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Comment Re:Dram (Score 1) 114

You say newer, I was teaching people to use dcbt/icbt in PowerPC (and similar instructions in other architectures) to do that in the 90's (granted, they affected the L2 if one existed, no one had implemented an L3 on-die at that point). I love the instructions, and used the heck out of them when I hand optimized assembly code- not a career choice I would recommend at this point in time, btw. Compilers exist that can make use of them, fortunately, and they do help maintain the performance curve, but they don't break it out to a new level.

Comment Re:Dram (Score 2) 114

Back in 1997, it was determined that ~90% of the benchmarks and customer applications (provided to us for testing purposes, the NDAs were amazing) used on PowerPC were completely dominated by cache misses. That means that if we knew how many times the processor touched a bus (data easily obtained in real time), we could be accurate to within 5% of what the performance would be using a spreadsheet calculation (Thanks, Dr. Jenevein) vs running the apps on a cycle accurate system simulation which could take weeks to develop a meaningful profile. Every time the caches got bigger, the code to solve customer problems would get proportionally bigger. That hadn't changed in 2007 and isn't anticipated to change by 2017. There are edge cases, but until people are satisfied with continuing to play Lode Runner instead of Crysis N, it won't matter for the mass market.

That doesn't mean that CPUs don't need to get bigger/faster, but it does mean that there is a meaningful limit on performance relative to the cache size, the calculation of which is probably left to an exercise for the student in H&P's Computer Architecture.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 456

And... here we jump off into the deep end of the pool. Iraq was stable under Hussein. He was predictable, in full control of the country, the military and the population. That he did so through brutal means does not change that by all definitions of the word stable, Iraq was a stable country. Now, it is anything but. It could be taken over by Shia or Shiite hardliners, become a vassal state of Iran, taken over by Al Qaeda affiliates, fracture along tribal lines (or at least even more so than it is now), collapse into total chaos, or even possibly stabilize and become something like Libya, Egypt or Jordan.

At best, Iraq is a massive geo-political problem that will fester for at least a generation. At worst, it will be a base for suicidal foes of the US.

Iran pre-1979 was stable under the Shah, who was supported by the USA. He was predictable, in full control of the country, the military, and the population. That he did so through brutal means does not change that by all definitions of the word stable, Iran was a stable country (right up to the point that it wasn't). Now, it is anything but. It was taken over by Shia extremists and has become a base for suicidal foes (and supporting puppet actors aimed at other targets doing the same in Hamas and others) of the USA that has festered for more than a generation.

I see based on your logic, the USA supporting the Shah of Iran militarily to keep him from being deposed would have been a good idea, n'est pas? I have worked with many Iranians who escaped from Iran post-1979 who would agree with you. Not that I do, though I think the USA probably would have been better off contributing to further destabilization during the recent uprisings rather than giving moral support to their current leadership.

Comment Re:and then (Score 1) 209

In China, India, and quite a few other Asian countries that I am aware of, at least currently college age students were vaccinated against smallpox and have the scars to prove it.

Where I lived in the USA, they stopped vaccinating for smallpox the year I was supposed to receive it (1972, IIRC) according to my mother, but my sister (older by 3 years) has the scar.

Comment Re:evolution (Score 0) 232

Male sperm counts have dropped by 95% since 1900. However some of this is probably due to false estrogens from oil based pesticides so it might clear up whenever we stop using them.

[citation needed] because the world population would crash if that 95% was important... or perhaps it never happened (at least not to that extent, for sure)

Comment Re:Sounds Too Good to Be True ... (Score 1) 202

Try to change to Fangzhuang (Fortune) in Beijing if you have the option.

My last apartment didn't have any options, and the provider sucked: 4 Mbit cost 55 RMB/month (if you paid in 6 month blocks) and couldn't manage 1 Mbit down to Chinese sites, The up actually wasn't bad, sustaining 1 Mbit was no problem. Oh, and when I asked the install tech to give the PPPoE password so I could put it into my router, he refused up to the point where I refused to allow him to leave my apartment unless he gave it to me. It was a farce.

  My new place gives me a choice of that same old provider, that no one uses, or GTao (I have used them in the past, good service) or Fortune. Fortune offered me 2 years of 20 Mbit down/3 Mbit up for 1880 RMB. So for about $3 USD more a month compared to the old service, I can get 18 Mbit to HK providers (if they can source it) and the up can go to 3.5 Mbit, so I think the rate cap is actually around 4. To Texas sites, I still sustain about 12 Mbit down and 2 Mbit up because they don't seem to be able to feed me more, though my LA based VPN can cut those numbers in half (any recommendations for a new VPN provider?). Latency still sucks, of course.

All of this only applies if you live in a 'mansion' (apartment/condo building, depending on how you like to think of it). If you are in a hutong, fiber internet service isn't such a huge requirement when you still don't have indoor toilet facilities.

Comment Re:SSD replacements? (Score 1) 144

Assuming you don't have enough, buy some more RAM and make a ram disk. Point your browsers caches and any temp files to your ram disk, along with your pagefile. Have your netflix movies download to it, too (I will usually download all files to the RAM disk, but I know I never download more than 2 GB unattended, if I do need to download a huge file I can manually point it to my spinning rust). My 24 GB RAM system has an 8 GB RAM disk which typically runs about 1/2 full with occasional spikes up to the full 8, but I could get away with just 4 GB if I felt like it. If you are running an SSD, consider stopping using hibernation- sleep or shutdown, there is no middle option (just as there was no Matrix 2 or 3... shush, there wasn't!). Don't point your system restores there, obviously, but the above steps will have you stop sweating bullets and preventing you from sleeping comfortably each night with your SSD.

I don't use this program, but it is free and good for 4 GB support, though it requires you manually tweaking what you want. There are other options a little google-fu will easily produce for you.

Comment Re:HID's (Score 2) 111

Nunchuck skills - check
Bowhunting skills - check
Computer hacking skills - check
Time to do it? Nope. I have a date tonight.

Sorry, but that last one puts all three of the previous items in doubt.

Comment Re:To many it won't matter at all (Score 1) 144

I have a Sandy Bridge-based notebook that did USB 3.0 just fine under Windows 7. I upgraded it to Windows 8, no more USB 3.0 (the port doesn't work for USB 2.0, either). Apparently the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller is still not qualified for Windows 8. There are hack workarounds that fake the installer into thinking it is still running under Windows 7, but it keeps getting disabled periodically and I have to re-install the drivers to make it work again (PITA, multiple reboots).

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