IBM Reclaims Supercomputer Lead

But stay tuned—supercomputers are getting faster, at an even faster rate

3 min read

LATE LAST YEAR , the news that two heavyweight computers were racing for the title of world's fastest left an excited supercomputing community in suspense. The competition came to an end in November, when the Top500 supercomputer ranking project released its biannual report.

IBM's Blue Gene/L [see photo, " Your Move, Garry"], to be delivered this spring to the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., took the top spot, with a performance of 70.72 teraflops (trillion floating-point operations per second). Silicon Graphics' Columbia, built for NASA and named after the space shuttle lost in 2003, came in second, at 51.87 teraflops. The two machines displaced Japan's famed Earth Simulator to third place after that 35.86-teraflop computer had reigned supreme for two and a half years [see table, " The Top Three Supercomputers"].

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The Spectacular Collapse of CryptoKitties, the First Big Blockchain Game

A cautionary tale of NFTs, Ethereum, and cryptocurrency security

8 min read
Mountains and cresting waves made of cartoon cats and large green coins.
Frank Stockton

On 4 September 2018, someone known only as Rabono bought an angry cartoon cat named Dragon for 600 ether—an amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency worth about US $170,000 at the time, or $745,000 at the cryptocurrency’s value in July 2022.

It was by far the highest transaction yet for a nonfungible token (NFT), the then-new concept of a unique digital asset. And it was a headline-grabbing opportunity for CryptoKitties, the world’s first blockchain gaming hit. But the sky-high transaction obscured a more difficult truth: CryptoKitties was dying, and it had been for some time.

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