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Slashback: Vaidhyanathan, Oregon, Opteron 629

Posted by timothy
from the miss-parker-and-the-vicious-circle dept.
Slashback this evening with a few more notes on AMD's upcoming Opteron processor, Siva Vaidhyanathan (three times quickly), Oregon's open source bill, and more. Read on below for this round of updates and amplifications.
That Charlie's no dummy. softwareJoe writes "Tim Bray has come right out saying that if IP chancer Charlie Northrup manages to enforce his most recent claim, the consequences would be 'disastrous.'

'It would become impossible to have Open Source implementations of key pieces of the infrastructure. This would be harmful, perhaps fatal, to the grand plans of those who want to deploy Web services everywhere,' Bray is reported as saying, in XML Industry Newsletter ."

Waiting for the low-power version. Jethro writes "Ace's hardware Opteron review was a very interesting read which shows some real Java webserver benchmarks on SUSE and Debian Linux, and real world database performance in MySQL and MS SQL server 2000. A lot better than those synthetic mysql benchmarks that Tom's hardware served up."

And Distinguished Hero writes "[H]ardocp.com ([H]ardNews 1oth Edition) is reporting that the Opteron processor does not actually have an integrated dual channel controller. This explains why all the Opteron reviews only used a single channel configuration. While the integrated memory controlled is not dual channel, it can be bypassed by an external (Northbridge) memory controller connected to the processor via the HyperTransport bus."

One more: EconolineCrush writes "Yesterday's Opteron launch gave us all glimpse at AMD's new 64-bit platform, but the Opteron is a server and workstation chip that will be out of reach for the majority of consumers. AMD's upcoming Athlon 64, however, will bring 64-bit computing to the desktop. Drawing heavily from what we've seen of the Opteron's performance thus far, Tech-Report has posted its thoughts on what it will take for the Athlon 64 to succeed. It's an interesting read for anyone salivating at the thought of an affordable 64-bit desktop platform."

Ma'am, can you please ask those anarchists in the carrels to pipe down a bit? BrianWCarver writes "Readers may recall a Slashdot interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor at NYU, and author of Copyrights and Copywrongs. Vaidhyanathan is working on a new book, The Anarchist in the Library, and was interviewed on the blog, Eyeteeth. This is a brilliant and amazing interview where Vaidhyanathan discusses how creative communities share, the DMCA, the American industrial production of culture, the USA Patriot Act, the importance of libraries and librarians, and the policies of the FCC. It is a must-read for those who care about the future of creative and democratic culture."

Technically, Oregon is not Washington. Daniel Phillips is among the many folks who have been following the progress of a bill in Oregon (HB 2892) to encourage open source software, and he points out this Register story (picked up from NewsForge, actually), writing "Apparently, moving Oregon's open source bill forward comes down to convincing the house speaker."

Reader PotatoHead fleshes that out just a bit: " Despite reports detailing the demise of HB 2982, this bill continues to be a topic at the Oregon Legislature. We have broad support for HB 2892, but need everyone to continue showing support in the form of your phone calls, e-mails, faxes and snail-mail to your Oregon Representatives. We have the attention of the Oregon Legislature in a pretty big way and need to keep up the good work if HB 2892 is to move forward against the constant efforts of the usual industry lobbyists. If you don't already know, here is how you contact your representative. Please take a moment --right now-- and show your support for HB 2982. Every contact matters as we continue to move forward with HB 2892!"

Sir, can you direct me to the nearest buggy whip store so I can beat this dead horse? If $98 billion seems to you a bit much for the music cartel to charge students for even the most indiscriminant file swapping, you may be interested in following the chilling effects that it generates, too: PL_2003 writes "A follow up on a previous slashdot article. It really seems like the recording industry is determined to continue its fight.Check this NYTimes article (free reg. required). My Take: Couldn't they use their brains for a better business model?"

OK, here are the rules ... Grub (mentioned previously) is apparently causing consternation among many webmasters. Though they claim the client honors robots.txt , it seems that only the central servers check it (and don't honor it properly) and that grub clients don't don't check it at all. Ooops.

Time to round up and segregate the arrogant. jtheory writes "There's an AP story today here on Yahoo news) that the Justice department has dropped its probe into the recommendation policy of a Texas Tech bio professor. It's encouraging that all he had to do to stop the investigation was make some very minor changes in his policy, but it's still horrifying to me that he got into trouble in the first place. Is it even safe to encourage strict Creationists (or others with strong anti-scientific beliefs) to become doctors? Would they ignore animal research results, etc?"

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Slashback: Vaidhyanathan, Oregon, Opteron

Comments Filter:
  • The announced Opteron parts do not have dual DDR memory channels. They would need even more pins on the package, and it already has 940! But I imagine the source for the confusion in the early reports is that the single channel does support the optional use of 128-bit wide memory (144 bits including ECC). This would most commonly be implemented using pairs of 64-bit (or 72-bit with ECC) DDR DIMMs. It can support up to four pairs of DIMMs at up to DDR266 speed (PC-2100) or two pairs of DIMMs at DDR333 (PC-2700).

    The various motherboard photos seem to indicate that their are DIMM sockets to accomodate 128-bit memory. I would hope that the various benchmarks have been done with this configuration, since it obviously increases the memory bandwidth considerably.

    Reference: page 15 of the AMD Opteron Processor data sheet, AMD document 23932 rev 3.00 dated April 2003.

    • The announced Opteron parts do not have dual DDR memory channels. They would need even more pins on the package, and it already has 940!

      Thats not really true. For one...not all pins on the die are in use. Some of the dead ones could be relocated over to pick up the slack. And if I remember reading correctly Opteron is initially being released this way but in late 2003 or early 2004 they are completely switching memory to DDR2, but since DDR2 is as hard to come by as Jesus in a Bottle, it kinda doesn
      • By my count, there are 44 unused pins on the 940-pin package. Some of those may in fact be undocumented test pins, or be intended for other uses on future parts. But even assuming that all 44 pins could be used for another memory controller, that wouldn't be sufficient for another DDR controller, which requires 201 pins (129 if you'd settle for only 72 bit data with ECC, or 121 if you'd settle for only 64 bit data). Reference pages 45-46 of the data sheet.

        So a useful additional memory controller will NOT fit the same package.

    • The integrated memory controller has some obvious advantages, but I think its going to cause a lot of problems for AMD. Judging by AMD's recent performace with deadlines, the constant product refreshes that will be needed to keep up with new memory technologies will be difficult for them. And think of the confusion after a few product refreshes- are they going to assign a new model number to each new chip with different memory capabilities?
    • by turm (125406) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:46PM (#5805067) Homepage
      The announced Opteron parts do not have dual DDR memory channels

      I don't know where this crap is coming from. Certainly not from the document [amd.com] referenced in the parent post.

      A DIMM is 64-bits wide. The Opteron has a 128-bit wide memory bus, which means you need to use pairs of DIMMS much like the older P4's with Rambus memory.

      There are plenty of pins for this in the 940 package. The block diagram on page 11 of the the data sheet [amd.com] even shows the 128 MEMDATA pins.

      The memory controller is configurable to support a 64-bit memory bus (probably for desktop or mobile versions of the part), but in all the systems I've used you can't even boot with an odd number of DIMMS.

      Now you can decide for yourself if a 128-bit wide DDR bus is "dual channel" or not. I'm not going to argue semantics. I am, however, going to do the math and tell you that the Opteron paired with DDR333 provides 128*333/8 = 5328 MB/s of some seriously low-latency bandwidth. Oh yea and it scales with the number of processors too.

      DISCLAIMER: I work at AMD but I am not speaking on behalf of the company.
      • The block diagram on page 11 of the the data sheet even shows the 128 MEMDATA pins.
        And it just as clearly shows only one set of address lines. Which is fairly definitive evidence that there's only one memory channel. It just happens to support 128-bit wide memory.

        Yes, that does give you a lot of memory bandwidth. No, that doesn't make it "dual channel".

  • by ZenShadow (101870) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:05PM (#5804838) Homepage
    ...against those college students. They'll make nothing from it, but the results of them losing could be pretty ugly.

    Could you imagine the counter-suit? I'd call a $98 BILLION lawsuit against "poor" college students "malicious prosecution."

    --ZS
    • Exactly. If the students fight, then they would win a battle for EVERYONE and they would be able to counter-sue the RIAA for quite a sum of money.

      Let's see if we can list all of the cries that the RIAA has committed against them.

      Libel, for one. Calling them criminals and pirates when they've done nothing wrong is most certainly defamation.

      Malicious prosecution would most certainly apply. The RIAA has instigated just about the most unjustifiable and unreasonable civil litigation in this case that I've
  • by xcomputer_man (513295) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:06PM (#5804846) Homepage
    HB 2892 ... HB 2982 ... HB 2892 ... HB 2892 ... HB 2982

    Perhaps we might actually get this bill through if we managed to figure out what the correct number is for once.
  • Opteron (Score:3, Interesting)

    by exhilaration (587191) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:06PM (#5804847)
    Hey, anybody know of a source for Opteron systems? What about pricing? Specifically, I'd like to get my hands on a top of the line dual-CPU box. I think a lot of people would be willing to splurge $2k on a decent Opteron-based workstation.
    • Re:Opteron (Score:2, Informative)

      by Xzisted (559004)
      http://www.newisys.com http://www.racksavers.com http://www.pssclabs.com
    • ASUS nForce Pro 3 motherboards will be available in June. This chipset doesn't support dual processors, however. All other motherboards for the Opteron in the near future are likely to be for servers only, and therefore pricy (and not ATX).
      • Re:Opteron (Score:3, Informative)

        by Glock27 (446276)
        ASUS nForce Pro 3 motherboards will be available in June. This chipset doesn't support dual processors, however. All other motherboards for the Opteron in the near future are likely to be for servers only, and therefore pricy (and not ATX).

