Gear News Archive: February 2004
Make Linux Mad (You
Wouldn't Like it When Linux is Mad)
There is lots of
talk on the internet today about how "free
speech" rights won out in the "DVD Jon" case over the
dissemination of DeCSS code. And indeed this is a big victory for those
involved in this long-running court case about DVD copy protection. In
light of the fact that 321 Studios just lost a case over the use of a
descrambling system for copying DVDs, this court ruling seems a tad
unusual in the ongoing copy protection wars. But one of the things that I
found most interesting while reading the court's decision was the
historical background on how the case developed in 1999.
As the court
describes in the "factual and procedural background"
section, this case started with the fact that the company that makes the
DVD encryption system known as CSS (content scrambling system) did not
license this system to any Linux developers. As such, it was impossible to
play DVDs on Linux-based computers. The court documents do not make it
clear why Linux developers were excluded, but my guess is they were not
willing to pay a hefty licensing fees. Nonetheless, what you had in
essence was a lot of agitated Linux programmers just itching to reverse
engineer CSS and produce a Linux DVD player. And that's exactly what
happened in 1999 with the development of DeCSS.
What the court
ended up ruling was that by the time DeCSS had been widely disseminated on
the Internet it was impossible to protect the company's trade secrets by
litigating against those who distributed the code. At that point, any such
ruling would have infringed on free-speech rights more than it would have
protected trade secrets. A sort of "the cat is out of the bag"
ruling you could say. The end result is that all charges have been
dismissed, but the ruling does not preclude the maker of CSS from further
litigation against those who allegedly reverse engineered their copy
take-home message is that you don't want to make Linux mad. Ask SCO about
that. They too have found out the hard way that going after Linux involves
risk similar to the way that going after a large corporation involves
risk. But instead of risking huge legal bills in the case of going against
corporations, with Linux, you risk going up against a hard-nosed army of
computer programmers. Going up against an army of angry lawyers is
probably the preferable way to go.
Stuck in Mud
I've been talking
for some time about the curious way that Microsoft seems to be treading
water in advance of their release of Windows "Longhorn".
Everyone has been buzzing about when Longhorn will be released, and the
answer seems to be, "not for a Long(horn) time", perhaps not
until 2006! Everyone has been expecting Service Pack 2 for Windows XP
sometime later this year, but beyond that, there is a giant gap in the
Well now there is
talk about an interim
release of Windows XP to debut late this year, and currently Microsoft
minions have been calling it "Windows XP Reloaded". All very
fascinating, but it sort of ignores the fact that Microsoft has a very
large opportunity now to produce a 64-bit version of Windows and garner
significantly expanded sales as people upgrade to 64-bit Athlon and
Opteron processors. The sales volume would not be as large as they would
get with a completely new "Longhorn" release, but it could
happen much quicker, and could keep the money flowing in the interim. In
fact, if Microsoft increased security, and added a few handy new features
to the 64-bit version of Windows, they could drive sales even higher.
I find it
somewhat disconcerting that recent discussions of XP Reloaded and Longhorn
do not contain even one mention of Windows 64. To me this suggests that
Windows 64 is a back-burner issue at Microsoft, and that they are unsure
of its sales potential. I believe this to be a major blunder on
Microsoft's part, because they have a rare, golden opportunity here to
push 64 bit computing into the mainstream, and reap some large rewards in
Copy Software Fight Will Go to Supreme Court
The makers of
"DVD X Copy" software has vowed
to appeal last weeks court decision against them all the way to the
Supreme Court. A Federal Court Judge ruled against "321 Studios"
and ordered them to halt sales of their software by this Friday. But 321
Studios founder and president Robert Moore said they would ask for an
appeal, and a stay on the courts decision pending outcome of the appeal.
Mr. Moore said "There is no difference between making a copy of a
music CD for personal use and making a backup of a DVD movie for personal
use. We are so firm in our belief in the principle of fair use that we
will appeal this ruling immediately. And we will take our fight all the
way to the Supreme Court, if that's what it takes to win."
We should all
thank Mr. Moore for footing the bill on this fight, because as it stands
now, two US laws are in direct conflict with one another. The "Fair
Use" law allows people to make backup copies of their CDs and tapes
for personal use, but the DMCA act passed later prohibits any technology
that bypasses copy protection schemes on CDs and DVDs, even for personal
backups. This is a confusion that the courts need to clear up, and
I'm very glad that 321 Studios has taken up the fight on every Americans
Rumor Mill Grinds Exceeding Small
One thing that
the Internet has done for us is to provide instant access to thousands of
hoaxes and false stories that are posted for political reasons. This year
will see more such activity than ever before, because the conservative
rumor mill is in full swing for the 2004 election. For those of you who
have just awakened from a protracted coma, I'll try to bring you up to
the Internet's favorite conservative rumor mongerer, posted a rumor that
John Kerry had an extramarital affair with an intern (sound familiar?).
