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IBM Building 20 Petaflop Computer For the US Gov't

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the because-the-nsa-hates-drm dept.

Supercomputing 248

eldavojohn writes "When it's built, 'Sequoia' will outshine every super computer on the top 500 list today. The specs on this 96 rack beast are a bit hard to comprehend as it consists of 1.6 million processors and some 1.6TB of memory. That's 1.6 million processors — not cores. Its purpose? Primarily to keep track of nuclear waste & simulate explosions of nuclear munitions, but also for research into astronomy, energy, the human genome, and climate change. Hopefully the government uses this magnificent tool wisely when it gets it in 2012."

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and just for old time's sake... (4, Funny)

Hell O'World (88678) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709205)

Can you imagine a Beowolf cluster of those?

Re:and just for old time's sake... (1)

skund (982546) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709253)

Wich framerate will it get in quake?

Re:and just for old time's sake... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709591)

you mean Crysis

Re:and just for old time's sake... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709745)

While you are joking about games (like Quake and Crysis), this computer does sound like a giant graphics card.

It can do 20 Pflops with 1.6 million processors, so 12.5Gflops per processor, but with 1.6TB of memory, it means its only got 1Mb per processor.

So it sounds like some kind of giant specialised GPU with local memory.

Re:and just for old time's sake... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709971)

Sounds like the Cell on steroids to me.

Re:and just for old time's sake... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26710175)

sounds like bad math to me. it actually has 1gig per

Re:and just for old time's sake... (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710035)

It's actually going to be serving QuakeLive when it goes live ... finally ...

Re:and just for old time's sake... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709289)

Can you imagine a Beowolf cluster of those?

No. No I can't. I can't imagine a beowolf cluster of one those. Even if Natalie Portman (covered in grits) was in my base killing my overlords like an insensitive clod. Even if netcraft confirmed it, then it confirmed netcraft in soviet russia. Especially if Cowboy Neal gave me a three step plan leading to profit I could not imagine it.

Enough with the meme. Or not, because I must be new here.

Re:and just for old time's sake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709685)

Pics or it didn't happen

Re:and just for old time's sake... (5, Funny)

ed.mps (1015669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710553)

damn you AC, this post deserves a +50 "beowulf cluster of memes"

Re:and just for old time's sake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709945)

Okay, this is way off topic. But I was reading a story about the Italians putting Google executives on trial for a youtube video. I refresh and the story was gone. Anyone know what happened?

Re:and just for old time's sake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26710029)

Glad I saw your post while I still my other tab open. In case anyone's wondering, he's talking about this story:

Google Execs Being Tried In Italy Over User's "Cruelty" Video
Posted by timothy on Tuesday February 03, @10:12AM
from the what-have-the-googlers-ever-done-for-us? dept.
netbuzz [networkworld.com] writes "Italian officials this morning have begun prosecuting four Google executives [networkworld.com] over their roles -- which were essentially non-existent -- in the posting of a video that depicted cruelty toward a disabled child. "It's akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post," the spokeswoman said in an e-mail. "Seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet."

Mmm... (5, Funny)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709231)

Nice rack(s).

OH NOES!!! (3, Funny)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709233)

2012! Supercomputer! It's Skynet! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

MUST NOT BE USED FOR MOON RESEARCH (2)

UbuntuLinux (1242150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709425)

Since it has become evident that the moon is haunted, hence the presence of such a computer on the moon would be a disaster for all mankind; ghosts do not understand technology, even those that haunt the moon, and if one where to find this computer, it could type in the wrong commands and cause terrible things to happen.

Re:OH NOES!!! (5, Funny)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709453)

At 6:18 pm EST IBM's super computer went online At 6:19 pm EST IBM's super computer declared nuclear war on humans At 6:20 pm EST there was a SEG FAULT and skynet must reboot to continue genocide

Corrupt government (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26710199)

U.S. government: Any amount of the taxpayer's money to research how to kill other people and destroy their property.

Re:OH NOES!!! (2, Informative)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710527)

Well, if IBM builds skynet, then we win the war by saying PWRDNSYS OPTION(*IMMED).

Re:OH NOES!!! (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709861)

Skynet? More like Multivac. [wikipedia.org]

Oh, yes. (4, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709237)

And also to find the question that "42" answers.
There are many theories as to what this question might be, and now IBM is building a system that will solve this issue once and for all.

Re:Oh, yes. (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709531)

No, no. It's being used to calculate the new national debt.

Re:Oh, yes. (2, Funny)

ukbazza (1232802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709649)

No, no. It's being used to calculate the new national debt.

They're going to need a bigger computer.

Re:Oh, yes. (1)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710475)

No, it can process over 3 tax returns per day.

2012? (1, Offtopic)

DodgeRules (854165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709239)

Is this the real reason the world ends in 2012?

Re:2012? (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709421)

A group of computer scientists build the world's most powerful computer. Let us call it "HyperThought." HyperThought is massively parallel, it contains neural networks, it has teraflop speed., etc. The computer scientists give HyperThought a shakedown run. It easily computes Pi to 10000 places, and factors a 100 digit number. The scientists try find a difficult question that may stump it. Finally, one scientist exclaims: "I know!" "HyperThought," she asks "is there a God?" "There is now," replies the computer.

End of the world in 2012 (2, Informative)

lukaszg (1326959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709241)

I've heard about predictions of the end of the World in 2012, now I know the answaer - this machine will become a Singularity [wikipedia.org] .

Re:End of the world in 2012 (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709907)

In all seriousness, how much processing power would it take to run a program that designs newer and better processors? I would think that 20 petaflops and a good algorithm would be able to produce a processor that is an improvement over the current generation. Then again, I know next to nothing about processor design, so I could be totally wrong.

Re:End of the world in 2012 (1)

nicodoggie (1228876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709967)

That or the LHC makes one first.

Second Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709247)

Damn! So close. If only I had less of a life...

at least they admit its true purpose (3, Funny)

khuber (5664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709257)

"The system will also act as a giant weather cock,"

Re:at least they admit its true purpose (5, Funny)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709919)

Primarily to keep track of nuclear waste

And this can't be done with say, Excel?

Re:at least they admit its true purpose (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710579)

And this can't be done with say, Excel?

Ahh, Excel... the first choice in corporate database management systems.

How many other slashdotters work at fortune XXX firms where on paper some executive bean counter says "we use oracle" but on the ground all databases are done in Excel (along with a smattering of everything else?)

It is a step up from three jobs ago, where at another fortune XXX the database management system of choice was what boiled down to an administrative assistant and Lotus's word processing solution. Yes we used plain english to request that Patti make changes instead of sql update statements. Also our sql select statements always began with "hey Patti, could you look up...". Any yes, all "ORDER BY" stanzas were in fact powered by swear words and performed by cut and paste.

Sadly I am not making any of this up.

don't smell right (3, Funny)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709259)

Each processor gets its own megabyte of memory? Are these a bunch of refurb pcs from the late 80's?

Re:don't smell right (1)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710501)

Yeah, something's not right here. I came to the same conclusion.

Did someone tell the author that they had that much L1 memory, and they didn't understand the difference?

Crysis? (1, Redundant)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709269)

No Crysis comments yet? None? Ok.... But does it run Crysis?

Re:Crysis? (0, Offtopic)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709311)

And what about Windows Vista. Will we finally have a machine which can run Vista at interactive rates?

Re:Crysis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709501)

Can it run Windows 7?

Re:Crysis? (1)

SirCarloz (1468215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709775)

I thought it could but Windows 7 requires 2.6TB of ram to run the new windows live messenger.

Re:Crysis? (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710357)

Imagine 1.6 million UAC popups opening when you run a single program...

Re:Crysis? (1)

vistapwns (1103935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710679)

Beats 1.6 million password prompts...

One word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709277)

ECHELON [wikipedia.org]
Keep track of nuclear waste, my ass!

Processors, not cores (4, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709291)

Because, when you put two processors on a single piece of silicon, it magically becomes one "processor" with two "cores".

Re:Processors, not cores (2, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710067)

Yeah, but how many CPUs is that?

And for the opposite of petaflops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709299)

...see here [peta.org] .

1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709325)

I would have expected it to have a bit more memory with that many processors.

