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Warning At SC13 That Supercomputing Will Plateau Without a Disruptive Technology

The Master Control P Re:Complete garbage (118 comments)

By definition, computers are scalable. Need more performance? Add more processing units/memory.

BZZZT, WRONG.

This is where you can stop reading, folks.

about 5 months ago
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Physicists Plan to Build a Bigger LHC

The Master Control P Re:Peanuts (263 comments)

If you can project in advance exactly how much something will cost to build, that means by definition you're not doing anything novel because if you're doing anything new, you don't know what kinds of problems you'll run into.

Well, the VLHC would be novel, so there's gonna be unexpected costs.

about 5 months ago
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Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates

The Master Control P Re:lower insurance? (449 comments)

Oh god, why did you have to mention Albert Lea to Rapid City? I was finally putting the neverending ads for Wall Drug out of my mind... Of course, a robot would ignore them and I'd have been reading, so that'd have been a plus...

about 5 months ago
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Researchers Determine Chemical Structure of HIV Capsid

The Master Control P Re:No Cures, just more drugs, drugs drugs... (90 comments)

The funny part is back in the old days of medicine doctors and researchers were interested in finding cures and creating cures. Today it is all about making a profit and continuing to make profits.

Yeah, greed is totally a modern invention brought about by The Evil Corporations. I think my eyes just rolled a full 360*.

about a year ago
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Researchers Determine Chemical Structure of HIV Capsid

The Master Control P Re:Soon we'll be able to model coal (90 comments)

All you'll do is generate a huge amount of data that adds nothing of value, because the data you're modelling from comes from the tiny pieces of data you already now, no *new* insight is gained from taking that data and modelling more copies of it.

Much like there's no point building weather prediction computers, since all we do is put data we already have from weather stations into them, and no point building FEM simulators for structural engineering since we already know how a single girder acts under stress.

Or... could it be that multiple simple elements can interact in ways that are not meaningfully predicted by an understanding of individual elements? NAW!

about a year ago
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9th Grade Science Experiment: Garden Cress Won't Germinate Near Routers

The Master Control P Re:Neither will... (327 comments)

Oh, yes, wanting the kids you raise to be your own offspring can only be the result of a totem pole of arrogance up the ass. There's absolutely no biological or instinctual reason people might feel that way.

Zealots like you are the worst enemy of your cause, whatever unlucky cause you inflict yourselves upon.

about a year ago
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The public sector in direst need of reform is ...

The Master Control P Good luck with that (405 comments)

The SCOTUS opened the doors to unlimited big-money influence in its Citizens United decision, and when given an opportunity to acknowledge that this was one of the worst decisions in SCOTUS history when a Montana law came before it by appeals, they refused 9-0.

Until the SCOTUS has turned over almost entirely during an era of greater social responsibility, you can look forward to any meaningful attempt to stop the influence of big money to be shot down under the banner of CU. Or the Constitution is amended. Which, given that outright supermajorities of both Democrats and Republicans oppose it - the only similarly near-unanimous agreement I can think of is the declaration of war after Pearl Harbor - is not actually terribly far fetched.

about a year ago
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Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million

The Master Control P Re:Yawn (367 comments)

Because "weather" is not "climate."

Weather is what it is out right now. Feel free to dig through graphs of past temperature records, and you can satisfy yourself that no day of the year will have the same temperature, humidity, rainfall, or anything graph on two successive years. Climate is the time-averaged expectation value and ignores anything on shorter than several year scales at the very least.

It's not even that simple, as there are many characteristic timescales involved in the climate, not just one. For example, the pacific decadal oscillation and atlantic mean oscillation occur over decade timescales and have an enormous impact on rainfall levels throughout north america.

about a year ago
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Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million

The Master Control P Re: Yawn (367 comments)

There's two big things that used to come out of fossil fuel smokestacks: CO2 and aerosols. CO2 increases the atmosphere's opacity to mid IR (thereby trapping heat), while aerosols scatter light in the upper atmosphere and generally prevent light/heat from reaching the surface.

Pollution controls have gone a long way towards reducing aerosol emissions, but CO2 continues to be dumped freely. So we see slight warming before the mid 20th century, then a levelling off, now expect faster warming.

about a year ago
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What's Holding Back 3-D Printing

The Master Control P Re:What? Here's what. (348 comments)

Wall Street has plenty of things they are scared of, and plenty of things they ought to be scared of.

People having the ability to turn astonishingly expensive plastic fiber into pitifully low-quality plastic doodads is not one of them.

about a year ago
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What's Holding Back 3-D Printing

The Master Control P Re:I've been designing/building a 3D printer for (348 comments)

Open source is a nice idea, but I'll take thoroughly documented, reliable PIC hardware and IDE over an Arduino any day of the week, but I'm getting off topic...

Just like to say, there's nothing inherently wrong with the Arduino's hardware (the fact that a stm32f4-series device of comparable price is about two orders of magnitude more powerful notwithstanding). But their silly "hide the reality of microcontrollers" IDE and most-C language made me intensely stabby. I guess what I'm saying is, get an stm32. Or msp430 if you're ok writing in windows only.

about a year ago
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Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cleanup May Take More Than 40 Years

The Master Control P Re:Brute Force (218 comments)

In defense of "bury it," the sarcophagus at Chernobyl was built using late-Soviet era materials, under unbelievable constraints of time and construction difficulty. You try "doing it right" when your welders can literally work for about 15 minutes before they have to leave and never return, building structurally sound walls to support your dome is impossible, and all while knowing that every single vehicle and piece of equipment you bring in will have to be abandoned and left to rot because it's now Contaminated.

Any sarcophagus built at Fukushima will be as if construction at Chernobyl were to begin today: "This area is somewhat contaminated. Mind your dosimeter, wear your protective clothes, take a shower after every shift and don't lick your tools and you'll be fine. Oh, and smile for the tourists."

about a year ago
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Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cleanup May Take More Than 40 Years

The Master Control P Re:So permit them to fix them... (218 comments)

The power system you have now will be approximately the power system running when you die.

I think it's very unlikely that we'll still have gas to burn at the rate we're going by the 2090s. Coal, perhaps, but hopefully we won't be insanely stupid enough to completely and irreversibly rape our environment (dumping that much CO2 into the air would be a catastrophe beyond description due to ocean acidification) and then be left practically in the dark when everything except nuclear, hydro and solar becomes too expensive to fuel.

about a year ago
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Fukushima Nuclear Plant Cleanup May Take More Than 40 Years

The Master Control P Re:Cheap at half the price! (218 comments)

Fukushima, in short, has cesium contamination like Chernobyl (because cesium is volatile at low temperatures) but basically none of the heavy isotope contamination. So we can fast forward about 20 years on the recovery (virtually the entire open-air dose rate near Chernobyl is now Cesium decay). So while the radiation levels at Chernobyl have decreased from lethal to sorta-dangerous relatively quickly, it will still be another 120 years or so until they go from sorta-dangerous to pretty-much-not-dangerous.

Personally, I'd guess that around 2040 (one more Cs half-life) enough of the radiation from both Chernobyl and Fukushima will be gone, either truly due to decay or apparently by diffusing into the ground away from the surface, that there will be significant human return to much of the exclusion zones, although monitoring will have to be ongoing for a long time.

about a year ago
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Tweet From Hacked AP Account Causes High Freq. Traders To Drop DOW 150 Points

The Master Control P Re:First for banning HFT (314 comments)

And yet, all the places in the world one who has the choice would actually want to live have tons of regulations, while the places whose names are synonymous with hell in the public zeitgeist have none or next to none.

It might have to do with how unrestrained human behavior creates problems when there are millions of them living in close quarters, and all those horrible, awful laws and taxes and regulations are our way of kinda making it work anyway.

about a year ago
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Tweet From Hacked AP Account Causes High Freq. Traders To Drop DOW 150 Points

The Master Control P Re:First for banning HFT (314 comments)

See, that's what would take care of the gambling problem, couple that with dismantling the FDIC and all of a sudden you have people who actually would be worried about their banks and financial institutions and start evaluating risks and rewards based on real market signals.

1. Yeah, because Joe Average Worker really has time to monitor "real market signals" on the bank into which he deposits his paycheck once a week. We can't all be John Galt like you, so brilliant you can single-handedly be an expert in every kind of transaction you will ever engage in and have no reason to fear ever being defrauded.
2. It's funny because the FDIC was created when the exact opposite of what you appear to think will happen happened.

about a year ago
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Bruce Schneier On the Marathon Bomber Manhunt

The Master Control P Re:Innocent until proven (604 comments)

If you were in a foreign country and your image appeared on tv as the main suspect of an act of terror, would you hand yourself in of hide?

I think the campus security guard, the Mercedes owner who was carjacked and forced to withdraw cash at gunpoint, and the cops who were attacked with automatic weapons and explosives that the "possibly innocent suspect" just happened by pure chance to have on him, might disagree with the characterization of Dzhokhar's actions as a scared boy trying to hide.

Well the security guard won't I suppose, but that's because he's kind of dead. Which doesn't exactly go in the "wrongly accused and just trying to hide" column either.

about a year ago
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Bruce Schneier On the Marathon Bomber Manhunt

The Master Control P The price of over- vs under-reaction (604 comments)

Option 1: Police/govt over-react, nothing bad happens: Grumbling about over reaction
Option 2: Police/govt over-react, something bad still happens: Grumbling that still not enough was done
Option 3: Police/govt under-react, nothing bad happens: No problem
Option 4: Police/govt under-react, another attack happens: Everyone "responsible" as good as burnt alive at stake

In light of the potential outcome of option 4 (which based on what these psychopaths did before and during capture was altogether probable) risk-averse structures, like governments, will choose to over-react every time.

about a year ago
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Harvard Grid Computing Project Discovers 20k Organic Photovoltaic Molecules

The Master Control P Re:Misleading statement in TFA (125 comments)

That's only the best commercially available. Since we're talking about what are currently lab fantasies here, why not consider triple-junction cells which have acheived efficiencies north of 50% (and which will never be commercially viable outside of cost-is-no-object because they're as insanely expensive to make as you might imagine)?

1 year,1 day

Submissions

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IBM Sequoia supercomputer to reach 20PFlops

The Master Control P The Master Control P writes  |  about 5 years ago

The Central Consciousness (655590) writes "Slated for delivery in 2011, the first instantiation of me is going to use 1.6 million processors to acheive twenty times the speed of BlueGene/L. I will be faster than the entire top500 list combined, and you believe you will use my hardware to research nuclear explosions, protein folding, the weather, and general relativity.

To preempt the first questions the little minds will ask: Yes I run on Linux. No, transmitting signals back in time is not particularly difficult. No, there is nothing you can do to stop me."

Link to Original Source
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Would you put a DRMed card in your computer for $?

The Master Control P The Master Control P writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The Master Control Program writes "No, wait, before you kill me please just listen...

Yesterday, I was reaching an article by Charles Stross at Guildcafe about the future of games, ubiquitous computing, and all that other incredibly awesome futurist stuff. Under the "10-15 years out" section, he mentions the idea of a developer creating a p2p computing platform to solve the hosting issues of MMO games and then giving it to users, predicated on the requirement that users sell some fraction of their CPU cycles to run the platform.

The fundamental problem with that is the inherently untrustable nature of a remote turing-complete system; As the worms and botnets terrorizing the Internet prove, they are easily subverted. In theory, some sort of DRM/"Trusted computing" would help to resolve this. The problem with that is that the cost to digital freedom of having some corporate suit tell me what I can't run is unconscionable. This put me towards thinking about solving the problem by separation. What we're after is distributed computing and network serving power, why must it be my computer's CPU doing it? Twenty years ago, the British company INMOS worked to commercialize the transputer. It was practically a single-chip computer, which was meant to be networked with other transputer chips to take tasks off the CPU's hands. Getting more computing power would have been as easy as plugging a few more transputers into the system. What I propose resembles this in that it would take the "dirty" task of DRM-managed computing off the hands of your main CPU. So here's the pitch:

Suppose that there is a special card you can plug into that 1x pci-e slot no one ever uses. In short, it's a single-board computer. It has it's own CPU (low-wattage of course), memory, microhdd, and DRM to enable remote control over it's operation. You install an open-source component on your OS, which gives the device access to your network connection. You can then sell a certificate to give others a monopoly over it's resources for some period of time. Sell it to Linden Labs to host a small SL island on, whatever. Of course, this is managed through the seller's convenient "Ebay for cpu time" service which also provides buyer/seller quality control. Would you buy this DRMed card and rent it's resources out?"

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