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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

Guy Harris Re:Put your money where your mouth is. (244 comments)

I can't verify the source, but this article suggests the machines will be Power8 based. Assuming these are the machines in question.

No, those machines are being built for the Department of Energy (DoE); NOAA, for whom the machines being discussed in this thread are being built, is part of the Department of Commerce.

yesterday
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LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

Guy Harris Re:Perspective (310 comments)

I hear ya buddy. We've got a President who doesn't want to do things democratically and we had a major, society-altering law passed whose authors have nothing but contempt for us, the American people.

Yes, a law such as this one, as passed in the GP's country, would have done a better job than the law in question.

yesterday
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

Guy Harris Re:Put your money where your mouth is. (244 comments)

So much wrong in just a few sentences.

First, IBM didn't sell it's HPC group, or its Power Systems group.

Correct.

The computer in question wouldn't be made using x86

If the computer in question is the same one mentioned in IBM's 2012 press release, not correct - that speaks of "IBM iDataPlex servers", which are x86 servers, not Power Architecture servers.

5 days ago
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Amnesty International Releases Tool To Combat Government Spyware

Guy Harris Re:Amnesty International (94 comments)

Amnesty International has a terrible track record of attacking Western Democracies disproportionately more so than Dictatorships. I guess they like picking on easy targets, instead of actually trying to make a difference. When is the last time we heard them lobby government action in Africa or the Middle-East?

You mean like this, for Syria, or this, for Iraq, and archived campaigns such as this, for South Sudan, and this, for the Central African Republic?

5 days ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

Guy Harris Re:Put your money where your mouth is. (244 comments)

As TFA mentions, IBM just sold its supercomputer division to a Chinese company (Lenovo).

What TFA says is:

IBM's decision to sell its x86 server business to Lenovo will turn the China-based company, in short order, into one of the largest HPC vendors in the world, according to IDC.

"Lenovo may become the number two HPC provider literally by the end of this year," said Earl Joseph, an analyst at IDC. Hewlett-Packard is number one. If not in the second position, Lenovo will be close to it.

The linked article says:

As a result of the deal, Lenovo is receiving a host of IBM products including its System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, along with its NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software.

IBM, however, will still hold on to its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, PureApplication and PureData appliances.

I don't know what "[IBM's] supercomputer division" is, but it's not a division that solely develops and sells x86 servers; they also sell Power Architecture HPC systems.

However, at least in 2012, they spoke of iDataPlex servers for NOAA, so they sold that part of their supercomputer efforts to Lenovo. Whether they'll push for Power Architecture HPC systems for NOAA instead is another matter.

5 days ago
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Scientists Discover Diamond Nanothreads

Guy Harris Re:Elevator in the sky with diamonds (79 comments)

You wouldn't guess from the summary that the article title is "Going up! Cosmic elevator could reach space on a cable made of diamonds".

Breaking news: Slashdot submission headline less hyperbolic than TFA's headline.

In other news, Satan cuts ribbon to celebrate the opening of a new ski resort. Film at 11.

about a week ago
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Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

Guy Harris Re:"Datatilsynet" (301 comments)

In Norway we have something called "Datatilsynet". It's not private. It can't be private.

Are you giving away your freedom and privacy to private entities?

Presumably by "it's not private" you mean "it's not a private entity, it's a public entity" (in an article discussing privacy, the term "private" in the sense of the private sector of the economy should be used with care, to avoid confusion; perhaps Norwegian has separate words for "not part of the public sector" and "not to be made available to the public", but "private", in English, can mean both).

For those curious about Datatilsynet, here's their English-language Website.

about two weeks ago
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Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

Guy Harris Re:No you don't, you just remember incorrectly (231 comments)

The Civil War was not about the oppression of slaves (contrary to popular belief). It was about the crushing of dissent.

I never said what the Civil War was about. I was merely responding to what appeared to be a complaint about the South's way of life having been destroyed; if that's what they were referring to, much of that way of life should have been destroyed, so the destruction of that way of life wasn't a bug, it was a feature.

Sadly, although the 13th Amendment to the US constitution finally added one more freedom that the Constitution defended, the "except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted" clause left a rather large loophole through which several states snuck (not that the North was a land of rainbows, magic ponies, and racial equality).

(And not that the Southern states were paragons of freedom even for white people, especially white people who wanted to teach slaves to read and write or didn't particularly want to participate in patrols hunting down runaway slaves.)

about two weeks ago
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Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

Guy Harris Re:Escape NSA in Berlin (231 comments)

Vienna has two N's, and Germany's capital is actually a very decent place to hide from the NSA in the wake of the concern over spying on Merkel.

So you're wrong but you feel right, that's a false relief.

