Sun Microsystems Inc. revealed a few of the secrets behind its new MAJC processor architecture this week -- but the real trick will be in getting the new architecture established. To that end, Sun (Nasdaq:SUNW) has outlined a four-year plan aimed at putting MAJC on the map. The plan, detailed at this week's Hot Chips conference, makes four basic assumptions. Making some assumptions Another is that there will be a need for parallel processing, and that Java will be the dominant platform for networked devices, such as thin-clients and applications servers. Finally, Sun is banking that companies will build technologies designed to plug into system-on-a-chip applications. Sun is assuming, in other words, that there will be a need for processors that can handle voice-over-IP, streaming video and speech recognition, among other things, while at the same time taking advantage of multi-threaded Java applications. But to make MAJC successful as a system-on-a-chip technology, other … [Read more...] about What’s the magic behind Sun’s MAJC?
The magic time machine
COMMENTARY--I wish more consumer technology companies would be like Apple Computer. No, I'm not one of those fawning, half-crazed Apple fanatics (OK, maybe just a little bit). It's simply that the company, for all of its considerable problems and quirks, has a knack for making easy-to-use devices that get the gadget gland pumping overtime. And in a world teeming with poorly designed computer products and clunky consumer electronics, we could use a little more of the Apple touch. For those who need a refresher, Apple's track record is one of consistently providing new design innovations that less creative companies are quick to imitate. Apple was the first to popularize the graphical user interface that's now found on every Windows desktop. More recently, Apple helped establish 802.11 as the de facto standard for wireless networking by installing AirPort antennas in every computer it ships. The original iMac's funky-colored casings inspired copycats far and wide. Even when Apple … [Read more...] about Does Apple have the magic touch?
The numbers alone are enough to make your eyes water. Over four billion Web pages, each an average of 10KB, all fully indexed Up to 2,000 PCs in a cluster Over 30 clusters 104 interface languages including Klingon and Tagalog One petabyte of data in a cluster -- so much that hard disk error rates of 10-15 begin to be a real issue Sustained transfer rates of 2Gbps in a cluster An expectation that two machines will fail every day in each of the larger clusters No complete system failure since February 2000 It is one of the largest computing projects on the planet, arguably employing more computers than any other single, fully managed system (we're not counting distributed computing projects here), some 200 computer science PhDs, and 600 other computer scientists. And it is all hidden behind a deceptively simple, white, Web page that contains a single one-line text box and a button that says Google Search. When Arthur C. Clarke said that any sufficiently advanced technology is … [Read more...] about The magic that makes Google tick
It seems that Apple's automatic backup utility, Time Machine, doesn't back up iPhoto libraries when iPhoto is running. That's not so good for the whole "back up" concept. A recent support document warns about this behavior and suggests that users quit iPhoto before Time Machine does its thing. Or you can quit iPhoto and force a back up with the Back Up Now command from the Time Machine menu. I admit that I am a bit paranoid about this backup and at the end of the day, I quit all applications and click the Back Up Now command. This may be magical thinking but it has given me a bit of extra peace of mind. And now, this support note supports my thinking. … [Read more...] about Mac Tip: Quit iPhoto to really back up your photos with Time Machine
WARNING: This is a red-band trailer, meaning you’re getting an unfiltered look at Hot Tub Time Machine 2. There’s profanity and there’s drug use. Definitely not one to turn on in front of the kiddies.The 2010 comedy Hot Tub Time Machine didn’t exactly set any box-office records during its run in theaters, but the quirky time-travel adventure starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke was a hit in the home video market, paving the way for a sequel. And now that sequel has a very, very NSFW trailer.Due to hit theaters December 25, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 brings back Corddry, Robinson, and Duke (no Cusack) for another adventure that sees them get blackout drunk in the magical hot tub that transports them through time. They end up traveling into the future this time around instead of their past, however, and must prevent one of their own from dying a grisly death that’s somehow tied to their future … [Read more...] about Hot Tub Time Machine 2 gets a red-band trailer
Who says 3D-printing is only for scientists, architects, and other professional adults? Certainly not the team behind Toybox, Now, you can find Toybox on Indiegogo, and encourage creativity in your kids with this affordable and easy-to-use 3D printer.Heralded as the only 3D printer that children can use immediately and intuitively without the need for any background knowledge or training, the Toybox and its one-touch technology will allow your kids (and you) to print a whole host of objects. Whether you want to make a small action toy, your own set of building blocks, an instrument, or a new piece of jewelry, Toybox can be of service.Promising high-resolution precision details, this 3D printer claims to be as fast as it is precise. Moreover, Toybox says, each model in its extensive library has already been optimized to reduce printing time, and pre-tested to ensure detailed prints at a resolution of 200 microns.But to really allow your kids to be as creative as possible, the Toybox … [Read more...] about Introduce your kids to the magic of 3D printing with Toybox
If you spend (too much) time contemplating the rise of the emoji, you might discover that the phenomenon may represent a regression in terms of human communication. Because really, did we spend the last couple millennia developing alphabets and the written word just to return to hieroglyphs? But fret not — we are in fact getting more advanced. After all, could our ancestors have turned photos of ourselves into new emojis? Because now we can.Thanks to a new tool from Google, you can apply the magic of machine learning to your face, generating a custom emoji sticker from a selfie. The feature can be found within Allo, Google’s machine learning-based app. And starting today, you’ll see a new option when you access the sticker collection — “Turn a selfie into stickers.”It does exactly what it suggests. First, you take a photo of yourself and then let Google’s intelligent algorithms parse your face. Co. Design explains that this maps … [Read more...] about Turn your selfie into an emoji via Google’s new machine-learning app
I decided to jump in my in-laws hot tub recently and magically transport myself back to the mid 1980s, just like in the movie "Hot Tub Time Machine." (Indulge me.) The four fellas in the comedic romp go back with a desire to change the past in order to alter their less-than-desirable current states. My mission: To check out the enterprise software landscape back when Duran Duran, leg warmers, Miami Vice and "Gag me with a spoon" ruled the day. What will my voyage back 25 years find? Here we go.... ...It's a little bit hazy. But wait...What? The systems that companies are using in the '80s look a lot like today's?! The names haven't changed that much. They're using software from SAP (the "R/" product line), J.D. Edwards, Baan and Lawson. IBM is right in the mix, naturally, with its AS/400. And then there's the New Kid On The Block: PeopleSoft HR software, developed by a young Dave Duffield. Oh, all of this is actually called "MRP II," but it's soon to be transformed into "ERP" by … [Read more...] about My Trip in the ERP Hot Tub Time Machine
Thank you to Pete Zerger for your work on this posting. Pete is a System Center MVP and contributor to System Center Opalis Integration Server 6.3 Unleashed. If you've been through the Seattle airport, you've probably seen the collection of Microsoft banners hanging from the rafters, bearing clever marketing phases, including: I am nearly infinitely scalable, I have Cloud Power My cubicle is a global communications hub. I have Cloud Power I am brilliant, stronger and sexy.... I have Cloud PowerOkay, so maybe the last bullet is a bit of an exaggeration. These seemingly magical leaps in productivity, capacity and availability are the promises of cloud computing, but are they real? The promise of the cloud can seem too good to be true. One minute you're signing on for a fantastic new service and then you wake up only to find yourself sitting in a stew pot in the middle of a gingerbread house. Before discussing the role of Opalis Integration Server (OIS) in providing these … [Read more...] about How the power of Opalis delivers the magic of the Cloud
This just in: Apple iDevices are about to become much smaller. They're also going to be much larger. And some are going to remain exactly the same size but may be available in different colors and/or thicknesses. Are we clear on that?It's comforting to know that despite all the changes in the iOSphere, the Apple rumor machine continues to crank away like some perpetual-motion device, running for millennia long after its creators have crumbled into dust. [ For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter and follow Cringely on Twitter. | Get the latest insight on the tech news that matters from InfoWorld's Tech Watch blog. ]News of eensy iThings comes to us by way of Boy Genius Report, which took it from a website called PhoneArena, which found it on a Chinese-language site called Weibo, which requires a login I don't have -- so who knows what that story actually says? But according to … [Read more...] about Together we can end the scourge of the Apple rumor machine