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Wednesday Midday (8 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 4-February-2009  13:29:27 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

IBM is building a new supercomputer. The most recent list of the Top 500 supercomputers, published in November 2008, included the first ever Petaflop systems - capable of performing more than 1 quadrillion floating point operations per second. Now we hear that the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has ordered a supercomputer that will be able to deliver 20 times that performance by 2012.

Microsoft has confirmed Windows 7 will have six versions. Looking to answer complaints about the proliferation of Windows flavors, Microsoft Corp. said today that it will generally deploy two primary versions of Windows 7, although it will still offer six editions for sale. The two main editions will be Windows 7 Home Premium for consumers and Windows 7 Professional for business users.

Google's internet bus is touring India. When you spend all of your workday bloggin' it's easy to lose sight of the fact that some folks don't have access to basic utilities, or HDTV, or -- the horror! -- the Internet itself. In the time-honored tradition of Hippies and earnest seekers alike, Google will be heading to rural India, where they will be focusing their philanthropic endeavors (or perhaps their shrewd marketing endeavors) for the next month and a half.

Myspace has removed the accounts of 90,000 sex offenders. In a statement, Mr Blumenthal said the "shocking revelation" backed up his campaign to ensure that social networking sites should be barred as "playgrounds for predators". "Almost 100,000 convicted sex offenders mixing with children on MySpace is absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable. For every one of them, there may be hundreds of others using false names and ages." Mr Blumenthal said the new data unmasked what he called MySpace's "monstrously inadequate counter-measures".

Apparently, one in three broadband users is a pirate. Every other month a new survey pops up, and they all seem to draw the same conclusion: millions of people worldwide download files from filesharing networks such as BitTorrent - and they don’t think this is morally wrong.

And nearly half of all Australians think piracy is OK. Apparently 45 per cent of Australians think that, in some cases, it is OK to use pirated software. Firstly, that’s not yet half of the Aussies used in the survey, and secondly, it states “in some cases”. So when you think about it, for the amount of pirated software out there and the amount of bittorrent sites around, it’s not a bad result that 55 per cent of Australians wouldn’t use pirated software in any circumstance.

Microsoft believes Halo is the next Star Wars. Halo Studio lead producer Jason Pace has told VideoGamer.com that Microsoft sees the Halo franchise as its Star Wars, and hopes it will become just as prevalent in pop culture as the George Lucas conceived phenomenon. "We as a studio view Halo as our Star Wars," Pace told VideoGamer.com at a recent London press event. "We want it to become that culturally pervasive."

Tiny magnetic tornadoes could revolutionise digital storage. Treasure this fine example of scientific press release bilge: "At the human scale, the tightly wrapped spinning columns of air in a tornado contain terrifying destructive power that ravages communities. At the nanoscale, however, closely coiled magnetic vortices hold the promise of a new generation of computers." These vortices are described as 'infinitesimal magnetic tornadoes.'"

Whoever said mobile phones couldn't kill you. A Chinese man has died after an exploding cell phone apparently severed his carotid artery, according to reports from China. The local Chinese paper Shin Min Daily is reporting on the victim, thought to be a computer shop clerk in his twenties. One of the man's coworkers said both were in the store together, when she heard a loud bang, and turned to find the victim lying in a pool of blood.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.