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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 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.

Comment Re:As a strategy, it may not be bad... (Score 1) 240

Electric motors actually become more efficient as they become more powerful, not less (upping the peak power requires lower resistance wiring, which wastes less energy when the vehicle is cruising).

Ah, yes, the modern "overdrive" is a handy-dandy burly conduit demassifier.

Only I'm not sure whether this cancels out drag effects once your heavy windings become so large as to erupt, steampunk style, from the hood, like giant copperhead engine minions. Can't have everything, I guess. Still, the efficiency with a stiff tail wind would be unrivalled. Up svelte periscope, and away!

Comment Re:No one is forced my ass (Score 1) 342

And where do you think this $10M comes from? It is being added to the price of the product.

This is getting pretty close to "follow the money" as a certifiable intellectual disability.

Indeed, the American adversarial "free" market regulatory function is implemented more cheaply—as perceived through a conspicuously charismatic megadollar mental metal-detector—by "big" government oversight in many other free-market(ish) democracies.

But isn't it funny how, at the end of the day, one needs to add up the contribution of all the feedback loops* before deciding whether the cost of doing business as merely usual—even mildly** unfettered business-as-usual has no known upper bound—is somehow too penny-painful to countenance (at which point the merit function apparently becomes x!=this, and the land grab is on).

[*] Your mission, should you delight is discarding hundreds of unknowable terms that especially rankle your nose hairs, and choose to accept this as a more dignified profession than scouring McRestRooms.

[**] Post Glass–Steagall, where we rushed to embrace TARP because it was the screaming deal of the 21st century compared to what otherwise*** might have been (hint: the A in TARP does not stand for "asset").

[***] Once every decade or so, the truly wealthy gather together for an Iowa Writer's Workshop of collective dystopian ideation. The rest of the decade, they can barely manage a passable crayon sketch of a stick-man fleeing a house on fire. It's their one great artistic outlet (only don't get them started on provenance, which though superficially similar, is definitely not the same thing).

Comment not your father's least surprise (Score 2) 551

It requires existing root access in order to create a new user. So if someone exploits it, you are already fucked.

You must be new here. The Doctrine of the Useful Idiot is referenced these days almost hourly. Hence, you must be really new here.

In this case the "useful idiot" is the trusted repository administrator, who permits a package to be hosted from upstream because it doesn't look suspicious in any way (unless the obscure rule about user accounts with leading digits is top of mind—as if every project doesn't have at least one wonky anomaly, most of which, if pursued, turn out to accord with "who knew?"—and Poettering-appropriate paranoia level is set to deep fat fry).

The trusting user will run the package installer from the trusted repository using "sudo". There's your TRANSITORY, apparently harmless root. No weird system calls. No overt fingerprint of escalation. Mission accomplished. Tick, tick, tick ...

Under Poettering, the principle of least surprise is obeyed by allowing any departure from convention, no matter how thinly understood on the ground where it matters, to lead to an unchecked root escalation.

This was not your father's principle of least surprise.

The long cascade of trusted upstream is become our new Leviathan. Can one even finish a review of inbound patches any more before the next batch arrives?

Work started in 2002 to repaint the bridge fully for the first time in its history, in a L130 million contract awarded to Balfour Beatty.

Up to 4,000 tonnes of scaffolding was on the bridge at any time, and computer modelling was used to analyse the additional wind load on the structure.

The bridge was encapsulated in a climate controlled membrane to give the proper conditions for the application of the paint.

All previous layers of paint were removed using copper slag fired at 200 miles per hour, exposing the steel and allowing repairs to be made.

The paint, developed specifically for the bridge by Leigh Paints, consisted of a system of three coats derived from that used in the North Sea oil industry.

240,000 litres of paint was applied to 255,000 square metres of the structure, and it is not expected to need repainting for at least 20 years.

The top coat can be reapplied indefinitely, minimising future maintenance work

Software security engineers, eat your heart out. The veritable mascots of unfinishable business sit there drinking tea, while we double down on making things worse.

For the record, Trump is also making a good case for himself as the President of Least Surprise.

This, too, was not your father's least surprise.

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