* Posts by Mad Mike

1119 posts • joined 30 May 2007

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UK data watchdog: Massive fines won't keep data safe

Mad Mike

Turn it around

Change it around and make them prove they've done enough. There's plenty of places in English law now where you're guilty until proven innocent.

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Mad Mike

Most effective solution

The most effective solution to prevent data breaches etc. is simply not to store it in the first place. Some data is required of course, but huge amounts of data, not really required, are kept by most businesses. How many companies have got records going back decades? How many know far more about you than is really required to perform their business? A lot.

If you don't have the data, you can't leak it!!

Many companies actually go out of their way to obtain more and more data about people without having any real idea of its value or what they're going to do with it. The view is, the more data they have on a customer, the most useful it MIGHT be in the future. Much of it proves not to be, but is a big leak risk.

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Mad Mike

Re: In other words...

Fines are never the answer. Most executives are at a company so short a time that they don't care about the company, whether it survives or financially viable. They're there top make a few quick bucks and then move on. So, if they get away with it and don't get caught, more money for the bonus pot. If they do get caught, worse case the company disappears and you move on. It's a win/win situation for execs.

The only solution is to make them personally responsible, with serious personal fines and jailtime. Take away plausible deniability and make them demonstrate exactly why they're not liable rather than prove they are. Make them prove they did enough. Then, execs might start taking this stuff seriously.

They're paid a lot of money for the responsibility they supposedly carry. However, in reality there isn't really any responsibility. So, let's make them responsible and earn their money.

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Online pizza order saves woman and children from knife-wielding kidnapper

Mad Mike

Rather pointless law

Doesn't this seem a rather pointless law? Doesn't any kidnapping/hostage situation normally result in this. I can't really understand why there needs to be a specific law for this, as the situation can't exist in isolation (surely)? Isn't it covered by the other laws being broken at the same time?

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Plod wants your PC? Brick it with a USB stick BEFORE they probe it

Mad Mike

Re: Automatic bricking...

@JetSetJim.

I agree totally. 'Unless proven guilty' is very true. Mind you, the way things are going, innocence and guilt are becoming rather irrelevant. If they want to get you, they will!! You can see this with all the far reaching and high interpretable laws being implemented.

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Mad Mike

Re: Automatic bricking...

"I'm not sure what we're talking about here is "destroying evidence". If the police haven't yet put it in one of their plastic bags, and haven't made a formal request for it to be provided, is it "evidence", or is it just data?"

It's evidence. Companies (for instance) have a legal requirement to hold data for as long as it could be used in a court case (and therefore becomes evidence). I believe (please do check) that this also applies to individuals (e.g. tax information etc.). This is why destroying emails (even before a police investigation) is considered destroying evidence, although they would need to prove it was deliberate rather than just incompetence.

The point here would be to make it something the police do that causes the destruction. You are under no obligation to help the police (as a potential suspect) in their enquiries and if something they do has a negative effect (e.g. wiping data), they can't claim you should have told them. If they don't take enough care when examining the PC, that's their problem...

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Mad Mike

Re: Automatic bricking...

'TrueCrypt's "plausible deniability" setting, one of it's very best features. The only downside was constructing a truly plausible collection of files that didn't look like stand-in crap.'

The whole point of justice in this country is supposed to be (consider if you think it still is) innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, it shouldn't really matter what files are there. The fact you chose to protect them (for whatever reason) is your business. It is up to plod to demonstrate there is a secondary volume rather than for you to show there isn't.

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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

Mad Mike

Really?

"The US has historically held value in the savings of one well-placed shot."

Over the years, the US has got a reputation for bombing the living daylights out of everything. Rather than put troops in danger, they'd rather drop a huge amount of ordnance from the skies. I'm sure the people of Iraq and Afghanistan (especially the former) would agree with that in general. As far as I know, this has been so for many years. During Vietnam, the US was reknowned for mass bombing missions (generall unguided), which resulted in all sorts of bad press as villages and all sorts got hit, hence some very famous footage.

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Mad Mike

Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

"All main battle tank guns are smooth bore and they generally don't fire guided munitions."

Errr. Apart from those that aren't. The L30A1 in the Challenger is rifled. Indeed, there is a long history of rifled guns in tanks. The L11A5 in the Chieftain. There has also been a long list of British 105mm tank guns, which are all rifled and have been exported very widely.

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London man arrested over $40 MILLION HFT flash crash allegations

Mad Mike

Really?

Mmmmm. Man manges to make twenty something million pounds (according to the Americans) and yet still continues to live in Hounslow? Really? Presumably, the Americans think Hounslow is some sort of sleepy, lovely village in England where everyone with a few million would choose to live.

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Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

Mad Mike

Re: Not worth going then

@AC

"However, I consider it important and incumbent on *everyone* to think about what they write and how it could be misconstrued."

I sort of agree, but you hit another problem with the english language. Any particular statement or sentence can be read so many different ways, it is almost impossible to say anything substantial without potentially offending someone. Yes, some things are very clearly and obviously offensive, again not because of the words, but the context of the whole piece etc. However, I've seen many people take offence at things that are actually quite neutral and certainly not meant in that way.

People highly sensitised one way or the other are the first to jump to the wrong conclusion, as they have a pre-conceived bias to do so. I used to work with a woman who if you held a door open for her would take great offence that you were doing it because she was a woman. Problem was, I'd hold a door open for anyone if they were following behind me. It's not about man/woman, it's about being polite in general. But, as she was a rampant feminist, she automatically assumed everyone was treating her differently as she was a woman. This made her a nightmare. She would take deep offence at the most minor of things.

A bloke moaning in the office on a Monday morning about having to wait around in shops whilst his wife spent hours trying on dresses would get a verbal tirade on being sexist etc.etc. She effectively had few friends and nobody would talk to her. She, of course, took this as sexism from IT men who hated her doing an IT job. It wasn't. It was her attitude and actions made it impossible to talk to her in any sensible way and she was just a nightmare co-worker, not for being a woman, but for instantly assuming everyone was trying to insult or undermine her.

If we're all to live in harmony, we need to get rid of these extreme ends of the spectrum and get more to the middle ground. In their own way, the liberals purporting to support all these anti-ism stances, are actually as bigoted as the people who they're trying to stop. Liberal is absolutely the worst word to describe them as they are anything but.

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Mad Mike

Re: Not worth going then

@Amorous Cowherder.

"Ideas and situations change, mostly for the better. We don't use terms like paki, nig-nog, wog or coon any more because they're nasty, racist and only serve to demean others based on skin colour and cause friction."

Oh dear, not this old nonsense. Words are not racist, sexist or any other 'ist' you care of think of. They are completely neutral. It is the way they are used, context, body language etc. around their use that confers the 'ism' or not.

There was a very well known comedy on British TV in the 70s called Love Thy Neighbour. Nobody today would ever make it because of the language used. The black chap would refer to the white chap as 'chalky' (is this a racist word?) and the white chap would use all sorts of stereotypical words to describe the black chap..........nignog etc.etc. The funny thing about it was, they were actually best mates in the programme. Quite a lot of people didn't get it and the liberals at the time threw their toys out the pram as they simply went by the language and not all the other nuances around the language, which conveyed the real intent. The two guys would go down the put together and socialise together. The actors even spoke of this afterwards and explained everything.

So, words are not racist etc. at all. It is the way they are used. That is both the beauty and danger of the english language. You can use a sexist word like 'babe' to a woman if all the other signs are right (glint in the eye etc.), but get them wrong and you'll get a slap. The context can even change based on whether you know the person or not, or how well you know them. The only people who really believe words are racist, sexist etc. inherently, are those that simply don't properly understand human interaction and all its nuances and subtleties.

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PIRATES and THIEVES to get Windows 10 as BOOTY

Mad Mike

Proper punishment

Surely the correct punishment for running a pirated operating system is being forced to upgrade to Windows 8.1? Comparatively speaking, surely Windows 10 will be community service?

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My self-driving cars may lead to human driver ban, says Tesla's Musk

Mad Mike

Replacing one problem with another

All we're doing is replacing one problem with another. Peoples inability to drive (decision making, sensory overload etc.) is being replaced by peoples inability to code properly!! Look at the number of bugs present in code that has to do relatively mundane things and then think of the number of bugs that will be present in code needed to drive a car!

I'm looked forward to the following in no particular order:-

1. BSOD whilst driving. Quick reboot is really important under these circumstances.

2. Sensor failures whilst driving....or more important, sensors going slightly out of whack.

3. Advistories suggesting you don't drive cars in certain conditions until fix xyz applied.

4. Viruses.

5. Looking at the firewall log whilst driving and realising someone is trying to hack in.

etc..

etc..

etc..

