NEW NET Weekly List for 30 Apr 2013

Below is the final list of technology news and issues for the Tuesday, 30 April 2013, 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.        Time Warner Cable sees the Google Fiber threat and offers Austin free Wi-Fi  http://gigaom.com/2013/04/25/time-warner-cable-sees-the-google-fiber-threat-and-offers-austin-free-wi-fi/  “Competition is grand. With Google planning to build out a fiber-to-the-home network in Austin, Texas next year, the local incumbent broadband providers are tweaking their models. AT&T has threatened to build its own fiber to the home, gigabit network provided it gets the same concessions from state and city officials that Google did. And Time Warner Cable? Well, it’s offering Austin subscribers free Wi-Fi…Time Warner said that existing customers with its standard cable package or above can log onto a city-wide Wi-Fi network the cable company is building out. Why now? Time Warner cites Google Fiber’s plans as a reason to kick its free Wi-Fi project into gear…” [not only does a national ISP improve their service because of Google Fiber coming to town, but they openly admit that true competition is the reason they’re providing a service that apparently won’t be bad for their shareholders *and* will be a better deal for their customers – ed.]
2.       Digg Owner Betaworks Buys Instapaper For Social Reading And Discovery  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/25/betaworks-instapaper/  “Last summer…hybrid investor / incubator / holding company thing Betaworks acquired social news site Digg and relaunched it soon after, hoping to bring back some of its mojo in the process. Nine months later, Betaworks has acquired another news-oriented application, this time bringing Marco Arment’s popular story-saving app Instapaper into the fold…the acquisition clarifies Betaworks’ role as a company that builds and operates multiple products, rather than just as an incubation space for new ideas which eventually got spun out. And, more importantly, with Instapaper’s purchase model, it makes Betaworks into a company that actually makes money…” [seems like an easily-but-intelligently customizable social news/links/recommendations service should be useful and achievable, but so far that type of product suited to my wants is not available to the best of my knowledge; it will likely come in the guise of a truly useful ‘personal assistant’ service – ed.]
3.       Shopping Tax Free on the Web Nears End  http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424127887324743704578445220306876996-lMyQjAxMTAzMDIwNTEyNDUyWj.html#  “Online shoppers, beware. Freedom from sales taxes is on the way out…in a 63-to-30 procedural vote, the Senate cleared the way for passage of a bill to effectively end tax-free shopping online.  A final Senate vote is scheduled for May 6. The bill, called the Marketplace Fairness Act, would allow states to require online sellers around the country to collect sales tax for them on purchases made by their residents. Big online sellers have expanded their physical operations nationwide, building warehouses and other facilities to speed delivery, while traditional stores increasingly have an online presence. That has turned the tables for the online retailers, which had benefitted richly from not having to charge shoppers a sales tax on their goods in most states. With their advantage eroding, the Web stores have become part of a surge of corporate support helping to propel the Senate bill toward likely passage…The legislation would effectively replace a 1992 Supreme Court decision, made in the early days of the commercial Internet, that held that a state couldn't force a retailer to collect sales tax unless the retailer had a physical presence in the state…Amazon.com Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. are all supporting the bill. EBay Inc. is lobbying to limit the bill's effects, not kill it outright, a sign it sees passage of some version as unavoidable…”
4.       Rural Phone Company Offers Fiber Internet Cheaper Than Google  http://live.drjays.com/index.php/2013/04/28/a-rural-phone-company-offers-fiber-internet-cheaper-than-google/  “…Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) is now offering gigabit internet for $35 a month, half the price of Google Fiber’s equivalent service…VTel currently covers 17,500 homes in Vermont, and has 600 subscribers for its new service. It was able to update it’s century-plus old infrastructure thanks to $94 million in federal stimulus money…Google and Vtel could be seen as (very different) twin prongs in the charge against entrenched cable and internet providers. A handful of companies like TimeWarner, Comcast, and AT&T have long controlled the market due to the prohibitively high costs of creating new cable infrastructure, and their ability to defeat smaller competitors. This control has also kept down faster internet speeds…”
5.        Collaborate in real time with cross-platform mindmapper Coggle  http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=71FA1FBF-CB33-F1B8-203405AA0E8AE7D3  “Few people get excited about remotely collaborating with others anymore. Google Hangouts made video conferencing commonplace, and combined with Google Docs' real-time collaboration capabilities, working with a distributed team in real-time is easier than ever before. But one form of collaboration doesn't always get the love it deserves: mind mapping. This simple and powerful way to visually represent concepts can help move along any agenda and make complicated topics easier to digest, but isn't included in Google Docs by default. Coggle is a simple and free mind-mapping solution that fills the void, offering real-time collaboration and easy editing. Like MindMup, Coggle is based on HTML5, requiring nothing but a modern browser to work…”
6.       The most rewarding problems require collaboration  http://www.inman.com/2013/04/24/the-most-rewarding-problems-require-collaboration/  “There are lots of tools for collaborating online. Google Docs is…the go-to standby for sharing text and spreadsheet documents. Evernote shared notebooks are another way of sharing files and text documents…there’s Dropbox as a…shared hard drive in the sky…the amount of actual collaboration that occurs on these platforms varies…I find myself using Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote to share stuff with other people. But there’s rarely much collaboration. I suspect this has something to do with the way the documents and relationships with potential collaborators are structured. Once a word processing document has been started, the next people along might feel less like creating anything than editing. Perhaps go in and make a couple quick cleanups…where the structure of the relationship isn’t truly collaborative, the formality of standard text documents and spreadsheets may hinder true collaboration…In tech and marketing, whiteboards are the place where creative things happen. If not a whiteboard, then a large sheet of paper…When you don’t have a whiteboard, your culture doesn’t collaborate…unstructured problems are the most interesting and lucrative to work on…a digital whiteboard tool called Realtime Board…takes all the non-structured problem-solving fun of a whiteboard and stuffs it into a cloud-based web application…many of us are collaborating across vast distances and at different times of day. Web-based digital tools are useful to deal with this reality. Realtime Board lets you do all the stuff you want with a whiteboard: write, draw, paste pictures up and so on. It gives you a digital space to collaborate…” [have you used any digital whiteboards that were free and effective for remote collaboration? – ed.]
