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Phil Manchester

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India's IT giants left gasping after water shortage

IT execs from some of India’s biggest tech firms are set to meet government officials this week after crippling water shortages almost shut down a large chunk of the country’s multi-billion pound industry last week. Businesses in Chennai’s Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) district apparently account for around three-quarters of the …
Phil Manchester, 04 Jul 2013

How Alan Turing wanted to base EDSAC's memory on BOOZE

Centenary If Alan Turing had been in charge of the EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) project in the late 1940s, the first computer memory might not have been based on mercury - but on a good gin. In his Turing Award speech in 1967, Sir Maurice Wilkes, the actual EDSAC project chief, recalled Turing's input on …
Phil Manchester, 28 Jun 2013

Now pay attention, 007: James Bond's Q re-booted

Bond on Film There were others, but Desmond Llewelyn defined the part of Q in James Bond, appearing in 17 films and nailing the shtick with the wayward agent who invariably broke or lost his toys. Q perfected the long-suffering dad to Bond’s fidgety teen, who pressed the wrong buttons to earn an exasperated: “Pay attention, 007!” Skyfall …
Phil Manchester, 16 Oct 2012
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DBMS pioneer Bachman: 'Engineers have more fun than academics'

Fifty years ago this month a young engineer at mega corp General Electric was on the verge of completing a project that would change technology. Charlie Bachman was working on Integrated Data Store (IDS), the first disk-based database management system (DBMS) that could be accessed by apps simultaneously. IDS made data …
Phil Manchester, 30 Nov 2011
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Happy Birthday, Turing's universal machine

It's just 71 years ago this month that a seminal paper from Alan Turing was published, which helped pave the way to today's multi-billion dollar IT industry and confer on Turing the title of father of modern computer science. As is often the case in scientific endeavour, Turing was actually working on an entirely different task …
Phil Manchester, 18 Nov 2008
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Time to reject traditional database techniques?

Mainstream database management system (DBMS) technology faces a challenge from new approaches that reject the relational model. The battleground is set to be the market for business intelligence based on very large databases. Some main players in DBMS software are already jockeying for position with revamped database products …
Phil Manchester, 14 Nov 2008
DVD it in many colours

Intel rallies rivals on parallel programming education

Intel has enlisted chip rivals to push for making parallel programming a higher priority on computer science courses. Intel will kick-off its campaign at Supercomputing 08 in Austin, Texas next week, during a Monday session called There Is No More Sequential Programming. Why Are We Still Teaching It?. Representatives from AMD, …
Phil Manchester, 13 Nov 2008
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Eclipse kills open-source SOA projects

The open-source Eclipse Foundation is terminating several service-oriented architecture (SOA) projects thanks to lack of interest. The Application Lifecycle Framework (ALF), initiated in 2005 to solve integration problems of application lifecycle management (ALM) for SOA developments, failed to attract committers beyond Serena …
Phil Manchester, 07 Nov 2008
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Dead boffins deflate the cloud

Afterlife Panel Like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Web 2.0 before it, the phrase "cloud computing" has become catnip to marketing zealots and lost souls of the IT industry. Behind all the fluff, though, the cloud touches on some timeless computing topics - big systems, parallel processing, collected intelligence, and the value of …
Phil Manchester, 06 Nov 2008
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Debian discord over de-classified developer proposal

Members of the Debian community are up in arms following a surprise announcement over the way project participants are vetted and organized. The announcement, posted by Debian developer and administrator Joerg Jaspert, proposed - among other things - that a new class of non-technical Debian contributor be introduced. This person …
Phil Manchester, 04 Nov 2008
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XML anti discrimination plan hits hurdle

A well-intentioned attempt to make XML less exclusive to certain ethic groups actually risks causing breakage for those it's intended to help. XML co-inventor Tim Bray and others have raised a last-minute objection to the planned XML Fifth Edition working its way through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). They say it could …
Phil Manchester, 24 Oct 2008
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Eclipse spruces Mobile Tools for Java

The Eclipse Foundation - the open source integrated development environment (IDE) project - wants more mobile platform developers to get involved in expanding Eclipse into mobile application development. With the launch today of a revamped version of the Mobile Tools for Java (MTJ), Eclipse said it wanted to establish a new …
Phil Manchester, 15 Oct 2008
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Lenny might be late

Debian project leader Steve McIntyre has dismissed claims that the next stable version of Debian – codename Lenny – could be delayed until June 2009. Based on the number of outstanding release-critical bugs and the time it has taken to fix them on previous releases, Debian developer Bastian Venthur estimated it will take a …
Phil Manchester, 10 Oct 2008
cloud