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Shove off, ugly folk, says site for people who love themselves

Mad Mike
Joke

Tawnie Lynn

Now, that's a very deep south sounding name.

Surely her dating website should be:-

www.beautifulandrelatedpeople.com?

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Mad Mike
Joke

If that's a problem, I'm offering myself as the solution!!

Come on all you beauties, I'll take it on the chin and give you plenty of attention of whatever type you like :-)

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Mad Mike
Joke

Re: Look out MENSA

Yes, I thought it was as well!! Perhaps I should apply for MENSA? What an appalling thought.

The one character trait that really irritates me beyond all others is people who are completely up themselves. Don't care what the trait is.....beauty, money, intelligence, impeccable dress sense. You name it.

Anybody who runs around letting others know how superior they are in some sense or another is generally a poor person in my book. A little hubris goes a long way.

Personally, I'm all for becoming the founder member of www.richandhandsomeandintelligentandhunglikeadonkey.com.

Anyone care to join me?

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Mad Mike

Look out MENSA

Presumably, the MENSA website is in for the same sort of abuse. After all, what's the difference? This website is for beautiful people only (how you judge that I'm not too sure), whereas MENSA is for people with very high IQs.

It's always struck me that both represent a lot of stuck up people, trying to lord it around over some perceived advantage they have.

If beautiful people are considered airheads etc. (as has been suggested in many posts), does this mean people belonging to MENSA are all ugly hags?

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World's mega-rich tax dodge exposed: Meet the HSBC IT bloke at the heart of damning leak

Mad Mike

Re: Didn't realise it was so long ago!

@Yet Another Anonymous Coward.

"But their level of evasion would have payed for teachers, nurses, etc

Your level of evasion would only have paid for an MP's lunch"

I don't disagree with your summary, but does that make it a worse crime? I'm asking a question and not postulating an answer. I'm asking people to consider if the severity of the crime is proportionate to the percentage you've evaded, or the absolute amount. I can see arguments both ways, but often with tax evasion, it seems people with a lot of money and who have evaded the most in absolute measure, but not necessarily by percentage, are massively pilloried compared to those who evade a large percentage, but smaller absolute amount.

Take for example a builder. He agrees to do some jobs tax in hand. He evades £5k in tax, but still pays £20k in total. Then, take a millionaire. He should have paid £400k in tax, but actually managed to evade £10k. Which is the bigger criminal? If they actually evaded the same amount (both £5k), do you not think the millionaire would get a much worse time of it and be more pilloried in the press? Is that fair?

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Mad Mike

Re: Politcally created issue

@Roland6.

You're quite right, but confusing different things. In some cases, HMRC was asked to rule on the legality of some financial instrument and gave an opinion on the basis of the information they were given. Now, if this information proves to be false or the instrument isn't run in the manner described, then they can retrospectively withdraw their opinion (and therefore make you very open to legal action) due to the deviation between the two. This has always been the case.

However, HMRC and the government have to obey the law just as much (said laughingly) as anyone else and therefore can't just make up their minds what is and is not allowed on a whim. There has to be a law that says it isn't allowed. HMRC are merely being asked to interpret the law from their perspective and give an opinion. If you disagree with their opinion, you can still do it and it is up to HMRC to take you to court and get a judge to agree with their opinion and not yours. Now, for obvious reasons, the judge normally sides with HMRC, although there have been cases where this hasn't happened.

In the past, there was no law that said avoidance was illegal. Even if the sole purpose of the instrument was to avoid tax, it was still legal and this is what many accountants would play professional oneupmanship on. Who could come up with the cleverest way to stay within the law, whilst minimising tax. The law change has effectively said that unless you can prove the instrument exists for reasons other than tax avoidance, it is illegal, which is a wholesale change.

So, ALL ISAs are illegal in every way. They are setup with the sole intention of avoiding the payment of income tax on the interest earned. The difference is that government has said they like them and they're OK, so HMRC are ignoring it. However, a loan from a company that you never intend to repay (a common occurrence in the past and I believe similar to what Jimmy Carr was doing) has gone from legal to illegal!! Both are purely trying to evade income tax. One is legal, one is not. How come?

