overheardinpdx writes "I'm sad to report that longtime HPC technology pundit Roland Piquepaille (rpiquepa) died this past Tuesday. Many of you may know of him through his blog, his submissions to Slashdot, and his many years of software visualization work at SGI and Cray Research. I worked with Roland 20 years ago at Cray, where we both wrote tech stories for the company newsletter. With his focus on how new technologies modify our way of life, Roland was really doing Slashdot-type reporting before there was a World Wide Web. Rest in peace, Roland. You will be missed." The notice of Roland's passing was posted on the Cray Research alumni group on Linked-In by Matthias Fouquet-Lapar. There will be a ceremony on Monday Jan. 12, at 10:30 am Paris time, at Père Lachaise.
A report, based on SHELL OIL's predictions, suggesting that we might be running out of oil?! A surprise, one thinks not!
Justen writes "It's been nearly a year and a half since Carly Fiorina was fired as CEO and chairman at HP. Now, Forbes is saying Mark Hurd and HP today are reaping the success of the strategies she developed and decisions Carly made. 'Fiorina's demise was chalked up to bad execution of bad strategic moves, most notably the 2002 Compaq acquisition. But Hurd has always said there was nothing wrong with Fiorina's strategy. He seems to be hewing close to it. He rejiggered the org chart but said he'll keep the company together instead of breaking it up along premerger lines, as Fiorina's loudest critics suggested doing.' Forbes adds that HP's revenues, profit, and market share have held steady or improved since Hurd came aboard, but asks: 'Whose results are these? You could make a case that they are as much Fiorina's as Hurd's. The effects of strategic moves like buying Compaq stretch out over years.' So, which is it? Did Carly kill the HP way? Or did she save what was left of it?"
lowrydr310 writes "Western Union is blocking money transfers to people with Arab names. They have delayed or blocked thousands of cash deliveries on suspicion of terrorist connections simply because senders or recipients have names like Mohammed or Ahmed. 'In one example, an Indian driver here said Western Union prevented him from sending $120 to a friend at home last month because the recipient's name was Mohammed.' Western union claims they are merely following U.S. Treasury Department guidelines that scrutinize cash flows for terrorist links. I agree that Western Union shouldn't allow anyone supporting terrorism to use their service, however I'm fairly certain there are millions of people named Mohammed or Ahmed who aren't terrorists. I wonder if any other financial companies such as banks are doing the same thing."
valdean wrote in with a NYTimes article about Google which says "On the banks of the windswept Columbia River [in Oregon], Google is working on a secret weapon in its quest to dominate the next generation of Internet computing. But it is hard to keep a secret when it is a computing center as big as two football fields, with twin cooling plants protruding four stories into the sky...' What's the goal of this new complex? Expanding Google's raw computer power. It's one more piece in the Googleplex, the massive global computer network that is estimated to span 25 locations and 450,000 servers.'
Accommodate Students writes "In a move that is sure to cause even more discussion of Google's intentions to go head-to-head with Microsoft in the Office Suite arena, they have launched a spreadsheet. AP is reporting this as 'Google further invades its rival's territory.' You can share spreadsheets with other users and can chat while you're editing -- multiplayer spreadsheets! It can read both CSV and XLS formats." More from the article: "Google is targeting Office, which generated $2.95 billion in sales and $2.09 billion in profit in Microsoft's third quarter ended March 31. Microsoft plans a new release this year and is trying to get Office into more consumers' hands at a cheaper price while persuading businesses to buy higher-priced versions."
blonde rser writes "This weeks Scientific American Podcast plays excerpts from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's commencement address at John Hopkins University (text and video can be found online). Once he gets past the standard pomp and circumstance he makes a strong, pro-science speech. It is impressive how he very directly demonizes those that would politicize stem cell research, global warming, Terry Schaivo, and evolution." From the speech: "Hopkins' motto is 'Veritas vos liberabit' - 'the truth shall set you free' - not that 'you shall be free to set the truth!'" Stirring stuff.
prostoalex writes "PC Magazine takes a look at 'PC posture' and the problems associated with the workstyles of those who spend hours in front of the PC. They talk about proper sitting styles, the erroneous name of 'wrist rest,' monitor height and the need for periodic exercises to help alleviate potential repetitive stress injuries."
An anonymous reader writes "Wired is running an article with some great investigative journalism. Writer Thomas Green snuck into the ISS World Conference, a trade show featuring communications-tapping equipment and normally a press-free event. There, he got some very interesting quotes from the attendees." From the article: "You really need to educate yourself ... Do you think this stuff doesn't happen in the West? Let me tell you something. I sell this equipment all over the world, especially in the Middle East. I deal with buyers from Qatar, and I get more concern about proper legal procedure from them than I get in the USA."
Shantyman writes "ZDNet has a counterpoint to the negative impressions of Vista's Beta 2 going around. Entitled Vista Beta 2, up close and personal, Ed Bott writes: 'I've spent the last three months running beta versions of Windows Vista on the PCs I use for everyday work. February and March were exasperating. April's release was noticeably better, and the Beta 2 preview - Build 5381, released to testers in early May - has been running flawlessly on my notebook for nearly three weeks.'"
Jeff K writes "Facts and science collide with tribal loyalties, the Washington Post reports: 'Scientists doing climate research for the federal government say the Bush administration has made it hard for them to speak forthrightly to the public about global warming. The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing.'"
conq writes "BusinessWeek reports that Facebook has turned down an offer for $750 million and is looking for 2 billion dollars. The article speculates that one possible suitor would be Viacom. From the article: 'A Facebook deal would help Viacom founder and Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone fend off a growing challenge from News Corp. The media conglomerate run by Rupert Murdoch has poured enormous resources into the Internet during the last year. It acquired social-networking pioneer MySpace.com last year for $580 million.'"
hpcanswers writes "Given the increasing popularity of social-networking sites among the young and affluent, Nike has introduced a new site dedicated to the world's most popular sport: soccer. While Nike provides the content (via its army of sponsored athletes, among others), Google provides the technical expertise. Orkut has been very popular in soccer-crazed Brazil, so Google may be able to make a brand extension here. Joga.com is currently invite only, though a form at the bottom of the home page takes requests for invitations." I actually found the launch of a site like this interesting not because of the content, but because of the trend in "private label" sites. It's a Shake'n'Bake Social Network, and you helped make it.
Foxy Betty writes "Mozilla Corporation has announced the winners of the Extend Firefox Contest, a project initiated to encourage development of extensions for the Firefox Web browser. A panel of industry notables reviewed more than 200 extensions submitted to the contest."