On Reconsideration, Tax Court Disallows Son-of-BOSS Tax Shelter Again (AD Investment 2000 Fund LLC, TCM)

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportThe Tax Court has vacated a previous holding in favor of the IRS in light of a post-decision challenge by the taxpayer to one of the IRS’s expert witnesses and, on reconsideration, has reached the same conclusion. The court previously disallowed tax benefits generated by a Son-of-BOSS tax shelter (AD Investment 2000 Fund LLC, 110 TCM 471, Dec. 60,452(M), TC Memo. 2015-223), relying on testimony of several expert witnesses for both parties. It was later discovered that one witness had lied about his qualifications.The court previously held that the IRS properly ignored two limited liability companies (LLCs) created and used by a tax-shelter promoter seeking to avoid taxation and the IRS’s final partnership administrative adjustment (FPAA) was sustained. The promoter controlled six corporations, all of which had low-basis assets and substantial built-in gains. He caused the corporations to sell their assets, thus giving rise to recognized gains. To eliminate the resulting tax liability, he had each corporation engage in a “foreign currency investment strategy” (FXIS) which is a variant of the once-popular “Son-of-BOSS” tax shelter scheme. The IRS identified FXIS transactions as a type of abusive tax shelter in Notice 2000-44, 2000-2 CB 255.In its original opinion, the court determined that the evidence overwhelmingly showed that the LLCs were created, and the option spread transactions were executed, exclusively for tax avoidance purposes: (1) the architect behind the LLCs and the transactions at issue openly advertised the strategy as a way to generate tax losses; (2) the LLCs themselves engaged in no transactions besides the economic equivalent of putting money in a bank; (3) each corporation joined and resigned from the LLCs within the year; (4) participating in the transactions caused each corporation to completely offset what otherwise would have been a substantial tax liability; and (5) if foreign currency investing and diversification were the goal, there were simpler alternatives with a higher probability of generating profit.Only findings (2) and (5) relied on the later-discredited witness. After looking solely at the testimony of other witnesses, the court affirmed its findings and reached the same conclusions.Ad Investment 2000 Fund LLC, TC Memo. 2016-226, Dec. 60,758(M)Other References:Code Sec. 6231CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶37,849.45Tax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC PART: 9,112last_img read more

Media Restaurant Week Returns April 3-15

first_imgHungry for a deal? The April edition of Media Restaurant Week arrives this weekend.With a geographic footprint of less than one square mile, Media may be compact, but the county seat of Delaware County makes up for in value and charm what it might lack in square mileage. From April 3 through 15, 14 restaurants in the Delaware County town serve up sweet bargains via $30 three- to five-course dinners, depending on the restaurant, of course.No matter what kind of fare you fancy, participating restaurants ought to satisfy whatever craving you’re having for dinner. Visit Diego’s Cantina & Tequila Bar or Dos Gringos for Mexican eats; Azie Restaurant for Asian plates; Spasso Italian Grill for pasta and veal parmigiana and more.In addition to dinner deals, visitors can score free parking after 5 p.m. For more, check out Visit Philly’s guide to the town of Media. Media Restaurant WeekWhen:April 3-15 Where:Media, Media Cost:$30 plus tax and tip visitmediapa.comlast_img read more

Columbia native dies in crash

first_imgA Saturday afternoon crash has taken the life of a Columbia woman.Investigators say Jordan Hoyt was driving a car on West Boulevard when a vehicle driven by Lukas Evans crashed into it. Evans allegedly tried to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone. Police say Evans had been involved in an earlier crash at Stadium Boulevard and West Boulevard, where he fled from the scene.Both drivers were taken to the hospital. Hoyt, 37, was pronounced dead. No word about criminal charges yet.(This story was last updated at 8:27 a.m. Monday.)last_img

GOP senators line up against Trump’s Mexico tariff plan

first_img(AP) – Republican senators are declaring deep opposition to President Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs on all goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico. But it’s unclear they have the votes to stop him, and Trump said they’d be “foolish” to try.All sides, including officials from Mexico meeting with Trump negotiators in Washington this week, remain hopeful that high-level talks will ease the president away from his threat. But with the tariffs set to start next Monday, fellow Republicans in Congress warned the White House they are ready to stand up to the president.The public split and looming standoff over 5% tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico revealed a fundamental divergence in values between the president and his party.last_img

Former local teacher sentenced for stalking student

first_imgA local teacher pleads guilty to stalking a student.Teneil Stevenson, 36, got a three-year prison sentence this week with no shot at probation.The Jefferson City man admitted to sending intimate social media messages to a 14-year-old Fulton student in 2018 on Snapchat. Stevenson used to coach there, but was working in the Southern Boone district at the time.last_img

Former President Jimmy Carter enters hospital for surgery

first_img(AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was going into surgery Tuesday morning at Emory University Hospital to relieve pressure on his brain, his spokeswoman said.The procedure is meant to resolve bleeding due to his recent falls, Deanna Congileo said in a statement.Carter has fallen at least three times this year. The first incident, in the spring, required hip replacement surgery. He hit his head falling again on Oct. 6 and received 14 stitches, but still traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to help build a Habitat for Humanity home shortly thereafter. And he was briefly hospitalized after fracturing his pelvis on Oct. 21.Carter also received a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015, announcing that melanoma had spread to his liver and brain. He was treated with radiation and immunotherapy, and later said he was cancer-free.Nearly four decades after his presidency, and despite a body that’s failing after 95 years, the nation’s oldest-ever ex-president still teaches Sunday school roughly twice a month at Maranatha Baptist Church in his tiny hometown of Plains in southwest Georgia. His message is unfailingly about Jesus, not himself.Rev. Tony Lowden, Carter’s pastor, said the ex-president was hospitalized Monday on what he called “a rough day.”“We just need the whole country to be in prayer for him,” Lowden said in a telephone interview.The church has announced that Carter will not be teaching his Sunday school class this week.Carter is resting comfortably, and his wife, Rosalynn, is with him, Congileo said.last_img read more

Murder trial starts for man tied to 2018 Waffle House killing

first_imgThe trial was set to start Tuesday morning for a man tied to a killing at a Columbia Waffle House.Matthew McMillan, 31, is not the guy who shot and killed Anthony Warren at the restaurant on Vandiver on New Year’s Day of 2018. He’s still charged with second degree murder and more.Court documents say McMillan pulled a gun during a fight. A security guard showed up to stop the fight, but shot and killed Warren even though Warren was apparently not involved.Prosecutors say Warren’s death would not have happened if McMillan had not pulled his gun. He pleaded not guilty.last_img

Introduction to Out of Band Management 7.0

first_imgThe release of the Notification Server 7.0 platform will provide a new design and infrastructure.  Out of Band Management will also provide a new release with this platform.  First I’ll provide a brief description of what Out of Band Management is used for.  This article will also cover the differences between the 6.2 version of Out of Band and version 7.0.  The changes include UI improvements, relabeling to be in line with current Intel terms, and the addition of limited Dash support.INTRODUCTIONOut of Band Management 7.0 allows an administrator or IT Professional to setup and configure several protocol technologies for use in the greater Notification Server infrastructure, or even any other solution that supports the protocols handled by Out of Band Management.  The supported technologies are:Intel AMT (Active Management Technology) or vProASF (Alerts Standard Format) primarily from BroadcomDASH technology support (open architecture) The problems associated with this are when systems are not configured within that 24-hour cycle they need to be acted upon to get the needed information to the server for configuration. Management Presence Server – (MPS) This is the secure gateway CIRA technology will use to connect securely with the network where the NS resides for remote management from anywhere on the Internet.Remote Access Policies – In relation to the above MPS, this policy dictates how CIRA connections are handled by the Notification Server.Trusted Root Certificates – Also in relation to MPS, these are required to establish so that trust can be formed from the calling AMT system, the MPS, and the Notification Server. The upper left-hand pane shows a list of setting groups that will enable a user to go through those steps necessary to enable or complete Out of Band setup and configurations.  Please note the following items and what they can be used for:Configuration Service Settings – This provides all the nodes that are used in the Setup and Configuration process for AMT.Basic Configuration (without TLS) – This takes you through the process of setting up Configuration where TLS will not be used in the Configuration Profile (not to be confused with Remote Configuration TLS).  See this screenshot for the way the steps are setup:Enable Remote Configuration – This walks you through setting up the Notification Server to accept Configuration requests using TLS certificates.  Note that 2.6, 3.0+ AMT systems are automatically configured to send out requests using this method.Enable Security (TLS) – This walks you through setting up the Notification Server to use TLS when managing AMT systems.Intel AMT Tasks – This is a quick area that reveals the Task Server tasks that directly utilize AMT.Configure Site Server – This is a link that opens the Site Server Configuration page as part of the Notification Server Platform.  This is available here because OOB has a Site Service that can be deployed to Site Servers. The greater focus is on Intel’s AMT technology.  Using the provided configuration pieces with Out of Band, systems with the above technologies can be configured to respond to functions called from either the RTSM interface or via Task Server.  Once configured, the Notification Server is a trusted entity to the local systems and all available functions are available.More information can be found by browsing through the articles generated on Out of Band Management 6.x at http://www.symantec.com/community/intel.Terms/Term changesIt’s important to understand the changes in terminology and labeling so the transition from 6.2 to 7.0 Out of Band Management goes smoothly.  This section will also help explain the naming scheme for Out of Band Management.  The following list provides the term, and the previous label (if different), and a brief description:Configuration, AKA Setup and Configuration – Previous term: Provisioning – Intel has standardized on using Configuration as the term for activating a vPro system.  This more aligns with what is occurring and avoids confusion with basic industry understanding of what provisioning means (putting an OS on the system).  NOTE: Since this word is used throughout documentation for 6.x it is important to understand the change!TLS – Transport Layer Security can be considered the next generation of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).  It’s used in 2 sections of Configuration: Remote Configuration authentication, and TLS within the Configuration Profile.Remote Configuration – This specifically means the process for automatic Configuration via the handshake with a TLS certificate, usually purchased from Verisign, GoDaddy, Comodo. Domains – Allows the ability to configure AMT to operate in more than one Domain.Remote Access – This ties directly to the Remote Access Policies found under the Auxiliary Profiles node.  Edits here will take effect in both places. Resending of Hello Packets – While the 3.0 version of Out of Band had the ability to send Hello packets using the Delayed Provisioning (AKA Delayed Configuration) task, it did not have the ability to send PSK (pre shared keys) packets if the 24 hour cycle of the hello packets sequence expires.  This functionality was also added to verison 3.2.1 of Intel SCS. Intel SCSThe component that Out of Band Management plugs into has not changed between versions.  Intel SCS (Setup and Configuration Services) is still the backbone of Out of Band, and handles all the transactions between the server and the remote Intel AMT clients during the Configuration process.  Please note that management functions of AMT are NOT handled by Intel SCS.  SCS stands for only the Configuration process, including maintenance and reconfiguration tasks (for example for profile updates) as part of maintaining the configured state.Out of Band Management 6.2 used Intel SCS version 3.0 (or 3.2.1 per the Knowledgebase article found at this location: https://kb.altiris.com/article.asp?article=40076&p=1Opens in a new window).  Intel SCS version 5.0 ships with Out of Band Management.  While the UI does not reveal all the additional capabilities, SCS 5.0 comes with a tool called Activator.  This utility can handle a number of scenarios that were sticky points in the previous versions of Out of Band and Intel SCS.  The abilities include the following:FQDN Name Change – The Activator, when run on the local AMT system, can tell AMT to send updated information to Intel SCS on its FQDN.  This is especially important if the FQDN has changed in Windows, thus changing the identity of the machine.center_img The remaining nodes under the Configuration Service Settings folder are the same between versions 6.2 and 7.0.Delayed Setup and Configuration – Formerly known as Delayed Provisioning, this has been renamed to fit the proper naming convention.  It also no longer has its own folder, but can be found under the Intel® AMT Systems folder above the Intel AMT Systems node.The following screenshot shows the layout of the console: The problems associated with this are the failure of AMT systems to authenticate using TLS due to FQDN sensitivity if enabled, and also the inability of Intel SCS to contact back a system whose FQDN has changed. As a note, Site Servers allow distribution of Out of Band functions across the environment, and helps alleviate any problems with large rollouts involving a large amount of Configuration.  This brings us closer to having true hierarchy support with Out of Band Management.UI ChangesThose who are familiar with Out of Band Management 6.2 can use this section to find corresponding functions, configuration pages, and utilities when upgrading to Out of Band 7.0.  If you are unfamiliar with this version skip to the next section.Out of Band Management looks much the same as it did in 6.2, with some notable exceptions.  The following items cover the differences between the two.  The method used to reach the console area for Out of Band Management is as follows: Browse down through Settings > All Settings > in the left-hand tree browse down through Remote Management > Out of Band Management.  The three subfolders are by the same name as they were in 6.2, lacking the fourth folder: Delayed Provisioning.*Provisioning > Configuration – I called this out previously in this article but with my experience the double-exposure is necessary.  In reference to managing vPro AMT systems, consider the previously used term Provisioning to now be Configuring, or Provision to now be Configuration.  If you’re like me and have the word provisioning ingrained in your mind, it will take some getting used to.Auxiliary Profiles – Three new nodes have been added to this folder.  They are described below: Configuration Profiles – Formerly known as Provision Profiles.  The following items have been added as tabs within the profile configuration.  Descriptions of the items are supplied as well: The above two functions can be utilized by sending Activator down using a Delivery Software job in the Software Management Solution.ConclusionHopefully this introduction will help those familiar with Intel vPro, and especially familiar with Out of Band Management in the Notification Server 6.0 infrastructure, to understand the changes and functions in version 7.0 of Out of Band Management.  In depth articles will be generated in the future to cover some of the new features such as the MPS and CIRA functionality. Out of Band PortalOut of Band Management now has a Portal page that provides access to most function from a user-friendly UI.  It’s accessed in the Symantec Management Console by going to Home > Remote Management > and click on Out of Band Management.  The following screenshot shows a view of the portal:last_img read more

Information Security Spartans are Fighting in the Shade

first_img Other Related Blogs: The hard truth of anti-virus Place emphasis on security controls which will interdict those threats likely to adversely affect your environment and cause unacceptable loss Apply a defense in depth structure to predict those methods which likely would succeed in your environment and then invest in preventative controls to close those vulnerabilities Minimize your exposure footprint by keeping up with the best common security practices Depth of the structure must also provide a detection and response capability as eventually some arrows will penetrate the first lines of defense.  Being able to quickly identify problems and restore services is imperativecenter_img Facing endless waves of malware may seem insufferable.  But being armed with well chosen controls, veteran experience, and a good security strategy, will make fighting in the shade a little easier. Avoid the inefficient treadmill of trying to protect from every arrow.  It will divert resources and prove to be an unavoidable distraction With well over 1 million pieces of malware discovered each month, security Spartans are fighting in the shade.  Borrowing a timeless quote from the brave warrior Dienekes, it appropriately conveys how modern information security professionals are committed to an enormous ongoing battle that may not be as pointless and depressing as the sheer numbers suggest.Today’s modern electronic battlefield is strewn with weak operating systems, buggy software, and users who don’t act in their best interest to maintain security.  An army of attackers are constantly on the prowl for new ways to exploit systems, users, and data.  Every day they uncover a wealth of potentially new weaknesses and in turn develop thousands of ways to tap these opportunities for their crooked benefit.  These arrows of malware come raining down in the millions and can seem overwhelming to the security defenders manning the front lines.History teaches us a lesson.  In Dienkes time, foot soldiers did not need to fear all arrows in a barrage, only those few which would land near or on them.  Knowing they would stand in harm’s way, they came prepared with well chosen equipment, training, and a good strategy.  In this way the Spartans earned the reputation of a highly efficient and effective fighting force, regardless of the opposition’s size.  Those principles resonate with today’s battle against computer malware and the vulnerabilities they exploit.  Information security organizations must apply the same basic thinking to find a balance between applicable controls and the risks of likely attacks, in order to maintain an optimal level of security.Although millions of malware samples are discovered every year, many represent a low or negligible risk to even a modestly secure environment.  Here are some recommendations to tighten up your battle ranks:last_img read more

Small Business and IT: Cori and Emily Help You Do More with Less

first_imgBusinesses of all sizes are under more and more pressure to increase their productivity.  The economic slowdown and gradual recovery means that many companies are reluctant to expand their workforce or make large capital investments – even if their business is growing. At the same time, small businesses are looking at ways to increase their focus on profitable customers. How to make this happen without breaking the bank? IT tools that improve employee productivity.Many small businesses already know this. Productivity was the top reason given for new PC purchases in 2009 (AMI partners Q1’10).  But what does “productivity” mean for a small business environment?Get work done in more places. According to a 2009 Yankee Group study, 50% of US SMB employees are mobile (defined as spending at least 20% of their time away from the office)Get work done faster. More and more businesses require compute-intensive applications such as video conferencing, video editing, and business intelligence software.Get work done in new ways. IT systems must be able to efficiently run the increasing burden of concurrent applications, from running multiple flash-based websites to monitoring system security and performing on-demand data encryption and backup.One area often overlooked by small businesses who want to increase their productivity is the back-end of their IT environment: the server. (We know you’re already in the “Server Room”– so this should come as no surprise).  An Intel® Xeon® processor-based server may look similar to a desktop, but under the hood it’s a whole different story. Transition from a 4+ year old desktop processor-based server to a server based on the entry-level Intel® Xeon® Processor 3400 series and you’ll get a system that’s more than three times faster and 1.8 times more energy efficient.Our entry-level Intel® Xeon® processors are designed to improve system performance while multi-tasking and during compute-intensive usage while increasing your productivity while working remotely. In simple terms, with Intel you can take your small business IT solutions to new levels. But don’t just take it from us. Watch the video below to see what another SMB (alright, it’s a school) was able to accomplish with a server upgrade. We want to know how you are increasing your productivity in these difficult times. What is stopping you from updating to the latest hardware?  If you want to make over your IT environment but need help getting started, why not ask a professional? Intel® Tech Pros are authorized Intel® resellers that are experts in connecting small businesses with the latest computing innovations. Located in your community, Intel Tech Pros are an excellent resource for systems, parts and services.And speaking of IT makeovers, watch this blog for more information on how you can win one for FREE!last_img read more

Transforming Intel IT’s Data Centers

first_imgWe recently formulated a new data center strategy to help us deliver improved IT services at lower cost.  At the center of our strategy is a new decision making model called “Model of Record”.  This model is based on an approach Intel uses in its highly regarded and world-class Manufacturing environment.  We benchmark each of our data centers against a best achievable model which allows us to address the gaps that deliver the greatest improvements in velocity, quality, efficiency, and capacity.In this paper we also describe a new set of key performance indicators and a new unit-costing model that better assesses and identifies where to deploy new technologies to deliver the greatest return on investment.  The 3 key goals we are striving towards include: 80% effective resource utilization across our environment, 10% annual improvement in cost efficiency, and meeting a tiered service-level agreement model.Learn more about our new data center strategy in this white paper.@ajayc47last_img read more

HP and Intel Launch Itanium 9500!

first_imgI believe the latest announcement by Intel and the continuedproduct development by HP is proof that Itanium is not dead and that customerscontinue to rely on standards based solutions to meet their most missioncritical needs.  I remember writing copy for an Itanium product brief tenyears ago (anyone remember “Madison” with 6MB cache?) and am just as excitedabout Itanium as I was then.   And even more excited about what Xeonbrings to the mix.  Stay tuned for more on this, but in the meantime,enjoy the buzz that Itanium 9500 will bring! You can always find out more by visiting www.intel.com/itanium and….Stay tuned for more from Intel & HP at Discover inDecember! Visit www.hp.com/discoverand sign up for Session ID:  PSS2360 and visit Intel at Booth #101 Can you guess how many transistors are in the latest Intel®Itanium® processor family?  3.1 billion.  That is the highest numberof transistors in any CPU today.  That number reflects the complexity of aCPU and thus the capabilities a system can bring to the datacenter environment.That is not the only reason we are excited about the November 8th launchof the new Itanium.  We are excited about the solutions this processorenables and the ecosystem that is supporting it.  The Itanium 9500processor family is THE Mission Critical solution that offers enterprises veryhigh levels of performance, reliability and scalability.  HP – a long standing partner – will be shipping itsIntegrity systems powered by this new processor.  The Integrity classincludes a range of products from the high end Superdome to blade solutions toentry class servers that can help the enterprise harness, process and protectthe massive amounts of mission critical data.  Applications from leadingsoftware vendors that manage your company’s CRM, DB and other day-to-dayprocesses that drive revenue and customer satisfaction are run on systems poweredby the Itanium processor family.   The Itanium processor family has seen its share of naysayers,but customers around the world continue to use this technology, so much so thatit is a $3.2B industry, which is larger than the annual revenue stream of someof organizations.  Intel has also announced that the future generations ofthe Itanium processors starting with Intel Itanium processor codenamed Kittson,will share a common platform with the future Xeon E7 processor family based onIvy Bridge architecture, including chipsets, interconnects and industrystandard memory.  last_img read more

