Even a company with Microsoft’s financial muscle has failed to make a major dent in Google’s position as the world’s search engine of choice. But a group of European online activists are apparently trying to create a D.I.Y. alternative. Or at least that was what was being reported. The Free Software Foundation Europe, the group behind the move, started things off with their announcement:

The YaCy project is releasing version 1.0 of its peer-to-peer Free Software search engine. The software takes a radically new approach to search. YaCy does not use a central server. Instead, its search results come from a network of currently over 600 independent peers. In such a distributed network, no single entity decides what gets listed, or in which order results appear.

The YaCy search engine runs on each user’s own computer. Search terms are encrypted before they leave the user and the user’s computer. Different from conventional search engines, YaCy is designed to protect users’ privacy. A user’s computer creates its individual search indexes and rankings, so that results better match what the user is looking for over time. YaCy also makes it easy to create a customised search portal with a few clicks.

So, instead of Google’s millions of servers, users provide a little bit of their own computer’s processing power to run the system. Although the underlying technology might be different, this suggests YaCy is intended to be a competitor for Google search, albeit one without advertising and secret algorithms.


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About a year ago, a micromouse managed to negotiate a maze in under five seconds. At the 2011 All Japan Micromouse Robot Competition in Tsukuba, the micromouse pictured above shaved an entire second off of that time, completing the maze in a scant 3.921 seconds. That’s fast.


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We’d assume a sizable share of fans may consider themselves God’s gift to road navigation, but that hasn’t stopped TomTom launching a special edition Top Gear flavor of its GPS device. Navigation is narrated by the voice of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, directing clueless drivers “with the aid of 32 satellites… and me.” The in-car navigation unit is priced at $269.95, including a one-year subscription to traffic updates and incident reports from TomTom. Alongside Clarkson’s familiar tones are some extra Top Gear car icons and Stig mode, where the GPS will remain entirely silent. It’ll also point out race tracks featured in the show, plus any nearby speed cameras. With its main man behind you, how could you possibly lose your way?


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Intel Corp. is yet again repeating the “upgrade card” strategy, which it first employed with the Nehalem G6952 CPU. Intel has announced new $50 upgrades for three Sandy Bridge series processors — the 2.6 GHz 2 core/2 thread G622, the 3.1 GHz 2 core/4 thread i3-2102, and the 2.1 GHz 2 core/4 thread i3-2312.

The upgrade buys you an undisclosed increase in clock speeds (and in the i3-2312′s case, increased cache as well). All in all, this nets you around a 15 percent average performance bump.


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Luca di Montezemelo

As saucy as some of them may be, today’s electric car is definitely a novelty. Still, it’s not too hard to imagine a future where the majority of autos run on electrons — whether they’re pushed from batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Not everybody’s down with that idea, and one of those EV detractors is the incredibly suave Ferrari president Luca di Montezemelo. We recently had a chance to chat briefly with the man who said — in no unequivocal terms — that there is no electric Ferrari coming:

You will never see a Ferrari electric because I don’t believe in electric cars, because I don’t think they represent an important step forward for pollution or CO2 or the environment. But, we are working very, very hard on the hybrid Ferrari. This should be the future, and I hope in a couple of years you can see it.

So what’s next for the brand of the prancing horse? A hybrid, of course, which will be more Porsche 918 than Toyota Prius. Still, ruling out EVs in the future seems perhaps a bit… restricting, but keep in mind Luca did say this was only his policy.


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Right after coming off its 100th birthday, IBM has come up with a new type of phase-change memory (PCM) that can read and write a whopping hundred times faster than existing flash memory. With capabilities like that, you might expect it to be expensive, fragile or short, but miraculously enough, this new “instantaneous memory” is reliable for millions of write-cycles, beating flash memory by about three orders of magnitude, and it looks like it will be cheap enough to make its way into use in mobile phones. This amazing little guy was only born recently so, of course, it’ll be a while before any make their way into active circulation, but when they do, it will drastically reduce the amount of time we spend staring at mobile device loading animations. About time, too. Several seconds is several seconds too long.


