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posted by martyb on Tuesday November 13, @11:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the reality,-virtually dept.

Ex-Facebook exec ousted from company sparked controversy with pro-Trump views: report

A former top executive at Facebook who was ousted from the company may have been fired over his support for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported Sunday that Palmer Luckey has recently told people that he was fired for supporting Trump before that year's presidential election. Luckey's donation in September 2016 to NimbleAmerica, a group that funded ads attacking Hillary Clinton, reportedly sparked backlash within Facebook.

Six months after making that donation, Luckey was no longer at the company. The Journal noted that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress this year that Luckey's departure had nothing to do with his political beliefs.

According to the Journal, Luckey was first put on leave and later fired. In the fall of 2016, Zuckerberg pressured Luckey to voice support publicly for Gary Johnson, the libertarian nominee in that year's election, the Journal reported, citing internal emails and sources familiar with the conversations.

"Zuckerberg lied to Congress" could become a bipartisan statement.

Palmer Luckey.

Also at NBC.

Previously: Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Oculus Co-Founder Pitches Virtual Border Wall

Related: Oculus VR Founder Palmer Luckey on the Need for "Unlimited Graphics Horsepower"
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Palmer Luckey Donates to CrossVR Patreon
Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe Leaves Facebook

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Tuesday November 13, @09:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the good-on-paper dept.

Naples, Rome, Milan, Zen 4: An Interview with AMD CTO, Mark Papermaster

The goal of AMD's event in the middle of the fourth quarter of the year was to put into perspective two elements of AMD's strategy: firstly, its commitment to delivering a 7nm Vega based product by the end of the year, as the company promised in early 2018, but also to position its 7nm capabilities as some of the best by disclosing the layout of its next generation enterprise processor set to hit shelves in 2019. [...] We sat down with AMD's CTO, Mark Papermaster, to see if we could squeeze some of the finer details about both AMD's strategy and the finer points of some of the products from the morning sessions.

[...] Ian Cutress: Forrest explained on the stage that the datacenter of today is very different to the datacenter ten years ago (or even 3-5 years ago). What decisions are you making today to predict the datacenter of the future?

Mark Papermaster: We believe we will be positioned very well – it all ties back to my opening comments on Moore's Law. We all accept that the traditional Moore's Law is slowing down, and that while process does still matter you have to be agile about how you put the pieces together, otherwise you cannot win. We leveraged ourselves to have scalability in our first EPYC launch. We leveraged our ability in our chiplet approach here to combine really small 7nm CPU dies with tried and proven 14nm for the IO die. That modularity only grows in importance going forward. We've stated our case as to where we believe it is necessary to keep pace on a traditional Moore's Law growth despite the slowing of the process gains per node and the length of time between major semiconductor nodes. I think you'll see others adopt what we've done with the chiplet approach, and I can tell you we are committed.

[...] IC: Where does Rome sit with CCIX support?

MP: We didn't announce specifically those attributes beyond PCIe 4.0 today, but I can say we are a member of CCIX as we are with Gen Z. Any further detail there you will have to wait until launch. Any specific details about the speeds, feeds, protocols, are coming in 2019.

IC: There have been suggestions that because AMD is saying that Rome is coming in 2019 then that means Q4 2019.

MP: We're not trying to imply any specific quarter or time frame in 2019. If we look at today's event, it was timed it to launch our MI60 GPU in 7nm which is imminent. We wanted to really share with the industry how we've embraced 7nm, and preview what's coming out very soon with MI60, and really share our approach on CPU on Zen 2 and Rome. We're not implying any particular time in 2019, but we'll be forthcoming with that. Even though the GPU is PCIe 3.0 backwards compatible, it helps for a PCIe 4.0 GPU to have a PCIe 4.0 CPU to connect to!

[...] IC: One of the key aspects in AMD's portfolio is the Infinity Fabric, and with Rome you have stated that AMD is now on its second generation IF. Do you see an end in its ability to scale down in process node but also scale out to more chiplets and different IP?

MP: I don't see an end because the IF is made of both of Scalable Data Fabric and a Scalable Control Fabric. The SCF is the key to giving the modularity and that's an architectural product. With our SDF we are very confident on the protocols we developed. The SCF protocols are based on the rich history we have with HyperTransport and we are committed in it generationally to improve bandwidth and latency every generation. IF is important when it applies to on chip connectivity, but it can go chip to chip like we did with EPYC, and also with Vega Radeon Instinct in connecting GPU to GPU. For the chip to chip IF, you are also dependent on the package technology. We see tremendous improvements in package technology over the next five years.

See also: AMD Shows Off "Rome" Data Center CPU, Signs Amazon as Cloud Chip Customer

Previously: AMD Previews Zen 2 Epyc CPUs with up to 64 Cores, New "Chiplet" Design

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Tuesday November 13, @08:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the languishing-in-online-archive dept.

Behind-the-scenes audio from Apollo 11 mission have now been made public for first time. These consist of thousands of hours of audio communications between the astronauts, mission control, and backroom support staff recorded by NASA over the course of the entire mission. The tapes have been in storage for decades with only a small fraction previously made public. The original motivation for digging them out was simply to find a large set of audio data to help develop tools for assessing how teams work together. However, now that they are digitized they have been made available online for general use, education, research, or enjoyment.

The main air-to-ground recordings and on-board recordings from the historic mission have been publicly available online for decades. But that was just a fraction of the recorded communications for the mission. Thousands of hours of supplementary conversations ("backroom loops") between flight controllers and other support teams languished in storage at the National Archives and Records Administration building in Maryland—until now.

Thanks to a year-long project to locate, digitize, and process all that extra audio (completed in July), diehard space fans can now access a fresh treasure trove of minutiae from the Apollo 11 mission. And those records are now preserved for future generations.

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Tuesday November 13, @05:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the crystal-nitro-brewing dept.

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Get your nitrogen crystals here!

Intense tests reveal elusive, complex form of nitrogen

Researchers created a crystallised version of nitrogen -- which at normal conditions is the main constituent of air -- by subjecting it to extreme pressures and temperatures.

The study shows for the first time that simple molecular elements can have complex structures at high pressures. It could inform similar studies in other elements, researchers say.

An international team of scientists led by the University of Edinburgh used a high-pressure diamond-tipped anvil to squeeze tiny amounts of nitrogen at pressures half a million times that of Earth's atmosphere, while heating it to about 500 Celsius.

[...] Their findings resolve speculation over the structure of this form of nitrogen, known as ι-N2. It was discovered 15 years ago but its structure was unknown until now.

Unusually complex phase of dense nitrogen at extreme conditions (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07074-4) (DX)

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Tuesday November 13, @04:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the meningitis-blows dept.

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Researchers find new pathway to regulate immune response, control diseases

Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington have found a potential new pathway to regulate immune response and potentially control inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system such as meningitis and sepsis. "We need to know what turns on inflammatory response to bacterial infection to be able to modulate the process," said Subhrangsu Mandal, the UTA associate professor of chemistry who led the research. "If we can do so, we can control inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system that have been hard to treat up to now, such as sepsis and meningitis, as well as cancer and muscular dystrophy, which can also be seen a kind of inflammation," he added.

[...] The researchers have found that the long non-coding RNA molecule HOTAIR present in white blood cells has the capacity to signal these cells to activate immune response in the presence of bacteria. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is present in all living cells. Its primary role is to carry instructions from DNA. "Knowing that HOTAIR has a role in the signaling pathway also means that we can use it as a biomarker for bacterial infection," he added. "Simple blood tests could indicate infection much more quickly, enabling better treatment for patients of rapidly-moving diseases such as septic shock and meningitis, which have been hard to treat up to now."

