Sunday, January 28, 2007

IBM, AMD Announces 45nm Chip High-K Gate Process

IBM to enlist high-k metal gate technology with its 45nm chips

Alongside Intel’s news of 45nm process technology, IBM today announced its own 45nm technological advancements that apply to products manufactured in its East Fishkill, NY plant starting in 2008.

Working with AMD and its other development partners including Sony and Toshiba, IBM has found a way to construct a critical part of the transistor with high-k metal gates, that substitutes a new material into a critical portion of the transistor that controls its primary on/off switching function. The material provides superior electrical properties compared to its predecessor, silicon dioxide, enhancing the transistor's function while also reducing leakage.

As important as the new material is the method for introducing it into current manufacturing techniques. The creation of this transistor component with the new material was accomplished by the IBM team without requiring major tooling or process changes in manufacturing - an essential element if the technology is to be economically viable.

“Until now, the chip industry was facing a major roadblock in terms of how far we could push current technology,” said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president of Science and Technology, IBM Research. “After more than ten years of effort, we now have a way forward. With chip technology so pervasive in our everyday lives, this work will benefit people in many ways.”


US government heads don't fully support teleworking

US government heads don't fully support teleworking
A survey of senior managers at US government departments shows mixed feelings towards remote working

Just 35% of US government managers believe their agencies support telecommuting, despite a seven-year-old law requiring agencies to offer telework options to workers, according to a recent study.

The study shows that federal agencies and managers still need to be convinced of the value of telecommuting, says Joel Brunson, president of Tandberg Federal, a videoconferencing software and services vendor that helped fund the survey. Sixty-one percent of federal managers surveyed said they have misinterpreted co-workers when communicating by email, and 43% have misinterpreted phone conversations, according to the survey.

Thirty-two percent of managers said the lack of face-to-face communication is a telework challenge. "The big thing the survey showed was that there is a real inertia among federal managers and the agencies to endorse teleworking," he says.

The US Congress passed a law in 2000 requiring federal agencies to offer telecommuting as an option to many employees. Advocates of telework say it can provide government agencies several benefits, including a way to remotely continue operations during a natural disaster or terrorist attack. Telecommuting can also ease the Washington DC area's traffic problems, reduce pollution and increase worker productivity, advocates say.

Although many agencies seem to see organisational benefits from telecommuting, there's a "misalignment" between agency views and manager views, Brunson says. In addition to continuity of operations, agencies see telework as a way to recruit workers, he says.

But managers see mostly benefits to employees, he says. Seventy-four percent of federal managers who do not manage teleworkers said a better work/life balance was the top driver for telework, while only 32% see continuity of operations as the top reason.

"Maybe we need to do a better job of educating the managers on how ... telework helps the agency," Brunson says.

Fear of not having control over employees' activities was the biggest concern from managers who do not manage teleworkers, while productivity concerns were the largest among managers who do manage teleworkers. Those fears are understandable, Brunson says, but many companies use performance metrics to track teleworker production, and several studies have suggested that teleworkers are more productive than their in-office counterparts.

"Telework is not a substitute for a face-to-face meeting," he says. "But there's a lot of technology out there that will allow you to collaborate on face-to-face communications, spreadsheets and whatever you're working on."

While 35% of the 214 US agency managers surveyed said they believe their agencies support telework, 18% were unsure and 47% said they don't believe that's the case. In May, the US Government Accountability Office released a report saying only nine of 23 agencies surveyed reported they had plans in place for essential workers to telecommute.

The survey also found that support for telecommuting grew the more a manager was involved with it. Only 54% of managers who do not manager teleworkers had a favorable impression of telecommuting, while 63% of managers who do manage teleworkers were favorable and 75% of mangers who are teleworkers were favorable.

The survey was commissioned by Telework Exchange, a public and private partnership focused on government telecommuting, and the Federal Managers Association, an organisation representing US government managers.

By: Grant Gross Washington

Oracle introduces Linux management software

After announcing cut-price Red Hat support in October, the database giant has made another open source offering. China Martens reports

Oracle is making further inroads into the Linux space by providing management tools for the open-source operating system. This comes after its surprise announcement in October that it will provide full global support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.

