Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Official Google Blog: Supporting cluster computing in the research community

Google has helped improve student's understanding of large cluster computing environments by given a select groups of University Students access to the Google Computer cluster which leverages thousands of compute nodes for testing massively parallel applications.

Since most Universities do not have the budget or the warewithall to fund extremely large computing environment's with thousands of cluster nodes, this really helps give students a jump into this specialized and fast growing area of IT infrastructure and programming.

Google partnered with IBM on this project and both have contributed technology and infrastructure for the students to use in their projects.

There is a YOUTUBE video that showcases the project below.

Official Google Blog: Supporting cluster computing in the research community

Friday, February 8, 2008

The New 45nm Xeon Mac Pro

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fake Steve Jobs" blogger exposed as Forbes editor

Fake Steve Jobs" blogger exposed as Forbes editor
Mon Aug 6, 2007 5:41AM BST
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Lyons used his adopted persona to poke fun at Real Steve Jobs' reputation for being a highly demanding, even arrogant, manager, offering gems such as this one:

"The MBAs say you should set high standards, let people know what's expected of them, and hold them to that. I do a little twist on that and say, hold people to an impossibly high standard, but here's the twist -- don't tell them what that standard is. And fire them if they fall short."

It has been read by leading industry figures such as Bill Gates, who joked in May when he was introduced at a conference alongside the real Jobs: "First, I want to clarify, I'm not Fake Steve Jobs."

The blog has even spawned an upcoming book by Fake Steve, a satirical novel called "Options" due out in November.

There were numerous attempts to unearth the real Fake Steve Jobs. One of the most concerted came from Nick Denton, founder of blog empire Gawker Media, who turned the search into a personal crusade, poring over Fake Steve's posts for clues about the author's background.

Over the past few months, suspicion turned on a succession of technology writers, each of whom denied being Fake Steve.

One recent suspect, Chicago Sun-Times and Macworld columnist Andy Ihnatko, wrote last month that Fake Steve Jobs was just the latest twist on the Silicon Valley pastime of casting the Apple co-founder as visionary inventor, New Age guru, robber baron or eccentric billionaire.

"The fun of Fake Steve's blog is in celebrating the cultural phenomenon of Bona-Fide Steve Jobs as a cartoon character," Ihnatko wrote.

As for Fake Steve, the blog will move to Forbes' Web site from Monday while Lyons takes a break for a few days. But he did have a parting, presumably joking, shot for the reporter who brought an end to his anonymity.

"You did the sleuthing. You put the pieces of the puzzle together. You went through my trash, hacked into my computer, and put listening devices in my home. Now you've ruined the mystery of Fake Steve, robbing thousands of people around the world of their sense of childlike wonder."

Friday, August 3, 2007

Tech Shakedown #4: Should Vista be able to force an unwanted reboot when it wants to?

Tech Shakedown #4: Should Vista be able to force an unwanted reboot when it wants to?
Posted by David Berlind @ 2:18 pm
Categories: General, Vista, IT Management, Software Infrastructure, Personal Technology, Video, Technology Shakedown
Tags: Microsoft Windows Vista, Reboot, David Berlind



Like many departments within many companies, today was a day when our department got together and did some online slide slidesharing. We use Microsoft’s NetMeeting but I don’t use Internet Explorer and my one attempt at at getting the slides on my screen (there’s a way to view the Web only version of the slides in Firefox) froze my system up. I had to CTRL-ATL-DEL to the Windows Task Manager and had to kill every instance of Firefox. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture this on video. Not that it would have mattered. At the time, I was using one of my more heavily polluted (software, downloadware, all-sorts-of-ware, etc.) systems and it constantly misbehaves on me.

Fortunately however, I captured something else on video: it was Vista telling me to save my work because it was going to reboot. But this wasn’t any old reboot. This was a you-have-no-choice reboot. I had stepped away from the system for a few minutes and when I came back, it basically told me I had 1 minute and 30 seconds to save my work because it was going reboot itself, no matter what. Luckily, our camera was sitting there on its tripod (we were about to tape something else) when this happened and we caught it on tape. As you can see in the video, although the dialog appears to have some options to postpone the reboot, I can’t get into those options. They’re grayed-out.

It was at least four minutes (if not longer) until the system had finished rebooting itself. My question is, what if I couldn’t afford a reboot at that moment? What if I was in the middle of some process that hadn’t been completed and wanted to keep the machine running until I had a chance to finish that process. Like viewing a shared slide-show? Or a Web transaction? Or imagine if I just didn’t want it shut down at that point. Does Vista really know better than me? Should it be permitted to lock me out as it prepares to do a forced reboot? Fellow ZDNet Matt Conner who was operating the camera at the time was pretty stunned and you can hear him in the background saying “What if you had something going on?” It’s something he has apparently never seen on his Mac.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Apple sells 100 millionth iPod, deems experiment a success

Apple sells 100 millionth iPod, deems experiment a success
Posted Apr 9th 2007 12:10PM by Evan Blass
Filed under: Portable Audio
Apple iPod
Has it really only been five and a half years since the first iPod rolled off the assembly line and into the initially-skeptical arms of music-loving consumers worldwide? Well since that time we've seen an entire ecosystem of third-party and DIY accessories sprout up around Apple's ubiquitous little jukebox -- from the pretty handy to the just plain weird -- along with endless humorous anecdotes, an infinite number of knockoffs, serious political, legal, and environmental movements, and of course, an almost daily barrage of wild rumors the likes of which the world has never known. So it's with mixed emotion that we welcome the 100 millionth iPod into the world (enough for almost every man, woman, and child in Mexico): on the one hand, it gives us warm fuzzies to see perennial underdog Apple come out on top for a change, but we also hope that the company employs its leadership position responsibly, such as being a little less quick to sic the lawyers on anyone who dares use the "Pod" name in vain. And as for the next 100 million iPods? Is PC-less downloading just over the horizon? When will we finally see the move to an all flash lineup? Will Apple finally take the leap and merge its prize pig with -- gasp! -- a cellular telephone? As always, only time -- and Uncle Steve -- will tell.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

NSA Issues Security guide for keeping Mac OSX Secure

In case you don't know, the NSA is one of the largest alphabet soup "secret" government agencies in the US lovingly nicknamed "No Such Agency" by its spooky residents. It has a budget that is considerably larger than Britain's entire defense budget put together. The NSA dwarfs the CIA in terms of both size (number of people) and budget. And they are in charge of running what is known as the "Echelon System" - which is a global network of sattelites and relay stations that allow the NSA to record in real time every phone call, every instant message, and email sent via the airwaves or via the internet.

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is America’s cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. government information systems and produce foreign signals intelligence information. A high technology organization, NSA is on the frontiers of communications and data processing. It is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the government.

The NSA has released a guide on how to make Mac OSX secure, and its definately worth the read.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has published an internal guide for System Administrators to keep their Macs secure within their organization. The 171 page document, titled "Mac OS X - Security Configuration For Version 10.4 or Later Second Edition" (PDF) is a free download from the government agency featuring helpful tips for keeping Macs secure.

The document keys in on several of the major security enhancements found in Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) including:

Access control lists
Secure instant messaging
Software update server
Certificate management
Smart cards as keychains
Secure erase
VPN service is now Kerberized
Firewall enhancements
Antivirus and antispam

While mostly aimed at Mac system administrators the document is a must read for anyone who is responsibility for the security of more than one Mac. Individual Mac users can probably learn a thing or two from it as well.

Download Mac OSX Security Guide

The New 8 Core Mac Pro is Here! Get yours today.

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