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Intel Delivers First Exascale Supercomputer to Argonne National Laboratory

Intel Corporation and Cray Inc. have announced that a Cray "Shasta" system will be the first U.S. exascale supercomputer. This $500 million Aurora supercomputer will be coming to the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in 2021 and will have a performance of one exaFLOP - a quintillion floating point operations per second. In addition, this system is designed to enable the convergence of traditional HPC, data analytics, and artificial intelligence -- at exascale. The program contract is valued at more than $100 million for Cray, one of the largest contracts in the company's history. The design of the Aurora system calls for 200 Shasta cabinets, Cray's software stack optimized for Intel architectures, Cray Slingshot interconnect, as well as next generation Intel technology innovations in compute processor, memory and storage technologies. Intel's Rajeeb Hazra detailed some of the futuristic technology coming to Aurora including a future generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, the recently announced Intel Xe compute architecture, and Intel Optane DC persistent memory. "Today is an important day not only for the team of technologists and scientists who have come together to build our first exascale computer -- but also for all of us who are committed to American innovation and manufacturing," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "The convergence of AI and high-performance computing is an enormous opportunity to address some of the world's biggest challenges and an important catalyst for economic opportunity."

The Aurora system's exaFLOP of performance -- equal to a "quintillion" floating point computations per second -- combined with an ability to handle both traditional high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) will give researchers an unprecedented set of tools to address scientific problems at exascale. These breakthrough research projects range from developing extreme-scale cosmological simulations, discovering new approaches for drug response prediction and discovering materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells. The Aurora system will foster new scientific innovation and usher in new technological capabilities, furthering the United States' scientific leadership position globally.

Posted by cageymaru March 18, 2019 3:24 PM (CDT)

Huawei Caught Using DSLR Shots in P30 Marketing

Some eagle eyed readers over at GSMArena recently discovered that Huawei used professional DLSR shots to market the periscope zoom camera on the Huawei P30. Much like Samsung's fake Galaxy advertisements from last year, the posters weren't marked as DSLR shots at first, and they were clearly implied to be shots from the P30, but the Weibo photos were seemingly updated with disclaimers after various media outlets started catching on. In an official statement, Huawei claims the photos "are only intended to hint at the unique new features."

We've been made aware that there might have been some misunderstanding regarding our recent HUAWEI P30 Series teaser posters. We would like to reiterate that those are, in fact, only teaser posters, and are only intended to hint at the unique new features that will come with the HUAWEI P30 Series. Huawei has acquired the licenses to the original images and the posters are artistic renditions of said features only. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the media for their interest in our posters. We have much to announce in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned!

Posted by alphaatlas March 13, 2019 8:26 AM (CDT)

Progress on an Iron Man Suit is Being Made

Back in 2017, Red Bull posted a video of the "Daedulus" kerosene-powered jetpack created by Richard M. Browning, and its creators set a Guinness world record later that year. But since then, Mr. Browning has gone on to become the CEO of a company built around the jetpack called "Gravity Industries," and it looks like he's made some significant progress with the device's development. The company uploads new testing footage almost every week, including a shot of a jetpack pilot landing on a moving truck, but the company is so confident that they're starting to give the press members access to the suits. In the Hacksmith's latest video, the YouTuber seemingly picked up the basics of the flight suit relatively quickly, and Gravity mentioned that they already have a cheaper, 3D printed jet suit in testing. Thanks to CaptNumbNutz for the tip.

FLYING LIKE IRON MAN RETURNS! Gravity Industries & Richard Browning have successfully flown like Iron Man with their custom jet suit that uses kerosene jet engines! I flew (punny!) down to California to meet them and try out the jet suit for myself! Stay tuned for the next video where we turn his system into a true Iron Man suit, complete with a metal iron man helmet!

Posted by alphaatlas March 11, 2019 10:11 AM (CDT)

Man Who Made Hoax Call In Deadly Swatting Seeks 20-Year Term

20 years, please: Tyler Barriss, the man responsible for "making a hoax call that led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between two online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game," is begging the judge to give him the minimum of his plea deal, which calls for 20 to 25 years in federal prison. According to his attorney, "Barriss never intended for anyone to get hurt and his conduct was an outgrowth of the culture within the gaming community."

Defense attorney Rich Federico portrayed his client as sincerely remorseful for calling Wichita police from Los Angeles on Dec. 28, 2017, to falsely report a shooting and kidnapping at a Wichita address. A police officer responding to the call fatally shot Andrew Finch, 28, after he opened the door. Finch, who was not playing video games, lived at the gamer's old address. In a letter to the Finch family, Barriss wrote that he thinks every day about how his actions led to his death. He asked for forgiveness and expressed his "hope that my sentence may in some way help you feel better that justice is done," according to the filing.

Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 3:50 PM (CST)

PubG Corporation Patches Vulnerabilities and Arrests Hackers

While Fortnite is the current king of the hill in the PC gaming world, and Apex Legends is one of the hottest new releases, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is still immensely popular. The game regularly has hundreds of thousands of concurrent players on Steam alone, and according to a recent post, PubG Corporation is addressing one of the most common criticisms of the game. The Steam post details just how cheat programs tend to infiltrate the game, and outlines what the company intends to do about it. On top of using BattlEye and Uncheater simultaneously, they say they've "applied a machine learning technique that analyzes our players' usage patterns and have built a system that can detect abnormal game patterns or actions that interrupt the normal operations of the game coming from hack users." In addition, PubG is attempting to address vulnerabilities in Steam itself, and in cooperation with local authorities, they've made at least 252 arrests in China and Korea in 2018 alone. While I doubt PubG Corporation will ever catch everyone, it really does seem like they're moving heaven and Earth in their attempt to fight cheaters.

We currently have over 100 people monitoring the places that sell these hacks (websites, messengers, discord etc.) all over the world 24/7. Various communities that exchange information on hack programs are also being monitored closely so any elements that threaten PUBG's security can be detected and dealt with as quickly as possible. The end goal is to ramp up preemptive action so these hackers are no longer active within the game. We also recently added a system message that sends real-time alerts to players in a game if someone from the same session is banned. Whenever an abnormal gameplay pattern is detected in real-time or a user is proven to be a hacker mid game, that account will be banned as the game is still going on and announced to all other players in the kill feed.

Posted by alphaatlas February 26, 2019 12:43 PM (CST)

Microsoft Has State of Decay Running on PC Using Xbox Assets

Microsoft is getting serious about bridging the gap between the PC and Xbox ecosystems. According to a report from Brad Sams at Thurrott, Windows Insider build 18334 introduced "new technology to Windows 10" and offered "State of Decay for free." Nazmus S Khandaker offered this tweet where he disclosed that the packages used the .xvc format which is native to the Xbox. Not only that, the download servers for the game are using the Xbox servers instead of the Microsoft Store server. This will certainly make creating games between the Xbox and PC ecosystems much easier and cost effective. Remember 66% of developers are developing on the PC while only 28% said they are working on a Xbox One title.

On the surface, what it looks like Microsoft is doing is collapsing any differences between PC and Xbox gaming to make it the same experience on both devices. The company is in the process of making the delivery mechanisms based on the Xbox infrastructure, appears to be making it possible to run Xbox games on the PC, and replacing the existing Store PC games infrastructure on that of what Xbox has built. And this isn't some half baked port to the Windows ecosystem either. Much like the Xbox does, this updated mechanism supports delivery optimization too.

Posted by cageymaru February 25, 2019 3:35 PM (CST)

Surf the Web Like It's 1990: CERN Rebuilds WorldWideWeb, the First Web Browser

There’s no better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the development of the WorldWideWeb by firing up the original 1990 browser, and CERN has made that easy by rebuilding the first web browser and editor as an in-browser app (queue Xzibit Yo Dawg meme). Once upon a time, users had to double click on links.

In December 1990, an application called WorldWideWeb was developed on a NeXT machine at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN) just outside of Geneva. This program - WorldWideWeb - is the antecedent of most of what we consider or know of as "the web" today. In February 2019, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the development of WorldWideWeb, a group of developers and designers convened at CERN to rebuild the original browser within a contemporary browser, allowing users around the world to experience the rather humble origins of this transformative technology.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 4:50 PM (CST)

Nokia 9 PureView: The World's First Quintuple Camera Smartphone

Because one, two, three, or even four cameras isn’t enough, Nokia has announced a new PureView phone that boasts five rear sensors: "ZEISS optics on the back, two of which are RGB and the other three - monochrome." These work in unison, capturing lighting, detail, and color data to stitch a 12MP image. "According to HMD, taking a single photo results in at least 60 MP of imaging data being processed."

This is made possible with a dedicated image co-processor, which helps out with the heavy task. Every picture is HDR, can have up to 12.4 stops of dynamic range, and ends up with a full scene 12 MP depth map. Yes, this means that you will be able to use a depth editor to specifically adjust bokeh effects after the photo has already been taken. It'll even allow you to tweak colors and contrast between different depth fields. And yes, it can shoot RAW.

Posted by Megalith February 24, 2019 11:25 AM (CST)

Police are Using Drones in 911 Calls

VentureBeat reports that police in Chula Vista, California are successfully using drones to witness and record crimes as they happen. The police department launched the partnership with Cape last year, and since October, the two remotely piloted drones have reportedly "assisted in 21 arrests, spanning 249 flights over the course of 81 flight hours." The report specifically mentions a case where a woman allegedly tried to run over a man on an (allegedly) stolen bike, and that the drone's observation of events will be used in court even though no police officers were physically there to witness the crimes. Fire departments are reportedly interested in the drones as well, and it sounds like the trials will expand to other areas sometime soon.

