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World's fastest supercomputer, Facebook's alleged cryptocurrency | TECH(feed)

Network World | Mar 21, 2019

The U.S. government is planning to build the world's fastest supercomputer, Google is slapped with a fine by the European Union and reports of a Facebook cryptocurrency could mean big things for cross-border payments.

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Hey everyone, welcome back to tech feed. I’m juliet beauchamp and today we’re diving into plans to build a super fast supercomputer, antitrust fines in the e-u and how facebook may integrate blockchain technology. Stick around.

The united states department of energy is planning to build the fastest supercomputer in the world by 2021. The doe will invest half a billion dollars to build the supercomputer, which will utilize high performance computing and artificial intelligence to assist with climate modeling, cancer research and veterans’ health treatments, according to energy secretary rick perry. The supercomputer, called aurora, will be able to handle over a quintillion floating-point computations per second. It’s important to mention that the underpinnings of aurora will rely on future versions of tech created by intel and cray computing. That is, much of what will be used to build aurora has to be improved upon before being implemented in the supercomputer. And there’s no promise aurora will actually be the fastest supercomputer in the world by 2021--there are reports of machines in china set to launch in 2020 with similar capabilities.

And over in europe, the european union slapped google with a fine of around 1.7 billion dollars due to antitrust violations. The eu alleges that google unfairly favored its own online advertising services over rivals’ on third party website. According to eu authorities, google did not allow some third-party sites to use advertising services from competitors if the site used a google search bar. This is just the latest example of the eu cracking down on a tech giant and solidifying its reputation as a regulatory watchdog in favor of competition. All told, the european union has fined google around 8 billion euros over the past two years, which is equivalent to about 9 billion of today’s u-s dollars.

If you’re someone who falls victim to facebook’s targeted ads, buying those products could become even easier. According to reports by bloomberg and the new york times, facebook is developing its own cryptocurrency that could be make cross-border payments easier. Analysts speculate this cryptocoin could be used to make purchases on facebook or send money to people, similar to paypal or venmo. However, unlike paypal or venmo, facebook would utilize blockchain technology to eliminate banks as the middleman for these payments. This is mostly speculation--facebook has yet to comment on reports of developing a so-called “facebook coin.” However, the company did admit it is quote, “exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology.” Of course, blockchain is a huge buzzword in the world of financial services, and there’s appeal in applying it for cross-border payments in an effort to connect more of the world. There’s still a ways to go before mass-adoption of cryptocurrency, but innovation from big tech and wall street suggest it could be approaching. If you want to learn a bit more about what’s next for fintech and blockchain, be sure to check out our tech talk diving into the topic, linked below.

Thanks for watching today’s episode of tech feed. If you liked this video, be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel. And let me know in the comments if you’d be willing to use this alleged facebook coin--see you next time.

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