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Fergus Perry, Citi, Collateral Optimization, here.
Recent industry papers have estimated the additional collateral burden demanded by the Dodd-Frank and European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) legislation to be over $2 trillion globally.1 A major component of this increase results from the progressive move to central clearing of OTC derivatives and the corresponding requirement for all market participants to post initial margin to the central counterparties (CCPs) as part of the protection required by the CCPs against broker default.
Ari Balogh, Google Developers Blog, Google Compute Engine is now Generally Available with expanded OS support, transparent maintenance, and lower prices, here. Curious how much of the floating point instruction execution capacity is preserved when you execute your optimized code through a VM. A couple of the benchmarks that I came across on google compile some code -O2 and then present the Non-VM versus the VM performance. Not necessarily the most illuminating test. Other benchmarks simply show the relative performance of various VMs doing executing some floating point code. Again does not really give a handle on the problem.
New 16-core instances
Developers have asked for instances with even greater computational power and memory for applications that range from silicon simulation to running high-scale NoSQL databases. To serve their needs, we’re launching three new instance types in Limited Preview with up to 16 cores and 104 gigabytes of RAM. They are available in the familiar standard, high-memory and high-CPU shapes.
Andrew Tangel, LA Times, Firms race to transmit Wall Street data at nearly light speed, here. Who told about the DynaPie dirigibles?
It could be the final frontier in the financial industry’s tech arms race as the fastest traders scramble to get even faster, and as regulators mull over ways to prevent technology breakdowns on Wall Street. Industry insiders say that some firms are toying with lasers and high-altitude balloons.
Jon Brodkin, ars technica, Why Comcast and other cable ISPs aren’t selling you gigabit ethernet, here.
Cable companies haven’t been ignoring this consumer demand… but they haven’t done anything to satisfy it, either. Comcast demonstrated the “first ever 1Gbps broadband speed download over a production HFC [hybrid fiber-coaxial] network” two and a half years ago at the NCTA [National Cable and Telecommunications] conference, and the company showed off a 3Gbps technology at this year’s cable show.
Brian Won, ars technica, Ars Technica System Guide: November 2013, here.
AMD unveiled its next-generation GPUs, codenamed Hawaii, back in September. The product promptly topped Nvidia’s big guns, sparking price cuts and a surprisingly quick response. You can also add in a not-so-little update to Intel’s Xeon product line with Ivy Bridge-E (third generation Core i-series) for the God Box. And to complement all the high-end product news, there was the release of the dual-core desktop versions of Intel’s current 4th-generation (Haswell) Core i-series processors, ensuring top-to-bottom product refreshes for the two most critical components inside the System Guide.
Joe Mullin, ars technica, Newegg trial: Crypto legend takes the stand, goes for knockout punch, here.
“We’ve heard a good bit in this courtroom about public key encryption,” said Albright. “Are you familiar with that?
“Yes, I am,” said Diffie, in what surely qualified as the biggest understatement of the trial.
“And how is it that you’re familiar with public key encryption?”
“I invented it.”
David Kanter, real world technologies, Knights Landing CPU Speculation, here.
In the last few years, Intel has moved towards a system-on-chip (SoC) design philosophy that mirrors the industry at large. While critical IP blocks such as CPU cores are custom designed and placed as hard macros, there is a growing emphasis on re-use across product lines. Perhaps the most obvious example is that the Silvermont core is used in smartphones, tablets, and microservers (respectively codenamed Merrifield, Bay Trail, and Avoton). Consequently, the first step to figuring out what core is used in Knights Landing (KNL) is to understand the options available to Intel’s architects.
There are at least four publicly known cores that are available to Intel’s architects as building blocks for the 14nm Knights Landing:
Big cores, such as Haswell and Skylake
Small cores, such as Silvermont and Goldmont
The Knights Corner core, a derivative of the P54C
The Quark core, a derivative of the 486
Robert X. Cringely, I, Cringely, Amazon’s new graphical cloud helps make desktops obsolete, here. Patrick Beverley 3-19-5-3-4-2 against CP3 last night, I can hear the fat lady clearing her throat. On this death of desktops thing , Cringely’s probably right. It’s just a question of how fast this goes down. Corps will go faster because of the cost savings and added centralized control. NSA is reading all your shit anyway, and no one except rms seems all that upset. So does Ptown get gigabit lines now? NSA boys are right here – can we just make them our ISP?
Desktop computing means a large display, keyboard and mouse. It used to also mean local processing and storage because networks were so slow, but that part is changing right here and now.
Most of the time I need no more processing power than is already in my mobile phone. In the office it would be nice to have that bigger display and keyboard, but as I have written beforethese are becoming wireless peripherals that will shortly be activated whenever I am nearby. The industry will love having a whole new class of products to sell us.
What has been keeping desktops viable is the lack of those wireless peripherals and the problem that for some activities a mobile phone processor just isn’t powerful enough. Enter Amazon’s new graphical cloud. Now your mobile, whether through the handset or through those wireless peripherals I’m predicting, will be able to access as much processing power as you are willing to pay for. And because it’s a shared resource that cost should be pretty low.
Why keep a desktop for 10 hours per year of Photoshop picture editing? Better to pay $1 per hour or so for workstation performance with the latest version of the software. If that sounds like a kick in the head to Adobe or Autodesk it’s also likely to broaden their markets attracting new users.
Rob Beschizza, boing boing, Robot will beat you at Rock Paper Scissors even faster now, here. 100% win ratio. You knew after chess fell to the robots that something like this was on the way. Probably good at calling coin flips as well.
It uses high-speed recognition and reaction, rather than prediction.
Technically, the robot cheats because it reacts extremely quickly to what the human hand is doing rather than making a premeditated simultaneous action as the rules state.
Taking just one millisecond (ms) – a thousandth of a second – to recognise what shape the human hand is making, it then chooses a winning move and reacts at high speed.
Version one completed its shape 20ms after the human hand; version two finishes almost simultaneously.
Numerix, Blog, Advanced OIS Discounting – Building Proxy OIS Curves When OIS Markets are Illiquid or Nonexistent, here.
The G5 currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY and CHF), along with a few others, have well-developed Overnight Index Swap (OIS) markets, enabling practitioners to construct OIS curves which can then be used to discount derivative cash flows collateralized in that currency. The OIS curve is also used to strip projection curves for the different LIBOR tenors from quotes of collateralized vanilla swaps.However, many currencies do not have Overnight Index Swaps markets, or the OIS markets are very illiquid. Constructing an OIS curve in these currencies is a much more difficult exercise.How can practitioners use vanilla swap quotes in the target currency plus cross-currency basis swaps to simultaneously strip both the implied OIS discounting curve and the projection curve? And what if the vanilla swap market is illiquid at the tenor you need but liquid at other tenors?Join Numerix on Wednesday, November 6th at 10:00am EST as featured speaker Dr. Ion Mihai, Quantitative Analyst at Numerix, discusses how to build proxy OIS curves from available market information in currencies where the Overnight Index Swap market is not well developed.Dr. Mihai will discuss:
- OIS discounting basics: review of the standard curve stripping approach
- What if there is no OIS curve?
- Simultaneous calibration of discounting and projection curves
- Assumptions behind the curve stripping approaches
- ExamplesAttendance is complimentary, Registration is required.Space is limited, reserve your seat today!
Derek Mead, Motherboard, Drone-Mounted Laser Weapons Are on the Way, here. Need this to protect the DynaPie Trading Dirigibles
The project, called Endurance, is referred to in DARPA’s 2014 budget request as being tasked with the development of “technology for pod-mounted lasers to protect a variety of airborne platforms from emerging and legacy EO/IR guided surface-to-air missiles.” The budget explains that it will be the first application of DARPA’s much-discussed Excalibur laser defense system, which developed lasers powerful enough to use as weapons.
Jamie Condlife, Gizmodo, 13- and 15-Inch MacBook Pro Teardown: Wild Guts, Pray They Never Fail, here.
It almost goes without saying that both computers are equipped to fly from the off. iFixit explains that the 15-inch model is “essentially the 2012 unit with a couple of performance upgrades”. Most things that have changed are for the worse, though. “Now people can’t replace their headphone jack without replacing the logic board,” explains iFixit. “So unless you’re keen on soldering, replacing the headphone jack just became a $1,000 fix.” Gulp. Unsurprisingly, it still scores a pitiful 1 out of 10 for repairability.
Like its bigger brother, the new 13-inch Retina notebook didn’t fare particularly well either It’s the same old story: a firmly glued battery conveniently positioned to cover important screws, a display that’s fused inside its frame, soldered RAM, a non-standard SSD… Basically, anything that can make the process of repair trickier has been done. Again, it scores just 1 out of 10 for repairability.
One interesting fate that’s befallen both laptops is a reduced battery size. Apple is relying in the efficiency of Haswell processors and Maverick’s improved power management to eek out the same battery life from smaller cells. A shame to take that route rather than offering longer life. You can go read the full teardowns for the 13- and 15-inch models. [iFixit 13-Inch teardown, iFixit 15-inch teardown]
Victoria Woollaston, Mail Online, Google tries to save the world: Internet giant explains hows its move into quantum computing could solve global warming, here.
Earlier this year Google bought a quantum computer called D-Wave Two, which can perform tasks 3,600 times faster than normal computers.
The company is hoping to use it to find cures for diseases, fix climate problems and help robots better understand human speech, for example.
In the first of a series of videos explaining a bit more about this computer and the company’s work with quantum computing, Google has teamed up with Nasa to explain the basics behind the D-Wave and why it is so important
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