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Sun Microsystems

Sneak Peek At Sun's SPARC Server Roadmap 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the measuring-stick-for-oracle dept.
The folks at The Register have gotten their hands on Sun's confidential roadmap from June, which outlines the company's plans for SPARC product lines. The chart has some basic technical details for the UltraSPARC T-series and the SPARC64 line. The long-anticipated "Rock" line is not mentioned. "We can expect a goosed SPARC64-VII+ chip any day now, which will run at 2.88 GHz and which will be a four-core, eight-threaded chip like its 'Jupiter' predecessor. This Jupiter+ chip is implemented in the same 65 nanometer process as the Jupiter chip was, and it is made by Fujitsu, a company that is in the process of outsourcing its chip manufacturing to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. ... not only has Sun cut back on the threads with [the 2010 UltraSPARC model, codenamed Rainbow Falls], it has also cut back on the socket count, keeping it at the same four sockets used by the T5440 server. And instead of hitting something close to 2 GHz as it should be able to do as it shifts from a 65 nanometer to a 45 nanometer process in the middle of 2010, Sun is only telling customers that it can boost clock speeds to 1.67 GHz with Rainbow Falls."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Man Attempts to Build Toaster from Raw Materials

Submitted by Strudelkugel
Strudelkugel (594414) writes "Thomas Thwaites is attempting to build a toaster from raw materials, meaning ore. His page describes the materials he will need, attempts to smelt iron ore, and some comments on the significance of the huge industrial complex that gives us things like toasters. It's an ongoing project, so stay tuned! From his page: "After some research I have determined that I will need the following materials to make a toaster. Copper, to make the pins of the electric plug, the cord, and internal wires. Iron to make the steel grilling apparatus, and the spring to pop up the toast. Nickel to make the heating element. Mica (a mineral a bit like slate) around which the heating element is wound, and of course plastic for the plug and cord insulation, and for the all important sleek looking casing. The first four of these materials are dug out of the ground, and plastic is derived from oil, which is generally sucked up through a hole. Part of the project consists of finding the places where it's possible to dig up these raw materials. Mining no longer happens in the UK, but the country is dotted with abandoned mines, some having been worked since before the 'UK' existed, but all currently uneconomical. Finding ways to process the raw materials on a domestic scale is also an issue. For example, my first attempt to extract metal involved a chimney pot, some hair-dryers, a leaf blower, and a methodology from the 15th century — this is about the level of technology we can manage when we're acting alone. I failed to get pure enough iron in this way, though if I'd tried a few more times and refined my technique and knowledge of the process I probably would've managed in the end. Instead I found a 2001 patent about industrial smelting of Iron ores using microwave energy. ""
Earth

+ - The Living Machine Sewage System

Submitted by tedgyz
tedgyz (515156) writes "Wired discusses the dirty topic of handling our waste in an environmentally friendly manner. I had the benefit of seeing one of these systems in action at a rest stop in Vermont. I paid a visit to the rest room and then walked into the greenhouse to see where "things" get processed.

From the article: Everybody likes trees, but (aesthetics aside) sending poop from the bathroom to the lobby may seem sort of icky. In environmental terms, though, it's a solid choice. Just as photovoltaics can help take a building off the power grid, living machines take strain off the pipes and municipal wastewater facilities on the "sewage grid." They also show that being green means thinking more creatively about our brown and yellow."
Supercomputing

Flu Models Predict Pandemic, But Flu Chips Ready 216

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the false-positives-incoming dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Supercomputer software models predict that swine flu will likely go pandemic sometime next week, but flu chips capable of detecting the virus within four hours are already rolling off the assembly line. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has designated swine flu as the '2009 H1N1 flu virus,' is modeling the spread of the virus using modeling software designed by the Department of Defense back when avian flu was a perceived threat. Now those programs are being run on cluster supercomputers and predict that officials are not implementing enough social distancing--such as closing all schools--to prevent a pandemic. Companies that designed flu-detecting chips for avian flu, are quickly retrofitting them to detect swine flu, with the first flu chips being delivered to labs today." Relatedly, at least one bio-surveillance firm is claiming they detected and warned the CDC and the WHO about the swine flu problem in Mexico over two weeks before the alert was issued.
Movies

Decent DVD-Ripping Solution For Linux? 501

Posted by timothy
from the digital-camera-one-frame-at-a-time dept.
supersloshy writes "I'm a user of Ubuntu Linux and I have been for a little while now. Recently I've been trying to copy DVDs onto a portable media player, but everything I've tried isn't working right. dvd::rip always gets the language mixed up (for example, when ripping 'Howl's Moving Castle,' one of the files it ripped to was in Japanese instead of English), Acidrip just plain isn't working for me (not recognizing a disc with spaces in its name, refusing to encode, etc.), Thoggen is having trouble with chapters (chapter 1 repeated twice for me once), and OGMRip has the audio out of sync. What I'm looking for is a reliable program to copy the movie into a single file with none of the audio or video glitches as mentioned above. Is there even such thing on Linux? If you can't think of a decent Linux-based solution, then a Windows one is fine as long as it works."
The Internet

Time Warner Expanding Internet Transfer Caps To New Markets 394

Posted by Soulskill
from the sharing-the-love dept.
Akido37 writes "Time Warner Cable is expanding its transfer capping program to new markets in Rochester, NY, Austin, TX, San Antonio, TX, and Greensboro, NC. It seems they have been testing plans with 5, 10, 20, or 40GB of data transfer per month, with prices ranging from $30 to $55 a month. BusinessWeek quotes Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt saying, 'We need a viable model to be able to support the infrastructure of the broadband business ... We made a mistake early on by not defining our business based on the consumption dimension.' Ars Technica adds, 'The BusinessWeek article notes that only 14 percent of users in TWC's trial city of Beaumont, Texas even exceeded their caps at all. My own recent conversations with other major ISPs suggest that the average broadband user only pulls down 2-6GB of data per month as it is. One the one hand, this suggests that caps don't really bother most people; on the other, it indicates that low cap levels aren't needed to keep traffic 'reasonable' since it's actually quite low to begin with.'"
Privacy

Accessing Medical Files Over P2P Networks 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the doctor-patient-entire-internet-confidentiality dept.
Gov IT writes with this excerpt from NextGov: "Just days after President Obama signed a law giving billions of dollars to develop electronic health records, a university technology professor submitted a paper showing that he was able to uncover tens of thousands of medical files containing names, addresses and Social Security numbers for patients seeking treatment for conditions ranging from AIDS to mental health problems. ... The basic technology that runs peer-to-peer networks inadvertently exposed the files probably without the computer user's knowledge, Johnson said. A health care worker might have loaded patient files onto a laptop, for example, and taken it home where a son or daughter could have downloaded a peer-to-peer client onto the laptop to share music."
Input Devices

Nintendo Reveals New Wii Controller 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-so-different-after-all dept.
IGN reports that Nintendo has unveiled the Classic Controller Pro, a new input device for the Wii of a more typical design than the Wii Remote. "From the info we've already got on the PRO, we know it's a larger controller, not only in thickness, height, and width, but it also makes use of one of the more well-received concepts out there, which is the extension grips, which gives it a GameCube, Xbox Controller S/360 look. As you can see, the Z buttons (Z/L and Z/R) are larger now, and placed like the R1/R2, L1/L2 setup found with Sony controllers. The PRO even borrows from the Nyko Classic Controller and Click Grip."
Businesses

Ballmer Pleads For Openness To Compete With Apple 532

Posted by Soulskill
from the outside-looking-in dept.
mjasay writes "At the Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer took aim at Apple's closed iPhone ecosystem with an ironic plea for openness: 'Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice.' Ballmer has apparently forgotten his company's own efforts to vertically integrate hardware and software (Zune, XBox), its history of vertically integrating software (tying SharePoint into Office, IE, SQL Server, Active Directory, etc.), as well as years of illegally tying Windows to Internet Explorer that only the US Justice Department could undo. Indeed, Microsoft's effect on the browser market has pushed Mozilla to get involved in a recent European Commission action against the software giant, with Mozilla's Mitchell Baker recently declaring that 'A number of illegal activities were also involved in creating IE's market dominance,' now requiring government intervention to open up the browser market to fair competition. Putting aside Microsoft's own tainted reputation in the field of openness, is Ballmer right? Should Apple open up its iPhone platform to outside competition, both in terms of hardware and software?"
Cellphones

Hackers Finally Unlock iPhone 3G 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the information-and-iphones-want-to-be-free dept.
nandemoari quotes a story at Infopackets: "2009 has gotten off to a great start for a team of iPhone enthusiasts with little regard for Apple's licensing requirements. They've finally figured out a way to get the phone to work with any cell phone carrier (and not just AT&T). The iPhone Dev Team is best known for their work on 'jailbreaking;' the technique of altering an iPhone so that you can run any applications on it, not just those approved by Apple. Given the company's questionable vetting policy for entry to the official App store, it's not surprising many users approve of jailbreaking."
Upgrades

VirtualBox 2.1 Supports 64-Bit VM In 32-Bit Host 374

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the big-box-inside-a-little-box dept.
Stephen Birch writes "Following closely behind the mid-November 2.06 release of VirtualBox, Sun Microsystems has released version 2.1. This has a number of new features, but one of the most interesting is the ability to run a 64-bit VM inside a 32-bit host. Another useful feature is integrated host-based networking; no more fiddling around with network bridges. Sun is really giving VMWare a run for their money."
Music

Will People Really Boycott Apple Over DRM? 664

Posted by kdawson
from the for-tuppence-and-a-pretty-interface dept.
Ian Lamont writes "DefectiveByDesign.org is waging a battle against DRM with a 35-day campaign targeting various hardware and software products from Microsoft, Nintendo, and others. On day 11 it blasted iTunes for continuing to use DRM-encumbered music, games, TV shows, movies, audiobooks, and apps with DRM, while competitors are selling music without restrictions. DefectiveByDesign calls on readers to include 'iTunes gift cards and purchases in your boycott of all Apple products' to 'help drive change.' However, there's a big problem with this call to arms: most people simply don't care about iTunes DRM. Quoting: 'The average user is more than willing to pay more money for hobbled music because of user interface, ease of use, and marketing. ... Apple regularly features exclusive live sets from popular artists, while Amazon treats its digital media sales as one more commodity being sold.' What's your take on the DRM schemes used by Apple and other companies? Is a boycott called for, and can it be effective?"
Data Storage

Canadian Nuke Bunker To Be Converted Into Data Fortress 197

Posted by timothy
from the canada-has-nukes? dept.
miller60 writes "A hosting firm has purchased a nuke-resistant bunker in Novia Scotia, and plans to convert it into a data fortress for financial firms. Bastionhost hopes to attract European financial firms wary of housing sensitive data in the US due to the USA Patriot Act. The facility is one of a series of 'Diefenbunkers' built during the tenure of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to keep the Canadian government running in the event of a nuclear attack. While not all of these underground data bunker projects work out, a similar nuke-proof bunker in Stockholm, Sweden was recently converted into a stylish high-tech data lair for an ISP."
GUI

Nepomuk Brings Semantic Web To the Desktop, Instead 140

Posted by timothy
from the semantic-researchers-play-better-tag dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Technology Review has a story looking at Nepomuk — the semantic tool that is bundled with the latest version of KDE. It seems that some Semantic Web researchers believe the tool will prove a breakthrough for semantic technology. By encouraging people to add semantic meta-data to the information stored on their machines they hope it could succeed where other semantic tools have failed."

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley

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