IBM’s cloud adds support for Nvidia’s fastest GPUs yet

IBM today announced that users on its Bluemix cloud will soon be able to add two Nvidia Tesla P100 accelerator cards to their bare metal servers. The company says this feature will launch later this month and, when it’s live, IBM will likely be the first major cloud provider to offer support for these chips, which can provide up to 4.7 teraflops of double-precision performance and 16 gigabytes of memory.

There is still a chance that Google could beat IBM to the market, though. Late last year, Google also announced that it would support Nvidia’s newest GPUs early this year, but we haven’t heard when exactly the company plans to launch this feature. We asked Google for an updated timeline but haven’t heard back yet.

AWS, too, offers GPU support, of course, and its machines can be outfitted with up to 16 GPUs (those are the older K80 cards, though 16 of those obviously offer a lot of raw computing power, too). Microsoft’s Azure offers a similar setup with support for up to 4 of Nvidia’s slightly older GPUs.

The Nvidia Tesla P100 GPUs are Nvidia’s fastest yet, and have been optimized for deep learning applications. In addition to machine learning, though, there are also plenty of other high-performance computing applications that now make use of GPUs to speed up their processing.

 “As the AI era takes hold, demand continues to surge for our GPU-accelerated computing platform in the cloud,” said Ian Buck, Nvidia’s general manager for accelerated computing, in today’s announcement. “These new IBM Cloud offerings will provide users with near-instant access to the most powerful GPU technologies to date — enabling them to create applications to address complex problems that were once unsolvable.”

All of this rush to bring the newest and fastest GPUs to the cloud goes to show how these big cloud platforms are now in a race to offer their customers the fastest machines to run their deep learning and artificial intelligence applications. Offering basic cloud computing capabilities, after all, is quickly becoming a commodity, but at least for the time being, the major players can still differentiate their services by offering better support for GPUs — until that, of course, also becomes table stakes again.

Apple Watch Nike+ Edition to Be Available in India Starting October 28

Apple Watch Nike+ Edition Price in India, Release Date Revealed

  • The Apple Watch Nike+ edition will be available starting at Rs. 32,900
  • Built-in GPS can track your pace, distance and route
  • The smartwatch comes in four different colour combinations

After launching the Apple Watch Series 2 in India on October 7, Apple will launch the Apple Watch Nike+ edition on October 28, according to Apple’s website. The smartwatch is offered in 38mm and 42mm case size, priced at Rs. 32,900 and Rs. 34,900 respectively, It will be available via Nike’s website, Nike retail stores, Apple authorised resellers, and other select stores.

The Nike+ model, a variant of the Apple Watch Series 2, was unveiled at the event on September 2 alongside the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The smartwatch is designed to feature a sporty look and feel with a lightweight, flexible fluoroelastomer, which is also used in Apple Watch Sport bands. It comes with perforated straps and fitness-centric apps including the Nike+ Run Club app.

The Apple Watch Nike+ has a built-in GPS that can track your pace, distance and route even without the iPhone. The smartwatch is water resistant up to a depth of 50 metres. The Nike+ model comes with all the features found in the Apple Watch Series 2, which includes Siri. The smartwatch come with Nike exclusive faces that feature the company’s iconic Volt colour.

The Apple Watch Nike+ edition comes in four different colour combinations. The Space Grey Aluminium case will be available with Black/Volt Nike Sports band and Black/Cool Grey Nike Sportband, while the Silver Aluminium case will be offered with Flat Silver/White Nike Sport band and Flat Silver/ Volt Nike Sport band.

The Apple Watch Series 2 launched earlier in October improves on its predecessor with a dual-core processor, a brighter 1000-nit Retina display with Force Touch and built-in GPS.

 

Rosetta Crash-Lands on Comet, Ending 12-Year Space Mission

Rosetta Crash-Lands on Comet, Ending 12-Year Space MissionEurope’s pioneering Rosetta spacecraft concluded a 12-year odyssey with a controlled crash-landing Friday onto the comet it has orbited and probed for two years to unravel the secrets of the Solar System’s birth, mission controllers said.

“I can confirm the full success of the descent of Rosetta,” Mission Manager Patrick Martin announced to wild cheering in the control centre, based in Darmstadt near Frankfurt in Western Germany.

“Rock-n-roll Rosetta,” added a visibly moved Matt Taylor, the mission’s project scientist, as he stepped from the podium, holding – and shaking – his head.

 

In the hours before the crash-landing, Rosetta gathered crucial last-gasp data from nearer the galactic wanderer than ever before, its instruments primed to sniff the comet’s gassy halo, measure temperature and gravity, and take close-up pictures of the spot that is now its icy tomb.

