The fastest computer in the world is being built in Tennessee and coming in 2021

Fastest computer

On the heels of the US government’s announced in March that the first US exascale computer is being built just outside Chicago and coming in 2021, the US government announced today that it’s also commissioned a manufacturer to build what would be the most powerful computer in the world that will also make its debut in 2021, keeping the US at the forefront of supercomputer supremacy.

The company building the new supercomputer, named Frontier, is Cray Inc., which will use high-performance AMD EPYC CPU and Radeon Instinct GPU technology in the system, and it will boast a performance greater than 1.5 exaflops.

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The fastest computer in the world is being built in Tennessee and coming in 2021 originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 7 May 2019 at 23:07:45 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Lawsuit Details How The Sackler Family Allegedly Built An OxyContin Fortune

The first nine months of 2013 started off as a banner year for the Sackler family, owners of the pharmaceutical company that produces OxyContin, the addictive opioid pain medication. Purdue Pharma paid the family $ 400 million from its profits during that time, claims a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts attorney general.

However, when profits dropped in the fourth quarter, the family allegedly supported the company’s intense push to increase sales representatives’ visits to doctors and other prescribers.

Purdue had hired a consulting firm to help reps target “high-prescribing” doctors, including several in Massachusetts. One physician in a town south of Boston wrote an additional 167 prescriptions for OxyContin after sales representatives increased their visits, according to the latest version of the lawsuit filed Thursday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston.

The lawsuit claims Purdue paid members of the Sackler family more than $ 4 billion between 2008 and 2016. Eight members of the family who served on the board or as executives as well as several directors and officers with Purdue are named in the lawsuit. This is the first lawsuit among hundreds of others that were previously filed across the country to charge the Sacklers with personally profiting from the harm and death of people taking the company’s opioids.

WBUR along with several other media sued Purdue Pharma to force the release of previously redacted information that was filed in the Massachusetts Superior Court case. When a judge ordered the records to be released with few, if any, redactions this week, Purdue filed two appeals and lost.

The complaint filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says that former Purdue Pharma CEO Richard Sackler allegedly suggested the family sell the company or, if they weren’t able to find a buyer, to milk the drugmaker’s profits and “distribute more free cash flow” to themselves.

That was in 2008, one year after Purdue pleaded guilty to a felony and agreed to stop misrepresenting the addictive potential of its highly profitable painkiller, OxyContin.

At a board meeting in June 2008, the complaint says, the Sacklers voted to pay themselves $ 250 million. Another payment in September totaled $ 199 million.

The company continued to receive complaints about OxyContin similar to those that led to the 2007 guilty plea, according to unredacted documents filed in the case.

While the company settled lawsuits in 2009 totaling $ 2.7 million brought by family members of those who had been harmed by OxyContin throughout the country, the company amped up its marketing of the drug to physicians by spending $ 121.6 million on sales reps for the coming year. The Sacklers paid themselves $ 335 million that year.

The lawsuit claims Sackler family members directed efforts to boost sales. An attorney for the family and other board directors is challenging the authority to make that claim in Massachusetts. A motion on jurisdiction in the case hasn’t been heard. That attorney hasn’t responded to a request for comment on the most recent allegations.

Purdue Pharma, in a statement, said the complaint filed by Healey is “part of a continuing effort to single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system.”

Purdue went on to charge Healey with attempting to “vilify” Purdue in a complaint “riddled with demonstrably inaccurate allegations.” Purdue said it has more than 65 initiatives aimed at reducing the misuse of prescription opioids. The company says Healey fails to acknowledge that most opioid overdose deaths are currently the result of fentanyl.

Purdue fought the release of many sections of the 274-page complaint. Attorneys for the company said at a hearing on Jan. 25 that they had agreed to release much more information in Massachusetts than has been cleared by a judge overseeing hundreds of cases consolidated in Ohio. Purdue filed both state and federal appeals this week to block release of the compensation figures and other information about Purdue’s plan to expand into drugs to treat opioid addiction.

The attorney general’s complaint says that in a ploy to distance themselves from the emerging statistics and studies that showed OxyContin’s addictive characteristics, the Sacklers approved public marketing plans that labeled people hurt by opioids as “junkies” and “criminals.”

