Ethan Miller with Watson at SC11 this week.

SC11: How this professor cleaned Watson’s clock

IBM’s Watson supercomputer, or at least a simulation of it, is in Seattle this week for the SC11 supercomputer conference. I got a chance to stop by and see attendees test their Jeopardy! skills against the machine that reigned supreme on the quiz show last year. And for the most part, Watson seemed infallible, dropping… Read More


Video: Facebook’s ultra-efficient server, a guided tour

I’ve been spending the afternoon at the SC11 supercomputer conference, taking place this week in Seattle, where one of the more unexpected companies on the show floor is Facebook. Actually, it won’t be a surprise if you’re familiar with the Open Compute Project, an open-source-style project that started with the social network’s efforts to share… Read More


Supercomputer in the cloud: Amazon lands on Top500 list

Here’s a surprising name on the new list of the world’s fastest supercomputers: Amazon Web Services. Looking to promote its latest offering in High Performance Computing — dubbed the Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large, or CC2 for short – the Seattle company’s cloud computing team has submitted its benchmark speed results to the keepers of the… Read More


Guest Post: Is Seattle the center of supercomputing?

Supercomputers were once the exclusive province of government spy agencies, research labs and academics. The top computer makers were the only vendors. Things have changed since Seymour Cray introduced the first machine at Control Data in 1965. One of the biggest changes is how many of the vendors are now in the Seattle area. With… Read More