From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Already more than a million people from Maine to Virginia have lost electricity because of the storm. And in one case, as we heard a few minutes ago, the utility Consolidated Edison took the unusual step of cutting off power to parts of lower Manhattan. By the time the storm is over, more than 10 million homes and businesses in the eastern U.S. could lose electricity. That's according to the utility industry.
Cray employees put the finishing touches on Titan at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The supercomputer may be the world's fastest. It's designed to do 20 petaflops — or 20,000 trillion calculations — each second. It consumes enough electricity to power a small city of 9,000 people.
Credit Courtesy of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
U.S. Energy Secretary Chu stands inside a 3-D imaging "cave," which simulates the inside of a nuclear reactor. The cave, powered by the supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, helps scientists to process, view and understand enormous amounts of data visually.
Credit Courtesy of Nvidia
A Cray employee organizes the processors used to build Titan. To accelerate its processing power and conserve energy, Titan uses GPUs — graphics processing units. These chips were originally developed for the video game industry.
Credit Steve Henn / NPR
Eric Lee plays a massively multiplayer online game at Euphnet, a cybercafe for gamers in Sunnyvale, Calif. The $30 billion video game industry is driving new, faster chip designs that are now powering some of the world's most powerful supercomputers.
Credit Courtesy of Nvidia
The Nvidia Tesla K20 GPU Accelerator powers the new Titan supercomputer. Its design is based on chips built for gaming.
The world's fastest supercomputers have come back to the U.S. In June, the title was claimed by a machine named Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore Labs. Monday, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, what could be an even faster computer comes online. It's called Titan and it would not have been possible were it not for the massive market for video games.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:27 pm
Doug Smith and his girlfriend Trenor Bender thought the worst of Hurricane Sandy had passed them by when they looked out the windows in the wee hours today. At their rental home, three rows back from the beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, there was no water in the yard at all at 3:30 this morning. But that didn't last.
"When I woke up, I couldn't believe it," says Smith of the view just a few hours later, "I saw this sheet of water on the ground."
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:32 am
There's big news in the world of publishing: The two conglomerates that own Random House and Penguin announced Monday that they were merging their book businesses to form a new company.
German media company Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, will own 53 percent of the new firm, Penguin Random House; Pearson, which owns Penguin, will control the rest. The merger, subject to regulatory approval, is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2013.
A poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center shows that President Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days after the first presidential debate.
The poll shows that among likely voters, the race is now a statistical dead heat with both Obama and Mitt Romney receiving 47 percent support. Among registered voters there is what Pew calls a "statistically insignificant two-point edge" of 47 percent to 45 percent for Obama.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:12 pm
Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.
More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:33 pm
When smoking is banned in bars and workplaces, the number of people who suffer heart attacks and die drops within months, according to two new studies.
They found benefits not only in saving lives, but in lowering the cost of medical care for heart attacks, stroke and other smoking-related illnesses. It's the best evidence yet demonstrating big, swift health improvements when secondhand smoke is banished.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, dependency and the role of government.
And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
The rest of the government may have been shut down for the hurricane, but not the U.S. Supreme Court.
The justices were in court Monday to consider a challenge to the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. The new law broadly expanded the government's ability to conduct large-scale monitoring of international phone calls and emails to and from people in the United States.