The Oracle Management Pack for Linux, unveiled earlier this month, is part of the initiative Oracle launched in October under the name Oracle Unbreakable Linux.

The Linux support programme that Oracle has made available to both its user base and non-Oracle customers was widely seen by industry observers as a direct attack on one of Red Hat's key revenue streams. Although the move fell short of a full Oracle-branded version of Linux that had been widely rumoured, some analysts saw the support offering as preparing the way for an Oracle version of Linux and likely to result in further fragmentation of the Linux.

Currently, the enterprise Linux market leaders are Red Hat and Novell's Suse Linux, but there are also other distributions gaining appeal among developers, including Ubuntu, Debian and Mandriva.

The Linux management pack is based on Oracle's Enterprise Manager 10g software and is aimed at customers who've signed up for the Oracle Unbreakable Linux programme. It's difficult to gauge the success of the programme since Oracle has yet to provide figures on how many users have chosen it.

The pack provides Oracle users with tools to provision, patch, monitor and administer their Linux server deployments either in relation to the operating system alone or in the context of their applications, Oracle says.

The announcement of the Linux management pack is also a further indication of Oracle's gradual expansion of its systems management software capabilities.

Historically, Oracle focused on providing tools to manage its own databases, applications and middleware, but more recently it has begun to extend its Enterprise Manager and Grid Control software via plug-ins to also handle third-party offerings. In July, an Oracle executive told financial analysts in Boston that the company may look to gain more systems and network management expertise through acquisitions.

The Oracle Management Pack for Linux is included free with both the basic and premier levels of the Unbreakable Linux program.

By: China Martens Boston

Friday, January 26, 2007

Google meshes books and maps online

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Internet search giant Google has said it has begun combining online books with its mapping software to guide readers to places described in print.

Google Books has started to "animate the static information" in written works by linking location references to its interactive Google Maps software.

Clicking on words pinpointing certain places in books will connect readers to maps of the spots, according to Google engineer David Petrou.

"Why not visualize places mentioned in books on a map?" Petrou asked rhetorically in a weblog on the company website.

"Now you can. Fact, fiction, old and new, we seek to present maps when helpful across all kinds of books."

Titles already augmented with interactive maps include Around the World in Eighty Days, War and Peace, The Travels of Marco Polo, and The 9/11 Commission Report, according to Google.

"We hope this feature helps you plan your next trip, research an area for academic purposes, or visualize the haunts of your favorite fictional characters," wrote Petrou. "Above all, have fun."

The Google Book Search project has caused controversy worldwide since it was initiated in 2004 with the aim of scanning every literary work into digital format and making them available online.

The Mountain View, California-based company has stored on its searchable database classic works in the public domain, along with copyrighted books either sent with or without the publishers' permission.

After outcries from publishing houses and authors, Google modified its online library to offer only summaries of copyrighted works along with information regarding where to buy or borrow the books.

From:yahoo news

PS3 to make European debut on March 23

TOKYO - Sony's new PlayStation 3 video game machines will go on sale in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia on March 23, company officials said Friday.

The 60 gigabyte model of PS3 will be priced at 599 euros, 425 British pounds, 999.95 Australian dollars, and 1199.95 New Zealand dollars, according to Sony Computer Entertainment spokesman Nanako Kato.

Initially, only the 60GB model will be available in these markets, with the lower-end 20GB version to follow later this year depending on demand, the company said in a statement dated Thursday.

The much-anticipated debut of the high-end version of the PlayStation comes as Sony, locked in a tight race with Nintendo Co. and Microsoft Corp. for the market for next-generation video consoles, has been plagued with production problems.

Sony said it shipped 2 million PS3 machines worldwide by mid-January, falling about two weeks behind its initial shipment targets in Japan. The machine's launch in Europe was delayed until this year.

Sony is also targeting shipping 6 million PS3 machines by March 31.

From:Yahoo news

How E.T. Might Phone Home, if Home Had a G.S.M. Network

Palm Treo 750

The Palm Treo 750 is a Windows Mobile smartphone with a global agenda. The 5-ounce phone, which uses Cingular’s cellular and wireless broadband networks in the United States, can connect in most countries that use the G.S.M. standard.

The phone, which comes in a dark blue rubberized finish with chrome accents, has a full keyboard, bright color touch screen and 1.3-megapixel camera. But road warriors will appreciate its more business-oriented features, like a dedicated mute switch on the top, a MiniSD card slot for memory expansion and a speakerphone for meetings on the go.

The 750 supports Bluetooth wireless networking and four international G.S.M. bands. It can jump onto Cingular’s fast wireless data network for video, audio and document downloads, and can connect to most e-mail providers using Microsoft Outlook Mobile and Microsoft’s push e-mail systems.

Windows users can synchronize their contacts and calendar entries with home PCs using the included software, and the phone can open and edit most Microsoft Office documents. JOHN BIGGS


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

PlayStation 3

PlayStation 3
Play B3YOND™
PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system unleashes a brilliant, high-definition entertainment experience.
As its digital soul, the Cell Broadband Engine™ represents a tour de force in parallel processing, which means a gaming experience that is beyond what you know today. Its built-in Blu-ray Disc™ drive delivers a whole new generation in high-definition gaming and unmatched digital media storage. Whether it’s gaming, Blu-ray movies, music or online services, PLAYSTATION®3 invites you to Play Beyond
High-Definition Capabilities
Enjoy high-definition entertainment, HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) means you can use your PLAYSTATION®3 with High-Definition displays as well as conventional or standard TVs.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
The PLAYSTATION®3 comes with either a 20GB or 60GB removable hard disk drive (HDD).
System Interoperability
PLAYSTATION®3 and PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) play nice together. Easily exchange media like photos, videos and music from your PLAYSTATION®3 system to your PSP® system. And get ready to witness an explosion in creativity as developers take on the challenge of integrating the PSP system into PLAYSTATION®3 games.
Backwards Compatibility
Play thousands of PS one® and PlayStation®2 games as well as your CDs and DVDs on the PLAYSTATION®3.
Cell Broadband Engine™
The online capability of the PLAYSTATION®3 features the unpredictability of live competition. Play, strategize and compete with friends and opponents, even if they're in a different time zone
Blu-ray Disc™
The built-in Blu-ray Disc™ player means you can enjoy next-generation high-definition entertainment, including games and movies.
Always On
PLAYSTATION®3 delivers “always-on” online connectivity; offering a world of online possibilities including multiplayer gaming, text and video messaging, voice chatting, downloading content and browsing the internet.
SIXAXIS™ wireless controller
The new SIXAXIS™ wireless controller enables you to harness the powerful potential of the PLAYSTATION®3 system.
Experience high-definition gaming with PLAYSTATION®3 games!
Multimedia: Music, Photos, Internet, Videos & Movies
PLAYSTATION®3 provides an endless array of multimedia activities, all without even inserting a game.
Technical Specifications
Find out all you need to know about dimensions, memory specifications and more.
Product Details
Which is right for you? The PLAYSTATION®3 is available in two configurations: 20GB hard disk drive (HDD) and 60GB HDD.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Xbox 360: Which Core Bundle is Right for You?

If you've lived under a rock since May then you'd be surprised to learn that Microsoft has released their second Xbox titled XBOX 360. Upon your emergence it wouldn't take long for you to figure out that this is no regular system; the XBOX 360 will lead the next generation consoles by including some of the latest wireless and graphic technology to-date. What some of you may not know is the fact Microsoft will release TWO different systems. They were concerned about the price of all the gadgets so they made a second, cheaper system. What's the difference? This article will explain some of the must knows before buying the XBOX 360.

First off, what do the systems hold that are the same? Both hold a DVD-ROM so you can play DVD's, CD's, all XBOX 360 games. You can plug into one of the 3 USB ports to access iPOD's, video, cameras, MP3 players, etc. pretty much the generic gaming experience will be available on both systems. But now for the fun stuff. Should I shell out the extra $100 for the more expensive system?

You'll be surprised about the differences between the two bundled systems so consider these things before buying. In no particular order here are some CONS of buying the CHEAPER system. (Believe me, I wouldn't pump the more expensive system if it wasn't a big deal, I'm here to save gamers money.)

First off, remember backwards compatibility? Your ability to play 200 XBox games on the next generation XBOX 360? Well you NEED to download patches for most games and those patches stay on the hard drive. The cheaper system does NOT come equipped with the 20GB hard drive.

What's the difference in cables? The cheaper version comes complete with AV cables for your TV, the expensive version comes complete with cables for HD-TV hook up. BUT get this: the graphic difference of the Xbox to Xbox 360 will be marginal if you have an old TV. This is what we've been told, and if you experience otherwise post it in our Xbox forum. It seems that you need a new TV to really experience the bells and whistles of the new system.

If you want to save games then you NEED to buy a 64MB memory unit (for the cheaper system) which will cost 40 bucks. That bumps up the price of the original to $340 from $299. For an extra $60 bucks you can have EVERYTHING in the better system. (As an aside, the Canadian companies are going to make a bundle (well not a bundle since Microsoft will likely loose money to start off with.) But, the US price for the basic system is $299 while the Canadian counterpart is $399. The current exchange rate does not warrant a $100 increase to adjust. The price should be closer to $350. Just a thought.)

The one controller that comes with the new cheaper bundle is wired, whereas the more expensive bundle will come complete with a single WIRELESS controller. Enough said. You be the judge regarding its value.

Judging by looks, the Xbox 360 games will typically be sharper and crisper, but not an all out blow out. I'll say that Microsoft BETTER get some more games going than the initial 18 or risk losing market share and interest in a hurry. This article concludes that for the extra $60 bucks (you need the 64 MB card to save games so that's why it's $60,) you shold go out and place an order for the more expensive system. Why Xbox made two different ones when the prices would be so close is beyond me. Mind you, coupled with game packages, the price does climb up there. That's my take, now back to gaming.

About The Author
Barry Games
Visit DiscussVideoGames for online Xbox 360 video game forums that includes all gaming systems. Dedicated Halo 2 forum, Xbox 360, Xbox live, and Xbox cheat code forums for your enjoyment.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Apple Inc:iPhone


Screen:3.5 in, 320x480 px at 160 ppi

Memory:4 GB, 8 GB, internal

Networks:2.75G GSM (850/900/1800/1900), Data Download Speed - GPRS/EDGE (Up to 220 Kbps)

Connectivity:Computer via 30-pin iPod dock connector, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Physical size:115×61×11.6 mm (4.5×2.4×0.46 in)

Weight:135 grams (4.8 ounces)

The iPhone is a smartphone and multimedia player device announced by Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs during the keynote address at the Macworld Conference & Expo on January 9, 2007. The iPhone will support push IMAP from Yahoo!, mobile telephony, text messaging, web browsing, and other wireless information services.
The iPhone, unlike most
smartphones, will not include a built-in keyboard or keypad; input is accomplished via a combination of technologies, including a touchscreen with software virtual keyboard and buttons. Apple has confirmed an optimized but limited version of the OS X operating system will run on the iPhone, but further distinction between the operating system (OS X) running on Macs and iPhones has not been officially explained. Third party applications are currently limited to a "controlled environment".
The iPhone has a scheduled release date of June 2007, pending
Federal Communications Commission approval, and will be available from the Apple Store and via Cingular. iPhone has a planned launch price of US$499 for the 4 GB model and $599 for the 8 GB model, based on a two year service contract. The iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone, though Jobs mentioned in his keynote that Apple has a "plan to make 3G phones" in the future. Apple has filed over 200 patents related to the technology behind the iPhone.
Apple's choice of the name has resulted in some controversy as
Cisco Systems has asserted that they own the trademark to the name "iPhone". Cisco sells a line of Voice over IP telephones under their Linksys brand.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia