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Comments:73 | Votes:202

posted by chromas on Wednesday August 08 2018, @10:27PM   Printer-friendly

Supermicro has crammed 1PB of Intel flash rulers into the slimmest possible 1U rack storage server.

The two-socket server can hold up to 32 Intel EDSFF, NVMe-connected flash drives – giving a rack density of 1PB/U, the highest we have ever come across.

EDSFF stands for Chipzilla's Enterprise and Datacenter Storage Form Factor, which measures 325.35mm long, 9.5mm wide and 38.6mm high.

These front-mounted SSD DC P4500 Series drives are hot-swappable and each has a 32TB capacity, using 64-layer TLC (3bits/cell) 3D NAND. An Intel tech brief (PDF) provides the details.

We're told the drives are thermally optimised to require less airflow than a 2.5-inch U.2 SSD.

The performance numbers are heroic. Supermicro president and CEO Charles Liang said the product provides "13 million IOPS and 52GB/sec throughput in 1U" and claimed it outperforms any previous system available.

[...] Supermicro announced a 288TB 1U storage server in January using 8TB Samsung ruler SSDs. A 256TB version using previous 8TB Intel ruler SSDs was introduced in May. That has been well and truly exceeded with these 32TB drives.

Looking at this Samsung and Intel ruler data suggested to us a 64-layer Samsung flash ruler could exceed 32TB in capacity. And, we hasten to add, 96-layer flash is being developed, along with 4bits/cell QLC technology. That means we can realistically have an expectation of 64TB EDSFF drives in the 2019/2020 timeframe, meaning a 2PB/1U Supermicro product could emerge.

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Wednesday August 08 2018, @08:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-tell-the-little-green-men dept.

SpaceX organizes inaugural conference to plan landings on Mars

No one can deny that SpaceX founder Elon Musk has thought a lot about how to transport humans safely to Mars with his Big Falcon Rocket. But when it comes to Musk's highly ambitious plans to settle Mars in the coming decades, some critics say Musk hasn't paid enough attention to what people will do once they get there.

However, SpaceX may be getting more serious about preparing for human landings on Mars, both in terms of how to keep people alive as well as to provide them with something meaningful to do. According to private invitations seen by Ars, the company will host a "Mars Workshop" on Tuesday and Wednesday this week at the University of Colorado Boulder. Although the company would not comment directly, a SpaceX official confirmed the event and said the company regularly meets with a variety of experts concerning its missions to Mars.

This appears to be the first meeting of such magnitude, however, with nearly 60 key scientists and engineers from industry, academia, and government attending the workshop, including a handful of leaders from NASA's Mars exploration program. The invitation for the inaugural Mars meeting encourages participants to contribute to "active discussions regarding what will be needed to make such missions happen." Attendees are being asked to not publicize the workshop or their attendance.

The meeting is expected to include an overview of the spaceflight capabilities that SpaceX is developing with the Big Falcon rocket and spaceship, which Musk has previously outlined at length during international aerospace meetings in 2016 and 2017. Discussion topics will focus on how best to support hundreds of humans living on Mars, such as accessing natural resources there that will lead to a sustainable outpost.

Related: SpaceX to Begin BFR Production at the Port of Los Angeles
City Council Approves SpaceX's BFR Facility at the Port of Los Angeles
This Week in Space Pessimism: SLS, Mars, and Lunar Gateway

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Wednesday August 08 2018, @07:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the seriously? dept.

An amendment from Italy's anti-establishment government that removes mandatory vaccination for schoolchildren is sending shock waves through the country's scientific and medical community.

It suspends for a year a law that requires parents to provide proof of 10 routine vaccinations when enrolling their children in nurseries or preschools. The amendment was approved by Italy's upper house of parliament on Friday by 148 to 110 votes and still has to pass the lower house.

The law had originally been introduced by the Democratic Party in July 2017 amid an ongoing outbreak of measles that saw 5,004 cases reported in 2017 -- the second-highest figure in Europe after Romania -- according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Italy accounted for 34% of all measles cases reported by countries in the European Economic Area, the center said.

Italy's Five Star movement and its coalition partner, the far-right League, both voiced their opposition to compulsory vaccinations, claiming they discourage school inclusion.

English Language Source:

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Wednesday August 08 2018, @05:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the hit-me-right-in-the-wallet dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

A massive wrong-way bet on Bitcoin left an unidentified futures trader unable to cover losses, burning counterparties and threatening to dent confidence in one of the world's largest cryptocurrency venues.

The long position in Bitcoin futures listed on OKEx, a Hong Kong-based exchange, had a notional value of about $416 million, according to an OKEx statement on Friday and data compiled by Bloomberg. OKEx moved to liquidate the position on Tuesday, but the exchange was unable to cover the trader's shortfall as Bitcoin's price slumped. Because OKEx has a "socialized clawback" policy for such instances, it will force futures traders with unrealized gains this week to give up about 18 percent of their profits.

While clawbacks are not unprecedented at OKEx, the size of this week's debacle has attracted lots of attention in crypto circles. The episode underscores the risks of trading on lightly regulated virtual currency venues, which often allow high levels of leverage and lack the protections investors have come to expect from traditional stock and bond markets. Crypto platforms have been dogged by everything from outages to hacks to market manipulation over the past few years, a period when spectacular swings in Bitcoin and its ilk attracted hordes of new traders from all over the world.

[...] Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market value, dropped 2.2 percent to $7,383.44 at 4:56 p.m. Hong Kong time on Friday, extending its decline this week to 10 percent. It has slumped 48 percent this year.

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Wednesday August 08 2018, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the automated-trust dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Let's Encrypt announced yesterday that they are now directly trusted by all major root certificate programs including those from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Mozilla, Oracle, and Blackberry. With this announcement, Let's Encrypt is now directly trusted by all major browsers and operating systems.


[...] At the end of July 2018, Let's Encrypt received direct trust from Microsoft products, which resulted in it being trusted by all major root programs. The CA's certificates are cross-signed by IdenTrust, and have been widely trusted since the beginning.

"Browsers and operating systems have not, by default, directly trusted Let's Encrypt certificates, but they trust IdenTrust, and IdenTrust trusts us, so we are trusted indirectly. IdenTrust is a critical partner in our effort to secure the Web, as they have allowed us to provide widely trusted certificates from day one," noted Josh Aas, Executive Director of ISRG.

[...] While some of these [older operating systems, browsers, and devices] are expected to be updated to trust the CA, others won't, and it might take at least five more years until most of them cycle out of the Web ecosystem. Until that happens, Let's Encrypt will continue to use a cross signature [from IdenTrust].

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

posted by cmn32480 on Wednesday August 08 2018, @02:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the if-you-build-it-they-will-come dept.

Submitted via IRC for takyon

Although a recent NASA-supported study found Mars cannot be made inhabitable with our current technology, this hasn't stopped the space agency from continuing its plans to one day colonize the red planet. One such initiative launched in 2015 is the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. The $2.5 million competition, now in its third phase, seeks to find the most adequate housing for future Martian residents. The challenge also hopes to uncover advanced construction technologies that may be used in sustainable housing solutions for Earth as well.

Now, NASA and its competition partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, have selected the five winning teams out of 18 submissions from around the world. The winners will share the $100,000 prize and will have to create 3D-printed one-third-scale versions of their designs to confirm their models' feasibility.

[...] "We are thrilled to see the success of this diverse group of teams that have approached this competition in their own unique styles," said in a statement Monsi Roman, program manager for NASA's Centennial Challenges. "They are not just designing structures, they are designing habitats that will allow our space explorers to live and work on other planets. We are excited to see their designs come to life as the competition moves forward."


