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Australians Look To SkyNet For SKA Telescope

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the well-they're-actually-looking-down dept.

Australia 59

angry tapir writes "Key players behind the Australian-New Zealand joint bid to host the $2.1 billion Square Kilometre Array radio telescope will launch a grid Cloud computing initiative by September with the aim of harvesting the computing and storage power of desktops worldwide."

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you know the drill (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236420)

I, for one, welcome our new telescopic overlords.

Re:you know the drill (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236650)

So... They are reinventing Seti@Home? I guess there is a news here, but where?

bitcoin (0)

android.dreamer (1948792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236710)

I guess I won't be able to earn some bitcoin [1] from this? Oh well! Worth finding aliens, but to be honest, quantum communication is probably the best way to communicate with advanced civilizations. Our best chance of finding alien life at the moment is probably bacterial on Enceladus [2].

In 2005, the Cassini spacecraft performed several close flybys of Enceladus, revealing the moon's surface and environment in greater detail. In particular, the probe discovered a water-rich plume venting from the moon's south polar region. This discovery, along with the presence of escaping internal heat and very few (if any) impact craters in the south polar region, shows that Enceladus is geologically active today. Moons in the extensive satellite systems of gas giants often become trapped in orbital resonances that lead to forced libration or orbital eccentricity; proximity to the planet can then lead to tidal heating of the satellite's interior, offering a possible explanation for the activity.

Enceladus is one of only three outer solar system bodies (along with Jupiter's moon Io and Neptune's moon Triton) where active eruptions have been observed. Analysis of the outgassing suggests that it originates from a body of sub-surface liquid water, which along with the unique chemistry found in the plume, has fueled speculations that Enceladus may be important in the study of astrobiology

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin [wikipedia.org]

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enceladus_(moon) [wikipedia.org]

Re:bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236842)

quantum communication is probably the best way to communicate with advanced civilizations

This is almost certainly false. The kind of low temperatures and system isolation needed to prevent decoherence makes quantum information very fragile. An alien civilization will definitely not get the interpretation of a message right (or at all) the first time, so such a message needs to be durable enough for their scientists to examine. Quantum systems do not have this property.

Re:you know the drill (1)

Stuarticus (1205322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236940)

Haven't these guys heard of suspend/hibernate, does anyone leave their computer on all the time anymore unless it's actually a server and has something to do? If they do they should really be asking themselves why.

Re:you know the drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239904)

A more important question is: Why have a computer if it doesn't have anything to do?

Re:you know the drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236926)

Not I. With Australia's anti-privacy policies, they can stay far away from my desktop.

The Skankaroos (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236428)

SKA [youtube.com]

Re:The Skankaroos (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237098)

$2.1 billion for Ska? That's just Madness.

Re:The Skankaroos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237860)

Bah, worry tomorrow. Today Lets Go Bowling.

Your favourite troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236438)

Slashdot used to be the premier place for trolling before newfag sites like 4chan and reddit showed up. If you don't know what Hot Grits are or why BSD is dead, you are not a real troll.

Also Gnome 3 and Unity has made Linux users commit suicide.

Shut up vlad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236464)

You are a wannabe troll

Can we quit the Skynet references? (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236446)

Can we quit the Skynet references? Please?

We've had distributed computer networks for decades now. We've used them for scientific research for as long as we have had them. "Cloud" computing is just marketing nonsense. Not every distributed network is some global monster that's going to go sentient and send our killer robots. When so many stories mention the Terminator series, we all sound like pathetic geeky children with too much time on our hands and no sense of originality. Doubly so when it's in the title. Is there a new Terminator film or series just out or something?

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (1)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236478)

Can we quit the Skynet references? Please?

We've had distributed computer networks for decades now. We've used them for scientific research for as long as we have had them. "Cloud" computing is just marketing nonsense. Not every distributed network is some global monster that's going to go sentient and send our killer robots. When so many stories mention the Terminator series, we all sound like pathetic geeky children with too much time on our hands and no sense of originality. Doubly so when it's in the title. Is there a new Terminator film or series just out or something?

...or based on the audience of /. it's simply an attempt at humour, and should be treated as such?

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236964)

Well, the Terminator recently admitted to being someone's father, which caused a knot in the Sci-Fi space-time continuum...

