Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Slashback Businesses Apple Science

Slashback: Benchmarks, Sobig, Blob 285

Posted by timothy
from the broadcasting-from-a-new-coast dept.
Slashback is back, with more this time around on NASA's G5 benchmarks, an in-depth look at the Sobig.E virus, an update on the Internet Book List (growing rapidly), the fate of both the Microsoft-purchased Virtual PC and one very unlucky sperm whale, and more. Read on for the details.

A good excuse to file purchase orders, too. Eug writes "Writing in this Ars thread, Craig Hunter of NASA gives details about his much-quoted dual-G5 Power Mac benchmarks listed here. This should answer some of the questions posed around the net about the methodology and potentially the validity of his benchmarks."

The lines between viruses and spam is thin enough already. Joe Stewart writes "There have been a lot of news stories lately about how Sobig and spam are tied together. I actually revealed this in a paper two months ago. Now with the widespread Sobig.e, it seems to have become a topic again. However, the major antivirus companies have once again left out the whole story - most of them currently rate Sobig.e as 'low damage.' This is because they haven't fully understood how the real payload of Sobig.e is delivered. I've written a followup paper describing the entire mechanism that Sobig.e uses to facilitate spam, identity theft and bank fraud. Sobig has evolved, and it is much harder to stop than before."

Is this the beginning of a long goodbye? inertia@yahoo.com writes "Microsoft has updated their Mactopia Web Site to include a section on Virtual PC. It's taken them since February 2003 to do this. On the site, they mention, 'In August 2003, Virtual PC for Mac will be available through standard Microsoft channels of distribution.' So it looks like they aren't killing it after all."

Simplicity itself is a nice ideal. webword writes "Building Accessible Websites by Joe Clark is now available online. As you might recall, Joe was interviewed on Slashdot back in December. Good stuff if you care about accessibility."

Not yet billions and billions served, but getting there. nzilla writes "The Internet Book List, which announced its creation earlier this year on /. has now reached 10,000+ entries and is still going strong. The Internet Book List (IBList) strives to be the IMDb of books. IBList is maintained exclusively by volunteers around the world."

Girlfriends drive strange endeavors. ceejayoz writes "This interesting article on MSNBC.com details the Degree Confluence Project - a project to gather a photographic record of the points on Earth where latitude and longitude lines meet. The article has links to some of the more interesting points. The project's website also has an interesting map showing all the completed confluence points."

We mentioned this project quite some time ago, and it's progressed quite a bit since then.

Uh, sir, you have some blubber on your collar there. Scoria writes "Chilean scientists have determined that a 12-meter mass of flesh discovered recently on a Pacific beach is actually a sperm whale, not an obscure 'giant octopus' as many researchers speculated. Scientists performing research at the Museum of Natural History in Santiago were the first to develop this conclusion after observing the presence of dermal glands unique to the species."

Code that pays tribute to the money in television. mondainx writes "Following(?) in the footsteps of Linksys, Tivo has made their source available for versions 2.0 through 4.0. Get the GPL source here. Sweet!"

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Benchmarks, Sobig, Blob

Comments Filter:
  • by Mshift2x (686015) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:03PM (#6466747)
    First they get hosed when scientist were handing out animal names....now this!
    • Re:Poor Sperm Whales (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xeger (20906) <<slashdot> <at> <tracker.xeger.net>> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:18PM (#6466849) Homepage
      Actually, I've heard it was sailors who first gave the sperm whale its interesting name.

      The sperm whale has a huge reservoir of liquid in its head, with an oily sheen and a translucent, pale white color. The liquid solidifies under pressure (when the whale dives); current scientific thinking has it that the change in the liquid's density helps the whale adjust its buoyancy.

      When early whaling crews first killed one of the beasties and slit it open, they encountered the oily stuff in its head but didn't know what it was....being sex-starved sailors, they jumped to conclusions, called the substance spermaceti, and named the whale after his unique feature: gallons and gallons of sperm in its head!
      • by Anonymous Coward
        In which case, shouldn't it be called semen... uhhh, ok, I guess why given these men were seamen after all....
      • by marko123 (131635) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @09:21PM (#6467217) Homepage
        The Japanese call them Bukake Whales.
    • by bad_fx (493443) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:27PM (#6466912) Journal
      Hey, at least they didn't blow it up. [hackstadt.com]
    • by s20451 (410424)
      How do you think Uranus feels?

