Archive for August, 2009

OpenSource World 2009

Friday, August 14th, 2009

OK, this is not verification related but it should be of interest to engineers.  On Wednesday and Thursday I attended OpenSource World (formerly Linux World) at Moscone West in San Francisco.  I missed the show last year but it was significantly smaller this year than in 2007.  The exhibit area in particular was a fraction of its previous size.  However, there were still over 100 presentations in 9 tracks.  The ones I attended were all well worth the time.

There was one keynote address that surprised and impressed me.  It was given by Deborah Bowen, the California Secretary of State.dbowen_20090812

Secretary Bowen spoke about a number of issues but mostly about security issues surrounding electronic voting machines.  This was a conference of software developers and and network administrators.  I would expect a politician foolish enough to stand in front of this group and talk about anything technical, much less an issue about which they are likely to harbor strong opinions, would come away bruised and looking like a buffoon.  This is why I was so surprised that Secretary Bowen proved so technically competent and able to field the most detailed questions.  She explained the vulnerabilities that had been uncovered in various voting machines leading to their decertification and what would be required for a new machine to be certified.  She also told a great story of how her office decided to try using cloud computing to handle the peak election night loads on the Secretary of State’s website.  The result was that instead of spending $800,000 on computer upgrades, they paid a $7 bill to Amazon for EC2 usage.

At times like these, it may be difficult to believe but, we actually do have someone intelligent in Sacramento.

Flash Summit Off to Great Start

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

The Flash Memory Summit at the Santa Clara Convention Center got off to a great start today.  The three day agenda is packed with interesting talks on all aspects of flash memory.  According to Tom Coughlin, registration so far has topped 1200, a new high.  The fact that half the registrations came in just the last two weeks, Tom takes as a sign people are  becoming more optimistic about the economy.

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This is the packed house that received Ed Doller’s keynote talk at 11:30.  Ed again spoke enthusiastically (that is his job) about Numonyx‘ soon-to-be-released Phase Change Memory (PCM).  He was able to give a few more details this time and told us specifications are available under non-disclosure.

The program for the rest of the conference sounds wonderful.  Unfortunately, I have other business at the OpenSource Wold (formerly Linux World) Conference in San Francisco tomorrow and Thursday.

Flash Summit this Week

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

The 2009 Flash Memory Summit starts Tuesday and runs August 9-11 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.  Begun in 2006, this conference has grown tremendously reflecting both the importance of flash memory in electronic design and the success of the organizers in putting together a program that provides values to an ever increasing number of attendees.

If you design anything that uses flash – and I would be hard put to think of something that doesn’t – this is a conference for you.  Unfortunately, I will be able to attend only on Tuesday.  There is a conflict with OpenSource World, another important event for me, on Wednesday and Thursday.