Before having kids, tech entrepreneur Nirav Tolia spent hours online each day catching up on his favorite sports teams, doing research, or scrolling through social media. Now the father of three young sons, Tolia, the co-founder and chief executive of neighborhood-based social network Nextdoor, goes out of his way to put his smartphone down so he and his wife can lead by example for their kids.
Plenty of people around the world got new gadgets Friday, but one in Eastern Tennessee stands out. Summit, a new supercomputer unveiled at Oak Ridge National Lab is, unofficially for now, the most powerful calculating machine on the planet. It was designed in part to scale up the artificial intelligence techniques that power some of the recent tricks in your smartphone.
The education-technology market has largely not been going Apple’s way in recent years, for all of its efforts to make its iPads and Macintosh computers the go-to classroom computers everywhere. Apple faces fierce competition from Chromebooks, which are Web-centric, Google-flavored laptops that are inexpensive for school districts to purchase en masse -- iPads are typically pricier -- and are a breeze for school IT managers to deploy and manage.
In the three weeks since researchers revealed major flaws in virtually every computer processors, issuing patches has not gone smoothly. "It's been a bit of a disaster," said Ellison Anne Williams, founder and CEO of security firm Enveil. "The problem happens in the memory of the computer. Anytime you start messing with memory, things can go wrong very quickly. Some of the patches coming out do unexpected things. It takes a long time to see how things are going."
When it comes to the lucrative education market, Microsoft doesn't want to be left behind -- especially when that Google's Chromebooks are increasingly popular with schools. Microsoft's big selling point this year? More cheap Windows 10 notebooks starting at $189, and a Minecraft: Education Edition update focused on chemistry.
A University of Michigan (U-M) team has announced plans to develop an “unhackable” computer, funded by a new $3.6 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The goal of the project, called MORPHEUS, is to design computers that avoid the vulnerabilities of most current microprocessors, such as the Spectre and Meltdown flaws announced last week.
Over the past few days we’ve covered major new security risks that struck at a number of modern microprocessors from Intel and to a much lesser extent, ARM and AMD. Information on the attacks and their workarounds initially leaked out slowly, but Google has pushed up its timeline for disclosing the problems and some vendors, like AMD, have issued their own statements. The two flaws in question are known as Spectre and Meltdown, and they both relate to one of the core capabilities of modern CPUs, known as speculative execution.
A recent list showing the United States losing out to China on the ranking of the world’s fastest supercomputers has one former national security scientist concerned. “It is almost like a canary in the mine type of situation,” said Tomas Diaz de la Rubia, chief scientist and executive director of Discovery Park at Purdue University. “China has been very aggressive on this end of high performance computing.” And that is “worrying,” he added.
IBM Research announced Tuesday (Oct. 24, 2017) that its scientists have developed the first “in-memory computing” or “computational memory” computer system architecture, which is expected to yield yield 200x improvements in computer speed and energy efficiency -- enabling ultra-dense, low-power, massively parallel computing systems.
An international team led by MIT associate professor of materials science and engineering Geoffrey Beach has demonstrated a practical way to use “skyrmions” to create a radical new high-speed, high-density data-storage method that could one day replace disk drives -- and even replace high-speed RAM memory.