24 Samsung SSDs Linked Together for 2GB/Sec

What would you do if Samsung gave you only 24-hours of hands-on time with a stack of solid-state drive (SSD) engineering samples to do some viral marketing with? For you this is surely just an academic question, but for Paul Curry of The Viral Factory in London, it was a very real challenge. And he took the challenge to the limits of where only the truly geekiest would go: he custom-built an 8-core, dual-RAID, Windows Vista system, utilizing 24 256MB MLC SSDs, for a total of 6TB of storage.

Curry’s system used an Intel Skulltrail D5400XS motherboard, with two Intel 3.2GHz QX9775 Quad-Core processors, 4GB of 800MHz FB-DIMM DDR2 SDRAM, two ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics cards, an Adaptec 5 Series RAID card, an Areca 1680ix-24 RAID card, and two Corsair HX1000W power supply units. And, of course, 24 Samsung SSDs. If this sounds like it was a difficult system to build, let’s just say he ran into a few problems along the way…
First of all, getting everything inside the case was such a tight fit, that Curry had to saw off part of the Zalman coolers to squeeze them in. He also managed to fry a motherboard and a 1,000-watt power supply. He replaced the motherboard and soldered the power leads from two 1,000 power supplies together (“connected their power_on line and gave them common ground“) to make sure the rig had enough juice–the motherboard and CPU were powered by one of the power supplies, while the system’s drives and add-in cards were powered by the other. The total output under load before the drives were added was about 1,400-watts, and around 1,500-watts after all 24 SSDs were installed. Curry also had to remove one of the two Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics cards as he found it was drawing too much power from the PCI-e bus and preventing the Areca RAID card from initializing.

It also took Curry several iterations of setting up the RAID controllers until he had a configuration that didn’t saturate the controllers. He finally settled on a configuration that had 10 of the SSDs connected to the Areca RAID controller in a RAID 0 array, 8 of SSDs connected to the Adaptec 5 Series controller in a separate RAID 0 array, and the remaining 6 SSDs connected directly to the motherboard’s on-board SATA ports as stand-alone drives. The optical drives were disconnected during testing to maximize available throughput for the on-board SATA ports. All testing was done at stock speeds, although Curry did experiment with some overclocking “for the fun of it“–the system remained stable with the CPUs running up 3.6GHz; and he even got it up to 4GHz, but at that speed the system was “wobbly.”

The Samsung SSDs’ specifications state that they support up to a write speed of 200MB/Sec and a read speed of 220MB/Sec. So how did the system perform? Here are some of the test results highlights:

  • 2121.29MB/Sec sequential reading using IOMeter
  • 2000.195MB/Sec sequential writing using IOMeter
  • Loaded all Microsoft Office Apps in 0.5 seconds
  • Opened 53 apps in 18.09 seconds
  • Ripped a 700MB DVD transfer in 0.8 seconds

And all of this was done with “zero sector failures” on any of the drives. With data transfer rates in excess of 2GB/Sec, this puts the throughput of the rig on par with the theoretical limits of Fibre Channel. Curry was even able to get throughput above 1GB/Sec with only 9 drives. As one of the primary uses for SSDs will be in data centers, this exercise shows the potential transfer rates that might be achieved in such an environment.

by Daniel A. Begun

AIG: Congress Passes Tax, Refuses to Demand Recall of Executive Bonuses


It appears that the political subterfuges in the AIG fiasco just keep pouring from the Halls of Congress and Capitol Hill now daily.

The most recent word is that Congress has overwhelming passed a bill which now will tax the bonuses recently handed over to the executives of AIG by the Executive Office’s lackey, Timothy Geithner, last Sunday. It appears maybe this is Mr. Obama’s answer to “pursuing every legal course available” in order to “get back” those bonuses. The tax measure was passed again in haste by Congress, and was reported to involve a 90% return to the U.S. Treasury of the sums afforded those executives, many of which received literally millions in claimed unpaid bonuses.