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238296)

why sir, is that a gordion knot in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237324)

When so many stories mention the Terminator series, we all sound like pathetic geeky children with too much time on our hands and no sense of originality

All together now... You must be new here

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237378)

If you read the article (I know, I know), you find that "skynet" is what the researchers are calling it. But there's a good chance that they're also slashdotters, and share the same childish sense of humour.

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236604)

Yeah, seriously. I mean, in this article we've also got the SKA telescope! That should be ripe with third-wave references!

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237666)

This is Madness! Can't we take One Step Beyond all this nonsense?

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (3, Funny)

zaxus (105404) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238246)

No Doubt third wave references will show up. That's the Impression that I Get, anyway...

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (1)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237322)

Yeah, skynet references have jumped the shark...

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237820)

Jumping the shark has jumped the shark.

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237428)

Can we quit the Skynet references? Please?

Not every distributed network is some global monster that's going to go sentient and send our killer robots.

...but only Skynet is going to go sentient and send out killer robots to the past!

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237464)

>> Not every distributed network is some global monster that's going to go sentient and send our killer robots.

That may be true, but the problem is that we can't easily discern which ones will. Therefore, in the interest of Mankind's survival, we distrust them all, "cloud" and "peer-to-peer" alike.

            -dZ.

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237530)

Who peed in your wheaties this morning? Some people just want to have a little fun. Who are you to tell them that they can't bring a little humor to the day?

No sense of originality, you say? Let's see you do something better. What? You can't? Then shut the hell up.

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237744)

Sorry, we can't. This is Slashdot where dead memes go to die.... again and again and again.
 
Of course, no one cares that it makes the site look like a total joke to all but the G4 crowd.

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36244442)

oh hai, btw the caek is a lie

Re:Can we quit the Skynet references? (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237816)

Only someone working for Skynet would deny the existence of Skynet. Nice try, comrade.

.

BOINC (3, Interesting)

Arador Aristata (1973216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236458)

"harvesting the computing and storage power of desktops worldwide." Oh cool, you mean like BOINC has been doing for ages......

Re:BOINC (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237274)

Oh cool, you mean like BOINC has been doing for ages......

If they've got any sense, they'll use BOINC as the platform. (Remember, the story's been filtered by know-nothing journalists.)

Re:BOINC (2)

Push Latency (930039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237590)

If I understand correctly, this project would use Nereus-V [ox.ac.uk] instead of BOINC. The former transmits data through a Web browser, where the latter does so using the BOINC client. I can't say more because I don't really see how those are much different at the end of the day, but with Nereus, you connect to projects over HTTP, which they argue is easier for users than launching a pre-configured native client.

FORGET grid computing (3, Funny)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236460)

we must make fondling@home available to a wider population

Re:FORGET grid computing (2)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236572)

fondling@home is already available to a wide, wide population... it's what the internet is for, after all.

Re:FORGET grid computing (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237872)

we must make fondling@home available to a wider population

Supposedly it has the only truly intuitive interface.

This is fucking Gay (-1, Flamebait)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236470)

I saw this on the fricking Australian channel before it showed up here. Everyone knows Australians are stupid. (just ask a random Russian on the U-Tube channel). Therefore since Australians figured out that there was such a thing as a Square Kilometer Array radio telescope before slashdot did, it logically means that Slashdotians are even stupdier than Australians. Stupidity is gay, therefore this story is gay. QED.

-You can't beat logic

Re:This is fucking Gay (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236500)

what's that make me? i'm australian and a /.er

Re:This is fucking Gay (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236568)

i think one reverses the other, i'm not sure what the modifier is for being actually gay though.

Re:This is fucking Gay (-1, Flamebait)

harrytuttle777 (1720146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236594)

Duhh. That makes you stupid and gay, but not as stupid as someone who is not from Australia, but still on /. . At least you figured out the news story before ./ did.

-There is no such think as intelligence, just varying degrees of stupidity.

forget space, where's...... (2)

the simurgh (1327825) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236570)

i say we stop this space watching crap and get down to whats really important. WHERE THE HELL ARE THE PERSONAL JET PACKS???

Re:forget space, where's...... (2)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236582)

In SPACE. Where we are LOOKING FOR THEM.

Re:forget space, where's...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236950)

Space space wanna go to space. Space. Space. Hey. Hey. Hey lady. Hey lady. Space.

