A cheap supercomputer

NEW YORK – In perhaps the clearest evidence yet of the computing power of
sophisticated but inexpensive video-game consoles, the
National Centre for
Supercomputing Applications
at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign has assembled a supercomputer from an army of Sony PlayStation

The resulting system, with components purchased at retail prices, cost a little
more than US$50,000 (S$86,500) only.

The centre’s researchers believe the system may be capable of half a trillion
operations a second, well within the definition of supercomputer, although it
may not rank among the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the project, which uses the open source
Linux operating system, is that the only hardware engineering involved was
placing 70 of the individual game machines in a rack and plugging them together
with a high-speed Hewlett-Packard network switch.

‘It took a lot of time because you have to cut all of these things out of the
plastic packaging,’ joked Mr Craig Steffen, a senior research scientist at the
centre, who is one of four scientists working part-time on the project.

The scientists are taking advantage of a standard component of the Sony
video-game console that was originally intended to move and transform pixels
rapidly on a television screen to produce lifelike graphics.

This chip is not the PlayStation 2’s MIPS microprocessor, but a graphics
co-processor known as the Emotion Engine, which is capable of producing up to
6.5 billion mathematical operations a second.

The impressive performance of the game machine underscores a radical shift that
has taken place in the computing world since the end of the Cold War in the late

While the most advanced computing technologies have historically been developed
first for large corporate users and military contractors, increasingly, the
fastest computers are being developed for products meant to be placed under
Christmas trees.

‘If you look at the economics of game platforms and the power of computing in
toys, this is a long-term market trend and computing trend,’ said Mr Dan Reed,
the supercomputing centre’s director.

The scientists have their eyes on a variety of consumer hardware, he said. For
example, Nvidia, the maker of graphics cards for personal computers, is now
selling a high-performance graphics card that is capable of executing 51 billion
mathematical operations a second.

The pace of the consumer computing world is moving so quickly that the
researchers are building the PlayStation 2-based supercomputer as an experiment
to see how quickly they can take advantage of off-the-shelf low-cost

Despite the computing promise of game consoles that sell for below US$200, the
researchers acknowledged the experiment was most useful for a group of
relatively narrow scientific problems.

They added that while the system is already doing scientific calculations, they
cannot be certain about its computing potential until they write more carefully
tuned software routines that can move data in and out of the custom processor

But they noted that the computer is already running useful calculations on
quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, simulations. QCD is a theory concerning the
so-called strong interactions that bind elementary particles like quarks and
gluons together to form hadrons, the constituents of nuclear matter. — New York

Templates takes skills too!

Templates takes skills too!

Just when I thought using templates is as brainless as it can get, I see
people purchasing,
yes, purchasing instead of using those
free ones and my
GOD! They look like shi*! The bottom line is, you still need to know HTML and
preferably, Flash too, as some templates comes with Flash that WILL need
editing. See my template based site here. Yes, you can purchase it but please,
at least have something in mind before you key in those credit card of yours for
a purchase. Practice with the free templates, they come in PSD (Photoshop) and
HTML format. Then learn Flash! It’s may be easy, well, a template, I key in what
I want here, here and here, save and viola! Wait a min, why is this table bigger
than what I need, hey how to change that? I don’t know HTML/ There you go,
you’re stuck! You will also need (not saying I do but I think I fair quite well)
an eye for designing too! Bright red does not go well with Grey for christ sake
and trust me, white is the background color to manupilate with more colors. OK,
you just read a David
book but hey, that doesn’t make you a designer.

I know of kids 13-15 who dare freelance website creation for people and the
website is well, not much to look at. Hey, talking about that, some advertising
here won’t hurt anyone, will I? Hope on to etegration.NET for site creation,
development or I prefer to call "portalisation". So, get your HTML, basic Flash
(if not advance, learn actionscript if you must!), some photo editing software
like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop (I personally don’t really know that well, I am
more of a Paint Shop Pro guy), it’ll come in handy, learn Frontpage, Dreamweaver
too as these WYSIWYG editors are god-send, save you time when you don’t wanna
fiddle around with the codings. Then pick from tons of HTML based editors

. Or use what I like,
1st page 2000.

My, is this turning into an article instead of a quick "Opinion"
post. So,
to end it here, a template site may be or seem easy enough but if you ain’t got
the skills, it’s better you create something newbie looking, everyone will
understand AND don’t think you’ve learnt some Dreamweaver and know nuts of HTML,
you can create sites. There’s also the backend of a site creation such as
configuring an Apache machine. Now, don’t you have tons to learn? me? I know
I’ve tons and I am enjoying every minute of it. In the meantime, some
CS to de-stress that
day’s work…

The True Desktop Project.


TDP is collection of images from computer users, who are interested in providing
the cyber-world with a glimpse into their very own true desktop workspace. I
believe that this project will finally allow users to step into the clandestine
universe of individual computer users and see what they use when they power on
their computers.

Mine’s posted! See >


31 articles added! yes 31!

We have an additional of 31 articles on PC modding, tidying up your PC’s
insides and more.

Check them out
. Most of it are contributed by non other than
Kleozy and his group of grear
writers, 233mmx, Cyberazi, Heng32 and froz3n. These guys are hard-core!

