• Sony Subsidises Supercomputers for the US Military?

    Ars has a great article about how Sony through the Playstation 3’s awesome power (can’t you tell which of this generations consoles I own?) and subsidy (based on recoup of selling games and hardware - a model pioneered with the PS1)

    With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.2 GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 GFLOPS, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 GFLOPS, the approximately tenfold cost difference per GFLOP makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for HPC applications.

    Calling the PS3 “the only viable technology for HPC applications” is wildly overstating it, but we get the picture.

  • Nuclear Power Debates... why not in Ireland?

    Some really informative stuff on Slashdot regarding nuclear power:

  • Interesting Video for Windows 7 fans

    I mentioned this to people in College, and some people said boot times are irrelevant. Still it shows who can get the best performance out of similar hardware, who has to load more legacy stuff etc. so it is useful for some metrics:

  • Is a Mac Pro overpriced?

    Gizmodo seem to think so:

    The $2,500 Mac Pro, desperately in need of a refresh, gives you a 2.66GHz Quad-Core Xeon (essentially an i7), 3GB of RAM (triple channel, but seriously?), 640GB hard drive (again, seriously?) and a nominal graphics card. Spend $800 more and you’ll get a another processor and 3GB more RAM.

    The $2200, 27-inch iMac obviously includes a screen, plus you get a 2.8GHz Quad-Core (i7), 1TB drive, 4GB of RAM and a nominal graphics card.

  • 3G Coverage in Ireland

    I recently used Twitter to post about my journey on public transport from Kilkenny to Dublin. For people outside of Ireland the total Journey distance was about 90 miles.

    I used only my iPhone on the O2 network and close to 50% of the time it seemed like I had 3G. This was on a train moving at speed, and YouTube played very well with little to no stutter. It did drop to Edge the other half of the time, with about 30% of time I still got speeds web browsing was acceptable on. So in summary: 80% of the time it was possible to surf the web.

    After that Journey I was also on a Dublin Bus, and I had full 3G coverage which comes as little surprise as Dublin Bus only serves densly populated Dublin and it’s environs.

    A few days later I went on a road trip to Athlone, and the coverage on the M4/M6 was not as good as I’d hoped. My theory on why the train was better is the fact on the routes I’ve been on a lot more urban areas are visited, thus the rollout has been very good to densely populated towns, but along motorways which are far away from such places: your sadly out of luck.

    Hutchinson Whampoa (aka 3 Ireland) have recently got the national broadband contract to supply rural areas with 3G coverage, so most of these areas should be covered in the next few years. I should note wireless broadband is hugely needed for mobiles etc,, but a fiber optic service is really what the government should be sticking money into!

    Overall I am very happy to recommend 3G for mobile usage with small devices. People with Laptops should explore their options and try find something else first, like DSL, Cable or fixed point wireless. These can be slightly more expensive then bargain-basement 3G but worth it. As the old adage goes: sometimes you get what you pay for…

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