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Sandia Lab Fires Up 300,000 Virtual Android Devices To Test Out Security

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  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @07:15PM (#41532211)
    That reminds me of this [xkcd.com].
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      I wonder if anyone has actually put that together in real-life. It would be pretty cool...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am familiar with emulation of hardware, and some techniques used to implement hardware emulation in software... I know just enough to know that emulation of hardware is extremely difficult, and more often than not it's a performance killer. Eg, bsnes [slashdot.org] is my favorite SNES emulator because of its accuracy, however it requires a more powerful host machine because of this.

    What is a "virtual android device", and running side by side a "real android device" is there any notable performance deficiencies?

    • by JackCroww (733340) on Tuesday October 02, 2012 @07:31PM (#41532365)
      Sandia Labs has the #82 supercomputer in the world, and use that computing power to simulate nuclear explosions and ,IIRC, large meteor strikes (Tunguska I think). They probably have the horsepower to handle this.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by stephanruby (542433)

        Sandia Labs has the #82 supercomputer in the world, and use that computing power to simulate nuclear explosions and ,IIRC, large meteor strikes (Tunguska I think). They probably have the horsepower to handle this.

        That's only because they're running Android headless.

        Ask them to run the emulators again with the emulator windows opened and the layouts fully inflated with decent-sized emulated screens, and the supercomputer that could simulate a million nuclear explosions in a few microseconds will be on its knees and non-responding after having spinned off just 2 or 3 instances.

        • by Digi-John (692918)
          Actually, each virtual machine has a VNC session running. And they run on 520 desktops with i7 processors and 12 GB of RAM each.
    • by shri (17709)
      The Android emulator [android.com] runs on a number of platforms. I suspect ( like someone else who has mentioned this in this thread ), that they have a stripped down version which runs without the GUI.
    • by Digi-John (692918)
      A "virtual android device" is an instance of Android-x86 running in a KVM virtual machine, which takes advantage of hardware virtualization instructions to give better performance. You could take the same software and install it on a desktop PC, assuming Android-x86 includes the appropriate drivers.
  • I once installed 48 Android-x86 virtual machines on an ESXi box just to see if I could do it.

    300... that must have been fun.

    • by _4rp4n3t (1617415)
      That's 300,000...
      • by EmagGeek (574360)

        Yeah I know. I didn't realize until after I posted that I my "K" didn't take...

        And, of course Slashdot is still stuck in 1997 and doesn't have a facility for editing posts like EVERY OTHER FUCKING ONLINE FORUM ON THE GODDAMN PLANET DOES.

    • Haha... my PC started cr$##ing itself at about 9 virtual android devices... and they were mostly 'sitting idle'.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    “You can’t possibly read through 15 million lines of code and understand every possible interaction between all these devices and the network.”
    Hey, this sounds like security through obscurity to me.
    Maybe this is the year for the linux desktop.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...Is it still cool to make Beowolf jokes here? /ducks

    • by EmagGeek (574360)

      What the hell is a "Beowolf?"

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        You don't know what a beowolf cluster is? What are you doing at slashdot?

        Here's a hint: Google and Wikipedia are your friends.

        • by EmagGeek (574360)

          No, I have no idea what a "Beowolf cluster" is. I tried your Google search, and found tons of results for a similarly-named "Beowulf cluster," which I am already quite familiar with.

          But, not much on a "Beowolf cluster."

          Sorry.

        • by Digi-John (692918)
          I don't know what a Beowolf cluster is either. I am, however, familiar with Beowulf clusters, an overly fancy name for "a bunch of commodity computers running MPI". MegaDroid is not a Beowulf cluster, nor does it run on a Beowulf cluster.
  • Insert the customary SkyNet/Borg comment here...

    • Insert the customary SkyNet/Borg comment here...

      Relax. Only Android devices modded with CyanogenMod can actually kill.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      If a person becomes self aware and protests- finding, tracking and exporting from that one in 300000 devices is a neat skill.
      http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57524109-38/justice-dept-to-defend-warrantless-cell-phone-tracking/ [cnet.com]
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      As a cyborg I take exeption to that! Damned cybists... If you'd talked of Asians or blacks like that you'd get your ass handed to you.

      I refuse to apologize for the fact that I'm not 100% human or 100% natural. My cybernetic implant makes me superior to you... well, at least the human part that was replaced by a machine, anyway. And, there's a good chance your grandparents are cyborgs, and a better chance that you will be assimilated as well. MWAHAHAHA!!!

      (Yes, I just coined another new word.)

  • Did they use rope?

    Or as True Geeks did they do it properly and use Duct Tape.

    Or , perhaps, they used Duck Tape [duckbrand.com] - because the world is full of idiots who cannot spell, even in massive highly technical research labs.
  • by SJ (13711)

    ...and no doubt Google will count each instance as an activation...

  • megawin, megatux, megadroid...

    what's the point? isn't all they're doing running sw they know already? isn't that quite pointless when the malware they're installing needs to be installed? it's just a playground for them, what benefits does it offer over from running 100 instances?

    what's the point of feeding them gps data - to see if some malware is rigged to phone home at specific coords or wtf?

  • by Lussarn (105276) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:32AM (#41535461)

    Not bad Google!

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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