Thursday, June 30, 2011

Insane Demand Causes Google to Shut Down Invite Process for Google+

Google+Just a single day after Google unveiled Google+, the company's brand new social networking service, Google decided it would be a good idea to open up the invitation process late Wednesday afternoon to all those fortunate enough to have already been invited to participate in the service.

Before, the keys to Google+ were only given to those very select few who were fortunate enough to be allowed in at launch. So naturally an invite was a precious and prized commodity. Google has stressed that Google+ is in its very early stages though whatever it was that Google was aiming for with its field trial must have been pretty darn successful. The reason I say that is because every single person that was invited to the service is now able to invite other people in as well.

But that wasn't all, the people who were invited by the initial users were able to invite friends of their own too. Even better was the fact that people writing about the decision to open up the invitation process were suddenly struck with a lot of popularity amongst readers. MG Siegler from TechCrunch wrote on his Google+ page on his own story that, "I'm not sure any TechCrunch post has gotten comments at such a fast rate."

This amount of attention seems like it must have been a bit more than Google had asked for. After nearly six hours, Google shut the invitation process down over what Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google Vic Gundotra called "insane demand". Gundotra posted on his Google+ page late on Wednesday night, "We need to do this carefully and in a controlled way." Gundotra did not specify when the invite functionality would be back up and running.

Source: PC World - Google+ Invite Process Shut Down Amid 'Insane Demand'

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Japan Creates World's Fastest Supercomputer

Japan K ComputerWhen it comes to the most powerful supercomputers in the world, I don't think it is to anybody's great surprise that the most powerful one is located in Japan. This new Japanese supercomputer has just recently earned the top spot among all the supercomputers in the world with a performance that makes other supercomputers look like a TI-82.

Known as the "K Computer", this device is three times faster than its closest rival from China, which previously held the number one spot, according to Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University Tennessee at Knoxville Jack Dongarra. Dongarra also keeps the official rankings of computer performance.

The K Computer, which was created by Fujitsu and is located at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, represents an incredible step forward in the realm of speed. This computer will also, more than likely, become a great sense of national pride for Japan, especially for computer scientists, who take the race to have the fastest computer in the world very seriously.

According to Dongarra, "It's a very impressive machine. It's a lot more powerful than the other computers." The latest ranking of the top 500 computers is determined with a simple mathematical equation. The computer who gets to take the top spot is able to make 8.2 quadrillion calculations per second which also calculates to 8.2 petaflops per second. The performance of the K Computer is the same as linking around 1 million desktops.

Supercomputers have many uses including earthquake simulations, climate modeling, nuclear research and weapons development and testing. Businesses also use supercomputers for oil exploration as well as rapid stock trading. However, building a supercomputer isn't cheap and it usually involves connecting thousands of small computers in a data center.

The K Computer is made up of 672 cabinets filled with system boards. The K Computer is considered to be energy-efficient even though it uses enough electricity to power around 10,000 homes at an estimated cost of $10 million annually. I'd hate to see the statistics for the non-energy-efficient ones. The lab that the K Computer calls home is planning on increasing the size of the computer to 800 cabinets which is predicted to raise the speed of the supercomputer that is already faster then its five closest competitors.

The K Computer received its name from the Japanese word "Kei" which translates to 10 quadrillion, the overall goal for the number of calculations the supercomputer should be able to perform. The previously leading supercomputer was China's Tianhe-1A which was located at the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China. The Tianhe-1A was the first Chinese supercomputer to hit the top spot which acted as a beacon of the country's growing technological prowess.

The fastest supercomputer in the United States is located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It placed third behind the K Computer and the Tianhe-1A. Countries in Asia have made sizable investments in supercomputing and currently dominate the upper echelon of the field. Japan and China alone hold four out of the top five spots.

However, when it comes to the tnp 10, the United States is still the leader, holding five of the top 10 spots. Japan's top supercomputer ranking marks the country's first since 2004. The United States and China were previously the only countries to hold that title. These rankings, issued every six months, are frequently changed and reflect just how fast computer power is advancing.

Source: The New York Times - Japanese 'K' Computer Is Ranked Most Powerful

Power Point Projectors
Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Facebook Creating an App for the iPad

Facebook iPad AppFacebook is planning on releasing an app for the iPad in the next couple of weeks that is said to feature a "slick design" as well as new Facebook Chat and Groups functionality. In addition to that, the app is also said to feature an "amazing" photo and video experience.

This news comes right after another report that Facebook was preparing an HTML 5 web app for iOS devices. In addition to that, Facebook is supposedly working on a new website optimized for the iPad. However, Facebook's refreshed site is only meant to be a "supplement" to the iOS apps from Facebook, not a replacement.

With the high popularity of the iPhone's Facebook app, it is surprising that Facebook hasn't created one for the iPad. To make up for the lack of an app, iPad users have been forced to turn to third party apps like Friendly, MyPad and Facely HD or just go with Facebook's actual website.

However, that could all change if the latest round of rumors turns out to be true. It has been said that the proposed iPad app has been in development for over a year. It has been said that CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is heavily involved in the design of the app as well as its features. Photos and videos will be displayed full size at full resolution and the app is also expected to be free, just like all of Facebook's mobile apps.

Source: PC Mag - Facebook Crafts an iPad App

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Samsung's New 30nm DDR3 DRAM

Samsung has just recently introduced 30-nanometer-class1 DDR3 synchronous dynamic random access memory (DRAM) modules designed for upgrading your PC. This new generation of faster, energy efficient DRAM modules is going to be available via consumer retail channels this summer.

According to Samsung Electronics America's Senior Vice President of Mobile Entertainment Marketing Reid Sullivan, "Replacing your DRAM can be one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to upgrade your PC's performance, and these new products offer the most energy-efficient option currently available to consumers. Samsung is committed to bringing performance-enhanced computing to consumers, and our 30nm-class process technology offers an outstanding combination of advanced low-power DDR3 technology, with blazing speed up to 1,600 megabytes per second."

You can get this new DRAM from Samsung in either a 2GB or 4GB model and both are available in very low profile unbuffered dual in-line memory module configurations for desktop PCs and small outline DIMM configurations for notebook PCs. They are also backwards compatible with systems designed for previous DDR3 and DDR2 memory and can be purchased in single or dual pack quantities.

These memory sticks are also more energy efficient, using up to two-thirds less energy than those manufactured with industry standard 60nm class technology. What is great about that is that this boost in energy efficiency does not come at the cost of performance. The new modules transfer data at up to 1,600 Mbps which is 20% faster than the current 40nm-class generation of DDR3 DRAM from Samsung.

The new 30nm-class DDR3 DRAM modules will be available from Samsung this summer with single pack modules costing less than $30 to less than $55 and dual pack modules ranging from less than $55 to less than $110.

Source: Engadget - Samsung's 30nm DDR3 DRAM boosts speeds, cuts power consumption