Remember the Cray XK6 at the University of Illinois that drives the National Science Foundation's Blue Waters project? Well, it looks like it's getting a little memory upgrade, sorta. We're not talking a slick new SSD here, or even a sweet NAS, all that computational power requires nothing less than... tape. Okay, so it's actually a full storage infrastructure, and some of it -- 25 petabytes no less -- will be disk-based. The rest -- a not insignificant 380 petabytes -- will be the good old magnetic stuff. The idea is that the disk part will be used for instant access, with the tape section serving as "nearline" storage -- something between an archive and online solution. Spectra Logic is providing the tape, and says it'll take a couple of years to implement the whole lot. Once complete, the system will support the supercomputer's lofty tasks, such as understanding how the cosmos evolved after the Big Bang and, y'know designing new materials at the atomic level. And we thought we were excited about out next desktop.
Have we finally found a tablet match for the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note? ViewSonic sent around a teaser for its "Touch and Connect" series prototypes, including a 22-inch "smart business tablet monitor," powered by what appears to be Ice Cream Sandwich. The giant touch-enabled device will be joined by a Windows 8 multi-touch display, new cloud computing solutions, high-end laser projectors and some interactive electronic billboards -- all set to make their debut on June 5th at Computex. More details will no-doubt be forthcoming in Taipei, so do stay tuned. And you may want to hold off on those giant tablet acquisitions in the meantime -- we have less than two weeks to wait for what could just be the largest mainstream tablet to date.
Owners of the Xperia Play, it's time to curl up with a teddy bear and your favorite ice cream -- just as long as it's not in sandwich form. After the sudden and unexplained disappearance of the "PlayStation Phone" from the Android 4.0 upgrade list yesterday, Sony has followed it up with a full confirmation accompanied by the usual explanation. As you may have already guessed, the manufacturer tells us that after extensive testing, it was determined that "a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich... in this instance the ICS upgrade would have compromised stability." Sony went on to discuss that it received similar feedback from the developer community after releasing a beta ROM. Still, after being told repeatedly that the entire 2011 smartphone lineup would receive the update, we can't help but be a bit heartbroken by the news.
In the same breath, however, Sony also updated its timeline for the rest of the lineup that is still on schedule to receive upgrades to Ice Cream Sandwich: the Xperia arc, neo, mini, mini pro, pro, active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will begin receiving their refreshes next week. The Xperia S is still on track for an end of June rollout, with the Xperia P closely following it and the Xperia U sometime in the third quarter. It's just unfortunate that the good tidings must be balanced out by equally horrible news, depending on which device you own.
It's a strange feeling, receiving such a keenly anticipated phone to review. The hubbub of launch events, hands-on previews and heated debates suddenly dies away, leaving you with one small and intensely silent cardboard box. In this instance, the packaging contained the "marble white" version of the Galaxy S III (not the more daring "pebble blue") alongside one burning question: apart from all the hype, do this handset's paper credentials translate into a product that is worthy of serious cash and a 24-month commitment?
Those credentials are certainly more subtle than those of other recent devices. There's no unusual camera, stand-out display or unibody build. Instead, we get an abstract design statement about the phone being "inspired by nature" alongside a list of incremental hardware improvements such as a quad-core processor, as well as fresh additions to Samsung's customized Android 4.0 skin. As it turns out, these specs forgo immediate swagger in favor of creating a solid workhorse of a smartphone that is intent on attracting a long-term following. Read on and you'll discover just how it pulls that off.