3D Printing: Young Printers, Razors and Blades

Ran across another mainstream media article about 3D printing today. This one was in Businessweek and had two concepts that I feel represent huge opportunities in the additive manufacturing world:
  • Youths growing up with 3D printers as a not-so-amazing fact of life
  • 'Razors and blades' business model
The article starts out by describing a group of teenagers who have already accepted 3D printing as a cool part of their lives.
"...14-year-old Riley Lewis and a few of his eighth grade friends gather at his house in Santa Clara, Calif. The group of five, depending on who's around, grab some chips and bean dip and repair to the garage, where Riley and his dad have created something of a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub. The boys can pretty much fabricate anything they can dream up on a machine called the RapMan. As the hours tick by, they cover tables with their creations: rockets and guitar picks and cutlery. They hold forth on plastic extrusion rates and thermodynamics and how such forces affect the precision of the objects they can produce. "That's a very beautiful gear you have printed," a boy named Douglas tells Riley...Vernon says, "I want to print an essay for one of my teachers and hand it in on sheets of plastic instead of paper just to confuse people." Riley and his friends have accepted as a mundane fact that computer designs can be passed among friends, altered at will, and then brought to life by microwave oven-sized machines..."
Those teenagers and their acceptance of 3D printing as cool-but-not-beyond-them remind me of the preschool son of a fellow DHMN member (Distributed Hacker/Maker Network). At a recent 'make' session, the son said he wanted a 3D printer for his birthday, and he also wants to take his dad's 3D printer to preschool. 

Because teenagers can dedicate a lot of time to subjects they find interesting and because they are much more open to trying new things and using 3D printers for just about anything under the sun, I predict we're going to see some amazing developments in 3D printing over the next five to ten years from the youth growing up with these mini replicators and factories in their homes, in nearby hacker/makerspaces, and even at nearby FedEx Office locations. Those kids will be designing fantastic products and taking the art and science of 3D printing down paths no one can easily predict.

The Businessweek article also talks about the shift at 3D Systems from being primarily being a seller of 3D printers to having a majority of their sales generated by the printing compounds used in their printers. As a chemical engineer, I've always been interested in the different compounds you can use in 3D printers and can envision many different properties being designed into printer feed materials. However, I would never have guessed that one of the leading 3D printer manufacturers had already moved to the razors and blades business model.
"...Reichental, 55, arrived at 3D Systems eight years ago...He says 70 percent of 3D Systems' revenue today comes from recurring sales of materials, up from 10 percent when Reichental took over. Last year the company's annual revenue rose 44 percent, to $230.4 million..."
It's unlikely 3D Systems has fully embraced the razors and blades business model definition in Wikipedia, which says, "...one item is sold at a low price (or given away for free) in order to increase sales of a complementary good, such as supplies..." since they likely make a reasonable profit margin on their printers. In the next decade, though, it's likely that home 3D printers will drop down to the $199 price point, or even $99, just so the plastic and other printing compounds can be sold to the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of 3D printer owners. Industrial quality printers, with larger build capabilities, finer resolutions, more simultaneous print heads, and a wider range of print compounds, will always be significantly more expensive than home models. Innovation and volume production, however, will likely mean that people who launch a 'personal advanced manufacturing' business five years from now will be able to buy for less than $5000 a 3D printer that today costs $50,000 - $250,000.

What do you want to print today!?


NEW NET location for 01 May 2012 Mtg = Cambria Suites

The NEW NET 01 May 2012 meeting from 7 - 9 PM will be at Cambria Suites Hotel3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA near Ballard Road and Highway 41. Cambria Suites has free wifi and has an delicious assortment of food and beverages. See you there!



NEW NET Weekly List for 24 Apr 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 24 April 2012, NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 PM weekly gathering at Sergio's Restaurant, 2639 South Oneida Street, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net
1.        Is Social Media changing our relationship with Death?  http://puntofisso.net/techblog/2012/04/17/is-social-media-changing-our-relationship-with-death/  ““This morning I’ve started the most amazing journey”. These are the opening words of a Facebook status update of a friend of mine, announcing her own death. The status goes on to explain about her terminal illness (many of her friends, like me, were unaware of it), explain why she kept it private, and say good-bye, all in first person…Surely my friend was not someone belonging to the “Internet generation”, being in her seventies. Still…as someone living far away from many of her friends, she used Facebook as a way to keep in touch…when she understood that her illness was terminal, she decided to arrange for what was going to happen on her profile. Hence my question: is social media changing our relationship with death?...Announcing one own’s death is a new kind of behaviour, a novel need emerging as a consequence of the perceived importance of social media in our everyday lives…we have started experiencing death in unexpected ways. We can still see the profiles of dead friends as they were still part of our daily lives. As an eternal memorial to their lives, they stay with us…Facebook profiles stay there and occasionally make a comeback in the most painful way: “today is your dead friend’s birthday – write happy birthday on their wall!”…The birthday of a dead friend becomes the occasion to revive them. Hundreds of messages from common friends will spread on all the common connections’ timelines…Death has become social…It makes people remember once more and at the same time it provides ways to celebrate a person in their social circle. Given that death becomes so relevant to our daily digital lives, it’s not surprising that people start making arrangements for their digital after-life…”
2.       Introducing Google Drive... yes, really  http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/introducing-google-drive-yes-really.html  “Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive. It turns out, one of the two actually does exist. Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff…You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond. With Google Drive, you can: Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations…Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go)…You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet…Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition…We also use image recognition so that if you drag…photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better…You can get started with 5GB of storage for free…You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month…Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive…”
3.       Samsung Reportedly Launching Cloud Service on May 3  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403325,00.asp  “Samsung is reportedly prepping its own cloud service to stream movies, photos, music, and other content…Samsung has already sent out invitations to the event, where the "next Galaxy" device is scheduled to be launched…Five gigabytes is listed as a suggested amount, the same capacity attributed to the rumored Google Drive…Samsung might allow unlimited storage of all media purchased through the S-Cloud, similar to how Amazon treats media purchased through its online store. Samsung already uses a cloud service of sorts, called Kies, to transfer content back and forth from a PC to its Galaxy Tab tablet devices. Those tablets lack an SD card slot, so the Kies service needs to connect to a local network to transfer content. Kies, in turn, means that users need to sign up with Samsung for an account that allows them access to the Samsung cloud, including software updates to the platform…”
4.       Namecheap overtakes Go Daddy  http://www.elliotsblog.com/namecheap-overtakes-go-daddy-0675  “…Go Daddy is the largest domain registrar, with tens of millions of domain names under management, and NameCheap is on its way to 3 million domain names under its control…NameCheap has overtaken Go Daddy in Google for the key search term, domain name. Both companies still trail the Wikipedia page for that term, but it’s certainly a major boost for NameCheap to be listed ahead of Go Daddy. A search of the plural “domain names” shows that GoDaddy is still outranking NameCheap, with both companies trailing Wikipedia…”
5.        Dropbox makes sharing incredibly easy with links  http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/23/dropbox-sharing-with-links/  “…cloud storage powerhouse Dropbox has released a powerful new tool that lets you share files and folders using links…with the new sharing feature, it’s now drastically simpler to share files and folders. Instead of having to share an entire folder with someone from them to access your content, you can simply share a link so friends and family can see your content with less hassle…Our gallery pages give your photos, videos, and even docs the gorgeous, full-browser view they deserve. This means that people who follow your link can see pictures, look at presentations, and watch home videos without having to download and open them separately. But just in case a friend wants to save that picture or PDF for later, they can choose to either download it or save it straight to their Dropbox. Some of the most obvious use cases for the new feature will be the ability to share photos with family and friends or share your small business’ non-sensitive files with clients…”
6.       Amazon Adds Lab, Industrial Goods Via Web  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303459004577361892191702960.html  “Amazon.com Inc. has already won access to individual shoppers' wallets. Now it's courting business and industrial customers with a new website…the Seattle-based online retailer launched AmazonSupply.com, a site that sells such products as radiation detectors for environmental testing, industrial cutting tools, janitorial and sanitation materials and office supplies…drill bits and automatic hand dryers to hard-to-find parts like laboratory centrifuges and miniature polyamide tubing…No online retailer has become the clear leader in selling to business and industrial customers…Amazon must figure out how to sell to such customers, who are much different than individual shoppers. The business-to-business industry…relies on unique price negotiations and preferred vendors…AmazonSupply, which the company calls a beta site, is the retailer's latest push to grab more of the online-retail market it already dominates…”
7.        Hierarchy of Web Presence Optimization  http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2169476/The-Hierarchy-of-Web-Presence-Optimization  “Much has changed in the SEO landscape and the practice of search optimization over the past year – from the ongoing Panda and Freshness updates to the introduction of Google+ and Search Plus Your World…Google started encrypting a vast majority of keywords referred from organic search…websites guilty of “over optimization” are on their radar…The way we perform and measure SEO has to change and is changing. Blatantly building out backlinks and optimizing on-site content isn't enough…building out a hierarchy of web presence optimization (WPO) comes from the belief that basic fundamentals are required before organic search success can be achieved…There are five different tiers in The Hierarchy of Web Presence Optimization: 1. Technical SEO Fundamentals & Foundation…accounts for approximately 10 percent of the SEO efforts often consisting of one-time tasks such as: Setting up robots.txt, 401 redirects, sitemap, title tags….Configuration and cross referencing of a blog presence and social accounts including: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and any other industry-specific social media or sharing sites…Implementation of social sharing icons throughout the main web and blog sites…Backlinking from respected industry and local directories…Setting up Google Places listings…Understanding web page load time and server details that may affect rankings…2. Keyword and Competitive Research…3. Optimized Content Marketing Plan…4. Publish, Socialize & Share Content…5. Measure & Improve…”