And the Soviet Union disappeared a while ago, so burni2's "during the cold war" argument is a bit silly at this point in any case.

about two weeks ago
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Berlin's Digital Exiles: Where Tech Activists Go To Escape the NSA

Guy Harris Re:No you don't, you just remember incorrectly (231 comments)

No you don't. You just don't realize that the people who fled here in the 17th century to avoid the oppressive regime in England created a whole new oppressive regime for the indigenous people. And it was so rampant into the 18th century that they wrote an entire constitution (that didn't apply to said indigenous people, or the slaves that were imported) to try and protect it. Then in the 19th century, half the country tried to repress the other half - destroying their entire way of life.

If you're referring to the Civil War, the way of life that was destroyed was based on, err, umm, the oppression of slaves, so destroying that way of life was a good thing.

And we can't forget McCarthysim - oooh, that was a really good one, followed by the Hoover FBI.

Hoover did that sort of thing well before he was head of the FBI; see, for example, the Palmer Raids.

about two weeks ago
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There's No Such Thing As a General-Purpose Processor

Guy Harris Re:Emulation (181 comments)

If you compile the same program in a high level language for a complex processor and a simple processor, they'll produce the same result. Each operation on the complex processor may correspond to several instructions on the simple processor, but ARM's bet with big.LITTLE is that reduced power consumption in a simple processor's instruction decoder makes up for that difference.

For big.LITTLE, the difference between the instruction decoders isn't an issue of different instruction sets; to quote their big.LITTLE Processing with ARM Cortex-A15 & Cortex-A7 white paper:

The central tenet of big.LITTLE is that the processors are architecturally identical. Both Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 implement the full ARM v7A architecture including Virtualization and Large Physical Address Extensions. Accordingly all instructions will execute in an architecturally consistent way on both Cortex- A15 and Cortex-A7, albeit with different performances.

so each instruction on the complex processor would correspond to the exact same instruction on the simpler processor.

As that paper says, "It is in the micro-architectures that the differences between Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 become clear."

about two weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Guy Harris Re:Nothing? (429 comments)

But if we are indeed simply creatures computer generated in some sort of matrix then the chunks of code that create our reality could be inserted in the program at any time, or several times after being withdrawn several times. So a universe that exists in code would not have to have linear events and cause and effect that are locked to a clock.

A universe that exists in code would not have to have cause and effect at all within the universe; thinks could happen as a result of the whim of the programmer, who is outside the universe.

And that has nothing to do with relativity, in any case, so it's not a defense of the argument that, somehow, relativity frees us from the notion of cause and effect.

If God is efficient then what better way than to create the universe as an illusion with computer code at its base?

If your God knows a more efficient way that you don't know, there would be a better way. Don't assume that your intuition about efficiency necessary corresponds to reality - or, for that matter, that your God is efficient.

about two weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Guy Harris Re:Logically only God could have created.. (429 comments)

It would be infinitely more efficient with a single God.

Nothing obliges the universe to be efficient.

Seventeen would put us back to square one, who created the first of the seventeen?

They have always and will always exist. They were not created.

A single God, has always, and will always exist.

Lenin zhil, Lenin zhiv, Lenin budjet zhit!

There is no other solution or explanation.

Nope, plenty. Maybe there were 21 gods on the committee, for example.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Guy Harris Re:Nothing? (429 comments)

"As long as there's no faster-than-light travel, "X happens before Y" is an invariant - it's true in all reference frames. "

This is completely wrong ... it's exactly what Einstein showed to be false (or rather, meaningless).

The person to whom I was replying was talking about causality, so I was only thinking about events separated by a timelike interval; for those, "X happens before Y" is an invariant.

Yes, for event separated by a spacelike interval, the time order of events can be different in different frames, but there can't be a causal connection between those events, so, no, special relativity doesn't make causality go away. I should've been in less of a hurry and indicated that the invariance of time order applies only to events for which there could be a causal connection.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Guy Harris Re:Nothing? (429 comments)

As long as there's no faster-than-light travel, "X happens before Y" is an invariant - it's true in all reference frames.

No. http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/... and for the longer version http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.... In these examples, the doors either close at the same time for the observer stationary with respect to the barn, or at different times for the observer running with the pole.

OK, sorry, should have said ""X doesn't happen after Y" is an invariant" (there don't exist reference frames such that X happens before Y in one frame and X happens after Y in another frame).

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Guy Harris Re:Logically only God could have created.. (429 comments)

something from nothing, or at least the physical from the non-physical. Lets all just admit that there is a single Holy God, who created the physical universe as we know it. He has always, and will always exist in spirit (non physical). For reasons unknowable to us He decided to create the physical universe - logically there is no other possibility.

How about "A committee of seventeen gods, all of whom have always and will always exist in physical form, got together and, for reasons unknowable to us, decided to create the physical universe."?

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Guy Harris Re:The mathematics is only a model of the physics (429 comments)

Yes.

Sadly, "Mathematical Proof That The Laws Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, As Currently Understood, Allow A Vacuum Bubble To Expand To The Point That It Becomes The Universe" would probably not fit well in the title bar of a Web browser window and require word wrapping in the head of the page, not to mention attracting far fewer clicks, so they didn't choose that as the title, they chose something less accurate but shorter and with more "click me!" zing.

about three weeks ago

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