Friday, March 20, 2009

Permanently altering brain function, outside the skull

from the IV MB, post by yyy60:

>>Permanently altering brain function, outside the skull (CK)

March 19, 2009

A surgical team from Italy have just reported that they've altered human brain function through neurosurgery conducted from outside the skull, by using beams of radiation.

The technique is known as radiosurgery and, in itself, isn't novel. The team used the Cyberknife system, specifically designed to do this sort of operation.

However, the technique is typically used to treat brain tumours, and what is new is that the team have adapted this method to permanently knock out targeted areas to alter overall brain function.

They were inspired by deep brain stimulation and functional brain surgery. These aim to do a similar thing and are most commonly used to treat tremors and movement problems in Parkinson's disease by altering the movement circuits in the brain.

This new operation aimed to do something similar, but with radiosurgery.

Their report appears in the journal Medical Physics, where they describe the treatment of two patients with, until then, untreatable disorders. One with chronic pain, stemming from nerve damage, and other with dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes certain muscles to painfully contract.

One of the challenges with this sort of operation is hitting exactly the right spot, and to achieve the necessary accuracy the team built a 3D computer model of the key areas from the brain scans which they then used to electronically direct the radiosurgery equipment.

The patient with dystonia had a pallidotomy, where part of his basal ganglia was ablated (destroyed), whereas the patient with chronic pain had a thalamotomy, taking out a section of his medial thalamus.

Both patients recovered well, significantly improved and showed no major side-effects at 15 months.

The image on the left shows where the radiation beams entered the head during the operation on the patient with chronic pain.

Link to research report

Link to PubMed entry for same

Politecnico di Milano, Bioengineering Department and NEARlab, Milano 20133, Italy.

Functional disorders of the brain, such as dystonia and neuropathic pain, may respond poorly to medical therapy. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) and the centromedian nucleus of the thalamus (CMN) may alleviate dystonia and neuropathic pain, respectively. A noninvasive alternative to DBS is radiosurgical ablation [internal pallidotomy (IP) and medial thalamotomy (MT)]. The main technical limitation of radiosurgery is that targets are selected only on the basis of MRI anatomy, without electrophysiological confirmation. This means that, to be feasible, image-based targeting must be highly accurate and reproducible. Here, we report on the feasibility of an atlas-based approach to targeting for functional radiosurgery. In this method, masks of the GPi, CMN, and medio-dorsal nucleus were nonrigidly registered to patients' T1-weighted MRI (T1w-MRI) and superimposed on patients' T2-weighted MRI (T2w-MRI). Radiosurgical targets were identified on the T2w-MRI registered to the planning CT by an expert functional neurosurgeon. To assess its feasibility, two patients were treated with the CyberKnife using this method of targeting; a patient with dystonia received an IP (120 Gy prescribed to the 65% isodose) and a patient with neuropathic pain received a MT (120 Gy to the 77% isodose). Six months after treatment, T2w-MRIs and contrast-enhanced T1w-MRIs showed edematous regions around the lesions; target placements were reevaluated by DW-MRIs. At 12 months post-treatment steroids for radiation-induced edema and medications for dystonia and neuropathic pain were suppressed. Both patients experienced significant relief from pain and dystonia-related problems. Fifteen months after treatment edema had disappeared. Thus, this work shows promising feasibility of atlas-based functional radiosurgery to improve patient condition. Further investigations are indicated for optimizing treatment dose.

The First CyberKnife for Poland

from the IV MB, message by YYY60

>>Embassy of Poland aunnances Gala Fundraiser - CyberKnife for Poland


Under the Patronage of His Excellency Robert Kupiecki, the Ambassador of Poland, and the Honorary Committee, including the U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland), Congressman John D. Dingell (Michigen) and Lady Blanka Rosenstiel (Florida)

Event: Gala Fundraiser – CyberKnife for Poland

The Embassy of the Republic of Poland
2640 16th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009

The First CyberKnife for Poland

The CyberKnife, a sophisticated robotic radiosurgery system, is a nonsurgical, painless technology that can reduce or eliminate certain lesions and tumors, many previously considered inoperable anywhere in the human body. It integrates a robotically controlled mobile linear accelerator with a state-of-the-art image-guidance system, and can also offer significantly fewer complications and a lower risk than classical “open” surgery by integrating a robotically controlled mobile linear accelerator with a state-of-the-art image-guidance system.

As a radiosurgery tool capable of delivering highly precise high dose radiation without cumbersome or painful stereotactic frames, the CyberKnife extends the use of radiosurgery beyond brain tumors into various regions of the body including the spine, lung, pancreas, liver and prostate.

Professor Wojciech Maksymowicz, a world-recognized neurosurgeon, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Warmia and Mazury University in Olsztyn, Poland, is the initiator and organizer of the purchase of the first CybernKnife for Poland.

This system is so effective that with only one CyberKnife, Polish doctors may perform more than 120 treatments each month, giving patients with hard-to-reach or difficult tumors another significant option of treatment and new hope for the future.

Recently, the Polish American Health Association (PAHA) initiated a fundraising program to support the purchase of the first CyberKnife for Poland.

Distinguished guests Professor Wojciech Maksymowicz and Dr. Leszek Dudzinski from Poland will be present.

For additional information concerning the CyberKnife please contact Dr. Wlodek Lopaczynski (301) 983- 1192.

Big changes at Internap: three executives depart in a week

from Tier 1 Research Daily newsletter:

>>Monday marked the last day for outgoing Internap Network Services CEO Jim DeBlasio, who leaves a provider that is both better and worse off than when he came to it. However, this week's departures don't end with the CEO's office. Controversial Internet Services general manager Alan Hannan has also departed the .....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Internap and Streaming Media are giving away a VESPA

Internap and Streaming Media are giving away a VESPA at NAB 2009!

Streaming Media magazine has partnered with Internap to give away one of the top prizes at NAB this year...a VESPA scooter!

How Do You Win?

Subscribe OR Renew Your FREE Subscription to Streaming Media magazine

This special giveaway is sponsored by Internap

Samsung APIs - haptics feedback

from the:unwired

DEVELOPMENT: Samsung releases Samsung Mobile Innovator Windows Mobile SDK

In addition to the Microsoft Windows Mobile APIs, you can use Samsung APIs to access phone features such as the accelerometer, notification LEDs and haptics feedback. In addition to the Windows Mobile SDK, Samsung also released a couple of Windows Mobile and Samsung API related white papers.

Samsung/LG: by 2013, touchscreen phones only

from a blog post by cellodude, on the IV MB:

>>[Recently, the CEOs of both Samsung and LG told audiences at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that their companies would only sell touch screen cell phones after 2012. The number two and three cellular handset OEMs believe that touch screen phones will be less expensive to manufacture in the near future [key pads and the dome sheets cost about USD $1-2, they wear-out, and they generate ~20% of the RMAs].

You know what that means: 100% IMMR penetration in Samsung & LG phones.

Equinix, Sydney Power Outage?

this is taken from a blog post, and there's not much info about the author. It is somehow strange to see a picture attached, as cameras shouldn't be allowed inside Equinix centers.

>>Yesterday there was almost a very serious incident at Equinix’s datacenter in Sydney. Whenever I am there, there seems to be someone under the flooring doing some sort of cleaning. However, they have recently expanded their on site floorspace, so this could be related to their expansion.

I would assume that whilst they are under the flooring, they would be doing some sort of maintenance and checking, obviously scheduled for each area - being a rather large datacenter. I would also assume that the extensive power circuts which run around the place are also monitored, mapped and power is assigned to cabinets accordingly. Oh how wrong I am.

Yesterday whilst working at Equinix, simultaneously whilst i plugged in the KVM to a server, our row of cabinets suddenly lost connectivity, so Here’s me thinking I have somehow unplugged something that should never be unplugged. After some quick trouble shooting, I found out that all of our equipment was in fact, fine. However, our uplink was dead.

I went over to our upstream providers cabinets, only to notice that all equipment in the cabinets was off and no lights were on. It turns out 15 cabinets had completely lost power. Equinix staff started crawling around, finding out where the problem is, And discovered this:

Equinix Breaker

Equinix Fried Breaker

They had been running 15 Cabinets of equipment off only 1 x 63Amp breaker which was last tested: 17/12/2000

Safe as F#*$ !!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Moving Digg

from the Digg blog:

>>Our goals were to find a space with the same (or better) ample power

and cooling as our current facility; to find a space with plenty of
room we could expand into as Digg grows; and to make sure the people
who ran the facility are as competent as we are used to with our
current datacenter provider, Equinix. Perhaps, not surprisingly, we
found all these fulfilled in another, newly-renovated Equinix
facility! (Okay, the ops team is going to chide me for the use of the
bang (!) but I felt it warranted. : P)

Our cage in the new facility has room, power and cooling for 40
cabinets worth of servers, with easy expansion to twice that number.
The amount of power we can draw per cabinet has also increased by
roughly 50%. Also, we’ve taken the opportunity to upgrade some of our
hardware to new dual, quad-core Intel-based systems, that use
marginally more power but provide twice the computing power over our
current configuration.

