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United States

MFLOPS Export Restrictions Lighten Up 25

blowdart sent us a story that talks about changes in the super computer export laws to developing nations. Numbers are all over the place, but at least they are up from 2,000 MTOPS (which rendered a dual P3 and the new Playstations as unexportable!)
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MFLOPS Export Restrictions Lighten Up

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  • Since the playstation is developed in japan why would it be affected?
  • Hey am I first? :)

    Anyway, thats all very well, but for those of us not buying "super computers" it's not useful.

    Whats more useful would be exporting of stronger encryption. Lets face it, the US is fighting a lossing battle with encryption. How many of us Europeans have the US version of PGP? How many of use managed to spoof Netscape and Microsoft into giving us the 128bit versions of their browers.

    And why isn't the US government looking at this? Because hardware generates more profit, more big business, and thus more taxes and lobbying.

  • the psx2 will be/is being manufactured in the U.S. i don't remember who specifically teamed up with sony on the chipset design, but i believe it was motorola. anyway, the law is based mainly on where the product is manufactured.

  • The news stories covering the PSX2 issue a few months ago said that although the Playstation II is going to be manufactured overseas, Toshiba (who makes the Emotion Engine chip used in it that's actually the part that was covered by the export restriction) is building the chip in a plant in the U.S. I guess you can't sell a restricted part to a company in a non-restricted country if that part ends up in a unit that can be sold to a restricted country. My understanding was that Sony would've had to:

    1) not sell Playstation II's or other units using that chip to any restricted nations (places like China, Iran, Iraq, and suprisingly Isreal...)


    2) Provide documentation to that effect to the U.S. Government.

    There was crap with waiting times on sales and things like that too, which would've caused supply chain problems where Sony would've ordered a batch of chips and the waiting time and paperwork would've made it difficult to predict when they'd actually get the shipment.
  • So 10000 MTOPS is the new limit... bfd. It's only going to be a few years before that limit is obsolete, and we've got to go through the same shit again.

    Mandating future limits on computers based on their current ability is a waste of time.
  • Posted by _DogShu_:

    They were developed on my old 486sx-33!
  • It makes perfect sense to me why we cannot export supercomputers to developing nations. The Prime Directive forbids it. If we give them supercomputers, next they'll be able to travel at warp speeds and explore the galaxy as we do.

    It would be against everything that we stand for to give the people of these lesser civilizations such incredible power. I urge everyone to follow the guidelines of the United Federation of Planets so that we can live in harmony with other civilizations.

    Now, once these developing cultures develop warp technology, then it would be safe to give them the new Sony Holodeck.
  • If I was the leader of an evil foreign government, I'd just buy 300 single Pentium II 500's (which are individually legal to export), put Linux and Beowulf on them, and voila! Legally exportable supercomputer.
  • by qmrf ( 52837 )
    This is true. If they're going to get it anyway, we (America) might as well be the ones to sell it to them. The advantages to this are twofold. First of all, it would allow our companies to reap the profits, and second, it would allow us to have some idea of what kind of stuff they're buying. (even if they only buy part of their collections from the US, it'll give us a better idea of what they have than if they buy none of it from us)
  • by Felinoid ( 16872 )
    Why do we ban exporting certen technologys anyway?
    Oh wow the evil bad guys will have to buy high tech hardware form China and France.
    Great lot of help that dose US.
  • Ok, this is confusing. I thought Israel was one of the 'good guys'.
  • Hhm.. so how many MTOPS could you reach with 500 Alpha's? ;-) Suppose you were to order this kind of amount.. would that be disallowed or would you have to buy small quantities at a time?

    Logically, I'd think that all information on
    setting up Beowulf clusters and the like should be restricted too. Hhm.. better not say this too loudly.

  • by g33kt0r ( 39076 )
    Well i guess this is fitting...
    The "good guys" make laws the "bad guys" can get around (typical U.S. move, just look at the gun laws here for another example)... I just hope that the "bad guys" build Thermal Exhaust Ports into their Deathstars so that we can fly in there and blow them up. Of course it would be too much to ask that we all live in peace.

  • Uh-oh, slashdot must've fallen into a wormhole again...
  • I think our system is not up to the task of making laws suitable to the current and future technological arena. We're going to need a lot more creative (and therefore possibly dangerous?) thinking in Washington to address this situation, and others...e.g. internet sales taxation, site regulation, etc. I really don't want any of this regulation or taxation, but it's bound to happen somehow...what can we suggest to make it happen is a more positive way?
  • They are, but the US likes to keep anyone they can on a short leash. Isreal also likes war a little too much to allow them access to "high-end" computing power (what ever that means now...).

    I AM NOT a US hater, I've never lived anywhere else... I just think this is the real reason and the argument that they would publicly use.
  • Maybe they should try restricting the price of the system which is allowed for export? The regulative wouldn't be much better, but at least it would prevent some dictators from buying expensive computers...

    On the other hand, a price-based system would certainly last longer than the one based on the "absolute crunching power" of the machine, especially if you add inflationary re-indexing. Ergo, the same law would live longer => it would be cheaper for tax payers!

  • Ok, Will someone be so kind as to tell me just what the bloody hell is going on here? Seriously, I had no idea such a law for exporting "supercomputers" existed. First of all this is just about as bad as that silly cryptography exportation bull.

    And as if things weren't bad enough, those back-asswards crazies from down under have really stuffed their heads with some kind of slime-mold because that Austrailian law is utter RUBISH .

    It honestly makes me wonder just what is going through those political figures' minds. For most, I would recommend a 'brain-enema', but it seems most already suffer from a full frontal labotamy.

    Great! So now what? When will the ironic day finally occur where I am asking the brain-dead political heads of state if I'm allowed to go to the bathroom.


  • You talk of "spoofing" Microsoft or Netscape. Why not just use Fortify [] which is distributed from Australia - and so is NOT subject to standard US Export laws on Encryption - and which will increase the Export Grade Navigator/Communicator from Netscape to 128Bit. It's completely legal and best of all, it only works with Netscape NOT M$ :-)

A computer without COBOL and Fortran is like a piece of chocolate cake without ketchup and mustard.