The researchers used the resources of UTA's North Texas Genome Center to demonstrate that noncoding RNA expression -- including HOTAIR -- is induced in white blood cells treated with lipopolysaccharide, which are molecules found on the outer membrane of bacterial cells. The research showed that HOTAIR gene was expressed alongside cytokines, which are excreted by cells as part of immune response, and inflammatory response genes such as iNOS. As a result, it is possible to conclude that HOTAIR is a key regulator for pathogen-induced cytokine expression, immune response and inflammation.

LncRNA HOTAIR regulates lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine expression and inflammatory response in macrophages (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-33722-2) (DX)

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday November 13, @02:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the H2O dept.

Amazon Reportedly Picks New York, Northern Virginia for HQ2 :

Decision to be formally announced as soon as Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

[...] It appears Amazon couldn't settle on a single site for its second corporate headquarters and has decided to divide the duties between a second and third headquarters.

The online retailing giant is expected to announce as soon as Tuesday it's chosen New York City and northern Virginia's Crystal City for its planned second headquarters  -- dubbed HQ2, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night, citing people familiar with the matter. Other cities may get other responsibilities, the newspaper added.

Amazon's HQ2 gained attention as one of the biggest corporate projects in the US, with the e-retailer planning to hire 50,000 workers and spend $5 billion. The company fueled excitement about its plans by inviting cities to pitch themselves as sites for the development.

It was reported earlier this month that Amazon was examining the option of creating two separate 25,000-person campuses, in part due to the need to hire enough tech talent and partly to ease housing and traffic concerns. Two HQ2 projects would also ensure that Seattle remains Amazon's definitive headquarters.

I don't suppose Amazon would settle for one 30,000 person campus and one 20,000 person campus, should they be able to cut a better deal with one city over the other?

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday November 13, @12:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the Room-101-dept dept.

As the days go by our hard won freedoms and liberty are slowly being eroded. In Europe a crushing blow has been made to freedom of speech with a European Court of Human Rights upholding a conviction for saying that the person known as Muhammad ten centuries ago was technically a paedophile based on information in historical texts. The statement was made in reference to Muhammad's marriage to a six year old child name called Aisha. The court found that “Presenting objects of religious worship in a provocative way capable of hurting the feelings of the followers of that religion could be conceived as a malicious violation of the spirit of tolerance, which was one of the bases of a democratic society.”. In giving its ruling that "Muhammad was not a worthy subject of worship" the court has additionally demonstrated a complete misunderstanding as to the religion involved which worships "Allah", a word meaning 'God', not 'Muhammad' who claimed to be a prophet of this god. Freedom of speech is dying.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday November 13, @11:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the hack-it-it's- dept.

Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd

Astronauts will soon be able to use a supercomputer to help run science experiments on the International Space Station. The Spaceborne Computer, a joint project between NASA and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, launched to the ISS in 2017. It’s been limited to running diagnostic tests, figuring out how well a computer built for Earth could survive in space.

Now it will be available to process data for space-based experiments, which should save researchers on the ground valuable time. It will also save precious bandwidth in the tightly-controlled stream of data that NASA manages between the ISS and the ground. The exact experiments that the supercomputer will run in the next few months have not yet been disclosed.

Source: A supercomputer on the ISS will soon be open for science experiments

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Tuesday November 13, @09:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the C=64 dept.

Upgraded US Supercomputers Claim top two Spots on Top500 List:

China has more of the 500 fastest machines on the planet than ever, and the US hits an all-time low.

The US now can claim the top two machines on a list of the 500 fastest supercomputers, as Sierra, an IBM machine for nuclear weapons research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, edged out a Chinese system that last year was the very fastest.

The Top500 list ranks supercomputers based on how quickly they perform a mathematical calculation test called Linpack. The top machine, IBM's Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, had claimed the No. 1 spot in June with a speed of 122.3 quintillion mathematical operations per second, or 122.3 petaflops.

But an upgrade gave it a score of 143.5 petaflops on the newest list. To match that speed, each person on the planet would have to perform 19 million calculations per second. Sierra got an upgrade, too, boosting its performance from 71.6 petaflops to 94.6 petaflops and lifting it from third place to second.

The top machine on the first TOP500 list in June of 1993 was a Thinking Machines Corporation CM-5/1024 with 1,024 cores and was rated at Rpeak of 131.0 GFlop/s and Rmax of 59.7 GFlop/s. The least performant system is listed at the bottom of Page 5 of he list was a C3840 Made by Sharp of Japan which had 4 cores and had RPeak and RMax scores of 0.5 and 0.4 GFlop/s respectively. The fasted Cray Research machine in 1993 rated 9th place at 15.2/13.7 GFlop/s for RPeak and RMax.

Where on that first list would today's smartphones land?

More at Top500 and The Register.

Original Submission

Summit and Sierra are siblings, each using IBM Power9 processors boosted by Nvidia Tesla V100 accelerator chips and connected with Mellanox high-speed Infiniband network connections. They're gargantuan machines made of row after row of refrigerator-size computing cabinets. Summit has 2.4 million processor cores and Sierra has 1.6 million.

[...] A total of 227 of the Top500 machines are in China, compared with an all-time low of 109 for the US. The November list is the 52nd one released by a collection of academic researchers who compile it twice yearly for supercomputing conferences.

Linpack is only one speed test, though, and the Top500 has another designed to capture a broader range of performance abilities, the High-Performance Conjugate Gradient (HPCG) benchmark. On it, Summit and Sierra are head and shoulders above competing supercomputers.

posted by martyb on Tuesday November 13, @08:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the freedom-is-slavery dept.

From The Guardian:

Britain's biggest employer organisation and main trade union body have sounded the alarm over the prospect of British companies implanting staff with microchips to improve security.

UK firm BioTeq, which offers the implants to businesses and individuals, has already fitted 150 implants in the UK.

The tiny chips, implanted in the flesh between the thumb and forefinger, are similar to those for pets. They enable people to open their front door, access their office or start their car with a wave of their hand, and can also store medical data.

[...] Steven Northam, the founder and owner of Hampshire-based BioTeq, told the Guardian that most of its 150 implants have been for individuals, while some financial and engineering firms have also had the chips implanted in their staff.

BioTeq has also implanted them in employees of a bank testing the technology, and has shipped them to Spain, France, Germany, Japan and China.

We recently covered similar technology being used in Sweden but the idea of implanting a tracking chip in a human for identification is nothing new.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday November 13, @06:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the why-seven-seconds? dept.

Business Insider:

[...] In December, explorer and investor Victor Vescovo, along with scientist Alan Jamieson from Newcastle University, are embarking on a groundbreaking mission more than 6.5 miles under the waves. The two are heading out in a new $48 million dollar submarine system to better map the bottom of the world's five oceans.

They're calling the mission, which will be the first time people travel to the bottom of each of the world's seas, "Five Deeps."

"Our depth of ignorance about the oceans is quite dramatic," Vescovo said as he introduced the mission to an audience in New York. "Four of the oceans have never even had a human being go to their bottom. In fact, we don't even know with great certainty where the bottom of the four are."

First up on the five-dive trip will be the Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean. It's a spot no human has ever explored, and it's so deep that any communications from the submarine will take seven seconds to travel back up.

The team believes it's possible to find a location deeper than the Challenger Deep.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday November 13, @04:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the which-way-did-he-go? dept.

The Register reports a hack, speculated to be intentional instead of the usual finger fumble, whereby all of Google's traffic was routed for just over an hour to servers in Russia and China.

The Register story:

It quotes this update from Google:

Excerpt from the update:

The issue with Google Cloud IP addresses being erroneously advertised by internet service providers other than Google has been resolved for all affected users as of 14:35 US/Pacific. Throughout the duration of this issue Google services were operating as expected and we believe the root cause of the issue was external to Google. We will conduct an internal investigation of this issue and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence.

As BGP is "broken by design", i.e. assumes trust where there is no longer any, what is perhaps surprising is that it took so long to happen. Does not augur well.

So much for "the internet always routes around damage". Maybe "always" takes time to happen...

Exercise for the reader: is it possible to circumvent this effectively, and if so, how? Has my paranoia-meter misfired, and there's really nothing to worry about?

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Tuesday November 13, @03:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the with-blackjack-and-hookers dept.

The next version of HTTP won’t be using TCP

In its continued efforts to make Web networking faster, Google has been working on an experimental network protocol named QUIC: "Quick UDP Internet Connections." QUIC abandons TCP, instead using its sibling protocol UDP (User Datagram Protocol). UDP is the "opposite" of TCP; it's unreliable (data that is sent from one end may never be received by the other end, and the other end has no way of knowing that something has gone missing), and it is unordered (data sent later can overtake data sent earlier, arriving jumbled up). UDP is, however, very simple, and new protocols are often built on top of UDP.

QUIC reinstates the reliability and ordering that TCP has but without introducing the same number of round trips and latency. For example, if a client is reconnecting to a server, the client can send important encryption data with the very first packet, enabling the server to resurrect the old connection, using the same encryption as previously negotiated, without requiring any additional round trips.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF—the industry group that collaboratively designs network protocols) has been working to create a standardized version of QUIC, which currently deviates significantly from Google's original proposal. The IETF also wants to create a version of HTTP that uses QUIC, previously referred to as HTTP-over-QUIC or HTTP/QUIC. HTTP-over-QUIC isn't, however, HTTP/2 over QUIC; it's a new, updated version of HTTP built for QUIC.

Accordingly, Mark Nottingham, chair of both the HTTP working group and the QUIC working group for IETF, proposed to rename HTTP-over-QUIC to HTTP/3, and the proposal seems to have been broadly accepted. The next version of HTTP will have QUIC as an essential, integral feature, such that HTTP/3 will always use QUIC as its network protocol.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday November 13, @01:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the wants-to-be-free dept.

A few weeks ago we published an update about the forthcoming [release] of our Librem 5 development kits when we ran into some issues which caused delays. Today we’re bringing you another update on the hardware fabrication process, as well as some pictures and a video. At the same time as the last update got posted, I was on my way to California, where we are fabricating our development kit and base boards (we are bringing everything to life there, and shipping from that same facility).

The story of fabricating the entire devkit hardware from the ground-up included crossing paths with a couple of storms:

- Hurricane Florence caused some shipping delays for component parts, and one of our packages also got lost in Memphis—maybe it enjoyed the music and drinks a bit too much? We don’t know because we never heard back from it again. So we had to procure additional parts.

- The typhoon in south east China caused a week of factory shutdowns, which included our PCB design prototypes!

- Almost right after that was a Chinese holiday, the Golden Week, which is in practice a two week holiday. Luckily we could expedite the PCBs at a fab in Los Angeles and courier ship to us!

All in all, we had a setback of about three weeks before we were able to make the first prototypes of the boards.


All parts for the final production of the dev kits are procured and still waiting in the magazines on the machines to be placed on the final boards. The kernel team is making amazing progress on mainline Linux 4.18+, we are in intense communication with other Linux i.MX 8M mainlining partners. The kernel, the GPU drivers and MESA will see quite some i.MX 8M patches from us—and yes, upstream first was and is our motto, everything we do is and will be pushed upstream!

After all this, I am reluctant to give a new timeline for shipping the dev kits…

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday November 12, @11:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall... dept.

Science Daily:

A new study has established that excessive use of social media, in particular the posting of images and selfies, is associated with a subsequent increase in narcissism.
They also assessed the participants' usage of social media -- including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat -- during that same period.

Narcissism is a personality characteristic that can involve grandiose exhibitionism, beliefs relating to entitlement, and exploiting others.

Those who used social media excessively, through visual postings, displayed an average 25% increase in such narcissistic traits over the four months of the study.

This increase took many of these participants above the clinical cut-off for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, according to the measurement scale used.

TLDR: Social media encourages narcissism.

Original Submission