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Google predicts rise of Web OS in 2011. Yahoo may shut down Delicious, Upcoming. Apple to open Mac Apps store in January.

THE

New Delhi Monday 20 December 2010

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Technomics
Toshiba sees LCD profit on phone boom
30 per cent of the global HPC market in 2009, according to IDC, it is trying to grow the HPC market in India beyond the government, academia and research institutions that have been targeted with endto-end solutions since last year. Instead of buying a supercomputer for millions of dollars for HPC tasks, Dell offers an average order size of $50,000-$200,000 for various levels of departmental and divisional work requirements. Dell has developed a tool called Advisor which is aimed at democratizing HPC, where potential customers can log into the site to engage in an interactive question and answer session which will at the end throw up a bill of materials based on customer requirements, that Dell will deliver in 2 weeks and deploy in 3 days including installation, documentation, training and optimization. The companys HPC solutions are made and integrated in its factory in Sriperumbudur, Chennai.Stating that a country like India would require affordable and scalable HPC solutions, Dr Rooholamini said, problems like advancing fusion power for more affordable and accessible energy and developing nano-filtration techniques that remove pollutants from water to enable access to clean drinking water require investments in supercomputing capacity. We are witnessing phenomenal growth in India with our HPC solutions and I wont be surprised if the largest and fastest supercomputer will be right here in India in a few years, he said.

A dose of IT Now, virtualised mobile phones


KAPIL KHANDELWAL

Supercomputing, pervasive and for the masses, says Dell

couple of years ago, as Chief Information Security 0fficer (CISO) of an early-phase drug development life sciences company, I had a dilemma while reviewing the IT and security policy of the company. Amongst the unpopular measures that had to be taken was not allowing personal mobile phones of employees into the labs and delivery floors as they poised an info security threat. Last week, LG and VMware announced they were to launch the first virtual mobile phone by early 2011. This sort of mobile phone would have sorted a lot of the info security issues for me as a CISO. It will also open up a world of opportunities and challenges in healthcare ICT as well. The concept of virtualization isnt new. Mac users have run Microsoft Windows simultaneously on a Mac computer in a virtual machine since Apple moved to Intel processors in 2006. Now with Window 7 Ultimate version of OS, users can install a Windows XP virtual machine on your computers. The idea is that software can act like hardware and effectively create a virtual working computer environment within a physical one, which can save on hardware costs. These virtual machines are fairly common today on powerful desktops and laptops, but are now about to filter down to phones, thanks to the improved processing power of smartphones. Virtualisation is going to be widely adopted in healthcare. There are three major factors driving this adoption. First, as I had mentioned in my column on slates in healthcare, over 250 million healthcare workers will be considered mobile workers by 2015, including doctors and nurses who benefit from access to patient information from multiple locations and access devices. Virtualization allows the IT administrator to centralize data for security purposes and deliver uniform access to patient records. Second, IT in healthcare has tested custom developed proprietary applications. These applications with limitedto-no support for hardware and operating systems are ideal candidates for virtualization, which abstracts hardware and operating sys-

While virtualisation of mobile phones does bring benefits to mobile workers, the CISO will still face dilemmas (surrounding information security).
tems from the applications. Third, compliance requires medical information to be available 24x7. Virtualization provides a highly flexible, high-availability, and cost-effective solution to doctors and nurses. The phones that LG announced will be a boon to healthcare industry mobile workers as earlier they had to carry one mobile phone for work and another for personal use. LGs phone will be capable of securely switching between personal and official, and in a way that a CISO will approve. Apples iPhone already has a capability for creating virtualization, except that it takes in only one SIM card. LGs phone, hopefully, can take in two, one for work and another for personal use. In any case, both types of phones are likely to become more prominent as mobile healthcare workers look for ways to bring their personal phones into the workplace without causing support nightmares or security breaches. But while virtualisation of mobile phones does bring benefits to mobile workers, the CISO will still face dilemmas, like I did a few years ago. Mobile phone virtualisation promises to reduce costs for the healthcare business, but it comes with attendant info security risks. While virtual mobile phones come into the healthcare organisation through mobile workers who want to use them for work, organisations are finding out that they have to find ways to support a mix of personal, business and patient information all of which ends up on that phone. If that phone is lost or if someone hacks into it, then business and patient data is at risk. The CISO runs the risk of breaching security compliance that requires electronic protected health information in-transit on the mobile phones. The CISO, therefore, will still be faced with the dilemma of whether to allow such phones or not. control a part of your phone that big a selling point for LG to a doctor or a nurse?

Toshiba Corp president and CEO Norio Sasaki.

Dells Dr Reza Rooholamini says clustering technology has made it possible for supercomputers to be scaled up or down, making them cost-effective and useful for almost any kind of task. SANGEETHA CHENGAPPA
BENGALURU

Dec. 19: Supercomputers which are usually associated with complex, high-technology sectors such as Aerospace, Defence and Space are now being used by various other sectors that touch the lives of consumers everyday. For instance, the curvature of Lays chips, a popular snack not just with kids but with adults as well, is determined by a supercomputer. Similarly, blockbuster animated movies like Shrek and Cars were made using supercomputers to lay images, and varying levels of light and shade components to create each frame. It took almost 2 years to produce Shrek, whereas, Shrek II and III were produced in just 6-12 months, with supercomputers.

Deccan Chronicle caught up with Dr Reza Rooholamini, director for enterprise solutions at Dell recently to find out where HPC is headed in postrecessionary times. There is use for supercomputing technology in every sphere of our lives. While supercomputing is used in highly calculation-intensive tasks such as weather forecasting, molecular modeling, nuclear research or to create flood prevention systems after computing the flow of water in flood-hit areas, it has pervaded sectors such as, automotive, movies, consumer products, FMCG, etc. And this has been made possible by cluster technology, Dr. Rooholamini said. In the 60s and 70s, he said, supercomputers were typically one-of-a-kind custom design produced by companies such as Cray,

IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Supercomputing was all about proprietary technology, which also meant high cost. Quoting examples of the days of specialised processors and proprietary operating systems like Illiac IV and Cray 1, he said things got much better in the 80s and 90s when IBM used microprocessors that were available for other purposes to design the SP2, instead of using design specific chips. In the 90s, the industry embraced open standardsbased HPC cluster technology, where smaller building blocks were put together to build supercomputers, making them more scalable to meet growing customer requirements. More importantly, this cluster approach allowed legacy systems to co-exist with newer technologies, making it cost effective. Our first supercomputer

using the cluster approach was installed in Cornell University replacing the IBM SP2 in 1997. Today, 85 per cent of the Top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world, a list which is updated twice a year, are built using cluster technology as opposed to just two machines which made the list in the 90s. And 22 of the Top 500 fastest machines are from Dell, he said. Dells HPC solutions comprise of hardware based on Intel and AMD processors with the main building blocks servers, storage, O/S, networking provided by the company while the software (MPI) that allows processes within the machine to communicate with one another by sending and receiving messages is handled by Dells partner, Platform Computing. While Dell has garnered

Tech spend revival boosts Oracle, RIM


RITSUKO ANDO
NEW YORK

Kapil Khandelwal is a leading healthcare and ICT expert. Kapil@KapilKhandelwal.com

Dec. 19: Wall Street may have underestimated a recovery in corporate spending, judging by strongerthan-expected results and outlooks from business software maker Oracle Corp and technology services firm Accenture Plc. Together with strongerthan-expected sales from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, the announcements showed Cisco Systems Inc's weak outlook last month may have been a lone phenomenon, analysts said. Shares in Oracle jumped 5.5 per cent to $31.97, while Accenture jumped 8 per cent to $50.43 in noon trading on Friday. The companies issued their results after the market closed on Thursday. It seems that enterprise demand is not only holding up well through the year-end, which has been

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis speaks at the Blackberry developers conference in San Francisco on Sept. 27. Reuters

our expectation and prior view, but is actually improving, which is above our expectations, said Louis Miscioscia, analyst at Collins Stewart. Oracle announced solid quarterly results and forecast profit in the current quarter to exceed Wall Street estimates. Analysts noted strong sales of its Exadata family of integrated soft-

ware and hardware systems. That prompted some analysts to raise their price targets on the shares. BofAMerrill Lynch raised its target to $36 from $34. Susquehanna Financial, which said Oracle's "meaningful upward revisions to estimates suggest that the company continues to benefit from a macro economic recovery, most notably in

the United States," raised its target to $33 from $30. Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture said clients were starting to step up investments to position themselves for an economic recovery and to keep up with new technology like cloud computing. There's less hesitation than there was," Chief Executive William Green told Reuters. "And there's a lot of things companies need to do. The company, which helps businesses cut costs and improve operations through consulting, outsourcing and other technology services, reported higherthan-expected quarterly revenue and earnings. It also raised its full-year outlook for fiscal 2011. We believe this report is another data point validating the recovery of enterprise IT spending, said Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Grossman. BlackBerry maker RIM, considered

another benchmark for business spending due to the device's popularity among office workers, reported stro nger-than-expected sales. On a conference call following RIM's earnings, coCEO Jim Balsillie also said the company was seeing pent-up corporate demand for its PlayBook tablet, which will launch in early 2011. RIM is pitching the tablet at its core corporate and government customers who have a greater need for security credentials. But some analysts were cautious, picking over RIM's position in the saturated US smartphone market and the company's rising inventory levels. Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum warned that "an inventory correction looms."But its Nasdaq-listed shares rose 2.3 per cent to $60.60, while they rose 2.8 per cent to C$61.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Reuters

Facebook founder friends new image


ALEXEI ORESKOVIC
SAN FRANCISCO

Dec. 19: At a conference six months ago, Facebook's 26year-old chief executive was literally dripping in sweat as he fielded tough questions about his company's privacy practices and a forthcoming movie portraying him as manipulative and arrogant. On Wednesday, a poised, perspiration-free portrait of Mark Zuckerberg graced the cover of Time magazine, which crowned him its Person of the Year, capping what may be one of corporate America's most remarkable transformations. The make-over of Zuckerberg's public image has been hard to miss, with a highprofile donation to New Jersey public schools in September and appearances on

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

television programs like The Oprah Winfrey Show and 60 Minutes. It has occurred as Facebook, the world's No. 1 Internet social network, sees its audience of friends and its influence swell. Facebook may not need a smiling Zuckerberg

to thrive, but it certainly doesn't hurt. He is the face of the company, said Paul Argenti, a professor of corporate communication at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, who said The Social Network, the fictionalized film

about Facebook's controversial creation in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, put (Zuckerberg's) reputation up for grabs. He's been on a tear to repair that, Argenti said. The film, which recounted claims that Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from a separate project spearheaded by classmates (which led to a lawsuit that has been settled), came out at the same time as reports surfaced in online blogs suggesting Zuckerberg had shown a cavalier attitude toward Facebook users' privacy in the company's early days. The change is more than image-deep. The redheaded CEO, whose net worth was recently estimated at $6.9 billion by Forbes magazine, was prone to awkwardness in interviews in the past, with a demeanor that made him

seem aloof. But he has appeared decidedly more comfortable in his interactions with reporters in recent months. During a recent discussion with reporters, he played with a boomerang and cracked jokes, nothing like the stiff and guarded delivery of previous encounters. Whether Zuckerberg has simply found his comfort zone as a result of a string of back-to-back media briefings and product announcements, or extensive coaching, or a combination of the two, is not clear. Facebook has its share of executives well-versed in public image, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, chief of staff for the U.S. Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton. Facebook

spokesman Jonny Thaw declined to comment on the matter, but analysts saw Zuckerberg simply being more open. One of the things he's done is he's made a conscious move to not let somebody else define who he is, but to go out and sort of let people know who he is, said Jim Bates, of the crisis communications firm Sitrick and Company, which has helped rehabilitate the images of such clients as R&B singer Chris Brown and celebrity socialite Paris Hilton. Some industry insiders see the efforts to improve Zuckerberg's image as reminiscent of another out-sized technology figure. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp, was often criticized for cut-throat business practices and a brusque

personality during the 1990s. That edge has softened in recent years, particularly as he has focused on philanthropic work, which earned him a share of Time magazine's people of the year cover in 2005, alongside his wife, Melinda Gates, and rock star-philanthropist Bono. Of course, Gates, unlike Zuckerberg, is no longer running his company. Stan Kowalczyk, a professor at San Francisco State University who focuses on corporate reputation, said that gave Zuckerberg room to see another flip in his image if he was not careful. He's going to have to walk on eggshells to make sure that he doesn't do something that is going to jeopardize that reputation, Kowalczyk said. Reuters

oshiba Corp may turn its first annual profit on liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels in four years as sales of smartphones and tablet computers boom, the companys CEO said in an interview last week. Norio Sasaki also told Reuters he expected demand for NAND flash memory chips to be stronger in the JanuaryMarch quarter than in the current quarter ending this month. NAND is used in various electronics products including Apple Inc's iPhone. If all goes well, it's possible we could see profit in three figures this year, Sasaki said of the LCD unit, implying at least 10 billion yen ($119 million) in the Japanese counting system. Sasaki, a 61-year-old former engineer, took the helm 18 months ago. He has vowed to sharpen the focus of the sprawling conglomerate and taken a hard line on costs across businesses from nuclear power stations to home appliances. Toshiba's profits for the first half of this year were the best in a decade, but it kept its full-year outlook unchanged. Profits at rival Samsung Electronics fell from a record high in the most recent quarter as the company warned of falling demand for LCDs and chips. Sasaki said he would be cautious about big investments in the volatile LCD sector. Earlier this week Toshiba denied a media report it was planning to spend about 100 billion yen on a new plant in Japan, mainly to supply Apple. The report said Apple would invest in the plant.Nothing is decided on further investment amid the current volatility, although the demand is there, Sasaki said. Profits would rise quickly. But when they stop rising, you have to make sure you don't fall into the red. One U.S. analyst said this week that Apple's demand for NAND could double next year and some estimate Apple already consumes about a third of global supply. If they can get a commitment from a key customer to build that fab, then it could be a fairly lucrative business, given the strong demand growth in smartphones, said Damian Thong, senior technology analyst at Macquarie Securities in Tokyo. Sasaki said that the effect on NAND shipments of a brief cut in power to the company's Yokkaichi plant in central Japan on December 8 would not become clear until at least the new year. The outage forced it to halt operations at the plant until December 10. Toshiba, the world's second largest supplier of NAND chips after South Korea's Samsung, had previously said shipments could fall by up to 20 percent in January and February. The effect on Toshiba's profits is also unclear, because the factory stoppage is likely to boost prices, Sasaki said. Toshiba is building a fifth NAND facility at Yokkaichi. Sasaki has said he wants to raise return on investment (ROI) to 20 percent by 2012, a leap from current levels of about 10 percent that analysts say will be difficult, but not impossible, to achieve. They have hived off quite a few unprofitable businesses, and there will be a contribution from the NAND business, said Takao Hattori, an analyst at research firm T.I.W. Toshiba announced that it would open an LCD TV manufacturing joint venture in Egypt next year. Reuters