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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times

China now has No 1 supercomputer

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The supercomputer Kraken, a TeraGrid computing...
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This is not good news for the USofA!!!!

October 28, 2010

China Wrests Supercomputer Title From U.S.

By ASHLEE VANCE

A Chinese scientific research center has built the fastest supercomputer ever made, replacing the United States as maker of the swiftest machine, and giving China bragging rights as a technology superpower.

The computer, known as Tianhe-1A, has 1.4 times the horsepower of the current top computer, which is at a national laboratory in Tennessee, as measured by the standard test used to gauge how well the systems handle mathematical calculations, said Jack Dongarra, a University of Tennesseecomputer scientist who maintains the official supercomputer rankings.

Although the official list of the top 500 fastest machines, which comes out every six months, is not due to be completed by Mr. Dongarra until next week, he said the Chinese computer “blows away the existing No. 1 machine.” He added, “We don’t close the books until Nov. 1, but I would say it is unlikely we will see a system that is faster.”

Here are specifications of the Chinese supercomputer:

A photo of ORNL's CrayXT5 Jaguar supercomputer.
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/10/28 at 10:38

Doesn’t the face say it all, to those who hate him and support him?

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How can you not be intrigued by the look of max effort, a long record of world class achievement and overcoming testicular cancer at the beginning of his career?

To me this image is AWESOME and the guy is in more ways then one!

So the negative press campaign focused on Lance Armstrong being led by Juliet Macur in the NY Times Sports section gets my attention, big time!

I give her credit in her latest item for mentioning the pros and cons, but the negative beat can’t be ignored. I wonder what it is really about? Does she really want “the news and all that is fit to print” or is she just pursuing a chimera of her own making?

However, you see it the LANCE is AWESOME and Juliet is just a reporter seeking a negative scoop!

American cyclist Lance Armstrong giving a talk...
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But the more she writes in this vein the more she confirms to me that there is no smoking needle! To me she seems to be another version of all those “fair and balanced” reporters who don’t have much to say about all those ‘mericans who think Obama, their sitting President, is a Muslim and a secret one at that!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/08/21 at 13:33

The Summoned Life as explained by David Brooks in his NYT column

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WASHINGTON - MARCH 30:   David Brooks of the N...
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David Brooks has a talent for engaging us in a second look at ourselves and how we think about ourselves. He isn’t ever the profound thinker but he is ever the “summoner” in his own way.

Here is how he explains his thoughts about this way of seeing one’s life:

The second way of thinking about your life might be called the Summoned Life. This mode of thinking starts from an entirely different perspective. Life isn’t a project to be completed; it is an unknowable landscape to be explored.


any person — can’t see into the future to know what wars, loves, diseases and chances may loom. She/he may know concepts, like parenthood or old age, but she/he doesn’t really understand their meanings until … engaged in them.


the most important features of the human landscape are commitments that precede choice — commitments to family, nation, faith or some cause. These commitments defy the logic of cost and benefit, investment and return.

The person leading the Summoned Life emphasizes the context, and asks, “What are my circumstances asking me to do?”

That seems to describe very well how I seem to view my own life and its circumstances, past and present. Oh, I haven’t been the strongest I could have been on commitment, but I seem to be doing better since about 2004.

I just found a slightly  different take on this notion:

The Mandarin responds, “A life that is planned is a closed life, my friend. It can be endured perhaps. But it cannot be lived.”

It made me think of how often I limit myself by planning. At this time of year I often make New Year’s resolutions with a set of goals and intentions for the year—all with a view towards having an “ideal life” where everything was perfect.

But a lived life isn’t perfect, it’s just lived one day, week, month and year at a time!




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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/08/02 at 23:59

Palin and Edwards – political grifters

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Sarah Palin addressing the Republican National...
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Timothy Egan writes opinion pieces in the Editorial pages of the NY Times. I think of him as the kind of guy who connects things which are not very pleasant some times.

In this paragraph from today’s column, he describes the obvious trait that John Edwards and Sarah Palin share. They are grifters, playing the game for their own monetary advantage with an infectious smile as they cash in!

Palin and Edwards are two of an American archetype, opportunists playing to outrage while taking care of themselves. They are both attractive, with that lucky combination of genes that rarely lands on more than one member of an extended family. They can both hold an audience without saying anything of substance, or even making sense.

The picture is not pretty but truth has no hold with pretty!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/02/04 at 08:26

What Earth’s journey through space means to us, homo sapiens!

