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

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Monday, April 2, 2007

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

DRM-Free Songs from EMI Available on iTunes for $1.29 in May
CUPERTINO, California—April 2, 2007—Apple® today announced that EMI Music’s entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com) worldwide in May. DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song. In addition, iTunes customers will be able to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free versions for just 30 cents a song. iTunes will continue to offer its entire catalog, currently over five million songs, in the same versions as today—128 kbps AAC encoding with DRM—at the same price of 99 cents per song, alongside DRM-free higher quality versions when available.

Apple iTunes

“We are going to give iTunes customers a choice—the current versions of our songs for the same 99 cent price, or new DRM-free versions of the same songs with even higher audio quality and the security of interoperability for just 30 cents more,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think our customers are going to love this, and we expect to offer more than half of the songs on iTunes in DRM-free versions by the end of this year.”

“EMI and iTunes are once again teaming up to move the digital music industry forward by giving music fans higher quality audio that is virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings, with no usage restrictions on the music they love from their favorite artists,” said Eric Nicoli, CEO of EMI Group.

With DRM-free music from the EMI catalog, iTunes customers will have the ability to download tracks from their favorite EMI artists without any usage restrictions that limit the types of devices or number of computers that purchased songs can be played on. DRM-free songs purchased from the iTunes Store will be encoded in AAC at 256 kbps, twice the current bit rate of 128 kbps, and will play on all iPods, Mac® or Windows computers, Apple TVs and soon iPhones, as well as many other digital music players.

iTunes will also offer customers a simple, one-click option to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free format for 30 cents a song. All EMI music videos will also be available in DRM-free format with no change in price.

The iTunes Store features the world’s largest catalog with over five million songs, 350 television shows and over 400 movies. The iTunes Store has sold over two billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies, making it the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store.

With Apple’s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod® and the ability to turn previously purchased songs into completed albums at a reduced price, the iTunes Store is the best way for PC and Mac users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Pleasures of Hacking the Apple TV

The Pleasures of Hacking the Apple TV
Cyrus Farivar, PC World Fri Mar 30, 9:00 PM ET
It's been barely a week since the release of the Apple TV, the new box from Apple that allows for streaming video to a television, but hackers from coast-to-coast have already been able to turn the $300 multimedia box into a full-fledged computer.


The Apple TV comes with a stripped-down version of Apple's OS X, but retains many of its basic features, such as directory structure and file format.

Hacking the Apple TV is the latest in a series of hardware hacks on multimedia devices, including the: XBox 360 and the TiVo. Each time, hackers hope to extend functionality of the device beyond its original intent.

TIn just over a week, hackers have been able to upgrade the Apple TV's 40GB hard drive (derided by many as being too small for any serious media collection) and enable secure shell access (SSH) to the machine, among other things. Most recently, and the most practical hack so far to date (announced on March 29) is to enable the USB port, which had been disabled by Apple in software.

Complete Instructions
One of the first people to detail a set of complete instructions for upgrading the Apple TV's hard drive was Ben Drawbaugh of Tampa, Fla., a contributing editor at the popular tech blog Engadget. PC World's sister publication, Macworld, also has a well-illustrated how-to.

"Once I got the thing apart, I plugged it into my Mac and I realized that it was basically another Mac hard drive and I could recognize most of the partitions," he said.

By the end of the day on March 23, Drawbaugh had detailed precise step-by-step instructions as to how to copy the operating system to a local machine, which then allowed him to format the drive and then recopy the data to a larger disk.

The next step after upgrading the drive that many Apple TV fans are doing is enabling secure shell access. SSH, as it is commonly known, is a method by which it is possible to execute instructions on a remote machine over a network.

Enabling SSH is important because Apple made it difficult to interact with the Apple TV with a keyboard and mouse. As such, SSH circumvents this roadblock and enables power administrator-level access.

A pair of hackers from the Web site forums on SomethingAwful.com are generally credited with being the first ones to figure out how to enable SSH on the Apple TV. They announced their find on March 23.

One of them, Daniel Weatherford, a 20-year-old software engineer in Palo Alto, Calif., who goes by the online handle "Sabretooth," said he found installing SSH to be surprisingly easy. He used Dropbear, an open-source SSH server.

"We actually first were going to enable the built-in Mac OS sshd [SSH Daemon], but it wasn't on the drive, so that was the second choice," he said. "We probably could've just copied over the proper files for sshd, but this was easier, since Dropbear is a single statically-linked binary that requires no extra configuration files."

SSH comes standard on every Mac, but Windows users can easily download it.

It's Really an Intel Mac
Given that the Apple TV is, at its core, an Intel Mac capable of running Windows software via virtualization software like Parallels, it may also soon be possible to run Windows applications directly on the Apple TV, and/or to access Windows network volumes directly.

With SSH out of the way, it was a simple matter of time before various applications ranging from the practical (Firefox), to the impractical (World of Warcraft) were confirmed to run on the Apple TV.

Nick Ippolito, an 18-year-old who lives outside Washington, D.C. and goes by the online handle "ipp," wrote up one of the first complete guides to enable SSH and virtual network control (VNC), which allows for users on another computer on the same local network to gain complete access of the machine.

However, Ippolito made one interesting discovery by accident.

On the morning of March 29, he and some others from TutorialNinjas.net who had been modding their Apple TVs discovered that they were unable to SSH into their boxes as they had been previously.

Gritty Details
He posted: "Several of us over in the Awkward TV IRC(l0rdr0ck, myself, and others) have had our Mod'd Apple TV's played with over night(SSH/VNC disabled), our guess is apple has started to fight back the mod'd Apple TV's. This is a warning to all of you to block your Apple TV from the internet by going into your routers settings and denying it internet access!"

Ippolito later said that it seemed more likely that there was some sort of internal script running on Apple TV that was designed to clean up unauthorized changes made to the box.

"[The Apple TV] told itself to execute a file repair script or change the permissions," he said. "We're not saying Apple did it but it's weird that all five of us had it happen at the same time. I had to take the hard drive back out and fix the permissions [to regain control]."

Apple did not return repeated requests for comment by phone or e-mail.

Just for Fun
For now, there aren't very many tangible benefits (as of yet) to hacking the Apple TV. But that hasn't stopped Drawbaugh, who is currently working on a way to hack the Apple TV without opening up the case and taking out the hard drive.

"Hacks don't have to be practical, they have to be enjoyable," he said.

Read PC World's and Macworld's reviews of the Apple TV. PC World also has a video review, and Macworld has posted a very useful Apple TV FAQ, as well as a long look at hacking the Apple TV.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Adobe Launches CS3 Creative Suite 3 for Intel Based Macs! WhooHoo!

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Apple May Introduce Laptops That Store Data on Chips

Apple May Introduce Laptops That Store Data on Chips

By Kevin Cho

March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc., maker of the iPod music players and Macintosh personal computers, may introduce a new laptop this year that will save data on flash memory chips instead of a hard drive, American Technology Research said.

``Our sources indicate that Apple would like to introduce the product in the second half to further capitalize on its strong MacBook growth,'' Shaw Wu, a San Francisco-based analyst at American Technology Research, wrote in a report dated March 7.

The release date of Apple's lighter and smaller notebook personal computer may depend on how much prices of NAND flash memory chips decline as they are still seven-to-eight times more expensive than hard-disk drives, Wu wrote. Alan Hely, a spokesman for Apple in London, declined to confirm or deny the report, citing company policy not to discuss rumors or speculation.

Samsung Electronics Co. and other chipmakers in the $12 billion NAND flash market are counting on laptops to help fuel future growth of the chips, which have already replaced hard drives as the most common type of storage device in portable music players. Sales of chip-based storage in PCs may surge eightfold in the latter half of the decade, according to Samsung.

``It would be positive for flash memory makers in that new demand can be created from diversified applications,'' said James Song, an analyst at Good Morning Shinhan Securities Co. in Seoul.

Shares of Samsung, the world's largest maker of NAND flash memory, rose 0.7 percent in Seoul. Toshiba Corp., the second largest, rose 5 percent in Tokyo, where the company is based.

Slimmer Products

Semiconductors are smaller than hard drives, allowing electronics makers to design slimmer products. They also process data faster and consume less energy. In 2005, Cupertino, California-based Apple used NAND flash chips to make the iPod Nano, reducing the size of the company's flagship music player by 80 percent.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in March last year it built the world's first laptop that saves files on flash. It said then that the market for chip-based storage in computers will rise to $4.5 billion by the end of the decade, from $538 million in 2006.

New demand may help ease a glut of the chips that's been driving down prices. Spot prices of the 4-gigabit NAND chip have fallen 38 percent this year after slumping 76 percent in 2005, according to Taiwan-based Dramexchange.com, Asia's biggest spot market for chips.

Still, demand growth for flash memory will increase 152 percent this year, outpacing the growth in supply, according to estimates by Merrill Lynch & Co. earlier this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Cho in Seoul at kcho2@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: March 8, 2007 04:04 EST

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Go Beyond Vista - It's Time to Buy a Mac!

Apple Store

Monday, March 5, 2007

Google CEO discounts mergers, sees more Apple ties

Google CEO discounts mergers, sees more Apple ties

(Adds CEO comments on mergers, growing Apple ties, byline)

By Eric Auchard

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 (Reuters) - Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is spinning off mounds of cash from operations, but Chief Executive Eric Schmidt appeared to rule out seeking big mergers or making other dramatic changes in how the company uses cash.

Speaking to investors at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, Schmidt also said discussion of mergers with with other major Internet players was premature as the Web advertising industry remains in its early stages of growth.

He signaled that Google, the world's dominant Web search provider, is working more closely with Apple Inc. (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the pace setter in the consumer electronics world. The Google chief executive joined the board of directors of Apple last year.

Schmidt was asked by an investor to comment on rumors Google could be developing an Internet communications device to compete with Apple's highly anticipated iPhone, which blends phone, computer and Internet features in one device.

"I don't want to comment on rumors," he said, then added: "I will tell you that Google and Apple are doing more and more things together through the normal course of communications ... We have similar goals and similar competitors." Continued...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jobs, Gates to share stage at digital conference

Jobs, Gates to share stage at digital conference

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates have shared the spotlight for much of the past three decades. Later this year, the two tech heavyweights will share the stage during a joint appearance at an industry conference.

Both Jobs and Gates are slated to jointly discuss the digital revolution’s history and future at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference. The annual gathering, which will be held May 29-31 in Carlsbad, Calif., brings together executives from the technology and media industries to discuss the trends of the day.

This isn’t the first time either Jobs or Gates have spoken at the D conference—during an appearance two years ago, Jobs revealed to attendees that iTunes would add podcasting support in a forthcoming update to the music player. But event organizers were quick to point out that the “unrehearsed, unscripted, onstage conversation” involving Jobs and Gates would mark their first joint session at this event.

Both men will have plenty to discuss. The concept of a digital hub has long been the centerpiece of Apple’s strategy, and the company has enjoyed tremendous success with its iPod music player and iTunes online store; later this month, Apple will ship Apple TV, a set-top box that delivers multimedia content from a computer to a big-screen TV. Microsoft has been busy on the digital front as well, launching its Zune music player last fall and talking up multimedia and computing during last month’s release of the Vista operating system.

In addition to his joint appearance with Gates, Jobs is scheduled to have a session of his own at the D: All Things Digital conference to talk about the latest developments at Apple. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a session of his own at the conference.

Other speakers include Google CEO Eric Schmidt, CBS President Les Moonves, Cisco CEO John Chambers, Time CEO Ann Moore, Palm founder Jeff Hawkins, News Corp. President Peter Chernin, director George Lucas, one-time AOL CEO Steve Case, and YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley.

The most memorable joint appearance by Jobs and Gates happened nearly a decade ago at the 1997 Macworld Expo in Boston. Gates appeared via satellite during Jobs’ keynote to announce a partnership between Microsoft and Apple.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Government agency tells schools to shun Vista

Government agency tells schools to shun Vista

In a surprise criticism of Microsoft, the government's schools computer agency has warned that deploying Vista carries too much risk and that its benefits are unclear.

Becta, the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency, said on Wednesday that it "strongly recommends" schools do not deploy Microsoft's latest operating system within the next 12 months.

And in a further dig at Microsoft, Becta argues there are no "must-have" features in Vista and that "technical, financial and organisational challenges associated with early deployment currently make this [Vista] a high-risk strategy."

Tom McMullan, a technical consultant at Becta, told ZDNet UK: "There is not a case for schools to deploy it unless it is mission-critical stable." Speaking at the BETT education trade show, McMullan added; "There are lots of incremental improvements, but there are no must-haves that justify early deployment."

Becta was similarly dismissive of Office 2007, which is being launched alongside Vista. Although it acknowledged that there are many new features in Office 2007, the agency said most of these were only useful in the private sector. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft tried to wave aside such caution.

Steve Beswick, its director of education for the UK, told ZDNet UK: "Customers should evaluate Vista and test it and decide 'Is this good for learning?' Rollout shouldn't be stopped if it aids learning."

Becta this month renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft for another year. It gives schools discounts of between 20 percent and 37 percent on the vendor's software products. The agency has recently been attacked by MPs for its policy on open source.

view the article here

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Intel Develops Terascale Processor

Teraflops Research Chip

“Our researchers have achieved a wonderful and key milestone in terms of being able to drive multi-core and parallel computing performance forward.”
– Justin Rattner, Intel Chief Technology Officer

Advancing Multi-Core Technology into the Tera-scale Era back to top

The Teraflops Research Chip is the latest development from the Intel® Tera-scale Computing Research Program. This chip is Intel’s first silicon tera-scale research prototype. It is the first programmable chip to deliver more than one trillion floating point operations per second (1 Teraflops) of performance while consuming very little power. This research project focuses on exploring new, energy–efficient designs for future multi–core chips, as well as approaches to interconnect and core–to–core communications. The research chip implements 80 simple cores, each containing two programmable floating point engines—the most ever to be integrated on a single chip. Floating point engines are used for accurate calculations, such as for graphics as well as financial and scientific modeling. In terms of circuit design, they are more complex than integer engines, which just process instructions.

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Click on any image above to download/view high resolution photos:
First row left to right: 80 core teraflops research chip magnified, 80 core teraflops research wafer, Packaged Teraflops Research Chip.
Second row left to right: Packaged teraflops research chip on board, Sriram Vangal checking teraflops research chip results, Intel researchers on the Tera-scale Research Project.

Intel’s Teraflops Research Chip implements several innovations for multi-core architectures:
Rapid design – The tiled–design approach allows designers to use smaller cores that can easily be repeated across the chip. A single–core chip of this size (100 million transistors) would take roughly twice as long and twice as many people to design.
Network on a chip – In addition to the compute element, each core contains a 5–port messaging passing router. These are connected in a 2D mesh network that implement message–passing. This mesh interconnect scheme could prove much more scalable than today’s multi–core chip interconnects, allowing for better communications between the cores and delivering more processor performance.
Fine–grain power management – The individual compute engines and data routers in each core can be activated or put to sleep based on the performance required by the application a person is running. In addition, new circuit techniques give the chip world–class power efficiency—1 teraflops requires only 62W, comparable to desktop processors sold today.
And other innovations – Such as sleep transistors, mesochronous clocking, and clock gating.
Below is a summary of results from the research chip. Note that while performance gains can still be made through frequency scaling, there is a significant cost in terms of energy efficiency. This underscores the motivation to scale by utilizing more and more cores, instead of just increasing the frequency.

Frequency Voltage Power Aggregate Bandwidth Performance
3.16 GHz 0.95 V 62W 1.62 Terabits/s 1.01 Teraflops
5.1 GHz 1.2 V 175W 2.61 Terabits/s 1.63 Teraflops
5.7 GHz 1.35 V 265W 2.92 Terabits/s 1.81 Teraflops

ASCI Red was the first computer to benchmark at a teraflops (1996). That system used nearly 10,000 Pentium® Pro processors running at 200MHz and consumed 500kW of power plus an additional 500kW just to cool the room that housed it. Although not a general purpose computing device, this Teraflops Research Chip delivers 1.0 teraflops of performance and 1.6 terabits aggregate core to core communication bandwidth, while dissipating only 62W.

Bringing tera–scale computing to PCs and servers requires a new way of building processors that can be thought of as a network of powerful computers on a chip. This Teraflops Research Chip is one important example of how the Intel® Tera–scale Computing Research Program aims to change the future through constant hardware and software innovation.


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Friday, February 9, 2007

Tips on how to upgrade to Windows Vista

I came across this blog today Vuckvista.com where they offer some really helpful hints on how to upgrade to Windows Vista - the new operating system from Microsoft. The good news is that Vista does in fact load well into a shredder! Enjoy.

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Steve Jobs, The Music Industry and iTunes DRM

This week was an interesting week for Apple and Mr. Jobs. The Norweigens have criticized him and sued Apple for having a closed DRM that essentially excludes any non-ipod MP3 player from being able to play music sold via iTunes. Mr. Jobs released a statement this week saying that if the music industry were to let him, he would essentially do away with iTunes DRM (which I think is totally false because that is the very LAST thing he would want to do). The music industry responded by saying just open up FairPlay (the iTunes DRM) to the other OEM Mp3 player manufacturers instead.

My take on this was why even respond to the freaking Norwegiens at all? I mean how many people actually live there anyway? Hmmm let's take a look. According to the CIA factbook Norway has a population of 4,610,820 (July 2006 est.). That is less than half the population that lives in Los Angeles California. So why all the fuss? If I were Mr. Jobs, I would simply stop selling to Norway. Case closed.

Widescreen Apple Powerbook G4

So then that begs the question why did Mr. Jobs even respond to this? If I were him I probably would have ignored it and said nothing. Let them have their little lawsuit and thump their chests in Norway. Big deal! But what does Mr. Jobs do but make a press statement saying that Apple would give up DRM if the music industry agrees to it. Now that was dumb. Anyone could have guessed that they would turn around and say "just open up your DRM to other manufacturers" - which of course is the very LAST thing Apple wants to do so they can protect the monopoly they have with the iPod.

The good news is that although EMI is considering dropping DRM, Warner Music made a public statement today saying that they were against it. So at least now Mr. Jobs has a legitimate excuse.

My Apple stock is still safe and sound for the time being :)

Saturday, February 3, 2007

A New Nokia Wearable Phone? Is the iPhone already facing competition?

I saw this on YouTube Today, and I wondered if this was an actual product or some cool kind of effects commercial project for some budding 3D artist. Anyway it's pretty cool!


Win an Apple iPod!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Digg's Swarm and Stack

I love Digg because they send me a ton of traffic. But what's really cool is when you can see Diggers voting on posts in real time!

Take a look at SWARM and STACK

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Intel reveals release date of Penryn

Intel has announced that it will be "launching" 45nm chips across all of its main processor categories in Q1 2008. This would seem to run counter to prior roadmap plans that call for Penryn to start shipping near the end of 2007, but apparently those plans are still on, Intel just won't be busting out the ticker-tape until 2008. Alongside this confusion, Intel has also fleshed out info 'bout its first two Penryn-based products, the quad-core Yorkfield and dual-core Wolfdale desktop processors. Wolfdale packs a 1333MHz front-side bus, with up to 6MB L2 cache, while Yorkfield is essentially a pair of Wolfdales glued together, though the front-side bus is reduced to 1066MHz. The chips also mark the return of Hyper-Threading of some sort, but according to Intel: "The official company policy is that our engineers have left the door open for Hyper-Threading, but we cannot confirm or deny any future plans for the technology," so it sounds like we won't know exactly what Intel is planning to do with that dubious technology it killed off when building its Core and Core 2 products until we get a bit closer to launch time.

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Microsoft offers Cash for people to 'correct' WikiPedia Aricles?

Microsoft gets slapped for trying to pay cash to people to change the WikiPedia articles on them.

Wikipedia, the hugely popular collaborative encyclopedia, has entered popular culture. But not always in a good way. Late-night TV comic, Stephen Colbert, comes up with his own definition of the chaotic online reference book: "The encyclopedia where you can be an authority even if you don't know what the hell you're talking about." The clip, from Comedy Central's Colbert Report, after the jump.

See this InfoWord Article..

February 20th Apple Special Event

There are several rumors floating around indicating that Apple is planning a special event on February 20 to introduce Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), iLife ‘07 and iWork ‘07 as well as updated Mac Pros. Mac Pros will be available immediately with a free upgrade to 10.5 when it ships, and the ship date for 10.5 will be confirmed for 3/24/07 as we have been predicting for quite some time now. There is some speculation that we may see a week earlier or later for this event, depending on the status of Leopard, but this is the most likely date which is being planned (by this time, Leopard’s new interface will be complete and the OS will be finishing up testing). What better way to demo Leopard than with a brand new 8-core Mac Pro?

Many will remember that last year, not long after Macworld, Apple had a special event on February 28, 2006, to introduce new Intel Mac Minis and iPod HiFi (see their PR archive here).

As always, a couple seconds out of your day to Digg us means a great deal to our humble site (more viewers = more exposure, more exposure = more sources, more sources = more recon), much appreciated!!

iPod Sales Growth Continues

Since October 2004, the iPod has dominated digital music player sales in the United States, with over 90% of the market for hard drive-based players and over 70% of the market for all types of players.[50] During the year from January 2004 to January 2005, the high rate of sales caused its U.S. market share to increase from 31% to 65% and in July 2005, this market share was measured at 74%. The release of the iPod mini helped to ensure this success at a time when competing flash-based music players were once dominant.[51]
Apple and several industry analysts suggest that iPod users are likely to purchase other Apple products such as Mac computers.[52] On 8 January 2004, Hewlett-Packard (hp) announced that they would sell hp-branded iPods under a license agreement from Apple. Several new retail channels were used — including Wal-Mart — and these iPods eventually made up 5% of all iPod sales. In July 2005, hp stopped selling iPods due to unfavorable terms and conditions imposed by Apple.[53]

iPod sales according to Apple's quarterly financial results are shown below. From 2002 Q1 to 2007 Q1, total iPod sales reached 88,701,000 units as of January 2007. Apple's fiscal year ends in September. Hence, the Christmas holiday season is Q1 of the next year. So in this chart, all Q1 points represent sales during the Christmas Holiday Season. In the 2006 holiday season, Apple sold more than 21 million iPods, an all-time high.
Holiday Season sale figures are in green.

iPod quarterly sales have steadily risen over time.

This pie chart shows a breakdown of Apple's revenue from different products in the first fiscal quarter of 2007. It uses the categories laid out in Apple's literature.
Fiscal quarter iPods sold
2002 Q1 125,000[54]
2002 Q2 57,000[55]
2002 Q3 54,000[56]
2002 Q4 140,000[57]
2003 Q1 219,000[58]
2003 Q2 78,000[59]
2003 Q3 304,000[60]
2003 Q4 336,000[61]
2004 Q1 733,000[62]
2004 Q2 807,000[63]
2004 Q3 860,000[64]
2004 Q4 2,016,000[65]
2005 Q1 4,580,000[66]
2005 Q2 5,311,000[67]
2005 Q3 6,155,000[68]
2005 Q4 6,451,000[69]
2006 Q1 14,043,000[70]
2006 Q2 8,526,000[71]
2006 Q3 8,111,000[72]
2006 Q4 8,729,000[73]
2007 Q1 21,066,000[74]
Total 88,701,000
[edit]iPod Impact of Apple Revenue
In its first quarter results of 2007, Apple reported record revenue of US$7.1 billion — its highest quarterly revenue in the company's history and record net quarterly profit of $1.0 billion.[75] Most of this revenue is attributed to iPod sales. According to Apple's Financial Report nearly 48% of Apple's revenue is generated from iPod Business Division. This is a 2% drop from 2006 Q1 revenue breakdown, largely due to 79% increase in sales of Apple portables and 29% increase in Other Music Related Products and Services. The chart on the right shows the breakdown for 2007 Q1.
[edit]Industry impact

iPods have won several awards ranging from engineering excellence,[76] to most innovative audio product,[77] to 4th best computer product of 2006.[78] iPods often receive favorable reviews; scoring on looks, clean design and ease of use. PCWorld says that iPods have "altered the landscape for portable audio players".
Several industries are tailoring their products to work better with both the iPod and the AAC audio format. Examples include CD copy-protection schemes,[79] and mobile phones from Sony Ericsson and Nokia that play AAC files rather than WMA. Microsoft's Zune device also supports AAC and it has adopted a similar closed DRM model used by iPods and the iTunes Store, despite Microsoft previously marketing the benefits of choice with their PlaysForSure model. Podcasting and download charts have also seen mainstream success.

The Made for iPod logo, introduced by Apple in 2005, badges officially licensed accessories which electrically connect to the iPod. These accessories must pass a certification process and are guaranteed not to harm the attached iPod.
Many companies produce accessories that are designed for iPods. Apple also sells and mass produces accessories for the iPod. This market is sometimes described as the iPod ecosystem.[80] Some accessories add extra features that other music players have, such as sound recorders, FM radio tuners, wired remote controls, and audio/visual cables for TV connections. Other accessories offer more unique features like the Nike + iPod pedometer and the iPod Camera Connector. Other popular accessories include external speakers, wireless remote controls, protective cases/films and even wireless earphones.[81] Among the first, officially licensed iPod accessory manufacturers were Griffin Technology, Belkin, JBL, Bose, Monster Cable and SendStation. As of today the iPod ecosystem counts more than 3,000 accessories from countless manufacturers. Officially licensed accessories can be recognized by the Made for iPod logo.

Two designs of iPod earbuds. Second generation iPod nanos, Fifth Generation iPods shipped after September 2006 and iPod shuffles shipped after January 30, 2007 come with the style of earbuds shown at right. All other models ship with earbuds similar to those shown at left.
All iPods ship with white earphones (or "earbuds") which have been revised two times. The 1st type of headphones appeared on 1st and 2nd generations while the 2nd type appeared on all ipods up until the 2nd Gen. Nanos and Videos. The earphones and cords have become symbolic of the brand, and advertisements feature them prominently, often contrasting the white earphones with dark silhouettes.
[edit]Car and airplane integration
BMW released the first iPod automobile interface, allowing drivers of newer BMW vehicles to control their iPod using either the built-in steering wheel controls or the radio head unit buttons. Apple announced in 2005 that similar systems would be available for additional vehicle brands, including Mercedes-Benz,[82] Volvo,[83] Nissan, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari,[84] Acura, Audi, Honda,[85] Renault and Volkswagen.[86]
Some independent stereo manufacturers including JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine and Harman Kardon also have iPod-specific integration solutions. Alternative connection methods include using adaptor kits (via the cassette deck or the CD changer port), RCA inputs, or FM transmitters such as the iTrip, although personal FM transmitters are illegal in some countries.
Some car manufacturers have decided to add an external audio jack which can play music from iPods: Toyota on the Camry and Yaris; Jeep in the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee; and in the Chrysler Sebring.[87] All new lower-cost GM vehicles come standard with an external audio jack suitable for iPod use.
Beginning in mid-2007, four major airlines, United, Continental, Delta, and Emirates reached agreements to install iPod seat connections. The free service will allow passengers to power and charge their iPod, and view their video and music libraries on individual seat-back displays.[88] Originally KLM and Air France were reported to be part of the deal with Apple, but they later released statements explaining that they were only contemplating the possibility of incorporating such systems.[89]

The dock allows this first generation iPod nano to stand upright while charging and syncing.
See also: dock connector
Apple and other manufacturers offer docks for the different variations of the iPod. Third party docks can be used to play media through stereo systems, etc. Apple's docks simply hold the iPod upright while charging and syncing. The docks have a headphone jack line out so the music on the iPod may be played over third party stereos. Docks made for iPods with video capability also include an S-video line out. Apple makes separate docks for both generations of the iPod nano and second generation iPod shuffle (the first generation plugs directly into a USB port; the second generation ships with the dock). 5G iPods require the Universal Dock.
The iPod Universal Dock is a dock manufactured and sold by Apple that is compatible with all iPods with a dock connector. This includes all iPods except for the first and second generations and both generations of the iPod shuffle. The Universal Dock can charge an iPod's battery and can also be used to sync an iPod with a PC or Mac, or to connect to a home audio system or television. It has an infrared receiver on the front, allowing the user to control basic functions of the iPod using the standard Apple Remote. On the back, it has the standard iPod 30 pin Dock connector, 1/8" Line Out connector, capable of outputting video, images and sound, as well as an S-Video output connector. The S-Video output connector is the standard Apple style, capable of being used as a composite output with the proper adapter.
The top of the dock has a space capable of receiving one of many "Dock Adapters", which are plastic inserts that adjust the space to a particular iPod. The Dock Adapters are numbered, with different adapters corresponding to different models of iPod. The Universal Dock includes some of these, newer iPods ship with the appropriate adapter, and they are also available from the Apple Store. Though the dock can be used without an adapter, the resulting insecure fit may cause the male dock connector to break.

Will Apple announce 8 core ProMacs and Leopard on February 20th?

Will Apple announce 8 core ProMacs and Leopard on February 20th?

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