NEW NET Weekly List for 29 Oct 2013

Below is the final NEW NET (NorthEast Wisconsin Network for Entrepreneurism and Technology) list of technology news and issues for Tuesday, 29 October 2013. The NEW NET meeting for 08 October was cancelled due to schedule conflicts.

The Weekly Top Ten, (pre-NEW NET, based on potential or immediate impact and/or general tech interestingness)
1.        Motorola's Project Ara aims to create an Android-style ecosystem for modular hardware  http://www.zdnet.com/motorolas-project-ara-aims-to-create-an-android-style-ecosystem-for-hardware-7000022550/  “Having come to dominate the smartphone OS market, Android has built up a huge ecosystem around it. Now Google is hoping to pull off a similar feat in hardware through its handset arm, Motorola. Motorola's Project Ara, announced on Monday, combines a smartphone exoskeleton with a variety of hardware modules that can be used to customise the device…Project Ara is developing a free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones…The idea is for phone buyers to be able to stipulate more of the hardware included in their device when they buy it, and to have the ability to swap out components when they want to upgrade or if anything breaks. The first module developers kit is expected by the end of this winter…Motorola will begin recruiting 'Ara scouts' over the next few months to help decide the future direction of the project. It's been working on the idea for around a year, with help from Phonebloks…”
2.       Historical Software Archive lets you use vintage software in your browser  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2058087/historical-software-archive-lets-you-use-vintage-software-in-your-browser.html  “…The Internet Archive has protected and preserved old software for a while now…Software is so transient, though. It’s sometimes hard to get a program from 2003 to run on a modern machine, let alone a program from 1983. For most people it wouldn’t be worth the trouble…The Historical Software Archive, announced Friday, changes that. There’s no need to fuss with stand-alone emulators. Instead, the Internet Archive runs MESS (short for Multi Emulator Super System) with Javascript in Chrome, Firefox, Safari—any modern browser…the Historical Software Archive is for all types of software—not just games…check out Apple Presents the IIc, a series of instructional guides…Then make a spreadsheet in VisiCalc, the 1979 Apple II program that pioneered the computer spreadsheet…”  https://archive.org/details/historicalsoftware
3.       Nextdoor, a social network for neighbors  http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/nextdoor-a-start-up-raises-60-million/?_r=0  “Nextdoor, a social network for neighbors…announced a $60 million investment on Tuesday…Nextdoor has raised more than $100 million in the last 18 months…Nextdoor has no revenue yet, but believes it is well positioned to capture some of the multibillion-dollar local advertising market…“Much more than the money, we’re trying to bring in the right people to get to the next level,”…Mr. Tolia said the site had fewer than 10 million active users. That growing community is highly dispersed across more than 22,000 neighborhoods around the United States…Nextdoor is adding members at a healthy clip and believes it can fill the information void left by the erosion of local newspaper readership and local television viewing. The company is also attracting classified ads, robust discussions on its message boards about everything from crime to local businesses and services, and becoming a forum for neighbors to meet one another…”  http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/29/nextdoor-the-facebook-for-your-neighborhood-lands-60m-from-john-doerr-tiger-global-and-more-to-go-international/
4.       The Decline of Wikipedia  http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520446/the-decline-of-wikipedia/  “The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10. It is…operated by…a leaderless collection of volunteers who generally work under pseudonyms and habitually bicker with each other. It rarely tries new things in the hope of luring visitors; in fact, it has changed little in a decade. And yet every month 10 billion pages are viewed on the English version of Wikipedia alone…Because there is no other free information source like it, many online services rely on Wikipedia…Yet Wikipedia and its stated ambition to “compile the sum of all human knowledge” are in trouble. The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia—and must defend it against vandalism, hoaxes, and manipulation—has shrunk by more than a third since 2007 and is still shrinking…The main source of those problems is not mysterious. The loose collective running the site today, estimated to be 90 percent male, operates a crushing bureaucracy with an often abrasive atmosphere that deters newcomers who might increase participation in Wikipedia and broaden its coverage…”
5.        Don’t trust VPNs? Create your own with a friend and Google uProxy, a browser extension  http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/dont-trust-vpns-create-your-own-with-a-friend-and-a-browser-extension/  “A browser extension being developed for Chrome and Firefox will let Web users create VPN-like connections to the Internet by routing all their traffic through a friend's trusted connection. Consumer VPNs…let users create secure connections to a VPN provider's data center. The user's traffic is sent to the rest of the Internet only after it gets encrypted and pushed through the VPN service. The new "uProxy" will work in a similar way except that your traffic is routed through a friend's secure connection before traveling to the rest of the Internet. Both you and your friend would need to have a browser extension installed and running for it to work. You could also use uProxy to route traffic through your home Internet connection when you're out of the house and on a public Wi-Fi network…uProxy is intended to allow one user, with a safer and more secure connection to the Internet, to share their connection to the Internet with trusted friends and family, or even with themselves when they travel…”
6.       AT&T’s Plan Revamp Signals the End of Voice Minutes  http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/10/25/atts-new-phone-plans-signal-the-end-of-voice-minutes/  “The days of worrying about minutes ticking away on your cell phone plan are nearly gone…AT&TT is dropping the availability of its old plans for new smartphone subscribers…all of the remaining plans include unlimited calling and texting with the exception of one. The three other major U.S. carriers — Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile— now only offer unlimited voice and messaging to new customers…Back in 1984, cellular…minutes were costly: US West…offered service…for about $200 per month (about $450 in today’s dollars after inflation), including 300 minutes of calling but not including long-distance charges…The carriers aren’t making this change because they think customers should just have unlimited calls for free. It is because voice traffic is falling and data use is skyrocketing…”
