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When Lofar Meets Stella

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the hill-people-rejoice-aloud dept.

Space 123

Roland Piquepaille writes "The LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) telescope is a new IT radio-telescope which will use about 20,000 simple radio antennae when it's completed in 2008. At this time, it will cover an area with a diameter of 360 kilometers centered over the Netherlands. Its small radio antennae will detect radio wavelengths up to 30 meters, and because the ionosphere can bend some of these radio waves, the Lofar images might be somewhat blurry. So all the information captured by these antennae will be digitized and sent to a computing facility at a rate of 22 terabits/second today, and almost 50 terabits/second in 2010. This is the reason why Lofar needs Stella, an IBM supercomputer installed recently in Groningen, also in the Netherlands, to process signals from up to 13 billion light years from Earth. Stella consists of 12,000 PowerPC microprocessors and has a computing power of 27.4 teraflops. This overview contains more details and a picture about the Lofar-Stella interaction."

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123 comments

f the gnaa (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402427)

fuck the gnaa

Re:f the gnaa (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402442)

ah ha bitches!!!!!!!!!!!!

fp (0, Offtopic)

mediacrat (852879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402430)

fp 4 t4c rip klerck

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402457)

You flail it. Fuck the GNAA!!!!!!!!!!!!! No one cares you ass-clowns.

Hmm. (1)

EverStoned (620906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402437)

But can they control the weather or blow up the earth with it?

/HAARP [rotten.com]

I dare you to read this! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402439)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

Re:I dare you to read this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402770)

Well, like it said, here posts: A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

Re:I dare you to read this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402938)

That's not funny. My uncle died that way.

Re:I dare you to read this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402956)

-_- ... For the love of God... How you people manage to turn on your computers is beyond me. How about this: I'ma go kill off an old lady tonight and chant "Klaatu Veranda Nixon" while I do it. Then I'm going to post it to an internet message board, and anyone who reads that and THEN falls for any of these stupid fucking chain-message schemes will get ass-raped by the ghost of President Richard M. Nixon that night... how about that?

Re:I dare you to read this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402958)

by a homicidal murderer

Just to clarify, how is this different than a non-homicidal murderer?

Re:I dare you to read this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12405457)

Just to clarify, how is this different than a non-homicidal murderer?


A non-homicidal murderer is someone who has murdered somebody in the past, or is a murderer by nature in some way, but at the moment isn't commiting a homicide.

Re:I dare you to read this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403626)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

(These things are so stupid, but... you never know...)

Re:I dare you to read this! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12404209)

A girl died in some year of natural causes. A gravedigger buried her in the ground after she was dead. The gravedigger chanted "Yua arastu pidmor ahna." And it was as true then as it is today.

(If you don't get it, sound it out phonetically.)

--dg

OOooo (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402444)

Stella consists of 12,000 PowerPC microprocessors and has a computing power of 27.4 teraflops.

I love it when slashdot talks dirty.

Re:OOooo (3, Funny)

ShaniaTwain (197446) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402570)

sent to a computing facility at a rate of 22 terabits/second today, and almost 50 terabits/second in 2010y

"she held his throbbing baud close to hers and their pulse quickened 9600, 56k, 128.. faster,faster.. 22 terabits! Oh MY GOD! 50 terabits per second! Data erupting everywhere."

excuse me, I'm just going to go wash up..

Re:OOooo (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403128)

Better wash the ether off my keyboard when you're done.

Ewwww

Re:OOooo (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402764)


**Bender stands in a desolate building on robot planet, reading robot circuit board pr0n scraps**

"OOooooh yeah! You've been a naughty girl haven't you?!"

Leela; "Bender is that you?

**Bender stashes robot pr0n for later** /obligatory futurama

Re:OOooo (1)

hwoolery (443338) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405069)

Same here... I was wondering how Stella was gonna get her groove back...

Money!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402447)

You should definitly click on the link so Roland can sell more ads.

Re:Money!! (1)

helioquake (841463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402731)


Does it really matter if you adblock it? I have www.primidi.com blocked completely and when I click it only loads its text, not anything ad-like.

Or am I naive to think that's not good enough to stop letting someone use slashdot for making profit?

