The advantage is that, contrary to the arguments of TFA, the test is very representative of scientific and engeneering problems. That way, if you want to be at the top at the available computing power, you'll very probably want to be at the top 500 list.
Not necessarily true. It is representative of a CLASS of scientific and engineering problems. If the science that you want to run involves heavy use of vectors, then you want a computer that would be high on the top 500 list. Derivatives and integrals? Not as much. Problems that require a high degree of interaction between nodes? Get a computer with a faster interconnect. It all depends on the science you intend to do with that computer. The NEC Earth Simulator (mentioned in another thread) would do poorly for chemical models compared to another machine. Climate models wouldn't run as well on a cluster of Dells as it would on a Vector based box like the Earth Simulator.
Agreed. It seems like the issue is "big enough" only now that other people are catching up.
I call bullsh*t on this comment. Around 8 years ago, the top computer on the list was a Japanese machine, and it rode atop the list for 3 years straight. Those of us who have worked in high performance computing have known for years that the top 500 list was a load of crap. It's something to write a press release about so that the people that give us money to build the big computers feel like their money is well spent. I worked on a top 5 computer at one time, but our focus was always the science that we wanted to do on the computer. Running the linpack benchmark for the top 500 list was an afterthought (though it was a pleasant surprise to score as well as we did).
Oh yes, the fantastic lesson of "If someone does something you don't want him to, harm him".
It works wonders.
Why not, it works for Mother Nature.
Your response didn't make a lot of sense in places, so I'll just reply to the one part that did. Yes, we are the people, but so are they. Just because you feel like copyrights get in the way of you being able to do what you want doesn't mean that copyrights are wrong, and doesn't give you the right to simply ignore them. You do not have the right to say that they can't try to make a profit off their creative work. There is no right to free entertainment.
Furthermore, you state that "More people have voted against copyright as we know it than have voted for any political candidate in history." When did these votes take place? I wasn't aware that copyright has been put before the voting public in recent history. I'd love to see a reference that backs up your statement.
Finally, I'm inclined to side with you, that these people could be considered to be an advertising resource. However, the copyright owner is not obliged to view them that way. I can't fault them for trying to get money from those who have illegally copied their work, and actually, I think that suites of this scale might encourage copyright owners to use more realistic values for damages.
Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.