94 % of World’s Top 500 Supercomputers runs on linux

Linux tends to dominate as the operating system of choice on the world’s fastest supercomputers.

A full 469, or 94 percent, of the top 500 supercomputers now run Linux, according to the Top500 report.

Meanwhile, only three of the world’s top supercomputers in this latest report — ranking at No. 132, 165 and 183, respectively — run Windows.

The Top500 list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Speed and Efficiency

Taking the crown for the No. 1 spot in this latest list is Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the U.S. Department of Energy. Titan achieved 17.59 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark using 261,632 of its Nvidia K20x accelerator cores.

Interestingly, Titan is also one of the most energy-efficient systems on the list, consuming a total of 8.21 megawatts and delivering 2,143 megaflops per watt.

Slipping to the No. 2 spot in this latest report, meanwhile, was Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system that was top of the list in June. With 1,572,864 cores, Sequoia is the first system to top one million cores.

Rounding out the top five systems are Fujitsu’s K computer installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe, Japan (No. 3); a BlueGene/Q system named Mira at Argonne National Laboratory (No. 4); and a BlueGene/Q system named JUQUEEN at the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany (No. 5), which is now the most powerful system in Europe.

Intel in the Lead

Looking at the data in geographical terms, the United States is the leading consumer of high-performance computing (HPC) systems, with 250 of the 500 systems on the list. Asia comes next, with 124 systems, followed by Europe, with 105.

Regarding vendors, meanwhile, Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share of the Top500, accounting for 75.8 percent of the list. A full 84 percent of the systems included use processors with six or more cores; 46 percent tap eight or more cores. A total of 62 systems on the list use accelerator/coprocessor technology.

Full details on the new report can be found on the Top500 site. To mark the 20th anniversary and the 40th edition of the list, a special poster display is being featured at the SC12 conference (Booth 1925) this week in Salt Lake City.

 

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Google Unveils $199 laptop

Google has launched Acer C7 Chromebook for $199.

Specifications are:

  • 11.6’’ (1366×768) display
  • 1 inch thin – 3 lbs / 1.4 kg
  • 3.5 hours of battery
  • Dual-core Intel® Celeron® Processor
  • 100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage2 with 320 GB Hard Disk Drive
  • Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Ethernet
  • HD Camera
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • 1x HDMI Port, 1x VGA port

Click here to view more images for the chromebook

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Amazon-Kindle fire

 

 

Technical Details

 

Display7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
Size (in inches)7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
Weight14.6 ounces (413 grams).
System RequirementsNone, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.
On-device Storage8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
Cloud StorageFree cloud storage for all Amazon content
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
Charge TimeFully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
Wi-Fi ConnectivitySupports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
USB PortUSB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
Audio3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
Content Formats SupportedKindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
DocumentationQuick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on device)
Warranty and Service1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warrantyavailable for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.
Included in the BoxKindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

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HP Names Meg Whitman President and Chief Executive Officer

HP today announced that its board of directors has appointed Meg Whitman as president and chief executive officer.

In addition, Ray Lane has moved from non-executive chairman to executive chairman of the board of directors, and the board intends to appoint a lead independent director promptly. These leadership appointments are effective immediately and follow the decision that Léo Apotheker step down as president and chief executive officer and resign as a director of the company.

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Google Wallet goes live

At long last, Google has launched its Google Wallet mobile payment application on Sprint Nexus S 4G smartphones.

Google Wallet, which Google first announced this past spring, utilizes near-field communications (NFC) technology to send very short-range signals to nearby NFC tags to complete payments — or as Google tells it, you’ll only have to tap your smartphone on a store’s credit card processor and you’re good to go. For now the application will only be available to use on the Sprint network with the Nexus S 4G device, although Google says the app should come to other Android-based devices on other wireless networks in the near future.

