2008/11/18

NEW NET Issues List for 18 Nov 2008

Below is the final list of issues for the WEDNESDAY, 18 November 2008, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week's meeting is at Cambria Suites Hotel, 3940 N. Gateway Drive, Appleton Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. Never get Rick-Rolled again! http://www.videosurf.com/blog/never-get-rick-rolled-again-42/ “…The most annoying thing about online video is that you don’t always get what you want. Too often, you’re led astray by misleading thumbnails and mischievous Rick-Rollers. To help with this problem, we use advanced algorithms to intelligently identify the most interesting scenes in each video and we use that information to create a nice visual summary that shows you what a video is all about with just a glance…”

2. Obama to address nation weekly on YouTube http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/obama_to_adress_the_nation_eac.php “…President elect Obama will bring the President's weekly "fireside chat" into the 21st century by offering it not just on the radio, but in video on YouTube as well. It's as if the new populist President really cares whether the next generation has a connection to what he's doing. That's where the people are - on YouTube, on MySpace and on Facebook. More people will watch the President's talks than ever before, and they will post video responses. That's pretty remarkable…”

3. Windows Live SkyDrive to quintuple storage again to 25GB http://tinyurl.com/5sdyk8 (PCWorld) “…The updated services include Hotmail (which now offers unlimited storage, faster performance and an improved spam filter) and Windows Live SkyDrive (which upped its free online storage limit from 5GB to 25GB of data)…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

4. Major Spam Hub Shut Down http://tinyurl.com/67ye7g (PCWorld) “…A U.S. Internet service provider suspected of aiding cybercriminals in online scams and hosting child pornography was at least partially cut off from the Internet on Tuesday night. The ISP…McColo, had been under the watchful eye of computer security analysts for years. It is one of a handful of so-called "bulletproof" hosting providers that provide safe haven online for cybercriminals selling Viagra and fake security software…Hurricane Electric, an ISP that carried a portion of McColo's traffic, disconnected with McColo on Tuesday night… McColo hosted the so-called command-and-control servers for botnets that are used to instruct PCs to send spam. The botnets included Rustock, Srizbi, Pushdo/Cutwail, Ozdok/Mega-D and Gheg, according to the report. When it received complaints, McColo would shift around the suspect Web sites on its network and try to erase traces of wrongdoing…”

5. Analysts differ on merits of Nova Shield anti-malware product http://wistechnology.com/articles/5212/ “…Depending on who you talk to, the Madison-based NovaShield either has developed game-changing anti-malware technology, or really nothing new…NovaShield 2.5, was officially launched Nov. 10 following a six-month trial period as a free public beta. Developed through research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's computer science and security lab, it's a behavior-tracking approach to detecting new and more sophisticated cyber threats like drive-by-downloads, keyloggers, and rootkits…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

6. iPhone ideal for micropayments http://gigaom.com/2008/11/12/apples-iphone-offers-the-ideal-micropayments-platform/ “…Apple is in the catbird seat to dominate micropayments. Their “batch and bill” implementation in iTunes, which boasts perhaps the smoothest online purchasing UI ever, now serves as a foundation for the App Store, creating a whole new genre of software that I call “impulseware” — cheap enough and easy enough to buy on a whim. I’ve already spent a total of $22.99 on apps for the iPhone…since the App Store launched in the summer. Just getting people to spend on software is a feat; I, for one, haven’t spent money on software anywhere else. I would be spending a lot more if Apple extended the API to allow for the ability to transact within apps. It would give real viability to virtual gifts, currencies and goods across the myriad of apps out there by allowing pennies and dollars to change hands in a frictionless way…”

7. The Coming Wireless Revolution http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/21671/?a=f “…Thanks to a decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week, megahertz frequency bands that were previously allocated to television broadcasters will be opened to other device manufacturers. The frequency liberation means that future wireless gadgets will be able to blast tens of megabits per second of data over hundreds of kilometers. They will cover previously unreachable parts of the country with Internet signals, enable faster Web browsing on mobile devices, and even make in-car Internet and car-to-car wireless communication more realistic… With the FCC decision, however, researchers and companies finally have the opportunity to turn prototypes into products, knowing that the gadgets could hit the market in the next couple of years…”

8. Ian Freed of Amazon Kindle http://tinyurl.com/6dopsj “…I sat down with Ian Freed, Amazon's VP for Kindle, to talk about the device, how it's faring, and competition in the ebook space…People absolutely love the ability to think of a book and get it in under minute. That is the key feature that really causes people to think about Kindle as a new way to read…The other feature that has worked, I think, very well, and we got it about right, is the browser. We knew the browser would not be a full-fledged PC-based browser that does flash animation video. That’s not what it’s for. We put it in a section of our product called experimental and we think that’s about right. We still feel it’s an experimental feature…we also have a platform which we call Digital Text Platform, which literally allows any author or publisher to take any content and publish it directly for Kindle…Something like the latest news and feature stories on the presidential candidates, you can put in a book and publish a few weeks later. That’s something that would be very hard to do in a physical book…”

Open Source

9. Hey, Dad…Can I have Linux back? http://education.zdnet.com/?p=1913 “…My oldest son, creator of flame wars, finally discovered that you can only surf to the nether regions of the Internet so many times before even Vista business succumbs to malware. His computer an unusable mass of pop-ups, spewing traffic over our network actually asked me tonight to reinstall Linux for him. He still wants a Vista virtual machine since Spore is a pretty fine game and his Zune probably won’t play nice with Linux. However, for everyday use, he’s done with Vista. Not only does it lack the “amusing desktop effects”…but even running Clamwin and Windows Defender, he still managed to infect it with a variety of junk, rendering it useless when he had a term paper to write…No matter what the average teenager can throw at it (P2P, questionable social networking sites, and anything else that his mom doesn’t like thinking about), most Linux installs are going to keep chugging…one of the more important things to remember about Linux…kids are mean to computers and do things they probably shouldn’t on the Internet. Linux (and to a lesser extent, OS X) is simply more resistant to abuse…”

10. Bug Labs creates open source Lego for software engineers http://www.linux.com/feature/152079 “…Instead of developing particular devices, Bug Labs' goal is to provide a Lego-like collection of open source hardware and software that customers can use to build their own devices. According to CEO Peter Semmelhack, the result should be not only a higher degree of innovation, but also a forerunner of the hardware business of the future…”

11. Find your way with tangoGPS http://www.linux.com/feature/152468 “…If you want to turn your netbook or conventional laptop into a nifty open source navigation system, you need two things: a USB receiver and a GPS-enabled navigation application. You can buy a GPS receiver cheaply at virtually any gadget store or on eBay. And there are actually several GPS-enabled navigation applications out there, including Navit, GPSdrive, and Roadnav. These are fine applications, but if you are looking for GPS software that offers the right amount of features wrapped in a sleek and user-friendly interface, try tangoGPS…”

SkyNet

12. Google Profiles Adds Photos http://www.micropersuasion.com/2008/11/google-profiles.html “…Google Profiles now has added photo streaming. All you need to do is point Google toward Picasa, Flickr or any other photo sharing service that supports feeds and it will pull in your public photos…Google keeps adding features to these profiles. Recently, they made them searchable. This is clearly a not-so-stealth social networking site being built right before our eyes. But I am wondering if they will turn this into a lifestreaming site that competes with Friendfeed…”

13. Google Patents Searching Through Multiple Categories At Once http://techdirt.com/articles/20081105/0156512741.shtml “…Each week, Microsoft usually has somewhere between 40 to 60 new patents. On the other hand, Google has some weeks where they get no patents at all. At most, I think I've seen weeks where Google received three or four new patents... the company seems to have patented the ability to search through multiple databases at once (say, a web database, a news database and an images database) and present all the results together on a single page. What's unclear to me is how anyone "skilled in the art" could consider this a non-obvious solution…My guess is that Google gets these sorts of patents more for defensive purposes, and probably (hopefully?) isn't likely to sue other companies that do something similar…”

14. Google Docs & Spreadsheets Keeps Growing, But User Engagment is Flat http://tinyurl.com/6l36uh (ReadWriteWeb) “…latest data from Compete indicates that Google Docs & Spreadsheets is still mostly attracting casual users who don't spend a lot of time with the service…only about 58% of unique visitors to Docs & Spreadsheets actually used one of the available apps after visiting the site…traffic to Google Docs grew 158% in the past 12 months. In September 2008, Docs & Spreadsheets reached around 4.4 million users…the service is still mostly popular with casual users. The average user uses Google Docs about 3 times a month…the average user only spends about 5 minutes per month on the site…”

