* Posts by DuncanLarge

215 posts • joined 10 Apr 2017

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Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Random thoughts on this sad situation

"I, and many, many ex-pats were not even entitled to vote due to being abroad too long, yet are still impacted by all this total crap. I wonder how many folks for example working happily in European institutions for many years, will lose their job, simply because they don't belong to an EU country anymore? How many with holiday homes abroad or retired somewhere warm, will be impacted, possibly due to laws concerning non-EU ownership, or even simply the GBP-EUR exchange rate?"

Oh dear god.

NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE NONE

Try turning on the TV once in a while and watching the news. Its not 2017 any more.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: EU ≠ EEC

"Edward Heath's leaflet"

Do you mean this tiny little section of the Illustrated LONDON news from 1972. I'm sure that everyone read that.

https://goo.gl/images/KYKHrz

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"when claims that leaving the EU didn't mean having to leave the single market or customs union turned out to be another lie"

What claims?

I never wanted to remain in any part of the EU. Leave meant leaving. I was actually surprised when I found out about some things that were NOT part of the EU such as the ECJ.

I was not an expert on the EU by any means and yet I knew I was leaving anything they had implemented. How on earth would someone not know that the customs union for example was an EU mechanism?

Unless you are a child perhaps. When I was a child, for many years I was convinced that teachers did not get paid. They were simply teachers and teaching was not a job, just what they did. When they went on strike in the 90's and I asked how that was possible I was shocked to discover that teaching was a profession, that I could even go into myself.

Maybe others did not learn that lesson and continue to think that things like the CU and the common market have simply always existed, always will and just are? Of course thats a sarcastic remark as I'm hoping it isnt true.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Go here instead

This one is more worth voting on:

https://www.change.org/p/keith-fraser-commemorate-only-fools-and-horses-nelson-mandela-house-before-its-demolition?recruiter=941579558&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Can you blame us?

The EU are just as much to blame.

Constantly asking what we want. When we tell them we want, to renegotiate the backstop, they say "the deal is sealed and is non-negotiable". They then watch us squirm trying to fix it and ask us again what we want while emoting for the cameras to make it seem like they are the ones to pity. We tell them we need to look at the backstop, they say its non-negotiable.

Who can sort out a problem with a deal when one of the parties is acting in a very immature and stubborn way? Its like trying to ask a taxi driver to drop you the road next to the one you originally asked for only for them to tell you to shut up and put up.

If the EU were decent enough to sit down and actually talk with May about what would need to be done to the deal to make parliament and the 27 member states happy it would have been a lot smoother I bet.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: The only conspiracy @JoshOvki

"does it still exist?"

Yes its now an automated task performed by windows every so often unless you have an SSD in which case its replaced by a trim.

We don't want to be Latch key-less kids: NYC tenants sue landlords for bunging IoT 'smart' lock on their front door

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Oops

I cant open the front door because:

- Dang, my data just ran out.

- The Apple/Android boot logo wont go away.

- My phone case did nothing to protect the screen when I sneezed and dropped it. I cant tap any digits above 5 on the keypad.

- Battery died when it said 40% remaining.

- Battery died. Nobody else at school has an android, anyone with USB cables only had USB C cables and the wireless charging pad at Mc Donalds was switched off.

- My phone exploded at school due to that cheap chinese charger I got from the thrift store.

- My phone was confiscated by my teacher when I kept checking insta. DIdnt get it back after school as her water broke and went into labor. Dad is away on business and mum works till very late.

- When I start the app, it crashes.

- My mate tried to upgrade my Android to a custom rom to speed it up. Now its in a thing called a boot loop.

- The app needs an update, is 20MB in size and I have only 10MB of data left. Oh and my phone doesnt connect to wifi after I dropped it in the loo.

Funny how a bit of jagged metal that twists in a receptacle, or an NFC fob / card dont seem to have these complications.

Bombs Huawei... Smartphone exploded in my daughter's pocket, seriously burning her, claims dad in lawsuit

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Original charger (or at least a good one)?

