January 5th, 2007


Programming the Cell chip under Linux.

The real centerpiece for the PS3, however, is its processor - the Cell Broadband Engine chip (often called the Cell BE chip). The Cell BE architecture is a radical departure from traditional processor designs. The Cell BE processor is a chip consisting of nine processing elements (note the PS3 has one of them disabled, and one of them reserved for system use, leaving seven processing units at your disposal). The main processing element is a fairly standard general-purpose processor. It is a dual-core PowerPC®-based element, called the Power Processing Element, or PPE for short. The other eight processing elements, however, are a different story.

The other processing elements within the Cell BE are known as Synergistic Processing Elements, or SPEs. Each SPE consists of:

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It amuses me that the world has reached a level of corporate wealth and/or our silicon engineering is so easy now that any random major corporation can conceptualize and produce CPUs to whatever specs please them. Complete with buzzword-compliant, acronym-laden names for the chip's subsystems.
  • Current Mood

Why yes, the people who wrote your browser's JScript implementation ARE still morons!

No wait, I'm wrong, this time it's the people who wrote your Acrobat Reader's JScript impl:

The trouble, once again, is with Javascript, a powerful programming language that works exceptionally well with Web sites to do all kinds of things that make the online experience much smoother, such as dynamically loading Web page content, forms, etc.

The problem with that kind of power is that it can be a tempting target for attackers. The Adobe flaw is with a Javascript "feature" in Reader and the Adobe plug-ins that render PDFs in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox Web browsers. It turns out that this feature introduces the possibility of so-called "cross-site-scripting" attacks, which involve tricking a Web site (or a user's Web browser) into displaying content from a site other than the one that's listed in the browser's address bar. (Yes, I'm aware of the irony of referring readers to a PDF document for further reading on cross-site-scripting attacks in Adobe's software...).

  • Current Mood
    we do not learn

Dubya admn knows Iraq is lost.

Operation Save My Legacy: Next week, Pres. Bush will announce an escalation of troops into Iraq that - in spite of the ISG, the results of the midterm elections, and Bush’s "listening tour" - has been in the works for months.

As we have been saying in these pages, the "surge" has nothing to do with "winning" in Iraq and everything to do with tamping down the violence sufficiently so that Bush and Rove can create a false reality of "victory" before they leave office. Ever the coward, Bush plans to hand off the inevitable U.S. retreat from Iraq, and the bloodbath that will ensue, to the next president.


Even the Republican were occasionally criticial of Bush’s war when they held power. They never took action, of course. And the question now is, what will Joe Biden and the Democrats do to force the president to end the worst military operation in American history, if not in the history of the world.

The answer is, probably not much. Not unless the American middle class finally becomes as outraged as they should be that the same president who started this war for no reason other than aristocratic whim is now planning to sacrifice hundreds, maybe thousands, more American troops for no other purpose than to burnish his epitaph.


This guy got everything exactly right, and didn't take ten pages to do it. Nicely done.

BTW, the American people will not rise up and demand accountability. They have been as consistent as the west-setting sun in this regard. They will continue to be good little Eichmanns while our President promotes an insane war escalation, and the Democratic congress stands by silently. We will still be in Baghdad in 2k9, and between now and then our troops are going to continue to be slaughtered at the rate of 100+ a month, and nobody's going to do a single damn thing to stop it.

Remember that you heard it here first.
  • Current Music
    RAtM - Know Your Enemy