HP, Intel Join Forces to Bring HPC Into New Fields

Today's topics include HP and Intel working to push high-performance computing capabilities, the latest Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, the arrival of new ZenPad Android tablets and a court decision acknowledging consumer concerns about the practice of bundling unwanted apps known as "bloatware" in software downloads.

Hewlett-Packard and Intel are partnering to help push high-performance computing capabilities beyond traditional business segments like oil and gas and financial services and into enterprises that are increasingly looking for tools to address their growing big data and analytics needs.

The companies announced the alliance July 13 at the International Supercomputing Conference, saying HP will roll out a new high-performance computing framework based on its Apollo server portfolio, which will leverage new processor technologies from Intel.

The latest Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers was released July 13 at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany, and China's Tianhe-2—also known as Milky Way-2—kept its top spot with a performance of 33.86 petaflops, about twice that of Titan, an XK7 system from Cray that came in second with a performance of 17.59 petaflops.

Once again this year the rankings remain fairly static at the top of the Top500 list, with only one new entrant in the top 10—the Shaheen II installed at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

The latest ZenPad Android tablets from Asus are arriving in the United States and are available immediately from BestBuy.com for $99.99 for the 7-inch model and $199.99 for the 8-inch version.

The ZenPads feature WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity with quad-core processors. The new devices are variants of the original ZenPad S models that the tablet maker introduced at the Computex trade show in June, according to reports.

When antivirus firm Avira began warning its users that software installed from download site Freemium.com came bundled with "potentially unwanted applications," the site demanded that the security firm stop blocking its downloads.

Yet Freemium.com's practice of bundling other programs violated Avira's code of conduct for applications, so the security company continued to warn its customers and continued blocking the site's downloads. While Freemium.com responded by filing an injunction, a German court sided with Avira in late June.

The judgment is one of the latest signs that consumers and the legal system are pushing back against increasing efforts by software publishers, hardware manufacturers and app developers to get paid for loading up users' systems with questionable software.

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