* Posts by Spaller

35 posts • joined 28 May 2010

This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year


Still taught today

The private school system Challenger teaches Pascal in its courses for kids. I last played with it in the early 1980’s.

Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity


Re: It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

I don't think my extension cord reaches the sun's plasma. Sigh, a windmill may have to do instead of plasma.


Re: It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

String theory is full of the swamp and no landscape.

I help build quantum computers and don't need classified communications. They're still useless.


It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

Ok, room temperature superconducting, off to the sulking corner with your pals cold and hot fusion.

Oh, do you see quantum computing and string theory there with you?

No way, RSA! Security conference's mobile app embarrassingly insecure


Oh Good God Why Do I Need An App?

I need an app to attend a conference? Just /dev/null me now.

Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot


Free Firearms For All!!!

The bullets, though, cost $1K each.

Huawei consumer biz pres: Are we in talks with Trump? Nope


Re: The only loser is the US consumer..

Red herring alert. Jurisdiction has little to do with what nonsense gets put into your Chinese or Russian phone. Sure, go start your business in China. Be sure to take a copy of your IP with you to give them. You do know we do not have reciprocity. You do know we do not get a copy of Huawei's source code? Do you?


Re: The only loser is the US consumer..

Sure, let's buy cheap phones so we can be spied upon by a foreign power who would just love us to buy their 'cheap' phones. One good thing that can be said about it is that at least it is not a Russian phone. Who would trust a Russian phone? Why trust a Chinese one totally sourced there?

A post yesterday from the South Chinese Morning Post noted Intellivsion 7MPx cameras installed to do face recognition of jaywalkers and send them text messages while they are jaywalking. If they do it too much, their government 'social score' will be affected.

Just imagine what the Communist Party could order to be put into a phone made there. Oh, you could look at G Data's report a couple years ago about finding malware on phones from Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo. Huawei apparently replied that the security breaches must have occurred further down the supply chain. Sounds similar to what the NSA does to Cisco gear during shipment? You do know that practically every Chinese company has a Communist Party cell embedded deeply within it?

Sure, get a cheap phone. That's a good plan, at least for the ones 'giving' it to you.

Millionaire-backed science fiction church to launch Scientology TV network


I thought...

I thought Xenu and the Thetans were a rock band...

MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)


Don't Leave The Lights On!

Stereo blaring is ok, but hopefully the headlights are turned off so as to not PO any astronomers.

Infamous Silicon Valley 'sex party' exactly as exciting as it sounds


Not without an insulator!

I live here. These people are boring. A university math club is more fun.

You're designing an internet fridge. Should you go for fat HTML or a Qt-pie for your UI?


Rip the Q key off their keyboards

I have a team of about twenty folks spread over the world building an engineering app, and we use Qt.

I regularly threaten them that I'll rip the Q key off their keyboards if they don't keep their use of that thing to a minimum. We're just now moving to Qt5 across the biz unit, and not many are wanting to do it other than Qt4 is no longer supported. Faster? I don't think so. 60fps fridge? No one cares.

If we build another app from the ground up, it'll be html5.

Why software engineers should ditch Silicon Valley for Austin


I spent six years in Chicago going to UChicago. Put a glass of water on the window sill and it was frozen solid by morning. Had a waterbed to survive. One time 44 days the temp did not get above freezing.

Then taught math at UTSA in San Antonio, just south of Austin. The dash in my car melted in the school parking lot. Then there was tubing with excrement in the Guadalupe. Lots of bats under the bridge in Austin, though.

Moved to Silicon Valley to learn how to build computers. Not going back.

Self-driving cars doomed to be bullied by pedestrians


Taxes to the rescue

Smart pedestrians carry fobs (aka phones) identifying themselves a la IFF. The local good burghers slap a tax on such errant behaviour as wandering out in front of cars. The errant citizen has one's insurance rates adjusted accordingly. Want to drive fast in one's auto-automobile or take priority at a light? There's an incidental tax for that, too.

Microsoft boffins: Who needs Intel CPUs when you've got FPGAs?


Who Needs Programmers When You Need Hardware Designers?

Hmm, nominally FPGAs need coding in a hardware description language, like verilog of vhdl, in order for the thing to work. Synchronous thinking C coders don't deal well with the asynchronous nature of HDLs. People skilled in HDLs are rarer than C coders, so there's quite an educational barrier to deployment.

Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

Big Brother

Insured crash game theory

Smart pedestrians carry fobs that transmit their insurance status. The impending car does a cloudy cost benefit analysis. The claims may be settled before impact.

Intel is shipping an ARM-based FPGA. Repeat, Intel is shipping an ARM-based FPGA


Back off, I'm hyper-nating!

Blending memory with the switch fabric. How novel. Looked at the paper: Hyperflex, hyper-retiming, hyper-pipelining, hyper-optimization, hyper-aware. I'm hyperventilating.

