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Hidden Debug Mode Found In AMD Processors 154

An anonymous reader writes "A hidden (and hardware password protected, by means of required special values in processor registers) debug mode has been found in AMD processors, and documented by a reverse engineer called Czernobyl on the RCE Forums community today. It enables powerful hardware debugging features long longed for by reverse engineers, such as hardware data-aware conditional breakpoints, and direct hardware 'page guard'-style breakpoints. And the best part is, it's sitting right there in your processor already, just read the details and off you go with the debugging ninja powers!"

Comment Re:Any questions? (Score 2, Interesting) 56

- Other posters have noted/claimed this is a result of high manufacturing costs making this material prohibitive for solar cell production. Could the manufacturing costs of this material be brought down to a point as to make it a good substance for solar cells? How close are we?
- What wavelengths does this material respond too/detect? Could it be modified/designed to image UV/Vis/IR?
- How linear is the response function, or perhaps would it require an exotic calibration procedure to translate photons into radiance?

Thank you for volunteering to answer questions and good luck in your academic endeavors! I wish I was in graduate school now and was positioned to work in this domain.

Black Silicon Used For Surveillance? 56

An anonymous reader writes "For the past decade, 'black silicon' has been touted as a way to make super-sensitive image sensors and ultra-efficient solar cells. That's because the material — silicon wafers treated with sulfur gases and femtosecond laser pulses — is much better at absorbing photons and releasing electrons than conventional silicon, at least over certain wavelengths. In 2008, Harvard spinoff SiOnyx went public with its plans to commercialize black silicon. But what happened to those plans? Today SiOnyx revealed in another exclusive that it has raised new venture financing from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and other big investors. It also has formed a key strategic partnership to scale up manufacturing of black silicon — and go after markets in security, surveillance, automotive, consumer devices, and medical imaging."

Chips That Flow With Probabilities, Not Bits 153

holy_calamity writes "Boston company Lyric Semiconductor has taken the wraps off a microchip designed for statistical calculations that eschews digital logic. It's still made from silicon transistors. But they are arranged gates that compute with analogue signals representing probabilities, not binary bits. That makes it easier to implement calculations of probabilities, says the company, which has a chip for correcting errors in flash memory claimed to be 30 times smaller than a digital logic-based equivalent."

Comment Post on why Themes are Derivative (Score 1) 571

I do not code in PHP, so please bare with me. What I got was that since the PHP interpreter sees it all as the same code, all the same program, then it is a derivative work. "To the PHP parser, it is all one and the same." If a PHP GPL module presents an API and a PHP non-GPL module uses that API and they run in the same PHP interpreter, what happens?

Comment Re:Hold the Spin (Score 1) 709

Some has stated (and rightly so) that we should call our congresspeople an voice our opinions. Even provided a nice little link to congressional contact information. I would say we should send letters, and not a form letter or e-mail. Form letters, e-mails and online petitions are not taken seriously. Take an hour and (neatly) put pen to paper describing your stance. Hundreds of pounds of post making its way to D.C. has an undeniable veracity.

I also think FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski needs a few thousand letters of support on his current path.

Comment What is old is new again... (Score 1) 1

While the connotation of a white, fluffy cloud floating along in cyberspace is diametrically opposed to a big, black lump of iron sitting in a server room, these two are essentially the same. Big Iron and terminals have returned, but now we call them clouds and netbooks (or smart-phones.)

Submission + - Will the Capping Stack Cap the Leak? (bpwelloilspill.com)

An anonymous reader writes: BP said it will be lowering a connector onto a leaking pipe that will be bolted onto the remains of the well bore.
Then the cappin stack can be securely fitted compared to the previous cap. This all depends on how the seabed can cope with the increased pressure, we will keep you posted on this.


Submission + - Gaming in the cloud, a good idea? (pcauthority.com.au) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The biggest PC games in the world all have an intrinsic relationship with the internet. Blizzard's World of Warcraft juggernaught is designed around players being constantly connected. In essence the game is one big database — when you throw fireballs at a gigantic dragon you are actually just querying a database. Take away the database and there is no World of Warcraft, just a set of art assets and a map viewer. But this level of online integration is nothing compared to services launching at the moment. The most prominent of these is Onlive, but there is also a similar service called Gakai that is readying for launch. These companies run the entire game on their server farms. The end user essentially ends up with a video stream that responds to their key and mouse presses. If this works it has the potential to completely change the landscape of gaming. Why bother to build an expensive PC when you can game on any old thing? This article looks at whether cloud gaming is actually a good idea, or just a pipe dream.

Submission + - Must you keep left? 1

medcalf writes: Tom Tom has released Star Wars voices for their GPS units. Darth Vader, C-3P0 and Yoda are currently available, with Han Solo apparently coming. The joke in the title, by the way, is from the "studio recordings" of the voices.

Submission + - Escher Lithographs Recreated Entirely With Lego

colenski writes: Andrew Lipson is a lego freak who does amazing creations. Neatorama has a nice page detailing his efforts in recreating famous Escher lithographs as real, 3D objects. He does admit to cheating a bit (to create the distortion in "Balcony", for example, he hacked together an image transform in C) but, still, the results are brilliant. For Escher and Lego fans, this is a must-see. Construction details for "Balcony", "Ascending and Descending", "Belevedere", "Relativity" and "Waterfall" are provided. Nice.

Comment Re:Why did Intel even need to do this? (Score 1) 169

You answered your own question. The K8 product line beat anything Intel was pushing during that time frame. It should have given AMD a sizable portion of the market share. The performance was that much better. In a free market, the obviously better product should take the market share, and as fast as the IT market moves, there should have a perceptible wave in market share and profit flowing into AMD. Who knows where AMD R&D would have gone with the influx of cash.

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