ADN Issue 4, March 2014

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Volvo Road Magnets Tell Autonomous Cars Where to Go
Kevin Fogarty
EE Times, March 20, 2014
Autonomous-car designs almost all depend on stuffing enough intelligence into a car to allow it to drive. Volvo is experimenting ways to make the road do some of the work as well.

GPS- and camera-based systems have far more potential for general-purpose location-awareness, navigational, parking and collision-avoidance systems, but are severely limited in poor visibility and at very close distances, according to Volvo’s announcement March 11.

Magnets are especially good at identifying lane divisions under snow and ice that could confuse vision and radar system.

Tags: Automotive, Navigation,
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4G Carriers: It‘s All About Speed
Noam Green
VP of Marketing at Flash Networks
InnovationInsights, March 27, 2014
Mobile operators are fighting to be the fastest, and based on the latest speed test results competition is working. When PC Magazine went on a road trip last spring to find the fastest mobile network, they discovered that although there is not a single operator that offers a perfect 4G experience, they‘re all working hard and delivering better networks than they did last year.

However, although the introduction and deployment of 4G networks offers real promise for both subscribers and operators worldwide, the promise of speed can‘t always be guaranteed.

Tags: Wireless, Networks,
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How IBM Measured the Current Data Speed Record
Martin Rowe
EE Times, March 25, 2014
Whenever I hear a claim about some new highest speed, shortest time, or other research result, I ask, “How did they measure it?” and “How do they know if the results are accurate?” So, when IBM announced that engineers had successfully transferred data at 64 Gbit/s just prior to OFC 2014, I just had to ask how they verified the result.

Tags: Wireless, Networks,
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Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Complete Initial Flight Test on MQ-4C Triton Drone
Shane McGlaun
DailyTech, March 25, 2014
The U.S. military is quickly ramping up its use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to not only save costs, but to also put fewer pilots in harm‘s way. The U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman have announced that they have completed initial flight testing on the MQ-4C Triton UAV, which can be configured for multiple intelligence, surveillance, and recon sensor payloads.

Tags: Drones, Military,
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The Tax Man -- and the Cybercriminals -- Cometh
Alex Balan
Head of Product Management at BullGuard.
InnovationInsights, March 27, 2014
Last year, an estimated 120 million people filed their taxes online via Inland Revenue Service (IRS) e-file. And apparently, since 1990 more than 1 billion people also did the deed online.

In the virtual shadow world, personal information is the equivalent of hard currency. Hackers use it to commit fraud or simply sell on to others. It has value, it equates to money. Within this context, and along with other landmark calendar events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, cyber spammers see the tax season as a significant opportunity to divest people of their personal information.

Tags: Security, Internet,
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New Firm Pitches Cybersecurity for Less Well-Heeled
Danny Yadron
WSJ, March 27, 2014
Now some big-name former Washington officials are backing a new cybersecurity company that seeks to help less-well-heeled clients. Vectra, run by two former Juniper Networks executives, uses an approach en vogue: Identifying hackers already in the system rather than trying to keep them out.

The company‘s software uses a graph to rank the severity of unusual activity on a private network. Run-of-the-mill spam likely isn‘t a pressing issue. But thousands of files being copied to a previously unknown server probably is worth a look.

Tags: Security,
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SAS Brings Visual Modeling To Data Scientists
Doug Henschen
InformationWeek, March 27, 2014
SAS announced new technologies, new efforts to expand its community, and support for new platforms including Hadoop at its SAS Global Forum.

The headliner among new technologies introduced is SAS Visual Statistics, a companion to the SAS Visual Analytics product the company introduced nearly two years ago. Where SAS Visual Analytics is a data-exploration and data-analysis tool geared to business analysts, Visual Statistics is aimed at statisticians and data scientists who want to get their hands on the data and the models so they can test variables and algorithms in order to optimize performance. Both products share the same visual, drag-and-drop style graphical user interface and both products run on the same powerful SAS LASR clustered, in-memory server.

Tags: BigData,
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Driverless Car Sharing Concept Focuses on Digital Comfort
Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times, March 7, 2014
A prototype of a vehicle,Link & Go 2.0, provides a glimpse of future urban individual mobility. Link & Go 2.0. The vehicle has no steering wheel; instead, it offers all conceivable digital whistles and bells. Link & Go 2.0 is actually more a taxi than a means of individual mobility as we know it.

The car can be ordered via smartphone (across its Facebook site) and then drives automatically to the customer to pick him up. Having transported the passenger to his destination, experience-based algorithms make the vehicle to head for places where the statistic likelihood to pick up another passenger is the highest.Abs

Tags: Automotive, Internet,
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Lockheed Martin Puts Military Tech to Use Scouting the Ideal Wind Farm
Jason Mick
Daily Tech, March 14, 2014
The old knock on alternative energy is “the sun isn’t always shining and the wind isn't always blowing.” But if wind farms could only deliver on their expectations, they could provide a vital supporting role that slowly expands as grid storage grows. But according to Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) wind farms recently installed in the U.S. have been missing their promised average capacities by seven to nine percent -- a catastrophic shortfall from a cost perspective.

The company -- best known for its work for the U.S. Air Force building jet fighters and other high tech weapons of war -- is interesting in diversifying into the commercial sector and has issued press releases describing WindProspector.

Tags: General, Military,
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GPUs Take Monte Carlo Options Pricing Real-Time
Tiffany Trader
EnterpriseTech, March 12, 2014
In finance, an option or derivative is a contract that gives a firm the right, under certain conditions, to buy or sell an underlying asset or instrument. Financial firms use options to reduce the risks associated with investing.... Accurately calculating risk and pricing is a critical part of this strategy, and GPU co-processors have increasingly been commandeered for this computationally intensive task.

There are a number of computational algorithms common to the financial world. In finance pricing, Monte Carlo simulation is the dominant technique for American-style options, which may be exercised at any time before the expiration date. The Monte Carlo method provides the decision maker with a range of possible outcomes and the probabilities they will occur for any choice of action.

Tags: Finance, GPU,
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Multicore basics: AMP and SMP
Colin Walls
Embedded, March 15, 2014
With multicore embedded systems becoming so common, this article outlines some of the basics, reviewing the possible hardware architectures. Broadly, there are two options: Asymmetric Multi-Processing and Symmetric Multi-Processing. These are defined and the circumstances under which each may be selected are outlined, along with the implications to the embedded software engineer.

Tags: Multicore,
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Big Data Drives The Smart Car
Jeff Bertolucci
InformationWeek, March 18, 2014
Lane-departure warnings, blind spot detection, auto-braking, and self-parking: These are a few examples of emerging safety features designed to make driving safer. Sorry, humans, but the message here is clear: The best way to make makes roads safer is to supplement, and eventually bypass, the weakest link in every vehicle’s crash-avoidance system -- the easily-distracted, irrational, and sometimes dangerous human driver.

Tags: Automotive, BigData, Networks,
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Automotive WiFi Security in News (Again...)
Joel Martin
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Teardown.com
EE Times, March 7, 2014
Articles ... have created an atmosphere of concern about the digital security of a “connected” car.

The original Controller Area Network (CAN bus) was developed by Robert Bosch GmBH in 1983 and, as a low level protocol, does not employ security measures but leaves that up to the application developer to implement. Based on our analysts’ knowledge and a fact that was admitted to in the article, hacking into a vehicle’s CAN bus first requires physical access. This contradicts the hacker’s standard operating procedure of REMOTE access which, by its nature, leaves them relatively free from discovery by law enforcement.

Tags: Automotive, Networks, Wireless,
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Apple & Tesla: The Perfect Couple?
Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times, Feb 20, 2014
But a sale of Tesla to Apple is not so much the question. The simple fact that an IT company and a carmaker are discussing anything that might be even distantly related to an acquisition is very remarkable. Things are becoming a bit more plausible if one takes into consideration that Apple is not just a manufacturer of computers and cellphones and Tesla not just a carmaker.

Tags: Automotive,
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Internet Of Things Meets Cars: Security Threats Ahead
Jeff Bertolucci
InformationWeek, March 18, 2014
The tech and automotive industries are aggressively promoting the connected car, a 4G-enabled vehicle that brings smartphone-like capabilities to personal transportation. Distracted-driving issues aside, the Internet-ready vehicle brings with it a host of security concerns related to the data it will generate.

Tags: Automotive, Security, Hand-held,
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Want More Privacy In Your App? Wickr Resells Its Encryption, Self-Destructing Tech To Other Apps
Ingrid Lunden
TechCrunch, March 19, 2014
Wickr, one of the wave of messaging apps built on the idea of private, encrypted and self-destructing data, has vowed never to make money off its users -- with its app remaining free, and user data never getting sold on or accessed by others. But it is starting the process of making money regardless.

As Wickr the app continues to amass more users (between 50,000 and 200,000 new accounts per day, I’ve been told, with the Android version now live alongside the existing iOS app), Wickr the startup is launching a B2B product: a suite of six privacy features that it will sell to other developers who want to add extra security to their apps.

Tags: Security, Encryption, Mobile,
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Is IBM Prepping Power8 For Late April Launch?
Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriseTech, March 5, 2014
IBM has been telling Wall Street and customers to expect its Power8 processor and the initial systems using them to launch sometime around the middle of this year, but it looks like they may get here a little bit earlier if the rumors running around are right.

The Power8 chip crams a dozen cores running at between 2.5 GHz and 5.5 GHz (in lab conditions) onto a single die, with 96 MB of L3 cache shared by those cores. At a 4 GHz baseline speed, a Power8 core will offer about 1.6 times the performance per thread as a Power7 core running at the same speed, and a Power8 socket at that same 4 GHz baseline will offer between 2X and 2.5X the aggregate application throughput compared to a Power7+ socket.

Tags: EDA, Multicore,
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Adaptive Computing Spans The DigitalGlobe
Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriceTech, February 26, 2014
DigitalGlobe has worked for many years with Adaptive Computing, a maker of cluster and cloud management tools, to make its clusters more flexible, and the two are working together to adapt the Moab job scheduler at the heart of the Adaptive tools so they can hook into the data scheduling systems, putting both compute and data under the control of the same job scheduler. This effort, called Big Workflow, is part of the Moab 7.5 update that came out this week and the idea is to commercialize the data scheduling hooks created for DigitalGlobe and a number of other customers.

Tags: Space,
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Drones In Action: 5 Non-Military Uses
Elena Malykhina
InformationWeek, March 10, 2014
Beyond the military, there are numerous potential uses for drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), such as law enforcement, storm tracking, search and rescue, and aerial surveying. But managing drones domestically comes with its own challenges, which still need to be addressed by the US government and the private companies involved.

Tags: Drones,
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Robot Sourcing and Rules for Selfies: The Moments That Stood Out at SXSW
Douglas MacMillan
WSJ, March 4, 2014
There is the cloud, and there are robotics -- two fast-growing fields in technology. At SXSW, there were cloud robotics.

Cloud robotics showed what’s possible by connecting robots’ “brains” through wireless networking and storage. Automated systems would no longer be limited by their own individual memories and programs.

Tags: Robotics,
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Group Likens Itself to Holocaust Denier, Blasts “Al Gore-Controlled” Apple
Jason Mick
DailyTech, March 10, 2014
Richard Branson and think tank also trade barbs over “global warming spending” and greenwashing accusations.

What might have been a comment from a top tech executive aimed at stemming rebellious shareholders has quickly devolved into the latest hypersensitive reaction from those who feel global warming “deniers” are endangering the planet.

Tags: General,
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Sampling, Statistics and ‘Passion’ in Big Data
Mark Underwood
InnivationInsights, March 11, 2014
Can Big Data lead to big errors? On its face, the proposition that Big Data would lead to more errors seems counterintuitive. Having more data should lead to more sound, evidence-based decision-making. Instead of relying on guesswork, analysts can dive into data, use predictive analytics, look for trends and identify hidden connections.

