* Posts by Brian Miller

726 posts • joined 3 Jul 2007

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What wedding cake would an engineer make? A LEGO one

Brian Miller

But it's supposed to be edible!

He should have made it out of edible flavored gelatin: robotic tentacle cake! Make tentacle molds, pour in edible gelatin, Raspberry Pi for the controller, then you'd have a Cthulhu cake with candy jaws and ...

OK, so the guests are supposed to eat the cake, and not the other way around. Picky!

5
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Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

Brian Miller

No testing, Redmond?

Gee, they let all of their testers go, and ...

this is an improvement?

Ok, I'll admit that there was a lot of dead weight in the test section. A. Lot. But testing does have to be done. How do you motivate devs to get their act together, especially with a lack of people testing the software? Arrogance and hubris is an understatement to what I saw there. I called it "blue badge disease." You got a blue badge, and then your brains went to sh**. Sort of a variation of Alzheimer's or JKD.

Supposedly, an organization learns from its mistakes. But this stuff just keeps getting repeated, no break in that loop. Oh, yeah: "Goto Considered Harmful." Back in 1968.

Stupid:;

goto Stupid;

14
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Microsoft's maps lost Melbourne because it used bad Wikipedia data

Brian Miller

Re: Absolute proof

What other data is wrong on Wikipedia?

Uh, no, this means it's a great time to hack Bing maps! Nobody really checks what's on Wikipedia anyways, so it should be fun to fudge the locations of everything.

9
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Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

Brian Miller

And the next version of the Raspberry Pi...

WOW! 512-bit SIMD! Oh, to have such toys! Isn't it nice when you can say, "meh, we'll just design our own processor, thanks."

5
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New science: Pathetic humans can't bring themselves to fire lovable klutz-bots

Brian Miller

Share and enjoy...

Sirius Cybernetics Corp. did this, and Arthur Dent threw a cup at the Nutrimatic drinks dispenser, inspiring the people of Brontitall to rise up against "the blight of the robot" and exile all of their robots.

So just because they like us doesn't mean we have to like them back!

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Tech support scammers mess with hacker's mother, so he retaliated with ransomware

Brian Miller

Re: Oh man...

Unfortunately, there really isn't a "he needed killin'" defense. Not today, at any rate.

There is an old saying about a victim in a murder case who had bad or violent character.

It goes like this: "He needed killin'." In essence, it was a justification for murder in the old days in Texas that the victim had horrible or violent character. You cannot argue he needed killing in Texas courts but in limited circumstances the defense may introduce evidence of prior acts of violent misconduct or threats of violence by the deceased which illustrate his violent character, Gutierrez v. State, 764 S.W.2d 796, 798 (Tex.Crim.App. 1989).

There was a case in Kentucky in the 1870s about self defense, but nothing about the need to go out and proactively shoot somebody dead because it just had to be done.

6
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Revealed: How a weather forecast in 1967 stopped nuclear war

Brian Miller

Right, there's the case of the USSR officer who stopped a near-launch, the nuke that dropped from a bomber and didn't go off because of a 50-cent switch holding everything back, several cases of "oops" with nuclear reactors, etc.

Of course, if we did have an "oops" moment, if nukes launched we'd have over 90% mortality in one year. The electrical grid would go down, and then it wouldn't be rebuild for a very, very long time. Probably long enough that nations could rise and fall.

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Brian Miller

Milk is used when the product is wretched!

The use of milk means that the main beverage of choice is wretched to begin with. Both coffee and tea should be had without milk. The milk is for killing the "flavor" of a wretched tea or coffee.

I roast my own coffee at home, and I grind it, then brew it and drink it black. Good coffee has an inherent sweetness to it. It isn't grossly bitter, and it gently rests on the palate. It's a nice, gentle pick-me-up,

The person who brewed tea in milk in that beast of a pot you have has never had good tea or coffee.

Tea bags, indeed!

3
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Church organist nabbed for playing glory hole in excelsis

Brian Miller

Right tool for the right job

“shoved his penis through the divider wall and waited”.

Vise-grips. Then no chasing required...

5
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Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

Brian Miller
Pirate

Popcorn time

Never mind the tin foil hat, it's time for a big bowl of popcorn, and hope that fur flies. And badly!

1
1

Iraqi government finally bans debunked bomb-finding dowsing rods

Brian Miller

The problem is that dowsing isn't reliable. Finding modern plastic ordinance is difficult enough for good metal detectors, never mind tromping around on top of what you're looking for.