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
7.        How Federal Distracted-Driving Guidelines Will Shape Your Next Phone  http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/04/nhtsa-dot-distractions/  “Uncle Sam wants automakers to make it impossible for you to text your wife, check Facebook and watch a video while you’re driving — suggestions that could have just as much impact on mobile phone manufacturers as automakers. The guidelines…not requirements – are laid out in a 281-page report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…“These guidelines recognize that today’s drivers appreciate technology, while providing automakers with a way to balance the innovation consumers want with the safety we all need…Distracted driving accounted for 10 percent of all traffic deaths in 2011, when 3,331 people were killed…The main thrust of the recommendations is limiting the amount of time the driver takes his eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, with a maximum of two seconds for each input and total of 12 seconds to complete a task…whenever the vehicle is in motion…NHTSA wants automakers to nix the ability to enter text for messaging and internet browsing, disable any kind of video functionality (think Skype, FaceTime and watching the latest Lady Gaga video) and prevent text-based information from being displayed…Most of the recommendations are common sense, like limiting text input and what can be displayed on screens or the windshield. But others are more far reaching, like avoiding 3D or photorealistic images for navigation…NHTSA plans to release two more studies over the next two years to address mobile phones and other portable devices that could be used in vehicles, along with a study on voice-activated controls. Here’s where Samsung, HTC and Apple have something to worry about…”
8.       Use your personal smartphone for work email and your company might take it  http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/23/17864332-use-your-personal-smartphone-for-work-email-your-company-might-take-it?lite  “If you use your personal smartphone or tablet to read work email, your company may have to seize the device some day, and you may not get it back for months. Employees armed with a battery of smartphones and other gadgets they own are casually connecting to work email and other employer servers. It's a less-than-ideal security arrangement that technology pros call BYOD — bring your own device. Now, lawyers are warning there's an unforeseen consequence of BYOD. If a company is involved in litigation — civil or criminal — personal cellphones that were used for work email or other company activity are liable to be confiscated and examined for evidence during discovery or investigation…”
9.       Put Shields Up To Protect Your WordPress Site  http://fossforce.com/2013/04/how-to-put-your-shields-up-to-protect-your-wordpress-site/  “…WordPress, is under attack by black hat hackers. These attacks are being waged primarily against sites using the WordPress platform that are not being hosted on wordpress.com…a small botnet is being used to break into the back door of WordPress sites in an apparent attempt to build a super botnet…for several months we here at FOSS Force have been keeping a wary eye on our sites as we’ve witnessed increasing attempts to crack the security we have in place on our WordPress installations. Last week…a WordPress test site that’s not easily reachable by the public began to come under attack. The type of brute force attack that’s being used in this case is fairly common and is relatively easy to defend against…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
10.     Firefox OS developer phones sold out  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57580893-94/firefox-os-developer-phones-sold-out/  “…the new Firefox OS phones…The Keon and the Peak popped up for sale today courtesy of manufacturer/seller Geeksphone. But the two phones already appear on the company's Web site as "out of stock."…Priced at $119, the Keon is the budget-oriented model with a 3.5-inch 480x320-pixel screen. At $195, the Peak offers a 4.3-inch 960x540-pixel multitouch screen…The two Firefox OS phones aren't meant for consumers; rather they're designed for developers who want working models to test their apps for Mozilla's mobile operating system. Mainstream Firefox OS phones are expected to be manufactured by such companies as ZTE, Alcatel, LG Electronics, and Huawei for release next year…”
11.      AT&T 6M smartphones in Q1 account for 9 out of 10 AT&T device sales  http://gigaom.com/2013/04/23/att-sells-6m-smartphones-in-q1-accounting-for-9-out-of-10-device-sales/  “…AT&T…in Q1…posted a net increase of 291,000 new subscribers, sold a first-quarter record 6 million smartphones and even saw a surprising uptick in connected tablet sales…the iPhone was a big driver of its smartphone performance, accounting for 4.8 million activations…At the end of March, 72 percent of AT&T’s contract phone customers now owns smartphone, and nearly nine of ten new phones purchased sports an smartphone OS…”
12.     Japanese upstart creates Telepathy One, Google Glass-type device with manga app  http://japandailypress.com/japanese-upstart-creates-google-glass-type-device-with-manga-app-2427602  “While it may not threaten the future of Google Glass directly, Japanese entrepreneur Takahito Iguchi and his lean team of 8 people are in the process of developing Telepathy One, a wearable image-streaming device. What’s more, one of the first apps they used is one that will make you see the world through “manga eyes”. Just like Google Glass, the user has to wear the device like eyeglasses, but this one has ear buds and there is an optically projected small screen in front of the eyes of the wearer, while a partner captures the images, using a cell phone app, that the user sees on the screen. The developers say that later on, the user can take photos and videos from the headset itself and then stream it to the cellphone app. Iguchi says that the main purpose of Telepathy One is for the user to be able to share to anyone they want what they are seeing, right at that moment…”
13.     Global Tipping Point, More Smartphones Were Shipped in Q1 2013 Than Feature Phones  http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24085413  “…In the worldwide smartphone market, vendors shipped 216.2 million units in 1Q13, which marked the first time more than half (51.6%) the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones. The market grew 41.6% compared to the 152.7 million units shipped in 1Q12, but 5.1% lower than the 227.8 million units shipped in 4Q12…”
14.     MacBook Pro declared 'best-performing' Windows laptop  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57581290-37/macbook-pro-declared-best-performing-windows-laptop/  “A PC services company placed Apple computers in the No. 1 and No. 6 slots as the best-performing Windows laptops. The MacBook Pro 13 was rated the best-performing Windows laptop. One of the biggest reasons: 'every Windows installation on it is clean.'…Soluto…was quick to explain its finding. A main factor in this machine's metrics is the fact that every Windows installation on it is clean. With PC manufacturers loading so much crapware on new laptops, this is a bit of an unfair competition. But, on the other hand, PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform just as well as a cleanly installed MacBook Pro…But there's method in Soluto's metrics: "We simply compared the real PCs in the field....We believe it's more representative of reality…”
15.     HTC sells an LTE phone that sidesteps AT&T  http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/23/4254254/htc-does-what-google-wouldnt-sell-an-lte-phone-without-att-nonsense  “You won't see it advertised on billboards or television, you won't hear it mentioned in a carrier store, and your less technologically-savvy friends most certainly won't know about it — but quietly, HTC's done something extraordinarily important this month: it's broken AT&T's stranglehold on its nationwide LTE network. It's a move that even Google, for all its money, power, and influence, didn't make with the Nexus 4. Like T-Mobile and essentially every other carrier in the world that relies exclusively on a SIM to identify your phone on the network, AT&T will happily let a customer bring their own hardware — you don't need to buy an AT&T-branded phone to use the service. But since AT&T's LTE airwaves launched in 2011, the only flagship phones and tablets capable of actually using it have been AT&T-branded, meaning that you're subject to all the typical heartache that comes with owning carrier-branded equipment: pre-installed crapware, glacial firmware update schedules that are at the mercy of carrier testing and approval, ugly carrier logos, the list goes on. If you've wanted to avoid the mess, you've typically had to import a gray-market phone from Europe or Asia that only supports HSPA or HSPA+, not LTE…”
16.     Path, a More Personal Social Networking App, Is Adding 1 Million New Users a Week  http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/04/25/path-a-social-diary-app-is-adding-1-million-new-users-a-week/  “…Path, a more intimate social-networking app that’s like a personal journal, is now growing by 1 million registered users a week after its most recent launch. The newest version of Path includes a way to message your friends — for which Path limits to 150 — and send them stylized stickers like other top messaging apps. Around half of Path’s registered users (now at 9 million) are regularly using the app on a monthly basis…Path is starting to creep up on the top-grossing charts. Path sells packages of stickers and filters, and while Morin wouldn’t comment on how much the company is making, he said it’s “doing quite well, better than we expected…”
17.     Swype Launches at Google Play, Adds Dragon Dictation for Voice-to-Text  http://lifehacker.com/swype-launches-at-google-play-adds-dragon-dictation-fo-479396293  “…Swype, one of our favorite Android keyboards, finally shed its long-held beta tag…and made its way over to Google Play, where it's available for $1. The official version comes bundled with Dragon Dictation for enhanced voice-to-text, and adds a few new features for the typo-prone. If you use voice-to-text with Swype, there's a lot to like about the update. The latest version adds support for national and regional dialects in various languages, and comes bundled with Dragon Dictation's own speech-to-text engine so it can quickly recognize words as you say them (and bypasses Google's speech-to-text feature entirely). Swype's "smart edit" feature has been improved so you can tap a word to immediately edit it as opposed to just move the cursor there. The new "smart touch" feature aims to learn from your most commonly corrected typos so it can predict and correct them before you have to. Swype is available now at Google Play for $1. It's no longer free like it was in beta, but it is more affordable than the community favorite, SwiftKey…”
18.     Can You Live Without Google?  http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/04/life_without_google_when_my_account_was_suspended_i_felt_like_i_d_been_dumped.single.html  “One recent Thursday morning, I logged into my email and made an alarming discovery. Instead of opening my inbox, Google directed me to a notice: “Account has been disabled. … In most cases, accounts are disabled if we believe you have violated either the Google Terms of Service, product-specific Terms of Service … or product-specific policies. … [I]t might be possible to regain access to your account.” It was like I’d gotten dumped, via text message, by someone en route to Cabo. The vagaries left me reeling. I read the terms and policies, but they offered few clues. There were no numbers to call, no tickets to request help. I had a real problem with how things ended, so I filled out a form and sent it into the ether. What exactly had I done wrong?...Google manages a whopping 343 million active Google+ accounts…Google strategically avoids the crush of users by offering little in the way of direct customer service. My calls to Mountain View HQ landed me in a labyrinth of recorded messages that inevitably led to one of a man, sounding only slightly less exasperated than I felt, shutting me down with a “Thankyougoodbye.” A few minutes into my Google-less existence, I realized how dependent I had become. I couldn’t finish my work or my taxes, because my notes and expenses were stored in Google Drive, and I didn’t know what else I should work on because my Google calendar had disappeared. I couldn’t publicly gripe about what I was going through, because my Blogger no longer existed. My Picasa albums were gone. I’d lost my contacts and calling plan through Google Voice; otherwise I would have called friends to cry…”  [If you’d like to help me build a cohesive and comprehensive alternative to the GoogleSuite, please contact me at bwaldron {att} gmail (dott) com – ed.]
19.     Google pushes more chat, collaboration features onto Drive  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/25/google-anonymous-animals/  “Google keeps integrating Google+ deeper into all of its products and today it’s Drive’s turn. When you open a file in Drive, you will now see the Google+ profile pictures of other viewers at the top of the document. Hovering over them brings up their Google+ card with their cover image and which Google+ circle you currently have them in…Google is also making it a bit easier to start group chats in Drive. You can now simply select the new chat button at the top right of the page and start chatting away. In the previous version, you first had to open up a drop-down menu to see who else was looking at a document and then start a chat from there…”
20.    Improved File Viewer Chrome Browser Extension For MS Office Documents   http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/25/google-brings-its-new-and-improved-file-viewer-for-ms-office-documents-to-chrome-beta/  “If you regularly need to open Microsoft Office documents in the browser, Google now offers you a new Chrome extension that renders Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly in the browser. Currently, these documents open in a Drive-based viewer, but after you install the new Chrome Office Viewer (which is officially still in beta), these documents will open directly in the browser. Until now, this feature was limited to Chromebooks, but now it’s also available for Chrome on Windows and Mac. You do need to run Chrome Beta, however, as it’s not available for the stable release channel of Chrome just yet…”
21.     Google Buys Wavii For North Of $30 Million  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/23/google-buys-wavii-for-north-of-30-million/  “Google has finally closed the deal on Wavii, a natural language processing startup, for a price that is more than $30 million…The 25-person-strong team, including founder Adrian Aoun, will be moving down from Seattle to join Google’s Knowledge Graph division…one would think that Wavii would be a better fit for Google Now, as a smarter Siri alternative that actually was aware of important stories and news. But Wavii’s semantic search knowledge is also a valid addition to Google Knowledge, as it could further contextualize the information Google currently shows on the sidebar of most searches…”
22.    Google Now could be Google's new home page  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57580802-93/google-now-could-be-googles-new-home-page/  “A Chrome browser extension and some code hidden on a Web site indicate that Google might replace iGoogle with a desktop version of Google Now. The unconfirmed report on Google Operating System, a blog that's not affiliated with Google, highlights code on a Web page that it says Google uses to test new features. In this case, the code calls out "Google Now" in instructions on what the new features do. The code also contains an introduction to Google Now: "Get started with Google Now. Just the right information at just the right time." Google Now debuted last year as a personal assistant that also offered predictive search in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Google revealed last summer that its previous customizable home page, iGoogle, would be shut down on November 1, 2013…”
23.    The photorealistic atmosphere in Google Earth 7.1  http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2013/04/the-photorealistic-atmosphere-in-google-earth-7-1.html  “The release of Google Earth 7.1 brought with it a number of nice enhancements, including the new starry sky, but the best-looking might just be the new experimental “photorealistic atmosphere” option…The new feature is still being tested and may be a bit buggy, but can be enabled on your computer right now if you go to [Tools] –> [Options] –> “Use photorealistic atmosphere rendering“. To get a view similar to the image above, you need to do a few things.  First, of course, enable the photorealistic atmosphere.  Next, you’ll need to turn on the sun by using the [View] –> “Sun” option (or by clicking the sun icon at the top of the screen).  Lastly, to enable the sun to reflect on the water you’ll need to have the water surface enabled by going to [View] –> “Water Surface…”
24.    Google's Tech City Draws Hordes  http://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2013/04/23/googles-tech-city-draws-hordes/  “Google…opened its Campus London coworking space one year ago and in that time has come to permanently house over 100 fledgling companies and hosted more than 850 events for 60,000 guests, according to the company. Tech-based startups account for about 59% of the companies that call Google ’s London Campus home. As any coworking space worth its salt, the seven-floor Google hub in London has free high speed WiFi throughout, café (run by foodie startups, of course), lounging areas, educational programs and a seedcamp. The facility maintains a pretty active schedule of events which, at the very least, could keep the networking-minded potential founder sidetracked for days. Events such as “Speed Dating & Pitching,” ecommerce site launching seminars and talks about social media seem to cover many base…”
25.    NYT Releases Its Headline-Reading Google Glass App  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/25/the-new-york-times-releases-its-headline-reading-google-glass-app/  “…newly minted Glass Explorers now have something else to do besides taking first-person photos. The New York Times just pulled back the curtain on its own Glass-friendly app…for the ambitious headset (Path was technically the first third-party app, but it’s preloaded on early versions of the device)…Google developer advocate Timothy Jordan first showed off an early version of the New York Times Glass app at SXSW 2013 in Austin…which pipes new news and headlines to the head-mounted display at regular intervals. Navigating through that stream of news seemed easy enough: a quick tilt of the head would allow the user to sift through photos and full articles…”
General Technology
26.    Intel’s Long Awaited Return to the Memory Business  http://www.realworldtech.com/intel-dram/  “…Memory is a critical element of any computing platform, hence a crucial concern for Intel. Since the company’s 1985 exit from the business, there have been occasional flirtations with DRAM. In the 1990’s, Intel attempted to proliferate high bandwidth Rambus memory as the successor to SDRAM. This ultimately ended in an expensive and embarrassing failure due to the high cost of RDRAM…Intel eventually ended up supporting DDR memory for the P4, following AMD’s lead with the K8. A decade later, Intel would embark upon a slightly different project aimed at improving bandwidth and capacity for servers with Fully Buffered DIMMs…FB-DIMMs used commodity DRAMs with special buffer chips…The FB-DIMM interface reduced the number of pins and enabled high capacity memory configurations without reducing bandwidth. Unfortunately, the buffer chips…never took off for mainstream servers…Intel ended up adopting DDR3 for 1-2 socket Xeons, starting with Nehalem…Intel’s upcoming generation of SoCs include the new Haswell CPU microarchitecture, and a new GPU microarchitecture that spans a wide range of performance. The integrated graphics…high-end GT3…includes dedicated DRAM, primarily for the graphics and video cores. One of the key technical differentiators between discrete and integrated graphics is dedicated bandwidth, so the performance impact should be quite significant…”
27.    Cree 60W LED replacement bulb review  http://www.designingwithleds.com/cree-60w-led-replacement-bulb-review-and-tear-down/?ModPagespeed=noscript  “Cree has entered the LED replacement bulb market with its own name brand bulb. Cree is offering both a 40W and 60W version of the light…Here are the specs: Dimmable…800 lumens…Life expectancy: 22.8 years, based on 3 hrs/day…Warranty: 10 years…Power: 9.5W…$12.97 ea…(The 40W-replacement version costs $9.97 and uses 6W.)…It’s similar in looks to a 60W incandescent bulb…It dims quite nicely, with absolutely no flicker…Along with flicker, audible noise is a bugbear for many LED bulbs. How does the Cree stack up? I had to get my ear within 12 inches to hear any hum at all…”
28.    Physicists Build World’s First “Magnetic Hose” For Transmitting Magnetic Fields  http://www.technologyreview.com/view/514201/physicists-build-worlds-first-magnetic-hose-for-transmitting-magnetic-fields/  “One of the more important properties of electromagnetic waves is that they can be transmitted over almost unlimited distance. However, the same cannot be said of magnetic fields…magnetic fields rapidly decay with the distance from the sources,”…That looks set to change. These guys say they’ve discovered how to transmit magnetic fields over long distances using a ‘magnetic hose’. They’ve even demonstrated the technique for the first time with a proof of principle device…The trick is to create bespoke materials–metamaterials–that interact with the fields at a sub wavelength scale, guiding them in specific, predetermined ways. Their conclusion is that a “magnetic hose” consisting of concentric tubes of superconducting and ferromagnetic materials ought to do the trick. They say that a tube consisting of 20 concentric rings that is about ten times longer than it is wide, should transmit about 90 per cent of a magnetic field at one end to the other.  Indeed, a tube of just 2 concentric rings should transmit about 75 per cent…”
29.    LED streetlamp aims to improve public's view of stars  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22292129  “Researchers believe they have come up with a new type of LED-powered streetlamp that could radically reduce light pollution. Current designs "leak" large amounts of light in unwanted directions, obscuring views of the stars, wasting energy and making it harder for drivers to see…conventional street lamps - which use high-pressure sodium or mercury vapour - scatter up to 20% of their energy horizontally or vertically because it is difficult to control their beams…”
30.    Massive deposit of lithium in Wyoming could meet U.S. demand  http://www.treehugger.com/cars/vast-reserves-lithium-found-wyoming-could-meet-all-us-demand.html  “…the U.S. imports more than 80% of the lithium it uses. Despite the fact that Bolivia alone has enough lithium reserves for 4.8 billion electric cars and that lithium can be recycled from old batteries (it doesn't disappear after use like oil), some people are concerned about our civilization's increased dependence on the soft silver-white metal. It's true that the [Li] element is finding its way into everything, from phones to cars. But most signs seem to point toward lithium's availability going up and its price going down over time, not the reverse. This would be great for the electrification of transportation via plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars…researchers at the University of Wyoming…found lithium - a lot of it - in Rock Springs Uplift, a geological feature in southwest Wyoming. Data so far suggests that brines from a 25-square-mile area could contain 228,000 tons of lithium. That's enough to meet annual U.S. demand, and almost twice as much as the reserves from the biggest domestic lithium producer…”
Leisure & Entertainment
31.     Grooveshark Introduces Broadcast To Let Anyone Become Their Own Online DJ  http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/22/grooveshark-broadcast/  “…back at the dawn of the Internet age, there was this thing called Winamp.* Once upon a time, it was the best way to listen to MP3 files, before iTunes swallowed all music sales and Pandora and Spotify convinced us to stream, rather than download…But the best part of Winamp was Shoutcast, which was a plugin that allowed regular users to create playlists and broadcast them to other listeners…a lot has changed since then, and there aren’t that many great apps for creating human-curated broadcasts of all their favorite music…Well now there’s a solution. Grooveshark, the streaming music site, has created a way for its users to create their own live streaming playlists, enabling them to share their favorite music…The Grooveshark Broadcast feature, which becomes available later this week, basically enables anyone to become an online music DJ, creating live and on-demand broadcasts that anyone can listen to…”
32.    Asus ships Cube Internet streaming device with Google TV  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2036224/asus-ships-cube-internet-streaming-device-with-google-tv.html  “Asus is shipping its Google TV streaming device called Cube, which will become available starting this week for $140. Originally called the "Qube," the product is shaped like a cube, and attracted attention for its small size when originally announced…beyond streaming movies from Google Play and Netflix, users can also watch their own stored movies from the 50GB of free cloud storage provided with the device…The Cube joins a growing market of TVs, set-top boxes, and streaming devices trying to unite broadcast and Internet content. Other Google TV products include Vizio's Co-Star, LG's 3D LED smart TV models, Sony's Internet Player, Netgear's NeoTV Prime and Hisense's Pulse. Other TV companion boxes include Roku, Apple's Apple TV, and Western Digital's WDTV. Intel is releasing a streaming device later this year that the company claims will get rid of the cable box…”  [since the NEW NET favorite is Roku, in what ways could Roku be improved? –ed.]
33.    CraftStudio, a game for making games (is that recursive?)  http://www.diygamer.com/2012/03/craftstudio-game-development-for-gamers/  “…A new game making tool is in the making but needs funding to be fully realised – it’s called CraftStudio and the idea is to turn game development into a game itself…quite a market has emerged for easy-to-use game making tools…With games such as Minecraft, LittleBig Planet and Terraria; it’s been proven that many gamers are quite the creative souls if given the right tools. CraftStudio takes this to the next logical step and brings these tools in one big package…It won’t be a solo effort either as one of the main aims is to bring real-time collaborative game making so that players may make games together and help each other out…by removing the hurdles in game development the minds behind CraftStudio are hoping that they will open up a world where anyone can make a game…thus giving birth to a revolution…The developers of CraftStudio are even going to be making a game with their tools – a dungeon crawler called Project Waffle…”  http://sparklinlabs.com/2013/04/craftstudio-beta-is-released/  “…CraftStudio Beta is finally out! After over 4 months of work, this new release is a huge step towards making CraftStudio more polished, easy-to-use and powerful…”
34.    Sony launches new digital binoculars that record what you see  http://venturebeat.com/2013/04/23/sony-launches-new-digital-binoculars-that-record-what-you-see/  “Sony has unveiled a pair of binoculars with digital technology that allow you to record whatever you view…The second generation of Sony’s digital binoculars, dubbed the DEV-50V, lets you record what you’re looking at while you’re still looking at it through lenses that can give you up to 25 times magnification. The new model is great for everything from watching your kid’s school play to filming wildlife from a distance. You can use them to watch sports events and capture “the wow moments” at the same time. The device has a Sony Bionz image processor that allows you to record high-definition video in formats that include MPEG-4 and 3D HD: AVCHD. It can also capture 20.4-megapixel still images. The device has a built-in stereo microphone and has a monoral speaker. You can record to…SD memory cards…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
35.    Y Combinator’s Value to The US Economy  https://blog.siasto.com/y-combinators-value-to-the-us-economy  “…Y Combinator…has had a significant impact on the national economy since its launch in 2005. Started by Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Trevor Blackwell and Robert Morris, the program has gone on to invest in over 500 startup companies while guiding many more…On average, the accelerator has invested between $15,000 to $20,000 in each company participating in their program (an incomplete list can be found: here), with roughly 2-3 founders in most cases. In the wider context of the economy, the effects on job creation, company growth and innovation have been substantial…Using publicly available data…we ascertained employee count…increases in technology jobs since YC was started and we estimated salaries at startups with announced funding…we calculate an economic value of around $6.1 bn added since the accelerator was founded in 2005…with a cool 3,000 jobs created in the US alone and over 800 job postings on YC backed companies websites…this is comparable to the market capitalization of Akami or Rackspace…with a staff count nearing Facebook proportions…software tools like Heroku (eventually acquired by Salesforce at a value of $250m in 2010) have allowed millions of apps to be built by developers across the globe, home owners have been able to unlock value in their spare room or couch…car owners can rent out their vehicles…The infrastructure that has been created by these big and small businesses is creating new opportunities in the US economy for everyone…”
36.    AltWWDC offers free alternative to Apple's developer conference  http://www.macworld.com/article/2036385/altwwdc-offers-free-alternative-to-apples-developer-conference.html  “If you missed out on tickets to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)—and since they sold out in three minutes, it’s quite likely you did—you may be soothed by news of a second Apple-centric conference in San Francisco going on at the same time. Appsterdam on Thursday announced AltWWDC, a free conference it will open just a block away from the Moscone Center where WWDC is held. Described as “a free and open alternative to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference,” the five-day AltWWDC event will include talks, food, and co-working space…The event is scheduled to run from June 10 through June 14, just like WWDC…Appsterdam COO Judy Chen told Macworld, “AltWWDC was inspired by the sharing spirit of Appsterdam, and Appsterdam was inspired by the feeling of camaraderie that you get while attending a conference.” She described AltWWDC as an opportunity “for app makers to get together socially, share knowledge, improve their skills, and increase their network.” For many developers within the Apple ecosystem, getting the opportunity to socialize and trade tips with their colleagues proves just as appealing as Apple’s conference itself…”
