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AMD's SeaMicro SM15000 Server Sets Record for Hyperscale OpenStack Clouds

AMD today announced that its SeaMicro SM15000 server set a significant industry benchmark record for hyperscale cloud computing with a demonstration that highlights how OpenStack can quickly and reliably provision on-demand computing services at scale. The test provisioned 168,000 virtual machines on 576 physical hosts. The first 75,000 virtual machines were deployed in six hours and thirty minutes. This is the largest known demonstration of OpenStack scalability ever. AMD achieved the record in collaboration with Canonical using the Ubuntu OpenStack (Icehouse) distribution. MaaS (Metal as a Service), part of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu OpenStack, was used to deliver the bare metal servers, storage and networking. The solution is available today and is the most scalable, automated application for deploying OpenStack in hyperscale environments.

"This record validates that the SeaMicro SM15000 is well suited for massive OpenStack deployments," said Dhiraj Mallick, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Data Center Server Solutions. "The combination of Ubuntu OpenStack and the SeaMicro SM15000 server provides the industry's leading solution to build cloud infrastructure that is highly responsive and ideal for on-demand services."

Tranquil PC and Mark Shuttleworth Launch Ubuntu Orange Box

At the end of November 2013, Ubuntu / Canonical contacted Tranquil PC to commission the design and manufacture of what would become known as 'The Orange Box'. Today, 13th May 2014, Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth launches the product to the world at OpenStack (Atlanta).

The Orange Box is an innovative, custom designed micro cluster chassis, envisioned by Canonical, and contract manufactured by TranquilPC Limited. The chassis includes a small cluster of Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) boards, and is particularly well suited for portable demonstration and local prototyping of cloud workloads. The Orange Box, manufactured in the UK to exacting standards is available to order and ships internationally (free of charge). For more information, visit this page.

Dell Intros Upgraded Ubuntu-Powered XPS 13 Developer Edition Laptop

Dell has this week updated its Linux offering by releasing the new XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop running Ubuntu. Codenamed Sputnik 3, this new client-to-cloud solution comes with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS pre-installed and features a 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit touch display, an Intel Haswell processor (Core i5-4200U or i7-4500U), 8 GB of RAM, Intel HD 4400 graphics, a 128/256 GB mSATA solid state drive, a spill-resistant backlit chiclet keyboard, an HD webcam, Bluetooth, 802.11ac WiFi, and a 55WHr battery.

The XPS 13 Developer Edition is currently only available in the US (starting at $1,249) but will expand its reach quickly - next week it will go on sale in Canada, and by the end of the month it will also be found in 9 European countries.

Canonical Introduces Ubuntu 13.10

Canonical today announces the availability of Ubuntu 13.10 for desktop and smartphone. Ubuntu's first true mobile release delivers the streamlined core OS and mobile user interface that pave the way for full device convergence and create a unique platform for modern computing.

"This is a milestone in Ubuntu's history; the exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms," said Rick Spencer, who leads Ubuntu's consumer-facing engineering. "Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence."

Dell Announces Latitude 3330 Notebook for Schools

Dell today launched the Latitude 3330, designed to help schools and educators teach tomorrow's leaders while providing excellent value school districts. The new laptop offers the robust computing features required to maximize learning productivity, compatibility with Dell's existing solutions and services for education and support for personalized learning opportunities in the classroom.

A snap to deploy, the Latitude 3330 easily integrates into a school's existing IT infrastructure, speeding up time to classroom and saving time and money. It's sleek, lightweight, and sturdy design stands up to the demands of even the youngest of students, fits easily on classroom desks and in backpacks and moves easily from classroom to classroom or home and back. The new laptop offers no compromise performance with full laptop productivity and all day battery life with a 6-cell battery.

FXI Accelerates Development for ARM Cortex CPUs & ARM Mali GPUs with Cotton Candy

FXI, pioneer of the Cstick Any Screen Micro Computer, announced today that it releases a full system solution for ARM Linux and Android developers on its Cotton Candy device platform, targeting developers. The agreement and close collaboration with ARM will enable FXI to take full advantage of the resources of the Mali development community, while providing an easy to use, innovative development platform for Mali GPU developers. Existing owners of the Cotton Candy device can download development versions of Ubuntu Linux for ARM v12.04 and Android 4.0 in both source and binary forms by visiting this page. Developers can get Cotton Candy from here.

FXI is working closely with ARM to take full advantage of the capabilities of the ARM Mali-400 MP GPU (and other ARM technologies). The Cotton Candy Any Screen IP enables developers to work with the Cotton Candy device inserted in their PC and develop with their existing tool chains directly on the Cotton Candy. The combination of the ARM Cortex-A9 and Mali-400 MP can be found in a wide range of devices ranging from smartphones, tablets and smart TVs. By using Cotton Candy, which also uses this combination, developers can target a wide range of Cortex processors and Mali GPU based platforms —or for Cotton Candy itself— can develop on actual market leading Mali silicon.