7.        Get ready for the Google Glass Gold Rush  http://venturebeat.com/2013/10/25/get-ready-for-the-google-glass-gold-rush/  “In 2008, the App Store gave birth to million-dollar startups all over the world and has totally transformed the way we use mobile phones. By observing the phenomenal success of the smartphone, we can easily predict that Google Glass will be the next gold rush for developers. This innovative wearable computer allows unique interaction with our daily lives. The potential for groundbreaking applications is extraordinary…Running alone in the park is so boring…Imagine if you…were being hunted down by zombies or fanatic dogs?...If we can imagine it, we can build it. If we can dream it, we can create wonders like the world has never seen before…For the smartphone market, more than 50 billion applications have been downloaded from the App Store (June 2013). Many startup companies and well-established businesses have based their business model on this platform and some of them are earning billions…smartphones…now allow a better interaction with the environment (such as GPS, compass, a better camera, and faster broadband/CPU). These amazing features only require that a user takes his smartphone out of his pocket, unlock it, launch the app, and perform the desired action. Using a handsfree device, the app could be available all day long and have a wider usage…the public release is planned for 2014 with a dedicated app store that will definitely create a new and explosive Gold Rush for new business opportunities…”
8.       USB powers up  http://www.economist.com/news/international/21588104-humble-usb-cable-part-electrical-revolution-it-will-make-power-supplies  “Fiddly cables, incompatible plugs and sockets, and the many adaptors needed to fit them all together used to be the travellers’ bane. But the USB (Universal Serial Bus) has simplified their life. Most phones and other small gadgets can charge from a simple USB cable plugged into a computer or an adaptor. Some 10 billion of them are already in use. Hotel rooms, aircraft seats, cars and new buildings increasingly come with USB sockets as a standard electrical fitting…a much bigger change is looming. From 2014, a USB cable will be able to provide power to bigger electronic devices…this could change the way homes and offices use electricity, cutting costs and improving efficiency…The USB connection’s…trickle of electricity (up to ten watts on the existing standard) is still barely enough for devices such as an iPad. Yet USB charging is now the default for phones, e-readers and other small gadgets. Some mobile-phone manufacturers are already shipping their products without a power adaptor…The big change next year will be a new USB PD (Power Delivery) standard, which brings much more flexibility and ten times as much oomph: up to 100 watts…”
9.       LG unveils the Fireweb, its first Firefox OS smartphone  http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/22/lg-fireweb/  “…Firefox OS has been limited to ultra-basic smartphones like the ZTE Open. LG is expanding the platform's reach today by releasing its inaugural Mozilla-powered handset, the Fireweb. The 4-inch device is still designed for newcomers between its 480 x 320 display, 1GHz Qualcomm processor and 4GB of expandable storage. However, its 5-megapixel camera is a big improvement over shooters in preceding phones -- this is the first Firefox OS phone with both autofocusing and an LED flash…”
10.     Windy Day on MotoX: Google Channels Pixar to Change Storytelling as We Know It  http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/motorola-google-mouse/all/  “People who own a Moto X…might be wondering this morning: What…is that little red sombrero doing on my home screen? Those adventurous enough to poke a finger at the hat are in for a big surprise. With that single touch, a Moto X turns into a player for a new form of media — one that combines computer animation and street theater with virtual reality. The phone’s screen becomes a looking-glass that peers into a stylized virtual forest…Move the phone up, down, right, left, and you can see more and more of this colorful world — including that red chapeau, and an expressive mouse named Pepe, who is alternatively intrigued and stalked by a hat blown around by a stiff, persistent breeze. He encounters other creatures — squirrels, raccoons, a bear — who assist or impede him, and sometimes, he gets flattened a lá Wile E. Coyote. You follow the story by peering through the phone…like using binoculars to pan over a landscape. If you turn away, you can explore your own surroundings, but when you return your eyes once more to Pepe and his cohorts, it’s as if the narrative has paused for you, resuming now that you’re paying attention again…at times, it’s actually laugh-out-loud funny. In fact, the whole package…reaches the notoriously stratospheric level of a Pixar movie. This is not surprising because Motorola hired actual Pixar moviemakers to create it…Windy Day, as the production is called, came from Motorola’s in-house moonshot division, Advanced Technology And Products (ATAP). This research group…instantly began a mini-DARPA inside Motorola. Like DARPA, ATAP engages researchers for two-year stints, directing them to take on a project just at the point where new technologies make it possible to make a groundbreaking advance…If the result won’t be at least five to ten times better, a project is a non-starter…One of those things is what’s appearing on Moto X phones today, a new type of storytelling that Motorola calls “Spotlight Stories.”…Most of the time…the powerful graphics capability on the phone is absolutely idle…So…ATAP worked on building a graphics-rich platform for virtual worlds on smartphones…Dugan and Elmieh were…trying to recruit…Jan Pinkava, an Oscar-winning moviemaker who had worked on multiple Pixar films…Motorola...demoed the technology to him, and explained that they needed artists to use it…to engage people emotionally…Pinkava thought, “This is the best gig ever!” Pinkava’s key partner in the production was Doug Sweetland, an animator with key roles in numerous Pixar films…they had an idea that would shape the entire project: give the audience the camera…“We’re not doing a game. We’re doing a narrative…while the main story provided a backbone, the user-directed field of view allowed for more than one story to be told at once…at one point, if the viewer keeps looking at a group of chipmunks while the mouse heads elsewhere, they will see a bit of action they’d otherwise miss…”
The ‘net
11.      Manage your digital footprint: what does your internet profile say about you?  http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/social-networks/3474750/what-does-your-internet-profile-say-about-you/  “The internet knows a lot about us…we need to seriously consider the state of our digital identity. In the past any errors of judgement or fleeting, rebellious actions could be quietly put to rest and hopefully forgotten…Today, things are very different. In the digital, always-connected age there is the real possibility that the things we share or experience will follow us relentlessly throughout our whole lives, with possible implications on the jobs or financial services open to us in years to come…With reportedly 94% of Google searches never reaching the second page of links, what appears on page one of your name is of the utmost importance. Thankfully there are ways of populating this list with positive content, essentially burying the past under a more reputable present. All it takes is a little work…”
12.     Ditch your ISP's modem and change your Internet experience forever  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2056140/ditch-your-isps-modem-and-change-your-internet-experience-forever.html  “…Most ISPs charge anywhere from $4 to $7 per month for the modem that brings you Internet access…But most ISPs also let you buy your own modem…the vast majority of us can ditch our rented modems and reap some substantial benefits in the process…Since most people use the same modem for five to ten years, buying your own is definitely a moneysaver long-term…Many ISPs also limit your access to the Web-based control interface of rental modems, which can hamper your efforts to monitor or tweak your network…which can be useful for checking traffic logs and signal quality or troubleshooting Internet issues…the most pragmatic reason to buy your own modem is to replace a busted one…if they can’t fix or replace it quickly and you need Internet access right away, it’s probably worth taking the time to buy a modem off the shelf…”
13.     Pinterest Raises $225 Million at $3.8 Billion Valuation  http://allthingsd.com/20131023/pinterest-does-another-massive-funding-225-million-at-3-8-billion-valuation/  “…Pinterest has completed another enormous funding, this time nabbing $225 million…The new infusion of cash…pegs the latest valuation of Pinterest at $3.8 billion…Sources said the money was aimed in part at goosing international efforts…”
14.     The Internet just got the first four new generic top-level domains  http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57608976-93/internet-begins-its-move-beyond-.com-.net-and-.edu/  “Think .biz and .mobi are a little weird to see at the end of an Internet address?...on Wednesday, the first 4 of a planned 1,400 new Net-address suffixes -- called generic top-level domains, or GTLDs -- were built into the fabric of the Internet. The first four new GTLDs, taking advantage of the newer ability to extend beyond Latin character sets, are the Chinese word for game, the Arabic word for Web, and the Russian words for online and site…one of ICANN's key aims is to help create a globally inclusive Internet, regardless of language or region…”
15.     Fon finally launches in the US, inviting consumers to share their Wi-Fi  http://gigaom.com/2013/10/23/fon-finally-launches-in-the-u-s-inviting-consumers-to-share-their-wi-fi/  “…Fon…the Spanish Wi-Fi aggregator…has begun selling its Wi-Fi routers to U.S. consumers. Called Foneras, the devices work like any other Wi-Fi access point with one exception: they automatically partition off a portion of their Wi-Fi signals to create a shared broadband network accessible to any Fon member at no cost…Europeans embraced a Wi-Fi-first attitude toward connecting mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, while us Yanks seemed content to use our cellular connections…That attitude has shifted in recent years, and U.S. companies are starting to embrace the concept of shared Wi-Fi. The most obvious example of that is Comcast, which recently began opening up all of its customer’s home Wi-Fi routers to other Comcast customers…”
16.     Chrome is used more than Firefox, IE, and Opera combined  http://thenextweb.com/apps/2013/10/24/across-desktop-mobile-chrome-used-firefox-ie-opera-combined/  “…In September, Chrome was used more than Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera combined. If you combine Chrome and the Android stock browser, Google’s browsers have greater usage share than Firefox and Safari combined…Last month, Google Chrome held the first place spot by capturing more than a third of the market with 34.68 percent market share. This was double Firefox’s market share (16.60 percent), which came in second place, followed closely by Safari (16.15 percent) and Internet Explorer (15.62 percent)…”
Security, Privacy & Digital Controls
17.     Call Yourself A Hacker, Lose Your 4th Amendment Rights  http://www.digitalbond.com/blog/2013/10/22/call-yourself-a-hacker-lose-your-4th-amendment-rights/  “The US District Court for the State of Idaho ruled that an ICS product developer’s computer could be seized without him being notified or even heard from in court primarily because he states on his web site “we like hacking things and don’t want to stop”…Battelle…requested and got an order to knock on his door and seize his computer because he claims to like hacking things…The Court finds it significant that defendants are self-described hackers, who say, “We like hacking things and we don’t want to stop.”…By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act…”  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131022/13260324972/govt-contractor-uses-copyright-fear-hackers-to-get-restraining-order-against-open-source-developer.shtml  [all the hackerspaces in the US (including the DHMN hacker/makerspace) had best be prepared for government agency monitoring them closely – ed.]
18.     Was Obama Unaware as U.S. Spied on World Leaders?  http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424052702304470504579162110180138036-lMyQjAxMTAzMDIwNzEyNDcyWj  “The National Security Agency ended a program used to spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of other world leaders after an internal Obama administration review…U.S. officials said…the internal review turned up NSA monitoring of some 35 world leaders, in the U.S. government's first public acknowledgment that it tapped the phones of world leaders…The account suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn't have been practical to brief him on all of them…”  [government acknowledgement of various NSA monitoring programs raises two questions: (1) what other interesting monitoring is or was being done about which Snowden didn’t get documentation, and (2) what percentage of US citizens now think Snowden did the right thing and is a whistleblower rather than a traitor? – ed.]
