Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Putin Reportedly Comments On T-Platform Supercomputer Flap

timothy posted about a year ago | from the when-he's-not-off-flying-with-squirrels dept.

Government 49

Nerval's Lobster writes "In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security added T-Platforms' businesses in Germany, Russia and Taiwan to the 'Entity List,' which includes those believed to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. Commerce felt, according to the notice, that T-Platforms may be illegally assisting the Russian military and/or its nuclear program. In the meantime, Russian president Vladimir Putin has reportedly weighed in on the T-Platforms question. 'That's right. The use of political levers for unfair competition,' Putin said, according to RBTH.ru. 'Our European colleagues are independent people and they claim they want to work with us in certain spheres, yet they act as though they are absolutely dependent and unable to make their own decision. Is that so?' It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off."

cancel ×

49 comments

Perfect! (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43611941)

What's a matter Putin? You poutin'? [fumaga.com]

But seriously, he is right. I just had to do the meme because the situation was a perfect set up.

Re:Perfect! (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43611981)

He's right? You have access to the US's security reports that have cleared Putin, thus showing it is mundane trade protectionism?

Re:Perfect! (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43612089)

He's right? You have access to the US's security reports that have cleared Putin, thus showing it is mundane trade protectionism?

Actually, HPC is my field of specialty, worked in it for more than 20 years and embargoes have been a part of it ever since the beginning. They stopped being relevant with the advent of beowulf clusters when COTS hardware could be scaled up basically as big as your budget allowed. Someone will probably come along and point out that clusters aren't appropriate for all workloads, but in terms of anything "dangerous" they are good enough.

Re:Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612189)

The issue is that european businesses/governments that were IN THE PROCESS of buying russian supercomputers suddenly "changed their mind".
It was obvious that US & EU political pressure was being put on companies to NOT BUY russian made supercomputers. It's effectively a type of protectionism without getting into trouble with the WTO by using tariffs.

Re:Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43614933)

Less economical architecture, finite budget, lower simulation accuracy, higher uncertainty in the functionality of current and planned deployed nuclear weapons.
  Sounds good to me.

Pink Elephant (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#43611949)

It is there. It is pink. It is BIG. But no one wants to talk about him....or her?

Re:Pink Elephant (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year ago | (#43612379)

You're thinking of the "gorilla in the corner". "Seeing pink elephants" is a euphemism for drunken hallucination, caused by alcoholic hallucinosis or delirium tremens. [Wiki]
Unless you meant Putin is a vodka swilling Russian who's off his rocker.

Re:Pink Elephant (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43612567)

To be fair, he may have mixed it up with the elephant in the room. [wikipedia.org]

frist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43611967)

yeh putin

I read it as chiding Europeans (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43612003)

The summary says:

It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off.

I read him as chiding the Europeans for giving in to U.S. pressure rather than being willing to act independently, i.e. letting the U.S. Commerce Department's decision dissuade them from buying from T-Platforms, rather than making their own decision.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612221)

Riight..

because the EU isn't sore about Gazprom leverage over their economies in any form or fashion and couldn't use any extra bargaining chips in russian trade discussions

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612471)

I wonder what U.S. company will be blacklisted in Russia, or maybe europe will have to pay for what the U.S. government did.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43612941)

Well I imagine Standard Oil is pretty much frozen out of Russian Gas and Oil market....

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43612917)

That's the way I read it as well.

But he fails to realize that the money (and access to technology) that these euro colleagues may lose by falling into disfavor of US Commerce exceeds what he is willing to pay for their cooperation.

Because Putin took such a light-handed and round-about way of chiding these "colleagues" suggests he had to say something to the issue, but didn't want to piss them off. Most likely because there is some back channel cooperation going on which is not visible to US Commerce.

As for "Political Levers for unfair competition" everybody does that, and Russian trade decisions are felt in Europe as well as ex-Russian/Soviet states like Georgia on everything from vegetables to wine to gas.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43613341)

But he fails to realize that the money (and access to technology) that these euro colleagues may lose by falling into disfavor of US Commerce exceeds what he is willing to pay for their cooperation.

