Earth Week is upon us, and NASA has prepared a very special gift for the blue planet. Dwarfing the iPods that we customarily give each other to celebrate another year of existence, NASA put together NEX, a planetary data-crunching tool that uses a 56,832-core, 128-screen supercomputer to blend global satellite data and sophisticated modeling software with an online collaborative culture aimed at helping scientists work together toward better climate change research.
Supercomputers and massive data centers carry huge energy costs when it comes to keeping their electronic components chilly. Now IBM is set to unveil its next big supercomputer, Aquasar, which keeps cool with a constant circulation of water at 140 to 160 degrees F, according to TechNewsDaily.
As technological tensions run high between the U.S. and China these days (see Google's recent dust-up with the party, etc.), the People’s Republic has unveiled more details on its quest to phase U.S.-made processors from its microchip diet. China’s next supercomputer – a Linux-running machine known as the Dawning 6000 – will run purely on Chinese processors, possibly before the end of this year.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.