IBM makes supercomputer significantly smarter than cat

This is amazing.

the group’s massively parallel cortical simulator, C2, now has the ability to simulate a brain with about 4.5 percent the cerebral cortex capacity of a human brain, and significantly more brain capacity than a cat.

The IBM researchers endowed the model with checkpoint-based state-saving capabilities, so that the simulation can be rewound to certain states and then moved forward again under different conditions. They also have the facility for generating MPG movies of different aspects of the virtual brain in operation, movies that you could also generate by measuring an animal’s brain but at much lower resolutions. There’s even a virtual EKG, which lets the researchers validate the model by comparing it to EKGs from real brains.

As the total amount of memory in the model scales, the number of neurons and synapses that can be simulated scales roughly linearly, also [which means] that a future version of Blue Gene with two or three orders of magnitude more memory (and associated bandwidth and processing power) will be able to simulate an entire human brain.

The model also exhibits “strong scaling,” which means that increases in the amount of memory per CPU enable them to run the model faster, so that it will eventually be able to simulate a cortex in real time.

More info here.

Enterprise Issue Tracking for One Person: Me

Did you know that Things is made for personal task management with a focus on Getting Things Done. It’s $50.

Did you know that Jira is made for enterprise issue tracking and project management. It’s $10.

Well, it’s $10 if you have less than 10 users, otherwise it’s $1200! Luckily, I am only 1 person. I purchased it so fast it’d make you vomit.


Until today, I’ve been using Things for all of my personal tasks and projects. I currently have 18 projects that I’m working on, ranging from self improvement, to software projects, to this blog, to my wife’s cancer. Twelve of those 18 projects are software projects I’m working on to some degree. Projects like WPSearchMu, WelcomeToYourMac, it’s related and upcoming iPhone app, Columizer, etc. Because I have so many projects, it means I have to be exacting and purposeful with every spare moment. If i have an hour to spare to work on something, I need the vast majority of that hour to be spent productively and not spent just getting caught up on where I am in the project.

In Things, every task looks the exact same. There’s no difference between high priority blocker issues and low priority nice-to-haves. There’s no easy way to sort, filter, or graph my progress. Since Things isn’t web based, I can’t easily track any tasks I’ve delegated to other people. It doesn’t integrate with svn, so when a bug gets reopened it’s hard enough to see it’s svn history that I don’t even try. Don’t get me wrong, Things is great for personal tasks and todo lists, but for software management it sucks – as well it should, since that’s not what it was designed for! I generally take the path of least resistance, and Things has served me well until lately, but I need something bigger.


Some of my projects are hosted on Google Code, but their issue tracker is lacking, to say the least. It gets the job done and that’s it. It’s only¬†integrated with svn for mere months. It’s young and simple. Even better, only some of my projects are on Google Code, so it can’t solve my entire issue tracking problem anyways. Even if it could, it’s not even possible to filter my combined issues from all of my Google Code projects. Projects are too silo’d and the system is too young.

Bugzilla was another option. I’ve heard good things about it, but I’ve never used it to any meaningful degree, and I really don’t want to spend time setting up and learning a new system that might fit by needs but might not. The risk/reward/time-spent equation just didn’t do it for me.

Jira saves the day. I use Jira every day at Jive, and it’s a fantastic issue tracker. Until yesterday I thought it cost thousands of dollars to implement – which is true if you’re more than 10 people. But only $10 for 1 user for an enterprise level issue tracker that I’m already comfortable with? Done. I can setup projects, components for those projects, custom fields for tasks, custom filters, priority and status, and it integrates with svn so my checkins and and the bug report are all in the same place. It cuts down the time I spend organizing and tracking, and gives me a solid bird’s eye view into how far along my projects are and what tasks are next. Since it’s web based, I can make a project public so that anyone can file bugs for any of my projects. Best of all, it’s what I already use at Jive so I’m already comfortable with the system. This will undoubtedly make me more productive, and I’m psyched.

Take Away

If you’re an engineer, and you need an issue tracker for your projects, I highly suggest spending the $10 and installing a copy of Jira on your server. If you have non-engineering stuff you want to get done too, I highly suggest Things. I love Things – I dunno what I’d do w/o the iPhone app – and I’m absolutely keeping it around for my non-engineering task lists. Everything engineering is going in Jira.

Also, the currently selection of Jira apps for the iPhone makes puppies cry. I’ll pay good money for a solid Jira app. Someone please build it.

WelcomeToYourMac iPhone Beta!

I’m excited to finally be asking for beta testers for the WelcomeToYourMac iPhone app!

WelcomeToYourMac lets you remotely access your Mac from any web browser. You can browse files, control your screen, stream your media, and more! This iPhone app is just the first step to offering all of WTYM’s functionaity natively on the iPhone.

Version 1.0 of the iPhone app will let you:

  1. Connect to one or more of you Macs
  2. Browse the files on your computer – even external drives!
  3. View your files and stream your media
  4. Preview .rtf, .html, .pdf, .doc, etc files
  5. Spotlight search to find exactly the file you need!
  6. Uses the icons from your Mac – even custom icons!
  7. Images use thumbnails for their icon!
  8. Music and movies use embeded artwork for icon!

WTYM must be installed on your Mac to power the web services that feed the iPhone app.

I need people who will:

  1. Give feedback on the setup process
  2. Find broken stuff
  3. Wishlist of new features
  4. Tell me what’s awesome
  5. Tell me what’s not awesome

Give me a shout via email / comments if you want to be a part of the beta, and I’ll get back to you asap with next steps.

Screenshots below to whet your appetite.

Browse FilesSpotlight Search Your Mac

Google Author link
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