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Comment Re:too many meanings (Score 1) 193

The thing to understand is that everything the government does, it does badly. Sometimes there is nobody else that can credibly do the job at all. A military comprised of private contractors? That would end well. But when private companies have demonstrated an ability and desire to do the work, it's usually better for the government not to.

The catch is: unconstrained capitalist competition devolves in to oligopoly which ends competition and thus capitalism. So the government's job is to prevent oligopoly everywhere possible, and then isolate and disrupt oligopoly abuse everywhere it can't be helped.

Putting cable in the ground is incredibly expensive. If not for the classic incompatibility between telephone and cable TV, few localities would have more that one data infrastructure provider. Today, few localities have more than the two providers that came from the local cable TV and telephone monopoly. The cost makes for a huge barrier to entry.

So the physical infrastructure oligopoly is probably inevitable. The government's job is to isolate it so that common anticompetitive practices can't leverage the oligopoly to monopolize related product spaces that would otherwise be competitive. I like structural separation because it does a good job of this, if not full structural separation, the key things to target are:

* double-billing. The network product should have only one customer. If I buy "internet service" from a company, that company should be barred from business practices that compel Netflix and other content providers that my internet service should reach to pay them too.

* product tying. Five miles of a twisted pair cable or a wavelength on a fiber optic cable are physical products that can in principle be rented independently of Internet or television service. The oligarch should not be able to limit rental of the incompetable physical product to rental of the data service that is otherwise subject to competition, thereby making the secondary product immune from competition as well.

* cross subsidy. The oligarch should not be allowed to use revenue from the incompetable physical product to underprice their version of otherwise competitive products.

Comment king Midas's plantinum tip (Score 1) 54

Xeon Scalable processor family is now designated by Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories, with a single model number.

This naming shift gives me the major heebs. It can't possibly be designed to aid comprehension. It's the end of an era, for sure.

I'd buy AMD almost for that reason alone, once I'm sure AMD is solid in the ZFS camp (the story there has been spotty for some while).

But more likely, I'll run my current dual E5-2620 NAS convergence box into the dirt (I figure on another five to seven years) and by then I'll get a turnkey NAS appliance for local bulk storage and everything else I've got will migrate into the cloud, where no-one cares what is under the hood, so long as $/mile is priced competitively.

1959 planar process
1963 complementary MOS
2017 bronze, silver, gold, and platinum

58 good years, RIP. Apparently, the generation who grew up on cherry iMacs are procuring cloud servers these days.

Turns out, the King Midas story is a bit oversimplified for young audiences. While he didn't grow hair on his palms, he did wind up with a mixed bag and the ultimate shiner (as you'd pretty much expect when a royal figure is granted his wish by an androgynous saint to the oppressed who wanders about waving a thyrsus).

Comment Re:Databases (Score 2) 54

Databases are what the Big Iron servers live to support so AMD losing badly against Skylake on that front means they've lost the sales war.

Big language. Been watching too much Bruno Ganz lately?

I appears Ars tested MySQL Percona Server 5.7.0 as their chosen representative for the entire category. I wouldn't recall Rommel's tanks just yet.

Typically when high response times were reported, this indicated low single threaded performance. However for EPYC this is not the case. We tested with a database that is quite a bit larger than the 8 MB L3-cache, and the high response time is probably a result of the L3-cache latency.

I have about 30 different database products listed in my notes (many oriented at graphs or machine learning, along the entire sharing spectrum). Would they all suffer this much?

What does this mean to the end user? The 64 MB L3 on the spec sheet does not really exist. In fact even the 16 MB L3 on a single Zeppelin die consists of two 8 MB L3-caches. There is no cache that truly functions as single, unified L3-cache on the MCM; instead there are eight separate 8 MB L3-caches.

Well, that does make the present EPYC implementation suck for a popular worker-thread model used to concurrently access a single, large datastore.

I suspect, however, that a database server server hundreds of small databases as part of a WordPress server farm would hardly suffer at all (so long as CPU locality is stable at the OS level).

Web servers are databases, order processing systems are databases, pretty much everything that's computationally intensive has a database or six on the backend.

Or six. You even said it yourself.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1, Insightful) 352

Combine that with the 200 second delay to get through the lock, and the responsiveness is easily explained.

I didn't believe that number for the first microsecond. Where was your brain? Stuck on "easily explained"?

From the original:

And, if each of these readying events happened after the thread had held the lock for just 200 microseconds then the 5,768 readying events would be enough to account for the 1.125 second hang.

Even Microsoft would notice 24 cores sharing a 200 s group hug.

If the question had been "total number of photons emitted from the sun over the last 4.3 billion years", I would accept +/- six orders of decimal magnitude as constituting a reasonable effort. In this case, not so much.

Comment too many meanings (Score 1) 193

Net Neutrality means too many different things.

I'm in favor of structural separation in order to eliminate cross-subsidy and product tying. Companies which own physical cable infrastructure in the public right of ways should be forbidden to sell network services like Internet access, television channels, etc. They should be allowed to rent strands or wires in the cable and possibly frequency channels on the cable, all on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) basis. This would facilitate real and continuing competition on the services that are not natural monopolies which, in turn, would get the customer the best bang for the buck.

Add a ban on double-billing (the recipient or provider of content pays the ISP but not both) and you have one version of Net Neutrality. I like that version.

Comment Re:The Basic Test (Score 2) 166

After you fold a business which ONE item of the following do you have left?

        a: Smoke

        b: Established business relationships

        c: Acquired market expertise

        d: Developed technology

        e: Amazingly comfortable office chairs

There's a reason why the VC community is build to lather, rinse, repeat. What motivates you to get one of these right, but not the other?

Some startup ventures pretty much leave behind a smoking crater, but that certainly isn't the only story here.

Comment "exotic" as ordering function (Score 1) 98

Physicists use "exotic" as an ordering function, with the overly explained on one side and the underly plausible on the other side. Welcome to the great watershed of fundability.

I use the word "exotic" to mean "outside the observable light cone". This also translates to "amazingly cool" and "so glad you're funding this out of your own pocket".

If there's one place public money does NOT belong, it's outside the observable light cone.

Comment an even better technology (Score 1) 474

I would have guessed the cheapest electricity now comes from hydro-electric dams that have already paid for themselves three times over, and might continue to operate for another 100 years.

(I tried to determine the expected lifespan of Robert-Bourassa not long ago, but the reality is that no-one really knows, depending of subtleties of surface water chemistry over timespans barely investigated. They pencil in "100 years" at time of construction, probably more for the bankers than the engineers. To a banker, 100 years is aleph two, the last countable infinity.)

Oh, you meant the cheapest marginal new construction, as viewed from the second margin of cherry-picked bank loan shovel-ready favourability.

And once you exhaust hot, sunny, and dry and California's low coefficient of tropical fungus, then what?

I know, I know.

Have the entire Amazon rainforest collect rainwater, aggregate it all into a single large flow, and run it through a BIG honking generator.

I'm just sure it would work. And who even knows just how long those puppies would spin? Why, fifty years from now, if the climate becomes wetter than ever, it might almost be practically free.

Comment a nostalgia too far (Score 1) 184

I got rid of one from my junk closet not long ago.

The blasted thing capped my burst typing speed to about 90 wpm, by which point it kind of feels like running on wet sand—the wet sand of some strange Pop Rock planet.

I was mainly using to install obscure distributions on old beater boxes.

I'm presently typing on a Compaq 247429-101 Erase-Ease keyboard (though I never use the left thumb backspace key).

This thing has been a total workhorse and it has a brilliantly long PS/2 cable.

Every year or so it begins to look like Lister's revenge and I have to pop all 100 keys and scrub every damn side of every damn key cover from the curry crossing (the giant steaming bowl of tan goodness typically perched on the edge of my glass desk, three inches above and six inches behind home position; just like my typing, a minor embolism every 99 spoonfuls or thereabouts—I could really use a special backspace key for this other problem.)

Comment those fabulous loose lips of Rosie the Riveter (Score 2) 146

"When asked about Thursday's failing grade, the TSA said, 'TSA cannot confirm or deny the results of internal tests and condemns the release of any information that could compromise our nation's security.'"

Just a question.

Is there any way to achieve national security without the clear and present danger of public exposure and embarrassment hanging over government apparatchiks who fail to deliver their mandates?

Because somehow I don't think that "loose lips" is the only way to sink ships.

Crackerjack government agencies with the curtains drawn. There's a Costa Concordia in every box suite.

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