The U.S believes it will be ready to seek vendor proposals to build two exascale supercomputers—costing roughly $200 million to $300 million each— by 2019.The two systems will be built at the same time and will be ready for use by 2023, although it’s possible one of the systems could be ready a year earlier, according to U.S. Department of Energy officials.[ Also on InfoWorld: Harness the power of Hadoop -- find out how in InfoWorld's Deep Dive report. | 18 essential Hadoop tools for crunching big data. | Get the latest insight on the tech news that matters from InfoWorld's Tech Watch blog. ]But the scientists and vendors developing exascale systems do not yet know whether President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration will change directions. The incoming administration is a wild card. Supercomputing wasn’t a topic during the campaign, and Trump’s dismissal of climate change as a hoax, in particular, has researchers nervous that science funding may … [Read more...] about U.S. sets plan to build two exascale supercomputers
There is universal agreement that modern warfare or crime fighting is not just about bullets, bombs and missiles in physical space. It's also about hacking in cyber space.But over the past decade there has been much less agreement over how much of a threat hackers are.[ Security expert Cricket Liu lays out the workings of a DNS-based DDoS attack -- and how to prevent one from hitting your company. Download the PDF today! | Stay up to date on the latest security developments with InfoWorld's Security newsletter. ]On one side are those -- some of them top government officials -- who have warned that a cyber attack on the nation's critical infrastructure could be catastrophic, amounting to a "cyber Pearl Harbor."Those warnings prompted the recent book by retired ABC TV "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel titled, "Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath."Other experts argue just as forcefully that while the threats are real and should be taken seriously, … [Read more...] about How much at risk is the U.S. critical infrastructure?
Fifty years ago, the United States became a space-faring nation. On 31 January 1958, the U.S. Army launched a civilian satellite into Earth's orbit from a research facility at Cape Canaveral, in Florida. It was broadcast live by international television networks. It was the first time most of the world had ever witnessed a spaceflight. And it set into motion a series of events that history has said led to the greatest accomplishment the human race has ever achieved: the Apollo moon landing. Few of the players in this achievement remain to bear witness to its significance, but those who remember know that they accomplished a practical miracle. The historic flight of Explorer-I was the result of missed opportunities by the U.S. government to put a scientific satellite into orbit during the first International Geophysical Year of 1957, to study conditions beyond the Earth's atmosphere. The distinction of being first to do so fell to the Soviet Union with the launch of Sputnik I in October … [Read more...] about A Rocket Scientist Recalls the First U.S. Spaceflight
The U.S. electric grid operates at 60 Hz (and much of the rest of the world at 50), right? Well, not exactly. The operating frequency of the U.S. grid generally varies between approximately 59.95 and 60.05 Hz. Fall below those frequencies and safety systems may step in, shutting off electrical equipment for certain customers make sure the system stays up and running. That, of course, is not something utilities want happening very often. It turns out, however, that it may be happening more than it needs to because grid operators intentionally slow down the frequency on occasion for the benefit of electric clocks. If something happens during one of these intentional slow-downs that also reduces the frequency-a power plant going offline due to mechanical problems or a loss of a feeder line in a storm, for example-the total frequency drop may be large enough to fall below the allowable parameters and kick off shutdowns. So why mess with the frequency? It's done to avoid confusing electric … [Read more...] about Planned U.S. Power System Experiment Means Some Clocks Will Speed Up
Just a week ago, the Flame virus, suspected to be a weapon in a heretofore undeclared cyberwar, was discovered by computer security experts. Now, unnamed U.S. government officials have told a New York Times reporter that the Stuxnet worm, another sophisticated piece of malware that was discovered in 2010, was the brainchild of secretive U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies. Stuxnet, designed to deal a significant blow to Iran's uranium enrichment program, was clearly a cyberwarfare tool. But previous discussions of its authorship were, at best, a series of educated guesses and unverified allegations. The NYT reporter, David Sanger, says his U.S. government sources told him that the program responsible for Stuxnet, code named "Olympic Games," was initiated in 2006 at the behest of former president George W. Bush, but has since been championed by Barack Obama. These sources told Sanger that Obama "decided to step up cyber-attacks on Iran's Natanz enrichment facility, even after the … [Read more...] about U.S., Long Engaged in Cyberwar Against Iran, Has Now Declared It
Someone who is a data scientist today is said by Harvard Business Review to have the sexiest job alive. And if sexy isn't enough, how about being a savior of the economy? According to a 2011 report by consulting company McKinsey & Company, "Big Data" is "the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity." That is, of course, if enough of those sexy data scientists can be found. For also according to McKinsey's report, "the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions," by 2018. However, Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research asserts that the shortage situation is even more frightening than what McKinsey implies. Sondergaard stated in October 2012 that, "By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support Big Data, generating 1.9 million IT jobs … [Read more...] about Is There a U.S. IT Worker Shortage?
Fears of Chinese espionage based on "back doors" built into computer hardware have prompted the U.S. government to block China's technology giant Huawei from doing business on U.S. shores. Such suspicions may come in large part from the knowledge that U.S. spies have already learned how to install similar "back doors" in computer hardware and software. The NSA allegedly launched an operation code-named "Shotgiant" in 2007 aimed at uncovering any possible ties between Huawei-a company that likes to boast of how its routers and switches connect a third of the world's population-and China's military, known as the People's Liberation Army, according to the New York Times and Der Spiegel. Operation Shotgiant also aimed to compromise and exploit Huawei's technology so that the NSA could infiltrate the computer networks of Huawei customers in "high-priority target" countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, and Cuba. John Bumgarner, chief technology officer at the U.S. Cyber … [Read more...] about U.S. Suspicions of Chinas Huawei Based Partly on NSAs Own Spy Tricks
Unlike the past month, last week saw an overflowing cornucopia of IT-related malfunctions, errors and complications. We start off this week's edition of IT Hiccups with a strange story that has followed in the wake of a major air traffic control outage in the U.S.-one of several incidents that aggravated air travelers around the world. The story starts off simply enough: On Wednesday afternoon, a little after 3:00 p.m. Pacific time, a computer problem occurred with the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system at the Los Angeles Air Route Control Center. The snafu, a USA Today article reported, left, "controllers temporarily unable to track planes across Southern California and parts of Nevada, Arizona and Utah." The FAA issued a ground stop on planes wanting to fly to Los Angeles for about an hour until the problem could be cleared up. However, that action caused the cancellation of some 50 flights arriving and departing Los Angeles International Airport and delayed another 455 … [Read more...] about Report Claims Spy Plane to Blame for Air-Traffic Outage on U.S. West Coast
GPS technology can do much more than guide drivers and smartphone users on unfamiliar streets. The Global Positioning System's satellites carry expensive atomic clocks that also provide synchronized timekeeping for cell phone networks, major financial institutions, and power grids across the world. But a report by the U.S. government's "master clock" keepers finds that a ground-based "TimeLoc" technology can provide even better timekeeping accuracy within crowded cities and indoor spaces-places where GPS signals have trouble reaching. The TimeLoc technology made by the Locata Corp. represents a wireless synchronization procedure based on radio signals sent between "LocataLite" transceivers on the ground. Recent testing by the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), a scientific agency that controls the U.S. "master clock" used for coordinating the GPS satellites, found that the LocataLite transceivers could synchronize across kilometers of Washington, D.C.'s urban environment with timing … [Read more...] about U.S. Master Clock Keepers Test Terrestrial Alternative to GPS
While there is little disagreement in the IT industry that offshore outsourcing is likely to grow, there is little agreement on what to do about it. Though some European workers associations have put pressure on legislators to re-examine labor policies, friction among politicians, labor leaders and IT industry insiders caused the controversy to flare especially brightly in the U.S., making it one of this year's most public IT-related debates in the country. As more work gets outsourced abroad, the controversy is bound to grow in 2004. Outsourcers themselves say that as they try to offer better and higher-end IT services, they run into more resistance from the U.S. than elsewhere. [ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld's career trends reports. GET A 15% DISCOUNT through Jan. 15, 2017: Use code 8TIISZ4Z. ]"We have tried to add more value, but we are more successful in Europe. There is also this vocal movement against … [Read more...] about Offshore outsouricng IT: U.S. grapples with the challenge
