Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vizio's 'Java' LCD brews accurate colors

Subtle dark brown coloring and a not-so-subtle reflective gold strip along the bottom of the frame earn the Vizio VOJ370F the title "Java" in the company's LCD lineup, while excellent color earns it a high score among the less-expensive LCDs we've reviewed this year.

The 37-inch display boasts 1080p resolution--useless at this small screen size unless you want to use it as a big PC monitor--and plenty of picture adjustments. The most important are custom color temperature controls that let us tweak it to within an inch of grayscale perfection--no small feat for a small-screened LCD.

Want the full scoop, ground fine enough for espresso?

Read the full review of the Vizio VOJ370F

Below you'll find the settings we found best for viewing the Vizio VOJ370F in a completely dark room via the HDMI input with a 1080p, film-based source. Your settings may very depending on source, room conditions and personal preference. Check out the Picture settings and calibration FAQ for more information.

Picture menu
Picture Mode: Movie
Backlight: 4
Brightness: 52
Contrast: 50
Color: 48
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 3

Advanced video menu
Noise Reduction: Off
Color Enhancement: Off
Advanced Adaptive Luma: Off
Enhanced Contrast Ratio: Off

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why a Sun/EMC Match Might Work

Our world is never static, but as I write this, we are going through a particularly nasty period of upheaval.

Print publications are dying left and right. The latest examples are US News & World Report and The Christian Science Monitor, which have thrown in the towel on their print editions. Forbes magazine just merged its print and online divisions, resulting in 43 more journalists looking for work. Happy holidays.

Likewise, the tech industry is working through some wrenching change, some more than others in the difficult economy.

Take Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA), which recently announced that it would cut its workforce by 6,000 people, or 15 to 18 percent. The company hopes its restructuring plan will save $700 million to $800 million annually. Is it enough to stay the course or does Sun need a buyer?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sun Microsystems (JAVA) NewsBite - JAVA Covered In Bloomberg Video Report Today

Sun Microsystems (JAVA) was covered in a Bloomberg Video Report today and the stock is now at $4.11, up $0.03 (0.74%) on volume of 5,387,934 shares traded. To see the video report go to . Over the last 52 weeks the stock has ranged from a low of $3.50 to a high of $21.55. Sun Microsystems stock has been showing support around $3.31 and resistance in the $4.47 range. Technical indicators for the stock are bearish and S&P gives JAVA a negative 2 STARS (out of 5) sell ranking. If you are looking for a hedged play on JAVA the stock seems like it could be a candidate for a January covered call above the 4 range. [ABR-Seven Summits Strategic Investments NewsBite]

Friday, October 17, 2008

Slimmer Java for the desktop

Even though the version name Java SE 6 Update 10 only indicates small bug fixes, Sun Microsystems has put Java's fat runtime environment on a strict diet, modularising and optimising it.

Sun wants to give users more incentive to use Java software on their desktops and applets in their browsers. The tried and tested Java VM is also the basis for the new JavaFX, a web technology with which Sun intends to compete with Flash and Silverlight in browsers.

The new installer initially only loads the required libraries from the net; only 4 to 5 MB are required to start an applet or a Swing application. The previous version still required just under 15 MB.

Nimbus, a new look & feel for Swing, adds a contemporary touch to Java applications. Sun also pointed out that that the new Java is considerably faster than it was before: startup time for Java programs has been reduced and a new pipeline connects Java directly to Direct3D in Windows allowing hardware graphics acceleration. Full details of the changes are given in the release notes for Java 6u10 and an earlier article from Sun on the alpha version of Java 6u10 explains the changes in more detail.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Aonix PERC Ultra Supports Latest VxWorks Release

Aonix®, the provider of the PERC product line for embedded and real-time Java developers, announces the release of PERC Ultra 5.1 cross development and target support on Wind River's VxWorks 6.6 real-time operating system and Wind River Workbench development suite. With more than 1 million field systems in markets such as aerospace, defense, telecommunications, industrial control and robotics, PERC Ultra well suits the broad real-time market leadership of VxWorks. These joint solutions will enable developers to take advantage of Java language capabilities while ensuring that critical deterministic behavior requirements can still be met.

Boasting the largest number of deployments for any commercial real-time virtual machine, PERC Ultra has proven itself as an embedded virtual machine that is scalable, manageable, reliable and secure. In addition to separating it from its competitors, these characteristics make it ideal for VxWorks developers who primarily focus on the safety- and mission-critical space. This version of PERC Ultra allows the PERC Virtual Machine to run as a real-time process, protecting Java applications from being corrupted by any errant C applications running on the same system. PERC Ultra also takes advantage of Wind River Advanced Networking Technologies, new with this port to VxWorks 6.6.

Notably, PERC Ultra's port to VxWorks complements an earlier port of Aonix's PERC Pico, a low-level, resource-constrained virtual machine for deeply embedded hard real-time applications and components. For the first time, Wind River developers can design the same Java language advantages of portability, scalability and modularity into applications from top to bottom, thereby streamlining application development, debugging and ongoing program maintenance.

"Most of our customers develop complex mission- and safety-critical systems," noted Rob Hoffman, vice president and general manager for Aerospace and Defense at Wind River. "Prior to Aonix's PERC family, Java technologies were unable to address these needs effectively or efficiently. Our customers are looking forward to extending their Java applications through to the device-driver level to maximize efficiency and to gain the additional portability such an extension ensures."

"PERC Ultra and VxWorks have together provided world-class tools and execution environments for a number of years," noted Gary Cato, Aonix director of marketing. "Wind River's customers have stringent applications requirements. We are proud of the fact that our combined solutions have met their criteria."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Terracotta Helps Adobe Scale

Adobe taps Terracotta to help Adobe scale its Acrobat collaboration solution. Terracotta's software, which helps businesses scale their enterprise Java environments, will enable users to run ConnectNow without a database.

Terracotta, which makes infrastructure software for enterprise Java scalability, is providing core technology to deliver high reliability and scalability to Adobe's ConnectNow Web conferencing service in

By using Terracotta’s high-performance redundant cache in runtime state rather than a database, ConnectNow provides service for a high volume of Web meetings and activity, while enabling seamless recovery in case of a partial system failure, said Amit Pandey, CEO of Terracotta.

ConnectNow is a personal Web conferencing service designed for collaborative meetings for individual users and businesses. Users can instantly communicate and collaborate through an easy-to-use, easy-to-access online personal meeting room, Adobe officials said. ConnectNow is available for free sign up as part of the public beta here.

Pandey said Terracotta’s shared application memory store is a fast-emerging approach to scale critical applications, because it offers the performance of local memory along with the high availability of a database. This capability eliminates the performance and reliability tradeoffs that constrain Java applications today, he said.

"Adobe for us is an example of the kind of customer we set out to get when the company was formed -- customers who have challenging scale issues but are not into changing their applications to make this scale happen," Pandey said. "They're an archetype of the customer we are going after. They are doing scalable Web applications but have given up on the database."

Pandey said Terracotta has been seeing a lot of momentum from customers such as Adobe. "We went open-source in December 2006 and since then have added more than 60 customers, and more than two-thirds of them have this profile," he said. The other third consists of enterprise customers "like Tangosol has gone after," Pandey said. Tangosol is Oracle's in-memory data grid technology designed to meet the new demands for real-time data analytics, compute-intensive middleware and high-performance transactions.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Apache looks to bring fun back to Java

Apache announced this week the first release of Apache Sling, an open-source Web framework intended to make Java development fun again, according to a bulletin from the organization.

Sling brings content into the Web and provides a platform to manage and upgrade content. It makes use of a Java content repository such as Apache Jackrabbit.

"Sling is intended to bring back the fun to Java developers and make the life of a Web developer easier," an Apache representative said.

"It's really just a framework for building a Web app," said Santi Pierini, senior vice president of marketing at Day Software, which has contributed code for Sling and uses the technology in its Communique' (CQ) content management platform. Sling still is in an incubator stage but could become an official Apache project in a few months, Pierini said.

"We're trying to create a Web framework that makes it easier to build what they call RESTful apps," said Pierini in an interview on Friday morning. With Sling, a content delivery framework and content access capabilities are provided so that developers not have to code these themselves, he said.

Sling can be used for building various types of Web applications, including wikis, blogs, customer self service, and digital asset management systems, Pierini said.

The framework is based on Java Specification Request 170 for Java Content Repositories. That specification features an API for interacting with these repositories. Additionally, an embedded Apache Felix OSGi framework and console provide a dynamic runtime environment enabling code and content bundles to be loaded, unloaded, and reconfigured at runtime.

Sling, Apache said, makes it easy to implement simple applications while providing an enterprise framework for more complex applications.

A scripting layer using Apache BSF (Bean Scripting Framework) enables Sling to be used with any scripting language. Developers also can use Java and develop applications in RESTful way.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Google Mobile Maps adds mass transit

The mobile version of Google Maps has long ranked among my favorite cellphone applications. It makes it dead easy to find local businesses when I'm on the go.
That said, I've always thought the mobile program should add a major feature from the Web-based version of Google Maps: information about public transit in many major cities -- including Dallas.

The folks at Google apparently agree because they've just added public transit information. This version of Google Maps for mobile even has a few tricks not yet available on the desktop version of Google Maps. For instance, you can find the last transit trips of the day (to figure out how late you can stay at the party) and more easily browse through earlier or later trips. The My Location feature, available on most phones, also makes it easier to set the start point of your journey.

Unfortunately, the upgraded Mobile Maps won't work on all phones that support the older version (including my Motorola Q). It only works for BlackBerry handsets and most other Java-based phones.
If you have such a device and a data plan, you should definitely check out what the program can do and then download it from

Saturday, May 10, 2008

JavaOne: AMD cites Java improvement efforts

The company promoted its Java support at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco during a keynote presentation. AMD is working on improvements in compilers, operating systems, middleware and development tools as well as Java Virtual Machine improvements. AMD is finding ways to improve Java performance across multi-core environments and has been researching improvements in garbage collection, according to AMD. Garbage collection involves the discarding of objects from memory after they are no longer needed or referenced.
"AMD understands that good software is critical to our product roadmap," said Leendert van Doorn, a senior AMD fellow. Without software, silicon just conducts energy, he said.
Multi-threaded programming "is inherently easier to do in Java," because of Java's built-in support for concurrent programming, van Doorn said.
But there are hurdles to overcome in application performance, said van Doorn. "This is an issue we're working on to help address," he said.
AMD has proposed its Light-Weight Profiling software parallelism specification to help managed code like Java run more efficiently by using continuous performance feedback. Also, AMD's Advanced Synchronization Facility proposal increases software concurrency.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Million Dollar SOA Question: Software ESBs or Hardware Appliances?

Service-oriented architectures have now become the norm for IT to deliver value to their respective businesses. A SOA-based approach promises an environment of agility, loosely coupled integration, and a composition-based approach, all of which results in faster adaptability to the demands of the business, lower operational costs, and the increased “pluggability” of standards-based applications. A service is nothing but an abstraction of something that does some business unit of work. This could be something like placing an order, retrieving customer information, or modifying personal information. Technically these services could be exposed with any binding/protocol/interface with request/response parameters being structured or ad-hoc data. Standards-based services have their payloads structured as XML.
In a traditional old school infrastructure, business functions were encompassed in packaged or customized applications with their predefined user interfaces. In a SOA, these traditionally "trapped" business functions tend to add more value when encompassed within a much larger scoped entity and then used by a more modern interaction mechanism. The true emancipation of these business functions required the transition of traditional IT infrastructure toward a new class of technology components. The two major roles of this new services infrastructure are a service brokering role and a gatekeeping role. There are other auxiliary roles, including that of a repository, endpoint management, and some higher-level roles such as orchestration in this new services infrastructure. However, the remainder of this article discusses the primary roles of service brokering and gatekeeping in detail and addresses the different technology components that can fulfill the roles.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dream java: HashSet from Sun, but likely BitSet from GNU

As the majority knows we now have two FOSS implementations of java runtime library: OpenJDK from Sun Microsystems and the parallel GNU Classpath project. There are various opinions on how this situation will be resolved in the future. Hence there is a natural interest to compare these two implementations.

GNU Classpath usually runs with the different java virtual machine than the Sun's code and is used as a whole, without trying to separate any part apart. In that way, no honest comparison is possible between any units that are smaller than all jre + all rtl together. However many packages in GNU Classpath are written entirely in java and are relatively weakly dependent from each other. This opens opportunity to test (and, if wanted, to use) them separately from the main project.

For Sun, we used the classes and jre of the 1.6.0_04 release (not to give opportunity to argue later that results of this research do not apply to the “original” java). GNU Classpath java.util. package was taked from CVS repository and modified to run on the same 1.6.0_04 Sun's jre (simply moving classes into another package). That way we have got the two java.util.* implementations that were capable to coexist on the same virtual machine and to be directly compared with each other.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eclipse launches super run-time project as alternative to Java and .NET

The Eclipse organization has amassed a huge installed base of developers using its Java-based open source development tools. Now the organization has set its sights on the run-time arena and will take on Sun’s Java and Microsoft’s .NET with what it says is an agnostic open source component model that runs across multiple operating systems and computing tiers.
At EclipseCon 2008 in Santa Clara, Calif on Monday, the project leaders announced the Eclipse Runtime project (Eclipse RT) an initiative to build an open source run-time technology based on its own Equinox, a lightweight OSGi compliant run-time. Equinox, the core run-time platform for Eclipse, is not new. The run-time is used by Actuate, BEA, Code 9, Iona, IBM and Oracle and is reportedly deployed on millions of developers’ desktops. (the announcement comes three days before the vernal Equinox
What is new is the overarching effort to unify the organization’s many run-time projects including Equinox, the Eclipse Communications Framework, EclipseLink, Rich Ajax Platform (RAP), Riena and Swordfish into a unified project and establish a consistent open source run-time and component model that runs across all operating systems and computing tiers.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tech to java: LeBlanc now tackles retail