Original Submission

posted by chromas on Wednesday August 08 2018, @12:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the i'm-calling-the-police dept.

Trammell Hudson has written a blog post about his project to retro fit a Motorola MDT-9100T "Mobile Data Terminal" from eBay with a BeagleBone Black running a modern operating system. He figues their retro-future design was too neat to pass up and that the stylish housing combined with an aperture-less amber CRT looks like something slipped from the Fallout or BladeRunner universe into our own. So he and some others at NYC Resistor bought a few and are repurposing them. A lot of soldering and cable smithing is involved.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday August 08 2018, @10:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the recent-too dept.

Submitted via IRC for takyon

The eruption of neighboring superstar Eta Carinae over 170 years ago is fascinating researchers and setting records for the fastest jettisoned gas from a stellar outburst.

Approximately 170 years ago, a stellar eruption sped away from our massive (and incredibly unstable) neighboring superstar Eta Carinae. Now, a team from the University of Arizona in conjunction with NASA has determined this event holds the record for the fastest jettisoned gas ever measured from a star -- without the star self-destructing.

The energy from the blast would be equivalent to that of a traditional supernova explosion, events that often leave behind only the corpse of a star. However, this double star system stayed relatively intact.

For the last seven years, University of Arizona's Nathan Smith and the Space Telescope Science Institute's Armin Rest determined how powerful the blast was by looking at echoes of light surrounding Eta Carinae.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 08 2018, @09:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the Fake-News...-Triple-Pun-Intended dept.

Admittedly this is more of a Sla... I mean Soyvertisement. However, I just heard about it this weekend, and it sounds both interesting and useful. I thought others might find it interesting as well

Long story short: ReviewMeta is a website which can be used to try to detect fake reviews on Amazon.

In my defense, it is somewhat technologically interesting. The system supposedly uses various heuristics and algorithms in order to accomplish this, such as searching for suspicious submission patterns, text entered, and timing windows to try to find fakes.

The "news" source I heard it from was a radio/podcast at:

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 08 2018, @07:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the Publish-AND-Perish dept.

The first solid indication of how widespread this problem really is came with last year's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action against one of the largest and most profitable of the alleged predators, the prolific journal publisher and conference organizer OMICS, which publishes 785 titles generating over $50M in annual revenues. The FTC alleges that OMICS makes false promises of peer review in return for article processing charges (APCs), assesses those charges without disclosing them up front (then refuses to let authors withdraw their papers from submission), and lies about both the membership of its editorial boards and the names of presenters at the many conferences it sponsors - all classic examples of predatory publishing practices.

Now comes a small flood of even more alarming reports [...]


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 08 2018, @06:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the last-remaining-part-of-the-social-safety-net dept.

Personal bankruptcy among seniors has been growing over the last 25+ years, according to a recent study reported by the NY Times and syndicated nationally, for example at:

The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.

Driving the surge, the study suggests, is a three-decade shift of financial risk from government and employers to individuals, who are bearing an ever-greater responsibility for their own financial well-being as the social safety net shrinks.

The transfer has come in the form of, among other things, longer waits for full Social Security benefits, the replacement of employer-provided pensions with 401(k) savings plans and more out-of-pocket spending on health care. Declining incomes, whether in retirement or leading up to it, compound the challenge.

Your AC's google-fu wasn't sufficient to locate the original report, but here is another quote from the Seattle Times link,

As the study, from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, explains, older people whose finances are precarious have few places to turn. "When the costs of aging are offloaded onto a population that simply does not have access to adequate resources, something has to give," the study says, "and older Americans turn to what little is left of the social safety net — bankruptcy court."

"You can manage OK until there is a little stumble," said Deborah Thorne, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Idaho and an author of the study. "It doesn't even take a big thing."

To show that this isn't something new, here's an NPR report from 10 years ago,

SEABROOK: So how does that play out for older Americans?