Several simmering trade issues between the U.S. and China, including the latter's plans to adopt a proprietary national standard for wireless LANs, are up for discussion this week at a bilateral high-level government meeting due to begin on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The 2004 U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) will be chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi. A spectrum of issues are likely to be covered at the talks and the U.S. Department of Commerce has signalled that issues will include intellectual property rights, trade expansion initiatives and export controls. More specifically, the USTR said in a recently published annual report on trade barriers in telecommunications, that it intends to bring up China's national wireless LAN standard. [ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld's career trends … [Read more...] about China, U.S. to hold high-level trade meeting
An open skies agreement between the U.S. and India is expected to lower costs and improve efficiency for Indian outsourcing companies and U.S. companies with offshore software development in India, according to industry sources. The agreement gives U.S. airlines access to more Indian cities. The open skies agreement will remove current flight availability constraints, as more airlines are likely to establish routes between U.S. and Indian cities, according to Marc Hebert, executive vice president of Sierra Atlantic, a Fremont, California-based provider of outsourced IT services, which has an offshore software development center in Hyderabad in south India. Currently, traveling to Hyderabad from San Francisco often requires passengers to stop over in Singapore and then travel to Chennai in India, and take a domestic flight to Hyderabad, Hebert said. "A whole day is spent on getting from Singapore to Hyderabad," he added. [ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's … [Read more...] about U.S., India open skies agreement to help outsourcing
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the time some foreign graduates of U.S. colleges can stay in the country and work, earning the agency praise from Microsoft and other supporters of increased numbers of foreign worker visas. DHS extended from 12 months to 29 months the length of time a graduating student in science and technology fields can stay in the U.S. without a worker visa. Microsoft and other supporters of a higher cap on H-1B immigrant worker visas have complained the quota fills up before students graduate each year, and the 12-month period didn't give those student enough time to become part of the next year's H-1B crop. The yearly cap on H-1B visas is 65,000, not including an additional 20,000 visa for graduate students at U.S. universities. In recent years, the cap has been filled within days or hours of applications being available. [ Give yourself a technology career advantage with InfoWorld's Deep Dive technology reports and Computerworld's … [Read more...] about DHS extends time foreign students can stay in U.S.
Ken Hubbard worries that broadband speeds in the U.S. aren't adequate for the next wave of Web content. Hubbard, president of networking startup InteliCloud Technology, said he's generally not a fan of large government programs, but it may be time for the U.S. Congress to look at ways to encourage rollout of faster broadband services. Internet users are demanding more video and high-bandwidth applications, and high-definition video is on the way, said Hubbard, whose company is set to release a network appliance it dubs "network in a box." [ Also on InfoWorld: How to roll your own VPN, the open source, low-cost way. | Get expert networking how-to advice from InfoWorld's Networking Deep Dive PDF special report. ]"The infrastructure is not strong enough to support the growth that needs to happen," he said. "[Broadband] has got to become ubiquitous." Hubbard's concerns have been echoed by several groups in recent months. Groups calling for a wide-ranging U.S. broadband policy say the … [Read more...] about Does the U.S. need a new broadband policy?
