* Posts by Ian Bush

146 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

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Not the Wright stuff: Bitcoin 'inventor' loses bid to sue YouTuber who called him a liar

Ian Bush

Re: Judges names

> Which publication used “Sue, Grabbit & Runne. Solicitors and Commissioners for Oaths.”?

Private Eye, when not discussing Ugandan Affairs

What do Nginx, Twitch... and the English Premier League have in common? Russians. It's always the Russians

Ian Bush

Re: Wait a minute

"Weird" is not the word I would use. As they live in The People's Democratic Kleptocracy of Russia I would use either "sensible" or "brave", and I haven't decided which yet

UK govt snubs Intel, seeks second-gen AMD Epyc processors for 28PFLOPS Archer2 supercomputer

Ian Bush

Re: Money/oomph

I hope you work for Intel ...

Ian Bush

Re: Money/oomph

Macho flops/£ and achieved flops/£ are very different things, especially once software development and maintenance costs are factored in, and also electricity bills. But the honest truth is for this project the vast majority of users didn't need or want GPGPUs to do their science, and in many cases GPU versions of the applications just don't exist, so early on a decision was made to be purely CPU based - the machine is there to do science, and if it can't do the science the user base needs it doesn't matter how many macho flops it can do. As a result I can't answer your question as we never did that calculation.

Ian Bush

Re: I have to wonder

Yes - it will run Linux.

Ian Bush
Boffin

Actually it should be fairly high unless there is a rush of new machines at the top end. Speaking as someone on the evaluation team for the project ... But as for GPUs the users (mostly) didn't want them, so we didn't get them.

Toodle-oo Raijin and g'day Gadi, you beauty! Australia's fastest super 'puter will bench 38 PFLOPS later this year

Ian Bush

After looking at the grid you can decide where to place your supercomputer - power cost and consumption is a major factor in deciding where to place the thing. People are not so accommodating in their accommodation requirements.

Operation Desert Sh!tstorm: Routine test shoots down military's top-secret internets

Ian Bush
Mushroom

Temperature Units

Sigh ... To all those who don't understand the archaic temperature units which are the primary measure in the article can I remind you of

https://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

so they can be converted into something more comprehensible. For starters 120F=2.9Hn

HPC processor project tosses architectural designs on desk of the European Commission

Ian Bush

Re: Just what we need

Icon noted, so let's just note that while Horizon 2020 is not by any means the only way we get money back from the EU it does constitute almost 20% of our academic research budget.

Ian Bush
Go

Re: Just what we need

Just to add some numbers over the period 2014-2016 UK researchers and Innovators received 15.2% of the Horizon 2020 funding, for a total of just under €3.8bn funding. This was the second highest in Europe, just behind Germany (16.7%): https://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/news/horizon-2020-three-years-uk-tops-league-participants_en

UK Space Agency cracks open its wallet, fishes out a paltry £2m for Brit plans to return to orbit

Ian Bush

Can't be - Chris Grayling wouldn't be interested if it's a paltry £2M to be wasted.

Supreme Court says secret UK spy court's judgments can be overruled after all

Ian Bush

Re: re: "section 67(8) was clear...

Exactly. In an age were we have judgements which can't be appealed, and a government that believes it can rule by diktat without consulting the People's representatives, this is a glimmer of light.

Boffins baffled by planet nugget whizzing round white dwarf that should have killed it

Ian Bush
Coat

Re: Leftover core, or an ark ship?

Nah, it would have been eaten by the enormous mutant space goat

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

Ian Bush

Not a mention of Paul Dirac. But to be honest if it's not Dalton or Maxwell it's criminal

US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan

Ian Bush

"The United Kingdom’s introduction of a new tax targeting cross-border digital services – which mirrors a similar proposal under consideration in the European Union – is troubling,"

We thought with brexit coming the Limeys would just do what we told them ...

AI can predict the structure of chemical compounds thousands of times faster than quantum chemistry

Ian Bush
Flame

Re: "SwiftML [..] can perform as accurately as DFT programmes in some cases."

"To be sure, 6 minutes instead of 16 years is quite the improvement, but only some cases ?

I do hope that they know which cases, because it would be a shame if they applied it wrong yet still used the answer that their statistical analysis machine gave them."

Well speaking as somebody who develops DFT codes on HPC machines I would use the following technical term to describe their comparison: Bollocks. You can solve systems with a few thousand atoms relatively easily on a few 10s or 100s of cores on a modern HPC machine, maybe 1200 hours is fair, but 16 years, WTF are they on?

Oh, and of course out of a quantum mechanical calculation you get the wavefunction which allows deep insight into the properties of the system under investigation. Out of curve fitting you get the fitted curve. Don't get me wrong, this can be extremely useful in certain circumstances. But what is being presented here is complete over-sell - "News: Drawing a line through some points is quicker and easier than solving the fundamental laws of nature, film at 11!!!"

