Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.
Ken Novak's Weblog
Monday, September 22, 2003
Whale Communications e-Gap Webmail for MS Exchange
: "The e-Gap® Webmail Appliance provides a secure front end to Microsoft® Exchange (5.5, 2000 and 2003) enabling Outlook® Web Access from any browser anywhere in the world. As an application specific "SSL VPN," it is a cost-effective, rapidly deployable alternative to traditional VPNs. e-Gap Webmail protects against IIS vulnerabilities like Code Red and even unknown future exploits. There's no need to open dangerous holes in your firewall. The e-Gap Webmail Appliance also overlays strong authentication like RSA SecurID® Authentication and provides additional security features such as a patent-pending "secure log-off." Installation is quick and non-intrusive, requiring no intervention with production Exchange servers or firewalls. In addition to OWA access, support is available for secure remote access to the native Microsoft Outlook Client. 10:01:01 PM
SSL for remote access
: A "benefit of installing the SSL-based appliance is that Virtua has given its 3,000 employees who access e-mail remotely the ability to use the full Microsoft Outlook rather than the more limited Outlook Web client. .. By virtue of Netilla's gear, Virtua has avoided using IP Security (IPSec
) VPNs and the inherent hassles of distributing client software to remote machines." 9:56:56 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2003
6 Degrees Confirmed:
"More than 60,000 people from 166 different countries took part in the experiment. Participants were assigned one of 18 target people. They were asked to contact that person by sending email to people they already knew and considered potentially "closer" to the target. The targets were chosen at random and included a professor from America, an Australian policeman and a veterinarian from Norway.
The researchers found that it in most cases it took between five and seven emails to contact the target. " 3:28:08 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Bikinis in Saudi Arabia: info-anarchy as cultural imperialism: "Information anarchy is just the latest variant of West Coast libertarianism, defending 'free speech' at all costs, refusing controls over the net because it goes against the US model of freedom, and unable to allow that government can be a force for good. I didn't like that model when it came out of Wired magazine in the early 1990s, or the Open Source zealots later in the decade. I won't accept it from the p2p advocates now.
Siva says that "this issue is not about bikinis in Saudi Arabia", but of course it is. It is about the ability of a government to assert appropriate authority over online activity, whether it is in breach of copyright law or against public standards of morality. Pushing for information anarchy is just another way of endorsing US cultural imperialism, with its stress on US values and free trade. When cultural floodgates are opened -- and abandoning any possibility of regulating the net in favour of p2p-induced anarchy would open them -- then US culture comes to dominate. Look at the film industry or the games market. Siva, though he would deny it, is promoting the interests of the US government he claims to distrust, because he has not realised that the values that underpin file sharing and Napster are those of the unrestrained free market.." 12:49:14 PM
Monday, September 15, 2003
Grid MP Global Service Statistics
: United Devices public grid used for Smallpox, Anthrax, and Cancer research, with 1m computers registered but apparently about 100k active (currently about 250 processor-years of computing per day). United Devices offers programs for organizations
to build grids out of their computer networks and offer them to other customers (as Gateway has done). 4:13:34 PM
Fabricates MEMS on demand from CAD drawings with 3 week turnaround. 3:22:59 PM
Test bed for the Internet: "The Internet has spawned a smaller clone of itself called PlanetLab, which has been designed as the new virtual test bed for the next generation of Web-based applications. This global virtual laboratory imitates our usage of the World Wide Web to develop new business tools, computer programs and weapons against worms and viruses. The project sponsored by Intel Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., as well as many universities, is currently running on more than 160 machines at 65 sites worldwide... Anyone who wants to use PlanetLab for developing code simply has to donate a computer -- known as a node -- to the network, thus increasing its capability. " 10:20:32 AM
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Gateway Snags First Grid Customer, May 2003: "Gateway has signed on the American Diabetes Association as the first customer for its Grid computing service.
The ADA will use Gateway's Processing On Demand solution, backed by United Device's Grid MP Alliance platform, to accelerate diabetes research. The platform will run software to help the ADA analyze clinical programs and treatments, develop clinical practice guidelines, study the efficiency of care processes, set priorities and plan diabetes research. .. By using the Gateway solution, the ADA says it has already experienced a dramatic improvement in the time it takes to process a component of diabetes related research - from 48 hours down to one hour .. For more information, visit http://gateway.com/work/services/pod.shtml or www.ud.com/alliance."
Further details at Gateway Grid Used in Diabetes Research :"For example, researchers can plug in data involving patients with high blood pressure and diabetes, and then run various scenarios through the application to determine the benefits or disadvantages of administering disparate levels of medicine, Kahn said. They could find out the impact on patients, inventory, hospital costs and doctors fees, he said. .. On a single system, it would take 100 hours to run each scenario through the application, he said. Using Gateway's grid, that has been cut down to 30 minutes, and Kahn said he expects to get it below five minutes .. " 8:08:08 AM
Gateway Sells Processing by the Gigahertz Hour
: Update on Grid gateway: "you can literally buy Gateway PCs by the clock cycle at the rate of 15¢ for an hour of one gigahertz' worth of computing power. To use the horsepower of one thousand 2.4 GHz PCs, you would pay $360 an hour. .. When a customer submits a job to GPOD, Gateway's engineers first validate the program, and then schedule it for execution. The grid server takes the job, partitions it into many small pieces that can be executed independently, and distributes them to the individual PCs in the grid network. The PCs execute the small jobs and return the results to the grid server. The server then compiles the results into the final solution to be presented to the customer. No special modification to the source code is needed, but you need to port the application to the grid environment by writing a "wrapper" using the United Devices SDK. For customers who want a completely transparent solution, Gateway can provide the application porting service as well. " 8:03:23 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2003
: Grid computing at home for climate change: "The climateprediction.net experiment has been developed to allow a state-of-the-art climate prediction model to be run on home/ school/ work computers. By getting data from thousands of climate models, we will generate the world's largest climate prediction experiment" 9:30:20 PM