NEW NET Weekly List for 27 Sep 2011

Below is the almost-final list of issues for the Tuesday, 27 September 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.

I'm going to add a couple more articles by 7:30 PM CDT, but wanted to post this meager offering for the start of the NEW NET meeting. Apologies for not having the latest and greatest tech articles of the past week -- have had a hectic week between out-of-state travels and a cranky laptop...

Trying to post incrementally since Blogger seems upset with me -- been trying to load the NEW NET list for half an hour now...this is the fifth increment and I'm quitting for the night if I get this one to load (a few more articles with each edit, sort of sneaking up on the Blogger servers, hoping they don't see me trying to sneak a few more KB into my post each time...kind of an interesting challenge -- I think some servers might be glitchy, but if I connect to the right server, it publishes the increment right away. I'm clicking on the "Publish Post" button repeatedly (adding to the problem, no doubt) and sometimes it indicates a very low percentage uploaded, and other times it's nearly 100% uploaded.

The ‘net

1. Xobni Rebrands Its Product Smartr, Launches Contact Manager For Android And Gmail http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/xobni-smartr-android/ Xobni…is rebranding its newer products Smartr and launching them out of private beta for Android and Gmail…The Gmail add-on shows you contextual information about whoever is sending you an email culled from various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and company databases. It also shows you your relationship history with that contact, a list of pervious email conversations and related contacts, as well as contact search. The Android app takes over your address book on your phone and delivers similar functionality…Since it is all managed in the cloud, it can handle thousands of contacts…A Smartr iPhone app is also in the works…”

2. 5-Sentence Secret to Slashing Your Internet Service Bill http://www.caring.com/articles/secret-to-slashing-your-cable-bill Cutting your cable bill can be as easy as making a single phone call…And the conversation can usually be over in five minutes. But you have to know exactly what to say to get the best possible deal. Here are step-by-step instructions for preparing for the call -- and the five-sentence script to follow. Before you call: Watch your mailbox. Save up the special offers and discount coupons…Do some research. Ask friends what service they use and how much they're paying. Call the rival company to ask what their best deal is right now if you switch…Know the details of your bills. Be clear on the services you're paying for…Know your payment history. How long have you been a customer?...Know your account number…Have a bill in front of you…Have a pen ready to take notes…Be as nice as possible without being smarmy…The script, in five sentences:…"I'm calling to make changes in my cable service because I can't afford my current payment."…"I'm considering switching services because I've received an offer from [name a rival company] for [name the specific services, such as cable and Internet] for [name the price]." Alternative: "My friend across town is only paying [name the price]."…State your history as a loyal customer and repeat that cost is the issue…"Is there anything you can do to help me reduce costs?"…Asking to speak with the "disconnection department" may get you the furthest with some companies…Push for a better bottom line. "Is that the best you can do?" If the offer isn't enough, push harder: "So, right now, my monthly payment is [name the current cost], and with this deal it will be [name the rep's proposed cost]. I don't think that's going to make enough of a difference."…"You've done a great job helping me, and I really appreciate it. Can we go over the details one more time -- and can I have your name so I know whom I was talking to?" (It's also a good idea to ask for e-mail confirmation.)…”

3. Adobe fights back with Flash 11 http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20109010-264/adobe-fights-back-with-flash-11/ “…Adobe, to counter a strong combination of opposition and alternatives to the browser plug-in, plans to ship Flash Player 11 in two weeks. The debut at its Max developer conference early next month is geared to send a message to programmers: Flash is still relevant, and Adobe is still investing in it. Flash 11's highlight, an interface called Molehill for hardware-accelerated 3D and 2D graphics, won't change the minds of those who would like to see Flash fade from the Web, nor will it reverse Apple and Microsoft's Flash opposition. But it is a powerful new feature for games, and games are one of the Flash strongholds Adobe is seeking to defend…”

Gigabit Internet

4. Google to government: Let us build a faster Net http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20112042-264/google-to-government-let-us-build-a-faster-net/ “…Regulation can get in the way of innovation," said Kevin Lo, who as general manager of access oversees the Google Fiber project to bring extremely fast Net access to Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas. "Regulations tied to physical infrastructure sometimes defer the investment altogether," he said…Google--an Internet juggernaut that tries to move at startup speeds--feels it particularly acutely. Much of the company's ambitions are held back by broadband access that's too slow or missing altogether. "We're about moving the Web forward," Lo said. "We have product managers who are very frustrated. They have apps that don't work because they don't have the speeds." Lo called for three specific reforms: ease access to public rights-of-way where fiber-optic cables can be laid; ease access to utility poles; and enable special service districts to free sections of municipalities from zoning restrictions. He also said the Kansas City's "very pro-business" attitude was key to its selection for the Google Fiber project. "They demonstrated they could work at Google speeds," he said…”

5. Marietta City Schools in Georgia Upgrades Network http://it.tmcnet.com/channels/data-center-network/articles/222631-marietta-city-schools-georgia-upgrades-network-using-zayo.htm “…With its new dedicated district-wide Gigabit Ethernet network, Marietta City Schools now gets a high-speed, wide-area, fiber network linking its central administrative office to each remote location with high bandwidth capacity. It allows MCS to serve some 8,000 students at eight elementary choice schools and 1200 employees…According to Dayton Hibbs, MCS assistant superintendent of Operations, Technology and Assessment, the network upgrade not only helps them scale their network efficiently, but also allows them offer advanced technology and resources to their students and employees…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

6. Neal Stephenson's Novel of Computer Viruses and Welsh Terrorists http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/books/review/reamde-by-neal-stephenson-book-review.html “…novelists are like unannounced visitors. While Norman Mailer and Saul Bellow pound manfully on the door, Jonathan Franzen and Zadie Smith knock politely, little preparing you for the emotional ferociousness with which they plan on making themselves at home. Neal Stephenson, on the other hand, shows up smelling vaguely of weed, with a bunch of suitcases. Maybe he can crash for a couple of days? Two weeks later he is still there. And you cannot get rid of him. Not because he is unpleasant but because he is so interesting. Then one morning you wake up and find him gone. You are relieved, a little, but you also miss him. And you wish he’d left behind whatever it was he was smoking, because anything that allows a human being to write six 1,000-page novels in 12 years is worth the health and imprisonment risk. It is tempting to call Stephenson a “cult writer,” but cult writers are typically under-or selectively read. All of Stephenson’s novels published since the late 1990s have been best sellers, and some of his original editions go for precious-metal asking prices online. His still-fresh, still-­astounding cyberpunk parody “Snow Crash” (1992) standardized use of the Sanskrit word “avatar” to denote virtual human identities and came impressively close to predicting how the Internet would come to be understood, which is to say as a “metaverse” paradoxically larger than the world that enfolds it…If you are a Stephenson fan who believes “Snow Crash” and “Cryptonomicon” (1999) are his greatest novels, “Reamde” will come as very good news, for in many ways it can be read as a thematic revisitation of those excellent precursors. Once again Stephenson is asking us to think about virtual worlds and information storage; once again, by God, he makes reading so much fun it feels like a deadly sin…”

7. When computer virus threatens your cars http://www.torquenews.com/1/when-computer-virus-threatens-your-cars-2011-automobile-show “…The year 2011 became the year when our cars started to talk, but it is also becoming the year when online services are present in your car making your vehicle vulnerable to computer virus….The question is can the car, plugged in to internet, be stolen by hackers, who introduce viruses or even worse, take outright control of your car. A consultant company iSEC Partners, specializing in security, recently demonstrated that one can open and even start a car with a simple text message sent from a smartphone. Anti-virus computer security companies are seriously worried about this. Last Tuesday, the antivirus software vendor McAfee said it is quite possible that cars, which have more and more chips can be very attractive to hackers…”

8. Microsoft halts another botnet: Kelihos http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20112289-83/microsoft-halts-another-botnet-kelihos/ Microsoft has put a halt to the Kelihos botnet and is accusing a Czech resident of hosting the botnet and using it to deliver spam and steal data, the company said today. Kelihos, also known as "Waledac 2.0" after a previous botnet that Microsoft shut down last year, comprised about 41,000 infected computers worldwide and was capable of sending 3.8 billion spam e-mails per day, according to Microsoft…This is the third botnet--following Waledac, and Rustock earlier this year--that Microsoft has taken down using these same legal and technical measures…”

9. Facebook vows privacy fix 'in 24 hours' http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/facebook-vows-privacy-fix-in-24-hours/story-e6frgakx-1226147941509 FACEBOOK has promised an Australian blogger that it will ''fix'' a major privacy breach that he has exposed within 24 hours…Mr Cubrilovic said engineers at the social networking giant had made the commitment to him during a 40-minute conference call that ended early this afternoon…Mr Cubrilovic sparked a major privacy debate after posting a blog late on Sunday which demonstrated that Facebook was still collecting identifiable information about users after they had logged out from the social network…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

10. T-Mobile unveils Samsung Galaxy S II http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20111724-1/t-mobile-unveils-samsung-galaxy-s-ii-htc-amaze-4g/ T-Mobile USA today showed off what are likely to be its flagship phones for the rest of the year: Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S II and HTC's Amaze 4G…The two smartphones are the first to run on T-Mobile's newly upgraded network, which the company says is faster than most consumers' home Internet connection. While T-Mobile lacks the spectrum to build a true 4G LTE network, it has instead put its resources behind an upgraded version of HSPA technology…the phones should be able to average speeds at around 8 megabits per second, and peak speeds of 20 megabits per second--faster than the standard home DSL or cable connection…The Galaxy S II is a variant of the original Galaxy S II that hit overseas markets. Sprint sells its own version, also known as the Epic 4G Touch, and AT&T's will hit the U.S. market next week. The phone uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core chip, features a 4.52-inch Super Amoled display…”

11. Microsoft Files More Patents For Dual-Screen Swiss Army Knife Slider Phone http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/microsoft-files-more-patents-for-dual-screen-swiss-army-knife-slider-phone/ “…Microsoft filed the “Mobile Communication Device Having Multiple, Interchangeable Second Devices” patent, which basically describes a slider-style phone that has replacement components to swap in for the slider keyboard…the mobile phone should be able to communicate with any of the secondary devices, whether they’re docked in the phone’s little slide-out drawer or not. Within the picture, you can see a QWERTY keyboard, an Xperia Play-style gaming controller, an extra battery, and an alternate screen…Microsoft also included “expansion storage devices, solar panels for charging a battery of the first device, or for directly powering the first device, or medical sensors (surface thermometers etc.)”…Microsoft wants to make your phone a Swiss army knife. And the possible implementations of this are pretty far reaching. The game controller is an obvious choice…But something as simple as an extra battery (or possibly solar panels) can make a huge difference in the way we use our devices…”


12. Shopkick geo-coupon system http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/shopkick-by-the-numbers-700m-product-views-7m-product-scans-in-the-past-year-2-3m-users/ “…Shopkick, an innovative geo-coupon system that has received funding from Kleiner Perkins, Greylock, SV Angel…Instead of checking in, as you would with a geo app like Foursquare or Gowalla, shopkick automatically recognizes when someone with the free Android or iPhone app on their phone walks into a store. Once a shopkick Signal is detected, the app delivers reward points called “kickbucks” to the user for walking into a retail store, trying on clothes, scanning a barcode and other actions. Kickbucks can then be redeemed across all partner stores for gift card rewards or for Facebook Credits. User can also receive special discounts on specific products at partners stores like Macy’s, Best Buy or Target…the startup expects to pass 1 billion product views this year. There have been over 2 million physical walk-ins to stores (which are measured from the shopkick signal device installed at the store). The device is installed at 3000 large stores and 250 malls now…”

13. How Do You Find Good Educational Apps? http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/09/how-do-you-find-good-educational-apps/ “…Apple’s iTunes and its Mac App Store, the Amazon Appstore, Google’s Android Market, the Chrome Web Store, the Google Apps Marketplace, GetJar…all offer products in a designated education category, ostensibly designed to make it easier to locate apps for learning and studying…But having an education category doesn’t necessarily make it easier to locate quality apps…iTunes does offer a ratings system, as do all the major app stores, whereby users can give apps zero to five stars and can write detailed reviews of their experiences with the app. But this too is frequently an unreliable way to discover new and interesting applications…The alternative, of course, to searching through App Stores and taking your best guess based on the review information there is to rely on the recommendation of people you know. Indeed, word-of-mouth remains one of the most important ways that developers can sell and buyers can find quality applications…sites like Moms With Apps try to showcase “family-friendly” developers’ work…while “caveat emptor” holds true in app purchases as with anything you buy, one has to wonder if there aren’t better ways to help showcase quality apps…”

Open Source

14. Turn your Android Phone into a Wireless Camera using IP Webcam for Free http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/09/turn-your-android-phone-into-wireless.html IP Webcam is a free Android application that turns your Android smartphone into a network camera with multiple viewing options. You can view your camera using VLC player or any modern web browser. Windows, Mac and Linux platforms supported…You can even use IP Webcam with tinyCam Monitor(a mobile surveillance app for Android) installed on another Android device. There are several ways in which you could view your smartphone's camera from your desktop. Click on the image below to see the full set of options available…”

15. IntSim v2.5, an Open-Source 2D and 3D-IC Simulator, Released http://www.prweb.com/releases/3d/ic/prweb8829500.htm MonolithIC 3D Inc., a startup specializing in three dimensional chip stacking, has developed and released an open-source 2D and 3D-IC simulator…the software tool helps study scaling trends and optimize chip power, frequency, die size, interconnect stacks and transistor parameters…Optimization of clock frequency, interconnect stacks and transistor parameters is considered crucial to maximize performance and power benefits of scaling today. Intel, for example, has proprietary CAD tools that optimize interconnect stacks of their chips…A tool such as IntSim enables chip power prediction based on design choices and available transistor and interconnect technologies. IntSim v2.5 is available for free download at MonolithIC 3D Inc.’s website…”


16. Google+ open invites spur growth http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/google-shows-explosive-growth/1508 “…some folks were telling me recently how Google’s social network Google+ usage was going down and the site really wasn’t that popular…Clearly these people have been under a rock…since Google+ opened its doors to everyone, its growth has been nothing short of explosive. Indeed, Google+ made it to 50-million users faster than any other social network…since being opened to the general public (over age 18) last week, Google+ has been growing by at least 4% per day, meaning that around 2 million new users have been signing up each day.”…it took Google+ 88 days to hit 50-million users. MySpace—remember them?–took 1,046 days. Facebook, with 1,096 days, took even longer. Allen now finds it hard “to imagine a scenario where Google+ doesn’t end up with hundreds of millions of users. It’s just a matter of time.” I agree…By integrating +1 and Circles (targeted sharing) and other Google+ functionality into its Chrome browser, Android phones (and tablets), Gmail, Google Reader, Blogger, Google Photos, and other properties, Google+ will give its more than one billion users repeated chances to sign up for and use the functionality of Google+.” It also doesn’t hurt Google+ any that Facebook can’t seem to stop tinkering with its interface and has less and less respect for its users’ privacy…”

17. Google will finance rooftop solar installations http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/09/google-will-finance-rooftop-solar-installations.html Google wants homeowners to use solar panels to generate electricity. And it's investing $75 million to help up to 3,000 of them install panels on their roofs…One of the biggest hurdles to installing solar panels are the upfront costs. Homeowners often don't have the upfront cash…Google said its plan will allow homeowners to install a $30,000 solar electricity system with little or no money upfront. Instead homeowners would pay a monthly fee which would be about the same that they would pay in their monthly bills to their local utility. Google will own the panels, and will get paid when customers buy the electricity the panels produce…This is Google's second investment in residential solar, bringing its total investment to more than $850 million to develop clean energy…”

18. Google puts Dead Sea Scrolls online http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-20112167-76/dead-sea-scrolls-come-to-life-on-the-web/ Discovered in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been available for viewing only in a museum in Israel...until now. Thanks to some expert digital photography and a project set up by Google, high-resolution photos of five of the seven original Dead Sea Scrolls can now be seen online. The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Web site offers a peek into the distant past, allowing people to view and examine the scrolls in fine detail…”

General Technology

19. Birth of the global mind http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/a4bce7e8-e32b-11e0-bb55-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1Z60B3fIr “…Computer scientist Danny Hillis once remarked, “Global consciousness is that thing responsible for deciding that pots containing decaffeinated coffee should be orange.”…the mechanism by which the Sanka brand colour became a near-universal symbol for decaffeinated coffee in the US is exactly the same one by which hundreds of millions of people have a shared knowledge…of many things both true and untrue. What is different today, though, is the speed with which knowledge propagates. News, entertainment and opinions spread through social networks, websites and search engines in a process increasingly close to real-time. Those things that rise to the top are decided not by media executives but by their viral momentum…The web is a perfect example of what…Vannevar Bush called “intelligence augmentation” by computers…Humans create the documents that make up the web and provide the associative links between them…When the algorithms for finding the “right” documents improve, we all get smarter; when spammers or other malware lead the algorithms astray, we all get dumber…When the web goes mobile, even more interesting things start to happen. A human with a smartphone can literally see around corners and through time…our phones are eyes and ears for what is starting to look increasingly like a global brain…This is man-computer symbiosis at its best, where the computer program learns from the activity of human teachers, and its sensors notice and remember things the humans themselves would not. This is the future: massive amounts of data created by people, stored in cloud applications that use smart algorithms to extract meaning from it, feeding back results to those people on mobile devices…The global brain is still in its infancy. We can raise it to help us make a better world, or we can raise it to be selfish, unjust and short-term in its outlook…”

20. SPARC T4 looks to be good enough to stave off defections to x86, Linux http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2011/09/sparc-t4-looks-to-be-good-enough-to-stave-off-defections-to-x86-linux.ars “…Oracle officially launched the Sparc T4 microprocessor and a line of servers based on the new SPARC CPU. Oracle Systems Executive Vice President John Fowler claimed at the rollout event that early customers using T4 servers have seen "up to five times [the] performance improvements across a range of Oracle and third-party applications, and are already placing orders to replace outdated systems from our competitors." For those who are still members of the Sparc/Solaris installed base—those who haven't headed for x86 or Itanium already—the T4 is potentially good news. It provides a way to preserve investments in existing Solaris skills and software while getting a significant performance boost over the year-old T3. The T4 will likely stop some defections, buy Oracle time as it prepares its next generation of processor, and reduce the company's dependence on reselling Fujitsu SPARC 64 systems to run its own database…”

DHMN Technology

21. Arduino Rules at Maker Faire New York http://www.pcworld.com/article/240550/arduino_rules_at_maker_faire_new_york.html Arduino might as well exploded all over last weekend's Maker Faire in New York City, because it was everywhere. There was a whole new tent dedicated to it, four panels to just explain what it was, and more manufacturers than I knew even existed. It’s Arduino Fever!...Make Yourself an Arduino Lie Detector…Julio Terra and Mustafa Bagdatli of NYU’s ITP Program put one together using an Arduino microcontroller, breadboard, 4 LEDs, a few wires, some resistors, and finger contacts made of some silver jewelry stitched to Velcro and soldered to wires…This particular homemade lie detector skips the needles and uses the LEDs to tell when you are lying. All you have to do is wire it up correctly and upload the software, courtesy of Julio Terra. The Arduino lie detector, like a “real" one, should be taken with a grain of salt because it is hypersensitive and is more liable to pick up embarrassment, rather than tell the difference between a true statement and a lie…”

Leisure & Entertainment

22. Kindle Fire: Amazon's bid to challenge iPad for tablet market http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/27/amazon-kindle-fire-tablet-wars Amazon is set to join the tablet wars on Wednesday as it launches a rival to Apple's best-selling iPad, a device that has made digital tombstones of all the competition so far…Amazon has released no details ahead of the event but the device is reportedly called Kindle Fire, to tie in with its existing ebook reader…Apple has increasingly encroached on Amazon's business in recent years as its iTunes store has poached more music, movie and now books and magazine sales. Amazon has been building its online presence, too, and entered the hardware business with the launch of Kindle. The retailer is the biggest online books seller and the US's second largest seller of music online after Apple's iTunes, and it has been increasingly building up its online movies and TV sales and rentals business. The company signed a deal with Fox this week that it said means it now offers more than 11,000 movies and TV shows available via its Amazon Prime service…The retailer has a very different approach to Apple, he said, but that is what may make them Apple's biggest threat to date…Apple has so far proved a tough competitor. Rival products from Dell, Hewlett Packard and Blackberry maker RIM have all bombed. According to…TechCrunch, the Kindle Fire looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook…TechCrunch says Kindle Fire will be a 7in tablet with a $250 price tag. The initial version will offer wireless functionality but no 3G; it will also have a USB port and speakers, but no camera. A bigger, more expensive model will launch next year…”

23. The Future Of Books: A Dystopian Timeline http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/the-future-of-books-a-dystopian-timeline/ With the launch of the Kindle Fire tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next ten or so years…ebook sales are now outpacing hardback sales and publishers are now crowing ebook numbers alongside their traditional in-store sales numbers. Soon those in-store sales numbers will dwindle and disappear simply because there will be no stores – heavy readers…will be happy to head over to Nooks and Kindles, especially when they drop below $99 (as they will this year)…While I will miss the creak of the Village Bookshop’s old church floor, the calm of Crescent City books, and the crankiness of the Provincetown Bookshop, the time has come to move on…2013 – EBook sales surpass all other book sales, even used books…2015 – The death of the Mom and Pops. Smaller book stores will use the real estate to sell coffee and Wi-Fi…2018 – The last Barnes & Noble store converts to a cafe and digital access point…2019 – B&N and Amazon’s publishing arms – including self-pub – will dwarf all other publishing…2020 – Nearly every middle school to college student will have an e-reader. Textbooks will slowly disappear…2025 – The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance…”

24. Dish Network Challenges Google for Hulu http://www.businessinsider.com/guess-who-made-the-highest-bid-for-hulu-2011-9 “…Two sources tell us that satellite TV provider Dish was the highest bidder, coming in around $1.9 billion. It beat out both Amazon and Yahoo. Google bid much more — something in the range of $4 billion. But that bid came with special conditions, as has been previously reported — Google wanted more content for a longer period of time, and perhaps other concessions as well…Hulu's owners are still deciding what to do. They were hoping for a higher bid, and were disappointed that no company would offer more than $2 billion…”

Economy and Technology

25. WooThemes Launches WooCommerce To Turn WordPress Sites Into Online Shops http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/27/woothemes-launches-woocommerce-to-turn-wordpress-sites-into-online-shops/ “…WooThemes is launching a new service today called WooCommerce, which lets users install a plugin on their WordPress site in order to turn that site into a professional e-commerce storefront. The system includes a plugin and the company’s theme library, while also offering multiple payment gateway options, settings for configuring shipping rates, coupon support, email templates, a reports panel to track sales and performance…WooThemes has devoted a division of its company, WooLabs, to creating new ways to turn the themes into feature-rich platforms. E-commerce is the first offering from WooLabs…The first of the WooThemes to receive integration with the WooCommerce plugin are Statua, which allows photographers to sell their prints online, and Diner (integration arriving soon), which allows restaurants accept take-out orders from their website. WooThemes is certainly not the only e-commerce platform company, but it wants to be one of the easier ones to use…The biggest competitor on WooThemes’ radar is Shopify, the popular online retail platform. But while Shopify is flexible and extensible, it’s not designed for WordPress sites and it requires a bit of tech savvy to use…”

Civilian Aerospace

26. Humans Envisioned On Mars In 25 Years http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2011/09/23/09.xml&headline=Humans%20Envisioned%20On%20Mars%20In%2025%20Years&channel=space “…The first version of the Global Exploration Roadmap represents a step in the international human space exploration roadmapping activity…The “Asteroid Next” pathway calls for an initial piloted mission to a Deep Space Habitat in the 2025 to 2028 time frame, followed by a pair of four-person expeditions to yet-to-be-selected asteroids between 2028 and 2033. The “Moon Next” approach calls for five extended-stay missions on the lunar surface for a crew of four between 2020 and 2030, followed by missions to a Deep Space Habitat at an Earth-moon Lagrange point and a Near Earth Asteroid during the following decade. The lunar missions would focus initially on polar exploration. They would feature demonstrations of long-distance rovers under develop pment for the Mars expeditions, which could follow in the mid-to-late 2030s…The U.S.-managed, 15-nation International Space Station, with operations extended to at least 2020, figures prominently in the early stages of either pathway…The roadmap’s participants include the space agencies of Italy, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the U.K., as well as NASA and ESA…”

27. Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes New Members http://www.commercialspaceflight.org/?p=1569 The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that three companies providing services to the commercial spaceflight industry have joined the Federation…The new Associate Members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation made the following statements…United Space Alliance, stated, “Space travel…commercial operations will play a significant role in shaping human space flight of the future…David Clark Company pioneered the development of aerospace crew protective equipment and has supported virtually every manned high altitude/space program to date…Moon Express is dedicated to expanding Earth’s economic sphere in a sustainable way through entrepreneurial commercial space models of exploration, operations and economic development…”

28. Vulture UAV Could Replace Downed Satellites http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=aerospacedaily&id=news/asd/2011/09/26/02.xml The U.S. Navy is showing interest in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Vulture solar-powered, ultra-endurance unmanned aircraft as a means of providing communications to carrier strike groups if satellites are knocked out. The Vulture program is developing technology for an unmanned aircraft able to stay aloft for up to five years…The Vulture will use solar arrays on the wing, booms and tails to collect energy during the day. This will be stored in regenerative fuel cells that will then power the distributed electric propulsion system through the night, ideally without any loss of altitude. The 400-ft.-wingspan demonstrator is planned to be built and flown under Phase 2 of the Vulture program, which began late last year with the award of an $89 million cost-share contract to Boeing, which is teamed with solar-powered UAV developer Qinetiq…The demonstrator will be flown at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, which has FAA approval to conduct unmanned aircraft flight testing…At 400-ft., the demonstrator will be substantially larger than NASA’s 247-ft.-span AeroVironment Helios solar-powered UAV, which set an altitude record of more than 96,000 ft. in 2001…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

29. Dell to Build 10-Petaflop Supercomputer http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-09-22/dell_to_build_10-petaflop_supercomputer_for_science.html The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has revealed plans to deploy a…petascale supercomputer courtesy of a $27.5 million dollar NSF award…the system will consist of 2 petaflops of Sandy Bridge-EP processors with an 8 petaflop boost from Intel's Many Integrated Core (MIC) coprocessors…it will likely be the first deployment of Intel's commercial MIC technology…Stampede, as the system will be called, is meant to serve both traditional number crunching HPC applications and data-driven analytics applications within NSF's eXtreme Digital (XD) user community…At 10 teraflops, Stampede will be the most powerful resource for XD users…the foundation of Stampede is a 2 petaflop cluster with 6,400 x86 compute nodes, lashed together with FDR (56 Gbps) InfiniBand from Mellanox. Each node will house two of Intel's 8-core Xeon E5 (aka Sandy Bridge-EP) and 32 GB of DRAM. Stampede will also include 16 big memory nodes, each sporting 1 terabyte of DRAM and 2 NVIDIA GPUs…The cluster will also be hooked up to to Lustre storage nodes, also suppled by Dell. It will consist of 14 PB of disk, and deliver an aggregated bandwidth of 150 GB/second…Stampede's base cluster and storage nodes represent the lion's share of the NSF funding at $25 million. The remaining $2.5 million will go toward 8 petaflops worth of MIC coprocessors, which will be hooked into the x86 nodes via PCIe 3.0 links…Besides the GPUs in the shared memory nodes, 128 of the 6,400 regular nodes will be outfitted with NVIDIA's next-generation Kepler GPUs to support remote visualization. Kepler is the successor to Fermi, NVIDIA's current GPU architecture…”

30. AMD & NVIDIA in changing semiconductor industry http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/AMD-Nvidia-gain-in-changing-semiconductor-industry/articleshow/10132782.cms “…like other technology sectors, processor market…is undergoing some significant changes. The trend towards more accessible and mainstream computing devices, with greater reliance on audio and visual interface, is slowly impacting the way semiconductor companies do business. In the short run, the beneficiaries of these changes have been AMD and Nvidia, who have leveraged their expertise in graphics chips to grab opportunity…AMD has managed to increase its share in the market with the help of Fusion processors that pack a powerful graphics processor on the same chip. Nvidia, on the other hand, has become a major player in mobile processor industry with its Tegra chips being the default processor for Android tablets…PC usage has moved away from 'type and read' to 'View and listen'. The web sites we visit every day rely on pictures, Flash, SilverLight or streaming video…Nvidia…is using its expertise in graphics chips to provide solutions for tablets, smartphones and high-performance computing machines. "Graphics chips are indispensable to a host of cutting-edge medical, engineering, design, digital content creation and scientific applications…ISRO built India's fastest supercomputer, the SAGA-220, based on NVIDIA GPUs." Nvidia is now building a processor for mainstream computers. Called Project Denver it will, according to Dhupar, "usher in a new era for computing, combining a standard architecture with…performance and energy efficiency."This trend seems to have adversely affected Intel, the market leader who has never been too strong on graphics chips…”


NEW NET location for 27 Sep 2011 Mtg = Sergio's Restaurant

The NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology issues) 27 September 2011 meeting from 7 - 9 PM will be at Sergio’s Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton; backup location, Tom’s on Westhill Blvd. Come and join in the tech fun!



NEW NET Weekly List for 20 Sep 2011

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 20 September 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. Hacker Fares http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-hacker-fares-20110914,1,2968712.story Hacker Fares sound downright illegal but they're not. Kayak recently coined the term that pops up in its airline searches along with "nonstops," "1 stop," etc., when you go airfare shopping at the online travel website…Hacker Fares allow you to book two one-way flights with separate airlines and separate tickets…The point, of course, is to save money. Savvy bargain hunters already know it's not rocket science to mix and match airlines to find a low price. I like the fact that Kayak makes it easy by displaying Hacker Fare options alongside other choices…”

2. YouTube video effects http://gigaom.com/video/youtube-image-stabilization/ YouTube users can now apply a number of Instagram-like effects to their videos, giving them a cartoonish or Lomo-like look with the click of a button. The effects are part of a new editing feature that also includes cropping and advanced image stabilization. Taking the shaking out of video uploads should go a long way towards making some of the amateur footage captured on mobile phones more watchable…Google’s engineers invented an entirely new approach toward image stabilization. The new editing functionality will be part of YouTube’s video page, where a new “Edit video” button will offer access to filters and other editing functionality. This type of post-processing is separate from YouTube’s video editor, which allows to produce new videos based on existing clips…Videos can be edited after uploading, and users can also add effects and stabilization to videos they’ve uploaded months or even years ago. The only constraint is that YouTube only allows edits to videos with less than a thousand views…”

3. Gamers solve protein-folding puzzle in ten days; had stumped scientists for years http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2039012/AIDS-cure-Gamers-solve-puzzle-stumped-scientists-years.html Videogame players have solved a molecular puzzle that stumped scientists for years…A team of gamers needed just ten days to produce an answer to an enzyme riddle that had eluded experts for more than a decade. The feat was accomplished using a collaborative online game called Foldit, which has been likened to Tetris and encourages players to fold a protein into intricate shapes…'People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at,' Seth Cooper, a UW computer scientist who is Foldit's lead designer and developer, explained. 'Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans.' For more than a decade, an international team of scientists has been trying to figure out the detailed molecular structure of an enzyme from an AIDS-like virus found in rhesus monkeys…There are millions of ways that the bonds between the atoms in the enzyme's molecules could twist and turn. To design the right chemical key, you have to figure out the most efficient, lowest-energy configuration for the molecule…The author list for the paper includes an acknowledgement of more than 57,000 Foldit players, which may be unprecedented on a scientific publication. The monkey-virus puzzle was one of several unsolved molecular mysteries that a colleague of Mr Khatib's at the university, Frank DiMaio, recently tried to solve…his method wasn't able to solve it,' Mr Khatib told MSNBC. So he and his colleagues put the puzzle to Foldit's teams to work on…'They actually did it in less than 10 days,' Mr Khatib told MSNBC…'The game is not only an interesting intellectual challenge… but it also provides a unique society of players driven by both individual and team rivalry with an overall purpose of improving the game and the results achieved,' she wrote…”

