...making Linux just a little more fun!
Please submit your News Bytes items in plain text; other formats may be rejected without reading. [You have been warned!] A one- or two-paragraph summary plus a URL has a much higher chance of being published than an entire press release. Submit items to email@example.com.
"Callisto" is a coordinated, simultaneous release of some 10 new or upgraded releases of major projects. This includes version 3.2 of the Eclipse Platform and these other new releases:
* Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Project
* C/C++ IDE
* Data Tools Platform
* GEF - Graphical Editor Framework
* Eclipse Project [v. 3.2]
* Eclipse Test and Performance Tools Platform Project
* Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project
* VE - Visual Editor and
* Eclipse Modeling and Graphical Frameworks
Callisto was a major undertaking for the Eclipse community, involving 10 different project teams, 260 committers and over 7 million lines of code. Demonstrating the multi-vendor and global nature of the Eclipse community, 15 different ISVs contributed open source developers to work on the projects included in Callisto.
The coordination took the better part of a year and involved Bjorn Freeman-Benson, technical director of infrastructure at the Eclipse Foundation, and Ward Cunningham, Director, Committer Community Development, who left Microsoft in 2005 to work with Eclipse. [Cunningham has been described as the father of the wiki.] Eclipse presenters from IBM at JavaOne had described the level of maturity and coordination built into the Eclipse process during a morning keynote and also at a JavaOne BOF. This is based in part on advanced collaboration tools shared by all Eclipse project leads [IBM suggested that it may productize some of the process tools]. It also involved coordinating bug fixes with Bugzilla.
Also see free archived webinars on how you can use the different Eclipse projects. These use Adobe's Macromedia Breeze meeting service to host the webinars: http://www.eclipse.org/callisto/webinars.php
EMC had an expensive lunch at the end of June. For a whopping $2.1 billion, it acquired security and identity company RSA, orignially founded by the 3 cryptologists whose initials make up its name.
Although financial analysts were skeptical about the potential integration issues and the high cost, EMC's CEO Joe Tucci called the purchase "critical technology" for adding security to storage solutions. One area of possible synergy is regulatory compliance, where data security is of increasing importance. However, RSA has not been primarily a sales organization, as EMC is, and the corporate cultures may clash.
RSA put itself up for auction several months ago, according to NY Times reports.
Beta 1 of the next RHEL server may to be available in late July. The now-available Fedora Core 5 is viewed as alpha code for RHEL5. Red Hat hopes to incorporate the next Fedora Core 6 build into its Beta 2, planned for release in mid September.
RHEL 5 will include the Xen open source virtualization hypervisor -- a key element of the release and a necessary addition due to Novell's inclusion of Xen in Suse 10 -- as well as integration with the Red Hat's directory and certificate servers. It will also offer support for Intel and AMD virtualization extensions, stateless Linux clients, and single sign-on.
JBoss, now a division of Red Hat, is open sourcing the core systems management agent in JBoss Operations Network (ON) to create and drive broadened adoption and collaboration around its open management platform. This announcement, backed by the JBoss developer and ISV community, provides software vendors and customers a foundation for building their own management agents, which will enable interoperability across heterogeneous IT environments.
This strategy is an important step in putting customers in charge of their IT infrastructures. As a subscription-based offering, JBoss ON delivers dramatic savings in total cost of ownership (TCO) and provides a holistic environment for inventory management, administration and configuration, monitoring, software updates and provisioning of applications based on JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite (JEMS). Red Hat is working with other network and systems management vendors to ensure that management data can be shared with existing customer management installations. JBoss ON subscribers will also be able to leverage existing open source agents from projects such as Nagios.
By bringing its JBoss management agent to the open source community, Red Hat will enable systems to expose its manageability functions in an extendable and pluggable way - underscoring the company's commitment to support heterogeneous customer environments. For example, other vendors can extend the agent to manage their products. As part of its strategy, JBoss will create blueprints, certification toolkits and methodologies that vendors can use to validate their extensions and plug into the management process used for JEMS today.
Designed to eliminate complexity at the architecture and application programming interface (API) level, JBoss Seam enables developers to assemble complex web applications with simple annotated POJOs (plain old Java objects), componentized UI widgets and simple XML. To accomplish this, JBoss Seam extends the annotation-driven and configuration-by-exception programming model of EJB 3.0 into the entire web application stack. It bridges the artificial gap between EJB 3.0 and JSF in the Java Platform Enterprise Edition 5.0 (Java EE 5.0) architecture. The result is a unifying, tightly integrated application model that enables stateless, stateful, transactional and process-driven applications such as workflow and page flow.
Gavin King, founder and project lead of JBoss Seam and founder of Hibernate, commented: "Enabling the next generation of web development requires a major reconsideration of the underlying web application architecture. Until EJB 3.0, that had not been possible. As the first unifying ... framework for SOA technologies, JBoss Seam offers developers a rapid development environment and programming model that extends from the simple to the most complex web applications."
Key features of JBoss Seam 1.0 include:
-- EJB-based development. EJB 3.0 has changed the notion of EJBs as
coarse-grained, heavy-weight objects to EJBs as lightweight POJOs with
fine-grained annotations. In JBoss Seam, everything is an EJB. JBoss Seam
embraces the Web 2.0 concept that the web is the platform, and as such, JBoss
Seam eliminates the distinction between presentation tier components and
business logic components. Even session beans, for example, can be used as JSF
-- Declarative state management for application state. Currently, Java EE applications implement state management manually, an approach that results in bugs and memory leaks when applications fail to clean up session attributes. JBoss Seam eliminates almost entirely this class of bugs. Declarative state management is possible because of the rich context model defined by JBoss Seam.
-- Support for new types of stateful applications. Before Seam, HTTP session was the only way to manage web application states. JBoss Seam provides multiple stateful contexts of different granularity. For example, developers can write web applications with multiple workspaces that behave like a multi-window rich client.
-- Support for process-driven applications. JBoss Seam integrates transparent business process management via JBoss jBPM, making it easier than ever to implement complex workflow and page flow applications. Future versions of JBoss Seam will allow for the definition of presentation-tier conversation flows by the same means.
-- Portal integration. JBoss Seam supports JSR-168 compliant portals such as JBoss Portal.
JBoss Seam 1.0 is free to download and use under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). JBoss Seam 1.0 works with any application server that supports EJB 3.0, including JBoss. For download and additional information, visit www.jboss.com/products/seam
Terracotta, Inc., announced a free Webinar series for Java professionals about the technology and benefits of the company's clustered JVM (Java Virtual Machine) solutions The series is a response to the market's growing interest in clustering at the JVM level, instead of at the application level.
Designed for Java developers, architects, and anyone needing fault tolerance and linear scalability, the webinars will cover all aspects of clustering the JVM. Highlights will include benefits, new features, installation, usage, management, demos, and technical Q&As. Webinars will be archived for those who cannot attend.
The first webinar, on June 28, addressed clustering the JVM with Apache Tomcat, which Terracotta currently supports. The Panelists included Jim Jagielski, CTO, Covalent Technologies; Gary Nakamura, vice president, Terracotta; and Sreeni Iyer, senior manager/field engineer, Terracotta
Terracotta Sessions clusters the JVM, instead of the application, so no coding or tuning during development is needed while achieving high availability and linear scalability. Developers can easily replicate sessions to other servers for high availability, without sacrificing performance. The product is fee for developers.
Future Webinars will focus on the Spring Framework from Interface21, which Terracotta will support in Q3, and additional open source projects that Terracotta will support. Register at : http://www.terracottatech.com/
If you want to expand your software build repertoire, check out a 4-part series of practical techniques for enhancing your GNU Make Makefiles. John Graham-Cumming presents "recipes" for improving your Make-based builds. For example, Recipe 4 shows how to determine the version of GNU Make in a Makefile, or if a specific GNU Make feature is available. Recipe 5 performs a recursive $(wildcard), and Recipe 6 demonstrates tricks for tracing rule execution.
