Monday, January 28, 2013

Do Not Talk About Exascale

In this episode of Radio Free HPC, the topic of Exascale is under the hosts' scrutiny once again as they discuss some interesting stories released by The Exascale Report featuring opinion by Bill Gropp of NCSA and Bill Harrod of DOE.

Rule #1: You do not talk about Exascale. (Kind of like rule #1 of Fight Club, except the guys keep breaking it.) Why not? Because too many of the people talking about Exascale are having the wrong conversation about it.

What should the conversation be? Should it be about the systems themselves, or about the work that can be done only with those systems -- the science that we can't yet do? Spoiler alert: Dan and Henry disagree on this. But a peaceful vibe reigns once again as they discuss what The Exascale Report calls "The Three Noble Truths" of Exascale, which sounds kind of Zen and cool -- as if it was coined by Exascale Samurai.

And finally... is it time to talk about Zetta-scale?

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Human Face of Big Data

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at at a new book called The Human Face of Big Data by Rick Smolan.

The book details the ways in which Big Data affects our daily lives and predicts the ways it will transform our future. The big-picture overview the author presents is that of our planet becoming a giant nervous system in which we, its inhabitants, are the nerve endings. Or as his ten-year-old son put it, "Isn't this like growing another eye?" Indeed it is: with all of this sensory input, we are beginning to see a third dimension. It's also one of those we-don't-know-what-we-don't-know propositions. Just as we could never have imagined how transformative the Internet would be, we can't predict where Big Data will take us. We don't even know, really, how to maximize the data we're collecting right now.

The Human Face of Big Data is available -- well, probably lots of places -- but here's the Amazon link, because they have so much data on us already.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

RF HPC Ep22 Intel Inside Cable TV

In this episode, the Radio Free HPC team discusses recent reports of Intel's plans to bust up the cable TV industry by offering a service or set-top box that would allow customers to buy channels and individual shows a la carte, and -- AND -- access a cloud-based DVR service. The stuff of dreams, right? But not so fast. Acquiring licenses for each bit of content, and dealing with Hollywood in general, is not for the faint of heart.

What's in this uphill climb for Intel? Chips in every household; entry into a massive market; and another way to offset declining PC sales. What's in it for consumers seems pretty clear, but there's at least one major caveat: What's to stop, say, Comcast from raising rates for its Internet cable in order to cover lost revenue? Then we're all paying Intel and our local cable provider. Is this just "Meet the new boss... same as the old boss?"

This episode also gives us a peek into the guys' viewing preferences and current entertainment setups. (Henry: The Food Network instead of ESPN? Really?)

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Success and Failure in Tech

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at success factors for technology Startups. Prompted by a recent interview with Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolshiem, the discussion centers around lessons learned from Sun's decline and eventual acquisition by Oracle. Download the MP3 * Download the video * Subscribe on iTunes * RSS Feed