The craft had been programmed for a “controlled impact”, at a human walking pace of about 90 cm (35 inches) per second, after a 14-hour freefall from an altitude of 19 kilometres (12 miles).

Confirmation of the mission’s end came at 1119 GMT (4:49pm IST), when the spacecraft’s signal – with a 40-minute delay – faded from ground controllers’ computer screens.

The trailblazing craft’s final manoeuvre was executed at a distance of 720 million kilometres (450 million miles) from Earth, with the comet zipping through space at a speed of over 14 kilometres (nine miles) per second.

 

Comet landing site

 

Mission scientists expected it would bounce and tumble about before settling — but Rosetta’s exact fate will never be known as it was instructed to switch off on first impact.

The comet chaser was never designed to land.

The first-ever mission to orbit and land on a comet was approved in 1993 to explore the birth of our Solar System 4.6 billion years ago.

Rosetta and lander probe Philae travelled more than six billion kilometres over 10 years to reach 67P in August 2014.

Philae was released onto the comet surface in November of that year, bouncing several times, then gathering 60 hours of on-site data which it sent home before entering standby mode.

Having made the closest approach on its 6.6-year loop around the Sun in August last year, the comet is now moving further and further away from our planetary system’s central star, which means Rosetta’s solar panels are catching fewer battery-replenishing rays.

Rather than just letting it fade away, scientists opted to end the mission on a high by taking measurements from up close — too close to risk under usual operating conditions.

Bittersweet
On Thursday night, Rosetta was commanded to exit comet orbit and join long-spent Philae on 67P for a never-ending journey around the Sun.

Flight operations director Andrea Accomazzo, working on Rosetta for nearly 20 years, confessed “of course there is a bit of sadness” after a “long, long” professional investment.

“You are going to miss it. But OK, life goes on,” he shrugged.

For the scientists who will sift through the data for years, possibly decades, to come, this is not the end, however.

“It’s a bittersweet thing,” project scientist Matt Taylor told AFP. “There is something about the attachment, there’s something about that spacecraft being there. I will feel a sense of loss, surely.”

Comets like 67P are thought to contain primordial material preserved in a dark space deep freeze.

Insights gleaned from the EUR 1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) project have shown that comets crashing into an early Earth may well have brought amino acids, the building blocks of life.

 

Comets of 67P’s type, however, certainly did not bring water, scientists have concluded.

Another highlight of Rosetta’s descent was a one-off chance to peer into mysterious pits dotting the landscape for hints as to what the comet’s interior might look like.

“Scientists are like children: they dream without limits. There is nothing better than making dreams of children become a reality,” Accomazzo told AFP.

“This is the feeling we have. For me today is mission accomplished.”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to Present ‘Mind-Blowing’ Mars Plan on Tuesday

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to Present 'Mind-Blowing' Mars Plan on Tuesday
Plan to build a human colony on Mars after sending a manned spacecraft
SpaceX plans to send an unmanned Dragon cargo capsule to Mars in 2018
Experts are skeptical of the feasibility
SpaceX chief Elon Musk is set Tuesday to unveil his ambitious plan to build a human colony on Mars after sending a manned spacecraft to the Red Planet within a decade.

He will lay out his vision during a presentation titled “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species” at the International Astronautical Congress in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara.

Although the South Africa-born Canadian-American entrepreneur has given few details about his plan, he promised in a Washington Post interview in June that it will be “mind blowing.”

He will discuss the “long-term technical challenges that need to be solved to support the creation of a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars,” the conference’s program says.

SpaceX plans to send an unmanned Dragon cargo capsule to Mars as early as 2018, paving the way for a human mission that would leave Earth in 2024 and arrive on the Red Planet the following year.

 

However, experts are skeptical of the feasibility.

Reaching Mars – 225 million kilometers (140 million miles) from Earth on average – and living there would require major feats of engineering and a massive budget.

“It’s unlikely that (Musk) will be able to get humans on Mars by 2025,” John Logsdon, former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said, noting that Musk has wrongly forecast the launch of SpaceX rockets in the past.

SpaceX would have to team up with a state space agency to afford such a mission, he said.

“Bottom line is the cost. You’re talking of tens of billions of dollars and SpaceX doesn’t have that type of money.”

However, while Musk’s timeline is ambitious, “it’s exciting to have someone with the vision” and “we are all interested to see what he has in mind and whether he can make a compelling case,” Logsdon added.
The US space agency Nasa, which is also studying the effects of long-term space flight on the human body, has announced its own plans to send people to Mars by the 2030s.

Rocket blast
A research village could be built on the Moon to serve as a “stepping stone” to a Mars mission, European Space Agency chief Jan Woerner said at a news conference on Monday.

“To go to Mars means also to use the resources over there and this can be also tested on (the) Moon,” he said.

SpaceX has designed the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket, which could send a manned Dragon spacecraft into space.

