March 10, 2006 10:00 AM PST

Week in review: Origami unwrapped

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Intel's 65-nanometer manufacturing process and will ship in the first quarter of 2007, Intel representatives said.

One factor could affect the popularity of chips with four cores, however. Although servers often run software whose tasks are divided into multiple threads that can take advantage of multicore processors, PC software is not so amenable to the approach.

Meanwhile, Intel introduced a new generation of its Centrino notebook technology. Santa Rosa--due in the first half of 2007--is the code name for the next iteration of Centrino, which combines a mobile processor, chipset and wireless chip. Santa Rosa will accommodate the Merom processor that's expected to launch later this year, but will feature a new chipset called Crestline that's designed to improve graphics performance.

Kedron, the new wireless chip in Santa Rosa, will support the 802.11n standard expected to be ratified early next year. But Wi-Fi networks such as 802.11n are only one part of Intel's wireless vision. The company continues to push WiMax technology as a future wide-area-network standard that could deliver data signals at broadband speeds over areas the size of cities.

Mac attack
The war of words is heating up over Apple Computer's Mac OS security.

The Mac maker released a security update for its operating system on Wednesday to plug 20 holes. The patch arrived after two weeks of intense scrutiny of the safety of OS X, prompted by the discovery of two worms and the disclosure of a vulnerability that was deemed "extremely critical" by security monitoring company Secunia.

The update added a function called "download validation" to the Safari Web browser, Apple Mail client and iChat instant messaging tool. The function warns people that a download could be malicious when they click on the link. Before that change, clicking on a link could have resulted in the automatic execution of code on a Mac.

However, experts say the patch doesn't completely fix a high-profile Mac OS X flaw, leaving a toehold for cyberattacks. Apple failed to address a key part of the problem: The fix should be at a lower, operating-system level, experts said. It is now still possible for hackers to construct a file that appears to be a safe file type, such as an image or movie, but is actually an application, said Kevin Long, an analyst at security specialist Cybertrust.

Meanwhile, a Mac hacking contest is raising the hackles of many Mac fans. An individual who won such a contest last month by gaining root control of a machine using an unpublished security vulnerability called it "easy pickings."

On Feb. 22, a Sweden-based Mac enthusiast set up his Mac Mini as a server and invited hackers to break through the computer's security and gain root control, which would allow the attacker to take charge of the computer and delete files and folders or install applications.

Within hours of going live, the "rm-my-mac" competition was over. The challenger posted this message on his Web site: "This sucks. Six hours later, this poor little Mac was owned, and this page got defaced."

However, many observers criticized the validity of the competition because participants were given local client access to the target computer.

The contest raised the ire of a university systems engineer in Wisconsin, who invited hackers to break into his Mac. Dave Schroeder asked hackers to alter the home page hosted on a Mac Mini that is running Mac OS X 10.4.5 with the latest security updates.

The system has two local accounts, and has SHH and HTTP open--"a lot more than most Mac OS X machines will ever have open," Schroeder said on his Web site.

But the event ended early after information emerged that the contest had drawn the scrutiny of the chief information officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose network Schroeder's Mac Mini was on.

"The Mac OS X 'challenge' was not an activity authorized by the UW-Madison," Brian Rust, a university spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. "Once the test came to the attention of our CIO, she ended it...Our primary concern is for security and network access for UW services."

Also of note
AT&T will acquire fellow phone company BellSouth in a stock deal worth $67 billion, creating a telecommunications giant that dwarfs Verizon, its nearest competitor...Advanced Micro Devices will launch "Rev F" versions of its Opteron chips in the third quarter, a move that ends the single-core server processor era and paves the way for four-core models...TiVo is phasing out its popular lifetime service plan and implementing a series of flexible pricing options that include the company's hardware...Google said it erred last week when it posted on its Web site internal projections not meant for the public...The U.S. economy is headed for a "day of reckoning," warned Robert Reich, former Department of Labor secretary in the Clinton administration.