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Mad Mike

@Richard Taylor 2

'I don't believe anything in Swiss law makes it compulsory to aggressively push tax evasion services and hide money from taxation authorities around the world. Now the spirit of Swiss laws is another thing.'

I think you're asking the wrong question. It should be; is there anything in Swiss law that makes it illegal to aggressively push tax evasion services (where it happens in another country)'? Now, I'm pretty sure the answer is no. I'd be pretty certain it isn't even illegal if the evasion occurs in Switzerland, as I suspect the law makes the person giving the return the perpetrator rather than their bank. However, that is irrelevant.

Therefore, in Switzerland, HSBC have not broken any laws. The only person who has broken any laws is the man who stole all the data!! Don't forget that it isn't illegal to incite someone to commit most offences (some like riot are). Even in the UK, I could incite you to file a false tax return, but I wouldn't be committing an offence as it is actually you (the filer) who has committed the offence, as the tax return itself states!! Indeed, one of the jokes about accountants is that when they make a mistake, the person whose finances they've messed up is found guilty and he has to seek redress from the accountant under civil negligence laws........

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Mad Mike

Re: I'm way too poor to avoid tax @LucreLout

@Roy Blake.

Sounds like a perfect accountant to me. I've never been able to understand how accountants work out good will and such like in business accounts. Seems to be a means of adjusting profit up or down according to what you want the accounts to say. This sort of maths seems pretty par for the course with accountants.

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Mad Mike

Re: I'm way too poor to avoid tax @LucreLout

@d3vy.

'No he is not confusing it, tax avoidance is avoiding tax, your earnings are declared but your tax liability is reduced, hmrc know that my gross income is x and I should be taxed x*.40 but because there are plenty of LEGAL ways to avoid tax they they actually tax me ((x-y)*.40) where y is my pension, cycle to work bike, student loan payment etc.

Evasion would be me earning 40k and declaring 20k pocketing the 30k difference.'

In Britain at least, this is simply not true anymore. There are ways of avoiding tax that are perfectly legal in every way except being a construct whose sole reason is avoiding tax. This was the legislation change (which is completely open ended and open to interpretation) that the coalition have put into place. Basically, it says that if the government/HMRC approve of it, it's OK, but otherwise it isn't. The new law says that any financial arrangement created solely to avoid (note the word avoid, not evade) tax is now classed as evasion. So, what about an ISA? The sole reason for an ISAs existence is to avoid income tax on the interest. Therefore, according to the new law, they are actually illegal. Anyone know of someone prosecuted for it? No. Why? Because it's approved of by the government/HMRC.

The new law is a completely opened ended farce, which is open to huge amounts of abuse. An accountants job is (in part) to minimise your tax liability, but with a law like that, it is very difficult to work out what is, and what is not legal. There is no longer a line, but a blurry non-mans land.

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Mad Mike

Re: Didn't realise it was so long ago!

@F0ul.

I do find a lot of the pompous outrage in the press and amongst people quite funny. Most people (probably all) evade tax on some occasions. Completing some transactions in cash is simply one good example. People pretend that it isn't their fault as whether the person declares it or not is up to them, but in reality, they know and are complicit in what is occurring.

Whilst the tax evaded is large in some cases, the morality of it is surely a question of relativity. If you should have paid £2,000 in tax, but actually paid £1,800 (£200 tax loss), is that any better or worse than someone who should have paid £200,000 paying £180,000? The level of evasion (in percentage terms) is actually the same. However, the second will almost certainly attract far more criticism than the first. Is that fair?

Whilst I've always believed people should pay their fair share and accept the country can't function without tax and understand what they get back for it, those who do all the complaining are probably just as guilty of evading tax on occasion. Almost nobody is genuinely free of some culpability at some level.

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Mad Mike

Re: Politcally created issue

@Tom 7.

Jimmy Carr is but one example and there are many, many more. Why one is pilloried and others are not is probably more due to the public perception and newspapers bent. Gary Barlow always has seemed a bit of a 'golden boy', whereas Jimmy Carr has always been a bit near the edge and told jokes in dubious taste etc. Does that make him more of a target? Maybe, maybe not. Does one give to the Tory party and the other not? Don't know.

