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Profile Byron Leigh Hatch @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 31082 - Posted: 17 Feb 2010, 14:53:43 UTC


I thought this might be of interest to the BOINC community.

The Blue Brain Project is the first comprehensive attempt to reverse-engineer the mammalian brain, in order to understand brain function and dysfunction through detailed simulations.

Once you start building a brain in a box you get two things: admission into the Mad Scientists’ Club, and a chance to speak at TED. Henry Markram is the director of the Blue Brain Project, a collaboration between European scientists and IBM that aims to construct a life-like simulation of a brain using a supercomputer. Earlier this year Markram spoke at TED Global discussing how most of human perception is based on decision making within the brain.....

read more here:

http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/
http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/

http://singularityhub.com/2009/11/13/the-brain-according-to-henry-markram-video/
http://singularityhub.com/2009/11/13/the-brain-according-to-henry-markram-video/


Henry Markram's model of a brain is built one neuron at a time

10 Year Documentary To Follow Bluebrain Project (Video) Singularity Hub Feb. 12, 2010
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Message 31095 - Posted: 18 Feb 2010, 15:18:35 UTC



Off topic

but one more item I thought might be of interest to the BOINC community.

University of Michigan researchers have found that near-threshold computing (using lower voltages than normal to reduce energy consumption)
could overcome the largest barrier to meaningful increases in chip density and enable Moore's law to continue. Without lowering power consumption, improvements made in other areas of electronic devices...

http://www.kurzweilai.net/news/frame.html?main=/news/news_single.html?id%3D11840
http://www.kurzweilai.net/news/frame.html?main=/news/news_single.html?id%3D11840
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Message 31187 - Posted: 24 Feb 2010, 0:57:24 UTC




Off topic again

But, I thought this too, might be of interest to the BOINC community.

Drake wants off-world listening post for alien messages

FRANK DRAKE, wants to take the search for aliens further: about 82 billion kilometres away, in fact.

At this point in space, electromagnetic signals from planets orbiting distant stars would be focused by the gravitational lensing effect of our sun, making them, in theory, more easily detected. Drake wants to send spacecraft there in a bid to overhear alien communications, which would be too faint for telescopes on Earth to detect.

It's neither a new or original idea, but it has never taken off because of the distances involved. With existing propulsion technologies, spacecraft would take hundreds of years to make the voyage, which is about 550 times the distance from Earth to the sun.

Gravitational lenses could also be used to transmit signals, amplifying them so they could travel further and potentially reach distant civilisations. It's also possible, Drake says, that intelligent civilisations have built an intergalactic internet using such techniques and are just "waiting for us to log on".

Drake spoke last week at the TED 2010 conference in Long Beach, California.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527483.200-drake-wants-offworld-listening-post-for-alien-messages.html

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527483.200-drake-wants-offworld-listening-post-for-alien-messages.html



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Message 31274 - Posted: 1 Mar 2010, 17:12:59 UTC
Last modified: 1 Mar 2010, 17:14:04 UTC

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Exciting Science news!

Quantum measurement precision approaches Heisenberg limit

Physorg.com Feb. 26, 2010

Using techniques from machine learning, University of Calgary physicists have generated measurement procedures that can outperform the best previous strategy in achieving highly precise quantum measurements. The new level of precision approaches the limit resulting from Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which limits the achievable precision...



This illustration shows an adaptive feedback scheme being used to measure an unknown phase difference between the two red arms in the interferometer. A photon (qubit) is sent through the interferometer, and detected by either c1 or c0, depending on which arm it traveled through. Feedback is sent to the processing unit, which controls the phase shifter in one arm so that, when the next photon is sent, the device can more precisely measure the unknown phase in the other arm, and calculate a precise phase difference. Image credit: Hentschel and Sanders.press esc to close

http://www.physorg.com/news186395462.html

http://www.physorg.com/news186395462.html
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Message 31629 - Posted: 16 Mar 2010, 22:09:24 UTC


I thought this might be of interest to the BOINC community.

3D chip stacking to take Moore's Law past 2020

By combining 3D-stack-architecture of multiple cores with hair-thin, liquid-cooled microchannels, IBM and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich hope to extend Moore's law for another 15 years. 3D chip stacks with interlayer cooling overcome the bandwidth bottleneck between core and cache memory and allow for systems with a much higher...

Read more here ...

http://www.zurich.ibm.com/news/10/moore.html
http://www.zurich.ibm.com/news/10/moore.html





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Message 31741 - Posted: 24 Mar 2010, 15:43:25 UTC
Last modified: 24 Mar 2010, 15:55:08 UTC

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I know this news is 8 months old ... but I still thought this might be of interest to some of you ... in the BOINC community.

Open source Database Breakthrough 10 - 80 times Faster

A groud breaking database kernel is now being combined with the leading open source relational database from Ingres

The Ingres VectorWise project team has worked with Intel to evaluate database performance on the new Intel Xeon processor 5500 series based platform. To date, the results of the project have demonstrated dramatic cost and performance capabilities as evidenced by nearly 80 fold speed up on a query modelled after the Q1 query of TPC-H3 suite on the Intel Xeon processor.

VectorWise next-generation database technology is based on a novel query processing architecture that allows modern microprocessors and memory architectures to reach their full potential. This is a unique achievement: in detail studies that compare common computing tasks such as scientific calculation, multi-media authoring, games, and databases have consistently shown that typical database engines do not benefit from new processor performance features such as SSE, out of order execution, chip multithreading, and increasingly larger L2/L3 caches due to their large, complex legacy code structure.

The computational power that database systems provide is known to be lower than the performance realized by hand-coding the same task in a (e.g. C++) program. However, the actual performance difference can be surprisingly large: a factor 100. VectorWise has created the first database system to revert that situation, with dramatic efficiency improvements as a result

The figure below shows the architecture of the new VectorWise engine. The left part shows the system architecture (“X100” execution engine and ColumnBM buffer manager) and how it maps on the computer resources (CPU cache, RAM and disk). The right part shows a query in action, having been decomposed into so-called relational operators (Aggregate, Project, Select and Scan) and execution primitives (such as summation – aggr_sum_flt_col).




Read more here:

http://www.vectorwise.com/index_js.php?page=mission_technology
http://www.vectorwise.com/index_js.php?page=mission_technology


http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/07/open-source-database-breakthrough-10-80.html
http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/07/open-source-database-breakthrough-10-80.html


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Message 31852 - Posted: 30 Mar 2010, 13:59:59 UTC
Last modified: 30 Mar 2010, 14:58:09 UTC

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Hadron Collider breakthrough!

March 30, 2010 7:42 a.m. EDT

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider managed to make two proton beams collide at high energy Tuesday, marking a "new territory" in physics, according to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/03/30/large.hadron.collider/index.html?hpt=T1
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/03/30/large.hadron.collider/index.html?hpt=T1

Yes, we did it!

Nearly 20 years of hard work by hundreds of people have made this machine a dream come true. Today, the LHC has delivered its first high-energy collisions to the experiments. The new data will give us an unprecedented tool to understand the Universe we live in.

http://cdsweb.cern.ch/journal/CERNBulletin/2010/14/News%20Articles/1246424?ln=en
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/journal/CERNBulletin/2010/14/News%20Articles/1246424?ln=en



Yes, we did it!



"Humanity is about to look deeper inside matter than has ever been possible before. We have many theories of what we might find, but only experiments can tell us which, if any, are right. Why do particles weigh? What is the dark matter that fills the Universe? What was the origin of the matter in the Universe? The answers provided by the discoveries of the LHC will revolutionize our understanding how the Universe works, and how it has evolved."

John Ellis, CERN Theory Group

"Collisions of 3.5 TeV beams, 7 TeV total energy, at the LHC, is very good news for the particle physics community. I hope that steady running at good luminosity will be achieved and that we may learn what the cosmological 'dark matter' is."

Jack Steinberger, Nobel Prize in Physics 1988

"Seeing the first collisions at 3.5 TeV per beam is one of the landmark events in the long history of the LHC. It's the result of more than 15 years' hard work on the machine and its injectors by many teams who have had to rise to many challenges. It shows that the different systems, which were tested separately beforehand, are all working well together. I don't know of any other scientific project involving so many components that have to function all at the same time. When you're standing in the Control Room you must never forget that what you see on the screen is not a giant video game but the product of a phenomenal quantity of equipment in the tunnel, designed and maintained by hundreds of people who've given their all to the project. Every time I watch a ramp-up on one of the screens in the CCC, I can't help thinking about all that equipment and the stored energies.
This milestone bodes well for the long physics run ahead of us. I'm proud and honoured to be involved in this scientific project."

