Thursday, November 26, 2009

FreeBSD 8 Released

The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the availability of FreeBSD 8 stable release. The release comes with a bunch of features such as  network stack virtualization, Xen DomU support,  stack-smashing protection, improved ZFS v13, multicast updates including IGMPv3, a new virtualization container vimage, Fedora 10 Linux binary compatibility to run Linux software.
Thanks team.
The highlights in the 8.0-RELEASE are the following:
  • A new virtualization container named “vimage” has been implemented. This is a jail with a virtualized instance of the FreeBSD network stack and can be created by using jail(8) command.
  • The FreeBSD netisr framework has been reimplemented for parallel threading support. This is a kernel network dispatch interface which allows device drivers (and other packet sources) to direct packets to protocols for directly dispatched or deferred processing. The new implementation supports up to one netisr thread per CPU, and several benchmarks on SMP machines show substantial performance improvement over the previous version.
  • The FreeBSD TTY layer has been replaced with a new one which has better support for SMP and robust resource handling. A tty now has own mutex and it is expected to improve scalability when compared to the old implementation based on the Giant lock.
  • [amd64, i386] The FreeBSD Linux emulation layer has been updated to version 2.6.16 and the default Linux infrastructure port is now emulators/linux_base-f10 (Fedora 10).
  • The FreeBSD GENERIC kernel now includes Trusted BSD MAC (Mandatory Access Control) support. No MAC policy module is loaded by default.
  • The FreeBSD USB subsystem has been reimplemented to support modern devices and better SMP scalability. The new implementation includes Giant-lock-free device drivers, a Linux compatibility layer, usbconfig(8) utility, full support for split transaction and isochronous transaction, and so on.
  • The FreeBSD CAM SCSI subsystem ( cam(4)) now includes experimental support for ATA/SATA/AHCI-compliant devices.
  • The shared vnode locking for pathname lookups in the VFS(9) subsystem has been improved.
  • The ZFS file system has been updated to version 13. The changes include ZFS operations by a regular user, L2ARC, ZFS Intent Log on separated disks (slog), sparse volumes, and so on.
  • The FreeBSD NFS subsystem now supports RPCSEC_GSS authentication on both the client and server.
  • The FreeBSD NFS subsystem now includes a new, experimental implementation with support for NFSv2, NFSv3, and NFSv4.
  • The wireless network support layer (net80211) now supports multiple BSS instances on the supported network devices.
  • The FreeBSD L2 address translation table has been reimplemented to reduce lock contention on parallel processing and simplify the routing logic.
  • The IGMPv3 and SSM (Source-Specific Multicast) including IPv6 SSM and MLDv2 have been added.
  • The ipsec(4) subsystem now supports NAT-Traversal (RFC 3948).
  • The GCC stack protection (also known as ProPolice) has been enabled in the FreeBSD base system.
  • The supported version of the GNOME desktop environment (x11/gnome2) has been updated to 2.26.3.
  • The supported version of the KDE desktop environment (x11/kde4) has been updated to 4.3.1.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Programmable Quantum Processor For Quantum Computer Tested At NIST


Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated the first “universal” programmable quantum information processor able to run any program allowed by quantum mechanics—the rules governing the submicroscopic world—using two quantum bits (qubits) of information. The processor could be a module in a future quantum computer, which theoretically could solve some important problems that are intractable today.
The NIST processor stores binary information (1s and 0s) in two beryllium ions (electrically charged atoms), which are held in an electromagnetic trap and manipulated with ultraviolet lasers. Two magnesium ions in the trap help cool the beryllium ions.
NIST scientists can manipulate the states of each beryllium qubit, including placing the ions in a “superposition” of both 1 and 0 values at the same time, a significant potential advantage of information processing in the quantum world. Scientists also can “entangle” the two qubits, a quantum phenomenon that links the pair’s properties even when the ions are physically separated.
“This is the first time anyone has demonstrated a programmable quantum processor for more than one qubit,” says NIST postdoctoral researcher David Hanneke, first author of the paper. “It’s a step toward the big goal of doing calculations with lots and lots of qubits. The idea is you’d have lots of these processors, and you’d link them together.
 You can read more at  “NIST Demonstrates ‘Universal’ Programmable Quantum Processor for Quantum Computers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fedora 12 Pre release Ready


Fedora anounced today that the Pre release of fedora 12 is available for download. But be sure to read the release notes and to keep in mind that this a a pre release
Fedora 12
Release notes

Oracle, Sell MySQL To A Third Party Says MySQL Founder Michael Widenius

MySQL founder is asking Oracle to give the MySQL to third party to avoid trouble with EU regarding it's acquisition of SUN. According the press release on Michael Widenius' blog below;


MYSQL FOUNDER OUTLINES SOLUTION:
INSTEAD OF LETTING SUN SUFFER,
ORACLE SHOULD SELL MYSQL
(ORCL, JAVA)

Michael 'Monty' Widenius says European Commission is "absolutely right to be concerned" about proposed merger between Oracle Corporation [ORCL] and Sun Microsystems [JAVA], nominates award-winning EU strategist to support the proceeding

Tuusula, Finland, 19 October 2009 -- Michael 'Monty' Widenius, the creator of open source database MySQL and founder of the namesake company later acquired by Sun, today suggested Oracle should resolve antitrust concerns over its US$7.4 billion acquisition of Sun by committing to sell MySQL to a suitable third party. The proposed takeover has not yet been consummated because it is being investigated in depth by the European Commission as well as competition authorities in several other jurisdictions.

Widenius, who posted this press release to his blog, believes the EU's antitrust regulator is "absolutely right to be concerned" and called on Oracle "to be constructive and commit to sell MySQL to a suitable third party, enabling an instant solution instead of letting Sun suffer much longer."

The Finnish software developer and entrepreneur wishes Sun "all the best, but MySQL needs a different home than Oracle, a home where there will be no conflicts of interest concerning how, or if, MySQL should be developed further."

MySQL was the only Sun business unit to be mentioned in the EC's early September announcement of its in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover.

Acquirers commonly resolve regulatory concerns (before, during or after an investigation) by committing to divest problematic assets to a third party. By contrast, Oracle and Sun officials have thus far insisted they continue to seek approval of the entire transaction, irrespectively of Sun currently losing, according to Oracle, $100 million a month.

In order to support the regulators' work on the case, Widenius' new company, Monty Program Ab, works closely with Florian Mueller, a MySQL and EU affairs expert. Widenius said: "Florian gave MySQL strategic advice from 2001 on and was a shareholder until the sale to Sun in 2008, and with our support led an award-winning campaign against a proposed EU law on software patents. In August he helped us to demonstrate to the EC the need to investigate this merger and he is now on board again to meet the information needs of regulators, journalists and analysts."

According to Mueller, "every day that passes without Oracle excluding MySQL from the deal is further evidence that Oracle just wants to get rid of its open source challenger and that the EU's investigation is needed to safeguard innovation and customer choice. This is highly critical because the entire knowledge-based economy is built on databases."

Mueller demands more respect for the EC: "It's inappropriately arrogant for some interested parties to suggest that the EC has yet to understand the case. The EC is really doing a great job under huge time pressure."

In what he calls "a solution-oriented information effort that is now necessary after other parties made public statements on the case in recent weeks", Mueller announced that he will be available to journalists and analysts in Brussels (Wednesday, 21 October), London (Thursday, 22 October) and Silicon Valley (Monday, 26 October) to discuss the case.

In August, Mueller authored a position paper that Monty Program provided to the EC along with several other submissions. The latest version of the document was published today on the Internet.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Microsoft Patents Auction Goes Flop! OIN Safeguards Linux Community

 
Balmer --> Balder Blamer!
Steve Balmer's plans went really wrong with recent Linux patent auction. Instead of patents ending up with patent trolls, as Microsoft wished, AST acquired the patents, which was later sold to OIN, Open Invention Network. 
Up your Bolder :)
"Allied Security Trust is pleased that Open Invention Network had interest in acquiring the Open Source patent portfolio. OIN's purchase ensures that these important patents will not be used by patent trolls or others seeking to disrupt Linux and the many companies and individuals advancing this important technology," said Dan McCurdy, Chief Executive Officer of Allied Security Trust.
Following is the complete press release by OIN;

Durham, NC (September 8, 2009) - Open Invention Network (OIN), a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source, today announced the acquisition of 22 Linux-focused patents that were marketed and sold by Microsoft. The patents were recently purchased by Allied Security Trust (AST) from Microsoft to ensure the patents did not fall into the hands of non-practicing entities (more information on non-practicing entities is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll, among other sites) that could seek to assert the patents against Linux products. OIN subsequently acquired the Microsoft patents from AST.

