Friday, June 21, 2013
ORNL in the News

What should replace Linpack for ranking supercomputers?

(The Register) ...All system benchmark tests run their courses, and the most successful ones usually overstay their welcome and stop doing what they are designed to do. That is, allow for the comparative ranking of systems in terms of performance across different architectures and software stacks in a meaningful way, and - if we are lucky - provide some insight into bang vs buck for different systems...Tests run on supercomputers mostly do the former, and rarely do the latter. That is a big problem that Michael Heroux, of Sandia National Laboratories, and Jack Dongarra, of both the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, tackled in their HPCG benchmark proposal paper, which you can read here (PDF)...6/20

DOE

Editorial: Treaty wouldn't diminish need for Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) President Barack Obama's speech Wednesday in Berlin contained so many elements that commentators were calling it a "smorgasbord,"...6/20

Nuclear waste clean-up delayed and billions over budget

(CBS News) The new Secretary of Energy has been on the job only four weeks, but he made a beeline Wednesday to see his biggest headache for himself...6/20

East Tennessee

UT Board approves tuition & fee hikes, top executives pay raises

(Nashville Commercial Appeal) The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Thursday approved student tuition increases averaging 6 percent at its Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin campuses and 5 percent at the Health Science Center in Memphis...6/20

National

tractorU.S. House rejects farm bill

(USA Today) The U.S. House failed to pass a sweeping five-year farm bill with sharp cuts to food stamps, setting the stage for an uphill fight in Congress to craft a new law...6/20

In Syrian chemical weapons claim, criticism about lack of transparency

(Washington Post) Despite months of laboratory testing and scrutiny by top U.S. scientists, the Obama administration’s case for arming Syria’s rebels rests on unverifiable claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, according to diplomats and experts...6/20

State & Regional

TVA study finds big improvements in air quality since 1990s

(WATE) The Tennessee Valley Authority is taking part in a major study of the air quality in the Southeastern United States. A testing station has been set up in the Smoky Mountains...6/20

TN, national unemployment rate rises in May

(WBIR) Tennessee's unemployment jumped 3 percent to 8.3 percent in May. Tennessee Labor and Workforce Development announced on Thursday that 250,000 Tennesseans are without jobs....6/20

energy & science policy

FY 2014 House Department of Defense Funding Bill: S&T Programs

(AIP) By a voice vote on June 12, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill.  The unnumbered bill provides $512.5 billion for the base budget, an amount that is approximately $5.1 billion less than the FY 2013 enacted budget, and $3.4 billion below the Administration’s request...6/20

science & technology

brainThe Brain: Now in Ultra High-Res 3D

(Discovery News) Today, researchers have unveiled the most detailed 3-D image of the human brain ever taken. The image reveals structures as tiny as 20 microns, 50 times smaller than those created using the best MRI technology...6/20

Particle acceleratorParticle Accelerator That Can Fit On a Tabletop Opens New Chapter for Science Research

(PhysOrg) Physicists at The University of Texas at Austin have built a tabletop particle accelerator that can generate energies and speeds previously reached only by major facilities that are hundreds of meters long and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build...6/20

chimpanzeeNew Research Backs Genetic 'Switches' in Human Evolution

(Science Daily) A Cornell University study offers further proof that the divergence of humans from chimpanzees some 4 million to 6 million years ago was profoundly influenced by mutations to DNA sequences that play roles in turning genes on and off...6/20

Other Stories

Newspaper on the groundMajority of Americans Don't Trust Newspapers and Television News

(USA Today) Continuing a decades-long downward trend, fewer than one-fourth of Americans have confidence in newspapers, according to a recent Gallup poll. The percentage of Americans saying they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers dropped to 23 percent this year from 25 percent last year, according to a report on the poll, which was released Monday...6/18

Insight - It takes an army: Tens of thousands of workers roll out Obamacare

(Reuters) From the chief actuary at the California health insurance exchange that President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law established to the legions of call center staffers who will help people trying to buy insurance through such state exchanges, the number of people working to implement "Obamacare" has reached the tens of thousands, a Reuters analysis has found...6/21