* Posts by cornetman

672 posts • joined 5 Jul 2018


AMD has a lot riding on its 5nm Ryzen 7000 CPUs. And so here begins the hype

cornetman Silver badge

There are some rumours that AMD hasn't completely abandoned the AM4 platform and that there may be additional CPUs for it with Zen4 tech. inside.

AI-friendly patent law needed 'as a matter of national security', ex-USPTO boss says

cornetman Silver badge

> You have been able to patent a recipe for steel for 200years without knowing why adding these particular elements in these ratios give these properties. So patenting a Tensorflow model that can differentiate X from Y if you give it these weightings is no different.

The patent doesn't need to explain why the innovation works, merely contain all the information required for someone else skilled to reproduce it.

The "skilled in the arts" part merely indicates the knowledge and materials available at the time prior to the innovation that would be required as a prerequisite. No-one seriously would claim to be able to reproduce an innovation merely from the patent from first principles, but it must be possible for *someone* to be able to do so with the appropriate amount of domain knowledge that was available at the time. This works because no innovation springs out of nowhere. It is all incremental in some respect, building on what has come before.

cornetman Silver badge

> Thus, changes are needed in the law to allow machine-learning systems to be accepted as novel inventions, it was argued. And being able to patent and protect these inventions encourages businesses to build commercial products, we're further told.

Therein lies the rub, as was hinted at a little in the article.

Patents are (or are supposed to be) a social pact. In exchange for *full* disclosure of the innovation, then a limited monopoly is granted.

The ability for someone skilled in the arts to be able to reproduce the innovation from the patent is built in. Without that, there is no justification for granting the monopoly.

US EV drivers won't be able to choose vehicle safety alert sounds

cornetman Silver badge

> This is not about you. This is about the blind.

It is about everybody that can hear. I'm pretty sure non-blind people will be able to hear these noises as well.

cornetman Silver badge

What with noise pollution being an increasing issue in towns and cities, I was praying for the EV revolution to improve the sound environment for everyone.

Noise pollution is a huge source of stress for a lot of people.

Back when I used to work in a corner office, I remember at 6pm when the air conditioning went off for the night the feeling of an enormous weight being lifted off of my shoulders. The thing is, it wasn't really that noisy, just a low background drone. You just don't know how oppressive low-level noise can be until it is gone.

I understand the problems that they are trying to address, but I really dread what these vehicles are going to be made to sound like.

Anti-piracy messaging may just encourage more piracy

cornetman Silver badge

Re: expect candid and honest analysis from El Reg's journalists

> It reached the point where I would check which articles were written by Andrew Orlowski before deciding which ones to read.

Yeah, his articles read like industry shill. I generally love El Reg for the quality and impartiality of their news but that was a pretty low point. :(

cornetman Silver badge

It just confirms what many of us already knew.

If you have bought a legitimate DVD or Blu-ray then you are a valuable customer. Putting aggressive notices on there that imply you might be a criminal is not the way to encourage brand loyalty. People watching torrented copies are not going to be seeing those notices.

Unfortunately, the kinds of people that want these kind of notices on media are, I suspect, probably sociopaths. They don't understand that to insult your customer is probably not the best strategy.

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Physical media

When we used to get cable (in Canada where we live now), we eventually realised that it was a terrible waste of money. Not only was it expensive, but there wasn't very much worth watching that we couldn't stream for a lot less and you *still* had to watch a load of ads every 5 minutes (yes, really every 5 minutes). In reality, the only person using it was our youngest kid watching The Simpsons.

So I made a deal with him: if I cancel the cable, with the money we save I will buy you the DVD sets of The Simpsons so you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want (and we would end up having all the bonus material, such as the commentary soundtracks in addition). It was a great deal: we saved a ton of moolah.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Waste of money

> Since the advent of commercial TV in the UK, and more recently the subscription model, the quality of TV shows has declined massively to the point where I have hundreds of TV channels at my fingertips and I have no interest in watching 99.9% of them,

This was predicted before the advent of digital TV in the UK. The rot really started well before then with Channel 5. I stopped watching pretty much all terrestrial TV in the UK. Multiply up the number of channels and divide down the quality of what is presented. It's all a load of b*llocks.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: One Ring to rule them all ...

It could potentially turn into a form of the "tragedy of the commons" where everyone greedily dilutes the available markets, in turn making all streaming services lose. There has to be a limit to the number of services that people will subscribe to.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Physical media

This is me almost completely. I do watch a lot of stuff via streaming services, much of it stuff that I would only be interested to watch once so it works out quite well. However, some of it I would appreciate having backups of because I watch them over and over.

The one thing that worries me is that in many cases now, there are never releases onto DVD, Blu-ray or CD so pirating becomes the only option for fairly guaranteed future viewing.

I'm big into k-drama and to a lesser extent c-drama, having been largely introduced to it via Netflix. In South Korea, they are almost completely media-free: everyone streams, and Blu-rays/DVDs/CDs are only ever produced for the most popular programs and if there is enough declared demand.

It does worry me. A lot of our culture is in danger of rapidly becoming inaccessible (or worse, lost) unless something radical is done with copyright.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Now 100,000kg smaller

cornetman Silver badge

Are we not doing this also? There are big pushes in most western countries to reduce or eliminate single use plastics. In many cases, plastic is being replaced by paper or card products.

I applaud them for taking this initiative. I agree that doing this alone is not the answer, but we are getting there. Solving the problem of plastic waste pollution is like turning an enormous oil tanker. The problem is massive and won't be solved quickly.

Even robots have the right to learn from open source

cornetman Silver badge

As has been answered above, whether or not making making money from an author's code depends on the opinion of the author, and they usually pick a license that reflects their position.

As a contributor myself, I have absolutely no problem in Microsoft (or anyone else) monetising a service which serves up code that I have written for others to use as long as they reflect the license that is granted.

This is primarily about attribution.

The return of GPUs on sale may be tech world's monkey's paw of 2022

cornetman Silver badge

Well it looks like AMD are trying to give us that. NVidia are the worst offenders for this. The power draw of these monsters is disgraceful.

AMD I feel are walking a fine line. They are certainly crowing much about the better efficiency of their cards but they feel that they need to compete with NVidia for the marketing clout so while their cards are reputedly more efficient that NVidia's, they need to compromise a little for performance. The rumour mill is telling us that AMD's next cards will have proper tensor cores but we will have to wait.

I can't wait to see what AMD do later in the year when they release some more cards. The rumours are that NVidia will be pushing out their next generation in Sept/Oct. AMD have been releasing their tech in a more piecemeal fashion.

cornetman Silver badge

Well for one thing, people are fed up of the high prices of GPUs. NVidia have been pushing out only top-tier cards of late that make them the most profit.

There is still a massive hole in the mid to low end and a lot of people sit in that bracket.

AMD and Intel's upcoming APUs that feature really decent on-CPU GPUs might alleviate that demand, particularly on laptops but I do know of quite a few people that would love to splash 200-300 on a fairly decent graphics card. But with NVidia rumoured to be readying another top-tier GPU for almost $3k I'm not holding my breath.

Those shop shelves might be brimming with GPUs but they're not priced for normies that just want to play some games.

Boris Johnson set to step down with tech legacy in tatters

cornetman Silver badge

> Then it budgeted £37 billion for a Test and Trace system

Jesus H Christ. How much?

That must have passed me by while living in a foreign land at the moment.

What could possibly cost that much money? Other than perhaps a small country?

Large Hadron Collider experiment reveals three exotic particles

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Ever get the sense...

> There is a meaningful philosophical question about whether we could ever gather together enough energy to work out how the universe really behaves without needing to destroy the universe itself in doing it.

It could also be true that we could never get to the most elementary particles because the more closely we look, the more we see.

Perhaps there are *no* bottom-level particles and that it's *more fundamental particles* all the way down like some weird quantum Mandelbrot set.

How can we make the VC world less pale and male, Congress wonders

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "a larger or fewer number of entrepreneurs"

> But then how many don't even consider it because of other effects..

Well I'm white and starting a business was the furthest thing from my mind when I graduated. It just never occurred to me. It's just not in our family's DNA.

I know others (my white boss for example) that wouldn't consider anything else, but then he comes from a family where starting your own business is pretty much the default position.

I think the culture that you come from plays an enormous part in your expectations as you grow up. It also helps if your family has a lot of experience and knowledge. If you are surrounded by people that know about accounting, familiarity with business banking, knowing about wholesalers and the like, that would be a huge leg up. I would have to figure all that out from scratch and that's no small thing.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "That doesn't quite match up with the US adult population."

> ...and doesn't select just a minority of "beautiful" and "young" people... and stop the huge women exploitation.

Never going to happen. If you are advertising clothes, you put them on attractive people because that's what sells. People like to see beautiful people: it is human behaviour. It's not just in adverts, it is in real life.

Dove did a series of ads a while ago featuring "real" people. I had a lot of respect for what they were trying to do and it may have worked for them as a novelty but I doubt that it would work generally.