In its initial incarnation, Google Wallet lets you pay for merchandise using either a Citi MasterCard or a Google Prepaid Card that Google says “can be funded with any of your existing plastic credit cards.” Google is giving users a $10 bonus if they set up their own Google Prepaid Card by the end of the year. During its initial announcement of Google Wallet, Google said that it had lined up 15 big-name merchants that have embedded Google Wallet NFC capabilities onto their stores’ credit card processors, including RadioShack, American Eagle Outfitters, Subway, Macy’s, Foot Locker and Walgreens.

From a security standpoint, Google is emphasizing three of the application’s key features that will help you keep your virtual wallet secure. The first is a simple PIN that Google says you’ll need to enter before making any purchase; or put another way, the same basic security measure that you enact every time you pay with your debit card. Google has also created a separate chip for its Wallet called Secure Element that stores encrypted credit card data and that is separate from your smartphones memory and that the company says will “self-destruct” if anyone tampers with it. And finally, Google is also using MasterCard’s PayPass technology to encrypt your credit card information as it’s being sent from your phone to an NFC tag.

NFC payments have become a hot feature on smartphones ever since Google first enabled NFC technology on its Android operating system when it released its Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”) update last year. Online payment company PayPal has also developed an NFC-based mobile payment application that runs on the Google Nexus Smartphone.

 

 

 

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Carol Bartz out as Yahoo CEO

 Carol Bartz has been fired from her job as Yahoo CEO and replaced on an interim basis by the company’s chief financial officer, Tim Morse, Yahoo said on Tuesday.

Bartz sent a brief e-mail to employees saying she had been fired by Yahoo’s chairman, according to the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D blog, which was the first to report her departure.

“I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward,” Bartz wrote.

The struggling search company has created an “executive leadership council” to help Morse run the company and to conduct a “comprehensive strategic review” aimed at getting Yahoo back on a growth track. The council includes Yahoo co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo.

Bartz’s tenure as CEO began in January 2009 after Yang announced plans to step down. She took over following an extensive courtship in which Microsoft tried to acquire Yahoo, but which eventually turned into a partnership between the companies.

That partnership hasn’t paid off as well as Yahoo hoped. Revenue at the company continues to fall, and its display advertising business, where it historically was a leader, has begun to suffer too.

“It’s not a surprise” to see Bartz go, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence.

At the company’s recent annual meeting, a shareholder called Bartz a “lame-duck CEO” and called for her resignation. Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock defended her at the time.

Bartz was widely supported in the beginning. “She was kind of a breath of fresh air for a while,” said Sterling. She had a strong track record as CEO of Autodesk and before that as an executive at Sun Microsystems, and had a “no-nonsense” style, Sterling said. She was known for her colorful language and dropped the “F-bomb” at least once during a company earnings call.

Bartz made a number of organizational changes and for a while had the bad economy to blame for Yahoo’s lackluster performance, Sterling said. But ultimately she failed to retain some top talent who have left the company since she took over. “There were just a ton of great people that came out of there that abandoned ship,” he said.

Yahoo needs a dynamic leader who will get people excited and bring a strong product vision, Sterling said. Morse would clearly be an interim leader while the company looks to hire a permanent replacement, he said.

Taking on a new leader while the company continues to struggle will be a challenge. “The problem with a new CEO is if you have more of a revolving door,” Sterling said. Often, new leaders want to bring in their trusted advisers and remove some existing executives.

In a statement, Bostock thanked Bartz for “her service to Yahoo! during a critical time of transition in the company’s history, and against a very challenging macro-economic backdrop.”

At the time of this report, Yahoo’s shares were up more than 6 percent in after-hours trading, at $13.72.

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GlobalSign is no longer issuing digital certificates as it investigates the incident

Digital certificates issued by GlobalSign have come under scrutiny after a hacker’s claim that he broke into the company’s computer systems. If true, it would be the second such compromise in the past few weeks.