JazzyBird Coffee isn’t Brian LeBlanc’s first business startup.
Bitten by the same bug that 23 years ago led his father Bob to create Bengal Products — the maker of Bengal Roach Spray and other insecticides — Brian LeBlanc worked for that multimillion-dollar family venture 15 years while starting his own technology businesses.
He operated Intersurf Online for five years before the Internet service provider merged eight years ago with Network Technology Group. It’s now a data storage firm that complements the Louisiana Technology Park in the former Bon Marché Mall on Florida Boulevard. PNHS of Dallas acquired NTG last year.
More than a decade ago, LeBlanc also launched Celestial Technologies — a company that proposed an online music jukebox using compressed music files. LeBlanc hit a near home run with the concept that licensed Lucent Technologies compression software to encode digital music and tilted at beating rival MP3’s format.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Introducing JavaFX: Sun's new family of Java-based products

JavaFX Mobile is a complete mobile operating and application environment built around Java and Linux. JavaFX Script is a highly productive scripting language for content developers to create rich media and content for deployment on Java technology. JavaFX Script is the core of the JavaFX family, and it's the most interesting part of the product set. (Sun thinks that developers will shorten JavaFX Script to JavaFX in conversations, as long as JavaFX Script is the core in the JavaFX product family.)
JavaFX Script is intended to simplify the creation of rich UIs for Java clients. JavaFX Script is implemented in Java, and it uses Java APIs for 2D and 3D graphics as well as UI controls. JavaFX Script supports a declarative syntax for UI definition that is somewhat similar to the ones used by Microsoft in XAML and Adobe in MXML, yet it's not XML-based. In fact, it's a real programming language -- not just a markup tool -- so you can write an entire application in JavaFX Script.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Automated RBAC Java Security Tool Released

McLean, Va.-based Advanced Modeling Concepts recently released a Java security tool designed to help developers add security to existing Java applications. The product adds role-based access control (RBAC) security via a tool called AfterthoughtSoft-Secure.
Organizations can use the product to inject Java authentication and authorization (JAAS) security into legacy code. It can work with any Java applications that use the JAR (Java Archive) file format. The solution is designed mostly to work with client-side applications, according to company literature.

The product identifies what needs to be secured in the runnable JAR file and creates a copy of the file with the RBAC security inserted, according to the company.
"One of the hardest parts of dealing with JAAS implementations is getting the security policy files done correctly," commented Advanced Modeling Concepts' CEO Bart Jenkins in a prepared statement. "The tool automatically generates all the necessary .java.policy and .java.login.config files for you."
Advanced Modeling Concepts has released three versions of AfterthoughtSoft-Secure: Community, Pro and Enterprise.
The free community edition covers only "text file-based RBAC." The Pro edition adds NT, Unix and Linux security. The Enterprise Edition offers LDAP and Kerberos V support. Introductory pricing through February for the Pro and Enterprise editions is $29 and $99, respectively.

Europe invests in real-time Java for multicore systems

LONDON — The Open Group is working with a consortium of European real-time technology developers, industrial manufacturers and research organizations to develop a new framework for Java-based real-time applications on modern parallel processor systems.
Supported by the European Commission, the Java Environment for Parallel Real-time Development (JEOPARD) project is investing over €3.3 million (about $ 4.9 million) an advanced framework for real-time Java running on multicore and parallel systems.
This platform-independent framework will maintain the robust reliability essential for safety and mission critical applications, while using the additional processing power available from the latest parallel platforms.
Led by The Open Group (Reading, England), the JEOPARD consortium includes four universities and research institutes: University of York (England), Vienna University of Technology (Austria), FZI (Research Center for Information Technologies at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany) and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania); three industrial manufacturers: EADS NV (Schiphol-Rijk, Netherlands), RadioLabs (Rome, Italy) and SkySoft (Lisbon, Portugal); and two embedded systems technology suppliers: Aicas (Karlsruhe, Germany) and Sysgo (Klein-Winternheim, Germany).
The strategic objective of the JEOPARD project is to provide the tools for platform-independent development of predictable systems that make use of symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) multicore platforms. These tools will enhance software productivity and reusability by extending processor technology already established on desktop systems for the specific needs of multicore embedded systems. The project will actively contribute to standards required for the development of portable software in this domain, such as the Real-time Specification for Java (RTSJ).