The Titans of HP Discover

first_imgThree of the biggest names in tech – HP President and CEO, Meg Whitman, Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, and Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella – sat down with New York Times Columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Thomas Friedman for the HP Discover keynote on Wednesday, June 11th to discuss the future of technological innovation. Whitman commented that it was the first time all three had been together in a public forum. Whitman started the keynote by showing how consumer and commercial sides of the business are merging before showing off what is, for now, called “The Machine.” It will attempt to bring new computing architecture to market by the end of the decade under a non-volatile or “universal memory” system and allow for storage capacity in the realm of 100TB on a device as small as a smartphone. The long-term plan has many components too detailed to outline in this post, but the processing power of the future is no doubt impressive. After the new product tease, Friedman took the stage and said that history will look back to see the most important early 21st century innovation as the merger of globalization and the IT movement. He sees humanity going from a connected to a hyper-connected world, and inter-connected society to an inter-dependent one. Friedman’s predication follows the tone of his 2005 book The World Is Flat, but he quickly noted how much has changed in the last 8 years since the books publication. Facebook, for example, wasn’t a ubiquitous part of our lives. Trending IT topics such as big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) weren’t even on the map. IoT dominated much of the discussion and highlighted just how important collaboration between the three companies will continue to be. “Microsoft and Intel are critical partners for HP,” said Whitman. “No company is an island.” Krzanich echoed these sediments, noting that today Intel works much more closely with partners to understand how software works in conjunction with hardware at every level, instead of simply shipping microchips out to be put into PCs. “IoT makes the world flatter,” said Krzanich, in a callback to Friedman’s book. Krzanich talked about how the advancements of tablets and smartphones will seem minuscule compared to the exciting new things that will come out of the IoT over the next 5-10 years. “The unknown unknowns will be truly Earth shattering,” he said, predicting that when all the various data points are connected that we’ll be able to see what things are harming us or slowing us down that we didn’t even know. “We can solve real problems when we pool this data together,” he said.Though the future of IoT is bright, it’s not a completely rosy path. “The existing way we do compute won’t scale when it comes to IoT,” remarked Whitman. Friedman asked how each company saw it fitting into the explosion of the IoT, and Intel’s focus is sharp. “We want to make everything smart,” said Krzanich. “We are trying to find silicon that can go into any device or item that you can think of to raise its intelligence level.” Nadella said he saw Microsoft and society as a whole “moving into the more personal computing era,” talking about how all the devices that collect data will then send that data to be merged in the cloud to be analyzed in order to give relevant feedback to users. When Friedman asked what the next big disruption would be, Krzanich spoke about Intel’s ability to scan his body in less than 2 minutes to be sent to a 3D printer. He was visibly excited when saying that in the future, “everyone can become a manufacturer.” Whitman noted a need for a change in energy efficiency in order for disruptions and innovations to continue, stating that if cloud computing as a whole was measured like a country that it would be fifth in overall energy consumption. Friedman’s final question was about how each company saw their environmental obligations. Whitman considered it to be of paramount importance, saying HP’s obligations are “not only how we run our operations, but how we save space and power.” Krzanich agreed, saying Intel is committed to finding out how to do “more computing with less power.” He hopes Intel is a company with a “large footprint that leaves small footsteps in the community we’re in.” Click here to watch the full keynote.last_img read more

Start Your Data Analytics Journey Today With Open Source and Transfer Learning

first_imgTo jumpstart a data analytics program or artificial intelligence solution that will help solve your biggest business challenges, you don’t necessarily need a big upfront investment in equipment, personnel training, or massive data sets. There are some shortcuts you can use to score a quick win and rally your organization around new analytics capabilities, even if they’re initially skeptical about this investment.“Transfer learning” is an AI practice that uses data, deep learning recipes, and models developed for one task and re-applies them to a different, but similar, task. Intel’s neon™ framework makes it easy to modify an existing model with just a two-line code change. Transfer learning, open source deep learning models (often published in a “Model Zoo”), and standard servers based on Intel® Xeon® processors can fast-track your initial AI programs, and accelerate the process to realizing value from your investment.In manufacturing, we see transfer learning used to quickly produce models that can monitor the assembly line to identify noncompliant parts and make necessary adjustments. ImageNet computer vision models are a great starting point for this problem.To create a system that can classify the sentiment of customer data in your business, for example, customer feedback on call center interactions, start with an LSTM sentiment classifier model.  Updating the model with a modest set of labeled examples from your own business will result in a more accurate sentiment classifier customized for your specific problem.A business like Google has millions of training samples. You probably don’t.Vast quantities of readily-available data are great, but it isn’t prerequisite for success. With modern machine learning and deep learning techniques, knowledge acquired by a machine working on one task can be transferred to a new task if the two are somewhat related.For example, it’s true that the best machine vision models have trained on millions of samples, but it is also true that those models can be adapted to new vision problems with very modest amounts of data – perhaps only hundreds of samples. You can do this with data and models that are available as open source (like the ImageNet dataset, and models trained on it), to build your data analytics program.A small data set can do big thingsIntel has worked with Thorn, an organization that leverages technology to fight child sex trafficking, to apply transfer learning to tackle their huge data challenge. With more than 465,676 missing children reported to the FBI in 2016 alone, more than 100,000 escort advertisements posted online every day, and one in six children1 reported missing possible victims of sex trafficking as reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the challenge is to match the images of children in the online escort ads with the pictures of known missing children.Intel helped Thorn take open source models trained on general images of adults, and reuse the system to recognize and match images of trafficking victims. To further improve the ability of Thorn to find trafficking victims, Intel will use transfer learning on  Intel® Xeon® processors to retrain the model. Using a small data set of a thousand victims, we will take what the algorithm could already do, match general images of adults, and repurpose it to apply it to the new problem.The end result will be a powerful system that solves the problem with far more accuracy than if we had built it from the ground up. This will take us hours, not days or weeks, and give us a powerful example of what’s possible with data analytics. You can do the same with data and models that are available as open source (like the ImageNet dataset, and models trained on it), to build your data analytics program.Another thing to keep in mind is that Thorn had a very specific problem to solve that they clearly defined. It wasn’t only that they need to catch the bad guys or to decipher if an image is a known missing child. They were very clear that they needed an AI capability that can tell if two images of a child are the same person, regardless of age differences or other variances. Make sure you define a very specific problem to get the most value from your efforts.Use familiar Intel Xeon platforms for AIPurpose-built AI processors, such as the recently-disclosed Intel® Nervana™ Neural Network Processor, will be fantastic accelerators to future AI deployments, but today, the vast majority of AI runs on familiar, general-purpose Intel Xeon processors. There’s no reason not to get started today on the modern infrastructure you already own or use new Intel Xeon Scalable platforms with optimized software such as TensorFlow*optimizations for Intel® architecture.It’s all about the data, but not necessarily your  dataWhat we can learn from the Thorn example is it’s all about the data, but you don’t need to have huge amounts of your own training data. If you take an open source model and retrain it to fit your new challenge, you can quickly have a data analytics solution to solve your problem, without a big upfront capital expenditure, and all made possible through transfer learning.The Intel® Nervana™ AI Academy is a great place to start, with tools for deep learning training on your existing Intel infrastructure, as well as Intel-optimized frameworks available as open source, including BigDL, Intel® Optimization of Caffe* and TensorFlow*.AI and advanced analytics can sound overwhelming, but with transfer learning techniques, open source models and data, and off-the-shelf Intel Xeon Scalable platforms, you can jump-start your project, score a quick win, and build from there.1 WeAreThorn.orglast_img read more

Intel Omni-Path Architecture Once Again Leads on the Top500

first_imgIntel® Omni-Path Architecture (Intel® OPA) still leads the rankings among 100 Gbps fabrics in the fastest supercomputers in the world1. Continued high installation numbers of Intel OPA illustrate that application performance at customer sites and the price/performance of Intel’s fabric compel decision-makers at the leading research institutions around the world to choose Intel OPA over InfiniBand* EDR.Since the last Top500 listing in June of 2017, Intel OPA has increased another 20 percent in total FLOPS and listings in the top 100 systems2, including:#7 Oakforest-PACS at JCAHPC in Japan, now the fastest supercomputer in Japan#12 Stampede 2 at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at University of Texas in the U.S.#13 MareNostrum at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) in Spain#14 Marconi at CINECA in ItalyAdditionally, Penguin Computing has installed nine Intel OPA-based systems under the CTS-1 program, which appear on the Top500. Overall, Intel OPA claims 40 percent more systems in the top 100 entries on the Top500 list than InfiniBand EDR (100 Gbps)3, and 80 percent of those in the top 20 100 Gbps systems4.Over the last two years, and highlighted in the last six months, decision makers are seeing greater price/performance, value, and raw performance delivered by Intel® Omni-Path Architecture, leading them to choose Intel-based solutions over InfiniBand* architecture.Deeper analysis of the November 2017 Top500 list reveals further positive trends:In terms of delivered performance, 10 percent of total FLOPS from all Top500 supercomputers comes from Intel OPA-connected systems5.Looking at clusters with just 100 Gbps fabrics on the Top500, Intel OPA-based systems deliver a total of 83.4 petaFLOPS, compared to 69.5 petaFLOPS from InfiniBand—that’s 1.2X more petaFLOPS from Intel OPA-connected supercomputers6.Considering that 63.6 percent of servers on the Top500 with 100 Gbps fabrics use Intel OPA, compared to 36.4 percent connected with InfiniBand, those numbers are not surprising7. For a new technology that’s only 18 months out of the launch gate, Intel OPA is making a significant impact on supercomputing.Intel OPA’s leading position highlights that, while the benchmark claims from system integrators and manufacturers are important, in the end, the application performance at the customer’s site and the price/performance are critical to decision makers. It appears that over the last 18 months and highlighted in the last six months, those decision makers are seeing greater price/performance, value, and raw performance delivered by Intel OPA, leading them to choose Intel technology-based solutions over InfiniBand.We are excited to continue Intel OPA’s momentum in 2018 and to help enable optimal HPC performance for more customers. For more information on how Intel Omni-Path Architecture can help your institution or company deliver its next scientific breakthrough, please visit intel.com/omnipath.Performance estimates were obtained prior to implementation of recent software patches and firmware updates intended to address exploits referred to as “Spectre” and “Meltdown.”  Implementation of these updates may make these results inapplicable to your device or system.Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more information go to www.intel.com/benchmarks.1 https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11/2 Based on FLOPS for Intel OPA systems ranked in the top 100 of the November 2017 Top500 List and FLOPS for Intel OPA systems ranked in top 100 of the June 2017 Top500 List and on the number of Intel OPA systems in the top 100 of the November 2017 Top500 List and the number of Intel OPA systems in the top 100 of the June 2017 Top500 List. https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11/, https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/06/3 Based on the number of Intel OPA systems in the top 100 of the November 2017 Top500 List and the number of Infiniband EDR systems in the top 100 of the November 2017 Top500 List. https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11/4 Based on the number of Intel OPA systems in the top 20 100 Gbps systems on the November 2017 Top500 List and the number of Ininiband EDR systems in the top 20 100 Gbps systems on the November 2017 Top500 List. https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11/5 Based on total FLOPS for November 2017 Top500 List Intel OPA systems compared to total FLOPS for all November 2017 Top500 List systems. https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11/6 Based on FLOPS for Intel OPA systems with 100 Gbps fabrics in the November 2017 Top500 list compared to FLOPS for InfiniBand EDR systems with 100 Gbps fabrics in the November 2017 Top500 list. https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11/7 Based on the number of servers for November 2017 Top 500 List Intel OPA systems compared to the number of servers for November 2017 Top 500 List InfiniBand EDR systems. https://www.top500.org/lists/2017/11/last_img read more

What Do U.S. Research Universities Need?

first_imgFour members of Congress have asked the U.S. National Academies to tell it what the government needs to do to keep U.S. academic research strong. A similar 2005 letter spawned the influential Rising Above the Gathering Storm report on how to strengthen the U.S. economy by investing more in research and training of the scientific workforce. Leaders of higher education are hoping that this new report will do the same for their “industry,” which leads the world in producing scientific talent and knowledge but sees its lead eroding.The study owes much to a February meeting between Senator Lamar Alexander (R–TN) and Robert Berdahl, president of the Association of American Universities in Washington, D.C., during which Berdahl stressed the “growing disparity of resources” between leading private and public research universities. The congressional letter (pdf), signed by Alexander and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D–MD) along with the chair and ranking member of the House Science and Technology Committee, does not highlight that disparity but talks more broadly of those institutions being “under stress.” The legislators hint at part of their agenda by describing how the assessment should examine “the relationship, or lack of relationship, of our research universities with other parts of our national research enterprise, including the federally-funded National Laboratories.” They also want the report to look at the “difficulties faced by medical schools and medical centers.” Academies’ spokesperson William Kearney says that the three presidents “are pleased with the letter and will be meeting this summer to discuss how best to carry out the study.” But don’t look for a reprise by the chair of the RAGS report, Norman Augustine. At the request of the White House, the former chair of Lockheed Martin is heading up a panel reviewing the future of NASA. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Texas School Board Sidesteps Intelligent Design Debate

first_imgAn expected showdown between opponents and supporters of teaching creationism in the classroom has been averted in Texas. For now, at least, science textbooks approved by the Texas State Board of Education will not include any materials or references to creationism or intelligent design. In March 2009, the board—dominated by conservatives—adopted science standards that scientists said had opened the door to the teaching of intelligent design (Science, 3 April, p. 25; 12 June, p. 1385). For example, the standards required that students be taught to “analyze and evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.” On Thursday, the board met to discuss new supplemental materials that will be provided to schools to cover the 2009 standards. Among the supplements that had been submitted for the board’s consideration were texts promoting intelligent design, produced by a company called International Databases. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Although these texts had been removed from the lineup a few weeks earlier by a review panel, some board members were expected to lobby for it. However, the board made it clear early in the meeting that the texts were not in contention. Later, the board voted to approve nearly all of the other materials that had passed the prior review. None of the supplements approved contains language that would weaken or challenge the teaching of evolution. The board will hold a final vote today, but nobody is expecting any fireworks.last_img read more

Largest Fishery in Eastern U.S. Gets a Break

first_imgNOAA An important fish for the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem is getting more protection under a new target set today at a meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Menhaden, rich in healthy oils, are used for dietary supplements as well as for fertilizer and animal feed. The decision to lower the allowable catch by 37% is being driven by recent overfishing and recognition of the ecological role of menhaden. It’s seen as a step toward ecosystem-based fisheries management. Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) are small fish in the herring family, which filter-feed on phytoplankton and live at the base of the food web. Historically they were an important source of food for striped bass, osprey, and other predators. But the amount of menhaden available for wildlife has decreased as humans took more. Roughly 200,000 metric tons are caught each year, mostly in Chesapeake Bay by a company called Omega Protein. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) An assessment last year by the ASMFC advisory panel determined that menhaden were being overfished, which meant that the commission was required to take action. The commission has also asked a technical committee to devise a strategy to preserve the ecological role of menhaden. Environmentalists and scientists have lobbied ASMFC to lower the catch significantly, and today the commission did so. It raised the target level for the amount of fish that must remain in the ocean (called the maximum spawning potential) from 8% to 30%. So while people will still get the lion’s share, there will be more menhaden for the rest of the ecosystem. “Today’s decision marks a watershed moment, where the ASMFC embraced the challenge of managing the entire ecosystem, not just one species,” said Peter Baker, director of Northeast Fisheries Program at the Pew Environment Group in a statement. “We look forward to working with the Commission to establish new rules that enforce these targets.”last_img read more

NSF Finds an Icebreaker to Reach McMurdo

first_img After 2 months of negotiations, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has struck a deal with a Russian shipping company to charter a heavy-duty icebreaker to clear a path this winter to the largest U.S. scientific base in the Antarctic. The icebreaker Vladimir Ignatyuk (above), operated by the Murmansk Shipping Company, led the break-in and resupply of McMurdo Station last year after the Swedish government ended a long-standing agreement to lease its icebreaker, the Oden. In May, Murmansk informed NSF that the Ignatyuk would not be available for the 2012-13 season, due to concerns about the ship’s ability to operate safely in the Antarctic pack ice. But on 3 July, NSF announced that it had reached an agreement with Murmansk to charter the Ignatyuk for the coming season after all. “The situation for getting into McMurdo station is a very dynamic one,” says Kelly Falkner, acting director of NSF’s Office of Polar Programs (OPP). “[The ice] goes through cycles.” In some years—including the past two—an icebreaker passing through the Ross Sea and into McMurdo Sound encounters primarily “first-year ice,” which is less stiff than multiyear ice and easier for icebreakers to clear. But for most of the previous decade, the Ross Sea had been choked with multiyear ice after a giant chunk of the Ross Ice Shelf broke off. The Ignatyuk, although smaller and less powerful than the Oden, is fully capable of handling first-year ice conditions, says Falkner. “But it wouldn’t be the ideal choice for a multiyear ice situation.” Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Although the coming year is also looking like a first-year ice scenario, Falkner said the Ignatyuk’s operators had expressed concerns about the possibility that a storm might move ice around. To allay those concerns, NSF hopes to locate additional vessels in the region who would be in a position to assist at the time, should the need arise. “Statistically, the need is limited,” she says. “It’s more of a risk mitigation insurance policy.” No U.S. polar icebreakers are currently available to support McMurdo, the logistics hub for U.S. operations on the southern continent. The Polar Star, a heavy-duty icebreaker operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, has been undergoing extensive renovations and is slated to be operational by the 2013-14 season. NSF has been stockpiling fuel at McMurdo, and the station has enough fuel to continue operations, albeit at a reduced level, through February 2014, Falkner says. “We’re in reasonable shape,” she says. The supply ship arrives at the end of the scientific season, in late January or early February, when there is a minimum of ice, so there is currently plenty of fuel on hand at the station for operations to continue as normal for the 2012-13 season. But the lack of supply would have hampered researchers coming in for the 2013-14 season. “It’s not a 1-year problem,” Falkner says. NSF was prepared to continue to support time-urgent science using only supply planes, if necessary, she adds. The deal comes as a relief to Antarctic researchers transporting large pieces of scientific equipment to the continent. John Priscu, a microbiologist at Montana State University, Bozeman, is leading an equipment-intense effort to drill into the subglacial Whillans Ice Stream this Antarctic summer. “Much of the WISSARD [Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling] drill and associated platforms must be transported from the U.S. to McMurdo this year,” Priscu says. Without an icebreaker to clear a path for the cargo ship to haul in the material, Priscu says, “We were worried that we would be monopolizing all heavy-lift aircraft. We estimated that it would take around 20 flights.” Steve Royce last_img read more

ITER Fixes Problem With Superconductor for Giant Magnets

first_imgTwist and shout. The new short twist pitch cable successfully tested for ITER. Scientists have resolved a technical problem with the giant superconducting magnets of the ITER fusion reactor that threatened the project’s scheduled completion in 2020. After tests showed that the approved design for superconducting cables was showing signs of degradation too soon, samples from a U.S. manufacturer with a different design fared better. But Japan, the ITER partner responsible for manufacturing the cable, went its own way and has developed a cheaper alternative that seems to tick all the boxes. “It’s totally stable. I’m convinced the problem is fully solved,” says ITER technical director Rem Haange. ITER, an international project under construction in France, aims to show it is possible to generate power by fusing hydrogen isotopes together, as happens in the sun and stars. The hydrogen fuel, in the form of a plasma, must be heated to about 150 million°C. Controlling it in that state requires huge and powerful superconducting electromagnets. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) The conductor that has been causing problems is for the central solenoid, a 13.5-meter-high stack of six coils in the center of the reactor. The central solenoid acts like the primary of a giant transformer, creating a magnetic field of 13 tesla which induces a 15-million-amp current of plasma around the doughnut-shaped reactor, known as a tokamak. To produce such a field, the solenoid needs 43 kilometers of superconducting cable, made of a compound of niobium and tin (Nb3Sn). Manufacturing the brittle compound is complex. The niobium and tin must be wound together in separate filaments, and once the coil is wound into its final shape it is heated to get the niobium and tin to react into the superconducting compound. Copper is also included as a safety measure in case the Nb3Sn suddenly loses its superconducting properties and the current needs somewhere to flow through. Cable samples manufactured in Japan according to the ITER design were tested in late 2010 at the SULTAN facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland. The ITER magnets must be able to endure 60,000 up-down current cycles during the reactor’s lifetime, but the sample cables began to degrade after 6000 cycles. The problem seemed to be with the high mechanical loads put on the individual strands of the cables. Alternative cables from the U.S. supplier were tested in late 2011 for 10,000 cycles and showed much lower levels of degradation. This sample was manufactured using a different method, known as “internal tin,” whereas the Japanese had used the “bronze” process. Japanese suppliers had no experience with the internal tin process, so it was decided to stick with the bronze process and make other improvements. Last November and December two Japanese suppliers put samples through their paces at SULTAN. The key innovation was a “short twist pitch”—the filaments in the cable formed a tighter spiral. Tests showed that these cables showed little signs of degradation. “The twist pitch made the difference,” Haange says. “It’s much more mechanically stable.” Haange doesn’t think the new approach will delay the project because the United States—which is responsible for winding the cable into coils—had enough leeway built into its schedule. It will, however, cost Japan a few million additional euros, Haange says, because the tighter spiral uses more cable material. Courtesy of JAEA last_img read more