Weekend tech reading: AMD sued over Bulldozer core count, Comcast caps not about congestion

By Matthew ยท 16 replies
Nov 8, 2015
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  1. AMD sued over allegedly misleading Bulldozer core count It even shows up on the software end that way, with the Bulldozer CPU reporting a full eight cores in system diagnostics. If you'd like to follow the case you can on this site and here is the case information: U.S. District Court For the Northern District of California, San Jose Division Case number 5:15-cv-04922-PSG. Financial Spots

    Beware bad USB-C cables, Google engineer warns -- while naming names An engineer at Google has taken up a personal campaign against non-compliant USB-C adapter cables, warning of potential charging problems or device damage. Benson Leung, who worked on Google’s latest Chromebook Pixel and Pixel C tablet, has been calling out the guilty cables in his reviews on Amazon. PCWorld

    Leaked Comcast talking points admit caps not about congestion As DSLReports was the very first to report, Comcast this week dramatically expanded the company's usage caps into a notable number of new markets. Users in these markets now face 300 GB caps and $10 per 50 GB overage fees, with a few of the "trial" markets getting the option of paying $30 to $35 to bypass the caps entirely. Customers are of course annoyed about the expanding policy, unimpressed with Comcast's claim the new rate hike is about "fairness." DSL Reports (earlier TechSpot coverage)

    What do WebLogic, WebSphere, JBoss, Jenkins, OpenNMS, and your application have in common? This vulnerability. The most underrated, underhyped vulnerability of 2015 has recently come to my attention, and I’m about to bring it to yours. No one gave it a fancy name, there were no press releases, nobody called Mandiant to come put out the fires. In fact, even though proof of concept code was released OVER 9 MONTHS AGO, none of the products mentioned in the title of this post have been patched, along with many more. FoxGlove Security

    Electronic skin feels the heat, hears the sound A new electronic skin can feel the grain of sand paper, the heat and beat of a person's pulse -- and listen to Richard Feynman’s voice, too. Rubbery plastic-and-graphene film mimicking the structure of human skin can detect texture, temperature, pressure and sound, Hyunhyub Ko and colleagues report October 30 in Science Advances. It's the first time anyone has demonstrated an e-skin that can sense so many different kinds of stimuli... Science News

    CIA email hackers return with major law enforcement breach Hackers who broke into the personal email account of CIA Director John Brennan have struck again. This time the group, which goes by the name Crackas With Attitude, says it gained access to an even more important target -- a portal for law enforcement that grants access to arrest records and other sensitive data, including what appears to be a tool for sharing information about active shooters and terrorist events, and a system for real-time chats between law enforcement agents. Wired

    The IBM Power8 Review: Challenging the Intel Xeon Five years. That is how much time has passed since we have seen an affordable server processor that could keep up with or even beat Intel's best Xeons. These days no less than 95% of the server CPUs shipped are Intel Xeons. A few years ago, it looked like ARM servers were going to shake up the market this year, but to cut a long story short, it looks like the IBM POWER8 chip is probably the only viable alternative for the time being. AnandTech

    Memory-boosting devices tested in humans A strategy designed to improve memory by delivering brain stimulation through implanted electrodes is undergoing trials in humans. The US military, which is funding the research, hopes that the approach might help many of the thousands of soldiers who have developed deficits to their long-term memory as a result of head trauma. Nature.com

    How a group of neighbors created their own Internet service When you live somewhere with slow and unreliable Internet access, it usually seems like there’s nothing to do but complain. And that's exactly what residents of Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands in Washington state, were doing in late 2013. Faced with CenturyLink service that was slow and outage-prone, residents gathered at a community potluck and lamented their current connectivity. Ars Technica

    Harvesting more energy from photons Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a way to significantly boost the energy that can be harnessed from sunlight, a finding that could lead to better solar cells or light detectors. The new approach is based on the discovery that unexpected quantum effects increase the number of charge carriers, known as electrons and "holes," that are knocked loose when photons of light of different wavelengths strikes a metal surface coated with a special class of oxide materials known as high-index dielectrics. MIT

