NEW NET Weekly List for 31 Jul 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 31 Jul 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.        EdX: One Course, 150,000 Students  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/education/edlife/anant-agarwal-discusses-free-online-courses-offered-by-a-harvard-mit-partnership.html  “AT the May announcement of edX, the Harvard-M.I.T. partnership that will offer free online courses with a certificate of completion, Susan Hockfield, the president of M.I.T., declared: “Fasten your seat belts.” If anyone was ready for the ride — the $60 million venture aims to reach a billion people — it was Anant Agarwal, the director of M.I.T.’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Mr. Agarwal, named the first president of edX, describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” who first went into business as a child in Mangalore, India, building coops for 40 chickens and selling their eggs. Start-ups still call to him: in 2005-6, he took time off from M.I.T. to create a semiconductor company. And in December, when M.I.T. decided to plunge into the world of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, with a new platform called MITx (now folded into edX), he came forward to teach the first offering, which ran March 5 to June 8 and enrolled over 150,000. How did you come to teach the first course? I just backed into it. M.I.T. asked me to look for a teacher for the MITx prototype course. I talked to some of my colleagues, who are much better teachers than I am, but I couldn’t get anyone to agree to do it. Many of them said it couldn’t be done in three months. But I’m really impatient, I like to get things done, and I’ve started enough companies to know that you can do things that big companies wouldn’t think was possible…”
2.       Google Fiber: Why Google makes the perfect ISP  http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/133547-why-google-makes-the-perfect-isp  “Google has been talking about its prototype fiber network for over two years now. After a lengthy selection process, Kansas City in both Missouri and Kansas were selected, and the specifics have finally been announced. As expected, the service sounds like an amazing deal on the face of it. Though, you’ll probably hear people grumbling that Google has too much data on us already, so should it really be your internet service provider too? When you look at what Mountain View is promising to deliver with Google Fiber, and the way the company is run, Google might be the ideal choice to be your ISP. Here’s why. Many net neutrality proponents cried foul a few years ago when Google supported Verizon’s vision for non-neutral mobile networks. Part of that proposal — the part that is often overlooked — is that Google strongly supported net neutrality over conventional wireline broadband. This is Google’s own wired network, so it’s not going to be running any of those shenanigans you’re becoming familiar with from the old ISPs. Comcast, Time Warner, and the rest are keen to build premium services, but Google has repeatedly come out against favoritism toward a single service or protocol…” 
3.       Goodbye, Hotmail. Hello, Outlook.com  http://www.zdnet.com/goodbye-hotmail-hello-outlook-com-7000001893/  “So long, Hotmail. It was nice to know you. Microsoft unveiled a major update to its consumer mail platform today, with a new look, a slew of new features, and a new name that is surprisingly familiar. The “modern email” service has been in super stealth mode for several months under the codename NewMail. With its formal launch as an open-to-the-public preview, the service gets a new name: Outlook.com…Outlook, of course, is the serious, business-focused mail client included with Office. Microsoft used the brand with Outlook Express, its lightweight email client in Windows XP, but dumped the name with the launch of Windows Vista in 2006. Restoring the Outlook name to Microsoft’s consumer email service accomplishes two goals. First, it dumps the Hotmail brand, which is tarnished beyond redemption, especially among technically sophisticated users who have embraced Google’s Gmail as the default standard for webmail. More importantly, it replaces the Hotmail domain with a fresh top-level domain that’s serious enough for business use…”
4.       New Online Tool Gives Public Wider Access to Key U.S. Statistics  http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/miscellaneous/cb12-135.html  “The U.S. Census Bureau today released a new online service that makes key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics more accessible than ever before. The Census Bureau’s first-ever public Application Programming Interface (API) allows developers to design Web and mobile apps to explore or learn more about America's changing population and economy. The new API lets developers customize Census Bureau statistics into Web or mobile apps that provide users quick and easy access from two popular sets of statistics: 2010 Census (Summary File 1), which includes detailed statistics on population, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationship and owner/renter status, for a variety of geographic areas down to the level of census tracts and blocks…2006-2010 American Community Survey (five-year estimates), which includes detailed statistics on a rich assortment of topics (education, income, employment, commuting, occupation, housing characteristics and more) down to the level of census tracts and block groups…”
5.        Amazon Lockers Available For Delivery In Silicon Valley  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/30/amazon-lockers-silicon-valley/  “Amazon.com is expanding its Lockers program, which allows customers to have their deliveries sent to, yes, nearby lockers…It may seem like an inconvenient alternative to home delivery at first — until you think about some of the headaches that can come up, like worrying one of your neighbors will swipe the package as it’s sitting on your doorstep, or making sure you’re at home to sign for it. With Amazon Lockers, the package sits securely at a nearby pick-up station, until you come by at your convenience (well, as long as it’s within three days of delivery) and open the locker up with a special code…Amazon continued to expand the program — the site now lists Seattle, New York, Washington, DC, and London as participating geographies. And our own Ryan Lawler just saw that there are Amazon Lockers available for delivery in Silicon Valley — three, to be precise, at 7-Elevens in San Carlos, Palo Alto, and Mountain View…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
6.       Oracle Fights Payment of Google’s $4M Android Legal Bill  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/07/oracle-costs/  “Google says Oracle should pay the $4 million in legal costs it incurred during this spring’s legal battle over the Android mobile operating system. But Oracle says otherwise. In a brief filed with a San Francisco federal court on Monday, Oracle argues that it doesn’t owe Google a penny, citing other groundbreaking cases involving disputes over intellectual property. “Because this case presented novel and difficult legal issues, had broad implications for the computer software industry, resulted in a mixed judgment, and was litigated in good faith, the Court should exercise its discretion to deny costs, as other courts have done in analogous circumstances,” writes Oracle lead counsel…Earlier this month, Google argued that Oracle should cover its estimated $4 million in legal costs because judge and jury denied most of Oracle’s claims that the search giant had infringed on its intellectual property in building Android. Details of Google’s expenses were filed under seal, but they include paying court-appointed expert witnesses and the management of a staggering 97 million legal documents…”
7.        NSA director finally greets Defcon hackers  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57481689-83/nsa-director-finally-greets-defcon-hackers/  “Over the past two decades, hackers at Defcon and the feds have been circling each other suspiciously. The nation's top "spook" -- National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander -- giving a keynote at the hacker confab, shows just how much tensions have mellowed. "I've spent 20 years trying to get someone from the NSA" to speak at Defcon, said Defcon founder Jeff Moss, who serves on the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council and is chief security officer for ICANN. "It's eye-opening to see the world from their view," he said. "On the NSA's 60th anniversary and our 20th anniversary this has all come together." Against a backdrop of relentless cyber-espionage on U.S. companies and government agencies and vulnerabilities and exploits affecting critical infrastructure providers, Gen. Alexander, who also is commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, asked the hackers for help. "In this room right here is the talent we need to secure cyberspace," he said. "You know we can protect the networks and have civil liberties and privacy and you can help us get there…”
8.       The known unknowns of Skype interception  http://paranoia.dubfire.net/2012/07/the-known-unknows-of-skype-interception.html  “What kind of assistance can Skype provide to law enforcement agencies?...I want to explain what we do and don't know about Skype and surveillance…While Skype's law enforcement handbook suggests that the company does not have access to IP address session logs, high-profile criminal case from 2006 suggests that the company does. Kobi Alexander…is wanted by the US government in connection with financial fraud charges…Alexander was traced to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo after he placed a one-minute call using Skype. That was enough to alert authorities to his presence and hunt him down. This makes sense. Skype clients connect to Skype's central servers (so that users can make calls to non Skype users, and learn which of their friends are online and offline), and so the servers naturally learn the IP address that the user is connecting from…what remains unclear is the extent to which governments can intercept the contents of Skype voice calls…the company makes it a point to mention that it provides end to end encryption, but then dodges all questions about how it handles encryption keys…Seth Schoen from EFF told Forbes recently, "my view is that Skype has gotten a reputation for impregnable security that it has never deserved." Exactly. Consumers think the service is secure, and Skype has absolutely no incentive to correct this false, yet positive impression…crytographer Matt Green proposed the 'mud puddle test' for easily determining if a cloud based storage solution has unencrypted access to your data…drop your device(s) in a mud puddle…slip in said puddle and crack yourself on the head. When you regain consciousness you'll be perfectly fine, but won't for the life of you be able to recall your device passwords…Now try to get your cloud data back. Did you succeed? If so…your cloud provider has access to your 'encrypted' data, as does the government if they want it, as does any rogue employee who knows their way around your provider's internal policy checks. Both Dropbox and iCloud fail the mud puddle test. If a user's laptop is destroyed and they forget their password, both services permit a user to reset the password and then download all of their data…Both of these companies have access to your data, and can be forced to hand it over to the government…SpiderOak, a competing online backup service (which I use) passes the test. If a SpiderOak user forgets their password, they lose their data. What about Skype?..if you forget your password, Skype sends you a reset link by email, which lets you into your account, maintaining the same account balance and restoring your full contact list. Likewise, if you install Skype on a new computer, your contact list is downloaded, and you can conduct conversations that, to the other caller, will not in any way reveal that you recently installed Skype on a new device…Some protocols, like Off The Record (built into several Instant Messaging clients, but not to be confused with Google's fake, unencrypted Off The Record), random keys are created by the IM client, and then users are expected to exchange and verify them out of band (usually, by phone, or in person)…the ZRTP encrypted VOIP protocol, created by Phil Zimmermann of PGP fame avoids the static fingerprint method, and instead requires users to verify a random phrase at the beginning of each conversation. ZRTP (which is also used by Whisper Systems' RedPhone and the open source Jitsi chat tool) can rely on these pass phrase exchanges, because users presumably know each other…Encryption is great, but without some method of authentication, it is not very helpful…without authentication, you can be sure you have encrypted session, but you have no idea who is at the other end…The key verification/exchange methods used by OTR and ZRTP provide a strong degree of authentication, so that users can be sure that no one else is snooping on their communications. In contrast to the complex…methods employed by OTR and ZRTP, Skype does nothing at all. Skype handles all the crypto and key exchange behind the scenes…what is clear is that Skype is in a position to impersonate its customers, or, should it be forced, to give a government agency the ability to impersonate its customers…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
9.       Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core tops the benchmark charts  http://www.slashgear.com/qualcomm-snapdragon-s4-pro-quad-core-tops-the-benchmark-charts-hands-on-24240021/  “Qualcomm‘s been hard at work with their new quad-core chipset for mobile devices, and we’ve got one in our hands. Their brand new Snapdragon APQ8064 S4 Pro SoC packs quite the punch and we’ve just started taking it through it’s paces. Announced and available starting earlier today, this developer device…is a clear indication of what we can expect from Qualcomm later this year. Without getting too technical here the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 developer tablet kit contains a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and is running on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. This 10.1-inch display running a 1366 x 768 resolution is going to be put through its paces but for now here’s a quick glance at a few of the popular Android benchmark apps. Quadrant blew through the roof…”
10.     AT&T’s Best Android Phone Is Now Just $100  http://gizmodo.com/5929890/atts-best-android-phone-is-now-just-100  “Good news for anyone who's been sneaking sidelong glances at the HTC One X, one of the best Android phones in general and by far the best available on AT&T. As rumors had foretold, the handset's price has been cut in half, from $200 to $100…To recap, for those not familiar, this means that for $100 (and a hefty new contract) you get a beautiful 4.7-inch display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, and download speeds and battery life that are near-unprecedented. And this isn't an old warhorse being sent out to pasture, like last winter's Nexus Galaxy was when it got its $100 price shave. The One X has been out barely three months…”
11.      F.C.C. Forces Verizon to Allow Android Tethering Apps  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/fcc-verizon-tethering/  “Thanks to a government investigation, a large number of Verizon Wireless customers will be able to download apps that share a smartphone’s Internet connection with other devices, a feature known as tethering. And they won’t have to pay monthly fees to the carrier for the privilege. The Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday that it started the investigation after seeing reports that Verizon had pressured Google to block apps from the Android app store that gave customers tethering abilities without having to pay $20 a month for Verizon’s official tethering plan. In a statement, the F.C.C. said that Verizon could not block third-party tethering apps from the Android market because of rules attached to some spectrum it had purchased…”
12.     Real-life Harry Potter location-clock works via mobile app  http://www.gadgetbox.msnbc.msn.com/technology/gadgetbox/real-life-harry-potter-location-clock-works-mobile-app-916759  “A team of students at the University of Munich has put together a working "Magic Clock" that shows the locations of certain people, much like the Weasley household's clock in "Harry Potter." It isn't actually enchanted, of course, and works by more prosaic Internet-age methods — but in practice it actually looks quite magical. The clock is a repurposed grandfather clock they found on eBay, modified with gearing that allows four hands to rotate 360 degrees. They made their own face to replace its handsome brass one, with locations instead of times. Then they connected the clock to a microcontroller that would watch for updates on a server and turn the hands appropriately…”
13.     Must-have mobile apps for the Olympics  http://www.techhive.com/article/2000236/must-have-mobile-apps-for-the-olympics.html  “Search “London Olympics” in either the App Store or Android Market and you’re going to find dozens of various Olympic-themed apps, some from reputable outlets and others merely trying to squeeze out a buck from the world’s most popular sporting event. The main NBC-branded Olympic apps will be your primary source for live event streaming and video highlights in the U.S., but here are five other apps that will provide you with a wealth of extras like in-depth recaps, stunning photos, and on-the-ground updates to keep you in the know, even when you’re not on your couch at home. Best of all, they’re all free. From the moment you fire up Reuters’ official Olympics app (pictured at the top of this article), the emphasis is on visuals and showcasing photography at every opportunity. Navigation is easy to grok and centralized in area off to the upper right, which allows users quick access to daily event schedules and an updated medal count…”
14.     Google Fiber Is The Most Disruptive Thing The Company's Done Since Gmail  http://www.businessinsider.com/google-fiber-is-the-most-disruptive-thing-the-companys-done-since-gmail-2012-7  “Remember how blown away people were when Gmail launched in 2004? Google Fiber feels like the same leap of innovation. It's been a long time since we saw anything like this from the search and advertising giant. Back when Gmail launched, the other free email providers like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail were offering less than 5MB of storage -- that's five megabytes. Google trumped them all with 1GB of free storage. With so much storage, there was no need to trash anything. You could archive it and keep it forever…Google Fiber is like Gmail on many levels: It exposes how slow the incumbents have been to innovate. Google Fiber makes the cable-based ISPs look pathetic. It promises to offer speeds up to 1,000Mbps downstream and upstream, for only $70 a month…”  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/28/google-fiber-devils-advocate-bitches/  “…Google faces a number of challenges as it transitions to become an ISP. Here’s why Google’s grand experiment laying fiber might not be all the it’s cracked up to be…from a cost standpoint, Google Fiber sounds pretty amazing. It offer Gigabit speeds at an attractive price point, which other ISPs probably can’t compete with. And it would be great, if it were available today. But rolling out fiber is a complicated process, and most Kansas City residents anxious for some high-speed competition probably have a long wait ahead. Google is doing some interesting things in trying to expedite its fiber installations. It has separated the city into “fiberhoods” of 250-1,500 households a piece, and is asking potential subscribers to express their interest and pre-register, essentially reserving a spot in line when installations begin…”
15.     Google Upgrades Gmail Video Chat With Hangouts  http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/260050/google_upgrades_gmail_video_chat_with_hangouts.html  “Google will begin replacing Gmail's existing video chat system with a new, better one based on the Hangouts feature from its Google+ social networking service…The swap will improve the quality and performance of Gmail video chats, and, if users have Google+ accounts, they will be able to communicate with multiple people -- up to nine participants as long as all have Google+ accounts. So far, Gmail's video chat feature has allowed only for one-to-one sessions. Other new features for Gmail users who also have Google+ accounts will be the ability to watch YouTube videos simultaneously, collaborate on Google documents and do screen sharing…”
General Technology
16.     New 100W USB 3.0 Spec Can Charge Laptops  http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/usb-3-0-power-delivery-charging-86983  “…the new USB Power Delivery specification which includes the ability to transfer up to 100 Watts (W) through the familiar socket. The new standard will enable convenient charging of laptops and other power-hungry devices, such as external HDDs and printers, while also offering 5 Gbit/s data transfer rate. The Group hopes that the new cable will help eliminate device-specific chargers, and result in less e-waste. The USB 3.0 Promoter Group was responsible for the development of the USB 3.0 specification that was released in November 2008. Since then, it has been working on improving the standard, thinking up features that would deliver a better user experience…Under the new specs, the cable will be able to supply much more power than the 2.5W that is delivered by USB 2.0, and 4.5W previously delivered by USB 3.0…”
17.     Why Apple users are happy to be more inept than Microsoft's  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57481906-71/why-apple-users-are-happy-to-be-more-inept-than-microsofts/  “…it did make me wonder about Microsoft's sudden enthusiasm for retail. Just as Apple's new Genius Bar ads seem to have made many wonder about Apple's sudden enthusiasm for showing its customers as nincompoops who can't operate the simplest -- no, really, the simplest – programs. Should you have missed these ads, they show Boy Geniuses being ever helpful, even at 4 a.m. when strange men come knocking on their door asking for, you know, help. Many seem to have branded these ads as terrible, awful. They have offered that Steve Jobs would never, ever have approved such, such stupidity. The apogee, perhaps came in a headline from Digital Trends that hissed: "New Apple ads make Mac owners look inept, foolish." Sometimes it's hard to explain to techies that real people are different from techies…”
Leisure & Entertainment
18.     Self-publishers alert: FastPencil announces new premium placement agreement with Barnes & Noble  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/26/self-publishers-alert-fastpencil-announces-new-premium-placement-agreement-with-barnes-noble/  “Online publishing service FastPencil is announcing a new agreement with Barnes & Noble that will allow self-publishing authors access to premium placement in Barnes & Noble retail stores, online store, and Nook store. Which means that some lucky self-publishers will see their books not just in the digital recesses of various online stores, but front and center at America’s last major bookseller…Big-name FastPencil authors, such as US Senator Barry Loudermilk or The War of Art author Steven Pressfield, are in the top level tier: Premiere. With the new deal, Premiere level authors automatically get access to Barnes & Noble’s physical locations. And their books won’t just be in the store — they’ll be featured in the “octagon,” the high-profile front table visible as you enter the store…The lower two tiers of FastPencil’s authors, in the company’s Wavecrest imprint and self-publishing level, will have the opportunity to be presented to Barnes & Noble to be considered for inclusion in the program…”
19.     Penguin Group Dives Into Self-Publishing  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444464304577537092288601370.html  “…Pearson PLC, Penguin's London-based parent, said it would acquire the business from private-equity house Bertram Capital Management LLC for $116 million and fold it into its Penguin unit, where it will operate as a separate entity. The acquisition illustrates the newfound acceptance for self-publishers in a book world where they were once viewed largely as interlopers. It is also one more example of how low-cost digital distribution has disrupted the role of traditional publishers in determining how books are discovered by consumers…While Penguin may be able to pluck some new best sellers from Author Solutions' arsenal of more than 150,000 published authors, Penguin is also after the self-publishing outfit's facility with data, as the self-publisher has a valuable trove of information about what authors want to write and what customers want to read…”
Economy and Technology
20.    Ovation Technologies Brings the Power of Big Business Recruiting to Small Businesses  http://upstart.bizjournals.com/news/technology/2012/07/24/ovation-offers-small-biz-hiring-app.html?page=all  “…Ovation Technologies launched Ovation, a mobile and cloud-based social recruiting application designed specifically for the needs of small- and medium-size businesses. Available in the Google apps Marketplace, the Apple iTunes Store, and the Google Play Store, the new app is designed to make it easier and more affordable for small businesses to find the best employees anytime, anywhere…Small businesses today are competing for talent with large corporations, but have far fewer resources and can’t afford to make a bad hire. The average cost of a new hire, according a 2011 study by Bersin and Associates, is $3,500…Most small businesses don't have full-time recruiters or even an HR department and find finding and hiring employees to be a daunting and distracting task…By putting the power of cloud recruiting into the hands of the business owners, we're giving them a competitive advantage to find, perform background checks and bring onboard the best talent as quickly as possible at an affordable price…Ovation is a mobile enabled, cloud social recruiting tool that uses social networks, job boards and referrals to locate and rank job candidates. It also allows efficient digital background checks and electronic delivery of new hire paperwork…”
21.     Mozilla Confirms It Will Join Berlin’s New ‘Factory’ Campus  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/30/mozilla-confirms-it-will-join-berlins-new-factory-campus/  “We’ve covered them since before they existed, but now “Factory”, Berlin’s new, vast tech campus, is taking shape. As builders adapt old factory buildings (an area which will cover 107,000 square feet or 10,000 square meters), the privately-funded initiative has announced that Mozilla will become an anchor resident in the facility, which plans to house a number of startups large and small. Jim Cook, CFO of Mozilla also confirmed that Mozilla will be hiring in Berlin. Confirmed so far are the startups 6Wunderkinder, Four Sektor, Toast, Urge iO, Views, and local tech blog Silicon Allee. But the expanding SoundCloud team will take on a large swathe of the vast amount of space available, which will feature a basketball court, gallery, conference area, cafe and – last we heard – a swimming pool…”
DHMN Technology
22.    The Future Of Medicine Is In 3D Printing  http://www.webpronews.com/the-future-of-medicine-is-in-3d-printing-2012-07  “…3D printer or laser cutter…technology is still really cool, but it must be used with great responsibility…there’s another use for 3D printers that has a lot of potential to be abused, but also a lot of potential to save lives. The 3D printer revolution has taken hold of Professor Lee Cronin at Glasgow University. He has many interests, but one of his most ambitious involves 3D printers. In an interview with The Guardian, he talks up 3D printers and their potential for revolutionizing the medicine industry. His goal is to create “downloadable chemistry” so that people can print their own medicine at home…you can already see the problem here. Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in many countries, especially in the U.S. Giving people easy access to those drugs is a potential hazard that must be addressed. Cronin dismisses such a scenario and instead focuses on the benefits such an innovation could have on society. His team is now trying to build simple drugs with a 3D printer that only costs £1,200. So far, they have been able to build simple inorganic molecules inside reaction chambers. The next step is attempting to create something simple, like Ibuprofen. Cronin notes that if they succeed, they’ll be able to print just about any drug…”
23.    Students hone their science skills by building hovercraft at camp  http://www.goupstate.com/article/20120726/articles/207261014  “Students from around the community measured, taped and drilled this past week as the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) science camp at Carver Middle School gave them a chance to learn engineering skills…More than 20 students from 11 to 14 years old started building the hovercraft last Monday. The students hope to finish the craft when they get the last part they need. The hovercraft will travel on land and water at upwards of 30 mph…Toneia Stokes, 13, helped with painting and applying fiberglass. “You can learn, but have fun at the same time,” she said. Nicholas Drummond, 14, said he enjoyed doing something unique. “We used our minds to do something fun,” he said. “Not every kid gets to do this over the summer…”
24.    Raspberry Pi turned into a portable workstation  http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/raspberry-pi-turned-into-a-portable-workstation-20120719/  “The Raspberry Pi isn’t just a very cheap PC, it’s also tiny and uses very little power. So it isn’t too surprising to see one hooked up to a battery and display in a makeshift portable workstation. SK Pang Electronics sell a wide range of gadgets and components, so when the Raspberry Pi got delivered they didn’t hang about experimenting with it. What they have done is combine a mini wireless keyboard typically used with a smartphone, a USB power pack, and an small LCD monitor usually found in the backseat of a car. All components, including the Raspberry Pi, were mounted on a laser cut, transparent base with a specially cut hole acting as a handle for carrying the unit around. The difficult bit was figuring out how to power both the display and the Raspberry Pi from the single USB power pack…”
25.    Gunsmith Uses 3D Printer To Make A Rifle  http://www.webpronews.com/gunsmith-uses-3d-printer-to-make-a-rifle-2012-07  “…A member from the gun forum AR15 thinks he may have created and successfully tested the first 3D printed firearm. He used a Stratasys 3D printer from the mid-90s to create a .22 pistol. He claims to have fired over 200 rounds from the 3D printed marvel and it still works fine…he took it to the next level. He attached a .223 upper to the 3D printed lower. The experiment proved to be a success yet again. This time, however, he ran into some feed and extraction issues with the upper…you can now print your own gun if you so wish. The blueprints for guns are available on 3D printing resource Web sites…I would suggest that only gunsmith experts only try this. One mistake and the gun could explode in your hand. Plastic isn’t exactly the greatest material to make guns out of…”
Open Source Hardware
26.    From Tech to Toilet Paper, Berliner Tries to Live Completely Open Source for One Year  http://www.cio.com/article/710225/From_Tech_to_Toilet_Paper_Berliner_Tries_to_Live_Completely_Open_Source_for_One_Year  “…Open source computer, open source mobile phone, open source toothbrush, open source jeans, open source video codec, open source camera, open source beer and even open source toilet paper: these are just a few things you need if you decide to make every aspect of your life open source for a year. A 28-year-old filmmaker from New Zealand living in Berlin is going to try just that. "I'm starting on the first of August," said Sam Muirhead, who added that he has long been interested in open source technology and the philosophy behind it. He plans to abandon copyright products for one whole year and base his life on open source products the principle of sharing the results of community-oriented labor. Muirhead, who can't code, cannot solder and is a Mac user, wants to raise awareness outside the tech world about open source projects and methods…”
27.    Core77 Design Award 2012: Teagueduino  http://www.core77.com/blog/core77_design_awards/core77_design_award_2012_teagueduino_professional_winner_for_interaction_design_professional_notable_for_consumer_products_23013.asp  “Whether it was when you tore your parents vacuum apart or took apart your iPhone, building and making things was at the heart of it. Teagueduino taps into this ideology which makes it so universal and a great jumping off point. Teagueduino is an open source electronic board and interface that allows you to realize creative ideas without soldering or knowing how to code, while teaching you the ropes of programming and embedded development (like Arduino). Teagueduino is designed to help you discover your inner techno-geek and embrace the awesomeness of making things in realtime—even if you've only ever programmed your VCR. Teagueduino is an open source hardware platform that makes building interactive things—from experiments and games, to classroom projects and prototypes—easier. Teagueduino makes digital electronics more accessible by offering solderless assembly, fail-proof coding and a community of resources for support…”
28.    Open-Source Phone Pushes The Boundaries Of DIY Tech  http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/07/open-source-phone-pushes-the-boundaries-of-diy-tech/  “…David A. Mellis, from MITs High-Low Tech group, has created a DIY mobile phone out of easily obtained electronic parts and a little bit of plywood. It may not have the internet connectivity or giant touchscreen of your current mobile phone, but it’s a completely self-made, operational phone, which means it’s low impact and free from the constraints of mass production…the initial prototype combines a custom electronic circuit board with a laser-cut plywood and veneer enclosure. The phone accepts a standard SIM card and works with any GSM provider. Cellular connectivity is provided by the SM5100B GSM Module, available from SparkFun Electronics. The display may only be about 1.8″ across, but it does offer color images. Currently, the software supports voice calls, but the folks at High-Low Tech say SMS and other functionality could be added with the same hardware. Altogether the prototype contains about $150 in parts…”
29.    Open source model disrupts the commercial drone business  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/27/open-source-model-disrupts-the-commercial-drone-business/  “The do-it-yourself (DIY), open-source drone movement is turning into a real business that could disrupt the commercial and military drone industry. It’s another case of how exploiting the curiosity of hackers can turn into a commercial opportunity…Chris Anderson (pictured), editor of Wired magazine and a drone hobbyist and businessman…spoke about this DIY trend…at the Defcon hacker conference…Anderson said the whole project is “open sourcing the military industrial complex.” Drones have been the domain of the U.S. military…Those drones cost millions of dollars, but the DIY drone business is focused on created ubiquitous drones that cost tens of dollars. Anderson’s interest started five years ago as he sought ways to get his kids interested in science...with Lego Mindstorms robot kits…Then…a remote-controlled airplane…The kids lost interest. But the idea of combining the DIY nature of the robot and the airplane sent Anderson “straight down the rabbit hole,” he said…His interest in drones led to a web site called DIY Drones, which has blossomed into a community of 30,000 registered members. The site gets 1.4 million page views a month, has 6,000 blog posts, 8,000 discussion threads, and 80,000 comments a year…Anderson co-founded a for-profit company, 3D Robotics…that creates computing hardware for drones…built on the Arduino open-source computing platform…That hardware can be used to build all sorts of drones, such as “quad copter”…3D Robotics sells the drone hardware for $199 or so…The hardware is priced at about 2.6 times the hardware bill-of-material cost, allowing a 40 percent margin for retailers and a 40-percent margin for the company. But since the software is free, the end product can be quite cost efficient compared to competitors who have to try to keep pace with an all-volunteer software community, Anderson said. That means that Chinese knock-off rivals can copy the hardware but will have a tough time keeping up with 3D Robotics as it launches new software-driven varieties. Right now, the company offers 150 different products, including 75 from the community. “They can’t clone our community,” he said. The company has two factories and 50 employees now. In addition, 3D Robotics rewards its community contributors with T-shirts, coffee mugs, free travel, free hardware, and — if they contribute enough — equity in the company…”
Open Source
30.    Will Open Source Divashark Unseat Wireshark for CTP?  http://www.internetnews.com/blog/skerner/defcon-will-open-source-divashark-unseat-wireshark-for-ctp.html  “…We all love open source Wireshark for packet capture right? Apparently, that isn't always the case. Researcher Robert Deaton took the stage at Defcon to announce a new open source effort that could one day possibly unseat Wireshark. Deaton said that every team at the Defcon CTP (Capture the Packet) contest uses Wireshark. That said he argued that in his view it's the wrong tool for the job. In his view there is lots of noise in Wireshark, especially when looking for something simple like usr/pswrd, there is too much detail at the tcp level. So for example, one of the CTP challenges was to find a user's Reddit login which is possible with Wireshark, but it's unduly tedious…Divashark a tool to make live network forensics easy, it gets you the info you care about as quickly as possible without getting bogged down in small details…Divashark will do the same type of capture as Wireshark and it automatically follows tcp and udp streams as they come in, then the packets are run though a port independent classifier. He added that the system has powerful abilities to filter traffic at an application level. The http dissector lets researcher filter by user-agent, or whatever url has been requested. Divashark will make a competition like CTP easier as it will no longer be about who can hunt through wireshark the fastest…”
