The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
Issue No. 98 - 17 June 2013
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In This Issue
OMG meeting in Berlin
The Elusive First Web Page
Supercomputing Top 500
Google Glass
Seen Recently
CB photo

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OMG Meeting in Berlin
The Object Management Group is meeting in Berlin this week. The first day included presentations and discussions on how to represent process variants and process versioning. The lack of a mechanism to specify variability in processes often leads to (a) imposing heavy processes in cases that could be simpler, (b) people ignoring the process altogether. Models adopted for product lifecycle management (PLM) or the Common Variability Language (CVL) may be used in the future to specify the customization of BPMN process models.
The Elusive First Web Page
You may have read, or heard on National Public Radio if you live in the U.S., an April 2013 story about the first Web page being lost. CERN, where Tim Berners-Lee worked, only kept a 1992 version of Sir Tim's Web site and knew it wasn't the original. Some listeners have submitted earlier copies, getting us closer to this ur-Page, but one such copy is located on a professor's NeXT computer, protected by a forgotten password. "Forensic computer specialists are trying to extract the information," says the Washington Post article. Well... perhaps they should call the National Security Agency, or else we know some friends who can probably help you!
Supercomputing Race News
Just today, China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer was declared the fastest supercomputer in the Top 500 ranking. With a speed of 33.86 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark, it displaces its American rivals. No. 2 is now the NVIDIA-based Titan system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, running at 17.59 petaflops. No. 3, Sequoia, is an IBM BlueGene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. No. 4 is a Fujitsu system located at Japan's RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science.
This is not the first time China takes the first place. The Tianhe-1 computer, with a "mere" 2.5 petaflops, was No. 1 from October 2010 to June 2011, when it was replaced at the top by Japan's RIKEN.
Google Glass: Past, Hype, Future
Google Glass is causing a lot of discussion, not all flattering to the device... or to its wearers. It should also cause a useful reflection on the emergence of technologies. Points to consider include:
  • Head-mounted displays are not new; they are used routinely by military pilots, for example.
  • Because they were bulky, expensive and "looked weird," there was little adoption outside of very specialized tasks or games. This was one reason (among others) why industrial prototypes of augmented reality systems, from 7-8 years ago, failed to gain traction.
  • Google Glass is still an incomplete solution, because it's not easy to use over other glasses, although Google is working on versions integrated with sunglasses or prescription glasses.
  • Researchers in South Korea recently announced transparent and flexible electronics that can be embedded in a soft contact lens. This might eventually lead to direct retina projection that works without another person being aware that this is taking place, a prospect which should be both appealing to the wearer, and concerning to others for privacy reasons. 
Seen Recently...

"In the same week, angry at government for getting data, yet praises balloons that enable internet everywhere."

-- Jeremiah Owyang, @jowyang,

presumably talking about himself in the third person


"Back then, no one called us a startup; they just called me crazy."

-- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his address

during the 122nd commencement at Stanford University