* Posts by CarbonLifeForm

86 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Sep 2014


India explores blockchain-powered voting but not to enable online elections


So do we know if the idea is to scan the paper audit trail and place the scanned documents in a blockchain?

I suppose that might make tampering with the vote impossible, but if you're a voter, how do you verify now, and what happens to the paper ballots once they are scanned?

EU politely asks if China could stop snaffling IP as precondition for doing business


Re: @TheSkunkyMonk

Holding treasury bills gives China very little "power" over the US.

The bills only give the bearer the right to expect an interest payment. Nothing more. (China can sell them, certaintly, but if they are sold en masse, their value drops.)

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich quits biz after fling with coworker rumbled


Re: Similar thing at HP

It's new puritanism thanks to feminism.

The underlying thought isn't 'how dare you have sex' but rather 'how dare you abuse your power, white chauvinist pig' and yes, the scolds will call it rape due to the power imbalance.

It's not rape legally or in any rational sense of course, but to the Politically Correct crowd, it essentially is viewed as rape.

Hot iron: Knights Landing hits 100 gigaflops in plasma physics benchmark


But you have to refactor your code before you have a prayer of achieving those numbers, which may be months of work.

I'm not an Intel fanboy. But my experience has been that making applications run faster rarely is about making one piece of it go blazing fast.

Most applications I've ever dealt with have been bandwidth limited, and the bandwidth limitation (once you push it out of the CPU or GPU) ends up in the memory, and once you push it out of the memory, it ends up in the mass storage.

So you $pend untold hours refactoring everything to make it run on the GPU because you're seeing this tenfold increase in kernel performance, and then your application is only 15% faster because the real problem is the connection between the supercomputer and mass storage.

Then you use one of these chips gets from Intel and maybe you only get 7% better, but you barely had to do any work in comparison other than make sure that you're vectorizing and stuff by looking at what the silly compiler is telling you.

And you notice the problem with the mass storage earlier and address it anyway!

Republican tax bill ready to rescue hard-up tech giants, struggling rich


Re: I don't get it

The rich arent also just rich guys and gals spending their money on luxuries. Many of them own business. CBS ran a study on three families - single mother, dual income no kids college professors, and another couple who owned a company.

All got money back of course. The single mom's refund was the size of her paycheck ( she assumed she'd be owing more, not getting a paycheck sized bonus).

The DINKS got O (1000) dollars back, think 3K.

The business owner couple got 25K.

Horrors. Damn rich people. But these aren't idle rich people like the Kardashians. They owned i think a construction company. They were deeply shocked, as like everyone there it had been carefully explained to them by our media that the tax cut would raise taxes, on all except the true idle rich, because Trump.

So the couple decided to build a money pit and wallow in gold bullion a la Scrooge McDuck.


Our following of *idle* rich pseudo aristocrats has programmed us to expect all rich people are wankers who blow their money on stupid s%1t.

They looked at each other and said 'we can actually do that expansion.

But they must've lied for the camera. Money Pit!!!!

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen


Land is finite (unless you build up, or move offworld!). But resources and land are not identical. People are a resource too.

I do understand your point, and it is true that the market rewards efficiency, hard work, luck, preparation, and capital, but the scarcity argument has been deployed many, many times and has yet to work. It just seems Malthusians and neo-Malthusians for example (not saying you are one!) are forever positing a catastrophe whose deadline is fast approaching, yet never seems to come true.

Look at the famines of the 20th century, and a true lack of food was almost never their cause.

TRUMP SCANDAL! No, not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one.


The leaking scandals seem to be from Obama holdovers. Other scandals seem manufactured outrage.


Re: Weird.

Oddly enough that terrorist' s sympathies leaned left by all accounts. .

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


Re: Can they context-switch?

Loading the data onto accelerators such as FPGAs and GPUs usually is the limiting factor in practical usage of this kind of hardware. Yes context switching must occur too, bit that is essentially data switching of metadata.

Xeon Phight! Phight! Phight! Nvidia says Intel cheated benchmarks


Intel does have a habit of cooking benchmark numbers and playing fast and loose with rules.

This is absolutely not surprising.

Ancient radioactive tree rings could rip up the history books


So I'm confused. Do these "cosmic irradiation events" mess up other radiological dating, or not? You don't have to believe in a young earth to have healthy skepticism regarding some of our dating methods - an error of a century in antiquity can lead to gross errors in perception regarding chronology of events.

