Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

July 11, 2008  9:28 AM

Overheard: Back to the future with graphene

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
darren_waters.jpg Companies like Intel have a roadmap to reduce the size of circuits on the silicon wafer, down to about 10 nanometres – 10,000 times smaller than the width of a single human hair.

Darren Waters, Nano switch hints at future chips

The transistor, essentially an on/off switch, has been made using graphene, a two-dimensional material first discovered only four years ago.

Graphene is a single layer of graphite, which is found in the humble pencil.

July 10, 2008  11:44 PM

Overheard: Microsoft Hyper-V will bring the small guy to virtualization fold

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
charles_king_pundit.jpg I believe that one real area of opportunity for Hyper-V is in bringing small businesses into the world of virtualization.

Charles King, as quoted in Hyper-V won’t sail past VMware on price alone, users say

July 10, 2008  4:00 AM

Overhead: The cost of downtime

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
vassrinivasan.gif The Meta Group reports that the downtime cost for each company in the Energy Industry is $2.8 million/hour; in the Telecom Industry $2.0 million/hour; and for Financial Institutions, $1.4 million/hour.

Dr. Vas Srinivasan, Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning: Not Just IT’s Job

July 9, 2008  12:20 PM

Overheard: If Kermit worked in IT, he’d be singing a different song

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
rich_corley.jpg These days anything “green” seems to be able to sell and SSD’s have a strong lead over spinning media on this front.

Rich Corley, A Real Storage Revolution

If Kermit the frog worked in IT right now, he’d be singing “IT IS easy being green.” Especially if you’re a vendor. Rich Corley gives a nice overview of what’s happening with vendors and SSD.

July 8, 2008  9:59 AM

Overheard: Hacking flash

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
brick3.jpg With normal memory and normal hard-disks, you can rewrite the contents trillions of times without concern. With flash memory, after rewriting data a few hundred thousand times, the block goes bad. It’s quite easy to intentionally write a program that would continuously overwrite a block of flash until it failed.

Robert Graham, Hacking Flash Memory

At my previous employer, we found vulnerabilities in Cisco routers that would potentially allow us to create a worm. As part of our threat modeling, we considered what would happen if such a worm were to intentionally destroy the flash in a Cisco router. These routers boot from flash, so all the worm had to do was continuously overwrite the boot sector, then the router would no longer be able to boot. The flash in many (if not most) Cisco routers is soldered in. Therefore, destroying the flash would “brick” the device.

If you “brick” a device, that’s like “toasting” a device. You break it. Permanently. It’s toast. It’s a brick.

July 7, 2008  11:38 AM

Overheard: There’s money to be made building data centers

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
michael_kanellos.jpg Data center construction is probably the only healthy segment of the building industry.

Michael Kanellos, Data Center Power Consumption: By the Numbers

July 3, 2008  2:05 PM

Overheard: Return of the broadcast flag

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
sandoval.jpg Microsoft has acknowledged that Windows Media Centers will block users from recording TV shows at the request of a broadcaster.

Greg Sandoval, Microsoft confirms Windows adheres to broadcast flag

The software company was responding to questions about why some users of Windows Vista Media Center were prevented from recording NBC Universal TV shows, American Gladiator and Medium on Monday night.

The “rules,” in which the spokeswoman is apparently referring to are those proposed by the FCC, which would require software and hardware makers honor “broadcast flags.” The flags are code that broadcasters can insert into the data stream of TV shows that typically require restrictions on the recording of the shows. What she didn’t say is that the “rules” aren’t rules at all.

The courts struck down the FCC’s proposal in 2005, saying the regulator lacked the authority to tell electronics makers how to interpret the signals they receive. Since then, Microsoft and other manufacturers have retained the option of whether to honor the flags.

July 3, 2008  1:01 PM

Quiz: Writing for business, July 4

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

Each of the servers _____ partitioned.
a. is
b. are

Continued »

July 3, 2008  12:49 PM

Quiz: Writing for business, July 3

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

Now that Apple has embraced the enterprise, IT execs will be ________ their iPhones instead of their Blackberrys.
a. flouting
b. flaunting

Continued »

July 3, 2008  12:31 PM

Overheard: Location awareness — is it finally here?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
gillin_photo.jpg GPS brings a whole new level of precision to the mobile experience. Cell phones have been required to be location-aware for several years in order to comply with the needs of emergency response agencies in the U.S. However, the primitive triangulation system that basic phones use isn’t very precise. With GPS, a user’s location could be pinpointed to within a few feet.

Paul Gillin, The Promise and Pitfalls of Location-Awareness

If you do a search on Google for location awareness, you’ll find lot of articles written by people who are excited about the possibilities of mobile devices and location awareness. Advertisers, particularly seem excited. If you look at the dates for a lot of those articles, however, you might be surprised to see they were written in 2001. Will the iPhone really be the tipping point for location awareness 3rd party apps? I’m not going to hold my breath.

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