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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 Acid Rain on 7/8/2007 10:21:25 AM , Rating: 1
" If we tell you to stop doing something, you can ignore us, its just talk right. But what if we have 50 thousand troops right next door and enough aircraft and bombs to level a sizeable portion of your countries infrastructure? Yea it carries a shitload more weight than just asking nicely"

Haha... yeah like those 50 thousand troops in Iraq really threaten someone when they drop like flies every week and administration support rating drooping with it. if anything, Iraq totally parallelized the US governments ability to deal with REAL issues (ie Iran).

btw FYI - the US can strike anywhere in the world with massive force without having land bases. the Parisian sea has a massive US strike force in it at any given moment.
And you have bases in turkey and Saudi-Arabia as far as I remember.

"Field testing. We haven't field tested U.S. Military hardware that we have spend billions in R&D on. Drone aircraft, new F-22's, Abrams Tanks with upgraded tech since the last gulf war, new bombs and guidance methods on aircraft, new sattelite technology, etc.... We need to test our military to make sure we aren't barking up the wrong tree"

If thats true (and I doubt it) guess what
TEST FAILED!
at the concept level.

"We also found out that our philosophy of not needing a large military, that high tech was good enough, has been proving not to be as correct as originally thought. We still need lots of soldiers, with the high tech equipment to effectively wage war."

how did you come to that?
you didn't fail operating against large forces - taking Iraq went smoothly - US army fails to deal with small groups of terrorists (we all fail). I can't see how you can win this by being even bigger and having lots more soldiers.

solutions are in :
a. concept of use of military force.
b. technology.
c. training.

but basically, theres not going to be another Iraq. and I don't see US forces occupying another country. this is the main lesson that will be learned.


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