RFHPC81: Wrapping up the GPU Technology Conference

In this episode, the Radio Free HPC team wraps up the GPU Technology Conference. The theme of the show this year was Deep Learning, a topic that is heating up the market for GPUs with challenges like image recognition and self-driving cars.

As a sister conference, the OpenPOWER Summit this week in San Jose showcased the first OpenPower hardware, including a prototype HPC server from IBM that will pave the way to the two IBM/Nvidia/Mellanox Coral supercomputers expected in 2017.

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RFHPC80: Big Data Analytics Go Major League

In this episode, the Radio Free HPC team takes a look at Big Data Analytics in sports. According to recent reports, at least one team in Major League Baseball is using a Cray Urika system in a bid to gain competitive advantage.

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RFHPC79: Why Net Neutrality is Positively Polarizing

In this episode, the Radio Free HPC team splits on the topic of Net Neutrality. The FCC will soon publish its new rules for ensuring an even playing field for Internet Bandwidth.

Dan doesn’t like the idea one bit. Henry disagrees and thinks we need Net Neutrality to keep the Comcasts of the world from running amok. As for Rich, he just finds the whole argument rather amusing since it’s pretty much a done deal.

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RFHPC78: Superfish Fiasco Hurts Lenovo

In this episode, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the recent Lenovo laptop scandal involving Superfish malware. The company intentionally installed the program, which replaces security certificates so that the company could serve up ads on encrypted web pages.

Lenovo consumer personal computers employing the pre-installed Superfish Visual Discovery software contain a critical vulnerability through a compromised root CA certificate,” US-CERT said on Friday, urging people to remove the adware. “Exploitation of this vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to read all encrypted web browser traffic (HTTPS), successfully impersonate (spoof) any website, or perform other attacks on the affected system.”

While Lenovo now scrambles into Damage Control mode, the question for our readers is: how will this affect Lenovo’s ability to sell to the U.S. Federal supercomputing market? Dan contends that this offense occurred with different folks at an entirely different division, and that the company should be able to rebuild trust over time. Henry worries that this unfortunate situation is endemic of an unfortunate lack of concern out there about security in genera. Rich, on the other hand, thinks Superfish has sealed the company’s supercomputing doom and that Lenovo will have to build its HPC fortunes somewhere besides U.S. soil.

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RFHPC77: Archive Debacle at WGBH

In this episode, Radio Free HPC looks an archival horror story from WGBH in Boston. As the PBS affiliate attempted to move its archived video footage to the American Archive Project, the organization was horrified to discover that many of their files on LTO4 tapes were unreadable.

Does your archive strategy match up with today’s storage economics? Henry contends that this is really worth a look as the notion that “write once to tape and forget” is a recipe for disaster. In an era where this WGBH archive could easily fit on 38 hard drives, does migration to tape still make sense?

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RFHPC76: Radio Free HPC Looks at the Week in News

In this episodethe Radio Free HPC team digs into the Grab Bag for Topics of the Week”

  • Dan attended the Lenovo Analyst Conference, and they have him convinced that the company is Going Big on HPC.
  • Rich notes that D-Wave Systems has just landed an additional $29 Million in financing. Is Quantum Computing ready for Prime Time?
  • Henry is looking forward to seeing what the President’s science priorities are going to be when his budget comes out this week. 

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RFHPC75: CloudHarmony Rates Provider Service Uptime

In this episodethe Radio Free HPC team looks at CloudHarmony, an online service that measures and compares cloud provider uptime.

We simplify the comparison of cloud services by providing reliable and objective performance analysis, reports, commentary, metrics and tools.

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RF-HPC74: Modding the Student Cluster Competition

In this episodethe Radio Free HPC team discusses how they’d change the current Student Cluster Competitions in order to make them a more comprehensive test for aspiring HPC professionals.

Henry wants to codify rules that span all competitions in order to provide a level playing field and to satisfy his authoritarian nature. Dan isn’t so sure that would work, given that each of the sponsoring organizations have their own ideas about how to best run a competition. However, both of them believe that the competitions need to become more real world when it comes to systems, applications, and how they’re used. One of the first steps along this road, the guys agree, is to add a storage component to the competitions.

Since Rich isn’t around for this show, the boys take the opportunity to make fun of his Apple addiction and how Rich is probably all worried about bending his phone on his European jaunt.

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RFHPC 73: Network Security and the Big Data Breaches of 2014

In this episode, the Radio Free HPC team looks at Network Security in light of the recent series of breaches at places like Sony, Home Depot, and Target

Our special guest this week is Security Expert Linda Millis, who has a day job as Senior VP of Sol-Pass.

Reports surrounding the Sony data breach are missing a simple, critical concept. Because user credentials were misused, the Sony breach is similar to the dozens of other recent breaches, from Target to Home Depot to JP Morgan, says Linda S. Millis, a security analyst with government and civilian credentials. “Lost, stolen or sold credentials caused each breach. Servers respond to authorized credentials – even if they’re lost, stolen or sold. The servers aren’t being hacked – the credentials are misappropriated,” Millis says.

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RFHPC72: A Hilarious Look at the Turing Test

beakerIn this episode, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the Turing Test for artificial intelligence. Does the Turing Test need to be retired as discussed on insideHPC, or does it just need an update for modern culture? The discussion quickly degrades into what may be our funniest show ever!

Other Big Questions tackled include:

  • Rich asks how easy would it be to fool a contestant with open-ended philosophical questions?
  • Dan asks that as we increasingly turn to Social Media for opinions and answers, could a bot fool us? If so, don’t we have the right to know who we are dealing with?
  • Could Henry Newman pass the Turing Test? Rich says the jury is still out, but Dan says there’s no way.

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