Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com


November 25, 2008  12:34 AM

Overheard: Future of clouds remain hazy without standards

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
benjamin_ellis.jpg It is clear that without standards of one kind or another (de-facto or from a recognised body), there won’t be a market, and without a market, the cloud is unlikely to thrive. The competition isn’t as much between cloud providers, as it is between cloud providers and internal IT organizations. Cloud providers need to keep that firmly in mind.

Benjamin Ellis, CloudCamp London 2: On Standards. Special Guest Post

A standard image format might provide a base level of standardization, but there is a risk that the industry then gets caught up in a ‘lowest common denominator’ model that throttles much of the unique innovation that the scale and speed of cloud computing allows. There was a consensus for a pragmatic approach: a layering of APIs, standardizing a layer at a time.

(My apologies to Benjamin Ellis! I had originally credited this quote to James Govenor.)

November 24, 2008  8:32 PM

Overheard: Beyond the petaflop

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
doe.jpg Breaking the petaflop barrier, a feat that seemed astronomical just two years ago, won’t just allow faster computations. These computers will enable entirely new types of science that couldn’t have been done before.

Betsy Mason, Supercomputers Break Petaflop Barrier, Transforming Science

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that the XT Jaguar, housed at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has hit a peak performance of 1.64 petaflops. That’s more than a quadrillion mathematical calculations per second.

Officially, the computing power will be used for simulation. Simulating climate conditions, for example. Or maybe nuclear explosion modeling.


November 24, 2008  4:32 PM

Overheard: Cloud chargeback

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
johngannon.jpg Knowing which applications and departments are driving IT expenses is critical now, and will continue to be critical as cloud computing goes mainstream in the enterprise. Therefore, any cloud chargeback solution should integrate with the chargeback framework that the company uses to manage their physical assets.

John Gannon, Enterprise Cloud Computing: Understanding the Costs

James Govenor’s blog post wrapping up the speakers at Cloud Camp London is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of cloud computing. Before we even have the luxury of talking about cloud chargeback, there’s some serious work to do re: standards.


November 24, 2008  3:33 PM

Overheard: What’s another name for white space device? Brick

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
shellypalmer.jpg Unfortunately for the companies developing these devices, they’ve yet to demonstrate a device that accurately and consistently senses broadcast and wireless microphone signals. The development of these devices is absolutely crucial to the white space debate. If they can’t sense signals, they are essentially useless bricks.

Shelly Palmer, White Space – A Big White Lie

Thanks to Alex Howard for finding today’s “Overheard” quote!


November 24, 2008  1:30 PM

Overheard: 62% of rural America is still dialing up

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
arik_hesseldahl.jpg According to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, released in July, only 38% of rural American households have access to high-speed Internet connections.

Arik Hesseldahl, Bringing Broadband to Rural America

Comcast  is constantly looking for where to expand, and looks for areas that have at least 25 homes per one-mile stretch while meeting other criteria, says company spokeswoman Terri Weldon. “We are in business to make a profit,” she says.

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is white space device.


November 20, 2008  5:23 PM

Overheard: Chris Morell explains phase change cooling

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
chris_morrell.jpg For those people that aren’t HVAC engineers, Phase Cooling involves using a refrigeration compressor to compress a gas till it changes phases to a liquid. This liquefied gas is then pumped into an evaporator which is place on your processor/GPU. While inside the evaporator, the liquefied gas changes phases back to a gas, and while doing this it sucks up heat and gets pulled back into the compressor, completing the cycle.

Chris Morrell, Vapor Phase Change Cooling


November 20, 2008  2:32 PM

Overheard: Azure grew out of Red Dog – gotta love those code names

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
maryjofoley.jpg The goal of Azure is to provide developers who want to write applications that run partially and/or entirely in a remote datacenter with a platform and set of tools.

Mary Jo Foley,  Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform: A guide for the perplexed

Ok. So Azure isn’t all that new. It’s just Red Dog with a new name?


November 18, 2008  1:17 PM

Overheard: USB 3.0 is on its way

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
tuan_nguyen.jpg According to official specifications, USB 3.0 will officially be known as SuperSpeed USB and carry with it a whopping bandwidth of 5 Gbps, which is roughly 1 CD’s worth of data (650 MB) per second.

Tuan Nguyen, SuperSpeed USB More Like HalfSpeed

Ok now it makes sense that Apple ditched FireWire.


November 18, 2008  1:24 AM

Overheard: No presidential technology in the White House?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
jeff_zeleny.jpg Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.

Jeff Zeleny, Lose the BlackBerry? Yes He Can, Maybe

In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

It makes sense, but it still surprised me. How ironic! Now that he finally gets to work from home, he’ll be the only Dad in the country who can’t text message his kids when it’s time for dinner.


November 17, 2008  10:28 PM

Overheard: net neutrality

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
julian_sanchez.jpg In print and TV, we see a range of models for divvying up the cost of getting content to the audience—from paid infomercials to ad-supported programming to premium channels—and it’s never quite clear why the same shouldn’t pertain to online.

Julian Sanchez, Is government regulation needed to ensure net neutrality

Because President-elect Obama is in favor of net neutrality, it’ll be interesting to see who he picks for the FCC and whether Obama will endorse Senator Byron Dorgan’s net neutrality bill.

The controversy that surrounds net neutrality laws reminds me a little of what happened with the Equal Rights Amendment back when I was in college.  The question then was “Do we really need an equal rights ammendment to the constitution or does the Bill of Rights already provide the legislation we need?

It’ll be interesting to see whether the “new” FCC thinks they can govern effectively with the legislation they already have on the books.


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