      (waits for a goatse link)
  • by Zeddicus_Z (214454) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:04PM (#6466753) Homepage
    ...a shattered bowl of petunias was found close by the splattered sperm whale. Police are treating the death of the petunias as suspicious.
  • VPC (Score:5, Funny)

    by darkov (261309) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:05PM (#6466755)
    '... Virtual PC for Mac will be available through standard Microsoft channels of distribution.' So it looks like they aren't killing it after all.

    No, they're just going to mediocre it to death.
    • Re:VPC (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WatertonMan (550706)
      Actually Microsoft plans on bundling VPC with Office as a kind of "high end" version.

      One can't help but wonder if it will use some of VPC's functions to help port software.

      Doesn't MS-Word actually already run in a semi-interpreted Java-like language they developed back in the early 90's? I seem to recall something like that. Of course I think that Mac Zealot's complaints about MS-Word are vastly overstated. Especially when one compares to to the horrible status of AppleWorks which is a half-heart

      • Try out OpenOffice.org [openoffice.org] for Mac OS X; I've got it, and it works really, really well!
      • Re:VPC (Score:2, Interesting)

        by the argonaut (676260)

        Doesn't MS-Word actually already run in a semi-interpreted Java-like language they developed back in the early 90's?

        If I recall correctly, the whole MS Office suite of apps (or at least the Word/Excel/Powerpoint portion thereof) do fork off from a set of shared code that was the evil incarnation known as Word 5 (or was it 6?) et al. You know, the version most Mac users still refer to in horror as "Office for Windows for Mac". From what I understand, the codebases for the respective platforms are now p

  • From the article in Ars:
    ie, MFLOPS/$ at NASA probably aren't the same as MFLOPS/$ somewhere else

    Well, the funniest statement I could about NASA...
  • IBlist & IMDb (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aeinome (672135) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:07PM (#6466766) Journal
    IMDb really shouldn't be called the Internet Movie Database anymore. They cover TV shows as well. Does this mean the IBList will go beyond books (novels, short stories, etc.) in into "literary works"? (comic books, poems, plays) Just a thought.
    • Re:IBlist & IMDb (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lommer (566164)
      I fail to see why comic books, poems, and plays do not qualify as books. From m-w.com, "book: a set of written, printed, or blank sheets bound together into a volume".

      That to me shows that book does indeed denote the form in which some sort of information is published, and not the nature of the information. Thus, comic books, poems, and plays that are all published in bound dead-tree format qualify, though internet books probably won't.
  • by Valar (167606) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:09PM (#6466783)
    Hm. I wonder how long until some /. arm-chair technologist declares NASA a facist-Mac-worshipping-zealot organization. Maybe he/she will top it off by saying, "Well, if they really do use macs, I have trouble believing they could have possibly landed on the moon."
  • Where is everyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blate (532322) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:10PM (#6466789)
    What I found odd about the confluence points was that almost none of them where in populated areas. It just seems a little strange.

    I guess it just goes to show that no matter how overpopulated the world seems, there is still a lot of wide-open space out there.
    • I guess it just goes to show that no matter how overpopulated the world seems, there is still a lot of wide-open space out there. I agree. I once heard that everyone in the world could fit on Cuba, if they were tightly packed, back-to-back. However, we could all probably comfortably fit on any continent.
      • Give everyone on Earth one square meter of space. That's about enough space to stand, or even sit comfortably. There are roughly 6.3 billion people on Earth. To give everyone 1m^2 would require 6.3x10^9 m^2. This could be accommodated by a square with sides 79,400m long (around 50 miles).

        Cuba's area is 110,860 km^2 [cia.gov], or 1.1x10^11 m^2, which is enough to give each person on Earth a luxurious 17.6m^2 of space, or around 158 sq ft -- about the size of a bathroom or small bedroom.

      • The whole world's population could be moved to Texas and have a population density about that of Tokyo.

