Antivirus and firewalls home in on the processor

September 10, 2010

fire

Surprise!

Intel Corporation just acquired McAfee on 20th August 2010.

What should we make of that? Does it mean the next generation of antivirus will come on a chip from Intel, well why not…doing that comes with a few advantages to Intel:

  • Because antiviruses need to be updated all the time, it means Intel will have a good reason to access and receive information from all the PCs using these new chips.
  • Maybe, but what if Intel designs a chip that carries out all of the incredibly complex algorithms and other heuristic calculations that invariably slow down our PCs? Rather like Macs, iPhones and iPads have always handled all display calculations on a separate chipset, leaving all the main processor gigaflops to the applications. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to hang around while our antivirus sucks up precious memory and processor power to check the file we just downloaded…

As the Cloud builds up steam, Intel are preparing for the thin, thin client and the powerful, powerful server because they know that security will be the defining factor in the success of Cloud Computing.

When we access all our files, music, videos, applications from the Cloud…through what will basically be a terminal, an Antivirus/Firewall chipset will be the only solution, because if you have to download it from the Cloud, who knows what new virus will come with it every morning…

Clever move, Intel!


Cloud sheds backup

July 26, 2010

Look out George! Next time, you might get hit by an EMC backup server falling out of a cloud.

just missed the piano

Just before the piano fell

Companies seem to have voted with their feet and EMC recently announced they are pulling their “Cloud backup  service” Atmos out of the Cloud because not enough customers are interested.

Why on earth would one need Cloud backup if one has Cloud applications!? In fact, come to think of it, EMC should be offering the exact opposite: old fashioned physical backup for Cloud applications…It just goes to show that Cloudwashing isn’t enough. Before you put something in the cloud and offer it to your clients, one would be advised to check whether there is any demand for it.


Back to the future with IBM?

July 26, 2010

From system370-168 to zEnterprise

An IBM 370-168 mainframe, state of the art in the early 80's

Should we be calling IBM Big Green?

So here we are back to 40 years ago when IBM’s revenue mainly came from renting computer power to customers who connected their thousands of 5250 or 3270 terminals to mainframes using unbelievably slow modems that were each the size of a small desktop computer.

At the time, I was a Computer Science student and spent some time as an intern at IBM France. I participated in installing what was then the largest mainframe in France: an IBM 370/168 (it later became the zSeries) that had a whopping 512 Megabytes of RAM (yes kids…512Mb…stop laughing please…) and stacks of 3330 removable hard disks that could each store 200Mb of data on 8 platters (stop LOL).

Guess what: IBM has just announced they are reviving their System z strategy with the zEnterprise 196.And nobody is laughing this time.

What has changed?: it has 3 Terabytes of RAM,up to 96 processors, reams of blades and can manage loads of P and X servers. IBM says 30% of all servers are running Linux, and that the zEnterprise should soon support Windows clients. 40 years ago, the internal bus of an average computer probably ran slower than today’s high speed ADSL, SDSL etc…(why have you stopped laughing?)

Although total cost of acquisition (TCA) will be higher then for servers, TCO is lower within 3 years. Not to speak of the green side of things, these machines are much more energy efficient than a pile of servers.

If you still think Cloud Computing is a pie in the sky, think again because IBM certainly want to be at the forefront of the next paradigm shift.


3D movies will probably save the movie industry from piracy…where is the new widget that will save the music industry?

June 22, 2009

coralineThe other day, I went to see “Coraline”. The manually animated movie brought to us in 3D.

Coraline is a combination of (very) old techniques -manual animation-, state of the art  technology -Polyjet matrix molding- and recentish technology -Real3D- (which is in fact close to 30 years old).

Nothing groundbreaking here…!?

Be not mistaken: apart from it being a thoroughly brilliant piece of entertainment, with a picture quality and viewing comfort that is somehow superior to standard 2D movies, 3D film is the movie industry’s answer to piracy.

Well of course…what is the point of stealing a film off the screen by filming it with a video-camera if all you will be able to see when you view it from your DVD player, is a blurred picture.

Here is an industry that is staying ahead of pirates by bringing a more exciting experience to its audience. And the best of it all is that not only have they reduced piracy but they have increased their profit margin by renting the 3D glasses (50% increase in price!).

On the other hand, the music industry is clinging to restrictions, regulations and threatening people with jail if they download music (they are trying to do this in France but the representatives aren’t having it for the moment), rather than enhancing the customer experience.

So what will be the 3D of music? I don’t have an answer today but someone should be thinking hard about what new experience music could bring people rather than trying to restrict the access.

You cannot force people to buy something if they can get it for free. You can convince people to pay for something new and exciting.


Will Dell’s channel strategy be successful…who gets the last laugh?

February 13, 2008

laughing-hyena.gifThe industry is all excited about Dell’s announced channel strategy. People are questioning whether its a shrewed move…well I think it is!

The fascinating thing as that people missed the signs two years ago. Check this out the article referred to is only 18 months old and the journalist was saying that the attempt was doomed, that Dell would never formalize a channel strategy  because it “owns the customer“.

I believe Dell are right and they will succeed, simply because they recognise that they can’t own all the customers. This is great news for the ICT Channel since it confirms in no uncertain terms that Vendors cannot access certain categories of customers without partnering with the Reseller community. How many predictions have we seen in the last ten years, announcing the end of the Channel, the end of the Distributor, and so on…in fact, what we are seeing is a real coming of age of our industry.

As technologies converge, the Channel is diverging. Today, channel partners have a much more precise understanding of their own business and are more selective when it comes to deciding what products and services they will provide to their customers. The Vendor is now just a supplier amongst others and if his products don’t meet the channel’s customers’ expectations, they will look for something else.

The added value provided by the channel is becoming increasingly important to certain categories of End Users who see their channel partner as an outsourced IT department and this is where Dell needs the channel. And guess what: that market segment is where all the growth is for the years to come.

I happen to know that Dell have done their homework, making sure there will be no conflict between a nascent channel and their existing sales organization. Agreed, they will be circumventing the Distributor, offering a full financing scheme directly to their channel partners, enabling the partners to absorb the complex payment terms imposed by customers in certain countries such as France, Italy, etc…

Dell have a solid range of products and a solid reputation they have built despite the initial criticism. They also have a solid determination: those of you that have been around long enough will remember…everybody laughed when Dell appeared and said they would sell direct!

As the French say: “Rira bien qui rira le dernier!” (The last one to laugh will really laugh)


USB Wine…a revolutionary wine distribution system ;-D)

November 30, 2007

usb-wine.jpgJust found this on the web: USB Wine

USB Wine, download wine straight from the vineyards !
Uploaded by zs2creative

The concept is brilliant, not sure it will work on my laptop because of the limited volume, but I might still be able to download half bottles. I wonder whether this concept could be applied to other products such as paint, toner, maybe even diesel oil or gas?

Try it, you’ll like it, sorry the video is in French, but then, who else could have designed a USB Wine tap! in fact, the story behind the video is real: if you ask to test a download, you will be taken to the Web site of n Internet Wine Boutique…

Smart eh…!


Big Brother is watching you…but the Brits still think they have a private life

May 24, 2007

I just read my former colleague Adrian Moss’s post about CCTV and the fact Britain has more cameras per inhabitant than any country in the world (take me there). By the way, Salford police didn’t doctor the pictures (yet), they painted the line under the car. Adrian is predicting the next step is that they will paint lines into pictures or move cars onto lines, or drivers into cars, or gangsters into bank robberies. There is no limit, check this out, its scary.

This whole discussion about CCTV and freedom brings to mind some of the massive contradictions people don’t seem to worry about.

Despite the attempts of successive governments to explain why an ID Card would make sense, Britons seem to think that having them would result in a reduction of their freedom (idiot’s guide to the ID Card) …they forget that with CCTV, GSM phone positioning (have you ever wondered how Orange knew where you were when you dialed the Road Info number), etc…freedom and private life is already a view of the past.

Being a Frenchman who lived in the UK for ten years, I was able to discover to my total amazement that an Estate Agent could buy information about my banking and financial situation from companies like Equifax (what do they say about you…). When I moved to the UK, one of the first things I bought was a bed to “furnish” the house I was going to live in until my family turned up. Well guess what: since I had no banking history in the UK, I only had a Cash Card, and the shop wouldn’t accept the £250 check I wrote out on the checkbook I was given by the bank! They ended up photocopying my passport and asking me to write out 5 checks for £50 each.

It’s not all bad: in France, when you rent a house or an appartment, you have to bring three payslips to prove you earn more than 4 times the rent (!). You might be earning five times the rent and have just borrowed a fortune to buy a Ferrari F40 and a 40ft boat and have no money available at the end of the month…they wouldn’t know.

I think Adrian has a good point here, maybe there is some future mileage in editing CCTV films. By the way, for those of you who own a Ferrari (I don’t so I’m not allowed), here is the link to the Ferrari community site.