You’ve read about it and might have even heard some talk about it - the Grid. So you want to know what it is and why it matters? We can help. It was a TV miniseries, but the “Grid” we’re referring to here has to do with a distributed computational resource. Ian Foster provided a nice description back in 2002 called What is the Grid? A Three Point Checklist. For an even more comprehensive explanation of the Grid, visit NCSA’s What is the Grid? website, where a Who’s Who of the high performance computing community answer many pivotal questions regarding the Grid and its use.
Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category
In this article from the Henry Daily Herald (we go to any length to find news), the notion of Singularity is discussed along with predictions for when, basically, computers will reach the cognitive capacity and function of the human brain. This prediction has been kicked around for some time and usually follows on the heels of talk about artificial intelligence. Citing one authority, the article states
Hans Moravec, a singularity expert, extrapolates that we will have a human-equivalent computer by about 2020 and a desktop version of it in the marketplace by 2030 for around $1,000 dollars.
Really? In any case, strangely missing from the article, which cites several experts on Singularity and brain-level computing, is any mention of Ray Kurzweil, perhaps the foremost living Futurist. Btw, we gave a nod to Ray and his predictions (who interestingly made pretty much the same prediction above back in 1999) right here on this blog back in January 2006. If all this stuff interests you, then you’ll love KurzweilAI.net.
For all the extraterrestrial fans out there and in recognition of the 60th Anniversary of the Roswell incident, it seems only natural to take a look at the latest in public distributing computing. Purchasing a supercomputer (or time on one) is one way to perform research that requires heavy computational power. Another is to utilize the idle time and computing power of broadband connected, public PCs. One such project (and one you Roswell buffs should appreciate) would be the SETI@home effort, established in 1999 to use PC computing cycles to detect radio signals from space. If interested, here’s a pretty good primer on the project, though dated a little. But many projects are cropping up of a humanitarian nature to take advantage of the growing number of personal computers worldwide. Interested in letting your own computer help in cancer research, climate change research, etc? This site might be of interest.
In an interview of Vinton Cerf by The Chronicle of Higher Education just released today, Cerf discusses the balancing act between control and freedom with the existing Internet. Arguments are regularly being made for and against the openness of the Internet (read lack of user identity) partially given to the fact that there is no single governing body or institution charged with it’s overall management and oversight. (more…)
Back in October 2005, we took a look at the emergence and future of municipal wi-fi. There’s been progress, but that progress is still being hampered by, not surprisingly, viable revenue models. In our last visit to the topic, discussions were in place for setting up a wi-fi WAN in Philadelphia. That was more than 18 months ago and it still hasn’t been rolled out yet. In this InformationWeek article, more details are provided about the Philadelphia network, which is now set to come on line later this year. For more info on some of the stumbling blocks in the municipal wi-fi vision, see the article Muni Wi-Fi: Next Big Thing–Or Next Tech Boondoggle?
Back in May 2005, readers were reminded (and some informed for the first time) about the Semantic Grid effort that’s been underway since 2001. Recently, IST Results did a piece on the Semantic Grid by touting more of the potential commercial benefit of such a resource. A significant component of the Semantic Grid, a methodologically sound technological infrastructure, is being addressed by the OntoGrid Project.
More indepth information on both the Semantic Grid and the OntoGrid project can be found in this article.