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Supercomputing Science Technology

Einstein@Home Set To Break Petaflops Barrier 96

hazeii writes "Einstein@home, the distributed computing project searching for the gravitational waves predicted to exist by Albert Einstein, looks set to breach the 1 Petaflops barrier around midnight UTC tonight. Put into context, if it was in the Top500 Supercomputers list, it would be in at number 24. I'm sure there are plenty of Slashdot readers who can contribute enough CPU and GPU cycles to push them well over 1,000 teraflops — and maybe even discover a pulsar in the process." From their forums: "At 14:45 we had 989.2 TFLOPS with an increase of 1.3 TFLOPS/h. In principle that's enough to reach 1001.1 TFLOPS at midnight (UTC) but very often, like yesterday, between 22:45 and 22:50 there occurs a drop of about 5 TFLOPS. So we will have very likely hit 1 PFLOPS in the early morning tomorrow. "
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Einstein@Home Set To Break Petaflops Barrier

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  • Re:folding@home (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @01:58PM (#42452053)

    genuine question:

    wouldn't it be wise for practical* reasons for people to offer more power to folding@home instead of einstein@home?

    * = has more chances to help humanity ( for curing diseases etc. )

    Or, to put it another way - why waste resources studying astronomy when there are so many sick people in the world so it would be better for humanity to put our resources into curing disease?

  • Re:folding@home (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gQuigs ( 913879 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @02:03PM (#42452109) Homepage

    Discovery is not usually a straight line.

    I donate to SETI@Home, Einstein@Home, LHC@Home, and a bunch of projects at WorldCommunityGrid. BOINC and GridRepublic makes this easy. I believe Folding@Home is a seperate standalone project, so it's all or nothing. In addition, there are a LOT of protein folding projects. I'd really like to see them work together - or explain why they are different.

  • Re:folding@home (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @02:24PM (#42452365) Homepage Journal

    Someone who only knows physics might not be able to help medical research, so scientific resources aren't entirely fungible. But CPU cycles are. So contributing to one particular distributed computing project does carry an opportunistic cost of not supporting another.

    Going off on a tangent here, while I echo your sentiment that people should be free to support whatever distributed computing project they want, I'm not sure people realize that SETI has basically already failed. They've covered their entire spectrum numerous times, and have been listening for decades without finding anything. The entire project operates off the assumption that interstellar communication of another intelligent life form would occur over radio waves.

    Requisite XKCD:

    http://xkcd.com/638/ [xkcd.com]

    If someone is contributing cycles to it, and not protein folding, then valuable medical research (that has been proven worthwhile) might be suffering literally out of ignorance. That is worth pointing out.

  • Re:folding@home (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @02:50PM (#42452651)

    No. But if we wanted, we could do both.

    But play a little mind game. Imagine that you are a super genius, who could create a magical box within an hour. This box could create anything from nothing, even another similar box or cure for everything or food.

    Would you rather spend your whole life helping Africa than inventing this box? Considering that with the box, you could help Africa also.

    If yes, how about if it would take 2 hours? 4? A year?

    But you are not a genius and the box is not a box. The box might be a robot that is based on technology that was invented when we tried to get to Mars. That is why we need to go to Mars, rather than help Africa with all we got.

  • Re:folding@home (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hAckz0r ( 989977 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @03:36PM (#42453161)
    Different? Ok, "Go Fight Against Malaria" and "Say No To Schistosoma" are both trying to cure the #1 and #2 parasitic diseases worldwide.

    Malaria is known to be in the US and has several medications to treat it. The CDC will tell you that Schistosoma does not even exist in the US, but I acquired it at the age of 10, and it wasn't until I purchased my own lab equipment around the age of 50 that I finally got an answer to all my bizarre health problems. Statistically I should be dead, several times over. Over 200,000 people die from it every year, and I am clearly one of the lucky ones.

    There is currently only one drug (praziquantel) to "cure' (with 60% efficacy) Schistosoma, and it is quickly loosing its effectiveness. There is no other substitute. None. After visiting many pharmacies in my area, it took me three days for me to locate the drug in the USA and tell the Pharmacy where they could get it for me. . Yes Its that bad. Funny thing is I can buy it off the shelf for my dog, with a prescription, but I couldn't buy it anywhere for human consumption? Clearly we need more options and SNTS protein folding analysis will help with that goal.

    If you have a few extra CPU cycles to spare, please sign up for one of these two worthy causes!

    More info on Schistosomiasis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosomiasis [wikipedia.org]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praziquantel [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2013 @04:16PM (#42453565)

    I would like to contribute my spare CPU clock cycles, but without causing my CPU to speed up (in this case, with Intels SpeedStep) from the lowest setting at 800 MHz. Otherwise, my laptop gets hot and loud. How can I do that?

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry