Archive for March, 2011
Apple may have dodged the big Sandy Bridge problem with its new MacBook Pros, but it looks like it may now be experiencing some growing pains of an another sort. As evidenced by a 44-page and growing thread on Apple’s official support forums, a number of users have been seeing their 15-inch and 17-inch MacBooks freeze up when they’re under a heavy load — encoding a large video file, for instance. That problem seems to be related to the laptops’ new AMD graphics, as switching them to integrated-only seems to “fix” the problem for most users, although obviously at some considerably expense to performance. While Apple isn’t offering much publicly at the moment, a user that spoke with customer service said that Apple seemed to be aware of the issue, and that they suggested it was a firmware or driver-related problem, and not an actual hardware issue. Unfortunately, there’s still no indication as to when it might be fixed. Let us know in comments if you’ve run into some similar issues.
Great gobs of gigabits! The Internet2 research and education group says it is upgrading its national backbone network with help from broadband stimulus funding, and the end result will be a structure delivering 8.8 terabits per second bandwith.
This super-fast system will connect the US Unified Community Anchor Network (US UCAN), around 200,000 community “anchor institutions”—K-12 schools, libraries, clinics, hospitals, community colleges, and such. In the winter of 2010, the project received a $62 million broadband stimulus grant from the government to get this project underway.
The plan is to roll out a series of advanced telemedicine and distance learning programs across the country “that are not currently possible with consumer-grade Internet service.” Internet2 is a non-profit representing about 200 universities working with various corporations.
“Commercial networks are far too congested to support, and are not optimized for, advanced broadband applications for community anchors like telepresence and telemedicine,” the project’s stimulus grantapplication noted. They also “do not provide the necessary transparency required to immediately trouble-shoot application-crippling problems across networks. They also do not generally offer next generation Internet technologies like IPv6 and IP multicast, which are critical to certain applications.”
Internet2 is deploying this with the assistance of the Ciena networking company. The project will deploy Ciena’s ActivFlex 6500 Packet-Optical Platform for the network, which is also used in Vietnam, where the number of Internet users has more than doubled since 2005.
Ciena just concluded a 100G backbone trial with Vietnam Telecoms National that spanned 500 kilometers, connecting the cities of Vinh and Danang.