That's the general perception, just as it is the general perception that you "need" windows+office to succeed as an enterprise. At least in the latter case, turns out that's not the case.

I'm not prepared to argue the former with numbers but have had a feeling for some time that it just might be the case, too, that here in Europe we're still far too focused on the touted benefits to our relationship with America[tm], and are blind to the already considerable and mounting cost to try and stay in this rather treacherous and quite abusive "friend"'s good books, or at least out of its lists of badness.

If Europe actually had the spine to, say, make like China and look out for our own interest first, the numbers we'll see will be quite a bit different, and may well not stack up in the USoA's favour. In fact, the USoA may not be able to add all of Europe to its lists without marginalising itself.

Then again the EUrocats are far too busy congratulating themselves with this wonderfully wobbly house of cards they built, while running around like headless chickens to prevent it from keeling over. Thus, I expect Putin's gentle wake up call will have no impact.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43616165)

Who's interests? Germany or Greece?

I expect Europe will resolve that their traditional way. The question will be moot. Germany or southern greater Germany isn't much of a conflict.

I'm fully expecting the Euro to collapse and capital flight to save the financial day in America. I'm just afraid of the horrible mess you Europeans will make of things once your entitled masses are really hungry.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (2)

FunkyLich (2533348) | about a year ago | (#43618461)

Interesting thoughts, which are very bound to welcome "us and them" way of thinking. I am among them whom you called "you Europeans" and the very next decisecond after reading your post I thought: "Wow! Thus come the words from that same country (maybe the one and only in the World) which since the day it was conceived has always been in deep deficit of brain over population. The population in itself is continuously imported and it has NEVER EVER been able to sustain itself.
  Horrible mess of things eh? Like what... software patents? Nationwide Law forbidding human stem cell research? Creationism in schools? Presidents who "are in missions assigned from God himself" Da Blues Brother's style? Imprisonments for posting a twitter message? Come on, don't be rediculous. This is not a mess, it is being orderly.

Mark me a troll if you like, but we have a saying here which goes: "A fish starts to rot at the head".

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43621105)

Interesting take on brain drain from Europe/Asia to America.

Our take is Europe is full of slothful stupid pussies as all those with ambition and brains moved over here long ago. No wonder your so trusting of/dependent on your governments.

As you say a fish rots from the head down. Europe is fully rotten and its institutions corrupt. Expect another continental war behind the Euro falling apart. Yobs might make decent soldiers.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625177)

"Whose", and that'd be "and", not "or". That's more or less the idea behind the EU, you know.

Though regarding the euro (which isn't quite all the EU is up to, mind) I'd agree with those arguing Greece oughtn't've been allowed in, in the first place. But I digress. That really isn't the point.

The point is that the EU is trying far too hard to play nice with a party that isn't interested in playing nice itself, at all. That is more or less what Putin said, and I said him saying that would be ignored by EU bigwigs. Parallels with your poorly spelled attacks ment as counter to observations on your government's international policies left as an exercise. Alternatively I refer you to "Amerika" by Rammstein.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43616335)

I don't know what the true situation is and probably never will, but I do know it has been personally pissing Putin off for years - remeber when he bit the head of Dell's CEO at a press conference for saying that Dell could "help russia"? He went on the attack, saying "Russia doesn't need help with computers" and then started rattling off the impressive history and achivements of Russia's home grown computer industry. Putin may not be everyone's idea of a great leader but he has certainly restored some of russia's national self-respect after the economically devastating collapse of the Soviet Union.

Re:I read it as chiding Europeans (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43618153)

He can chide all he wants. Given that Russia is one of the most protectionist states on earth it's hard to have sympathy.

I worked for a British engineering firm a few years back and getting anything into Russia was hell. They'd stall our shipments of equipment at port for months and months preventing us getting paid, then sometimes let it through, and other times just refuse it, and sometimes even seize (steal) it.

So you'll have to excuse me if I can't help but feel it's getting it's just desserts here. Maybe if Putin thinks it's a problem he should looking at tidying his own backyard up first given that he's grand dictator of that nation and can do what he wants and has done for many years, which also implies that if it's difficult to do trade with Russia that he's also responsible for it being that way.

To put numbers on it, Russia ranks 162nd out of 185 in terms of ease of trading across borders, and is the 112th worst country in the world in terms of ease of doing business:

http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings [doingbusiness.org]

Even China is an absolutely breeze for doing business with compared to Russia. Honestly, we should do more of this until it's as difficult for Russia to trade with the West, as it is the West to trade with Russia, maybe then Putin will wake up to the stupidity of it, but much of Europe is dependent on his oil and gas, so we don't.

Either way, he can't whinge when this sort of thing bites him on the ass given that it's exactly what he does to most other countries in the world that try to trade in his backyard.

editorial bias (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612033)

Am I the only one here who is sick and tired of Slashdot story submitters plowing as much commentary into the summary as possible?

This is barely a news site anymore.

Re:editorial bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612277)

What did you expect? Why give us the fact when they'd rather shape opinion? It's not like this is fox. It's not fair, not balanced, and they'd rather you didn't decide for yourself.

Re:editorial bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612967)

Still, biased commentary in the summary is a step above the common copy/paste summaries or the dreaded "was that even English?" summaries.

On the other sarcasm, the only way you'll get an unbiased report of what Vladdy said is if you can find some mechanism to get yourself or a recording device to the actual time/space event where/when he made his comment.

a bit late (3, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43612061)

"T-Platforms may be illegally assisting the Russian military and/or its nuclear program."
Oh no! We can't let Russia develop a nuclear program!

Re:a bit late (2, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43612155)

Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation. And given Germany is in NATO and Taiwan is heavily dependent on US aid in order remain independent from China, it makes perfect sense that the US would consider assistance of companies in their countries to Russian weapons development contrary to US (and therefore NATO and Taiwanese) security.

Re:a bit late (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43612533)

Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation.

And if the Russians won't be able to perform proper and accurate computer simulations of their weapon designs, the only net result will be that when nuke eventually hits you, it will be somewhat over-engineered and somewhat dirtier than would be the case otherwise.

Re:a bit late (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612597)

Sure, ignore efficiency in deployment and cost of upkeep. Keeping an adversary's tools/weapons more expensive than yours is a smart strategy.

Re:a bit late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43617779)

Suppose it means you can keep twice as many in deployment as your adversary. Then you can blow up the earth forty times over, while they can only blow it up twenty times over, for the same cost.

Yes, sir, this is indeed a fine and sound mitigation strategy.

Re:a bit late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615005)

Or they would be less likely to employ new weapons offensively because of greater uncertainty regarding proper detonation. If they are unable to design new weapons with new materials with adequate certainty, they would manufacture with new materials and old designs, but since nuclear weapons are incredibly sensitive to functional impurities in critical materials, it may not be possible to build a new weapon which has the same certainty regarding functioning as older weapons which have now degraded.

Re:a bit late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615619)

I am sorry, but you don't understand the military people. The uncertainty for them means deploying more nukes.

If you are not sure if one 20 megaton nuke is enough you deploy two or three. We want countries to manufacture less nukes rather than more. So yes, it is better for everybody, including the US if Russia have a new and improved 10 megaton nuke than keeps or manufactures 2 old design 20 megaton ones.

Re:a bit late (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43615199)

"The only net result"?? Ah, I see you are a nuclear weapons physicist, please elaborate! Particularly how it's not possible the bomb could be less effective or not properly detonate at all at worst case, and take much longer to simulate and deploy at best?

Re:a bit late (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43615235)

And I suppose I should have added... when the nuke hits you, why on earth would it matter if it was "over-engineered"? If Russia hits the US with a nuke it's pretty much the end of the world within 15 minutes, so personally I'd prefer they make sure they get the job done as quickly as possible.

Re:a bit late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612547)

So Russia shouldn't be allowed to do what we do already? It's not as if they don't also have super computers working on this anyway.

Re:a bit late (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43615155)

Of course Russia should be "allowed" to do it. But why does that mean the US has to support it? Ford has a right to make cars, but that doesn't mean GM is required to support them.