The battery looks to have shorted internally resulting in a thermal runaway.

This can be caused by a cheap charger with dirty output that the phone is not/is failing to supress.

It can also be simply a faulty battery that was growing a short ever since it was first charged.

We'll help you get your next fix... maybe, we'll think about it, says FTC: 'Right to repair' mulled

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"that they don't and can't own software."

Pointing out that you own Free Software ;)

Obviously this also includes Open Source software that meets the same definitions.

Your Ford analogy is a nice argument to use when segwaying into the reasons why your students should use FLOSS software ;)

Forget that rare-earth element crunch – we can now just extract them from industrial waste

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: "Is there an industry with an abundance of this stuff as a waste by-product or something?"

"Please point out where in this story the source of the bacterium/biolixivant is an abundant industrial waste-product."

Er it need not be a waste product. Why should it be?

Source of Bacterium = they literally grow on trees.

Source of biolixiviant (spelling corrected) = Grow some bacteria on sugar.

Source of sugar = It grows in large quantities in fields all over the world. Seen today as generally hazardous to human health due to over consumption, surplus supplies are increasing due to decreasing demand.

Whats the problem? Oh there isnt everything ready built to produce this stuff in large quantities ready to go? Last time I checked most entrepreneurs were not clairvoyant so someone will just have to give a rich guy the idea in the dragons den.

Go home and cash that cheque the chinese gave you.

Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: What's the problem....

"(CE compliant) "

I totally agree with you but I just want to point out that CE compliance means nothing. Its just a sticker applied to say that the bare minimum of tests have been done by the manufacturer to conform to some EU standards. No independent tests, no certificates issued (there are exceptions). Just a sticker applied by Bob in dispatch to say "we declare that its meeting these standards (as far as we understand them)".

You'd have to take them to court to get their test results on the device to confirm they were correct in applying the sticker, if such documents exists. You could also pay for an independant body to test the device for you so you can gather evidence for court.

There are exceptions where some devices are required to involve a notifying body when declaring CE compliance. It depends on the device. Such devices may have a certificate in the box with the reg number of the notifying body. This is just a group that was notified of the declaration, they did not verify any tests.

Most of the CE stickers you will ever see are fake anyway. Printed on an inkjet, stuck on by a chinese kid in a factory.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: What's the problem....

"Smart heaters? Smart ovens?

Botnets created from rooted routers to take down critical infrastructure."

Those are issues with networking and operating systems.

Nothing to do with RF regulation.

The bands used by WiFi, Bluetooth etc are unregulated. That means what goes, goes. Your microwave may knock out your wifi. These unregulated/unlicensed bands are available for all and thats why they are used so much. Once regulation is brought in by the back door you will not only see the death of new technologies like IOT (even if its implemented more like Internet Of Shit) but you will see the prices go way up.

Thought you'd seen everything there is to Ultima Thule? Check this out: IN STEREO!

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Magic eye

I loved looking at Magic Eye pictures as a kid.

I still have the knack of diverging my eyes upon command (this is the opposite from going crosseyed which I can do and feels way different). No 3D glasses needed :)

Resistance is... new style: Samsung says it's now shipping resistive eMRAM for IoT chips

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Rather useless without a different operating system approach

What are you talking about?

You seem to be confusing so many things. The data storage medium has no more relevance than the file format itself. Modifying something in the middle of the file is reliant on so many things including the way the file format lets you locate what you are looking for. Not just how you read the file from storage and if you load the entire file into RAM that can be ignored anyway.

A text file for example is the simplest file format I can pull from the air. Yet to locate the section you wish to edit, you will need to at least run a grep/regex over the text, or count line endings. To do this you must read from a start point. None of this has anything to do with the storage medium. Its closer to how algorithms generally work. The basic concept of the array for example is a linked list with the elements of the array linking to the previous or next element. Nothing to do with storage, everything to do with counting.

To do what I think you are suggesting you'd need to have a redesign of everything from how arrays, strings and floating point numbers are represented in memory also then change file formats, various network protocols and re-introduce parallel connection methods between devices.