4. Chrome 14: The best Web browser keeps getting better http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/chrome-14-the-best-web-browser-keeps-getting-better-review/1469 “…When Firefox moved into its accelerated development path, Firefox really didn’t get much better. In fact, it’s been getting less stable. Google’s Chrome Web browser though just keeps getting better with every new release. Chrome 14, in my opinion, is now clearly the best Web browser for any operating system available today…When it comes to Web standards compatibility, Chrome 14 is a winner. On the Acid 3 compatibility test…Chrome had a perfect score. Firefox 6 had a score of 97 and IE had a 95. On the…HTML5 Test…Chrome…came in with 341 points out of a possible 450. Firefox 6.02 came in second with 313 and. IE 9.0.8 came in a distant last with 141…I use Chrome 14 on…Linux desktop distributions; Chrome OS on a Samsung Chromebook, Mac OS Snow Leopard and Lion and Windows XP and 7 PCs…two important new features aren’t going to be important to you in the short run, but it may be a different story in the long run…Web Audio application programming interface (API) lets developers create interesting sounds effects for games and applications…A far more significant feature is that Chrome 14 now supports C and C++ applications in Google’s Native Client SDK…Native client lets developers create local applications that run locally within Chrome…instead of just running applications off the Web, you’ll be able to run local applications at your machine’s full speed instead of at your Internet’s speed…since Native Clients run within the Chrome security sandbox, they’re much safer than most applications…Google wants Chrome to be just not your browser, but your operating system as well…it’s also becoming more popular by the day…in some South American countries, Chrome is already the number one Web browser…”

5. Comcast's $9.99 Internet for low-income families goes nationwide http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/09/comcasts-launches-999-internet-for-low-income-families.ars Comcast rolled out its Internet Essentials program nationwide today, offering low-income families in its service territory $10/month Internet connections and access to $150 computers. Any family with at least one child who qualifies for the free lunch program at public schools can subscribe to a low-speed (1.5Mbps) Comcast Internet connection for $9.95 a month. Comcast guarantees that it won't raise the price and offers the plan without equipment rental or activation fees…Comcast has agreed to sign up families to the program for at least three years, and it also promises to provide free Internet and computer training to those who need it…”

Gigabit Internet

6. D-Link HD Media Router 2000 and PowerLine AV 500 Premium Home Networking Solutions http://www.marketwatch.com/story/d-link-expands-amplifitm-family-of-premium-home-networking-solutions-2011-09-14 “…With the increased usage of wirelessly-connected devices in homes, there is a huge demand for stronger and more reliable network connections…the HD Media Router 2000 offers simultaneous N600 Dual Band (300Mbps + 300Mbps) for streaming HD videos and surfing the web at the same time. HD Fuel enables the built-in Quality of Service (QoS) engine to automatically prioritize high bandwidth activities for uninterrupted HD video streaming, gaming and VoIP calling…with a USB 3.0 port…It also includes an SD Card slot for sharing media files with anyone on the home network, whether it's a photo or movie file. The PowerLine AV 500 Gigabit Switch Kit…features D-Link's PowerLine AV 500 four-port Gigabit Switch…and one PowerLine AV 500 Adapter…for simple, secure, fast connectivity to hard-to-reach places in the home, such as a basement or attic…with a fast 500Mbps transfer rate…”

7. Santa Monica gigabit network get a Government IT Innovator Award http://santamonica.patch.com/articles/sm-gets-big-award-for-broadband-network “…the city's 10 gigabit fiber optic network is one of the main reasons new technology and media firms pick Santa Monica as their home base…The leading-edge broadband initiative, Santa Monica City Net, earned a Government IT Innovator Award at the 2011 InformationWeek 500 Conference…In addition to providing speeds of 10 gigabits per second, City Net was also noted for reaching a 67 percent cost reduction…In Santa Monica, local businesses can lease dark fiber from the city. Also, businesses can use lit fiber, at affordable rates, at speeds of 100Mbps, 1Gbps and 10Gbps…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

8. Rise Of Android Botnets http://www.informationweek.com/news/231601419 “…breaking into connected devices and compromising online identities is big business, and smartphones are the next front in the cybercrime battlefield…until recently, mobile exploits typically didn't involve a persistent takeover of the device and active communication with a C&C botnet. As the report concludes, "two-way Internet communication now makes the mobile market as susceptible to criminal breach activity as desktop devices."…Just how easy is it to create and control an Android botnet? This was demonstrated last winter at ShmooCon…Weidman's code inserts itself into the phone's modem driver…ingeniously using the SMS messaging protocol to control the underlying malware. SMS makes a great C&C channel…since it's fault-tolerant…hard for security teams to monitor…and…power-efficient. That's critical because IP traffic, over Wi-Fi or 3G, is one of the biggest smartphone battery drains. By using a lightweight protocol like SMS, botnet operators can have a relatively chatty dialog with their slave devices without tipping the owners off that something might be amiss on their phones…Installation follows the typical path of getting someone to install a Trojan app…The malicious beauty of a smartphone or tablet bot is the very mobility of the host; its nomadic network transience exposes the malware to more victims…”

9. Mebromi: the first BIOS rootkit in the wild http://blog.webroot.com/2011/09/13/mebromi-the-first-bios-rootkit-in-the-wild/ “…a Chinese security company…blogged about a new BIOS rootkit hitting Chinese computers. This turned to be a very interesting discovery as it appears to be the first real malware targeting system BIOS since…IceLord in 2007. The malware is called Mebromi and contains a bit of everything: a BIOS rootkit specifically targeting Award BIOS, a MBR rootkit, a kernel mode rootkit, a PE file infector and a Trojan downloader. At this time, Mebromi is not designed to infect 64-bit operating system and it is not able to infect the system if run with limited privileges. The infection starts with a small encrypted dropper that contains five crypted resource files: hook.rom, flash.dll, cbrom.exe, my.sys, bios.sys…The infection is clearly focused on Chinese users, because the dropper is carefully checking if the system it’s going to infect is protected by Chinese security software Rising Antivirus and Jiangmin KV Antivirus…the…CIH/Chernobyl infection…virus discovered in 1998…was able to flash the motherboard BIOS, erasing it. Even CIH needed to gain kernel mode access to reach the BIOS, though at the time the virus was exploiting a privilege escalation bug in Windows 9x operating system…Mebromi does not use such kind of privilege escalation trick anymore, it just needs to load its own kernel mode driver which will handle the BIOS infection…it uses two methods: it could either extract and load the flash.dll library which will load the bios.sys driver, or it stops the beep.sys service key, overwriting the beep.sys driver with its own bios.sys code, restart the service key and restore the original beep.sys code…”

10. Sony wants gamers to sign away their rights to sue http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2110015/sony-gamers-sign-away-rights-sue “…seemingly determined to totally alienate its beleaguered users, Sony has decided to force them to hand over their legal rights or stop using its systems…Sony will ban any users that decide to push ahead with plans to collectively sue it over its security breaches…Sony has amended its Playstation Network (PSN) terms and conditions and will demand that its players agree to these the next time that they log in. Anyone that does not agree to its new terms will not be able to sign in…what they do is rule out the possibility of participating in class action lawsuits…Anyone that wants to opt out can write to Sony, which seems like a perfectly unreasonable stage in any online casual gaming service, and request so…”

11. Judge worries recording police will lead to excessive "snooping around" http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/09/judge-worries-recording-police-will-lead-to-excessive-snooping-around.ars Judge Richard A. Posner isn't known for his genteel treatment of parties whose arguments he doesn't agree with. When an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union began to make his opening statement at a Tuesday oral argument, Posner cut him off after 14 words. "Yeah, I know," he said dismissively. "But I'm not interested, really, in what you want to do with these recordings of peoples' encounters with the police." The topic was the constitutionality of the unusually strict Illinois wiretapping law, which makes it illegal to record someone without his consent even if the recording is done openly and in a public place…But Judge Posner wasn't having it. "Once all this stuff can be recorded, there's going to be a lot more of this snooping around by reporters and bloggers," he said…Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit handed down a unanimous ruling in the Simon Glik case. That case held that Glik had a "clearly-established" First Amendment right to record the actions of the police on the Boston Common, and that police officers should have known this when they arrested him. Civil libertarians are hoping a second ruling in Illinois will help cement the principle that audio recording is an activity protected by the First Amendment…”

12. Mandatory e-verify system could threaten jobs and privacy http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/09/mandatory-e-verify-system-could-threaten-jobs-and-privacy.ars The House Judiciary Committee is considering legislation that would require employers nationwide to query a federal database in order to check a potential worker's eligibility under immigration law. This "e-verify" system has been in operation for several years, but in most states using it has been optional. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee… introduced a new version of the legislation that removed a key privacy safeguard. Previous versions had required that the database only be used for checking employment eligibility. But the new version allows the database to be…much more widely…available to anyone who is responsible for "granting access to, protecting, securing, operating, administering, or regulating part of the critical infrastructure."…in recent years…a handful of mostly Southern states have mandated that employers use the system. The Smith bill would make the system mandatory nationwide. Employers would be required to submit a new worker's identifying information to a national database, which would either confirm the worker's eligibility or respond with a "tentative non-confirmation." In the event of a non-confirmation, an eligible worker would be required to visit the Social Security Administration in an effort to correct the error…”

13. OnStar Begins Spying On Customers’ GPS Location For Profit http://www.zdziarski.com/blog/?p=1270 I canceled the OnStar subscription on my new GMC vehicle today after receiving an email from the company about their new terms and conditions. While most people, I imagine, would hit the delete button when receiving something as exciting as new terms and conditions, being the nerd sort, I decided to…read it instead…OnStar’s latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to sell your personal GPS location information, speed, safety belt usage, and other information to third parties, including law enforcement. To add insult to a slap in the face, the company insists they will continue collecting and selling this personal information even after you cancel your service, unless you specifically shut down the data connection to the vehicle after canceling…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

14. Meta Watch update: the smartphone on your wrist http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/helloworld/27165/ “…Your smart phone is now the center of your universe, itself having unearthed--and eradicated--heaps of previous annoyances (the annoyance of not having the Internet on your person, the annoyance of asking for directions, the annoyance of planning ahead, the annoyance of having to remember things...). But there's one annoyance the smart phone hasn't solved--that of having to constantly reach into your pocket to fish the thing out. Enter the "smartwatch." This week, it was announced that Meta Watch, a smart-watch division within Fossil, had been purchased…A group of investors, led by former Nokia executive Juha Pinomaa…announced this week that they had bought Meta Watch…The company will be based in Dallas, with an R&D entity in Espoo, Finland…Folks who have gone hands-on (wrists-on?) with smart watches comment on how surprisingly useful they can be. Basically, a smart watch can connect to your smart phone and distill the pulse of that device--e-mails pushed, SMS's received, and so forth--displaying that data on the watch's face. How often does your phone buzz in your pocket, announcing a text message that may or may not require your immediate attention? A well-made smart watch can enable you, with a subtle glance at your wrist, to make that determination effortlessly…if future smart watches come with an NFC payment mechanism…it could be easy to…run to the bodega without the need to find my wallet beforehand…Meta Watch…seems to get smart watches better than any other, all the more reason to be excited by…the company's stated goal to put out $200 watches this month in the U.S…”

15. Android is helping Google win the battle for local http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/story/how-android-helped-google-win-battle-local/2011-09-14 “…Extending Google products to the mobile platform is essentially why Android exists…What is surprising is how much Android device owners rely on Google solutions to the exclusion of almost all other apps. After analyzing each app's "active reach"--i.e., the percentage of Android owners who used it within the past 30 days--Nielsen reported this week that five of the six most dominant Android apps are Google properties…Android Market storefront claims the top spot with an overall active reach of 90.5 percent, followed by Google Maps (74.6 percent), Gmail (74.5 percent) and lone exception Facebook (73.5 percent). Google Search (71.9 percent) and YouTube (51.4 percent) are next on the list--from there, the usage dropoff is steep…Google owns the Android user experience lock, stock and barrel…Even the new Google+ social networking service already boasts an active monthly reach of 11.8 percent, not far behind the established Twitter at 14.9 percent…It's a suite of mobile services unrivaled in scope and reach by competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo, and it gives Google a virtually insurmountable lead in the race for the real prize: The local advertising market. Popular Android services like Google Search and Google Maps are key. These are core Google services, synonymous with the brand, and mobile access makes them even more meaningful. The Nielsen data suggests that the number of on-the-go Android owners accessing Google mobile apps each month to obtain personalized, location-specific information already totals in the tens of millions, and as user behaviors continue to migrate from the desktop to mobile devices, those numbers will only grow. The only piece missing from the equation is local-specific user feedback and recommendations--which is why last week Google acquired ratings service and local reviews provider Zagat…”

16. Nvidia Quad-Core Chip Includes A Fifth, Low-Power Core http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110920-708707.html Nvidia Corp.'s quad-core mobile chip includes an interesting feature: a fifth core, which the company says will allow the processor to consume less power than dual-core chips from rivals such as Qualcomm Inc…Kal-El has five cores, allowing it to consume less power than dual-core chips from rivals Qualcomm and Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), as well as Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip…The fifth core in Kal-El is a super low-power version of the other cores, running tasks that don't need a lot of computing power…The fifth core was made in a different process technology than the others, he said. Its transistors, which are the basis of chips, aren't as fast as those in the other cores, but that reduces the amount of current being leaked and lowers energy consumption. "The other cores are high-speed cores," Rayfield said. "They burn more power, but you only turn them on when you need them...If that fifth processor turns on and burns even less power than anything else, then your average power for the use case goes down…”


17. SugarSync Adds Text Editing to iOS App, Mobile Device Management to Android http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sugarsync-adds-text-editing-and-increased-productivity-to-ios-app-brings-powerful-mobile-device-management-to-android-devices-2011-09-20 SugarSync…announced that it has updated its SugarSync for iOS and SugarSync for Android apps…we're introducing a built-in simple text editor for iPhones and iPads, enabling you to create or edit plain text files directly within the app and have those files automatically synced to all of your computers and devices. Now you are not required to purchase a third-party text editing app…We've added a new menu bar that lets you quickly sort files, upload photos & videos, and even create new folders or text files on any computer or shared folder…You can also upload photos and videos directly to any folder on any device, making it easier to transfer your large media files from your iOS device to your computers…Now you can select multiple files and folders at a time and sync them all to your device for offline access with one click. Are you sitting in the airport, about to board a flight, and need to sync a bunch of folders to your iPad so that you can work on the files on the plane? Simply select all the folders you need, and with one click, they will all be synced locally to your device…Mobile Device Management feature gives you the ability to view and control the data on your Android mobile devices from within the SugarSync Web console, making it the easiest way to get files from your computer to your Android phone or tablet…”

18. Smartphones Help Fix Potholes In Baltimore http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/mobile/231601694 Potholes pose a problem in nearly every community…potholes can lead to accidents and property damage. The City of Baltimore is arming its citizens with a way to help combat the pothole problem, via the new Baltimore Spot Reporters application…Members of the community use the software to report to their local government on issues such as potholes, graffiti, power outages, downed trees, trash, property damage, broken equipment, and other non-emergency problems. Citizens file the reports directly from their handsets--complete with images… in the first 14 days of use, Baltimore has received over 1,000 mobile reports. The application…also allows community members to monitor if the problems are resolved in real-time…Boston uses it in its Citizens Connect service, too. The company claims to have tens of thousands of resident users across a handful of cities…”

19. Appcelerator Launches Open Mobile Marketplace, An App Store For App Components http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/19/appcelerator-launches-open-mobile-marketplace-an-app-store-for-app-components/ “…Appcelerator, makers of the cross-platform Titanium platform for building mobile, tablet and desktop applications, is today announcing the launch of the “Appcelerator Open Mobile Marketplace.” The new store…includes mobile app modules, templates, design elements, cloud extensions and other components for the Appcelerator developer community to use. At launch, the store will offer 50 mobile solutions from PayPal, Salesforce, Millennial Media, AdMob, Box.net, Dropbox, Bump, TestFlight, GetGlue, DoubleClick, Greystripe, Omniture (Adobe), Flurry, Scanbuy, Twilio, Urban Airship and others. It will also include mobile gaming modules like Gamekit, OpenGL (graphics) and Box2D (physics)…”

20. Open Mobile App Directory wants to be the Wikipedia of apps http://venturebeat.com/2011/09/14/open-mobile-app-directory-launch/ “…Open Mobile App Directory (OMAD), a new site by Orange Silicon Valley, aims to be the one app directory to rule them all…OMAD aims to be an alternative to typical app stores, like Apple’s App Store or the Android Market, where it’s easy for quality apps to be ignored, and which don’t allow for community participation (aside from rating apps)…OMAD will be competing with other app directories and discovery services, such as GetJar and Chomp, but Chervirala tells us the technology could also be used by those sites to improve their own app listings. He notes that its competitors don’t offer the same community management features as OMAD…The directory began in 2009 as a project of the Silicon Valley arm of the French telecom company Orange…”

21. The Mobile App Juggernaut Is Only Just Beginning http://www.arcticstartup.com/2011/09/20/the-mobile-app-juggernaut-is-only-just-beginning There’s a lot of noise lately about whether or not mobile apps are sustainable, or have any future. But so far, and despite some real challenges and issues, mobile apps have been nothing short of success…The majority of revenue generated by app stores today still comes from the top 100 apps and the “long tail” is often ignored…The market has been growing exponentially in the past 18 months, and it’s showing tremendous potential for further growth. An average smartphone user has 65 apps per device today, according to Flurry, while mobile apps are predicted to generate anywhere from $6 to $10B this year…Developers love new challenges brought on by nascent platforms – it presents an opportunity for them to race again for top prizes…Android and iOS will co-exist. While it looks like Apple will attract heavy spenders, Android enable distribution to the masses…there is so much more to mobile apps than gaming! Messaging, Pictures, Utilities, Education, Music are just some examples…Mobile and mobile applications are key areas of focus for Accel globally and we have invested in leading companies such as Spotify and Rovio…with companies like Tiny Speck, a next generation social gaming company, Qriously, a platform to measure real time sentiment on the mobile, and Lookout, a leader in smartphone security…”

Open Source

22. Intel invests millions in university research, but demands open source tech in return http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/intel-invests-millions-in-university-research-but-demands-open-source-tech-in-return-20110914/ “…We are all experiencing the mess that patents causes, you only have to look at the number of mobile patent lawsuits there are to see how ridiculous a situation is…some of the biggest players in the tech field are taking action to stop it happening in the future. One of those companies is Intel. Intel wants to and needs to invest in research, and part of that effort involves supporting students at universities. The company does this through a range of measures including creating Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) on campus, focused on specific areas of technology development. Intel offers to fund such centers with $2.5 million a year for 5 years going directly to the university…This all sounds great for the university, but there is one other clause to them signing up for a center. The university and the researchers have to agree that everything they create and develop must be open sourced…anyone can use the end result of the research without fear of lawsuits or royalties. If you are wondering if enforced open source is putting universities off signing up to host ISTCs, it isn’t. Stanford University has a Visual Computing ISTC, Berkeley has a Secure Computing center, and Carnegie Mellon has both a Cloud Computing and Embedded Computing ISTC…”

23. Are Mobile-Style Interfaces Leaving Desktop Power Users Behind? http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/240163/are_mobilestyle_interfaces_leaving_desktop_power_users_behind.html “…Windows 8…touch-enabled, mobile-style Metro interface…reminds me a great deal of Ubuntu Linux's Unity. Both Unity and Metro borrow heavily from the mobile world, and for that reason seem likely to appeal to an increasingly mobile-minded world of consumers…I'm not so sure…these types of interfaces are right for the desktop, and especially for the power users…Touch…is not particularly well-suited for long periods of time at the desktop--my arms hurt just thinking about it…Then, too, there's the difference between content consumption--visiting Facebook and watching YouTube videos, for instance, both of which are easily done within the mobile paradigm--and content production, which tends to be done on desktops and requires much more involved interaction with the computer. I don't have any statistics to offer about Unity, but…a significant contingent of longtime Ubuntu users have protested vehemently the fact that it has been made the default…there may be growing demand for a desktop operating system that isn't based on the mobile paradigm…Arch Linux, for example, eschews the popular graphical installer in favor of a text-based one, and it focuses primarily on simplicity…The base system includes only the fundamental necessities; from there, it's up to users to customize it however they want…other Linux distributions…focus on higher-end users--Arch certainly isn't the only one, and it won't be the right one for everyone. Arch does currently occupy DistroWatch's No. 6 spot for popularity among Linux distributions, however, and it's on the rise. Ubuntu, Mint and several of the other top distributions, by contrast, are on a downward trend…”


24. Your smartphone camera is now smarter with Goggles 1.6 http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/09/your-smartphone-camera-is-now-smarter.html “…we launched a new version of Google Goggles that enhances the camera on your Android-powered phone. With this new opt-in feature in Goggles, you can simply photograph an image using your phone’s camera, and Goggles will work in the background to analyze your image. If your photo contains items that Goggles can recognize, the app will notify you. Let’s say that I’m going on vacation, and I decide to use my Android-powered phone as my primary camera. Goggles would identify landmarks, paintings and other interesting objects in my photos…Photos you take with your phone’s camera will only be seen by Goggles if you enable the Search from Camera feature…”

25. +Snippets on Google Maps: if you can see it, you can share it http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/snippets-on-google-maps-if-you-can-see.html “…We recently launched +snippets…making it easy to visit a webpage and then share it on Google+…today we're bringing +snippets to Google Maps. Suppose you’re planning a weekend trip to Napa. Your packing list probably includes driving directions, hotel information and a list of nearby wineries…with +snippets, Google+ users can easily share directions or places…with fellow travelers…Google Maps joins other Google products like Books, Offers and Product Search in having +snippets…We’ll be rolling out +snippets to many more Google products in the future…

