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Comment: Re:There's a lot more going on... (Score 1) 161

by QQBoss (#47781417) Attached to: Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

That is more or less accurate. The goals of the original RISC were stated to be making a Reduced Instruction Set Computer, but what was in fact produced was a Reduced Instruction Set Complexity CPU. By restricting the touching of memory to only loads and stores, all other instructions that were able to be executed in one clock COULD be executed in one clock always. Whereas some CISC instructions involving arrays could kick off 10+ memory touches as a side effect, RISC instructions could never do that (sans via exceptions). So when all 10 of those memory touches weren't required, the RISC architecture could optimize away the unnecessary ones (which was a bitch in 1990, but common place by 2000 and exceedingly trivial by 2010, to put it roughly).

I taught CISC architectures (68K mostly) and was a minor architect for PowerPC (I helped work on the early EABI- embedded application binary interface- architecture)

But this leads to a problem: Cache. That CISC operation that made 10 memory touches took roughly 10-18 bytes of instruction storage (68K example), and 10 data cache accesses that would either hit or miss. But a 16 bit RISC would take 22 bytes (and didn't double the number of useful registers available) and a 32 bit RISC would take 44 bytes (but generally doubled the number of useful registers, reducing the need for so many loads and stores). Thank goodness you took fewer transistors to implement the instruction pipeline, because you need them all back to make the Icache bigger! The hope being that those 10 memory touches were rarely needed if you had more registers, so you could cut back on other loads somewhere (but we didn't get really good at doing that automatically until the late '90s, by which time we could show that the RISC penalty was effectively negated, specific numbers remain the property of my name-changed employer but were down to single digit percentage differences). Dcache would have the same hits and misses, unless you were also able to allocate saved transistors to some Dcache which might affect hit rates by some low single percentage points.

But with complicated instructions come pipeline clocking challenges. Implementing the entire x86 pipeline in 5 stages would result in having a sub-200 MHz pipeline today- the P4 push to 4 GHz required up to 19 stages (and who knows how many designers) worst case, IIRC! Meanwhile, most RISC architectures zoom along happily with 5-7 stages and only manufacturing nodes or target design decisions keep them from clocking up to x86 frequencies.

Hands down, it was never any 'benefits' of CISC (or, specifically, the x86 architecture) that allowed Intel to take the field, it was market forces and manufacturing might. A win is a win.

BTW, to the AC GP, just because an instruction appears complex (most SIMD operations, MADDs, FPSQRTRES, etc...), they still count as RISC if they can be either executed in one clock or at least pipelined with nominally one result per clock if they don't impact the pipeline for all the other commonly executed instructions. After all, we can made a divide instruction execute in 1 clock, too, as long as you don't mind your add instructions taking 16x longer (though still one clock), but that is cheating.

Comment: Re:One of the most frustrating first-world problem (Score 1) 191

by QQBoss (#47660641) Attached to: Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production

At some point in your life you're going to have to go all Zen about it and not care so much.

Only then can you throw those old SCSI cables out.

Hah, I scrapped 4 cubic yards of collected computer detritus, including at least a dozen different SCSI cables (with some ultraSCSIs) today. Been needing to do that for years. I did shed a bit of a tear over the Amiga stuff, though.

Yes, I donated to anyone and everyone all that I could before I scrapped. But 4 working PCs couldn't even be given away to an orphanage!

Comment: Re:A robot can only make 30,000 devices and...? (Score 1) 530

by QQBoss (#47406459) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

The robots can build 30,000 devices PER YEAR.

Which would be a perfectly reasonable reading and what I expected to find, as well, though without knowing what units are being produced you have no idea if 30,000 is an impressive number at all.

And, yet, across neither of the two articles I posted previously, nor any of these have any information suggesting that any one robot can make 30,000 units in any specific time, in fact one of them explicitly says that the robots are incapable of building a single iPhone from start to finish as they don't have the necessary functionality However, the new machine can perform only a few basic tasks, such as lifting and placing components. In other words, they do not have the precision needed for the assembly of the iPhone... which suggest they are capable of making 0 units per year, and not 30,000.

However, each and every one of them say that Foxconn plans to have 30,000 robots installed by the end of the year. Wanna play Occam's Razor?

Comment: A robot can only make 30,000 devices and...? (Score 4, Informative) 530

by QQBoss (#47405217) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

"Foxconn said its new "Foxbots" will cost roughly $20,000 to $25,000 to make, but individually be able to build an average of 30,000 devices."

