Saturday, January 20, 2007
Someone's managed to leak a bunch of future Nike+ accessories.
Nike Speed+ Watch kit ($130)
Nike Amp+ ($80) This was actually leaked a while ago.
Nike Flight+ and Aero+ ($130)
More pictures here.
These may be good for you runners, but Steve Jobs may not be too happy about this...
Since August 2006, Amazon has been running a computing-on-demand service, allowing customers to create virtual computers on Amazon's computer infrastructure. The massive computer farm system at Amazon and other web giants, such as eBay and Google, allow them to have much more computing power than any IT department could offer.
What does this mean for the rest of us? Well, for about 15 cents per month, you get to store one Gigabyte of info on Amazon. If you want to create a virtual computer on their infrastructure to crunch through your data set, it'll run you about 10 cents per computing hour, a really good deal in comparison to making your own computer farm. In fact, it's the best deal out there.
The service is only in its trial version, however many think it's going to revolutionize (hm, do I sound like Steve Jobs here?) the use of computers in most science and research work.
Switzerland's CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) is putting together their own computer farm, in anticipation of their Large Hadron Collider, which will be turned on next year. The Collider is predicted to churn out 1.5 GB of data per second once it's switched on.
The big deal here is not just the computer farm aspect, but the ability to create and delete virtual computers on the fly. Virtualization allows many Operating Systems to run at the same time, on the same computer. The effect is like having say one hundred computers where you would previously have only one.
So Vista is finally coming out. Let's hope that Apple releases Leopard soon, and blow Vista's "new" technology away. Meanwhile, will Apple release a new Boot Camp version supporting Vista? How long will we have to wait before it is plagued with viruses and malware? Will anyone crack the Windows Genuine Advantage? These are all questions that will be answered very, very soon...
Friday, January 19, 2007
I recently saw an interesting article in Nature magazine about the US government's investment in supercomputers. Apparently, in November, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency " said it would grant almost $500 million to Cray and IBM to develop machines that will be about ten times faster tham most powerful existing supercomputers.
This deal involves many companies, but I didn't see Apple's name among them. It looks like research teams at HP and Sun Microsystems are also going to get a cut of the deal.
The fastest computer as of right now is IBM's Blue Gene/L, located at the Lawrence Livermore National Library in CA. It's got an astonishing 130,000 processors and fits in a very large room, almost the size of a high school gymnasium. It's capable of performing up to 280 trillion flops (floating point operations per second), as compared with the first ever supercomputer, which was able to crunch at about 80 million flops.
I guess the fact that IBM's laptops are not exactly the best in the industry doesn't matter when we're talking about the supercomputer industry.
A major challenge in supercomputing has always been the difficulty of programing the computers. I don't think Apple's interested in supercomputing just yet, but if they were, we'd probably have pretty efficient programing, seeing as they develop both the hardware and software.
By the way, this was in the December 2006 issue of Nature, Number 7122
How cool would it be if Apple made a multi touch tablet computer?
I was just thinking of this randomly, but combining Apple's strengths and technologies into a tablet PC would probably make a really nice device. Since it's Apple, it would probably have a very nice and simple (and all white) design. (Why is everything Apple makes so beautiful?) I can imagine myself in the airport, taking a picture on the go with the built in camera, and then editing it with Aperture, by touching it with my fingers. I would then e-mail the pics to my family or friends to let them know where I am.
Wow, imagine playing halo 2 with a touchscreen. One touch = shoot, two fingered touch = grenade. You press on screen buttons with your left hand to move forward/backward and side to side.
I don't know if there would be a market for it though.
Hm, just a thought.
Apple recently reduced its price to upgrade your Core 2 Duo Macbook/Pro's and iMac's with 802.11n support!
The price is now $1.99 instead of $4.99, so get it while you can...I mean get it before Apple.com runs out of bandwidth! Actually it's not available for download yet but we'll let you know when it is.
Those were the words of Andy Ithnako, a Sun-Times columnist, after spending 45 minutes with an iPhone. Apparently, the iPhone's touch screen keypad is indeed superior to hard buttons, and the iPhone is the "simplest phone ever." Andy never talked about the price though, just about what the iPhone actually felt like; which was very, very good.
Apparently, Apple will not allow 3rd party software to be installed freely on the phone, but some kind of apps, like widgets, should be available on the iTunes Store, like the recently added iPod Games.
For the full article, visit the Chicago Sun-Times' page...
Ok so the iPhone came out a couple days ago. Here's what I think about it:
As far as the technology goes, I think it's obviously very advanced and, well, how should I put this...COOL. I think that the speed at which it goes from app to app is one of it's best attributes. The touchscreen is really nice in itself too, but I wonder how long it'll last as far as scratches, or regular wear and tear. Using OS X is really nice, as well as the ability to run Safari.
Before the iPhone came out, I thought the touchscreen part was going to be a click wheel incorporated in the screen, that would appear as you moved your finger close to it, but the multi touch tech in the real iPhone is probably even better. After all, Apple is a company that got its legacy by coming through with new breakthroughs and technologies and always keeping the industry moving. So in that sense I guess it's logical that they moved on from the click wheel. Innovation was always their trademark.
In regards to the price of the iPhone, I think that it is currently an obstacle for Apple. I don't doubt that they're going to sell a good deal, to business people and others who don't mind the cost, but in order for the iPhone to become widespread, I think the cost is going to have to come down a bit.
College students, for example, are probably a good target for the iPhone's market, but when the price of an iPhone is more than the cost of one semester of books, not many college students are going to go out and get one.
I think that for iPhone sales to really be significant, Apple is going to have to advertise, which they never fail to do, and lower the price. Don't be surprised if in 3 years, the iPhone is the smartphone of choice among the academia and businessmen.
Welcome to MACubed. We're still fine tuning the site, and working on a better design, and logo for MACubed blog, so hang with us. By the way, that was my brother Julien before, and I'm Philippe. We're sorta new to blogging, so please excuse any stupid things we do on this blog for the next couple of weeks. Now that that's done, we can really get started...