Brit comms providers told: You must tell people when their cheap contract's about to end

Ian Bush
Flame

Just like ISAs

"We want people to be able to take advantage of the wide choice of communication services available and shop around with confidence, so that they can get the best deals for their needs."

On the other hand we could have a situation where companies don't have the right to rip the customer off the moment they put a foot wrong. We could have a situation where the default is that companies can not rip off consumers at will. Maybe governments could understand that while representing me one very important responsibility is to spare me working through a plethora of compare the market type sites and rather let me HAVE A LIFE. But no. As long as their hedge fund managers maximise their profit that is all that matters. I am just a working droid to maximise somebody else's profits. Fuck 'em.

Europe's scheme to build exascale capability on homegrown hardware is ludicrous fantasy

Ian Bush

What about the software?

Great, we can build these machines on some kind of timescale. But without the applications that can exploit them what is the point? Where's the funding for the software development, especially if novel architectures require a large overhaul of existing million line codes?

RIP: Sinclair ZX Spectrum designer Rick Dickinson reaches STOP

Ian Bush
Unhappy

Sad day. Started with a ZX81, progressed to a ZX Spectrum, and now program HPC machines. Wouldn't be doing that if it weren't for Mr Dickinson, and the lessons that you HAD to learn about memory usage are still with me today - you can't always just plug in another DIMM.

Facebook can’t count, says Cambridge Analytica

Ian Bush

Re: Refuted?

They probably mean "repudiated", it seems increasingly common to confuse the two

Ian Bush
Black Helicopters

Still 30 million too many ...

BOOM! Cambridge Analytica explodes following extraordinary TV expose

Ian Bush

Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

"You're forgetting one important detail: Only little people like us get to taste porridge. Rich **** get a slap on the wrists and told not to do it again."

I think you've misspelt "****", there should be an extra * at the end

UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool

Ian Bush
Coat

You can see it happening already - it's blocked some of your vowels, replacing them with stars

MPs: Lack of technical skills for Brexit could create 'damaging, unmanageable muddle'

Ian Bush

When Rees-Mogg takes over the tax system will be greatly simplified - we'll all have to pay scutage along with the forelock-tug, and be glad of it.

Borked bog forces flight carrying 83 plumbers to bug out back to base

Ian Bush
Coat

"The airline's comms handler confirmed the U-turn in a statement sent to The Register."

Shouldn't that read U-bend?

Trans-Pacific Partnership returns, without Trump but more 'comprehensive'

Ian Bush

Re: Ask Liam Fox

Actually most current practice is not to write it in the first place - See David Davis

Ian Bush

Ask Liam Fox

That wonderful gentleman Liam Fox must know the details as he seems keen that the UK should join the TPP

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/04/liam-fox-brexit-trade-policy-trans-pacific-partnership

Maybe we could ask him for details. It might protect our chicken.

The UK's super duper 1,000mph car is being tested in Cornwall

Ian Bush

Re: Cool, but why?

"So, the answer is... no... there is no why. They simply justify it as being cool."

Getting kids excited by science, bringing on the next generation of technologists, finding the engineers of the future is "no why"?

Ian Bush
Megaphone

Re: Cool, but why?

From http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/project

"The BLOODHOUND Project is a global Engineering Adventure, using a 1,000mph World Land Speed Record attempt to inspire the next generation to enjoy, explore and get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Go and see one of their presentations. They are bloody brilliant.

Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Ian Bush

"What is disappointing is that Uber's immediate response is throw rattles out of the pram and publicly state that they will go to the courts"

Disappointing maybe, but surprising, no. This seems to be their basic corporate policy - if crossed threaten litigation. One wonders if they learnt from a certain well known cult.

Unable to give up on life on Mars, bio-boffins now thrilled to find boron

Ian Bush
Boffin

Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...

Obscure!? Sigh ... kids these days

That said I'm mildly confused by this. There's no reason boron won't be found in Mar's surface, and it's no big surprise that any boron on Mars will be in the form of borates given the highly oxidised state of the surface - on Earth (almost?) all boron containing minerals are borates. So given that why the big fuss about life? For me the most amazing thing is that the truly amazing Curiosity rover can detect a rare element like boron - I wonder what the concentration is?

Ian Bush

Re: The chances of anything coming from Mars...

Pterry said that one

Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

Ian Bush
Boffin

There have been legitimate uses for comparing a variable to itself - in particular under IEEE754 all comparisons that have a NaN as one of the operands return false, so checking for equality of a variable with itself was a way of detecting whether the variable held a NaN. Unfortunately optimising compilers used to think "what is this idiocy" and throw it away, hence many languages contain a isNaN function or similar.