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Mad Mike

Politcally created issue

Not sure about other countries, but the UK has created this problem all by itself by implementing some very dodgy laws. Originally, tax evasion was illegal and tax avoidance was legal. You could do anything you liked to avoid tax using allowances, companies etc.etc. and it was all perfectly legal, even if its sole purpose was to avoid tax.

Now, the coalition has implemented legislation that says anything implemented with the sole intention of avoiding tax (note the word avoid), actually becomes tax evasion (again, note the word evasion). So now, financial constructs have to have a reason other than tax avoidance for their existence. Of course, the presence of products such as pensions and ISAs etc., whose sole purpose is to avoid tax and they approve of, doesn't strike them as a little odd. After all, why would you put money into an ISA rather than a normal savings account if it weren't for the tax free nature? So, this law basically makes it evasion to use any financial instrument not approved of by government, which of course, changes with the wind!!

Not only did they do that, but they also made the law retrospective, a practice that has become more common over the last decade or so, but used to be never done. I believe Tony Blair implemented the first such law. This means that even if the financial construct you used WAS legal at the time, at a later date it can be declared ILLEGAL and you can be fined/prosecuted etc. for using it!!

As a for instance. Jimmy Carr and his investment antics. The mechanism he used at the time it was created was perfectly LEGAL. Immoral maybe, but legal. It is only this law that has made that type of financial arrangement illegal and because the law allows backdating, it became not just ILLEGAL from that moment on, but since it was created!! Now, I'm not defending what Jimmy Carr did and it may well have been immoral, but there is a big difference between immoral and illegal. After all, can anyone honestly say they have never avoided tax (cash in hand etc.etc.). I suspect almost nobody can claim to be totally free of guilt.

So, what's the difference? Maybe it's simply down to the level of avoidance? A few quid, that's fine, but thousands (or maybe tens of thousands) and it becomes wrong? I don't know. But financial instruments that were perfectly legal at the time they were created and for many years since are now being declared illegal and people being chased for tax on them. Whilst one can argue about the morality argument, it does seem perverse to find someone guilty of an offense before it even became an offense!!

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GCHQ, police to team up to hunt down child abuse on the darknet

Mad Mike

Scope and Definition Creep

The issue here is not the stated reason, but the potential for scope and definition creep. Protecting children is of course very important and never wrong. However, how long will it be before 'darknet' becomes any technology they don't like? How long until it isn't just child abuse material, but material politicians simply don't like.

When dealing with politicians and surveillance organisations, it's always what isn't mentioned you need to worry about, rather than what is.......

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Ubuntu's shiny 10th birthday Unicorn: An upgrade fantasy

Mad Mike

Re: Meh!

"Where is all that money going to come from? Linux users are notorious freetards and don't even want to pay for their morning Coffee's."

Mmmmm. Nothing like insulting a load of people. Maybe Linux users simply like freedom and quality rather than being hemmed in my Windows? Maybe they like an OS that runs and runs well on older/slower hardware? I think jumping from free OS to free everything is rather a leap without additional evidence.

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Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER

Mad Mike

Re: Boastful bravado

Mmmmmm.

This is interesting as the chip seems much more like a Sparc T than a Sparc M. Guess they're either getting confused or mashing the lines together. Either way, they realised a while ago that 64MB of L3 for 32 cores is way too low for a big database machine and more like the ratios seen in the Sparc Ts, which then got a core drop to increase this ratio for Sparc Ms!! Having had experience of Sparc Ts running certain workloads, I can certainly say you have to be very careful with them as single thread performance really sucks. Critical thread helps, but then you loose a lot of supposed 'benefit', so go figure.

He also likes boasting about facilities that other manufacturers have had for years. As has previously been said, Power has had memory compression for years and has also had memory keying, which is similar to his memory protection. Overall seems like an awful lot of hot air and random boasting about anything and everything.

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US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Mad Mike

Re: Too Late Now

Or maybe the picture isn't of the monkey who took it. The monkey that pressed the button could always have been pointing it at another monkey..............

In which case, the monkey should own copyright as clearly it has composed the photo etc. just as much as any photographer.

