RX Vega 56: Laptop versus Server

AMD’s RX Vega 56 8GB GPU is good for more than just cryptocurrency mining. It can produce impressive visuals and high frame rates in the latest PC games when used in an appropriate gaming PC with at least 16 GB RAM and a 4 GHz multi-core CPU like the i7-8700K or Ryzen 7 1700X.

Instead, I’m going to see how well it performs in two inappropriate systems: an ultra-portable laptop, and a dual-socket rack server.

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Accelerated R with CUDA on Linux

The R programming language uses Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms (BLAS) for performing common linear algebra operations such as vector addition, scalar multiplication, dot products, linear combinations, and matrix multiplication. R includes Netlib BLAS by default. Significant performance gains can be achieved by replacing that with a different BLAS library such as OpenBLAS or ATLAS.

Further gains are possible by intercepting certain calls to BLAS with NVIDIA’s NVBLAS. Operations that can benefit from running on a GPU will be automatically redirected to cuBLAS without any modification to your R code.

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AKiTiO Node Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Box

The AKiTiO Node is a 7Kg black metal powered external enclosure for connecting a full-size graphical processing unit (GPU) to any computer with a Thunderbolt 3 port. The front 12cm fan can be removed to make room for a water cooling radiator. The carry handle helps it to be more portable than a full tower PC, although it is bigger in real life than it seems in photos.

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Scientific consensus: Earth’s climate is warming

NOTE: This is a mirror of the page climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus on 2016-12-16, posted here for safe keeping.

Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record. Data sources: NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Met Office Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit and the Japanese Meteorological Agency.
Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record. Data sources: NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Met Office Hadley Centre/Climatic Research Unit and the Japanese Meteorological Agency.

Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.
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TCCON

The Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) is a global network of instruments that measure the amount of carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and other trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. There are two TCCON instruments in Australia: Darwin and Wollongong (and one nearby in Lauder, New Zealand).

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Visualising OCO-2 XCO2 in R with DeltaRho

NASA JPL’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) was launched into sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth on July 2, 2014. It carries 3 grated spectrometers for measuring the spectrum of sunlight reflected off the surface of the earth, which is used to calculate the average concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the column of atmosphere beneath the satellite (XCO2). It takes 16 days to provide full coverage of the Earth’s surface.

I am using the R packages datadr and Trelliscope from the DeltaRho project (formerly called Tessera.io) to explore and visualise the XCO2 observations from the OCO-2 Level 2 Lite version 7R data product.

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Installing every CRAN package in R on CentOS 7

Step 1: Install CentOS 7 Linux.

Some R packages will not install without an active X window session, so if you are not logged in to a graphical interface on the machine you will need to connect via SSH with X-forwarding enabled, such as with PuTTY and VcXsrv on Windows.

Most of this guide must be run from the Linux terminal as the user who will be running R. That user must be allowed to run commands as root with sudo.

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Onion routing explained

When you visit a website on your computer or mobile device, you are potentially sharing that information with advertisers, hackers, co-workers and governments. Even though the content you are viewing is likely to be encrypted with HTTPS, your metadata (including the URL and IP address of websites you visit, your IP address, the time and date, information about your web browser and computer hardware) can be collected and stored by anyone eavesdropping on the wire between you and the web server, to be used against you in targeted advertising campaigns, phishing scams, profiling, and soon robot assassination.

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