2022-01-01 06:02:19 ..
2022-04-29 11:33:11 UTC
2022-04-30 23:59:26 UTC --fnord666
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The day has finally come: NVIDIA is publishing their Linux GPU kernel modules as open-source! To much excitement and a sign of the times, the embargo has just expired on this super-exciting milestone that many of us have been hoping to see for many years. Over the past two decades NVIDIA has offered great Linux driver support with their proprietary driver stack, but with the success of AMD's open-source driver effort going on for more than a decade, many have been calling for NVIDIA to open up their drivers. Their user-space software is remaining closed-source but as of today they have formally opened up their Linux GPU kernel modules and will be maintaining it moving forward. Here's the scoop on this landmark open-source decision at NVIDIA.
Many have been wondering in recent years what sort of NVIDIA open-source play the company has been working on... Going back to the end of 2019 have been signals of some sort of open-source driver effort and various rumblings have continued since that point. Last month I also pointed out a new open-source kernel driver appearing as part of the NVIDIA Tegra sources. Well, now the embargo has just expired and the lid can be lifted - NVIDIA is providing a fully open-source kernel driver solution for their graphics offerings. This isn't limited to just Tegra or so but spans not only their desktop graphics but is already production-ready for data center GPU usage.
Tachyum has created one of the most powerful processors in the world: The Prodigy T16128 Universal Processor. The Prodigy T16128 has 128 64-bit CPU cores operating at up to 5.7GHz, 16 DDR5 memory controllers, and 64 PCIe 5.0 lanes, and can handle general-purpose computing, high-performance computing (HPC), and AI workloads — all on a single chip.
Tachyum calls Prodigy the world's first "universal processor," and says it was designed from the ground up to be a multi-purpose CPU capable of running a multitude of the world's most intensive computing applications. Prodigy not only handles all of these different tasks on a single chip, it does so with a power budget that's 10 times lower than that of traditional hardware — and at one-third the cost.
Tachyum boldly claims the Prodigy supercomputer chip offers four times the performance of Intel's fastest Xeon on the market and triple the raw performance of Nvidia's H100 in high-performance computing applications. All while being 10 times more power efficient.
To create such impressive performance within a single core architecture, Tachyum says it built Prodigy with matrix and vector processing capabilities from the ground up — rather than making them an afterthought. Prodigy supports a range of data types, including FP64, FP32, TF32, BF16, Int8, FP8, and TAI, all from the individual CPU cores themselves.
[...] The Prodigy T16128 runs on a 5nm process technology of unknown origin, and operates within a very small (for the power it provides) 64 mm x 84mm FCLGA package. Tachyum says the chip is capable of performing 12 AI PetaFLOPS and 90 TeraFLOPS when it comes to HPC workloads. The Prodigy chip can also run binaries for x86, ARM, RISC-V, and ISA. For some perspective, a single Nvidia A100 is only capable of 5 AI PetaFLOPS.
And, to answer the question posed earlier: from theverge.com
But can it run Crysis? The answer is now yes, no matter what PC you own. Nvidia is bringing Crysis Remastered to its GeForce Now streaming service this week, alongside Crysis Remastered Trilogy, Crysis 2 Remastered, and Crysis 3 Remastered.
When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Now, scientists are finding the volcano's effects also reached space.
Analyzing data from NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission and ESA's (the European Space Agency) Swarm satellites, scientists found that in the hours after the eruption, hurricane-speed winds and unusual electric currents formed in the ionosphere – Earth's electrified upper atmospheric layer at the edge of space.
[...] When the volcano erupted, it pushed a giant plume of gases, water vapor, and dust into the sky. The explosion also created large pressure disturbances in the atmosphere, leading to strong winds. As the winds expanded upwards into thinner atmospheric layers, they began moving faster. Upon reaching the ionosphere and the edge of space, ICON clocked the windspeeds at up to 450 mph – making them the strongest winds below 120 miles altitude measured by the mission since its launch.
In the ionosphere, the extreme winds also affected electric currents. Particles in the ionosphere regularly form an east-flowing electric current – called the equatorial electrojet – powered by winds in the lower atmosphere. After the eruption, the equatorial electrojet surged to five times its normal peak power and dramatically flipped direction, flowing westward for a short period.
Brian J. Harding, Yen-Jung Joanne Wu, Patrick Alken, et al., Impacts of the January 2022 Tonga Volcanic Eruption on the Ionospheric Dynamo: ICON-MIGHTI and Swarm Observations of Extreme Neutral Winds and Currents, Geo. Res. Lett., 49, 9, 2022
We know roughly how much more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere before we exceed our climate goals—limiting warming to 1.5° to 2° C above pre-industrial temperatures. From that, we can figure out how much more fossil fuel we can burn before we emit that much carbon dioxide. But when you compare those numbers with our known fossil fuel reserves, things get jaw-dropping.
To reach our climate goals, we'll need to leave a third of the oil, half of the natural gas, and nearly all the coal we're aware of sitting in the ground, unused.
Yet we have—and are still building—infrastructure that is predicated on burning far more than that: mines, oil and gas wells, refineries, and the distribution networks that get all those products to market; power plants, cars, trains, boats, and airplanes that use the fuels. If we're to reach our climate goals, some of those things will have to be intentionally shut down and left to sit idle before they can deliver a return on the money they cost to produce.
But it's not just physical capital that will cause problems if we decide to get serious about addressing climate change. We have workers who are trained to use all of the idled hardware, companies that treat the fuel reserves and hardware as an asset on their balance sheets, and various contracts that dictate that the reserves can be exploited.
Collectively, you can think of all of these things as assets—assets that, if we were to get serious about climate change, would see their value drop to zero. At that point, they'd be termed "stranded assets," and their stranding has the potential to unleash economic chaos on the world.
Do you agree with this arguably pessimistic assessment of the situation, and have we already run out of time to take the action necessary to avoid exceeding climate goals? Criticism is easy, but what solutions do you have to the problem?
Wireless systems are moving to the mmWave spectrum at 10-100 gigahertz (GHz), above crowded cellular frequencies as well as early 5G systems around 3 GHz. System operators tend to prefer lower bands of the new mmWave spectrum. [...]
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) researchers developed a new method to measure frequency effects, using the 26.5-40 GHz band as a target example. After extensive study in the laboratory and two real-world environments, NIST results confirmed that the main signal path — over a clear "line of sight" between transmitter and receiver — does not vary by frequency, a generally accepted thesis for traditional wireless systems but until now not proven for the mmWave spectrum.
The team also found that signal losses in secondary paths — where transmissions are reflected, bent or diffused into clusters of reflections — can vary somewhat by frequency, depending on the type of path. Reflective paths, which are the second strongest and critical for maintaining connectivity, lost only a little signal strength at higher frequencies. The weaker bent and diffuse paths lost a bit more. Until now, the effects of frequency on this so-called multipath were unknown.
"This work may serve to demyth many misconceptions about propagation about higher frequencies in 5G and 6G," NIST electrical engineer Camillo Gentile said. "In short, while performance will be worse at higher frequencies, the drop in performance is incremental. So we do expect the deployment at 5G and eventually at 6G to be successful."
The Friis transmission equation says that for fixed effective antenna area, direct line-of-sight signal detection is independent of the frequency. However, non-line-of-sight (nLOS) signals reflect off of materials and the amount they reflect decreases with frequency, so there have been concerns about pushing 5G and beyond to very high frequencies. This work confirmed the Friis equation at these frequencies and showed that nLOS signal loss isn't that big of a deal.
Damla Guven, et al., Methodology for Measuring the Frequency Dependence of Multipath Channels Across the Millimeter-Wave Spectrum [open], IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation, 3, 2022
Recently, a POSTECH research team led by Professor Yong-Young Noh and Ph.D. candidates Huihui Zhu and Ao Liu (Department of Chemical Engineering), in collaboration with Samsung Display, has developed a p-channel perovskite thin film transistor (TFT) with a threshold voltage of 0 V.
Despite the impressive development of metal halide perovskites in diverse optoelectronics, progress on high-performance transistors employing state-of-the-art perovskite channels has been limited due to ion migration and large organic spacer isolation
In this study, the research team constructed a methylammonium-tin-iodine (MASnI3) semiconductor layer by mixing the halide anions (iodine-bromine-chlorine) to increase the stability of the transistor. The device made using this semiconductor layer showed high performance and excellent stability without hysteresis.
In experiments, the TFTs realized a high hole mobility of 20cm2V-1s-1 and 10 million on/off current ratio, and also reached the threshold voltage of 0 V. A P-channel perovskite transistor with a threshold voltage of 0 V is the first such case in the world. By making the material into a solution, the researchers also enabled the transistors to be printed, lowering their manufacturing cost.
Zhu, Huihui, Liu, Ao, Shim, Kyu In, et al. High-performance hysteresis-free perovskite transistors through anion engineering [open], Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-29434-x)
NASA's InSight Mars lander has just detected the strongest quake ever observed on another planet.
The marsquake, which took place on May 4, registered at magnitude 5, easily beating the previous magnitude record of 4.2 in a quake detected by InSight in August last year. Further study of the natural event, which NASA described as a "monster quake," will help scientists to determine its precise location and the nature of its source. The hope is that it could also offer more information about the red planet's interior.
[...] Mars doesn't have the kind of tectonic plates whose sudden movements cause quakes on Earth. Instead, marsquakes are caused by volcanic activity. Scientists are interested in studying Mars' seismic activity as the data can contribute to a better understanding of the red planet's mantle and core.
In more than three years of monitoring Mars, InSight has detected more than 1,313 quakes. Its highly sensitive seismometer operates beneath a dome that serves to block out the sound of the wind and protect it from the cold nights.
I blame global warming!
Electric cars of the future could be able to ditch conventional brake technology in favour of powerful regeneration by battery-powered motors.
[...] Electric cars already use a combination of conventional friction braking and brake regeneration. The latter slows down vehicles using resistance from the same electric motor that propels the car, feeding that energy into the car's battery to extend its range.
DS, Citroen's luxury arm, said it is "exploring whether regenerative braking alone could eventually be the sole method to slow cars down, helping to better recharge the battery in the process, and doing away with conventional brake discs and pads".
[...] [Conventional brake pads and drums] produce "brake dust", fine particles of metallic material that separates from the pad and disc as part of the braking process.
[...] Dr Asma Beji, a non-exhaust particles expert, said in June 2021 that "the impact on health of brake wear particles is undeniable and cannot be neglected".
[...] Environmental researcher Dr Liza Selley, published a paper for the MRC Centre for Environment and Health at King's College London and Imperial College London in 2020 that suggested "diesel fumes and brake dust appear to be as bad as each other in terms of toxicity in macrophages".
[...] "Macrophages protect the lung from microbes and infections and regulate inflammation, but we found that when they're exposed to brake dust they can no longer take up bacteria.
"Worryingly, this means that brake dust could be contributing to what I call 'London throat' – the constant froggy feeling and string of coughs and colds that city dwellers endure – and more serious infections like pneumonia or bronchitis which we already know to be influenced by diesel exhaust exposure."
DS and other manufacturers including Jaguar and Porsche participate in Formula E electric car racing. The series will eliminate rear disc brakes from its next-generation machines in a bid to improve real-world research into the performance potential of purely regenerative braking.
Can European regulation rein in ill-behaving algorithms?
Until recently, it wasn't possible to say that AI had a hand in forcing a government to resign. But that's precisely what happened in the Netherlands in January 2021, when the incumbent cabinet resigned over the so-called kinderopvangtoeslagaffaire: the childcare benefits affair.
When a family in the Netherlands sought to claim their government childcare allowance, they needed to file a claim with the Dutch tax authority. Those claims passed through the gauntlet of a self-learning algorithm, initially deployed in 2013. In the tax authority's workflow, the algorithm would first vet claims for signs of fraud, and humans would scrutinize those claims it flagged as high risk.
In reality, the algorithm developed a pattern of falsely labeling claims as fraudulent, and harried civil servants rubber-stamped the fraud labels. So, for years, the tax authority baselessly ordered thousands of families to pay back their claims, pushing many into onerous debt and destroying lives in the process.
[...] Postmortems of the affair showed evidence of bias. Many of the victims had lower incomes, and a disproportionate number had ethnic minority or immigrant backgrounds. The model saw not being a Dutch citizen as a risk factor.
[...] As the dust settles, it's clear that the affair will do little to halt the spread of AI in governments—60 countries already have national AI initiatives. Private-sector companies no doubt see opportunity in helping the public sector. For all of them, the tale of the Dutch algorithm—deployed in an E.U. country with strong regulations, rule of law, and relatively accountable institutions—serves as a warning.
The hope is the European Parliament's AI Act, which puts public-sector AI under tighter scrutiny, will ban some applications (like law enforcement's use of facial recognition) and flag something like the Dutch Tax's algorithm as high-risk. Nathalie Smuha, a technology legal scholar at KU Leuven, in Belgium, summed it up:
"It's not just about making sure the AI system is ethical, legal, and robust; it's also about making sure that the public service in which the AI system [operates] is organized in a way that allows for critical reflection."
Originally spotted on The Eponymous Pickle.
Distant galaxies, dark matter, dark energy and the origin and evolution of the universe itself are some of the many scientific goals of China's newly announced space telescope. If all goes according to plan, the China Space Station Telescope (CSST) will blast off atop a Long March 5B rocket sometime in late 2023. Once in a safe orbit, CSST should begin observations in 2024. Judging by these research topics, it looks like the Chinese Academy of Sciences is throwing down an impressive scientific gauntlet for itself and its astronomers.
Given the potential scientific rewards, it's not surprising that China is joining the "big space telescope club." It's also a source of national pride, especially if they can "out-Hubble Hubble." For example, once CSST is operational, Chinese scientists hope to survey the sky and observe more than 1 billion galaxies. Their instruments should let them get highly precise measurements of galaxy shapes, positions and brightness. They'll use the telescope to go after exoplanets, star birth regions, and other distant objects, gathering incredible amounts of high-resolution data.
[Also Covered By]: Universe Today
[Source]: Chinese Academy of Sciences
[...] Threat intelligence group Red Canary is tracking a worm that it calls Raspberry Robin, and it's definitely malware, but the question of "why" is still, in fact, a big question. [...].
In the age of the Internet, most malware spreads through the web, and Raspberry Robin does indeed make use of the internet to download critical files, however, it actually seems to spread via infected USB drives. Using Windows' autoplay functionality, it executes a .LNK file, which is a link shortcut. From there, it starts the Windows command interpreter and uses the Microsoft Installer, msiexec.exe, to download a malicious DLL that it then installs to the system. The purpose of this isn't entirely clear yet, but it seems to be for persistence.
After that, the system makes numerous attempts to connect to remote hosts, usually TOR exit nodes. The thing is, it's not actually clear what it is doing or why, and furthermore, Red Canary doesn't don't know who is infecting the systems where Raspberry Robin is found. Said systems include machines inside the networks of various manufacturing and technology companies.
As described in the related Red Canary blog post, after a USB drive is inserted the UserAssist registry entry is updated and records execution of a ROT13-ciphered value referencing a LNK file on the USB drive with malicious code. As a somewhat ignorant Windows person I have to ask: wasn't this autorun-like feature "fixed" 20 years ago?
Uber is going to slow down hiring and reduce its costs in response to "seismic shifts" in the financial markets, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a memo to employees.
[...] Uber is the latest company to commit to a hiring slowdown as the labor market tightens and tech stocks in particular have plunged sharply from their heights at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, also said it would slow down the pace of hiring for mid-level positions.
Uber will now focus on achieving profitability on a free cash flow basis rather than adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, Khosrowshahi said, noting that is what the company's investors now expect.
Uber has long been criticized based on the way it calculates its adjusted profits. The company's definition of EBITDA includes an unusually large list of exclusions and is widely seen as an inaccurate measure of the company's overall profitability. The company's stock price is down more than 40 percent year-to-date.
In an email to staff, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi outlined some new and not-so-new cost saving measures.
[...] The rideshare giant is the latest in a string of other tech companies announcing hiring slow downs or cuts. At the end of April, investing app, Robinhood, laid off 9% of its staff. Then, Netflix laid off multiple recently hired writers for blog endeavor Tudum following a dismal quarterly earnings report. And, last week, Meta announced a hiring freeze for the rest of the year.
Western Digital is announcing the sampling of its new 22TB CMR and 26TB SMR hard drives today at its What's Next Western Digital Event. As usual, the hyperscale cloud customers will get first dibs on these drives. The key takeaway from today's presentation is that Western Digital doesn't yet feel the need to bring heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) into the picture. In fact, WD is doubling down on energy-assisted PMR (ePMR) technology and OptiNAND (introduced first in the 20TB CMR drives). WD is also continuing to use the triple-stage actuator that it started shipping in the first half of 2020 in the new drives. It goes without saying that the new high-capacity drives are helium-filled (HelioSeal technology). The main change common to both drives is the shift to a 10-stack design.
The SMR drives are getting an added capacity boost, thanks to WD's new UltraSMR technology. This involves adoption of a new advanced error correction algorithm to go along with encoding of larger blocks. This allows improvement in the tracks-per-inch (TPI) metric, resulting in 2.6TB per platter. The new Ultrastar DC HC670 uses ten platters to provide 26TB of host-managed SMR storage for cloud service providers.
PMR = Perpendicular Magnetic Recording
SMR = Shingled Magnetic Recording
OptiNAND = embedded flash drive included on the HDD for caching metadata
While the company did not quantify the amount of NAND in its OptiNAND drives, they are stressing the fact that it is not a hybrid drive (SSHD). Unlike SSHDs, the OptiNAND drives do not store any user data at all during normal operation. Instead, the NAND is being used to store metadata from HDD operation in order to improve capacity, performance, and reliability.
Scientists investigating the underside of the world's largest ice sheet in East Antarctica have discovered a city-size lake whose sediments might contain a history of the ice sheet since its earliest beginnings. That would answer questions about what Antarctica was like before it froze, how climate change has affected it over its history, and how the ice sheet might behave as the world warms.
[...] Because it lies relatively close to the coast, researchers think that Lake Snow Eagle might contain information about how the East Antarctic Ice Sheet first began and the part played by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, a ring of cold water circling the continent that scientists think is responsible for keeping it cool.
[...] Moving forward, the researchers said getting a sample of the lake's sediments by drilling into it would fill big gaps in scientists' understanding of Antarctica's glaciation and provide vital information about the ice sheet's possible demise from climate change.
[...] "This lake's been accumulating sediment over a very long time, potentially taking us through the period when Antarctica had no ice at all, to when it went into deep freeze," said co-author Martin Siegert, a glaciologist at Imperial College London. "We don't have a single record of all those events in one place, but the sediments at the bottom of this lake could be ideal."
Facial recognition startup Clearview AI has agreed to restrict the use of its massive collection of face images to settle allegations that it collected people's photos without their consent:
The company in a legal filing Monday agreed to permanently stop selling access to its face database to private businesses or individuals around the U.S., putting a limit on what it can do with its ever-growing trove of billions of images pulled from social media and elsewhere on the internet.
The settlement — which must be approved by a county judge in Chicago — will end a 2-year-old lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups over alleged violations of an Illinois digital privacy law. The company still faces a separate privacy case before a federal judge in Illinois.
Clearview is also agreeing to stop making its database available to Illinois state government and local police departments for five years. The New York-based company will continue offering its services to federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and to other law enforcement agencies and government contractors outside of Illinois.
[...] The settlement document says Clearview continues to deny and dispute the claims brought by the ACLU and other plaintiffs. But even before Monday's settlement, the case has been curtailing some of the company's controversial business practices.