19.     Security Check Now Starts Long Before You Fly  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/business/security-check-now-starts-long-before-you-fly.html?pagewanted=all  “The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its screening of passengers before they arrive at the airport by searching a wide array of government and private databases that can include records like car registrations and employment information…While the agency says that the goal is to streamline the security procedures for millions of passengers who pose no risk, the new measures give the government greater authority to use travelers’ data for domestic airport screenings. Previously that level of scrutiny applied only to individuals entering the United States…the agency…can access…tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information…”
20.    Memo to Workers: The Boss Is Watching  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303672404579151440488919138  “Dennis Gray suspected that workers in his pest-control company were spending too much time on personal issues during the workday. So the general manager…installed a piece of GPS tracking software on the company-issued smartphones of five of its 18 drivers…One employee, he discovered, was visiting the same address a few times a week for a few hours during the workday…The employee confessed he was meeting a woman during work hours. Another driver admitted he was blowing off work. Both men were let go…Thanks to mobile devices and inexpensive monitoring software, managers can now know where workers are, eavesdrop on their phone calls, tell if a truck driver is wearing his seat belt and intervene if he is tailgating…Office workers have come to expect that their every keystroke is tracked on a server somewhere, but monitoring for hourly and wage workers has long been limited to video cameras in the break room and GPS on delivery trucks. Companies are now watching a wider swath of blue-collar workers more closely to ensure work is getting done…Workplace tracking technology is largely unregulated, and courts have found that employees have few rights to privacy on the job…”
21.     You’re infected—if you want to see your data again, pay us $300 in Bitcoins  http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/youre-infected-if-you-want-to-see-your-data-again-pay-us-300-in-bitcoins/  “Malware that takes computers hostage until users pay a ransom is getting meaner, and thanks to the growing prevalence of Bitcoin and other digital payment systems, it's easier than ever for online crooks to capitalize on these "ransomware" schemes…consider the experience of…damage inflicted by a particularly nasty title known as CryptoLocker. It started when an end user…received an email purporting to come from Intuit…Within…hours, the company's IT department received word of a corrupt file stored on a network drive that was available to multiple employees, including the one who received the malicious e-mail…CryptoLocker…uses strong cryptography to lock all files that a user has permission to modify, including those on secondary hard drives and network storage systems…It warns that the files are locked using a 2048-bit version of the RSA cryptographic algorithm and that the data will be forever lost unless the private key is obtained from the malware operators within three days of the infection…To obtain the private key for this computer, which will automatically decrypt files, you need to pay 300 USD / 300 EUR / similar amount in another currency." None of the reddit posters reported any success in breaking the encryption. Several also said they had paid the ransom and received a key that worked as promised…Because CryptoLocker encrypted all files that an infected computer had access to, the ransomware in many cases locked the contents of backup disks that were expected to be relied upon in the event that the main disks failed…”
Mobile Computing & Communicating
22.    Livescribe 3 smartpen digitizes notes, starts at $150  http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/28/livescribe-3/  “Livescribe broke new ground last year with the Sky WiFi pen that could transfer handwritten and audio notes straight to…your Evernote account…Having to jump on WiFi to send and retrieve those notes didn't make it the most convenient thing…Enter the Livescribe 3, which offers a solution to that problem. The company's latest smartpen is positioned as a companion specifically designed to work in concert with a compatible mobile device, which in this case only applies to those that run iOS. Once paired via Bluetooth LE, notes written in a Livescribe notebook will automatically appear on the accompanying Livescribe+ app…unlike the Echo or the Sky, the 3 does not have a built-in microphone. Instead, it hands off the audio recording to your iPhone or iPad when you hit the record button either on the paper or the app…it'll sync the results with your scribbled notes -- the app actually highlights the coinciding text as the audio playback occurs…these so-called "pencasts" are simply not possible if the pen is disconnected from the device. However, notes written while not connected will still sync up later on…”
23.    Tiny barometers in cell phones could tell you how high you are  http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/10/tiny-barometers-in-cell-phones-could-tell-you-how-high-you-are/  “The modern smart phone is packed full of goodies that help it figure out where it is. Internal accelerometers provide orientation, and WiFi and GPS signals combine with it to provide geographic location…Until you walk into a large building. The GPS signal disappears, and the WiFi may only tell you accurately that you are in the building…Clearly navigational systems for inside buildings require an alternative approach…inertial guidance systems rely on sensing changes in acceleration, and they use that to calculate a new position. Every calculation has a small error, and, since each new calculation relies on the results of the last calculation, this error grows as fast as the national debt…As a person climbs stairs or takes the lift, the barometric pressure changes, and an internal navigation system can use this to determine which floor they are on. Unfortunately, barometers, as they are currently designed, are not well suited to miniaturization…by the time the barometer fits in your cell phone, it might be able to distinguish between the top and bottom of Mount Everest, but not much more…researchers have figured out a new way to make a barometer…they put a tiny cantilever over the opening of an equally tiny chamber. The cantilever is not designed to seal the chamber; rather, it acts as a pressure sensitive valve…By making the cantilever out of a piezoresistive material, the electrical resistance of the cantilever changes as it bends, providing a direct measure of the bending. With a bit of calibration work, this can be turned into a barometer…”
24.    Top 7 Reasons Why Mobile Ads Don't Work  http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/top-7-reasons-why-mobile-ads-dont-work-153202  “A Dartmouth researcher's study sheds light on the mobile Web and app users who don't click on ads…here are the top seven reasons they steer clear of the ads on smartphones and tablets…1. The screen is too small, per 72 percent of survey participants…2. People are just too busy for ads…3. After tapping an ad and going to the landing page…respondents hate it that they cannot easily return to the content they were reading or watching…4. Too hard to get online with cell phones…5…it's too frustrating when mobile consumption is interrupted…6. Ads take too long to load…7. Consumers are just not in the mood for ads…”
25.    Smartphone apps come in handy for Halloween  http://www.androidauthority.com/7-best-halloween-apps-for-android-289674/  “It’s Halloween season!...there are a variety of apps for Android that can help you get ready for Halloween…Costumes for Halloween…is an online store where you can find Halloween costumes for kids and adults…Halloween HD Wallpapers…includes 40 HD wallpapers that look good and will add some seasonal charm to your device…Halloween Planner that can help you quickly plan out your Halloween without clogging up your other apps…With Halloween Ringtones 2013, you can easily find Halloween ringtones and assign them wherever…there is an app called Horror Makeup that’ll help you put the finishing touches on your costume…Scare Your Friends…sets a timer and when the timer ticks down, a scary image pops up on the screen accompanied by a loud noise…We have saved the best for last and it’s an app called Horror-Movies…You pay a buck, download it, and you have access to stream every copyright-expired horror flick out there…”
26.    Smartphone apps developed at Michigan Tech to connect citizens and scientists for research  http://up.secondwavemedia.com/innovationnews/smartphone100913.aspx  “The National Science Foundation is sponsoring a project at Michigan Tech called Cyber Citizens…the Cyber Citizens project goal is to build smartphone apps and websites that connect average citizens with scientists to help acquire valuable environmental information across the world. A team of graduate and undergrad students at Tech…have worked to develop four different apps so far. They include Beach Health Monitor, which evaluates environmental factors to determine beach safety; Lichen Air Quaility, which examines lichen to detect air pollution; Mushroom Mapper, which locates and describes habitats of different mushrooms, and EthnoApp…an app for community ethnography, used to collect interviews, photos and other information that can help the research of anthropologists and archaeologists. The app allows recording in the field with a smartphone…”
27.    Google's seven new frontiers  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/us-business/google-seven-new-frontiers/article15096563/  “Even as Google’s engineers make progress on…new projects, the company is still principally concerned with making money from its current operations…Google already generates almost 90 per cent of its revenue from ads…there are two areas where Google dominates the market in terms of usage, but makes a comparatively small amount of money. The company’s task…is to…make its video and mobile operations as profitable as they are popular…Smartphones…the Android operating system…now powers more smartphones and tablets than any other software in the world…Google is in the middle of a major overhaul to its search algorithms to make them more useful for consumers who view their smartphone as their primary search tool…YouTube…ads, from pre-roll clips to banners, has been around for some time, but…YouTube recently announced a significant expansion of its paid channel program, where users pay directly to watch content from certain producers…Self-driving cars…“autonomous” vehicles could become a roadway staple within the next five years…Google is perhaps the leading researcher of…the…self-driving car…driverless cars could prove massively profitable – both as a feature to be sold, and as a generator of data about how people get around…Google Glass…Perhaps the most consumer-ready of its futuristic projects, Google Glass is also one of its most polarizing products…While smartphone users have to put their device between themselves and the action…Google Glass allows the user to be immersed in the moment…Project Loon…Google this year began experimenting with…WiFi balloons…designed to float into the stratosphere and beam Internet signals to places where access is hard to come by…Calico…Google’s newest and most audacious venture yet…seeks to research something akin to eternal youth…Calico is…research…specializing in the cellular causes and effects of aging. Its long-term goal is to find out why and how the human body breaks down over time and to discover ways to reverse that process…”
28.    Cornell conductor and Google Glass begin a new movement of orchestra  http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/27/5034818/cornell-professor-cynthia-turner-mixes-google-glass-and-classical-music  “Classical music doesn’t have a need for modern technology. Instruments have been built for centuries, scores print just fine on paper, and concert seating gives patrons a good enough perspective on the orchestra as it is. But…Cynthia Turner, a conductor and a professor at Cornell, is trying to turn many of those assumptions on their head using Google Glass. "It could be a game changer for anyone who needs two hands to do something,"…She paints an image of musicians all wearing Google’s headsets, no stands or scores cluttering their chamber, the composer’s point of view broadcast on a screen above them, and intermittent notes of text appearing on-screen to explain to patrons what’s happening in a given musical movement…”
29.    Google Chromebook concept gaining momentum  http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/10/23/google-laptop-rates-victory-lap/sWMAsRZSQeqqUvtKDYRyDP/story.html  “Sales of standard personal computers are tanking, but the new-school alternative, Google Inc.’s Chromebook concept, seems to be doing just fine…Chromebooks are designed by Google and a number of traditional PC makers, such as Taiwan-based Acer, Samsung Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. They generally sell for less than $300…a Chromebook runs Chrome OS, an operating system created by Google as an alternative to bulkier software like Microsoft Corp.’s Windows…Chromebooks don’t run standard Windows software, such as Microsoft Office…The Chromebook was designed for…Net-focused computing. Users log on to a Wi-Fi hotspot and set up a Google account to get access to the company’s array of Internet cloud-based services — Gmail, Google Docs for editing documents, Google Calendar for appointments, and Google Drive, an online file storage service…First-generation Chromebooks were nearly useless when offline. Google and its partners learned the lesson…I loaded up the C720 with apps to let me read and answer Gmail messages offline. The responses are sent automatically the next time you’re online. You can also store copies of your Google Drive documents, edit them, or create new ones without an Internet connection. An app for Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book service lets you store your favorite titles on the Chromebook. You can also get offline versions of The New York Times and The Economist…as of yesterday, four of the 10 best-selling laptops at Amazon.com were Chromebooks…the devices made up 5 percent of the PC market in the first quarter of 2013, compared with just 1 percent a year earlier. It’s still just a sliver of the pie, but it’s a growing sliver, at a time when sales of other PC types are falling fast…”
General Technology
30.    Seagate storage technology could redefine datacenter architecture  http://www.zdnet.com/seagate-storage-technology-could-redefine-datacenter-architecture-7000022265/  “The new Seagate Kinetic Open Storage Platform allows for the removal of the dedicated storage tier and replaces it with Ethernet attached storage hardware…that allows applications to write to it directly. The result, says Seagate, is improved system performance and scalability, reduced overhead, and TCO cut by as much as 50 percent for appropriate storage…By eliminating the purchase cost for traditional storage servers, flattening the storage architecture, and massively increasing storage density, Seagate believes that the overall costs associated with storage not only are significantly reduced, but that collateral benefits — in terms of reduced staffing requirements and a reduction in power required — will also accrue to adopters of this technology. Much of this is accomplished by the complete removal of the storage server requirement…Seagate sees the potential for a 400 percent increase in random write performance due to this. The…trick is that the drives do the space management, not the file system…common tasks such as file copies, or anything that simply involves moving data from one location to another, can be handed off completely to the storage system, freeing up server CPU for other tasks…”
31.     Self-driving cars projected to reduce injuries by 90 percent, save $450 billion annually  http://www.techspot.com/news/54458-self-driving-cars-projected-to-reduce-injuries-by-90-percent-save-450-billion-annually.html  “Driver error is the number one cause of automobile crashes so what would happen if you removed humans from the equation? According to…the Eno Center for Transportation, vehicle-related injuries would drop by 90 percent and save the US economy roughly $450 billion each year…40 percent of fatal crashes in the US involved alcohol, drugs, fatigue or distraction – all metrics that wouldn’t affect an autonomous vehicle. Even in cases where a vehicle is primarily responsible for an accident, human elements like not paying attention and speeding often contributed to the occurrence of crashes and / or the severity of injuries. The adoption rate of self-driving vehicles among consumers will…play a big role in how many accidents can be avoided and how much money the economy could save. For example, if one in every 10 car was replaced with an autonomous vehicle, it would reduce crashes and subsequent injuries by roughly half and save around $25 billion each year…”
Leisure & Entertainment
32.    Turn Your Quadcopter Into the Best Halloween Decoration Ever  http://gizmodo.com/turn-your-quadcopter-into-the-best-halloween-decoration-1450757389  “Once you realize how boring your neighborhood is from the air, that expensive quadcopter you bought should find a good home in the rafters of your garage. But don't bury it too deep, you'll need access to it around Halloween every year because Alton Porter has come up with the perfect use for your forgotten drone: turn it into a flying banshee…All you'll need is a hollow plastic skull, a pair of glowing red LEDs, some lightweight fabric to complete the costume, and the quadcopter…” [watch the video – ed.]