31.     Why Open-Source Principles Are a Recipe For Innovation  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2012/07/25/why-open-source-principles-are-a-recipe-for-innovation/  “Two weeks ago, Amy Clark wrote that an open-source model can — and should — be applied to scientific research in the pharmaceutical industry. Using insights from Ashoka Fellow Stephen Friend, she showed that open-source science would eliminate redundant efforts and fast-track lifesaving drugs. Open-source software development methods — whose success stories include Linux, Firefox, WordPress, Drupal and OpenOffice — are based on the simple idea that source code should be available for anyone to freely use, redistribute and modify. In one common analogy, open source experts compare code to a favorite recipe shared among friends and family. In that example, cooks have the freedom to follow Aunt Mary’s apple pie recipe to the letter, but they can also adapt and improve the recipe before passing it along to friends. Open-source software proponents believe these kinds of tweaks and adjustments serve the common good. (A few audacious entrepreneurs have even taken the recipe analogy literally by open sourcing recipes for cola and beer…”
Civilian Aerospace
32.    Send Anything to the Edge of Space, for Free  http://www.wired.com/design/2012/07/pongsats/  “…For just zero dollars, JP Aerospace will fly your science project — contained conveniently in a ping-pong ball — to the edge of space and back. Though the project is free for students, artists, engineers, and really, anyone interested in space exploration, it does cost money — somewhere around $14 per PongSat, according to Powell. So Powell took to Kickstarter to fund not his dreams, but the dreams — or rather, experiments — of 1,000 students…Powell…has been launching PongSats since 2002…PongSats in the past have contained experiments from the very simple (what happens to a marshmallow in space?) to the very complex (a full atmospheric lab). Carried up to 100,000 feet, the innards of each ping-pong ball experience near-vacuums, cosmic rays, zero gravity, and temperatures 90 degrees below zero before descending via parachute. JP Aerospace then returns them to their makers, to see just what happened up there. To get them up that high, JP Aerospace loads the PongSats in a “high rack” that they attach to a weather balloon…”
33.    $100K Space Prize Goes to Company Making Inflatable Satellite Parts  http://www.space.com/16817-space-startup-prize-inflatable-satellite-parts.html  “A company that's developing inflatable satellite components won the $100,000 grand prize in a space business contest…Space Ground Amalgam, LLC took home first place in the 2012 NewSpace Business Plan Competition, which seeks to help startup space firms create potentially game-changing technologies. The Virginia-based company beat out nine other finalists for the NASA-funded prize…Space Ground Amalgam builds inflatable parts — such as reflectors, booms and solar arrays — that could decrease satellites' size and weight while helping them meet high bandwidth demands…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
34.    Science gets cool: Cray supercomputer now studying ice cream  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/07/yes-science-is.php  “Ice cream has been around a long time and we don't need any help knowing we like it. But, we do need help understanding why we like it and that's why scientists at the University of Edinburgh are firing up the Cray supercomputer to better understand ice cream…Supercomputers help us understand complex systems and interactions, right? Well, according to Dr. Alan Gray one of the lead scientists on the program, ice cream is more complex than many of us would believe. Its base substances — including different flavoring elements — interact in a variety of ways. Plus, add time into the equation and that affects the interactions as well. It's enough to give you brain freeze. That's where the Cray supercomputers at the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Center (EPCC) come in. They started with a massive 200 cabinet Cray XT5 supercomputer using 200,000 CPUs, but switched to a 10 cabinet Cray XK6 that uses a combination of GPUs and CPUs that offered better performance and scalability. The 10 cabinet hybrid system integrated 936 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with standard x86 CPUs turbocharged the process — with performance two and a half times faster than just using the CPUs alone…”
35.    MSC Software Offers GPU-Accelerated FEA for Engineers  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-07-25/msc_software_offers_gpu-accelerated_fea_for_engineers.html  “…MSC Software Corp…has released a GPU-accelerated version of the Marc 2012 Finite Element Analysis application, which speeds up a range of engineering simulations. Engineers seeking to solve complex manufacturing and design problems can use Marc 2012, supported by NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, to accelerate engineering simulations by two to six times. This enables engineers to develop more realistic models and higher quality simulations, with increased productivity and faster development cycles. "The combination of GPU acceleration and Marc's multi-physics capabilities allows engineers to better capture true nonlinear behavior, resulting in dramatic design improvements across a range of models and industries…”


NEW NET location for 31 Jul 2012 Mtg = Sergio's Restaurant

The NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurial and Technology issues) 31 Jul 2012 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 24 Jul 2012

Below is the final list of issues for the Tuesday, 24 Jul 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.        Google Fiber to launch July 26?  http://gigaom.com/2012/07/18/google-fiber-to-launch-next-week/  “Google just sent out invitations to a “special event” in Kansas City on July 26 which is undoubtedly the launch of its much-anticipated fiber-to-the-home network…The timing jibes with the Google’s statements about a planned summer launch and sources who told me the network would launch at the end of next week…Google said it wanted to build out the network so it could see what people might do with a full gigabit connection, but I also think this is Google’s answer to the ISP’s continued whining about how much networks cost to operate and how providers like Google or Netflix should pay them for delivering traffic across the ISP’s networks. Soon, Google will have real data on what it costs to build and operate a wireline network — and in typical Google fashion I expect we’ll hear about how it has driven those costs down by building or adapting gear in a way traditional ISPs haven’t…”  http://www.kansascity.com/2012/07/18/3711326/google-fiber-to-make-july-26-announcement.html  “…Google…posted a 30-second video…under the headline “Google Fiber is coming” and the briefest of text promising, “Kansas City: Google Fiber is almost here. Look out for more information on July 26th.” The video makes nods to local history with pictures of Harry S. Truman, baseball great Satchel Paige and jazz legend Charlie Parker….in faint type, the video says the service “arrives on July 26.”…Google’s contractor, Atlantic Engineering, has been seen on streets on both sides of the state line for months digging the trenches and stringing the wire that will provide the system’s backbone. There have not yet been reports, however, of connections to homes…”
2.       Coursera: How an Upstart Company Might Profit From Free Courses  http://chronicle.com/article/How-an-Upstart-Company-Might/133065/  “Coursera has been operating for only a few months, but the company has already persuaded some of the world's best-known universities to offer free courses through its online platform…if the courses are free, how will the company—and the universities involved—make money to sustain them?..Coursera isn't yet sure how it will bring in revenue…"Possible Company Monetization Strategies," lists eight potential business models, including having companies sponsor courses. That means students taking a free course from Stanford University may eventually be barraged by banner ads or promotional messages. But the universities have the opportunity to veto any revenue-generating idea on a course-by-course basis…Andrew Ng, a co-founder of the company and a professor of computer science at Stanford, describes the list as an act of "brainstorming" rather than a set plan…Coursera is following an approach popular among Silicon Valley start-ups: Build fast and worry about money later. Venture capitalists—and even two universities—have invested more than $22-million in the effort already. "Our VC's keep telling us that if you build a Web site that is changing the lives of millions of people, then the money will follow," says Daphne Koller, the company's other co-founder, who is also a professor at Stanford…”
3.       Webcams make Alaska bears accessible  http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/ap-exclusive-webcams-make-1483449.html  “A new video initiative is bringing the famed brown bears of Alaska's Katmai National Park directly to your computer or smartphone. Without having to go there, you'll be able to watch mature bears compete for salmon at Brook Falls and other sites and cubs tumbling over each other as they play. Starting Tuesday, a live Web stream (http://is.gd/bfPAs8 ) will allow the public to log on and see the brown bears in their natural habitat…The project is a partnership with explore.org, which set up four high-definition cameras in Katmai, spokesman Jason Damata told The Associated Press. Three of them are at existing viewing stands where bear fans come to watch the animals. The cameras provide access to a national park that is difficult to reach and expensive for most tourists. It is about 275 miles southwest of Anchorage, but no roads lead to Katmai…”
4.       YouTube for Do-It-Yourself Vertigo Treatment?  http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/news/20120723/youtube-for-do-it-yourself-vertigo-treatment  “Watching self-help videos on the popular Internet site YouTube may help some people with vertigo treat themselves. A new study found 33 videos showing the Epley maneuver. This maneuver is often used by heath care providers to help those with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV…The Epley maneuver, often done by health care providers who diagnose the condition, can be done in a few minutes. The patient lies down, turns, and moves in various ways…"If used properly, these videos could mean reduced clinical visits for patients who successfully perform it at home," says Mary Jane Lim Fat, MD, a resident in neurology at the University of Toronto…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
5.        Regulation of facial recognition may be needed, US senator says  http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/print/9229343/Regulation_of_facial_recognition_may_be_needed_US_senator_says  “Congress may need to pass legislation that limits the way government agencies and private companies use facial recognition technology to identify people, a U.S. senator said…The growing use of facial recognition technology raises serious privacy and civil liberties concerns, said Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's privacy subcommittee. Franken…called on the FBI and Facebook to change the way they use facial recognition technology. Biometric information, including facial features, is sensitive because it is unique and permanent, Franken said. "I believe that we have a fundamental right to control our private information," he said. "You can change your password, you can get a new credit card, but you can't change your fingerprint, and you can't change your face…There are no U.S. laws limiting government agencies or private companies from using facial recognition…The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security already have huge biometric databases and are adding facial data…"Many Americans don't even realize that they're already in a facial recognition database," Lynch said. "Facial recognition allows for convert, remote and mass capture of identification and images."…At the hearing, Franken focused on an FBI pilot program in Maryland, Michigan and Hawaii and on a Facebook feature that tags pictures using facial recognition…He called on Facebook to turn off its tag suggestion feature by default, instead of having it on by default, as it has in the past. But Rob Sherman, manager of privacy and public policy for the social-networking site, resisted that suggestion. Facebook has suspended the feature while it reworks it, but will bring it back soon, Sherman said. On by default is appropriate, "because Facebook itself is an opt-in experience," Sherman said. "People choose to be on Facebook because they want to share with each other…”