Good luck with that, we dont use PATA any more and its quite clear that serial connections are the future as they are low profile, cheap and get ever faster due to many little signalling tricks.

Also, HDD's, SSD's, DVD et al all address data as discreet blocks. Maybe this is what you are getting at as being able to change this so that we only need to modify the individual bits on the storage medium (once we have identified and changed the data in memory) that would certainly be better than reading and re-writing a whole block just to change a single character.

However, block based storage is very different from sequential storage like tape (unless the tape is formatted in blocks ad has a TOC). I cant see how you think its not.

ReactOS 0.4.11 makes great strides towards running Windows apps without the Windows

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Exactly!

An out of date Linux wont necessarily give you no X Windows, most cards these days still support VESA and you will be fine with the VESA framebuffer driver. Besides, who needs a GUI ;)

As for storage, AHCI SATA can be dropped to Legacy mode. Then it will look exactly like a PATA connection and will work just fine.

You would have trouble with USB3, possibly not USB2 as I think UHCI devices are compatible with USB1 drivers however I'm not sure. If you are going back that far however, good luck.

UK's beloved RNGesus machine ERNIE goes quantum in 5th iteration

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Does not compute

"A rich aunt gave me a one pound premium bond on the day I was born in 1957. I've still got it, and its never won anything"

You were supposed to buy more.

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Don't be........

"a speaker could double as a microphone?"

Yep, they most certainly do. As a kid I used to use a speaker on a long wire to spy on my sister. The speaker being wired into the input of a preamp wired up with my electronics set.

It was pretty sensitive too.

NASA boffins show Moon water supply could – er, this can't be right? – come from the Sun

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Paradigm shift ?

"It's only useful for us if we've got the infrastructure to keep it a liquid - like a pressurised environment."

Water can exist as a liquid in a vacuum. No pressure needed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In6ibUgDO3U

Well Holby damned! We've caught a virus: Brit medical soap operas team up for 'cyber' episode

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Hoodie

Its probably the teen genius kid of a fired nurse wanting revenge, hacking past security doors (that use mechanical combo locks that somehow have been upgraded to emit digital beeps) to get into the hospitals basement.

There, he and a couple of mates of his, that form entire sentences out of slightly out-dated slang, put up their hoodies and tap away to grunge music.

The camera shows code, possibly actual C code or the cheap alternative HTML, scrolling up the screen faster than they type. What are they doing? Using an SQL injection attack? Crafting a Linux Kernel module to be modprobed into the hospitals server? Nope, they are "hacking" the admin password.

Maybe one of the kids is the "VR genius" and navigates the hospitals aging windows network using a very battered looking PSVR headset plugged into the wall.

While the hospitals systems fail, lights going out, microwaves exploding, hospital beds suddenly killing a patient, an old grey-beard hacker (of the white hat kind) offers his services. Having been at the hospital for a knee operation coincidentally at the same time, he tries to out-hack and even locate the attackers. He wins some, and loses some while making the observation that they are "really good". Eventually he manages to identify some information about the hackers that prompts one of the male Doctors to recognise one of them as the son of the nurse that he had a short relationship with before she was fired for gross negligence.

Deducing where they are before the armed police that have suddenly turned up, the Doctor heads for the basement. After a short search he finds a group of hoodie wearing teens, one of which would have been his stepson should he have not dumped his mum, due to the gross negligence thing.

They meet, like sandpaper meets paint, and discuss (very emotively) the situation, the past, the betrayals. Eventually the Doctor talks the lad around. Much to his mates disappointed slang filled shouting, the lad puts on the VR headset and begins to shut down the virus. Unfortunately, the virus was given A.I by the young hackers and is not going quietly (think lawnmower man here).

More people are thrown out of their hospital beds as the virus and hacker lad do battle. We already know the winner. The lads, now arrested by the armed cops are taken away. The Doctor and the lad glance at each other. He is worried. He says that he thinks part of the virus got out onto the net, and has a taste for hospital blood.