The Curious Case of Google Correlate

Tags: BigData,
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Internet Of Things: What About Data Storage?
George Crump
President, Storage Switzerland
InformationWeek, March 5, 2014
Humans are quickly being outnumbered by Internet-connected devices that are constantly collecting and transmitting data.

These machines -- or things -- perform a range of tasks, relatively simple functions like capturing images and uploading them to social sharing sites to capturing and transmitting more complicated sensor data and sending real-time information on an organization's various assets. Thanks to analytics, businesses now want the ability to, say, compare the current condition of their assets compared with five years ago.

Tags: BigData,
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NASA Considering SpaceX “Red Dragon” for Returning Mars Samples to Earth
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, March 10, 2014
NASA wants to analyze some terrain samples from Mars in an effort to answer whether life exists there, but the problem has been transporting such samples from the Red Planet back to Earth.

While this is just a proposal for now and is by no means a planned mission with set funding yet, NASA said that modifying a SpaceX Dragon capsule into a landing craft could be a cost-effective way of bringing Martian samples back to Earth as soon as 2022.

Tags: Space, BigData,
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Real-Time Acoustic Processing Has Big Data Potential
Jeff Bertolucci
InformationWeek, March 10, 2014
...before disaster strikes, your smartphone shuts off the music and warns you of the approaching vehicle.

This is just one of many potential uses of real-time acoustic processing, a machine-learning system that analyzes ambient audio to predict near-future outcomes.

It could, for instance, detect when industrial equipment is about to fail, alert deaf people to alarms and other auditory warnings,

Tags: BigData,
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Feel the Vibration of the Database Migration
Sean Doherty
Senior Vice President, EnterpriseDB
InnivationInsights, March 11, 2014
A decade ago, most companies faced financial challenges related to the dot-com bubble burst. Today, we’ve just gone through what was likely the worst financial crisis we’ll see in our lifetime. Whatever the reason for the challenges, it’s clear that some technology vendors have been unable to respond to the economics of the times. From an IT perspective, the fact that budgets are staying flat or growing slowly doesn’t jibe with the expensive, ever increasing costs of infrastructure software -- the spend to keep things running, the plumbing.

History Repeating

Tags: BigData,
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Big Data Lessons From Netflix
Phil Simon
InnivationInsights, March 11, 2014
In a data-driven environment like Netflix, data visualization plays a key role. It must. In The Visual Organization, I offer the following definition of data visualization. Dataviz signifies the practice of representing data through visual and often interactive means. An individual dataviz represents information after it been abstracted in some schematic form. Finally, contemporary data visualization technologies are capable of incorporating what we now call Big Data.

Tags: BigData,
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The Competitive Edge: Cyber Threats: Stealing Our Credit Cards Just Tip of Iceberg
Stephen Gold
President and CEO of Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation
IndustryWeek, March 4, 2014
During the peak of online holiday shopping, Target and other retailers saw hackers create a massive credit card security breach that clarified the growing vulnerability of 21st-century businesses and consumers alike.

And yet, as stupefying as that news was, the attack that businesses and citizens really need to be concerned about is one that occurred earlier in 2013. One dark night last April, snipers shot up 17 transformers at a Pacific Gas and Electric substation in Silicon Valley. Only the swift work of PG&E employees prevented a large-scale outage. While the FBI has declared the incident an act of vandalism, others, including former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Jon Wellinghoff, have their suspicions.

Tags: Security,
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Audi Traffic Light Recognition System Hopes to Save Fuel
Shane McGlaun
DailyTech, March 11, 2014
Audi has announced new technology that is a high tech version of ... The system is called Audi Traffic Light Recognition and the carmaker figures that the system could save millions of gallons of fuel.

The system uses in-car internet in a new way by leveraging Audi connect to establish a link between the car and the traffic light. The system is able to figure out the timing pattern of traffic lights (and the traffic lights in the vicinity) and maps those to an information system in the central instrument cluster that shows a virtual traffic light.

Tags: Automotive,
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Super-thin optoelectronic diodes could finally make flexible, wearable tech a reality
Ryan Whitwam
ExtremeTech, March 11, 2014
Research into novel materials is usually focused on improving a particular technology, but a trio of just published studies take aim at improving the functionality multiple technologies by making better diodes. This could have huge impacts in all areas of optoelectronics, which encompasses photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and photodetectors. Researchers are exploring the possibility of using extremely thin “2D” sheets of semiconducting transition metals to make these devices incredibly thin and flexible.

Tags: Electronics,
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Drone Ships May Replace Manned Standard Cargo Ships in the Future
Shane McGlaun
DailyTech, February 27, 2014
When we talk about drones, we are typically talking about the unmanned aircraft that are used for surveillance and attack mission by the U.S. military. Currently one in three of the aircraft in the US military is a drone, and that will likely increase over time.

Rolls-Royce has its eyes on a new type of drone that may be able to cut the cost of shipping goods on massive container ships significantly. The Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc Blue Ocean development team is working on a next generation drone ship that needs no human crew. The drone ships are controlled using a 360-degree VR simulation of the bridge on a ship.

Tags: Drones,
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Tesla Motors’ Gigafactory to Help Push Out Half Million EVs/Year in 2020
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, February 27, 2014
Tesla Motors' all-electric auto business heavily relies on batteries, so it makes sense that the company has placed a lot of emphasis on that area with Supercharger stations, replaceable battery tech and road trips to relieve range anxiety for customers. Now, Tesla is finally revealing some details on its huge, upcoming battery plant.

Tags: Automotive,
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“Boeing Black” Secure, Self-Destructing Android Smartphone Gets Official
Shane McGlaun
DailyTech, February 27, 2014
Boeing has officially announced a new smartphone that was designed with security and modularity in mind. The modular and secure design allows the device to be used in a range of mission and configurations. The “Boeing Black” has embedded hardware security features, software policy configurability, and physical modularity. The phone runs Android for the operating system. It also supports encrypting the contents of its internal drive. The Boeing Black has a Hardware Root of Trust [PDF] that ensures software authenticity.

Tags: Security, Hand-held,
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Google Plans to Launch Modular Smartphone via “Project Ara” Early Next Year
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, February 27, 2014
Google‘s Android operating system offers a high level of software customization in smartphones, but Google wants users to be able to customize smartphone hardware as well.

According to TIME, Google could have a modular smartphone in the hands of customers by early 2015, which would allow them to piece together speakers, batteries, processors and more of their choice.

Tags: Hand-held,
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Project Ara: Inside Google’s Bold Gambit to Make Smartphones Modular
Harry McCracken
Time, February 26, 2014
On January 29, Google announced that it had agreed to sell Motorola, its phone-manufacturing business, to Chinese electronics giant Lenovo.

It turned out that Google was holding onto one organization within Motorola: the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. Headed by Regina Dugan, the former director of the U.S. Defense Department’s fabled Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ATAP aims to bring the same approach to mobile-gadget innovation that DARPA used to kickstart the Internet, satellite navigation, stealth fighters and other technologies that started small and eventually mattered a lot.

Tags: Hand-held,
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Apple to Bring iPhone Software to Cars
Daisuke Wakabayashi
The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2014
Apple said it is bringing its mobile operating system to automobiles this year with a new CarPlay system that links its iPhone with the vehicle’s in-dash display to allow drivers to access the phone’s maps, music and messages.

Tags: Hand-held, Automotive,
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Apple’s iOS in the Car Is Arriving, and It’s Called CarPlay
Harry McCracken
Time, March 03, 2014
Apple unveiled a bunch of stuff -- including a sleeper sort of product it called iOS in the Car. The idea was to let auto makers give their vehicles the ability to serve as a second screen for a driver’s iPhone, with bigger-screen versions of apps such as Music and Maps and voice control provided by Siri.

Tags: Hand-held, Automotive,
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Volvo Shows Off the Apple CarPlay iPhone Interface
Doug Aamoth
Time, March 03, 2014
Hot on the heels of Apple rolling out the details behind its CarPlay interface, Volvo has posted a video to YouTube showing off what everything will look like. As you can see, you’re presented with a limited number of apps that have been given car-friendly designs: Maps, Phone, Messages, Spotify and others.

Tags: Hand-held, Automotive,
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