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Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7

Mad Mike

Re: POWER8 disappoints

@MadMike

I have done comparisons between Oracle Mx and Tx chips and IBM Power x chips. I've also looked at the server design and resilience etc.etc. Been doing it for a while. Oracle chips do well in benchmarks, but it simply doesn't work through to reality, except for some limited applications. If you want to run huge instances (one of the reasons why Oracle push Solaris containers rather than LDOMs) doing a single workload (such as a huge BI machine), you might be able to make use of the performance. However, if you want to do more normal workload (such as OLTP), using a lot of partitions (or LDOMs), performance falls away rapidly. Cache size is one reason, but there are others. Using a lot of LDOMs, containers (to a lesser extent) and really working the threads up (again to a lesser extent) causes cache thrasing as the cache simply isn't big enough for the speed of the cores. Power chips have far fewer problems in this area and have much larger cache sizes which is one of the reasons.

If you want to run large numbers of partitions (or LDOMs) or generally anything that switches between threads etc. a lot, the Power chips do much better in real life. Yes, the benchmark figures are good, but don't translate into real life performance under many circumstances. We, run Power servers with VP to PP ratios of up to 10 to 1 with really good performance. Tx and Mx chips simply won't do this. It's been a well known problem since the beginning of these chip lines. The Mx chips lost cores in order to increase the cache amount for each core specifically to try and address this problem. And it worked, to a point.

The M7 chip design looks more like a T7 design, primarily due to the very large core count and low cache quantities per core. If it had been launched as a T7, I would not have been surprised at all and would have expected to see a M7 launched slightly later with fewer cores and bigger cache per core. But, that isn't what Oracle have done.

Also, have a look at the server designs and their resilience etc. You find an interesting story. I was very surprised to find out some time ago that a T3-2 server would DELIBERATELY reboot itself if a socket failed!! That's not resilience. This was to reconfigure all the I/O onto the remaining socket. However, if you design the implementation correctly, all I/O would be mirrored across the two sockets anyway, so I/O would be maintained. It actually rather seems like Oracle are putting resilience more into their software stack and not their hardware. In the event of a hardware fault, they expect to loose the hardware and simply failover to another instance through software.

The above is one solution to a problem, but it should always bee borne in mind that software is normally the least reliable part of the stack and therefore deliberately using that for resilience is arguably not the best. As a last resort, fine, but hardware surviving faults is a good starting point first.

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Mad Mike

Re: POWER8 disappoints

Interesting. Why is someone using a userid almost identical to mine and posting stuff like this? Presumably, trying to pass themselves off as me. Of course, what the post fails to identify is that benchmarks are one thing, but real life performance is another. Yes, lots of companies like to compete on benchmarks (although only recently with Sun/Oracle), but they are really artificial. It's also interesting that the poster believes making the biggest (as in processors/cores etc.) is all that matters. The vast majority of the market simply doesn't want servers of this size, so it's largely irrelevant.

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Mad Mike

Re: This explains IBM's $3 billion systems invest FUD

@Roo.

"Even if you ignore the L4 cache, the M7's caching scheme is in fact a step backwards for people who value single-thread performance."

Not just single-thread performance, but multi-thread as well. One of the primary uses of large caches is to avoid cache thrashing in the event of many threads (or partitions) hitting the same core over time and causing cache to be constantly refreshed from memory. The greater the multi-threading and the greater the partitioning, the more cache you need.

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Mad Mike

Re: This explains IBM's $3 billion systems invest FUD

@Captain Server Pants.

Interestingly, it's not as clear cut as you say, depending on exactly what is working and what is not on the chip. If you only have say half the cores, but all the cache is working, that will help quite a lot. If some of the cache isn't working, that's not so good!! It just depends on what has failed. Not sure why you're picking on IBM for this either as just about everybody does it. AMD, Intel etc. have done it in the past. Indeed, in earlier incarnations of the T chips, Oracle/Sun used to sell processors with less than the normal number of cores. Now, I'm not saying if they were simply deactivated, or failed, I don't know. However, it's likely at least some were failed. At this sort of density, you're always going to get some failures and selling them at the lower end is quite a reasonable way of utilising them.

As you have said, all the current IBM Power 8 servers use 2 chip modules, but they are all the lower end servers and this has been the case for years. It's only when you go up the server line that you get the full chips being used. This is for very good reason. Firstly, it uses the 'slightly' faulty chips and also allows manufacturing issues to be ironed out early. That's why they launch the low end first.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of how it's done, the proof is in the pudding and the performance per buck. If making it a 6 + 6 gives better performance per buck, then that's just fine.

