April 2007 Archives

02 text bundle - international txt msg rip off

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I have an active life package from 02. This means that I am entitled to 100 txt messages per month. These txt messages only apply to messages sent to other mobile phones in the republic of Ireland. If I txt a UK number e.g twitter I have to pay 25 cent per txt message.

If I use the Internet and use 02's web interface for sending txt messages, I can send a txt msg to any international number for free.

This does not make sense! Free to use the web txting service but 25 cent if I use my phone??

It is these micro rip offs that really annoy me. I am now strongly considering changing networks.

New R&D jobs for Limerick

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I was delighted to here the news about the 151 jobs announced for Limerick this week. I worked in Limerick for several years and experienced the dot com boom and burst while being employed in the private sector.After the dot com bubble burst a number of my friends had to leave Limerick to find tech and sw jobs else where. For a number of years Limerick was in the doldrums from and R&D perspective, but slowly over the past 18 - 24 months it has experienced a turn around.

100 jobs with electronic payment systems software firm ACI Worldwide - R&D, software, tech support and finance.

30 jobs for Masters graduates with Rovsing - software development centre in Limerick specialising in the creation of specialist software tools for satellites and ground systems for spacecraft.

21 jobs with AR Corporate’s new European distribution headquarters - The company develops, manufactures and distributes high-power broadband radio frequency (RF) amplifiers.

Silicon Republic

Traffic Message Channel not supported in Ireland

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European tmc deployment map

In car sat nav is becoming a rapid reality in Ireland with the widespread availability of units from electrical retailers. The higher specced units from companies such as garmin and TomTom offer a TMC facility.

The Traffic Message Channel (TMC) is a specific application of the FM Radio Data System (RDS) used for broadcasting real-time traffic and weather information. Data messages are received silently and decoded by a TMC-equipped car radio or navigation system, and delivered to the driver in a variety of ways. The most common of these is a TMC-enabled navigation system that can offer dynamic route guidance - alerting the driver of a problem on the planned route and calculating an alternative route to avoid the incident.

TMC is not supported in Ireland. Traffic updates are a necessity for commuters this is evident as all the major radio stations have AA traffic update slots on their radio programmes. A TMC map of Western Europe highlights the fact that Ireland is the only country in Western Europe that has no plans or does not support this facility.

In order for TMC to become a reality the Irish Government need to fund this venture so that a private company such as the AA can be employed to provide the information and have it relayed by the national broadcaster such as RTE radio.

Irish Wood Pellet Boiler Blog

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Wood-Pellet-Ireland was recommended to me by a renewable energy expert colleague. The author chooses to remain anonymous as he has the tendency to speak his mind and expose rip-off pricing practices.

The author of this site is technically competent and certainly knows the ins and outs of boilers/burners. He is of the opinion however that the current wood pellet boilers are similar to the 1940s oil burners

He also lists 11 reasons as to why you shouldn't opt for wood pellet heating just yet.

If you are looking for a detailed review of the Benekov boiler I would recommend reading his blog as it includes detailed correspondence with supplier and clarification on the difference between the Irish and European versions.

http://wood-pellet-ireland.blogspot.com/

Technical Insights Column

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The Technical Insights column on Embedded.com contains a variety of interesting articles.

These include:

Using sub-RISC processors in next generation customizable multi-core designs
What's different about multiprocessor software?
Going multicore presents challenges and opportunities

http://www.embedded.com/columns/ti/

ANCS 07 - Call for Papers

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One of my favourite conferences ANCS has just issued a call for papers. I woulld recommend the conference to anybody who is interested in in network processor or packet processing switch design. Patrick Crowley et al continue to deliver a high calibre event that will be attended by the leading researchers in the area of system on chip design and implementation.

CALL FOR PAPERS

The 3rd ACM/IEEE Symposium on Architectures
for Networking and Communications Systems

http://www.ancsconf.org

December 3-4, 2007
Orlando, Florida, USA

Sponsored by:
ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture (SIGARCH) ACM Special Interest Group on Communications (SIGCOMM) IEEE Computer Society Tech. Committee on Computer Architecture IEEE Communications Society Tech. Committee on Computer Communications

IMPORTANT DATES

Paper registration and abstract: July 9, 2007
Submission deadline: July 16, 2007
Author notification: September 26, 2007

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

ANCS is a research conference that focuses on the architecture and design of hardware and software for modern communication networks. The combination of increasing network bandwidth and expanding functionality pose continuing and growing challenges for system designers. New technology elements, including network processors, content addressable memories, configurable logic and special-purpose components offer new opportunities for meeting these challenges, but also raise a variety of new issues. ANCS focuses on networking and communication in the broad sense, including novel architectures, architectural support for advanced communications systems, algorithms and protocols for advanced architectures, software and applications for next-generation networking architectures, and methodology and benchmarking for evaluating advanced communication architectures. Our emphasis this year will be on hardware and software elements in the context of systems that enable networks to evolve and scale.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
* System design for future Network Architectures
* Network/communications processors
* Intelligent co-processors
* Router architectures
* Emerging Technologies (e.g., optical components, etc.)
* Switch fabrics/interconnection networks
* Link scheduling, processor/thread scheduling, switch scheduling
* Network adapters
* Application-specific networks (e.g., SAN, XML Switching)
* Programmable /extensible networks
* Secure communication
* Traffic management
* Packet classification
* Content inspection and filtering
* Energy-efficient designs

The PAPER DEADLINE for submissions is July 16, 2007 at 11:59PM PST (US). ANCS will use double-blind reviewing, so submitted papers should not include the authors' names.

Embedded solution to Polution - An Al Gore idea

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"Embedded systems can be the most powerful part of a solution to this crisis," Gore said. "Our old, legacy systems are ridiculously inefficient." This message was delivered at the Embedded Systems Conference last week.

Why not "unleash the IT revolution," Gore said, and create a power grid where small "microgenerating" sources, including homes and businesses, can generate clean power and sell it into the grid? With efficient photovoltaic cells and better windmills, maybe we won't need centralized power generation plants that spew CO2.

I have no problem with Al Gore's views as my Phd research has observed that it is possible to reduce power and increase throughput for embedded devices.

Embedded.com Article

The DASIP Workshop will give the opportunity for researchers to exchange the ideas and to build the collaboration on emerging topics and technologies. It also aims to strength the links between the European Information Society Technologies (IST) priorities and the researchers in the domain of design and architecture for signal and image processing.

The DASIP workshop results from the success for more than ten years of the French workshop on Algorithm-Architecture-Matching. The first edition called "Workshop on Algorithm Architecture Adequation" was held in Lannion in 1992 (AAA 1992). During eight years a two-year event was organized, AAA 1994 in Grenoble, AAA 1996 in Toulouse, AAA 1998 in Saclay and AAA 2000 in Rocquencourt. In 2002 thanks to its widespread success the workshop was extended to all francophone countries, JFAAA 2002 was held in Monastir and JFAAA 2005 in Dijon. Each edition was a great success gathering more than one hundred of researchers from industry, academia and government organizations. For the 2007 edition the workshop is extended to the Europe in order to gather our community. We believe that DASIP 2007 will promote and strengthen the links between European researchers and will become an important event.

Rural Broadband is an election issue

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Local Fianna Fail TD's are trumpeting the announcement of Tipperary towns and villages getting Broadband from Eircom. There is one important piece of information missing from their press release / vote for me message.

The vital piece of info missing is the install date. There is none. Therefore there is no commitment. Damien Mulley already covered this missing piece of vital information.

What Fianna Fail fail to grasp is that we could all have broadband if we had a scheme that encourages rural communities to be connected by independent broadband providers from the local area.

The Government i.e. Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats made a total mess of this as the community broadband scheme pays out on the number connected not on the expense of connecting isolated rural communities.

Previous article
Its a Group Broadband Scheme not A Group Water Scheme

Cisco accquires a fledgling NP firm

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Cisco have announced that they plan to purchase Spanslogic, a 14 person NP firm that was founded in 2004.

According to the Spanslogic website - "We are developing a line of products that challenge long-held assumptions about a fundamental function in computing. Our technology derives from an elegant reformulation of the problem, an insight that allows us to overcome serious bottlenecks related to power consumption, speed, and cost of key applications"

This statement sounds like my Phd abstract, vague but promising. The fact that Cisco use NP technology can come as a surprise to some people. Cisco have been incorporating NP tech into their high end switches for the past few years.

I spoke to a Cisco employee at ANCS 07 conference in San Jose in Dec 07 and he was interested in how my research addresses some of the bottleneck and cost of design issues that face all designers. Cisco may not advertise or market their NP ability, but they have been quietly been designing and using the technology, this in my view speaks volumes.

Cisco Press Room - Cisco Announces Agreement to Acquire SpansLogic

HPCA 08 Call for Papers

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The International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture is a premier forum for scientists and engineers to present their latest research findings in this rapidly-changing field. Authors are invited to submit papers on all aspects of high-performance computer architecture. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Processor architectures
Cache and memory systems
Parallel computer architectures
Impact of technology on architecture
Power-efficient architectures and techniques
Dependable architectures
High-performance I/O systems
Embedded and reconfigurable architectures
Special purpose processors and accelerators
Interconnect and network interface architectures
Network processor architectures
Innovative hardware/software trade-offs
Impact of compilers and operating systems on architecture
Performance modeling and evaluation

DNS Server Flaw on Windows 2000 and 2003 servers

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Yesterday I told my students that if they are serious about providing a DNS service they should use Linux. Today I received some justification for this choice..

Microsoft have issued a severe warning about a serious issue for DNS servers that runs on Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4, and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2. The flaw allows a buffer overflow attack on the DNS remote procedure call interface, this means that the hacker can run code within the context of the security rights of the DNS service.

