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Submission + - Erich Bloch, Who Helped Develop IBM Mainframe Dies At 91

shadowknot writes: The New York Times is reporting that Erich Bloch who helped to develop the IBM Mainframe has died at the age of 91 as a result of complications from Alzheimer's disease. From the article:

In the 1950s, he developed the first ferrite-core memory storage units to be used in computers commercially and worked on the IBM 7030, known as Stretch, the first transistorized supercomputer. “Asked what job each of us had, my answer was very simple and very direct,” Mr. Bloch said in 2002. “Getting that sucker working.” Mr. Bloch’s role was to oversee the development of Solid Logic Technology — half-inch ceramic modules for the microelectronic circuitry that provided the System/360 with superior power, speed and memory, all of which would become fundamental to computing.

Comment Re:No liberal bias? (Score 1) 206

What you're talking about is a matter of interpretation that has been argued ad infinitum (the definition of when life begins) and has been ruled upon by the courts several times. The "fetal homicide" law is also not applicable in 12 states, and does not cover a decision by the mother, who after all, is the person who likely suffers the greatest consequences of the no doubt difficult decision to abort. It really has very little in common with the clearcut seatbelt case, and attempts to conflate the two are muddled thinking.

Comment Re:Microsoft is Dangerously Incompetent (Score 1) 359

Good points.

Apple, OTOH, made the whole thing COMPLETELY SEAMLESS to all but the smallest-subset of users, by clever OS witchery (which I freely admit I do not know for sure how it works, but I assume has something to do with having a 32 bit and 64 bit version or entry point to each API call).

The way the "compatibility mode" kernel that shipped on Mac OS X several years ago works: the kernel is double-mapped into both the low 4G of the address space as well as the upper 128 TB ("negative") region. On a system call, exception or interrupt, the processor branches to the "high" double mapped region, switches to 64-bit mode and executes a small slice of the kernel in 64-bit mode. That slice does some book-keeping and then switches address spaces and modes to execute 32-bit "compatibility" mode IA32 code back in the low 4GiB. With this mechanism, 64-bit programs work without requiring all the 32-bit drivers and the kernel proper to operate entirely in 64-bit mode, which was a significant time-to-market and compatibility advantage. There's a drawback in that performance isn't as good as with a pure 64-bit kernel, but Apple shipped that a few years later.

Comment Re:Short-sighted (Score 5, Insightful) 91

The most routinely annoying example of Paypal sliminess is their refusal to allow a user to set the default payment source to a credit card.

If you have a linked bank account, it defaults to that, and you have to manually change it for every payment. This is clearly based on the hope that many users will neglect to do so, and so they can debit money with no cost to them from your bank account (while charging the recipient 3.5% or more), rather than paying the credit card transaction fees (some of which go back to the buyers, if they're smart and have cash back or rewards cards).

Followed by their invariable attempts to sell your their horrible credit cards, dire and false warnings about credit card charges unless you use a bank account, false warnings about foreign exchange conversion fees.

Not the most egregious issues I'm sure (I've never sold anything via ebay or paypal), but makes the whole experience unpleasant.

Comment Re:Then release the raw temperature numbers! (Score 0) 504

You lying/subliterate nincompoop, if you clicked on the FTP link from that page, the README has copious details which will probably overburden your confirmation-bias-filled little mind. They have links to the raw dataset, as well as the quality-controlled dataset and a detailed description of each filter. Asinine, evil trolls like you denigrating the hard work of people who have dedicated their lives to this sort of thing are going to destroy America more than Drumpf can dream of. Fuck off and die, you miserable loser.

QCFLAG: quality control flag, seven possibilities within quality controlled unadjusted (qcu) dataset, and 2 possibilities within the quality controlled adjusted (qca) dataset. Quality Controlled Unadjusted (QCU) QC Flags: BLANK = no failure of quality control check or could not be evaluated. D = monthly value is part of an annual series of values that are exactly the same (e.g. duplicated) within another year in the station's record. etc.

Comment Re:Then release the raw temperature numbers! (Score 0) 504

iggymanz the troll apparently needs to be spoonfed. Not that I expect you're actually capable of deducing anything useful from this, but here's a link to the complet version 3 of the Global Historical Climatology Network Monthly temperature dataset (there are daily etc. variants also available). Want to know what that means? I doubt you actually do, you lame troll, but here's another link to a FAQ

Comment Re:Will she pardon here self and him once she gets (Score 2, Informative) 592

Meta: I'm for Kasich, and am no fan of HRC. But, to quote a TPM editorial that's well argued, I suggest you:

"don't understand the difference between what David Petraeus was indicted for and what Hillary Clinton, even by the most maximal interpretation, is accused of. What David Petraeus did was not mishandling classified information. No one ever suggested those were the facts of the case; it was lesser charge that grew out of a plea deal. David Petraeus was in a position of the highest military authority and knowingly shared the highest levels of classified information: secret code words, the identities of informants, war strategy among other things with his mistress, who unquestionably had no right to have access to the information. Even marital infidelity in itself is a serious matter in the military. The breach of trust, vulnerability to blackmail and dereliction of duty are all huge and knowing transgressions. Petraeus could have been indicted for a number of individual crimes. He was pled down to a mishandling charge. Comparing this to insufficiently protecting information that appears not to have even been explicitly classified at the time is silly. "

Comment Re: On the one hand ... (Score 1) 132

+1 (no mod points). As cogent and informative a summary of the "hacker/cracker" distinction as I've ever seen. The jargon file dates it to the early '80s:

One who breaks security on a system. Coined ca. 1985 by hackers in defense against journalistic misuse of hacker (q.v., sense 8). An earlier attempt to establish worm in this sense around 1981--82 on Usenet was largely a failure.

which would seem earlier than the parent's recollection, but it had probably been floating around in the collective engineering unconsciousness for some time. Of course, the etymology can probably be traced back to non-electronic crime, such as burglary (safe cracking/safe crackers).

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