Time to rethink machine learning: The big data gobble is OFF the menu

Ian Bush

I mentally replaced ML with HPC throughout and the articles was still close to coherent and relevant. OMO the ultimate issue here is valuing programmers (both in industry and academia) with relevant specialist skills and rewarding them - that would encourage others to follow down their path.

The cloud is great for HPC: Discuss

Ian Bush

"You may want to try throwing a set of GPUs at a particular computational fluid dynamics problem to see if that architecture can handle the workload in a more effective way. If it doesn’t deliver the gains you expected, then you haven’t sunk capital into a hardware investment"

Yada, yada, yada. I take the point, effectively renting unusual hardware, but GPUs are a poor example, in academia (if not Industry) they have moved into the mainstream and any self respecting central University service will offer nodes including them. So how about FPGAs or Xeon Phi's? You offer them, great ... how much ?!?

The cloud being of use to academic HPC currently is a myth. High throughput computing, yes there is a place. But at the moment not HPC.

Russian raids sweep up 20 malware scum

Ian Bush

Re: Big mistake..

I just assumed they didn't pay the local "taxes"

Fortran greybeards: Get your walking frames and shuffle over to NASA

Ian Bush

Re: One small catch...

Modern Fortran refers to Fortran 90 or later - usually at least Fortran 95 nowadays

Ian Bush

Re: re: CODGER

10x? 100x more likely! And that's not a joke.

Ian Bush

Don't quite get why this is particularly a Fortran problem - it's simply a result of floating point maths. In fact to expect bit wise identical results for every compiler/library/etc. combination in complex codes like those discussed here displays some ignorance about the nature of the beast, and that's before we even think about talking about parallelism. And in practice for the performance these guys need your choice of language is Fortran, C or C++, nothing else will cut it however much quiche you eat, and for all 3 the floating point issues are similar.

Teen in the dock on terror apologist charge for naming Wi-Fi network 'Daesh 21'

Ian Bush
Black Helicopters

Re: Weird

Never knew where Mike Corley was, live and learn ...

Boffins eschew silicon to build tiniest-ever transistor, just 1nm long

Ian Bush
Boffin

Re: in which electrons as “heavier” and therefore able to be controlled ion shorter gates

They're not talking about the actual mass, they're talking about the "effective mass". Wikipedia has an article on it

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_mass_(solid-state_physics)

but I admit I haven't read it to see how good it is

Ian Bush

Moly

Chemists tend to call Molybdenum "Moly". So though inaccurate "Moly's valley" would be a possibility.

Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer

Ian Bush
Pint

Make coffee

Give the explosion of caffeine options since I were a lad I'm surprised he didn't do this via the standard Unix build automation tool. Then he could do things like

make coffee

or

make cappuccino

or

make Venti-Iced-Skinny-Hazelnut-Macchiato-Sugar-Free-Syrup-Extra-Shot-Light-Ice-No-Whip

if he so wanted

Zilog reveals very, very distant heir to the Z80 empire

Ian Bush

Re: http://www.pofo.de/S8000/S8000_scaled.jpg.

"404 Not found"

Sigh, I read this first as "4004 Not found"

I'll get me zimmerframe ...

Ian

BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Ian Bush

I sort of assumed

"I push the ladder.

I pull the ladder.

The PFY closes the window."

was some BoFH poetry form related to the haiku.

Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Ian Bush
Coat

Re: Regression to the really mean

> JC? You mean the messiah?

No, he's a very naughty boy

Ian Bush
Flame

Re: Regression to the really mean

Yes there is a difference. But either will be a disaster. May wants to cement the surveillance state. Leadsom has no interest in the "common man", she merely wants to legalise the (in my opinion) tax scams she has run throughout her career - see Private Eye passim.

The best way to find oxygen on Mars? Friggin LASERS, of course

Ian Bush

Re: More importantly...

But million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten

(crossing the memes)

Nice cluster, kid. But can these supercomputing students actually predict the weather?

Ian Bush
Meh

And the software comes from ...?

"There’s a twist in the competition on this task: for the first time ever, students have to write their own algorithm to solve the graph problem. They aren’t allowed to use the reference implementation – they have to provide their own approach. Teams will be judged on the quality of their code as well as their solution to the problem. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on this application."

Good. Call me a grumpy old sod (you're a grumpy old sod Ian), but while good fun and a demonstration of problem solving ability I struggle to see the real relevance of these competitions; you simply don't cobble together your own clusters any more, or at least you shouldn't be doing. But often the software is a different matter - where's the recognition of the people who write the stuff that can actually exploit this hardware? While I've seen the names of the teams competing and we're promised videos introducing them there's not even a link to the applications web pages, let alone naming the teams or institutions that develop them.

I must get out more ...

Lester Haines: RIP

Ian Bush
Pint

Apparently just beer is not enough ...

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