"Today's announcement evidences OIN's continued commitment to acquire patents that may be relevant to Linux," said Keith Bergelt, Chief Executive Officer of Open Invention Network. "We are pleased to have purchased these patents and view this as a model of successful collaboration among defensive patent organizations that share a common goal of creating freedom of action for practicing entities across Linux and the broader technology sector. The prospect of these patents being placed in the hands of non-practicing entities was a threat that has been averted with these purchases, irrespective of patent quality and whether or not the patents truly read on Linux.
"Allied Security Trust is pleased that Open Invention Network had interest in acquiring the Open Source patent portfolio. OIN's purchase ensures that these important patents will not be used by patent trolls or others seeking to disrupt Linux and the many companies and individuals advancing this important technology," said Dan McCurdy, Chief Executive Officer of Allied Security Trust.
About Allied Security Trust
AST is a Delaware statutory trust currently with 15 member companies headquartered in North America, Europe and Asia. The Trust provides opportunities to enhance companies freedom to sell products by sharing the cost of patent licenses. To date, the Trust has invested $40 million in patent purchases over its 30 months of operations. Through such purchases, the Trust provides an excellent opportunity for patent holders of all sizes to generate a return on their rights by selling patents to the Trust.
AST is not an investment vehicle. Its purpose is freedom of operation and cost reduction. It generates no profits and does not engage in patent assertions against other companies. AST maintains a catch-and-releas; commitment that returns to the market in a timely manner patents acquired on behalf of Trust members after licenses are secured. The Trust also addresses the increasing need for innovative companies to defend against costly patent law suits. For more information, visit www.alliedsecuritytrust.com.
About Open Invention Network
Open Invention Network is a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux by acquiring and licensing patents, influencing behaviors and policy, and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem through strategic programs such as Linux Defenders. It enables the growth and continuation of open source software by fostering a healthy Linux ecosystem of investors, vendors, developers and users.
Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information, visit www.openinventionnetwork.com.
Media-Only Contact:
Ed Schauweker
Ketchum for Open Invention Network
ed.schauweker@ketchum.com
(703) 963-5238

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Humble Yourself With Hubble's Universe Information In 3D.

Just to think that some moronic beurocrats planned to scrap the Hubble continuation makes me want to scream some times. But the information coming from Hubble that manage to amaze me every turn, makes me want to laugh at them. So I decided laughing is better than screaming. But go through the whole video, it is really amazing!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Intel Acquires Wind River For $884 Million

ANTA CLARA, Calif., June 4, 2009 – Intel Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wind River Systems Inc, under which Intel will acquire all outstanding Wind River common stock for $11.50 per share in cash, or approximately $884 million in the aggregate. Wind River is a leading software vendor in embedded devices, and will become part of Intel’s strategy to grow its processor and software presence outside the traditional PC and server market segments into embedded systems and mobile handheld devices. Wind River will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel and continue with its current business model of supplying leading-edge products and services to its customers worldwide.

"This acquisition will bring us complementary, market-leading software assets and an incredibly talented group of people to help us continue to grow our embedded systems and mobile device capabilities," said Renee James, Intel vice president and general manager of the company’s Software and Services Group. "Wind River has thousands of customers in a wide range of markets, and now both companies will be better positioned to meet growth opportunities in these areas."

"Our combination of strengths will be of great benefit to Wind River’s existing and future customers," said Ken Klein, Wind River Chairman, president and CEO. "As a wholly owned subsidiary, Wind River will more tightly align its software expertise to Intel’s platforms to speed the pace of progress and software innovation. We remain committed to continuing to provide leading solutions across multiple hardware architectures and delivering the same world-class support to which our customers have grown accustomed."

The acquisition will deliver to Intel robust software capabilities in embedded systems and mobile devices, both important growth areas for the company. Embedded systems and mobile devices include smart phones, mobile Internet devices, other consumer electronics (CE) devices, in-car "info-tainment" systems and other automotive areas, networking equipment, aerospace and defense, energy and thousands of other devices. This multi-billion dollar market opportunity is increasingly becoming connected and more intelligent, requiring supporting applications and services as well as full Internet functionality.

The board of directors of Wind River has unanimously approved the transaction. It is expected to close this summer, subject to certain regulatory approvals and other conditions specified in the definitive agreement. Upon completion of the acquisition, Wind River will report into Intel’s Software and Services Group, headed by Renee James.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Google Flies In A Very CLOUDy Sky

Google has offered an explanation about it's service disruption yesterday that made many people wonder about the cloud computing. It all boils down to a routing issue.
Official Google Blog: This is your pilot speaking. Now, about that holding pattern...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Intel Fined $1.45 Billion By European Commission In Antitrust Case

Intel was fined a staggering 1.06 billion euros ($1.45 Billion) fine on Wednesday by The European Commission for abusing its dominance in the computer chip market to exclude its only serious rival, Advanced Micro Devices.
Following is the Introductory remarks at press conference given by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition Policy

Brussels, 13th May 2009

Ladies and gentlemen,

I want to talk to you today about an antitrust decision that is focussed on consumer choice and innovation.

