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Fujitsu building supercomputer

Fujitsu aims to deliver by early 2011 a 10-petaflop supercomputer, which would be almost 10 times more powerful than today’s fastest system. Fujitsu is building the supercomputer for Japan’s Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, known as RIKEN. The system will be based on Fujitsu’s upcoming Sparc64 VIIIfx processor, which has eight processor cores and will be an update to the four-core Sparc64 VII chip that Fujitsu released two years ago. It remains to be seen if Fujitsu can achieve its goal, and it’s likely that other system builders are plotting similarly powerful machines. IBM has said it will build a “petascale” supercomputer based on its upcoming Power7 processor. That machine, dubbed Blue Waters, is also due in 2011.

Yahoo buys Arabian Web portal

Yahoo has agreed to buy Maktoob.com, an Arabian portal combining news, business and sports information with mail and chat services. The deal will allow Yahoo to expand into a new region and to serve a linguistic market that it does not currently reach: Maktoob will give Yahoo the capability to develop Arabic versions of the Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger communication services, it said Tuesday. Maktoob began life in 2000 as a Web-based e-mail service, and in May claimed around 16.6 million unique monthly visitors. The company is based in Jordan, with offices in Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The acquisition deal, for an undisclosed sum, does not include Maktoob Group’s auction site, Souq.com, nor its search engine, Araby.com.

Cisco claims vulnerability poses little risk

Cisco Systems downplayed a vulnerability in some of its wireless access points, reporting Tuesday that there is no risk of data loss or interception. But AirMagnet, the wireless network security vendor that discovered the issue, said the hole could still lead to problems. The vulnerability is based in a feature that makes it easy for Cisco access points to associate with a controller in the network. Existing APs broadcast information about the nearby network controller they communicate with. When an enterprise hangs a new AP, that AP listens to information broadcast by other APs and knows which controller it should connect to. AirMagnet worries that a person could “skyjack” a new AP by getting the AP to connect to a controller outside of the enterprise.

Company cries foul on popular flash memory

The U.S. International Trade Commission will investigate flash storage chips used by Apple, Research In Motion, Dell, Asus, Sony, Lenovo and other vendors after a company claiming five patents on flash technology sought to ban the importation of the chips and devices that use them. BTG International alleged that some Samsung chips violate its patents on multilevel NAND flash memory. The chips have been used in a range of products including the first-generation iPhone 8GB, MacBook Air, Asus Eee PC netbook, Lenovo ThinkPad X301, Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T2 camera and flash cards and storage devices

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