Tech Bits, Week of October 21, 2018

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry.

Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.


What did we learn last week?

It looks like we have solid HDD demand, driven by seasonality but the overall TAM continues its steady decline.  So short term profits will give way to more uncertainty in the market as the declining prices of SSD and the emergence of QLC will accelerate the switchover (from disk to SSD) in more segments: link.

If you are a fan of animated films, read this for a little perspective of the massive amounts of data manipulation required to develop the models, add all the details and edit the final product.  These guys are pretty demanding and their media of choice was HDD for many years, but they are migrating to AFA’s for improvements in latency and performance!

Memristor CAGR is on the rise, but it is going to take awhile for this niche to displace mainstream SSD or HDD.  I continue to believe that storage class memories such as MRAM or memristors will help rewrite the face of compute in coming years.  Read more here.

Skyrmion development starting to get interesting

… and funding for improved storage systems architecture increasing.

It looks like another pillar in the foundation of quantum computing has been built (or at least been proven).

More on why we think Quantum Computing (QC) will be an important technology, especially for encryption…. if only we could figure out how to make it work without error…  Read more here.

RISC-V for Gen-Z fabrics?  It should help as this talk from HPE highlights.  Some good discussion at the end as well…

Security of a lot of server devices is suspect given this discovery (The original Business Week article is linked inside the Krebs note.)  I suspect we have not heard the last of this story, but as with any PCBA design, wouldn’t a simple board design review have caught this?

A proper use for femtosecond lasers is in fundamental research areas such as this.  Imagine what we will learn when we exploit methods like these.  Read more here.

Managers, listen (and read) up!

It looks like we are getting closer to understanding how color detection works.

A little about what it is like to abandon Google Search for Bing

Posted in Cloud technology, computing, storage, data, Computers, Data storage, hard disk drives (hdd), solid state drives (ssd), Editorials, Videos, movies, and films | Tagged | Leave a comment

International Diplomacy and Google Translate

Recently, I purchased (online) a coin (number 3920) from The White House Gift Shop that commemorated the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin that took place in Helsinki, Finland. Let’s say I did it for sentimental reasons.

After checking the impressive front of this coin, I switched my attention to the back.  And was shocked…

For those who speak and read Russian, I challenge you to find 4 typos in the text.

In fact, 3 Russian words are written incorrectly.  But that is not the end of it.

The translation of “Diplomatic History” into Russian is clearly not made by a native speaker.  A native speaker would likely translate it into something that would mean “Historical moment” or “Diplomatic event”.  What is written here in Russian means something like, “a story about diplomats”, or, “a story by a diplomat”, or, “a story about diplomacy”.  But it does not have the meaning of a “historical diplomatic event” that the English words imply.

So… how did they come up with a translation like this?

Considering multiple grammatical mistakes made in the text, the Russian text was not written by a native speaker.  And where do you look for a translation when you don’t have a native speaker around?  Correct, Google Translate.

Quick check on Google (see above) confirms the same translation (incorrect, too literal) as presented on the coin.

Computer language translation is becoming ubiquitous and is now widely accepted as a “good enough” substitute to be used for nearly any occasion… well,  maybe not for every occasion.

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Run Atlas Run

I wrote about this company before: link, link, link, and link.

What can I say…  Boston Dynamics and everything they do is simply amazing!

 

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Computer Humor

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Tech Bits, week of Sep 30, 2018

This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry.

Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week:


What did we learn last week?

Optane technology analysis to read is here.

Power vs speed and latency… a peek into data center backbone design.  At these speeds and at this density, each data channel must be individually equalized at both the transmit and receive ends… a very complex system design problem.

Data center CAGR is still healthy… good news.

…and HPC (high-performance computing) is also growing.  I bet they have a big power bill – read here!

Watch this process development.  It may pave the way for next gen 3D memories.

I’ve been harping on the new flash foundries coming on line, but there has been parallel work on DRAM and it is expected to impact pricing in coming quarters:  an example is this fab just starting construction.

A little on 5G and what its infrastructure may look like.  I don’t think the market has fully embraced the amount of hardware required to deliver true 5G functionality, but I can’t wait for ‘wireless ubiquity’: link.

Glad to see at least a little progress on this front.  I suspect more infringement determinations will follow.

A little more on cryptocurrencies for reference.

Cheers, Mike

Posted in Cloud technology, computing, storage, data, Computers, Data storage, hard disk drives (hdd), solid state drives (ssd), Datacenters and data centers, Research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ve Seen the Future (and it had 8K resolution)

When I was on vacation in Japan this past May, I walked into a Yodobashi Camera store and was stunned by how realistic the picture looked on one of the largest TV sets in the room.  After examining it closely, I discovered that it was an 8K TV from Sharp, the first one I had ever seen.

This is a short video clip taken with my iPhone – everything looks very impressive and 3D-like:  

The 8K TV screen comes with a 7680 x 4320 pixel resolution and is, in terms of the pixel number, four times the size of 4K TV and sixteen times the size of 2K or 1080p TV (this is what I still have!):

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The Most Dangerous Places on Earth

This post is not about deadly volcanos, swamps, jungles, mountains, or deserts.   It is about countries and cities and the crime rates at those places.

First, let us look at the “crime index” map of the world from Numbeo (link).  Darker colors on this map point to a  higher crime rate, while lighter colors refer to a safer country:

With the index score of 47, the US is slightly worse than the mean (43).  Russia (43.63) is a bit safer than the US.  And Canada (39.19) is noticeably safer than both.  Japan (12.69) is in first place as the country with the lowest crime index (why am I not surprised?).

Top 25 countries with the largest “crime index” (most dangerous) are listed below.  It’s strange to see Argentina or Mongolia right next to Syria, which is still having an active war.  And Brazil is ~8 points worse than Syria?

Next, let’s take a look at specific cities instead of countries.  The color tones work the same way as for the country map.

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