        So I hear.
      • by deranged unix nut (20524) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:33PM (#6467598) Homepage
        If I calculated it right, given 724 square feet each, the current world's population could fit in California.

        Let's see, California covers 163707 square miles.
        census.gov reports that the world population clock for 7/1/03 is 6302486693

        6302486693 / 163707 = 38498.57 people per square mile (of california).
        1 mile = 5280 feet
        1 square mile = 27878400 square feet.
        27878400 / 38498.57 = 724.14 square feet per person.

        Although that doesn't give much space for growing food.

        The United States covers 3618770 square miles...

        That puts us at 1741.6 people per square mile, or give each person a measly 16007 square feet. Anyone think that they could be entirely self-sustaining inside of a box 400 feet by 400 feet? Including food production and sewer? That isn't much larger than the average city block.

        Now, this is assuming that the entire world is stuffed into the area of the united states, and all of the area, including Alaska is used, so much of that area is not very habitable.

        Saying that everyone can FIT into a place is much different from saying that we have too large a population for the natural resources to sustain. And the sustainability all depends on how we use those resources....do we buy computers that use 9 square meters of raw materials per ounce of silicon wafer (if I remember right), or do we use products that can be produced with minimal environmental impact?

    • > I guess it just goes to show that no matter how
      > overpopulated the world seems, there is still a
      > lot of wide-open space out there.

      You have an urbanite's notion of "wide-open space".
    • Off of some Overpopulation Myth [linda.net] site: In Mary Pride's book The Way Home, she calculated that you could give every person in the world 2,000 square feet (which is larger than most homes) and everyone would fit into the state of Texas.

      It's an interesting idea that we could handle a lot of people if we had an uber efficient way of getting food.

      • by Eevee (535658) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:15PM (#6467477)

        In Mary Pride's book The Way Home, she calculated that you could give every person in the world 2,000 square feet (which is larger than most homes) and everyone would fit into the state of Texas.

        Yeah, but you'd really, really have to hate everyone in the world to put them all in Texas.

    • Asimov postulated on such a huge population density with his concept of the planet Trantor. In the Foundation series, Trantor is depicted as the former capital of the First Galactic Empire. Its land surface of 200 million sq. km. was, with the exception of the Imperial Palace, entirely encased in metal. It consisted of an enormous megalopolis that stretched deep underground and was home to a population of 40,000,000,000 (40 billion) human inhabitants.

      George Lucas continued the tradition of megaplanets wit
  • Well of course ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperDuG (134989) <beNO@SPAMeclec.tk> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:11PM (#6466808) Homepage Journal
    However, the major antivirus companies have once again left out the whole story - most of them currently rate Sobig.e as 'low damage.'

    Of course they do, they didn't make this one. It's almost obsurd to think that there isn't some tie between anti-virus and virus creators. It may seem a little far fetched, but what better way to keep yourself in business than to make new business. Just like the mob ... some places would call this extortion, here we call it "Virus Protection"... guess if you call it something more than "Protection" it makes it okay.

    The motive behind this virus was simple, spam blocking has actually gotten to be a threat to spammers, so what better way than relaying spam through innocent windows boxes on the internet. Though who knows maybe there's an unmarked envelope of cash sitting waiting for them. Or hell, maybe symantec didn't think they weren't making enough money and decided to take a little something from the spam industry to get a bonus for new sales.

    Just because you pretend to not to see things in the world doesn't mean this world isn't the most evil cruel place immagineable.

    • by groomed (202061)
      If Symantec is anything like any of the companies I've worked for, they are way too busy just attending the regular day-to-day business to invent and distribute new viruses. It's absurd to think that they could be this efficient, releasing new viruses into the wild every couple of months that work this well. Much easier, and probably just as effective, to just throw around some inflated numbers, like claiming billions upon billions in damages and what not.
  • by corebreech (469871) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:12PM (#6466810) Journal
    Virtual PC for Windows is indispensible. I do so many great things with it...
    • running Linux and BSD
    • testing code on different Windows versions
    • having Virtual PC create an entire network of machines on my desktop so I can do network development
    • sandboxing weird code I might get over the Internet
    • justifying having lots and lots of RAM
    • etc.

