Cray employees put the finishing touches on Titan at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The supercomputer may be the world's fastest. It's designed to do 20 petaflops — or 20,000 trillion calculations — each second. It consumes enough electricity to power a small city of 9,000 people.
Credit Courtesy of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
U.S. Energy Secretary Chu stands inside a 3-D imaging "cave," which simulates the inside of a nuclear reactor. The cave, powered by the supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, helps scientists to process, view and understand enormous amounts of data visually.
A Cray employee organizes the processors used to build Titan. To accelerate its processing power and conserve energy, Titan uses GPUs — graphics processing units. These chips were originally developed for the video game industry.
Eric Lee plays a massively multiplayer online game at Euphnet, a cybercafe for gamers in Sunnyvale, Calif. The $30 billion video game industry is driving new, faster chip designs that are now powering some of the world's most powerful supercomputers.
The world's fastest supercomputers have come back to the U.S. In June, the title was claimed by a machine named Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore Labs. Monday, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, what could be an even faster computer comes online. It's called Titan and it would not have been possible were it not for the massive market for video games.
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:32 am
There's big news in the world of publishing: The two conglomerates that own Random House and Penguin announced Monday that they were merging their book businesses to form a new company.
German media company Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, will own 53 percent of the new firm, Penguin Random House; Pearson, which owns Penguin, will control the rest. The merger, subject to regulatory approval, is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2013.
Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen make their second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn. As members of The Byrds, The Dillards, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band, Hillman and Pedersen have been part of the fabric of American music for nearly half a century.
The Brooklyn band People Get Ready has been combining music and performance art since 2009, when the group first performed at The Kitchen's Dance and Process series in New York. The band released its self-titled debut earlier this month, and it's a fine collection of harmony-rich pop.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:12 pm
Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.
More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.
Looking at this year's Republican primary field, Sigmund Freud might have divided the candidates into superego and id.
The id is all about passion and zeal — and that defined most of Romney's challengers: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich all made pulses race.
The superego is more measured.
This much smaller column consisted briefly of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and more notably, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Wisconsin is in the small group of remaining battleground states that could determine the outcome of the presidential election. Turnout operations are an important part of the Mitt Romney and President Obama campaigns in all the critical states. But in Wisconsin, get-out-the-vote efforts grew out of the state's hard-fought gubernatorial recall election.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 3:41 pm
As the East Coast hunkers down for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, NPR Books dug back into the archives to find stories about keeping safe — and sane — when disaster strikes. Here you'll find memoirs of past storms, novels about future storms and interviews with authors who've written about severe weather and climate change.