37.    3-D technology reshapes manufacturing  http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/apr/28/3-d-technology-reshapes-manufacturing/  “…As CEO of Chicago-based Inventables, an online retailer of materials for product designers and artists, Kaplan is finding new customers among small businesses and budget-strapped hardware startups. He and other proponents of digital fabrication say the technology’s increasing accessibility is emboldening a new generation of participants in the manufacturing sector, reinvigorating the industry as the creation of a single item or a small batch of products becomes as affordable as mass production… “Inventables used to only be able to service the most well-funded R&D groups,” said Kaplan, who launched his business in 2002 to cater to big corporations. “Now we’re servicing R&D labs in garages all over the world.” Unlike previous generations of 3-D printers, milling machines and laser cutters, many of today’s models fit on a desktop and are designed for micromanufacturing…making a prototype with a 3-D printer can save thousands of dollars over handing off the work to a design company…Hurt borrowed a 3-D printer from Inventables to make prototypes of his product while participating in Impact Engine, a Chicago-based accelerator program for startups with a social or environmental mission. The digital fabrication technology he used was a major improvement over his earliest efforts, which involved fashioning a lunchbox-size case from plastic clipboards that he bought at Walmart and cut apart… “There’s something about being able to hold and physically interact with a design that feels more real and allows you to get feedback more directly than looking at a 3-D image on a screen,” said Eduardo Torrealba, co-founder and CEO of Oso Technologies, a company started by engineering graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Oso makes sensors that measure soil moisture content and send alerts to a computer or mobile phone when plants need to be watered. The startup went through nearly 10 versions of its Plant Link sensor prototype using the 3-D printer at UI’s mechanical engineering laboratory…The startup will use 3-D printing to create a small run of Plant Link sets for Kickstarter donors…But Oso will mass-produce the majority of its sensors through an Illinois manufacturer. The proceeds from the Kickstarter campaign will pay for the injection mold needed for that process… “Where we are with 3-D printing today is probably where the big card-reading computers were in the ’70s…”
38.    Amazon beats profit expectations, tops 90,000 employees for first time  http://www.geekwire.com/2013/amazon-beats-profit-expectations-tops-90000-employees-time/  “Amazon this afternoon reported first-quarter profits of $82 million, or 18 cents a share, a decline of 37 percent from the same quarter a year ago but more than enough to exceed Wall Street’s expectations…Perhaps the most eye-popping number in the report is the 91,300 worldwide employees reported by the company — a 39 percent increase from the same point last year, when Amazon employed 65,000 people. Amazon has been expanding rapidly at its Seattle headquarters and at its fulfillment centers around the world…”
Design / DEMO
39.    Designers versus inventors  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/arts/design/designers-versus-inventors.html?src=recg&gwh=428CADB94DB609EABDA7F9485DC5442C  “…What’s the difference between design and invention? It’s one of the commonest questions that I am asked about design, and it is easy to see why, because the two words are so often confused…Take the AK-47, the deadly Soviet assault rifle that transformed modern warfare…Sometimes it is described as having been designed, and sometimes as having been invented. Which is correct? Or take…the Post-it Note. Unlike the AK-47, there was nothing quite like that scrap of sticky paper when it was introduced…Is it the product of design, invention or both?...The OED’s first definition of invention is dated 1509: “the action of coming upon or finding; discovery.” The word has had more or less the same meaning ever since, and has also retained its charm. Unlike “innovation,” invention has escaped being stereotyped by management theorists, and still conjures cheerful images of idealistic boffins and amateur inventors showing off their contraptions at Maker Faires…design has ended up conveying everything from finely calibrated technical specifications, to a snazzy phone, a sinister plan and an entire profession…design has one recurring role as an agent of change. Whatever else it does or doesn’t do, design helps us to translate changes in other fields — scientific, political or whatever — into things that may be useful or enjoyable, ideally both…design can be equally useful in modifying something that already exists, ideally by improving on the original…The boundaries between the two will become blurrier in future as 3-D printing and other digital production technologies enable consumers to participate in the design process in order to personalize the end-result, thereby transforming their relationship with designers and manufacturers…”
40.    Smartphones have outgrown the average pants pocket, designer says  http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/04/25/smartphones-have-outgrown-average-pants-pocket/  “…Like flat screens and french fries before them, smartphones have been supersized, swelling in length and girth as more Americans use them to surf the web and send emails…The Samsung Galaxy S from 2010 was 2.53 inches wide and 4.82 inches tall; the…2013 edition is 2.83 by 5.5 -- too big for the average pair of American khakis, said Doug Conklyn…of global design for Dockers… “We have an amazing technical design team at Dockers that takes the time to ensure that the latest phones fit in our pockets,” he said… “We don’t have fit sessions without having a smartphone on hand or an iPhone to make sure that the pockets are all designed to be perfectly functional,” said Simon Kneen, creative director and executive vice president of design for Banana Republic…Conklyn suggests the company’s Mobile Pocket Khaki, which has a special phone pocket. “It has a subtle, almost hidden side zipper that easily conceals today’s larger smartphones…”  http://mashable.com/2013/04/27/io-denim-smartphone/  “…Combining fashion and technology, I/O Denim are jeans that have a pocket on the left leg, in between the knee and the hip along the seam…Trademarked the I/O Pocket, it fits any smartphone that has a 4.8-inch screen or smaller, including Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S devices…I/O Denim's creators say their jeans cater to people who struggle to access mobile phones from standard jean pockets…”
DHMN Technology
41.     Chicago’s First 3D-Printing Facility Is Open to the Public  http://art.newcity.com/2013/04/23/eye-exam-chicagos-first-3d-printing-facility-is-open-to-the-public-2/  “…a new retail space in Chicago promises to democratize 3D printing for general use…With the profit-bearing potential of 3D printing, it may come as a surprise that the Midwest’s first public foray into the technology is based on promoting public access to, rather than privatizing, this revolutionizing technology. The 3D Printer Experience, located at 316 North Clark in River North, opened Monday, April 22…it is a place to play with, learn about, and experience 3D printing technology. The Experience provides three interactive components. Visitors can print figurines by scanning their own heads or creating a pendant on an easy-to-use program, take workshops on 3D printing technology, or simply observe the printers in action. Available printers include the personal-use UP Mini and MakerBot, as well as the professional-grade EOS Formiga P110. The 3D Printer Experience worked with German additive manufacturing company EOS to…make available the industrial $250,000 Formiga P110…for public use by the store’s patrons. The store also provides examples of products printed on EOS’s professional-grade machines, including a fully-usable violin and a faux-medieval glove of printed-metal mesh. The 3D Printer Experience provides an opportunity for would-be inventors to prototype and produce designs using professional manufacturing tools. In the near future, the store’s proprietors plan to add an EOS machine that prints in metal and a Filabot extruding system that transforms recycled plastic into raw plastic filament…”
42.    Thymio educational robots introduce kids to robotics  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2035702/thymio-educational-robots-introduce-kids-to-robotics.html  “Getting children interested in robotics is easier than ever these days…The Thymio comes from Switzerland…It wasn’t developed to walk, take over human tasks or entertain—at least not without kids writing the software first. The programming is designed to be easy, but kids can get their hands dirty with actual code if they wish. “[Thymio] has its graphical language where it says ‘if this happens do this’ and it’s literally drag-and-drop,” says Sharon Marzouk…who uses Thymio at a Silicon Valley school. “You click, and it’s a visual programming language. And behind it, you can actually see real code being created, and so you can learn how to modify and edit real code.” The Thymio comes with a microphone and speaker, accelerometer, temperature sensor, seven different proximity sensors, and 39 LEDs that can be used to signal back to the programmer…”
43.    3D printing finally gets its day in the sun in NYC  http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57580860-76/in-new-york-3d-printing-finally-gets-its-day-in-the-sun/  “Guitars. Skulls. Bracelets. Colorful heads. And so much more. That was what was on display at the Inside 3D Printing event here today, a celebration of all things 3D printing, and one of the first-ever professional events dedicated solely to the decades-old technology that has been taking the world by storm over the last few years. Just about ever leading company in the field was on hand, from 3D Systems to MakerBot to Stratasys, and many others. And hundreds of people packed the event hall, eager to see the latest machines…”
44.    For your robot-building needs, $45 BeagleBone Linux PC  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/04/for-your-robot-building-needs-the-45-beaglebone-linux-pc-goes-on-sale/  “The market for cheap single-board computers is becoming one of the most surprisingly competitive spaces in the tech industry. On the heels of the million-selling Raspberry Pi, a variety of companies and small groups started creating their own tiny computers for programmers and hobbyists…It's called the BeagleBone Black and it's the latest in the line of "Beagle" devices that first appeared in 2008, courtesy of Texas Instruments. On sale now for $45, BeagleBone Black sports a 1GHz Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor from Texas Instruments, up from the 720MHz processor used in the previous $90 BeagleBone released in 2011…Beagle's "open" hardware philosophy means all of the chips and designs are available to the public, so anyone with the right equipment and knowledge could make their own…”
Open Source Hardware
45.    Apertus Axiom Camera – Debuting Open Source Hardware in the Cinema  http://opensourcehardwarejunkies.com/2013/03/the-apertus-axiom-camera-debuting-open-source-hardware-in-the-cinema/  “Ever want to produce your own action/sci-fi/ unexplainable paradox movie?  I know I have – and while the 8 mega pixel camera on my smart phone is down right awesome – it’s not quite theater quality. For the big screen you will need something like Axiom by apertus.  While still in the prototyping phase, Axiom will be the first ever Digital Cinema Camera designed with openness in mind…Apertus…started as a group of videographer enthusiasts using Elphel cameras, collaborating online, hacking rigs and generally helping each other out as a web community…They…felt a need for a camera that could be modularized – being able to use different hardware and software to complement or repurpose the use of the original design…So the idea for Axiom was born – an open digital cinema camera to rock the world…”
46.    Open Tech Forever  http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/project-of-the-day-open-tech-forever/2013/04/20  “OTF is an open source hardware cooperative that wants to create an ecology for open factories…Here´s a short intro to their activities: ” We’ll be developing open source hardware, producing and selling some for income, and doing some training and capital assistance programs. Johnathan is starting an organic farm on-site so lots of collaboration ahead. Taking a different route than OSE though- the goal is the same, economically empowered collaborative communities in an open world, but the approach will be starting with widely useful tech we can sell for financial stability, and that’ll really get open hardware out there in use and in publicity, followed by tool development as it gets more and more relevant. Relevance is key, because it ensures the use and replication of open hardware, the reasons for which it should be produced and documented in the first place. We’re off to a great start. Recently finalized a zero-cost agreement to develop the coop at 40 acres of industrial-zoned land in Denver, Colorado, and got in-kind material donations and a lot of zero-cost equipment leases from an awesome local collaborator…”
Open Source
47.    HexBright is a hackable, open-source flashlight  http://venturebeat.com/2013/04/23/hexbright-is-a-hackable-open-source-flashlight-that-will-blind-your-foes-and-friends-if-you-point-it-at-them/  “…the HexBright is the world’s first open-source flashlight. We haven’t checked that claim…Carlberg raised $259,293 for the project on Kickstarter in mid-2011, and he is now shipping it. He crafted it so that it could function as a superpowerful flashlight, but he also made it programmable with open-source software. “I can’t say for sure what people will do, but that is the point,” Carlberg told VentureBeat…“I wanted to let people develop their own apps and see what develops. I will make the next generation based on what happens with this one…I had one guy tell me he was going to blink out his Cessna’s airplane numbers in Morse code and bolt it to his tail.” Another customer…is developing a gun mount where the light stays off when the weapon is pointed down but immediately turns on when the weapon is raised to level position…”
48.    A lightweight KDE alternative  http://www.itworld.com/operating-systems/353606/coming-soon-linux-lightweight-kde-alternative  “Choice has always been a hallmark of the desktop Linux world, where users can select not just the distribution they prefer but also the desktop environment, among virtually countless other features. Soon, however, the pool of desktop options will get even bigger thanks to a new project that recently launched. The project, currently codenamed "KLyDE," for "K Lightweight Desktop Environment," aims to create a lightweight version of the popular KDE desktop…”
49.    How to Setup a USB Drive that Can Run or Install Ubuntu  http://www.datamation.com/open-source/how-to-setup-a-usb-drive-that-can-run-or-install-ubuntu.html  “There was a time not all that long ago, when you needed to rely on optical media to install or run Ubuntu on your desktop. These days, you can easily use USB for those tasks, thanks to a combination of large capacity flash drives and modern motherboard BIOS options. In this article, I'll show you how to create a USB drive that can install or run Ubuntu if you're currently using Windows or OS X, or if you currently run Ubuntu and want to install it on another PC…”
Civilian Aerospace
50.    SpaceX Grasshopper Rocket Tops 800 Feet, Setting New Record  http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57580945-1/spacex-hovering-grasshopper-rocket-reaches-new-heights/  “…SpaceX…Grasshopper Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle…has tripled the distance of the previous attempt and released a new video showing off the rocket's capabilities. Rockets used to reach orbit have mostly been built to burn up in the atmosphere on the way back down. The VTVL is looking to change that by landing safely in the same position it took off in. That would make it resuable and help save some serious cash…”
51.     Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Makes History with 1st Rocket-Powered Flight  http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/29/17969959-spaceshiptwo-lights-up-its-rocket-for-first-time-and-goes-supersonic?lite  “Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane lit up its engine for the first time in flight on Monday, taking a giant supersonic leap toward outer space. The crucial 16-second blast took place at about 7:50 a.m. PT…above California's Mojave Air and Space Port…Until Monday, Mojave-based Scaled Composites, which is building and testing the plane…had tested SpaceShipTwo only by dropping it from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane and having its pilots guide the plane back through unpowered glides back to the runway. The engine, powered by a rubber-based solid fuel and nitrous oxide, had been fired only on the ground. Monday's test was radically different: WhiteKnightTwo released SpaceShipTwo from its traditional drop zone, at an altitude of around 47,000 feet. But after the rocket plane glides clear from the mothership, its pilot lit up the engine…Afterward…the pilots confirmed "SpaceShipTwo exceeded the speed of sound on today's flight…”
52.    Seattle's Spaceflight Inc. puts five satellites into orbit  http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2013/04/22/spaceflight-inc-launches-5-small.html  “Spaceflight Inc., a Seattle-based company that piggybacks small satellites on scheduled rocket launches, sent five such satellites into space on two separate rockets on Sunday. One of the satellites was lifted from Russia aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle, while the other four were launched from Wallops Island, Va., aboard Orbital Science Corp.’s first Antares rocket. Spaceflight Inc., with 10 employees, is a sister company to Andrews Space, which builds launch hardware and which Andrews also runs. That company employs 25…”
53.    Cellphone Satellites Phone Home  http://www.npr.org/2013/04/26/178846158/can-you-hear-me-now-cellphone-satellites-phone-home  “Smartphones can check e-mail, record videos and even stream NPR. Now NASA has discovered they make pretty decent satellites, too. Three smart phones launched into space this past Sunday are orbiting above us even now, transmitting data and images back to Earth. The PhoneSats, which cost just a few thousand dollars each, could usher in big changes for the satellite industry. The PhoneSats started as a project among young engineers working at the NASA Ames Research Center in California…it began as a hallway conversation. One noted that smartphone microprocessors are cheaper than those in satellites. So why not just use a smartphone as a satellite? “ [The young engineers] don't know what they can't do; they haven't been told it's not possible. That really opens up a lot of creative thinking that somehow tends to go away with time…At 53 years old, Cockrell is the self-described "graybeard" of the small team of 20-somethings. With decades of experience, he had good reason to think the project might not work. The phones would have to survive the violent shaking of their launch into orbit. Once in space, they would need to withstand extreme temperatures and intense radiation that doesn't exist on the Earth's surface. "I was really skeptical at first, because I said, 'OK, there's a reason why NASA develops these expensive satellites and tests them extensively,' " he says. But the team's younger members were more optimistic. "The mobile phones are designed to be thrown around the room and for people to drop them in water. They're really robust bits of technology," says Jasper Wolfe, a 22-year-old engineer on the project…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
54.    Fast Database Emerges from MIT Class, GPUs and Student's Invention  http://data-informed.com/fast-database-emerges-from-mit-class-gpus-and-students-invention/  “Todd Mostak’s first tangle with big data didn’t go well. As a master’s student at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard in 2012, he was mapping tweets for his thesis project on Egyptian politics during the Arab Spring uprising. It was taking hours or even days to process the 40 million tweets he was analyzing…but he did not have access to a system that would allow him to map the large dataset quickly for interactive analysis. So over the next year, Mostak created a cost-effective workaround…using hardware designed for computer gamers, he performed his own version of a data science project, developing a new database that solved his problem. Now his inventive approach has the potential to benefit others in both academia and business…Mostak built a new parallel database, called MapD, that allows him to crunch complex spatial and GIS data in milliseconds, using off-the-shelf gaming graphical processing units (GPU) like a rack of mini supercomputers. Mostak reports performance gains upwards of 70 times faster than CPU-based systems…He said he is planning to release the new database system under and open source business model similar to MongoDB and its company 10gen…this had the potential to be majorly disruptive,” Mostak said. “There have been all these little research pieces about this algorithm or that algorithm on the GPU, but I thought, ‘Somebody needs to make an end-to-end system.’…”
55.     Energy Efficient Brain Simulator Outperforms Supercomputers  http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127617&org=NSF&from=news   “…The Blue Gene/Q Sequoia…clocks in at over 16 quadrillion calculations per second…But, according to Kwabena Boahen, Ph.D., the Blue Gene still doesn't compare to the computational power of the brain itself…That's not to say the brain is faster than a supercomputer. In fact, it's actually much slower. The brain can do more calculations per second because it's "massively parallel," meaning networks of neurons are working simultaneously to solve a great number of problems at once…His laboratory's most recent accomplishment is a new computing platform called Neurogrid, which simulates the activity of 1 million neurons. Neurogrid is not a supercomputer. It can't be used to simulate the big bang, or forecast hurricanes, or predict epidemics. But…Neurogrid is the first simulation platform that can model a million neurons in real time. As such, it represents a powerful tool for investigating the human brain…it has the potential to shed light on complex brain diseases like autism and schizophrenia, which have so far been difficult to model…As Boahen puts it, "The good news is now you too can have your own supercomputer. The bad news is now you too can wait an hour to simulate a second of brain activity…Neurogrid doesn't take an hour to simulate a second of brain activity," says Boahen. "It takes a second to simulate a second of brain activity." Each of Neurogrid's 16 chips contains more than 65,000 silicon "neurons" whose activity can be programmed according to nearly 80 parameters…”