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Resurrecting MPI and Java

January 28, 2012 at 8:21 am PST

Back in the ’90s, there was a huge bubble of activity about Java in academic circles.  It was the new language that was going to take over the world.  An immense amount of research was produced mapping classic computer science issues into Java.

Among the projects produced were several that tried to bring MPI to Java.  That is, they added a set of Java bindings over existing C-based MPI implementations.  However, many in the HPC crowd eschewed Java for compute- or communication-heavy applications because of performance overheads inherent to the Java language and runtime implementations.

Hence, the Java+MPI=HPC efforts didn’t get too much traction.

But even though the computer science Java bubble eventually ended, Java has become quite an important language in the enterprise.  Java run-time environments, compilers, and programming models have steadily improved over the years.  Java is now commonly used for many different types of compute-heavy enterprise applications.

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Diversity in Resentment and Liberation from Guilt

January 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm PST

Padmasree Warrior, our Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Engineering, shared some thoughts earlier this month on women in technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Padma joined Google’s Marissa Mayer, Hunch’s Caterina Fake and CNET’s Lindsey Turrentine on this CNET sponsored panel.  The takeaways are for both men and women:

Padma said that liberation from guilt is an important choice to make.  Earlier in her career, she felt guilty at work about not being with her child but she also felt guilty when she had to miss customer meetings to be home with her child.  Regardless of the decision, she learned not to be guilty about the decision.

In this day and age, you can be yourself at work.  Caterina Fake commented that in the 80s, businesswomen adopted the “Sigourney Weaver” uniform of heels, suits with shoulder pads and speaking in a low voice.  Now, you no longer need to conform to a single image to be taken seriously.  Marissa had a great line: “you can wear ruffles… or you can be a jock”

Burnout was a meaty topic that Marissa Mayer introduced by saying that working long hours is not what causes burnout. Read More »

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TelePresence Provisioning 2.0 – a new paradigm in large scale provisioning of fixed and mobile video endpoints

The trend to increase workforce mobility has accelerated, more customers are proactively empowering employees to work wherever and whenever they have access, to increase productivity and streamline their business. This growing number of employees being set up with video-enabled tablet devices and video endpoints however has added to the burden of IT management; especially massive user, device and phone book provisioning from hundreds of devices to tens of thousands of devices—and across geographic regions and firewalls.

Specifically for telepresence, IT resources have been focused on helping an increasing number of mobile and remote users configure and personalize their devices, endpoints settings, and preferences. Fueled by this demand, Cisco is excited to introduce Cisco TelePresence Provisioning 2.0.

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Taking Part – What Being a Part of L2012 Means for Cisco

Inspiration is a word we often see used in the media, news and corporate life.  If I remember my school Latin lessons correctly it literally means ‘breathing in’, that great sense of readiness we get when we take in a deep breath and pause, just for a second, before we apply ourselves with vigor and passion to some project or task. We can be inspired or inspire others and with our sponsorship of London 2012 I feel it and believe we are doing it to others.

In less than 200 days, the greatest show on earth comes to my country’s capital, London. It’s never happened before in my lifetime and in spite of longer life expectancies, it is probably never going to happen again. Which means not only do I want to savour every moment, share it with my family and friends but I also want to leave a permanent mark in terms of Cisco’s involvement. When the sound of the closing ceremony to the Paralympics is but a memory in the Olympic Park, I want Cisco’s investment in the Games to be inspiring future generations of athletes, students, entrepreneurs, business people and ordinary members of our community…both in the UK and the furthest reaches of our planet.

As a marketer, sponsoring a global event such as London 2012 is incredibly exciting and at the same time a major challenge. With so many other sponsors and the general media noise that builds up around the Games, how do you create a marketing strategy that has depth and stands out?

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Can the Internet Survive A Cosmic Ray?

This week we saw the largest solar storm in nearly a decade and such “solar weather” or cosmic radiation is what generates such phenomena as the “Northern Lights”. However, intense solar activity which creates electromagnetic storms can generate exceptionally strong power surges that damage electrical distribution systems, knock out satellites, and affect sensitive electronics. This has happened in the past, including grid failures in Quebec in 1989 which blacked out the entire province.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured this video of the M3.2 solar flare on January 19, 2012. Credit: NASA/SDO/GOES-15.

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