ARMed Servers Going Into Production

“you can now provision hourly, on-demand ARMv8 servers powered by 2 x 48 Cavium SoC’s on Packet. We’re starting with our EWR1 home (New York metro), as well as Sunnyvale and Amsterdam. We’ll add in Tokyo in early December when the facility opens for production customers.
 
The amazing thing about this server (which also features 128 GB of DDR4 RAM and 320 GB of m.2 SSD flash) is the incredibly low cost per core: at $0.50/hr for 96 cores, you’re paying about 1/10th the cost per core (per hour) versus our Intel-based Type 2 machine.”
 
See ARM’ing the World with an ARM64 Bare Metal Server
While some folks waste time and energy deriding ARM CPUs in servers at the same time billions adopt ARM for all kinds of workloads, others quietly go about installing many thousands of ARMed CPUs in their data-centres. It’s all good. The dinosaurs didn’t notice the mice either but we know who inherited Earth… 😉

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

China v USA

“China on Monday revealed its latest supercomputer, a monolithic system with 10.65 million compute cores built entirely with Chinese microprocessors. This follows a U.S. government decision last year to deny China access to Intel’s fastest microprocessors.
 
There is no U.S.-made system that comes close to the performance of China’s new system, the Sunway TaihuLight. Its theoretical peak performance is 124.5 petaflops, according to the latest biannual release today of the world’s Top500 supercomputers. It is the first system to exceed 100 petaflops.China’s Sunway TaihuLight theoretical peak performance is 124.5 petaflops.”
 
See China builds world’s fastest supercomputer without U.S. chips
I’ve been criticized in these pages for planning to go Intel-free. China has been banned from buying Xeons and went ahead building world-class super-computers using home-grown chips. Other countries are using ARMed processors, why not me? I don’t need petaflops. ARM is certainly good enough for my needs. More motherboards/boxes are coming onto the market every month which may be good enough to do my IT.

It will be interesting to see whether Trump continues the “ban” on Xeons to China along with all his other nonsensical attitudes to China. With his imminent trade-wars he may well promote the idea of going Intel-free or at least cutting Intel’s margins around the world.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Enough Talking Already

“France called on Tuesday for an immediate United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Aleppo and said it would press for a U.N. resolution to punish the use of chemical weapons in Syria.”
 
See France wants urgent U.N. Security Council meeting on Aleppo
My uncle used to say if you wanted a cattle-prod to be effective on pigs you have to first hit the animal over the head so it knows you have one… Syria and Russia will not come to a political settlement until they are severely hurt on the battlefield and the budget. Sweeping their planes from the sky would be a start. Punishing their artillery units would be a start. Arming and feeding Aleppo would be a start. Where is the will to end this outrageous crime against humanity?

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 39 Comments

It’s On! Lemaker Cello To Be Available In Time For Christmas.

“LEMAKER SALES 22:30 (2 minutes ago)
 
to me
 
We will kick off the Cello production at the middle of Decemeber.”
 
e-mail from Lemaker in response to my query (“We’ve been waiting many months for the long-ago announced Cello. Is it ever going to happen?”)
Wow! It’s finally happening. Too bad I’ve depleted my annuity for this month buying hardware for my alternator and peanut butter and jam… I may not have the cash to buy a Cello until January but I think it’s worth the wait.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , | 104 Comments

Mining Water On Mars

“Scientists examined part of Mars’ Utopia Planitia region, in the mid-northern latitudes, with the orbiter’s ground-penetrating Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument. Analyses of data from more than 600 overhead passes with the onboard radar instrument reveal a deposit more extensive in area than the state of New Mexico. The deposit ranges in thickness from about 260 feet (80 meters) to about 560 feet (170 meters), with a composition that’s 50 to 85 percent water ice, mixed with dust or larger rocky particles.”
 
See Mars Ice Deposit Holds as Much Water as Lake Superior
Mars is a very inhospitable place by any standard. Just finding oxygen and water is tough there. Finding a large deposit of frozen water may solve both problems. Given enough energy water may be mined and converted to hydrogen and oxygen. It’s a start…

Posted in technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Birds And Bees

“Canada’s health regulator is planning to ban a controversial neonicotinoid pesticide, which it says has contaminated waterways and killed important aquatic insects.”
 
See Health Canada proposes ban on pesticide linked to bee deaths
 
See also Feds move to ban common neonicotinoid insecticide, say use ‘not sustainable’
There is reason to believe banning neonicotinoids in pesticides will help bees survive. Last year I only saw a few bees in my yard despite having thousands of flowers (counting the weeds…). Production of tomatoes did improve a bit but it’s still disappointing. I’m planning to install several nesting blocks for bees to do my part. I rely on bats, birds and beetles to deal with insect pests in my yard. I may use something sticky or netting to protect my hazelnuts when they mature. I may fish in my retirement next year so this may also help the fish in the nearby river who depend in part on insects. It’s all good news.

Posted in food, horticulture, hunting, politics, technology | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Finally! A Buck!

We’ve been hunting many days this season and only today took a buck.

It was pretty easy until the retrieval… We set up at the angle of an “L”-shaped opening with mature poplar on one side and immature poplar on the other. It’s a funnel for deer moving between forage and shelter in the coniferous forest nearby. This was a “bucks-only” season or we would have brought home a deer much sooner. We set up 30 minutes before sunrise and about two hours later the buck moved into the opening about 150 yards away and stopped, looked and listened. A Winchester model 70 in 7mm Remington Magnum spoke, delivering a 175 grain round nosed bullet through the rib-cage. The deer staggered and trotted to the far side of the opening, obviously not under full power.

young buck
 
The scene of the impact showed a lot of blood pouring forth and hair broken off by the bullet. The deer staggered once again before laying down to die within seconds of being shot. He didn’t travel 50 yards.

The 7mm Remington Magnum can do excessive damage to a deer at such close range, so I loaded it down to 7×57 Mauser levels. Even so, the bullet ripped a one inch exit hole and scattered bone chips from a rib on the way in. The load used was

Case Bullet Powder Charge LOA
Winchester, 7mm Rem Mag Hornady 175 RN .284 IMR7828 62 gr 3.28 inch

My preferred recipe: 170 gr RN out of a Mauser 98 (8X57JS)
 
We carried some pointed rounds for longer shots with 175 BTSP and 65 grains of IMR7828 with LOA 3.29 inch. With that, a deer can be killed to 400 yards without adjusting the sights. The RN load is usable to 300 yards but probably best kept under 200 yards. This is powerful medicine for the biggest bucks. I expect we’ll move to lighter bullets sooner or later, to reduce costs and to avoid overkill. I’m thinking of using 139 SP for long shots and the same bullet downloaded and marked for identification for close-in work. I could run green nail-polish in the extraction groove to distinguish them. Those bullets cost 20% less and that matters when one shoots targets in the off season. 140SP is good enough for deer like this.

Shooting and waiting were the easy parts of this adventure. We then had to field-dress the deer and drag it up and down hills over a quarter of a mile. Both of us were dripping sweat and we took turns carrying equipment back to the car and dragging the deer there. It would not fit in the trunk of the car so the lid was tied down with four feet protruding. Now the buck is hanging in the garage all skinned and ready to butcher. We’ll save that for the weekend.

Hunting deer is an ancient ritual and part of our duty to keep the balance of Nature if we suppress natural predators and avoid hitting deer with cars. Agriculture and mild weather the last few winters has caused populations to grow rapidly after some deep snow starved many and delivered many to predators. I expect “bucks only” will not be the rule past one more year or the does will inherit the earth. This buck will supply a good portion of red meat for my family for a year or two. It’s all good.

Posted in firearms, food, hunting | Tagged , | 24 Comments

M$ Sinks On Web-servers

“8.90%”
 
Yes, that’s M$’s share of active sites…
See November 2016 Web Server Survey
I laugh when trolls come to my blog to repeat the lie that M$’s OS is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If that were so, why is M$’s share of web sites half what it was just a few years ago? Could it be that GNU/Linux and Apache/NGINX etc. are less expensive and more reliable??? Yes.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Russia Makes The Right Moves For The Wrong Reasons

“The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Federal Assembly, is working on a law to reduce government dependence on IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. According to Bloomberg, Russian government agencies will be restricted in buying proprietary software, and will have to prefer open source software instead.
 
This step further pushes proprietary vendors out of Russia. Russian companies are increasingly buying software from domestic providers like Diasoft and New Cloud technologies, or deploying open source packages like PostgreSQL and Linux, instead of purchasing licensed packages from companies like Oracle, Autodesk and Siemens.”
 
See Russia kicks out IBM, Microsoft and Oracle
I’ve long advocated that governments prefer FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) simply because it’s the right way to do IT, having total control of the software and saving on licensing fees. Russia made some moves to GNU/Linux years ago to avoid violations of copyright and recently to FLOSS generally because of economic sanctions. Those sanctions are halfhearted like a lot of what Obama did. They represent bans on travel and bank accounts by a list of Russians who likely would not travel to the West in any event. The sanctions could be much tougher, actually hurting Russia’s economy seriously. Perhaps the move to FLOSS is a preemptive measure.

Whatever the motivations, the end result will be the same, a ramping up of utilization of FLOSS in Russia, a good thing. It’s too bad Russia did not make these moves a decade or longer ago which would have caused the move to be completed by now. Too bad Putin isn’t as reasonable in his other dealings with the West.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Security Of FLOSS

“Just like the OpenSSL Heartbleed security hole, once you look at the code, the problem leaps out at you. But, if you don’t look, it just hides there in plain sight. Open-source security only works if you actually read the code.
 
What’s even more annoying, this only works if you’ve encrypted your system partition. Yes, by doing the smart thing of using encryption, you’ve actually opened the door to this attack. Fun!”
 
See Major Linux security hole gapes open
I’ve worked with IT since the 1960s. I’ve seen systems that fell down just idling. I’ve seen systems that were insecure by design. Their creators just didn’t seem to care. I’ve seen systems that were made to get you. Their creators wanted to own your soul. I’ve also used FLOSS. They are secure by design. Their insecurities tend to be inadvertent and occasional. My GNU/Linux system doesn’t have 50K bugs like M$ used to ship… Is it 100% secure? Nope. That’s not possible in the maze of software we run on a desktop system today. However, for the cost of $0 and my time to configure it the way I want, Debian GNU/Linux is a great bargain and far superior to That Other OS with its superb integrationsuperhighway for malware. If GNU/Linux is this good with so few eyes on it, imagine how good it will be when it takes over the world. GNU/Linux is still growing so that will happen sooner or later.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Huge Reset On Debian Release-Critical Bug-Tracking

“2619 release-critical bugs were closed and NONE were opened.”
 
See Release-critical bugs status, Mon Nov 14 12:00:00 UTC 2016
Not sure what happened here. Debian’s release-critical bug count has been high for months with many failures to build from source after changes to GCC and several libraries.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Broken LeMaker Cello Board

“LeMaker has decided to restart production of these boards, even though it still has a communication issue between the processor and PCIe x16 slot. Those who don’t mind, can pre-order it for $299 dollars and because PCIe x16 slot isn’t working, users will get a free heatsink and fan. The PCIe x16 problem, hopefully will be fixed with a firmware sometime in the future.”
 
See Still broken LeMaker Cello board restarts production
#*^^!#@!. The Cello board for which I’ve been waiting months now is apparently going into production, minus a working PCI-e slot. I need that slot to get more SATA ports working for my project. Apparently, they’ve assured themselves the problem is not electrical connectivity but some kind of software/firmware problem. Do I feel lucky???

Sigh. I guess I will hoard my annuity a bit longer before making a “pre-order”.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments