magazines like O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health by igniting strong sales that rival — and in some cases surpass — sales on the iPad. The success was not…predictable for a device that has been on the market only since November…Magazine top sellers include US Weekly, Shape, Women’s Health and Every Day with Rachael Ray…Generically speaking, the iPad and other tablets are men’s toys, while the Nook Color and other e-readers are more popular with women…56 percent of tablet owners are male, while 55 percent of e-reader owners are female. Women also buy more books than men do — by a ratio of about 3 to 1…and are therefore more likely to buy devices that are made primarily for reading books…Barnes & Noble has marketed the $249 Nook Color toward females. Ads show women and girls reading it in various states of relaxation and repose: at the beach, in bed, on the couch…it is the most successful product in Barnes & Noble’s history…Apple and Amazon…top sellers include far more magazines with heavily male audiences, like Wired and Rolling Stone…Nook Color subscriptions are outselling the magazines Meredith publishes on the iPad…by about 2 to 1…Rodale Inc., which publishes Women’s Health, Runner’s World and Prevention on the Nook Color, is selling about five times as many subscriptions through Barnes & Noble as it is selling single issues on the iPad…” http://mashable.com/2011/05/24/simple-touch-reader-review/ Barnes & Noble announced the latest…Nook…a smaller, black-and-white E-Ink touchscreen device with two months of battery life. The Simple Touch Reader…improves upon Amazon’s Kindle 3 device in five respects: 1) It has a touchscreen, and is buttonless (save for the on/off button on the backside). 2) It has double the battery life. 3) It’s 1.5 inches shorter (5 x 6.5 inches). 4) It’s one ounce lighter (7.5 ounces). 5) There’s less of a page-turning delay. Both devices have built-in Wi-Fi, 6-inch display screens and are priced at $139…Amazon is ripe to launch the next generation of its Kindle device this summer…Historically, each Kindle iteration brings about a significant upgrade to storage, speed and battery life; the real question is whether Amazon will continue with its button-laden model, or opt for a touchscreen…”

33. Robots, Not Humans, Retrieve Your Books at $81 Million “Library of the Future” http://singularityhub.com/2011/05/24/robots-not-humans-retrieve-your-books-at-81-million-library-of-the-future-video/ You enter the 8,000-square foot elliptical Grand Reading Room of the Joe and Rika Mansueto library, admiring the arched dome of glass panels overhead. You walk past the circulation desk, gaze at the stylish furniture and think: Where the heck are all the books?...the books are tightly packed in bins stacked five stories high beneath your feet…An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) involving huge, computer-activated robotic cranes find the book you want, deliver it to the circulation desk, and eventually return it back underground…The Mansueto library was recently opened to the faculty and students of the University of Chicago…In the case an old journal article isn’t available online or a book hasn’t been scanned due to copyright limitations, for example, then the student can request the book right there on the computer. The automated storage and retrieval system will deliver the volume to the circulation desk, usually within the five minutes it takes for the student to walk there…metal bins 18-inches high and 2 by 4 feet…hold about 100 books…About 35,000 bins in all are stacked into racks 50 feet high, bringing Mansueto’s capacity to 3.5 million books…If you do a quick online search you’ll see that the ‘future of the library’ is actually a pretty energetic discussion…An overriding theme is the urge that libraries change and not resist the “Google generation.” Bestselling author and marketing guru, Seth Godin…depicts the librarian of the future: a person “with the guts to invite kids in to teach them how to better grades while doing less grunt work. And to teach them how to use a soldering iron or take apart something with no user serviceable parts inside…”

34. Kobo announces Touch Edition e-reader that's 'easier to use than ever' http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/05/kobo-ereader-touch-edition-launches.html Kobo…announced its new eReader Touch Edition…a paperback-sized device that features an e-ink touch screen…You can tap the edge of a page on the screen to turn the page, or you can swipe it with your finger, and it rolls back just like a real page would."…The display uses an infared touch technology that allows the screen to react to the touch of any object, not just a human finger. "You can touch, tap or swipe with a pen, pencil, hand, hand in gloves, whatever you want to touch it with and it will work," Serbinis said…The Kobo Touch Edition went on preorder on Monday at Best Buy, Borders and Wal-Mart stores for $129.99…Both Kobo's Touch and Wireless eReaders can download books from the Kobo store, over the Internet, connecting via Wi-Fi. Neither device is available with 3G connectivity…Kobo's Reading Life application…tracks a user's activity -- what, how much and how long a user reads -- and offers up awards based on that progress…such as a cup of coffee or a discount on a new eBook purchase…"We're the eReading partner of choice for Research In Motion, and Samsung and HTC and we're preinstalled on many Android tablets and phones," he said…”

35. China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/25/china-prisoners-internet-gaming-scam “…Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money. The 54-year-old, a former prison guard…was jailed for three years in 2004 for "illegally petitioning" the central government about corruption in his hometown…"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour…We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day…The computers were never turned off."…The hard slog may have been virtual, but the punishment for falling behind was real. "If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically…after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things,"…According to figures from the China Internet Centre, nearly £1.2bn of make- believe currencies were traded in China in 2008…It is estimated that 80% of all gold farmers are in China and with the largest internet population in the world there are thought to be 100,000 full-time gold farmers in the country…"China is the factory of virtual goods," said Jin Ge, a researcher from the University of California San Diego…The emergence of gold farming as a business in China – whether in prisons or sweatshops could raise new questions over the exporting of goods real or virtual from the country…”

36. $45,000 Hasselblad uber-megapixel camera http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20066021-264.html The new top-end model from medium-format camera maker Hasselblad is…the 200-megapixel H4D-200MS…set you back…about $45,000. The camera actually uses a sensor with a mere 50 megapixels, but with Hasselblad's multishot technology combines six shots into one…a lot of this very high-end photography involves static subjects such as jewelry, watches, cars, and paintings for reproduction…The multishot technique…works with a piezoelectric motor that moves the camera's image sensor a tiny amount before taking each photo…”

37. Nvidia launches $99 3D Vision wired glasses http://venturebeat.com/2011/05/29/nvidia-launches-99-3d-vision-wired-glasses/ “…Nvidia is introducing a pair of wired stereoscopic 3D glasses today for $99. The company charges $199 for the wireless version of its 3D Vision glasses…The glasses use Nvidia’s active-shutter technology, which offers higher quality 3D than ordinary 3D glasses, allowing users to watch in 1080p, or high-definition. But the wireless glasses need to be charged and the wired version can be produced more cheaply. So the wired version may help the technology take off better. Today, there are 525 full-HD 3D games that use Nvidia’s technology. Users can also watch Blu-ray 3D movies and view streaming 3D video from YouTube and 3DVisionLive.com with the glasses…”

38. OnDemand Books Provides the Technology to Run Digital Publishing http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/ondemand-books-provides-the-technology-to-run-digital-publishing/ On Demand Books, which produces the software and machinery for the Espresso Book Machine, had a specific goal…to convince publishers that giving customers and book retailers the power to print any of its…7 million titles directly at the point of sale was a good idea….Customers enter a brick-and-mortar store, or in some cases a library, and purchase any book from On Demand’s massive catalog of public domain and copyrighted titles, pay for the title, and walk out with a fully-bound, professional-quality paperback print copy of the book. Yet there have been publishers who are reluctant to release their titles to print-on-demand technology…The strange dynamic in the EBM has been low numbers of actual store-based kiosks. Despite its partnership with Google Books almost two years ago , giving On Demand access to two million of Google’s public domain titles, there are currently only about 75 EBMs at work in locations around the country, with another 75 or so expected to be in use by the end of the year…” http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-blaggers-guide-toselfpublishing-2290361.html “…The EBM has just teamed up with Xerox to enable it to print 100 pages per minute, meaning that a 300-page book can be printed from scratch, bound and trimmed into a library-quality paperback in less than four minutes…”

Economy and Technology

39. Why two engineers left Apple to build a Flash alternative: The Hype http://thestartupfoundry.com/2011/05/23/why-two-engineers-left-apple-to-build-a-flash-alternative-the-hype-yc-w11-story/ Hype is an HTML5 Animation Builder for Mac OS X. It allows you to build interactive sites in HTML5 that rivals Flash. Hype launched last Friday and they are already the top grossing app on the mac app store…one of the cofounders, Jonathan Deutsch…talk about his experience leaving a safe job at Apple to launch a startup, where his inspiration came from for Hype, and his experience with Y Combinator…after a trip to Europe, I wanted to make a photo website that would be as nice as a beautifully bound photo album, and use lots of effects…that’s how the idea for Hype was born…What made you decide to leave a “safe job” at Apple and build a risky startup? I had always wanted to have my own company…there was a new wave coming to the web…instead of it being called “Web 3.0″ it was called HTML5…for any technology shift you’d need tools to help out…felt if my startup failed I could always go back. At Apple the question is often “how many times have you worked here?”…an influence is Apple’s driving the web forward…Now WebKit is on almost every smartphone…I’ve recommended to everyone I know that even if you’re not going to apply to YC, fill out the application…YC is definitely worthwhile. The network effects are staggering…Paul Graham, Paul Buchheit, and Harj Taggar all give great advice with brilliant ideas sprinkled in. The dinners are fun, and there’s a lot that we learned from the speakers…The atmosphere is electric and contagious…”