So approximately $1.2-$1.5 of the cost of an iPhone will be eaten up by a robot that can only make 30,000 devices before having to be replaced? For some reason, I think Foxconn is probably even better at the financial math than that, and the quote seems so wrong in both a factual error and a grammatical error sense I actually had to RTFA (I hate you, redletterdave) and sure enough the quote is direct from the Businessweek article (I hate you even more, Dave Smith of Businessweek). However, reading 5 other variations of the same announcement, not one of them uses the same phraseology, which makes me wonder where the quote actually came from. Dailytech, for example, says that Foxconn will have 30,000 Foxbots installed by the end of the year and makes no mention of the speed at which they can build anything (which makes sense, since the robots are so simple- basically pick and place- that no one robot could build an entire device). Another website, Regator, gives the same clue, saying they already have 10K Foxbots, and plan to install another 20K by the end of the year.

Comment: As a diver, all props to Gran Pere (Score 1) 30

Seriously, without Jacques Yves Cousteau (and military divers), there probably wouldn't have been nearly the early development of scuba diving that brought in the talent and creativity required to make it safer than riding a bike on the street (something else I do with great regularity at night, thank you, Cree LED lights). Scuba diving today has a fatality estimate of about 5 per 100K divers.

But other than show the effects of 31 days of 2.8 bar, what else did he do of significance that couldn't be more easily, cheaply, and probably better done using a 360 degree video camera set up with lights on an underwater drone dropped off the back of a research ship for 31 days?

Comment: Re:Let gay men donate (Score 3, Informative) 172

by QQBoss (#47220061) Attached to: Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

Donating for a specific person, in particular for yourself, is a special situation where things are done differently. For example, many of the conditions that would make you ineligible to donate to another person are waived if you are donating for personal use (and the blood is tossed if you wind up not needing it). Though it also depends on what you mean 'my blood was tested...' If you mean that you were tested for blood type and anemia, things that can be done with only the blood from a finger prick, 100% of people receive those tests in any modern medical environment (and even most not so modern ones). If you mean they did a full screening for HIV and other BBPs before you were allowed to give more than a finger prick's worth, then that is a specific situation not covered by general donation rules. For general situations, the written/oral prescreening is a much less expensive solution to having to run a myriad of tests (some cheap, some not so cheap) on a lot of blood that never should have been donated in the first place.

Comment: Re:Let gay men donate (Score 5, Interesting) 172

by QQBoss (#47219457) Attached to: Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

All donors ARE tested for HIV (at least in USA, Canada, and China), but the test is post-donation and not pre-donation. Donated blood is tested for far more than just HIV, as well, and failing that post-donation test can result in a temporary or permanent ban from future donations. Prescreening of donors reduces the cost of testing relative to acceptable donations, which is a useful tool for keeping the cost of the existing donor supply lower than it would be otherwise. The American Red Cross revisits this policy about every 5 years, IIRC, and goes through the math of where the percentage breakpoints are for breakeven results- when any population crosses that line the wrong way, a new question goes on the prescreening survey. Homosexually active men are no more discriminated against than people who got tattoos or ear piercings within a certain time period, or who lived in certain countries (don't be from Cameroon or Nigeria, for example). Want to change that? Try changing the incidence of disease in the indentifiable community below that break point, because manipulating only the math doesn't turn out well in any scenario.

Giving a blood test for all the possible BBPs (blood borne pathogens) and other issues prior to donating is not cheap if the number of donors goes up by any significant amount of people who wouldn't qualify, so a prescreening survey is going to remain the most cost effective way of dealing with these issues and keeping the number of people who would dilute the quality of the blood supply low.

If you don't qualify to pass the written prescreening test, and you still want to donate blood, at least in the USA you can do that. There is a box you can check to indicate that you want your blood disposed of after donation. This is most commonly used by drug users and homosexuals who are donating in the presence of family, co-workers, or friends who the donor feels are not aware of their situation. It wastes staff time and some property (collection bags, etc...), but allows an individual to maintain their privacy for a lower cost than a prescreening blood test would cost.

Comment: Why stop there? (Score 0) 1040

by QQBoss (#47153187) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

If $15 makes sense, and they are thinking about the future, why not $20? For that matter, why not by fiat define the minimum wage to be $100/hour, and every person will automatically be rich!

Oh, you say, but $100 is ludicrous, even based on what we can foresee for 2021. No one would ever get hired!!! That is a strawman!!! But if that is true, why would $15 make sense and not $14.50, or $14.00... what seems like a living wage to a politician (or a voter, for that matter) is probably very different from a low-skill, low-education high school student (or, worse, dropout) who can't get any job at all, because no employer will take a risk on them at that wage level.

Oh, no problem, we will order employers to hire them....

