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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 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 nah on 7/3/2007 11:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
-Saddam has been jerking the U.S.'s chain for 20 some odd years.

Incorrect--the US/Britain/France all supplied him with billions of USD worth of arms during the Iran/Iraq war. Saddam was their poster boy in the middle east. Even the chemical bombing of Kurds in 1988 did little to stop this cozy relationship
the same goes with bin Laden---when he was fighting the USSR the US gave the Taleban millions of USD worth of arms

To misquote Nietzsche--'Create not monsters lest you become a monster, and if ye gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you'

RE: De Raadt or the nut?
By stromgald on 7/3/2007 11:37:16 AM , Rating: 2
Not exactly. 20 years would put the time frame from 1987-Present. Although the US initially funded Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war because of the radical religious rule in Iran (which was a threat to Iraqi stability), Iraq began refusing to listen to the US towards the end of the war.

The US condemned the genocidal tactics of Saddam, but did little to stop it at the time, since we were mostly concerned with the USSR in the late 80s. Meanwhile Saddam become more and more bold and eventually invaded Kuwait. Saddam didn't all of a sudden think that he could take Kuwait without our retaliation. He had refuted the US for years leading up to the first Gulf War and got away with it. Therefore, he thought he could get Kuwait's oil and relieve some of his war debt with the US without us lifting a finger.

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