Internetting every thing, everywhere, all the time

November 3, 2008

It’s called “The Internet of Things” — at least for now. It refers to an imminent world where physical objects and beings, as well as virtual data and environments, all live and interact with each other in the same space and time. In short, everything is interconnected.  “If we can imagine it, there’s a good chance it can be programmed,” wrote Vint Cerf, the original Internet evangelist, on the official Google blog.  “The Internet of the future will be suffused with software, information, data archives, and populated with devices, appliances, and people who are interacting with and through this rich fabric.”  At the nodes of this all-encompassing web of objects is RFID technology.  The reason why RFID is often called next-generation bar code is that the technology is more accurate, scanners can read more objects with less directional contact, and smaller chips can contain a larger quantity of information.  Bruce Sterling, one of the pioneers of cyberpunk literature in the 1980s and an active sci-fi guru, neologized the term “spime” in 2004 to refer to any object that can define itself in terms of both space and time, i.e. using GPS to locate itself and RFID to trace its own history.

Site – http://edition.cnn.com

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Texas adds most wind power capacity

October 23, 2008

Texas led all U.S. states in the amount of wind power capacity added in the third quarter, and now stands not only as a national leader in wind energy but an international one as well.  The third quarter also pushed Texas past the 6 gigawatt plateau, ensuring its rank among global leaders. According to AWEA, only three countries — Germany, India and Spain — had more capacity by the end of 2007. 

Site – http://www.bizjournals.com

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NASA launches telescope in search of gamma rays

August 6, 2008

NASA launched a telescope Wednesday to scout out elusive, super high-energy gamma rays lurking in the universe. Glast — a NASA acronym standing for Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope — began its five- to 10-year Earth-orbiting mission with a midday blastoff aboard a Delta rocket. The $690 million telescope, supported by six countries, will pick up where NASA’s Compton Gamma Ray Observatory left off before its deliberate destruction in 2000, but in a bigger and better way. In addition to the United States, participating countries include Italy, France, Germany, Sweden and Japan. With superior new technology and insight gained from Compton and other telescopes, Glast will be able to do in three hours, or two orbits of Earth — survey the entire sky — what Compton took 15 months to do. What’s more, Glast and its particle detectors are much more sensitive and precise, and should provide an unprecedented view into the high-energy universe from a 345-mile(555-kilometer)-high orbit.

Site – http://www.cnn.com


Intel says to prepare for ‘thousands of cores’, sub 10nm chips

July 4, 2008

Intel currently offers quad-core processors and is expected to bring out a Nehalem processor in the fourth quarter that uses as many as eight cores.

On Monday, an Intel engineer took this a step further. Writing in a blog, Anwar Ghuloum, a principal engineer with Intel’s Microprocessor Technology Lab, said: “Ultimately, the advice I’ll offer is that…developers should start thinking about tens, hundreds, and thousands of cores now.”

Intel sees a “clear way” to manufacturing chips under 10 nanometers and when the semiconductor industry transitions to 450mm silicon wafers around 2012, the number of companies that run their own fabs will drop into the single digits.

Speaking about Intel co-founder Gordon Moore’s eponymous “law” regarding the expected doubling of transistors per integrated circuit every two years, Gelsinger noted that there was a time when he and his Intel colleagues wondered if they’d ever be able to scale chips below 100 nanometers.

“But we did do that, and today we see a clear way to get to under 10 nanometers. With Moore’s Law we always have about 10 years of visibility into the future, so beyond 10 nanometers, we’re not sure how we’ll do it,” he said.

Site – http://news.cnet.com

Site – http://www.crn.com


The Fight to End Aging Gains Legitimacy, Funding

June 28, 2008

Gandhi once said, describing his critics, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

After declaring, essentially out of nowhere, that he had a program to end the disease of aging, renegade biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey knows how the first three steps of Gandhi’s progression feel. Now he’s focused on the fourth.

“I’ve been at Gandhi stage three for maybe a couple of years,” de Grey said. “If you’re trying to make waves, certainly in science, there’s a lot of people who are going to have insufficient vision to bother to understand what you’re trying to say.”

Site – http://www.wired.com


First petaflop computer arrives sooner than predicted

June 9, 2008

An American military supercomputer, assembled from components originally designed for video game machines, has reached a long-sought-after computing milestone by processing more than 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second. The new machine is more than twice as fast as the previous fastest supercomputer, the I.B.M. BlueGene/L, which is based at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The new $133 million supercomputer, called Roadrunner in a reference to the state bird of New Mexico, was devised and built by engineers and scientists at I.B.M. and Los Alamos National Laboratory, based in Los Alamos, N.M. Having surpassed the petaflop barrier, I.B.M. is already looking toward the next generation of supercomputing. “You do these record-setting things because you know that in the end we will push on to the next generation and the one who is there first will be the leader,” said Nicholas M. Donofrio, an I.B.M. executive vice president. By breaking the petaflop barrier sooner than had been generally expected, the United States’ supercomputer industry has been able to sustain a pace of continuous performance increases, improving a thousandfold in processing power in 11 years. The next thousandfold goal is the exaflop, which is a quintillion calculations per second, followed by the zettaflop, the yottaflop and the xeraflop.

Site – http://www.nytimes.com


Portal & Echochrome

June 8, 2008

Portal – The game consists primarily of a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player’s character and other simple objects using the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, a unit that can create an inter-spatial portal between flat planes. The player character is challenged by an AI named “GLaDOS” to complete each puzzle in the “Aperture Science Enrichment Center” using the Portal Gun with the promise of receiving cake when all the puzzles are completed. The unusual physics allowed by the portal gun are the emphasis of this game.

Site – http://en.wikipedia.org

Echochrome – The game involves a mannequin figure traversing a rotatable world where physics and reality depend on perspective. The world is occupied by Oscar Reutersvärd’s impossible constructions & The concept is inspired by M. C. Escher’s artwork. The game is based on the OLE Coordinate System developed by Jun Fujiki—an engine that determines what is occurring based on the camera’s perspective.

Site – http://en.wikipedia.org