        Via is also doing an Opteron workstation chipset (including AGP), and it will support dual CPUs. Sorry, I don't have a link handy.

        Opteron will be a very popular workstation CPU, IMO.

    • Re:Opteron (Score:3, Funny)

      by mgblst (80109)
      To keep the price down, just get 128Mb of memory.
    • Check it out [newegg.com].
  • by philovivero (321158) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:08PM (#5804855) Homepage Journal
    Hell, saying Siva Vaidhyanathan three times quickly is trivial.

    It's saying it one time correctly that's the challenge.
  • by MrCaseyB (200218) <casey_slash.luxedit@com> on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:08PM (#5804857) Homepage Journal
    When these college kids graduate, go onto careers of their own they will be in the position to BUY music rather then spend time searching and downloading it off the current hot p2p app. But will they be interested anymore?

    Why would the record industry want to constantly go after their own best customers and future customers? Im no longer in college myself, don't buy much music anymore cause I prefer 80s music. I do buy a ton of DVDs though. The reaso nbeing there is great value in DVDs. I get superior picture quality and sound, a nice keep case, art work, special features, comentaries, interactive content, all for $14-$21.

    If the record industry could offer such great content at a reasonable price, sales would skyrocket.

    Instead they charge far too much for far too little, and on top of it, they constantly attack their own customers with threats and lawsuits and bullshit like CDs that wont play on their computer. Then they lobby for laws that punish not just music pirates but all people who wish to use the internet without restrictions. It's really quite amazing how a group of billionaires can be so ass backwards.

    Im hoping their is a major backlash from the millions of students in this country.

    • by abhisarda (638576) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:21PM (#5804931) Journal
      There's a protest planned against the RIAA at MTU

      Lode [mtulode.com]

      and Tompkins(MTU President) and Texas Congressman spar over copyrights

      Lode [mtulode.com]

      The RIAA is just kicking itself in the butt. So sad..
  • I see... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sheetrock (152993) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:08PM (#5804860) Homepage Journal
    So segregating people intolerant of Creationistic views is a bad thing, which I understand, but segregating people with Creationistic views would be a good thing?

    I don't think it's right to exclude someone from medical practice just because they don't ascribe to the theory of evolution. They're still capable of observation and understanding the scientific process, perhaps even more so than those who blindly adhere to a theory because they keep their minds open to the possibility that it is wrong. Science isn't about religious prejudice.

    • No kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

      by M.C. Hampster (541262) <M.C.TheHampster@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:25PM (#5804957) Journal

      Many people I know who don't believe in biological macro-evolution still believe in an old earth, and they don't deny that the fossil record shows an increase in complexity in life over time. However, they simply don't believe random genetic mutation combined with natural selection is enough to drive the evolution of life to what we have today. How is that being unscientific? How is that person going to be a "dangerous" doctor?

      • Re:No kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RestiffBard (110729) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @08:14PM (#5805233) Homepage
        The issue I believe is that strict creationists (emphasis on strict) refuse in many instances to believe the very tenets that make modern medicine and other sciences possible.

        Here's an idea. you want to be a programmer but, you don't believe in Arabic numerals. I leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.
        • The issue I believe is that strict creationists (emphasis on strict) refuse in many instances to believe the very tenets that make modern medicine and other sciences possible.

          That is true to a point and I would agree. Most people I know who don't believe in evolution simply refuse to believe in a lot of scientific proof that the earth is very old, for instance.

          However, if the person has a good knowledge and understanding of how current biological processes work in human beings and how viruses, bacter

    • Re:I see... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mac Degger (576336) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:41PM (#5805043) Journal
      No, science is about provability and testing. If a theory cannot be tested (and in that process be possibly proven wrong), then it is not scientific.

      Creationists often try to pass themselves off as scientists and their dogma as yet another scientific theory which should be given a fair shake, but because creationism does not lend itself to testing and thus prediction, that tells the world that they either willfully misunderstand the scientific process or don't get it at all.

      It boils down to the fact that we have an obligation to protect the ignorant from pseudoscience.