P.S.

I strongly suspect that if Oracle attempt to manufacture the Sparc chip as mentioned, we'll see lower end systems with less than the full core count 'activated'. Attempting top manufacture chips at this density and core count (not to mention accelerators etc.) and some failures will occur. You either throw them away and absorb the cost, or do something else with them in the low end!!

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Mad Mike

Re: Multi-core

@eldakka.

Very true to an extent, but there are plenty of systems which are heavily single (or low numbers of) threaded in existence today. Parallelism is coming more and more, but isn't fully there yet. Also, just because something is parallel doesn't mean it doesn't care about latency and other issues that parallelism can cause. Also, don't forget that some things are naturally parallel, such as OLTP systems. However, other workload is naturally not parallel and trying to turn it parallel causes (in some cases) a very significant overhead. It's getting better all the time, but parallelism isn't the answer to everything and causes it's own problems as well.

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Mad Mike

Re: This explains IBM's $3 billion systems invest FUD

As has always been said; it's the whole path you need to consider. Getting cores faster is no good unless you can keep the data coming in faster as well. Faster memory, faster I/O, faster interconnects etc.etc. There's plenty of innovation going on all over the place.Cache sizes are way bigger on Power chips at the moment and they've opened up with architecture as well. Inviting other companies to create accelerators and the like that sit directly on processor interconnects etc.

Oracle are heading down the 'accelerator in silicon' route much faster than others.Not that others haven't done it, but it seems to be a much higher priority drive at Oracle. You can see the attraction. Their hardware is perfectly tuned to their software and gets advantages other hardware can't give. At the same time, they refuse to code their software to use accelerators etc. present in other brands of hardware. All about locking and from Oracles perspective is a win-win. However, it is only their version of Sparc they can do it with and their Intel/AMD deployments won't enjoy the same advantages, unless they can persuade Intel/AMD to play ball with them :-)

As to Itanium.................it rather seems to have fallen off the coupon...

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Mad Mike

Re: Nice! -- NOT!

"One example is the similarity the M7 has to the Rock processor cancelled in 2009/2010. Rock was a 16 core CPU design made up of 4 clusters of 4 cores each. Very similar to the M7 which has 8 clusters of 4 cores each - coincidence? Hmmm!"

There's not necessarily any issue with using ideas from the past, brought up to speed with the latest technology. However, the design of this chip demonstrates one of the biggest problems for designers these days......interconnects. Any to any interconnects are always going to be best, but as the number of endpoints rises, become impractical. So, interconnect technology is likely to become one of the biggest drivers of processor/core speed. Used to be seen as mostly a problem in big (such as Power, Integrity etc.) servers with many processors, but as core numbers increase, is even becoming a problem between cores.

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Mad Mike

Re: Nice!

Ah, liquid cooling!! Back to the old days.........

Not sure how much liquid cooling can help though. As the die gets bigger (and even at this density, it's going to be pretty big), it becomes very difficult to get the heat from the center of the chip. I've often wondered whether they'll start producing chips that have cooling channels through them rather than just around (or on top) of them. That would help a lot, but is fraught with difficulties. Might even allow them to cool (as in chill) the chip as well, with a suitable refrigerant.

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Mad Mike

Re: Cache size

If, as said here, they're merging the T and M chips, I wonder if they'll offer sub-capacity offerings with less than 32 cores? Maybe reuse some of the chips with failed cores? Starting a server range at a single processor with 32 cores (and presumably an appropriate cost) is not really that viable and could loose a lot of good business. Unless, of course, they're only interested in people who want single boxes that size and bigger? Maybe push smaller users onto x86. One of the 'benefits' of the smaller T-series servers was that a small one could be purchased quite cheaply. I assume a single processor M7 server won't be that cheap?

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Mad Mike

Re: Nice!

"Who knows what the wafer size is, but cooling something like that is going to be a challenge. Even with die shrinks and lower voltages, it's going to consume a lot of power and all that heat has to be drawn away somewhere."

I really wonder sometimes. How does a comment about trying to cool something like this get a thumbs down? Power and cooling is one of the biggest issues processor designers have to face!!

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Mad Mike

Re: Nice!

Who knows what the wafer size is, but cooling something like that is going to be a challenge. Even with die shrinks and lower voltages, it's going to consume a lot of power and all that heat has to be drawn away somewhere.

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Mad Mike

Re: Cache size

It's an interesting move. Given the way they released T processors before and then reduced core count to produce a M processor. Are they not going to produce M and T versions of this one? If they are, the T version should have something like double the cores!!

As to the latency being hidden by threading......one of the primary purposes of the caching is to prevent cache thrashing when running lots of threads, so the threading should make it even worse!! The early T chips showed that admirably.

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Mad Mike

Cache size

Does anybody else think that 64MB of cache seems tiny for 32 cores and 8 threads a core?

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London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Mad Mike

Re: Bail

@AC

"You don't have to be charged to be released on bail, the poilce can suspect you, confiscate equipment and question you."

True, but they have to suspect you of some crime. So, what is the crime they suspect him of?

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Mad Mike

Re: What law has been broken.

@Alan.

"You can't be arrested for a non-crime, or for a civil matter unless you've broken a court order (in which case it's a contempt of court charge) .

Note that the actual charges proferred have not been stated and in all liklihood they never will be, because they woulfn't stand up in court."

I totally agree this should be the case, but as they have arrested the man in question, this would not seem to be true. After all, to arrest someone it has to be 'on suspicion of ..................'. So, what is the last bit? Otherwise, surely this is false imprisonment?

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Mad Mike

Re: What law has been broken.

"You can't - Copyright isn't a document or some other tangible object that you have lying around anywhere therefore it is impossible to steal Copyright. Copyright violation... well that's quite a different matter but doesn't make for the right sounding propaganda."

Now, I'm all for FACT being violated. If they filmed it, I would even pay to watch it rather than download a pirated version!!

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Mad Mike

Re: even if he did...

Ah, but has he tried to usurp the law in question? I think not. The law says an ISP must block these sites and they are still doing so. Therefore, no usurping of the law. The law does not say you can't see the sites, just that the ISPs must block them. So, being a non-ISP, what's he done wrong?

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African samba queen: Don't cut off pirates' net connections – cut off their FINGERS

Mad Mike

Painful music

Perhaps cutting their ears off would be a more appropriate punishment. I assume they would only be caught a couple of times to render further pirating pointless. Unless, of course, they like feeling the vibrations........

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Mad Mike

Re: EVER NOTICE ...

"They aren't 'terrorists' they are Freedom Fighters."

Depends which side of the fence you sit. To those in eastern Ukraine, they're freedom fighters. To those in west Ukraine, they're terrorists. To the rest of the world, it's based on whether you like Russia at the time!!

The downing of the airliner looks like a terrible mistake. They didn't intend to do it. So, is it an unfortunate mistake by 'freedom fighters', or a terrorist atrocity? Depends on your viewpoint and who you support in that conflict. It's certainly true that an elected government was overthrown. Is the fact that the population could do that evidence that it was correct and the government needed to go or not? Isn't then helped by lots of other countries getting involved and interfering.

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Mad Mike

Re: As Mad Mike says.

@Cynic56.

I think he means obvious to him. As both he and I have said.....it's a question of perspective and each individuals beliefs. I don't agree with everything he says, but that's his perspective on things. Right and wrong are not absolute. Something can be both to different people and that's part of the problem. It would be much easier if that weren't the case.

In times of yore, armies would meet on a battlefield, slug it out and a winner would (generally) emerge. Civilian casualties were light during the battle, but sometimes very bad afterwards as the winners went on the rampage, maybe as revenge. The beginning of the 20th century saw the turning point. Partly due to the weapons then becoming available and a change of belief, civilians became valid military targets. In a lot of way this makes sense. In a war, is there really a civilian? The populations of both Germany and Britain (and others) were making the weapons used by the soldiers. Doesn't that make them part of the supply chain and therefore part of the greater army. After all, if you degrade the ability of the army to get weapons, doesn't that help you? Are the farmers not providing the food for the army and 'civilians' making the weapons?

The line between civilians and military is well and truly blurred now and arguably during conflicts doesn't really exist. This was definitely so during WWII, so the mass bombing of Dresden (and other places such as Tokyo) arguably degraded their military through degrading their support structure. Does that jusitfy it? I'm not attempting to answer any of these questions, as its a very personal opinion, but it isn't anywhere near as simple a thought process as people try to make it. It's far more complicated than the straight yes/no answers the official accounts tend to give.

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