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13 comments

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Looking for something new here.
Nice single board computer boards have been available for some time. Mini touchscreens are plentiful. For well under $800 any half geek can put them together and have a tiny tablet. If they wanted to.

What are the markets? Medical charts, maybe a few others that can live with small simplified forms, a few early adopters. Otherwise this thing is an overpriced hammer looking for a nail.

I'll be pleased if any increase in demand causes a drop in miniature component prices, but as a package this thing's a mystery.
Posted by inthewoods (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
vapourware?
If so, I'm not clear on what they're trying to discourage people away from moving to while vainly waiting for some half decent version 2 or 3.
Posted by tipper_gore (74 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft and Reality
"Whatever the merits of these devices, reality still trails Microsoft's
ambitions. "

*sigh* Hasn't that always been the story? Longhorn, TabletPC,
Media Center, original Xbox, Xbox360, etc., etc....

The reality never lives up to the ambitions.
Posted by mofo111 (107 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Origami
I think that this is where portable computing is going, aside from what Microsoft does. With a one inch one terrabyte drive, and a 4 ghz cpu so close, this is the way to go. Give wireless access to this device and you have a very powerful hand held device. I can fully see Windows Xp Pro lasting another 3 - 5 years, with a few upgrades of course. To beef up the initial machines won't take much.
Posted by peterdavidchallis (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Origami
I think that this is where portable computing is going, aside from what Microsoft does. With a one inch one terrabyte drive, and a 4 ghz cpu so close, this is the way to go. Give wireless access to this device and you have a very powerful hand held device. I can fully see Windows Xp Pro lasting another 3 - 5 years, with a few upgrades of course. To beef up the initial machines won't take much.
Posted by peterdavidchallis (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Origami a Big Step Backward
After all the hype, the Origami stats are underwhelming! Too big to fit in your pocket... so you carry a computer bag with you... yet it doesn't do half what a decent laptop will do!
You get a 3 hour battery life in a 2 1/2 pound computer with no cd/dvd drive, and no keyboard.
I use a Sony T350P notebook that has a 7 hour battery life in a 3 pound computer, WITH a great keyboard AND a CD/DVD RW drive!
Origami sounds like a big step backward to me!
Posted by RDH7 (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think Origami is amazing.
When can i get one? Haha.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
FlipStart is a good model...
1. Clamshell model helps protect the screen;
2. A small external display gives quick and easy access to common/favorite applications such as a mini-Outlook and a mini-Media Player;
3. Full PC features with a port extension peripheral and/or a dock;

Missing are:
- Windows Tablet and/or Windows Mobile features;
- TV/radio tuner/reception;
- Auxilliary memory slots;
- Better battery life;
- Hype

Then comes Windows Vista merge with Windows Tablet and Windows Mobile...

Sigh...
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
UMPC Site Launched
Forums available at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.umpcsource.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.umpcsource.com</a>. More content to come.
Posted by MacGyvr (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
UMPC hype is DOA
UMPC site launched. . .but nobody cares. Only days after the
climax of the Origami hypefest, interest has dwindled to hardly
any. Even Microsoft's evangelist, Robert Scoble, has moved on to
other topics.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
UMPC Site Launched
Forums available at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.umpcsource.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.umpcsource.com</a>. More content to come.
Posted by MacGyvr (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
UMPCs need an interactive speech interface
Origami/UMPCs need an interactive interface to succeed.
I can see an UMPC with a talkingdesktop interface software and a headset. This would allow me to leave my regular desktop behind and let me control a mobile computer with speech recognition and then listen to it talk back as I am walking around.

Maybe these UMPCs will really show the benefit of an interactive software product like www.talkingdesktop.com on a mobile computer platform.

Deb
Posted by debH (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ANd I would expect that....
... as soon as someone can figure out how to do legitimate voice
recognition, I'd expect it to be an added feature. But don't hold
your breath waiting. Scientists have been trying to do this since the
early 60's, and it hasn't happened yet.

All we have now is are brute force and awkwardness approaches
using waveform pattern matching. They are crude, slow, very
subject to errors, and not too tolerant of voice variations. There's a
long way to go......
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
 

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