Supercomputer Crushes Criticisms???

Yesterday, Tom Bowles, Chairman of the N.M. Computer Applications Center Board had an opinion piece in the Albuquerque Journal. In his piece, he criticized the Legislative Finance Committees recent studies of the Supercomputer. The LFC study can be found here.
The problem with Bowles’s article is that he never really addresses the core issues with this supercomputer, that is it’s high cost (a total of $36 million over six years)relative to its relatively small benefit as previously pointed out in the Journal:
• The supercomputer unveiled in January 2008 hasn’t produced the kind of revenue projected. Including the purchase price, the operation has cost the state $13.8 million, but has taken in only about $300,000 in cash;
• The project’s ability to raise enough money to operate indefinitely is in question. Three research universities, two national laboratories and one nonprofit have used the supercomputer at no cost since July 2008, and the supercomputer isn’t currently generating any revenue.
Bowles claims that the supercomputer will be self-sustaining once taxpayers have coughed up $36 million, but he never explains just how taxpayers will experience any real benefit from this costly project. That is the first thing that any government program should be justified upon, not an afterthought.

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