The United Kingdom invests roughly $A2 billion (!) into weather and climate supercomputing–not sure how I missed this 2021 announcement. Makes the nickle and diming of the BoM’s capability–hardware, computational capability and modelling capability–look rather poor.

DALL-E rendering of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Deep Thought.

Then the UK government may allocate around $A1.5 billion for an exascale supercomputer. As the Independent Report of The Future of Compute, delivered to the UK government in March 2023, argues, compute is foundational to all citizens’ lives and essential for achieving national aspirations for science, technology and economic growth. Sponsored research suggests that the return on investment in HPC ‘is very high and can reach $[US]507 dollars in sales revenues per dollar invested in HPC, and $[US]47 dollars in profits or cost savings per dollar invested in dedicated strategic HPC activities.’ 

Expected to make at best five flights, Ingenuity, Perseverence’s helicopter scout on Mars, has completed its fiftieth.’ Two things stand out for me: First, ‘much of the 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) chopper was built using off-the-shelf smartphone processors and cameras.’ Second, the value, and benefits of, being able to upgrade its software to manage more difficult environments.

Augmented reality gets in the way: the US Army’s new goggles, the Integrated Visual Augmentation Systems, degrades performance. AR/VR may look cool, but the physical and physiological issues–bulk, weight, disorientation, etc–shouln’t be underestimated.

Thai Army hacker steals, seeks to sell, data collected through the Thai COVID app, Mor Prom.

Law enforcement is breaking through the anonymity of cryptocurrency: ‘“If there’s one thing the blockchain does really well, it preserves evidence perfectly”’. (WSJ report.)

A Wired piece on Chinese surveillance technologies, abuse and racial profiling. ‘…face-to-face with “the banality of evil”—bland technical manuals for an automated system of brutality.’ And ‘[t]he ever present masters in his cell were three security cameras.’

Jailbreaking large language models (Wired). Meantime, OpenAI has announced a bug bounty program.

Indian democracy continues its slide. ‘The Indian government on 6 April announced a state-run fact-checking unit that will have sweeping powers to label any piece of information related to the government as “fake, false or misleading” and have it removed from social media.’