Steam for Linux Beta Now Available

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the launch of a limited access beta for its new Steam for Linux client.

The Steam for Linux Beta client supports the free-to-play game Team Fortress 2. Approximately two dozen additional Steam titles are now also available for play on Linux systems. Additionally, the Steam for Linux Beta client includes Big Picture, the mode of Steam designed for use with a TV and controller, also currently in beta.

Valve Seeks Beta Testers for Steam for Linux

You can now sign up to test Steam for Linux, with Valve announcing an open Beta of the client. Valve is looking for users with generally high experience with Linux, so don't expect the Beta to be click-and-run. Interested users with Ubuntu 12.04 (and above) can sign up here. Steam for Linux targets Ubuntu, and the company plans to launch the platform with Left 4 Dead 2 with SteamPlay enabled, porting other Valve titles later.

Source: GameInformer

ASUS Readies the F201E 11.6-inch Netbooks

Next week ASUS will be rekindling the netbook flame with the release of the F201E trio. The F201E models feature a 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) display, a 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2/4 GB of RAM, a 320/500 GB hard drive, a 0.3-megapixel webcam, a 3-in-1 card reader, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, and a 5,200 mAh battery enabling up to 5 hours of operation.

The cheapest of the F201E lot, priced at €299, runs Ubuntu and has 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB HDD. The same specs, paired up with Windows 8, cost €359. Last but not least, there's a €329 model with 2 GB of RAM and a 320 GB hard drive.

Source: Mobile Geeks

Ubuntu 12.10 Launches Today

Canonical today announces the desktop version of Ubuntu 12.10, the latest release of the popular open source operating system, will be available for public download on the 18th October 2012. As part of Canonical's objective to make all content easier to access, Ubuntu 12.10 introduces innovations that bring together desktop and cloud-based experiences, representing the next stage in the transition to a multi-device, cloud-based world.

When searching for documents in the Ubuntu 12.10 Dash, for example, users can see results from online services like Google Drive, as well as files saved on their hard drives. The Online Accounts feature allows authentication to online sites so that content like photos from Flickr accounts and contacts from Facebook can all be searched instantly by the Dash. The Dash can also search both paid and free content from Amazon and the Ubuntu One Music Store such as music, videos or any product be it digital or physical. The results are displayed in a separate section labelled, 'More Suggestions'.

FXI Cstick Cotton Candy Available Now to All Global Developers

FXI announced today that the highly anticipated Cstick Cotton Candy any screen microcomputer development platform has passed CE and FCC certification and is available now for sale and immediate delivery to global software, hardware and system developers.

“The demand for Cotton Candy as a platform for mobile enterprise clients, mobile entertainment systems or as a generic computer within a wide range of industry niches including security, health, public sector, digital signage, etc. has been enormous,” said Borgar Ljosland, FXI CEO. “These companies wish to provide a secure, mobile computing experience that meets their unique brand profile within a custom and controlled computing environment.”

L4D2 Runs Faster on Linux than Windows

Valve's hit online multiplayer game, Left 4 Dead 2, which was recently ported to Ubuntu along with the Steam client, is found to play faster on the platform than even Windows. The game generates higher frame-rates on Ubuntu with the new OpenGL renderer for Source engine than the Direct3D renderer it uses on Windows.

The disclosure comes as part of Valve's ongoing efforts to optimize the Source engine to the Linux platform, following which, it plans to port more of its game franchises, such as Half Life, Counter Strike, Team Fortress, and Portal. The games will be available on Ubuntu with SteamPlay, allowing users who already own a license for the Windows or Mac OS X versions to simply download and play the game on Ubuntu, without any purchases.Source: Phoronix

VIA Announces First Embedded ARM Based Pico-ITX Board, VIA VAB-800

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient computing platforms, today announced the VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX embedded ARM board. Featuring a choice of an 800MHz or a 1GHz Freescale ARM Cortex-A8 processor, the VIA VAB-800 combines a wide operating temperature range with extremely low power consumption to meet the demands of high-end industrial and in-vehicle fanless embedded applications.

Based on the industry standard 10 cm x 7.2 cm Pico-ITX form factor created by VIA, the VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX board combines a rich I/O set with superb multimedia performance, supporting playback of the most demanding video formats in resolutions up to 1080p. Leveraging VIA’s hardware design expertise, the VIA VAB-800 delivers the highest I/O integration on the Pico-ITX form factor for an ultra compact yet highly flexible platform for the latest embedded devices.

Valve Announces Steam and Left4Dead 2 for Ubuntu

Valve announced porting of its Steam content-distribution platform, Source game engine, and the smash-hit multi-player game title Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), to Ubuntu (Linux). The port isn't exactly straightforward, as code has to be rewritten for OpenGL. Valve already accomplished most of this, with its Mac OS X port, which uses the same API.

Valve is targeting just one distribution at this time, to minimize "optimization" overheads. Derivatives such as Mint could run the platform just fine. Valve's immediate goals are to get the Steam client to work on Ubuntu with full functionality, launching Steam for Linux with L4D2 (thanks to SteamPlay, gamers with L4D2 on Windows can play it on Ubuntu without additional purchases); and optimizing L4D2 to get additional frame-rates on Ubuntu. Valve is also work to get its other titles ported to Ubuntu.Source: Valve

Steam for Linux Arrives "in Months"

There is light in the end of the tunnel for proponents of a native-Linux version of Valve's Steam platform, as a Steam for Linux is just months away, according to a Phoronix report. Linux has been hiring developers with experience in Linux OpenGL applications for some time now, and the gearwheels at Valve have been able to drive out an early version of Left 4 Dead 2 that was seen running native on Linux (Ubuntu 11.10), without translation layers such as Wine, utilizing the OpenGL API, with the ICD provided by AMD Catalyst. Although first denied in 2010, Valve is back to the idea of Steam for Linux, thanks to its "flat" company structure that lacks a hierarchy. Following the footsteps of Steam for Mac, Valve could port some of its games to Linux, and give the client SteamPlay capability.

Sources: Phoronix, Engadget

CTL Releases the MB40U 14.1-inch Ubuntu-Running Notebook

Portland-based CTL Corp. has recently launched its very first Ubuntu-based laptop, the business-oriented MB40U which features a 14.1-inch (1366 x 768) LED-backlit display, Sandy Bridge power, and runs the latest Ubuntu release, version 11.10 aka Oneiric Ocelot.

CTL's Ubuntu-flavored notebook is equipped with a Core i3/i5/i7 processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, up to a 500 GB hard drive or an SSD with a capacity of up to 512 GB, Intel HD integrated graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ WiFi, Bluetooth, a 3-in-1 card reader, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, D-Sub and HDMI outputs, and a 6-cell battery enabling up to 5 hours of use per charge.

The MB40U starts at $449 and can be found here.

VMware Expands its View, Brings Windows Virtual Desktop to Kindle Fire, Mac and Linux

VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced the availability of new VMware View Clients for Kindle Fire, Mac and Linux, along with updates to its popular VMware View Clients for Android and iPad. Available today as technology previews, the new VMware View Clients for Mac and Linux allow IT organizations to empower more agile, productive and connected workforce or school communities by enabling an easy to access, high fidelity desktop virtualization experience optimized for the device of their choice.

"More and more people want the freedom to choose the device that best fits their computing needs in school and into the workplace," said Pat Lee, director, end user clients, VMware. "With the new VMware View Clients, both IT and end users win with a complete, secure and easily-accessible virtual desktop on the devices that best meet their needs."

FXI Puts A Powerful Cloud Client in Your Pocket with Cotton Candy

Norwegian company FXI aims to grab some attention with its latest creation, the Cotton Candy. Simply put, this is a thumb drive-sized device that either plugs into a PC/notebook using USB, or a TV/display using HDMI, and works as a cloud-client computer. In its tiny form of 8 x 2.5 cm (L x W), this cloud-client packs an ARM Cortex-A9 1.20 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, ARM Mali-400MP quad-core GPU, a micro-SDHC card reader, and connectivity that includes Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, WiFi b/g/n, and USB; stuff high-end smartphones are made of.

You can simply plug this to your HDTV, connect wireless keyboard and mouse that support Bluetooth or WiFi, and end up with a cloud-ready desktop powered by either Android or Ubuntu. You can even connect your Android smartphone to it and use its touchscreen as an input device. With your more powerful desktop or notebook, you can simply plug Cotton Candy to a USB port and boot from it (like you'd boot from a flash drive). The OS loads up, and you have your cloud desktop ready to go. Besides its compact form, Cotton Candy weighs as little as 21 grams. It is expected to be priced under US $200.

Source: Hexus.net

AMD Spurs Software Development to Benefit from Heterogeneous Compute Architectures

AMD today announced the availability of the ATI Stream Software Development Kit (SDK) v2.2 with full OpenCL 1.1 support to provide developers with the tools they need to build incredible next-generation applications. By taking advantage of both CPU and GPU processing power in a given system, applications like 3D video, HD video chat and multi-display 3D gaming are possible.