The rumor was very detailed, including all of these non-facts: 1) Kerry
asked the woman to leave the country to avoid the scandal, 2) Al Gore
chose Joe Lieberman to run for VP 4 years ago because he knew that Kerry
had an "intern scandal problem", 3) Wesley Clark was quoted as
saying "Kerry will implode over an intern issue", and 4) the
woman's father was quoted as calling Kerry a "sleezeball". The
with this story is that none of the rumors are true. They turned out to be
so untrue that even Fox network refused to air them. That hasn't stopped
the internet rumor mill.
rumor websites and blogs haven't let up one bit, and conservative-owned
London tabloids are having a field day with the false story. Much of their
blathering is about the "liberal media" showing their colors by
not airing the disproved rumors. What this clearly shows is that the
conservatives haven't got much of a positive agenda, and therefore need to
resort to making up scandals. Indeed, the photo that made the rounds on
NBC, CNN, MSNBC and other TV news outlets of Jane Fonda and John Kerry in
the same crowd also turned out to be a complete fake. But because it was
all over the internet, mainstream news organizations felt the need to show
the fake picture and discuss its "implications" for the Kerry
campaign. A very sorry state of affairs.
My guess is that
conservative rumor mongerers were feeling some intense heat surrounding
the Bush National Guard "absenteeism" problem that Bush can't
seem to shake. They figured that a phony Kerry scandal would be better
than nothing, and it would provide much-needed red meat for rabid
Republicans desperate for some anti-Kerry ammunition. Forget about
policies and platforms, we're going to be blasted with personal attacks
and false rumors right up to the election, and the internet is going to be
the vehicle for delivering these messages. Rush Limbaugh and others
will pick the rumors up and run with them, in the hopes of tainting Kerry
with independent voters.
What you won't
hear is a single conservative rumor mongerer admit that they were wrong in
the face of massive contradictory information. They will blame the
"liberal media" for squelching the falsehoods, and will try to
keep the claptrap rolling. Should be fun to watch as they do anything but
talk about the issues facing our country. Pre-emptive war? No WMD?
Distorting scientific reports? Over $100 billion spent in Iraq instead of
in the US? Outing of a covert CIA operative? The trashing of the surplus
in favor of a huge deficit? Halliburton overcharging scandals? Sending jobs overseas is good for America? I
could go on and on. It's pretty obvious that a substantive debate on
past performance and current policies isn't going to be a winning
discussion for the Republicans.
X86-64 IS AMD X86-64?
People have been
looking at Intel's 64-bit extensions on the upcoming Nocoma and Prescott
chips, and have found them to be identical to AMD's extensions as far as
they can tell. And considering how long Intel has been working on adding
the extensions to the Pentium 4 and Xeon line of CPUs, it's pretty
apparent that they decided to do this a very long time ago. Probably as
soon as they got their hands on an early Opteron, and saw how it
performed. They probably thought to themselves, "Gee, why
didn't we do it this way? What were we thinking with the Itanium? Oh
yeah... we were thinking that corporate America would pay Big Bucks for
Big Tin! Oh well."
as saying that "Intel should be ashamed of themselves. Just
because Intel doesn't care about their customers and has been playing with
some other 64-bit architecture that nobody wanted to use is no excuse for
not giving credit to AMD for what they did with X86-64".
Intel give AMD
credit? You must be joking! Intel is hoping that all their fans will
figure that Intel's version of X86-64 must be better, just because it's
Intel's. But of course Intel's implementation is going to be quite wimpy
in comparison, especially when comparing 2 and 4-way Xeon systems to 2 and
4-way Opteron systems. The Opteron has memory controllers built into the
processors themselves, and have Hypertransport links between the CPUs that
will definitely give the AMD chips an edge over Intel's varieties. But
Intel fans and corporate America will probably have to be bashed over the
head with tons of benchmarks before they succumb to the AMD camp.
