What Does "Semantic Web" Mean?

The 2009 Semantic Technology Conference kicked off yesterday. Between now and Thursday, there'll be a total geek-out covering all that's coming in Web 3.0 (whatever that actually means!).
Of special interest to me is the semantic search day. It includes a fabulous keynote panel featuring some of the top figures in semantic search research. I'm particularly looking forward to hearing Andrew Tomkins of Yahoo and Peter Norvig of Google. I've been following their work for a long time, and they are top-class thinkers. Also on the panel will be Scott Prevost of the Powerset division of Microsoft's Bing, Tomasz Imielinski of Ask, Riza Berkan of Hakia, and William Tunstall-Pedoe of True Knowledge.

I spend a lot of time researching information retrieval on the Web and how it may affect search marketing's future. A frequent question I get on my travels is: "What is the semantic Web?"

Mostly, people seem to think there's another Web being built somewhere, getting ready for launch. That's not the case. It's more about bringing meaning to the Web we already have. Now you're scratching your head and thinking, "I know what Web pages mean." And you're probably right. Point is, computers don't. Computers can figure out syntax, but that doesn't say they understand meaning.

There's a lot of research going on around sentiment analysis, as in, "I know people are talking about my brand, but are they saying nice things?" Let's face it, we all know there are two ways you can think about the word "bad." Sometimes it means good. And, not so mysteriously, sometimes it can mean not very good at all.

You can take that to another level. In New York, many tourists buy "I Love New York" T-shirts. However, the word "love" is replaced by a heart. You and I know what that means. But how would a computer?

The Web as we now know it was conceived more as a library in which anyone and everyone is able to contribute. It's built on the notion of being able to gather the world's knowledge and have it in one place. But there are no real rules.

And when it comes to search, the Web is essentially syntactic. This is why information retrieval on the Web is such a fascinating science. If you know the name of something, it's typically not too difficult to find it on the Web using a search engine. But when you don't know the name of something and have to use a description, search usually falls over.

Tell any New Yorker you had a sandwich made with rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing but can't remember what it's called. He'll tell you it's a Reuben. But just throwing a few ingredients into a search engine may not get you such a quick or even correct response.

This is where the semantic Web comes in. It's more about Web services, where machines can work together to perform inferences in the way people do. The idea behind the semantic Web is to try to turn information on the Web into something with a much more clearly defined meaning.

At this time, maybe the earliest attempts involve using XML to embed structured data into a document alongside unstructured text. And here's where I opt out of too much talk about the underlying technology for fear of you falling asleep.

Let's go back to meaning. In most languages, syntax is how you say something. Semantics is about the meaning of what you said. So, even though the Web as we know it was developed to allow all computers to talk to each other, these computers don't actually know the meaning of what they're talking about.

The semantic Web isn't about artificial intelligence, with computers learning how to understand human language. We're talking about a concept whereby computers will have enough semantics to allow them to solve well-defined problems through the sequential processing of operations.

It may be that a software agent doesn't even come close to the conclusions that a human is capable of. But it may contribute to building a better Web than the one we have today.

And all I can say after that is: I hope you get my meaning!

BY Mike Grehan

Mike Grehan is global KDM officer with New York based Acronym Media. He has been involved in online marketing since 1995 and is recognized in the industry as an expert in the search marketing field. He has written multiple books and white papers on the subject. His second edition of "Search Engine Marketing: The Essential Best Practice Guide" gained plaudits from the industry's leading figures. His newsletter has attracted over 17,000 online marketers. Mike is a sought-after speaker for the world's major online marketing conferences.

Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC. 2009 All rights reserved.

List: Ten blunders in electronics industry

Every once in awhile, electronics firms or individuals who work for them do something that makes everyone else in the industry scratch their heads and, perhaps, wince. We are talking about actions and decisions that—while they may seem perfectly logical to those making the decisions—don't really add up in the minds of most people.
Perhaps it is the tough economy increasing the pressure and forcing acts of desperation, but it seems to us that there have been an inordinate number of examples of these head scratchers to come to light in recent months. EE Times has compiled a list of 10 moves that, in our opinion, can be called questionable.

1. IBM layoffs
IBM has quietly let go some 10,000 workers in recent months, according to an IBM workers labour union. Big Blue has for the most part declined to comment on these layoffs (though a human resources vice president told the New York Times that the company is in constant transformation, eliminating jobs in some areas while adding them in others). Speculation by the union and others is that IBM is keeping layoffs on the down low in order to stay under the radar. But, if so, this policy has backfired miserably, with every whisper of an IBM job reduction attracting greater scrutiny and more distrust/publicity courtesy of the union.

2. The paranoid goof up
In May, the European Commission charged Intel with at least eight violations involving rebate payments to Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, NEC and Media Saturn Holding, owner of the MediaMarkt retail chain. It levied a fine of Rs.7,103.11 crore ($1.45 billion) against the processor giant, its largest fine to date. Intel claimed it has evidence that will refute the European Commission's conclusion that the company has engaged in anti-competitive business practices. But why did Intel bother with any alleged bad behaviour in Europe, or, for that matter, in Asia and the U.S. in the first place? It was plain silly. Its rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), never seems to get its act together and stumbles over its own feet. Intel usually wins over AMD by default.

3. Jobs' health mystery
It's hard to fault Apple Inc., one of the few high tech companies sailing relatively smoothly on the wings on the iPhone and iPod through the historic downturn. But the company failed the candor test this year when it disclosed January 5 its chief executive had "a hormone imbalance" then came back less than ten days later to say the iconic Steve Jobs would take a six month medical leave. A week later the SEC opened an investigation of just what was going on. Since then, much of the reporting on Apple has focused on the mystery of Jobs' health. After a decade as CEO, we think it's time for Jobs to get a succession plan and be transparent about it.

4. Hwang's gaffe
Once upon a time, Hwang Chang-gyu, formerly the head of Samsung's chip unit, devised something called ''Hwang's Law.'' Taking a page from Moore's Law, ''Hwang's Law'' implied that NAND transistor count would double every year. Samsung pushed that idea with its own NAND product efforts. Others followed. The idea worked—and backfired. NAND scaling has enabled cheap MP3 players, USB drives and solid-state drives. But NAND scaling in part has also caused excess capacity—and vast losses—among vendors. This was not entirely Hwang's fault, but he took the fall. He was demoted and ultimately resigned from Samsung earlier this year.

5. Microsemi-gate
Chip maker Microsemi Corp. assessed penalties against its president and CEO, James Peterson, after determining that he misrepresented his academic credentials. Microsemi fined Peterson Rs.48.99 lakh ($100,000) and forced him to forgo his annual bonus (worth an average of Rs.3.33 crore ($680,000)) after it came to light that Peterson did not have the bachelors or masters degrees he claimed from Brigham Young University. Prior to the proving of the allegations, Peterson sharply denied them, claimed his academic record was being confused with another man with a similar name and questioned the credibility of the person who first brought the lie to light, Barry Minkow of Fraud Discovery Institute. Peterson remains president and CEO of Microsemi. A high-ranking Broadcom executive was reportedly fired last year for falsely claiming to have degrees from the University of California at Irvine.

6. MIPS' analogue divorce
Analogue is the hottest thing since sliced bread. Not for one IP vendor. MIPS Technologies Inc., which in August 2007 bought Chipidea, a Portuguese analogue and mixed-signal IP company for Rs.720.11 crore ($147 million), in May divested its analogue business group to Synopsys Inc. in an all-cash transaction for Rs.107.77 crore ($22 million). The marriage lasted only 18 months. At the least the divorce went well.

7. Bad memories
As part of its plan to bail-out Taiwan's loss ridden DRAM sector, the Taiwan government proposed consolidating all of the island's DRAM makers into a single company. Thus far, the DRAM vendors have refused. Even a pro-Taiwan lobbying group is mystified. The Taiwanese government plan to consolidate the island's DRAM industry around the government-backed Taiwan Memory Co. (TMC) remains unclear and could do more harm than good, according to a recent report from that group. TMC may never get off the ground.

8. 450-mm fab dreams
Intel, TSMC and Samsung are separately pushing for 450-mm ''prototype'' fabs by 2012. International Sematech is spearheading the effort. Late last year, Sematech updated its 450-mm fab roadmap—amid the worst downturn in the equipment industry. At a Sematech event, no one explained who would pay for the R&D or the 450-mm tools. One analyst said it best: Semiconductor equipment companies should boycott development of tools for the transition to 450-mm wafers, saying chip gear vendors were the losers in the transition to 300-mm wafers and would likely not benefit from the next move to larger wafers.

9. Selling out is OK
Fab automation vendor Asyst Technologies Inc. rejected takeover bids from Aquest Systems Corp. and others last year. Since then the company has filed for bankruptcy and has been all but begging for a buyer. The firm's CEO resigned in April and it was delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange. Similarly, fab tool vendor Axcelis Technologies Inc.rejected bids from Japan's Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. last year. Since then, the company has cut hundreds of workers, been sued by its stockholders, and was forced to sell its stake in a Japanese joint venture to a partner. The company's stock price has declined from nearly $6 per share a year ago to just over 50 cents per share as of June 8.

(tie) 10. ATE standards are proprietary
Standards in automatic test equipment (ATE) look good on paper, but they certainly don't work in the real world. ATE vendors simply can't agree on anything; they hate each other. And consortiums don't work too. For example, the Semiconductor Test Consortium Inc. (STC) was formed in 2003 to devise ATE standards. The end result: The STC flopped and Japan's Advantest built a proprietary tester for Intel. Then, last year, Advantest, Amkor, Infineon, Intel, LTX-Credence, Qualcomm, Roos Instruments, Teradyne, and Verigy formed a new organisation to devise ATE standards in an effort to lower test costs. The group, called Collaborative Alliance for Semiconductor Test or CAST, recently discontinued its operations and was folded into the SEMI trade group. CAST is still alive but don't look for ATE standards in the future.

(tie) 10. Fister fumbles
Cadence Design Systems Inc.'s bid to buy Mentor Graphics Corp. last summer may have been the final nail in the coffin of the Michael Fister regime. Fister was known to think big, and the acquisition of Mentor would certainly have been that. Mentor was initially uninterested, but later grumbled that Cadence did not follow through with face-to-face negotiations. A few months later, Fister was gone and a humbled Cadence was watching its sales tumble as it started back on the path to a ratable business model. Ironically, the Rs.7,837.91 crore ($1.6 billion) that Cadence initially bid for Mentor was close to the amount of the loss that Cadence eventually reported for the fourth quarter of 2008.

BY Mark LaPedus, Dylan McGrath, Rick Merritt, Nicolas Mokhoff
Source:EE Times

Copyright © 2009 eMedia Asia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Symantec axes GoEverywhere service

Symantec's GoEverywhere online data-sharing service is going nowhere, it turns out.
The company said it would begin notifying users Friday that it was terminating the product, which it has been beta testing since January.

GoEverywhere was an experimental "Webtop" service designed to give users a single point of access to their different Web-based applications. Users could sync up different files from services such as Zoho and Google Docs, save passwords, and manage different Web programs all from a single Web site.

The project was one of the first to emerge from Symantec's new in-house technology development group, known as Incubator, but it didn't last long after the company switched CEOs in April. Neither did the head of Incubator, Art Wong, who had been with the company since its 2002 acquisition of SecurityFocus. Wong left the company last Friday, Symantec said.

A company representative could not give a reason for Wong's departure. He could not be reached for comment on this story.

Although Wong's departure raises questions about the future of Incubator, Symantec President and CEO Enrique Salem said Thursday that he had not shuttered the effort, but merely reined in some of the Incubator products launched before he took over. "What you do with an incubator is you place some bets and you do a review and you say, 'What do you think the long-term bets are going to be?'" he said. "We tried four or five things, we picked two to go forward with, and we'll fund some other new things to put in the incubator."

Symantec Senior Vice President of Strategy Ken Berryman is now in charge of Incubator.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Incubator, which was supposed to operate like an internal startup company generator, is now a shadow of its former self. "The original concept is dead," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Symantec's Online Protection Network was built through the incubator group and another undisclosed project relating to health care is still going forward, Salem said. With Online Protection Network now spun into a business unit, the health project, called Electronic Health Group, is the only remaining Incubator project.

Under Salem's predecessor, John Thompson, Symantec moved into a wide range of new businesses, capped by its US$13.5 billion acquisition of storage vendor Veritas in 2005.

But under his watch, the focus is on building market share in Symantec's core businesses, Salem said. That means fewer acquisitions and a greater focus on internal development. "I've got to integrate all these great things we bought over the last 10 years," he said.

"We bought 30 companies," Salem noted. "We've got enough breadth. Now we need more depth and better integration so we can cross-sell more."

BY Robert McMillan
Source:IDG News Service

Copyright © 1994 - 2009 Network World, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cloud challenges include hype, federation and identity

Cloud computing is still only about halfway up the first upswing of the “hype curve”, says Datacom senior consultant Peter Shephard, and hype could be the biggest enemy of its long-term evolution.
Asking his own question “Is cloud computing a new dawn or a false hope?” Shephard, speaking to a New Zealand Computer Society audience last week, said he inclines towards optimism.

“It’ll only be a false hope if we fall prey to the inflated and unrealistic expectations.” As long as the prospective user has a realistic expectation of what it can do for them and an appropriate perspective on cloud computing for their particular business situation, “then I don’t believe it’s a false hope.”

The classic “hype curve” signals a steep downslope of disillusionment after the initial enthusiasm followed by more realistic evaluation and productive use drives the volume of use up a gentler gradient. Cloud computing, he says, is bound to suffer some of that roller-coaster.

As far as a “new dawn” is concerned, Shephard points out, the concept of computing as a utility, to be used as much or as little as required, like an electricity or water supply, is at least as old as the 1960s, “The computer utility will become the basis of a new and important industry,” said distinguished computer researcher John McCarthy (now at Stanford University) in 1961.

“So it’s a new dawn at the end of a long night,” Shephard says.

A number of factors are coming together to encourage a move into the cloud, he says; the emergence of many software-as-a-service applications is complemented by the attitude of mind generated by service-oriented architecture; to think of computing in terms of the services it provides rather than the technicalities of its provision.

There is certainly “big vendor buy-in” he told the NZCS audience, displaying a screen full of the best-known industry names that have planted their stake in the field.

Shephard sees cloud computing as a “great leveller” allowing startups and other small companies to use services which only big companies have previously had access to. Cloud computing is also potentially of great importance to the New Zealand economy.

As well as smoothing humps in capital expenditure for a single company, there are opportunities for “federated” computing, where different systems exchange data and collaborate in the cloud, he says.

However, verifying identity in the cloud, when this has traditionally been a function associated with particular computers or fixed groups of computers or services is a challenge, Shephard says.

To have a fixed identity on the internet that you could use and verify in multiple places would have great potential. A number of vendors are working on the problem.

BY Stephen Bell Wellington

© Fairfax Media Business Group
Fairfax New Zealand Limited, 2009.

SAP announces surprise software-as-a-service move

The vice president of SAP has made the shock announcement that the company is looking into offering a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product line.
John Wookey told delegates at the OnDemand Europe event that SAP is planning to offer the services to its biggest clients.

The company had tried a small business SaaS offering last year, but the product generated little interest.

"On-demand is the next stage in applications development. It is important to hear SAP say that the future of the company is tied to successfully developing and marketing on-demand. SAP believes in on-demand and so does the SAP board," he said.

The plan seems to be that SAP will still continue selling its core product to enterprises, but that additional modules will be added using the SaaS model. Wookey said the first products would be out in the third quarter of the year, with expense management applications due next year.

The move is a major turnaround for the company, but one that has been welcomed by users.

"There has been a lot of talk recently about SaaS, but there aren't many large enterprises that would move their core business processes to the cloud. They'd be worried about security and, most importantly, reliability," said Alan Bowling, chairman of the SAP UK and Ireland User Group.

"This move from SAP is welcome as it allows companies to keep their in-house SAP systems for core processes, while taking advantage of some of the benefits of SaaS."

SAP may have made the decision to move to a SaaS model following falling profits and increased competition. However, the company must tread a fine line between protecting its core business and offering new services that will appeal to new customers.

BY Iain Thomson

Copyright © 2009 vnunet.com.

Most iPhone application developers are not making a profit

The majority of iPhone application developers are not making large amounts of money, and should not enter the industry with the anticipation of creating a lucrative business, a new survey warns.
Apple's App Store has gained considerable attention for its incredible success stories, with some application developers quitting day jobs and earning hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few weeks' work.

One example is US developer Ethan Nicholas, who developed an artillery game called iShoot that earned him $37,000 in a single day.

But the new survey, undertaken by Britain-based game consultant Adam Martin, finds that over half of the 85 development teams surveyed have earned less than $15,000 for their work, and 33% have earned less than $250.

Only 1% earned between $500,000 and $2 million, 1% earned $100,000-$250,000 and only 2% made between $15,000-$50,000.

Application developer Keith Ahern, whose development studio MoGeneration has released some of the most popular iPhone apps, says developing apps can be a lucrative business but it must be approached like any other industry.

"When you get a return on investment that sees profit in six months, that's a good arc in every other industry. The App Store is not even one year old, and when you have a solid business proposition and you're prepared to wait six months then there are a lot of profitable businesses out there."

"How many industries have there been where you can make $10,000 in two months for doing one week's work? It's exceptional. If you step back, pick your niche, do your work in marketing and everything else, then you can make it work."

Martin said there were two outstanding elements in his survey. Firstly, most developers had not made games or applications before and secondly, several of the businesses had low business costs.

He warned other developers to immerse themselves in the practice of software development to gain experience, and to keep costs "absurdly low".

"The current tactic - relying on 'getting a hit game' - is one of the riskiest and most foolish business plans in the world; they need to learn to make a profit without that one-in-a-million chance," he said.

BY Patrick Stafford

Copyright © 2009
SmartCompany.com.au P/L
All rights reserved.

Experts: Chinese censorware carries botnet risk

Experts have warned of serious security flaws in the Chinese government's censorship software, which could open the door to hackers creating huge botnets.
Programming errors in the Green Dam Youth Escort software, which the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Tuesday must be pre-installed on all new computers in the country, are at the root of the flaws, according to experts from the University of Michigan.

"Once Green Dam is installed, any Web site the user visits can exploit these problems to take control of the computer," wrote the university's researchers. "This could allow malicious sites to steal private data, send spam or enlist the computer in a botnet."

The warning came in a paper published on Thursday by researchers Scott Wolchok, Randy Yao and J Alex Halderman.

The Green Dam software filters content by blocking URLs and Web site images and by monitoring text in other applications. The filtering blacklists include both political and adult content.

The researchers said that after only one day of testing Green Dam, they discovered programming errors in the code used to process Web site requests. These would result in buffer over-run conditions on all computers running the software, they said.

"The code processes URLs with a fixed-length buffer, and a specially crafted URL can overrun this buffer and corrupt the execution stack," said the researchers.

"Any Web site the user visits can redirect the browser to a page with a malicious URL and take control of the computer."

The researchers built a proof-of-concept program to demonstrate the flaw and said it would crash any computer running Green Dam.

In addition, Green Dam can be used to install any other program on a computer, via a blacklist vulnerability. This problem would allow Green Dam's makers, or a third-party impersonating them, to execute arbitrary code and install malicious software on the user's computer, after installing a filter update.

Chinese government news agency Xinhua reported that Jinhui Computer System Engineering, which developed Green Dam, had said the software was not spyware.

"Our software is simply not capable of spying on internet users, it is only a filter," Jinhui is quoted as saying.

The Xinhua article did not address whether the filter itself could be used to upload spyware.

The University of Michigan researchers recommended that anybody running Green Dam uninstall the software immediately.

However, according to a translation of feedback on Jinhui's user forum, teachers and educational establishments have no choice but to use the software.

"Let me say something here," wrote one teacher. "We were forced to install the software. So I have to come to this Web site and curse. After we installed the software, many normal Web sites are banned."

BY Tom Espiner, CNET News.com

Copyright © 2009 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

New ARM chips headed for iPhone, Palm Pre?

ARM, the company that designs chips for the world's smartphones, said handset makers will deliver the first models using more than one processor core next year, as high-end mobile phones begin to mimic the hardware attributes of PCs.
And that means top smartphone suppliers such as Apple and Palm, which both use ARM-based processors, will likely deliver models packing at least two cores inside the main processor--referred to as an application (or applications) processor.

This is a natural progression for high-end smartphones like the iPhone and Palm Pre as the software those phones run gets increasingly sophisticated.

"You'll definitely see handsets shipping with a dual-core A9 in 2010," James Bruce, wireless segment manager for ARM, said in a phone interview earlier this week, referring to the next-generation Cortex-A9 processor from ARM.

The Palm Pre uses a processor based on the current-generation Cortex A8. The iPhone also uses an Apple-branded chip that is based on an ARM design.

"The A8 is just a single core while the A9 will be dual-core, all the way up to quad-core to give smartphones an even bigger performance boost," Bruce said.

He said the move to dual-core phones should happen relatively quickly. "It's very aggressive. It's only going to be in a year's time that you're going to get these phones," he said.

