mblase writes: The Blue Waters supercomputer will be officially opened for business this Thursday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (known to Slashdotters as the birthplace of the original Mosaic web browser and the fictional HAL-9000). At a maximum speed of 11.6 petaflops, plus a 300-petabyte storage system, it will (probably) be the third-fastest supercomputer in the world. It almost wasn't completed when IBM pulled out halfway through the project, but persistence paid off. According to NCSA, the machine has already been performing useful research in biochemistry, meteorology, earth science, and more running at just 15% capacity.
mblase writes: SpaceX and NASA have been working hard to make this weekend's launch happen--and that has meant navigating the cultural differences between this small, young startup and the huge veteran space agency. The relationship involves daily calls and emails between people who live in two different worlds: age versus youth, bureaucracy versus a flat startup-like structure, and a sense of caution versus a desire to move forward quickly. But they both have an almost religious belief in the need for humans to venture forth into space, a geeky love for rockets, technical know-how--plus, they both need each other to succeed.