I've seen dowsing work, but that was for water dowsing shallow wells, not sweeping a mine field.

1
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Revealed: How Dell can afford $67bn for EMC – by selling $650k laptops

Brian Miller
Childcatcher

"No Reg Label"

Sorry, what?? No red vulture on the lappy? How dare you, Mr. Dell! For that kind of money, I want that label!

0
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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Brian Miller

Re: Ahem. Actual real user here....

Gee, I'm a real user, too. Fact is, I'm also a developer. And I'm fluent with multiple OSes, blah blah bloody well blah.

A couple of years ago I bought a new laptop with Windows 8.1. Great hardware, frustrating OS. It made me use Linux as my main box. Then the "upgrade" came along. At that time, I had quite a bit on the laptop, so I chose the "upgrade" option. And the GUI randomly locked up! So I finally realized what a problem it was, backed stuff up, and did a full reset on the machine to its factory install. Upgrade. GUI lockup with the newest incarnation of the BSOD. Then I reset the machine again, killed off all of the factory crapware, and tried the upgrade again. BSOD. Then I tried a full reinstall from a USB stick. What does Windows 10 immediately want? A driver for something. Unknown, unnamed, God almighty only knows what, and it won't continue until it gets its driver. So then I burned a DVD and installed from that. But of course I had to remove ALL of the partitions first, because Windows can't handle its own 64-bit GPT partitions.

And now it's operating, but I haven't yet installed my applications and really begun to use it.

Honestly, I've never experienced anything like that with any *nix OS. Ever. Only Windows. If Windows 10 GUI locks up on me, even with a completely clean install, I'm loading Linux on it and taking back my machine.

11
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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Brian Miller

They're almost done..

Let's see, 110,000 out of 120,000 square miles, so it's almost done. Will they find it? Well, since by definition it's in the last place they look, then it must be behind the couch, or maybe even under the cushions.

Really, the reliance on technology like it's some sort of oracle is just ridiculous. Plane crashes in the ocean, and everybody thinks it should be bobbing around like a cork. Steve Fossett crashed in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and was discovered purely by accident about a year later. Every day the search was active, they discovered a new wreck.

It's been two years. All of the relatives know their loved ones are dead. Time to move on.

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3

DDoS trends: Bigger, badder but not longer

Brian Miller
Terminator

"Bigger, badder," like, duh!

How to mitigate DDoS attacks: move the whole network back to dial-up. Once those pesky speeds are reduced to 300 baud, then all of these problems will be a thing of the past.

Right?

2
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Blighty's Coastguard goes into battle against waterborne Pokemon

Brian Miller

Don't mess with evolution!

We can't evolve if we all survive. There must be those who will server as a warning to others, "don't do that!" So we must, in fact, have Pokemon in all sorts of places where the forces of evolution shall meet the forces of physics. Yes, please chase the creatures onto the rails, off of docks, the tops of high voltage towers, war zones, Rockall, etc.

22
3

Meet Riffle, the next-gen anonymity network that hopes to trounce Tor

Brian Miller

Reference implementation?

I can't find a reference implementation. Where did they hide the code for this?

1
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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Brian Miller

Re: Only one thing left to do...

You forgot to put in a station wagon!

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway."

2
0

Google broke its own cloud again

Brian Miller

Re: The Cloud...

Right, it's your responsibility to spend more money on them for more redundancy in their network when they trip over the cable.

0
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Pimp your ride with new Linux for cars and an rPi under the hood

Brian Miller

Driving on crontab

Since self-driving cars are becoming interesting, does this mean that messing up a crontab entry will make you late for work because you missed your car?

22
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Newly spotted distant dwarf planet orbits the Sun every 700 years

Brian Miller

Re: A name

Who needs mythology when we have so many good open source names? Xinu could be good.

(Yes, I'm guessing that some form of *nix is going to be around as long as humans have computers.) (And yes, I know the original Xinu wasn't open source. Still, though...)

0
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Teen thugs lure, rob Pokemon Go gamers

Brian Miller

Change the software...

Good idea: gaming kids should meet somewhere safe.

Bad idea: gaming kids should meet, ah, wherever someone pins something on a map...

First, there was the story about the dead body in the river. Well, the developers kind of can't help that. But maybe they can help with where people choose to advertise for imaginary Pokemon critters.

1
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Blighty will have a whopping 24 F-35B jets by 2023 – MoD minister

Brian Miller

Re: bad move.

Yeah, and the AI was running on a Raspberry Pi, not an IBM Watson. So the next fighter aircraft will be sourced from independent private companies, and the military will just need to add ammo and warheads on the supplied missiles.

It makes sense, really. The official defense programs will be bankrupt, and all that will be left will be private suppliers accepting cash.

2
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Cafe killer remote code execution affects 140 million MIUI Androids

Brian Miller

CyanogenMod, the most popular strictly third-party ROM, has about 50 million users and supports about 200 devices.

Affected users should upgrade to version 7.2, released as an over-the-air update.

But that's for a third-party open source ROM! That's not coming from Xiaomi. If it's left up to the manufacturers, we'll never see a fix for this.

0
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Bloke 'lobbed molotov cocktails' at Street View car because Google was 'watching him'

Brian Miller

"I always feel like..."

Google's watching me!

And I see a Google car!!

Next in the news: exhibitionist doesn't complain about Google's surveillance...

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Microsoft: Give us better staff

Brian Miller

Microsoft doesn't actually want better staff. Better staff means that they will be critical of the managers, and may even stage some sort of "revolt" against them. Not like The Crimson Permanent Assurance, which would be absolutely excellent, but something like that.

I myself have worked at Microsoft as a temp. The last time I worked there, I was bawled out over code that I didn't even write. Upon pointing out to my manager that I didn't write it, and the author of said code was seated next to him, he then proceeded to bawl me out over things that he had never mentioned he wanted done. Yep, that's Microsoft! Repeatedly the worst place I've ever worked. If you really do have serious skills, Microsoft is not the place for you.

No, Microsoft needs to have a CEO from the outside. Clean out the idiots, and fire the managers who hired them. If a CEO has the balls to play Styx's Renegade at the company meeting and follow through, that's the fellow they need.

6
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NVMe SSDs tormented for months in some kind of sick review game

Brian Miller

Use a benchmark or compile a large project

Want to know disk performance? Either use a disk benchmark program, or else compile a large project. For instance, see how fast Gentoo will compile itself on your system. Copying a bunch of files using Windows Explorer is ... just not good.

0
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Buggy vote-counting software borks Australian election

Brian Miller
Big Brother

What, me, do math?

"Counting votes under STV can be laborious, so some jurisdictions decide to just grab a random sample of votes and then use software to extrapolate results based on that sample."

Right, let's just make up numbers and use what best fits our fantasies. Both vote counting and math are hard, so we'll just skip over them. Nobody will mind...

At least the dead didn't rise from their graves and go vote.

Right?

22
0

Insure against a cyberwhat now? How the heck do we crunch those numbers?

Brian Miller

Hackers hack hacks, doped data dumbed down decisively

"We've just collected all the data on all hacks!" "Great! Now we'll get a printout of risk." "Funny, it says that everything's OK, and there's no risk. Oh, and our cat is flipping the bird." "How did the computer know that?"

Something like this would simply be a magnet for being vandalized. I wonder what the insurance companies are doing now to track "cyber attacks." Do they count all of the times a system goes down due to bugs? "Oh, we were attacked." Reality: we don't know how to code, so we're going to blame it on hackers. Will there be DOS mitigation insurance sold? This is just such a pathetic rabbit hole.

4
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Bold stance: Microsoft says terrorism is bad

Brian Miller
Joke

"Redmond vows to pull terror content from services"

So does this mean that Microsoft will pull Windows off the market?

17
5

Linus Torvalds releases Linux 4.6

Brian Miller
Joke

Re: Driving me mad ...

If the Cars were Moving in Stereo, why can't Pi users drive in 3D?

0
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Kazakhstan wins bid to get Mega IP address info on state secrets hackers

Brian Miller

Re: Mega has been dubious from the beginning

This isn't about keeping something secret, it's about publishing something to the world, and getting away with it. Perhaps the person in question should have used WikiLeaks. Now the Khazak government wants to know who is the culprit. Yeah, +1 on anonymous VPN and Onion, and using a public WiFi with a modified mac address.

1
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Bots half all web traffic

Brian Miller

Um, so? And?

Of course there's a lot of bot traffic. How does anyone think search engines operate? "Hi, but could you just please push your content to us? Thanks!" Um, no.