40. Digital Gnome & Other Notable Startups at TC Disrupt http://gigaom.com/2011/05/23/admob-founder-returns-with-digital-gnome/ “…Omar Hamoui’s…first creation is Gnonstop Gnomes, an intriguing mobile app that allows users to transfer a digital gnome between devices and chart the character’s movements around the world…it lets Hamoui explore the notion of whether people will find some value in sharing a unique digital character between friends…the really intriguing thing is the technology built into the app, which allows people to transfer one gnome between devices…Hamoui said Churn Labs wasn’t necessarily designed to make a lot of money. But it’s built to explore these interesting ideas and see where they can go…here is a look at some of the other start-ups that caught my eye today: Weotta is throwing its hat into the local recommendation market…Sonar is looking to help uncover the hidden connections between people at venues…Rexly is stepping in where Apple has failed with Ping…”

41. Better payment systems than Square for small entrepreneurs and SMBs? http://technologizer.com/2011/05/23/the-truth-about-square/ “…Square announced that it was improving its iPad experience to offer businesses an alternative to the cash register, as well as offering a new feature called the Square Card Case…For businesses, the iPad app is attempting to replace the cash register…In simplest terms, customers will be able to use the Square Card Case app to pay for their transactions, as well as see purchase histories. In addition, the customer will be able to place orders for products or services from the app, and receive customized offers based on purchase history…As the go-to guy on technology for a local business, I can tell you I wouldn’t buy into this system — and we’re looking for a new system…it’s just not up to snuff for modern retail uses…First off there’s no barcode support at all, thus this is useless for just about any business outside of restaurants. There’s also no easy way to run end-of-day reports…most bookkeepers will tell you that is necessary to make sure your books are straight…These types of closed systems never seem to work well, especially when you haven’t built the network up first. Square has grown impressively, but mainly among consumers. That seems to be the ideal market for this product. I’m not sure if this is a viable solution outside of that…”

42. Brammo and EcoMotors: electric vehicles vs. conventional internal combustion vehicles http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/26/disrupt-transportation-brammo-ecomotors/ “…chief executive officers of two very different clean tech startups, Brammo and EcoMotors, discussed the relative merits and limitations of clean vehicle technology at TechCrunch Disrupt…Oregon-based Brammo designs and manufactures all-electric motorcycles and the battery technology and software that powers them, while Michigan-based EcoMotors designs and makes more efficient combustion engines. EcoMotors’ CEO Don Runkle…the former VP of engineering at GM, went on to claim that EcoMotors’ engine technology enables car companies to produce diesel-powered vehicles that have a lower, overall carbon footprint than any electric automobile available today…Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher said that he refrains from calling his company’s plug-in, electric motorcycles…“zero emissions vehicles.”…Bramscher said that personally, he didn’t want his children fighting to defend an oil field as petroleum resources become strained. He would be much happier when they grow up if they could find work designing or making batteries…”

Civilian Aerospace

43. Treating space like the American West http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/24/treating-space-like-the-american-west/ On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy committed the nation to reach the moon by the end of the decade…a half-century later, our space program is adrift…the creation of the transcontinental railroad served as the decisive move enabling the settling of the continent. Can we today deliver a similar master stroke and open the way to the full and rapid development of the new frontier, space? Can we open a “transorbital railroad”?...let’s just take a quarter of the shuttle’s budget and use it to set up a regularly scheduled launch service to orbit using the most cost-effective boosters on the commercial market…Right now, the choice of most cost-effective launcher is a horse race between the Boeing Delta IV, the Lockheed Atlas V and the Spacex Falcon 9…starting in 2013, Spacex will field the Falcon Heavy, which, with a lift capacity of 53 metric tons…with a budget of $1.2 billion, the transorbital railroad could buy 15 launches per year, or one every 24 days, with a total lift capacity of 795 metric tons. This is nearly 10times the annual delivery capability of the shuttle program…at one-quarter the cost…the NASA transorbital railroad office would then turn around and sell payload space on board at a steep discount price…low fees (levied primarily to discourage spurious use) would make spaceflight readily affordable…Unsubscribed space would be filled with containers of water, food or space-storable propellants. These standardized, pressurizable containers, equipped with tracking beacons, plumbing attachments, hatches and electrical pass-throughs, would be released for orbital recovery by anyone with the initiative to collect them and put their contents and volumes to use in space…the budget required to run the transorbital railroad would be 25 percent that of the space shuttle program, but it would accomplish far more…With such a huge amount of lift capability available to the public at low cost, both public and private initiatives of every kind could take flight…private enterprises or foundations could use the transorbital railroad to launch their own lunar or Mars probes - or settlements - as well…”