      Oh, and religion has no place in science whatsoever, not until god manifests himself as something observable/testable at any rate.
    • Re:I see... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pyr0 (120990)
      I would say that a creationist viewpoint in any true field of science, especially medicine is irresponsible [ncseweb.org] and inappropriate [ncseweb.org]. I've been thinking of buying a T-shirt [ncseweb.org] to show that I agree.
      • Re:I see... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by core plexus (599119) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @08:33PM (#5805327) Homepage
        I'm a geologist, and have argued with Christians and especially Mormons about such things as the fossil record, the age of the Earth, the existence of extrasolar planets, etc. I don't bother anymore, because they refuse to consider any competing viewpoint, especially if facts, evidence, or rational arguments are presented. My philosophy now is this: If you believe the grass is blue or pink, then so be it. Your ignorance does not hinder my progress. Just don't expect me to lie there and take it.

        My views are tempered by the knowledge that before we had the means to detect microwaves or X-Rays, as just a couple of examples, for all intents and purposes they were as "real" as 'God' or 'Allah', nevertheless they have existed since way before humans did. Likewise, if I get up in the morning and there is snow on the ground, I don't have to have seen it snowing to believe it.

        Suckers Lining Up For The "New Religion" [xnewswire.com]

    • by Zerbey (15536)
      I believe God created all things. He used evolution as his method. So, I believe in both.

      Hope this helps!
      • by Eric Smith (4379) <eric@broCOWuhaha.com minus herbivore> on Thursday April 24, 2003 @08:41PM (#5805371) Homepage Journal
        That is called theistic evolution. Many consider it to be a reasonable way to reconcile religion with the evidence supporting evolution. Having been brought up with religion, I used to take that view myself, choosing not to interpret the biblical account of creation literally.

        But theistic evolution is not a scientific theory, because the theistic portion is not falsifiable. Evidence may be found to support or falsify evolution, but no evidence would disprove that a supreme being was responsible for evolution. Thus it is no more appropriate to teach theistic evolution as science than to teach creationism as science. Both are more properly part of religion.

        Note that I'm not at all opposing teaching of theistic evolution or creationism. I only object to them being taught as science, which they clearly are not.

        James P. Hogan wrote a good science fiction short story describing the celestial events leading up to theistic evolution instead of creation. I don't recall the title, though it was probably collected in either "Minds, Machines and Evolution" or "Rockets, Redheads, and Revolution". He also wrote a good essay explaining more eloquently than I can why evolution and theistic evolution are not scientific theories.

        • > But theistic evolution is not a scientific theory,
          > because the theistic portion is not falsifiable.

          That depends entirely on where you set the bar for
          falsification. For example, if you were to say that
          the generation of a theory adequate to explain all
          observed facts of the fossil record without reference
          to design, with a demonstrable high degree of
          probable success is a falsification of the theistic
          model, then it is falsifiable in principle.
          If it is not falsifiable in practice, that may
          be because it
    • Re:I see... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fsmunoz (267297)
      So segregating people intolerant of Creationistic views is a bad thing, which I understand, but segregating people with Creationistic views would be a good thing?

      First of all I must confess that I am always surprised by these topic. I never met anyone in a public European school that was taught Creationism as a theory up for studying (but they probably exist. Somewhere. Maybe in a barn or something). I was done with it in 5 minutes in one class, I spent more time studying the flaws in Lamarck. So it's r
  • 64 bit desktops... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MmmmAqua (613624) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:09PM (#5804866)
    have been available [sun.com] (affordably, even!) for quite some time.
    • ...and judging by the povray results [aceshardware.com]they do not look that well. THey are not desktops but workstations and servers. Not something just anyone could afford to put on their desk. Not to mention sun still only sells the sparcIII as a server or 6k workstation. The el-cheapo blades still use sparcII's which are even slower then the ones benchmarked here. Sun is in hot water.

      They call there workstations workstations but they are servers with great i/o but shit poor performance for any workstation related task.
  • grrrr (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:16PM (#5804902) Journal
    "A biology student may need to understand the theory of evolution and be able to explain it. But a state-run university has no business telling students what they should or should not believe in," Ralph Boyd Jr., assistant attorney general for civil rights, said in a statement.


    Right. For example, it would be completely beyond the pail were a state-run university to require that medical students believe in... medicine.
  • creationists (Score:5, Interesting)

    by exhilaration (587191) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:16PM (#5804903)
    Is it even safe to encourage strict Creationists (or others with strong anti-scientific beliefs) to become doctors? Would they ignore animal research results, etc?

    That's a slippery slope you're suggesting.

    Should we exclude people from becoming doctors because they believe that Jesus came back from the dead - a belief which is both unscientific and contrary to our understanding of medical science?

