ADN Issue 5, April 2014


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Massive Internet Explorer Vulnerability -- Background and Next Steps for Users
Andrew Jaquith
CTO at SilverSky.
InnovationInsights, April 30, 2014
A zero-day was recently discovered that allows attackers to exploit flaws in Internet Explorer. This vulnerability is nasty. It affects all modern versions of the browser -- everything from the ancient IE6 through IE11, the current version. Microsoft has not issued a fix yet. Customers can protect themselves by installing the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) 4.1 from Microsoft, but it is not a “free lunch.” It may break certain browser plugins.

Tags: Security, Cybersecurity,
CloudGenix Raises $9 Million
Deborah Gage
WSJ, April 30, 2014
CloudGenix has emerged to try to simplify networking again, raising $9 million for a software-enabled box that lets companies manage multiple types of apps--public cloud apps, private cloud apps, enterprise and consumer services and so on--over multiple types of connections with the promise of better performance and lower cost.

Every decade there’s a shift in technology that creates an opening for companies to upgrade their networking infrastructure, according to Mayfield Fund Managing Director Navin Chaddha, who’s on CloudGenix’s board, and CloudGenix has hit on a new one.

Tags: Networks, Cloud-Computing,
The Next Big Cloud Revolution: The People Cloud
Ashwin Viswanath
iPaaS product marketing at Informatica
InnovationInsights, April 30, 2014
Software as a Service (SaaS) applications have been growing rapidly ever since the mid-2000s, led primarily by the CRM category, and followed by other departments such as HR, finance, and marketing. In fact, the current buzz in the SaaS industry is all about the “marketing cloud.”

The next cloud revolution cannot simply be yet another departmental SaaS solution that grows in adoption and earns a moniker prefixed by the department’s name and followed by ‘cloud’. To truly be revolutionary, it must usher in cultural shifts in society that change the way we work. This next revolution, the People Cloud will truly be about the people, and be propelled by a culmination of three catalysts - social media, wearable devices, and Big Data.

Tags: Cloud-Computing, Wearables, BigData, Social Media,
Wearable 2.0: The Future of Mobility
Dave Evans
Cisco’s Chief Futurist
InnovationInsights, April 30, 2014
If you consider how wearables may evolve, we may see a time where people take a perfectly good limb, eye or ear and replace it with something synthetic because it gives them a skill that they haven’t had before. Perhaps it gives a solider infrared vision at night or a baseball pitcher a robotic arm that throws a perfect game.

These new capabilities will propel us into a new phase of human history -- this period of self-designed evolution. As the power of Internet of Everything technology merges with biology, we can create a self-evolving population. Let’s take a step back and look how this has developed over time.

Tags: Wearables, Embedded,
7 Deadly Sins of the Private Cloud
Steve Curry
Co-founder and President of Metacloud
InnovationInsights, April 30, 2014
Private cloud products and services allow IT organizations to retain control of company data and technology spending by empowering them to deliver new services as quickly and easily as external cloud providers. Yet, for many businesses, the transition to private cloud is a bumpy one. From skipping up-front total cost of ownership analysis to overlooking the value of existing infrastructure, we’ve seen a common set of issues plague companies trying to implement private cloud solutions and have dubbed them the Seven Deadly Sins of Private Cloud:

Tags: Cloud-Computing,
French ‘Flying Car’ Undergoes Testing for Special Forces
Pierre Tran
DefenseNews, April 30, 2014
In “Live and Let Die,” a black-clad James Bond silently flies in the night in a black hang glider and lands on a mountain.

More than 40 years later, French special operations forces seek to do something similar, this time using a combination hang glider-dune buggy under development.

A prototype flying dune buggy designed for the military is going through tests at an air base, said Jerome Dauffy, chairman of Vaylon, a start-up company that developed the vehicle.

The need for a stealthy air transport was apparent in an attempted night rescue of a French secret service agent held hostage in Somalia in January 2013. Insurgents heard the French helicopters flying in and were armed and ready to thwart the mission.

Tags: Military, Defense,
Massachusetts Invests In Big Data Innovation
Elena Malykhina
InformationWeek, April 29, 2014
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is providing $3 million in funding to launch its Open Cloud project, a university-industry partnership to build a new public cloud computing infrastructure for big data innovation.