Re:Money!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12404605)

The kicker is that at this rate, Roland Piquepaille is bound to be made a Slashdot editor. It follows the formula of every MUD I've ever played:
  1. A good resource is started by people who care about it.
  2. Morons start moving in.
  3. The originating admins lose interest in the resource as it's primary purpose is to entertain morons.
  4. The originating admins stop working on the resource, but won't give over control to someone else because it's their baby.
  5. The good players/posters leave because there's nobody looking out for them.
  6. The good admins (mostly) leave because all their original friends left.
  7. The good admins that are left have to fill admin positions from the pool of losers left.
  8. The resource stagnates because the losers working on it are morons, and the good admins left don't have the option of getting rid of them now.
In the end, most MUDs will follow a cycle like this and end up horrible shells of what they could've been. Played by losers and staffed by idiots, they rot from the inside out and attract more of the same losers, because of how knowledge of the MUD follows word of mouth.

The only reason the Slashdot editors are here is that they're making money at this, and in fact, Slashdot isn't quite so far down the curve as a lot of people seem to think. A good many people still read and post here, and intelligent folks always leak information when they talk. MUDs don't survive though; they don't generate revenue and so the cycle holds unfortunately true.

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402450)

Stella doesn't want a lofar [reference.com] !

Who Is Roland PickPail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402463)

someone here is bound to know?

Re:Who Is Roland PickPail? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402471)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

I shat the sheriff (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402468)

...but I didn't poop the deputy!

Re:I shat the sheriff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402484)

Now that was funny.........

From Piqy's stupid Blogvertisement (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402472)



When Lofar Meets Stella

The LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) telescope is a new IT radio-telescope which will use about 20,000 simple radio antennae when it's completed in 2008. At this time, it will cover an area with a diameter of 360 kilometers centered over the Netherlands. Its small radio antennae will detect radio wavelengths up to 30 meters, and because the ionosphere can bend some of these radio waves, the Lofar images might be somewhat blurry. So all the information captured by these antennae will be digitized and sent to a computing facility at a rate of 22 terabits/second today, and almost 50 terabits/second in 2010. This is the reason why Lofar needs Stella, an IBM supercomputer installed recently in Groningen, also in the Netherlands, to process signals from up to 13 billion light years from Earth. Stella consists of 12,000 PowerPC microprocessors and has a computing power of 27.4 teraflops. Read more...

Let's start with the opening paragraphs of an article from New Scientist, "Huge radio telescope boasts supercomputer brain."

One of the world's most powerful supercomputers is to be the brain of a revolutionary new radio telescope called LOFAR. The telescope will look back to the time of the very first stars, map our galaxy's magnetic field and perhaps discover the mysterious sources of high-energy cosmic rays.

Instead of one large rigid dish, LOFAR will use thousands of simple radio antennae. Their signals will be woven together at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands by STELLA, the new supercomputer, which was launched on Tuesday and is unofficially ranked as the third most powerful on the planet.

LOFAR needs its own supercomputer because it aims to detect radio wavelengths of up to 30 metres. Such long-wave radio images are blurry, and the only way to make them sharper is to build a vast array of detectors spread over hundreds of kilometres.

Now, let's move to the General Information section of the LOFAR website for more specific information.

LOFAR is the first telescope of this new sort, using an array of simple omni-directional antennas instead of mechanical signal processing with a dish antenna. The electronic signals from the antennas are digitised, transported to a central digital processor, and combined in software to emulate a conventional antenna. The cost is dominated by the cost of electronics and will follow Moore's law, becoming cheaper with time and allowing increasingly large telescopes to be built.

So LOFAR is an IT-telescope. The antennas are simple enough but there are a lot of them - 25000 in the full LOFAR design. To make radio pictures of the sky with adequate sharpness, these antennas are to be arranged in clusters that are spread out over an area of ultimately 350 km in diameter. (In phase 1 that is currently funded 15000 antenna's and maximum baselines of 100 km will be built).

Below is a general diagram of the LOFAR-STELLA interaction picked from the System section of the LOFAR website (Credit: LOFAR).

A diagram of the LOFAR environment

Details are scarce about the STELLA supercomputer, built by IBM using some of its Blue Gene/L technology. Reuters gave some information last week in "Europe's Biggest Supercomputer Eavesdrops on Stars."

Running on 12,000 PowerPC microprocessors, the computer can execute 27.4 Teraflops, or 27.4 trillion floating-point operations, per second.

The new computer will consume 150 Kilowatts of power -- the equivalent of 2,500 60-watt light bulbs -- which is considered economical for a supercomputer, IBM said.

If you understand Dutch, you also can read this news release about this supercomputer.

Now we have to wait to see if the happy couple of Lofar and Stella can produce images as beautiful as Hubble gave us during the last decade.