NEW ERA for HUMANITY? NASA says something 'major' FOUND ON MARS


Assuming the gummint doesn't shutdown tomorrow NASA Ames will have a private showing of The Martian tomorrow night. New scenes added?

Oracle's bright new Sonoma SPARCs hint at own-tech cloud


Sparc is dead in EDA

EDA, or Electronic Design Automation, was dominated by Sparc machines for a *very* long time. Now no one in EDA supports Sparc machines. We've even been busy at removing the cursed #ifdef's that supported it since we never expect it to come back (same for HPUX and AIX, but they were never dominant like Sparc/Solaris was totally dominant). And I won't be missing register window traps. In other words, even if this chip is a great success, it is extraordinarily unlikely that this engineering community will move back to Sparc. Oracle would have to pay to get a company like ours to provide a port of our software to Sparc now. Others still try, like IBM or HP, to pump up their application base on their architecture. But after decades of seeing these deals done, they matter not. Once you have to pay for the port, you're forever a niche player in that area.

Fabs are designed are around the hardware, and there is no fab that uses Sparc machines to run it for things like LVS, DRC, OPC, fracture, ... This was not the case before. Thousands upon thousands or cores are necessary to validate a chip for manufacture. Oracle is completely out of this manufacturing space except in the case of using Oracle DB for tracking chip defects.

So in essence, in the past ten years, Sparc can no longer be found in these engineering communities. It seems to have holed up in finance communities and some webbies.

Full disclosure: I work in this space.

Ecuador and Sweden in 'constructive talks' – just don't mention Assange™ by name


Throw Assange in the Ecuadorean volcano. I understand he's a virgin.

Did speeding American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? Top boffin speaks to El Reg


Heads or Tails?

Call it, and find it on the moon.

The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all


There aren't so many silicon atoms left what with their diameter at .22nm.

Or how about the corollary that the cost of the fabs double from node to node?

Or that you halve the number of fabs from nodes to node?

So which runs out first: atoms, money, or fabs?

HP breaks for Xmas week - aka 'staff hols' - source


Nothing to see here

Many SV companies shut down at Xmas. Ours shuts down each year, but maybe not next year since we got rid of vacation.

Big racks? Pah. Storage boffins have made a BIONIC BRAIN material


Wait, I see it! Just over there next to our old pals Fusion and Hydrogen Economy!

Drone captures shots of budding APPLE SPACESHIP HQ


Behold! The Applitron!

Where's the beam line?

Dell reveals 'proof-of-concept' ARM microserver



Take a look at Google job postings. They're hiring chip design people in Mtn View. Seems unlikely they'd need these microservers if they have their own design team.

Is it barge? Is it a data center? Mystery FLOATING 'Google thing'


Eureka Moment

Given the lack of displacement of the loaded barge as compared to the unloaded one adjacent to it, the loaded barge is not heavily loaded, and therefore is somewhat hollow inside. Hence not a data center.

First, servers were DEEP-FRIED... now, boffins bring you WET ones


We tried fluorinert back in the 80's for some ECL computers. Problem was cavitation, or bubbles forming around chips and causing local hot spots. We didn't pursue it. Liked the fish tank, though. Not enough info here to see if they solved that problem.

Google to splurge $82m for exclusive airport exec enclave


Chump change noise curfew

Given that Fitch downgraded the San Jose airport bonds to BBB+ last year, any chump change the airport authority can get will be welcome to cover the increased borrowing cost of the downgrade. Googlets can easily obtain a chopper for transit down 101 by just requisitioning one from the maps division. Hopefully they won't lose their luggage a la Heathrow. Of course there's that nasty curfew thing that San Jose airport has (no fly zone 11:30pm to 6:30am) that self-anointed peninsular hero Larry Ellison managed to nail to a coffee table. Though so far I've not heard if he's actually "violated" it (moved it to a different airport...San Martin, maybe, next to the Wings of History Air Museum?). Wonder what the Googlets will do about Larry's precedent on the noise curfew.

'Build us a Death Star, President Obama' demand thousands


Texas nuke'em

At least there'd be a way to deal with secessionist rebel planets, er, states.

World's oldest digital computer successfully reboots

Thumb Down

Not oldest

There's an older, operational machine in Fujitsu's HQ's basement that is older, operational, and with no restoration. You can walk up up to turn it on, and watch it work. Go to Kawasaki and take a look.

Steve Jobs' 'private Apple spaceship' seeks public love



I call it the applitron.

Bike paths, huh?

My San Jose councilman says he installed 200 Led streetlights in order to get my vote.

Who'd you pick? San Jose or Cupertino.

How Jobs bent reality with LSD, Apple hype


Jobs showed up at our microP labs in the late 80's. He asks, "Just drop the FPU and I'll buy it for $50". Veep: "No deal".

Sad thing is that objective-C survived.

OpenOffice.org site goes offline, Oracle declines to comment


Up now

Web site is up. Move along. Nothing to se here.

Apple picks death not compliance for open source iPhone game


NetHack next?

Hmm, hopefully nethack won't be next.


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