    Your lamp or baby monitor is responsible for slow broadband, Ofcom says One in five households is suffering from poor Internet connection because their router is placed too close to a lamp, phone, stereo or baby monitor, the telecoms watchdog warns. Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom, says many homes receive a fast broadband connection through their phone line, only for the signal to be hit by "interference" on its way to a computer or tablet. Telegraph

    The decay of Twitter On Tuesday, Twitter Inc. announced another dreary set of quarterly earnings. While the company beat investor expectations, it's still running at a loss of $132 million after taxes. Its fourth-quarter projections seem low. Worst of all, its namesake product has essentially failed to add any active American users in 2015. Twitter stock fell more than 10 percent after the announcement. The Atlantic

    The man who made 'the world's first personal computer' When the definitive history of the personal computer is written, familiar and historic names such as Olivetti, Apple, IBM, will all be given recognition for their innovations of the 1960s and 1970s. But will future generations remember visionary John Blankenbaker, and his ground-breaking invention, the Kenbak-1 Digital Computer? It was a machine that first went on sale in 1971 and is considered to have been the world's first "commercially available personal computer"... BBC

    Ocean-mapping robots could help uncover mysteries of the Deep Blue A swarm of pumpkin-shaped robots is being developed to map oceans, gathering maritime data for use in tourism, reef monitoring and anti-terrorism among other applications. The Eve robot -- or Ellipsodial Vehicle for Exploration – was created by Sampriti Bhattacharyya, a robotics engineer at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT). The Stack

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  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,324   +1,421

    My i7 shows up as an 8 core in software, why is AMD getting sused over it? AMDs design is arguably closer to 8 cores than Intels hyper threading.
    Evernessince likes this.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    You mean your 4-core shows up in the Task Manager as 8 logical cores? Intel don't advertise four cores as eight cores. The crux of the lawsuit is that some guy reckons that his FX-4xxx/-6xxx/-8xxx/-9xxx is shown as a 2/3/4 core (Not sure which SKU he bought) with 4/6/8 logical cores. His argument seems to be that AMD's shared resources within each module doesn't constitute 2 actual cores per module.

    I'm not too sure of his chances of success. I don't recall any definition of a CPU core that requires one floating point operation per clock cycle. The architecture is a bit of a dog's breakfast, but I don't recall AMD being anything less than up front about the limitations of shared FPUs (for example)...although their obfuscation regarding pipeline length, cache latency and branch misprediction penalties are a different matter - shady from a marketing standpoint (AMD are hardly alone there), but not actionable via lawsuit IMO.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,038

    I haven't seen a quad-core Core i7 desktop system being advertised as having an 8-core processor, I have seen plenty of FX systems being advertised as including an 8-core processor. This is the issue.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,324   +1,421

    Well it use to show up in CPU-z as 8 cores but I just tested that and it does correctly identify my i7 as 4 cores.

    There are 8 physical cores in an AMD CPU, you can count them. It doesn't matter if the cores are paired together in modules, there are 8 of what AMD is calling cores.
    Evernessince likes this.
  6. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Well, what you could have seen in CPU-Z wouldn't stand as Intel's official word. Since Nehalem, the [consumer, non-Extreme] Core i7 has been advertised as a quad-core; and you will always see in the spec sheets 4 cores-8 threads.

    Leaving that behind, I find this lawsuit stupid. Like @dividebyzero said: a CPU core definition doesn't mandate FPU capabilities. In the 8086 era and until the 486 the FPU wasn't a mandate. Later will some sue for shared cache?
    Evernessince and Steve like this.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,017   +2,546

    The software is probably more at fault for that than Intel. I used to use "S.I.W." (system information for Windows). The free version was discontinued. As a consequence, the last free versions I have, give pretty screwed up readings on my Sandy & Ivy systems. So, CPU-Z was most likely updated, and your current data would seem to substantiate that.
    Americans don't do much more than sue for a living these days, so this shouldn't come as much of surprise. You would make a good "attorney for the defense" though... (y)
    Evernessince and Steve like this.
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,665   +1,950

    If you open Task Manager in Windows 10, tab Performance, then for an i7 quad-core it says:

    • Cores: 4
    • Logical processors: 8

    For an AMD system with advertised 8-core processors it says:

    • Cores: 8
    • Logical processors: 8

    It does look like a deceptive practice, considering AMD is advertising it as a "real" 8-core system.
    Steve likes this.
  9. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    Yeah I saw my FX6300 on the Windows Resource Monitor and it says very clearly: 3 cores, 6 threads. And I did buy a 6 core processor as it says on the title AND description in here for example.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,017   +2,546

    In all honesty, it only costs $100.00. I'm not sure how much truth in advertising you're entitled to at that price point.

    Just sit around some night and watch the advertising on OTA television. The lies and the effrontery to even those possessing less than moderate intelligence, is enough to make you want to kick the screen in. But then you'd have to put on your hip waders and trudge through another river basin full of Madison avenue's bull crap trying to make a decision about which TV brand to replace it with.

    Recently, I found out that the common house cat is descended from a lynx, (or so says "Blue Wilderness" pet foods), and buying a new Cadillac, is "an opportunity which you're being afforded". (and yes the "afforded" pun was quite intentional).

    So when you "come right down to it" (*), it, "depends on what you define as "sex", as to whether or not, your CPU has 3 or 6 cores. Being a pessimist, I say the task manager is "half full", and despite the fact there was, "no penetration at the point of purchase", I still got screwed anyway. Whereas an AMD fanboi might tell you that it's "all full", and that an AMD 1/2 (a**) core is worth more than an Intel, "thread", whatever the heck that is.

    And remember, moving forward with AMD, you have nothing to fear but the electric bill itself.

    (*) "Down to it", a "pun-uendo" get it? Bill Clinton would be so proud of me...:cool:

    Just out of curiosity, who thinks any of my references in the above post, would or should make sense to someone under 40?
    Matthew and coolazeem like this.
  11. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Haha, talking about deceptive: in my country there's an eBay-like site for selling new and used things called MercadoLibre [it exists for almost if not all spanish-speaking countries], and that is the finest example of deceptive and misleading. If you have an FX-8350, it will be advertised as a 32 GHz (4 GHz * 8 cores) octa-core CPU; "effectively" being "totally superior" to anything Intel has to offer at that price point.
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    I guess the question is then who should you be suing? M$ for telling you that your 6-core is really 3-cores with 6-threads or AMD for telling you that your 6-core is a 6-core with 6-threads? To me, it sounds like M$ is just being lazy as identifying an AMD CPU as having 6-cores and 6-threads would require additional work to differentiate between Intel and AMD cpus.

    Like dividebyzero says, back in the days FPUs were not included with the processor. Take the 386 series for instance. Personally, I think AMD has been straight forward about the fact that bulldozer shares an FPU between two cores. The FPU is only required for floating-point calculations which are the minority of scenarios where a CPU is used..
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    I'm not sure, I understand both points though. Would probably have to get into the bios to check it out.

    Anyhow, even at the price point, it should be really clear what they are selling.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    The only way this will stand, is if AMD's lawyers are preschoolers.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,017   +2,546

    By the way, did you know that women who was the CEO of AMD, was a witch? It must have been witchcraft, the way she turned 2 black kittens into 4 roaring lions. How do you want to proceed? I say we call the magistrate and hunt her down, then let him decide whether we draw and quarter her, tar and feather her, or, (my personal favorite), burn her at the stake!:p
    Kibaruk likes this.
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    She's already undergoing trial. Thrown into a pool of red ink weighted down by senior notes. If she sinks she obviously has no more craft than the previous ne'er do well's that make up the AMD management community. If she keeps her head above the surface, she is surely invoking the occult.
  17. PacerMonitor

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