8.       AnyMeeting free webconferencing  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/anymeeting-supports-southern-california-startups-2012-04-11  “AnyMeeting, the free web conferencing and webinar service, today announced an initiative to help support new startup companies in Southern California. AnyMeeting is contributing one-year premium ad-free service accounts to all employees of companies within select Los Angeles area incubators and accelerators…Startups are…often spread out in multiple locations, working remotely, and AnyMeeting's service bridges the gap for those remote workers…AnyMeeting offers a complete online meeting service…Meeting hosts are able to invite up to 200 attendees per meeting with no time limits, and enjoy a full range of features including integrated video conferencing, screen sharing, application sharing, recording and social media integration…”
9.       Current status of the “Browser Wars”  http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/04/23/current-status-of-the-browser-wars/  “…How popular are the various web browsers around the world right now?...there are significant regional differences in web browser usage…Microsoft’s browser still has a big chunk of the market, but much less so in some regions than others. It has lost its lead in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, but remains dominant in North America and Oceania (consisting primarily of Australia)…Firefox and Chrome together make up a majority part in every region…North America is the only region where IE usage really dominates by a wide margin. It’s still well below the 50-percent line, though…South America loves Google…Europe is the most even browser battlefield, with usage being almost equal between IE, Chrome and Firefox…Africa…is clearly a continent that has embraced Mozilla’s web browser more than any other part of the world…IE only lost the crown in Asia very recently…Now Chrome is in the lead…we suspect you’re also curious about the overall worldwide status. So here it is…keeping Chrome users up to date (thanks to automated, silent updates)…is a contributing factor to the latest official version of Chrome being the most widely used browser version in the world…judging by the current trends IE will continue to lose market share…Chrome is…on its way to becoming the most widely used web browser in the world…the outlook isn’t great for Mozilla’s browser unless they do something drastic to turn the trend…”
Gigabit Internet
10.     Powerline Network Adapter Shootout  http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1895/1/  “…Today we examine four popular Powerline Network Adapters to find out which one is the fastest and most ideal for streaming high definition multimedia in the home…We wanted to use the fastest possible Powerline and these are all “gigabit-capable” adapters. Our question was a simple one:  Which Powerline Network Adapter is the fastest?...using one of these devices is as simple as plugging a cell-phone-sized box into a wall outlet and connecting a network cable to it.  The Powerline adapter is able to connect computers in your home using existing electrical wiring to create a network.  This set up…provides theoretical network speed of up to 500Mbps…All of the units that we tested today came bundled with two network adapters and retail for well under $200. There are plenty of articles around the internet detailing and discussing what Powerline Network Adapters are and how they work.  We aren’t going to get into that in this article…We wanted to look at the fastest units on the market so we pulled adapters from Belkin, Netgear, D-Link, and TRENDnet…Our main objective is to find out how high-definition video would stream with these adapters in a single-family home environment…Each one of the Powerline adapters that we tested did a great job of transferring data and streaming audio and HD video.  Each Powerline exhibited limitations with 1080p HD video however…Even though none of the units we tested had a pass-through for an electrical outlet, you can find many on the market that do contain this feature. ..Netgear’s XAVB5004-100NAS 4-port adapter is…acting as a hub in my living room for entertainment purposes connecting my Blu-Ray, DVR, TV, and Set-top streaming media box.  In the past, many of these devices were connected wirelessly and often exhibited somewhat shaky slow responses when trying to connected to the internet…Our favorite unit to use in a home theater setting is the Netgear XAVB5004-100NAS because of it's 4-ports…For pure speed, the hands-down winner would be the TRENDnet TPL-401E2K.  The TRENDnet unit let the pack in almost every speed test that we conducted…”
11.      Qualcomm Atheros unveils Killer networking controller  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57415496-1/qualcomm-atheros-unveils-killer-networking-controller/  “…Qualcomm Atheros announced today its latest Wi-Fi and Ethernet controllers called Killer Wireless-N 1202 Wi-Fi Module and Killer E2200 Gigabit Ethernet Controller. These are network adapters with built-in QoS designed to "provide unprecedented performance and advanced control by automatically classifying and prioritizing gaming, video, and audio network data,"…these new solutions comes with an exclusive technology called Advanced Stream Detect that identifies and prioritizes all network traffic, which is helpful for those who use the computer for multiple Internet-based applications at a time, such as playing games while running Torrent downloads in the background. The Advanced Stream Detect technology ensures important applications that require high-speed connectivity get priority over less-important traffic. All Killer technology comes with Killer Network Manager software that enables users to set priorities for all network applications, increase or reduce the bandwidth each application uses, or block an application entirely…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
12.     FBI Seized Anonymizer Server  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120420/04570818576/fbi-seized-anonymizer-server.shtml  “…the FBI has seized a server used by various people to anonymize their emails, because it was also used as part of a bomb threat…The seized server was operated by the European Counter Network (“ECN”), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe, who, among many other things, provided an anonymous remailer service, Mixmaster, that was the target of an FBI investigation into the bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh…Disrupted in this seizure were academics, artists, historians, feminist groups, gay rights groups, community centers, documentation and software archives and free speech groups. The server included the mailing list “cyber rights” (the oldest discussion list in Italy to discuss this topic), a Mexican migrant solidarity group, and other groups working to support indigenous groups and workers in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. In total, over 300 email accounts, between 50-80 email lists, and several other websites have been taken off the Internet by this action. None are alleged to be involved in the anonymous bomb threats. The seized machine did not contain any riseup email accounts, lists, or user data…We sympathize with the University of Pittsburgh community who have had to deal with this frightening disruption for weeks…However, taking this server won’t stop these bomb threats. The only effect it has is to also disrupt e-mail and websites for thousands of unrelated people…we cannot help but wonder why such drastic action was taken when authorities knew that the server contained no useful information that would help in their investigation…”
13.     Infected Computers to Lose Web Access When FBI Band-Aid Falls Off  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Infected-Computers-to-Lose-Web-Access-When-FBI-Band-Aid-Falls-Off-74931.html  “The safety net that federal authorities set up several months ago as a countermeasure to a massive malware scam will be shut down in July. When that happens, computers that are still infected with the malware, known as "DNSChanger," may be completely unable to access the Internet…Come July 9, about 350,000 computers in the United States alone may lose access to the Internet because they had previously been infected with DNSChanger…Six of the seven alleged cybercrooks were arrested in November as part of a two-year operation by the United States FBI…The FBI then obtained a court order authorizing the Internet Systems Consortium to deploy and maintain clean DNS servers until July 9…Owners of computers at risk are mainly responsible for fixing the problem because "if a business or consumer doesn't know there's a problem, it's a symptom of ignorance, and fixing the problem for them this time does nothing to address the long-term problem of failing to learn to use a computer securely…”
14.     Facebook pays Microsoft $550 million for AOL patents  http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/microsoft-deal-may-give-facebook-heft-in-yahoo-patent-fight/  “Facebook’s $550 million deal to buy hundreds of former AOL patents from Microsoft may give it an upper hand in the company’s intellectual property fight with Yahoo…The transaction is the second-largest ever by Facebook, after its roughly $1 billion takeover of Instagram…When it announced its deal with AOL earlier this month to purchase some patents, Microsoft hinted that it may seek to sell off the rights to some of its new holdings…the company fairly crows that it has recouped more than half of the $1.1 billion it paid to gain the intellectual property in the first place…”
15.     Schmidt Testifies Android Did Not Use Sun's IP  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/254427/schmidt_testifies_android_did_not_use_suns_ip.html  “Google developed its Android smartphone software without using Sun's intellectual property and its use of Java in Android was "legally correct," Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, testified in court Tuesday…Oracle wrapped up the copyright portion of its arguments Tuesday, allowing Google to begin its defense…Before joining Google, Schmidt was CTO of Sun Microsystems when it invented Java in the 1990s. Oracle bought Sun about two years ago, giving it the patents and copyrights to the Java platform…He told the jury that Google had once hoped to partner with Sun to develop Android using Java, but that negotiations broke off because Google wanted Android to be open source, and Sun was unwilling to give up that much control over Java…Google created a "clean room" version of Java that didn't use Sun's protected code. Its engineers invented "a completely different approach" to the way Java worked internally, Schmidt testified…"I was very comfortable that what we were doing was legally correct," he testified later. One of Google's arguments in the case is that Sun knew Google was using Java in Android but never complained or asked it to sign a license. That gave Google an "implied license" for Java, if it needed one at all, according to Google's lawyers. Schmidt said he used to "meet and chat" with former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz every six months, and that Schwartz never raised an issue with Google's Java use…”  http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/Oracle-vs-Google-Trial-Gives-Judge-Jury-Crash-Course-in-Open-Source-475580/  “Oracle's lawsuit against fellow IT giant Google…is only getting started: This trial has been projected to last for another seven to nine weeks…Why? Well, it turns out that most folks -- most importantly, presiding federal court Judge William Alsup and the 12 jurors -- clearly do not understand enough about the technical aspects of the case. These include virtually everything the case involves: the Java franchise as maintained by Oracle,  the GNU Public License, application programming interfaces (APIs), Java APIs versus the code itself, Android operating system development, mobile device application development, the open-source community, freely downloadable software -- we could go on, but that's sufficient for now…Oracle is charging Google with stealing parts of its Java software suite to help build…Android…This could…become a landmark case in IT history because it will define for legal purposes whether an API is copyrightable, patentable or neither. There are those who are uncomfortable about a jury of non-IT people making a decision that so profoundly could affect the future of the software industry…This dispute never should have been in court in the first place," one respected industry veteran…told eWEEK. "Oracle and Google had plenty of opportunities to make an agreement on how to use Java…They [Google] are rolling the dice…The final decision may well change the course of future software development because the APIs are inextricably linked to that development, and this case will legally define APIs as separate for years to come…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
16.     First Intel-powered smartphone to be launched in India  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17769049  “Intel has confirmed details of the first smartphone to be powered by one of its processors. The XOLO X900…will go on sale on 23 April priced at…£265…The move follows Intel's previous failed attempt to break into the smartphone market. A tie-up with manufacturer LG in 2010 fell flat, with no models going into production…Details of Intel-powered smartphones made by Motorola Mobility and Lenovo are expected soon…The Atom-based chip promises more efficient battery consumption, as well as Intel's own "hyper threading technology" allowing for enhanced multi-tasking…” [kind of an interesting study in ‘the innovator’s dilemma’ where MS and Intel have been pretty much shut out of smartphones, the fastest growing/innovating segment of the computing world, by Apple, Google and ARM, although Apple and Google weren’t the typical small innovative startups – ed.]
17.     ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 ($379) review  http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/22/asus-transformer-pad-tf300-review/  “…the affordable new Transformer Pad 300 (aka the TF300)…going on sale in the US this week, starting at $379 for the 16GB version, and $399 for one with 32GB of built-in storage…the TF300…borrows some design cues from the higher-end Prime, and also steps up to a similar 8-megapixel camera…it runs an unskinned version of Android 4.0 and packs a quad-core Tegra 3 chip -- something you don't often see in a tablet this price…the main differences between this and the Prime are battery life (10 hours versus 12), and the quality of the display (the 10-inch screen here offers 350 nits of brightness instead of 600). Those all sound like reasonable trade-offs and, frankly, they are…our most serious complaint has little to do with ASUS, and more with Android: even with a state-of-the-art chip running the latest version of the OS, the tablet occasionally hiccups when launching apps and resizing web pages. There's no reason for a product with such strong tech credentials to stumble over the mundane stuff. Still, the tablet is eminently usable…the performance is a clear improvement over what you'll get from similarly priced 10-inch tabs, many of which run on last year's dual-core Tegra 2 chip…if you feel at home in Android and have about $400 to spend, this…is the tablet…”
18.     Samsung Galaxy Nexus lands on Sprint for $200  http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-57418007-251/samsung-galaxy-nexus-lands-on-sprint-today-for-$200/  “…Sprint…has added Google's flagship Android ICS phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, to its lineup. Available for $199.99 with a 2-year contract, the Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus is (as you'd expect) nearly identical the Verizon Nexus…However, the Sprint version will have at least two big differences -- one negative (initially), and one positive (at least potentially)…The problem? Sprint is in the middle of transitioning 4G network technologies -- from WiMax to LTE…prospective owners of those new phones (including the Galaxy Nexus) should know that they won't be able to get 4G data speeds until at least June -- and then only if they live in one of the markets getting the new 4G service from Sprint…it will immediately boast a feature the Verizon Galaxy Nexus can't match: support for Google Wallet…the Bigger issue for the Nexus may be that it's a 2011 phone, which is downright ancient in Android time. Sprint customers will probably want to…compare the Nexus to the aforementioned HTC Evo 4G LTE…”
19.     AMD takes a swing at Intel and Nvidia with new mobile graphics chips  http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/24/amd-takes-a-swing-at-intel-and-nvidia-with-new-mobile-graphics-chips/  “…Advanced Micro Devices is launching a new series of fast and power-efficient graphics processing units (GPU) for notebook computers. The new AMD Radeon HD 7900M, 7800M, and 7700M series are aimed at both high-end gamer laptops as well as thin media-rich laptops…The new AMD GPUs use the “Graphics Core Next” architecture…with…a 28-nanometer manufacturing process…AMD says that the HD7970M can run…Aliens vs. Predator (2010) as much as 76 percent faster than the Nvidia chip…The high-end 7900M graphics chip has 1,280…stream processors…and can compute 2,176 gigaflops…The chip can power as many as six displays…AMD Enduro technology…switches between the processor’s integrated graphics or a discrete graphics chip, depending on the graphics task at hand…AMD Powergate technology shuts down parts of the graphics chip when they are not in use…ZeroCore technology turns off a lot of functions in the graphics chip when the core is idle. It also controls additional graphics chips in the system…ZeroCore reduces idle power consumption by 86 percent…”
20.    Microsoft's Mobile Comeback Is Looking Terrible  http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/microsofts_mobile_comeback_is_looking_terrible.php  “…as the future shifts toward mobile devices, things are not looking good for Microsoft. It's not that it's not trying: Microsoft is spending a lot of money and effort on cracking the mobile market…But there's no indication yet that it's having any real success…In the three months ending in February, Microsoft's share of U.S. smartphone subscribers was 3.9%, according to comScore. That's down from 5.2% last November and 7.7% last February…comScore had it at 18% at the end of 2009, and 36% in late 2007, the year Apple introduced the iPhone…Microsoft's phones - though decent - just aren't good enough to demand attention…To cause any real damage to Apple or Google, Microsoft's phones would have to be dramatically better than the competition, and they just aren't…The iPhone completely changed the mobile industry in one day. Microsoft and its partners just aren't changing anything or making anyone nervous…There just isn't a real reason for people to buy Windows phones instead of iPhones, or…Android phones - features, design, price, services, anything. And until there is, the Windows phone platform isn't going to do well…Microsoft has two things - money and patience - that could help it eventually succeed in mobile. (And mobile is too important to the future of technology for Microsoft to sit it out.)…Recall that before the iPhone came along, Symbian and Palm were considered smartphone leaders. Now they're both gone. Things can change rapidly in this world…”
21.     Poorly designed mobile sites 'drain smartphone battery'  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17811557  “Poorly coded websites are causing smartphone batteries to drain more than necessary…Tests were run using an Android smartphone, with Google Mail declared as the "greenest" mobile site tested…recent tests on mobile websites blamed poor coding choices for the higher-than-neccessary consumption…by analysing and tweaking the design of Wikipedia, energy consumption could be reduced by 30% - without affecting the user experience…for popular sites, downloading and parsing cascade style sheets and Javascript consumes a significant fraction of the total energy needed to render the page." Other tweaks suggested by the report include using the .jpeg image format instead of other file types like .gif and .png…Gmail was declared the most efficient site in the findings, a fact credited to its use of HTML for key functions rather than the more power-hungry Javascript…”
22.    Why Mobile Business Apps are Attractive to Venture Capitalists  http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/04/why-mobile-business-apps-are-a.php  “The allure of making millions, perhaps even billions, of dollars developing mobile apps for the consumer market is obvious. Instagram just got a cool $1 billion from Facebook. Path has a $250 million valuation. Even Twitter was started as a mobile, text messaging-based service…But fledgling entrepreneurs may find a higher likelihood of creating a sustainable business and attracting VC dollars in the business-to-business (B2B) market…Mobile developers and designers working on the top consumer mobile apps are considered rock stars in Silicon Valley…But for every Foursquare, there are hundred of startups that meet an inglorious end. Succeeding in consumer mobile is difficult. Consumers expect things to be free, or very cheap…But Emergence Capital does not look for consumer apps…the VC firm has focused exclusively on B2B applications…The advantage of building a B2B mobile app over a consumer app is that, from the start, there is a target for revenue…If you are successful in executing, there is a greater likelihood that you are going to be successful and have a winning outcome than if you go down the consumer path…There are opportunities in several B2B categories. One is to find an existing category with an incumbent business and try to outdo it in the mobile realm…What excites firms like Emergence Capital more is the ability to create a new category of mobile B2B app. Mobile is a new platform, fundamentally. The Web was the last platform, client-server was the platform before that…Fundamentally, in the business world, you build companies to serve other businesses that solve real problems. Businesses that have money in the bank are happy to have people solve their problems for them - and pay them for that privilege…”
23.    4 Ways to Help Consumers Discover Your Mobile App  http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2169475/4-Ways-to-Help-Consumers-Discover-Your-Mobile-App  “There are nearly 1 million apps available in the app store and 1 billion of them are being downloaded every month. This makes app discovery a lot more challenging for developers, perhaps an even tougher mountain to climb than creating the app itself…Here’s a glance at some of the global mobile stats for 2012: 1.2 billion mobile Web users worldwide…In the US 25 percent of mobile Web users are mobile-only…Smartphones represent 31.8 percent of all handsets shipped since February 2012…1 in 4 mobile apps once downloaded, are never used again…Here are 4 ways you can break through the gated app stores: 1. App Store Optimization…Is App Store Optimization (ASO) ”the new SEO”?...Apple's recent acquisition of Chomp, the app discovery engine, as well as Google Play’s use of Google+ endorsements to influence app store rankings are evidence of a significant change…2. Social Media…Social media channels are a great way to increase awareness and engage users…3. Blogger Outreach…A favorable review on a popular blog can spike and sustain downloads quite dramatically…4. Chomp Paid Keyword Search…Chomp is a popular app discovery search engine…redefining app search with auto search suggestion capabilities and search based on function rather than just names…”