The company plans to launch the 70-meter (230-foot) tall rocket, which has a liftoff thrust equivalent to 18 Boeing 747 jets, later this year.

 

SpaceX was hit by a setback on September 1 when its smaller Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad during a test in Florida, destroying a satellite Facebook had planned to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa.

SpaceX had previously logged 18 successful Falcon 9 launches.

The California-based company has also successfully landed a spent rocket vertically four times – a key achievement for the company’s goal of producing reusable rockets instead of jettisoning their parts into the ocean during lift off.

Nasa’s Osiris-Rex Asteroid Probe May Find Clues to Origins of Life on Earth

Nasa's Osiris-Rex Asteroid Probe May Find Clues to Origins of Life on Earth
A US space probe was cleared for launch on Thursday to collect and return samples from an asteroid in hopes of learning more about the origins of life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere in the solar system, Nasa said on Tuesday.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to dispatch the robot explorer Osiris-Rex on a seven-year mission.

United Launch Alliance is a partnership of Lockheed-Martin and Boeing.

Osiris-Rex is headed to a 1,640-foot (500-meter) wide asteroid named Bennu, which circles the sun in roughly the same orbit as Earth. Scientists estimate there is a one-in-800 chance that Bennu might actually hit Earth 166 years from now.

 

Heating from the sun gently pushes the asteroid, and charting its path is among the goals of the $1 billion mission. The US space agency also hopes Osiris-Rex will demonstrate the advanced imaging and mapping techniques needed for future science missions and for upcoming commercial asteroid-mining expeditions.
Osiris-Rex is expected to reach Bennu in August 2018 and begin a two-year study of its physical features and chemical composition. The solar-powered spacecraft will then fly to Bennu’s surface and extend a robot arm to collect at least 2 ounces (60 grams) of what scientists hope will be carbon-rich material.

“We’re going to asteroid Bennu because it’s a time capsule from the earliest stages of solar system formation, back when our planetary system was spread across as dust grains in a swirling cloud around our growing protostar,” lead researcher Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona told a prelaunch news conference on Tuesday.

Inside the developing solar system, small rocky bodies were beginning to form, many of them studded with water ice and organic materials, which are key compounds that may have made Earth habitable or even given life its start, Lauretta said.

If all goes as planned, the capsule containing samples from Bennu will be jettisoned from the returning Osiris-Rex spacecraft on Sept. 24, 2023, for a parachute descent and landing at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range.

Osiris-Rex is the latest in a series of missions to asteroids that began with the 1991 flyby of asteroid Gaspra by Nasa’s Jupiter-bound Galileo spacecraft. Japan’s Hayabusa 1 probe managed to return a few tiny grains of asteroid Itokawa to Earth in 2010, the first asteroid sample return mission. A follow-on mission, Hayabusa 2, is underway.

The Osiris-Rex launch was set for between 7:05pm and 9:05pm on Thursday (11:05pm to 1:05am GMT on Friday).

New Samsung Galaxy TabPro S2 Windows Tablet In The Works

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S2

Samsung is apparently working on a successor to their Galaxy TabPro S Windows tablet, the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S2.

The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S2 will get a number of upgrades over the existing model, this will include the latest processor and more.

There will apparently be four different models in the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S2 range, and the tablet will feature a 12 inch display with a resolution of 2160 x 1430 pixels.

As soon as we get some more details on this new Windows 10 tablet from Samsung, including a full list of specifications, we will let you guys know.

PlayStation VR Pre-Orders Provide “Quickest Sellout in GameStop’s History”

PlayStation VR

The Road To VR website is reporting this week that pre-orders for the new PlayStation VR virtual reality headset, provided the “quickest sellout in GameStop’s history” the company has revealed.

During a conference call with Dualshockers, GameStop Executives explained that the PSVR pre-orders at GameStop which started back in March of this year, sold their allocation of PSVR stock in “literally five minutes”.

Stating that there is tremendous demand for the PlayStation 4 powered VR headset, as well as interest in the new PlayStation Neo console both of which are expected to be launched during October 2016.

Amazon’s initial stock allocation for the PlayStation VR was also dried within around 10 minutes after going on sale at 7am PST on March 22nd 2016. As more information is released regards more stock being made available for the PlayStation VR headset we will keep you up-to-date as always.

Amazon Kindle Oasis E-Reader Announced, Comes With Leather Battery Case

Amazon Kindle Oasis

We previously heard a rumor about Amazon’s latest e-reader, the Amazon Kindle Oasis, the device is now official an it will launch on the 27th of April.

The Amazon Kindle Oasis is the company’s thinnest and lightest Kindle to date, it comes with a new design which is 30% thinner and 20% lighter than their previous device.

“To lean back and read for hours, you need a sanctuary from distraction,” said Jeff Bezos,Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “We want Kindle to disappear, and Kindle Oasis is the next big step in that mission. It’s the most advanced Kindle we’ve ever built—thin and ultra-lightweight, it gets out of the way so you can lose yourself in the author’s world.”

Amazon Kindle Oasis

The Kindle Oasis features a 6 inch display has has a resolution of 300 pixels per inch and it has a built in light which offers 60 percent more LEDs than the previous model.

It also comes with a new premium leather cover that features a built in battery to five the device extra battery life and there will be two models, one with WiFi and one with WiFi and 3G.

You can find out more detail about the new Kindle Oasis over at Amazon at the link below, the device is now available to pre-order and it will go on sale on the 27th of April.

Nasa’s Kepler Spacecraft Discovers New ‘Hot Jupiter’

Nasa's Kepler Spacecraft Discovers New 'Hot Jupiter'

Nasa’s Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft has discovered a new Jupiter-like exoplanet, orbiting a 2.6 billion-year-old star located about 545 light years from the Earth.

Researchers, led by Marshall C Johnson of the University of Texas at Austin, used the data from the K2 mission to search for possible transiting planets.

They identified two targets designated EPIC 211089792b (K2-29b) and EPIC 210957318b (K2-30b).

While K2-30b was confirmed as a “hot Jupiter” exoplanet during previous observations, K2-29b is a new addition to the long list of Kepler’s confirmed extrasolar worlds.

The astronomers also used three different ground-based spectrographs to conduct high-resolution spectroscopic observations of K2-29b, in order to definitely verify it as a “hot Jupiter.”

“Here, we present K2 photometry for two late-type dwarf stars, EPIC 211089792 (K2-29) and EPIC 210957318 (K2-30), for which we identified periodic transit signals, and our follow-up spectroscopic observations,” the researchers said.

“These have allowed us to confirm both transiting objects as bona fide hot Jupiters, and to measure the stellar and planetary parameters,” they said.

Hot Jupiters are gas giant planets, similar in characteristics to the solar system’s biggest planet, with orbital periods of less than 10 days.

They have high surface temperatures as they orbit their parent stars very closely-between.

While the newly discovered K2-29b exoplanet has a radius hat is about the same as Jupiter’s, it is less massive (0.6 Jupiter masses), ‘Phys.org’ reported.

It has an orbital period of 3.26 days and an equilibrium temperature of approximately 800 degrees Celsius.

The planet’s parent star K2-29 is slightly smaller than our Sun, with 0.75 solar radii and 0.86 solar masses. The star is about 2.6 billion years old and is located some 545 light years from the Earth, researchers said.

The research was published in the journal arxiv.org.

ExoMars Probe Sends First Pictures Back to Earth

ExoMars Probe Sends First Pictures Back to Earth

The Euro-Russian spacecraft ExoMars, launched towards the Red Planet last month, has sent home itsfirst pictures from space and is in “excellent health”, the European Space Agency said Thursday.

Launched on March 14 on a Russian Proton rocket, the craft is designed to “smell” Mars’ atmosphere for gassy evidence that life once existed on Earth’s neighbour, or may do so still.

The probe’s high-resolution camera was switched on for the first time on April 7, and took its first grainy, black and white snapshots of space.

“These first images are very reassuring. Everything points to us being able to get good data at Mars,” said Nicolas Thomas from the University of Bern in Switzerland, camera principal investigator.

With its suite of high-tech instruments, the probe should arrive at the Red Planet on October 19 after a journey of 496 million kilometres (308 million miles).

“All systems have been activated and checked out, including power, communications, startrackers, guidance and navigation, all payloads and Schiaparelli,” ESA spacecraft operations manager Peter Schmitz said.

Its main mission is to photograph the Red Planet and analyse its air. The spacecraft is also piggybacking a lander dubbed Schiaparelli, which it will release onto Mars for a few days in October.

Schiaparelli will test heat shields and parachutes in preparation for a subsequent rover landing on Mars, a feat the ESA said “remains a significant challenge”.

ExoMars is a two-part collaboration between the ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos space agency.

This first part is dubbed ExoMars 2016.

The second, the Mars rover phase, was originally scheduled for launch in 2018, but the ESA has said it will likely be delayed over money worries.

There are high expectations, though, from the first phase basically to determine whether Mars is “alive”.

The probe will seek to analyse methane, a gas which on Earth is created in large part by living microbes, and traces of which were observed on previous Mars missions.

Methane is normally destroyed by ultraviolet radiation within a few hundred years, which the ESA has said implies that in Mars’ case “it must still be produced today”.

But by what?

The probe will analyse Mars’ methane in more detail than any previous mission, according to the ESA, to try and determine its likely origin.