The Commission's decision finds that Intel abused its dominant position on the market for computer chips known as "x86 central processing units" in violation of Article 82 of the EC Treaty. This violation lasted for more than five years – from late 2002 to the end of 2007.

These x86 chips are the key hardware component of a computer – in other words, your computer won't work without these chips.

Throughout the period covered by the decision, Intel held at least 70% of the worldwide market in these chips.

The fact that Intel had such a large market share is not a problem in itself. What is a problem is that Intel abused its dominant position. Specifically, Intel used illegal anti-competitive practices to exclude essentially its only competitor, and thus reduce consumer choice, in the worldwide market for x86 chips.

The Commission has ordered Intel to cease the illegal practices immediately, to the extent that they are still ongoing, and to refrain from these and any equivalent practices in the future. The Commission will be monitoring Intel’s compliance closely.

For this abusive behaviour, the Commission has fined Intel 1.06 billion euros.

Frustrating innovation

The Commission finds that Intel did not compete fairly, frustrating innovation and reducing consumer welfare in the process.

Whenever dominant companies use their market position to exclude competitors, innovation suffers – and consumers are harmed because they are denied choice.-.

The Commission has found that Intel excluded its competitor in two ways:

  1. through illegal loyalty rebates
  2. by paying manufacturers and retailers to restrict the commercialisation of competitors' products.

These illegal actions were designed to preserve Intel's market share at a time when their only significant rival - AMD - was a growing threat to Intel's position. This threat was widely recognised by both computer manufacturers and in Intel's own internal documents seen by the Commission.

The computer manufacturers involved are Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC. The retailer involved is Media Saturn Holdings, the parent company of Media Markt.

Rebates

Naturally, the Commission favours strong, vigorous price competition, including by dominant firms. However, Intel went beyond normal price competition by giving rebates to computer manufacturers on the condition that they bought all, or almost all, of their CPUs from Intel.

Intel also made direct payments to a major retailer – Media Markt - on the condition that it stocked only computers with Intel CPUs.

Not all rebates are a competition problem – often they will lead to lower prices for consumers in the long term as well as the short. But the Intel rebates in this case were a problem because of the conditions that Intel attached to its rebates. Moreover, the Commission has examined closely whether an efficient competitor could have matched these rebates. These conditions, to buy less of AMD's products or to not buy them at all, prevented AMD from competing with Intel on the merits of its products. This removed the possibility of genuine choice for consumers and undermined innovation.

Just to give you one example: in one case, a computer manufacturer took up only a small part of an offer by AMD of free CPUs because acceptance of all the free CPUs offered would have led that computer manufacturer to breach the conditions of its agreement with Intel and to lose rebates on all its much more numerous Intel purchases.

Everyone but Intel was worse off in this anti-competitive scenario.

But rebates are only part of the story.

Pay-for-delay

Intel made direct payments to computer manufacturers to halt or delay the launch of products using their rival's chips, and to limit their distribution once available.

The Commission has specific, documented examples, of Intel paying other manufacturers to, for example, delay the launch of an AMD-based PC by six months, and to restrict the sales of AMD-based products to certain customers.

Why is pay-for-delay wrong?

Because it was aimed at preventing a competitor from selling its products on their merits, again restricting genuine choice for consumers and undermining innovation.

Concealment

The Commission Decision contains evidence that Intel went to great lengths to cover-up many of its anti-competitive actions. Many of the conditions mentioned above were not to be found in Intel’s official contracts.

However, the Commission was able to gather a broad range of evidence demonstrating Intel's illegal conduct through statements from companies, on-site inspections, and formal requests for information.

Concluding remarks

The Commission's investigation has uncovered serious wrongdoing in the x86 computer chip market.

Given that Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market for over five years, the size of the fine should come as no surprise.

I am very grateful for the interest and support that both BEUC (the European Consumers' Association) and UFC Que Choisir (French consumers' association) have shown in intervening on the side of the Commission in this case. This goes to show the widespread discontent at Intel's behaviour and the priority the Commission places on consumers and their welfare.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to Intel's latest global advertising campaign which proposes Intel as the "Sponsors of Tomorrow."

Their website invites visitors to add their 'vision of tomorrow'. Well, I can give my vision of tomorrow for Intel here and now: "obey the law".