33.    Wearable Technology Has Changed the Halloween Costume Game  http://www.zoho.com/general/blog/how-wearable-technology-has-changed-the-halloween-costume-game.html  “When it comes to holidays, it’s all about tradition. We eat certain foods, go to certain parties and practice certain rituals because that is how it’s always been…Halloween in it’s very essence is a holiday to practice traditions and rituals, not a field for innovation…There are witches, ghosts, monsters, zombies and vampires, but no room for entrepreneurial ideas. Wrong. Enter Mark Rober, a former mechanical engineer at NASA turned wearable tech Halloween T-shirt and costume designer…he had an idea on revamping how realistic and modern Halloween costumes could be by simply using smart phones and tablets…By using two iPads and FaceTime, Rober created a costume that gave the appearance of seeing through his body. After uploading the video of his costume to YouTube, it immediately went viral…The next year, Rober created a free app, a plethora of T-shirt designs and a website to sell this “wearable tech,” for Halloween participants everywhere…“We spent zero dollars on advertising,” Rober said. “We just had a YouTube video and that was it. We did a quarter million dollars in revenue, just in three weeks…”
34.    Hauntbox: open-source hardware box for controlling your automated, electronic haunted house  http://makezine.com/review/make-35/hauntbox-prop-controller/  “The easiest way to automate a haunted house is to bribe your friends to hide behind curtains and pull ropes all night. A slightly more complicated (and considerate) way is the Hauntbox “automation machine.” With screw terminals for six digital inputs like break-beam triggers and motion sensors, and six outputs…you can trigger lights, motors, pneumatics, and all manner of mechanical hauntery…The hardware is open source; the dead-simple browser interface lets you program delays, durations, and the optional sound module from any device on your network; and an override tab gives you manual control…the Hauntbox is easily the most straightforward platform I’ve seen for web-controlling…a fully automated haunted house…”
Entrepreneurism and Technology
35.    Become a Leading SEO Mechanic with Both Google & Bing Webmaster Tools  http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2302345/Become-a-Leading-SEO-Mechanic-with-Both-Google-Bing-Webmaster-Tools  “Webmaster Tools offerings from both Google and Bing can offer a wealth of insight to business owners. In order to get the whole spectrum of insights, marketers must learn just what they can do with both Google and Bing Webmaster tools. Using both together allows you greater insight into the factors contributing to the success…of your SEO strategy…Marketers need to have a plan as well as the ability to manage from a reactive perspective…Once you have this in mind, you can start digging into GWT by focusing on a few things first: 1. Quick Barometers…2. HTML Improvements…3. Sitelinks…4. Search Queries…5. Links…6. Manual Actions and Malware…7. Index Status…8. Content Keywords…9. Crawl Errors…”
36.    Same Old Amazon: All Sales, No Profit  http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-24/same-old-amazon-all-sales-no-profit  “…the familiar Amazon paradox: The e-commerce king…has made a habit of losing money of late—in three of four quarters over the last year—yet its stock price is near an all-time high, following a 35 percent jump over the last 12 months…Amazon just posted a healthy $17.09 billion in net sales during its third quarter, a 24 percent jump compared with the same period a year ago. But the company lost 9¢ per share…Jeff Bezos and company have been calling their shots for years. More than a year ago, they told faithful long-term investors that they were entering a growth phase…investors are happy to sit and watch the company grow faster than the rest of e-commerce…Amazon is taking market share away from both online and offline rivals…Bezos called attention to the three new Kindle Fire tablets, 8 million square feet of new fulfillment center capacity, and 1,382 newly deployed Kiva robots, which roam Amazon’s warehouses delivering palettes of products to human workers…”
Design / DEMO
37.    Technology and Design Create Winning Products  http://independentretailer.com/2013/10/14/technology-and-design-create-winning-products/  “The coolest product introductions, as indicated by the recent 2013 Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards, close the gap between man and machine in ways that make consumers’ daily tasks easier than ever…The winners are: Interactive device: Google Maps for iPhone…Products: Leap Motion Controller…Concepts: Decelerator Helmet, a toy to see the world in slow motion…Student design: SparkTruck, a mobile 3-D printing workshop…Spaces (architecture): Klong Toey Community Lantern, an indoor-outdoor modular community center in Bangkok…Social good: The AidPod, which repurposes Coca-Cola shipping crates to deliver medicine to war-torn areas…” [the Decelerator Helmet seems like it would be an especially cool thing to have, especially if combined with a DVR that lets you go back and look at recent events in slow motion – ed.]
38.    Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt awards the designers 'shaping the world'  http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/20/4858192/cooper-hewitt-2013-awards-honor-designers-shaping-the-world  “The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt museum recently handed out its 2013 National Design Awards…Leading the recipients this year is James Wines, who has earned a lifetime achievement award for the architectural work of his SITE design firm. Wines and his colleagues have made it a priority to design "environmentally oriented buildings, interiors, gardens, and public spaces."…TED picked up the award for corporate achievement thanks to its enormously popular annual conference and TED Talks…Accolades for product design went to NewDealDesign, the San Francisco-based studio responsible for designing Fitbit's line of fitness trackers, the innovative Lytro camera, and several iterations of the Slingbox…”  http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2013/10/cooper-hewitt-announces-design-award-winners/ 
39.    Square, Airbnb and why experience really is design  http://gigaom.com/2013/10/22/square-airbnb-and-why-experience-really-is-design/  “…I decided to order a pen case from a small leather goods maker in North Carolina…Their website was clean, simple and kept the focus on the goods. However, when it came time to pay for the pen case, I was taken to PayPal’s website — and that is when the experience of interacting with the brand was broken…The checkout page acted like a time machine, taking me back at least a decade, as if all the progress we have made with e-commerce didn’t really happen…I was faced with the friction of the PayPal experience. That prompted me to ask: why doesn’t the pen vendor just take Square. I mean, all I have to do is send them an email and send them Square Cash, a new product that launched last week.  I have been using the service for about a week and let’s just say that sending money (in the US) hasn’t ever been this easy before…while Square might not be as big as PayPal (yet), it has done one thing right: built a seamless experience…There is a consistency of experience: an expectation of payment being invisible and painless. These days, when there is talk of design…what matters most to the customers is the whole experience…Designing this experience is what makes one company different from another. That is why experience design…has to be unique and can’t really be xeroxed…”
DHMN Technology
40.    Rocket Launch to Kick Off Space Week  http://www.hayspost.com/2013/10/03/rocket-launch-to-kick-off-space-week/  “The annual community rocket launch kicks off Space Week at Fort Hays State University…FHSU’s Science and Math Education Institute (SMEI), Department of Geosciences, Forsyth Library, the Astronomy Club and the Department of Teacher Education are co-sponsoring the week’s activities as part of the global celebration that is Space Week…Dr. Paul Adams with SMEI and Forsyth Library have worked together to provide the FHSU Maker Space as a place to “invent, investigate and innovate.” Tools and materials to assemble 50 model rockets for the rocket launch are available in Forsyth’s Maker Space for a donation of $10…Dr. Heinrichs wants everyone to attend the rocket launch…“Come out and get inspired. Come out and get fired up about space again…”
41.     Arduino controlled Pneumatic Flight Simulator  http://diytech.tgdaily.com/story/maker/arduino-controlled-pneumatic-flight-simu/6945482f656e7a55344156674c3036663344505a30413d3d  “…This pneumatic flight simulator is call the ‘LifeBeam’ and is the creation of a student called Dominick Lee. He created it whilst challenging himself using his hardware and software skills. It’s construction is made from plastic tubing that can readily be found at a hardware store. The centre section has a moving frame where a seat is mounted. This frame rotates forward and backwards, whist its outer frame rotates left and right. This gives the user 2 axis’ of movement and the feeling of pitch and roll.The joystick controls are processed using a custom program and sent to an Arduino which controls the pneumatic controls that provide pitch and roll movement.This is an awesome project that I could imagine being extended to racing simulator…”
42.    Seattle’s first biotech hackerspace opens Friday  http://www.geekwire.com/2013/hivebio/  “Two years ago, a group of science enthusiasts tried to open up a do-it-yourself biotech laboratory in the Emerald City… unfortunately for them, good ideas did not lead to execution…Fast forward two years and it’s looking quite a bit better. Thanks to the efforts of a 17-year-old whizkid and a Zulily photo editor, Seattle now has its first-ever DIY biology lab. HiveBio opens its doors Friday after six months of raising money, finding the right space and everything else…The co-founders originally picked a location in South Seattle, but a growing demand in online membership forced them to look for a larger space…HiveBio, a non-profit organization that raised $6,420 on Microryza, will host open lab hours and educational classes to anyone interested in science. Members pay a monthly fee ranging from $54-to-$108 per month, depending on how often they want to use HiveBio. Keyed memberships, which allow 24/7 access, go for $175-to-$240 per month. Others can also use the lab or attend classes and events for a one-time drop-in fee of $15…”
Open Source Hardware
43.    Asterid, Open Source Fully Assembled Professional 3D printer on KickStarter for $499  http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1542850  “Plastic Scribbler has launched their Asterid Open Source 3D Printer on Kickstarter that aims to be the “world’s first $499 fully assembled 3D printer with an 8"x8"x8" build volume". Their new printer offers high-end results without the high-end price tag…The Asterid 3D printer is supplied completely assembled and ready to use out-of-the-box. Plastic Scribbler will assemble everything from the electronics to the hot-end and wrap it all together with an extruded aluminum frame…all you need to do to get started when you receive your Asterid 3D printer is unpack it, install the software & filament and start printing!...since their new Asterid 3D printer is completely open source, it will work with all your favorite open source software…”
44.    QU-BD Introduces World’s Least Expensive and World’s Fastest 3D Printers  http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1548091  “QU-BD, Inc. introduces the OneUp and Revolution Series of 3D printers, the least expensive and fastest 3D printers in the world, respectively. The OneUp is the least expensive, commercial grade 3D printer available on the market and features a 50 micron resolution setting a new standard for low cost 3D printers and is currently available on crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.com. The Revolution Series also features a 50 micron resolution but allows unprecedented printing speeds up to 450mm/s and beyond. This allows lightning fast 3D prints that finish in minutes, not hours…counter to many competing 3D printer companies, QU-BD will remain open source…”
Open Source
45.    All Things Open conference  xxx  “…All Things Open is coming to Raleigh, NC. It’s the first open source-focused conference of it’s kind to come to the capital of North Carolina…at the SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) two years ago…I had mentioned that Raleigh needed an open source conference. Fast forward to a few months ago…I got a call from the organizers asking for recommendations on dates and locations to host an open source conference in Raleigh. Next thing I know, All Things Open is a legit conference
46.    Here are the six tracks: Developer (two tracks)…Operations (two tracks)…Business…Emerging…Lee Congdon, Red Hat CIO, will be speaking after our lunchtime Opensource.com Tweet-up…Angela Byron and Jessica McKellar will be sharing their thoughts on Women in Open Source. Last but not least, Chris Dibona, from Google, who recently told us why open source is brutal, will be delivering a keynote presentation…”  http://allthingsopen.org/
47.    Ubuntu Touch: The smartphone Ubuntu Linux arrives  http://www.zdnet.com/ubuntu-touch-the-smartphone-ubuntu-linux-arrives-7000022221/  “Ubuntu Touch isn't ready for every user yet. But power smartphone users, Ubuntu Linux fans, and developers will want to give this new contender in the mobile device operating wars a close look…Ubuntu Touch is what Canonical…sees as Ubuntu's real future. The Linux desktop is great, but it shows little sign of paying back Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth's investment. Ubuntu's commercial future lies with the OpenStack cloud and Ubuntu Touch…At this time, Ubuntu Touch is only officially supported on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones; and the 2012 Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets…”
48.    ownCloud Documents: open source Google Docs competitor  http://www.muktware.com/2013/10/pure-open-source-open-standard-google-docs-iwork-office-365-competitor-arrives/15232  “There are…many online word processors including Google Docs, Office 365, iWorks…There are a lot of organizations and individuals who want to use a standard based, open source online editor to avoid any vendor locks…ownCloud is working on a web-based editing software which offers native support for ODF formats and works across platforms and applications. The upcoming release of ownCloud, version 6, will come with ownCloud Documents…you can invite users from the same ownCloud to work collaboratively on the same document with you. Or you can send invitation links by email to people outside your server to collaborate with you on the document.” That sounds like the first true open source killer of Google Docs, iWorks and Office 365…”
Civilian Aerospace
49.    Landing gear failure on Dream Chaser’s first free flight  http://spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-news/commercial-spaceflight-space-flight-news/sierra-nevada/dream-chaser/dream-chasers-first-free-flight-ends-in-failure/  “…Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser spaceplane, after…conducting a “perfect” free flight…encountered a mechanical failure during landing….The 9-meter-long craft, resembling a miniature space shuttle with upturned wings, was dropped from an Erickson…helicopter where it glided to an automated approach at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center…Today’s events follow two captive flights, in the second of which the ETA was carried under an Air-Crane…to put the vehicle’s flight computer, guidance, navigation and control systems, and aerosurfaces through their paces. Additionally, the landing gear was lowered and nose skid deployed. The Dream Chaser ETA has also undergone tow tests, involving it being pulled behind a pickup truck along the concrete landing strip at various speeds. Today’s failure is being defined as “mechanical” in nature…the craft touched down, but the left landing gear failed to deploy, at this point the Dream Chaser ETA placed weight on the landing gear and the ETA flipped over on the runway…it is unclear how much damage the ETA has suffered or even if it can be repaired…”
50.    Help NASA crowdsource products and services and share the profits  http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/10/help_nasa_crowdsource_products.html  “NASA and…marblar.com are teaming up to ask the public to brainstorm new products and services using NASA technologies. Come up with a new idea worth developing and you'll own part of the new thing when it rolls out…Fourteen NASA-patented technologies are on the Marblar site now. An example is NASA image-stablizing technology developed for studying solar flares that could stabilize the main image and the background of shaky videos. Another 26 technologies will be added over the next year. People can submit ideas for products and services, and watching commercial companies will decide if something is worth pursuing. If an idea gets developed, the originator shares ownership…”
Supercomputing & GPUs
51.     GPU Database Speeds Big Data Visualization  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2013-10-21/gpu-based_database_speeds_big_data_visualization.html  “…A new massively parallel database, called MapD…uses off-the-shelf GPUs to crunch complex spatial and GIS data in real time. The approach is significantly faster than conventional CPU-based systems. Using a single high-performance GPU card, Mostak reported a 70-fold speedup…the "new technology achieves big speed gains by storing the data in the onboard memory of graphics processing units (GPUs) instead of in central processing units (CPUs), as is conventional."…Where previous technology would take seconds or longer to render data into images or animations, MapD turns millions of data points into maps and animations in just milliseconds. The MapD technology will work for different kinds of data, but the prototype is being demonstrated on tweets…MapD can show how a meme (in this case "rain") is trending in real time on regional or world maps. The user can set search terms and other parameters, e.g., time frame or geographical region, and the new visualization appears instantly…”
52.    Scientists Prepare Weather Model for GPU-based Systems  http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2013-10-25/scientists_prepare_weather_model_for_gpu-based_systems.html  “…A recent article…provides an in-depth look at recent developments with the COSMO application, including how it is being modified to take advantage of hardware accelerators, like GPGPUs…The main goals of this project were to make the software more efficient and to adapt it to leverage the performance gains offered by hybrid GPU-based computing systems…Fuhrer also explains that the two HP2C projects illustrated three important points: Firstly, it is feasible to target GPU-based hardware while retaining a single source code for almost all of the COSMO code. Secondly, using GPU hardware is very attractive for accelerating simulation time and reducing the electric power required…Thirdly, it is possible for domain scientists to develop and work with this new version of the COSMO model. Even though it's a lot of work to make the changes, the efficiency gains and power consumption benefits are a compelling case, especially given the still-expanding popularity of GPUs in big science systems…”
Trends & Emerging Tech
53.    The 9 Hottest Trends In HR Technology ... And Many Are Disruptive  http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2013/10/21/the-9-hottest-trends-in-hr-technology-and-many-are-disruptive/  “…I…want to share some insights on key directions in HR technology. Here are the 9 biggest trends…taking place, many of which are highly disruptive…1.  The Convergence of Talent Management and ERP is Here…2.  User Experience is The New Battleground…3. “Taps Replace Clicks” - Mobile is The Platform, Not A Platform…4.  Big Data Talent Analytics Tools Have Arrived…5.  HR Vendor-Provided Middleware is Becoming a Standard…6.  Evolving Assessment Science and BigData  is Changing The Way We Source…7.  MOOCs and New Learning Modalities…8.  Video and Social Everywhere…9.  Watch for Wearable Computing and The Internet of Things…”

54.    4 Big Trends in 2014  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverly-macy/4-big-trends-in-2014_b_4133257.html  “Here's what's hot in 2014: 1. Social-mobile-data in the Cloud is the competitive advantage…2. Predictive matching in B2B content…3. Workplace transformation…4. Wearable technology…Companies that provide social-mobile-data in the cloud to knowledge workers have the competitive advantage over companies that don't….With all the social intelligence and big data out there, smart analytics have provided predictable matching…in the consumer space…2014 brings this to the enterprise…The 24/7 BYOD (bring your own device), "anywhere-anytime" workplace has arrived. Along with it comes the Millennial Generation streaming into the workforce…Watch for worker productivity apps in wearables as medical professionals, rescue teams, warehouse workers and others are starting to use devices that overlay images and relevant data on goggles…”