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[H] Enthusiast Archives: October 2009Archive Listing

Saturday October 31, 2009

Daylight Savings Time Ends at 0200 Sunday 11/1

One more thing before I sign out to prep for tonight’s festivities: don’t forget to "fall back" tonight. At 0200 local time on Sunday 11/1, daylight savings time ends (for the areas that use it anyway) so enjoy that extra hour of sleeping/partying/gaming. I have a feeling that some of you will appreciate the extra time. Be safe tonight everyone!

How CA’s Silicon Valley Passed MA’s Route 128

If you’re interested in a bit of tech history, TechCrunch has the story for you. If you were in the tech biz in the 60’s through the 80’s, then this might be a bit of nostalgia. For the rest of us, I found it to be an interesting bit on how Silicon Valley surpassed Route 128, eventually supplanting it as the place to be in the tech world.

Ever heard of Route 128? To my surprise, neither have any of my students at Duke or the entrepreneurs I’ve met in Silicon Valley. I’m surprised because it wasn’t so long ago that Silicon Valley was considered a poor cousin of Boston’s tech center—a cluster of technology companies located along this freeway which partially rings the city.


Cisco, EMC to Team Up in Cloud Computing Hardware

Reuters reports that Cisco and EMC are going to launch a new hardware line consisting of networking gear, storage equipment, and virtualization technology for use in cloud computing environments. Dubbed vBlock, it will allow the two companies to better combat IBM and HP in this space. The official announcement is expected next week.

"It's a 'virtual block' of the data center. You can buy it from them as a service, then eventually transition it to your own data center," said one of the people familiar with the plan.


NSA to Build $1.5B Defense Data Center in Utah

Looking for a job? Maybe Utah is the place to be for a while, since the NSA is set to build a $1.5 Billion data center there. The center is intended for cyber-security and will help "provide intelligence and warnings related to cyber security threats across the government." No word about raiment or sealings or anything like that.

The data center will be built at Camp Williams, a National Guard training center 26 miles south of Salt Lake City, which was chosen for its access to cheap power, communications infrastructure, and availability of space, Gaffney said. The complex will comprise up to 1.5 million square feet of building space on 120 to 200 acres, according to the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City.


Apple Borks iTunes Sync with Pre Again

If you’re a Palm Pre user enjoying your iTunes syncing, don’t upgrade to the latest version of iTunes (9.0.2). This update breaks the sync ability between your Pre and iTunes again. At first glance, it’s easy to blame Apple for being jerks about this but there are always two sides to any conflict.

When Palm first introduced the Pre earlier this year, a key feature was the device’s ability to easily sync music with iTunes through the USB port. The feature was a clever trick on Palm’s part. Palm masked the Pre’s identity to iTunes. "What Palm did was identify the Pre as a recognizable device for iTunes so iTunes treats it like an iPod, which also meant Palm didn’t have to write a separate application to do this," Hazelton said.


TSMC Facing Yield Issues in 40nm Process Again

Chipmaker TSMC is having yield problems with their 40nm process again, according to DigiTimes. TSMC’s CEO vows to have the issues resolved within the quarter. Sounds familiar? That’s because Steve reported the original problem back in July, though the company said the issues were fixed back then.

Main customers for TSMC's 40nm processes are GPU vendors AMD, which recently launched its new 40nm-based Radeon 5870 series, and Nvidia, who is scheduled to launch its 40nm-based GT300 series of chips in December, according to previous reports. TSMC's recent issues may impact the shipping schedules of the GPU vendors, market watchers commented.


Web Addresses to Allow Non-Latin Characters

ICANN unanimously approved a plan to allow scripts based on non-Latin characters, such as Arabic or Chinese, in domain names, improving the ability of the web to become even more inclusive. It’s expected that starting on 11/16, governments or their designees can submit requests for specific names and the general Internet public could see them in use in early 2010.

Countries can only request one suffix for each of their official languages, and the suffix must somehow reflect the name of the country or its abbreviation. Non-Latin versions of ".com" and ".org" won't be permitted for at least a few more years as ICANN considers broader policy questions such as whether the incumbent operator of ".com" should automatically get a Chinese version, or whether that more properly goes to China, as its government insists.


Nokia to Pull Plug on N-Gage Platform

Nokia has finally decided to mercy kill the long-suffering N-Gage gaming platform. I think this is more newsworthy because it shows that Nokia was still actually supporting the N-Gage. I don’t know anyone in all my circles of gaming/geek friends that has an N-Gage in use. Maybe it’s big in Europe, like the Hoff.

Instead of N-Gage, Nokia wants customers who are interested in gaming to turn to its Ovi application store. "As mobile gaming evolves and begins to encompass social gaming, we want to offer one store front with an even broader portfolio of games -- games for everyone. It's much more convenient to have one place to get all your mobile games, and this is what Ovi Store provides," it said.


[H]appy [H]alloween!

All of us here at [H]ard|OCP wish all of you a very [H]appy [H]alloween. If you’re like Steve and still are trying to figure out a costume for tonight, this site has 10 last minute geeky costume ideas that might help. If you’re wanting some inspiration for your zero day pumpkin carving session, has a great gallery for you. Finally, remember to slow down on the roads tonight as the kids will be out in full-force on their treat acquisition missions. What shenanigans do you have planned for tonight?


MSI Announces ‘Big Bang’ Series of Gaming Motherboards

MSI unveil its first gaming series mainboards in Intel P55 platform featuring awe-inspiring graphics and audio functionality to offer serious gamers immersive gaming experience. The first Big Bang branded mainboard, Trinergy is designed with eye-catching features such as NVIDIA SLI technology and QuantumWave™ audio processing with the latest THX TruStudio PC and Creative EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0 plus exclusive performance boost design from MSI.


HP Receives STAR Award for Service Excellence

HP has been honored with a Fall 2009 STAR Award for Service Excellence from the Technology Services Industry Association. HP received the Service Excellence in Innovative Support Award for its continued innovations in technology, process and staff dedicated to delivering great customer support. HP was presented with the award at the recent Technology Services World conference in Las Vegas.


IBM Unveils New Software Platform to Improve Govt Services

IBM unveiled a new software platform designed to fundamentally change the way that local, state and national governments manage and deliver services to the public. The new IBM Government Industry Framework will help agencies of all sizes use new technologies to transform their existing support and delivery processes, allowing them to more efficiently deploy limited resources and respond more quickly to everything from public emergencies to the delivery of social services.