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+ - Linux Getting Extensive x86 Assembly Code Refresh 1

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "A massive x86 assembly code spring cleaning has been done in a pull request that is to end up in Linux 4.1. The developers have tried testing the code on many different x86 boxes, but there's risk of regression when exposing the code to many more systems in the days and weeks ahead. That being said, the list of improvements is excellent. There are over 100 separate cleanups, restructuring changes, speedups and fixes in the x86 system call, IRQ, trap and other entry code, part of a heroic effort to deobfuscate a decade old spaghetti assembly code and its C code dependencies."

Comment: The world is up in ARMs (Score 1) 1

by niftymitch (#49465823) Attached to: Linux Getting Extensive x86 Assembly Code Refresh

What does this mean for Itanic, Sparc, MIPS, Coldfire and yes ARM processors?
Ya know this will not help the internet of things.

The structural changes should eventually (OK ASAP) be moved to these other machines as well.

Like hardware the initial foundation layers are the critical decisions that make or break
all sorts of things. The VM folk need to look very hard at this... virtualization very much
depends on the early low level stages if it is to be reliable and correct.

I guess I should have looked at the code but hey this is /.

Comment: Tis a case for universal mental health care... (Score 1) 297

You apparently didn't comprehend the story. That guy was committed to make an attack and die in the process before he came into contact with the FBI. Where is your evidence that the FBI was "pressuring" and "reassuring him"?

In the article: "...stopped taking his medication because he didn't like the way it made him feel and it was expensive."
Now that is clearly a mandate for universal mental health care!

The modern pharmacopoeia of mental health drugs is better than many chemotherapy
strategies for cancer but not much better. Many are also too darn expensive.

Side effects need to to be understood and absolutely not understood is the effect
on a human when starting or quitting the program. Miss a couple doses and
a lot of individuals get untied.

The most difficult context "bipolar" seems to be involved here. A prescribing
doctor almost never sees a person in both manic and depressive states
outside of a locked facility. The transition triggers are ill understood.

It is the rare and exceptional program where a psychologist is trained
to and licensed to prescribe medication. The fees are astoundingly
high. As doctors they must all pay for insurance. As educated individuals
they have made a serious investment in time and money (debt) to become
trained and certified.

Statistics make the overlay of professionals and the population a sparse map
across much of the nation....

Decades ago it was noted that if you hire a programmer you must budget for
two so he or she has someone to talk to. This is true for psych professionals
they need continuous learning and a "community" to work with. In isolation
they seem to go a little bonkers.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by niftymitch (#49450927) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Do you think body camera's would help the small percentage of officers that do fall into, the bad apple catagory, restrain themselves from the bad behaviour?

One important perspective here is, when a citation is issued or an arrest made the weight of the law is
heavy on the the side of law enforcement. Citizens and officers alike are equally protected by a quality
record that documents the actions of both sides.

Both citizens and officers would do well to have body and dash cameras.
It is true that Google glasses were a bust but the world learned a lot.

However once an officer turns on his lights or exits his vehicle in the prosecution
of his charter there should be no restrictions on recording including voice.

Comment: Re:Perfect security (Score 1) 460

by niftymitch (#49435503) Attached to: Planes Without Pilots

Anyone want to guarantee 100% perfect security for ANY wireless communication? Because if we have remotely piloted airliners (either because there's no pilot, or the pilot is suicidal) someone WILL hack into it.

And anyone that had to listen to AM and FM radio including short wave for entertainment or news knows how
fragile radio links can be. It is necessary to solve the lightning strike problem to 99.9999% or better.

Fried communication, fried or interrupted systems that need to reboot, location sensors include GPS need
to recover quickly.

Protecting the current fly by wire systems is easier by a bunch.

Comment: Re:The states... (Score 1) 421

by niftymitch (#49419381) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Banned In Six States

What is extra funny is that they apparently have no idea how it works as you would have to snort so much of the crap you would die of your lungs being caked in crap before ever getting a buzz that way. Its a gimmick folks, and in pretty much every situation you would be better off with a hip flask.