And what about power consumption, a critical concern for smartphones looking to deliver all-day battery life? "What we've done on the A9 is actually make it more power efficient than the A8. The dual-core A9 will be coming out on 45-nanometer rather than the (current) 65-nanometer process," Bruce said. Generally, the smaller the geometries, the faster and more power-efficient the processor is.

Bruce continued. "With the dual-core running at maximum load there's probably going to be an increase of about 10 to 20 percent in power consumption but in general day to day use you're actually going to see better battery life."

Manufacturers are very strict about power-consumption caps, he said. "The manufacturers lay down the law that maximum power consumption of the processor is 300 milliwatts. In the mobile space, this is one of those golden rules that we have to live within," he said, speaking about the upcoming Cortex A9 processor.

An ARM diagram showing a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor

An ARM diagram showing a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor

(Credit: ARM)

By comparison, Intel's power-sipping Atom processor--used widely in Netbooks--is generally rated at more than 2 watts (2,000 milliwatts), though Intel is expected to get this down to smartphone territory with the future "Moorestown" processor.

Bruce also spoke about the speed of the current Cortex-A8 versus the previous ARM design. The principal reason for the performance boost is the A8's superscalar design, which means the processor can execute two separate instructions per clock cycle.

"You're getting a 2X increase (over the previous ARM design). "And actually the A9 takes that even further, It's a superscalar design but it's also an out-of-order design as well. There is some out-of-order aspects with the A8 but the A9 is a very aggressive out-of-order processor," he said. The ability to process instructions using an advanced out-of-order architecture typically results in better performance.

And graphics will follow suit. The upcoming multi-core OMAP 4 processor from Texas Instruments (the OMAP 3 is used in the Palm Pre) is based on the ARM Cortex-9 and will boast graphics that support 1080p video and high-definition record and playback, larger screen resolutions, and "digital SLR-like performance with 20 MP (megapixel) imaging," according to TI documentation.

BY Brooke Crothers

Brooke Crothers is a former editor at large at CNET News.com, and has been an editor for the Asian weekly version of the Wall Street Journal. He writes for the CNET Blog Network, and is not a current employee of CNET. Contact him at mbcrothers@gmail.com. Disclosure.

©2009 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

Are tiny processors the future of green data centers?

Think virtualization in a data center, and you most likely think of the latest generation of multi-core chips, such as Intel's recently released Nehalem-EX processor, which comes with eight cores a a whopping 2,300,000,000 transistors. But the future of green data centers may be in the opposite end of the spectrum, with server clusters built using many small, power-efficient processors.
The Power of Software blog gives a very good rundown about the possibility of using small computers and processors instead of large ones like the Nehalem-EX. It mentions the Dell XS11-VX8, also called "Fortuna." The Via Nano powers Fortuna, and it's a 64-bit chip that offers hardware virtualization for Hyper-V. Amazingly, it uses only 29 watts when at full load, and 15 watts when idling, according to the blog --- less power than a UPS uses. Load up plenty of these devices and you can get plenty of computing power, while using not much electricity.

There's been talk for a while that the low-power Atom chip, used primarily to power netbooks, can be used for data centers as well. The blog points out that Microsoft Research has already built two server clusters using Atom processors controlled by the Marlowe control system that in the blog's words, "can place servers into the sleep or hibernate low power states and then wake them up. This dynamic state control enables groups of computers to respond to changes in load very rapidly."

Will you be using Atom chips and Fortuna today or in the near future to power your data center? Most likely not. But don't be surprised if you do a little further on. Just as smaller servers replaced big iron mainframes, one day devices like Fortuna and the Atom chip may power data centers, and save plenty of electricity while doing so.

BY Preston Gralla

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved.

Exclusive: NVIDIA Talks About GT300, 40nm, Ion and Tegra

During this year’s Computex 2009 show, NVIDIA took the stage with a number of new Ion- and Tegra-based products, showcased by some of the company’s partners. Despite rumors prior to the debut of the computer show in Taiwan, the Santa Clara, California-based graphics maker didn’t reveal any details regarding its much-anticipated 40nm-based graphics processing units. However, the launch of the new Ion-based PCs, as well as the highly anticipated Tegra devices, confirmed NVIDIA’s business orientation, becoming a company that is involved in more than just graphics.
While we weren’t able to make it to Computex ourselves, we looked for the chance to find out more about what the graphics maker is preparing in the near future, as well as the company’s opinion on the current computer industry. The opportunity was just around the corner, as NVIDIA was actively promoting its latest technologies around the world, holding press events to demonstrate some of the things that were on display at Computex. We took this opportunity and sat down for a one-on-one with the company’s Igor Stanek, Product PR Manager for our region. We wanted to go through some of the most important aspects of the manufacturer’s business, taking into consideration the latest rumors that surfaced on the Internet.

Mr. Igor Stanek was kind enough to provide us with a perspective on what NVIDIA is focusing on, as well as on what to expect from the future line of ARM-based Tegra devices. Unfortunately, we could not find anything about the much-rumored next-generation GPU architecture, allegedly called GT300, whose existence is still a mystery. However, we do have some useful insights into what is to come from NVIDIA. Now, without further ado, we will let you go through the interview itself.

NVIDIA is evolving from a company that was mainly focused on delivering graphics cards for computer enthusiasts and supporting the latest games in the industry to one that is set on providing solutions that could power a complete computer system. What can you tell us about that?

I.S: GPUs are used by gamers around the world to play the latest games at their best. GPUs though have become a power warehouse, thanks to their parallel architecture. The industry and the scientists have now realized that they can use this incredible parallel computing architecture to do other things than games. CPUs are no longer increasing in clock speed yet consumers are demanding more from their PCs today than ever before. In order to provide the much needed performance to deliver on these consumer expectations, the only path available is to go multi-core or parallel – i.e., add more cores and split demanding workloads across them. Due to the very nature of computer graphics, GPUs excel at doing many things at once and are ideally suited to this new heterogeneous computing environment. If you look at what Microsoft and Apple are working on with their new OSes you understand how GPUs are rapidly becoming the most desired chip inside the PC; the upcoming Windows 7 and Snow Leopard use GPU to full extent.

Scientists are using it to accelerate calculation by a factor they were never able to achieve before with CPUs. We consider ourselves a company that provides specific solutions to the resolution of complex problems; whether they are common or most complex ones in medical, astrophysics and more. We develop tailored solutions in different fields; one example is our Quadro business where we develop products that solve specific problems like SDI capture, multi display financial visualization. Dedicated 1U GPU racks, etc.

After seeing all those new Tegra-based and ARM-based devices at Computex this year, can you project a future where an ARM-based device can provide users with everyday computing?

I.S: It all depends on your definition of everyday computing. When you use a Tegra chip your everyday computing is not limited to typing email and surf the web; you expect things that you do on your regular PC but in a smaller footprint. These devices deliver desktop-class Internet browsing with Flash video and animation acceleration and high-definition video playback, all with cell phone-class power management – making days of HD mobile Internet experiences a reality.

Consumers are looking for an always-connected device for social media applications such as Facebook and YouTube, as well as great multimedia performance for recording and watching HD movies and videos on the go. Tegra includes an entire computer-on-a-chip, including an ARM 11 core processor, so to answer your question, yes Tegra, which includes an ARM process, is a fully capable and modern device that fits your communications and entertainment device in your pocket.

Putting that into perspective, can we think about a future without x86?

I.S: I don’t think anybody is saying x86 is out of the picture, but CPUs are losing their breath and GPUs becoming much more important. It’s very simple. Just check how much time you need for transcoding of video on ION and how powerful CPU you need to match ION speed. I think that future is in well balanced PC with CPU and GPU living in harmony. CPU will have more control tasks in operating system and GPU will be focused for most of visual computing staff including some heavy computational tasks. This is the architecture of the future. I believe that PC with 1000 USD CPU and Intel integrated graphics card is already history.

Tegra has been one of the main highlights at Computex this year. How important is Tegra for your future product lineup?

I.S: Tegra is a strategic line of products for NVIDIA. The world is going mobile and expectations are for low power always on, always connected and powerful devices that can do HD is growing rapidly.

Should we expect more Tegra devices to become available in the near future?

I.S: The response from our customers is phenomenal. Tegra is strategic to us and we have a great roadmap that we are sharing with our ecosystem, as I said our partners are extremely satisfied with performance, features and especially the low power used by these devices. We cannot announce products on behalf of our customers, but there are many coming

Do you think Microsoft will play a significant role in the adoption of Tegra?

I.S: Microsoft Windows Embedded CE is a great operating system and we support it with our Tegra devices. We do also provide support for Google Android.

Can you tell us something about the alleged GT300 that has been rumored in the media recently?

I.S: I am not aware of that code name.

What can you tell us about your next-generation chips, transitioning from 55nm to 40nm?

I.S: We don’t comment about unannounced products.

There were reports about TSMC’s problems with their 40nm manufacturing node. What can you tell us about that?

I.S: That is a question you should ask TSMC. We have new mobile parts being announced shortly that will be using 40nm process. It’s not all about process though; it’s also about efficiency of the architecture. 40nm process coupled with this efficient architecture works well for Notebooks, so we are launching this first on notebook.

During Computex AMD took the opportunity to showcase the world’s first 40nm DirectX 11 GPU, revealing a couple of videos with their next-generation solutions. How do you comment on that?

I.S: Simply, that we are thrilled about what we are working on. Stay tuned!

BY Traian Teglet, Technology News Editor

© 2001 - 2009 Softpedia. All rights reserved.

Microsoft Silverlight Challenges Adobe AIR

Microsoft Silverlight 3 is catching up to the capabilities of Adobe Flash, Flex, and AIR in all the areas where Silverlight was behind. Silverlight 3 applications can run in or out of the browser, online or offline, with much improved audio, video, and 3-D graphics.
Recently I've been hearing from Adobe on a regular basis about adoptions of the Adobe Flash Platform by large media organizations, such as Clear Channel Radio and MLB.com, for streaming media content to the Web both live and on demand. I've been hearing rather less from Microsoft about Silverlight adoptions.

I think that part of the reason is that Adobe leapfrogged Microsoft last winter in the area of media support, particularly H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio and full HD video playback. These and many other capabilities are included in Silverlight 3, which is currently in a beta that does not include a "go live" license, but will most likely be released in July.

Another area where Flash and Flex were ahead of Silverlight is Windows and Macintosh desktop operation. A number of desktop Flex/AIR applications have become popular, especially Twitter clients; examples include TweetDeck, Twhirl, DestroyTwitter, and Seesmic Desktop. (Let's ignore the memory leak issues they all have in common for the moment.)

Out of the browser

Silverlight 2 didn't have a viable way to run on a desktop; the best a developer could do along those lines was to build a desktop WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) application based loosely on a corresponding Silverlight RIA (rich Internet application). Silverlight 3 addresses those issues very nicely, with easy ways to install Silverlight applications on a desktop, update them in place, detect Internet connectivity state changes, and store information locally and securely.

What else was wrong with Silverlight 2? From a developer's point of view, no single tool covered all needs; Expression Blend 2 did graphical XAML design but couldn't edit code, and Visual Studio 2008 did code editing and XAML editing and preview, but couldn't do graphical XAML design. That will be fixed in Expression Blend 3 and Visual Studio 2010, both of which have solid betas. For designers, the Expression Blend 3 Preview already imports Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator files, another lack in Blend 2, and will add "SketchFlow" prototyping and interactive behaviors in a future release.

In addition, Silverlight 2 lacked 3-D graphics, pixel shader effects, writing to bitmaps, animation effects, themes, decent data binding, and a reasonable assortment of controls. Those deficiencies are all fixed in Silverlight 3.

Rich and obscure

One problem area that Flash and Silverlight have had in common is SEO (search engine optimization). A search engine such as Google can only see the text on a Web page; RIA applications historically have not displayed usable text or allowed external links to states "deep" inside the animation, concentrating instead on their forte -- flashy graphics. Recently there's been some improvement in SEO for Flash and Flex, using external JavaScript objects such as SWFObject (for dynamic loading) and SWFAddress (for deep linking), at least for those who to take the trouble to revamp their Flash sites; Silverlight 3 addresses both SEO and deep linking internally.

Silverlight has long been strong on execution speed and language support. Both of those are getting better still in version 3.

I do not expect many Adobe shops to give up their Flash, Flex, and AIR for Silverlight 3. I do expect many Microsoft shops to do more RIAs with Silverlight now that it's more capable and to create lightweight browser/desktop Silverlight 3 applications where they might have fashioned heavier-weight Windows Forms or WPF client applications. Some mixed but Microsoft-oriented shops might phase out their Adobe work in favor of Silverlight on integration grounds, but some won't. Meanwhile, the next generation of streaming media adoptions are likely to be closely contested, now that the two technologies are near parity.

Of course, in a few months everything will change again. Stay tuned.

Microsoft Silverlight 3 beta

Pros Silverlight 3 applications can run in or out of the browser, online or offline. Much improved audio and HD video support. 3-D graphics and pixel shading effects. Many more controls, with enhanced data support. Expression Blend can import Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator files.

Cons No go-live license for the beta; need to wait for release, probably in July.

Cost Free

Platforms Development: Windows XP SP2 or later with Visual Studio 2008 SP1 or Visual Web Developer Express 2008 SP1. Runtime: Windows XP SP2 or later, or Intel-based Mac OS X.

BY Martin Heller, InfoWorld

© 1998-2009, PC World Communications, Inc.

New members join WiMAX patent alliance

Beceem Communications, GCT Semiconductor, Sequans Communications and UQ Communications have joined the Open Patent Alliance (OPA).
Formed in June 2008, the OPA is dedicated to offering intellectual property rights (IPR) solutions that support the development and widespread adoption of WiMAX around the globe, further boosting the open industry standard approach to 4G wireless broadband.

Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Sequans and UQ come in as associate (non-board-level) members, joining current OPA members Acer, Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Cisco, Clearwire, Huawei Technologies, Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics.

"It's been an exciting month for the Open Patent Alliance and WiMAX 4G momentum, in general," said OPA President Yung Hahn. "The OPA ecosystem remains focused on broader choice and competitive equipment and service costs for WiMAX technology, devices and applications globally. With a critical mass of silicon providers now as members, the OPA can continue facilitating the formation of a singular, cohesive WiMAX patent pool to assist participating companies in obtaining access to patent licences from patent owners at a more predictable cost."

The most recent additions to the OPA span silicon providers to wireless carriers around the world, continuing to strengthen the open ecosystem and provide a fair, transparent and balanced IPR licencing structure.

BY EE Times Staff
Source:EE Times

Copyright © 2009 eMedia Asia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Top ten biggest egos in technology

This week, we count down some of the biggest egos in the IT business - the larger than life personalities that dominate IT.
Computer geeks aren't really like other people. We dream more of benchmarks and gadgets than red carpets and paparazzi.

That doesn't mean, however, that the tech world is without its rock stars. Intel likes to joke about it, but there really are larger than life characters whose imposing presences rival that of any ego this side of Howard Hughes.

Honourable mention: Woz

Iain Thomson: I've got real doubts about this one but Shaun insisted.

As my co-worker pointed out Woz seldom turns down an interview, always has a pithy quote and is usually pretty free with his personal appearances. His 'Dancing with the Stars' episode proved that.

But my big disagreement comes in the fact that while Woz may have an ego he has the skills to back it up. The guy is a genius when it comes to engineering and computers. A man who writes out an operating system longhand and then makes it work – well I take my hat off to him.

Shaun Nichols: As I will point out multiple times on this list, having a big ego doesn't mean you're a bad guy. The geek-crush we have on Woz has been well-documented. But that doesn't mean he can't go on this list.

The public loves Woz and, let's face it, Woz loves the public. He never turns down an interview or a chance to go on TV and give his opinion on Apple or anything else in the tech world. Maybe it's because Woz is an incredibly nice guy who just loves helping people out, or maybe it's because, like nearly everyone else on the planet, he likes getting attention and feeling important.

And Iain, genius skills and massive ego usually go hand in hand. When someone has prodigious skills and no ego behind them, there's usually a mental disorder involved.

Honourable mention: Dan Lyons

Shaun Nichols: How do you pin a huge ego on a guy who spent the better part of a year trying to hide his identity?

Yes, Dan Lyons did spend most of his time as Fake Steve Jobs trying to remain anonymous, but when the spotlight came he most certainly did not shy away from it. The formerly unknown Forbes editor was unmasked as the brilliant mind behind the satirical Apple blog and then leapt wholeheartedly into the world of geek fame. Book deals, a move to Newsweek and even a speaking engagement at Google were some of the perks Lyons gladly soaked up.

This isn't to rag too much on El Jobso Fake-o. The man has a family to take care of and the journalism profession isn't exactly a gold mine these days. Most of us would have milked such an opportunity for all it was worth as well.

Namaste, Dan. I honour the place where our list and your fifteen minutes of fame become one.

Iain Thomson: Yes but, journos with egos are never a good mix.

As journalists we're supposed to be impartial, unless we're let off the leash for an article like this. That said I have a soft spot for Lyons. The fake Steve Jobs blog was so funny and on the ball that I think he's due the plaudits.

The question remains what he will do with this fame. I'm hoping he'll reap the plaudits and then go back to journalism. If he takes the star route we'll see how big his ego really is.

10. Carol Bartz

Iain Thomson: Well she's certainly got ego, I just wonder if she's got what it takes to back it up.

Carol Bartz comes to Yahoo at a bad time for the company. Yahoo is floundering in a technological minefield. It doesn't know what it is and it's hoping Bartz will show the way.

I've got real respect for Bartz. She beat breast cancer while carrying on working, she drops the F bomb regularly – which is catnip for journalists – and she's a smart woman in a field of male mediocrity.

Bartz has the balls to take Yahoo and remake it (although I suspect some sell outs in the future of the company's core assets). She's the right person for the job, but can she make Yahoo a force again after its egregiously bad management before. I hope so, but we'll wait and see.

Shaun Nichols: Often, one man's (or woman's) chutzpah is another man's giant ego. Carol Bartz has in her short time at Yahoo managed to generate plenty of headlines and industry buzz for the force with which she has taken control of Yahoo.

Walking onto a stage your first day on the job and threatening to "dropkick to f***ing Mars" those who defy you is a pretty good indication that one has a fairly high opinion of one's own abilities. At this point though, a strong corporate leader with a healthy ego could be just the sort of kick in the pants that Yahoo needs to pull itself back up in the market.

9. Jerry Yang

Shaun Nichols: Hopefully Jerry Yang will prove a cautionary tale for all the young geeks who strike it big in the business world. Just because you have a great product doesn't necessarily mean you will be a great businessman.

Yang was half of the team of Stanford students that launched Yahoo. When the company began to really get huge, however, he took off. And rightfully so- while an astute computing and engineering mind, Yang lacked the years of experience one needs to run a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

When Yahoo started to sputter in 2007, Yang came back as chief executive to head up the company in what turned out to be an awful decision by Yahoo. Fed by his own ego and the fierce loyalty of the long-time "Yahoos" in management, Yang made a series of mistakes headlined by a refusal to take a generous acquisition offer from Microsoft. With company stock hovering at a fraction of the Microsoft offer, cooler business heads prevailed and Yang was ultimately forced to step down.

Iain Thomson: Yang is a case in point of why innovators seldom make good leaders.

The people behind an idea generally don't have the skills to run the enterprise their skills create. They are blue sky thinkers, who get bored easily by the day to day nitty gritty of running a company.

Yang's appointment seemed like a good idea for Yahoo. After years of disastrous leadership he was a popular choice internally and obviously knew the business. But he was too emotionally involved with the company and one suspects he began to identify too closely with it.

So when Microsoft made a good offer for Yahoo Yang's ego seems to have got in the way of making the best deal for his shareholders. He turned down a good offer and in less than a year his company was worth half of what Microsoft had been willing to spend.

8. Bill Gates

Iain Thomson: Big Bill at number eight – are you on crack I hear you ask. No, it's an honest score.

Gates has evolved from the nerd who knew he could change the world. Yes, in the early days of Microsoft he had an ego the size of Jupiter but he's calmed down since then. He seems to know now that he's not the smartest guy in the room automatically – it's a wisdom that comes to us all with age.

Bill has learned that he's not always right. He's got plenty of experience to show it – Windows ME and Vista, Bob, anti-competition rulings and the plundering of his software by malware writers has tempered him somehow.

That being said he's still got form as the police would say. He ranted at Paul Allen for taking time out to witness the historic launch of the first space shuttle, he whined at Davos about how ungrateful consumers were and he still can't seem to get his head around the concept that people don't need to be grateful for his genius.

Shaun Nichols: I'm of the mindset that one doesn't succeed in sports, politics or high-level business without possessing the sort of self-confidence that comes with a massive ego.

Bill Gates would not have made it too far with Microsoft had he not honestly believed that he was the baddest geek ever to take control of a software vendor. The sheer gall he displayed time and time again in his business dealings show just what sort of an ego was driving Microsoft to the top.

As Iain pointed out, Gates has recast himself as a far more humble and friendly individual in recent years. Well, humble and friendly for a mega-billionaire. I don't think any of us will see Bill pull up a stool at the local pub and talk football with the boys any time soon.

7. Nicholas Negroponte

Shaun Nichols: Even those with the most noble of intentions can get a big head. Negroponte is a well-respected chair of the MIT media lab and head of the most ambitious charitable effort the industry has ever undertaken.

When the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) effort was first announced, Negroponte's name brought some much-needed media attention to the project and only furthered his own image.

While OLPC is still going strong in its effort to put technology in the hands of impoverished children, one can argue that Negroponte's own ego has brought on conflicts with companies such as Intel and Microsoft who would have only helped the project.

Again, this isn't to badmouth OLPC and its admirable mission, but even the best of intentions can still inflate one's ego.

Iain Thomson: I've got a lot of time for Negroponte if truth be told. He had a great idea with OLPC but failed to see that the rest of the industry wouldn't necessarily bow down and kiss his ring.

What Negroponte did do was spark interest in low cost PCs. Without the OLPC idea it is highly unlikely that Intel would have come up with its Classmate PC range. After all, it wasn't seen as being in the company's interest to build low cost systems when there was so much profit in the high cost ones.

But Negroponte's ego wouldn't let him see that. Instead he ranted and raved at Intel for its duplicitous behaviour. He couldn't see that it was just business as usual in the tech world.

6. Marc Benioff

Iain Thomson: If Steve Jobs leads the Scientologists of the IT industry then Benioff is the Bhagwan of SaaS. He's not quite driving Rolls Royces past his followers but he's not far off it.

It's always slightly disturbing going to a Salesforce press conference. Every employee seems to believe with the passionate intensity that Benioff espouses in the future of SaaS. They may well be right, but the cultishness makes me nervous.

Benioff took on a software industry model and destroyed it – you only have to looks at yesterday's embarrassing climb-down by SAP to see that. But he has too much of a messiah complex for my liking. Yes, everyone likes to be proved right but they don't have to be so damn smug about it.

Shaun Nichols: Marc Benioff was a corporate protege of Larry Ellison at Oracle, and boy does it show. From the permanent tan to the stylish suit without a tie and confident swagger, Benioff is like a double-sized clone of Ellison, Larry's 'Mega Me,' if you will.

But I think that in Benioff's case this sort of ego is an absolute necessity. When salesforce.com started, Benioff was essentially telling prospective customers that they should abandon much of their exisitng IT infrastructure and instead remotely access important business tools with the same application you use to watch dancing cat videos. SaaS would never have succeeded had its main salesman been a quiet, reserved little waif.

5. Mark Zuckerberg

Shaun Nichols: At an age where most of us were watching bootlegged episodes of the Simpsons and building pyramids from empty beer cans, Mark Zuckerberg was making himself a billionaire as the head of Facebook. Can you really blame the kid if he has a big head?

Zuckerberg's ability to sell his company and audience on his product and vision has been likened to some of the older generation of entrepreneurs; a 21st-century Steve Jobs in a fleece pull-over and sandals.

Zuckerberg's youthful arrogance has also made him the target for criticism when his company messes up. When Facebook launched its controversial Beacon programme, Zuckerberg took much of the heat. Later, when the company's terms and conditions drew the wrath of users, Zuckerberg again had to take shots from those who accused him of being too aloof and out of touch with what users really want.

Iain Thomson: Zuckerberg is a classic case of too much too young. Facebook was the media darling for a year and I think he began to believe his own press coverage.

It must have been hard to maintain a level head under the circumstances. If you're barely out of your teens, not exactly a looker and suddenly the world is beating a path to your door it's going to give you ego problems.

The Beacon example was a case in point. He seemed to think that users wouldn't mind sharing their buying habits, since they were sharing everything else on Facebook. He blustered and fumed and then had to back down. It has taught him some humility, but not much.

4. Carly Fiorina

Iain Thomson: Carly Fiorina came into one of the most male dominated organisations in Silicon Valley and changed it - sadly not for the better I feel.

I remember first seeing her speak. My goodness, it was a brilliant performance. She took a floor of hostile HP geeks and enthused them to such an extent that she got a standing ovation at the end and, I'm willing to bet, haunted the dreams of more than a few of them.

But Fiorina became obsessed with making her mark, and the HP/Compaq merger was the result. She took one great company and one OK one and merged them, destroying both in the process. While HP may now be the number one in the PC industry the company has lost its soul and it now stands pre-eminent in an industry that's dying by degrees.

Instead of trying to be the biggest she should have focused on being the best. HP missed a crucial opportunity to lead the pack in the field of laptops - the short term future of computing. Her domineering attitude alienated some of the best tech minds in the company and she was left with a hollow victory and so many enemies that she was forced out and is now reduced to a career trying to get into politics. Given the mistakes she made in John McCain's campaign I'm not holding out too much hope there.

Shaun Nichols: Carly Fiorina's failings are numerous and well-documented, from the Compaq merger to the boardroom spying cases, she made her share of mistakes.

But she also deserves major credit for her perseverance in an industry that was and still is in many areas horribly male-dominated. Fiorina not only took control at a high level of business that is absolutely dominated by hot-shot business types with huge egos, she did so with the handicap of corporate sexism pushing back against her. This would indicate that Fiorina herself carried around an ego that put the boys to shame.

It will be interesting to see how she does in her career as a politician. If Fiorina thought that pushing a multi-billion dollar merger through a Silicon Valley boardroom was dirty work, wait until she sees what a California Senate election is like.

3. Steve Ballmer

Shaun Nichols: Steve Ballmer is seen by many as the Darth Vader of the technology business, a role he seems to be very content with.

Every time the cameras are rolling, Ballmer seems determined to do something memorable. The Microsoft chief executive doesn't suffer from insanity on the stage, he enjoys every minute of it. Whether his infamous 'on your feet' dance or his memorable 'developers' tirade, Steve Ballmer does not have any problem with doing things to get people talking.

Every great drama needs a bad guy, and Steve Ballmer has been more than happy to take the role. So long as his company continues to make money and generate headlines, Ballmer should be thrilled to play the villain.

Iain Thomson: Ballmer is first and foremost a salesmen, and you need a big ego to survive in that trade.

However Ballmer's ego seems large even by the standards of his profession. He seems to think that sheer force of will will get him what he wants. There have been reports of his style, which includes breaking office furniture and screaming in the face of his employees, that speak of a big ego.

But what makes it worse is the Microsoft kool aid. Microserfs are a strange bunch, pathologically loyal in the most part and convinced they work for the best company in the world. Add that to Ballmer's ego and you've a killer combination.

2. Larry Ellison

Iain Thomson: Given my druthers I would have put Ellison at the number one spot, but Shaun's arguments won out.

Ellison has an ego the size of Texas, and he doesn't care who knows it. He's the highest paid tech chief executive in the industry, and you know he justifies it to himself by the repeated assurances that he's simply the best person out there.

In fact Ellison got where he is by having a good idea and then using every means possible to make sure he got to the top. Whether it be in flying or business he holds the attitude that rules are something that happens to other people and by money and force of will he's proved it to be true.

He strikes me as a person who wants to bend the world to his rules, and will do anything to make it so. To some that's an admirable quality. Personally I think it speaks of deeper problems below the surface.

Shaun Nichols: If I could have a beer with any Silicon Valley legend, it would be Woz. But if I could fly out to Vegas for the weekend with any Silicon Valley legend, Larry Ellison would be the guy. He's the sort of guy that obviously knows where to get the best of everything and how to enjoy it to the fullest. Outside of Paul Allen, I can't think of any other figure in IT who has been so successful while still keeping a healthy work/leisure balance in his life.

He's also a hell of a businessman. While Microsoft, Apple and Google get more publicity, no company has succeeded more spectacularly for a longer period of time than Oracle. Ellison obviously hit the market at the absolute perfect time, but he also did a great job of managing the company, staying focused on core products and not making the mistake of trying to do too much too soon.

1. Steve Jobs

Shaun Nichols: If there was any debate over who would be at the top of this week's list, it was over in about five seconds. How do you not recognise an ego so powerful it can distort reality?

Jobs is very good at what he does, and he most certainly knows it. While the engineers and developers get their due, you know that virtually every release from Apple, be it a new iPod or just a TV ad, has Steve Jobs fingerprints all over it.

To have this level of control over a company, one also has to have supreme confidence in his own abilities. Those who have worked with Jobs will attest to his ability to slam anything he doesn't believe in and tirelessly sell his own ideas to others. Reporters who spoke with Jobs back in the 80s when he still gave interviews say that he was constantly asking what was being said about him, both good and bad.

Perhaps the greatest contradiction about Jobs is just how fiercely he guards his private life.

While fellow business icons Richard Branson, Larry Ellison and Mark Cuban make their leisure pursuits public business, the rest of the world would be very hard pressed to know just what Jobs does when he leaves the office. No other person in the business is as visible within his company and invisible outside of it as Steve Jobs.

Iain Thomson: Silicon Valley historian Robert Cringely has a theory about Steve Jobs that he got from a senior Apple executive. Jobs is an orphan the theory goes, and he's convinced that if he makes a big enough noise his real parents will come back and admit they were wrong to give him up.

I've got some doubts about this. I think Jobs is the classic egotist, who feels that he knows what is right and the rest of the world should just shut up and let him get on with it. The rest of the world on the other hand disagrees.

He's thrown his toys out of the pram on more than one occasion and shows a sense of spite that would shame an eight year old. On the other hand he's made Apple into a powerhouse in the computing world. Maybe Shaun is right, with great ability comes great ego.


Copyright © 2009 vnunet.com.

Does Microsoft's Bing have Google running scared?

Microsoft may have developed a contender that threatens Google's Web search dominance.
In a story headlined "Fear grips Google," the New York Post reports that the launch of Microsoft's Bing search engine has so upset Google co-founder Sergey Brin that he has top engineers working on "urgent upgrades" to Google's service. Brin is said to be leading a team to determine how Microsoft's search algorithm differs from the closely guarded one Google employs. The tabloid also notes that it's rare for Google's co-founders to have such a hands-on involvement in the company's daily operations.

"New search engines have come and gone in the past 10 years, but Bing seems to be of particular interest to Sergey," an anonymous source described as an "insider" to the newspaper.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the level of Brin's involvement but did tell the newspaper that the company always has a team working on improving search.

Microsoft, which launched as Bing as its default search engine earlier this month, is reportedly spending $80 million to $100 million in an ad blitz to tout its latest search effort. Rival Google, meanwhile, spent just $25 million total on advertising last year, according to an AdAge report.

Bing's launch bumped Microsoft's search share up to 11.1 percent last week from 9.1 percent the prior week, according to numbers released by market analyst ComScore.

However, that initial increase didn't impress Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who was pretty tight-lipped earlier this week when queried about Bing's arrival.

"It's not the first entry for Microsoft," Schmidt said Tuesday in an interview with Fox Business Network. "They do this about once a year."

Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said Tuesday that the company planned to hold "a review tomorrow on it with the executive committee."

While Microsoft has a long way to go before it makes a dent in Google's business, Bing may end up being the only true alternative to Google if Yahoo decides not to compete in the search market over the next few years.

BY Steven Musil

Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.

©2009 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

Google China Launches Internet Shopping Search Service

Google China has announced that the company has launched the beta edition of its Internet shopping search service, covering China's B2C and C2C e-commerce sectors.
At present, Google China has provided the link of this new product on the front page of its website.

According to Yang Wenluo, vice director for Google China Engineering Research Institute, Google's goal is to integrate global information to benefit everyone. With this goal, Google's new Internet shopping search product will integrate online shopping information, enabling Chinese consumers to compare products' prices.

With is new service, users can search for products by inputting relevant information and the search results will be divided into different categories in accordance to the models of products. Clicking these search results, users can see the prices, comments and parameters of these products. In addition, the front page of this shopping search service will list the most searched products in the recent period.

So far, products covered by the search service are mainly mobile phones and electronics products.

BY China Tech News Staff
Source:China Tech News

Copyright 1999-2009 ChinaTechNews.com. All Rights Reserved.

苹果iPhone入华难 普及更难


苹果首席运营官提姆·库克(Tim Cook)近期曾表示,希望能于明年打进中国市场。即便如此,iPhone在中国的发展也未必一帆风顺。





Gartner分析师肯·杜兰尼(Ken Dulaney)称:“如果中国对苹果做出某些强制要求,那么苹果很可能走开。”



这两款新品型号分别为“Celeron 740”和“Celeron SU2300”,主频1.3/1.2GHz,二级缓存1MB,前端总线800MHz,热设计功耗均为10W。

这样一来,Intel CULV处理器从原来的三个子系列扩充到四个:单核入门级、双核入门级、单核性能级、双核性能级。

据厂商透露,从8月份起,单/双核入门级Celeron处理器的价格有望降至2000-3000新台币(约合人民币415元-625元),因而采用单核Celeron 723的超轻薄本能够进入20000-22000新台币(约合人民币4200元-4600元)的市场预期价位。




日本最大的运营商DoCoMo最早宣布该计划,也最早开始准备向LTE进军。今年5月,DoCoMo总裁Ryuji Yamada表示,公司计划在2014年前部署20,000个基站,覆盖50%的日本人口。




































1. 中国移动G3(TD-SCDMA)上网本
资费:TD数据资费按0.01元/K收取,套餐分五档,5元套餐、20元套餐、50元套餐、100元套餐、200元套餐, 分别包含30M、150M、500M、2G、5G流量,超出部分按照0.01元/K收费,套餐月流量15G封顶,月费用500元封顶。





2. 中国电信天翼(CDMA2000)上网本

现阶段网速:目前中国电信CDMA2000 EV-DO实际下载网速在150KB/s,峰值可达近200KB/s。

理论网速: 3.1Mbit/s下载、1.8Mbit/s上行数据业务速度。


3. 中国联通WCDMA上网本



第一, 产品稳定、散热好。目前的主流配置基本是:英特尔凌动N270 1.6GHz处理器、1GB内存、160GB硬盘、10英寸显示器。 

第二, 续航能力至关重要。



Copyright 2008-2009 Daily IT News | Contact Us