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NVIDIA Announces Tesla K40 GPU Accelerator and IBM Partnership In Supercomputing 59

MojoKid writes "The supercomputing conference SC13 kicks off this week and Nvidia is kicking off their own event with the launch of a new GPU and a strategic partnership with IBM. Just as the GTX 780 Ti was the full consumer implementation of the GK110 GPU, the new K40 Tesla card is the supercomputing / HPC variant of the same core architecture. The K40 picks up additional clock headroom and implements the same variable clock speed threshold that has characterized Nvidia's consumer cards for the past year, for a significant overall boost in performance. The other major shift between Nvidia's previous gen K20X and the new K40 is the amount of on-board RAM. K40 packs a full 12GB and clocks it modestly higher to boot. That's important because datasets are typically limited to on-board GPU memory (at least, if you want to work with any kind of speed). Finally, IBM and Nvidia announced a partnership to combine Tesla GPUs and Power CPUs for OpenPOWER solutions. The goal is to push the new Tesla cards as workload accelerators for specific datacenter tasks. According to Nvidia's release, Tesla GPUs will ship alongside Power8 CPUs, which are currently scheduled for a mid-2014 release date. IBM's venerable architecture is expected to target a 4GHz clock speed and offer up to 12 cores with 96MB of shared L3 cache. A 12-core implementation would be capable of handling up to 96 simultaneous threads. The two should make for a potent combination."

Do-It-Yourself Brain Stimulation Has Scientists Worried 311

Freshly Exhumed writes "Dave Siever always fancied himself as something of a musician, but also realized he did not necessarily sing or play in perfect key. Then he strapped on the electrodes of a device made by his Edmonton company, and zapped his brain's auditory cortex with a mild dose of electricity. The result, he claims, was a dramatic improvement in his ability to hear pitch, including the sour notes he produced himself. 'Now I tune everything and I practise my singing over and over and over again, because I'm more sensitive to it.' Mr. Siever was not under the supervision of a doctor or psychologist, and nor is he one himself. He is part of an extraordinary trend that has amateur enthusiasts excited, and some scientists deeply nervous: do-it-yourself brain stimulation." With studies suggesting that small doses of electricity can: increase your memory, help you learn new tasks, make you better at math, turn you into a sniper in minutes, and most importantly make the ugly seem attractive, we can expect a lot of brain zapping in the next few years.

Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby? 166

First time accepted submitter nedko.m writes "I would describe myself as more of a 'software guy' rather than somebody who likes to play with hardware much, but I've wanted to start doing basic robotics projects as a hobby for quite a while now. However, I was never sure where to start from and what the very first steps should be in order to get more familiar with the hardware aspects of robotics. For instance, I would like to start off with a simple soccer robot. Any suggestions on what low-budget parts should I obtain, which would provide me, subsequently, extensibility to a bit more elaborate projects?"

With Sales Down, Whale Meat Flogged As Source of Strength 311

beaverdownunder writes "From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: 'Japan's peak whaling body has launched a new campaign to promote whale meat as a nutritious food that enhances physical strength and reduces fatigue. With about 5,000 tonnes of whale meat sitting unwanted in freezers around Japan, the country's Institute for Cetacean Research has decided to launch a new campaign to promote the by-product of its so-called scientific whaling program. Once popular in school lunches, younger generations of Japanese rarely, if ever, eat whale."

Stop Standardizing HTML 302

pfignaux writes with an interesting view on the place of centralized standardization in modern browsers. From the article: "When HTML first appeared, it offered a coherent if limited vocabulary for sharing content on the newly created World Wide Web. Today, after HTML has handed off most of its actual work to other specifications, it's time to stop worrying about this central core and let developers choose their own markup vocabularies and processing." Instead, the author proposes that CSS, Javascript+DOM, the W3C's accessibility framework, and Web Components are sufficient to implement the rendering of smaller, domain-specific markups.

Comment Re:Can't America get its acts together ? (Score 5, Informative) 1059

America can, and hopefully will again.

Balancing the checkbook is good, but there are times when it might be a good idea to grit your teeth and take out a loan. Imagine waking up one Monday morning in a muddy ditch with a missing front tooth and a vague recollection of your wife clearing out your joint accounts and running off with some musclebound thug, in your car. You painfully make your way home to realize that she's burned down the house. What are you going to do? Not balance the checkbook. Not get all high and mighty and track them down in South America either. (OT, ever read Dog of the South? Great book.) No, you're going to say good riddance and get on with your life. You're going to find a phone, call in sick, get your damn tooth fixed, buy a cheap suit, rent a car, get a hotel room, and get back to work as soon as possible. And you're going to do it all on credit. If you're not willing to go into debt here, you'll be severely impacting your future earning potential, ie, you'll be a filthy toothless bum forever.

This is a pretty good metaphor for the shape the country was in when Obama took over, btw. It's even got a car in it. I'm not about to go blaming it all on Bush, either; there's plenty of blame to go around. Anyway: We're in an emergency. Balancing the budget through spending cuts, as righteous as some of those cuts may sound, is likely to decrease economic activity and make things worse. It's important for us to realize that deficit spending should be a last resort, and the goal should be to stop it ASAP. But it's not time yet.

Comment Re:Just another cautionary tale (Score 5, Informative) 164

For perspective, the tax breaks given to oil companies amounts to about $2.4 billion/year (in the form tax breaks which are similar to the same tax breaks that every other industry gets for investing in expansion). Loan guarantees like the one A123 got totalled $90 billion in the "stimulus" bill passed in 2009.

Where's this $90 billion number from? $88 billion over ten years was the total for titles II, IV, V, and VIII of the ARRA bill. Loan guarantees are only part of this.

Wikipedia puts the total green-energy loan guarantees at $6 billion. There might be some other loan guarantees hiding in other categories, but your total is suspect, and comparing an annual number to a ten-year number is deceptive regardless.

Comment Re:What about Bloomberg? (Score 1) 458

Actually, I think it was the private race organizers that had the generators.

Yes it was, until they were shamed by the New York Post. They suggested that they be donated or at least lent to the recovery effort in some way. Even though the race was cancelled, the generators still just sat there in the park. Bloomberg, as a mayor and billionaire, is the kind of person who probably could have arranged for the generators to be commandeered, but he didn't, and neither did anyone else. (I'm not judging, especially because there's probably more to the story.)

Do you just let residents run extension cords out their windows?

Sure, why not? They would also be handy for running elevators, powering the pumps for the plumbing in buildings big enough that higher floors have no water pressure, lighting and heating for the lobby at least...

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.