Frederick Bordry, TE Department Leader

"Today we have seen collisions for the first time in the LHC at a beam energy of 3.5 TeV. This is the culmination of many years of work to build and install the machine and detectors, but also comes remarkably quickly after beginning the commissioning of the machine with beam. The speed with which the machine has been brought to the condition that we can declare stable colliding beams at high energy is a tribute to all the people that have worked so hard on its conception, design, construction, installation and commissioning.
We are progressing in the commissioning phase in a very systematic manner, preparing each phase carefully to understand the machine and the parameters of the beam at each stage before going on. This all takes time, but the quality of the machine and its instrumentation has allowed us to make very rapid progress. After today the commissioning will continue with a progressive increase in the performance of the machine as we increase the beam intensity and the focusing of the beams around the experiments. However, today also marks an important turning point. Today the LHC started the physics programme for which it was designed."

Paul Collier, BE Department Leader


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Message 31917 - Posted: 2 Apr 2010, 20:26:32 UTC
Last modified: 2 Apr 2010, 20:52:41 UTC

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Inventor of the Web Gets Backing to Build Web of Data

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, and prominent researcher Nigel Shadbolt will lead a new British Institute for Web Science with $45 million in government backing. The announcement was not without its critics, but the Institute could have a world-wide impact.

The two men collaborated in helping build the excellent data.gov.uk and will now expand upon that work. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said of the move: "We are determined to go further in breaking down the walled garden of Government...This Institute will help place the UK at the cutting edge of research on the Semantic Web and other emerging web and internet technologies."

Understanding the Web of Data

Berners-Lee said two years ago last month that all the pieces were in place to build the semantic web, a paradigm based on giving structured meaning to and clear links between otherwise unstructured content floating around the web. Many people believe that a web with semantic structure will be the same type of boon to innovation that common standards like HTML have been.

Berners-Lee famously described his vision of the semantic web like this:

    I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web - the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A 'Semantic Web', which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The 'intelligent agents' people have touted for ages will finally materialize.


Read more here ...

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/inventor_of_the_web_gets_backing_to_build_web_of_d.php
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/inventor_of_the_web_gets_backing_to_build_web_of_d.php


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Message 32207 - Posted: 15 Apr 2010, 16:47:04 UTC


Physicists demonstrate 100-fold speed increase in optical quantum memory


As with today's computers, future quantum computers will require more than just quantum information processing; they will also require methods to store and retrieve the quantum information. For this reason, physicists have been studying different types of quantum memories, which are capable of controllably storing and releasing photons. However, these memories still face several challenges in areas including storage time, retrieval efficiency, the ability to store multiple photons, and bandwidth.

An international team of physicists has achieved data rates that exceed 1 GHz, more than 100 times greater than the speed of existing quantum memories. The method also offers long coherence times of several microseconds. A signal containing the information and a write pulse are sent together into a cesium vapor cell. The vapor turns the...

http://www.physorg.com/news189320461.html

http://www.physorg.com/news189320461.html






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Message 32555 - Posted: 3 May 2010, 14:13:10 UTC




Life After Moore's Law

It's time for the computing industry to take the leap into parallel processing.




Bill Dally

Chief scientist and senior vice president of research at
... NVIDIA

For the past four decades explosive gains in computing power have contributed to unprecedented progress in innovation, productivity and human welfare. But that progress is now threatened by the unthinkable: an end to the gains in computing power.

"We have reached the limit of what is possible with one or more traditional, serial central processing units, or CPUs," says Bill Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research at NVIDIA, citing the failure of power scaling (energy consumed by each unit of computing would decrease as the number of transistors increased).

"It is past time for the computing industry ... and everyone who relies on it for continued improvements in productivity, economic growth and social progress ... to take the leap into ... [energy-efficient] parallel processing."

The problem: "Converting the enormous volume of existing serial programs to run in parallel is a formidable task, and one that is made even more difficult by the scarcity of programmers trained in parallel programming." ....

Read more here ...


http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/29/moores-law-computing-processing-opinions-contributors-bill-dally.html
http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/29/moores-law-computing-processing-opinions-contributors-bill-dally.html






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Message 32705 - Posted: 10 May 2010, 14:47:15 UTC

ScienceDaily (May 6, 2010) — An experimental demonstration of a quantum calculation has shown that a single molecule can perform operations thousands of times faster than any conventional computer

In a paper published in the May 3 issue of Physical Review Letters, researchers in Japan describe a proof-of-principle calculation they performed with an iodine molecule. The calculation involved that computation of a discrete Fourier transform, a common algorithm that's particularly handy for analyzing certain types of signals.

Although the calculation was extraordinary swift, the methods for handling and manipulating the iodine molecule are complex and challenging. In addition, it's not entirely clear how such computational components would have to be connected to make something resembling a conventional PC.

Nevertheless, in a Viewpoint in the current edition of APS Physics, Ian Walmsley (University of Oxford) points out that the demonstration of such an astonishingly high-speed calculation shows that there is a great deal to be gained if physicists can overcome the difficulties in putting single-molecule computation to practical use.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504220042.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504220042.htm
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Message 32812 - Posted: 15 May 2010, 2:10:57 UTC

Molecular Robots On the Rise

Researchers announce new breakthrough in developing molecules that behave like robots

The word ‘robot' makes most people think of solid machines that use computer circuitry to perform defined jobs, such as vacuuming a carpet or welding together automobiles. In recent years, scientists have worked to create robots that could also reliably perform useful tasks, but at a molecular level.

In recent years, scientists have worked to create robots that could also reliably perform useful tasks, but at a molecular level.

This is, needless to say, not a simple endeavor, and it involves reprogramming DNA molecules to perform in specific ways. "Can you instruct a biomolecule to move and function in a certain way ... researchers at the interface of computer science, chemistry, biology and engineering are attempting to do just that," says Mitra Basu, a program director at NSF responsible for the agency's support to this research.

Researchers from Columbia University, Arizona State University, the University of Michigan and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created and programmed robots the size of single molecule that can move independently across a nano-scale track. This development, outlined in the May 13 edition of the journal Nature, marks an important advancement in the nascent fields of molecular computing and robotics, and could someday lead to molecular robots that can fix individual cells or assemble nanotechnology products.

Read more here ...

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=116957&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click
http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=116957&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click
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Message 32905 - Posted: 20 May 2010, 15:06:41 UTC

Scientists in China have succeeded in teleporting information between photons further than ever before. They transported quantum information over a free space distance of 16 km (10 miles), much further than the few hundred meters previously achieved, which brings us closer to transmitting information over long distances without the need for a traditional signal.

Quantum teleportation is not the same as the teleportation most of us know from science fiction, where an object (or person) in one place is “beamed up” to another place where a perfect copy is replicated. In quantum teleportation two photons or ions (for example) are entangled in such a way that when the quantum state of one is changed the state of the other also changes, as if the two were still connected. This enables quantum information to be teleported if one of the photons/ions is sent some distance away.

In previous experiments the photons were confined to fiber channels a few hundred meters long to ensure their state remained unchanged, but in the new experiments pairs of photons were entangled and then the higher-energy photon of the pair was sent through a free space channel 16 km long. The researchers, from the University of Science and Technology of China and Tsinghua University in Beijing, found that even at this distance the photon at the receiving end still responded to changes in state of the photon remaining behind. The average fidelity of the teleportation achieved was 89 percent.

The distance of 16 km is greater than the effective aerosphere thickness of 5-10 km, so the group's success could pave the way for experiments between a ground station and a satellite, or two ground stations with a satellite acting as a relay. This means quantum communication applications could be possible on a global scale in the near future.

The public free space channel was at ground level and spanned the 16 km distance between Badaling in Beijing (the teleportation site) and the receiver site at Huailai in Hebei province. Entangled photon pairs were generated at the teleportation site using a semiconductor, a blue laser beam, and a crystal of beta-barium borate (BBO). The pairs of photons were entangled in the spatial modes of photon 1 and polarization modes of photon 2. The research team designed two types of telescopes to serve as optical transmitting and receiving antennas.

The experiments confirm the feasibility of space-based quantum teleportation, and represent a giant leap forward in the development of quantum communication applications.

Read more here ...

http://www.physorg.com/news193551675.html
http://www.physorg.com/news193551675.html

The paper is available in full online at Nature Photonics.

More information: Xian-Min Jin, Experimental free-space quantum teleportation, Nature Photonics, Published online: 16 May 2010. doi:10.1038/nphoton.2010.87
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Message 33007 - Posted: 25 May 2010, 13:29:35 UTC

Quantum leap: World's smallest transistor built with just 7 atoms Scientists have literally taken a leap into a new era of computing power by making the world's smallest precision-built transistor - a "quantum dot" of just seven atoms in a single silicon crystal. Despite its incredibly tiny size - a mere four billionths of a metre long - the quantum dot is a functioning electronic device, the world's first created deliberately by placing individual atoms.

http://www.physorg.com/news193896845.html
http://www.physorg.com/news193896845.html
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Message 33100 - Posted: 28 May 2010, 15:48:44 UTC

Japan shoots for robotic moon base by 2020 . These are the droids we've been looking for. The Japanese space agency, JAXA, has plans to build a base on the Moon by 2020. Not for humans, but for robots, and built by robots, too. A panel authorized by Japan's prime minister has drawn up preliminary plans of how humanoid and rover robots will begin surveying the moon by 2015, and then begin construction of a base near the south pole of the moon. The robots and the base will run on solar power, with total costs about $2.2 billion USD, according to the panel chaired by Waseda University President Katsuhiko Shirai..... read more here ...

http://www.universetoday.com/2010/05/27/japan-shoots-for-robotic-moon-base-by-2020/
http://www.universetoday.com/2010/05/27/japan-shoots-for-robotic-moon-base-by-2020/
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Message 33159 - Posted: 31 May 2010, 13:39:42 UTC

The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI) plans to announce its Singularity Summit 2010 conference tomorrow, scheduled for August 14-15 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. "This year, the conference shifts to a focus on neuroscience, bioscience, cognitive enhancement, and other explorations of what Vinge called 'intelligence...

http://www.kurzweilai.net/news/frame.html?main=/news/news_single.html?id%3D12231

http://www.kurzweilai.net/news/frame.html?main=/news/news_single.html?id%3D12231
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Message 33195 - Posted: 1 Jun 2010, 17:52:30 UTC

A Chinese supercomputer has been ranked as the world’s second-fastest machine, surpassing European and Japanese systems and underscoring China’s aggressive commitment to science and technology. The Dawning Nebulae, based at the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen, China, has achieved a sustained computing speed of 1.27 petaflops — the equivalent of one thousand trillion mathematical operations a second — in the latest semiannual ranking of the world’s fastest 500 computers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/science/01compute.html?ref=science
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/science/01compute.html?ref=science
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Message 33251 - Posted: 4 Jun 2010, 13:53:10 UTC

Scientists create artificial mini black hole. Scientists from China have built a device using metamaterial structures that can trap and absorb microwaves coming from all directions with a 99% absorption rate -- a property that makes the device simulate, to some extent, an astrophysical black hole. A model of the electromagnetic omnidirectional absorber, in which electromagnetic waves...

http://www.physorg.com/news194788240.html
http://www.physorg.com/news194788240.html
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Message 33301 - Posted: 7 Jun 2010, 22:39:13 UTC

NASA Science News for June 7, 2010

It's immersive, it's explosive, and best of all it's free. On June 7th, NASA will begin sending complimentary DVDs of the smash-hit planetarium show "Journey to the Stars" to teachers and students around the country. Today's story from Science@NASA reviews the show and tells educators how to request their copies.

FULL STORY at

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/07jun_journeytothestars/
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Message 33303 - Posted: 7 Jun 2010, 23:25:12 UTC

NASA Science News for June 4, 2010

The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and the next few years could bring much higher levels of solar activity. NASA is keeping a wary eye on the sun as officials meet in Washington DC on June 8th to discuss the potential consequences of stormy space weather.

FULL STORY at:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/04jun_swef/
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