Interested? See: http://cmc.unisfair.com/log_thru.jsp?eid=72 and http://cmc.unisfair.com/index.jsp?id= 755&code= mrmake [for part 1, use id=844 for part 2 and id=993 for part 3]. The last part will occur in August.
New Opera widgets make for small, light-weight applications that execute locally in the browser. These include calendar and game widgets, currency converters, etc.
Opera's expanded functionality makes it possible to selectively block content within a Web site. This can be done with right-clicking on the site page, then holding down the Shift key and clicking on specific images, ads and other componentsto be blocked on the next visit.
Quoting from the eWeek review: "A new site-settings feature made it possible to define controls and settings on a site-by-site basis. So, for example, we could define how we wanted to deal with pop-ups or cookies on a site.
"Now integrated directly within the Opera browser is a BitTorrent client, useful for downloading very large files (legal and non-legal). This client worked very well in our tests, and during downloads of Linux ISO files it provided good feedback and was very lightweight. However, BitTorrent users should keep in mind that if you close the browser, the download stops. Many BitTorrent clients, in contrast, just switch to a minimized mode. "
Here's a full list of new features: http://www.opera.com/products/desktop/
[The Dig-ID Conference sessions are on areas such as: enterprise identity management,
provisioning, strong authentication, federated identity, virtual directories,
smart cards, web services security, identity-based network access control,
enterprise rights management, and trusted computing. I found the 2005 conference
to be most excellent. Further information on Digital ID World 2006, is
The latest stable version of the Linux kernel is: 126.96.36.199 [ http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/patch-188.8.131.52.bz2 ]
Xandros Corporation has announced immediate availability of Xandros Desktop 4, a novice-friendly desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux: "Xandros, the leading provider of easy-to-use Linux alternatives to Windows desktop and server products, today announced a new line of consumer desktop products targeting home and multimedia users: Xandros Desktop Home Edition and Xandros Desktop Home Edition - Premium."
Xandros Desktop Home Editions provide enhanced Windows compatibility, including enhanced Windows-to-Linux migration support. This is the first distribution to enable writing to NTFS partitions (the native file system on Windows computers) from Linux, which allows users to work with the same files from Linux and Windows.
The Fedora Project announced the first release of the Fedora Core 6 development cycle, available for the i386, x86_64, and ppc/ppc64 architectures, including Intel based Macintosh computers. Beware that Test releases are recommended only for Linux experts/enthusiasts or for the technology evaluation, as many parts are likely to be broken adn the rate of change is rapid. Test 2 is scheduled for release July 19, marking the developmental freeze of the Fedora Core 6 release. No new features after this point. It is important that we get your help in testing, reporting and suggesting fixes for bugs, and directing the technological improvements we attempt with this release of Fedora Core.
See info at : http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Core/Schedule
The MEPIS team released the second release candidate of
SimplyMEPIS 6.0, on June 21. RC2 adds bug fixes, security updates, and screen
resolution detection, founder and lead developer Warren Woodford said. The
distribution now also includes monitor resolution autodetection.
[Monitor resolution autodetection] is a feature that has been requested for a long time," according to Woodford. "If the user does not specify their desired display resolution when booting the CD, we attempt to obtain it from the EDID data returned by the display card, and then the optimum screen resolution is chosen automatically. Unfortunately there are a lot of monitor-display card combinations that do not return this data, so this feature will work only for some users."
A bug was found in RC1 that broke the "install on entire disk" option, Woodford said, and it has been fixed for RC2. By popular demand, the apt-notify applet was improved to support transparency in the panel. Firefox now runs much faster out-of-the-box, due to some configuration improvements suggested by the community, he added.
