HP Technology Forum 2010 Highlights

I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to the HP Technology Forum 2010 via OSNews and just spent most of this last week in Las Vegas with five thousand other nerds of varying caliber. The tech forum is focused more on enterprise technology than that of the consumer, and-- let's face it-- even if any of us could afford a $30,000 rack of servers, most of us have little idea of what we'd do with so many resources except brag. Despite the focus on an area not quite as natural to OSNews and many of its readers, there was a plenitude of good and interesting information shared-- aside from that, the forum was simply fun. There were a few subjects that were especially eye-catching, though many of them not necessarily comprehensive enough to base an entire article on; thus this overview.

Intel Brews x86 Android

Intel has been working lately on "Atomising" the Android mobile OS in lieu of the upcoming Froyo (or 2.2) release so that it can be installed natively on x86 devices-- Atom-based netbooks in particular. Says Renee James, Senior VP for software and services at Intel: "Our expectation is that will be based on the Froyo release and will be available this summer to developers... wasn't tremendously difficult, as we have a lot experience in Linux". The fun is supposed to arrive for developers this summer.

Timothy Miller, Michael Dexter: OGD1s Almost Here

It's been a while since any of us have seen head or tail of the Open Graphics Project, but they haven't been just sitting around twiddling thumbs. Enjoy an in-depth interview between OSNews and Timothy Miller, the founder of the Open Graphics Project and the main man behind the drive that keeps it going, and Michael Dexter, Program Director at Linux Fund and a key player in Linux Fund's partnership with the OGP. Though it's been some time since there has been much public action, much of the work that the OGP has been putting into the OGD1 is finally coming to fruition.

Google Goes CLI

Take a step back in time to use Google in your command line interface. GoogleCL "streamlines tasks such as posting to a Blogger blog, adding events to Calendar, or editing documents on Google Docs." Aside from Blogger, Calendar, and Docs, it also provides CLI access to your Google Contacts, Picasa, and YouTube. Whether you're in it for the sheer joy of feeling like it's 1984 again or for the ease of doing a load of tasks in a batch or even incorporating it into your scripts for uber functionality and friendliness with your other apps, this nifty little program is for you. The app is native to Linux, but Mac and Windows users can use it with a bit of fenangling-- all you'll need is Python 2.5 or 2.6, and Windows users will need to add Cygwin to the mix.

Linux IRC Server Gets Trojan, Press Harps On Linux Security

Recently, the Linux version of UnrealIRCd was discovered to have had a Trojan worm its way into the source code. Even more embarrassing for the developers of Unreal is that the Trojan's been holding open the backdoor in the source code since November of 2009-- not very recently. And, of course, bloggers and press in general are taking the opportunity of another breach in Linux security to point out doomsday devices that don't really exist.

Arch Linux Team

A few weeks ago, we asked for the OSNews community to help with some questions we were going to ask Aaron Griffin from the Arch Linux team, and the response was glorious and somewhat phenomenal. We added those questions to our own and sent them on over, and then we were surprised by receiving not only Aaron Griffin's responses but answers from various individuals from the team.

Chrome Beta for Mac Comes December

According to a message on one of the development mailing lists, Google seems to be planning a beta of Chrome to appear sometime in December. There isn't any set date, and the message wasn't even addressing the release of a beta for Mac, but Nick Baum, a Google Chrome product manager, also the author of the mailing list post, let word fly. "Why make the switch now? The earlier you switch, the more time you will have to polish your experience for our Beta launch in early December. We realize this means dropping Mac support for a couple of weeks, but we already have people working on that. If you prioritize the Windows and Linux versions, we'll bring you cross-platform parity as soon as we can!"

Microsoft Recovers Sidekick Data

"Microsoft says it has now recovered the personal data lost when its Sidekick servers suffered an outage on 13 October. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Roz Ho says that all data will be restored, beginning with personal contacts. She believes that only a minority of Sidekick users are still affected. 'The outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back up,' she wrote in an open letter to customers. The number of customers affected was not released, but Sidekick is believed to have more than one million subscribers overall. Microsoft says it has installed a 'more resilient back-up process' to safeguard against a repeat incident."

Micro Kernel Mona 0.3.0 Released

Micro kernel Mona with KVM virtio-net driver 0.3.0 has been released. This is the first release of Mona for daily use. You can listen to music, run a web server and do some work with an interactive shell. Major changes since 0.2.0 are ported uIP httpd, added KVM virtio-net driver, Added Scheme-based Shell, libc implementation, ported a Squirrel programing language, added standard I/O and pipe, improved thread APIs, added sound player and driver, improved CD-ROM access speed, improved console drawing speed, supported build on gcc 4.1.x, added VFS, support build on Linux, added APM support, ported Mesa, added Stack auto expansion, improved memory management, boot from CD-ROM. Also see the catalog of applications.

Firefox 3.6 with Tumbly Support

Firefox will now include code to detect how a laptop or mobile device is situated in relation to the ground for devices with the appropriate hardware. "One new feature that we’re including as part of Firefox 3.6 is support for web pages to access machine orientation information if it’s available. As you can see from the you can use it to figure out if the machine is moving and what direction it’s facing. Originally built as something that we would include for our upcoming mobile browser release, we’ve made it available on desktop systems as well. Many modern Macbooks and Thinkpads contain devices and drivers that expose this information. We’ve added support for Linux, Macs and some Thinkpads where drivers and devices are available."

Microsoft Sponsors Family Guy Episode

Those who enjoy the popular television show will be happy to know that November 8, 2009 will feature a variety show from the makers of Family Guy, and it will play for its entire allotted time without any commercial interruption-- courtesy of Microsoft. The company has made a deal with Fox to have Windows 7 propaganda integrated into a special entitled "Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," which will include varied live-action Family Guy musical performances, animated shorts, and celebrity guest appearances. Just how the show will be used to advertise Windows 7 is unclear, but the folks at Microsoft say that "you'll see us deeply integrated into the content... you'll hear a lot about how Windows 7 can help you simplify your PC -- it's simple, fast and easy to use." So sit back in the lazy chair on November 8th, take a bite out of your Windows-branded toast, and enjoy.

Linux Foundation Offers Members Hardware Discounts

"Back in June, the Linux Foundation started their individual membership program and they're now expanding it with new hardware discounts. Starting this week, those who pay the $99 for an individual Linux Foundation membership will also get up to 40 percent off of Lenovo devices and employee purchase pricing from Dell and HP... When the Linux Foundation started the $99 yearly fee provided users with their very own email address. Now users can lock-in their email address for $150, for what the foundation calls a 'permanent' address."

Eee Keyboard Detailed by FCC

Aspects of the mouth-watering Eee Keyboard have been mysterious since we first heard about it at the beginning of this year. Now that the FCC has had a go at the device and has released its documents, we have sweet description in full. "Several of the documents hidden from our anxious eyes during the FCC filing have now gone public. Not only can you visually inspect its innards, the feds have also laid bare the full spec sheet for the ASUS Eee Keyboard model EK1542. Beneath the 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel touch panel (with stylus) we'll be getting Windows XP Home running on an Intel Atom N270, 945GSE / ICH7-M chipset with Broadcom AV-VD905 video decoder, 1GB of DDR2 memory, either 16GB or 32GB of flash storage, 4-hour battery, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and VGA outputs, integrated stereo speakers and mic, 3x USB, headphone and mic jacks, and external WiFi / UWB antenna. The Eee Keyboard's on-board Ultra-Wideband (UWB) throws 720p content to your TV within a 5-meter range (10-meters for non-video transmissions) via a UWB receiver packing 2x USB ports, another mini-USB port, audio out, and HDMI. You can even connect to two external monitors at the same time using UWB and either VGA or HDMI cable. Now all we need is a final date and price... ASUS?"

Solaris 10 10/09 Released

"Sun Microsystems announced the Solaris 10 10/09 Operating System. The Solaris 10 OS has been extended with new performance and power efficiency enhancements, more streamlined management of system installations, updates and fixes, new updates for Solaris ZFS and advancements to further leverage the functionality of the latest SPARC and x86 based systems. Solaris 10 10/09 provides new features, fixes and hardware support in an easy-to-install manner, preserving full compatibility with over 11,000 third-party products and customer applications, including Oracle database and application software."

Interview: Intel Talks Moblin, Netbooks, Windows, ARM, More

"Imad Sousou is the director of Intel's Open Source Technology Centre, which is behind the Moblin project aimed at providing optimized Linux technology for netbooks and mobile Internet devices. ZDNet Asia's sister site ZDNet UK caught up with Sousou at the Open Source In Mobile 09 event in Amsterdam last month to discuss the nature of Moblin and the hardware on which it will run." The interview also covers Intel's views on the netbook and MID market, Windows 7, ARM as a competitor, and Google's Chrome OS and how Intel is working with Google.

Nuclear Batteries for Phones, Laptops, Mini Fire-Breathing Robots

Not that we haven't known that this would one day happen, but it's still an exciting development nonetheless. Some folks over at the University of Missouri have whipped up nuclear batteries small enough to run the typical mobile device of today. They don't quite specify if has enough voltage to power something like a phone or a laptop as the batteries are being designed with MEMS and NEMS technology in mind, but they claim that these penny-sized batteries hold one million times the charge of "regular batteries." Whether a "regular battery" by their definition is the standard AA, the typical laptop battery, or a watch battery is unbeknownst to us peasants. It's being designed for MEMS and NEMS technology, but why not have it power my lappy if it's got the voltage? Imagine running one's computer for seven hundred years, and imagine all of that delicious space saved from the curse of conventional laptop batteries. Perhaps we don't need wireless electricity after all.

‘World’s First!!’ USB 3.0 Hard Drive

Remember those nearly pointless USB 3.0 cables one could buy way back in the golden days of April? If you were one of those who bought one by mistake or merely wanted to use its USB 2.0 speed until you had an actual 3.0 device and controller, now is your chance. Buffalo is offering what they claim to be the "world's first!!" shipping USB 3.0 hard drive in delicious 1TB and 1.5TB flavors come late this month, and a 2TB model is in the works. Since one would obviously need a controller as they don't come standard on motherboards just yet, the company is also offering one of NEC's world-firsts: the handy dandy USB 3.0 controller. Together these'll cost you over US$285 at the very least, but sometimes you just have to have shiny pieces of the world's first before anyone else.

FCC Warns of ‘Looming Spectrum Crisis’

"Speaking at CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment in San Diego today, FCC head Julius Genachowski has said that he wants to 'close the spectrum gap' -- the difference between the spectrum it's making available for wireless data versus enormous usage projections (400 petabytes a month by 2013, he says) that'll be brought about by smarter, easier-to-use devices and ubiquitous high-speed data through a handful of initiatives including the promotion of the smart use of existing spectrum through the use of femotcells, WiFi, and smart antennas, and -- more importantly -- reallocation of existing spectrum. Genachowski says there are 'no easy pickings' for reallocation, but the Commission is aggressively pursuing additional airspace that can help keep 4G rollouts on track. He's gone on to say that they'll be adopting the widely-discussed 'shot clock' policy for placement of new towers, giving locales a limited window to protest placement of cell sites that'll help spread 4G services over wider footprints. The guy seems genuinely concerned about keeping 4G rollouts rolling, so let's see just how far the guys in Washington are willing to go to do that."