I've written bots, from scratch. It's not that difficult to write a bot that "mimics" a person. What is difficult is keeping the bot on the site, instead of zipping off into the rest of the web. My bots could go through thousands of sites in half an hour. For what purpose? Because there's a lot of scam sites on the web, and it's easiest to let a bot analyze and score them.

It sounds like DeviceAtlas is selling something that analyzes traffic like fail2ban blocks repeated bad logins. You don't want your site spidered? Well, that takes a bit of analysis. That's all there is to it. Could you write up something yourself? Sure.

I've heard that more than one major shopping site has been broken by a bot that "clicked" on the "add to shopping cart" link, and wound up with thousands of items in the cart. Ooops! Bad bot! Bad site! So I can see a market for a product like this, despite the hype.

2
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Apple, AT&T, Verizon named in $7bn VoIP patent claim

Brian Miller

Re: That patent seems so general

Isn't this stuff covered in the RFCs? RFC 3581 is from 2003. Surely implementing the RFC would violate these later patents?

0
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Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM

Brian Miller
IT Angle

But what processor?

But what's the gear on the missile? We need to know! After all, they may be using the Allwinner kernel. Wouldn't it be fun to root a missile in flight?

5
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This is what a root debug backdoor in a Linux kernel looks like

Brian Miller

Wrong string search?

Maybe the devs fixed all of the "TODO"s in the code, but this wasn't a todo...

This is why wrapping dangerous things like this in #ifdef's is a good idea.

7
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Qualcomm goes for the grey matter with neural net SDK

Brian Miller

Brains? Or ancient gods?

Are you sure Zeroth isn't actually an ancient Sumerian or Hittite god come again to soak up all the energy of people worshiping their phone idols? Fanboys would be such a fabulous target.

1
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Japan's Hitomi space 'scope bricked, declared lost after software bug

Brian Miller

Design, test the design, code, then test the code!

There are just some things that really must be plotted fully out, and all of those little branches must be run down! Stuff like this is why writing software is called a "trade" and not an engineering discipline. (Yes, there was a court ruling about that.) I don't care what degree you have, web pages are not like writing this sort of code!

You want paranoid? It starts with using methodologies with names on them. Then applying those methodologies rigorously! There is no such thing as, "Oh, we don't have time for that." That's just a bunch of lazy bull****, and total failure means total loss.

Immediately after the re-orientation, Hitomi’s Inertial Reference Unit (IRU) observed a non-existent roll rate around the spacecraft’s Z-axis.

Then the system just goes with the known faulty data, instead of a reliable fall-back method. This should have been seen in the initial design, before coding took place. Hello, methodologies are the blueprint from which good code is derived!

What's really awful is that "live and learn" just doesn't apply when the practitioners never apply hard-won lessons.

6
1

Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

Brian Miller

Snore...

I live next to railroad tracks. The sound of a freight train going round the bend on those tracks is appallingly wonderful. A mash-up of that, cats fighting, that slowed-down modem connection noise, Tibetan gongs, and whatever else thrown in should do nicely.

2
0

Pair publishes python framework for rapid router wrecking

Brian Miller

Re: So all consumer grade routers are shit.....

There's plenty of commercial-grade routers to be had for not much money. I bought a Cisco 550-series router for under $300. There's lots of choices.

As for roll-your-own, Ars Technica has one or two articles on how to do it yourself. Plus all sorts of web projects and tutorials.

Many consumer firewall-routers can work with the DD-WRT and OpenWrt projects. Check the databases, and see if you have something that fits.

0
0

Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

Brian Miller
Devil

Re: correct the addy

Correct the address, but in a way that it will go to a different recipient!

Of course, this only works if the original recipient's address is close to someone else. But since they can't type the address correctly, why not get that email on its merry way? "Gee, I see that email didn't go to its intended recipient. Too bad you typed in someone else's address..."

2
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Pair programming: The most extreme XP practice?

Brian Miller

Works where applicable

I've done pair programming, and it works where it works, and it really doesn't work where it doesn't belong.

Given two top programmers, one will be busy writing code, and the other one will be saying, "yep, good..." over and over again.

Given two idiots, you will not get good code no matter how many more idiots you add.

Given a senior programmer and an able novice, it's a great way for the novice to learn. I endorse that highly.

The problem is that it's pair programming, in an open and noisy environment. There's a lot of distraction, which cuts down on productivity. There's the problem that the other guy can't even type.

Pair programming can be good, but it can also be a great way to lose people.

