* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

2074 posts • joined 23 May 2011

Core blimey... When is an AMD CPU core not a CPU core? It's now up to a jury of 12 to decide

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: The proof

Yeah, I'm still running a Phenom II 3.2GHz. It's lovely. With a modern graphics card it has no trouble playing games on my modest screen. (And Doom 2016 was a lot of fun.) If I resume doing serious amounts of compiling, I'll get something newer. But I don't see the need for webdev.

And I'd've avoided the FX chips precisely because I'd expect real world work loads (*cough* gaming *cough*) to perform as badly as you suggest. Maybe compiling could use all eight cores, but I'd expect most modern apps to lean heavily on the FPU. Case in point: javascript -- the kids today barely know what an integer is, let alone how to ensure javascript doesn't devolve into floats, or worse, denormals.

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

And the CPU did. (Four, in fact.) But the issue is whether an FPU is part of the central "core" or part of the outer periphery.

This could go either way, based on the quality of the lawyers. The AMD argument is it had eight units that could execute instructions. The plaintiff's argument is that a bunch of instructions he reasonably expected to execute without contention had to contend with those from another execution unit. I think that's a slightly harder case to make; there are many instructions which could be contended and if it mattered that floating point instructions were uncontended then the plaintiff should have read the small print. Still I could easily see a jury viewing that naivety as being reasonable, particularly as even a majority of El Reg readers seem never to have had to issue an WAIT/FWAIT instruction in their lives.

DNAaaahahaha: Twins' 23andMe, Ancestry, etc genetic tests vary wildly, surprising no one

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Re. Chimeras

Mosaicism is different to microchimerism. "Mosaicism" or plain chimerism is where two zygotes have fused in utero and organs develop with differing genotypes: you can literally end up with one arm with one genotype and the other arm with a different one, or with two different blood types; the case you're referring to (Lydia Fairchild) was an example of this. Microchimerism is where there are a few stray cells with a different source; mothers, for example, often have cell lines from their children lodged in their body or floating in their blood.

And. for the record, I think we can rule out both. Spitting in a test tube or swabbing a cheek wouldn't spot microchimerism. And even if the experts hadn't looked at the twins' DNA, what are the chance of two eggs being in the womb, one of which splits into two foetuses and then one of these foetuses fuses with the fraternal egg in such a way that the surviving children look identical but have different saliva glands?

Microsoft partner portal 'exposes 'every' support request filed worldwide' today

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

The email problem. As much as I loathe web forms, there are times when one would be useful.

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Are email addresses personal data? Because that top image contains one as a request subject.

Even if not, it would have been polite to blur it.

Happy Thursday! 770 MEEELLLION email addresses and passwords found in yuge data breach

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge


I'd change my passwords. But I can't remember any of them.

Nor, for that matter, can I remember what my coat looked like or where I hung it.

People say tabloid hacks are always looking for an angle. This time, they'd be right: Tilting disk of proto-planets spotted

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: And matter is just +ve -ve and electric force

"My BSometer started going of VERY quickly, with the talk of the Universe having a resonant centre."

Because, as we all know, the centre of the universe is soft, gooey caramel. With a crunchy chocolate event horizon.

What's 23 times the size of Earth, uncomfortably warm – and has astroboffins excited?

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

"It's so close to its sun that some of its rocky surface could be molten lava during daytime."

And it's almost certainly phase locked, so daytime is permanent. (Although libration might cause the edges to enter and leave the sunlight.)

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

This paper draws a lot of inferences. But there's just one factual discovery: galaxies that stopped star forming 6 billion years ago have more dark matter at 150 parsecs from the centre than those where star formation is ongoing today. This conclusion is based on examining 8 dwarf irregular and 8 dwarf spherical galaxies, and then throwing in some maths (but I don't think there's any obvious reason to doubt it for the 16 galaxies they examined).

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Tail wagging the dog?

Isn't that's a bit like saying "it's not that this bonfire has heated up the air, it's that everywhere else has cooled down"? Or looking inside a fridge and saying, "it's not that the interior of this fridge is cold, it's that everywhere else has warmed up"?

They've extrapolated data to a point where they can compare it with a model that "heats" the initial dark matter in a galaxy, and it fits. Whereas a cooling model would, presumably, produce a different result.

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Dark matter doesn't interact with light, but

It's just talking about the dark matter speeding up as it weaves around space.

Think about how a spaceship can pick up speed by slingshotting round a planet. The idea is similar things happens to dark matter in the turbulent space around star formation. That increase in speed is an increase in kinetic energy -- i.e. the dark matter's temperature increases or it "heats up". (The abstract even puts "heats up" in scare quotes.)

