Sunday, October 31, 2010

Moore's Law Gets a Boost

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Advance Could Change Modern Electronics

ScienceDaily (Oct. 31, 2010) — Researchers at Oregon State University have solved a quest in fundamental material science that has eluded scientists since the 1960s, and could form the basis of a new approach to electronics.

The discovery, just reported online in the professional journal Advanced Materials, outlines the creation for the first time of a high-performance "metal-insulator-metal" diode.

"Researchers have been trying to do this for decades, until now without success," said Douglas Keszler, a distinguished professor of chemistry at OSU. "Diodes made previously with other approaches always had poor yield and performance.

"This is a fundamental change in the way you could produce electronic products, at high speed on a huge scale at very low cost, even less than with conventional methods," Keszler said. "It's a basic way to eliminate the current speed limitations of electrons that have to move through materials."

A patent has been applied for on the new technology, university officials say. New companies, industries and high-tech jobs may ultimately emerge from this advance, they say.

The research was done in the Center for Green Materials Chemistry, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Laboratory and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute.

Conventional electronics made with silicon-based materials work with transistors that help control the flow of electrons. Although fast and comparatively inexpensive, this approach is still limited by the speed with which electrons can move through these materials. And with the advent of ever-faster computers and more sophisticated products such as liquid crystal displays, current technologies are nearing the limit of what they can do, experts say.

By contrast, a metal-insulator-metal, or MIM diode can be used to perform some of the same functions, but in a fundamentally different way. In this system, the device is like a sandwich, with the insulator in the middle and two layers of metal above and below it. In order to function, the electron doesn't so much move through the materials as it "tunnels" through the insulator -- almost instantaneously appearing on the other side.

"When they first started to develop more sophisticated materials for the display industry, they knew this type of MIM diode was what they needed, but they couldn't make it work," Keszler said. "Now we can, and it could probably be used with a range of metals that are inexpensive and easily available, like copper, nickel or aluminum. It's also much simpler, less costly and easier to fabricate."

The findings were made by researchers in the OSU Department of Chemistry; School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

In the new study, the OSU scientists and engineers describe use of an "amorphous metal contact" as a technology that solves problems that previously plagued MIM diodes. The OSU diodes were made at relatively low temperatures with techniques that would lend themselves to manufacture of devices on a variety of substrates over large areas.

High speed computers and electronics that don't depend on transistors are possibilities. Also on the horizon are "energy harvesting" technologies such as the nighttime capture of re-radiated solar energy, a way to produce energy from the Earth as it cools during the night.

"For a long time, everyone has wanted something that takes us beyond silicon," Keszler said. "This could be a way to simply print electronics on a huge size scale even less expensively than we can now. And when the products begin to emerge the increase in speed of operation could be enormous."


Attention tWitteR I Don't Think I'll be Following Your Suggestions on Using tWeET and tWitteR!

To all the lawyers, CEOs, CFOs, Directors, Managers, and other people in charge at tWitteR you can contact me at 859 S Fern Wichita Ks 67213 with any legal papers due to my improper use of the terms tWitteR, tWeEt, or any another terms you feel you have legal right too. I Consider this notice as a public disclosure of and a proper attempt to notify you of my intent to use the words tWeET and tWitteR as I chose to use them. Therefor I will only consider changing my use if notified with in 10 days of this posting. Wonder if I'll get any response?

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Hey, Twitter, Enough Of This Crap About "Here's How You Can Use The Word Tweet"

Twitter has issued new rules about how the rest of us can use the words "Twitter" and "Tweet," MG Siegler of TechCrunch tells us.

And the rules are right out of a handbook on how to take yourself way too seriously.

For example:

  • Make sure that if mentioning “Tweet,” you include a direct reference to Twitter (for instance, “Tweet with Twitter”) or display the Twitter marks with the mention of “Tweet.”


Naming your Application or Product, Applying for a Domain

Do: Use Tweet in the name of your application only if it is designed to be used exclusively with the Twitter platform.

Don’t: Use Tweet in the name of your application if used with any other platform.

In other words, if you're TweetDeck, a company that was created shortly after the company called Twitter and helped to make Twitter the powerhouse that it is today, you have to change your name to, say, StatusUpdateDeck, because Twitter's lawyers now say they own the word "Tweet."

