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Los Alamos Fire Idles NSA Supercomputer 65

ygslash writes "Among the many facilities shut down since Monday at Los Alamos National Laboratory due to the approaching wildfire is Cielo, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The National Nuclear Security Administration's three national laboratories - Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore - all share computing time on Cielo, according to Associated Press." Update: 06/30 14:48 GMT by S : As readers have pointed out, this article refers to the National Nuclear Security Administration, not the National Security Agency. Summary updated to reflect that.
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Los Alamos Fire Idles NSA Supercomputer

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  • typo (Score:4, Informative)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Thursday June 30, 2011 @08:55AM (#36621460)

    It's Agency, not Administration

    • by vbraga ( 228124 )

      I think the headline might be referring to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and not to the NSA.

      • by 228e2 ( 934443 )
        Probably, but they did put a link to NSA in the summary.
      • Re:typo (Score:4, Informative)

        by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Thursday June 30, 2011 @09:36AM (#36621870)


        I just checked on Cielo, and apparently it is the NNSA that operates it, and not the NSA.

        So they're wrong on two levels, one for misspelling NSA, and two for using the wrong agency.

        • There's no way the NSA lets their stuff go out to any other supercomputer, even one owned by the DoE. The NSA's institutional paranoia is legendary. Makes sense when you think about it, their mission is to safeguard critical US communications (government, financial and so on hence their participation in AES) and to do electronic intelligence gathering. Give that, one can understand how they get rather paranoid about informational security.

          These big supercomputer are DoE (that is the NNSA's parent agency). T

        • by ygslash ( 893445 )

          You're right. The AP article looks like it's wrong.

          I was amazed by that little item they let slip in the middle of the article. It was the whole reason I posted this story - but it turns out to be just confusion of a clueless reporter. Ah, well. Sorry.

    • by ygslash ( 893445 )

      It's Agency, not Administration


      But actually, it's Administration: The National Nuclear Security Administration. It turns out that the author of this AP story was a little confused.

  • by papasui ( 567265 ) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @08:58AM (#36621478) Homepage
    but I had to read that headline about 4x to understand it.
  • lp0 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @09:02AM (#36621522)

    > WARNING: Job halted - lp0 on fire

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Get off my lawn! rofl haven't seen that one in a while. For the kids here, this is actually a valid system message...
      • by Myrrh ( 53301 ) *

        ...says the guy with a six-digit UID. Get off my lawn.

        • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

          ...says the guy with a six-digit UID.

          It's not the size that counts...?

          • by Myrrh ( 53301 ) *

            Huh. I was fully expecting someone with a four-digit UID (or, perhaps even one of the rarely-seen three-digits) and bitchslap me. C'mon guys...

      • And for the kids who want an explanation, LP0 is line printer 0. When a line printer jams the friction can ignite the paper. This is bad, so a paper jam in a line printer gets a warning of what is probably happening.
    • Or SIGFIRE.

  • Wrong agency (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @09:05AM (#36621552)

    Los Alamos, Sandia and Lawrence Livermore all belong to the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), _NOT_ the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Also, isn't Oak Ridge National Lab supposed to be part of that list? Or is it a different section of DOE?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Oak Ridge, and many other labs are part of a different section of the DOE, named the Office of Science.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Thanks I was going to post that I thought that they where DOE labs and not the NSA.

  • OK - this is one of those postings where I ask: which of the links is actually TFA?!
    • The very last one, but even then it's not obvious as the headline is about airplanes fighting the fires, the computer stuff is mentioned in the 3rd paragraph or so.
  • So now I won't have a witness to the fact that my girlfriend is being TOTALLY FUCKING UNREASONABLE when she calls me in the middle of an important design project meeting to complain about some store clerk being rude to her at the supermarket. Just great.

    • Aside from the fact that it wasn't really the NSA (or maybe the DOE eavesdrop)...

      Wouldn't the other people in the important design project meeting be witnesses so such a call? So which isn't real? The meeting or the girlfriend?

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

        Only the NSA could witness, and presumably archive, *both sides* of the conversation. All the people in the meeting hear are "Excuse me, I have to take this" and then some muffled yelling from the hallway. Now there's no one to verify that she's being a total annoying bitch who can't seem to do even the simplest fucking thing without bugging me about it.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Yea right. Don't worry the NSA has enough recordings of you calling for Pizza delivery to your parents basement. Girlfriend and design product meeting. Now that is funny.

  • I see a fire down the road
    Burnin' out of control and I'm like,
    Forget you... /Pity the fool that supercomputes with you...

  • The Department of Energy operates the labs, not the NSA .

    They also need to update their SSL Certificate... I went to go look at the Event Calendar at [] off their main page to see if the Fire was a planned event and wouldn't you know, the Cert expired on 6/2/11.. Doh!

  • Is that why my phone calls stopped making that click noise?
  • Keep it busy, or it may get bored, start looking around, and then before you know it we are in a kill all humans scenario.

    Cielo means literally "heaven," but is also commonly translated as "sky."

    • by cpghost ( 719344 )
      An idle supercomputer means running a whole lot of endless loops in under 2 seconds each... in parallel!
      • I set you up with a supercomputer called "sky," a Sky-computer if you will, potentially deciding to end human life, and that's what you come up with?

  • Super or not if they are idle give them the boot... It sends a message to the rest of the computers that they may be next.

  • I read that as "NSA fires idle supercomputer"

    Too bad stupidcomputer, should have kept busy while the economy was slow!

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll