By 8 April 2011 | Categories: news


Facebook goes open-source, well almost
As one of the top three most visited sites in the world, we can promise you that Facebook knows a thing or two about setting up servers. Now Facebook Inc, inspired by the open source software model, is sharing information about its new server systems and computer rooms with other corporations, in a bid to start an open movement for hardware design.
Their “Open Compute Project” is an industry-wide initiative to share specifications and best practices for creating the most energy efficient and economical data centres.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company is imparting technical specifications (including details regarding server racks, power supplies and building design) of a new data centre build in Prineville, Oregon. This new data centre uses 38% less energy and is 24% more cost-effective than previous systems Facebook relies upon. 
Technical specs and CAD drawings for the Open Compute Project data centre components can be found here.
PlayBook delay because of Flash?
RIM’s PlayBook tablet is set to launch an onslaught on Apple’s entrenched iPad devices, but has already ran into some trouble. According to Wired, the PlayBook was scheduled to appear in the first quarter of this year but has been delayed, with a new due date set to be the 19th of April. 
Wired mentions a number of reasons for the delay, including troubles regarding touch-screen supply, but also blames it on Adobe Flash problems. The fact that other companies had problems integrating Flash on their new tablets, i.e Motorola’s Xoom; sluggish performance and battery life drainage; and poor performance of Flash on a pre-production PlayBook at CES, are provided as evidence.
Twitter Terror Alerts
The United States government might soon use Twitter and Facebook to relay terror alerts to the American public, but only sometimes. This according to the Associated Press, mentioning that this will be done “when appropriate” and only after certain people higher up in the chain of command, such as local leaders, have been notified. 
The old colour coded terror alert warning system (pictured below) has also gone out the window, to be replaced with only two levels of warnings – elevated and imminent. TechSmart could not verify the rumour that Eskom will be using social media networks to relay their green, yellow and red power alerts soon.
Commodore 64 makes a return
If you can remember the very successful Commodore 64 home computer, chances are you don’t spend time on MXit or wear your trousers below your bottom. Now your nostalgia can run riot as it seems that this popular is heading back to the future, with a new updated model seeing the light of day. 
The new Commodore 64x PC-in-a-keyboard looks exactly like the original, and runs on an Intel Atom D525 1.80 GHz while boast next-generation Nvidia ION graphics. It can rock up to 4 GB of DDR2 RAM and comes with, gasp, an HDMI connection to hook it up to high-definition screens and a DVD drive (Blu-ray optional).
The new Commodore ships with the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating system and can be loaded with Windows 7, while classic 8-bit games can be played thanks to a C64 emulator. For more info visit their 90’s styled website, with prices starting from $250 (around R1662).
Below you’ll find a classic advertisement for the Commodore, using the tried-and-tested method of selling computers by showing people swimming. 



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