Not cloud computing (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236644)

Come on, get your buzzwords right. Cloud computing is when much of the processing is done on remote servers (the "cloud"). Distributed computing is when the processing is done by ordinary desktops worldwide. That's what this is. The article makes this mistake several times, but it's not entirely their fault. The system is called the "Nereus V Cloud" [ox.ac.uk] despite clearly being a distributed computing program.

Re:Not cloud computing (1)

qc_dk (734452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237176)

I completely agree with you that this buzzword bingo has to stop.
However you seem to also have messed up the terminology a bit. :)

Cloud computing refers to provisioning of resources across the network normally using virtual machines. You retain "full" control of the machine. Cloud computing could be used for distributed computing.

Grid computing is the connection of supercomputers across the world. This involves things like handling access rights, policies, accounting etc.

Parallel computation involves the computation of a problem spread out over several processors.

Distributed computing is like parallel computation, but distributed across several machines. It therefore has to take into account things such as network latencies, machine failures etc.

Volunteer Computing involves harnessing the power of resources donated by the public. This can be a form of distributed computing, but not necessarily. BOINC is a good example of this.

Their project obviously falls into the last category, and has nothing to do with either Grid or Cloud. Their main difference from BOINC is the ability to run directly in the browser. This is hardly a new idea, and I remember projects like this from at least back in 2003. As far as I can see from the documentation, software such as MiG has been able to do all they do and much more since 2005. I'm a bit disappointed that Oxford Uni is not more innovative and get the terminology wrong, but it is the Physics department so let's cut them some slack. :)

Disclaimer: I'm a researcher in distributed computing particularly Grid and Volunteer Computing.

Re:Not cloud computing (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237644)

Apart from that, there are no clouds in space.

BANGLADESHI ACTRESS (0)

SoftwareBd (2159740) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236718)

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The other county in the bid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237246)

The other county in the bid is South Africa. I wonder whether the cloud computing service would still be available if Australia/NZ win the bid? Or is this the nail in the coffin of the South African bid? In terms of astronomy and vast empty spaces, SA's on top of the game, but in terms of computing and bandwidth, they just can't compete. Well played!

www.bananadvd.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237262)

thank you.

SKA (1)

Nigel Stepp (446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237308)

The telescope was originally going to be called "Save Ferris", but they couldn't work out the acronym.

Im happy.. (2)

philmarcracken (1412453) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237332)

Since the SKA was going to be built close to my town of Geraldton(300kms is close in aussie terms) we got non-monopoly controlled backhaul fibre at our exchange quicker. Its also going to be part of the FTTH network eventually so two birds with 1 cable.. Not that last mile is going in the ground anytime soon but hey, progress.

SKA telescope? (1)

Raging Bool (782050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237658)

What complete and utter madness....

These guys.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237664)

Sigh

As someone who goes to the ever-so underfunded school of CS at UWA, it's not fun to see this stuff at all. ICRAR, iVEC and WASP (to a lesser extent) are the trifecta of magic-budget cosmic supercomputer circlejerking who have bought and never used some very nice pieces of supercomputing equipment. There's a GPU cluster of tesla rackmounts that was installed recently which is left depreciating since nobody's using them.

Flights of fancy in terms of ideas, a budget that appears out of thin air and it's a minute walk away from where I have to study in adversity. It's like watching that douche who hypes himself up and somehow actually gets rich from doing nothing.

Thanks, ICRAR.. it's not like I could have had the lecturers who were let go a few years ago with that money instead of watching you plunder it.

Well, it sounds like this SKA telescope.... (2)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237826)

...is going (sunglasses) one step beyond.

.

Re:Well, it sounds like this SKA telescope.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239454)

You're all set to propose to the woman, you have the suave Casanova script down pat, you've reserved a special table in the metropolis' many romantic eating place but you're weak in a single aspect - the engagement rings [ritani.com] . Though many brides-to-be compliment their grooms in acquiring this one crucial token of love, it wouldn't hurt to as well bring alongside this valuable article when a person go ring-shopping.

harvest my computing power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237868)

Am i getting paid for being harvested? if not, screw you!!!

yay it mentions Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239058)

I am so proud. I want to post it on slashdot so others can see what a wonderful country Australia is.

you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36240830)

could buy a lot of hard drives for 2 billion dollars.

So then... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36244848)

A megalomaniac consortium of robots is going to give Australia a telescope that plays Jamaican music? I'm confused...

SKA is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246548)

No one listens to SKA anymore.

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