Intel’s Atom CPU is getting a little bit of a boost in order to give it an edge in the microserver market. The new CPU is the C2000 which is something of a departure from their older Atom designs. Unlike the Atom we all know about (two cores, limited compute and memory support) the new C2000 is much beefier with 8 cores and support for 64 GB of memory. The move is something of a departure for the Atom line as some at Intel have claimed that adding more cores to a CPU is only needed if your CPU is not powerful or efficient enough.
In Mid-2011 it was revealed that many Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices were visible on the internet with a simple Google search. What was even more terrifying was that many of these devices still had the default username and password set and were visible in the search results. In 2009 someone with the same idea developed a search engine that was able to find connected devices as a service making it easier to find them and… exploit them. In January of 2012 a security flaw was found in the way that many (if not all) connected IP cameras operated. The flaw was originally found in a TRENDNet’s IP camera (a discontinued one) and it was a serious one.
One thing that I find sadly funny is when one company accuses another of patent abuse. It is one of those statements that really spells out just how disingenuous most corporations are. However as a rule, most large corporations have people that are paid to mask the truth at least to come degree. In today’s episode of pot meets kettle we find Microsoft accusing Google of patent abuse after winning a victory against Google in court. Google (through Motorola) was trying to get certain Microsoft products banned from import.
Starting back in the early 90s the news was full of articles predicting the “end of the PC era”. It seemed that every year there was another claim that the death bell for PCs could be heard. We heard that Linux would take over from Microsoft, Apple was going to replace the PC, you name it we heard it. One of the most persistent tales of PC death started after the iPad was launched. This is that the tablet and smartphone will soon replace our need to have a PC that we use for work. It inspired many companies to build cloud services to support a more mobile consumer.
Hynix Fabs 1 and 2 in Wuxi, China were engulfed in flames today after a chemical fire broke out. The fire was large and in many of the pictures circling the internet the buildings appeared to be totally immolated. When the news of the fire broke it was estimated that as much as 30% of world memory production were destroyed. This led to much speculation about memory shipments and prices as well as how long the consumer electronics industry will be affected.
In a paper titled “Graphene-Based Non-Boolean Logic Circuits” a group of researchers from University of California Riverside explain how certain limitations with graphene could be overcome in the near future. Graphene, for those of you that might not be familiar, is one potential replacement material for processors. This is not just CPUs, but could include a large array of electronic components. However, there has been a problem with graphene that no one has been able to completely overcome. Due to some of the physical and electrical properties of graphene (one atom thick, high electron mobility) graphene has been seen as a solid replacement for the material used to build integrated circuits. However, those same properties make it very inefficient for building traditional transistors.
It was bound to happen (and we predicted it last year), but Microsoft has gone ahead and bought Nokia’s devices and services division. The move, while not unexpected, is an interesting one for Microsoft. Although Microsoft does manufacture some of their own devices they have mostly stayed out of production until now. With the move to buy up Nokia’s production facilities including the Lumia line. This puts Microsoft in the driver’s seat for the largest manufacturer of Windows Phone devices. Will Microsoft be able to get around their apparent curse when it comes to making (and marketing) mobile devices with this move?
In the world of the enterprise bandwidth is everything. If you do not have enough or you cannot keep your systems running then you are sure to lose money. The problem is getting the bandwidth you need without spending too much to get it. The current backbone to client standard is 1Gbe (Gigabit Ethernet). This give you plenty of bandwidth for client operations as well as voice traffic (which is typically about 20% of your data usage. Now this is great when you are talking about client to server traffic, but what happens when you need servers to talk to each other or servers to talk to storage? Here you need significantly more bandwidth than you do out to clients. Right now at the high-end of the spectrum you have 40Gbe (with 100Gbe coming very soon) and just under this is 10Gbe. Traditionally 10Gbe has been the playing ground for fiber optics or for TwianAixal cables. The problem is that these are not all that economical and end up out of the hands of all but larger enterprise networks. Things have changed though, just like 1Gbe over 10 years ago, 10Gbe is now hitting the price range that puts it into the hands of small and medium sized businesses. We are going to take a look at one of these options today in the form of the NETGEAR ProSafe XS708E 8-port 10Gbe Ethernet Switch.
Although Steve Ballmer is leaving Microsoft they have made statements that the company will continue to follow the plans he laid out for it; at least for the near future. Remember that Ballmer decided to cut the company back to only 4 divisions and decided to put people in charge of these divisions that are already running departments that are less than successful at this point. We have already given our analysis on these moves but want to remind you that most of these moves are intended to bolster Ballmer’s plans for Microsoft. But will Microsoft really follow these plans to the letter? We have a feeling that they will not once Steve is gone.
The business world in the US is a funny thing especially when it comes to legal matters. There is an unwritten rule that seems to be in use when companies break the law. This rule is all about making sure not to hurt the business regardless of the damage a company does to consumers or anything else really. We are seeing a great example of this with the Apple eBook price fixing trial. Although Apple was found to have conspired to fix prices at a much higher point that the market standard (by forcing an agency model) they still feel they should not have any consequences for this action.