Hexaware Reports Net Profit Of Rs 115.1 Million

Monday, October 27, 2008

Guyz believe it this year Hexaware rocks in terms of revenue genration. It got 4 news clients in the last quarter increasing the total count to 177 clients mindblowing.
Which includes 66 Fortune 500/Global 500 list.
Hexaware Technologies Ltd, a global provider of IT and BPO services and consulting, has reported revenue of Rs 2946.2 million for the third quarter ended 30 September 2008, a QoQ increase of 3.6 per cent in INR terms and down 2.0 per cent in USD terms. Hexaware witnessed a QoQ increase of 21.0 per cent in INR terms, 20.2 per cent in USD terms in its profit after tax (PAT) to Rs 115.1 million.
For the current quarter to December, the company has forecast revenues to be in the range $61.5 million to $64 million.
Global headcount at the end of Q3 2008 stood at 5,924, a net reduction of 674 over Q2 2008.


ZTE Bags Exclusive WiMAX Contract In Africa

ZTE Corporation has clinched an exclusive contract from Chinguitel, a telecom carrier under Expresso Telecom Group (ETG), to help Mauritania build its first 2.5GHz Mobile WiMAX commercial network. Under the agreement, ZTE will be providing core network equipment, wireless access devices, as well as various communication terminals for indoor and outdoor use.
Mauritania has a total land area of over 1 million sq. kms and faces the Sahara Desert in the east and Atlantic Ocean in the west. With such a complicated geographical landscape, it becomes important for telecom operators to establish a stable and efficient WiMAX network.

After an evaluation process, Chinguitel chose ZTE to exclusively provide Mauritania the core network equipment to establish its first ever WiMAX 16e Commercial Network. In selecting ZTE, Chinguitel is leveraging ZTE’s advanced technology and expertise to help them establish a CDMA and WiMAX integrated network infrastructure, covering the whole area of Africa.

“This exclusive deal further demonstrates our global leading position in providing WiMAX solutions and marks the first time that we are partnering with ETG in deploying our WiMAX infrastructure in Africa,” said Xu Shengfei, chief representative, ZTE Mauritania. “With this deployment, we hope it will trigger more similar WiMAX opportunities in other African countries.”

“It is a valuable opportunity to partner with ZTE in building the first WiMAX commercial network in Mauritania. We are impressed by ZTE’s state-of-the-art technologies and pioneering visions, hence are confident that we can provide the African population with the most effective wireless and highly advanced communications platform to enjoy access of various wireless services,” said Elamir, CEO, Chinguitel.

To date, ZTE has established 30 commercial trials and trial networks for 802.16e WiMAX worldwide covering Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas.


Wipro, Fortify Announce Software Assurance Center

So here comes wipro and Fortify together are launching first software assurance center
SAC. The centre uses Fortify 360 technology and will operate from Wipro’s India and regional facilities in the US and EMEA, delivering software assurance capabilities to thousands of global clients via managed (SaaS) or on-demand models. That sounds really cool rite.
This SAC is useful for the clients which offers them a service that provides visibility into the risks posed by vulnerable software and assesses applications using Fortify technology and skilled personnel to provide a measure of the application’s security health – the Software Assurance Score. The Wipro SAC can also validate an application’s compliance to key regulations such as PCI, GLBA and HIPAA.

We may think what's the hand of Fortify in this..
According to John M. Jack, CEO, Fortify Software, “Wipro’s enterprise security solutions is a global leader in providing IT services and technologies to help large organisations address a broad range of information security issues. This partnership marks a major milestone for Fortify as we continue to build out our framework for Business Software Assurance and help companies address enterprise risk at the application level.”


Japan Could Be A Large IT Market: NASSCOM

Japanese IT services market at $108 billion is the second largest in the world with India's share in the market being 1 to 1.5 billion. Offshoring is limited to 8-10 per cent of the total market with China being the biggest offshoring partner, accounting for over 50 per cent of the total offshoring. NASSCOM and PricewaterhouseCoopers have released a report on Japan titled Opportunities for Indian IT Industry: Japan. The report presents key opportunities and outlines potential strategies for Indian IT companies to tap the $108 billion Japanese market.
Speaking at the launch, Som Mittal, president, NASSCOM, said, "The Indian IT-BPO companies are fast diversifying into near territories and opening up new opportunities for growth. Currently, 90 per cent of the exports happen to United States and Europe with rest of the world contributing just 10 per cent. These markets are investing in information technology (IT) offering huge opportunity."

"Japan as a second largest country economy and highly dependent on technology currently constitutes only 2 per cent of our exports. With shortage of technical skills in Japan and urgent need for business transformation, Japan would be a large market. While Indian companies have been targeting this market, a new concerted approach needs to be taken by both sides," added Mittal.

As per the report, a key element for Japan to retain its competitiveness in the global market would need the proactive effort by Japanese government and industry to break the traditional models and they would have to reach out. They would need to embrace globalisation, accept the advantages of outsourcing and find ways to open up service businesses with countries like India.

Japanese business houses would have to view IT as strategic enabler, rather than a cost centre. They would also have to re-look at their current hierarchical structure of IT service providers to bring in best practices in domain, technology and service delivery, further adds the report.

