back to article Putting the Square Kilometre Array on a Cloud

By now, you may have heard of the Square Kilometre Array: it is to be the world’s biggest radio telescope, assembled from 3,000 15-meter dishes into a collecting area of, yes, one square kilometer. The Southern Hemisphere has less light pollution and radio interference than the North. And so South Africa and Western Australia …

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I tried running SETI@Home but I realised that I didn't care enough to keep the resources available to any useful degree. If SKA was handing out some form of remuneration I am sure I could put a decent quantity of compute cycles behind the project. I don't need free internet access but there might be some other return they could figure out.

Perhaps free cloud storage space for compute contributors? After all, playing the numbers game they could spare a few GB from their Exabyte file system for little me!

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Not the biggest

LOFAR has a larger area, see http://www.lofar.org/ and http://www.astron.nl/~heald/lofarStatusMap.html

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Unhappy

Noise

The issue I have with distributed compute apps is that they will cause your machines to run at full tilt, meaning the fans kick in, producing noise and heat 24 x 7. Maybe if I could get a server in the shed, I wouldn't mind so much.

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Noise is a problem easily dealt with...

Allow the end user to specify a maximum CPU usage, with the software demonstrating the load at the amount you suggest, allowing you to tune it to a level where you find fan noise acceptable. Or maybe it can do scheduling, so you let it run full tilt while you're away at work, but not work so hard when you're at home. Obviously you'd be paid less if its not going balls out, but the scheme would have to take processing power available into account in any case, as the guy with the 16 core beast can do more work than the guy giving away cycles on his netbook.

Heat isn't a problem either, at least during that part of the year when you are paying to heat your house anyway. Then you win twice, both in having someone else pay for the electricity and using less of whatever you normally use to heat your house. During the summer heat I guess you decide whether helping the science is worth having to cough up a bit more for air conditioning.

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Facepalm

"if Einstein was right with his General Relativity Theory"

If?

Surely there have been sufficient proofs to confirm this theory?

Even if a theory can never be 100% proven.

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Headmaster

Einstein

>>> ...and if Einstein was right with his General Relativity Theory

Let's face it, he probably was...

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Unhappy

How many

times most countries national debt just to look a bit further and give Stephen Hawking some new book material?

seriously, spend it somewhere else.

God versus Evolution will never be settled while there are academics and bible bashers, as big a waste as the hadron collider, and probably just as reliable as windows. How many billions do we nee to spend to see where we came from, when we're not looking where we're going anyway and about 1 person per 100,000 really gives a shit.

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Mushroom

@AC 14:31

"God versus Evolution will never be settled while there are academics and bible bashers"

Not true. It is settled, and creationists are marginalised by anybody with a half-decent education.

"How many billions do we nee to spend to see where we came from"

So missing the point. This kind of pure research will answer some questions and throw up new ones we would never otherwise think of. Plus, there could be spinoff technology that will drive domestic technology further and one day make life at home that little bit nicer.

"about 1 person per 100,000 really gives a shit"

And the rest read News Of the World.

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by 2024

... when SKA is, hopefully, ready, all the figures relating to today's computing/storage capacity will be seriously out of date. Not to say they will magically become "relatively small", but both computing power and storage is going to be seriously cheaper (both per GB and flop) than they are today, which is to say in-house data storage and processing might (just) become feasible.

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Trollface

Oh, so now we have a ...

From the article: So how do you process, transport, and store this much data?

Finally, a justification for the NBN.

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Here comes climate change...

Has anyone worked out what the additional power consumption of all of thse multi-processor PCs running full tilt for 24 hours a day will be? Add those all up and from an energy perspective it probably make the Japanese Super K look like a solar powered BBC micro.

Still, if there's anyone out there, it should mean we're glowing nicely.

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