26. Spanning adds Gmail to its Google Apps backup service http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/spanning-adds-gmail-to-its-google-apps-backup-service-courts-businesses/57261 Spanning on Tuesday will roll out its latest backup service for Google Apps and add Gmail to the mix…CEO Charlie Wood said customers were frequently requesting Gmail backup. While Wood’s company competes with Backupify in areas, Spanning is going deep with its business focus while its rival is more horizontal…Wood said that enterprises have contacted Spanning about a pick-and-choose backup approach to Gmail. For instance, companies may want to back up email from executives and the legal team, but not rank and file workers. Spanning charges $30 a year per user for backup…”

27. Why Google's move into flight search means little for Adioso & Hipmunk http://tomhoward.co/why-googles-move-into-flight-search-means-lit “…the inbox and Twitters were abuzz. Google had launched a flight search product…commenters asserted with customary certainty that this would spell death for travel startups like Hipmunk…on the day that Google has finally launched its flight search product to the world, we couldn't be less fazed by it, and we think every other travel search startup should feel the same way…as a startup, to believe Google Flight Search destroys your own prospects is to believe that being Google is all it takes to own 100% of the travel search market…Some adore Hipmunk, some hate it. Some are excited by Adioso - its potential or its reality - and some don't understand why anyone would ever want it. Some…just carry on using Kayak…Adioso was never a search tool to win largely-satisfied customers away from other established players. It was a product we built for ourselves, which then found an audience of people who agreed with our ideas on the way travel search should work…When we heard about Hipmunk, we naively worried they'd copy our ideas…as soon as we saw their product we realised it was nothing like ours and was built to serve very different needs…I think the same about Google. Google is building the sort of travel search product that Google would build…They'll probably add features conceived by Adioso, Hipmunk and…other travel search companies. But they can't do everything. They can't please all of the people all of the time. More so than in just about any other industry, they can't do it in travel search…”

28. Google buys 1000+ more IBM patents http://www.pcworld.com/article/240090/google_acquires_over_1000_ibm_patents.html Google has acquired over 1,000 patents from IBM, as part of its strategy to strengthen its patent portfolio to counter litigation…Google also acquired another over 1,000 patents from IBM in July. It transferred recently some patents to smartphone maker HTC to help it pursue patent litigation against Apple…Like the patents from the previous patent transaction between Google and IBM, the range of inventions covered in the new set of patents is pretty broad, including desktop and server hardware, computer security, database processes, circuit design, parallel database systems and architecture, user authentication, creditcard/smartcard testing…”

29. Google+ API launched http://news.cnet.com/8301-13846_3-20106919-62/google-api-launches-today/ The Google+ team today announced the launch of its public data APIs. These APIs allow you to retrieve the public profile information and public posts of Google+ users in order to share content, profiles, and conversations across applications…"Google+ gives users full control over their information, supporting everything from intimate conversations with family to public showcases and debates…This initial API release is focused on public data only--it lets you read information that people have shared publicly on Google+." The APIs are standards based so developers don't have to learn a new programmatic style, and include a number of open-source libraries to avoid writing HTTP requests--which in the past have functioned as the interface into applications. The code libraries are available in a number of languages including Java, GWT, Python, Ruby, PHP, and .NET…”

30. Google+ open to everyone http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_18936276?source=most_viewed Three months after the Google (GOOG)+ social network launched on an invitation-only basis, Google is opening up the gates to everybody -- at least everyone old enough to vote…"We're nowhere near done, but with the improvements we've made so far we're ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open signups…”

31. Google+ Search and Hangout improvements http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/google-92-93-94-95-96-97-98-99-100.html “…Hangouts currently supports Android 2.3+ devices with front-facing cameras (and iOS support is coming soon)…sometimes you want to speak to a large audience, or alternatively, view as a spectator. In these cases a public broadcast is what’s needed, so today we’re introducing Hangouts On Air…just start a normal hangout, and you’ll have the option to broadcast and record your session. Once you’re “On Air,” up to nine others can join your hangout (as usual), and anyone can watch your live broadcast…Hangouts has always included a basic set of in-room actions (like group chat and co-viewing of YouTube videos), but we want to make it easier to do a lot more. That’s why we’re previewing some extras, including…Screensharing…Sketchpad…Google Docs…Named Hangouts…click “Try Hangouts with extras” in the green room…today we’re bringing Google’s search expertise to Google+. Just type what you’re looking for into the Google+ search box, and we’ll return relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web…”

32. Google Wallet: A Hands-On in the Real World http://www.pcworld.com/article/240218/google_wallet_a_handson_in_the_real_world.html “…Google Wallet…debuts today--for now, available only on the Sprint Nexus S 4G phone. The app is the latest to use Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to facilitate payments--customers pay for items in brick-and-mortar shops by tapping their phone to a vendor’s PayPass reader, a small box for transmitting data that can be found in major retailers like Macy’s, Whole Foods, and McDonald’s…Google partnered with MasterCard, which has been using NFC chips on some of its credit cards since 2003, and originally developed the PayPass reader…while it’s extraordinarily cool when it works, the experience isn’t seamless yet…I found that the PayPass readers in merchants’ stores were often broken or malfunctioning, something Google and MasterCard need to fix quickly…Google Wallet app currently links only with Citibank MasterCards or Google Prepaid Cards (which you can use to load money from other debit accounts)…(Editor's Note: Shortly after Google Wallet was announced today, Visa announced that their customers will now will be able to link their Visa Cards to Google's new app.)…When the PIN isn’t entered, the chip is turned off, and when the phone’s screen is off, the NFC antenna is off, so that you can’t, say, have the phone in your pocket and “accidentally” purchase something, or have your money stolen via a malicious NFC reader…there are also options to add and use loyalty cards (if you frequent a vendor that offers these, you can manage your transactions through this), discounts from Google Offers (any coupons you might receive through Google Shopper will be pushed to this part of Google Wallet), and you can view your payment history…the cashier seemed seriously indifferent to my ability to pay with my phone, which surprised me a bit. But one of the great advantages of Google Wallet is how natural it starts to feel. Once you’ve paid with your phone a few times…it starts to become as natural as pulling out an old-school credit card…neither of these two failed tap-to-pay experiences were the fault of Google’s app, but rather the fault of the PayPass readers in the vendor’s stores…Google’s Wallet app is a really easy way to pay for things when it works, and when the app itself stalled, it corrected the error relatively quickly. The weak link in the chain are the vendors’ PayPass readers, which need to work better…” http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011-09-19/google-wallet/50468558/1 “…for Google the payments business "is kind of the gravy more than anything else. Where the real value is and where Google has an interesting play is in advertising, couponing, location based services and all that…” http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393246,00.asp “…Google Wallet replaces the act of pulling out a wallet, handing over credit card, and signing your name with pulling out your smartphone, firing up an app, punching in a four-digit PIN number, and tapping your phone against a payment reader…it takes less than 18 minutes for a hacker, or even someone with a fancy calculator, to guess a four-digit numeric PIN…PCMag's lead security analyst Neil Rubenking says the four-digit PIN authentication prevents him from trusting Google Wallet…if someone uses a brute-force attack, the method of simply going through different permutations of keys, it only takes…18 minutes to crack a 4-digit numeric PIN…In August, Sophos found that 67 percent of consumers don't use a password to protect their mobile phones. And if you do, please, Sophos begs of you, don't make it one of the 10 most common mobile PIN numbers, shown on the chart below…”

33. Google SMASH: Why No Industry Is Safe http://gizmodo.com/5840045/google-smash-why-no-industry-is-safe “...Google loves...playing in other people's sandboxes...Here's how they do it, and why it matters...Google's latest victim: the lowly travel site...You could check out the usual suspects, Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, maybe even Travelocity and its creepy little gnome...It all seemed perfect until Google rolled up with its new Flight Search feature. In addition to the usual "let's fly from point A to point B" flight search, the service quickly, and intuitively, narrows down flight results based on number of stops, airlines, price, connections, and flight times...What's different is how easy Google makes it, bypassing the redundant "start new search" hassles of most established travel sites. Bar none this is the quickest and easiest way to find flight...heaven help the travel sites Google tacks on hotel and car rental options...MapQuest was the Magellan of the Internet until Google Maps appeared. But then suddenly Google Map results appeared every time you searched for a business or address...Hotmail and Yahoo mail? Totally respectable providers—until Gmail. When Gmail beta launched in 2004, it offered a full 1GB of storage, compared to the paltry 2MB-4MB offered by other email services...Firefox! Everyone loved it, totally wiped the floor with Internet Explorer. And then Chrome came along, sucking up market share like a cracked out Dyson...Google's even made itself obsolete; its YouTube purchase crushed Google Video. And once you've cornered the cat video market, you control the Internet...But why do Google tentacles keep reaching farther and farther? And how are they sogood at it?...Google can afford to run those businesses at break-even, or in some cases at a loss. All they care about, other than global domination, is getting people on the internet. Because if you're online, you're being served a Google ad, or providing information that goes into a Google database that helps, yep, sell more ads...Take the Google Fiber experiment. The company is installing a 1Gb /per sec broadband network into a community in order to bring the next generation high speed connection to the masses. How does that help Google? The faster the pipe, the more often people will be on the Internet searching for videos, games, and using their services...Of course Google's giant piggy bank doesn't always yield success...Google TV could be great...Wave and Buzz were verifiable busts...Android tablets are still in their infancy, with a long, long road ahead before they catch up to iPad in either quantity or quality...It doesn't matter. Maybe if Google were a set-top box company or a social network or a manufacturer. But they're not. They're an advertising agency...every single Google+ account, every last Galaxy Tab, those two Google TVs that they sold: they're all just added value...And the more pervasive the internet becomes in our lives, the more Google will be...”

General Technology

34. Predator-style heat vision for soldiers http://news.discovery.com/tech/tech-gives-soldiers-predator-style-vision-110909.html “…Regular night-vision goggles are good, but not good enough. Sure, they let a soldier see at night as well as he would by day -- but they don't let him see any better. That just changed. A new device developed over seven years by Optics1 gives warfighters "Predator"-style vision to better tag those terrorists and other threats. Only recently made available, the COTI (Clip On Thermal Imager) adds the ability to see thermal signals to existing night-vision devices. The human eye sees light with a wavelength between 400 and 700 nanometers, while a night-vision device may see up to around 900, closing in on the infrared range. The COTI amps up the warfighter's vision to a whole different spectrum…COTI's long-wave infrared technology allows a warfighter to "see" even in pitch-black or no light conditions. By using an 8- through 10-micron range, it can give the user "sight" in spite of smoke, foliage, fog, rain and other adverse conditions where standard devices provide only limited capability. While basic camouflage can defeat ordinary night-vision devices, it can't fool the COTI's ability to detect thermal sources. It can even identify whether a vehicle or a room has been recently occupied by "seeing" residual heat signatures…”

35. MSU develops laser to detect roadside bombs http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2011/09/msu_develops_laser_to_detect_r.html A Michigan State University research team has developed a laser that could detect roadside bombs…The laser, which has comparable output to a simple presentation pointer, potentially has the sensitivity and selectivity to canvas large areas and detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) -- weapons that account for around 60 percent of coalition soldiers’ deaths…Detectors must also be able to distinguish explosives from vast arrays of similar compounds that can be found in urban environments…The laser beam combines short pulses that make the molecules vibrate, as well as long pulses that are used to “listen” and identify the different “chords.” The chords include different vibrational frequencies that uniquely identify every molecule, much like a fingerprint. The high-sensitivity laser can work in tandem with cameras and allows users to scan questionable areas from a safe distance. “The laser and the method we’ve developed were originally intended for microscopes, but we were able to adapt and broaden its use to demonstrate its effectiveness for standoff detection of explosives…”

36. In-Car Algorithm Could Rapidly Dissolve Traffic Jams http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27166/ If cars broadcast their speeds to other vehicles, a simple in-car algorithm could help dissolve traffic jams as soon as they occur…mathematical models and experimental measurements of traffic patterns have led to a consensus about the general kinds of traffic flows that can occur. There are three types. First is free flow in which the density of traffic is low enough to allow vehicles to travel at the maximum speed allowed. Then there is synchronised flow when a higher traffic density forces cars to travel at similar slow speeds but without stop-start motion. Finally, there is the jam in which the speed drops to zero when the traffic density rises above some threshold…One interesting question is how best to dissolve jams once they form. Most traffic experts agree that the basic idea is to ensure that cars leave the jam more quickly than they arrive, so that the jam dissolves…Hyun Keun Lee and Beom Jun Kim…have a come up with a simple idea to automate and improve this dissolving process. They define two types of drivers: optimistic and defensive. Defensive drivers leave more room to the vehicle ahead than required by safety. Optimistic drivers leave too little…All the vehicles in this model share their speed and position with their neighbours and this information filters downstream. That means downstream vehicles immediately become aware that the traffic ahead has come to a standstill…Lee and Kim's algorithm immediately switches all the downstream driving behaviour to defensive, so that vehicles exceed the safe distance between them. This slows the rate at which vehicles join the jam. At the same time, vehicles leaving the jams are made to accelerate away quickly using automated cruise control. This increases the rate at which vehicles leave the jam. The result is that the jam quickly dissolves…”

37. Orbit the Earth in One Minute Via Fascinating ISS Time-Lapse Video http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393209,00.asp What does Earth look like from the International Space Station? Science educator James Drake has created a one-minute timelapse video of the ISS circling the globe, which provides a fascinating look at Earth from above…Drake created the video by combining 600 photos that are available via the Johnson Space Center's Gateway to Astronomy Photograph of Earth…The images are taken from the front of the ISS as it orbits the planet at night. The video starts over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica…Drake said he used Virtualdub to create the final movie…”

38. Jelly batteries: Safer, cheaper, smaller, more powerful http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14852073 A new polymer jelly could be the next big step forward for lithium batteries. The jelly replaces the volatile and hazardous liquid electrolyte currently used in most lithium batteries...the lithium jelly batteries could allow lighter laptop computers, and more efficient electric cars...Apple got around the safety problem for their lightweight laptops with a solid polymer electrolyte, but in doing so, the power output of the computers suffered...Developers have had to use reinforced, steel-clad battery housings, multiple fuses and circuits to protect the battery during charging. All of these contribute to the cost and weight, and hence efficiency, of electric cars...jelly batteries should prevent "thermal runaway", during which batteries can reach hundreds of degrees and catch fire...researchers are promising that their jelly batteries are as safe as polymer batteries, perform like liquid-filled batteries, but are 10 to 20% the price of either. The secret to their success lies in blending a rubber-like polymer with a conductive, liquid electrolyte into a thin, flexible film of gel that sits between the battery electrodes...”

DHMN Technology

39. Upverter is the perfect tool for open-source hardware http://venturebeat.com/2011/09/13/upverter/ Open-source hardware has one big stumbling block: How do you get distributed teams from around the world working together on the same prototype? Open-source software communities have myriad tools for writing code together and sharing it all over the place. But creating and sharing hardware together has been a bit more problematic. Enter Upverter, which handily makes hardware design free, open, web-based and collaborative...Its web-based HTML5 editor has all the basic commands and features, including undo, redo, rotating, versioning, annotation, commenting and sharing designs. The canvas for creating designs is infinitely large, and the app features a crowdsourced library of parts and their attributes, including cost...projects currently being worked on with Upverter include a circuit to help a driver park a car, a combination lock, a circuit for turning off a flatscreen television set from 100-150 feet away and a device designed to increase the sensitivity of an audio receiver...Hardware hackers, hobbyists and folks in the DIY or maker communities are a primary target audience for Upverter. Homuth said he also sees the tool as perfect for many consultants, small businesses and startup companies...Upverter is part of a class of software called electronic design automation or EDA. EDA can be used to design anything that has a circuit board or that plugs into a socket...The Upverter product is undoubtedly a game-changer for the open-source hardware community, which itself has world-changing aspirations...But the Upverter team’s goal isn’t just to revolutionize open-source hardware design. They also want to fundamentally change the way all hardware is designed. “If we can change the paradigms away from single, siloed designs and towards gluing shared building blocks together (kind of like the shift software made away from statically compiled and towards shared libraries) we would change the way hardware gets designed across the board...”

40. White Space database system to face its first trial http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/09/white-space-database-system-to-face-its-first-trial.ars One of the database networks that will manage unlicensed broadband devices across the country will face its first public test beginning this Monday at 8:30am…The Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering Technology says that for 45 days it will facilitate a public trial of vendor Spectrum Bridge's database—designed to identify "white space" television band channels authorized for unlicensed use by broadband devices…The challenge is whether the Spectrum Bridge system properly registers TV channels available for use and those not available, protecting the latter from interference from white space gadgets that can sniff for and identify temporarily free TV bands…Participants will be encouraged to test three key components of its white space database: the channel availability calculator, the registration utilities for cable headend and auxiliary broadcast sites, and the wireless microphone registration utility…”

41. Arduino 1.0 and other new Arduino products http://arduino.cc/blog/2011/09/17/arduino-launches-new-products-in-maker-faire/ “…Arduino 1.0, we finally froze the Arduino API, the IDE and the layout of the boards…Arduino Leonardo, a low cost Arduino board with the Atmega32u4. It has the same shape and connectors as the UNO but it has a simpler circuit…Arduino Due, a major breakthrough for Arduino because we’re launching an Arduino board with a 32bit Cortex-M3 ARM processor on it. We’re using the SAM3U processor from ATMEL running at 96MHz with 256Kb of Flash, 50Kb of Sram, 5 SPI buses, 2 I2C interfaces, 5 UARTS, 16 Analog Inputs at 12Bit resolution…Arduino Wifi Shield. It adds Wi-Fi communication capabilities to any Arduino…we wanted to have something that will provide the maximum level of hackability to the user. The shield is based on a wifi micro module made by H&D Wireless coupled with a powerful AVR32 processor that carries the full TCP-IP stack leaving room to add your own protocols and customisations…”

Leisure & Entertainment

42. The alternatives in a post-Netflix world http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/19/scitech/main20108417.shtml The DVD-by-mail service Netflix built its business on will soon be known as Qwickster. The rebranding follows Netflix's decision to split its DVD rental business from its online streaming service, a move that raised the prices for customers who want both by as much as 60 percent. Netflix and the newly-minted Qwikster have a growing list of competitors that offer movies and TV shows streamed online, on DVDs, or through on-demand cable TV. Choosing the right service will depend on your appetite for video…Here's a look at some of the options…Apple iTunes…Amazon’s Instant Video…Blockbuster…Cable…Hulu…Redbox…Vudu, from Walmart…Netflix (new, streaming-only plan)…Qwikster…” http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2011/09/netflix-dvd-mailing-service-to-split-off-and-become-qwikster.ars “…The Qwikster service will have its own independent website where users will have to go to manage their queues…it will no longer be possible for users to manage their DVD and Instant queues through a unified interface. Although current Netflix subscriber data will reportedly be replicated over to Qwikster at launch, users will essentially have separate profiles at each website…new customers will have to sign up and input their credit card information separately at Netflix and Qwikster. Movie ratings and reviews submitted by users will not propagate across both sites. When users search at Netflix for a movie that's not available for streaming, they won't be offered the DVD version. These baffling changes will erode much of the convenience and synergy that made Netflix appealing to the company's most loyal custom\ers…”

43. Free Music For Everyone! Rdio Joins MOG, Spotify http://allthingsd.com/20110914/free-music-for-everyone-rdio-joins-mog-spotify-in-the-big-digital-music-giveaway/ Free, legal music on the web…seems to be going through a revival phase…Spotify finally opened for business in the U.S. and included a free, ad-supported option…Now both MOG and Rdio, two other subscription music services, are adding big free components…MOG is rolling out a Web-based, ad-supported version of the service that gives users an undisclosed amount of free streaming music, which they can keep listening to if they engage with the service in certain ways…soon Rdio will offering something similar, with two differences: Its free version will be ad-free, and the company won’t prompt users to take certain actions to keep the free going. It will decide…how long to extend the free trial period, with the intent of getting them to upgrade to a $10 monthly subscription. The timing of the new free services aren’t accidental. They’re both being announced in advance of Facebook’s F8 developer conference next Thursday. That’s when the social network is expected to announce a new music service that will incorporate MOG and Rdio as well as Spotify…”

44. Apple, Starbucks Expanding iTunes Giveaways to Include Apps, Books and TV Shows http://allthingsd.com/20110915/apple-starbucks-expanding-itunes-giveaways-to-include-apps-books-and-tv-shows/ For some time now, Starbucks customers have been able to download a free song in addition to buying their lattes, mochas…the company’s “pick of the week” program has expanded. It started last month with giving away the paid iPhone app Shazam Encore, and this week’s freebie is an extended book sample from Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus.” The expansion could soon extend to TV shows as well…”

45. Google Spending Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To Provide Cable Alternative http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-09-15/tech/30159082_1_hulu-motorola-mobility-video-content “…industry sources tell us that Google is…acquiring content for YouTube – perhaps as much as $500 million or more. "They are throwing around huge money," says…an executive who has found himself bidding against Google for video content…Google is sending out RFPs and striking deals with cable programmers, independent studios, and even people that aren't primarily in the video business. A second source…involved in Google's acquisition talks with Hulu, says that the company's initial outlays for content are indeed in excess of $100 million and that they could easily reach $600 million over time…You can imagine if Google were to buy Hulu and they were commissioning all this content and they were willing to take losses for a few years, that would become a real alternative to cable…Google is really going to move the needle…the 500 channel universe never happened. Now it's going to happen. Google is forcing the organization of video…”

46. Sony's DC Universe Online now a 'freemium' game http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/09/dc-universe-online-now-a-freemium-game.html It's no joke. Nine months after launching its subscription-based superhero online title, DC Universe Online, Sony will be throwing open portions of the game for free in October in an attempt to garner more players. The move comes as traditional multiplayer online games that charge monthly fees come under economic pressure from social games, which are initially free to play, but sell virtual goods and premium game perks to players who want to advance more quickly. Starting in October, Sony said it will offer three tiers of the game, a free version with limited features, a premium tier for those who spend a total of $5 or more on virtual items for the game, and a "legendary" tier with access to all the features in the game for $15 a month…”

Economy and Technology

47. PayPal’s Strategy for Challenging Visa and MasterCar\d at the Register http://allthingsd.com/20110914/a-first-look-at-paypals-strategy-for-challenging-visa-and-mastercard-at-the-register/ “…PayPal demonstrated how it intends to provide payments to physical retailers as the race heats up to make wallets and clunky metal registers obsolete….this is the first time it is discussing how it will approach the digital market and how it will defend itself against incumbent payment providers, like Visa, MasterCard and American Express, and new entrants, like Google and San Francisco-based Square…What stood out was that none of the scenarios required merchants to adopt new infrastructure or buy new terminals. Likewise, customers won’t be required to upgrade their phones or have certain bank accounts…”

48. Fog Creek Software Becoming a Betawork’s Style Innovation Lab http://www.betabeat.com/2011/09/13/joel-spolsky-fog-creek-becoming-a-betaworks-style-innovation-lab/ “…FogBugz, has gone on to be one of the best selling bug tracking services, giving Fog Creek the freedom to fund a series of interesting projects. “We reached a certain point where I realized we had this mature product, kind of running under its own steam, and while we continue to improve and update it, we could take eight people off of FogBugz…Those eight employees were split into teams of two and given the freedom to spend three months building something that interested them…They have some time to work on something and if its great, we might scale. If not, we pivot, or kill the project and try something totally new…Trello, a project management tool that Fog Creek has been using internally and decided to release as a free web app…seems to offer both a broad and a granular way of dealing with projects…The service…is meant to encourage the “agile” development methodology…In the meantime, Stack Exchange, which Mr. Spolsky started with Jeff Atwood, has secured a big round of financing, become the official Facebook developer forum and continues to grow at an astronomical rate. “I think Stack Exchange is probably the first company I’m involved with that has a good chance to go public…”

49. Facebook 'Credits' Revenue Now Growing Faster Than its Ads http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-credits-revenue-growing-faster-ads/229874/ Facebook ad revenue is growing fast, but its currency system, called "Credits," is growing even faster. Facebook will collect revenue of $470 million this year from Credits alone, according to a new estimate from eMarketer, up from $140 million in 2010. Facebook in July began requiring that all merchants in its ecosystem use the Credits currency. The social network takes 30% of all transactions. Strong growth in credits gives Facebook a second significant revenue source and reduces its dependence on advertising…”

50. Imagine K12 Graduates Its First Class of Ed-Tech Startups http://www.hackeducation.com/2011/09/14/imagine-k12-graduates-its-first-class-of-ed-tech-startups/ The 10 startups that just graduated from the education-focused incubator Imagine K12 are taking to the stage at Techcrunch Disrupt this morning in San Francisco…Imagine K12 launched in the spring, founded by three Silicon Valley veterans…there are still plenty of challenges in building education technology startups; and there are tons of opportunities right now too…There’s a new generation of educators, entrepreneurs, and engineers interested in solving education’s problems. There’s a new generation of “customers” — students, parents, teachers, administrators who are tech enthusiasts themselves. And investors are interested…Imagine K12 describes itself as “unabashedly inspired by Y Combinator,” the premier Silicon Valley tech startup incubator. The model is similar: an investment and mentorship program — in the case of Imagine K12, it’s been a 3.5 month program with $25,000 in initial funding…”

Civilian Aerospace

51. Amazon's Bezos Patenting 'Blue Origin' Spacecraft http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1381&doc_id=233226&f_src=designnews_gnews “…Jeff Bezos…hasn't let the failure of a unmanned rocket dampen his ardor for building a business that will be able to take passengers to the edge of outer space. And he's working to get the patents to prove it. His space venture, Blue Origin, is based not far from Seattle in Kent, Wash., with a separate launch complex in Texas. According to its Website: "Blue Origin is developing New Shepard, a rocket-propelled vehicle designed to routinely fly multiple astronauts into suborbital space at competitive prices."…The company's second test vehicle reached a speed of Mach 1.2 and an altitude of 45,000 feet, but then it encountered what Blue Origin called "a flight instability [which] drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle."…In January, Bezos, along with Blue Origin colleagues Gary Lai and Sean Findlay, filed application number 20110017872 for a patent entitled "Sea Landing of Space Launch Vehicles and Associated Systems and Methods."…Blue Origin is aiming at reuse of its spacecraft, including recovery from a ship on which the vehicle makes a vertical landing…the booster stage reenters the earth's atmosphere in a tail-first orientation. The booster engines are then restarted and the booster stage performs a vertical powered landing on the deck of a pre-positioned sea-going platform…A second application of interest, number 20100326045, was filed by Gary Lai on December 30, 2010. Entitled "Multiple-Use Rocket Engines and Associated Systems and Methods," it clearly seems to describe the guts of Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital vehicle. New Shepard is a two-stage rocket, and the engine components are recoverable for reuse…Blue Origin might have a career path for you. The company currently has 13 job postings on its site…”

52. Makers of Tiny Satellites View Space Station as Launch Pad http://www.space.com/12939-international-space-station-cubesat-satellite-launches.html The International Space Station would be an ideal launch platform for dispatching tiny spacecraft to perform a variety of Earth-oriented scientific research tasks…The idea of using the $100 billion ISS as a platform to pop out sensor-laden probes has captured the attention of small-satellite makers, who are contemplating deploying palm-sized satellites called CubeSats from the orbiting laboratory…One study, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, has focused on an ISS CubeSat Ejection System (ICES). The space station would serve as a responsive-launch platform from which multiple CubeSats could be ejected, buckshot fashion, to support missions studying the Earth's ionosphere and thermosphere region…The strategic location of the ISS makes it an ideal platform from which to address rapid-response science questions…Numerous satellites could be deployed from the sprawling station – specifically from the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module…The space station could keep a stable of CubeSats ready and waiting to be deployed when the need arose…”

53. Purdue students designing moon-rocket engine http://www.chron.com/news/article/Purdue-students-designing-moon-rocket-engine-2169666.php Two Purdue University students are designing a new rocket engine that someday might help land a spacecraft on the moon…Thomas Feldman and Andrew Rettenmaier are part of a team that's designing the rocket motor through the NASA-funded Project Morpheus…aimed at spurring development of new technologies for future trips to the moon, Mars or asteroids. The students' rocket will be powered by liquid oxygen and methane. It will be designed, built and tested at a Purdue laboratory…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

54. Wanted: Design Info for GPU Supercomputer http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-09-15/wanted:_good_use_for_supercomputer.html “…there’s been a great deal of buzz generated on Slashdot following a recent post in which a user wrote the following: In about 2 weeks time I will be receiving everything necessary to build the largest x86_64-based supercomputer on the east coast of the U.S…It's spec'ed to start with 1200 dual-socket six-core servers…what's the best Linux distro for something of this size and scale?...all nodes include only a basic onboard GPU. We intend to put powerful GPUs into the PCI-e slot and open up the new HPC for GPU related crunching. Any suggestions on the most powerful Linux friendly PCI-e GPU available?...what's most interesting here is not necessarily the question itself, but the extended conversation that this generated from members of the HPC user community…In the process of answering some of the user's questions…the HPC community inadvertently produced a compendium of first-hand insights about their own experience…For instance, one user wrote: Similar size setup in bio-informatics in Europe. We run redhat 6.1, was centos 5 and LSF. single 1gbit to each server (blades). No need for 10gb or IB unless huge mpi which no one uses. 32GB to 2TB per node - some people like enormous R datasets. All works well for our ~500 users…Others weighed in with more specific answers about specific elements, including GPUs…The original author did decide to answer back with more details about why he was in such a predicament…Our organization received a grant to pay for this from a private philanthropist that has a medical issue that is currently being researched by one of our labs…The grant money came in in two different payments. We used the first payment to buy the nodes…The second payment was going to pay for the GPU's and the extra infrastructure…we hit two issues: 1) one of our more seasoned enterprise admins took a new job at Apple's new NC datacenter and 2) our cluster admin passed away from a heart attack about a week after the purchase was made…we lost two very valuable resources…The old admin knew which GPU's he wanted; unfortunately we haven't found his research anywhere to know what and why. He had also planned to go with the latest release of Rocks, but only because he was very familiar with it…we know what we don't know and thought the Slashdot community could provide some experience to help us make the right decisions…For anyone with the time and patience to read through almost 400 comments, well over half…provide at least a useful morsel of information for someone trying to learn about what works and doesn't for clusters around the world…”

55. 153 Teraflop Forge Supercomputer Now Available at NCSA http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-09-16/153_teraflop_forge_supercomputer_now_available_at_ncsa.html Forge—a 153 teraflop supercomputer that combines both CPUs and general-purpose graphics-processing units (GPUs)—is now available at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications for use by scientists and engineers across the country. Multiple scientific codes have been adapted for GPU computing, enabling a rapidly diversifying range of disciplinary research, including biomolecular simulations, lattice quantum chromodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, cryptography and molecular dynamics. Seventy percent of the compute time Forge offers will be allocated through the National Science Foundation's Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program…The remaining 30 percent of Forge's cycles will be allocated to NCSA's Private Sector Program and to faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign…”

56. Newest Opteron CPU Headed for Big Supers http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2011-09-09/newest_opteron_cpu_headed_for_big_supers.html “…AMD announced the first shipments of its 16-core Interlagos CPUs, based on the company's latest "Bulldozer" architecture. Interlagos…The Interlagos CPU, as you may recall, comes in 12- or 16-core flavors, has a quad-channel memory controller, up to 16 MB of L3 cache, and is compatible with AMD's Opteron 6000 G34 socket…Interlagos will be AMD's first implementation of the Bulldozer architecture…Cray is the only vendor that makes custom supers with AMD CPUs…Cray's first GPU-accelerated supercomputer, the upcoming XK6 supercomputer, will also incorporate Interlagos CPUs, hooking up an X2090 Tesla module to each Interlagos chip. The first XK6 system installation, at least the first one publicly announced, will be deployed in Switzerland…That system…"Piz Palu," will be upgraded…using the Interlagos parts and the new NVIDIA Tesla modules…”