After the end credits we move to another hospital. The lights flicker. The coffee machine beeps and shakes a bit, scalding a nurse. A windows XP desktop in a corner of reception starts displaying multiple command prompt windows with the text "I AM HERE"

I seriously doubt that this episode will be that good, but possibly will be full of tropes and sterotypes.

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Innovative sundials?

"To be fair, analogue watches don't work in the dark either."

Yes they do, they glow in the dark. Have done for a very long time.

Also there have been analogue watches that have a backlight around for long enough that you can buy one for your kid:

https://www.amazon.com/Watches-Analog-Waterproof-Backlight-Children/dp/B076GZ3PJY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1550510926&sr=8-3&keywords=Analog+Watches+With+Backlight

Here is another analogue watch that sets the time by itself from a radio broadcast powered by an atomic clock, this also lights up in the dark:

https://www.watchshop.com/mens-casio-g-steel-bluetooth-triple-connect-chronograph-radio-controlled-watch-gst-b100d-1aer-p100014520.html

As that one too expensive? Here is one using Indeglo, a backlight trademark that came out in the 90's:

https://www.watchshop.com/mens-timex-indiglo-expedition-watch-t49713-p99946837.html

So yes, analogue watches work in the dark and have done so for a number of decades.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

What?

Maybe because its the morning and I have yet to eat my mid morning snack but I read the whole thing and have no idea what this guy was talking about :D

Ok I seemed to get the idea he was confusing CD audio ripping with ripping a vinyl, which cant be done with CD ripping software at all, much like how my DVD player cant mow my lawn.

Oh and CD ripping software never went away. "apt install cdparanoia" gets me it without even thinking hard about it.

You could just go on Amazon and buy a CD recorder brand new, record the vinyl to that, then rip. Or you could just plug a modern turntable into the USB port on your computer and record it that way, or you could put an SD card bought from the supermarket into a turntable with an SD card feature then plug that into any laptop that has a reader or failing that USB, or you could be really cool and get a turntable that also has a CD recorder built in.

Or you could be cooler and buy a MD recorder, get some blank minidiscs off amazon and record direct to that.

Or you could forgo the MD option and remain cool by recording to cassette tape and walking around with a walkman, all of which are available brand new off Amazon.

Hmm Amazon seem to be popping up a lot. No wonder the UK high street is failing.

Time for second breakfast...

Oh Snapd! Gimme-root-now security bug lets miscreants sock it to your Ubuntu boxes

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Snaps from L. Poettering ?

It sounds like his install of Mint must be pretty out of date seeing as the snap tries to pull in so much.

I'm using Debian Stretch and they have VLC 3.0.3 in the stable repo so I would have expected Mint to have a newer version.

If he is running an older Mint then the options are:

- Upgrade to latest Mint, use the Mint pacakged version

- Use the snap pacakge to let you run the newer VLC on the older Mint. Note that using the snap system also gives you a nice sandbox environment to run VLC in.

- Try building from source. However you may find you might need to update certain libraries as required by the VLC source. Then again, maybe not and it may be happy with what you have.

The Snap format seems to have nothing to do with L. Poettering and although it is competing against a couple of other similar formats its general ideas sound great. Packages bundle all required libraries with the application and the application executes within a sandbox managed by the host system.

This reminds me of what I love about RISC OS applications which are basically self contained archives containing the libraries they need. Copying an application in RISC OS to an external drive copies it in its entirety as one icon.

The Snap package was originally developed for package management on Ubuntu phones.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: snapd and systemd

Hmm debian provides VLC 3.0.3 in its standard repos, are you sure Mint does not have a newer .deb.in its repos?

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Am I Sam Beckett?

Who the bloody hell installs flash player on Linux these days?

As a Debian user installing flash player was a very conscious act as you had to download and manually install the tarball. Maybe Ubuntu provides it as a package but seriously who installs flash player apart from poor sysadmins (like me) who have to put up with old vmware management consoles that still need it.

Name and shame one site that still needs it (exclude ancient management interfaces).

A once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity: NASA bids emotional farewell to its cocky, hardworking RC science car on Mars

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Moving parts need to be avoided as you dont want your panels to get stuck.

Might be an idea to use an ultrasonic cleaning system as used in digital SLR's for getting dust off the sensors?

Buzz the panels with low amplitude waves to get the particles into the air and the wind, when its there will just carry them away.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Few questions ...

"How does this apply to books and leaflets ?

How do they know ?

How do we know what we're not allowed to look at ?

That's all."

Dont look at anything.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Easy get-out?

What do you mean inadvertently?

About bloody time I say.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Oh crap v2

I'm in possession of a drone.

I watched streamed informational news articles that educated me on the ability of using a drone at an airport and the effect it would have.

Do I go to room 101 now?

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Oh crap

I just opened google maps.

It showed me a highly detailed view of the location where I work, staffed by a couple hundred people.

It showed me details of road works in the area, and current traffic issues.

It allowed me to view a satellite image of the area zooming into which allowed me to take a virtual walk / drive along the roads, seeing details of buildings and obstructions and possible camera locations.

I think I hear them coming...

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Can't use smartphone GPS in Australia

"You do realise modern smartphones all support voice control ?"

You realise that turning on voice control requires you to permit the google apps to have access to ALL the data you carefully denied them access to months ago when you became aware of the privacy implications?

I cant even use voile dialing on my android as they killed off the on-phone voice recognition that worked fine and replaced it with a cloud service that if I turn it on, to tell it to call someone, it requires access to my web history. WTF has my web history got to do with a contact name?

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Back in the 1970's everyone was worried about us all freezing to death in a new ice age evidenced by the massive cooling and harsh winters.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Yay landfill!

Many people still use them as they are made more rugged than phones and work when there is no mobile signal.

Typically those using GPS devices like these are likely orienteering / hill walking and using the Garmin like a high tech compass to help get bearings to waypoints.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"I remember the bad old days too, map scrunched up on the steering wheel while you desperately try to work out if the motorway exit just disappearing is the one you really needed."

Well thats just bad driving. You should have memorised that part of the route when you stopped at the services.

My satnav is only used in combination with a map (that may be google maps). I plan my route on the map and program the route into the satnav. Its job is to prompt me on the route and to get me back onto the route should I get diverted for some reason.

Last year I let the satnav do all the work when planning my route from Gt Yarmouth to Bedfordshire. Instead of taking me under Norwich it decided to take me on a tour of the best housing estates Norwich has to offer. I thought, ok thats cool, its having me avoid traffic hot spots, its supposed to do that. Till it tried to have me drive down a road that ended in a wall, expecting me to drive through the wall and turn right onto an A road.

This was a TomTom with the latest map. I had to park up in one of the housing estates, bring out the map (combined with google maps to zoom in on some bits) and plot a route using bloody waypoints (why are they called waypoints? I'm not playing Homeworld) to get me on what turned out to be the main A road that it was trying to avoid taking me down, which also turned out to be pretty quiet anyway.

Anyone who does not at least have a large road atlas in the car is asking for trouble.

And just to point out, I'm not 65 and learned to drive in an Imp. I'm 38 and work as a third line IT Systems Technician. I designed a 6502 based computer when I was 12 and cut my teeth on GNU/Linux by booting it off a floppy disc distro. I live in the commandline and the GUI is there to watch youtube and manage the windows the commandlines happen to be in. I have a degree in computer science, have experience programming in everything from C64 basic up to Java, C# and Haskell. I fully understand that satnav on my windscreen yet I happily chose a superior, recent paper map (and google maps lol) over it.

When I chose a map I know exactly why I chose it. The satnav is a tool. It was allowed to dictate to me once, and it blew it big time.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"Seriously, in this day and age?"

I hear what you are saying but we are talking about ancient tech designs here. Still use a mobile phone to make calls and send SMS's etc? You'd be surprised just how 1990's the call/text encryption on those things are, yet we are sold them for a grand.

