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+ - IBM Warns US of China Closing Supercomputer Gap->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "China's digging up a massive building with the intent of doing nothing less than usurping the United States as the world's supercomputing leader, so claims IBM. As of the middle of this year, the US' Oak Ridge Lab has been beating China's Shenzhen Center but now an IBM representative addressed a Washington DC forum by saying, 'You have sovereign nations making material investments of a tremendous magnitude to basically eat our lunch, eat our collective lunch.' China's long been a contender but Europe and Japan have similar goals to hit an exascale supercomputer (a computer with 10^8 to 10^9 cores). To achieve this by 2020, the United States will need to focus on 'co-design' where hardware is developed in tandem with every other aspect of the computer from applications down to optics. This isn't the first time a 'space race' style supercomputing push has been spurred by international competitiveness."
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Space

Astronomers Solve the Mystery of 'Hanny's Voorwerp' 123

Posted by kdawson
from the do-not-look-directly-into-the-quasar dept.
KentuckyFC writes "In 2007, a Dutch school teacher named Hanny van Arkel discovered a huge blob of green-glowing gas while combing though images to classify galaxies. Hanny's Voorwerp (meaning Hanny's object in Dutch) is astounding because astronomers have never seen anything like it. Although galactic in scale, it is clearly not a galaxy because it does not contain any stars. That raises an obvious question: what is causing the gas to glow? Now a new survey of the region of sky seems to have solved the problem. The Voorwerp lies close to a spiral galaxy which astronomers now say hides a massive black hole at its center. The infall of matter into the black hole generates a cone of radiation emitted in a specific direction. The great cloud of gas that is Hanny's Voorwerp just happens to be in the firing line, ionizing the gas and causing it to glow green. That lays to rest an earlier theory that the cloud was reflecting an echo of light from a short galactic flare up that occurred 10,000 years ago. It also explains why Voorwerps are so rare: these radiation cones are highly directional so only occasionally do unlucky gas clouds get caught in the crossfire."

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