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At its annual developer conference and Geek-fest/Love-in, the Fall Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel gathered partners and technologists to demonstrate it leadership in a plethora of technologies. Intel showed off new graphics engines that rivaled the gaming and video features of nVidia and ATI [recently bought by its chief competitor, AMD], LAN and WiFi solutions, virtualization, experiments in solar power and fuel cells, and numerous other forward-looking research projects. Intel used the IDF conference as a springboard for new initiatives and to explain its road map in more detail than in the past.
Intel committed itself and its partners to releasing quad-core x86 chips before the end of this year, moving up its earlier 2007 release date. And prototype systems were on hand as proof from many Intel partners. To be sure, these were modified dual socket mother boards that now can take dual core chips, but these showed that most modern OSes could take advantage of the extra cores and perform reasonable job scheduling without modification.
Code-named Kentfield, the first chips will still sport the "Core 2" branding, but with be 4 cores, as in 2 dual-core chips in a single socket package. This is partly done to improve the product yields [by about 20% over the 4 cores on the same silicon wafer, according to Intel CEO Paul Ortelli]. The follow-on chip will be called Clovertown and will be in the Xeon 5300 series, a quad-core variant of Woodcrest. First out of the chute are the quad-core products aimed at the desktop, followed server editions. [see photo here: ftp://download.intel.com/pressroom/kits/idffall_2006/Intel%20Core2%20Extreme%20Quad-Core%20microprocessor.jpg ]
Patrick Patla, director for AMD's Server and Workstation Business, in Austin, Texas, was quoted in eWeek calling the Intel Quad core a "Franken-quad," and less efficient with a single memory bus than the true quad-core chip that AMD will release in early 2007.
Gigabits and Gigahertz make for a massively parallel TeraScale processor. Intel's peak at the future of computing included an 80 core CPU. Seemingly one-upping the IBM-Sony Cell processor, 'Tera' is more of a design point to which Intel is applying its vast engineering resources.
Operating at 3.1 GHz, the goal of this multi-core experimental chip is to test interconnect strategies for rapidly moving terabytes of data from core to core and between cores and memory. This monster uses SRAM for speed and directly connect memory blocks to each processor. One possible design has entire RAM blocks in the core design. At 100 MB or more per core, that would be the entire system, or 8 terabytes, without a memory controller. Research efforts are aimed at trying to design DRAM to work in this manner so as to reduce power consumption. This could be a back door for Intel to re-enter the memory market.
Potential uses of the technology include high-performance devices to play photo-realistic games, share real-time video and do multimedia data mining. Intel Senior Fellow and Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner said "When combined with our recent breakthroughs in silicon photonics, these experimental chips address the three major requirements for tera-scale computing - teraOPS of performance, terabytes-per-second of memory bandwidth, and terabits-per-second of I/O capacity."
Black Duck Software, a provider of software compliance management solutions, announced in September that the Eclipse Foundation has purchased and deployed Black Duck's protexIP(TM)/development platform. Eclipse uses protexIP to review software submitted by committers and ensure it is in compliance with the specific software licensing requirements of the Eclipse Foundation.
Eclipse is a community of open source projects, each comprised of its own group of independent developers. The process of open source software development regularly involves the assembly of open source code with invented and reused components, and as a result, various licenses can govern various parts of an application. The open nature of Eclipse's projects intensifies the need for Eclipse to evaluate the copyrights governing their code bases.
"Companies worldwide are capitalizing on applications developed by the Eclipse community, and many software vendors sell products that are dependent on Eclipse," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of Eclipse Foundation. "For that reason, it is absolutely vital for us to analyze our code before we release it to our community."
protexIP compares software code to the protexIP KnowledgeBase, the most complete database of information on open source software components, code and license obligations available today. It contains information on tens of thousands of open source projects from more than 2,000 sites worldwide; and more than 650 open source and commercial licenses.
"The Eclipse Foundation represents some of the most innovative work in application development today, as teams of developers are working together to create tools and frameworks that will help build better business applications," said Douglas A. Levin, CEO of Black Duck Software. "Eclipse's purchase of protexIP makes sense given the decentralized and very successful nature of the community's process. Eclipse now has greater certainty that the licenses governing the code are in order."
Terracotta, Inc., a leader in solutions for enterprise Java scalability, has announced availability of its Eclipse plug-in for Terracotta DSO, the company's enterprise-class JVM clustering technology. Bundled with Terracotta DSO, the new plug-in makes Terracotta's point-and-click clustering functionality available from within the Eclipse IDE and demonstrates the company's on-going commitment to open source integration.
"Eclipse has taken the developer world by storm and become one of the most popular open source IDEs for Java application development," said Ari Zilka, founder and chief technology officer at Terracotta. "Terracotta DSO already provides plug-in capacity and availability for Java applications running on two or more machines. This plug-in further simplifies the clustering process by automatically generating the necessary configuration files."
Terracotta DSO (Distributed Shared Objects) is a runtime solution that allows data to be shared across multiple JVMs without the need for proprietary APIs, custom code, databases, or message queues. With Terracotta DSO, objects can be clustered at runtime just by specifying them by name.
Typically, objects and data to be clustered, as well as classes to be instrumented, are manually declared in an XML configuration file. With the Eclipse plug-in, the declaration process is automated via graphical representation of classes and objects, which can be browsed and acted upon within the IDE. Right-clicking objects and selecting Terracotta options from the context menu automatically generates the XML configuration file. The point-and-click automation improves productivity and eliminates iterations.
To facilitate application testing, the Eclipse plug-in lets developers start and stop Terracotta servers and clients from within the Eclipse IDE. In addition, the plug-in provides a more intuitive, developer-friendly XML experience by replacing raw text with graphical representations of sub-declarations within the XML configuration file.
More information on Terracotta can be found at http://www.terracottatech.com.
IDG World Expo announced the successful completion of LinuxWorld Conference & Expo(®), held August 14-17, 2006. More than 10,000 participants from around the globe arrived at San Francisco's Moscone Center to examine the latest products and solutions, hear about emerging trends in the industry and experience new content. This year's event also paid tribute to the 15-year anniversary of the kernel with a spirited panel discussion entitled "Celebrating 20 Years of Linux" which highlighted several industry milestones while envisioning the future of Linux as if the year was 2011.
"We're extremely pleased with the results of LinuxWorld San Francisco," said Melinda Kendall, group vice president at IDG World Expo. "The exhibit hall was crowded with attendees, media coverage of the event was tremendous, the conference program was very well attended and several of our new programs including CIO Summit, Linux in the Channel Day and Healthcare Day were extremely well received."
Two key themes that resonated throughout the show were mobile Linux and virtualization. Motorola, Nokia and PalmSource, all new exhibitors at LinuxWorld San Francisco, touted their line of mobile Linux products and two keynote addresses focused on these themes: "Creating Must-Have Mobile Experiences With Linux," by Greg Bisio, Corporate Vice President of Motorola, and "Where Virtualization is Leading Your IT Department" by Peter Levine, CEO, XenSource. All of the keynote addresses from LinuxWorld can be downloaded from the LinuxWorld web site at www.linuxworldexpo.com.
Linus Torvalds announced the release of the 2.6.18 Linux kernel, following the previous stable kernel release by three months. With a hearty "Arrgh!," he said, "she's good to go, hoist anchor!", this being the second year in a row that a kernel release has coincided with 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' . "Here's some real booty for all you land-lubbers," Linus continued, "there's not too many changes, with t'bulk of the patch bein' defconfig updates, but the shortlog at the aft of this here email describes the details if you care, you scurvy dogs." In keeping with the theme, he signed the announcement, "Linus 'but you can call me Cap'n'".
The new kernel is here: http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/patch-2.6.18.gz
The newest stable release of Ubuntu, a popular Debian fork, was released on October 26th. Among the large number of additions and fixes included in the release, the development team seems especially proud of Tomboy, F-Spot, GNOME 2.16, Firefox 2.0, Evolution 2.8.0, and a bunch more. The server release is boasting a pre-release of the upcoming LTSP-5 (Linux Terminal Server Project), a popular server package that allows multiple thin client terminals to connect and use the server's software and hardware, only requiring the thin client to display in and out data.
Official announcement: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EdgyAnnouncement?highlight=(edgy)
The first beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, based on Fedora 5 and some early features from Fedora 6, is available since September -- if you have a Red Hat Network account -- but some reviewers are not impressed. The package management tools don't work well with RH repositories, especially the version of 'yum' included, and the management tools for the brand new Xen virtualization hypervisor have received complaints. But that's why there are beta tests.
RHEL 5 is based primarily on the 2.6.18 Linux kernel. It comes in client and server versions with optional directories for additional functionality like virtualization and clustering.
You can access the beta with a temporary subscription to RHN at the RH evaluation page: http://www.redhat.com/rhel/details/eval/ [Does not reflect the RHEL 5 beta by this issue's publication]
MEPIS has released the SimplyMEPIS 6.0-1 DVD Edition: an update of SimplyMEPIS 6.0, MEPIS' first Ubuntu based edition released earlier this summer. The SimplyMEPIS 6.0-1 bootable DVD not only includes hundreds of bug and security fixes, but the 1,900 packages of the three SimplyMEPIS Extras CDs, as well. Also, this Mepis edition has been cover-mounted on the October 2006 issue of Linux Magazine from Linux New Media AG available at thousands of bookstores and newsstands worldwide including Borders, Barnes & Noble, Fry's, Micro Center, Chapters, WHSmith and Eason.
Warren Woodford of MEPIS said "We enjoyed working with Linux Magazine to produce this coordinated release. The cover-mounted DVD is convenient for those who do not have the opportunity or inclination to download ISO files and burn their own CDs or DVD. By featuring our new DVD, Linux Magazine will enable thousands of dissatisfied Windows users to try and, hopefully, switch to SimplyMEPIS."
The ISO image is available for download in the 'release' subdirectory at the MEPIS Subscriber's Site and at MEPIS public mirrors. Current users of SimplyMEPIS 6.0 do not need to install 6.0-1 but can update, as usual, through the Ubuntu and MEPIS package pools.
SimplyMEPIS is a full featured desktop solution that integrates the Linux OS with hundreds of popular application packages including KDE, OpenOffice, Amarok, Firefox, and Thunderbird. Satisfied users are encouraged to help offset the costs of development by making a contribution or a purchase at the MEPIS store at www.mepis.org/store.
A new release of BeleniX is available after some delay. This brings in several new features and software upgrades with more upgrades coming soon. The main points of this release are:
IPphone, Inc., developers of the free Gizmo Project Internet calling and IM software, today announced their All Calls Free calling plan is available for businesses worldwide, providing significant savings for small to mid-sized companies who want to enjoy free calling between co-workers and/or remote offices. Any business using the free Asterisk PBX software, or other premium PBX solutions, can also boost savings and workforce efficiency with access to high-end features previously only available to large businesses. Gizmo Project includes free conference calling, customizable voice-mail, Instant Messaging (IM) and a host of other convenient features. More information may be found at www.gizmoprojects.com/business.
Using Gizmo Project as an office softphone, workers can easily place PC-to-PC calls without the burden of special VoIP phones or the expense of traditional phone call charges. Further cost-savings occur when employees use Gizmo Project to make free calls to landlines and mobile phones of co-workers in 60 countries under the All Calls Free plan. The United States, Brazil, and most European and Asian countries are included and a full list of countries may be found at www.gizmoproject.com/free . Calls to other countries, or calls to people who do not have Gizmo Project are billed at the industry-low rates found at www.gizmoproject.com/rates.
"Large companies have been able to link offices together and use the Internet to save money on inter-company communications. Now small- and mid-size businesses can also have their employees call each other for free no matter where they are located," said Michael Robertson, chairman and CEO of SIPphone. "Companies running the Asterisk PBX or other premium PBXs also gain a new communications tool that can route calls through almost any network, allowing mobile workers to be reached anywhere as if they were physically in their office," Robertson added.
Any company can take advantage of the Gizmo Project for Business program. To get started, the free Gizmo Project software for Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh and Linux can be downloaded at http://www.gizmoproject.com/download.
Key features of Gizmo Project for business:
A wide variety of Asterisk PBXs, premium PBXs developed by such companies as Trixbox, SwitchVox, Epigy, webFones, and other SIP-based PBXs are supported by Gizmo Project. Workers can be called via their PBX or directly through the Gizmo network. More information about Asterisk support may be found at www.gizmoproject.com/asterisk . Specific information about setting up Asterisk for use with Gizmo Project is at www.gizmoproject.com/setupasterisk.
Qlusters, Inc., now has plug-ins that support FreeBSD(R), Solaris-x86(TM) and Solaris-Sparc(TM) operating systems. Until now, most systems management solutions have focused on supporting a limited number of operating systems. OpenQRM is the only open source systems management platform that provides IT professionals with a solution for managing Linux, Windows, FreeBSD and Solaris. These new tested and supported plug-ins enable the openQRM platform to quickly recognize and provision resources for FreeBSD and Solaris applications in addition to the existing support for Linux and Windows.
Additionally, these plugins provide:
Qlusters has taken steps to expand the project's presence over the last several months, recently announcing plug-ins for popular virtualization offerings from VMWare, Xen, QEMU and Linux VServer. In addition, openQRM has received accolades from leading industry sources. In July, SourceForge chose openQRM as its Project of the Month, while in August, Qlusters was named both a "Hot Open Source Company" by Red Herring as well as an "Open Source Company to Watch," by Network World.
openQRM is a leading open source systems management solution for managing enterprise data center virtual environments and for data center provisioning. openQRM has an open plug-in architecture that enables easy integration with existing data center applications, such as Nagios(TM) or VMWare(TM). For more information visit www.openqrm.org.
The user, Espressocode, is running an active, load-balanced DB2 database cluster between Toronto and San Francisco: a distance of almost 2,500 miles.
Hacktivismo, an international group of tech-savvy human rights workers affiliated with the Cult of the Dead Cow [cDc], has released Torpark, an anonymous, portable Web browser based on Mozilla Firefox. Torpark comes pre-configured, requires no installation, can run off a USB memory stick, and leaves no tracks behind in the browser or computer. Torpark is a highly modified variant of Portable Firefox, that uses the TOR (The Onion Router) network to anonymize the connection between the user and the website that is being visited.
When a user logs onto the Internet, a unique IP address is assigned to manage the computer's identity. Each website the user visits can see and log the user's IP address. Hostile governments and data thieves can easily monitor this interaction to correlate activity and determine a user's identity.
Torpark causes the IP address seen by the website to change every few minutes to frustrate eavesdropping and mask the requesting source. For example, a user could be surfing the Internet from a home computer in Ghana, and it might appear to websites that the user was coming from a university computer in Germany or any other country with servers in the TOR network.
It is important to note that the data passing from the user's computer into the TOR network is encrypted. Therefore, the user's Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot see the information that is passing through the Torpark browser, such as the websites visited, or posts the user might have made to a forum. The ISP can only see an encrypted connection to the TOR network.
But there are limitations to the anonymity: Torpark anonymizes the user's connection but not the data. Data traveling between the client and the TOR network is encrypted, but the data between the TOR network and websites is unencrypted. So a user should not use his/her username or password on websites that do not offer a secure login and session (noted by a golden padlock at the bottom of the Torpark browser screen).
Torpark is being released under the GNU General Public License and is dedicated to the Panchen Lama.
Download Torpark at: http://torpark.nfshost.com/download.html
IBM has inked a five-year deal with Magna Electronics, a Canadian firm that makes auto electronics. The goal of the partnership is to develop systems that protect drivers and mediate interactions with neighboring vehicles.
Part of IBM's Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA), systems would be developed to analyze traffic patterns and real time performance data and react to potential problems. Beside collision avoidance, driver alertness would be monitored. Another possibility are headlights that dim for approaching cars. The technology would also include autonomic systems that could diagnose internal problems, since there would be no reliable benefit if the safety system failed when needed.
PNY Technologies, Inc. announced its latest MaxFile(TM) Attache(R), a USB 2.0 micro hard drive with 12GB of storage space. The extra-small drive includes a Migo(TM) backup and synchronization software download, so users can sync everything from their e-mail, documents, favorites and settings wherever they go.
"MaxFile Attache provides an ideal solution for users looking for ... cost-effective, high-capacity, compact, portable storage," said Dean Delserro, senior marketing manager, flash, for PNY Technologies. "Only slightly larger than a traditional USB flash drive, MaxFile's small form factor is ideal for anyone that needs to safely carry loads of important information with them. MaxFile Attache is a perfect choice for the user that requires more storage at a lower cost per megabyte than is traditionally available on a USB Flash drive, and still wants to be able to carry it in their pocket, purse, briefcase or backpack. ...Moreover, MaxFile Attache eliminates the need to travel with a bulky laptop, particularly at a time when airline travelers need to limit their carry-on items"
With 12GB of memory, MaxFile Attache can store thousands of documents, presentations, digital photos, and songs, games - or over 25 hours of video - and features a read and write speed of up to 11MB/sec. Moreover, the device features a durable, aluminum outer casing and is self-powered by a sturdy, USB connector.
PNY's MaxFile Attache is available starting in September from retailers and e-tailers with an MSRP of $169.
The X PRIZE Foundation announced that http://www.xprize.org will host the first-ever blog from space during Anousheh Ansari's historic flight to the International Space Station. The webpage was designed by the X PRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit prize institute in partnership with Prodea Systems, the home technology company that is sponsoring her journey.
"My ultimate goal is to bring this experience ... to more and more people and to inspire young woman and men to go into the fields related to space," said Anousheh Ansari during a recent interview from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. "I hope that thousands of individuals from around the world will visit the X PRIZE site to learn what its like to fly into orbit."
In addition to the first-ever blog from space, visitors will also read Ansari's life story as well as watch exclusive video and interviews from her training, preflight activities, launch and landing. Visitors will also have exclusive access to the first episodes of the X PRIZE Foundation Futurecast. This new podcast will feature visionaries and entrepreneurs from around the globe to talk about what the future holds for us. The first episodes, which can be found on the X PRIZE Foundation website and Apple's iTunes podcast directory, will be the first podcast from space.
An active proponent of world-changing technologies, Anousheh Ansari has been immersed in the space industry for years. Anousheh along with Amir Ansari, her brother-in-law, and co-founder and chief technical officer of Prodea Systems, provided the title sponsorship for the Ansari X PRIZE, a $10 million cash prize awarded to Burt Rutan in 2004, for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. Anousheh Ansari is also a member of the X PRIZE Foundation Board of Trustees. Her philanthropic work through the X PRIZE Foundation has made her an integral figure in the development of the private spaceflight industry.
"The X PRIZE Foundation is very proud to host Anousheh's blog. We are a 21st century organization pushing the boundaries of technology," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE. "We thought blogging from space was the proper use of technology to reach today's youth. We hope millions will visit our website and learn about Anousheh's mission as well as the X PRIZE Cup in New Mexico, and our future X PRIZES for genome sequencing and hyper fuel-efficient automobiles."
On Monday September 18, 2006 Ansari is scheduled to blast off in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, part of a crew-exchange flight to the International Space Station. Her journey will last for 10 days and will include a two day trip to the International Space Station on the Soyuz as well as numerous experiments and activities that she will film in order to create education programs upon landing.
In 2004, the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE proved that offering a prize is an effective, efficient and economic model for accelerating breakthroughs in science and technology. Based on that success, the X PRIZE Foundation is now expanding their efforts to offer more prizes in the space industry, as well as, in the areas of health, energy, transportation, and education.
Modern PCs spend most of the day idle. By using the Multiplied Linux Desktop Strategy, organisations can now leverage this unused computing power and connect up to 10 full-featured workstations to a SINGLE, shared SLED 10 or openSUSE 10.1 computer. For administrators, this means only one computer to install, configure, secure, backup and administer instead of 10. For users, this means a rich user experience that is indistinguishable from single-user computers for typical office applications. Ideal for Linux computer labs, Linux thin clients, Linux Internet cafés and Linux point-of-sale terminals, where users are in close physical proximity to the host machine.
Its been going on almost forever: Larry Wall's annual address to the Perl community called the State of the Onion. This summer was the tenth anniversary of the State of the Onion, and the full text of the 2006 address is available here: www.perl.com/pub/a/2006/09/21/onion.html.
The 1.0.beta2 release of Fulvio Ricciardi's ZeroShell Linux server distribution is now available for download. The main new feature of this release is the ability to use ZeroShell as a Captive Portal gateway, i.e. a WiFi hotspot with web-based authentication, similar to the ones used in hotel WiFi networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Other features of ZeroShell include:
The next release will include support for QoS and bandwidth limiting.
ZeroShell is available as a LiveCD or a compact flash image for embedded
Eilat, Israel, October 23, 2006 - StartCom congratulates the Mozilla team on the successful release of the new Firefox 2.0 web browser. After one year of development since the last release, this award-winning and free web browser got even better than before. The new Firefox web browser is available for immediate download! In addition to that, StartCom is very pleased to announce the availability of the StartCom Certification Authority as an included and trusted instance for the issuance of digital certification in Mozilla software, including the new Firefox browser.
- The StartCom Certification Authority has matured a lot since the first announcement in February 2005 and offers today a range of products from free digital certification to PKI solutions for the corporate. The project started at http://cert.startcom.org with a limited wizard to create free digital certificates for web servers. Since then, StartCom developed various additional products for private and commercial use, underwent a third party audit and issued over 20,000 digital certificates. But today - with the release of the new Firefox web browser - marks the first time, that free digital certification (provided by StartCom) is supported and trusted by a major browser vendor with a significant market share. This makes it very easy for the subscribers of the certificates and the relaying parties (visitors) of digitally secured web sites (SSL) to use this free service! Also the signing and encryption of email is supported in the same manner which allows the protection of the identity and privacy of the user.
- This event is also an excellent opportunity to make another few announcements: StartSSL(™) is the new trade mark for products and solutions of the StartCom Certification Authority and is available at www.StartSSL.com. Additionally StartCom started the StartSSL™ Web-of-Trust (WoT), which is an attempt to create a community network of notaries and members, where notaries perform the verification of the fellow members. Please visit the new web sites for more information and everybody is invited to participate in the StartSSL(tm) WoT or make use of any of StartComs free or paid products and services.
Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at
Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation
Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a
newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of
Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to
Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book
collection and several pet rocks.