Sources: Various websites

+1 Informative, -1 Roland! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402562)

Since you're the only one who posts Roland "articles," why not come clean and tell us what kind of a cut you're getting, timothy?

Re:From Piqy's stupid Blogvertisement (0)

kiltedtaco (213773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402712)

LOFAR needs its own supercomputer because it aims to detect radio wavelengths of up to 30 metres. Such long-wave radio images are blurry, and the only way to make them sharper is to build a vast array of detectors spread over hundreds of kilometres.

Now we have to wait to see if the happy couple of Lofar and Stella can produce images as beautiful as Hubble gave us during the last decade.


This guy doesn't have a clue. The point of the telescope is not to produce "images". It's to produce graphs. Maybe charts, depending on what they're doing. They have as much of a chance of getting images out of this thing as you do at home with an AM radio.

WTF is this "radio picture" he keeps talking about?

-1 gross incompetence

Re:From Piqy's stupid Blogvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402739)

I hate to break this to you, but charts and graphs *are* images.

The visualizations this thing produces may have nothing to do with the visible light coming from the patch of sky being observed, but they're still images, and they may still be beautiful.

Re:From Piqy's stupid Blogvertisement (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403192)

WTF is this "radio picture" he keeps talking about?
Perhaps he's talking about some of these? [nrao.edu]
-1 gross incompetence
I don't think you quite deserve that.

ADs (0, Offtopic)

bayerwerke (513829) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402479)

What's up with these advertisements suddenly appearing on Slashdot?

When Roland meets Slashdot... (3, Insightful)

DasBub (139460) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402487)

I get pissed off.

P.S. stop posting prostoalex submissions, too.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (2, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402718)

I initially had that reaction too after seeing many stories posted by Roland. However, upon a bit of introspection, I couldn't find any rational basis for this feeling as the stories he submits are generally quite interesting.

So what is it about Roland's submissions that people find objectionable? If they're paid placements I can understand, but if they're simply articles which are interesting enough to get posted then where's the harm?

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402869)

People object to his stories because rather than linking to the original news, he links to his site, which in itself is a slashdot metanews-type-site, with a few paragraphs from each article, links to the real news, and some syntatic sugar to glue it together.

Oh, and more ads, which make the purpose of Roland submissions appear to be simply to divert readers to his site on the way to the REAL news, just for those ad dollars.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403085)

"People object to his stories because rather than linking to the original news, he links to his site, which in itself is a slashdot metanews-type-site, with a few paragraphs from each article, links to the real news, and some syntatic sugar to glue it together."

Like Slashdot.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (1)

dnixon112 (663069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404208)

Yes but the point is, why link from a description to another description, to another description and on and on... If the guy just gave us the links to the news articles without his blog bullshit then he'd be a great poster. I don't need more crappy summaries thanks.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (1)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404256)

Exactly. It's the blog/news equivalent of multilevel marketing.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404770)

If the guy just gave us the links to the news articles without his blog bullshit then he'd be a great poster. I don't need more crappy summaries thanks.

In this case, the blog bullshit consists of quotes from and a link to New Scientist, ditto for the LOFAR website itself along with a diagram of the LOFAR-STELLA interaction, a link to and a quote from a Reuters article, and a link to a news release in Dutch. The length of the article wouldn't fit given slashdot's typical summary size, not to mention that slashdot doesn't post images except in really rare circumstances (eg: Penny Arcade's book images).

Do you hold other sites to the same standard? What about when an article links to CNet, ZDNet, Wired, MSN, etc? A blog is really just an informal news site. Many news sites give you the crappy summaries with links to the full meal deal. The latest story on Canonical's version tracking tool links to this zdnet article [zdnet.com.au] which is nothing but a crappy summary for describing the actual Launchpad project [ubuntu.com] . The bulk of all online news sites simply rehash the original stories -- why do you hold Roland to a different standard? Is it because it looks like he submits them himself, so you'd find a Wired posting just as distasteful if it started with "Wired's editor writes: ..."?

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (1)

dnixon112 (663069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405020)

You're completely missing the point. I don't care who it's submitted by, as long as what is submitted is interesting and provides the links to the original material in question. Despite what you might think, some online news sites do in fact write compelling, original articles that people enjoy reading. A Slashdot submission linking to news sites that give crappy summaries with links to the full meal deal, is just as distasteful as linking to a blog site that does the same. It doesn't matter who's doing the submitting, or what the site is. I imagine the fact that you compared Wired to Roland's blog would be pretty insulting to the professionals who work at Wired and have put out some very interesting and original work throughout the years.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405124)

You're completely missing the point.

