Tuesday, December 11, 2007
4.5 Mbps of international bandwidth x a 35 fold increase in ... Internet bandwidth yields 155 Mbps - an OC3. In 2008! At least South Africa isn't too far behind the times ;)
Does this mean UCT will be getting a similar capacity, or something a little faster? Since we'll be near one of the cores of SANREN, hopefully things will be a bit better.
Also, ITWeb thinks SANREN will be a 10 Gbps network (presumably per link, not in aggregate). Note also the proximity to JINX - that should offload some of the transit requirements to direct peering. Also, the projected operational date is end 2008! (a bit earlier than previously thought, and also overlapping with GEN3's mandate with TENET).
Also also, the Infraco weirdness with cabling up the west coast to Europe and South America should matter a little less with the redundant path on SEACOM that TENET has purchased the rights to use.
So, perhaps academic and high speed networking in South Africa has a bright future after all?
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The Good News - Maths
A first class pass, barely, with 76%.
Considering my year-mark was 72%, this is an excellent result. I think that the [optional] 80/20 exam/yearmark split worked in my favour :)
The Better News - Computer Science
Another first class pass, but much more convincingly this time: 91%.
That was good enough for me to be in joint 1st place with two others in my class (congratulations Mallin and Johan!)
The Best News - Electrical Engineering
Yet another first class pass, but I think those bonus marks available in the exam paper must all have stacked up, because I ended up with 100%!
Amusingly, many others in the class must have done nearly as well or better, since there were about 10 people with a 100% mark. Must...do...better...next...year...
Hopefully next year will be more of the same :)
Friday, November 02, 2007
More from insideHPC on the SGI refocus on graphics:
Well, I know a little birdy who’s at IEEE Vis this week. He ran into the SGI engineer in charge of developing their next generation graphics platform. This is what the birdy told me in an email today
I asked him about their CEO’s comments about getting back into the visual supercomputing business. He said that they were developing a new visual supercomputer based on the x86 architecture (no surprise there) using Intel’s Larabee project. The likely target date for us to see this computer is 2009, which corresponds to when Larabee is due. Until then they plan to use ATI/NVidia graphics cards. He says that the CEO believes they can retake the high-end graphics market.
Interesting that SGI is using x86 for this and not Itanium, even with Intel's massively upgraded Itanicapabilities...
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
If your municipality isn’t looking at creative ways to develop new strategies that include having a state-of-the-art network infrastructure to support economic growth and development, they will be stagnating your property value and quality of life in your area . . . Simply put, the three most important words in real estate ('location, location, location') have turned into 'location, location, connectivity.
Friday, October 26, 2007
|#6||cell c number / cell c number portability|
It's interesting to compare these results with the Daily Fail vs dailyfail issues experienced recently.
dailyfail, which currently yields 2nd place.
daily fail, in which The Daily Fail blog doesn't rank at all!
Obviously the breaking space is significant. I've updated some content with both versions and we'll see how it plays.
The details on the parking indicators at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport are interesting to compare with Cape Town International's more coarsely-grained approach. I think that ACSA probably didn't:
- think of it
- want to spend $450 per bay
Friday, October 19, 2007
April 27th 2008 is a Sunday, so Monday the 28th is a non-titled Public Holiday! A long weekend!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
South African Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri told FMTech that she is hopeful that InfraCo and SEACOM will be incorporated into the new Nepad cable project.It's amusing (and simultaneously heartbreaking) to see the Department of Communications making their bid to control all of South Africa's external communication networks.
However, the framing of the statement indicates that Neotel has the go-ahead with SEACOM, else why would they want this project folded into the NBIN?
Talk about life imitating art. Or is that life intimating art?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Various reasons indicating such a combination would be in demand include:
- Power usage
Since the ClearSpeed boards have approximate power consumption of 25-33 Watts (depending on model), adding two of the PCIe-8x boards to a a T5220 would only increase power usage by 66W with an aggregate 133 GFLOPS increase in computing power. Sun obviously believes stuffing ClearSpeed boards into their servers are a valid play:
TIT'sTokyo Tech's TSUBAME cluster achieved a 24% speedup for a 1% increase in power usage.
- Floating Point performance
Real World Tech's excellent article posits that the floating-point ratio in the instruction mix on the first Niagara iteration could exceed no more than 1%-3%. Clearly, the demand for floating point was sufficient to increase the resources dedicated to it from 1 FP unit per chip, up to 1 FP unit per core. Presumably further FP acceleration would be even more beneficial.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Amusingly, the heretics at Ars Technica point out:
Yet the law, in a strange way, almost gives criminals an "out," in that those caught potentially committing serious crimes may opt to refuse to decrypt incriminating data. A pedophile with a 2GB collection of encrypted kiddie porn may find it easier to do two years in the slammer than expose what he's been up to.
Seems like it's time to bring back / bring forth SFS (née VS3FS) [Citeseer]. Carl and/or Paul and/or Peter: where are you? *
With SFS you can at least claim:
- not to have incriminating data on your disk at all and, if that fails
- to have only mildly bad data on your disk - maybe a pirated eBook
It's easier than claiming you "forgot" your keys...
*(presumably Paul is still on the road from Damascus - no online presence detected...) (also note the biblical naming: Peter & Paul!?)
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The Daily Fail, a new companion blog, has been started in order to keep up with the huge amount of stupidity out there in the dangerous world.
Please be careful. Regular reading of The Daily Fail will help you avoid becoming a statistic. Except that you'll be statistically more likely to read The Daily Fail:
What's so interesting about the back of that LCD monitor you ask? Well, you're actually looking at the computer. VIA's VESA mounted vm7700 PC in fact, which converts any standard VESA display into a make-shift all-in-one PC. Completely fanless, the PC sports your choice of VIA C7 1GHz or Eden ULV 1.5GHz processors, up to 1GB of memory, optional 802.11b/g WiFi, and choice of standard 2.5-inch SATA disk or DOM (Disk on Module) supporting Linux or WinXP/XPe pre-loads. Hardware-based MPEG-2/4 and WMV9 acceleration turns the device into an instant digital signboard from which to advertise your gothic loathings about modern man.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
SGI: “We will be back in the visual supercomputing business”
I’m at the second day of IDC’s HPC User Forum today. Bo Ewald, SGI’s president, just said something I think is interestingWe will be back in the visual supercomputing business.He bookended that by saying he wasn’t going to say anything else today, but that there would be more in the future.
Later in his brief he followed up that statement with this quotable quoteIt was really stupid for the company to stop doing visualization types of things.
Friday, September 28, 2007
A couple from Montana were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera. Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a Mountain Lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you'll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision...
The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs. With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion. That's when all hell broke loose... for the lion.
As the lion approached the dogs the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, than whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride... as if nothing had just happened. Fortunately even though the hunter didn't get off a shot, his wife got off these 4.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Anyone of you guys know what pants Leonardo Di Caprio is wearing in the movie "Blood Diamond"?
The responses are brilliant, ranging from "extreme attention to detail" to "get real" (and beyond).
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
All of the hysteria over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speaking at Columbia University is so tiresome for so many reasons, beginning with the fact that it is all rather transparently motivated by exactly what Juan Cole says: "The real reason his visit is controversial is that the American right has decided the United States needs to go to war against Iran. Ahmadinejad is therefore being configured as an enemy head of state."
More good comments in the blog post.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc is in early talks to join a group looking to lay a high-speed, trans- Pacific undersea cable that could potentially lead to the Internet company becoming an investor in the project, according to the Wall Street Journal.[emphasis mine -Al]
The potential undersea fiber-optic investment could reflect Google's recent push to provide Internet-based services to businesses, since companies have lower tolerance for service interruptions and have offices around the world, the Journal reported on its Web site, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The discussions remain fluid, the Journal reported.
(Reporting by Anupreeta Das)
Friday, September 21, 2007
Mmmm, and costing a lot less than the NCSA's new toy.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
After much praising of the "fbfund"'s less onerous conditions (no equity required) as compared with traditional vernture capital, we find hidden away near the end of the article the following nugget:
Accel Partners and The Founders Fund will have the right of first refusal to provide future venture capital financing to companies.So they do want equity after all (via their right to provide venture capital financing), but only on the successful companies. I wonder if the tax implications are better this way.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Don't we already pay for the content you produce? [hint: tvlice...]
But now we'll have to pay to watch it again on a Pay TV channel, where we're already paying a premium. And are we expected to believe SABC won't use the extra viewership figures to punt their timeslots to the advertisers? Or will the Pay TV outfits be free to replace the adverts?
This is an established player using market dominance and manipulating slight legal obligations into a stick with which to beat new entrants.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
And now it turns out that Bohmte in western Germany is the second town after Drachten to implement his Shared Space design [Reuters].
