Other online music stores can't compete with iTunes A Boston Globe article, noting that there are 10 new online music ventures in aggregate, suggests that the newcomers will not be able to compete with Apple's iTunes: "Apple got the ball rolling last April with the launch of its wildly popular iTunes store. After cutting a deal with the record labels, they began selling thousands of songs for 99 cents a track (albums, $9.99). Josh Bernoff, an analyst for Forrester, says Apple's Steve Jobs has ''corralled everybody into the same spot.'' Meaning, we can look forward to more stores in iTune's image with songs for sale at a buck a pop and software that helps you organize, play, and transfer music to CD and portable players. Bernoff thinks that sites like BuyMusic, a 'download only' store that doesn't offer such extras, won't be able to compete." More.
Top 500 supercomputers A press release announcing the latest top 500 supercomputer rankings notes"The third system ever to exceed the 10 TFflop/s mark is Virgina Tech's X Cluster Institute measured at 10.28 TFlop/s. This cluster is built with the Apple G5 as building blocks. It uses a Mellanox network based on the new Infinband technology as interconnect." The press release also indicates a large increase in the use of Intel processors among top machines and IBM's dominance in terms of performance. More.
Quantum physics encryption The Associated Press has a fascinating article describing a new encryption process that may be unbreakable. "This month, a small startup called MagiQ Technologies Inc. began selling what appears to be the first commercially available system that uses individual photons to transfer the numeric keys that are widely used to encode and read secret documents. Photons, discrete particles of energy, are so sensitive that if anyone tries to spy on their travel from one point to another, their behavior will change, tipping off the sender and recipient and invalidating the stolen code." More.