6.       Russian man held in cyberattacks on Amazon, other online retailers  http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2018728873_hacker20m.html  “A Russian man believed to be behind cyberattacks on Seattle-based Amazon.com and other online retailers in 2008 has been arrested in Cyprus…Dmitry Olegovick Zubakha, 25, of Moscow, was indicted by a Seattle grand jury in May 2011 for conspiracy to intentionally cause damage without authorization to a protected computer and with being in possession of at least 15 unauthorized access devices…Zubakha mounted two "denial of service" attacks against Amazon.com on June 6 and June 9, 2008. In both instances, the attacks flooded the online retailer's computers with requests to display pages with particularly large graphics and photographs. The attacks overwhelmed Amazon.com's servers and caused their systems to crash. Zubakha and a co-defendant, Sergey Vioktorovich Logashov, are also accused of similar attacks on ebay.com and Priceline.com. The indictment says the men took credit for the attacks in hacker Internet forums…Logashov is accused of calling Priceline.com and offering his expertise as a computer consultant to stop the attack. In October 2009, law enforcement traced the possession of more than 28,000 stolen credit-card numbers to the men…”
7.        Researchers Say They Took Down World’s Third-Largest Botnet  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/cybersecurity-researchers-say-they-took-down-worlds-third-largest-botnet/  “On Wednesday, computer security experts took down Grum, the world’s third-largest botnet, a cluster of infected computers used by cybercriminals to send spam to millions of people. Grum, computer security experts say, was responsible for roughly 18 percent of global spam, or 18 billion spam messages a day. Computer security experts blocked the botnet’s command and control servers in the Netherlands and Panama on Tuesday. But later that day, Grum’s architects had already set up seven new command and control centers in Russia and Ukraine. FireEye, a computer security company based in Milpitas, Calif., said it worked with its counterparts in Russia and with SpamHaus, a British organization that tracks and blocks spam, to take down those command and control centers Wednesday morning…Earlier this year, Microsoft employees assisted federal marshals in a raid on botnet servers…used by criminals to run Zeus, a botnet that siphoned people’s personal information…Almost simultaneously, a separate group of cybersecurity researchers in San Francisco were busy eliminating another botnet, called Kelihos.b, which was used to send spam. While computer security companies are quick to publicize botnet takedowns, their gains tend to be temporary. The blocking of Kelihos.b lasted less than a week before a modified version of the botnet started infecting computers. Microsoft’s takedown of Waledac, another spam botnet in 2010, lasted only as long as the time it took its creators to modify its architecture slightly and create a new botnet…what’s to say Grum’s creators will not just run their botnet from a new command and control center tomorrow?...They’d have to start an entirely new campaign and infect hundreds of thousands of new machines to get something like Grum started again,” said Atif Mushtaq, a computer security specialist at FireEye…”
8.       Whistleblower Binney says the NSA has dossiers on nearly every US citizen  http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/hope-9-whistleblower-binney-says-nsa-has-dossiers-nearly-every-us-citizen  “This weekend in New York City was a three-day hackers' conference called HOPE…HOPE stands for "Hackers on Planet Earth"…One of the quotes floating around in regard to #HOPE9 came from Founder and CEO of Pallorium Inc's Steven Rambam as "Rambam's first law: All databases will eventually be used for unintended purposes."…NSA whistleblower William Binney knows plenty about domestic spying. Binney was at HOPE…In the short video interview, Binney explained a bit more about the NSA spying on Americans: "Domestically, they're pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country and assembling that information, building communities that you have relationships with, and knowledge about you; what your activities are; what you're doing. So the government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it's a very dangerous process." He estimated that one telecom alone was sending the government an "average of 320 million logs every day since 2001…”
9.       Apple granted 'the mother of all smartphone software patents'  http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/07/18/apple-granted-the-mother-of-all-smartphone-software-patents/  “…the 25 patents granted Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday contain some powerful legal weapons. One patent in particular -- No. 8,223,134: "Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying electronic lists and documents" -- stands out. It encompasses the user interfaces Apple designed for blogging, e-mail, telephone, camera, video player, calendar, browser, widgets, search, notes, maps and most importantly, a multi-touch interface. "Granted just today, the latest addition to the Cupertino-based tech giant's stable of intellectual property could be the mother of all smartphone software patents," writes Phandroid's Kevin Krause. "The effects could be swift and lethal…”
10.     Darpa Funds Hack Machine You’d Never Notice  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/07/pwnplug/  “…It may look like a surge protector, but it’s really a remote access machine that corporations can use to test security and log into branch offices…Hidden inside are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters, along with a number of hacking and remote access tools that let security experts prod and poke the network, and even call home to be remotely controlled via the cellular network. There’s a “text-to-bash” feature that lets you send commands to the device using SMS messages…It’s a device “you can just plug in and do a full-scale penetration test from start to finish,” Porcello says. “The enterprise can use stuff like this to do testing more often and more cheaply…About 90 percent of Pwnie Express’ customers work for corporations or the federal government. The device…comes with easy-to-use scripts that cause it to boot up and then phone home for instructions…This Power Pwn was developed with money from a new Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) program called Cyber Fast Track, which is trying to jumpstart a new generation of cyber-defense tools. “It’s kind of taking the tools that the hackers are using and putting them in the hands of the people that need to defend against the hackers…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
11.      Social Video Sharing Glasses!  http://www.indiegogo.com/socialvideoglasses  “…Recording video or taking pictures is clunky.  You have to pull out your smart phone or your video camera, and hold it up. This immediately causes you to lose the use of your hands, and makes the entire situation you are recording clumsy & socially awkward.  What if you could just touch a button on your eyewear and instantly start recording from the perspective of your eyes instead?...Our glasses will record and stream 1st person point of view, and have "magic-glass" (chromatic shifting conductive glass) lenses for an instant on/off “electric powered sunglass” feature.  You can stream into mobile apps and share across social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or plug into your computer to socially share the experiences you recorded while you recharge.  It's a consumer electronics fashion accessory designed with technology to enable cool new social video and new electric sunglasses lens capabilities…Our web sharing site, YouGen.Tv will enable users to create social profiles and share 1st person POV “experiences” as their real “life memories”  onto Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms, from the same perspective, and point of view as they experienced them…”  [two thoughts prompted by this; (1) these are a blatant rip-off of Google Glass, and might even have been inspired by Google Glass, and (2) it feels like the combination of crowdfunding and personal manufacturing trends may force a shift in patent law. In the ‘old’ world (pre Web 2.0), it required large sums of capital and expensive manufacturing equipment, not to mention R&D people, to develop and sell products that imitated or competed with similar items from large corporations. This meant patent wars and intellectual property lawsuits were most often one big corporation vs another big corporation, or at least a large corporation against a smaller company. With crowdfunding and personal manufacturing, it seems likely the future will bring a plethora of ‘large corporation vs. individual’ IP lawsuits. The plethora might just force wholesale changes in patent law – ed.]
12.     Bringing Where and When Together: The Opportunity for Live Maps  http://allthingsd.com/20120718/bringing-where-and-when-together-the-opportunity-for-live-maps/  “Knowing where a person or a service provider is located is much more useful when you know how that location relates to you. How far away are they? How long will it take them to get here? Are they here yet? Smartphone apps are making that more possible than ever. More and more apps I see take advantage of an emerging and highly useful mobile interface — a live map — that indicates where a person or service provider is located in real time. Live maps are tricky — what could be more of an invitation to stalking and unwanted tracking than telling people exactly where you are in that moment? — but they have great potential…a new iPhone app called Twist…helps users send estimated arrival times to people they are trying to meet up with. Before a Twist user leaves for a destination, she tells the app where she’s going and who she is going to meet. Throughout the trip, Twist recalculates her arrival time depending on traffic, mode of transportation and the tracking of her actual location. Both the sender and receiver can see her travel across town on a live map, and they also get text or push notifications about her ETA…Glympse…is an app I use with my family all the time to send each other short-term live maps when we’re on our way home or to pick each other up…you could imagine using Twist…for carpools and business meetings…There’s a lot of accountability to this interface — you can’t fudge where you’re going if someone can see your actual location in real time…Sharing live locations is something people will always be fearful of, and with good reason. But we’re approaching one billion global smartphones by 2016; the times and expectations are changing…I could see Twist and Glympse live mapping features being really useful is as a part of other products…Within the course of a regular text message conversation, one person could send the other a live map…A restaurant sending out food for delivery could show the recipient where the driver is en route…Uber has a very nice live map interface that shows all the local cars’ locations, and an estimated arrival time…Live maps are a safety feature for the wacky new peer-to-peer taxi app, Sidecar. Users can send out a “Share ETA” text to a friend with a link to a live map, making the prospect of getting into a stranger’s car a little less daunting…Google Latitude is having a revival of sorts in the new Google Now for Android, which uses persistent location tracking to establish users’ patterns and anticipate what information they need in a particular place…”
13.     Amazon Cracks Down on Kindle Web Browsing  http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2012/07/24/amazon-cracks-down-on-kindle-web-browsing/  “When the Kindle launched in late 2007 it came with an experimental web browser as well as free web browsing over the 3g connection. As nice as that was to have, all good things come to an end. There are reports over at MobileRead today that Amazon has imposed a 3g bandwidth cap on some users. MR user Chamekke was surprised earlier this week while using their Kindle 3G:  I was using the browser when it popped up a message to say that I’d hit my 50 MB monthly limit of 3G Web access on my Kindle 3G. When I clicked the ‘OK’ button (which was my only choice, really), I got a second message saying that I’d have 24 hours of grace to continue to use 3G for Web browsing, but that after that I could use 3G only for visiting Amazon.com, Wikipedia, and the Kindle Store. Otherwise I will be obligated to use Wi-Fi. From what I can tell, this new bandwidth cap was imposed at the start of July…the Kindle Touch lunched last fall with browsing over the 3g completely blocked, both in the US and without. This has led some to continue to buy the K3, which until recently didn’t have any restrictions imposed on the 3g connection (aside from when it simply wasn’t available). This was one of the K3′s nicer features (especially once we learned that the Kindle Touch lacked it), and it led to the Kindle being regarded as a precursor to you-know-what…But it is only fair that I point out that Amazon has had this policy in place for some time now, even though I’ve never heard of it being enforced before…” [one word…Bummer… - ed.]
14.     Samsung’s Galaxy S III surpasses 10 million sales in less than two months  http://thenextweb.com/mobile/2012/07/22/samsungs-galaxy-s-iii-surpasses-10-million-sales-in-less-than-two-months/  “Samsung’s newest Android flagship smartphone — the Galaxy S III — has surpassed 10 million sales in less than two months after going on sale…which translates roughly into 190,000 Galaxy S III devices being sold each day and reaching the figure in less than half the time of its predecessor — the Galaxy S II…the Samsung Galaxy S II…and predecessor the Galaxy S, have together passed 50 million sales across the planet…The Korean company is rumoured to be scheduling an August launch for its next-generation Galaxy Note…”
15.     Vizio meets the MacBook  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57477155-37/vizio-meets-the-macbook/  “…Vizio is the latest to make a run at Apple's MacBook. So far, I like what I see. The Irvine, Calif.-based company's ultrabooks are front and center at the Los Angeles Microsoft store…I counted six Vizio ultrabooks. That's more -- a lot more in most cases -- than any other single vendor in the store…In another nod to Apple, Vizio has only two basic ultrabook models -- 14-inch and 15.6-inch…Vizio has a minimalist metal (anodized aluminum) design similar to the MacBook…I've spent enough time in the LA store lately using Vizio's ultrabooks to appreciate what the company is trying to do: Deliver a laptop that competes head on with the Air and Pro but with better bang-for-the-buck…For $999, you can get the 15.6-inch Vizio model with a 1,920-by-1,080 screen, dual-core Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, 4GB of memory, a 128GB solid-state drive, and Intel HD 4000 graphics. For the $1,249 model, you get bumped up to a 256GB SSD and a Core i7 chip…By comparison, the 15.4-inch Pro starts at $2,199…”
16.     Broadcom announces its first 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip for smartphones  http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/24/3184468/broadcom-announces-its-first-802-11ac-wi-fi-chip-for-smartphones  “Online video consumption on multiple screens throughout the home is quickly becoming the norm — and all that video has a way of sucking up a home's bandwidth. Semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom believes that the gigabit Wi-Fi speeds that 802.11ac will provide is a way to combat that, and…has just announced its first 802.11ac chipset to help move consumers on to this new protocol. The BCM 4335 chipset…includes the aforementioned 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and FM radio all on one chip. The company claims that it'll be about three times faster in terms of raw speeds over existing Wi-Fi networks, and also expects it to be six times more power efficient than 802.11n solutions…Broadcom's Senior VP and GM…expects devices to hit the market with it early in 2013…”
17.     Intelligent, Context-Aware Personal Assistant App “Friday” Makes Its Public Debut  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/20/intelligent-context-aware-personal-assistant-app-friday-makes-its-public-debut/  “…That crazy Android personal assistant app called Friday is debuting today, on a Friday. Marketing genius!...With Friday, the idea is to provide a history of your communications, like calls, text messages, emails and more, and combine those with other events your phone is able to record, like photos snapped and battery drops, then mush it all together with data from third-party services, like Facebook and Foursquare. The end result? A search engine for your life…Friday isn’t just an aggregation play. Although it pulls in data from your phone and third-parties, it’s about actually acting on that data…along with today’s public debut, Friday is introducing something it calls “applets.“…these are independent, context-aware apps – they are separately installed but are able to use the information that Friday tracks…Some examples of what’s possible include: An app that notifies user when the phone is running low on battery and there is a charger nearby…alternate dialer app, which, rather than showing the recent calls log, shows the list of users you are most probably going to call based on your context. (Babu says it automatically shows him his girlfriend’s number on top when he’s at home and it’s late at night…An app that shows you a daily travelogue, and activity graph…The first “applet” to become available is Trails…It uses Friday’s APIs to create a travel diary of sorts. With Trails, you can select a day and view where you went and what happened at each point on the map. This includes everything from photos snapped to tweets to check-ins and more…During its two-month private beta, Friday was tested by a couple of thousand users, and it already captured over 10 million documents, including over a million photos, a million songs played, thousands of locations…Friday has been adding around 100,000 records per day. Now it’s time to see if Friday can scale…I know what you’re all thinking: Screw this iPhone, I’m switching to Android…apps like this and Google’s own “Google Now,” are showing the potential in the platform, which, due to its more open nature, allows for deeper integrations of apps and services…”
18.     Free dementia app now available on Android  http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8503430  “The world's first mobile application aimed at reducing people's dementia risk is now available for Android phone users. BrainyApp, which was developed by Alzheimer's Australia and Bupa Health Foundation, has been downloaded more than 200,000 times worldwide since it was made available for iPhone and iPad in November last year…We have had enquiries from people and other Alzheimer's associations from around the world, including The Netherlands, South Africa, Mexico and Iceland, wanting to know when the Android version will be available…The free mobile app tests your brain-heart health, tells you areas that you should focus on, suggests activities you might do and lets you track how these activities have affected your health…”
19.     Google halts new orders for 16GB Nexus 7, surprised by demand  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jul/22/google-nexus-7-16-surprise  “…Google…seriously underestimated the demand for the 16GB version of its 7in Nexus 7 tablet, which has sold out from stockists and other sources while demand for the smaller 8GB version remains comparatively low…The company has now halted further orders of the 16GB version of the tablet…Orders made in the period up to the end of last week are due to be fulfilled, but a shortage of stock now means a hiatus in sales…The 8GB version is only being sold through Google's own store, rather than physical retailers - but online buyers appear to have shunned it, surprising Google, which had thought that the cheaper version, despite having only half as much storage, would sell better than it has…Google's planners had thought that buyers on the Google Play store, more than from physical or online retailers, would be more committed to the company's "cloud" concept, and so would have more of their content stored online, rather than wanting to keep it on the device. But most buyers appear to have noted that the storage on the device cannot be upgraded and decided to get the larger model…”  http://www.zdnet.com/why-a-32gb-nexus-7-is-almost-inevitable-7000001365/  “…it seems that consumers have been more than willing to pony up the extra $50 for $7.50 worth of extra storage so as not to have to rely on cloud storage. While the actual storage chips are cheap, consumers have proven with the 16GB Nexus 7 that they are willing to pay a premium for more on-board storage…Apple uses the exact same strategy with the iPad, which comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, each with a $100 price jump between the models. However, it costs Apple less than $20 to bump the storage from 16GB to 32GB and about $35 to bump it from 32GB to 64GB…If Google can already get away with charging $50 to bump the 8GB Nexus 7 up to 16GB -- additional storage which only costs Google $7.50 -- then consumers would be more than willing to pay an additional $50 to bump the storage up from 16GB to 32GB…”
20.    Escape Is Possible: Zoho Office Now Integrated Into Google Drive  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/18/escape-is-possible-zoho-office-now-integrated-into-google-drive/  “…Zoho Office, the David to Google Apps’ Goliath…will now be integrated into Google Drive…this is not an official partnership between Zoho and Google…it’s an integration made possible by way of Google Chrome extensions…The benefit to using Google Apps, but also the downside, is that it limits your ability to try other products and services on the market. Everything under Google’s umbrella is integrated to work together – you click on a document in your online cloud storage, it opens in Google Docs; you can click an attachment in your Gmail, and opens it in Google Docs; when you save a file authored in the cloud, it saves to your Google Drive. There’s not much benefit to trying a different, disconnected service once you buy into Google’s suite…Zoho, however, is positioning the new Google Drive integration as a challenge to Microsoft, which this week revealed the future of its own Office Suite and online offerings. Like much of Microsoft’s install base, Zoho also targets the corporate and enterprise market with its products. But Google is making its own inroads into these areas – according to Google’s own website, 4 million businesses now use Google Apps, in addition to 40 million active users. Zoho’s business install base is much smaller than that: 6+ million users (that’s users, not businesses), but the lot of those users are business customers, not consumers…”
21.     Google Now: There’s A Fine Line Between Cool And Creepy  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/22/google-now-2/  “There’s something very cool about Google Now…At the same time, though, Now also has the potential to become Google’s creepiest service yet. Here is what it does (assuming you opt in to the service and have a phone or tablet that runs Jelly Bean): Google Now learns from your search behavior and shows you cards with information you regularly search for (think game scores of your favorite teams, flight schedules) or that could be relevant to you because of your current location, including weather, nearby restaurants, schedules for the next bus station, how long it’s going to take you to drive home and currency information if it finds you are in a different country…All of this could easily scream “invasion of privacy.” After all, this is one of the few Google services that really reveal how much the company really knows about you. The reason why it doesn’t quite feel like that yet is because of the limitations of the service. There is so much more Google could do with this service, but it almost feels as if Google deliberately kept some features back for the time being to ensure that users…can get used to how it works before adding more tools…”
22.    Google Play Music Updated To Version 4.3.606  http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/07/18/google-play-music-updated-to-version-4-3-606-brings-improved-ui-enhanced-playlist-support-and-more/  “If you use Google Play Music, then you may want to check your app updates - Music just got a pretty decent one. This new version brings a handful of useful features and enhancements…After messing around with it for just a few minutes, I can already say that this update is more intuitive and easier to use than previous versions of Music, as the swiping action is a much better way to navigate through the interface. Most of the other changes are more subtle, but welcome nonetheless…”
General Technology
23.    It's official, Windows 8 is coming October 26th 2012  http://www.winbeta.org/news/its-official-windows-8-coming-october-26th-2012  “Microsoft have just announced that the next version of Windows, Windows 8 is coming on October 26th 2012…When Windows 8 hits RTM in August, it shouldn't be long before users on Technet and MSDN get their hands on it, since they get early access to the ISO's…” [tell all your friends to buy a Win 7 machine quickly before WinVistsa2 hits the bricks – ed.]
24.    German Scientists Create Aerographite, the Lightest Material in the World  http://www.sciencespacerobots.com/blog/71720122  “A network of porous carbon tubes that is three-dimensionally interwoven at the nano and micro level is the lightest material in the world. The substance weighs just 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimeter. It is 75 times lighter than Styrofoam.  Scientists of Kiel University (KU) and Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) named their joint creation aerographite. The researchers describe aerographite as "jet black, remains stable, is electrically conductive, ductile and non-transparent."…In a streaming gas atmosphere that is enriched with carbon, the zinc oxide is being equipped with a graphite coating of only a few atomic layers. This forms the tanged-web structures of the Aerographite. Simultaneously, hydrogen is introduced. It reacts with the oxygen in the zinc oxide and results in the emission of steam and zinc gas. The very small masses of the aerographite allow quick changes of direction. This video shows aerographite jumping onto a plastic pole and back onto the table…”
25.    Get your Macs ready, OS X Mountain Lion drops tomorrow for $20  http://dvice.com/archives/2012/07/get-your-macs-r.php  “Fire up your Mac and start backing up your data because tomorrow the Mountain Lion roars, and it's going to be loud. Apple's next major operating system OS X Mountain Lion will descend into the Mac App Store tomorrow July 25. Here's 9 features we're most excited for. If you were happy with OS X Lion and Apple's decision to borrow elements from iOS for it, you're going to be very satisfied with Mountain Lion. OS X Mountain is not so much as a "new" operating system as it is further refinement of Lion…”
Leisure & Entertainment
26.    Toys Grow Up: LittleBits Picks Up $3.65M, PCH Deal To Build Out Its Open-Source Hardware Vision  http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/18/toys-grow-up-littlebits-picks-up-3-65m-pch-deal-to-build-out-its-open-source-hardware-vision/  “…LittleBits, an “open source hardware” startup that makes electronic building blocks to design objects for work and play, has today announced the addition of two significant building blocks of its own: it has picked up $3.65 million in funding; and has signed a manufacturing deal with PCH International to scale up its business. The Series A round of funding…will be used to staff up and expand the range of products from the 30 currently on offer…littleBits is part of a wider trend for tech startups based around hardware rather than software and services. But as much as it is an idea, the concept is also an ideal: founded by Ayah Bdeir, a TED Fellow and an alum of the MIT Media Lab…the goal, she says, is to “break the boundary” between ourselves and electronics…Part toy, part potentially useful prototyping aid, littleBits is a clever little system that lets people create electronic objects without any special skills…”
27.    Amazon Prime streaming library grows again with Warner Bros. TV shows  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/20/amazon-prime-warner-bros/  “…Amazon’s complimentary Prime streaming video library…is consistently growing. Amazon has forged a new licensing agreement with Warner Bros. to bring several of the entertainment company’s television shows to its Prime service…The agreement will give Amazon Prime Members free streaming access to shows like Dark Blue, Alcatraz, The Whole Truth…both Fringe and The West Wing will exclusively play through Amazon Prime Instant for at least the summer…Not only has Amazon added access to its Prime video streaming through gaming consoles like Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, but it’s also finally added a queue feature…”
28.    Vizio Co-Star Google TV set-top box is up for pre-order, $100 brings it your way in August  http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/24/vizio-co-star-google-tv-99-pre-order/  “…Vizio has starting taking pre-orders for its Co-Star Google TV box. For a penny less than a Benjamin, it adds the new Google TV experience to your existing setup, and brings along its remote with QWERTY keyboard on the underside and integrated IR blaster. Based on one of Marvell's ARM processors it's ready for apps like OnLive, and now that the price is competitive with the hockey puck streamers like Roku, Western Digital or Apple, we'll see which one consumers choose. August 14th is the current estimated shipping date, if you'd like to be the first with one (and take advantage of a "limited time" free shipping offer)…check out the press release and quick video preview embedded after the break…”
29.    Canon Will Start Selling Mirrorless Camera in September  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-23/canon-will-start-selling-mirrorless-camera-in-september  “The EOS M digital camera will go on sale in Japan starting from…$1,020 with a lens…Canon plans to initially produce 100,000 units of the camera a month, it said in the Nikon Corp. introduced its first mirrorless model in October, which left Canon as the only camera manufacturer among the four largest to still use mirrors in all of its single-lens- reflex models, high-end cameras that are favored by professionals and feature interchangeable lenses…Eight of the 20 best-selling cameras with interchangeable lenses in Japan last year were mirrorless models such as Sony Corp.’s NEX-5, according to research company BCN Inc. The models offer higher-quality pictures than traditional compact cameras, yet are smaller and lighter than single-lens-reflex models, or SLRs, that use mirrors…”
Economy and Technology
30.    Cash register maker NCR joins the pursuit of Square  http://gigaom.com/2012/07/17/cash-register-maker-ncr-joins-the-pursuit-of-square/  “Square’s list of big name competitors is officially getting another billion dollar company. NCR Corp., the Duluth, GA maker of cash registers and ATM machines, is now launching NCR Silver, a cloud-based point of sale product aimed at small businesses. NCR doesn’t have any products that reach down into the mobile payment market currently but it has carved out a team of 150 employees to tackle this opportunity…NCR Silver starts with a mobile card reader and an iPhone app that connects to an online dashboard, where users can track inventory,  profits and losses and run customer relationship management and email marketing. The system scales up with an iPad app, that comes with a stand and connects to an NCR wireless receipt printer and cash drawer. The full hardware package minus the iPad can be had for $619. Users will pay $79 a month to connect a mobile device and up to $29 a month each for additional devices. For the first 1,000 customers of NCR Silver, they’ll pay $39 a month for the life of the business. Like VeriFone, Intuit, PayAnywhere and PayPal, NCR sees an opportunity to use mobile devices to appeal to small business owner…” [from an innovation and raising-the-bar perspective, it seems likely none of the NCR / Pay Pal / Intuit activity would be occurring if Square hadn’t led the way and force the big guys to chase after them – ed.]