Now, Twitter's lawyers will no doubt say that what they're doing here is just laying claim to company property, the same way "Xerox" or "Kleenex" or "Google" might do.

Yes, Twitter's lawyers will say here that they're only trying to control the CAPITALIZED forms of these words, but that's still weenie-like.  As MG Siegler notes: "This would seem to be all about Twitter gaining the trademark to the word “tweet”, which they’ve been trying unsuccessfully to do. They also later note, “Please remember to capitalize the T in Twitter and Tweet!” As a commenter notes, it’s funny that they don’t even capitalize it in their own logo!" 

Yes, by imposing ever-greater rules on how application providers can interact with the service, and by co-opting some of the most popular third-party applications, Twitter has already screwed over some of the folks who initially supported it and begun its transformation into a "CORPORATION." But those moves were foreshadowed and expected, and they were arguably necessary to the company's long-term financial success.

Trademarking the word "Tweet," meanwhile, has nothing to do with the company's long-term financial success (unless part of the financial model is expected to be suing people for trademark infringement.)  It's just annoying.

If you want to trademark the company-name "Twitter," fine.  But lay off "Tweet."  And stop trying to dictate how people can and can't use words that have been communal property for centuries.  It's way too early--and your company is still way too cool--to let lawyers take over.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Small Isn't Always Small but Small can Often be Big

One of the areas of greatest confusion for accounts dealing with businesses is if they are small or not and thus entitled to some of the many benefits for small businesses. It would seem that such a choice would have rules and regulations that define "small business" such that someone could, if not easily, at least definitively tell if a business was small or not. But as in many case dealing with tax law nothing could be further from the truth. For as this article from points out not only is it hard to determine if a business is "small" but many times a business is "small" for one benefit but not for another. I often see businesses that get breaks due to number of employees but fail to get breaks for asset size or business classification. This problem has existed almost since the beginning of businesses income taxes in this country. This is one area that needs to be addressed and would offer immediate relief from many burdensome record keeping and tracking requirements that having such diverse definitions require. So take a look behind the scenes by reading this article and you will see just how our federal tax law addresses this issue by draping a spider web of confusion over the whole issue. And remember the states all get into the act as well each with their own mess of definitions, rules, and crazy inclusions and exclusions. In the end it's all of us that pay the price for this mess that most likely only a small percentage of even small business owners know about just how bad it is. So take a Tylenol or two and check out the Alice in Wonderland rules of what is a small business 101.

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The Many Sizes of ‘Small’

Tax policies geared to provide relief or incentives to small businesses beg the question of just what a “small” business is.

October 28, 2010

by Annette Nellen, CPA, Esq.

For decades, the tax law has included special rules to provide various benefits or incentives to small businesses or to exclude them from a burdensome rule. Yet, the federal tax law has no single, uniform definition of small business. Instead, as recently illustrated by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, such businesses may be defined based on gross receipts, assets, capital, entity type, number of shareholders or amount of some outlay, such as start-up expenditures. Even with the same base, such as gross receipts, small is defined with varying dollar amounts. We frequently hear elected officials talk about helping small businesses with no reference point or measure offered to define the term.

This article examines the variety of ways that “small” is defined and used in Small Business Administration (SBA) rules, which defines “small” with a broader brush, are also discussed. Two state proposals calling for exemptions for small businesses are noted along with whether improvements can be made to our current system of identifying small businesses.

“Small” is used in the federal income tax law is to provide a benefit or incentive to small businesses. For example, eligible small employers can receive a tax credit for providing health coverage to employees (§45R). Another reason for identifying small business is to except them from some rule deemed too burdensome or unnecessary for small businesses. For example, C corporations with an average annual gross receipts over a three-year period of $5 million or less are excepted from the required use of the accrual method (§448).

State tax proposals from Congress and the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) call for exceptions for small businesses, but do not define the term, leaving it open for discussion in reaching a final proposal. The Main Street Fairness Act (H.R. 5660 (111th Congress)), would allow states that have adopted the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) to collect sales from remote vendors. One catch is that the simplified system must include a uniform small seller exception.

The MTC’s draft Model Sales-and-Use Tax Notice and Reporting Statute follows the Colorado approach to improving use tax collection. It would require remote vendors to notify buyers of use tax obligations and to issue an annual report of purchases to buyers and the state government. An exception would be included for small sellers. (MTC memo (PDF) of July 15, 2010 on the model statute.)