A development platform created by AMD, the ATI Stream SDK v2.2 brings a wide range of tools to the developer community including support for OpenCL 1.1, in addition to Ubuntu 10.04 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5. This updated development platform empowers the developer community to accelerate applications on the CPU and GPU quickly and efficiently. The new version is available for download here.

New Dell OptiPlex XE Desktop Targets OEM and Retail Environments

Dell today announced the highly adaptable OptiPlex XE desktop PC for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and retail environments. Designed to withstand challenging conditions such as high heat, dust and 24x7 operations, the OptiPlex XE delivers on Dell’s commitment to purpose-built solutions more directly connected with customer needs. The system is easily placed within medical carts, video rental kiosks, retail point-of-sale (POS) solutions and other custom deployments that require easy remote management and long-term system stability options.

VIA Introduces M'SERV S2100, Addresses SOHO and SMB Server Needs

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the VIA M'SERV S2100: a compact and versatile server system suitable for a range of applications for SOHO and SMB customers. Available to OEM customers, the VIA M’SERV S2100 is a mere 10.2" long by 4.7" high and provides up to four terabytes of storage in a stylish, compact, low power and low noise system.

The VIA M'SERV S2100 is the first product of its kind to offer the unique advantages of the high-performance, 64-bit VIA Nano processor. This makes the VIA M’SERV S2100 capable of addressing many traditional and next-generation server applications including sophisticated backup, cloud-intermediary service roles along with other storage oriented server applications such as NVR (Network Video Recorder) systems and Log servers.

Active Media Products Introduces Penguin Bootable Linux USB Drive

Active Media Products (AMP), manufacturer of SSDs and WWF series USB drives, today announced immediate availability of a bootable Linux USB (BLU) drive that is compatible with Windows 7 and benefits WWF. These new penguin BLU drives are preloaded with the full installation of Ubuntu Linux 9.0.4.

BLU drives allow booting into Ubuntu Linux from the USB drive regardless of what operating system is installed on the hard drive. Because the hard drive will still be fully accessible when booting from the BLU drive, it's an excellent disaster recovery solution in the event of problems with the operating system on the primary hard drive, because important data files on the hard drive can be backed up onto the BLU drive or another USB storage device.

VIA Announces NSD7200 Home and Media Server

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced its entry into the design manufacturing service business to offer provide flexible system hardware solutions, starting with the new VIA NSD7200 home storage and media server.

Building on its success as a pioneer of system level innovation in small form factor and IPC markets, VIA can provide OEM and ODM customers with customized versions of home and SOHO storage platforms targeting specific markets. By combining energy-efficient processor platforms and high quality chassis designs with a full design manufacturing service and comprehensive engineering support, VIA enables customers to more accurately address the needs of system integrators and retailers by speeding up product cycles and reducing production costs.

ARM Showcases Prototype Netbooks

Standing up against an almost unassailable domination of x86 machine architecture, even in the ULPC segment, ARM showcased netbooks based on processors such as Freescale iMX515 and Qualcomm Snapdragon. The processors, ARM claims, are capable to run 720p HD video, and operate at speeds of up to 1 GHz. The best way ARM sees to compete with x86, is to support operating systems that run on it, such as Linux.

The growth and propagation of Ubuntu seems to be a good opportunity to cash on. ARM is reportedly working with Canonical to devise a full-featured ARM-supportive variant of Ubuntu. Meanwhile, Adobe has announced that it is working on an ARM-supportive Flash 10 plugin. Ubuntu's ARM edition should be out by April, by when we can get realistic figures about ARM netbooks' performance. The netbooks will be priced in the US $250 range and are expected to start selling from June. A video covering the presentation can be viewed here.

Source: ZDNet

Ubuntu 9.10 Codenamed ''Karmic Koala'', Eying Cloud-Computing and Netbooks

Ubuntu's contribution to propagating Linux to the client platforms (general desktop/notebook) is invaluable. Its developers are known to codename major builds of the OS after animals. An upcoming version, 9.10 has been codenamed "Karmic Koala", after the cute and cuddly animal from south-east Australia. Going by Ubuntu's six-month development cycle, 9.10 should follow 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" slated for this April, and should be coming out by October.

The new client-version is expected to be netbook-friendly, with having significantly lower boot times. The target booting time for 9.04 is 25 seconds, while the developers hope to improve that figure further with 9.10. The developers will be integrating features from Intel's Moblin platform in order to improve performance on Atom-based devices. The Server Edition based on Ubuntu, which is steadily gaining in adoption, yet lagging behind offerings from market heavyweights such as Red Hat and Novell, will also get its share of improvements, one of the most important of them being enhanced support for cloud-computing.
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