I have been on both sides of the minimum wage issue, as a recipient and as an employer. Every argument for a flat one-size fits all number is flawed but, no, I don't have a better solution at this time. However, if you send money to my election campaign, I will be very thoughtful in my considerations...

Comment: Re:Android phones with "Beats" branding... (Score 1) 188

by QQBoss (#47116355) Attached to: Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats For $3 Billion

They already did. Beats was only used with the HTC M7. Now, they call the exact same thing "Boomsound". If you use Sprint in the USA, you can also get the HTC One M8/Harmon Kardon Edition, which is actually an improvement over the software that works with the standard M8's boomsound (though I am not sure the hardware changes at all). It also gains the ability to play FLAC files, which Beats didn't give, a free Spotify account for 6 months for "Framily [sic] plan" users, and a nice set of earphones. But as a past Sprint user for over 10 years, I am an ex-Sprint user now and probably forever, and the only reason I would consider getting this phone would be to immediately root it which would negate some of the bonus features that only work on the Sprint Network. If it supported two SIMs, I would seriously consider that, though.

Comment: Re:Missles and drones have to be cheaper than a B- (Score 2) 190

by QQBoss (#47096767) Attached to: B-52 Gets First Full IT Upgrade Since 1961

When you figure out how to recall a missile without loss of the airframe and other important explodey-bits, get back to us. Not to mention freaking out a couple of other countries with their own ICBMs when they can't tell if the missile you say is headed over the pole to a given -stan is going to fall short and hit Russia or go wide and hit China, so they have to order their own launches before the descent half of the arc (bonus points for MIRVs).

As for drones, there is a reason why you always try to take out the C&C first when it even a modestly viable option. With the B-52 in stand-off mode, every flight team is its own C&C when things go sideways. Much harder all of them than to take out than a single 'air wing' (not intending to be derisive of drone pilots- a meaningful MOS, but it does bring clarification to ChAir Force) based outside of Las Vegas.

Some day, hopefully none of this will be necessary. It won't be in our lifetimes, though. Until then, Semper Fi, and, thank you, Dad and all other veterans.

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 190

by QQBoss (#47096661) Attached to: B-52 Gets First Full IT Upgrade Since 1961

The BUF (Big Ugly F*cker) and the Warthog earned their nicknames honestly, but I bet if the person who nicknamed the A-10 had been from the southern USA, it would have been nicknamed the Armadillo for the bathtub, with the double bonus of being only slightly better in a beauty contest than a warthog. Although there is the wrong speed bump metaphor going on with the name Armadillo...

Both of those platforms have a niche which no other can compete with yet. Wikipedia has the following to say about the A-10, though: In the House Armed Services Committee's markup of the FY 2015 budget, language was included that to allow the retirement of the A-10 fleet. The markup limited the availability of funds for retirement unless each plane could be kept in type-1000 storage, meaning they could be readily reactivated if needed. Even with this condition, the markup did not specifically prohibit the Air Force from retiring the fleet in FY 2015. The day following the HASC markup, the Senate refused the idea of placing the A-10 in any type of storage and reaffirmed its position that the fleet be kept fully active. Shortly after, the HASC passed an amendment to their markup blocking A-10 retirement. It stipulates that the fleet cannot be retired or even stored until the U.S. Comptroller General completes certifications and studies on other Air Force platforms used to perform CAS. Assessments will include cost per plane for conducting CAS missions, identifying if other aircraft able to successfully perform the mission, and the capabilities of each plane used in that role. The Senate Armed Services Committee markup would direct $320 million saved from personnel cuts to keep the A-10 flying. Both chambers of Congress have now drafted plans to keep the A-10 in Air Force service for at least another year.

At least another year... hopefully we can keep that going until there is a true replacement for the ground pounder's best friend.

Comment: Re:What security reasons? (Score 3, Insightful) 201

by QQBoss (#46970373) Attached to: $7 USB Stick Aims To Bring Thousands of Poor People Online

It isn't in the interest of an internet cafe, which charges for time logged in, to allow you to bypass their log-in environment (typically some form of cafe management software).

Additionally, using any USB stick that successfully bypassed the management software in China would get the user arrested.

The security reasons gp mentioned aren't related to the user, they are related to 'the man'.

Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 557

by QQBoss (#46937919) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked

There is major oil in Florida, or at least under the continental shelf within the EEZ. However, Cuba would probably prefer that they didn't have to compete with Russia for the oil they are slant drilling (using Chinese drilling platforms, instead of US or EU-owned platforms due to sanctions).

Good for them, btw, as there doesn't appear to be any illegality (other than who has the will and biggest guns having the final say as to what is illegal) and obviously it is immoral for the USA to access that oil, anyway.

Man, so many grenades, so little time.

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