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (5, Informative)

Professeur Shadoko (230027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709393)

My bet is that this is a typo.
1.6 PB seems more reasonable.

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (5, Informative)

Madball (1319269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710433)

Another reference article: http://www.eetimes.com/news/design/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=213000489 [eetimes.com] Mentions "up to" 4,096 processors per rack. So, at maximum, this would be 393,216 processors. Perhaps they are quad cores and someone took the liberty of multiplying the 393,216x4=1.6M (rounded). A more reasonable assumption may be 100,000 quad-core CPUs (400,000 cores). That would make the summarization of by only 16 times, lol.

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709473)

Heck, I'd expect the total cache to be bigger than 1.6 TB

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (-1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709647)

hell, my desktop has 2tb. so what does this show/prove?

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709921)

You have 2 TB of RAM in your desktop?

Colour me impressed.

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (1)

countvlad (666933) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709683)

Hell, I'd like to know how 1.6 million processors can fit in just 96 racks. That's more than 16 thousand processors per rack. Either these aren't standard microprocessors or someone got their numbers a couple of orders of magnitude off.

Even if you could get 16000 modern server processors into a rack, the power density alone would probably cause it to burst into flames (>1.6 MW)!

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (1)

thpr (786837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709991)

Contrary to the original post, these are probably processor cores, not processors. The article doesn't clarify which is being talked about.

Consider that IBM's original BlueGene was 1M processor cores in 96 racks (and designed in 1997) and 1.6M cores seems in the range of what I'd expect.

Re:1.6M Processors, but only 1.6 TB memory? (1)

thpr (786837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709853)

I wouldn't. They explicitly choose algorithms that save memory and reduce communications requirements, even if that wastes CPU time. That is rational based on overall system power usage. It is also one of the design characteristics of IBM's BlueGene system, and I would expect that to hold for this system as well.

Aluminum foil hat. (1, Offtopic)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709371)

Besides managing stockpiles of rusty old nukes, Sequoia will also be used for research into astronomy, energy, the human genome and climate change, according to IBM.

It could also be used to search for "suspicious behaviour" by searching Government databases, Credit card companies' databases, credit bureau databases, Choicepoint's, telecommunication companies' databases, airlines, and any other firm that the Government bullies into giving access. Own a gun, buy some grow lights for your reef tank, and fertilizer for your spinach fields and that'lll be a searching and detainment because of the "War on Drugs", "War on Terror", and "War on [insert here]".

Will we be allowed any sort of control over our own information? I think not!

Re:Aluminum foil hat. (2, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709667)

It could also be used to search for "suspicious behaviour" by searching Government databases, Credit card companies' databases, credit bureau databases, Choicepoint's, telecommunication companies' databases, airlines, and any other firm that the Government bullies into giving access.

Well, that's not as paranoid as you might think. The case against is quite simply the publicity that's been given to this behemoth of a machine, so I really don't think it's too likely in this particular case.

However this is EXACTLY how you go about putting together a machine for intelligence purposes. The key to running an intelligence service is deniability at as many levels as possible, and keeping anyone from seeing the big picture.

So you comission some huge piece of hardware, with a benign-but-complex sounding (usually simulation) function.

Then you get the low leve software put together for the platform. If that can be done in modular fashion, so much the better. You don't mix the platform with the real world data during design.

At the final stages, and presumably in house, you can write your overlaying interface (which intelligence employees will use), and only then is the pure function of the suite necessarily made apparent.

Of course there are lots of people in the design process that have a notion of how things are being put together, what they will interface with, etc, who can take a stab at the function. And sure, everyone signs an NDA just because. However, since nobody sees all of it, and the big picture is never confirmed outside of a very small number of people, and nobody is going to break an NDA to talk about part of something that MAY have some function... you essentially reduce the risk of leaking your cababilities, system spec, and intention by a not insignificant amount.

Re:Aluminum foil hat. (2, Insightful)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710061)

I'm sorry, I don't believe it.

I think using a BlueGene for run-of-the-mill data processing would be a horrible waste of money. There's simply no need for things like a parallel filesystem or PB of RAM or low-latency interconnects. You want to "scale out" for distributed processing like you're talking about, not "scale up".

No, I'd bet intelligence gathering is done on Google-like processor farms.

Re:Aluminum foil hat. (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709675)

Yeah. Look at what Sweden uses their magnificent supercomputer for. Hopefully you guys won't go (further) down that road.

Re:Aluminum foil hat. (0, Troll)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710341)

Yeah. Look at Pirate bay.

XD

Re:Aluminum foil hat. (4, Insightful)

Rhys (96510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710011)

You don't need 20 petaflops to do that, you need a few tens of teraflops and a really really huge memory and really really fast IO. You'd do much better with some of the 1/4TB memory systems from Sun or IBM + spending a huge pile of money on SSDs than a real supercomputer.

The cost of the IO interconnect is a huge chunk of cash to sink into a supercomputer that you just don't need for that sort of tin foil hat application.

flops not flop (5, Funny)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709451)

flops = floating point operation per second
flop = Gigli

The article got it mostly right. It mentioned 500-teraflop once, but every other time it spelled flops correctly. Slashdot, on the other hand, fucked up the title, despite the fact that it pretty much just copied it from the article (poorly).

Re:flops not flop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709823)

flops = floating point operation per second
flop = Gigli

The article got it mostly right. It mentioned 500-teraflop once, but every other time it spelled flops correctly. Slashdot, on the other hand, fucked up the title, despite the fact that it pretty much just copied it from the article (poorly).

So you're going to say "I just bought a 2 petabytes hard drive" instead of "I just bought a 2 petabyte hard drive?"

Re:flops not flop (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709835)

Don't you blaspheme Ben Affleck in this home, young man!

Re:flops not flop (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710457)

So what does it mean when they talk about them Gigliflops?

so they can play raytraced quake mods (2, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709463)

Hopefully the government uses this magnificent tool wisely when it gets it in 2012.

Sounds like they are going to port the quake mods to the raytrace q4 engine.

Nice (0, Troll)

SirCarloz (1468215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709489)

Arent these the specs require by Windows 7 for home use ?

Re:Nice (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709819)

Not sure about Windows 7. But this could be the first computer that truly deserves a Vista Capable sticker.

Re:Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709987)

Fail

Yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709497)

It still does not reach the power of the worldwide google cluster.

Why always nuclear simulation? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709525)

Why always nuclear explosions simulation is the primary use for this type of computer? They do not have better uses like climate simulation, folding proteins or play crysis at full?

Re:Why always nuclear simulation? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709711)

Would you rather them set off nukes to study these things? The reason is that it takes a crapload of calculations to map out every reaction between molecules in an area measured in square miles. (and because of a test ban treaty we signed, we can't set off 'real' nukes to test anymore, so we have to simulate it')

Re:Why always nuclear simulation? (1)

joib (70841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710015)

Uh, do you know how many molecules there are in "square miles"? Do you know how many atoms you can calculate reactions between using both state of the art supercomputers and quantum chemistry tools? Do you know the scaling behavior of quantum chemistry methods? I mean, even with this new supercomputer, your estimate is off by ridiculously many orders of magnitude. And that being said, nuke simulation has little to do with quantum chemistry anyways.

Re:Why always nuclear simulation? (1)

ConanG (699649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710225)

The real question is why are we still designing new nukes? Do they go obsolete after a few years? What are they tweaking the designs for? Better yield? We can send the planet into a nuclear winter already with what we've got.

Re:Why always nuclear simulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709799)

Because simulated nuclear explosions are less harmful than actual nuclear explosions. Besides according to TFA, that's not the only thing it will be used for.

Re:Why always nuclear simulation? (1)

Troy Baer (1395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709849)

Why always nuclear explosions simulation is the primary use for this type of computer?

Uh, because it's paid for out of the NNSA [energy.gov] budget?

Re:Why always nuclear simulation? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710017)

Why always nuclear explosions simulation is the primary use for this type of computer?

Would you rather they test nuclear explosions for real?

Re:Why always nuclear simulation? (2, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710037)

Because funding for military expenditures is much easier to obtain than funding for climate research.

Because we can accurately model (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710083)

nuclear explosions whereas climate simulations don't have all the variables.

Actually I think they model the effects on decay in current nuclear weapons. Besides its not something I want them to physically test.

cores not cpu's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709541)

sorry eldavojohn, you got it completely wrong in your summary. From eweak article [eweek.com] :

"98,304 compute nodes and 1.6 million processing cores."

1000 CPU's per rack makes alot more sense.

"said" missiles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709657)

There are no missiles mentioned anywhere. Does anybody check these simple blurbs before submitting them?

Re:"said" missiles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26710203)

Hey, it's enough of a struggle just for the "editors" to figure out how to click the "Accept" button.

I just had an idea. The "editors" are border-line retarded. George W. Bush is border-line retarded. Slashdot should hire GWB! Pudge would finally have someone to hang around with and the "editorial" quality would slightly improve. Everybody wins!

Skynet anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709701)

With almost 1 billion transistors per microprocessor these days, this super computer with over 1 million microprocessors is exceeding the 100 trillion synaptic connections in an average human brain.

Re:Skynet anyone? (2, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710293)

Interesting. There's still the matter of the software. Currently, these machines are running straightforward simulation software. I don't see weather prediction resulting in sentience any time soon. The machines will probably have to grow considerably before the more flexible software subsystems like say the load-balancing code, achieves sentience, and destroys us all.

Fixed if for ya (2, Funny)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709781)

"...allowing forecasters to create local weather "events" less than one kilometer across, compared with 10 kilometers today and at speeds up to 40 times faster than current systems."

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO PROTECT US! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709937)

How else will the government keep track of the prisoners housed in their interment camps for the new menace directly threatening not only America, but the entire human population! There are people amongst us, who are an imminent threat to the stability and safety of everything we hold dear. If it weren't for the efforts of my boss, the new junior Senator from New York, we would be facing a disaster which you can't even begin to comprehend! I've seen the reports of what these people can do, and their numbers are growing every day. Without this computer, and its ability to analyze massive amounts of data and scanning millions of DNA records, it will be impossible for us to track them down and detain them before they rise up and destroy everything which we hold dear.

Who is building it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26709955)

China? IBM is laying off all the Americans and Europeans.

Unfortunate Typo (1)

IRIGHTI (831307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709969)

"The system will also act as a giant weather cock, allowing forecasters to predict local weather "events" less than one kilometer across,..." Hehe.

So let's see.... (5, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26709997)

- IBM is building a computer that will be functional in about 3.5 years.

- The power of this computer, in 3.5 years, will outshine every other supercomputer currently running today.

I should hope so! What's the point of taking 3.5 years to build the thing, if it's going to be 3.5 years out of date by the time they build it?

Heck, in 3.5 years, your desktop computer will be 4 times more powerful than anything currently running today, too.

Duuh.

Re:So let's see.... (1)

SirCarloz (1468215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710581)

Very true, AMD and intel cpus are already running at 6ghz with proper cooling , that'll be running on home computers no later than this year.

20 PFlops? Do the math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26710133)

Do the math

1.6 million core * 850 MHZ * 4 flops/cycle is only 5.44 PetaFlops , not 20 PetaFlops. How/why does the article say 20 PetaFlop, what else is going on?

Re:20 PFlops? Do the math (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710401)

Quad Cores?

Awesom3 fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26710239)

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Why does the government need it? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710367)

Why can't we let private industry own the computer and the government just purchase time on it? I for one would love to have CGI movies rendered in better-than-real time. This way, us the taxpayers don't have to pay for idle time.

Also, I can design a database using SQLite with a web front end for keeping track of uranium or anything else for that matter. As long as it is not measured in individual atoms, it'll run fine on my spare 2.4 Single core celeron. There is no need to update the database 100M times a second.

Re:Why does the government need it? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710685)

You could probably do that with an old copy of Filemaker Pro and a eeePC.

Sheesh. It's inventory management, not rocket science.

They've cracked RSA! (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710381)

Dan Brown told me so.

typing in top - 1 would be funny (1)

Ruede (824831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710619)

typing in top -> 1 would be funny

But.. (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710621)

...will it run Vista?

Simpler solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26710637)

Nice supercomputer and all. But drugs and a 5$ wrench would've worked better.

Yah, right.... (1)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26710671)

Hopefully the government uses this magnificent tool wisely...

Just like they do everything else...

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