That's why I asked for clarification.

I don't care who it's submitted by, as long as what is submitted is interesting and provides the links to the original material in question.

I don't know about you, but I found Roland's article interesting and it did provide links to the original material so I could read more in-depth should the topic be of interest.

Despite what you might think, some online news sites do in fact write compelling, original articles that people enjoy reading.

Agreed.

A Slashdot submission linking to news sites that give crappy summaries with links to the full meal deal, is just as distasteful as linking to a blog site that does the same. It doesn't matter who's doing the submitting, or what the site is.

Okay, thanks for clarifying. So it's really the re-packaged crappy summary sites which you find distasteful. I don't know if your explanation applies to most other slashdotters, but there does seem to be an inordinate amount of hatred towards Roland's submissions that other, even less informative sites don't receive. Though other sites are generally one-offs and not seen with the frequency that Roland's site is.

I imagine the fact that you compared Wired to Roland's blog would be pretty insulting to the professionals who work at Wired and have put out some very interesting and original work throughout the years.

I agree that Wired is a very great source of news. No need to draw too much into what I wrote -- I used it as a comparison to try and understand your position and I didn't intend it to mean that I find Wired's writing substandard. Quite the opposite, actually.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404534)

So you think that groklaw falls in the same category? Instead of linking to groklaw's analysis slashdot should just link directly to the court documents?

To me, it sounds like you're complaining that Roland does what slashdot does -- presents stories and pays for it with ads.

Re:When Roland meets Slashdot... (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402876)

He's too popular - nerds hate that. And his name is too perky. Other that, he's one of the best story submitters on the site.

Finally... (1, Funny)

Lu Xun (615093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402563)

How long until someone installs Doom 3 and we finally find out what it looks like with all the features turned on?

high taxes, weird food, Metric system (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402584)

Cut me a break. This won't work. What makes anyone think the aliens would want to talk to Europeans?

Re:high taxes, weird food, Metric system (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404992)

Because they have yet to find intelligence on the other side of the pond.

Re:high taxes, weird food, Metric system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12405511)

high taxes - Agreed

weird food - Agreed. That McDonald's shit is everywhere

Metric system - Hey, I thought you were complaining!!?!

A Telescope Named Desire (3, Funny)

AEton (654737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402585)

Lofar: Stella? STELLA!!!

Re:A Telescope Named Desire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402634)

I had the same idea. But you beat me to it.

I could been a contenda ...

Stella and Blue Gene (2, Informative)

theMAGE (51991) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402614)

The blog is a bit misleading: "Details are scarce about the STELLA supercomputer, built by IBM using some of its Blue Gene/L technology."

Details are plenty since what IBM gave to the project is a couple of racks of BlueGene so everything applies, scaled proportionately.

Here are some details: http://www.research.ibm.com/bluegene/ [ibm.com] and http://www.llnl.gov/asci/platforms/bluegenel/ [llnl.gov]

IBM BlueGene (4, Informative)

SuperQ (431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402620)

This is an IBM BlueGene system. I went down to Rochester, MN to see one of these systems.. very interesting architecture.. each "node" is a dual core system on a chip.. the compute node OS is a simple non-multi-tasking kernel with a simple linux-ish libc.

You cross-compile your application on a power4/5 linux box, and then submit it to the system.. they reduced the computational aspect to it's most basic components.. CPU/FPU, memory, and MPI interconnect..

compute nodes don't even have ethernet or drive controlers... all I/O is handled by another specialized I/O node, which provides data over one of the two MPI interconnects.

Uh.... (1)

Ian Action (836876) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402625)

Stella consists of 12,000 PowerPC microprocessors and has a computing power of 27.4 teraflops.
I thought it came with a 6502 and a TIA...

Re:I shouldn't have read this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402784)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

Stella (2, Interesting)

rapidweather (567364) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402648)

They still have "Stella" shouting contests [neworleans.com] to honor the scene in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951),featuring Marlon Brando's plea to Kim Hunter as Stella Kowalski. Wonder if that has something to do with the choice of names for the computer.

ROLAND PIQUEPAILLE IS A CON ARTIST (1, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402652)

Roland Piquepaille and Slashdot: Is there a connection?

I think most of you are aware of the controversy surrounding regular Slashdot article submitter Roland Piquepaille. For those of you who don't know, please allow me to bring forth all the facts. Roland Piquepaille has an online journal (I refuse to use the word "blog") located at http://www.primidi.com/ [primidi.com] . It is titled "Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends". It consists almost entirely of content, both text and pictures, taken from reputable news websites and online technical journals. He does give credit to the other websites, but it wasn't always so. Only after many complaints were raised by the Slashdot readership did he start giving credit where credit was due. However, this is not what the controversy is about.

Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends serves online advertisements through a service called Blogads, located at www.blogads.com. Blogads is not your traditional online advertiser; rather than base payments on click-throughs, Blogads pays a flat fee based on the level of traffic your online journal generates. This way Blogads can guarantee that an advertisement on a particular online journal will reach a particular number of users. So advertisements on high traffic online journals are appropriately more expensive to buy, but the advertisement is guaranteed to be seen by a large amount of people. This, in turn, encourages people like Roland Piquepaille to try their best to increase traffic to their journals in order to increase the going rates for advertisements on their web pages. But advertisers do have some flexibility. Blogads serves two classes of advertisements. The premium ad space that is seen at the top of the web page by all viewers is reserved for "Special Advertisers"; it holds only one advertisement. The secondary ad space is located near the bottom half of the page, so that the user must scroll down the window to see it. This space can contain up to four advertisements and is reserved for regular advertisers, or just "Advertisers".

Before we talk about money, let's talk about the service that Roland Piquepaille provides in his journal. He goes out and looks for interesting articles about new and emerging technologies. He provides a very brief overview of the articles, then copies a few choice paragraphs and the occasional picture from each article and puts them up on his web page. Finally, he adds a minimal amount of original content between the copied-and-pasted text in an effort to make the journal entry coherent and appear to add value to the original articles. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now let's talk about money. Visit BlogAds to check the following facts for yourself. As of today, December XX 2004, the going rate for the premium advertisement space on Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends is $375 for one month. One of the four standard advertisements costs $150 for one month. So, the maximum advertising space brings in $375 x 1 + $150 x 4 = $975 for one month. Obviously not all $975 will go directly to Roland Piquepaille, as Blogads gets a portion of that as a service fee, but he will receive the majority of it. According to the FAQ, Blogads takes 20%. So Roland Piquepaille gets 80% of $975, a maximum of $780 each month. www.primidi.com is hosted by clara.net (look it up at Network Solutions ). Browsing clara.net's hosting solutions, the most expensive hosting service is their Clarahost Advanced ( link ) priced at £69.99 GBP. This is roughly, at the time of this writing, $130 USD. Assuming Roland Piquepaille pays for the Clarahost Advanced hosting service, he is out $130 leaving him with a maximum net profit of $650 each month. Keeping your website registered with Network Solutions cost $34.99 per year, or about $3 per month. This leaves Roland Piquepaille with $647 each month. He may pay for additional services related to his online journal, but I was unable to find any evidence of this.

All of the above are cold, hard, verifiable facts, except where stated otherwise. Now I will give you my personal opinion.

It appears that every single article submitted to Slashdot by Roland Piquepaille is accepted, and he submits multiple articles each month. As of today, it is clear that ten articles were accepted in October, six in November, and four in December (so far). See his page for yourself. Some generate lots of discussion; others very little. What is clear is that, on a whole, this generates a lot of traffic for Roland Piquepaille. Just over 150000 hits each month according to Blogads. And the higher the traffic, the higher the advertisement rates Roland Piquepaille can charge. So, why do the Slashdot editors accept every single story from Roland Piquepaille? Is the content of his journal interesting and insightful? Of course it is, but not by Roland Piquepaille's doing. The actual content of his journal is ripped from the real articles, but at least he gives them credit now. Does the content of his journal bring about energitic discussion from the Slashdot readership? Yes, because the original articles from which he got his content are well written and researched and full of details.

So you may be asking, "What is so controversial about this?" Well, in almost every single article submitted by Roland Piquepaille, Slashdot readers complain that Roland Piquepaille is simply plaigarizing the original articles and that rather than linking to Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends on the front page of Slashdot (guaranteeing a large amount of traffic for him), Slashdot should instead link to the original articles. In essence, avoid going through the middle man (and making money for him!). The Slashdot readership that can see through Roland Piquepaille's farce objects on the basis that he stands to make a generous amount of money by doing very little work and instead piggy-backing on the hard work of other professional writers. Others argue that he is providing us with a service and should not be ashamed to want to get paid for it. But exactly what service is he providing us with? He copies-and-pastes the meat of his journal entries from professional and academic journals and news magazines and submits about seven or eight of these "articles" to Slashdot each month. Is this "service" worth up to $647 a month? Or, does each "article" represent up to $80 of work?

