Tuesday, October 30, 2012
ORNL in the News

Building Titan: The ‘world’s fastest’ supercomputer

(BBC) The sound of 20 quadrillion calculations happening every second is dangerously loud. Anyone spending more than 15 minutes in the same room with the Titan supercomputer must wear earplugs or risk permanent hearing damage. The din in the room will not come from the computer's 40,000 whirring processors, but from the fans and water pipes cooling them. If the dull roar surrounding Titan were to fall silent, those tens of thousands of processors doing those thousands of trillions of calculations would melt right down into their racks...10/29

In Race for World's Fastest Supercomputer, U.S. Lab Deploys a Titan

(National Geographic News) In a breakthrough that harnesses video-game technology for solving science's most complex mysteries, a U.S. government laboratory today deployed Titan—the fastest, most powerful, and most energy-efficient of a new generation of supercomputers that breach the bounds of "central processing unit" computing...10/29

ORNL director's nuclear trip to China

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason was in China last week as part of a U.S. team meeting with counterparts from the Chinese Academy of Science on a Nuclear Energy Collaboration between the two countries...10/29

National

Northeast Awakes to Huge Damage in Storm’s Path; Millions Without Power

(NY Times) As Hurricane Sandy churned inland as a downgraded storm, residents up and down the battered mid-Atlantic region woke on Tuesday to lingering waters, darkened homes and the daunting task of cleaning up from once-in-a-generation storm surges and their devastating effects...10/30

DOE

Y-12 hires security workers from subcontractor

(Oak Ridger) B&W Y-12 has assumed responsibility for the protective force at the Y-12 National Security Complex following a four-week transition from WSI Oak Ridge, the site's former subcontractor for security...10/29

Power Outages Update: Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy

(Energy.gov) As of 8:00 pm EDT on October 29, there were more than 3.6 million customers without power in the affected states. The Energy Department is continuing to monitor the progress of the storm throughout the night and will publish its next full Situation Report at approximately 10:00 am EDT on October 30th, including the latest available information on power outages...10/29

East Tennessee

Mount LeConte, Smokies blanketed with snow, but more - much more - on way

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The good news for campers in the higher altitudes of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Monday was that high winds that had been forecast for the area "stayed on the low end," as one forecaster put it...10/30

Electric car charging stations open at UT

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Driving an electric car in Knoxville gets easier today as the University of Tennessee opens a dozen new vehicle charging stations on campus. The stations will be available in four-hour increments to faculty, students and staff who receive an electric vehicle parking permit, and for the general public who obtain a temporary permit...10/29

energy & science policy

Federal Budget Limits Affect Scientific Conferences

(NY Times) After General Services Administration workers were found splurging on hotels, food and catering for a regional conference near Las Vegas two years ago, the Obama administration imposed new guidelines that limit the amount of money that federal agencies can spend on such events. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that the directive saved more than $600 million in the first two quarters of this fiscal year, compared with the same period in 2010...10/23

science & technology

Killing the Computer to Save It

(NY Times) Many people cite Albert Einstein’s aphorism “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Only a handful, however, have had the opportunity to discuss the concept with the physicist over breakfast. One of those is Peter G. Neumann, now an 80-year-old computer scientist at SRI International, a pioneering engineering research laboratory here...10/29

Hurricane Sandy Will Put a Rickety Power Grid to the Test

(Time) For most people in the path of Hurricane Sandy—save the hundreds of thousands who’ve had to be evacuated already from low-lying coastal areas and the occasional brave weather reporter—the biggest effect of the storm is the potential loss of electricity...10/30

U.S. Military Should Find a Way to Hire Foreign Scientists and Engineers, Report Says

(Science Magazine) The U. S. military should consider revising rules that now exclude hiring foreign-born scientists and engineers and make its work more attractive to potential employees, according to a new study on meeting its future workforce needs...10/26

Other Stories

The Cost of Living Longer

(Wall Street Journal) Nationwide, long-term-care costs in a number of categories have risen faster than inflation over the past year, according to research to be released Tuesday by insurer MetLife's Mature Market Institute. At the same time, care providers are changing the types of services available or bundling services in new and at times confusing ways...10/26

Unable to copy it, China tries building own jet engine

(Reuters) China has designed nuclear missiles and blasted astronauts into space, but one vital technology remains out of reach. Despite decades of research and development, China has so far failed to build a reliable, high performance jet engine...10/29