CLEVELAND, OHIO--In an underdog city, at an underdog NASA lab, researchers are thinking hard about an undeservedly neglected planet. Venus is Earth’s cousin, closest in composition and size, but for decades it has remained veiled. NASA hasn’t sent a mission there since 1989; more recent European and Japanese orbiters have made halting progress that stops largely at the planet’s thick sulfur clouds. No craft has touched down since 1985, when the last of a series of advanced Soviet landers clad in armored pressure vessels endured a couple hours before succumbing to the deep-ocean pressure and furnacelike temperature of the planet’s surface. The baleful conditions and lack of funding have made Venus, Earth’s closest neighbor, feel more distant than ever. That is, except here.
Read Article: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/11/armed-tough-computer-chips-scientists-are-ready-return-hell-venus
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has launched Cheyenne, a 5.34-petaflop supercomputer dedicated to supporting research around Earth system sciences.
More than triple the performance of the previous NCAR supercomputer, Yellowstone, it is ranked as the 20th most powerful system in the world according to Top500.
The supercomputer was built by HPE’s recent acquisition, SGI, and features Intel’s 18-core, 2.3GHz Broadwell Xeon E5-2697v4 processors and Mellanox EDR InfiniBand.
It has more than four thousand dual-socket nodes, 20 percent of which have 128GB of memory, while the rest have 64GB, giving it a memory capacity of 313 terabytes.
The computer has a data storage of 20 petabytes of DataDirect Networks’ SFA14KX systems, with the option to expand it up to 40 petabytes. DDN’s system gives the computer a data transfer rate of 220 gigabytes per second.
Cheyenne has a peak computation rate of more than 3 billion calculations per second for every watt of energy consumed.
Read Article: http://www.datacenterdynamics.com/content-tracks/servers-storage/ncars-534-petaflop-supercomputer-cheyenne-comes-online/97746.fullarticle
Like the surface of an alien planet, thin sheets of copper display a complex topography of ridges and valleys. These never-before-seen undulations may spell trouble for electronic gadgets: The zigzagging surface could contribute to the electrical resistance of miniature copper wires that snake throughout computer chips.
Using a scanning tunneling microscope, scientists observed nanoscale peaks and dips on a sheet of copper, with angles of a few degrees, researchers report in the July 28 Science. “When we saw that, we were absolutely shocked,” says materials scientist John Boland of Trinity College Dublin. Conventional wisdom was that the copper would lay mostly flat.
Copper and other metals are a conglomeration of smaller bits, known as grains. Within each grain, the atoms are neatly arranged, but at grain boundaries, the pattern is disrupted. In the type of copper the researchers studied, nanocrystalline copper, the grains are particularly small; each has around 1 million atoms. Boland and colleagues showed for the first time that, in films of nanocrystalline copper just tens of nanometers thick, peaks and dips appear where misaligned grains meet.
Read Article: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/thinnest-films-copper-look-flat-they-arent
New research suggests a link between two powerful trends, the Internet of Things and enterprise digital transformation. But are we really there yet?
The Internet of Things is often thought of as primarily an industrial and consumer technology. But there’s a growing consensus that IoT is also taking a leading role in digital transformation in a wide variety of business applications in locations around the world.
Read Article: https://www.networkworld.com/article/3211438/internet-of-things/is-iot-really-driving-enterprise-digital-transformation.html
Gaurav Gupta, MD, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (left) with patient Chris Cahill who received a 3-D printed skull.
After two months in a coma, Chris Cahill woke up confused about where he was and what had happened to him. Cahill was found unconscious from unknown trauma resulting in severe injuries to his frontal lobe, with brain swelling so dramatic it was life-threatening. Physicians performed emergent surgery to relieve the brain swelling with the intent of replacing the skull after the swelling subsided. However, the patient’s own skull was infected and as a result was unusable. At that point, the doctors decided the best solution to replace the missing skull bone was to use 3-D printing to create a custom cranial skull implant.
Read Article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170720131923.htm
Read about the potential for blockchain technology to greatly improve governmental computer security
Blockchain technology promises to create an immutable set of transactions that cannot be forged or duplicated. As a result, any information technology transaction using blockchain gains the added benefit of effective cybersecurity. As federal managers begin connecting the dots between blockchain-ready technologies, and planning for integrations with existing platforms, there will be many technical, internal and citizen-facing hurdles to overcome.
Read Article: https://www.fedscoop.com/forging-technology-path-unlock-blockchains-value-government/
3-D scanning using a dip scanner: The object is dipped in a bath of water (left) by a robot arm. The quality of the reconstruction improves as the number of dipping orientations is increased (from left to right).
'Using a robotic arm to immerse an object on an axis at various angles, and measuring the volume displacement of each dip, we combine each sequence and create a volumetric shape representation of an object,' says an expert.
Read Article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170726091506.htm
Although the term “quantum computer” might suggest a miniature, sleek device, the latest incarnations are a far cry from anything available in the Apple Store. In a laboratory just 60 kilometers north of New York City, scientists are running a fledgling quantum computer through its paces — and the whole package looks like something that might be found in a dark corner of a basement. The cooling system that envelops the computer is about the size and shape of a household water heater.
Beneath that clunky exterior sits the heart of the computer, the quantum processor, a tiny, precisely engineered chip about a centimeter on each side. Chilled to temperatures just above absolute zero, the computer — made by IBM and housed at the company’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. — comprises 16 quantum bits, or qubits, enough for only simple calculations.
If this computer can be scaled up, though, it could transcend current limits of computation. Computers based on the physics of the supersmall can solve puzzles no other computer can — at least in theory — because quantum entities behave unlike anything in a larger realm.
Read Article: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/quantum-computers-are-about-get-real
Silk proteins paired with renewable wood nanocellulose produces possibly the strongest artificial spider silk yet
Possibly the strongest hybrid silk fibers yet have been created by scientists using all renewable resources. Combining spider silk proteins with nanocellulose from wood, the process offers a low-cost and scalable way to make bioactive materials for a wide range of medical uses.
Read Article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170517120737.htm
About Oliver Briscoe
Oliver Briscoe is a 20+ year veteran of the Informational Technology field. He understands his first principals and loves teaching others.