“Massachusetts Open Cloud will be a virtual laboratory to big data researchers and innovators in industry, academia, and government across the Commonwealth,” Patrick said. “It will be a forum to experiment across our silos with solutions to big problems.”

Tags: BigData, Cloud-Computing,
Google Autonomous Vehicles Are Working On Mastering City Street Driving
Shane McGlaun
DailyTech, April 28, 2014
The big challenge for autonomous systems in driving on city streets is the unexpected. People stepping off curbs into the street and vehicles unexpectedly merging are examples of challenges autonomous vehicles face in city driving. More complications stem from the fact that bicyclists and motorcyclists might be using hand gestures to signal turns.

Tags: Automotive,
MongoDB, Cloudera Form Big Data Partnership
Doug Henschen
InformationWeek, April 28, 2014
MongoDB and Cloudera are the successful leading vendors in the NoSQL and Hadoop markets, respectively, but both firms figure they could be that much more successful if would-be customers weren't so confused about big data.

That’s the gist of the reasoning behind a deeper alliance between the two companies announced Tuesday. As part of the deeper partnership, MongoDB and Cloudera say they will co-market and co-sell their software as complementary big-data technologies. In case you couldn’t guess, MongoDB will be pitched as an operational database for high-scale applications while Cloudera’s Hadoop-based Enterprise Data Hub will be described as an analytical platform.

Tags: BigData, Cloud-Computing,
Datameer Bets Visual Analysis Beats SQL On Hadoop
Doug Henschen
InformationWeek, April 28, 2014
With all the hubbub about SQL-on-Hadoop options over the last year, what seems to be lost on many is the fact that SQL access won’t exactly open up big data to the masses. If the arcane languages of MapReduce, Pig, and so on are akin to ancient Latin, adding SQL to the language list is a bit like suggesting the use of modern Greek.

Enter Datameer, which offers a spreadsheet-on-Hadoop approach to exploring and analyzing data on Hadoop. Datameer has been among the pioneers in supporting ad-hoc analysis, reporting, and analytics directly on data in Hadoop, and with a 4.0 version released last week, it has enhanced the product's visual data preparation and data analysis capabilities.

Tags: BigData,
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Michael Hatamoto
DailyTech, April 23, 2014
Due to heavy reliance on satellites and space equipment, the United States is more vulnerable to space terrorism and uncontrollable space junk, according to a report from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) group.

Space debris, for example, can travel up to eighteen thousand miles per hour, the report says, and with more satellites in space than any other nation, catastrophic satellite destruction is possible. Even a piece of debris just half an inch in diameter could impact something in orbit with as much force as a bowling ball moving more than 300 miles per hour.

Tags: Space, Security,
Pentagon Scientists Show Off Life-Size Robot
Agence France-Presse
DefenseNews, April 23, 2014
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got a first-hand look at a life-size robot Tuesday that resembles Hollywood’s “Terminator,” the latest experiment by the Pentagon’s hi-tech researchers.

But unlike the cinematic version, the hulking Atlas robot is designed not as a warrior but as a humanitarian machine that would rescue victims in the rubble of a natural disaster, officials said.

The 6-foot-2-inch (187 centimeters) Atlas is one of the entrants in a contest designed to produce a man-like life-saver machine, the brainchild of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Tags: Military, Defense, Robotics, Navigation,
The Evolution of Authentication
James Barrese
Chief Technology Officer at PayPal
InnovationInsights, April 22, 2014
However, one thing hasn’t changed: how we authenticate who we are when we log on to devices and access websites and networks. We‘re still using the same system of user names and passwords that was devised almost 50 years ago at MIT to control the amount of time students and professors could spend on the university’s timeshare computer.

Fingerprints aren’t the only form of biometric information that will be used to authenticate in the near future. In the next year or two, we‘ll see devices that utilize technologies such as voice prints, iris scans, and personal physical signals such as unique heart rate information. It’s even possible to imagine that in the not-too-distant future, DNA might be used as a form of authentication, as well. The trend toward wearable computing devices will also play a role in strong multifactor authentication.

Tags: Security, Authentication, Biometric,
Air-powered leopard robot doesn’t need a complex brain to walk
Ryan Whitwam
ExtremeTech, April 22, 2014
Most of the quadruped robots that have previously wowed and terrified us on video have relied on powerful computational engines and substantial processing power to move their mechanized limbs. This approach has provided some incredibly lifelike, efficient movements in robots like Boston Dynamics’ WildCat, but their complicated nature has slowed the deployment of walking robots outside of the lab. A team from Osaka University in Japan is working on a more natural approach to walking robots that sacrifices power in the name of simplicity.

The robot is called Pneupard, a regrettable contraction of “leopard” and “pneumatic”. Knowing that, you should have a basic idea of what makes this system of locomotion different. Rather than using actuators and motors to move, Pneupard has a series of artificial muscles that run on compressed air.

Tags: Robotics, Biometric,
SpaceX shows off awesome Falcon 9 Reusable vertical takeoff and landing test flight (video)
Sebastian Anthony
ExtremeTech, April 22, 2014
Coinciding with SpaceX’s launch to the International Space Station on Friday and its (not so successful) attempt at a soft landing, Elon Musk’s company has released an awesome video of what the Falcon 9 Reusable should look like when successfully performing a vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL). The video has accumulated an astonishing 2.5 million views in the last few days, which is rather heartwarming as it indicates that humanity in general shares my interest in one of the most important technologies that will be pioneered in our lifetimes: cheap, reusable space travel.

Tags: Space,
Wearable Tech in the Field: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?
Stephen Timms
President of ClickSoftware’s Americas division
InnovationInsights, April 22, 2014
Wearable devices have been in use in niche applications for some time. For example, smart glasses have been prototyped and deployed for aerospace maintenance where technicians had to work in tight spaces, consult large volumes of documentation, and any mistakes had very serious repercussions. However, wider deployment in the field service industry is just getting started today. With the rapid rise in quality and availability of affordable wearable technology, there is every indication that this will change -- and change soon.

Tags: Wearables, Mobile, Hand-held,
Nike looks at the future of wearables and ceases Fuelband production
James Plafke
ExtremeTech, April 21, 2014
Wearable computing is in purgatory at the moment. Despite Samsung’s big push into smartwatches, you don’t see anyone wearing them on the street, at the grocery store, or even the gym -- where they, in theory, are the most useful since they would replace the cumbersome armband phone-straps. Google’s face-based wearable, Glass, is currently struggling with asking a staggering entry fee for a device that doesn’t yet do much, but also makes you look very silly (though the company is attempting to rectify this issue). Fitness bands are perhaps the most prevalent wearable, but they’re generally nothing more than a glorified pedometer, though Razer’s Nabu and Samsung’s Gear Fit attempt advanced (messages, for instance) smartphone integration.

Tags: Wearables,
Wearables, Drones Scare Americans
Thomas Claburn
InformationWeek, April 19, 2014
A survey conducted by the nonprofit Pew Research Center finds doubts about expected technological change, mixed in with the optimism.

For Google, which has struggled to make its Glass computerized eyewear socially acceptable, for Amazon, which has floated the possibility of delivering packages by drone, and for other companies banking on the future, the survey's findings suggest that research budgets should be matched by investments in public relations. The future may be bright but people are more comfortable with the present.

Tags: Robotics, Drones, Wearables,
Google Lifts Veil On “Andromeda” Virtual Networking
Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriseTech, April 2, 2014
The Andromeda network virtualization stack is part of the Google network, which includes a vast content distribution network that spans the globe as well as an OpenFlow-derived wide area network that has similarly been virtualized and which also spans the globe.

Tags: Cloud-Computing, Networks, Internet,
Russian Missile System Masquerading as Innocent Cargo Container
Wendell Minnick
DefenseNews, April 16, 2014
This year’s Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition, being held in Kuala Lumpur from April 14-17, was full of surprises this year. There were plenty of “lord of war” types roaming about, ...

One disconcerting exhibit was by Moscow-based Concern Morinformsystem -- AGAT, which displayed two models illustrating how the Club K Container Missile System uses ordinary 40-foot cargo containers to conceal a variety of anti-ship and land-attack missiles.

The containers can be hidden in plain sight aboard cargo ships, trains, and flat-bed trucks. Missile systems that can be fitted into a cargo container include the vertical-launched 3M-54KE, 3M-54KE1, inclined-launched Kh-35UE anti-ship missiles, and vertical-launched 3M-14KE (SS-N-30A) and inclined-launched Kh-35UE land-attack missiles (Note to reader: E = export, U = trainer, K = container).

Tags: Military, Defense,
NATO Treads Carefully on French Deal With Russia
Pierre Tran
DefenseNews, April 15, 2014
France has the right to decide whether to deliver a controversial helicopter carrier to Russia, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. But the opinions of allies also count.

Apart from the naval deal on the Mistral helicopter carrier, French hopes for the land sector have been put on hold. Swedish truck maker Volvo has told its French unit, Renault Trucks Defense (RTD), to effectively freeze talks on co-development of a Russian armored vehicle.

Tags: Military, Defense,
Navy Prepares for Historic First Live Test of a Rail Gun at Sea in 2016
Jason Mick
DailyTech, April 9, 2014
Railguns operate by utilizing the Lorentz force. This phenomenon involves the application of force from electromagnetism on point charge.

The simplest form of the railgun involves a sliding metallic conductor that acts as a homopolar motor in the cannon, accelerating down a pair of magnetized rails of opposite charges. The armature can be integrated into the projectile itself, but typically it is attached to the rails so that nonmagnetized projectiles can be fired from the cannon.

Tags: Military,
Saab Offers Info on Gripen Lease to Malaysia
Andrew Chuter
DefenseNews, April 15, 2014
Company executives said they delivered proposals earlier this year but wouldn’t reveal how many ex-Swedish Air Force C/D model aircraft are involved or the length of a possible lease deal.

The Gripen fighter jet maker is the only one of the potential suppliers for Malaysia’s requirement for a multirole aircraft to at least partially declare its hand after the government in Kuala Lumpur effectively stalled a program to purchase jets outright and encouraged competitors to come up with a more affordable solution.

Tags: Military, Defense,
Cybersecurity: Beating the Toughest Threats, Today and Tomorrow
Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf
InnovationInsights, April 15, 2014
Of all threats companies face, I believe two in particular will draw the largest share of cyber security budgets: cloud application security and advanced persistent threats (APTs).

With the rise of SaaS applications like Dropbox, Salesforce, Office 365 and Yammer, IT departments have begun to lose control over security rules, compliance and privacy in the cloud. When every application lived in on-premises data centers and private clouds, managing applications and hardware was easy.

With advanced persistent threats, hackers have specific goals. They target a specific organization and quietly try anything they can to penetrate the system over weeks or months. In some cases these intrusions are financially motivated. In other cases, the hackers are government or corporate-sponsored and they are after intellectual property.

Tags: Security, Cybersecurity, Cloud-Computing, Internet,
Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept
Jaguar Land Rover Limited, April 14, 2014
The headlamps on the Discovery Vision Concept feature laser diodes in combination with LED running lights. Laser light is the next generation of automotive lighting technology. These lights utilize laser-activated phosphor projection to emit a very bright and even beam of pure white light. The power of the laser light beam adds a distance of over 984 ft (300 meters) to the range of the headlight,

Jaguar Land Rover intelligent headlight dipping and tracking technology uses hi-definition cameras to automatically detect and assess oncoming traffic, instantly dipping the relevant parts of the light beam to avoid glare to other road users, and adjusting the rest of the beam to maintain perfect visibility in all driving situations.

Tags: Automotive, Vision,
Land Rover SUV Packs Sensors, Lasers, HUD
Kevin Fogarty
EE Times, April 15, 2014
Land Rover gave the automotive press a sneak peek at the futuristic concept version of its Discovery luxury SUV on Monday to show off features such as remote control driving, a laser-measured parking assist system, and a "see-through" hood.

Tags: Automotive, Remote Control,
Freescale MCU Streamlines Car Dash Dev
Susan Rambo
EE Times, April 14 2014
Freescale Semiconductor has rolled out the triple-core ARM-based MAC57D5xx microcontroller family, built to bring sharper graphics and higher-end automotive instrument clusters to mid-level and economy cars.

On a single chip, the MAC57D5xx has three ARM cores, a 2D graphics accelerator, SRAM, and other perks, such as Freescale's stall detection for any mechanical instruments with stepper motors. The idea is to have all the components on the chip to streamline development of the instrument cluster design.

Tags: Automotive, Multicore, Graphics,
Apple’s Run at Auto Industry Makes Tier-1 Suppliers Nervous
Bruce Gain
EE Times, April 15, 2014
Apple tends to penetrate markets in a big way, so after quietly entering the car infotainment sector this year, the OEM giant is beginning to attract a lot of attention in the automotive world -- particularly from tier-1 suppliers that could directly compete against Apple. In the immediate future, CarPlay, Apple's iOS for automotive infotainment, will begin to show up in cars. So far, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo plan to offer Apple's CarPlay as an option in 2014. Other major carmakers are expected to follow their lead. The interface will eventually be available in 25 million cars by 2020, according to IHS Automotive.

Tags: Automotive, Infotainment,
GM Invests $449 Million USD in Future Electric Vehicles, Batteries
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, April 9, 2014
General Motors Co. (GM) is investing $449 million USD in two of its Michigan-based plants to up its electrification game.

As for the other $65 million USD, it will be put toward the Brownstown plant, which makes lithium-ion battery packs for many of GM’s EVs. Production of the company’s next-generation of lithium-ion batteries and future battery systems will benefit from this investment.

Tags: Automotive, Electric Vehicles,
Data Protection In Internet Of Things Era
Steven Kester and Stephen Pattison
InformationWeek, April 14, 2014
The Internet of Things brings an explosion of data, along with security and privacy concerns. We need IoT rules of the road.

If the digital revolution was one of the most transformative events of our time, then the Internet of Things (IoT) is about to redirect history. Today three billion Internet users are demanding digital content anytime, anywhere, and on multiple platforms. Next year it’s estimated that there will be 15 billion connected devices. By 2020 that number will reach 50 billion. These devices will include more than just smartphones and tablets. Cars, sensors, and even appliances -- nearly anything will be connected in the emerging IoT era.

Tags: Internet, Security, Internet of Things,
Internet of Things Goes Home
Frank Gillett
InformationWeek, April 9, 2014
The connected home is no longer a futuristic vision -- many of the barriers that blocked the realization of a smart home have eroded. Network bandwidth is widespread, connectivity is becoming more common in many traditional home products, and consumers are craving smart-home experiences.

Technology, which had presented the greatest challenge to creating a connected home, is now manageable. The broadband and home networking connections are available, mobile devices provide a natural fit as the remote control for the home, and the options for making local connections are manageable for vendors.

Tags: Internet, Internet of Things,
Finns May Turn to Russia for Tactical Missile System
Gerard O’Dwyer
DefenseNews, April. 3, 2014
The likelihood of Finland acquiring a new surface-to-surface missile system from Russia has increased following a preliminary decision by the Finance Ministry here to opt for a more up-to-date and cost-efficient launcher-fired tactical missile.

The possibility that Finland, a neutral country, may turn to Russia for a surface-to-surface missile has increased following an agreement between the two countries last June to look at practical ways to cooperate on weapon purchases, sales and, in the case of Finland, offering subcontracting capacity to Russia‘s equipment modernization programs.

An updated export version of the Iskander-E surface-to-surface missile is among the list of weapon systems, which includes combat aircraft, that Russia wants to sell to Finland. The Iskander-E has a range comparable to ATACMS, but Finland could expect to acquire the Russian system at a lower cost.

Tags: Defense, Military,
NASA Cuts Majority of Contact with Russia Over Ukraine Troubles
Tiffany Kaiser
DailyTech, April 3, 2014
NASA announced yesterday that it is halting many forms of contact with Russian government representatives due to Russia’s “ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation,” said NASA in a statement.

NASA is reportedly suspending travel to Russia, teleconferences, visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities and even the exchange of emails with Russian officials.

Tags: General, Military, Space,
Air Force F-35A Makes First Nighttime Flight
Shane McGlaun
DailyTech, April 3, 2014
An F-35A fighter took off from Eglin Air Force Base on its first nighttime training mission late last month. Prior to this flight, the Air Force version of the advanced fighter was prohibited from operating at night or during adverse weather.

Tags: Defense, Military,
The game is up for climate change believers
Charles Moore
The Telegraph, April 7, 2014
Charles Moore reviews The Age of Global Warming by Rupert Darwall (Quartet).

The theory of global warming is a gigantic weather forecast for a century or more. However interesting the scientific inquiries involved, therefore, it can have almost no value as a prediction. Yet it is as a prediction that global warming has captured the political and bureaucratic elites. All the action plans, taxes, green levies, protocols and carbon-emitting flights to massive summit meetings, after all, are not because of what its supporters call “The Science”. No, they are the result of a belief that something big and bad is going to hit us one of these days.

Tags: General,
UK Team To Train on Triton as Government Ponders Purchase
Andrew Chuter
DefenseNews, April. 7, 2014
Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is dispatching a team to train on Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton UAV in the run-up to a possible decision next year on whether to re-establish a maritime patrol capability.

The Triton is a maritime version of the Global Hawk remotely piloted surveillance vehicle. The high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft is in its flight-test phase ahead of deliveries to the US Navy.

Tags: Defense, Military, UAV,
Israeli System Fuses Surveillance, Memory for Persistent Intelligence
Barbara Opall-Rome
DefenseNews, March. 18, 2014
AbsFrom Israel‘s Golan Heights border with war-torn Syria to Brazil‘s Bahia carnival capital on the Atlantic coast, a new system that mates forensic memory and target detection with numerous sensor-fused video streams is demonstrating persistent, broad-area surveillance for military and policing missions.

Developed by Haifa, Israel-based Elbit Systems, the land-based GroundEye and aerial SkEye generate simultaneous streams of high-resolution video to multiple users over wide areas, alerting them to intruders, vandals and other preprogrammed targets of interest.

Without going into details, Elbit said GroundEye fuses data from several sensors, using specialized electronics and software to process and control the imagery.

Tags: Defense, Vision,
TellSpec Brings Big Data To Dinner
Jeff Bertolucci
InformationWeek, April 4, 2014
Handheld scanner uses spectroscopy, cloud-based algorithms, and mobile app to deliver nutritional facts -- and red flags -- about the foods we eat.

TellSpec, a biotechnology company based in Toronto, is developing a handheld device that scans the stuff we eat -- not barcodes, but actual foods and beverages. It sends this information via your mobile device or PC to TellSpec‘s cloud-based servers, which identify allergens, calories, chemicals, nutrients, and other ingredients present in the scanned food. These findings are then sent to a TellSpec app on the user's device.

Tags: BigData, Hand-held, Biotechnology,
Arista Champions New 100GbE Optical Spec, Files To Go Public
Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriseTech, April 1, 2014
Arista Networks is teaming up with Intel and two dozen customers and parts suppliers to create a new transceiver specification that will suit the needs of hyperscale datacenters.

The new specification will be created by the CLR4 100G Alliance, which is being run by Arista and Intel, and according to Andy Bechtolsheim, the chief development officer at Arista, bridges a gap that has been left open by the current collection of transceivers and, importantly for Arista, will limit the adoption of 100 Gb/sec switching in datacenters.

Tags: Networks,
The first large-scale invisibility cloak that hides objects from visible light
James Plafke
ExtremeTech, April. 7, 2014
Among all of the sci-fi tech we see in movies -- space and time travel, shrink rays, weaponized lasers -- the invisibility cloak always seemed like the one piece of sci-fi technology that researchers could never create.

In real life, invisibility cloaks don’t come remotely close to the movies; for instance, they often tend to be solid objects that simply play perspective or reflective tricks on the eye. Now, researchers have created a cloak that actually bends and masks visible light using a fishnet-type of metamaterial.

Tags: Vision, General, Defense,
Qualcomm unveils 64-bit Snapdragon 808 and 810 SoCs: The Apple A7 stop-gap measures continue
Ryan Whitwam
ExtremeTech, April. 7, 2014
Qualcomm has dabbled in 64-bit ARM chips a bit, but today is the first time the company has brought ARM’s new architecture to its flagship Snapdragon 800 line. The Snapdragon 808 and 810 are the high-performance counterparts of the previously announced 410 and 610 systems-on-a-chip (SoC), but this probably isn’t Qualcomm’s true next-generation ARM play. While 808 and 810 are clear steps forward, Qualcomm is compromising by making these chips without the custom components it’s known for.

