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Could 'Trinity' be a real WOPR?

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Seattle-based Cray Inc received a huge boost Thursday when they were awarded a $174 million contract to build a supercomputer for the NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration). The supercomputer system dubbed “trinity”, after the first nuclear test, will be part of the NNSA's ASC (advanced simulation and computing program) at both the Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Sandia National Laboratories. One of the main rolls that “Trinity” will play in this program is the security and safety of our nuclear stockpile.

“Both Los Alamos and Sandia have a long history with Cray, going back to the beginning of the supercomputing era and most recently with the Cielo platform,” said Gary Grider, High Performance Computing Division Leader at Los Alamos. “That history continues with the Trinity platform that will provide next generation supercomputing in support of the U. S. nuclear security enterprise.”em,

This raises some eerie similarities to the 1983 movie War Games. In that movie a young computer hacker unwittingly breaks into the WOPR (War Operations Plan Response) computer that runs nuclear missile simulations for NORAD (North America Aerospace Defense Command). When the the computer ask him “Shall we play a game?” the young man picks ."Global Thermonuclear War" from the list of games. The game brings NORAD to the brink of a real missile launch before the situation is resolved by the computer learning that there is no possible winner. The movie inspired one of the first anti-hacking law in 1984.

What happened in the movie will probably not become a reality given the all the security precautions taken in today's world. With foreign governments and more sophisticate groups, such as, the SEA and anonymous it does make one wonder about what could happen.

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