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Submission + - Home HPC architecture choices: blade or not?

serverman writes: I have a medium-scale personal project and a budget of $50-$75k to expand my home (OK, technically I have this in a local colo) compute farm. I've already decided the economics are better to buy than rent, so no cloud usage here.

My project involves research where I run my own code to repeatedly analyze a ~30TB dataset, where data is in flat files on an xfs filesystem and and each job reads a subset of these files, always sequentially. The task is inherently sequential, so this isn't parallelizable in ways suited to Map-Reduce, for instance. I get parallelism by running one research job per CPU core, and conducting many experiments in parallel.

The architecture I have so far is to use a direct-attached external JBOD chassis and hardware RAID6 over 16 x 4TB 3.5" SATA drives. I then NFS export this read-only dataset to other compute nodes nearby, which also run compute jobs accessing the same data. I am currently CPU bound, and so far I think I could grow to 2-4 more compute nodes all reading from this NFS filesystem. Once I exceed the bandwidth of the drives, I'll buy another chassis & drives (50TB) and mirror my dataset there.

I'm looking to expand compute capacity, and looking for advice between:
        — scale out with many cheap nodes (Dell R620)
        — fewer beefy nodes (Dell R820)
        — Dell blade solutions (M1000e + many M620 blades)
        — Dell VRTX blade with internal storage + compute

I have heard that blades can be finicky (setup, compatibility), and it seems surprising to me that these enterprise technologies would be the most price-efficient. Yet the pricing seems reasonably good, and the power consumption should be better. Are blades a popular choice for HPC?

I've also heard that it's possible to directly attach storage to multiple compute nodes. Presumably if I do this, I need to switch filesystems — is this advisable? It seems like it might perform better than NFS over 1GigE.

Happy to hear what people think.

Submission + - Java 6 is EOL'd by Oracle

Tmack writes: Not completely unexpected, Java6 has reached EOL. This tidbit shows up in Oracle's Java6 FAQ page, recommending everyone update to Java7:

Java SE 6 End of Public Updates
Oracle no longer posts updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites. All Java 6 releases up to and including 6u45 have been moved to the Java Archive on the Oracle Technology Network, where they will remain available but not receive further updates. Oracle recommends that users migrate to Java 7 in order to continue receiving public updates and security enhancements.

Apple just pushed its update 16 which is Java6u51, likely to be one of their last Java6 updates.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Choosing a snooping-free VPS

jeconom writes: The latest PRISM story / scandal / revelation confirmed what everyone in the IT world already knew: that US agencies have unlimited access to all data stored in every US company. As Trevor Pott notes, the 'Not subject to American law' label may soon become the next desirable IT feature.
I plan to launch a web service that will contain a lot of users’ documents and data. I have to buy a VPS hosting, and although choosing a non-US company seems the obvious choice, I know that many countries have close ties to the US as the recent Megaupload raid highlighted. Which companies (or countries) would you propose as a reasonably safe haven with respect to data protection from US agencies?

Submission + - SPAM: Why Taliban would talk as U.S. withdrawal looms

zhubaobao writes: The United States will have its first formal meeting with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday, a source close to the talks who did not want to be named told CNN.

Meanwhile, the Taliban told reporters in Doha that they want to improve relations with the world. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson explains what's happening and why now.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lobster, a new game programming language, now available as Open Source

Aardappel writes: Lobster ( ) is a new programming language targeting game programming specifically, building on top of OpenGL, SDL 2 and FreeType. The language looks superficially similar to Python, but is its own blend of fun features. Open Source (ZLIB license) and available on GitHub ( ).

Submission + - SPAM: Retina Support

steve_mark66 writes: Along with responsive support for website layouts I have also seen a dramatic rise in people building for retina devices. Apple first engineered this idea with the iPhone 4 and has since applied this screen display onto their other devices, including the iPad and some MacBooks. Retina screens are basically twice as dense as any average LCD. So they are the same number of physical pixels, but digitally twice as many pixels can be fitted into the same physical space.

This means pixel-perfect web designers supporting retina devices will need to create two sets of images. First you need to sample your image at double the resolution, then save a “standard” version at half the size. The larger image will be scaled down to the standard resolution and will look very crisp on retina screens.

One of my favorite tools for responsive web design is retina.js. This is a JavaScript library for automatically displaying at 2x retina copies of image whenever your user is browsing on a retina device.

Although this won’t detect CSS background image, it is still the most handy resource as opposed to coding everything in media queries.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

steve_mark66 writes: Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth. The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages
Link to Original Source

Submission + - PGP - Hacked or not? 1

SuperCharlie writes: I have been a windows desktop tech since 3.1 and around the early 2000's took the web developer direction. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that until the recent spat of news I have never investigated encryption.

After a few nights of drinking from the PGP firehose and discussing encrypting my emails and such with a fellow web developer who has about as much knowledge as me in the PGP arena we have come to a loggerhead.

He believes that some time shortly after 1996 PGP was basically compromised by the U.S. government and that any versions afterwards can quite easily be decrypted, basically making the process a waste of time.

