#465 June 20, 2016 – China Blows away US in Supercomputer Development

This week’s headline story: China Blows away US in Supercomputer Development

china-supercomputerChina has revealed its latest supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight, a monolithic system with 10.65 million compute cores built entirely with Chinese microprocessors. This follows a U.S. government decision last year to deny China access to Intel’s fastest microprocessors over concerns that China was using its supercomputers for nuclear explosive testing activities.

There is no U.S.-made system that comes close to the performance of China’s new system, Its theoretical peak performance is 124.5 petaflops. It is the first system to exceed 100 petaflops. A petaflop equals one thousand trillion (one quadrillion) sustained floating-point operations per second. The world’s next fastest system, China’s Tianhe-2, has a peak performance of 54.9 petaflops using Intel Xeon processors. China has set 2020 as the date for delivering the Tianhe-3, an exascale system 10 times the speed of it’s current record breaker. China now has more supercomputers in the Top500 Supercomputer list than the U.S.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Toyota to build artificial intelligence-based driving systems in five years [Reuters]
    Are you ready to drive an intelligent car? One with a mind of it’s own? Well, Toyota is developing driver assistance systems that integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to improve vehicle safety. The concept of allowing vehicles to think, act and take some control from drivers to perform evasive maneuvers forms a key platform of Toyota’s efforts to produce a car that can drive automatically on highways by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • Pro-ISIS Online Groups Use Social Media Survival Strategies to Evade Authorities [IEE Spectrum]
    One of ISIS’ most dangerous weapons has been the Internet. The extremist group relies heavily on social media to spread news and recruit soldiers. A group of computer scientists led by Stefan Wuchty at University of Miami have published research that characterizes the fundamental way that terrorists and other groups use social media to organize themselves. The findings are being used to create an algorithm that may be able to predict the future behaviors of these groups, including when their activity escalates leading up to an event.
  • FCC Wins Huge Net Neutrality Victory Over Big Telecom [Ecommerce Times]
    Digital Rights Group Says Net Neutrality Decision a Win for All [NewsFactor]
    An appellate court on Tuesday handed a major victory to the Federal Communications Commission by upholding the agency’s watershed Open Internet Order, which ensures equal access to the Internet. The decision likely guarantees that the Internet won’t go the route of cable television, and that the public will be the ones to decide what sites and services we use online rather than companies like Comcast or AT&T. The ruling “is a tremendous and decisive win for all Americans,” says Sarah J. Morris of the Open Technology Institute, “The court’s decision recognizes the value of an open platform over which all voices have a space and all ideas can flourish,” said Morris.
  • Rubin Sees AI Quantum Computer Running the Show [Ecommerce Times]
    Android’s Andy Rubin: Future of Tech Is Quantum Computing and AI [NewsFactor]
    Between quantum computing and advancements in artificial intelligence, a conscious intelligence could emerge that would help form the foundation of every piece of technology, says Android Creator, Andy Rubin. Rubin, who also launched Google’s efforts in robotics, is now CEO of Playground, which together with Redpoint Ventures has invested in an unnamed startup working on quantum computing. New computing platforms emerge every 10-12 years, and the next platform will be based on data and people training AI systems to learn, Rubin said. Learn more using links in the show notes.
  • More Than 8 Billion Devices Worldwide Are Connected to the Internet [Newsfactor]
    A new study by London-based IHS Inc. has determined that at the end of 2015, there were 8.1 billion connected smartphones, tablets, personal computers, TVs, TV-attached devices and audio devices in use worldwide. The world population is currently at about 7.4 billion. The study found that on average, across the globe, the 8.1 billion total equates to around four devices per household.
  • New Driverless Vehicle Olli Is Watson-Powered [NewsFactor]
    There’s a new driverless vehicle in town. “Olli” is the product of IBM and Local Motors and uses IBM’s Watson AI as its driver. Not only can this vehicle maneuver the roads, but it can converse with passengers along the way, answering in-depth questions about its own inner workings, making restaurant suggestions based on an analysis of an individual’s personal preferences, or fielding the age-old question, “Are we there yet?” Olli made its debut on public roads in Washington, D.C., last week, and will begin operating in Las Vegas later this year. Miami-Dade County in Florida is also developing a pilot program that would use a group of Ollis for public transportation.

in Information Security News…

  • Air, Land, Sea, Cyber: NATO Adds Cyber to Operation Areas [NewsFactor]
    NATO agreed Tuesday to make cyber operations part of its war domain, along with air, sea and land operations, and to beef up the defense of its computer networks. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the decision to formally consider cyber operations a military domain is not aimed at any one country. He says the allies need to be able to better defend themselves and respond to attacks on their computer networks.
  • Did It for Orlando: ISIS Twitter Sites Hacked To Support Gay Pride [NewsFactor]
    The hacker group Anonymous is retaliating against terror and showing support for LGBTQ community in its own unique way. The hacker collective took over several social media accounts managed by the terrorist group ISIS and its supporters, replacing images of bloodshed and violence with rainbows and affirmations of gay pride. “I did it for the lives lost in Orlando,” said the Anonymous hacker who goes by the online handle WauchulaGhost. “Daesh [ISIS] has been spreading and praising the attack, so I thought I would defend those that were lost.”
  • New York criminalizes the use of ticket-buying bots [engadget]
    A three-year investigation by NY’s attorney general has uncovered widespread use of ticket scalping bots programmed to scoop up hundreds of prime seats for concerts within seconds of the tickets going on sale. Scalpers then resell the tickets at prices many times over face value. Using such bots was illegal before, but only brought civil charges. Scalpers who exploit such software could now face criminal, class A misdemeanor charges.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • WatchOS 3 Offers New Hope for Smartwatch Category [Ecommerce Times]
    Apple WWDC: Developer Conference Keynote Brings Big Promises [NewsFactor]
    Apple Rolls Out Privacy-Sensitive Artificial Intelligence [MIT Tech Review]
    The big news from Apple’s WWDC is all about OS and AI. CEO Tim Cook says that the upgrade to iOS coming this fall will be “the mother of all releases.” Apple also unveiled a new macOS, formerly known as OS X, a new watchOS and tvOS.
    A new, more intelligent Siri is in the works, and Apple Photos is getting face, object and scene recognition for sorting, grouping and categorizing photographs. Although late to the game compared to Google and Facebook, Apple’s face recognition claims to treat your data with respect for privacy, analyzing photos on the device rather than sending them to the cloud. Finally, Apple is releasing Swift Playgrounds, a coding education app that teaches Apple’s Swift programming language. Read more about it, using links in the show notes.
  • Symantec Buys Blue Coat for $4.65B To Create Cybersecurity Giant [Newsfactor]
    Security company Symantec is spending $4.65 billion to acquire Web and cloud security firm Blue Coat, creating a cybersecurity behemoth for the enterprise market. Combined, the companies will generate around $4.4 billion in revenues this fiscal year, more than 60 percent of which is expected to come from enterprise security.


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