View Larger Map
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The ownership of the international cable company cannot be dictated by the South African government as the cable lies in international waters. It is curious that the government does not think that Intelsat should be owned by South Africans as it provides international satellite capacity to South African broadcasters and telecoms companies.and
If every country where a cable lands demands local majority ownership, there will be no cables.
Take that! Slash, parry...
South Africa's decision to nationalise its landing rites is also expected to affect the East Africa Submarine cable (EASSy).No wonder SEACOM and EASSy are so confused. What strange magick is the government practising in order to confuse the ICT sector?
I predict we will soon have to rename all accounts with UID==0 as beetroot.
[available at allafrica.com as of 11-09-07]
But if they're driving one of these new Lamborghinis, at least they won't be guilty of sloth. Although, come to think of it, they'd probably inspire a lot of envy. And they'd probably be guilty of avarice in order to amass the needed $1,600,000. Yes, really that much.
Friday, September 07, 2007
But it is great news, because now I can search with a little more direction when I remember that I read something about it waaaay back.
Updated: And the maximum count of unread items has been raised to 1000, this filters up to the top level too, so you can see exactly how much you have to catch up on.
A Second Life art-installation / mash-up by a fabjectory (fabbed+object+factory) that uses rapid prototyping machines to create real life objects from the avatars and sculptures that people make in SecondLife, using a Second Life copy of a real life mash-up of a Science Fiction story about people using fabjectorys to make their real life better.
[I forgot to mention that this is today's tongue twister]
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
And they'd been stuck on 287 Gbps for so long I thought there was an infrastructure-related limit.
Considering they announced reaching 250 Gbps in February, this implies a compound growth rate of about 3.5%-4% per month.
[And from a presentation POV, interesting to note that the new baseline is not 0, but 100 Gbps! This is more than any exchange not in the top 5!)
The man in 27 Grotto Road stuck his head up and uttered a strangled "...sorry...". Yes, he stuck his head up after he threw his dog's by-product willy-nilly into the road. Hear this road-cleaners and councilmen! [not to mention those who drive convertible cars]
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Dark Side of the Rings of Uranus
Actually it's a scientific paper:
The rings of Uranus are oriented edge-on to Earth in 2007 for the first time since their 1977 discovery. This provides a rare opportunity to observe their dark (unlit) side, where dense rings darken to near invisibility, but faint rings become much brighter. We present a ground-based infrared image of the unlit side of the rings that shows that the system has changed dramatically since previous views. A broad cloud of faint material permeates the system, but is not correlated with the well-known narrow rings or with the embedded dust belts imaged by Voyager. Although some differences can be explained by the unusual viewing angle, we conclude that the dust distribution within the system has changed significantly since the 1986 Voyager spacecraft encounter and occurs on much larger scales than has been seen in other planetary systems.
Monday, August 27, 2007
My marks were "raised" first by two, then by an additional six marks. That matches and topss my last such - six marks for back in 2007H1 vs a total increase of eight this time around!
But that's not all. Some poor soul had an additional ten(!) marks found in their test. They went from 15 (50%) to 25 (83%). That's from nearly failing to receiving a first. Keep in mind that they didn't do anything extra after the test. Those marks were just lying there waiting to be found, like gold nuggets.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Internet service providers in the U.S. experienced a service slowdown Monday after fiber-optic cables near Cleveland were apparently sabotaged by gunfire. [Emphasis mine -Al]The report then goes on to name three different ISPs/NSPs that were affected:
Alternatively, it's a great excuse for more Cogent de-peering *ahem*...
(thanks PCWorld / Yahoo!)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
There's no mistaking which branch of the military Nicholas Popaditch served with -- his prosthetic eye is embedded with the Marine Corps emblem. Popaditch, a retired gunnery sergeant and tank commander from San Diego, was wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade in Fallujah, Iraq. He lost his right eye and most of the vision in his left.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The report came amid a nationwide probe into whether price-fixing or hoarding by producers is to blame for a 15.4 percent jump in food prices in July over the year-earlier period. The government accused violators of damaging social stability. [emphasis mine - Al]and finally buried at the end of the article on Page 2, a better discussion of the real issue: collusion of the producers:
"Some industry groups have organized coordinated price rises," the agency said in an Aug. 3 statement. It said the collusion "influences social stability." [emphasis mine - Al]
There's that delicate social stability again.
Cheers China! Where everybody knows your name...
Friday, August 17, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
You might remember my recent post on Blackle, in which I questioned the utility of said site in fostering more efficient energy consumption.
Well, none other than Google herself (itssself) has now weighed in on this matter, in an Official Google Blog post entitled "Is black the new green?".
That post confirms a few points from my original post:
- Blackle is not affiliated with Google
- They do use the Google Custom Search Engine (thus potentially earning money on AdSense)
- A black background doesn't save money (they list some articles, including the WSJ)
I'm glad to see that Google felt the need to back me up on this...
Linus Torvalds on Via's new Isaiah / CN:
I really don't understand why some people are so againstand
OoO. Is it more complex than in-order? Of course!
But it's still better than the alternatives (one of which
is: "you can't sell it because it's too slow").
I may not be a CPU designer, but dang, I could play one on
Monday, August 06, 2007
shiny new [$200m super]computers to do the calculations.
Quite interesting that the NCSA - one of the US groups that actually have the word in their name is finally coming back to prominence after what seemed to be a period of being eclipsed by the National Labs.
Friday, July 27, 2007
However, contrary to what many assume or desire, it is not run by Google themselves.
Blackle.com is registered to:
Mikiboand was registered through and runs on GoDaddy servers, on GoDaddy's network [AS26496 or via whois].
PO Box 4078
Castlecrag, New South Wales 2068
And it wraps a Google Custom Search, so Mikibo make a small percentage of the ad-money involved.
Interestingly, Mikibo is "a free service providing tools and information to help you lose weight, get fit and stay healthy". So they want to increase the amount of energy that people burn! And decrease it simultaneously! Oh the paradox!
Is there a moral to all of this? Should we blindly ignore common sense and venture outside, leaving behind Google's energy-wasting white page, into the great outdoors? Or should we all just upgrade to LCDs (ironically returning a Google Answers - since "gone black" itself - result in the #1 spot)? Although the white backlight is constantly on, the overall power usage is much lower. I'd like one (note the energy-saving nature of the black background to the pic):
Thursday, July 26, 2007
But I just couldn't help getting excited at having a 'gigantic' flash drive:
Yes, just that single folder is nearly 24 GB. The truth is that there was a terrible dismounting accident and the entire folder ended up full of corrupt entries (rudely named & undeletable).
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
GMap-Track does KMLMonday, July 23, 2007 (19:28 UTC)
If you're using GMap-Track to publish your location live to the web, here's a quick cool hack in anticipation of the release of the API. A GMap-Track URL can return KML instead of a Google Maps-based placemark, like so:
Just be sure to first wrap that inside a network link, like so. Voila, now you can find out where your friends have been recently when you log onto Google Earth. (Thanks to GMap-Track's Cristian Streng for for the tip.)
A sort of real-life weblog...
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
So maybe those civil servants have excuses for their behaviour after all...
A man with an unusually tiny brain managed to live an entirely normal life despite his condition, caused by a fluid buildup in his skull, French researchers reported on Thursday.
Scans of the 44-year-old man's brain showed that a huge fluid-filled chamber called a ventricle took up most of the room in his skull, leaving little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue.
"He was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant," Dr. Lionel Feuillet and colleagues at the Universite de la Mediterranee in Marseille wrote in a letter to the Lancet medical journal.
Thank you Reuters.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
We all know that "construction" leads to global warming, right?
Perhaps that is the inconvenient truth to which they are trying to "reefer"? (giving new meaning to the "green" movement)
Perhaps they need to hire some new sign-writers.
The picture was taken this past week at Pick 'n Pay Rondebosch. The construction being referred to is the new parking deck and slip road in the notoriously-congested parking area behind Rondebosch Village and Fountain Centre. This will probably be great in the long run.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
However, in the last few days, the containers have been moved around, so the passage leads directly along the side of Cavendish Square. And, thoughtfully (or more likely kicking-and-screaming), another hole has been cut in the side of the container so that anyone using the Fire Exit would not be blocked by the placement of the container, and would actually be able to escape. However, there is one small factor that has been overlooked - the floor level of the container is high enough to preclude the Fire Exit doors from opening properly.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I was struck by his similarity to...well, to something that I couldn't quite remember. It took me an hour or so to remember that Timothy Dalton also put on a beard and a waistcoat for a movie, and it took me but a few seconds to whip out the phone and check imdb for a few possibles and yes, here it is: American Outlaws.
And just a few more seconds this morning to find a pic of Dalton - playing detective Allan Pinkerton - with a facewarmer:
And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without realizing that many other Bond actors have had movies roles with beards:
Roger Moore (possibly as Dobbs in The Quest)
Pierce Brosnan (as/in Robinson Crusoe)
and of course no list would be complete without Connery as...well, as Sean Connery:
PS For the completists - I couldn't find a picture of a bearded George Lazenby. If you send one in, I'll update this.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
David Kanter (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 5/11/07 wrote:Mmmm....2%
> .. it's also not clear how much you really get by using
>stack manipulations versus the alternatives. Is this a 1-2%
Ehh. Do you think there exists any other kind?
Everything wrt instruction selection and scheduling is
about 1-2% tweaks. How do you think you get to 10-20%
There are no silver bullets. The way you get to good
performance is by making sure each part is as good as
it can reasonably get.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
This - Exploding device kills man near Vegas casino
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) -- A homemade bomb left on the top of a car in a casino parking garage exploded early Monday, killing a man who tried to pick it up, authorities said.
The blast shortly after 4 a.m. left a 12-inch hole in the man's car on the second floor of the garage behind the Luxor hotel-casino, authorities said. A woman with the man was standing nearby but escaped injury.The man, who had just finished his shift at a hot dog stand inside the casino, was considered to be the target, though police don't know why.
This - Little Tortilla Boy
Using a (signed) 64-bit value introduces a new wraparound date in about 290 billion years, on Sunday, December 4, 292,277,026,596. However, this is not widely regarded as a pressing issue.Oh those wacky editors! Let's hope no-one notifies the Humor Police
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Previously, third- and second-tier ISPs, such as MWeb, had to connect to first-tier ISPs, such as the South African Internet Exchange and Internet Solutions, from where their traffic was relayed by Telkom to either London or New York.At least they realise that large servers would be needed. Roll on IBM!
Only then were they connected to the global Internet, which consists of six large servers [emphasis added].
And some documentary evidence, once the [inevitable] edit [hopefully] happens:
Friday, April 13, 2007
then don't get custom plates.
[yes, this is private property - a parking lot at UCT]
I guess if the local traffis' get their act together like their up-country brethren, then that plate should be changed to just "KY WP"...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
As to why they seem to be attached to the engine - the reason is obvious. Telkom is planning to rev up [oops - wrong rev] our linespeed.
And a closer look at that wire:
To those that suggest that Telkom is merely using the vehicle's battery to power some sort of torch, I can only laugh (at Telkom)
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
For "performance reasons" UCT now use Microsoft ISA instead of Novell BorderManager.
UCT is reasonably enlightened, Mozilla Firefox is pre-installed.
Hello? 1.0.8? Heckfire that's old!
In fact, 1.0.8 was released after the sunset announcement for the 1.0.x line.
So why not install 188.8.131.52 or even Gran Paradiso 3.0 Alpha 3 (handy-dandy LEG mirror for the UCT-enabled)? It works fine and most of the intranet stuff supports Firefox well.
Since we are using generally using NT 5 (er...Windows XP), ISA ends up trying to authenticate with the local workstation credentials, which are pretty useless as we don't login to the local workstation with our UCT credentials, but rather some stub account. So when you try surfing, you end up with an endless amount of popups asking for credentials for ISA. You can type in the correct[ed] version of your username and password, but even asking Password Manager to remember the password does not help.
The trick is to open the hardcore configuration (go to about:config) and search for
network.auth.use-sspiand disable it. Then enter the username/password combo once and let it be remembered.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
The Leslie Commerce parking lot (oh, and the gardens too) receiving a proper drenching. Pity the poor motorcyclists that had parked out of the way of the automobiles, only to be soaked by this ode to l'eau.
Maybe it is some sort of subtle Objectivism reference: it is outside of the Commerce building after all...
Monday, January 29, 2007
I snapped this picture at McDonald's in Cavendish Square in Claremont.
Since McDonald's has now embarked on a healthy lifestyle campaign in order to hold down negative publicity.
And you can see that they are really committed to it...except that the top magazines are over 2 m up, and that they are tucked behind a column next to the entrance to the counter / service area.
In all fairness, Mcdonald's biking is not such a ludicrous idea
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Including this priceless classic:
- Guinea pig
- Slow, simmering edit war between anons as to whether guinea pigs had no need to jump and climb in the natural environment in which they were created, or in the natural environment in which they evolved.