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Reply #42: NSA has more than HALF the computer capacity in the entire world, [View All]

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Vitruvius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-01-06 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
42. NSA has more than HALF the computer capacity in the entire world,
Edited on Sun Jan-01-06 11:44 AM by Vitruvius
measured in either MIPS or memory capacity; all of it optimized for searching massive volumes of data or searching enormous "keyspaces" (the latter for codebreaking). And they're world leaders in computer design & software; especially massively parallel machines. My best guess is that they're roughly a decade ahead of the state of the art that we 'civilians' see.

And their "computer farms" (their term) are even bigger today.

Years ago, I had an interesting experience; I was designing a new DSP (a special type of microprocessor optimized for signal processing and control applications) into one of my inventions and got one of the first development kits for that unit. When I got it, I was amazed at how mature the design was; most microprocessor families aren't that well perfected until they've been out 5 or 10 years; this was obviously an old-but-extremely-advanced microprocessor that had never been sold on the open market. When I nosed around the instruction set, I found a raft of undocumented instructions that were perfect for data searching and code-breaking applications. I needled a friend of mine at the manufacturer about how they'd obviously developed it for NSA and now were selling it to us civilians -- and tried to get him to tell me about -- and sell me -- the follow-on which they were obviously selling to NSA; I tried to make it easy for him by describing exactly what I thought the follow-on had. Three things happened: 1.) those extra instructions mysteriously disappeared from the production units; 2.) my friend called me up -- scared out of his wits -- and asked me to never say anything about this to anybody ever again; 3.)I got a visit from a rather wimpy spook who tried to scare the shit out of me.
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