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Radio Free HPC, Episode 7: What's the Deal With Exascalar? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00

This episode focuses on the Exascalar benchmark, a combination of the Top500 and Green500. Is this something the industry needs? How about getting the Top500 and Green500 accurate first? Dan defends both his "pimped-out" laptop and his theory of "More is more." The guys also take a look at a chart posted previously on this site that compares cost per MegaFLOP/s on systems ranging from the K Computer to an iPad.

Check the Radio Free HPC website for new episodes and more great content from Rich Brueckner of insideHPCHenry Newman of Instrumental, Inc., and GCG's Dan Olds.

 

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Radio Free HPC, Episode 6: When Big Data Goes Bad PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 August 2012 00:00

Today, the topic is Big Data and analytics. The guys talk about a couple of examples of over-reliance on analytics leading to bad outcomes. The first deals with some high school kids who were accused of cheating because of a plagiarism software program; the second looks at how a major bank may have lost up to $9 billion due to lack of proper controls and blind faith in existing analytic systems.

Check the Radio Free HPC website for new episodes and more great content from Rich Brueckner of insideHPCHenry Newman of Instrumental, Inc., and GCG's Dan Olds.

 

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Radio Free HPC, Episode 5: ISC'12 Review PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 August 2012 00:00

ISC'12 in Hamburg inspires talk of Intel's new Phi multi-core processor... and bakeries in Hamburg inspire a new all-pastry diet for Dan. Rich throws his co-hosts a curveball; Henry says something profound; Dan finds a way to use the word 'melange'; and all discuss the state of programming today. New sponsor alert: Glade 'Data Center Edition.'

Check the Radio Free HPC website for new episodes and more great content from Rich Brueckner of insideHPCHenry Newman of Instrumental, Inc., and GCG's Dan Olds.

 

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Govt. Travel Restrictions Threaten SC12; GSA Scandal Fallout PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:00

Our buddy Rich Brueckner over at insideHPC broke some news this week when he published a story about new conference and travel spending restrictions that might radically scale back U.S. government agency participation in HPC industry events like the upcoming SC12 conference in Salt Lake City this November. The new strictures are almost certainly due to adverse publicity and bureaucratic fallout from the 2010 Las Vegas junket enjoyed by employees of the GSA (U.S. General Services Administration).

The $822,000 spent on that Las Vegas convention has been dubbed ‘lavish’, ‘outrageous’, and ‘completely over the top’ by news reports, politicians, and pundits. (But was called ‘about right’ by Elton John, according to rumors.)

Of course, when you’re talking about 300 career bureaucrats looking to celebrate the joys of bureaucracy on someone else’s dime, what’s too much?

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The $440M Software Test Disaster: What Happened? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 00:00

I recently wrote about how a bad round of software testing cost Wall Street trading firm Knight Capital an estimated $440 million – enough to almost put the company out of business. In that article, I speculated that Knight might be bailed out if the SEC allowed them to unwind the trades, basically taking a mulligan on the 45-minute debacle. Turns out that ain’t gonna happen. (Insert mea culpa here: I also mistakenly reversed the terms ‘bid’ and ‘ask’ in that story. Which is shameful, given that I have both graduate and undergraduate degrees in finance. I am a constant disappointment to myself and everyone around me. That said, on with the story.)

Knight was left squirming on the hook by US regulators and subsequently forced to find money to cover the losses from third parties. In return for floating Knight $400 million, six other Wall Street firms will be paid a 2% preferred stock dividend and, if they like, be able to convert those preferred shares into enough common stock to own 75% of the company – a pretty sweet deal for a company that was a solid market player before last Wednesday.

Tyler Durden’s blog posts at Zerohedge have been both fast and solid on this story. Here he posts some of the highlights from an interview with Knight CEO Tom Joyce. One of the quotes from Joyce: “We have to do a better job on our testing environment.” Yeah, I think I’d make that a priority, or at least move it farther up the list. It’s an understatement of such magnitude that I’m at a loss to come up with an apt comparison. Maybe if Napoleon had said, “We need to do a better job of scouting out our enemies” after Waterloo? But I’m drawing a blank right now.

So what happened IT-wise with Knight Capital?

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