Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

January 17, 2008  7:56 PM

What is IT? The world’s smallest RFID chip

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse


These RFID chips are made by Hitachi. The ones in blue have 128 bits of ROM and can store a 38-digit number. They are billed as being the smallest RFID chips and are 64 times smaller than the tiny chip you see on the person’s finger (right). The black line you see in the middle photo is a strand of human hair. Hitachi reps have said they don’t know what they’re going to do with the tiniest chips, which are being called “RFID powder” for now. You can read more about the chips here.

January 17, 2008  7:36 PM

What is IT? The world’s smallest full-featured motherboard

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse


This is the world’s smallest full-featured x86 motherboard. It’s designed for ultra compact embedded PCs, gaming systems and appliances. It’s made by VIA and it measures 10cm x 7.2cm. Here’s a review.

January 17, 2008  7:26 PM

What is IT? A paper battery that can be powered by blood, sweat or tears

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse


The new battery is a nano-composite paper made by growing carbon nanotubes on a silicon substrate and impregnating the gaps between the tubes with cellulose, which is essentially paper.

The carbon nanotubes act as electrodes allowing the device to conduct electricity while maintaining its flexibility. The cellulose means that it can be activated by the natural electrolytes found in bodily fluids like blood and sweat.

The design allows the battery to maintain its integrity despite being bent, folded or even cut into pieces.

Ian Williams, Boffins patent paper battery

January 17, 2008  3:19 PM

Overheard: External SATA devices won’t need separate power connection

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
esata.gif Its fast transfer rate and efficient protocol makes eSATA the highest performing external mainstream storage connection, Enhancing eSATA with power delivery will provide a new level of convenience to the designer and the end user. By eliminating the need for a separate power connection, customers can more easily expand their storage, making Serial ATA an even more attractive solution for mainstream storage applications.

Knut Grimsrud, SATA-IO president and Intel Fellow
Quoted in New eSATA technology to cut off the power cable

January 17, 2008  2:02 PM

Overheard: Is there a market for the heat created by a data center?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
datacenter.gif The designers of the new mall worked out a plan to connect their heat pump system to the data center of a near by Telco facility. During the winter, the data center heats the mall and during the summer, the mall uses the heat generated by the server room to preheat a local hotel’s water system.

kstroh, Selling Heat

Mercursenteret is a shopping mall established in an old telegraph building in Trondheim, Norway. The shopping mall is cooled and heated by a heat pump system. In the winter during the heating period, the heat pump uses the cooling distribution system of the telecommunication centre in the next-door building (Teknisk Telehus) as the heat source. In the summertime, the heat pump operates mainly for cooling. Excess heat from the heat pump system is sold to pre-heat sanitary water in a hotel in the neighbourhood. The seasonal performance factor is 3.5 for heating and 2.5 for cooling.

January 17, 2008  12:18 PM

Overheard: MySQL purchase could be what saves Sun

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
dana_gardner.jpg The MySQL purchase by Sun makes more sense than any other acquisition they have done since they botched NetDynamics 10 years ago. This could be what saves Sun.

Dana Gardner, Buying MySQL Could Save Sun

January 17, 2008  12:43 AM

What is IT? Keyboard for pirates

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse


I’ve seen this several places — if anyone knows who I should credit, please let me know. Cute.

January 16, 2008  8:24 PM

Off topic: A printer that could wake the dead

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Last night I was up late working and hit file/print without thinking.

Let me tell you, a laser printer sure does sound loud when the house is quiet and everyone is asleep. The rachet sound of the printer starting up and the hum of it printing out (I clicked and clicked but couldn’t stop it) — combined with the surprised dogs barking at an unfamiliar night noise — made me a VERY popular person at the breakfast table.

Of course, we COULD get this old dot matrix Printronix model 6040L. Can you imagine working next to this thing all day? The guy who posted this on YouTube called it the World’s Second Loudest Printer. I can’t imagine what the loudest one sounds like. Oh wait, yes I can. So can you — just hit file/print around 3am.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://youtube.com/v/HMbyhYSbMG0″ width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

January 16, 2008  7:24 PM

Overheard: EMC to educate customers about using flash SSDs for big-iron storage arrays

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
robin_harris1.gif SSDs have been around for decades while disk sales have surged. Using flash makes them more compact and power efficient than the older RAM-based models, but the concept is no different and the performance actually worse than RAM.

What is different is that a major storage company is now going to actually educate their risk-averse corporate customers about the benefits of SSDs.

Robin Harris, High-end flash drive goes mainstream

January 16, 2008  2:11 PM

Overheard: Chip and pin not failsafe

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
atm.jpg Criminals are able to clone magnetic strips much more easily than chips, using skimming machines that they attach to ATM machines. Skimmers use a camera to record the keypad as the pin is entered, and a card reader to record the card’s information.

Danny Bradbury, Has chip-and-pin failed to foil fraudsters?

The UK payments association Apacs confirms that chip-and-pin ATMs will sometimes fall back to exclusively reading the magnetic strip traditionally used to verify a card. That is necessary to support cards used by visitors from countries like the US, where chips in cards and readers are not mandatory.

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