Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

September 17, 2008  7:12 PM

Overheard: Excuse me, is that a supercomputer under your desk?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
cray_cx1.jpg The CX1 is Cray’s new personal supercomputer. The unit is small — it’s meant to fit beside a desk — and it can be plugged into a wall socket on standard office power.

Ian Miller, as quoted in Cray Unveils Personal Supercomputer

Lots of buzz about the Cray CX1 this week, although the idea of an office supercomputer is nothing new. NEC is probably the leader on that front. What’s different about this announcement is that Cray teamed up with Microsoft and these little babies come pre-installed with Windows HPC Server 2008.

September 17, 2008  5:37 PM

Overheard: CRUD

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
crud.jpg The single most depressing thing for me in IT is how many applications are really just Mainframe data processing solutions with better screens.

Steve Jones, CRUD is Crap

Steve says:

Looking at the latest raft of .NET, Ruby, Java and the like CRUD “tools” really is pretty depressing, not so much that they are bad (they aren’t) but because people seem to be still insisting on coding this dull and uninteresting crap and looking for yet more ways to “optimise” their code for a task that should be tooled.

Doug Justice posted something interesting (and positive) on CRUD tools.

September 16, 2008  6:34 PM

Overheard: NBAR is a powerful application-layer firewall

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

ddavis.jpg NBAR is a very powerful application-layer firewall that you may already have installed on your Cisco router. While traditional firewalls can only recognize traffic based on IOS Layers 3 or 4, Cisco’s NBAR can go all the way to Layer 7.

David Davis, What can Cisco’s Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR) do for you?

September 15, 2008  5:14 PM

Overheard: Chrome is Window’s fork?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
scott_hanselman.jpg Take a look at the Terms and Conditions for the “Chromium” project up on Google Code. There are 24 different bits of third party software involved in making Chrome work, and one of them is WTL, the Windows Template Library, which was released as Open Source in 2004.

Scott Hanselman, The Weekly Source Code 33 – Microsoft Open Source inside Google Chrome

September 15, 2008  5:00 PM

Overheard: Berkeley software development

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
jeremy_anderson.jpg “There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don’t believe this to be a coincidence.”

Jeremy S. Anderson

Be sure to read our three-part series: The future of Unix.

September 15, 2008  2:55 PM

Overheard: Open source forks

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
sam_nurmi.jpg A benefit of open source software is the ability to take the code base of an application and develop it in a new direction. This is, as most of you probably know, called forking, and is very common in the open source community.

Sam Nurmi, 10 interesting open source software forks and why they happened

Interesting list! One of the commenters, Dingo Jones, said that Mac OS X is an Open BSD fork.  That’s the second time I’ve read that.  I guess it makes sense — especially now that we know Google Chrome has Microsoft as one of its ancestors.

September 9, 2008  4:31 PM

Overheard: Explaining IT to the business side – marketecture

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
jason_bloomberg.jpg It seems that every presentation has that one attractively drawn diagram that purports to illustrate how the vendor’s product fits into their customers’ IT environments. Such diagrams, however, rarely have any technical detail since they are not intended for consumption by developers or architects. Rather, they are typically created by marketing people to communicate to analysts, prospective customers, investors and the press. Yes, I’m talking about marketecture.

Jason Bloomberg, What is the shape of a service-oriented architecture?

Ok. So marketecture is the basically a buzzword for explaining things to the business side.  Jason does a good job analyzing the use of diagrams in SOA marchitecture. All of them look sufficiently confusing to me.

 Now, marketecture (“marketing” plus “architecture,” in case you haven’t figured that out yet) serves an important purpose. We’re talking about fairly complex concepts such as distributed computing architectures, and no matter how you cut it, such architectures have a lot of different pieces that talk to each other in numerous different ways. Every vendor must come up with effective approaches for simplifying their message so that people other than hardcore techies can understand it.

September 9, 2008  3:58 PM

Overheard: Hadron and F-BS

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
charles_king.jpg I believe that much of the public reaction to the Large Hadron Collider is grounded in a kind of ignorance that might be called ‘Faith-Based Science,’ or F-BS for short.

Charles King, as quoted in Excitement and Fear Abound Over Super Collider

September 9, 2008  3:36 PM

Overheard: Moving from a culture of “need to know” to one of “need to share”

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
cornelius_doug.jpg ECM is about software. But is also about knowing the workflow of your people, where the information is being stored and how people are using the information.

Doug Cornelius, Enterprise Content Management

I am trying to shift the firm from “ask for permission” to “ask for forgiveness.” At the same time, moving it from a “need to know culture” to a “need to share culture.” I do not think that enterprise content management fits into my approach of collecting my firm’s knowledge.

Doug hit the nail on the head. Part of the problem with Enterprise Content Mangement software is that it’s so permission-driven that the software itself builds up walls and isolates groups from each other. I’m not sure how to get around that though — except to say that good ECM is not just about the software.

September 8, 2008  4:44 PM

Overheard: WEP and weak IVs

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
fogie_seth.jpg The problem arises when you have duplicate IV values. If an attacker knows the content of one of the packets he has the IV for, he can use the collision to extract the contents of the other packet. In other words, an attacker can decrypt data without ever knowing the password. Assuming an attacker can collect enough known IV-data matches, they can comprise the entire network.

Seth Fogie, WPA Part 2: Weak IV’s

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