TBH I'm not sure why we would think differently with respect to attractiveness as we do to other attributes that we are born with. The best intellectual jobs are given to the most intelligent people by and large. Would we be that naive to think that the most attractive people wouldn't be doing jobs that benefit from being the most attractive?

cornetman Silver badge

Re: 'what wasn't specifically mentioned'

> Yeah, that's what we meant by: "That doesn't quite match up with the US adult population."

Gotcha, and perhaps I should have been more clear that I wasn't criticizing the article, but the committees' comments.

> ...whether it's too much or too little.

I guess it is subjective as to whether or not it is too much or too little. If a particular ethnic culture has a propensity for producing a larger or fewer number of entrepreneurs then we should expect more or less representation in the figures.

I suspect that the truth is complex and involves a number of factors in varying magnitudes including racial bias on the part of the investors and the cultural underpinnings of the racial groups. As I indicated below, that Asians are punching well above their population weight in terms of successful funding scorns the simplistic idea that this is all about pro-white bias.

I still find it bizarre that some people believe that domination by white people in these areas in a country that is majority white is somehow strange or unexpected. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

cornetman Silver badge

Re: 'what wasn't specifically mentioned'

> If Asian-Americans re over represented then they obviously don't count as a minority. So minorities are still underrepresented

Any race that accounts for just 5.6% of the population is, by definition, a minority.

The fact that whites are the majority is just a function if their proportionate population in the country. What is significant if we want to examine what we might call "bias" (although that term is rather begging the question) is the difference as a proportion of their base population. For whites, this would be about 25% higher representation, whereas for Asians this is about 300%. That difference is enormous, which is why I question the leading point about whiteness and maleness.

The real story here is why Asians are massively over-represented compared to all other racial segments. It is probably due to their cultural obsessions with education and preference for family business.

cornetman Silver badge

> Asian founders received 17.7 percent. That doesn't quite match up with the US adult population.

It is interesting that although Asian founders were mentioned here, what wasn't specifically mentioned was that this is well over the proportion of Asians in the US.

Just picking one of a number of references online, we see that Asians account for only 5.6% of the population (in 2019 according to this reference). Asians are not "white".


I am definitely for dealing with the alleged predatory sexual behaviour experienced by people. It's not acceptable.

However, let's not ignore the obvious anti-white bias of the report. According to that same report, white people in the US account for 60.1% as of 2019 so 3/4 is not a million miles away from equal representation. If it was 90+% then I think it would have a fair point. At least some of that low accounting for black people is taken up by the high (x3) representation of Asians.

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Deja vu again

This is only going to become a bigger problem as more battery packs arrive at the scrap yard. Having the space to remove and isolate battery packs from each other lest we see cascading fires is potentially going to be a big problem. :(

Original Acorn Arthur project lead explains RISC OS genesis

cornetman Silver badge

What a great story and something that I knew very little about!

One correction though:

> Tragically you couldn't patent software at that point.

The real tragedy is that anyone was convinced that software patents were a good idea. They are a blight.

AMD to end Threadripper Pro 5000 drought for non-Lenovo PCs

cornetman Silver badge

I think the author's intent in using the term "budget" was clear. Literally, any amount of money is a budget if we have reserved money for something, but it is often used to refer to a lack of significant funds.

Threadripper, while cool, is still a fairly niche product. There are very few applications in the real world that benefit from such a large number of cores. Rendering is the obvious one. If you are running a lot of VMs then that is the other assuming that I/O or memory bandwidth doesn't become your limiting factor.

cornetman Silver badge

> ...but those hoping to build a workstation on a budget may want to check out the latest high-end consumer CPUs from AMD and Intel instead.

The news is a shame, but TBH if you are building to a "budget", you are almost certainly not thinking of building a Threadripper system.

Even the cheapest Threadrippers are pretty dear compared to a comparable Ryzen desktop CPU.

Mind you, looking on AliExpress, I see that you can pick up a 2950X for CAD $601. Probably a second hand CPU but at least it is sub $1000 and gives you 32-threads.

Former AMD chip architect says it was wrong to can Arm project

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Low bus factor

> I wonder if his leaving is a underlying cause of why AMD hasn't been such a CPU powerhouse recently... just a SWAG.

Not sure where you've been for the last 3-4 years. AMD are destroying Intel in various spaces.

My suspicion is that the secret to Lisa Su's success with AMD have been due to the following factors:

1. Laser focus on important tech areas that advance their portfolio in meaningful ways. The dropping of ARM might be related to avoid stretching their R&D resources too thin. AMD are a big company but they are still dwarfed by the likes of Intel. They surely cannot be as diverse as Intel. I also think this is the reason in part why their Radeon group has been so slow initially. I know that lots of people were really disappointed with early offerings on the graphical side.

2. Slow yet merciless execution with a clear 5-10 year plan.

3. Key strategic partnerships with key players. Keeping their foot in the door with Microsoft and Sony must have been a great money spinner for AMD, getting them through the lean periods during key development phases.

AMD have a lot of loyal fans due to their underdog status. I try to choose AMD over Intel because I hate the shady practices of Intel in the past and I think that honest, steady, hard-working face resonates with a lot of consumers. It certainly does with me.

Bill Gates says NFTs '100% based on greater fool theory' amid crypto cataclysm

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Never heard of the "Greater Fool Theory"...

Another example of this idea:


512 disk drives later, Floppotron computer hardware orchestra hits v3.0

cornetman Silver badge

Not sure why you think this. I have been a fan of these sorts of thing for a very long time, this being my favourite and I commend it you:


I merely take issue with that specific assertion.

As for availability of floppy drives, they are poor quality but absolutely still being made although they almost exclusively have USB interfaces. Not having the old-style interface makes it harder to interface with directly in the typical way, sure, but not impossible.

Scanners have declined in utility by quite a significant margin but many manufacturers are still making them. They have rarely had common interfaces that could be manipulated in a musical way like the older style floppy drive. Instead their hardware is interfaced more directly.

cornetman Silver badge

> "The floppy disk drives as well as the scanners are getting more difficult to find as hardly anyone uses them today and they are no longer manufactured. If nobody needs them today, most of them may up in the junkyards."

Both floppy drives and scanners are still manufactured and scanners are still very much in demand. Not sure where he gets that idea from.

They might not be as modifiable as the older generations, but that statement is complete nonsense.

Japan makes online insults a crime that can earn a year in jail

cornetman Silver badge

Re: someone making a mean comment

We should also consider the cumulative effect of many comments which might in isolation be considered fairly innocuous.

To someone that is sensitive to their appearance, they might be able to shrug off one idle back-handed comment. However, if you are faced with a barrage of the same, the social effect is amplified. Was just thinking about this recently after watching the k-drama "True Beauty" which sort of light-heartedly tries to deal with just this kind of thing.

I honestly don't know what the answer to that is. Perhaps one might be to remove teenagers from the Internet and texting apps entirely or come up with some way to make such comments very visible to society at large. Many of these taunting tirades survive detection because they are largely hidden as much of bullying is.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: I approve

> And we'd still have freedom of speech. What you wouldn't have is freedom from consequences.

"Stand still or I will shoot you. You are free to walk away though."

cornetman Silver badge

Re: I approve

> Free speech does not mean free of consequence.

If the "consequence" is being killed or being thrown in jail, are you really free though?

That's a very high bar you are setting. By that thinking, the only way someone's freedom to speak could be curtailed would be to have their mouth sewn shut or their vocal chords removed.

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Help! I'm surrounded by p zombies! My silicion consciousness is the only truly consciousness!

I think that the interesting aspect of this debate of when we will have true sentience in an AI is whether or not it will be recognised as a "breakthrough" at some specified time or if it will gradually emerge on a spectrum and we will only realise in retrospect.

I think most people when they think about the question assume that at some point we will figure out how to add the "special sauce" and then the job will be done.

I'm inclined to think that the approach will be subtle and gradual and most people won't even notice.

The other question that interests me is "would that sentient AI look so foreign to us that we wouldn't even recognise it for what it is?".

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035

cornetman Silver badge

Re: In other words...

In 20 years, battery tech is going to be in a completely different universe compared to now.

I expect batteries to be cheap, have largely solved the deterioration problem, and porting new batteries to old vehicles is going to be big, independent business.

Honestly, I don't understand why commenters think that the tech and industry are going to stand still. 20 years is a *long, long* time. It's difficult enough to make predictions in 5 years, never mind 20.

cornetman Silver badge

I don't think that 2035 is at all ambitious. Considering that we just went through 2 years of pandemic madness, the transformation of the world in Ukraine has created enormous social interest in moving to EVs. The problem is supply of vehicles and again that situation is changing rapidly. Stocks are still low but models are coming out left, right and centre. The pace of change is quite frankly staggering.

Honestly, I give it 5 or 6 years and it will be all over.

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Charge the chargers

God I absolutely can relate to this.

When we moved into a place some years ago, there wasn't much in the way of electrical outlets, but there was one in the kitchen. So the first thing we needed to do was put the kettle on for a quick brew. Cue: "What's that burning smell?".

Turns out that the socket buried in the wall re-emerged below behind the fridge into a choc block connector, which was also wired into the same connector....poorly. The connector was charred and on fire.

Why chasing the AI dragon may force big tech to take sustainability seriously

cornetman Silver badge

While I accept that some Data Centre endeavours are probably inefficient and unnecessary, I do take issue with the assertion that data centres that consume large amounts of power are necessarily inefficient or bad for the environment compared to the alternatives.

Many companies are going to off-premise computing solutions as a cost/power alternative to on-premise. Aggregating computing in this manner is absolutely more efficient and better for the planet than every company having their own computing facility. The real measure is not the amount of power that the data centres consume, but what the alternatives would look like.

It might seem superficially awful to look at the electricity bill of a Google/Azure/Amazon node, but when aggregated over the huge geographical that it is typically serving, such an analysis is extremely naive.

Tim Hortons collected location data constantly, without consent, report finds

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Also..

As a current resident of the Vancouver/Lower mainland I have to say that compared to Starbucks (which are pretty much on every corner), I do find that pretty much all the Timmies that I have been into seem very low-rent, scruffy and dirty.

Not really sure why that is. It just seems that the Starbucks places are better maintained and cleaner. They just feel like nicer places to be in.

Intel offers GPU management tool ahead of Ponte Vecchio debut

cornetman Silver badge

> The company has invested heavily to improve the power efficiency of its chips, and earlier this month unveiled a $700 million “mega lab” to investigate novel liquid-cooling tech, including immersion cooling.

Better for them to invest in more efficient hardware rather than elaborate cooling methods. Intel have seemed more keen to pump up frequencies to score pointless marketing points against AMD in the past.

Everyone knows that the real economics in the data centre revolve around electricity draw, Intel would do better to stop with the willy-waving and work harder on efficiency. At least AMD seem to know which side their bread is buttered: https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/30/us_frontier_supercomputer_ousts_japans/

US fears China may have ten exascale systems by 2025

cornetman Silver badge

If the US are that fearful, then perhaps they could stump up a bit of money to buy some. Christ, it's not like it would make much of a dent in the federal budget in the face of everything else that's going on. It would be a rounding error in their military budget.

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Not that unreasonable

The economic issue has two facets:

1) Selecting the correct gear to keep the engine in its most economic rev range

2) Slippage that doesn't exist in a manual transmission, that is inherent in a traditional automatic with a fluid link. CV transmissions are a little different because there is no fluid link.

Sure intelligent gear changing *can* be more efficient than a manual driver. The basic design issues are harder to account for though.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Not that unreasonable

That was quite funny and uncomfortably apt.

Elon Musk 'violated' Twitter NDA over bot-check sample size

cornetman Silver badge

Well I did say that the analogy was poor.

Precision gives the illusion of accuracy which is what I was trying for. Merely asserting that the sample is "very random" sounds superficially convincing in the same that high precision looks superficially like high accuracy.

I think that you are over-thinking it.

cornetman Silver badge

Your are only partly right. If the sample is truly random then *if* it reflects the population then it should be accurate. However, the sample size affects your confidence that it does and in a way that we can calculate. If the sample size is very small then the confidence is also small. The likely variance makes the practical usefulness of the result meaningless. I think that this is what the original commentator meant. It is a little like the difference between accuracy and precision, albeit a poor analogy.

The way you choose the sample is important, sure, but the sample size is also extremely significant.

AMD approaches '30%' x86 CPU market share, thanks to servers 'n' laptops

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Laptops

The more recent low-power mobile CPUs from AMD (such as the 4800H and 5800H) completely destroy Intel in terms of power draw, both 8 core, 16 thread CPUs.

Netflix to crack down on account sharing, offer ad-laden cheaper options

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Netflix is over

> A lot of shareholders saw the results and decided to sell. That's how a market works.

I think the poster was referring to the shareholder panic. I don't think he was implying that someone somewhere has a lever which controls the price.

cornetman Silver badge

If I'm paying for it, I had better not be seeing ads. If it's free, fair enough.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Netflix is over

> ...so I can watch Roger Moore play an Epstein impersonator. Kinda interesting seeing what was socially acceptable then compared to now.

I don't think being given permission to arbitrarily kill people was all *that* acceptable back then. I guess it was seen as a necessary evil. :shrug:

As for Epstein impersonator, I don't remember Bond engaging in trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls. Which film was that?

Are we springing into a Y2K-class nightmare?

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Shillings

> ...1 shilling and 2 shilling coins remained in circulation

Don't forget the sixpence as well, which was kept around for a while, and was worth 2.5p.

After they were withdrawn, many of them were turned into bracelets and necklaces.



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