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Comment: Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (Score 1) 368

by unixisc (#48470233) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

the GOP needs to be broken because they are a sick joke right now. The democrats are only slightly worse than the GOP as a whole these days

I expect the Democrats to be Liberal, and in that sense, they haven't disappointed.

Problem w/ the Republicans is that they support everything that the Democrats support, maybe not at the same time. For instance, while they are dead against Obama's amnesty to illegals, that's just grandstanding, since they supported Bush when he did the same thing. They're against Obamacare, but Romney too did something like it while governor of MA. So why should Conservatives support Republicans again?

If Conservatives have to choose b/w Liberal-lite & Liberal, they might as well either sit it out, or vote for the authentic Liberals - the Democrats.

Comment: Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (Score 1) 368

by unixisc (#48470203) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

The republican candidate list now includes (at least) Mitt Romney Jeb Bush Scott Walker Chris Christie Sarah Palin Bobby Jindal And now Carly Fiorina wants in, too? That will be quite a crowd.

I think Romney & Palin are out of contention, since they were both on losing tickets the last 8 years, and nothing has happened since to change that. Fiorinna too is a non starter - she's a Liberal Republican who couldn't even win her own state's senate seat, so the question of her attracting 'Red State' votes is out of the question.

I think it could be Walker, Jindal and maybe Boehner. Although Jindal is quite a lackluster guy, so despite being a good governor, I don't see him getting ahead.

Comment: Re:Intel & Micron (Score 1) 411

by unixisc (#48470021) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

I understand all that - in the past, I worked on multi chip memory packages, where we'd stack NOR, DRAM and NAND flash: this was particularly for the handset makers. The whole thing about that business was that margins were wafer thin, in a manner of speaking. Which is why AMD spun off Spansion, and Intel spun off Numonyx.

I don't see how putting multiple NAND chips into an SSD makes it more cost competitive, unless their prices have really come down. Although I do see Micron offering up to 128Gb in TSOPs, so one would need 8 of them to make a 128GB drive. To get a 1TB drive, you'd need 16 of those chips (talking about die: looking at their product lineup, it looks like they put several of their 128Gb die to come up with 2Tb flash in a single MCP). So divide the price of an SSD by that, and that's what the price of the flash would have to be to be profitable.

Incidentally, any idea of what exactly are 3D NAND drives?

Comment: Intel & Micron (Score 2) 411

by unixisc (#48462173) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Also, didn't Intel exit the flash market a while back, spinning off its flash division along with ST Micro to Numonyx, which later got acquired by Micron? I thought that the whole idea then was that memory was so unprofitable that it wasn't worth keeping it as an albatross on corporate margins.

Also, memory fabs are different from the ones used for making processors/controllers - it's not like fabs that don't make more Atoms or Celerons will be repurposed for SSDs. So how does it make sense for Intel to get into this? Micron I can understand, since memory is their prime business. But Intel? It makes as much sense for them to be making this as to be in the DRAM market

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 411

by unixisc (#48462105) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

Typically, the endurance of any non-volatile memory (read flash/hard drives) is measured per sector/block, where the latter is the smallest number of erasable bytes/words/quad-words that an erase operation can erase. Typically, for flash, that number is 1-10 thousand cycles. That number is eroded as one increases the number of bits per cell.

Like I mention below in a response to the GP, if you have it so that every byte is written only once and any overwrites happen to other bytes/sectors, you can avoid multiple erase cycles and thereby maximize the life of such an SSD.

Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 411

by unixisc (#48462051) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

I believe what they do is spread the data all over the memory, to mitigate the issue of a small part of the memory being heavily bombarded w/ writes while 90% of it never gets touched. I'd imagine that Copy-on-Write filesystems, such as ZFS, would enable one to do it more effectively, since no actual data ever gets deleted, and only the metadata info is changed, and the changed data is written to another portion of disk. If this is done effectively, then the disk utilization is increased, and endurance issues don't come into play at all.

Otherwise, you are right - cell design does seem to be hitting a wall, and I don't see silicon getting much smaller. Certainly not for price decreases. Also, multiple bits per cell don't lend themselves to too many write cycles, being as unstable as they are.

Comment: Re:Still they are underpowered (Score 1) 140

by unixisc (#48461941) Attached to: Ukraine's IT Brigade Supports the Troops

Crimea was a legitimate claim of Russia - historically, it had always been a part of Russia, even after Brest-Litovsk made Ukraine independent. It was given to Ukraine on Nikita Krushchev's whim, when few in Russia or Crimea could protest about it.

It's different in the rest of the Ukraine, where people - whether Russian speaking or Ukrainian, don't wanna be Russians. Since the 1990s, there has been a lot of migration b/w the former Soviet republics - Kazakhs returning to Kazakhstan, Uzbeks to Uzbekistan, Ukrainians to Ukraine & Russians to Russia. So it's fair to say that the people of Ukraine don't want to be either a part of Russia, or a Russian client state. However, they're willing to go slow on joining NATO, given how explosive an issue that is, vis a vis Russia.

However, NATO is an outdated organization, that lost its purpose when the Soviet Union came apart. With the Warsaw Pact, NATO should also have disbanded. Since the 90s, all Western countries have been disarming & seeking the 'peace dividend', which is incompatible w/ NATO's charter of the entire organization going to war if one of them is attacked. If Russia was upset @ say, Latvia, and sent troops into Riga, would the US launch missiles across the Bering Strait? If no, why give countries like them false hopes that NATO would protect them? Given the stupid interventions that NATO has done, like Bosnia & Kosovo, it's past the point where it was a force for good.

Comment: Re:Probably not the same thing at all... (Score 1) 101

by unixisc (#48461793) Attached to: Intel Planning Thumb-Sized PCs For Next Year

However, the gaps ain't as big. Going from 32-bit to 64-bit has meant crossing the 4GB barrier in memory. However, it would only be necessary to go from 32 to 64 when - and IF - 1.844674407×10^19 is the minimum you have in memory.

The IPv6 analogy is not a good one. Since in reality, IPv6 is an overlaid 64 on 64 bit address, as opposed to a flat 128 bit address, as 32-bit IPv4 was. I know that IPv6 sounds a whole lot, but when you look at the strict assignments & rules that have been placed on various address ranges by both IETF and IANA, it turns out to be far fewer network/subnet addresses, since ISPs can't touch the lower 64-bits of the address. So IPv4 -> IPv6 is hardly an analogy that would be equivalent to 32-bit to 128-bit migration.

Even if the past is any guide, it will take 64 transitions before we are ready for 128-bit. Already, on the semiconductor side of things, people are talking about Moore's law hitting its limits, and getting to the point where a transistor is just a handful of atoms, thereby hardly leaving any room for further shrinkage. I do think that OSs will remain 64-bit, while some things, like file systems, may go 128 bit (like ZFS)

Disks travel in packs.