2009/06/16

NEW NET Issues List for 16 Jun 2009

Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 16 June 2009, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 7:00 - 9:00 pm weekly gathering. This week we're upstairs at Tom's Drive In, 501 N Westhill Blvd, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

The ‘net

1. Microsoft Translator Instant Answers Now On Bing http://blogs.msdn.com/translation/archive/2009/06/10/microsoft-translator-instant-answers-now-on-bing.aspx “Use Bing to instantly translate queries from one language to another with our translation Instant Answer! Starting today, when you are looking for a translation of a word or phrase, go to Bing.com and kick off an instant translation, powered by Microsoft Translator…Example query: translate I love you to Japanese…”

2. Massive Layoffs Coming To MySpace http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/10/massive-layoffs-coming-to-myspace-%E2%80%94-25-or-more-may-be-cut/ “…One source describes the number of people affected as “massive”, while another source says that the layoffs will likely affect between 300 and 500 employees. It’s unclear if these numbers apply to MySpace alone or its parent company Fox Interactive Media, but MySpace makes up around 1600 of the 2900 employees in FIM, so it’s likely that the social network will be hit hard…Why the cuts? MySpace traffic is plummeting, and revenue is going to take a huge hit when the Google deal terminates in mid 2010. MySpace already has an uphill battle on its hands as it vies to compete with Facebook…”

3. More Americans Turning to Web for Health Info http://tech.yahoo.com/news/zd/20090611/tc_zd/241310 “…61 percent of Americans now turn to the Web for health information – up from 25 percent in 2002, according to a Thursday study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. But before you think we're all running to WebMD rather than making a doctor's appointment, Pew found that 86 percent of people still consult health professionals first, and 68 percent go to friends and family before powering up the laptop for a diagnosis. About 57 percent consult the Web first…Sixty percent of those people said the information they found affected decisions about treatment, 56 percent came away with a different outlook on maintaining health, and 53 percent were inspired to ask more questions or get a second opinion…”

Security, Privacy & Digital Controls

4. China's computers at hacking risk http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8094026.stm Every PC in China could be at risk of being taken over by malicious hackers because of flaws in compulsory government software…The Chinese government has mandated that all computers in the country must have the screening software installed…tests had shown that communications between the software and the servers at the company that developed the program were unencrypted…this could allow hackers to "steal people's private information" or "place malicious script" on computers in the network to "affect [a] large scale disaster…One blogger posted a screenshot of the software purportedly blocking an attempt to visit a porn site using Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But, he said, there was no problem accessing the site using the Firefox web browser. Others have reported that the system only runs on Microsoft Windows, allowing Mac and Linux users to bypass the software…”

5. China backs down over Green Dam web filter http://www.crn.com/software/217900033 Caving to public pressure, China on Tuesday said that use of its controversial "Green Dam Youth Escort" software is not required…The public fought back, claiming the software could also block users from viewing political content and censor other content. Some opponents also contend that the software can create security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers…use of the Green Dam Youth Escort software is "not compulsory…all computers sold on the mainland will feature the filtering software, individuals are free to decide whether they use it…”

6. The computer ate my homework http://www.globecampus.ca/in-the-news/article/the-computer-ate-my-homework/ A U.S. website, Corrupted-Files.com, purports to sell to students — for just $3.95 — Word, Excel and PowerPoint files that have been intentionally corrupted. "Don't hand in a garbage paper," the site exhorts. "Send a corrupted file instead!" Here's how it works. After purchasing a compromised file, a student can rename it (e.g. Mike_Final-Paper, the site suggests) and send it as an e-mail attachment to his or her professor. It will take your professor "several hours if not days to notice your file is unfortunately corrupted," the site says, buying students some valuable extra time to finish an assignment. The files come in various sizes, including two, five, 10, 30 and 40 pages, so students can select the size that best matches their assignment length. Or, if students have more specific needs, they can place a custom order for $8.95…”

7. Global IT Security Survey Finds Insider Snooping on the Rise http://www.cyber-ark.com/news-events/pr_20090610.asp “…the third annual Cyber-Ark survey reveals that 35 percent of IT workers now admit to accessing corporate information without authorization, while 74 percent of respondents stated that they could circumvent the controls currently in place to prevent access to internal information…”

8. Security Group Converges to Fight Internet Abuse http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090612/tc_pcworld/securitygroupconvergestofightinternetabuse “…The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) held a three-day meeting in Amsterdam this week, discussing spam, network security, the DNS (Domain Name System) and other topics…ISPs…aren't quite sure how best to deal with infected PCs on their network…ISPs will often receive complains about abusive activity, and dealing with those complaints can be a time-consuming and expensive exercise. One of the problems is that much of the responsibility for maintaining good computer security is falling on the shoulders of consumers, who are often unaware of the issues. "The PC is a complicated device ... yet we are expecting end users to be responsible for them," O'Reirdan said. Many ISPs are just in the early stages of designing automated systems that can identify infected computers, quarantine them and work with their subscribers to get the PC patched and cleansed of malware…MAAWG published a paper last year recommending that ISPs not allow their subscribers to directly send e-mail on Port 25…”

9. Microsoft Readies Free Antivirus App http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090611/tc_pcworld/microsoftreadiesfreeantivirusapp Microsoft will soon launch a public beta version of its new free security software product for Windows 7, Vista, and XP Service Pack 3 customers. The antivirus program, which is code-named Morro, will replace Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft's retail security suite, which will be discontinued at the end of this month…Microsoft has not provided a specific release date for Morro, saying only that the product would launch "soon."...Morro is expected to be a very basic program that will detect standard malware like viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojans. Morro will only be available via download, as Microsoft does not plan to include Morro with the Windows operating system…”

10. Man Made $112,000 in Bank Account Hacking Scheme http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090606/tc_pcworld/manmade112000inbankaccounthackingscheme “…Trojans are malicious programs that users install on their computers, believing them to be benign. Hackers disguise them as things such as video codecs, screensavers, and even security patches. Account theft is a growing problem for banks and brokerage firms. They want to keep offering customers low-cost online banking services but are also sustaining losses from international criminals…”

11. Former Google Employees Launch Web Malware Startup http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/security/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=217801314 “…Legitimate Web sites have become unwitting malware distribution points, thanks to poor Web application security. During the second half of 2008, 77% of Web sites spreading malicious code were legitimate sites that had been hacked…The company is offering a free blacklist monitoring service, to alert site owners when their sites have become infected…”

Mobile Computing & Communicating

12. Apple Sets New Smartphone Pricing Standard http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nf/20090611/tc_nf/67111 “…Nearly all of the signature phones that came out last year debuted at about $199, like the Bold or the Storm or the G1. The Pre met that expectation," Gartenberg said. "Now, Apple is setting the new bar at $99 -- and it's not for a stripped down product or a product that's feature-limited. This was Apple's flagship product as of a week ago. So that $99 price point and the immediately availability is going to put some strain on the competition. It's not just the $99 price point, it's the $99 for a comparable product…”

13. Android vs. iPhone: Which Has the Better Google Maps? http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/clay-dillow/culture-buffet/android-v-iphone-which-has-better-google-maps “…Yesterday, Google announced, via the Google Mobile Blog, a host of updates to Google Maps for its Android operating system, bringing some features up to par with Maps for the iPhone while bringing some all-new features to the table as well. With the iPhone 3G S hitting the pavement Friday and more smartphones and netbooks choosing Android as their OS of choice, a thorough navigation of the new features is in order…the upper hand that Android Maps enjoys over iPhone Maps is driven completely by software; the voice capable iPhone 3G S could support voice commands for Google Maps with the right update from Google, and the company is already developing Latitude for Apple products. So which Google Maps offering is superior? The answer seems to be Android, trumping Apple with two envelope-pushing features to the iPhone's one…”