Some of the key opportunities for Indian IT companies as well as potential strategies to tap the Japanese market are also been identified in the report. According to the report, owning to a strong industrial and market base for embedded products in Japan, embedded systems and engineering services present quick win areas for Indian due to their high market requirement, low language dependence and high offshore ability. Alliance with the top and second tier players is a good entry strategy, as well as with the increased acceptance of foreign business practices, official government policy to attract FDI, changes in the legal, tax and accounting regulations complemented with the increasing muscle of the Indian IT companies, mergers and acquisitions is a viable alternative indicating strong commitment to Japanese clients.

Embedded systems development and engineering and R&D services are the prospective quick win service offerings for Indian vendors. Application development and maintenance are the next big opportunities. Increased willingness by Japanese companies to adopt packaged products over custom development in the wake of global competition. This offers implementation opportunities for Indian companies, says the report.

The report also points out that setting offshore development centre in China is another strategy as China is currently a preferred location for outsourcing low-end development work by Japanese clients due to its cultural and geographical proximity.


BGC3 by Bill Gates

If you are a Bill Gates, you can't sit at home after an early retirement. You will do something; Bill Gates is doing a lot more. After stepping down from his position at Microsoft and handing over the helm to Steve Ballmer, Gates is reportedly setting up a new company. The new company, called bgc3 (the website is still under construction, check out http://www.bgc3.com/), is reported to deal with broad range of topics such as 'scientific and technological services', 'industrial analysis and research' and 'design and development of computer hardware and software'.
Well, Gates venture into scientific area could be critical. He is known for closed source and proprietary technologies. Will he take the same approach in scientific matters? If yes, it could spell disaster. The Human Genome project has become so successful owing to its open source nature. However, it's way too early to predict anything.

The new company is expected to be a think tank for science and tech innovations. TechFlash reported the 'c' in the name stands for 'catalyst', not 'company'. The company will also work as a catalyst between Microsoft and The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, the foundation's The Grand Challenges Explorations initiative announced the winners of their Round 1 funding. This diverse group of scientists and researchers from 22 countries and five continents will each receive a $100,000 award to help them take their bold, new ideas for global health solutions to the next level.

According to Techflash, "The records describe bgC3 as a 'holding company' headquartered in Kirkland – a relatively short, picturesque drive from Gates' home on Lake Washington."

There was an interesting interpretation of bgC3 by the news site. "Bill Gates Company Three – his third enterprise after Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But that’s only partially correct, according to the Gates insider.

Well, Gates' retirement days are over. He is back to work!


Linux OS Worth $10.8 Billion

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Linux Foundation has announced the publication of a new report titled 'Estimating the Total Development Cost of a Linux Distribution', written by Amanda McPherson, Brian Proffitt and Ron Hale-Evans on the value of Linux development. The paper finds that it would take approximately $10.8 billion to build the Linux community distribution Fedora 9 in today’s dollars with today’s software development costs. It would take $1.4 billion to develop the Linux kernel alone.

This report is an update of a 2002 study done by David A. Wheeler that examined the Software Lines of Code (SLOC) present in a typical Linux distribution (Red Hat Linux 7.1). At that time, Wheeler found that it would cost over $1.2 billion to develop a Linux distribution by conventional proprietary means in the U.S.

The authors examined Fedora 9 distribution using Wheeler’s tools and methods, specifically the SLOCCount tool that estimates value and effort of software development based on the COnstructive COst MOdel (COCOMO). The report goes into detail on the methods used, how they specifically apply to the Fedora distribution and the Linux kernel, and what an estimate of Linux’ value really means.

The study highlights three major areas; how much does a full distribution cost? how much does the Linux kernel cost? how does this really measure the value of linux?

Using 2008 salary figures, the tests published in the paper revealed that if developed today, the full set of Fedora 9 distribution packages would cost $10.8 billion. The Fedora 9 distribution contains 204.5 million lines of code in 5547 application packages. The development effort estimate comes close to 60,000 Person-Years. Applying this test to the Linux kernel included in Fedora 9 found the value to be 6.8 million lines of code worth $1.4 billion. The development effort estimate for the kernel alone exceeds 7500 Person-Years. This study reveals that collaborative development creates enormous economic value. In the past two years alone, over 3,200 developers from 200 companies have contributed to the kernel. An even larger number has contributed to full Linux distributions. Measuring the economic effort involved is imperfect, but this report clarifies why the methodology is the best approach and some of the limitations.

“This year has seen an incredible proliferation of Linux-powered devices outside of traditional Linux strongholds: devices powered by the Moblin platform, netbooks like the eeePC, mobile phones like the Gphone, and consumer devices like the Amazon Kindle. Would these products be possible without Linux?” said McPherson. “I think this points to the power of the collaborative development model. Monopolistic software companies used to be able to fund heavy R&D budgets, keeping out competition. Given the cost associated with building an OS like Linux, one wonders if proprietary companies will ever go it alone again.”

Amanda McPherson is vice president, marketing and developer programs, at the LF and leads its promotion, developer and community-relations activities. Brian Proffitt is community manager with the LF, managing the Linux Developer Network. Ron Hale-Evans is senior specifications writer with the LF and works closely with the Linux Standard Base (LSB) developer team to create LSB specifications.


IBM Introduces New System z10 Business Class Mainframe

IBM has said to introduce a new mainframe -- System z10 Business Class (z10 BC) -- to help mid-sized companies and customers in emerging markets jumpstart new application development efforts, consolidate IT server sprawl, and give qualified organisations a 'pay-as-you-grow' financial platform to build the mainframe as the foundation of their new enterprise data centre.
Additionally, IBM Global Financing is now offering 'Why Wait' -- a no-interest, no-payments programme for 90 days deferral to support qualified customers acquiring the new z10 BC now through the end of 2008.

"Clients are continuing to invest in mainframe technology, as evidenced in IBM's Q308 earnings, as revenues for IBM System z mainframe server products increased 25 per cent compared with the year-ago period, with double-digit growth in all geographies," said Shashi B Mal, director, systems and technology group, IBM India/South Asia. "Now with the introduction of our new z10 business class mainframe, clients have an incredibly efficient consolidation platform that is smart, cool, and very affordable. There's no comparison when you consider the legendary reliability and security of System z."

IBM z10 BC provides mid-sized clients with all the unique attributes of an IBM mainframe. For example, companies in emerging markets or in hot industries can now afford IBM's mainframe technology for under $100,000, says the company.

For customers seeking server consolidation options to cut costs, the IBM z10 BC delivers the capacity of up to 232 x86 servers, with 83 per cent smaller footprint, up to 93 per cent lower energy costs, and a higher level of security, control and automation.

The IBM z10 BC also offers processors known as 'specialty engines' that expand the use of the mainframe for popular SAP, Linux, Java applications, among others. From a performance standpoint, the IBM z10 BC, according to the company, is nearly 40 per cent faster, has over 50 per cent more total capacity and nearly four times the maximum memory compared to its predecessor, the IBM z9 BC. IBM z10 BC can support an incremental 1,000 e-mail users with the energy of a 100 watt light bulb.


Mono 2.0 Is Out; Brings .NET To Linux

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Mono project, an open source initiative sponsored by Novell, has announced the availability of Mono 2.0, an open source, cross-platform .NET development framework. Mono 2.0 provides all the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, as well as other operating systems. The new Mono 2.0 release is now compatible with the desktop and server components of version 2.0 of the Microsoft .NET framework and features the Mono Migration Analyzer (MoMA), an analytical tool for .NET-to-Linux migrations.
"Mono 2.0 gives .NET developers the freedom to run their applications on a wide variety of operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS and Unix," said Miguel de Icaza, vice president, development platforms, Novell and maintainer of the Mono project. "Mono 2.0 benefits a wider range of developers, ISVs and end-users by allowing them to write their applications once and run them on any OS platform, dramatically increasing portability and expanding their market reach."

More than 2,000 .NET applications are Mono 2.0 compatible with no code changes. Mono 2.0 now includes MoMA, the Mono Migration Analyzer. MoMA, which runs natively on .NET or on the Mono framework, helps developers quantify the number of changes required to run their .NET application in a Linux environment. In an analysis of 4,600 .NET applications using MoMA, 45 per cent of the applications required no code changes to work with Mono. An additional 24 per cent of the applications were shown to require fewer than six code changes to run on Mono.

Mono 2.0 offers easy installation and comprehensive platform, hardware and API support -– the Mono framework supports a variety of platforms, including Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, BSD and Windows; a variety of hardware options, such as x86, AMD 64, IA-64 (Itanium 2), EMT 64, PowerPC, ARM, S390 and S390x, SPARC and SPARC 9; all Microsoft .NET 2.0 APIs, including ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows.Forms; and C# 3.0 compiler with Language Integrated Query (LINQ) support.

Mono 2.0 also includes performance upgrades -– improves scaling and performance for ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Mono runtime; and useful downloads -– a virtual machine image that comes with a ready-to-use development environment, as well as many open source Web and desktop .NET applications, including the ASP.NET Starter Kits and other demos. An updated version of the MoMA tool, with improved reporting, is also available.

Mono 2.0 is available now and can be downloaded at www.mono-project.com/downloads.


Wikipedia dumps Red Hat for Ubuntu

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit entity behind the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, has finished the porting of its IT infrastructure - including most servers and desktops - to the Ubuntu variant of Linux.

Wikimedia has been running on a mix of Red Hat development and commercial Linuxes since it was founded seven years ago, and while the number of machines that have been changed is relatively small in terms of the size of the Linux universe, it is a win nonetheless for Canonical, the commercial company behind the Ubuntu distribution.

Gerry Carr, marketing manager at Canonical, said Wikimedia began its transition to Ubuntu in earnest in April with the Ubuntu 8.04 Long Term Support (LTS) launch, although the organization had some Ubuntu 6.04 instances running on its servers alongside a mix of Fedora and Red Hat distributions starting back in 2006.
Servers dominate

Wikimedia has 350 servers today supporting its operations and fewer than 20 desktops, with the exception of a couple of servers still running a Red Hat Linux and a Windows desktop machine that is used to run QuickBooks to do the accounting for the foundation.

All remaining servers and many desktops are running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. All future servers will be setup with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, and Wikimedia intends to push that LTS-only idea to the limit by not changing Linuxes unless it has to.

In a case study Canonical has put together, Wikimedia's chief technology officer Brion Vibber said the organization explored the possibility of sticking with Fedora. However: "Fedora moves a little too fast and we were not happy about some of the configuration management features."

Several Wikimedia system admins also liked Debian Linux, especially Ubuntu. This seems to have tipped the balance from Fedora to Ubuntu.

Wikimedia operates three data centers - one in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, another in South Korea (the city is unknown as we go to press), and the last one in Tampa, Florida. The Tampa data center is where most of the iron is actually located. The servers are x64 rack-mounted servers in 1U- and 2U-form factors, and Dell is the dominant supplier.

The machines run MySQL databases, the PHP programming language, the Apache Web server, Linux, and the custom applications created by Wikimedia to create Wikipedia. Wikimedia uses the Subversion code repository and the Bugzilla bug tracking software, too. And is obviously very keen on open-source software. The Wikipedia site has 2.5 million English articles and supports a peak of around 50,000 page requests per second.

With the LTS distribution, Canonical provides tech support and security patches for five years on servers and for three years on desktops, compared to the shorted development cycles for regular Ubuntu releases.

The LTS releases also have broader and deeper application certification for the stuff that rides atop the Linux distribution. The announcement of Wikipedia's use of Ubuntu comes just as Canonical is putting the finishing touches on its next regular release, Ubuntu 8.10, code-named Intrepid Ibex. Regular Ubuntu releases have 18 months of support for desktop and server variants.

Incidentally, while Wikimedia is using Ubuntu to run the company, and that might seem to imply commercial-grade support contracts from Canonical, this is not the case.
Support free

According to Carr, Wikimedia has not engaged Canonical for support contracts but there is some discussion about Wikimedia using Canonical's Landscape system management tool, announced in March, as well as doing some sort of custom support contract.

Right now, Wikimedia is using custom Ubuntu versions that have its own software configuration tools. Carr said Wikimedia has plenty of Linux expertise and a standard support contract doesn't make a lot of sense. Canonical is also hoping that Wikimedia becomes more involved with the Ubuntu support forums and with the process of deciding what needs to go into future Ubuntu releases, too.


CSC To Hire 2,000 Professionals

Good News for the software geeks, As the market is going down and here comes the company which is recruiting more than 1500 profesionals for next coming 6 months doesn't it sound cool.
lobal IT services major CSC on Wednesday announced that it would add 2000 professionals to its India operations in the next six months, on the back of growth in segments such as manufacturing and financial services.

CSC, whose India headcount contributed over $1 billion to its global revenue last year, employs 18,500 professionals in India.

“India is CSC’s largest world sourcing location outside the US and an important part of the company’s global success” said Mr Michael W Laphen, President and CEO of CSC, who is currently on a six-day visit to India.

During his visit, Mr Laphen would be meeting CSC employees to discuss their role in the company’s global business strategy. In addition, he would inaugurate the Noida campus, the largest CSC campus in India and also visit CSC facilities in Hyderabad and Chennai. CSC’s India operations focus on services such as applications development, product support, infrastructure services and BPO.

Elaborating on the hiring plans of the company, Mr Rajendra B. Vattikuti, President of CSC’s operations in the country said, “The manpower addition plans are being driven by the strong growth in the manufacturing and financial services space. We will also be moving more work to India.”


Microsoft Unveils Silverlight 2

Microsoft has released Silverlight 2. Silverlight is a browser plug-in that allows users to view and interact with rich media on the Web.

With the plug in update, the company will also release development tools for Mac developers.

Silverlight, a competitor for flash delivers a Flash-like Web experience to users, allowing them to interact with elements of a Web page, including watching video.

But against Flash, Silverlight offers many other advantages like the language used to code applications. In Silverlight, developers have the choice of using any language.

Many companies like AOL, Hard Rock Cafe, Yahoo! Japan, AOL, and Toyota have chosen Silverlight to deliver rich media on their Web sites, thus indicating that its popularity is growing.

To help provide tools to developers, Microsoft is providing funds to France-based Soyatec, to integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE.

Silverlight 2 is available for free download from Microsoft's Web site.


New Dell Offering Embeds CommVault Simpana Software

Dell and CommVault are teaming up to offer a new integrated backup-to-disk solution that will give small- and medium-sized (SMB) companies better assurance that mission-critical data is protected, available and accessible. This offering is built on the new Dell PowerVault DL2000, a customer-installable, integrated software and hardware solution powered by the CommVault Simpana 7.0 software, and provides a disk-to-disk based solution to help customers implement and leverage a data management strategy that is simpler and more cost-effective to deploy.
The DL2000 is said to lower the cost and complexity barriers of entry for companies looking to increase the speed and reliability of their backups, reduce their storage footprint and centralise the protection of remote sites.

“This latest CommVault integration into the long-awaited addition for Dell customers further emphasises CommVault’s close partnership with Dell and our commitment to providing holistic data management solutions. We are honoured that Dell saw Simpana 7.0 as a natural fit for its new product lineup. Now, Dell and CommVault customers can deploy and manage disk-based backup quickly for immediate and positive impact to their business and IT operations,” said Dave West, vice president, marketing and business development, CommVault.

“The teaming of CommVault and Dell to deliver a comprehensive, fully-integrated disk-based data protection solution streamlines deployment and simplifies data management for enterprise and SMB organisations. Dell’s partnership with CommVault is a testament to the companies longstanding relationship and validation of CommVault’s technology expertise,” said Lauren Whitehouse, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group.

“Customers are looking for easy-to-deploy full-service backup and recovery solutions that help maximise resources and make their jobs easier,” said Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager. “The DL2000 combines our PowerVault storage with CommVault’s advanced Simpana software – including de-duplication capabilities - into a single, integrated package to help simplify and automate these processes. We’ve done the integration so our customers don’t have to.”

The Dell PowerVault DL2000, powered by CommVault Simpana software, can help SMBs reduce costs and prevent unnecessary expenditures with features that include: available built-in de-duplication which retains more recovery points on less disk; consolidated management, reporting and maintenance – the Simpana software’s centralised management console allows users to set backup tasks and policies for system monitoring and maintenance for local or remote physical or virtual servers; single step granular recovery delivers up to 77 per cent faster restores; 'Assist and Accelerate' upgrades of Windows, Exchange and SharePoint; synthetic full backups which reduce performance impact and Backup Windows; and automated storage policies which simplify tiered storage management.


Intel buys NetEffect for $8 million

Big-time money maker of modern times, Intel, has just confirmed that it has acquired all the assets of NetEffect, a network connectivity solutions company specializing in Ethernet products and technologies for server compute clusters. By paying just(?) $8 million, Intel has secured itself NetEffect's knowledge and product portfolio which includes 1 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) adapters and 10 GbE Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs).

"NetEffect's role as a data communications solution provider and the company's technology will enhance Intel's current Ethernet efforts," said Tom Swinford, general manager, Intel LAN Access Division. "The combination of Intel and NetEffect technology will allow Intel to address our customers' most important 10 Gigabit Ethernet needs, including server virtualization, convergence of network and storage traffic, and server compute clusters."

Through the deal, all 30 NetEffect employees will join Intel and continue their work in Austin, Texas.


Instant Messaging for Devices Makes Data Transfer Easy

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

As the number of computing devices used by the average user increases - desktop at work, notebook at home, mobile phone for email and web browsing- moving data across these has become a challenge.

Two researchers at IBM have devised a way to make it easier to manage multiple devices and transfer files, images and other information seamlessly.

Think of it as instant messaging for your computing systems, they say, where different devices are almost like friends on your buddy list and can be connected with depending on whether a particular device is online or offline.

Data management is an emerging yet a growing problem today, says Michael Gartenberg, vice president at research firm Jupitermedia.

"They are absolutely 100% on the right track here," says Gartenberg. "What they are doing is very, very important because consumers are using a whole host of devices and very few, if any, are thinking how to make that device usage seamless."

A quick survey of 27 IBM researchers and Stanford faculty showed that most people carry nearly six devices including their PCs at work, home and mobile phones.

"We have more devices than ever that we work with but each assumes it is the only one," says Jeff Pierce, a researcher at IBM's Almaden Research Center who will be presenting the software at a user interface software conference in Monterey, California next week.


iPhone App Helps Drivers Avoid Speeding Tickets

A new application enables iPhone owners to stick it to the man with the powers of social networking.

Trapster, a free app developed by a company that goes by the same name, follows a driver's location as a dot on a map. If the driver passes by a police officer camping out with a radar gun, the driver can tap the iPhone to plot a speed-trap point. Trapster transfers that data point to a server, and then other drivers using Trapster will be alerted of that speed trap when they come across the same location.

It's unclear how well this app will work, seeing as it relies on user-reported data. I'm slightly pessimistic that it would help much: When I see a cop on the street, the last thing I want to do is touch my phone, seeing as I could be pulled over because of the new hands-free handset law.


Steve Jobs Unveils Newer, Sexier Aluminum MacBooks

So here comes steve jobs with presenting a MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air that will feature faster processors, better graphics, and a uniform design language of aluminum and glass. Jobs also unveiled a new 24-inch cinema display made especially to accompany Mac laptops.
Guyz here are some cool features menioned below
check them out
1. New MacBook Pros

* Starts at $1999.
* 2.4 GHz processor
* 15-inch 1440 x 900 glossy display.
* 0.95 inches thick, weighs is 5.5-pounds.
* Nvidia GeForce 9400m graphics card.

2. Refreshed MacBooks

* Starts at $1299.
* 2.0 GHz processor.
* 13-inch LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display.
* 0.95 inches thick, weighs is 4.5-pounds.
* Nvidia GeForce 9400m graphics card.

3. MacBook Air

* Cheaper. (The SSD model is now $2500)
* Integration of Nvidia 9400m means 4x faster graphics.
* Faster front side bus.
* Mini-DisplayPort.
* Aluminum and glass design as seen in the MacBook and MacBook Pro

4. New Cinema Display

* 24-inches
* LED backlighting.
* Integrated iSigh.
* 1920 x 1200 resolution.
* 3-port USB hub.
* Stereo speakers.
* Mini display port.
* Out in November.


Real Geeks Wear It On their Sleeve

What better way to yell out your geek credentials than to snap on some cuff links (when you absolutely have to!) that have photographs of your favorite molecules on them?

Michael Davidson, a research scientist at Florida State University, has been taking photomicrographs or pictures through a microscope of molecules for years. Some of his work has appeared on neck ties and bed sets among other things.

The latest to carry his work are stainless steel cuff links that feature photomicrographs of the caffeine and testosterone molecule.

Davidson who works at the Optical Microscopy Division of the National High Magnetic Laboratory is open to custom photomicrographs of alloys, liquid crystals, superconductors and proteins among other things.


Who Needs Photoshop? Free GIMP Is Here

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shooting is fun. Of course not with a gun, but with a camera. Today, most of us become trigger happy at the mere sight of a fine spectacle. The popularity of Flickr and Picasa takes this hobby further. But you do need a software to help you edit the pictures you have taken; students need software to create and manipulate images for their projects; businessmen need photo editing software to create images for their presentations; graphic artists ... Well, this is the breed which breathes with photo editing software. Most of the time, we use Photoshop which is quite expensive. Those who live in a better world of GNU/Linux are already aware of the powerful alternative of Photoshop -- it's called GIMP.
GIMP has almost everything that you need for basic and advanced image editing. And the best thing is it is not only free in terms of philosophy of freedom (check this), but also comes for free of cost. The GIMP team has recently announced the release of a new version of the popular image editing software -- version 2.6.

Those who are already aware of GIMP may make sense of some of the features I am going to talk about, those who have not tried the GIMP, yet, are missing a lot. Below are the technical details of the GIMP. For ordinary users, the best thing would be to skip the technical details and simply go to the download option to download and install GIMP on their machine, whether it be Windows or GNU/Linux.

In the new version, the toolbox menu bar has been removed and merged with the image window menu bar. To be able to do this, a window called the empty image window has been introduced. It hosts the menu bar and keeps the application instance alive when no images are opened. It also acts as a drag and drop target. When opening the first image, the empty image window is transformed into a normal image window, and when closing the last image, that window becomes the empty image window.

Important progress towards high bit-depth and non-destructive editing in GIMP has been made. Most colour operations in GIMP are now ported to the powerful graph based image processing framework GEGL, meaning that the internal processing is being done in 32 bit floating point linear light RGBA. By default, the legacy 8 bit code paths are still used, but a curious user can turn on the use of GEGL for the colour operations with Colours/Use GEGL.

In addition to porting colour operations to GEGL, an experimental GEGL Operation tool has been added, found in the Tools menu. It enables applying GEGL operations to an image and gives on-canvas previews of the results.

It is now possible to pan beyond the image border, making image window navigation much less constrained. It is no longer a problem to use the edge of a brush on the edge of an image while being zoomed in, and one can adapt the canvas to any utility windows covering parts of the image window.

However, if you have used the version 2.4, you will find some minor changes, which you need to get used to. But it is not good for GIMP team to change menu positions because it takes a lot of time to figure them out.

So, it's time for you to move on and download GIMP.


Ask.com, now with more answers

Ask.com is cleaning up its act a bit with the latest (the 11th, I'm told) major update of the search engine, which launches on Monday.

The biggest change is that Ask is parsing more data from various sources and displaying that in its search results. If you ask Ask a question, the algorithms will try to give you an answer in the result pages, not just a link to a relevant Web site. Ask.com president Scott Garrell confirmed that, yes indeed, this is the premise that Ask was founded on in 1996 when it was Ask Jeeves, but back then the answers were hand-crafted. Today they're created by the engine.

The company is also mining the Web for "Q&A pairs," and displaying answers from any site where people ask questions and others answer them. The site will also display questions related to the one the user asks, as well as the answers to their question, to help them do further research on a topic.

The service is also displaying more structured data in its results, such as TV listings and events.

Garrell claims that Ask 11 is 30 percent faster than Ask 10 as well as more accurate in its results. It's also a bit more cleanly organized, but you'd have to put the old and new version side-by-side to see the difference.

Parsing search results instead of just displaying them in a list is, of course, not unique to this engine, but I do like the focus on displaying answers instead of just links.


SAP: first to hit the buffers

SAP pre-announced its Q3 results at what could not have come at a worse time for the beleaguered stock market. Although executives were bragging about 4% growth in software sales as though BusinessObjects doesn’t exist the reality is that year over year growth was off 9%.

Management blamed the result on a ’sudden,’ ‘unusal’ and ‘unexpected’ drop in deal closure rates. SAP also announced a hiring freeze including cutting back on temporary staff and on all variable expenses.

Henning Kagermann, SAP’s co-CEO claimed the company executed well up to the last two weeks of September. “Many customers felt the need to focus on shorter term concerns and put planned IT investments on hold for now. There was some hesitation on software purchases where financing was an issue. No company including SAP is immune from a sudden and serious economic downturn…We are not cutting out or downsizing, that would be too extreme at this time but we are in preparedeness mode…We remain in the middle of the range of our guidance for software and software related revenues.”

Sarah Friar of Goldman Sachs asked about the impact of the downturn on the planned maintenance fee increase and subsequent margin expansion. “I think together with some user groups we have a very good package and they understand more and more the value behind this offering,” said Kagermann.

By the numbers:

U.S. GAAP software and software-related service revenues are in the range €1.970 bn ($2.657bn) and €1.980 bn ($2.671bn) (2007: €1.74 bn - $2.35bn), representing an increase of 13% - 14% compared to the third quarter of 2007.
Non-GAAP software and software-related service revenues, is expected to be between €2.010 ($2.71bn) and €2.020 bn ($2.724bn) (2007: €1.74 billion - $2.35bn). This represents an increase of 16% - 17% compared to the third quarter of 2007.
U.S. GAAP software revenues are expected to be between €740 ($998mill) and €750 mill, ($1.o1 bn) (2007: €715 mill - $964 mill), representing an increase of 4% - 5%
By any measure, the result is a shock and in after hours trading, SAP was down 16%

SAP expects to firm up its numbers and present a full report on October 28th at which stage we’ll likely know the full extent of the current loss of confidence among buyers.


Red Hat Delivers First Integrated Linux-Based HPC

Red Hat has announced the delivery of the industry's first integrated Linux-based high performance computing (HPC) platform with the global availability of the Red Hat HPC Solution, an all-in-one stack that customers can leverage to deploy, run and manage their HPC clusters. For deploying and managing HPC clusters, Red Hat, Dell and Platform Computing have also partnered to offer customers a comprehensive cluster computing package, Platform Open Cluster Stack (OCS), to ease cluster deployment, management and operation of the Red Hat HPC Solution.
"With our HPC Solution, we're enabling our customers to focus on their business goals and competitive advantage without needing to worry about the challenges of deploying and managing their HPC cluster - we're taking care of this for them," said Scott Crenshaw, vice president, platform business unit, Red Hat. "We're delivering the first Linux-based solution that allows our customers to deploy a fully integrated high-performance computing environment in minutes rather than in weeks or months. No one else in the industry has yet been able to deliver this type of compelling Linux solution for HPC clusters."

The Red Hat HPC Solution incorporates all of the components necessary to deploy and maintain HPC clusters, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 and Platform Computing's cluster software framework, Platform Open Cluster Stack 5. The solution also includes device drivers, a simple cluster installer, cluster management tools, a resource and application monitor, interconnect support and Platform Lava, a powerful job scheduler.

"Dell is committed to simplifying high performance computing solutions and sees benefit in the approach that Red Hat is taking with their HPC Solution," said Judy Chavis, director, business development and product management, Dell. "By utilising our existing relationship with Platform Computing, commitment to simplify IT and established practice of utilising standard-based components in complex environments; this solution helps strengthen our position in the HPC market and fits well into our overall strategy."


NASSCOM Launches Social Innovation Honours

NASSCOM Foundation is pioneering the Social Innovation Honours to recognise excellence and encourage innovation in social development initiatives. The annual honours aim to showcase projects that demonstrate best practices through exemplary use of ICT (information and communication technology) in areas of social transformation. This honour is a celebration of innovations that bring about social change and development through the application of cutting-edge technology.
The grand jury comprises Narayana Murthy, Jaithirth Rao, Kiran Mazumdar and Kiran Karnik. The winners of the honours will be announced at NASSCOM’s India Leadership Summit in February 2009.

In creating the platform for Social Innovation Honours, NASSCOM Foundation aims to identify projects where innovation could be in the form of both a process and a result. In looking at the process, NF aims to understand systems based on transfer and sharing of knowledge across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. For NF, a social innovation can be a product, a process, or a technology, as well as "a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention, or some combination of them".

Terms such as social enterprise and social innovation were coined in the non-profit sector and hence continue to be associated only with this sector. However, there are many path-breaking projects that have been initiated by the government as well as corporates which deserve to be recognised and feted.

Hence the achievement of social development through the use of ICT innovations could be in terms of: increased education, better health and hygiene, employment/entrepreneurship opportunities and environment. There are three categories for nomination -- Non-profit organisation: ICT innovation for the community (non-profit) -- an innovation which helped achieve social development, or aided a community, which is not part of a business plan; Profit organisation: ICT led business model innovation (for profit) -- an innovation which helped achieve social development, or aided a community, which is part of a business plan; Government ICT led business model innovation -- an innovation which helped achieve social development, or aided a community.

Speaking about the relevance of the Honours, Kiran Karnik, trustee, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “Today we see and experience a society facing unprecedented social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges. Social innovation transforms these challenges into opportunities to improve our communities. Our work endeavours to create and curate spaces that foster these social innovations. Diverse mixes of people connect in a unique physical space to stimulate new thought, the seeds for interventions and learning opportunities for doing social good. NASSCOM Foundation is initiating the Social Innovation Honours to recognise excellence and encourage innovation in social development initiatives.”

Added Rufina Fernandes, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, “We like to salute and celebrate the contributions and efforts of for-profit as well as non-profit organisations that have led the way, walked the talk and made a difference, whether big or small.


Axon Drops Infosys, Goes With HCL

The Indian bidding war for UK-based SAP consultancy Axon Group has entered into yet another interesting phase. About a month ago, Infosys Technologies Limited might have thought it had Axon in its kitty when the boards of the two companies had reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer of 600 pence per share for Axon Group. But HCL last week trumped Infosys' bid for Axon with a cash offer of 650 pence, valuing Axon at about £441 million ($780 million) and countering Infosys' offer valuing the UK firm at around £407 million. Now the bidding tale has taken a new twist, with Axon having withdrawn its recommendation on Infosys offer and deciding to go ahead with the HCL Technologies' cash offer.
As per the implementation agreement with Axon, Infosys had 60 hours to make a counter bid and that period has now lapsed. According to Axon, "Under the terms of the agreement, the company undertook that, in the event of a competing proposal being received from a third party, the board would not vary or amend its recommendation of the Infosys offer for a period of 60 hours from the time Infosys was notified of the competing proposal. The 60-hour period during which Axon is prevented from varying or amending its recommendation has now elapsed."

In the last statement from Infosys made on 26 September 2008, the company said it was "considering its position and urges Axon shareholders to take no action at this time. A further announcement will be made in due course."

Turning its back on a takeover by Infosys, the British information technology company said it intends unanimously to recommend the HCL Offer when it is made.

Axon said, "Axon and HCL have enjoyed a long-standing relationship. The board is pleased that HCL has recognised the quality of the Axon business and has announced its intention to make an offer. The HCL offer values Axon's existing issued and to be issued (fully diluted) share capital at approximately £441 million. The value of the HCL offer is at a premium of 8.3 per cent to the value of the Infosys offer."


Facebook co-founder departs for new venture

The college roommate who helped Mark Zuckerberg start Facebook is leaving the fast-growing social networking website in a matter of weeks to create a new internet technology firm.

Dustin Moskovitz promises to remain at Facebook at least one more month before setting out to follow "another passion: making companies themselves run better".

"I didn't want to construct efficiencies, I wanted to engineer them," Moskovitz said of his vision for a new startup.

Moskovitz, who helped Zuckerberg start the social networking service in their Harvard University dormitory nearly five years ago, is taking Facebook engineer Justin Rosenstein with him on the new business adventure.

"Whether I work here or not, I'll forever bleed Facebook blue," Moskovitz wrote in a message posted, appropriately enough, on his Facebook profile.

"Our new project is not a replacement for what we build here, but instead both a complement and a compliment, and we have every intention of making it feel like a natural extension of Facebook's product and purpose."

Rosenstein says that he and Moskovitz are setting out to "build an extensible enterprise productivity suite, along with a high-level open-source software development toolkit, built for the Web from the ground up."

Moskovitz said that he expects Facebook to continue doing fine without him and that his departure is merely him pursuing another passion.

"Dustin has always had Facebook's best interests at heart and will always be someone I turn to for advice," Zuckerberg said in an email announcing the move.

Moskovitz is described as a member of Facebook's technical staff on the company website responsible for internal tools and strategy.

"Leaving Facebook makes me sad, but I feel I have to follow my passion on this," Rosenstein said in a message on his Facebook profile.

"I am enormously excited for the company's further success, a destiny I'm confident it will reach regardless of my participation in it."

Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a privately-owned company headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

According to industry tracker Hitwise, Facebook has been closing the gap with market leader MySpace and got 20.5 percent of US social networking visits in August, a 50 percent increase from what it saw a year earlier.


Linux ready to replace Windows? Not yet…

Andy Tung, Director of US Sales for MSI … told Laptop that their experience shows that netbooks with Linux are returned four times more often than those with Windows XP. This would indicate what others have already noted, many consumers pick up the cheaper systems and then realize that the Linux system is not what they are used to so they return it.

And this is for a product that is targeted at early adopters who are far more technically sophisticated than average; the MSI Wind is a tiny, dirt-cheap portable PC that has been selling like gangbusters to the digital elite and gadget freaks since its launch in June. I would assume that this audience would be more forgiving of rough edges and usability gotchas than more mainstream PC buyers. This comment by MSI’s Andy Tung from the original interview highlights the uphill struggle that PC makers have when dealing with Linux:

Our internal research has shown that … the main cause [of the higher return rates for Linux-based machines] is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don’t know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it’s not what they are used to. They don’t want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store.

The interviewers interrupt at this point to note that they “struggled with the Linux version of the Wind U90” as well and ask whether the company plans to customize a Linux OS for the machine instead of using an off-the-shelf distro:

We plan to bring the Linux version to the U.S by the end of the year. But we are working on some of the issues with the SUSE Linux and even continue to explore other flavors of Linux. We have discussed Ubuntu with a Mac OS type of look and feel. We are talking to different suppliers to figure out the best user experience.

Finding software developers to build and support a great user experience that ties hardware and software together isn’t cheap or easy. It’s hard to imagine how that job can get done at all, much less be done well, on a PC that sells for $399 or less.

I have a couple of Linux-based systems here that I use occasionally for testing and just to stay on top of what’s happening in the wide world of computing. I have been impressed with the way that popular Linux distros like Ubuntu have improved with each new release; these days, Linux is a great choice for technically sophisticated users who don’t mind being far, far out of the mainstream. But for people who don’t have the time or the inclination to make fundamental changes, it’s a nonstarter. If I were to switch to Linux for daily use, I would have to dramatically change my work habits and learn to use a very different set of tools than I use today. The same would be true of any of my home or small business clients.

As someone who writes about Windows for a living, I get a disproportionate amount of feedback from people who argue that open-source software is a panacea and that dumping Windows for Linux is the answer to every problem that affects the Windows ecosystem. The market is doing a pretty good job of proving that they’re wrong, as this example shows.



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