Do you listen to DAB radio? Lovely bit of 80's digital tech that is (not).

After a while you get used to it and realise that nothing we use today is bleeding edge. The stuff that is bleeding edge is the stuff that dont work properly or is still being talked about in universities and showed off at conventions.

Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

"Where are BoJo and Farage at the moment? They seem totally invisible recently."

Well Farage is on LBC everyday at 6pm and as he is still an MEP he is doing that stuff too.

As for seeing him involved in UK politics, he left it.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

"and the roads were a bumpy unpleasant mess even in a Merc and the whole trip was carpeted in rubbish hanging from trees and stuffed down rabbit holes. How the hell do people think Brexit is going to improve matters. "

Well, being in the EU certainly improved matters then... oh wait.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Yawn

Might have roaming charges again, yawn.

I really dont care. I personally think that #firstworldproblem is a very relevant hashtag for anyone who is concerned about paying a little more for a phone call, which can be made in other cheaper ways in the host country, instead of freedom and independence from a plutocratic mess that has lost its way and is clearly in need of a major rebuild/redesign.

Reminds me of Cypher in The Matrix wanting to go back into it so that even though he is a slave he will think he is living in bliss because he can enjoy the taste of chicken over the slop he has to eat in the real world.

Just keep slurping: HMRC adds two million taxpayers' voices to biometric database

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

My imagination

In my imagination I feel like Victor Meldrew reading about this in the newspaper in his kitchen, mug in hand saying "What in the name of bloody hell"

Users fail to squeak through basic computer skills test. Well, it was the '90s

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: My keyboard's jammed

I just had to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGvblGCD7qM

The most annoying British export since Piers Morgan: 'Drones' halt US airport flights

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Riight

So somebody saw a so called drone flying approx 1KM above the ground.

Must have been a f*cking big drone!

Must have had a nice big battery to get up that high considering the climb rate is not going to be amazing for many drones.

Who the hell thought they saw it? These things cant be picked up on radar. Is there a mountain near by that someone was climbing up and saw it?

I may be short sighted but I really doubt that someone can see a drone, lets say as big as a phantom, from 1000m, when its getting dark. Did a pilot see it when flying past? I dont trust pilots to be able to identify flying objects either as they have human eyes too, are distracted by many things so cant stare out of the window too long, and have been reporting UFO's for decades before. In fact I think most wont report a UFO in case of ridicule, but now we can call them drones I guess they feel safe to report that those things they have always seen up there are still up there.

You heard the latest Chinese CRISPRs? They are real: Renegade bio-boffin did genetically modify baby twins

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: Gene therepy not needed for HIV-free kids.

Who in their right mind would go to all that trouble?

It would be better to accept the truth and just adopt.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"and cross breeding with natural varieties"

What natural varieties?

There are very few as most varieties have been bred and modified from the natural versions that are no longer grown. Are your carrots orange or their natural colour?

Many of the varieties we grow today were created by chucking seeds into a nuclear reactor to see what you got. I'd rather have a proven safe modified seed growing rather than a descendant of an irradiated mutant.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"Yep, we already have genetically altered crops."

I would rather have genetically altered crops (after testing of course) rather than the current offering we have had for many decades: crops grown from irradiated seeds with random mutations that seem to be ok.

Once I found out that many of our resistant crops in the shops today are descendants of seeds exposed to hard radiation to randomly corrupt the seeds genome to hopefully create a crop that shows the features you want I decided that accurately and scientifically modifying selected genes was a much safer and superior method.

I sometimes swear I can see my tomatoes glowing in the dark...

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

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: /proc/cpuinfo Never Lies (or does it?)

"A core on a multi-core processor has always been understood to provide an independent processing unit, including an independent floating point unit and independent caches"

Sorry but no. "core" at minimum would refer to a CPU and L1 cache (may not be present). A CPU is an ALU plus clock generators, instruction decoding logic and other glue logic plus some registers, amybe even just one. A CPU has been defined since the days of the very first computers that were constructed from valves but I'm going to only consider going as far back as the transistor based microprocessor, the Intel 4004.

Nothing has changed that definition since then. The Intel 4004 is a CPU as any other and thus a single core. Put 4 of them in one chip and you have a 4 core chip.

What I'm saying is the term "core" is not a defined term and is very flexible. Its definition thus would vary between manufactuers who would provide their "cores". If these cors were "modules" that shared an FPU between to Integer CPU's then that is the core. A core with an CPU+FPU+L1 cache is just a different kind of core and a 8 core offering would thus have 8 of THOSE TYPES of core.

Thus I argue that the definition of a core is a set of CPU's supplied in a single chip package. These are CPU's I'm talking about. They only do integer math at a minimum and dont have L1 cache. All a CPU need is an ALU, some registers and logic to fetch and decode instructions (opcodes) and data (operands) from external memory. Learning a bit of machine code is very enlightening.

So if I give you a chip with 4 6502 CPU's on it and a bit of logic to manage them all, thats a 4 core chip. If I give you one with 4x pentium cpus each with their own L1 cache and a shared FPU, thats a 4 core chip. If I give you a new design of that chip that adds 3 more FPU's dedicated to each pentium CPU thats a 4 core chip that has the potential to beat the previous offering.

Thus this AMD chip was an 8 core chip. It had 8x what AMD offered as cores. An 8 core intel chip would have been of a different design and as we know a better one.

The term core is not defined. It is marketing speak at best. This lawsuit is just nitpicking by people who dont know the terminology. If anything comes out of this it may be a formal definition of what a core is, as defined by non-technical people.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

"Definitions change over time. For the past 2 decades it's been a given that a CPU includes an FPU because other than the issue with Bulldozer, all of them did."

That is only applicable to certain use cases. There are plenty of CPU designs in wide use today that dont need or have an FPU. You can do floating point maths using integers just fine, an FPU just lets you do it faster.

Plenty of microcontrollers and low power devices dont have an FPU. And before anyone mentions it, a microcontroller has a CPU. Its just part of the chip that includes the other bits that make a microcontroller such has onboard RAM/ROM and IO.

As an example, a car from 1950 is still seen as a car even if it does not come with seatbelts, heating, electric windows, a ECU, ABS brakes etc. Its still a car. But modern cars tend to have more stuff, but only tend to, its not a requirement.

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

The way I have always seen it

A core as far as I know and care to define it is at minimum an element of a modern CPU that can execute its own instructions on its own registers without interfering with other cores.

This means that all the cores could end up sharing an FPU and caches, although I would expect a decent chip to give each core its own L1 cache.

This means I have, and being an AMD user for years, had no issue with how AMD cores were designed. I knew their cores worked like this and understood that it was one of the main issues surrounding the performance difference between them and Intel CPU's. I just saw bulldozer as a poor architectural design forcing the cores to share too many elements like the FPU which impacted certain workloads.

This article suggests that the marketing information may have mislead peeps into thinking the cores were more independent than they actually are so maybe there is something to be argued here. However if AMD show that the FX chips outperform the non-FX chips for most workloads then I think that might win the the case.

I always saw the early multi-core cpu as a hybrid between the single core cpu and the multi-cpu systems I drooled over.

Stage fright or Stage light? Depends how far you dare to open your MacBook Pro's lid

DuncanLarge Bronze badge

Re: "Thin&Light" means Piece Of Shit.

"Problems with 4-y-o-iMac none"

You must be very lucky and also quite unusual among mac users considering you are running on a machine that the manufacturer will refer, to your face in the store in front of the public, as being vintage. Not being an Apple user I see my 1994 RISC PC as vintage and my 2012 Lenovo T420 as simply "broken in".

When Dell stop supporting that machine across from you, the user wouldnt really have much trouble getting inside it to blow dust off the fan and upgrade the ram or network card, perhaps even slotting in another M.2 (or mpcie) SSD. Replacing the battery would just be an issue of sourcing a decent replacement them slapping it in.

How easy does your vintange machine make that?

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