44. NASA says commercial rockets will fly to space station by 2012 http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-congress-slams-commercial-20110526,0,780817.story NASA's plans to use commercial rockets to supply the International Space Station are running almost two years behind schedule and will cost $300 million more than expected…The agency expects SpaceX of California and Orbital Sciences of Virginia to start delivering cargo to the station in 2012 or earlier, replacing the space shuttle – which will be retired this summer…COTS funding helped SpaceX make history in December when it blasted a capsule into orbit and returned it safely -- becoming the first non-government entity ever to do so…that demonstration flight was 18 months late, and upcoming flights set for later this year and early 2012 also are behind schedule as SpaceX deals with propulsion and navigation problems…Orbital also is late, having rescheduled a first demonstration flight from December 2010 to a year later as it works on everything from avionics to building a launch facility…In the background of the hearing, however, was a long-running feud between advocates of commercial spaceflight and those who want to replace the shuttle with a government-run rocket…”

45. OSU builds space habitat project in NASA competition http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110525_11_A2_CUTLIN950837 “…Oklahoma State University…was one of three universities selected to participate in NASA's first X-Hab challenge that asked the schools to design and construct an inflatable living habitat that would be constructed on top of the hard-shell lab. OSU's habitat is a 20-foot-tall two-story round structure with about 600 square feet of livable space inside…70 students worked on the project over two semesters…The winning design, from either OSU, the University of Maryland or the University of Wisconsin, will be taken to Arizona and used at NASA's field testing lab that simulates the environment on Mars…the project started in September when the students were divided into two teams and each was tasked with designing a habitat…The project didn't just involve aerospace students, but students from the mechanical engineering department, architecture students and even interior design students from both the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses. "The hardest part was communication, especially with the team from Tulsa,"…OSU has already been selected to participate in next year's NASA challenge…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

46. Cray Unveils Its First GPU Supercomputer http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-05-24/cray_unveils_its_first_gpu_supercomputer.html “…Cray's pitch for the XK6 is that it enables applications to be productive with GPUs…the XK6…is basically a variant of the XE6, replacing four of the eight AMD Opteron sockets with NVIDIA Tesla GPU modules. Each four-node blade consists of two Gemini interconnect chips, four Opteron CPUs, and four NVIDIA Tesla 20-series GPUs. The Tesla in this case is the X2090, a compact form factor of the M2090 module…the X2090 sports a 665 gigaflop (double precision) GPU, 6 GB of GDDR5, and 178 GB/second of memory bandwidth. A XK6 cabinet can house up to 24 blades (96 nodes)…Each XK6 node in the blade pairs a single X2090 GPU with an AMD Interlagos CPU (Opteron 6200), along with 16 or 32 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 memory…a rather CPU-rich configuration for a GPU-based server, given that many commodity clusters use two, four, or even eight graphics devices per x86 processor…not all supercomputing workloads are able to take maximum advantage of the GPU's capability, so they've opted for a fairly conservative processor mix…the XK6 will inherit software stack and programming environment from the XE6, including the Cray Linux Environment (CLE)…An X2090 is…four to five times as expensive as a top-of-the-line Opteron. But since a 20-series Tesla delivers about 10 times the raw floating point performance at only about twice the power consumption, a GPU solution makes sense as long as the codes can extract those extra FLOPS…”

47. NextIO introduces new GPU consolidation appliance http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/stor/2011/052311stor2.html NextIO…rolled out the vCORE Express 2090 GPU appliance, which allows customers to run GPUs outside their servers for high-performance computing applications. The new appliance uses NVIDIA Tesla M2090 GPUs and is targeted at seismic processing, biochemistry simulations, weather and climate modeling, signal processing and data analysis, among other applications…Despite all the advantages of using GPUs for technical and scientific computing, also comes a wealth of challenges, mostly centered upon GPU maintenance and replacement…if the GPU requires replacement, all workloads running on the server containing the GPU must be stopped, the server downed and the GPU replaced. The same thing happens when new firmware needs to be loaded or when a new version of the GPU needs to be added to the system - operations stop while labor-intensive and high touch-point GPU maintenance occurs…”

48. GPGPU processor and 10-Gigabit Ethernet embedded computing boards for radar processing http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/display/article-display/6658274043/articles/military-aerospace-electronics/industry-news-flash-2/2011/5/gpgpu-processor_and.html Mercury Computer Systems…is introducing a general-purpose graphics processing unit (GPGPU) product based on the NVIDIA Fermi architecture, and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet real-time sensor interface module for radar signal processing applications that must detect and track many small fast-moving targets in harsh operating conditions…Two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M GPGPUs based on the Fermi GPU architecture power the GSC6200, which yields a combined 384 processing cores, 3 gigabytes of solid-state memory and more than 1 teraflop of peak theoretical performance per 6U OpenVPX slot…”