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Developers told not to panic over new Intel Core 2 Duo steppings

OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt publicly denounced Intel’s Core 2 processors on the OpenBSD mailing list. Raadt cited 38 pages of processor errata from Intel’s published CPU specifications (PDF).

“These processors are buggy as hell, and some of these bugs don’t just cause development/debugging problems, but will *ASSUREDLY* be exploitable from userland code," Raadt said. "Some of these are things that cannot be fixed in running code, and some are things that every operating system will do until about mid-2008, because that is how the MMU has always been managed on all generations of Intel/AMD/whoeverelse hardware."

Linux coordinator and former Transmeta employee Linus Torvalds, thought otherwise and considers these bugs “totally insignificant.”

Processor errata is nothing new, Torvalds said. Commodity CPUs such as chips based on the Intel Core 2 architecture have a considerably lower bug rate than proprietary boutique CPUs.

“Yeah, x86 errata get more attention," said Torvalds. "But those things are pretty damn well tested. Better than most.”

The errata document specifically mentions the Core 2 Duo E4000, E6000, and X6800 series processors. None of the errata are nearly as insidious or widespread as more infamous problems, like the original Pentium floating-point bug, although some can lead to buffer overflow exploits, claims de Raalt. All of the current errata have patches in the works or can be — and have been — worked around by developers.

In a statement from Intel Global Communications, Nick Knuppfer writes:

“Months ago, we addressed a processor issue by providing a BIOS update for our customers that in no way affects system performance. We publicly documented this as an erratum in April. All processors from all companies have errata, and Intel has a well-known errata communication process to inform our customers and the public. Keep in mind the probability of encountering this issue is extremely low."

“Specification Updates for the affected processors are available at http://developer.intel.com. All errata are thoroughly investigated for issues and vulnerabilities, should they have any we fix them, usually through a microcode update.”


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RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By skaaman on 7/2/2007 3:45:22 PM , Rating: 0
Oil, etc.... are just BS arguments for people looking to complain.

Huh? Actually it's just oil. There is no etc. Your points are sound, well taken, and indirect (and opportunistic) consequences.

The point that no one will ever disclose directly is; "get your asses in there, throw out the dirt bag and protect our oil interests". I know that sounds a little left wing conspiratorial, but doesn't it seem odd that the windfall in the oil & gas industry is taking place during the term of two long time oil & gas executives? Okay, GW wasn't that good at it, but it was the family business. And, yes, many other things are going on in the overall global economy that are contributing as well. If oil didn't mean anything, we wouldn't be there. If 40% of the worlds oil reserves were in the sudan, we would have feet on the ground to address the situation in darfur.

Just my take...


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By Ringold on 7/2/2007 5:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Or perhaps the Bush Administration and high oil prices are merely the culmination of a clear trend that started before George Bush was born? Nah. That wouldn't make for a good conspiracy theory. Extremely clear cut-and-dry analysis showing one of the simplest cases economics can showcase as demand outstripping supply wouldn't be grounds for impeachment.

Oh, and windfall? Please. A propaganda term if ever there was one. I demand we impose a windfall profits tax on Apple. The liberal in me says the iPhone is a wasteful plaything of the clearly ultra-rich and nobody has the right to be so successful or clever businessmen and Apple therefore needs to "contribute" (at the point of the governments guns) to the rest of society. What does Steve Jobs thinks this damn country is, capitalist?!


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By skaaman on 7/2/2007 6:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or perhaps the Bush Administration and high oil prices are merely the culmination of a clear trend that started before George Bush was born? Nah. That wouldn't make for a good conspiracy theory. Extremely clear cut-and-dry analysis showing one of the simplest cases economics can showcase as demand outstripping supply wouldn't be grounds for impeachment.


No. It wouldn't. As I noted, many other things around the globe are contributing to rising profits. But if that tight supply is perceived threatened, then volatile markets do the job that calmer market forces don't do. Drive prices higher.

quote:
Oh, and windfall? Please. A propaganda term if ever there was one. I demand we impose a windfall profits tax on Apple. The liberal in me says the iPhone is a wasteful plaything of the clearly ultra-rich and nobody has the right to be so successful or clever businessmen and Apple therefore needs to "contribute" (at the point of the governments guns) to the rest of society. What does Steve Jobs thinks this damn country is, capitalist?!


Uh... I actually just used the word. I wasn't going there... :-)


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By Ringold on 7/2/2007 5:13:48 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, and Sudan does have large oil reserves drawing significant foreign investment. Pop goes that theory. Maybe we would for huminitarian reasons, but as is typically the case, when America is busy holding down the fort elsewhere, Europe/UN/non-US NATO would rather see the slaughter continue than dare lose a Canadian or Dutch soldier doing a strong countries work.


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By darkpuppet on 7/5/2007 8:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, that's why Canada is still in Afghanistan... you know, home of the Taliban, the people who harboured Osama, who planned the attacks on the US.

There's nothing in Afghanistan for Canada, except to try and stabilize the region... to try and defend from the Taliban's return.

Not saying that the US didn't do good by capturing Sadam (so far, WAAAAAY before they've caught Osama), but the motives are suspect, and the region is in worse shape than when they started.

Now I'm not going to speculate on the motives for being in Iraq, but I'm going to say that you should finish the job you started.

And unfortunately, history may show this whole middle east effort as repeating the mistake of the past.. There have been some huge lapses in strategy that eerily echo the strategic mistakes made by the japanese in WWII (prematurely attacking the US), the nazis (opening up a second front in the war), vietnam(underestimating guerilla warfare), and so on...

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to the war in Iraq (or Afghanistan -- if you've forgotten about that one)... but a rethinking of strategy may be in order...


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By stromgald on 7/2/2007 5:13:58 PM , Rating: 4
Well, to my knowledge, Sudan never used chemical and biological weapons like Saddam did. There weren't partnered with Iran and other nations in developing nuclear technology (whether for weapons or just power generation is up for debate). So overall, I think taking out Saddam had alot more political and strategic motivation than just oil.

The oil argument never holds up once you look at the facts. Simply put, Iraq is not that oil rich and does not supply all that much oil. Kuwait has as much oil in it's ground than all of Iraq. The first Gulf War was clearly about protecting our oil assets, the second Gulf War had several other motivating factors. Iraq's production accounted for less than 4% of the top 14 oil exporting countries in the world, and only 3.3% of overall production. If Iraq refused to export to the US, then prices would rise, but it certainly wouldn't be enough to justify the cost of a war.

Sources: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0922041.html
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0872964.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_wmds


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By skaaman on 7/2/2007 6:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The oil argument never holds up once you look at the facts. Simply put, Iraq is not that oil rich and does not supply all that much oil. Kuwait has as much oil in it's ground than all of Iraq. The first Gulf War was clearly about protecting our oil assets, the second Gulf War had several other motivating factors. Iraq's production accounted for less than 4% of the top 14 oil exporting countries in the world, and only 3.3% of overall production. If Iraq refused to export to the US, then prices would rise, but it certainly wouldn't be enough to justify the cost of a war.


It has nothing to do with what they have. Every increment in the pulse rate of the middle east drives the price per barrel up. Sustained tension keeps it there.

Lets say for argument sake the whole thing resolved itself tomorrow. Sunnis love shiite love kurds. Everyones happy. Hezbollah says sorry Israel, you have a right to exist. In that instance, are you shorting that barrel of oil or going long?


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By stromgald on 7/2/2007 7:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
Political tension and investor worries have secondary, short-term effects on prices. Supply and demand are the over-arching drivers in almost any commodity market. Think about this, even if tension is high, if there's a flood of oil coming out, people/countries would simply stock pile some (short term increase), then start using whatever comes out (back to low prices).

The main reason prices have been going up is because OPEC has not been increasing their production (i.e. the supply) at a rate that matches the increases in world demand (which is skyrocketing with China and 3rd world nations becoming more industrial).

In addition, whether or not everything gets resolved, I would go long on oil, because I expect its price to go up over time. Selling short just allows you to cash in when it goes down, and it acts as a way for the economy to 'dampen' the price drop from a surge of oil onto the market.


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By sviola on 7/4/2007 2:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you couldn't be more wrong. Here are the reasons:

1 - Iraq was an enemy of Iran. Iraq and Iran fought an 11 year war when the Islamic Revolution took place in 1979. The US economically and military helped Iraq. So, don't come with this Saddam was partnering with Iran, as this only shows you lack in history education.

2 - Iraq had one of the biggest armies in the region and was the only country that kept Iran in check. now that doesn't exist, Iran is the only military powerful country that is muslin.

3 - Iraq's previous oil production account was around 3.3% of the overall because the US put an embargo on Iraq after the Gulf War in 1991.

4 - Iraq has the biggest oil reserves in the world, accounting for almost 40% of the know oil capacity in the world.

5 - Halliburton (Cheney and Bush have stocks and worked there) has been the greatest beneficiary of the war, winning the most expensive Iraq reconstruction auctions and access to a great share of the oil in Iraq.

6 - Halliburton is under investigation for bribing and illegal activities on Iraq reconstruction and oil field auctions. Btw, vice Cheney is also under investigation.

7 - If it were humanity interests that drove the US, they would get out of Afganisthan so quick, and leave the country to few NATO soldiers, the taliban, drug dealers and Al-Qaeda to fight for it. (The US has less than 10k soldiers there)

8 - This war prevented the US from entering a recession: 150k soldiers in war are people with jobs, Weapon industry is manufacturing as never before, and oil, construction, telecommunications and engineering companies are making a big profit in Iraq (Fox News also, but for other reasons).

No, the US had only economic reasons for going to war. The two biggest consequences: increase of the internal deficit and Iran now has power in the middle-east it never did before (Iraq will probably become a Shi‘ite country after the US gets out, as the majority of the country follows that arm of Islam).


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By Clienthes on 7/3/2007 12:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
We went to war with Iraq because they challenged our political will. Oil had little to do with it. The US won't even recoup the expense of this war with whatever oil subsides we negotiate.

You can't let a country like Iraq refuse to bend to your political will in the very public way that they did. It gives all the other third world dictators ideas. Political power is far more valuable than oil. The entire reason the UN didn't back the war is because several other member nations were violating the very UN embargoes they had voted for just a few years prior, and to cover their own rears they decided to challenge the US political will as well. Luckily for them, the media is more inclined to make you fear and mistrust the US government than anyone else, so the crooked politicians from other countries are largely off the hook. They also managed to marginalize the UN as a political entity while saving their own hides (by demonstrating that the UN can be "bought" with some favorable trading with key nations to ensure that UN threats are never carried out, and that if you country is strong enough, UN "mandates" are mere suggestions).

You are right about one thing, if oil were not important we wouldn't be there. The reason we kicked Saddam out of Kuwait was because oil. If that hadn't happened, Saddam wouldn't have had any UN mandates to fail to comply with, and this war wouldn't have been necessary.

Ancillary benefits: A foot-hold in the Middle East. Sure, there's Kuwait and Egypt, but Iraq is an opportunity to have a very good position for our forces against countries that share a border with the host nation, so no negotiating to use airspace for countries in-between. Also, as someone mentioned, we get to test our new equipment.

The windfall in the oil industry that you're talking about has little to do with Iraq, and more to do with the lack of refining capacity in the US. You want gas prices to go down? Convince your neighbors to let a refinery to go up in your town.


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/3/2007 10:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
You pretty much nailed it.

People don't seem to understand that under Clinton the U.S. Foreign policy was weak at best. Foreign powers walked all over us, or flipped us the bird and we didn't do much about it.

On the flip side I remember Clinton taking crap from the NY Times for not doing something about Iraq every time they violated the terms of the treaty (Shot at our aircraft, etc...). Bush rolls in, things go downhill quick (9/11) we rolled into Afghanistan, which surprises a great many countries in the middle east who thought we were pansies.

I encourage you guys to pull out the history on what Saddam would do publically to the U.S. since the end of the first gulf war. He constantly ignored us and publically defied us. It was only a matter of time before a president came along that wasn't going to tolerate it anymore, Bush or whoever comes after him, and took Saddam out of the picture.

In retrospect, Bush Sr had the first crack at Saddam, but congress only gave him approval to defend and expel the Iraqi's from Kuwait, and not counter attack into Iraq. Clinton had ample opportunities to do something about Saddam, but we ended up with some cruise missile barraging on one occasion, but no real lasting solution. Bush Jr ignored Saddam for a while, but then decided to go with a more long term solution. Had Bush Jr not done something about Saddam, you can bet the next president would have had to do something to put that nutcase back in check, eventually some president would have to deal with Saddam.

Or we end up with the Castro problem, just waiting for him to die of old age or illness. Fidel Castro has been a thorn in the side of every president since JFK.


RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By sviola on 7/4/2007 2:29:22 PM , Rating: 1
So, if a foreign government does not agree with you, the solution is to invade it? Well, hope the US has a lot more soldiers, as it'll need to invade Venezuela, Iran, Syria, North Korea, China, Russia. Oh, sorry, the last two are out of league...The US doesn't have the military power to wage war agaisnt them.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/6/2007 10:46:54 AM , Rating: 2
Invasion is not always necessary. China does not have the military power to beat the U.S. but at the same time the U.S. does not have the number of troops necessary to take over all of China. You need to stop thinking about military power in terms of numbers. U.S. soldiers score of a 20-1 Kill/Death ratio at a minimum in modern conflicts. With the value of our air dominance, long range missiles, cluster bombs, and A-10's and Gunships, you can bet that isnt going to change in the near future.


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