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Hieroglyph, web site, here. Neal Stephenson pumping big Big Science.
My life span encompasses the era when the United States of America was capable of launching human beings into space. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on a braided rug before a hulking black-and-white television, watching the early Gemini missions. At the age of 51—not even old!—I watched on a flat-panel screen as the last Space Shuttle lifted off the pad. I have followed the dwindling of the space program with sadness, even bitterness. Where’s my orbiting, donut-shaped space station? Where’s my fleet of colossal Nova rockets? Where’s my ticket to Mars?
Business Insider, REVEALED: The Asteroid Mining Plan Backed By Google And Goldman Billionaires, here.
EE Times, Broadcom aims to spread 100-Gbit Ethernet with single-chip solution, here.
Broadcom Corp. Tuesday (April 24) announced its fourth-generation Ethernet network processor, which it claims is the industry’s first chip to use massive parallelism by virtue of its 64 packet-processing cores running at one gigahertz. Providing full-duplex 100Gbit per second performance, it can also be configured to provide a dozen 10-Gbit channels.
The VivadoTM Design Suite is a new IP and system-centric design environment that accelerates design productivity for the next decade of All-Programmable devices.
All-Programmable devices go beyond programmable logic and I/O, integrating various combinations of 3D stacked silicon interconnect technology, software programmable ARM® processing systems, programmable Analog Mixed Signal (AMS), and a significant amount of intellectual-property (IP) cores. These next generation devices enable designers to go beyond programmable logic to programmable systems integration, to incorporate more system functions into fewer parts, increase system performance, reduce system power, and lower BOM cost.
NYT, Carr, Navigating a Tightrope With Amazon, here. Buzz Bissinger got his book into a Starbucks promotion through Apple that subsidized his book sales. The Amazon pricer covered by offering the book at 0.00 dollars. My guess is Amazon will fix the pricing code to buy all the subsidized Apple copies and resell them as used copies at a non zero price to keep Buzz happy. Crowdsource as a Kickstarter project to pay 0.01 USD for each subsidized Bissinger book up to the limit you think is number of copies authorized by Starbucks, it could work.
MITx, web site, here. Anant Agarwal Circuits course is pretty good from the few lectures I watched. The guy has some I/O bandwidth.
MITx will offer a portfolio of MIT courses for free to a virtual community of learners around the world. It will also enhance the educational experience of its on-campus students, offering them online tools that supplement and enrich their classroom and laboratory experiences.
The first MITx course, 6.002x (Circuits and Electronics), will be launched in an experimental prototype form. Watch this space for further upcoming courses, which will become available in Fall 2012.
SD Times, Fog Around Intel Compilers, here.
Agner Fog is a computer science professor at the University of Copenhagen‘s college of engineering. As he puts it, “I have done research on microprocessors and optimized code for more than 12 years. My motivation is to make code compatible, especially when it pretends to be.”
Fog has written a number of blog entries about Intel’s compilers and how they treat competing processors. In November, AMD and Intel settled, and Fog has written up a magnificent analysis of the agreement.
If you have any interest in compilers, and in Intel’s compilers, you should definitely read his paragraph-by-paragraph read through.
Fog, Agner, Software Optimization Resources, here. I was reading Fog’s Optimizing Software in C++ (here) this morning. It’s a runtime optimization guide for Windows, Linux, and Mac. I have seen it before and perhaps been remiss in not commenting more fully. Without the benefit of trying out many of Fog’s code samples and directives against current versions of ICC and GCC I cannot be certain, but based on what I have optimized in the recent past, his body of works looks very legitimate and exhaustive. You ask, how exhaustive? Let’s start with the copyright, it’s got a succession plan:
This series of five manuals is copyrighted by Agner Fog. Public distribution and mirroring is not allowed. Non-public distribution to a limited audience for educational purposes is allowed. The code examples in these manuals can be used without restrictions. A GNU Free Documentation License shall automatically come into force when I die. See http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html.
Professor Fog is laying out code optimization paths for 4 different compilers on 3 different operating systems. I will not and cannot check out/verify all the scenarios presented because I possess the attention span of a squirrel compared to Professor Fog. He also provides a page on random number generators, here, which seems legit to the extent that he points you to Matsumoto’s Mersenne Twister RNG page, here. The random number references do not appear to be as comprehensive as the C++ runtime optimization references. But this looks to be a case of:
in a most complimentary way to Professor Fog.
