Monday, January 20, 2014

Did Phil's anti-gay slurs hurt Duck Dynasty's ratings?

Last night, to the surprise of absolutely no one, Duck Dynasty returned with a season 5 premiere that made no mention of the controversy that nearly drowned the top-rated nonfiction series in cable history in a flood of bad press. In December, Phil Robertson, the rascally, loveable patriarch who leads the cast went one toke over the line while chatting with GQ magazine. If anything, the much-hyped premiere was way too dull for someone like me, who has read plenty about the show but never watched it before. I doubt I'll ever to tune in again.

The controversy-free episode was pre-taped long before Phil's GQ run in. Willie and Korie's daughter, Rebecca, a 20-something Asian exchange student they adopted a decade ago, flew back from LA, where she's been a fashion intern, to visit her family (indefinitely). There were the usual Beverly Hillbilly-isms, though this time directed at group texts and skinny jeans. There was the usual Focus on Family Christian values: Phil may not be thrilled to be stuck taking care of his sick brother Si, and the two fight over everything from Si's smelly sneakers to which movies to watch. But Willie steps in to remind everyone that family comes first:

Dodgers sign Clayton Kershaw to seven-year contract

SanDisk Announces Release of the ULLtraDIMM SSD

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced that its ULLtraDIMM Solid State Drive (SSD), the industry's first enterprise-class, ultra-low latency, memory channel storage solution, is now shipping for qualification with select enterprise servers. The addition of flash technology on the DRAM memory channel expands the growing penetration of flash storage technology in enterprise data centers, and complements SanDisk's existing flash-based server hardware and software storage solutions.

The award-winning SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSD can be integrated into an existing DIMM slot. This ensures ultra-low latency in business applications and results in improved application response times. Additional ULLtraDIMM SSDs can also be added to available DIMM slots, scaling performance and capacity without impacting latency. This creates new opportunities for server system designs to support use cases that require extremely fast storage, such as High-Frequency Trading (HFT), VDI, transaction processing, virtualization and cloud computing.

"The SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSD was designed to expand the reach of ultra-low latency flash storage throughout the data center and scale to meet the requirements of any enterprise application, no matter how bandwidth or capacity intensive," said John Scaramuzzo, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. "The ULLtraDIMM SSD's linear performance scalability and innovative DIMM form factor allow organizations to deploy flash as their application requirements change, without requiring significant infrastructure investment."

SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSD will be used by IBM under the eXFlash DIMM brand name. IBM recently announced that the eXFlash DIMM is an option for its System x3850 and x3950 X6 servers providing up to 12.8 TB of flash capacity. IBM tested the solution under a variety of enterprise workloads and end-user scenarios. These early benchmarks showed that the eXFlash DIMM SSD achieved 5-10 microsecond write latency-the lowest in the industry.

Gartner indicates "that the advent of big data use cases is just one dynamic compounding the challenges of managing data growth, and organizations face massive volumes of information and new content types that require variable storage, security, protection and access methods." This data growth coupled with end-users' demand for instant access to information is spurring the need for a revolution in how chief information officers (CIOs) leverage storage to manage requirements while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).

For more information about SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSD, which was developed in partnership with Diablo Technologies, please