Archive for Technology

Linux Now Powers 100% of the World’s Top 500 Supercomputers

 

Linux has long dominated the TOP500 list, powering the majority of the machines that make it. At last count, back in June, 99.6% (or 498) of the top 500 fastest supercomputers ran Linux,

But as of November 2017 that figure stands at a full 100%: the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world now use Linux.

The majority of these machines aren’t running your average off-the-torrent desktop distribution, but a bespoke, highly customised, and specialised version of Linux. But a minority do run something more familiar:

  • 5 supercomputers run Ubuntu
  • 20 supercomputers run some form of RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
  • 109 supercomputers run the RedHat affiliated CentOS

The world’s (current) fastest supercomputer is China’s Sunway TaihuLight, which is powered by a colossal 650,000+ CPUs. This beast of a machine, which runs a customised version of Linux called ‘Sunway RaiseOS’, has a processing speed of 93 petaflops — or the equivalent power of 2 million laptops working in unison.

 

Source: Linux Now Powers 100% of the World’s Top 500 Supercomputers – OMG! Ubuntu!

Face ID’s Innovation: Continuous Authentication

I believe Face ID is slower at actual recognition than Touch ID, but it’s nearly impossible to notice due to the implementation. In the time it takes to move your finger to the Touch ID sensor, Face ID could have already unlocked your iPhone.

That’s the real Face ID revolution. Since you’re almost always looking at your phone while you’re using it, Face ID enables what I call “continuous authentication.”

Source: Face ID’s Innovation: Continuous Authentication – TidBITS

Digital Resource Lifespan

Source: xkcd: Digital Resource Lifespan

this does concern me more and more

Apple’s Best Product Is Its Privacy Stance

That’s no casual decision. I’ve put considerable time and thought into how I store my photos in general, as well as how I back up my information overall. Despite all the bottomless storage features offered by tech giants like Google and Amazon, I default to keeping my most valuable data with Apple. Why I chose this matters, so let’s talk about it.

First and foremost, there’s the issue of these companies’ business models. The goal of each outfit is to make the most money it can for its shareholders, naturally, and in that sense Apple — pricing its products at a premium — is the most visible example of the maxim. But $1,000 iPhones and pricey accessories aside, at least the company is only buttering its bread on one side.

Source: Forget iPhone X—Apple’s Best Product Is Its Privacy Stance | Time.com

The slow safety and security problem

Companies are failing to produce the skilled workers needed to ensure standards are met in areas like safety at a time when scrutiny is intensifying around the world and lapses are met with greater criticism, said Parissa Haghirian, professor of Japanese management at Sophia University in Tokyo.

“There is a real human resource problem,” she said, with the traditional model of hiring workers straight out of school or university, teaching them on the job and rotating them between departments no longer functioning well.

“I predict high performers will leave more quickly… leaving companies in trouble because these people traditionally would stay and drag everyone else along,”

Source: Japan Inc.’s safety failures point to deeper malaise

This applies to much more than just the auto industry, but many don’t talk about it

Your Data is Being Manipulated

Google learned American racism and amplified it back at all of its users.

Source: Your Data is Being Manipulated – Data & Society: Points

Apple will squeeze more photos into your iPhone with HEIF

  • Photos using HEIF take up half the space as a JPEG, or alternatively offer crisper, more detailed and colorful images at the same size.
  • HEIF offers a lot more than just smaller photo file sizes, and indeed those other features are a big part of why Apple picked it. HEIF is actually a container that can hold a lot more than just a single image. It’s a good way to store an animated image like an Apple live photo, for example, or one of those eerily compelling half-moving, half-still images called a cinemagraph. It also can hold a collection of photos taken in a burst, though Apple isn’t using it for that purpose, at least now. It can also hold audio, video and text information, too — imagine a short video clip with a caption that you might post on Snapchat.
  • Here’s another thing HEIF can do: store extra data called a depth map that records how far away each part of a scene is from the camera that took the photo“In iOS 11, we’re storing the depth map as part of what we capture. We’re giving you and your app access to the photo and the depth map, so you can load it up use this to do your own creative effects,” Marineau-Mes told app developers.
  • The biggest problem is that most devices and programs don’t know how to read HEIF files. Adobe Systems’ Photoshop, for example, has no support. Nor do any web browsers. And it’s tough to get new formats to catch on. Microsoft improved on JPEG with a format called JPEG XR, but it never got traction. Google’s WebP format is now common on the web, but it’s not used anywhere else. Even Google’s Android phones can’t take WebP photos.
  • Another problem: HEIF is based on the HEVC video format, and HEVC is clouded by expensive patent licensing concerns. That could keep important potential allies like Google away.
  • Will Apple go through my photo archive and replace all my JPEG photos with HEIF photos?
    Converting photos from one lossy compression format like JPEG to another degrades the image. Apple will only use HEIF for new photos.

Source: Apple will squeeze more photos into your iPhone. Here’s how

5 Great Web Hosting Options You Should Choose From

There are plenty of options hosting companies that would like to offer their services to you. This week, we’re going to take a close look and 5 of the very best.

Source: 5 Great Web Hosting Options You Should Choose From | Web Resources | WebAppers

I would agree with this list, I personally use SiteGround these days for simple sites.

How Nature Documentaries Are Fake

“Because storytelling is what engages us, not facts and figures”

More isn’t always better

It’s very difficult to measure networks’ performance, in part because they are so complex, but also because people use them differently at different times, and because those choices affect others’ experiences. For example, one person choosing to drive to work instead of taking the bus puts one more car on the road, which might get involved in a crash or otherwise contribute to a traffic jam.

Explaining the Braess paradox.

In 1968, German mathematician Dietrich Braess observed the possibility that adding a road to an area with congested traffic could actually make things worse, not better. This paradox can occur when travel times depend on the amount of traffic. If too many drivers decide their own optimal route involves one particular road, that road can become congested, slowing everyone’s travel time. In effect, the drivers would have been better off if the road hadn’t been built.

This phenomenon has been found not only in transportation networks and the internet, but also, recently, in electrical circuits.

We shouldn’t waste time and money building or repairing network links the community would be better without. But how can we tell which elements help and which make things worse?

Source: Calculating where America should invest in its transportation and communications networks