    • Re:creationists (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tstoneman (589372) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:27PM (#5804970)
      I completely agree. I'm not a creationist, but I fully support their right to believe whatever they want to believe, as long as they don't shove it down my throat.

      I work with plenty of devout Hindus, and their beliefs are complete foreign to me (don't eat cows because they are sacred animals, they believe in not just one god, but many different gods, etc). Personally, I don't subscribe to any of it, but that's just my own personal belief, they are completely free to believe whatever they want, and who knows, they could be right and I could be wrong!

      Why is it that creationists are so looked down upon, but other religions that, for example, believe that the world is sitting on an elephant that is sitting on a turtle are okay? Is it because it is expected that white people in North America should know better, but non-whites are free to believe whatever they want?!? That to me seems at the very least bigotted.

      • Re:creationists (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dmaxwell (43234) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @08:16PM (#5805242)
        Why is it that creationists are so looked down upon, but other religions that, for example, believe that the world is sitting on an elephant that is sitting on a turtle are okay? Is it because it is expected that white people in North America should know better, but non-whites are free to believe whatever they want?!? That to me seems at the very least bigotted.

        Or maybe because those who believe the world is sitting on an elephant on a turtle aren't making nuisances of themselves. I haven't heard turtle believers arguing loudly and often in front of legislatures that we need to throw out all of the astronomy and geology books. Incidentally, biology isn't the only science on the creationists' shit list; even physics would have to be...ah....modified to not state inconvienient facts.

        This isn't Western bigotry. If large numbers of turtle believers in our midsts were doing their damndest to drag us back to the 14th century, they'd be looked down on too. Every culture on this planet has problems with religious luddites. The creationists just happen to be ours.
      • Why is it that creationists are so looked down upon, but other religions that, for example, believe that the world is sitting on an elephant that is sitting on a turtle are okay? Is it because it is expected that white people in North America should know better, but non-whites are free to believe whatever they want?!? That to me seems at the very least bigotted.

        Damn. If I had any mod points, you'd have gotten one. I'd have liked to have given you two or three, actually.

        I was always apalled at the do

    • Re:creationists (Score:3, Insightful)

      Very slippery.

      I would have to say that I don't care what my doctor's beliefs are... As long as his/her beliefs do not affect the job. Someone can freely believe that the world was created 5000 years ago, that dinosaurs never existed, and that there is no such thing as evolution; yet still believe enough of modern biological thinking to believe in germs, virii, and assorted other medical beliefs.

      But, the moment that a persons beliefs interfere with scientific thinking (such as denying the existence of ge
    • "Should we exclude people from becoming doctors because they believe that Jesus came back from the dead"

      No, because as a miracle, the resurrection is supposed to defy what medical science would predict.
  • Faulty reasoning? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:22PM (#5804940)
    Is it even safe to encourage strict Creationists (or others with strong anti-scientific beliefs) to become doctors? Would they ignore animal research results, etc?"

    How exactly do you make that connection between Creationism and ignoring animal research? I hate to break it to you, but the people who typically believe that animals should not be researched upon are the ones who believe they evolved (and thus, are no differnt from humans and deserve the same treatment). Creationism by its very nature puts humans above and beyond other animals, and thus animals are to be utilized by humans.
  • by szyzyg (7313) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:35PM (#5805012)
    This guy has written many high quality scientific papers, he does a lot of work on Cosmology, and yet he was a devout 7th Day Adventist - and therefore believed in creation.

    Didn't seem to interfere with his work.
    • But what flavor of creationist? There are those who, while devout, either interpret the creation stories metaphorically, or subscribe to some flavor of old-age creationism, which has its problems but doesn't try to squeeze the geological and astronomical records into a few thousand years.
    • You might be interested in the book In Six Days [barnesandnoble.com], edited by John Ashton - it's a collection of 50 essays by scientists in many different fields, each with (at least) a PhD, explaining why they believe in Creation from a scientific perspective.
  • by aSiTiC (519647) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:41PM (#5805041) Homepage
    My experience in contacting my local representative. I'm impressed doesn't appear to be a form letter!

    ---

    I am fully supportive of the bill, and as a member of the committee
    (General Government) assigned the bill, I am working with the proponents
    and a few other legislators to move this bill.

    We had a very successful hearing on it that attracted a great deal of
    opposition from some of the big high-tech lobbyists. They turned out in
    force and are now trying to prevent those of us on the committee who
    support it from bringing it up for a work session. Unfortunately on
    their side, the lobbyists have the committee chair, most committee
    members of the majority party (Republicans), and a few influential
    members of the House leadership. The fact that the bill has so much
    muscle against it means we are giving them a fight they did not expect
    to face!

    Thanks for contacting me about this. If you have not already, please
    feel free to send your email to other legislators as well.