Henderson Horizon American Equity

Ein wichtiger Teil des Fondsportfolios sei in Unternehmen investiert, die sich auch in der Krise sehr gut behaupten könnten und widerstandsfähig seien. Nick Cowley: "Mit dem richtigen Geschäftsmodell, einer einfachen Firmenstruktur und genügend Finanzmittel ergeben sich aktuell hervorragende Chancen die Marktanteile auszubauen. Cisco Systems oder auch Equinix im Technologiebereich sind Unternehmen, die davon profitieren können." Unternehmen, die Kosten senken und Preise anpassen könnten, seien derzeit absolut im Vorteil.

New data center approved

from Loudoun Times-Mirror:

>>New data center approved

Loudoun's Board of Supervisors approved plans March 3 for construction of a data center in Ashburn. A company called Equinix will build the facility, which will be on Filigree Court in the Beaumeade Corporate Park. Based in Northern California, Equinix operates 42 data centers across the world. These are climate-controlled facilities that house computer systems that store digital data.


from NetMediaEurope España:

La firma francesa Staff&Line, especializada en el desarrollo de software para la gestión de TI (es decir, el ERP de los departamentos de informática), comenzó sus operaciones en España en 2006.


En este último caso, el fabricante ya cuenta con más de cincuenta clientes a nivel mundial que pagan una suscripción por utilizar como un servicio unas aplicaciones que físicamente están alojadas en la infraestructuras de Equinix, un socio francés de Staff&Line.

Latest CyberKnife unit delivers pinpoint dose of radiation


>>— Decades ago, suitcase-size devices like this one were hauled by backpack to remote spots to inspect the integrity of steel on bridges or other construction. Today, this modern version of those small particle accelerators attached to a robot can save lives, Dr. Diane Heaton said.


The CyberKnife also differs from Gamma Knife and others in that it can adjust to movement of the patient’s body, even movement caused by breathing. That adjustment is made by first obtaining a high-resolution, three-dimensional image of the patient’s body using a CT scan. That scan allows a physician to identify the cancerous tissue. The CyberKnife software then develops a plan to direct the photon beams.

Another advantage is that patients who have had radiation treatments previously still can be helped with a CyberKnife treatment, Heaton said. Results have been impressive, she said.

"I’ve seen tumors literally go down by half in two or three days,” she said. "I’ve had patients on oxygen who, after treatment, were off oxygen.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wall Street Journal - Limelight Network

from Seeking Alpha Market Current:

>>Wall Street Journal (NWS), one of web video provider Brightcove's flagship clients, is now plugging directly into Limelight Networks (LLNW) content delivery network, Silicon Alley Insider discovers.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Internap 10K - A few comments

A few random comments going through Internap 10Q.

For the first time, the Company is finally giving out details about the data center facilities directly managed (something they had always refused to do in the past):

I speculate that the Los Angeles data center is the old Vitalstream one, which is not in use right now (Internap moved the CDN point of presence from this downtown data center to El Segundo, which I believe is a 365 Main facility).

These are a few summarized infos about the three segments Internap is operating (some emphasis added):

  • Although we experienced pricing pressure for our IP services, our revenue increased year-to-year due to an increase in demand for our services.
  • Revenue for IP services increased $1.1 million, or 1%, to $123.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2008
  • There was a net increase in IP services customers from December 31, 2007 to December 31, 2008, and these new customers added approximately $8.1 million of revenue during 2008.
  • IP services revenue also includes FCP sales and other hardware sales of $4.8 million and $4.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively.
  • Data center services continue to be a source of revenue growth for our business, and we expect this trend to continue
  • Revenues for data center services increased approximately $26.0 million, or 31%, to $109.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2008
  • We experienced a net increase in customers in this segment as we structured our data center business to accommodate larger, global customers.
  • We had a net increase of customers from December 31, 2007 to December 31, 2008 and new data center services customers added approximately $7.8 million of revenue during 2008.
  • Although we experienced a net decrease in customers in our CDN segment, our revenue in that segment has increased. (MY NOTE: not an apple to apple comparation, as Internap did not record direct CDN revenues for 12 months in 2007, but only since February 20 - it would probably be imbarassing to add the 2007 Akamai CDN resale revenues and compare...)
  • Revenues increased in our CDN segment, despite a net decrease in the number of our CDN customers, due to increased usage of our applications.
  • CDN services revenues and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2008 were lower than projected, primarily due to: (1) integration and reliability issues in the acquired network, which we have resolved, (2) a strategic shift to larger, higher credit quality customers and (3) more recently, a highly-competitive market environment for CDN services that is driving our prices lower.
Here are the adjusted gross margins achieved per segment (note how CDN is decreasing):
click to enlarge