Richard Sackler allegedly wrote that Purdue should “hammer” them in every way possible.

While Purdue Pharma publicly denied its opioids were addictive, internally company officials were acknowledging it and devising a plan to profit off them even more, the complaint states.

Kathe Sackler, a board member, pitched “Project Tango,” a secret plan to grow Purdue beyond providing painkillers by also providing a drug, Suboxone, to treat those addicted.

“Addictive opioids and opioid addiction are ‘naturally linked,’” she allegedly wrote in September 2014.

According to the lawsuit, Purdue staff wrote: “It is an attractive market. Large unmet need for vulnerable, underserved and stigmatized patient population suffering from substance abuse, dependence and addiction.”

They predicted that 40-60 percent of the patients buying Suboxone for the first time would relapse and have to take it again, which meant more revenue.

Purdue never went through with it, but Attorney General Healey contends this and other internal documents show the family’s greed and disregard for the welfare of patients.

This story is part of a reporting partnership between WBUR, NPR and Kaiser Health News

A version of this story first ran on WBUR’s CommonHealth. You can follow @mbebinger on Twitter.

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Winter Beanie WIth Built-In Bluetooth Headphones

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A $ 25 knit beanie with Bluetooth headphones built right in is on sale for under $ 10 originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 25 Jan 2019 at 17:02:16 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Harold Brown, U.S. defense chief who built, then strove to contain nuclear weapons, dies at 91

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From Blocks To Bucks: How An 18-year-old Gamer Built a Business Inside Minecraft

Working in video games is a dream for many players, a way to turn their passions into a viable career and feed back into a community and industry that has delivered them years of entertainment.

At a glance, Jamie Freeburn might appear to be another such aspiring young developer. However, rather than setting out to make a game from scratch and battling through an already crowded indie scene, the 18-year-old creator has found success in another area: the Minecraft Marketplace.

Freeburn is the central figure behind PixelSquared, a studio making content packs for Mojang‘s endlessly popular sandbox title. The team, with members based in countries including Northern Ireland, Chile, America, England, and Denmark, creates and sells add-ons for the main game on the curated storefront, with content ranging from cosmetic skins for characters, to custom maps delivering intricate and beautiful new worlds for players to explore, and even unique gameplay modes.

STARTING SANDBOX


Lookouts Point, one of the settings PixelSquared created in Minecraft
Lookouts Point, one of the settings PixelSquared created in Minecraft

So how did Freeburn start making money through Minecraft? “I got into the game about 7 years ago, so I think I was 11, in high school. Back then I was really into creative-style games, games where I could create my own things, and me and few of my friends were chatting about that and one of them thought of Minecraft,” Freeburn says. “I bought the game a week after that and sunk in so many hours, just building and building things.”

Freeburn realised early on there was a market for original Minecraft content, creating aesthetic overhauls for the game on an ad hoc basis. Then came the announcement, in October 2017, that Mojang was launching the Marketplace as a dedicated hub for user creators.

“I was instantly into the idea,” says Freeburn. “Before that, I had created skins on commission on Fiverr, and I was pretty active in that community, so I thought ‘Hey, I may as well send my portfolio in, see how it goes’.”

Microsoft responded positively to the work Freeburn submitted and was keen to sign him up for the new content platform. There were only two problems – the first being that Jamie was only 17 at the time, too young to legally be responsible for what needed to be a registered business. The second was that his parents had no idea what he was up to.


The 'good vs evil' Demon Hunters pack was a Halloween creation, tapping into Minecraft's hellish Nether
The ‘good vs evil’ Demon Hunters pack was a Halloween creation, tapping into Minecraft’s hellish Nether

“They were extremely surprised, as they had no prior knowledge that I did any of this before I told them. They didn’t even know what the whole Fiverr thing was,” he recalls. “I called up my dad and said ‘Hey, Microsoft wants to sign me on this contract to create content with them.’ and he was like ‘Oh! That’s nice.’ Then he took a look at the contract and realised it was serious.”

After a father-son meeting with Microsoft, explaining what the Minecraft Marketplace was and what Jamie would be doing on it, his dad signed on, allowing Jamie himself to get started on the fun stuff – making the actual content, and leaving his mark on the game. For his first pack, Freeburn revamped an early space-themed skin set, upgrading helmet and torso designs to a much higher standard. Since then, PixelSquared has released over 30 original packs, and picked up over a dozen staff members.