It is clearly a gimmick but those that would snort it on a dare could kill themselves with
the reverse osmosis effect and airway obstruction. This marketing game could also wreck it as a valuable
emergency first aid adjunct. Bandages infused with it as well as other female pad and diaper friendly
compounds could (or not) have antiseptic properties of value.

The legislation that bans it bothers me because it is based on FUD
and bald faced ignorant lies.

I am scared of vodka soaked tampons and bartenders pouring
doubles without being asked. All in all I am more scared by
the ignorance...

For kids I also worry about jello shots.

Comment: Re:It's all about competition (Score 1) 208

by niftymitch (#49407037) Attached to: Comcast Planning 2Gbps Service, Starting With Atlanta

Fortunately WiFi cards in most laptops can be replaced. It may require a complete tear down to get to it but it can be done.

Not true.
WiFi is the most common target of BIOS whitelist.
Hidden is worry that FCC compliance rules for power and emissions be violated
vendors whitelist only WiFi cards they have "tested".

I tried to update five laptops to new WiFi cards and ALL failed because of the
BIOS whitelist. HP, Compaq, Toshiba.... The lockout was absolute nothing
would boot at all.

In my case I wanted AC WiFi and USB2 does not support sufficient bandwidth.
So I picked up some tiny PCI WiFi cards ... NO system would boot with the
new card. All did a BIOS lockout.

To me this means that the whitelist is a dependency repair list. Should any whitelist
device fail replacing it likely trips on a supply chain sole source dependency chain where
the life and availability of the devices are critical in knowing the life expectancy
of the purchase. No company computes or divulges a MTBF repair analysis that does not assume
full availability of spare parts. The white list changes the numerical analysis drastically and
worse it changes it in unknowable ways.

Comment: Re:It's all about competition (Score 1) 208

by niftymitch (#49406953) Attached to: Comcast Planning 2Gbps Service, Starting With Atlanta

That is not true if you use Lenovo.

Lenovo doesn't want customers to be able to upgrade their laptops, so they implemented a list of approved mini-pci cards that can be used in them. It's called "bios whitelist".

Therefore if you have a Lenovo laptop you will have to change the whole laptop. Presumably to a different brand that doesn't pull this crap.

For those who do. Not.

The white list in the BIOS for WiFi type hardware makes sense in the context of radio frequency regulation. Makers of mini-pci hardware
should jump up and down and toss restraining orders. If you are not on the white list you are SOL as a vendo and side door money
can limit the competition.

WORSE in all this is the white list is invisible. I am inclined to begin asking for disclosure of the whitelist and lacking disclosure
returning the hardware for failure to operate as advertised. Has PCI slot... PCI compliant cards do not work.

Comment: Re:What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 1) 477

I doubt the parking bit. Many people will choose to use a driverless cab .....chop....

Driverless vehicles will enable a lot of options. Some for the user
some for the community some good and some "interesting".

The safety issue is interesting. Some communities may elect to ban
all vehicles except autonomous cars for safety reasons.

Some may relay to mass transit as individual vehicles are not as
traffic dense or fuel efficient as rail or water.

Taxi drivers and Uber may become a thing of the past.
Well maybe not Uber. They may find ways for you to earn $$ by
loaning your autonomous auto when you do not need it. Their dispatch
system could dispatch an auto-auto as easy as a drive+car.

Individual vehicles for persons that do not wish to wait.
Community fleets for those willing to share and wait a bit.

Parking -- an autonomous car could circle on the street and not
park thus increasing traffic. This may cause some communities
to tax traffic and not passengers. More one way streets are likely
as a machine could navigate a wide flow nicely think rings like the
Olympic logo.. tedious to navigate for a person but ok for a machine.

Electric vehicles could go find a charger. Hybrid vehicles might
go and hibernate.

Traffic congestion and parking density are the rock and hard place
that when addressed could make someone wealthy and customers
happy.
 

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 447

by niftymitch (#49376661) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Apparently the pilot is a master at voices.

Even if that half-assed attempt was true, it doesn't improve the safety - they'd still all be dead. It just gives us the ability to ogle and lay blame.