    If they kill it, or more likely, make it so I can't run non-MS OS's, I will be severely bummed.

    OTOH, if they kill it, I will be tempted to pay the big bucks and go with VMWare and host it using Linux.

    And then deal with the fact that I don't get to play as many games. Sigh.
    • What's wrong with VMware on Windows? I prefer a UNIX system myself, but there's no reason to forget about gaming just to have the equivalent of Virtual PC...
      • You apparently haven't tried running VMWare on a windows host machine lately. It's slow and useless.
        • I disagree. For the past while I have been doing tech support using VMWare running Windows 2000 on a Windows 2000 host. On the guest images I run a VPN client, Office, remote control software (Timbuktu or NetMeeting); works very nicely. The important thing is to have a fast host (of course) and lots of RAM on the host; I have 768MB on the host and usually 192-256MB defined for the guest. With this I can run the 2 guests I need at very good speeds. The thing you want to avoid is dual paging, that is, having
    • If they "kill" it, then just keep using the copy you've got. It'll be awhile (like 6-7 years) before it's not usable on current versions of windows.
  • by jbuilder (81344) <evadnikufesin@gm a i l.com> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:12PM (#6466812)

    "Microsoft has updated their Mactopia Web Site to include a section on Virtual PC. It's taken them since February 2003 to do this.


    From the Connectix Aquisition FAQ: [connectix.com]


    Q: What is the duration of the transition period after this transaction?
    A: The transition period is approximately six months from today (February 20, 2003).


    Imagine that. Microsoft said it would take six months and it took *looking at my calendar* six months! So what was there to complain about?

    Reading comprehension, gang. It's a good thing! Just think, if JWZ had that ability, he wouldn't have had that nasty little toothbrush problem [jwz.org]!!
    • The transition period is approximately six months from today (February 20, 2003). ... Imagine that. Microsoft said it would take six months and it took *looking at my calendar* six months!

      Uhhh, no they did not say they would take six months to update their web site. They said they would take six months to " bringing on board key members of the Connectix team" They also said that Connextix would continue to "sell and support" their stuff for the six months, but the whole page you link too was obviously a

  • Craig does seem to be about as fair as he can be regarding the G5 benchmarks he posted. If you read the whole thread, you will see that he used several different methodologies (compiler options and various compilers, mostly) to optimize both the P4 and G5 code.

    Here are Craig's final numbers, as posted on Ars's website:

    dual G4-1GHz Xserve (single CPU only): 105
    dual G4-1GHz Xserve (both CPUs): 207
    dual G4-1.25GHz PowerMac (single CPU only): 129
    dual G4-1.25GHz PowerMac (both CPUs): 256
    dual G5-2GHz PowerMac (single CPU only): 254
    dual G5-2GHz PowerMac (both CPUs): 498
    single P4 2GHz: 192
    single P4 2.66GHz: 255
    single P4 3.2GHz (extrapolated): 307

    These numbers seem entirely reasonable to me. A single G5/2GHz G5 is approximately equivalent to a single P4/2.66GHz. This rings true to me -- Intel has never been known to squeeze every last bit of performance out of every chip, instead opting to continually push for higher and higher raw MHz. Thus, on a purely MHz/performance basis, Apple wins (as has been the case for years.)

    However, in the dual-processor arena, things get muddier. Intel should have dual 3.4GHz Xeons by the time Apple's G5s are shipping. In raw performance, based on these numbers, the Xeon will have an edge over the G5. Plus, it will be priced lower... I priced a dual Xeon 2.4GHz with 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive for a company that is buying a game server from us, and even with a 1U form factor (which is more expensive than a standard desktop case), the price came to $1705... a bit more than half the cost of the dual G5/2.0GHz. There is no question that the dual Xeon will outperform the G5 both in terms of raw performance and cost. The P4, however, doesn't have much edge over the G5 except for the cost.

    For most of us, who are probably sitting on machines around 1-2GHz, almost all of the machines above, including the P4/2.66 and a single G5, will be a healthy upgrade. Despite Apple's high price point, I for one am happy to see them get back into the game... and I'm happy to see Intel have some real competition. A big thanks to Craig for doing the benchmarks... I'm sure this is just the first of many arguments about which machine is better!
    • The dual Xeon 2.4Ghz you speak of, what are its other features? Firewire? USB2? Serial ATA? What video card? Apple sells a package, so you can't really compare it to that server setup.

