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Real-time 3D is emerging as a first-class media type for the Web. Network bandwidth and graphics hardware processing power are now sufficiently advanced to enable compelling Web-based 3D experiences, including games, online virtual worlds, simulations, education, and training. Commercial developers are expressing increasing interest in exploiting real-time 3D in Web applications to enhance production values, create engaging immersive experiences, and deliver information in a more meaningful way. Much of the infrastructure is in place to enable professional Web 3D deployment in a cross-platform, open, royalty-free environment. Interoperability standards such as ISO-standard Extensible 3D Graphics (X3D) are now mature, fully functional, and robust and supported by multiple open source implementations and affordable production pipelines. However, those technologies on... (more)

Cloud Computing - IBM Creates Cloud Box

IBM claims to have created new species of custom-built, industry-standard, Linux-based rack server for Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing companies with massive data centers and tens of thousands of servers, like online gaming, social networks, search and Internet firms. A relatively limited marketplace of maybe a thousand companies with fat wallets capable of shelling out tens of millions for such system. IBM means to replace the white boxes they use now or build themselves like Google does. It says it’s got a few hundred early adopters and potential customers in China, Germany, Japan, the UK and America, including Yahoo and Texas Tech, which is thinking of using it for a HPC center. WinterGreen Research puts the market at $10 billion. IBM calls the thing iDataPlex and leverages its blade server widgetry to build what it calls a “completely new design point.&rdq... (more)

FalconStor Supports Microsoft Hyper-V Virtualization

FalconStor announced that, as part of its ongoing support of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtualization technology, FalconStor Network Storage Server (NSS) software works seamlessly with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering to provide instantaneous disaster recovery over the wide-area network (WAN) in both physical server and Hyper-V virtual server environments. Integrating both logical and virtual worlds, the combination of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering and Hyper-V virtual servers enables automatic failover of business-critical applications running on geographically dispersed physical and virtual servers. The solution provides companies with integrated data protection, less expensive DR and immediate recovery from server failure. FalconStor's open software-based SAN replication and cluster protection software, FalconStor... (more)

The Hybrid Cloud Multiverse (IPv6 VLANS)

Christofer Hoff has proposed an interesting idea earlier today. He asked, "How many of the cloud providers (IaaS, PaaS) support IPv6 natively or support tunneling without breaking things like NAT and firewalls? As part of all this Infrastructure 2.0 chewy goodness, from a networking (and security) perspective, it's pretty important." His post actual was a kind of epiphany which lead me to think that one of the great things about cloud computing is in its ability to virtualize everything. The cloud is a kind of "multiverse" where the rules of nature can continually be rewritten using quarantined virtual worlds within other virtual worlds (aka virtualization). The need for a traditional physical piece of hardware is no longer a requirement or necessary. For example VLANs don't need to differentiate between IPv4 and IPv6; the deployment is just dual-stack, as Ethernet i... (more)

ESRI Expands Virtual Earth Access by Teaming with Microsoft

A new agreement with Microsoft Corporation gives ArcGIS users fast access to Microsoft Virtual Earth for their geographic information system (GIS) projects. As part of ArcGIS Online at the ArcGIS 9.3.1 release, ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server users will be able to connect directly to Virtual Earth and start their GIS projects with ready-to-use content. ArcGIS Desktop users who are current on maintenance and have an Internet connection will have access to Virtual Earth for a variety of up-to-date mapping content including aerial imagery, roads, and hybrid (aerial with labels) imagery. With a familiar look, imagery access will appear as another data layer in GIS. The imagery will provide excellent background maps on which users can overlay their operational data. This means users will be able to focus more on their business data than on its context. For example, an e... (more)

Next Generation Tech: Teens Plugged In! Conference Presented by SDForum

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SDForum, Silicon Valley's leading source of information and education in the technology community, today announced speakers for the Next Generation Tech: Teens Plugged In! Conference to be held Wednesday, May 23, 2007 from 9am-2pm at the Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto. One keynote speaker is 19-year-old Ben Casnocha, who is the author of My Start-Up Life and serves on the board of Comcate, Inc., the leading e- government technology firm he founded six years ago. BusinessWeek named him one of America's best young entrepreneurs last year and PoliticsOnline ranked him among the "25 most influential people in the world of Internet and politics" in 2004. Daniel Kafie, co-founder of Vostu.com, will be a keynote speaker as well. "For teens there was no life before the Internet," said Ben Casnocha, Silicon Valley-based entr... (more)

The Cloud Wars - Is Guitar Hero a Cloud?

