Saturday, September 24, 2011

NASA Unbolts Open Source Space Applications Challenge

Network World (09/20/11) Michael Cooney

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced an open source-based application competition with the goal of delivering a new generation of software that can address space, weather, and economic issues. NASA will collaborate with other interested space agencies worldwide on an International Space Apps Challenge that will encourage researchers to create, build, and invent new applications that can address world-class issues. "The International Space Apps Challenge is an innovative international collaboration that accelerates the development of solutions focused on making government better and addressing critical issues on our planet, such as (but not limited to) weather impacts on the global economy and depletion of ocean resources," according to NASA. The agency wants a collaborative platform to share early-stage government technology-based innovations, which can receive feedback from citizens and commercial stakeholders. In addition, NASA wants a tool to leverage distributed crowdsourcing analysis by citizens to help process, archive, distribute, and visualize data for space exploration.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Linux Lebanese Users: Trisquel GNU/Linux 5.0 "Dagba" : 100% free (libre)...

Linux Lebanese Users: Trisquel GNU/Linux 5.0 "Dagba" : 100% free (libre)...: Afin de célébrer le Software Freedom Day, l'équipe de développement de Trisquel GNU/Linux a publié Trisquel GNU/Linux 5.0 "Dagba". Trisqu...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Libre or Open source software news and references

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Application Development Boosts IT Job Market: Dice Report

eWeek (09/07/11) Nathan Eddy

The number of available technology jobs as of Sept. 1 stood at 82,836, with 50,659 full-time positions, 35,378 contract positions, and 1,565 part-time positions, reports Dice's Alice Hill notes that one of the fastest growing areas of hiring requests involves mobile application development. She says that just 17 percent of technology professionals have published a mobile app, and of this group only 27 percent work on mobile initiatives full time. Although full-time developers prefer to work with the iPhone, more employers are searching for Android developers, according to Hill. In addition, she says tech professionals involved in iPhone development report nine times more income from apps, but Android income should rise along with the growth in app advertising revenue. "For tech talent, taking on a mobile app project is a great way to broaden skills in an area that is primed for more growth," Hill says.

Parallel Programming Skills Crisis Could Stall Server Evolution

Computerworld Australia (09/12/11) Sandra Van Dijk

The lack of parallel programming expertise worldwide will become a major issue for the information technology (IT) industry over the next 10 years, warns a RMIT University report. Advanced parallel programming skills are hard to find among professional programmers because it is taught only as an advanced elective in most computer science curricula, says RMIT professor James Harland. The report warns that without a massive injection in parallel programming talent in the IT sector, new server platforms will stall, especially in areas such as fabric-based computing. The lack of programming skill can lead to frozen states commonly known as a deadly embrace, but techniques to deal with frozen states are only taught briefly in computer science and IT programs, according to Harland. "Hence, the only real way to overcome such obstacles is to spend more time on parallel programming techniques in these courses," he notes. Parallel programming represents a different paradigm of software development in that it introduces the notion of complexity into software development, similar to learning a new programming language, says RMIT's John Lenarcic. "Only a minority of developers have sufficient training to handle parallel programs, and only a fraction have enough experience to do it well," says Gartner analyst Carl Claunch.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Special Report Highlights 'Greatest Hits' of Scientific Supercomputing

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (09/02/11) Dawn Levy

The Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, which is jointly managed by the Argonne National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is developing INCITE in Review, a special report that will highlight the 22 greatest hits of science and engineering accomplishments made by researchers running complex simulations on the U.S. Department of Energy's supercomputers. "Whether it's gaining a better understanding of the universe or engineering solutions for a growing, energy-hungry populace, the investigations enabled by INCITE are making the world a smarter, more sustainable place," says National Center for Computational Science director James J. Hack, who co-wrote the report's introduction. "We are proud to tell the story of INCITE's role to date in advancing the frontiers of human knowledge for the benefit of all." INCITE projects are designed to accelerate breakthroughs in fields in which major advancements would be impossible without supercomputing. Since INCITE was created, researchers have been allotted more than 4.5 billion supercomputer processor hours, with 1.7 billion in just the 2011 calendar year.

As Tech Evolves, Will PCs Be Left Behind?

USA Today (09/06/11) Jon Swartz

The rapid shift from personal computers (PCs) to mobile devices and cloud-based computing has restructured the high-tech industry. Technology has exhausted the limits of the PC as a platform and the future will center on mobile devices, predicts Google chairman Eric Schmidt. "The PC device has evolved in terms of size, shape, use, and ubiquity," says former IBM executive Pat Richards. The younger generation, especially, is abandoning desktop computers and laptops for smartphones and iPads. The switch to mobile devices is apparent in the latest sales trends, as sales of smartphones will rise 56 percent to 467.7 million this year, according to Gartner, while tablet sales will grow nearly four times to 69.8 million this year. However, some experts believe the PC is not dying and instead is simply changing its size and shape, as handheld devices become the new must-have consumer product. In the future, consumers will get information from whatever device best suits the data, says VMWare CEO Paul Maritz. He says a person's data "will determine what devices look like, rather than the other way around, because it will outlive any particular piece of hardware where it may reside."

Hacking Targets Multiply

Wall Street Journal (09/09/11) Jennifer Valentino-DeVries 

U.S. government officials and security researchers warn that cyberattacks are a growing threat for all types of devices as they become linked to the Internet or cell phone networks. "They aren't just in automotive systems but in security systems, industrial control systems, medical devices," says iSec Partners' Don Bailey. He and iSec colleague Mathew Solnik recently demonstrated that they could unlock and start a car by sending text messages to the vehicle's alarm system, and the implication is that this same method could be used to interfere with businesses or critical services. The researchers point out that devices connected to a cellular network have several vulnerabilities, including chips that may not be able to manage complex security measures, and an inability to authenticate the network they receive messages from. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with technology manufacturers and users to understand the dangers, and a DHS official notes that protecting the devices is especially challenging because they cannot easily be patched on a routine basis. Bailey says that better microcontrollers could mitigate some hacking threats, while devices also should be required to authenticate the sources of messages and their networks.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Libre Software Lebanon

Wiki of the Free Libre Open Source Software Lebanese Movement : visit

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Flash Memory That'll Keep on Shrinking

Technology Review (09/02/11) Katherine Bourzac

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Samsung have developed a type of flash memory that uses graphene and silicon to store information. The researchers say that the use of graphene could extend flash's viability far into the future and could lead to portable electronics that can store much more data than today's devices. "We're using graphene to help extend the capabilities of the conventional technology," says IBM Watson Research Center researcher Augustin Hong, who worked on the technology while at UCLA. The graphene flash memory prototypes use less power than conventional flash memory and they can store data more stably over time, even when miniaturized, according to the researchers. Graphene-based flash memory cells perform better due to the material's chemical structure and electrical properties, says UCLA professor Kang Wang, who led the research. Graphene also can hold much more charge than silicon without leaking, which is a common problem with conventional flash systems as the devices get smaller. Although the graphene-based devices have not been reduced to the size of some silicon-based devices, there are no known properties of graphene that would cause the performance to falter as the devices get smaller.
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Mobile Phone Data in Haiti Improves Emergency Aid

Karolinska Insitutet (08/31/11) Katarina Sternudd

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet and Columbia University developed a program to monitor the daily movements of 2 million mobile phone users in Haiti to track cholera outbreaks. "We rapidly received mobile phone data and within 12 hours we were able to send out analyses describing which areas had received people from the cholera outbreak zone in order to provide information on areas at potentially increased risk of new outbreaks," says Karolinska's Linus Bengtsson. The researchers launched the project after the devastating earthquake in January 2010, and estimated that more than 600,000 people left Port-au-Prince within 19 days of the disaster. Although the researchers have shown that the movements of the mobile phones match those of a United Nations-led study conducted during a stable phase six months after the earthquake, their analysis differed from estimated migration patterns that were used during the initial phase of relief response. "We believe that the method can bring about important improvements in humanitarian relief and development cooperation," Bengtsson says.
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