Black Hole Seen, with Data to Match

Here’s this week’s synopsis.

Black Holes Visualized

The news of the cool visualization of an actual black hole leads to interesting issues in HPC land. Shahin is at pains to give credit where it is due while considering it as an achievement in data visualization not unlike many others before it. Yes, it’s about a fascinating topic, but that’s also not unlike many others in the past.
But the team moves on to the real point: the size of the radio data that had to be collected and managed and processed to visualize it. 1.75 PB of raw data from each telescope meant a lot of physical drives that had to be flown to the data center. Henry leads a discussion about the race between bandwidth and data size, various companies’ plans to launch thousands of satellites to help get away from sneakernet, and the imminent arrival of 5G. We’ve discussed large scale data movement in previous episodes and think it’s an important issue for HPC, AI, and Cloud.

Catch of the Week

Henry:

That sneakernet discussion above is it for Henry this week.

Shahin:

Mapping Space Debris (video)

LeoLabs is a company that maps objects in the low Earth orbit (LEO). The visdeo shows actual trajectories of 12,401 low Earth objects in space being tracked on August 24, 2017 by LeoLabs’ phased array radars. Video loop shows approx 2 hours of data.

Dan:

Scientists put human gene into monkeys to make them smarter, human-like

Making monkeys more smart and human-like, scientists have used gene-editing to insert human brain gene in a monkey.

For the first time, a team of Chinese scientists made use of gene-editing techniques to make monkey brains more human-like. By the end, the monkeys, rhesus macaques, got smarter and had superior memories as compared to the unaltered monkeys.

The team doubts this is a true story and that leads Shahin to his first rant on the show when he complains about previously reputable publications succumbing to clickbait.

We’re More Likely Than Not Living In A Computer Simulation, MIT Professor Suggests

An MIT professor has said he believes it’s “more likely than not” that we are living in some kind of simulated universe, given that we ourselves are not far away from being capable of creating hyper-realistic simulations ourselves.

Yet another story that raises eyebrows. This one leads the RFHPC team to create a new award on the spot!

Listen in to hear the full conversation.

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