Other participants in San Diego, the largest city in the country participating in the program that required a regional government sponsor, include UC San Diego Health to deliver blood and medical supplies, Uber Eats for food deliveries, and AT&T to test 5G networks. The first responder concept means drones are not deployed after a crime occurs, but proactively deployed for a large number of scenarios. In almost all instances, Sallee said, the drones gets there before officers in vehicles on the ground. The pilot program is currently limited to a one-mile radius around headquarters in downtown Chula Vista, the area of the city most likely to make 911 calls for police.

Posted by alphaatlas February 18, 2019 11:17 AM (CST)

Plans for First Chinese Solar Power Station in Space Revealed

The Chinese are reportedly working on experimental solar power stations that would be launched into space to generate electricity. Planned for launch as early as 2021, they will provide "an inexhaustible source of clean energy for humans," reliably supplying energy "99 percent of the time, at six-times the intensity of solar farms on earth." The final plan is a Megawatt-level space solar power station for 2030.

Pang said technical challenges to be overcome include the weight of a power station, expected to be 1000 tonnes, greater than 400 tonnes of the International Space Station. Researchers are examining whether a space factory using robots and 3D printing technology could construct the power station in space, avoiding the need to launch a heavy structure from earth. Solar energy would be converted to electricity and a microwave or laser beam would transmit the energy to earth.

Posted by Megalith February 16, 2019 3:40 PM (CST)

Tesla Model X Receives Industry First Perfect Crash-Test Rating for a SUV

The Tesla Model X has become the first SUV to receive a perfect safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) SUVs are generally safer than cars due to their increased size, but a higher center of gravity causes the vehicles to rollover during tight maneuvering situations or a side impact accident. According to statistics, "rollovers happened in 1% of serious crashes in passenger vehicles but accounted for one-third of collision-related deaths." The Tesla Model X was designed to have a lower center of gravity due to its large battery pack located in the floor of the vehicle. This design choice, along with the larger front crumple zone, allowed the vehicle to receive a perfect rating from the NHTSA. In other Tesla news, Dog Mode has been enabled on Tesla vehicles. This displays a message on the screen in Tesla vehicles that shows the temperature of the car for passersby to know that they don't need to worry about the animals in the vehicle. Tesla also added a Sentry Mode to their cars. When customers enable Sentry Mode, the electric vehicle constantly monitors its environment from a "Standby" state like a home security system works. When the vehicle detects a break-in in progress, it will start recording the event with its cameras, sound the car alarm, blast loud music through the stereo system, and warn the owners of the incident via the Tesla mobile app on their phones. Video of the incident can be downloaded to a USB drive.

If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on a car, Sentry Mode switches to an "Alert" state and displays a message on the touchscreen warning that its cameras are recording. If a more severe threat is detected, such as someone breaking a window, Sentry Mode switches to an "Alarm" state, which activates the car alarm, increases the brightness of the center display, and plays music at maximum volume from the car's audio system. If a car switches to "Alarm" state, owners will also receive an alert from their Tesla mobile app notifying them that an incident has occurred. They'll be able to download a video recording of an incident (which begins 10 minutes prior to the time a threat was detected) by inserting a formatted USB drive into their car before they enable Sentry Mode.

Posted by cageymaru February 14, 2019 8:52 AM (CST)

Apex Legends Hits 25 Million Players and 2 Million Concurrent Peak in Its First Week

Vince Zampella of Respawn Entertainment has announced that Apex Legends has surpassed the 25 million player mark in its first week. Also the peak number of concurrent players during that week was 2 million over the weekend. He also announced that Season One starts in March and there will be a Battle Pass as well as new Legends, weapons, loot, and more. Events planned in the near future include the Twitch Rivals Apex Legends Challenge which starts on February 12, 2019 and resumes on the following Tuesday, February 19th. 48 of Twitch's biggest personalities will compete on those days. Valentine's day will have limited-time, appropriately-themed loot drops.

What a week! Since we launched Apex Legends last week on Monday we've seen the creation of an Apex Legends community that is excited, thriving, and full of great feedback and ideas. Our goal is to build this game with you, our community, so keep giving us your feedback because we really are listening. From everyone here at Respawn, thank you. The community's excitement for Apex Legends is electric, and we feel it here at the studio. We couldn't have gotten where we are without you and look forward to having you on this journey with us.

Posted by cageymaru February 11, 2019 5:57 PM (CST)