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Submission + - Visual ARM1 - Celebrating ARM's 25th Anniversary (

trebonian writes: Today is the 25th anniversary of ARM Ltd., UK. To celebrate and honor their amazing work, we present the Visual ARM1, created in collaboration with some of ARM's founding engineers.

Designed by Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber before there was an ARM Ltd., the Acorn RISC Machine was the first of a line of processors that power our cell phones and tablets today. Unlike our projects based on microscope images, the Visual ARM was created from a resurrected .cif chip layout file, used under our license agreement with ARM. We also photographed one of the few ARM1 chips at very high resolution, and our photograph is featured at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge.

Credit goes to ARM founding engineers John Biggs for inspiring the project, discovering the tape, and recovering a usable .cif file, Lee Smith for spotting the variable record format used to encode the file (an artifact of the VMS on Acorn's VAX that at first appeared to be widespread corruption of the file), to Cambridge University Computing Services for reading the Exabyte tape, and to ARM founder Dave Howard for help unraveling the VLSI CIF dialect. Our chip simulation and visualization was developed by Barry Silverman, Brian Silverman, Ed Spittles, and Greg James.

Submission + - FCC votes along party lines to regulate entire Internet

jbdigriz writes: In a stunning power grab, the FCC has extended Title II, not just to the loosely and flexibly defined "broadband" market, but to the Internet as a whole, wired and wireless, including even interconnects, making ISPs common carriers of telecom services, with the possible exception of dial-up providers (dunno, haven't seen the order yet). The commission voted also to override state law in NC and TN to remove restrictions on community broadband. Ars Technica has more info here. Lawyers, start filing. I'm sure the upshot will not be enshrinement of incumbents, of course. Or "openness" as defined by Fairness Committees of "Stake Holders." Right, suckers.

Comment TSX fixed? (Score 1) 78

TSX was disabled in Broadwell and early Haswell chips due to a bug. Do these new Broadwell-U have the TSX fix?

I have an experimental workload for which TSX would be very helpful, due to a need for atomic reads and writes of unaligned 10-byte data items. As far as I can determine, x86 provides no other way to guarantee atomicity of an unaligned 10-byte read or write.

Comment Re:True inventor of blue LED not awarded Nobel eit (Score 1) 276

Perhaps. IEEE Spectrum credits Maruska, as do several other histories of the subject.

Maruska seems to have made the first working violet LED. Some people claim that it doesn't qualify as a blue LED, but as far as I know there's no agreed-upon hard distinction between violet and blue. Maruska developed the right materials and process to make it, even if RCA pulled the plug before he had solved all of the problems necessary for commercialization.

Comment Re:Pricing? (Score 3, Interesting) 47

$49 only gets you the Edison module, which is useless by itself. You also need a base board of some kind. The Edison module with the Arduino-compatible base board shown in the photos will set you back $99. Still a pretty good price. 3x more expensive than a Raspberry Pi, but it is a lot more capable.

I'd get more excited about a 64-bit ARM embedded board, but those aren't available yet, other than a $6000 development board from ARM.

Comment business model (Score 2) 34

Not all of the code on GitHub is open source, but the majority is -- handy, when that means an account is free as in beer, too.

I'm not privy to any details of GitHub's finances or business model, but most likely it's a good thing that there are non-open-source projects using GitHub, because that's probably what's paying for the free open source use. I've recommended to several clients developing proprietary software the use of GitHub rather than running their own in-house repositories, because the interface is easier for them to use and they don't need as much in-house expertise to manage things. Because Git is distributed, they could of course do both, or easily transition away from GitHub later, and that's a selling point.

Submission + - Facebook experimenting with Blu-ray as a storage medium (

s122604 writes: There aren't too many people collecting Blu-ray discs these days. But while the technology is fast becoming obsolete for movie viewers, Facebook sees it as a promising new means for handling data storage.

Submission + - BBC & FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite (

An anonymous reader writes: In just a few hours time the brand new season of Doctor Who will premiere, kicking off with the first episode ‘Deep Breath’. There’s been a huge build up in the media, but for fans who prefer to socialize and obtain news via a dedicated community, today brings bad news.

Doctor Who Media (DWM) was a site created in 2010 and during the ensuing four and a half years it amassed around 25,000 dedicated members.

A source close to the site told TF that since nothing like it existed officially, DWM’s core focus was to provide a central location and community for everything in the “Whoniverse”, from reconstructions of missing episodes to the latest episodes, and whatever lay between.

But yesterday, following a visit by representatives from the BBC and Federation Against Copyright Theft, the site’s operator took the decision to shut down the site for good.

Comment Re:VMS user interface is utterly obsolete (Score 4, Informative) 136

Somehow I fondly remember VMS running on HP hardware back in the 90s. A local university had a dialup guest account. It was fun. Going back to the DOS prompt after a finished session always made me hurt and long for something better than DOS.

"Somehow" is that you're hallucinating. VMS didn't run on any HP hardware until 2002. Prior to that it only ran on DEC and Compaq hardware.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas