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Government Supercomputing United States

Putin Reportedly Comments On T-Platform Supercomputer Flap 49

Posted by timothy
from the when-he's-not-off-flying-with-squirrels dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security added T-Platforms' businesses in Germany, Russia and Taiwan to the 'Entity List,' which includes those believed to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. Commerce felt, according to the notice, that T-Platforms may be illegally assisting the Russian military and/or its nuclear program. In the meantime, Russian president Vladimir Putin has reportedly weighed in on the T-Platforms question. 'That's right. The use of political levers for unfair competition,' Putin said, according to RBTH.ru. 'Our European colleagues are independent people and they claim they want to work with us in certain spheres, yet they act as though they are absolutely dependent and unable to make their own decision. Is that so?' It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off."
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Putin Reportedly Comments On T-Platform Supercomputer Flap

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  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @12:38PM (#43611941)

    What's a matter Putin? You poutin'? [fumaga.com]

    But seriously, he is right. I just had to do the meme because the situation was a perfect set up.

    • He's right? You have access to the US's security reports that have cleared Putin, thus showing it is mundane trade protectionism?

      • He's right? You have access to the US's security reports that have cleared Putin, thus showing it is mundane trade protectionism?

        Actually, HPC is my field of specialty, worked in it for more than 20 years and embargoes have been a part of it ever since the beginning. They stopped being relevant with the advent of beowulf clusters when COTS hardware could be scaled up basically as big as your budget allowed. Someone will probably come along and point out that clusters aren't appropriate for all workloads, but in terms of anything "dangerous" they are good enough.

  • It is there. It is pink. It is BIG. But no one wants to talk about him....or her?
    • You're thinking of the "gorilla in the corner". "Seeing pink elephants" is a euphemism for drunken hallucination, caused by alcoholic hallucinosis or delirium tremens. [Wiki]
      Unless you meant Putin is a vodka swilling Russian who's off his rocker.
  • by Trepidity (597) <(gro.hsikcah) (ta) (todhsals-muiriled)> on Thursday May 02, 2013 @12:44PM (#43612003)

    The summary says:

    It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off.

    I read him as chiding the Europeans for giving in to U.S. pressure rather than being willing to act independently, i.e. letting the U.S. Commerce Department's decision dissuade them from buying from T-Platforms, rather than making their own decision.

    • by icebike (68054)

      That's the way I read it as well.

      But he fails to realize that the money (and access to technology) that these euro colleagues may lose by falling into disfavor of US Commerce exceeds what he is willing to pay for their cooperation.

      Because Putin took such a light-handed and round-about way of chiding these "colleagues" suggests he had to say something to the issue, but didn't want to piss them off. Most likely because there is some back channel cooperation going on which is not visible to US Commerce.

      As fo

    • by Xest (935314)

      He can chide all he wants. Given that Russia is one of the most protectionist states on earth it's hard to have sympathy.

      I worked for a British engineering firm a few years back and getting anything into Russia was hell. They'd stall our shipments of equipment at port for months and months preventing us getting paid, then sometimes let it through, and other times just refuse it, and sometimes even seize (steal) it.

      So you'll have to excuse me if I can't help but feel it's getting it's just desserts here. May

  • editorial bias (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one here who is sick and tired of Slashdot story submitters plowing as much commentary into the summary as possible?

    This is barely a news site anymore.

  • a bit late (Score:4, Funny)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @12:50PM (#43612061)
    "T-Platforms may be illegally assisting the Russian military and/or its nuclear program."
    Oh no! We can't let Russia develop a nuclear program!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dahamma (304068)

      Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation. And given Germany is in NATO and Taiwan is heavily dependent on US aid in order remain independent from China, it makes perfect sense that the US would consider assistance of companies in their countries to Russian weapons development contrary to US (and therefore NATO and Taiwanese) security.

      • Re:a bit late (Score:4, Interesting)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @01:41PM (#43612533)

        Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation.