24.    Smartphone apps aid citizen scientists  http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20120420/NEWS04/120420005/Smartphone-apps-aid-citizen-scientists  “…IBM’s Creek Watch is one of a growing number of smartphone applications that seek to leverage the power of millions of citizen scientists on behalf of the environment. Creek Watch users can snap a photo of a stream or creek, denote basic information about its water flow and trash level, and upload it instantly to a database. The Waterkeeper Alliance’s Swim Guide allows users to review beach quality, flag dirty beaches and in doing so, put into motion advocacy efforts by various Waterkeeper organizations around the country. Worried about invasive species? Download the What’s Invasive app…The applications, and others like them, highlight the potential for environmental activism that goes beyond banners and marches, newsletters and Web sites…”
25.    How to cope with the Gmail redesign  http://jasoncrawford.org/2012/04/how-to-cope-with-the-gmail-redesign/  “Reports are coming in from around the Internet that the Gmail redesign, which we were previously able to stave off with “revert to the old look temporarily”, is now forcing itself upon us. I too have succumbed to the new design, and have been forced to find ways to cope. Here’s what I did to make it semi-bearable:  Display density: Compact…Theme: High Contrast…Importance markers: No markers…Button labels: Text…Disable “web clips”…” [I had already set my density to Compact, and I like being able to have Text labels for the buttons rather than icons – ed.]
26.    Monetize your blog with Google Affiliate Ads for Blogger  http://buzz.blogger.com/2012/04/monetize-your-blog-with-google.html  “When you share your words, thoughts and photos on Blogger, you are sharing your passions with the world. Sometimes, you’re passionate about brands or products. Starting today, you can make money by promoting relevant products in your posts, gaining income for each new customer you introduce to your favorite brands. This is a new way for you to monetize your blog, giving you control over the advertisers and products you promote, and better connecting your readers with the things you love…When you post about a brand or product from a featured advertiser, the Google Affiliate Ads for Blogged widget will help you to display an affiliate ad in your blog, which can be a text link, a product image, or a banner. You may earn commissions when someone clicks on your ads and makes a purchase on the advertiser’s site…”
27.    Google to sell Android phones online again; why a $399 Galaxy Nexus from Google is a big deal  http://gigaom.com/mobile/why-a-399-galaxy-nexus-from-google-is-a-big-deal/  “Google’s flagship Android 4.0 phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, is now available for direct purchase online in the Google Play store…Google is selling the unlocked, no-contract GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus for $399. The phone accepts a SIM card and works for voice and HSPA+ data on either T-Mobile or AT&T in the U.S…Google’s Director of Digital Content, Jamie Rosenberg…said…“We want to showcase the phone and Google Play…it’s another way for a consumer to buy a phone…we see the Galaxy Nexus as a great endpoint for Google services.”…I noted that the new online store in Google Play is Devices…and asked if other devices would be offered…Google is rumored to be planning a low-cost Nexus tablet…but Rosenberg wouldn’t take the bait…Google…direct sales…reasons: Google only controls the Android experience on devices that it sells direct and it has a hardware arm in Motorola…Google could give a boost to both Android and ChromeOS…at $399 without contract the GSM Galaxy Nexus direct from Google is a steal. I paid $575 for this same phone in November…I’ve already installed several custom ROMs and routinely swap SIM cards between T-Mobile and AT&T on it as needed, based on my coverage…I also use it with a $30 monthly data-only SIM card with a VoIP client for free voice calls…Between the pure Google experience, 21 Mbps HSPA+ radio, a 4.65-inch, 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display, dual-core processor and ability to work on two different U.S. networks — as well as those overseas — this may turn out to be the best Android deal…”
28.    Free Business Templates for Your SMB From Google  http://smallbiztrends.com/2012/04/free-business-templates-for-your-smb-from-google.html  “…I’m a huge fan of Google Docs. I use it while writing on the go, I use it to collaborate with others on projects, and I take advantage of the rich Google Docs template gallery that’s available. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of this resource, you may want to check it out…what kind of free templates can you benefit from courtesy of Google? Below’s a short list. 1. Budgeting Templates…2. Invoices…3. Timesheets…4. Company Letterhead…5. Business Cards…6. Request Forms…7. Customer Surveys…”
29.    Google Cloud Print can now "print" to an Android device or local FedEx store  http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/04/google-cloud-print-can-now-print-to-an-android-device-or-local-fedex-store.ars  “…Google introduced a service called Cloud Print in 2010 with the aim of helping said people print physical copies of their files from smartphones and Chromebooks. Google Cloud Print got an update today with several new features, including improved Android integration and the ability to print a file to a local FedEx office…Google Cloud Print allows users to associate their Google account with a printer, making it remotely accessible over the Internet. This feature works out of the box with “cloud-aware” printers that support Google’s protocol…Google has introduced a new “Print to FedEx Office” option in Google Cloud Print. This feature will relay the specified file to FedEx and give the user a retrieval code they can tap into a Print & Go machine at a local FedEx Office store…”
30.    YouTube revamps audio editing suite  http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/19/2959538/youtube-audio-editing-software-improvements-video  “…YouTube is implementing some significant enhancements to its on-site audio editing package. Aside…YouTube…AudioSwap…lets you add music over your video. The audio editing suite now has a slider to aid in finely tuning the mixing levels of music and the original audio, a "featured tracks" area to help with song discovery, and YouTube has also added a ton of royalty-free tracks to choose from, bringing its total to over 150,000…the suite is live on YouTube already, under Video Manager > Edit > Enhancements > Audio…”
31.     Gmail users experience outage  http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/gmail-hit-by-massive-outage-up-to-35-million-affected/74551  “…a…Gmail outage last night…affected up to 10 percent of its global users…The outage began at 12:42 p.m. EDT on Tuesday and lasted for more than an hour. While many Gmail and Google Apps users in the U.S. were left without access, it appeared that the UK, Europe, and Asia remained mostly unscathed…Google initially said the outage affected less than 2 percent of the Gmail user base…Later in the evening, Google…said…“less than 10 percent”…Reports suggest that only the web interface was affected by the outage, while those using IMAP/POP connections in a third-party desktop client, or mobile users, could still access their accounts and email…The web giant achieved 99.984 percent uptime last year…which stormed ahead of cloud computing competitor Microsoft, after the Redmond-based company suffered a series of high-profile outages of its own…Microsoft…outages…left many Office 365 customers without email or communications for periods of half-days at a time…”
General Technology
32.    US introduces $60 LED light bulb  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17788178  “A…light bulb that lasts for 20 years is going on sale in the US…Made by…Philips, the bulb swaps filaments for light-emitting diodes to provide illumination…The first versions are set to cost $60…Philips has arranged discounts with shops that will sell the bulb meaning some could buy it for only $20…A cheaper and less efficient version of the LED bulb is already sold by Philips…LED bulbs face competition from compact fluorescent lights which are almost as energy efficient and cost a lot less…Production of 100 watt bulbs has ceased in the US and Europe. Production of 60 watt bulbs has been stopped in Europe and is being phased out in the US. From 2014, incandescent bulbs of 40 watts or above will be banned in the US…”
33.    The Day Your Car Kidnaps You  http://io9.com/5902344/the-day-your-car-kidnaps-you/  “Phillip K. Dick's The Game Players of Titan takes place in a near future where cars drive their passengers, recording the day's stops and visits. At the end of they day, the cars transmit everything they know about their drivers' habits over to the police. Google's fleet of self-driving Toyota Priuses have succeed in driving a blind man to Taco Bell, gained clearance for use in Nevada, and logged nearly 200,000 road miles. In the next decade, drivers will find themselves behind the wheels of cars driven by computers…But what will happen to the data collected about your commute, and everywhere else you go? Could this data be used against you?...The first generation of consumer available automated cars will need to be able to perform without a widespread car-to-car communication system, instead relying upon GPS data and other sensors to deliver information that allows the car to make traffic decisions…Even if the automated portion of the car is disengaged while you manually drive down the interstate, will the car be able to limit your maximum speed? Would it communicate with local authorities should you commit a traffic violation? Both are possible, with automatic ticketing systems exiting in many cities to safeguard intersection…what would stop an automated car from assuming control should a law officer decide to pull you over?...With sufficient biometrics, it would be easy to identify criminals, lock the doors, and drive them directly to a local precinct…This future is believable - the outcome will depend on the extent an automated car is able to control the driver's actions or override them…”
34.    Cause of Brain Freeze Revealed  http://news.yahoo.com/cause-brain-freeze-revealed-210201727.html  “Most people have likely experienced brain freeze — the debilitating, instantaneous pain in the temples after eating something frozen — but researchers didn't really understand what causes it…migraine sufferers are actually more likely to get brain freeze than people who don't get migraines…researchers…decided to use brain freeze to study migraines. Headaches like migraines are difficult to study, because they are unpredictable…Brain freeze can quickly and easily be used to start a headache in the lab, and it also ends quickly, which makes monitoring the entire event easy…researchers brought on brain freeze in the lab by having 13 healthy volunteers sip ice water through a straw right up against the roof of their mouth. The volunteers raised their hands when they felt the familiar brain freeze come on, and raised them again once it disappeared…The researchers monitored the blood flow through their brains…They saw that increased blood flow to the brain through a blood vessel called the anterior cerebral artery, which is located in the middle of the brain behind the eyes. This increase in flow and resulting increase in size in this artery brought on the pain associated with brain freeze…”
Leisure & Entertainment
35.    Nintendo 3DS introduced as the Louvre's official guide  http://news.yahoo.com/nintendo-3ds-introduced-louvres-official-guide-085043499.html  “…1,500 handheld 3DS consoles are now finding themselves repurposed as interactive audio guides for visitors to the Parisian art museum…3DS's features mean that sightseers can listen to expert commentary in seven languages…and view both 2D and 3D images of the artworks on display…The console's predecessor, the Nintendo DS, had already been put to good use at various Japanese attractions such as the National Museum of Western Art and the Shigureden poetry museum. Other international attractions have embraced the iPhone revolution…Singapore's Asian Civilizations Museum, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and London's Tate Modern…”
36.    Bethesda adding over 200 Kinect voice commands to Xbox 360 Skyrim  http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2012/04/bethesda-adding-over-200-kinect-powered-voice-commands-to-xbox-360-skyrim.ars  “…The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim later this month will add support for over 200 voice commands for Xbox 360 players that have a Kinect hooked up…players will be able to access their "entire menu of shouts" just by speaking the magic words, so screaming "Fus Roh Dah!" at the TV will actually do something other than making you look like a crazy person. You'll also be able to give commands like "follow" and "attack" to your allies simply by speaking them, and assign hotkeys for weapon and spell combinations without having to dive into a menu. Kinect-equipped players will also be able to navigate menus more easily, by simply saying the names of on-screen options, or by asking the system to sort tradeable items by weight or value, for example. Quick-save and quick-load functions will also be mapped to your voice…The announcement continues what seems to be a growing trend of developers using Kinect to augment the controls of traditional games, rather than trying to replace them completely with motion and voice…”
Economy and Technology
37.    How to run a company on 21 apps in the cloud  http://venturebeat.com/2012/04/21/going-all-in-how-to-run-a-company-on-21-apps-in-the-cloud/  “…The company I work for, Australia-based Proactive Accountants Network…made a…decision to go all-in on cloud technology and made the leap in a span of 10 weeks…We now run our business on 21 cloud applications, including Google, Salesforce.com, BetterCloud, Cloud Sherpas, Okta, Silverpop, Xero, Citrix, iHance, and Cvent…we went from being a company that was challenged to support workers in multiple countries to an organization that is nimble, flexible…Our firm employs 40-plus consultants who are based…outside our primary country of operation. Legacy software simply wasn’t built to support geographically versatile, highly mobile workforces…I recently hired an extremely sought after person to join my product team. In the interview she turns to me with a concerned look and says, “Do you use Outlook?” Naturally my response was “Gosh, no, we use Google Apps.” Suddenly she looked relieved. The new generation of workers expect “proper” business tools…Global expansion: The Google Apps suite has positioned us for rapid expansion around the world. In the last week, a senior manager relocated from Brisbane to Darwin and another colleague moved to Auckland to head up operations in New Zealand. Each move was made seamlessly due to our cloud-based infrastructure and applications. We no longer worry about version compatibility, licenses for different software editions, deploying VPNs, ensuring sufficient bandwidth, sketchy performance, etc. That responsibility falls to our cloud partners…The fact that our users can be on a train, plane, boat, or spaceship and still work/collaborate effectively is testament to the technical sophistication of the cloud and our cloud partners…” [deploying authorized and documented computer equipment and software to a global workforce has got to be one or two orders of magnitude easier with web apps than with traditional legacy software – ed.]
38.    Frighteningly ambitious startup ideas  http://paulgraham.com/ambitious.html  “…I've noticed…how frightening the most ambitious startup ideas are…I'm going to demonstrate this phenomenon by describing some. Any one of them could make you a billionaire…1. A New Search Engine…The point when it became clear to me that Microsoft had lost their way was when they decided to get into the search business…this meant (a) Google was now setting Microsoft's agenda, and (b) Microsoft's agenda consisted of stuff they weren't good at…Microsoft : Google :: Google : Facebook…Google used to give me a page of the right answers, fast, with no clutter. Now the results seem inspired by the Scientologist principle that what's true is what's true for you…the pages don't have the clean, sparse feel they used to…2. Replace Email…Email was not designed to be used the way we use it now. Email is not a messaging protocol…my inbox is a todo list, and email is the way things get onto it…This new protocol should be a todo list protocol, not a messaging protocol…the new protocol should give more power to the recipient than email does. I want there to be more restrictions on what someone can put on my todo list. And when someone can put something on my todo list, I want them to tell me more about what they want from me…if email is going to get replaced eventually, why not now?...3. Replace Universities…4. Internet Drama…5. The Next Steve Jobs…6. Bring Back Moore's Law…7. Ongoing Diagnosis…”
39.    Adobe Pivots to New Target  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702303978104577362192516252120-lMyQjAxMTAyMDIwMzEyNDMyWj.html  “Adobe Systems…lost a high-profile battle with…Steve Jobs over a video technology last year. Now the software maker is reinventing itself as a one-stop technology shop for marketing departments…Adobe folded its $1 billion-plus business unit aimed at information-technology departments, overhauled the business model for its flagship "Creative Suite" software and gave up its long-running effort to get its Flash video technology on mobile devices like Apple's iPad…"If you're going to make a left shift, you don't increment your way there," said Adobe Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen…"Flash was such a success for them for so long," said…an analyst at Forrester Research. "It was the tail that was wagging the dog."…So far this year, Adobe's stock is up 15%...On Monday, Adobe unveiled one result of its transformation: a revamped version of its biggest product, Creative Suite. The new software will be available for a $50 monthly subscription…Adobe will sell a traditional version, as well…While Adobe didn't make money from Flash directly, it was a major enhancer for the company and was embedded in many of its products…Adobe said it expects customers to move to subscriptions gradually but has still warned investors that its growth will suffer as it changes to the new model…Things came to a head at a retreat for Mr. Narayen and his direct reports at the Bernardus Lodge in Carmel, Calif., in September. Over three days, the executives agreed to eliminate some products, came to grips with the financial implications of the business model shift and decided to focus the company's sales efforts on marketing departments…Adobe gradually de-emphasized the importance of Flash. At a tech conference last June, Mr. Narayen said the feud with Apple was over and that Adobe was working with HTML5…”
40.    Frustrated researchers unveil Microryza, a crowdfunding site for geeky science projects  http://www.geekwire.com/2012/frustrated-researchers-unveil-microryza-crowdfunding-site-science-projects/  “…Microryza…launched a “crowdfunding” site where donors can get connected with scientists and researchers seeking funding for their projects. Think of it like Kickstarter — just for hardcore science geeks. Microryza was started by Denny Luan and Cindy Wu, former University of Washington researchers who had grown frustrated with the bureaucratic and costly way in which many research efforts were funded in the U.S. “Most researchers want to reach out to the general public for funding and support — but don’t know how or don’t have the right tools…In science, the average researcher spends 12 weeks a year writing grant proposals, most of which are rejected.”…Luan, Wu and Farrington decided to bring the power of the crowd into the lab. They do face some competition, namely in PetriDish.org…”
41.     Alexandra Wilkis Wilson Couldn't Have Co-Launched Gilt Groupe Without The 9,500 Contacts In Her BlackBerry  http://www.businessinsider.com/alexandra-wilkis-wilson-had-a-whopping-9500-contacts-on-her-blackberry-before-launching-gilt-groupe-2012-4  “…Gilt Groupe has a few hundred employees, but back in September 2007, it was just the founding team working out of a dingy office…Being well-connected was a huge part of the company's success. During her first few days at the office…co-founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson was trying to sync her Blackberry, but the tech team "managed to wipe out 9,500 names…(Ultimately tech salvaged most of them.) We…asked Alexandra how she built such a huge network…she told us that she has simply always been proactive about it…I was always trying to figure out what my next career phase was, and I worked very hard to carve that path" by reaching out to people…1. Remember faces and names. Always get contact information after you meet someone, and follow up right away. Bring them to an event…2. Make introductions for others. And do it without thinking they'll pay you back…3. Be a doer, and befriend other doers. In other words, hang out with people who are interesting and ambitious…4. Honor important days (and send gifts). And go to every wedding you can. People remember those things forever…5. Make time for friends and acquaintances. If you don't, you risk shrinking your network…6. Don't ask for favors all the time. Save your requests for when you really need help…7. Build your own personal board of directors. "Remember, you'll only do as well as those around you want you to do."…8. Be authentic, with high integrity…”
42.    San Francisco's Newest Accelerator Will Tackle This $172 Billion Market  http://www.businessinsider.com/san-franciscos-newest-accelerator-will-tackle-this-172-billion-market-2012-4  “…a new accelerator…wants to transform the $172 billion government IT market into something less bureaucratic. It's called the Code For America Accelerator and it opened for applications on Tuesday. It will offer the startups it accepts four months of mentoring and a $25K grant, no strings attached. Plus office space in San Francisco…Code For America is backed by some heavy hitters. Google has dropped $1.5 million into it. Other funders include the Knight Foundation, O'Reilly and Microsoft…If you are a patriot and an entrepreneur this could be for you. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2012…”
43.    What if Facebook isn’t so special after all?  http://gigaom.com/2012/04/24/what-if-facebook-isnt-so-special-after-all/  “As the fateful day of Facebook’s initial public offering draws closer, the giant social network’s financial results are attracting more and more attention…while there are some blockbuster numbers in its recently updated securities filing — including a mind-boggling 900 million active users, half a billion of whom use the site daily — there are also some potential red flags, including rapidly rising costs for marketing and other expenses…this raises the question that investors will need to answer before too long: Is Facebook unlike anything we have seen before, or is it just another modestly profitable Web business?...Just a few months ago it crossed the 800-million-user mark…it will probably rack up a billion active users sometime later this year…Facebook’s revenue…actually fell compared to the previous quarter, something that doesn’t look particularly good coming from what is supposed to be a growth company. And net income (in other words, profit) also dropped by 12 percent compared to the same quarter of 2011. In fact, Facebook’s profit was lower in the most recent quarter than it was in the previous five quarters…While the quarterly dip in revenue could be just a seasonal blip in an otherwise-growing advertising business (although Facebook’s payment-related revenue also flattened), the fall in net income is a bit more worrisome…when you get to be the size Facebook is — and you ask the public markets to value you at close to $100 billion — investors and analysts are going to want to see some money flowing to the bottom line, and lots of it…”
44.    Google's Creative Destruction  http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/165/google-ventures  “…Bill Maris…the intense managing partner of the search giant's venture-capital arm…isn't satisfied…"I want us to get not just up to the curve but ahead of the curve…This isn't the kind of place where doing what everyone else is doing would be considered successful," says Maris, who launched Google Ventures in the spring of 2009 to invest some of Google's prodigious cash hoard in startups. "We're trying to do something completely different, not because it's different, but because we're looking for a different outcome."…during the decade ending last September, VCs as a class earned a 2.6% interest rate for their investors--less than you could have earned in an S&P 500 index fund…Maris's formula includes an unusual emphasis on data--and a team of researchers to quantify elements that lead to successful investments. Then there's his Startup Lab…Google Ventures is one of the most hands-on, full-service funders in the Valley. "They have recruiting partners, design partners, engineering partners, user research partners,"…In 2009 and 2010, Google gave Maris clearance to invest up to $100 million. In 2011, it doubled the commitment…he and his partners have publicly announced investments in 70 companies…"The average venture-fund partner does one to two deals per year…We're doing one to two investments per week."…Maris's fund will grow to almost $2 billion over the next decade, making him the Valley's most intriguing new power broker…He decided that one way Google could improve on startup financing would be to flex one of its most natural muscles: It should analyze data…"we're really just beginning to look at the question, Can the venture business be quantified?" says partner Joe Kraus…Kraus says that analysts have discovered research that overturns some of Silicon Valley's most cherished bits of lore. Take that old idea that it pays to fail in the Valley…Google Ventures' analysts found that first-time entrepreneurs with VC backing have a 15% chance of creating a successful company, while second-timers who had an auspicious debut see a 29% chance of repeating their achievement. By contrast, second-time entrepreneurs who failed the first time? They have only a 16% chance of success, in effect returning them to square one. "Failure doesn't teach you much," Kraus says with a shrug…Google Ventures has also found a positive correlation in the distance between a venture fund's office and a given startup's headquarters. When Valley-based VCs invest in a startup that's far away, the deal is more likely to turn out better…Maris and his partners have beaten the bushes to find worthwhile investments around the country: 33 of its 70 announced investments are in companies based outside of Silicon Valley…Google Ventures aims to provide more hands-on help to its portfolio firms than traditional VCs…Ventures has 50 employees, but just 7 of them are investing partners. Many of the rest are experts--in technical recruiting, interface design, marketing, public relations, data management, and even crisis response. According to the more than 10 Google Ventures portfolio companies that we interviewed, this is crucial assistance…Steve Souder, a Google server engineer who's one of the world's foremost experts on making websites faster…tells the group that he's reviewed their sites and he's already found ways to make some of them twice as fast…"We have already generated tens of millions of dollars of profit for Google," Maris says. "That's almost unheard of in the venture industry for a firm our age."…Google…ambitions are more complicated and grandiose than just healthy profits...The road map resembles the logic behind Chrome and Android…initially dismissed as quirky indulgences…As Google's web browser and mobile operating system have emerged as the most prominent players in their respective markets, Apple, Microsoft, and others have had to improve their products…the net gain for consumers has indirectly benefited Google by accelerating digital adoption…"We've got huge leverage to invest in anything we want," he continues. "The power of that lever, $200 million a year--to change the future of health care or mobile apps or gaming or you name it--that's hundreds of companies and lives that we're changing…”
DHMN Technology
45.    Solidoodle releases $499 3D printer  http://www.psfk.com/2012/04/affordable-3d-printer-turns-your-designs-into-reality.html  “…At New York Tech Day recently, technological engineering firm Solidoodle released a 3D Printer that is both affordable and ready-to-use. The quality printer, which ranges from $499 for the base model up to $599 for the expert model, has a build area of 6x6x6″. The Solidoodle 3D Printer has been designed by aerospace engineers to be extremely strong and precise, with an all-steel frame and moving parts that connect smoothly and never bind. The company’s website provides a how-to forum and customers have access to direct help to ensure their 3D printing is a success…”
46.    Knight Foundation Initiative Funds Innovative Civic Engagement  http://www.xconomy.com/detroit/2012/04/03/knight-foundation-initiative-funds-innovative-civic-engagement/  “The Knight Foundation announced it has teamed with CEOs for Cities to fund nine projects designed to encourage civic engagement, for a total grant amount of $65,000. Xconomist Rishi Jaitly, Knight’s program director in Detroit, says…“A lot of people are blending social entrepreneurship, creativity, and civic action, and our mission is to make it easy for more institutions and individuals to share in this momentum.”…The nine projects that received funding are: Publius, $7,500…Mt. Elliott Makerspace, $7,500: This community maker space on the city’s southeast side allows Detroit residents of all ages indulge their entrepreneurial urges. Mt. Elliott Makerspace is working on expanding its efforts into more Motor City neighborhoods by inviting residents to create market-worthy products and services related to transportation, electronics, digital tools, and clothing…The People of Detroit, $7,500…Loveland Technologies, $7,500…After 5 Detroit, $7,500…Michigan Municipal League, $5,000…Sunday Dinner Company, $10,000…Peoplemovers, $5,000…”
47.    Bohemian broadband and the FOSS/maker culture  http://opensource.com/life/12/4/bohemian-broadband-and-fossmaker-culture  “…Verizon announced their HomeFusion broadband Internet service, which provides faster-than-DSL Internet service to a broad swath of rural America. After paying a one time fee of $200 for a device that hangs on the side of your house, you can…receive fixed wireless broadband Internet at that location for $60/month…rural home dwellers have had very poor choices for high-speed Internet…this new broadband option might even entice a migration of people out of cities to more rural areas…When I explained this thought to my actor friend…his immediate response was, "I get it. You're talking about Bohemian broadband."…How does FOSS and the maker culture fit into this picture? Well, if you're living on a rural property, there are all kinds of ways that you can push the self-sufficiency envelope--homebrew solar and wind energy projects, hot showers from a compost heap. You can press your own cider using a bicycle-powered cider press…With broadband reaching your rural home, you'll be able to do many kinds of remote work, including computer programming, video editing, digital design work, writing and editing, and a myriad of other kinds of work that don't require physical presence…The service does have a limit of 10 GB per month of data usage. That can be a constraint for certain kinds of remote work. There is also a $90 monthly plan that provides 20 GB of data and $120 monthly plan with 30 GB of data…Bohemian broadband also opens up the possibility of building small, rural conference centers…far off the beaten path. Electricity can be provided by diesel generator, solar, wind, or a combination. Bathrooms at such conference centers can be designed to produce methane, a further source of energy for the conference center…Bohemian broadband could facilitate the greater sharing of ideas at such conferences. Isn't that what is most needed in a knowledge economy? A greater sharing of ideas?...Without intending such, Verizon may have given our nation a potent tool for self-advancement while fostering the geographic redistribution of the population…”
48.    "Printing" pharmaceuticals with a 3D printer  http://boingboing.net/2012/04/17/printing-pharmaceuticals-w.html  “A…paper by researchers from the University of Glasgow describes a process for "printing" pharmaceutical compounds from various feedstocks…The process uses an off-the-shelf 3D printer technology to assemble pre-filled "vessels" in ways that create the desired chemical reaction in order to produce medicines. It's a scaled-down version of the industrial process used to manufacture drugs in bulk…By making the vessel itself part of the reaction process, the distinction between the reactor and the reaction becomes very hazy. It's a new way for chemists to think…our initial…designs allowed us to synthesize three previously unreported compounds and dictate the outcome of a fourth reaction solely by altering the chemical composition of the reactor…3D printers are becoming increasingly common and affordable. It's entirely possible that, in the future, we could see chemical engineering technology which is prohibitively expensive today filter down to laboratories and small commercial enterprises…”
49.    3D printer makes chocolate creations  http://www.3dtv.com/news/You-Can-Now-Purchase-a-Chocolate-Making-3D-Printer  “…You soon will be able to with a 3D printer available that can design chocolate bars with shapes of your choosing…“Version 1” of these 3D printers…will be…$4,629.53 USD…The “About Choc Edge” section of the company's webpage mentions the company being a spinoff from a research team at University of Exeter. The full name of this printer appears to be “Choc Creator printer…The precision is pretty stunning as layer after layer of chocolate coating gets piled on to create a finalized shape of the bar. You can obviously expect more complex shapes to be formed with the printer as well – all in their chocolate glory. What is interesting about this printer and potentially others in its class is what it can do for small businesses. Imagine how it could ease the production assembly of bakeries. It is so automatic and seamless that I can see it replacing traditional methods of chocolate production eventually…”
50.    3D printing firm Stratasys in $1.4B merger with Objet  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57414844-1/new-3d-printing-firm-takes-shape-with-objet-stratasys-merger/  “……”  http://www.startribune.com/business/147585325.html  “…I think the primary reason for the deal is that Stratasys can dramatically expand its sales channels…The merger comes two years after…a joint marketing agreement with Hewlett-Packard that was expected to increase Stratasys sales fivefold in five years but failed to have much effect…Stratasys earned $20.6 million last year, more than double the previous year…Rapid prototyping, which has been a novelty to a lot of people, is growing into its potential…More product developers and engineers are getting 3D computer-aided design software…Stratasys would merge with an Objet subsidiary, making it officially based in Israel. Being based in Israel is expected to save Stratasys $3 million to $4 million a year in taxes…eliminating overlap is expected to save the combined companies another $7 million to $8 million a year…Stratasys equipment converts computer-aided design drawings into 3D physical prototypes by spraying layers of hot liquid resin that harden into a rigid model, a process called fused deposition modeling. Objet uses technology more akin to ink-jet printers, spraying plastic that hardens into a more detailed but bendable model…” 
Open Source Hardware
51.     Counterfeit Open Source Hardware — Knockoffs 101  http://blog.makezine.com/2012/04/18/soapbox-counterfeit-open-source-hardware-knock-offs-101/  “I’m a 15-minute walk from Canal Street, NYC, home of counterfeit everything. Men and women from around the world stand shoulder to shoulder shouting “Looyee-Vatton, DVD, Roll-Ex.” Tourists flock to this location looking for a cheap deal on a knockoff purse or watch — some tourists think they’re real, most just want a deal. When you build a brand that represents something of value, eventually you get knocked off…If your goal is just to make Arduino clones and not add code or hardware improvements, please go do something else instead…beginners get confused as to what’s a real Arduino with the quality, service, and support, and most of the time the clones are crappy. I have a box of “Arduino killers” from all over the world…So this week I’m going to outline some counterfeits to look out for when you’re looking for a deal on an Arduino or any other types of open source hardware…sales are only going up for everyone. Innovation is happening more, not less. Counterfeits, are however, being mentioned more and more at events and mailing lists as OSHW has become more high-profile. My prediction is that Arduino will hit 1 million units this year, so with that I think it’s reasonable to expect others to fairly and unfairly try to be part of a huge ecosystem…”
52.    Open Source Robotics Foundation launched, gets DARPA backing  http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/open-source-hardware-foundation-launched-gets-darpa-backing  “…DARPA announced that the recommended simulation environment for its Robotics Challenge for Disaster Environments would be Gazebo, from the the Open Source Robotics Foundation…The effort will develop validated models of robots (kinematics, dynamics, and sensors) and field environments (three-dimensional surfaces, solids, and material properties). The effort will develop physics-based models of inertia, actuation, contact, and environment dynamics to simulate the robot's motion…But what actually is the Open Source Robotics Foundation?  It turns out that it's a spin off from Willow Garage's Robot Operating System (ROS) project…A few years ago, Willow Garage integrated ROS and the PR2 into Gazebo, a multi-robot simulator project…DARPA isn't awarding the simulator contract to Willow Garage itself, but instead to the Open Source Robotics Foundation, which nobody has heard of until just now…All we really know is that it's a Menlo Park, Calif. nonprofit that's managed by "members of the global robotics community who have demonstrated a commitment to open-source robotics, are visible to the community, and have relevant experience in the field," but who are currently still anonymous…”
53.    Seeed Studio open source hardware manufacturing tour in Shenzhen, China 2012  http://dangerousprototypes.com/2012/04/18/video-seeed-studio-open-source-hardware-manufacturing-tour-in-shenzhen-china-2012/  “We toured the offices and factory where Seeed Studio makes open source hardware in Shenzhen, China. All our open source projects are manufactured and shipped from here. Be sure to check out our visit to the Shenhzen Maker Faire, as well as our Global Geek Tour wiki…” [check out the video at the above link – ed.]
54.    Open Hardware Summit 2012 – Call for Submissions  http://summit.oshwa.org/2012/04/18/open-hardware-summit-2012-call-for-submissions-2/  “The Open Hardware Summit (OHS) invites submissions for the third annual summit, to be held on September 27, 2012…in New York City. The Open Hardware Summit is a venue to present, discuss, and learn about open hardware of all kinds…We are seeking submissions for talks, posters, and demos from individuals and groups working with open hardware and related areas. Submissions are due by May 31, 2012…Topics of interest for the summit include, but are not limited to: Digital fabrication…DIY bio…Wearables and fashion tech…Quantified-self hardware…Means of supporting collaboration and community interaction…On demand and low volume manufacturing…Distributed development and its relationship to physical goods…Software design tools (CAD / CAM)…Ways to share information about hardware that’s not captured in source files…Business models…Competition and collaboration…Open hardware in the enterprise…Specific product domains: e.g. science, agriculture, communications, medicine…Legal and intellectual property implications of open-source hardware…”
Open Source
55.     Why Microsoft's New Open Source Company?  http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/simon-says/2012/04/why-microsofts-new-open-source-division/index.htm  “Microsoft has announced a new, wholly-owned subsidiary to allow it to engage open source projects. Decent explanations of why they have done this are a bit thin on the ground despite widespread coverage of the news itself…why are they doing it? Here are some possible reasons - all of them educated speculation for now, ordered in increasing probability…Consolidate the standards and open source teams under a better name than "interoperability"…Create a career path…Firewall open source licensing…Firewall patent liability…”
56.    Google Summer of Code 2012: accepted students announced  http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Google-Summer-of-Code-2012-accepted-students-announced-1556356.html  “Google has published the list of accepted students who will be able to participate in this year's Google Summer of Code (GSoC) event…a total of 1,212 students have been accepted for the annual event, compared to 1,116 last year and just 1,025 in 2010. Each of these students has been paired up with one of 180 open source organizations…students will begin coding for their projects on 21 May…The KDE project, one of accepted mentoring organisations, received more than 200 proposals from students…Google only allocated the project a total of 60 student slots. Because of this the mentors at KDE decided to start what they refer to as a "similar scheme" to GSoC called "Season of KDE"…aimed at those students who could not get into GSoC 2012…While KDE will not be offering financial stipends like Google, participants who complete their projects will receive "a T-shirt, a certificate, and maybe a few other goodies". The application deadline for Season of KDE is 7 May 2012…”
57.     How Linus Torvalds Helped Bust a Microsoft Patent  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/03/ms-patent/  “Linus Torvalds…has helped shoot down an important Microsoft patent in Redmond’s crusade to wring licensing dollars out of Google Android and other versions of Linux. Microsoft has coerced many Android phone makers into paying licensing fees for various Microsoft patents related to operating system design…Microsoft scored a victory when…Judge…Essex found that Motorola had violated four Microsoft patents. But the ruling could also eliminate an important Microsoft software patent that has been invoked in lawsuits…his testimony…helped convince the Administrative Law Judge that the patent was invalid…Microsoft says that Motorola violated one of its patents, known as the 352 patent. This patent covers a technique for storing filenames…Motorola had found this posting of mine about long filenames used in a compatible manner with short file names… and it predated the Microsoft patent by three years,” says Torvalds…Microsoft’s lawyers…tried to cast doubt on the dates of the newsgroup postings…The lawyer went on for about five minutes: ‘Are you really sure about this date thing?...At some point, I basically said: ‘OK stop this stupid argument, can we go on to something else?’”…Having the patent ruled invalid could cost Microsoft money, Bergelt says. “If you absolutely know that it’s an invalid patent then you’re not going to sign up for a license,” he says. Existing licensees would also be likely to push for reduced payments…”
Civilian Aerospace
58.    Simonyi, Cameron and Page launch space mining venture  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sundaybuzz/2018034441_sundaybuzz22.html  “Microsoft billionaire Charles Simonyi, filmmaker James Cameron and Google founder Larry Page are joining forces in a new space endeavor that will be unveiled in Seattle Tuesday…Planetary Resources…describes itself as an innovative startup that will "overlay two critical sectors — space exploration and natural resources — to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP."…observers are guessing that translates into mining valuable minerals from asteroids…Chris Lewicki, former manager of NASA's Mars missions, is listed as the president and chief engineer…Forbes blogger Alex Knapp is not convinced the time is ripe for such an ambitious goal…His guess is that the company's short-term focus will be on orbital solar panels that would absorb solar radiation and — somehow — beam the energy down to Earth…”  http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2012/04/good-morning-everyone-im-chris-lewicki-and-im-an-asteroid-miner---planetary-resources-announces-aste.ars  “Some time in the next 18 to 24 months, Planetary Resources, Inc. will launch a series of mass-produced 9" space telescopes, dubbed Arkyd Series 100 spacecraft…to identify which of the roughly 8,900 near-Earth asteroids are both smaller than 50 meters and suitable targets for retrieval back to Earth orbit…within the ensuing year or two that the follow-up spacecraft, the Arkyd Series 200, can track some of these asteroids as they fly by in high Earth orbit…later, Arkyd Series 300 swarm spacecraft can begin launching to survey those asteroids from a closer perspective, gathering information on spin, shape, and composition…At some point, the company would have enough information to launch spacecraft built to travel to an asteroid and retrieve them over several years, ultimately delivering them to a high Earth orbit…both robotic and manned spacecraft would be waiting in orbit for the asteroids as they arrived…the short-term goal seems to be to establish the equipment and skills necessary to make a new industry of asteroid mining possible, and the long-term goal seems to be to make the colonization of the solar system by humankind possible…”
59.    Why the US can beat China: the facts about SpaceX costs  http://www.spacex.com/usa.php  “Whenever someone proposes to do something that has never been done before, there will always be skeptics…now that we’ve successfully proven Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Dragon, there’s been a steady stream of misinformation and doubt expressed about SpaceX’s actual launch costs…As noted last month by a Chinese government official, SpaceX currently has the best launch prices in the world and they don’t believe they can beat them…These prices are based on known costs and a demonstrated track record…The price of a standard flight on a Falcon 9 rocket is $54 million. We are the only launch company that publicly posts this information on our website…our performance will increase and our prices will decline over time, as is the case with every other technology…The average price of a full-up NASA Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station is $133 million including inflation…we have a firm, fixed price contract with NASA for 12 missions…The Dragon spacecraft was developed from a blank sheet to the first demonstration flight in just over four years for about $300 million. Last year, SpaceX became the first private company, in partnership with NASA, to successfully orbit and recover a spacecraft. The spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket that carried it were designed, manufactured and launched by American workers for an American company. The Falcon 9/Dragon system…can carry seven astronauts to orbit, more than double the capacity of the Russian Soyuz, but at less than a third of the price per seat. SpaceX has been profitable every year since 2007…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
60.    SoftLayer tailors HPC clouds with GPU lining  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/17/softlayer_hpc_cloud/  “Hosting and cloud computing service provider SoftLayer is getting into the modern hybrid supercomputer racket with the launch of GPU-enhanced server instances…Both SoftLayer and Rackspace developed their own infrastructure control software, but Rackspace has thrown in with NASA to create the OpenStack project, hoping to forge an open source community that can go up against and beat the cloudy infrastructure stack from Amazon's Web Services behemoth…SoftLayer has no interest in moving to OpenStack…The new GPU-goosed service from SoftLayer is available on the hosted servers, not cloud infrastructure, because for the most part customers who are running supercomputing code don't want another layer of software abstraction burning up processor cycles, memory capacity, and I/O bandwidth…SoftLayer is supporting Intel's Xeon 2520, 2650, and 2690 processors in the HPC nodes, and you can add one or two of Nvidia's Tesla M2090 GPU coprocessors to the box. These are the top-end Tesla coprocessors…and deliver 665 gigaflops of double-precision floating point number crunching each…”
61.     Eurocom launches Quad-SLI and Quad-CrossFireX Gaming Notebooks  http://www.legitreviews.com/news/12757/  “Eurocom today announced a Quad GPU Super-notebook…running in Dual SLI and Dual CrossFireX and the newest line of Intel i7 Processors with 8-cores…Eurocom has developed this technology to support four MXM 3.0b or MXM 4.0a graphics processors in SLI-D and CrossFireX-D, thus ensuring Eurocom notebooks will support the next generation of 130 Watt high performance notebook GPUs coming out in the near future…the newest VGA cards from the AMD Radeon HD 7000M and VIDIA GeForce GTX 600M families will truly shine for the first time in a mobile solution. Also seen for the first time in a mobile station will be up to four NVIDIA Quadro card support…”
62.    China's supercomputers are super, just not all of them  http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/opinion/2165016/chinas-supercomputers-super  “…With close to 15 million souls…Shenzhen is just a hop from Hong Kong with its seven million inhabitants and is joined at the hip with Dongguan's six million people, with another 16 million in the Guangzhou-Foshan conurbation. In 100 miles and close to 50 million people - 60 million if you count other nearly merged cities…you will find the world's highest concentration of electronics firms…I took a bus…to the Shenzhen Supercomputer Centre and…went inside thanks to a kind researcher…China has less experience than the USA, Europe or Japan in coding software for large machines like this, but they are learning fast. So, they disagree with the WSJ's suggestion that software 'maturity' will remain a problem, since they are gaining ground there by leaps and bounds…I was…told that the largest issue is actually the 'useless' architecture of the Nebulae machine, which owes its petaflop status to a bunch of Nvidia Tesla GPGPUs stacked on top of regular Xeon 5650 Westmere EP six-core processors…It's basically a run-of-the-mill generic server cluster of lots of Intel machines made by Dawning, which is now Shuguang, using Nvidia Tesla GPUs and Infiniband interconnect. There's nothing Chinese or generally unique in there, and it's something any system integrator or university can pull off…Compare it to…the Tianhe system in Tianjin Supercomputer Centre next to Beijing, which uses its own interconnect at twice Infiniband speeds with SPARC-like domestic I/O processors driving the connections. Yes, it also has a bunch of GPUs, but its interconnects and system design are world-class, and fully Chinese…the Jinan petaflop supercomputer machine…is based on thousands of 'Shenwei' 16-core Chinese SIMD-enhanced Alpha CPUs, coupled with eight-channel DDR3 memory controllers and RAM dies soldered on board, plus ultraslim liquid cooled blades for a supercompact layout. Oh yes, each of these Alphas delivers peak floating point throughput similar to that of a Xeon E5 at less than half the power consumption…China's mastery of hardware here is top-notch…China is rapidly maturing its supercomputing technology, especially from the hardware point of view, with its own Alpha, MIPS and SPARC processors, plus a dozen ARM licensees and a couple of its own advanced instruction set architectures out there as well, plus its own interconnects and I/O controllers…”