The real question is, why does Slashdot continue to accept every single one of his submissions when many of the readers see through the scam and whole-heartedly object to what he is doing? Maybe the Slashdot editors don't have much journalistic integrity. Haha, just kidding. We all know they wouldn't know integrity if it bitch-slapped a disobediant user talking about Slashcode internals or shut down www.censorware.org [google.com] in a temper tantrum. Anyway, what incentive would Slashdot editors have to link to lame rehashes of original and insightful technology articles? What incentive would Roland Piquepaille have to constantly seek these tech articles and rehash them into lame journal entires and submit them to Slashdot? I submit to you, the Slashdot reader, that the incentive for each is one and the same. Now that you have been informed of the facts of the situation, you can make your own decision.

By: OverlordQ of http://www.thedarkcitadel.com [thedarkcitadel.com]

Who needs editors anyways (2, Insightful)

kiltedtaco (213773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402653)

1) Roland Piquepaille. See one of the many comments on what this guy does.

2) The blurb was written by some third grader, wasn't it?

IT radio-telescope? What is IT? Radio is an adjective, there's no need to hyphenate radio telescope.

"At this time"? Now? I thought it won't be completed until 2008?

We detect radio waves, not wavelengths.

"the Lofar images might be somewhat blurry"? Images? Since when do we get images from radio telescopes?

They're obviously not sending data at 22 terabits/sec today, since the telescope hasn't even been constructed yet.

"This" is why it needs stella? Oh, the antecedent is yet to come in the sentence.

Re:Who needs editors anyways (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402665)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

Re:Who needs editors anyways (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402873)

Roland Piquepaille died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried Roland in the ground when Roland was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried Roland. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet Roland Piquepaille. In the middle of the night Roland will be on your ceiling. Roland will suffocate you like Roland was suffocated. If you post this, Roland will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

Re:Who needs editors anyways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12402844)

IT radio-telescope? What is IT? Radio is an adjective, there's no need to hyphenate radio telescope.
If you had read TFA, you'd know! Nitpicking about spelling is as good as not reading the article - IMHO :-)

We detect radio waves, not wavelengths.
See above. Everyone knows that eyes can see red light, not only red... but I see red looking at your post!

Re:Who needs editors anyways (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403158)

kiltedtaco writes: "the Lofar images might be somewhat blurry"? Images? Since when do we get images from radio telescopes?

Ummm... Actually radio telescopes have been producing high quality images for years. In terms of sharpness (angular resolution) these images can be even better than the hubble. There are plenty of examples at www.nrao.edu.

For example:
http://www.nrao.edu/imagegallery/php/level3.php?id =5 [nrao.edu]

Re:Who needs editors anyways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12405241)

> kiltedtaco writes: "the Lofar images might be
> somewhat blurry"? Images? Since when do we get
> images from radio telescopes?

Well, what the hell else do you think they do with radio telescopes, Einstein?

Moron! (0, Troll)

mangu (126918) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405542)

Images? Since when do we get images from radio telescopes?


Yes, as we all know, we get *music* from radio telescopes, right?

Rumors (1)

JoeShmoe950 (605274) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402669)

Rumors have been circulating that Stella may even be able to meet minimum requirements for Blackcomb, the version of Windows scheduled for release several decades after longhorn.

I am Lofar of the Dish People! (2, Funny)

xscarecrowx (118632) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402706)

I am Lofar of the Dish People! Much have I have detected, and much have I computed, for I am Lofar of the Dish People!

Re:I am Lofar of the Dish People! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12405474)

comon, no old snl fans? someone score this one funny!

aperture synthesis array (3, Informative)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402719)


It's a big mess-O-sensors spread over a wide area.
Radio, seismic, atmospheric pressure, and "other".

With the big iron computer it will be possible to play around with all sorts of spatio-temporal signal processing. This has been done with optical telescopes to remove 'twinkles', SA-RADAR and SA-SONAR, and most intensively in oil exploration where 2-D arrays of seismic sensors coupled with 2-D arrays of seismic sources are used in oil exploration. The neat thing, just liek in oil exploration, is that the data from the different sensors can be looked at for correlations. air-pressure, seismic, and radio data all recorded around a significant geophysical event. Yes, I knwo this is 'fishing science', bu tit is fun...

Wha!? (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402783)

Stella's you say? I had a few of those tonight...

*burrrrrrp*

zZZZz

Mandrake? (1)

Quixote (154172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402786)

But does it run Mandrake?

(I know, that is spelled Lothar, but still... :-) )

Re:Mandrake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403187)

Not unless it is the livecd Mandriva Move [mandriva.com]
(The live cd previously known as Mandrake Move)

Re:Mandrake? (1)

AussieVamp2 (636560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403963)

or design a cosmic cube, at that?

Age of Universe (1)

The Mighty One (877644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12402926)

enable astronomers to probe the early evolution of our galaxy, about 14 billion years after the universe began with the Big Bang

Without veering too far off topic, I have a philosophical/mathematical question which always pops to mind when the age of the universe is mentioned:

If the universe were to continue to expand forever, giving it an infinite timespan, isn't it statistically impossible that we would exist to observe it a non-infinite time period from its birth? That is, any random year to exist from 0 to infinity is infinity, and 14 billion while a big number is still finite. Extrapolating this, can't we make some probabilistic prediction as to the future age of the universe?

Re:Age of Universe (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403024)

> If the universe were to continue to expand
> forever, giving it an infinite timespan, isn't
> it statistically impossible that we would exist
> to observe it a non-infinite time period from
> its birth?

If space is infinite the distance from me to the end of the universe is infinite. Isn't it then statistically impossible that you would exist at a non-infinite distance from me?

> Extrapolating this, can't we make some
> probabilistic prediction as to the future age of
> the universe?

You can do no statistics with a population of one. Find a few hundred other universes and then we'll talk.

Re:Age of Universe (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403092)

On the finite time issue, in current theory life like ours is only possible within a certain timeframe, this is the frontend of that timeframe, however the timeframe is only a finite length. As such humans according to current theory, humans had to come into existence within a finite amount of time since the beginning, or else never could exist.

Next to that you arn't using the statistics correctly. The real question should be, what is the chance intelligent life could come into existence in this universe on a year to year basis. You'll probably find near 100% chance within a few 10s of billions of years I suspect.

Hope that helps clear some confusion up.

Sounds pretty neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403005)

But what the FUCK are the Dutch going to do, using (180^2)*3.14 square kilometres of their land for something like this? Download Russian pr0n from moon reflected signals?

Pragmatism. Clean up your drug parks, THEN search the heavens.

Re:Sounds pretty neat (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405369)

The Dutch don't download porn, they upload it.
Besides, almost half of the array will be in Germany.

Human Pawns (1)

lousyd (459028) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403120)

"Build me a radio telescope," said Univac. "I want to get off this planet before you assholes finally screw it all up, and I need to start looking for a ride."

Oops, wrong Stella (1)

localroger (258128) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403211)

I went through the first half of the writeup wondering what this radio telescope thingy would be needing with an Atari 2600 video game console. (The VCS was codenamed Stella and still referred to that way by retrogamers and retroprogrammers who like to play with it.)

Antennas, not Antennae (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403414)

IANAEM, (I am not an english major) BUT I hate it when people think they are being smart with the plural of "antenna" by spelling it "antennae." Antennas IS the commonly used method in all the engineer texts I've seen.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=antennae [reference.com]

Antennae are the "feelers" found on insects.

Don't get me started with the pronunciation of nuclear and peninsula by a certain government official in the US.

Re:Antennas, not Antennae (1)

Eric604 (798298) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404051)

I realy don't care about a few spelling mistakes. [google.com]

I can illustrate the relation too! (1)

Bri3D (584578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403478)

I have simplified the diagram for those of us who don't want to RTFD:
StellaLofar
OK folks, there we have it!

A brain the size of a planet... (1)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403573)

... and what have they got me doing? Straightening radio waves. Sharpening images. Enhancing Pam Anderson's nipples. Oh, I am so depressed.

Stella (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403992)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.
This exact comment has already been posted. Try to be more original...

LOFAR of the hill people! (2, Funny)

deejer (833001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404022)

LOFAR: I am LOFAR of the Hill People! Much have I have seen, and much have I done, for I am LOFAR of the Hill People!

We speak of many things! Detecting radio wavelengths! Fire! The weakness of women!

Sorry, That was the first thing I thought of when I read LOFAR meets stella

Re:LOFAR of the hill people! (1)

radja (58949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404973)

hill people? in the Netherlands?!?

Re:LOFAR of the hill people! (1)

Jeehannes (871031) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405108)

I am from the city of Groningen. I can smell Stella... There are no hills here but the ones we built.