Prof. WARREN: Well let me put it this way. Back in 1991, older Americans, those over 55, were about eight percent of all the people filing for bankruptcy. Today, they're about 25 percent of those filing for bankruptcy. It's been a real shift in the demographics.

The median age and the population, generally, has increased by about three years. The median age in bankruptcy has increased in the same time period by about seven years.

Compare with the currently running story about wages and benefits climbing currently,


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 08 2018, @04:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the What-CAN-be-done? dept.

Reuters reports:

Record-low rainfall in some regions and successive seasons of above-average temperatures have blighted vast tracts of Australia's grazing and crop land.

[...] as grain silos in the south are emptied, desperate owners are being forced to slaughter animals, even if it means it will take years for herds to recover.

[...] The ground in drought-hit regions has dried out to such a depth that it is even killing large trees.

[...] The current dry period is not as extensive as the Millennium drought of 1997-2005, which devastated nearly 50 percent of the country's agricultural land and was associated with two El Niño systems, which bring hot, dry weather to Australia.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Wednesday August 08 2018, @03:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the human−− dept.

Submitted via IRC for takyon

Living on an island can have strange effects. On Cyprus, hippos dwindled to the size of sea lions. On Flores in Indonesia, extinct elephants weighed no more than a large hog, but rats grew as big as cats. All are examples of the so-called island effect, which holds that when food and predators are scarce, big animals shrink and little ones grow. But no one was sure whether the same rule explains the most famous example of dwarfing on Flores, the odd extinct hominin called the hobbit, which lived 60,000 to 100,000 years ago and stood about a meter tall.

Now, genetic evidence from modern pygmies on Flores—who are unrelated to the hobbit—confirms that humans, too, are subject to so-called island dwarfing. An international team reports this week in Science that Flores pygmies differ from their closest relatives on New Guinea and in East Asia in carrying more gene variants that promote short stature. The genetic differences testify to recent evolution—the island rule at work. And they imply that the same force gave the hobbit its short stature, the authors say.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 08 2018, @01:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the please-practice-pragmatic-paranoia dept.

Facebook wants banks to "share detail financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking account balances". Summary article here, original paywalled WSJ article here, alternative link may avoid paywall.

Facebook says that "it wouldn't use bank data for ad-targeting purposes", and that they "don't have special relationships, partnerships, or contract with banks or credit-card companies to use their customers, purchase data for ads." You can just hear the missing word yet. In fact, later on the article specifically says "As part of the proposed deals, Facebook asked banks for information about where its users are shopping with their debit and credit cards".

Of course, the great mass of people will have no problem allowing Facebook into their financial lives...

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday August 07 2018, @11:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the good-fast-cheap dept.

Samsung is about to make 4TB SSDs and mobile storage cheaper

A couple of years ago, Samsung launched its first 4TB solid state drives, which might as well not have existed given their $1,499 asking price. Today, the company announces the commencement of mass production of a more — though it's too early to know exactly how much more — affordable variant with its 4TB QLC SSDs. The knock on QLC NAND storage has traditionally been that it sacrifices speed for an increased density, however Samsung promises the same 540MBps read and 520MBps write speeds for its new SSDs as it offers on its existing SATA SSD drives.

Describing this new family of storage drives, which will also include 1TB and 2TB variants, as consumer class, Samsung will obviously aim to price them at a level where quibbles about performance will be overwhelmed by the sheer advantage of having terabytes of space. Any concerns about the reliability of these drives should also be allayed by the three-year warranty promised by Samsung. The launch of the first drives built around these new storage chips is slated for later this year.

What's the endurance of QLC NAND again?

Also at Engadget.

Related: Toshiba's 3D QLC NAND Could Reach 1000 P/E Cycles
Samsung Announces a 128 TB SSD With QLC NAND
Micron Launches First QLC NAND SSD
Western Digital Samples 96-Layer 3D QLC NAND with 1.33 Tb Per Die

Original Submission