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Comparison of the current-day Sun and the Sun ...
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Olivia Judson often offers thoughts that are based on science and common sense. Here’s one from her science essay in today’s NY Times:

A pedant has pointed out that our journey ’round the sun is only seemingly endless, and that we’ve only got another four or five billion years to go before the sun turns into a red giant and engulfs us. He’s right; but a few billion years is so long that it feels endless to me.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/30 at 10:37

“A Language of Smiles” by Olivia Judson

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Photographs from the 1862 book Mécanisme de la...
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This lady has a way of turning my crank with her thoroughly bibliographed articles in NY Times. The latest is definitely a keeper. It’s about a possible connection between facial expressions related to speaking different languages and happiness triggers. How can you not like that kind of research?

Olivia Judson does a facility for seeing animal characteristics in ways that few science writers do. It’s part biology, microbiology, evo-devo and . . .

And her writing is direct and pithy and teasing. Just the way for an interesting woman to be!

 

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/10/28 at 06:39

Dec 5 was the 75th anniversary of Repeal in the US

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Pottsville, Pennsylvania
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I count on the NY Times to provide me with the news of the day, as well as reminders of past news that could be significant today. In these parlous economic times, what can be more soothing than one or two or … stiff drinks. Here is a reminder from NY Times:

Although there’s a general trend towards permitting drinking and a number of previously arid locations have gone under — including the gloriously named Slippery Rock in Pennsylvania, which had been alcohol-free since its foundation by Zebulon Cooper in 1798 — the anniversary of repeal should perhaps be celebrated not with cocktails, but, following the example of H.L. Mencken, with a glass of some alcohol-free fluid, preferably someplace where you’d rather be drinking something stronger — to remind you of how pleasant, indeed life-enhancing alcohol can be, and to sympathize with the people who used to be dry and those who still are.

For hooch has the power to inspire, to console, to make celebrations brighter, and hard times more bearable. In the words of the Roman poet Horace, drink “unlocks secrets, bids hopes be fulfilled, thrusts the coward onto the battle-field, takes the load from anxious hearts. The flowing bowl — whom has it not made eloquent? Whom has it not made free even amidst pinching poverty?”

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/12/08 at 08:51

The Bush Administration is font of incompetence that keeps on giving

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This picture appears in an old acreditation fo...

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Check out this comment in NY Times about puerile revisions to history being attempted by the lame duck administration of GWB, the resident clown in the White House.

This quote puts a neat cap on this opinion piece:

George Orwell would not have been surprised by this sort of revisionism. It was, after all, Orwell, who observed: “He who controls the past controls the future.”

And now I read this in NY Times! GWB should be told to just shut up about his wars!



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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/26 at 05:57

At this late stage of my life here on this wracked and wrenched Earth

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Assorted wine corks

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there are a few things I dearly love. In one case I haven’t been to one much lately since there are no affordable ones in Vancouver, the French bistro with its characteristic walnut finishings and great red wine. The other is the NY Times.

Both of these artifacts of civility and my version of the good life are suffering. Both are losing business at alarming rates and both institutions are in peril of becoming non-existent and that saddens me in anticipating their real life demise.

As for the bistro in France, click here to read the NY Times piece about that sad situation with a closing of 2 of them every during these financially troubled times. Over 80% of the 200,000 of them that did business in 1960 have disappeared since.

The NY Times does not report much about the financial situation of the holding company or its main newspaper holdings, but the news in the blogosphere and in other news agencies is especially sad. The Grey Lady faces financial burnout by the middle of next year. It has ended dividend payouts and has apparently been shopping some of its media assets to gain cash for financial survival. What the H will I do if she disappears too!

This is not a pretty sight and I truly regret that all those Wall Street jerks and downright thieves have brought us to this unpretty pass! No doubt I’ll survive but some essence of the good life will be drained from my spirit. How much of that kind of loss will I be able to deal with before I decide that it’s enough? But I have no plans for an online suicide ever!

City of Vancouver

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/23 at 05:14

Another reason to use a Mac

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Pogue iPhone TWiT

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David Pogue is probably the dean of US tech reviewing. He does it for the NY Times in print and most prominently with a weekly video.

This report underlines the human use of personal technology like computers, video and digicams and personal family records. It is well known and a given that Macs are the preferred choice for anybody who needs and wants to do the multimedia thing.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/21 at 07:11