15. Google’s Site Search Gets Faster http://searchengineland.com/googles-site-search-gets-faster-yahoos-goes-away-15471.php “…Google has upgraded its Site Search tool to give users more control over the frequency that Google spiders a site…Site Search is Google’s on-site tool for individual websites; you use it to add a search engine to your own website. The new feature, On-Demand Indexing, lets site owners tell Google to index their site by clicking a button, rather than waiting for Google to do it on its own schedule…”

16. Google Brings Voice Search To The iPhone http://searchengineland.com/google-voice-search-iphone-15476.php “…Google’s iPhone app will be updated with voice search capability…With the new Google iPhone app, you’ll be able to speak your search query into the phone rather than having to type it out…So far voice has not proven to be the “killer app” for mobile search (as I once believed it would be). However Google’s new voice search iPhone capability should be helpful in selected situations — while in the car, for example, when directory assistance is most heavily used or for longer “long tail” queries that are highly specific. Indeed, it may result in longer or more precise query strings…”

17. Google Finally Starts Firing Slackers? http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/11/google-finally-starts-firing-slackers “…Recent change in behavior here at Google... it used to be nearly impossible to get fired for general underperformance, but about a week ago word went out to managers that this was a good time to get rid of any people who were underperforming. There have been a couple people I know who got called into meetings with HR and told they were being let go and given a week to "say goodbye to people and come up with whatever story they wanted about why they were leaving…”

General Technology

18. A gift or hard graft? http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/nov/15/malcolm-gladwell-outliers-extract “…In 1975, Joy enrolled in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. There, he buried himself even deeper in the world of computer software. During the oral exams for his PhD, he made up a particularly complicated algorithm on the fly that - as one of his many admirers has written - "so stunned his examiners [that] one of them later compared the experience to 'Jesus confounding his elders'… This idea - that excellence at a complex task requires a critical, minimum level of practice - surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is a magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours…It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery…most people can really only reach that number if they get into some kind of special programme - like a hockey all-star squad - or get some kind of extraordinary opportunity that gives them a chance to put in that kind of work…Gates' father was a wealthy lawyer in Seattle, and his mother was the daughter of a well-to-do banker. As a child Gates was precocious, and easily bored by his studies. So his parents took him out of public school, and at the beginning of seventh grade sent him to Lakeside, a private school that catered to Seattle's elite families…Those five years, from eighth grade to the end of high school, were Bill Gates' Hamburg, and by any measure he was presented with an even more extraordinary series of opportunities than Bill Joy. And virtually every one of those opportunities gave Gates extra time to practise. By the time he dropped out of Harvard, he'd been programming nonstop for seven consecutive years. He was way past 10,000 hours…”

19. The Worst Tech Problem? 'The Internet's Down' http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2334845,00.asp “…Most of us have been plagued with a blue screen of death, a laptop that refuses to connect to a home wireless network, or a cell phone that just doesn't feel like making calls. About 48 percent of technology users have encountered such problems with their devices in the last year, according to a Sunday report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. How do they deal with these technological meltdowns? Most turn to customer support or just tinker with the devices themselves. Of the more than 2,000 people surveyed last year by Pew, about 38 percent of them said they contacted customer support for help with a bad Internet connection, computer, or cell phone, while 28 percent fixed the problem on their own. About 15 percent asked friends or family for assistance, 2 percent found help online, and another 15 percent could not fix the problem at all…”

20. What Has Driven Women Out of Computer Science? http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/16digi.html “…When all science and engineering fields are considered, the percentage of bachelor’s degree recipients who are women has improved to 51 percent in 2004-5 from 39 percent in 1984-85, according to National Science Foundation surveys. When one looks at computer science in particular, however, the proportion of women has been falling. In 2001-2, only 28 percent of all undergraduate degrees in computer science went to women. By 2004-5, the number had declined to only 22 percent. Data collected by the Computing Research Association showed even fewer women at research universities like M.I.T.: women accounted for only 12 percent of undergraduate degrees in computer science and engineering in the United States and Canada granted in 2006-7 by Ph.D.-granting institutions, down from 19 percent in 2001-2…”

21. World’s most super-designed data center http://tinyurl.com/6k7jxv (RoyalPingdom) “…This underground data center has greenhouses, waterfalls, German submarine engines, simulated daylight and can withstand a hit from a hydrogen bomb…It is a newly opened high-security data center run by one of Sweden’s largest ISPs, located in an old nuclear bunker deep below the bedrock of Stockholm city… “Since we got hold of this unique nuclear bunker in central Stockholm deep below the rock, we just couldn’t build it like a traditional – more boring – hosting center…The place itself needed something far out in design and science fiction was the natural source of inspiration in this case…“I’m personally a big fan of old science fiction movies. Especially ones from the 70s like Logan’s Run, Silent Running, Star Wars (especially The Empire Strikes Back) so these were an influence,“ said Karlung…”

22. A Camcorder Insurgent Goes HD http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/a-camcorder-insurgent-goes-hd/ “…the company is unveiling the Flip Mino HD, a 3.3 oz camcorder that captures video in crisp high-definition and allows owners to easily play clips on their televisions and upload them to video sharing sites like YouTube and MySpace. The device costs $230 or about $50 more than the standard-definition Flip Mino and $90 more than the original Flip Ultra…The story of Pure Digital Technology is a remarkable one we have told before: a company outmaneuvering the consumer electronics giants with a simple product that captures what consumers want. It designed an easy way to record, preserve and share memories, instead of a device with a lot of confusing buttons that ends up sitting unused on a shelf…”

23. No More Landlines http://blog.tomevslin.com/2008/11/no-more-landlin.html “…By the end of President Obama's first term, there won't be any more landlines left in the country. One of the challenges facing the Federal Communications Commission and the new administration is how to deal with the fallout from the end of this venerable technology…Young people don't bother with landlines (unless they live beyond cell coverage); they just use their mobile phones or Skype for voice communication. The slightly older set are buying cable's bundle of entertainment, Internet access, and VoIP. They cancel their landlines. People who have broadband access don't need the extra line they used to rent for their dial-up Internet access…”

24. USB 3.0 to Deliver a Tenfold Speed Increase http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/11/superspeed-us-1.html “…Universal Serial Bus, better known as USB, prepares to make a tenfold jump in speed…The new spec will support data transfers at 4.8 gigabits per second (Gbps), nearly ten times faster than the current standard's 480 megabits per second and six times faster than FireWire 800…Power output bump to 900 milliamps from 100 milliamps allows more devices to be charged faster via USB…new USB 3.0 connectors and devices will be compatible with older USB ports (on devices using USB 2.0 and 1.0) but they will be limited to the older ports' slower speeds…The first USB 3.0 devices probably won't show up until the end of 2009 or early 2010…”

25. Minority Report brought to life http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/14/oblongs-g-speak-the-minority-report-os-brought-to-life/ “…Dubbed g-speak, the mind bending OS combines "gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels," to deliver what the creators call "the first major step in [a] computer interface since 1984…”

26. Help! Some idiot partitioned my giant hard drive! http://tinyurl.com/5ulyxz (DownloadSquad) “…Some idiot (my friend) partitioned my 1TB drive @ 10gb just to start me off and I can't do anything. I have partitioned/formatted the rest of my drive and cloned onto the new partition but I can't get rid of my C drive to use my new partition as my main drive…there are a number of good, free apps that will allow him to combine the two partitions into a single large one, or resize them to more reasonable capacities. Easeus Partition Manager Home Edition is probably the easiest free software to use, and the option I'd recommend to most casual users…Parted Magic is another great option. It's built on Linux but offers a similar graphical interface and can handle just about any partition you can imagine…”

27. Amazon Unveils Give One, Get One Laptop Store http://www.crn.com/hardware/212100281 “…The One Laptop Per Child organization today kicked off its Give One, Get One effort for the second year in a row, this year partnering with Amazon.com. Aimed at helping educate children in the poorest developing countries, OLPC's G1G1 (Give One Get One) promotion asks Amazon.com customers to buy either an XO laptop for $199, or buy one laptop to keep and one to give away for $399…”

28. Core i7 PCs on sale from Dell, Gateway http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10098484-1.html “…We reviewed Intel's new Core i7 CPU already, as well as two desktops with the chip inside, but today is the first day you can actually make a Core i7 purchase. Dell has the best starting bid, with a deal on its Studio XPS with a Core i7 920 chip and a 20-inch LCD for $999. Gateway's FX 6800-01e is also impressive, coming in at $1,249 for a Core i7 920 in a PC that can accommodate two 3D cards…”

Leisure & Entertainment

29. Your Retirement's Gone, So Buy an Xbox! http://tech.yahoo.com/news/zd/20081114/tc_zd/234061 “…Videogame companies continue to try to put a positive spin on the impact of the current recession on consumers' holiday spending plans. The latest effort comes from Microsoft, who commissioned the "Xbox 360 Holiday Entertainment Survey 2008" conducted by IPSOS. As you probably guessed by now the results provide statistical evidence that the economic crunch translates into this being a great time to buy an Xbox 360…this is the year of the holiday staycation…”

30. Guys Behind Ridiculously Addictive Flash Games Launch The Casual Collective http://tinyurl.com/5psf4u “…In early 2007 David Scott created a game called Flash Element TD that was an overnight sensation, reaching 2 million plays in only two days. A few months later, Paul Preece (a friend of Scott’s) decided to see if he could replicate the success of Flash Element, and went on to create Desktop Tower Defense - a game so popular and addictive that we said it should be banned. That June the two paired up to create a gaming company called The Casual Collective, and has been toiling for over a year to produce a crop of games that is now ready to make its public debut. Tonight The Casual Collective is launching with eight games (four of which are brand new), all crafted by Preece and Scott, and many of which seem to be every bit as addictive as their now-classic games…”

Economy and Technology

31. Black Friday Deals: 10 Best Resources http://mashable.com/2008/11/15/black-friday/ “…In the United States, the day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. Many stores offer tremendous discounts starting very early in the morning…there are websites that provide information from various retailers’ ad circulars in one handy location. Here are 10 sites to help you research deals to plan your Black Friday…”

32. Apple may launch most aggressive Black Friday sale yet http://tinyurl.com/6e3gyb (AppleInsider) “…With Black Friday sale information from rival PC vendors beginning to leak online, experts at Barclays Capital say they expect Apple to counter the promotions with a more aggressive than usual one-day sale, offering deep discounts on a number of Mac models…A move towards more aggressive pricing for this year's Black Friday sale would build on a trend that began earlier this summer when Apple announced the biggest back-to-school promotion in its history. Unlike past years when students were offered a free iPod nano worth $199 with the purchase of a qualifying Mac, this year's promotion bumped the incentive up to a $299 iPod touch…helped the company set a new record for single quarter Mac shipments of 2.611 million units…”

33. Wal-Mart's Black Friday deals http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/14/news/companies/walmart_blackfriday/ “…Wal-Mart's so-called doorbuster deals offered between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. ET will include a 50-inch Samsung plasma HDTV ($798), Magnavox Blu-ray player ($128), Xbox 360 ($199) sold with free Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock game and wireless guitar, HP Pavilion desktop computer ($398)…Judging from other leaked Black Friday ads, additional retailers are also readying huge discounts in a bid to tempt reluctant shoppers…”

34. Six Apart lays off 8 percent of workforce http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10094449-52.html “…blogging software developer Six Apart has laid off about 8 percent of its 200-plus staff. In a post on the company's public blog, CEO Chris Alden announced the cuts, writing, "We are reducing the size of our full-time staff by around 8 percent and are making some organizational changes as we prepare for 2009…”

35. Microsoft's D.C. lobbying sank Google-Yahoo deal, Jerry Yang http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10100809-38.html “…In theory, antitrust law help foster competition. In reality, politically connected companies sometimes use it to bludgeon competitors and boost their own bottom line, as soon-to-be former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang learned the hard way…from February 1, 2005, and November 17, 2005, Microsoft spent $11.99 million on lobbyists, according to financial disclosure documents filed during that time. During that same period in 2006, the figure was $13.95 million. In 2007, it was $13.8 million. But between the announcement of the Yahoo deal on February 1, 2008, and Monday, Microsoft's lobbying spending zoomed upward to $24.72 million…In return for millions of dollars distributed to Washington insiders, Microsoft could save billions on an eventual Yahoo purchase. Yahoo shares closed at $28.38 on February 1, the day the bid was announced, and at $10.63 on Monday. Even taking into account the market's overall fall in share prices, Microsoft may save billions by shoving Yahoo into a corner and eliminating its options…”

Civilian Aerospace

36. Handyman to Return to His Space Workshop http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/14/science/space/14pettit.html “…When the space shuttle Endeavour lifts off, it will be taking Donald R. Pettit back to the place he calls his “home away from home” — the International Space Station…Among the astronaut corps, Mr. Pettit is known as a uncommonly gifted handyman who has rebuilt a jet engine in his garage workshop, and a guy who gets things done…During his time on the station, he created amazing things. He used a hand drill, for example, to power a camera mount precisely so that he could track spots on the earth precisely on orbit; the rig allowed him to take stunning nighttime photos of cities around the world. But he is best known outside the space program for “Saturday Morning Science,” a series of engaging educational videos he created on the station in which he demonstrated things like gyroscopic physics using CD players in zero gravity and fluid dynamics by pushing blobs of water together in midair…”

37. On the Eve of Its Sale, SpaceDev Reports Profit http://tinyurl.com/6bqbky (San Diego Business Journal) “…aerospace company SpaceDev reported higher profits and revenues on the quarter ending Sept. 30 as it prepares for its merger with the privately held electronics and aerospace company Sierra Nevada Corp…Sierra Nevada is based in Sparks, Nev. with 3,000 employees. SpaceDev made a splash in 2004 when it designed and provided parts for the rocket of the record-breaking SpaceShipOne spacecraft…”

38. Swarms of small satellites coming soon http://blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=1093 “…satellites are essential for our civilian and military communications. But they remain large and expensive, some of them costing several hundreds of millions of dollars. This is why researchers from the University of Florida (UF) are building small satellites able to work as a team to take multiple and distributed measurements or observations of weather phenomena for example. These small satellites should cost only about $100,000 to produce. The first one should be launched next year by a NASA rocket and should not be larger than a softball…”

39. Japan's space elevator http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Security-Watch/Detail/?lng=en&id=93730 “…Due to its advanced research in nanotechnology…Japan will likely be the first…to construct a space elevator, and is more likely than not to begin construction by 2018. The Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA) recently announced its plans to move ahead with a timeline for designing and constructing the world's first space elevator, which would transport objects from earth to space without the customary shuttle launch. While ambitious, the prospect of constructing a space elevator is appealing because it offers an easier, less expensive method of traveling into space. There are several key issues to overcome to make a space elevator a possibility. First, engineers must develop the technology to build the physical structures necessary to enable an elevator to travel to space. Current technology is unable to produce cable material strong and lightweight enough to haul elevator cars from earth to space…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

40. AMD releases new FireStream http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/AMD_Releases_New_FireStream_Accelerator.html “…AMD today announced the new AMD FireStream 9270 compute accelerator and the latest version of its free and open ATI Stream Software Development Kit (SDK), version 1.3. Both are designed to help researchers, technical professionals and IT organizations use mainstream computing platforms to address challenges that once would have required multi-million-dollar investments in proprietary hardware and software… AMD FireStream 9270…has a typical board power requirement of only 160 watts, yet provides over 1.2 teraFLOPS of single-point precision performance…and over 240 gigaFLOPS of double-point precision performance.1 It includes two gigabytes of Graphics Double Data Rate, version 5 memory…”

41. ATI Stream Computing: From the desktop to the datacenter http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=638 “…Stream computing can be boiled down to the idea of using the highly parallel processors in GPUs to bring incredible performance gains to those applications that can take advantage of such technology. While not exactly "stream computing", 3D rendering and gaming is the first obvious example of this kind of technology but what is likely the first true consumer stream compute application was the off-loading of DVD playback and then HD playback. Here both NVIDIA and ATI found a new use for their shaders by taking parallel tasks usually assigned to the CPU and moving them to the GPU in order to offer better performance and better efficiency…”

42. Top 500 supercomputer list http://www.crn.com/hardware/212100306 “…The TOP500 organization Monday declared that the IBM Roadrunner is the fastest supercomputer in the world, narrowly beating out Cray's Jaguar, which was upgraded less than a week ago. The 1.105 petaflop/s IBM Roadrunner supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory retained its top dog title that it first achieved in June, after it underwent upgrades. The speed demon was built for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. IBM said that in the past 10 years, supercomputer power has increased about 1,000 times…The rival systems are both housed in the national laboratories operated by the DOE. In fact, seven of the top 10 systems on the new TOP500 list are located at DOE facilities, the organization said. Nine of the top 10 supercomputers are located in the U.S. The most powerful system outside the U.S. is the Chinese-built Dawning 5000A at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center. It is the largest system that can be operated with Windows HPC 2008 operating system…”


*****

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