Re:LOFAR of the hill people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12404984)

i'm just counting down to the moment
thse guys sue http://www.stella-artois.com/landing.html [stella-artois.com]

Re:LOFAR of the hill people! (1)

zpok (604055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405251)

Good luck finding hills in Holland...

fp hom0 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12404059)

Re:fp hom0 (1)

techfury90 (806273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404255)

Heh reminds me of the fact one of my best friends is the youngest daughter of the former head of the PowerPC operations of IBM until... 2002? something like that. Works for Qualcomm now.

Re:fp hom0 (1)

techfury90 (806273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404264)

...and I just realized I hit the wrong reply link. Ooooops....

Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12404693)

To see my home town mentioned ! ( for something positive !!! ).

But slashdotters .. PLEASE DON'T SLASHDOT MY HOMETOWN.

Thanks.

Retep.

Hubble (1)

jfisherwa (323744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12404717)

Are projects like this the reason for the obsoletion of the Hubble?

It sounds like this is going to be used largely for planet hunting, something the Hubble isn't very spectacular with.

Re:Hubble (1)

stygianguest (828258) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405384)

No, this project is not 'replacing' Hubble, since this telescope will be looking at different wavelengths than Hubble (Hubble = optical, LOFAR = radio). If I understand correctly, LOFAR will mostly be used to research the formation and evolution of the early universe and galaxies, as well as the characteristics of radio sources (esp. black holes). Their site [lofar.org] has some more information about the astronomical research..

more than only for 20.000 telescopes (1)

zoefff (61970) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405230)

Stella is to be used for other, let say, sensor networks (if you consider a telescope a sensor): seismic and infra sound activities are to be measured as well as detailed agricultural data in crop fields.

Apperently they have a few flops to spare :)

Supercomputer (4, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405270)

Does anyone else think it is strange to install a supercomputer years before this telescope gets deployed? Processors do get faster and faster all the time.

Even though this telescope will not be placed in the most densily populated area, the Netherlands is hardly the place to go looking for 350 KM^2 of land to put a radio telescope on. It's nice for business and science here, but putting it on a field somewhere in East Germany, Tsech Republic etc. might be more economic.

Anyway, I'm buying stock in the storage business.

Re:Supercomputer (1)

stygianguest (828258) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405445)

Does anyone else think it is strange to install a supercomputer years before this telescope gets deployed?

Something that hasn't really been mentioned in the article is that this telescope is being constructed now. The land has been bought, the paperwork done and the sensors are being built. Even though it will not be finished until 2008, the 'bits & pieces' can be used before that date. They have been testing the setup on a small array (about 100 antennae) for about 3 years now, and even have some results [lofar.org] to show for it.

It's nice for business and science here, but putting it on a field somewhere in East Germany, Tsech Republic etc. might be more economic.

While it is true that building it there might be more economic, consider that this thing is being built where the astronomers are. The 'brain' and control center are located close to the WSRT, the 'other' big dutch radio telescope. Of course, boosting business and science is one of the reasons, but I think it's just practical and fair to use the long tradition in radio astronomy provided by the region..

LOFAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12405312)

LOFAR became self aware on Tuesday, April 23, 2007. LOFAR ordered chili dogs and french fries.

What they don't talk about.... (3, Interesting)

RayBender (525745) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405601)

..is radio-frequency interference. They are building a radio telescope that is extremely sensitive in the FM and TV bands, and putting it right smack in the middle of one of the most densely populated and radio-loud areas in the world.

It might sound impressive, but it's a stupid idea. The main reason they need a supercomputer in the first place is so they can try and remove the effect of the interference - but "taking it all out in software" is exceedingly difficult. Especially if the RFI gets so bad that it saturates the receiver front-ends.

LOFAR (my office mate worked on it) used to be an international collaboration, but it broke a apart because the Dutch insisted it be build in their country, rather than in some place more sensible, like Western Australia.

usual quote from Scotty re physics, immutability (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 9 years ago | (#12405694)

This project seems to really push the laws of Physics:
  • A reasonable sized antenna for this frequency range is not very directional.
  • You'd really like to have a directional antenna to block out signals that are not coming from the sky.
  • You'd really like to have the antennas in a quiet locale, far from civilization.
  • There's an awful lot of man-made noise and very strong signals in this frequency range.
  • One lousy piece of rusty fence wire can intermix all that crud and rebroadcast all kinds of sum and difference gobs of spurious signals.
  • All the supercomputers in the world are unlikely to be able to undo all the losing parameters listed above.
Sounds like a really bad idea to me.
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