If archaeologists two thousand years hence screw up and think that WWII occurred in 2000, (only a 60 year difference) they'd be hard pressed to prove it happened, and might consider it a "legendary war", like the Trojan War was once thought to have been.

WD: Resistance is not futile


I agree that without firm dates, all we have here is tactical vaporware - maybe meant to soak up some PR oxygen from the competition.

Dear El Reg: a bit more hard-nosed next time, please??

Otherwise you're just acting as PR conduits.

Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out


Re: If Oracle win... what then?

It's in their eventual interest to reach a settlement.

But I expect Google wants to pay much much much less than Oracle is going to want them to pay.

If Oracle said - hey, how about a dollar per line of code you copied - this would be over in a second.

But I expect it's more like "you've made X dollars off the Android platform over the years, and would have likely been unable to do so without our stolen IP. Hence, how about you pay us X % of the revenue accruing from worldwide sale of Android devices?" And out come the man-eating lawyers.

I'm sure the figures involved are enormous.

Israeli researcher fans fears: here's another way to cross the airgap


Just pump loud music onto the IT floor?

Humans – 1 Robots – 0: Mercedes deautomates production lines


It could've been a preordained conclusion

I wonder if the numbers were cooked a bit? If you want (as a company/polity/nation) to hire more people, and burly union guys are eyeing the automation salesman with barely concealed truncheons ;-) you can structure the factory job descriptions to make them harder to automate - and create a study to confirm the preordained conclusion.

Thus, Upper Management gets presented the result they subtly indicated they wanted ("robots can't do these jobs! We have maths on PowerPoint slides!"), local pols are happy, burly union guys put down the truncheons...

I'm not saying I know that is what *did* happen; but it's certainly a plausible reason why a highly unionized country might buck an automation trend which has been continuing worldwide for decades.

First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds


Re: Nonsense

Clever but he was provably wrong even by the science of his time. The fact that he was important did not mean that he understood the physics even of his today. Godard was told that Rockets cannot work in a vacuum by I believe the New York Times. They too were probably wrong by the science of their time and of centuries before. Just because important people don't understand physics and make boneheaded pronouncements about impossibilities does not mean that every time somebody mentions physics and call something impossible or impractical they are wrong.

But in many ways that is beside the point. There is nothing about the hyperloop that is physically impossible. But it is a vacuum and that has engineering and logistical and safety considerations. It is accelerating *very quickly*. and we understand very well the physical ramifications of that. It also falls prey to amdahl's law, which in this case means speeding up a portion of a trip a lot just not necessarily improve the overall trip time all that much.

Ultra-cool dwarf throws planetary party


Re: Fusion?

Is non hydrogen fusion known to happen in celestial bodies that have not been stars fusing hydrogen before? Our own star will start fusing other things as it gets older, but of course it started with hydrogen.


Re: How old is that system / how long does an ultra cool dwarf last?

The bottom of our oceans gives clues as to what dark side inhabitants of these planets might look like and their food chain. In fact, it may be less of a strict separator than we think. Some creatures might require sunlight and stay in light, some abhor it and stay in dark, and some may go back and forth. Like deep water vent ecosystems.

AMD accuses Intel of VW-like results fudging


Re: Different benchmarks are different

Yup. The fudged results are used to influence economic decisions, and not just the public's. These benchmarks are used by OEMs to determine whether to build a machine around the latest Intel or AMD offering too. Fudging the results means a slightly less fast, but considerably cheaper chip, will be bypassed for an overpriced Intel chip at design time.

That means hundreds of thousands of laptops using one chip or the other, based on falsified results, and a likely reduced profit margin for the OEM.

The key point is - AMD does not allege that they were faster before and the test was lying about it. Their position is realistic. They admit they are slower. They doubtless will allege however that the test so exaggerated Intel's performance vs AMD that it allowed Intel to fraudulently obtain OEM business and maintain a higher price point than they would've had they been forced to compete.


Re: It's not just AMD saying there's a problem. @ksb1972

There are additional tricks you can pull... if you use the Intel compiler, there was a situation a few years ago where there were multiple flags, all spelled similarly, all of which purportedly enabled AVX instructions. And there were different preambles to these flags, depending on whether the target chip was Intel or AMD.