14. Here come the mobile payment wars http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10265243-36.html “…two emerging start-ups are hoping to make mobile devices a hub for one of the hottest trends on the Web: micropayments. Enter Boku, which launched officially on Tuesday with a whirlwind of announcements: its public launch after a year in stealth mode, its acquisitions of smaller companies Paymo and Mobillcash, and a $13 million round of venture funding led by Benchmark Capital with contributions from Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures…But Boku already has an extremely close competitor: Zong, which first launched in the U.S. in the spring of 2008, and which offers the same strategy of facilitating micropayments with a cell phone number…”

Open Source

15. Five big issues with ARM and Android smartbooks http://blogs.zdnet.com/computers/?p=747 “…Because it has the DNA of smartphones–most of which are based on ARM designs–this new type of netbook is supposed to offer many advantages over Intel Atom-based models including a fast boot time, always-on wireless broadband and all-day battery life. Qualcomm–one of several wireless companies developing chipsets with ARM cores for this new market–has coined the term smartbook to distinguish these devices from netbooks…don’t run out to Best Buy looking for a smartbook just yet. Despite all the announcements, there are still major technical and business challenges to using both ARM and Android in netbooks. Here are five big ones…"

16. Hydrogen car to be 'open source' http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8103106.stm “…The Riversimple car can go 80km/hr (50mph) and travels 322km (200mi) per re-fuelling, with an efficiency equivalent to 300 miles to the gallon…Riversimple's solution is to power the car also from so-called "ultracapacitors", which store large amounts of electric charge and, crucially, can release that charge nearly instantly to provide the power needed to accelerate from rest…The company claims that it is closer to market than any of its start-up competitors, but what sets them apart is an unusual business model. "Riversimple has effectively rethought the whole of what in the business school world we call the 'value chain' of the auto industry," said John Constable, chair of the Riversimple project…The company will distribute the engineering designs to the 40 Fires foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that will make the designs "open source"…”

17. Screen – Manages multiple sessions on one terminal http://www.ubuntugeek.com/screen-manages-multiple-sessions-on-one-terminal.html “…Screen is a program that allows you to have multiple logins on one terminal. It is useful in situations where you are telnetted into a machine or connected via a dumb terminal and want more than just one login…”

18. 10 Things to do After Installing Ubuntu Linux http://ubuntulinuxhelp.com/10-things-to-do-after-installing-ubuntu-linux/ “…My primary reason for using Ubuntu Linux, is that I find it a far more productive, cost effective and customizable system. Everyone has their own reasons and needs for any particular OS. That said, I'm often asked by new Linux (Ubuntu) users what things I do immediately after installing Ubuntu; to tweak it a bit more. I'm still using Hardy (8.04 64 Bit) as I prefer to stick with LTS releases - This means another year to go with 8.04 before the next LTS (10.04). Until then, here's the answers for the 10 things I do to customize a new Ubuntu Hardy installation…”

SkyNet

19. Google Voice’s Secret Weapon: Number Portability http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/06/14/google-voices-secret-weapon-number-portability/ “…Google Voice, formerly GrandCentral, is a seriously heavyweight product…Once you’ve jumped in head first to the product it will straighten out your phone life forever. You’ll never have to worry about figuring out which phone numbers to give to different people. Give them one number - your Google Voice number - and then use rules to determine where your calls go based on who’s calling and what you are doing. There are significant switching costs, though. You have to tell everyone your new phone number and get them to start using that, instead…Google has a plan to deal with all of these issues, we’ve heard. And it starts with Number Portability…Google is only testing the service for now, but we’ve heard from a source inside Google that they plan to roll out number portability as a general feature later this year. Once that happens, users will be able to move the phone number they’ve had forever to Google, and avoid the switching costs…”

20. Top Security Minds Urge Google to Encrypt All Services http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/06/top_security_minds_urge_google.html?hpid=news-col-blog A who's-who of more than three dozen high-tech and security experts from industry and academia is urging Google to beef up the privacy and security settings of its Gmail, Google Docs and Calendar online services…The letter acknowledges that in offering users an option to always encrypt Gmail, Google already has gone beyond the default setting of Webmail services offered by its peers, including Microsoft Hotmail and Yahoo!...Jakobsson said Google's decision to enable encryption by default on its lesser used services but not on its most-used service (Gmail) comes down to a decision about saving money, as enabling encryption across the board would undoubtedly place a higher computational load on Google's servers. "A savings of money is the only reason not to turn encryption on if you already have it implemented…”

21. Bezos: We've got issues with Google Book Search http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10265038-36.html “…Google has been attempting to push forward its Book Search initiative, which could potentially give the Mountain View, Calif., tech giant exclusive access to digital editions of some out-of-print books. That could, as Levy pointed out, get in the way of Amazon's goal of offering every book ever printed in every language on the Kindle and its new, bigger Kindle DX sibling. And it sounds like that's where Amazon has some beef. "There are many forces of work looking at that and saying it doesn't seem right that you should do something, kind of get a prize for violating a large series of copyrights," Bezos said…”

22. Web Geek's Guide to Google Chrome http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1353370 “…When Chrome first became available, it was heralded as being “different.” And indeed, it is different. As you’ve already seen, Chrome was designed from the ground up to be something more than other web browsers. But is there more than just what’s under the hood? Of course there is. You’ve already seen how the interface is different in some ways, for example, keeping your most accessed websites a single click away. But there’s more. Remember in Chapter 3, “Getting Started with Google Chrome,” when we talked about the Omnibox? Well, let’s take a closer look at that little piece of programming ingenuity…”

General Technology

23. World's Largest Energy Fair in Wisconsin Next Weekend http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/48076777.html “…The Midwest Renewable Energy Association hosts the energy fair every summer at the ReNew the Earth Institute in Custer, near Stevens Point. This year's fair runs Friday through Sunday…The fair has hundreds of workshops designed to give people information on renewable energy, ways to cut energy costs…”

24. IBM Invests in Battery Research http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22780/ “…IBM Research is beginning an ambitious project that it hopes will lead to the commercialization of batteries that store 10 times as much energy as today's within the next five years. The company will partner with U.S. national labs to develop a promising but controversial technology that uses energy-dense but highly flammable lithium metal to react with oxygen in the air…IBM is pursuing the risky technology instead of lithium-ion batteries because it has the potential to reach high enough energy densities to change the transportation system…”

Leisure & Entertainment

25. Next-generation iPhone game Doom Resurrection http://venturebeat.com/2009/06/10/next-generation-iphone-game-doom-resurrection-debuting-next-week/ “…Doom Resurrection from id Software will be available in the AppStore to give gamers what they’ve been waiting for: much better 3-D graphics than most first-generation iPhone games. It’s the pet project of id Software’s technical guru, John Carmack, who led a team of six people at Escalation Studios to get the game done over the past six months…I love the iPhone,” Carmack said in an interview. “It’s a real game platform, not a tiny little toy…”

26. Universal, Virgin Media Enter Unlimited Download Deal http://www.informationweek.com/news/personal_tech/music/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=217801313&tcss=global-cio Universal Music, the world's largest record company, said Monday it would offer its catalog on Virgin Media's upcoming unlimited download service in return for the U.K. broadband provider agreeing to suspend service to people who persistently download tunes illegally…”

27. Life-Sized Gundam Completed in Tokyo http://technologyexpert.blogspot.com/2009/06/life-sized-gundam-completed-in-tokyo.html “…the life-sized Gundam that was being erected in Tokyo's Odaiba Shiokaze Park. The 59-foot-tall giant mecha is already done. However, the public unveiling isn't until July 11th. For many, the Gundam is the iconic anime giant mecha, and April 7th, 2009 was the 30th anniversary of the first anime series about Mobile Suits, Mobile Suit Gundam. Thus, this 1:1 scale model, built as part of the "Mobile Suit Gundam 30th Anniversary Project," it will stay up for only two months, until August 31st…”

Economy and Technology

28. Craigslist revenue flirting with $100 million http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10261593-71.html “…Craigslist's 2009 revenue is projected to rise above $100 million…It believes that 80 percent of the revenue will come from recruitment ads--the Craigslist site claims there are more than 1 million new job listings every month--and most of the remainder from real estate ads in New York…”

29. How Intuit managed to hold off Microsoft http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10262344-56.html “…Intuit is one of the few companies to take Microsoft head-on on its home turf--packaged software--and come out on top. Even more notably, Intuit has managed to do it several times, with Quicken of course, but also with QuickBooks and TurboTax…it was more than just Intuit's success that led to Money's demise, which CNET News first reported on Wednesday. The product was ultimately doomed by several factors, including a shift away from packaged software, the rise of Internet-based rivals like Mint.com, and a brutal economy that has forced Microsoft to scale back ambitions in several areas…”

30. Adobe to Charge for Acrobat.com http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124508215836215533.html “…Adobe will from Monday charge subscribers to use one of two new premium plans to share documents and information online for meetings and ongoing projects. Acrobat.com includes productivity tools, including a word processor, the ability to create and share PDF documents without the need to send updates, and online meeting tools. The entry-level subscription package for Acrobat.com will cost $14.99 per month, allowing Web meetings for up to five people. The higher-priced package will cost $39 per month and support meetings for up to 20 people. Adobe will allow free user of Acrobat.com for more limited functionality…It's also trying to push an online, subscription-based version of Acrobat, which generates around a quarter of its sales, to grow a more stable, recurring revenue stream. Most of Adobe's products are sold on a perpetual license basis. Online software, paid for on a recurring basis, can help to smooth out the peaks and troughs of product cycles…” [note: there is still a limited version of Acrobat.com that is free.]

Civilian Aerospace

31. Rocket science revelry http://www.amarillo.com/stories/061309/new_news1.shtml “…Johnson's Friday morning launch in Wayside marked the culmination of her efforts to earn the highest certification awarded by a nonprofit organization for amateurs involved in high-power rocketry. Earning the certification required a successful launch and recovery, said Johnson, a high school math teacher from San Antonio…Launches continue today with 18 college teams and more than 100 students and faculty members from around the world involved in a CanSat competition, described as a design-build-launch contest for space-related topics. The teams will use their electrical and mechanical engineering prowess for launching and recovering rockets meeting an exact set of criteria, said Barre Wheatley, an officer for host group the Panhandle of Texas Rocketry Society. Last year, teams' rockets had to land right side up. "It's not the launch," Wheatley said. "It's the recovery…”

32. Spaceport America groundbreaking http://www.lascrucesbulletin.com/ee/lascrucesbulletin/index.php?pSetup=lascrucesbulletin&curDate=20090612&pageToLoad=showFreeArticle.php&type=art&index=01 “…the $198 million construction budget makes Spaceport America an economic development project the likes of which has never been seen in New Mexico…the first commercial spaceport built from scratch for commercial space vehicles…Spaceport groundbreaking events begin with a Las Cruces community event at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 18, on the New Mexico State University Horseshoe…on Friday, June 19. As long as flight conditions allow, WhiteKnightTwo – also dubbed “Eve” – will grace the skies overhead…the first packages of bids have come in, Landeene said, and it appears the project can afford to build an upgraded 10,000-foot runway. That means that any aircraft in the world could land on the runway…”

33. Space Forecast Predicts Satellite Production Boom http://www.space.com/news/090615-satellite-futures.html “…The 12th World Market Survey of satellite construction and launch trends…looks at the likely government and commercial satellite and launch landscape for the 10 years ending in 2018 and compares it to the 10 years ending in 2008…the average satellite mass is likely to drop by 5 percent, to 4,166 pounds (1,890 kg), in the coming 10 years…while the average satellite built in the next decade will lose weight, the number of satellites will increase. The study concludes that 1,185 spacecraft will be launched in the next 10 years, a 47 percent increase over the 10 years ending in 2008. The average satellite price over the next decade will be $99 million, compared to $97 million in the past 10 years. The per-satellite launch price is predicted to remain flat, at $51 million…increased participation of emerging-market economies such as India and China in the overall space market will continue to exert downward pressure on launch and satellite prices. The figures do not include microsatellites weighing less than 88 pounds (40 kg) at launch, nor do they include classified military satellites…”

34. KODAK Imaging Technology to Explore Moon http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090615005646&newsLang=en “…The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration program, designed to extend human presence in the solar system by returning first to the moon, with missions to Mars and beyond to follow. As the first step in this program, the LRO will provide high-resolution maps of the moon’s surface, identify resources (such as water) on or near the surface that could be used by future astronauts, and better understand the radiation environment…Two Narrow Angle Cameras on the orbiter will capture high-resolution images of the moon’s surface at 0.5 meter-per-pixel…providing the same level of detail as the highest resolution satellite images of Earth commercially available today…LRO will also fly over landing sites from the historic Apollo missions, allowing these high-resolution cameras to capture the first images of Apollo-era artifacts from lunar orbit…”

35. The Space Elevator http://spacefrontier.org/2009/06/09/the-space-elevator-the-other-way-to-the-high-frontier/ Explore the frontiers of space exploration this summer with a special one-day session on the space elevator. The Space Engineering and Science Institute (SESI) will host Space Elevator Day on Friday, July 17, 2009, in conjunction with SFF’s NewSpace 2009 Conference at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The space elevator represents a paradigm shift in the way we access space. Space Elevator Day will focus on all aspects of development, including science and technical issues, economics, and the style of life on Earth that space elevator technology will enable…”

36. UTA picosatellite mission http://www.utexas.edu/news/2009/06/09/picosatellite/ “…In an initial step toward the first successful rendezvous and docking of very small satellites without human control, a pair of miniature "picosatellites" built by University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University engineering students will be launched into orbit this month…the students will try to accomplish what only multi-million-dollar space missions have attempted: the autonomous docking and rendezvous of satellites. In this case, they'll be using picosatellites, named for being very compact and lightweight. The satellites, five-inch cubes weighing seven pounds, will be jettisoned into low-Earth orbit from Space Shuttle Endeavour…”

Supercomputing & GPUs

37. Is multicore hype or reality? http://embedded.com/columns/technicalinsights/205918952 For many years, processors and memory evolved more or less in lockstep…But clock rates continued to increase while memory speeds started to stagnate…Pentium-class processors took speeds to unparalleled extremes, before long hitting two and three gigahertz. Memory devices at 0.33 nsec are impractical for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the intractable problem of propagating those signals between chip packages…Memory is much slower than processors and has been an essential bottleneck for fifteen years. Recently CPU speeds have stalled as well, limited now by power dissipation problems…Ironically, vast numbers of the transistors on a modern processor do nothing most of the time…limited memory speeds helped spawn hugely complex CPUs, but the resultant heat has curbed clock rates, formerly the biggest factor that gave us faster computers every year…One wonders if a multicore approach using multiple 386s stripped of most of their fancy addressing capability and other bus management features, supported by lots of "cache," or at least fast on-board RAM, wouldn't offer a better MIPS/watt/price match…”

38. Matrox Imaging Announces New HPC Platform http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Matrox-Imaging-Announces-New-HPC-Platform-47426442.html “…Today at the Robots, Vision and Motion Control show in Rosemont (Chicago, Ill.), Matrox Imaging is launching its new high-performance computing (HPC) platform for industrial imaging…Matrox Supersight e2 offers OEMs unprecedented performance and flexibility for machine vision and medical imaging applications that generate extraordinary amounts of data. Applications such as semiconductor wafer and mask inspection, flat panel display (FPD) inspection, and CT scanning benefit from performance gains with Matrox Supersight e2…through the interconnection of CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs using a unique PCI Express (PCIe) x16 2.0 (Gen2) switched fabric that removes I/O bottlenecks between the multiple processors…”

39. Boston-area firms combine tech, film and video games http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2009/06/08/weekly13-Boston-area-firms-combine-tech-film-and-video-games.html “…Starting in about 2004, a repurposing of computer graphics processing units (GPUs) allowed personal computers and consoles to render film-quality images in a fast-moving video game. Some developers were shy of the new coding paradigms required to handle the data…Kerris believe that in the future, games based on sagas like George Lucas’ Star Wars won’t be an afterthought to the films but will become increasingly integral to plot and character development…”

40. Rumors of NVIDIA's Next GPU http://www.hpcwire.com/blogs/Rumors-of-NVIDIAs-Next-GPU-47874772.html “…NVIDIA's next-generation GPU design, the G300, may turn out to be the biggest architectural leap the graphics chip maker has ever attempted. If the early rumors are true, NVIDIA has decided move the architecture a step closer to the CPU and make GPU computing even more compelling for HPC…What follows is speculation heaped on top of speculation…the GT300 will offer up to 512 cores, up from 240 cores in NVIDIA's current high-end GPU. Since the new chips will be on the 40nm process node, NVIDIA could also crank up the clock. The current Tesla GPUs are running at 1.3-1.4 GHz and deliver about 1 teraflop, single precision, and less than 100 gigaflops, double precision. Valich speculates that a 2 GHz clock could up that to 3 teraflops of single precision performance, and, because of other architectural changes, double precision performance would get an even larger boost…More importantly though, NVIDIA is said to be moving from the traditional SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) GPU computing model to MIMD (multiple instruction, multiple data) or at least MIMD-like…the GT300 and Larrabee may end up dropping into the market at the same time -- sometime in the first half of 2010…”

41. Building The Exascale Computer http://www.pcplus.co.uk/node/3072/ “…What if we gave scientists machines that dwarf today’s most powerful supercomputers? What could they tell us about the nature of, say, a nuclear explosion?...This is the story of the quest for an exascale computer – and how it might change our lives…there’s a point where adding more processors or processor cores will eventually cause a flat-line in performance due to the communication requirements between interconnects. Part of the issue is that each new processor introduces a computing overhead and creates new challenges for those who want to use the extended power. Photonics would address this issue, but not negate it…This is also true with GPUs: in an SLI configuration, each new card does not double performance; in fact, a new unit only adds about a 10 to 20 per cent increase in graphics throughput. Amdahl’s Law applies to GPUs as well – at some point, you would reach a point after which adding another GPU to the system would not increase throughput at all…the more common approach in supercomputer design is to use accelerators between processors, and to make sure that the communication over interconnects is as fast as possible. “You can use coprocessors, which are special-purpose processors that accelerate the compute-intensive part of an application,” he says. “These include general-purpose graphical processing units (GPGPUs), field- programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and customer ASICs like Clearspeed. But not all applications lend themselves to acceleration…”

42. HPC Project and CRI partner on code parallelisation open source project http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/HPC-Project-and-CRI-Partner-on-Code-Parallelisation-47784917.html “…HPC Project, partnering with the "Centre de Recherche en Informatique" (CRI) of the Ecole des Mines, has announced a new open source platform for automatic parallelisation of computer programs. Named "Par4all," this platform will merge various open source developments. Par4all aims to achieve the migration of software to multicore and other parallel processors…”

43. Campus Champions Connects Users to HPC Resources http://www.hpcwire.com/offthewire/Campus-Champions-Connects-Users-to-HPC-Resources-47659947.html “…By becoming Campus Champions, they are making it easier for researchers and educators on their campuses to access free, readily available computational resources from 11 NSF-funded national supercomputing centers and TeraGrid Resource Provider sites across the country. Campus Champions is designed to expand and diversify the TeraGrid's user base by recruiting local evangelists on campuses nationwide. From one -- at the University of Kentucky -- when the program began in March 2008, the number of champion institutions has ramped up steadily to 38…”

44. MIT offers multicore programming course http://insidehpc.com/2009/06/11/mit-offers-multicore-programming-course/ “…Multicore Programming…MIT Campus…Dates: July 20-24, 2009…Multicores are bringing about a paradigm shift in programming. This course exposes students to fundamental issues in the design of concurrent programs and to the techniques necessary to make effective use of multicore machines…”

45. HPC: 2 camps http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7362 “…Writing good software is hard. Period. Writing good parallel software is harder still, but not impossible. Understanding the basics is essential in either case…”


*****

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