Archive for December, 2011

Bouncing Data Would Speed Up Data Centers

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

By Duncan Graham-Rowe, Technology Review

Inside the huge data centers operated by Internet companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, information is processed at blistering speed, but it still has to be moved between different machines through relatively slow wiring. In theory, this bottleneck could be avoided by adding wired links between racks, but that would be very expensive and, short of a complete architectural redesign, not particularly practical. Transmitting data wirelessly would be simpler, but achieving the required speed would normally require a line-of-sight connection, which is impossible in a packed data center.

http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/39367/?p1=A4

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Finding an End to Energy Gridlock

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

by David Rotman, Technology Review

In recent years, people who recognize the need to revamp our energy infrastructure have debated whether the priority should be to impose policy-driven changes immediately or to find technology breakthroughs that would radically redefine our energy sources. The answer is that we need both. And in their well-argued new book, Unlocking Energy Innovation, Richard K. Lester and David M. Hart explain not only why this is true but, perhaps more interesting, how to simultaneously begin addressing both priorities.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/27435/?p1=blogs

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Laurels for a Droid

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

by David Zax, Technology Review

Google’s Android operating system has long has its partisans. Forums abound with denunciations of Apple “fanboys,” filled with assertions that Android offers a fuller, more open operating system than the iPhone. Says Wired, in a representative review: “the Galaxy Nexus is better, faster and smarter than any other Android phone on the market.” Mike Isaac, the reviewer, goes so far as to suggest the device is the first Android with a “soul.” Dan Nosowitz of Popular Science meanwhile calls it “the best Android phone I’ve ever used, heads and tails above anything else on the market.”

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/helloworld/27438/?p1=blogs

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Android, iOS Squeezing Out Blackberry, Windows Phone

Friday, December 30th, 2011

By: Clint Boulton, eWeek

Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS practically put the mobile market in a head lock in 2011, combining for 82 percent market share, according to NPD Group. The market research firm said Android commanded 53 percent U.S. smartphone share, compared to 29 percent for the iPhone. Android started the year at approximately 30 percent market share, with Apple wielding around 20 percent.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/TBA-Android-iOS-Squeezing-Out-Blackberry-Windows-Phone-667972/?kc=rss

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10 Hot Trends in Cloud Data for 2012

Friday, December 30th, 2011

By Chris Preimesberger, eWeek

When 2010 came to a close, the development of new private and hybrid cloud systems was on everybody’s trending-up list. Now, as 2011 plays out, we can see that those predictions were generally correct; it was indeed a year of cloud adoption. Thousands of new clouds were architected, built and deployed during the last 12 months, and they came online in all size markets. So where is trending headed for the next 12 months? Most of the IT business prognosticators are in agreement on at least one thing: The curve for cloud-based IT purchasing is going to continue “up and to the right.” There are too many cost, deployment and monitoring benefits involved for companies to ignore this. With this as a backdrop, eWEEK presents here a few predictions for 2012 in the cloud infrastructure space.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Cloud-Computing/10-Hot-Trends-in-Cloud-Data-for-2012-210718/?kc=rss

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YouTube’s 1 Trillion Playbacks Set Stage for Display Ad Growth

Friday, December 30th, 2011

By: Clint Boulton, eWeek

YouTube counted more than 1 trillion playbacks on the video-sharing site this year, or roughly 140 views for every person on Earth, Google’s video sharing Website said. The Website, which said 48 hours of video are uploaded to the Website every minute, revealed its most-watched videos of 2011. The site gauged global view counts of popular videos uploaded throughout the year.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/YouTubes-1-Trillion-Playbacks-Set-Stage-for-Display-Ad-Growth-474122/?kc=rss

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Cloud Computing Still Faces Obstacles to Adoption

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

By: Howard M. Cohen, eWeek

With the explosion of information regarding cloud computing, a lot of people think that everybody knows more than they want to about the technology. Yet according to many IT solution providers who are working with customers to help them transition to the cloud, the biggest issue holding them back is a lack of understanding about what exactly is cloud computing. “Not understanding the cloud is holding them back,” said Connie Arentson, president of Heartland Technology Solutions. “The fact is they’ve got their infrastructure in-house with all their data on it. There’s a security in knowing where it’s at and having it there.” Arentson believes her customers will start really considering cloud computing when their existing, on-premises hardware gets to the end of its life and needs replacement.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Data-Storage/Cloud-Computing-Still-Faces-Obstacles-to-Adoption-761567

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Internet Expands to 220 Million Domains: VeriSign

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

By: Fahmida Y. Rashid, eWeek

The Internet expanded by 2.3 percent in the third quarter over the second quarter, VeriSign reported in its latest report on domain registrations. There were 4.9 million more domains at the end of September than there had been in June, the report found. Almost 220 million domain names were registered across all top-level domains at the end of the third quarter, VeriSign found in its quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief released Dec. 22.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Internet-Expands-to-220-Million-Domains-VeriSign-406627/

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10 Hot Trends in Cloud Data for 2012

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

by eWeek

When 2010 came to a close, the development of new private and hybrid cloud systems was on everybody’s trending-up list. Now, as 2011 plays out, we can see that those predictions were generally correct; it was indeed a year of cloud adoption. Thousands of new clouds were architected, built and deployed during the last 12 months, and they came online in all size markets. So where is trending headed for the next 12 months? Most of the IT business prognosticators are in agreement on at least one thing: The curve for cloud-based IT purchasing is going to continue “up and to the right.” There are too many cost, deployment and monitoring benefits involved for companies to ignore this. With this as a backdrop, eWEEK presents here a few predictions for 2012 in the cloud infrastructure space.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Cloud-Computing/10-Hot-Trends-in-Cloud-Data-for-2012-210718/

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Sony’s bio battery turns waste paper into electricity

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

by the BBC

Sony has unveiled a paper-powered battery prototype in Japan. The technology generates electricity by turning shredded paper into sugar which in turn is used as fuel. If brought to market, the innovation could allow the public to top up the power of their mobile devices using waste material. The team behind the project said such bio-batteries are environmentally friendly as they did not use harmful chemicals or metals. The Japanese electronics giant showed off its invention at the Eco-Products exhibition in Tokyo last week.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16288107

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Self-healing electronic chip tests may aid space travel

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

By Leo Kelion, BBC

The group has created a circuit that heals itself when cracked thanks to the release of liquid metal which restores conductivity. The process takes less than an eye blink to bring the circuit back to use. The researchers said that their work could eventually lead to longer-lasting gadgets as well as solving one of the big problems of interplanetary travel. The work was carried out by a team of scientists and engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is published in the journal Advanced Materials.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16291943

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Bare bones Raspberry Pi PC gets ready to launch

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

by the BBC

The eagerly anticipated Raspberry Pi home computer is about to go into production. The $25 (£16) machine is being created in the hope that it will inspire a new generation of technology whizz kids. The Pi uses an Arm chip similar to that found in mobile phones and is intended to run a version of the Linux open source operating system. Test versions of finished devices are being checked and if all is well volume production will start in January. The idea for Raspberry Pi came from video game veteran David Braben who was searching for a way to inspire young people to start a career in technology.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16316439

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The Swiss Army Knife Goes Digital

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by David Zax, Technology Review

I often think that the smartphone is the Swiss Army knife of the digital age — my iPhone springs forth apps much in the way that that iconic red multi-tool springs forth scissors, nail files, and blades. But where does that leave the Swiss Army Knife of the analog age? Must it sit in the sidelines, in obsolescence, a curio for Boy Scouts and other survivalists? Not if Victorinox has anything to do with it. The company now produces a Swiss Army Knife for the 21st century — namely, one that packs a USB stick along with its other, more traditional tools.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/helloworld/27439/?p1=blogs

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Computer Scientists Create Algorithm That Measures Human Pecking Order

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by KFC, Technology Review

Measuring power and influence on the web is a matter of huge interest. Indeed, algorithms that distill rankings from the pattern of links between webpages have made huge fortunes for companies such as Google. One the most famous of these is the Hyper Induced Topic Search or HITS algorithm which hypothesises that important pages fall into two categories–hubs and authorities–and are deemed important if they point to other important pages and if other important pages point to them. This kind of thinking led directly to Google’s search algorithm PageRank. The father of this idea is John Kleinberg, a computer scientist now at Cornell University in Ithaca, who has achieved a kind of cult status through this and other work. It’s fair to say that Kleinberg’s work has shaped the foundations of the online world. Today, Kleinberg and a few pals put forward an entirely different way of measuring power and influence; one that may one day have equally far-reaching consequences. These guys have worked out how to measure power differences between individuals using the patterns of words they speak or write.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27437/?p1=blogs

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The Puzzle of 3-D Images From A Single Shot

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by Technology Review

Researchers are debating whether it’s possible to reconstruct the 3-D structure of a biomolecule from a single image. 3-D imaging has always held a peculiar fascination for scientists and inventors. In general, 3-D imaging techniques require at least two view points to determine the 3-D structure. And the most widely used for imaging molecules– diffraction imaging, tomography and confocal microscopy–require numerous images at different orientations or several scans in thin sections. So there was huge interest when in 2009, Jianwei Miao at the University of California, Los Angeles and a few pals discovered how to create 3-D models of complex molecules from a single image. They called the technique ankylography derived from the Greek word ankylos, meaning curved, and the word graphein meaning writing.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27440/?p1=blogs

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Anonymous: We’re Stealing Credit Cards, Funds From Banks for Christmas

Monday, December 26th, 2011

 By: Fahmida Y. Rashid, eWeek

In an attempt to play Robin Hood, some Anonymous members say they are hacking into banks to buy items such as iPhones, iPads and iPods requested by random people. Hacktivist collective Anonymous has announced a new campaign for the holiday season: to steal from the rich. Dubbed “DestructiveSec,” the collective said it will steal virtual credit cards from banks and give “back to the people who had everything taken,” according to a statement posted on text-sharing site Pastebin on Dec. 12. The statement did not name any targets or provide any details.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Anonymous-Were-Stealing-Credit-Cards-Funds-from-Banks-for-Christmas-620758/

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Cloud Computing: Forecasting First Steps of Adoption

Monday, December 26th, 2011

By: Howard M. Cohen, eWeek

Consumers who have been using online services for more than a decade may have become confused when popular software providers such as Microsoft started declaring “to the cloud” in reference to just about every imaginable online service. The typical consumer computer user didn’t realize they were using what is now called cloud services. An August report from The NPD Group found that while only 22 percent of U.S. consumers claimed familiarity with the term “cloud computing,” more than three-quarters were using services that could be characterized as cloud-computing services. Primary among these consumer cloud activities were email, tax preparation, online gaming and photo and video sharing.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Data-Storage/Cloud-Computing-Forecasting-First-Steps-of-Adoption-486021/

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IBM Takes Analytics to School

Monday, December 26th, 2011

By: Darryl K. Taft, eWeek

IBM announced a major strategy to deliver business analytics programs to universities around the world.IBM announced that it is working with universities around the world to bring advanced analytics training into the classroom. In a Dec. 21 announcement, IBM said it is expanding its academic initiatives for business analytics with new programs in China, India, Ireland and Scotland, helping students keep pace with the competitive job market by gaining skills in this fast-growing field of technology. IBM said each day, people create the equivalent of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data from sensors, mobile devices, online transactions and social networks—so much that 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years. This amounts to more data than organizations can effectively use without applying analytics, IBM said. Thus, the new IBM programs are providing students and faculty members with access to the latest software capabilities and thinking on how advanced analytics can be applied to tackle complex business and societal challenges.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/IBM-Takes-Analytics-to-School-654402/

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Kindle Fire Helps Android Ad Impressions to 50%:

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

By: Clint Boulton, eWeek

Kindle Fire impressions have grown at an average daily rate of 19 percent since the e-commerce launched the $199 tablet Nov. 15. Millennial said the Kindle Fire is seeing a “monthly run rate of hundreds of millions of impressions,” slightly outpacing impressions from the first iPad’s launch in 2010. “Since its release in mid-November, the Kindle Fire has made an impact on the connected device market right out of the gate with early signs of strong consumer adoption,” Millennial said in its report. “Though the Kindle Fire has been introduced into a more mature tablet market than the market which greeted the original iPad, the integration of Amazon’s robust digital entertainment library and the $199 price point may also have helped drive this early use by consumers.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Kindle-Fire-Helps-Android-Ad-Impressions-to-50-Millennial-342633/

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Internet Explorer: Microsoft plans ’silent’ updates

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

by the BBC

Once IE is updated, future changes will be applied without a user’s knowledge Continue reading the main story. From January, Internet Explorer (IE) users will be automatically updated to the latest version of the browser. Microsoft said it was starting the project to update millions of machines to improve security online. “The Web overall is better – and safer – when more people run the most up-to-date browser,” wrote Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s IE boss, in a blogpost explaining the plan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16214912

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Touchless smartphones and TVs could be on sale in 2012

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

By Katia Moskvitch, BBC

So you’ve lost your TV remote control. Again. Not to worry, says a tiny Israeli start-up company called XTR3D – soon you’ll be able to flick through channels and adjust the volume using only… your hand. You’ll just have to turn your palm towards the screen, and zap away without ever getting off the couch. And no need for under-the-skin electronics or fancy microchips. Instead, the TV – or rather gesture recognition software installed inside – will “read” your moves and execute appropriate commands, without any need for physically pressing any buttons. Based in Tel Aviv, XTR3D is one of the developers of such motion capture technology, and it has just received $8m (£5m) investment bound to give “touchless” tech another push – and according to the firm, bring the first motion control smartphone into the market as early as next year.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15970019

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