The hacker, known as Comodohacker, said on Monday he had broken into Dutch certificate authority (CA) DigiNotar and that he had access to four other such companies, including GlobalSign, a certificate authority based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. On Tuesday, GlobalSign said it was investigating the claim and had “decided to temporarily cease issuance of all certificates until the investigation is complete.”

“We will post updates as frequently as possible,” the company said in a post to its website. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”

GlobalSign couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but earlier in the day, Steve Roylance, GlobalSign’s business development director, said his company was “taking this very seriously.”

Comodohacker, also known as Ich Sun, is the person who earlier this year claimed to have broken into security vendor and certificate issuer Comodo. At the time he said he was a 21-year-old student who had also compromised another certificate authority, but he didn’t name his other victim.

Little noticed by most Web surfers, digital certificates are an important part of the Internet’s foundations. They help browsers know when they are visiting legitimate websites rather than fakes.

A country that has control over its Internet service providers and has access to fake digital certificates could create a website that would be almost impossible to distinguish from, for example, Gmail.com. That’s what some experts think happened in Iran last month.

A forensics report commissioned by DigiNotar found someone had hacked into DigiNotar and set up a fake Google.com site that was used in late July and August to spy on as many as 300,000 Iranians.

Most browsers no longer trust the DigiNotar certificates, but if Comodohacker’s claims are true there could be further problems in store.

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Motorola workers likely thrilled by Google’s buy

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Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn

SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc, the biggest maker of smartphone software, agreed to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc for $12.5 billion in its largest acquisition, gaining mobile patents and expanding in the hardware business.

Motorola shareholders will get $40 a share in cash, the companies said in a statement. That’s 63 per cent more than Motorola Mobility’s closing price on the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 12. Both boards have approved the takeover.

Larry Page, the Google co-founder who took over as chief executive officer in April, is pushing the Web company into smartphones to take on AppleInc’s iPhone and gain more clout for its Androidsoftware in the wireless business. Motorola Mobility, under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn to shift strategy, gives Google more than 17,000 patents it can leverage in negotiations with competitors such as Apple.

“This is the next step in building their position in the mobile world so they can distribute Google products and services through mobile phones and tablets,” said Clayton Moran, an analyst at Benchmark Co in Boca Raton, Florida, who recommends Google shares. “They want a success with the Android platform, and this will enhance their position in the mobile marketplace, as well as defend their position through the patent portfolio.”

Apple, which makes its own wireless software and hardware, briefly became the most valuable company in the world last week, buoyed by demand for the iPhone and the iPad tablet computer.

‘Heck of a premium’
Google is paying a premium of 73 per cent compared with Motorola Mobility’s 20-day trading average price before today. The average premium of more than 360 deals in the wireless- equipment industry on that basis was 32 per cent in the past five years, according to Bloombergdata.

“This is a heck of a premium,” said Lee Simpson, an analyst at Jefferies International in London. Motorola Mobility’s patents are “a good counterweight if Apple comes after Google.”

InterDigital Inc, an owner of about 1,300 mobile-phone patents that is considering a sale, fell $10.76, or 14 per cent, to $64.96. Apple and Google were among companies considering possible bids for InterDigital, a person with knowledge of the situation said last month.

Breakup agreement
Google agreed to pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if the deal falls through, a person familiar with the matter said. Motorola Mobility would pay $375 million if it decided not to sell to Google, the person said. Jennifer Erickson, a spokeswoman for Motorola Mobility, declined to comment on the breakup fee, as did Aaron Zamost, a spokesman at Google.

Google has $39.1 billion in cash and equivalents, according to a regulatory filing last month. The acquisition — the largest wireless-equipment deal in at least a decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg — makes Google a competitor to the other handset makers that make Android devices. In addition to Motorola Mobility phones, the software runs handsets made by companies such asSamsung Electronics Co and HTC Corp.

