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ORNL unveils Titan: The fastest supercomputer of this world

It’s capable of solving the most complex questions in science. With it, weather predictions will become lot more accurate. And its launch will give rise to a new kind of global arms race. Meet Titan – the most powerful and fastest supercomputer of this world for open scientific research.

NVIDIA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has finally launched Titan, the much anticipated supercomputer that runs with a theoretical peak performance exceeding 20 petaflops, which is equivalent to a quadrillion calculations per second. The supercomputer, which is an updated version of its predecessor Jaguar, is ten times faster and five times more energy efficient than Jaguar. The computer, which will be operated in Tennessee by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has 299,008 CPUs made by AMD. It is a Cray-XK7 system and the first machine to have 18,688 graphics processing units (GPUs) made by NVIDIA. GPUs serve as accelerators to the CPUs; this is the reason due to which Titan provides ten times faster performance output when compared to Jaguar. In addition to being faster and more energy efficient, Titan is of the same size as that of the Jaguar.

The Titan supercomputer will be used by a number of engineers and researchers from academia, industries, and government labs to research into alternative fuels and changing climatic conditions. Titan targets six flagship applications, which include material science, biofuels, climatic changes, nuclear energy, combustion, and astrophysics. The supercomputer will be able to provide answers to problems like changing atmospheric temperatures, chemical compositions, and circulation patterns. Scientists will be able to evaluate materials at the atomic level, which will help in constructing new materials with superior weight, strength, and tensile properties. They will also be able to study certain plants and convert them into biofuels through enzymatic process. The technology can also be used to create new form of fusion energy that would provide safe and clean fuels forms that would burn longer and cleaner. Also, with the help of Titan, researchers can design new ways to optimize processes, fuels, and engines to get a cleaner burning fuel.

Titan will for sure help scientists and engineers achieve breakthrough in technology.

Image credit: Slashgear

More Malware Targeting Android

Malware specifically targeted to Android devices is a growing concern as researchers discover new variants of Android malware.  Researchers have recently discovered a new variant of the Trojan DroidDream.  Google had removed apps from the market that was affected by this Trojan.   Google also found out malware that were designed to send premium SMS from the Android phone thus raising the phone bill of the user. Some malware that were discovered were data stealing Trojans that specifically were targeted to steal one time bank SMS pass codes. Google had removed apps that were targeted by malware from Android Market and also removed them other alternative apps market including markets in China.

Lookout, a mobile security firm was first to warn the Android users community about the new variants of the Trojan DroidDream which was named as DroidDream Light. Google had removed the malware from the Android market immediately after the reports. The malware was available for download only for short period and only 1,000-5000 downloads of the malware were recorded.

Lookout has also issued warning about four other applications in the Android market; QuickFallDown, BubbleBuster, Scientific Calculator and Best Compass and Leveler all published by Mobnet.  Though these are legitimate apps, users may accidentally download a malware which has a similar name. For example, the legitimate filename of app Best Compass and Leveler may be “com.gb.compassleveler.” The malware with similar name may have  a filename such as  “com.gb.CompassLeveler”’ Lookout has also reported that variants of DroidDream found in late May and  March  do not depend on users actions for activation  which means  they do not required to be launched or started by user in order to execute its malicious code. The malware has the ability to modify the next connection time. The app can command and control the Trojan Distributor server that is used for communication with the malware.  The malware can initiate download of other infected apps in the already infected Android device from the Trojan distributor server.  The malware can also visit malicious web address and download other infected apps. It also has the capacity to update itself.

Researchers working at North Caroline State University have warned about new Android malware “HippoSMS”. The malware is mainly distributed from alternative apps markets in China.  HippoSMS   sends text messages to a premium rated number. This Android malware also blocks communication messages sent by telecom service provider that updates and informs the customer about additional charges.

Fortinet, a security firm has discovered a banking Trojan targeted towards Android devices.  The malware presents itself as a banking activation application. Once installed it listens to all incoming text messages and forwards them to a remote Web server. Banks generally send one-time pass codes through text message which can be easily seized by this malware.

Android users can protect themselves from malware by exercising caution while downloading apps. They should download apps only from trusted portals or sources on Internet.  They should also look for apps and developers rating before downloading the app.

Report Backlit keyboards returning to MacBook Air

Apple Inc decision to stop offering backlit keyboard in MacBook Air was met with disappointment from users. However, the company has taken note of user’s disappointment and reintroduced backlit keyboard in new MacBook Air update. The company has announced that the new MacBook Air that will be introduced in year 2011 will feature high speed Thunderbird ports, Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and backlit keyboards.

Apple had followed a policy (maintained a decision) of offering a backlit keyboards only in Pro edition of MacBook. It was their simple way to differentiate between consumer notebook and Pro notebook. However, the company ended its year old policy and introduced the backlit keyboard in MacBook Air in year 2008. The company reverted back to its policy and it stopped offering backlit keyboard in consumer notebooks. The MacBook Air line of notebooks introduced in October 2010 did not have backlit keyboards which disappointed the users. The backlit keyboard was considered to be the biggest omission that happened from Apple Inc. The omission also created hug confusion as the Apple Store order page showed backlit keyboard a feature provided in MacBook while the Apple website clearly mentioned in some places that the backlit keyboard will not be offered in low end 2.0 GHz MacBook.

Apple Inc has now announced that it has plans to equip the 1.6″ and 13.3″ MacBook Air models with backlit keyboards. The company has not disclosed the reasons for removing the backlit keyboards in year 2010. There was a speculation that Apple removed the backlit feature from MacBook Air line introduced in October 2010 because it may have affected the battery life of the notebooks. Technical experts and other people however disagree with the reason. They have an opinion that Apple already has good energy saving controls such as light dimmer and the option to shut down the backlight when the MacBook enters standby mode. The company also has so much software expertise that a backlit keyboard would have not made any difference to battery life.

The backlit feature is one of the popular features in MacBook Pro. The backlit keyboard is quite helpful when working in dim light conditions such as planes when everyone is fast asleep. It is also helpful when you are using your MacBook in bed at night. Apple is expected to release the new MacBook Air models in next two weeks. MacBook users are delighted with introduction of backlit keyboards in MacBook Air. The inclusion of backlit keyboard might have some effect on the cost of MacBook Air and also add up some technical issues. People expect Apple Inc should not hike the price of MacBook Air for this feature. They have an opinion that the company will gain from the profits from the complete sell out of new MacBook Air as the backlit feature is popular among MacBook users and enthusiasts.

Subscriptions and digital downloads to be offered by Google

Google has evolved into an online giant which has made many people completely dependent on it, especially those involved in research. It is not only a medium through which people can access what they are looking for on the net, but also contains a variety of products with different features. The most notable among these products which have become very popular recently are the Google Chrome, Google earth, Google talk and many more. It also has a range of services like Gmail, Orkut, News, Maps and YouTube.

There have also been lots of speculations around Google launching a music service. The speculations continue to take shape as the online giant pitches record labels on a solution which would include both a subscription service having a cloud based locker and a la carte downloads. This service would allow users to access their music libraries through any connected device. It is invariably being talked about that the Google Music service may provide good competition to the likes of Apple iTunes and the Amazon MP3. It would function mostly like them like offering customers the choice between complete digital albums and individual tracks. However what would set the initiative apart would be the locker option that would be priced at $25 every year. It would allow the users to automatically transfer the purchased content to a cloud based account for streaming or download to authorized devices. Apart from this, social media features like playlist sharing will also be included.

Google is expected to come up with both a mobile application and an online music player. It is also in talks with the labels to provide users with the facility of checking out and listening to a full length stream of a song absolutely free for the first time. After that, the consumer would be able to access only a 30 second sample of that particular track.

It is also being said that Google is negotiating a three year licensing agreement across all the countries where the music service would be launched. This agreement includes a 50-50 subscription revenue share with master rights holders and music publishers will receive a 10.5 per cent share.

The digital music ambitions of Google began to surface in June when Google was in talks with the recording industry. According to Wall Street Journal at the time, the service would be connected to the search results which would enable users to access the link when they look for an album or a song title. Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering had said that the users would love this feature and that the music service would leverage technology through Google’s purchase of Simplify Media, a streaming media firm. The Goggle music Launch would also be eagerly awaited because of its clash with the leading Apple iTunes which currently accounts for almost 70% of all premium downloads and approximately 28% of all physical music purchases.

Let us hope that the new Google service becomes as popular and as successful as its other endeavours. For now, it is being eagerly awaited.

Free news Applications from CNN

After the launch of CNN’s application for the iPhone and iPad touch in the US in the year 2009, CNN has now come out to announce the release of the international version of the CNN App on its stores. Available for free to its users outside the United States, the international version is purpose built and designed to provide a “Visually-driven news experience” for the iPhone and the iPod touch users who have demanded for convenience and accessibility. The previous release was well received by users for its immense interface and vast amount of content.

How it works

The International version has a similarity to the original app. A big difference between the two however, is the price. While U.S customers pay $2 for the CNN application, customers outside the U.S can download the international version for free.  When you first launch the application, you are presented with a list on new stories. There is a thin scrollable toolbar at the top of the screen that lets you choose from a long list of categories. The list includes World, Crime, Entertainment, Health travel, Technology and living just to mention but a few. You can further scroll through the list of stories in each category and tap into one to read more.

The screen orientation is flexible from landscape to portrait.

“My CNN Personalization”

The application allows its users to customize their news experience from time to time. You can choose specific news and subjects and follow them so that you can get automatic regular updates when you launch the app later on, on the news and alerts. You can also save the news for offline reading or future use.

Depending on your geographical location, the app will frequently update you on regional news.

There is also the iReport option which connects you to CNN’s news community which is generally generated and updated by its users. With this option, you can browse, download and upload your own stories and clips. Users can also share stories through Twitter, Facebook or e-mails by using the application.

Word from CNN

According to Luis Gump, CNN’s President of mobile, the decision to offer the application for free was not easy. “If only you knew the amount of time that had gone into this particular topic… We looked at it from different perspective and we consulted with our international team.”

He further added, “CNN’s new app will offer our international audience a fantastic mobile experience for our iPhone and iPod users by delivering new feature and user-friendly designs… CNN is completely dedicated and ready to meet the needs of consumers and this application will be an important contribution to that effort.”

Gump also said that in the course of time, a paid version of the application with added functions could be introduced. The app will only offer regional news and access to videos of late breaking news will be disabled.

For Nick Wrenn, Vice president of Digital services for CNN International. “Our users, understand that the world is a highly connected place. Our main aim with the CNN App is to meet their needs, putting relevant news analysis, video and images right at their fingertips. While at it, we will try to relay the news in a form that is relevant and easy to understand.”

Facebook wishes to expand in the News Publishing arena

Facebook: the well known social network that is the second most visited site after google.com and ranked number 2 according to Alexa rankings, is wishing to dominate in another arena. There is no doubt about the fan following of the community and the number of people that visit Facebook every day and what if Facebook becomes the home to news and other such details that are targeting audiences in huge numbers.

Facebook moving into publishing business

Yes! That is what Facebook wishes for now. The company intends to become the top of the news publishing heaven as well. Facebook wants that news publisher log in their Facebook account and publish their news on the social network. The traditional news media are not interactive the way they would have been with respect to the technology advances that are taking place around the World Wide Web. The news publishers need to use the technology that has been used by many people in the business in order to interact with the readers as well as bring people towards the platform as well.

They wish the news publisher start using their publishing tools so that the social media can be helpful to them in expanding their news followers by a great deal. A study, on the contrary shows that people prefer Twitter to connect, comment and log-in on news media sites more often. Facebook though prefers third-party tools more than any other platform on the web.

First move in the venture

The formerly Facebook Connect team has teamed up once again to come up with this excellent feature. The team is going to go and talk to the news media so that they use Facebook’s services instead of any other service in order to make a connection between the source and the followers. The engineers and marketing managers are both in the team to make the process easier to understand for those in the media streams. The engineers try and get the glimpse of what can possibly help the publishers getting the maximum output with Facebook.

The main targets that the Facebook team has set is to get people from the media known with the features that Facebook is offering in order to get the best possible opinion from the viewers. The like button, the Facebook’s analytics and all such features that tell the source about the following in real time facts and figures might all be helpful to the media sources. The question is to explain them only.

Past example

There is one clear example of such a medium on the internet in the form of Scribd that is well into social publishing. The social publishing is getting around 23,000 likes per day while the previous count was up to 1200 only back in April the same year. The like button has certainly increased the number of people who were attracted towards the site as they can now make their part in the news.

ABC News got an excellent rise of 190 percent rise while there was a 200 percent rise for TypePad. The sharing tools that NHL introduced on their site increased the video views and registration by 50 percent. There can be a number of other examples that you can find on the online world.

Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003
Call Now: +1 833-522-1003