Tags: SoC, EDA, CPU,
Apple’s A7 Cyclone CPU detailed: A desktop class chip that has more in common with Haswell than Krait
Sebastian Anthony
ExtremeTech, March 31, 2014
Some six months after Apple shocked the world with its 64-bit A7 SoC, which appeared in the iPhone 5S and then the iPad Air, we finally have some hard details on the Cyclone CPU’s architecture. It seems almost every tech writer was wrong about the A7: The CPU is not just a gradual evolution of its Swift predecessor -- it’s an entirely different beast that’s actually more akin to a “big core” Intel or AMD CPU than a conventional “small core” CPU.

Tags: SoC, EDA, CPU,
Big Data In The Home
Jeff Bertolucci
InformationWeek, April 1, 2014
The smart- or connected-home concept has been around for a few decades now, but aside from a relatively small community of do-it-yourself enthusiasts and luxury home owners, home automation hasn’t really caught on with the general public.

Part of the problem is that technology hasn’t quite been up to the task. That’s changing, however, as the rapid growth of home broadband and WiFi, combined with increasingly powerful mobile processors and inexpensive HD video cameras, is enabling a host of automation features not feasible a decade ago.

Tags: BigData, Internet, General,
Merck Optimizes Manufacturing With Big Data Analytics
Doug Henschen
InformationWeek, April 2, 2014
Producing pharmaceuticals of any kind is an expensive, highly regulated endeavor, but producing vaccines is particularly challenging.

Vaccines often contain attenuated viruses, meaning they’re altered so they give you immunity but not the actual disease, and thus they have to be handled under precise conditions during every step in the manufacturing process. Components might have to be stored at exactly -8 degrees for a year or more, and with even a slight variance from regulator-approved manufacturing processes, the materials have to be discarded.

Tags: BigData, Bioinformatics,
Hardware: The Silver Lining for All Things Cloud
Errol Olsen
CEO of Absolute Software
InnovationInsights, April 2, 2014
AbsMost every technology article I’ve read lately has focused almost exclusively on software, apps, and cloud-based technology.

All of the connections and interactions that software offers us exist only because they are communicated by our hardware. Without a tangible piece of equipment plugged into our software universe, music would be silenced, apps would never be installed, and email would forever be unread.

Bottom line: Software is nothing without hardware and we should never lose sight of that.

Tags: Hardware, Software, General,
Product Design Streamlined By Nvidia Iray VCA
Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriseTech, March 26, 2014
Nvidia is actually shipping an updated version of its Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) equipped with a software stack that allows for product design and rendering to be implemented in real-time on a single device.

Nvidia co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that a rack of 19 of these appliances would pack over 1 petaflops of double-precision floating point performance, which is as much raw computing as a capability-class supercomputing system costing $500 million would have run only a few years ago.

Tags: Automotive, GPU, Systems,
Future Nvidia ‘Pascal’ GPUs Pack 3D Memory, Homegrown Interconnect
Timothy Prickett Morgan
EnterpriseTech, March 25, 2014
The Pascal GPU will sport 3D stacked memory, just like Volta was expected to, but also adds a high-speed interconnect for linking CPUs and GPUs called NVLink.

While this new interconnect was pulled in, the hardware-assisted unified memory that was expected with the “Maxwell” family of GPUs has been pushed out

Tags: GPU, Systems,
Google Aligns Cloud Pricing With Moore’s Law
Tiffany Trader
EnterpriseTech, March 25, 2014
Google’s cloud services are now priced far below those of its rivals. The company is also reducing the complexity of its pricing charts and adding automatic price reductions.

The Web giant observes that cloud pricing hasn’t followed Moore’s Law. Cloud prices are falling by 6 to 8 percent year, while hardware prices have dropped by 20 to 30 percent. Hölzle notes that the two curves shouldn’t be identical since there are maintenance costs associated with running a cloud, but they should be closer together.

Tags: Cloud-Computing, Hardware, Software,
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