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Comment Re:Maybe (Score 5, Interesting) 174

I used to run AMD's consumer benchmark group during the K6, K7, K8 days. I'm not sure what you mean by "unbiased reports", but I can tell you that the process the company went through to create and execute benchmarks that were unbiased was remarkably fair. In the time I was there, the company ran benchmark results for any application that met three key requirements:

1) repeatable results
2) relevant software
3) practical to benchmark

So this meant that using canned benchmarks from applications such as Winstone for MS Office applications was a great option to look at office productivity software. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how PC Magazine was weighting the application between the various MS Office applications, and I hit upon a way to do this by changing core frequency during benchmark runs so that we could create a multi-dimensional array of scores vs. frequencies to determine that Word was x%, Excel was x+5%, etc. We came up with a likely weighting scheme, although I don't recall what became of that work. In the consumer space, the other big hitter is obviously games. At the time of my tenure, AMD used many or most of the same gaming applications that were en vogue with Firing Squad, Toms Hardware, Anand Tech, Sharkey Extreme, etc. There was nothing nefarious about the work we did, nothing unbiased. We looked at these applications with equal weighting and determined that for a given frequency of relevant, competing Intel CPUs, there was an AMD offering that on balance, performed equally or better at a lower frequency. This processor was then given a model name such as 1800+ that was meant to convey it compared favorably to an Intel 1.8GHz CPU. In the days that my group did this work, AMD made a point of publicizing this process and went so far as to have the process vetted via direct supervision of a 3rd party auditing company who was one of the big-4 industry auditors. It was painstaking work to demonstrate that software load order and procedure was identical for AMD and Intel parts. When a benchmark completed, we showed the score to the auditor. Sometimes benchmarks returned imperfect scores because of a stray hard disk latency event and would throw the score off for either product. We would work with the auditor to show that the result of the otherwise repeatable values was an outlier and subsequently toss it in favor of another run.

Others in this Slashdot post have complained of heat dissipation. My team was solely concerned with instructions per second and performance per watt was not a concern for us. I do vaguely recall that this may have been a factor for the server team. My guess is that based on reading the occasional tech article here and there, AMD has made some important progress on power management.

Comment Re: God I hate to say this, but (Score 2) 562

Wish I had mod points for you as I *completely* agree on both points regarding Star Trek's original premise about social commentary being its true strength (City on the Edge of Forever, anyone?) vs. the popcorn actioner it has become today and in so doing, has made itself no different from any other action franchise.

Comment Re:The Klan Is Always Getting Bigger (Score 5, Informative) 546

The usefulness of your post notwithstanding, I heard in a news broadcast a few months ago (to my recollection) that the Klan's membership used to numbers in the millions at its peak and is now measured in tens of thousands. Happily, it's a club apparently on the decline.

Comment Gun Control, maybe (Score 1) 712

In 1996, a man named Martin Bryant became the worst killer in Australia's history. After walking into a cafe in Port Arthur, Tasmania, he killed 35 people and wounded 23 others with a semiautomatic rifle and another semiautomatic assault weapon. As a result, Australia enacted one of the largest gun reforms in recent history — and gun deaths plummeted. The changes remain the gold standard for advocates of gun control today.

Comment Read the comments from the source (Score 1) 35

So much idiocy in so little space. Concerning the technical details of the article, I can't help but wonder if this person is in a similar danger to diabetics who get minor injuries to their legs and are unaware of it due to neuropathy, only to then get infections that lead to eventual amputation. My grandmother was one such person. This tech seems more like a bridge than a solution to the important problem of inducing nerve regeneration / replacement.

Comment Re:great timing (Score 2) 38

That wasn't very nice of you to say. You're also [stupidly] assuming that

1) Survival instinct is trumped by rationality
2) The astronauts have complete faith in SpaceX's ability to correctly identify and solve the problem that didn't show up on their boards at all

There is no reason why these people can't be of two minds about this topic.

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Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. -- Ambrose Bierce