I explained that Gpg4win and other open source PGP versions would be obvious to the community if they were compromised.

Maybe I am so uninformed that I am not even asking the right questions, so, I present this question to the /. community at large: PGP — Hacked or not?

Submission + - NY's Bloomberg and SF mayor announce tech summits (

Clarklteveno writes: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his San Francisco counterpart, Ed Lee, said at a news conference Friday that they are sponsoring a pair of technology summits over the next year. The mayors said the "digital cities" summits — one in New York in September and another in San Francisco early next year — will seek to find ways to use technology to solve problems the cities face. The mayors made the announcement after touring the office of San Francisco-based mobile payment company Square with co-founder Jack Dorsey, who also helped found Twitter. Bloomberg pointed to power outages and dangerous winds and flooding from Hurricane Sandy as examples of issues the summits would seek to address.

Submission + - Network engineering Q&A site launched

Hamburg writes: Stack Exchange launched a new site for network engineers. It's in question and answer style, content is tagged for filtering and subscribing to topics. A voting system supports quality of posts, leading to so called reputation scores which determine moderation capabilities of the users. It's now 18 days in beta, at this early stage users decide which way it will go, from quality and kind of contributions up to the future design of the site. People there discuss mainly professional subjects such as the best dual-provider design for the enterprise, when to choose fiber instead of copper cabling, and efficient ways for troubleshooting switching loops.

Submission + - ARM In Supercomputers - "Get Ready For The Change" (

An anonymous reader writes: Commodity ARM CPUs are poised to to replace x86 CPUs just as commodity x86 CPUs replaced vector CPUs in early supercomputers. An analysis by the EU Mountblanc Project (using Nvidia Tegra 2/3, Samsung Exynos 5 & Intel Core i7 CPUs) highlights the suitability & energy efficiency of ARM based solutions. They finish off by saying that 'Current limitations due to target market condition — not real technological challenges' and 'A Whole set of ARM server chips is coming — solving most of the limitations identified'

Submission + - Ex-Marine detained under Operationn Vigilant Eagle for his political views sues (

stry_cat writes: You may remember the story of Brandon Raub, who was detained withtout due process over some facebook posts he made. Now with the help of the Rutherford Institute, he is suing his captors.

According to his complaint [PDF], his detention was part of a federal government program code-named “Operation Vigilant Eagle,” which monitors military veterans with certain political views.

Submission + - Europe Commission launches $12 billion chip support campaign (

An anonymous reader writes: Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president responsible for the digital economy, wants to use 5 billion euros of European Union tax payers' money together with matching funds from the chip industry to recreate European success in semiconductors similar to that of Airbus. Because of its strategic importance to wealth creation Kroes wants Europe to reverse its decline in chip manufacturing and move back up from 10 percent to 20 percent of global production.

Submission + - SPAM: Media Teleconference: The Importance of International Standards in Managing..

slashdotnewsme writes: - Tuesday, May 21st 2013 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Please join Dr. Robert Shapiro for a teleconference as he releases a new report on the failure of two Saudi Arabian conglomerates, the Saad Group and the Algosaibi Group, and the management of their debt defaults and restructurings. Dr. Shapiro will assess a number of questions raised about the Saudi Government’s handling of the restructuring process and the impact on Islamic finance and the Saudi business climate.


Dr. Robert Shapiro, Chairman of Sonecon, an economic analysis and advisory firm, an advisor to the IMF, and former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Clinton administration.


Media Teleconference: The Importance of International Standards in Managing Defaults in Islamic Finance


Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 8:30 am EDT; 4:30 pm GST


+1 212 231 2912 or 800 745 8951 (U.S.); 8000175534 (UAE); 08004960827 (UK); 08001815851 (Germany); 0800914638 (France); 8001012054 (Singapore); 1800813989 (Malaysia); 0018030176654 (Indonesia)

The 2009 defaults by the two Saudi conglomerates left as many as 100 international and regional financial institutions holding unrestructured debts. Four years later, many of those debts remain unresolved, including debts represented by sukuk, an Islamic instrument for corporate borrowing. The Saudi Government appears to have helped to negotiate an agreement between the Saad Group and its local creditors, but many foreign holders of Saad Group debt have received virtually no information, much less offers, about the disposition of their loans to the Group.

Many observers have charged that throughout this process, the Saudi Government has failed to ensure equal treatment for foreign and domestic creditors, or provide even minimal transparency to the restructuring process. These shortcomings violate the standards set forth by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, and other international institutions. The Saudi approach also contrasts sharply with the behavior of other Muslim governments with regard to defaults of Islamic financial instruments, including Malaysia, Kuwait and the UAE, which have overseen or handled restructurings in accordance with international norms and best practices.

The Saudi Government’s handling of these recent defaults also raise questions for global companies and lenders about that government’s capacity and willingness to ensure a transparent and fair process for resolving the claims of international creditors, which in turn could reduce foreign direct investments, trigger capital flight, and damage the country’s economic outlook.

Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.


For Sonecon

Miriam Warren, 202-262-6529

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For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken