* Posts by John Savard

1949 posts • joined 18 Sep 2007

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

John Savard
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Not Open Contribution

If SQLite is written by a group of friends who are not seeking other developers to share their load, then indeed one can't complain that what has happened violates other people's rights. Also, the article did note that they're willing to make exceptions for people who feel uncomfortable with parts of the code of conduct.

None the less, I think it's entirely legitimate to react to this as a joke in extremely poor taste.

If one removes the rules in that list that are explicitly religious in nature, or which are appropriate to members of a monastic order, there would not be all that much left.

However, that being said, I would have no objection to a Benedictine monastery releasing open-source software. The shock is largely at unexpectedly finding something that one would have expected to be a secular institution adopting non-pluralistic values.

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Does Google make hardware just so nobody buys it?

John Savard
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Re: "V-Moda Forza Metallo"

It's not quite that bad. After all, Poul Anderson was able to write "Uncleftish Beholding".

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Mozilla grants distrusted Symantec certs a stay of execution, claims many sites yet to make switch

John Savard
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Bad Decision

Obviously those sites will switch quicker once nobody can visit them.

However, I have noticed in Firefox that now sometimes when I visit a site with a bad certificate, I can't just click on a button and see the site anyways. If they hadn't changed that, there would be no issue, and they could distrust the certificates right away without causing a negative impact on users who are blocked from sites they need to access that are not infected, just out of date.

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Oh no, Xi didn't! Chinese spymaster cuffed in Belgium, yoinked to US on aerospace snoop rap

John Savard
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Puzzling

Surely he was nabbed by Belgian police, not the FBI. An FBI agent in Belgium is also known as a "tourist". Although I suppose a visiting FBI agent working with the Belgian police could indeed be officially deputized by them.

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UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

John Savard
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Re: RE: Mooseman

Well, unfortunately, the way things are now, if Britain leaves the European Union, it will also be thrown out of the Common Market. British voters were promised that this wouldn't happen when they voted in the referendum. How is it democratic to deceive voters and then tell them they're stuck?

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John Savard
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Re: RE: Mooseman

My understanding, based on the reports I have seen in the Press, was that, going into the Brexit referendum, the British public were assured that leaving the European Union would not have significant economic consequences for the British people, because an agreement would be easily reached so that Britain, like Denmark, would remain in a customs union with Europe. As this has not happened - and, indeed, British Prime Minister Theresa May is now on record as stating she would find a continued customs union unacceptable, as beyond her "red line" - Brexit at this point would not be what many of the voters authorised, and so another referendum, to determine if the majority of British citizens in fact want to leave the European Union under the actual circumstances that exit would entail is entirely reasonable.

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John Savard
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Re: Fake news

If Australia did exist, since time zones and all that pretty much mean that if the Earth is flat, it has to have the North Pole in the center, then because of the difference in time zones between Sydney and Perth, it would have to be considerably wider than it is usually given credit for.

So Australians are uniquely positioned to prove the Earth is round.

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John Savard
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Re: Makes absolute sense

Actually, it does make as much sense as partnering with any other friendly country, since no doubt the UK is looking for a global positioning system usable by its naval vessels (and aircraft, and anything else) even if they're on the other side of the world from Merrie England.

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John Savard
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Canada, you say?

Ah, this means that Canada has an opportunity to become part of a satellite navigation system that the United States can't turn off on us, by joining with Australia and the United Kingdom? I must write my Member of Parliament so that he knows about this opportunity!

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On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

John Savard
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Rude

Many people feel that it is improper to speak ill of the dead. If they deserve it, as apparently Steve Jobs richly does, at least politeness demands that we not use the anniversary of their death for that purpose.

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Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

John Savard
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Appropriate Limitations?

It's pretty obvious that if you see a drone with a bomb on it, you don't have time to get a warrant. So what would be reasonable to look for is after-the-fact recourse if a drone was operating legally and there was no reason to be suspicious of it.

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IBM won't grow, says analyst firm while eyeing flatlining share price

John Savard
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Good News

This may be bad news for IBM, but ultimately it could be good news for everyone else.

At some point, potential revenue from mainframes will shrink enough so that IBM will lose its fear of cannibalizing those revenues. Then, they might make the System/360 architecture, in its modern form of the z/Architecture, available in desktop and laptop computers.

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Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

John Savard
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Still Reason to Worry

Oughtright lies from the companies involved would be unprecedented, whereas the Bloomberg reporters believing someone who was mistaken that SuperMicro was the unnamed target is highly plausible. But that would mean it did happen, just to someone else we don't know about.

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Trump's axing of cyber czar role has left gaping holes in US defence

John Savard
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But

I thought the NSA was supposed to be doing this, and a cyber tsar was just wasteful duplication!

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A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

John Savard
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Surprising

Gross profit of 50%? That is outrageous. A business ought to be able to be viable with a gross profit of 2% and, indeed, in order to offer competitive prices to consumers, in many lines of business, it should scarcely dare to aim for anything much greater! (All right, 2% is characteristic of grocery stores, and something as high as 20% is actually reasonable for firms selling large-value items like computers or washing machines.)

And out of that 2%, it should be able to pay all the interest on whatever loans it might have, with most of it left for dividends to the stockholders.

Of course, some of it would also be used for expansion.

That is what a properly-run business looks like.

So if a firm could stay in business despite tacking on a 50% markup - no, a 100% markup - on its products, instead of being squeezed down to a much lower level of profit in order to actually sell anything, this means the marketplace is not competitive enough, and the government should start intervening.

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Watt the heck is this? A 32-core 3.3GHz Arm server CPU shipping? Yes, says Ampere

John Savard
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Locked Up?

I was aware that IBM manufactired, and offered for sale, data centre servers built around the PowerPC architecture.

I don't know how many of them are in use, so it perhaps is entirely possible they haven't made a dent in an x86 near-monopoly. Obviously, the x86 world will be the most competitive, and likely the cheapest. Until, of course, ARM's entry.

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Pluto is more alive than Mars, huff physicists who are still not over dwarf planet's demotion

John Savard
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Confused

I'm sure that people stopped listing Ceres, Juno, Pallas, and Vesta among the planets of the solar system long before 1957. All asteroids are still also called by the name "minor planets", thus their orbits are listed in documents called the "minor planet circulars", but the Solar System had nine planets, not thirteen, after Pluto was discovered.

Pluto got demoted for the same basic reason as Ceres and company - there were too many others just about like it, starting with Eris. I'd prefer Pluto to stay a planet, but I really can't come up with a convincing argument against this brute fact. If planets aren't clearly bigger and more prominent than non-planets, the term loses its meaning, and if there are hundreds or thousands of planets, that's a useless situation too.

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Vodafone hounds Czech customers for bills after they were brute-forced with Voda-issued PINs

John Savard
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Liability

Since the miscreants have been caught, the law should bar the company from attempting to recover the money from anyone else but them. Even more so in a case like this, where the company itself set up the situation.

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‘Very fine people’ rename New York as ‘Jewtropolis’ on Snapchat, Zillow

John Savard
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Re: Trump bashing inaccurate here

Well, Jesse Jackson became history after he failed to utterly denounce, repudiate, and abominate Lois Farrakhan.

There are two kinds of white people in the United States.

Those who are bigoted against black people.

Those who have overcome bigotry against black people because the evil of racial bigotry was dramatically brought home to them by the Holocaust.

Which means that non-bigoted white people in the United States, in general, are sensitive to, and hostile to, bigotry against Jews first - and bigotry against blacks second. There just aren't any who would turn a blind eye to a candidate who is in any way "soft" on anti-Semitism who would also consider voting for a black man as a candidate for President.

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John Savard
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Re: Hate speech

That the motive was hatred is obvious.

It occurred by means of an unlawful breach of a computer system, which itself points to a malicious motive. And it's well known that there are many people with a violent hatred for Jews, and that many of them have a dislike for New York because it is a place with a vibrant Jewish life and, likely the most serious thing from their twisted perspective, which is home to many Jews who are influential.

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VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

John Savard
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They interfered with items that were the property of the organizers of the Disrupt event? There should be criminal charges as well. And the lawsuit should be dealt with in such a way that no hotel, acrossthe length or breadth of the United States, will dare, at least for the next three hundred years or so, to behave in a similar manner.

How about just handing over the entire equity and assets of MGM to the event organizers? That should be a sufficient deterrent.

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Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

John Savard
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Exactly the Wrong Way

While independent journalism is a nice thing, taxing new and innovative businesses to support older forms of media is clearly going to impede progress. And the BBC's television license fee should never have been instituted, and it should be repealed as quickly as possible, not extended.

Television was once the chief source of entertainment for lower-income households, and so a tax on television sets was a horribly regressive measure.

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SentinelOne makes YouTube delete Bsides vid 'cuz it didn't like the way bugs were reported

John Savard
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Well, if the video included a picture of the box it came in...

If this was a DMCA takedown, there are penalties for false accusations.

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Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

John Savard
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Re: Even if this were true

Absolutely. But just because it won't work for power distribution - and given that it's a nanomaterial, the component metals will be a small part of the cost - maybe it will be useful in microchips, for example.

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John Savard
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Re: Undecided

No, you have to go to North Korea to find unicorns. Seriously.

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John Savard
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Re: @Milton ... Extraordinary claims—

I think the cost of putting up the wires once would be paid back by the savings eventually.

It's the cost of guarding them that is ongoing. After all, people are already tearing down wires just to steal the valuable copper in them.

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John Savard
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Puzzled

"Let them give up their greed of earning a billion dollars in patent" - if they actually do have room temperature superconductivity, of course they would have to secure patents before they could reveal details; that is perfectly normal and to be expected.

Of course, since there is reason to believe their data is faked - the duplicate noise - and now the use of a fake E-mail account to try and subdue criticism - there is reason to suspect they may not have it. But if so, why waste money applying for a patent?

I am, therefore, a bit puzzled by all this. While it's easy to jump to the conclusion that the discovery was faked, the events don't quite fit with any obvious motive. Could the experimenters be victims of a prankster aiming to destroy their reputations by tampering with their experiment, to make them think they had found this discovery, and then doing underhanded things so as to appear they are done on their behalf?

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Linux 4.18 arrives fashionably late while Zorin OS shines up its Windows

John Savard
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PlayOnLinux

All right. I'm confused here. The article mentioned PlayOnLinux as something that lets you run Windows programs on Linux that won't run on Wine.

But PlayOnLinux is a front-end for Wine.

Maybe it's because the programs will run, but they're hard to install without the help of a front-end program like PlayOnLinux, as might be implied by some of what I saw in the description on their site, but it's not really clear.

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The off-brand 'military-grade' x86 processors, in the library, with the root-granting 'backdoor'

John Savard
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Cluedo

And, oh, yes, I grasped what the mention of the library in the article was a reference to - although, living in North America, I know the game by Parker Brothers' name of Clue rather than Waddington's original name of Cluedo.

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John Savard
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Different Viewpoint

Since even when the feature is enabled in the BIOS, it can only be used from ring 0 code, it isn't a security flaw that enables entry into the system; it's just a feature that makes it a bit easier to do serious damage (or, more importantly, do it without getting caught) after one is in a position to do nearly everything anyways.

What bothers me is that this potentially useful feature, because it only allows the use of augmented instruction sets if all security features are turned off, is therefore nearly useless. So firstly it's a waste of silicon; secondly, given that it somewhat weakens security, it definitely shouldn't be there if it isn't there for any sensible reason.

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Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

John Savard
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Since the references to Starship Troopers are to the movie, not so much the original novel, I think they're appropriate. The movie presented the milieu as explicitly fascist; the novel, on the other hand, assumed democratic safeguards of a sort rather than a tyranny, but was genuinely presenting the idea that a kind of fascism might be a legitimate way for a nation to survive under suitably difficult circumstances.

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John Savard
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Re: News

In fairness to Mike Pence, the first Corona reconaissance satellites were launched only about a year after Explorer I, the first successful American satellite. So spy satellites definitely were among the first American satellites to do somtehing more than perform initial scientific measurements of outer space. Telstar wasn't until 1962.

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John Savard
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Re: Shhh! Keep it on the down-low

No! We need to shout it from the housetops! They've got to be stopped!

Otherwise, we'll find out the hard way that telephone sanitizers really do serve a useful purpose.

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John Savard
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News

"The first American satellites to orbit the Earth were on reconnaissance missions behind the Iron Curtain."

There were American spy satellites in orbit before Vanguard? Or is he thinking of the U-2 by any chance?

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Intel: Yeah, yeah, 10nm. It's on the todo list. Now, let's talk about AI...

John Savard
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I Wish Them Both Well

I want both AMD and Intel to do well, and bring us new and exciting products. Intel needs competition to keep it honest, and the sooner we can enjoy the benefits of their new 10nm process, and everybody else's 7nm process, the better.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

John Savard
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Technically, that's not corruption. Corruption is when you secretly take bribes. If you openly follow policies that favor big business, in hopes that they may make contributions to your campaign, that's just politics. Voters can always vote for the other fellow.

It is failing to act in the interests of the people in general. That, however, is properly left to the voters to punish because that is subjective. Maybe what's good for billionaires is good for the U.S.A..

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John Savard
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Re: @John Savard Boo Freakin' Hoo

Ah, although he has land locked public land, there is no specific path across his property that has been made a right of way to that land. I can see how that would make it complicated.

In some jurisdictions, rights of way are determined from common law, and so if a certain path across the property had been in use by the public since time immemorial, it would be a right of way without the need for a agovernment body to have created a right of way by legislative or administrative act.

Also, if a court has ordered him to allow access, that should settle it: either he does so, posthaste, or he will be found in contempt, which tends to lead to jail time.

The idea that one can have a legal obligation, and yet dilly-dally about fulfilling it without consequences seems strange. It should not matter how much money you have; no one is above the law.

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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

John Savard
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Re: Not the entirity of China...

When Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese control in 1997, statements publicly made at the time made it clear that "One Country, Two Systems" was limited to 50 years, and, more importantly, was not part of the essence of the agreement. Which means that if China should decide to impose its system on Hong Kong at some time in the future, Britain is not allowed by the terms of the relevant treaty to treat this as causus belli and take Hong Kong right back.

Of course, this is sadly understandable, since mainland China has got its hands on the Maxim gun, oops, sorry, nuclear weapons.

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John Savard
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"nobody said a word when the US blew their own buildings to get an excuse to embark in middle east invasions"

Perhaps because that didn't actually happen.

However, there's this enormous "9/11 Truth" movement, and many of its followers operate in the United States, where they have not become political prisoners.

Also, a phrase like "anti-Chinese tone"; since the People's Republic of China doesn't have a free press and free elections, of course any honest appraisal of that society will be... critical... as would be the case, for example, in a discussion of Germany under the rule of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, and for much the same reasons.

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John Savard
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"he emotionally abandoned the young boy, leaving him in a perpetual state of fury for the rest of his childhood and scarring him for the rest of his life"... really? For some reason, not even a hint of this appears in the Wikipedia article about Christopher Robin Milne. But there is also nothing about him supporting any unpopular political causes, so I can't explain that as a joke either.

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Boffins: Mixed-signal silicon can SCREAM your secrets to all

John Savard
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Not Unexpected

Oh, dear. But this shouldn't come as a surprise. Crypto gear used by governments, after all, has shielding between the parts that handle unenciphered data and the enciphered data that is to be sent out over the air. It's not possible to put different parts of the same chip in separate metal boxes.

Someone with a reciever and fancy gear within a few metres of you, though, isn't in most people's threat models, fortunately.

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Revealed in detail: World powers stuff spyware kit, how-to guides in dodgy nations' pockets

John Savard
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Missing name

What, Russia isn't doing it?

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It's 2018 so, of course, climate.news is sold to climate change deniers

John Savard
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Since they really have a fake.news domain, once it's sold, it probably will carry...

links to impeccably verified, accurate, and impartial news articles

from stories explaining why they are fake news.

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Up in arms! Arm kills off its anti-RISC-V smear site after own staff revolt

John Savard
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Re: It bears repeating: Building a CPU that runs C fast considered harmful.

A CPU "runs FORTRAN fast" if it runs the kind of machine code a FORTRAN compiler will typically emit fast, and in this sense it is perfectly legitimate to say that a CPU is designed to run C fast.

Since these days hardly anyone thinks the design of the Burroughs B6500 was a good idea, we don't have too many computers that run Algol well but C not nearly as well.

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John Savard
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Not Shocked

I thought they were just legitimately pointing out the potential drawbacks of their competition, just as Intel has done in some of its advertising. After all, the consumer still makes the ultimate decision.

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I think I'm a clone now: Chinese AMD Epyc-like server chips appear in China. What gives?

John Savard
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Nothing stops me from building a system for myself around an X470 motherboard.

But many potential computer purchasers are less sophisticated, and will buy whatever happens to be conveniently available for them in a box on dealer shelves. So, if AMD's new Ryzen chips aren't there, this will reduce the benefits to AMD of that chip's improved performance.

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Who fancies a six-core, 32GB RAM, 4TB NVME ... convertible tablet?

John Savard
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Too much?

Although I was impressed favorably by Dell's earlier offering, something that converts to a tablet as well as being this powerful seems to be overpowered for its use case. Still, one never knows when a little extra versatility might not come in handy.

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Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

John Savard
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Applause

I heartily approve of offering people the option of a more powerful laptop computer. Of course, most people won't need a Xeon instead of a conventional Core i7 in a laptop, but no doubt there are benefits.

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When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

John Savard
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I suggest they replace it with good old-fashioned cash registers. Or at least have those as a backup.

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Europe's scheme to build exascale capability on homegrown hardware is ludicrous fantasy

John Savard
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RISC-V?

Maybe someone in Europe could design a good RISC-V processor, and send the plans off to TSMC to build? That would give them some European hardware to use. So it's not totally impossible.

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