MIPT’s professors to bring advanced education in Physics and Mathematics to the learners in high schools across the former USSR. This is the map of the Russian Federation with the dots representing the number of students of our Distance Learning in all 11 time zones of Russia. The biggest dots correspond to 1000 students, the smallest dots correspond to 50-100 students. Total number of students enrolled by the School each year is 16,000. Education materials are distributed by mail. In about a month, a student sends those problems he/she has solved back and gets them checked at MIPT. Then MIPT sends a feedback to the student with full solution to the problems, his/her work checked and commented on. Normally, a student gets 6 study guides and problem sets during the academic year.
MIPT Web Portal, here. All the department stuff is in Russian though.
Crooked Timber, Harvard Library pushes open access, here.
We write to communicate an untenable situation facing the Harvard Library. … The Faculty Advisory Council to the Library, representing university faculty in all schools and in consultation with the Harvard Library leadership, reached this conclusion: major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained: continuing these subscriptions on their current footing is financially untenable. … It is untenable for contracts with at least two major providers to continue on the basis identical with past agreements. Costs are now prohibitive. … since faculty and graduate students are chief users, please consider the following options open to faculty and students (F) and the Library (L), state other options you think viable, and communicate your views:
Make sure that all of your own papers are accessible by submitting them to DASH in accordance with the faculty-initiated open-access policies (F). Consider submitting articles to open-access journals, or to ones that have reasonable, sustainable subscription costs; move prestige to open access (F). If on the editorial board of a journal involved, determine if it can be published as open access material, or independently from publishers that practice pricing described above. If not, consider resigning (F).
Extreme Tech, Intel Core i7-3770K review: Ivy Bridge brings lower power, better performance, here.
Intel’s Ivy Bridge (IVB) has been one of the hottest tech topics of the past 12 months — we haven’t seen this much interest in a CPU since Intel launched Nehalem. Ivy Bridge is the first 22nm processor at a time when die shrinks have become increasingly difficult, the first CPU to use FinFETs (Intel calls its specific implementation Tri-Gate), and it’s a major component of Intel’s ultrabook initiative. If all goes well, Ivy Bridge will usher in a new series of 15W ultra-mobile parts, though these won’t reach the market for a little while yet.
Ivy Bridge is a “tick” in Intel’s tick-tock model, but the company is referring to its latest architecture as a “tick+.” The reason for the change is the disparity of improvement between Ivy Bridge’s CPU and GPU components. IVB’s CPU core is a die-shrunk Sandy Bridge (SNB) with a few ultra-low-level efficiency improvements. Performance improvements on the CPU side are in the 5-10% range. Unlike Westmere (Nehalem’s “tick”), which offered 50% more cores, Ivy Bridge keeps Sandy Bridge’s quad-core configuration.
The FPGA folks get an opening in HPC floating point if they can get more aggressive on clock speed and not worry so much about power efficiency, while Intel tries to shake out AMD mobile CPU market share with the Ivy Bridge integrated GPU. I see the Maxeler bet on adding parallelism through Dataflow architecture as interesting/plausible – but nowhere near a done deal at this point.
Liquid Nitrogen Overclocking, The Fastest Rack Mounted Servers in the World, here. Running Intel i7-2700K at 5GHz.
Financial Sense: SPY versus SPX, here. SPX historical data doesn’t account for dividends while SPY does. Chris Whalen interview, The Fallacy of “Too Big To Fail”–Why the Big Banks Will Eventually Break Up, here.
IEEE Transactions on Computers, Ferrer et.al., Progressive Congestion Management Based on Packet Marking and Validation Techniques, here.
Business Insider, HSBC’s Incredible Video On The Rise Of Correlated Markets, here. The rolling time window is pretty good.
Bloomberg, NYSE Tweaks Trading Prices to Appeal to High-Frequency Firms, here.
While the largest exchanges — including NYSE and Nasdaq — employ what’s called maker-taker pricing that pays those providing liquidity on their venue and charges firms executing against those orders, an alternative pricing setup has gained traction over the last couple years.
Four stock markets — BYX Exchange, EDGA Exchange, Nasdaq OMX BX and CBOE Stock Exchange – do the opposite of NYSE, paying traders to execute against orders at their markets while the firms that submitted those bids and offers are charged a fee. CBSX, one of the smallest stock exchanges, pays firms 18 cents, the highest rate, for orders executed immediately.
BYX is owned by Bats Global Markets, based in Kansas City, Missouri. EDGA Exchange is run by Direct Edge Holdings LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey. The companies run two exchanges each, and totaled 20 percent of U.S. equities trading in November.
Nasdaq OMX BX is also altering its pricing in January. It will pay firms executing immediately 14 cents instead of its current 2 cents, and will charge them 18 cents instead of 4 cents for providing orders. That pricing replicates what’s available on CBSX, owned by Chicago-basedCBOE Holdings Inc. and a group of brokers.