BUILDING A BUSINESS

“It sounds like a big deal but we treated it very organically – we didn’t just get 14 people all of a sudden,” Freeburn says. “Around December 2017, we had six other people who were mostly artists, and after that we took on a build team. We hired a structure artist a few months ago and an organic artist just recently. We only really hire people when we need people, we don’t bring people on for the sake of it.”

When it comes to developing new content for Minecraft, the studio operates more like a group of friends discussing what they think would be cool to have in the game. “We’re a really relaxed studio when it comes to our ideas, so when one of us gets an idea we’ll come together and discuss it, and then draw up an idea for the skin pack,” Freeburn says.

As the team has grown, its begun to undertake some light market research for content plans, although it’s more in the form of seeing what the player community might be interested in, rather than some kind  of hyper-precise targeting of current trends.

“Occasionally we will do surveys to see what skins people want to see,” Freeburn explains. “Around Christmas last year, I put out a survey with a couple of different themes I had in mind just to see which one got the most interest. Our three main things are surveys, seeing what’s [already] on the store, and checking what players are actually using.”

“For example the Teens! skin pack was made mostly on market research, and we did a lot of research into fashion and such,” he continues, “but if you look at Frontiers, by me, that’s more of a passion project. We have a pretty fun mix of things we like to create and stuff based on what the market will like.”


One of PixelSquared's more sedate offerings - a lush autumnal theme pack
One of PixelSquared’s more sedate offerings – a lush autumnal theme pack

Having turned 18 and assumed ownership of the company from his father, Freeburn has built the business to the point where it’s doing well enough to put him through university and even pay off another member’s student debt, too.

“I’m doing a game design course at college level right now, but next year I’ll be doing university,” he says. “PixelSquared has afforded me [the opportunity] to do that, [and] that’s actually why I decided to go to uni in the first place. A few other people in the studio used PixelSquared to fund their own university education. One, Olivia, recently finished her degree and she’s now able to help pay off her student loan.”

While creating for Minecraft Marketplace, running the company, and preparing for university can be a tough balancing act, Freeburn says “both my college and my parents are very supportive. If I’m struggling with the workload from my college I’ll let my teacher know and they’ll give me some extra time or help me stay on track, and my parents are also pretty okay with me staying up late making sure everything is running fine in the studio.”

CRAFTING A FUTURE

While the company is still growing at a solid pace, Freeburn is also preparing for potential upheaval due to Brexit. With the UK currently scheduled to leave the European Union on 29th March 2019, the company’s international, digital business model could be affected.

“My town is actually directly on the border of Northern Ireland and Ireland [so] we’ll have to see what happens there,” he says, “but I think we’re all concerned. It’s hard to tell how it’s going to affect us all directly – I’m fairly new to the industry so I don’t know what it was like years ago. I joined during the Brexit scandal so I can’t really tell what it was like before [but] we’re a pretty global studio. It’ll be a bit of a nightmare I think. I can’t say too much for sure but I feel like it could impact us.”


The apocalypse is here, in custom Minecraft form
The apocalypse is here, in custom Minecraft form

While waiting to see how the political issue unfolds, PixelSquared is focusing on what it does best – building on its core offerings, but aiming for an even larger scale.

“Maps are our current big target,” Freeburn says. “We have three pretty major maps underway right now, that we’re very excited about, and texture packs too. Our main goal is to expand. Dedicated servers are pretty far away, but we have looked into it – it won’t be for a long time because they’re a big undertaking, but we’d love to do it.”

While creating for Minecraft has proven a highly successful way into the games industry for Freeburn and company, in the longer term plans are afoot to leave a deeper mark on the industry. The ambition is to grow PixelSquared into a studio capable of producing its own original games, but bring with it the recognition of players from the Marketplace community. As for what type of games players might see from a wholly independent PixelSquared?

“In the future, we’d like to branch off and make our own little indie game,” Freeburn says. “We’re all pretty big into games like Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy, so essentially we’d like to break away from Minecraft and create our own fully-fledged version of those games.”

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The post From Blocks To Bucks: How An 18-year-old Gamer Built a Business Inside Minecraft appeared first on FANDOM.

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