      They compared it to a Dell Xeon workstation which I agree with; it had the other peripherals and graphics power that someone doing rendering or other apps may need. For server uses and clustering, it would probably make sense for research orgs and renderfarm owners to wait for XServes, which will hopefully cost less th

      • The dual Xeon 2.4Ghz you speak of, what are its other features? Firewire? USB2? Serial ATA? What video card? Apple sells a package, so you can't really compare it to that server setup.

        Sure you can. The problem with "packages" is that the package is only good if it contains exactly the set of features that you need. It might well be that a machine used for computations doesn't need firewire, usb2, serial ata, or a video card. It probably does need networking (and both the apple and many xeons include gigabi

    • by captain_craptacular (580116) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:46PM (#6467032)
      and I'm happy to see Intel have some real competition

      Not to be a fanboy. But you're implying that AMD hasn't been real competition?

      Seems like for roughly 3 of the last 4 years AMD was stomping Intel on a regular basis. Now they are in a lull between product lines and people completely write them off....
      • AMD had a great product with the Athlon a few years ago, but they never managed to shake off the low-cost hobbyist image and never really competed with Intel for the markets where Intel has traditionally been the strongest, i.e. business & industry.

        AMDs 64 bit offering is an attempt to finally challenge Intel's dominance in those markets, but its very late, and apart from (again) the hobbyists and perhaps a few scientists who are low on funds, nobody is planning to support it (Microsoft? Yeah, right. L
    • by Rura Penthe (154319) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:52PM (#6467060)
      Yes, in scalar FP. If you vectorize this same app then the G5 trounces everything by nearly 10x. Of course only scientific applications (and very few of those at that) can really be vectorized in that fashion. :) But if you're doing vector fluid dynamics calculations you can't beat any machine with Altivec!
    • Craig also said in his paper that the 20% performance advantage the 3.2GHz P4 enjoyed over the G5 could be made up for with G5 specific optimizations made to the Jet3D code. The code tested was basically the G4 savvy version. It is interesting that even using wholly unoptimized code the G5 trounced the G4 and held up pretty well to the P4. Depending on the application I would bet the G5 could keep up with a 3.2GHz P4 in scalar FP math.

      In Vector FP math the G5 is going to mop the floor with just about anyth
  • by rf0 (159958)
    I have to ask how did the whale get in that shape in the first place? Attacked by humans or something more sinister

    Rus
    • Re:Whales (Score:2, Funny)

      by The Bungi (221687)
      Probably signed up for Earthlink, logged into Slashdot and clicked on a goatse link. Heart attack and the rest is blubber.
    • Re:Whales (Score:5, Informative)

      by RollingThunder (88952) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:34PM (#6466966)
      They die, they bloat from rotting, they float for a while (the skin is really tough) until they finally rupture. The fatty chunks that washed up are all that's left by that point.
    • I have to ask how did the whale get in that shape in the first place? Attacked by humans or something more sinister

      I vote for something more sinister. :) It probably died of old age.

  • by jeffy124 (453342) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:21PM (#6466873) Homepage Journal
    AV firms are probably giving that virus a low rating because it lacks damage to the actual computer, meaning it doesnt delete/corrupt data. I think AV companies need to add a "Societal Threat:" field to viruses. In which case sobig is "highly dangerous."
  • IBList Automation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by heli0 (659560) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:21PM (#6466875)
    It seems that for each book they have: Title, Year, Author, Synopsis, Language, ISBN# and Genre. It seems there are already sites out there *cough*Amazon*cough* where a bot could scour this information for millions of titles.
    • Same with IMDb, and look at it.
    • It seems there are already sites out there *cough*Amazon*cough* where a bot could scour this information for millions of titles.

      That almost certinaly would be illegal. See eBay vs. Bidder's Edge for what is probably the closest thing to precedent in this area. (A Google search turns up all you'd need to know.)