        And if the Russians won't be able to perform proper and accurate computer simulations of their weapon designs, the only net result will be that when nuke eventually hits you, it will be somewhat over-engineered and somewhat dirtier than would be the case otherwise.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Sure, ignore efficiency in deployment and cost of upkeep. Keeping an adversary's tools/weapons more expensive than yours is a smart strategy.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          "The only net result"?? Ah, I see you are a nuclear weapons physicist, please elaborate! Particularly how it's not possible the bomb could be less effective or not properly detonate at all at worst case, and take much longer to simulate and deploy at best?

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            And I suppose I should have added... when the nuke hits you, why on earth would it matter if it was "over-engineered"? If Russia hits the US with a nuke it's pretty much the end of the world within 15 minutes, so personally I'd prefer they make sure they get the job done as quickly as possible.

      • Re:a bit late (Score:4, Informative)

        by icebike (68054) on Thursday May 02, 2013 @02:38PM (#43613095)

        Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation. And given Germany is in NATO and Taiwan is heavily dependent on US aid in order remain independent from China, it makes perfect sense that the US would consider assistance of companies in their countries to Russian weapons development contrary to US (and therefore NATO and Taiwanese) security.

        The thing here is that T-Platforms is a Russian Supercomputer company [t-platforms.com]. They have plenty of capabilities all on their own. The US is worried about western companies assisting the Russians, but also worried about having these very capable Russian systems installed in sensitive western computational facilities.

        Everything T-Platforms install is turn-key, meaning that they really don't sell off the shelf. They come in and build/install custom high-power systems on your site. There would, in all probability, be some reverse technology transfer leakage and espionage opportunity that the US is not eager to see happen. Therefore they don't really want western companies installing this gear.

        I'm sure they don't want western companies assisting T-Platforms in improving their product either, but I didn't see that is the major issue here. Putin is whining about loss of sales, (publicly at least).

      • Since nuclear test bans have been in effect, all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation.

        The nuclear test ban treaty is a voluntary one, and signatories can withdraw from it, same as any other treaty.

        And guess what Russia would do if it can't rely primarily on computer simulation for its nuclear weapon development? Hint, it won't stop developing nukes...

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          This is all about economic sanctions of a Russian company, anyway, why would Russia want to compound that with economic sanctions against all of their industry? Doesn't make sense. They make SO much more money today with an open but corrupt capitalist economy than they did under Communism (Putin alone is reported to be worth $40B) that not getting the technical aid of one computer company is not going to make them sacrifice any of that.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        all new nuclear weapon development relies primarily on computer simulation

        And obviously NATO/the US has no access to powerful computers for such simulations. Oh, wait...

        Personally, I think that while there are nuclear weapons in existence, the more countries that have them the better.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      In Soviet Russia, nuclear program develop you!

  • It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off.

    Seems likely to me that Putin didn't actually say this in English. He said something in his native tongue and we are being told that this is the English translation. Could it be that the translation was distorted for political purposes?

    • Translating "American" as "European" would be a heck of an error. It's more likely that whoever wrote TFS is just dumb. Putin is shaming the Europeans for bending to the whims of the US Department of Commerce. Nothing odd about it.
    • by ch0knuti (994541)

      Here's a link to a Russian article on the matter. http://ria.ru/economy/20130430/935405025.html [ria.ru]

      According to the article he states that:
      1. This ban is a clear example of unfair competition. (using political means)
      2. That they (the Russians) will have to work with the Europeans so that they can make their own independent decisions.

      Something else intersting from that article is that the Minister of Economic development stated that t-platforms is competing with American and Chinese companies in the European mar

  • As if Putin has any room to complain. Gazprom? Look...a squirrel!

  • "It's odd that Putin was quoted talking about 'European colleagues' when the Americans were responsible for cutting T-Platforms off."

    Is it really? He's commenting on the fact that after the sanction, the company is barred from doing business with him. He's framing it as though they themselves have to make the choice to cut off business. As if the sanction was just an idea carried out through legal concepts held by the US government and executed through treaties with foreign governments. Perhaps they make th

    • by icebike (68054)

      He's commenting on the fact that after the sanction, the company is barred from doing business with him.

      What company is barred from doing business with Putin/Russia? You may want to check your facts.

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