Word of the Day Archive

February 6, 2008  2:25 PM

Overheard: SPICE is multi-million dollar industry

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
spice1.gif Let me begin this talk with an explanation for those in the audience that think that SPICE is a cable TV channel that offers shows of women in various states of undress. The SPICE I am talking about is about twenty years older and certainly nowhere near as exciting.

Larry Nagel, The Life of Spice

Larry Nagel created SPICE.

When people ask me why SPICE became so widely used, or what did I do to make SPICE
so widely used, the honest answer is “I don’t know.” But I can speculate. The biggest
reason, directly attributable to Don Pederson, is that SPICE was developed at a public
university and was public domain from the beginning. Because it was developed primarily
as a teaching tool to provide students insight into integrated circuit performance,
SPICE was rapidly embraced by many engineering colleges throughout the world. When
students entered the integrated circuit industry they would write to Berkeley to obtain a
copy of SPICE to use on their job. And so the copies of SPICE proliferated and the usage
of SPICE grew. It’s a several hundred million dollar industry now, depending on how you count it.

February 6, 2008  1:14 PM

Overheard: How atomic clocks work

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
first_atomic_clock.jpg Without atomic clocks, GPS navigation would be impossible, the Internet would not synchronize, and the position of the planets would not be known with enough accuracy for space probes and landers to be launched and monitored.

Douglas Dwyer, How Atomic Clocks Work

The big difference between a standard clock in your home and an atomic clock is that the oscillation in an atomic clock is between the nucleus of an atom and the surrounding electrons.

Photo: National Bureau of Standards Director Dr. Edward Condon and Dr. Harold Lyons with the first atomic clock.

February 6, 2008  12:34 PM

Overheard: Overclocking your toothbrush

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/RNv5TMwAZlc" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

February 6, 2008  12:16 PM

Overheard: Laptop Li-ON battery pack overheating

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

 [kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/qmPm-YV9vdA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

We intentionally created conditions in which the Li-ON battery pack would explode inside a generic portable. The results are dramatic.

February 6, 2008  12:01 PM

Overheard: HP bullet-proof server

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/mAuKwTDGnCg" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

February 6, 2008  11:55 AM

Overheard: The exploding Web server

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/bfQabSJGsak" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

We decided to give a web server early retirement in a manner that allowed us to “feel good” because it had kept support staff up for many nights trying to sort it out.

Nick Lansley , Tesco.com

February 6, 2008  11:50 AM

Overheard: Top 10 ways to kill your server

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/ZWPMDPhSnvk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Scalent Systems builds software that can take 1 or 1000 machines “From Dead Bare Metal to Live, Connected Servers in 5 Minutes or Less”. But we were sitting around on April Fools’ day thinking about how many ways we’ve heard of hardware dying… and we came up with our own interpretation.

February 6, 2008  1:04 AM

Quiz: Ten areas of technology you can’t afford to ignore

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Gartner issued predictions highlighting ten areas of technology that could cause a company to lose its competitive edge if ignored. Does your crystal ball measure up? Take the quiz and find out.

1) Gartner predicts that by 2011, this company will double its U.S. and Western Europe unit market share in computers.
a. HP
b. Apple
c. Lenovo

2) By the year 2012, what percentage of traveling workers does Gartner predict will leave their laptops at home?
b. 50%
c. 25%

3) By 2012, Gartner thinks that 80% of all commercial software will include elements of this kind of technology.
a. open-source
b.social networking
c. presence

4) By the year 2012, early technology adopters will purchase __________ of their IT infrastructure as a service, according to Gartner.
a. 40%
b. 60%
c. 100%

5) By 2009, Gartner predicts that more than 1/3 of IT organizations will list this as one of their top-six buying criteria for IT-related goods.
a. energy efficiency
b. portability
c. solid-state memory

6) By the year 2012, what percentage of organizations does Gartner predict will use full life cycle energy and CO2 footprint as mandatory hardware buying criteria?
a. 50%
b. 75%
c. 100%

7) Gartner predicts that suppliers to large global enterprises will need to prove their green credentials with this in order to retain preferred supplier status.
a. a government-issued certification
b. an audit
c. an EnergyStar sticker

8 ) According to Gartner, by 2010 __________ will determine as much as half of all software, hardware and services acquisitions made by IT.
a. end-users
b. VARs and resellers
c. Google and

9) Say bye-bye to EULA. By the year 2012, what percentage of business application software spending does Gartner say will be subscription-based?
a. 1/3
b. 1/2
c. 3/4

10) This one may surprise you. Gartner predicts the number of this hardware device in homes and businesses will grow 100-fold over 2006 levels.
a. server
b. IP TV
c. 3-D printer

February 5, 2008  11:33 PM

Overheard: Nature boy succumbs to Videophilia

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
videophilia.gif The replacement of vigorous outdoor activities by sedentary, indoor videophilia has far-reaching consequences for physical and mental health, especially in children. Videophilia has been shown to be a cause of obesity, lack of socialization, attention disorders and poor academic performance.

Oliver R. W. Pergams as quoted in Nature Giving Way to Virtual Reality

Lots of press about a study funded by The Nature Conservancy. The study looked at visits to national and state parks as well as numbers of hunting and fishing licenses. Their conclusion? Video games and the Internet are responsible for decreased numbers. I’m wondering: Did they factor in the price of gas or park admission fees?

February 5, 2008  11:12 PM

Overheard: Intel’s Skulltrail is more than just a pretty name

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
intel-v8-skull-trail.gif Skulltrail. We’re not sure who thinks up these names. It brings to mind visions of worlds where dark mages do battle with Paladins for world domination. Maybe that’s what Intel had in mind when they came up with the name.

In reality, Skulltrail is more of a workaholic engineer, devoted to getting the most done in the least amount of time. Skulltrail is a little short on the people skills, a little too loud, but like the geeky programmer who can write ten times as much code as his peers, Skulltrail gets the job done.

Lloyd Case, Skulltrail: A Preview of Intel’s Beast

When you get down to brass tacks, Skulltrail is an engineering workstation with some added chrome to be a pretty high-end gaming system. But its primary mission in life is to bring eight cores to bear on tough computational problems.

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