Re:a bit late (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43613095)

Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation. And given Germany is in NATO and Taiwan is heavily dependent on US aid in order remain independent from China, it makes perfect sense that the US would consider assistance of companies in their countries to Russian weapons development contrary to US (and therefore NATO and Taiwanese) security.

The thing here is that T-Platforms is a Russian Supercomputer company [t-platforms.com] . They have plenty of capabilities all on their own. The US is worried about western companies assisting the Russians, but also worried about having these very capable Russian systems installed in sensitive western computational facilities.

Everything T-Platforms install is turn-key, meaning that they really don't sell off the shelf. They come in and build/install custom high-power systems on your site. There would, in all probability, be some reverse technology transfer leakage and espionage opportunity that the US is not eager to see happen. Therefore they don't really want western companies installing this gear.

I'm sure they don't want western companies assisting T-Platforms in improving their product either, but I didn't see that is the major issue here. Putin is whining about loss of sales, (publicly at least).

Re:a bit late (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year ago | (#43616665)

Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation.

The nuclear test ban treaty is a voluntary one, and signatories can withdraw from it, same as any other treaty.

And guess what Russia would do if it can't rely primarily on computer simulation for its nuclear weapon development? Hint, it won't stop developing nukes...

Re:a bit late (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43622715)

This is all about economic sanctions of a Russian company, anyway, why would Russia want to compound that with economic sanctions against all of their industry? Doesn't make sense. They make SO much more money today with an open but corrupt capitalist economy than they did under Communism (Putin alone is reported to be worth $40B) that not getting the technical aid of one computer company is not going to make them sacrifice any of that.

Re:a bit late (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43618089)

all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation

And obviously NATO/the US has no access to powerful computers for such simulations. Oh, wait...

Personally, I think that while there are nuclear weapons in existence, the more countries that have them the better.

Re:a bit late (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43612191)

In Soviet Russia, nuclear program develop you!

politically motivated translation? (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year ago | (#43612351)

It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off.

Seems likely to me that Putin didn't actually say this in English. He said something in his native tongue and we are being told that this is the English translation. Could it be that the translation was distorted for political purposes?

Re:politically motivated translation? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43612449)

Translating "American" as "European" would be a heck of an error. It's more likely that whoever wrote TFS is just dumb. Putin is shaming the Europeans for bending to the whims of the US Department of Commerce. Nothing odd about it.

Re:politically motivated translation? (2)

ch0knuti (994541) | about a year ago | (#43613007)

Here's a link to a Russian article on the matter. http://ria.ru/economy/20130430/935405025.html [ria.ru]

According to the article he states that:
1. This ban is a clear example of unfair competition. (using political means)
2. That they (the Russians) will have to work with the Europeans so that they can make their own independent decisions.

Something else intersting from that article is that the Minister of Economic development stated that t-platforms is competing with American and Chinese companies in the European market. I consider this strange since the US mentioned Taiwan but there is no pressure against Chinese companies.

Use of political levers for unfair competition? (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#43612541)

As if Putin has any room to complain. Gazprom? Look...a squirrel!

Odd? Really? (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | about a year ago | (#43612613)

"It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off."

Is it really? He's commenting on the fact that after the sanction, the company is barred from doing business with him. He's framing it as though they themselves have to make the choice to cut off business. As if the sanction was just an idea carried out through legal concepts held by the US government and executed through treaties with foreign governments. Perhaps they make this choice because they don't like having their bank accounts, their credit, their business shut off from the banking system? And he's blaming them for succumbing to pressure.

Re:Odd? Really? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43613323)

He's commenting on the fact that after the sanction, the company is barred from doing business with him.

What company is barred from doing business with Putin/Russia? You may want to check your facts.

FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43612869)

Rome will tolerate no rivals.

Putin whining again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43615277)

I remember reading how Putin told us how his mother raised him never to complain. Seems to have worked. We rarely hear him complain. Instead he whines. Too bad his mother didn't slap the shit out of him when he got whiny.

mutually assured denial (1)

garun (1479865) | about a year ago | (#43618721)

just look at recent denial of purchase of Petrovax www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2013/04/19/russia-rejects-abbotts-bid-for.html it seems to be symetrcally linked response from US
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...