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Comment: Re:scientific computing (Score 2) 125

by bored (#49180345) Attached to: Linux 4.0 Getting No-Reboot Patching

I disagree, speaking as someone who has in fact had a weeks long job running on my desktop before. I mean if you have a fast PC (desktop processors are often faster per core, at the expense of fewer cores)

Well you have to differentiate whether your talking about an intel desktop machine or a "workstation" class machine. The difference at this point is the "workstation" is using xeon class processors, and has ECC. The problem is that the "workstation" has exactly the same processors as the rack mount machine running in the server room with a much better power and cooling environment.

That said, it is possible to get something like the Xeon E5-2637 v3 which is a quad core, 3.5 Ghz (+turbo) CPU. Sure its not the the 4+Ghz you can get on a "desktop" CPU but it does have a LGA 2011v3 which will give you significantly more memory bandwidth and ECC.

Frankly, while I think running anything besides a desktop workload on a "desktop" is silly because those kinds of workloads tend to be better handed with servers. It does seem that intel has lost its way a little when it comes to extreme single threaded performance. Particularly in the server space. Why they don't offer a 200+ watt pig clocked a few percent higher seems strange. Pretty much everyone else does it (POWER8, z13 (@ 5.2 Ghz), AMD, etc).

Comment: Re:*sighs* (Score 1) 150

by bored (#49167723) Attached to: AVG Announces Invisibility Glasses

I saw korn back in 98 and bought a korn bottle opening at the show. I went back to see them again in 99, the bottle opener was on my keychain.

Did you actually think the security at a concert is there to protect the concert attendees?

Eye rolling... Their primary job is to protect the revenue streams inside the concert. Hence the focus on busting people with hip flasks and the like.

Comment: Re:We need hardware write-protect for firmware (Score 1) 324

by bored (#49165349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

Unless the virus is resident in Bios... before booting into your OS.

Well, for this to work, you had better have jumpers on all your PCI/thunderbolt/etc devices with option ROMs as well. Otherwise your BIOS is going to get owned during POST.

But, all that was a fine plan before we got EFI stuffed down our throats. Now you better make sure to unplug whatever device holds the EFI System Partition as well. Because you may be loading EFI "drivers"/etc from there.

But there is a gocha there too, because lots of machines now have the primary storage soldered to the mainboard...

Comment: Re:To answer your question (Score 1) 279

by bored (#49120095) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

X86 was a poor ISA when the first 8086 chips were made (but good, given hardware capabilities at the time). That was about 40 years ago. MIPS and Sparc (and ARM) are all better than x86.

You, speak like its 1995 before anyone fully understood OoO, or started decoupling the micro ISA from the actual ISA. The core x86 arch (ignore the 286/386 protected mode instructions which are very complex, and mostly unused) turns out to be fairly simple when compared with mips/sparc/arm. Three architectures that all made small, but hard to overcome decisions for creating large superscalar renamed OoO CPU's. Take for example the fact that traditionally all of ARM's instructions can be conditionally executed. This complicates long pipelines, especially when they are OoO because now you have to resolve an additional dependency for every instruction before its retired. If you look at the optimization guides for cortex you will see that the basic ideas of ARM had to be "evolved" a little in order to make it fast.
Similarly register windows (SPARC), multiple load/store instructions (more complex exception mechanism), etc etc etc..

So, to say that x86 is somehow "worse" or that any of those named architectures is "better" evokes the very wrong headed RISC vs CISC stupidity of the 1990s. This has been known for nearly a decade by anyone close to the development of any actual CPUs. Similar to the discussion ten years ago on how x86 could never be power competitive with ARM because there was some "fundamental" problem with the ISA.

ISA's are now "good" when they remain flexible enough to deal with multiple different micro architectural implementations without providing handicaps that limit the designs. Turns out that x86 isn't that bad, it seems to be a bit of luck that the src/dest register model can be renamed easily, and that it has some higher level instructions (like rep movsd) that can be optimized really well in microcode.

Comment: node.js (eye rolling) (Score 1, Interesting) 319

by bored (#49082861) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare

I could go into a dozen technical reasons why javascript is a terrible, horrible, outrageously bad language here but this post would be TL;DR; for most people. Lets just settle for goggling "javascript terrible" and reading the first couple links.

Or for some silly (not not really deal killing) things watch https://www.destroyallsoftware...

The fact that there are actually people who think using in on the server is a good idea, proves there are insane or completely incompetent developers out there. If someone actually approaches me with this idea, I immediately think they are an idiot.

See, on the browser we basically have to deal with javascript because there aren't any real alternatives. But things that are just "issues" or "irritations" in the browser quickly blossom into product killing problems when used on the server.

Oh, and yes, I've written my fair share of javascript (and other languages), so don't think i'm talking out of my ass here.

Comment: Re:Not a fucking chance. (Score 1) 369

by bored (#49082469) Attached to: Two New Male Birth Control Chemicals In Advanced Stages

already had their sensation reduced by half via infant genital cutting.

Which is yet another case of the double standard. Trim a woman, get on the news for genital mutilation, go to jail.

Mutilate a male baby, get paid by insurance for it.

Not, only that but IIRC in the state I live in, the decision is the mother's, not the father's if there is a conflict.

Personally, I think it should be illegal to perform it on anyone less than 18 years of age. My parents religious / whatever hangups should not be affecting my life 40 years later.

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 1) 492

by bored (#48901643) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

but that it provides nothing of value to offset the cost of maintaining a separate toolchain, training programmers, building libraries, etc.

That is why there is rust, go and a dozen other languages trying to replace C or C++.