31.     Pay by Voice? So Long, Wallet  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/technology/personaltech/as-pay-by-phone-advances-square-takes-another-leap-state-of-the-art.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all  “…Yes, we used to drive to a store to rent a movie. Yes, there were huge patches of America where you couldn't get a cellphone signal. Yes, we used to pay for things with pieces of green paper and plastic rectangles…we can crack open the history book to 2012…That was the year when, for the first time, paying for things in stores required nothing more than saying your name to the cashier…In 2010, a company called Square invented a credit card reader in the shape of a tiny white plastic square…Suddenly anyone can accept cards: baby sitters, cabdrivers, farmer's market vendors, piano teachers, personal trainers, bake salers, carpenters and lawn-mowing teenagers…Unlike traditional credit card arrangements, there are no monthly fees or minimums, setup costs or variable percentages. There aren't even equipment costs; the headphone-jack reader is free. There truly are no other costs or catches…Square went viral…Where there's a hit, there's a copycat, or a whole litter of them…Intuit offers something called GoPayment…mPowa is aimed at big companies that want the money to flow directly into their own accounts -- not be deposited first into a holding account, as Square, Intuit…PayAnywhere's notable feature is that it takes the lowest cut of all: 2.69 percent…PayPal…rate is a hair lower than Square's (2.7 percent), and its reader is a triangle instead of a square…The little-guy-accepting-cards racket is heating up. But to Square, that's all been just a warm-up act. The main event is even more disruptive…a big something -- called Pay With Square. You walk into a shop or cafe. The cashier knows that you're on the premises…He rings up your items by tapping them on the iPad…now the magic moment: To pay, you just say your name. The cashier compares your actual face with the photo on the iPad's screen, taps O.K., and the transaction is complete. No cash, no cards, no signatures -- you don't even have to take the phone out of your pocket. It's glorious for you…It's fantastic for the merchant, because lower friction (hassle) means more sales…All of this is free for both you and (except for the usual 2.7 percent Square fee) the merchant…Using GPS, the app automatically lists shops and cafes near you that offer the Pay With Square system…Square says that 75,000 merchants already accept Pay With Square…”
32.    The store circular evolved: LocalResponse and ShopLocal help retailers target mobile customers  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/18/localresponse-shoplocal-mobile-circular/  “Today’s shoppers likely spend more time looking at their smartphones than weekly in-store circulars. Hoping to take advantage of this new trend, intent marketing company LocalResponse and ShopLocal, which helps stores digitize their circulars, have joined forces for what could be the next step in shopping. Using LocalResponse’s real-time consumer intent data (based on check-ins and social media posts about specific stores and brands), retailers will be able to push ads to consumers’ smartphones that point to in-store discounts, coupons, and loyalty rewards, all powered by ShopLocal’s SmartCircular product. Think of it like this: Instead of poring over a paper circular every week, you’ll be able to check into a store and receive the best deals relevant to you …”
33.    Apple buying land for expansion in Austin, Texas  http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2012/07/17/apple-buys-austin-land-from-mcshane.html  “Apple Inc. is one step closer to making good on its plans to bring 3,600 new jobs and invest more than $300 million in Austin…McShane Development Co…sold three tracts of land to Apple on June 21. The exhibits indicate that the land is in the Milwood Section 20 subdivision near Parmer Lane and Delcour Drive…The Austin Business Journal previously reported that Apple planned to expand its current campus in Northwest Austin by 1 million square feet on 38.8 acres of land …”
34.    Microsoft reports first ever loss as public company  http://www.independent.ie/business/technology/microsoft-reports-first-ever-loss-as-public-company-3174514.html  “Microsoft has suffered its first quarterly loss in 26 years following an accounting adjustment to reflect a weak online ad business. The software company had warned that it was taking a $6.2bn charge because its 2007 purchase of online ad service aQuantive hasn't yielded the returns envisioned…Microsoft paid $6.3bn for aQuantive, only to see rival Google expand its share of the online ad market. The charge led to a $492m loss in the April to June quarter, or 6 cents a share. That compares with earnings of $5.9bn, or 69 cents, a year ago…Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Washington, has never previously reported a quarterly loss since the company's initial public offering in March 1986…Microsoft's fortunes are tied to the October release of Windows 8, the most extreme redesign of the company's flagship operating system since 1995 …”
35.    VMware Pays $1.26B for the Future of Networking  http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/07/vmware-buys-nicira/  “When Silicon Valley startup Nicira emerged from stealth mode earlier this year — wielding a new breed of computer network that exists only as software — you got the distinct feeling that VMware spent an awful lot of time kicking itself. VMware is the king the virtual server, a machine that exists only as software. The Palo Alto, California, company helps big businesses save both money and space by slotting many virtual machines onto a single physical server, and by some estimates, it controls as much as 80 percent of the market for these software machines. The obvious next step for the outfit is a big move into virtual networks — which simulate networking hardware in much the same way VMware simulates servers — but when Nicira appeared, VMware suddenly found itself years behind the competition. It’s no surprise then that VMware has agreed to pay $1.26 billion in cash and equity to acquire Nicira, less than six months after the startup officially announced its existence…Nicira’s software is already used by such names as AT&T, eBay, Japanese telecom NTT, financial giant Fidelity, and Rackspace, the Texas-based outfit that offers a cloud service along the lines of Amazon Web Services, and the technology underlying the Nicira network controller has heavily influenced Google and perhaps other big name web outfits…For months now, VMware has been pushing the idea of the “software-defined data center,” where storage and networking are virtualized as well as servers, and now, this push makes all the more sense. “This is clearly the architecture for the cloud, and from our perspective, it’s a multibillion-dollar opportunity — networking being central to all of it,” VMware chief technology officer Steve Herrod tells Wired. “The acquisition of Nicira accelerates this vision, but it also complements a lot of work we’ve done so far…”
DHMN Technology
36.    Brain Shift Radio Controls Mood with Music—Awesome or Creepy?  http://gizmodo.com/5927848/brain-shift-radio-controls-mood-with-musicawesome-or-creepy  “In Philip K. Dick's book Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep?...the lead character Rick Deckard and his wife alter their mental states with devices called Mood Organs. Rising in the morning, Deckard dials in a "businesslike professional attitude," while his vengeful wife selects no fewer than six hours of "self-accusatory depression."…the book posits that the Mood Organ is bad - a way to feel without meaning. Imagine, then, someone reading about the Mood Organ and deciding it was a bad idea only because it had been poorly executed. Enter Brain Shift Radio, an application built in part by Jeff Strong, a percussionist who spent more than a decade studying ethno-musicology and therapeutic rhythms. The resulting web app, which is free for unlimited use in this beta phase, harnesses "Rhythmic Entertainment Intervention" to let people "shift their brain" from one state to another. The user makes simple requests about how they'd like their mood to shift, and the system churns through research and data, spitting out an answer in the form of looped instrumentals purported to affect the brain in the specified way…You could select "I'm tired and feeling mentally groggy," and listen to a delightful ditty called "Metal Element" which "stimulates the lung and large intestine meridians of the Chinese medical system." You could also walk down to the corner shop instead, to purchase "Essence of Dragon Spine" from the man selling watches from a table. The difference: Brain Shift Radio works. Sort of…”
37.    Pi in the sky  http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1620  “…more of you have emailed me about this than about anything else that anybody has ever done with a Raspberry Pi. What you’ve just looked at are, we think, the highest ever photographs transmitted live from an amateur device in the UK world. Dave Akerman hooked a Raspberry Pi with a webcam and GPS up to a hydrogen balloon, which got nearly 40km up (39,994m, to be precise) before bursting. This means that Dave’s is the first Raspberry Pi to visit near space (it returned unharmed, and Dave was able to recover it)…If you want to learn more, visit Dave’s blog, where he has documented the flight minutely …”
38.    A Nation That’s Losing Its Maker Skills  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/business/what-happened-to-the-craftsmanship-spirit-essay.html?pagewanted=all  “…at a time when the American factory seems to be a shrinking presence, and when good manufacturing jobs have vanished, perhaps never to return, there is something deeply troubling about this dilution of American craftsmanship…It’s a social and cultural issue, as well as an economic one. The Home Depot approach to craftsmanship — simplify it, dumb it down, hire a contractor — is one signal that mastering tools and working with one’s hands is receding in America as a hobby, as a valued skill, as a cultural influence that shaped thinking and behavior…Traditional vocational training in public high schools is gradually declining…Colleges…have since 1985 graduated fewer chemical, mechanical, industrial and metallurgical engineers, partly in response to the reduced role of manufacturing…The decline started in the 1950s, when manufacturing generated a hefty 28 percent of the national income…Today, factory output generates just 12 percent of G.D.P…In an earlier generation, we lost our connection to the land, and now we are losing our connection to the machinery we depend on,” says Michael Hout, a sociologist…That’s one explanation for the decline in traditional craftsmanship. Lack of interest is another. The big money is in fields like finance…Young people grow up without developing the skills to fix things around the house…Manufacturing’s shrinking presence undoubtedly helps explain the decline in craftsmanship…Craft work has higher status in nations like Germany, which invests in apprenticeship programs for high school students. “Corporations in Germany realized that there was an interest to be served economically and patriotically in building up a skilled labor force at home; we never had that ethos,” says Richard Sennett, a New York University sociologist who has written about the connection of craft and culture. The damage to American craftsmanship seems to parallel the precipitous slide in manufacturing employment. Though the decline started in the 1970s, it became much steeper beginning in 2000. Since then, some 5.3 million jobs, or one-third of the work force in manufacturing, have been lost…We sit in rooms with manufacturers who tell us that location decisions to move overseas that were previously automatic are now a close call, and that the right policies can make a difference…As for craftsmanship itself, the issue is how to preserve it as a valued skill in the general population. Ms. Milkman, the sociologist, argues that American craftsmanship isn’t disappearing as quickly as some would argue — that it has instead shifted to immigrants. “Pride in craft, it is alive in the immigrant world …”
39.    Google Glass-Inspired Specs Can Translate Foreign Languages As They're Spoken  http://crave.cnet.co.uk/gadgets/raspberry-pi-smart-glasses-subtitle-foreigners-in-real-time-50008692/  “Wouldn't it be handy if when someone was speaking a foreign language, subtitles appeared just below their face? CNET reader Will Powell thought so, so he built some glasses that make you feel like you're in an arthouse movie. Using some 3D specs, a couple of mics, a smart phone, a few cables and two Raspberry Pi mini-computers, Powell hacked together a working automatic translation system -- and he's made a video showing it working. Powell, a programmer whose background is in Adobe Flex and AS3, was inspired by Google's high-concept Glass project…The glasses are "completely transparent, so it looks like they are in your normal field of vision," says Powell -- like a pilot's head-up display. Using a Microsoft API, the system can translate 37 languages. The Raspberry Pis, running the latest version of Debian Linux, power the subtitle interface and the TV display…”
Open Source Hardware
40.    Satellites in the shed? TEDGlobal announces the new DIY revolution  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jul/01/build-satellite-shed-new-diy-revolution?newsfeed=true  “Once upon a time, if you said you were doing a spot of DIY, everyone would know you'd be doing something involving wobbly ladders, pots of paint and, depending on the decade, either stripping your floors or recarpeting them. No more. Or at least ladders and pots of paint might still be involved, but the end result could be a aerial drone you've built yourself. Or a biotech lab…TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh – the festival known as "Davos for optimists" – shone a light on the DIY revolution – a movement that encompasses items ranging from manufacturing to synthetic biology to medicine. After a decade in which digital technologies have disrupted industries from music to the media, it's capitalism itself that is now under attack. A decade ago, open-source software revolutionised the internet. Now the idea has entered the realm of physical things: open-source hardware. Why stop at making your own website when you can make your own PC? Or car? Or satellite? Catarina Mota, a 38-year-old Portuguese PhD student, is typical of the new breed of DIYers, or, as they tend to call themselves, "makers". She's a member of a 40-strong "hackerspace" in New York – a co-operative workshop where members share tools such as laser cutters – and develops and makes "smart materials", ones that can change colour when you touch them or react to voltage. In the three years since she began, the maker movement, fuelled in part by the rapidly decreasing cost of 3D printers – devices that create objects layer by layer out of liquid plastic – has become a phenomenon. Mota's hackerspace, NYC Resistor, is one of the oldest, but there are now 1,500 in the world…”
41.     9 amazing Raspberry Pi case mods (including one that looks like a raspberry!)  http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/16/9-amazing-raspberry-pi-case-mods-including-one-that-looks-like-a-raspberry/  “Raspberry Pi, the $25 Linux PC that fits in your hand and runs off AA batteries, is finally shipping in bulk today. One of the most amazing things about this little baby is the case mods: innovative, interesting cases that hobbyists and tinkerers are creating for the tiny credit-card-sized computer. Here are a few that we’ve found that would make you the coolest computer user since Linus Torvalds created Linux…Not everyone can say they have a computer built by a 12-year-old kid. Biz is a young German girl with mad computer skillz and serious Lego talent. She’s even provided the instructions so that you can make your Raspberry Pi computer actually … look … like … a Raspberry…If lego is not your style and the cigarette case is just a little too James Dean … you can hardly beat this Apple-esque case by Marco Alici. Alici made this virtual prototype with design tools Blender and Yafaray, and is getting a prototype 3D-printed by Shapeways … after which he intends to make it available to others…”
Open Source
42.    Open source alternatives to Windows Home Server  http://www.bit-tech.net/bits/software/2012/07/19/replace-whs/1  “…Microsoft is to kill off Windows Home Server in favour of a cut-down version of Windows Server 2012…The low-cost, low-power Windows Home Server has proved popular since its introduction, and its absence is going to leave a hole in the market…Where Microsoft is departing, however, there are plenty of open-source solutions ready to fill the gap. Whether you use your Windows Home Server system for streaming videos and music, backing up client systems, or even monitoring your network, there’s an alternative already available - and it won’t cost you a penny to make the move. Although Microsoft has indicated that Windows Home Server will be available to original equipment manufacturers all the way through to 2025, system builders will likely be ditching the platform in droves. If your Windows Home Server install is still doing its job, you needn’t feel like you need to join them - but if you want to stay ahead of the curve, read on to see what options are open to you…”
43.    Free Resources to Help You Launch Your Open Source Project  http://ostatic.com/blog/free-resources-to-help-you-launch-your-open-source-project  “Have you been considering launching an open source project? Doing so involves a series of decisions that can give you a proper chance at rallying community support, staying on the right side of the law, and building a strong user base.  Issues pertaining to licensing, distribution, support options and even branding require thinking ahead if you want your project to flourish. In this post, you'll find our newly updated collection of good, free resources to pay attention to if you're starting an open source project. The Open Source Definition is where every project leader should start when it comes to how open source projects should be distributed, and what actually qualifies as open source. It's also good to review Open Standards requirements…the Software Freedom Law Center has a set of very good online resources on how open source licenses and copyrights work, and much more. Legal issues are smart to anticipate up front. The authors are attorneys who were part of creating popular open source licenses. It's also an excellent idea to keep up with urrent and archived editions of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review…”
Civilian Aerospace
44.    Rocketdyne sold to GenCorp for $550 million  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-rocketdyne-sale-20120724,0,3896547.story  “Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the pioneering rocket engine manufacturing business in the San Fernando Valley, has been sold by its parent company of seven years to Sacramento aerospace and technology firm GenCorp Inc. for $550 million. The sale of Rocketdyne to GenCorp marks the combination of two iconic California rocket companies — and longtime competitors. GenCorp also owns Aerojet, the Sacramento aerospace firm founded in 1942…Rocketdyne is no stranger to being sold. The company was formed by North American Aviation after World War II, spurred by the success of the German V-2 missile. North American later merged with Rockwell International, which became part of Boeing. In 2005, United Technologies Corp. bought Rocketdyne and merged it with its Pratt & Whitney unit. Rocketdyne builds rocket engines for NASA…”
45.    Satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe buys competitor GeoEye  http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/satellite-imagery-firm-digitalglobe-buys-competitor-geoeye-374630/  “…commercial satellite Earth imagery firms DigitalGlobe and GeoEye have finally agreed to merge. The merger…was in effect an acquisition of GeoEye by Digitalglobal worth $453 million…"The combination of DigitalGlobe and GeoEye creates a global leader in earth imagery and geospatial analysis," said Tarr…The agreement was the end result of a long running series of negotiations during which both firms had attempted to buy each other out. This happened, most recently in May when DigitalGlobe formally turned down an offer from rival GeoEye to buy the company for $17 per share in a combination of cash and stock…”
46.    Jefferson neuroscientist helping astronauts sleep better  http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20120723_Jefferson_neuroscientist_helping_astronauts_sleep_better.html  “A new sunrise takes place every 90 minutes. Docking maneuvers sometimes occur at odd hours. Then there's that feeling of apparent weightlessness. No wonder astronauts aboard the International Space Station can have a hard time getting a good night's sleep…George C. Brainard is advising NASA as it prepares to replace the aging fluorescent lights on the station with high-tech LED fixtures. The lights…can be adjusted to enhance or relax an astronaut's state of alertness at the appropriate time of day. The plan is the outgrowth of research by Brainard and others that has established how light plays a powerful role in regulating our various biological clocks. Changes in light exposure can affect sleep, digestion, cognitive performance, and mood — a phenomenon known to people who experience jet lag, night-shift work, or the seasonal blahs associated with the shorter days of winter…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
47.    Are FPGAs the future of password cracking and supercomputing?  http://www.extremetech.com/computing/133110-are-fpgas-the-future-of-password-cracking-and-supercomputing  “Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are versatile silicon chips that are proving to be extremely fast at certain operations. Laid out on silicon much like any other chip, FPGAs are packed with configurable logic blocks that are wired together with interconnects and switches, and a small amount of memory in the form of SRAM, EEPROM, or an antifuse for each programmable element. In addition, FPGAs also have some special hardware to govern global clock cycles (clock drivers) and can be fitted with specific-function embedded cores such as digital signal processors (DSP). The best part about FPGAs though, as their name suggests, is that they are fully programmable…Unlike a traditional CPU or GPU, FPGAs do not run code…FPGAs…are hard wired in a way that, for sake of simplicity and visualization, essentially means that the FPGA is the program (rather than it running a program)…Although they run at much lower clockspeeds than “hardwired” CPUs and GPUs, they are truly parallel designs…FPGAs can accelerate simulations, encryption and decryption tasks, Bitcoin mining, and can even be used to brute force passwords…even though GPUs run at 1GHz+ and have thousands of stream processors, they are still being beaten by FPGAs that use less power and run at much lower clockspeed…a new FPGA board from Pico Computing that uses six Xilinx Virtex-6 LX240T FPGAs and 3GB of DDR3 memory has the approximate computational power of 400 eight-core Intel E5-2687W processors — or ten AMD Radeon 7970 graphics cards — and it is able to do this drawing only 150 watts (much less than even one GPU, much less ten)…”
48.    Researchers Squeeze GPU Performance from 11 Big Science Apps  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-07-18/researchers_squeeze_gpu_performance_from_11_big_science_apps.html  “The GPGPU faithful received another round of encouraging news this week. In a report  published this week, researchers documented that GPU-equipped supercomputers enabled application speedups between 1.4x and 6.1x across a range of well-known science codes. While those results aren't the order of magnitude performance increases that were being bandied about in the early days of GPU computing, the researchers were encouraged that the technology is producing consistently good results with some of the most popular HPC science applications in the world…The ensuing report…detailed the performance GPU acceleration across the science application spectrum -- biology, chemical physics, combustion, nuclear fission and fusion, material science, seismology, molecular dynamics, and climatology. The 11 simulation codes tested --  S3D, Denovo, LAMMPS, WL-LSMS, CAM-SE, NAMD, Chroma, QMCPACK, SPECFEM-3D, GTC, and CP2K -- are used by tens of thousands of researchers worldwide. NAMD alone has over 50 thousand users…”