Grid Computing

From eServer Magazine, a story on Grid Computing and what IBM is doing:

Rather than countless PCs sharing tasks, imagine a large cluster of mainframes and other servers acting as a single integrated computing system that can be accessed by home- or business-based PCs. Beyond simply sharing files and information, users can access an extensive grid of high-end enterprise computers via the Internet, using idle compute cycles to crunch massive amounts of data. Certified users could access super-computing resources, computing clusters, data-storage systems, data sources and even network with other grid users. Taking it even further, users could create entire virtual organizations with complex business processes running remotely. The only costs involved are likely to be those charged to lease grid resources.

Middle East Tech – Dan Gillmor

Dan Gillmor’s conversation with conversation with Yossi Vardi, Israel’s most famous technologist. Vardi created ICQ. He says: “For something to provide a wonderful user experience, you need a touch of . A great user experience has to do with some kind of rarity or uniqueness.”

From another report by Gillmor on Jordan:

Jordanian leaders want to embed technology into the fabric of education and the economy, to help provide essential skills and tools to the emerging generation of adults in a nation where the majority of people are under the age of 18.

The ambitious goals include wiring up every school and university in Jordan with true broadband Internet access. By the end of 2004, leaders hope to have spurred the creation of 30,000 new jobs, $150 million in new foreign direct investment and annual technology exports of $550 million. This might sound modest elsewhere, but for a nation with a per capita annual income of under $2,000, it would be an impressive achievement.

This is the kind of vision emerging markets need – how to get a computer on every desktop and in every home. This investment and enablement via technology is, according to me, the primary requirement for progress.

Supercomputing

From the NewYork Times,an article on the future direction of supercomputing — At Los Alamos, Two Visions of Supercomputing:

By 2010, scientists predict, a single chip may hold more than a billion transistors, shedding 1,000 watts of thermal energy – far more heat per square inch than a nuclear reactor.

The comparison seems particularly apt at Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico, which has two powerful new computers, Q and Green Destiny. Both achieve high calculating speeds by yoking together webs of commercially available processors. But while the energy-voracious Q was designed to be as fast as possible, Green Destiny was built for efficiency. Side by side, they exemplify two very different visions of the future of supercomputing.

Mercury Interactive

Yet another success story from Israel. A storyinthe New York Times — Roots in Israel, Head in Silicon Valley:

Mercury Interactive, a Silicon Valley company with roots in Israel and offices in 25 countries, soon became a force in the new field of Web management. Its client list now includes about 75 percent of the nation’s 500 largest companies; government institutions like the State Department, Army, Navy and Air Force; CBS’s Survivor.com; and the author Stephen King. While software testing provides the bulk of Mercury’s business, Web management has grown to produce more than 20 percent of revenue in just over two years.

Now Mercury has repositioned itself again, having figured out a way to profit from the dot-com implosion by helping businesses tune information technology they already own.