RC2 incorporates more security updates from the Ubuntu Dapper pool, including a security-patched version of the 2.6.15 kernel
Novell has announced the availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 RC3, both Desktop (SLED) and Server (SLES) editions, for public testing: "Be among the first to install, test and enjoy SUSE Linux Enterprise 10. The pre-release contains all the functionality of the regular release, but is not the final product. SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 is an open, flexible and secure platform that is ready to host the applications and databases critical to your business -- from the desktop to the data center, across a wide variety of workloads."
OpenOffice.org 2.0.3 fixes three security vulnerabilites that have been found through internal security audits. Although there are currently no known exploits, we urge all users of 2.0.x prior to 2.0.2 to upgrade to the new version or install their vendor's patches accordingly. Patches for users of OpenOffice.org 1.1.5 will be available shortly. [note: the Macro execution flaw allows an attacker to get a macro executed even if the user has disabled document macros.]
The three vulnerabilities involve:
* Java Applets, CVE-2006-2199
* Macro, CVE-2006-2198; and
* File Format, CVE-2006-3117
From Joanna Rutkowska on the 'theinvisiblethings' blog:
"Over the past few months I have been working on a technology code-named Blue Pill, which is just about that - creating 100% undetectable malware, which is not based on an obscure concept.
"The idea behind Blue Pill is simple: your operating system swallows the Blue Pill and it awakes inside the Matrix controlled by the ultra thin Blue Pill hypervisor. This all happens on-the-fly (i.e. without restarting the system) and there is no performance penalty and all the devices, like graphics card, are fully accessible to the operating system, which is now executing inside virtual machine. This is all possible thanks to the latest virtualization technology from AMD called SVM/Pacifica."
See the full entry at http://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.com/2006/06/introducing-blue-pill.html
--Buffer Overflow Flaw in Opera Browser (23 June 2006)
A buffer overflow flaw that occurs when the Opera web browser processes JPEG mages could allow remote code execution. The problem is known to exist in Opera v.8.54 and possibly in earlier versions as well. Users are urged to upgrade to the new Opera v.9. http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2158971/jpeg-flaw-uncovered-opera
--DATA THEFT & LOSS --Lost Memory Stick Holds Phishing Investigation Dossier (26 June 2006)
A police officer with the Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC) lost a memory stick that contains sensitive financial data belonging to thousands of Australians. The lost memory stick holds a dossier on Russian phishing scams. The data on the stick were being used in an investigation; several arrests were made with the help of the data, but since the loss of the stick, no arrests have been made. While officials searched fruitlessly for the memory stick, the people whose data were compromised were not informed of the loss. The officer who lost the device violated AHTCC rules regarding data transport. http://australianit.news.com.au/common/print/0,7208,19588463%5E15306%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html
--Attackers Use SMS Messages to Lure People to Malicious Site (23 June 2006)
A recently detected attack sends intended victims SMS text messages thanking them for subscribing to an online dating service and telling them they will be charged US$2 a day until they unsubscribe. When people visit the site where they are purportedly unsubscribing from the fictitious service, "they are prompted to download a Trojan horse program." Infected computers then become part of a botnet. http://www.zdnet.co.uk/print/?TYPE=story&AT=39277240-39020375t-10000025c
--Survey Finds Americans Want Strong Data Security Legislation
A survey from the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) of 1,150 US adults found 71 percent want the federal government to enact legislation to protect personal data similar to California's data security law. Of that 71 percent, 46 percent said they would consider a political candidate's position on data security legislation and "have serious or very serious doubts about political candidates who do not support quick action to improve existing laws." In addition, half of those surveyedavoid making online purchases due to security concerns.
--Millions of Blogs Inaccessible Due to DDoS Attack
A "massive" distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Six Apart's blogging services and corporate web site left about 10 million LiveJournal and TypePad blogs unreachable for hours on Tuesday, May 2.
Six Apart plans to report the attack to authorities.
--Soon-to-be-Proposed Digital Copyright Legislation Would Tighten Restrictions
Despite efforts of computer programmers, tech companies and academics to get Congress to loosen restrictions imposed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an even more stringent copyright law is expected to be introduced soon. The Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 would make simply trying to commit copyright infringement a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The bill also proposes changes to the DMCA that would prohibit people from "making, importing, exporting, obtaining control of or possessing" software or hardware that can be used to circumvent copyright protection.
The new Berkeley DB 3.0 is a high performance, transactional storage engine written entirely in Java. Like the original, highly successful Berkeley DB product, Berkeley DB Java Edition executes in the address space of the application, without the overhead of client/server communication. It stores data in the application's native format, so no runtime data translation is required. Berkeley DB Java Edition supports full ACID transactions and recovery. It provides an easy-to-use, programmatic interface, allowing developers to store and retrieve information quickly, simply and reliably.
Berkeley DB Java Edition is designed to offer the same benefits of Enterprise Java Beans 3.0 (EJB3) persistence without the need to translate objects into tables.
Most persisted object data is never analyzed using ad-hoc SQL queries; it is usually simply retrieved and reconstituted as Java objects. The overhead of using a sophisticated analytical storage engine is wasted on this basic task of object retrieval. The full analytical power of the relational model is not required to efficiently persist Java objects. In many cases, it is unnecessary overhead. In contrast, Berkeley DB does not have the overhead of an ad-hoc query language like SQL, and so does not incur this penalty.
The result is faster storage, lower CPU and memory requirements, and a more efficient development process. Despite the lack of an ad-hoc query language, Berkeley DB Java Edition can access Java objects in an ad-hoc manner, and it does provide transactional data storage and indexed retrieval, as you would expect from any database. The difference is that it does this in a small, efficient, and easy-to-manage package. Using the Persistence API, Java developers can quickly and easily persist and retrieve inter-related groups of Java objects.
Berkeley DB Java Edition was designed from the ground up in Java. It takes full advantage of the Java environment. The API provides a Java Collections-style interface, as well as a programmatic interface similar to the Berkeley DB API. Its architecture supports high performance and concurrency for both read- and write-intensive workloads.
Berkeley DB Java Edition is not a relational engine built in Java [like Derby]. It is a Berkeley DB-style embedded store, with an interface designed for programmers, not DBAs. The architecture is based on a log-based, no-overwrite storage system, enabling high concurrency and speed while providing ACID transactions and record-level locking. Berkeley DB Java Edition efficiently caches most commonly used data in memory, without exceeding application-specified limits.
Here's the download link : http://dev.sleepycat.com/downloads/releasehistorybdbje.html
Exadel, Inc. has contributed Ajax4jsf as an open source project to Java.Net, the web-based, open community that facilitates Java technology collaboration in applied areas of technology and industry solutions.
Exclusively created to bring rich user interface functionality to the JavaServer Faces (JSF) world, Ajax4jsf is a rich component development framework that extends the benefits of JSF to AJAX development. Ajax4jsf allows developers to add AJAX-capability to existing JSF applications, create rich components with built-in AJAX support, create a slick user interface with Skinning technology, package Java Script files and other resources together with JSF components, and test the components functional elements in the process of components development.
More information about Ajax4jsf can be found at: http://ajax4jsf.dev.java.net
Unisys Corporation has announced a major expansion of its open source capabilities with Unisys Open and Secure Integrated Solutions (OASIS), an integrated, certified set of software suites targeted specifically for enterprise class computing based on open standards and fully supported through Unisys global services and vertical-industry solutions capabilities. Combining technology and services, Unisys open source solutions provide a comprehensive environment that realizes the full benefits of enterprise computing capitalizing on the economics of OSSw.
Unisys OASIS and associated services enable clients to take a disciplined, secure approach to realizing the cost, agility and security advantages that open source solutions can provide. The Unisys OASIS software suites provide a range of options, including:-- Application Server Suites, to migrate proprietary Java Enterprise Edition environments to open source. Suites include JBoss Application Server, a custom-tuned Java Virtual Machine for use with Unisys scaleable server platforms; and Unisys Application Defender, which increases the capability of Java Web applications in the JBoss environment to withstand attacks by hackers and other adversaries.
For additional information on Unisys OASIS, visit http://www.unisys.com/services/open__source.htm .
BlueCat Networks and Mirage Networks announced that the companies have formed an alliance to deliver the strongest DHCP-based network access control (NAC) available. Through this partnership, BlueCat Networks is adding support for Mirage NAC to its lineup of network appliances. The combined solution will enable customers to cost-effectively authenticate users and control their access to network resources.
A recent Gartner report, states "To protect their networks, many network managers are implementing network access control (NAC), based on technologies such as 802.1x and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)." This reflection of industry requirements and drivers has spurred the development of this partnership.
BlueCat selected Mirage NAC for its abilities to provide a future-proof approach that provides security no matter the IP device or operating system. Its award-winning design offers complete access control by:-- Addressing policy violations and threats -- even day zero -- at all points on the network
"There are no safe havens in the network: every endpoint, from the network printer to the VoIP phone to the Windows desktop is vulnerable to threats," stated Michael D'Eath, vice president of corporate and business development, Mirage Networks. "BlueCat is clearly a leader in the IPAM, DNS and DHCP Space. With this partnership, BlueCat can securely authenticate and attach any endpoint, managed or unmanaged, to the network, without the need for expensive switch upgrades, cumbersome client software or reactive signature updates."
The joint solution is available through BlueCat Networks. Contact BlueCat Networks at www.bluecatnetworks.com or 1-866-895-6931 for pricing and more information.
Forum Systems has released the Forum Java Web Services Security (JWSS) Software Development Kit (SDK) version 1.0 offering developers a comprehensive library of application programming interfaces (API's) to leverage in coding Web Services applications. The JWSS SDK v1.0 addresses the need for security to be enforced within the application itself in order to ensure privacy and integrity of Web Services and SOA applications.
Forum JWSS SDK v1.0 allows developers to administer and apply security policies within J2EE compliant Application Servers using a declarative security model and API's for XML message authentication and authorization. The Application Server is then responsible for applying these security constraints to the code at runtime. Adding XML security within business logic prevents transactions from bypassing third-party enforcement points that would violate regulatory compliance or work flow security. Companies should complement this developer-centric approach with an "interception" model using a SOA Gateway or XML Firewall within a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) for a global and scalable SOA security and acceleration strategy.
"There are business applications in which security must be enforced at the exact location where information is being processed for privacy reasons," said Walid Negm, vice president of marketing for Forum Systems. "In certain financial services and government settings, the origin of messages must be verified at the point of consumption to ensure that they were not physically intercepted. When using XML Encryption within the application, Forum's JWSS SDK v1.0 equips the developer with XML security functionality to decipher and verify the message contents," Negm added.
Forum Seamless Security Solutions Architecture (Forum S3A) is an adaptive approach to building security-minded service-oriented applications and data-level networks using life-cycle solutions including vulnerability management, testing systems, firewalls and gateways. Forum products are available as software, PCI-card and appliance options and comply with government requirements including CheckPoint OPSEC Certification, FIPS Certification, Common Criteria EAL 4+ (in process) and JITC DoD PKI Certification. Forum Systems is an active a member of OASIS and WS-I helping mature standards such as WS-I Basic Profiles, SAML and WS-Security.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) has launched the first site devoted solely to the field of word of mouth (WOM) research. Featuring a new blog and email newsletter, the WOM Research site is a resource for both marketers and academics seeking the latest information on word of mouth measurement and metrics. Everything can be found at http://www.womma.org/research.
The new site features content designed to introduce WOM research to a wider audience. In addition to the latest research reports, surveys, and data, the WOM Research blog also features original contributions from leading academics and market research experts.
WOMMA has also announced the Word of Mouth Basic Training 2 Conference to be held on June 20-21 in San Francisco. Measurement and research will form a significant part of the agenda, with research experts on hand from BIGresearch, Biz360, Informative, Keller Fay Group, Millward Brown, MotiveQuest, Starcom, VoodooVox, and Umbria. More details can be found at http://www.womma.org/wombat2.
As word of mouth marketing has continued to explode into the mainstream marketing mix, the demand for new resources and data has become essential. According to eMarketer, 43% of all marketers will incorporate word of mouth into their marketing programs in 2006.
WOMMA is the official trade association for the word of mouth marketing industry. Its members are committed to building a prosperous word of mouth marketing profession based on best practices, measurable ROI, and ethical leadership. Learn about WOMMA at http://www.womma.org.
The world's largest Etch A Sketch(R) will make its debut at SIGGRAPH 2006, the International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics held 30 July to 3 August 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts. SIGGRAPH 2006 will bring an estimated 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents the event.
Officially endorsed by The Ohio Art Company, the installation will be in use before the curtain rises on the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival - the world's marquee showplace for the latest and most innovative animation films of the year.
It allows audience members to control (in real-time) the two famous Etch A Sketch(R) drawing knobs and use them interactively on the main projection screen. Functionality will also include the audience's ability to "shake" the screen clean and start again with a blank canvas.
The SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival features approximately 100 films and videos by some of the world's most creative scientists, animators, VFX specialists, educators, studios, and students. For more information on the Computer Animation Festival,visit: http://www.siggraph.org/s2006/main.php?f=conference&p=caf.
Transitive Corp recently announced the first two products in its series of products that are being developed as part of its new Solaris/SPARC Migration Initiative:
-- QuickTransit for Solaris/SPARC-to-Linux/Xeon and
-- QuickTransit for Solaris/SPARC-to-Linux/Itanium
Transitive Corp previously developed Rosetta which allows Macintosh applications written for the PowerPC chip to run on the new Intel-based versions of the Macintosh.
The new products are the first results of the collaboration with Intel announced in March of this year to accelerate the migration from RISC-based platforms to Intel-based platforms, and they allow Solaris/SPARC applications to run without any source code or binary changes on Linux/Xeon- and Linux/Itanium 2-based servers respectively. The products dramatically reduce the barriers IT organizations face when migrating Solaris/SPARC workloads to Linux/Xeon- and Linux/Itanium-based servers. Future products will allow SPARC applications to run on various other hardware platforms.
"One of the biggest obstacles to migrating from one server to another is getting your internally developed and commercial applications ported to the new server," said Bob Wiederhold, President and CEO of Transitive Corporation. "In a large IT organization this can take years to accomplish. Since SPARC applications can now run on your target platform without the burden of porting, this migration barrier is eliminated and IT organizations can immediately realize the full benefits of their new strategic server platform."
Transitive's QuickTransit hardware virtualization products allow SPARC applications to run with full functionality, including interactive and graphics performance. The use of QuickTransit is completely transparent to the end-user and easily managed by IT system administrators. Commercial and in-house software development teams can easily support their applications with QuickTransit because no source code or binary changes are required.
Transitive expects to deliver the first product, QuickTransit for Solaris/SPARC-to-Linux/Xeon, in Q3 2006. The second product, QuickTransit for Solaris/SPARC-to-Linux/Itanium, is expected to be available by the end of the year 2006.
In a recent supercomputing win, AMD Opteron processors were selected for a multi-year contract that Cray, Inc. signed with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to provide the world's first petaflops-speed (1,000 trillion floating-point operations/second) supercomputer. The contract calls for progressive upgrades to ORNL's existing Cray XT3™ supercomputer, starting with Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors with DDR2 memory, followed by upgrades to use quad-core AMD Opteron processors, which will be socket compatible. These upgrades will accelerate peak speed to 250 teraflops (250 trillion floating-point operations per second), planned in late 2007.
ORNL is then expected to install a next-generation Cray supercomputer in late 2008. This system, currently code-named 'Baker,' is designed to deliver peak performance of one petaflops, making it roughly three times faster than any existing computer in the world. All systems provided for in the contract will utilize current and future versions of the AMD Opteron processor.
At the May Processor Forum, Senior Fellow Chuck Moore described a gradual process of innovation for AMD multi-core chips. This involved supporting advanced RAM technology as the price points come down near current DDR2 pricing.
At the presentation, AMD indicated that new architecture products from Intel will roughly halve the power consumption advantage AMD now enjoys. AMD will add better power management to keep its lead on future products in the 2007 and 2008 timeframe.
AMD also hopes to improve HyperTransport technology to handle up to 5.2 gigatransfers per second. AMD is encouraging motherboard manufacturers to add HTX slots that use the high speed data transfers.
AMD has plans to add an on-chip L3 cache, shared by all CPU cores, while maintaining the localized L2 caches for each core. Depending on its size and the use of pre-fetch algorithims, this feature would keep CPU cores running longer between pipleline stalls.
AMD will simplify its product portfolio by dropping the 939 and 754 processors in July and will offer steep discounts of up to 46% to stay ahead of Intel on chip pricing.
Meanwhile, Intel may have delayed the anticipated shipment of its 'Conroe' Duo and Extreme processors by up to four days, according to Taiwanese manufacturers. [ But the delay was not officially confirmed by Intel. ] The graphics chipsets to support the CPUs will also have a July 27th ship date [and this may be the cause]. Also, its entry-level Celeron D 360 CPU, now the last part to use the Pentium 4 NetBurst microarchitecture, will be introduced on September 1. [So there may be a back-to-school price war in September.]
The next time a Klingon shouts that your mother has a smooth forehead, you will know how to insult him back, thanks to a Wikipedia list of fictional expletives — curses and insults from books, TV series and movies, mainly science fiction and fantasy. [ Check it out at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_expletives]
Streamload, a leading provider of online digital media services, today announced Streamload MediaMax 1.5, the latest version of its online media center. The new Streamload MediaMax service is the first in the online storage space offering a full suite of media sharing and remote access applications that include free file backup and file synchronization in one online service.
Streamload MediaMax allows users to easily store, organize, access, and share their digital media collection . Version 1.5 integrates the management and sharing of online and offline media by integrating free client software, called Streamload MediaMax XL, into the Streamload MediaMax service using a drag and drop window on their desktop. It also automatically performs regular backups of designated folders from their PC and it synchronizes files across multiple computers and devices every time new files are added, changed or deleted on their computer. A benefit of MediaMax's automatic backup and sync is always having files when and where they are needed without the hassle of manual uploads.
Users of the service can also invite friends and family to sync folders on their computers. Without any additional effort, users can automatically share photos and personal video instantaneously with others who are subscribed to their synchronized folders.
Streamload MediaMax runs on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The standard service is free and comes with 25 GB of online storage. A premium account gives subscribers 250 GB of storage for $9.95 per month, and the elite subscription offers 1000 GB for $29.95 per month (when paid annually.) For more information and to download the free Streamloader desktop software visit http://www.mediamax.com.
The nation's top climate scientists are giving "An Inconvenient Truth", Al Gore's documentary on global warming, five stars for accuracy.
The former vice president's movie — replete with the prospect of a flooded New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes, worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets — mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The Associated Press.
The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of climate change theory. Most scientists had not seen the movie, which is in limited release, or read the book.
But those who have seen it had the same general impression: Gore conveyed the science correctly; the world is getting hotter and it is a manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
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.