I sort of like C++, that said, I think object pascal is a much better language, it fixes a lot of the core problems with C (can you say embedded string length? There goes 1/2 of the buffer overflow problems that have happened over the last 20 years) while maintaining the ability to optimize nearly as well. Pascal is actually faster than the vast majority of "C" replacements people are using today.

just because of all the extra typing, and the reduced readability:

If typing "begin" and "end" instead of "{" and "}" were a big problem I would claim you need a better editor. That said the speed of code generation is just about never an issue in any language because thinking about the problem or debugging the code is a much larger time sink. Finally, I would claim that pascal is light years ahead of C++ and even C due to the restricted syntax. Did you forgot about the IOCC? Because getting to those levels of obfuscation is going to be a lot harder in pascal.

Comment: Re:Application installers suck. (Score 1) 324

by bored (#48809023) Attached to: How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

Long term, with filesystem level deduplication becoming more common, I wonder if the best thing would be to move back to statically linked executables.

Especially on windows with WinSxS basically duplicating every shared object in the system. The point of shared libraries was to reduce the application footprint, but MS decided it was more important to maintain every single version of every single shared library being used rather than allow them to collapse together in the oft chance that it caused some application defect.

Since every single application it seems, manages to find their own version of any given DLL its pretty rare for any sharing to actually take place. Might just as well statically link the whole darn thing.

Comment: I hear about your way of working... (Score 1) 325

by bored (#48770167) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

Let me tell you about mine. I have an 8 year old "workstation" class machine that is basically a dumb terminal running web browser, editor, xserver and a couple other things. It has 4 monitors raised to eye level, and a keyboard that is probably larger than your laptop. The whole setup spans the corner of my desk where I sit in a really comfortable chair, leaned back slightly.

About 50' away, through two doors is a room that sounds like a jet engine lab full of modern servers and disks in racks.

All the data is stored on a network attached server with SAN attached IO. It takes regular automatic snapshots of everything in mine and my co workers "home directories" and rolls them regularly to tape on a daily basis.

When I need to build some code, I hit a key in my editor and it tells an enormous build box (with multiple GB/sec of IO to the disk storage system) in the lab to spin up a shit ton of CPU's and built my code. When its done, I run it on another cluster of machines.

When I leave work, I carry a light weight laptop (sometimes just an ipad) and use RDP to connect to the workstation at my desk. In the rare case that I don't have internet access, I can usually find some documentation or other "lightweight" laptop appropriate work to do that doesn't require a connection to more hardware than you will ever be able to carry in your backpack.

As others have said, you might consider analyzing your workflow.

Comment: Re:Send probes not people (Score 1) 219

Interstellar travel would require unimaginable breakthroughs in propulsion. Even sending an unmanned probe, capable of slowing down to orbit another star, and then communicating over the enormous distance back to Earth is totally impossible with current technology.

By "current technology" you mean the lame chemical rockets we have been using for nearly a century? How about we step into the 1960's and actually build one of the proposed project Orion vehicles?. Something like that could actually reach another star within my children's lifetime, especially if it was only designed as a flyby rather than stopping in system.

Furthermore, Nuclear thermal rockets provide approximately twice (depending on design) the ISP as conventional rockets, and are just as clean and possibly easier to build if the working fluid is carefully chosen. Frankly I'm a little surprised that space-x hasn't announced some designs, they aren't limited by the stupidity of the anti nuke crowd.

Finally, the real breakthrough that would make human travel interstellar travel possible is actual cryogenic suspension. Which is quite possible, I just don't expect to see it in my lifetime due to the complete lack of funding for that kind of research. Most of the funding that goes in that direction is narrowly focused on prolonging organs outside of the body, or allowing extended surgical procedures. Frankly, this is one area where appropriate funding might be able to create a major scientific expansion of our understanding of biology, and economic benefits to go along with it.

So, no, interstellar travel is not at the level of new physics, just a willingness to focus on the problem and solve the remaining issues.

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been known? (Score 1) 163

by bored (#48664735) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

Using an IOMMU gives such devices direct virtual memory access which it fully safe (compared to physical memory access which is not safe and what apple did here).

I was going to mention IOMMUs, but I thought it would just confuse the issue (see the host controller confusion on my other comment).

In this case IOMMUs will only help you a little, as the article mentions that the option roms are being executed. Executing in the early boot environment, without a hypervisor, or in the hypervisor context, means that the option rom code can simply set the IOMMU to map to any memory the device wishes to access.

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been known? (Score 2) 163

by bored (#48662315) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

I'm pretty sure in the case of USB 3 that DMA is a function of the host controller. A device by itself cannot inject into arbitrary memory. This thunderbolt "vulnerability" is the equivalent of the windows autorun on insertion function that was disabled years ago. Only this functions above the level of the current user (aka much worse).

Comment: Re:Public land closures (Score 1) 48

by bored (#48654753) Attached to: Hot Springs At Yellowstone Changed Their Color Due To Tourist Activity

It may not seem like a big deal, but things like this are used more and more to justify land closures.

Well, just about anything justifies a land closure now. The balcones canyonlands was created for the express purpose of preservation and recreation which didn't infringe on the preservation goals. Yet, it has _NEVER_ been open for recreation even though the two species its intended to preserve are _MIGRATORY_ and only spend a few months a year in the preserve. The place is surrounded by fences and no trespassing signs, and the web page talks about the recreation opportunities, and then lists all _SEVEN_ miles of trails in 23,000 acres of preserve. There is actually something like 10x as many miles of public roads running through it.

Worse yet, a lot (possibly most) of the studies seem to suggest that human presence (in the form of hiking and biking trails) actually helps the birds because it scares their main predators away.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.