This is worthy of a +1 or moderator vote up.
One of the driving forces for video is the media. They lust after any content that they can get and
rebroadcast.

Their greed could make you a buck, Copyright any home video and communicate it to any responsible agency
with a reminder that it is copyright but never to a news outlet. Should a media outlet use it without permission
go after them all. As a minimum 4x the advertising fee and also salary of the personalities and production staff
involved.

If you are in an aircraft situation... take a phone video -- it might survive.

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 447

by niftymitch (#49376459) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

We already have a pretty good idea of what happened to the Germanwings flight even with 1 damaged black box.

The damaged data recording boxes are the detail in this that is missing.

Redundant durable data recording boxes in contrast to data collection boxes seem to be the next improvement.
Next, it seems to me that the recovery of these boxes and their data is a weak link in crash analysis.

Modern GPS and multi axis sensors kin to the ones in our phones are inexpensive so the sensor set
can be augmented and improved without touching flight or engine control systems.

Data links to ground recording stations is the next obvious improvement.
Air to air grid style networking can bridge vast reaches over oceans without
connecting to expensive satellite systems. Routine data is modest. Store and forward
strategies can include automated data dump at the ground terminal can minimize live data
links. i.e. fleet data collection aircraft to aircraft for long haul transit.

Cabin alarms can trigger wider air to air transfers and perhaps satellite link dumps.
The big red button could also trigger video transfers and archives but that is simply
another sensor. Video through chewing gum or cabin cleaner goo is a problem.

Summary: multiple data storage boxes with augmented sensors that do not touch flight
control or engine systems are needed. Aircraft to aircraft RF data links can eliminate box recovery urgency.
Note line of sight RF at 25-40,000 feet is a long way. Aircraft can be routed in pairs separated
by 50 miles... even.

 

+ - Ordnance Survey releases mapping tool->

Submitted by rHBa
rHBa (976986) writes "The BBC reports that the UK mapping organisation Ordnance Survey has added 4 new products to its open data portfolio: OS Local, Names, Rivers and Roads. Perhaps the most interesting of the free data sets is OS Local which provides a base map to identify ‘hotspots’ such as property pricing, insurance risk, and crime.

The OS are not creating a new Google Maps-style service of their own but rather are providing their data for use by other third-party apps and online tools. They expect developers and designers to use the data to enhance their own products and improve the information people can access via the web.

What uses would you put this sort of data to if it were available in an easily parsable format for your area?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Someone had a bright idea. (Score 1) 1

by niftymitch (#49295405) Attached to: New way to control light invented

This is interesting -- this can allow distribution of
clocks and signals in ways that are possibly immune from
a number of types of signal problems.

It eliminates issues of DC bias and the need for long balanced
transmission line pairs on the PWB. This can allow wider
and thus 2x faster data paths. It eliminates capacitance loading
and associated time delay impact on long transmission lines
perhaps improving signal edges at distance on a PWB.
It may allow signaling between positive and negative logic families
and signaling between different voltage/ power domains.

Time will tell... but just as Swatch was able to eliminate case
packaging issues this could allow the construction of a module
that would make the old IBM ECL based TCM fade into greater
obscurity.

Comment: Self serving at best (Score 1) 322

by niftymitch (#49295137) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

This seems self serving.

Since the set of Mockrosoft products serve as host to the largest
collection of hacked robot farms out there this is interesting. Hardening
their server and other products seems too hard for MS. It seems to me that this may
prove to be the single most cost effective strategy there is to reduce
the size of distributed attack farms. That alone would make their server
products measurably better to customers. It would allow sites
to maintain desirable uptime and availability numbers.

It also reduces the impact on software engineering in Redmond because
this makes is easier to slowly walk away from previous Windowz versions.

Without knowing the truth, I would assert their cash flow is not dominated by selling updates, it is
Office and new hardware tax.

It may also enable improved markets for new Office products for Asian languages.
Back porting and compatibility in Office 2xxx-new is baggage that might
be left behind.

It is a big bet that Win-10 will run well enough on the older hardware
and a big bet on the quality of the release.

It could pay off...
It could just make Linux+GNU a better choice.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

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