      All but the most rabid Slashbot should find this reasonable; compute the cost in bandwidth and processing power to suck down all of Amazon.com's book listings and you'll find it to be decidely non-t
      • Yeah, just that Amazon allows that [amazon.com]. Now, I've only skimmed through the licence agreement [amazon.com], have to hit work asap, but seems that it is allowed, except for the following weird conditions:-

        1) You must link each of the Amazon.com Properties that is displayed on your website to (a) a product detail page of the Amazon.com Website, or (b) any other page of the Amazon.com Website, including the Amazon.com homepage. You may not display any Amazon.com Properties on your website without any link back to a page of t

  • I could care less about VPC for the Mac being updated. What I'm really waiting for is the Entourage update that brings Exchange compatibality.

    After that comes out I'd like to EOL OS 9 and Outlook 2001 at my university and move everybody over to OS X (finally). Plus, perhaps I can convince my boss-man to let me use a mac at work instead of a PC! (crosses fingers)
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:27PM (#6466913)
    Craig Hunter of NASA gives details about his much-quoted dual-G5 Power Mac benchmarks listed here.

    When you read his latest comments he notes that several Fortran compilers gave faulty results, some depending on optimizations selected. THIS IS SCARY, to say the least. Even years ago I knew of C code that broke for no known reason when optimizations were selected.

    What does it take to start a /. article about faulty compilers. This ought to be a big deal.

    • What's the C code that broke for no known reason? Let's get the ball rolling.
      • What's the C code that broke for no known reason? Let's get the ball rolling

        It was a SCADA system running on DEC MIPS-based superminis and Sun workstations some years ago. I no longer have access to that source code. Performance was a problem and some tests I ran showed that full optimization could improve one of them by 2X and the other by 4X, but when the whole system was compiled with optimization it simply didn't run. Like many software projects, there was no time at the moment to track down the fa

  • by chadamir (665725) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:34PM (#6466967) Homepage
    I have a few beefs with the book list that I will air here as I do not see a means to on their site. - No button to submit corrections(I saw tons of mistakes) - Peoples real names were listed as pseduonyms rather than having their fake names as nom de plume and then a separate section for real names. - Books were listed by the year of their most recent printing rather than their original publishing. - The above could have easily been acknowledged but they dont even have a section for this - I saw things miscatogorized as novels that were just individual poems. It's a good endeavor but I don't see how it beats going to amazon and just typing in the authors name.
    • It'll probably get better, given time. It hasn't been open for that long, but if they get enough complaints they'll change something. It just takes time.
    • IMDB started off as a database on three computers with an e-mail interface. It's got better.

      Hopefully this will.

      Actually, the hobbit was listed as 1937. I would think if they were gonna make an IMDB kinda thing, they would have added some more of the cool stuff from the start.
  • that thinks Boot List Order Bug when you see blob?
    (Anyone who knows Microware's OS-9 knows about the BLOB)
  • Virtual PC is just one more reason for too A) buy a windows license (what M$ will probably bundle them, so you can't save money buy using Linux on your VPC) and B) port software to the mac, since people can just use VPC if they want to run it.
    • Microsoft wants Apple to die and mac users to buy Windows based machines instead.

      MS is now making media player an itune clone where they make revunue off every windows desktop. To them your computer is their vending machine. Its best for Microsoft since the whitehouse is in bed with them to kill the mac and raise prices for Windows and Office once all competition is gone.
  • ISBN.nu (Score:5, Informative)

    by autopr0n (534291) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:41PM (#6467009) Homepage Journal
    What about isbn.nu [isbn.nu]? That site's been around for years and does much the same thing as this booklist site.
  • hmmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vilim (615798) <ryan@jabb e r w o c k .ca> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:55PM (#6467083) Homepage
    Hmmm, I recal Douglas Adams saying something about a sperm whale in the middle of nowhere "As they approached the ridge of higher ground they became aware that it seemed to be circular - a crater about a hundred and fifty yards wide. Round the outside of the crater the sloping ground was spattered with black and red lumps. They stopped and looked at a piece. It was wet. It was rubbery. With horror they suddenly realized that it was fresh whalemeat. At the top of the crater's lip they met Zaphod. "Look," he said, pointing into the crater. In the centre lay the exploded carcass of a lonely sperm whale that hadn't lived long enough to be disappointed with its lot. The silence was only disturbed by the slight involuntary spasms of Trillian's throat. "I suppose there's no point in trying to bury it?" murmured Arthur, and then wished he hadn't. Now, the most logical explanation of this, is that in another dimension Earth was actually Magrathea (sp?) and this sperm whale was dropped out of the sky from the Heart of Gold. It then went through time and dimensions to wind up on earth. See, explains it perfectly :p
    • Hey! (Score:3, Funny)