Intel may be in
for some hard times over the next year. Itanium II will wither and die,
and Xeon will not stack up well against the Opteron, and is much later to
market. The Pentium4-64 will not be out until late in the year, giving AMD
tons of time to snatch market share.
operating in a whole new environment here, and it will take some time for
them to get their footing, and retool their product line. A big remaining
question is, will Microsoft release Windows-64 before the Pentium4-64
(Prescott) is ready to roll? I doubt it, but if they do, Intel will be in
for a load of hurt.
Your DVD Copy Software Quickly, Or Else!
A federal judge
has ordered 321 Studios to cease
distribution of its popular DVD X Copy software because it violates the
digital millennium copyright act. Everyone pretty much knew this was
coming, but 321 Studios has vowed to appeal the decision. At issue is whether or not
fair use laws permit people to
make backup copies of their DVDs and CDs.
321 Studios has
already sold approximately one million copies of the software package in
question, including one to me. The software works very well, and provides
users with an excellent backup copy of any DVD. The program strips out
menus and subtitles in order to fit entire movies onto a single DVD-R
disk. It even replaces the FBI warning with a notice that this is a backup
copy for personal use only.
I assume as this
court case winds its way through the judicial branch of the government,
that 321 Studios will be able to continue selling its product. But
eventually this case will make it to a federal appeals court, or even the
Supreme Court, and my guess is that the higher court will uphold the
digital millennium copyright act. So, if you're in the the market for DVD
copying software, get it while you can. But let's all hope that the feds
don't decide to start knocking down people's doors because they are on the
customer list for 321 Studios.
Business is Rambus In Anyway?
Is Rambus a
memory company? No, they don't make any memory modules. Are
they a memory design company? Sort of, a small amount of their effort is
directed at designing one type of computer memory: Rambus DRAM. Are they
an IP company? Actually, they are an IP
litigation company. That is their primary business. They only have
$100 million in sales every year, but the company is said to be worth $3.3
billion. It all has to do with perception about possible future royalties
if they continue to win court cases.
The FTC's case
against Rambus, which was pretty air tight, was just thrown out by an
administrative law judge. The FTC alleged that Rambus used it's position
in a memory standards body to learn what technology was going into SDRAM
and DDR DRAM, and amended it's patent applications to cover parts of those
designs. But the judge decided that the standards body did not have any
power to hold members to any standards, and hence Rambus wins the case.
History will look back very disfavorably on this ruling, and on the entire
idea of IP litigation companies (such as SCO in their anti-Linux
campaign). The European Union courts voided Rambus' memory patents after
reviewing the same exact information as in this case. But in the US,
everyone has dollar signs floating in their eyes, blinding them to
unethical behavior, and precluding justice.
64 May Work on Intel and AMD Chips
welcomed Intel to the 32/64-bit bandwagon yesterday. At the Intel
Developers Forum, Intel's Craig Barrett announced that applications and
operating systems "probably, for the most part, will run on both
systems". Gee, that sounds definite. As it stands now, Intel sees the
Opteron as a bigger threat than the desktop Athlon64. As such, the 'Nocoma'
chip will be the first Intel CPU with 64-bit extensions, and will probably
be ready this Summer. Sometime late in the year, or early next year, Intel
will release a "Prescott" version meant for desktop systems.
That should give AMD plenty of time to market their Athlon64 chip and
saturate the market before Intel can make serious inroads.
Microsoft is the
key issue in the 32/64-bit struggle. Microsoft made it very clear to Intel
that there would only be one 64-bit version of Windows, meaning that Intel
was forced to make their processors compatible with AMD's. But the
implementations will be different, in part because AMD has built their
memory controller into their chips, greatly improving memory performance.
Intel's design will run at higher MHz due to the longer instruction
pipeline, but will also have much greater latency issues. Only time will
tell if AMD's sleeker design will win when it comes to 64-bit benchmarks.
This is one
embarrassment that Intel is going to have a hard time living down. Not
just because AMD beat them to a mainstream market by a year or more, but
because sales of Intel's Itanium II server chip will almost certainly be
hurt by the flood of 32-bit/64-bit chips on the market. The Itanium II
requires all new operating systems and applications be written for it, and
that just isn't happening right now because sales volumes on Itanium II's
are so low. Intel's Craig Barrett said yesterday that the Itanium II
"is not going to necessarily turn into the predominant architecture
for servers or workstations over time". So there you have it, Intel's
CEO just admitted that Itanium was a dud, and that suggests that Intel
realizes that a 32/64-bit Xeon will probably sell better than the Itanium.
Now you know why so many people have been calling it the
"Itanic", as it slowly sinks below the waves of the IT
The fact that
desktop computing is moving to 64-bits is a good thing for memory makers,
because computers will be able to use more than the current maximum of 4GB
of memory. With new 2GB modules coming to market, it should be possible
to load systems with a whopping 8GBs of RAM.
remains to be seen if there are going to be incompatibility issues between the two
chips once Windows 64 and various 64-bit applications come out. It would
appear that Intel has been working on adding AMD-compatible 64-bit
extensions to upcoming processors for nearly a year, which suggests that
they were fibbing when they said they would wait to see what the market
demanded. I can imagine that there will be significant growing pains for
64-bit desktop computing when Windows64 and the first applications come to
market, and some of those problems may result from AMD and Intel using
differently implemented 64-bit extensions.
If you ask me,
Intel should be hanging their heads in shame today. From industry leader
to metoo-64 copycat in so short a time. What's next? Intel to adopt the
AMD performance rating system?? :)
Stinks Like a Shrimp Boat
It's pretty much
a done deal that Intel is getting ready to announce
an AMD Opteron-imitation processor. There's lots about this story that
stinks, but that's to be expected with Intel.
factoid: the "Yamhill" 32-bit/64-bit may have been a diversion,
and there are rumors that the server version of the upcoming
"Prescott" Pentium 4, with the codename "Nocona",
might be Intel's first 32/64 bit chip. If so, it would not be compatible
with the AMD Opteron's 64-bit extensions because those were not published
by the time Nocona was locked down.
Stinky point #2:
"Tejas" is the next chip after Nocona, and would be Intel's
first chance to make a fully Opteron-compatible chip. Of course what this
means again, is that Intel may have had a fallback plan all along to put
the 64-bit extensions into all future server and desktop chips, in order
to compete with AMD.
Stinky stuff #3:
There is no reason to believe that Intel will make it's 64-bit extensions
compatible with AMD if it looks like they can gain advantage by going the
proprietary route. Only time will tell how stinky that possibility might
The Big Stink:
Dell wouldn't make an Opteron server if it was the last server chip on the
planet. Why? Because Intel virtually owns them. Intel gives Dell
such good deals on Pentium 4s that Dell is forced to do whatever Intel
Intel is probably
feverishly trying to figure out how they will parse their server and
desktop markets with their 3 main processors; Pentium 4, Xeon and Itanium
II. That's called oversaturation, and it's a bad idea for companies because
it fractionates the market into smaller niches which compete at the edges.
Intel is going to have a very, very fractionated and complicated market if
they have a Pentium-4 32/64-bit chip, a 32-bit large-cache Xeon chip, and
a 64-bit-only Itanium II chip. And all of them will be up against less
expensive AMD Opteron and Athlon-64 chips. I assume the Xeon would also
become a 32/64-bit chip, fully completing Intel's rush to imitate
to Huff and Puff, and Blow Linux Down
SCO is continuing
it's war of words but not deeds against Linux users. They continue to threaten
that they will be filing lawsuits against major Linux users "any day
now". Yeah right Darl. You know that as soon as you lose one of
the court cases your house of cards will crumble. SCO's
self-appointed task is to make as much noise as possible, in the hopes of
continuing to drive stock prices up. Darl McBride has even been quoted
as saying "I Wasn't Brought In to Have Warm Fuzzies with Slashdot. I was
brought in to increase shareholder value."
And if you don't have a product that anyone wants to buy, your only other
option is to sue people.
But SCO is
running out of time. The judge in the IBM case is about to rule
on whether SCO can alter it's complaint from "theft of trade
secrets" to "copyright violation". Usually, most companies
know what they are suing other companies for, but I guess not in this
The moment that
SCO loses a single court battle, the stock price will plummet, and Darl
will become obsolete. Darl's job now is to keep things shifting enough so
that the courts can't get to a ruling anytime soon. I wonder what Darl's
next job will be once SCO goes down? Maybe he can join Halliburton, and
help them rip off taxpayers.
Exploit Discovered Through Stolen Code
The theft of the
source code for Windows NT/2000 occurred only days ago, but it has already
resulted in the discovery of an Internet Explorer 5 exploit
that allows the attacker to take remote control of your computer. It is
safe to assume that more such exploits and vulnerabilities will be
discovered shortly, and we Windows users may unfortunately all find out
the Hard Way, when one of the exploits works better than anyone imagined
they could. And it will all happen faster than the anti-virus people or
Microsoft will be able to respond, so it could get pretty serious pretty
Let's hope we
don't all wake up to an Internet Black Monday next week, with the whole
bleedin' thing gone bonkers.