As it turns out, a client I was working with looked at the assembly code produced and realized that depending on the AVX flag you threw, sometimes the resulting assembly code would be mysteriously free of AVX instructions. I was both mortified that Intel did this, and embarrassed that I hadn't thought of it.

Guess which AVX flag was publicized in Intel's Developer zone? The one that produced *no AVX instructions on an AMD chip*. Why?

I can only speculate :-), but when you are a company evaluating AMD chips and using the Intel compiler, you will likely look at the documentation, throw the switch and - oh look, AMD slow. Oh look, Intel fast. And plausible deniability obtains, because there *are* flags which work for both.

"Look how much faster Intel is. We really should stay with best of breed."

Boffins: There's a ninth planet out there – now we just need to find it


Re: Call it Glenda, after the mascot for Plan[et] 9 From Bell Labs.

How about Tellus? Though that's usually associated with the Earth, it's a nice, non-flippant name.


Re: If Pluto is taken.

Big, beefy planet, wandering away from the other gods. Herakles.

Or we could go with with Hera, Jupiter's wife. Or Minerva.


Re: Call it Glenda, after the mascot for Plan[et] 9 From Bell Labs.

Also "Tellus', if you're in a EE Doc Smith frame of mind.

Chinese boffins grow new eye lenses using stem cells


You may want to research miraculous cures with no medical explanation. Far, far, more than you're giving credit for here with zero...

Facts and figures are not as clear cut as your bon mot. No, prayer does not always work. Neither does science.:-)


From the article:

"The work isolates lens epithelial stem or progenitor cells and preserves them in a surgical method that allows cataracts to be extracted."

They went to lens epithelial cells, and embryonic stem cells have not differentiated sufficiently to be called lens anything. So it sounds like it's non-embryonic, and possibly even self-donated.

That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done


Re: Bah!

True, and/or from radioactive decay.

Some people even claim that there may be in fact sustained fission reactions occurring near the Earth's core, not just radioactive decay - a fire, not just a smoldering heap. Who knows.

I am a much bigger fan of thorium fission than of fusion. We know how to do thorium, and it is in so many ways a better nuclear fuel than uranium. The perfect should never be the enemy of the good.


Re: Soon...

Copying and or stealing.

Par for the course considering how much IP they pilfer. We pilfer back.

It's all in fun.

Dell traps Microsoft cloud in smaller box


$9000 /month for 400 VMs comes to $22.50 per VM per month.

Really, that's a pretty low monthly outlay. And it would all be internal to a company, one would expect, so those 400 VMs would make the corp's IT staff's life easier. Not a bad price point really.

We survived a five-hour butt-numbing Congress hearing on FBI-Apple ... so you don't have to


Nobody is saying you shouldnt be allowed to have this phone. But should you be allowed to keep your gun away from forensic investigation or fit it with self destruct?

Gopher server revived after 15 years of downtime


Gopher memories

I remember the "Searched all of Gopherspace" missive fondly. I used gopher often for my Ph.D. literature searches.

It may have more applicability now-a-days than the author gives it credit. Being able to search docs worldwide without dealing with the Web's bloviatory excesses does have a certain appeal.

Hook it up to a NoSQL server and see what happens.

$65m write-down, ARM chips ship: A 90-second guide to Planet AMD


Re: I don't think so

That's long been AMD's hope - that the market which gave Intel such a pile of cash is shifting away from Intel and towards lower power chips and instruction sets, so that one day the inflection point will leave Intel with a vanishing market and huge fixed assets and expenses to service.

It may be true in the long term.

Whether it'll be true in the *needed term* for AMD has yet to become clear.

I too expect a big brother to acquire them, and let Intel try to stop them. MSFT does come to mind so they can secure their supply of chips for Xbox (which uses AMD chips), but there are other options.

Hey, Intel and Micron: XPoint is phase-change memory, right? Or is it? Yes. No. Yes


I'm still confused why it's so important to the article writer to prove that it's a duck. If its phase change memory, hurrah. If its not, hurrah. If its vaporware, boo.

Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA


Re: For a guy that claims to be a "businessman"

Thats essentially what Obama did... I spoke to Obama supporters before the first election and their expectations were, shall we say, bizarre. Most of them did not materialize. Guaranteed incomes, an end to actual and perceuved bias, an end to global warming, world peace everywhere. It gets you elected.

American cable giants go bananas after FCC slams broadband rollout


Re: Thanks FCC


Doesn't seem to be the case... Not a Trump supporter mind, but this does seem like a Twitter artifact. He referred to Paris, then Germany.


Re: Thanks FCC


Good news! US broadband speeds are up. Bad news – they're still rubbish


One of my pet peeves

It's really embarrassing, our broadband. My biggest concern is however not improving broadband where it already exists, but rather just getting it into the smaller towns and communities.6

You can go a few dozen km from e. g. Miami and you may find the nearest DSL access point is 20 km away; effective broadband for DSL drops linearly with distance from the access point, so your actual broadband is horrible.

The current setup suffers from being too much corporate socialism. The federal regulators and large telcos are very chummy, and maintain this situation by carving out rent seeking arrangements.

Robotic exoskeleton market to grow 40 per cent a year until 2025


Think differently

While agriculture is certainly a natural application for exoskeletons, there's no reason all crops will continue being harvested in open fields. There's much research and success in growing crops under LED grow lamps. You avoid Malthusian limits from area when you can stack a dozen fields on top of each other in an a hectare. And as your farm looks more like a multilevel factory, your need to trudge about in anything, including an exoskeleton, vanishes.


Re: "...standing, squatting, bending or walking..."

"They're the wrong trousers! And they've gone wrong!"

Windows' authentication 'flaw' exposed in detail


Re: Well, Ain't that dandy!

Visa /= visa...

Who owns space? Looking at the US asteroid-mining act


Re: Let's get real

The act requires that you land there. Can't just do a patent storm type legal thing.


Re: Let's get real

Good point.

I fail to understand the gratuitous hand wringing in the article. If we are going to commercialize space, then filthy lucre will be part of the deal. It would seem extremely unfair to me for a private entity to spend a fortune to wrest value from space, only to be told when the hardware is done well done. It belongs to "humanity", and by humanity I mean Not You.


Re: Really? Harmful contamination? Really?

I expect there's been contamination already. Microbes are much hardier than we thought when this treaty was first created. Interplanetary space isn't an absolute quarantine. And if we explore Mars in person, eventually our germs will make it out, likely in the form of stealth extremeophiles we may not even be aware cane along for the ride.

Voting machine memory stick drama in Georgia sparks scandal, probe


Forms and fraud

One of Houston's esteemed US Representatives for life (Sheila Jackson-Lee) was embarrassed when the Houston Press ( an independent rag, not a Hearst owned paper like the Houston Chronicle) reported on numerous empty warehouses in her district whose addresses was used for voter registrations. While properly this is registration fraud, not voter fraud, the result is similar. And the nature of the voting system is irrelevant in this case - it's the registration and voter validation that is the issue. Our voter cards don't have pictures and aren't even laminated.

AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly


Will red hat and Microsoft be sued next?

Both report AMD's core count. Conspiracy!!


This smells like an Intel financed taxtic

Full disclosure, I worked at AMD during Bulldozer.

If we get into misleading terminology, how often does Intel make clear that a hyperthtreaded core count is double the "real" core count?

The FPU is shared if there are two threads and us then 128 bit wide. If not shared, it us 256 bit wide. For integer workloads, the smaller fpu doesn't matter. For vector it does and you schedule every other core.

Google says Loony broadband balloons are 'nearly perfect'


Re: US? Won't happen

Agree with everything you say, but Google is certainly no stranger to spreading the wealth around for political favors.

Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos


Headline is rather misleading.

If Amazon can have delivery drones, we want them too, says Walmart


No, I don't want to get out of the car

It's not laziness. It's speed and efficiency. Walmart stores are quite large. Just walking about takes a while. Then the bagging, the checkout queue, waking back to the lit, getting turned around, dodging loons on mobiles... It's a lot easier to call ahead with the order, park in a predetermined spot, pop the boot, and wait. An hour affair now reduced to a few minutes. Win.


Re: How on earth will this work?

Good point, and to a Yank, the number sounds about right. High density living is less common.But it certainly exists, and the solution of a common drop off point - say at he front office - may be the ticket.

But the question I think is more important is - what happens when a drone malfunctions and falls on your head?

'Cancer-causing bacon would put a real dampner on processed pig sales'


Then again

They've recently had to walk back some of the anti fat crusade, as its become pretty clear much of the science implicating fat intake and heart disease was based on shaky studies. Also it's been noted that American obesity has gone up as fat content in everything has been ramped down and replaced with sugar.

Wonderful if this will be similar.