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In the rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, a Japanese machine has earned the top spot with a performance that essentially laps the competition. The computer, known as “K Computer,” is three times faster than a Chinese rival (Tianhe-1A) that previously held the top position, said Jack Dongarra, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who keeps the official rankings of computer performance.


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Elgg is a popular all-in-one, learning, CMS platform that is designed for social interaction and sharing. However, being a relatively new player in the market, it has some undiscovered caveats that are usually only encountered during customization or heavy development. This article covers the notorious IOException error and provides both proactive and reactive solutions. This article aims to equip an Elgg developer with the essential knowledge of some existing issues, including the notorious IOException error and to provide possible solutions, both proactive and reactive.

Article was published in March edition of php|architect

 

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This office on wheels is the second-generation business class creation from Brabus tuning studio. The new S600 iBusiness 2.0 is bloated with the latest technology. It offers two iPad2 tablets with built-in WiFi connection and a special iPad app that allows you to easily manage a proprietary COMAND system from Mercedes-Benz, including navigation, music, telephone and options to control the passenger’s comfort.

Small tables are situated right underneath the tablets for your bluetooth keyboards. On top of everything else (literally!), there is a 15.2-inch LCD screen, which hides in the roof.

As for the car specs, Brabus iBusiness 2,0 stands up to its name with 800hp and 1047Nm of torque from a twin-turbocharged V12, accelerating this piece of real estate from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds (with a limiter set to 350 km/h). Brabus also offers a full iBusiness 2.0 package for any S-class – from a modest S350 to S65.


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Lamborghini supercars have traditionally never been known as sophisticated beasts, bullish logo proof positive of that, but that’s all changed since the company fell in under the Volkswagen Group banner. The company’s newly unveiled Aventador LP700-4 supercar has more tech than any Lambo before, much of it scattered about the decidedly fighter-inspired interior layout that borrows a few elements from the Audi stable. Most interesting is the MMI infotainment system, which has been given some tweaks but clearly hasn’t fallen far from its parent’s Tegra-powered tree. All the dials and visuals on the car are rendered on LCDs, as can be seen in the video below, along with 3D maps for navigation and a suite of customization menus controlled either by the familiar MMI jog dial in the middle or by a stalk on the steering wheel. Of course, with a brand new, 691HP V-12 tucked in the back we’re thinking owners will have things more important than render quality on their minds, but those of us who can’t afford the expected $350,000+ price tag will have to simply entertain ourselves by saying “Aventador” over and over again.


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Google Maps Navigation (currently in Beta, although it looks very damn solid), now can do a real-time traffic rerouting – official Google blog says. You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps. Before today, Navigation would choose whichever route was fastest, without taking current traffic conditions into account. It would also generate additional alternate directions, such as the shortest route or one that uses highways instead of side roads. Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.

You can begin routing around traffic with Google Maps Navigation for Android in North America and Europe where both Navigation and real-time traffic data are available.

 


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At the end of last month, OCZ announced PCIe Solid State Discs (SSD) Z-Drive R3 Series, which will replace the flash-based Z-Drive R2. The Z-Drive R3 series, displayed at CeBIT 2011, are aimed at server applications and support the proprietary technology Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA), which allows for even faster data transfers getting closer and closer to the theoretical speed throughput of the SSD interface. The R3 series also support SMART-monitoring and NCQ (Native Command Queuing).

The OCZ Z-Drive R3 RM88 model comes with PCIe 2.0 x8 and has four controllers Sandforce SF-1565. Preliminary characteristics suggest that maximum read speeds could reach up to 1.8GB/s (!) with 1.6GB/s write. Performing a random 4K writes is done at a whooping 200,000 IOPS. Maximum capacity using MLC/eMLC is 2.4TB, whereas with SLC only 1.2TB.


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