It would be nice if they would fix the update PTR record bug while they are at it.

Network World - Microsoft warns of dangerous flaw in DNS server

The madness of process patents

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When patents are filed and companies sued over basic packet processing and telephone features then it is time to call a stop to the madness. Vonage are being sued for 57 million dollars for the following patent infringements.

U.S. Patent 6,282,574 covers packet translation and how a service provider would encode IP packets so they can be ported over to the PSTN. It details the way addresses are processed on the domain name server by providing a name server for translating textual domain names into telephone numbers. The patent also describes how to support “name-to-address processing” on a name server based on specific parameters such as time, party or terminal making the request.

U.S. Patent 6,104,711, which Bell Atlantic filed for in 1997, covers how a carrier can support Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) features, typical in PSTN services for VoIP customers. These features include call waiting, caller ID and three-way calling. The patent maps out how the “enhanced Internet domain name server” allows the Internet to communicate with a separate AIN to support these features for VoIP customers.

The third patent -- U.S. States Patent 6,359,880, which was applied for in 1999 -- covers how public wireless and cordless Internet gateways communicate with the Internet. It falls under another business method patent that details a localized wireless gateway system.

The patent details how a local wireless gateway can be used to support VoIP calls. It describes how calls can be transferred from the Internet to a wireless gateway at a customer's location to support the call on a Wi-Fi or other public domain wireless spectrum.

Govt may have to buy out e-voting storage leases

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Our technically inept govt may have to buy the storage leases for our e-voting machines that do not work. The Irish Times reports that some of these leases are up to 25 years long.

Irish Times Article

Joost now available for download

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The guys behind skype have just made Joost available for download.

Be warned, you will need Windows XP to enjoy the experience.

Managing Movable Type Comment Spam - An Update

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Plenty of junk comments but no spam is making it to the main comments. It appears that Jay Allen's Comment Challenge plugin and a setting of +1 on the threshold level seems to be working.

Open Source IP PBX get good reviews

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Network world reviews several open source PBX's and rate them favourably. The vendors that accepted their invitation were Escaux, Fonality, Four Loop Technologies and Pingtel. All four products were built on top of Asterisk, the original open source IP PBX. The four vendors in their test demonstrated tangible improvements to existing open source IP PBX base code, especially in their efforts to facilitate installation, management and maintenance with GUIs.

Network World review of Open Source PBX's

Having spent the past few days fine tuning comment spam plugins and filters on movable type 3.2 I would recommend that the content manager takes a bit of time to look at the messages that are being treated as junk and how they are scored.

If Comment challenge is employed (see previous entry)
Spam typically comes in with a score of -1 while legitimate comments have a score of +1.2 an above. (The catchpa challenge adds a +2 to the entry if it is typed in correctly).

Movable type allows the content manager to set the feedback threshold level to determine what to do with comments. By setting it to +1 spam for the most part will be junked and legitimate comments will be published.

Comment Challenge Plugin

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Irishsilicon.com is now using the comment challenge plugin developed by Jay Allen.

The plugin does the two following basic things:

1 Denies (or scores as Junk) spam directly injected into Movable Type's comment script
2Provides blog owners with the ability to present an accessible (i.e. non-visual, text-based) challenge CAPTCHA to unauthenticated commenters

My authentication requirements were too draconian and did not prompt the user that this was in effect. This new system is easy to follow and once again allows comments with out the spam injection (I hope)

The IEEE book on Design of High-Performance Microprocessor Circuits has just recently landed on my desk. Having read a few articles and examined the table of contents I can recommend it as a good reference book.

The book is divided into several sections that covers topic areas such as

Technology issues,
Circuit styles for logic,
Clocking,
Memory system design,
Interconnect and I/O, Reliability,
CAD Tools and Test.

The book can be purchased from a variety of book sellers. I purchased mine from www.micromail.ie

MeshTech'07
First IEEE International Workshop on
Enabling Technologies and Standards for Wireless Mesh Networking

http://www.ing.unipi.it/meshtech07

jointly organized by
Nokia Research Center, Finland
University of Pisa, Italy
RWTH Aachen University, Germany

co-located with IEEE MASS 2007
sponsored by IEEE, IEEE Computer Society,
IEEE TC on Distributed Processing, and IEEE TC on Simulation
in-cooperation with ACM SIGMOBILE

October 8, 2007
Pisa, Italy

Wireless Mesh Networks are emerging as a key technology for next
generation wireless networking. As such, they are currently inspiring a
lot of research activities and also experiencing a very fast deployment
in many today's environments, such as public city-wide broadband WiFi
networks, rural networks, private neighbourhood communities, or private
business networks that are characterized by frequent topology changes,
cabling troubles, or hard environmental conditions.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2007 is the previous archive.

May 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Influenced by:

Irish Eyes
Jabit
Mike Maunsell
Buzzblog
Tom Raftery I.T. views
Damien Mulley
James Corbett (Eirepeneur)
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