Apathy comes easy to OpenAjax Alliance

The OpenAjax Alliance is once again finding it tough to enlist support for its projects, despite representing some of the biggest players - with the most resources - in software biz and on online. The 2008 Open Ajax Alliance InteropFest a project set up in June to promote compatibility demonstrations for AJAX tools, libraries, …
Phil Manchester, 07 Oct 2008
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Cold War comfort on software engineering’s birthday

Forty years ago today, at the height of the Cold War, around 50 computing experts gathered in the southern German market town of Garmisch to change history. With the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact glowering at the west, the participants - drawn both from academia and industry - met under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty …
Phil Manchester, 07 Oct 2008
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WebKit passes third Acid test

WebKit - the framework that underpins Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome browser, and its Android phone platform - has become the first browser to pass the full Acid 3 test. The Acid tests are designed to check how compliant a browser is with the web standards laid down by the Web Standards Project (WaSP). Acid 3, reckoned to be …
Phil Manchester, 01 Oct 2008
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Apple NDA kills Jesus Phone gospels

Apple's clampdown over access to information on the iPhone's Software Development Kit (SDK) has plumbed new depths, forcing a book publisher to withdraw a programmers guide scheduled for December 2008. Pragmatic Bookshelf announced it is pulling Phone SDK Development from its production schedule because Apple's draconian non- …
Phil Manchester, 26 Sep 2008
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Debian all business with Lenny and Squeeze

Steve McIntyre knew he faced a huge task when he took on the job of Debian project leader nearly six months ago. But he didn't reckon on the scandal of a major security bug, followed by a massive clear-up operation within a few days of taking over. As if this wasn't enough McIntyre also faced a backlog of approvals for new …
Phil Manchester, 25 Sep 2008
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Debian components breach terms of GPLv2

A top Debian contributor has been left "pretty disappointed" by elements of the Debian community for failing to comply with the conditions of the GNU GPLv2 license. Daniel Baumann, who maintains the Debian Syslinux bootloader package, has said Debian components were being released only in binary form without source code - …
Phil Manchester, 05 Sep 2008
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Ubuntu documentation in shreds

An ambitious plan to smarten up the online documentation for Linux distro Ubuntu has ended in failure. Dubbed the Summer of Documentation by the Ubuntu forums beginner team who devised the plan back in June, the goal was to clean up the Ubuntu Community Wiki. The documentation wiki had "fallen into a huge state of disrepair and …
Phil Manchester, 04 Sep 2008
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Mozilla claims mass Ubiquity mobilisation

Firefox developer Mozilla has claimed its decision to reinvent the command line to make mashups easier has received an overwhelming response from developers. Mozilla Labs last week released an experimental plug-in called Ubiquity, which lets users call up a command line entry box and type in commands to carry out additional …
Phil Manchester, 03 Sep 2008
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Google's MapReduce suddenly not so backward

What was seen as a major hole in Google's MapReduce database technology has been plugged, not once but twice. In the same week. Californian start-up Aster Data and its more established rival Greenplum have both launched SQL integration for MapReduce. The lack of SQL tools was one of the main criticisms levelled at MapReduce in …
Phil Manchester, 27 Aug 2008
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Microsoft's .NET goes Web 2.0 with Sadville

Sadville is rolling out the open-source implementation of Microsoft's .NET on its virtual infrastructure in a step towards enabling software development. Linden Labs is installing the Mono Project's virtual machine on its heavily trafficked Second Life servers - Sadville runs more than 2,500 clustered servers. The move means …
Phil Manchester, 21 Aug 2008
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Debian delivers FreeRunner open-phone package

Olympics aside, summer 2008 will be remembered for at least two other reasons. It will be seen as a time when the noise over Linux as a platform for mobile devices reached a crescendo. Second: it marked Debian's fifteenth anniversary. Bringing both together, Debian developers have delivered a version of their Linux distro for …
Phil Manchester, 20 Aug 2008
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JavaScript standards wrangle swings Microsoft's way

Adobe Systems appears to have been wrong footed and Microsoft left crowing on JavaScript’s evolution, following a decision by the ECMA. After several months of wrangling, ECMA technical committee (TC) 39 - responsible for JavaScript standardization - has agreed to abandon plans for an ambitious new standard dubbed ECMAScript (ES …
Phil Manchester, 15 Aug 2008