Pewdiepie fanboi printer, Chromecast haxxx0r retreats, says they're 'afraid of being caught'

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Is it wonderful when kids get to learn boundaries on the entire public internet in front of the whole world?

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: The real solution

"It would however make sense if PCs were supplied with a fall-back BIOS in non-rewritable ROM that could be copied back, if possible without CPU intervention, if the flash version is found to be compromised."

I believe my old, but rather trusty motherboard, has exactly this feature.So it can be done. But it's a "proper" BIOS; not UEFI.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Roman numerals @Sequin

Roman numerals are like caps lock for numbers; they're a meta channel for conveying contextual information and a variation that adds to the rich texture of English.

after all we could do away with capital letters and punctuation because you dont use them in speech although perhaps theres a need to indicate a pause or the rising intonation of a question but why not go for the minimum and while were at it switch to phonetic spelling and get rid of any words whose meaning is so similar as to be all but identical to another

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

"They'll be back in Russia by now."

They would be. But their flight's been delayed.

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Somewhere, deep in space, three hundred years hence...

Not on Earth. But do we really fire the first shot in a war with the aliens, just to reopen Gatwick?

An AI system has just created the most realistic looking photos ever

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Fool me once...

That woman in the red has a weird top - a strap on her right (halterneck? racerback?) but a fully covered shoulder on her left. But your instinct is, "What weird top is she wearing?!" Not, "That a compute generated image..."

I guess we're all going to have to learn.

Galileo's magnifico measurement: 1976 redshift test updated

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

This seems to be a more recent report. As of Aug 15, they are only being used for emergency beacons. But it looks as if they might get used for navigation once there have been software upgrades to the satellites and the ground station.

And the next 7nm laptop processor will be designed by In, er, AM, um, Qualcomm: The 64-bit Arm Snapdragon 8CX

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Surely calling it "CX" is thumbing their nose at Intel by using the name of the 8086's counter register. Sort of "8 and counting..."

UK taxman told to chill out 'cos loan charge is whacking tax dodgers and whoopsies alike

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Actually, you can average your income provided you're a farmer or an author of copyrighted works (yes, including software devs).

MongoDB's Atlas shrugs, with all NoSQL biz's customer growth resting on its shoulders

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Most of what's wrong in the world in two words: sales team.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

I have a smidgen of sympathy for the politicians. Who wants to be confronted by the parent of a dead child (or child of a dead parent) claiming their loved one would have been alive but for the politician's decision to stop law enforcement snooping.

Intel eggheads put bits in a spin to try to revive Moore's law

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Oops

The chunk of the article you quote is a TYPO; the final ferromagnetic should read "ferroelectric". I haven't got easy access to email at the moment or I would send it in. Somebody tell 'em. With that in place it makes sense.

Thought black holes were donut-shaped? It turns out they're more like deadly fountains

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Well, the accretion disk anyhow

"...can a singularity be correctly described..."

No, I'm not sure singularities can be described. That's the point: they're placeholders for a physical process yet to be uncovered.

£10k offer to leave firm ASAP is not blackmail, Capita told by judge

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Lawyers are sticklers for meaning

I've never heard of it happening. And it's sounds really improper. But the OED says blackmail is:

The action....of demanding money from someone in return for not revealing compromising information which one has about them.

So for it to be blackmail, she would have to be demanding the money and threatening to "go public" if she didn't receive it.

But she's already gone public and doesn't want the money. So it certainly sounds coercive, and it might have been bribery, but it wasn't blackmail; it's the wrong way round.

Q: If Pesky Pepper had a peek at patient papers, at how many patient papers did Pesky Pepper peek? A: 231

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Norfolk

Which is why she should have used "I was looking for signs they might be Deep Ones" as her excuse.

It's all a matter of time: Super-chill atomic clock could sniff gravitational waves, dark matter

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Complications

"If the accuracy of atomic clocks is dependent upon gravity (as just demonstrated), we may have a serious problem with the definition of time as that is currently defined using atomic clocks."

There wouldn't be a problem with the definition of time. But we would (and do) have to be careful comparing different clocks.

This actually caused a problem early on and the time signal formed from atomic clocks (TAI) ended up being a smeared average of clocks at different altitudes. I don't know why this mistake was made, since it was well understood that time on the earth's surface would be different to time at it's centre or at the centre of the solar system, and we had (and still have) different timescales to deal with this.

Check your repos... Crypto-coin-stealing code sneaks into fairly popular NPM lib (2m downloads per week)

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Towards a better library/app model

"The trouble is we don't have recognisable templates for such outfits that everyday coders, tech authors, librarians, testers etc. can use to club together."

Because most of those jobs are deeply boring and people wouldn't do them unless paid.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

I haven't looked at this case, but Britain has a long and proud tradition of "gold plating" European directives. So I suspect, if I bothered to follow the link in the article, I'd find we were doing way more than was required. It's a habit which has fed our distrust of the EU and yet it originates in Whitehall.

3 is the magic number (of bits): Flip 'em at once and your ECC protection can be Rowhammer'd

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Bravo! *slow clap*

The researchers did come across as surprisingly ignorant about ECC. Still, it's news that you can successfully row-hammer it in practice.

Alphabet gives bipedal robots the Schaft 'cos no one wants to buy its creepy machine maker

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: After the Google acquisition, it completely clammed up

"Daleks can fly. It's canon."

Yeah, Daleks are shaped to be loaded into a cannon. Like the fuse. And off they fly.

YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

The copyright rule is simple: the mouse never goes out of copyright.

Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: It's not a compass.

"...that supposedly has a quantum noise limited integration error."

You want measurements accurate down to the Planck scale? Jeez, you guys are hard task masters.

Seriously, I don't know what they say in the video, but you can accumulate an error of hundreds of thousands of atomic diameters and still be accurate to less than a millimetre.

I found a security hole in Steam that gave me every game's license keys and all I got was this... oh nice: $20,000

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Tsk tsk tsk

If you think the likes of Portal 2 is going to be written by people in their spare time, then think again.

Perhaps---perhaps---if we switched to UBI then abolition of copyright would be viable.

UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: So...

"There is a huge scandal with postal voting"

And how is forcing someone to show photo id at a polling station going to stop that?

McAfee says cloud security not as bad as we feared… it's much worse

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Well duh

"Isn't fog just a cloud at low altitude?"

So we need to make sure all our data centres are in orbit. That way we can sort the altitude problem and ensure we can clearly see all the instances we have.

Mine's the spacesuit for the service call.

Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: There will be £10m for a scheme to identify ways to keep physics and maths teachers in schools

There are 3,436 state funded secondary schools. [Table2a in this .xlsx] So that works out at ~£3000 per school. So that ain't much of a boost.

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Do manufacturers really pass on increased advertising costs like they were a prise rise in a component or do they set a fixed budget (based on the market situation and available cash) and then spend it as best they can?

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

You're paying for Facebook? Or Twitter? Or Google search?

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

The celebratory 50p should show two fingers being waved at the viewer and read, "Fuck you all."

Watchdog sceptical UK.gov's Universal Credit can handle 8.5m benefits claimants

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"it...creates a standardised system."

Unfortunately it has to deal with a non-standardised population.

The D in Systemd stands for 'Dammmmit!' A nasty DHCPv6 packet can pwn a vulnerable Linux box

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Meh

But how long has IPv4 been around? I'm not sold on IPv6, but any new technology is going to face a bedding in period as we get to grips with it. Nobody will "understand [IPv6] well enough to implement it correctly" until people have been out there and implemented it incorrectly. And that's true of any IPv4 replacement - good, bad, or IPv6.

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

You know you're on a tech site when the clickbait is an IPv6-systemd crossover bug.

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Erm...

So what we're saying is that "erm" is really a portmanteau of "uh" and "um" and should correctly be spelt, uhm?

Core-blimey! Riddle of Earth's mysterious center finally 'solved' by smarty seismologists

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Gone fission....

There's tidal heating of the core by the moon. I imagine that dwarfs the energy from radioactive decay.

(It's no coincidence that all the small rocky planets with an internal dynamo are having their cores massaged by a larger neighbour. )

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: Bold claim ....

You can't write anything these days without a Martian taking offence.

Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: I expect to be flamed

"Encrypt it with a password/secret that he didn't know."

Okay, let's suppose a prescient designer set up the system so that when an encrypted archive is exported, the password is handed to a nominated second user, and that the two users don't collude while transferring it to the external auditor, then we still have a person (the external auditor) who has access to the data on unaudited media and has the password.

NASA gently nudges sleeping space 'scopes Chandra, Hubble out of gyro-induced stupor

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: The Optimal Number of Gyroscopes

All the Clapp paper.

Does Google make hardware just so nobody buys it?

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: But muh headphone jack!

Using a corded (?chorded?) mouse means never having to search around for batteries or battery charger at inopportune moments.

Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

Re: you can't make a Veblen good out of a dumb computer terminal

"No, Arthur - you are being silly."

In fairness, Andrew, he's a cat; it comes with the (very-well marked) territory.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019