IBM supercomputer of unheard-of size to monitor nukes

The US Government has decided at last that it’s time for Skynet. They’ve tapped IBM to create a supercomputer nearly twenty times as powerful as the current world champion: IBM’s Roadrunner, running at 1.1 petaflops. The computer is to be in charge of making sure that America’s nuclear arsenal is in a working state at all times. That seems like more of a job for guys with oilcans and geiger counters, but I’ll trust them on this.

Of course, when we consult Wikipedia, we find:

Skynet was first built as a “Global Digital Defense Network,” given command over all computerized military hardware and systems, including the B-2 Stealth Bomber fleet and America’s entire nuclear weapons arsenal. The strategy behind Skynet’s creation was to remove the possibility of human error…

Although in reality, “Sequoia,” as this new supercomputer is to be called, will not be in charge of firing the weapons, just maintenance. In the meantime, a smaller supercomputer called “Dawn” will be made for the sole purpose of creating the apps that will run on Sequoia. Wait, what? You need a supercomputer just to design the programs that will work on the bigger supercomputer? Somebody’s doing it wrong. I’m suspicious of the entire project, but I somehow doubt IBM cares.

When it’s not calculating how best to get the rust off our ICBMs, Sequoia will of course be contributing to SETI@Home and other such projects.

Yes, I know the picture is from War Games, not Terminator. God!!