The varied ways that “small” is used in the federal tax system is illustrated well by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240) enacted September 27, 2010. Provisions of this Act directed to small businesses can be categorized as shown in the table below.

The Act highlights that the term “small” business can mean many things. It also illustrates that a business may be considered small for one rule, but not another. For example, a retail business with gross receipts greater than $10 million but not exceeding $50 million is not considered small under the Unicap rules (§263A), but is small under the special credit rules (§38).

The six different techniques for describing “small” used in the Act illustrate only a subset of the range of parameters used in or considered for federal taxes. Additional parameters are listed below (not an exhaustive list).

  • Capital: Section 1244, Losses on Small Business Stock, defines small as $1 million or less of capitalization.
  • Gross receipts: Average annual receipt thresholds used to define small range from $5 million (§448 providing an exception from the required use of the accrual method) to $7,500,000 (§55(d) providing an AMT exception for corporations) to $10 million (§263A exception from the required use of the Unicap rules for retailers).
  • Assets: The Small Business/Self-Employed Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) serves (1) individuals filing Form 1040 and (2) other business with assets totaling under $10 million. The Division alludes to the limitations of an asset measure by stating:
  • “Some businesses may meet the under $10 million asset test for SB/SE yet be more like a large or midsize business in every other way. … Other businesses may have assets over $10 million yet be more like a small business. These customers may be serviced by the Small Business/Self-Employed Division.”
  • Personal property placed in service in a given year: The §179 expensing election amounts have ranged from $10,000 in 1992 to $500,000 for 2010 and 2011. After the temporary increase to $500,000 expires after 2011, the amount will be $25,000. President Obama has proposed that the expensing amount be $250,000 with the phase-out beginning at $800,000 (General Explanation of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 Revenue Proposals (PDF), Feb. 2010, page 8).
  • Number of employees: To qualify for the full health insurance credit, an employer should have no more 25 full-time equivalent employees. In contrast, an employer must have no more than 100 employees to qualify for a SIMPLE IRA plan (§408(p)).
  • Sole proprietors or Schedule C filers: IRS Publication 334 is entitled Tax Guide for Small Business (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ), implying that small business means a sole proprietor.

SBA definitions of “small” serve to identify businesses eligible for SBA assistance programs. SBA rules define a “small business concern” as independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field and within the SBA’s size criteria. Size criteria vary depending on the industry. Generally, for each industry, as identified by North American Industry Classification System NAICS codes, a maximum gross receipts or employment number is used to define small. For example, a new car dealer is small if it has 200 or fewer employees. Most manufacturers are small if they have 500 or fewer employees. A family clothing store is small if its gross receipts do not exceed $35.5 million. A small business can operate in any legal entity form.

The SBA is in the process of reviewing its standards to determine “whether existing size standards have supportable bases relative to the current data.” In October 2010, it released revised standards for retail businesses (Fed. Reg. October 6, 2010, page 61597 (PDF)). Some of the existing standards were almost 30 years old. For most of the retail trades addressed, the gross receipts level was double or tripled. For example, the size standard for computer and software stores was increased from $9 million to $25.5 million.

The SBA reaches its definitions of small by considering factors such as average company size and start-up costs, as well as industry competition and the size distribution of firms. Public comments are also considered (SBA FAQ). Thus, unlike federal tax rules, “small” for SBA programs is not one size fits all and has data supporting its definitions.

The nature of a particular industry — whether it is capital intensive or labor intensive, the price of goods and the frequency of sales, is not considered in tax law definitions. This can lead to odd results. For example, the expensing amount of §179, ignoring temporary increases, is $25,000. While this may enable a small service business, to expense the cost of a few computers, it provides little assistance to a small manufacturer in need of new or additional equipment. 

The current state proposals seeking a definition for a small seller exception seek to protect small businesses from burdensome rules rather than to provide a tax incentive. Should the same definition of small business be used for each situation? What are appropriate factors to determine if a compliance rule, such as filing annual reports of customer purchases, would pose a significant burden on a business?

While there is a tendency to use gross receipts as the measurement of small, the burden of filing information returns for customers likely correlates better with the number of sales transactions. For example, assume Sellers A and B each has $1 million of gross receipts. The average sales transaction for A is $800 and for B is $30. Clearly, Seller B has a greater compliance burden than does Seller A.