U.S. efforts to develop the next-generation high performance computing (HPC) platform are lagging because they don't have government funding. In China, it's a much different story. China has impressed analysts with its rocket-speed commitment to HPC. It had 72 systems in this month's Top 500 supercomputer list, making it the No. 2 HPC user in the world. Five years ago, it had just 10 systems in the Top 500 list. [ Also on InfoWorld: Exascale unlikely before 2020 due to budget woes. | Keep up on the day's tech news headlines with InfoWorld's Today's Headlines: Wrap Up newsletter. ] [ Also on InfoWorld: Harness the power of Hadoop -- find out how in InfoWorld's Deep Dive report. | 18 essential Hadoop tools for crunching big data. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]Along the way to achieving its HPC goals, China built what was for a time the world's most powerful supercomputer, the … [Read more...] about China moves to beat U.S. in exascale computing
Influential technology companies and groups want the U.S. government to lift restrictions on publicizing secret requests for user data as the fallout continues over the scale of government surveillance. Google, Facebook, and Reddit are among the many signatories to a letter dated Thursday asking for more transparency in national-security related investigations. The letter's addressees include President Barack Obama, the National Security Agency, and many House and Senate members. [ Keep up on the day's tech news headlines with InfoWorld's Today's Headlines: Wrap Up newsletter. ] [ Docker, Amazon, TensorFlow, Windows 10, and more: See InfoWorld's 2017 Technology of the Year Award winners. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]"Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement-related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent … [Read more...] about Google, Reddit among groups asking U.S. for transparency in secret data requests
2014 was a year of notable scientific highlights: the first landing on a comet, discovery of a new fundamental particle that sheds light on the origin of the universe, development of the world's fastest supercomputer, and research uncovering new ways to meet global food demands. Unfortunately, none of these were U.S.-led achievements. A new MIT report warns that the United States is missing out on cutting-edge technological developments and is in danger of falling behind other countries because of ongoing federal funding cuts to basic research. The report -- "The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit" -- notes that countries like China are committing more resources to research, and U.S. cuts could cause "long-term damage" to the country. Competitors around the world are increasing their investment in basic research, but science funding in the U.S. federal budget is at "the lowest it has been since the Second World War as a … [Read more...] about MIT paints grim picture for future of U.S. tech research
Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Justice indicted five Chinese military officers for industrial espionage, accusing them of leading attacks on the computers of U.S. companies including U.S. Steel and Westinghouse to gather material to be passed on to Chinese companies. The move puts U.S. policy in line with experts who have argued that only naming and shaming the perpetrators, and pursuing them through legal action, will rein in such attacks. Digital IP theft is now normal for U.S companies, although few victims disclose the fact. Dmitri Alperovitch, cofounder and chief technology officer (see “TR35: Dmitri Alperovitch”) of the security company Crowdstrike, a company that offers new ways to trace and fight back against cyberattacks, told MIT Technology Review’s Tom Simonite how the U.S. could use its new strategy to increase the pressure on China even further. Why has this indictment happened now? Has new evidence come to light? This case has not popped out of … [Read more...] about How the U.S. Could Escalate Its Name-and-Shame Campaign Against China’s Espionage
The role government plays in surveillance has long been a topic of debate. For years, we’ve heard stories of the U.S. government accessing data from citizens unbeknownst to them or those with whom they’re communicating. And time and again, privacy advocates argue that our rights are being violated. In a recent interview with Russia Times (RT), a former National Security Agency code breaker William Binney threw some more gas on the fire by saying that the U.S. government is currently in possession of all e-mails sent between citizens, and houses them for use at a later time. “The FBI has access to the data collected, which is basically the emails of virtually everybody in the country,” Binney said in the interview. “And the FBI has access to it. All the congressional members are on the surveillance too, no one is excluded.” Binney went on to explain that without a warrant, the U.S. government is tapping into e-mail programs and storing all messages … [Read more...] about Is the U.S. Government Really A Spy Machine?
The U.S. government’s effort to create an electric-vehicle battery industry suffered a setback last week when one of the companies it funded as part of this effort saw its parent company file for bankruptcy protection. Battery maker Enerdel had been awarded a $118.5 million grant to build a lithium-ion battery factory in Indiana as part of a $2 billion grant program for electric-vehicle component and battery manufacturing; its parent company is Ener1. Ener1 hopes to emerge from bankruptcy, and says Enerdel will continue operations during bankruptcy proceedings. Yet its difficulties point to the challenges of creating a new industry: at least for now, there are too many companies chasing too few contracts for making electric- and hybrid-vehicle batteries. Demand is expected to grow over the next few years as government regulations and incentives push automakers to roll out more battery-powered cars, and as technical and manufacturing advances make batteries cheaper. But for now, … [Read more...] about Tough Times for U.S. EV Battery Makers