The rumors are
flying around the Web that Intel is struggling over the idea of releasing
an AMD-imitation 64-bit processor. All the analysts are sitting on the
edge of their seats waiting for an announcement from Intel. Everyone wants
to know if Intel is getting ready to abandon it's corporate Itanium
processor line, and switch to a less expensive, consumer level 64-bit
processor. It has been rumored for years that Intel has secretly been
working (how secret could it be if we've heard about it for years?) on a
32-bit compatible chip with 64-bit extensions just like the AMD Athlon 64.
I guess that's the kind of thing you can do in your spare time if you've
got billions of dollars lying around in the bank.
But what will
Intel say to all its Itanium customers, and to the software companies that
have been working on 64-bit software written specifically for the Itanium
processor? How will they explain that their expensive 64-bit processor was
a flop, and that now they have to put out a cheap, AMD-imitation chip in
order to play catch-up? That's not going to sit well with any company that
has already put out lots of time, money, and/or R&D efforts.
The final mystery
within a mystery is the question of what Microsoft is doing
behind-the-scenes to make a 64-bit version of the Windows operating
system. Microsoft needs to know what the 64-bit extensions are in the
processors, and if different companies use different extensions it's going
to be a nightmare. So everyone wants to know if Intel is going to use the
same 64-bit extensions to the 32-bit instruction set as AMD, or if they
will purposefully create different 64-bit extensions. If the extensions
are different, it may start a 64-bit chip war. It's all going to be very
interesting to watch. Even if Intel does have a 32/64 bit chip nearly
ready to go, it doesn't mean the management will permit it. Intel's
Itanium processor was supposed to be a very big deal, and was supposed to
make Intel lots of money. If they dump it now, they stand to lose a huge
investment. Hence, the 64-bit dilemma.
in Collusion With SCO?
In a small blurb
at Newsfactor, a story mentions that Lindows has declared itself immune
from SCO's legal actions due to a prior agreement with SCO. Prior
agreement? Something sounds fishy here. I admire Lindows gutsy style
in standing up to Microsoft, but I hope they aren't in bed with the devil
on this one.
Rambus has been
out of the news lately, but... it's baaaack! One of Rambus' memory patents
was just revoked in Europe. This is pretty bad news for the pugnacious
memory litigation company, because it puts a pall over all of their DRAM
patents. Ooooh; I love a good "bad-guy-gets-comeuppance" story.
Source Code Stolen
Friday the 13th
turned out to be pretty scary for Microsoft, as copies of Windows 2000 source
code circulate around the web and across the world. Talk about
Nightmare in Redmond! This news must have Bill Gates in convulsions, but
we'll have to wait and see if the whole source code has been stolen, or
just parts of it. One worry that people have is that virus and Trojan
horse writers will use the code to find more unknown vulnerabilities. Who
knows? In any case, more than anything this is an embarrassment for
Microsoft, which takes the secrecy of its code very seriously.
X Copy Scrutinized
The company that
makes DVD X Copy, 321
Studios, has just released a program that copies PC game disks, and
lets you put images on your hard drive. This is not really new, there are
other programs that let you do this on the market, but this is news
because a bigger, better organized company is putting out such a
purchased Games X Copy, and installed it on my system. With my
system overclocked, the program crashed the computer (BSOD). When the
system was clocked normally, the program would not recognize my Plextor
504A DVD burner (despite the fact that their other program, DVD X Copy,
does recognize the same burner). I uninstalled it on that machine, and
then installed it on a system with a CD burner. When started, the program
reported "the application is not properly installed", and it
didn't work at all.
can't tell you if Games X Copy even works as of now. I have emailed
them (days ago), and they have not returned my email. Bottom line?? This
program isn't anywhere near ready for prime time. It may work for you, but
then again, it might not. And at $60, it's a pretty big gamble. I can't
recommend the current version of Games X Copy.
Tournament 2004 Demo Released
Demo has been released, and is available for download at the usual places.
If you don't have a subscription at FilePlanet, expect a long wait. The
new game features lots of new stuff, including vehicles, which is
obviously an attempt to regain some fans from the ultra-popular
Battlefield 1942 and its modifications. Looks pretty cool!
It's Time to Go
If you haven't
been keeping track of the SCO case, you've been missing all the fun.
The trial between IBM and SCO has taken some new turns, and passed that
signpost up ahead which read "The Twilight Zone". The big news
at all the brain-dead news outlets is that SCO has filed additional
complaints against IBM. Actually, SCO was forced to drop its claim that
IBM misappropriated trade secrets, but then added copyright infringement
claims to make up for it. The really big news however, is that SCO
formally admitted in court that it cannot indicate what lines of code in
Linux were taken from IBM's version of UNIX because they haven't seen it!
Yes, that's correct, SCO says it has no idea if any lines of code have
been misappropriated, and they will not know until they see IBM's code!
The judge was
flabbergasted to say the least. IBM and the Linux community were
delighted. In essence SCO was saying that they did not know if there was
or wasn't any infringing code, but they would like to see the IBM code so
they can find out. What I'm wondering is, will the judge slap huge fines
on SCO for wasting the courts valuable time? It is literally impossible
for SCO to have filed this case in good faith if they have no idea whether
or not their claims have any basis in fact.
It will be very
interesting to see what happens with SCO's over-inflated stock price now.
Fools with big, green dollar signs in their eyes have been scarfing
up SCO's stock like hotcakes, but the ax is about to fall. Once it becomes
clear that SCO does not have any evidence of infringing code
misappropriated to Linux, the judge will have to dismiss the case. I don't
see any other option considering that SCO literally cannot comply with the
discovery motions. If they cannot produce the evidence, it's just the same
as not having a body at a murder trial. The old Corpus Delicti dilemma! In
this case though, it's as though the supposedly dead person walked into
the courtroom in the middle of the trial and said "the rumors of my
death are quite premature".
sellable product, SCO is pretty much kaput when this ball of twine
Woe is SCO. Joy
to the World.
Releases Beta Test for Windows 64!!
Microsoft must be
further along with Windows-64 than most people had surmised, because they
have just posted a page where you can sign up and download a beta test of
the operating system for free. This is Windows XP-64 for the AMD
Athlon64/Opteron! This should be a very nice boost for AMD, and is
certainly a major coop for them. It also helps make the point that porting
existing software, including operating systems, to the AMD 64-bit chips is
A note on the web
page says: "Important: Windows XP 64-Bit Edition for 64-Bit
Extended Systems is only compatible with 64-bit AMD Opteron– or
Athlon 64-based computers. It cannot be successfully installed on 64-bit
Intel Itanium–based systems."
Eat your heart
out Intel!! (a trumpet can be heard softly playing Taps for the Itanium II
in the background... fade to black)
I've just gotten
a copy, and am going to give it a try as soon as I get a chance. Thank you
AMD Goes, Intel Follows
Kind of strange
how things work out. Who'd have thought that Intel would be playing
serious catch-up with AMD on a 64-bit processor? Intel is still trying
desperately to peddle it's Itanium II processor, which costs a big bundle,
but doesn't run on current operating systems except for Linux. Now we have
more indications that Intel is feverishly working to get an AMD 64-bit
knock-off chip ready to compete with the Athlon64/Opteron. There have been
rumors for over a year that Intel was working on a backup plan called
"Yamhill", which would compete directly with AMD's 64-bit
chips. But every analyst is scratching their head and asking
"how can Intel undercut a 2 billion dollar investment in Itanium??"
Good damn question.
My guess is that
Intel has a "Yamhill" (I think I'll start calling it 'Landfill'
just for fun) chip almost ready to go, considering how long they have been
working on it. But the in-house arguing and hair pulling hasn't
wound down yet. That will rage on for at least a few months as the execs
yell at the marketing people, who yell at the engineers, who yell at the
gofers. I'm sure there are a lot of folks at Intel with soar throats right
But what would
releasing a 'Landfill' 64-bit chip mean for Intel's Itanium chip?
Certain death. So the main question is, can Intel suck it up that
big. Can they say to themselves, "what the hell is a couple
billion when you've got friends like Dell?" In a recent interview,
Michael Dell was asked about the AMD Athlon64 and said, "I don't think AMD is the only company that's thought of that. In fact, I think Intel's kind of on record as talking about that. I don't think they've made a full, official announcement, but they have sort of indicated they have it".
What a load of hooey. Intel wanted to keep 64-bit computing at the
corporate level for another 5 to 10 years, and was forced to reconsider
because of AMD. So all you Intel fans (are there still such people?)
remember who is keeping your favorite chip company honest. It's AMD!
There's a nice bit
over at The Inquirer about my favorite Intel topic, the ever-lengthening
pipeline in Intel's CPU line. The latest Intel CPU has had the instruction
pipeline boosted from a semi-huge 20, to a gargantuan 31 stages!
That should get
us to 4GHz without much improvement in performance! :)
And people chide
AMD for their 'PR' ratings?
2004, KickAss Gear