You do the math. 10% of 20 million dollars (the amount of bonuses paid, after all, were over 165 million) is still 2 million dollars. Add interest since those sums will not be due for another year at the U.S. rate of interest and you have a pretty sizeable bonus (not to mention most of those sums will go to the Caymans). In fact, I wonder if the amounts of those bonuses weren’t inflated to begin with in order to provide such a cushion to those executives for just such a maneuver.

Not to mention the fact that within the terms of that bailout, Congress actually disempowered themselves from any such actions against the Executive branch to whom they acceded all power and control over the distribution. This move now is a corporate tax attorney’s dream, and by the time it winds its way through the courts when those executives challenge such a move, their interest and profits will have quadrupled on those original illegally distributed bonuses.

And Mr. Obama is, after all, a lawyer – although appears to be so far no Constitutional lawyer, so as such well aware that these executives can use such loopholes to eventually avoid repayment fighting through the U.S. Tax Courts if U.S. citizens (then again, since AIG is a global concern and now even “corporate” foreigners have been given “rights” simply intended for the American citizens by the founders, even that little technicality I’m sure at this point would be overlooked).

The spins now are getting to the point where most Americans are not simply outraged anymore, they are nauseous.

By Betsy Ross

Astronauts Set For Second Spacewalk

A pair of spacewalking astronauts will work on the oldest U.S. solar arrays of the International Space Station on Saturday, taking care to safeguard themselves against the remote chance of electric shocks near the orbital power plant.

NASA astronauts Steven Swanson and Joseph Acaba plan to float outside the space station at about 12:43 p.m. EDT (1643 GMT) to work near the batteries for a pair of 8-year-old solar wings on the outpost’s port-most edge. The chore is one of several to prime the station for future construction and comes one day after Discovery shuttle astronauts unfurled a pair of new solar arrays on the outpost’s starboard side, completing its backbone-like main truss.

But before the spacewalkers exit the station today, they will carefully wrap some of the metal connecting rings on their spacesuits with insulating tape to protect against any slight electrical shocks near their portside worksite, which can be prone to arcing from the surrounding plasma environment.

“With the suits as designed, we believe we have sufficient protection,” space station flight engineer Kwatsi Alibaruho told reporters late Friday.”We’ve just applied some additional factor of safety to drive the probability of a problem absolutely as low as we could.”

Alibaruho said the risk an astronaut receiving even a mild electric shock is extremely remote, and the voltage and currents involved are very small. But NASA rules call for an immediate end to any spacewalk if any shock – no matter how small – should one occur, he added.

Spacewalking astronauts rely on their spacesuits functioning properly, including onboard electronics, while working outside a spacecraft.

Busy spacewalk on tap

Today’s spacewalk is the second of three for Discovery’s 13-day mission, but has been revamped after launch delays prompted NASA cut a planned fourth excursion in order to complete the shuttle flight before the arrival of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft ferrying a new station crew next week.

The spacewalk will be the fourth for Swanson and the first for Acaba, a former schoolteacher who is making his first spaceflight. It will send them to various locations across the space station’s metallic backbone, a massive truss that is longer than a football field.

“They’re ready to go,” Discovery skipper Lee Archambault told Mission Control late Friday. “We’re very much looking forward to another day on orbit.”

Swanson and Acaba will loosen bolts on the portside solar wing batteries so future spacewalkers can replace them later this year. They also plan to prepare the station to receive two future cargo carriers, take infrared photographs of a damaged radiator and install a new navigation antenna to help Japan’s first unmanned cargo ship – the H-2 Transfer Vehicle – dock at the orbiting lab later this year.

While the spacewalkers work outside the station, astronauts inside are expected to begin testing repairs to part of the outpost’s urine recycling system. The device, a distillation assembly, is part of a larger system to recycle condensation, astronaut urine and sweat back into pure water for drinking, food preparation, bathing and other uses. It has been broken since December.

Astronaut Sandra Magnus removed the broken distillation gear on Friday and plans to test its replacement in a dry run later today. If successful, the urine recycler will then be used to purify a batch of water late in Discovery’s mission so new samples can be returned to Earth.

“We have a considerable about of urine in storage containers,” Alibaruho said, adding that the urine is usually discarded aboard disposable Russian cargo ships. “We’ll take some of that …and attempt to process into clean water.”

NASA wants to revive the space urine recycler in order to restore the station’s full recycling system and certify that the water it produces is fit for astronaut consumption.

Recycling water aboard the station is key to plans to boost the outpost’s crew size up to six people later this year. It would allow an extra 15,000 pounds (6,803 kg) of cargo and other supplies, weight that was previously reserved for water deliveries, to be launched to the station, NASA has said.

Discovery and its shuttle astronaut crew launched toward the station on Sunday and are due to land on March 28.

Related Post Discovery astronauts perform first spacewalk, install solar array wings

NBA2k9 16ft9 giant Kobe Bryant take on celtics

in this case it’s more efficient to block your opponents by moving your feet than jumping around.

Facebook’s Users Don’t Like Change


When Facebook updated its users’ homepages last week, we already wondered how users would react to these changes. After all, when Facebook introduced the news feed in 2006, its users were anything but happy about this change. Now, a new application is quickly spreading on Facebook that allows users to vote on the new design. This application is not endorsed by Facebook, but the current vote totals are quite interesting: 43,000 users liked the new layout, while almost 700,000 users said that they did not like it.

One of the most common complaints we have seen in the comments on both the officialannouncements from Facebook, as well as in the comments on the voting application, is that it looks too much like Twitter (and, in an apparent act of youthful rebellion, some Facebook usersare now signing up for Twitter as a protest), though some users are also clearly simply unhappy with the change in general, and especially with the new system of filtering the real-time stream

Here are some recent examples:

  • Lisa: If i wanted updates on everyones status while it was happening, I would join Twitter.
  • Judy: It stinks. Why mess with something if it’s already working?
  • Cassy: The new facebook is tooooo confusing and you cant find anything~!!! are you going to change it back???
  • Arie: Everytime I see the new layout a part of me dies on the inside.

We also created a word cloud with keywords from the most recent comments on the voting application, which clearly demonstrates the current sentiment about the real-time homepages among Facebook users.

We also created a word cloud with keywords from the most recent comments on the voting application, which clearly demonstrates the current sentiment about the real-time homepages among Facebook users.

by Frederic Lardinois

Gendai Games Launches GameSalad Beta


Austin-based Gendai Games has been operating mostly under the radar with their innovative iPhone game-creation software GameSalad. According to AustinStartup, the wait is now over and we all can try our hand at creating the next big iPhone game, even if we don’t have elite programming skills. And that’s the strength of GameSalad – you don’t need to know how to code in order to prototype your game idea.

According to the site, GameSalad gives you all the tools you need to develop a fun game without having to write a line of code. In fact drag-and-drop is used extensively in composing the scenes, actors, audio and script actions. Games can be played without having to compile first and also edited while running. Game variables, rules, and other items are all controlled through menu items that can be collapsed and re-ordered. And all of this can be done on an ordinary Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or newer.

Without having made a game ourselves yet, we can only guess that it will still be fairly challenging to make a fun and addictive game, as we have seen plenty of games made the ‘old fashioned way’ that aren’t all that great. But with the rapid development time and greater accessibility that GameSalad offers, we can see it becoming popular for making more niche games, say for example a custom game for a friend’s birthday, or a game that celebrates an event, like a company anniversary.

Sony Ericsson to make fourth consecutive loss


Sony Ericsson, the world’s fourth-biggest manufacturer of mobile phones, has warned that it expects to make a loss of between €340m (£319m) to €390m in its first quarter after cash-strapped consumers stopped buying new mobile phones.

It will be the company’s fourth consecutive quarterly loss and the London-based company said it expects to sell 8m fewer phones in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year.

It will also make less money on every phone it does sell. It estimates the average selling price of handsets in the period will be €120 – €1 less than in the last three months of last year, despite the rising cost of producing increasingly complex devices.

The company, which has already announced plans to cut 2,000 staff has so far refused to rule out further job losses. A spokeswoman said 1,000 employees have already left the business, with 1,000 more to follow soon in an attempt to achieve €300m in cost savings by the second-half of this year.

However, at the end of January the company announced a further €180m cost-cutting drive, which “will have an additional impact on jobs”. The business employs about 500 staff in the UK. One site in Manchester is already earmarked for closure.

Nicolas von Stackelberg, an analyst at the investment bank Sal Oppenheim said: “Sony Ericsson burned free cash flow of €277m. The way things are going, the first quarter of 2009 could top even that.”

Yesterday’s profit warning, which does not include restructuring charges of €10m to €20m, was the third in less than a year from the joint venture between Japan’s Sony and Sweden’s Ericsson. Both parents have highlighted the business as a key reason for the collapse in their overall profits. Sony is planning to cut 16,000 staff and Ericsson will shed 5,000 jobs this year on top of 4,000 last year.

Sony was yesterday rumoured to considering ending the partnership. Sir Howard Stringer, the chief executive of the Japanese electronics giant, told a German newspaper: “It’s certainly been a difficult year but buying out a partner is never an easy thing.”

Sony Ericsson warned that it expects global mobile phone sales to decline by 10pc this year, double an earlier estimate from its president Dick Komiyama. It expects to sell 14m phones in the three months to the end of March, down from 22.3m in the same period last year.

Carolina Milanesi, research director at mobile phone research house Gartner, said: “The mobile phone market is not a pretty place to be for anybody at the moment. The days of steady 20pc year-on-year growth are over.”

She added that Sony Ericsson is suffering more than some other players because it is mostly makes mid-market devices. “People are still upgrading to high-end devices like the iPhone, but generally they will stay with what they’ve got or downgrade to a cheaper model.”

The news comes just days after Nokia, which makes almost four in 10 of all handset sold worldwide, announced plans to shed a further 1,700 jobs, on top of 1,000 already announced. Motorola, the fifth biggest player, is thought to be on the verge of bankruptcy.

by Rupert Neate

Google Street View: Privacy campaigners promise legal challenge

Privacy campaigners are to launch a legal challenge against Google’s new Street View service which shows 360-degree photographs of public roads.

Screen grab from Goole Street View: Google Street View: Privacy campaigners promise legal challenge

Google said it has put in place adequate safeguards to avoid any risk to the privacy or safety of individuals, including the blurring of vehicle registration

The Street View service covers 22,360 miles of roads in 25 cities around the UK. Users can zoom in on images and virtually “walk” streets.

But campaigners claim it violates the right to privacy and could be used to plan crimes.

Simon Davies, of Privacy International, said: “These images are being captured without people’s permission for commercial use, and we believe that it is not legally acceptable.

“They are also putting into place a system for updating these images in the future, and for storing the images digitally where they could be misused.” Google was last year investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office over the plans, but was given the all clear.

The ICO said: “We are satisfied that Google is putting in place adequate safeguards to avoid any risk to the privacy or safety of individuals, including the blurring of vehicle registration marks and the faces of anyone included in Street View images.”

The site uses millions of digital pictures of streets captured using a fleet of cars with 360 degree cameras on their roofs.

Google said it had gone to great lengths to avoid privacy problems.

A spokesman said: “We have software that automatically blurs car numberplates and faces.

“Any user can easily flag images for removal by clicking on a ‘Report a concern’ link. We believe we have addressed all the issues.”

Google top designer leaves, blaming data-centrism


Douglas Bowman, Google’s visual design leader, is leaving the company after finding the company’s reliance on detailed Web page performance data too confining.

Bowman clearly had mixed feelings about departing, but he wasn’t shy with his opinion about what he didn’t like. From Bowman’s blog post Friday on the matter:

When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data…that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions…

Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4, or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions…

I’ll miss working with the incredibly smart and talented people I got to know there. But I won’t miss a design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data.

Bowman also gripes that Google’s designers came from a background of computer science and human-computer interaction rather than classical design, and that none of them rank high in the pecking order.

Google’s vice president of search and user experience, Marissa Mayer, is pretty high-ranking and cares a lot about design. But it’s not hard to see how her philosophy might rankle. Here’s one thing she said about design in a 2008 speech: “On the Web in general, (creating sites) is much more a design than an art…You can find small differences and mathematically learn which is right.”

I can’t speak for Bowman’s experience, though I can see how a classical designer might feel stifled by code monkeys. There are plenty of considerations that go into design in general, and pragmatism can be at odds sometimes with passion, boldness, and innovation. And Bowman earlier was a designer at Wired, which is definitely at the bold end of the spectrum.

Overall, however, I find Google’s approach to design refreshing and radical in its own way. Choosing color shades and pixel widths on the basis of the behavior of millions of Web page users is a fascinating development to the form-follows-function school of design.

by Stephen Shankland

<Goodbye Google> by Doug Bowman

Blizzard unveils new Battle.net


Activision Blizzard has today unveiled the latest, re-vamped version of its Battle.net multiplayer system and has confirmed reports that all future Blizzard games will require a Battle.net account.

The new version of Battle.net brings a whole host of minor changes to the long-running online gaming service, but the most important tweak is that players can now link all their Blizzard multiplayer profiles under a single Battle.net account, streamlining the whole process of logging in.

The system actually goes further than just linking gaming profiles together though – you can also connect your Blizzard forum accounts, store details and multiple World of Warcraft accounts to this single account. Merging your multiple accounts is totally optional right now, but will become obligatory in the future according to Blizzard:

Currently, creating a Battle.net account and merging World of Warcraft accounts is entirely optional. However, as we continue to build additional functionality into the new Battle.net, we will eventually require all active World of Warcraft accounts to migrate over to Battle.net Accounts in order to continue playing.

The announcement also confirmed that all future Blizzard titles, such as StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 will require an authentic Battle.net account.

Somewhat complicating the matter though is the fact that the existing version of Battle.net will continue to run for older games, such as Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2, under the title of Battle.net Classic – which will continue to use the old system and login details.

Are you as bewildered as us? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

by Joe Martin

Chrome last browser standing after day one of Pwn2Own


Google’s Chrome browser is the last web browser standing after day 1 of Pwn2Own. Does this make you reassess your daily browser?

A recent contest at CanSecWest, an event that brings together some of the most skilled experts in the security community, has demonstrated that the three most popular browser are susceptible to security bugs despite the vigilance and engineering prowess of their creators. Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer were all exploited during the Pwn2Own competition that took place at the conference. Google’s Chrome browser, however, was the only one left standing—a victory that security researchers attribute to its innovative sandbox feature.

I have to admit that while Chrome isn’t my default browser, I’m  quite fond of it. Its ability to handle countless tabs and Windows being open (as long as you have enough RAM) is far superior to any of the other big browsers. It’s also very stable and I’ve never had a crash that’s managed to take out all the tabs or make the wheels fall off the OS. The fact that Chrome’s survived day 1 of Pwn2Own makes me think that Google could set the security benchmark in much the same way that it is currently the speed pace setter.

Sure, Chrome doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other browser have (and no add on support like Firefox) but it’s a fast, robust, and i seems secure bit of code.

Chrome is a browser worth keeping an eye on.

by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Related Post 

IBM Said to Be Poring Over Sun’s Contracts


Lawyers for IBM are examining Sun Microsystems’ contracts and other documents in a due diligence process that could precede an acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

Such work is common before a merger and suggests that acquisition talks between Sun and IBM, which were reported earlier this week but have not been confirmed by the companies, are still under way. Examining the documents could take a number of days, the Journal said.

The work being done includes an examination of Sun’s software license terms to see if any of them conflict with IBM’s business practices, the newspaper reported. Sun offers most of its software, including its Solaris OS, MySQL database and Java programming language, under a variety of open-source licenses.

News of the supposed merger talks was broken by the Journal overnight on Tuesday, though Sun and IBM have not confirmed nor denied any discussions. IBM would pay between US$6.5 billion and $8 billion to buy the company, the Journal said Friday.

Observers have been puzzling over whether IBM is interested in Sun for its hardware or its software assets. IBM would gain some of Sun’s large corporate customers and widen its lead in the enterprise server market, where it was just ahead of Hewlett-Packard last year, according to IDC.

There would also be significant overlap between the companies’ product lines, however. Both have a Unix server OS, a RISC chip architecture, at least one enterprise database and a whole line of middleware. Any deal would create uncertainty for customers as to which products IBM would continue to develop and support.

Sun has been struggling to grow its business, particularly lately with the recession. Some of its biggest customers were Wall Street banks that either no longer exist or are in dire straits themselves.

Despite the uncertainty it would create, an acquisition by IBM might be a better outcome for Sun’s customers than some of the alternatives, said Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group.

“The economic climate plays against Sun’s recovery strategy. I think they have probably made as many cuts as they can without really changing what they do and having to drop something big,” he said.

If the reports are accurate and Sun has decided to sell, the decision was probably driven by outside investors, notably Southeastern Asset Management, which increased its stake in Sun to more than 20 percent last year and has been pushing hard for a bigger return on its investment.

“I think those guys are driving the bus at Sun,” Olds said. “This isn’t a strategic thing or a Jonathan Schwartz thing; it’s purely business.”

Talk of an acquisition has pushed Sun’s share price higher. It closed at $8.63 on Friday, up from $4.97 before the discussions were reported. IBM’s share price initially slipped on the reports but recovered slightly on Friday, closing at $92.66.

by James Niccolai

Related Post Is it a bad idea for IBM to buy Sun?

cFos v7.53 Build 3092 Beta


cFos Professional is a Dial-Up driver for DSL and ISDN. You can use cFos with the Windows Dial-Up Network to establish connections to the Internet.

For DSL connections cFos talks to you DSL Modem which is connected with a network adapter. For ISDN connections cFos uses the CAPI driver provided by the manufacturer of your ISDN card.

In addition, cFos offers Traffic Shaping for Internet connections, a firewall and a lot more features. With Traffic Shaping you get maximum bandwidth with minimal Ping.

For ISDN cFos emulates a modem at a COM port, so that you can use software, which was originally written for modems, with ISDN, too. cFos also has an ISDN caller monitor.

You get 3 products in one:

  1. Internet Dial-Up driver for DSL and ISDN with Traffic Shaping
  2. COM Port Emulator for ISDN
  3. ISDN caller monitor

cFos 7.53 build 3092
+ Added new filter option “-force-set-class”.  By setting this option in a filter expression you can force cfos to set the class of this filter as the main class of the TCP/UDP connection this packet belongs to.See http://www.cfos.de/speed/documentation/filter_expressions.shtml section “RX-priorisation” for more details.  Thanks to GB W for inspiration.

x Fixed potentially serious bug in interlocked handling.

x Now handle_mss is 0 by default, i.e. TCP MSS is not changed by cfos.This should fix problems with some strange web sites.

Download Now 32-Bit    64-Bit

Next Office version to ship in 32-bit and 64-bit versions


You learn the most interesting things when you poke around in some of the arcane files that are included with Windows 7 beta releases. In the most recent build of Windows 7 that I’ve been able to examine, I’ve confirmed that Microsoft plans to release its next version of Office in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. That’s a detail that my colleague Mary Jo Foley didn’t discover in her December 2008 rundown of what we know about Office 14

The clues to an upcoming x64 Office release are hidden in an obscure XML file used by the Windows Easy Transfer utility, which transfers settings for Windows and selected applications from an old PC to a new one. In the official beta release of Windows 7 (finalized in December 2008), Migwiz.xml includes the same list of applications found in Windows Vista. But in post-beta builds, this file has been updated to include more modern programs.

Earlier today, as I was scanning through the file to assemble an updated list of applications that can be migrated to Windows 7, this heading caught my eye:

Directly underneath this block of code is a list of programs to be detected. It’s the same list of nine programs found under the Office 2003 and Office 2007 headings, except that the Office 14 section includes an extra “_x64” entry for each one. Here, see for yourself:

In addition, there are separate sections labeled “Office x86 detects” and “Office x64 detects”. Elsewhere in the file are sections that cover different upgrade scenarios. For Office 2003, there are three rule sets:

  • Office2003to2007SettingsUpgrade
  • Office2003to14SettingsUpgrade
  • Office2003to14SettingsUpgrade_x64

Similarly, you can use the wizard to upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 14 or Office 14_x64.

The fact that this code is being baked into Windows 7 now suggests that the rumors of an early 2010 ship date for Office 14 are accurate. Having native 64-bit support for all members of the Office family is an extra bonus and welcome news.

by Ed Bott

IE8 launch bumps browser’s market share by 30%


Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) received a small bump in market share Thursday as the company launched the final version mid-day, according to Web measurement company Net Applications.

IE8’s market share averaged 1.63% for the day Thursday from noon Eastern time onwards — when Microsoft posted the new browser for download — a 21% increase over March’s daily average of 1.35% through Wednesday. Net Applications has posted hourly market share numbers for IE8 on its Web site.

The browser’s share climbed again Friday, to an hourly average of 1.75% through 11:00 a.m. ET, bringing IE8’s total increase to 30% over the month’s daily average.

Even with that kind of increase, Vince Vizzaccaro, Net Applications’ executive vice president of marketing, was critical of Microsoft’s low-key launch. “I was a little surprised that there wasn’t any advanced warning,” said Vizzaccaro, “and no marketing push from Microsoft about IE8. At the minimum there should have been something for IE users that popped up and said ‘there’s an upgraded browser available … download it.'”

IE8’s market share climbed above the 1% mark for the first time last month, when it accounted for 1.2% of all browsers used. That boost had been fueled by the last January launch of the browser’s release candidate.

By comparison, Google’s Chrome, which debuted last September, had a 1.15% market share during February, while Mozilla’s Firefox — IE’s biggest rival — owned 21.77% of the business.

“Chrome got off to a fast start,” said Vizzaccaro, “but it really hasn’t moved much since then. And they had a low-key approach when they launched it, too. On the other hand, Mozilla made lots of noise about Firefox 3.0, with a special download day, and they got millions to download it.

“Microsoft is doing the same thing that they’ve done with browsers in the past, but that didn’t work for Chrome,” Vizzaccaro said. “If I were Microsoft, I would do something more on the Mozilla model. I’d be a lot more optimistic [about IE8's chances] if there was a large public announcement that it was available.”

Microsoft debuted the final edition of IE8 for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 Thursday, upgrading the browser for first time in two-and-a-half years.

Overall, Internet Explorer controls 67.5% of the browser market, according to Net Applications’ numbers, which are collected from the systems that surf to some 40,000 sites that the company tracks for clients. Almost three out of every four IE users run 2006’s IE7, while nearly all of the remainder run the even older IE6.

Currently, IE8 is available only as a manual download from Microsoft’s main download center and the IE8 page. The company will begin automatically installing the new browser on machines now running IE6 or IE7 at some unspecified future date, at which point its market share will undoubtedly climb.

By Gregg Keizer

Related Post Microsoft IE8 Now Available

New YouTube App Comes To Symbian, Windows Mobile

Chicago (IL) – Yesterday, YouTube posted a blog entry about their new Mobile YouTube app. It’s been optimized for Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 devices, enabling the YouTube page to load 90% faster with simplified search, navigation, selection after search, and video playback features.
YouTube stated in their blog, “Our goal is to provide you with a great YouTube experience wherever you want to watch videos — whether it’s on your computer, on your television, or on your mobile phone. While YouTube has been available for many mobile phones for over a year, today we’re taking a big step forward with a new version of our mobile YouTube application.”

The application can be downloaded at m.youtube.com and works on Windows Mobile and these Symbian Series 60 devices: 5320 XpressMusic, 5630 XpressMusic, 5700 XpressMusic, 5730 XpressMusic, 6110 Navigator, 6120 classic, 6121 classic, 6124 classic, 6290, 6650, 6710 Navigator, 6720 classic, E51, E55, E63, E66, E71, E75, E90, N76, N79, N81, N81 8GB, N82, N85, N86 8MP, N95, N95 8GB. Nokia also has a device matrix which lists compatible 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1 & 2 phones.

The video app allows the most popular videos to be scrolled right/left by using your phone’s controls. Searching is possible from a search box which then allows you to view the search results in the same right/left manner. YouTube warns m.youtube.com users about the high-bandwidth nature of the website in advance, possibly saving on data overage costs.

See YouTube’s Mobile App Demo:


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