John Willis's Blog I was reading a recent post about the Merrill Lynch’s research note titled “The Cloud Wars: $100+ billion at stake” and it started me thinking about the cloud vs. IT infrastructure question again. As the cloud-o-sphere tries to define this “cloud” thing, myself included, it seems like the list of who is a cloud just keeps getting longer and longer. I originally thought the Forrester 11 list was a little to long when it included SalesForce.com and Akamai as cloud providers. The general consensus seems to be, if you are a SaaS, PaaS, or a IaaS you are probably a cloud and this makes the list even longer. Is Guitar Hero a Cloud? So, today when I read that Merrill Lynch added Activision and Digital Reality to the cloud, it becomes clearer to me we may have met the “All’s Fair” saturation point. If you want to be a cloud just say you are a cloud. In fa... (more)

Capture File Filtering with Wireshark

Intrusion detection tools that use the libpcap C/ C++ library [1] for network traffic capture (such as Snort [2] and Tcpdump [1]) can output packet capture information to a file for later reference. The format of this capture file is known as pcap. By capturing packet data to a file, an investigator can return later to study the history of an intrusion attempt – or to turn up other important clues about clandestine activity on the network. Of course, the traffic history data stored in a pcap file is much too vast to study by just viewing the file manually. Security experts use specialized filtering tools to search through the file for pertinent information. One way to look for clues in a pcap file is to use the Wireshark protocol analysis tool [3] and its accompanying command-line utility tshark. Wireshark is included by default on many Linux distros, and if not, it i... (more)

E-mail - Problem Solved or Created?

At the annual Alan Turing memorial lecture given by Grady Booch in London last month, he chose as his subject, The promise, the limits, and the beauty of software. It was an excellent address in which one of the themes was that for each of the incredible advances that software has brought to our lives, there is an almost Newtonian opposite effect that is negative and destructive. One such example given was e-mail: while making us able to communicate instantly with our peers, allowing effective and immediate information sharing, it brings its own set of problems. Issues with information theft, virus attachments, phishing, worms, and privacy are well documented and are very real threats although, to a certain extent, these are merely mirrors of real-world phenomena that e-mail merely amplifies and concentrates. The question that interests me the most is whether e-mail... (more)

Cover Story: The Division that Puts Director to Work

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and the Information Technology Department where I teach, has long been a user of Macromedia products, from Dreamweaver to Director and most things in between. Recently, there has been some debate as to the future of Director's role, considering the increasing use of Flash in the marketplace for Web graphics and interactive displays. While we have moved some of our efforts to Flash technologies, RIT and the IT Department remain committed to the use of Director, because currently no other product on the market can meet our specific needs for an easy-to-script, but performance-aware 3D system capable of delivery on the Web and via downloadable executable. The shift to ECMAScript syntax represents a major advance in the Director product, and is important to us for a number of reasons. The primary reason for the inclusion of ... (more)

Developing Collaborative Games Using Active Objects

Abstract This is the first of a two-part series presenting a Java implementation of a real-time multi-user blackjack game based on a collaborative, active object framework. In this article, we will walk through the design of an active object framework for developing collaborative client/server applications. Important concepts, such as synchronous collaboration, active objects, multicasting, sessions and events are defined and discussed. Introduction In the world of collaborative multi-user software, or groupware, there are two main collaboration models: synchronous and asynchronous. The asynchronous model allows multiple users to exchange and share information through asynchronous messages, sent at different times to a central location. Plain e-mail, bulletin boards and Lotus Notes are examples of asynchronous groupware. The synchronous model, on the other hand, allo... (more)