Monthly Archives: December 2002

Now that's fast!

OK, I'm largely repeating something that's already on /. but I thought it was a really cool and inspiring story and deserved being told here:

As some of you may know, it is illegal for US companies to export supercomputer technology to countries like India. Because of fears that supercomputers could be used to aid terrorism and help rogue nations (India a rogue state? Good one Ashcroft!), machines exceeding 190k MTOPS can't be exported to those nations. They fail to remember that the early US nuclear bombs were all designed on paper without the aid of computers, and even the space program used computers dramatically less powerful than the average modern desktop PC.

So India simply went ahead and built its own TFLOP computer, the PARAM Padma — currently exceeding 500k MTOPS — which is scalable on up to 16 TFLOPS (compared to the fastest US supercomputer, at about 10 TFLOPS). Not only that, but the computer uses relatively cheap off-the-shelf components and is dramatically less expensive than US competition (and as a result is being bought by universities and corporations in Russia, Canada, Germany, and so on).

The future is here, and it's global. Western nations can't hold back developing nations forever — technology will equalize around the world, and trade sanctions simply result in the market eventually being dominated by non-Western companies. Look at history — a few hundred years ago America was a developing nation, and look how it trounced Europe on most levels over the past hundred years. Don't think it won't happen again, either from South America or Asia… of course, their computer does run on IBM chips!

…but then there's always the Dragon.

Now I should really go and find some more extension cord and get the second set of speakers set up… And drag the BBQs back to the pit and all that fun stuff. I think I have my “must do” tasks complete so I can take a load off for the rest of the day.

BBQ Mailout

The following BBQ message was just broadcast. Everyone coming should have received it, but I'm posting it here just to be safe:


First of all, the BBQ starts at the normal time; early afternoon. Between 1 and 3 PM is when I expect the "first wave" will arrive, with more people arriving over the afternoon and early evening. I expect we'll light most of the fireworks around 8 PM depending on everyone's plans (I know some people are going to multiple events).

The weather forecast for tomorrow is SHOCKINGLY WARM. Predicted temperatures are well above freezing, with maybe a tiny bit of snow. That said, I would still strongly recommend bringing warm clothes.

As always, the event is BYOB, BYOF. Since it's too cold, there won't be suspensions, but given that this is also BMEshop territory, I'm sure we can work something out if people want to play.

The BBQ shirts are $20 (and it's sort of a 2-for-1 deal because we've got free goodies that go with them), and Ryan also has BMEshop hoodies from a run we decided not to put up in the shop for $20, as well as toques.

See you tomorrow!

Shirt winners…

All of the winners for 2002 Staff Shirts should have just received either an IM from me or an email. If for some reason you didn't (and you should have), please let me know and I'll make sure it's resent. Let me strongly emphasize that it's very important that you reply to me by January 10th.

PS. PLEASE follow the instructions in the message. Don't assume that I know your address or shirt size. You MUST follow the instructions completely, or you risk something going wrong with your shirt!

More good news

Even more good news on the marriage front: Bola and Dauphine are getting married tomorrow (what a way to ring in the new year!). We're just overflowing in good vibes lately!

I just posted the first 2003 leader board accidentally (it wasn't supposed to go up until the 1st of course). None of the links work, but wow — I can't believe there are already multiple people who have 3 or 4 experiences in for 2003, and what's quite shocking is that Perk900 has already submitted enough images to virtually guarantee himself a place in the rankings from simply one update!

I'm about to start uploading the update soon — it's nearly 250 meg, so keep your fingers crossed that the satellite doesn't FAP me again. I got cut off twice in the last two days.

And I finally wrote another column, “weekly”, HA!

Congratulations are in order!

Clive (Rookie) and Kay (Tankgirl) are getting married today! The last link is a link to the event, if I wasn't prepping for the BBQ and the NY update, I'd be there… Anyway, I wasn't going to post this until it went on the site, but given the event, I'll include here the draft introduction to my New Year's article:

Since this is my first column of the new year, it's probably fitting to begin with an appropriate message. Many people come to find BME not just because they are into body modification, but because body modification is a “symptom” of finding themselves on a path of self discovery. I'd like to quote from Be Here Now by Dr. Richard Alpert Ph.D, better known as Baba Ram Dass.
Christianity: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is Love.”
Confucianism: “To love all men is the greatest benevolence.”
Buddhism: “Let a man cultivate towards the whole world a heart of Love.”
Hinduism: “One can best worship the Lord through Love.”
Islam: “Love is this, that thou shouldst account thyself very little and God very great.”
Taoism: “Heaven arms with Love those it would not see destroyed.”
Sikhism: “God will regenerate those in whose hearts there is Love.”
Judaism: “Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself.”
Jainism: “The days are of most profit to him who acts in Love.”
Zoroastrianism: “Man is the beloved of the Lord and should Love him in return.”
Baha'i: “Love Me that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can no wise reach thee.”
Shinto: “Love is the representative of the Lord.”

There aren't many truths that universally bind us together. Body modification is most certainly one of those truths, but it is a symptomatic truth. The underlying foundation that makes it all possible is Love — if anything is remembered in 2003, please let it be that.

I hope it rings true…
And now off to Tweed.