      by chriso11 (254041)
      You forgot to include:
      A reading from the holy book, as written by the prophet Adams, you insenstive clod!

  • VPC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by madsenj37 (612413) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @08:59PM (#6467104)
    Microsoft will not kill off VPC for many reasons. 1. It can sell a licensed copy of Windows with every product. They are a software company, so this is good for them. 2. They can limit VPC to use only windows products. This pushes their software over the competitors. 3. They can discontinue products for the mac and make people use VPC for compatability until they are willing to switch over to their platform. Either way, its Microsoft software they are using. 4.They have a way for people/companies to run older Microsoft OSes inside the new ones ... such as running NT inside of Server 2003.
    • 2. They can limit VPC to use only windows products. This pushes their software over the competitors.

      That alone would kill VPC.
      • Re:VPC (Score:2, Interesting)

        I agree, they can't pull too many tricks with this as a RealPC is returning [fwb.com]. RealPC was as good as Virtual PC up until about release 3 or so of Virtual PC, with a little more work it could be again. This is probably why Microsoft is giving them grief; on the FWB home page they say "FWB has pushed back the release date of its Beta Version of PowerWindows (formerly SoftWindows) later this summer due to issues relating to Microsoft."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2003 @09:02PM (#6467118)
    Chilean scientists have determined that a 12-meter mass
    of flesh discovered recently on a Pacific beach is actually CmdrTaco.

    See [misterhouse.net]
    What [studentplanet.com]
    I [narod.ru]
    Mean? [ispep.cx]
  • by comnenos (689785) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @09:09PM (#6467159)
    On the tivo site [tivo.com], to get a copy of the source code by mail, it gives a mailing address (no phone) and says: "You will be charged a nominal fee for reproduction, shipping and handling costs, as allowed by the GPL." Anybody wonder what that nominal fee is? How would that work, you mail them asking for it, they mail you back, say what it costs, then you mail them? And who decides what a nominal fee is, even? Why not just say code available for $5 or whatever? I realize that the GPL may not say you have to tell people what the "nominal fee" is, but wouldn't that just make everyone's life easier?

    And how would you enforce that part of the GPL in court? This haziness isn't the fault of Tivo, but rather of the FSF. Maybe as far as the company is concerned it takes several hours of labor at $50 an hour to get you that c.d. of code, so would have to pay $300?

    Anyhoo, I think that everyone will just download the code off the website as it's there for free.

  • The IBList (Score:5, Funny)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday July 17, 2003 @09:09PM (#6467160) Homepage Journal
    The Internet Book List, which announced its creation earlier this year on /. has now reached 10,000+ entries and is still going strong.

    The only problem is that 9,500 of the books are about unicorns or elves.

  • IIRC, TiVo has provided source for their GPL-based software from the beginning, or very near it. In any case, they did long before Linksys fessed up to all its usage.

  • dual G4-1GHz Xserve (single CPU only): 105
    dual G4-1GHz Xserve (both CPUs): 207
    dual G4-1.25GHz PowerMac (single CPU only): 129
    dual G4-1.25GHz PowerMac (both CPUs): 256
    dual G5-2GHz PowerMac (single CPU only): 254
    dual G5-2GHz PowerMac (both CPUs): 498 single P4 2GHz: 192 single P4 2.66GHz: 255 single P4 3.2GHz (extrapolated): 307

    Not only did the score of the G5 with both CPUs make me say "Holy shit" out loud in front of my comp (seriously!), but it also kicks the

    • by jdhutchins (559010)
      Well, you have to think about the data for a second. It's basically saying that 2 G5 @ 2GHz are about the same as two P4's, 2.66GHz. That's not much of a biggie. The parts that you have bolded show that you didn't think about it. You're saying that 2 processors kick the butt of one processor. That's not suprising, that's what should have happened.

      Basically, these numbers tell me that for the test run, P4's are roughly equal to a G5. Of course, it's the P4 at 2.66GHz that's equal to the 2GHz G5, but t
      • That is a lie. It is only equal to 2.66 ghz if the compilers on the G5 are not optimized. The compiler was only g4 optimized because that was only available while the p4 version of Fortran was fully optimized.

        Lets wait for better compilers before we judge.

    • by htmlboy (31265)
      dual G5-2GHz PowerMac (both CPUs): 498 single P4 2GHz: 192 single P4 2.66GHz: 255 single P4 3.2GHz (extrapolated): 307
      Not only did the score of the G5 with both CPUs make me say "Holy shit" out loud in front of my comp (seriously!), but it also kicks the piss out of the P4! So, Apple does have one of the fastest machines around!


      so two 2.0 GHz cpus are faster than a single 3.2 GHz cpu? i fail to see why this is surprising.
  • Have we seen the fastest SPEC scores that the G5 can produce? Any tests done other than with gcc?

    Intel has given us SPEC_INT/SPEC_FP of 1261/1267 using ICC for a P4 @ 3.2GHz, can Apple beat it with any compiler?
    • Considering that I doubt gcc is fully optimized for it (and certainly wasn't at the time of that test), the operating system isn't full optimized for it, and 3rd parties (such as Metrowerks) haven't had a chance to play with building a compiler for it, I think it will be a little while before we see "the best it can do."

      Beyond all of that, SPEC is largely irrelevant and has serious design flaws in how it is put together and implemented, but that's irrelevant to the discussion.
  • ...the Orbital Space Plane, which was discussed in this article [slashdot.org], might not have the problems we thought.

    In This Space.com article on Space Shuttle Weather Scrubs [space.com], there's a selection of an interview from NASA's deputy administrator:

    Gregory also dropped a strong hint in Dayton that the so-called Orbital Space Plane, not targeted for 2008, could be a capsule.

    The very name of the program, Gregory cautioned, is not meant to imply that the final design will be a winged vehicle. He also said that the chosen d
  • by Burdell (228580) on Thursday July 17, 2003 @10:41PM (#6467663)
    Both my original Series1 TiVo and my newer Series2 have a section in the manual with the GNU GPL and the URL for their kernel and GNU utilities source. They've been legal from the beginning, unlike Linksys.

    TiVo has been a leader in releasing the required source and a little more; they also provide the compiler toolchain used to build the kernel (which is not required, but a nice touch, since it allows users to easily build additional binaries with the same toolchain).

  • Wrong on Tivo (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Wicked Priest (632846) on Friday July 18, 2003 @11:25AM (#6470941)
    As a couple of posters have pointed out, Tivo has always (or for a long time, anyway) released code under the GPL. I'd just like to add that Tivo is actually getting more restrictive about what you can do with their boxen. The Series 2 Tivos are more difficult to hack than Series 1's, and they're making them even moreso with each software revision.

    Although they give you the source code for the kernel, that doesn't mean that you can change it -- not and still expect your Tivo to work, anyway. The boot PROM (think "BIOS") in the Series 2 checks that the kernel it's booting is signed with Tivo's key. Then, a program in the initrd checks everything on the root partition to see that it's not modified, either. With the initial software that came out with the Series 2, it was possible to get around this by setting BASH_ENV as a kernel option in the drive's boot page, but they "fixed" that in the next revision.

    Now, to hack a Series 2, you have to either stick to old software, play two-card monte with the kernel, or reprogram the PROM -- which requires desoldering it from the motherboard, since it can't be done in software from the Tivo.

    I've done the kmonte thing, and it works well -- in that context, the kernel source is actually useful, since you can boot anything you like as the second kernel. But you still have to devote a couple partitions to the old software (after first getting a copy of it) that allows the BASH_ENV hack. Doubtless this will not work once there's a Tivo Series 3. :-(

    Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but Tivo's GPL'ed software doesn't include the main applications -- the bits that actually handle TV.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

Working...