09 August 2011

Welcome to a dumber planet.

Consider IBM's stock price over the last several years...

...and then today's news that IBM Terminated The Blue Waters Contract because of financial, rather than technical, reasons:
When HPCwire spoke with Herb Schultz, marketing manager for IBM's Deep Computing unit, last year, he outlined a new business model that would apply a lot more scrutiny to how the company positioned its high-end supercomputers. "There is really no appetite in IBM anymore -- with some of the leadership changes over the last few years -- for revenue that has no profit with it," he told us back in November 2010....  From NCSA's perspective, the system met all of its technical requirements. In particular, they appeared confident the machine, based on Power 755 servers, would indeed be able to deliver a sustained petaflop from its 10-petaflop peak performance.... The most curious aspect of the IBM pull-out is that they had already delivered three racks of Power 755 servers to NCSA.
It is a sad day when a screamingly profitable U.S. company reneges on a contract so fundamental to the next decade of basic U.S. science.  Especially a contract where even the worst imaginable outcome for IBM has no potential to noticeably impact shareholder returns for even a single quarter.

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