Friday, August 29, 2008

Godson CPU to compete with Sun's UltraSPARC T2

The Chinese are not sitting idle. They are planning a 16-core MIPS64 CPU. If it works, it should be a good web server processor. As Sun's open source T2 processor shows, it's a good idea to have simple (less die area) but many cores in server environment.

AMD and Intel's x86 baggage may cause a problem for them. I heard that a lot of wattage is consumed on decoding x86 instructions into RISC like code. And Intel's x86 graphics card idea is a tough sell for programmers.

The problem with Sun is its management. It won $1b from Microsoft, and it went on a spending spree: $4b on StorageTek and then the rest of its cash on MySQL. Much like a teenage kid who got his first pay check, but end up in 4x debt. StorageTek and MySQL buy was like shooting itself in the stomach two times. Now, its market cap is falling below that of Nvidia. With another downturn in the global environment, Sun will not have the cash to feed its people to keep doing their open source projects: Solaris, Java, MySQL and UltraSparc T2.

By the way, I never quite understand the point of open sourcing T2. Those who can't make their CPU won't be interested in the code, those who can will have their own design, and design may be too complicated for students... Maybe Sun just wanted to show its engineers were really smart...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sun Handed Victory in Software Copyright Lawsuit

Another interesting copyright case, a Chinese programmer sued Sun for copyright infringement. Sun purchased 1000 licenses for some software, but made 7000 copies. Sun vowed to cause personal financial problems for the guy and U.S. district judge Martin J. Jenkins and Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte ordered the guy to pay Sun $219,949.00. The judges took issues that the guy also sued two high level Sun executives. What is funny was the poor dude's legal mumbo jumbo:

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

Rhodes v. Robinson, 380 F.3d 1123, 1129 (9th Cir. 2004) (quoting Joseph Heller, Catch-22, at 47 (6th ed. 1976)). Catch-22 is a trap with no way out. The Chinese also setup a online Petition for his copyright appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court of California.

Sun must be very proud, but winning a $200K jackpot won't help improving its market cap, which is falling below that of Nvidia. The only winners seem to be the lawyers, who are normally good at milking female cows.

(Updated August 30)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Redmond King Sends Chinese Hacker to Jail

A Chinese hacker named Hong Lei was arrested during the Beijing Olympics for distributing what was believed to be an "enhanced" version of Windows XP. Apparently, many people are not buying Windows Vista, because Hong Lei's Tomato Garden variety was XP inside with the vanity of Vista. Instead of whipping its incompetent programmers who keep piling up bloated noodle code, the Redmond King decided to take on a more manageable target -- a one man operation which cracked all security measures Microsoft has invented and yet to invent. This time, the vole had the blessings of Chinese armed police. Turned in by Redmond spies, Hong Lei was reportedly dragged away from his computer desk and disappeared from planet earth. Hong's father said he had no idea where the son was, with teary eyes.

But, the Chinese online community is crying foul. They say Bill Gates silently permitted Hong's operations for years, and had effectively put Windows into the public domain. Implied license, laches, estoppel, statute of limitations, case laws -- the Chinese are quick to learn all those American legal hoopla and shell game.

Well, the King can do no wrong, even in China.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Intel's "New" Nehalem Architecture is a Copycat Design

Look at these Intel Nehalem pictures, they look very familiar, do they?

Yes. They are re-arranged AMD opteron die. Intel engineers spent many hours trying to make them look different. So, instead of putting four cores in a 2x2 matrix as in the AMD design, they put them in one row. How creative, those Intel engineers. But I tell them, there is another way of doing it, 4 = 1+3.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nvidia must die

I had all sorts of problems with my desktop PC running Vista, it constantly freezes and randomly crashes, and sometimes, it can't even shutdown... I blamed Microsoft idiots. I could not even right-click within Explorer, the thing would freeze and ask me to restart explorer... Losing so much productivity with my PC, I thought about returning to Windows XP.

But I finally I realized that the main problem is the Nvidia graphics card. The crap is so hot...

Anyway, I now using a ATI HD series card, and everything is smooth.

We all heard about the story that ALL Nvidia graphics cards are bad period