Colorado’s remote vendor notice rule uses a threshold of $100,000 of in-state gross receipts based on customers with more than $500 in annual purchases.

Additional approaches for identifying businesses that may warrant relief from burdensome tax rules include providing an exemption for the first few years of operations or defining small based on number of employees.

The varied and numerous definitions of “small” used in the federal tax law makes the law complex and inequitable. Some businesses that view themselves as small may not be treated as such under all small business tax rules. Lessons can be learned from the SBA approach to defining small. Defining “small” based on industry characteristics should bring greater logic to the reason for even having special rules for small businesses and better target small business tax provisions to best help small businesses.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Make Twitter Work Better With Twitter Lists

As so many find Twitter can be a crazy place to visit and even crazier to keep up with. So much random noise to drown out the great stuff that is what brings you to Twitter in the first place. So what can you do to make things better. Simple use Twitter lists and a good Twitter Suite to manage your Twitter flow. As this article shows there are many simple ways to use lists to help you find and react to the your followers and any meaningful Tweets. So take a minute read the article and get your lists in order. You'll enjoy Twitter much better and get a lot more results for all that time spend Tweeting.

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Tuning Twitter with Twitter Lists

You’re a seasoned Twitter user and proud of the relationships you’ve built on Twitter but as your community has grown you’ve encountered a common problem.

It get’s noisy very quickly.Courtesy of Paul Bausch

I follow 2200+ people and eventually someone will ask…

  • How do you keep up?
  • How do you follow so many people?
  • or I’ll hear, I need to unfollow people so I can listen closer to XYZ.

My answer to all 3 issues is the same. So come close and I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Learn to use twitter lists well and you’ll unlock the power to pay attention and take your twitter network to the next level.

What are they?

It is simply a list of Twitter users.

Lists can be focused on subjects, locales, or relationships. They can be whatever you want them to be.

Want to listen to more locals? Looking to highlight industry voices? Take the time to create a list.

How to use them?

  • Use private twitter lists for listening
  • Use public twitter lists for recommending others
Private Twitter Lists

My private listening lists are my diamond mine. You can’t see them but they are crucial to my twitter experience. They are how I tune Twitter.

Here is my approach.

  1. Inner Circle – This is my friends list. I take great care in managing it because I watch it closely.
  1. Outer Circle – People that I’ve interacted with and have proven to share high value tweets.
  1. Curated – I’ve got a handful of people that consistently find the best tech/social info from around the world.
Public Twitter Lists

I create public lists to recommend high quality groups of users (and I listen on these as well).

  1.  All About Twitter – Everything I need to know about twitter news and features can be found in this list. It is my ultimate Twitter knowledge base.
  1.  News – Headlines and breaking News from around the world and local sources.
  1.  Major Players – Movers & shakers online

My my public lists have a variety of uses and purposes. For more good examples see Scoble’s Public Lists or Yahoo News public lists

Step 1: Create them

Step 2: Use them

At this level of Twitter usage you should be using a twitter client on your computer. I recommend using Seesmic Desktop 2 or Tweetdeck and both clients make it easy to add your Twitter lists as a new column.


Time Travler Maybe but Using a Cellphone... Not

I'm always amazed at what can surface sometimes on the net to catch our attention and the clip from the movie apparently showing someone using something that looks like a cellphone as they walk along the street is no exception. You can see the clip here Time Travler

And while I don't know about time travel as there are some possible ways it could be achieved but they are all pretty difficult to see ever happening. Of course you only have to look at the PC and the internet to see that amazing things do happen and become everyday events.

But I guess my biggest problem is if this is a person talking on a cell phone who are they talking to and what service provider are they using. Look, face it, there would have been no one else to talk to and no cell phone companies to use back then. So if this person is a time traveler they would have to be using some kind of communication device that would let them talk to someone in the time they came from. Something more like a walkie-talkie or Star Trek tri-corder than a cell phone. So time traveler maybe but they are not talking on a cell phone.

Moonwalk Tapes Restored for "Lost" Apollo 11 Mission

Finally after 6 years for work the tapes from the Apollo 11 moon walk mission are ready to be released and they should be better than any pictures we've seen before. Sadly these restored pictures are still from tape files in Australa that are not the original tapes from the mission. Hard as it is to believe the original NASA tapes were sent back to NASA headquarters where they were reused. Talk about an IT mistake of historical proportions. For the saving of a few dollars in tape what well could have been one of the most historical tapes in history was recorded over. This should be a story shared with every new IT graduate.

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'Lost' Apollo 11 Moonwalk tapes restored

SYDNEY: After a three-year search for the lost Apollo 11 tapes and an exhaustive six-year restoration project, digitally remastered footage of the historic Moonwalk is almost ready to be broadcast.

Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated tape restoration team, the enhanced footage surpasses the quality of the live broadcast that stunned an international TV audience on the day of the historic event in 1969.

A five-minute highlights reel (see below) exhibits a number of the Moonwalk's most remarkable moments including Neil Armstrong's descent onto the lunar surface; the raising of the 'Stars and Stripes'; and the famed phone-call between astronauts Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and President Nixon.

Clear record of the Moonwalk

"What we have now is the clearest record of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk TV for future generations," said Colin Mackeller, an Apollo 11 historian who edited the footage and was a member of the restoration team.

All but the first few seconds of the final two and a half hour restoration comes from video received in Australia.

On the day of the Moonwalk, three tracking stations - NASA's Goldstone in California, and Honeysuckle Creek and Parkes Observatory in Australia (featured in 2000 movie The Dish) - were tasked with recording the live footage transmitted from the Moon.

The images were captured by a single small video camera, attached to the lunar module, but the camera used an unusual format, slow-scan television (SSTV), which is incompatible with commercial television broadcast.

As a result, the SSTV transmission had to be converted in real-time into a standard broadcast signal before being sent to the NASA flight centre in Houston for distribution to the TV networks.

"NASA were using the Goldstone station signal, which had its settings wrong, but in the signals being received by the Australian stations you can actually see Armstrong," said John Sarkissian, an astronomer at Australia's science research body CSIRO, who led the restoration project.

When the Apollo 11 Tape Search and Restoration Team was formed in 2003, the intention was to track down the tapes onto which the unconverted SSTV was first recorded. It was hoped that with modern conversion techniques a picture could be produced that hadn't been degraded by the accumulative effects of conversion and satellite transmission.

However, a three-year search for the SSTV tapes proved fruitless. It transpired that NASA had taken all the original tapes and erased them for use on subsequent missions.

"After an exhaustive search, we were sad to conclude that all the tapes were shipped back to the US after the mission and were re-used, probably in the early 1980s. No-one had ever expected to access the slow-scan TV, and so those few tapes weren't singled out to be preserved", said Mackellar.

Preserved for future generations

"I don't like people who can't make up thr minds. Well, I do a little. No, I don't. Some I do. I need time to think." ~ @paulapoundstone

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Size it Virus Surprises Scientists

Scientists have found a second even more amazing super sized virus. It truly approaches being something between being a virus and being a life form. What they finally learn from this virus about life forms remains to be seen but it should result in some interesting discoveries.

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Newfound Virus is a Giant with Lifelike Properties

Scientists have found the ocean's largest virus.
Fortunately, this microbial monster is a menace only to a particular
single-celled organism.  

Based on the size of its genome, or complete DNA sequence, the
microbe dubbed CroV is the second to be considered a "giant virus."
The only virus with a larger genome lives in fresh water.

CroV's enormous, and surprising, genetic code further blurs
the boundary between viruses and cellular life, according to the researchers
who described it.

CroV is equipped with genes that allow it to repair its genome,
synthesize sugars and even gain more control over the machinery that it hijacks
within the host cells to replicate itself.

"They take over the cell, and they basically run the
cell," said Matthias Fischer, who described CroV for his doctoral
dissertation at the University of British Columbia. He added that the
production of new CroV viruses within an infected cell resembles an assembly line.

Viruses are essentially genetic material
wrapped in a thin protein coat, and they must use the goods of a host in order
to make more of themselves.
Traditionally, viruses were considered nonliving. However, these
discoveries about CroV add more weight to the argument that viruses are alive, Fischer

Big virus, tiny host

Fischer found that CroV's genome contains approximately
730,000 base pairs, the building blocks of DNA. By comparison, the largest
virus on record, Mimivirus,
has a genome of about 1.2 million base pairs. Prior to confirmation in 2003 that
Mimivirus was indeed a virus, the largest known virus had a genome of around 331,000
base pairs, according to Fischer.

Despite its size, CroV is a threat only to the relatively small.
It infects a common, single-celled grazing creature called Cafeteria roenbergensis. In fact, the virus is approximately a
twentieth the size of its host. (For a person who stood 5-foot-6, or 1.7 meters,
this would translate roughly into being infected by
a virus the size of a softball.)

C. roenbergensis's diet of bacteria and
viruses may explain the strange collection of genes possessed by the giant
virus that infects it. Perhaps the oddest of these include the genes that code
for the entire pathway to create a key component to a bacterial outer membrane

CroV may have acquired these genes by picking up DNA from
the remains of a bacterium eaten by a cell the virus later infected, according
to the researchers. Something similar also may have occurred with Mimivirus,
which infects a bacteria-eating amoeba and
also appears to contain genes of bacterial origin. This is a possible
explanation for the origin of 10 to 20 percent of the giant virus genes.

Other genes within CroV are even more mysterious. The
researchers could not recognize 51 percent of the genes they encountered in the
new virus. This is actually a low proportion – about 90 percent of the genes within
certain viruses are unknown, Fischer said.

"Every virus you pull out has a new set of genes that
is unique to this virus, that has never been seen before," he said.

This makes it unlikely that many viral genes have cellular
origins. It is currently hypothesized that viral genes are ancient, and have
never been part of cellular organisms, he said.


Redbox Offering Free Rental Codes to First Million Customers

If you want to get a free movie rental check out you local Redbox rental location. But I'll bet it doesn't take long to reach that million rentals so hurry. :-)

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Redbox - FREE Rental Codes

Deal Price:
Free offers Redbox - FREE Rental Codes for Free.


Redbox and McDonalds have partnered up to give away 1 million FREE Redbox rentals. This code will stop working after it has been used 1 million times.

MEJER26 valid only at Meijer locations (exp.10/27/10)


DVDKROG valid only at Kroger locations.

DVDATWAG valid only at Walgreen’s locations.

DVDONME once per card, no expiration date.

DRIVEIN valid only at Sonic locations.





BREAK ROOM (with a space)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just thinking that it would be nice if some random feeds were put into our conversation feed. If we could chose subjects or #hashtags to guide what was caught up and fed to us it would fit in with what we were are following anyway. It would be kind of like #Bumpinto and would give us a chance to possibly find others to follow just from post we otherwise would miss. I so like the though of random serendipitous events helping to shape who we find on Amplify.
What do you all think of the popular link shortening service's announcement that it will allow users to shorten links and automatically turn those links in to QR codes?

Those QR codes of course lead back to the original link. And all you have to do to add a QR code in is change the end of the link to .qr. That causes to generate a QR code automatically.

This makes it easy to reach the thousands of smart phone user who have downloaded QR reading software already and the thousands who should join them in the near future as QR codes seem to have really taken off.It sure seems to me with this change QR codes have take a giant step and has sure staked a claim on part of that future.

You can bet that most if not all of the other URL shorting services will be joining in rather than lose out.
Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. ~Nicholas Berdyaev RT credit @wisdomalacarte

Friday, October 22, 2010

Apple's New Even Slimmer MacBook Air Sports Latest Features

When you look at what Apple is putting in it's new MacBook Air it's sounds like a dream come true for Mac fans. From sporting a new even slimmer design partly made possible by using solid state flash storage rather than hard drives to the new operating system Apple is raising the bar. So as this article in newsfactor shows it should be a major hit in the market place.

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Apple Unveils iLife 11 and Slimmest MacBook Air

Jobs also said that the Mac, not to be outdone by its younger iPod and iPhone siblings, will soon have its own application store.

Apple will include its new iLife 11 with new Macs, including the new MacBook Air that CEO Steve Jobs introduced. Jobs also announced FaceTime for the Mac and said Mac OS X Lion will ship next year. Apple's iLife 11 includes new iPhoto features, easier iMovie editing, and new features in GarageBand. A Mac app store is also planned to open soon.

The new Air uses solid-state flash storage instead of a hard drive, which the company said lightens an already lightweight laptop Relevant Products/Services since solid state is as much as 90 percent smaller and lighter than a hard drive. At its thinnest point, the Air is 0.11 inches, and only 0.68 inches at its thickest.

The company also announced a public beta of FaceTime for Mac, which allows Mac users to video-call iPhone 4 and iPod touch users, or other Mac users. It automatically uses the Address Book contacts on the machine, so special buddy lists aren't needed, and it works with Macs' built-in cameras and mikes.

Apple provided a peek at the Lion. Mac OS X Lion is expected to ship in the summer of 2011, and the preview included LaunchPad for Mac apps, systemwide support for full-screen apps, Mission Control, and a look at the Mac Apps Store.

Jobs said Lion "brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac" and adds some new ones, such as Mission Control. Launchpad shows all available apps on the Mac, organized as desired. With Mission Control, a user can navigate through apps that are running.

As with an iPad, the Mac app store will allow users to find and download apps via an iTunes account. It will become available within 90 days for Macs running the Snow Leopard OS.

The newest Air is available in 11.6- and 13.3-inch display models, features instant-on bootup, and has a battery life of up to seven hours.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Have Sports Fans Finally Woke Up and Decided Enough is Enough

After last years KU ticket scandal broke and the economy crash finally hit home KU finds it's self for the first time in a long time (147 consecutive sellouts) not selling out Allen Fieldhouse. A large part of that is the Lew Perkins mess that has many fans dropping season tickets to show their disgust. And the economy certainly has kept many things from selling as well this year not just basketball tickets. But maybe part of it is also that fans are beginning to decide that sporting tickets (especially college) are just getting too expensive when you count in all the cost. I know years ago I decided that going to WSU games as a season ticket holder was just getting too expensive so I stopped. I buy tickets to some if not all of the games but not season tickets. And that's because of the mandatory "contributions" required to the Shocker Athletic group. I don't think that when a donation is required it's a donation any more it's just an additional hidden cost for tickets. This all consuming grab for the money is what's fueled the whole college sports environment of today and it's hurting college sports. It's time that ticket prices were the price on the ticket and donations were raised without tying them to tickets. That's the only way to fairly let those of limited means still get tickets and to make the game about more than money.

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Kansas basketball tickets no longer impossible

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two weeks before the start of Kansas basketball season, Allen Fieldhouse is not sold out. Which is to say that despite the same banners hanging from the rafters and the same chants
booming from wall to wall, it might not be the same Allen Fieldhouse this season.

The Jayhawks have played in front of 147 consecutive packed houses, dating to the beginning of the 2001-02 season. To be inside the old barn for a game meant that you had either gotten lucky, knew
someone important or cared enough about KU to spend a significant sum of money to watch 40 minutes of basketball. The place felt exclusive, which drove some KU folks crazy and led others in power to
take advantage of having access to the hottest ticket in town.

But for now, Allen Fieldhouse is not sold out. Jim Marchiony, KU's associate athletic director for external relations, said 400 to 500 reserved season tickets are still available to the public.

The reasons make sense: The economy is in the tank, forcing some ticket holders not to renew. Others chose not to pony up because of angst directed toward the Williams Educational Fund and former
Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins in the aftermath of the KU ticket scandal. And, of course, all of those tickets that slipped out the door illegally are now available to KU donors.

Add it all up, and it's a perfect storm that is threatening one of the constants of our region: sellout crowds at "The Phog."

True-blue Jayhawks take pride in that streak, so it was tough for a KU fan like Larry Tenopir to say no to his alma mater this year. He's had season tickets for 41 of the last 42 years, and as a Topeka
attorney, he has the money. Only, he's decided to drop his donation to the Williams Fund from $3,000 to $100 and spend the difference on a TV instead.

Because of donors refusing to renew for whatever reason and the newly available tickets that were being sold illegally in past years, many donors who decided to renew are being rewarded with improved
seats. The positive is that they are now getting what they deserve. The negative is that they were getting short-changed in the past.

"For me, it was Lew Perkins, completely," Tenopir said. "I had a lot of objections to him for years before the ticket scandal. The ticket scandal was the last straw. The only language they seem to
understand is money. I didn't want to pay part of his salary anymore."

KU season-ticket holder Bill Roy, a KU alum who began getting season tickets only last year, already moved a couple of sections closer to the action.

"I moved from section 10A to the inside of 9," Roy said.

Ever since Perkins in 2004 implemented a priority points system, which rewards donors who give the most money with the best seats, longtime KU fans have complained that they had been priced out of

Now, non-Williams Fund members can buy season tickets and become members free of charge (it normally takes at least a $100 donation).

A full-season package is listed at $1,155 with a half-season costing $600. No, tickets are not exactly cheap, but at least they're available.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Who else besides me finds it lame for Mark to say FaceBook didn't know about all the information gathered and sold by all the different apps on FaceBook. So now I'm suppose to believe that this boy genius and his crew are stupid. The fact that FaceBook apps captured and shared user information has been talked about for a very long time. It's only been how much and how it is used in question.So fess up Mark you've been caught in a fubar moment with both hands in the cookie jar. Either that or your whole team of programmers should be out looking for work tomorrow. Lets just cut thorough all the smoke and mirrors and admit that you run FaceBook as your own personal kingdom with little regard for the simple peasants that make it all possible. That's something your going to one day regret and maybe sooner than you might think. I just hope that your actions and total disregard for people and both their privacy and their security doesn't destroy the public's faith and trust in social

FaceBook Plans Chages to Custom Pages and FBML

In looking back over notes of things I had down that I needed to do I ran across one I had forgotten about. It seems that for those of us who have custom Fan or Landing pages on FaceBook we've got some changes looming on the horizon.

The problem is summed up in FaceBooks press release of 8/19/2010:

"By the end of this year, we will no longer allow new FBML applications to be created, so all new canvas applications and Page tabs will have to be based on IFrames and our JavaScript SDK. "

The announcement goes on to say:

"We will, however, continue to support existing implementations of the older authentication mechanism as well as FBML on Page tabs and applications. "

So I guess soon I'll be trying to figure out how these changes will affect what I'm going to do to transition from FBML to IFrames and JavaScript SDK. That sure doesn't sound like a platform that will be as easy to work with so it may mean changing from a do-it-myself project to getting some help.

And as is typical on the FB platform, there seems to be more confusion than clarity among fanpage administrators as to the near-term future. With FaceBook one thing can be certain it won't happen right at the end of the year. FaceBook is as notorious as MS when it comes to being late in meeting projected dates for releases and changes.

Anyway I guess what I'm wondering is what any of you Ampers out there are planning on doing. If I read it right we could just leave what we have in place but would that really be a good idea? I'm sure there will be lots more features and things we can do under IFrames and Java than we can using FBML.

So any thoughts on the matter? Are custom pages even worth the trouble?
@swolfgang found you through #bumped into and liked your posts always nice to keep up with venture capital issues
@CarlWeaver Hi Carl saw your page and comments using #bumped into liked your post so I've added you as a follow. Hope you get that Chocolate tasting job.

What's the Reason for all the Google Chrome Defections to FaceBook

Google has announced another major developer is leaving to join FaceBook. This makes the second major developer to leave Google's Chrome OS project and move to FaceBook. So what's going on? Sadly we don't know but it's an interesting development that not only are many leaving Google for FaceBook but they are coming largely from the Chrome OS team. And that's with Chrome OS's release rumored to be close at hand. You would think that the people on the project would be focused on those last few tweaks and changes. Anyway I'm sure we'll find out what Mark and the boys over at FaceBook are raiding Google for soon enough.

Amplify’d from

I’d venture to say that I’m as excited about Chrome OS as anybody. 99.99 percent of my working day is currently spent in Chrome currently, and I’d be just fine with it being 100 percent if it gains a few features that Chrome OS is promising. But there’s a mildly worrisome trend occurring leading up to the launch of Google’s first operating system: defections. Also interesting: what does Facebook want with these guys?

Specifically, another Chrome OS engineer has decided to leave his job at Google to go work for Facebook. This time it’s not nearly as huge of a blow as Director of Engineering Matthew Papakipos, the man who created and led the Chrome OS team for Google, leaving for Facebook. But it’s still someone else leaving the team to join Facebook, the enemy.

David Garcia, a software engineer who has been at Google for nearly four years has left the company to accept a job at Facebook, we’ve confirmed. You don’t need to look any further than this page to see how involved with Chrome OS development Garcia has been over the past several months.

But I’m even more curious about what Facebook is doing with these people. If you add former Android Senior Product manager (who joined Facebook in May) into this mix, you’re starting to get quite the little collection of people with various OS experience from Google. Oh, and there is what ever project Joe Hewitt is currently working on.

Maybe these people are thinking about phones, maybe not. Maybe they’re thinking about Android, maybe not. Maybe they’re thinking about a browser, maybe not. Maybe something else. But the talent continues to pour into Facebook — and much of it from Google. Despite counter-measures.