The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, an independent (well, duh) committee set up by the Japanese parliament to look into last year's nuclear disaster, just released its official report - and it's pretty damning. In the introduction, the chairman of the commission says the nuclear accident "could and should have been foreseen and prevented."
Clearly, we're not sufficiently advanced until every last piece of software looks neon and sophisticated, and causes things to spin slowly on screen in a hypnotically beautiful way. NICT in Japan has taken us a step closer to that goal, making a tool that will visualise cyber attacks in a way that can only be described as dazzling.
The latest TOP500 ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers is out this morning, and America is (finally) back on top. After nearly three years trailing supercomputers abroad - Japan's K computer reigned supreme for most of last year, with China's Tianhe-1A close behind - the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has stolen the top spot via Sequoia, a 16.32 petaflops (that's a quadrillion floating point operations per second) IBM machine built from 96 racks containing 98,304 computing nodes and 1.6 million cores.
When the Tohoku earthquake struck Japan in March of last year, seismometer data allowed authorities to issue earthquake earnings within eight seconds of first realizing something was seismologically amiss. But their initial readings were not fully accurate, labeling the ‘quake a magnitude 7.1. It took authorities another 20 minutes to revise the magnitude to its real value of 9. Just ten minutes later, the tsunami hit.
Diminishing sea ice in the Arctic could be a boon for international trade - both for heavy ships using the Northwest Passage, and now for speedier telecommunications via new fiber-optic cables. In August, companies will start construction on the first deep sea cables to cross the Arctic Ocean.