Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for June 2018

Amazon PillPack

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CNBC is reporting that Amazon will acquire online pharmacy PillPack “in a deal that could disrupt the U.S. drugstore business.

PillPack’s core business is the packing, organizing, and delivery of drugs, and sends consumers packages with the specific number of medications they’re supposed to take at specific times.

CNBC writes that:

The deal is the strongest indication yet of Amazon’s intent to move further into the health-care industry. It threatens to remove one of the few distinguishing factors pharmacy chains have relied on to fend off Amazon, the sale of prescription drugs. Retailers like Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS Health and Rite Aid have seen their so-called “front of store” sales threatened as shoppers increasingly buy household staples online or from convenience stores.

PillPack is currently licensed to ship prescriptions in 49 states, and apparently PillPack had been in previous discussions with Walmart about a sale for less than $1 billion.

Terms of the Amazon deal were not disclosed.

Written by turbotodd

June 28, 2018 at 8:59 am

Answering the Call for Code

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Today is the first day submissions can be made for Call for Code, an open source initiative to minimize the devastating human impact of natural disasters.

Starting today and ending on August 31st, developers and/or developer teams can submit technology solutions to help organizations like the United Nations Human Rights Office and the international services of the American Red Cross in their efforts to better prepare against fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, and benefit Call for Code’s charitable partners — the United Nations Human Rights Office and the American Red Cross.

Developers will have access to IBM technologies such as weather data from The Weather Company, cloud, AI, and blockchain technologies, as well as training and other resources to help jump start projects.

Since announcing the initiative on May 24th, Call for Code has received support from across the global community. Events have taken place in over 50 cities around the world, the Linux Foundation is rallying developers to participate, and Linux Torvalds, the creator of Linux, will help evaluate submissions.

The winner will be announced at a benefit concert in mid-October, with proceeds going to the United Nations.

You can learn more about Call for Code here.

Written by turbotodd

June 18, 2018 at 10:10 am

The Supercomputing Summit

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Okay, let me be up front: I’m just back from a week’s vacation and my brain is mush.

But the neurons are slowly starting to refire.

NOT as fast, I might add, as IBM’s new supercomputer, Summit, which was built in partnership with the Oak Ridge National Lab and is now the world’s smartest and most powerful AI machine.

WIRED recently wrote up the new machine, and here are some noteworthy bits:

America hasn’t possessed the world’s most powerful supercomputer since June 2013, when a Chinese machine first claimed the title. Summit is expected to end that run when the official ranking of supercomputers, from an organization called Top500, is updated later this month

Summit, built by IBM, occupies floor space equivalent to two tennis courts, and slurps 4,000 gallons of water a minute around a circulatory system to cool its 37,000 processors. 

Oak Ridge says its new baby can deliver a peak performance of 200 quadrillion calculations per second (that’s 200 followed by 15 zeros) using a standard measure used to rate supercomputers, or 200 petaflops. That’s about a million times faster than a typical laptop, and nearly twice the peak performance of China’s top-ranking Sunway TaihuLight.

Summit has nearly 28,000 graphics processors made by Nvidia, alongside more than 9,000 conventional processors from IBM.

Summit will be used to help analyze a wide array of deep learning challenges ranging from astronomy to chemistry to biology and beyond.

Written by turbotodd

June 11, 2018 at 3:53 pm

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