Please exercise cautious when trying out those stuffs in all articles you
find on the Internet including ITCoW as some articles here deals with
electricity and power tools.

Trinity uses NMap!


Matrix Sequel Has Hacker Cred
By Kevin Poulsen, SecurityFocus
Posted: 16/05/2003 at 15:12 GMT

The average American moviegoer taking in the Matrix Reloaded this weekend will
likely be wowed by the elaborate action sequences and dazzling special effects.
But hackers who’ve seen the blockbuster are crediting it with a more subtle
cinematic milestone: it’s the first major motion picture to accurately portray a

That’s right: Trinity uses a ‘sploit.

A scene about two thirds of the way through the film finds Carrie-Anne Moss’s
leather-clad superhacker setting her sights on a power grid computer, for plot
reasons better left unrevealed.

But at exactly the point where audiences would normally be treated to a
brightly-colored graphical cartoon of a computer intrusion, a la the 2001
Travolta vehicle Swordfish, or cheer as the protagonist skillfully summons a Web
browser and fights valiantly through “404 Errors,” like the malnourished
cyberpunk in this year’s “The Core,” something completely different happens:
Trinity runs “Nmap.”

See http://www.insecure.org/

New mass-mailing worm spotted: W32.HLLW.Mankx@mm

I have this in all my POP3 accounts so, beware guys!

New mass-mailing worm spotted: W32.HLLW.Mankx@mm

Asia update A new email worm, named ‘Mankx’ or ‘Palyh’ by security firms has appeared in Asia–but there is still no anti-virus software for it, as does not appear to be a variant of earlier viruses.

According to Symantec, the firm is tracking a mass-mailing worm W32.HLLW.Mankx@mm.

“Symantec Security Response has rated the virus a level 3 on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most serious,” said a statement from Symantec.

The W32.HLLW.Mankx@mm worm sends itself to all email addresses it finds in files with the following extensions: .wab .dbx .htm .html .eml .txt . The worm deactivates May 31, therefore, the last date the worm will spread will be May 30, according to Symantec.

The message forges the support@microsoft.com from address, and the body is invariably: “All information is in the attached file”. Users should not open the attachment. The subject line varies, see the bottom of this article for a list.

The attachment is a PIF, or program information file. Upon execution, it self propagates using the victim?s address book.

According to Jamie Gillespie, security analyst with AusCERT, the virus is a traditional mass-mailer. It uses the victim?s address book to find new victims.

“It appears to be using the address book as a single source at least,” he said.

Anti-virus vendors do not yet have any signatures that can be used to detect this latest threat, which could result in a more rapid propagation than normal.

“Currently there is no public information regarding this virus,” he told ZDNet Australia. “Anti virus software is only as good as the signatures [so] ?zero-day? viruses can propagate quite quickly”.

An element of reverse psychology could be at work, according to Computer Associates’ security consultant Daniel Zatz. Because the e-mail contains little information and doesn?t pressure the recipient into opening the attachment could be a reason that people are in fact opening it, he told ZDNet Australia.

“Maybe the curiosity aspect of saying absolutely nothing is perhaps a better lure,” he said.

Most large organisations should be protected because they block the .pif file extension, a practice advocated by Zatz, but that small to medium enterprises will probably be impacted.

See also:


USB Memory Watch! cool!



“USB Memory Watch
So, you need to tell the time of course, but you also need a way to carry your
valuable data with you at all times (you know, your MP3 files, favorite images,
your ThinkGeek shopping list). This watch can handle the mission for you and do
it in style. It can store 128 Megs of data.

The USB Memory Watch has a built-in USB cable and can transfer files to most
computer operating systems. The USB cable is cleverly stored in the watch band
and the USB connector tucks conveniently into the band. There is also a LED
light at the nine o’clock position that indicates the device status.”

The Launch of etegration.NET and Ministry of Hosting!

Had been really busy with these 2 sites, ok, now it’s done, up and running,
Thanks for all the people who has given support! ITCoW.com now comes under
etegration.NET while Ministry Of Hosting takes over all hosting operations from
Hosting@ITCoW. Check them out!


The Laptop Desk(TM).

Quite an innovative piece of hardware.


“The Laptop Desk(TM) is a mobile and
stationary work station for notebook computers. It creates a stable, non-slip
work surface on your lap and a rock-solid desktop platform on your desk.”


Internet Explorer\’s dumbest bug ever revealed



One line of HTML and it’s dead

By Staff at the Newsdesk: Friday 02 May 2003, 18:08

BORED OF CREATING buffer overflow possibilities and security gaps an electronic
elephant could walk through, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer development team has
turned its attention to good old HTML. Thankfully, this bug just crashes IE.
Embarrassingly for the Vole, it’s done with just one malformed line of HTML.
The bug is listed on BugTraq as requiring five lines of HTML but, after a small
amount of experimentation, you’ll find that it can be done with just one line of
HTML. The offending line?

In fact, the word “crash” doesn’t really make any difference; you can put
“calamari” or “IE sucks” in there and it will still go belly up.

So the Vole has definitely managed to outdo itself this time. According to
Neowin, Outlook, Frontpage and anything else that uses shlwapi.dll suffers the
same fate. So that simple line of malformed HTML could stop you from reading
your email too.

You can find the Bugtraq post here.