I was watching the BBC's production of Elizabeth Gaskell's wonderful North and South on my flight home from London today. What a powerful production! One of my favorite lines from the movie (and book) comes at the end of the first segment. Margaret Hale, the protagonist, reflecting on the working conditions in England's northern cotton factories (textile mills) says,I have seen Hell. And it is white. Snow white.The cotton trade enslaved workers to an almost bestial existence in Gaskell's time, though her words also reflect the factory owners' servile dependence on the same labor. … Read more
IBM and Cisco Systems are sitting down at the table again. And this time the table is bigger.
The two technology behemoths are expanding their near-decade-old alliance, enhancing the focus on telecom carriers and their customers. As part of the expanded alliance, announced Thursday, the duo will offer a centralized service to identify, manage and reroute network traffic when trouble arises.
Cisco will combine its Network Management Platform with IBM's Tivoli Software for Service Assurance and Fault Management. That, in essence, strives to help carriers manage IP-based services and reduce implementation and maintenance costs.
Next month, Cisco plans to … Read more
IBM announced Friday that it's making available as open-source the software it developed for modeling the movement of infectious diseases.
The Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM), which can run on any operating system, will be available through a project run by Eclipse, the open-source development foundation, called the Eclipse Open Healthcare Framework Project.
The mapping software has customizable tools, and epidemiologists can apply their own algorithms to fit the needs of specific projects and various outbreak scenarios. Among the variables the software can include are air travel, road systems, borders and animal interaction with a disease.
It can also be … Read more
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday it reached a settlement with IBM, over allegations the industry titan issued misleading statements regarding stock options expenses.
The end result: IBM, without admitting or denying the commission's findings, consented to an order that it cease and desist from "committing or causing violations of these provisions." But more importantly, IBM paid no fine, nor faced any monetary penalty.
What was the beef?
Back in April 2005, IBM said during a conference call with analysts it would begin reporting its stock options as an expense, starting with the first quarter 2005. … Read more
IBM will introduce a new generation of Unix servers Tuesday, the first using its Power6 processors, according to sources familiar with the plan.
Better late than never. In 2004, IBM said the Power6 processor was supposed to ship in 2006.
IBM will likely release only one Power6-based mid-range server in the first half of the year, said sources, and follow with more models in the second half.
Power6 servers can hold more chips than those using the Power5+. Power6 servers can contain 64 chips; Power5+ servers maxed out at 32.
Like Power5 and the newer Power5+, Power6 chips have two … Read more
The BBC on Friday ran a piece about a team from IBM and the University of Nevada that has created a model simulation of half a mouse brain on a BlueGene L supercomputer. Well actually, it simulates only a portion of half a mouse brain's cortical cells. And actually, it simulates only a portion of their functionality. And it was able to run at only one-tenth the processing speed of the real thing.
It was still a major accomplishment, though, since they were able to overcome problems surrounding the "tremendous constraints on computation, communication and memory capacity of … Read more
Figuring out a way to make semiconductors make themselves would certainly save everyone a lot of time and money, and IBM next week says it will discuss a technique that moves it closer to the goal of self-assembly.
On May 3, researchers will provide some details on what IBM says is a commercially practical technique for applying an insulating layer through chips using self-assembly. Now, adding layers and structures to a chip requires costly and time consuming processes: intricate patterns are etched onto microscopic surfaces, sprayed with metals, and then with chemicals to remove excess metal particles.
In self-assembly, physical, … Read more
The University of Texas next week will show off TRIPS, a chip that can perform far more tasks simultaneously than other chips, although the prototype is slightly less glamorous than promised.
TRIPS, which stands for Tera-op Reliable Intelligently adaptive Processing System, is a chip architecture developed in collaboration with IBM's Austin Research Lab. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is helping fund the effort with an $11.1 million grant.
The TRIPS prototype processor, which will be shown off and detailed on April 30, contains two processing cores. Each core can issue 16 operations per cycle. In all, the … Read more
Somewhere, ghosts of IBM's past are spinning in their graves. ColorWare is bringing 28 hues--including pink, purple, yellow and bright orange--to laptops from Lenovo that were once produced under the nameplate of Big Blue, that most buttoned-down of corporate establishments.
Laptoping says ColorWare applies its "X2 scratch-resistant liquid plastic coating" to Lenovo's "ThinkPad T60" laptops, whose features include an Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 1GB of memory and a DVD burner. But it's the complex coloring process that draws the most attention: "The X2 coating is applied to the laptops and … Read more
IBM voted against the certification of Microsoft Office document formats as an international standard at a general assembly of Ecma International on Thursday.
Microsoft submitted the document formats, called Office Open XML, to Ecma last year for standardization. On Thursday, the standards organization voted on whether to certify the specifications as Ecma standards and whether to submit them to ISO for consideration as ISO standards.
The vote was expected to pass. However, IBM representatives vote against the submission, said Bob Sutor, IBM's vice president of standards and open source.
"It is an example of a real open standard … Read more