9
0

Bibliotheca Alexandrina buys a Huawei superdupercomputer

Brian Miller

New levels of WHAT???

"...a new level of creativity will be inspired and new horizons are arising in the research domain." Yeah right! Like flops upon flops for a flop of a project is going to do anything when the populace is rioting in protest and being shot or jailed for it. Sorry, no.

Now, what would a country need with 118Tf of computing power? Especially in a country where the bandwidth could be carried in a bucket more efficiently than going down the wire? Weather? Sunny. Physics? Pyramid test, they're still there, not floating off. Data mining? Cloud computing? It just seems to be a series of non-sequiturs.

1
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If only hackers could stop slurping test and dev databases. Wait, our phone is ringing ...

Brian Miller

Patching bad practices with stupid fixes

The first big problem is that people are using sensitive data for testing, instead of making up proper test data. If good practices are adhered to in the first place, then hackers won't pick up all those juicy nuggets left carelessly lying about.

The second big problem is a stupid fix like this. instead of replacing sensitive data with valid bogus data, they think that developers and testers should still have access to the sensitive data! Wrong! Generate good test data, and then "fixes" will not be needed.

7
1

1,000 cats await stadium-sized sandwich bag launch

Brian Miller

Re: On the other hand...

Well, according to a study, they would be landing on something feet-first, and probably survive the fall. Cats twist around, and then flatten out. Above a certain height, they can slow themselves down enough so that their terminal velocity is actually survivable.

The real question is, will they be laser-guided?

2
0

This year's H-1B visa lottery jammed full in just six days

Brian Miller

Re: The system is being abused.....

True, the system is being abused. And it isn't only by the companies. I've heard of Microsoft referred to as being an employment program. And that's really how it's treated by many who work there! "We're giving them a chance..." is what I was told when I had a semi-honest talk with a fellow about it. Why was I having that talk with him? Because he had come to me with a job offer as a "reward" for my service. He just couldn't understand why I refused, so I had to go into the nitty gritty details of the concept of how a society works, and how bright people want to be treated.

Why do companies want foreign workers? Compliance. People with real talent will quit places that suck. They have opportunities because they have the skills that employers actually need. Dunces are dime a dozen, and dunces that can be abused and still stick around are mostly found through the H1-B program. If an H1-B worker quits, they have to go home. If they lose their job, they have two weeks to find another one.

Kill the program, and let society take its proper course. Microsoft claims that they will move their operations to Canada if the H1-B program is reigned in. Ok, so go for it! Microsoft (Ballmer) said the company would be moved to China if tax loopholes were closed. The real problem is that our government caters to the rich.

12
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Power9: Google gives Intel a chip-flip migraine, IBM tries to lures big biz

Brian Miller

Interesting niches...

When IBM told Apple to sod off because Apple represented less than 1% of its chip sales/production, Apple went with Intel and became the largest OEM using Intel's CPUs. Now, what kind of a niche does IBM really have when they can do that? I remember IBM boasting that they could host the entire WWW on just one of their mainframes. Maybe they still can.

So IBM is a niche player in the commodity data center market. Now, where is it that they are the big player? They are selling CPUs hand-over-fist someplace, but where?

1
4

Bezos defends Amazon culture in letter to shareholders

Brian Miller

Highest turnover rate

I've been told by a recruiter that Amazon has the highest turnover rate in the industry. I believe that. I worked there for several months, and there's no way I'll go back. Horrid development environment that was broken most of the time, badly written and buggy code to work with, and an incompetent manager. And I keep getting recruiters from Amazon contacting me. Blech!

Now I'm working for a company where the turnover is incredibly low, and I have my own office.

Hey, shareholders, get a clue! Oh, yeah, they aren't canny enough to read El Reg.

12
1

Inside Nvidia's Pascal-powered Tesla P100: What's the big deal?

Brian Miller

Done that...

When I worked as a technician, I used a Celerity computer as a space heater, literally. The work shop was located in a room that used to house many mainframes, and the air conditioning was still turned up. Chilly wind tunnel, that spot. So I used one of the mini supercomputers to give me some warmth at the bench.

However, a couple of these, and you'll be on the bottom of the Top500 list!

0
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Nvidia's supercomputer-in-a-box needs 3.2kW of juice

Brian Miller

They tried that...

Yeah, Microsoft tried that, back in the day. Windows on RISC. Poor MIPS and Alpha. Really, what's the point when the kernel isn't optimized for anything, really?

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