“Google making an acquisition of one distinct player is going to put Samsung and HTC back on their heels and thinking, ‘Do we need to go forward with this platform?'” Simpson said. “‘Are there other platforms we can use?’ It might start to put Microsoft into focus as an alternative platform,” he said, referring to Microsoft Corp’s Windows Phone software.

Partner support
T-Mobile USA Inc introduced the first phone powered by Google’s Android software, made by HTC, in October 2008. Android, which Google offers for free, will remain available to other manufacturers, the company said. Winston Yung, chief financial officer of HTC, gave his support to the deal, saying it will strengthen “the whole Android ecosystem.”

Google said Samsung and Android-phone manufacturers Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and LG Electronics Inc also support the transaction.

‘Protect Android’
Android was the best-selling smartphone operating system in the second quarter as sales rose more than fourfold to 43.3 per cent of the market, led by Samsung and HTC, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Apple had an 18.2 per cent share, the researcher said. While Motorola Mobility’s Droid phones have found a following in the US, globally the company ranks outside the top players in the smartphone market.

“The combination of the two companies is going to create tremendous shareholder value, drive great user experiences and accelerate innovation,” Page said on a conference call. “Motorola also has a strong patent portfolio, which will help protect Android from anticompetitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”

A group led by Apple and Microsoft won an auction of patents owned by Nortel Networks Corp in June after bidding up the price to $4.5 billion, beating out Google. Apple and Microsoft have sued Android device makers over the use of intellectual property, disputes that are wending their way through the courts.

Patent contest
In a blog posting Aug. 3, Google accused Apple, Microsoft and Oracle Corp of using patents to wage a “hostile, organized campaign” against Android.

“There is an intellectual property arms race between Apple, Google and Microsoft,” said Kevin Smithen, a telecommunications analyst at Macquarie Securities Group in New York.

Google had a total of 754 patents assigned to it as of last week, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office database, not including patents Google bought last month from International Business Machines Corp. Apple received 563 new patents just last year, the agency said.

In addition, the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which also makes television set-top boxes, may help Google increase adoption of its Google TV service and the use of Android and its Chrome browser on devices that connect televisions to the Internet, Ken Sena, an analyst at Evercore Partners in New York, wrote in a report. Sena rates Google shares “overweight.”

Mobile pioneer
The deal marks the end of independence for a company that helped pioneer mobile phones and introduced its first consumer handset in the early 1980s.

Motorola announced a plan to spin off its mobile-phone business in March 2008 amid market share losses and pressure from billionaire Icahn. The company completed the split in January, after the global recession delayed the deal. Motorola Inc became Motorola Solutions Inc, which makes radio equipment for emergency workers and scanning devices for retailers.

Last month, Icahn urged Motorola Mobility to explore alternatives for its patent portfolio after Nortel’s patent sale, the largest-ever patent auction.

“This is a great outcome for all shareholders of Motorola Mobility, especially in light of today’s markets,” Icahn said in a statement. “We applaud management and the board for acting so responsibly.”

Since the January spinoff, Motorola Mobility shares had lost about a fifth of their value before today as the company struggled to return to profitability and keep pace with larger rivals such as Samsung and Apple.

Qatalyst Partners and Centerview Partners LLC advised Motorola, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP provided legal help. Lazard Ltd. advised Google, while Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP was the legal counsel.

Regulatory scrutiny
The Google acquisition is likely to attract the attention of regulators, said Mark Mahaney, an analyst at Citigroup Global Markets, who rates Google a “hold.” The company, which owns the world’s most popular search engine, is already under review by the US Federal Trade Commissionover its business practices.

“Regulatory scrutiny will likely be material,” Mahaney said in a report. It’s “very hard to see this deal closing by year-end,” he wrote. Still, the scrutiny may be tempered by the fact that Google doesn’t currently make handsets, and that Apple and Microsoft have already gained approval for the purchase of Nortel’s patents, said Macquarie’s Smithen.

“We’re quite confident that this will be approved,” said David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, on a conference call.

 

courtsey: tech news-timesofindia

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