* Posts by eBusiness

23 posts • joined 1 Jun 2009

Cheap, backwards-compatible PCIe 4.0 on track for 2015 2016

eBusiness

Re: Those 10" runs

I'm still sceptical, all the other consumer-level standards seem to have stranded on 10 GT/s or less (USB: 5 GT/s (10 GT/s in version 3.1), SATA: 6 GT/s, GDDR5: 7 GT/s, Display Port: 5.4 GT/s (8.1 GT/s in the upcoming version 1.3), HDMI: 6 GT/s, Thunderbolt: 10 GT/s). All over the line they are fighting physics, and physics seem to be winning.

SATA now has a standard where a single cable fit in two plugs, thus doubling the data rate without having to deal with too high transfer rates. They have also partially outsourced the electrical part of the specification to PCIe, thus upgrading from 6 GT/s to 8 GT/s without having to admit that they couldn't make it faster on their own anyway.

USB used to increase the transfer rate around tenfold for each release, realising that there is no way to hit 50 GT/s they opted for just doubling last time around to hit 10 GT/s, a year after the standard was release there are still no USB 3.1 products available for sale, so it remains to be seen if it will actually be as cheap as promised.

Display Port shifted from doubling transfer rate with the previous version to only provide a 50% increase with version 1.3, 10.8 GT/s seemingly wasn't deemed a realistic target.

Thunderbolt, being the only 10 GT/s product that is actually available, turned out too expensive to be used much by anyone but Apple. As far as I understand those 10 GT/s is a big part of the reason.

GDDR5, while being standardised for up to 7 GT/s, has seen most use in the 4 to 6 GT/s range, high speed memory controllers are so expensive that there is often better economy in more slower lanes, despite a markedly increased number of chip pins and corresponding board complexity.

All this combined lead to the question: How the **** can anyone think that they can just jump to 16 GT/s without incurring a prohibitively high cost?

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Entangled matter the next big thing in qubits

eBusiness
Holmes

Beam me up, Scotty

Is it just me, or has there been some inflation to the term teleportation?

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Report says Cisco offloading Linksys

eBusiness
Facepalm

Re: Good

Ditto here, Cisco effectively became the company who replaced an already meagre 4 MB memory chip with a 2 MB chip in order to save the skin of a quarter per unit sold.

They could have built a quality consumer brand simply by investing in proper programming and not dumping the hardware to the very lowest level, the Cisco name would have helped selling the story.

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Apple granted patent for ebook page-turning

eBusiness
Flame

Something good from the patent system

Prior art? Inventive step? Who cares, if Apple can actually enforce this they will have done the world a favour in making punishable what rightfully should be so. Making an application to make my perfectly good computer imitate an outdated and inferior technical solution for displaying text is simply not cool.

/Off to paint wooden spokes on the wheels of my car.

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Gartner has its head in the clouds - and its numbers are WRONG

eBusiness

Unrounding numbers

All the other faults aside, it's funny how all the numbers generated by the survey "unround" to fractions with divisors no greater than 9. Providing so many digits in the result that the last ones are practically random is a common way of making the numbers seem significant. Upping that to so many digits that the last ones are clearly not random does however tend to spoil the illusion.

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Zynga plays BLAME GAME with Facebook as stock tanks 40%

eBusiness

Re: Captive Users

@ZweiBlumen

Of course people are going to stick to their Facebook accounts for quite a while, if nothing else because they have made it their login token for quite a few other sites. The problem is, Zuck 'n' Zyng doesn't make any money unless people actually use their respective main services. As the Facebook fanaticism begin to wear off Facebook could easily find themselves in a situation where the number of users continue to rise, but the overall usage drops as other forms of communication dig into the market share.

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Ballmer shoots down Microsoft breakup advice

eBusiness
Headmaster

RE:Double-digit growth

I believe you talk about relative growth. Beyond my guess that the currency is dollars my interpretation is exactly what the sentence in the article says. Now, it seems that someone has a context specific convention of misusing the term growth, therefore to avoid confusion it would be prudent to not use it in ambiguous sentences.

By the way, nothing is measured in percent, it is not a unit, it is just a shorthand sign for a multiplication factor of 0,01. Which makes the sentence even more strange, not only does the reader have to interpret growth as relative growth, the quantification also assumes a specific numeric representation without even providing an actual number.

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eBusiness
Facepalm

Double-digit growth

Wow, somewhere between $10 and $99 extra relative to the year before. Even to the rest of us that is ... really not a lot.

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We're searching for life, Jim, but not as we know it

eBusiness
Alien

Expect the unexpected

If we ever find alien life somewhere in the universe there is only one thing that is certain, it will not be what we expect it to be. There is no reason to believe that their biochemistry will be any exception to this.

Points to Isaac Asimov for suggesting some non-hydro-carbon-oxygen life-platform candidates, but he probably missed the majority of candidates.

We are barely able to understand how our own biochemistry works, we simply haven't got the means to rule out anything but the most rudimentary static environments as options for life.

The only thing that hydro-carbon-oxygen has got going is that our statistical material (an impressive 1 sample) suggest that it is relatively more likely that hydro-carbon-oxygen environments has a high chance of developing life than other environments.

I think this a case where a little knowledge might be more dangerous than no knowledge, for all we know, it could be that hydro-carbon-oxygen actually has a much lower chance of spawning life than some other environments, and we just got lucky.

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Ten... mono laser printers

eBusiness
WTF?

Paper cost saving

"It also has an Eco button in front of its 16 x 2 LCD display, which saves three quarters of your paper costs"

That is nothing short of impressive, I mean, saving power and toner can be hard, but making a printer eat less paper while producing the same prints must have taken some true ingenuity.

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Uncrackable quantum crypto undermined by new attack

eBusiness

Traditional encryption schemes still work fine. While the quantum-thing may be broken, the good news is that it was a completely redundant technology in the first place.

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Boffin melds quantum processor with quantum RAM

eBusiness

1 billion states please

It all sounds exciting, but after getting a few more facts from the press release I'm able to stay in my chair.

"The quantum integrated circuit includes two quantum bits (qubits), a quantum communication bus, two bits of quantum memory, and a resetting register comprising a simple quantum computer."

So this isn't really a computer, it has got a whooping 2 bits of memory, meaning that it can actually only hold 4 different states. The mathematicians working with quantum computers gladly assume that they can get an indefinite number of different states. The actual experiments seem to stick to single digit numbers. If quantum computing is to have a future someone needs to show that they can hold a large number of concurrent states in a quantum system.

But +1 for building a steampunk prop and claiming that it is a computer. That image really deserves to be shown in a higher resolution:

http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/image.aspx?pkey=2553&Position=2

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Here lies /^v.+b$/i

eBusiness

Death by overflow

short life;

while( ++life ) {

enjoy( life );

}

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iPad maker to replace 1 million staff with robots

eBusiness
WTF?

1 Worker != 1 Robot

The numbers don't add up, in the very worst case a single small cheap robot might do the work of 1 human, but humans don't work all day long (not even those employed at Foxconn), so 1.2M people will only do around 400000 "full time" jobs. On top of that not every human can be replaced, and a lot of the robots in an automated production will do the job of several humans.

So unless they also plan a massive increase of production capacity there is no way the numbers of this story adds up.

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Quantum crypto felled by 'Perfect Eavesdropper' exploit

eBusiness

Practical

Actually there are already commercial products for performing quantum cryptography. But, well, an idea doesn't stop being silly just because someone does it.

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eBusiness

Re: What I don't get...

First of all, it's asymmetric systems that use public and private keys, symmetric systems use just a single key, and everyone has to keep that key secret.

As I also explain in my other post, you get to buy some expensive equipment and roll out a fibre instead of just exchanging a small piece of data.

The primary advantage is that sounds and is complicated, which make a lot of people think it is also safe.

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eBusiness
Holmes

Have solution - need problem

The really funny thing about quantum "cryptography" is that a traditional symmetric cipher does the same job. On top of that the quantum thing requires a dedicated end-to-end fibre, making it expensive and inflexible. For a cipher all you have to do is exchange a key once (the systems can then renegotiate that key periodically so that knowing the original key won't be sufficient for an attack).

One just have to stay away from the minimalist design cipher systems. You don't want a system that use the least possible amount of CPU time per bit transferred, as such a system will invariably be based on what you could call a mathematical single point of failure. (Unfortunately the minimalist systems are quite popular, since: Oh no, we would have to put a $8 CPU instead of a $5 CPU in our wireless router if it has to run a heavy encryption algorithm.)

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Play.com pummelled over purported piracy permissiveness

eBusiness
FAIL

Spam

I get the same stuff, ~2 mails per week, fortunately Gmail takes care of it. All they have achieved so far is that I cancelled the second half of my order.

Not minding laws, what kind of gain would they expect pissing off customers this way? Morons.

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Duke Nukem publisher parts company with flacks over Twitter gaffe

eBusiness
Mushroom

Public relations

Maybe The Redner Group should hire a professional PR firm to help them regain the faith of their customers.

If you accidentally drop a nuke on yourself, better call someone who has a fire extinguisher.

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WTF is... 4K x 2K?

eBusiness

Re: Get me some decent codecs before you roll 4K

At 0.1 bits per pixel you'd get 5 hours of 4K video on a 50 GB dual layer disk. x264 will produce excellent quality at 0.1 bpp if only given enough time. The most extreme encoding I have ever seen was at 0.035 bpp, I could spot a few small artefacts here and there, but mostly it was sharp HD video.

The point being, given proper encoding blu-rays are way oversized for storing a single 2 hour 1080p movie.

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Sony reveals slim PS3, drops price

eBusiness
Headmaster

What?

"Sony's trimmed-down PS3 will include a 120GB HDD in a package approximately two-thirds smaller and lighter than the original 60GB PS3 model. Power consumption has also been cut by two-thirds courtesy the console's redesigned processors, cooling unit and power supply."

Could you rephrase these poor sentences in English? As it is, it's impossible to tell whether it in each case it is two thirds that has been cut, or two thirds that remain.

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XML flaws threaten 'enormous' array of apps

eBusiness

Vague article

The original article is here: http://www.codenomicon.com/labs/xml/

It's longer, but it's just as vague. Apparently this is as to not disclose any information that could be used by hackers, but this feat also makes the article pretty useless to anyone else.

I find it quite hard to believe that major open source XML libraries should be susceptible to simple overflow attacks. That they may pass on garbled information rather than returning an error in case of a bad XML file could probably happen. Thus theoretically an otherwise safe application could be compromised because of the parser returning data that it should not be able to return. But realistically, in most cases you would have to perform some sort of data validation beyond what the parser does, that should set potentially dangerous data straight.

The closest thing that I can come to a conclusion on this matter: There is probably loads of vulnerable applications out there that can be attacked through an XML file, but I doubt that the parsers have a lot to do with it, even if they are flawed.

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Boffins: Ordinary lightbulbs can be made efficient, cheaply

eBusiness
Alien

Fishy

Well, a 40% energy saving ain't going to make light bulbs anywhere near as efficient as the lowpower tech.

By the way, what happens if you laserburn a part of the wolfram thread in a lightbulb to make that part thinner? The burned spot shines brighter, but the rest of the thread goes slightly darker, so overall you get slightly less light at slightly less power draw, though the difference in power draw may be too small to notice without high precision equipment.

I'm not making any accusations, I'm just stating what the expected result of burning the wolfram thread in a light bulb using a high energy laser would be.

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