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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09  (Read 5324 times)

Ehtyar

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Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« on: November 22, 2009, 01:33:17 PM »

The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
I've decided to take a new approach to the news. Instead of going through the week's news of a Sunday and picking out what I consider to be the most relevant headlines, this week's news is a collection of what I found most interesting from news articles I came across throughout the past week. Please let me know what you think over the next few weeks :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.


1. Want To Try Out Google Chrome OS For Yourself? Here’s How.
Spoiler
http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/11/19/guide-install-google-chrome-os/
TechCrunch has made a guide showing you where to get a copy of a compiled Chrome OS, and how to run it in a VM.

Quote
The public debut of Google Chrome OS today has the press abuzz over the potential of the new web-based operating system. And now that it’s open sourced, you have the chance to try it out for yourself. Unfortunately, most people aren’t ready to undertake the daunting task of actually taking Google’s recently open-sourced code and turning that into a bootable computer. So we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to doing this, for free, in around 15 minutes (depending on how long it takes to download the OS itself). No, this won’t get your computer booting Chrome OS natively (and frankly, you probably wouldn’t want to yet anyway). But it will get it up and running in a virtual machine using the free software VirtualBox, which is available for Macs, PCs, and Linux.


2. Hacked Darwin Kernel Available for 10.6.2 On Atom Netbooks
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/11/hacked-darwin-kernel-out-for-1062-on-atom-netbooks.ars
The final release of the latest version of Mac OS had Atom support removed. An Apple fan took the new Kernel and hacked it to bring back Atom compatibility for those running it on Netbooks.

Quote
First the 10.6.2 update to Snow Leopard wasn't compatible with Intel Atom processors. Then it was. Then it wasn't again when it was finally released to the masses. Fortunately for the netbook-loving Mac OS X fans out there, the OSx86 scene is only too happy to offer a patched version of mach_kernel to enable booting 10.6.2 on netbooks once more.

The kernel is the deep-down part of Mac OS X that generally handles direct communication between the OS and hardware. Speculation swirled that Apple was actively trying to keep Mac OS X from being installed on inexpensive Atom-based netbooks. However, chances are it was more likely a result of optimizations that didn't take into account Atom processors, since Apple doesn't use them in any shipping products.


3. The One Instruction Wonder
Spoiler
http://www.ddj.com/embedded/221800122
Really interesting. Describes a new chip architecture called TTA (Transfer Triggered Architecture). The chip has only one instruction, an analog to 'mov', and moving memory around on the chip triggers the remaining functionality.

Quote
One of the original "Star Trek" television episodes involves patients at a facility for the criminally insane. One of the inmates quotes some lines from Shakespeare and announces that she wrote it yesterday. Another character tells her that it had been written by the bard in the past. The woman replies, "Which does not alter the fact that I wrote it again yesterday!"

I suppose in the computer industry it is particularly difficult these days to have a truly original idea, even if you arrive at your idea independent of prior work. I had that experience several years ago. I had just finished a 16-bit CPU design based loosely on Caxton Foster's Blue machine in his excellent (albeit dated) book Computer Architecture. (Yes, I do have strange hobbies.) Like Foster's original, my machine has what I think of as a 1970's minicomputer architecture -- its very similar to a DEC or DG or HP machine from that era. I was contemplating starting a new project using some sort of RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture. RISC's advantages are well known. Simplifying the CPU core by reducing the complexity of the instruction set allows faster speeds, more registers, and pipelining to provide the appearance of single cycle execution. RISC has been so popular that even your PC today probably uses a RISC core that is emulating a non-RISC processor!


4. Modern Warfare 2 Breaks Sales Records Across Entertainment Industry
Spoiler
http://www.techspot.com/news/37016-modern-warfare-2-breaks-sales-records-across-entertainment-industry.html
Modern warfare 2 has broken all records for both movies and video games in its first 5 days of availability.

Quote
Despite a bit of controversy in Russia, Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 has taken the video game world by storm, and now it is breaking sales records across the entire entertainment industry. The title reportedly generated $550 million in sales during the first five days available, beating all other video game launches and raking in more cash than any movie in the same timeframe.

By comparison, the current worldwide box-office record-holder is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which earned $394 million in its first five days. The Dark Knight holds the US box-office record with $203.8 million. The title has even successfully trounced Grand Theft Auto IV, which pulled in $500 million over the first five days of sales.


5. Pirate Bay Says Tracker Tech is So Yesterday, Man
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/17/pirate_bay_distributed_hash_table/
TPB is no longer running its tracker, instead allowing DHT to track their torrents for them. This alleviates a good portion of TPB's liability in any further court cases.

Quote
The Pirate Bay has kyboshed its tracker technology and replaced it with a decentralised peer-to-peer network that all modern clients can hook up to.

The so-called distributed hash table (DHT) allows freeloaders to circumnavigate use of a tracker in order to download torrents. Instead, they connect to a DHT network to find other peers.

The Pirate Bay said today it had adopted the DHT option because a more decentralised system of handling tracking and distributions of torrent files means that "BitTorrent will become less vulnerable to downtime and outages."


6. Civilian Supercomputer Shatters Nuke Simulator’s Speed Record
Spoiler
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/11/civilian-supercomputer-shatters-nuke-simulators-speed-record/
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/11/most-powerful-supercomputer/
And to think my boss couldn't understand why I wanted to run my own datacenter... Be sure to watch the video in link 2, I want his thermal paste applicator, and his screwdriver (in case anyone is considering christmas presents ;)).

Quote
The retooled Jaguar supercomputer blew away the competition on the latest list of the 500 fastest computers in the world, clocking an incredible 1.759 petaflops — 1,759 trillion calculations per second.

The machine, housed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, added two more cores with the aid of almost $20 million in stimulus spending. With the new processors, the Cray XT5 plowed past the Top500 competition. It’s more than 69 percent faster than the previous record holder, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s IBM Roadrunner, and is more than twice as powerful as the third-fastest computer on the list.


7. Never-before-seen 'Star Trek' Pilot Found
Spoiler
http://www.thrfeed.com/neverbeforeseen-star-trek-pilot-found.html
They've found the second Star Trek pilot and will be releasing it to DVD next month!!!

Quote
"Star Trek" fans know there were two pilots for the original series.

The first, "The Cage," was rejected by NBC for being "too cerebral" (ah, some things never change).

The second, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," replaced the actor who played the captain with William Shatner and was more action driven. That pilot had an alternate version which was largely lost and has never aired. Apparently, a film collector in Germany acquired the print and "recently brought it to the attention" of CBS/Paramount. CBS is now releasing this version on Blu-ray Dec. 15. 


8. Early Christmas! DEF CON 17 Video and Audio Now Online!
Spoiler
https://www.defcon.org/
The entire repository of video and audio from this year's DEFCON is now available online.

Quote
That's right kids! Whether you've been naughty or nice, all of the audio and video from DEF CON 17 is now available for download! You can get it by heading to the DEF CON 17 Archive Page, and check out all of the awesome talks you want.


9. Grand Theft Auto Vs. Frogger
Spoiler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZszN2aB-Bo
A short and sweet one this week :)

onion.jpg



Ehtyar.

mouser

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2009, 02:36:36 PM »
Nice edition!  :up: :up:

JavaJones

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2009, 02:46:22 PM »
I think it's hilarious that the DOE has a supercomputer designed to study climate change that probably uses some millions of watts of energy for every hour it spends processing stuff. ;)

- Oshyan

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 07:52:13 AM »
I've decided to take a new approach to the news. Instead of going through the week's news of a Sunday and picking out what I consider to be the most relevant headlines, this week's news is a collection of what I found most interesting from news articles I came across throughout the past week. Please let me know what you think over the next few weeks :)


I think I'd like that a lot better.  :Thmbsup:

I can find This Week's Top Headlines on a hundred different websites. "Doc Ehtyar's" personal take on what's interesting I can only get here. From you.

Can't tell you how much I enjoy your 'column.' Thank you for your hard work and ongoing efforts to provide all of us with something interesting (and fun!) to read once a week.

 :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 07:55:29 AM by 40hz »

Eóin

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 08:01:04 AM »
I'd also like to add my appreciation of the effort you put in. You always seem to come up with a particularly interesting selection. :)

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2009, 03:57:47 PM »
Aw shucks, thanks guys :-[

Ehtyar.

f0dder

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2009, 04:54:45 PM »
Quote
Pirate Bay Says Tracker Tech is So Yesterday, Man
I'd probably also say that if I was involved in tracker-related lawsuits :P

DHT is fine and all, but you still need some way to get peers... unless you want to probe the entire internet. And in my experience, trackers gets you your peers faster, and work just fine for legitimate content.
- carpe noctem

mouser

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 03:56:55 AM »
I also want to say how much I appreciate ETNW.. I never imagined when it started that Ehtyar would be able to keep it up for so long and so consistently -- no small feat.  It's definitely one of the things i really look forward to reading each week.

Lashiec

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 01:50:27 PM »
DHT is fine and all, but you still need some way to get peers... unless you want to probe the entire internet. And in my experience, trackers gets you your peers faster, and work just fine for legitimate content.

I suppose that they will keep on relying on the OpenBitTorrent tracker, which was added to all torrents hosted at TPB a while ago. DHT works good enough when the tracker(s) is down, but it doesn't seem to me like a full replacement for trackers. Plus, you also have peer exchange running, which does quite its share of work.

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 47-09
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2009, 05:24:00 PM »
Aww thanks Mouse Man. Unfortunately, for the first time ever ETNW will not be posted for 5 weeks when I head to the US for Christmas. :(

Ehtyar.