After Parler, What’s Next?

Parler, the social network increasingly popular with those on the far-right, has been cancelled.

In the last few days, Parler has been removed from Google GOOG -0.2% and Apple’s AAPL -1.4% app stores and told by Amazon AMZN -0.7% that its web hosting would be suspended on Sunday—something that could see the controversial service disappear from the internet entirely.

The crackdown on Parler, which styles itself as an “unbiased social media network,” comes in the wake of this week’s chaotic bid to overthrow November’s U.S. presidential election result that was partially organized on the app and Twitter’s removal of President Donald Trump from its platform.

Source: After Parler, What’s Next?

Decentralized Finance Is on the Rise. What You Need to Know in 2021.

Few had heard much about decentralized finance (DeFi) in its early days in late 2017 and late 2019, beyond murmurs about Bitcoin and a mysterious new digital technology called blockchain.

But a pandemic can change everything.

Since May of this year, the total value locked (TVL)—the amount of any currency locked into tokens, the vehicle of holding and moving assets on blockchain, in smart contracts on a blockchain ecosystem—in decentralized finance projects rose a whopping 2,000 percent, according to DeFi Pulse. Many investors would be hard-pressed to find such an astronomical rise of any assets or expansion of any financial ecosystem, but DeFi app developers seemed to find success. So what’s the rage, and why does it matter going into the new year?

What is DeFi?

Source: Decentralized Finance Is on the Rise. What You Need to Know in 2021.

Blockstack Announces ‘Universal’ Dapp Store for the Decentralized Web – CoinDesk

Decentralized web developer Blockstack is one step closer to its vision of web 3.0 with the introduction of app.co, a directory for decentralized applications or dapps.

Co-founder Ryan Shea said the company was launching the resource, which is aimed at bridging the gap between decentralized app developers and potential users. The open-source project will be free for developers, and Blockstack sees “this as a critical moment for decentralized application development and discovery,” Shea said.

Source: Blockstack Announces ‘Universal’ Dapp Store for the Decentralized Web – CoinDesk

HPE reveals a prototype of futuristic The Machine, but without cutting-edge memristors | PCWorld

In 2004, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s Kirk Bresniker set out to make radical changes to computer architecture with The Machine and drew out the first concept design on a whiteboard.

At the time Bresniker, now chief architect at HP Labs, wanted to build a system that could drive computing into the future. The goal was to build a computer that used cutting-edge technologies like memristors and photonics.

It’s been an arduous journey, but HPE on Tuesday finally showed a prototype of The Machine at a lab in Fort Collins, Colorado.

It’s not close to what the company envisioned with The Machine when it was first announced in 2014 but follows the same principle of pushing computing into memory subsystems. The system breaks the limitations tied to conventional PC and server architecture in which memory is a bottleneck.

The standout feature in the mega server is the 160TB of memory capacity. No single server today can boast that memory capacity. It has more than three times the memory capacity of HPE’s Superdome X.

The Machine runs 1,280 Cavium ARM CPU cores. The memory and 40 32-core ARM chips—broken up into four Apollo 6000 enclosures—are linked via a super fast fabric interconnect. The interconnect is like a data superhighway on which multiple co-processors can be plugged in.

The connections are designed in a mesh network so memory and processor nodes can easily communicate with each other. FPGAs provide the controller logic for the interconnect fabric.

Computers will deal with huge amounts of information in the future and The Machine will be prepared for that influx, Bresniker said.

In a way, The Machine prepares computers for when Moore’s Law runs out of steam, he said. It’s becoming tougher to cram more transistors and features into chips, and The Machine is a distributed system that breaks up processing among multiple resources.

The Machine is also ready for futuristic technologies. Slots in The Machine allow the addition of photonics connectors, which will connect to the new fabric linking up storage, memory, and processors. The interconnect itself is an early implementation of the Gen-Z interconnect, which is backed by major hardware, chip, storage, and memory makers.

HPE is improving the memory subsystem and storage in PCs and servers, which is giving a boost to computing. While data is being processed faster inside memory and storage, it reduces the need to speed up instructions-per-clock in CPUs.

In-memory computing has sped up applications like databases and ERP systems, and HPE is blowing up the design of such systems. There’s also a move to decoupling memory and storage from main servers. That helps speed up computing and makes more efficient use of data center resources like cooling.

There have been some glitches, though. The initial model of The Machine was supposed to have memristors, a type of memory and storage that could help computers make decisions based on data they retain. HP announced memristor in 2008, but it has been delayed multiple times. The company is now developing technology with Western Digital, Bresniker said.

Bresniker is taking an open-source approach to the development of The Machine, with the ethos of cooperation among partners to build such systems in the future. This system is a prototype that will drive the development and implementation of Gen-Z and of circuits that can be used as co-processors.

While HPE is trying to build a new system, Intel is coming from another angle with its 3D Xpoint storage and memory. System makers will try to build faster computers around Intel’s 3D Xpoint-based Optane storage, which the chipmaker says will eventually replace DRAM and SSDs.

The Machine is a future computer architecture that is also practical, said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.

“The fact that they can do this and run programs on it, it’s absolutely amazing,” Moorhead said. The Machine runs a version of Linux.

The Machine stands somewhere between the computers of today and future systems like quantum computers. But it’s still three to five years away from being ready for practical implementation in data centers, Moorhead said.

Source: HPE reveals a prototype of futuristic The Machine, but without cutting-edge memristors | PCWorld

Fujitsu, 1QBit Collaborate on Quantum-Inspired AI Cloud Service

TOKYO and VANCOUVER, May 16, 2017 — Fujitsu Limited and 1QB Information Technologies Inc. announced that starting today they will collaborate on applying quantum-inspired technology to the field of artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on the areas of combinatorial optimization and machine learning. The companies will work together in both the Japanese and global markets to develop applications which address industry problems using AI developed for use with quantum computers.

This collaboration will enable software developed by 1QBit for quantum computers to run on a “digital annealer,” jointly developed by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and the University of Toronto. A digital annealer is a computing architecture that can rapidly solve combinatorial optimization problems using existing semiconductor technology.

Over the last four years, 1QBit has developed new methods for machine learning, sampling, and optimization based on reformulating problems to meet the unique requirements of interfacing with quantum computers. The company’s research and software development teams have focused on solving sampling, optimization, and machine learning problems to improve applications in industries including finance, energy, advanced materials, and the life sciences. The combination of Fujitsu’s cutting-edge computer architecture and hardware technology, and 1QBit’s software technology, will enable advances in machine learning to solve complicated, large-scale optimization problems.

Fujitsu has systematized the technology and its experience with AI under the name of Zinrai, which has developed over the course of more than thirty years. The platform will support customers in using AI and will be available as the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 Zinrai Platform Service. Fujitsu will offer the results of this collaboration as an option in the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 Zinrai Platform Service Zinrai Deep Learning, a Zinrai cloud service, during 2017.

In the future, the two companies will provide a variety of services that combine 1QBit’s software and expertise in building applications which benefit from the capabilities of quantum computers, with Fujitsu’s hardware technology, its customer base – the largest in Japan – and its versatile ICT capabilities, including AI. The partnership aims to contribute to the creation of new businesses and the transformation of existing businesses by introducing new solutions to the computational challenges facing customers in a variety of fields, including finance, life sciences, energy, retail and distribution.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 155,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$40 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About 1QBit

1QBit is dedicated to building quantum and quantum-inspired software to solve the world’s most demanding computational challenges. The company’s hardware-agnostic platforms and services enable the development of applications which scale alongside advances in both classical and quantum computers. 1QBit partners with Fortune 500 clients and leading hardware providers to redefine intractable industry problems in the areas of optimization, simulation, and machine learning. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, 1QBit’s interdisciplinary team of 50 comprises mathematicians, physicists, chemists, software developers, and quantum computing experts who develop novel solutions to problems, from research through to commercial application development. For more information, visit: 1qbit.com.

Source: Fujitsu, 1QBit Collaborate on Quantum-Inspired AI Cloud Service