    Sincerely,

    Kelley Wirth
    State Representative
    District 16

    Melissa P. White
    Legislative Assistant
    Representative Kelley Wirth
    District 16
    900 Court Street NE
    Salem, Oregon 97301
    503-986-1416

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Adam XXXXX [mailto:XXXXXXXX@attbi.com]
    Sent: Friday, April 18, 2003 10:47 PM
    To: REP Wirth
    Subject: Internet email for Legislative Member, TO: Kelley Wirth

    Dear Representative Kelley Wirth:

    I'm very disappointed to hear that House Bill 2892 is being stalled
    because large corporations fear it's implications. Open Source software
    should be consider equally along with other costly software! If the
    Open Source software is more cost effective and achieves the same
    purpose it should be used in Oregon government applications. This would
    be a perfect oppurtunity for Oregon lawmakers to show their commitment
    to maximize taxpayers money! Thanks and please consider my thoughts.

    Sincerely,
    Adam XXXXXX
    XXX NW 5th #XXX
    Corvallis, Oregon 97330
    XXXXXXXX@attbi.com
  • HB2892 Alive? Dead? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SatanicLoveMonkey (634012) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:43PM (#5805046)

    My Oregon House Representative, Mitch Greenlick (Democrat-033), wrote back to me:

    John, I wasn't at that hearing so I don't know what happened. But I read the same news reports you did and I also heard that Microsoft and Intel, et al really brought full fire on the proposal. And it is definitely dead.

    Mitch

    Now, I don't mean to be a naysayer, and I'd hate to quit too early, but when the man says it's dead...

    Doomed feelings aside, I'm off to write the speaker of the house, Ms. Minnis... As I said to Rep. Greenlick, I'd rather not have my taxes raised when the alternative could be to use open-source software providing Oregonians with jobs (installation, design, maintenance) and saving money by eliminating the need to pay economic rent to Washingtonians (Microsoft Licensing Fees).

    SLM

    • Alive! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PotatoHead (12771)
      This guy either does not support the bill, or has not really investigated the issue. His office needs a few more phone calls. Lets make sure he gets them.

      You all must remember, the process is fluid. There are many ways this bill can continue to move through the legislature.

      If this is something we *really* want, and they understand that, then the bill stands a chance. They can move any issue they want to in any number of ways. If this were a sweetheart bill, you can bet it would find a way to move thr
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2003 @07:45PM (#5805060)
    I just want to take a moment to comment on Grub. In the original story we heard,

    "People who choose to download and run the client will assist in building the Web's largest, most accurate database of URLs."

    Already I find myself rolling my eyes.

    Then I click through to the site. Aha. I will volunteer my machine on a non-profit basis for a for-profit company. This is just like distributed.net and SETI? Give me a break, these guys were bought out by Looksmart, a paid for placement ad company.

    Google didn't succeed by getting slashdot editors to post stories saying they are building the most useful search engine out there, they succeeded by actually building it.

    I just hope grub keeps the fools who want to regulate google away. Google succeeded because they didn't have to listen to self-important analysts.
  • Most if not all prior x86 chipsets that supported ECC did a fairly half-assed job of it. They didn't report the location of a detected error (whether correctable or not), but instead only the base address of a block of memory which contained the error.

    It appears that the Opteron can report the actual address of any detected errors. Plus, it can report details of ECC errors in its caches.

    But the coolest feature is that it supports memory scrubbing, a feature I'd previously not seen in a microprocessor or chipset since the iAPX 432 memory controller back in 1983.

    When a SEU causes a single-bit error in a word of memory, the ECC is capable of correcting it when the word is read. But if that word doesn't get read again for a long time, it's possible that a second SEU might happen in the same word, which would then be an uncorrectable error. With memory scrubbing, the memory controller uses a small portion of the memory bandwidth to scan the entire memory, correcting any single-bit errors that are found, so that the probability of a two-bit (or more) uncorrectable error is greatly reduced.

    My last several computers (including a dual Athlon using the 760MPX chip set, and a DEC Alpha) had ECC, but not scrubbing. I considered writing a Linux program to scrub the memory by direct access to /dev/mem, but this has the disadvantage of thrashing the processor's caches. By implementing scrubbing in hardware, the Opteron avoids that problem.

    The Opteron has a Scrub Control Register that is used to enable or disable scrubbing and control the rate. There are independent scrubbing controls for the L1 data cache, L2 cache, and main memory.

    Those of us that want high reliability really welcome this feature. Well done, AMD!

    By the way, it should be noted that it is typical for a PC with 128 megabytes of memory to get a single bit error several times a week. On my Alpha, I routinely saw corrected error log messages in the syslog, which gave me much more confidence in the system than the way that most PCs simply fail to even detect memory errors, let alone correct them. The log messages are also useful in that you can determine whether you have some memory that is getting marginal. For instance, at one point I started getting a much higher rate of corrected errors on one particular SIMM. There may have been a slight amount of oxidation or corrosion on the contacts, or they may have just worked themselves loose a bit. Cleaning the contacts and reseating the SIMM solved the problem with only a few minutes of down time, instead of what probably would have been hours of down time had the errors gone unnoticed.

    The results of an undetected error vary considerably; it may be in memory that is not in use at the time, or it could be in the midst of the operating system, an application, or user data.

    • by NerveGas (168686) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @08:32PM (#5805317)

      The AMD MPX (dual Athlon) chipset also supports memory scrubbing.
    • The Sparc architecture has supported memory scrubbing for quite some time. Single bit errors are logged properly to /var/adm/messages and the exact DIMM location is presented.

      It's good to see the AMD Opteron finally adding this level of reliability to IA-32/64 hardware.

      On another note... I think you're mistaken when you say it's normal for a PC to get single bit errors several times a week. On all the Sun boxes I work on if I'm getting single bit errors on any DIMM I replace it right away. A DIMM that
  • Does anyone else see two topic icons on this article? The slashback icon as well as the AMD one.

    And it's not some browser specific bug... It's displayed in both Mozilla and IE.

    • They're everywhere (Score:3, Informative)

      by BSDevil (301159)
      I noticed it too - and if you look at several other stories posted today, many of them have it. The one about the PPC970 has an AMD logo on top of an IBM logo. The PC/104 one has hardware on top of links. "Video Game Movies in Development" has the 'Games' joystick on top of the 'Movies' clapboard.

      The winner, hovever, seems to be this [slashdot.org] one about the GPL vs. the XP licence: it has Tux on top of Bill of Borg, both above the Justice lady. Hrm...
  • by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Thursday April 24, 2003 @08:40PM (#5805363) Journal
    The prices for the Opteron chips seem reasonable, and the nforce3 and new VIA chipsets should make it possible to build reasonably priced motherboards -- so why would the Opteron be out of reach for power-hungry computer users?

    Just because it says 'server' on the box the chip comes in?

    thad
  • The return of chipset-free SMP. This was my primary motivation to go with Athlon 64, and I was planning to buy two of them. Then AMD announced that they were dropping a HT link from clawhammer. Now SMP must be done at the chipset level once more, which is a serious liability compared to the ease and low cost of hypertransport. Sure, the socket costs more, but I think it's worth it to not need any special chipset.

    This would also solve the memory controller bandwidth problem. People who need the additional bandwidth can use two clawhammers; they'll want SMP anyway. This was my plan all along, my understanding was that sledgehammner had a superior (dual channel) memory controller and an additional HT link (three total) and that clawhammer had only a single channel memory controller but still had two HT links, so you could get dual processor SMP out of it for "free" (only the cost of supporting the pins and bus connections on the motherboard.) I don't see why you wouldn't be able to build linear-connected SMP machines with it either, up to 32 nodes or whatever HT supports, though I'm not sure how useful a machine set up with those kind of interconnects would be, or what kind of OS it would take to do anything meaningful with it.

    Anyway, AMD really did promise those things in their marketing literature -- 1-2 way clawhammer and 2-8 way sledgehammer (that always looked funny to me, like they were implying you had to run at least two chips) and the processors in the sledgehammer would be cross-connected, with two of them each employing a dual channel memory controller at once. Then they changed their minds. Doubtless they felt that they had to remove it to bring the chips down to some magical price point, and maybe they're right, but I was expecting a really classy CPU and what we're getting is cool and all, but they missed the geek factor pretty much entirely.

    Now it's not like itanic is there mind you, the new PowerPC is pretty geeky but that can't make it a leading processor just because of the weight behind x86 (which if you think about it, AMD is helping to preserve. we laud them for their backwards compatibility, and we hope their new extensions are better-implemented than, say, the i386's. :) They certainly look better, it looks like a great chip in every way, but it really does appear to need another hypertransport link. Come on, AMD.

    • Even though the Athlon 64 (nee Clawhammer) only has a single Hypertransport link, in principle it may be possible to use it in a dual processor SMP configuration without a "special" chipset. For instance, a motherboard could use two Athlon 64s with a single AMD-8131 Hypertransport PCI-X tunnel (or any other Hypertransport tunnel), and attach the two processors to the opposite ends of the HT tunnel.

      Of course, such a configuration using the Athlon 64 will not be supported by AMD, since the Athlon 64 will n

  • robots.txt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thing 1 (178996) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @09:16PM (#5805527) Journal
    Honoring robots.txt seems to me to be like honoring "all spam should have 'ADV:' at the beginning of the subject."

    What punishment is there for not honoring it?

    Instead there should be a technological solution, rather than a legal or social solution (the current solution, I believe, is social).

    The answer? Look to Slashdot. Create artificial "delays" in access times. Slashdot has 2 minutes between posts and 20 seconds between clicking "Reply" and "Submit".

    The web sites could have an artificial 2- or 3-second delay between accesses, so for instance if a "robot" was scanning the site it would experience slow-downs. And it could increase the delay upon multiple accesses, by (say) 1 second each access within the limit, so that the spider would end up taking a very long time to get each page.

    This would require no change in laws, or in "social" behavior to punish the spiders. People generally don't click on a new link that quickly anyway (they tend to read some of the page before clicking on a link on that page), so this would be very non-intrusive for regular users but would slow down a spider.

    Of course, then the spiders would be written such that they scan multiple sites, so a slowdown on one (or every) site wouldn't slow the spider down much. But that's the price we pay for putting information on the internet.

    I seriously think the practice of using "robots.txt" is silly.

    • Re:robots.txt (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amorsen (7485)
      Web sites can try to detect spiders. Spiders can try to hide that they are spiders. This leads to an arms race. Robots.txt was an attempt at a social contract: Spiders would not be stopped by the web site, as long as the spiders upheld their end of the contract.

      If it becomes commonplace that spiders break the social contract, then web sites will have to get better weapons. This means development time spent on something that ultimately benefits noone. Some of the measures that could be used would in fact h

  • by rsm00th (574253) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @10:03PM (#5805734) Homepage
    <?PHP
    if(strpos($HTTP_USER_AGENT, "grub-client"))
    {
    echo "Grub is teh lame!";
    exit;
    }
    ?>
  • by NialScorva (213763) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @10:30PM (#5805850)
    1) Dr Dini did not change his requirement in any appreciable way:

    Original:

    "How do you think the human species originated?

    If you cannot truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my recommendation for admittance to further education in the biomedical sciences"

    New:
    "How do you account for the scientific origin of the human species? If you will not give a scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my recommendation."

    Read the statement: http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/dini/Personal/letters.htm

    He explains his requirement and *still* says that he will not recommend people who reject evolution.

    2) Professors have the right to choose who they will and will not write a recommendation for. Should they be required to put their recommendation behind anyone who asks them?

    3) The student in question never asked Dr Dini for a recommendation at all.

    4) Dini also requires the student to have earned and "A" in one of his classes. Spradling had not done this.

    5) Dini requires that "I should know you fairly well." Dini says he had no idea who Spradling was.

    Basically the whole situation is a publicity stunt dreamed up by a creationists. The Spradling didn't meet *any* of Dini's criteria for recommendation.
  • I have already posted this under another thread, but just got the idea after reading a couple other posts.

    So, what does your Rep say? Here is mine:

    (Positive)

    Dear Mr. Potatohead,

    Thank you for your email in support of HB 2892. Rep. Dingfelder supports
    the concept of this bill and realizes the cost savings that it would
    bring about. At present, the bill is undergoing a few amendments so I am
    unable to commit to her vote for the bill until the final versions come
    out. However, my guess is that she will support it. I have passed along
    your comments to her. In addition, I will place a copy of your email in
    the bill file. This will assure that she again sees your comments prior
    to voting on the bill on the house floor.

    Thanks for taking the time to contact our office regarding this issue.
    The representative greatly appreciates your input! Please feel free to
    contact out office at any time we can be of assistance to you.

    Sincerely,
    (name)
    Legislative Assistant to Rep. Jackie Dingfelder
    House District 45
    (Phone)
  • by SubtleNuance (184325) on Friday April 25, 2003 @07:07AM (#5807239) Journal
    The rise in tolerance of unbelievable points of view, moreover their impact on policy in the US, is incredibly disturbing.

    From the Republican Senators (the racist/homophobe), Ashcroft's prayer meetings, Ashcroft's draping a nude statue w/ a drape (!), bush's "faith based" BS... etc etc etc.

    The seperation between church and state, and the ability for people to understand that ALL these things are instances of Fundemental (Reconstructionist even) Christian goals/acts/efforts is very scary.

    Even Bush believes God is on his side [bbc.co.uk] in Iraq - you'd think someone in his position, a leader of a secular USA, wouldnt be a delluded cultist.

    From that article above:

    One in three American Christians call themselves evangelicals and many evangelicals believe the second coming of Christ will occur in the Middle East after a titanic battle with the anti-Christ.

    Does the president believe he is playing a part in the final events of Armageddon?

    If true, it is an alarming thought.

    But he would not be alone, as 59% of all Americans believe that what is written in the Bible's Book of Revelation will come to pass.

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