CBSX, based in New York, tested the pricing starting in August and expanded it to all stocks in October as it gained volume. In November, CBSX’s share of trading in Citigroup Inc., one of the most actively traded stocks, was 0.9 percent, compared with less than 0.1 percent a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Fiscal Times, Who’s Watching the Banks? here. Nice figure displaying the US Gov agencies charged with bank oversight.
Credit Crisis Summaries: Pollack/Alphaville, What five years of crisis history tells us, here. Chicago Policy Review, The View of the Eurozone Crisis From China, here. St. Louis Fed, A Look at Credit Default Swaps and Their Impact on the European Debt Crisis, here. US Treasury, Financial Crisis Response In Charts, here. IMF, Global Financial Stability Report, April 2012, here. Naked Capitalism , Andrew Haldane on the Arms Race in Banking, here. Thoma, 60 Minutes video The Case Against Lehman Brothers, here.
Electronic Publishing: The Atlantic, The Justice Department Just made Jeff Bezos Dictator-for-Life, here. Charlie’s Diary, What Amazon’s ebook strategy means, here. The Register, Apple fights off ebook suit with anti-Amazon defence, here. Carr/NYT, Book Publishing’s Real Nemesis, here.
Cringely, Not your father’s IBM, here. Cringely is on the warpath.
This is my promised column about IBM — the first of several on the topic, all to be delivered this week. The last time I wrote at length about Big Blue was in 2007. I have been asked by readers many times to revisit the subject, something I haven’t wanted to do because it is such a downer. Writing the last time I hoped the situation, once revealed, would improve. But it hasn’t. And so, five years later, I turn to IBM again. The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame.
Reducing employees by more than three quarters in three years is a bold and difficult task. What will it leave behind? Who, under this plan, will still be a US IBM employee in 2015? Top management will remain, the sales organization will endure, as will employees working on US government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. Everyone else will be gone. Everyone.
Reuters, Man Group to launch computer-driven bond hedge fund, here.
“Traditional fixed income investing (is) unattractive,” Man’s Systematic Strategies unit said in a note, citing “yields close to zero percent, increased credit risk in many government bonds, (and) little upside (and) big downside of being long bonds in (the) current environment.
“Market inefficiencies (are) likely to prevail in fixed income markets, creating investment opportunities.”
eBooks: You can purchase eBooks from JK Rowling Pottermore, Umberto Eco Homepage, or Neal Stephenson Homepage. I think JK Rowling is kind of all your base are belong to us compared to these guys in the eBooks sales department.
i Programmer, Google Glass – The Microsoft Version, here.
What would the Google Glass project look like if Microsoft got its hands on it? A new video shows exactly what it would be like.
Bloomberg, JPMorgan Said to Transform Treasury to Prop Trading, here. Mapping out the structure and mandate for CIO desk trading at JPM.
Zerohedge, Bruno Iksil, JPMorgan and the Real Conflict with Credit Default Swaps, here. Durden talks his book tirelessly, but can also produce very tight descriptions of fundamental market issues. The flow of information and influence between the corporate loan book and the default swap book in a highly consolidated market is something to think about.
WSJ, J.P. Morgan: A London Whale? He’s More of a Shrubbery, here. That never gets old, good one! However, I do like the quote about the regulators “see everything we do whenever they want.”
Russel Sage Foundation, Rethinking Finance, A conference on the economic lessons from the financial crisis, here.
Some economic events are so major and unsettling that they “change everything.” Such is the case with the financial crisis that started in the summer of 2007 and is, in several respects, still ongoing. Yet enough time has now elapsed for economists to dig deeper than the usual focus on the immediate causes and consequences of the crisis. How have these stunning events changed our thinking about the role of the financial system in the economy, about financial innovation, about the efficiency of financial markets, and about how the government should regulate finance?
To address these issues, the Russell Sage Foundation and The Century Foundation have convened some of the nation’s most renowned economists for a conference on what we have learned from the financial crisis. Four panels of experts will share their assessments of discrete aspects of the crisis, point to changes that should be made in the financial industry, in government regulation, and in the thinking of economists. The panelists will also take questions from conference participants in what we anticipate will be a lively exchange of opinions on the lessons of the financial crisis. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, an outstanding scholar of economics and finance in his own right, will offer his thoughts on lessons learned from the crisis in a lunchtime speech.
In particular take a look at the papers, here. Jarrow, Hull & White, Malkiel, DeLong papers each look solid.
The Columbus Dispatch, Club once snubbed disguised Fischer, Shelby Lyman, here. Lyman announced Fischer v. Spassky on PBS. Before Lipton on Godel’s Lost Letter or Tao on What’s New there was Lyman on PBS.
Inquirer, Sandy Bridge Motherboard Review, here. Timing-wise it looks like you should be asking Intel about Ivy Bridge sampling access right about now.
CHIPMAKER Intel’s Z77 chipset is the first part of its Ivy Bridge jigsaw puzzle, but it also offers Sandy Bridge LGA1155 processors access to a slew of new motherboards, one of which is Intel’s DZ77GA-70K.
Intel has made it clear that the Z77 chipset is an incremental upgrade from its popular Z68 chipset that has been supporting Sandy Bridge processors for the last year. Given that Intel’s Z77 mainboard is pitched towards Ivy Bridge processors and sports the same socket, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Ivy Bridge processors that Intel releases in the near future will use the LGA1155 socket.
Business Insider, BlackRock Has A Plan That Could Make Wall Street Obsolete, here.
The firm is planning to launch a trading platform later this year that would allow it to trade bonds with its peers without the aid of Wall Street, says the Wall Street Journal. That means way less cash for anyone that deals with BlackRocks $3.5 trillion of assets. Moreover, BlackRock plans on charging a fee substantially lower than the going rate.
This is epic. It could completely cut dealers out of a lot of action. And the question is, if BlackRock can do it, who else can?
Wired, Physicists Create First Long-Distance Quantum Link, here.
Wired, Jeff Bezos Should Send Eric Holder a Christmas Card, here. DOJ Lawsuit Settlement with Apple and 5 eBook Publishers looks good for Amazon. It seems to me even at $9.99 there is sufficient margin for JK Rowling and authors with similar market penetration to simply roll their own online bookstore. Dan Brown, Stephen King, Tom Clancy eBook stores would be good but the Neal Stephenson and Umberto Eco eBook stores would be better and the Michael Lewis eBook store would be unstoppable. Bill Simmons will figure out how to convert Grantland to an eBook store at some point I suspect. He already owns the frontend to the book buying public, the podcasts, the columns, the RSS feeds and he is onboard with a syndicate of sportswriters – why would he leave EBook margin on the table w. Amazon rather than just hooking up Paypal to Grantland?
Forbes, Stock Trading and Social Media: #Don’tBuytheHype, here. Oh, so Social Network Trading is really a thing. I just want to say one word for you, just one word. Are you listening? DynaFair. Think about it.
Lisa Pollack, FT Alphaville, here. The author archive has JP Morgan’s giant unwitting catalyst trade, here, today. Levine is right, Treasure. Also see Kaminska, These are the voyages of the JP Morgan CIO, here.
Haaretz.com, An Israeli professor’s ‘Eureqa’ moment, here.
The beeping of the mobile phone awoke Prof. Hod Lipson in the middle of the night. “We found the equation!” his research student, Michael Schmidt, announced. The equation Schmidt was referring to has been known to every physicist since the 19th century. It describes the Law of Conservation of Energy – not exactly an earthshaking discovery. Nevertheless, as Prof. Lipson laid his head of disheveled hair back on the pillow, he did so with a smile.
A few days earlier, Lipson and his students at Cornell University had carried out a simple mechanical experiment. They attached two pendulums to one another in a way that generated complex patterns of movement. They then connected that oscillating system to a computer program they have been developing these past five years. The program is intended to take data from different systems – in this case, data concerning the movement of the pendulums – and use it to generate mathematical formulas that describe the mechanisms producing the data. To put it more provocatively – which is how Lipson likes to describe it – this computer program is supposed to identify laws of nature.
The Guardian, Academic spring: how an angry maths blog sparked a scientific revolution, here. Gowers v Elsevier. Springer and Wiley must be watching attentively.
Business Insider, When It’s Right To Point Out That Someone Is Talking Their Book, here.
Earlier we wrote a post about John Hussman’s criticism of Ben Bernanke, and mentioned (as a minor point) that Hussman calling Bernanke a coward if he did QE3 was a form of book-talking, since Hussman is very negative on this market, and QE3 would probably be good for stocks.
Some people wondered why we saw fit to point out this particular example of book talking, since book talking is what everyone does, and since we don’t always make a point of saying that.
Fair question: So let’s clear it up.
D3 allows you to bind arbitrary data to a Document Object Model (DOM), and then apply data-driven transformations to the document. As a trivial example, you can use D3 to generate a basic HTML table from an array of numbers. Or, use the same data to create an interactive SVG bar chart with smooth transitions and interaction. see http://mbostock.github.com/d3/