Lotus releases Rnext public beta

The public beta version of the forthcoming Notes, Domino and Domino Designer upgrades, code-named Rnext, was released recently by Lotus Development Corp.

The Notes and Domino Rnext beta is available at http://notes.net/rnext. The Domino server beta is available for Windows NT and Windows 2000, IBM AIX, Solaris/SPARC and 32-bit Linux. The Notes client beta is ready for 32-bit Windows and Macintosh, while the Domino Designer beta is available for 32-bit Windows. More operating system support, including OS/400 and OS/390, will be added in future beta versions. Pricing and availability for the general release update will be announced later this year. The public beta is meant to allow more customers to test Rnext at an early stage in development and to have more input in development, Lotus said in a statement. The company intends to “incorporate massive amounts of customer feedback into the final product,” the statement said.

IBM releases new WebSphere products

IBM recently announced upgraded Internet infrastructure software for mainframes.

The new WebSphere software runs on IBM’s z/OS and OS/390 operating systems for the eServer z900 as well as the S/390. In addition, it includes support for Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) that enables software developers to write the “guts” of business applications (i.e. connections to databases, transaction handling, etc.) that can run on a variety of computing systems. The new software products include WebSphere Application Server for z/OS and OS/390 and CICS Transaction Server V2.1. With WebSphere, application programmers can now design, develop and assemble Java applications using common, industry-standard programming without having to account for the differences or restrictions of any particular computing system, IBM said. The decision of where to run a J2EE application can now be based on desired qualities of service, the availability and location of data, and the availability of computing resources, not just the operating system-specific knowledge or skills of the application programmers, the company said.

Intel helps build P2P supercomputer to fight cancer

Intel Corp. has partnered with medical research groups and software maker United Devices Inc. on a project that uses peer-to-peer (P2P) computing to help advance the development of drugs for treating cancer and other diseases.

Intel has been a big proponent of P2P which, in one of its many forms, makes use of computing resources sitting idle in thousands of networked computers to solve complex problems. Intel predicted that the recently-announced project will attract millions of volunteers and create a “virtual supercomputer” that can perform at teraflop speeds, or trillions of operations per second. To take part, users download a free software application from United Devices that includes a small part of a larger problem that medical researchers need to solve. The application runs in the background on a user’s PC whenever resources are available, and typically takes a day or two to complete. At the end, the results are uploaded automatically to the datacentre and the application downloads another part of the problem. Information about how to participate, along with details about Intel’s Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer program, are on Intel’s Web site at www.intel.com/cure.

Oracle offers on-line developer service

Oracle Corp. has launched iDevelop2001 Online, a new 24 by 7 on-line service that offers developers worldwide a complete Web-based solution for education and training.

The iDevelop2001 Online service is available to developers free-of-charge through Oracle Technology Network (OTN), where developers will find the software, resources, training and expertise they need to develop any Internet application, the company said. Oracle also announced that membership in OTN has reached a record 1.5 million developers, growing at more than 68,000 new members per month. iDevelop2001 Online offers technical courses on development and deployment of application services, portals, Internet business process integration, high performance Web sites, and wireless applications using Java, XML, and SQL on Oracle9i. Developers will have the opportunity to ask questions to Oracle’s development managers and experts during on-line live “eChats” offered for each course. Developers will also receive a jump-start to certification as an Oracle Certified Professional.

Motorola works with OEMs on embedded Bluetooth

Motorola Inc. will begin assisting OEMs with embedding Bluetooth wireless capabilities in products, such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines, desktop printers and copiers, the company announced recently.

Motorola Computer Group, a business unit within Motorola, will enable the embedded Bluetooth technology to run on Linux, VxWorks by Wind River Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 2000 and on two architecture processors, Apple Computer Inc.’s PowerPC and Intel Corp., Motorola said in a statement. Companies will have two possibilities for embedding the Bluetooth technology in products, said Jorge Magalhaes, Motorola vice-president, director of marketing. They can either put the embedded Bluetooth software directly on the Intel or PowerPC-based motherboard or attach a PMC (Processor Mezzanine Card) onto the motherboard. The technology is expected to be ready by the fiscal fourth quarter of 2001 or first quarter 2002, Magalhaes said. No pricing is currently available, but it will be based on volume and Magalhaes said it will be “very, very reasonable.”